A day out to the Riverhall Himalayan Gardens, Sevenoaks

A day out to the Riverhall Himalayan Gardens, Sevenoaks

When you have two children under two you’d think that finding different places to spend the day would be easy (oh how I was wrong) but without venturing up to the big smoke things can be really tricky. Also for my own sanity if I have to keep visiting the local park anymore than twice a week I think I’ll end up having some kind of mental breakdown. There are only so many times you can make small chat with fellow mums and take boomerang videos (you know the ones plastered all over everyone’s Instagram of your toddler going down the slide. We all do it, you know it, I know it. I’m guilty).

As a rule I’m not a very tolerable person. If employees are rude i’m not likely to rush back to spend my pennies (mamas on a budget of course!). I live in Kent (broken applause) and sometimes I forget what a beautiful area it is. So with the kids Nan and I took them to visit the Riverhall Himalayan Gardens which is located in Sevonoaks. I usually reserve judgement of new places but blow me down I actually had a laugh. And we only had 1 tantrum from Delilah (small victories count when you have a drama lama for a daughter).

We ventured around the den building area where Delilah explored and created her own little space whilst Nan and I enjoyed a nice walk pushing Indie in the buggy, up by the bluebells it was very hilly and bumpy so make sure you have your mountain style buggies with you. (I admit I forgot my bungee cords and campfire building set but luckily all it took was some sturdy pairs of wheels.) It was so lovely to get Indie out and let him enjoy the fresh air and it allowed Delilah to burn off that forever lasting energy (where the hell does it come from?!). Also if you keep your eyes peeled in the summer holidays and weekends (around 2-4pm) you might even spot the Yeti! Let’s all be honest though, that poor bloke or woman cavorting around in that costume just after midday is definitely not being paid enough. We salute you Yeti-thing.

The adventure playground was in another league in comparison to the local swings and to see Delilah’s little face light up in excitement was unreal. Even I got a little bit excited seeing some of it, and I’m not ashamed to admit how many kids I ran past aiming for the HUGE slide myself. We felt safe for Delilah to run free in the play area and just go crazy! There was also plenty of benches for you to have a pit stop and scroll through Instagram and pretend that you aren’t completely counting down the very last minutes until bed time so you can catch up on Hollyoaks. JUDGE ME SEE IF I GIVE A FFFFF.

We took a stop around the Himalayan hedge maze (mainly for me and my obsession of mazes). I was hoping to “accidentally” lose the kids in the maze just for like, a minute, to get a break. No chance. Delilah was this crazy ninja blur, only occasionally stopping to scream “MUM” in my face before tearing off down some other twists and turns. One can dream. (disclaimer I love my children, i’m just honest).

Entry was really affordable at £8.25 for an adult ticket and under fours free (loud applause) it was a bargain! They also offer season tickets which I recommend if you loved it as much as we did. Dogs are welcome also and I recommend wearing sensible shoes but if you forget they have a delightful selection of wellies that other people have worn you can borrow for free. I’m now lost in my own mind imagining an entire family inside the ticket area going “OH NO. OUR SHOES! WE HAVE FORGOTTEN THEM!”, laughing at each other’s socks. That’s when the wellies are produced and we all get the same sinking feeling whenever we visited a bowling alley as youngsters. Errrrrm….no thanks. I’ll go barefoot. Be one with nature and all that.

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At the moment they are running a bluebell walk which is absolutely stunning. Bluebells are really special to me because I used to go for walks with my granddad behind their house and pick bunches of them and bring them home for my Nan. Since he died I’ve always felt a special connection to them and it reminds me of a happy memory. We met up with photographer and good pal Emily Brown took who some snaps of me and the kids. It created a beautiful backdrop for the pictures which went STRAIGHT on my Instagram (thank you!). Emily took my lovely maternity shot and was and still is fabulous to work with. She is so good at getting the children to engage with her and enjoy it as well, nothings a chore for her not even a stroppy Delilah! I truly recommend her for nice natural photos especially if you are like me and dislike the whole cringe matching denim tops posed family portraits. She actually takes a decent picture of you and your little monsters looking, well, not like monsters.

