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Weetabuddies Fun...

on Friday, 30 January 2015.

In case I haven't moaned about it enough on social media already, this week we have had to put a big X on the door to warn off visitors- the Chicken Pox has struck our house.  Mads has been poorly with it since Saturday of last week and it means that we have been doing a lot of hibernating, getting a fair bit of cabin fever, but mostly been enjoying the nursery free cuddle time.

Of course, after a while playing in your house gets a little boring and so we decided to head over to my Mum's house for some TLC and a bit of afternoon fun. (Plus she makes a great beans on toast when you are feeling under the weather!)  

A while ago Weetabix got in touch with us to tell us about their new campaign- the ever so funky Weetabuddies.  We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day- I'm a greek honey and yoghurt kind of girl, Mads loves her toast, but Mr E and LL won't start the day without a Weetabix.  We are big Weetabix fans here, and indeed both my girls started off on their weaning journeys eating it.  However apparently one in six children in the UK skip breakfast and Weetabix have created the Weetabuddies campaign to encourage families to get creative at breakfast and have a healthy start to the day.

So armed with a mountain load of fruit, plus some other goodies, (perhaps the chocolate buttons and whipped cream wasn't quite so healthy but it tasted so good!) we set about relieving some of our boredom by creating our own Weetabuddies with the help of Grandma.

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All ready with our supplies.

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Our first creation- We like to call this one a cross between a bear and a cat!

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The scary looking dude on the right is actually a sheep.  What do you mean you couldn't tell?

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The girl's had such fun making our Weetabuddie creations- it was definitely a fun afternoon activity.

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I wish I could take credit for this one as I actually think it's really good- but it was my Mummy's creation.  She obviously made the wrong career choice, totally should have been a Weetabuddie creator.

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Creating our Weetabuddies took the spotty one's mind of her Chicken Pox for a couple of hours.

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We don't know what this guy is, but we think he looks cool.

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Mads did these ones completely by herself- I was actually super impressed with her, and she was so proud of her little creations.

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Obviously we wouldn't normally have chocolate buttons for breakfast (OK very ocassionally I might!) but as this was the afternoon it was completely acceptable.  

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My Weetabuddie creations.  Actual masterpieces.

 

All in all we had great fun creating our Weetabuddies and it was wonderful as my girls tried fruit that they had been fussy about for a while.  Mads loves most fruit but LL has been a strawberry and apple addict for a while now, and wary of most other things, but both were scoffing kiwi fruit, blueberries and raspberries.   Thanks Weetabix for encouraging us to revisit things I thought they didn't like.  

You can head over to find more about the Weetabuddies here - and if you have a go at making one yourself and upload it here then you could be in with a chance of winning a prize every single day.

 

NB: Weetabix partnered with us to encourage us to create our own Weetabuddies, but all opinions, thoughts and incredible, artistic masterpieces are entirely my own.  Or my Mum's.

 

 

Our holiday to Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos - Part Three.

on Wednesday, 28 January 2015.

By now we were in the swing of things and fully settled in to our holiday at Beaches Turks and Caicos...

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I absolutely love these photos of them sitting on the pier- the sun was setting and the light was gorgeous.  We went down there and it seemed that it was the perfect wedding time, there were a couple of brides on the pier having photos in their beautiful dresses.  A great spot to people watch.

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The beach, Grace Bay, was so gorgeous and it never felt overcrowded, even during the day.  Damn that photo bomber in the background though!

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What is it with small people and sand?  My girls don't try to eat it but they do get it EVERYWHERE.  At one point on our trip LL managed to fall flat on her face in the sand- it was everywhere, even in her eyelashes.  She was ok, but was less impressed with the cold beach shower she had to have afterwards.

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Happy smiles.  I think I need to move by the sea, it just makes us all happy and calm.

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Caught red handed putting sand in places sand should not go.

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After receiving a gift from Big Elmo of a little Elmo of her very own, she proceeded to carry it around the whole entire holiday and it is now the one she cuddles at night alongside her favourite Baa.  At least it matches her outfit.

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They got on so well on holiday and their relationship makes me so proud- although they do fight like cat and dog- it's mainly LL who isn't as tolerant as her big sister!

