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A FAMILY LIFESTYLE BLOG

The Best Way to Have a Relaxing Night In.

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Being a parent is hard work, actually when I actually sit there and think about it, it's pretty exhausting! I only know too well chasing around my very hyper three year old daughter. Sometimes she keeps me on my toes and by the time she goes to bed I can hardly keep my eyes open. If there is one thing that I have noticed since becoming a parent is that I never really get time to do anything by myself. I never get much time alone with my husband anymore, time to actually wash, dry and style my hair, or even to poop. My daughter wants to know my whereabouts down to the minute and therefore I really struggle to manage any time I do have for myself. Before my husband and I became parents we would always do things on a whim, we could get up late, spend all day in bed. And now our time is no longer ours and we struggle to get a few minutes by ourselves. When we first became parents, so many of our friends and family would tell us the importance of keeping time for yourself...


Time for myself? Forget it! I cannot remember the last time where I actually had a big bubble bath just for me, without a certain little lady using me a slide. To actually be alone, to sit in the quiet, to exhale and slump down in the sofa because someone offered to take my daughter for an afternoon, just to relax. I honestly really struggle to actually make time for myself, even though it's so important, I just end up forgetting. But looking after a toddler, the cooking, the cleaning and bath time I am just too knackered to have me time. All I want to do is sleep. But this is something that I need to change and so I have made a promise to myself to take time out for me and so here are a few things I could do to relax and have more time for me...

#1  B A T H

The ultimate start to a cosy night in is without a doubt a bubble bath. One of the most affordable yet self-indulgent ways to practice self care is to try and take a long, luxurious bath. Baths can make all the difference when you're feeling tired, or stressed - it can hep you unwind after a long day at work, relax before bed, and of course will leave you feeling refreshed and clean. You can spice up your bubble bath with different oils, salts, creams and soothing and hydrating ingredients that you leave you feeling anything but pruney when you get out of the bath. So, when it comes to me time the best way to start a cosy nigh in is with the ultimate bubble bath my favourites include; Philosophy Coconut Frosting, Origins Ginger Float Cream  or Sanctuary Spa Foaming Bath Soak.

#2  C O M F Y   P A J A M A S

Nothing says let's have a cosy night in than getting into your favourite pjs after a long luxurious bath. But let's face it who doesn't love throwing on their pjs as soon as they get through the door? When it comes to the type of pj's you choose there are an array of options available and it really depends on what you prefer for bedtime. I love to pinch my husband pj bottoms and pair with one of my vests. I don't know why it is but his clothes are so much more comfortable than mine, even if I buy similar one to his.

#3 W I N E


Whether it's wine, champagne or some a home made punch, choose something you enjoy! Is there such a thing as a relaxing night in without a glass or two of wine? Wine is a must! There’s nothing like relaxing with a glass of wine after a hectic week. Not forgetting some of the finest selection of premium wines for an evening all about you. If you are feeling a little more adventurous then why not try your hand at some cocktail making, just make sure that you have some paracetamol handy for the morning after. I'm a Rosé kind of girl but I do like to make cocktails too, my favourites are Miami Vice, or a Strawberry Rosé Sangria as it's probably one of the most tastiest cocktails I have ever tasted.


#4  C A N D L E S

Candles just make a cosy night in, there is nothing better than filling your space or your bathroom with the sweet aroma of your favourite scent. My favourite scent at the moment has to be this Lemongrass & Verbena Exquisite Candle. Bright citrus notes with with verbena blended with notes of melon, rose and jasmine. It's super fresh, vibrant and uplifting. I love to wait until little lady goes to bed and relax in a nice bubble bath with candles, it's the perfect way to rest and recuperate. As soon as I opened the box to the scented candle I could instantly smell the lemongrass, it was so refreshing as I was running a bath I could definitely notice the scent in the bathroom. 



#5  E N T E R T A I N M E N T

Normally nights cosy in consist of switching off from the world to catch up on some programmes, a box set, a lovely film or begin a Netflix binge. When we are taking time for ourselves we like to pull the duvet and pillows off our bed and bring them to the sofa so we can get super comfy whilst watching our favourites. We have been making our way through a couple of Netflix box sets at the moment: Orange is the New Black, A-Typical, Suits and The Originals. What do you recommend on Netflix?

#6  S N A C K S

No cosy night is complete without a selection of snacks. For extra special treat and if you're good in the kitchen then you can find the most delicious treats in the wonderful world of Pinterest. I like to whip up something special as treat once a week and without fail my cookie recipes are always a favourite as I can use any ingredients we want to indulge in, recently we have had chocolate chips and peanut butter. However if they are too delicious and don't even make the storage tin then personally I  like to grab a selection of crackers, pretzels, popcorn and chocolate too. I like to indulge!


What do you like to do when you are trying to relax and unwind? Let me know in the comments below...

How To Survive Eating Out With A Toddler

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Are you tempted to skip eating out until your child turns 20? Is the thought of flying peas or a complete meltdown making you think is that dinner at the restaurant really worth the stress? The disapproving looks, the constant apologies, is it worth all that hassle? When you decided to take a toddler out to a restaurant you are including a guest who finds it difficult to sit still, who is prone to a tantrum or two and probably has a limited interest in being quiet while eating their peas. So I can understand why parents who have toddlers choose to stay at home to cook, but it turns out that taking your toddler out to a restaurant is not as daunting as you may think, get this, it may even be enjoyable. All you need is a little preparation, some 'must have' essentials to make dining out with a toddler lots of fun. I shall let you into some secrets...


CHOOSE THE RIGHT ESTABLISHMENT

You don't have to be limited to the type of restaurant you want to take your family to, but it's always best to pick a place that is family friendly. Let's face it, if you do take your toddler to a fancy restaurant you're pretty much setting up yourself to fail, as there's a big pressure. You will become embarrassed or agitated if your toddler becomes disruptive, when in reality they are just being a toddler. So it's best to try and find a restaurant that is child friendly, that has a children's menu, high chairs and some crayons to keep them occupied.

NEVER, EVER TAKE A TIRED TODDLER OUT

Talk about a recipe for disaster! When you make your booking, plan around your child's nap time. The last thing you want when you dine out is a complete meltdown because your toddler is tired. So, it's best if your toddler has had their nap or just finishing one. It's all about your child's needs, not yours. Always try and avoid the busiest times when dining out with a toddler. We have found that the best time to eat out at a restaurant with our daughter is during the early evening or opting for a late lunch as there are less people about to annoy.
A BAG OF TRICKS
Toddlers get bored, as we all know, so this comes as no surprise. To help avoid a screaming meltdown, being embarrassed or flying peas make sure you take a bag full of tricks. These could be their favourite toys, books and if your child is especially energetic or restless, pack a couple of new small toys that will hold their attention at least until their food arrives. It's always a good idea to keep some paper and crayons stashed away in your car. Children love nothing more than to doodle to their hearts content, even some restaurants supply paper and crayons which is a big bonus for those who forget. You can buy small carry along colouring travel sets, which are perfect to keep in your handbag to help keep your toddler occupied.  When the novelty of their toys or creating a masterpiece has worn off the next thing that I would do would be to dive into your handbag. It's not as if it's short of a couple of distractions that will sure to keep those little mischievous minds occupied, my daughter loves my keys because it has a picture of her and Father Christmas and a fluffy sheep. My daughter also loves to play with my compact mirror and makeup brushes so there is always something to help keep her occupied whilst dining out.

