Our Break to Butlins Minehead Part 3: More fun with our little ones!

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Earlier this week I wrote about the fun we had as a family in Butlins Minehead, but there were of course far too many photos for just the one post- cue Part 3 of our adventure to the sunny(ish) South West! 

I talked before about the fabulous time both Freddie and Sasha had at the dedicated under 5’s fairground, but we also really enjoyed our time at the main fairground- both adults and children alike! Here are some snaps of our lovely Wednesday evening there (Wednesday is later night opening until 8pm, so loads of post-dinner fun to be had):

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As I mentioned previously, going on an inter-generational family holiday is great from the perspective that you can all have a go on some rides, whilst taking it in turns to mind the children (or go on some rides with them!). F really surprised us all by being a right daredevil, and having a go on the adult swing ride (above) on a double seat with one of us adults, and also an umbrella ride that went round and round, and up high in the sky (I can’t think of a good name for it). For a usually fairly cautious child this was a bit of a revelation, and we were delighted at how much fun he was having!

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On the umbrella ride with Nanny as the sun was setting (they are far right of the photo). I’m not sure Nanny was quite so keen on this ride as Freddie was, but he insisted she ride with him!

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A snap of them again in the blue carriage!

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In the fairground there was still plenty for Sasha to do, and she ended up loving the mini trampolines, as well the horse carousel that she bravely rode on her own for the first time.142177

Adam and Grandad took competitiveness to new heights, and enjoyed a couple of sessions on the go-karts, Grandad coming up trumps in the first race, only for Ad to beat him the next day in the re-match! 

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During our stay I have to give kudos for the troopers that are our little ones (and my husband!). Poor F was poorly with a temperature at the start of our stay, with only Calpol pepping him up, and then Sasha and Ad got sick towards the end, again, with the purple stuff and Neurofen keeping them going. We actually still managed to do almost everything we wanted to do, which is amazing really, all things considering. Thank goodness for buggies where naps can be taken when needed, and thank the lord for Calpol!

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On one of the mornings Adam and I took the children to Soccer Tots, an activity they’d both previously enjoyed in Bognor Butlins last October. 

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Again, the staff were great, and Freddie, now that bit older, is starting to get ‘into’ football and really enjoyed himself. I love this shot of my little budding Beckham! 

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Madam decided that she wasn’t quite as keen this time, and chose to hang out with me on the sidelines and watch her brother. I love her little thoughtful face here!

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Someone else was really chuffed to get their second medal at the end of the session though! These classes are great, and because they take place almost every morning, are never overcrowded. I would definitely recommend them for burning off some energy at the start of the day!

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I touched on briefly in my last post about the fact that we had a Premium Meal plan for our stay, and that I think it’s worth every penny. The choice at breakfast was AMAZING (cooked, fresh omelettes, fresh fruit, pastries, BLTs cooked to order, cereal, yoghurts, pancakes cooked to order… I could go on!). For dinner there was a huge variety of meals to choose from that changed daily, plus a pasta bar, Chinese food station, salad bar, a roast dinner station, and the most tempting array of desserts going. I wouldn’t hesitate to go Premium again. Sasha here is enjoying her beans on toast breakfast, a favourite meal of hers at any time of day! Despite the gorgeous cuisine on offer, some 3 year olds are just easily pleased πŸ˜‰

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Even though we had a premium meal plan that was top-notch, we decided to forgo our last evening meal in favour of The Diner. Having eaten in the Bognor restaurant before, we knew the burgers, and even more so, the milkshakes, were INCREDIBLE! 

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We let both children have a few slurps of ours, as honestly, they are HUGE and very rich. They went down a treat!186

I was very proud of how well our little lady did- it was at this meal that she started to feel unwell, and ended up eating most of her meal in a tray in her buggy :-(

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Me and my boy! <3 (Can’t beat the shiny, make up free look πŸ˜‰ )

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The menu at The Diner is vast, and portions are very generous, so our tip is to sample a bit of everything between you all, but don’t over order! 

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…and after you’ve eaten, there’s nothing like running it all off with a trip to one of the many playgrounds in the resort! 

During our stay we also made the most of other facilities, such as the Splash Waterworld and The Outdoor Paddling Pool, which the children (and us) loved, but I obviously couldn’t film at these. 

So what was my opinion of Butlins Minehead overall?

I can honestly say that whilst I enjoyed my time at Bognor, and the facilities and eateries are practically identical, I feel Minehead has now really won us over, predominately because of the BRILLIANT new chalet accommodation that actually made staying in with little ones on an evening a pleasure. They really are the business (and you can read what we thought of them HERE). 

The resort is spotlessly clean, and yet again, the staff were all so helpful and friendly, which is something that Butlins really gets right when it comes to nurturing its brand. Everyone who works there genuinely seems like they want to be there and do the best job they can. 

I can hand on heart say that any snobbery and bad preconceptions I had about Butlins have gone, and it really is a fantastic place to bring children, both young and older ones. I can see why so many loyal families come again year after year!

So I just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to Butlins for making us ambassadors for 2014-2015, we’ve had the BEST time.

Whoever takes over the reins will be a lucky blogger indeed!

