Keeping Warm this Autumn with Lighthouse Clothing | Review


I absolutely love Autumn. The chilly but sunny days; perfect for adventures. Then coming home to snuggle under blankets with hot chocolates and family films. The second it arrives I dig out the raincoats and wellies - as you can never predict the weather in England!

This Autumn myself and the littles were thrilled to receive some gorgeous raincoats from Lighthouse Clothing. We've honestly lived in them since, and mine has become the best coat I've ever owned.

Lighthouse Clothing is a small company based on the coast near Belfast. Taking inspiration from the rural landscapes and beaches of Northern Ireland, they aim to provide unique style in their products, alongside the necessary practical features.
"Our love of the outdoors combined with our frequent dissatisfying weather is the main driving force behind Lighthouse clothing. We wanted to create lovingly crafted clothing that is stylish, protective and durable so that you can be completely comfortable in your surroundings no matter what the weather." 

There are some gorgeous choices for little ones. I decided to pick raincoats for both little ones - the Carrie printed waterproof raincoat in navy polka dot for Indiana, and the Ollie waterproof raincoat in the shark print for Parker.

Indie's coat is lightweight, breathable and has a durable microfibre outer lining and soft jersey inner lining, making it lovely and warm as well as waterproof. The hood is a great size, although I do find it blows down easily in the wind.

Parker's coat is waterproof, breathable and windproof. It also features the same microfibre outer lining as well as a soft fleece lining. The hood is much snugglier than Indie's and really hugs Parker's head, so there's no chance of it blowing down in the wind - I much prefer this design!

Ages range from 1 year all the way up to 8 years - perfect for if you want your little ones to match, or if you reaaaally love a print and want to get it in all the sizes. I love the extra details in the zip with the bright colours and extra poppers. And the biggest plus is that they're fully machine washable!

I've lived in the same floral raincoat for years (it's actually older than Indiana!). It was pretty useless though, and honestly didn't actually keep me dry. I chose the Romy Waterproof Jacket and I'm thrilled with my choice. 

The coat is 100% cotton (inside and out) making it a lovely fit and really comfortable to wear. As well as being waterproof and windproof it actually keeps me warm - without being heavy and thick. The floral lining is my favourite part. And as it's carried through to the hood, you can actually see a pop of colour when the coat is done up too.

There are so many extra details that make the coat that extra bit special. The lighthouse prints on the brass buttons, the "Live Simple, Live Happy" message on the zip and the fact it has two pockets - poppered ones for keeping things safe and ones on the side to keep hands warm.

Overall I am thrilled with my coat and the ones for the littles. They are warm, keeps us dry and I LOVE the designs! Jack's just a little upset he didn't get one haha.

Disclosure - We received these coats for the purpose of this review. However all opinions are honest and my own.

Indiana, You are Three...


To my beautiful Indiana,

Happy birthday pickle! Today you turn 3...

Three whole years since you came into this world and made me a mama.

Three years since you turned daddy and I's world upside down. Turning us from carefree teens into responsible adults.

There are no words to describe how much we love you little lady. Watching you grow from that chubby little baby, into the beautiful girl we know today has been simple amazing. And boy, have you grown!

Okay, so you're still little just like mummy. But just like mummy you're full of fire and sass. Determined, bossy, and still our little madam. But also the loveliest, cheekiest, brightest little girl I know. I know you are going to simply thrive at Preschool!

Watching you blossom this year in your role as big sister has been my favourite thing of all. The love you have for Parker makes me so proud. I know you'll always be there for him - even if it's to fight off someone else so you can steal the toy first! He's your biggest fan and I hope you two continue to be the best of friends.

So happy birthday baby girl. Enjoy your big day (I bet you're thrilled with your pink scooter, you lucky thing), and we hope you have the best party tomorrow with all of your friends.

Just one thing though, please stop growing up so fast!

All my love and biggest kisses,

Mummy xxxx

Ps, you owe mummy a huuuuge hug, she was crying her whole way through writing this for you xxx

Third Birthday Gift Ideas for Girls


I still cannot believe that I'm almost a mama to a three year old. When did that happen?! The jump between 2 and 3 has seen a huge shift in the types of toys Indiana plays with. She's not as interested in the 'baby' toys, and now prefers to prefer with more grown up things - small figures, role playing, actual games, etc.

I've put together a list of things we've bought for her this year. You may notice a lot of pink girly things, but that's not because I'm stereotyping. Indiana has just been very vocal in demanding a pink scooter - and I wasn't going to say no!