BIBS AND BABY PROOF DINNERWARE
Whenever my husband and I take our toddler out to eat we are always prepared for an easy clean up. We use bibs and a muslin to make sure all the crumbs she drops falls into her lap, so she doesn't leave a sea of peas on the floor before we leave. Wipe-off or disposable bibs will make your life so much easier. If the bib is reusable, consider storing it in a plastic bag after meals. It's also sensible to carry a baby spoon and bowl in case your little one gets the urge to throw the restaurants plates and bowls off the table.
ORDER YOUR TODDLER'S FOOD FIRST

Children don't like waiting too long for their food just like hungry husbands but at least the husband won't scream at the top of their lungs...too much! So when you go order your food ask your server to get your children's food out first out so all tantrums can be avoided. It is always best to try and order their food as soon as you arrive because babies and toddlers prefer eating tepid food and most restaurant's pride themselves by serving hot piping dishes.
TAKE A TREAT

This one may come as a surprise as you know that you'll be eating in a little while. But you can never guarantee a short waiting time and be served straight away so prepare a few snacks, however keep them light. Rice crackers, breadsticks or even cheerios are great way to keep those hunger tantrums at bay until their food arrives.

ALWAYS BE CONSIDERATE

Yes, your child is your world but they are not everyone else's so try and be considerate and let others enjoy their meals as much as possible. You can never predict when a toddler has a tantrum but do whatever you can to try and minimise it. Take them for a walk around the restaurant, load the kindle with lots of apps to help and keep those tantrums to a minimum. When you have finished your meal always try and clear around the destruction that your toddler leaves behind, it only takes a couple of minutes to look back and clear away. Even if you don't leave your table spotless I am more than sure that the staff will appreciate the gesture.

BE PREPARED TO LEAVE

Even the most well-planned meal can turn into a complete dining disaster when an unpredictable toddler is involved. If things get really ugly, you may have only one choice: Take your food to go, put your child to sleep, and then enjoy your meal at home.

It is always a good idea to make sure that your are prepared when dining out with a toddler, you can't always anticipate a meltdown. So sometimes you have to expect the unexpected. By making sure you're prepared for anything, your family dining experience doesn't have to be so daunting. The more you go out to the restaurant with your toddler, the better you will become in dealing with anything that they throw at you, peas included. HAPPY DINING!

THE EXCLUSIVE AND EXQUISITE CANDLE RANGE FROM CANDLES JUST 4 YOU

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Candles just make a cosy night in, there is nothing better than filling your space or your bathroom with the sweet aroma of your favourite scent. My favourite scent at the moment has to be this Lemongrass & Verbena Exquisite Candle. I was kindly sent this beautiful candle this month. Bright citrus notes with with verbena. Blended with notes of melon, rose and jasmine. There's nothing I enjoy more than waiting until the little lady goes to bed and relaxing with a nice bubble bath and candles, so it seem as if receiving this candle was telling me that I needed to take some time out to rest and recuperate. So, today I want to tell you all about it...


Candles Just 4 You are English hand made candles, produced within the stunning South Downs National Park. With suppliers that have over 15 years experience in designing and producing hand poured luxury scented candles. Their skill and expertise in the field are a second to none and they have built up a an amazing reputation for providing the best quality candles. So it comes to no surprise that the candles produced are of a high quality and smell absolutely amazing. These premium candles are exclusive and exquisite to say the least. Inspired by the early explores who travelled the globe and discovered, wondrous exotic fruits, plants and trees used to create the sensual fragrances in our candles. Their candles are handmade using the highest quality waxes and finest fragrant oils, creating candles that rival leading designer brands. They are available in two sizes: 420g and 750g and in an array of scents. 


The Exclusive Range are 420g jars and are available in three individual and stimulating fragrances that are sure to help you relax and unwind. Lemongrass and Verbena: Bright citrus notes with with verbena. Blended with notes of melon, rose and jasmine. Sandalwood and Cedar: An Indian Sandalwood with a delicate heart of hibiscus & rose on an almond & cedar base and Lily of the Valley: That is a light green floral notes with a touch of citrus on an amber and woody base. Innocent with a delicate simplicity.

The Exquisite Range comes in the 750g jars and are available in the Lemongrass and Verbena. Citrus Fusion: A zesty grapefruit with lemon and lime. Blended with notes of melon, rose and jasmine. Celebration: Inspired by vintage champagne with notes of strawberries, jasmine and vanilla. Sparkling, happy and joyful.


Our Thoughts

I honestly couldn't wait to open the candle when it arrived. As soon as I opened the box to the scented candle I could instantly smell the lemongrass, it was so refreshing. So trying to make more time for me, I decided that I would run myself a luxurious bath, download a book on my kindle and light one of these beautiful premium candles, and as I was running the bath there was a faint smell within the bathroom. I could most definitely smell the lemongrass, but I couldn't smell the Verbena very much. Once I lit the candle, the aroma in the bathroom was perfect. It's quite a nice and relaxing and it was perfect addition to my pamper night. In a nutshell, these are very good candles, that are of a high quality with a gorgeous smell. They would make the perfect birthday or Christmas gift for any candle lover, I would love it if more scents were made available. Now that Autumn and Winter are well and truly on their way Candles Just 4 You are introducing some new scents that I am sure many people will enjoy, especially through the Christmas season. The new scents include: Winter Berries, Pine & Pink Pepper, Orange & Cinnamon, Frankincense & Mandarin and a Seasonal Spice. I for one cannot wait for these to be released, I already have my eye on a couple of those scents, come on Autumn I am ready for you.

What do you think of the Candles Just 4 You range?

*DISCLAIMER* MIMI ROSE AND ME IS A PERSONAL BLOG WRITTEN AND EDITED BY MYSELF ONLY, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. MY REVIEWS ARE COMPLETELY BASED ON MY OWN OPINION OF THE PRODUCT REVIEWED. THESE PRODUCTS WERE SUPPLIED TO ME AS A GIFT TO TEST AND REVIEW.

