A Day in Bath

This week Stu and I have a week off work.  Our only plan was to go and stay with Stu’s mum in Wales from Wednesday to Sunday.  As we live in Surrey, it’s quite a long drive to his mums home in the Brecon Beacons, usually taking us over 4 hours if not longer.  We’ve only been down with Oliver twice and both times he hasn’t really hacked the journey, even with a few stops he has just cried and cried because he’s so bored!  So this time we decided to stop somewhere for a few hours to help give him a change of scenery, and so we can explore somewhere new.

I actually went to Bath last year (with Oliver) on a hen weekend, but I didn’t manage to explore the whole city or see what I really wanted to.  It has also been somewhere Stu wanted to visit, so we agreed that it was a good halfway point to stop at.  The drive there was much nicer than the boring M4, as we drove through lots of quaint villages.

We arrived in Bath and parked at the Charlotte Street car park.  Even though this is their long stay car park, it is conveniently located for all of the city, especially the Royal Crescent which is just behind it.  We then walked into the city centre, which took about 5 minutes.  First stop was the Roman Bath’s.  I love historical places, they really fascinate me.  History was by far my favourite subject at school and. I love learning about all about times gone by.

We mooched around, looking at all the artefacts.  They provide baby carriers as you can’t take a buggy around.  Oliver loved being high up on my back, but kept trying to climb out!!  He loved looking in the water.  Just before the end of the tour we let him have a little bit of a run around.  There was a glass floor (so you could see the original roman stonework) and Oliver didn’t understand it at all.  We have never laughed so hard at him, he was in a downwards dog position reaching from the edge to the beam across the middle.  It was so funny!

After we had explored the bath’s we went on the hunt for somewhere to have lunch, we came across the Handmade Burger Co. where we had the most delicious burgers!  The only downside was that they didn’t have any high chairs, so Oliver was sat on our laps for his meal.

After this we went for a bit of walk around the shops and then headed up to the Royal Crescent.  This has been somewhere I have wanted to visited for so many years.  I think I first wanted to go when I first saw the movie ‘The Duchess’.  I love that the buildings are steeped in history.  We walked around, admiring the architecture, and how beautifully maintained they all are.  I think next time we visit Bath I would love to visit No.1 Royal Crescent.

We had such a lovely afternoon exploring Bath and I think it will definitely be somewhere we will be visiting again.  There seems to be so much to see and do!

 

 

 

The Pramshed
Five Little Doves
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What does Daddy want this Father’s Day?

I always struggle when it comes to buying Stuart presents.  He never really wants anything, generally if he wants something he treats himself to it.  So I am always left wondering what else he needs or wants.  Now it isn’t just birthdays and Christmas I need to worry about, but father’s day too!  I know in a few years I won’t have to worry so much because Oliver will be able to help me choose, but at the moment, I’m pretty sure whatever Oliver points at, Stuart won’t want!

For the Travelling Dad

Lots of dads work away, whether it be travelling for a conference, meeting or training, they need a good washbag to keep their kit in.  This Ted Baker washbag from Amara* is really lovely, and very sophisticated for that travelling dad! It has a roomy main compartment and the bottom bit has an elasticated area to hold your travel sized bottles.  I think it’s a really nice gift and I am sure Stu will love using it when he goes away with work.

For the Car Lover Dad

If you know me personally you will know that Stuart spends most of his time doing something with cars!  Most weekends in the summer you will find him cleaning his car.  By cleaning, I don’t mean your average bucket of soap and water, no Stuart ‘gently caresses’ our car.  He has spent years researching car cleaning brands, finding products that are best for your paintwork.  His current love is Auto Finesse.  He loves their products, they all work really well, smell great and are brilliant quality.  So if the dad in your life loves his car, then why not treat them to some nice products or a voucher?

For the Art Loving Dad

These prints from Not On The High Street  are absolutely gorgeous and I love that they are limited edition, so you know that it’s not going to be popping up in everyone elses home!  I love buying prints and artwork, if only I had the wall space for all the beautiful prints that I see.

