Taking The Fuss Out Of Camping With Pitch

Last year as a family we caught the bug for festivals and camping and now love them both in equal measures.
In this technology driven age I found the freedom and simpleness of camping such a refreshing change and it certainly helped us to connect so much better as a family because of it.

However it can have its downsides and for us top of the list had to be transporting and pitching the tent!

Being a large family means any trip away equates to a car full of everything, so imagine adding to that a tent, bedding and everything else they goes with it…it was a cosy trip to say the least.

Then came the stress of trying to keep an eye on the little ones whilst cluelessly trying to errect a tent and blow up air beds. 

It was no mean feat and to say that tempers were frayed would be an understatement.

Thankfully this weekend we are lucky enough to be able to try out a fabulous package from the super friendly new company Pitch at Elderflower Fields this weekend who offer camping and glamping experiences that allow you to enjoy the wonders of the great outdoors in a little more luxury than your usual tent.

Pitch are a small business that have set up through their own love of camping and the great outdoors allowing you to experience all the fun of camping without the stress.

All you need to do is pick the amount of tents you require, choice where you want to pitch up and they come along to do all the hard work for you.

They will bring along their stunning bells tents with a thick mat flooring and air beds which will all be set up for your arrival.

Depending on the package you choose it is not only the tent they supply. You can also add bedding, soft furnishings, lighting, tables and chairs, stoves, BBQ, cooking equipment, crockery, outdoor games and most importantly for my daughter…fairy lights and bunting!


Take a look here at all the different packages and prices that are on offer.

Be it a festival or a week at the beach, a wedding or a corporate event Pitch can tailor one of their packages to suit your personal needs.

Keep an eye out on the blog this weekend for what we think about this fab tents!

#TeenTalk With Gaby Logan And Boots

Those foreboding teenage years sadly have to come to us all.

I remember as clear as day that awkward moment when my mum thrust an Usbourne ‘Our Bodies’ book into my hand looking decidedly more embarrassed than me, and the day my dreaded period arrived seemed much more filled with the worry of telling my Mum than the actual mechanics of it all.

This all happened for me in the early 90’s and you would have thought that by now things would have moved on  and these subjects that parents once feared and avoided would now be much easier to broach.

Sadly 68% of parents still find it difficult to approach puberty topics with their teens, a quarter of parents asked in a poll avoid these subjects all together and 33% of parents wish they could talk openly with their teen.

The other week I was invited along to the Haymarket Hotel in London to have afternoon tea with a group of lovely bloggers that was headed up by Gaby Logan and teen expert Sarah Newton.

Armed with tea and cake we chatted about the #TeenTalk campaign that Boots are running for it’s second year to try and support parents as they navigate their teens through the tough years of puberty by providing parents with much needed advice and support to talk to their teens with informed confidence.

Gaby Logan is currently hitting this phase in her life with her preteen twins and this is how she has been handling this phase with her children. 

 “As a mother of twin teens, I understand the challenges of communicating with teens all too well! They suddenly go from wanting to tell parents everything, to one word answers. But as every parent knows, you desperately want to give your children all the guidance, help and support they need and being able to communicate effectively with your teens is crucial to this. What I love about the #TeenTalk campaign is that is helps to give parents the confidence to start and maintain a strong, open and honest conversation with their child through puberty and beyond”

For me broaching the subjects of changing bodies, personal hygiene and sexual relationships is something that I have never shied away from with my own children and I have always tried to answer  questions that arise at any age instead of leaving it to a big, built up ‘chat’ as they approach their teens.

As a mother of a daughter that I have already been through it all with and a 14 year old son I do also know that as with everything no child is the same and the way you broach these subjects can’t be the same for them all, but as the teen guru Sarah Newton said we need to keep the conversation going.

My own parents were very closed shop about it all and simply giving them a list of the things that should happen and leaving it at that probably isn’t the best way to go about it.

Let their inquisitive minds be filled with all the information that you think they need to confidently go into thier teens with the ability to make informed choices on what path they are going to take when one of these hurdles come along.

Be it a boys first shave or a girl feeling ready for her first bra are all huge steps in the eyes of a teen and they still really need that help and reassurance from thier parents that the decisions they are ultimately making are right.

From the 10th May -6th June Boots will be giving away a free #TeenTalk guide with every purchase of Venus, Always, and Tampax products.

These products are perfect for helping teens through this transitional period and they are even kind enough to be giving away a free gift for anyone with teen daughters.

It was an fabulous afternoon filled with relieving memories of our own teen years and experiences some of us had already had with out own children.

