Autumn Love at Bradgate Park

Hello lovely people on my blog. Lately, I am definitely making more of an effort to document my camera snaps, so do drop by from time to time if you enjoy taking a sneak peek into our family adventures.

I saw this on Instagram the other day and I learnt something new. Who knew that the end of autumn is actually in December. Fun fact : It officially falls on the 21st of December this year. When it gets really chilly, I just assumed winter’s here. Whoops.

Another Autumn themed post today! These glorious pictures were taken at the beautiful Bradgate Park. We love going to the park at weekends for the child to run wild and free. She adores taking her bicycle or scooter out and I am thrilled for her too as her dad is there to help and race with her. I just relax with the baby. Win win!

IMG_3909IMG_3925IMG_3930IMG_3938IMG_3942IMG_3947IMG_3903IMG_3953IMG_3949

Summer Sun with 2!

Oh hello there! We have been very very very quiet on here but LOOK …

42828-0030.jpg

We have been so blessed to welcome another precious daughter to our family in March and our little 3 year old mini ‘tornado’ is now a very proud big sister. I cannot quite believe that we are a family of four.

IMG_2256.JPG

We recently celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary and I successfully persuaded my dear husband to whisk us away for a short holiday. Well, we have not killed each other yet and that must be some reason to live a little and enjoy some ‘summer sun’. Little did we know that I chose the hottest place for a stopover. Everyone warned us about Dubai’s summer, I definitely underestimated it slightly but it is definitely doable and enjoyable even with young children.

IMG_2200.JPG

One thing I was very worried about was how the kids will cope with the heat and how do I protect their fragile skin. It even reached 45 degrees Celcious when we there, can you imagine. ( and I thought summer this year in the UK is warm enough ). Throughout July, WaterWipes have partnered up with a child dermatologist to highlight the importance of protecting baby skin throughout the summer months. Dr Wilkinson has provided a variety of top tips which proved very helpful to us especially when we were in Dubai.

Keep babies under 6 months in the shade.
Thank heavens for air conditioning everywhere out there. There are lots of indoor type attractions in Dubai so we did spent a chunk of our time indoors. We also managed to laze around by the pool to cool down. We were lucky that the hotel we stayed in had a shaded kids pool. By the way, did you know that sun cream is not tested on babies under 6 months and so should not be used. I slathered on lots to protect big sister though.

IMG_2554.JPG

IMG_2244.JPG

It was also baby’s first time being exposed to potential skin irritants such as sweat, sand, sea water, chlorine and air conditioning. Little one has very sensitive skin. Actually both my kids have quite bad eczema growing up. We made sure to wash off chlorine in the shower as soon as possible and applied a moisturiser to the skin. Oh yes, do dry skin thoroughly after swimming before applying moisturiser in order to avoid locking in moisture. This is a common cause of nappy rash and is easily prevented by drying the skin.
We took extra care when we were out on holiday by only using tried and tested products to protect our children’s skin. No room for trial and error when we are on holiday. Littlest has been prescribed a bath emolient which we use daily and we ‘over’ moisturise their skin if that makes sense.
Another thing we love and use is WaterWipes. If you have been following us on Instagram, you might know that my eldest has a milk allergy which she is slowly outgrowing and the baby has eczema woes much to my dismay. Hence, we are very careful about products we use on their skin. Did you know that they are the only baby wipe to be approved by Allergy UK and the National Eczema Association of America. WaterWipes have been carefully designed to be gentle on babies sensitive skin and they are the world’s purest baby wipe that contains 99.9% water and a drop of grapefruit seed extract – a natural skin conditioner. They don’t irritate my children’s skin and makes parenting life slightly easier.
Another fabulous tip to avoid baby overheating is to dress them in loose clothing. This is by far my favourite part about summer : the adorable rompers and dresses and sunhats!

IMG_2488

This post has been written in partnership with WaterWipes. To find out more about WaterWipes, visit their website ( http://www.waterwipes.com ) or WaterWipes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Remember remember the 5th of November

Remember, remember the fifth of November… Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night, Fireworks Night. Whatever you call it, it sure is a fun albeit freezing night out for all the family celebrating the failure of Guy Fawkes’ infamous Bonfire Plot. Bonfires will be lit and fireworks will be illuminating the night’s sky with ‘BOOM BOOM BOOM’ as my toddler would put it.

