Archive for 2016

My Sunday Photo 18-12-2016

Sunday, 18 December 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto. Baby R getting in the festive spirit with a lovely cardi and hat that his Nana knitted for his sister and now it's his turn to wear it!


I really wanted to take this picture as it's an exact replica of a picture I took of Little Miss A when she was 8 months old. Baby R (on the right) is 7 months old here but is definitely a lot bigger than his sister was!



OneDad3Girls

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Siblings - December 2016

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Joining up with The Siblings Project with these photos of Little Miss A and Baby R.



I love these festive photos of the cheeky pair. The pictures were taken at the first Christmasy thing that we did this year. A local garden centre creates a fantastic Grotto every year in aid of charity. 


I've also included this picture as well as this sums up what the last month has been about - boxes, boxes and more boxes. We've made the big move from Buckinghamshire to Cheshire. These two won't ever remember the first house that they lived in so when they're older we'll have to take them back to Aylesbury to show them where they were born. They both seem to have coped so well with the move and settled in to our new home. It's a big relief.

It's hard to imagine life with Baby R now, but he has only been with us since May. Little Miss A is an amazing big sister and he's very lucky. It's been so great to record them each month this year.



The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

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My Sunday Photo 11-12-2016

Sunday, 11 December 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto. We said goodbye to our house in Aylesbury and made a big move up to Cheshire.


The kids won't remember this house so I wanted a photo to remind them of their first house. We've got lots of memories from the nearly 4 years we've spent here and have taken advantage of most of the local attractions and places to visit. We'll definitely miss the friends we've made. Now to start our new chapter up North!

OneDad3Girls

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Christmas Grotto and Winter Wonderland at World's End - Review

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Visiting the Winter Wonderland at World's End, a Wyevale Garden Centre, every year has become a bit of a family tradition and of course we had to take Baby R for his first experience of it all! Usually we just do the walk-through of the Wonderland, but this year we were fortunate to be invited along to do a review which included meeting Father Christmas.

As we entered the Wonderland Little Miss A seemed to be in a bit of a hurry as she was really excited about seeing Father Christmas but we kept pointing out things in the displays to keep her distracted and slow her down!



Each year the themes of the displays in the Wonderland change and they combine animated figures, music and lighting. There were some familiar animals and features from previous years but lots of new ones too. I don't want to give too much away as it's nice to see it all for yourself so have just included a few pictures to give you a feel. It takes a team of 4 people from September to create the whole experience. I'm always amazed by the level of detail and the variety of different displays.

Just as we were about to go off to see Father Christmas, we were greeted by Chase from Paw Patrol. Little Miss A was chuffed to meet him and this was an added bonus as wasn't expecting to see any characters in the Wonderland.

Then we joined the queue to meet Santa. There was about a half hour wait on the day we went. There are some large chalkboards that the kids can draw on whilst there waiting. It's a bit cold and dark in the waiting area but luckily Little Miss A was patient and waited nicely for her turn. It's definitely not always the case when she has to wait in a queue!

When our turn came we were greeted by an Elf who took us into the Grotto. It's a really nice room with lovely decorations. Little Miss A was initially a bit shy talking to Father Christmas but he was very patient and spoke really nicely to her. There was the chance to take a few of our own pictures before the official one was taken. I'm always worried that it's all going to be a rush and over too quickly, but it didn't feel this way at all.


Father Christmas presented both Little Miss A and Baby R with a special key and then we made our way to the toy shop where they could exchange their keys for a present. I was really surprised by the wide range of toys available for all ages. It was really hard to make a decision. Little Miss A chose a Quick Sand set and this retails for £10 on a lot of websites so I was impressed that the toys are of such a high value.

Before we left, Little Miss A had a turn on one of the fairground rides. These are extra and cost from £2 a ride. There are also some stalls and a Snow Globe.













The Grotto costs £12 per child (£3 for each accompanying adult). If you just want to go into the Winter Wonderland, then this is £3 per person. You don't need to book, you just turn up. I can imagine the wait times for Father Christmas are quite long at the weekends, so best to go during the week if possible (our visit was on Friday afternoon) or arrive early.

I hadn't really planned where we were going to go to see Father Christmas this year so was very grateful for this opportunity to see him at World's End. Initially it seems quite expensive compared to other Grottos, but I would have to say that the experience was really enjoyable and if you consider that the toy you get is worth about £10, then actually it's good value for money.



Find out more about the Christmas Grottos at World's End and other Wyevale Gardens Centres. You can also read more about our experience of the Winter Wonderland in 2015 and the Winter Wonderland in 2014.

