Family Life – Have a nose into the life of the Family behind www.babynotincluded.co.uk. Living in the South West with our two kids, Ryan and Isabelle and our Labradoodle Charlie we love to explore our surroundings. You will find us either at the beach or the forest dog walking. We love to be out and about exploring what the South West has to offer.
I don’t think we could love this little boy any more than we do. He’s such a happy mischievous little thing.
I can’t even count the amount of time we say ‘Oh Freddie’ in one day. If it’s gone quiet you know he’s up to something whether it’s eating something he shouldn’t, rummaging in a bag that’s been left in his reach or he’s managed to drag something off the table. He always greets you with the biggest grin, knowing full well that he’s been busted.
Talking – He’s adding new things to his repertoire all the time. He can say:
Uh-oh (for all the things he knows he’s not meant to do)
No (usually when he’s doing the naughty thing)
Wow! (This is the cutest)
Na-nah (night night)
Mama and dada
Whatsat (what’s that)
Whosat (who’s that)
Ta (for everything)
Climbing on everything! He uses whatever he can including the dog, his shape sorter and his ride on car. He makes my heart leap into my throat several times a day with his antics. He doesn’t seem to have any fear at all.
He’s pretty much got a mouth full of teeth. There are still a few back ones that are either not through or only partially through, but these don’t seem to give him too much bother. He loves brushing his teeth which is great and one less thing to battle with him over.
Freddie has just started to sit on his car that we got him for his birthday. He’s still not too keen to be pushed on it though. Oh and he loves to climb onto the seat to reach things!
Building blocks are definitely Freddie’s favourite things. He has stickle bricks, duplo and the bigger mega blocks and he spends ages building and knocking towers down. I don’t remember the other two being able to do this at this stage but we play with them daily.
Sitting in and on things – whether it be a basket, a box or a cupboard. He loves to empty his toy baskets out and climb in and out.
Climbing! – Jeez this is so scary!! He climbs on anything and everything. His most recent is using the sofa as a leg up into the coffee table. Thankfully he hasn’t fallen off anything yet but it’s going to happen at some point soon.
Freddie’s fully fitting into his 12 – 18 months clothes now with the waist being the problem not the height. Like Isabelle he has the height but we always find things don’t quite fit around the waist. It’s fine with it being shorts weather but trousers can sometimes be a problem.
We’ve decided to hold off buying his first shoes since he prefers to be barefoot and doesn’t even like wearing socks. We bought some little soft beach shoes to wear in the park and garden but even then he tries to take them off.
I’m not sure how long it’s considered as weaning, but eating with Freddie these days is a lot easier. He has everything we have which makes dinner time much easier for me.
He loves to use a fork for everything including to pick up his sandwiches.
If I had to pick a favourite food at the moment I would say pasta. He seems to like it in every shape and with any kind of sauce.
We’re still breastfeeding and expressing for the days that I’m at work. This seems to be working well. There is the odd day when he’s not satisfied with his bottle, but he just makes up for it when I get home from work.
I work Tuesdays and Thursdays and he definitely feeds much more at night on those days as well as having two expressed bottles during the day.
Pretty much the same. He’s feeding about three times at night which I’m so used to doing now that It feels normal. The problem we have now is getting him to sleep in the first place. He’s still full of energy up until nearly 9pm every night when Chris and I are knackered.
Family Bucket List 2019 – it’s a while since I wrote a Bucket List since the one that I wrote previously had quite big things on it which made it a bit unrealistic in terms of timing and budget. I’m going smaller, but small doesn’t always mean less quality. Chris works long hours so we need to make the most of our time off.
Have a BBQ on the beach
A picnic at the park
Take Isabelle dry skiing
Go to a Blogging conference
A family holiday abroad
A weekend family getaway
Declutter the house
A living room picnic
Go to a theme park
Get over my fear and get my front tooth fixed
Wear bright colours (I always wear black)
Visit a National Trust property
Start a yoga class
Have a Mummy Daughter day out
Have a Daddy Daughter day out
Be more sociable
Have some family pictures taken
Get Freddie’s bedroom sorted
Visit a Christmas market
A beach day
Visit somewhere new
A spa day
Learn to drive
Read a new book per month
Spend an evening binge watching a box set
Cook something new
Make the garden more child friendly
Plant flowers/plants and hope the dog doesn’t eat them
Set up a You Tube channel for Isabelle
Vlog – even just once!
