London’s Calling – Return to the City

London, possibly the greatest city in the world and the capital of my adult life! I love it. Everything about London makes my heart sing. I love how it smells, that rush of hot air as you step off the train. The hustle and bustle of people and the knowledge that this is City that never sleeps. I completed my nurse training in London, had my first job here afterwards and met Mr Pud. Together we had our first child here and negotiated parenting round a city hosting the Olympics! London lives in our souls and courses through our veins. So this weekend we brought both the kids back to our old stomping ground.

We were pretty lucky to be able to stay in a house for the weekend. No trying to cram the 4 of us in a tiny hotel room. I had had visions of watching tv with subtitles while two little ones slept! Instead we stayed in a house smack bang in the centre of London. Having a base certainly helped because crikey it was hot. Sweltering and humid, poor Pudding was not impressed! 

Despite being smack in the centre of Town we decided with Pies little legs that a travel card would be best. This meant that during the course of the weekend we travelled by bus, tube, DLR and had a go on the Thames Clipper. Transport is one of the things I love about London. As a Londoner I used to moan about it. But having lived outside of London now, I realise how fantastic it actually is! I have to say the kids thought the Thames Clipper was ace, I found it a bit vomit-inducing….

We had a great few days sight seeing. It was pretty cool to ‘do’ London from a more tourist point of view. We took the kids to see the changing of the guard at Whithall. Pie got chatting to a police officer at Downing Street. We walked right across Waterloo Bridge to show him Big Ben and the hospital Mummy completed her nurse training at. Then we hit the South Bank. More of an assault on the senses than usual due to the heat and the crowds. It was so busy but we managed a spot of lunch and to meet a friend!

We had promised a trip to Hamleys. It was the one thing about the trip that had Pie really excited. Again it was sweltering! But his eyes were like saucers. Taking in everything. I thought he would morph into ‘I want, I want’ mode. But he didn’t. He wanted a green light sabre – his only desire and once we had found them he was quite happy to buy it and get out! 

Sunday was a trip to Greenwich to meet Nana and Grandad. Thankfully it was much cooler there! We headed to the Maritime Museum to checkout the new space exhibition, Above and Beyond. It was pretty cool and had lots of interactive things to get involved with. Pie enjoyed building his spaceship and flying it. But there was quite a queue for stuff, not great for a four year olds patience. Lunch was had down by the river, enjoying a lovely breeze. The boys managed to get down to the river and lobbed a few stones in – before almost getting caught out by the tide. Grandad treated us all to a rather fabulous ice cream before we headed back off up river on the Clipper.

We chose not to do that expensive London based entertainment. We kind of felt with two kids under 5 it was waste of money to do the London Dungeons, or The Zoo. I think because we know London so well that definitely helped. Although I imagine in the future Pie will want to do some of the more expensive attractions. But this time he was happy to hear about Mummy & Daddy’s life in Town.

I left my Heart…

So here we are sat in 1st class en route from Birmingham back to the Mother Lands (Aka London) for our first grown up weekend since the Pudding arrived.

Some mixed emotions as we leave both kids where their more than capable but slightly crazy grandparents. I have made lists, organised food, shown them how to make milk and work the pram – in all honesty it felt a bit like leaving the dogs at kennels – ‘yes 6 scoops for 6 ounces…’ Luckily they are used to my control freak nature and humour me by listening intently and nodding along, giving only the occasional dig that they have actually raised two children themselves. Of course they know babies, but they don’t necessarily know my baby, all her quirks and peculiarities, her preferences and cues. But then does it matter? Do they have to do exactly what Mummy does? No, they don’t, as long as she sleeps and eats and is reasonably content then that’s fine. I mean it’s not like I want them to upstage me!

I am not worried that the kids won’t survive one night without me, I can’t quite put my finger on what gives me that little knot in my stomach. My rational brain is screaming just relax woman, you have two days of quiet, hot meals and a lie in. Two days of uninterrupted adult time with your amazing husband who has planned and executed this trip with laser precision. (He is already looking at pictures of the kids…) When did we become these people? 5 years ago we would have been on this train, prosecco in hand and not a care in the world!

I know it will be fantastic when we get there and that all our old haunts will soon bring back those fabulous memories of being young and childless – but in the back of my mind I know that I will have left a piece of my heart in Birmingham, even if it is just for one night.

