Tuesday, 27 August 2013

National Railway Museum, York : A Review

Essentially this was Dads treat during our Holiday in Yorkshire but we all had such a fantastic time we ended up visiting it twice!

The Museum is free to enter but you are asked for a donation of £3 or to buy one of the Adult or Children's guide books. We bought one of the Children's ones and it is well worth the money, with lots of information about the trains as well as games and puzzles.

Inside I was really surprised at how much there is to see, there are three exhibition halls, an area to view the workshop, cafes and an outside play area for the kids.

Initially it didn't feel like a place suited for a toddler but I couldn't have been more wrong. Daisy loved looking at and going inside the trains - the areas are all pretty safe and spacious so she could run about with out too much worry and as it is the Summer Holidays they had activities set up especially for the children. The restaurant is brilliant with the seating area set up like a train buffet carriage, the selection was really good with excellent healthy kids choices.

Daisy loved playing with the Bigjigs trains in the shop with her Grandad and of course ended up being spoilt by him and getting one of her own to take home. It's currently set up on my living room floor and is a massive hit!

My Dad's in a wheelchair so access is always very important for us and the Railway museum has fantastic wheelchair access to all areas as well free parking for disabled visitors right outside.

They even had baby changing in the gents loos which I love (so sick of the presumption only women change nappies) although I didn't expect it and Daisy and I merrily marched into the boys toilets after spotting the baby changing sign only to hastily retreat! Daisy spent the next 30 minutes telling me 'not boy mummy'.

All in all it was a great day out with far more to do than I expected with great food to boot, highly recommended if you are visiting York.

This review wasn't the result of a PR request. We simply enjoyed our Day at the Museum and wanted to share our experience.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Rainy Day Fun

Daisy is a big ball of energy at the moment and being pretty tired after her holiday its a potent mix! However with the bank holiday blessing us with a day of rain a day of indoor activities was needed.

Here's what we got up to...

Baking Brownies. As you know baking is always a winner in the Robinson Household so we started with some Brownies. Daisy's grandparents had bought a Brownie mix back from a recent trip to Yellow Stone park so I took advantage of the cheat and got Daisy baking. As always the biggest challenge is getting the mixture in the oven before D eats it all!

Potato Painting. To start with the mere mention of painting with potatoes got D giggling and she loves a paint so soon got into the swing of it. I remember my mum cutting shapes into potatoes for printing and thought D would love it too - she did!

Playing with the trainset. Daisy is still very much in love with her Bigjigs trainset her Grandad treated her to at the National Railway Museum whilst on holiday, so we all spent some tummy time on the floor playing trains and 'nee naws'.

Dancing with Dad. What better way to end the day than dancing with daddy while mummy cooks dinner and indulges in a well deserved glass of wine!

Even rainy days can be good days.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Kiddicare Hayes - A Review

I was recently invited to attend a blogger event at Kiddicare Hayes. Being my first event I wasn't sure what to expect and secretly was a little nervous but I clearly had no reason to be. Jennie and the Kiddicare team were fantastic hosts and I met some wonderful fellow bloggers and their gorgeous littles ones - all in all I felt very, very welcome.

As you walk through the main entrance the first thing thats hits you is the size, this place is huge - with buggies, car seats and highchairs from ceiling to floor, on size alone it should and normally would, have been completely overwhelming but Kiddicare have cleverly managed to keep a sense of space and calm. Each area is individually laid out and intuitively sign posted to ensure you can find exactly what you need with minimum bother and the aisles are plenty wide enough for even the largest double buggies. The branding and store decor make an instant impact, being married to a graphic designer I tend to be on the look out for those important little touches and Kiddicare Hayes is full of them; from the fabulous height charts in the toilets (Daisy is as tall as a Shetland Pony by the way) to the quite frankly brilliant bib bunting!