Disclaimer:  We were kindly provided with free entry into the Winter Wonderland and Christmas Grotto in return for this review but all opinions are my own.

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My Sunday Photo 04-12-2016

Sunday, 4 December 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto. It has to be a festive one now we're into December!


I just love this as I have so few pictures of just me with both kids. I'm amazed that we're all smiling at the same time as well! It was taken at a fab local Christmas Grotto that is done for charity donations.

OneDad3Girls

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Me & Mine - November 2016

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Joining up with the Me and Mine Family Portrait Project with these photos of our little family for November.



The photos are both a bit grainy but hey ho, I like them! They were taken at a local Christmas Grotto and capture a bit of the festive season that we're now coming into. I think Baby R is looking so much older in these photos. He celebrated his half year birthday this month and since then he's mastered the art of rolling back and forth, is almost sitting on his own and is enjoying real food! The changes are happening so fast all of a sudden. Little Miss A continues to astound us with her ability to adapt to situations around her and her imagination is amazing - we struggle to keep up with how fast her brain is working as she makes up new games to play with us. 

The month has been another tough one unfortunately. Life is continuing to really challenge us and so November has passed in a bit of a blur of trying to sort out our move and hospital appointments for me due to my health. Stressful doesn't cover it.

November Highs:
  • - The best experience this month was on a visit to ZSL Whipsnade. A Mum I met at Little Miss A's swimming lessons earlier in the year works there and invited us along. We arranged to meet up with her to say hi and she surprised us with the opportunity to feed the giraffes. It was amazing. They're one of my favourite animals. We also met up with her husband and daughter and the girls had a lovely time together including also feeding the meerkats. I can't thank her enough for making our visit so memorable.
  • - Three of my best friends travelled all the way up for Brighton to take me and the kids out for lunch. I haven't seen them in too long and miss them greatly so it was fantastic to see them and catch-up. 
  • - One of these friends paid a return visit a week later and we indulged ourselves with a sweet lunch at The Works in Aylesbury. Naughty but nice!
  • - I volunteered at another really successful NCT Nearly Nearly New Sale. It's always such a buzz on the day. We also managed to sell quite a lot of Little Miss A's clothes as Baby R definitely isn't going to want her wardrobe!
  • - I finished our term of swimming lessons with Baby R. It's been lovely to do this with him and brought back so many memories of doing the same with Little Miss A. He's really taken to the water and I do hope he continues to love swimming as much as his big sister as I can picture them having so much fun in the water together in the future.
  • - The kids and I spent a lovely weekend staying with friends. We left Mr MoaB at home to do a load of DIY jobs around the house (lucky him!). They have a 4 year old and 1 year old twins and it was so fun to see them all interacting together. 
  • - That weekend we also visited my brother and his wife for lunch. It was good to catch-up with them before we move so much further away. 
  • - Mr MoaB's Mum came to stay for what turned in to a couple of weeks. This allowed Mr MoaB to come with me to my hospital appointments as she looked after the kids. It was nice for her to have the opportunity to spend so much time with the kids. With her staying, it also meant that Mr MoaB and I could actually go on a date night which was really enjoyable. 
  • - Our first Christmasy experience was going to see the Santa Parade in Aylesbury. I've taken Little Miss A every year to this. She particularly enjoyed having a go on the fairground rides and despite me saying she could go on just one - she ended up on two as she was having such fun!

The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

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My Sunday Photo 27-11-2016

Sunday, 27 November 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


It was taken today on a train fairground ride in Aylesbury town centre. We'd just watched the Santa Parade, our first Christmasy thing so far this year. These rides may be a bit on the expensive side but when you see a smile like this, it's worth it!

OneDad3Girls

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Siblings - November 2016

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Joining up with The Siblings Project with these photos of Little Miss A and Baby R.


These two were both meant to be in bed but were up to mischief in our bed. Daddy was away so I wanted to take a picture to send to him and this was the result! The picture makes me chuckle every time I look at it!


I've included this picture as well which was taken at the same time as I love that it captures their affection for each other.

Baby R has now been in our lives for 6 months. He's such a joy to be around with his big smiles and I love watching the interactions with his big sister. When Little Miss A is around, Baby R just watches her enraptured with what she's up to.  I'm extremely proud of the way Little Miss A has accepted Baby R and she really is a fantastic big sister who looks out for him. I'm so glad they have each other and hope they are always close and have a special bond.


