My Mumcation

Psychologists have suggested that mothers should take holidays with friends, not family – and this includes leaving the children behind.
Experts are urging tired mothers to go on “mum-cations”, holidays without their offspring, to take a proper break.

With this in mind, me and three of my closest girlfriends booked a ‘mumcation’ to Vilamoura for a few days in October.

A few people asked me if the weather was going to be any good in Portugal that time if year, as if we were crazy not to follow the blazing sun.
These people had totally missed the point of a mumcation.
Of corse good weather would be preferable, but honestly, if i could go to the toilet on my own, sleep without someones foot digging in my boobs and sit down by a pool without worrying who is going to drown/get abducted or piss off fellow vacationers, I would be a happy girl.

This weekend was more than a girls weekend, It was therapy and It gave me a chance to really relax and unwind.
When you become a mum your life revolves around these little people (rightly so), but we all need to keep our individual identity and take time out for ourselves, it is a huge factor to how I cope as a mum.

Whether it is a night out with Mike, drinks with the girls or a shopping trip entirely on my own, it is my time out.
It is my chance to clear my head of football training, horse riding, boxing, school pick up, kids parties, laundry, dinner etc and focus on me.

The morning we left I felt a complete mixture of emotions. I have been away on my own before, but not abroad since our two youngest have been born.
Let me picture the morning I left for Portugal for you…..

‘George, Arthur, come here, give me a kiss, I am going to miss you so much’

*GEORGE EMPTIES BUCKET OF LEGO ON MY BEDROOM CARPET*

‘FFS George!!! This is why i need a break’

‘George I am sorry, come here and give me a kiss’

*ARTHUR POURS THE CONTENTS OF MY COLD COFFEE OVER MY BED*

……..’Rosie, how long are you going to be? I know the flight is in 8 hours but we dont want to risk missing it’

From the moment Rosie picked me up to when she dropped me back to my door four days later, I did not stop laughing!

We talked about everything, nothing was off the table.
We talked about our kids, our partners and our friends, we discussed designer vaginas, sex and how to make a Wood pigeon call with your tounge.
We did eachothers make up and hair and shared eachothers clothes.

We people watched and ate great food (without a high chair or childrens menu in sight!)

We shared secrets and drank, we drank lots!

We danced every night until the early hours and the one day the weather was bit ‘meh’ we found a great shopping mall and we shopped. I picked up a couple of treats for the kids snd a little something for me…. (do you like my new boots?)

I managed to read a whole book! From start to finish, in one weekend. If you don’t have kids, this may seem ridiculous, if you do you kids, well, you know.

Guess what else I did? And I haven’t done this since I was about 21….. I had an afternoon nap! A siesta if you will.
Not because I had just given birth or because I dozed off breast feeding a baby, but because I consciously chose to!

Another thing. I have never enjoyed a hangover so much.

Knowing you can eat, drink and sleep your way through it without having to make food for little ones, read stories and change nappies makes a hangover so much easier to bear.

I can only describe the weekend as Bad Moms meets The Hangover with a drizzle of bridesmaids.

It was bliss…utter bliss and I owe my girls so much for being the perfect friends.

Their laid back natures ment there were no tantrums, no arguments and by the time we were due to come home I felt so ready to see Mike and the kids and be ‘mum’ again.

I urge you to try it! Book something up! It doesnt have to expensive, it doesnt have to be abroad.

A weekend in Portugal cost us £250 each (plus spending money). Easyjet flights were £150 return from Gatwick to Faro and our apartment at The Dom Pedro Portobelo was right on the marina where all the bars and restaurants are.

It comfortably accomodated the four of us and cost £100 each for the four nights.

I asked some fellow mum blogger what their opinionon ‘Mumcations’ is, here is what they had to say:

Rebecca at www.beccablogsitout.com

I haven’t had one and I’m.not sure I could. I’d love to, in theory. I could definitely use a break. But I think I’d feel too guilty if I went away for more than a day without the twins. I think I’d miss them.

Jenna at www.thentherewerethree.uk

‘I’ve had some! I met an amazing bunch of ladies on a birth group on Facebook and we arrange a couple of weekend breaks a year. We’ve booked a farmhouse in north wales, various city stays and are going to see the Spice Girls next year. I definitely think they’re needed.’

Francessca at https://frompenniestopounds.com

‘I’ve been on hen do’s and also my honeymoon without my daughter. With the honeymoon we went to Mexico which you can’t just pop over for, but I said I would not go for longer than 10 days.
I missed her but she had a great time with her grandparents. I was never close to my grandparents so I’m happy for her to spend time with them.
I think it’s healthy for both you and the kids.
I always take my daughter away every year now though since splitting up with my ex-husband.’

Gail at www.yammymommy.co.uk

‘Still can’t do more than a night away from my 4 year old. I think we would both struggle after 24 hours!’

Victoria at www.travelvixta.com

‘I haven’t yet, but I think in a couple of years once my youngest is at school then I’d love to go on a yoga retreat by myself! They look like bliss and even now with a 6 year old and 3 year old I feel like I could really do with some time to myself and a break for a few days to a retreat!’

The Alternative Christmas Dinner

Every year I say I will buy a few Turkeys to rear on the farm for Christmas dinner and every October I realise I have left it too late!

So then, every October /November I spend loads of time researching the best place to buy one.
Marks and Spencers? Sainsburys? The local butcher or farm shop?
Then I spend my monthly mortgage payment on a premium, amazing bird to feed my fifteen guests.

Now, here is the crazy bit….every year we all have the same conversation just after Christmas…
‘I am not a lover of Turkey’
‘It is a very dry meat’
‘It’s tradition though..’
‘I prefer chicken all day long’

In fact, the only thing that Turkey offers our house at Christmas, which we can not sacrifice is Turkey sandwiches in the evening (which a medium crown will suffice).

I have made an executive decision and will NOT be cooking a turkey for our Christmas dinner.

We have taken a few animals to slaughter over the last few weeks so we have a freezer full of beef, lamb and pork.

