Sunday 30 September 2018

Me and Mine in October

Goodbye September, Hello October and all things Autumn.  The sandals are still on the shoe rack, begging to be worn one last time but the boots are on and I have been eyeing up slippers ready for the colder nights.  September was back to normality and routine after a long summer and it has seen four children all having simultaneous growth spurts.  Our photos are last minute and slightly out of focus but most of us look happy so I am calling them a win.

I feel like September has been the most tiring month so far this year as the new daily routine with three drops offs before walking to playgroup, three pick ups and then after school clubs has been challenging and it has taken me a while to get used to it all.  The boys are all really settled in their classes and schools now though and Cora has stopped asking for Finn every two seconds and started enjoying time on her own (although she has replaced him with a friend most of the time!).

This month I have loved seeing the Harry Potter plays in London,  buying Winter clothes for everyone, a girls night out with cocktails and having some time with just Cora.

Ed has loved having fewer wasps around, having a quiet month, Finn's jelly dance and a night out with friends that he doesn't see as often anymore.

Dylan has loved starting junior school, board games club, swapping bedrooms with Finn and having dried mango in his lunchbox.

Archie has loved playing on the tablet at any opportunity, after school playdates with his friends, snuggling under blankets now that the weather has got colder and collecting Lego cards 

Finn has loved getting to take a lunchbox to nursery, sleeping in the bunk beds with Archie, going on the rides at 'So Organic' festival and playing with the search and find books we have

Cora has loved playing with her little cousin on Wednesdays, being back at playgroups, her princess nightie that she was bought for her birthday and reading all the books.

Welcome October!

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Wednesday 19 September 2018

Three Days in Disneyland Paris in August

This summer we booked a last minute three day trip to Disneyland Paris.  We haven't been before and in all honesty, I had no intentions of going just yet either, thinking it was best left until the children were a little older and knew more Disney films.  At seven and five I thought the big two would love it, but I wasn't as sure about the little two who are two and three.  We arrived the night before at a local airbnb though and my inner child stopped being quite so inner straight away.

I don't think anyone is immune from the power of Disney and I was desperate to see the castle from the moment I woke up.  We hadn't told the children where we were going as we wanted them to enjoy the week at a holiday parc we had first without waiting for the next thing and we didn't do a big reveal as they don't watch many adverts and we weren't sure they would understand the concept of Disneyland.  We told them on the morning as we left the flat that we were going to a Disney theme park though and they were pretty excited!

There is something truly magical as you walk through the main gates.  Everything is bright and Disney themed, the staff are happy and helpful and you can't miss the giant princess castle in front of you.  We had three days booked in the park and we decided to do two days in the Disneyland Park and one day in Disney Studios. 

We didn't really see any characters during our three days as the queues were too long (over 2 hours) and the lineberty app that gives you tickets in the studios sold out within around 3 seconds so even with constantly refreshing, I couldn't get into any. We did go on quite a few rides though and our favourites were Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan and It's a Small World.  As we visited over the August school holidays, even with three days we only got to see about half the parks and there are so many rides and shows I would love to go back and see! Many of the queues were 1.5 hours + all day and that is a long time to queue with four little ones!

The highlights of our trip are probably the shows.  We saw Mickey and the Magician in the studios and even Cora sat through the whole show enjoying the music and dancing.  The parade was everything I hoped it would be with all the characters we know and love, magic and amazement and I was torn between watching the show come past and watching my children's faces as they lit up. 

We were desperate to watch the Illuminations show which is on at 11pm every night although we weren't sure we would manage it as it is so late.  On our final day in the park we did it though and it was worth it! It was absolutely captivating and I want to go back just to see it again.  

I have definitely caught the bug and I would love to go back again although I think I would probably aim for a quieter week as I think it would have been more enjoyable with shorter queues.  The children were all perfect ages as there was so much for Cora to do even as a petite two year old and she loved all the family rides as much as Dylan did at seven.  Next time there are definitely a few things I would do differently to try and make the most of our time there but I do think it is nice not to plan too much and just see how the day goes and what you fancy. 