We have been talking loads about fireworks as Diwali just passed and she had quite a few  fireworks themed activities for the past week. Her playgroup organised a lovely firework painting station for them, which she thoroughly enjoyed. We wrapped up warm and went to the annual Rainbows festival of fireworks at Leicester Racecourse. We were not sure whether to go for this or the biggest display at Abbey Park. I think we definitely made the right decision as we knew the toddler might be very tired and it might not go our way when the fireworks went off. Who knows, we might have to make a run for it  and Abbey Park was a much larger venue. Parking was a huge factor in this too. We were there from half 5 right up to the end of the children’s display which started at 7. We were frozen by then. A little someone who was never a fan of gloves kept asking us to ‘fix it’. Its very telling that she was cold 🙂

When we arrived, little one was excited to look around the funfair and we asked her whether she wanted to go on a centipede roller coaster. She profusely said no. However, we took her on a tamer train ride. She had her game face and was oh so serious when her daddy took her in the little train carriage but when she came out .. she was squealing with excitement and told me that she sat on a Choo Choo Train and rang the bell. Little joys in life, it was lovely to see her expressions.

img_6182

img_6168


img_6170


img_6164

img_6166

She especially loved the live music on stage, where she danced for at least half an hour whilst waiting for the children display. I forgot how expensive it can be for things like that. Our entrance was £7.50 each  (£5 for advance tickets), rides usually cost about £2.50 (double that as she is still wee to go unaccompanied), coffee / tea £2 and oh my word, the warm sugary donuts were 4 for £5! Oh well, all in all .. an experience to be had.

She was still excited when they were counting down to the kiddies display but all went a bit wrong when it started. She was not as excited as the last time she saw fireworks and started saying no and she was scared after a few minutes. My husband and I ran helter skelter working our way through the crowds whilst catching bits of it. She would look in amazement for a while and say lets go. We missed the lighting of the bonfire as well as the adults display (no surprises there)

As we were leaving and was in the vicinity of the carpark, she started wailing again as she wanted more fireworks. Oh the looks on our faces.

Till next year kiddo.

Pumpkin picking experience

Yes yes, its yet another pumpkin patch blog post on the internet but it is special for us as its our first experience with the little one in tow. It might have been easier ( *clears throat* photo opportunity ) last year as she was not yet a walking talking toddler .. I could have plopped her anywhere and it would have been picture perfect (jokes). Its nice to set little traditions for the family though and we will have to make a conscious effort to go again.

We went to Cattows Farm, a beautiful piece of Leicestershire countryside but their pumpkin patch was empty. They had a huge demand of Pick Your Own this year but no worries as they had a special plan in place for the kiddies. They just placed pre harvested pumpkins on their land 🙂 Well, who cares! We were there and we were going to make the best of it.

She was thrilled when she saw so many pumpkins but one would assume pumpkins would be the main attraction at a pumpkin farm? It was ALL about the dandelions and the daisies for her. She kept saying ‘Look Mummy ‘ ‘Look Daddy!’ ‘I am picking lots and lots’. It was adorable, bless.

Pumpkin Patch

Cattows Farm

Pumpkin Picking

Dandelion

Pumpkin Picking at Cattows Farm

img_6138

Dandelion Love

Daddy Daughter Time

Daisies

What a lovely experience for us to enjoy as a family, we must remember to go earlier in the month next year. Perhaps there will be actual pumpkins to harvest 🙂 Cattows Farm is a wonderful family friendly place, we had a good wander around the farm shop and made some purchases. Little one was pretty chuffed with her big and ‘little’ pumpkin. Oh yes, I have to mention the cakes in their tea room. Looks super delicious but unfortunately we already had food plans, therefore did not indulge this time around.

Cattows Farm Leicestershire

Cattows Farm Shop

They also had a little children play area which must be fab for the summer!

Cattows Farm

… no prize for guessing my height 😉

Cattows Farm

Last not but not least, a picture with their resident sheep and goat. Sure hit with bubba, she loved saying hello.

Cattows Farm

Save

Taipei with Kids – One day itinerary

We had a wonderful time in Taipei. We found it to be a well-mannered kid-friendly (toddler friendly) city with a variety of things to see and do. I mentioned well mannered as I always had the impression that I might be slightly put off by the people. Totally wrong as the people there are very kind and especially accommodating as we could speak some Mandarin. The city is very clean too. Stroller friendly and oh it just reminds me of Japan and Korea. Cultured.

There were too many things that I wanted to cover in Taiwan but we did not have time for them all. The weather was also not very pleasant on certain days as we were there during typhoon season. We managed to squeeze a little trip away from downtown Taipei to a hot springs resort and that’s a lovely touch. I would highly recommend it if you are travelling with children. Much needed rest and relax before or after covering the city. Ps. if you are planning any travels, I personally LOVE the DK Eyewitness travel guides.

I wrote about our experience at Taipei 101 and Din Tai Fung in my previous write up.

