5 Weird and Wonderful Things To Do at Camp Bestival

Hurrah! The clocks have gone forward!! This annual event literally makes me smile from ear to ear. Goodbye winter. We’ll miss you! Said no-one. Ever. It’s that time of year where I start coming out of hibernation and begin to look forward to the warmer months that lie ahead. We bought a family calendar a few weeks ago in the Kikki K sale and have been merrily filling out the boxes; marking off when we’re away or have people staying. One of the things that certainly puts a smile on my face is planning our festival weekends. Thinking about the colour and joy of festivals is always a lovely distraction. Having a look at what bands are on, at which particular festival. Take Camp Bestival for example. This year they’ll be celebrating their tenth anniversary and have got a stellar line-up in place. They’ve got Mark Ronson gracing the Castle Stage on the Friday night. Madness are doing a slot, plus Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys is the Sunday headliner. The thought of long hot days, sipping cocktails, watching the bands; then sloping back to Dolly, tired and happy, to have a  lovely sleep in our cosy Duvalay beds makes me smile from ear… Read More

207 weeks and 2 days | Me and Mine {February} featuring Joules

February. A very short and very memorable month for me and mine. We’ve done some decorating. Been  planning and getting very excited for our upcoming ski trip with Mark Warner. And, of course, we celebrated our wedding anniversary down in Cornwall; at lovely Dreamcatchers; courtesy of St Mawes Retreats. It is definitely one of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever had the privilege to stay in; but bricks and mortar aside, Cornwall was breathtakingly beautiful. Even in early February. The sun shines differently on that little corner of the British Isles and even on the darkest, stormiest day, the little fishing village of St Mawes was bathed in a magical, clear light. Inside, outside and exploring… We took some family with us; my sister-in-law, her husband and our niece — who is the Twinkles big cousin — and her husband. Spending time with our nearest and dearest is always something I treasure; our annual family BBQs are something I really look forward to and it was lovely hanging out with them for a few days. Really freeing not to have a fixed agenda for a change; to not have to be at a particular place; at a particular time. To have leisurely lunches, bimble around the little towns; browsing shops and… Read More

207 weeks | Living with superheroes

Boys. Who would ever have predicted that I’d be totally outnumbered by them? I grew up in a family of girls. There haven’t been boys on my mum or dad’s side of the family in years. Until my cousin — who is three years younger than me — had her first child. And now, spanning four female cousins — with eight children between us — there is only one girl offspring. My niece Imogen who is totally and utterly outnumbered by boys. Weird how life works isn’t it? But anyway. Back to my boys. Life is certainly interesting with them around. Quiet games with Sindy (I was never a Barbie fan) are not on the cards, in our house.   Which is sad when I still have most of my Sindy gear in the attic!! It’s LOUD and boisterous (that word should totally be re-worked to boysterous). I always wondered about the gender stereotyping thing and made a conscious decision to give my sons a choice of toys from an early age; kitchens, farms and tea-sets, pirate ships, cuddly toys and dolls. But given the option my boys will play with little cars, rather than Silvanian Families. It’s not an item that has been forced on them — they naturally seem gravitate to tiny toy cars like a moth to… Read More

206 weeks today | {Siblings February}

Siblings February 2017. In one months’s time, I will be the proud ‘owner’ of two four year old children. Not babies. Not toddlers. Children. I’ve said it again and again but I can’t stress enough how fast the time seems to be going since I have had the boys. I know they say ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ but the rate of knots that the months seem to be playing out is crazy. Their daddy and I were looking at them a couple of days ago and we both looked at each other and questioned who the grown up little people in our kitchen were. Where are the babies?  Where are the tottering toddlers? It’s times like this that I’m so grateful to have started this blog. To be able to look back and see what we were doing a year — or even two year’s — ago is just amazing. Sponges Their development over the last month or so has been rapid; lots of learning and trying new things. Cosmo’s grasp of numbers is fantastic; just like his daddy. And Bertie’s aptitude for drawing and creating is lovely. He’s so like me in that respect; always making pictures. We’ve been looking at the alphabet and learning that when different letters are… Read More

