Getting Festive at Avon Valley adventure and wildlife park!


Last weekend we decided to start the festive season early (actually is it even considered early? Things seem to start before then now anyway!) Anyway, we were invited to visit Father Christmas in the North Pole (actually Avon Valley adventure park!) and go on a Christmas adventure!

We always try and fit in a little visit to Father Christmas over December and with Theo turning 8 in January I'm pretty conscious of how long he's still going to believe in it all, as well as that Rohan is becoming so much more aware of his wider surroundings and really enjoying activities too, so we thought it would be the perfect place for them to visit and both enjoy!

We arrived just in the nick of time (a warning, if you're going then make sure you read the ticket properly and arrive ten minutes before unlike us!!) but even though we were there slightly on the late side everyone was really accommodating and waited for us before it all started. First of all we entered into a small cave like room filled with foliage and lights to meet two very enthusiastic elves! It was a great introduction and really set the tone for how the whole experience would go. We had to use magic to get through the door and walk through a wintery tree lined path to meet the other Elves, in the toy making workshop. The children then had to help the elves make some teddy bears (and then give them back again which I was surprised none of the children complained about!!) as well as use some Christmas spirit to get the machines all working. It was so well done and all the children were completely captivated! Rohan loved watching the Elves as they jumped around lots and just giggled with delight every time they came near, they made sure they said hello and interacted with every child which was lovely.

Next we travelled on to the gingerbread workshop where the children could decorate their own biscuit (and thankfully keep!!) and had a story read to them by the three Elves; Snap, Crackle and Pop. Rohan pretty much just sat and ate most of his chocolate whilst we helped him decorate and Theo got properly stuck in to the decorating, including wearing the sweet chefs hat!


Once we'd finished the last workshop we entered into the Yuletide Square and the Enchanted village with about an hour to spare before taking the magic portal to Santas Grotto. It just felt so magical with dozens of snowy Christmas trees lining the square, rides and Christmas music! We entered into the dark and cosy village full of tiny Elf houses, decorated trees and reindeers and visited the mail room where Theo wrote a little letter to Father Christmas before it being whizzed off. He liked the mail room so much that he volunteered his services to help out! We had our photo taken with some snowmen and showed Rohan all the lights and the (fake) snow before heading back outside for our free hot chocolate and enjoyed some doughnuts too (because it's totally ok to have just sugar for lunch in the North Pole right?) 


After we'd finished up our snack we visited two real Reindeer (Donna and Blitzen if I remember correctly!) and the boys were able to feed them themselves which I think Rohan was very intrigued by! The whole feel of the village and square was really magical and I'm pretty sure Theo believed that we were actually in a different place to where we started and I just thought the scale and detail of the event was brilliant. We managed to a little go on the rides just before we had to go on to the next part of the experience to meet Father Christmas. I liked how we didn't feel rushed though and had the full hour in the village to be able to explore properly.


The last stop was upon the virtual reality shuttle which took us on a long journey around the world to see the sights before arriving at Santas secret location. Rohan loved the ride so much and again giggled through the whole thing! We were taken in a small group into his cabin filled with trinkets and pictures where Santa Claus and Mrs Claus greeted us and asked what the children wanted as gifts, it was all pretty magical and very believable! Next the children were given presents with their names on (a really lovely touch I think!) before having a photo opportunity. Non of it felt rushed at all and there was none of that panic to try and get your photo in quick and move off again.

Finally our experience was drawing to a close, and we took a little train ride out of the village and arrived back in the park where we could spend the rest of the day to enjoy the grounds, animals and indoor play area. We honestly had the most magical experience and it was such a great way to kick off the festive season! I thought that the level of detail and entertainment that you get for your money (considering it includes entry to the park also) was brilliant and it really was a whole days experience, compared to paying a tenner at the local shopping centre for 5 minutes! I know the tickets have all pretty much sold out as I speak, so if you can't make it this year I highly recommend getting in early and booking next year!





We were gifted the experience in exchange for a review but all words and images are my own! x

Getting Festive at Avon Valley adventure and wildlife park!


Last weekend we decided to start the festive season early (actually is it even considered early? Things seem to start before then now anyway!) Anyway, we were invited to visit Father Christmas in the North Pole (actually Avon Valley adventure park!) and go on a Christmas adventure!

We always try and fit in a little visit to Father Christmas over December and with Theo turning 8 in January I'm pretty conscious of how long he's still going to believe in it all, as well as that Rohan is becoming so much more aware of his wider surroundings and really enjoying activities too, so we thought it would be the perfect place for them to visit and both enjoy!

We arrived just in the nick of time (a warning, if you're going then make sure you read the ticket properly and arrive ten minutes before unlike us!!) but even though we were there slightly on the late side everyone was really accommodating and waited for us before it all started. First of all we entered into a small cave like room filled with foliage and lights to meet two very enthusiastic elves! It was a great introduction and really set the tone for how the whole experience would go. We had to use magic to get through the door and walk through a wintery tree lined path to meet the other Elves, in the toy making workshop. The children then had to help the elves make some teddy bears (and then give them back again which I was surprised none of the children complained about!!) as well as use some Christmas spirit to get the machines all working. It was so well done and all the children were completely captivated! Rohan loved watching the Elves as they jumped around lots and just giggled with delight every time they came near, they made sure they said hello and interacted with every child which was lovely.

Next we travelled on to the gingerbread workshop where the children could decorate their own biscuit (and thankfully keep!!) and had a story read to them by the three Elves; Snap, Crackle and Pop. Rohan pretty much just sat and ate most of his chocolate whilst we helped him decorate and Theo got properly stuck in to the decorating, including wearing the sweet chefs hat!


