Monday, 23 September 2019

What I've been Reading in 2019 #6

September has been a relatively slow month for me when it has come to reading as its seemed that there has been so many other things to do. I've only really been able to fit in a few chapters here and there but what I have read has been brilliant and kinda stuck with me which I suppose is what you want from a book sometimes. 

I'm still sharing everything I'm reading on my Twitter book thread so make sure you check out that but in today's post I have six books I've recently read, all of which I think you'll love! 


Sunday, 22 September 2019

Latest in Beauty Autumn 2019 Beauty Heroes

We are just one day away from Autumn and you know what that means? It's time for a beauty refresh! Latest in Beauty have given us a little hand thanks to their all new Autumn 2019 Beauty Heroes box that features twelve new season essentials to help us ease ourselves into the new season.

The box features products from Image Skincare, Tangle Teezer and OhhK! and with a collective value of over £135, the retail price of £26 is a bloody steal!

Strap in people because you're gonna want to add this to your online cart quicker than you can say Autumn.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Latest in Beauty & The Sainsburys Beauty Awards 2019 Box

Latest in Beauty are smashing beauty boxes out of the park at the moment and hot on the tail of the Grazia Best of Beauty Edit comes a special collaboration with Sainsbury's. For the first time ever, LIB have partnered with Sainsbury's for their 2019 Beauty Awards. The box worth £90 features 14 award nominated products including nine full size products. 

The best bit? The Sainsbury's Beauty Awards Box can be yours for £25! 

I've managed to get my beauty loving hands on one of the boxes so I'm going to show you through the products and tell you which ones I'm most looking forward to trying.

You can also vote in the awards now for your favourite product here - Voting.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Foodie Fortnight is back in Southampton

I've spoken about how incredible Southampton is for food a number of times. We have some of the best independents around, some brilliant well known brands and a fab coffee scene and Foodie Fortnight is a great way to experience more of what the city has on offer. 

Foodie Fortnight is taking place from 23rd September through to the 6th October and it's really easy to take part! Just head to the website, pick the deal that interests you the most, book at the restaurant then sit back and enjoy your meal. 

See... easy! 

Monday, 16 September 2019

God's House Tower Southampton

Southampton is awash with history and one thing I always say when walking around our beautiful city is to always look up because there is always something to discover. I've lived in the city most of my life and even I find new and interesting things when out and about which was how we stumbled across the secret opening of God's House Tower, the new arts and heritage venue in Southampton. 

The 13th century gatehouse once housed the Museum of Archaeology somewhere I visited on a school trip twenty years ago. It's the one and only time I had ever been inside so when news circulated that A Space Arts would be refurbishing the site over seven years I couldn't wait to see the end result.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Southampton Boat Show 2019

The Southampton International Boat Show, sponsored by Borrow a Boat is back for its 51st year at Mayflower Park, Southampton and it's the perfect place to discover the latest, accessible and flexible ways to enjoy boating! The event is taking place from 13th - 22nd September during the hours of 9.30am - 6.30pm. There's a range of packages available and you can purchase tickets direct from the Southampton Boat Show website including any hospitality packages too. 

We were invited by Marine Superstore, the leading yacht and boat chandlers based in Portsmouth. 

Friday, 13 September 2019

New In Beauty - Hair Edition

I'm a bit obsessed with hair products, I've always quite liked my hair so if there is anything new that will help me make it look more fabulous then I am there with open arms. Sprays, masks, dry shampoos, oils, you name it and I would've most likely tried it. Which is why I've collected a handful of new hair products that I've been trying out recently and popped them in this post so you can see what's new and what's worth picking up next time you need a little hair refresh.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Bills Southampton & their fresh new look

Bill's Restaurants is the kinda place you just know you can rely on for good food, brilliant service and a great atmosphere and so with their oh so beautiful refurbishment complete that's exactly where we headed recently. Bill's Southampton is situated within West Quay's newest development filled with fabulous eateries and views of the old walls that once protected Southampton. They have a beautiful outside eating area as well as plenty of room inside so you can enjoy breakfast, brunch or a leisurely dinner with friends. Arran and I were invited in recently with Joshua on a Saturday evening while we were having a staycation in the city and had the best time. 

