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A few months ago I shared the news that we have very kindly been asked to be Geronimo Festival ambassadors.

If you’re not au fait with the Geronimo Festival you can read all about it here, but in a nutshell it’s the largest children’s festival in the North West that kicks off on 27th to 29th May 2017 at Arley Hall, Cheshire. You can expect a line-up jam packed with some of the biggest names in children’s entertainment, including CBeebies favourites Mr Bloom, Andy Day, Justin Fletcher and Cook & Line from Swashbuckle.

Cook+LineMrBloom

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Alongside the big names, there’s also a whole host of activities for children and parents, including den making, donkey rides, circus shows, baby ballet, face painting, storytelling, a petting farm, climbing, craft workshops and much much more.

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In addition, the fun doesn’t stop when the acts do, for the first year ever families can now camp in the specially designed child friendly campsite. You can either bring your own tent, caravan or motorhome, or take advantage of the many glamping options on offer. Families can choose from a wide range of fully equipped, spacious and unique boutique tents, including Arabian Bedouin Tents, Cosy Cubes or bright, airy and affordable Tangerine Tents. With the option of booking all the kit needed to camp and the promise to be pitched with friends regardless of group size or when you arrive, all that grown-ups need to worry about is making sure they get to see as much of the Geronimo Festival as they can.

Geronimo Festival really is a children’s festival like no other and Hello Baby has teamed up with the lovely team at Geronimo to offer one lucky family the chance to win a family pass for up to four people  for either Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday admission.

For your chance to win, comment on this blog post answering the following question AND fill in the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Q: At which venue will Geronimo Festival take place?

A: Tatton Park

B: Arley Hall

C: Chatsworth House

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Full Ts&Cs are below.

Terms and conditions:

  1. Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding anyone professionally associated with Hello Baby Blog or Geronimo Festival.
  2. The prize is one family pass to Geronimo Festival for either Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday admission. The date must be specified at time of confirming the prize. Each pass admits 4 people, one person in the group must be aged over 18 (NB children under the age of 2 years do not require a ticket).
  3. The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  4. Travel and accommodation are not included.
  5. The prize is non transferable and ID will be required at time of collecting the ticket wristband upon arrival.
  6. The prize includes most events and activities at Geronimo but not food and drink from any stalls or bar.
  7. The prize draw starts at 12am on 10th April 2017 and closes at 12am on 30th April 2017.
  8. Entry is free and must be made by commenting on this blog post and filling in the Rafflecopter widget. Entrants can gain bonus entries by visiting Hello Baby on facebook, following @hellobabyblog on Twitter, following @hellobabyblog on Instagram, following @hellobabyblog on Pinterest, tweeting about the giveaway, following @geronimofest_uk on Twitter, visiting GeronimoFestival on Facebook and then completing the Rafflecopter widget featured in this post.
  9. The name of the winner will be published on this website within 14 days of the competition closing.
  10. Hello Baby Blog’s decision on all matters is final and binding on all entrants. No correspondence will be entered into.
  11. By taking part in this competition you agree to be bound by the competition terms and conditions.
  12. Hello Baby Blog reserves the right to disqualify any entrant and / or winner in its discretion and without any notice in accordance with these terms and conditions.
  13. Once the winner has been selected at random using Rafflecopter, I will inform Geronimo Festival of the winner’s name and they will then send on the prize. I’m sure this won’t happen but I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post or arriving late.
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  • Ben TurnerApril 10, 2017 - 12:14 pm
  • Olivia chadwickApril 10, 2017 - 1:33 pm

    B – ARLEY HallReplyCancel

  • Jacqui MatthewsApril 10, 2017 - 1:45 pm

    B Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth HindsApril 10, 2017 - 6:44 pm

    B. Arley Hall :)ReplyCancel

  • simon tutthillApril 10, 2017 - 7:05 pm

    B Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Stephanie WoodApril 10, 2017 - 8:22 pm

    Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Margaret FarmerApril 10, 2017 - 8:33 pm

    B: Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Zoe CApril 10, 2017 - 8:33 pm

    Arley HallReplyCancel

  • leanne weirApril 10, 2017 - 9:03 pm

    arley hallReplyCancel

  • Samantha MannApril 10, 2017 - 9:07 pm

    B: Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Sarah HansonApril 10, 2017 - 9:37 pm

    Arley hallReplyCancel

  • Fabienne DonbavandApril 10, 2017 - 10:54 pm

    B. Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Michaela HannahApril 11, 2017 - 5:00 am

    B. Arley HallReplyCancel

  • georgie popeApril 11, 2017 - 8:36 am

    b arley hallReplyCancel

  • James McKennaApril 11, 2017 - 12:32 pm

    B: Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Frances Sunshine HopkinsApril 11, 2017 - 8:32 pm

    Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Nicola LynchApril 11, 2017 - 9:08 pm

