Mummy & Me | April


I cannot believe that March is over already, it only seems like yesterday I was linking up with my March post! April has seen us celebrate Jack's birthday, we've enjoyed the improving weather and had some lovely days out as a family.

I haven't really been in many pictures though this month due to feeling ill for a lot of it. However I knew I had to choose this one! This just shows exactly how cheeky and funny Indiana is becoming - every time I try to take a picture now I either get this face or a great big cheesy grin haha.
Mummy and Indiana April 2015!

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Folly Farm Adventure Park & Zoo | Review


As you know we recently enjoyed a wonderful few days at Bluestone in Wales. We wanted to make the most of our trip so I made sure to research nearby attractions, and one that seemed perfect for us was Folly Farm. Now don't be fooled by the name - Folly Farm is more than just a farm, it's also an adventure park, funfair and zoo! We were so excited to visit, and we weren't disappointed.

The park is just a short drive from Bluestone in the heart of Pembrokeshire. The day we visited was a bit chilly and VERY windy however we still managed to enjoy our day and spent well over 5 hours there, (we could have spent the whole day if it was a bit warmer). There was so much to see and do for all ages and I'm sure there were bits we missed.

Our first stop was the Jolly Barn which is home to all your farm favourites from sheep and goats to pigs, chickens and ponies. We let Indiana out of her pram and let her wander around to explore the animals. I loved how clean the whole farm was and there were plenty of points to wash your hands too which was great to see. All the animals seemed happy and I especially loved the chicken enclosures which were more than just your average chicken coop!

The whole area was themed with huge signs, areas to learn more about the animals, and even interactive areas with games and more. Throughout the day they bring out different animals to meet and touch. Indiana adored the rabbit and had a constant look of awe in her face when stroking it. Jack even got to milk a goat which was a pretty cool thing to do!

From the barn you can venture outside and enjoy the free tractor ride - a 15 minute round trip around the outside farm area. Indie loved being able to look around and see the animals, and I thought the driver gave really interesting information throughout. There was even a stop-off to go on a nature trail part way through if you fancied it.

After all the fun of the barn we went in search of some lunch. With it being so cold we didn't bring a picnic; although there were plenty of seating areas if you did decide to bring one. We stopped at the Funfair Restaurant which is located inside the Vintage Funfair. It looked a bit outdated from the outside but I think that just adds to the theme they're going for inside the funfair.

They offer a selection of hot food choices from pies and chips to jacket potatoes and spaghetti, all at reasonable prices. Indiana had a children's lunch box which included a sandwich, crisps, yoghurt, chocolate bar and drink. We all found the food to be really yummy and Indie especially enjoyed her chocolately treat!

There were plenty of other places to eat while at Folly Farm including snack stands throughout the park offering yummy treats and drinks, the Carousel Cafe by the soft play area inside the funfair, the cafe at the entrance of the park and a burger shack outside - although this was closed during our visit.

After lunch we explored more of the vintage funfair which was so much bigger than we first thought; I've recently discovered it's Europe's largest undercover funfair! With  retro games such as hook-a-duck and penny machines to the big favourites such as the waltzers and the ghost train - there was plenty to enjoy! We didn't actually make it onto any of the rides as Indiana is still a little young (there are kiddy rides too), and with me pregnant Jack would have had to enjoy them by himself haha.

There are very reasonably priced with tokens only costing 50p each, and then each ride only being 1-2 tokens! This was really impressive as it's much cheaper than fun fairs at local beaches such as Brighton Pier.

The back of the funfair was home to the biggest adventure play I'd ever seen - Carousel Woods! All undercover and surrounded by seating so that parents can sit and relax while the kids go have fun. Again Indiana was too young for this, but I know if we visited when she's a bit older she'd be in there for hours haha.

This wasn't the only play area in the park however - there were huge play areas outside as well; pirate ships to climb, a dragon playground, diggers for both kids and adults (at a small charge), pedal tractors and even a ferris wheel! These were practically empty during our visit but I can imagine during peak Spring/Summer periods these are very popular.

My absolute favourite part of the park was the zoo! I was only expecting a few small enclosures with smaller animals but I was completely blown away by what there actually is. Every single enclosure was large, modern and seemed well managed - something I think is very important when I visit a zoo.

The zoo is actually home to over 50 species amounting to over 250 animals and they are even expanding as we speak with the addition of flamingos and rhinos to come. We wandered around the monkeys, lions and camels and found some rather funny river hogs who were running around in a conga line haha. We didn't see any of the animal talks but did happen to visit the giraffes (the only ones in Wales!) when they were receiving some training from a zoo keeper. She was answering questions and it was really interesting to watch and listen to.

My favourites and I think Indiana's too as she slept for the most part haha, were the penguins. One side of their exhibit was a large glass panel which let you see right into their water tank. The glass was crystal clear so you could see them really up close swimming about; they seemed to love the interaction as they came right over to where you were to look.

The zoo also has an 'interactive zone' which houses more animals as well as being an education based sensory centre. Jack and I had great fun chatting to the parrot inside as well as following a little stamp trail - Jack was very proud of getting all his stamps haha.