For the Dad who Loves a Personal Gift

Who doesn’t like looking at photos of their little ones?  The best gifts are often the ones that we make ourselves.  Last year for Stuart’s first father’s day I bought a 5 photo photo frame  because he told me he didn’t want me to spend much at all.  Each slot held a photo of Oliver holding a letter that I had bought in Hobbycraft and these letters spelt out the word ‘daddy’.  I thought it was a lovely idea and something that is quite easy to do on a budget.  My photos weren’t great but Oliver still looked damn cute in them!  This is a great gift for a dad who loves something homemade and personal.

 

*I received this item in return for inclusion in this gift guide, all words and comments are my own.  

 

Pink Pear Bear
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5 Things I never thought I would do as a parent

Before I had a child I didn’t have much knowledge about different parenting styles.  I knew there were certain things I wanted to do, like breastfeed, but there was lots of unknown things.  I remember my friend telling me that her son often came into her bed in the middle of the night, I remember saying ‘oh you’ve made a rod for your own back’ and thinking I would never ever do that.  I also thought I would never be the type of person who buys lots for their child, but when you see something you or your child loves, how can you leave it there?!

Here are the 5 things I thought I would never do as a parent…

1. Baby-led Weaning

I had never ever considered baby-led weaning.  All I had ever known was babies being traditionally weaned.  I don’t think I actually knew anyone who had done baby-led.  On Facebook I noticed a girl I had done my nursing training with was doing BLW and I looked into it a bit more.  I decided after reading up about it that it’s what we should do, I chatted to Stu about different types of weaning, and he agreed that it seemed best for us.  It was definitely worth doing!

2. Co-sleeping

We didn’t intend to co-sleep at all, it was just a bit of an accident.  When Oliver was teeny tiny and spent most of the night feeding I took to feeding him lying down.  I always cleared a space for him, moved any bedding away from us etc. and I dosed whilst he fed.  In the mornings he always got into our bed when Stu got up for work and we slept for a few more hours.  Once he got a little bit bigger, he used to get in bed with us when he wouldn’t settle and he loved snuggling in.  It wasn’t something we ever set out to do but it was something that worked for us.  Nowadays, he doesn’t often come in our bed to sleep.  It’s pretty rare, but when he does I love the snuggles!

3. The Jumperoo (and all the other plastic fantastic!)

I remember seeing the monstrosity that is the jumperoo and thinking ‘I will never buy one of those’.  How wrong I was!  Oliver was such an active child it was what he needed, and when one popped up on a local selling site I thought why not!  He loved it and it was a staple piece in our home for at least 2 months.  It’s now sat in the loft awaiting it’s next user.

I hate plastic and noisy toys, wooden ones are just ten times better in my eyes.  But of course Oliver loves them so they have made their way into our home.  The main problem is we have a Barnardo’s charity shop in our village, it’s solely dedicated to all things children, and overtime I go in there I leave with something.  For a pound or two I can’t leave it if Oliver takes a liking!  The other problem is Oliver’s massive Thomas the tank engine addiction, if we walk in a shop and he sees something with Thomas’ face on it he shouts and points.  In most shops I just ignore him but if it’s in the charity shop I give in straight away!!

4. Babywearing

I had never heard of baby wearing before I had Oliver.  I had asked for a Baby Bjorn sling from work as my leaving present, as I had thought it was a good idea for when we went on walks etc. where a pram wouldn’t go.  Through a Facebook breastfeeding support group I found this whole world of babywearing.  Oliver was a baby who loved to constantly be held and I instantly knew it would be something that would work for us.  I started with a stretchy wrap and then Baby Bjorn, then once he was bigger I moved on to an Ergo 360.  Oliver went through a month or two when he would just scream every time he went in the buggy and the Ergo saved my life!  Nowadays we still use it on walks and occasionally when we’re out.  I use it in the back carry and Oliver loves it!