The cuts of meat we have would be worth a fortune if we had to buy them at a butchers.  


So this year I am going to cook a Beef Wellington and a leg of lamb for our lunch.

This got me thinking about alternative Christmas Dinners and what other things families serve up for their grub.

I asked a few fellow bloggers and it seems quite a few people are not too fussed on our traditional Turkey.
Here are some suggestions for something different.

Sophie:

‘We go for Ham. There is no waste and we actually enjoy it. Noone in our family really likes turkey so always a bit of a waste!’

www.sophobsessed.com

Ayse:

‘We don’t eat meat so last year I made salmon. I wasn’t too fussed about it and this year we’re just having everything but the meat!’ 

www.arepops.com

Kelly:

‘We are having the Lamb stack from Lidl, as none of us are too fond of Turkey. I will be making stuffed butternut squash for the vegetarian quest and getting a small Turkey crown for my Grandparents, as that would be dangerous grounds if I didn’t !’

Www.reducedgrub.com

Louise:

‘We’re vegetarian and my Mum has always made a mushroom strudel and we’ve carried on the tradition! With all the usual trimmings of course.’

www.pinkpearbear.com

Victoria:

‘I find turkey quite bland so we usually have lamb or salmon.’

www.thegrowingmum.com

Emma:

‘A lovely plump goose and all that tasty skin 😍😍 ‘

www.readyfreddiego.com

Jessica:

‘We are eating out at a restaurant this year so my parents have chosen to have a Chateaubriand. As they said by the time
Christmas comes your normally board of turkey ! ‘

Www.beautiesandthebibs.co.uk

Lauren:

‘We are vegetarian so we normally have a mushroom wellington or nut roast 😊’ 

www.sophiesnursery.com

Elizabeth:

‘My partner doesn’t enjoy Turkey so always has a lamb shank for his Christmas dinner. ‘

www.whererootsandwingsentwine.com

Eva:

‘Nut roast – as I’m vegetarian Husband isn’t but it became now our family tradition at Christmas.’

www.captainbobcat.com

Stevie:

‘My stepdad is Indian, one year we had a curry!’

 

www.thismummaneedstea.com

Georgina:

‘Quorn family roast and spinach and feta tart is what my family had growing up! ‘

www.geegardner.co.uk

Victoria:

‘Hubby and kids will have chicken breasts (hubby’s choice), but I’m veggie so I’ll just have extra stuffing or a nut roast.  We never cook a turkey here! ‘

www.lyliarose.com

Sarah:

‘If we was in charge of Christmas dinner I imagine I would cook chicken, I can’t stand turkey but everyone seems to enjoy a nice roast chicken! ‘

www.mummycatnotes.com

Siobhan:

‘A lot of our family don’t like traditional roasts, so our tradition is to have a big Irish cooked breakfast on Xmas morning, then party food and snacky bits during the day as everyone pops in and out, then in the evening, a couple of different joints of meat in warm rolls – yum!’ www.passthewineplease.blog

Samantha:

‘We’re not really into turkey so we always have our fave roast dinner meat – a chicken! We also get a big ham or beef joint too. 😊’

www.stressymama.com

Cat:

‘We do normally have turkey but on a couple of occasions we have gone for a rib of beef instead. One of our guests this year hates turkey so I think I will cook a rib of beef again.’ 

www.pushingthemoon.com

Kimberly:

‘We have a ham every year as hardly any of us like turkey. This year there are lots of us so there will be a goose too ‘

www.oddhogg.com

Wendy:

‘One year I did – IKEA meatballs, sticky chipolatas, fries, loganberry jam, sautéed red cabbage and Daim bar cake – all from the IKEA food shop for less than £20  – it was everyones favourite Christmas! 🙂 ‘

www.daisiesandpie.co.uk

Kati:

‘If I make a Christmas dinner it has to be apple-stuffed duck roast! I find turkey too bland and lean and if I’m going to go all-out, I might as well make it a cardiac arrest on a plate’

www.howtorockatparenting.wordpress.com

Clare:

‘My husband hates turkey he thinks it’s too bland so we compromise with a 3 bird roast normally. We had goose one year and it was so fatty and a pain in the bum to cook we just stick to a 3 bird.  I’m not telling him your having beef Wellington though that would be his preference!!’

www.freddiesmummyuk.wordpress.com 

Michelle:

‘For a few years, we did a Mexican Xmas Day.  Sombreros, Mexican decorations, games and Mexican food/Drink obv. Easier to get food from the supermarket in the rush and loads of fun! ‘

www.seeingRainbows.co.uk

Helen:

‘We have had steak, chips & peppercorn sauce for the past 5 years and love it! So chilled out and no peeling veg! ‘

www.casacostello.com

Jo:

‘I’m a vegetarian, so we don’t have turkey 😉 I make a savoury crumble instead, with loads of veg and cheesy crumble topping, and serve it with roast potatoes. Even my meat eating husband enjoys it!’

www.cupoftoast.co.uk

Liberty:

‘We always do something different. We are half south African and it sounds crazy but last year was brilliant, the lads went out to do the meat – a side of beef stuffed and rolled in foil on the fire (BBQ or braai as we’d call it) in the middle of a UK winter. They loved it and the kids too especially afterwards when we turned it in to bonfire. We added roasted vegetables and potatoes dauphinois to the meal which we’d done in the oven. All in all very little fuss and plenty of fun. ‘

www.libertyonthelighterside.com

Lynette:

‘We will be having chicken or lamb. I haven’t had a turkey Christmas dinner for about 20 years. I don’t really like turkey and I definitely don’t trust myself to cook it well. I know it would end up like the one in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’

www.reclusivefox.com

Charlotte:

‘One year we decided to have Christmas dinner out and I had roast pigeon! It was actually amazing and a welcomed change!’