Make a photo book
Take more photo’s (more with me in)
Go to a zoo
Take the kids swimming
Learn something new
Do something out of my comfort zone
Take part in a charity event
Do a craft project
Camp out in Isabelle’s room
Sign Isabelle up for a class
Have my nails done
Start to meal plan
Have some screen free days
So that’s our list. It’s not anything too big except maybe the dental work which is a massive deal for me.
I hope that we manage to get everything or most of the things listed and will blog about each one as they’re ticked off.
6 Month Baby Update – Happy half a year baby boy! We’ve seen a real change in Freddie over the past month. He’s got a cheeky personality and wants nothing more than to be involved in anything and everything.
He has his first tooth! This came through a couple of weeks ago after a few days of flame red cheeks, dribbling and chewing. He spends a lot of his day fiddling with his tooth with his tongue and has made it known by biting his sisters knee, daddy’s fingers and most excruciating me when he feeds. Ouch! We’ve been coping with the teething with lots of teething toys, calpol and teething granules. This past few days though he’s been spitting the calpol out which is an annoyingly new thing that he’s started.
Freddie loves to play. He likes lights and sounds as well as music. His favourite toy is his car-car which was one of Isabelle’s by Playschool which I don’t think you can buy anymore. He’s happy to play on the floor for a little while, and now that he can roll around seems to be happy. We also bought a jumperoo which he can bounce like a pro in now. It’s a godsend when I’m trying to get dinner sorted.
He’s still got his adorable chunky baby legs and whilst he’s a big boy he’s quite long. He’s now at the in-betweeny size on clothes so size 3 – 6 months are getting too small and some he’s outgrown but the 6 – 9 months clothes are way too big.
The feeding has been going well. We’ve ditched formula completely as it’s been really hit and miss for him taking the one remaining bottle that we were giving him so it’s breastfeeding all the way now. I’d like to go until he turns one, but he bit me the other day and pierced my nipple. It was excruciating and I’m hoping that it was a one off, but he is constantly scraping his tooth on my nipple as he feeds which is not very nice at all.
We decided to wean him just before the six month mark as he was getting so cross and upset when we were eating and constantly trying to grab food out of our hands. He’s only having one meal a day which is mostly baby porridge, carrots and sweet potato. He does like a bit of toast in his hands as well as the Ella’s kitchen giant wotsit crisps (6m+). I think we’re going to do a combination of baby led and purées dependent on what we have in the fridge. So far so good with this. He loves sitting at the table with us, and is managing really well to feed himself. I think we’ll carry on like this for a few more weeks before we add in lunch and breakfast on a daily basis.
We’ve given up with trying to get him in his crib endlessly and are currently co-sleeping. I’m sure that a lot of people will have a lot to say on this topic but at the moment it’s working for us so that’s what we’re doing.
5 Month Baby Update – Our little Freddie is five whole months old today! He’s such a loving, smiley little boy. Of course he’s a total Mummy’s boy which I love, but equally the look of love on his face when Daddy comes home and calls him ‘Sausage’.
No teeth as yet but we’ve had lots of teething and dribbling. He has a couple of hard bobbles on his bottom gums at the front but nothing has broken through yet.
We’ve had so much dribble that he now wears several dribble bibs a day. It doesn’t help that he likes to blow raspberries which adds to the wetness.
We had a few days last week when he was chewing like crazy, had red flushed cheeks and would not settle enough to sleep. I used both Neurofen for babies as well as homeopathic teething crystals to try and give him some relief as well as having his teether permanently in his mouth. These have been the worse days we’ve had with him so far. The look in his poor red rimmed eyes as he had no idea what was going on.
Freddie really loves playtime which we do several times a day. He likes to be able to grab things on his own so we’ve pinched one of Isabelle’s fabric boxes to put some of his things in so he can take them out.
All the nursery rhymes are now flooding back such as ‘this little piggy’ and ‘row your boat’ and he likes those. Luckily he isn’t able to complain about my singing yet.
Peekaboo is, I would say his ultimate fave. Whether it’s your hands, a muslin or the covers when making the bed. He loves it!
