How to get ready for Winter driving

Post in collaboration with Point S.

I had open evening at school the other night and coming home at past nine at night. Along what are still unfamiliar roads in the horrible weather. It struck me that I didn’t feel as confident in my car. So I set myself the task of making sure my car is ready for the winter driving and all it brings. winter driving

Autumn has definitely arrived here in Herefordshire. It came with quite a bang. A few days of beautiful colour and then suddenly the chilling rain and wind arrived. Sweeping the leaves to the floor and making the roads slimy.winter driving

Now I’ve written before about our love to walk most places, but as the darker nights draw in. After school clubs and my increase commuting to work means we will inevitably need to drive more.

Previously I had slid off the road, being stuck in floods and had to make a seven mile walk home through snow, so I know from experience that this is an important task to do.

My top tips for preparing your car for winter driving.

Make sure you always keep in your car.

  • A warm coat, coat and gloves.
  • A blanket.
  • Phone charger.
  • Something to eat. I find protein bars are a great one as they are small, last long and don’t melt.
  • A torch, for working in the dark.
  • An umbrella, there is nothing worse than having to fix your car or walk somewhere when you are soaking wet.

Check your car for:

  • The tread on your tyres.  If it is becoming to low Book car tyres online at Point S
  • The oil level.
  • Add anti freeze to your water bottle.
  • Replace perished wiper blades.
  • Battery life
  • That all your lights are working and are clean!
  • Clean the inside of your windscreen to prevent glare in low lying sun.

winter driving

You Baby Me Mummy

Bricklive 2017

Are you a Lego Fan? It has to be said we are BIG Lego fans in this house. My eldest has loved Lego since he got his first set at four and the youngest has followed his passion for the genius toy. Which is why we are all so very excited to be going to BRICKLIVE. Which is being hailed as the ultimate day out for all LEGO® fans.bricklive

Local to us at the Birmingham NEC. Which is a massive bonus as I can remember the very long car journey to Windsor. It’s on from 26th – 29th October so it’s the perfect day out for what’s set to be a rather wet October half term.bricklive

We have already watch the promo video for the event a few times and the eldest is in the process of deciding what’s on his must see list.

The beauty of BRICKLIVE is that is has a great range of interactive experiences and features some of the most popular themes from the wider LEGO universe. So it’s going to be hard to choose what to do first.

New features for Birmingham BRICKLIVE

· Megabot arena – An adrenalin filled treat that allows visitors to take control of brick-built robots and battle it out for victory.

· Safari zone – Wonder at over 80 animal sculptures and interactive features built by LEGO professional builders Bright Bricks

· Galactic adventure – Future builders can pour through LEGO pieces and create their dream spaceship while also exploring a wide collection of official Star Wars models on display.

· Technic race challenge – Take control of Technic pull-back racers and steer them down the track into the points zone.bricklive

· Populate Ninjago® city – Enter the new Ninjago® zone and fill the map with your own oriental creations.

· Pumpkin patch – Get all spooky and design your own brick-built pumpkin.

· Ultimate City – Create you vision of the city of the future on the new architectural cityscape.bricklive

Ninjago city will be high on our must visit list, but I’m also looking forward to playing in the brick pits with the youngest.bricklive

It’s also the chance to see some of the best adult fan builders. Which is great inspiration for anyone who want’s to be a lego designer.

Our final stop will undoubtedly the Brick Lane trader zone. Where we will be looking to pick up some great pre-Christmas gifts.bricklive

Tickets are available now at www.BRICKLIVE.co.uk, hope to see you there. (I’m the one with the purple jumper!)bricklive

Many thanks to BRICKLIVE for providing us with the tickets. You can find out more in my advertising and disclosure policy.

 

Great days out Worcestershire with kids – Eastnor Castle

What’s not to love about a castle? Especially one that is practically on my doorstep. It’s been a good few years since I’d visited Eastnor Castle and we have never been with the kids. So a sunny day was the perfect time to pack a picnic and visit.  Eastnor Castle

Small castle big adventures.

Eastnor castle isn’t really a castle but a fortified grand stately home. It really is quite stunning to look at but we hadn’t even made it up the path to see it before the boys were off on the adventure assault course. This is a new addition and it’s a great one if you have boys like mine who need lots to tire them out.
Eastnor Castle
Once we’d finished on the assault course we took a trip round the maze another new addition. Unfortunately youngest needed a wee halfway round so only the eldest and me made it to the mini castle in the middle.Eastnor Castle

Inside Eastnor Castle.