THE BABY FEEDING SERIES WITH POPITHA

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 Hello and welcome back to another instalment of The Baby Feeding Series, that features real stories from real parents who have experienced how hard and baffling feeding your baby can be. I want this series to be a place where parents can share their own experiences in the hopes that other parents who are struggling can feel less alone. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world but it's one of the most rewarding jobs too and so I want to share their stories.



Last week we had Trips with a Tot guest post for us for The Baby Feeding Series to talk about her experiences and this week we have a lovely Anna from Popitha who has kindly written a post for us to tell us about breastfeeding her twins with a twist. So with that, I shall hand you over to the lovely Anna. 
Breastfeeding Twins with a twist - A twist that is OK!

I’d always planned to breastfeed. For as long as I could remember, it was something I felt I wanted to do. I couldn’t wait to feel that special bond, the closeness I would feel between mother and baby when breastfeeding….then I got the news: you’re having twins.  Most woman are overcome with lots of different emotions when they find out that they are expecting twins and I wasn't any different. Any pregnancy is a time of excitement and joy, but there will also be moments of doubt.

Was breastfeeding still possible? Had I changed my mind? The answers are yes it is still possible and no, I hadn’t changed my mind, I wanted to give it a go. I knew breastfeeding was so important for vulnerable babies and it would save time and a lot of money. However, I promised myself that if it didn’t work, I wouldn’t get stressed about it.

A lot was going through my mind and I wondered whether I would produce enough milk for two. I doubted that it was possible. However, I learnt the basic rule about milk production is supply = demand. This is a short way of saying that the more often a baby feeds at your breast and removes milk (demand), the more milk is made (supply). This is why mothers of multiples are able to make enough milk for their babies. Knowing this helped me cope, especially on bad days when the girls were being extra fussy or hungry and I felt like I couldn't possibly have enough milk for them.

The twins, were born six weeks prematurely. I had a fairly tough time throughout their birth with Twin One coming out naturally and Twin Two by emergency c-section. The babies went straight into intensive care and twenty-one hours later, after two blood transfusions, I expressed for the first of many times. It wasn’t an option to breastfeed initially as they were fed through a tube. What was possible, was for me to express and give the girls my milk which I did. I remember feeling disappointed and upset and begin to doubt whether you will be able to breastfeed your babies at all. I was reassured that I would be able to eventually and it was important to establish and maintain your milk supply until your babies can feed from your breasts.

After 5 days in hospital, the girls started showing signs of wanting to breastfeed. I felt so overwhelmed by this and I was desperate for that bond I was missing out on. I do think I missed out on that closeness which, looking back could have potentially caused a bigger issue further on and I can completely understand why postnatal depression is higher in mother's who's children spend time in NICU. From then on, I fed the girls twice a day whilst in hospital.

I was discharged after six days, leaving my babies in NICU for a further 10 and began making a 'milk run', expressing five times daily for 15 minutes on each side and obtaining 1400ml daily. After 16 long days in NICU we all discharged from the hospital as a family. The girls were doing incredibly well, good weights and on 4 hourly feed which was a godsend as a routine was already established. I reserved one breast for each baby and it was interesting to notice how the amount of milk varied in each breast according to their appetites. I fed them separately as their feeding patterns differed, and I felt it was good for them to be independent at least for feed times. I occasionally fed them together.

It took various attempts to work out what to do with Twin two, whilst Twin one was being fed and vice versa. I worked out that it was best to stay low to the ground! I put a blanket on the floor, put the baby I wasn’t feeding on the blanket, and sat with my back against the couch to feed. Then the other baby can look around without any worry she may fall. I also invested in baby beanbags which we took everywhere and the girls laid on these too.

After a week at home breastfeeding two babies, things started to change. I started to feel differently. I started to get sore, really sore. I wasn’t enjoying it and I certainly lost the desire to have my babies close. They were hurting me. Of course I would continue to feed them, that was my duty, I loved them and I wanted to do my best for them. But the more I breastfed, the more I considered the bottle – milk bottle! My boobs were never getting a break as they were both being used at the same time – my toes were curling with the pain. I was told about this and to work through it however I reminded myself of my promise – if this didn’t work, its ok. This didn’t make it any easier those, there was a guilt inside me that I wasn’t expecting. It was one that really tugged at those heart strings to try and make you feel bad. But the longer it went on, the surer I was.

At 4 weeks old, I stopped breastfeeding my twins and started using the bottle. This was the best thing for me, for us; The best thing that bonded me with my babies. I felt closer now than I ever had. A lot of people successfully breastfeed twins but it just wasn’t for me. Still today, at 22 months, I love sitting down with my girls on the bed at 7am snuggling with them and their bottle – this is our special time.
Someone once said to me…Be good to yourself! Be patient and kind to yourself (and your babies) and give yourself time to figure out how to make feeding work for you and your newly expanded family.
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About Anna

Anna, is a thirty something twin mummy to my 21 month old gorgeous twin girls, Tabitha and Poppy. Whom despite having a watertight plan, entered the world by two different modes of transport Anna lives with her doting husband Tristan and little dog Flicka in the Essex countryside. It’s taken Anna until now to find her feet with her blog and she can now really reflect on times past; give real advice, but also create a lasting virtual memory box of keep sakes for the girls.

You can find Anna over at Popitha
Don't forget to go and give Lisa's social media platforms a little like or follow
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THE BABY FEEDING SERIES WITH THIS CRAZY MAMMA

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Hello and welcome back to another instalment of The Baby Feeding Series, that features real stories from real parents who have experienced how hard and baffling feeding your baby can be. I want this series to be a place where parents can share their own experiences in the hopes that other parents who are struggling can feel less alone. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world but it's one of the most rewarding jobs too and so I want to share their stories.

 
I'm very excited to say that this week for The Baby Feeding Series we have the lovely Carly from This Crazy Mamma guest posting for us. I was so happy when Carly decided to get in touch asking to take part and share her bottle feeding story with her children. I couldn't help but fall in love with Carly and her experience as a bottle feeding mama, it's honest and to the point. I think that a lot of women who bottle feed their children will understand what to expect when it comes to it, but not everyone will see that many women go through a mixture of emotions when making such decision, thank you Carly for kindly offering to share your post.

Let's talk about my breastfeeding journey? I didn't breastfeed, both my girls had bottles.


I'll give you a moment to let that sink in....

I tried to feed them, really I did, but I can count on one hand the amount of times both my girls fed from me. With Hannah I had this rosy view that you had your baby, you stuck them on the boob and they fed (I know Haha me!) and obviously that didn't happen so she had pumped breastmilk for a month or so and then solely formula. With Ruby I tried, I really tried but after losing 9% of her birth weight and listening to her scream all night I did a midnight dash to Asda (in my pyjamas, as you do!) to buy formula. Again I pumped for as long as I could and then she too was solely on formula.

