Staying safe on the roads this summer

I think more and more of us are opting to holiday here in the UK nowadays.  I love holidaying in the UK, there are so many beautiful places to visit and explore.  But when we are making a long trip in the car the first thing I always make sure the car is safe to travel in.  It is something that is even more important now we have a little one.  I’m very fortunate to be married to a mechanic, so I never have to do any checks myself, but he always checks the car over before a long trip.

I thought I would share with you some of the checks that I make sure are carried out before a long trip.

Tyres

The legal limit for tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm.  An easy way to check your tread depth is the 20p test, if you can see the band of the coin then your tyres may be close to the legal limit.  Make sure you check the inside tread as well as the outside tread.  Sometimes the tyres won’t wear evenly, especially if your tracking/alignment is out or your tyre pressures are low.  There are plenty of places you can easily get your tyres checked or changed, have a look for a good local reasonably priced tyre supplier such as DAT tyres in Hertfordahire

Tyre pressures are also very important, especially if you have a heavy load!  The recommended tyre pressures for your car will be recorded somewhere in your car, or you can google the right ones for your car!  For my car they are on the inside of the fuel flavour, which makes it very easy when we pop by the petrol station to check the pressures.

Another thing to check is to check if you have a spare (a lot of cars nowadays aren’t sold with them as standard).  If you do then check the tread and pressure on this one too.

Oil

It’s always sensible to check your oil level correctly.  You need to have a warm engine (not running), parked on level ground, which has been turned off for at least 3 minutes.  Remove your dipstick, wipe with a piece of kitchen towel and then clip it back in, wait a moment and then remove the dipstick again.  You’ll be able to see the correct level .  If it is low, you can buy oil from your local supplier (i.e. garage or somewhere like Halfords) but make sure you check with staff it’s the right oil for your car if you’re unsure.

Screenwash

It’s always best to keep this topped up, I get so annoyed when I run out!  Use a mix of screen wash and water, don’t be tempted to use something out of your kitchen cupboard, quite often this will cause more damage than good!

Lights

We always have a walk around our car before we leave to check all of the lights work, indicators, brake lights, side lights and headlights.  We also make sure that we have a spare bulb kit in our glovebox.  Again, these can be picked up from a local garage.

Car seats

Before leaving, we always make sure that the car seat is correctly installed.  We use ISOfix, but if you have a belted seat, it’s good to check that it’s strapped in properly and there’s no damage to the belt.  Check that the straps in the car seat are correctly set up and the car seat is clean.

According to the In Car Safety Centre around 70% of car seats are incorrectly fitted or unsuitable for the car. Even 6% of ISOfix seats aren’t correctly installed!

Fuel

It seems like an obvious one, but check you have enough fuel before you leave!

Keep your car clean

Before we leave for a long journey, my husband ALWAYS cleans the car.  I mean he always cleans the car anyway (he’s obsessed with car cleaning), but when we go away he wants it to be clean.  Mainly because after a long road trip the car will usually be filthy, and if we don’t clean it before we go, things like the visibility will be really poor by the time we arrive.

Look after yourself

Take plenty of water with you, especially when it’s warm and snacks to keep everyone happy!  If you did break down it’s good to have some food and water as you might not be near a service station.  Make regular stops on your journey.  I know that I find it hard to concentrate for any more than 1.5-2 hours of driving and I know this is when I need to stop to refresh, take a break and if my husband is with me, change driver.

*This is a collaborative post.  All words and opinions are my own and I would recommend you seek a professional opinion if you are unsure how to maintain your vehicle.

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Summer Days Out with a Toddler in and Around Surrey

If you have been reading my blog a little while, you may remember that I did a post on what to do with a toddler in Spring. So now that the Summer holidays are upon us I thought I would write down my plans for the summer!

My aim is to get out in the sunshine this summer.  I’m sure we will have a few visits to the soft play in between, but my main aim is to be outside and enjoying the summer whilst it’s still here.  I try to have a ‘day out’ at least once a week.  Oliver gets so bored and restless on the days we spend at home.  He likes to be out and about, somewhere he will be worn out!

So here is my list of places I would like to visit this summer:

Wisley Gardens

I have membership for the RHS and Wisely is just down the road from us and it makes a great, cheap day out.  If you follow me on Instagram you will see that it’s one of my regular haunts (and a lot of other Surrey mummy bloggers too)!

The Farm

We live very close to Fishers Farm in Billingshurst, it’s a great farm and as well as having all the animals, a soft play and an outdoor play park, they also have a splash park which is great fun in the summer sun!  I remember going there as a child, although it’s all been redone since then, I want Oliver to have the same great memories I have of Fishers Farm!

Stoke Park Paddling Pool

Another place we visited last year when Oliver was tiny, and I would love to go again now he is bigger and can actually enjoy it! It’s perfect for little ones and is shallow enough to let them paddle in.  So great for a sunny day!

 

The Beach

I want to take Oliver on a trip to the beach.  We went on a trip last year and he seemed to love it, I’m sure now he’s bigger he will like it more!  He’s such a water baby that I’m sure he will love splashing about in the sea.

