The Rock and Roses Mama household were kindly invited to sample the new menu at our local Carvery, The Inn By The Sea in Lee-On-Solent, that has recently been refurbished as a Stonehouse Pizzeria; as we are a family of foodies there was no doubt in my mind that we would accept and take Jude to test its ‘toddler-ability’ and family friendliness too! I was wary at first as Jude has recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and it is sometimes a struggle taking him to places that can overstimulate him; but we are always determined to give things a go and so off we went, and we were all suitably impressed! Especially Jude when it came to that joyous time of… pudding!
Although sometimes I do lust after a more carefree and possibly non-UK way of life, I am surprised and also so thankful for the places we have right on our doorstep. I like to find places to take the little dude in the surrounding areas near where we live in Hampshire that are low in cost and super fun; you can read all of my other reviews of amazing places right here on the blog too! Yesterday me and amazing fellow Mama Carly Stirling took the bambinos to The New Forest on an adventure through Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary; needless to say it was incredibly fun and exploratory for the kids and actually quite relaxing for us too!
We love a family day out in the Rock and Roses Mama household and after receiving a years membership to The National Trust we made it our mission to go on lots of adventures with our orange passes onto the wild! The summer months (I realise we in May and technically it should really be sunny right about now but the sunshine has not so much had ones hat on recently!) will make for much better experiences as most places are outdoors, but we thought we would give Hindhead Commons and The Devils Punch Bowl a shot in the questionable weather; and we loved it!
So where are these elusive places for Moms to meet I hear you ask? It is a commonly known fact that when craving an adult interaction it is quite another matter finding the right place to indulge said cravings. There are plenty of places that label themselves as ‘child friendly’ or made for kids specifically, but are they made for adults to enjoy some solace and steal a few moments of conversation about anything other than animated shows or when the next meal is! I have explored an array of places with some of my Momigos and none have matched up to The Wendy House.
So every week we try and take the small man on a family day out; an adventure, work permitting. We were lucky enough to be gifted National Trust membership for Christmas so we have been looking up our local National Trust haunts (yeah… so I totally downloaded the National Trust app in order to do this… “you know your getting old when…”) and collated all of the super cool places that we want to take the little dude. Although it is not a National Trust site and actually belongs to English Heritage, we took inspiration from my fellow Mummy Blogger and Rockin’ Mama Carly Stirling and her gorgeous fam and set our sights on Portchester Castle in Hampshire.
I don’t know about you and your fam but my lovely men aren’t much for exploration of local parks in the winter months; much like bears they tend to hibernate inside and then emerge when the crisp goes from the air and the days are brighter. The summer holds so much more for us in terms of the great outdoors but I have been determined to get my little soldier out into the wild and run free. So last weekend we went for a springtime explore of our local ‘Stanley Park’.
So I have always rambled on about how super important it is to spend time with your partner after you bring your little people into your world; and I mean one on one time, child free! It is essential to get back to basics as a couple and have some quality ‘adult’ time doing the things you love and enjoying each others company. This doesn’t have to be a huge feat, just a night out once in a while will do just fine!
We very rarely get a whole day and evening just the three of of and when we do we like to make the most of it; last Sunday we decided to have a family fun day out to Staunton Country Park as recommended by my mama friend over at @mummymkschronicle then a cheeky Sunday lunch at our favourite and recently revamped Green King pub The Castle in the Air.
I work most weekends, which does kinda suck at times but it does also mean that my little man gets some quality Daddy time which he does really love. I have always been of the opinion that it is essential for any child to have positive role models of both genders, whoever they may be; my little man is lucky enough to have so so many of those surrounding him… but no male role model quite like my rock god Mr. He will always be Daddy cool as he takes Jude to places like this, ‘Summer Madness’ Festival.
I have recently been finding it amazingly inspiring, uplifting and motivating spending time with fellow mamas and seeking out my own mama clan. After attending a wedding recently and reconnecting with a fellow rockin’ mama that was the photographer on the day, I had arranged to meet up and go on a mamas only night with her and her awesome mama friend. It was not only an amazing chance to fly solo and connect just us ladies, but also we were further inspired and touched by our choice of evening activity; cinema date to see ‘Bad Moms’.
So I have always maintained that when becoming a rocking’ mama it is super important to remain Y O U and keep on following your passions. My partner and I have always loved music; he is the guitarist of a local function bad and I have always had music as a huge part of my life (from birth my mother was playing me tapes of Kate Bush, Phil Collins Buddy Holly, make of that what you will!) When I fell pregnant it was no different for my little man, my partner bought me these ingenious speakers that stick onto your bump so that you can musically educate your bambinos in utero! Magic.
At least once or twice a year I travel with the little man to the Somerset, the country of bumpkins, to visit the mama. We both love a road trip and thanks to my top 10 tips on seamless road tripping’ adventures with toddlers, they are so much fun and really looked forward to! Boushka (as my mama is known to the small man as it is Russian for Grandmother and she is a fan of quirk) lives in the heart of a town called Williton and is surrounded by gorgeous countryside; we’re talking rolling fields, an abundance of sheep,
stiles, homegrown fruit and veg sold in local newspaper shops and the recurrent faint ‘choo choo’s’ of a steam train. My favourite ‘Somerset go to place’ that me and the little man adore is a nearby local, family run beaut called Doniford Farm. I have decided that the awesomeness of this place needs to be shared in this review; did I mention it is free entry?!