Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The six of us - May 2017

May has been a nice month all in all. At the beginning we celebrated my 28th birthday, and yesterday we celebrated our little Halle turning five. All the things in between have been a mixture of happiness, worries at times, getting back to school life rhythms and rollercoasters after having three weeks off instead of two as we took the girls out of school the week after Easter holidays for our holiday to North Devon (only four days though and family holidays are the best form of education right?!). 

Our little Didi has been suffering with awful eczema with an additional infection on top so that's been the worry, something I'm going to be talking about soon as its something I've been researching lots about, and I really want to share that journey we've been on, that will hopefully be healed very soon.

The warmer & lighter evenings have been welcomed with open arms by us all, enabling us to spend more time together mostly in the garden after school which can sometimes feel a bit rushed and then the weekends have been lovely too with a more relaxed pace, going to local parks, out for a breakfast buffet or simple days at home with no where to be. As much as I love our adventures, visiting old & new places, I do love our time together at home, the simple things like being in the garden, crafting with the kids, snuggling up on the sofa on Saturday's watching Supermarket sweep in the morning & the kids have really got into family shows like Britain's got talent which is nice.
This month:
Mummy has been:
Enjoying the lighter evenings in the garden.
Hoping that Didi heals quicker.
Celebrating Halle's and her birthday.
Making plans for the garden.
Feeling a bit lost and lacking balance. (blogging, life, etc!)

Daddy has been:
Enjoying watching the football.
Enjoying family pub lunches.
Evenings playing in the garden with the kids.
Sorting and getting some things done in the garden.

Yvie-Mae has been:
Really enjoying reading story books to us all.
Telling everyone about our Woolacombe holiday.
Telling people her Daddy is a hero for saving the bird stuck in our wall at home!
Experimenting with different hairstyles for school and trying herself.

Halle has been:
Telling her school friends about our Woolacombe holiday.
Having mini 'jam' sessions with Grampy and his lovely songwriting.
So excited for her fifth birthday!
Her birthday trip to Gulliver's Land.
Singing on the Karaoke.

Phoenix has been:
Enjoying morning trips to the local park and library to check out the dinosaur section.
Really enjoying setting up his turtles and really using his imagination with them all.
Not 'liking that doctor anymore' when he had his pre-school boosters.
Having more sessions at nursery and does enjoy his time there but loves to come back home!
Also loves to get 'our parking space' when picking the girls up so he can watch them play.

√Člodie has been:
Walking! fully walking at 13 months! (just like Halle did).
Loving her new found up right freedom.
Having a tough time with eczema infections but hopefully on the mend now.
Loving the water tray and exploring in every cupboard she finds!
....and attempting to climb anything including garden benches and window sills!
These two photos were taken at the weekend when we decided to skip dinner at home, and opted for Thai takeaway while playing in the park, the weather was so lovely and the kids loved the freedom of the eating and playing!
So technically i'm behind the camera, but this photo was a highlight in May as it was our Halle's 5th birthday. I just love everyone's expressions here. Watching your children blow out the birthday candles is such a lovely moment isn't it? and you can bet that every time they all have about 15 goes each ;)
So much change since this time last year, our little Didi is a toddler now at 13 and a half months, the girls are looking so tall and losing their baby faces (just a little!) and Phoenix is proudly stepping into childhood and waving a big goodbye to toddlerhood.
I wonder what June has ready for us this year? 

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Chasing sunsets past bedtime - Woolacombe.

So last month, we went on a much needed family holiday to Woolacombe, a place we've been before but this time as a family of six. Its such a beautiful park of the UK and the surrounding areas are just as lovely. I definitely wanted to squeeze in as much time together as possible, and that included having some relaxed days but also days where we set of to explore different parts.

One evening though, I spotted the most beautiful sky, a stunning red sunset. The only thing was that we had just settled the kids in their pj's after having some fun down at the entertainment hall, I was gutted I missed the chance to show them a red sunset, and to take some photos! The next evening we decided to chance it, skip the entertainment place and headed for the beach after dinner and past the kids bedtime. They found it so funny, and full of wonder why we were going on a little adventure in the evening. We took a little drive, it then started to ABSOLUTELY bucket down, a thick dark cloud descended on us, following our move trying to find a parking space.

We went with the flow regardless and drove up towards Morthoe taking in the sights, turned around and was literally following the cloud as it went away into the sea. We parked up, and overlooked the clear sandy beach, no footprints to be seen, the blue sky appearing but gradually changing into a beautiful sunset across the sea front. The colours and reflections were so amazing, and with us being the only people on the beach (other than two people right over the other side) it felt so peaceful. The kids were wandering along the beach, jumping over rockpools, accidentally falling in but then going full throttle to jump in them and completely loving it. The girls then decided to run along the front of the waves finding it so hilarious that it was okay to do so full clothed, I will always remember the sound of their lovely giggles that evening, such a great memory for us all. its a nice feeling to know that the older girls are at the ages now where they'll probably remember that night for a long time too.