We had a pumpkin themed baby sensory session last week with inflatable pumpkins, ribbons, leaves, shakers and pictures which he loved despite it being the start of his few days of teething misery.
Well what can I say. He’s a scrummy boy with yummy baby rolls, chubby cheeks and the squishiest baby legs ever.
He’s really strong with a good grip, particularly on hair and my necklace. He likes to sit up but he’s not doing it on his own yet. Oh and he’s started doing that great thing of going completely stiff when your trying to put him in his seat which is always fun.
Much to my upset, he is now in the sitting up part of his pram. I had no choice but to do it. He was holding onto the bar trying to stomach crunch himself up desperate to see the world AND the bobble hat that we bought him made him actually too long to fit without the bobble squishing into his head.
He loves it! He can see me and he can see everything going on around him. The first time I took him out he didn’t know which way to look, and he just grinned at anything and everything.
He weighs 16lb 4oz now.
He’s wearing 3 – 6 months clothes and his every day clothes are fine, but I’ve noticed that his toes are right at the end of some of his sleep suits. We bought him a snowsuit which we had to change for 6 – 9 months which was sensible since it hasn’t been cold enough to wear it yet.
Feeding is the same. We’re still breastfeeding with a bottle of formula at night. He has a good routine of timings for feeds during the day but night times are still hit and miss.
He’s started pulling at my clothes when he’s hungry which is a good indicator, but he is still feeding for such a long time which is quite restricting.
Argh we really need to work on this. He sleeps with me be it day or night. He hates being put down! I’ve tried, Chris has tried but he doesn’t last longer than an hour before realising that he’s in his own bed.
So we’re co-sleeping which I do and I don’t mind. I’m happy for him to sleep with me but if he’s restless or keeps snuggling into my armpit then I can’t sleep. Not to mention the fact that I’ve now started to go to bed with him just so that he will sleep which leaves me no baby free time unless you count my speed-wee breaks.
I need to get this sorted for all of our sanity but mostly so that Freddie knows it’s ok to sleep without Mummy, and that he’s safe.
4 month baby update – I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again. Time is truly flying away and Freddie is getting bigger by the day. He’s four months old now and is starting to form his own little personality.
He’s definitely a smiley happy baby and the only thing that makes him cry is hunger or fighting tiredness at the end of the day. Oh and he’s rather put out at being put down as well!
He loves to see everything! The trees when he laying in his pram, and I’ve just got a sling so that I can at least attempt to do things which he loves. He clearly likes to be upright and in prime position for absorbing everything going on around him.
He’s desperately trying to sit up. If we lay him down he stomach crunches so the his head and legs are up. Imagine an overturned tortoise!
Freddie smiles a lot which is always nice when you’re knackered. He has really ticklish feet and back and does a proper belly laugh when tickled.
Poor Freddie! As I said he’s a smiley happy baby, but his gums are definitely giving him troubles. He has flushed cheeks and a temperature at it’s worst, and his little confused face is so sad to see. There are no signs of any teeth cutting through yet though. He dribbles and chews on anything and everything, but he likes the teethers that you can put in the freezer and also his Squidge & Pip teether.
Freddie is very inquisitive and loves to play with toys. He has quite good hand eye coordination and can pick toys up and move them around until he finds the right bit that he wants to chew on. His favourites have to be the Lamaze toys that you can clip to his chair or pram with lots of textures and dangly bits.
He also quite likes tummy time on his play mat. He has a tummy roll which he can push himself forward on.
We’ve just started Baby Sensory Classes which Isabelle did as a baby and the first week he just stared at all the other babies, but this week he was more interested. Who knew that an egg box and pegs were so interesting!
I’ve particularly been keeping an eye on his weight since I’ve reestablished breastfeeding to make sure that he doesn’t suddenly dip. I’m so pleased that he seems to be gaining weight at a steady rate with his last weigh in at 15lb 3oz. He’s in size 3 -6 months clothes which he fills nicely as well.
He had his last lot of immunisations last week which left him with a temp and feeling grizzly, but it’s nice to know that he’s done now until he’s a year old.
This has been my biggest concern. Restarting breastfeeding has been so rewarding but also a major source of paranoia. Is he still hungry? Has he had enough? Am I making enough milk?