By listening to all these stories on thing that has stuck in my mind is that as long as you are well informed, open and honest then you can’t go far wrong.

Last Chance To Grab Elderflower Fields Tickets

This year will be the third year that we have visited the fantastic Elderflower Fields festival in the heart of Pippingford Park, Sussex.

The first year we went along for the day and fell in love with it so much that we couldn’t wait to book ready for the following year where we wanted to imerse ourselves in the whole experience by camping for the whole weekend.

For me this is the perfect starter festival as its on a slightly smaller scale than most which allows you to really kick back, relax and enjoy everything it has to offer.

Your weekend can be as chilled or as full as you want to make it and with all activities included in the ticket price the children won’t be bored for a minute.

The tickets are selling out fast for this years event and you only have until the 7th May to purchase yours.

If you fancy dipping your toe into the family festival scene and coming along as a day guest or if you want to try out the whole experience under canvas I can whole heartily recommend you start here!

Click on the ‘link’ to find out a little more and get your hands on the last remaining tickets!

Relax And Regroup At Camp Bestival

Last year was our first time at Camp Bestival and we were a little overwhelmed with the amount of fabulous stuff going on; So much so that there were a few areas that we didn’t really make the most of, with the Slow Motion area being one of them.

Last year was all about the kids for us really and all our activities were planned around them. What would have been fabulous would be to get a little break from the excitement and take a little time out for ourselves.

Slow Motion has a range of massage treatments from sports massage to reflexology, Reiki sessions that you can go along to on your own or with your children or a relaxing and revitalising Shiatsu massage that will help you restore the calm and leave you ready to enjoy the rest of the festival.

The indulgence doesn’t stop there though. The Transformation Station allows you to get away from the communal showers and hop into a solar power shower and treat yourself to the use of a hairdryer and straighteners which I know is something missed by a lot of people when camping!

From here you can head over and enjoy getting your hair braided, some nail art done or get really festival ready with some super cool body and glitter art by the talented Jingo.

I know that after a few days of one to many G&Ts and lots of indulgent food my body was craving something a little healthier and this is the perfect place to grab some healthy and nutritious food and drink.

Something my husband was keen to try last year was the nature run. It’s a perfect way to set yourself up for the day and allows you to step off site for a while and take in the beauty that surrounds Lulworth Castle with the chance to clear your head and slip in some peaceful meditation too.

I know this is a must for us this year and I’m sure something that would be a big pull for many busy parents.

 

Monkey On A Plane Launch With Emirates 

Ever since the Emirates airline went up all those years ago I have promised myself a trip on them.

Time passes quickly and as with so many things in London, I push them to the back of the list due to my complacency of being lucky enough to live here.

With this in mind when I was asked along to the Emirates Aviation Experience for the launch of their exciting new book I was excited by the book launch and the chance to experience the airline in equal measures.

After a quick ride we arrived at North  Greenwich and made the short walk to the Aviation Experience where we were going to hear all about the fantastic new book launch of Monkey On The Plane.

Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre the dynamic duo behind this book have cleverly taken the ideas of a four year competition winner who’s brilliant ideas were picked to be turned into a real life  book that is perfect to spark the love of travel in any child.

The children got themselves super cosy on a selection of beanbags and listened intently to the adventures of Enrico the the monkey who was fed up with his boring life in the forest and was ready to take of on all kinds of exciting adventures.

Sarah and Philip kept the children engaged throughout with their brilliant storytelling and interactive activities that allowed them to try their hand at their own illustrations.

They were then able to get their own books signed by the authors whilst sitting inside a super cool replica A380.

The Aviation Experience is the perfect place to experience the trill of flying whist on terra firma.

As well as being able to sit onboard a plane the can climb inside the cockpit and try their hand at being a pilot, get up close to the Rolls-Royce engine, take in all the information in the interactive displays or climb on board on of the simulators that get you as close to flying a plane as possible.


Next up we were ready to take to the sky onboard the airline.

I have to say that although I really wanted to experience this I’m not the best with heights!

Sweating palms and shouting at the children to sit still and not even dare to stand up we slowly climbed to the top and made our way across the river.


Once I hit the top my nerves settled and I was able to enjoy the trip and point out all the famous landmarks to the children with the help of the onboard guide.

With thoughts of travel firmly in the little ones heads our journey home was spend reading their books and planning all the places they would like to visit themselves.

If you have a trip abroad planned soon or you just want your little one to have a little more knowledge of the wonderful world of travel then Monkey On The Plane is available to download ‘here’ .

