Tigerlilly Quinn

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Doona Pushchair Review

So for the past four months or so we've been trying out the Doona pushchair from Simple Parenting. We initially wanted to give it a go after we realised that although our travel system was very pretty it was also really impractical for our city lives and the amount of traveling we like to do.

I had my first work event coming up and was nervous about traveling on the train and taxi to the location so when an email dropped into my inbox about a pushchair that could turn into a car seat in the click of a button I was really interested in giving it a go.

I can't tell you how much easier this pushchair made that first journey out of bristol with a few week old baby. The wheels on the Doona fold up beneath it making it an all in one car seat/pushchair rather than a car seat attached to a pushchair chassis. By pressing a button on the back of the chair I was able to pop the pushchair in the train luggage rack one handed and have my baby with me in my seat within a few seconds. What's even more brilliant about this is you can do it all without having to take you baby out (or wake them up).

I still remember trying to navigate a long journey with Wilf at three months old, having to ask a stranger to hold my child whilst I fitted both pieces together in the aisle before the train arrived was such a faff that I swore never to travel with the pushchair again.

I suppose you could argue that's where baby wearing comes in and as much as I do love baby wearing sometimes a pushchair just is so much easier, for instance when your back begins to ache, when you're carrying two bags and a baby, when the baby won't sleep on you and when you can't sit down because the baby is sleeping on you!

As a family that like to travel a lot but don't drive this chair has been a real life saver when traveling by taxi. Wilf carries a Boostipak which converts into a booster seat and Mabli has the Doona which converts into a car seat, I feel like we're able to pack really light because of this and the amount of comments we have about the pushchair when we travel has been amazing.

I thought it might be easier to show you how it works and what we think of it in this little video. I hope you enjoy it, don't forget to like and subscribe if you do!

What do you think of the Doona? Do you think you'd find it useful?

We received the Doona for purposes of this review and I really do rate it as amazing! 

Monday, 23 May 2016

Simple DIY emoji balloon craft!

OK so before I start I KNOW you can buy emoji balloons but why buy something that is just so fun to make..well that's what I told myself anyway one rainy weekend when we had a pack of yellow circular balloons and the rest of our helium Balloontime tanks in our utility room (and when I say utility room..its the space between our kitchen and downstairs toilet, ha!).

I'm working with Balloontime helium tanks as my third and final post in partnership with them, you can see posts one and posts two here and here.

When I let Wilf play with my phone the thing he loves doing the most is to make 'emoji' pictures with the notes section. When he's finished his 'story' he'll get me to 'read' it to lots of giggles! We decided to make our four favourite emoji balloons, which are 'crying laughing face, winky-sticky out tongue face, blowing kisses face and love heart eye face!' If you are anything like me these are used pretty much day in my online conversations haha!

We made these balloons with tissue paper and glue and it was a simple case of freehand drawing and sticking them on the inflated balloon. Whats fun about having a home helium balloon tank is that we can put something like this together without leaving the house. Crafts are such a great way for Wilf and I to have quality time together which is extra special since Mabli came along.

This is Wilf making the 'blowing kisses emoji' face!

Wilf surprises me everyday with how well he's taken to being a big brother, it's like he was always meant to. Whilst I know it's early days he's really shown no jealously at all. There are times when my arms are full with Mabli and I look at him and just want to throw my arms around him and cuddle him like we used to. I miss our old relationship, our days just me and him but when I see my kiddos together it's like I never knew I could feel so much love. Still it's so nice to do these sorts of activities with him that are just for and him.

Crying laughing emoji face, ha!

I hope you liked our simple emoji balloons! Also perfect for silly photos like this ;)

In association with Balloontime Helium Tanks

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Hell Bay Hotel and our final instalment of our Isle of Scilly adventure

In my fourth (!) and final post about our time on the Scilly Isles we island hopped from Tresco to Bryher. If you've not seen my posts on our time on Tresco then you can find 1, 2 and 3 here.

After five wonderful days in the Sea Garden Cottages we woke up to glorious sunshine and checked out of our holiday home to hop on the tiny boat for five minutes to the next island along. The day before had actually been a point in the year where the tide is out so far there was no water between the islands and a BBQ with champagne had been organised (and then cancelled because of the rain). They do hold these events a few times a year though so if you're planning a trip do check that out!

Anyway back to our adventure, we were met from the boat by one of the only cars on the island of Bryher, it even had its number plate 'Hell Bay Hotel' as cars aren't really a thing on these tiny islands which is something I absolutely love about them

We stayed at the Hell Bay Hotel in the most amazing suite (check out pictures at the bottom of this post for our view, and also this video for how close we were to the beach, practically on our doorstep). The hotel manages to be luxurious whilst still having a very family feel to it and the staff were so accommodating and friendly. Whilst the rooms are at a higher price range you soon realise that staying at Hell Bay Hotel also includes a three course meal and breakfast and that in itself was incredible. A friend who'd recently visited told me I was in for a treat with the food but we were both blown away with the quality of it, I also loved that they had three vegetarian options!