I tried to put my camera away for most of the time and just enjoy it but of course there are still plenty of photos that I want to share on here so I can look back and remember them all!

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Monday 17 September 2018

What the Kids Wore // Minoti

I don't have the kind of children that pose nicely for a photo, standing still with a big grin on their face.  What I can do is candid concentration faces and active boys who think it is funny to start jumping wildly when I get the camera out.  I actually think it works better for clothing reviews though as you can see how things move, how they work on a manic toddler or an energetic child and you get a sense of how comfortable the wearer finds them.  

I can still just about manage them all in one photo but a bribe was used in the form of a go on the inflatable assault course that was opposite them.  All four children are wearing clothes that we were sent from Minoti's newest season and I am really impressed with the quality.  Minoti is designed in England but sold world wide and we hadn't discovered it until recently!

Archie's joggers are the softest things with fleecy lining but unfortunately they are too big for his little frame and even tying the waistband tight we struggled.  They will be perfect for Finn  in a year or so though! Finn's joggers have a cheeky face on the bum which he is totally in love with and Dylan's are a bit more grown up but with the funky orange details which make them unique.

The boys all love joggers for the winter and I like the simple colours as we can pair them with brighter tops too if we like.  The t-shirts are all pretty true to size (Archie's is a size bigger than he usually wears) and the joggers are slightly generous (Finn is an average 3.5 year old in 3-4, Archie is a slim 5.5 year old in 5-6 joggers and 6-7 tee and Dylan in a tall 7 year old in 8-9).

Cora's dress is perfect for a party, or if you have a little girl who is going through a stage of referring to herself as a princess and wanting to wear something sparkly every day.  It is a beautiful colour and super light and I think we will layer it with tights and a cardigan as the weather cools.  Cora is a petite 2 year old wearing 18-24 and she just loves this dress. It is a little shorter than most of her 18-24 month clothing. 

 I like how interchangeable the boys collection is and the fun details although I think we will split up the younger boys outfits to add more colour sometimes too.  The quality feels fantastic and all four love their outfits. The cheeky face joggers and the party dress are our favourite pieces but all 4 are insisting that they got the best clothes!

You can see from the photos how much fun they had playing in their new clothes!

You can find the rest of Minoti's new collection on their website.  

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Thursday 13 September 2018

Staying Young with shopDisney and Marvel Lego

We had such a fantastic time at Disneyland last month and we have all got the bug!  It brings out my inner child and brings back memories from my childhood.  One of the boys' favourite parts of our trip was the Disney Studios as it was the 'Summer of Marvel' and they love superheroes.  

Lego is one of the other things that always makes me feel young, probably because I get just as into it as the boys and we have been having great fun with some of the Lego Marvel sets from shopDisney.  They sent us a few kits to celebrate the relaunch of shopDisney and all their partnerships and we had to start with Ironman!  I had a little look on the website and there are some brilliant collaborations including some awesome shoes with Marvel and Clarks!

Dylan only turned 7 last month so the 'big' Lego sets are still definitely a team effort but we love the Lego Junior range at the moment where they are able to build them themselves.  We made Iron Man together though and I love how easy the instructions are to follow and how it gives us something fun to do together.   I think the concentration and following of instructions is a great skill for the children and I find it really therapeutic too to switch off my brain for a while whilst I help them.  Archie can't get enough of launching balls and I know they will really play with the Lego rather than just keeping it on a shelf too.

We are all now huge Disney fans and I love the different ways we can incorporate Disney and Marvel into our lives with the brilliant collaborations!

Archie picked this one as his favourite set so it will be definitely be the next one we make together! I have a feeling Lego Marvel superheroes may feature heavily on their Christmas lists this year too!

I was sent some Marvel Lego sets from shopDisney for the purpose of this post 
but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
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