    Arley Hall – Would love to win tickets! Thanks for the chance. We’ve been for the last two years and it’s fantastic.ReplyCancel

  • Lorraine KirkApril 12, 2017 - 9:30 am

    b. Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Robyn ClarkeApril 12, 2017 - 10:35 am

    B: Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Claire WillmerApril 12, 2017 - 10:45 am

    B. Arley HallReplyCancel

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    B Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Lynsey BuchananApril 13, 2017 - 10:52 pm

    B: Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Emma FoxApril 15, 2017 - 12:16 pm

    B: Arley HallReplyCancel

  • katrina walshApril 16, 2017 - 12:00 pm

    arley hallReplyCancel

  • Kirsty FoxApril 16, 2017 - 10:23 pm

    B. Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Christina CurtisApril 17, 2017 - 11:19 am

    B: Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Rebecca SmithApril 18, 2017 - 8:04 am

    B: Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Danielle DunnApril 18, 2017 - 7:31 pm

    B. Arley HallReplyCancel

  • Rich TylerApril 19, 2017 - 11:19 pm

    B. Arley HallReplyCancel

Shopping for Jack and Phoebe is one of my favourite pastimes. I have to admit I loathe clothes shopping for myself, but I could quite happily spend hours on end clothes shopping for the little ones. There are just so many pretty things!

With Phoebs turning 3 in 2 months (seriously, where does the time go?!) she is shooting up at a rapid rate and is in need of some roomier clothes for Spring and Summer, so I’ve spent the weekend perusing my favourite brands on Ladida and creating little wishlists for her Spring / Summer wardrobe.

If you haven’t heard of Ladida, you really must check them out pronto. Ladida is an American shop carrying brands from all over the world including Wolf & Rita, Bobo ChosesMini Rodini and The Animals Observatory. They have a huge selection of handpicked designer children’s clothing and offer a wide range of styles and brands to choose from, making this a great one-stop-shop for your babies and children up to age 18.

It was a nigh on impossible task pulling together my 8 favourite items for Spring/Summer, but here are my top picks:

Ladida

1 // Mini Rodini Unicorn Star Wing Swimsuit, $52.80

2 // Morley Chambray Check Finn Dress, $157.50

3 // Bobo Choses Podium Sweatshirt, $72

4 // Wolf & Rita Dans La Foret Silvia Dress, $127.60

Ladida

5 // Nadadelazos Little Dandelion Tunic Dress, $59.40

6 // Bobo Choses Flamingo Shaped Dress, $96

7 // Bonton Natural Leather Sandals, $138

8 // Bobo Choses 1968 AO Denim Short, $82

You can find all the latest news from Ladida on their Facebook and Instagram pages and to see the full range of their lovely wares, check out their website. They ship worldwide and offer FREE shipping across the United States for orders over $99.00 and FREE shipping on international orders over $199.00.

Are you a fan of Ladida? Let me know in the comments below.

*Disclosure: PR collaboration

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As a busy mum of two, I often find myself completely stuck in a hair style rut. On a school/work day, with limited time to do anything with my hair other than shoving it up in a messy bun/ponytail, I’m always in awe of the school mums that turn up looking perfectly groomed!

With that in mind, I’ve been browsing good old pinterest, and have pulled together six of my favourite quick and easy updos for busy mums, that even I might be able to master with an extra 5 minutes in the morning.

1 // The Top Knot

Top Knot Tutorial

2 // Three Twisted Buns

Three Twisted Buns

3 // Messy Waves

MESSY WAVES

4 // Braided Hair

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5 // The Twisted Bun

TwistedBun+

6 // Easy Milkmaid Braid

Apart from the Messy Waves which could be created with a good pair of straighteners, I’ve purposefully chosen styles that are kind to your hair so you don’t have to invest in advanced tricho pigmentation treatment or similar, thanks to heat damage!

What do you think of these six quick and easy updos for busy mums? What’s your ‘go-to’ hairstyle? I’d love to know in the comments below.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

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  • Rebecca | AAUBlogMarch 2, 2017 - 6:49 pm

    I never thought I wouldn’t use my straighteners much, but am getting to the point where I can leave it and just embrace the ‘beachy’ waves haha. i love the barefoot blonde blog – wish my hair was her length!ReplyCancel

  • Sonia CaveMarch 2, 2017 - 7:53 pm

    These all look lovely and I used to wear braids a lot, but I’ve recently had my hair chopped off. Makes me want to grow it again!ReplyCancel

  • Vikki HolnessMarch 3, 2017 - 10:44 am

    Oh i absolutely LOVE the 3 twisted buns and braided hairstyles. I really should be more creative with my hair, most days it just gets chucked up in a messy bun or ponytail! xxReplyCancel

Spanish brand Mayoral are one of my favourite childrenswear brands thanks to their stylish and fun collections. Beautifully made with classic designs, you’d be hard pushed to not find something you love for your little ones and most importantly they are excellent quality; we’ve bought a fair few pieces over the years and they’ve all lasted really well, especially the boys polo shirts  and girl’s t-shirts that have been worn to death, washed umpteen times and still hold their shape.