So I was offering him formula after nearly every breastfeed ‘just in case’ he was still hungry. He wouldn’t drink it so clearly he’s getting what he needs.
He’s not that great at it. He likes to be in my arms and not in his crib. We were lulled into thinking we had a bit of a routine going and then just like that it’s all over the place. I’ve been reading up on the four month regression. It’s just a stage which could be e down to a growth spurt or teething, but either way we hope it settles down quickly.
Baby Days – 8 Week Update – I’ll probably start off by saying this every time, but seriously where has the time gone! Freddie is now eight weeks old and has fitted in like he was always here.
Boy this boy is growing! We’re packing away too small clothes at a ridiculous rate. He was weighed on Wednesday and now weighs 12lb 8oz and is quite long. He feels more sturdy in my arms now but still needs support for his head which he flings about.
He’s smiling a lot now which is awesome. His little crooked smile makes the night feeds and tiredness all worthwhile.
He’s cooing a lot as he takes in his surroundings and I don’t think it will be long before they turn into little chuckles.
Obviously the TV is an attraction with the colours and sounds but he gets very excited when he hears voices but can’t quite see the person and is looking around to find them.
This morning he was getting very excited, kicking his legs and feet and waving his arms at Daddy’s dressing gown which was hanging on the bedroom door. I think he was waiting for daddy to turn around.
We can now play with toys for around 10 – 15 minutes before he’s had enough.
We have a playmat with dangly toys, lights and sounds but I think his favourite things are bells. We have quite a collection of children’s instruments and shakers from when Isabelle was tiny which all the little ones that visit seem to love including Freddie.
He doesn’t mind tummy time which we do on our bed with his as he can hold his head up but again this is limited to around 10 minutes.
Freddie is a hungry boy and likes his milk. He was breastfed and then infection struck so went onto formula, but this little boy never gave up on breastfeeding and so we’re currently restarting (did you know you could do that?) with a combination of expressing milk, formula and breastfeeding. It’s not going to be easy but I really didn’t want to stop breastfeeding and clearly Freddie didn’t either!
I think we’re lucky that we are receiving support to achieve this both from health professionals and local groups. Having watched the Channel 4 documentary on breastfeeding which has raised lots of opinions and highlighted the lack of support across the country was quite sad, but maybe something good will come off the back of it.
We seem to have just fallen into a sort of pattern particularly at night which is a feed at around 8.30-9pm and then he goes down until around 1 – 1.30am and up again around 4am.
Family Friendly things to do in London – London is the capital of our country and also a really interesting and fun place to take the family. However, like most days out in the UK it can be a costly business so I thought I would have a bit of a rummage around to see how you can experience London as a family which won’t break the bank.
The National History Museum – This would be one of the top things on my list of things to do whether it was a paid admission or free. Meet a T-Rex, experience an earthquake and take a trip to the centre of the earth. For a really special treat (not free) you can stay the night at the museum and experience a torch light tour which sounds absolutely amazing.
The Science Museum looks like it would be a really fun place to visit with loads of interactive activities. Some of these are paid and need booking in advance, but if you pop over to their website there is more than enough to keep the little ones and the big ones busy.
London Motor Museum – If cars are your thing then this is a must see exhibition. They even have the likes of Herbie the Volkswagon Beetle, the original Batmobile and the Ford Gran Torino used in the Starsky and Hutch TV series.
The V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green houses the UK’s national collection of childhood objects, all dated as far back from the 1600’s to the present day. There you will find toys, dolls and games. They also run lots of events and workshops so make sure you check their website before your visit.
Horniman Museum & Gardens – They have lots to see including animals (real live ones), an aquarium, butterfly house, 16 acres to run around and discover wildlife, a hands on base where you can touch and experience various things, a music gallery, a natural history area packed full of taxidermy, skeletons and fossils, a nature base and nature trail. There is a small entrance fee for this but it’s definitely up their in the budget friendly category.
Take a trip to Grenwich to see the Royal Observatory, the Astronomer Royal’s house and stand on the Meridian Line. The best way to see all of these is by getting a Day Explorer Ticket where you will have access to all sorts including The Royal Observatory, the Cutty Sark, the Meridian Line and Museums.
The Royal Academy of Art – Run free family workshops and activities so do check their website to see what’s on. Once you’re done you can go and have a play in the fountains outside!
