Mexico with Kids : San Agustinillo, Oaxaca, Pacific coast

We were very lucky again this year to escape to Mexico for a few weeks to visit family, re-immerse the boys in their long-distant roots and spend time together as a family away from the stresses of work and city life.Palm Tree Mexico

Despite media portrayals of Mexico as a dangerous destination riddled with innocent victims to the dark narcotics trade, with courage and determination to enjoy one of the most beautiful countries in the world and not be scared off by the multitude of stories, we continue to explore the wonders of Mexico with our young children and hope you will too!

Little boy playing on beach in Mexico

This time after visiting family in Mexico City, we flew south and spent two weeks on the Oaxacan Pacific coast in the cute, relaxing village of San Agustinillo. Pre-kids we stayed in the neighbouring, very chilled, hippy Zipolite, (complete with wandering naked people). Along with Mazunte these are brilliant for younger/freer party animals but San Agustinillo is pretty quiet at night-time so suited us nicely!

San Agustinillo beach Mexico

There’s so much on offer for kids of all ages. In San Agustinillo alone, there are 3 beaches to explore and we often had the beach to ourselves. Snorkelling, swimming, rock climbing, catching crabs, pretending you’re a pirate hiding treasure in a secret cove… we kept making new discoveries every day.

Leon underwater

Some days we ventured slightly further out and took a colectivo to neighbouring Mazunte, hippy central and home to the National Turtle Sanctuary. You can walk the 20 minutes but in the middle of the day it’s too hot and the little bus costs 70c.

So, Mazunte was actually the sea turtle hunting capital of Mexico in the 1970s when demand for turtle meat and eggs was at its global peak and locals were killing up to 2,000 turtles PER DAY. Banned in the 1990s locals have been encouraged to look after the turtles and other natural fauna with big eco-tourism initiatives and investment programmes put into place by government and private organisations.Little boy walking on beach past fishing boats in Mexico

Supporting locals by visiting the National Turtle Sanctuary and taking boat trips to whale-spot and swim with dolphins are some ways of ensuring this won’t happen again!

San Agustinillo boat trip

Dolphins in Mexico

Another super natural tourism spot is the Laguna Ventanilla Wildlife reserve (a short drive from San Agustinillo) an incredible natural mangrove lagoon complete with wild crocs and magnificent array of bird species. Twenty five Zapotec families live in the area and are dedicated to preserving the ecology of the beach and the reserve. Guided tours are inexpensive and it’s so beautiful. The guides rehabilitate exotic animals who have been kept as pets and also look after the mangroves having replanted 30,000 after the 1997 hurricanes devastated the area.


Crocodile in Mexico

Boat Trip in Laguna Ventanilla

We were so lucky we even witnessed a turtle laying her eggs in the sand. Our guide, Jesus, explained how their job was to move the eggs so poachers wouldn’t find them and showed us how they did it. We then saw wild horses. It is so beautiful here! Refreshing coconuts mid-tour are AMAZING.Refreshing Coconut Drink

Mazunte also offers fabulous sunset viewing from Punto Cometa, the most southern point of North America on the Pacific coast  after a bit of a hike and passing secret beaches.

Sunset at Punto Cometa

We’d mainly stay in San Agustinillo though. Beachside restaurants or palapas offer reasonably priced fresh fruit juices and cocktails, cold beer, fresh fish (you see the fishermen every morning bringing in their catch!), delicious ceviche, garlic prawns, prawn stuffed avocadoes, rice, oven baked potato chips, guacamole, chicken skewers, natural ice creams, or simple pasta in case you suffer from tourista stomach ache!

Fresh fish platter Mexico

Fresh fish in lime Mexico Pacific


Ceviche, Garlic Prawns, Rice Mexico

lunch mexico

Come evening, we’d try body boarding, or would sip a cocktail and watch the surfers, kite-flyers, play football and watch the sun set together.Chilling in San Agustinillo, Oaxaca, Mexico

little boy playing at the beach

And the stars at night? Just spectacular!!! We’d nip down to the beach while the boys were sleeping (with the door locked!) just for a short romantic stroll and take in the beauty of the black sky filled with thousands of sparkling stars.

I’d recommend visiting San Agustinillo on the Oaxacan Coast with or without kids and you should definitely stay in the fabulous Un Sueño Cabañas del Pacifico run by frenchie Julien who moved here 13 years ago and now has a family with his lovely Mexican wife Cathy and 2 girls the same age as our boys. The rooms are rustic, comfortable, beautiful and on the beach! Eco-conscious and killer cocktails and not to mention the amazing breakfasts and lunches!

Beach Breakfast at Un Sueño San Agustinillo

Take me back now!

Beach walk

Top 8 Summer Music Festivals in Spain!

