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Our 'Just For Tots' Break at Butlin's Bognor Regis | April 2016

Saturday, 30 April 2016


A few months ago I got one of the most exciting blogging emails ever - we had been chosen as Butlin's Ambassadors in the vlogger category! So last week we packed up the car (and I mean that literally haha) and headed off to Bognor Regis for a Just For Tots break. I daily vlogged our whole holiday, but wanted to share some pictures too.

Neither Jack or I had any experience of Butlin's. I'll be very honest and say I wasn't sure what to expect. I had visions of dingy rooms, run down buildings and I dread to say it, but I thought it would be... tacky?

But honestly, I take back every thing I ever thought! It was fantastic, and far exceeded our expectations. I'll probably even go as far to say it was one of the best weeks away - even with a trip to the hospital with Parker (he's fine it was just conjunctivitis so he needed to see a doctor).



We stayed at The Wave Hotel, one of the three hotels at the Bognor Regis resort. Despite arriving before check-in we were able to get our room keys before 3pm, and just played in the games room until our room was ready. The hotel was modern, beautifully decorated (the theming was fab) and so bright and airy. Our room absolutely blew us away too - there's a full room tour on my YouTube Channel, including our first reactions.

We stayed in a Wave apartment; a two bedroom suite with a wrap around balcony that gave you a view of the whole resort and the sea. The kitchen had all the amenities you could ever need, including a dishwasher (a luxury for us!), kettle and toaster. There was also a little welcome package that included washing up and dishwasher supplies. There were also tea and coffee supplies that were replenished everyday.

All the rooms had TVs with built in DVD players, there was Wi-Fi throughout the whole hotel (although this never worked on our phones it was very fast on our laptops), and even a little wash bag full of goodies in the bathroom! It was a lovely home-from-home; amazing to relax in during the day, and especially nice to wake up to the gorgeous sea view. I will also say the housekeeping team were AMAZING. Always so friendly, polite and very good at their job. They went above and beyond and even loaded our dishwasher for us (including Parker's bottles!), something we did not expect at all.






The food was something else I worried about. A lot of places only offer chicken nuggets and chips for kids and don't even think about babies at all, but Butlin's have it right! We were on the Premium dining package, so got breakfast and dinner included in our break - as well as unlimited soft and hot drinks with each meal. 

Our restaurant was called The Deck and served buffet style breakfast and lunch. It's not your average buffet restaurant though, as there's also 'live' stations where you can get made to order burgers and pastas at dinner and omelettes or bacon triple layer sandwiches at breakfast. There are starter and pudding sections, and LOTS of fruit - a big tick with us.

Kid's have their own section, where the counter is lower to the ground so they could serve themselves. Of course they had the usual chips and chicken nuggets, but they also had more unusual dishes, and they can obviously eat from the adult buffet too. Plastic plates were provided, and every highchair had a bib, plastic cutlery and napkin in when you arrived at your table!

Babies had their own room which provided jars and pouches by Heinz and Ella's Kitchen, as well as a microwave and bottle warmer. Although Parker doesn't eat jars both kids loved the fruit pouches! Both kids loved the food and ate so well all week. The staff were also fantastic and one even told Jack of for tidying up Parker's mess!

As part of our dining package we had the option to dine at a number of other restaurants on site. We just spoke to reception and they provided us with vouchers towards our meal - £15 per adult and £3.95 for Indiana (Parker as a baby didn't receive anything). We thought this was fantastic as it gave us some variety, as eating buffet style all week could have got boring. We tried out Papa John's which was lovely, and the vouchers covered all four of us eating, including drinks with loads to spare!




We stayed Monday to Friday and still don't think we covered everything we wanted to! There is literally SO much to do, there is absolutely no need to leave; although the beach is right on the door step if you want to. Everyday there are shows in the Skyline Pavilion - featuring characters such as Thomas The Tank Engine, Mike The Knight and Bob The Builder. We didn't actually watch many of these as Indie doesn't really know the characters. The ones we did catch she loved though (the magic show featuring the Skyline Gang was a favourite), although for me they were WAY too loud, and I find it odd that the floor where children sit to watch is hard concrete, a carpet would be nice!