This was all before we had made it to the castle. The boys were suitably impressed as we approached through the well maintained, tree lined grounds and in the main gate.
 Eastnor Castle
Once we got in the house though, they were less interested and tore through it at a breakneck speed. A fast pace was acquired as were went from room to room with only the occasional break to look at armour or stuffed animals which seemed to be the only things of interest to our boys.
 Eastnor Castle
Once we were back outside the pace slowed a little and they boys enjoyed the lakeside walk to the woodland playground. They loved the chance to be inventive with the materials. Soon den building and and imaginary knight scenes were being enacted.
After this we stopped by the ice cream parlour and had a well deserved dairy ice cream. Well worth a stop with a great range of flavours. Before our final visit to the third play area, which was by far our favourite. Although tired from the long day and lots of walking. We all threw ourselves into the equipment and loved the rope bridges, zip wire and play vehicles.
 Eastnor Castle

Worth a visit?

We loved our day at Eastnor and will definitely be making a return visit. Probably with the boys and our nephews so they can all wear themselves out again.

Eastnor castle

With thanks to Eastnor Castle for providing the tickets.

Diary of an Imperfect Mum

Motherhood The Real Deal

My top five holiday destinations

Post contains sponsored and affiliate links*

Being born in a hot country I think gave me a taste for warm weather. My hubby always says I am happiest when the sun is on my back. From an early age I have had the travel bug and have been lucky enough to visit and holiday in some amazing places in my thirty six years. Having children hasn’t stopped me either, we took our youngest on his first holiday abroad when he was just eight weeks old. In fact travel with kids has opened up so many different options for us.

top five holiday destinations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I wanted to share with you my current top five holiday destinations, some I have visited with kids and some without.

1. Morocco Holiday

We went her on our pre-baby moon. In fact we shouldn’t have really travelled because my midwife had calculated my due date wrong and so I travelled in my third trimester. But it was perfect, time to spend enjoying being just the two of us for a long time. We stayed by the beach and pretty much didn’t leave the resort. I couldn’t travel up the Atlas mountains and my hubby didn’t want me to be barged in the souk. So we will have to return again. I loved the heat, the great food and the long beaches, where we would stroll (waddle) after enjoying another fantastic meal in the all inclusive resort. Many a happy hour was spent floating like a whale in the pool, while hubby did his best to try every cocktail on the menu and regale me with descriptions of their taste.

top five holiday destinations

2. Kenya Safari.

I took hubby on a safari for his thirty birthday. We had been madly in love with big cats diary’s and wanted to see them for ourselves. We were not disappointed with Kenya, the safari was amazing, we had a great driver and shared our jeep with one other couple.  Seeing giraffe, elephant, lions, cheetahs, rhino, crocodiles, water buffalo, zebra, hyenas, hippos, wild dogs the list goes on and on. The only thing we missed out on seeing was a jaguar. I would love to take another trip to Kenya with the boys and share with them the wonder of the natural world.

top five holiday destinations

3. The Maldives Honeymoon.

We went here for our Honeymoon. My in-laws couldn’t believe how much money we were prepared to spend on what they deemed ‘just a holiday’. But it was so much more than just a holiday. After all the stress and build up to our wedding, three weeks basking on the golden sand, dipping our feet in the crystal waters and eating far, far too much delicious food. It was the perfect time for us to enjoy being married and savour each others company. I would love to go back some day.

top five holiday destinations

4. Kefalonia holiday.

For my thirtieth we booked a big villa in Kefalonia and all my family stayed. It was our first real holiday with our first born. Our eldest was eighteen months old and loved playing on the beaches of this beautiful  island. He was also made to feel so welcome in restaurants we found it really child friendly.

top five holiday destinations

5. Portugal holiday.

Now we have two kids, we often take villa holidays because they are so convenient. You can play by your own pool all day, no towel rush in the morning. Plus when the kids go to bed you are fixed to your room, as you can sit in the lounge or outside safe in the knowledge they are tucked up in bed. We had done a few villa breaks in Spain before trying a Portugal holiday. We were not disappointed. The scenery was beautiful and the beaches were long and golden. Major plus for me as well was the amount of gluten free food I could buy, as we go self catering and tend to cook a lot at the villa. It’s definitely a place we will return to with the kids.

top five holiday destinations

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You Baby Me Mummy

Top tips for flying with kids*

This post contains affiliate and sponsored links throughout*

Summer holidays are nearly here and as you frantically try and pack. You may start to worry about how your kids will cope on a flight. Not only do you want it to be a stress free as possible for you but as enjoyable as possible for the kids. Lets face it, it’s boring, cramped and uncomfortable for the best of us. Let alone a four year old that loves to be outdoors all the time! So here are my top tips for flying with kids.
Top tips for flying with kids*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Choose a flight time that right for you as a family.