 

As Ambassadors for Butlins we were given a 4 night, term time stay and premium dining plan in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions my own.

 

 

 

 

 

Our Break to Butlins Minehead Resort Part 2: The Preschooler Edition

One of the things I love now about being a Mum is seeing the wonder of new adventures and holidays through the eyes of your little ones. There is still a place (very occasionally!) for an adult weekend away and the lie ins and late nights that come with it, but there is also something really fabulous about seeing your children enjoy themselves on a holiday that is well-suited to their needs and interests. 

In Part One of our trip to Butlins Minehead, I talked about how great the accommodation was, and just how chuffed we were with the new chalets in the West Lakes Village. Now it’s time to talk about what we got up to during our 5 days away with Freddie and Sasha, as well as Adam’s parents. I can honestly recommend a 3 generational family holiday if you all get on (luckily we do!), as it gives everyone a chance to relax as there are is a high child:adult ratio! πŸ˜‰ 

This is a very photo-heavy post with a gazillion snaps, but I couldn’t not capture all the fun we had, both within the resort, and on the beach next to it.

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After arriving and unpacking on the Monday afternoon, we all went for a little explore around the resort. Like Bognor, the Pavilion is the heart of the complex, housing a great many cafes and restaurants, shops, as well as the main stage where the family shows take place, plus snooker, bowling, soft play and the amusements. Freddie in particular remembered that the Pavilion at Bognor was similar, and got very excited when we first went in, explaining everything to Nanny and Grandad!  We spent a fair bit of time at the soft play whilst the grown ups had a coffee! Ideal when the weather was less then perfect on a our first full day. If the children are happy and relaxed, then so are we!

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We caught the Thomas the Tank Engine show one morning, which was a big hit with both Freddie and Sasha, and helped keep them both amused whilst S had her face painted. There were loads of other shows we could have seen, such as Fireman Sam and Angelina Ballerina (who appeared at a character meet and greet before dinner outside our allocated restaurant one night, much to Sasha’s conflicting feelings of delight/terror!)

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One of the great things about the Pavilion is that there is so much for little ones to do, especially when the weather isn’t great. The joys of a Great British holiday! Face painting like Sasha had done (Spiderman, natch), above, was only a fiver, and we found like Bognor, that the 2p machines were great fun for both adults and children alike!

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A definite bit of nostalgia for our own childhoods at English holiday resorts!

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My smiling, happy boy, super-excited at the under-5s indoor fairground, just next to the Pavilion! I loved the fact that this was separate from the main fairground, and meant that little ones could enjoy the rides without the possibility of bigger children being intimidating. 

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Weeeeeeeeee!

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Both children loved this mini ladybird rollercoaster, but they each wanted their own ladybird! The under 5s fairground is open 10 until 5, and until 8pm on Wednesdays. 

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Being train mad, Freddie had several go’s on the mini railway, and roped Grandad in on this occasion! 

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We must have spent a good half an hour watch the children go down this giant slide again and again. We didn’t mind though, as like I said before, we get so much pleasure seeing them both have a good time :-) What was great about the little fairground (and in fact, the big one), is that we hardly had to queue at all, and if we did it wasn’t for very long. 

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Literally opposite the resort across the road was the beautiful Minehead beach. There’s what seems to be miles of golden, sandy beach, and safe waters, perfect for little ones to paddle in. 

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We just had to get some new buckets and spades from one of the shops on site (Butlins has a great, very reasonably priced selection so you don’t have to take your own) and build a few sandcastles! 

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It was a bit windy on the beach but our family enjoyed a good couple of hours there on the Tuesday afternoon before the rain came. Both Sasha and Freddie are big ‘sand lovers’ and would spend hours playing with the stuff! Unlike their sand-phobic Mum

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So happy to be at the beach! It really is fab that the beach is so close to the complex, as you can just nip across for a short amount of time, before heading back for a rest, to see a show or join in an activity. 

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This is how close we were!

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You can’t beat teeny pairs of Crocs in the sand :-)

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My little lady, who practically had to have her white sunglasses surgically removed each bedtime whilst we were away!

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Me and my boy (and me looking a bit wind-swept!)107

A family snap of us at the end of our second day, before heading out to dinner. We were allocated a Premium dining plan, which meant we had breakfast and dinner included in one of the Premium restaurants within the resort. I can’t recommend spending that extra bit of money enough, but I’ll talk more about that in Part 3 of my write up, coming later this week!

There is still so much more to talk about, and more pics to show you about our final 3 days and what we got up to with our little ones. 

Stay tuned!

 

If you want to read Part 1 of our trip to Butlins Minehead and find out all about the wonderful Lakeview Chalets, click HERE.

If you’re interested in our previous Butlins break to Bognor Regis with preschoolers, then click HERE and HERE.

As Butlins Ambassadors we stayed at their Minehead resort for 5 days, 4 nights, mid-week term time free of charge, with a Premium meal plan for 6 people included. All thoughts and opinions my own though!