 Www.themummytoolbox.com

Kelly:

‘We often have beef and I have a friend who lets everyone choose and so the kids pick fish fingers!’

www.thebestversionofkelly.com

Victoria:

‘We have a buffet with lots of elements from Spanish cuisine to reflect the Other Half’s heritage. ‘

www.starlightandstories.com

Sally:

‘Goose, pheasant, duck we’ve had them all as my family have never been huge turkey fans’

Www.motherand3sons.com

Natalie:

‘My cousin does turkey pasta because none of her family like a turkey roast. Sounds grim but she roasts the turkey, takes the meat off & turns it into a delicious pasta bake!’

www.crummymummy.co.uk

Sarah:

‘We’re doing a joint of beef this year.i will miss the turkey sandwiches though!’😂

www.digitalmotherhood.com

Christy:

‘This year we are having a three bird game roast – partridge, pheasant and pigeon! You may think eating pigeon is a bit weird but it’s actually a really delicate meat with a lot of flavour.’

www.welshmum.co.uk

Helen:

‘We tend to alternate, one year might be a rib of beef and a ham, other it will be a turkey. I’m not a huge fan of turkey so it’s a nice change for me. Important as I tend to be the cook!’

www.welshmumwriting.com

Tulley Farm – Pumpkin and Spookfest

​If you live in the South East and have not heard of Tulleys Farm and their Shocktoberfest you must be living under a rock.

I last went three years ago and have heard through the grapevine it has only got better. 

I could not wait to take the kids this half term.

As usual, nothing in our house goes to plan and after getting the household ready, I ran into a small problem on departure….a flat tyre.

But, living on a farm has its perks and we usually have a back up vehicle of some description.

On this occasion it was our trusty Landrover Defender that came to our rescue.

So, an hour later than planned, we were on our way.

Tulleys Farm is a seasonal family event venue in Sussex, between London and Brighton, close to Crawley and East Grinstead.  So much is put into each event that it never fails to excite throughout each season.

Drawing inspiration from the huge halloween industry in America, the Pick Your Own Farm began developing Tulleys Halloween events in around 2002.  It has since grown from visitors of 3,500 to the mega 60,000 it is welcoming now, over the Halloween period .

As a result of its phenomenal success, they have attracted some of the best Scare Experts in the business.

By day they run a fantastic family spooky experience and by night it becomes a terrifying fright fest that, quite franky, my bladder can no longer handle!

Last time I visited at night I spent most of the evening with my face burried in Mikes back!

For a fiesty lad #georgethemenace (my two year old) is scared of everything…  Spiders, clowns, masks, people dressed up and anything small that  moves.  

As much as I enjoy the cuddles his terror brings, I knew this year it was best to leave him behind.

Also, as much as Tulleys has catered well for buggies, as us parents know, mud and prams make hard work.

Luckily my mum and dad were around and agreed to watch the two smaller boys for me.

Tulleys Farm is made up of a few different rides/experiences.

My kids favourite everytime we visit is the Horrid Hayride.

This is a tractor ride through a creepy woods where the aim of the game is to make the kids scream (and laugh).  

I’m going to be careful not to give to much away because the element of suprise and unknown is half the fun.

I will say, unlike the evening experience, the actors are much tamer during the day so that it doesnt traumatise the children……too much 😜

During the day we visited all the main attractions.

We visitied Dirty Gerty and The Witches in The Woods.

We tried to find all the ghosts in the Cornmaze.  Which, FYI, is a perfect opportunity to loose the kids for half an hour.

The Twisted Fun House, which even tripped me out slightly when I realised six little faces were relying on me to escape. 

The more I tried to find the exit, the more we were faced with psychedelic clowns!

The Creepy Cottage was the ride that my older children found the scariest. Negotiating your way around a derelict cottage scattered with terrifying props

Inbetween all the rides are food stalls serving donuts, jacket potatoes, burgers, chicken, hogroasts and coffee….plenty of coffee everywhere!

The Pumkin Patch is really something to behold and you can buy them aswell as other great Halloween merchandise at the Farm Store.

As you walk around Tulleys there is plenty more entertainment scattered around.

Spooky theatre, street theatre, puppet shows and a pertrifying play area, there is so much to do we nearly ran out of time!
There really is nothing like this around.  It is such a brilliant concept and the planning that goes into it and the volume of visitors speaks for itself.

There are a few days left…….take a visit.  

Tulleys Farm is a seasonal attraction and I am definatly visiting at Christmas. 

Tulleys Farm have also introduced an attraction called Escape Rooms. I’ve been checking it out online and it seems a team of you are locked in a room and the only way to escape is by solving a series of puzzles.  I can’t wait to give that a go

I would love to hear your opinions if you have visited.

For more information on prices and opening times, take a look at

www.tulleysfarm.com


Tulleys Farm gave me entrance tickets in return for this review. However, all my opinions are entirely honest and without influence.

Our Day at Drusillas

We have been fortunate to visit a few special attractions around the South of England this Summer.

When I have asked the kids which one stands out, Drusilla’s Park won hands down.

It has been so long since I have been to Drusillas It is nothing more than a vague memory to me.  So when I was asked to give a review of the Park I jumped at the chance.

Anyone that I have spoken to about Drusillas has raved about it, so I was really excited to take the kids.

A friend of mine, Simin, lives in Eastbourne and has an Annual Membership for Drusillas.  She has been visiting the Park for over fifteen years.  So, apart from a great opportunity to meet up with her and her little girl, I thought it would be handy to go with someone who knows the zoo and can give me a guided tour!

Drusillas Park Is located just off the A27 at Ariston.

From where we live in Warlingham (just outside of Croydon) it took approximately an hour.

The kids usually hate long journeys, but I avoided the motorways and the route took us on a lovely drive through Ashdown Forest.

I had always thought Drusillas was a small zoo.  My kids adore animals and learning about different species so I knew I would be earning brownie points on this day out.  What we actually realised on arrival is that Drusillas is so much more than ‘just a small zoo’.

The variety of play areas and rides are probably the best I have ever seen!  But, I’ll tell you all about that later.

