Hello dear readers. I hope you’re all well and enjoying the last few weeks of Summer.

Arthur sat down this morning to read some of his books. Obviously, I thought I’d take the opportunity to film his cute little face talking about some of his favourite books to read.

These are all fabulous books for toddlers (2 years+). Hope you enjoy and please subscribe to my booktube channel if you fancy watching more book chat.

Thanks for watching xx

Is there honestly still four weeks left of the Summer holidays? Yes I’m afraid so.  We all love time with our children, we really do, but the constant “where are we going today?” demands can get a little expensive.

I’ve put together a little list of things to do near where we live (Powys/Shropshire Border) which won’t cost you an arm and a leg or even a little toe for that matter. You can check out some of these places on Can Kids Go? So head over there for many more ideas or feel free to add the places you’ve been to with little ones and let the world know whether they are family friendly.

So what’s there to do in and around Powys/Shropshire border?

1. Go to The Quarry Park, Shrewsbury  – This park is bloomin’ fantastic. Not only is is stunning with beautiful flower gardens, and an idyllic walk along the river, there’s a lot to offer for little ones: a newly renovated play park and splash area (all free), lawns for ball games and paths for bicycles or scooters. For more information see HERE.

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2. Go GeoCaching – if you have a smart phone, you can download the app for free and then the world is your treasure trail. There are thousands of capsules to find all over Wales, with an abundance of them in our area. Have a gander along the canal (see here Montgomeryshire canal), visit a local Church, Rodney’s pillar… they’re everywhere and give purpose to a walk. Get on it people. Here are just the ones you can find in and around the Welshpool/Shropshire border.
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Searching for a Geocache near Trewern…
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3. Go for Bike-Ride or a Picnic at Lake Vyrnwy – If you are able to go for a drive with kids in tow, then head up to the beautiful Lake Vyrnwy. This place is breathtaking and has a lot to offer for free. There are picnic areas, a sculpture park, walks and a lovely flat road which is ideal to cycle along.  There are often events on (which may involve a small fee), such as craft fairs (There is one in early September) and cycle activities – do go check out their website.
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Cuddles in the sculpture park.
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4. Go on a Stickman Trail – Houghmond Hill – If you’ve got Julia Donaldson bookworms then they’ll love this. You can buy an activity pack for £3 and parking costs £1. The walk is buggy/stroller friendly and is the perfect distance for 3 year olds +. There are some fun activities to do around the trail and our boys loved it. You can check out a full post on this HERE.
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5. Walk up Rodney’s Pillar – ok so perhaps this isn’t one for tiny ones – unless they’re in a backpack. We’ve taken our boys up there in a backpack a few times before, but now Arthur is 3, he’s a bit heavy and so will probably not be old enough to do the walk until he’s about 5. But if you have older children or babes in arms (or a super duper off roader buggy/stroller), then go for an adventure up to this monument. The views from Rodney’s Pillar are absolutely breathtaking. For more information, see HERE.

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Here’s the location on a MAP.
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In fact – go and get yourself an ordinance survey map, or download the app and purchase your local map to view on your phone. There are so many beautiful walks in and around Powys/Shropshire – don’t let the little ones stop you getting out and about…
I hope you have a great break this summer and have lots of fun and adventures with your children.
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Do let me know what you’ve been up to so far and if you’ve got any recommendations.
Travel Monkey

A few weeks ago we went on holiday to Pembrokeshire (Wales) to visit family; I grew up there and often get this relentless itch to go back, breath in some coastal air and appreciate the beautiful Welsh coastline. I’m so lucky to be able to stay with family and have seen first hand that Pembrokeshire, and particularly Dale, is a fantastic destination for a family holiday.

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Dale Pembrokeshire

Dale lies about 25 minutes from Haverfordwest and about 15 minutes from Milford Haven. Set on a peninsular, it has two beaches: a safe family beach and a more adventurous surf beach within walking distance.

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Activities

With a waterfront Watersports Centre which offers tuition in sailing, kayaking, surfing and more, there is so much on offer for almost every age.

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There are some fantastic walks around the coastal path, as well as geocaching dotted around the village. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to catch your supper – you can even go on fishing trips from here.

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Whilst the beach isn’t sandy, it is relatively safe and there are rock-pools on one side and a pontoon which is perfect for crabbing, on the other.

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The beach is just as lovely in the Winter and almost completely deserted! I took Teddy and Arthur down here when Teddy was just a tiny one and there’s something so special about getting all wrapped up and going to the beach.

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Also in Dale, there is a lovely crafts centre  which offers afternoon teas and a number of galleries/ art exhibitions.

