Fun Ways to Keep Your Kids Active


Thinking back to my childhood, I can't remember a weekend or school holiday where we weren't outdoors. We didn't have internet or a huge TV with 100s of channels. So if we wanted to entertain ourselves we had to get outside!

My two are growing up in such a different world though. With the creation of iPads and videos games, childhood obesity is on the rise. Research published by school play equipment experts ESP Play have found that over 1,000 children are being referred to hospital a a result of obesity, and 1 in 3 children between the ages of 2 and 10 are already overweight.

These figures are truly shocking, and I am determined to make sure my children don't become part of them. So here are some ideas to keep your children active:

Go for a Walk

Whether that's going into town, the local park or even just popping to the shops. Making sure I get out at least once at day not only lets the kids run off some steam, but keeps them active. I usually let Indiana bring her Toddlebike or scooter to keep her busy, and we always play spotting games along the way!

Visit a Local Park

Why pay to visit an attraction, when there are so many free parks on your doorstep? Of course the equipment can provide enough fun for hours. But why not create an obstacle course for them to follow, or take a ball and play. We always alternate between three different parks to keep things exciting - although our favourite is definitely the one with the trampoline!

Have a Dance Party

Whether it's wet outside or we're exhausted from busy days out, a dance party is always a winner in this house! Simply pop on some music (not surprisingly Disney music always wins), turn it up loud and boogey away. Everyone can join in, no matter how old or how young and it really does get your blood pumping.

Keep them Active at School

Children need regular outdoor play, and school is a perfect time for them to enjoy it. Unfortunately not all school children are getting this though; with research made my ESP finding that nearly 68% of a child's PE lesson is spent stationary!

This led to them re-definining their unique solutions and supporting tools, to ensure this was improved. Now with their equipment and teaching in place these levels have increased by a notable 19% already!

My two aren't school age yet, but it really won't be long. And I hope when the day does come, that they get to experience active lessons and play time, just like I did as a child!

Join the National Trust

The National Trust has thousands of properties all over the country. From stately homes to beautiful gardens, there's unlimited year round fun. We joined late last year, and at just £5 a month for the whole family (£2.50 each as we're under 25), it's a complete bargain too! Whenever we're stuck for something to do we always end up visiting a local property, and just letting the kids run off some steam.

I know that I myself have got to keep active, to ensure my children are too. Luckily being a mum to two toddlers, I don't get much time to sit and relax - but with these fun activities to keep me busy too, we can all keep as active as possible!

How do you keep your children active?

This is a collaborative post with ESP Play

Baby Led Weaning // First Food Ideas


We followed baby led weaning with both of our children, and I'm always asked questions about how to start, or what to start with. Deciding what foods to give to your baby can be scary, especially in those first few weeks where everything is new. But it doesn't have to be! 

Baby led weaning allows your child to eat exactly what you eat (to an extent) - so in theory you don't really need to think much about what to give them. Obviously there are exceptions - no whole nuts or honey, watch the salt levels and be careful with runny eggs. But apart from that let them explore new and exciting foods. I've found both of mine preferred spice and flavour over bland foods. 

Examples of first foods to try include:

Steamed vegetable sticks - carrots, sweet potato, broccoli, etc. Make sure you cut them up into sticks (and aren't too overcooked) so that baby can grab onto it easily.

Fruit - banana, pear, melon, blueberries. I'd stick to the softer variety to begin with as they're easier to manage. A good idea is to keep skin on so they have something to hold. A trick with banana as well is to cut in half then push your finger down the middle - this splits it into perfect segments for baby to hold!

Toast fingers - keep it plain to start with a little butter, but then there are so many possibilities with toppings. Jam, nut butters, cheese spread - or if you have any purees hanging around, this can be a great way to use them up.

Pasta - I've found tubes or fusilli is easiest for little hands to hold onto. Try plain or Parker's favourite is cream cheese and sweetcorn!

Dipping! - Babies absolutely LOVE to dip, so this is a great way to get them to explore new foods. Give them a 'dipper' - this could be any of the above, and then something to dip it in - hummus, cream cheese, sauces or even those leftover purees again!

We have loved using our Nutribaby to steam vegetables to perfection for the whole family. The different levels make it easy to separate foods, and can even be used for meat as well as vegetables. We used to boil our vegetables, but steaming actually keeps in the nutrients that are so vital for babies and children.

Baby led weaning is so much fun, and doesn't have to be scary or confusing. Especially with help from products such as the Nutribaby!

Disclosure - We are part of the Babymoov #stesslessweaning team and received the Nutribaby as part of this project.