Lets start at the beginning of our day.

Car parking was simple and you don’t get charged to park in it.  This shouldn’t be a surprise, but a few of the attractions we have been to over the last six weeks have charged us for parking.

Like most of my days out, it started with a coffee.  Coffee is my ‘mama fuel’ to help me mentally cope with the day ahead.  Not only to make sure I don’t loose one of my six children, but to make sure I can keep an enthusiastic, ‘Balamory style’ attitude throughout the day.

Imagine my delight when I was greeted with a Starbucks sign!

After my caffeine fix, it was straight onto the animals.

The children had been given some activity booklets to complete on the way around the park.

I thought they were great because they were kept simple.  The kids had to spot animals listed in the booklet and stamp it accordingly.  This meant it was easy for my younger children to complete, whilst keeping the older ones entertained too.

They could also take part in the Zoolympics Challenge.  There were various points around the park where you could test your sporting skills against different animals.

Our first stop was Iguanas and Snakes.  The smell was reminiscent of the twins bedroom, so I was keen to move on fairly swiftly, but the kids took in every fact and bit of information available to them.

The Farmyard was lovely to mooch around, George loved it and It was so informative.  The older children have been to many farms and have books on most of our animals, yet we all learnt new facts at this section of the park.

-Did you know that dairy cows produce 21 litres of milk per day?

-Did you know that Donkeys are sometimes kept as pets to keep lawns short? (yea, I suggest swerving that informative can of worms!)

-I also learned that despite how I might feel sometimes, I am not built like a carthorse and, at a push, I just about have the strength of a Serval (a giant cat)….I know!? who knew!?

You don’t it about me, but I love monkeys!!! I could watch monkeys all day!! So Imagine my delight when our next stop was the capuchins (Marcel from Friends?) Marmosets, Colobus, Squirrel monkeys and Macaques.   There were even more species of Monkeys dotted around the park.


In all the years I have visited farms and zoos, I have never encountered Bats until I visited Drusillas.
The children and I were fascinated.  We could walk through an enclosed area where the bats were hanging (literally) all around us.  I grew up next to woodland and we would see the shadows of bats regularly during the summertime, but it was a completely different experience to see them up close.

New arrivals at Drusillas this year are the Giant Anteaters, and how amazing are they! (and, FYI, nothing like ALF!)

The park has over one hundred different animal species and I am not going to go through every one, but amongst some of our favourites were Beavers, Porcupines, Sloths, Camels and Penguins.  

I loved seeing the Flamingos, (and not just so that I could use that cute sticker on Insta Stories!)

They are so beautiful and pink…. I am working on mike to let me have a flock on the farm….what do you reckon my chances are!?

Another highlight of our day was our walk through Lemurland.  This is an enclosure where you can walk amongst the Lemurs and watch them jump across your path or if you are really lucky, they might even land on you!

The Go-Wild play area was exactly as it is described…Awesome Play.  It was every child’s dream and with a separate area for younger children, it had something for all ages.

The kids spent over an hour in this part of the park.  If they had their way they would have spent all day there! 

The photos don’t do Go-Wild justice.  I couldn’t possibly get a shot with everything included!

But, there was still so much to see so we had to drag them away from Go-Wild and head for the Get-Wet water park.

Simin had text me the night before to tell me to make sure I brought the kids swimming cosies and towels.  Now I don’t want to appear a whinge, but when you are getting ready to take six children out for the day something has to give.  On this occasion I forgot the swimsuits!

Luckily, it was such a hot day It didn’t stop Libby and George from having a great time jumping in and out of the fountains and water sprays.

Go Safari! is Drusillas new attraction which only opened this year. It is an area of the park made up of three rides.  They provide perfect thrills for younger children (my two and ten year olds enjoyed them).


The Hippopotobus, The Flying Cheetahs and The Safari Train which takes you on an adventure around the whole park.

Drusillas has a great Park Maze. We all had great fun getting lost and trying to find our way out.  I kept George safely on my shoulders the entire time we were in there.  Those of you who follow my blog and Instagram will understand why! #Georgethemenace

Hello Kitty Secret Garden is a lovely area with three more childrens rides.  The exciting 25ft hooper, a ride where you are bounced up and down.  The tea cups which, need no explanation and the Kitty car ride where you go on a magical journey through Hello Kittys Garden.

Stop at Hello Kittys House.  The girls met The Puss herself, Hello Kitty, and you can indulge with a pamper at her ‘Parlour’.  Children (or adults if you so wish!) can have their face painted, temporary tattoos and hair braids (at cost).

On this occasion I was organised and took a packed lunch with us. Therefore, I can not comment on Drusillas eateries but they all appeared clean and inviting (and the coffee was great😉)

The facilities were good and you were never too far from a toilet (which is always handy with six children!)

Harrison can not go anywhere without playing a shoot-me-up game so he was not dissapointed.

And, if we hadnt run out of time they would have liked a go on the climbing wall.
Drusillas have Keeper Talks and Animal feeding at regular times during the day and they have loads of events on throughout the year.  I would definitely recommend heading over to their website

www.drusillas.co.uk

We had such a great day!  The weather was glorious, but I can imagine we would have enjoyed it regardless.

On our way home from Drusillas, Mikey asked if he could go back and ‘be a keeper for the day’ for his birthday……I am certainly going to look into it.

If I have convinced you to take a trip to Alfriston to visit Drusillas, let me know what you think.

And, as always, Please share with your friends and followers 😘

I recieved free entry to Drusillas in return for this post. All of my opinions are completly honest and unbiased.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CampBestival 2017

Well, what an experience this was!!

On paper, this weekend was my idea of absolute hell.
Six children (two babies), a tent, rain….lots of rain, mud….lots of mud and not a tiled roof in sight!

Somehow, amongst the damp and filth, we dug deep into our British souls and managed to have a fantastic weekend (great friends and the Gin also helped).

Due to my total lack of organisation we didnt manage to secure a motorhome this year.
Instead, we opted for CB Boutique camping with a company called PodPads.