London Zoo – Meet the Majestic King of the Jungle, enter the Gorilla Kingdom and get up close and personal with the Lemurs in their walk-through exhibit. There’s loads of things to see and do at the Zoo. If you’re lucky you may get to experience Zoo Nights on selected dates.
Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace – It’s definitely something you don’t see everyday and is a definite must-do if you haven’t already done so. Once you’re done it’s nice to take a walk through St James’s park.
Spot the Deer at Bushy Park near Hampton Court Palace before wandering through the gardens of Hampton Court Palace. There is a fee to enter the palace but you can wander through the gardens free of charge.
Clapham Common – There is loads of open space to play and run around as well as three ponds, a fishing pond, a duck feeding pond and a model boat pond. There are also two playgrounds, a huge paddling pool and a bandstand café for refuelling.
Timber Lodge and Tumbling Baby Playground at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. There you will find rock pools, sand pits, treehouses and wobbly bridges as well as slides swing and plenty of space for running around or having a picnic.
Coram’s Fields – In Central London is a definite pit-stop. They have Playgrounds, a small Farm, a Café and Sports Pitches. Lots of room for the littles to burn off some energy.
Brockwell Park – Apparently one of the best parks in South London it has a great playground with zip wires, climbing frames and tunnels as well as a sandpit and paddling pool (be warned with water jets).
Centre for Wildlife Gardening – Here you will find mini-habitats, ponds to explore, a chalk bank, woodland copse, herb gardens and lots of bug sanctuaries and hotels.
Golders Hill Park Zoo – Hampstead Heath. Explore and visit their collection of rare birds and animals before heading off for a splash in one of the swimming ponds and lido.
Dukes Meadow Park, Chiswick – With it’s own beach and adventure playground! There are also lots of sports that take place, a kiosk for food and it also hosts the Fine Food Market.
Open Top Bus Tour – A must do when you visit London, but do look out for deals as these can be particularly pricey. Groupon are currently offering a family Open Top Bus Ticket for £49 which may seem pricey, but it’s definitely one to tick off your bucket list.
Windsor Duck Tours – Am I the only person that wasn’t aware these things even existed. Basically it’s a boat with wheels so you start the tour on land, and then it drives into the water and becomes a boat. So cool!
Camden Town Market, Spitalfields Market and Portobello market are definitely worth a visit. Be warned though as it will be extremely busy.
City Cruises – Down the River Thames for the ultimate London sightseeing experience including Big Ben, The London Eye, Tower Bridge and more with various pick-up and drop-off points along the way.
Borough Market – near London Bridge where you can find an array of fresh and organic produce including fruit, veg, meat and cheeses as well as baked treats, condiments and scrummy street food.
Brick Lane Market – Have a good old rummage through vintage clothes, shoes, furniture and bric-a-brac with Sunday being the best day to visit.
Broadway Market, Hackney – here you will find local artists and craftspeople selling unique and unusual clothing and gifts as well as locally produced foods, furniture and more.
Maltby Street Market near London Bridge Station is a foodie heaven with lots f street food on offer including New York Style Sandwiches to authentic Mexican Street food.
Hamley’s Toy Store – Here you will find over 50,000 toys spread out across seven floors to indulge your inner child. Whilst it’s free to go in, you may not be able to get out without spending a penny or two.
Take a stroll along the many areas where you will find some pretty cool Street Art including Banksy. Head to Camden Town where you will be in for a colourful treat, and Shoreditch is up there for ever changing artwork, and there’s even an organised Street Art Tour you can take to ensure you get the full experience. The tours aren’t free but you could navigate through the areas yourself.
If street Art is something that you’re interested in then head to The Rise Gallery in Croyden where they house an array of cool artwork. They also do organised tours of the local Croyden Street Art.
Lewisham hosts over 60 public artworks which you can find listed on the Council Website or you could follow The Line which is a self-guided walking tour linking The O2 and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Part where you will discover artists such as Damien Hirst, Alex Chinneck and Eduardo Paolozzi.
Take a walk along Regent’s Canal where you will see an array of colourful narrowboats overlooked by the aviary of London Zoo you can take in the scenery and chill away from the hustle and bustle.
