Pigeon Organics


Dressing up the kids you either love it or find it challenging. Ever since Jay was born I have been keen on  colourful, ethical and organic childrenswear. Based in the UK Pigeon Organics are devoted to producing organic and high quality, soft clothing for babies and younger children.  The cotton is of the highest quality possible and the designs are really special and eye-catching. I have friends who dress their children in the contemporary prints and there have always been nice compliments about the clothing. Jay was kindly sent two items and this was a lovely surprise as we have seen the gorgeous social media posts and the items exceeded my expectations.

I think it’s incredibly important to mention the brand’s impressive stance when it comes to the environment and helping organic farming families. Pigeon Organics is GOTS certified company, choosing organic cotton for quality products that are softer, kind to skin, better for the environment and the people that make them.

Organic Cotton production involves replacing the synthetic pesticides and fertilisers with natural ones, then using crop rotation and mixed planting. This means less exposure to chemicals for the farmers and in the environment. Any ‘seconds’ eg. garments with small printing faults and end of season stock is donated to charities working with vulnerable babies and children. I love that and glad to see a brand make every effort to help where they can.

Jay loves his viking print top and navy jogger bottoms both incredibly soft and wash/keep so well. He can be so fussy at times with clothes but these garments have that soft hand feel and really showcase ethical and responsible fabric. There is a range of products from hats, dresses, jackets, gilets, pyjamas, onesies and snuggle suits. Our items arrived beautifully presented and the quality is evident the moment you hold the fabric.

Pigeon Organics collection is colourful and contemporary. Great attention has been paid to the finished product, offering you a high quality range, comfortable to wear and practical to care for. I highly recommend the brand and wish them continued success.
Thanks for reading
Bella
~X~
* I was gifted two items in exchange for an honest review.

Tranquility at The Medicine Garden, Surrey


We are well in the throes of the British summer (*whispers* what summer) and with an active toddler to entertain each day during the holidays I remembered this location that I once drove past and being intrigued by the name. The Medicine Garden sounds like a place that’s going to make you feel better and I can now say it works well for people of all ages tucked away in Cobham. If it’s serenity in Surrey you’re after then this is the place to travel to and best of all it’s free to enter. Before I arrived I’d imagined it being like a secret garden and it did feel a little bit like this other than there is no gate, you just walk in from the car park. The weather was just right when we arrived sunshine and a slight breeze which made the whole place come alive. This walled Victorian garden is a creative space, a place to sit with friends and have drinks and a natter. A place to bring the children for a run around. A place to find a collection of independent shops and of course consume food and drink by way of cafe and a restaurant. Nearly everyone that I saw had a smile on their face and I felt that the three hours passed by quickly. I found out that there are lots of events organised throughout the year things like outdoor cinemas and BBQs.

With the recently renovated glasshouse in the courtyard, they have a lovely and very stylish cafe called the Hothouse Cafe. These days being able to drink a coffee at my own leisurely pace is a rare treat.  I was able to drink my coffee but gave up my table to an 80 year old who kept telling me he was 80 years old. I told him I was half his age and he said ” yes but I am 80″.  Jay soon got bored of this odd conversation and then urged me to take him to the dome positioned in the corner of the garden so I said my farewells to the octogenarian.

The concept of the garden is to encourage people to think more about the power of nature and inspire them to create a bit of ‘good medicine’ in their own gardens and homes.  The design is based on an eight-pointed compass with each direction highlighting an important quality that we can creatively bring into our gardens and therefore our lives.

Courage / Vitality / Inspiration / Stillness / Wonder /Story /Nourishment /Rhythm

 

I have definitely taken more of an interest in gardening in the last year you might have seen my vlog of the herb garden I did recently, a new project at Along Came Jay HQ.  Whenever I see a garden shop I like having a mooch around and there were lots of ornaments to look at and purchase of course.  I’m glad Jay likes going to garden centres with me and he’s really also taken an interest in this herb garden and insists we plant some marjoram which I’ve yet to find. Within the Courtyard Community, there are also various independent companies. It’s a real eclectic mix of arts and crafts.

I also discovered a treatment room which offers therapies including reflexology, aromatherapy and holistic massage. Other treatments offered include osteopathy, reiki,  manual lymphatic drainage (Vodder) which sounds interesting and scary at the same time. Plus they have morning boot camps, yoga and Tai Chi classes in the main garden for those keen on body conditioning.


The Food Studio offers a range of cookery workshops demos and talks from UK’s leading Foodies, Pop-up Events, private and corporate dining, as well outside event catering.   I’d love to attend something like the Blid & Hatton Gatherings run by friends Surrey-born chef Maddie Hatton and Swedish native Helga Blid-Martinsson. They have joined forces to offer workshops which draws on the European tradition of cooking and ‘breaking bread’ as part of everyday life.

