Family adventures: The Forest of Dean part 2 | AD

  (read part one here)

Sunday morning we all awoke to the sun filtering through the trees had a had another lazy breakfast before taking a little walk with the dog round the woodland trail right behind our cabin.

We followed the path through the woods, passed by runners on a morning jog and other dog walkers and spied yet more cabins nestled in amongst the trees. We had a little play and climb in a clearing before continuing on the loop that took us right round and back into the site. This is what I loved most about the Forest Holidays setting, that it was so easy just to step out the door and be immersed in the woods and nature.

Our plans for the day included a trip to the near by Beechenhurst lodge for a walk around and to have a go at the Go Ape they have on site there. Theo actually visited this place for his birthday back in January, where he and two friends and Rob travelled up just for the day to have a go, this is what originally inspired us to discover the Forest of Dean further! Seeing as Rob went last time Theo wanted me to join him, which I did thinking it would be easy but in actual fact I quickly realised that I'm not too keen on heights! This was actually only the kids trail, so I definitely wouldn't be able to do an adult one! Who knew that getting older meant that these fears suddenly creep in without you knowing?! Theo had a great time though, even though he was still a little hesitant - maybe he was picking up on my vibes! The staff were all really friendly and understanding that some people need a little more time and really tried their hardest to make you feel at ease! It definitely makes for a great place to take kids for a birthday or special occasion, or just something fun to do on a day out. Prices are £19 per person and you get an hour up in the trees and it is pretty fun (even if you are a bit afraid of heights!)

After having our fill of the heights we met back up with Rob and had a little lunch in the cafe on site and met up with my mum whilst we played in the park which was lovely for both the boys. We then went on a little walk around the grounds which has a sculpture trail and a mini 'Zog' trail for kids which you could purchase a little activity bag for for £3 in the cafe. Rohan had a little sleep whilst we navigated around and did the trail and the pup loped around having a whale of a time! There is a sculpture trail which we tried to follow in parts, but we either got a little lost or the sculptures were no longe there as we didn't see any which was a shame, but by this point the weather was just starting to turn so we decided to head back to the lodge for dinner.

We had bought ingredients for a BBQ and even though it was tipping it down we decided to have it anyway, but just eat inside, but if the weather had been nice there is a big table on the outside decking which would be perfect for sunny evenings eating surrounded by the forest. We of course had another dip in the hot tub, even in the rain!


On Monday it was time to pack up our lovely lodge and leave, even though we all agreed that we could have definitely stayed for a week and explore more! We were definitely sad to leave, so much so that we decided to stop off on the way home just to make the most of it, plus the weather was pretty lovely so it felt a shame to waste the day seeing as it only takes an hour to get home.

We stopped off at Goodrich Castle where we've been a few times before so we knew it was a good place to spend a few hours. It's set in a beautiful grounds and scenery and it's so interesting to read all about the history of the castle. Rohan had a little wander around whilst Theo and Rob climbed up the towers and we just soaked up the quiet morning!

We had an early picnic lunch back at the cafe and shop area before reluctantly heading back home. It really was such a great way to spend the weekend, and really made us have quality time as a family doing things we all really enjoy. I didn't really realise how easy it was to get to this area from Bristol, especially now that the bridge is toll free and there's just so much more to do here, so we'll definitely be back to explore further, next time even bringing our own bikes maybe!


Our trip was in collaboration with The Forest of Dean tourism board, our accommodation, travel and activities were gifted as part of the review but all words and images are my own. 

Travelling abroad with a child with additional needs

So as you may know we journeyed to Barcelona over the Summer to stay with my sister and have our first abroad holiday as a family of four. In fact we've not been abroad together as a family for a good number of years (I think Theo was around 18 months!) but this time it was different. There were four of us, and it needed a whole load more planning than usual. I wanted to talk about preparing and organising a family holiday that involves having to take into account everything you might need for a child who has additional medical needs.

I know that planning a family holiday abroad, or in fact even at home can seem like a pretty daunting task. It all looks so easy when you watch people from a far swanning around villas and pools, their kids having the best time, what you don't see are the challenges that come with travelling with children, and even more so those that come with all the additions. For one we had to hold off really even booking anything this year as we had to wait for Rohan's heart procedure to happen, we had two failed attempts and each time then had to wait to be given a new appointment, to pass the surgery pre assessment and then keep our fingers crossed that he didn't catch some bug in the week in between. He finally had a successful procedure in June, which meant our chances of finding any good holiday deals went out the window.

We decided that we wanted to go abroad, seeing that last year our holiday consisted of a week in a tent in the rain in Cornwall (well it was Sunny for a few days, and I do love Cornwall) but after the last few years of holidaying in the UK (all of which we've enjoyed) we felt it was time to try somewhere further and have a proper break. I think we felt like we deserved a little holiday. Considering that actually booking anywhere in the UK would have cost us nearly the same amounts that late in the year. So we decided to try and visit my sister in Barcelona, which is one of our favourite places to visit anyway. Initially we were just going to go for a week and stay with her, but after thinking about it we felt that actually having a little more time and to relax somewhere by a pool would do us all good. So we found a last minute deal in a holiday park with Eurocamp just down the coast from Barcelona. It was perfect. It cost us pretty much all our extra savings, but sometimes you just really need to give yourself a break right?