Once we'd finished the last workshop we entered into the Yuletide Square and the Enchanted village with about an hour to spare before taking the magic portal to Santas Grotto. It just felt so magical with dozens of snowy Christmas trees lining the square, rides and Christmas music! We entered into the dark and cosy village full of tiny Elf houses, decorated trees and reindeers and visited the mail room where Theo wrote a little letter to Father Christmas before it being whizzed off. He liked the mail room so much that he volunteered his services to help out! We had our photo taken with some snowmen and showed Rohan all the lights and the (fake) snow before heading back outside for our free hot chocolate and enjoyed some doughnuts too (because it's totally ok to have just sugar for lunch in the North Pole right?) 


After we'd finished up our snack we visited two real Reindeer (Donna and Blitzen if I remember correctly!) and the boys were able to feed them themselves which I think Rohan was very intrigued by! The whole feel of the village and square was really magical and I'm pretty sure Theo believed that we were actually in a different place to where we started and I just thought the scale and detail of the event was brilliant. We managed to a little go on the rides just before we had to go on to the next part of the experience to meet Father Christmas. I liked how we didn't feel rushed though and had the full hour in the village to be able to explore properly.


The last stop was upon the virtual reality shuttle which took us on a long journey around the world to see the sights before arriving at Santas secret location. Rohan loved the ride so much and again giggled through the whole thing! We were taken in a small group into his cabin filled with trinkets and pictures where Santa Claus and Mrs Claus greeted us and asked what the children wanted as gifts, it was all pretty magical and very believable! Next the children were given presents with their names on (a really lovely touch I think!) before having a photo opportunity. Non of it felt rushed at all and there was none of that panic to try and get your photo in quick and move off again.

Finally our experience was drawing to a close, and we took a little train ride out of the village and arrived back in the park where we could spend the rest of the day to enjoy the grounds, animals and indoor play area. We honestly had the most magical experience and it was such a great way to kick off the festive season! I thought that the level of detail and entertainment that you get for your money (considering it includes entry to the park also) was brilliant and it really was a whole days experience, compared to paying a tenner at the local shopping centre for 5 minutes! I know the tickets have all pretty much sold out as I speak, so if you can't make it this year I highly recommend getting in early and booking next year!





We were gifted the experience in exchange for a review but all words and images are my own! x

On moving to the countryside

I've not really written much about our house move have I? I guess there's been so much else going on that the change of scenery sort of became just that, the background. But it's been such an important move for us so I thought it was probably time to write about it.

A little earlier than this time last year we decided that we wanted to move. A house move had been on our minds for a while and we even started looking when I was pregnant with Rohan, but then everything happened and our world got turned upside down for a while so those plans were shelved. We had enough to take in that thinking about moving just wasn't possible. So we remained where we were. Then Rohan arrived and for two months our lives were consumed with hospital and not much else, until we were finally able to return home, which we did but with a mountain of extra stuff. I know babies seem to come with a hell of a lot of extra things in the normal circumstances, but add a ton of extra medical equipment to that and any extra space we had soon got swallowed up. I think this just added to the stress of the situation and we felt like we were suffocating. That house also didn't hold too many good memories for me. Yes it was our first ever house we owned, so I will always remember it, and of course we did have good memories there, but on the whole it leaves a slight bitter taste in my mouth to look back. I reminds me of heartbreak and feeling awful. I went through two first trimesters in that house, full of sickness and not being able to get out of bed some days, to be followed by miscarriage where again my bed seemed the only place I wanted to be. Then of course we found out I fell pregnant for the second time and I endured the first trimester feeling much the same as last time, to get safely through. Then our world exploded and once again I spent time in bed where uncontrollable sobs took over. You know how the rest of that story goes.

Once we finally had Rohan home and settled into our new life with a baby, a baby with additional needs and equipment, it soon became apparent that our need for moving was still there. I think I quickly realised that along with coming to terms with how our lives had changed, the future I had imagined suddenly looked so different. I didn't want to be haunted constantly of memories of the way things should have been. We needed a change.

We didn't initially think about leaving Bristol, we looked at quote a few houses near us, but nothing was really right. We'd talked before about living outside of Bristol, getting a bit more for our money elsewhere. I grew up in a small town and lived in the countryside, and whilst I love Bristol, I always felt that actually I would be really happy living just outside of it. Rob on the other hand had grown up in Bristol, and returned there after University, so for him I think a complete change was appealing too. One day I think I just did a wider search of the whole of Bristol and surrounding areas to see what was available and a house came up, not too far away, still commutable to Bristol, but in a village, in the countryside. It would mean a whole change of school and services for Rohan, but we thought "why not" and booked to see it. In the meantime we had put our house on the market and managed to sell it within a week, thank you crazy Bristol housing market.

We went to see the house not long after in late March and fell in love. I've often heard that thing where houses just feel right and you know it's the place, but I've not really experienced it before. When we've been renting we just had to find the most suitable place and get in there quick, without much thought about if the house particularly speaks to you. Our first house was more of a 'good as we're going to get' situation, and whilst it was exciting and we felt very lucky to be able to buy our first place, I didn't love it. There was so much to do and as we went along and did it up we realised that there was still so much more to do on it to get it to where we would like, but what with Rohan coming along and everything that brought with it there was no way we could put the time and money into it like we needed to. So when we found this house, that didn't need any work, was the right size and feel, we just knew that we should go for it. We walked around the village after the viewing and just fell in love. I remember sitting in the park that is just a short walk from the house, in the peaceful early Spring sunshine and just thinking "I could live here".