It was a six man bell tent that included a groundsheet, carpet and six campbeds with sheets.

There was enough room in our tent for our travel cot, double buggy and festival trolly.  Although, with all the paraphernalia that comes with two children under two, it was a squash in there and not much room to move around.
If the weather had been better and we could have left our bits outside it would have been much roomier.

There is a fab ‘reception tent’ where they provided us with free tea and coffee facilities and you can charge your phone free of charge.

One of the best things about Boutique camping (beside avoiding divorce while trying to errect a 6 man tent) is having the car park at a reasonable distance from your tent and being a short walk from the actual festival.

Last year, at the campervan field, it felt like a Marine assult course getting us, the five kids and a buggy from the motorhome to the festival.
Thats not meant to discourage anyone, but for us, and the ages of our children, we prefered to be closer to everything.

Next year we will head for Boutique again.  I am going to start doing my research now into what we will stay in and ill post about that over the next couple of weeks.

I would be lying if i said the weather did not affect our weekend. 
Although we all enjoyed ourselves, we didnt get to make the most of what Camp Bestival has to offer.

We tried to do as much as we could when the rain stopped, but there is so much to to do, we missed out on alot.

Having a couple of art-mad youngsters in our crowd, we headed to The Art Tent first.
The kids had a great time making dreamcatchers out of old vinyl records and cds.

Once the main acts started we headed over to Castle Field.
We rumaged for a spot like crazed fans to watch Justin Flethcher AKA Mr Tumble and then pitched up for my personal Camp Bestival highlight of the weekend…..Dick and Dom.  You’ve never know true exhilaration until you have screamed ‘BOGIES’ in the rain, like your eight year old self.

One thing that did help keep my spirits up while my Hunters were getting abused was The Alchemy Bar by Schweppes.

A Gin and Tonic cocktail bar where Special ingridiants mixed with the G&T’s added something a bit special to my already favourite drink.

So with a couple of bevvies inside us, we soldiered on.

We danced (in the rain) to All Saints, Mark Ronson, Madness, Louisa Johnson and the other amazing acts that made up the 2017 line up. 

The kids raved with Bflf in the Bollywood tent and threw some shapes at Sara Cox DJ set.

Now lets talk about the food…..oh the food!
Ive mentioned in previous posts about how much I love the Camp Bestival grub.

On the first night we had an obligitory crepe…one of the kids favourite things! Not cheap at £5 each, especially when you have as many mouths to feed as we do, but its becoming a tradition we cant resist.

The paad thai noodles are a huge hit with my little lot.  I can guarentee they will put away a portion each, no problem!!
And obvs, anything that does get left, Mike and I are ready and waiting to swoop in like seagulls on Brighton Pier!

The corn is another essential whilst at CB! I can guarentee, my instagram is always cluttered over CB weekend with gorgeous kiddies sinking their teeth into a golden, buttered corn on the cob in The Lower Kids Garden. 

Then you have Mikes playground, The Feast Collective.
This is a tent/section of the festival dedicated to different cuisines and dishes from all over the place.  Whether you fancy fish and chips or a lamb curry, The Feast Collective will sell it.
Mainly with a street food vibe, This is where i know ill find Mike if we get split up.

We tried DJBBQ pulled pork burger, which was everything i had hoped for after salivating over his Instagram over the last few months.
We tried chips, cheese and gravy which i am convinced would make the best hangover food and was another winner with the kids .
The dish of the weekend for me had to be the Indonesian Coconut Curry and dumplings…..it was the BEST curry I have ever had!

Another great thing about Camp Bestival is that you can bring your own food and drink into the grounds. 
So, as tempting as it is to just keep browsing the stalls, trying a dish ever hour, bringing your own bits will save your pennies.

The rain finally eased off on Sunday afternoon so thats when we headed to The Dingly Dell.

This is an area in the woods with a childrens park, farm animals and outdoor activities like zip wires, childrens building sites and Lizzies Way.
Now, im not going to lie, I haven’t made it to Lizzies Way.
I have been told by my other blogging friends that this is a highlight of Camp Bestival.
All i needed to hear was, in the middle of the woods, she has a mud cafe and you can make potions!!…this is enough to make sure it is our first stop on the list for next year!

Over the next couple of weeks I will publish more posts on Camp Bestival. 
I will cover more about the accomodation options, what to see, saving money and travelling there etc.

For now, the purpose of my post is to say, despite the weather, Camp Bestival 2017 was brilliant weekend, making more unforgettable memories with the kids, which, afterall, is what its all about.

The tickets for 2018 have just been released and ticketline offer a paymentplan.

You can book your tickets and pay them off weekly which I have done for last two years and it works so well.

Boutique options are not available yet but if you secure your weekend tickets, they include standard camping pitches. 

If I have managed to convince any of you to go, please let me know and we can keep in touch over the next few months and maybe even hook up over a G&T  in the Magic Meadow next year 😉

If you have enjoyed this post, please share it on your social media.

Love Kate x 

Day 10 – Sink or Swim 

Today is that day. 
The day after you have a baby that is sent to test your true strength.  

Today, Arthur is ten days old and this Is the day that is throwing everything at me, goading me, trying to break me.
Well, its midday and I haven’t reached for the gin.  Instead I’m laying in bed with my beautiful daughter watching trolls, enjoying a (hot) coffee and writing my blog.  

So guess what!?  You didn’t beat me!! I’m made of stronger stuff than that!! 
It started at 2am this morning.  

I woke up and popped to the loo, only to be greeted by the sight of a mouse running across the bathroom floor. 
I screamed at Mike but he seemed to deem his sleep more important than dealing with little Jerry in the bathroom. 

The mouse had dissappeared anyway so that had to wait till the morning to sort out.
Then at 4am George (our 20 month old) wakes up.  

The poor mite had been been sick in his cot.
He came in and snuggled in between Mike and I, then continued to be sick every ten minutes until 9am. 