The Siblings Project | August


Parker celebrated his first birthday on the 4th, meaning Jack and I have been parents of two for a whole year. And what an amazing year it's been! The bond between these two has grown and changed so much over the year. We were so lucky and happy to never experience any jealously from Indiana when her brother was born. Of course we do have bad days - especially now Parker is so mobile - but most of the time these two absolutely adore each other.

I took these photos on a little afternoon trip to the park. Having two different sexes means I can't do matching outfits, but love that they're co-ordinating in these. They were running around chasing each other the whole time we were out. Parker following Indie wherever she went. Indie leading the way, holding Parker's hand to guide him on their adventure.

This little trip was our first without a pushchair. Both took their bikes, but the second we arrived they just wanted to run. I cannot wait to enjoy more of these types of adventures now Parker is getting older. I absolutely love watching my two babies walking along hand in hand. 

Having a 20 month age gap was tough at times. But watching these two now I couldn't imagine life any other way, and wouldn't change a thing. They're going to be the best of friends (we hope haha), and I'm so glad they have each other.

I didn't take these pictures specifically for this post, but I couldn't not include them. This was actually the first time Parker snuggled up to Indiana, and they both seemed happy about it! They sat for ages snuggled up watching Frozen. Both content with each others company, and even holding hands. It's moments like these are so extra special, and make me so happy that they have each other.

The Me and Mine Project

Southampton Central Travelodge Family Room | Review


For Parker's birthday we decided we wanted to visit Peppa Pig World, located in Hampshire. We're in Kent, so not too far away. Wanting to make the most of our trip however, we decided to find somewhere to stay overnight close to the park.

We decided upon the Southampton Central Travelodge - just a short drive to Peppa Pig World, easy to get to and in a great location for shops and restaurants too. We ended up staying for two nights, giving us a complete day down in Southampton, something we were very pleased about!

Arrival & Check-in

We travelled down Sunday night, arriving at the Travelodge around 9.30pm. I was worried it would be too late, but check-in is open 24 hours so we had no problems. After finding a spot in the underground carpark we easily found out way to reception. With just my name we checked in within minutes and were in the lift to our room on the third floor - room 307.

Parking is £5 for 24 hours for Travelodge guests. I was surprised this wasn't included within the price, and the car park is pretty small. There were clear signs for alternative parking however, and £5 for a whole days parking is very good value.


We were on the 'business floor' which was a quiet area. I did find this strange as we obviously had two children with us (aged 2.5 and 1). However with how tired we were the whole time, there wasn't much noise from them.

Our room was spacious, clean and well presented. There was plenty of space for the four of us, with a kingsize bed, two single beds and room for our travel cot as well. We didn't actually request a travel cot when booking (I assumed mentioning I had a 1 year old when booking would mean we had one), so I'm glad we came prepared with our own. Checking the website these are free to book though, just make sure to call ahead first!

Our bed was very comfortable, with two plump pillows and a cosy duvet. There were no complaints from Indiana either, who looked very happy in her bed (she didn't even wake when she rolled out haha). Our rooms were cleaned and tidied whilst we were out, something I was not expecting during a two night stay. So it was lovely to come back to a tidy room again!

The bathroom was small but had all you needed. Fresh towels were provided for each of us as well as shampoo and soap. Hairdryers aren't included but are available on request. 

There was a spacious desk area, which was perfect for storing all the important bits and pieces we had (aka keeping things away from Parker haha). Tea and coffee making facilities were included and replenished during our stay. The kettle would be fab for making bottles too, so no need to bring your own.

There was a small TV which had the usual Freeview channels, and you can access the wi-fi free of change for 30 minutes a day. I opted to pay for 24 hours worth of internet, costing £3, which was easy to set up. The signal strength was fab too; we were able to watch Netflix on my Mac once the children were sleeping!

Overall we were hugely impressed with our room, and it provided a comfortable spacious base during our trip. The only problem we had though, was that it was SO hot. The lack of air conditioning and being on the third floor; our room felt like a sauna. 

We were left this little card, which shows that they are aware of the problem though. A fan was also provided in the room which was 100% needed. We had to have it on all night as it was so hot - you couldn't open the window as the traffic outside was loud with it open. Despite the duvet being cosy, it was far too think for the heat, so it would have been useful for a sheet to be provided instead too.


There are two options for breakfast during your stay; the 'Lighter' which includes toast, croissants and cereals, or the 'Full' which includes a cooked option. Both include unlimited teas, coffees and chilled fruit juice, and are 'all you can eat' - a perfect way to start the day! These can be pre-booked or you can choose to add this option once there.

We of course went for the cooked option, and despite the restaurant area looking small we were really impressed! Especially as they offer Kid eats free (if choosing the 'full' option). The tables were clean and had everything you needed, and the highchairs were also spotless.

