Toddler + Travel

So, we’ve not long been back from Portugal, so I thought I would write-up about our experience of our first family holiday.

We booked through TUI, we always seem to go there as we have good service and are always able to find us something within out budget. We decided to go all-inclusive to the Be Live Palmeiras Village in Portugal. Now, generally, I aren’t really a fan of all-inclusive holidays, me and Norms have always been the type of people who will “go to the beach or see where the day takes us” kind of holiday-makers, however we knew this time round was going to be different because we obviously have William now. We thought that all-inclusive would be better in terms of selection of food and availability of it for him, as we booked this holiday in September 2017, a year ago, and you (as a first time parent) have no idea what you are going to be doing in a couple of hours time, never mind a full year in advance. But, it looked child-friendly and fun, and seemed to be in a good area, and the flight was only around 2.5 hours or so which was a big selling point for us.

Speaking of the flight, what a MARE. We were delayed for FOUR HOURS. I am not the best flyer anyway, I am a nervous passenger and I am a negative Nancy and always think something bad is going to happen, so when we were told that the flight had been delayed until potentially 1pm (the flight was due at 8.15am) because the plane needed a part, it nearly tipped me over the edge. I think I had a few* glasses of wine to calm my nerves. (*A few..) Of course, I would rather the plane be fixed and working properly and I understand the delay, but honestly, the dread that filled me and Norms when we realised we were stuck in this bloody airport with William and not really much in the way of entertainment for him. It was our first experience of this, and so far it wasn’t going to my little plan I had formed in my head.

We got on the plane in the end though, and arrived there safely (thank goodness!!). The transfer to the hotel was then around an hour, and we eventually arrived there exhausted (we had been up since 3am as we flew from Manchester and obviously we live in Hull so had to do the drive up there to the Airport) and just generally fed up. Holidays are great of course, but the travelling and everything can be a drag (sorry if that sounds SO shitty), but for me, travelling is boring.

We went for tea (evening meal) and then decided to have an early night. We were all asleep by around 9pm I think! And the next morning we slept in until around 9.30am! (ALL of us – including Wills!) The breakfast buffet was my favourite buffet. I am a BIG brekky person. I love all the different combinations you can have, sweet and savoury, little plates of loads of different fancies and all the CHEESE. I ended up having freshly made pancakes most days, and the selection of fresh fruit was just the bomb diggy. Will was ok with breakfast too, he loves cereal and would eat it for every meal if he could. The selection of food at these all-inclusive hotels is INSANE. Like everything you could possibly imagine. So that was good – however both Will and Norms just stuck to what they knew (more alike than I originally thought).

We would spend the days by the pool, the swimming pool facilities were brilliant! There were 2 separate children’s pools, one was just water and the other had 5 (or 6) slides for them to play on, and that kept William entertained for most of the day.  He LOVED it. There were 2 decent sized adult pools too, and honestly they were so needed as there was hardly any breeze and you could feel yourself getting hotter and hotter and the dip was CRUCIAL. Especially for the kids. The hotel was so family orientated, there was a kids club but I think one adult had to be with the children all day whilst they did the activities, so me and Norms didn’t really go for that. However, the Kids entertainment didn’t start on the evening until 9pm which was a little late, we usually have William in bed for then, and he was always getting tired by that point, so we didn’t actually go to that either (wow we sound really fun parents LOL).

We spent the days by the pool, having a couple of beers while William napped, and there were also 3 adult water slides there which were bloody amazing. I’m usually quite shy when it comes to those sorts of things but once I’ve got the first none out the way that’s it – im off! William laughed his head off when we came crashing down the slide and wanted us to do it again and again. I just looked like a drowned rat the majority of the holiday.

William was QUITE well-behaved on holiday. I think he was quite confused really as to what on earth was going on and where we were. He did love the pool and the slides, however after about a week or so, he was bored with them. We actually went to Slide and Splash in Portugal and it was so much fun, the kiddies pool and slide was brilliant and William loved the change of scenery, and me and Norms took turns to go on slides while William slept, and WE SAW JOSH FROM LOVE ISLAND. Yes, the real one. (Not as fit in real life I must admit – shame really). If you are in Portugal and you are on a family holiday, or even if you are just there as a couple, I would 100% recommend the water park. We wanted to go to the Aquamarine Zoo as well, however we didn’t get round to doing that unfortunately, but I have heard the reviews are brilliant and it is a really fun day out.

