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.

Mum guilt poorliness

Mum guilt poorliness

To all male friends and family. Stop
Reading now. NOW!
Being poorly is never fun but it’s not until you have children whilst being poorly that you long for a day off work tucked up in bed watching Netflix, having naps and not getting out your PJs like the ‘good ol days’. It’s more of a put the kids in front of Ben and Hollys little kingdom and hope they don’t moan whilst you die on the sofa counting down the minutes until your partner gets home.

If anyone didn’t know I have PCOS. It’s not fun and comes with some shitty side affects. But after having the kids I’ve not really suffered much until just after Indiana where I didn’t have a period until March. I did a pregnancy test and prayed for them couple of minutes that I wasn’t pregnant again…. negative, Hmmm? So where’s this period? In that time I went to the doctors 4 times and I barely got anything and got the conclusion that I was stressed and overweight. (This was a main reason for my diet). And then in March my period returned, very angrily. *pre warning this is going to get to the nitty gritty* it was soooo heavy with lots of clots. But in true Mum style fashion I just had to get on with it.

Four weeks passed and there was not much letting up and it was starting to make me very dizzy and queasy. I went to the gym on Thursday for spinning and I came home and fainted, I was also violently sick and went to bed very early. Things weren’t getting much better but then on Sunday I couldn’t stand up without loosing a ton of blood. It was horrendous. I was wearing a tampon and towel and it was still going to my ankles. I was getting freaked out so I called my mum who said to go to bed and sleep it off.

Pat took the kids on an egg hunt and sent me to bed to rest, I tried but then I had another bad show. At this point my home was looking like a scene from Saw and I couldn’t carry on. I called 111 who got me an ambulance and was blue lighted to hospital. I had a drip and was in a bed lined with a lot of towels! After blood tests and six hours wait for the doctor I was given medication to stop the bleeding and it was concluding I wasn’t having a miscarriage but one of the consequences of having PCOS.

I have to rest up for five days to get over it and (hopefully) stop the bleeding. If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that you have to put yourself first sometimes, they tell you to put your oxygen mask on before anyone else’s on a plane for a reason. Being a Mum isn’t an excuse to neglect yourself and especially your health, last night everyone who I saw kept saying “why didn’t you seek medical attention sooner?!” When in honesty I didn’t want to be poorly, I didn’t have the time or people around me to deal with it.

It’s made us really driven to move closer to family and friends. But I’m very thankful to Pat for taking care of the kids and holding down the fort, also for the horrendous cleaning and washing jobs he had to do. Soz about that.

Also Delilah asked “where mummy gone?” And Pat had to tell her that I’d gone to the shops *cries everywhere*
Will hopefully be better soon!

Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x

20 things about me

20 things about me

After a few tags I thought I’d do my 20 things about myself! So here goes…

One– WHERE TO BEGIN? I’m a trained hairdresser, I cut my days at school to focus on learning more about hairdressing. I adore doing hair. All my friends get free haircuts too.
Two– my favourite flowers are peonies. But I also love orchids. I went to an art exhibition on orchids being compared to vaginas which was.. Interesting?
Three– I’m addicted to crap telly. Teen mum, made in Chelsea, TOWIE. The list is endless.
Four– I have an allergy to cosmetics and mosquitos. I can only wear and use hypoallergenic products. People still buy me products I’m allergic too and it makes me really angry.
Five– My vision is horrendous. I wear contact lenses. But my sisters blind in one eye, has no depth perception and is long sighted in her “good eye” so I got off lightly.

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Six– I once streaked in the snow. I used to be fun, cool, outgoing. Now most nights I’m in bed by 9pm.
Seven– I’m crazy over murder and crime documentaries. The gorier the better. I’m pretty certain I’ve plotted Paddys murder down to the minor details. Every time he leaves dirty pants around I add more sinister stuff (I’m joking Pat, I love ya).
Eight– I’ve had 4 tattoos done. My first a ying yang in a flower on my arm, I got it because it was pretty, no meaning. I have Delilahs name on my other arm. The woman who did it was a rude bitch and I will get it re done because of the bad job she did. I then got Paddys name tattooed on my leg, went on a break so I got it tattooed over with a huge deer in a mirror and roses, A really good tattoo artist did it and I’m so glad he did it. A girl in Germany loved it so much she copied it. It was a really bad copy and makes me so angry.

Nine– whilst I was pregnant with both kids I had severe nightmares. They were sooooo bad and I even got sleep paralysis.
Ten– I’ve been a bridesmaid three times. And for my own wedding I will have 5 and 2 flower girls.
Eleven– Both children have name sakes to one of my friends. Delilahs full name is Delilah-Eleanor after my friend Ellie. Indiana after Indiana Jones, Jones being her last name.


Twelve– I’ve been to loads of parts of the world including Miami and Thailand. My dream holiday would be either Las Vegas or India to see the Holi festival.
Thirteen– BUT I am afraid of flying due to horrendous turbulence when hitting a storm on the way to a family holiday.
Forteen– I’m far better at DIY than Paddy, all furniture is put together by me, picture frames put up? Me, fixing things? Me. When we first moved in he tried to put a stall together and cut his hand open.
Fifteen– I’ve had 9 piercings in total. I only wear 3 now though.