I would love to know what you think.

FEGO Banstead:A Eatery Perfect For All The Family

FEGO Banstead:A Eatery Perfect For All The Family

How often do you walk past a restaurant or cafe and immediately dismiss it for not being ‘child friendly’?

For me this is something I do regularly with my brood, as lets face it eating out with small children isn’t always the most enjoyable and stress free experience.

For a while now I have passed by FEGO in Banstead gazing in at their stunning decor and  scrumptious looking cakes longing for a few childfree hours to while away my time.


It looked far to pristine to take my motley crew into and the thought of them in there would bring me out in a cold sweat before my feet passed the threshold!

With these thoughts still firmly in my mind when I was asked along to visit FEGO I was more than a little apprehensive as to how they would cater for us.

We arrived at FEGO on a busy lunchtime during half term and were greeted with a smile and shown to our table near the back of the restaurant that was buzzing with a great atmosphere and full of a real eclectic group of people…including children!

The menus were brought over and I was happy to see there were a good range of different meals without the menu being large and over bearing. We were also welcome to chose from the breakfast menu even though we were there for a late lunch.

I love flexibility in restaurants as lets face it a stack of warm pancakes are welcome at anytime of day!

There is something to cater for all tastes from full english breakfasts to delicious salads, juicy burgers to pizzas and so much more.

The boys were kept amused with the colouring sheets while waiting for their burgers that they picked from a great selection that offers something a little different to the usual chip heavy childrens menu.


I opted for spicy scrambled eggs that were a tasty combination of eggs, cheese, avocado and tomatoes with a fiery kick of jalapeño and my obligatory soya latte.

Frankie’s allergies were catered for brilliantly and not a scrap of their burgers were left on either of their plates.

Crispy fresh chicken breasts served in soft rolls with plenty of salad and juicy, homemade beef burgers would be hard to resist.


It wouldn’t be a meal out without a sweet treat to finish it off. The boys went for a bowl of creamy blueberry ice cream and a sticky waffle covered in vanilla ice cream and sumptuous chocolate sauce.

All my preconceived ideas of this restaurant were quashed the minute I entered the restaurant.

The staff were all warm and welcoming, the food was beautifully presented and a delight to eat and the decor is simply stunning.



FEGO has something to offer the whole family from grabbing a quick pastry to a cosy date night with a cheeky cocktail or two.

There is so much more that I want to try such with their infamous ‘coffee in a cone’ being top of my list.

*collaborated post.

Welcoming Baby Anabell’s Baby Brother 

A while ago Oscar was over the moon to have his first dolly that he was allowed to love and look after.

He named her Sue and she had been one of his favourite toys ever since.

When Sue arrived I spoke a lot about the stigma and stereotypical feelings that people still have towards boys playing with dolls and it really is something that over time I hope will be quashed.

I think that one of the things that doesn’t help with this issue is the fact that the majority of dolls on the market are girls.

You walk into a sea of pink in most toy stores when it comes to the baby doll section and it is very rare to see a little boy.

If you do happen to come across one they tend to be your bog standard doll that offered nothing more than being just that.

That is why when I saw Baby Annabell’s Little Brother I was extremely interested to find out what he offered and knew that he would make a wonderful friend for baby ‘Sue’.

Oscar’s eyes lit up when ‘John’ as he has been named arrived.

His super cuddly body came dressed in a beautifully soft blue romper with a matching hat and bib.

It wasn’t long before Oscar spotted the bottle and dummy and was intrigued at how he could give him a drink and comfort him with the dummy.

To his amazement he went from being a settled baby that was peacefully sleeping to a unsettled little one that cried real tears!

Cleverly though with a little bit of soothing and rubbing he soon settled again and showed his contentment with a few wriggles.

The highlight of any interactive dolls for my children is the feeding and Oscar was not disappointed here.

We filled the bottle with some water and once the feeding started he began to move his eyes and mouth in and extremely life like fashion.


Feeding complete it was now time for a nappy change that I encourage the boys to do in imaginative play as it is not going to come from learnt behaviour from their dad!

Oscar really loved Baby Annabell’s baby brother and he had become a welcome part of our family.

I love the fact that alongside the imaginative play that is bought out by using this doll the ability to grow a child’s loving and nurturing side is easy with the fact the doll can be visibly soothed by a bit of TLC.

It is a really welcome change to see a male doll with all these great additional features and I’m sure he would be a welcome addition to any toy box.

*I was given this doll for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.