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Ottoman Kitchen - Turkish Cuisine in Southampton

Southampton is awash with restaurants and eateries but we haven't had anything quite like Ottoman Kitchen for some time. I've really tried to rack my brains and I can't seem to think of a Turkish restaurant in Southampton where you can book a table, enjoy drinks and spend an evening marveling at the decor and of course enjoying the delicious food. My Mum and I were invited to review Ottoman Kitchen last weekend for lunch to experience it for ourselves and we had such an enjoyable time. 

Ottoman Kitchen sits within the old Woolwich Building Society on the highstreet, a Grade II listed building which dates back to 1866, it's a really beautiful building and one I've always wanted to go inside but it has stood empty for the last ten years. As you step inside you're met with flushes of blue, beautiful pictures of Turkey, high ceilings and the most beautiful chandeliers.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Is Remote Working a Saviour for Parents?

More and more people are working from home instead of heading to a regular office each day. There are many reasons for this, but is it something that can help parents? Can you take on your parenting responsibilities while also working from home at the same time? Those questions are tough and not easy to answer but it's something more and more of us are facing. 

It's becoming much more common so we need to try and bust some myths and look at the positives.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Topshop Beauty is now at Very!

With the changing seasons it's not just our wardrobes that get an Autumnal overhaul, our makeup does too! Switching up my fragrance and go to makeup products is something I do with each season. Think bright oranges, soft bronzers and gorgeous highlight for Summer and dusty browns, muted rose pinks and golds for Autumn. I've been arranging my makeup stash this week to inject some new shades ahead of the equinox in a few weeks and Topshop Beauty have pulled out some bangers! 

The best bit? Topshop Beauty has recently launched at Very which means getting your beauty fix is even easier. There's a huge range available from subtle highlights, stunning eyeshadows and the softest lip crayons to long wear foundation and the fixing mist you are going to want to get your hands on. 

Monday, 2 September 2019

Planning Your Next Milestone Birthday Party

As children our birthday parties are planned for us, something I'm currently in the process of doing for Joshua's second birthday. And they're fun right? We then hit adulthood and that kinda changes so what can we do about it?

Plan our own and that's where the fun starts! I'm hitting the big 3-0 at the end of the year and my best friend has taken up the reins while giving me the say so on everything and that's great because we get to invite who we like, not who we should and we get to choose the venue, cake and everything in-between!

Glossier Lash Lick - The mascara I've been waiting for

One of my all time favourite mascaras was the Seventeen Falsifeye HD Mascara which retailed around the £7 mark and was unfortunately discontinued a year or so ago. The reason I loved the mascara so much was because the wand separated every single lash perfectly, the formula didn't flake or smudge and it would last all day.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Alder Hey Children's Hospital & Daniel's Story

*This is a paid partnership with Alder Hey*

I'd like to think many of us are aware of the important work Alder Hey carries out. Every year Alder Hey cares for over 275,000 patients and their families. To increase funding and give back, the charity have recently set up a running club, designed to support individuals who wish to undertake sporting events on behalf of the charity.

To give you a little insight into the work they do, I'm sharing Daniel's story with you.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Fun ways to get out the house & bond as a family

As a parent with a lot of responsibilities on our plates, getting through most days can be pretty stressful. We have so many different things running through our minds that can really get to us some days. Because of the busy lives we lead, we never really get a chance to chill out and when we do plans seem to have been forgotten because we've been too focused on everything else.

The good thing is that one day, things will start to slow down and we’ll be able to collect ourselves and enjoy more days out right?!

Friday, 30 August 2019

Five reasons to visit Hamble

If there is one thing I love doing at the weekend, it's exploring more of my home city and county. We're so lucky living in Southampton as there really is so much to do here that I think some don't realise just how much. I wanted to make the most of this year and get out and see new things with Joshua and I'm so glad I've kept to it because we've made some wonderful memories which is exactly how this post has come about. 

