31.5.16

Our Holiday to Eurocamp!

eurocamp, Aloha Village Parc in Serignan Plage in the South of France,

So a couple of weeks back we took our first holiday abroad with both children. I'd been saying when I was pregnant that having a baby would make it SO EASY to travel abroad and that we should spend as much of Tom's leave doing so.. then I had a baby and forgot actually they are tricky little things, especially when you're navigating healing after birth, getting any kind of sleep, teething and all the other things that come with a little baby, not quite sure how I forgot that from the first time round...

Anyway, as Mabli hit five months we thought it was now or never and we booked our break away as guests of Eurocamp. I'm not sure if any of you ever went away on family trips with them as kids but I did and they were some of my fondest childhood memories so I was really excited to see if it was just as good going back as an adult. I have to say I was not only pleased to say it was but that it was even better seeing Wilf getting just as much of a kick out of the place as I did at his age.

We chose the Aloha Village Parc in Serignan Plage in the South of France for a number of reasons, it was really easy to fly from Bristol to (and cheap flights less than £200 for three of us return), it was rated five stars on Eurocamps site and had 8* on Trip Advisor (which is first port of call when looking at places) and it was very colourful (essential!).

eurocamp, Aloha Village Parc in Serignan Plage in the South of France,
boden swimwear

We chose to stay in one of their newer mobile homes the Avant which you can see here. It came with three bedrooms which included two singles a bunked and a queen size bedroom. We also had the add ons of the 'welcome pack' which includes the usual tea and coffee, olive oil and the few essentials that you'd need for a self catering week away. I always think these are such a good idea as you never know what time you might be arriving and a cup of tea after a half days travel is always just what you need!

We also added the 'linen duvet and towel' pack which meant we had everything we needed already there, included beach towels each which always add up so much room in your luggage usually. This made settling in so much easier, the only one tiny negative I would say (and it really was a small thing!) was that the sheets given for the queen size bed were actually meant for a double which meant they kept coming untucked. Like I said, such a small matter and I think it might have been that these caravans were quite new and so the pack might not have been updated? Either way I'm sure that's something that would be easily fixable in the future, we didn't bother mentioning it the time and actually just turned the sheet the other way so it didn't quite reach the bottom instead and that seemed to stop the problem.

The caravan itself was fantastic with decking that matched the size of the interior making the space as a whole feel very spacious. We had a couple of days where it was a bit grey and drizzly and then five other days of sun so we spent a good amount of our time eating our meals, drinking wine and playing board games out there. Mabli had just learnt to roll over and was happy playing on a mat on the decking whilst we sat at the table which was just so lovely and relaxing.

eurocamp, Aloha Village Parc in Serignan Plage in the South of France,

The camp itself had lots on offer including the most beautiful heated outdoor sparkly clean pools with two large children's areas, a roof top pool for lane swimming and three Jacuzzis. I was already envisioning a time when both kids were old enough for Pouki Club and we could spent a half hour relaxing in there. As it was we took turns with holding the baby, relaxing on the sun loungers and having a little swim to ourselves. We ended up at the pool every day (bar one day when it was rainy) and its something that Wilf is still talking about, honestly the best out holiday pools we've been to so far for sure.

boden swimwear
eurocamp, Aloha Village Parc in Serignan Plage in the South of France,

Ok I love this picture so much, mainly because of Wilf's face!

boden mini boden swimwear

Just look at this roof top pool though!

eurocamp, Aloha Village Parc in Serignan Plage in the South of France,
boden mini boden swimwear

P.S Just incase you were curious our swimsuits are from Boden and there is currently 25% off them! My Sun Glasses are from here. 

eurocamp, Aloha Village Parc in Serignan Plage in the South of France,

My top can be found here (love the length on it) and Wilf's outfit is from Tootsa MacGinty here


Got to love a swing chair by the Tiki bar, oh and 5pm Mojitos! ;)

We went in mid May just before half term and it was pretty much empty when we arrived (on a Wednesday) by Saturday a few more families had arrived but at times we still felt like we had the place to ourselves which was just amazing. Id definitely recommend going in late Spring out of holidays if you can (this will be the last chance we get to do this as Wilf starts school in Sept!). The weather was glorious although the other families (who seemed to be mainly French or Dutch) often only ventured to the pool to sunbathe at midday not like 10am like us pasty brits who then were sitting in the shade by the midday heat ha!


