Our gift guide for new mummies at George at ASDA

New Mum gifts from George at ASDA

Dear Mummy, you often get asked the question what to buy a new mum or an expectant mother. So to help guide you through the minefield on the high street we’ve selected our favourite picks from supermarket giant ASDA. George … Continue reading

New York, New York!

New York Ininerary

Here we come! New York, New York! Start spreading the news we’re leaving today….well my folks are! They are visiting the States and leaving me behind in gloomy England while they celebrate my Daddy’s 40th and their wedding anniversary in … Continue reading

Cute Characters Kids Fashion

Childrenswear Characters AW15 Fashion

Dear mummy, I love nothing more than a good character embellishment on children’s clothes. They make childrenswear fun and age appropriate. However sometimes screenprinted motifs on kids clothes can look a bit rubbish. So we’ve trawled the stores and picked … Continue reading

Reasons to be excited it’s Autumn!

Excited about Autumn

Dear Mummy, I know you love Autumn and Winter! I can tell by the way you eagerly move all your jumpers and boots to the front of your wardrobe. Ditch the horrible short-shorts and ropey sandals and cover up your … Continue reading

New Forest Fairy Festival List

New Forest Fairy Festival

5 magical reasons why we are looking forward to the New Forest Fairy Festival! 1) Location – It’s happening in one of the most magical and mysterious places on the South Coast. Burley in the New Forest. A white witches … Continue reading

10 Things I Love / Hate

10 things I love and hate by a toddler

The Love/Hate Blogger Challenge I was nominated for the Love/Hate Blogger challenge by the lovely parenting blog Mudpie Fridays. The challenge is to simple – write 10 things you love and 10 things you hate. Here are mine from the … Continue reading

Six fears conquered at BritMums Live

Six fears conquered at BritMums Live

Dear Mummy, everyone knows that going somewhere new and meeting new people can be daunting. Over the weekend you stepped out of your comfort zone and headed to London for a bloggers conference called BritMums Live.

BritMums Live Review

Here’s some of the fears you conquered over the weekend.

1) Navigating to the venue – on your own. Well done for figuring out the underground and making sure you got to the venue on time. Especially on the second day when you were running late and there were problems on the Northern and Circle Line. You diverted across several lines and managed to cross the whole of London without getting lost. Phew! You’re braver than me mummy.

2) Pre-meet nerves. Heading to the London Eye for the pre-meet BritMums Live Insta Walk was very daunting – you had no idea what anyone looked like or who was meeting up there. In a sea of tourists and large groups, at one point you were ready to turn around and head back to Waterloo Station. Luckily for you, you noticed other people who ‘looked’ like bloggers. Beautiful 1950’s dresses, phones in hands and large backpacks kinda gave it away.

3) Am I good enough syndrome. Whenever you meet other bloggers you are constantly measuring yourself up to them, you know you shouldn’t but you just can’t help yourself. Questions whirl around in your mind like “do they like me” and “have they heard of my blog”. It’s easy to get disheartened when people haven’t got a clue who you are, but also nice when people recognise you or have heard of ‘Baby Isabella’.

4) What if no-one will talk to me. It’s so hard entering a room filled with bloggers on your own. On the first day you made a beeline for the refreshments and stood by a stand nursing your drink, while glancing around the room to see if there was anyone you knew. Making the first step to approach someone and strike up a conversation takes MAJOR balls. So mummy, I congratulate you for that. You seemed to make the first move a lot over the weekend.

5) Talking to brands and not coming across as an idiot. I think you were fairly successful at this mummy. You didn’t stumble over your words and were confident at explaining your blog to people. The more you interact with people the easier it will get.

6) Leaving me behind. You are always fearful of leaving me behind and feel guilty for having some ‘you’ time. This will get easier and you are lucky to have a good family support network to help look after me.

A lot of hurdles were crossed over the weekend at BritMums Live, you feel a bit more confident as a result of it. You’ve got to know London a bit better which has made you more comfortable about travelling on your own up to the ‘big smoke’.

Well done mummy, have a pat on the back. I think you were a good ambassador for me and you did me proud.

Love Bella x
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

The List

 

Our week in York

Our week in York

Dear Mummy, we recently visited York and found some great spots to hangout. Here’s a series of lists we complied of things to do, place to eat and must-sees. We hope you like our snapshot!

