20 October 2016

Summery denim dress: toddler outfit of the day

There are so many pictures I want to share here, and so many posts I am itching to write... But I seem to be dangerously short of one key ingredient. Time. 

I could tell you of the day we went to the London Zoo. Or the London Aquarium. Or our farm visit. Things to do in Folkestone. My work / emergency make-up kit. My new favourite beauty products. My daughters first weeks of nursery. The funny things she says to avoid sleep. Our trip to the Emirates Air Line. New toys. Tips on how to entertain kids at airports. Lots of posts planned, lots of drafts, and little time to complete them. I am sure there are many more I just can't remember right this second.  

So instead of stressing myself over how many things I should write about, I will show you a few summery outfit pictures. These were taken during our visit to Emirates Stadium, way back in July. That is a post in itself, which will come out as soon as I steal a bit of time to myself and my blog. 

In this summery outfit my daughter is wearing a Sainsbury's Tu Clothing denim dress - one of her favourite summer dresses. It was paired with her cardigan from when she was a flower girl, and her Adidas trainers. Those blue reflective sunglasses I love, and thankfully, they have escaped summer and inquisitive toddler hands relatively unscathed so far, so I am sure we will see plenty more outfit pictures with them. I am wearing one of my favourite maxi dresses, and a Part Two striped jersey blazer. 

toddler wearing blue reflective sunglasses

mother and daughter sitting on emirates stadium steps

toddler wearing a dip dye denim dress

mum and daughter sitting on steps at emirates stadium and smiling

toddler girl running outside emirates stadium

What do you think of our outfits?

14 October 2016

The time we failed to pick pumpkins at a farm

It is October. Pumpkin time. Social media is filled with pictures of pumpkins, and more importantly, of family trips to pumpkin patches, so I decided we must go with the Instagram-flow and get our own pumpkin patch pictures. Off to our local Pick Your Own farm we went in search of our own baby and daddy and mummy pumpkins. 

It was our first time picking our own produce, so we weren't sure what to expect. Other than of course, some pumpkins and maybe some other vegetables too.

daughter riding on daddys shoulders while daddy picks strawberries

closeup of strawberry bushes

father and daughter picking strawberries at a farm

toddler girl running between strawberry rows at a farm

view of the parkside farm pick your own farm fields

Only, they didn't have any pumpkins. Nought. In fact, no local Pick Your Own farm had any pumpkins. Squashes maybe, a few measly ones awarded by the poor season, but no pumpkins. The nearest pumpkin patch was over 26 miles away. That was a few too many miles to go for just one vegetable.

So no, we didn't get our handpicked pumpkins or the Instagram worthy pictures of an over-excited toddler running between rows and rows of orange. But what we did get was loads of strawberries. A huge amount, thanks to the very late warm weather. They were sweet, and lusciously red, and oh so sinfully sweet, especially when secretly munched in the field... 

We picked a few french beans too before it was time to go home. And gosh did they taste amazing when we had them for dinner. Maybe it is the freshness, where you take them practically from field to pot, or the fresh air, or just the fact that it was you that picked them. But they did taste so much more flavoursome than anything we have ever bought before. 

toddler girl running around

toddler girl holding a bunch of buttercups

toddler girl picking buttercups on a farm

toddler girl smiling and holding a bunch of buttercups in her hand

mum and daughter holding a basket of strawberries on a field

mum and daughter at parkside enfield pick your own farm

pick your own farm strawberries and french beans in a basket

And yes, we did get our pumpkins in the end. We picked our Halloween pumpkins, just like most of UK does, from our local supermarket. 

Not quite as magical as a pumpkin patch, but hey, it'll look just as fine as a Jack'O'Lantern!

You might also like: Our Sunday at the farm, Autumn walks and muddy bottoms, and Walking the toddler -  a trip to Forty Hall 

13 October 2016

"I love you daddy" T-shirt: toddler outfit of the day

She got this cute T-shirt as a birthday gift. It says "I love you Daddy". Isn't it just the cutest?

She hasn't been that cute with her daddy though. For quite a while she has really played up with the whole love thing. Saying "I don't love you daddy" or "I don't like you daddy", and then professing her undying love towards mummy. She has actually said "I don't like you daddy, I love mummy".

toddler girl wearing a marks and spencers straw hat

toddler girl looking at pokemon go with daddy

toddler girl sitting in the garden wearing i love you daddy t shirt

toddler playing with a balance bike

toddler girl adidas trainers

straw hat with a pink woven butterfly on it

toddler girl wearing a i love you daddy t shirt

Of course, she only really does it to annoy him. You know the way kids like to push your buttons to see what that does to you? Well, that's what I think has been her end game. She want to see how far she can push him and what he will do. Maybe it is because she feels so secure with him, her stay at home daddy being the main carer for her, that she knows he will always be there for her. Or maybe she sees him so much she gets very excited with mummy, and just wants to prioritise interacting with mummy, and that's the way she verbalises it.

I don't know why she does it. And you won't get much useful answers from a three-year old! Thankfully she seems to have got over it. Finally. It has taken about six months. Now she is quite happy giving her daddy kisses again, and telling him she loves her. Kissy, cuddly, little girl, and daddy is really loving it.

