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Night at the Museum – Dino Snores for kids

What do get your bug obsessed, nature-loving explorer of a son for his birthday? My friend provided the perfect answer when she mentioned Dino Snores – a sleepover for kids aged 7-11 at the Natural History Museum.   I had no idea you could spend a night under the Blue Whale, in one of the most incredible and iconic buildings in London, and when the date of our adventure rolled round it was hard to know who was more excited.
Upon booking your tickets for Dino Snores for Kids you get the opportunity to win one of 20 exclusive spots at the Airbnb Base Camp. And what a Base Camp it was.  On arrival we were greeted by our Explorer host, who led us up the steps to the balcony of the Hintze Hall and to a rather realistic looking campfire and log setting. Further treats were in store when we were shown to our camp beds, either side of a giant sequoia and overlooking the breathtaking blue whale skeleton.
Airbnb Base Camp is all about the detail.  Sounds of the jungle fill the air, a fancy dress trunk awaits and even the loos or ‘long drops’ were given a creepy crawlie makeover. Little A was thrilled to see his camp bed complete with hanging lantern and tented canopy and the fun didn’t stop there.  Dino Snores for Kids was super well organised and we soon set off on our evening of adventure.  First up came a Science and Space show in one of the lecture rooms. A rocket launch, lots of fizz, pops and smoke from the science bench and specimens from space all eagerly devoured by our wannabe Astronauts and embarrassing to admit but my friend and I also learnt a few facts along the way. (Pluto is no longer considered a ‘planet’ in our solar system and is now reclassified as a ‘dwarf planet’ FYI!) After a brief pit stop back round our cosy campfire (you pack a snack and the fact you are eating it past 9pm basically makes it a midnight feast).  Next up was designing your own Dinosaur T shirt.  Each activity was led by brilliant NHM staff all bubbling with excitement and interesting facts that kept the children fully interested even past their bedtime.  T-shirt designs complete and stowed away for us, we were off on the final activity of the night – a torch lit trail through the Dinosaur exhibit.  This one isn’t for the faint hearted especially given that the animatronic T-Rexy is waiting for you at the end. Hearts pumping and eyes beginning to look a little weary it was up to the balcony for us and time to bed down at the Airbnb Base Camp.
Activities finished around 11pm and the light’s go off at midnight. I was somewhat surprised that after 10 mins of overtired giggling from Little A he actually nodded off to sleep.  He then woke me at 6am needing a call of nature but aside from that slept like a log.  The ‘Animal Man’ is waiting to entertain you after breakfast with a live animal show before the magical bubble disperses and the Museum gets ready for opening time.
Definitely the experience of a childhood and a memory I will cherish of the boy and me time.  If the little one in your life is aged 7-11 and into adventure then this is the sleepover for you.
All in the detail:
We arrived just before 7pm.
Airbnb Base Campers receive a lovely goody bag on arrival.
2 camp beds per ‘tent’
Do pack an eye mask as some lights do stay on so if you are like me and like pitch black then definitely take one
You wear your clothes to sleep in so think ‘overnight flight’ comfort
I put Little A into his PJs with his Boden onesie on top
Pack slippers – marble floors on the walk to the loo
Airbnb Base Camp at the Natural History Museum was simply one of the best experiences for kids we have ever done.
For availability and more info click here
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All wrapped up – hooded towels for kids

Hooded OwlsIf after bathtime you realise that you are still trying to dry your toddler-sized Little One with one of their baby hooded towels then it might be time for an upgrade.  I still think that towels with a hood are still the best as they allow for the Superman/Superwoman method of drying, which involves running around the house with your towel flying behind you before collapsing into a towelling heap.  Lucky Little A received one of these fab large hooded towels from his fairy Godmother and we just love it.  Made by a Granny and Mummy team who saw the gap in the market, Hooded Owls have something for everyone.

For starters they are big and so can easily accommodate toddlers up to 8yr olds.  They are super soft and luxuriously thick and they each have a handy little pop fastener to keep the towel from sliding off so they are great for poolside chill time too.  Little A likes his because it’s blue, super snuggly and has a dinosaur trim and I am eyeing up a strawberry trimmed version for Little B.  For kids aged 7-13 they also offer a ‘Jumbo’ version and all towels can be personalised too.

On the subject of bathtime and much like the upgrade needed in towels I have also just invested in some less babyish bath toys.  These ducks and fishing rods by Djeco are a great find as they crucially don’t have a hole in the base so no black gunk can build up and they have different numbers on the underside so you can play games too.  Unlike some of their duckling brethren these ones also stay upright and are easy to hook by their tails.  A winner at bathtime although if you have more than 2 in your brood you might have to take turns with the rods!

