This weekend felt like it should have been the start of summer, my husband is so close to finishing work for the summer holidays but he has a few days in this week before we can start to relax! Saturday was a busy day with a birthday party to go to, a visit from Grandma & Grandad and I managed to squeeze in a trip to the Next sale, something I never put myself through but finding some half price sleepsuits for the twins made it worth it.
Sunday we went to my mums for lunch and as the weather was so beautiful we went for a lovely long walk. My mum still lives where I grew up so I love walking around the village and taking Lucas and the twins on all the same routes me and my brother went as children. There is a linear path that the train tracks used to run along and it stretches through the whole village; they have just recently put a tarmac path through it which makes it perfect for walking with a pushchair. Along the way there is lots of wildlife, little wooden adventure courses and outdoor art created by one of the local primary schools; it really does make it a lovely family walk.
Oh, and Nanny always gives us cake!
I’m linking up to Snowing Indoor’s Point + Shoot, Em has a lovely blog with so many beautiful photographs so go and check her out!
My Living Arrows photo for this week pretty much sums up my son at the moment; he loves to be outside in the sunshine and he loves to play with trains. One of my favourite things about summer is being able to take our indoors, outdoors; we treat the garden as an extra room, eat and play out there. All through the day I hear, ‘Come Mummy, going outside, in the garden’, he it always at his happiest when outdoors and even more if he can take his beloved trains with him too.
Last month me and Lucas went along to a great day in Delamere Forest organised by Roberts Bakery. It was a chance to try out some lovely healthy sandwich ideas and we were also introduced to their 50 Days of Summer Campaign. Sometime we can all get stuck for family fun ideas in the summer holidays, especially the affordable kind! Luckily for us, Roberts Bakery have created an inspirational guide full of healthy picnic recipes, days out, indoor activities and things to do, even from the safety of your own back garden. Some I have already planned for our summer, such as the the return of ‘The Giants’ to Liverpool and and day out to Knowsley Safari Park but some of them are totally new to me and I can’t wait to give them a go, especially the Summer Scrapbook!
We have already been testing some of the picnic recipes I picked up from the day at Delamere ready for our summer of fun. The Strawberries and Cream Sandwich was absolutely my favourite and I can’t get enough of it, it might sound a little odd at first but I promise you it tastes delicious. Here is the recipe if you want to try it yourself:
8 slices Roberts 50% White 50% Wholemeal
Approximately 8 – 10 good-sized strawberries, sliced
1 – 2 tubs cream cheese (as much as you like!)
Handful of washed rocket leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Lay some rocket leaves on four slices of bread.
Add a generous layer of cream cheese, and top with strawberry slices. Season with black pepper, then top with the remaining bread.
To surprise your loved one when opening their lunchbox, use heart shape cutters to give this sweet sandwich the ‘ahhhh’ factor.
You can download the 50 Days of Summer pack here and I would definitely suggest that you do! I’ll be keeping it handy to give me a few tips over the summer, especially when I want to whip up something more exciting for lunch! You can also keep up with top tips from Roberts Bakery by following them on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy the Summer!
Disclaimer: We were invited along to the event to try out the healthy recipes from the 50 days of summer pack, all opinions are always my own.
Absolutely the best thing about having twins is being able to see two babies grow closer every day. I feel like they have been aware of each other their whole lives but as they become more inquisitive they seem to have their own bond. They like to explore each others faces; grabbing at ears and sticking fingers in mouths. They will often reach for each others hand and look at one another with a giggle. Sometimes all three of my boys will be chuckling when I have no idea what is going on! Although they will grow and develop as individuals I hope they are always so close and so full of love for one another.
Some of the littlest moments with your children can be the most fun, those magical moments where everything falls into place and you find you have the time and freedom to just go with it. A moment when you feel like you might be getting this parenting lark right. No one needs to be fed or put down for a nap, everyone is safe and happy, you can just enjoy the moment, take in all the crazy giggles and make a memory that will last a lifetime.
Last month I wrote about some of the things I want us to do as a family this summer – to make the most of it we are having a Staycation! As the weather was so beautiful last weekend and I wanted to test out our new Ergobaby 360 we decided to go on a family walk to hunt down some ice cream. Luckily enough our local coffee shop have Cheshire Farm Ice Cream (which is so good!) so we set off coaxing a tired Lucas along with the promise of ice cream. As he has been a bit under the weather recently I was hoping he would sit in the spare double pushchair seat as Arthur was happily sleeping in the Ergobaby but no, he refused and stubbornly trudged all the way there. He perked up when we reached the coffee shop and we enjoyed our ice cream sat on a wall by the village hall. The journey back proved too much for him though and as he was still refusing to sit in the pushchair my husband carried him most of the way back while he slept, cheeky monkey!
The next day we had planned to go to a National Wildflower Centre but given Lucas’ behaviour the previous day we stuck to our own garden and had a picnic. We set out the picnic rug and treats and brought the twins outside in their bouncy chairs. It’s nice sometimes to take the family outside were we sit together and talk, out in the fresh air, enjoying the sunshine, even this little change of scene can make you feel refreshed. Afterwards Lucas ran round and round, in and out of the washing just happy to play chase, over and over again. A day when we hadn’t really planned anything exciting turned into a lovely family day in the garden.