This blog has been verified by Rise: R1bfa7be3adb97c3be19adf91920de0be

Blissful Bluestone, Family Holiday Heaven

This is the picturesque view over Bluestone Wales this weekend as I dropped off the car in the main car park (Bluestone is a car free zone!). We had been lucky on the drive down, no major disasters befell us like they normally do, we did have two tired and slightly grumpy children but once we had decanted them into bed we could look forward to two blissful days surrounded by fantastic scenery and our choice of fantastic activities.

Bluestone view


Last time we stayed we had one of the two storey lodges cleverly designed to have the living quarters on the top to make the most of the views, this time we opted for a single storey chalet-type. We weren’t disappointed, although the space was not huge, it was a good size and the high ceilings made it feel very light and airy. I loved the open plan kitchen, lounge and diner, it mean that we could all chill out together without having to be on top of each. There was a slight issue with sound on the TV which almost pushed Mr Pudding over the edge, but a few jiggled wires soon sorted that out! The lodge was clean and tidy, we located the travel cot with ease, my only minor complaint was that there was no mattress provided but a few folded blankets and a super-sized muslin later and Pudding had a bed, it must of been ok cos we didn’t hear a peep out of her all night.
The lodges in Bluestone are allocated on the day and you don’t really get a say in where they put you (I guess you probably could if you paid extra), we were down towards the big lake, which was beautiful. However; it was very far from the pool and the adventure centre, we did try to hire a buggy but unfortunately there weren’t any left. Mind you the walk up the giant hill did wonders for my bum especially carrying Pudding. Our Ergo carrier came into its own, I did bring the pushchair but that would have been even worse to push up the hill!


Pudding enjoying the Adventure Centre!
We decided the next morning to take the kids swimming, so we hiked up to the pool, Pie was in the worst mood ever and he whinged the entire way. I should have seen the storm clouds gathering but I figured he would join in the fun after a little while. The swimming pool is fantastic, it is set in a huge biosphere so lovely and warm. Perfect for Pudding who is not a fan of the cold and wet, Pie loved the lazy river and the waves. He was less keen about queuing for the family changing rooms and this caused another mini meltdown. We headed back for lunch before Mr Pudding and Pie had to be at their afternoon activities.
So you remember I ignored the storm clouds? Well that was a rookie mistake! As we headed back up to the adventure centre Pie kicked off for the biggest meltdown you have ever seen, he refused to walk and then finished with his party trick and promptly pooped himself. Even the promise of an afternoon playing at pirates couldn’t bring him down from the ceiling. Mr Pudding went off to do his high ropes course (which by the way he said was totally fantastic and he thoroughly enjoyed it!), I went into the adventure centre with an extremely angry Pie and spoke to the amazing Bluestone staff. Because of his accident Pie couldn’t join in with the other children, but the staff were amazing, they were more than happy to rearrange for us and booked us in for the following morning. We stopped into the main office on the way back and asked the fabulous staff there who promptly radio’d through to my husband at Steep Ravine to explain that we were going home for a nap. I really can’t fault them they were so helpful, another point to add about the great staff is that everywhere you go on the Bluestone site they say hello or good morning!


 Having recovered from what can only be described as an epic tantrum, Pie woke with a smile on his and to two little friends! These little friendly little ducks were knocking on our patio door with their beaks the next morning, they were so tame the took bread right out of Pie’s hand, clearly they are well versed in guests at Bluestone. We took this as a good omen and after some breakfast headed back to the Adventure Centre for some pirate fun! Pie loved it, he went off for 2 hours with a group of children and didn’t even look back, they all looked great with facepaint and pirate costumes. Pudding, Daddy and I enjoyed an hour of baby massage and yoga which was lovely, great sensory room and our instructor was really friendly (another credit to the Bluestone staff). Our afternoon was spent back at the pool, before we headed back for some chips from the chippy van, again the staff were great and we avoided another Pie meltdown when the chap kindly gave us a free ketchup as we had run out of cash!

