Full steam ahead with Thomas the Tank Engine!

The Watercress Line Review

Dear Mummy, we were invited down to the Watercress Line in Hampshire to spend a day with Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. Nothings better than working on the railway, we had a spring in our step while whistling a happy … Continue reading

River Cottage Canteen, Winchester

River Cottage Canteen, Winchester

Dear mummy, it’s not everyday that you get an invite from Phil Bendall, General Manger at River Cottage Canteen, Winchester to come down and sample some dishes. My mummy jumped at the chance! She knows little about River Cottage apart from what she’s … Continue reading

Blog On Winchester Review

BlogOnWin

Dear Mummy, you’ve been to a couple of parenting blogging events since you started blogging and have always had mixed feelings about them. So when Blog On Winchester landed on our doorstep last week you just had to go. You’ve … Continue reading

Baby Isabella is going to Blissfields!

Baby Isabella is going to Blissfields 2015!

Excited about Blissfields

Dear mummy, Blissfields is the nearest music festival to us in Hampshire and is only 3 weeks away. eeeek! We’ve never been to Blissfields before and have tickets to this highly acclaimed music festival. It draws in crowds from all over the country. Not like the smaller kids festivals we’re used to going to.

We’re super excited and this is why!

1) Weather: It never rains at Blissfields! Well, if the Radio Times says so then it must be true! We’re hoping for sun on the 3rd & 4th of July.

Radio Times Blissfields Quote

© 2015 Copyright Blissfields

2) The Location: Blissfields is a 2-day event (Fri & Sat), with the added bonus of evening entertainment on the Thursday too. We’re looking forward to getting back to nature and sleeping underneath the stars! It’s local to us (only 4 miles away) so we have the added bonus of not travelling very far either. It’s easily reachable from the M3 and less than an hour’s drive from London. It’s set in lovely countryside with beautiful views. My daddy can’t wait to dust off the tent and get packing!

3) Razzle Dazzle: Mummy, when was the last time your eyes popped out of your head? I’m only a toddler but am really looking forward to all the children’s entertainment throughout the festival weekend. I’m ready to be awed and amazed. My folks are ready to have some peace and quite while I’m being razzled dazzle by all Blissfields has to offer. We caught up with Blissfields Angel, Sam, to see what’s on offer for children, read the interview here.

4) Diversity: It’s not just for families. Far from it we would say! It’s tailored for music lovers, adventure seekers, hippy chicks and avid festival goers. The pure mixture of people is going to be awesome to see, we’ve heard it’s one of the friendliest festivals around.

5) The Theme: We’re massive fans of Back to the Future, so the Somewhere in Time time travel theme this year couldn’t be more appropriate for our family…now what to dress up as? The Time Lord or Marty McFly?

Blissfields 2015

© 2015 Copyright Blissfields

5) The Quirkiness: After dark, my mummy and daddy can’t wait to explore the ‘behind the hedge’ area of Blissfields. It sounds dodgy but rest assured I’ve been told it contains a world of possibilities ranging from Burlesque shows, art installations, quirky hangouts and nightspots. They are ready to be amazed!

6) The Line-up: My mummy is really looking forward to seeing Ghostpoet, ever since she heard him on Zane Lowe’s evening show back in 2013 she fell in love with his lyrics. My folks are also massive fans of The Horrors so will be eager to see them perform.

7) The Extras: No festival would be complete without having the choice for an upgrade! Fancy a posh wash of a hot tub experience mummy? Sounds great, now where do I sign up!

8) The Atmosphere: We love the fact that Blissfields can be whatever you want it to be! The crazy adrenaline rush of being at the front of the main stage seeing your favourite band or discovering others. Or enjoying a beer and chatting to friends back at the campsite. Having a night out on the tiles in the disco with the girls or sunbathing in a field with the gentle sound of music wafting past. We’re looking forward to submerging ourselves in craft activities and games with the children. Either way the atmosphere will be amazing as we are all sharing a happy weekend with other festival goers. We can’t wait to be a part of it.

9) The Mementos: We love making stuff and collecting things. People that have been round our house see that it’s filled with clutter…*cough* I mean beautiful knick knacks. Mementos of days out, artwork created, photos – anything to remind ourselves of certain experiences shared. Visiting Blissfields will be no different. I’m sure we will be bringing something back to remind us of our time spent here, along with the pictures in our heads.

10) Relaxing: The chance to let your hair down (even with the kiddie winks) to enjoy the fresh air, the stillness of sitting in a field with a beer in your hand watching your children play…sounds like bliss!

There are still Day Tickets left for Blissfields 2015, so what are you waiting for? Why not come down for the day and enjoy some family fun, great live music and quirky night-time entertainment.

