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 😪

Advertisements

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

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

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 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