I first came across Orchard Toys games through my sister, as she bought them for my nephews. Every product is the perfect balance between education and fun, and I know that Jack and I are going to enjoy playing them just as much as Indie.

Like I mentioned above, Indiana was very clear when it came to what present she wanted this year. "A pink scooter with a helmet and a bell" - so we've got her just that! We opted for the Deluxe Mini Micro Scooter as I preferred that the handle was height adjustable, and it is designed to last longer.

We've asked aunties and uncles to provide the accessories, as she can't scoot safely without them. Helmet, tassels and a bell. She's going to be sooo happy when she wakes up!

Indiana's current favourite TV show is Paw Patrol, so we have got her some smaller bits from the toy range. These action pups feature their special backpacks which I think she's going to love. Her favourite is Marshall so of course we've got him - she's going to be so excited!

Despite loving Paw Patrol, Indie still has a huge soft spot for princesses. She already has the Rapunzel toddler princess doll, so we've got her the Elsa as well. She loves role playing with dolls - brushing their hair and singing and dancing with them - so I think this is going to be another hit!

We haven't gone overboard this year, and where her birthday falls at the end of November we've managed to get most presents in the toy sales! I think she's going to be over the moon with her gifts though.

What does your three year old love to play with?

Setting up Your Own Baby Sensory Room


When you have babies and toddlers, it’s easy to get caught in the trap of spending lots of money to attend different developmental classes. From baby music and massage classes through to baby yoga and swimming, it can be difficult to know which ones to attend - or even get into a class!

Baby sensory classes are just one of the options available, and while it’s great to get out and meet other mums and babies; it’s not essential that you give your baby the experience in a class setting.

What is sensory play?

Little ones learn through what they see, hear and touch. These experiences help to build connections in the brain that help them to begin to understand the world around them. Sensory play aims to tap into the way babies’ brains develop, encouraging exploration to aid progress and provide lots of fun too.

What are the benefits of sensory play for babies?

As well as providing bonding time for you and baby, sensory play stimulates babies’ motor skills; aids language development and can enhance their memory and problem solving abilities. Lots of colours, textures, light and soothing sounds are incorporated into this type of play, which makes it a great way to calm little ones down too.

Creating a sensory station

Baby sensory is all about stimulation, though it is helpful to have a quiet corner or a separate room, where you can concentrate on the objects you’re working with for the session. This area could well evolve into your child’s playroom, so don’t be afraid to make a few changes to free up some space (and keep the mess all in one area!).

If you’d like to create a dedicated play area that will grow with your child but don’t want to sacrifice a full room, you could consider fitting bi-fold doors to section some special play space. Doors like these from Vufold are designed with floor to ceiling panes for maximum flow of light and also provide an extra surface to work with during play!

Your sensory area should be warm and comfortable for both you and baby. You could use a play mat or soft baby blankets and cushions to give a comfortable base from which to explore. Think about including textiles with different textures and colours, but don’t forget you’ll need to wash items if any little accidents occur! Babies are often mesmerised by lights. So, if you’re planning on using some LED lights or even swapping the bulb in the room for a disco lightbulb for a session being able to close the curtains is a must.

When it comes to choosing items to introduce to your baby, don’t worry too much about buying expensive toys, though you will find lots of great options designed for sensory play available. Many parents choose to create an evolving box of sensory stimulating items, many of which can be found around the house. You do of course need to be mindful of safety when choosing things to put in the box and ensure you supervise their use. These could include:

  • Rattles and tambourines
  • Bubbles
  • Silk scarves
  • Light reflective balls
  • Feathered items
  • Finger puppets
  • Mesh bags that allow baby to explore textures within
  • Wrapping paper and holographic card
  • Foil blanket (the type runners use)

Whether you fill a box or an entire area with sensory items, your little one will soon come to think of it as their own personal treasure trove!

Do you attend any classes for babies and toddlers? If you’d like to get out and about more but can’t afford the cost of classes, check out what’s happening at your local library or Surestart centre.

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The Siblings Project | November


Am I cheating if I tell you these photos were actually taken in October? It was after last month's Siblings Project, so I'm going to go with it anyway! These two had so much fun on our family holiday in Norfolk, and although these photos aren't the best, they loved the beach. 

It was Parker's first proper beach experience, and Indie was being the best big sister showing him exactly what to do. Teaching him to dig in the sand and build castles. Showing him how to be 'King of the castle' and how to do the best sand angels. It was just so lovely to watch. Exactly what I imaged when I imaged having two little ones.

