How to Make a Birthday a Day Out in Derbyshire

George’s 3rd Birthday

Young birthdays are difficult to cater for. You need to strike the balance between an entertaining day out for the children and also the adults.

We decided to go to Carsington Waters, which is a nature reserve and sailing centre near Wirksworth, Derbyshire. For older children you can hire bikes and there is a fantastic play park. They have a visitor centre with a selection shops and Severn Trent Water have a great interactive educational exhibition.

Outside there are many picnic area and we set up shop near the play park. We took a disposable BBQ and invited friends and family to join us.

George and Olivia loved playing and George made many trios to the play park for the delights of the play frame and slides.

Cake Time

George loves Sonic the hedgehog so it was a no-brainer… Sonic cake! We bought some figurines from eBay and there was an exclusive we received the week before from lootcrate with the running sonic… perfect!

Grandad made the cake and iced a layer of chocolate icing. Hubby finished off the decoration. George loved it!


The kiddies are a bit young for a nature walk so we took hopscotch and giant bubbles with us. The giant bubbles went down a storm… Thanks Uncle Dave and Auntie Jo. The bubbles were huge and some drifted really far, much to the enjoyment of many other children.

In true British style we were equipped with both sun cream and umbrellas: we needed both.

Thank you

Both babies had a great day. Thank you to everyone who came along and thank you to all who gave George gifts xxx

The Benefits of Outdoor Play – 10 Reasons to promote outdoor play in children

“Fresh Air will help you sleep”

This is something my Gran would say. Now I have kids of my own, I know what she means. It does worry me that we are in a digital world now and the ability to play outdoors is being lost for children. If the digital age doesn’t threaten outdoor play then the blame culture world we live in does. Children can’t do much these days as people are so afraid of being sued. Better safe than sorry eh? Continue reading “The Benefits of Outdoor Play – 10 Reasons to promote outdoor play in children”

A Magical Morning at In The Night Garden Live

In the Night Garden Live

George fell in love with In The Night Garden after watching it each time he visited his Grandma. She would record the shows to play them back for him when he visited. We later discovered it is available on BBCiplayer so he didn’t need to keep watching the same few shows. He loved each show the same anyway, but Makka Pakka made him do a jump, jog and laugh dance (George does that when excited). Continue reading “A Magical Morning at In The Night Garden Live”

Adele’s Easy Stock Recipe For Toddler Meals

Stock Recipe’s

Are you a chef? If the answer is no then you  probably don’t make your own stock for when recipes call for it in your kitchen. I’ve had a go at making stock a couple of times when I’ve purchased a new recipe book… who hasn’t right? Most of the time though, I use stock cubes as they are so much easier and take up very little space in storage. Continue reading “Adele’s Easy Stock Recipe For Toddler Meals”

Adele’s Yummy Pasta Bol – Toddler Foods That They Eat

Toddler Food

Getting my little boy to eat veggies was simple when he was weaning. He tried anything we put in front of him and seemed to enjoy it. Then something happened. Anything colourful started to offend him. He got better but he can still detect green food even if he doesn’t see if go in his mouth. It is quite astonishing. I worry that he is going to get in the habit of eating the wrong foods. I don’t want to force George to eat foods he doesn’t want to eat as I think meal times should be a pleasurable experience. Here is one of my pasta bol recipes for packing veggies into my fussy little toddler. Continue reading “Adele’s Yummy Pasta Bol – Toddler Foods That They Eat”

Taking Baby Passport Photos at Home

Leaving The Country With Your Children

I’ve had a couple of really nice holidays this year with my children. We staying in a caravan in south Wales and we enjoyed a week away with friends in Whitstable. We were lucky to have great weather on both holidays but living in sunny Britain, great weather can never be guaranteed.

We have decided to go to Majorca later this year which will be Olivia’s first flight and George’s first flight where he has his own seat. We booked flights as soon as Olivia was born but then the timer started ticking… time to get her first passport.  Continue reading “Taking Baby Passport Photos at Home”

Back To School Gear – Custom Ideas from Etsy

Back to School

Retailers gear up for “Back to School” before your children have even broken up for the summer. I remember his time well as a child. Without exception, I would want a new bag, new stationery and anything else which would set me apart from everybody else when I returned to school. I would take pride in my equipment and so I already had all of these things in excellent condition but it didn’t matter.

Last Minute Purchases

As I got older my purchases would come later and later and in the end I would usually go to a supermarket for my equipment where possible. The problem with this is… that’s where everybody else goes!!!

Get some custom gear with Etsy

Some of the following links are affiliate which doesn’t cost you anything but means I may get a small kickback from the site.

Reflectors for bags

I love these reflectors from Aiste’s Reflectors Shop and I have had the pleasure of testing on out this summer. The reflectors come in different designs and are on an elasticated string as we all know how good kids are for getting things snagged. The catch for attaching the reflector to clothes or a bag is of good quality so should hold. They look nice and are a nice custom safety feature for your children going back to school.

Custom Name Tags

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These cute name tags from MammyMadeMe Shop are fab for customising generic items. Some of the back to school items you get from supermarkets are great value, quality and functional but adding a tag can make it special for your child.

Personalised Pokemon Tags

Exclusive Personalized Pokemon Keychain - Backpack Tag - Pokemon Keychain - School Supplies - Gamer Gear - Best gift under 20

These Tags from FiveFeathers5 can be customised and are a great idea if you are allowing your child that precious “key to the door”. As a teacher I have dealt with numerous “I’ve lost my key” complaints from children. Using a tag like this you can customise they key chain without giving away the address and hopefully making it easier to be identified if it gets handed in to lost property. A great back to school item.

Custom Bags

Mini Personalised Backpack with ANY NAME Pre School Young Children Kids Children School rucksack

These bags from EdwardsPrint Shop are a great idea, especially if your child goes to nursery and they are always losing/soiling clothes. It will help staff return items to your child’s bag without getting mixed up. Siblings may also like a personalised bag if they want the same style or colour yet squabble over ownership.


Stay Hydrated

These custom bottles from MollyDollyDecal Shop should ensure your child is proud of their water bottle and prevent any mix ups. The bottles Come in four different colours and you can also add a football or unicorn decal as well. If you already have a bottle sorted, no worries, this seller can also print a decal for you to add to your own bottle.

Personalised Pencil Case

Purple Retro Kids Pencil Case Personalised Luxury Deep Filled case, Back to School, Stationery Supply for Boys and Girls

I just adored this personlised retro pencil case from TheGiftedFoxShop Retro is totally in at the moment and these cases can be customised with any name. You just need to let the shop owner know after the order has gone through. Another back to school must have.




I’m a bit of a stationery nut so I think I’m going to write some more posts focusing on the best stationery gear. I’ll add the links here as I go along.

Let me know what you think of the products or if you have any products that you would recommend.

Thanks for reading.