Overall, I can’t praise Bluestone enough for their family friendly environment, the staff were amazing, nothing was too much trouble. I wish we could have stayed longer as there is still so much that we would like to have done, this is my second visit and I still haven’t managed to try out the Spa! We will definately return again in the future, but a few tips for those who are planning a visit:

1. Book a buggy – firstly they are awesome and secondly little legs get tired!
2. Upgrade the WiFi to premium if you want to stream anything, or get any blogging done.
3. Take advantage of the kids activities, they are good value and give you the opportunity to enjoy some of the more adult activities as over 4s don’t need adult supervision.
4. Remember a pound for the lockers at the pool (we were lucky another fab member of staff let us leave my bank card and gave me a pound to use in the lockers)

Thank you Bluestone for another fab visit and we look forward to returning again soon!

Pink Pear Bear
My Petit Canard
Petite Pudding

Generate your button code

Welsh Cake (Bluestone Pt 1)


Photo Credit: 84thand3rd via Compfight cc

Howdy folks,

So this week I finally found out exactly what a holiday is and I have to say that it was great. Don’t get me wrong there were some stressful bits like when Mum was trying to squeeze all my essential items into a small suitcase (she forgot to pack Sophie the giraffe, I was gutted) and then there was the moment when Flick refused to get out of my car seat and I thought they would take her instead of me. But in general it was pretty plain sailing, I slept the majority of the journey down, just waking for a quick snack at the service station. I did voice my concern about the state of my pants but Daddy kept bouncing me on his knee and before either of us knew it we were covered in poop! Luckily Mummy was prepared and after a quick strip down in the disabled loo (she even washed me off in the sink, it was a mega explosion) we headed back in the car for the final slog.

Finally we had arrived! The little house we were staying in was great and Mum had that travel cot up in a flash and a couple of folded blankets and a giant muslin later, voila my bed was made. I couldn’t wait to get in, I don’t know how travelling can make a Pudding so tired but it does. I couldn’t wait to get ready for the next morning, I had Mummy up at the crack of dawn so she smuggled me into bed with her and Dad, then Daddy and I cuddled right through until 9am (unfortunately there was no room for Mummy….).

First thing on the agenda was a swim, now those who have previously read my blog know that Puddings should only swim in custard. But this time Mummy was prepared I had a new funky wetsuit thing, in pink with these funny looking birds on it, and the water in the pool was so warm. I have to say I still wasn’t entirely convinced to begin with, the pool was packed, it was loud and bright and then she took me down this lazy river thing that went outside! Just as we got back to the main pool this crazy loud noise went off making me jump, I nearly swallowed half the pool! Mum and I retreated to the beach area and next thing I knew there were waves. It was amazing, they came rolling towards us and kept breaking over my toes, I couldn’t help but give a little giggle as Mummy said ‘wheeee’. Daddy and Pie came to join us and we all had great fun playing in the waves.

I really made the most of my fab Ergo carrier, Mummy didn’t bother putting me in the pram at all, everywhere we went I got to snuggle into Mummy’s chest. At first I loved looking around at everything but I very soon realised that the best thing to do was to sleep. Mum reckons the walk up the giant hill several times a day carrying me must have done wonders for her bottom, I have to say that it still looks pretty sizeable from where I am standing, but as she doesn’t judge my chunky thighs I won’t pass comment.

This morning Mummy, Daddy and I had a great treat, while Pie was off playing pirates, we had a yoga and massage session. I was liberated from all clothes and my nappy and allowed to lay on the floor kicking and gurgling to my hearts content. I loved the yoga on my legs and the massage, wasn’t too keen on having my tummy done and it certainly didn’t agree with my bowels! I had a minor accident all over my towel, I wasn’t embarassed though I thought it was quite funny and then followed it up with a great big wee. What can I say, I am a classy girl!

All these activities have certainly increased my appetite, I am turning into a right little foody. As soon as I sit up to the table I get so excited and when I see that Ella’s pouch I go properly crazy. Mum says I have the same appetite as my big bro, apparently he was a real foody as well, he certainly enjoys getting involved in helping me discover food. I will pretty much eat anything but Mum tried me with parsnip this evening, Daddy wasn’t impressed he hates parsnip, but I have to say I LOVED it. I ate the entire pouch in one sitting and kept hoping for some more. Can’t wait to get my hands on proper food, the rest of them were having chips from the chippy, they smelt and looked amazing, Mum says she has to draw a line somewhere and that finger food will have to wait for a while 🙁

My first holiday has been amazing, I can’t wait for the next one. I guess by then I might have mastered the elusive are of rolling – then I will really be able to cause trouble 🙂

Love Pudding xxx

Mami 2 Five
Diary of an imperfect mum

Pudding HQ Prepares to Travel

 I was asked this week ‘Are you excited about your weekend away?’, it was only Monday and I have to be totally honest that on Monday I was not excited. All I could see looming in front of me were the thousand and one things that as the chief organiser, top packer and lead chauffeur (not to mention general miracle worker) I had to get done before the ‘holiday’ could begin. I mean even the word ‘holiday’ is misleading as in all honest its the same shit in a different location with only half the things you need and the overwhelming feeling that you should be enjoying yourself!

