Whilst I’m sure it’s been delightful reading about my preparations for our first family camping holiday, I also wanted to share some of the experiences of other bloggers. This week, Lauren from Scrapbook Lives Blog is sharing some of her favourites: campsites, memories and packing-must-haves.
With less than a month until our big family camping adventure, the race was well and truly on to find ourselves a tent fit for all three of us. LPD and I have a little three man pup-tent that was alright for us when we used to go on our own for the odd weekend here and there, but as I’ve mentioned before – going for a week with a toddler requires a whole new set up! Thankfully, Millets helped us out a little bit by inviting us to join in their #HomefromHome campaign, sending us a really useful multi-functional camping storage table and a care package filled with camping goodies. Millets recognise that every family has a different idea of what their home from home needs to be: whether it’s the luxury of fully kitted out caravan complete with a television, a more rugged, back-to-basics natural set up sleeping under the stars, or anywhere in-between.
So what’s our idea of #HomefromHome? And what were we looking for? And more importantly, have we found it?
This year is absolutely flying by, and before we know it, we’ll be taking Pickle on his first camping holiday. I cannot wait! To make the countdown even more exciting, I’m starting a camping series and every Wednesday from now until the end of August, I’ll be sharing how I’m getting prepared for big family camping trip as well as sharing some camping tales from other bloggers too. I’ve been really looking forward to this holiday for SUCH a long time (does anyone else find sometimes the anticipation of the holiday is the best bit?!) and I can only apologise in advance for how high the levels of excitement will reach as each week passes!
For our holiday, we’re heading to Cardigan Bay in Wales, near New Quay – famous for its abundance of wild dolphins. I’ve spent so much time sat on the gorgeous harbour, waiting for and delighting in the sight of dolphins playing off shore. No matter how many times I’ve seen them, it never gets any less magical. I’m not sure how much time Pickle will give us to just sit and watch water… but I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed we can again this summer.
From Camping as a Couple to a Family
I like to think of ourselves as seasoned campers. I’ve been going camping since I was a mere six months old (and I always get reminded of this by family members who seem to particularly remember the fondness I showed for sherry that holiday!) and although I don’t think LPD went on many family camping trips, we’ve now notched up a fair few together over the years. Although usually only for the weekend, and we’ve usually gotten away with only taking the bare essentials. We certainly don’t have an abundance of our own equipment.
We’ve had a few disasters in our time. Including the holiday that we rocked up in Wales only to find we were missing half the tent. We had to drive to the nearest Argos which was 45 minutes away to buy ourselves a new one. Oh, how young we look in these photos!
Our little tent isn’t going to quite cut the mustard with Pickle in tow… and whereas we could get away with minimal stuff before, there’s so much more to consider when taking a toddler along!
Thankfully, Kiddies Kingdom have already sent us a few bits and pieces to help and Pickle was the recipient of his very own Red Kite backpack and a Weegoamigo circus muslin. They’re probably not necessarily items you’d automatically consider ‘camping’ items, but I already know they’ll make life easier for us when under canvas – as well as in the run up to our holiday too!
Red Kite Lion Backpack & Reins
Oh, this is just too cute isn’t it? This gorgeous little backpack is perfect to take away with us. I love the idea of Pickle carrying his own little bits and pieces around and now that he’s on the move, he can be a proper little adventurer with all his essentials in his bag! I’m thinking… some travel baby wipes, suncream and a teddy would be perfect to pop in here. And yellow really is his colour.
I can’t get over how grown up he looks wearing this. These photos were actually taken a while ago now, before he was properly walking (I don’t think I’d ever manage to get a photo of him sitting still now!), and I remember being taken aback at how much he didn’t look like a baby anymore. Babies don’t have backpacks! Toddlers have backpacks! How has this happened already?
This backpack comes with the option of using reins that can clip on and off at the top of the bag. I have tried them out with him now that he is properly walking, in the hope that it’ll literally ‘rein’ him in a little bit but… I just ended up following him wherever he wanted to go anyway! It was more for my reassurance that he couldn’t suddenly bolt without me knowing where he was rather than a tool to keep him from naturally exploring!
The bag has a little clip at the front, to stop the straps falling off his shoulders meaning it stays on really nicely and I bet he doesn’t even feel like he’s wearing it – he certainly doesn’t seem to mind. His hat however… that’s a whole different story! That comes off alarmingly frequently, even when it’s tied on.
