Family holiday with Boutique retreats – Day 3

It’s Day 3 of our 5 day break here in Dorset.

The day started well, even though the sun stopped shining we made a nice breakfast using the fresh bread which was waiting for us on arrival at the cottage. Used up some of the leftover fruit salad and sat as a family around the large dining table in the kitchen here at the strawberry thief.

After sorting the lunches we packed up the car and headed out for a day trip to Longleat safari park. I pre booked the tickets the night before saving us some pennies for sweets and treats!

Longleat is only 40 minute drive away from the cottage and max loves trains (there’s a model railway there).

We started the day with the safari and then had lunch and visited the attraction’s, there were lots of things to do and see and well worth the price £31 each!

Max managed to get onto the Choo Choos and we took a boat trip on the lake with the sealions and hippos.

Unfortunately for us our lovely day was abruptly ended when on our way back to the cottage our car was hit by a taxi on a bend on a country lane. My car now feeling very sorry for itself needs a full repair and will likely need to be taken home via recovery truck!

The only downside to staying rural is the mad local drivers it seems.

Day 4 and 5 of our holiday therefore will be quiet and there won’t be any more updates from us in afraid 😪


Day 2 – Family holiday with Boutique retreats Dorset

Second day here in Dorset, so far we’ve been really fortunate to have impeccable weather!

In the garden again at the cottage we had fruit for breakfast and drank tea in the morning sun.

After consulting the map we decided to head off towards Weymouth to the beach today.

On our way to find it we stumbled across Osmington – the chalk horse it’s known for. We found a really really dusty and chalky driveway and headed down – unbeknownst to us it was a private camping site which we managed to secure day passes for! I’m glad we did.

They had an on site bakery, shop and we purchased a huge loaf of bread, some cheese and drinks for a beach picnic.

On our way down to the beach we found chickens, pigs and cows all free grazing and max had fun running around the open fields!

The beach itself was pebbly and steep steps took you down to it, not the best beach we’ve been on but max really enjoyed himself eating yoghurt naked and paddling in the waves. We also tried to bury daddy in stones.

We headed to the local butchers on our way home called “Parsons” as recommended in the Boutique retreats accommodation guide. We bought two steaks and cooked them up on the BBQ for tea.

The garden at the strawberry thief makes for perfect al fresco dining and whilst Max was safety tucked up in bed asleep we drank wine and ate good food.

The kitchen is so well stocked too, we’ve hardly had to worry about the usual spices and things like cling film and napkins are all to hand!

Just going to finish this bottle of wine and plan tomorrow’s activities – we think Longleat may be on the cards! As I’ve always wanted to go.

Anyone else been to Dorset or planning a trip soon? Definitely worth checking out Boutique retreats as they have cottages all over the UK mainly Devon, Cornwall and Dorset!

Love Becks & Nandy xx

Disclaimer:- As always the opinions of this post are my own but we were given a small discount to write about our stay.

Family Holiday with Boutique retreats – Dorset

It’s been so long since I’ve updated the blog! Now the yearly tradition rolls around and I find myself editing photos and updating it once more.

So much has happened in the past twelve months since we last went away with Boutique retreats! I’ve started back at work, going from working 4 day weeks ban to 5 days as I’ve recently been promoted to a director!

Stressful days and long hours meant I really needed a break. So back in January we booked another trip with our favourites at Boutique retreats.

As mentioned in previous blog posts we went away with Boutique retreats for our babymoon in Cornwall and then again in May last year when Max wasn’t even walking!

We have a completely different child on our hands these days, as he is now 2. I phoned Boutique retreats and asked them to recommend somewhere child friendly – they recommended a number of cottages but “The Strawberry Thief” really stood out with me!

Immediately is quaint location by a farm and the lure of the rolling hills got me hooked, perfect for a 2 year old to run around in!

Hubby is obsessed with BBQ so the Weber and the outdoor patio were also perfect choices for us – so we can kick back and unwind when Max goes to bed.

Max helping daddy with the BBQ

We’ve been so lucky with the weather being hot so we took the chance to eat outside tonight

Max was showered and safely tucked up in bed for the night, we haven’t heard a peep as the sound of the tractor acted as white noise and sent him straight off into a snooze!!!

