Big day out – The Big Feastival

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For my husbands special birthday this year I decided that a packet of socks and a DVD wouldn’t quite cut it. He had shown an interest in visiting The Big Feastival for quite some time, but we just hadn’t got around to doing anything about it. You know how it happens…. life just gets in the way. But on this birthday he opened his card to find tickets for us all to attend in August, he thought it was a great surprise! But we were both festival virgins and we really didn’t know quite what to expect, which just added to the excitement!

On Saturday morning we had planned to get up nice and early, but our little boy decided that he would have a rare lie in. Not to worry, we enjoyed the extra sleep if I am honest. But it did mean that it turned into a little bit of a mad dash to get out the front door. I brought along my new foldable ‘Good Luck Charms’ backpack from Cath Kidston as it is so lovely and lightweight (check it out).

Rucksack contents –

• one clear plastic zip wallet with some nappies, nappy bags and a change of clothes

• one clear plastic zip wallet with some crayons, pens, colouring sheets and toy cars

• sun cream

• changing mat

• purse

• lip balm

• snacks – smoothie sachet, crisps and raisins

• wet wipes

• tissues

• hydrating face mist

I also kept his pyjamas in the car in case we decided to stay later and then we could put him straight to bed once we got back home. The journey was really lovely actually and the weather was much more warmer than forecast. I wouldn’t say that we had to queue at all, the traffic just got a little heavier as we approached the venue. The car park was incredibly bumpy, with it being in a field, and the little tyke was in fits of giggles at the back of the car.

After a bit of a walk past all of the campsites, we got to the entrance and were ready to start our day at the festival. Parents are advised to put wristbands on their little ones with contact details, just in case they get lost. With some distraction tactics, our little boy was fitted with said wristband.

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All the fun at the fair

 

As total newbies to the festival scene, we were a little overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds around us as we walked through the crowds. I can only imagine what must have been going through the little tykes mind when he saw all the crazyness. There were fairground rides, steel drum bands, farm animals, food stalls, people in fancy dress and much, much more! Wow!!! I checked my watch and realised that Justin Fletcher had just started on the main stage (the little chap loves Mr Tumble) and we headed over. He was absolutely bonkers, crazy! It was like listening to nursery rhymes on an acid trip. We backed the heck away from the main stage to find a bit of calm in the madness. Which led us to the Little Dudes Den.

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Little Dudes Den
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Toadstool jumping

Who knew that some colourful arches with sensory ribbons would enchant children so much! They all kept running round and round with happy little smiles on their faces. The older children loved climbing the hay bales, but this was strictly a no go zone for our little chap. He didn’t mind so much.

Well it wouldn’t be a food festival without food would it? There was a great selection of street food stalls with anything from buddha bowls to mac and cheese. I’m really into Paella at the moment (great summer food), but my portion was so large I had to share it with both my husband and my son. This was followed by some churros with chocolate, again, great for sharing.

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Tucking into some great grub

The sun was really starting to beat down on us and I worried about my little boy getting burnt, so we headed towards the big top tent for a bit of shelter. It just so happened that after about 10 minutes of us being in there, they started the baby boggie class. My little boy loves music and dancing, so this was just perfect for him. I really, really loved this little area and would recommend it if you are visiting with little ones.

After a little boogie, a refreshing milkshake and a rest we ventured out to explore. We went to the play doh tent, we visited the farm animals and we even went to the bar and listened to some funk music. Mummy even enjoyed a nice cold beer! We also found a little nursery/play area full of pre-school kids toys and activities, but it was a shame we hadn’t discovered this earlier. We tucked into some pizza for dinner and I popped by a few market stalls. One stand I have to mention is for Googly Fruit, where we bought a big bag of goodies for £10 and it really is great quality produce.