Something I’ve struggled with since moving to London and then Surrey is how busy everywhere is and the sheer volume of people travelling here and there. It’s taken a while to adjust to the frantic pace of life here in the South. Just like the Mayfield Lavender field I love being in these styles of outdoor spaces away from all the traffic and noise. I also know it’s a hard task keeping young children entertained. I was glad we made a trip here for Jay to burn of some of that energy he holds in abundance.

 

I would advise checking the weather before you visit as it started to rain as we left the car park and although there is lots of seating and awnings I think you can get more out of the visit not having to duck for cover. I forgot to take my vlogging camera so used my iPhone to snap photos instead. No doubt we will be returning before the summer draws to a close.  Some places give you that feel good factor and this garden fits the bill perfectly.

Opening hours

Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays 10am – 4pm

Address

The Medicine Garden
Downside Road
Cobham
Surrey
KT11 3LU

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

Junior Gunners Play Day

 

JUNIOR GUNNERS PLAY DAY 19/9/2016 at Emirates stadium

I think I might be in the minority because I am a woman who likes football and still on cloud 9 with my home team Leicester City making history as English Premiership League Winners in 2016, a monumental 5000-1 victory that surprised the whole Country. I have however followed Arsenal since moving to London in 2005 and my big brother is a huge Gunners fan so it was a really nice to be invited to a an event at the mighty Emirates Stadium recently.  However I couldn’t take Jay on the day unfortunately and was absolutely gutted because once I arrived at the Stadium I was surrounded by little humans and knew that he would have had such a great time. I had a chance to speak to Charlie White the Commercial Communications Manager at the club and discovered that to attend events like this entries are made on the Junior Gunners website and lucky fans are selected.

Welcome to our World is the first level of Arsenal Football Club’s Junior Gunners Membership, especially created for the  youngest fans and their parents/guardians. This group is for those aged between 0 and 3 years old.  As a welcome to  World Member there is access to loads of fun benefits, both for their child and parents/guardians.  Membership costs £25  and lasts until the season the member turns 4 on or before 31st August. More details can be found here.

JUNIOR GUNNERS PLAY DAY 19/9/2016 at Emirates stadium

At nearly 32 months Jay isn’t currently  showing signs that he might be the next Lionel Messi but he does like having a kick about in the park with his daddy. I really wish we lived closer to the Stadium as I am certain membership would have been snapped up ages ago.  At the event the happy faces on the children was really a wonderful sight.  The young JGs had three hours of fun in areas designed for them, including soft play, dancing, arts & crafts, football and meeting  Gunnersaurus the larger-than-life dinosaur who has been Arsenal’s mascot since 1994.

JUNIOR GUNNERS PLAY DAY 19/9/2016 at Emirates stadium

I remember hearing that learning to play sport should be considered as natural a skill for children to develop as learning to walk, run or talk to combat the worrying trend of childhood obesity. Sport definitely played a big part when I was growing up, then again we didn’t have iPads and mobile phones!  I used to go to after school athletic clubs and even tried my hand at rugby (on wing) in my late 20’s…before I realised that I might need a plastic surgeon if I wasn’t careful! I hope that Jay will participate in sport one day whether it’s football who knows but I love the idea of children being able to run around and be active and of course have fun.

JUNIOR GUNNERS PLAY DAY 19/9/2016 at Emirates stadium

Before I headed home I did spend a small fortune in the shop including a football shirt for my brother in California who even with the time difference is dedicated to watching his team play on TV.unnamed-106

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

 

 

 

Bocketts Farm Park Visit



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I find one of the joys of being an older parent is being made to feel all young again visiting lots of places with my pre-schooler. Whereas most of our friends have children who ditched nappies long long ago I will be with my changing bag for some time yet. It is of course fine and life is fun as we are thoroughly enjoying our summer so far heading to visitor attractions most of which remind me of my childhood.  I  say that and I never actually went to a farm when I was young but I did go to local zoo’s and remember seeing lots of animals which is where my interest in animals started.

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Mr M and I are trying to take advantage of the little sunshine hours we have in this Country recently taking a trip to Bocketts Farm Park set in the beautiful Surrey countryside. It was particularly warm on the day so armed with Nivea SPF 50 and lots of snacks we arrived after a short drive and purchased our tickets.  This is the only negative I feel I need to write which is that adult entry costs £9.50 and child entry (3-17yrs) costs £9.95, Jay is three next year but I must admit paying £8.30 as he is nearly two and a half still seems dear to me. Then again I have seen higher admission costs elsewhere so I guess this isn’t so bad in comparison.  Mr M purchased a bag of animal food for the animals that you are allowed to feed and as soon as our wrist bands were on we set off to explore our surroundings.

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Optional extras:

Bag of animal feed 95p,

Tractor and Trailer ride £1.25 per person,

Pony Rides (3-12 years old only) £2.00 per ride,

Electric tractors and diggers £1 per ride,

Gold Panning £2 per pan (seasonal),

Water Wars £1 per bucket (seasonal).