So then the planning began. Because Rohan is on special high calorie milk we had to take all that we would need with us, as well as his regular medication and all the equipment he needs. This meant that we had to contact the airline to let them know and give us permission to bring all that extra stuff. Thankfully Easyjet were really accommodating and allowed us an extra hold bag with no weight limit, and an extra carry on for the plane. We had to then arrange a letter to be written by two separate people detailing all the things we needed to take with us and why. I mean I know you usually end up having take so much stuff with you anyway when travelling with babies and children, but add in a box of 24 bottles of milk, a CPAP machine, extra masks, a sats monitor, his boots and bars, medication, tubes and leads and you have A LOT. We even had to remember extras such as additional plug adapters for all that we needed to plug in. There was just so much to remember as Rohan relies on all of this to be able to survive, that if we forgot anything then we'd be in a lot of trouble. It's a daunting thought.

So eventually the day of our flight, (which we purposefully booked and paid a but more for) in the middle of the day, to avoid travelling over bedtimes to avoid having to worry about Rohan being overtired or needing his CPAP to sleep. We had to carry on milk to the flight which again required a letter to let security know. But all went really well and Rohan even managed a little nap on the flight for around half an hour. We'd arranged for my sister to meet us at the airport to take the luggage back in their car, whilst my sister and I and the boys took public transport across the city, which was fun and not stressful seeing as we weren't weighed down with bags. The rest of our time in Barcelona passed as most others when travelling with children. Rohan had to forgo some naps at home, and we had to remember to slow down to let them adjust to the new routines, but I think we all had a great time. Day to day was pretty much the same as it is at home, with the normal additional things we have to do for Rohan. Sometimes it's actually easy to forget that our days might look different to other people's, because we do it everyday. When we got to our second part of the holiday we realised that Rohan really needed a few proper days of napping in his cot with his CPAP machine because we'd been out and about most days and he'd been having short naps in his buggy obviously without it, which is fine, but not for prolonged amounts of time as his airways had clearly got weaker for having to work hard during his nap times that he struggled to breathe well one night, even when on his machine. It wasn't ideal but a few days of proper naps seemed to make it better, and we learnt yet another lesson. Maybe we should've had a days rest in between all the outings.

I'm guess not writing this to complain or get pity, more I think to remind myself what we had to do and to share a little of what our experience was like. It's so easy to think that so many people are living these perfect lives, and when you share a smiling holiday picture, often there can be so much unseen that has gone on up until that point that I think it's important to share that things may never be as easy as they seem. I also know that we're pretty lucky to be able to go on a holiday abroad, to afford it and also that Rohan's condition still allows us enough flexibility to do so. I think holidays will always be like this for us, but I'm hoping they will still always be worth the extra effort.

Oh and it definitely didn't go 100% swimmingly, we forgot and left one of our carry on suitcases somewhere in the airport on the way back! Hopefully lost property has it, as it had most of Theo's and Rohan's clothes and we can get it back. I think this was a result of having been allowed an extra bag, but actually not having enough hands for all of our stuff and it being the end of the holiday and being a little worn out! 

Travelling abroad with a child with additional needs

So as you may know we journeyed to Barcelona over the Summer to stay with my sister and have our first abroad holiday as a family of four. In fact we've not been abroad together as a family for a good number of years (I think Theo was around 18 months!) but this time it was different. There were four of us, and it needed a whole load more planning than usual. I wanted to talk about preparing and organising a family holiday that involves having to take into account everything you might need for a child who has additional medical needs.

I know that planning a family holiday abroad, or in fact even at home can seem like a pretty daunting task. It all looks so easy when you watch people from a far swanning around villas and pools, their kids having the best time, what you don't see are the challenges that come with travelling with children, and even more so those that come with all the additions. For one we had to hold off really even booking anything this year as we had to wait for Rohan's heart procedure to happen, we had two failed attempts and each time then had to wait to be given a new appointment, to pass the surgery pre assessment and then keep our fingers crossed that he didn't catch some bug in the week in between. He finally had a successful procedure in June, which meant our chances of finding any good holiday deals went out the window.

We decided that we wanted to go abroad, seeing that last year our holiday consisted of a week in a tent in the rain in Cornwall (well it was Sunny for a few days, and I do love Cornwall) but after the last few years of holidaying in the UK (all of which we've enjoyed) we felt it was time to try somewhere further and have a proper break. I think we felt like we deserved a little holiday. Considering that actually booking anywhere in the UK would have cost us nearly the same amounts that late in the year. So we decided to try and visit my sister in Barcelona, which is one of our favourite places to visit anyway. Initially we were just going to go for a week and stay with her, but after thinking about it we felt that actually having a little more time and to relax somewhere by a pool would do us all good. So we found a last minute deal in a holiday park with Eurocamp just down the coast from Barcelona. It was perfect. It cost us pretty much all our extra savings, but sometimes you just really need to give yourself a break right?