Interiors Inspiration: Bathroom Mirrors

Big ‘High 5′ to Monday (or that’s what I’m telling myself anyway)! Today I’m getting fully getting back in the swing of things after having the most amazing 5 weeks or so off to, you know, get hitched, honeymoon and take our little ones on a family holiday down in Somerset. The usual. πŸ˜‰ As much as I’ve had the best time, there’s also something about getting back into a bit of a ‘normal’ routine that is comforting. Does that make me a saddo? Probably, but I care not! 

What has also been taking up a great deal of time and energy too over the past few months is having our new loft conversion built. Well, it is now officially finished from a building and decoration point of view, but whilst we can move up there in the interim whilst Sasha’s new room is decorated, we can’t get fully settled as our carpets and bathroom flooring aren’t coming until the end of August/beginning of September *waaaah* Which is frustrating but not the end of the world. 

In the meantime, I’ve still been able to source some great accessories for our new room, and I’ve also been on the hunt for the perfect bathroom mirror for our en-suite bathroom, which leads me to this post. 

Our new bathroom is floor-to-ceiling subway tiles and dark grey grout (similar to our big family bathroom), with a walk-in shower, sink and vanity unit, wall radiator and of course, the loo. I’d been looking for statement bathroom mirrors that would add interest to what is an otherwise small space, and here is what I found…

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1. Restoration Rectangular Bathroom Wall Mirror – John Lewis – Β£60

2. Miller Stockholm Extending Shaving Mirror – John Lewis – Β£155

3. Round Hanging Mirror – John Lewis – Β£60

4. Mosaic Round Bathroom Mirror – Homebase – Β£14.99

5. Hanging Heart Mirror – Marks and Spencer – Β£19.50

6. Copper Pedestal Mirror – Marks and Spencer – Β£29.50

7. Porthole Mirrors (Various sizes available) – Graham and Green – Β£59 – Β£160

8. Carriage Mirrors – Graham and Green – Β£41.25 – Β£150

 

So, what did we go for in the end? 

Well, we went for the John Lewis Round Hanging Mirror, with leather strap, using some of the vouchers we were kindly given on our wedding day.

Having seen it out of the box I can confirm that it looks fab, and of decent quality. My only concern is that it’s much heavier than I anticipated, and my Father-in-law AKA Chief DIYer is worried that it may be tricky to drill through and secure on our bathroom tiles (it needs special bolts and we don’t want to crack any tiles).

Watch this space to see whether or not we actually get it up!

 

Our Break to Butlins Minehead Resort, Part 1: The Lake view Chalets in West Lake Village

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Last week we ventured down to Minehead, Somerset, to enjoy our second stay as Butlins Ambassadors at their South-West Resort. To say we were a teeny bit excited was an understatement! You see, when we were selected to become Butlins Ambassadors last year, I admitted that I had always been a little skeptical about Butlins and a bit of a snob about ever having a holiday there. Thankfully the team took a punt on us, and boy are we glad they did! We have become total Butlins converts now, and I can hand-on-heart say that a holiday to one of their 3 resorts really is a wonderful thing, especially when you have children. 

Last October, we stayed in the Butlins Bognor Regis Resort for 4 nights during half term, Adam, myself, the children and my Mum. We had a great time (which you can read more about HERE and HERE), and it really did make me rather excited about our trip to Minehead. We loved going with Mum, and decided to invite Adam’s Mum and Dad for our break. If you get on with your parents/parents-in-law I really do recommend a 3-generational break (especially when you have small children!). It meant we all got to try different things, and no one was ever left alone with the little ones, which can often happen when perhaps one of you wants to go off and try something out/have a go on a ride. 

I’d done a bit of research as a Butlins Ambassador, and knew that Minehead was the biggest resort, although all three have very similar restaurants/ activities available/ settings, and thought a seaside setting in July would be lovely (the complex is directly opposite the most gorgeous, sandy beach). What I was also keen to try out were the brand new (as in only a few weeks old!) Lake View Chalets which are situated in the purpose-built West Lakes Village. Harking back to the golden days of Butlins and British holidays, when a chalet was very much de rigueur, these are a swish, modern update on an old accommodation classic. 

After a 4.5 hour car journey from South-East London, the relief of seeing the familiar-looking giant Butlins Pavilion was immense! We were swiftly directed to the West Village check-in Car Park, whereby we were greeted by friendly staff (one handing out balloons, always welcomed by little ones!). I was super-relieved when the girl working at check-in allocated us our chalet, and told us we could drive one of our cars round to it as we had a permanent parking space for the duration of our stay-hurrah! No more wrestling with a luggage trolley from a long distance (one of my only gripes about Bognor), and we could unload the car with ease. I was also impressed to discover that you could hire Little Tikes scooters for Freddie and Sasha for our break if we wanted, and I also spied a HUGE selection of family board games in the cupboard that could be borrowed free of charge, which I think is a truly excellent idea! 

It was a great first impression. 

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Our chalet was a 3 bed Lake-view one, and we had been allocated the first floor. I personally wasn’t bothered about being on the first floor with our two children as the barrier is really high (they barely jump into the swimming pool on their own, let alone launch themselves off the balcony!), but I’m sure you can request a ground floor if you’d feel more comfortable from a safety point-of-view. All the chalets opened out on to well kept, grassy areas, which was lovely as you could sit and have a drink on your terrace/balcony and watch the children safely run around in front of you, with no worries about cars etc.

