What Toby & Gabe Wore // Maxomorra pineapples

Maxomorra is a Swedish brand and I’ve featured it before in my What Toby & Gabe wore posts. They release new prints several times a year and to be honest I’m not that big a fan of a lot of them, which my bank balance is pleased about at least!

But at least a few times a year there’s a print that I absolutely love. Luckily Maxomorra produce so many different styles of clothes in each design that it’s easy to match the boys too. One of the recent prints that I loved was these robots – Toby and Gabe love them too but they weren’t so keen on posing for a photo!

No photos today mum - in Maxomorra robots

I didn’t come here to write about robots though, I came to write about pineapples… Read more

What Toby Wore // Indikidual & Turtledove London

I’m back with another What Toby Wore post today. When Toby was about 10 months old I came across a whole world of fabulous kids clothes beyond the high street and the supermarket, where most of his clothes came from up to that point. I can’t really remember how I discovered them but suddenly I fell down the rabbit hole of independent retailers and boys clothes that weren’t all blue and grey!

One of the first things I bought from an independent retailer was these Indikidual banana leggings from the lovely Jenny at KyNa Boutique. And the fab thing about buying from independent retailers is that you get a really personal service. The clothes always arrive beautifully packaged, super quickly, and postage and packing is usually free!

Baby Indikidual banana leggings

So anyway, it was a sad day when Toby grew out of these leggings Read more

Family Days Out // Brock Bottom, Lancashire

Not far from the A6, between Garstang and Preston you will find Brock Bottom picnic site. It’s a name I remember from my childhood and I’m sure I must have been there before but I don’t remember it. We are always looking for new places to explore with the boys so armed with a picnic and the camera we set off on Sunday to see what was there.

Brock Valley Stone plaque

Unfortunately the information board which should have been on this stone was missing but if had been there it would have told us that this was the site of Brock Mill, a cotton mill built in the 1790s, along with 20 workers’ cottages. We actually didn’t see the remains of the mill as we set off in the opposite direction but I’m sure we’ll find them next time.

There is quite a small (but free) car park at Brock Bottom which was full when we arrived. We didn’t have to wait long for someone to leave so we could get a space though. There are a fair few picnic tables around the edge of the car park, and they all have a metal plate on the end where you can use disposable barbecues. On the disposable note though, there are no bins in the picnic area so be prepared to take your rubbish home with you. Read more

Family Days Out // SEA LIFE Blackpool

Last weekend, as Toby’s treat for reaching the end of his reward chart, we went to SEA LIFE Blackpool for a morning with the fishes. I lived in Blackpool for my whole childhood, and had spent plenty of time there visiting my parents until we moved back to the area last year but I have never been to the Sea Life Centre (as I knew it) before.

Anemone

SEA LIFE Blackpool is just along the promenade from Blackpool Tower and there’s plenty of parking in the pay and display car park behind. As it was a bank holiday weekend we decided to get there in time for opening so it wouldn’t be too busy. We actually had to wait outside for the doors to open and were the second people in there!

Grumpy eel at Sea Life Blackpool

SEA LIFE is fully pushchair and wheelchair accessible – there’s a lift to get up to the aquarium itself but once you’re up it is all on one level. Read more

Grizedale Forest // Gruffalo Spotters trail

Growing up in Blackpool with parents who love the outdoors and especially walking, meant I spent a lot of time in the Lake District. Barry also spent a large portion of his childhood in the Lakes, and we even got married there. One of the reasons we moved back to the north west from Scotland was so we could be nearer to our happy place.

Having said that we haven’t managed to many trips to the Lakes since we moved but now the boys are a bit bigger we plan on changing that. And we started on Easter Monday with a trip to Grizedale Forest to do a little Gruffalo spotting!  Grizedale is one of 26 Forestry Commission woods and forests where you can follow the Gruffalo Spotters trail. There is even an app to help you in your hunt, but more of that in a minute.

Taking a picture of Toby with the fox using the Gruffalo Spotters app

Read more

What Toby Wore // Albababy

I’ve not done a ‘What the kids wore’ post for ages, and I actually took these pictures a while ago. I kept forgetting about them but noticed them the other day so I am finally getting round to writing this post.

I absolutely love Albababy clothes but the boys don’t have many as they are a bit on the expensive side. I’ve posted before about Gabe’s Albababy dungarees and he’s actually still wearing these now. Toby has got a long sleeve top that matches these dungarees too.

Toby in Albababy velour

In today’s post though Toby is wearing the Hamody button pants and Habian hooded blouse – I bought them both when they were on offer, and they are currently reduced at Dapper Baby where I got them, although there aren’t many sizes left. Read more

Cloth nappies // How to choose the right cloth nappies?

So you’ve decided you want to give them a try but how do you choose the right cloth nappies? This is by far the hardest part. There is so much choice out there that it really is difficult to know where to start! There are a few different options when it comes to cloth nappies; firstly, two part or all-in-one.

Two part nappy

Choosing the right cloth nappy - two part nappy

A two part nappy has the absorbent inner nappy separate from a waterproof outer wrap. The absorbent nappy can either be shaped (more like a disposable) or you can use terry squares (like my mum used on me!) or pre-folds (which fold into a pad which then sits inside the wrap). Read more

Cloth nappies // Why choose cloth nappies?

We’ve been using cloth nappies full time since Toby was seven weeks old. He wore them until potty training at three and a bit. With Gabe we started with cloth nappies at three days old and we’re still going strong 20 months later. But why choose cloth nappies? Starting out can be a bit of a minefield though so I thought I’d share a bit about our experience.

Cloth nappies on washing line - why choose cloth nappies

There are loads of reasons to choose cloth nappies over disposables.

Saving money

There were two main reasons we chose cloth; firstly the cost. Estimates can vary but if your baby wears nappies until they are two and a half years old (and Toby did another whole year after that!) they will probably use between five and six thousand nappies! Read more

How to make your own reward chart (and does it work?)

I don’t really have a parenting style. I try and be fair and remain calm (although that doesn’t always happen) but most of all I try and be consistent. One thing I have learnt from my years as a teacher is that children need to know what the rules and boundaries are, and for them to stay the same. Quite often, knowing what is expected of them, and receiving praise when those expectations are met, is enough. But sometimes they might need a little bit more encouragement… and that’s where a reward chart can come in.

You can buy lots of reward charts, or download templates online, but when I decided to try using a reward chart with Toby I decided we would make our own. And it’s super easy.

Both reward charts

If you want a reward chart to work I think it’s really important that you involve your child in deciding what will be rewarded and what form those rewards will take. Toby is only three and a half so there was quite a bit of input from me, but if your child is older then you can probably let them make a few more of the decisions. Read more

Gabriel is 18 months old

Well, OK, Gabe is actually 19 months old by the time I’m finally getting round to writing this, but hey, who’s counting?

So what can I tell you about Gabe at 18 months old? Well, I could start with his vital statistics, except I only know he’s about 83cm tall, and is wearing size 4 shoes. I have no idea how much he weighs! He is mostly wearing 18-24 month clothes (or 86 in European sizes) so he is definitely smaller than Toby was at this age – he was already moving into 2-3 clothes at 18 months, and had size 6 feet!

Gabe the cheeky chops is 18 months old

There are quite a few similarities between Toby and Gabe at 18 months though. At this age Toby could only say Dada, hiya, see saw, what’s that and shoe. Gabe’s vocabulary so far includes Read more