We also watched a couple of shows on the Centre Stage - Buffalo Billy, Treasure Island (with Sid and Rebecca from CBeebies) and Aladdin Rocks. Every one was fantastic and well put together. Jack and I laughed so much at Aladdin (it was definitely made for the adults that one), and we all danced and joined in. Indie even got to meet Sid and Rebecca which made her day! Of course they didn't let you take your own pictures so we bought it. £10 for one photo I do think is very pricey, especially as the quality isn't fantastic, but it was a memory we definitely wanted to remember.

The Skyline Pavilion was also home to arcade games and penny machines, an older games area where you could play bowling or watch sports, a number of shops and places to eat, a huge soft play (and a dedicated one for babies), the toddler fairground rides, face painting, and one of our favourite places the Usborne Cosy Book Corner - a comfy spot full of books and bean bags! We spent a lot of time here, and although busy it never felt too crowded.



As well as the shows there are activity sessions held every day in the 'Beach Hut' (located just outside the Pavilion near the shops). We missed the Play-Doh one and the music and movement class but did make it to the craft activity! Indiana had loads of fun making her funky fish and was extra excited when the Redcoats added a stick and tissue paper tails. All of these sessions are completely free and run at different times throughout the day.

This area was also home to a range of shops, a theatre (this is an extra charge), restaurants, a Spar and Billy's play park. There are also plenty of seating areas dotted around if you need a rest! Butlin's have also made the resort a smoke free area (a HUGE positive for us), there are of course smoking areas, but it felt so good to wander round without having to worry about the kids and smoke.

Just around the corner was the Funfair. Unfortunately Indiana was still a bit too short for most of the rides, but it was still fun to explore. She did manage to go on the helter skelter one day, although was refused the next day. She loved the carousel too, and we all loved playing the fairground games!





The fun didn't stop there though! There's mini golf (extra charge), a sports ground where the little ones can learn football, climbing walls and the Little Tikes Town. Even Parker got to have fun on the Little Tikes toys - a range of cars, scooters, houses and more. We didn't spend as much time there as we would have liked, there's just so much to do it's hard to fit it all into a mid-week break.

Even when there wasn't a show there was always a little something to amuse the kids. I spotted the 'Emergency Entertainment' team a few times who were great! They came and played games with the kids and talked to you when you queued for the Centre Stage. Indiana especially loved the pirate that did some magic with her while waiting for Treasure Island.

We visited Splash Waterworld a couple of times on our trip too. I was expecting a little pool with a couple of slides, but it's absolutely huge! They had special tots sessions in the morning (the wave machine is off and they hold swimming lessons), and it was always quite busy in there. Indiana loved it though and was up and down the slides with so much confidence by the end.

They had lots of toys and floats that you can play with free of charge and a number of slides. Jack and I both noticed larger slides but these appeared closed throughout out holiday. The viewing area was not so great! It was hotter than a sauna up there and I had to basically strip Parker down to nothing to stop him over heating. I understand the pool is heated, but I'm not sure why it had to be so hot in the viewing area!













There is so much more I could write about Butlin's but I think our vlogs captured it all - and this post would be far too long if I did haha. We had the most amazing week, and I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to visit. Thank you Butlin's for all the fun, we'll definitely be back!


Disclosure - We are Butlin's Ambassadors so received this holiday and dining package in exchange for an honest and open review. All opinions are my own. 

Dentist Trips, Colouring & A Clingy Baby | #LittleLoves

Friday, 29 April 2016

Another week over, and another #LittleLoves. I'm glad this week has gone quickly, it was strange having Jack back at work after a week off. Talking of strange, what is up with this weather?! It's been lovely and sunny one minute, then snowing the next! Come on England, it's almost May, give me some sun.