Bella in York

There are many great things to do in York but some attractions can be a bit ‘grown-up’ for youngsters my age, like the gruesome York Dungeons and the scary ghost walks. So here’s what we found for little people.

Five things to do in York with a toddler in tow.

1) York Minister. A beautiful medieval gothic cathedral. It’s massive and is the largest in Northern Europe! We just peeked inside (saved ourselves the £10 adult entrance fee) and found it more fun and less stuffy outside playing in the park next to it. It’s stunning and we enjoyed the backdrop and spotting the gargoyles.

York Minster

York Minster

York Minster

York Minster

2) York Castle Museum. A living history museum all about York. We enjoyed the Victorian Street, costumes and the military artefacts. It kept me amused and daddy enjoyed the First World War exhibition.

3) Walking around The Shambles and York City Centre, full of quirky streets which look like something out of Hogwarts! There’s a great selection of shops and tea rooms around.

York City Centre

The Shambles in York

The Shambles in York

Walking around York

The Shambles in York

Walking around York

4) National Railway Museum. It was free and I loved looking at all the choo-choo trains.

5) Yorks Chocolate Story. A guided tour to find out all about chocolate!

York Chocolate Story

…and five things to do without toddlers….

1) York Dungeon & Ghost Walks. Anything scary and spooky my mummy loves. As soon as we knew we were going to York my mummy just had to go on a Ghost Walk, having been on one in Winchester and really enjoying it. Daddy wasn’t so sure, but then he is a big scaredy cat!

image

image

2) Jorvik Viking Centre, I was a bit young to fully enjoy this exhibition. But Mummy and Daddy enjoyed walking around and learning about the Vikings.

3) Walk the city walls. It’s a bit steep and hairy with a toddler in tow. Best to enjoy the views without worrying about the little ones getting into mischief.

York City

4) Clifford’s Tower. A fort constructed by William the Conqueror. There are a lot of steps. It can take some time with a toddler. Little legs get tired and it’s hard to lift them to the top. The views are amazing though.

Cliffords Tower

5) York Designer Outlet. Shopping can be quite difficult with a toddler in tow, and even though York Designer Outlet provides cute little tikes cars to travel around it, other shoppers can get in the way at this large centre. Elbows out for the best bargains! Beep Beep!

York Outlet

Five quirky shops we found!

1) Ancestral Name, another great shop to find out the origins of our family name. The shop front looks great and entices us in. We spend ages find out family crest and looking though all the records.

2) Molly Browns, a beautiful boutique shop with another stunning window display! Lovely dresses and accessories to buy. Very glam!

Molly Browns

3) Cuffs & Co, at The Shambles. My daddy was really taken with this shop and spent ages hunting for the right Cufflinks to go with his business suit.

4) Stonegate Teddy Bears, filed with beautiful teddies. It has a quaint tea shop upstairs too. I picked up a super soft Panda to take home with me!

Stonegate teddy bear shop, York

Stonegate teddy bear shop, York

Stonegate teddy bear shop, York

5) The Cat Gallery. A shop devoted to cat lovers, selling arts and crafts and gifts…all cat related! Scary cat ladies only 😉

The Cat Gallery

Five awesome food places we found

1) Bills. For a relaxed family environment. We had speedy service, great food and a lovely time eating here. The decor is great with booths, comfy chairs and chandeliers.

Bills, York

2) The Vanilla Cafe. A small tea shop. We had a quick coffee and slice of cake here, behind the Cathedral. A beautiful setting with the blossom tree outside.

The Vanilla Cafe, York

3) Betty’s. The best afternoon tea shop. EVER. My mummy enjoyed a fabulous raspberry macaroon with fresh cream and berries. She also sipped on rose tea and watched the world go past.

Betty's York

Bettys Shop

Betty Tea Rooms

Betty's York

Betty's York

4) Evil Eye Bar. For amazing cocktails and an interesting decor, it feels really studenty and my folks visited here on their night out.

Evil Eye Cocktail Bar, York

Evil Eye Cocktail Bar, York

5) The Golden Fleece. Yorks oldest and most hunted pub. Well it was featured on ‘Most Haunted’ 😉 my mummy and daddy took in the spooky atmosphere when they visited

The Golden Fleece, York

The Golden Fleece, York

The Golden Fleece, York

Five things to do outside York

1) Room on the Broom Trail at Anglers Country Park (about 40 minutes from where we were based)

Room on the Broom Trail in Wakefield

2) Sea Life Centre in Scarborough. I’m a big fan of aquariums especially on a rainy day. We went and enjoyed the seaside as well.

