Thursday, 24 July 2014

Packing for a Festival ::

So in one week now, we're heading down to Lulworth Castle for Camp Bestival.  We are all so very much looking for this, but since we're mostly away now until it's time to go we have a lot to prepare.
As non drivers, for us packing for any trip away always has to be quite a considered activity, especially now I'm pregnant, with all the back pains I'm having, anything that isn't necessary really needs to stay at home.

We've not been to Camp Bestival before but we did attend Latitude last summer and Milo and I headed down there on our own, so I feel I have a little experience of the light packing required.

Here's my list ::

Camping Equipment ::

  • Tent (we had a 2 man last year, which was fine for me and Milo and even OK for the 3 of us when Johnny decided to turn up and surprise us) but this year I think we're borrowing my sisters 4 man, to give us a little more space as Milo and myself are both a little bigger than last year!
  • Sleeping Mats.  We borrowed some self inflating ones off a friend last year that were fab, similar to this one, they were comfy easy to carry and set up and something we'll be purchasing for ourselves this year.
  • Sleeping Bags. 
  • Pillows.  Last year I simply took our slimmest regular pillows and rolled them up.  They weren't too heavy and meant we had a little bit of extra comfort.  I then used my hoodie for a bit of extra support under this, which worked really well.
  • Light Weight Fleece Blanket. Light enough and small enough to carry, but provides a little extra comfort.
  • Small Camping Stove. We have one like this, which is nice and small but enough for our morning cup of coffee requirements.
  • Small Camping Kettle.
  • Tin Mugs.
  • Spoons/Knives/Forks
  • Small Torches.
  • Wind Up Lamp.
  • Battery Powered Fairy Lights.  These just make the tent that little bit more cosy, totally not necessary but small enough to make it in the bag.
Food and Snacks ::
I was really happy with the food stuffs we took with us last year.  They provided enough to get us through the morning before the arena opened, we took snacks on site with us and were also able to feed ourselves a couple of lunches, meaning we weren't completely reliant on purchasing food there.
  • Cup-a-soups.
  • Pot Noodles (or similar)
  • Bread. Last year I made a small loaf the day before to take along, we also took a small jar of jam. As we didn't break into the bread until the first morning, it stayed reasonably fresh and provided us with breakfast 2 days.
  • Apples. The easiest fruit to take in my opinion, easy to store and transport without any worries of squashing or going bad in the heat.
  • Coffee/Tea/Sugar.  I don't use milk in my coffee so didn't consider what to do about that last year, as the Mr does have milk in his tea I'm not sure yet how will deal with this.
  • Dried Fruit. Raisin boxes and the little bags of yoghurt covered fruits worked great for us last year, so expect we'll do the same this year.
  • Biscuits.  Also something you don't need to worry about going bad in the heat.
First Aid Kit ::
  • Hayfever Tablets
  • Paracetmol
  • Plasters
  • Savlon
Wash Bag ::
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo/Shower Gel. I decant some into a little travel bottle.
  • Suncream
  • Moisturiser
  • Wipes
  • Hairbands/Hairclips
  • Hairbrush
  • Towels
Others ::
  • Camera
  • Phone
  • Phone Charger (there isn't always a place to use these, but I tend to take to keep a full charge on the train etc. so arrive at maximum charge!)
  • Books, the smallest, lightest ones we can find in our collections!
  • Notebooks.
  • Pencil case with a collection of pencils for the boy to colour.
  • A small knitting project for myself.
  • Ear Defenders for Milo.
  • Ear Plugs.  Didn't have these last time and they were the only thing I really thought we were missing.
  • Glow Sticks.
Clothes too of course! We'll also have a fancy dress outfit for Milo for Saturday's Circus theme and I'll be keeping an eye on the weather as it approaches to make sure we have the right equipment for defending the elements.  But that's our big list.  I was so surprised last year at how much I managed to fit into such a small space.  I took just one large camping rucksack and one large shopping bag, giving one had free all the time for Milo when changing trains etc.

I really am getting so excited now! If you have any top tips for festival camping with children I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Summer Holidaying ::

Woohoo...summer holidays are here.  After my boy's first year at school, we are all so very ready for this 6 week break.  He's loved school so much, but 6 weeks off, in the sunshine, a fresh new class come September and all to coincide with my maternity leave are just what we need.

We started as me meant to go on, by heading straight to Sanford Lido after school on Friday, to spend a couple of hours in the sunshine for me and a couple of hours refusing to get out of the water for Milo.  I'm ashamed to say I've not really done much with Milo in terms of swimming, summertimes at the Lido and on the beach are really the extent of his experiences so far, so I was super proud when on arrival he declared, no inflatables or goggles for him today (the kids pool at the Lido is shallow enough throughout that his feet will always touch the bottom).  I then watched him repeatedly jump in from the side and happily immerse himself entirely under the water in an action he called 'diving'.

After the Lido we met up with Johnny in the pub for chips and ginger beer.  The late(ish) night for Milo even meant he slept in a little on Saturday morning.

Since then, we've attended birthday parties, played lego, made loom band everythings, watched the Lego Movie three times and played out on the street with neighbours.  Just perfect, lovely summer holiday activities and we're only officially on day 3.

Now my shop is closed for my maternity leave we are so unbelievably busy for the next few weeks. Tomorrow Milo and I head off to Norfolk to visit my family, when we return we have one day to get ready before taking off to Camp Bestival then home for a few days before taking off for Cambridge. After that I expect we'll be taking the rest of the holidays pretty easy, as I approach those last few weeks of pregnancy. Hoping your summer holidays are filled with as much fun as ours hope to be.