The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

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My Sunday Photo 20-11-2016

Sunday, 20 November 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


We paid a visit to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo this week and as a Mum friend works there we were privileged enough to get the opportunity to get up close to the giraffes and feed them. An amazing experience! Who knew giraffes liked cabbage so much.

OneDad3Girls

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My Sunday Photo 13-11-2016

Sunday, 13 November 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


I love Little Miss A's cheeky face in this picture. It was taken this weekend and we had to take a picture of this balloon dog which I actually managed to make as the first one I made popped!

OneDad3Girls

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My Sunday Photo 06-11-2016

Sunday, 6 November 2016

These are my favourite pictures of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


Has to be some Halloween pictures as it's been Halloween this week! This spider costume was bought at a car boot sale for 50p. I can't believe Little Miss A can still fit into it (although it was a real squeeze)! So that's 4 years she's worn it and means it's going to do Baby R for a few years yet. I'm definitely getting my money's worth!






OneDad3Girls

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Me & Mine - October 2016

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Joining up for with the Me and Mine Family Portrait Project with these photos of our little family for October.



I was fortunate enough to win a family photoshoot with Sarah Minchin Photography and we spent a lovely morning recently up at Coombe Hill where Sarah took some fab shots of us. I was keen for us to have the shoot outdoors as it's where we spend so much of our family time. Little Miss A is being as cheeky as ever. Whilst Baby R is the only one looking at the camera and he's probably wondering what on earth is going on beside him!

We're in the throes of getting things organised for our big family move up to Cheshire. There's so much to do! However, we've managed to fit in a mini holiday and a few days out this month.

October Highs:
  • - We weren't sure we were going to get a holiday this year, but we really needed a few days away so we booked to stay at Presthaven Holiday Park in Prestatyn. We enjoyed some lovely family time together particularly on the beach.
  • - Our choice of caravan park for our holiday was driven by its proximity to the place that we're moving to. We spent a day of our holiday driving around the place we've chosen to move to and house hunting. Luckily we found a suitable property to rent as that was a major thing as we need to move in December!
  • - At the end of the holiday we stayed with Mr MoaB's Mum for a couple of nights and caught up with some of his family. It is going to be great to be living just an hour away from them rather than the current 3 plus hours.
  • - We visited Waddesdon Manor twice this month. I met up with a couple of other Mums and their kids for a fun afternoon where we had the whole playground to ourselves! We also visited as a family during Half Term and enjoyed their Ugly Bug Ball Trail.
  • - I met up with my Uncle & Aunt at Black Park during Half Term. They brought my cousin's children with them to go on the Go Ape Junior course. I just had Baby R with me as Little Miss A was at nursery but that's probably just as well as she'd have wanted to go up on the course and she's still just a little bit too small.  
  • - Little Miss A enjoyed a few Halloween events I took her to and had fun answering the door in her Halloween costume to all the trick or treaters. 

The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

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My Sunday Photo 30-10-2016

Sunday, 30 October 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


It may not be fully focused but I just love this picture of Little Miss A and Baby R. They were both meant to be in bed but were awake and messing about in Daddy's side of the bed whilst he was away! I love the way they are looking at each other. I think you can really tell the affection they have for each other.

OneDad3Girls

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My Sunday Photo 23-10-2016

Sunday, 23 October 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.


We've been so busy with starting to get things sorted for our move up to Cheshire that I haven't taken many photos this week. This was taken today as we went out to enjoy the sunshine and did the Ugly Bug Ball Trail that they currently have at Waddesdon Manor. Little Miss A always embarks on these types of things with such enthusiasm and races to find each thing along the way.

OneDad3Girls

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Siblings - October 2016

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Joining up with The Siblings Project with these photos of Little Miss A and Baby R.


This has to be my favourite picture I've taken of the pair of them so far! They look so cute both dressed up as pirates! Little Miss A brought the bear home from her nursery for a week so we hosted a pirate party for her toys as the bear had exactly the same costume as her! Baby R was able to join in with his really cute costume too!

We managed to actually get away for a few days this month for our only holiday of the year. We went to North Wales and took a few pictures of the pair on the beach on a couple of different days.



Somehow I didn't publish a post for September so I'm including photos for last month as well.

This is another of my favourites. We're not really Star Wars fans but Baby R was given this outfit so I had to get a picture of him in it. They look so cute together here!

I also took these photos on a day when they had quite similar outfits on. Of course, I couldn't get Little Miss A to just smile for the camera, she kept making silly faces! I think the second picture captures how much she adores her brother. And his affection for her is really starting to show as he seems to save his best smiles for his big sister.