As with most trips these days the toilets were our first point of call. I loved the fact that the baby changing area was unisex - finally a store had recognised it's not only mums who change their babies nappies! Daisy was particularly fond of the owls hanging above the changing mats and had a lovely chat with one enabling a rare wriggle-free change. The toilets themselves are perfect for mum and little one, all the cubicles are spacious enough to take the buggy in with you, the doors open outwards so there's no need to limbo under the buggy handles to close the door behind you and inside each one had a mummy and toddler sized loo. Outside there are lots of sinks including one at toddler height which Daisy loved (what toddler doesn’t love playing in water), my only gripe would be that she found the water a little too hot.

What’s fantastic about the store is that there is so much stock for you to try, online shopping is becoming so popular and can be a lifesaver with a little one, but nothing beats getting out and trying a product before you buy it. I loved the buggy testing area, with a cute little track to road test the latest designs and the car seat section which offers so much help to ensure you get the best option for you and your child (plus a very handy queuing system where you can leave your mobile number and get at text when it's your turn to be seen). There’s also an area where the little ones can try out larger toys like cars and bikes, again a brilliant idea as we currently have a very beautiful wooden Vespa collecting dust which I wish Daisy could have tested before buying!

Little did I know that Daisy is also a fan of the try before you buy theory and wasted no time tucking herself into one of the toddler beds. Normally I’d be concerned that a member of staff would ask her to get off but it couldn't be more different here. The staff member nearby was so relaxed, encouraging her to try out the other beds and asking her which colour she liked most – it was so refreshing for Daisy for be normal inquisitive toddler without fear of embarrassment or disapproving stares!

Now food is important to the Robinson Girls and we were far from disappointed. The cafe was clean and bright with highchairs at every table and a fab little play area to keep the little ones amused. There was a great selection of food on offer and it was fantastic to see lots of healthy options for the kids and at the very reasonable price of £3 for a children's box. Breastfeeding is welcome anywhere in the store, but mums are also treated to a lovely comfy area to feed should they wish to take a few minutes to relax with their little ones.

The community activity room was a real surprise feature and one which I think really sets Kiddicare aside from other similar stores. It offers classes for mums to be, babies and toddlers - we had a taster session from Dinky Dancers, which despite being nap time Daisy LOVED! (we even had a few tears at the end).

I think it’s clear from the sheer length of this review that I loved the new store, we took advantage and bought some clothes from the gorgeous Nutmeg range and an incredibly cute tortoise potty. All in all the store offered everything a parent needs plus lots more. Kiddicare have really thought about their customers and it shows, the attention to detail is fab, the products great quality at affordable prices and the staff friendly and on hand to help - I think they're on to a winner!

The only negative is I now want to head back again as I have a shopping list as long as my arm!

Disclaimer: We were invited to the store as guests of Kiddicare and received lunch and a goodie bag. All opinion are my own.

Dear Two Year Molars,
Would You Please Bugger Off!

Dear Two Year Molars,

I’m going to try and be polite about this as I’m not a violent person but seriously enough is enough!

If you had a nose I swear I would punch it, if you had shins I’m afraid I would take great pleasure in kicking them because quite frankly you’re starting to take the piss. You’ve been hanging around for weeks now and nothing, not a peep of your pearly whites and yet you persist in lurking about causing bother, seeking attention and generally making everyone unhappy.

Now I know you’re going to be very useful, we’ll all be glad when you finally make your appearance and blah blah blah, but do you really need to make such a song and dance about it? Your pals managed to pop along without much more than a dodgy nappy or two and few rosy cheeks (well there was also the river of dribbly goop, but my point remains) – you seem intent on causing the biggest fuss of all. It’s as if you genuinely believe you’re some kind of teething finale and you want to ensure nobody forgets you. Well congratulations Mr Molar you’ve succeeded, I won't forget a night like last night in a hurry!

The thing is I need sleep, Daisy needs sleep and yes you need to do your thing, but can’t we work something out? 3am for example is not a good time to make your presence known, mid way through a nap – not a good time, half way up the M1 – not a good time. For the sake of everyone’s sanity if you can try to be a bit more considerate I will ensure you’re looked after for as long as you choose to stick around. I will take a hit like any good mum and get rid of all the sweet things in the house and brush you twice a day. Deal.

Kind Regards,

Daisy’s mum
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