I think I'll have to go and get this shirt out again, just to celebrate the newly affectionate little girl!

toddler girl in the arms of her daddy

Have you had issues like this?

You might also like: Styled by daddy: toddler OOTD, Styled by daddy Part 2: toddler OOTD, and Made by mummy: toddler OOTD

30 September 2016

A sunny family day out at Dover Castle

Dover Castle is a gorgeous location. We spent a warm and sunny summer day there while  on our first family camping trip. We wandered around the grounds and inside the castle. As always, I have taken lots of pictures from Dover Castle to share here on my blog. 

the bridge over moat at dover castle

mummy and daughter looking at the view from dover castle tower

crenellations at dover castle

mummy and daughter at dover castle tower

view between crenellations at dover castle

view to the seaside from dover castle tower

looking down from dover castle tower at lots of tiny people on the yard

child sitting at dover castle tower floor

moats and outer ring of dover castle

mum and daughter near a moat at dover castle

mum and daughter picking flowers at dover castle

showing a flower to the camera

The rooms inside were decked out in furniture, and you could imagine what life must have been like in the castle back in the day. I was wondering out loud to a member of staff that it must have been freezing in these big, wide and tall stonewalled rooms. Apparently however, as Kings held court from their bedroom, the room would have an open fire and lots and lots of staff dealing with the court business, it actually got pretty warm, even on the coldest winter days. 

We had a picnic on the grounds, and grabbed a coffee from the cafe. And we walked around the moat, picking flowers. There was also a show, with actors, for the kids. A queen invited all the children to come and compete in medieval target shooting. It was quite good fun for the older children. We also had a look at some of the wartime exhibitions - although we did have to miss out on them as after hours of running around our toddler started to get quite unmanageable and we thought it would be best to call it a day. 

We enjoyed our visit to Dover Castle a lot. The staff were really friendly and knowledgeable, and the scenery breathtakingly beautiful. Lucky me also discovered that I have a corporate membership to English Heritage so we got off cheap this time. Due to the newly discovered membership I think we might visit lots more of castles this coming year! 

dover castle tower seen from below

glass window staining at dover castle

dad showing child a miniature dover castle model

inner room with swords at dover castle

central yard at dover castle

actors at dover castle

childrens activity target shooting at dover castle

child straddling a cannon at dover castle

children climbing a tank at dover castle

fence by dover castle seaside

seaside view of dover castle grounds

Top tips for Dover Castle: 

  • Pack a picnic. There are lots of nice places to eat outside, and you save a few precious pennies. 
  • Take the whole day - the grounds are huge and there is lots to see. 
  • Have chats with the staff minding the rooms- they are incredibly knowledgeable and can tell you loads about history and old customs. 
  • The Underground Hospital stages air raid simulations - this means the hospital tour is a bit too scary for the youngest children but should be thought-provoking for older kids. 
  • Consider a family membership to English Heritage - for two adults and two kids  (+5 years old) the yearly membership is not much more than one day tickets and you get to visit as many castles as you want for a year! 

You might also like: Our first ever camping trip as a family and Visiting Farnham Castle in Surrey

25 September 2016

Feeling emotional on my daughters first day at nursery

The first day at nursery. A big day. One day you are a little toddler, the next a big girl. 

Our daughter has stayed home with her daddy until now, three and a bit years. Now she has started nursery at our local primary school. Her uniform consists of black leather trainers, dark grey jogging bottoms, white polo shirts and a bottle green cardigan. She looks so grown up wearing all that!

toddler in front of blackboard wall

first day at nursery blackboard wall art

first day at preschool blackboard wall art ideas

Her daddy took her to the nursery on her first day. Although I would have loved to be there, walk her down to school for her first session, needs must, work must, and I was unable to get out of the office on that day. As was told to me, she refused to get pictures taken, practically dragged my husband down the road and shouted "Come on daddy... no pictures it's time for NURSERY at my school... yahoooo!". 

Talk about enthusiasm. I hope that will last for the next 20 odd years.

On her second day I was able to work from home, so I got to walk her. Again, she was pulling us along and shouting "Come on mummy! Come on daddy! We are going to nursery!". At the nursery doors she slipped inside, not even looking back at me. I called her name from the door, asking her to say bye bye to mummy, and she did not even look up from her sand pit and pouring jugs. 

Feeling all emotional and a bit tearful at what a big girl she was, I turned to my husband to say that she doesn't even need us. And as the teacher shouted that all parents can now leave, all the slightly bewildered and nervous parents gathered at the gates begrudgingly started slowly walking away. And every few steps you could see someone peeking a look behind their shoulders, just in case. 

For the past few months she had been talking practically everyday how she wanted to go to school and to nursery. Despite knowing that she was desperate for more interaction with other children, I don't think we realised quite how enthusiastic she would be, and how well she would take it. She now goes to nursery for 24 hours a week and loves it. 

And I suppose that is a good thing, but gosh, doesn't it feel just so strange to see your baby growing up...

toddler excited about going to school

pulling mummy along while walking to school

walking with daddy to school nursery

walking with mummy to school nursery

How did the first day at nursery / school go for you?

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