Words cannot express how pretty this cottage is and we feel totally spoilt to be staying here!

Tomorrow we intend to hit the beach whilst the sun is still with us.

Watch this space for updates….

Becks & Nandy x

He’s a Toddler for sure

It’s been a while since I had a little update on here, Nandy is growing up fast and I feel I haven’t really talked about him much.

As everyone may have read by now, I’m back at work and finding the whole work life balance thing really hard (don’t we all?). That has meant I’ve had not a lot of time for social media and all the fun stuff I used to – like blogging!

I’ve missed updating the blog and taking millions of photos for Instagram. I had such a well documented maternity leave that it proves really useful for looking back and reminiscing. Occasionally it smacks me square in the face that he is NOT a baby anymore. He’s a toddler! When did that happen!!

Nandy was very late walking – 17 months so the term “toddler” didn’t really apply to me in a sense he was still very much my baby still up until recently.

I was so desperate for him to walk like all his friends but my god, now I don’t! He is into everything! He even knows how to put keys into doors and lock them! He is one smart cookie. He nearly locked me out of my own house the weekend. Don’t even get me started on the car situation where he locked himself inside my car with my handbag phone and keys inside and sat in the front seat laughing and waving at me!

He certainly is becoming quite the character. Very independent and very head strong! (Wonder where he gets that from! Ahem).

The only downside to that is the tantrums. Yep the dreaded terrible twos have set in already and he constantly tantrums for me. He doesn’t listen to my instructions and if I’m harsh with him he screams and cries. For nanny and grandad he is golden and they profess that he’s an angel for them. Which leads me to fear – what am I doing wrong? What have I done to create such devilish behaviour that could make me cry daily?

My mums says “maybe it’s because you don’t see him enough?” Cheers mum. #1 crap mum award goes to me!

Some days I genuinely feel like he hates me. It’s very rare of late that we actually get a fun day together without him wiping the floor of the restaurant / shop / play area we are frequenting. I took him to the forest last week and dragged him around leading my friend to send me an article afterward entitled “understanding your toddlers tantrums and what they really mean….” cheers !

So clink clink of glasses to all you mums and dads out there downing the vino tonight because the toddler has gone to sleep and you can actually have 5 ministers without toilet tissue being thrown about the lounge or your phone being put into the bin or the attempt at Lego being stuffed up your nose.

Rebecca & Nandy 🙂

Advice to my 1st time parent self with Vicks Babyrub

Let’s talk straight. I was THAT mum, the over excited, I’m having a baby, stepping into mamas and papas after week 6 mum. I wanted it all, I wanted all the products, all the stuff!

It was my first baby. A baby I thought I’d never have. I’d always been non-maternal, career driven. Never been fussed about other people’s babies or any of my own. Then the clock ticked by louder and louder and we decided it was time for us to start the fam.

Once I discovered I was pregnant I was excited – so excited I created lots of Pinterest boards of inspiration of all the things I could buy for baby including nursery decor the works.

Immediately I started to nest. Converting the 2 large walk in wardrobe spaces solely for baby stuff. I bought so many clothes and products all before my 12 week scan!

Anything you could sell me and I would be onto it.

I had lotions and potions and creams for every possibility (or so I thought!).

HOWEVER, No-one told me about the sleepless nights and how all the stuff would mean nothing when he was teething or had a cold.

Turns out we had a particularly refluxy and snotty baby! Two of the things I hadn’t planned for (what are the chances??) I ended up having a cocoonababy given to me for him to sleep in (godsend) and all of the nasal salt sprays I had bought didn’t touch his blocked nose!! – making it a nightmare for breastfeeding!

It was when I was browsing the aisles for alternative products during one of those many days of maternity leave filled supermarket shop days, that I came across vicks baby rub!

My husband and I swear by the adults Vapour rub when we are congested and I was really chuffed to see they do it for babies!