Red suitcase

Those carefree days when I was younger when I would just buy a load of holiday cloths and dump them in the suitcase the night before are a distant memory, in part because I haven’t brought new clothes in bulk for several years. But mainly because these days I carve out a small corner of the suitcase for me, and then the rest is dedicated to those essential kid items. Now before Pudding was born life had got marginally easier, but now I am back to packing all but the kitchen sink (I would take that too but you have to have a cut off point somewhere). My husband laughs, he always reminds me that we aren’t going to outer mongolia, and its true we are only going to Wales where there will be access to Boots and Sainsbury’s should we need anything. Still top packer I am and packing I shall do.

Then comes the general organising, this includes ensuring the house is clean because I don’t want to have to trip over anything when I return from said ‘holiday’ with two tired and grumpy children. Making sure everyone has some clean pyjamas to wear and a tidy bed to get into is also essential, two tired and grumpy children remember? Of course the fridge needs looking at before we go to, who wants to return to that carton of milk that will be out of date and slightly lumpy? Worse still if you pour it into your cup of tea and take a gigantic thirst quenching swig before realising that its chewy… Don’t forget the kitchen bin as well, that nappy from this morning is not going to smell to sweet in a warm house after 4 days. The Sausages’ need some planning too, this time my brother in law is kindly coming to dog sit for a few days but the dog walker will still need to come in twice to fill in the gaps. I have to break it to the Sausages gently that they aren’t coming, Flick takes this as a personal afront and promptly refuses to move out of the car seat, when I do finally evict her she sits on her bed looking straight at the wall and refuses to look at me. Having completed the majority of my chief organiser duties its time to take up my chauffeur post.

Luckily Mr Pudding has agreed to pack the car so with a few wifely instructions he does a masterful job. I in the meantime have packed a snack bag for Pie, rechecked the map, put the postcode in my iPhone and looked at the traffic report. I know its going to be too longer a journey to do in one go, so a stop has to be planned – to early and everyone will be hungry when we arrive too late and there will be meltdown in the car. I pick what I think will be the ideal time and place. Having read a great post on tyre safety this week, I dutifully check the tread on the tires and contemplate looking at the oil level and windscreen wash but my enthusiasm is waning now as its raining, instead I check I have the breakdown cover details! Finally we are ready and the kids are strapped in, Mr Pudding has loaded a playlist on the stereo and we are away. 2 minutes later it begins ‘Are we there yet….’ Like I said ‘holidays’ same shit different place!

div align=”center”>Domesticated Momster
Fancy a coffee friday
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Not Just Another Farm











To finish off our Easter school holidays we, that is Mummy, Pie & Pudding, arranged to meet some friends at the National Forest Adventure Farm over near Burton-on-Trent. We drove up from Birmingham and the journey was really easy, straight up the A38 and then follow the signs through a lovely little village called Tatenhill. On arrival there were car parking attendants guiding cars into the large car park, plenty of spaces and the car park is hardstanding so no mud to wade through. Considering it was Easter holidays the farm didn’t look overly busy, it was a bit of miserable, drizzly kind of a day, but we live in Brum that kind of comes as standard. I initially thought that entrance was a bit steep at £10.95 each (if you book online in advance you get 10% off) – but in all honesty once we got inside and saw all the things that were available I realised that this wasn’t actually unreasonable.