Are your kids great sleepers and can sleep anywhere? Go for a night or early morning flight where they snooze away the hours. Or are your kids at their best in the day? You do not want to have to entertain an overtired child who will just not sleep, so go for a day flight. Mine like to sleep in a bed and are much more easy going I the day so we plan to fly in the afternoon and get to our accommodation just before bedtime. Then we can all rest and start the holiday fresh in the morning.

2. Get them to pack their own in flight bags.

If they have their own seat then they have their own luggage allowance. Take advantage of this and get them to take responsibility for their bag. Choose one with wheels so they don’t have to carry it. We have mini suitcases with a pull out handle for the boys, but my sister in law raves about the trunki bags.

3. Get good quality earphones for their electronic devices.

I cant stand the ones that go in your ears and neither can the boys. Choose some comfy ones like these ONTA gorsun foldable headphones. Which come in funky colours and then you and no one else have to listen to the annoying music that their games make.

Top tips for flying with kids*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. In their in flight bags make sure to pack.

Their tablet for which ever game they like playing. A activity book and pens. A reading book. A cuddly toy from their bed for comfort and a small blanket as planes are always chilly and we are always dressed for the holiday.

5. My final top tip would be to pack wet wipes.

No matter how old your kids get and I’m including my husband in this as well. You will inevitably need wet wipes. Sticky hands from snack time, drawn over themselves with pen, spilt their drink they always come in so handy. I love these WaterWipes as their are so gentle on my kids delicate skin and don’t have the long worrying list of strange ingredients that most wet wipes have.

Top tips for flying with kids*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top tips from other Blogger Mothers.

Girly Geekdom suggests taking a lolly for children to suck especially when taking off and landing, along with lots of other great tips for traveling with babies and toddlers in her great post . I would thoroughly recommend this for everyone. My ears always hurt too.

Burnished Chaos on twitter recommended taking snacks that could be spaced out across the journey and new games for a tablet. Whilst I’m not a big fan of too much screen time, I do recognise how useful they are on long journeys. Break tablet time up with reading or colouring too.

Ellie Press suggests that you don’t fall into the trap of paying extra to be seated with your kids. I know a lot of airlines are asking for you to pay to prebook. However we never pay extra and once someone realises they are going have to sit next to your unaccompanied four year old, they soon find it possible to seat you all together! Shame really I wouldn’t mind having a couple of hours peace to read my book! 

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The best places to visit in Worcestershire with kids – Whitley Court

So this week we have hopped over the boarder into the next county on our exploration of the best places to visit in Hereford and Worcestershire with kids. That’s the perfect thing about where we live almost straddling the two counties means we have so many great places to visit. Whitley court has long been a favourite of hubby and me.

whitley court
 We used to drive right up to it when we were in our teens and explore it at night. These days you aren’t allowed to do that and thankfully English heritage have been working hard on it to preserve what remains of the once splendid country house.
whitley court

 

Where is Whitley court?

Now it is a place we love to share with our boys too. Easy to get to, just 10 miles outside of Worcester. You now arrive a short distance away from the house with large car parks and once through the ticket office, you have a choice of walks to take you us to the house. If you are keen to see the house straight away there is a direct route. However we love to stroll through the woodland walk and take a stop at the great place areas and tree houses that are built amongst the wood.

 

whitley court

 

The boys love exploring these areas and it’s a great way to burn off some energy if you’ve been in the car a while.

 

whitley court
Once they’ve used up some of that energy, we often head to the house and it’s magnificent fountain, which fires regularly during the summer months. A great spectacle and perfect on a hot day, if there is a breeze the boys love to run and stand where the spray is blowing.

 

whitley court

So much to explore it’s worth allowing the whole day if you can. It’s a great place for imaginary play and hide and seek.

whitley court

Eating at Whitley Court.

