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 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

Beach Birthday Party … (indoors in the rain) 

Anyone that’s been following the blog for some time will realise that I have been planning Nandys 1st birthday party, a beach themed birthday party, for some time now. 

The plan was to host the party in our back garden so the past few weeks has been spent prepping said garden – clearing rubbish away, sorting out the rotten decking, digging out an old tree stump and making sure the grass looked lush and green (following a dry spell) all in preparation for it guests.

I’d purchase bunting and tassels in bright colours to adorn the garden furniture and the plan was to lie beach towels down on the grass area for guests to sit on..

Until the rain came

And boy did it rain…. it rained and it rained. I checked the forecast daily with the hope that surely no more rain could possibly fall out of the sky…. surely it was all rained out by now. But no, in typical law of sod fashion – the forecast for his party day was the worst of all days. 

I should have known after last years attempt at a garden based baby shower (equally a dreary June day!) that I didn’t have luck with weather. 
T minus 3 days to the party and I decided enough was enough and it was necessary to book a village hall and relocate the party indoors. 
The plan was to have the sandpit and paddling pools in use – those plans now redundant made way for a bouncy castle (so beach party right!?).


I hired a last minute castle for £60 and the hall set me back £55 – £115 I hadn’t intended on spending! 

Day of the party came and we set about the hall and tried to cheer it up as much as we could using the bunting the flags – sure enough as my luck would have it – the sun shone in all its glory just to piddle on my parade!!!!! 


Guests arrived for 1pm and soon started making light work of the huge buffet on offer and the soft play and toys which adorned the hall. 


I’d blown up beach balls and other various inflatable fish / whales for them to smack each other around the heads with (or play nicely with) also a suspiciously fallis shaped lilo! 


The time capsule cards went down a treat and I have spent a few hours reading through the messages left by the guests and weeping into my cuppa. 

One thing is for sure – we didn’t need the sunshine or the theme – friends are what make the party and they did not disappoint. We had a great turnout and everyone left smiling which is the most important thing! 


I think we did Nandy proud on his day and he behaved like a little star being passed around between people for hours. 

So that’s it for his first birthday – over in a flash. Sobs 

Now I just need something else to plan ….. 

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 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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Our First Family Holiday – Day 4 

It’s safe to say it’s been an incredible 3 days so far! I’ve absolutely loved it here in Devon, I cannot believe I’ve never been here before!!


Last night we sat on the balcony at our apartment sipping pimms and eating amazing food whilst the sun set and Nandy slept in the spare bedroom.


I used the time to catch up on some admin and plan my spa day for today! So Nandy and daddy spent some boys time at the royal citadel in Plymouth I went off to the local spa for some pampering.

Now we weren’t allowed to take many photos at either location so pictures of today are limited!

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Our First Family Holiday – Day 2

Woke up today to clouds and had to seriously consider the plan for the day, we had hoped to utilise the swimming pool at the apartment but with the weather being cloudy and unpredictable – doing some exploring seemed a better option!


There is a coastal path that leads 1.5 miles in both directions from outside of the apartment, the only downside to me following this path is the fact that I am simply terrified of heights! A steep cliff edge drops away beneath and I haven’t exactly come prepared with walking boots and all the walking gear! Because we anticipated we may do a lot of off-road exploring we bought along the baby bjorn as well as the stroller, it makes it so much easier to carry them in the bjorn – especially for holidays it enables Max to be nosy and enjoy the views too!!

As I stated in my first post the apartment is very well equipped in the kitchen so we were able to consume a decent breakfast beforehand to help fuel our walk!

Last night I woke a few times to tend to Nandy as he still wakes to be fed / comforted, I could see the flash of the lighthouse across the field behind the house – it was strangely eery yet wonderful. So I planned to make it my mission to visit that lighthouse!

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The Baby Show Haul

The Baby Show is an event fairly local to where we live in the midlands, I visited for the first time when I was pregnant with Nandy and didn’t purchase much as I felt completely inundated with choice and products which I wasn’t sure I would need.


This year was somewhat different and I visited with a more open mind as to the products which we use and a list of things we needed to buy.

Firstly we went off to see the lovely Kiera at Mama designs. We went last year specifically to buy one of her gorgeous mint and grey cellular blankets – it was a must for us to return to her stand again and purchase one of her gorgeous babasacs with the mono pineapple print on it!! We bagged this at a special show price, however, it has to be said that the normal price is still really competitive as the quality is superb and so so stylish!!!

It was then off for a quick bottom change for Nandy at the Aldi mamia changing area and they certainly didn’t disappoint! They gave us plenty of free nappy samples and whilst I waited they gave me some food samples too including pouches, snacks and even a pack of tommee tippee feeding spoons! All of which will come in extremely handy right now.

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Day at the Farm

Daylesford Farm Shop is a gorgeous place based in Kingham Gloucestershire.

We spent the day here in April and returned again in May 2017 for their summer festival. Sadly the sun didn’t shine the second time around but it was still a fun packed day for the family!


It’s always difficult to think of things to do with babies because they get bored at home but also aren’t active enough to take advantage of alternative activities. I’ve discovered that Nandy just loves being out and about regardless of where we are – his head is always flicking from left to right taking in all of his surroundings like a meerkat!

When we visited the first time the weather was nice enough so we decided to take advantage and buy some of the gorgeous organic produce from the farm shop to eat and set up a picnic in the field. We did seem to be the only ones doing this though, but it was so beautiful we couldn’t resist! We had cheese, pickles, olives, fresh bread, elderflower ham and sausage roll, plus sundried tomatoes and homemade potato salad – it was lush siting in the sun and snacking on the food.

We saw cows and sheep, no pigs. We took a walk over railway bridges and streams, through fields and explored where the beehives and blossom trees were.

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