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The sand was the softest I have ever felt- utter perfection.  We normally are pool people during the day, but Grace Bay changed our minds and we loved spending time down there.  

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One last photo as the sun began to set, before heading off to start our evening together.

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The pool at the Italian Village where we were staying- it was such a great pool and you are allowed to swim after dark, which obviously was lots of fun for children.  It definitely had the most atmosphere, with lots of music, fun and games, and was the busiest pool during the day.

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There was so much entertainment for the adults and children alike- including a Sesame Street Stage show a few times a week, little dance parties which Mads and LL loved. (Gangham Style and What Does The Fox Say are the soundtracks of our holiday) bonfires with roasting marshmallows, and much more.  This photo was taken when we were at the 'open air cinema' watching Madagascar 3- they even had a little popcorn machine which you got in an old fashioned bag.  The girls loved it.

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Watching one of the Sesame Street stage shows.  I used to love Sesame Street as a child but my girl's didn't know much about it previously- although of course they knew who Elmo and the main characters were and my lovely Mum got them some Elmo PJ's and a book before we went.  However they are complete converts now and we have been watching it non stop on You Tube since we got home.  The Sesame Street element of our holiday was so special and we loved every minute of it.

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The drink of choice on our holiday- I think we would all unanimously agree that the alcoholic and non alcoholic frozen Strawberry daquiri's were delicious and refreshing.  Although having said that so were the Mojitos.  Oh and the Pina Coladas. 

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Some sea fun with Daddy.  She is a daredevil at the moment after going through a period of being a little unsure.

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I love the girl's matching cossies from Heidi Klein.  The little cross backs and the frills are so cute.  Definite beach belles.

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When you have frizzy hair like myself and my girls do- the sea makes it go even more awol!

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No filter needed.  The water was shockingly blue.

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On the last morning of our holiday as a special treat we attended a Sesame Street character breakfast. (you pay extra for it but not much)  It was the usual breakfast buffet but there were balloons everywhere, special Sesame Street plates and cutlery, and of course the Sesame Street characters.  It was a great atmosphere, with lots of dancing and fun, and it again was one of the highlights of my holiday as the girls were just in awe.  Here they are with Elmo and Alison's little lady too.

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Mads favourite character is The Count and she was so excited to meet her idol as he hadn't been about the rest of the holiday.  She literally gasped in excitement and had to show him her own Count toy, to which he proceeded to give it a cuddle.  I will never forget her face as she saw him come up to her.  

 

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Mr E met his idol too- apparently according to his facebook comments after he posted this photo, a lot of men like Cookie Monster?  Who would have thought it. ;)

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LL is getting far too grown up- where did my baby go?

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We all lead busy lives- full of ordinary times, routine, structure and occasional mundanity.  But these happy smiles are what make holidays or work free time so special- the chance to spend time with the people you love most.  I feel so genuinely lucky to have been given the opportunity to make these memories with my family.

 

Check out the rest of my posts on our holiday to Beaches below- 

Our Holiday to Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos- Part Two.

Our Holiday to Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos- Part One.

 

Special Offer 

 For a limited time only, anyone reading this and fancying a trip to this beautiful place are eligible for an exclusive £100 off per Beaches booking. The offer is valid for holidays booked by 28th February 2015 and valid for selected travel dates up to 5th December 2016. To book, visit Beaches Resorts or call 0800 597 0002 and quote BEACHES. Terms and Conditions: Book by 28th February 2015. For the extra £100 discount per booking, please quote ‘BEACHES’ when booking. Valid for selected travel dates up to 5th December 2016. Available to air inclusive packages only. Min stay 7 nights. Not combinable with any other promo code offer. Blackout dates and terms and conditions apply.

A Year of Adventures with Subaru- #XVAdventure.

on Monday, 26 January 2015.

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You can probably tell from this blog that we are a family who love to have adventures.  Whether that's close to home or far away, like any parent I absolutely love to make memories with my girls and to give them new experiences and help them see new places.  For someone who actually thrives on routine and being at home, I also love to get out and have impromptu trips and fun- those kind of memories are often the best ones.