Vicks BabyRub can be used at any time of the day to help to wind down and settle your baby. Some of these scenarios where we find it most useful to use are: -After his bath and before bedtime -If Nandy is irritable through teething (most of the time at the moment)

My friend recommended I run some on the soles of his feet when he has a cold and the lavender scent really helps to soothe him to sleep and calm him for a good night sleep for us all.

So I think the moral to my story is – perhaps less is more. Wait until you have met and bonded with your baby to find out what they really need. I mean NEED. As you’ll just end up with truck loads full of stuff you don’t!

Vicks BabyRub is a cosmetic, non-medicated product for babies aged six months and older

This post is an entry for BritMums #VicksBabyRub Challenge, sponsored by Vicks BabyRub. Specially designed for babies aged 6 months and over, Vicks BabyRub is available at Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and all good pharmacy chains. RRP £3.99.

Nandy & Rebecca

Fleming Family – Rustler’s Burger Hack

We received a lovely little challenge from Britmums and Rustlers to come up with our very own family Rustlers burger hack!

As I am currently on a slimming world diet to shift the baby weight and my husband can eat whatever he wishes without any added pounds it can often be hard to cook a meal which I don’t feel guilty about and that he enjoys!

Now we have Nandy time is always of the essence and cooking has become a rather painful thing as we have to try and stop him breaking into drawers and cupboards whilst we chop vegetables and keep a close watch that he isn’t pulling a plan of boiling water on himself!

So thankyou to Rustlers for saving the day! We purchased a twin pack of their chicken burgers knowing it would make lunchtime with a toddler quicker and easier.

We headed off to our local Tesco and purchased lots of salad for Mummy and burgers, I would feel less guilty having a side of salad and daddy opted for cheese and sauce on his. We all created our very own personalised burger using different toppings and sides!

Why don’t you try the Rustlers burger hacking challenge by heading to your local Tesco and buying some ingredients?

This post is an entry for the Britmums Rustlers burger hacking challenge, sponsored by Rustlers.

Rebecca & Nandy

Mummy has got to work, Mummy is busy

When I first went back to work after maternity leave it wasnt so bad, Max was still too young to fully comprehend I was leaving him for hours and hadn’t started to pull on my heart strings. It also helps that I don’t do any of the nursery drop offs or pick ups due to my working hours, so I miss that moment of crying at the door or upset as he has to say goodbye for the day.

Because I had accrued a number of weeks holiday I have been fortunate to get 1 week per month off work for the last 5 months so returning to work has been a nice easy transition. I’ve been able to see my baby and know that it’s only another few weeks until I get another break.

It’s safe to say I’ve been dreading January. Our new year starts, a new year of annual leave, a whole year of working. Only 25 days to spread over the year. More time at work. Less time with my boy.

This Christmas has been a lovely break, 10 days off as a family. We really socialised and spent quality time together. Safe to say I was dreading going back to work. The first day back was made special by the fact that he greeted me at the door by walking unaided to me for a cuddle!! The best feeling ever.

Second day back – was even more of a strain. After leaving Home at 6:45am and missing breakfast, missing teeth brushing and dress time not to mention missing the nursery run – I got to work for a reasonable time. In fact the first person there! Not bad really for a mum who commutes a distance!

I couldn’t wait to get home and see my boy before bedtime, to at least renew the fact that I’d missed so much of his routine. I never cook his dinner, I never read him a story and I never get him into his pjs. That’s when I got a text from a colleague at 5pm to say the motorway was hell and to avoid it like the plague! Great! So what should be a 45-60 minute journey could possibly take 90 minutes.

I set off and headed off the beaten track on my plan B route home. A route taken many a time before when I was child free and hometime wasn’t such of importance. All was going well I was 75 minutes in and that’s when I struck the queues of cars trying to avoid the lorry fire which had closed the M5! 80 minutes after departing the office my legs ache from stop start driving and my mum bladder is about to explode under pressure. I call hubby to ask him to keep dinner warm and try and keep Max awake so I can selfishly get snuggles.

90 minutes later …. still stuck.

100 minutes later …. still stuck

110 minutes later – nearly there

120 minutes after departing the office I finally pull onto the driveway at home and run into the house to find Max upstairs just on his way to bed. He immediately holds open his arms to me and snuggles into me, his eyes closing through tiredness.