I always hear about Mum's saying how easy it is to breastfeed, no sterilising, making up bottles in the night (they have ready made milk for that you know!), how it's a great bonding experience, no one talks about the positives of bottle feeding...so here it is!

* Mark helped with the feeds, he took her during the night to feed her and often did the first feed in the morning. He still does her bedtime bottle and the morning bottle - it's become their thing.

* Hannah was able to feed her, I am sure that this was a great bonding experience for her.

* I could leave Ruby to take Hannah to parties or pop into town without having to rush back to feed her.

* I didn't have to wear nursing bras.

* I didn't have to buy new clothes suitable for nursing

* I didn't have to find a suitable place to feed her, no smelly feeding rooms or feeling like I had to rush home.

* I didn't have sore boobs, cracked nipples or anything leaking at any given moment.

While I was upset I couldn't feed Ruby for us the benefits soon outweighed the negatives. Surely it was better that she was happy healthy and fed than us all being miserable and her being starving. Given that she has never been a great sleeper, the fact that Mark could do a few of the night feeds really took the pressure off.

I have been judged for bottle feeding. People are brazen enough to ask 'don't you breastfeed her?' or 'Don't you know the positives of breastfeeding?' and to begin with I didn't know what to say. Other people can be really unkind. Luckily I soon found my feet and simply replied 'No she is formula fed' it was no one else's business. I am a firm believer in Happy Mamma, Happy Baby and once I got over the realisation that I was never going to be a breastfeeding Mamma we have had a really positive bottle feeding journey.

Hannah had significantly less pumped breastmilk than Ruby and yet she is a happy, healthy, hardly ever ill, 7-year-old who is over achieving at school. Ruby who had more breastmilk, has a cold every other month and while she is still too young to tell if she is going to be a 'bright little button' she walked at 9 months so watch this space. What I am trying to say is you have to do what's right for you, for your baby and your family, don't get too hung up on the research that suggests your child will be healthier/brighter/happier being exclusively breastfed.

We live in a country which had formula milk readily available so why shouldn't we use it? and we shouldn't be judged if we CHOOSE to use it. Not all Mamma's want to breastfeed and some simply can't, so other Mamma's need to put the judgey stick down and let others do what's right for them.

As Ruby approaches her first birthday my bottle feeding journey looks to be coming to an end for good. I will miss watching Mark feed her first thing in the morning and last thing at night, I already miss cuddling her sleepy little body in the night for a quick feed. I will even miss washing up and sterilize the bottles. I will miss counting the scoops and wondering if I can get one more bottle out of the little bit left at the bottom of the tub and I will miss watching her little hands holding the end of the bottle while she drinks it. If we were to ever have another baby (not likely but you never know) I would save myself the stress and go straight for formula....and No Guilt Shall Be Given.
 
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About Carly
 
Carly is a 30 year old working Mum of two, 7 year old Hannah and 1 year old Ruby. Who lives in Berkshire with her partner, Mark and our staffy Bailey. Carly blogs about all things parenting, day trips, fun activities and anything Mamma related. As well as being a blogger, Carly works in Health Visiting supporting Vulnerable Local families.
 
 
You can find Carly over at This Crazy Mamma
 
Don't forget to go and give Lisa's social media platforms a little like or follow
 

Explore the Adventure: The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction

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On a recent family holiday to the Lake District we were only to excited to discover the wonderful world of Beatrix Potter. As a child there would be nothing more exciting than a tale about a fluffy but mischievous rabbit, a naughty squirrel or puddle ducks before bedtime. If you're like me I am more than sure you will enjoy an adventure to the The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction. My daughter adores watching the Cbeebies version of Peter Rabbit so it comes as no surprise she wanted to go, we are making our way through the short tales from Beatrix Potter and she recognised most of the characters within the exhibit. So today I wanted to share our adventure with you all...


The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction is situated in the beautiful Bowness-On-Windermere and shares a building with the Old Laundry Theatre. In the attraction you'll be able can discover Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and all their friends in a magical indoor recreation of Beatrix Potter‘s little books, complete with the sights, sounds and smells of the countryside. You can also learn more about the story of Beatrix Potter’s life with displays show how Hill Top Farm inspired some of Beatrix Potter’s illustrations.

The attraction

It's recommended that you allow 45 minutes to one hour to enjoy the walk-through self-guided tour of the exhibition & garden, and a little longer to include time to browse in the shop and have a delicious treat in the Tea Room! I couldn’t wait to get a take lots of photo of the little lady and her favourite character Peter Rabbit. 


Attraction cost: Adult: £7.50, Child: £3.95, Children under 3 are free, Family: £21 In addition to the regular admission fee you could also get a good discount if you chose to attend the Where's Peter Rabbit? theatre show. Show & Attraction ticket: Child £10, Adult: £16, Family: £48. If our daughter was a little older where she could sit still for more than five minutes, we would have gone to the theatre show, but on the occasion we decided not to. But as we paid our admission we were handed a pencil and an activity booklet, which they can fill out as they go around. My daughter was a bit young to write in it, but she loved matching the pictures inside to the parts of the attraction. However, being a true Beatrix Potter fan she was able to answer the question that were inside, I even learned a thing or two from her. 

Our visit

The first thing we noticed about the attraction is that it's situated in the the most convenient location, not too far from idyllic Lake Windermere. There was a short wait in the queue but there was so much around us that we didn't notice the wait, we also thought that the admission prices were very reasonable You start your Beatrix Potter adventure with a short introductory film about the works of Beatrix Potter and her love for the lake district, her stories and illustrations. Once you’ve watched the film the doors open to take you into the main exhibition which is where you will see the famous Beatrix Potter stories bought to life with fascinating life like figures and in vivid colour and detail. We stepped out into Jemima's woodland glade through the trees to see Mr Tod in Tommy Brock's house and the pigs from The Tale of Pigling Bland. 

Peter Rabbit™

Jemima Puddle-Duck

It was such a hot day and there were quite a few people in the attraction. Once we were in discovering all the characters a couple of coaches full of students were allowed in the attraction and it became very cramped quickly. That cramped my daughter was squashed against a wall, a member of staff member suggested going into the garden as that's a location that people walk past intending to go back, and then forget. So with that, we headed to the garden. The Peter Rabbit Garden is designed to capture the very essence of Beatrix Potter's world, from the cos lettuces that Benjamin Bunny nibbled on to the gooseberry bush where Peter got caught in a net as he tried to escape Mr. McGregor. It was so sweet seeing my daughter getting so excited telling me about Peter Rabbit's blue jacket and tried picking up one of the spades. We also saw the beautiful bronze sculpture that depicts three children releasing Potter’s character Jemima Puddle-Duck. It also features characters from all of her 23 tales and a carving of one of her Lakeland homes, as well as the mysterious code she used in her personal diary.