Back in the Summer we got contacted by Subaru to work with them on a very special project.  The Subaru XV is their family car.  It's an adventure car.  It's made for families exactly like ours- families who like to go out, have fun, and make memories.  Whether those are big or small, ordinary or not so ordinary.  Subaru challenged us to go on an adventure, that adventure was entirely up to us, and they lent us an XV to test out for the weekend.  We decided to go to Pembrokeshire in South Wales, and experience camping for the first time, albeit we may have cheated slightly and gone down the glamping route.  We had so much fun as a family on our little adventure and Mads still talks about the time we 'went in a tent' to this day.

And that's the thing.  That's why we do these things.  For our children to have fun experiences and to remember the family times.  They don't have to be expensive or elaborate.  Some of our favourite family times are just popping down the road to the local country park to feed the ducks and splash in muddy puddles.  Or to head into town, have a cake and wander round the shops.  We invent our own adventures and the ordinary moments can be an adventure too when you have small children with very big imaginations.

That is what the Subaru XV is all about- it's about having family time.  Exploring off the beaten track.  Handling the roughest rural terrain. Even nipping to the local shops. Compact when you need it for winding country tracks, but hugely spacious inside, to take whoever and whatever you care to bring. Umpteen pairs of shoes, the kids, the bikes. On journeys only you can invent.  We loved the car back in the Summer and were so sad to give it back at the end of our adventure- it suited us perfectly as a family and was similar (but SO much nicer) to the car we already drove.

So when Subaru asked us if we wanted to have a 'year of adventures' we couldn't actually believe our luck.  In fact we have had to pinch ourselves a few times- it couldn't be a more perfect partnership for us as a family who love to make memories.  Subaru have loaned us a beautiful white XV (they are going to have to come and physically wrench the keys out of my hands at the end of the year) and have challenged us to have twelve adventures as a family.  They don't have to be big, they don't have to be expensive, or they can be something exciting we have never done before- it's just about how we see life.  It's about having fun and enjoying these moments together, and that's exactly what we intend to do.  And of course they want us to film it and take lots of photos along the way.

I don't do a huge amount of brand partnerships on my blog, this blog has first and foremost always been about documenting our memories and our family life.  But to work with a brand who completely sum up and share our ethos on what family life is all about is really exciting and I am honoured to be working with them.  I can't wait to drive the XV around in our every day life, our ordinary moments and our fun adventures.  I couldn't be more excited to have this car as another member of our family, albeit just a temporary one.

Just after Christmas, Subaru asked to come along and film one of our family adventures.  Being that it was absolutely FREEZING and with two small children, there isn't much we could do just three days after New Year.  So we decided to do something that's entirely normal to us as a family- we went on a bike ride.  We love to go out on our bikes and in the Summer we are out on them most weekends, but in the Winter it's a little bit harder.  However once the girls are bundled up in hats, gloves and under a blanket, it's actually great fun to go out, even if it is cold.  It was a little surreal to be followed round by a film crew, certainly something that has never happened to me before, but we all had a really good time.   The result is this rather lovely little introductory film to our year of adventure's with our XV.  I find myself a little bit cringey in parts, (I don't think any casting directors are going to be knocking on my door anytime soon) but it really does show the kind of stuff we get up to as a family- and it just shows you that you don't need to do anything massively exciting to have fun and have adventures together.  About how when you are four and one, getting snuggled under a blanket on a family bike ride and eating ice creams outside when everyone else is indoors is the perfect kind of day.

The film guys also took some still photos of our day, and I took a few on my phone too.  We are really looking forward to a year of adventures with our XV and we will be sharing them on here once a month or more if we have them. You can also follow our adventures over on twitter or instagram by using the hashtag #XVAdventure, and of course can follow Subaru on twitter, facebook or instagram.

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Being followed by a film crew is a total every day occurance for me.  Not.  Now we know what Kanye and Kim feel like.  Except we aren't rich, famous, or even the slightest bit interesting. Oh and we could probably fit our whole house in their downstairs toilet. ;) 

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Standard Mummy photographer.