Obviously I made sure it was aimed on mikes side of the bed,  resulting in him crashing Charlies room.
At 4.15am Arthur woke up for a feed. 

Ninja style, I managed to catch sick with a towel whilst breastfeeding AJ and making sure at no point I cross contaminated.
At 6am I went downstairs to make a coffee and let the dogs out.

Through bleary eyes I saw one of the dogs had escaped and was high-tailing it across the field without a care in the world. 
I chucked on the nearest shoes (mikes size 11 work boots) and dragged my feet out, into the garden and across the field to chase the Bullmastiff, who I’m pretty sure would have been waving a middle finger at me if she had one!  

Once she was safely indoors I went upstairs with my coffee and settled back into bed to feed again. 
Arthur had just  latched on when libby ran into the bathroom chucking her guts up. 

This is when I had a word with myself.  
I had two choices.  
I could crumple into the bed, crying into my sick smelling sheets.  

Just give up, admit defeat, open a bottle of prosecco and after 10 years of being a non smoker….spark up.
Or 
Pull myself together and work out what needs to be done.  

Stay calm, realise I can only do what I can do and If I start the day like this there might be a glimmer of hope. 

So, I finished feeding Arthur, ran a warm bubble bath, stripped the beds and chucked the sheets in the washing machine. 

I explained to my three older boys that I really needed there help and asked them to make their breakfast, tidy the kitchen and fed the animals. 

Usually this would be met with a moan but because they saw George was unwell,  they jumped to attention and helped without any questions.

George is like a little celebrity in our house. The kids adore him and put him on a very high pedestal.  In fact,  if Mike or I tell him off we usually have to explain ourselves to the older kids. 

Libby and George jumped in the bath and I washed Libby’s hair and rinse the smell of sick off birth of them. 
I put George back in his cot for a nap / play / whatever he wanted to do to buy me an hour or so.   As it happens, the early start was staying to affect him and he went back to sleep for a couple of hours.
Libby sat on my bed watching Game Shakers (one of the most irritating programmes ever)  but if it keept her happy it would make my morning easier.
Then I managed to clear all my washing away,  bleech the bathroom,  vacuum and freshen up my bedroom and make poached eggs on toast!  WTF! Even I didn’t expect to get all that done!  

By now the sheets are ready and I took them out of the tumble anf make the bed. 

I had a shower and washed my hair. 

I cuddled up with Libby with another coffee and I sat back and watched Trolls!

By now Arthur is due another feed and George is just waking up. 
All this before midday!
Now I feel on top of the day,  nothing can bring me down. 
Now, I don’t like to show off,  parenting can be hard,  especially with a newborn.
But today I rocked motherhood, today didn’t beat me! Today,  I’m winning 🏆
If you enjoy reading my blog please share the love amongst your friends.  

Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email or word of mouth, sharing is caring 😘

Love Kate 

Baby One vs Baby Five

​ I’ve been thinking about how much I have changed from the first time mum of twins I was ten years ago to the mum of nearly six now. 


This list worried me a bit,  and before you contemplate calling social services after reading this, George is the happiest baby I have ever known! 

You tend to do so much different the second, third, fourth,  fifth and sixth time round 😱
Baby One :

I started looking at buggies and cots when I was about 10 weeks pregnant. 


Baby five: 

I dragged the dusty cot out of the loft on my due date. 

Buggy? I don’t have time for a buggy, I just strap baby to me and go! 

_________________

Baby One:
Book pregnancy massage at 30 weeks to relax.

Baby Five :

Radox relaxing bubble bath while one child is talking to me whilst taking a dump on the loo and another throwing toys at my head. 
___________________

Baby one :

‘oh wow, congratulations,  that is such wonderful news ‘

Baby Five:

‘ANOTHER ONE!?  you need to stop now!  Send him for the snip!

_______________________

Baby One :

Panic and Google everything about childbirth, gather as many stories as possible and hope your hospital stay is minimal. 
Baby Five :

Not to worried about the pain,  more concerned how I will muster the energy to actually push the baby out. 

After two homebirths,  considering a hospital birth to blag a couple of peaceful days with my feet up being waited on. 

_____________________

Baby One:

Sterilise the sh*t out of everything, dummies,  bottles,  hubby’s hands….  

Baby Five :

Put the dummy in my mouth to clean it!  (come on,  I just watched the dog lick the babies hands and my five year old put her fingers in his mouth!)

_____________________

Baby One :

Keep everyone away for a couple of days after the birth to recover,  when they do come,  hostess and act like the perfect, coping mum  

Baby Five :

Invite as many people as possible over as soon as baby is born and go straight to bed to ensure you can buy enough ‘visitor baby hugs’ time to get a good couple of hours sleep.

_____________________

Baby One :

Boil wash every item of clothing prior to baby wearing it and clean bedclothes daily.

Baby Five :

Wash at 30 degrees with the other kids clothes and only wash bed clothes when baby has been sick!  

Otherwise it falls in the general house rules of one wash a week! 

______________________

Baby One :

Buy every lotion, potion and gimic you can afford. 

Baby Five :

Olive oil for cradle cap, lavender oil in the bath rather than the £10 bottle of lavender scented baby bath cream.   

Oh, and FYI, Calpol is exactly the same as the own brand baby paracetamol but triple the price. 

_____________________

Baby One :

Two weeks post birth spent in hibernation.

Baby Five :

School run six hours later.


___________________

Baby One:

Panic over the ‘ right ‘ time to start your baby on solids. 

Baby Five:

Disregard the professionals and as soon as baby isn’t getting satisfied by milk the porridge comes out.


______________________

Baby One :

Toddler groups three mornings a week. 

Baby Five:

Organising coffee mornings around what coffee shop has  the best ‘kids area ‘ 

______________________

Baby One :

Never take the babies to McDonald’s! They will only eat healthy, organic food including their 5-a-day until they are 9!

Baby Five :

Tried McDonald’s by nine months and even substituted the fruit for an apple strudel.