It was a long old journey from there, we had to wait for the sellers to find somewhere to buy, which took all Summer, then we had to arrange changing schools, then we were delayed a further three months with hold ups further up the chain. I don't think we anticipated how stressful it would be. In that time we looked at other houses, just in case it all fell through, but however many we saw nothing compared to this one. It's like our hearts had made up their minds and were set. Which is a good sign I suppose. Thankfully it seemed as though everyone else in the chain were as set and determined to see it through to the end as we were, and miraculously after nine months wait nobody backed out and we finally exchanged and completed (four days before Christmas!)


We had to move Theo school of course and for me this was one of the biggest worries. How would he react to being moved and starting out all over again, leaving his friends he'd had since nursery, leaving the city where he'd grown up, but every time we spoke about it with him he seemed happy and understood and was excited to live in the countryside. It was a big move for me too, I was so worried about starting a fresh, making new friends and leaving my old ones. Even though we're not that far it's still a step into the unknown again, with a whole new school to navigate. To be honest I feel like I'm still only just getting there, but I know I'm so glad we're here.

There haven't been many moments where I've thought I wish we were still in Bristol, perhaps maybe for a potter down Gloucester road, or being further away from the many decent pizza places (even though our wallets and waistlines might be happier!). I perhaps think it would be nice to see my old friends a little more, but Rohan's diary keeps me pretty busy wherever we are. But there are so many reasons that I constantly feel thankful and happy about, being in the village. The views, the fresh air, how most things we need are just a short walk away, a great pub, friendly people, more space etc. I think we've managed to find replacements for everything we had and used in Bristol (I panicked suddenly when my MOT was due and we had to find somewhere, luckily we did and they even picked up and dropped my car off again for me!) I've been slowly finding more things to do for myself including running and a netball group. I've been taken along to the local baby and toddler group, which whilst was daunting at first has been really good to go to as it gets me out the house and meeting other local mums. Everything just feels a bit calmer and less overrun. I think it suits us.

Even though right now life is pretty stressful, I think being here and in this house makes it a little less so. I feel safe and comfortable here (figuratively and literally...we used to live across the road from drug dealers who had a few police raids...) being home and dealing with all we have to with Rohan feels better, and being able to return here after hard times in hospital makes it all the more worth it. We are happy just being here, going for walks and exploring the places near us. I feel like we made the right decision. We've only been here four months, but I feel we've settled in pretty well. Bristol will always have a special place in my heart, it's where we both my children were born, and the longest I have lived anywhere other than where I grew up. I have so many cherished memories of my days of becoming a mother and bringing up Theo there, and I'm happy for all we experienced there. But now it's a new chapter, a new place to call home and we couldn't be happier to be here.


On moving to the countryside

I've not really written much about our house move have I? I guess there's been so much else going on that the change of scenery sort of became just that, the background. But it's been such an important move for us so I thought it was probably time to write about it.

A little earlier than this time last year we decided that we wanted to move. A house move had been on our minds for a while and we even started looking when I was pregnant with Rohan, but then everything happened and our world got turned upside down for a while so those plans were shelved. We had enough to take in that thinking about moving just wasn't possible. So we remained where we were. Then Rohan arrived and for two months our lives were consumed with hospital and not much else, until we were finally able to return home, which we did but with a mountain of extra stuff. I know babies seem to come with a hell of a lot of extra things in the normal circumstances, but add a ton of extra medical equipment to that and any extra space we had soon got swallowed up. I think this just added to the stress of the situation and we felt like we were suffocating. That house also didn't hold too many good memories for me. Yes it was our first ever house we owned, so I will always remember it, and of course we did have good memories there, but on the whole it leaves a slight bitter taste in my mouth to look back. I reminds me of heartbreak and feeling awful. I went through two first trimesters in that house, full of sickness and not being able to get out of bed some days, to be followed by miscarriage where again my bed seemed the only place I wanted to be. Then of course we found out I fell pregnant for the second time and I endured the first trimester feeling much the same as last time, to get safely through. Then our world exploded and once again I spent time in bed where uncontrollable sobs took over. You know how the rest of that story goes.

Once we finally had Rohan home and settled into our new life with a baby, a baby with additional needs and equipment, it soon became apparent that our need for moving was still there. I think I quickly realised that along with coming to terms with how our lives had changed, the future I had imagined suddenly looked so different. I didn't want to be haunted constantly of memories of the way things should have been. We needed a change.

We didn't initially think about leaving Bristol, we looked at quote a few houses near us, but nothing was really right. We'd talked before about living outside of Bristol, getting a bit more for our money elsewhere. I grew up in a small town and lived in the countryside, and whilst I love Bristol, I always felt that actually I would be really happy living just outside of it. Rob on the other hand had grown up in Bristol, and returned there after University, so for him I think a complete change was appealing too. One day I think I just did a wider search of the whole of Bristol and surrounding areas to see what was available and a house came up, not too far away, still commutable to Bristol, but in a village, in the countryside. It would mean a whole change of school and services for Rohan, but we thought "why not" and booked to see it. In the meantime we had put our house on the market and managed to sell it within a week, thank you crazy Bristol housing market.

We went to see the house not long after in late March and fell in love. I've often heard that thing where houses just feel right and you know it's the place, but I've not really experienced it before. When we've been renting we just had to find the most suitable place and get in there quick, without much thought about if the house particularly speaks to you. Our first house was more of a 'good as we're going to get' situation, and whilst it was exciting and we felt very lucky to be able to buy our first place, I didn't love it. There was so much to do and as we went along and did it up we realised that there was still so much more to do on it to get it to where we would like, but what with Rohan coming along and everything that brought with it there was no way we could put the time and money into it like we needed to. So when we found this house, that didn't need any work, was the right size and feel, we just knew that we should go for it. We walked around the village after the viewing and just fell in love. I remember sitting in the park that is just a short walk from the house, in the peaceful early Spring sunshine and just thinking "I could live here".