By the end of shoot the kids had had enough and weren’t playing ball because lunch time was approaching. Delilah was rubbing her belly yelling “I HUNGRY MUMMA!”. She is indeed her mother’s daughter. We took a break in the Riverhall Cafe where mine and Nan’s eyes lit up once we saw the selection of home made cakes and scones. My diet briefly went out the door at this point and we snacked on cake and coffee whilst the kids munched down. Silence lasted an entire ten minutes and it was GOLDEN. But if you want to bring your own picnic spread there are tons of picnic benches and good spots to bring a blanket with you.

They also provided free water for everyone (including dogs!) and next to the cafe they had a wendy house with activities and toys for kids which was so ideal. They had a little shop as well of really cool little things where I had to physically restrain myself from grabbing armloads of cutesy shop-junk and haul it over to the till.

Overall, 10/10 day. Spot on. What matters really is my kids had fun, and I had fun. Sometimes you forget as a parent what it means to “have fun”. You have to sit back, take the piss a bit and enjoy the little things. Like stank wellies, and beautiful bluebells.

Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x

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Edited by Ellie Jones- contact us for any editing needs. 

This post is for Riverhall Himalayan Gardens and Emily Brown photography and the opinions in the post are all of my own.

A day out at Kent Life

A day out at Kent Life

Hello everyone!
So I’m terrible at starting posts, how do I start?! “Hello”?!
“Soooo…”?!
“Hey it’s Nicole” (if you’ve seen these videos you’ll know)

Anyway, I actually wrote out a whole post about things I was stressed about. Then when I went to check it over and get it edited I realised how horrendously boring it was to read about me bitching and whining. When really we have each other’s backs as friends, mothers, sisters… in hind sight aren’t THAT bad.

So to cheer us up and after missing my Nan soooo much when she was away we spent the day out at Kent Life in Maidstone!

When we got there we had some lunch at Dotties cafe which can only be described as the cutest tea room ever! They did gluten free bread so Indie was sorted.

We petted and fed the animals…

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We went on a tractor ride!

We ate ice cream!

We played in the outdoor play area, climbed, ran, jumped and had a great adventure.

For one day I didn’t think of anything stressful, I didn’t feel depressed… I just enjoyed my children. Got to take pictures of them, play with them, feed the animals. I had a good day.

It was such a good day that the fact Delilah threw so many tantrums it was unreal! And she also found a dummy and I couldn’t prize the fucking thing off of her for love nor money so upside smiley emojis all the way.

If you can take one good day then the rest don’t really matter. We are in this together mummas. Stay strong.

Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x

Delilahs outfit is from Gap America (last years) and her socks & ribbon were purchased at Dagenham Market.

Indianas outfit is for Little Bird and Mothercare (this seasons).

The buggy is my spare car buggy and it’s a Mothercare Nanu. Which I have to say is a great stroller and good value for money.

Editing Ellie Jones- contact us for any AWESOME, WELL-PUNCTUATED, HARD GRAMMATICALLY-CORRECTED EDITS👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻💯💯💯💯

WHAT’S IN MY BAG

WHAT’S IN MY BAG

Being a mum of two under two involves a hell of a lot of lugging around. Who knew such tiny humans needed such a lot of well…STUFF. So I have delved into my nappy bag to show you what I carry!

I scrolled through tonnes of shops online and couldn’t find one I really loved at an affordable price but I did find this gym bag in Primark which I doubled up as a nappy bag. It also matches my black and soft pink Bugaboo Donkey perfectly! Plus it was only £12 (!!!)