Overall we had a fantastic day out and would definitely love to visit again! It's a great day out for all ages and I can see why it won  Best Day Out in Wales in the National Tourism Awards recently! I still cannot believe how reasonable the prices are: £10.95 for adults, £9.95 for children aged 3-15, senior citizens and the disabled and then under 2s are free. You can even purchase an annual pass which I think is well worth the money as there's so much to see and do!

*We received our tickets free or charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own*

25 Week Pregnancy Update | Baby #2


Bump definitely feels/looks smaller from 2 days of hardly eating!
Reading my apps this morning as seeing '15 weeks to go' was crazy; that seems like no time at all! Finding the vegetable comparison size seems to be getting more difficult as some places I look say cauliflower and some say aubergine haha. Either way baby boy weighs roughly 660 grams and is about 35cm long (anyone else just compare this to a 30cm ruler you used at school haha?)!

This week I had my first experience of having to get up in the night to wee - I know I'm lucky to make it this far haha, but it was bloody annoying! Especially when I find it so hard to get back to sleep once I'm awake. Linked with this is that I've been needing to go all the time even if I've only just been haha. Pip must have been jumping on my bladder this week!

I saw the midwife on Wednesday and talked through all my worries and concerns with her. She agrees she's going to keep an eye on his size as she could tell he's a big boy haha. She didn't measure my bump which I thought was odd (they did at this stage with Indiana), but said everything felt in the right place. My urine, BP and his heart beat were all perfect so she was happy. She said I've just got to keep her updated on my migraines if they are coupled with swelling as it could lead to pre-eclampsia. She also confirmed my suspicions and he is all down my right side - and still is right now!

I thought I was finally feeling better until I was hit with a sickness bug yesterday. I didn't even keep much water down which was worrying. I'm feeling slightly better today though - I'm still feeling achy all over but I have managed to eat.. woohoo!

Hopefully I'll have nothing to say next week as I'm sick of feeling sick haha!

A Family Day In Brighton | Brighton Sealife Centre


If you remember way back in November we booked tickets to visit the Sealife Centre in Brighton for Indie's birthday. Unfortunately a few days before our visit I discovered it was actually closed! However, with the weather now getting better and actually having some free time we decided it was time to use the tickets haha.. only a few months late.

Brighton is only a 45minute/1 hour drive away so it didn't take us long to get there at all - Indiana even had a nap in the car which was brilliant. Our first stop were the shops to get in some cheeky shopping before heading down to the beach itself.

We wandered through The Lanes and all around to try and find somewhere to eat. We ended up in Harvester as it is located right above The Sealife Centre! Indie was being a complete show off and waving and talking to everyone she saw. Our waiter even wanted to take her home haha.

With a yummy lunch eaten we made our way down to the Sealife Centre. I've been a few times but this was Jack's first visit. It's much smaller than the one in London but there's still loads to see! To be honest though we didn't stand still long to look at anything haha. Indiana was running around everywhere giggling away, she loved having the freedom to just go where she wanted.

Her and Jack loved the little pop up bubbles though - the ones where you can 'go into' the tanks and see inside haha. She adored the tunnel too and we spent ages watching the giant turtles and rays swimming along above us.

With Indie getting tired again we decided to get her back in the pram and walk along the pier. There's something about Brighton pier that just brings back memories of being a kid. Jack of course had to have a go on the claw machines; one day he'll learn he won't win haha.

Bluestone Wales | Ramsey Lodge Review


I'm hoping you've read my daily diaries and overall review of our Bluestone Wales holiday by now, if not check them out! As mentioned we stayed in a gorgeous Ramsey Lodge during our 4 night stay - although there are a whole selection of different lodges, studios and cottages to stay in! This is going to be a review of our lodge (this is just my opinion and of this certain lodge we stayed in).

The lodges are accessed by key cards which you receive when you check-in. We were provided two however only one worked during our stay. I'm sure this would have been sorted if we went to the Village, however we didn't bother as we were always together anyway. Wi-fi is free within the lodge and the park itself although we sometimes found it a bit slow.

First impressions of our lodge were simply 'wow!'. I was so impressed how big and how lovely it was inside. Ramsey Lodge's are 'upside down' living so the bedrooms were on the bottom floor, and the living space upstairs; to make the most of the beautiful views. It was a bit strange sleeping downstairs and I did find I kept the curtains drawn most of the time as anyone could look in (there were no net curtains for privacy). These curtains were amazing though as they were blackout and kept all of the sunlight out.

The lodge sleeps four with one double bedroom and one twin bedroom, both with en-suite bathrooms. They also come with a travel cot as standard which is what Indiana slept in. The bedrooms had loads of space with both a chest of drawers and a wardrobe in each (not that we unpacked haha). The beds were made on arrival with lovely fresh bedding and towels were provided for each guest. These were really comfortable - although the pillows were so plump we felt you didn't really need two.