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Check out our view!

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The chalet we were allocated had 3 bedrooms (1 double, 1 twin and 1 room with bunk beds), 2 bathrooms (the Holy Grail of shared holiday accommodation!), and a fabulously spacious open-plan kitchen/diner/living room, that led on to the balcony. The only mistake we had made was booking a chalet with the bunk bed room. I thought Freddie would be fine on the top bunk, but it was REALLY high (to make room underneath for storage, a great idea), so we weren’t happy with him being up there, and S was certainly far too little, despite insisting she gave it a go! In the end we put the children in the twin room, Adam’s parents in the double, and Adam and I took the bunk room (who says romance is dead on holiday?!). I think these bunks are probably more suited for age 6 upwards, but I guess it depends on your child.

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So, first impressions of the chalet? 

Really, really bloody good. We had really liked and overall enjoyed our Gold Apartments at Bognor, but these chalets are on a whole other level! I really wasn’t prepared for just how AWESOME they were. I spent a good half hour on arrival just looking around, and soaking up everything about them.

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The look is slick and modern with a ‘beachy’ theme, and there are plenty of nods to vintage Butlins, the seaside, and the iconic company logo.

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Our colour scheme comprised of cheerful greens, blues, whites and yellows.

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I loved the mural on the wall in our living room area, which was a seaside theme depicting the Minehead seaside aspect. This space could hold 6 people easily on comfy chairs and the L-shaped sofa, and the position of the (flat screen) telly on the wall meant we could all relax on an evening if we weren’t out.

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The furniture and fittings were modern-retro (I’m sure that’s a ‘thing’?!), and I loved the chairs and dining table and the light fitting above it (we have similar in our upstairs hallway at home!). 

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Our kitchenette was small yet functional, and perfectly capable of helping you rustle up an easy dinner, should you choose to stay in and dine, and most importantly, comes complete with a dishwasher!

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I nearly fainted when I saw gorgeous subway tiles in the main bathroom, just like ours at home, and it was ENORMOUS. Perfect for wrangling with tired, small children in the bath after a long day out and about. Again, it was the little details that were appreciated, like loads of fluffy, white towels stacked sky high, and bath mats, shower hats and loo roll with a fancy bow (something I look for all the time, obvs πŸ˜‰ ). 

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I was obviously expecting something relatively shiny and new, but was completely taken aback with just how well-designed the chalets are. I know we had 3 bedrooms so obviously ours was a decent size, but it was the general feeling of the living space that was a surprise- the hallways were massive. We didn’t feel on top of each other or cramped once, which I feel is an often overlooked, yet important detail when it comes to the comfort factor when you’re on holiday.

On a design note, the clever clogs behind the chalets needs a Christmas bonus this year. The storage aspect has been so well thought out, with the beds raised off the floor and with special areas to put your suitcase once you’ve unpacked (tripping over your suitcase in the middle of the night when you go for a wee is guaranteed to give you rage). We were also all disproportionately happy at just how many hooks there were for hanging coats/towels/bags in the hallway (15 in fact, Adam counted! #geek). And I think all parents will notice and appreciate little details when it comes to making life easier in a living space, such as a purpose built, decent-sized shelf right by the front door, where you can chuck bags/swimming gear/shoes, and this is exactly what our chalet had. 

Look, hooks!

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Moving on from important things, such as, er, hooks, one of the things I loved most about the West Lakes Village was the setting. Despite being part of such a big complex, you would really never know. It appeared that most of the chalets were occupied throughout our stay, and we saw guests milling about and pottering around their chalets, but it was still so peaceful. Ideal for when you wanted just to chill out on the balcony, as we did on a couple of evenings. I adored the fact that the feel reminded me of my own childhood holidays to English and French self-catering sites/camping- relaxed yet with a gentle ‘buzz’ in the background of families enjoying themselves. 

There are special activities and family games daily, exclusively for West Lakes Village guests, such as arts and crafts, and family cricket and boules games. One game of boules attracted a decent crowd right outside our balcony, and I loved watching everyone play and have a good time. Such a picture postcard moment that I could have bottled!

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Every day one of us would take Freddie and Sasha for a walk around the village, either in the evening, or first thing in the morning whilst everyone else was getting ready.

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As you can see in the previous photos, we had a very attractive lake view, and the children loved watching the ducks and many tame rabbits that hopped about at all times of day. It was a great sight to wake up to each day.

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F & S loved walking back and forth over this little bridge, again and again, saying hello to various ducks and seagulls! We also went trainspotting, as every hour a little steam train puffed past which we could see from our chalet, and which delighted train-fan Fred no end :-)

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How lovely are these chalets, right on the lake?

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Just over the bridge, there was a wooden gazebo with a giant ‘Connect 4′ game under it. Freddie and Sasha were too little to reach the top to put the counters in, but loved playing with it all the same!

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Which way shall we go next?!

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The bridge back over to our chalet. The whole village is so attractive, and my Mum-in-law and I commented how beautiful the landscaping was, with the plants, flowers and trees and their position within the village. Again, so much thought has gone in to the design, and we also noted that not one chalet appeared to be closely overlooked by another, no mean feat when it comes to maximising the number of chalets on offer.