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Food

There are a number of options here: a fantastic Seafood restaurant/Pub, The Griffin Inn, which is right on the waterfront where you can have either a bowl of chips overlooking the sea, or a special meal if you fancy fine dining in their contemporary extension.

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There is also a great waterfront café and another restaurant and café in the Yacht Club (The Moorings) which has stunning sea views.

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Accommodation

There are plenty of options, either within Dale itself, or in the surrounding area. I would recommend checking out Spinnaker Reach, or Allenbrook for Bed and Breakfast.

If you are looking for a holiday cottage to rent, have a look on Coastal Cottages website to see what suits you.  For campers – go check Point Farm.

So you if you are thinking of holidaying in the UK – do check out this hidden little secret near where I grew up. It the above doesn’t sell it to you, then maybe this will…

Dale also really knows how to throw a party. I was down here for the Queen’s Jubilee and it was just brilliant. There are often events for August bank holiday, Halloween and even New Years Eve.

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*Please note that this is not a sponsored most and is 100% based on my own opinions. 

Packing my Suitcase

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

 Back in February, we took our youngest one, Teddy, for a fleeting visit to Brussels to catch up with our friends, Lara and Hugo, and their adorable little one, Sarah.

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There’s no reason why you can’t take a baby into Central Brussels, so that’s where we went on our first day.

First stop – Jardin du Petit Sablon – this is is a delightful little garden which is buggy/stroller friendly and surrounded by beautiful architecture. It’s worth stopping here to take in the historical significance of these two counts who resisted the Spaniards.

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Obviously, as I have two boys, we had to go and see the Manneken Pis which although surprisingly small, for such a petite fellow, he has a huge wardrobe which is apparently changed all the time. Hah I’ve just read that back – did you think I was going to say ‘wardrobe’?
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It was nice to see some murals dotted around the city – this Tin Tin one being my favourite of the ones we spotted, given its Belgian origins.

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On a practical note… if you want to take a buggy/stroller around central Brussels, I’d recommend one with chunky wheels, rather than a small collapsible. There are lots of cobbles to navigate!

Alternatively, wearing your little one in a carrier would be ideal whilst walking around appreciating some of the impressive historical architecture, such as the Grand Place.

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After such a lovely stroll (and naps en route for the babies), we were all getting peckish and so headed to Chicago Café – a kiddy/baby friendly eatery in Brussels centre.

And wow… forget worrying about whether your child will be bored, adequately catered for or comfy – this is the perfect family friendly restaurant/ Café. There are ample toys, books and high chairs. A great children’s menu and it’s buzzing with so many other families that you won’t worry if your little one is loud at all.

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The next day, we ventured a little further from the centre and went on a perfectly buggy/stroller friendly stroll around the lake at Park De Tervuren, before having a delicious lunch at another family friendly restaurant, Bootkeshuis, which is within the park.

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The babies loved their lunch here – and yay the oh so familiar IKEA highchairs were on hand for their little derrières.

On our last day, we head out for a another walk around the grounds of Château De La Hulpe – another stunning location – just watch out as to where you take a stroller/buggy – you may have to double back on yourself to stay on flat ground.

The grounds here are so beautiful though and it is free to enter, so who cares if you can’t do a perfect circuit with a stroller hey?

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We had a lovely fleeting visit to Brussels and would love to see more in the future. 
 
This post was due to go live last week, but I’ve delayed posting because of the recent attacks.  However, I wouldn’t be put off from visiting Brussels because of what has happened – life goes on and all we can do is be vigilant whilst travelling. 
Packing my Suitcase

Spring and Easter cannot come soon enough for us. It’s been a dreary Winter and I’ve been longing for better Weather and new beginnings for weeks now. Hurrah for Easter being early as we can start welcoming Spring and saying good riddance to Winter right now.
Since the boys loved their Valentine’s Basket so much, I thought I’d put together a little Easter one for them.
Here’s what they’ll be getting in their basket; I can’t wait to give it to them in a few days.

So first off they’ve got some new Easter books. I’ve done a full post on these and the other books we’re reading at the moment which you can check out HERE
The boys’ Grannie has put in two cute chick egg cups  – I think she picked these up in Aldi, but I have seen similar ones on Amazon
Finally, it wouldn’t be Easter without some chocolate. The boys love Kinder and so we’ve got one Kinder Sheep Egg and one Kinder Bunny Egg for them both to share.
We’ll also be doing a little Easter Egg hunt and I can’t wait to be with family and have a lovely day all together.
I’d love to hear what you’re getting for your little ones this Easter.