See you on the other side of the hedge! I’ll be the one chilling in the beer gardens with a non-alcohol punch…well I am only 2 years old after all 😉

Love Bella x
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

The List

The Real Angel of Blissfields Festival

Talking to the ‘real’ angels of Blissfields Festival.

Kids at Blissfields

We’re looking forward to going to Blissfields in July. A quirky music festival held in Hampshire which attracts festival goers, adventure seekers and music lovers from all over the country.

We caught up with one of the ‘Blissed Out’ Angels called Sam, the head poncho of the children’s area called Angel Gardens, to ask a couple of questions about how kids are catered for at Blissfields festival.

1) How long have you been a ‘Blissed Out’ Angel for?

I have been at blissfields for 6 years and I have loved every minute!

2) What activities do you have lined up for children at Blissfields this year?

Blimey.. we have tons, we split the gardens into sections so we have GeeGee’s li’l Angels arts tents where younger children can get messy creating all sorts of brilliant art work and playing with the toys and crazy activities.

The Tweens area is for kids who are a bit older and want to do things a bit more in-depth, they can make bath bombs, learn hair styling, make sock animals and other fab stuff like Dj-ing and song writing.

The Teens have a space for themselves to chill out and relax with tons of stuff to do.

The garden area hosts a sports day and other daft games and finally the cabaret tent has everything from a talents show to circus skills, drumming and story telling.

That is just the tip of the iceberg.. there is so much to choose from.

3) What sort of arts & crafts can we expect this year?

We are making masks, toys, puppets and so much more.. honestly the list is far too huge.

4) What fun things are there for babies to do?

Our baby care area has everything you need to get through the day, like changing areas, feeding spaces and even a sleeping area. We have activities too, like music, dance and baby yoga. The tent is lovely.. lots of toys and equipment to make baby festival life fun! Watch out for the night-time bath-time area!! Bedtime hour and singing to get your little ones ready to settle down for the night.

5) I may only be a toddler but I’m interested in the Activist Kidz Club and would love to hold a protest and make a banner! What kind of protests do you expect the kids to get involved with? Kids Against Sprouts (KES)? End Animal Cruelty?

Haha! Well you are welcome to join us on our protest. We can’t tell you what you will be protesting about as the children decide themselves.. we did have ‘more chocolate for kids’ and ‘ kids to stay awake till midnight’ in the past…but we have a very fair democratic vote! We make banners, with songs and chants and go on a protest march around the site!

6) My daddy is really looking forward to entering the Embarrassing Dads Dancing Competition. What kinda moves are you looking for from daddies entering the competition?

Our DJ is very good at playing tunes that Dad’s just can’t ignore.. if the Time Warp or YMCA doesn’t get them going.. we have the Rocky theme tune as ammunition!

7) What surprises do you have in store for us kids in the big tent?

The Cabaret tent hosts science shows, talent shows, princess parties, drumming and surprises too.. we may just have a very special Ice Princess joining us and some ‘Frozen’ crafts.

8) I can’t wait to get my boogie on at the kids discos, what sort of cheesy club bangers can I expect from your resident DJ?

We theme our discos every night.. you will have to come to see… it could be a Pirate and Princess disco or a Benidorm Cheese night… but it could just as easily be Christmas and New Years eve!

9) My daddy is über competitive so can’t wait till Sports Day…what kinda games will we be playing?

Just what you’d expect.. sack racing, egg and spoon, space hopper racing and a few silly surprises.

10) Please pick 3 words to describe the Angel Gardens kids area of Blissfields?

Beautiful, Blissful and Brilliant (with wings on)

Thanks Sam for answering my questions!

Day Tickets are still available for Blissfields Festival on the 3rd and 4th of July. It looks to be such a fun event why not pop down and enjoy the activities.

Love Bella x

The List
Bella’s Bluebells

Bella’s Bluebells

Dear Mummy, we wandered down to the woods again at Micheldever. An enchanting wood which is renowned for its bluebells. The last of the Bluebells are dying and withering beneath our feet. I climb trees with my daddy and enjoy running … Continue reading

Lazy Lizards

Lazy Lizards

Dear Mummy, I’d like to introduce you to my friend ‘Spike’. He’s a Lazy Lizard. A beautiful handmade soft toy.

Lazy Lizards My SpikeWe’ve been on an adventure for some time now. He’s been with me taking my first steps through the bluebell woods of Micheldever in the Spring, jetting away on holidays to Gibraltar in the summer and getting his groove on at the Just So Festival, in fact we’ve been inseparable since we first met.

So where did he come from? A local company called Lazy Lizards based in Winchester, Hampshire.