It was a long old journey from there, we had to wait for the sellers to find somewhere to buy, which took all Summer, then we had to arrange changing schools, then we were delayed a further three months with hold ups further up the chain. I don't think we anticipated how stressful it would be. In that time we looked at other houses, just in case it all fell through, but however many we saw nothing compared to this one. It's like our hearts had made up their minds and were set. Which is a good sign I suppose. Thankfully it seemed as though everyone else in the chain were as set and determined to see it through to the end as we were, and miraculously after nine months wait nobody backed out and we finally exchanged and completed (four days before Christmas!)


We had to move Theo school of course and for me this was one of the biggest worries. How would he react to being moved and starting out all over again, leaving his friends he'd had since nursery, leaving the city where he'd grown up, but every time we spoke about it with him he seemed happy and understood and was excited to live in the countryside. It was a big move for me too, I was so worried about starting a fresh, making new friends and leaving my old ones. Even though we're not that far it's still a step into the unknown again, with a whole new school to navigate. To be honest I feel like I'm still only just getting there, but I know I'm so glad we're here.

There haven't been many moments where I've thought I wish we were still in Bristol, perhaps maybe for a potter down Gloucester road, or being further away from the many decent pizza places (even though our wallets and waistlines might be happier!). I perhaps think it would be nice to see my old friends a little more, but Rohan's diary keeps me pretty busy wherever we are. But there are so many reasons that I constantly feel thankful and happy about, being in the village. The views, the fresh air, how most things we need are just a short walk away, a great pub, friendly people, more space etc. I think we've managed to find replacements for everything we had and used in Bristol (I panicked suddenly when my MOT was due and we had to find somewhere, luckily we did and they even picked up and dropped my car off again for me!) I've been slowly finding more things to do for myself including running and a netball group. I've been taken along to the local baby and toddler group, which whilst was daunting at first has been really good to go to as it gets me out the house and meeting other local mums. Everything just feels a bit calmer and less overrun. I think it suits us.

Even though right now life is pretty stressful, I think being here and in this house makes it a little less so. I feel safe and comfortable here (figuratively and literally...we used to live across the road from drug dealers who had a few police raids...) being home and dealing with all we have to with Rohan feels better, and being able to return here after hard times in hospital makes it all the more worth it. We are happy just being here, going for walks and exploring the places near us. I feel like we made the right decision. We've only been here four months, but I feel we've settled in pretty well. Bristol will always have a special place in my heart, it's where we both my children were born, and the longest I have lived anywhere other than where I grew up. I have so many cherished memories of my days of becoming a mother and bringing up Theo there, and I'm happy for all we experienced there. But now it's a new chapter, a new place to call home and we couldn't be happier to be here.


Giveaway: Win A Trunki and a family day pass to The Wildplace Project Bristol!


A few weeks ago we were invited on a little day out to The Wildplace project with the wonderful Trunki as part of their ongoing campaign to help raise money for a brand new giraffe house. There we were met by the team and introduced to their newest member of the Trunki family, Gerry the Giraffe. We were there to learn a little more about the conservation work that the zoo is involved in and why they've teamed up with Trunki to help raise the money for the giraffe house. With every sale of Gerry the Giraffe, £5 is donated to the zoo to help raise money for the conservation work for giraffes in the wild. 


We've not actually been to Wildplace before, since it being a fairly new addition to Bristol and we were all pretty excited to get out of the city and explore. We set off to find the animals and hear some great talks by the keepers on the different animals they have there and the work they are doing with them and the site. We loved seeing the Meerkats being fed, meeting the red river hogs with their beautiful face markings and funny ears and seeing the brand new baby lemurs (born the night before!). After lunch we had a bit more of an explore around discovering the woodland where the wolves reside and watching them stalk around through the lookout point. Theo loved looking for the cheetahs and playing in the little African outpost building. 

We had such a great day, and Theo's not stopped talking about his visit since. I think another visit is definitely in store in the warmer weather so we can spend a little more time in the playgrounds and try out the barefoot trail.

If you would like to win your child a trunki of your/their choice PLUS a family day pass to The Wild Place project in Bristol, then you can enter at the end of this post! Good luck! 




Giveaway: Win A Trunki and a family day pass to The Wildplace Project Bristol!


A few weeks ago we were invited on a little day out to The Wildplace project with the wonderful Trunki as part of their ongoing campaign to help raise money for a brand new giraffe house. There we were met by the team and introduced to their newest member of the Trunki family, Gerry the Giraffe. We were there to learn a little more about the conservation work that the zoo is involved in and why they've teamed up with Trunki to help raise the money for the giraffe house. With every sale of Gerry the Giraffe, £5 is donated to the zoo to help raise money for the conservation work for giraffes in the wild. 


We've not actually been to Wildplace before, since it being a fairly new addition to Bristol and we were all pretty excited to get out of the city and explore. We set off to find the animals and hear some great talks by the keepers on the different animals they have there and the work they are doing with them and the site. We loved seeing the Meerkats being fed, meeting the red river hogs with their beautiful face markings and funny ears and seeing the brand new baby lemurs (born the night before!). After lunch we had a bit more of an explore around discovering the woodland where the wolves reside and watching them stalk around through the lookout point. Theo loved looking for the cheetahs and playing in the little African outpost building. 

We had such a great day, and Theo's not stopped talking about his visit since. I think another visit is definitely in store in the warmer weather so we can spend a little more time in the playgrounds and try out the barefoot trail.

