Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Behind the Scenes at Bluestone


It was a wet Wednesday when I got the email; did I fancy a holiday to review the beautiful Bluestone resort?

Does Mr Tumble have something special?
Does Pooh like honey?
Do mums drink gin?

My sister and I, with four kids in tow, were there in a flash. Well, five hours actually. Bluestone is in Pembrokeshire, Wales - but it's definitely worth the schlep over the bridge. Blue skies, beautiful views, and big smiles at the arrival gate immediately put us in the holiday mood. 

Our chalet was located in Preseli View and wow, did it live up to its name; on our first night we watched the sun setting over the hills and fairy lights twinkling in village below feeling very excited about the week ahead. Child-friendly trappings included a high chair, travel cot and enough space to scoot Trunkis indoors. Perfect!

Our first day unfolded outdoors. The kids scooted through car-free countryside, raced through willow tunnels and mucked about in shallow streams, all before we even got to the main attraction. At the Tree Tops adventure playground Sarah and I treated ourselves to Welsh Cakes and Hot Chocolate from Miller's Bakery while the kids roamed free, trip-trapping over wooden bridges and swinging on climbing ropes.

Day two saw us venturing to the Blue Lagoon to splash about in the Waterpark. The Wet Play area in the Nipper's Pool was perfect for toddlers. They loved clambering about in the rock pools and squirting Mummies with the water toys. The four-year-olds lived it up playing pirates in the water-filled shipwreck, Torrwr Mor, and winding down the lazy river between bouts in the wave pool.

By day three, we were ready to chill out and indulge in some grown-up treats. Sarah checked into the spa for a birthday treat and fell asleep having a facial - dreamy - then we all headed down to Camp Smokey. This rustic restaurant is hidden at the bottom of a steep ravine and surrounded by towering pine trees and babbling streams. Time seemed to slow down as we sipped wine and roasted marshmallows on the campfire while the kids splashed about with pooh sticks.

The facilities at Bluestone were amazing. Other highlights included the Circus Zone; a sensory play area for little ones - complete with giant chill-out sofas for adults - the bouncy castle, Lego area and giant play frame in the Adventure Centre. 

But the stars of the show were definitely the staff who went beyond the call of duty to make our stay fun, easy and tantrum free. At the Blue Lagoon, we were provided with free lifejackets and the reassurance of extra supervision in the Nipper's Area. Out and about, Rob, the bus driver, seemed to have a sixth sense - picking us up at the bottom of many a steep hill or rough path just when little legs were getting tired. He did a great job of humouring the kids when they invited him for a playdate too!



Behind the Scenes Tips 
  • If you're traveling with more than 2 under-fours per adult you won't be allowed to take both children into the main Blue Lagoon pool at the same time. But you can still enjoy the water - set away from the wave pool is a Little Nipper's Cove of rock pools and toys where lifeguards provide extra supervision. 
  • The resort is vast and hilly. Scooters are a must. Still, brace little ones for tired legs. Rob the bus driver was our hero this time, but we'll hire a golf buggy or bike, complete with tag along cart, for our next trip
  • I hate to moan, but the restaurant food was a bit of a let down... no amount of lovely service from the staff could make up for floppy sandwiches of processed cheese, but we got round it with some lovely picnics supplies from the on-site bakery. The shop was reasonable too, and I hear the nearest town - Tenby - does great fish and chips, with a side-order of stunning views.
  • If you need something, just ask. The staff is amazing. Extra towels, multiple spa appointment changes, and information were all arranged with a smile.
  • Make the most of the complimentary kids entertainment in the evening. Glass of wine while the Free Rangers play musical statues with the kids? Don't mind if I do.  
  • My biggest tip of all? Just go. You'll love it. 

Monday, 30 March 2015

#ThingsOnlyParentsSay 2

 photo f437335d-f771-4fce-b78f-934c4b133653_zps5z3e1ugz.jpg

#ThingsOnlyParentsSay 2



It's #ThingsOnlyParentsSay time again! Thanks so much to those who joined in last time.

My personal fave came from Amy at 2Boys1Mum. 'One at a time in the tumble drier please.' I just love the exhausted acceptance it implies. So true to life.

Can't wait to hear what you've been saying this week. For me, it's been all about picky eating. You won't believe what I found myself saying over dinner this week. Oh, the shame.


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Friday, 27 March 2015

Disgusting Sandwiches, Lego and Matching Onesies: This week's #LittleLoves

It's #LittleLoves time again. Here's what's been floating the Hurrell boat recently;

Read




The Disgusting Sandwich, Gareth Edwards and Hannah Shaw, Scholastic

I loved
The quirky illustrations, enough details to discover something new with each read.
The repetition - fun for the 4-year-old to join in with
The twist at the end didn't blow us away, but it was fun.
Harmless fun that appeals to children's appetite for the revolting. 

The kids loved
'Disgusting!' Our word of the week. Thanks for that...

Wore

Is there anything cuter than siblings in matching clothes? Anything cuddlier than onesies and bare feet? I know this is style cheese on so many levels but if it's wrong I don't wanna be right. These ones are from F&F at Tesco - from the boys range but I reckon they're unisex. These ones are sold out now online, but others are available here


Watched

The Eclipse. I took Bouncing Boy out of school last week for a holiday to Bluestone (Tut tut!) (Review to follow). While I wasn't too worried about him missing double 'Cutting and Sticking' I was a bit nervous to hear his whole class were assembling in the playground to watch the eclipse together. Oh, the pressure to ensure he didn't miss out! Luckily the weather was on our side and we managed to capture some great 'Colander Eclipse' moments of our own.