Disclaimer – I have been sent an Ergobaby 360 to review over the summer.
When I found out I was having twins one of the major purchases I knew we would have to make was a double pushchair. I wasn’t looking forward to this; I find a pushchair one the hardest things to buy for a new baby. They are most likely your most expensive purchase and you want to get it right! Looking for double pushchairs was a bit of minefield, there are a lot of options out there and a lot of things to consider.
I’ve put together five of my favourite twin strollers; I’ve only gone for side by side as most reasonable tandems tend to be for a baby and an older child. All of these double pushchairs are under £500. We went for the Baby City Jogger in the end and I was able to snap up a great pre-loved bargain.
In an ideal world it would be great to have more than one double pushchair because they are all good for different things. I don’t have a car in the week so I needed something that would be suitable for a lot of walking, be comfortable for long periods of time, have space for all the baby and toddler paraphernalia and could take a buggy board. It would be great to have a lightweight one like the Cosatto for going out in the car; this would be perfect for holidays too! A three-wheeler like the Out & About Nipper would be ideal for walks on rougher terrain which we do more of in the summer holidays. I had a single Maclaren buggy with my first child and it was so easy to manoeuvre that it would be great for shopping trips.
Five of the Best Double Pushchairs for under £500
(From top left going clockwise)
Out n About Nipper 360 Double – £324.95 (72cm width)
I hear a lot of good things about this double pushchair and always seem to spot one on our walks. I like that you can get it in this bright purple colour, it is very narrow and quite lightweight which you wouldn’t know as it looks so sturdy. It is compatible with car seats, carry cots, buggy board, comes with a raincover and has adjustable handles. Although it doesn’t come with a storage basket underneath you can buy one separately. It looks like it would be so comfortable for babies and great as they get older too; three-wheeled pushchairs are usually very easy to manoeuvre.
Britax B-Agile Twin Stroller – £299.00 (78 width)
The Britax B-Agile Twin Stroller is similar to the Baby Jogger but a little wider; wider than most standard doorways so you would have to check that. However, it is a reasonable price, it has adjustable handles and does fold up neatly and lock and stand when folded. It comes with raincover and car seat adapters but you can only use one Britax car seat, the pushchair is also compatible with the Britax soft carry cot. It does seem to be very lightweight and easy to push despite it’s size and will take a buggy board.
Maclaren Twin Triumph Stroller - £175.00 (74cm width)
I had a single Maclaren with my first son which I loved, it was perfect as it was so easy to push and fairly lightweight. This looks great for the price but they aren’t suitable from birth as the seats don’t lie flat and you can’t adjust the handle height. I would definitely consider getting a lightweight pushchair for taking out in the car and if its anything like our first Maclaren I know this will be robust but comfy for the twins. There aren’t many extras available except a twin buggy organiser but it does come with a rain cover and it is compatible with a buggy board.
Baby Jogger City Mini Twin Pushchair – £449.99 (76cm)
This is the double pushchair we went for and I’m really happy with it. It just fits through our front door (but it doesn’t fit through everyones!) and it is very easy to push, even with a toddler on the buggy board. It has a really spacious shopping basket underneath and two pockets on the back of the seats. The seats recline almost flat and I like that it has separate hoods which have windows in them. The thing I love the most is that it’s so easy to fold, just pull a couple of handles in the seats and it folds in two. I do wish it had an adjustable handle though. We bought ours second hand so it came with foot muffs and a raincover but you have to buy those separate when buying new. Also available are carry cots, car seat adapters, a tray or belly bar, cupholder and parent console. We have the Baby Jogger buggy board; I don’t think buggy boards are the easiest thing to get used to but it does the job just fine.
Cosatto Supa Dupa Twin – Pixelate - £288.00 (72 width)
I just love the look of this one! It’s so different to any other double buggy, so bright and bold, typical of Cosatto. Apart from being possibly the best looking pushchair it is also one of the better value ones; it comes with headhuggers, raincover, cosy toes, chest pads, insulated bottle carriers, a cupholder and even a gadget pocket with speaker. They really have through of everything and I love that it is all included! It is lightweight with an umbrella fold but unlike the Maclaren is suitable from birth and the seats recline back fully, there are adjustable handles too. I can’t check this model for buggy board compatibility but other twin Cosattos do so I should imagine this would too. It isn’t compatible with car seats or carry cots but I do think that for the short time you use these that isn’t too important and this would be a great all rounder.
Prices correct at time of publishing.
This isn’t a sponsored post, I wanted to share some of my favourite double pushchairs.
It has been far too long since I have written one of these! You may have noticed that Mummy has been very busy with our two new additions. In some ways times goes so fast but now you are older your changes are more subtle. It is only as I look back over the last months I can see how much more you are doing and gosh you are growing…you suddenly seem to have shot up. It was a nearly a year ago we moved you into your big bed and you looked so tiny curled up in it, now you stretch your toes so far down it won’t be long until you will fill the bed. Now and then I catch a glimpse of you, usually when you’re sleeping and you are just my baby again, we’ve come so far!