Although there was plenty to do on site for families, like the parks, pools, tennis, beach and kids clubs I did say it would have been good to have gotten out somewhere further afield for one day. Many people drive to Eurocamps and then take day trips as we don't we would have happily fought a bus but they don't start running until later in the season.

On that note the beach was literally ten minutes walk from our caravan and for some the caravans look right out over the beach. I realised that five months old is a bit of tricky age to bring a baby to the beach (constantly searching for shade, getting sand everywhere or trying to not let her eat it!) but with children a little older you could easily head there in there morning and set camp all day. There was also a beach cafe which is really highly rated on Trip Adviser but was unfortunately being refurbished when we visited.


One of things we loved so much about the camp was the design of it, from the tikki themed huts and bars to the Laundrettes wall painted in 1950's style illustrations with a real retro vibe. Perfect for Instagram shots ;)


This slide was so much fun, you can see a clip of me going down it in the video below


Don't you just love a picture of a baby wearing daddy? We were kindly sent this one from We Made Me slings.

OK one more..


One of the things I loved about Eurocamp as a child (although we were actually camping in a tent at the time) was waking up to that smell of early summer, the walking to the bread shop for a baguette and croissants, my parents setting up the french press and the excitement of the day ahead, the pools the beach, spending time with my family. Returning as an adult with my own children made me so nostalgic for that time period in my life but also so grateful I get to experience these things again but as a parent. 

We absolutely loved our time away and have already talked about re-booking for next year!

We were guests at Eurocamp for purposes of this review but all words and thoughts are my own

We made a little video too if you fancy a watch!


Me and Mine May


As you may have seen from my Instagram we've just got back from our first family holiday abroad with the four of us! We went to the South and France and stayed at a Eurocamp site which was such a blast from the past and made me really nostalgic for my own childhood holidays. I'll write more about it soon but need to put these photos in a bit of context first ha!

As usual I spent the whole time snap happy, taking photos of Mabli's first toe dip in the sea and Wilf's excitement splashing in the pool or running excitedly around the play park. Also typically we had got to our last day of our stay when I realised 'wait! We don't have a single picture of us all here!' so I marched my family up to the sun loungers early one morning and placed my point and shoot on a fence post. OK so if I'd thought about it properly I would have actually remembered my tripod which would have made this a bit easier! 

The angle was always going to be a bit strange and I was in a mild manic about leaving Mabli on a sun lounger even for a few seconds as she's on the move these days and I had visions of her rolling off. I was also a bit hesitant to post a picture of my (very pale) post partum body but then I snapped myself out of that chain of thought and remembered that no one care, least of all my children when they get to look back on these shots. I still love these less than perfect pictures even with all the chaos behind the scenes!


Tom returns to work after taking my maternity leave in one week so this trip away marked the end of a wonderful six months together. I'll write about it in more detail but we've felt so lucky to have this experience as a family. I'm always aware in writing about it that we are really lucky that we were able to do this for a number of reasons. Actually I always sort of think that it must be the ideal situation for most people but I mentioned it to someone the other day and was met with 'OH GOD, My husband would have HATED that!' haha it did make me laugh, I suppose it's not for everyone and we have definitely been asked if we've not go sick of spending all day everyday with each other for the past half a year (we haven't but maybe it is best to quit whilst we're ahead ;)).

Six months feels like such a marker for a number of reasons, obviously there is Tom returning to work but Mabli is tummy crawling and starting eating (what!) and feels like she is no longer so new. It also marks three months before Wilf starts school so as you can imagine I'm full of all the emotions right now. Part of me is secretly excited to have these last few months with my little boy to myself though, to get back into our old routines, our cafe chats and the little things that we did just me and him. I feel like a broken record but I'm so loving the stages my kiddos are at right now that I wish I could freeze time. It's made me even more determined to make the most of the summer!

Anyway, I'm rambling, can't wait to see all your pictures this month. Don't forget to visit the other Me and Mine ladies, Lucy, Alex, Jenny, Katie and Lucy!

p.s We also did a family 'what we wore' earlier this month! 