Festivals in Spain are awesome, think music in the heat, dancing on the beach, clean toilets, reasonably priced tickets and buen rollo!!
Here are my Top 8 festivals in Spain to start planning for. You can buy early bird tickets now so plan ahead for the Summer and book now!

1. SOS 4.8 1st-2nd May 2015, Murcia

Lineup: Metronomy, The Vaccines, Palma Violets… it’s Hipster Heaven! Chilled, cool, buena onda! check out the spotify playlist here
Tickets: €43.99 or €69.99 for VIP access. Buy tickets here

SOS 4.8


 2. Sonar, Barcelona 18th – 20th June 2015

Lineup: Chemical Brothers, Pxxr Gvng, Tourist!
Tickets: Early bird tickets until 19th January Sonar Pass (Day/Night) €165 or 2-Night ticket at €125 or €250 Premium ticket (Day/Night VIP ticket) Buy tickets here

3. BBK Live, Bilbao 9th-11th July

Lineup: Muse’s only festival date in Spain, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Counting Crows, Arizona Baby amongst others !
Tickets: €121 or €129 with camping. Buy tickets here



4. Low Festival, Benidorm 24th-26th July 2015

Lineup: Kasabian, The Drums, Raveonettes, The Growlers… Indie GoGo!
Tickets: €53 normal tickets, €90 VIP tickets, €131 VIP pool tickets. Buy tickets here

 Low festival

5. FIB, Benicassim 16th -19th July 2015

Lineup: Prodigy, Public Enemy, Portishead, Florence and the Machine…
Tickets: 4-day pass inc. 8 days camping access for €130 or €85 extra for VIP pas. Until January 22nd from


6. Arenal Sound 28th July – 2nd August 2015

Lineup: La Roux, Vitalic Live, OK Go, Nacho Vegas, Citizens!

Beach festival, pool, camping…
Tickets: €40 6 day festival access (no camping), €57 or €95 with camping, €120 6 day VIP access + camping. Purchase here

 Arenal Sound


7. Azkena Rock Festival 19th-20th June 2015

Lineup: Eagles of Death Metal The Dubrovniks, Red Fang and ZZ Top – ROCK ON!
Tickets: €72 or €77 with camping until 25th Feb 2015. Buy tickets here

8. Primavera Sound 27th-30th May 2015, Barcelona

If you can’t wait as long as June/July, the Barcelona based Primavera Sound‘s 2015 lineup has just been announced: Antony and the Johnsons, Babes in Toyland, Baxter Dury, The Black Keys, Caribou, Simian Mobile Disco, The Strokes and loads more!

Tickets: €185 until 4th May, then €195 from 5th May. €250 VIP ticket


 Soooo which will you pick?
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Malakids! Madrid’s Urban kids festival returns this weekend

This weekend Malakids festival is back in Madrid with an action packed calendar full of fun concerts, workshops and drop in sessions for kids around the Malasaña and Conde Duque area! Starting tomorrow I was looking forward to attending one of the first concerts Paulix and the ATTG kids but OH NO! It’s pretty much sold out – a quick look at the seating plan reveals only a sprinkling of spare seats sadly none together anymore… and it was only €3 a ticket!! Oh man… you better move quickly with these events and reserve if you can! Here is our pick for the weekend:

Friday 26th September

5pm Felix the Magician! A very special magic show at bookstore Atticus Finch

Calle La Palma 78, Madrid  28004  FREE

6-7pm Paulix and the ATTG kids : Kids Rock N Roll! But only a few individual seats left, sit your kid down and you can dance on the sidelines! quick quick!

Calle Conde Duque 11 , Madrid  28015  €3

6-7pm Theatre: Las aventuras de Charly y Charla Two crazy siblings on an adventure to save their friends from a dragon…

Calle Amaniel 24, Madrid  28015 €4 and Saturday 12-1pm, 1.30-2.30pm

Saturday 27th September

11am-12pm Concert:  Shake Rattle and Roll! Madrid’s favourite brit singer! On stage to delight tots and parents alike, get shaking!

Plaza del 2 de Mayo, Madrid  28004 FREE

11am-12.30pm Urban organic garden workshop Learn how to successfully grow your veg on your balcony 🙂 Plaza del 2 de Mayo, Madrid  28004  FREE  

11am-8pm Adelita Market KIDS. 2nd hand market… gotta love ’em! Catch a bargain quick!

