Dressing the Monkeys!

Well the time has almost come for the monkeys to return to school after their summer holidays! It's flown by and going back to school means they'll be back in uniform (which is all labelled and ready). Now whilst I agree children should wear uniform I have tended to forget they don't need as many clothes as they used to and am sad they don't get to wear all the nice clothes they used to wear!
They tend to live in shorts and t-shirts this time of year and jeans, t-shirts and hoodies during the colder months. I'm often taking a look at what is out there for them to wear! If they are off somewhere special together I do like to see them in the same clothes from time to time! Usually not an entire outfit but key pieces.
Below are some examples of the sorts of key pieces I would dress the monkeys in this coming Autumn and Winter. As I said they wouldn't wear entire identical outfits but I like to see them in somethings the same. I particularly like both of them in red. I think it must be their blonde hair! Navy is a great colour for them too and better than lighter colours as they do tend to get messy!  
The monkeys tend to chose their own clothes to wear each day and do seem to have some sort of flair for putting things together (especially 5yr old little monkey, who must take after me!) but I tend to actually chose the clothes we buy in the first place! I adore this star fleece above, it's so them! 
Of course boys being boys I don't always get it right. Many a time I've bought something I know (or think I know they'll love) and they refuse to wear it. 
Meanwhile from Monday to Friday at least they will soon be back in uniform and of course their football kits as the season starts again too. Perhaps I'll go and shop for me instead.............

Collaborative post.


Accessible Travel!

When out and about with the monkey's I'm always aware of how accessible places are. For two reasons really! One: having used prams and pushchairs with them both I was always astounded by the number of places not ideal for pushchairs and two: I've always worked with children and adults with disabilities and on the look out for places that are wheelchair accessible! You'll be surprised how many that are not! 
On a recent day out I was thinking just how ideal it would be for the people who use wheelchairs that I know. 
We drove to Milton Keynes and went to Willen Lakes with the monkeys. From here in Essex the roads to get there are completely suitable for wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Further more the place it's self is suitable and accessible for wheelchair users. Lots of wide path's, disabled toilets, staff on standby to help if needs be and more! 
The infographic below is celebrating a number of places putting wheelchair users and families as top priority. It has suggestions for some brilliant days out all over the UK.
I think you'll agree that there looks to be some amazing places to visit there! When places of interest take all visitors into consideration it makes for a much better experience for all. Of course accessible transport to get there helps too. We love visiting places and I'll be recommending some of those above (plus Willen Lakes) to the wheelchairs users and their carers that I know!

Can you recommend somewhere super accessible? 

Collaborative post 



Decorating the Monkeys Bedrooms!

The last time the monkeys had their bedrooms decorated was four years ago! Well almost! Little monkey has a transport themed room (which is still OK for now) and big monkey has Cars 2 wallpaper on one wall. This was fine back then but aged 8, he now thinks this is babyish and would love a Liverpool themed bedroom.
Sadly we're not quite in a position to grant him his wish and redecorate for him but are mindful he is getting older and it will need doing!

Dulux recently partnered with Child Developmental Psychologist Dr. Sam Wass (from the Secret Lives of 4, 5 and 6 year old's) to look into the benefits of involving children in the decorating process, and actually found that decorating their bedroom is more important to kids than other popular summer activities such as watching their first football match, or riding a bike.

They have created a Kids’ Bedroom Summer Workbook designed to encourage parents and kids to work together on their journey to create their child's dream room. With the holidays in full swing (and almost over for some) the workbook is a unique way for parents to spend quality time with their kids whilst co-creating a space that will inspire them – not to mention provide them with a creative outlet to keep them busy!

Six On Trend Kids Bedroom Themes.
Dulux has developed six easy to achieve bedroom looks to help parents create a fun and exciting space for their child. The bedroom themes include the Jungle, Superhero, Sport
, Storybook, Space and Circus! But of course you can discuss with your child what they would like and come up with a theme you are both happy with. Remember you check out the work book!
Dulux’s Endurance+ range is the perfect paint for a child’s bedroom makeover – it’s 20 times stronger than normal emulsion, so when you’re tackling sticky fingers and mucky paws it’s a great solution, allowing you to wipe away the stain and not the paint underneath, meaning your walls stay as fresh as the day you painted them! I'm hoping it withstands a book being thrown from the top bunk onto a beanbag too! This happened here but the book missed the beanbag and ended up taking a lump out of the bedroom wall! Still, big monkey has only ever done that one!

We'll be taking inspiration ourselves soon and will get both monkeys rooms decorated the way they want them. I've not yet asked little monkey what theme he would like but any of the above would be fun or no doubt Minions or Chelsea FC! I'm just hoping hubby doesn't want to re-do our room with his team! 

Collaborative post.



When Things Don't Go To Plan - Two Homes – Book Review

Going through a separation or divorce is one of the most difficult times in a child’s life. Fortunately, there’s a book that can help bring comfort to your child and show him or her that everything can be all right.
Ptoto Credit: Solicitors Guru
The Loving and Comforting Message in the Book
Two Homes by Claire Masurel is wonderfully illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. It is recommended for ages three to seven and is 40 pages long. The book is the  number 4 best seller on Amazon for Children’s books in the Marriage and Divorce category. Two Homes is wonderfully comforting, and offers a message of warmth and love during this time of transition for your child.

Here’s what Booklist had to say, in a starred review:

"Parents looking for a book about separation or divorce will find few offerings as positive, matter-of-fact, or child-centred as this one. . . . Simple, yet profoundly satisfying.”

Two Homes focuses on Alex, and how he is loved by both his Mommy and Daddy even though they now have separate places to live. Daddy lives in a house in the suburbs, while Mommy lives in an apartment in the city. There is an abiding feeling of love and warmth in each of these different living arrangements.