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A quick wave to Daddy on our balcony!

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So, what was our overall opinion of the West Lake Village, and most importantly, our chalet?

Well, quite honestly, I wouldn’t go back to anything else now at Butlins, we were well and truly spoiled! I really valued the peacefulness after a full-on day of activity, and the actual chalet really did feel like a home-from-home, so hanging out in the evening was a pleasure. One night Freddie was poorly at dinner, so I took him back alone for the evening whilst the others stayed out with Sasha, and once he was tucked up in bed, enjoyed a glass of wine on the balcony. 

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If I had to be picky about anything, it would be the fact we couldn’t get Wifi signal at all here despite being given a code for it (although 3G is good), and we thought a mirror above the sink in the smaller bathroom would be a practical touch. The village is a slightly longer trot away from the restaurants and Pavilion, which might not suit those less able to walk, but we managed fine, and then brought a buggy out for Sasha in the evening.

Apart from that, we really had no complaints, and having somewhere so nice to stay really enhanced the enjoyment of our holiday. I would thoroughly recommend the chalets to anyone thinking of coming to Minehead Butlins, and in particular those who have young children, and therefore might want somewhere nice to relax once they’re in bed. 

Pleased stay tuned for my next Butlins Minehead post, all about enjoying the resort with preschoolers!

If you want to read up about our last Butlins trip to the Bognor Regis Resort, please do click HERE and HERE.

 

Our family were guests courtesy of Butlins. We stayed for 4 nights mid week term time, in a 3 bed Lake View Chalet with a premium dining plan included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Cooooeeeeee, I’m still here!

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Hello all, believe it or not I’m still knocking around, just been pre-occupied with little things, such as our WEDDING last Friday, and our honeymoon this past week πŸ˜‰ Adam and I had the most fantastic day, one that I’m sure I’ll bore the tits off you with in a post when all of our photos come back. It sounds cheesy, but it did actually end up being one of the best days of our lives. I wasn’t expecting that, as I’m a bit of a control freak by nature, so wasn’t sure if the logistics of our day would go to plan and I’d be worrying about them, and about everyone having a good time, but they did, and I actually really relaxed and let my hair down! We’re so lucky to have so many great people in our lives :-)

Adam and I have spent most of this past week in Venice, which is now officially my favourite city. I have gained half a stone, what with all the pasta, pizza and copious amounts of red wine consumed, but it has been worth every mouthful. Again, I’m sure another post on Venice will be in the offing!

This is a little post, as I’m still officially on holiday mode because we are off to Butlins Minehead tomorrow for our second Blog Ambassador trip, and I genuinely can’t wait! We had such a good time last October in Bognor (I never thought ‘Bognor’ and ‘Good time’ would be uttered in the same sentence). Whilst we are there, decorators are taking over our house to finish off the new loft conversion and hall/stairs/landing, and I’m looking forward to not living in chaos for too much longer. It’s been nice to have a little break from blogging, and really relax and be off social media more than usual. I will be having a SERIOUS catch up of all my favourite blogs soon. I am out of the loop but it’s definitely good for the soul to be more in ‘real life’ than a virtual one for a bit. Has given me a bit of food for thought.

I’ll be posting more on Twitter, FB and IG this next week sharing what we’re up to at Butlins, but apart from that normal blog service will resume next Monday. See you then! 

PS Thanks to everyone who has voted for me in the MAD Blog Awards- we don’t find out the results until September, but your support means a lot to me!

My summer fitness programme with Springfree Trampolines!

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When our family were made summer blog ambassadors for the fabulous Springfree Trampolines, at the forefront of my mind was how happy I was for the children, and how lucky they were to be able to test-drive such a great outdoor ‘toy’. 

What I didn’t realise is how hooked I would become on our new trampoline, and how it has already become a staple part of my exercise routine. You see, the thing I love most about have a good old post-kiddy-bedtime bounce, is that it really gives me the ability to ‘switch off’. I do going running, and for the most part I enjoy it, but unlike some people I don’t actually find it particularly helps me to unwind or be alone with my thoughts. I think this is probably due to where we live, and that when I’m running, I’m often concentrating on not running into people or dodging oncoming traffic as I cross roads. With the trampoline in my quiet garden, I really do feel so peaceful bouncing away, and love the fact I get some time to think. 

It’s certainly decent exercise (10 mins constant bouncing is the equivalent of a 30 minute jog), but yet I feel really relaxed doing it (and it has the bonus that you don’t have the general public watching you become a sweaty, panting mess). Being able to exercise at home is certainly handy when you have children and possibly can’t go out on an evening/morning if it’s only you around, and this (in my opinion) is infinitely more enjoyable than puffing away and trying to avoid kicking a vase/photo frame/toy garage when doing my ‘Davina’ fitness DVD (soz Dav). 

So…with all this in mind I thought I’d share the Springfree fitness programme that I’m currently using (along with some of my own moves, natch πŸ˜‰ ). The programme was developed by fitness expert Rod Porter, and can be tailored to the abilities of the user. Here I’ve focused on some basic beginner movements, as I can conclude that just because you loved trampolining aged 10 at school, it does not make you an expert! And of course, please consult a doctor before starting any new exercise program.