That’s it – I couldn’t hold back – I burst into tears as all the stress of the commute pour out of me. I’ve missed everything again. No story, no teeth brushing, no pjs, no playtime, I haven’t cooked his dinner. His hair smelt fresh from his bath, which I had also missed. Within 1 minute I was placing him down in his cot and closing the door behind me.

I walked into our bedroom and sobbed. Guilt, tiredness, hormones…. just felt so crappy. Crappy that traffic, being a worker mum forced a wedge between me and my ability to be a mum.

I turned to my husband and just apologised for being shit. For putting all the pressure on him. For not being there.

Is there ever a right time for a second?

It’s Christmas Day, it’s 2:30am, I’ve been wide awake for the past hour unable to sleep. I’m 33 but yet seems tonight I’m 8 years old again, hyperactive on an overdose of sugar and buffet food and eagerly anticipating the arrival of Father Christmas down the chimney.

Actually for some bizarre reason I’m wide awake not excited for Santa, but, debating in my mind when the right time comes for a second baby!

Lately a few friends have moved onto baby number 2, I follow a fair few people on Instagram who have also ventured into the world of a second baby and it’s gotten me thinking, when IS the right time for another?

On my Christmas party this year I was plagued with the reoccurring question from colleagues and I simply couldn’t answer.

So here I am at 2:30am on Christmas thinking about it. I know if I had another I seriously would not want to repeat the pregnancy and birth experience from the first. I think it is those points that are acting as major contraceptive at the moment.

Then secondly comes my career. When I had Max I seriously felt like I’d chosen my baby over my career and purposefully put my job on hold to have a family. Excellent choice at the time but now I feel miles behind my male counterparts having had a year off. I think if I got pregnant again it would be met with a lot of negative vibes at work. I’d be worrying sick about my career and what life would look like after number 2 for me career wise.

Thirdly there’s the finances – now I have a good job, my husband does ok, but with baby number 1 we managed to save a chunk of cash so I could go off and have a year off. This time, we have no savings. So how could we possibly afford for me to take a year out of work? I simply couldn’t. I think this would leave me feeling a bit sad inside.

So having reviewed points 1-3 above I think it’s safe to say I’m not ready, but those points will always exist.

  1. Is it normal to just have one baby?
  2. Why do I feel such immense pressure to do it again?
  3. How will baby 2 make me feel?

Really keen to get thoughts and comments!


Christmas Gifts with Sports Direct – #SDfiverchallenge 

Can you believe it’s only 10 weeks until Christmas! Where did the year go? 

It’s Nandys’ 2nd Christmas this year and he is more aware of the festive season than ever. Which adds to the pressure of finding the right gifts for him to tear open on Christmas Day.

Now, if you’re like me and hate tacky presents (I like useful things!!!) it can be a struggle to find affordable, useful gifts for the family – especially with the cost of childcare and living it’s nice to be able to spread the cost of Christmas out!
I’ve started earlier than ever this year – has a great range of gifts (not just sports related!) for affordable prices! 

Here is a selection of things we managed to purchased for just £5 – £6 an item! 

I was really impressed with the fact that all items we managed to purchase were branded and a cut at the price you’d pay in other high street stores! Playdoh and crayola are big names and I trust my baby with them! 

As Max started with childcare this year we realised he really enjoys his arts and crafts, what better way to kit him out with all the supplies needed.

This little bundle cost me only £26! With next day delivery options available it was perfect for any last minute panics too! 

I even managed to get a little something for my golf loving family for £5 – a Nike golf glove! 

I will definitely be using sports direct again for future gifts as the range of stuff available and affordability is second to none!
Go check out now for their range of gifts and inspiration! 


Disclaimer:- All views in this blog post are my own and honest representations. This post is an entry for BritMums #sdfiverchallenge Christmas Challenge, sponsored by

Motherhood – My loss of Confidence 

I haven’t updated the blog for a while, because I’ve returned to work and in general found it hard to find the time to write anything of any value, until now.