So much has changed this year and I think on the whole you have been amazing. You clearly love your brothers and now they are more active you are so desperate to play with them, it won’t be long until the rough and tumble starts! Their faces light up when they see you and you never fail to make them giggle. You accepted them both right from the start, as if you quite expected them to be here as part of our family and although it has been far from plain sailing I couldn’t be prouder of the big brother you are.
I love have much you are talking now, there is a constant chatter about whatever we do now, you come out with some funny things which make me laugh out loud. It’s amazing that you can now tell us how you see the world, the things you notice that we don’t and the sayings you pick up on. We are constantly asked ‘What’s that?’ to something you hear or can see. After all that worry you are starting to catch up and I’m sure by the time you start pre-school we won’t be able to shut you up.
In a few short months you will be starting pre-school and I am starting to see how ready you will be for it. You are so inquisitive, so full of questions and always wanting to do new things; I know you will enjoy it and I think you will be straight in there without a backwards glance at Mummy. I will miss you being at home terribly but I felt much better after I visited your school and I could see how much fun you are going to have. I have no idea how those teachers are going to get you to sit still, good luck to them!
Some weeks with you seem so perfect, you are happy and loving, always so full of fun and mischief; you have the wildest imagination and will play so many games with your imaginary friends or include Mummy and Daddy in the hunt for scary monsters. Then we have times when it seems like constant battles, I hate it when I lose my temper with you and some days that happens far too often. Some things aren’t easy for you, we are in the house more often than we used to be and you don’t often get my full attention. You can get so angry and upset, you can be naughty and act out on purpose and I can see your frustration. I think we’ve muddled through as best we can and this summer I plan to make up for it with lots of fun as a family. That doesn’t mean you’ll get your own way anymore than usual; some days I wonder if you will ever realise that a tantrum doesn’t get you what you want!
You still have so many funny ways, my little creature of habit. Of course there is still a great love of hats, glasses, animals, cuddly toys, books and most of these things end up in your bed every night. Honestly you sleep next to a mountain of random objects, everything is shoved to the side as you cuddle Cat and Dog to get to sleep. At heart you are the most sociable, outgoing little guy; we recently spent a day at Great Nana’s and I loved how much you were in your element. Just pottering around, happily chattering to everyone and always happy to go to anyone, you can be so relaxed around family.
Next month you will be turning three, what an incredible three years! I don’t think I ever could have imagined how much fun it would be to have a little boy, even on the worse days you make me smile. When you are in bed I think of what we’ve done that day; I might tell Daddy a funny story or look through the photos I’ve taken, more often than not it isn’t very exciting but it is precious. There is nothing like seeing you grow up into a fully fledged little boy, to know you are mine is the best feeling in the world.
All My Love
This is my very first week joining in with a project over on I Heart Snapping called Living Arrows. I have been given a new camera as an early birthday present which I’m really excited to start using more; even though I have been photographing my children ever since they were born I would really love to improve my picturess and learn more about photography so this seemed perfect. Each week I hoping to share a photo that sums up the beauty of childhood. I’m beginning to realise just how difficult it is to capture a photo of Lucas, he never stays still for long enough!
This is just a quiet day in the garden, we had enjoyed a family picnic and Lucas was running in and out of the washing pretending to be a monster. As you can see he doesn’t even sit still long enough to eat his apple. I love how the wind caught his hair just as he got out his ‘monster claws’.
Lucas has always been an outdoors boy, he is in his element out in the open air and loves to go adventuring and exploring. When he was younger we would be out nearly every day, whatever the weather and everything was new and exciting to him. Unfortunately this year he has mostly had to restrict his exploring to the garden but now the nicer weather is here we are getting out a little more.
I’m lucky to live close to a lovely park which I try and get the boys to a couple of times a week. We don’t get to go much further and I sometimes worry that Lucas will become bored but everytime we go he seems to find new things to enjoy. We always start off with the playground then we go for a walk round the lake, stomp on the molehills, spot the ducks, the swans and her signets, the moorhens sitting on their nests; this can last for quite a while with an inquisitive two year old. Sometimes we’ll go up the the trampoline or visit the quarry garden. This week we just sat and had a snack near the ducks, as we started to head for home Lucas found a few sticks and started showing off his favourite swashbuckling pirate moves (as much as I try to play Harry Potter it is always pirates!). His eyes lit up as he spotted a giant stick; he started swishing it around like a sword and dragging it up and down all the paths.
I love how he can make our ordinary walk into his own imaginary adventure, he see’s something new everytime we go and can make a game out of everything. I love to just sit back and take it all in, listen to him chatter about things and see him run around being a pirate. Getting outdoors always brings out the best in him and soon he’ll be leading his two little brothers on adventures too. After all this fun when I asked him to tell Daddy what we did at the park he told him about the nettle sting he got on the way home whilst clucking at the chickens!