Wednesday 31 July 2019

Our Family in July

July is coming to an end and I am writing this post from our mobile home in Zadar, Croatia.  School broke up last week and after a day of chilling out, we hopped on a plane and flew out here for some sunshine and we are having the best time! I actually already had a family photo lined up from our day out at Ascot, but I couldn't resist getting another so I grabbed the camera out when we were at the beach this evening and balanced it on a sunbed to get a family snap.  

July has ended along with the school year and the whole of August is stretching out ahead of us with no school runs, and lots of plan free days. July was full of beach days, ice cream, family time and work and the last week has definitely been the best of it.

This month I have loved swimming in the Croatian sea, watching sunsets at the beach, getting all dressed up for a day out at Ascot and turning off my school run alarm.

Ed has loved late night Cora on holiday, watching Archie's confidence in swimming, starting to exercise more (thanks to his new fitbit) and driving an automatic car for a week.

Dylan has loved being allowed all the juice at the buffet on holiday, playing Pokemon Go, going on the water slides and planning what pencil case he wants for year 4. 

Archie has loved practising his swimming on holiday, playing Pokemon Go, unicorn ice cream and finding a shop selling Pokemon cards whilst on holiday.

Finn has loved being in the swimming pool for hours, sitting in the very back in the hire car we had,  playing adventure golf and all the excuses to eat ice cream in this weather.  

Cora has loved swimming in the sea with me, staying up late each night on holiday, seeing all the horses at Ascot and spending time with her bestie Freddie.
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Friday 26 July 2019

[AD] Into the Woods with Kleenex® Water Fresh™ Wipes

Advertisement feature with Kleenex®

For us, getting outdoors every day is essential. We love getting immersed in the
nature of our local woods. We recently went for a day out and spent hours exploring everything nature has to offer! We packed our bags with picnic food, bottles of water and our trusty Kleenex® Water Fresh™ Wipes, grabbed some waterproof jackets (just in case) and set off on our latest adventure.

It didn’t take long before Finn fell over in a puddle and despite me thinking I was sensible
putting them all in black trousers and wellies, I clearly wasn’t sensible enough choosing a
yellow t-shirt! It seems the children are just drawn to the mud, it’s as if every puddle had clearly been put in front of them as an opportunity.

After all that excitement and knowing that I had some yummy food in my bag immediately made everyone feel hungry, so it wasn’t long before we made a lunch stop. The children had been climbing trees and hunting out the best sticks, so all fingers needed a good clean, and the Kleenex® Water Fresh™ Wipes we had brought with us were so easy to use! They come in a handy travel sized packet which I had in my pocket meaning everyone was cleaned up ready for food in no time! The little wonders are as gentle as they are strong, making them perfect for cleaning everything from hands to faces.

After lunch, we carried on our walk, with the children playing camouflage, hiding in the leaves and using them to cover their faces. I didn’t want to be the one to tell them that I could still see their bright t-shirts poking out! They had brought a magnifying glass with them, so we looked closely at all the bugs, the giant ants and the beetles as well as talking about how we can tell the age of trees. We found the best woodland playground with a swing and plenty of things to climb on- they could have spent all day there.

We spotted a few dens already set up and decided to add sticks to those rather than
create our own. By this point there were some very grubby fingernails and some beautiful
smiles. I think getting muddy is such an important part of childhood, connecting them to nature and opening conversations and I always wonder why we don’t spend more time in the   forest.

Of course, no picnic is complete without strawberries and we used the Kleenex® Water Fresh™ Wipes Gentle Wipes on everyone’s faces to get rid of the sticky redness! The wipes come lotion-infused for a perfect pre-snack cleanse! It is amazing how quickly a punnet of fruit can disappear when there are four children!

There was so much running and climbing, jumping and balancing, collecting and
discovering, building and snacking and we must have walked miles before we climbed back
into the car. The big two had to climb into the very back and only two children made it home awake – I can’t blame them as I was ready for bed by the time we got in too! The Kleenex® Water Fresh™ Wipes really were handy for any eventuality, as my children love mud and mess! They easily reseal making them perfect from woodland walk to car journey, and  everything in between!

 Grab a pack of Kleenex® Water Fresh™ Wipes for your next adventure or find out more over at!

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Saturday 20 July 2019

The Last Summer Before School

There are only 3 more nursery days left and then a long 6 weeks awaits us. We have plenty of plans both for bigger adventures and smaller ones and I know August will be full of laughter, sunshine, late evenings and far too much ice cream.

And then September will arrive and it is all change.  Dylan heads into year four (year four, seriously, how have I got a child that big?), Archie enters his last year at his Infant School and my baby boy is off to big school.

In all honesty, I can't wait.  He is so ready, so far past ready sometimes and his nursery agrees.  He knows the school so well, he knows the building and the playground, the staff and the uniform, he has been in the playground almost every day since he was tiny and he is so confident following his brothers there.  I have already put aside some trousers that haven't given up yet and bought him some polo shirts in the size up from what he wears just incase of a growth spurt / to get him through the first year and we will be completely ready by the time September arrives.

Us both being ready for this new adventure doesn't make it any less though. I still watched him run into his new classroom during the transition sessions and I saw that teeny tiny baby who spent his first weeks in special care with tubes and wires coming in all directions.  I remember vividly the moment I was told why he was poorly and what his prognosis was.  I can feel the emotions from those first weeks and months and I am utterly amazed that we made it all this way and that both of us are the people we are now.  Finn is fearless, strong, determined, smart, loving and full of ideas. It isn't just my world he will change. It is still a miracle that the little baby has become this big boy and I have so much pride, just the same as all the other parents stood their with their first borns, last borns, only children. 

