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 😪

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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 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

What Nandy Wore – Holiday Wardrobe 

It’s time for our first holiday abroad as a family and I couldn’t be any more excited!!
I think Nandy actually has a better wardrobe than me! Fact! I do love to mix up both high street and Instagram stores when dressing Nandy – so below you’ll find a mix of styles and outfits from all over. 

SUCK IT ! 

Hoody – zero fox, babygrow – sleepnomore, Leggings – H&M

SWIM TIME 

Swimshorts – Baby Gap


BLOOMIN BLOOMERS IN BLUE

Bloomers – Kids we Love, babygrow – sleepnomore


CUBAN BABY

Leggings – H&M, Quilted jacket – Zara, Cuban bird silk shirt – River Island



FLOWER POWER

Leggings – H&M, ribbed jacket – Zara, Floral shirt – Next


NAVY BABY 

Grandad shirt – River Island, Denim Jacket – Next, leggings – H&M


HI 

Striped tshirt – River Island, Leggings – Turtledove London


SORRY (NOT SORRY) 

Hareems – Milk and Dagger, Tshirt – Zero Fox, Shoes – Love Roo, Cardy – Zara


BRAVE FEARLESS BOLD STRONG 

Beach print leggings – Hatch Patch kids, Tshirt – I am Loved


I hope you like his outfits and that this guide has inspired you! Don’t forget to pin the images on Pinterest and leave us a comment with your thoughts!
Thanks for reading
Rebecca & Nandy 





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 

First Birthday Ideas

I Can’t believe it. I’m actually planning his first birthday and it’s actually only 4 days away now. 

The party buckets are done and the presents have been purchased. All that’s left to do is make his cake and wrap the presents. 

It’s safe to say I have my hands full of party prep! But, first things first – the photo garland. 

I wanted to capture the past 12 months and I’d seen a few others do similar things on Instagram along these lines. 

I decided to stick with the square theme and ordered Polaroid style snaps from Photobox and using twine and pegs strung the photos up along the length of the wire! Perfect display!! (Sobs into a massive bar of chocolate and glass of vino – especially at the baby photos). 


Next up has been the party food! (Ok so I can’t prepare most of the food yet as it’s still a week until his actual party), but, I can start to arrange all the non perishables out! We were fortunate to be sent a box full of Bensons Juices for the kids to drink at his party. I can’t wait to see how well they take to testing out these Orange and Apple drinks! 

We also had the buffet for labels perfectly crafted by Lottie and Lyla for the food. The labels match the beach party theme perfectly! 


Last but not least is the time capsule, I was flicking through Instagram the other week (standard right) and I came accross this fab idea for a time capsule. The guests can leave Nandy messages for when he turns 18 on 27/07/2034.

To top it off we have created a little box for the cards to go inside and it can be “buried” and opened in the future for him to read! 


I think it’s safe to say I’ve been a busy bee with all his preparations! There’s so much more to come – so watch this space for more inspiration / ideas / general updates! 

If you like any of these ideas then don’t forget to pin the post to Pinterest and give us a follow @lifeofnandy

Rebecca 

First Birthday Outfit Ideas 

So it’s 10 days until Nandy turns one. how did that happen then!? It really makes me feel emotional can’t believe a year has gone by. Before I know it he will be 18. 

To mark the occasion we have decided to visit our favourite photographer Sarah over at Pea Green Boat Photo (she took his bump and newborn photos too!) she has been known to work with Peter Andre and Emily and featured in vogue so we are in good hands! She will hopefully take a selection of photos indoor and outdoor (weather dependant) and so I decided to go for 2 outfit changes just encase. 

My favourite colours for Nandy have always been black, white and teal so it made sense to stick to that scheme for the photo shoot.

I was fortunate enough to work with Pom Pom Studio on creating some beautiful poms to match the theme. 

I also had the pleasure of customising some hats and crowns and a bib to match from lovely Instagram shops.

Everyone knows I love a spot of Instagram shopping so it made perfect sense to buy the clothing from those stores, especially ones we rep for including small ones apparel, I am Loved and Kids we Love. 

OUTFIT 1 – SPLATTER 

  • Custom Crown – Plenty of Pillows
  • Matching bib – Bibs and Booties 
  • Romper – Kids we love 

OUTFIT 2 – ONE


  • Ripped Leggings – small ones apparel
  • One tshirt – I am Loved
  • Custom Glitter Hat – Sweet and Berry 

I simply cannot wait to capture these outfits in tomorrow’s photoshoot. I just hope Nandy behaves himself because he’s been grumpy all weekend. Also let’s hope the sun shines for us! 

I hope you like these outfit ideas. Please pin on Pinterest! 🙂 

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 

5 Tips for starting a ‘Mum Blog’ 

Many of you may be able to relate to the negativity from non-bloggers about the reasons why I have an online blog. They simply raise their eyebrows at me as if to say “what is the point” or say things like “how do you find the time?!”. The simple answer is that my journey as a parent is being documented for me, my family and friends to look over in years to come, many a feeling and thought has been documented where it may have been lost without be blog. I do find the time, because quite simply put – I enjoy it,  I am an organised person by nature and sitting on my butt and doing nothing for 12 months of my maternity leave would never have worked for me. I always need something to keep my brain functioning, so why not start a blog!

Here are my 5 tips for anyone out there considering starting up a parenting blog:-

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