So then the planning began. Because Rohan is on special high calorie milk we had to take all that we would need with us, as well as his regular medication and all the equipment he needs. This meant that we had to contact the airline to let them know and give us permission to bring all that extra stuff. Thankfully Easyjet were really accommodating and allowed us an extra hold bag with no weight limit, and an extra carry on for the plane. We had to then arrange a letter to be written by two separate people detailing all the things we needed to take with us and why. I mean I know you usually end up having take so much stuff with you anyway when travelling with babies and children, but add in a box of 24 bottles of milk, a CPAP machine, extra masks, a sats monitor, his boots and bars, medication, tubes and leads and you have A LOT. We even had to remember extras such as additional plug adapters for all that we needed to plug in. There was just so much to remember as Rohan relies on all of this to be able to survive, that if we forgot anything then we'd be in a lot of trouble. It's a daunting thought.

So eventually the day of our flight, (which we purposefully booked and paid a but more for) in the middle of the day, to avoid travelling over bedtimes to avoid having to worry about Rohan being overtired or needing his CPAP to sleep. We had to carry on milk to the flight which again required a letter to let security know. But all went really well and Rohan even managed a little nap on the flight for around half an hour. We'd arranged for my sister to meet us at the airport to take the luggage back in their car, whilst my sister and I and the boys took public transport across the city, which was fun and not stressful seeing as we weren't weighed down with bags. The rest of our time in Barcelona passed as most others when travelling with children. Rohan had to forgo some naps at home, and we had to remember to slow down to let them adjust to the new routines, but I think we all had a great time. Day to day was pretty much the same as it is at home, with the normal additional things we have to do for Rohan. Sometimes it's actually easy to forget that our days might look different to other people's, because we do it everyday. When we got to our second part of the holiday we realised that Rohan really needed a few proper days of napping in his cot with his CPAP machine because we'd been out and about most days and he'd been having short naps in his buggy obviously without it, which is fine, but not for prolonged amounts of time as his airways had clearly got weaker for having to work hard during his nap times that he struggled to breathe well one night, even when on his machine. It wasn't ideal but a few days of proper naps seemed to make it better, and we learnt yet another lesson. Maybe we should've had a days rest in between all the outings.

I'm guess not writing this to complain or get pity, more I think to remind myself what we had to do and to share a little of what our experience was like. It's so easy to think that so many people are living these perfect lives, and when you share a smiling holiday picture, often there can be so much unseen that has gone on up until that point that I think it's important to share that things may never be as easy as they seem. I also know that we're pretty lucky to be able to go on a holiday abroad, to afford it and also that Rohan's condition still allows us enough flexibility to do so. I think holidays will always be like this for us, but I'm hoping they will still always be worth the extra effort.

Oh and it definitely didn't go 100% swimmingly, we forgot and left one of our carry on suitcases somewhere in the airport on the way back! Hopefully lost property has it, as it had most of Theo's and Rohan's clothes and we can get it back. I think this was a result of having been allowed an extra bag, but actually not having enough hands for all of our stuff and it being the end of the holiday and being a little worn out! 

Cornwall adventure

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Since we found out the results and things have somewhat calmed down a bit I'm trying to get myself back into some sort of normal routine. That means finally getting round to finishing some posts that have been sitting here half written before everything was interrupted with multiple trips to hospitals and all the stress that came with the last few weeks. It's also lovely to look back on the parts of Summer that we enjoyed, in a sort of unaware blissful haze.

Now that the days are drawing in, the trees are turning and Autumn is well and truly making itself noticed it seems hard to think just over a month ago we were still hanging out at the beach.


We were lucky enough to be invited to stay once more at Trevella Park for a mini break before school started. We hadn't been back to Cornwall for a few years since our last stay (instead heading way north to Scotland for our summer holiday last year!) and were really over to moon to be able to spend a few days right at the end of the summer, as a family of three, before the big start of school.

We were staying in a mobile home once more, and Theo remembered our stay from last time and was super excited to get there and explore. On our first day we took advantage of the morning sunshine and went for a swim altogether in the outside pool, before deciding to make the most of the weather and drive down to St.Ives. I can't recall ever visiting before, so I was looking forward to exploring this well known little seaside town.


We of course headed straight for the beach and made a little camp for a picnic (a seagull managed to snatch a sandwich out of my hand though!). The beach was so vast and beautiful, with the tide right out and perfect for paddling. The crystal clear water was so inviting it was hard not to just get drawn in and just spend hours gazing out.

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We of course headed straight for the beach and made a little camp for a picnic (a seagull managed to snatch a sandwich out of my hand though!). The beach was so vast and beautiful, with the tide right out and perfect for paddling. The crystal clear water was so inviting it was hard not to just get drawn in and just spend hours gazing out.

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We stayed for a little while longer before packing up and dusting off our sand covered feet we decided to have a little visit to the Tate which stood just above the beach. First stop was obviously tea and cake overlooking the beach below.