IMG_4377

Sea Life Centre Scarborough

Scarborough

3) Fountains Abbey, a National trust Estate with old Abbey ruins.

4) Castle Howard. The most impress entrance we’ve seen!

5) Web Adventure Park. A farm, an adventure play area.

We hope you like our round-up of York and surrounding areas!

Love Bella x

snowingindoors
#YorkshireFamily with Yorkshire Tots
The List

 

Funk the Family Festival

Why we’re looking forward to Funk the Family!

Funk the Family Festival

 

Dear mummy, the festival season has started! We have a couple to attend this year and are really looking forward to them. This is why…

Ten reasons why we’re looking forward to Funk the Family festival.

1) Location. Funk the Family Festival is in Hove, next to Brighton’s main attractions on the coast. It’s the perfect setting for this quirky family-friendly festival. It’s in Hove Park, a lovely large green space, great for local families. We love visiting Brighton.

2) Line-up. It’s great listening to new music and discovering new bands you like. We haven’t heard of a lot of the bands on the line-up but that’s part of the fun! Live music is the best! We’re looking forward to seeing Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer (he looks like an interesting character).

3) Dancing and getting our jig on. We’re bringing a picnic blanket and our dancing shoes! Bubbles and glitter! Full-on diva strutting to Soul Casserole at the Club Tropicana DJ Bar…sadly I won’t be drinking *well I am only 2!*

4) Stalls. We love having a mooch around stalls at festivals. It’s nice to see the festival organisers supporting local businesses and charities too! Oh, and the festival food! Can’t wait to get my smackers around some posh nosh. Yummy!

5) Lucy’s little forest school. I can’t wait to learn more about nature at the festival! It’s a sure way to keep the kids amused.

6) Soaking up the atmosphere. The best thing about festivals is watching the world go by. At Funk the Family we will be visiting the Tree of Life well-being zone and doing a spot of Yoga! Sounds bliss!

7) Daddy and mummy might brush up on their Circus skills. I cant wait to visit the big top and see the Circus PaZaz team in action. We’re looking forward to seeing performances from Brighton & Hove Youth Circus too!

8) I’m looking forward to some Red Jelly messy play time and some crafting. My mummy might gate crash the Fashion School and do some designing.

9) Finding *or stalking* Miss Sparkle the Festival Fairy. Well, it would be rude not to…she has come all the way from Fairy Land.

10) Little Lions Soft Play area, if all the dancing and playing has got too much for me I can always go for a little snooze in this area 😉

So many reasons why we’re looking forward to spending the day at Funk the Family. But most importantly it’s a chance for us to be together – mummy, daddy and me! Memories are made at festivals 🙂

Funk the Family Festival is on Saturday 30th, for one glorious day only!

Check out their website for more details. Come and be part of the fun!

Love Bella x

The List

Toddler Wedding Guest Tips

Toddler-Wedding-Guest-Tips

Dear mummy, we’re heading to a wedding this summer and want to make sure we’re ready. After speaking to a lot of friends and family here’s our list of how to survive a wedding with a toddler!

1) Get yourself organised and leave plenty of time to get to the church. It’s awkward being late and frazzled, never mind rushing a toddler out of the door.

2) Try and sit yourself at the end of a pew, so you have a quick getaway in case of a toddler meltdown. Have an exit strategy and suss out where the toilets and breakout areas are.

3) Make sure you’re prepared for all eventualities. Have a change of clothes and nappies/wipes in case of ‘toilet’ accidents.

4) Little snacks are a good way to keep toddlers happy during a service, keeping their little fingers happy and their minds occupied. Opt for light, non messy snacks like popcorn or pom-bears, steer clear of yoghurts, things that melt and cheesy Wotsits – I’m sure you don’t want orange handprints over your dress or others!! eeek

5) If the snack option is a no go, try offering a toddler a sicker book – I love my Frozen sticker book and it will keep me occupied for ages, just make sure you check your clothes after the service for unwanted accessories. Last time my mummy had stickers on her shoulders and bum. Not a good look.