All in the detail:

Towels by Hooded Owls
Standard size, £25 (approx 1-8 yrs size)
Jumbo size, £33 (approx 7-13 yrs size)
Free shipping on orders of more than 3 towels

Bath duck fishing toy by Djeco, £22 at JoJo Maman Bebe but you can find cheaper elsewhere online.

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Now you see it, now you don’t – foldable garden slide


Having got our own patch of London soil last year, we are now looking forward to having a garden for a summer of BBQ’s, races through the sprinkler and general sun worshipping (when it appears).  However, there has been a slight discrepancy as to how the hubby and I are seeing fit to use the space: him – a BBQ haven and mini football/rugby pitch and me – a place for picnic teas, sunbathing during the lunchtime nap and outdoor toys for the Little Ones to play on.

I mentioned the possibility of getting a slide the other day and received a visible shudder from the hubby who was quick to envisage our pretty patch turning into a section of the ELC.  He did have a point though and simply wanted to enjoy a toyfree zone when enjoying a post-work drink ‘al fresco’ but how to please all of us? Hello the foldable slide.  Yep it does what it says on the box.  Large and brightly coloured to please the Littlies, I simply fold it in two at the end of the day and bung it in our garden shed.  Would work equally well tucked against a wall and it seems very robust. Made by trusty brand Little Tikes (makers of the famous red and yellow car from my youth) and available in a variety of sizes.  I would possibly advise waiting for another pair of adult hands to build it when it arrives, but it is hard to resist a super large box waiting on your doorstep so I just about managed it with Little A doing his best to assist.

We plumped for the large one and it has been a big hit so far.  Perfect size for Little B (22mths) and Little A (4yrs) still finds it fun.  For older children maybe consider the ‘Giant’ version and should a heatwave hit we are looking forward to pitching it into a paddling pool.



I have to say that the hubby was right and once the littlies have tootled to bed it is nice to enjoy our pretty garden in all its original charm. Now I am just trying to work out how we can ‘hide’ a trampoline.
All in the detail:
Large Foldable slide by Little Tikes
Click here to view, £74.99
Other colourways and sizes available
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Back to School – tips for parents

Little A started his last year at nursery last week (gulp) and I cannot believe that this time next year ‘big’ school beckons. I want to make sure that Little A is as equipped as possible for his classroom days and I recently followed up a friend’s recommendation and attended a Phonics, Reading and Early Writing Workshop by Educate With Iona. Wowee. Quite the eye-opener. The workshop’s aim in a nutshell is to help prepare your child for school and support them in their first year there.  So if your Little Ones are heading that way then attending one of Iona’s workshops is definitely something you should consider.

Hosted in Iona’s Chelsea home the groups are small, packed with info and you get to take a handy guide home with you. It made me appreciate that realistically Little A’s one bedtime story is not really going to cut it given that I could be doing so much more. Key to Iona’s success is that she understands that we are all busy people and so she give you lots of tips, games and resources to help channel those precious minutes you get to sit down with your Little One. One of her top tips is that is should be fun. Little A and I now enjoy our ‘special time’ when we play one of Iona’s games and I have to say he loves it. Whilst I have friends who are teachers, I personally had no idea what Little A would be taught during his first year at school and now I feel so much better having a general gist. More importantly I now feel that I can support him at home whilst knowing what he will be learning at school.


All in the detail:

Educate with Iona workshops, click here for details
All workshops run by Iona, a qualified and experienced teacher, who has taught in Kensington and Chelsea for over 9 years and co-ordinated the school’s phonics teaching for 6 years

She is also a mummy to two young boys
Workshops last approx 1.5hrs and each session has no more than 12 participants
Sessions are aimed at supporting children from the age of 3 upwards, including those in their first year at school
Based in Hampshire and London, Iona also offer private classes hosted in your own home in or outside of London

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We ♥ Sleepycozy sleeping bags

sleepycozySorry for the silence but I have been bundled up in bed ill for the last week, only managing to raise a smile when Little A appeared at the end of my bed brandishing a litre of Evian water ‘to make you better’.  Having ventured out today on the nursery run I was half tempted to run back inside it was sooo chilly.  One person who is certainly not feeling the chill however, is Little B who is as toasty as can be in her new Sleepycozy sleeping bag.  Not a brand I had tried when Little A was teeny but now we are total converts.  Dreamt up by 2 clever mummies, Charlie and Nina, Sleepycozy’s wares are delightfully British in their use of ginghams and their nightwear is gloriously old school.  Love the traditional nighties and collared rompers and as Nina quite rightly sums up:  ‘you can’t control the mud and the mess but it’s always nice to see your little ones looking all clean & scrummy in smart pj’s or a pretty nightie at the end of the day'. Check out the gallery below for PATP’s top picks.