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Although we like to visit museums with Theo we've not really ventured much into the world of art galleries with him, and I had to say I was a little nervous (especially after filling him with a massive cake) how he would react and behave. But I had little to worry about as the space is just so interesting and engaging that we had no trouble at all. There was a little trail for kids to do, which Theo took to with great enthusiasm, trying to find all the segments of pictures throughout the galleries. I was really impressed with the exhibitions and loved the interactivity of most of them.

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After we finished up there was just enough time to have a little walk around the town as the shops and cafes shut for the day. What a beautiful place St.Ives is, and definitely on our list of somewhere to go back to!

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Cornwall adventure

 photo IMG_6877_zpsgh2soujg.jpg

Since we found out the results and things have somewhat calmed down a bit I'm trying to get myself back into some sort of normal routine. That means finally getting round to finishing some posts that have been sitting here half written before everything was interrupted with multiple trips to hospitals and all the stress that came with the last few weeks. It's also lovely to look back on the parts of Summer that we enjoyed, in a sort of unaware blissful haze.

Now that the days are drawing in, the trees are turning and Autumn is well and truly making itself noticed it seems hard to think just over a month ago we were still hanging out at the beach.


We were lucky enough to be invited to stay once more at Trevella Park for a mini break before school started. We hadn't been back to Cornwall for a few years since our last stay (instead heading way north to Scotland for our summer holiday last year!) and were really over to moon to be able to spend a few days right at the end of the summer, as a family of three, before the big start of school.

We were staying in a mobile home once more, and Theo remembered our stay from last time and was super excited to get there and explore. On our first day we took advantage of the morning sunshine and went for a swim altogether in the outside pool, before deciding to make the most of the weather and drive down to St.Ives. I can't recall ever visiting before, so I was looking forward to exploring this well known little seaside town.


We of course headed straight for the beach and made a little camp for a picnic (a seagull managed to snatch a sandwich out of my hand though!). The beach was so vast and beautiful, with the tide right out and perfect for paddling. The crystal clear water was so inviting it was hard not to just get drawn in and just spend hours gazing out.

 photo IMG_6871_zpsbfhmh5gf.jpg
 photo IMG_6872_zpsizrt4d6p.jpg
 photo IMG_6875_zpsmkkqodgg.jpg
 photo IMG_6880_zpszool6uey.jpg
 photo IMG_6896_zpsic42uaav.jpg
 photo IMG_6905_zpsrfmwnqnd.jpg


We of course headed straight for the beach and made a little camp for a picnic (a seagull managed to snatch a sandwich out of my hand though!). The beach was so vast and beautiful, with the tide right out and perfect for paddling. The crystal clear water was so inviting it was hard not to just get drawn in and just spend hours gazing out.

 photo IMG_6918_zpsshmuzf1h.jpg
 photo IMG_6922_zps2xbpc33b.jpg
 photo IMG_6927_zpszfobmgxl.jpg
 photo IMG_6938_zpsfirr1llp.jpg photo IMG_6932_zpsahh8foza.jpg photo IMG_6948_zpsmcoaacr8.jpg photo IMG_6939_zpsxcoodoeg.jpg


We stayed for a little while longer before packing up and dusting off our sand covered feet we decided to have a little visit to the Tate which stood just above the beach. First stop was obviously tea and cake overlooking the beach below.

 photo IMG_6962_zps7krmzpcv.jpg
 photo IMG_6969_zpshbkplhid.jpg
 photo IMG_6975_zpsri5f81ot.jpg


Although we like to visit museums with Theo we've not really ventured much into the world of art galleries with him, and I had to say I was a little nervous (especially after filling him with a massive cake) how he would react and behave. But I had little to worry about as the space is just so interesting and engaging that we had no trouble at all. There was a little trail for kids to do, which Theo took to with great enthusiasm, trying to find all the segments of pictures throughout the galleries. I was really impressed with the exhibitions and loved the interactivity of most of them.

 photo IMG_6976_zpszzagxlzl.jpg
 photo IMG_6981_zpszmikvhmt.jpg


After we finished up there was just enough time to have a little walk around the town as the shops and cafes shut for the day. What a beautiful place St.Ives is, and definitely on our list of somewhere to go back to!

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Win a Trunki!

win a trunki
win a trunki

Hola from Barcelona! We've arrived and made our flight safely and have spent the day hanging out and recovering. I feel slightly exhausted from all my travelling recently, which means I made a few mistakes with the travelling part and forgot a few vital things. I seem to have been jetsetting a lot recently and one important thing when you're travelling around lots is packing well. I tend to make lists before of all the things we need to pack and tick them off as I go. Now I'm a super bad over-packer, I recently took five, yes FIVE pairs of shoes away for a weekend...that's bad. I'm seriously hoping that Theo doesn't pick up my bad packing habits, but I am keen for him to get into helping and planning himself what he needs! Travelling alone with a child is also a bit of a headache as invariably it will be me who has to lug around all the cases and bags. So I was delighted when we were given the chance to try out a Trunki, which meant he could pack his own case as well as have the fun of wheeling it around and riding on it at the airport. 