We had one full day left on our holiday, so here goes! This is a post covering our busy day exploring Taipei. We could have covered more ground but I think this is perfect if you are with kids. We even had cheeky cakes and coffee whilst little one had a long snooze in her pram. This post is also my entry in to the Trips100 Family Adventure Company blogger challenge. We would love for our little family to go on another adventure to Cambodia with them 🙂

First stop, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. This place was spectacular, it was HUGE and oh so picturesque with the impending storm clouds. The view at CKS Memorial Hall was really something, from the moment you walk through the large Memorial Hall Doors, to the National Theatre & Concert Hall buildings on the left and right and they sure did save the best for last .. the sight you get to enjoy when you climb up 89 steps to the Memorial Hall. We were left ‘breathless’ .. properly gasping for air as I did not want to miss the changing of guards. You can imagine me trying to run up the stairs carrying the toddler whilst the boys had to fend for themselves and get my heavy handbag and the pram up those stairs.

img_5151

img_5156

img_5155

‘Come on, little one’. This might be one of my favourite pictures of all time.

img_5157

img_5185

My beautiful mummy in front of the National Theatre.

img_5181

img_5161

We made it! Caught the changing of guards ceremony which takes place every hour from 9am to 5pm. It was fascinating. If we got there earlier, little one might have enjoyed this with a better view. She was still mesmerised, probably viewing it through someone else’s phone. *jokes*

img_5168

img_5166

Look at all the selfie sticks 😀

img_5169

img_5178

img_5179

img_5180

We were all warm and sticky after our first stop and quickly hopped in to a taxi to the next attraction, Longshan Temple. Its also conveniently located next to Huaxi Street Night Market (which is open all day long) also known as Snake Alley. We decided to have lunch there. Ps. NOT snakes. Thank goodness we had lunch at a relatively normal and DELICIOUS stall before we walked passed all the ‘snakey stuff’

A large, red, palace-style archway marks the entrance to the market.

IMG_5203.JPG

We decided on this little stall, look at how they present their food. They charge you based on weight. All we did was point at the food we wanted and we were pleasantly surprised when the food arrived.

img_5190

Look at how little the shop is, the seating area is opposite. Picture of my mummy in front of the shop if you are in the area. Its very very good and not pretentious at all.

img_5191

Little one was quite happy playing with chopsticks and waiting for her food to arrive.

img_5195

The seafood was incredibly fresh. Delicious squid. I was quite surprised to see our tot eating this dish, she loved it paired with her noodles and rice.

img_5196

Clams, also very tasty.

img_5197

Huge pot of nutritious chicken soup.

img_5198

A very fine lunch I must say. Drooling, just thinking about it and it was not very costly too. Perhaps 20 quid for 5 adults.

We then walked around the market and I had goosebumps most of the time. There must be a reason why its called ‘Snake Alley’. They had specialty shops serving different parts of the snake and boy I was not amused. Little one was intrigued though.

img_5202

All fired up from a satisfying lunch, off we went to explore Longshan Temple. It was beautiful, mystical and bustling with all sorts of sights, smells and sounds. It is probably the busiest temple in Taipei but if you were to visit any, this would be it. I know most people would say that the temple isn’t the greatest place to visit with kids in tow but we managed to manoeuvre the little one through the temple without too much stress. We whizzed through the inside of the temple as it was very smoky with incense but little one really enjoyed the grounds of the temple. They had a waterfall and a lovely garden. I have been told to go in the evening as the candles and lights gives it a more special atmosphere. Next trip perhaps.

img_5204

img_5214

img_5209

img_5211

img_5216

img_5207

img_5215

img_5220

We quickly hopped into a taxi for some ‘rest and relax’ at The Grand Hotel. Why a hotel? This is also one of Taipei’s popular landmarks featuring beautiful palace like exteriors and intricate interiors. Our little human was way overdue for her nap and she fell asleep oh so quickly in the taxi on the way there. Perfect timing! We had plans to drop by the very famous Shilin Night Market in the evening, so this pit stop was much appreciated after our busy morning. Ps. the Shilin Night Market is not too far from here too. Hence, this strategic and grand ‘rest station’

img_5231

img_5232

Check out their keys, it symbolises wealth. Of course, following the trend of times The Grand Hotel (established in 1952)  has renovated all of their key systems to ensure better security but this wall display certainly caught my eye.

img_5233

We were really stuffed from lunch but if you are up for it the restaurant has a lovely afternoon tea buffet deal which was quite popular. We just ordered from their menu. I enjoyed a green tea slice accompanied by some lovely live music. Oh what a way to relax whilst bubba was snoozing.

img_5235

img_5237

Look look, someone’s all rejuvenated after a long nap. Time to take more pictures! Grand Hotel?

img_5251

img_5252

‘Hi Nanna’

img_5241

img_5244

img_5250

img_5254

Next and final stop for the day, Shilin Night Market. Shilin is indisputably the most famous night market in Taiwan. Taipei is a food lovers dream, everything looks and tastes delicious. I had dreams about devouring everything and anything at the night markets but … unfortunately this was not the case.

img_5261

img_5262

Yes, the market was filled to the brim with a wide variety of food stalls but night markets can be very overwhelming for an 18 month old. It got congested quickly and it was not particularly stroller friendly when it got busy. They are not many places to sit and there are queues everywhere.

img_5265

img_5274

img_5275

This might have been the trigger for her crying her eyes out. There’s a variety of amusing games in the night market too, she was thrilled with the monster my dad won for her but I think the popping of them balloons spooked her.

img_5266

img_5269

We did however manage to get seats to try the famous oyster omelettes. A simple egg omelette with fresh oysters but boy did it taste good.

img_5273

img_5271

Bubba was far from cooperative at this point, so we decided to call it a day and have dinner in the hotel. Once we got in the taxi, she was perfectly happy. All the hustle and bustle in the night market must have gotten to her.