Peter Rabbit's Blue Jacket in Mr. McGregor's Garden

Back inside the exhibition follow the adventures of Squirrel Nutkin and Mrs. Tittlemouse and see the drama unfold in The Tale of Fierce Bad Rabbit. Then pop in to Mrs Tiggy-winkle's kitchen and smell the fresh laundry. A perfect photo opportunity for the little ones in the family! So much so, my daughter went into the exhibit and asked us to take a photo of her and Mrs. Tiggy-winkle ready for a pose, but I quickly removed her from her kitchen.

Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle's Kitchen

We then walked on a little further as there was still lots more to see. It was then when we came across Mr. Jeremy Fisher on his lily-pad boat, it was here that we took the opportunity to take some candid photos of my daughter with my parents and I could tell that my daughter was telling my parents all about Mr. Fisher. In addition to this, you also got the chance to discover Hunca Munca and Tom Thumb under the floorboards. 

Mr. Jeremy Fisher on his Lily Pad

We then came to a virtual walk of Beatrix Potter's beloved countryside with three different displays that you can interact with, you can even have a peek at where Beatrix Potter lived, Hill Top Farm in the Lake District. Also view a short film The Tale of Mrs Heelis and follow the interactive timeline which tells the fascinating story of the author's life. We spend quite a bit of time in this room, you could easily get distracted for a while, I know someone who did...



We then are nearing the end of the attraction with Mr McGregor's greenhouse and the tale of Peter Rabbit. It was the perfect ending to our adventure. There is nothing nicer than finishing our adventure with a walk past Peter Rabbit and his family, before heading to sit in a corner booth to take a nice photo which you can purchase in the shop to remember the time spent at the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction.






Our thoughts

We were disappointed leaving given we’d expected more, we expected more of a modern attraction. The attraction itself it very small and you can just about manage to get a pushchair through, thankfully we didn't take one, but I saw other parents struggle. I do believe that our day wouldn't have been so bad if the staff didn't allow so many people in at once. Those students were very rude, had no manners and didn't understand personal space as my daughter got squashed against a wall. If it wasn't for that member of staff saying that most students go through the exhibit quickly and to try and take refuge in the garden, I think we would have left. But I am glad we managed to see the garden and continued to explore. But despite this, I would still highly recommend a visit to The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction. Our favourites parts of the attractions were obviously the tale of Peter Rabbit, my daughter was so excited to meet her favourite character along with Benjamin Bunny and the virtual walk. After exploring the adventure we then made our way into the gift shop to have a browse and pick a few things, then got a couple of special Peter Rabbit pennies made before making our way to Lake Windermere. It was such a lovely day. 


Don't forget to go and check out the Beatrix Potter attraction if you are ever in the Lake District  around Bowness-On-Windermere, it is certainly worth a visit! 

BACK-TO-SCHOOL :: 5 Tips for a Smooth Start

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As summer is drawing to close a close, so are the summer holidays. This year will be a little different to previous years. I will be joining the fellow 'school run mums' too with my daughter who will be going to nursery for the first time. For me it's a bittersweet moment. On one hand I am exciting for this milestone but I cannot help feel a pinch in my stomach. It the end of something special and the beginning of a new adventure and seeing as we are about to embark on a brand new milestone I thought that I would create a little post to help all parent prepare for going back to school. 

First thing first, it is so important when preparing your children for their first day of school that planning is EVERYTHING. Like most things in life, planning and preparation are key, by showing your children that you have everything under control, being supportive and reassuring will help make them feel more at ease and will burst with confidence on their first day. So here are a few things you may need to consider when you are preparing for going back to school.



MEETING THE TEACHERS

Entering a classroom full of new faces can be stressful for anyone, especially a young child who hasn't spent a lot of time away from home yet. Most schools will have inset days to give you and your child a chance to meet the teachers. So be sure to attend, so your child will see at least one familiar face on the first day. If your child is younger, try to arrange a play date with other children that will be in their classroom. For my daughter, she will be attending the same session as her cousin which will be great as they are already use to one another and I am sure that they both will forget about being nervous. 


TAKE A LOOK AROUND

Whilst at the inset days take the opportunity to take a look around the nursery, this way any little one will feel more comfortable if she knows her way around the classroom. Whilst in the nursery or school make sure that your little one knows where the bathroom is and ask if they know how to get there. This will help avoid any embarrassing accidents.Other important areas to point out are the first aid room and the school office. Chances are, your child won't be wandering around the school alone, but if they finds himself separated from her classroom, that way they will know where to go.


UNIFORMS

It doesn't matter how you look at it, undoubtedly your children will want to fit in and so many parents must begin at the beginning. Whether that's sorting the school uniform or getting new clothes for their first day. They will feel so much more confident walking through those school gates that you picked their clothes together. My daughter has already decided what she wants to wear for her first day of nursery, we were send a list of all the things that she will need before she starts. This way, she will have all the required clothing, bags, lunch box and any supplies that she will need in advance. No last minutes shopping is required. Not forgetting something that is normally overlooked LABELS.


My Name Tags are by far one of the most popular brands for school labels, they come highly recommended with their custom labels where you can choose from Iron on, or stickers. With these custom labels you children will be able to get invovled with the many designs that you are able to create There are also some different ranges that you can choose from; Hello Kitty, Mr Men & Little Miss, or even Battersea Cats & Dogs. The choice is endless.The iron on labels attach very easily to clothing. I have used these on all her clothing items and even her coat, hat and gloves. The stickers that I was kindly sent through are very good and we will be using these for her lunchbox, backpack and any Tupperware I may use. 


PREPARE WITH SUMMER LEARNING

Even during the summer holidays it is important to continue learning , so keep you child in learning mode with age specific activities, there are fun and creative ways you can help do this. It is always a good idea to try and find out what key stages little ones are currently at so you can continue to improve.



START YOUR SCHOOL SCHEDULE

Start a bedtime schedule one week in advance of school so that your child gets at least 10 hours of sleep at night. As an adult, we know how cranky we get when we are tired, and so do our children. Remember that they don’t have our coping skills. Get back into a ‘normal’ routine in the week before school begins. So, gradually make bedtimes a little earlier and morning lie-ins a little shorter. Practise being ready by a certain time – dressed, washed, teeth brushed and ready for the day ahead – even if you’re not going anywhere, it will help in the long run! Also eating lunch and dinner at similar sorts of times your child would on a typical school day can provide consistency in their transition from home to school.


Are you ready for going back to school?

THE BABY FEEDING SERIES WITH BELLA MAMMA

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Hello and welcome back to another instalment of The Baby Feeding Series, that features real stories from real parents who have experienced how hard and baffling feeding your baby can be. I want this series to be a place where parents can share their own experiences in the hopes that other parents who are struggling can feel less alone. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world but it's one of the most rewarding jobs too and so I want to share their stories.

