Ohana means family | our Florida adventure

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Walt Disney World in Florida is my happy place. There's no doubt about it. I have such wonderful memories of holidays there as a child and taking my own family there is just a dream come true.

It didn't disappoint. We spent two weeks exploring all the Disney parks, with a couple of days at Universal Studios.

It's hard to say what my highlights were. Magic Kingdom has my heart; as soon as I step onto Main Street, nothing is going to wipe the smile from my face. The music, the buildings, the characters... I just love the whole thing. I'll never forget the kids' faces spotting all the Star Wars characters at Hollywood Studios, plus the fireworks there were just incredible. 

We spent a lot of time exploring some of the other Walt Disney resort hotels. Some of them are out of this world. We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside, a moderate Disney resort, which was very pretty and has a lovely, relaxed atmosphere; but the luxury resorts are out of this world. One of my favourite evenings was sat on the beach at the Polynesian Resort, eating pizza, watching the kids play on the sand with new friends and the Magic Kingdom fireworks across the water. 

It really was a magical holiday; only problem is, I'd go every year given half a chance (and a lottery win!). So until I come across that winning ticket, I'll relive our amazing holiday through the videos and photographs I took. I'll be the one weeping nostalgically in the corner, wearing Minnie Mouse ears and clutching a Mickey waffle.

On our bookshelf

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

I may not get to read all that much myself, but I love picking out books for the kids to enjoy. Snuggling up at the end of the day to enjoy a story, or listening to my eldest two read to their baby brother, you can't beat it.

I'm always on the lookout for new books to add to our collection, so I thought I'd share our current faves on my youtube channel and I'd love to hear your family favourites too; so please comment on the video to let me know. 

If you haven't already subscribed to my channel, I'd love to have you :) I upload twice a week, on everything from parenting and family, to food, fashion and all the things we love. Hope to see you there!

Disney World wardrobe sorted

Thursday, 10 March 2016

If ever there was a range of kid's clothes that was perfect for a trip to Disney World, the new Mini Rodini Fantasia collection is it.

Bold, bright and full of personality, I'm absolutely in love with every item. And, as luck would have it, we happen to have a trip to Florida coming up in the not too distant future. Fate...?

The unicorn print is my favourite from the collection. Obvs. I can imagine Meryn and Ayden wearing different items in this print. I particularly like the sweatshirt and the little shorts for Ayden. Meryn would love the skirt and the dress in green.

I can see Meryn in this amazing rainbow swimsuit now. I love the shape, colours, print, everything! It's perfection. And I'm tempted by the rainbow tank tops too... and the jacket. Oh god. Stop Mini Rodini, STOP!
This tivoli toy print is too cute to resist. It reminds me of Looney Toons. I'd put this t-shirt with a pair of simple grey, jersey shorts for Ayden.
There's even a Mickey-esque, monochrome print on leggings and the most adorable tank top. Ayden would look amazing in both. This is probably the only print that Dylan would be happy to wear. At nearly nine and a half (that half is very important apparently), he's getting more conscious of what he wears. A couple of years ago, I would definitely have put him in the cartoon animal print, but he'd be having none of that now!

Mini Rodini isn't the cheapest brand of kid's clothes, but the quality is excellent and the designs are so unique. I'm really struggling to pick my favourites, as you may have noticed! What are your top picks from the collection?

Grass-less garden inspiration

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

You'll never guess what happened this weekend. The sun came out! I know, right? For the first time in what feels like years, I could see hints of spring. And I'm ready. I'm done with winter. So naturally my thoughts turned to dinner al fresco, evenings sat outside with a glass of wine, picnics and BBQs in the back garden.

But there's one small problem. We live in a swamp. For the past couple of years, the grass in our back garden has been deteriorating to the point where it's more mud than lawn. We've tried to rescue it, but the combination of relentlessly rainy months and a clumsy old labrador who has a penchant for chasing cats, means that it never really stands a chance. So I've turned to the internet for grass-less garden inspiration. At first I wasn't keen to get rid of the grass, but I've found so many garden ideas online which show that you can create pretty outside spaces that feel green, without grass.

These are some of my favourites so far.

