Our Easter

On Easter Sunday we headed to one of our favourite places for a family day out, Piglets Farm. It has recently just opened up for the season which is music to our ears. We love it there!


We started our Sunday with a lazy breakfast. By lazy I mean later than usual. Whilst I was busy getting Little Miss and Mr ready for the day we had a very special visitor. The Easter bunny came and decorated our garden with lots of little eggs and left two Easter buckets to collect them all up in. Little Mr was eager to find the eggs and made sure he left some for his sister to find too which was really sweet. 



                                 
                                 
                                 
                                   
                                               


                                   
                                  


They were both very lucky and reviewed lots and lots of chocolate from family and friends.



After our egg hunt and of course some chocolate testing we got ready to head to Piglets. Both Little Mr and Little Miss were excited to see some animals. Little Mr had requested to see the donkeys of all things. Little miss was rather infatuated with the smaller animals especially the chicks and the rabbits.
Our first stop on the farm was the event gazebo for the Easter Eggstravaganza. This was a hive of activity where children were decorating eggs and excitidely receiving their egg hunt prizes. We had recently decorated our own eggs at home so they were both keen to do the egg hunt and quickly sat down to listen to the instructions.
They each received a basket and had to find six different coloured eggs hidden around the park behind some large chickens. This was a great egg hunt and kept both of the children engaged and excited to find more. Plus they looked really cute with their baskets.  


              





One of our favourite parts of the farm is the petting shed. A particular favourite as always been the cow that can be milked. Little Miss loved the rabbits and stood watching them for ages. We are currently thinking about getting some rabbits I just need to convince the hubby a little more.



                                            




                                       

When we finished the egg hunt we explored the rest of the parks activities. First stop was the barrel rid before heading into the sandpit. We spent an age here digging, tipping and burying objects. There is also a digger come slide which Little Miss loves as did her brother when he was her age. We then headed to the bouncy pillows. I stayed with Little Miss on the smaller one whilst Mr H took Little Mron the bigger one. We even had a go too, well it would be rude not to.

In the middle of the park is a crazy golf course. So we had a round of golf here, of course Little Mr won. Little Miss completed the golf shoeless and wellie less as she had decided that she didn’t want to wear anything. Luckily it was a lovely dry day, however if it was wet I am sure she would have changed her mind. My favourite part of the day had to be the large chicken sumo suits which I just had to make Mr H try on. We ended the day by going on the tractor ride before heading home 
                                  
 

A Golden Day

Recently we were invited to join in celebrations for a 50th wedding anniversary. What an occasion worth celebrating,  half a century in love with one person. Committed through all of lifes ups and downs really is a true achievement. Today belonged to Nan and Den, my Step Fathers parents.
Little Miss and Litte Mr were both extremely excited to be going to a party.  So we had a morning bath, always a sign we are going somewhere special as they usually have a bath before bedtime. We drove very tentatively to the venue as we were transporting the cake that my mum had made for them. No mean feat on windy country roads.
When we arrived the hall was beautifully decorated with reams of yellow bunting and an abundance of golden flowers to match the theme of the day.

                                  

We were treated to a delicious buffet full of various sandwiches and cakes. Little Miss certainly enjoyed the food and consumed lots and lots of egg sandwiches.

                                                     


                                   

Little Mr had a fabulous time playing in the crèche that Nan had laid on, he loved playing with the bigger children and became very attached to a ladybird hat which he kept on the entire duration. 
Little Miss love chatting and smiling at everyone she saw.

Nan had busily been knitting lots of chicks for the day too. Each chick held a surprise and Little Mr and Little Miss have each taken ownership of theirs. They are now sitting on our Easter display table.

The happy couple!

Staying at Alton Towers Hotel

We recently had an amazing stay at the Alton Towers Hotel and Resort. We have been talking about going since we received our Annual Merlin Passes last year, so we’re pleased to have finally got around to it. We booked two nights bed and breakfast at the Alton Towers hotel. We headed down once Mr H had finished work, we had only told the children we were going just before setting off. I arranged a little egg hunt to reveal where we were going so it was all very exciting.

When we arrived we were greeted and thrown straight away into the hustle and bustle of the hotel. We could here and see from above a magic show. Little Mr was thrilled to be able to stand alongside Daddy at reception on the special suitcase steps. We were given a scroll and both children received a compass and had to navigate our way to our room. Little Mr was in his element as he has always loved using a map on our trips out. We located our room and were not let down, it did however take us a few minutes to locate the lights as there were so many switches for lots of things, but hey that is what being an explorer is all about. Little Mr was once again overjoyed with himself. He loved the beds, wasamazed by  the gadgets, the huge teddy and the fact he woul be able to see a television from where he was sleeping.

