Day 5 – Falmouth | West Cornwall Holiday with toddlers |

Day 5 and the final instalment of my series on our holiday in West Cornwall!

We packed up our caravan and headed to Falmouth as it was on the way back home. As soon as we arrived I fell in love. I know it sounds dorky but Falmouth is just so cool. I would absolutely love to live there and we had a look at houses but sadly they are WAY out of our league!

We headed to gyllyngvase beach to start with and the water was gorgeous. The beach cafe there is so great and Josh and I enjoyed chips from there … definitely would recommend.

After this we headed in to the town via the harbour. It was really gorgeous and all of us enjoyed having a look around … apart from.Dotty who slept through the whole thing!

After this we headed in to the town and got an iced coffee from Espressini which I would highly recommend. The town was gorgeous too and there were so many nice bars, restaurants and cafés dotted around. Unfortunately we’d massively blown our budget by this point and decided to head home.

What an amazing week we had!

Thanks for reading and I hope this gave you some inspo for future cornish trips!

Watergate bay | Cornwall days out with toddlers/ kids |

Last weekend we headed to Watergate Bay to make the most of the mini heatwave we had. The weather was incredible!

When we got there we were horrified that we had to pay £8 to park all day. It might not seem like a lot for a one off but living in Cornwall means we visit the beach most weekends and it quickly adds up!

We started off with a little walk on the beach followed by lunch at The Beach Hut. We didn’t book given that it was only April but they said it was mega busy and they just managed to squeeze us in! We sat facing the beach which was lovely and the food was fantastic.

We then went on to the beach. The weather was so lovely that the girls were in their swimsuits and absolutely loving it. They love the beach so so much.

We finished off the evening at home with a Pimms!

Chester Zoo & Liverpool with twin toddlers

This weekend we headed up north to Cheshire where Josh’s family live. We actually lived there together until last July so it’s kind of like revisiting our old life!

Whilst we were there we went to Chester Zoo with the girls’ cousins; Esmé and Zach and of course their parents Sarah and Sam who are actually technically Josh’s aunt and uncle but they are the same age as us and we’ve always been really close friends.

Chester Zoo was a fabulous place to take the girls, we actually took them back in June but back then they were way too young. Now, at 17 months, they were really a lovely age. They loved walking around (albeit slowly) and looking at all the animals and really taking it in. We went on a week day as the guys were both off work and that made it extra good as it was so quiet compared to last time when we accidentally went in half term! I would recommend it to anyone and would love to go back again. As with any zoo it was quite expensive but luckily under fives go free so it wasn’t too bad.

We also took a trip to Liverpool whilst we were up north. We went on the train which was different and interesting for the girls! We then had a trip to Nandos which was the girls’ first experience. The kids meal was really small, normally I get a kids meal between the two girls but it wasn’t really enough. However you do get cordial and a dessert too. We then looked round the shops and enjoyed being in a city- so different to where we live! It was a lovely day although I definitely prefer Manchester to Liverpool any day!

Hope you enjoyed this look in to our travels.

The Eden Project with toddlers

Last Saturday we went to the Eden Project in Cornwall with our 17 month old twins. We are so lucky to live in Cornwall and because of that we were able to get a locals pass to the Eden project. It cost £20 for the year, which is amazing because for just one day’s admission it costs around £30 and we can now go back whenever we want. It was an amazing day and we also bought food from there which was fantastically well priced!

It’s definitely a great place to take toddlers although if I’m being honest I didn’t get to see much of the place! I’d definitely recommend it though if you’re ever in Cornwall.

Our trip to Marrakesh with 1 year old twins

We recently got back from our first ‘proper holiday’ to Marrakesh, Morocco, Africa. I keep emphasising Africa because it feels so amazing that the girls are one year old and have already been to AFRICA! We went with Thomson and stayed in an all inclusive resort. It was a fantastic price and came in at about £800 ish for all four of us for a week!

Due to the price, I’ll be honest, we weren’t expecting much of the hotel which was Aqua Mirage Club, Marrakesh. It was a 3 star hotel but was rated really highly on tripadvisor. The place itself was excellent, it was a really large hotel with lots of great facilities including three swimming pools and a water park which were all free of charge for guests. As with any cheap hotel, absolutely everything else cost money including Wi-Fi, safes, photographs etc. However, you can have a good time and enjoy yourself without using any of this stuff. Due to our financial situation we went with practically no spending money and still had a fabulous time! The hotel has a shuttle bus service to the city centre and this is free twice a day and otherwise costs 20 Dirham per person which is less than £2.