Bowden House : Minimalist garden by Aralia
Moule : Mediterranean style garden by Rupert Till
Garden In The Sky : Industrial style garden by Cool Gardens Landscaping

I always felt like you needed grass in the garden to make it feel inviting and for the kids to play. But actually, our manky old grass has stopped us from using the garden in the way we'd like. 

I like the idea of mixing different textures and materials to create interesting areas outside. We've never really used much exterior lighting before and I think it can make the world of difference, so I'd love to use lights in trees and along borders. Plus, I can't wait to get rid of our old beat-up Ikea garden furniture. We've had it for years and it's beyond tatty! I'm picturing a stylish seating and dining space, that's beautifully lit and feels like an extension of our home. 

For once, the kids would be able to really use the back garden. To ride their bikes and scooters, run around and play without getting really muddy. 

I'd love some more garden inspiration, so if you've decided to ditch the grass or can point me in the direction of some cool garden Pinterest boards let me know :)

* This is a collaborative post. All words and opinions are my own.


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

We've all been there right? Days when you feel rubbish at everything. You feel like you've done everything wrong from the minute you wake up, to the minute you drop your knackered head onto the pillow at night. All you want to do is crawl inside a bag of tangy cheese Doritos and not come out until tomorrow.

Days when you've forgotten that you are bloody good at stuff.

So to remind myself, and anyone else who has those days too, I made a little video about all those amazing mum skills we all use every, single day. But might not remember.

Let me know if you can think of any others I may have missed. I'm sure there must be loads, cos us mums are awesome!

Now where are my Doritos?

The giggles | The Ordinary Moments

Monday, 22 February 2016

This little man really makes me laugh. All three of my children do. It's one of the things I love most about being a mum. Being silly, messing about and playing with them. Being an adult can be pretty dull sometimes and I've never been someone that takes things too seriously... unless I really have to.

On this particular day, it was dull and rainy outside and everyone was feeling pretty... meh. So we decided to batten down the hatches, call in emergency chocolate supplies and declare it a pyjama day. The best kind of day.

Ayden loves to play with his brother and sister, but he's just as happy to be left alone with a bucket of Lego minifigures. He'll occupy himself for hours with those. But lately he's been coming to find me to play more often. Putting out his little hand and dragging me somewhere to play.

He's nearly three now and is the funniest, most mischievous little thing. He's such good company and has a great sense of humour. I love seeing how their personalities change and develop at this age. 

Dylan and Meryn are that bit older and, although they love nothing more than snuggling on the sofa with me to watch a movie or having tickle fights with daddy, they also love playing on their own on their iPads or in their rooms. Don't get me wrong, some days this is great. I can actually get things done! But sometimes I miss them following me around and being dependent on me to entertain them.

So I'm clinging on to the little hand that comes to find me and drag me off to play. Everything else can wait.

Love music

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

We don't go overboard for Valentine's Day. The perfect romantic night for me is a night at home with red wine, good food and music. And my husband, obvs. Every so often, we turn off the TV and our phones and just listen to Spotify on the laptop. For hours on end. And those are my favourite nights. Just chatting and listening to our favourite songs. So for all those music lovers out there, here's a Valentine's Day wishlist in case you're looking for gift ideas.

Listening to music through the laptop is fine, but the sound quality would be so much better with wireless speakers. It's one of those things I keep meaning to buy, but never get around to it. So these Panasonic hifi speakers are top of my list. Hello, surround sound!

I've been lusting after these Frends headphones for aaages. So pretty, but I just can't justify buying them for myself. If only I could convince my husband that he needs some rose gold headphones and that he really wants to share them with me!

Oh, how I wish I'd kept all my 80s and 90s vinyl. Who'd have guessed I'd be recollecting it all 20 years on. I've managed to pick up a few since we invested in our record player last year, but I'd love to add some more classics to our collection. I'm in a bit of a 90s rock mood at the moment, so I'd love anything by Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Counting Crows. 

Speaking of which, if I didn't already have one, a Crosley Cruiser turntable would be right at the top of my wishlist. It might be a little extravagant for Valentine's Day, but I'd definitely recommend for a birthday or anniversary gift.

I hope you enjoyed my round-up of music-lover gift ideas. What would be at the top of your Valentine's wishlist?

* This is a collaborative post. All words and opinions are my own.