All in the detail:

All by Sleepycozy, click here to view more
Sleeping Bags start at £28
PJs and nighties from £17.50
Worth noting the sleeping bags for 6 months upwards have additional fabric around the shoulders for extra snuggliness
Sleeping Bags also make for a fab new baby present as most new parents don’t tend to think past the swaddle stage

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My new wheels – the buggy for 2

new wheelsTime to sadly say bye bye Bugaboo as our impending arrival means we need new wheels for our expanding family.  As I am not so keen on the side-by-side option and turned off by the trusty but not massively aesthetically pleasing Phil and Teds, I have been scouring around for another option.  Hello Mima Kobi.  Super sleek and easy on the eye, my new wheels are one way to make sure my littlies travel in style and comfort. Designed by Dutchman Davy Kho, of Bloom highchair fame, the Mima Kobi adopts a five in one design.  This versatile buggy evolves with your family so it is perfect for:

  • One baby
  • One toddler
  • 2 newborn babies
  • One toddler and one baby (this will be us!)
  • Two toddlers

What I love most about my new buggy is how easy it is to convert to the various stages and collapse up and down.  With a flip-flop friendly foot break, the Kobi satisfyingly ‘clicks’ everything into place.  The carrycot miraculously pops out of the seat pod so no need to store elsewhere.  You can have your little one faciing forward or towards you. There are 2 height positions for the seat/carrycot and 3 angles to recline them. Not forgetting a handy storage pod underneath.  Being quite tall the handlebar is also adaptable so no more hunchback of Notre Dame for me.  Little A is delighted with his new ride although he has been wanting to check out the baby’s carrycot too (best now I guess whilst they are not in it!).  If you are in the market for an up-and-under double pram then see below for your nearest Mima Kobi stockist.

Check out the various travel system options below in the gallery:

All in the detail:

To view more click here for web
Click here to find a stockist near you
The Single Kobi starts from £899, double from £1199 and twin package from £1299
Available colours: Dark Grey, Grecian White, Chocolate Flair, Black Flair, Camel Flair and Snow White Flair.
Accessories can come in: Pure Black, Sangria Red and Soft Pink
We got the Dark Grey and Pure Black combo
Also worth noting it is compatible with our Maxi Cosi Pebble too

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Snap happy – easy photobooks to compile

bbA few years ago my mother handed me a box full of photograph albums lovingly labelled and brimming with all the fond memories and often embarrassing photographs of my childhood.  Now we are in the age of digital cameras it is all too easy to keep folder upon folder stored away on your computer without ever even printing a photograph or sitting down to flick through an album.  It seems rather archaic to fill in shop bought albums the old school way especially, when you can upload your pics and create your own glossy, hardback photobook.  Little A’s triumphs and adventures of his first year have now been captured in a fabulous photobook by Bob Books and as from today Princess and the Pram readers can get 15% off their order until the end of August. They make great gifts for Grandparents and don’t forget Father’s Day is coming up in June.  Now I just need to get round to doing Year 1 to 2!

All in the detail:
Bob Books is a UK company that makes all different sizes of photobooks.
Click here for website
I always opt for:
Hardback, Lustre Photographic Paper, in the large Square size 30 x 30cm
Once you have downloaded the free software you simply create your book by uploading your images to a variety of layouts and then order the finished book online.
There is also an autofill option if you are stuck for time.
Prices vary but for Hardback they start at £21.99
For Paperback from £14.99

To CLAIM your 15% off simply enter the code PATP15 when at checkout. 

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Going Potty – potty training begins


As I type this I keep glancing tentatively to my right.  Little A is currently perched on his new potty for Day 1 of the dreaded Potty Training.  With babe no.2 on the way, now is the time to embrace the big boy pants and at 2yrs 5mths I feel he is ready for the challenge.  At his 2yr health check, the nurse said not to rush it and that girls were generally ready to train and quicker to learn than the boys.  Now Little A is talking lots and and I feel he has grasped the concept of “bye bye” to the nappies it was off to Waitrose to pick up our John Lewis click and collect oh-so-special Dinosaur Big Boy Pants.  I think the key is to buy lots and I have heard that Primark also do some good bulk packs.  We chose three packs of 5 mixed Dino ones for variety and the brain washing started a week ago with the arrival of our very smart Baby Bjorn party – we got the grey.  It definitely has a wider seat than most and it is really comfy for Little A and so far he has enjoyed sitting on it for relatively long periods.  The bear on the front is a help and I love the fact you simply pop out the inner potty to empty and clean it.