However he was born the other side of the world in the fair-trade ‘Barefoot’ workshops in Sri Lanka. Which have been producing toys and textiles like him for over 40 years. Giving local women in rural Lazy Lizards Winchestercommunities the opportunity to create and make handmade items for a fair wage and training.

‘Barefoot’ was the brainchild of entrepreneur, Barbara Sansoni.

Sansoni textiles are inspired by the exotic land of Sri Lanka, much different to dreary England. That’s why they are so bright. They use Cibacron F/FN Swiss dyes which make their colourful yarns and fabrics.

All Barefoot products are made from cotton, silk or wool yarn. The dyes are safe and where stuffing is used, it comprises of kapok pulp. All fibres are natural and, therefore, biodegradable.

Barefoot products meet the standards required by EU and UK legislation and are safe for all ages from newborns upwards. That’s reassuring. They are also washable, which makes my mummy happy. Everything is produced in the villages and nothing is mass-produced. No child labour is used.

There are no factories and no production lines. This makes me happy, to think that my friend ‘Spike’ was born from someoneMe and Spike my Lazy Lizard else’s imagination and hand. He has an ethnicity, and a connection to this far away place, which one day I would hope to travel to.

Each toy has a unique personality and no two are the same. This is why Spike and I get on so well, as he’s slightly bonkers just like me.

Lazy Lizards in Winchester was established by Jules. She found Barefoot on her travels and wanted to share them with the world. Jules has been creating and trading in Barefoot products for some time and we’re glad we visited her site. I’m not the only one who has fallen in love with this quirky toy.

Jules has friends of her own too, Lemon and Lime – the frilled-neck lizard twins and Funky Unk – the bright red thorny devil. You can follow the adventures of Lazy Lizards on Twitter and Facebook.

I love my Lazy Lizard’s quirkiness and colours, the fact that he was handmade by talented people on the other side of the world. Spike is better travelled than me! Whenever we go on our adventures people always comment on how unusual he is.

Out and about with my Lazy LizardAt first I loved chewing on his soft spikes, great for teething and sore gums. I like tracing my fingers through the gaps in between his spikes and playing with his eyes.

He has been made so well, that when I pull at his legs and explore his quirky shapes and feet, he doesn’t look worn or tired.

He may not be the softest of creatures, but this adds to the appeal. His texture is almost natural and adds to the sensory experience of playing with a toy that isn’t the bog standard soft plush cuddly toy. This is what makes him stand out from the rest in my toy box and why I always reach for him first.

I hope to carry on with my adventures with Spike and you may see him crop up from time to time on my blog. He’s definitely one of the most colourful characters I’ve ever met on my travels so far!

There are so many of his friends looking for homes here in the UK, why don’t you see if you can give one of them a home this Christmas?

www.lazylizards.co.uk

Bella x

Family Fever

Sunset Party at Marwell Wildlife

Fire performers

Dear mummy, have you ever wondered what goes on when the zoo closes for the day? Is it really like the film Madagascar? Where the animals let their hair down and start chatting? Well, we decided to find out. We attended the … Continue reading

I can have a dark side too…

I can have a dark side too…

Saturday, February 22, 2014.

*Cue Star Wars Theme*

Dear mummy, in a galaxy far far away, Storm Troopers were landing at Winchester Science Centre. Daddy is a MASSIVE Star Wars fan so we head down to check them out. I must admit even mummy was impressed by their fantastic costumes and friendly attitude and she’s a die hard Trekkie!! UK Garrison played great characters and were happy to lark around with us little kids and the ‘big’ ones! 🙂

UK Garrison dress up for fun and are volunteers that give up their spare time to raise money for children’s charities and to spread the love of Star Wars! Sounds like an ace way to bring joy to people. They certainly made our day 🙂

Darth Vader and buggySo who did we see? My mate Darth, he doesn’t say much but was charming as ever – in a Simon Cowell kind of way 😉 I was quite intimidated by his size. He was the tallest person there and had a massive head and it was funny seeing him scaring all the children. But he stopped to push my buggy – legend.

Daddy was star stuck and is bit of a geek so we stopped for a photo, even the guy in the background wanted to get in on the action. I was quite taken with the storm trooper when he wasn’t looking, however every time he looked at me I would shy away. I was creeped out by his scary eyes!

Eventually I turned to the dark side, walking towards daddy and the the crew at UK Garrison. One little robot that I felt comfortable with was R2-D2 and I was fascinated by his flashing lights and turning head. He made me laugh when he whizzed past me.

Thanks mummy and daddy for taking me to Winchester Science Centre. More adventures here to follow when mummy lets me write them up 😉 Bella x

Dark side

R2D2