202 weeks and 1 day | {Siblings January}

I’ve written before about the gentle transformation of my tiny man-cubs; from sweet babies to defiant, angsty threenagers. Last month, things had calmed down ever so slightly (probably with the threat of no Father Christmas if they didn’t toe the line) but January has brought more defiance, more anger. It’s tiring. For them as well as us. And I say ‘them’ but, if I’m being truthful, it’s really only one of them but I think it’s unfair to say which. It’s bolstering, when I see on social media, that some of my friends are experiencing similar issues. It’s not a happy feeling but it makes me feel better that I’m not the only one. Particularly when their children are the same age — or older. I think that people — my mother for one — think that children are prescriptive. And as ‘terrible twos’ has always been a ‘thing’, the boys should not be acting up at nearly four years of age. Particularly when — as I was apparently vile at two — it stands to reason that my sons should follow suit then, right? Wrong. I never experienced ‘terrible twos’ with either of them. Two wasn’t terrible. Two was ace. Two little siblings learning to talk and… Read More

The best baby changing bag? Meet the PacaPod Firenze

When I was pregnant I spent a lot of time Googling things. How do you breastfeed two babies at once? What’s the best baby changing bag for twins?  The best white-noise app/bottle steriliser/pushchair? You know the kind of thing. I’m not quite sure what we used to do before the days of the internet but these days, if you have a question, you’ll be sure to find the answer on Google. (Other search engines are probably available.) But anyway — I digress. Three and a half years into motherhood and an awful lot of water has passed under the bridge. Instead of breast-pumps and sterilisers I’m now Googling how to deal with tantrums. But strangely enough I think I’ve finally just come across the best baby change bag. For me anyway. When the twins were born I bought a PacaPod Mirano in navy. We’ve still got it; it’s a little scuffed round the edges but very much intact. I bought this particular bag because of it’s HUGE internal proportions — that bad-boy can carry a lot of stuff — and also the fact that it was unisex. My boy balked at some of the change bags that were available (pink bows and ditsy prints are not really his thang) but,… Read More

A golden weekend | Featuring Center Parcs, Sherwood Forest

Back in October we celebrated my mum and dad’s golden wedding anniversary. FIFTY YEARS!!! Such a huge milestone! They had decided ages ago that they wanted to take us all away for the weekend. We wanted somewhere that would appeal to all ages and — as my heavily pregnant sister wasn’t able to fly — we looked for places fairly close to home. After a bit of research, we decided to book three nights away at Center Parcs, Sherwood Forest. There were nine of us in total (if you didn’t include the bump) — six adults and three little ones — and we stayed in two lodges, which were literally next door to each other. The accommodation was lovely; the kind of perfectly formed little house that I would have just wanted to move into, in my twenties. Ours had a well appointed kitchen, a bathroom and cloakroom, two bedrooms and a lovely open plan living area. But the best thing about it was, the HUGE picture window that flanked one side, which enabled you to look out into the gorgeous woodland setting. Lodge 196 at Center Parcs, Sherwood Forest Talk about feeling at one with nature. It was absolutely glorious. We had the most perfect bird’s eye view — if… Read More

199 weeks and 3 days | Me and Mine { December 2016 }

2016. What a year. 12 months of extremes. Good versus bad. Yin and yang. We’ve had crushing lows — family and dear friends battling life threatening illnesses. Celebrity deaths by the dozen; most notably was the demise of my lifelong hero and idol Prince. The boys were too young to understand why their mama was sobbing, with big fat tears running down her face, when that news broke. We sat and watched his videos for hours afterwards. The twins now know him as ‘The Man With The Guitar’. But let’s not dwell on the negatives. 2016 has also given us enormous highs. On my birthday I found out that we’d been picked to be on the GLTC testing team; a partnership that we’ve really cherished. Literally the best job ever. And exactly a month later, we found out that we’d been chosen to be ambassadors for Mark Warner, the award winning family holiday company. An amazing opportunity that unquestionably gave us the highlight of our entire year — our first family holiday abroad. It was a dream come true; everything we could have wished for. We met some lovely people (Sarah, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry I’ve been so crap. I haven’t forgotten about you and your lovely family. I’ll… Read More