I Heart Sundays

The last two weeks saw a change in routine for us as I had a training course that I had to attend, meaning that Sharon and I had to do a switch when it came to childcare (which was easier said than done! Talk about military operation!). This meant Sharon did the nursery drop offs and I did pickups which, by the way, were uh-maze-zing. Driving home from my course was like driving home for Christmas. I couldn’t wait to see his face and talk about his day.

The change in routine also meant that I was able to be a part of a lot more bedtimes (something that I miss dearly as I work late shifts) as well as full weekends! This may sound odd, but to manage our childcare costs I work 80% late shifts; which includes weekends, and due to the pattern that I also have to follow so I can see my team I work most weekends.

I get one full weekend off in six weeks. SIX. That’s a lot of days out and family get-togethers missed. So when I was enrolled onto the course, the first thing I was looking forward to was the weekends and I was going to make sure we made the most of them!

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Bluestone: What To Do On Site [AD – Press Trip]

Whenever we go on holiday, we don’t often spend much time on site as we like to spend our holiday exploring the local area. We’re usually up and out the door early and then not back until late afternoon. We certainly don’t think about doing any activities, watching any of the shows, or eating on site.

Although we’re often too busy or tired, over the years we’ve found that the food on site isn’t always that great and the entertainment is somewhat lacking in… entertainment! For us, the main purpose of the resort is to eat and sleep comfortably in our accommodation, as well as maybe do a bit of shopping or spend a few pennies in the arcade (who doesn’t?).

We may spend an hour walking around the park if it’s a particularly pretty one, or pop to the pool for an hour before it closes, but generally we just go back and forth between our caravan because, to be honest, the facilities aren’t always that great.

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Bluestone: Our Accommodation: Dinas Lodge (Review) [AD – Press Trip]

Part of the whole Bluestone experience is your accommodation. My last post detailed what we got up to during our week, but in this post I thought I’d share our accommodation with you to give you taste of what it’s like.

During our week at Bluestone, we stayed at Dinas Lodge which is a detached log cabin that can sleep 8. It comes with two double rooms, two twin rooms and 2 wet rooms or a bathroom and shower room (we had the wet room in our lodge). The accommodation also comes with wifi and internet as standard (you can upgrade this at check-in) and heating.

Credit: Handbags to Changebags

There are a number of apartments, cottages and lodges at Bluestone – all varying in size, location within the park, and facilities available within – but whichever one you choose you’re bound to find that it’s a home from home.

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Days Out: Into The Trees, Pippingford Park, East Sussex. (Review) [AD – Press Trip]

Last weekend, we were invited to Into The Trees, which is a newly formed family festival based in Pippingford Park, Nutley, East Sussex. Celebrating it’s third year, the festival explores the great outdoors in the heart of Ashdown Forest.

I haven’t been to Ashdown Forest since I read Winnie The Pooh, so it was really exciting to finally visit it in person – and what a sight. With ancient forests and rolling hills covered in ferns it was easy to get involved with nature.

Into The Trees explores the ways in which we can play, work and live amongst the trees…

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Our Family Holiday to Wales

A few weeks, and what feels like a lifetime, ago we went on our second family holiday. This time, Wales was our location of choice. Our first family holiday was based in Cornwall and T was only six months old! How time has flown.

It was an early start on the Saturday, but once everything was packed it wasn’t long before T was fast asleep.


From Brighton it took just over six hours, with only two decent stops. It was actually a shorter (and easier, in my opinion) distance than Cornwall, suprisingly. The journey wasn’t as bad as I thought, although I only had last time to compare it to (last time wasn’t great). T slept for a good chunk of the way, only waking before our first stop, and then watched a film or read books for the remainder of the way. It definitely could have been worse, but he was a star by only really moaning once towards the end.

Arriving just after 4pm, we unpacked, did a quick food shop, grabbed some dinner and then went to bed! Our caravan was gorgeous – T really didn’t know what to make of it but enjoyed running up and down the corridors and hiding in bedrooms.

What’s lovely about going on holiday with T so young is that we get to keep most of our holiday traditions. We still get up early (thanks to T) and we still explore the local area and holiday park on the Sunday. We still eat naughty things (although still watched what T ate) and still played board games of an evening (once T has gone to bed).


On Monday we went to Folly Farm which is a wonderful farm and zoo. This was probably our wettest day, however packed for a monsoon we all had our raincoats on and T had his puddle suit on.