“At Mommy’s house Alex has a soft chair. At Daddy’s house Alex has a rocking chair." Alex has two of everything, two rooms, two sets of friends and two deeply loving parents. The book brings a feeling of belonging and warmth through the familiar surroundings and deep love available for Alex at each home

The illustrations in Two Homes are beautiful, with soft pastel-like watercolours that add to the sense of gentleness in the book. This book is very helpful for children because it makes them feel like other people live like they do

An Easier Path through Difficult Times
The adversarial nature of typical divorce proceedings can be difficult on all family members, especially children. Family mediation can often be less painful and less traumatic than the typical legal process. It allows couples to come to a fair and just settlement in a shorter amount of time and with far less stress than court-based divorce proceedings.

If you would like to explore family mediation the website Solicitors Guru has a complete directory of all Family Mediation Solicitors in the UK. Each solicitor listing also shows the solicitor’s website so you can read more about the family mediation process and why it works so well.

Children and Separation or Divorce
When children go through divorce they have lots of intense emotions and feelings of loss. They struggle with these emotions that they haven’t even identified and the book Two Homes helps them feel like they are not alone in this.

It is so important during this time of great change for children to feel a sense of belonging, and when they go through divorce they usually feel separate. The family mediation process offers an alternative that can make a very difficult time less stressful for everyone. If you would like to talk to a family mediation expert, you can find a solicitor in your area on Solicitors Guru.

Solicitors Guru is a website that lets you search for the exact type of solicitor you need by city, area or more specific location. For each listing, there is a direct link to the solicitor’s web site and other useful information, such as user reviews.

 This is a guest post.


Paw Patrol Weebles Pull & Play Seal Island Playset

Ever since Paw Patrol first came to our screens both monkeys have loved watching! Little monkey especially. He knows all the character and is even known to sit still when they are on. He has been testing out the new Paw Patrol Weebles Pull & Play Seal Island Playset
Easy to use and packed full of fun features he could not wait to start playing. 
Take a look at the video here to see what we got to sample! 
The playset comes with an exclusive Everest Weeble and we were sent another two characters to enhance our play - Chase and Zuma.
A rock and wobble path leads down to the jetty. There’s a dock where a pull and retract tugboat will help the heroes get to the mainland. Just press Wally the Seal’s head and the boat moves back to the Island! Press the lever down to move the fun swing in the tower and watch Marshall Pup wobble around. There’s also room in the lookout tower to keep watch over the ocean, ready for the next rescue.
Robust and colourful it's lots of fun for it's target audience of 3-5yrs old. Very easy to negotiate little monkey has loved exploring Seal Island. The iconic Weebles have been refreshed with a new look, each one with a RRP of £4.99. The Playset is £29.99.
In conclusion this playset is fun, imaginative and rather cool. Little monkey loves it despite being at the upper end of the recommended age range. There are other assorted Paw Patrol Weebles to collect too.
We were sent the playset and two other characters for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Holidaying in Glorious Cornwall - My Top 5 Hotspots!

Until two weeks ago Hubby and the monkeys had never been to Cornwall. I had but a long time ago. My family and I used to go there a lot on holiday when my twin and I were young children. We had a caravan and would pitch up all over Cornwall. 
I'd forgotten exactly how beautiful it is. So many gorgeous coves and beaches. We spent a week just outside Newquay this August and spent most of that week at various beaches. One because the weather was mostly kind, 2 the cost and 3, they are so blooming lovely! 

Here's MY top 5 hotspots of our trip to Cornwall.

1. Cream Tea at Hendra Croft Farm
An epic find outside Newquay. We first spotted the sign for Cream Tea on our way back from the beach one day. A secluded farm, west of Newquay, they offer cream teas and more, either in the barn or in their orchard. The most delicious cream tea I've ever tasted which was (locally sourced), with freshly baked scones. The setting was just amazing, amongst dappled sunshine, apple tree's and the farm's dog, chickens and geese. They catered for children too.

2. Holywell Bay
Again to the west of Newquay, this bay has something for everyone. A Stream runs all the way down to the sea. An ideal place for kiddies to play more safely. The huge sand dunes are a source of great fun for children and adults alike who use them to body board down! Lots of golden sand and of course the opportunity to surf or body board. There are toilets and a couple of shops just up from the beach plus a beach kiosk selling drinks and ice creams. Lots of beauty there and fun for the family too.

3. Perranporth Sands 
I loved Perranporth as there were amenities right on the beach and plenty of shops and eatery's close by too. If the beach gets too much, there's plenty to browse. I loved the hustle of bustle of the beach and the high street equally.

4. Coombe Mill
I've wanted to holiday at Coombe Mill or visit for sometime now and being just 20 miles from there, a visit was a must! Luckily we were invited to visit by Fiona, the owner and another blogger who was staying there. The day we arranged to go there was a wet one, but that didn't stop us joining the feed run or having a BBQ as they have an impressive indoor BBQ hut! I will say the very narrow and very steep roads in and out of Coombe Mill gave me kittens somewhat but we had a great day. I'm so glad we finally got to go there! 

5. Bedruthan Steps
A stunning spot on the north coast of Cornwall, north of Newquay. The sea is a gorgeous turquoise blue and the view amazing from the top of the cliffs. You can walk down the path and steps but the whole walk takes over an hour and a half there and back! If the gates are closed you are not permitted to go onto the beach. The National Trust owned car park at the top also houses a tearoom which we sadly didn't try. I've heard its fab though! A must see place for it's amazing views.

We loved Cornwall so much (and the holiday park we stayed at) that we are going back next year! We'll be making another trip to Hendra Croft Farm for cream tea for sure! I think we'll go to Holywell Bay again too but will be trying out some of the beaches on the South coast next time as well. I was so sad to leave! 



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