Hamble is somewhere my family has a lot of connections, it's somewhere we visited as children and somewhere we've taken Joshua a number of times this summer. Whenever I share photos of our days here I always get asked about Hamble so I want to encourage more of you to visit and soak up this little quaint English village.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Côte Brasserie & the All New Children's Menu

Dining out with Joshua is something we love to do. We've taken him to restaurants from such a young age which we really think has helped him get used to eating out and being so well behaved. I have zero restaurant fear with him nowadays because he is always such a joy and it's great way to introduce him to different foods he may not eat at home. It also helps that he's brilliant with food so we know if we put something a little different in front of him, he'll give it a go which is why the new children's menu at Côte Brasserie is such a breath of fresh air. 

There's not a chicken nugget in sight and honestly? It's great to see.

Friday, 23 August 2019

The Five Minute Skincare Routine for Busy Mums

Having children puts so much toll on your body and with those sleepless nights and lack of proper nutrients from living on coffee, it's your skin that'll be noticeably affected. I've upped my skincare routine massively since having our bambino. Half because I needed to deal with those dark circles and half because it meant I could hide in the bathroom for ten minutes while I applied cream after cream until I had to come out again.

I've pretty much nailed my ideal five minute skincare routine so I'm sharing it with you. 

Five products that'll awaken the skin, keep it at its best and takes just five minutes!

Monday, 19 August 2019

How We Print & Store Our Family Memories

Printing photos and keeping photo albums isn't as common as it once was now we're in such a digital heavy age. It's something I've always done, I love being able to print my memories and store them in albums or as Polaroids hung by pegs and yarn.

What's the point in have them stored on a memory card from them never to see the light of day?

"We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone"


Sunday, 18 August 2019

The Easy Eco Beauty Swaps I've Made

Finding eco and sustainable options seems to be all I research at the moment. Becoming a mum has changed a lot for me, especially how I see my impact on the earth my son is growing up on. We've all seen the documentaries and the warnings, it should be enough to put the frighteners on anyone and so I've spent most of this year swapping every day items for those that are more friendly to our planet and of course reusable.

Friday, 16 August 2019

The Autumn Collection from Clarins is about to drop!

The end of summer means a handful of things but for me especially it means the Autumn beauty releases are right around the corner and I cannot wait! Clarins dropped a little bundle in my beauty loving hands a few weeks ago so I'm going to show you exactly what's coming before it's released at the end of this month.

There's a new foundation that I've been testing out the last few weeks, four all new lip perfectors and a collection of new blush compacts that you're going to love. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Discover Clean Reserve Solar Bloom

When it comes to fragrance, I like it to tell a story. Most of the scents I wear have some sort of memory or tale behind them so when I discovered Clean Reserve I just knew it was going to be the start of something special. I have quite an extensive perfume collection and I'm very particular about what I wear but that doesn't mean there isn't room for more, especially when they have our planet in mind too. 

Clean Beauty Collective are at the forefront of eco-conscious packaging, not only that but the partners they work with use green manufacturing practices and all of their fragrances are infused with responsibly sourced, sustainable ingredients. Each bottle is expertly created, super sleek and totally conscious of our planet which as I move towards more environmentally friendly products, is exactly what I want to hear. 

Monday, 12 August 2019

What I've Been Reading in 2019 #5

Reading has really become the way I relax this year and I'm so glad I've made the time to do more of what I love. I've read some really great books so far this year and have relied heavily on Good Reads to find new books to read by following friends. It means my to read list is huge but at least I'm making the time for it by putting my phone down more.

I'v compiled some thoughts and mini reviews on the last six books I read, some I loved and one I really didn't get in to but I love opening up book discussions with you and hope that you do too!

Sunday, 11 August 2019

I'm Scared

(All photos by Candid Days Photography)

I've had this sat in my drafts for months, I've read over it again and again tweaking little bits so it makes a little more sense, adding other bits in that have kinda become relevant and being too scared to press publish on my post about being scared.

Seems silly right? 

I needed to let my thoughts out in the open, a problem halved almost. I started writing this in January, I don't think I'd even shared much of what I was feeling with Arran at this point until one day it all came barreling out in a fit of snotty sobs. It was not pretty and I'm just glad he didn't leave me after I left snot all over his shoulder as I wept. 