Nothing about the school feels new to me, I have been sending my children there for four years, I am on the PTFA, I am a school governor, I know my way around but it is a whole new experience being the parent of Finn there and this three year journey will be different to the others.  

In the meantime, I have one summer left with him, those long six weeks to cement in my mind who he is before these new influences.  Finn is so absolutely full of character, he doesn't conform, he is himself.  He is funny, so incredibly confident, so sure of himself and I want his teachers to see this, to nurture these parts of him whilst also maybe helping him to conform a little bit too.  This is the last summer before school to enjoy him as a preschooler.  In September we have a staggered start so Archie will go back for two weeks before Finn starts and then he is part time for a couple of weeks too, but it is all rolling into that full time school that will dominate the next few years and this is our last window of freedom beforehand.

I won't be dreading September or considering other options, Finn is so ready for school and I have confidence that they can handle him too. We can't wait for this new chapter in his life, but it certainly doesn't mean any less because of that and if the tears writing this post are anything to go by, I am sure I will crying with the other parents on his first day still!

Finn wears a gifted Maxomorra romper from Nolu 
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Thursday 18 July 2019

A Day at the Beach with the Peugeot 5008


The weekends are for family days and if you follow me on social media you will probably see that we spend a lot of time at the beach. We visit the nearest one the most but there are so many wonderful ones local and last weekend we decided to head over to one of our favourites which has an amazing cafe right on the promenade.

It is about a 20 minute drive and we had a Peugeot SUV 5008 on loan for the week so we jumped in there to head over. We needed to upgrade to a bigger car after the third child really as with ours all being so close in age we found three car seats across the middle a bit snug and we love the space of having a bigger car now.  The three boys are all in high backed boosters and we put two in the back seats and one in the middle with Cora in her harnessed seat. The 5008 has three proper seats across the middle so we could have fit three seats if we needed to but it was snug. Dylan at 7 is technically tall enough to go without a car seat now but we prefer to keep him in one so spreading them out made more sense.

The boys loved the roof window so they could watch the sky and on this hot day we all loved the fantastic air con! The car has a i-Cockpit 8 inch touch screen panel at the front which you can use for the inbuilt GPS, music, air con and air freshener settings and lots more.  We managed to pack everything we needed in the boot including a little stroller, buckets and spades, jumpers for all just in case and a cool bag with some drinks and snacks in.  The boot isn't huge with all the seats up but it was fine for what we needed as you can see below! The boot opened with the touch of a button and shut with one too which was exciting. Ed has come away from the experience of borrowing this desperate to buy a new car!

We parked up on the cliff top and had a wonderful day at the beach, meeting family for lunch, the obligatory ice cream and plenty of digging holes. The boys have lost interest in sandcastles at the moment but they have an endless fascination with digging the biggest holes and they found new friends who had already made a start.  Finn and Cora are always desperate to get in the sea and I was greatful that I had spare clothes.  We love our local beach but visiting different ones is more exciting now and they love the variations, especially as the tide can come all the way in at this one (which means you have to check the tides before you visit as there may not be any sand!).

At the end of the day everyone was exhausted but thankfully we had the Peugeot 5008 parked up ready for us all.  Ed as the driver was really grateful for the massage function on the drivers chair after an afternoon spent digging sand and I loved the charging panel for phones which meant you don't even need to plug them in, although there is a USB slot too for any phones that need a cable.  We were really impressed with the automatic lights that put on full beam as we were driving down country lanes and took them straight off again as soon as a car appeared.  As well as being an automatic to drive, so much else was taken care of making it an easy driving experience and we didn't want to give it back at the end of the week! 

You can find out more about test driving a Peugeot SUV here

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Tuesday 16 July 2019

A Family Day at The Races


I have to admit, we hadn't really considered a day out at the races to be a family activity until recently but this summer we are working with Great British Racing and after spending last Saturday at Ascot for the Summer Mile, my mind has been well and truly changed.  

We arrived in the morning dressed in our finest and the racecourse was dominated by a huge magestic building, people were dressed wonderfully and the staff were incredibly helpful.  We were being treated to lunch in a private box so we headed up there to meet everyone and find out more about the day. The children were so excited to see everything and there really was so much to see.

This summer there are 50 family race days out of the 200 fixtures across the country and children under 18 go free to them all. The Summer Mile was really family friendly and it was great to see so many children around.  There was a specific family area full of fun things to do like a helter skelter, teacups and other rides, a huge stunt pillow to jump onto, circus skills workshops, a wooden marble run and lots more and there were no additional charges which I was so impressed with - there wasn't even big queues!

As part of our experience we were taken to the weighing room to find out more about why the jockeys are weighed and the children were allowed a go on the scales too.  We met one of the jockeys about to get ready for her races and the kids loved listening to her and finding out more about what the job entails.  Back up in the box there was a huge colouring wall set out for the children too letting them know about all the different jobs that exist at a race course, from the manager to the vets and everything in between.

There were 7 races on the day and plenty of time in between them to enjoy some food and drink and a turn on one of the rides or activities.  We were also lucky enough to get to cross the track and see one of the races from the other side starting with loading the horses into the box and ending on the finishing line. The children all chose who they wanted to win based purely on the colour of their silks and we cheered on our chosen horses.  The atmosphere was fantastic and we could see the excitement from everyone watching.

There was so much to do and see and we can't wait to attend another family day this summer with a picnic and our fancy clothes again (I do love an excuse to dress up!).  The children had such a great day and it really was so much fun as a family. To find out more about ‘Under 18s Race Free’ and find a family race day near you, go to

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