 
I'm very excited to say that this week for The Baby Feeding Series we have the lovely Jennifer from Bella Mamma who has kindly offered to share her experience as a breastfeeding mama and offer advice in the hopes to help other Mama's who may be struggling. It's not the first time we have come across the lovely duo that is Bella Mamma, we have had Julia guest posting for us for The Baby Feeding Series. We have also collaborated on their recently launched Bella Mamma Tees. So with that I will hand you over to the lovely Jennifer.
 
A Breastfeeding Story
 
One of the many things you decide about in pregnancy is how you’re going to feed your baby. From the moment you get the thumbs up from the midwife that you’re pregnant, you are given dozens of information leaflets and packs on the benefits of breastfeeding – for both mother and baby. Nowadays, formula feeding isn’t really spoken about apart from the 20 seconds they give it in antenatal classes.

You don’t have to be a genius to agree that ‘breast is best’,
but here’s the thing. . .
What if you can’t?


What if all your hopes of being a breastfeeding mother are dashed because you can’t produce enough, your nipples are inverted, or your baby is tongue tied? When I found out I was pregnant I set my heart on being a breastfeeding mother. I wanted nothing more than to have the bond with my baby and to give him the very best nutrition that I could offer. I had an amazing pregnancy and my hypno birth went so well, the possibility that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed never crossed my mind. I hadn’t bought any bottles, a steriliser or researched formula. It just wasn’t on the agenda.

The moment Luca was born he was placed on my chest for skin to skin and we tried feeding almost immediately. Everything seemed fine at first. The on-call midwife stayed a while once I made my way back to the ward; she showed me positions to feed in, how to encourage him to feed and what a good latch looked like. I was pretty proud of myself!  It wasn’t until we went home the following day that I began to suspect that there was a problem. The pain started and Luca began to cluster feed for up to 7 hours. Everything that I read told me that this was normal so I stayed with it. Lashing on Lasinoh Nipple Cream in between feeds, trying to sleep and eat well and stay hydrated.

It was when we went to register Luca’s birth and I was reading a baby magazine that I noticed an article on tongue tie and turning to Freddie said ‘I think Luca’s tongue looks like this’.
I mentioned it at my next Midwife appointment and she confirmed Luca had a tongue tie but is wasn’t a ‘bad one’. We were nearly 2 weeks into our breastfeeding journey and it was feeling more painful and exhausting than I ever thought possible.

I had 4 episodes of painful mastitis and I remember sobbing with pain in the shower. This just wasn’t how my journey was meant to be.

I just didn’t seem to be able to satisfy Luca’s feeding demands. I tried pumping and got very little. . . so the question crossed my mind, was my baby starving? I felt utterly awful. Aside for the physical demands, I found the emotional side so much harder. I was so sore, exhausted, run down and beginning to feel like a failure. I reached out to the Midwife and Health Visitor again. Neither seemed to think Luca’s tongue had anything to do with it since he latched so perfectly; so maybe it was me, maybe I wasn’t producing enough milk. But I felt that giving him formula was the worst thing I could possibly do. Another few days in and the cluster feeding had eased and things seemed a little better, if not a little less painful. Maybe we were making progress?

But then one evening as I lay Luca into his crib I slumped to the floor, a cold sweat covering my body and I started shivering uncontrollably.


My mum found me and screamed for Freddie. Bundling me into the car he drove me to A&E . . . but what about Luca?! What if he needed feeding?! My mum tucked him into his pram and walked to the local supermarket and bought premade formula reassuring me that she would look after Luca and for one night she would feed him until we figured out what was going on with my body. Back at A&E a lovely doctor gave me a full health check and confirmed I had a rather nasty infection in my milk duct which had caused the sweats and shaking. The milk was building up and not able to be released. I was given an antibiotic and a breast pump.
 
Sitting in the ward it was the most vulnerable, loneliest and saddest time since I started my mothering journey.

Back home 24hrs later feeling a little better but still frail, I tried feeding again. I don’t use the word ‘broken’ lightly, but the moment he latched I just fell apart. Pain scored through me and I had to ask my mum to take him. I sobbed. Afterwards, my mum took me aside and being the best mother she could be said ‘it’s ok Jenn, it’s your choice, your body, your baby’. I realised that if I didn’t decide soon I would jeopardise my health and the bond with my baby. I was constantly watching the clock and I would flinch when I heard his hunger cries. This wasn’t what I wanted for either of us. The first few times I prepared his bottles I cried – tears of failure, tears of anger at myself, and tears for my baby. However, seeing him drink hungrily, almost guzzling the bottle, I realised how hungry he was. After a day or two I noticed a huge difference in him; he was so much more alert, eyes wandering and exploring the room, engaged when we cooed over him. He seemed happy. When the Health Visitor came again, I just put my wall up. I didn’t want to discuss it. I didn’t want to feel any worse about the decision than I already felt. I didn’t need anyone else’s guilt. Over the coming months, we continued our bottle-feeding journey. Luca grew and thrived.

Every mile stone he reached I would secretly breathe a sigh of relief.

But the tongue tie was still there, and the line down the middle of his tongue was becoming more noticeable. Myself and Freddie decided that we would have him seen privately to access the situation. Our research told us that if ‘bad’ tongue ties were not resolved they could lead to complications in speech and after 9 months the procedure would have to be performed under general anaesthetic.
We found the wonderful midwife at Core Clinic in Warwick and booked the appointment. On her evaluation, she examined Luca and turning to be said; ‘I can absolutely guarantee that you’re not breast-feeding now’ Taken back I nodded, the wall went up again and I felt myself get into defence mode.

'Sure, how could you? There’s no way breast-feeding was possible with a tongue tie this tight'.

Shock and relief washed over me. I explained our breast-feeding journey and at the end she just hugged me and I cried (again). Having someone understand and who listened to me made such a difference. That appointment was almost therapy for me. She performed the cut beautifully, Luca hardly noticed and after 20minutes we were ready to go. Looking back, I wish I had listened to my intuition about the tongue tie sooner and had Luca accessed properly. But as any new mum might relate to, when you’re so run down and fragile, sleep-deprived and vulnerable you just don’t think clearly. I believe hindsight is a beautiful thing. I fully intend to revisit my breast-feeding journey on our next baby. There is so much they don’t tell you, especially as a new mum, and there’s so many assumptions that you’re meant to just ‘know’. I strongly believe that if we are to improve our breast-feeding statistics then there needs to be a more hands approach and that requires funding and support for midwives and health visitors.

No two babies are alike and every feeding journey is different.