If you would like to win your child a trunki of your/their choice PLUS a family day pass to The Wild Place project in Bristol, then you can enter at the end of this post! Good luck! 




So that was Christmas

So it's over, yesterday we took down the tree and cleared out the house ready for the new year that is so suddenly upon us. For some reason this year I just didn't feel all that Christmassy. It may have been the weather has been unusually warm and there were none of those crisp bustley days with hands wrapped round steaming cups of hot chocolate. Perhaps because Theo was in school and the weeks and weekends whizzed by until Christmas week was suddenly upon us, or perhaps it was because we had too many other things to actually think about, post Christmas. 

I tried to make an effort to make this year extra magical for Theo though, as it will be his last as just him and I wanted to make it one he would hopefully remember. For the first time ever I made him an advent calendar, which as well as little treats had Christmas activities in too. We went ice skating, visited Father Christmas, went to the local pantomime for the first time and did a few other festive activities. I hope that he enjoyed them all! 

All in all we stayed pretty close to home over the holidays, missing out on our usual trip across the country to see family and friends as I was a little scared about going into labour and being so far away from home and hospital. But it was actually good to have a break, it forever feels like I'm the one travelling all over the place to see friends, but sometimes you just need to realise your limitations and say no. If it means missing out on seeing people just because I didn't travel then that will have to be. Anyway, so it was different this year, we spent our weekends with little outings and tried to go on a few walks without the weather being totally rubbish, but it did mean that once again I rarely took any photographs. Sometimes though, it all passes in such a blur that you just need to be present to soak it all up. But here are the ones that I did manage - enjoy!


So that was Christmas

So it's over, yesterday we took down the tree and cleared out the house ready for the new year that is so suddenly upon us. For some reason this year I just didn't feel all that Christmassy. It may have been the weather has been unusually warm and there were none of those crisp bustley days with hands wrapped round steaming cups of hot chocolate. Perhaps because Theo was in school and the weeks and weekends whizzed by until Christmas week was suddenly upon us, or perhaps it was because we had too many other things to actually think about, post Christmas. 

I tried to make an effort to make this year extra magical for Theo though, as it will be his last as just him and I wanted to make it one he would hopefully remember. For the first time ever I made him an advent calendar, which as well as little treats had Christmas activities in too. We went ice skating, visited Father Christmas, went to the local pantomime for the first time and did a few other festive activities. I hope that he enjoyed them all! 

All in all we stayed pretty close to home over the holidays, missing out on our usual trip across the country to see family and friends as I was a little scared about going into labour and being so far away from home and hospital. But it was actually good to have a break, it forever feels like I'm the one travelling all over the place to see friends, but sometimes you just need to realise your limitations and say no. If it means missing out on seeing people just because I didn't travel then that will have to be. Anyway, so it was different this year, we spent our weekends with little outings and tried to go on a few walks without the weather being totally rubbish, but it did mean that once again I rarely took any photographs. Sometimes though, it all passes in such a blur that you just need to be present to soak it all up. But here are the ones that I did manage - enjoy!


An evening with Nomads Clothing

A few weeks ago (yes I'm very behind!) I ventured out into the darkening evening to catch a train into the centre of Bristol. It's a pretty rare occurrence that I leave the house after dark, but this was for a special occasion. I had been invited to a lovely evening hosted by Nomads clothing, in the ever wonderful Harts Bakery nestled under the arches of Temple Meads station. I arrived to a warm welcome and had a catch up with other blogging friends, and was finally able to put some names to faces of lovely ladies I'd not had the pleasure of meeting in the flesh before!

The evening was cosy and warm and celebrated beautiful ethical clothing as well as crafts and delicious food. What more could you want?! A rail showcasing a sample of the high quality clothing available from Nomads drew me in and I couldn't help but touch all the beautiful organic cotton clothes and swoon over the hand block printed loungewear on offer. I did fall in love with this dress, but alas my ever expanding stomach wouldn't allow me to fit into it, so instead I settled for this gorgeous kimono which I've been obsessed with and is a great transitional piece.

 As the evening wore on I managed to sample the delicious Moroccan inspired food, as well as try my hand at making my own pom pom bag tassel as well as lust over several of the items on display from Directors Notebook.

 I had a great evening, and was very inspiring to be surrounded by such beautiful and ethical products, and especially to chat to the designer Niki Groom about the inspiration for many of the pieces as well as have my portrait drawn by her!

An evening with Nomads Clothing

A few weeks ago (yes I'm very behind!) I ventured out into the darkening evening to catch a train into the centre of Bristol. It's a pretty rare occurrence that I leave the house after dark, but this was for a special occasion. I had been invited to a lovely evening hosted by Nomads clothing, in the ever wonderful Harts Bakery nestled under the arches of Temple Meads station. I arrived to a warm welcome and had a catch up with other blogging friends, and was finally able to put some names to faces of lovely ladies I'd not had the pleasure of meeting in the flesh before!

The evening was cosy and warm and celebrated beautiful ethical clothing as well as crafts and delicious food. What more could you want?! A rail showcasing a sample of the high quality clothing available from Nomads drew me in and I couldn't help but touch all the beautiful organic cotton clothes and swoon over the hand block printed loungewear on offer. I did fall in love with this dress, but alas my ever expanding stomach wouldn't allow me to fit into it, so instead I settled for this gorgeous kimono which I've been obsessed with and is a great transitional piece.

 As the evening wore on I managed to sample the delicious Moroccan inspired food, as well as try my hand at making my own pom pom bag tassel as well as lust over several of the items on display from Directors Notebook.