IMG_5276.JPG

Very picture heavy post and pretty long for my standards but I am sure I will be thrilled to re-read this post when she is a bit older. Gosh, we really do love traveling especially with the little one in tow.

Hope you enjoyed reading about our travels in Taipei and do ask if you have any questions.

xxx

”Wanderlust

 

Baking with the Toddler – Dairy Free Shortbread

I always had this idyllic idea of baking with my child, where it will be so pretty and fun, like something from those adverts you see on telly.

I have been procrastinating for quite a few months as I knew that this would smash that lovely picture that I have painted in my head. I finally DID IT. Baking with my little one for the very first time at 21 months! A really good and fun age to start as she now understands the concept of cooking. At least, I think she does as she watches me in the kitchen and pretends to cook her own food when she is actually eating. Haha.

I set up all the ingredients in advance and before I could even explain or show her which one to mix, she started pouring the wrong ingredient to the huge mixing bowl much to my dismay. She was doing her own thing whilst I tried guiding her to ‘follow the recipe’. “At least she’s loving it”.. I kept repeating this in my head.

Good thing I hid the raspberries till the end as she conveniently forgot that she was still baking and started enjoying them. After munching on quite a few raspberries, she started cooperating again and she was a jolly good helper.

I am so glad that I waited till she was this age so that it wont be too much of a ‘fail’. Good fun, more mess than usual, double the time BUT yes, to more baking days ahead especially since its autumn 🙂

Enjoy our pictures, its chronological … includes the time where she toddled away and enjoyed some baking ingredients i.e the raspberries. Ingredients will be further down the post 🙂

img_5690

img_5693

img_5694

img_5695

img_5696

img_5697

img_5699

img_5701

img_5702

img_5704

img_5706

Looking back at the pictures, her face was a picture of concentration and she carried out her little tasks with focus. Awww bless nothing cuter than little kids attempting to bake. First time trying this dairy free recipe and thankfully it worked! Super easy and she loved pressing the dough into the elephant mould. She kept wanting to turn the mould upside down to look at their faces though.

Ingredients:

290g baking margarine, we used Stork (not the spreadable kind), room temp. diced

120g sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

270g plain flour

110g rice flour

100g raspberries (optional)

pinch of sea salt

Mix the ‘butter’, sugar and vanilla together until pale and fluffy. (Well my toddler wanted to do flour first) Add the flours to the creamed mixture. Fold together. We included some raspberries for fun. Place dough in moulds or prepared tin. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes, preheat oven to 170°C. Bake for 40 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and score and do leave for it to completely cool before removing from mould or cutting the slices.

img_5709

img_5710

img_5711

img_5714

We had one happy tot! Definitely makes it all worthwhile when you see her tucking into her little cookie. The elephants were a hit as she was so excited to eat the ears and then the eyes.

IMG_5721.JPG

For some other dairy free makes, check out my df banana ice cream and passion fruit cake. Hope you have a happy Sunday with your loved ones.

Ps. theres a huge range of animal moulds on Baked By Me. Great fun when baking with the kiddos.

The Adventures Of An Allergy Mummy

Mid-Autumn Festival

Feeling rather nostalgic 🙂 My mum sent along a gorgeous lantern for the little one in conjunction with the Mid-Autumn Festival. After Chinese New Year, this is the second most important festival. I used to love picking out my lantern with my brothers; this was a wonderful yearly affair for us and I remember choosing an assortment of animals where my brothers would go for a car or superhero lantern or something along those lines. It was also a lovely excuse to play with lots of candles when we were older. Oh so much fun to be had.

When I forwarded some of the pictures to my mum .. she replied saying we had to play with the lantern when its dark (Duh!) There’s a little spot for you to put a candle in the lantern. Major fire hazard as the little one was way too excited with her first lantern. She was flinging it around, running along the path and ‘showing it off’ with lots of joy. Besides, this was already about 7pm. We are already missing these long, warm summer days where we it felt like we had lots of time to explore but autumn can be beautiful too.

Managed to get some lovely pictures with her prized PINK butterfly lantern.

img_5671editimg_5676editimg_5679edit

Lots of love and thank you Nanna! xxx

Previous Older Entries