I also feel strongly about the reintroduction of the tongue-tie check to be part of the new baby health check before they leave hospital. This small check could save mothers just like me a world of pain and heartache, and would encourage breast-feeding beyond the 2-week mark. There is a petition to have this check reintroduced and needs 100,000 signatures to be discussed in the UK Parliament. If you feel strongly about this I would urge you to sign here Breast or Bottle is a very personal choice; one which should never be judged. Every mother I’ve met has always had their baby’s best interests at heart when it has come to feeding. Ultimately I think we can all agree that the best form of feeding . . . is feeding full stop!
 
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About Julia and Jennifer
 
Julia and Jennifer both make up Bella Mamma who write for wild-hearted women who are juggling the demands of motherhood and careers, helping them feel connected, supported and loved.  They both hope that their blog will be a tonic for the tired, caffeine fuelled mums (with kids who don't sleep), and those needing to feel that they belong to a tribe of women who share their beliefs that women can be nurturing feminine goddesses and kick ass in the boardroom!
 

You can find both Julia and Jennifer over at Bella Mamma
 
Don't forget to go and give Julia and Jennifer's social media platforms a little like or follow
 

WHY DO I STRUGGLE TO MAKE MUM FRIENDS

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Being a blogger, can be a little deceiving. Now not in the way you may be thinking. As bloggers we all have that place where we can be ourselves, be able to write about issues that could be considered controversial. However, being confident and outspoken is not something I like to do in person. I don't want you to think that I am not real, when I write, have general ramblings or vent. I like to try and paint a picture of real motherhood and not a 'pinterest mum' who can whip up a batch of cookies, have a clutter free and clean home all whilst looking after a bunch of toddlers. You know, the kind of mum who generally has their shit together. Even though it may seem as if I am a confident and an outgoing person, I guess it's easy to show this behind a screen. I am far from this, when it comes to meeting new people or going to new groups, it's a bit of a struggle. 



When I actually sit down and think about it, I haven't always been like this especially when it comes to making friends. As a child I would always be the first one to say hello or ask if they wanted to come around to my house, but as I got older things started to change. I soon became shy, timid, and nervous around new groups. I would always dread being asked questions in class. I remember most of the time not focusing on my work and worrying too much about being asking questions. Pretty much throughout my school life, college and even university this was still a worry for me and when I went into the world of work I would hate giving presentations or even speak about daily targets in front of group of people. I would have to say that these overwhelming feelings have always been there, until I met my husband and he gave me so much confidence, to be myself, to realise that I was always enough. We moved in together, got engaged and got married and it was then when those overwhelming feelings of self-doubt, not being good enough came back. It was hard to escape.

I would try and focus on the positive things in my life, like my marriage and trying for a baby. However it wasn't as plain sailing as I thought it would be. For me, becoming a mother was something that is precious to me, as it was something that I never thought that would never be possible for me. There were times where I would cry myself to sleep and fill myself with false hope, to tell myself to keep positive and keep going. It was then that an isolated feeling consumed me, no one understood how I was feeling. This was one of the biggest hurdles that I facing in my life and I couldn't really talk about it. I would often watch other people and ask myself why them and not me? Being able to have my own baby was a dream. However, what seem liked forever our prayers were being answered and we were pregnant with our first baby. But as happier times were coming our way those feelings were still there in the pit of my stomach...

When I think back to my pregnancy, you could say it was one of those idyllic ones. It was the one time in my life that I felt so comfortable and so beautiful in my own skin, full of confidence and self worth.  I began to feel as if I was getting back to the person I became just after I met my husband. My pregnancy wasn't all full of unicorns and rainbows there were hard parts, like with any pregnancy. I had faint morning sickness, sciatic pain, frequent heart burn and the most ugly swollen feet towards the end of the pregnancy. Despite these though, I still see that it was quite idyllic. I had my daughter naturally with had no complications and I was home with my new family within days. As you might expect with a new born, family and friends flocked round to see our beautiful little lady and this time in our lives was perfect and we couldn't have been happier. But after everything settled I started to feel different...

Most of the time I would feel intense overwhelming feelings that consumed me, and were hard to escape. It would take my breath away with no effort, and leave me feeling completely exhausted. I would lay there most nights listening to my daughter and husband sleep and I would lay their wide eyed unable to switch off. It was like there was a never ending list of worries going through my mind. I would have to go and check my daughter several times during the night just to see if she was breathing. I know to some extent that most new parents feel the overwhelming sense of worry. It's normal. But as the months passed, deep down I knew that something was not quite right. There were moments that I would try and pluck up the courage to tell someone, I remember a time where I broke down in front of my Dad, but then, when it came to the crunch I just tried to shrug off the feelings with sleep exhaustion.

It began to effect my life. I would panic if I had to go out to get something, I couldn't face meeting people for play dates, I would even get flustered whenever we had family functions. I can remember the exact time that my husband knew something was wrong. We were getting ready to go to a local community centre to try and get signed off from the health visiting team, my daughter was around six weeks old. We were running late and my daughter was crying hysterically because she wanted a feed and I went out into the kitchen to make her a bottle. Then as I was feeding her my husband came over and said that I was holding the bottle the wrong way around, the valve was on the bottom. I burst into tears. I know that my husband wasn't trying to cause any upset but I just couldn't hide my feelings in anymore. I wanted some help. At the appointment, it was too much, when it came to talking about it, I just wanted to shrug those feelings off again. In the end, my husband stepped up to tell them how I was feeling and even though deep down it is something that I had been struggling for some time, they said it was to do with the baby. I knew it was more than just that! But I felt a sense of relief, someone knew. Anxiety is such a complicated matter. It seems as if everyone experiences the symptoms differently. However, for every person who suffers from the condition, there is another person who completely doesn’t understand it. Over the last few years there have been ups and down. I have had times where my anxiety hasn't got the best of me, but days for it all to come crashing down and I feel as if I have made no progress. My anxiety will never be resolved with a click of a finger, it's something that I have to work bloody hard at. I have to push myself and I have to know when something is just too much and to be happy. 

Perhaps there will be a time in my life where I will be confident and not feel isolated when it comes to trying to make mum friends. There are times with the right encouragement where I have taken my daughter to classes that has pushed me totally out of my comfort zone and they've actually been okay. In the midst of the nervous feelings I found that other mums feel exactly the same. In that as soon as you become a mum there are times where you feel lonely and feel isolated but for me it's important to keep pushing and to know when it's too much. As you know, my daughter will be starting nursery soon and I have been wondering what the 'school gates' will be like. Will there be certain groups of women who will come over to talk to me, to judge me or invite me over for a coffee and a play date. I guess only time will tell, but I am going to try my hardest to say hello, make conversation for my daughter as she means the world to me. 