We had already stopped for dinner during our journey down to the hotel so decided to head out to explore and have a drink to start our  break in style. The main focal point of our hotel was a large pirate ship that had crash landed there. This was a magnet for children and they loved to explore it. It was also where the entertainment was held. Whilst we were there we were entertained by a trio of singers who in the words of Little Mr were “beautiful”. 
The Alton Towers Hotel is joined to is sister hotel Splash Landings by a walkway which can be freely accessed until 11pm. We decide to have a wander along the walkway and once we entered the realms of the Splash Landings Hotel we were immediately hit with the heat from the poolside area. It was lovely and really made it feel like you were abroad. From the walkway you get a great view of the water park and we were very excited to try out the facilities.
The bar area in Splash Landings seemed more child friendly than that of the Alton Towers Hotel. There were some great areas for the children to explore such as a duplo mountain, colouring station and a sea life viewing tank. This made trying to enjoy a drink more achievable. There was also a disco along with a stage which was great for my shy and retiring children (not) to enjoy busting their moves. We didn’t stay too long as the children were tired and we wanted to get a good nights sleep so we were ready to have an action packed day in the morning. We headed back to the room and all ended up in our bed. I have to say though the duvet was one of the snuggliest ever, it was amazing.
We rose early and headed to breakfast in the Secret Garden restaurant for 8am. We filled up on a mix of full English and continental. Little Miss loved her endless supply of watermelon, a current favourite and Little Mr devoured far too many mini sausages along with a chocolate muffin. After breakfast we took the short 5 minute walk to the monorail. It was so strange not having to queue. We got to the park just after 9am so we could make the most of our early entry. Our first stop was of course Cbeebies land.
We decided to head to the new Octonauts roller coaster first as we anticipated there would be queues later. Unfortunately it had to close just as Mr H and Little Mr were about to climb on, however the staff kindly told them they could queue jump when they returned later. So we headed to postman Pat and then onto the In the Night a Garden boat Ride.

                       
I must admit that getting into the park early really seemed to make a difference since when we visited Cbeebies land previously we had to queue quite a while for each ride where as today we could walk more or less straight onto each ride. After In the Night Garden, we headed to the Numtums Number Round. This was Little Misses favourite by far. She really didn’t want to get off and made that fact very known to anyone in earshot when the ride finished.
                                                      

Next stop, we called back at the Octonauts new roller coaster. Mr H took Little Mr straight to the front and they got there pick of the cars. Of course Little Mr chose Gup A, which won’t mean anything to you unless you know you Octonauts. This was Little Mr’s first proper roller coaster and he was very brave although he really didn’t look like he enjoyed it that much he was initially pleased to have gone on but has since said he doesn’t EVER want to do it again. We have probably scarred him for life. Mr H couldn’t resist purchasing the on ride photo to remember the occasion.  We purchased a photo multipack which included 4 ride photos for £25 which saved us money when each photo costs £10 individually.


                                                   
Between rides we headed to the showtime ring. Here we found the Zingzillas had just taken centre stage. We became that horrendous ‘participation’ family joining in with all the moves but still the children seemed to like it. We also got to meet Iggle Piggle. Can you believe that this is the third time!!  How times have changed. We did joke that we will end up all wearing matching ponchos soon, but that is a step too far for us just yet.
                                          
                           
By 11 we had been on all of Cbeebies Lands attractions. In comparison to our wait times on our first visit this made our early entry times invaluable. It really made a difference especially with young children. We are lucky to get early entry with our Merlin passes but all hotel guests are also entitled to it too. It is well worth it.
We explored the rest of the park including Cloud Cuckoo Land, where we enjoyed the carousel and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We also took the sky ride across the park which was a lovely rest for tired legs. Plus we got to take in the the beautiful grounds. On the other side of the park Little Mr was very brave and went on the River Rapids. He loved them and didn’t get too wet either. I can’t wait until Little Miss is old enough too so we can all go on them together. I remember going on them with my family and have some fond memories.
                        