Linky code for this month is here:



27.5.16

An Ethical round up for baby and you

Zandra Rhodes and People Tree

I've been waiting for the Zandra Rhodes x People Tree latest collection for what feels like forever now! You might remember I was lucky enough to visit Zandra's penthouse and view the collection last year when I was heavily pregnant. It was such an amazing evening and I got to say hi to Safia herself which was brilliant as she's such an inspiration.

I think the lipstick print turns out really well on this asymmetrical dress and it's such a flattering cut, I'd be snapping one up if I wasn't breastfeeding. I think I might have to go for this dress though in the bow print.

As always don't forget you can get 15% off with TLQ15 !

I've also recently discovered Gather & See which is a site that only features carefully curated collections of ethical brands.

I'm also really loving Bibico (who are currently a sponsor on the blog and you can also get 15% off with TLQ15). My favourite item has to be this floral print shirt dress which would be so perfect for summer. I've also been loving my boots by Seven Boot Lane which you can see in my IG pics and style posts like this one.

For Mabli we've been loving the little suits from Panda & Sparrow and we also get some basic vests from the H&M Conscious collection.

*affiliate link

Talking about wedding planning

SO lots of you may know that Tom and I got married around a year and a half ago. Getting married was something I'd never really planned for my future, I'd never dreamt of my wedding day and it really wasn't important to me if Tom & I got hitched or not HOWEVER when Tom proposed I was obviously going to say yes because it was a lovely gesture and if I was ever going to marry anyone it was going to be him.


That all being said when it came to our wedding day, honestly? It truly was one of the best days of my life. I couldn't have imagined how I would feel on that day and although I'd often said to friends that if I was going to get married I'd rather elope, when it came down to it one of the things that made the day so special was just feeling so loved by our friends and family. I couldn't of even imagined how thankful I would feel to have so many people care for us and to genuinely feel happy for us being a couple and a family.

I spent a lot of my life feeling pretty insecure and unpopular, I never really believed in myself and although I had a couple of close friends during that time I found it really hard form friendships and to be confident within them. My mid to late twenties (I'm thirty now remember, ah!) were the years that really formed me and during them I made some amazing friendships and Tom and I also made friends together. During this time I felt like I really found my 'village' and I speak to many of these people more than I speak to my own family.

The overwhelming feeling I had getting married was 'wow we are so lucky to have this life and these people in it' so although it was a day for me and Tom it definitely wouldn't have been the day it was without the people that came to celebrate it with us.


Our wedding actually cost £2k (which we were kindly given by Tom's parents btw) without adding on my wedding dress, I say without my dress because there was actually a bit of a fiasco with that and it ended up costing me LOTS more than it should have ugh..

Anyway the reason why we were able to keep costs so low was that again our AMAZING friends pitched in and helped us make so many of the elements. As well as that, we bought a lot of the items from places that sell more unique pieces but a little less costly. Which leads me nicely into showcasing some of the items HomeSense do that would be perfect for a wedding.

So if you're planning a wedding then why not check out some of these ideas?



The Silk Blossom Stems are £6.99, love them! I'm a really big fan of faux flowers, I actually didn't have real flowers at my own wedding, my lovely friend Jess made us some fake flowers herself!

When it comes to details like cutlery I love for things to be mix match, I'm really not a fan of things matching in general actually so most of the pieces in our home are a single set, like chairs, plates or things like that. HomeSense is really perfect for bits like this and you can find tons of brightly coloured plates and cups like the shot below.


We actually had pizza for the meal at our wedding, we held it in the upstairs room of our local pub so they brought up the pizzas for each table for people to just grab a slice and tuck in. We were lent a beautiful set of vintage china and drank fizz in the tea cups! I love the idea of people bringing a dish and everyone just tucking in and getting to know each other.


How beautiful is the above collection?!

As with everything in HomeSense each store holds completely different items so it's always a bit of a bargain hunt when you go in and find that one special piece. A bit like that thrill of vintage or charity shop shopping.

Actually writing this post has made me realise I forgot to share the second half of my wedding photos! I think because I was pregnant when we got them and I was so sick for months it completely slipped my mind so if you'd like to see them (over a year later!) do let me know and I'll write up a proper post :)

In association with HomeSense 

26.5.16

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.

(photography Nell Mallia)

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! 

SaveSave

23.5.16

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

22.5.16

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
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright @ Tigerlilly Quinn. Blog Design by KotrynaBassDesign.