Read

I promise I'll read a book at some point haha. We all had the dentist this week - Indiana's 3rd or 4th visit and Parker's 1st. I was very excited to show off Parker's one tooth haha. They both got these sweet little certificates for being so good, and I just love what the dentist wrote. These will be going straight into their special boxes!

Watched

I've been loving all of Sarah's (This Mama Life) pregnancy updates lately. Her announcement made me cry, then she got me again with the video of telling her husband Robert. She's done it again with this one - how sweet is her nana! 

Heard

We downloaded Disney Life for our holidays, but I think I've been using it more than Indie. There are  so many soundtracks on there, so I keep popping them on while we play instead of the TV. There's nothing better than a Disney sing along!

Made

We picked up this Frozen puzzle with the tickets we won at Butlin's last week. Indiana decided she wanted to colour it in on Wednesday, so of course I had to help! She did give up after about 5 minutes, but I finished it off and was very proud of the finished product haha. I can't believe how grown up she looks in this picture, she holds pencils so well!

Wore

My children! Parker is teething, in the middle of a development leap and just a miserable little sausage recently. He's learnt so much I think his poor little brain is in overload, so I can totally understand. It's kind of hard to get anything done with this little limpet though. Throw in a miserable toddler and it's been an interesting week haha.


And Lastly...

I'm so glad it's a bank holiday weekend! It means Jack's only working two days next week before we're off on holiday again. So next week's post will *hopefully* be written from sunny Crete, where we'll be celebrating our honeymoon! Wish us luck with these two on the plane...

Trunki PaddlePak | Review

Thursday, 28 April 2016

 
Swimming is becoming one of Indiana and Jack's favourite weekend activities. It's their little thing, and I love hearing their stories when they come back from a dip. We never really had anywhere to take her swim things in though.. until now! Say hello to Sheldon The Turtle - Indiana's new Paddlepak (or swimming bag to her), by Trunki.

PaddlePaks are a water resistant backpack, perfect for days out to the beach or a trip to the pool. They're made from lightweight and durable material, and are designed to protect clothes inside from getting wet, and then stop the wet bits dripping everywhere after use! Sheldon is a medium sized bag so perfect for 2 year old Indiana.

We took it for it's first trip out on our recent holiday to Butlin's, and Indiana was VERY excited! She was wearing it around the house the second it arrived, so couldn't wait to actually take it swimming. I was dubious when I got all of Indiana's swim bits out, as I couldn't imagine it all fitting in the bag. However I was blown away when it all managed to fit in (everything in the picture below), and that was without squeezing and fighting with it either haha.




There are so many features to the bag, that I had to use the website just to see what they were all for!

1 - ROLL TOP CLOSURE
Makes a water tight seal

2 - BREAKAWAY SAFETY BUCKLE
Allows a quick release if needed

3 - WATER-RESISTANT FABRIC
To keep your belongings safe and dry

4 - ADJUSTABLE SHOULDER STRAPS
For a comfy fit

5 - EXTERNAL TAIL POCKET
With chunky zip

6 - TRUNKI GRIP™
For sunglasses or goggles

7 - PADDED MESH BACK
For a comfy, breathable fit

8 - REFLECTIVE STRIPS
For increased visibility

9 - HANGING LOOP
Perfect for school and locker rooms

10 - ELASTICATED MESH POCKET
For keeping small items close to hand

11 - EXTRA INTERNAL DRY POCKET
To keep your little treasure safe and dryfeatures trunki

I love that the top roll overs and clips in place - it reminds you to roll it 3 times so it works properly (a handy tip Jack told me about!). This keeps it extra secure and makes sure nothing can get in or out. The little zip pocket was also handy for keeping my watch and phone in (I'm sure Indie will have some valuables at some point haha). The straps are easy to adjust and fitted Indiana really well - although it was slightly heavy once full, so I'd be careful not to put too much stuff in just because it fits.

I love the little features that make it look like a turtle. The little face is SO cute and I think the design makes Indiana love it even more. There are so many other designs to choose from including a clown fish (my absolute favourite), a killer whale, and a jellyfish washbag! Each is bright, colourful and so much fun!