Wellington Country Park

This has been on my ‘to visit’ list for a while.  One of my friends has always said to me that it’s great, so I think now’s the time to visit!  It’s a bit further away (about an hour) but I’m willing to make the journey for us to have a great day out.  I think I will try and organise to go with my friend and her little boys, Oliver loves running around with older children, so he’ll be in his element!

West Green House

Another garden I really want to explore is West Green House.  I have only ever heard and seen about how beautiful it is, so it’s on the top of my list of places to visit.  What’s even better is that I can use my National Trust membership to get in for free!

What are your favourite things to do in the summer?  If you live nearby and have any good recommendations I would love to hear them!

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What My Kid Wore Wednesday

I thought I would join Hannah and Sarah for a week of What My Kid Wore Wednesday!  I picked this cute little number up in JoJo Maman Bebe’s sale the other week.  I’ve had my eye on it since it appeared in stores, but Oliver has so many clothes that I stopped myself buying it.  When the sale came along and there was only one in my local store, and it was Oliver’s size, well I just had to buy it didn’t I?

We took a trip out strawberry picking last week and Oliver managed to snooze in the pushchair the whole way round the strawberries!  But he woke up in time for me to get some snaps of him in amongst the sunflower patch.  He wasn’t too sure as you can see!

Romper: JoJo Maman Bebe, Shoes: Toms

This was the last outing for his Toms, I can no longer squeeze his little feet into them.  Although Dr Marten sandals are going to look great with this romper!! I think we will get plenty of wear out of this romper, it’s just too cute!

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Oliver at 17 months

Another month has passed, and you’re so close to being 18 months.  18 months, 1 and a half, it seems so old!  This month you’ve become even more toddler like, my little baby is fading away.  You’re so fiercely independent, you want to do everything yourself, we aren’t allowed to help!

This month you’ve certainly found your stride.  You’re so confident walking and running about.  You have quite a bit of speed when you run, we are always chasing after you!  You’ve also started walking on your tiptoes, and crouching whilst you walk too.  You love to push your dolls pram around and crash it in to everything, if you walk into mummy and daddy with it you find it hilarious and really giggle.  You can walk really far for someone so little, you happily stroll up to Granny’s house which is at least 500 feet away!

Your appetite hasn’t been as great the past month or so.  Some days you eat like normal, and the next day you refuse all of your favourites.  I know you you’re starting to learn whether you can push boundaries, but it’s annoying when you won’t eat the lunch I make for you!  This month your love of milk has gone to the next level this month, you have been having 3 or 4 cups a day.  If you won’t eat, I know you’ll have some milk!

Now you follow some commands (when you want to) for example, you happily sit down if you want what I have (i.e ice cream or chocolate buttons!!).  But you will rarely let us walk along holding your hand (unless you’re in a cute mood).  You can answer yes or no to simple questions with a shake or nod of your head, you also say ‘yeah’ but don’t say no!

I think this month you’ve become a lot more loving.  Not that you weren’t before.  But you enjoy a good snuggle and a cuddle even more now than ever before! You will randomly come up to me and plant a big kiss on my lips without me even asking, especially first thing in the morning.

Your sleep hasn’t been great the past month, you haven’t been going down very easily.   Most nights it has ended up being 9-10pm before you will go to sleep.  It has made both daddy and I very tired!  The past few days seem to have been better, so hopefully you will get back to normal soon.  I would love an evening back!

This month has been full of trips out to the lavender fields, strawberry picking and a trip to Polesden Lacey.  We have loved seeing the flowers and having plenty of space to run around.  An open space is always your favourite!  We also had a trip to see In the Night Garden Live.  I think we all loved it as much as you, the excitement on your face when the characters came on stage was so adorable.  It was such a magical experience for us all.

I can’t believe that the next time I write an update you will be 1.5 years old.  Lets just slow down time for us…

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Visiting Mayfield Lavender

*****WARNING: LAVENDER HEAVY POST!*****

I’m sure if you have been following me on any social media outlet that you will know that I have made a couple of visits to my local lavender field in the past few weeks!  It is such a lovely day out, and so cheap too.  Mayfield Lavender charge just £1 per adult and children under 16 go in for free.  Set over 25 acres, you can enjoy taking a leisurely stroll through the fields (or if you have a toddler a leisurely run after them!).

Oliver loved running through the rows of lavender, although he was a bit apprehensive on the thicker rows.  There were bees a buzzing, which didn’t bother us at all.  If anything Oliver was excited to see them!  He stood pointing at them saying ‘beh’ (which is him trying to say bee).  We had such a lovely time, and enjoyed trying some of their lovely food too.

And if you’re tired out after running around the fields you can re-fuel at the cafe.  They have an array of lavender themed food and drink, lavender cake, lavender lemonade, I even had a lavender cheese and ham toastie!  They also have a shop with a great selection of products made using their lavender.

 

 

 

If you live in the area I urge you to go and visit, it really is a wonder to see!

Pink Pear Bear

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