 

Being a working farm, there are always baby animals to see including kids, piglets and chicks and ducklings. There are  extensive play areas and facilities for children of all ages. Inside are two play barns ‘ with a 70ft 4-lane astroslide which Jay and his daddy went on twice.  There are also trampolines and rides on tractors. We took a 15 mins tractor ride at the start of our visit which I thought was lovely and it was good to see that there were wash areas especially after feeding the animals. We didn’t get to see the pig race may be next time!

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There are also adventure trails, and a jumping pillow although Jay wasn’t that interested in the pillow and much preferred the wooden maze. The farm also has an 18th-century barn converted into a tea room and a sand pit nearby. We of course loved the gift shop but sadly were too late to purchase fresh farm eggs which taste so much better than shop bought.

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During half term there are various farm activities offered so always worth checking online perhaps.  I know we will return when Jay is a little older as he will be able to understand much more. He particularly loved the small animals and was fascinated by chickens and the degus. I can’t wait to go when spring lambing begins and see the birds of prey flying demonstrations.

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We did film our visit which you can see on my YouTube channel and thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the farm, judging by Jay’s face he had an entertaining time. If you can get here the address is Bocketts Farm Park, Young Street, Fetcham, Leatherhead, KT22 9BS. I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed. I do feel that farm visits are incredibly educational and a wonderful way for children to learn and respect animals.

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

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Camber Sands


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Camber Sands is situated to the east of the ancient town of Rye and was the location for our very first staycation as a family.  This wide, sandy beach is five miles long and is the perfect spot in which to breathe in the fresh sea air, make sandcastles and of course memories. Rye has quaint cobbled streets with antique shops, bric a brac shops and fashionable boutiques. We booked a mid-week stay at the fabulous 19th century Point Farm B&B and it was absolutely perfect for our needs.  We stayed in the Yard room which had an equestrian decor. I loved the wooden furniture in the room and it was cosy. I love cosy!

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I still brought everything but the kitchen sink with us as I really can’t do light I’m afraid.  This place is just wonderful especially for children and the welcome after a relatively long drive was just what we needed warm and relaxed. Nothing was too much trouble and we were looked after so well by Ruby. Jay giggled with excitement around the lovely  collie dogs Nala and Kiara who were so good with him and he would lure them into our room many times! there were chickens, ponies, geese, and ducks to grab the attention of our little human who loves animals and the outdoors. I was a little nervous about how I would manage his routine but it worked out fine. Sometimes I realise you need to just let things go a little and enjoy the moment as you can always get back into routine. I was inspired to stay in Camber Sands by my wonderful Blogger friend Binny who reviewed a hotel in the area. Thank you Binny!

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One of the best things about a B&B is of course the breakfasts and these did not disappoint! The eggs were fresh with bright orange yolks and I ate perhaps a bit more than I would but that’s what being on holiday is about, indulgence when you can.  We talked about starting a family tradition and heading to Camber each year. The sunny warm days went at a slow pace and for me one of the highlights was seeing Jay and his daddy interact, their father son bond is one of my favourite things. For me this time together was so special and seeing our son happy definitely made it all worthwhile.

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The B&B was a 10 mins walk to the sand dunes. The climb up the dunes was ridiculously hard. I was over taken by some young fast kids which was a bit embarrassing but I had a lot to carry including a yellow digger as you do. Once we were over the hard bit it became easier going down hill. At first Jay was averse to sand on his feet but he slowly got used it and then when it didn’t bother him he didn’t want to leave the beach. He loved dipping his little toes in the sea.

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One morning I drove the boys to a lovely town called Bodium and let me tell you it was a pretty drive past  lots of  tree-lined lanes dotted with beautiful houses. The winding lanes had branches over hang creating green tunnels. Jay visited his first ever moated castle which was in pretty good nick seeing as it was built in 1385. We couldn’t really hang about for the talks that were being given as my active side kick had other plans and wanted to go off exploring on his own.  Mr M and I talked about how much we would love to become National Trust members one day but will probably wait until Jay is older to fully appreciate membership.

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On one of the evening’s we tucked into fish and chips from the local chippy Pelican Fish Bar which tasted great.   I don’t know if it’s the placebo effect of being in a place like this which makes the food taste even better. Jay didn’t touch the fish or the chips so I made his favourite chicken in gravy and brown rice. We ate by romantic table lamp light once Jay had gone to bed.

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We loved our staycation and I hope it will be the start of many. Last December we were on Manhattan Beach in California a totally different landscape but just as memorable. I do have a case of the holiday blues as I type this.  As a little girl my parents would take my brother and I to the coast each summer and we stayed in B&Bs. I remember those times with a fond heart. I totally forgot that this type of  soft golden sand existed on the south coast.  It is a great location for everyone and the beach never felt crowded. You are able to hire deck chairs and wind breaks all for a small charge.  I would love to hear from you if you’ve also been to Camber Sands or are thinking of going.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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Wherever you head off to this summer I hope you have a really lovely time.

Bella

~X~

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