Phoenix was loving stomping around too until he jumped into one gigantic puddle which soaked him through, so cue some tears (as this was bedtime too!)... great excuse to get zipped up in Daddy's jacket and have a go in the carrier while we walked back to the car. I love that on the way back, the girls were buzzing with joy that they got to stay up past bedtime, run in the sea and that it was "The coolest night ever". When getting them in the car, we spotted the most random whirlpool in the middle of the sea that even the locals were photographing, so bizarre! Before heading back, I got a nice hot chocolate to have in the car from a little beach bar as the cafes were closed, it was crazy to see just how quiet Woolacombe beach front is in the evening during term time (we decided to take the girls out for four days of school - more on this soon). Such a peaceful place, less busy like it is in a big city, definitely made a difference.

I just love these photos so much, not only because of the stunning golden lighting, but just the natural moments captured. I love having those family photos all together where we're all looking, ones to look back on to see how they've changed. But the ones that aren't staged, the honesty just shines through them, emotion, details, colours - just amazing. Oh how I love photography and I'm not one for blowing my own trumpet but I am so proud of myself for getting this far being self taught, something i'm incredibly passionate about, have lots more to learn about but something I always strive to learn more about. One of my biggest passions enables me to capture our memories, how lovely is that?

Woolacombe beach is such a beautiful spot in the UK. We've been here a few times now and every time its been so nice. I'll be writing more about our holiday soon, with lots of photos and a few videos too. For now though, I'm so glad I have these photos from this beautiful evening by the sea, watching the sun set, with my lovely family.

Collecting memories that will be everlasting with this amazing tribe of mine.

Have you been to Woolacombe before?

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

'Lets go everywhere' with the Modero Travel system by Koochi.

When it comes to working with brands, I always think very carefully if it's a good match for us, and always check out all elements of the brand before hand. One brand we have worked with a couple of times now is Cosatto, and have always been very impressed with the quality and sustainability of the products. We tried out the Story cot bed back in 2015, and the Skippa-fix car seat a few months ago and have been so please with both. Since then we have been asked our thoughts on a new travel system by Koochi, the sister brand to the wonderful Cosatto.

What you get:

-          Lightweight aluminium chassis
-          SPF50+ extra long hood that swaps between seat & carrycot
-          Suitable from birth carrycot
-          Co-ordinating infant car seat (can be used with Koochi ISOFIX in-car base)
-          Seat unit that can face either direction & multi-position recline
-          Snug fleece-lined footmuff, chest & tummy pads
-          Raincover
-          K4 – 4 year guarantee

Key features for us:

I absolutely love the zipped compartment in the pushchair basket, it's come in SO handy for me as I usually end up in such a stress not finding keys or change at the bottom of my change bag etc. I've also used this space for my cameras and lenses and it's a safe place away from the baby stuff and snack bags!
I love any pushchair that has the option of popping the car seat straight onto the frame. I never had this with my previous children as the car seat wasn't compatible and I never got round to buying the correct adapters!
As Didi was a bit bigger when being sent this set, the carrycot didn't have much use but when we did try it out, she looked really comfortable taking a nap after a long family walk, with us not needing to disturb her by moving her into her cot, the padding is nice as is the adjustable hood. Newborns would definitely benefit from this element more so though.

The adjustable handle bar is a great element as my partner and I like to use this part differently, easy to change too with a simple click and manoeuvre.

On our recent holiday to Devon, we decided to put the bulk of our luggage in our top box, which meant putting the pushchair in the car. We do have a 7 seated car, but with 6 passengers it can feel like a squeeze with any extra stuff. With this in mind, we did find the detachable wheels handy as we could place the pushchair in three parts for the journey which freed up some space for little legs.

With previous pushchairs I've had, they didn't have the handlebar safety strap so this is a great factor for us as it just gives us that extra piece of mind next to busy roads, and it can also be used for your toddler to hold onto as well when walking together (encouraging them not to run off more like*)

I love the little phrases discreetly written along the side of the frame, and the back of the seat saying 'Lets go everywhere', 'adventures' as these phrases are just so relevant really. Anywhere you go as a family is a potential adventure right?!

Things to lookout for:

If you're not using an isofix base for the infant car seat, the clipping and secure part behind the car seat can be a bit tricky to put into place, once done though it is very sturdy.

The hood can sometimes get a bit bent when folding away into the car as its a harder material.

These pointers are very minimal as I really do think that overall, the design in itself is a winner for us. a very smooth and adaptable ride for our little lady. I usually prefer the more basic and neutral colours when choosing pushchairs but this one (java) is such a cheery theme and suits her personality very much.
We even converted it into a little beach bed for her - a little break from her getting so excited and eating mouthfuls of sand was definitely needed all round! Little Didi was fast asleep here after a busy day around the Dinosaur & Wildlife park in Combe Martin on our recent holiday to North Devon. We used the pushchair so much, along with our baby carrier and it really was a reliable piece of equipment which served our little lady well, especially with the helpful elements including the ease of use (lacking hands anyway with four little ones!) and also the fact that its super comfy and cosy with the thick cosytoe design when the weather got a bit colder.

You can purchase this pushchair directly from the website or on some of their retailers, it retails at £589.95.
Overall, we were very impressed with the sleek design of this product, the high standard of comfort for our little one, the ease of use with detachable parts and considering you get the whole package I think the price is quite fair. *As always, thank you to this wonderful brand for sending us this for the purpose of an honest review, all images are my own.
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