The food was hot, tasty and you could tell it was all made with good ingredients. The hot selection did get busy and food ran out quite quickly at some points. The staff were quick to check and replenish though, and you weren't left waiting long for your food.

The kids loved the fruit selection (there was SO much choice!), and Indiana really enjoyed choosing her little cereal box and bringing it back to Jack. The staff were also lovely and checked if we wanted our croissants warmed up, which was a great touch.

The hot drinks were average, and the cups of juice were tiny! It was all you could eat though, so we just made sure to refill a few times instead. Overall though we all thoroughly enjoyed our breakfasts, and they were a great way to start a busy day.

As we had paid for parking for 24 hours, we decided to leave the car in the car par after checking out and have a little explore. The Travelodge is in an amazing location - out the front door and to the right is the West Quay shopping centre and town centre, as well as a huge retail park! Buses also pulled up out the front if you wanted to hop on and visit anywhere else too.

We had such a lovely couple of days away, and apart from the heat, we couldn't have had a better stay at the Travelodge. We had never taken the kids away on a UK break like this before, and it's definitely made me worry less, and want to travel more! I'd 100% recommend a Travelodge to stay in, and I know we will be visiting again.

Disclosure - We received a two night stay and breakfast in exchange for our review. This is our honest opinion.

Parker's 12 Month Update


I honestly cannot believe I'm writing Parker's 12 month update. What a whirlwind of a year! I don't know what it is though, since he started walking last month he's just grown up ridiculously quickly. He's a proper little boy now, full of personality and mischief. I've taken to calling him my little monster, because he's into everything and has no fear. He's still my snuggly little mummy's boy though, which I absolutely love!

I had his 1 year check a few weeks before his birthday, which went really well. He was 21 lbs 5oz and 74cm tall (50th centile for both), and is doing everything he should be. His physical side is advanced according to their chart, but I think that's just because he's walking already.

Talking of walking, this boy is non-stop! He took 3 steps the day he turned 11 months, and since that day he hasn't stopped. He was walking across the room after 5 days, and learnt to stand himself up within the week. This has made pushchair journeys a nightmare as he doesn't want to be strapped in. I love it though, there's nothing cuter than those first wobbly steps.

Routine-wise not much has changed. He's taken to waking around 5.30ish for his bottle, but luckily most of the time he goes back to sleep until 7am. Naps are still around 9am and 1pm, but we've *fingers crossed* dropped his afternoon bottle, so are now down to 2 a day. These are now cows milk, which he seemed to take to really well.

Parker loves to give big slobbery kisses (those huge open mouth ones), and will even pull on your clothing to get closer to you. He loves the camera and will do anything to get into the screen if you're on selfie mode or FaceTime. He LOVES animals and goes crazy when he see's them - he even makes a 'woof' sound which is too cute. He is a massive snuggler too and has full attached himself to muslins - he's now got a duvet and pillow which he has loved getting cosy in.

The only time Parker seems to be sad and upset these days is when he's teething. He's an awful teether, and seems to suffer for a good fews days when they're coming through. He was off food and poorly for almost a week this month with teeth. In the end 3 popped through, bringing his grand total to 5!

I cannot wait for the next year, as I know through having Indiana just how much fun this age is. There's so many more milestones to come, and so many experiences to enjoy. So it's goodbye baby and hello toddler from now on!

Parker, You are One...


To my beautiful baby boy, 

Happy Birthday!

Today you turn one. A whole year since you came into our lives, after the most perfect labour (I'll let you off the horrendous pain and second degree tear, you were worth it). You didn't sleep for 8 months, you cried a lot and you went through milk like it was going out of fashion. But those moments were nothing compared to all the wonderful days we've had with you. 

You love snuggles, and whether you are upset / poorly / just fancy a cuddle, you're happiest in my arms. Just like your big sister, you LOVE food. You're still on 3 bottles a day as well as meals and snacks, and even if you've just been fed you'll want whatever food daddy or I have.

You're dark mop of hair has turned to the most gorgeous golden colour, and those huge black eyes are now a beautiful shade of blue. Everyday you look more and more like your daddy, much to my disappointment, but it seems right as you're like him in most other ways too.

You reached your milestones just as quickly as your sister, so you weren't really a little baby for long. We couldn't be prouder though - even when you're climbing and giving me a heart attack! Watching you walk along, giggling with pride and chasing your sister makes me so so happy.

I cannot wait to see what you will achieve this next year, and have the most wonderful birthday (even if your big sister opens all your presents for you).

I love you my little monster, 

Mama xxx 

52 Weeks & 1 Day. The last day as a 0 year old..