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I’ve really found that trampolining has quickly and easily become one of my favourite forms of exercise, something that I would never have imagined.

Here are some snaps of me enjoying a bit of a bounce, with the above fitness programme in mind!

Top tip: Make sure you have those boobies strapped down πŸ˜‰

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Have YOU considered trampolining as part of your fitness routine? Maybe you use yours already- I’d love to hear!

 

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My Home Style: Edition 8

Hello all! At the moment things might be a tad quieter on the blog, what with the wedding on Friday (EEEEEEEK) and then Adam and I going on honeymoon, followed by a week’s holiday with the fam, but I will still endevour to continue to write about my faves. With that in mind I bring you Edition 8 of My Home Style (#MyHomeStyle), and there are, indeed, some lovely photos as ever from the best of Instagram’s interiors on the blog today. 

If you ever want to join in this fun hashtag, all you have to do is take a photo of something you love that is related to interiors/the home, and then tag the photo on IG with #MyHomeStyle. Every fortnight, myself and Emma (Life at the Little Wood) choose our favourites that we believe are a feast for the eyes, and share them with our readers. All are welcome to take part! 

There is no particular theme this week, just some snaps that caught my eye- my tired, wedding-planing-fried brain can’t process much else right now, so I just want some pretty things/rooms to drool over!

First up, I love Laura’s (@laurarobinson5) arty snap of her mirror and photo wall. I love seeing ideas for photo walls, as it’s something I’ve been meaning to so for ages in our own hallway, but haven’t bothered as I’ve known that our house would be completely redecorated once the building work has finished. I like the variety of frame sizes and colours, and the fact there is a mix of photos and prints. She’s also teasing us with the sneak peak of her bedroom- I’d like to see more of this (not in that way you filthy beggers!)

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I’m a big fan or globes/maps within the home, and when I was small used to kneel up and look at the map in my Dad’s study for hours <geek>, so therefore I still feel very drawn to them, which is why I like Aimee’s (@missaimeefluer) so much. I also love the pops of turquoise colour in the room- they look great against the largely neutral palate. 

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I adore Claire’s (@clairemb12) photo styling of her home accessories and trinkets, and the yellow, blue and green all together, along with the different patterns and motifs is really eye-catching.

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This kitchen of @mrsmagnetitt is to die for! The small mint green tiles on the side of the breakfast bar look great against the crisp whiteness of the rest of the kitchen, and it just has such a bright, clean feel. Top marks too for the purple Kitchen Aid!

 

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From one Kitchen Aid to another…Lesley’s (@lesleylocket) picture really appealed to me, as cheesy as it sounds, I love nothing more than the idea of being at home in a cosy kitchen and whipping up something tasty/baking. Ok, ok, I’ll wake up from my Mrs Beeton fantasty (or nightmare, depending on how you feel about all things domesticated), but STILL. Nothing will stop me swooning over this yellow mixer and it’s perfectness! 

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Big thumbs up to Chloe’s (@chloegraceb) lovely pot and flower/succulent arrangement. A great way to add interest to a fireplace of shelf.

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@Lotte5378 is an Instagrammer worth following, as she has some truly gorgeous photos of her home, party styling and fashion choices. This week she has two photos that I love. Firstly, her bathroom is heavenly with a real vintage feel to it, and secondly, I think her upcycled vintage pink dresser is inspired. I really want one for a dressing table in our new loft bedroom!

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And finally this week…I found this photo by Luisla (@luislapegna) and I think everything about this room is fantastic. From the huge talking point of a picture (ok so this might not be to everyone’s taste) to the gorgeous yellow decanters that pop against it, it just looks ace. I like how there are lots of textures going on throughout. Super cool.

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So what did you love this week? I’d love to hear!

PS Don’t forget you’ve got until Friday this week to vote in the MAD Blog awards. I’m so chuffed and rather shocked to have reached the final of the ‘Best Home and Interiors Blog’ category, so if you like what you read here, I would love, love, LOVE (and would be incredibly grateful for) your vote! 

So, if you would like to vote for me, please do click the link HERE(and maybe vote for some other lovely blogs at the same time!)

Thank you! 

MAD Blog Awards UK 2015

Little Loves #2

Happy Friday! Hope the week has been kind to you? We’re on wedding countdown, 2 weeks today and we’ll be getting hitched! Last minute preparation has been taking place, along with sorting and ordering some bits for our ongoing loft conversion. I have caught Sasha’s stinking cold, so I sit here writing this in my PJs and drinking Lemsip :-( Oh well, best get all illnesses out of the way now- I do not want to feel like this on the 26th! 

Linking up with the lovely Morgana again (I will be more consistent I promise!), here are my ‘Little Loves’ this week :-)

Read:

I’ve recently finished re-reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, as part of the excitement build-up to Harper Lee’s new novel, ‘Go Set a Watchman’. I first read it about 5 years ago, and found it such a gripping read, as well as a brilliant history lesson on early 20th century southern United States. Scout is such a strong female character, despite being so young. I love the name too, and wished I’d be able to slip it into Sasha’s name for some great feminine inspiration!