The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

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Family Activities & Events in and around Aylesbury in October Half Term 2016

Thursday, 20 October 2016

I have compiled a list of the activities and events going on in and around Aylesbury during the October Half Term holiday.


Halloween Spooktacular Trail at Aston Clinton Park
Monday 24th to Sunday 30th October
Grab your trail map from the Cafe, follow the map around the park looking for all of the hidden Halloween pictures. Write down the numbers of the pictures onto your map and when you’ve found them all, return to the Cafe to receive your goody bag!
Place: Cafe in the Park, Aston Clinton HP22 5HL
Times: During Cafe opening times
Cost: £1 per child

Workshops at the Natural History Museum at Tring
Monday 24th to Friday 28th October
Different workshops running each day. Some activities are suitable for all ages, others for ages 5 and over.
Place: Natural History Museum at Tring, Akeman Street, Tring HP23 6AP
Time: Check website for workshop times
Cost: Museum entry is free. Workshops are £2 or £4 per child.
We've visited the Museum a few times and it's always been a hit with Little Miss A. Take a look at these posts: Meeting the Animals at Tring Museum and Meeting the Animals Again at Tring Museum

Spooky Trail at Black Park
Monday 24th to Friday 28th October
Follow the map and clues to find all the spooky clues hidden in Black Park. Simply pick up your map from the Information Point to follow the self-led trail, answer the quiz sheet and earn yourself a little treat! (max 2 treats per map).
Place: Black Park Country Park, Wexham SL3 6DS
Time: 10am - 3pm
Cost: £3 per map (max 2 treats per map), pay & display charges apply

Creepy Half Term Craft Activities at Bucks County Museum
Monday 24th to Friday 28th October
Family activities with a different creepy creature to make each day. No need to book.
Place: Bucks County Museum, Church Street, Aylesbury HP20 2QP
Times: Drop in between 10am - 12pm or 1pm - 3pm
Cost: £3 per child/participant

Halloween Themed Parties with Jacqu'in The Box
Monday 24th to Thursday 27th October
Halloween themed parties with Jacqui with lots of music, action songs and fun! Must pre-book and pay in advance - call 07948 371615. See Jacqu'in The Box Facebook page for full details.
Place: Various
Times: Various
Cost: Various

Film Walk in Black Park
Monday 24th October
Black Park has played host to many major film, TV and music productions. Join the Rangers for a walk around Black Park to look at some of the locations. Booking is essential.
Place: Black Park Country Park, Wexham SL3 6DS
Time: 10am - 11.30am
Cost: £5 adult, £3 child, £14 family (max 2 adults & 2 children), pay & display charges apply.

Halloween Crafts in Aston Clinton Park
Tuesday 25th October
Drop in and join Aston Clinton Childminders for lots of Halloween crafts.
Place: Youth Club, Aston Clinton Park, Aston Clinton HP22 5HL
Time: 10am - 3pm
Cost: Donations with all proceeds to Ollie's Fund.

Halloween Themed Runaround Rascals
Tuesday 25th October
Halloween theme, optional fancy dress, spooky music and a seek fame in the soft play for a prize. Reserve your place as spaces limited.
Place: Prebendal Farm Community Centre, Somerville Way, Aylesbury HP19 7QT
Time: 10am - 12pm
Cost: £4 per child and £2 for siblings

Den Building by the Campfire in Black Park
Tuesday 25th October
Have a go at building your own den around a campfire with our Rangers in Black Park. Drinks and marshmallows are included. Booking essential.
Place: Black Park Country Park, Wexham SL3 6DS
Time: 10am - 12pm
Cost: £16 per family (max. 2 adults & 2 children), £3 per extra family member, pay & display charges apply.

Autumn Woodland Play in Black Park
Wednesday 26th October
Join the Rangers for an hour of woodland fun and games in Black Pine’s Camp. Make sure you don’t wear your best clothes as you may get muddy! Parents must supervise. Suitable for 4 to 10 year olds. Booking essential.
Place: Black Park Country Park, Wexham SL3 6DS
Time: 3 time slots during the day
Cost: £5 per child, pay & display charges apply.

May Messy Church at Southcourt Baptist Church
Wednesday 26th October
Art, food crafts, bouncy castles, play, quizzes, story, singing, lunch and so much more...
Place: Southcourt Baptist Church, Aylesbury HP21 8HW
Time: 10:30am - 12:30pm
Cost: £1 per person
To find out more about this session, take a look at my review of the Messy Church from April and Messy Church review from May last year.