I'm ready to share this post now, after taking the time to look into calming apps and walk more to clear my thoughts, I feel less terrified of putting how I feel out there for all to read and incredibly grateful I have such a strong support network.

Friday, 9 August 2019

A Day Out with Thomas at The Watercress Line

Visiting The Watercress Line has been something I've wanted to do for a long time. The first time we were invited I was heavily pregnant and Joshua was too young the second so third time lucky, we finally made it out to the historic railway line for their Day Out with Thomas event which takes place twice a year. 

Thomas the Tank Engine is such a classic, wholesome character that has been a hit with many for generations so I knew we'd have a wonderful time but the day totally surpassed my expectations. 

Day Out With Thomas is on until 11th August so you still have some time to take a visit yourself.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

The Struggle with Shopping for Boys Clothing & Where we Shop

(All photos by Candid Days Photography)

If you're a Mother of boys then you'll probably share my struggle with shopping for boys clothes on the highstreet. When I fell pregnant I just assumed it would be an equal split with plenty of gender neutral options too but I couldn't have been more surprised. Walking in to most highstreet retailers, you're usually met with a sea of pink to choose from but when it comes to shopping for boys you are lucky if you get a 4ft drop to choose from.

Why is that? I don't think we'll ever really know.

(Please note: I understand gendered clothing doesn't need to be a thing, there's no right or wrong way to dress children but we do personally dress Joshua as a boy so I really hope I don't offend anyone! Please do message if you feel I've used the wrong wording at any point).

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

First Look at the Pixi Vitamin C Collection

When it comes to skincare, Pixi Beauty know a thing or two and with a brand new range full of skin brightening products, I thought I'd give you a little rundown of what's what in the new collection. This isn't a full review as I haven't had the chance to properly use the products for long enough, think first thoughts and what I think I'm going to love the most. 

Spoiler: Probably all of it! Pixi Beauty can do no wrong for me! 

Monday, 29 July 2019

The Latest in Beauty Grazia Beauty Box

Latest in Beauty are back with another blinder of a beauty box, this time curated by Grazia's beauty and health director, Joely Walker. The Grazia Beauty Box (£50.00) is available to purchase now from Latest in Beauty and features over £244 worth of the best beauty you can get your hands on. 

I resembled the Cheshire Cat as I opened my box for the first time pulling out amazing product after amazing product. There were some of my own fail safes inside as well as some products I've been dying to try, all in a really decent size with plenty of full size products too. 

You're gonna need to be quick with this one because it's too good not to sell out. 

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Three of My Most Used Products from Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden is a skincare brand I've used since my teens, so a very long time! The cult classic Eight Hour Cream has never not been on my beauty shelf and as I've grown to love it even more over the years so I've explored more of the brand. 

Elizabeth Arden now boast a pretty impressive Eight Hour Cream range including the All Over Miracle Oil which is my go to product for my legs during the winter months. The range is award winning and can completely transform skin, I honestly think it's one of my all time favourite skincare ranges, I just wouldn't be without it which is why I wanted to share some of my favourite products from the brand. 

Friday, 26 July 2019

An Old Beauty Classic

I think we're all pretty familiar with Lanolin and its skin wonders. It's actually something I was allergic to as a child but have been able to use in my later years. Lano is one of the leading lanolin brands and was created by Kirsten Carriol after an idea stuck on a long haul flight. Raised on a sheep farm, her father who was a DNA scientist had taught her that lanolin, from wool mimics human oils making it the perfect tool for skin. 

The 100% natural substance can be found on the wool of sheep, it helps keep their coat protected and dry throughout the year and is obtained after shearing which needs to be done so sheep don't end up too hot and the coat too heavy. Lano has received countless awards over the years for their products with the original Lano 101 voted best in the world so I just had to explore the brand that little bit more this year.

Friday, 19 July 2019

What I've Been Reading in 2019 #4

Reading has been such a relaxing outlet for me this year, I've always been a book worm and would happily spend hours with my nose in a book but I go through phases where I'll read loads and then read nothing for months. In the past two years I've probably only read a handful of books, two of which were baby related but it's this year where I've really made the time for reading more. 