 I had a great evening, and was very inspiring to be surrounded by such beautiful and ethical products, and especially to chat to the designer Niki Groom about the inspiration for many of the pieces as well as have my portrait drawn by her!

Summer in the city (plus Trunki Paddlepak GIVEAWAY)

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With the start of the holidays and endless long days stretching before us Theo and I have been trying to take advantage of our time without the restrictions of nursery drop offs and pick ups. Although I'll be the first to admit I do miss those few hours in the afternoons to myself, it has given us a chance to leave the little bubble of our neighbourhood in search of new adventures.

In term time I find its so easy to get sucked into your daily routine, and when at nursery Theo used to start at 12.30 and end at 3.30, meaning we usually stayed close to home in the mornings, just going to swimming lessons or to the park. Sometimes it's easy to forget you live in a bustling city with so many fun, and free I might add, things to do just a short bus ride away.

 photo IMG_6678_zpsof5gieqf.jpg

Bristol is an amazing city, and it's times like these I fall in love with it all over again. I love how each area is different from the next, with its own set of parks and shops and interesting things to see and do. I love the centre and the docks which never fail to cheer me up with their soft bustle of people enjoying walks by the riverside. I also love how easy it is to get out to the countryside and explore the wealth of amazing parks and forest walks. Readers of this blog will know how much I love to escape the city and I have a few firm favourite places to gallivant off to. One other thing I love about Bristol is that without a doubt, particularly in the summer months, there is always a festival or event happening somewhere in the city. There's the nature festival, local street fairs, the big harbourside festival (which we actually tend to avoid as its so busy!) the amazing balloon fiesta and many many more. We have also been loving the Shaun the Sheep trail and it has been the basis for many a day trip so far this summer. It gets us out the house, is free and easy to do at our own pace - plus a great way to explore the city!

A few weekends ago we decided to head south in the city to Bedminster to check out the local street art festival that is upfest. We hardly ever venture south of the river, but every time we do we always say "we should come here more often" and this time was no exception. Theo has always been happy to tag along on our adventures, but now that he's getting older we've been encouraging him to make his own choices about what we get up to, and really taking an interest in his surroundings. He has his favourite places to visit in the city, but I think the great thing about growing up in a city like Bristol is that it really opens children up to a wide range of diversity and I really want Theo to embrace that.

 photo IMG_6676_zpsznvnmqs6.jpg

So before we set off on our adventure to the south Theo packed his new Paddlepak bag for the day and we encouraged him to think of the things he may need. It's the perfect size for him to carry around his things and its great as it encourages his independence more.  We were also recently given this fun Kidizoom camera from Vtech for Theo to try out and to document our outings. We've been contemplating getting a camera for Theo for a while now, as he always takes an interest in taking pictures himself with my camera, which is great, but does put me a little on edge! So being able to give him a camera that is so easy to use, as well as durable (it has already been dropped a few times!) has been great. He picked up how to use it straight away, and I love the double viewfinder meaning that its easy to use like a traditional camera. He's already discovered how to put filters and add in extras to the photos and has played around with the video function too. I think it's great that it's his own piece of technology that he can fully explore and use with ease, it's been great for him to be able to share and show his friends how to use it too, and they are already a fan of the back camera for selfies! 

 photo IMG_6658_zpsrxs7conn.jpg

We stopped for food at one of our personal favourites, The Burger Joint before joining the crowds to look at the artists taking over and painting murals over the cities buildings and walls. Music poured out into the street and we wandered around just soaking up the atmosphere.

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After a while we decided to escape the crowds and head to the park just around the corner where we lazed on the grass whilst the boys played in the playground. Before long it was time to head home, but we did manage to fit in a few Shauns along the way!

 photo IMG_6670_zpsudrqskzx.jpg photo IMG_6671_zpsxffkwmhc.jpg
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So I thought I'd also share a few of the photos that Theo snapped with his camera from the last few weeks, I quite like seeing his perspective on things, but perhaps he could learn a few tips...(I do love them quite a lot!) 

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 photo 100_0246_zpsyqpkktju.jpg
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 photo 100_0151_zpszyk1h4ht.jpg
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So here's your chance to win the Trunki Paddlepak of your own! Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Summer in the city (plus Trunki Paddlepak GIVEAWAY)

 photo IMG_6673_zpsrmpiny5i.jpg

With the start of the holidays and endless long days stretching before us Theo and I have been trying to take advantage of our time without the restrictions of nursery drop offs and pick ups. Although I'll be the first to admit I do miss those few hours in the afternoons to myself, it has given us a chance to leave the little bubble of our neighbourhood in search of new adventures.

In term time I find its so easy to get sucked into your daily routine, and when at nursery Theo used to start at 12.30 and end at 3.30, meaning we usually stayed close to home in the mornings, just going to swimming lessons or to the park. Sometimes it's easy to forget you live in a bustling city with so many fun, and free I might add, things to do just a short bus ride away.

 photo IMG_6678_zpsof5gieqf.jpg

Bristol is an amazing city, and it's times like these I fall in love with it all over again. I love how each area is different from the next, with its own set of parks and shops and interesting things to see and do. I love the centre and the docks which never fail to cheer me up with their soft bustle of people enjoying walks by the riverside. I also love how easy it is to get out to the countryside and explore the wealth of amazing parks and forest walks. Readers of this blog will know how much I love to escape the city and I have a few firm favourite places to gallivant off to. One other thing I love about Bristol is that without a doubt, particularly in the summer months, there is always a festival or event happening somewhere in the city. There's the nature festival, local street fairs, the big harbourside festival (which we actually tend to avoid as its so busy!) the amazing balloon fiesta and many many more. We have also been loving the Shaun the Sheep trail and it has been the basis for many a day trip so far this summer. It gets us out the house, is free and easy to do at our own pace - plus a great way to explore the city!