Picture Picture

Our friends were running a little late so I took Pie into the indoor play area and brought myself a coffee (there is always time for coffee right?) Pudding was her usual interesting self and was asleep! The indoor play area was HUGE, there were some quite scary looking vertical red slides that the bigger children were throwing themselves down, but the rest of the soft play looked great. Pie obviously thought so as he had his shoes off and was disappearing up the steps in less than 30 seconds of us arriving. I sat at the table with Pudding and a large latte (very nice and reasonable too), it took me a long time to spot Pie in the soft play and due to its size I did loose sight of him quite regularly, luckily Pie is food and drink orientated so he returned to the table regularly to steal some of my kitkat.Picture

Once our friends arrived we decided to take the boys on the Easter trail that had been set up in the woods – we weren’t entirely sure what was involved but knew that there was a tractor ride and the promise of chocolate soon had the boys on board. We queued for the tractor for around 10 minutes, thankfully a very sensible person had put the queuing system in a marquee so it wasn’t wet and cold. Once on board the tractor we were taken around the farm and up to a little wooded area, the boys loved the noisy bumpy tractor ride and Pudding slept through it (no change there). Once we got to where the trail was the boys were given a small piece of paper that they had to carry round the trail and stamp with the animal stamps – they had to get 6 stamps to show the Easter Bunny. Thankfully the trail had been covered in bark chippings, so again not too muddy, not pram friendly so I had to carry a sleeping Pud. The boys really enjoyed the trail there were a few characters to meet on the way round as well as collecting the stamps and all the characters were really enthusiastic and friendly. The Easter Bunny was right at the end of the trail – unfortunately the boys were a bit more focused on the chocolate by then! Then it was back on the tractor for a bumpy ride tot he farm, even Pudding woke up for the return journey, she did look less than impressed but their is no accounting for taste.

PictureEveryone was a bit chilly when we got back so we decided to head back to the soft play area for lunch. We ordered kids meals for all of us as at £3.95 they were good value, both the boys were a bit to excited about the soft play and neither ate that well. The food was simple but good, I have to recommend the chicken goujons, they were really tasty!


PictureAfter lunch we wandered out to find the big animal barn (the boys spotted an amazing JCB bouncy castle too) this was just round the corner from the soft play. Outside was a big sand pit and both boys wanted to spend some time in there digging. It took us a while to drag them into see the animals but it was worth it. When you enter the animal barn there are two low walled areas that have loads of guinea pigs and rabbits in. You aren’t allowed to pick up the small animals but they are great fun to stop and watch for a while. The barn only had a small selection of animals but they were all at close quarters so that the boys could see them (they could have fed them if we had brought a food bucket) they enjoyed stroking the piglets and the goat. We had managed (by total fluke) to arrive in the barn when the lamb feeding was about to start so we grabbed a token and sat down. The lamb feeding was quite organised, the children all got a number and were called up in groups to feed a lamb, the boys really enjoyed this and the staff were brilliant with all the kids. We did talk about going round to see the outside animals but both boys wanted to drive the go karts and it had started to rain!


Unfortunately Pie had a minor disaster at the bouncing pillows (which were great, one specifically designated for under 8s so the smaller kids don’t get ploughed), he had run off in front in his excitement and straight across what can only be described as a quagmire, which had him covered in mud right up to his knees. This signalled a major meltdown and as it was now 3.30, we decided to call it a day.

We didn’t get to do everything available at the Adventure Farm – there were lots of other things available and in the summer there are even more things going on, including the giant Maize Maze (Dinosaur themed this year!). We will definately be back later in the year as we had a great day and I do love dinosaurs….

Want to know more about the National Forest Adventure Farm? Have a look at there website


Monkey and Mouse
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Pie Turns 4 – Big Boy Party Fun


Hi There,

I had a great day yesterday as I graduated from a threenager to a big boy of 4! It was all very exciting, my lovely Aunt & Uncle were then when I got up and the living room was filled with balloons and lots of presents. I was super excited and got down to getting that wrapping paper off as quick as humanly possible, before Mummy had even managed to get herself a coffee! I was an exceptionally lucky boy, Mummy had organised for everyone to get me these amazing Harry Potter figures, because as you know I love Harry Potter. Unfortunately I managed to break a few wands off quite early on in my game but Mum says she will stick them back on when she has brought some extra strong sticky glue.