We did love Portugal as a whole, we have both been there separately before, however holidaying with a toddler isn’t a relaxing break. It’s just like being at home – just in a hotter and sunnier place. You still have all the usual tasks to do, changing bums, trying to get them to eat, trying to get them to drink, keeping them entertained and playing with them, comforting them if they fall over, taking them for walks in the buggy if they are tired, etc etc. When I returned to work one of my colleagues asked me what sun cream I had been using because I “wasn’t very tanned”, and my response was “I’ve been on holiday with a toddler” – you don’t really get to relax and sunbathe as much as you would like to.

But seeing  William’s little face as he went on the slides and ran around in the pool, playing with other little ones on holiday, kicking his legs and wanting to play with me and his Dad, they are the moments you live for aren’t they? And even though me and Norms did have a few crossed words throughout the holiday due to William STILL being clingy to me even though he was spending more time with Norms, and him not letting me get ready in peace, etc etc, when we saw his little face creased from smiling and laughing, it just made my heart burst.

And that’s why we do it all, isn’t it? And let’s face it, we are looking into holidays for next year – so it can’t have put us off that much…

Food, General, Parenting, Uncategorized

St Stephen’s Hull – A Family Day Out

*This post is in collaboration with St Stephen’s Hull. All views and opinions expressed are my own*

As the Summer Holidays come to a close, and the days are drawing in a little earlier and the weather is getting a little more, brisk, shall we say, you can sometimes be left wondering what to do with the kids on a weekend or during the holidays. Even though William isn’t at school yet, I still often have to rack my brains for ideas of things we can do that are fun and that will stimulate him but also not leave me wanting to pull my hair out (or cost the absolute earth).

So when St Stephen‘s got in touch with me and asked me if I wanted to go and see what their leisure attraction, Rock Up, was about, I of course jumped at the chance – especially as it has a special section for small children and purpose-run toddler sessions, as well as a soft play area (which of course, William would be ALL OVER).

Rock Up is a purpose built indoor climbing and adventure centre, situated in the popular shopping centre within Hull city centre. It has several rock climbing walls that adults and children alike have access to, as well as a soft play area for the under 8’s, and a lovely little café for you to refuel (before, during or after!). The centre also offers parties for kids and team-building experiences for workplaces or friends/families (if that’s your sort of thing!).

When we arrived we were taken through to the main climbing area and William had a harness put on him. He was intrigued by what was happening, and the instructor was so helpful and was showing Norms and I how to attach him to the walls and how to unstrap him etc.

Now William, bless him, didn’t actually manage to do any climbing, I think he was just a bit overwhelmed by being strapped up, he LOVED watching the other children though, some of them were fearless! On a Sunday morning there is a toddler session and a children’s session, where no adults can climb and it’s just kids, and I can honestly say that it is something we will be taking William to again. He was so intrigued and interested in watching the other children, but he IS quite shy so daren’t have a go himself, but I’m sure the more we take him the more his confidence will grow and I think it would be a different and fun hobby for him to get into (if he wanted to of course – I’m not about that pushy mum life).

One thing that, of course, appealed to William was the soft play, he played in there for (no exaggeration) hours! There was a separate area for toddlers and then the main area was for children up to the age of 8. There was a brilliant slide in there which William absolutely LOVED! While he and Norms played I sat down with a drink and snack from the cafe and sat down and chilled (something which doesn’t happen that often these days – TRUST ME!)

We left Rock Up around mid-morning, the time flew by so quickly and we decided to go to Krispy Kreme for a coffee and a little weekend treat! I mean – who doesn’t like Krispy Kreme? I always walk past and try not to look as I know that I will be lured in – I just can’t resist! We sat down and watched the world go by for a while – FYI the Reeses peanut butter donuts are THE ONE. And I got to drink a hot latte. Winning. At. Life.

We then had a wander around the shops – I never really venture into town, what with one thing or another, but we spent a good few hours having a look, there are loads of shops there to cater for everyone in the family. I was particularly eyeing up some new trainers in Foot Asylum (*hint hint Norms*). Plus William had a sleep after all the excitement from the morning, so we were able to actually LOOK around, rather than pick up clothes/shoes/other miscellaneous items that William has pulled off the rails and frantically try and put them back in the right place before his little hands appear out of the buggy to strike again. (#mumlife #blessed)

All in all a great day was had, and we are definitely going to be going back to Rock Up again! I wonder if I can persuade Norms that we should go to look at trainers again. Or donuts….



I thought I would do a post about William’s feeding habits, as it often seems to be at the forefront of my recent Instagram Stories, and I do get people sliding into my DM’s asking me for ideas of food when it comes to their little ones, and I must just point out – William IS a good eater – when he wants to be. I am not qualified to give clinical or dietary advice, but I can let you all know what I give him and maybe that will give you some ideas yourselves.