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  1. Water wipes- Pre Delilah I would wear lovely sparkly stuff and not have a care in the world what was in my products until whilst pregnant I got a cosmetic allergy and now can only use hypoallergenic products (as only can Delilah). I never knew how much crap was in baby and make up wipes so I was lucky to discover Water Wipes. They are genius! Always carried for bums, messy faces and sticky fingers!
  2. Nappies- in each size, pretty self explanatory there.bag3
  3. Water bottle- I am currently dieting (and trying very hard to do so as well) so I need to drink 3 liters per day. It’s also exhausting and thirsty work trying to tame little ones and as I’m prone to fainting (swooning if Tom Hardy is reading the bedtime story) and have been anaemic is pretty important for me to stay hydrated.
  4. Juice cup- or “JUICEEE!” as Delilah more commonly yells. She only drinks water and on the odd occasion drinks a fruit juice if we are out but they can be pricey if you’re buying one every time you go out so I always carry one for her. She uses a no spill cup from MAM.
  5. Note pads- Trying to remember absolutely everything is impossible! I jot down blog post inspo, things we need (normally milk) and all them bits and bobs that I can’t remember because sleepless nights are killing my brain. I also adore stationary so there is always a notepad in my shopping basket. I like to pretend I’m organised!
  6. Toys and books- aka distraction and occupiers whilst I do things, shop etc,.
  7. Blanket- for nap time snuggles, Indie’s fave is a lovely woollen GAP blanket.
  8. iPad- for when Delilah has a FULL SCALE meltdown that will only be calmed down by Ben elf, Holly and that fucking rude little lady bird (if you know, you know). I used to look down my nose at parents that shoved electronics in front of their kids whilst they did things. I have come to learn that it isn’t selfish or mind numbing for children, sometimes a little down time is needed and it is perfectly acceptable for parents to want some bloody peace every now and again.bag2
  9. The ‘me pouch’- the little bag of essentials to keep me tip top during the day (deodrant, spray, hair bands, lippy, medication, tampons) I keep mine in a mere soeur bag, you can grab your’s on this link> https://meresoeur.com/products/girl-gang-pouch
  10. EMERGENCY CRY STOPPERS- Delilah doesn’t have a dummy during the day anymore and Indie vary rarely has one either but I take one JUST IN CASE.
  11. Purse- to pay for shit obvs. I used to carry a big mulberry that took up so much room. I have reluctantly opted for a coin purse to wedge my cash, card and boots card in.
  12. Snacks- Always carry some nibbles for if they are flagging a little. I prepare fresh snacks at home but when I’m on the go we go for Kiddylicious or Goodies!
  13. Sunglasses- because the sun glare coming off my phone when we are at the park is near on blinding.

What nappy bag do you have and what do you take out with you? Let me know so we can cry over never having any room for anything anymore and carrying a bag the size of a small house around. (At least our upper arm muscles are ripped)

 

Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x

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Editor- Eleanor Jones. Contact us if you require edits on any writing

 

 

 

 

New year, same old me…

New year, same old me…

I had one of the best Christmases ever! I loved every minute, got spoilt rotten, spent time with friends, ate my body weight in yummy food and drank vast amounts of prosecco. The kids had a wonderful time, Delilah loves opening presents and Father Christmas treated her to lots and lots of lovely things. We are one happy family!
Tis the season for “new year, new me” statuses. BRACE YA’SELVES! That time between Christmas and New Years is an odd one. You’re trying to find a place for all the new toys, write the thank you cards and de-Christmas the house. I thought it was time to think about my New Years resolutions! A few things aside we have had a fucking horrid year so it’s made me more driven to improve 2017.

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DRINK MORE WATER
As a very tired mum of two I constantly drink coffee and Diet Coke to keep me going and I’ve had tons of headaches so I know I really should stay hydrated! The coffee only goes cold anyway and I’m just feeling soooooo sluggish I need to stay potisitive and be proactive!

LOOK AFTER ME
Another thing I know as a mum is that I really do put myself last and rightly so! I’m not arguing because the babies are my world but I’ve been feeling so down about myself, a little manicure and a few foils does make you feel on top of the world! Plus this Christmas I grew another chin and I have a mum tum to shift. I love cooking obviously so more healthy and organic meals will be cooked this year. Recently I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I’m suffering from PND and not just a spell of baby blues, I now take medication to treat it which level me to make me feel a little more like me. It’s something that I find a bit embarrassing but I want to be the best mum, girlfriend and Sophie I can be so I’m working on myself.