6) Let the toddler revel in the attention from family members, its inevitable that toddlers will be cheeky during a wedding service, whether it is standing on pews, pulling faces and waving at other guests, just let them get on with it. If they make too much noise – extract!

7) Share. Share your toddler around, if other family members or close friends would like to help entertain, carry or calm a toddler – let them. Weddings are a family affair and you always have support. If not, try to take turns to keep a child amused, so the other can enjoy a quick nibble or drinkie-poo at the reception.

8) Take loads of photos and involve your toddler, pointing out the princess in the white dress. Make-believe a fairytale land and get them to observe the guests.

9) Relax and have fun. If your toddler sees you happy it will radiate through to them (well that’s the idea) a toddler knows when an adult is stressed and angry and can feed off that negative energy.

10) If you have to go home, because your toddler isn’t playing ball – then don’t fret. People will understand…they don’t call it the terrible twos for nothing!

Lots of Love Bella and her mummy x

The List

A toddler free day!

A toddler free day!

We had a hectic bank holiday weekend, so my mummy was prudent and booked off a ‘buffer’ day before she went back to work.

This was her rest day. A day where she just kicked back and relaxed. It was her bank holiday in lieu.

On Tuesday the weather was wet and miserable. It was dark in the house and she snuggled up on the sofa.

While people were busy commuting to work she was in her pjs and under a rug. She was happy that she made the decision to book the time of work and recharge her batteries.

Simple Pleasures

She reflected on how lucky she was to have the opportunity to do this. A toddler and work free day, a break from the daily grind.

This is what she got up to.

1) She stayed in her PJs….ALL DAY! Lazy sod 😉

2) She had the chance to eat a full breakfast without having my little fingers pinch the red berries out of her cereal.

3) She watched some epic films including American Beauty, Wolf on Wall Street and Cloud Atlas.

4) She pottered aimlessly around the house getting side tracked – she spent an hour sorting out my clothes in my room!

5) She actually sat down with a cup of hot tea and read some of her book!

6) She managed to have a hot bath.

7) She watched some more telly and caught up on the news.

8) She surfed the Internet and did a little bit of blogging.

9) She organised herself, writing her lists and laying out clothes.

10) She caught up on sleep and dozed on the sofa…bliss!

When was the last time you had some ‘you’ time?

This post was inspired by one of my mummy’s #SoMum Twitter parties run by the fabulous Pippa@StoryofMum

#SoMum Yes Vest

The aim of the Story of Mum excercise was to say ‘yes’ to what she needed. This month my mummy needed some ‘me’ time at home x

How would you spend your ‘alone’ time?

Bella x

The next #somum make date is on the 20th May 2015 – why don’t you pop over and have a look 🙂

The List

Push Kate Push!

Push Kate Push

5 reasons why we’re excited to see another Royal Baby!

1) We love getting sucked up in all the buzz of the coverage on telly. My mummy is a sucker for live coverage and live news feeds. #RoyalBabyWatch

2) It’s a royal baby! Any new arrival is special, but this one makes history. The baby’s sex makes no difference to the line of succession. We’re fans of the Royals in this household (I know a lot of people out there aren’t) we love celebrating our history and national pride.

3) The not knowing….is it a girl, is it a boy? eek exciting. Maybe another future prince for me to marry!

4) What will Kate be wearing when she presents the new baby to the world, who will be the visitors?

5) ….all the months and years to come watching this new baby grow up to be fourth in line to the throne. Will the be a wild child or a reserved royal? Who knows..

Bella x ….or Lady Isabella in future?

The List

50 Things that make me happy….by my mummy

50 things that make me happy…
…by my mummy.

Dear Mummy, last week I shared 50 things that make a toddler happy and this week it’s your go!

It started when PickingUpToys tagging us for the 50 Happy Things challenge. There are lots of people participating in this at the moment, so I hope you like getting to know me and my mummy a bit better 🙂

50 Things that make my mummy happy

Here’s my mummy’s list of 50 things that make her happy. Simples x

1) Me and Daddy of course!

2) Her family and close friends

3) National Trust walks

4) Taking photos with her new camera

5) Social media and blogging

6) Watching great telly like Game of Thrones, Gotham, Hannibal and True Detective

7) Reading Mo Hayder books

8) Shopping (when she has the money)

9) Window shopping (when she doesn’t have the money!)

10) #SoMum make dates on Twitter – they are such fun!