Monday, 21 July 2014

31 Weeks ::

Whoa...down to single figures now!

So I think I may have jinxed myself last week with all that talk of how wonderful I was feeling.  This week has not been so great.  I've really really struggled with back pain, it started on Sunday and it seems to have got progressively worse as the week has gone on.  It's an odd pain about halfway up my back. It's fairly constant, though much worse if I'm walking, when it tends to spread around my front too.  The only real relief I'm managed to find for it so far is to lie down with a hot water bottle under the offending area.  I'm sure you can imagine this isn't the most comfortable way to be in this mini heat wave we're having.  I remember having this same pain when I was pregnant with Milo but I really don't remember it being quite so bad.  Fortunately I'm off to see the physiotherapist this morning. I'm really hoping she has some kind of miracle cure for me, as I'm so looking forward to the summer holidays and all the fun things we have planned.

On a brighter note all this gorgeous sunshine means I'm really get through washing all the baby things in anticipation of her arrival.  I still have a lot to organise, a hospital bag to pack and a whole lot of essentials to buy, but I'm feeling a little bit better about all that now I at least have some clothes all washed and ready for her to wear.  I also discovered yesterday that I've been booked in for an extra scan at 34 weeks, I have no idea why this is, as far as I'm aware there have absolutely no problems with her growth etc. so far, but it'll be lovely to see her again before the big day.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Finding Inspiration :: Dressing Up for the Circus ::

Two weeks today we'll heading down to Lulworth Castle for this years Camp Bestival.  We're so excited.  I cannot wait.  We've never been before, but everything I've read about it so far just makes me more and more eager to go.

The dressing up theme this year is 'Circus'.  After sending Milo off to school this morning dressed as a spider for his 'Ugly Bug Ball', I got to thinking about his costume for Camp Bestival.  We've had a bit of a chat about it and I think at the moment he wants to be a clown, though there was some indecision over whether a lion tamer would be better.

I'll probably make his costume, but I couldn't help taking a peek over on etsy at some of the fabulous circus themed items they had over there.  Here are a few of my favourites.

Click the little pictures at the bottom to see the original source of the images above, or click the big picture to see more of my pins over on pinterest.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Crochet Lego Head :: A Pattern ::

I originally made this Lego head about 18 months ago now, after taking Stacey Trock's fabulous Monster Making class on Craftsy.  I only ever really intended to make one for Milo and leave it at that, but I've had so many requests for the pattern for this I thought I'd write it up for you.

It's really very simple and if you've tried your hand at amigurumi before I'm sure you'll have no problems with this.  If you haven't here a few notes to help you on your way.
  • The whole head is made in one piece, working in continuous rounds of double crochet (UK), meaning you don't join or chain at the beginning of each round, you just carry on in to the next stitch.
  • You start at the bottom and work up to the top, increasing and decreasing at various points to create the shaping.
  • You start your project using the magic loop technique.  This gives you a nice tight first round with hardly any gap in your starting ring, this is especially important for amigurumi as you want your work as tight and as free from holes as possible.  There is a really handy tutorial for magic loop over on craftsy here.
  • You need to use a marker to keep track of the beginning of your round, I find a scrap of yarn much, much easier to use than an actual stitch marker.  I have a tutorial on how to do this here.
  • There is much talk about the right side and the wrong side of your work, I say as for most crafty endeavours, there is no right or wrong, go with what looks/feels best for you.  I know some folks prefer to work through the back loop only of each stitch too. I take the side that faces me as I work to be the right side and work through the whole stitch, but like I said, do whatever works best for you.
  • I recommend you go at least a hook size smaller than your yarn ball suggests, this helps to get a nice tight fabric.
  • You can use whatever kind of yarn weight or content you like for this project, obviously the chunkier the yarn the bigger the head, for my bigger version I used aran weight yarn held double and for the smaller head I used a fingering/4ply weight yarn.  The smaller head measures 5cm tall and 5cm wide.

Monday, 14 July 2014

This Week ::

A round up of some of my favourite moments from my Instagram this week ::

30 Weeks ::

Oh my how exactly did it all go by so quickly! 10 weeks to go, though I'm thinking I'd quite like for her to arrive a couple of weeks early and therefore get in to the earlier school year!  Not too early mind.

All has been pretty quiet in terms of pregnancy this week, no appointments, no worries or problems and an unexpected upturn in energy levels.  All in all it's been a good week.  In fact there have even been a couple of occasions I've almost forgot I'm pregnant at all, which when you're as big as I am is quite unexpected.

I'm starting to think I need to start getting ready.  I've made a big list of items for my hospital bag, though I'm hoping to stay at home I still need to have a bag ready to go, just in case. I was thinking I'd get together a box for labour at home too, something with everything ready for when the time comes. I don't remember having a particularly large bag last time, but the list I've copied off a baby website somewhere on the internets, seems enormous. Think I'll be taking a suitcase in to hospital with me. I'm also making a start on getting all the clothes etc. washed and ready whilst it's lovely and sunny.  I'm super lucky in that I've been given a whole ton of clothes, there really is pretty much nothing in terms of clothing I need to buy, which I'm really grateful for.

Like I say all is pleasantly quiet this week, which is wonderful and really given me a chance to start preparing for the summer holidays and all the business of having fun which will ensue.