Our visit to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

At three years old, Neo experienced his first ever winter Christmas; we’ve spent the last three Christmases during the summer either with family in South Africa or in Dubai. What better way to experience the fun of a winter Christmas than to visit Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. Neo was feeling a little under the weather and needed cheering up; this is exactly what the doctor ordered.

 

I had read on different forums that it gets busy at the weekend so it as a lovely coincidence that PJ and I were both home on a Tuesday to experience winter wonderland together.

 

The great thing about winter wonderland is that it’s free but I do have to warn that the costs of rides tend to add up.

 

We got there not long after it opened and started with Santa Land to meet Santa. There was no waiting and we were done in less than 10 minutes. We hung around Santa Land while Neo was trying to make up his mind on which ride to go on. After one ride, we decided to go on the Giant Observation Wheel. This can be pre-booked online but because it was a Tuesday morning and not busy, we were able to go on it and even have the pod to ourselves!

 

The other attractions that also need to be pre-booked are the Magical Ice Kingdom, the ice rink (minimum age of four years old), Circus and Bar Ice. If, like us, you are with a small child, you are limited to the Giant Wheel, Magical Ice Kingdom and the circus.

 

We then wondered around the market and I even managed to buy myself a pair of hoop earrings for just £5.00.

 

Most of the cool, fast rides had a minimum age of four years so although Neo was very keen to go on the high-speed rides, he wasn’t allowed on most of them – our little dare-devil! We found a handful that we could go on to and they were good fun. We could only manage a handful though as we had to pay about four tokens (one token = £1) per person per ride!

 

After all that walking, it was time for lunch. The park has a few food selections but they are a bit pricey and there aren’t loads of warm places to sit down. There are lots of options though and we were spoilt for choice!

 

All in all it was a great way to spend the morning and was very memorable for Neo. There was a nice Christmas vibe and lots to see and do.

 

Our top tips for winter wonderland

  1. Go during the week if you can – it is less crowded and you get a much better experience.
  2. Download the map of the park and decide on which rides are non-negotiable and start with them.
  3. Bring cash.
  4. Have a budget and stick with it – it’s so easy to spend a couple of hundred pounds in a matter of a few hours.
  5. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes that layer.
  6. Pre-booking rides helps with fast tracking, especially when it’s busy.
  7. Check TFL for the closest station if travelling on the tube or using the bus. There is also an underground parking right next to the park for people who prefer to drive in.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Kgomotso xx

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Scandi labels for cool boys

We have just come back from a city break in Stockholm and I just fell in love with the boys’ clothes!

The ‘less is more’ approach coupled with practical and bolts of bold colours is a combination that’s hard to beat.I love that clothes are stylish but also user-friendly, especially for the likes of Neo who has not yet mastered the art of fiddling with buttons and small hooks.

I’ve rounded up a few favourite pieces for Autumn/Winter 2014; all of these are available in the UK and in most cases for world-wide shipping.

 

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I love these with the mix of muted and cool blues with a splash of bright yellow for different colour combinations.

 

 

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The clothes from Duns Sweden have lots of interesting animals that are sure to make dressing up fun.

 

 

polarn-o-pyret

This is the only label that was familiar to me. Neo has a few items from Polarn O. Pyret that have lasted and lasted. I love that they stand out and are great quality.

 

nova srat

Think age-appropriate street style; these clothes are on trend and current.  The elastic waist on the jeans means Neo doesn’t have to scream ‘do my button’ after a visit to the bathroom.

 

 

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I. Love. H&M. Not just for Neo but for me too. It’s easy on the wallet, fun, quirky and designed for kids; not mini-men. This round up would really be incomplete without H&M.

 

 

 

And that concludes our favourite pieces! Please share your favourite Scandi labels in the comment box below.

 

Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day!

Kgomotso xx

Top 10 Boys Summer Essentials

So we have activities for the summer sorted, I have rounded up our favourite top ten essentials to see us through the summer.

In no particular order

1. Statement head gear

I love these hats, I want one for myself.

NY Cap

Boys NY Snapback Hat – £8.00 from River Island

 

2. Cool Sunnies

Sunglasses

Bluezoo Monkey Patterned Sunglasses> – £2.50 from amazon

 

3. Denim shorts

Frayed denim shorts - STEM GREEN

Why blend in when you can stand out in these frayed stem green denim shorts – On sale for £10.99 from Gap

 

4. T shirt

This is my favourute bit – I love tshirts

blue t shirt

Elvis Pressly t-shirt – £8.53 from etsy

 

5. Converse slip ons

converse

 

I love converse! (I promise I’m not being paid to promote them) – find a pair on sale for £15.00 at office

6. Teacher’s Pet Orange Fox Backpack

land of nod

 

I love that this bag is an equal measure of cool and cute. Find yours at Land of Nod for $29.00

7. A good book – The Scarecrows’ Wedding

scarecrows wedding

 

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have collaborated on a new book that is sure to please fans. This will give children an idea of just what it takes to plan for a wedding!

Found yours on amazon for £5.00 (Hurry!)

8. Going from A to B – Micro Balance Bike

micro balance bike

Can’t think of a cooler way to get around – £99.95 from amazon

9. Protection against the summer sun

sun lotion

 

Which? survey gave Calypso Sun Lotion the green light out of a three other products. Good enough for us! £4.94 from amazon

10. Staying hydrated

 

8139-personalised-too-cool-boy-drinks-bottle

This water bottle can be personalised with your child’s name. No need to worry about labeling it and what not. £12.99 from Toys R Us

 

I think we are sorted; time to go and have some fun!