The double bedroom's bathroom had a bath with overhead shower. The bath was a lovely size although we did find the taps fiddley to get to a good temperature, and where it was so big it took AGES to fill up haha. The twin bedroom's bathroom was a wet room which we obviously didn't need to use.

The travel cot provided was by Mothercare so we knew it was good quality (Jack took a while to put it up as a typical man he didn't follow the instructions haha). It was tricky to find too as it was tucked behind the wardrobe in the corner. The mattress was very basic so we used extra blankets to pad it out, and you have to bring your own bedding as well. I did see a lot of people bring their own mattresses but I don't think you really need to if you just use extra blankets!

We spent most of our time in the lodge upstairs in the living space - Indiana did have a whale of a time going up the stairs though haha. Stairgates are provided as standard at the top and bottom to provide safety. I found the one at the bottom in our lodge quite stiff but this wasn't too much of a bother.

The whole area was open-planned which is what we're used to at home so really liked this. It meant that we could be sorting something out in kitchen, while we could watch Indiana play in the living room.

The kitchen was great and has everything you'd need for a self-catering holiday including fridge (there was only a small freezer section though), microwave, toaster and kettle. We didn't used the oven as we ate out a lot, but Jack did say the hob was confusing at first - there are instructions provided for everything on top of the microwave though which is a good idea.

There was a decent sized bin which had both a rubbish and recycling section; a brilliant idea. We were never told where the main bins were though which we thought was a bit odd. A great addition was the dishwasher as we really didn't fancy washing-up on holiday!

A 'welcome pack' was waiting for us when we arrived which included a sponge, dishcloth, extra bin bags (one of each), a tiny washing up liquid (I would bring your own if you didn't want to use the dishwasher), and a pack of 3 dishwasher tablets. It also explained about additional services such as laundry - there isn't a washing machine in the lodge.

Next to the kitchen was a lovely dining table with enough room for 6 people. A highchair (Ikea Antillop) is provided as standard and was great for Indiana. Ours didn't come with a tray but I did notice others did - luckily Indie can eat from a bowl/plate at the table, but would be worth asking if you wanted the tray. I wasn't so happy it was on carpet though as it wasn't very easy to clean up the mess haha.

The living room was spacious and you could really see the beautiful view from the sofas. There was a TV with Freeview as well as a DVD player provided. The batteries in our DVD remote control weren't working so it was pretty useless - luckily Jack brought his PS3 so we just used that instead. The TV automatically turned on to the 'Bluestone TV' channel which provided information and emails!

Overall we loved our lodge and it really suited our family, however there were a number of negatives we noticed too:
  • No cupboard locks in the kitchen - Indiana knows not to go through cupboards as we don't have locks at home, however I know this would be an issue for many!
  • Linked with the above is the fact ALL breakables are in low cupboards - who's idea was it to put glass and china in easy reach of children?!
  • No plug socket covers - again not very safe!
  • Dim lights - we found that the lights didn't really make a difference (especially in the bedrooms), and had to have them all on at night just to be able to see.
  • The heaters were quite small and unless turned up quite high (which would have been dangerous around Indie), it got quite chilly in the evening.
  • Poor signal - there isn't much phone signal in the lodges so it was hard for Jack to order our takeaway - a service which they provide!
  • Heavy doors meant they didn't stay shut properly (this was especially true with the main bedroom door).

We loved our stay and these negatives really wouldn't put us off visiting again. I'd love to come back in the summer to make use of the picnic table, as that's something we didn't really use. As you can tell Indiana was definitely in her element!

Disclaimer - We were provided with a 4-night stay free of charge in exchange for a honest and personal review. All opinions are honest and my own.

24 Week Pregnancy Update | Baby #2


24 weeks means we've hit V day! Viability means that if anything were to happen now and he had to be born, medical teams would do anything they could to try and save him. He's almost a foot long now - about the size of an ear of corn - and weighs more than 600 grams.

I started the week still with my headaches but they seem to have eased a bit now. I'm seeing the midwife on Wednesday so will definitely be mentioning them to her (a lot of people have mentioned them being linked to blood pressure).

Apart from that it's been a pretty good week! Here in Kent we had a mini heatwave on Tuesday and Wednesday and it was absolutely boiling. I got to wear my first maxi-dress with my bump and it was soo lovely to actually show it off (not that I can hide it any more haha). It was a bit too much for me though and I did have to hibernate indoors with plenty of drinks.
Braxton hicks have definitely stepped up recently I've noticed. They aren't painful - my whole belly just goes really tight and hard for a few minutes and then relaxes again. I've noticed I get them more if I've been walking a lot (to work for example) so have to really slow down to relax them.

Movement wise this baby boy is a right groover! According to my apps an anterior placenta usually means lighter movements, which are usually lower down and to the sides; and my uterus is only meant to be just above me belly button. I feel him ALL over though and recently he's been doing full body movements and sitting in my ribs - just like his big sister did!

Like I said I'm seeing the midwife on Wednesday just to get things checked over and to finally pick up my MatB1 form. Yay to getting maternity leave fully sorted! I'll let you know how that goes in my 25 week update next week.