Our Family Holiday 2017

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I hope you've had a lovely week so far, I feel as if I have finally got back into the swing of things with personal life and my blog work. I can't believe it's taken me nearly a month to get back to normal! So, with this in mind I thought that it would be the perfect time to tell you all about our family holiday. Our family hasn't had the best of time and our holiday was something that we were looking forward to other than the little lady turning three of course. Last year, we didn't manage to get away so this year it was something that both my husband and I were going to make sure we did. Being an English Rose, also known as a person who can't be in the sun for too long before coming out in a rash or burn to a full on lobster red - going abroad wasn't an option. We decided to invite my parents and explore up north. Ever since I can remember my family have always taken holidays in the North Yorkshire Dales, honestly there is so much to do and so much to see. It was hard trying to cram all our adventures into one week, but we somehow managed to create some amazing memories and so today I wanted to share them with you.


But before we could explore the adventure we had to make the long five hour drive up North, with a three year old. But surprisingly, she did fantastic with only one stop for lunch. We did make sure that we were prepared for our journey and we made it to the cottage before dark so we had plenty of time to explore. We then made some dinner, had a lovely hot bath before trying to get an early night before setting off to explore in the morning. The little lady did get up during the night saying she was 'scared'. Not that seeing Nanny and Grandad going past her room had anything to do with those get ups!!! The next morning we were all feeling more refreshed and couldn't wait to go and seek some adventures and our first stop was Richmond to throw stones for a few hours, throwing stones was something that she became obsessed with on the holiday!


After a trip into Richmond town to get ourselves a kettle for a much needed cup of tea too go along with our sweet treats, we then went out for a drive and ended up at Buttertubs Pass. Traditionally a place where farmers from surrounding dales kept their unsold butter in the shaded and water cooled clefts. Let's just say it's a long way down! The weather was less than appealing as we went over so we had to be careful. But lots of fun nonetheless. It was getting late so, we made our way back to the cottage for a cosy night.

Up bright and early the next morning, thanks to a certain little lady! We made plans to go and visit Bolton Abbey where we enjoyed a fun filled day that was perfect for the whole family. At Bolton Abbey we got the chance to see Priory Church and Ruins, The Stepping Stones and The Strid. It's a real shame we couldn't stay for long because there was so much more to see. A quick stop off at a little tea shop called Tea on The Green before making our way back to the car and our trip back to the cottage. 




The next day's adventure was more of a 'see what we could do' kind of day. We love to just venture out into the car, with no destination in mind just getting the little one to say left or right! Our venture landed us at Ribblehead Viaduct, which is a large 19th Century British rail bridge crossing Ribble Valley. It was a great view for photos of the little lady!!! We somehow managed to make our way to The World of Beatrix Potter, but that's for another blog post. 



After a couple of hours discovering the wonderful world of Beatrix Potter we then walk over the road to Lake Windermere, wow, now this is a beautiful place. It's a shame we couldn't hire a boat, there was a three hour wait and we wanted to get on and explore. We ended up driving a little way to Conniston Waters, I cannot tell you how peaceful this place was. I honestly could have stayed there all day but we all thoroughly enjoyed throwing stones into the water to try and soak Daddy. We then started to make our way home but then we saw a couple of places on the map called Hardknott Pass, and then Wrynose Pass which are single track roads right through the middle of the Lake District, and they are very steep and twisting, but it was great fun. The roads were very steep and winding, with a gradient of 1 in 3 which is around 33%, it was so much fun...Until we broke down on the top!!!!




Whilst broken down on the top of Hardknotts Pass we did meet a couple of people who were only more than happy to call AA once they were at the bottom, we even met a chap who only gone and lost his keys to his motorbike whilst out on a walk! Thankfully, my dad saved the day and managed to see them right on the edge of a sheer drop. We waited for a couple of hours and thought that it was getting dark and wondered if AA were even going to make it up the long and bendy roads. So again, my dad and husband somehow managed to fix the problem, long enough so we could get ourselves to a garage. We were so grateful to have finally made it home around 11pm! A cup of tea and some toast before crashing out on the sofa. The next morning we made a couple of calls to some local garages and one kindly offered to help us. While they were trying to fix our poorly car we walked around The Ropermakers in Hawes and spend a good hour or so on the most amazing park. Even I had a go on a swing, mainly because I could get my bum in this one! Haha! The garage phoned, they had somehow managed to fix our car so we could keep exploring, which took us to The Druid's Temple in Ripon. Styled after stone circles and well known prehistoric monuments such as Stonehenge. The Druids Temple was built to alleviate local unemployment, allowing William Danby, a wealthy landowner of the time to pay workers a shilling a day for their labour. At less than 200 years old, it is nonetheless an atmospheric and intriguing location. Despite its origin being common knowledge, myths and rumours of mystic practices have sprung up over its lifetime with tales of Devil worship and harrowing frights experienced by those who have spent the night. For most now though The Druids Temple is a tranquil spot to take a picnic and enjoy a gentle stroll.



We were now closing into the end of our holiday and only had a few adventures to cram into a couple of day. We were all a little sad, but nonetheless we wanted to try and explore some more. A beautiful place called West Burton. A short walk from the West Burton's pretty village green brings you to this shady spot with its small waterfall and the remains of the town mill. It is known as Cauldron Falls because of the beautiful plunge pool, and was one of the spots painted by Turner on his travels in the Dales.


Our next stop was Wain Wath Force, where our daughter touched the waterfall and then quickly chased some sheep, as you do. Even though it was raining and miserable it was beautiful. A couple more photo opportunities later we then made our way to Kiston and Keld Waterfalls. Throughout the years we've been coming the the Yorkshire Dales and this is one place that we would always stay, it was my brother's favourite place. At Keld, there are so many opportunities to walk, to explore and even have the cutest little tea room. It's a must visit place, if you're ever in the area. 






The Tan Hill Inn is the highest inn in the British Isles at 1,732 feet (528 m) above sea level. The building dates to the 17th century and during the 18th century was used as a hostelry by workers digging coal pits. But we were more excited about the sheep, obviously the little one wanted a cuddle.   


This is a day that we were all dreading, not because we were going home, but because we had one place to visit that was very special to my family. Both my grandparents adored Carperby a beautiful place where you are surrounded my waters, walks and lots of farm animals. Without fail at least two weeks over the summer holidays my brother, sister and I would spend a lot of time camping with my Grandparents. It a very special place to us and the final resting place for both my Grandparents. So I knew it would be a little hard. As we walked around our daughter spotted some sheep where she tried to chase them, she became obsessed with trying to hug one. She was unsuccessful if you were wondering. 



Our last stop at Carperby was 'The Bridge'. It has a special meaning to all of my family and goes back 45 years worth of memories, so you can only imagine the emotions we were all feeling as we walked across. For me, it was being with my brother and sister throwing sticks and dock leaves into the water to have races. It does make me feel a little sad about those times with loved ones and now I have to look at creating special memories with my own family and perhaps visit this place more, so my daughter can explore the outdoors, just like I did. 



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