At the start of the year I set a Good Reads challenge to read 25 books during 2019, I quickly upped that to 30 and in May I smashed my challenge. Instead of setting it higher, I've just carried on and I'm currently on book 42. Reading has made me really pull back some me time and put my phone down for longer than twenty minutes. It's had a big impact on my mental health and I'm really pushing myself to step out of reading the same old genre. 

Monday, 15 July 2019

New On My Beauty Shelf

A new season always brings some new beauty bits and I have a little collection of skincare loving beauties to show you today and I'm sure there's a least one you'll be adding to your to buy list by the end of this post. As I've got older, skincare has definitely been where I've made the most effort, I'm all for ageing gracefully but there's nothing wrong with a little help along the way so discovering the latest beauty treats has fast become my favourite past time. 

I have five products to show you with one of Clarin's all new face scrubs being number one...

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Summer Shades from Antipodes Healthy Liptick Collection

If there is one thing this blog is built on, it's my love for lipsticks and trying out new ones is all part of the job description right? Antipodes is a brand I've been aware of for many years, I've used a number of their products and will recommend the Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream until the day I die. I've also spent a wonderful afternoon with Deborah Sampson, their global beauty expert talking all things Antipodes so you could say I'm quite a fan of the brand. 

When it comes to Antipodes makeup offerings I'd not tried anything before so with three of their Healthy Lipsticks to try, I dived straight in!

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Five Ways to Enjoy Rainer Cherries

This is a paid partnership with Northwest Cherries
Photography by - Nicole Walters

I've always been a bit of a fruit bat and Joshua is fast taking after me so with cherry season in its height, I've been taking full advantage of the deliciousness on offer. I remember picking cherries from a neighbours (with permission) tree when I was younger so I've always had a soft spot for the fruit and with succulent Rainer Cherries in season now I couldn't help but add them to my food shop. 

The thing with Rainer cherries is that they're a little different to what you're used to, they're a variety of cherry from the US Northwest Pacific region and are available in the month of July. The cherry has a deliciously sweet taste and it's yellow in colour with a splash of pink.

Monday, 8 July 2019

What I'm Using in My Shower

The products I use in my shower are the ones I reach for daily, the ones that I love and the ones I more often than not repurchase right away. I love reading posts like this because for me, for someone to reach for a product daily, it has to be good right? 

They'll be some familiar brands such as Soap & Glory and Aveda to some not so familiar brands like Evolve but who each need their moment in the spotlight. There's hair, skin and a handy reusable face cloth so I'm hoping you'll find something you will want to try.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

L'Occitane Mineral Moisture Mask

If there is one thing I love to do to switch off and take back some me time it's pamper myself with a face mask. Since moving house, I've been able to dedicate a whole room to store all my beauty products which means this gal now has a dedicated face mask drawer featuring items such as this little gem from skincare favourites L'Occitane. 

If you want fresher skin, you're going to want to add this to your wishlist! 

Monday, 24 June 2019

The Latest in Beauty Hot List

It's only been this year that I've discovered and ordered from Latest in Beauty but it has fast become something I look forward to. I'm a big fan of beauty boxes, I have been for years but one thing you find with beauty boxes time and time again is that more often than not you will find one or two products you have no use for and that's where Latest in Beauty is different. 

Each month, Latest in Beauty compile pages of new in and favourite beauty items and you get to curate your very own beauty box. I like the one off option so I can go on, have a little browse and if there is anything I really have my eye on, I can create a one off box full of products I actually want to try. They're always delivered quickly as well as packaged really well and I know it's bumper packed full of products and brands I love.

It's such a great twist on a traditional beauty box. 

Sunday, 23 June 2019

How I Helped My Pityriasis Rosea Skin Condition

Skin conditions can be a little bit of a tricky subject, I am in no way medically trained so what I share in this post is just from my own experiences and what I used to help what I was suffering with. When it comes to skin conditions, you should really get the opinion of your GP or pharmacist before going on to use a particular ointment or moisturiser. Everything I mention within this post is just what I researched and decided to use to help my Pityriasis Rosea when it was at its most painful. 

I do believe everything I used helped calm the problem which is why I've written this post as unfortunately with this particular condition there's no fix, you just kinda have to wait it out and maybe it'll help someone who feels as desperate as I was. 