5. Have SO many clothes

When I found out I was having a boy I thought it would be fine, his wardrobe would be small because there isn’t lots of nice boys clothing like there is girls (god help my bank balance if I ever have a girl!).  Well after a lot of shopping around, I have found my favourite stores and Oliver now has a VERY healthy wardrobe.  That and a lot of people gift clothes.  He’s such a midget that he’s mostly still in 9-12 month clothing, so all the winter clothing I had bought in the sales in 12-18 months is far too big still!  I’m just hoping he fits in them at the other end of the summer!!

What did you think you would never do as a parent?  Let me know!

 

3 Little Buttons
The Pramshed
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Giggling Squid: Little Tapas for Little People

We were recently invited along to try out the new ‘Little Tapas for Little People’ menu at Giggling Squid.  If you’ve never heard of Giggling Squid before it’s a brilliant chain of Thai restaurants, mostly based in the South and Midlands of the UK.  I love Thai food, the flavours are just beautiful.  I think I would eat Thai food all of the time if I could!

Oliver is a big lover of flavour, the more flavour the better with him.  A few weeks ago I tried to give him fish fingers for dinner, he took one bite, chucked it on the floor and wouldn’t try it again!  However, the curry I cooked up last night he devoured!  He’s still mastering the spoon and 99% of the time refuses to let me feed him, so finger foods are always a big hit with him.  So when I was emailed to see if I wanted to come and try out the new children’s menu, it was an instant ‘yes please’!

“Pranee Laurillard, owner and mum-of-three devised the menu to inspire kids to be more open minded with their food choices.  With memories of her own childhood and what she cooks for her own children, she wants to encourage children to try something new.   As a mum myself, I love encouraging my kids to experiment with new dishes and ingredients. Hopefully they’ll be more open to a wider choice of food and cuisines when they grow up.”

I think this is a brilliant way of thinking. I think it’s great to open our children up to a wide choice of different cuisines and flavours.

I loved the design of the menu, with clear pictures of all the dishes.  I’m sure that it would make children find it easier to choose what they’re having.  It’s only £5.95 for 2 dishes, there are 8 dishes in total, so they can choose 2 out of those 8.  There’s a good variety of different dishes, curry, pad Thai, steak, chicken pork, dumplings and spring rolls.  For an extra £2 your little one can add a dessert, with ice cream or a roti, which is a bit like a pancake.  As you can see from the picture, they have a match the picture the menu game.  Which I actually enjoyed doing whilst we waited for our meals!  It also flipped over to reveal a colouring sheet!  They provided us with crayons and Oliver happily sat there doing a bit of colouring whilst we waited for our meals to arrive.

We ordered Oliver the chicken satay and peanut sauce and the spring rolls, as we thought they were perfect finger foods (and not too messy..!).  All children’s meals come with plain or sticky rice.  The portion of plain rice was HUGE, I think it was actually bigger than the portion I had with my meal!  He loved eating the chicken off of the skewer and licking the peanut sauce off, and the spring rolls went down well, especially as they were something he had never tried before. He quickly tore his way through his meal and even had a taste of ours too (I had the Thai green chicken curry and Stuart had the grilled beef and sticky rice, they were both delicious too!).

The staff were very friendly and happily entertained Oliver when they were walking past our table.  There were highchairs available and they seemed well set up for little visitors.  I am sure we will be back again soon, we had a really nice chilled out lunch.  Sometimes I feel like when we are out for lunch with our child the staff are either really good with children, or you feel like they want you to leave ASAP.  The staff at Giggling Squid were all brilliant and really great with children!

If you live near a Giggling Squid I urge you to go and have a meal there, and take your children along too.  I’m sure they will love it, and it’s a nice change to your usually family meal out.  Their lunch deals are really reasonable too.

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One Year of Blogging: What has it taught me?