Theo chose the Benny the cat Trunki and even if we're not going anywhere sometimes we like to pretend we're going on adventures and pack it anyway. Here's a little video of one of our games! 



I'm hoping we'll go on many more (real and imaginary!) adventures with Benny, and I was so thankful for it on this trip! 

And so I'm happy to announce that I'll be giving away a Trunki to a reader and all you have to do is scroll to the bottom to enter! Good luck! 
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win a trunki
 photo IMG_3545_zpst4hkpzhj.jpg
win a trunki
win a trunki
 photo IMG_3571_zpsxaollfdo.jpg
win a trunki
win a trunki
 photo IMG_3654_zpsgkjdarep.jpg
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win a Trunki!

win a trunki
win a trunki

Hola from Barcelona! We've arrived and made our flight safely and have spent the day hanging out and recovering. I feel slightly exhausted from all my travelling recently, which means I made a few mistakes with the travelling part and forgot a few vital things. I seem to have been jetsetting a lot recently and one important thing when you're travelling around lots is packing well. I tend to make lists before of all the things we need to pack and tick them off as I go. Now I'm a super bad over-packer, I recently took five, yes FIVE pairs of shoes away for a weekend...that's bad. I'm seriously hoping that Theo doesn't pick up my bad packing habits, but I am keen for him to get into helping and planning himself what he needs! Travelling alone with a child is also a bit of a headache as invariably it will be me who has to lug around all the cases and bags. So I was delighted when we were given the chance to try out a Trunki, which meant he could pack his own case as well as have the fun of wheeling it around and riding on it at the airport. 

Theo chose the Benny the cat Trunki and even if we're not going anywhere sometimes we like to pretend we're going on adventures and pack it anyway. Here's a little video of one of our games! 



I'm hoping we'll go on many more (real and imaginary!) adventures with Benny, and I was so thankful for it on this trip! 

And so I'm happy to announce that I'll be giving away a Trunki to a reader and all you have to do is scroll to the bottom to enter! Good luck! 
 photo IMG_3629_zpsfvs2voq6.jpg
 photo IMG_3544_zpsxbxg5ysk.jpg
 photo IMG_3543_zpsyrjggrnu.jpg
win a trunki
 photo IMG_3545_zpst4hkpzhj.jpg
win a trunki
win a trunki
 photo IMG_3571_zpsxaollfdo.jpg
win a trunki
win a trunki
 photo IMG_3654_zpsgkjdarep.jpg
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Postcards from Wales; Bluestone part one

postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
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A few weeks back we had the pleasure of visiting Bluestone Wales, a beautiful park resort set in the rolling hills of Pembrokeshire. After living in Wales for over four years, this was the one part that I had yet to have the joy of exploring.

We packed up the car on Monday morning and headed over the bridge with my Mum and Andy to start our adventure. We were staying in a self catering lodge so we stocked up for our days and came prepared! (But actually the village shop stocked a good range of food if you forget anything!) We arrived with an hour or so spare before we could check into our lodge so did a little exploring of the Village. First call was the play park which was explored with glee after being cooped up in the car for a few hours. We walked amongst the winding pedestrianised streets past the shop, bakery, pubs and restaurants, all quiet and sleepy before the guests started to arrive. We glimpsed the lake through the trees and made notes of what to come back to explore the next day. Soon it was time to check into the lodge so we followed the steady stream of traffic back up on the hill where we would be staying for the week.

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 photo IMG_1220_zpslj8dlueu.jpgpostcards from wales bluestone wales park resort village
 photo IMG_1220_zpslj8dlueu.jpgpostcards from wales bluestone wales park resort ramsey lodge
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After unpacking the car we had a good old explore of our lodge. Theo was so excited as it was "an upside down house!" and marvelled at the fact the kitchen was upstairs and the bedrooms downstairs. We loved the look of the place, especially the big open plan kitchen and living area. The rooms were a lovely size, and we loved each having an en suite bathroom, and it felt lovely and cosy. The kitchen was so well equipped with every appliance and all the equipment you would need. We ate every meal at the house just because it was so easy to do so (and to save a bit of money!)


That evening I put a poorly Theo to bed and settled in for the evening with a bath and a book. My mum and Andy decided to check out the pub for an evening drink by the open fire. A few hours after I went to bed Theo woke with a temperature and was sick over the bed, meaning a swift strip of the bed and cuddles for the rest of the night


The next morning he seemed to perk up a bit so we decided to head to the swimming pool. I'm so glad we did as we all had such a great time. I think it was definitely the highlight for Theo as he's never experienced a pool like it, with it rapid river, the wave machine and the flumes. Luckily he was just tall enough to ride the flumes, but only the big one with me. It was lovely to spend a good few hours there, playing and relaxing. The whole pool is tropical temperature, which was a welcome relief as the weather outside was pretty awful. Each time we travelled on the river we were taken outside into the bitter air, and watched the mist rise off the water and through the rain, but making sure we kept our shoulders beneath the water!


