It’s now time to share a little something that I (Victoria) didn’t know I needed until I got one. Handy, right? It’s a travel bag* for my most used baby item, the Sleepyhead Deluxe, beautifully modelled here by Jo and Poppy. As my little girl definitely takes after her mama and loves her sleep (thank you Ada!), we get a heck of a lot of use out of the Sleepyhead. It is something I would genuinely recommend to anyone expecting a baby and to any new mums reading. Yes, it’s expensive, but I think a good night’s sleep in the early days is worth every penny. I’ll be purchasing the next size up, no doubt about it.
A few weeks ago Jo and I were lucky enough to head off for a stay at the wonderful Bluestone in Wales (more on that, here) with our husbands and the girls, which was the perfect opportunity to give the travel bags their first road test. They transported the bags stylishly and were (obviously!) ideal for storing the Sleepyhead when not in use. Great for keeping the merchandise looking as good as new! Throw in a few pockets here and there, and you’ve got a pretty nifty one stop shop for all your baby essentials.
Along with our lovely husbands, James and Andrew, we recently took the girls to Bluestone National Park Resort for their very first holiday. For our first trip away we wanted somewhere that wasn’t too far, so at just over two hours in the car this Welsh delight was perfect! If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you may remember we visited Bluestone a couple of years ago (back when we were footloose and fancy free) to review their adult only packages. We were really looking forward to going back and seeing it through a fresh pair of new parent eyes and found it quite amazing what you don’t notice before you have children! Bluestone is perfectly geared up for little and big kids with plenty of activities for even the babies (they offer baby sensory, massage and yoga although our top tip would be to book in advance as we missed out on the sensory class). We really appreciated just how easy everything was made for us, even eating out was a breeze thanks to how child friendly all the facilities are. All restaurants should have a buggy park!
We stayed in the six person Skomer Lodge which was slightly luxurious thanks to its three beds and three bathrooms situation. The girls really appreciated having their own bathrooms – we just can’t drag them away from the mirror! We were all slightly nervous about attempting a holiday with two such young babies but thanks to the amount of space we had, we were never under each others feet and it was very easy for one baby to be crying in the night and not disturb the other. A big relief for us all! If you’ve got bigger children, all the lodges have lots of lovely outside space for running around in or for even bigger kids (hi) for drinking prosecco and eating fish and chips from the onsite posh fish and chip van. We were even visited by some friendly rabbits and ducks!
We were #blessed with good weather so made the most of being in such a beautiful part of the world by exploring and spending as much time as possible in the great outdoors. One of our favourite things we did whilst away was the very pretty nature trail. Poppy and Ada actually slept through the whole thing but we had a lovely time admiring the bluebells, fairy houses, and giant fox sculptures! After a lovely long walk, we ended up at the picturesque Camp Smokey for a quick marshmallow break and some sing songs round the bonfire. Last time we visited we only ventured here during the evening but actually much preferred it in the day. It was so peaceful and it felt very special being there with the babies. Yeehaw!
We love this photo of the girls! We are hoping to take the same photo of them every time we go back to Bluestone!
It wouldn’t be a She and Hem holiday if we didn’t try and eat all of the desserts on offer. We loved the ice cream milkshakes at Ty Coffi and set ourselves the challenge of trying every flavour! They were so good! However, the star of the holiday has to be those ridiculous freakshakes. Oh my goodness what a treat. When ordering, the waitress was curious to know how many people would be sharing the shakes and was somewhat shocked to discover that we had one each. Did we regret it? Heck no. We probably shouldn’t mention that we then went on to have a spaghetti bolognaise should we… To combat our sugar high we left the boys with the babies and booked ourselves in for a two hour spa session. It was glorious and very much needed. In fact, whilst sitting in the outdoor jacuzzi we got chatting and soon realised that everyone there was a mum having a bit of a break. We felt very rejuvenated and soaked up every second before bouncing back to our lovely little ladies and their equally lovely dads. The four of them had had a real blast while we were away.
We also had a blast swimming at the Blue Lagoon swimming pool. There’s an abundance of family-sized changing rooms (complete with baby changing tables – so useful) and the pool itself was extremely baby friendly. We took the girls in the special kiddy pool (they loved the bubbles!) and then braved the wave machine and the rapids! Such daredevils. The girls aren’t quite big enough for the flumes yet but, hey, there’s got to be some advantages to being a grown up! We must have been in the pool area for a good couple of hours which is crazy! We even did a couple of feeds whilst lounging in the poolside deckchairs.
Thanks for another lovely stay Bluestone! We will be back!
J&V (and A&P&A&J) xx
A massive massive thank you to Bluestone for inviting us. Although they really did spoil us rotten this review is 100% honest.
As Autumn approaches, the She and Hem weekend wardrobe progresses from novelty/pretty dresses, to novelty/pretty dresses with slightly longer sleeves and tights. Sometimes we go crazy and throw on a cardigan. It is an issue we really need to a-dress…along with our obsession with puns.