Weegoamigo Muslin Wrap – Circus
I’m late to the party when it comes to gorgeous printed muslins. When Pickle was really little and muslins were mainly just used to mop up milky sick on the very rare occasion he brought any up, I couldn’t understand why anyone would buy such beautiful and large muslins. Why would you buy something so pretty to clean up sick with? But, of course, as I’m sure other people already know, when your baby grows out of the sicky stage, they’re like the swiss army knife of a baby change bag! Especially ones as big and gorgeous as this Weegoamigo Circus printed one.
So far, we’ve used this one as a lightweight blanket during the hot weather, a fun addition to peek-a-boo, a quick storage solution for toys, a rug to play on… I even pegged it up on the washing line to form a den with some shade!
It’s honestly so beautiful. I really fancy getting hold of some wooden circus animals so that we can begin to play with the muslin and tell stories about the circus printed on it and what the animals all get up to! A fun activity for a rainy day. Maybe I’ll get him a little circus animal set for when we go on holiday – it’s bound to rain, right?
But we still need a tent…!
So whilst Pickle has himself a few lovely treats, we’ll all look pretty silly if we don’t have a tent to go with it. We still haven’t bought one. I feel like it’s quite the investment as I’m hoping we’ll get one that will last us a good few years and see us through many a future camping trip. I think it’s worth spending that little bit extra and going for a tent a little bit bigger than we need right now, in order to prepare for the years ahead! I’d love to hear from you if you have any tent recommendations or any advice as to what to go for, what to avoid and what’s really important.
Oh darling, camping is going to be quite the adventure! You little explorer.
Gardening is the one thing I wish I was a bit more of a natural at. There are a few photos that have been sneaking into the blog and on Instagram over the last few days that I’ve taken during this glorious weather we’ve been having that showcase just how weedy our garden is! The soil is terrible. The ground is cracking. And the grass is patchy and rough. I dream of having a lush green lawn with beautifully presented flowerbeds, but I currently lack the time, the knowledge and the motivation to get it looking the way I’d like.
Thankfully, Rattan Direct have produced this lovely infographic which gives beginners like me some much needed guidance! Whether you’re reading this in the height of the current summer or months down the line in the winter, there’s tips on what you should be doing with your garden to get it to it’s finest condition.
How Your Garden Transforms Through the Seasons
We often think as spring and summer as being the only season during which time our garden is active but, as this infographic from Rattan Direct shows, the garden is alive with growth and bugs in every season.
How do the Seasons Change Your Garden?
The garden is valuable outdoor space, especially in the warmer summer months. Children play outside in the warm sunshine, you can relax and read the latest best seller.
But do you wish your garden was more bountiful, flowers more abundant and more yield from your vegetable plot?
Are You Making the Most of the Seasons?
The seasons are the gardener’s friend if you know how to protect your soil from the frosts of winter or when to plant seedlings.
And this infographic explains everything you need to know about seasons and the garden…
The garden needs protecting from the cold of WINTER. It also needs protecting from the rain and the wind, two elements that empty the soil of its nutrients.
As the garden awakes in SPRING, you need to make sure the shoots of new growth have everything they need to grow strong and resplendent.
In SUMMER, you enjoy the full glory of the garden, knowing your hard work has paid off. Gorge of fresh home-grown fruits and fill your summer plates with fresh vegetables.
Enjoy the colours of AUTUMN and the last of the vegetable crops and fruit harvest. Begin to wrap the garden back up so that it can weather everything the winter throws at it.
With these tips, I reckon we can start to get our garden in order… We’ll soon have a gorgeous yard for Pickle to play around in. This time next year, it’ll be our little outdoor haven!
If you were to ask me what I think the most important part of any holiday is, I’d tell you it’s the making of special memories. I honestly don’t think it matters where you go, as long as you make the most of the time you have together as a family and just drink in as much of it as you can, you’ll come away with a treasure trove of stories and experiences to cherish for years to come. We certainly did just that after our midweek stay at Bluestone Wales earlier in May. After what has been quite a stressful and upsetting start to the year, the break away did all three of us the world of good and both LPD and I have been heralding it as one of our most favourite holidays ever – and that’s saying a lot!