After the swim we headed back for lunch before Theo needed to have a very rare nap. As he slept we planned the rest of our time and eventually headed back out to the Adventure centre. Again much fun was had by all of us, as we played mini golf, climbed the ropes and squeezed through tunnels.



postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort adventure centre
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort adventure centre
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort adventure centre
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort adventure centre


As the evening drew in we once more made our way back to the lodge for dinner and an early night.

The next day I had booked Theo in for an activity, a buccaneer pirate adventure which took him on the nature trail for two hours on his own. We took the opportunity to go and hire a buggy, and to have a look around the lake and village once more.


postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort
 photo IMG_1294_zpskccfjaon.jpg

We retrieved him after his pirate adventure (looking pretty tired out and still under the weather!) and after a stop back for lunch decided to take a walk to Camp Smokey and the woods. Without planning we managed to bump into one of the characters and did a little scavenger hunt and stopped for hugs. I think the woodland and Camp smokey, which is unfortunately closed for the winter, was my favourite part. It was beautiful with the tall pines and babbling stream, and great to have an explore.

After we had exhausted ourselves and had a slight case of water in the welly we popped back to change and grab our swim stuff for a relaxing late afternoon swim. We then settled in for our last evening meal at the lodge before falling, exhausted into bed!

postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
 photo IMG_1320_zpsxcafzu3h.jpg
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
 photo IMG_1339_zpswthjglxx.jpg
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey

We were invited to be guests of Bluestone Wales, but all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own! 

Postcards from Wales; Bluestone part one

postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
 photo IMG_1258_zps3bhtplhg.jpg

A few weeks back we had the pleasure of visiting Bluestone Wales, a beautiful park resort set in the rolling hills of Pembrokeshire. After living in Wales for over four years, this was the one part that I had yet to have the joy of exploring.

We packed up the car on Monday morning and headed over the bridge with my Mum and Andy to start our adventure. We were staying in a self catering lodge so we stocked up for our days and came prepared! (But actually the village shop stocked a good range of food if you forget anything!) We arrived with an hour or so spare before we could check into our lodge so did a little exploring of the Village. First call was the play park which was explored with glee after being cooped up in the car for a few hours. We walked amongst the winding pedestrianised streets past the shop, bakery, pubs and restaurants, all quiet and sleepy before the guests started to arrive. We glimpsed the lake through the trees and made notes of what to come back to explore the next day. Soon it was time to check into the lodge so we followed the steady stream of traffic back up on the hill where we would be staying for the week.

 photo IMG_1220_zpslj8dlueu.jpgpostcards from wales bluestone wales park resort
 photo IMG_1220_zpslj8dlueu.jpgpostcards from wales bluestone wales park resort village
 photo IMG_1220_zpslj8dlueu.jpgpostcards from wales bluestone wales park resort ramsey lodge
 photo IMG_1229_zpsndfp3ohk.jpg

After unpacking the car we had a good old explore of our lodge. Theo was so excited as it was "an upside down house!" and marvelled at the fact the kitchen was upstairs and the bedrooms downstairs. We loved the look of the place, especially the big open plan kitchen and living area. The rooms were a lovely size, and we loved each having an en suite bathroom, and it felt lovely and cosy. The kitchen was so well equipped with every appliance and all the equipment you would need. We ate every meal at the house just because it was so easy to do so (and to save a bit of money!)


That evening I put a poorly Theo to bed and settled in for the evening with a bath and a book. My mum and Andy decided to check out the pub for an evening drink by the open fire. A few hours after I went to bed Theo woke with a temperature and was sick over the bed, meaning a swift strip of the bed and cuddles for the rest of the night


The next morning he seemed to perk up a bit so we decided to head to the swimming pool. I'm so glad we did as we all had such a great time. I think it was definitely the highlight for Theo as he's never experienced a pool like it, with it rapid river, the wave machine and the flumes. Luckily he was just tall enough to ride the flumes, but only the big one with me. It was lovely to spend a good few hours there, playing and relaxing. The whole pool is tropical temperature, which was a welcome relief as the weather outside was pretty awful. Each time we travelled on the river we were taken outside into the bitter air, and watched the mist rise off the water and through the rain, but making sure we kept our shoulders beneath the water!


After the swim we headed back for lunch before Theo needed to have a very rare nap. As he slept we planned the rest of our time and eventually headed back out to the Adventure centre. Again much fun was had by all of us, as we played mini golf, climbed the ropes and squeezed through tunnels.



postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort adventure centre
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort adventure centre
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort adventure centre
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort adventure centre


As the evening drew in we once more made our way back to the lodge for dinner and an early night.

The next day I had booked Theo in for an activity, a buccaneer pirate adventure which took him on the nature trail for two hours on his own. We took the opportunity to go and hire a buggy, and to have a look around the lake and village once more.


postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort
 photo IMG_1294_zpskccfjaon.jpg

We retrieved him after his pirate adventure (looking pretty tired out and still under the weather!) and after a stop back for lunch decided to take a walk to Camp Smokey and the woods. Without planning we managed to bump into one of the characters and did a little scavenger hunt and stopped for hugs. I think the woodland and Camp smokey, which is unfortunately closed for the winter, was my favourite part. It was beautiful with the tall pines and babbling stream, and great to have an explore.