Halloween Freaky Zombie Party at Friars Square
Wednesday 26th October
Head down to Friars Square for our Freaky Halloween bonanza, where you'll be 'Trick or Treated' to fiendishly good face-paiting, a Halloween craft workshop, stilt-walking Witches, Zombie Disco Comedy Shows at 11am, 12.30pm & 2pm, take part in the fancy dress competitions at the end of each Zombie Disco show, plus there'll be a spooky Halloween trail around the centre!
Place: Friars Square Shopping Centre, Aylesbury HP20 2QF
Time: 11am - 3pm
Cost: Free

Halloween Fun in Market Square 
Thursday 27th October
Organised by Aylesbury Town Council, enjoy an afternoon of free family Halloween fun and entertainment. There will be the very popular Panto-ween, a chance to get up close and personal with a variety of spiders, bats and snakes with a traveling reptile roadshow from Impeyan Productions, and the Spotlight Musical Theatre Group will be teaching and performing the classic Michael Jackson Thriller routine. There will also be Halloween themed crafts, games and activities to take part in, as well as a face painter. Prizes will be awarded for the best Halloween fancy dress costume and carved pumpkin.
Place: Market Square, Aylesbury
Time: 3pm - 6pm
Cost: Free
We've been along to this event the last couple of years. Take a look at our Spooktacular Halloween Fun last year.

Spooky #AylesburyThursdays Event
Thursday 27th October
Organised by Aylesbury Vale District Council, #AylesburyThursdays returns in half term with free activities. Visit the Scary Pod at Kingsbury where the kids can have their face painted before entering the pod, where their faces will glow-in-the-dark! Please note there are no age or height restrictions for this FREE activity.
Place: Aylesbury town centre
Time: 11am - 3pm
Cost: Free (charge for some activities on the day)

Halloween Party with Runaround Rascals and Creation Station
Thursday 27th October
Messy play, arts & Crafts, soft play, bouncy castle, fancy dress, stalls and spooky surprises! For children aged 6 months to 5 years. Tickets bookable in advance.
Place: Meadowcroft Community Centre, Aylesbury HP19 9HH
Time: 9.30am - 11.30am
Cost: £12 family ticket (up to 3 children). Under 1s free.

Halloween Kids Disco with Em's Looney Tune Discos
Saturday 26th March
Em's Looney Tune Discos are hosting a kids optional fancy dress Halloween party at the Watermead Pub. Kids will be entertained with spooky games & dances with snacks and drink for kids included. No need to book, simply turn up.
Place: The Watermead Inn, Watermead, Aylesbury HP19 0FX
Time: 2pm -4pm
Cost: £2 entry donation for 3 years old and over (this includes kids drink & snack)

Halloween Party at Buckingham Park Community Centre
Sunday 30th October
Join in this year's Halloween party.......If you dare!!! BBQ, treats for the little ones and an entertainer! Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Place: Buckingham Park community Centre, Jubilee Square, Aylesbury HP19 9DZ
Time: 6.30pm - 8pm
Cost: £3 per person

College Lake
Various dates
Lots of Children's Workshops during the half term holidays. Take a look at the website for more details. The Lake is a favourite of ours, read about our family walk at College Lake.


Everyday (ongoing)
A fun trail of 22 artworks celebrating children's stories that takes you all around the town of Leighton Buzzard.
Place: Leighton Buzzard
Time: Anytime
CostFree. Car parking charges apply. Trail sheet can be picked up from the library or downloaded from the website.
To find out more about the Trail, take a look at the review of the Leighton-Linslade Children's Trail from our recent visit.

National Trust
Throughout the summer
It's worth checking the National Trust website for details of the school holiday activities going on at each of their properties.

Children's Centres
The Children's Centres throughout Bucks are open during the school holidays and run a holiday timetable. See the Bucks Family Info Service website for details of your nearest centre and for timetables.

I've compiled these events from various websites, Facebook etc. Please check with the actual organisers/venue for up-to-date information.

I'd love to know if there's any events not on this list. I'll try to add to this list with any additional ones I find out about over the next couple of weeks.

For more ideas, you might also be interested in the Family Days Out and Family Walks that we've been on.

Hope you and your family have a great October half term, whatever you're up to!

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My Sunday Photo 16-10-2016

Sunday, 16 October 2016

This is my favourite picture of this week for #MySundayPhoto.



This picture was taken this week at Talacre Lighthouse in Prestatyn, which is the oldest lighthouse in Wales. We managed to finally get away for a little holiday and went to North Wales for a few nights. I love seeing these three together. They really are my world.

OneDad3Girls

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