Our trip to the old city of Marrakesh was certainly the highlight of the trip. We absolutely love exploring new places and this was no exception. Predominantly we had gone for a chilling by the pool holiday but we wanted to make the most of exploring the vastly different culture as well. The old city was incredible, filled with markets of everything you could think of, most of it is handmade there on the streets and is the most intricate design and craftsmanship. We hired a guide which cost the equivalent of £8 and it helped because he had such a wealth of knowledge as he showed us round and we got a lot of demonstrations. However, we could tell he had deals with all the people there and got reports after each place we went in to of how much we spent (which was nothing) and he got less and less interested in us as the tour went on! In the main square there were lots of snake charmers and monkeys, something which I don’t really agree with morally as I saw how they were treated and it wasn’t very nice. However, they basically just shove the monkey on your arm and demand 100 dirham from you!

Whilst in the old city, we wore the babies in baby carriers. Of course, this was harder than it was in their younger days, they are now over 20lbs not to mention the 35+ degree heat!

Travelling with twins once again was a challenge. It was supposed to be a ‘relaxing holiday’ and I can say with great conviction that it was not. We did not get to relax for more than five minutes and the heat made it very difficult to get the girls to nap in their buggy meaning once a day we spent two hours in our air conditioned room whilst they slept. Although, this was usually in the hottest part of the day and at times it was 38 degrees so it was probably the sensible parent thing to do, keeping them out of the sun! Morocco is an incredible country and there are lots of things to do there which would be really interesting and exciting such as camel riding, quad biking in the dessert and mountain trekking. Sadly, due partly to our lack of spending money but mostly to the presence of the twins we were unable to do any of this. We definitely want to go back and visit when the twins are teenagers and we can make the most of all the country has to offer! Furthermore, a relaxing, all-inclusive holiday is something we are not planning on doing again in the near future! We would like to bring grandparents with us in the future or go without the girls so that we could really relax more! That being said, the girls really did take everything in their stride. They absolutely loved being centre of attention and the locals adored them, they were so friendly and loving towards them and the girls lapped it up! I must admit, we definitely enjoyed not having to cook or clean up afterwards. We still love travelling and exploring the world with the girls – we will continue to do so as long as we are able! I think next time will take a little more planning though especially if we want to do a city break again! But at least for a while, we will be staying in the UK as it was hard work!!!

The one dampner on the occasion was the fact the the girls and I picked up some kind of food poisoning or stomach bug. We all had diarrhoea which for the girls has lasted for well over two weeks. Mine surfaced on the day we were set to go home, which made the plane journey VERY tough! I read on trip advisor a few people were experiencing the same thing which doesn’t bode well!

In all it was a great trip but not the relaxing holiday we’d planned!

Let me know if you have any questions about travelling with babies, My next post will be tips for flying with babies and what we packed in our carry on.

Hope you enjoyed this post

Kate-Sig-1

STAYCATION: Our stay-at-home holiday together

As many people who read my blog will know, we love to travel! Last week we had a trip to Berlin booked Monday-Thursday, however on the Friday before, Dorothy was taken in to hospital by ambulance. She ended up staying in there until Sunday afternoon and we were advised against taking the trip. We were obviously devastated but we didn’t want to risk taking her and things got worse with the plane pressure or Margot got ill too. As it was, Margot did get ill on Monday night and we were able to take her to the GP and get her sorted on Tuesday morning. So we ended up being quite thankful that we didn’t go against the doctors’ advice!

As Josh had the week off work anyway, we decided to make the most of it. On the Monday we just got stuck in to tidying and cleaning and getting jobs done so we were free for the week ahead.

On Tuesday, we decided to head to Manchester. We went for lunch at the Anchor Coffee House in Moss Side. I used to park right by there in my second year for uni and walk down Oxford road to campus so we were very familiar with it! The food is amazing and we both had a lovely coffee called a cuban coffee which is made with condensed milk. The girls, of course, attracted a lot of attention!

