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.

Guest blogger- Lucie from www.mamjustbreathe.wordpress.com

Guest blogger- Lucie from www.mamjustbreathe.wordpress.com

Lucie has just started in the world of blogging and her first entry is being guest appeared on Mummy Deer. WELCOME LUCIE.

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I’m Lucie and I’m 32, living in Cornwall. Lover and mama to one beautiful specimen who forgot how to breathe and just be.

A week ago I sat in CDG airport in Paris, without my bebe but with my lover; I sat in the departure lounge silently patting myself on the back.

If you would have told me three years ago that this would be possible, I would have laughed, primarily at you for even suggesting this and secondly at myself for the state I was in.

Three years ago I was trapped, trapped within my parents’ house, trapped within myself holding a six month old bebe.

I sat on my parents sofa, frozen in time, crying; my parents questioning the  ‘baby blues’ to which we all believed that what I was experiencing was a natural feeling for all first time mothers.

Truth be told, eight weeks before my due date, my parents and I packed my bags and left the house I was sharing with daughters father. Fast forward six months in and I was finally coming to the terms of bringing up a child all on my own. Overcome with responsibility, guilt and personal inadequacies I sunk into a deep hole of crippling anxiety.

Anxiety was not a new friend to me; I welcomed it into my life in my late teens following secondary school bullying, shitty boyfriends and a few too many bad choices. Despite my amazing childhood that my parents had provided for me; it simply wasn’t enough; or more to the point I wasn’t.

I assumed that my ‘magical’ pregnancy would wave goodbye to my demons, turned out they were lying dormant waiting for the most opportune moment to strike.

Fast forward to the present and I am finding that the more mothers that I cross paths with is that this is extremely common; and many, many birthing stories aren’t picture perfect. Not quite the classic ‘one born every minute’ episode and after experiencing this life changing moment, mentally, physically and psychologically we as mothers are drained; and how can we turn to someone and ask for help when selfishly we have been granted with the most perfect creation: our child.

Once when I reached out for help, I was told to look at what I had and realise that what you have is more than enough; to hear what I was experiencing was ‘alien’ and shouldn’t be happening as I had been blessed. If only it were that simple; I could see a beautiful bebe, I could also see fear, guilt and people’s opinions on my forthcoming judgements and child rearing abilities.

Anxiety and depression within pregnancy and post birth can strike; I painted my face in clown make up, I slathered my face in a ‘show’ smile. Ironically I hate clowns, funny though I feel like the last three years I have been trying to remove my stage makeup and hang up my bowler’s hat, gregarious iconic outfit and exit the circus tent.

I found solace in endless cups of coffee, laughing with my mother and my best friend sending me endless love via a postcard.

All I needed was a  vent; a blank page, possibly an ear, time and a mirror. My dads theory; a mirror.  ‘Get in front of that mirror’. That god damn mirror, the mirror to stand tall in; to take a look at your miraculous self and tell yourself out loud that today, just today, as tony would say you are grrrrrrreat.

Once you realise that what you feel and write down is not the end of the world, it’s actually not that bad and neither are you.

Love Lucie x

follow and subscribe to Lucie at http://www.mamajustbreathe.wordpress.com

If you are interested in featuring as a guest blogger please contact me via email at sophieakamumydeer@gmail.com

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