I weaned William early, as he was a very hungry baby, by the time he was 4 months old he was having 9oz bottles of milk every 2-3 hours, and he was drinking so much formula he would be so constipated and when trying to go for a number 2, he would strain so much that he would be sick out of his nose and we were worried he was going to hurt himself, so we switched formula brands from Aptamil to Hipp Organic (which by the way is so much better, and actually cheaper too – well it was when we were buying it – a lot gentler on their little tummies) and we were advised to start trying William with little bits of puree or baby food/rice by our healthcare professionals. We just couldn’t seem to fill the kid!

So, we did wean William earlier than perhaps the “recommended guidelines” but please remember – they are not set rules and you are not going to go to prison if you wean your baby earlier or later than these guidelines – you just do what you think is best for you, your child and your family. I got a lot of stick from know-it-all-Nancy’s about weaning William too early and also online too. At the end of the day we did what we believed was right for William and what was recommended by our health visitor.

Whilst weaning he was a good eater, always favouring the savoury stuff rather than the sweet, although he did love a yogurt. I must say it wasnt easy, we didn’t do BLW (baby led weaning) as he choked quite badly on some sprout puree (bloody sprouts) quite early on, and I just couldn’t bring myself to let him have these big chunks of food so we stuck to purees and baby food that way. Again, its all up to personal preference and im not dismissing how you want to wean your child. We loved those Ella’s Kitchen food pouches and so did Wills.

The thing with William is, once he started learning what he liked and what he didn’t, he would point blank refuse to try anything new. We still have that problem now. I try and try to get him to eat chicken nuggets and fish fingers – will he do it? Will he balls. I’ll give you a typical rundown of what he would eat during a normal day at home with me:

Breakfast: He will always pick out his cereals in a morning – his current faves are cheerios, bran flakes, cocoa pops and corn flakes. He will have these with whole milk. Usually he will eat the bowl, then half an hour or so later he will have a slice of toast, or a crumpet, and sometimes a bit of fruit or a fruit pouch. (bloody loves those things he does). He will usually always eat his breakfast, its one of the meals that I know he will definitely eat with no arguments – this kid just LOVES cereals.

Lunch: This is the meal I always struggle with. William WILL NOT touch a sandwich unless it has peanut butter in it. Yet at nursery, oh well he will eat pitta breads with ham and cheese. CHEERS THEN. I try so many times to offer him different sandwiches and different variants and different fillings, yet he will just not entertain it. We often have a picky lunch, so he will have savoury rice cakes (paprika and cheese ones are his faves), with cucumber, peppers and sweetcorn, sometimes carrot sticks, things like that. More often than not, for lunch we will usually have something like beans on toast or spaghetti on toast, with fruit for pudding, or soup. This kid LOVES soup. Chicken, mushroom, tomato. He bloody loves it. It’s like the fail safe that I can always count on him eating. He will have bread with it too, sometimes rice cakes, sometimes a packet of crisps, you know, usual dinner-time stuff. I only really let Will have one packet of crisps a day, but sometimes he can give or take them.

Tea: This is where I often feel guilty. Because more often than not, it is a ready-meal (or rather half – I only ever give him half a portion and the rest of the plate is veggies). Me and Norms only eat our tea after he has gone to bed (if Norms is home that is), so we don’t really eat together at tea time, which is a shame. If it’s just me and Will, then I will generally have tea at the same time as him. I often use the Sainsbury’s “Little Ones” ready meals, as they do some really nice flavours and Will seems to enjoy them. I also have some of the Annabelle Karmel ones in the freezer, as well as some of the Asda own brand kids range. He will eat most things, his favourite are “gravy dinners” so things like lamb hotpot and shepherds pie etc, but he also loves chilli and curry. If we have stir fry with noodles and black bean sauce, he will have some of that, and things such as curry, pasta, fish pie etc, I always make sure that I save a portion or 2 for Wills. He will always eat the veggies first, he looooooves peas, sweetcorn, broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms. I can always count on him eating the veggies first, before eating the “main” part of the meal. He doesn’t eat a lot of meat, that’s one thing I do worry for him – he will eat it if it is minced, like beef or pork or turkey, but actual pieces of chicken or beef etc with a roast dinner for example, not a chance. He’s so weird sometimes, he doesn’t like to try something if it doesn’t look a certain way or looks different to what he usually has. He will often have yogurts of fruit for pudding, or if he has eaten well i’ll let him have a chocolate hobnob (the kid loves those), and some raisins.