Having celebrated their 75th anniversary last year, Mayoral are going from strength to strength and have gained international recognition thanks to their high quality, versatile pieces. For girls you can expect unique floral prints and playful graphics and for boys they offer both a formal range of nautical-themed shirts and preppy trousers, and a sporty range with cool tees and stylish day wear. They also offer a gorgeous range for newborns and babies and a range of accessories.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are my picks for boys and girls…

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1 // Girl short striped skirt with zipper, £23.99

2 // Boy nautical style windbreaker jacket, £38.99

3 // Boy long sleeve polo with rib knit cuffs, £21.99

4 // Girl guipure shorts, £24.50

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5 // Boy short sleeve polo with contrast collar, £20.50

6 // Girl short sleeve t-shirt cupcake design, £16.50

7 // Girl denim style dress with tulle skirt, £39.50

8 // Boy chino long trousers with belt, £27.99

Not only do they do casual wear well as seen above, they also offer a brilliant selection of ‘formal wear’ suitable for Christenings and Weddings, which is stylish yet comfortable for the littles. I always find children’s formal wear hard to come across on the high street, so next time you have a special occasion to go to, don’t forget to check out the Mayoral range to save you trawling the shops!

The thing that always shocks me about Mayoral is the price. For such a ‘premium’ brand, their pricing is incredibly affordable and on a par with the more upmarket high street brands.

You can find all the latest news from Mayoral on their Facebook and twitter pages and to see the full range of their lovely wares, check out their website. Mayoral can also be found in a huge selection of boutiques around the country and thankfully it’s stocked in our favourite local one, Milkshake Boutique in Wilmslow,  so we can try before we buy.

Are you a fan of Mayoral? Let me know in the comments below.

*Disclosure: PR collaboration

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Kidzania LondonLast month we were invited to Kidzania London to give our children their first (fun!) taste into the world of work  as guests of 365 Tickets, an online ticket retailer that offers huge discounts for the biggest and most popular attractions in the UK and around the world.

Located within Westfield, KidZania London is a child-size city, set up like a shopping mall, where the kids are in charge. Kidzania offers children the opportunity to try out an enormous variety of jobs in a very impressive, life-like environment, where parents are strictly relegated to the sidelines and the children have to put some effort in to earn their keep – if only the real world was like this!

Kidzania London

KidZania is clearly signposted within Westfield, but it’s also very easy to find on the first floor next door to Marks & Spencer thanks to the huge aeroplane marking the entrance.

The airport-style check in made the children excited about what was to come and they loved having their ‘boarding cards’ (tickets) scanned and having to pass through ‘immigration’ before they could enter. The helpful staff fitted each of us with a security bracelet that zaps the little ones in and out of each activity and enables the adults to keep tabs on them at all times. It also ensures your child’s safety as they can only be checked out of the City with you present and it records any allergies your child has.

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Kidzania London

At check-in the children were also given 50 kidZos (currency) each so they could pay to participate in some of Kidzania’s most popular jobs. Whilst it seems counter intuitive to make children pay for some of the jobs (you should get paid for working shouldn’t you?), it’s actually a great idea as it means that the children quickly learn that in order to be able to undertake all of the jobs that they would like to, they need to do other jobs to earn enough money.

If they do enough ‘paying jobs’ and have some spare kidZos at the end of the day, children can save it in a KidZania bank account for their next visit or spend the money in the shop at the end. Sadly mine did neither of these things as they spent their last kidzos that they’d earned, making pom pom necklaces and having their faces painted!

‘Designed to empower kids, KidZania gives them the confidence to challenge themselves and inspire them to explore the world of opportunities. KidZania is a real life role play experience for 4-14 year olds,  blending learning and reality with entertainment. Each role-play experience is crafted to teach kids essential life skills including financial literacy, team work and independence’.

(Kidzania website)

The employment opportunities at Kidzania are almost endless and hugely varied.  Roles include actor, advertising executive, air-conditioning engineer, air-line pilot, beauty stylist, bell ringer, chocolatier, customer manager at the department store, the list goes on and I’ve only gone as far as ‘C! There really is something for everyone, and for those who have no idea what they’d like to try, there’s even a job centre!

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Many of the jobs are interlinked. For example, once trained at the fire station, our mini firefighters jumped into the fire engine to put out a fire in a burning building round the corner. Once there, they met the mini-police officers and mini-paramedics, who all worked together to successfully put out the fire, secure the area and treat injuries.

