9.1.19

Hello it's been a while! Life Lately + Three Birthdays!



December is a busy month for us, not only is it Christmas of course it is also both the kids birthdays and our anniversary. All of it kicked off with my birthday on the last day of November. I'm never sure how I feel about birthdays, not about ageing but more so the expectation. To have a good day, to be thankful enough to be having enough fun etc etc. Tom and I both go in for a slow one, I once suggested a birthday party for Tom's 30th and he said if I ever threw him one, even a surprise one he would just turn around and leave ha!

Anyway I spent my 33rd having a lovely lunch with Mabli and Tom and then birthday cake with us all once Wilf was home from school. That's pretty much my ideal day, two nice meals and spending them with my little pals.


This photo wasn't taken on my birthday but the day I got new glasses a few weeks later.  I wanted to include it as..Tom in the background..


Happy ten years together Tom!


Wilf ended up having a big party as he has just started a new school so it was a bit of a treat to be able to invite so many of his new pals and have entertainment etc (we went with the Adventure Team incase you are local).


And he got to wear a Christmas Jumper to school on his actual birthday as it was jumper day. That was his day made! I mean look at them together! I can't handle how much love I have for these two little people.


For Mabli's birthday we just went to our local city farm for a run around and then birthday dinner and unicorn cake at home. I feel like at three she doesn't need a big party yet (there's enough pressure for that when she starts school!) and also she doesn't actually know any other kids her age yet!

So that was the three birthdays. I probably didn't take as many pictures as usual but I really wanted to leave off the pressure of recording every second and just take it in this year. The last part of the year has been a pretty busy one and I'm always conscious of how that ramps up during December!

I'll be back with a Christmas post soon! If only for recording these moments for me (and my M.I.L who checks in here for pics of the kids ha)

X

8.1.19

Porto - Where we stayed



Hey pals! First things first as I've not popped over here yet and its the 8th, Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break. It's a funny time of year with so many mixtures of emotions I hope that if it was fraught at times you can be gentle with yourselves :)

Aannyway we just came back from our first trip abroad in over a year, which isn't out of the ordinary I know (especially when you factor in moving house) but it reminded me how much I love exploring different parts of the world.

I've had a fair few requests over on Instagram to share the Airbnb we stayed at as a lot of you are now planning trips to Porto which is so great to hear! So I wanted that post to be the first thing I did over here. I'll share what we did and where we ate etc in a separate post (or two!).


We stayed at Porto Apartment 5 which you can see here. We use Airbnb pretty much solely every time we travel and whilst this post is in no way affiliated with them I should point out if you've never used the site you can get sign up here. This way you get money off your first trip (I also receive £15 if you take a trip).

On Airbnb now you can filter properties by being 'family friendly' as well as filtering it by booking an entire place, number of bedrooms, amenities etc. It's important to us of course that a place is suitable for kids but I love that you can still pick really stylish places like this one. The location was in the sort of hipster-ish area rather than the more touristy spots by the river which I'd definitely recommend. Three doors down was a vintage shop and vegan donut place and a few shops up was a vegan burrito place and burger/record store!



During our stay (over the New Year) there were two other guests staying at different times over the week in the apartment above but we barely heard them. The courtyard outside (on the floor of this apartment) is a shared courtyard but we never saw any of the guests use it.

We often end up splitting each child with a parent during the night so that they don't feel worried when they wake at night. The only concern we had before we booked this place was that one of the mezzanine levels was onto the living room. We basically tackled this by putting the kids to bed together in the room near the front of the apartment then moving one to the bed upstairs (mine and Wilf's) when we went to sleep. I don't know if that will sound weird to some people but I wanted to explain sleeping arrangements in case the mezzanine level might make others wonder the same.

All in all we loved staying here! I'm not sure if this will be also be the case but we realised that when we booked out a full week we also received a discount of around 30% which felt like we were getting a few days free! We've only ever spent a few days at places before so it's something I'm going to keep in mind for the future incase other places similar deals!

More Porto post coming up! 

18.12.18

tonies - bringing stories to life


I had a stereo in my bedroom when I was little with a selection of cassettes of bedtime stories. My favourite was one on Greek Legends and I'd play it over and over, having to jump out of my bunk bed to turn it around to listen to the other side. I've often thought that having something similar might help my two go to sleep a little better or even to listen to whilst they play lego.

Obviously things have moved on since then and we no longer have to listen to chewed up tapes or even scratched cd's ;) So I was really excited when tonies® approached me about sending the kids one of their audio systems.




There are so many things I love about these products, but my initial thoughts were how aesthetically pleasing it would look in their room. I find often electronics are designed to be shiny or sleek, so I love how tactile and playful it is instead. The Tonie's themselves (the characters that sit on top of the player) are equally as eye catching and just really sweet!

The Creative-Tonie (the little guy with the ears) is designed so that you can upload any audio onto it you wish. You could even record yourself reading a story which I think it a really sweet idea or just choose from the many free downloadable ones out there. I actually uploaded Aesop's' Fables onto it to start off with. They also come with different designs in case you want a few and need to tell them apart!

You can also buy from their selection of pre-recorded Tonies like the Red Riding Hood pictured above. I've actually picked up Stick Man and the Snowman to pop in the kid’s stockings and listen to on Christmas morning! 



Another thing I love so much about tonies is that they are so simple to use. Mabli has just turned three and she was instantly able to recognise that placing the Tonie on the top of the Toniebox would make it play. Both kids loved being able to control this themselves and it reminded me how much they have to ask for me to help them with things or permission to do something where as I'm totally happy for them to use the Tonies as much as they like.

The ears on the front of the Toniebox control the sound and you can skip tracks or chapter by tapping it on the side. Another brilliant example of how tactile it is and designed completely with kids in mind. 



Once you've set your Toniebox up on WIFI so that it can sync with your Creative-Tonie you can actually use it without WIFI. It has space for up to 500 Tonie's and a 7-hour battery life so perfect to take with you when travelling too (it also has a headphone jack).

It also turns off automatically once the story has finished so perfect for putting on at bedtime and not worrying about having to come in and switch it off etc

I honestly love this product so much and can't wait to share some of my favourite stories with the kids this way. You can also find loads of popular stories on the pre-audible Tonies such as 'The Little Prince' or 'The Gruffalo' etc with their personalised figures.

You can find out more about tonies here
Sponsored by tonies®
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