I try really hard for him to have a balanced diet, he drinks a lot of squash throughout the day and I am aware (working in a dental department) the impact this can have on his little teeth, so I try to make sure he doesn’t have too many sugary snacks throughout the day, but you are often caught between a rock and hard place, because then you give them fruit, however that has lots of sugar in too! I just think, he is drinking plenty of fluids, its made very weak, and at the end of the day, he isn’t going to lead a sugar-free life (apart from if he needs to for medical reasons) so just let him have the juice. I don’t give him fizzy drinks  – that’s one thing I am quite strict with, I just think its unnecessary at such a young age and it is of no benefit to them and promoting bad habits from a young age. Plus he would be off his tits on sugar and I do not want that (lol).

Of course, we let him have the odd treat, and of course, he is of an age at the moment where he is “testing the boundaries” (them bloody boundaries again people), and finding out what he lies and what he doesn’t, and also seeing how far he can push me to get what he wants. Some days, we eat cereal for 2 out of 3 of the meals and eat crisps and don’t eat much fruit – other days he will eat like an absolute dream of a child, and I will go to bed feeling so pleased and that I had my shit together that day. What I’m trying to say is, a bad day doesn’t equal a bad week, and a bad week doesn’t equal a bad month. It feels shitty and rubbish at the time and you feel like you are in this never ending cycle of “why wont he eat, god I’m dreading tea time, is it bed time yet?” , but trust me, you’re not on your own, and someone, somewhere on this planet, someone is thinking JUST the same as you. All you can do is your best, and if that means chicken nuggets and chips and beans, well then hey, so be it. (I wish William would eat chicken nuggets. probably for the best really. One for William, one for Mummy…)

I mean..chicken nug nugs. The bomb diggy mate.

Tara x


Junk in the Trunk

Following on from my Beauty blog post, which you can read here if you missed it (or not – whatever) I thought I would do another “lifestyle” sort of post about the clothes I wear, how I dress for my shape and where I like to shop (being a curvy and tall lady).

I also wanted to touch on how I have coped with my new body shape since having Wills. I mean listen, I was never “slim” or a size 10 (the perfect size – apparently) before I fell pregnant with him – I love beer and kebabs and cheese and pastries and ALL the naughty food. I also like to have a beer or a cider rather than a slimline G&T. But that’s just me. And I don’t gorge myself on takeaways and Greggs and get pissed up every night – far from it actually. But I AM and always have been a booby and hippy sort of girl. Before I fell pregnant I was a comfortable size 14 – sometimes 12 depending on the shop – and now I just buy whatever the hell looks good and fits – regardless of the size.

I’m not going to say that it’s been easy picking up a size 14 and trying to squeeze myself into it, in a hot and sweaty cramped changing room and finding out Again that they don’t fit and having to go look for a bigger size – whether that be a 16 or an 18, because for some reason as women we become obsessed with what “the scales say” or what “size clothes we have to wear” or “to look like so and so from this telly show or that telly show”, when really, there are far more important things to be worrying about, in the grand scheme of things. I myself WAS upset that I couldn’t fit into a size 14 anymore, however when I think about what me, as a woman, has done, I grew a PROPER PERSON like including brains and heart and everything!! How can I be angry or pissed off with my body when it’s created this little person? And yeah, I ate the McDonald’s through the end of my pregnancy, and the cake, and the spam and fried egg sandwiches (don’t ask – weird craving) and I BLOODY enjoyed them. So yeah, I am a clothes size up from 2 years ago. But hey, who cares? Wills doesn’t look at me and think “oh my goodness, my mummy needs to lose weight”, and as far as I am aware Norms is happy if I’m happy.

What I’m trying to say is, to anyone who reads this and is having a bit of a shitty time with looks and clothes etc. etc., then don’t worry about it, we have all been there, and if it fits, makes you feel good and you feel great it in, then who gives a toss what the size says in the label. No one else knows what it says in it apart from you. People aren’t going to go up to you in Asda and say “OH YOU LOOK LIKE YOURE WEARING A SIZE 18 IN THOSE TROUSERS”. People really don’t give that much of a shit.

Anyway, back to the actual CLOTHES! I love to shop online, and I probably 80% of the time buy my clothes from Boohoo. I just LOVE it. It’s so cheap and the clothes (I feel) really fit me well, I always buy from the “Boohoo Plus” range, as I feel the fit is really good and is true to size on most pieces. Without sounding like a twat, I get a lot of compliments when I wear certain things from Boohoo (can anyone say boohoo without singing the advert tune *boohoodotcom*??) I’ll pop a couple of photos of my favourite outfits from there below.