Friday, 21 June 2019

Introducing Too Cool For School

Too Cool For School is one of the hottest Korean beauty brands right now, selling a product every 12 seconds globally as well as having huge waiting list ahead of its launch in the United States. Too Cool For School brings the latest K Beauty trends to the Western world and they've recently launched in Boots, Cult Beauty and Feel Unique meaning we can get our hands on their products even easier than before. 

The brand is focused on creative experimentation and contemporary culture, bringing uniqueness and incredible quality to their products. It is one of the most sought after brands in South Korea and their following just keeps growing. The packaging is fun and expressive while the products speak for themselves, the Egg Mellow Cream is a sell out every time with the egg range being on of their most popular. I've been trying a handful of products over the last few months and have started quite a love affair with the Egg Cream Mask so much so I've reordered a few times since first receiving the products into my skincare loving hands.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Clarins Summer Collection 2019

One of my favourite times of the year is when the Clarins Summer Collection swings around, because it means I can get my hands on a new limited edition bronzer! Apart from Nars Laguna, the Clarins Bronzing Compacts are one of my most used products and each year they bring out something more beautiful than the last. 

It's not just the bronzing compacts to get excited about because they also have three dazzling lip stains and a beautifulllll cobalt blue liner which will see you through lazy summer nights and some of the hottest festivals in town. 

Monday, 17 June 2019

Birchbox Jet Set Beauty

Birchbox are back with another limited edition beauty box and the Jet Set Beauty collection is one that'll keep the holiday going that little bit longer. The set, launching 18th June features a handful of beauty must haves to see you through from New York to St. Tropez, think hydrating face masks to beat the jet lag and beautiful facial sunscreens to protect your skin. 

They've thought of everything and not just that, all the products come in a see through travel friendly rose gold bag which will have you flying through security this summer. 

Sunday, 16 June 2019

The Perfect Scent for Him

Buying for Father's Day can sometimes bring up a complete panic about what to get especially when so many gifts are aimed at the beer or sport lover in your life. I've always been a fan of fragrance when giving gifts, I think it can tell a story and take you back to a moment in your life so with Azzaro's newest twist on Chrome, Aqua makes for the perfect Father's Day gift. 

Friday, 14 June 2019

Watch Out! There's Brickosaurs About at Marwell Zoo!

One thing we have both been dying to do with Joshua is go to a zoo but we wanted to hang on until he'd appreciate it and be able to recognise what we were pointing out. We have a wonderful zoo near us called Marwell Zoo and as it's dubbed as one of the best days out in Hampshire, that's exactly where we headed during Arran's week of annual leave.

Marwell Zoo invited us to experience their all new and interactive expedition which is on until 1st September. Brickosaurs is an interactive experience featuring more than two million LEGO® bricks so it's sure to excite children and adults of all ages. 

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

A Family Day Out at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

We're a stones throw away from Portsmouth so it has been the perfect place for a family day out a number of times now. We're right by a train station that goes direct to Portsmouth Harbour in 45 minutes so in the time it takes to drink a hot coffee we're where we need to be for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Gunwharf Quays and Southsea Beach. 

It makes for a really great, local day out with not much timely travel involved. 

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is somewhere I've visited many times before but it's not somewhere Arran or Joshua have been so that's exactly where we headed one Saturday in May. 

Stepping into the dockyard takes you back in time and there is so much more to see and do here than I ever realised. From historic ships such as HMS Victory and HMS Warrior to educational museum exhibitions and harbour tours, there is something for all ages.

Entry was quick and easy, we arrived around 10am so time was probably on our side. There's a Costa Coffee just inside the ticket hall so after being given our tickets for the day, we grabbed a coffee and looked out to HMS Warrior. 

HMS Warrior was built in 1859, had a crew of 705 men and was in service for forty years. It's the largest and fastest of all Royal Navy ships and has attracted thousands of visitors year on year. The last time I stepped on HMS Warrior was almost twenty years ago so I really enjoyed being able to see it again. 