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Kgomotso x

Top Ten Summer Activities with a Preschooler

Our top ten summer activities

The sun is out and so are the sandals and flip flops. The good weather also means we don’t have to be cooped up indoors for the next few weeks (or days depending…).

We are not going away for the summer per se and must find lot of fun things to do in and around London. I have rounded up our top ten list of items on our bucket list for the summer with a preschooler in tow, time and weather permitting of course. In no particular order:

 

  1. Pick our own fruit

We did this last year and loved it. Neo was eating more than he was picking but it was a still a fun morning out. Only thing is that it created more work for me as I had to make all sorts of wonderful inventions with the fruits before they went off.

 

  1. Mini road trip

Travelling with Neo is not that traumatic (and I hope I didn’t jinx it by saying that). Although we have to stop regularly for bathroom breaks, he’s ok in the car as long as we keep a steady stream of Pharell Williams and classic nursery rhymes going in the car. I saw Butlins at Britmums Live and got reminded of so many places we have yet to see.  Now the only thing to decide is where to go…

 

  1. Lollibop Festival – 15, 16 and 17 August 2014

I never knew about this kids festival until I saw it on twitter. I like the idea of a festival for kids. Neo will go mental for Thomas and Friends and Chris and Pui from Show me Show me. He’s not gonna know what to do with himself!

Lollibop_Festival-1-200-200-100-crop

 

  1. Notting Hill Carnival – 24 and 25 August 2014

I have been wanting to take Neo to carnival for years and this year I finally get to do it.  We are going on a Sunday which is slightly milder and family-friendlier than the other day. Bring on the jerk music and those Afro-Caribbean beats!

 

  1. Legoland

A friend with three children older than Neo cannot stop raving about Legoland. We are gonna go see what the fuss is all about. Any tips for newbies like ourselves?

lego06

 

  1. Natural History Museum

Oh I really love this place and never get tired of it. We’ve heard amazing things about the butterfly exhibition; no surprise that it was the location of choice for the royal family photoshoot starring Prince George. Friends recently took their two year old to the Mammoth Exhibition and it was apparently very good. We are saving this one for a rainy day.

 

  1. Visit to the sea side

Neo stopped while walking to nursery this morning looked at me and said ‘I want to go to the seaside’. When we went to South End earlier this month it was cold, wet and miserable! I think we need a sunnier, more pleasant experience of the seaside to counter this one for sure!

Neo Southend

At South-end on Sea – Looking a little out of place wearing wellies and a raincoat…

 

  1. Kew Gardens (or rather, *clears throat* Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew)

The Kew Gardens is for me one of those places I always put on the back burner because I think ‘It will always be there’. But this year, the Kew Garden has been promoted to my very awesome top 10 list! :D. There is a Barefoot Walk where you take off your shoes and just rough it. Think mud, dirt and leaves; what’s not to love?

 

  1. The Tiger Who Came to Tea

It was a choice between The Tea Who Came to Tea and Aliens Love Underpants. It was a family vote (i.e. I decided) that got us to pick The Tiger Who Came to Tea. I think I may be more excited than Neo! Ha!

We are going during Kids Week too so Neo goes for free! Yay!

tiger

10. Markets

This one can even go beyond the summer. I like the Camden Stables at Camden Town for its proximity but also that you get all sorts of people gathered there on a Sunday. Nothing like walking through stalls,looking for one-of-a-kind items (my weakness is leather coats!) and just finding a good spot for a good ol’ South African bunny chow. Ahhh *dreamy look*

How on earth I am going to squeeze all this in plus a full time job is beyond me!

Thanks for stopping by and have a good day!

Kgomotso xx

My three year old

I have been writing this post for almost a month. I wanted to devote a lot more time on this post, especially as the very name of this website is inspired by Neo. No pressure!

The day Neo turned three; a friend sent me a message wishing him a happy birthday and then adding at the end ‘OMG! You are a mother to a three year old!’.

I suddenly realised that that’s how long it takes do study for a diploma or junior degree so when she mentioned it, it really did feel like graduation day!  I felt like I should have been given a certificate or something for me to walk around and show everyone that I have a three year old and still have all my hair!

After three years, I want to feel a sense of achievement for not just surviving; I think survival is a given if not a must! No, I want to feel a sense of achievement for remembering, for living the past three years, for growing with Neo and letting him school me more times than I care to count. I also want to remember the things that I did wrong, they are plenty, and forgive myself (that’s always the hardest part for me)! And also not let them cast a shadow over all the laughter, giggles, hugs, kisses, tantrums, tears, sniffles  and the unprompted ‘I love you’s from him’.

I want to try and remember that there will be awesome, unforgettable days with him; and also really challenging ones when I really am thinking of how to pull off killing him and hiding his body! Parenting has been an incredible journey and three years in,  the biggest learning has been letting go of the idea of what I imagined Neo to be and let him be him.

He said to me a few weeks ago ‘I am me and you are you’. I could not have said it better!

Happy third birthday to you Neo! O gole o lekane le tlou!

Here are a few snaps from week-end long birthday celebrations

 

 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great Thursday!

Kgomotso