                            
We then headed back to the hotel about 1pm and got ready to explore the Splash Landings Water Park. We purchased passes when we booked our room which gave us a full day in the water park. I am usually a little worried about my youngest getting cold after 30 minutes or so but here the air temperature was lovely and warm. There were two pools we could access one which was perfect for under 5s. There were two slides which Little Mr and Little Miss loved, I wish I could have taken some pictures of them going down them. There was also a huge climbing frame full of tipping buckets, pipes, squirters plus much more that was perfect to explore. The pool area was lovely and clean and the life guards were hot on moving away towel that were saving seats which meant genre was always somewhere to sit when you needed to which was great. We got a couple of ice creams which melted really really quickly all over the children, they loved them. Though they were quite expensive which is to be expected I suppose.
                                       
After swimming we headed back to our room to get ready for the evening entertainment. The kids loved using their own bubble bath too which was a great touch. We had booked our evening meal at Flambos in the Splash Landings hotel which was a buffet style restaurant. We weren’t expecting much to be honest but we were pleasantly surprised with the quality of food. There was enough choice, it was all hot and great for the children.
Just before bed we called into the shop to get Little Mr a special sweet filled pirate sword when I spotted a Zoltar. If any one has seen Big, is there anyone who hasn’t, then you will know what one is. I couldn’t resist and got a fortune card. Mr H seems to think it’s spot on. 

Easter Rice Crispie Treats

                       

Ok so they aren’t particulary Eastery in fact they can be made at any time, I give you permission for that. But they look any taste great, are super messy to make and my children loved creating them.

What you will need:
Rice Cereal
Chocolate
A bag of marshmallows
50g of butter
Sprinkles
Edible glitter
1. Melt the butter over a medium heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until melted. 

                             
2.  In a large bowl add the rice cereal (best guess to fill a baking tray) I went by eye as it was quicker.
                
  
 
3. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper, spead the mix into the tray.
4. Now is the time to go wild as Little Mr exclaimed. You can add whatever you like. We stuck to melting white chocolate and drizzling it (more dolloping by a 3 year old)
                               
    
Then Ta Da!! Wait until it has fully set and then slice into pieces. 
      

 

What they wore #2

                      

      

               
These outfits were worn for a Sunday lunch. I actually took some better pictures of Little Mr actually looking at the camera but quite like this one.
Little Mr wears 
Checked Shirt by Oshkosh*
Trousers by Oshkosh
Socks by H and M
Little Miss wears
Red Velour Dress by Ralph Lauren
Frilly socks – Monsoon baby
Golden Mary Jane Shoes by Mothercare*
I love love love Little Misses dress, simple yet such a classic design. It is made from super soft red velour and come with a beautiful cream bodysuit. This has a crisp white collar which is carefully embroidered. The buttons on the back of the dress also has RL engraved in but I think I am one of the only people who notice small details like that. 
I often try and match both of my children, if I had twins I would be terrible. So I am certainly going to continue whilst I can.
*best match linked if original cannot be sourced.

What They Wore #1

                   

      

       

                        
I love my little clothes and they both have so many, I am also really blessed to have a boy and a girl so get to indulge in both sides of the shop. I have recently been taking lots of photos of Little Miss and Little Mr at the bottom of our stairs prior to trips out. This started just as a one off but has become quite a habit. Little Miss isn’t one to shy away from the camera and strikes a pose once we are ready to go out.
These outfits were worn for a casual Saturday tea out with the inlaws.
Little Miss wears a fab multi coloured t-shirt with matching culottes, from M and S.
Little Mrs wears trousers from the Little Bird range (one of my all time faves) at mothercare.
His shirt is from John Lewis.

Little Miss at 11 months

Dear Little Miss,

My beautiful baby girl almost a year old already. You have achieved so much this last month to make Mummy and Daddy proud. You have been taken the odd steps for the last six weeks or so but this month you finally worked up the courage to take more precious first steps. I love seeing the excitement on your face when you realised that you have walked a little bit further than before.  You are also babbling more in response to what we are saying. I love having lots of conversations with you. One of your favourite things to do is dance. Every time you hear music  you will bounce along. You even have your own speciality move, a fist pump. You and Little Mr have three songs that you love to dance along too together.

Our feeding journey is still going strong , in fact I am feeding you now as I write. You are a little monkey at bedtime though. You like to wake up every couple of hours to feed at the moment which is a little trickier now I am back at work. However your brother was the same so I know it won’t last long and secretly I enjoy all of our extra nighttime snuggles. It’s hard to believe a year ago we were preparing for your arrival, it seems like you have always been here.

Lots of love
Mummy and Daddy
xxx