There are also lots of great spots for picnics, our favourites are near the play area where we can watch the boys while we have a rest. I don’t know how they keep on going! There is a visitor centre where you can buy teas and cakes, but we like to do our days out on a budget and bringing a picnic really keeps the cost down for a family of four. Plus you get so much more space and you are guaranteed that everyone find something their can eat!

whitley court

My final recommendation for having great day a Whitley court. It would be to take the Lakeside walk if your children are a bit older. Mine are four and eight and stop and visit the ducks. They are so friendly and the boys loved feeding them their crusts from our picnic lunch.

whitley court

Have you got any recommendations for the best places to visit in Worcestershire with Kids? I’d love your ideas.
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Day out at the Royal Three Counties

 

Thanks to the Royal Three Counties for the tickets.

I think it would be fair to call myself a country girl. Having grown up and living in Herefordshire for nearly all my life. So deep within my heart is a love for all things rural. When I’ve been away I have missed the smells and the sights of the lush green countryside. For most of my childhood there was one rural event that was clearly marked on my calendar as marking the beginning of summer and that was the Royal Three Counties show.

  Day out at the Royal Three Counties
Both myself and my hubby loved visiting the show as children, seeing all the stands, tasting all the foods and meeting all the animals. So we could hardly deprive the kids of something we both had enjoyed so much.
Day out at the Royal Three Counties

 

A lot has changed since we visited the Royal Three Counties as children. The most significant being that it is now on a weekend rather than mid week. When I was at school, so many children attended the show that the school used to shut for the three days! You’d never have that happen now. There is also a lot more shopping stand than before. However the main attractions for us remain. Tractors, Food and animals!

Day out at the Royal Three Counties
It was a blazing hot show this year and we probably did a lot more sitting around than we have done before. But it gave us chance to picnic and enjoy some of the great spectacles in the main area.Day out at the Royal Three Counties

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The farm machinery was a hit with both the boys and we literally had to prise the youngest away from some of them. That night he said he wanted a tractor for Christmas ‘not a toy, a real one with keys please’. I’m not sure Santa will be able to fit that in his sack.

Day out at the Royal Three Counties

Is the royal three counties worth a visit?

I would recommend that you visit the Royal Three Counties at least once. It’s a great opportunity for the kids to get up close to the rural farming community and there is definitely enough to keep you all occupied for the whole day. The only downside for us was that we were defeated by the heat and had to give in after four hours. Back to the car laden with fresh strawberries and cherries and lots of pictures of tractors.
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The best places to visit in Herefordshire with Kids – Goodrich castle

Thank you to English Heritage for sending us the tickets*

This year we will having a staycation for most of the Summer holidays with the kids. It got me thinking about how to occupy and entertain them. What I don’t want is to spend hours in the car travelling to ludicrously expensive places to visit. So I wanted to look closer to home and I often tend to forget that we live in one of the most beautiful counties in the country. Why go miles out of our way when there are so many great places to visit on our door step.

The best places to visit in Herefordshire with Kids - Goodrich castle

So I am planning over the next few weeks to explore and share some of the gems of Herefordshire and most probably Worcestershire with you. Some are familiar favourites of our family and some and new and exciting trips.

Our first trip my boys would highly recommend to any fans of knights and Castles.
Goodrich castle has everything you could want from a castle. A huge moat, turrets with twisty stairs and a dungeon!
The best places to visit in Herefordshire with Kids - Goodrich castle

Easy to get to Goodrich castle stands overlooking the River Why just outside Ross on Wye. It has a big car park and the castle is just a short walk up from it. Walking up past fields and though a tree lined lane we fist got a glimpse of the turrets and suddenly the boys were off.

The best places to visit in Herefordshire with Kids - Goodrich castle

You can do an audio tour of the castle and we saw lots of families doing this. But the boys preferred taking their own route through and occasionally stopping so my eldest could read us some of the facts from the signs.

The best places to visit in Herefordshire with Kids - Goodrich castle

A great places for stories and imaginary play. We were archers shooting bad guys, knights and kings and marauders attacking the battlements.

The best places to visit in Herefordshire with Kids - Goodrich castle

 

The moat that surrounds the castle is a dry one and is large enough that you find yourself completely alone in it. I would recommend taking a picnic as its a great spot to sit and eat on a sunny day. If picnics aren’t for you, there is a cafe and shop back down the lane by the car park.

 

The best places to visit in Herefordshire with Kids - Goodrich castle

Highlight of the day for the boys had to be, finding out about the castle loos! Apparently there were only three for all the servants in the castle and when the pit was full small boys had to crawl in a scrape it out! This was highly amusing for an eight and four year old.

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