The rest of the month has been relatively quiet. Well, not actually quiet. But you know what I mean. We had a family trip to the dentist, where Indie showed her lovely big sister skills again - getting Parker to open his mouth, and even practising with the mirror herself.

The last few weeks have been tough with Parker and his teeth. Indie's been fantastic though and not really bothered that he's been getting extra attention. When he cries she gives him kisses and brings him his muzzy - she is very persistent, even when Parker is screeching trying to get her off of him!

We're still having a bit of a problem with sharing. But now Parker is actually starting to fight back it can get pretty heated - Parker will have something. Indie will decide she wants it. She snatches. He then screams and grabs until he gets it back. Repeat a million times a day...

Thankfully most of the time the two of them get on really well. They actually play together a lot of the time now, which makes my life a whole lot easier. Parker is definitely in good hands with Indie at his side. Watch out future girlfriends is all I can think. Indiana is one very protective big sister!

The Me and Mine Project

Felbrigg Hall | Days out with The National Trust


On the last day in Norfolk we decided to head to a lovely National Trust property, Felbrigg Hall Gardens and Estate. It was actually my mum who suggested we visit, and I'm glad she did. Felbrigg is absolutely beautiful and we had a wonderful day out.

We did encounter a little problem at the very beginning of our visit. We were using a Sat Nat to find our way there, and we ended up being taken along a rather strange route. We didn't go through the main gate, and we actually thought we'd have to turn around when we reached a gate! I'm not sure if it was something wrong with the sat nav, but we did enter the postcode on the website. Strange.

We made it though, and started our visit with a wander through the walled gardens. These are located just off the car park, and are full of flowers, fruit and veg and even a beautiful dovecote you can go inside.

The gardens were bursting with colours and smells that the littles loved exploring. Everywhere we looked there were hundreds of ladybirds as well. I remember our wedding day being over run by ladybirds, and they seemed to follow us around Felbrigg too!

After a gorgeous lunch in the cafe - which I must add is located in a beautiful courtyard - we continued exploring the grounds. The huge park features a lake, 520 acres of woods and way marked trails, meaning so much to explore. Most of the walks are buggy friendly too; although Parker decided he wanted to run around and not sleep for the whole day!

We walked through the woods around the back of the house, which was a perfect trail for little ones to explore - enclosed and not too long. Indie had her bucket from when we visited the beach, and was collecting as many stones, chestnuts, leaves and acorns as she possibly could. I've always said these kind of places are so much more fun in the Autumn - there's just so much more to see!

We soon left the woods, and were greeted with the lovely views of the Hall itself. We didn't actually go inside (the littles are still a bit too small for houses), but it is beautiful from the outside. The main house is surrounded by gates, but just outside were cows roaming the lands - a highlight of Indie's trip I think!

As we made it back to the entrance we stopped to play with the provided outdoor games. Hula hoops, cones, balls and plastic rackets - I can imagine these are hugely popular in the summer months. We all enjoyed them though and even had a mini game of frisbee before we had to leave.

We had the perfect end to our holiday at Felbrigg Hall. I just wish we could come back and visit again sooner!

Wizarding Fun at Church Farm Rare Breeds Centre, Stow Bardolph


You honestly cannot beat a visit to the farm, and we absolutely loved our visit to Church Farm, Stow Bardolph - thank you Alex for the suggestion! Located just 10 miles south of King's Lynn, Church Farm has a variety of rare breeds you can get up close with, adventure play, activities to enjoy and lots lots more.

We visited during half term where they had a wizarding fun event running, making our visit extra special! There was a Hogwart's Express made completely out of hay bales, wand and hat making as well as wand lessons, and you could even play a game of quidditch! 

My two were a little bit young to join in most of the activities. Indiana loved making her sparkly wand though, and I'll be honest and say I wish we joined in the quidditch match.

We did enjoy everything else on offer though! The littles loved petting the animals, an experience Parker had never had before - he's animal obsessed so I think it was his favourite part of the day.

The little pens only had a few animals inside, and had a ropped off section where the animals could go. So I wasn't worried that the animals were overwhelmed by the littles being there.

I think everyone's favourite animals though were the pigs and their adorable piglets. They were soo friendly and came straight over to check us out - nibbling on Jack's shoelaces and my trousers. I don't know who was squealing with excitement most, the little piggies or Parker!

After a gorgeous lunch from the Tea Room we headed over to the play area. Both kids loved the trampolines - and they could go on them without me worrying as they have them set into the ground, genius! 