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Watched:

‘How to be a Boheminan’, which was on BBC4 the other night and hosted by Victoria Coren Mitchell, who I really admire as a journalist, writer and presenter. I thought it might annoy me slightly, as I often find people who try too hard to be all arty-farty and anti-establishment to be a bit pretentious, but it was actually really interesting and funny! Lots of historical info and background to the original bohemians (god I’m sounding nerdy with my references to the history love this week!), plus some great interviews with genuinely boheminan characters, who interestingly were quite scathing about bohemians in general! Definitely worth a watch on catch up! 

I have also been emotionally torturing myself by watching back-to-back DIY SOS: The Big Build, and Long Lost Family- HUGE sob-fest here, and always makes me feel so grateful that we are all currently happy, healthy and together.

The children being (mostly) very sweet to each other. This snap was taken the other morning when something on the telly both caught their eye. They gradually edged closer and closer to one another, before putting their arms around the other, still glued to the telly. Too sweet not to take a snap!

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Wore:

I’ve been lucky enough to have been sent a few new items of clothing to road test on the blog the last couple of weeks, so managed to take a few snaps of these, including some ace high-waisted jeans from Mango, and a couple of pairs of shoes. Brantano sent me a cracking pair of ankle boots by Emilio Lucas, and a pair of of lovely Nike Court Majestics (full post coming soon) to try (you can never have too many pairs of trainers!). I actually quite like the sort of weather we’re having at the moment- warm but not roasting- and it means I can wear little tea dresses with boots and a leather jacket, one of my favourite looks. I like my layers! 

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I also treated myself to some grey suede Adidas Gazelles (I really do love trainers!), and a pair of pyjamas from Next, my first in about 15 years, so this was sadly very exciting for me.

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Fashion-wise for the children, We’ve bought them a few bits and bobs for the summer, but I’m really waiting for the weather to warm up a bit more before parting with the cash. Freddie in particular grows like a weed! I did get Sasha some new converse baseball boots that she’d been eyeing up, and a sweet little cat-eared boater hat from H&M. They have some great stuff in there for children at the moment, I could have gone mad!

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Heard:

Adam and I are trying to compile a playlist for our wedding DJ (2 weeks today, meep!), so have been going through a whole host of tracks, from more laid back jazz/folk/motown/60s sounds for early on in the evening, to Ibiza club classics and old skool garage much later on. And everything else in between! It’s been one of my favourite wedding planning ‘jobs’ so far.

I also discovered this last week or so that I have made it to the finals of the MADS in the ‘Best Home and Interiors Blog’ category, and to say I was SO chuffed and shocked would be an understatement. I genuinely can’t believe that I am up against some lovely bloggers and fabulous blogs- it really is a blogging dream come true! 

MAD Blog Awards UK 2015

Made:

These yummy melted tuna muffins for the children’s tea earlier on in the week- they went down a storm!

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Not strictly made by myself, but I bought this ‘Art Therapy Colouring Book’ from our local garden centre on Wednesday, and have really enjoyed doodling in it the last couple of nights. It really is relaxing. I need to upgrade my colouring pencils though, mine are bit on the shabby side!

 

and finally…

We took the children to the London Transport Museum last Sunday, as there was a special Mr Men fun day on (which happen to be F & S’ favourite books right now). They had a blast, with a special-themed story time, Mr Men trail and a craft session, plus all the usual great areas for little ones. Thames Nipper anyone?! Love it. 

PicMonkey Collage mr men day

 

Hope everyone has had a great week, and have an even better weekend!

butwhymummywhy

 

 

 

Jazz up your jean collection with Mango and House of Fraser

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Whilst I am definitely a ‘dress girl’ on occasion, the one thing I am on a day-to-day basis is a lover of jeans. My wardrobe is bursting with them (ask Adam!), and at last count I had nearly 30 pairs, which is actually quite embarrassing if you think about it (I try not to). 

As a busy Mum running about after a 3 and 4 year old, and also working from home, plus doing a fair bit of networking/socialising in the evening, I need my jeans to do their bit, yet I also want to look vaguely stylish. I hate the long-standing cliche that ‘Mummy at home = frump’, and have always done my best to knock this on the head, even if i’m heading home to crack on with a social media management campaign, and the only person to see me that day is the postman (oi oi!). 

So when House of Fraser offered me the chance to road test a pair of Mango high-waisted skinny ‘Noa’ Jeans, i jumped at the chance. I buy my jeans from a variety of places, and TopShop ‘Leigh’s are usually my go-to ones, and I have them in a variety of colours. However, the pairs I’ve bought of late have seemed to fade quite quickly after several washes and/or have thinned out quicker than they used to. I have therefore been on the hunt to try some different styles/makes, so this offer couldn’t have come at a better time.

I was nervous as to how they would fit on arrival. There is nothing worse than ordering your usual size (a 10 in my case), only for them to be depressingly tight, or the other end of the spectrum, saggy around the legs and bum. All too often the jeans go loose after a few washes, which is a big disappointment. 