After we had exhausted ourselves and had a slight case of water in the welly we popped back to change and grab our swim stuff for a relaxing late afternoon swim. We then settled in for our last evening meal at the lodge before falling, exhausted into bed!

postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
 photo IMG_1320_zpsxcafzu3h.jpg
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
 photo IMG_1339_zpswthjglxx.jpg
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey
postcards from wales bluestone wales park resort camp smokey

We were invited to be guests of Bluestone Wales, but all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own! 

four / fifty - two

 photo 4_zps31dzybvd.jpg

Last week we were lucky enough to have a mini holiday to Wales, with hopes of spending our days swimming, playing and going on nature trails through the woods. We managed all of these, but it wasn't as plain sailing as we'd hoped as we had to contend with a full blown cold making Theo feel pretty lousy. Still we enjoyed our time, and experienced the beauty of a misty woodland walk. 

Joining in with Jodi


four / fifty - two

 photo 4_zps31dzybvd.jpg

Last week we were lucky enough to have a mini holiday to Wales, with hopes of spending our days swimming, playing and going on nature trails through the woods. We managed all of these, but it wasn't as plain sailing as we'd hoped as we had to contend with a full blown cold making Theo feel pretty lousy. Still we enjoyed our time, and experienced the beauty of a misty woodland walk. 

Joining in with Jodi


Postcards from Scotland 4


So it doesn't always rain in Scotland, and when it doesn't then a beach is always a good idea. 

I've longed to explore the coast lines of Scotland, and other than taking the trip as far north as I could get and ferrying myself over to Orkney and Shetland Islands a few years ago, the urge is still very much there. Where we were staying was not so much the coastline, but nestled amongst the great lochs such as Loch Lomand and Loch Long providing us with stunning views. But to search out a beach we took a drive to a small island called Bute. 

With our car packed with all the necessities for a day on the beach we travelled over the hills and around the great expanses of water on newly surfaced roads iced like great wedding cakes. The scenery unfolded, and held us in awe as every corner we turned provided us with more stunning scenery. We arrived at a small ferry crossing and with excitement of the memory of childhood ferry rides we boarded the car ferry. A short drive on the other side and we reached our destination of Ettrick Bay. The calm water glistened in the sun as we gazed out to the horizon with the peaks of the Isle of Arran in the distance. We spent the day as you would expect, we picnicked, built sand castles, ate ice cream and relaxed. The water itself was so calm and shallow that we could take a slightly water nervous three year old out far away from the beach and rebuild some confidence. We spotted tiny fish and crabs swimming through the clear water and later as the tide receded we searched in the pools and rocks that it left behind. 

It's hard to pick just one day out of the holiday, but if pushed I'd say that this was my favourite. My mum and Andy met us on their own trip to Scotland, and it felt good to be out exploring this beautiful place. As the day wore on to evening the dogs were let off leads and we watched as they bounded over the sand and through the water with sheer delight. If there was ever to be a perfect beach day, then I think we might have come very close. We left feeling happy with a warm glow, perhaps from our slightly pinked skin. 

We also were very happy to have a chance to test out Theo's new swimwear from Sunuva, which provided a UPV 50+ to protect his skin. We loved the design, and luckily for you they are currently in the sale! And his jellies made for the perfect rock pool searching accessory! 

We were sent the swimwear as a gift for review, but all words and thoughts are my own! 

Postcards from Scotland 4


So it doesn't always rain in Scotland, and when it doesn't then a beach is always a good idea. 

I've longed to explore the coast lines of Scotland, and other than taking the trip as far north as I could get and ferrying myself over to Orkney and Shetland Islands a few years ago, the urge is still very much there. Where we were staying was not so much the coastline, but nestled amongst the great lochs such as Loch Lomand and Loch Long providing us with stunning views. But to search out a beach we took a drive to a small island called Bute. 

With our car packed with all the necessities for a day on the beach we travelled over the hills and around the great expanses of water on newly surfaced roads iced like great wedding cakes. The scenery unfolded, and held us in awe as every corner we turned provided us with more stunning scenery. We arrived at a small ferry crossing and with excitement of the memory of childhood ferry rides we boarded the car ferry. A short drive on the other side and we reached our destination of Ettrick Bay. The calm water glistened in the sun as we gazed out to the horizon with the peaks of the Isle of Arran in the distance. We spent the day as you would expect, we picnicked, built sand castles, ate ice cream and relaxed. The water itself was so calm and shallow that we could take a slightly water nervous three year old out far away from the beach and rebuild some confidence. We spotted tiny fish and crabs swimming through the clear water and later as the tide receded we searched in the pools and rocks that it left behind. 