It’s been three months since I returned to work, the first few weeks were hell, I was struggling somewhat but couldn’t quite pinpoint the reason. Well, in fact, it wasn’t just work I was struggling with – it was most things.

See since having a baby my mind doesn’t seem to be the same as it used to, I knew baby brain was a word but I always treated it as an excuse for people being thick. But now, I eat my words and I myself seem to be suffering from it. My memory is almost gone completely – I seem to struggle to juggle all the things I need to do and when – especially when my husbands memory resembles that of a goldfish so I often have to remember his stuff for him too. 

It’s taken those few months of juggling work and motherhood to make me realise I am not as happy as I used to be…. I am not as CONFIDENT. 

It all started a few months ago when I rejoined some gym classes doing personal training again. Before having a baby I was pretty fit! I didn’t realise it at the time – but my stomach was flat and I had definition, my legs slim and I was a comfortable size 8-10, under 10 stone. I lifted heavy weights and ran, went spinning and did military style bootcamps 5-6 times a week. It was my way of burning off anxiety and tension from a high pressure career. Imagine the feeling walking back into that same gym a good stone heavier in weight than my peak days, with skin flabbier and my bits Wobblier and lift a weight 3 times lighter than I had been able to before. Even trying to lift my own bodyweight was a strain and I found myself repeating over and over “I can’t do it” almost to the point I nearly cried with frustration.

That’s when my personal trainer offered my a book about re-wiring a brain due to depression. It got me thinking – what if I have PND? 

I just spent (and still do spend) weeks comparing myself to what I used to be and what I used to be able to do, beating myself up that I can’t do it anymore and feeling embarsssed at being weak now. 

Then theres my uber slim and fit friends, all of whom haven’t had children. Waltzing around in their designer clothes and size 8 bodies. Completely unaware of the strain of motherhood both financially and physically. Not to even mention mentally. Then you hear them mutter the words “I don’t want to look frumpy” or “I didn’t buy that because it made me look fat” and you think to yourself – what must they think of me, all flabby and frumpy over here in my size 12 jeans and boobs the size of 2 small planets attached to my chest, sagging to my waist now and not sitting pert like they once had. It makes you feel like SHIT. Utter shit. 

The weight gain, the negativity – I needed to start a diet, so I did – but it’s so hard. No-one could explain how hard it is to juggle 48 hours a week working, a baby, a husband, keeping the house clean and respectable and then finding time to workout and eat well. I’ve baked some diet foods and tried to prepare meals from scratch but it’s still too easy to reach for that takeout menu or packet of crisps when you’re up against it. 

Then the feeling of self loathing gets worse, your child is 15 months old and you’re still fat, you have no time to socialise and barely time to shave your legs. If you take that time to do those things then you end up feeling wracked with guilt that you should have prioritised playing with toot toot racers rather than applying that face mask (that you used to do weekly before the baby came). 

As a result of the above lack of time, my confidence has taken a massive nosedive. At work I’d have been the one trotting around in power dresses from Karen Millen and heels, now I try and hide the flab in baggy shirts and struggle to walk in the heels as I’m out of practice. My skin keeps flaring up with spots as I don’t have time to cleanse properly, my hair a mess as I never get it coloured anymore and my brain is in as equal a bad state as my lady parts were after the forceps delivery – battered and broken! 

My decision making and ability to direct my team at work was suffering, doubting my abilities and questioning my worth. Feeling paranoid no-one likes me anymore. I’m that useless boss who doesn’t know what she’s talking about. 

I’ve tried so desperately these past few weeks to not let it win. I’ve continued with the diet, I’ve pushed through af the gym and recognised that with effort I may get back to my old strengths. I’ve started wearing work clothes with more of a stride in my step and my head held high, I’ve begun to make more clear decisions and be more direct at work and give my team the reason to believe in me again. 

However, things are not perfect. I’m still struggling, but I need to find ways to control the struggles. I need to recognise my body made and birthed a tiny version of my husband and for that reason it will never be the same again. The very tiny human brings so much love and joy to our lives that he was worth every lost brain cell and every lost piece of my confidence.