11) Crafting with me

12) Summer picnics

13) A new haircut

14) Scrunchy head (head massage to me and you)

15) Back rubs

16) Going to Festivals

17) Camping and the great outdoors

18) Swimming

19) Graphic Design

20) Day trips to London

21) Day trips to Brighton

22) Anything vintage

23) Charity shop hunting and car-booting

24) Dancing

25) Drinking Strawberry & Lime Cider in the sun

26) Ulster Fry-ups

27) Guinness

28) Painting her nails

30) Watching me – it’s one of her favourite pastimes

31) Sleep and her bed

32) Halloween

33) Bonfire Night

34) Slipknot Wednesdays

35) Scott Mills – a man from her home town!

36) Pears

37) Afternoon tea with Earl Grey

38) Watching funny YouTube videos

39) Fashion and reading magazines

40) Karma. People getting a good dose.

41) Top Gear

42) Going to gigs

43) Kebabs

44) Going to the Beach

45) Visiting the Witches at Burley, New Forest

46) Spa days

47) Clean sheets

48) Seeing blossom everywhere

49) Her faith

50) Our life

We hope you like this weeks list!

Love Bella and her mummy x

The List

50 things that make me happy… by a toddler

50 things that make me happy…
…by a toddler.

Dear Mummy, I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot recently. What really makes me happy as a toddler? It’s not the same as an adult surely? I have no real concept of money, status or power. I’m sure my mummy’s list would differ greatly to mine?

Thank you to PickingUpToys for tagging me for the 50 Happy Things challenge! There are lots of people participating in this at the moment so I hope you like getting to know me a bit better 🙂

So here’s my list of 50 things that make me happy is a simple list of things that bring pleasure to my day.

1) My Daddy and Mummy (obviously!).

2) My Grandparents.

3) Sunshine and dry weather.

4) The outdoors and getting fresh air.

5) Puddle jumping with wellies on.

6) Kiss chase with the boys at nursery. (shhh don’t tell daddy! He’ll have them shot!)

7) Cake (like in my #Betterwithcake post – see the video for a giggle).

8) Disney’s Frozen (I love signing “legit goooooooo, legit goooooooo”).

9) The Gruffalo and anything to do with the Gruffalo.

10) My Dollies (I like putting them to sleep and saying Shhhhhh).

11) My sleep (I think this brings more pleasure to my mummy than me!).

12) Bananas.

13) Grapes (only the red ones).

14) Hats.

15) My plastic motorcycle (broom broom).

16) Turtle (I hope we’re not drifting apart!).

17) Making tea.

18) Reading books.

19) Gurgle Magazine.

20) Turning the radio on and dancing.

21) Feeding crisps into the DVD player.

22) Taking “selfies” with mummy’s phone when she’s not looking.

23) Blowing kisses.

24) Giving hugs to everyone…even strangers on the street. If they ask – they get!

25) Watching Mr Tumble and his spotty bag.

26) Drinking my bottle.

27) Sucking my thumb.

28) Making trumpet noises when sucking my thumb.

29) Bear.

30) Gizzy my cat.

31) Messy play and handprints.

32) Red berries nicked from my mummy’s Special K.

33) Stealing toilet roll.

34) Trying to wipe my mummy’s bum while she’s on the loo (I’m a bit of a stalker).

35) Exposing my tummy.

36) The National Trust (They’ve been there every step of the way on our adventures).

37) Car snoozes

38) Throwing myself off the sofa or anything that gives my mummy a heart attack.

39) My mummy’s nail varnish collection which I have been secretly eyeing up when she’s not looking.

40) Those iddy biddy marshmallows which my mummy puts on her hot chocolate, they taste yummy.

41) Pulling faces (I’ve only just learnt how to do this from daddy).

42) Stickers! What kid doesn’t love stickers??

43) Stars (ok, so they are fake stars on my ceiling but don’t tell my mummy I know that, right?).

44) Crayons – I like to stick them in my ear.

45) Happyland characters – I like to stick them in my ear.

46) Hide and Seek.

47) My bouncy chair in my nursery.

48) Tickles from Daddy.

49) Airplane with Grandpa.

50) My own space…well I am a toddler after all.

Love Bella x

Check back next week to see what my mummy’s list looks like….I wonder how different it’ll be to mine?

Mamaduckquacks