There was somewhere to park your buggies and most of the ship was open to be explored, I actually prefer Warrior to Victory, I just love how it looks and I think it's a beautiful ship. The captain's cabin and gallery have been reinterpreted to reflect how it was 156 years ago and with audio guides available, you'll be clued up on all things HMS Warrior before you know it. 

I can't wait to take Joshua back when he's a bit older, he did shout boat when he saw HMS Warrior, our next word will have to be ship!

As Joshua was due a nap, the very first place we headed was the Horrible Histories Pirates Exhibition which was brilliant. I loved Horrible Histories when I was younger so Arran and I really enjoyed this bit too. The hands on exhibition features interactive exhibits, a soft play area, dress up and a creative space to design your own pirate flag. The area was huge, I was so surprised by how much space there was which meant it was really enjoyable as you weren't bumper to bumper with others. 

Joshua was able to run wild and I was able to shoot soft cannonballs at Arran while I did my best pirate impression. If you have little ones, they will really love Horrible Histories Pirates. They're such fun and educational books anyway so to be able to experience the exhibition was great.

Joshua loved it so much that he promptly fell asleep after we escaped the pirates clutches which left Arran and I to explore more of the dockyard. 

We headed straight to HMS Victory which is the Royal Navy's most famous warship, best known for her role in the Battle of Trafalgar. The Vice Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship really is something quite special and has fast become one of the UK's best loved attractions. 

HMS Victory had a crew of 821, was built in 1759 and was in service for 206 years. Before stepping on to the ship, you can't quite comprehend just how many men lived and worked in such a small space and there is now an audio tour available which is full of facts and stories from some of those who served onboard during the Battle of Trafalgar. 

As Joshua was asleep, we were able to access HMS Victory via the lower gun deck with the pushchair where there is a DVD tour to give you more information on the ship. We're hoping to go back to explore as we didn't get to venture any further on the ship due to Joshua being asleep in the pushchair. It is worth noting, accessibility is well thought of at the dockyard and we didn't feel like we struggled it was just due to timing that we weren't able to do much due to having a sleeping toddler with us. The site team at HMS Victory were really accommodating and helped us get on and off as well as explaining where we could and couldn't go which we found really helpful.

HMS Victory is currently undergoing a 13 year, £35million conservation project, with experts from fields such as timber preservation, shipbuilding, rigging, conservation, engineering and heritage. This is an exciting time for the ship. The most obvious sign of the project is that her masts have been temporarily removed, and visitors are also able to see first hand some of the work that is being carried out on board to save HMS Victory for future generations to enjoy.

While we were visiting we did get to see the 25ft statue Embracing Peace which many will recognise as the iconic American kiss between a sailor and a nurse taken on V-J Day. This was unveiled as part of the cities D-Day Commemorations in June. 

While the bambino stayed napping, it gave us an opportunity to have a look around the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Victory Gallery. The museum holds treasures from the past 350 years and gave an unbelievable insight to life at sea and the conditions. It was incredibly interesting and the perfect way to educate little ears of our countries history at sea. 

The artwork was a personal favourite so much so that I picked out some bits I liked in postcard form which is something I've always done. We also bought a pirate book for Joshua as they had a wonderful selection of gifts and books available for all ages. 

Next up was the antiques shop, one of my favourite places to explore while at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as there is just so much to see. I found a postcard of Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2 during the Falklands War this time which I bought for my Dad as he was on the ship when it sailed down to the island. The shop is quite literally an Aladdin's cave and you'd be hard pressed not to find something that will wow you. 

As much as we felt we saw a lot, there was still so much more we could've seen. There are twelve attractions on site as well as three off site so there really is an incredible variety of things to see and do.

 I would've loved to do a harbour tour and seen more of HMS Warrior but we're so local that we can just pop down again. It's such a great day out for all the family and as there's restaurants and cafes on sight, you really can spend the entire day there. 

I'd really advise checking out the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard website which holds mountains of information on what you can see and do as well as ticket information. There's also a handy tab to tell you what's coming up so you won't miss out! They're also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so make sure you give them a follow there too to keep up to date with all the comings and goings of the dockyard. 

A HUGE thank you to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for having us for the day, we really did have a fabulous time and can't wait to come back again soon. 

Complimentary tickets in exchange for review - see disclaimer.
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