London Stadium Tour – Take a walk around this fantastic multi-purpose venue which is home to West Ham United and UK Athletics. The tour includes panoramic views into the stadium, a look around the changing rooms, visit the indoor running track and walk down the Players Tunnel. You could also pretend that you’re the Manager from the Managers dug-out.
A self-guided Treasure Trail – Discover a local area and all it’s hidden gems. Either downloads and print or have one sent to you in the post. The trails are full of clues, facts and information on lots of areas including London. Pack a picnic and off you go.
This is just a handful of the fun things that you can see and do in and around London BUT before you go booking or paying for any attractions, have a look at sites such as Groupon to see what Family Friendly things to do in London you can take advantage of.
This also applies to where you stay when you go. If you have children below school age, I would recommend visiting outside of the school holidays as these times will be less busy and you may get off-peak prices as well. However, school holiday deals are also available so it’s always best to check beforehand to make the most of you money.
My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations – If we could travel anywhere around the world based on the foods we’d love to try we would travel to some pretty amazing places.
We love a variety of cuisines and thankfully neither of our kids are fussy eaters so we relish trying out new recipes and supermarket finds. So if our bellies were our holiday guide where would we go:
For Falafel of course. I love it. It’s known as the ‘poor mans burger’. It’s made of crushed fava beans, rolled into balls and fried. It’s most commonly served at breakfast to give people energy throughout the day. We would usually have Falafel with hummus or tzatziki (I know that’s Greek), hummus and salad. We’ve also made our own version of Shakshouka which eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin.
I tried my first Gyros at a fete type event where there was a pop up Greek stand. Traditionally make with marinated pork, beef or chicken but mine had fried halloumi in it (another one of my favourites). Essentially it was fried halloumi with tomato, onion and tzatziki wrapped up in a pitta bread which would usually be considered ‘street food’. Mine also came with chips that were coated in oregano which were also wrapped up in the wrap. Delicious.
Jerked Pork and Blackened Fish. Chris would be in food heaven in amongst the food shacks before settling on the beach to chill whilst the kids try the local fruit. I’m sure Chris would also have a taste of Curry Goat but he might be eating that on his own.
Have you tried a Galette? When we went to France about five years ago now we stayed in Saint Jean de Monts which was lovely. There was a long strip of restaurants and bars which never seemed to close. There were two particular dishes that seemed to feature in every single restaurant and they were galettes and muscles. I’ve never tried and nor do I intend to try muscles and I really wasn’t keen on trying the galettes either. A galette is a pancake made with buckwheat which is served with either sweet or savoury toppings. Now, I’m totally up for pancakes with fruit, lemon juice and maple syrup, but the thought of savoury toppings didn’t really do it for me. However, when we went out to eat one evening we went to a galette restaurant so I had little choice in the matter. The basic galette topping seemed to be ham and cheese with an egg on top but I figured that if I was going to give them a go then I’d better jump right in and opted for garlic mushrooms in a white wine sauce (think vol-au-vent). I was a total convert and tried the ham, egg and cheese which was a fave of the kids.
5. New York
I have a hankering for New York. I’ve never actually been to America, but having been a huge fan of friends it’s definitely on my bucket list of places I would like to go. I think Christmas time would be my preference and again it would be the street food vendors that would tempt me first. I’d have to have a try of a chili dog and a proper pretzel. Warm, chewy and covered in salt. Yum.
I’d be in big trouble if I didn’t mention India as Chris’ family on his mums side are originally from India. We eat a lot of curries with mild ones for the kids and spicy one’s for us. We love all the side dishes such as Dahl (curried lentils), Chana Masala (curried chickpeas) and Aloo Dum (curried peas and potatoes). Again, we would be in heaven walking through the brightly coloured markets with all the food smells tempting us. I’m not a vegetarian but I do really love curried vegetables and one of my favourites are vegetable samosas which the kids also love as well. Samosas were traditionally cooked around campfires during overnight trade journeys as they were easy to prepare and could be eaten cold en route.
Oh I do love Mexican food. Tacos are one of our weekly staples. It’s quick and easy to prepare, plonk it all in the middle of the table and everyone can help themselves which always goes down well with families. The beaches look amazing and I can see the appeal for the most romantic of holidays on our own or an action packed family holiday with paddle boarding and snorkeling.