20170530_133738

We then headed down Oxford Road to Whitworth Park and art gallery.

After that we walked past my old uni and then headed to Starbucks to feed the girls. It was that very Starbucks that Josh and I used to meet after I finished uni and do work together! It was nice to take the girls back to our old haunts and show them another part of Manchester!

20170530_152250

 

The next day, we decided to visit Chester Zoo. It was a pretty hot day and we were slightly worried about how the girls would cope. Unfortunately we stupidly booked holiday during half term. It was absolutely heaving there and getting a double buggy around was difficult enough without having to work our way through crowds of people! Nevertheless we enjoyed ourselves, although the girls were thoroughly fed up by the end!

 

The next day was another quiet one, we just enjoyed the sunshine at our local park and got a coffee from a little coffee shop nearby. Then Daddy was sadly back to work! Thankfully he only has three weeks to go until we move!

20170601_131017

 

Obviously we were gutted not to be in Berlin but we still managed to have a lovely week together as a family.

Kate-Sig-1

Travelling with babies

Our twins are now six months old. By this point they have already been on four flights, we have had a trip to the Lake District, we spent Christmas in Cornwall, have been abroad to Barcelona and have had trips to Essex and Kent as well. We have also got more trips planned for this year and so we know quite a lot about travelling with babies!

When we found out I was pregnant we were so scared that we would have to let our dreams of travelling go and when we found out it was twins we were even more afraid! However, with a lot of hard work and determination it can be done!

So whether you have one baby, twins or babies of different ages here are some tips for how to make travel a reality!

1. Pack lightly!

This was a difficult one for me, I love clothes and make up and beauty products and I want to take it all away with me! But sacrifices must be made and its important to take the bare minimum of stuff – for me that was minimal make up, one skirt and a few changes of tops. I brought face wipes instead of my full cleansing routine as I just figured that a few days with wipes wouldn’t ruin my skin! Toiletries wise, I decant my shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in to smaller containers for extra space.

With babies its almost impossible to pack lightly but what I would say is unless you are going to a third world country you will be able to pick up nappies, wipes and even formula if you use it wherever you go. So just make sure you have enough for the flight and a few extra and grab the rest when you get there. Travel size sterilisers are fantastic, we have one that can just pop in to any microwave but you are also able to get cold water sterilising tablets and that’s something I would probably pick up next time as I was away recently with no access to a microwave!

Sleepsuits are key! I love dressing my girls in all different types of outfits but for the sake of being away and packing lightly they stayed in sleepsuits all day. It was so much easier not to have to get them changed a lot and also just saved on packing! So if you want to make sure your babies are looking fabulous still just make sure you pack their best pjs!

For twins or more than one baby – KOODI travel cotWe originally bought a standard travel cot off Amazon which we used once. When the girls could fit in one cot it would have been okay because we only had to bring one and that kind of travel cot would be great to keep at grandparents’ house. However, as we are planning on doing a lot of travel with the girls we decided to get the pop-up travel cot from Koodi, it is so unbelievably light and so it won’t make your suitcase really heavy. There are positives and negatives to these so I think I am going to do a separate post reviewing them at some point!

When you travel with an infant you are allocated 2 baby items (a car seat/ pram/ travel cot etc.)  checked for free. We already had 2 prams and 2 car seats so it was better for us to put our cots in our suitcase. Also standard travel cots are so heavy that they are hard to lug up stairs etc. of apartments!

2. AirBnb or something similar

We have used AirBnb loads and I cannot recommend it enough! When you book your property you can check what amenities they have. For example we wanted to make sure there was a full kitchen as we knew that we would probably need to be able to cook our own stuff, we also needed a microwave for the steriliser and there was also a washing machine which was really good. We didn’t end up using it but it would have been good if there had been an emergency poo explosion type situation!

Also, its important if you are travelling with kids to have a nice space to relax in. The likelihood is that you will be spending quite a lot of time at your accommodation. Especially if, like us, your babies are extremely regimented with their bedtime routine! You want to feel as though you can enjoy being in your own space and also make sure there is a separate room for the babies to sleep and you to sit and watch telly / read/ whatever you want to do. AirBnb is also a lot cheaper than a hotel and you get to meet local people so its win win in my opinion! Make sure you read reviews thoroughly!