As well as the standard play equipment they also had ride on tractors (peddled and push along for different ages), a hay barn to play in, a sand pit and a football pitch. Not forgetting the lovely indoor play area - which has a gated under 5s areas complete with books, baby equipment and train tracks to play with.

Next to the football pitch is the start of the tractor ride! It's £1 per person, but definitely worth the extra money. When we first got on I thought it was just going to go on a quick route. It lasts a lot longer though, taking you past more animals and even stops for the little ones to feed the pigs!

There was so much to see and do at Church Farm, especially for the price you pay. When we first arrived we were worried there wouldn't be much to do, but we were honestly surprised. Just the soft play alone would be worth a visit!

Exploring Pensthorpe Natural Park in the Autumn


Probably my favourite day out from our recent holiday to Norfolk, was our visit to Pensthorpe Natural Park. Voted Norfolk's Best Large Attraction last year, Pensthorpe (which is located close to where we were staying in Fakenham) had something to do for all the family and kept us busy the whole day.

Lakeside nature trails, woodland walks, gardens to explore and animals to find as well as a huge outdoor adventure play and indoor soft play. I honestly wish we had something similar where we live, as we all had so much fun, Indiana especially1

We headed straight to Hootz House (indoor adventure play) when we arrived as it was still a little chilly outside. Entry into Hootz is by timed sessions, but is included within the price which is fantastic - especially when we didn't have to pay for the children to enter (under 3s are free).

You get a two hour time slot which is more than enough time to play. Under 5s have their own section to play in, although like most soft plays you can take them into the bigger section. I think we spent almost an hour sat playing with the ball machine, and whizzing down the slides.

By the time our slot was up it was lunch time. If we had visited during the warmer months we would have definitely brought a picnic. We ended up in the Courtyard Cafe though, which although quite pricey, offered some really tasty food. It was definitely needed too, as after lunch we had lots of exploring to do!

Parker was exhausted by this point so with him asleep in his pram, we let Indiana lead the way. As we visited over the Halloween half term there were extra activities to do. Indie was most excited about following the paths and spotting the bugs though.

It wasn't long before we found the beautiful red squirrels and flamingos hidden along the woodland walk. It did make me laugh to see Indie much more excited by a common duck, that you can find at our local park though! She was feeding them grass and completely ignoring the flamingos she'd never seen before.

We left the 'mingos' and continued exploring the park. There is so much to see, you really couldn't fit it all in during one visit. We just let Indie decide where she wanted to go and ended up walking around the lake and through the Sculpture Garden; following the stamp and mirror trails.

We ended the day back at the WildRootz adventure play - a Huge outdoor play area with the usual play equipment, sandpit, little streams to play in and the biggest slide I've ever seen (Jack said he'd only go on it once as there were so many stairs).

There really was so much to do and explore at Pensthorpe. Whether you want to discover nature on a nature walk, or just need to entertain the kids - it's a perfect day out for all ages! 

Parker's 15 Month Update


When I look at Parker these days I find it hard to believe he's only 15 months old. He's such a grown up little boy now, full of mischief and cheekiness. He's got great understanding and communication skills too - we thought Indie was a chatty baby, but he just doesn't stop!

A little update on his stats:

- 12 to18 (and some 18-24 month) clothing
- Size 5+ nappies
- Size 5 shoes
- 10 teeth - 4 at the bottom, 4 at the top and his two top molars
- He had his very first haircut!


- Sleeps 7pm - 7am (wakes between 6 and 7am for a bottle)
- Two naps a day at 10am and 1/2pm
- Two bottles a day of cows milk
- LOVES food and has 3 meals a day (usually more than Indie eats), plus two snacks

Parker has developed so much in the last month. He really understands sequences and day to day life. He knows if we mention shoes he's going out - and will wait by the door to leave. He knows if I have a nappy in my hand what's happening - and will giggle and run to hide. He responds to commands and usually does what you ask him.

His speech is still improving, and he is a non-stop chatter box! He can say:

mummy, mama, daddy, dada, nanny, nana (Indiana), doggy - and woof, quack quack, down, stuck, up, uh oh, wow, nummy (dummy), Peppa - and snort like a pig, no, shoe, grandad, are you (where are you) and I love you <3

This month he has been loving snuggles, reading, playing with Indie, running wild and free on holiday, daddy, brushing his teeth, discovering his willy (parents of boys send help with this one!), and The Twirlywoos. He's hated being told off for being extra cheeky, not being allowed to join in and nappy changes.