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Thanks to the rain, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Our favourite parts were the penguin walkthroughs and the indoor farm area. We’ll definitely come back when we return to Wales.

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On Tuesday we explored Caves in the Brecon Beacons. I vividly remember coming here when I was young, so this was a lovely jump back in time. What made this special was that I was able to remember what the stalagmites and stalactites looked like back from when I was a child, so seeing what they looked like today got my science-nerd radar going.

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T wasn’t too keen on walking around here – maybe it was too dark or noisy – so we opted to carry/wear him for the majority of our tour of the caves, although he really enjoyed splashing in the rock pools inside the caves. Once outside though, he was more than happy to toddle off up the hills and go dino spotting!

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On Wednesday we went to Manor Wildlife Park which was quite literally a stone throws away from the holiday park. Feeling less like a zoo and more of an animal experience, with a majority of enclosures being walkthrough ones, we really enjoyed getting up close with some amazing animals (constantly holding a very touchy feely toddler back).


They had wallabies (that you could also feed), gibbons, and lemur walkthroughs, and wonderful Rhino, Camel, and Tiger enclosures. The place itself is also beautiful with a lot of the walking taking place in woodland.


On Thursday we went to Freshwater West which is the beach where part of Harry Potter and The Dealthy Hallows (Part 1) was filmed.


This was completely off piste, and not your usual tourist attraction, as it wasn’t at all sign-posted. It was only found when S found a bit of Wi-Fi and remembered that Wales was quite famous for film locations.

The beach was absolutely stunning and had miles upon miles of sand and sand dunes, volcanic rock, and other rock formations that housed several pools. I wanted to take all the pebbles home or at least collect all of the driftwood!

The beach is certainly frequented by locals – which is always a good sign. Before it started raining, I was lucky to be able to capture a few family shots and the natural beauty of Wales.

On Friday we explored Pembroke and its castle. As well as farms, we love a good castle. It’s made more enjoyable watching T clamber around the castle hallways, look outside the open windows, and simply listen to the sound of his own voice echoing.

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This was one of my favourite days as the weather was perfect. We were able to have a picnic outside (instead of the car or on the move) and Sharon and I were able to casually walk around the castle knowing T was safe toddling behind us (minus the steep, spiral staircases!).

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Saturday then came round and it was back to good old England. The journey home was pretty much the same as our journey going; with T sleeping for the majority of the way. He got a little tetchy towards the end, but then who wouldn’t be a little upset returning home from a lovely holiday?

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Back to normality, and my current task is clearing the massive washing pile that’s been created over the past week. The stash of welsh cakes and barabreth, however, is helping massively!

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The Best of Friends

It was at the age of about 7 that I got my first pet – A hamster named cherry (her eyes were red – original, I know). It was then at the age of 9 that we got a family dog. A dog named Max, and later a dog named Pog (that name, no idea). He was mine and my sister’s best friend. Our buddy. We’d go to sleep together and he’d pull my sister down hills being a Pyrenean Mountain dog. We had so much fun.

Therefore, I had no doubts about having a baby whilst already having dog. If anything, I thought T was going to be very lucky growing up with a dog, not to mention two cats!

So as soon as T focused his eyes it wasn’t long until he was very much aware of Oscar, following every movement he made and turning to look when he barked. T’s never been bothered by Oscar, even when he’s barking, or growling at his toys – I guess he would have heard him whilst in my belly, but I still imagined his movement or noises would have startled him.

If anything, it’s quite the opposite. They’ve become the best of friends.

Now, I’m not saying that I make Oscar do anything cute around T or visa versa. They both have their limitations and I’m very respectful of that. One of my biggest bug bears is when dog owners don’t understand or respect their animal, and then become surprised when their dog snaps. But, if Oscar isn’t sleeping near him or just sitting close by, he’ll run to where T is when there’s a knock at the door as apposed to running around tables, or when T starts crying. He’s 100% his guardian.

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Likewise, when Oscar is playing with his toys, T stops what he’s doing and just watches in awe; often giggling like a maniac at Oscar  shaking his toys or offering his tennis ball. Even on bad teething days, T can always muster up a smile or a giggle for Oscar.

At the beginning I was worried about Oscar feeling isolated what with the arrival of T, but since watching the way they are with each other I have no doubts that T has been accepted into the “pack” and that they’ll become great chums. Oscar is already enjoying the fact that T is weaning, although I’m sure he’s looking forward more to the days of meat and cheese!

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Once T is mobile I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops, although I imagine I’ll have quite the team on my hands.

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