Whilst exploring the beautiful Bluestone National Park in Pembrokeshire last weekend, we plaited our hair, popped a picnic into our golf buggy and parked up at the lake. We had a lovely afternoon stroll to really relax after a busy morning of making waves in the pool and indulging in pastries at the bakery. It’s a hard life being a blogger, but like the bakers who made our pastries, we think we rise to the occasion. It’s the yeast we can do.
Victoria: I wore my lace print prom dress from Yumi*. Although I absolutely love the design and texture of this dress, I’m not a big fan of a revealing neckline and when trying this dress on I felt far too insecure to wear it without a top underneath. Luckily, Jo lent me a mustard slip from Marks and Spencer, which covered my modesty without overpowering the white tones of the dress. The black big spot tights are from Gipsy via UK Tights* and the white heart shaped sunglasses are from Dahlia. My sumptuous gold block heels are from Topshop.
Jo: I had planned to wear this gorgeous Dipsy Daisy Dress from Yumi* with a mustard slip underneath but mine miraculously disappeared…..I jest, I jest. I do love a good pop of yellow though so this dress with its mustard belt and detailing really did, errr, cut the mustard for me! It’s also a really flattering cut, with a jersey fabric and a neatly nipped in waist. I also adore the beautiful detailing on the daisies and have surprised myself by digging the dip-dye finish, which will no doubt inspire lots of terrible ‘has it run in the wash?’ jokes from my Dad. I accessoried with white tights from UK Tights*, shoes from Orla Kiely for Clarks and Topshop sunglasses (although our sunglasses were slightly interchangeable it would seem).
When we first started She and Hem we certainly didn’t think about the many unexpected opportunities that would come our way. We didn’t think about the friends we’d make or the brands we’d work with and we definitely didn’t think we’d be dressed up to the nines on the back of a golf buggy in Wales. However, that’s exactly what happened after we received a letter (an actual physical letter!) from Bluestone National Park Resort inviting us to come try out their ‘adult packages’. Because, dear reader, WE are adults. Totally responsible grown up women. We at no point drove around in the aforementioned golf buggy blaring out Taylor Swift and giggling uncontrollably. At no point did that happen.
Bluestone, which you’ll find nestled within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, opened in 2008. It has nearly 300 (we didn’t count them so we’ll take their word for it) luxury lodges, cottages and studio apartments which are all set within their 500 acres (we didn’t measure it so we’ll take their word for it) of countryside. We felt rather jammy indeed living it up in our stylish upside down lodge. We couldn’t quite get over the novelty of having our living room and kitchen area upstairs!
As you can see, it’s pretty darn pretty and is naturally a haven for families making use of the many activities on offer. We, however, were there as ADULTS doing ADULT type stuff such as drinking beer, climbing walls and eating delicious pasties for breakfast. In your face, small children.
Bluestone offers four adult only packages, neatly known as Four Play. They aim to appeal in four different ways: Taste, Excite, Amuse and Relax. Luckily for you, we’ve tried them all out so you don’t have to. We’re good like that.
For Relax we went to the resort’s Well Spa Retreat and spent a glorious sunny morning relaxing in the hydro pool, hopping from steam room to sauna and lying around checking Twitter relaxing in the relaxation room. We left feeling very refreshed!
As part of the Taste package we were treated to an absolutely delicious meal from their well posh finest restaurant, Carreg Las. We honestly didn’t really know how to contain ourselves when dish after dish of outrageously beautiful food was put before us. Even our bread looked delighted! We would like to publicly thank our waiters Bryony and James for coping with us totally freaking out about how great it is to be bloggers. They were lovely!
The other two packages, Amuse and Excite, weren’t quite our cup of tea. But then, the Four Play packages are designed so that you can pick and choose which activities you do! Excite came in the form of the adrenaline filled High Ropes course through the woodland. Between us we had one dodgy knee and a fear of heights so it was never going to be one for us. It is, however, very impressive and was definitely being very much enjoyed by the other guests!
Finally, Amuse came in the form of a right royal knees up down at the beautiful Camp Smokey, reached via a boardwalk and hidden among the trees. It really is quite a scene! We were treated to hot cider, a banger filled BBQ and a live band. All of this was rather splendid but unfortunately we weren’t quite as on board with the enforced entertainment of dancing on the tables, party games and a wandering man with a microphone as some of the other guests. Again, this is purely a personal thing but we would have been very content with our jar of cider and a few marshmallows around the fire.
Those minor qualms aside, we of course had an absolutely fabulous weekend! As well as experiencing the Four Play packages, we also so enjoyed being able to hire our golf buggy and drive around pretending to be a low budget Thelma and Louise. It was excellent fun. We also found time to venture to their flume filled, wave-machine enabled, hot tub containing pool of wonder! See you guys at the adult swim, yeah?
A massive massive thank you to Bluestone for inviting us. Although they really did spoil us rotten this review is 100% honest and 100% ADULT, obvs.