A few weekends ago we decided to head south in the city to Bedminster to check out the local street art festival that is upfest. We hardly ever venture south of the river, but every time we do we always say "we should come here more often" and this time was no exception. Theo has always been happy to tag along on our adventures, but now that he's getting older we've been encouraging him to make his own choices about what we get up to, and really taking an interest in his surroundings. He has his favourite places to visit in the city, but I think the great thing about growing up in a city like Bristol is that it really opens children up to a wide range of diversity and I really want Theo to embrace that.

 photo IMG_6676_zpsznvnmqs6.jpg

So before we set off on our adventure to the south Theo packed his new Paddlepak bag for the day and we encouraged him to think of the things he may need. It's the perfect size for him to carry around his things and its great as it encourages his independence more.  We were also recently given this fun Kidizoom camera from Vtech for Theo to try out and to document our outings. We've been contemplating getting a camera for Theo for a while now, as he always takes an interest in taking pictures himself with my camera, which is great, but does put me a little on edge! So being able to give him a camera that is so easy to use, as well as durable (it has already been dropped a few times!) has been great. He picked up how to use it straight away, and I love the double viewfinder meaning that its easy to use like a traditional camera. He's already discovered how to put filters and add in extras to the photos and has played around with the video function too. I think it's great that it's his own piece of technology that he can fully explore and use with ease, it's been great for him to be able to share and show his friends how to use it too, and they are already a fan of the back camera for selfies! 

 photo IMG_6658_zpsrxs7conn.jpg

We stopped for food at one of our personal favourites, The Burger Joint before joining the crowds to look at the artists taking over and painting murals over the cities buildings and walls. Music poured out into the street and we wandered around just soaking up the atmosphere.

 photo IMG_6662_zpsgnqyieaw.jpg
 photo IMG_6663_zpsypr8ausj.jpg
 photo IMG_6665_zpscisteilz.jpg
 photo IMG_6666_zpsmmgjrehx.jpg
 photo IMG_6656_zpsdzp3otnt.jpg
 photo IMG_6659_zps73zpp3xz.jpg
 photo IMG_6651_zpsco96vd3p.jpg
 photo IMG_6661_zpsdcfa8aju.jpg

After a while we decided to escape the crowds and head to the park just around the corner where we lazed on the grass whilst the boys played in the playground. Before long it was time to head home, but we did manage to fit in a few Shauns along the way!

 photo IMG_6670_zpsudrqskzx.jpg photo IMG_6671_zpsxffkwmhc.jpg
 photo IMG_6672_zpspfmez9bx.jpg
 photo IMG_6675_zpspioqccsc.jpg
 photo IMG_6674_zps1csxx7m7.jpg

So I thought I'd also share a few of the photos that Theo snapped with his camera from the last few weeks, I quite like seeing his perspective on things, but perhaps he could learn a few tips...(I do love them quite a lot!) 

 photo 100_0247_zpsdnfn5yu3.jpg
 photo 100_0246_zpsyqpkktju.jpg
 photo 100_0238_zpsyd7oxlyg.jpg
 photo 100_0237_zpsyq6jukb5.jpg
 photo 100_0236_zpsoyyhdxkl.jpg
 photo 100_0201_zpskcvgz8yh.jpg
 photo 100_0114_zpsrksx39zl.jpg
 photo 100_0160_zpsvqukte8x.jpg
 photo 100_0122_zpsep2exc2n.jpg
 photo 100_0151_zpszyk1h4ht.jpg
 photo 100_0164_zpshgulkqac.jpg

So here's your chance to win the Trunki Paddlepak of your own! Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sister style in Bristol

So whilst having a little clear out on my computer I stumbled across these forgotten photos from over the Christmas period when my sister came to stay. This was the last day of adventuring and their stay here in Bristol, before heading off back east. What fun it was to have them in the same city as me, galavanting around. I imagine how good it would be to have my family here, to meet up for dates and outings and share this great city with them. One day hopefully, one day! 

So after we filled up on an Ikea breakfast (always on the itinerary!) we headed over to Clifton for a walk in the winter sunshine. We stopped for coffee and treats, a walk through a Bristol favourite, the birdcage, through the backstreets and up to the bridge. We decided to snap a few photos of our outfits, much to the amusement of Theo who naturally wanted to join in too! I love how the sunshine always brings people out for walks and wanders, it makes the city feel alive and bustling. 

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 photo IMG_8119_zps93xwm6ky.jpg
 photo IMG_0810_zpsses4sjhw.jpg
 photo IMG_8128_zps5umnb3hq.jpg photo IMG_0805_zpsepgxn2ht.jpg
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I'm wearing:

Coat: M&S
Dress: Topshop
Cardigan: h&m
Scarf: Zara
Boots: Office
Necklace: vintage
Watch: The Horse

Sarie is wearing:

Coat: Asos
Dress: Muji
Cardigan: Pull & Bear
Scarf: Pull & Bear
Boots: Dr.Martins
Bag: & other stories

Theo is wearing:

Hat: Mothercare
Coat: tootsa macginty
Jumper: tootsa macginty
Trousers: h&m
Shoes: h&m

And yes, we realised how similar our outfits were! We're not sisters for nothing! 


Sister style in Bristol

So whilst having a little clear out on my computer I stumbled across these forgotten photos from over the Christmas period when my sister came to stay. This was the last day of adventuring and their stay here in Bristol, before heading off back east. What fun it was to have them in the same city as me, galavanting around. I imagine how good it would be to have my family here, to meet up for dates and outings and share this great city with them. One day hopefully, one day! 