Not so in the case of the ‘Noa’s’- these babies fitted like a glove, and have maintained their fit after a month of wear now. They have also surprisingly maintained their colour too. I opted for a marl- navy pair (goes with everything, looks great day or night), and they are still looking fresh. It sounds silly, but the jeans feel ‘supportive’ – stretchy and comfy yet ‘firm’ at the same time. High-waisted styles can feel like they cut you in half, but these definitely have some give. Perfect for that ‘food baby’ when you’re eating out πŸ˜‰

At 5ft 5, I’ve found the jeans are just on the long side of right, if you are shorter they might be a little too long for you. I have worn them with trainers (as in the pics above), but they also look cracking with a pair of chelsea boots or heels. #winning 

These will genuinely be my new favourites for future high-waisted jean purchases, and I’m already eyeing up the grey and black pair. 

Just because you’re kicking around with the kids, there’s no excuse for looking shabby!*

What are your favourite pair of jeans?

 

*unless you’re like me right now typing this, at home, in PJs with a stinking cold, then you’re allowed πŸ˜‰

 

Thanks so much to House of Fraser for being ace and gifting me these fabulous jeans! All words and opinions my own, and I am FUSSY when it comes to my trews.

Hat – ASOS, Blouse – Zara, Jeans – Mango c/o House of Fraser, Trainers – Adidas Gazelles at Next

Freddie, Butterflies and “Where do died things go?”

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As a parent you feel like you should know all the answers to your child’s questions (Why are YOU my Mummy and not somebody else? How do chickens make eggs? Why am I born? That last one there is DEEP, especially at 6am). I realise that we are only human though, and sadly not superheroes- we just can’t have those answers all the time. 

The one I thought I would be prepared for is around the subject of death, and expecting the inevitable “What does ‘died’ mean?”. I had it all planned out, you know, what I was going to say, after all, it’s quite an important topic.

“Well, when something dies, it’s usually when they are very very old, or are very very sick, and then they go to sleep forever and don’t wake up and then they probably feel much, much better”

And reading this back, it seems actually a bizarre way of explaining death. But like I said, we haven’t practised this sort of thing before, and what the hell do I know?! πŸ˜‰

I wanted to be as honest as possible, as I thought the concept of ‘heaven’ might be even more confusing, and I’m not sure how I fell about that anyway myself.

A few weeks ago we bought one of those ‘grow your own butterflies’ kits, where you get sent 5 caterpillars through the post (true story), they live in this little pot with food, and after a while turn themselves into cocoons, that are then ready to transfer to this netted enclosure, in order for them to eventually turn into butterflies.

After a while it became apparent that only 3 caterpillars had graduated to cocoons, where as the other two (Henry and Sophie!) had sadly not made the hairy caterpillar cut.

THIS I thought, was the perfect (well, as it ever could be) introduction to death and dying.

So Freddie asked why only 3 were cocoons, and what had happened to the other two caterpillars.

When I said that they had ‘died’, and well, basically what I have written above, as gently as possible, and that it’s very sad but it’s what happens sometimes (I still don’t know if this was even too brutal for a 4 year old?), the lip began to wobble.

And those big blue eyes that I love so much filled with tears, that began to roll down his cheeks.

He stifled a sob and said “but I don’t want anyone I love to die”

I reassured him that it didn’t happen very often (and touched wood about a million times that this would still be the case), and cuddled him in close to me, but he was inconsolable for a good half hour.

I wondered if I had done the right thing, talking about death, to someone so little.

There doesn’t appear to be a manual that tells us when is the right time to broach such subjects.

Or even if/when they really understand.

So maybe it shouldn’t have surprised me, after 2 beautiful tortoiseshell butterflies emerged from their cocoons (another didn’t make it out properly, I didn’t bother bringing this unfortunate end up this time)

that Freddie shouted “Mummy, Henry and Sophie are back, they’re back from died!”

He genuinely thought that those rotting caterpillars on the bottom of that grotty plastic pot had come back to life, and that ‘died’ clearly didn’t mean forever at all. 

It was the Butterfly equivalent of the Resurrection!

And you know what?

I wasn’t going to spoil that for him, not on this occasion.

Because in that split second of tiny 4 year old optimism, I realised how sweet, perfect and how simplistic they are. That they just don’t get the concept that something so terrible could happen as ‘died’.

And so as we released our impostor ‘Sophie’ and ‘Henry’, a few days later, Freddie stood watch over them as they fluttered in the grass and gathered strength in their wings.

For a while they just sat there, before flapping about us and landing on my boy’s hands.

“They don’t want to leave me!” exclaimed Freddie.

“No, they must have been really happy with us” I said.

It was then I knew I was happy to let him believe his concept of ‘died’ for that bit longer, to maintain that beautiful innocence of his.

It was a lesson learned for me.

For as sure as our little ones grow and thrive, the one thing that does die is their naivety about the world, and about life, and that innocence.

I just hope my sensitive, blonde-haired, gentle giant can keep his for as long as possible…

 

I’m not usually this sentimental on the blog, but this really got to me! When did you discuss the subject of death with your children? Is 4 too young? Any tips on how to do this well? I clearly need all the help I can get for the future!

 

Linking up with Let’s Talk Mommy and ‘Share With Me’