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

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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

Family Holiday Washing with Ecover 

Our first holiday abroad, that’s it! Done and dusted for another year! 

I was apprehensive about travelling with a baby. All the stuff you have to pack, I felt like I was packing up the entire house just for 10 days! I decided to pay for additional luggage so Max could have his own suitcase. Turns out that was a good idea, because it was full of outfits for him (see previous blog post on Nandys holiday wardrobe!)

I envisaged lugging half of it back home unworn, but I judged it perfectly. Well not so perfectly, we had to buy more trousers in France because he had a giant up the backer poonami on the last day and his clothing was wrecked. He had been suffering from a cold and all his bibs were snotty, not to mention the entire carribean chicken dinner he tipped over his blue shirt! I knew I had some serious washing issues when I got home! 

Seems dunking him in the sea to wash didn’t work!


So 

I’ve come home to – you guessed it – all of that to wash (in the washing machine not sea!) and iron and put away.
I’ve only just finished putting away all the dried clothes from before our holiday – I’m sure no-one enjoys washing. 

I’m also particularly careful with washing detergents because Max has super sensitive skin, so I’m really careful to select a detergent which is gentle on his skin and good for the environment. 

That’s why I’m so glad we discovered ecover washing liquid, it’s safe for his sensitive eczema prone skin and is tough on stains (for a non-bio) – great for all that food mess and other stains that he is capable of making!! (Rolls eyes). 

This bottle of detergent covers 25 washes so I know it will get us through the mountain of holiday washing we have just fine! 

Thanks Ecover for taking care of our family washing needs. 

Rebecca & Nandy 


This post is an entry for BritMums #EcoverLaundry Challenge, sponsored by Ecover. You can find them over at Ecover website

Blogging – Worth it?

I’ve taken a break from updating the blog recently. The reason why? Life! Life has gotten in the way of my hobby and the thing I was really passionate about. I’ve found it hard to find the energy, time and inclination to update it …. so here I am, attempting to get back onto the blogging wagon. 

Lately I’ve been really pushing my engagement on social media and trying to improve my blog visibility, but, to be totally honest nothing appears to be working.

It can be really demotivating to know that no matter what you do, no one is reading your posts, looking at your photos or even seeing what you’re doing (thanks Instagram!) 

On that regard I seem to have lost my blogging and social influencing mojo somewhat. 

I need to re-energise things a little, I need new brands to work with and I need to find my mojo again! 

I don’t do this for the free stuff, or even stuff full stop, I started doing this as a hobby and something to help me express my creative side. Some days I love it, other days I hate it. 

So, any support and words of wisdom at this moment would be massively appreciated as I need to try and help find the reason I started all this in the first place!

Rebecca 

Beach party theme Party Buckets

Planning a beach themed party for your child? Stuck for ideas on party bags? Look no further…!!!

I planned the beach theme as Nandy turns 1 in July and hoped the weather would be hot enough to justify a beach theme!

I couldn’t just get away with handing out party bags after I’d been inspired by Pinterest to have buckets instead! It was just too relevant to the theme! 

Now if you’re looking for cheap options then this isn’t going to be for you, being honest the cost of the party buckets must be in excess of £7 each child perhaps even £10. Multiply that by 15 children and it becomes an expensive option. 

So what’s inside Nandys party buckets?

  • Inflatable beach balls
  • Sand mould
  • Sunglasses 
  • Beach colouring book
  • Shell or fish shaped crayon
  • Beach themed flash card 
  • Beach themed foam bath shape
  • Bubbles
  • Deck chair striped candy bags with goodies inside 
  • Plastic bath boat
  • Personalised thankyou tag 

Bucket contents

  • I sourced the sand bucket from Smyths toys for £1.69 each.
  • The flash cards were a steal at 20p a pack from the Range.
  • The foam bath shapes were £10 for a bag from Jojomaman Bebe.
  • The bubbles were from Tesco in their party aisle Approx £1 for 6.
  • The sunglasses were £1 each from Primark. 
  • The deckchair style stripe candy bags were from Homesense. Approx £5 for 20 bags.
  • The shells and fish crayons were from Craystion station at approx 50p each. 
  • The inflatable beach balls were from EBay at approx £1 each. 
  • The colouring books were from Tiger at £1 each 
  • The plastic boats were £1.50 for 4 boats from a local baby shop
  • The plastic sand moulds were £1 from Poundland for 3 moulds.
  • The thankyou tags were from Zazzle. 


Now it’s only 3 weeks until his party – the countdown is officially on! I can feel myself getting emotional already! 

Hubby says I’ve gone over the top on things but it’s not every day your first child turns one is it! I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible.

If you like this idea then please don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, twitter and pin to Pinterest @lifeofnandy
Rebecca 

Bento Box Ideas for Babies 

Not long ago I discovered the wonder that is the bento box! I sourced this epic one from yumbox @eatwelluk. 

It was such a great buy and I haven’t looked back.

Each day we pack Nandy off to nursery with a different selection of snacks. It works perfectly for my Husband as it encourages him to pack a healthy choice of meals for him to eat. 

We tend to focus on adding at least one of these food types:-

  • Fruit
  • Dairy 
  • Veg
  • Carbs 
  • Eggs 

Below are some visual ideas on what you could pack if you are baby led weaning your little one:-


Mixed berries, rice cakes, cheese spread sandwiches, cucumber sticks, Petite filous strawberry yoghurt and babybel. 


Banana malt loaf, raspberries, baby pasta with a tomato and lentil sauce, cheddar babybel, Petite filous strawberry yoghurt and blackberries. 


Cheddar babybel, egg, marmite sandwiches, banana yoghurt, berries and a banana 

The uses for these bento boxes are absolutely endless and I’m so glad I invested in one!

If you have any ideas then please share them with me in the comments!

Don’t forget to pin the ideas on Pinterest! 

Rebecca 

All the feels of a working mum 

Further to my post on “the dreaded return to work” I thought it was time to write an update.

During June I have embedded myself back into work using KIT days (for those of you who are not familiar with the concept of KIT days then they are keeping in touch days, days where you can bed yourself back into work without formally ending your maternity leave)


I have used eight KIT days during June, in which time Nandy has also started nursery.

So, how does it feel I hear you cry!? I wrote in my previous blog post about the positives people shared with me on drinking a hot cup of tea and actually getting time to be a bit more “me”. The reality is quite different in my opinion. I have drunk less tea since being back and had less me time than ever before!

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The Mum Routine

Stay at home mum, Full time working mum, part time working mum, or on maternity leave… all the options! We find ourselves in need of a routine no matter what life throws at us right? Or is that only me?

Rewind 12 months, I’m heavily pregnant and considering “what I’m going to do with all this free time” now I won’t be working. I could literally laugh out loud at my stupidity! How stupid I was to think I’d actually have spare time.


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5 ways to enjoy your Shared Parental Leave 

Shared Parental Leave is a new government lead scheme whereby employees can share their Leave with their child. When I fell pregnant with Nandy I promised hubby that he could take 3 months off and I would do 9 months. When the hormones set in and I realised how much I enjoyed being a mum I changed that, I stuck with the shared Leave but we decided to take a month off together instead.

That’s right – you can take the Leave together!


So I’ve had 44 weeks off work alone and hubby has had 4 weeks at the same time as my remaining 4 weeks – making the 52 week entitlement.

So how to make the most of that time together?

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