So this weekend it came up on my page that my blog was one year old.  I couldn’t believe it!  A whole year of ‘Mummy Miller’, sharing our story and my thoughts and feelings.

I set my blog up to share the big and everyday moments in my parenting journey and Oliver’s life.  I think my main motivation was to document things for me, so I didn’t forget.  My memory is awful and even more so since Oliver came along!  But it was also for our family who don’t live nearby to see what Oliver’s been getting up to.  But I think over the past year it’s become much more.

My blog is one of my biggest passions, and probably my favourite hobby now!  I can easily spend a few hours in the evening writing posts, participating in linky’s and reading other peoples new posts.  Instagram is one of my favourite platforms and I could easily spend hours getting lost in it.  Now with the addition of Youtube I have added the realm of video editing as well!  This world of blogging and vlogging has really sucked me in!

I’ve been lucky enough to work with some brilliant brands and I’ve been invited to a variety of different events, all through blogging.  I never expected to get these sorts of opportunities and I am grateful every day for it

What have I learnt from a year of blogging?

Nothing comes easily

You can’t just set up a blog and expect it to be read by the masses straight away.  You have to share, share share.  I didn’t do anything for the first month or two whilst I navigated the blogosphere.  Then I started participating in ‘linky’s’ which if you don’t know is a place where bloggers can share their blog posts with other bloggers.  It’s a great way to find new bloggers and blogs to read!  The first linky I shared a post with was the Sharing the Blog Love linky run by Katy and Laura.  I was so nervous when I hit the submit button but over the past year I have been one of their featured bloggers several times, which I am so grateful for!

You can’t expect to start a blog and for it to have thousands of followers overnight.  It has taken me a very long time to build up followers across various social media platforms.  I have worked hard at this (probably not as much on Twitter, but certainly across Instagram and Facebook).  Followers don’t come easily, you have to post good content, use good hashtags, post at the right times.  There’s a lot to work out!

It can be easy to earn money with guest posts..

…but do I want to post content on my blog that I’m not interested in or really enthusiastic about?  I have had so many emails asking for them to put a guest post on my blog about ‘a related subject to my brand’.  Or there are various websites who have contacted me who can feed your blog with guest posts.  Of course, I would love to be getting £20-£30 for a post that’s pre written but I don’t want to lower my blogs standards or the brand I am building.  To take posts that aren’t about something I’m passionate about or very interested in for a couple of easy pounds isn’t something I want to do.

When I get the chance to start earning money from my little blog I want it to be from something I have a real love or passion for.  I want to feel that I’m genuine and someone you can trust.  Someone who actually would use that product or brand, not just write about it because I’m getting paid to do it!

If you’re thinking about it, just do it!

It took so long to work up the courage to start my blog.  I thought about it for so long.  In some ways I wish I had pursued the blog that I started when I was pregnant.  Writing this blog is one of my favourite things to do, I’m just gladded I finally plucked up the courage!  This year one of my goals was to proceed with my Youtube channel, I had started it back in September but chickened out after one video!  Now I really enjoy shooting a video and sharing it with you!

People might not agree with you, and that’s ok too

I wrote a post recently which was picked up and shared by Mumsnet.  I got a lot of negative comments on their page as well as on here.  There were some positive comments too, but those mumsnetters can be pretty nasty!  I didn’t let them get to me, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and that’s fine.  This is my little corner of the cyber world and it’s a space I feel I can voice my thoughts and feelings on certain subjects.  People may disagree with you, and it’s easy to get your back up if they don’t, but I love how these sorts of comments can also open your eyes and start a discussion!

So thank you to all my readers, subscribers and those who have commented, liked and shared my posts over the past year.  Here’s to another year of blogging and sharing our moments with you!

I would also love it (if you enjoy reading my blog) that you would nominate me in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards.  I would really love to be considered for the Fresh Voice or Reader’s choice category. Click on this link to go and nominate your favourite blogger!

The Pramshed
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