There are all sorts of deals and packages for stays there at different times of the year so it's worth looking into. It's a popular place for honeymoons I think and I can certainly see why! They actually have kids dinner at a different time to the three course adults meal, Wilf did go to 'high tea' accompanied by Tom but then both kids also came with us for our dinner a little later. There is a babysitting service you can call on but with the baby being only three months old she was way too little and Wilf wouldn't have been asleep at that time so it was just easier to bring them both. Thankfully Wilf is so used to going to cafes with me that he's really well behaved in those type of situations and with avoided any evening meltdowns. I can totally see if you have older children that go to bed a particular time it would be great to use the childcare to have a later child free dinner. Maybe in a few years time ;)

On our second day on the island we were met by a Chris Potterton who runs walks on the islands and took us on 'shipwreck walk'. Chris was such a source of information about the history of Bryher and especially about boat wrecks, the walk took about two hours which is the shortest walk available and is generally not child friendly which we didn't realise when it was arranged for us so was quite a struggle with a four year old. I think it would be brilliant if you were going with children over eight perhaps (or child free) but with a very small baby and a pre schooler we found it quite hard work. We did however get to view some brilliant scenery, learn about these beautiful landscapes and walk paths we would never have found without a guide.

I just love the freedom Wilf had on these islands, running around without a car in sight.

Every ten minutes ago I would ask to stop to take a picture, around every corner was a picture perfect setting! I've had to choose which ones I've shared in this post so carefully or we would be in the hundreds.

I didn't take a huge amount of photos of our room because I used this on the video instead if you want to see what the interiors are like

Wilf and Tom shared this room whilst I was in the king size bed with the baby!

One of our absolute favourite parts of staying at the Hell Bay Hotel was the little chicken hutches. Every morning Wilf would set off to collect his egg for breakfast, it was the stuff of story books and something that he'll never forget I think. Seeing his little face light up when he woke up, pulled his wellies on over his PJ's and grabbed Tom's sleepy hand to pull him out the door to go see the chickens!

What a little pudding this baby is!

And that was our adventure in Scilly! We absolutely fell in love with both Islands and we've said to each other a few times that it will be hard to top. It really is the most fantastic place to take children, we took our trip in April when Spring was just starting and the weather was perfect, I imagine it gets even better during the summer months.

Thank you to the island of Tresco and Hell Bay Hotel for inviting us to be your guests. As always all words and thoughts are my own

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Talking baby names

(Wilf & Mabli's outfits are from Happyology)

So before I start I probably should say I'm not pregnant again or anything (!) but I was chatting with a friend the other day about baby names and it reminded me how it's one of my favourite conversations to have. Even though we are not planning anymore children I do still have a few names that would be 'on my list'.

With both Wilf's and Mabli's names we were 100% sure of their names as soon as we knew if their gender (I found out in both pregnancies whether I was having a boy or a girl, if you want to see us literally finding out Mabli's then see this video). There was never really a 'Tom likes this name but I like this name' kind of debate we just had our boy and girls names first time round and were both really certain about them. The only thing we had trouble deciding on really were middle names.

I've always always wanted to be a mum from a very young age and funny enough I always imagined a boy then a girl, probably because I have a big brother and in my head it kind of goes that way. So when I was little my favourite names were Curdie (for a boy) and Irene, pronounced Irene -ie for a girl. This was basically because the film 'The Princess and the Goblin' had a massive impression on me! If you've not seen it I'm not sure where you'd be able to now but I'd give it a watch, Rik Mayall was the voice of the goblin prince and he was such a great character.

When I first got together with Tom and we found out I was pregnant I did run through names I liked, I'd moved on from my childhood favourite names (probably for the best in Wilf's case ;)) and for some reason I had a feeling the pregnancy was a girl. We tossed around a few names and I felt drawn to Gwendolyn because of another of my childhood favourites a booked called 'Charmed Life' by Diana Wynn Jones (she also wrote the castle in the sky for for Studio Gibli fans out there). Unfortunately that pregnancy wasn't to be and the name never really felt right since.

A few months later I was pregnant with Wilf and in the first half of the pregnancy when we didn't know the gender we decided Wilf for a boy and thought of the name Mabli for a girl. Once we knew he was a little boy it was important to me for him to have a Welsh middle name so we threw around Idris, Ianto (pronounced yan-toe) and also Cadno which we chose in the end as it means Fox which is one of my favourite animals and also the symbol of Tom's football team ha!

When I became pregnant with Mabli before finding out the gender we chatted about a boys name and I quite liked Hendrik, we were a bit worried that people would associate it with the drink or think Hendrix like the musician. The other boys name I liked were Atticus and also Soren but I felt it was too similar to my sister's name Serin. We decided to wait to find out the gender before discussing anymore names though and as she was a girl we both still loved the name Mabli and stuck with that. It's actually a Welsh name that means loveable and is the version of the English name Mabel. It suits her perfectly and I'm so happy we were able to use it.

When it came to middle names we had thought of the name Kittiwake again back when I was pregnant with Wilf. I loved the name Kitty too but liked the length of Kittiwake and that it was a bit different, also that it is the name of a bird and I like to think of Mabli as my little birdie. The other names I liked were Etta and also Hennie.

I know whenever I know someone who has a baby I'm always so fascinated about the name they've given them. It's such a big responsibility I think but also so fun to choose. I do feel a bit sad I'll never get to name another child but there are always more cats to get, ha! ;)

What are your favourite names? How did you decide upon your children's names? I'd love to know! 
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