My little boy didn’t nap all day, he just didn’t want to miss a thing. I cannot blame him, we had a really great day out and I couldn’t recommend it enough!mummyrelax

Hope you are all enoying a lovely bank holiday weekend folks, ta ta and nighty night xxx

 

 

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Review: El Tico Beach Cantina

 

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El Tico Beach Cantina, Jersey

We have recently returned from a trip back to my home town/island, Jersey in the Channel Islands. I miss the laid back vibe that you get from living by the coast and there is nowhere more perfect to experience this vibe than at El Tico in St. Ouens bay. We were staying in some self catering accomodation about 5 minutes away, so it made perfect sense to pop by for some breaky one day!

 

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Latest menu from El Tico Beach Cantina

There really is a super choice for breakfasts from the menu and it varies from dishes that are very, very healthy to some choices that are a little bit naughty. The weather was a little bit wild and windswept outside, so I decided on some comfort food in the form of Tico “Hash”. My husband opted for the full breakfast and the little tyke went for some toast and jam (not on the menu, but the waitress was very helpful).

 

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Look at the view!

We sat at the end of one of the large communal tables, with the little man perched in a high chair. Whilst we waited he had some sticker and colouring books to help pass the time. I loved looking out the large windows, where we could see surfers riding the big Atlantic waves.

 

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St. Ouens Bay

It didn’t take long for our breakfasts  to arrive! My El Tico Hash looked scrummy! It included; chorizo, serrano ham, sauté potatoes, spinach, sun dried tomatoes & poached eggs. It tasted as good as it looked! My husbands full english went down a treat also!

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Yummy, yummy breakfast time!

 

Before we left I bought myself a little momento of home, an El Tico ocean scented candle.  I cannot wait to use it, its the perfect thing to remind me of home.

I hope you all have a lovely evening, ta ta and nighty night xxx

 

 

 

 

Eating out: Mercado Lounge

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As promised, I have put together a little review of our favourite family eating place in Market Harborough – Mercado Lounge.

Location: Mercado Lounge, Edinburgh House, Abbey Street, Market Harborough LE16 9AA

Opening Times: Monday 9am–11pm, Tuesday 9am–11pm, Wednesday 9am–11pm, Thursday 9am–12am, Friday 9am–12am, Saturday 9am–12am & Sunday 9am–11pm.

Interesting Fact: Based in the former HQ of Golden Wonder Crisps!

Whenever we get the chance to pop into Market Harborough we like to treat ourselves to lunch at this lovely cafe/bar. It has a warm and relaxing atmosphere, which is perfect for families with young children. I hate it when you go into a restaurant with a baby or toddler and you are made feel as if you are not wanted. This is totally not case with the Mercado Lounge and you are often surrounded by other families with young children.

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The decor is kooky and eclectic, with mismatched furnishings and retro graphics. Totally my cup of tea! You can also find a variety of board games for children and adults, daily newspapers, free Wi-Fi, highchairs and a free neighbourhood book swap facility where customers can bring in an old book and swap it for one in their bookcase.

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But most importantly, the food is scrummy! With a menu that offers a wide variety of dishes including a large brunch menu (my favourite), burgers, tapas and restaurant style specials.

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Plus, they also offer a lovely children’s menu, with a complimentary pot of veg and breadsticks for a starter. There is also a selection of games, colouring sheets and pencils to occupy impatient little tinkers. They also provide highchairs and baby changing facilities.

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On Saturday we ordered the following – Daddy had chicken & chorizo panini with a vanilla milkshake drink, Mummy had a vegetarian breakfast with a white coffee and the little tyke had poached egg and baked beans on toast with an apple juice drink. Delish!

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The little tyke wiping the plate clean with his toast

Where is your favourite place to go out as a family? Have you found the perfect family friendly restaurant/cafe?