______________________

Baby One :

6.30pm bedtime,  no excuses. Boom!

Baby Five :

It’s 8pm and the baby is watching Fresh Prince with the older kids. 

If the house is quiet why rock the boat? 


____________________

Baby One :

Plan toilet training like it is a military operation.

Baby Five :

Forget to put a nappy on the baby and realise after two days he has been using the potty in the corner. 

______________________

Baby One :

At one month old, researching primary schools, high schools and universities so that my angels can become the next prime minister, doctor or lawyer.

Baby Five :

Now looking at high schools for real for the older kids.

Primary school is already planned under the sibling rule and ive actually realised,  as long as they are happy and have good support, who cares what they are when they are older. 

_______________________

Baby One :

Baby gates everywhere! Can’t possibly risk baby falling down the stairs. 

Baby Five :

Teach baby how to climb down stairs safely before he can even walk. 

________________________

Baby One :

Worry at 2pm that baby hasn’t had lunch and stop everything to make sure they have a suitable meal. 

Baby Five :

At 2pm wonder if the two ginger biscuits and a mouthful of mud he had at the park is ok to pass for lunch.


______________________

Baby One :

Perfect changing bag packed and full of baby necessities at all times.  

Baby Five :

Two nappies in one pocket and baby wipes and a dummy in the other and off we go! 

_________________________

Baby One :

If the baby starts creating in a restaurant,  stick by your guns,  ride the tantrum out and beam with pride when you win and other diners are patting you on the back. 

Baby Five :

Baby creates in a restaurant and you pass them the lemon from your g&t, a left over rib, order a chocole brownie or do just about anything they want just to shut them up…..then roll your eyes at the disapproving diners! 😂


 

10 things I love vs 10 things I hate about pregnancy  

I am linking up today with Parent Blogs Elite Linky #1 with Jenny at www.midwifeandlife.com

Because I have spent nearly four of the last ten years pregnant people assume I must love it.
It’s not so much about loving it as trying to embrace it and making the most of it.   It is after all a blessing.

Having said that,  like everyone I know all to well it’s good and bad points….

I have noted a few below:

LOVE 💗:
1) Obvs being able to eat tonnes of chocolate without feeling guilty and weighing myself 10 minutes later.

2) Not going out, You always have the perfect excuse to blow someone out! Yes I am saying that!  There are times when you are pregnant when no excuse is needed…. You just don’t fancy it!
3) No 2, same rules apply for the bedroom 😜
4) No hangovers, it’s rubbish watching other people get trollied without you but something empowering about being the only sober one, mentally noting all the Sh#t everyone is talking.
5) Those lovely little kicks that remind you something so special is happening inside you.

6) Planning for your new arrival, preparing the nursery, collecting and washing new baby clothes and enjoying the serene room you have created before your little bundle of pooping and crying joy arrives to cause carnage.
7) Not having to explain yourself if you decide to take an afternoon nap or go to bed at 5.30pm.  That NEVER happens to me with five children but you first time mums know what I’m talking about!

8) The waddle….come on,  this should go in ‘Hates’ but you can use it to your advantage.  If exaggerated just right you can pretty much get anyone to do anything you want.   eg, I might offer…

‘ would you like a cup of tea guy’s’

‘oh lovely,  thanks ‘

(cue me, struggling to get up out of my seat followed by a pro-waddle for a few steps, stop,take a deep breath……)

‘kate, sit back down hun,  I’ll do it ‘

‘are you sure,  I don’t mind ‘😜

…waddle back a bit quicker to my seat 😂

9) Playing the labour game with your other half and friends.

After about 35 weeks, every now and then, let out a quick loud ‘labour’ groan. Their faces are priceless!

Mike never fails to jump 5 foot in the air and scream ‘what,what, is this it!? ‘

😂😂…..

‘oh, no, false alarm  While you’re up babe could you do me a cuppa and a cheese and ham toastie, cheers ‘ 😉
10) The closeness it brings us as a family.   I love laying on the sofa with Libby’s head on my tummy,  the boys asking if the baby and I are OK and talking about all the exciting things that are going to happen over the next few weeks.

Hate: 😣

1) Putting on weight so quickly you forgot what you look like pre baby making.

2) Pregnancy brings a whole new meaning to

‘i don’t have anything to wear ‘.

Unless I want to spend £100’s on maternity clothes that make me look like pat butcher!

Jeggings, leggings,  baggy jumpers and t shirts is my wardrobe for 9 months.
My mother in law owns a lingerie shop and her first words to me as soon as we announce we are pregnant is ‘ your not wearing an underwire are u?’

Apparently that is really bad for a pregnant/nursing mum so she gives me a few really comfortable but totally unflattering maternity bras.

3) Mental hormones, last week I was in the car with mike and the kids when they said something that made me laugh.  My laugh turned from a Giggle to hysterical laughing to hysterical crying within 30 seconds.  It was so crazy the kids were getting scared and I couldn’t calm down to tell them not to worry.

Mike was looking at me like I was something from the exorcist which made me laugh and cry even more.

When we got home the kids Sent me to bed and told me ‘ you need some rest, you’re not normal ‘

4) Heartburn, it’s just constant and I drink more milk than my new born will at the moment.

5) Sleepless nights,  everyone associates sleep deprivation with a newborn but no one tells you about the 3 months of broken sleep you will get in your third trimester. If it’s not a full bladder it’s restless legs, aching back or vivid, nasty dreams.

Guarenteed, at least once in every pregnancy I have a dream Mike cheated on me.   They are so vivid I wake up, snarl and ignore him for the rest of the day!

6) piles – say no more

7) No botox or cosmetic procedures – I have aged 4 years in 6 months!

8) Lack of energy, as I lay here, writing this Its 9.07am, George is in bed with me but I should be up getting some washing and housework done.

9) Food…..no alcohol, no yummy cheese,  no pate, no shellfish, no liver, no runny eggs, no coffee, no sushi and ironically, guess what my cravings are!?  😠

10) That stage of pregnancy when you don’t look pregnant but there is no doubt you are packing a few more pounds….  Urgh!