Forget all the cured meats, paella, bean stews and prawns fried in garlic and cut to the Churro’s. Whilst in Spain you couldn’t walk ten paces without being drawn to the churro stands. In the evenings when all the bars were open and the restaurants were overflowing with people, we were surrounded by people walking around with cones of churro’s in hand. Essentially these are just like the warm donuts that we get here but in stick version which are covered in sugar and most likely doused in Nutella. I prefer them on their own as they come which I think the sellers found slightly odd but the kids liked to dip them in Nutella.
This is definitely a meat eaters paradise. Huge hunks of meat, sausages and ribs cooked over an open fire or barbeque (parrillada) and eaten with a drizzle of olive oil or a favourite of ours, chimichurri which is herbs, olive oil and garlic washed down with a glass or two of Melbec. I’d also love to try the provoleta which is their version of grilled cheese and empanadas which are either sweet or savoury filled parcels.
Last but definitely no least. Italy is definitely somewhere I would like to go for a grown-up child-free holiday where we can take in the sights and take in the glam Italian lifestyle. I dream of lazy mornings venturing out for morning coffee and pastries followed by a spot of handbag shopping. Walking around the shops whilst not having to keep a beady eye out for the kids touching anything and everything. We could find out from locals where the best place to eat would be which are generally the less touristy areas so that we could sample some of the traditional foods such as Antipasti, Calzone and Frangipane not forgetting pasta and pizza. With baby number three due any day I don’t see this being any time soon, but a girl can but dream!
Wow that’s quite a list now that I’ve written them down and one that I imagine will only get longer as we discover more cuisines and places.
If your belly were to lead you to another land where would it be? Plan your dream foodie destination with Destination2 Holidays where you will find everything from family holidays, honeymoon destinations, gorgeous beaches and adventure holidays.
Where would you recommend as your Top Family Foodie Destination?
* This post was in collaboration with Destination2 Holidays but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
#whatwedidthisweek – Back to normality. I’m back at work and Isabelle is back at school. I was feeling positive in the morning until I got to work and remembered that all my email folders had been deleted by our IT department. It went from bad to worse as there’s no getting them back. BUT it’s okay because I can create new ones. They just won’t contain any of the work so not that okay really.
I’m really struggling with back ache this week and not being able to walk very far which you can read all about in my Pregnancy Diary Post. This was so apparent when we took the dog out for a walk and our usual twenty minute loop took more than an hour. Thankfully, although it was bitterly cold the sun was out so it wasn’t all too bad.
Isabelle decided to make herself some jazzed up socks that look more like something you would put over a cast, but she was really happy with her creations so who am I to argue.
It was my birthday on Wednesday. I worked and kept it quiet from my colleagues as I don’t feel particularly in the mood for celebrating the fact that I’m getting older and knackered. I did however, come home to a lovely Pina Colada birthday cake made by my Mother-in-law. I was also given lots of lovely presents including some nice relaxing bath things which I’m sure will help with my back ache. I was also given some ‘fat clothes’ aka maternity clothes which I wasn’t so keen on. Why do they have to be so mumsy and stripey!
The weekend’s I’m finding harder than the weekdays as Isabelle really is a super ball of energy. She doesn’t really do sitting and playing so that I can rest. She needs constant entertaining which is exhausting. I’ve managed to get her to watch some you tube videos but only at the same time as she’s doing her gymnastics routines or playing ‘don’t touch the floor’!
Even though she’s seven, she can’t quite understand why I need to sit down or just have a little bit more quiet that normal.
Sunday we went into town to take back some of the ‘fat clothes’. We had a look at the prams in Mothercare where Chris nearly had a heart attack looking at the price tags. There are a few that I really like with the Egg Stroller being at the top of the list and a Silvercross one as well. Isabelle really enjoyed picking out clothes that she would like to buy both for a girl and a boy. We went in Mothercare, Primark Debenhams and H&M and that was as much as my back could manage.
I did, however pick up some new bits and bobs including some comfy PJ’s. Isabelle bought the brightest pink fluffy jumper from H&M which she absolutely loves. She does look rather gorge in it though.
We went out for dinner in the afternoon to the Mill on the Exe but I had to get Chris to drive me so that I didn’t put any more pressure on my back. They do a rather large carvery so I opted for a child’s portion. Good job really so I had some room for the chocolate brownie afterwards.
