30-06-2015

Crystal Palace Overground Festival | Featuring the iCandy Raspberry

Around this time of year comes the big exciting local event that is the Crystal Palace Overground Festival. It’s a great community event, and we have been going along ever since Arlo was a baby. As Arlo has grown older, he’s started putting in his own requests that we go. He always bumps into familiar faces, and he’s started to think of it as a real highlight of his social calendar.

icandy raspberryIMG_3177-Edit-copycrystalpalaceovergroundfestivalIMG_3182-Edit-copyCrystal Palace Overground Festivalicandyraspberry

There are always brilliant activities for children throughout the five day festival, including a photo walk round the triangle (Crystal Palace’s epicentre is formed of three main roads in a triangular layout), and popular family show Dino Doctors – where the actual Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs (very famous if you are from around this way) are treated for various ailments in a comedic and educational performance.

Last year’s Festival was a rather rainy affair, but this year was a bright, sunny day that had us wishing we could make ourselves comfy on the grass and stick around for the whole day. Alas, I had a family photoshoot later in the afternoon and Sam was off to Secret Cinema.

star wars secret cinema

FINALLY, we have reached the stage where we are only part-time buggy users. The buggy board still makes an occasional appearance for Arlo during times when we know we will be on our feet all day. But more often than not, what we need at this stage is a compact pushchair that can sit unobtrustive in the car boot or under the stairs, for “just in case” scenarios or times when I know it will be easier to have Rory strapped in somewhere.

Enter the iCandy Raspberry.

iCandy Raspberry yellow

It’s definitely a city pushchair – pavement and smooth terrain are where it works best. Think of it as an umbrella stroller in terms of suspension and width, but with a far superior, extendable handle, and a lot more style.

There are loads of colours to chose from – we chose the Sunflower, which I LOVE. It’s such a cheerful sight, and I am unashamedly pleased with just how well it goes with Rory’s footwear.

iCandy raspberry review

The iCandy Raspberry ticks off a lot of very important factors on my Ideal Pushchair List: compact fold, HUGE basket accessible from the front and back, folds with and without the seat on, compatible with a Maxi Cosi car seat, outward facing and parent facing options.

When you are looking to downsize your pushchair to a smaller stroller, whilst also needing something that works well in a city environment, the choice is quite limited when it comes to pushchairs with a parent-facing option, so it’s great to see iCandy addressing this gap in the market.

Those are the features that we liked best, but you can find more details about the features of the iCandy Raspberry here.

iCandy Raspberry yellow

The seat liner has a raised surround like a head-hugger, making for a really soft and cushioned surface for a sleeping child. We thought this was a really nice touch, Arlo especially was very taken with how soft the material is.

Pushing around a compact buggy made such a difference, I was continually surprised every time I managed to glide through a gap I’d never contemplate with our bulkier pushchair. Going to somewhere like Crystal Palace Overground Festival, a busy London event, I barely noticed the pushchair as we weaved in and out of the crowds.

Our verdict? The iCandy Raspberry is a smart design, ideal for public transport and small car boots, and proves a solid option for city living.

iCandy Raspberry

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Thanks to iCandy for letting us road-test the Raspberry for the purpose of this feature. 

29-06-2015

Back on the B vitamins – breastfeeding and luteal phase

boystrees

It was this time (almost!) three years ago that I was told my progesterone was so low that I couldn’t be ovulating. The same day that I found out I was pregnant with Rory (so much for that no ovulating theory), and I was sure I’d lose him, just as I’d lost the previous pregnancies, because I didn’t have enough progesterone to safely carry a pregnancy through those first weeks.

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28-06-2015

A visit to Seaworld San Diego

seaworld behind the scenes tour

Having visited Seaworld Orlando as a child and absolutely LOVED it, and then later in life having cried along with Blackfish, I had mixed feelings about our visit to Seaworld San Diego. I don’t think there is any way to align my conflicting thoughts, but I think it’s OK to have conflicting thoughts, so I’m just going to write from both sides.

When we explained what Seaworld was, Arlo’s first thought, (after pedantically picking at the fact that it isn’t an entire world of sea), was “Are the tanks big enough to have killer whales in?”. He actually surprised me with this one, although I guess with his prior experience of whales on this trip, and through watching wildlife documentaries, Arlo has always seen them in their natural ocean environment. So, I approached our trip to Seaworld as a chance to explore those points with Arlo, to get him asking questions, and forming his own opinion.

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25-06-2015

Our California Adventure (Part 3) – LA, Santa Monica, and back down to Encinitas.

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My last post saw us leaving Disney happy but exhausted, and we were now on our way to Santa Monica.

On the way, we did our own little driving tour of LA – taking in the Hollywood sign, Beverley Hills, Chateau Marmont, and Hollywood Boulevard, all whilst the kids snoozed off their Disney hangovers in the back of the car.

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22-06-2015

The Weekend Diaries | Carters Steam Fair

carters steam fair

Carters Steam Fair is all colourfully painted wood and string bulb lighting. It’s a photo-lover’s dream.

Ever since we first visited when Rory was a newborn and it was too rainy for photos, I’ve been itching to go back with my big camera.

When Sam declared the fair his destination of choice for Father’s Day, and the morning of Father’s Day turned out to be overcast but dry, and the children were in a very strange mood that included posing willingly for photos, it was a serious ‘the stars have all aligned’ moment.

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