3. Compromise is key 

You are probably not going to do or see as much as if it was you on your own or just you and your partner. The fact is, babies slow you down. They have needs and a schedule that you have to adhere to. So, make a list of the places and things you DEFINITELY want to do and don’t overload yourself. Remember, if you love the place the chances are you can come back in the future when the kids are a bit older and see it again.

20170128_163905

4. Single Prams

If you have twins or more than one baby then its a good idea to get two single prams – borrow or buy second hand! Double buggies are difficult to cart around at the best of times and its just easier to each take one! Also, we have the Bugaboo Donkey and that is one expensive piece of equipment! I have seen the way they chuck those buggies around when putting them in the hold and I do not want my Bugaboo getting ruined-  spare parts are damn expensive!! Even if you only have one baby its a good idea to get more of a lightweight buggy so its easier to carry up stairs and what not!

5. Pack your carry-on meticulously!

When we went on the girls’ first flight we made a few mistakes with our carry-on and we ended up getting everything pulled out, whilst trying to carry two babies! It’s a pretty obvious one but definitely good to remember! Getting through security is stressful but there is a separate line for families so take full advantage!

6. Keep to your own time-zone

I guess this applies to travelling within a 3 hour time difference but its probably best to keep the babas on their routine – especially if like us you are only travelling for a few days. We were an hour ahead in Barcelona and we just stayed on English time so us not to disrupt their schedule. As I’ve not done longer haul with the girls just yet I can’t advise on anything other than that!

20170129_074942

7. More space!

On a longer haul flight I would probably book an extra seat in between us but more than likely the person next to you will ask to move (LOL). When you get on to the flight ask an attendant if they have any spare seats and they will more than likely look at you and your twins and feel sorry for you!

8. You may not get to sit together

Typically, there are only a certain number of oxygen masks per row – usually just four. This means when travelling with twins they will want to separate you so you all have a mask and also they occasionally have issues with life jackets. They usually wait until the plane is full which is a bit annoying as you can’t get settled but more often than not you will end up getting a row to yourself.

9. BREASTFEEDING

Breastfeeding makes flying so much more simple – just pop them on. No issue at all. It can be a bit awkward thinking about people around you but really nobody can usually see anything so don’t worry too much

10. Don’t let people rush you

You are not holding up the plane! Just take your time – don’t get stressed. I ended up leaving my phone on the plane as I was so stressed and trying to get off the plane quickly. That caused me way more stress in the long run so just don’t do it!

11. Be smart with your travel times

Don’t get a 3am flight because you will not want to get your baby awake at that time! When we travelled to Kent, we fed the girls their bedtime bottle and popped them in their car seats. It made it so much easier as they just slept the entire way down – even though we were exhausted. Long car journeys are uncomfortable and not enjoyable for anyone – its easier to do it when they’re gonna be asleep for a longer period of time! We had to get the girls up at 5am English time when we left Barcelona and that was a bit of a pain because they woke up really early for the next couple of days!

12. Backpacks!

Pretty simple one – use backpacks. Its soo much easier to have your hands free and they are just great for space anyway.

 

I hope those tips help some people! Travelling with twins is definitely no easy feat and we struggled a bit however it is so worth it. I want to encourage you to do it even if you don’t think you can because you will surprise yourselves! The girls were so fantastic and we can’t wait to do more with them – of course we would like to do some travel of our own from time to time but it is amazing seeing everything through their eyes. Language barriers don’t matter to them and their smiles are able to melt the hearts of anyone! I know each different stage will bring its own challenges but we will not let it stop us.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Kate-Sig-1

Barcelona with babies part 2

Day 3 was Sunday, we woke up early after a difficult with Margot and we decided that I would feed one of the girls and we would feed the other a bottle so we could get the show on the road a lot quicker!

After I’d fed and showered I headed to the bakery round the corner in the hopes of finding some churros. However, when I got to the bakery I realised there was no churros, so instead we tried a few different pastries.

20170129_07494220170129_094448020170129_10234420170129_102607

After this we knew the girls would be due for another feed fairly soon and instead of getting stuck at the apartment for another hour we decided to feed them in the park which was around 10 minutes from us called “Parc de la Ciutadella”. There was so much going on in the park with loads of street performers and a large fountain. We sat in the sunshine whilst I fed the girls and soaked it all in, we loved it!