I also am a massive advocate of the supermarkets. I LOVE me a George at Asda haul, I like the sizing and sometimes you can get some proper nice stuff in there, and I get a lot of my work shoes from there. I got some boots last year in the sale for a FIVER and they will be getting pulled out again this winter. WINNER. But Tesco and Sainsbury’s are also brilliant for clothes – especially when they have their sales (so thrifty me). There are of course other shops I go to, I love Matalan and Dorothy Perkins, Next, H&M and Simply Be. Below is a jumpsuit from Sainsbury’s which I LOVE.

When it comes to dressing for my shape, I have often struggled, being big busted and having a small waist, yet big hips and skinny legs. But now, if I see something I like, I take it, try it, even if its something I would maybe of overlooked before because I thought I was “too big”. Sometimes, I am pleasantly surprised, and other times (more often than not) I look like a complete idiot and we file that away in the folder of “nope never again”. But the thing is now I have the confidence to try it. I lived in baggy oversized tunic tops and leggings for such a long time. SUCH a long time. Just because I have bingo wings, does that mean I cant wear a strappy cami? Just because I have cellulite does that mean I cant wear shorts or skirts when it’s 89524586 degrees outside? Because I have stomach rolls does that mean I cant wear skinny jeans? NO. I can wear whatever the bloody hell I want to.

I think a lot of it as well is that now, there is so much more choice for women to wear different clothing styles, lots of clothing lines/shops/online retailers are providing a “curve” or “plus” range. And it is just as nice as the stuff that the “normal” models wear, whereas before the clothing that went above a size 14/16 was always just baggy tops, unflatteringly shaped thin stretchy jeans, stripy tops, and just general (dare I say it) shit. There is so, so much more choice and scope for women to pick and choose what they want to wear, whether they are a size 8 or a size 28.

Of course, a lot of it is to do with how confident you are as a person. I for one don’t go around with a crop top and mini skirt on, because I don’t feel comfortable enough to do so, but also because I know that it won’t probably be the most flattering outfit choice for me. But that’s ok, I’ll wear a crazy print jumpsuit instead. I feel like I’ve finally come to accept the skin I am in and the way I look, and just wear whatever I think looks nice, is practical, and which makes ME (no one else), ME, feel good. And if you feel good, it shows, you smile more, you seem more confident, you aren’t walking around with your eyes on the floor, avoiding eye contact with people, wondering if people think you look like a twat. And I tell you what, it’s a bloody good feeling.

Tara x

General, Parenting, Uncategorized

And so it begins..

ok so here we go, my first ever blog post! How exciting! So whilst I sit here pretending to be all professional let me just warn you- I am not. I decided to start a blog purely for:

a) something to fill my endless nights awake with

B) to vent, because lets face it we all need to rant and rave somewhere sometimes, ESPECIALLY with a newborn

C) I actually enjoy writing and also reading. Handy, really. 😂

D) to create something where people in similar situations and who maybe need half an hour of thinking of problems other than their own, to relate to, or just to laugh at me and my ridiculous ramblings.

I am 29 and from Hull, which is in England and is in the north. We have a funny accent and we have just been awarded “city of culture 2017” 

I love Hull, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, some bits of it are shit but I’m sure most cities have lovely areas, and also areas which you would need armed bodyguard’s with you before you even consider to visit it. Hull is just like any normal city, the people are friendly, everyone loves Patty butties and we have the Humber bridge. Google it, it’s quite cool. (Same for Patty butties, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it).

I met my husband and father of our son when I was about 17, when funnily enough I was actually dating his best friend at the time’s brother. (Awks)

We were always friends and after the relationship with said bro-of-friend ended, we got together and things sort of went from there. We’re bezzos and are always laughing. he’s a good egg.

We’ve been married 3 years, and have just had our first baby. It took us 5 months to conceive, and that’s with me being on the pill for over 10 years. I must admit, I was expecting it to take much longer. But we were lucky. That doesn’t mean I wasnt inputting data like some loon in all these different bloody apps, when my last period was, when we had sex, what position it was, has my egg deployed on its journey yet??? It was so easy to get carried away, in fact, the month we actually conceived was the month I gave it a rest as I was becoming obsessed. And lo and behold, here we are! However, when you want something so very badly, it’s hard to just take a breath and realise that all the stress and agg actually has the opposite effect of what you want. ESPECIALLY as there were so many people around me getting caught pregnant after a one night stand, oh we just tried and ‘bam’ first time lucky, blah blah blah.

So that’s a little about me. I’ll be updating as often as I can, with everything from day to day life or anything I think is worthy of me getting wax lyrical about, or anything that I find mildly amusing.

Please be aware though that I am quite sweary. So I apologise in advance if I offend anyone. However that is my warning, and so if you are still offended after I have warned you then that’s your own thing. ✋