Elounda, Crete

Although it feels like a lifetime ago, in August we spent twelve nights in Crete in the lovely harbour town of Elounda. It was our first holiday with entourage (grandparents and an auntie!) and I’m not sure we will holiday without them from now on. Built in babysitters are the way forward!

Elounda is an hours drive from Heraklion airport but I think its worth the drive, past the bright lights and English breakfasts of Malia and driving along a gorgeous coastal road. We got a taxi from the airport which cost €75 but you can also book cheap car hire and drive the beautiful route yourself.

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Come back sunshine

This past week has been lovely with the sunshine tempting us into that summer feeling and hopefully a taste of what is to come. Or not. Torrential rain today and plummeting temperatures are keeping us firmly in April but for a whole week it was great. Continue reading

Sunday Shot

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I was a big fan of Silent Sunday so I was saddened to see Jay end her fantastic idea. Although I know Silent Sunday is still going, ask anyone who knows me and the concept of silence is one I struggle with. I once tried to do a sponsored silence at school and I think I made it to 9.15am.

So here is my very own tribute to Silent Sunday in the form of a sequel. I am calling it Sunday Shot and its all the same but with words!

This photo of the Boy was taken on Tuesday at West Wittering beach and he is covered in sand and chocolate ice cream.

Holiday dreams

On Saturday I am going on HOLIDAY – I am so darn excited I can barely contain myself from skipping down the streets with delight. But of course, its not all plain sailing and rocking up to the holiday without so much as a second thought a la HelloitsGemma. Oh I wish I could but I am too controlling for that. The Man however, has managed to wangle himself 3 days in Barcelona with work arriving back home 12 hours before we depart so I am left doing all the blardy packing for the three of us and in case you can’t take on board my annoyance and frustration at this over a blog post, let me tell you, my keyboard is feeling the brunt of my anger right now!!

And breathe, and remember the reason for the horrendous packing job (and don’t even think about the unpacking/repacking/unpacking thereafter). We are going to the Martinhal Resort in Portugal and to give me hope between tonight and Saturday morning, during which time I might tear my hair out in suitcase sized clumps or kill my husband the minute he walks through the door all chirpy with not so much as a Toblerone for me, this is what I am looking forward to about our holiday:

  • Swimming – I love it, splashing, dunking, lilo-ing, jumping in, handstands underwater – I just hope this year the Boy is up for it before our last day
  • Sunbathing – I think its my Indian blood because I love lying in the sun feeling the rays penetrate my skin and leaving me with a lovely glow
  • Eating – I love eating, well usually I do (when I’m not pregnant) and I cannot wait to eat fresh seafood – prawns, sardines, lobster and churros and having an ice cream EVERY DAY
  • The Beach – sandcastles, wave jumping, bat and ball
  • Reading my book – or should I say books as I usually get through a fair few
  • The first (non-alcoholic for me) beer after putting the Boy to bed, that is hoping he goes to bed this year
  • Playing cards with the Man after dinner
  • Not watching TV or going on my blackberry or laptop (well, only very occasionally and for a few minutes)
And best of all I get to do this with my two favourite people (when I finally forgive the Man for making me do all the packing)
What do you love about holiday?

>Things are hotting up

>I am so happy the weather is getting warmer, stashing my wonderfully warm jacket in the cellar is something I look forward to every year and in exchange bringing up flip flops and short skirts. I would love to be a good gardener but I have this annoying habit of killing every plant I have ever owned, something to do with needing watering. I think my problem is I just love the garden but my main love is sun-worshipping. We have a huge Elephant bean bag in the garden which I can lie on without getting my feet tickled by the grass, in fact it is so comfy I had a nap on it yesterday! So here is what I love about Summer in England:

  • BBQs – ribs, burgers, corn on the cob, what more can I say
  • The smell of freshly cut grass
  • Making daisy chains
  • Waking up to sunshine (and if I’m really tired, going to sleep in it too)
  • Short skirts, flip flops and vest tops
  • Ice creams – especially Calippos and 99’s
  • Letting fresh air into the house
  • Paddling pools
  • Letting the Boy run around in the most adorable reusable nappies

So what do you love about the Summer?