So after we filled up on an Ikea breakfast (always on the itinerary!) we headed over to Clifton for a walk in the winter sunshine. We stopped for coffee and treats, a walk through a Bristol favourite, the birdcage, through the backstreets and up to the bridge. We decided to snap a few photos of our outfits, much to the amusement of Theo who naturally wanted to join in too! I love how the sunshine always brings people out for walks and wanders, it makes the city feel alive and bustling. 

 photo IMG_0807_zpshre7b2jj.jpg
 photo IMG_0790_zpsk5qoqexm.jpg
 photo IMG_8119_zps93xwm6ky.jpg
 photo IMG_0810_zpsses4sjhw.jpg
 photo IMG_8128_zps5umnb3hq.jpg  photo IMG_0805_zpsepgxn2ht.jpg
 photo IMG_0834_zpsb5wnycxp.jpg
 photo IMG_0850_zpsfjkqoup9.jpg
 photo IMG_0809_zpsjkzrl5mc.jpg
 photo IMG_8108_zpsd5us7mxk.jpg
 photo IMG_0797_zpsto0ebgyi.jpg
 photo IMG_0821_zpsk9yreigp.jpg
 photo IMG_0800_zpseq8nndhj.jpg

I'm wearing:

Coat: M&S
Dress: Topshop
Cardigan: h&m
Scarf: Zara
Boots: Office
Necklace: vintage
Watch: The Horse

Sarie is wearing:

Coat: Asos
Dress: Muji
Cardigan: Pull & Bear
Scarf: Pull & Bear
Boots: Dr.Martins
Bag: & other stories

Theo is wearing:

Hat: Mothercare
Coat: tootsa macginty
Jumper: tootsa macginty
Trousers: h&m
Shoes: h&m

And yes, we realised how similar our outfits were! We're not sisters for nothing! 


Our half term in pictures

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So whilst I probably complained a little, and I certainly feel a bit drained, we did have a really good half term. I quite enjoyed having our days free to go on adventures a little further, or not having to rush back for nursery in the afternoon. Here's a little glimpse into our half term. You may or may not have seen that we added some new members to our family last weekend, two lovely rabbits named Digger and Marble. They live outside but whilst it's a little wet and we haven't built a run they are coming inside to have their exercise, and of course lots of cuddles!

Theo and I ventured into town one sunny afternoon, with hints of Spring in the air we wandered down to the docks to cross the fog bridge and into @bristol for an afternoon of exploring. We then walked to town to meet Rob for a family cinema date to see Big Hero 6, safe to say there wasn't a dry eye between us and we thoroughly enjoyed it! We ended the evening with a pizza and a very tired boy on the bus home.

Later in the week we visited Dyrham park once more to get a dose of fresh air and for a brief ten minutes got caught in a hail/sleet/snow storm! Probably our only glimpse of snow this year, but it was exciting all the same. 

In the end it flew by, and this week we're back to the routine of nursery days. I know I'll regret putting this in writing, but I'm actually looking forward to the Easter holidays...

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bristol fog bridge
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bristol fog bridge
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Our half term in pictures

 photo IMG_1979_zpspojnkjod.jpg

So whilst I probably complained a little, and I certainly feel a bit drained, we did have a really good half term. I quite enjoyed having our days free to go on adventures a little further, or not having to rush back for nursery in the afternoon. Here's a little glimpse into our half term. You may or may not have seen that we added some new members to our family last weekend, two lovely rabbits named Digger and Marble. They live outside but whilst it's a little wet and we haven't built a run they are coming inside to have their exercise, and of course lots of cuddles!

Theo and I ventured into town one sunny afternoon, with hints of Spring in the air we wandered down to the docks to cross the fog bridge and into @bristol for an afternoon of exploring. We then walked to town to meet Rob for a family cinema date to see Big Hero 6, safe to say there wasn't a dry eye between us and we thoroughly enjoyed it! We ended the evening with a pizza and a very tired boy on the bus home.

Later in the week we visited Dyrham park once more to get a dose of fresh air and for a brief ten minutes got caught in a hail/sleet/snow storm! Probably our only glimpse of snow this year, but it was exciting all the same. 

In the end it flew by, and this week we're back to the routine of nursery days. I know I'll regret putting this in writing, but I'm actually looking forward to the Easter holidays...

 photo IMG_1991_zpswxvktsdt.jpg
bristol fog bridge
 photo IMG_1967_zpsfyzd2nyb.jpg photo IMG_1982_zps4cskdf1u.jpg
 photo IMG_1964_zpsspstjfdf.jpg
 photo IMG_1976_zpsypvjtdx7.jpg
bristol fog bridge
 photo IMG_1990_zpsa1omtody.jpg
 photo IMG_1978_zpsuhhvc81v.jpg
 photo IMG_1962_zps0ru45sgw.jpg photo IMG_1995_zpsadyij9bf.jpg

 photo IMG_1999_zpsouadbdm6.jpg
 photo IMG_1965_zpsh4fs4vil.jpg
 photo IMG_2006_zps0kct58i1.jpg
 photo IMG_1972_zpso3v8iqvk.jpg
 photo IMG_1993_zpsrcyfzgp9.jpg
 photo IMG_1996_zpsrzxhf2hg.jpg
 photo IMG_2005_zpsphtkuz7b.jpg
 photo IMG_2004_zpstxfpyfqj.jpg
 photo IMG_1984_zpswhsn9hyc.jpg
 photo IMG_2379_zps0cmplldp.jpg
 photo IMG_2002_zpsowxczkzk.jpg