Sixteen– My biological dad has been married six times and not to my mum. I also have three half sister and a half brother.

Seventeen– I have one foot bigger than the other.
Eighteen– My drinks of choice are gin and tonic, prosecco or Malibu and coke. Depending on how I’m feeling.

Nineteen– My takeaway of choice is fish and chips.
Twenty– My all time favourite movie is Pretty Woman. Whenever I was off school poorly Nan and I would watch it.

Aaaaaand there you go!

Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x

NOT EDITED BY ELLIE BECAUSE SHE’S ON HOLIDAY THE LUCKY COW

Date night

Date night

So I have decided to write about our baby free night out (thanks to Paddys parents, hallelujah) because the grounds for good parents is a good relationship. Whether you are married, in a relationship or co-parent it is important to work together, support one another and respect each other’s ways.

My partner in crime is Paddy. He’s the dad to my two beautiful children (thanks for helping make them!) Honesty time; when we first moved in together (I won’t flower it up) we really rubbed each other the wrong way! We would disagree about practically everything and to put it bluntly we acted more like friends who had a child together rather than a couple. Our relationship was going downhill very rapidly! The man I loved and wanted to spend my life with was struggling to even hold my hand or kiss me goodbye when he left for work. It then started to affect my time with Delilah because we weren’t supporting each others choices with her and the way we parented. Sometimes you need time to remember that you’re both in it together, and you need to show a team front for the kids.

Thanks to my father in law (Paul, you absolute hero) who drove all the way from Kent to Manchester, where we were living at the time, baby sat Delilah so we could go out for dinner. It was heaven and not because we got to eat food with both hands and actually have a drink without yelling “be careful Lilah!!” or “Do not touch mummies drink please!!” but we actually got time to have an adult conversation and remember why we fell in love in the first place.

Once we started communicating and we remembered we are a couple first, parents second, things became so much easier. When Delilah was playing up or refusing bed time we worked together instead of against each other! What I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to have baby free time and regain some of your sanity. It can actually be one of the most important things you need to do as a parent. I am ‘mummy’ and it’s a very important role which I carry with pride! However I am firstly ‘Sophie’ who like spending hours in lush and boots buying “crap we don’t need” (according to Pat), drinking gin and watching Keeping up with the Kardashians like its going out of fashion. To be good parents that relationship foundation has to be pretty solid, even if you aren’t together and you co-parent- be polite to each other, buy mother/fathers day presents for each other from the baby and go to their awards nights together! It’s far more easier, trust me.

Last night Paddy took me to the new Italian place in town and we had a great time – but things don’t have to be expensive to mean it’s a date. Some nights we put the kids early to bed, lay a blanket and cushions out whilst eating a chippy tea in front of a movie, sometimes we just go for a coffee or a drink down the pub but we always remember to be grateful for these little moments. I adore being a mum, being Sophie and being Paddy’s girl – it is possible to be all three at separate times and all at once. Never forget who you are and what you care about!

 

Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x

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

My very first post and intro to BLW

My very first post and intro to BLW

Eeeeeekkk!… I can’t believe this is my very first post!

Hello! Welcome to my blog. I’m Sophie and my tots keep me pretty busy.

This is Delilah she is currently 1 and half she may look adorable but she is one sassy princess who rules the roost.

delilah-christening

and this is Indiana! He is four months old and pretty chilled out as babies go. I cant wait to start feeding him some yummy goodies. For now hes on a pretty solid milk diet.

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This blog is mainly going to focus on baby lead weaning. ‘What is that?!’ you’re thinking. Well, it’s actually not as messy and daunting as you may think. (Although it can be messy. But in a hilarious Baby-With-Pasta-On-His-Forehead kind of way.)

So you’ve survived (winged) motherhood to 5/6 months and you’re ready to start the adventure of weaning? Where to begin? Say good-bye to sloppy purees and say hello to the new age method of weaning that creates advanced eaters and non-fussy babies! By giving your child foods they can hold in their hands, to feel the textures and taste things by getting involved in the eating process.

When you blend foods you crush down all the nutrients and create a standard texture. As a child I was incredibly fussy and was worried when it came to feeding Delilah she would refuse everything I put in front of her. My mum weaned me in the nineties where you weaned babies at a mere 3 months on baby rice, purred fruit and veg then onto jars of fishermans pie which still works really well for some mums but for me it wasn’t the answer.

So I went out on a limb (and a fruit slice) to try this alternative method and a year on we have a healthy toddler who has a wonderful appetite. Happy eaters all round!

I never thought weaning would be one of my favourite parts of parenthood but I love it, I love baking treats with and for Delilah, I love making new meals and getting my family to try new things and I love filling their bellies. I have lots of recipes and ideas and wanted to share them to help other mums, food lovers and friends. So hence the creation of this space – a place where we can all cook together!

Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x

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