After this we walked in to the city centre and to La Rambla, a famous street in Barcelona. At this point we were desperate for food ourselves so we found a restaurant called Ultramarinos. The food was amazing, I’d definitely recommend it! We then decided to go back to the apartment and get ourselves sorted to head over to the beach.

We then went over to the beach, it was really cold by this point but it was totally worth it! It was beautiful and a really lovely atmosphere!

Next up it was time for the finale – the Magic Fountain! We went over on the metro with the carriers. Unfortunately when we got there it was switched off! We found out that in winter the showtimes were only Friday and Saturday nights! We were so gutted and by the time we got back it was way past the girls’ bedtime and they were knackered.

The next morning it was time to go home! We had a lot of stress trying to get my phone back and getting everything sorted but thankfully we made it through check in by the skin of our teeth!

What an amazing trip! We had such a fantastic time… it was really hard work with the girls and not the travelling we were used to before the babies. We loved it though and we were so proud of how the girls were! We definitely realised that we want to carry on travelling!

I’m thinking of doing a post about tips for travelling with a baby (or 2!), let me know if you’d like that!

Kate-Sig-1

Barcelona with the babies

Last weekend we took the girlies on their first trip abroad! On Friday morning we headed over to Manchester airport and flew to Barcelona, Spain.

As we’d already travelled to Cornwall on a plane we had some idea as to how the airport would go and we were a bit more prepared!

I’m thinking of writing a blog on some tips about travelling with a baby/ babies/ twins and how we managed it. Let me know if you would like to read it!

We arrived at Barcelona and I foolishly was rushing to get off the plane and left my phone in the seat pocket! Thankfully I managed to get it back on our way home!

We eventually got a taxi and headed to our Air BnB. We were met by our host and we had a look round our apartment – we loved it. Josh headed out to get some supplies and by that time it was the girls’ bedtime so we settled in for the night.

The next morning we had a lazy morning with the girls, unfortunately it took us ages to get out of the apartment! Eventually we got out and went to La Sagrada Familia and did a bit of exploring round the area. Then we went and got a bit of food and headed back to the apartment to top the girls’ bellies up!

By this point we desperately wanted to see more sights but we had yet to have lunch and it was really late in the day. We decided to walk in to the centre via the Arc de Triomf to find a restaurant but after a lot of searching we just couldn’t find it! We ended up in a rubbish all you can eat place which we weren’t really happy with but by that time we were just so hungry! After that we headed back to the apartment to get the girls to bed.

So that’s the first two days of our trip! I’m going to write a separate post for days 3 & 4!

Hope you enjoyed it.

 

Kate-Sig-1

The twins’ first flight! 

I wanted to write a blog for a little documentation of how the twins got on on their first flight experience! 

We flew from Manchester airport to Exeter, where my dad picked us up and took us onward to Cornwall! 

Manchester airport was not the greatest of experiences for us. We had difficulty getting through security with both girls and only two pairs of hands. The staff were not very helpful or accommodating and made mistakes with our baggage meaning they had to be unpacked and of course it was hard to repack them whilst holding the babies.  

Once we were through security it was very busy. We expected this as it was close to Christmas however I did think that perhaps seats should be reserved for families with infants. There was nowhere for me to breastfeed that was appropriate so I ended up having to sit in Costa and do it whilst many people could see me! 

We then boarded the plane. We flew with Flybe and it was a good experience. We were all sat together which at the time we were very grateful for. The girls were fantastic. They both fed and then were smiling and laughing the entire time. We have since found out that two babies and two adults should not be sat together as there wouldn’t be enough oxygen masks! We were very disappointed with Flybe for sitting us all together and putting our safety at risk.  

On the way back we flew from Cornwall airport. Originally we wanted to fly there too but it was much more expensive. 

Cornwall airport was an absolutely fantastic experience. It’s very small and we were the only people going through security ! This meant we had 6 members of staff helping us. The girls weren’t quite as happy on the way back as it was closer to bed time but in all we had a great experience flying and would be more than happy to do it again! 

Two very happy girlies!