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NB: We are working in partnership with Subaru for twelve months and they have loaned us a Subaru XV for this time period. All words, opinions and adventures are entirely up to us.

{The Ordinary Moments 15} #4 'Baa.'

on Sunday, 25 January 2015.

Once upon a time there was a little girl.  This little girl was happy, smiley and cheerful (most of the time) and so she had lots of friends.  

She loved spending time with her friends, playing with them, cuddling them, looking after them, even having sleepovers with a select special few.  

But as with all friendships, there was one that was just that tiny little bit more special than the rest.  Everyone needs that one friend- that one that they turn to when they are sad, that one who will wipe away the tears when they are falling down your face.  That one that makes you smile from ear to ear just by coming into the room.  That one that just makes you feel safe when you are feeling unsure.

That little girl was called LL.

And LL had a very special friend called Baa.

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On the day Mads was born, Mr E went home for a little while after visiting times finished.  On his return back to the hospital a little later he brought with him a large present wrapped up with a bow.  Being that Mads was born on Christmas Eve, I didn't think this was that peculiar.  But it turns out this present was for his newborn baby girl and on the tag there were the words 'To my Baby Girl.  The first of many presents from your Daddy.'  Of course, being only a few hours old, she needed a little help unwrapping it but it turns out that inside there was a gorgeously soft pink bunny with long ears and a floppy tail.  It made my already hormonal over emotional mind turn into mush and I thought it was so thoughtful and sweet that Mr E had wanted to buy the first present for his little girl.  This pink bunny sat watching her from a shelf as she grew from a baby to a toddler and then when she was old enough he was one of the select few that made it into the sacred place- her bed.

When LL was born, Mr E was there again with a large wrapped present- of course he wanted to do the same for this other daughter.  Inside was another rabbit, this time a cream one, and yet again this rabbit sits on the shelf and keeps an eye on her.  When Mr E bought them, I had visions of these cuddly toys being their chosen 'special' ones- just like I had a rabbit that was mine when I was little.  

But of course like with anything to do with small people, you can't predict what they will like and you certainly can't make them like something.  Although both rabbits are very much loved- they aren't the 'chosen one.'  No no, out of all the gorgeous handmade, sentimental and gloriously soft cuddly toys my children have, they both have chosen two really rather ordinary toys as their favourites.  Mads has 'Pongo'- a 101 Dalmation that my Mum got her last minute one Christmas and popped in her stocking because she had a current obssesion with the film- since then I don't think we have watched the movie once, but for some reason he is her special one.  She isn't ridiculously attached to him, but she does always make sure he is in bed at night with her and picks him up and cuddles him as she goes to sleep.

And then there is Baa.  Baa is a small, scruffy sheep that we got free on a large Kinder Egg last Easter.  Of all the stuffed toys that LL has, he for some reason has captured her heart.  But it's completely different to Mads and Pongo- LL is obsessed with Baa.  If she is tired she shouts for Baa, if she is sad she cries for Baa, if she is scared she looks for Baa.  Baa is her comfort, her companion and is never far from her side.  I didn't realise just how how much he is there until our recently holiday.  Everywhere we went, Baa came too, and we were constantly panicking about losing him somewhere while we were out and about.  It got me thinking and looking back on photos, it's scary to see just how much Baa is present, even just in the background.  In fact Baa is pretty well travelled for a cuddly sheep, he's been out and about on many adventures in the short time he has been with us.

It's a really lovely thing to witness- the way her eyes light up when you hand him to her at night, the way she offers him to people she trusts for a cuddle as long as you give him straight back, and the way he is somehow just always there, like a fifth member of the family.  It really reminds me of 'Rabbit' (original names in this house!) and how much comfort he provided me over the years.  The times he was there when I was poorly and I unfortunately covered him in sick, the times when I sat patiently watching him whirl round the washing machine having a clean, the times I cuddled him when I was somewhere without my Mum and Dad, and even as I got older the times I remember crying into him when I broke up with my first boyfriend at school.  

I love watching LL and Baa's very special friendship and how besotted she is with her best friend.  I just only hope we never lose him!

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 Lots of memories with Baa.

*****

 

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