Potty training in One Week by Gina Ford, £6.99 at Amazon
Ok so it might have an ambitious title but that’s fine by me.  Keeping Little A in the house for 3 days straight is like keeping a tiger cub in a hamster cage.  You may or may not be fans of the Gina way but this book contains lots of great case studies of what to do when things don’t go to plan alongside Gina’s straightforward approach.
Aquaint 100% Natural Steriliser Spray, £3.00 at JoJo Maman Bebe
Obviously germs are playing a big part in the potty training week and cleanliness is the top priority. Loving the discovery of this Aquaint spray in this handy travel version. Perfect to pop in the nappy bag (might have to rename that now!) and as it is 100% natural it is completely safe to use around babies and children and harmless should it be ingested.  You can use it on your little one’s hands, highchair trays, table tops, dropped dummies and teething rings, any grotty surfaces and it kills 99.9% bacteria in seconds.  Great to give Little A’s hands a quick spray if we can’t wash our hands when out and about.
BabyBjorn Toilet Trainer, £28.95 at John Lewis
Towards the middle of next week I am hoping that as well as mastering the potty Little A will have learnt how to go on the ‘big boy’ loo.  So he doesn’t disappear down there, I have bought a trainer seat which slots straight onto our loo seat.  Ours is this ‘toilet trainer’ (above) from BabyBjorn and as well as being the most aesthetically pleasing it adjusts to different sized loo seats and I think worth the money.
out and about
Onto the next genius invention to grace our home for this crucial period.  My Carry Potty is the brainchild of a mother of 3 and is perfect to take with you out and about. Sadly with no lawn to speak of in London Town we will be heading to our usual circuit of parks and playgrounds and this certainly fixes the quandry of what happens when Little A will need to ‘go’.  I am sure my mother would have just turfed me outside but alas urban living and revolting public loos mean I am very pleased that Little A will have his own travel potty.  Its bag free design means it is faff free and you simply empty it when you reach home.  100% leak and odour proof and with a cute handle which Little A has been constantly road testing, I think this will be invaluable once he is potty trained enough to leave the confines of our house.  It is also working a treat as our ‘upstairs’ potty so you don’t have to go to town buying lots of different ones. Perhaps one of the most clever aspects of the My Carry Potty is the fantastic book and sticker chart that comes with it.  Little A really responds to learning from characters in books and seeing George and Hollie’s adventures with their Carry Potty has definitely smoothed the whole process.  So far we have had 2 misses but more promisingly there are 3 stickers on the chart so things are looking up!

My Carry Potty with free Potty Training Storybook is £24.99 and available from Cheeky Rascals.  We got the blue.

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Snug as a bug – extra thick sleeping bags for kids


This Christmas we are visiting various rellies and one thing I always worry about is whether Little A will be warm enough when sleeping at Grannie’s house.  Most sleeping bags I use are only 2.5 tog warmth and there are some nights when I definitely want something thicker.  Problem solved with the new 3.5 tog winter sleeping bag by Snug Little Tots.  Made from two 300 thread count organic cotton sheeting layers with an inner filling of pure organic cotton, these sleeping bags prevent uncomfortable sweatiness and regulate your baby’s body temperature.  Looking at the weather forecast I am delighted to have made this discover in the nick of time.  Fractionally more spenny than your average sleeping bag but after applying some babynomics and looking at the cost per use it really is a no brainer.

All in the detail:

ergoPouch Organic Cotton Quilted 3.5 tog sleeping bag, £49.99
From Snug Little Tots, click here to view
Available in ages 2-12 months and 12-36 months and in three colour ways



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We ♥ our HAILO app


Getting around London with a buggy definately has its ups and downs and my life has been somewhat simplified by the fabulous Hailo app.  For those journeys like getting to the train station when you are laden with bags plus the buggy it is a must.  Rather than trying to find a private hire car that has a car seat, all Hailo taxis are Black Cabs so you can walk your buggy straight on and keep them fastened securely in that.

When you need one you simply pop the details in and it will let you know how far your nearest driver is and the exact time it will take to reach you.  Similar to Addison Lee it also provides you with driver details and you can also pay by cash or card which is a bonus.

Free to download on Itunes.

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