After presents it was time to get dressed and meet all my little friends at the farm. It was really busy, but we got to do loads of cool things like holding chicks, feeding coats and sitting on horses. My favourite part was feeding the tiny lambs with my best friends, the bouncy castle was also pretty awesome. Mummy fell in love with some ginger piglets but Daddy said she wasn’t allowed to put one in Pudding’s bag, I reckon the Sausage Dogs would have loved a piglet. After we had been to see all the animals we went to the big indoor play area for some lunch. I love this place it is possibly the best place ever. There is this huge bouncy pillow which my mates and I went crazy on, and Daddy spent loads of time chucking us down the enormous blue slide. Even Pudding had a go on the wavy slide with Daddy – she looked a bit shocked! We all sat and had lunch together, Mummy had a burger that was nearly as big as my head, I couldn’t believe she ate the lot, she said that birthday parties made her hungry.

After we said good by to my friends we went home to find my Aunt and Uncle and my Grandparents, then there were more presents. I finally got my hands on the Voldemort figure, he is my absolute favourite. Then Mummy lit the candles on my Hogwarts castle cake, which I thought was amazing (Mummy is not known for her baking prowess or general cooking skills).  I got a bit over excited and blew out the candle before everyone had sung Happy Birthday but Mummy relit them and we tried again. After every one had finally said goodbye I got to play with all my new toys, before collapsing on the sofa to watch some Harry Potter before bed. It was a fantastic day and I think I am going to like being 4!

Love Pie xx


Never seen someone so excited about a basket of ducklings!

Big boys enjoying getting to know the chicks and ducks

POP vinyl Prof Snape – one of oh so many HP characters now living at Pudding HQ
Diary of an imperfect mum

Day Trip

Mum says today is the first day of Spring, not entirely sure what that means but the sun is shining and apparently we are off on an adventure, wherever we are going Pie seems excited so I guess it will be good when we get there.

Ooh I had a lovely snooze in the car, I didn’t really want to wake up but Mum says I need to get my cardigan on and get in the carrier. Usually I love the carrier, but what is this? This is not my wrap or my beautifully comfy Ergo, and she has scratched my face on a nasty piece of Velcro whilst trying to wrestle me in to position. I am not impressed and I am starting to feel a bit peckish…. No no no I draw the line at a hat, I hate hats, I won’t wear it I tell you (Mummy gives up, it’s spring after all). I manage to snuggle down into my unfamiliar carrier, it’s ok I guess but now I am feeling really hungry, it’s no good she is gonna have to hear me roar! Oh you have to be joking, your going to feed me in this thing? No sitting on a bench in the sunshine looking at you? Fine I will drink it but I am silently protesting with my eyes, this would never have happened with Pie. Just because I am the second baby doesn’t mean you can get away with this.

I finish my milk, grudgingly and settle back into the carrier. I really want to see these Sheep things Mummy  keeps talking about, Ewan is a sheep and he is pretty cool. But oh no my eyes are starting to close….. Suffice to say I saw nothing of the sheep or the farm, apparently Pie had a good time so I guess he will have to tell you all about it!

Love Pudding xx

Farm Fun


So Pudding and I went to the farm this weekend, she wasn’t exactly the life and soul as you have probably read. Well she missed out big time there was loads going on!

When we got there we saw loads of dogs jumping over things and running through tunnels. They looked like they were having a great time, I can’t imagine our sausages doing that. I guess they might if mum promised them some kind of amazing treat, but as they mainly like sitting on the sofa I think it would have to be the best treat ever. After that we walked round and found that someone had built a camp fire and was providing marshmallows for toasting, I got a long pointy stick and got to toast my own. It didn’t go great, I set it on fire and then screamed my head off when I pulled it out the fire and it was black. Mummy had to eat it for me and bribe me back to smiles with the promise of a cake later on.

Then there were loads of tractors and a huge piece of machinery that Mummy did not know the name of, but I was allowed to climb up into the cab and pretend to drive both of them. The wheels were so big that Mummy And Pudding could sit in them. I tried my best to ignore Mummy when she said I had to come out but eventually she sent Opa to come and get me. I tried the old cat in a basket trick, you know arms and legs out grabbing everything on the way past but it was unsuccessful!

I enjoyed seeing the sheep and cows, there were lots of baby sheep with their mummies but by this stage the most important thing was getting that cake that Mummy promised. I made sure she didn’t forget about it by reminding her every 30 seconds. I finally got the cake on the way back to the car, as usual I ate half of it and then decided I didn’t like it, Mummy ate it for me, what would I do without her??