>Tommee Tippee Digital Monitor review and competition

>A couple of months ago I was invited to the product launch of the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature sterliants range. It was my very first blogging event and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. As it was the Boy and I had a lovely afternoon at the Maggie and Rose kids club in Kensington and I was really impressed at the product range. Unlike a lot of other sterilising products it it designed for babies and children and what impressed me most is that it doesn’t have that burn your nostrils alcohol smell.

Tommee Tippee very kindly gave me a DECT Digital Monitor with Movement Sensor Pad (“DECT”) to review. I didn’t buy a monitor before the Boy was born, we live in a small, old house so the walls are thin and you can hear almost everything. Except of course you can’t hear the paranoia in your own head or rather you can, all too loud. The Man and I used to sit there in the evenings ears cocked to the side saying to each other “did you hear something”? After a very annoying week of this we decided to buy a monitor, this was a good move as our sanity, along with the volume on the TV, was restored.

We haven’t used a monitor for a while as the Boy is now very loud and isn’t shy about letting you know he wants something but I was quite pleased to have one again (the old one is at my mums as she has a big, monitor necessary house). The DECT is an all singing all dancing monitor which really gives you great peace of mind in a number of areas.

The sound is crystal clear and worked all the way to our garden which will be great on these lovely BBQ evenings. The temperature display, which prior to the Boy being born I probably would have viewed as an unnecessary feature but soon came to realise that paranoia linked to your precious baby is all reaching, is very handy and clearly displayed. A beep goes off if the temp drops too low, or if you are out of range of the monitor. The movement sensor pad, which triggers an alarm if the baby doesn’t move for 20 seconds, is probably best for newborn babies and will give that added peace of mind. My favourite bit of the monitor is the two way  feature which allowed me to talk to the Boy from the comfort of the couch, bed, kitchen (delete as appropriate) and give reassuring messages like “go to sleep now” and “its still bedtime”. There is a night light on the monitor although the Boy doesn’t use one and its not quite bright enough to help with nappy changes.

Although this is a top priced monitor at £99.99 it has many features which make it worth the investment, especially the thermometer, movement sensor pad and night light which would save you from buying these things all individually. The energy saved in running up and down stairs and the peace of mind that you can hear what’s happening is worth every penny!

Competition

The lovely people at Tommee Tippee have also given me some fabulous weaning goodies to giveaway to one fabulous and lucky reader. To enter please do one or all of the following, each item which will give one entry:

  1. Follow my blog
  2. Follow @tommeetippee_uk and @choc0range on Twitter
  3. “Like” Tommee Tippee on Facebook

Then please leave a comment below telling me what you’ve done.

Thanks for reading!

Competition ends 30 April 2011
UK only

>Farewell to an era

>On Thursday afternoon I had hand surgery to remove two stones from my hand embedded there since a motorbike accident in Thailand eight years ago. Although I can now clap without fear of the stones jabbing into me I will miss my little quirk and way to entertain small children. It has made me realise how much of my life the stones have been present for and how I will miss them. So, my tribute to my stones and the memories we have shared:

  • Moving into my first flat with the Man after university, it was tiny but it was ours and celebrating it by breaking the bed.
  • Working in the City, so much fun in my early twenties, far too much wine and not enough sleep.
  • The Man proposing to me in Richmond Park and the only time in my life I have been speechless (I had to nod yes).
  • Our beautiful wedding in Cornwall where the sun shone down on us and we were surrounded by all of our family and friends and I was made to feel so special.
  • The positive pregnancy test at 11pm after three pints and the subsequent breakdown in a Tesco toilet.
  • The birth of the Boy and the agony I went through to get him out followed by pure amazement at what we had created.
  • So many Boy moments that have filled my heart with pride and happiness.
  • And a memorable last day together.

So goodbye dear friends, whilst you live on in a plastic pot I feel our relationship will not be the same again. I will miss you and think of you when I see my two scars.