It's hard to pick just one day out of the holiday, but if pushed I'd say that this was my favourite. My mum and Andy met us on their own trip to Scotland, and it felt good to be out exploring this beautiful place. As the day wore on to evening the dogs were let off leads and we watched as they bounded over the sand and through the water with sheer delight. If there was ever to be a perfect beach day, then I think we might have come very close. We left feeling happy with a warm glow, perhaps from our slightly pinked skin. 

We also were very happy to have a chance to test out Theo's new swimwear from Sunuva, which provided a UPV 50+ to protect his skin. We loved the design, and luckily for you they are currently in the sale! And his jellies made for the perfect rock pool searching accessory! 

We were sent the swimwear as a gift for review, but all words and thoughts are my own! 

twenty-nine / fifty-two & thirty / fifty-two

It's been a while since I posted anything at all, and the first time that I've missed posting a week of the 52. So I thought once more that I would post a little visual journey of our last few weeks.

The weather has been glorious, with afternoons spent in the paddling pool and frolicking round National Trust's. The weather followed us up to Scotland for a few days as we explored Glasgow but turned a little wetter as we've continued up into the wilds as we explore Lochs and mountains

We've got a week left of holiday, and I've been taking photos galore and can't wait to share our adventures with you! Normal service will (hopefully resume very soon!) 

twenty-nine / fifty-two & thirty / fifty-two

It's been a while since I posted anything at all, and the first time that I've missed posting a week of the 52. So I thought once more that I would post a little visual journey of our last few weeks.

The weather has been glorious, with afternoons spent in the paddling pool and frolicking round National Trust's. The weather followed us up to Scotland for a few days as we explored Glasgow but turned a little wetter as we've continued up into the wilds as we explore Lochs and mountains

We've got a week left of holiday, and I've been taking photos galore and can't wait to share our adventures with you! Normal service will (hopefully resume very soon!) 

Postcards from Barcelona (4)



The second half of our unplanned afternoon led us through the cool back streets of El Born. We've spent hours circling these streets before, and yet it's still something I will always enjoy. Pushing a sleeping toddler we peered down alleyways, noticed new shops and cafes along the way, we marvelled at the unchanged streets and the evidence of people everywhere. 

For all my love of the countryside, cities always draw me in and intrigue me. All the people living their separate lives, literally on top of each other, creating their own stories which weave in and out of their neighbours windows, sharing alleyways and the sunlight that filters through. Each area holds its secrets and treasures waiting to be discovered, changed and challenged through new generations. The history that may have unfolded on those very same streets fascinates me, and all of the changes that have yet to happen, witnessed by all those people who choose to call it home. Barcelona is a fine example of this city life with so much history packed between its walls and the wide range of people marking their place and telling their own stories. 

It is a place to sit back and people watch, and that's how we spent the afternoon. Talking, walking and watching. When Theo eventually woke up, for his naps were long and late whilst on holiday, we retraced our steps to a good looking ice cream place and sat in the square bustling with people to enjoy them. With our tummies still rumbling we headed to an old favourite Pim Pam for a little burger treat. As the evening slowly drew in we headed home, satisfied from our unplanned afternoon spent in the best way possible.

Barcelona, you stole a piece of my heart many years ago, and that piece just keeps on growing. 

Postcards from Barcelona (4)



The second half of our unplanned afternoon led us through the cool back streets of El Born. We've spent hours circling these streets before, and yet it's still something I will always enjoy. Pushing a sleeping toddler we peered down alleyways, noticed new shops and cafes along the way, we marvelled at the unchanged streets and the evidence of people everywhere. 

For all my love of the countryside, cities always draw me in and intrigue me. All the people living their separate lives, literally on top of each other, creating their own stories which weave in and out of their neighbours windows, sharing alleyways and the sunlight that filters through. Each area holds its secrets and treasures waiting to be discovered, changed and challenged through new generations. The history that may have unfolded on those very same streets fascinates me, and all of the changes that have yet to happen, witnessed by all those people who choose to call it home. Barcelona is a fine example of this city life with so much history packed between its walls and the wide range of people marking their place and telling their own stories. 

It is a place to sit back and people watch, and that's how we spent the afternoon. Talking, walking and watching. When Theo eventually woke up, for his naps were long and late whilst on holiday, we retraced our steps to a good looking ice cream place and sat in the square bustling with people to enjoy them. With our tummies still rumbling we headed to an old favourite Pim Pam for a little burger treat. As the evening slowly drew in we headed home, satisfied from our unplanned afternoon spent in the best way possible.

Barcelona, you stole a piece of my heart many years ago, and that piece just keeps on growing. 

found



In honour of being featured on the wonderful Hibbs100 sharing about my thrifty ways, I thought I'd show you some recent finds, all the way from Barcelona.

On a hot and sunny Sunday after a bit of wandering and lunch we stumbled upon a flea market that happens once a month. I love a good flea market, a little like a car boot sale, but much less organised into neat rows. We weaved our ways through the crowd whilst Theo snoozed in his pushchair, pawing over the rails vintage clothing and wares. We came away with three items each, spending a grand total of about 13€ each, perfect items for the upcoming summer!


A few photos from the flea itself...