We cannot wait to take Sheldon on his next adventure to sunny Crete! If you want to grab one for yourself they're available on the Trunki website and on sale at retailers such as Boots for £19.99 each.

Disclosure - We were sent a PaddlePak for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are honest and my own

Mummy & Me | April

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


I didn't get many pictures of the three of us this month. It's been so busy and I've been more in the moment than taking pictures. Even on our recent Butlin's holiday we hardly took any pictures! This one was taken when I took Indie and Parker to see the Grufflo! I was so worried Indie was been one of those kids that's terrified but she loved him.

I still can't get over how big my two are getting; with their matching blonde hair and gorgeous blue eyes. I really am so lucky to have these two call me mummy! Indiana's at such a fun age. We play hide and seek, sing songs and dance together, and every so often she'll run over and tell me she loves me! Parker obviously can't speak, but he does cover me in the most slobbery kisses. He's learning to do the M sound too, so hopefully he'll start saying mama soon!

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Lascal Maxi Buggy Board | Review

Monday, 25 April 2016


Indiana is coming up to 2.5 now and recently has really enjoyed walking when we go out. When Parker was born we opted for a double pushchair - with a 20 month age gap, me walking lots as I don't drive and Indie just being a bit lazy, it was the best choice.

We realised though we were using the second seat less and less, and most of the time didn't bring it at all. Indiana still can't walk too far though, and as we didn't take the second seat Jack ended up carrying her a lot. We needed an alternative - somewhere for her to rest when she was tired, but not be on the buggy all the time. 

The Buggy Board by Lascal ticked every box, so we've been testing it out over the last few weeks! We opted for the 'Maxi' version as it's to fit onto our iCandy Peach 3, and we felt the larger board would be better for Indie who is still quite young. They do have a 'Mini' version which is better suited to umbrella style or smaller pushchairs.




The website has a HUGE list of prams and pushchairs (including doubles!) that the board fits. It's designed to fit 99% of buggies, and even if you don't find yours on the list it'll most like fit (just pick the closest one to yours) - I would check with your pushchairs brand just in case though. There are videos and full fitting instructions on there too which I found really handy when it came to fitting the board!

The fitting I did find a little fiddly and took me some time. There instructions aren't too clear, and I found that I had to change things around a few times to get it to work. Once I worked it out though it was SO simple, and I couldn't believe I found it tricky haha.

Now the connectors are on it's so simple to use. Simply click the board into the connectors and you're away! I love that the board can be hooked up when not in use too, as it means that Indiana can't just jump on when she feels like it, but the board is there when she needs it.




When walking I never feel as if the board is in my way, it's small enough that I don't kick it, and it's just as if it wasn't there. I do have to have the handle higher to make room for Indie, (which is luckily so simple to do with our pushchair), but I've got used to it now. Indiana also absolutely loves that she can interact and be so close to her brother, a feeling definitely mutual with Parker.

The board can be used when the seat is up, reclined, with a carrycot or even if we wanted to use the pushchair as a double again (amazing!). Of course it does make the pushchair harder to push but the ride is smooth and comfortable for Indiana. And honestly it feels like a breeze to push compared to pushing a double pushchair!

The board does makes turning slightly harder, and be careful when going up and down curbs - I usually tell Indiana to get off for these. Also be wary of going backwards with the board attached. We've found the wheels spin and then lock - stopping the buggy from moving at all! Again this is fixed by Indie getting off, but it caused a few problems when coming out of lifts.

Overall though we have been loving our Buggy Board. Of course we'll still use the double for long days out, but for day-to-day use and quick trips out, it's making our lives so much easier! Indiana loves going on 'her scooter' as she calls it, and I have a feeling the only problem we're going to have is getting Indiana off of it haha. The Maxi board currently retails at £65 and can be purchased from Cheeky Rascals and many other retailers.



Disclosure - We were sent the Buggy Board for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are honest and my own