Do you have any Loves or Hates of pregnancy to add? I would love to hear.


Midwife and Life

Chicken Pox help 

Looks like Chicken Pox is doing the rounds again 🤒

I have to share an amazing medicine that relieved my boys and ended their misery..

My four older children have all had ‘the pox’ and one caught it off another.

First Charlie (very mild and over in no time), Libby was the last to get it and it didnt really effect her either.  Then there was the twins, in the middle and it was worse than I could imagine!

They had spots everywhere, their bodies, their eyelids, mouth, lips, absolutly everywhere.  

They were in agony, one evening they didnt sleep at all, wriggling, itching and crying.  I tried all the creams and drugs they offered but nothing worked.
I cant remember who it was that suggested it, whether it was advice given on Facebook or an answer to my desperate google searches but the suggestion was OATS.


Oats that you can buy from any supermarket.

I took an old pair of tights, filled the foot with oats and wrapped it around the bath tap.  I let the bath run through the tights, warm water but not too hot. 

It ran out like a milky liquid and as soon as the boys got in there was instant relief.

That was the beginning of the end of Chicken pox for them, the relief wasnt just instant, it also lasted hours.  As soon as they felt uncomfortable again I would run another bath.

Your babe may not get it as bad and,  like Charlie and libby,  probably cope fine with a bit of camomile lotion.

For anyone whose children really suffer, I hope this helps you as much as it did for us!

Lots of Love xxxx 


 

 

 

 

Pink hair don’t care!

​Always a good start to the morning when your daughter finally wakes up ten minutes before you need to leave the house. 

She walks into your room to unveil a head of pink hair!


‘ what the hell!!!! You painted your hair again??  I only washed it out Last night,  why did you do that!!!???? ‘
‘no, mum,  listen,  it was an accident!’  she is so matter of fact, like it’s no big deal and certainly not of her choice. 

Bullshit!

No time for a shower!
That’s one new years resolution fucked…. 

Making sure libby always goes to school in a presentable fashion.
I think she was wearing her sparkly party tights to! …..  I need to get this shit together!  😥
Does anyone else’s kids give them migraines before 8am? 😂

Happy New Years……Resolutions? 

​2016 has been an exciting year for me.   My new addition, George has given me his first giggles, crawled, taken his first steps and become a fully fledged toddler.

I watch my beautiful sister in law get married on one of the best holidays I’ve ever had.

I spent a fantastic weekend in Dublin with some of my favourite girls. 

I found out we are expecting baby number 6 and started my Modernmum blog.

I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me and encouraged me throughout my blogging experience.😘

I have met some wonderful new people through this journey and still feel it is only just beginning.   

Looking forward to seeing you on the other side…2017! 🎊🎉

I was chilling in the bath earlier,   thinking about what my new years resolutions will be for 2017.
I’ve never made NY resolutions before (mainly because I know I’ll never keep them,  why add pressure!?) 
But this year, I feel like I want to challange myself,  to see if I am capable.   

So here it goes….   

-Being pregnant I’m not about to put pressure on myself to lose weight,  however,  baby is due in April.  By next Xmas I would like to be pre pregnancy weight. #goals

-Stop convincing myself Libby’s messy bun is an acceptable school hairstyle.   Actually start brushing and tieing it up neatly every morning. 

-Take George to more toddler groups and less coffee shops. 

-Start working at a desk rather than on the laptop infront of the TV.

-Always make sure the kids have lots of paper/supplies for homework projects.  They get so embarrassed taking in a scrappy bit of A4 when little jonny looks like Monet has done his homework. 

-With the children,  sign up to at least three charity fundraisers.

-No more dogs! 
-Always answer my mobile phone, even if I know it is cold callers, politely tell them to fuck off.

-Go out for more family walks,  such a cheap fun way to spend time together.  If we end up at the local pub… Even better!

-Stick with this blogging lark, I am really enjoying it and maybe even double my followers (feel free to share away😘)
-Get my arse into gear and make sure we have turkeys here in the summer.  Next Xmas we will be supplying your Xmas dinner) 
-Laugh more,  love more and try harder. 
So what’s your news years resolutions?  Or like me in the past,  do you just not bother? 
Happy New Year, Lots of Love
Kate xxxx

How I get shit done with a baby 

​One of the most common things I get asked as a mum of thousands of children is ‘ how do you get anything done with a baby? ‘

The answer is really simple,  at home, behind closed doors, we call it ‘ the cage’ on the outside you call it a playpen!

You could stress yourself out, intent on baking cookies with your 9 month old who cant even eat properly yet.   

Or spend hours with play doh that your toddler would rather eat than play with.

Or try and get jobs done with a year old on your hip.

All this is lovely of corse, memory making and learning but don’t let the ‘perfect mum’ give you shit for needing to get stuff done,  especially when you have older children that still need your attention.
When George was a baby I used the playpen to keep him safe.


So that I could go and start dinner, sort the washing out, help the others with homework or simply chill out for 10 minutes without the worry that Libby might start feeding him like one of her dolls or the dog didn’t lick his face after giving their doggy bits a chew.

As he has got older and started to crawl and walk I put a couple of his favourite toys in their and let him play.   

Not only does this give me time to get stuff done it also teaches him how to play without me,  gain confidence and problem solve. 


Obviously, before you start judging me I’m not talking about putting him in the cage and popping out for a few vodkas at the pub.

I’m usually in the next room or running up and downstairs constantly checking on him. 
By doing this when I need it it leaves me calm quality time to spend when I do sit down and bake cookies and play with the play doh (😂😂😂 whatever,  he is 15 months, I have years of that to come) when I play blocks, helping him climb in and out of his toy car or play who can scream the loudest.
My point is,  don’t try and be a martyr, it doesn’t hurt them to play on their own for a while while you do whatever you need to get done or just sit down with a cuppa.
I have done it with all of mine.