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For some reason, one of our favourite occupations was that of the courier, who ferried packages to and from various businesses throughout the town, where they were signed for just as we do in our more mundane, less upbeat, adult lives. Navigating the city was a good challenge for the littles and they loved taking it in turns wheeling the trolley and getting their clipboard signed as they handed over the packages.

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The supermarket was also a big hit, and Phoebe absolutely loved working in the maternity unit despite the fact she could barely see over the table!

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The staff, playing the roles of doctors, nurses, police officers, firemen, cooks, shop assistants, bank clerks, tattoo artists etc. were all friendly and patient, and critically, were fully committed to the roles they were playing, which is what makes the experience so realistic for the children.

In KidZania the tickets are timed to 4 hours, but within that time our children became chocolate makers, cashiers, shoppers, firefighters, maternity nurses and couriers amongst other things and it’s definitely enough time to get through a vast array of jobs, queues permitting of course!

Kidzania London

Kidzania LondonKidzania LondonKidzania LondonKidzania LondonKidzania LondonKidzania LondonAs we’d been invited to review Kidzania for the blog, they very kindly allowed Phoebe to take part in all the activities despite being two years too young. This meant that she was an honorary four year old for the day and allowed to participate in all the same activities and jobs as Jack, Bea and Ted (their lovely cousins) which was a huge relief as we could have had a huge meltdown on our hands if she has been limited to just the Science Laboratory, RightZKeepers play house and Kindergarten.

Situated on the first floor, these ‘Early Years’ attractions, all offer unique interactive play opportunities for those under 4 years of age, but they definitely wouldn’t have kept Phoebs entertained for longer than an hour, and especially if she knew what fun the others were having in the city without her!

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It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re planning on going to Kidzania as a solo parent with two or more children and one of those being an under four year old, it would be nigh on impossible to get the most out of the place, as you aren’t allowed to leave children over the age of four unattended until they are eight years old and you obviously couldn’t be in two places at once. So ideally bring your partner or a friend to help even out the ratios and enable you all to get your money’s worth.

Children from the age of 8 years can be left on their own at KidZania enabling adults to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet in the ‘Grown Ups Garden Shed’ with its board games, TV area and comfy sofas or in one of the numerous cafes dotted around the city.

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We weren’t made aware about it until near the end of our time at KidZania but on our next visit we’ll purchase a B-KidZanian PaZZport for the kids as we all know how much children love getting stamps in books! Not only that, B-KidZanians receive more benefits to enjoy at KidZania London, including fast-track access to the City once you arrive at the Airport, discounts at KidZania Shops and the chance to earn more kidZos!

Thanks so much to 365 Tickets for a brilliant day out. Despite being slightly too young to really make the most of it all (they have no idea about the value of money yet for example), the children were totally engrossed for the four hours we were there and thoroughly enjoyed participating in all the different jobs. In fact, they can’t wait to return on our next trip to London in April!

If you’re looking for discounted tickets at unbeatable prices, from theatre tickets in London’s West End to passes to Disneyland Paris, you must check out the 365 Tickets website. You can also keep up to date with their latest offers by following 365 Tickets on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: I was very kindly sent the tickets for the purpose of this review, but all words, opinions and photographs are my own.

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  • Sarah CantwellFebruary 1, 2017 - 2:52 pm

    Aw we very nearly took Rosalie here yesterday as we were in Westfields. I’m glad we didn’t now as she would be most upset to be confined to the under 4 area xxReplyCancel

  • Sonia CaveFebruary 1, 2017 - 7:34 pm

    This looks like amazing fun, and our little lady would love it!ReplyCancel

  • Keri-Anne PinkFebruary 1, 2017 - 9:19 pm

    I have heard such wonderful things about kidzania. A few of my friends have taken their children and have raved about it! It is such a clever idea :)ReplyCancel

  • StephanieFebruary 1, 2017 - 9:39 pm

    I’ve seen lots of post on this place, and I think it sounds fantastic! I think my twin girls would love it, and would quickly spend their money!!!ReplyCancel

  • Mrs hFebruary 2, 2017 - 3:29 pm

    This looks like so much fun. Little Miss H has a fantastic imagination and I know that she would love this. She is always playing make-believe. Her favourite activity is to dress up and pretend she is a doctor, hairdresser or teacher. So this day out really does sound perfect for her. Hugs Lucy xxxxReplyCancel

  • The London MumFebruary 5, 2017 - 7:52 pm

    We’ve yet to visit Kidzania, but it’s on the list for sure because I know my son would just love it!ReplyCancel

  • Janine DolanFebruary 6, 2017 - 2:52 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing. My four year old would be completely amazed by this and might even take his fear away from certain things.ReplyCancel

  • JodieFebruary 9, 2017 - 8:30 pm

    Your photos are stunning! We went a year or so ago and my girls didn’t really understand the concept unfortunately. I loved the idea though.ReplyCancel