A photo posted by Earthmother (@makemeamearthmother) on

Heard




In an attempt cure my Serial itch while I wait for the next series, I am binge-listening to Criminal; a monthly whodunit that tells the real stories behind unbelievable crimes, without the dramatic music. I love how they manage to tell important, compelling stories without romanticising or getting all judgey-pants. Check it out here.

Made

Tenuous link here but we've made a fair bit of Lego recently. (Who hasn't?) I really loved Bluestone's take on the old favourite; a wall of Lego boards! It really encouraged us to think outside the block and try new constructions. Zany! And definitely one to steal for play rooms or kids' bedrooms.



And Finally

I couldn't go another week without a shout-out to my lovely friend Steph at Don't Buy Her Flowers .
I met Steph through blogging and have watched her evolve from a great writer into a great business woman.

Her concept is genius: there's more to 'new mum' gifts than flowers. Sometimes it's nice to show loved ones we care by encouraging them to take 10 minutes to themselves. Enter Don't Buy Her Flowers: gift packages can be tailored to include all sorts of lovely treats, from luxury hand-cream and chocolates to Cook vouchers and Gin. My fave is the Any Occasion package, cos its never a bad time for fizz, right?



That's it for lovely things! More about the nitty gritty of my week in my next post! 
butwhymummywhy

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Am I the Enemy Next Door?

We were on holiday last week. In a detached property. It was such a relief not to worry about the neighbours for a whole week. Not cause my neighbours at home are a nightmare, you understand. No, no I fear we're The Enemy Next Door.



Dear Neighbours

I'm so sorry:
  • Those stinky nappy bags on my doorstep I keep meaning to put in the bin next time I pass? Totally unacceptable. Not exactly home, sweet home.
  • And that time my son blocked the communal drain with a wet wipe when potty training? Crap, in so many ways.
  • Can you forgive the saucepan percussion? Classic FM, it's not. And in hindsight, the toy piano was a mistake. 
  • The ball-over-the hedge thing must be getting old. Don't feel obliged to throw it back. It just encourages them.
  • And the trampoline. Total privacy invasion. Especially when I bounce on it..
  • Really regretting that 'mud kitchen' in the garden now... I blame Pinterest. 
  • Likewise the plastic garden toys. It's like Toys R Us landfill out there. 
  • Admittedly, we also need to work on the bin overflow issue. What is it with kids packaging? That Christmas stuff seemed to hang around till March.
  • Hands up, the car situation is wholly unacceptable. The horn is not a toy.
  • I'm sorry you never know who to expect when you bump into me on the communal path: perky-Cbeebies-Presenter one day, Sleep-Walking Shell-of-a-Woman or Growling-Tiger-Mother the next. And let's not mention that time I was in labour. Embarrassing for us both...
  • Thanks for your understanding re the naked gardening. What can I say? Nature brings out the naturist in my son.
  • Talking of nature, we're going for the natural-look on our side of the communal hedge. Hope that's O.K. 
  • Apologies for cats and dogs who keep breaking through. They're not feral, they feel your pain.
  • I'm sorry that every time we leave the house, we tumble out shouting, as if fleeing the scene of a disaster. Must be disconcerting.
On a reassuring note, you're not living next to raucous sex-addicts. That's the kids bouncing on the bed day and night, not us. Likewise, there's no 50 Shades of Grey, 'Red Room of Pain' through the partition wall. It's just the playroom. Those screams are the kids having fun. 

Oh, and one more bonus; I'm in all day and happy to sign for parcels. Except those noise decreasing headphones that arrived last week. My bad: the dog ate them.

Yours regretfully, 

The mother next door.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com
And then the fun began...

Thursday, 19 March 2015

#ThingsOnlyParentsSay

We've had a great week at Bluestone full of fun, fresh air and mud, LOTS OF MUD, but...

#ThingsOnlyParentsSay

If you've found yourself uttering #ThingsOnlyParentsSay this week come share the absurdity here, on my brand new linky! Hope to see you there! x

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

#ThingsOnlyParentsSay; New Linky!



So often these days, I hear myself saying things I can't believe I'm saying. Things I can't believe I need to say out loud. Things I can't believe are entering my head, to be fair. #ThingsOnlyParentsSay, if you will. I'm sure you understand. Recent highlights include;

'I'm so glad you're at the scabby stage.' (To a friend who's child is getting over chicken pox).

'What you need is a horn hole' (To a child who's dressing up).

'Pass. Me. The. Booger.' (To a child with a cold in soft play.)

I'd love to hear about the things you never thought you'd say. So I'm starting a linky! I'm thinking a quote from your week + a photograph if you have one + an explanation should you feel the need. Simples!

No promises on how it will go (I'm rubbish at admin!) But please, join in and lets have a laugh while it lasts!

Link up below, grab my badge, comment on at least two other posts (including mine!) and share using the hashtag #ThingsOnlyParentsSay

Thank you! Can't wait to hear what you've been saying this week. 


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