The rest of Sunday as I knew it would resulted in me sitting on the sofa in a coma like state with the odd trip to the kitchen to take a swig of Gaviscon.
#whatwedidthisweek – I thought I would resurrect this weekly post. I had been thinking about vlogging but I just can’t put myself in front of a camera.
So as not to stray from school holiday tradition isabelle was poorly. I’m trying desperately to dodge her coughs and sneezes but it’s almost a given that I’ll get it since her fave place is clamped to my side.
Before she got really poorly we went to Poundland at the weekend so that she could do a Poundshop Haul video. I’ve yet to edit it but will get it up as soon as I can.
We’ve done a few bits and bobs at home, such as make a cardboard car and a mermaid tail. She wanted to do some cooking but, well the permanent snot slug trailing down her face definitely says otherwise.
I ordered some Orbies as Isabelle has watched loads of videos of kids sitting in baths full of them or putting their feet in wellies full of them. They arrived on Wednesday so we popped them in a bowl and waited for them to grow. It didn’t take as long as the instructions said and Isabelle couldn’t resist keep putting her hands in them.
Daddy wasn’t impressed as they kept popping out of the bowl, and these things ping in every direction and are quite tricky to pick. It’s quite therapeutic to put your hands in them, but as to what purpose they serve I have no idea.
The next day I said she could put them in a big bowl and put her feet in them which she really enjoyed. it was really cold and they squished under her feet. Any ideas for what to do with these would be greatly appreciated.
Days at Home
The rest of the week went by in a bit of a haze of playing board games, colouring, endless snacking and watching you tube video’s. Believe me there are only so many videos that you can watch before you start climbing the walls.
Isabelle did get a mystery Valentine’s gift through the post, the person responsible has yet to come forward. It cheered Isabelle up no end though.
Isabelle’s attention span is much the same as a goldfish so we start doing something and then she wants to go and lay on her bed. She’s not really eating very much, more like snacking. The poor dog is looking longingly at us to take him out, but as it’s constantly raining, Isabelle being full of a cold and me walking like an old lady due to back ache the poor thing has no chance.
The days have been long and really boring.
A bit of normal
Thursday we went out to McDonald’s for lunch. Isabelle still has a cold but the thought of going to McDonalds where they are also giving away The Amazing World of Gumball toys (if you haven’t watched it, don’t – it’s rubbish) was enough to get her out of the door. It was heaving and we were lucky to get a table but she enjoyed it enough before her face started to go red and blotchy and we knew it was time to make a move.
The McDonalds we went to is in the middle of a retail park so you can imagine what the car park was like. Not the best time for me to have to jump out of the car at the exit of the car park therefore forming a queue so that I could stamp out the pain going from my back and shooting down through my leg BUT I did it anyway. Flippin cramp and weird shooting pains.
Friday was Isabelle’s first full day of feeling normal (still snotty) so Daddy took her and a friend to ibounce to burn off some of the stored up energy and I got to do some work. I’ve started a course called Finance for Freedom which is really quite interesting. I’m totally British when it comes to talking about money, but it’s amazing how our finances affect our happiness etc so it’s a bit of an eye opener. I’m going to post about this separately as I’m sure you will find it an interesting read.
Saturday I finally went for the haircut that I’ve wanted to have for a couple of week’s. I thought pregnancy was supposed to give you lusciously thick glossy hair but mine has taken on the look of an abandoned birds nest. I’ve had all the dry ends cut off so it’s quite a bit shorter than I wanted but it feels so much nicer. I’m going to give coconut oil overnight conditioning a try to see if this helps to keep it from going so dry.
Today I went to see my dad who is currently undergoing chemotherapy. He’s had three cycles so far and has fared pretty well apart from not being able to sleep very well. He’s just started to lose his hair which given that he’s almost bald I don’t think he minds. His sense of humour took quite a beating but he seems to be getting this back a bit which is nice. He’s originally from Scotland so I thought I would buy him one of those ginger wigs with the tartan hat attached as a joke present.
Back to work tomorrow and due to our pretty miserable week, I’m really looking forward to going back. Not so much the thought of my alarm clock going off at 5.30am.