PLAN FOR WHAT IFS
I know it’s a bit daunting but after losing some very dear people to me this year (some younger than me!!) I realised that me and Paddy need to put in place a just in case plan in case something was to happen to Paddy and I that the children would be fed, watered and looked after by someone we trusted.

FUSS LESS OVER SILLY THINGS AND SILLY PEOPLE
My house is no way shape or form something you’d see on Pinterest but I do think I am house proud and have a place for everything. It’s silly to worry about little things and be ruled by mess and untidiness. Time is much better spent enjoying life! I can be a teeny bit uptight (cue scoff from boyfriend) so I will be less stressed. Equally the people who don’t make an effort with our family SNIP SNIP bitch you’re getting cut off. I’m not wasting any more time or effort on people who don’t do the same for us. It’s time to focus on the people who matter.

PLAN THE WEDDING
We’ve had a look at a few places and thought about what’s right for us but it took a year and another baby before we even had a look at somewhere. So we are getting our bums in gear this year for a 2018 wedding! I have 5 bridesmaids and 2 flower girls that I’m taking with me for a dress shop. I have a few things in my head but nothing confirmed so I need an idea of what would suit us. My bridal party is nicknamed bride tribe and they are a rowdy bunch of strong minded opinionated ladies, sometimes I feel like a quiet little mouse around them and other times I’m the loud one telling what’s what! They all have their own styles so finding a happy medium will be challenging certainly but one I’m excited about properly planning.

Hope everyone has a great new year and super slut dropping drunk!
Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x

Gingerbread men (women, children, dogs, cats etc etc)

Gingerbread men (women, children, dogs, cats etc etc)

As Christmas is fast approaching I wanted to do some baking to make my home smell all lovely and festive (disguise the smell of shitty nappies more like). With my sister, dad and two best friends being lovely red heads it inspired me to get my apron on and whip up a lovely batch of ginger bread cookies. Also Delilah loves baking with me. From mixing the ingredients together, counting the spoonfuls out (good practice for when your child decides out of nowhere to count to five and in the midst of your sleep deprivation you find yourself sobbing uncontrollably) and stamping out the shapes with cutters to decorating with hundreds of sprinkles, icing, chocolate chips and marshmellows. It occupies her and lets her get her messy outbursts out and done with in a good way!

You will need for 24 (one for every day of advent fa la la lahhhhh) biscuits:

  • 350g plain flour
  • 2 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g butter
  • 175g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • Add lemon juice for a pregnancy morning sickness relief, works a charm (oh my god it was a blessing I swear) or replace the ginger with cinnamon if you aren’t a fan of ginger
  • Baking tray
  • Baking sheet
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Rolling pin
  • Cutters, I got mine from a pound shop and lets be honest it’s not exactly Nigella but it works!
  • A little helper (optional)
  • Decoration (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven 190’C/Gas mark 5
  2. Put the flour, ginger and soda into a bowl (mines a lovely mason cash, 100% recommend) and rub in the butter
  3. Add the sugar and stir in the golden syrup and egg to make a firm dough
  4. Roll out to about 5mm thick and cut out your gingerbread men or any other shape you fancy. If you fancy baking anything inappropriate bring it on!
  5. Pop in the fridge for 15 minutes to ensure they keep their shape
  6. Put a sheet of baking paper on a tray and evenly space out the biscuits, bake for until golden brown (about 10-15 minutes). Keep your eye on them whilst your little one licks the spoon because after an excited Delilah starting creating wall art work the first batch didn’t turn out so great. You can also keep left over dough in a lockerzip bag and freeze for up to a month (defrosted and follow next steps)
  1. Leave to firm up for a couple of minutes before placing on a wire rack to cook
  2. Once cool decorate with icing, sprinkles, marshmallow and any other decorations you wish!
  3. Leave washing up and mess for your partner to deal with whilst you drink the largest glass of wine you can find.
    Happy baking!

Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x

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Editor- Eleanor Jones. Contact us if you require edits on any writing