Nighty night all, hope you have had a good week so far. Ta ta xx

 

Eating out: Pizza Express

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Before a spot of Christmas shopping we decided to treat ourselves and go out for lunch today, but where would be suitable for a toddler? The little tyke is active, easily bored and a bit of a messy eater at the moment. I’m making him sound worse than he actually is, but he’s just a typical toddler who’s learning how to fit into the world and all the bizarre rituals us adults refer to as manners. We picked Pizza Express as we had been there before and it seemed to cater really well for families with young children. For those not familiar with the name, Pizza Express is a chain of restaurants in the UK that specialises in handmade pizza and has been around since the sixties.

Arriving at midday, we were one of the first to be seated in the restaurant and were able to pick a nice cosy spot in the corner with a leather banquette. Little tyke had a nice little white wooden highchair to sit in.

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Little tyke modelling his festive hat

We were handed our menus and a little fun pack for the little man. The pack included: a festive themed hat to colour in, a plastic bauble to colour in, an activity fold out and a sheet of stickers. He also had a pot of crayons to use for his colouring in. He’s not really into colouring at the moment, but he did have some fun with the stickers.

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Pizza Express festive fun pack

Pizza Express has a children’s ‘Piccolo’ menu to choose from. For starters they could choose garlic dough balls. For main they could choose Bianca, Napoletana or Bolognese pasta, or Margherita, Pollo, La Reine or American pizza. The little tyke loved Bolognese, so this was an easy choice.

When the dough balls came out they were a little bit too hot for him, which was unfortunate as he was hungry for them as soon as they arrived at the table. Cue much distracting by Daddy whilst Mummy blew on them to cool them down! Hot, hot, hot! Once they were cool enough, he scoffed them down and was ready for his main. He was more intrigued with his Daddy’s food than his own and pinched a little bit. Oh well, we know for next time. He did eat a fair amount though and I don’t think he could possibly have eaten any more.

The waiting staff (all Italian) were absolutely lovely with him and they really made the experience all the more enjoyable. The lady asked if the little tyke wanted his dessert and I said he was a little bit full, so she then proceeded to put his little brownie in a take away box. What a nice thought!

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Take away brownie!

So, if you are itching to get out but are losing confidence with your little ones, go to somewhere family friendly like Pizza Express. I couldn’t recommend it enough.

Hope you all had a nice weekend, ta ta my lovelies xxx

Baking: Pumpkin & Pecan Muffins

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I found this recipe from the fantastic Good To Know website and I thought it might be a nice little weekend activity whilst the little tyke had a nap. He seems to be a bit fussy at the moment, hanging on to my leg for dear life if I try to do anything that resembles house duties. Arrrghhh! Is anyone else going through this? What do you do?

So keeping with the Autumn theme, the pumpkin and pecan muffin recipe sounded really yummy and very fitting for the season. Oh and they are supposed to be bit healthier than normal muffins because you don’t use so much oil. Bonus!

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Pumpkin & pecan muffin ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 175ml semi-skimmed milk or unsweetened soya milk
  • 100g canned pumpkin puree
  • 55ml olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 220g plain flour
  • 75g sugar
  • 75g chopped pecans
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch ground cloves
  • dash grated nutmeg
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Line the muffin tin

Step 1: Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and line your muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

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Pumpkin mix

Step 2: Beat egg in medium-sized bowl, then add milk, oil, pumpkin, and vanilla. Stir thoroughly until mixture is smooth.

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Dry mix

Step 3: In a separate large bowl, mix together all remaining dry ingredients.

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Cake mix

Step 4: Add all of the wet mixture to the large bowl of dry ingredients. Fold together gently until the flour mixture is just moistened, ensuring you do not over-mix (over-mixing will cause the muffins to not rise properly). The batter will be lumpy, not smooth.

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Cake mix in tin

Step 4: Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling nearly to the top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean at the centre of a muffin.

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Finished muffins, yummy!

The finished muffins were really quite yummy and go perfect with a nice cup of tea. Lovely!

The little tyke looks like he will get up from his nap very soon, time for me to grab a muffin and chill out for 5 minutes.

Ta ta for now xx

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