Espíritu 23, Calle Espíritu Santo 23, Madrid 28004

12-1pm Musical Theatre: Malasaña a la Vista! A pirate musical adventure where children need to pass several musical challenges to help reach the treasure. 4-8 years old.
Plaza del 2 de Mayo, Madrid 28004 €6

12.30-1.45pm Concert: Cromatica Pistona Come discover this hip swingin’ band from Madrid with balkan-style paso
doble, tropical funk, beach ska-jazz and gypsy surf tunes! Yeeeah

Plaza del 2 de Mayo, Madrid 28004 FREE

6.30-7.30pm Concert: Susto y Disgusto DJs Crazy DJs dressed in animal suits? Yes please.
Plaza del 2 de Mayo, Madrid, Madrid 28004 FREE
Sunday 28th September

11am-12.30 Mask making workshop Make masks in the lovely Alva store for kids. 4-8 yrs
Calle San Andrés, 17, Madrid 28004 FREE but FULL

11.45am-12.30pm and 1-1.45pm Cadavér equisito workshop Picture consequences, Surrealist style! Two workshop times 4 years+
Espacio de Coworking El Patio

Calle Pizarro, 24, Madrid 28004 €4

12.30-1.45pm Concert:  Petit Pop! Made up from a mix of Asturian indie group members ready to make you dance with your kids!
Plaza del 2 de Mayo, Madrid 28004 FREE

3-4pm Concert:  Hot Mosquitos Band from Segovia pitched for lovers of 70s music….
Plaza del 2 de Mayo, Madrid 28004 FREE 

6.30-8pm Concert:  El Cactus Madrid’s vinyl spinners don’t stop coming! End the festival dancing together to this super DJ set

Plaza del 2 de Mayo, Madrid 28004 FREE
See you there!


Madrid feels like small village that sits on a hill, surrounded by mountains that wakes up slowly in the chilly morning, neighbours throwing open their shutters, sounds of cheery morning conversation, gossip and coffee machines whirring away. Then you step out into the street and the hubbub of people, motos and tall buildings brings you back to reality, this is in fact the third largest city in Europe and we live right in the centre of it!

We’ve been here for a year and a half and honestly part of me found it a slight let-down and I wasn’t a major fan… Madrid seemed a bit behind with the times – perhaps because there are a lot of elderly people where we live. At first it felt old fashioned, judgemental, a cookie cutter collection of people, overprotective parents in the playground continuously telling their child “you’re too small for that” or “that’s too difficult for you”, uncompetitive businesses, rude customer service at large stores and generally not very eco-conscious. However this has turned around and I’ve learned to embrace my new home, the people and the city, which is in fact very cosmopolitan which plenty going on, has so much sun that I wince when I return to the grey skies of England, and full of thoughtful, rather crazy people.

It’s difficult to kick that village image out of my head as there is a strong community spirit here and everyone walks slowly around the streets, filled with a presence where people enjoy their paseos without needing to go anywhere, just for their walks. I love bumping into people I know when out in the streets, and in the evening there are hundreds of people everywhere just walking, slowly…. It’s rather endearing. People just stroll, talk and hang out in the streets which is awesome!

I have just got used to the madrileños looking at you as you walk – before this bothered me quite a lot – coming from London where people don’t seem to look at each other as much – leave you alone and think to themselves. Now, I come to appreciate the act of looking right back into the eyes of passersby and working out what they’re thinking and if they have a disaproving look of some sort (Young mother! Weird dresser! Short skirt! Dirty face baby! who knows…) Then I can calm it pronto by looking at them DEEPLY and they immediately look away. Arhggh I hated it first but now it’s just very human and revealing. BUT even if I walk with my man, girls still look at him unapolagetically and this makes me MAD!! And hey, the girls here are pretty gorgeous – they all have amazing long healthy hair and super groomed which leaves me worrying about being too scruffy – but then I just think FUCK IT! (*Not so true now!)

Anyway. Madrid is FABULOUS for children and there are playgrounds at every plaza and even sprinkled along the main shopping street which is so useful! You see kids everywhere – sitting nicely with their families at terrazas, playing with the other children in the plazas. It’s really cool. I noticed that spanish families tend to say ‘No’ more often to their kids and limit them a lot more than back home: “That’s for older kids”, “That’s too difficult for you”, “Not that way” instead of letting them find out alone and this was further confirmed in Leon’s nursery (- which is lovely by the way with a big sandy playground- a rarity among the others I checked out.) and originally I was hesitant of this cultural difference that has upset many a grandparent in the playgound when they see how crazy my kids get with perhaps too much freedom. There are 3 big grassy parks in Madrid which the kids love and the Retiro park even has huge carp and ducks in the lake and turtles in another pond. I’ll tell you more about Madrid for kids another time.

Fast forward maybe 5 months from when this has been in draft…. maybe I was harsh with Madrid at first. It really is a wonderful city with a lot going on, beautiful structures and spaces, kind, interesting, talkative people, who have a playful, childlike soul but are super tough in reality.

Metropolis building built 1910 by Fevrier brothers
Palacio Cibeles – Old Post Office turned city hall

El Palacio Real – largest palace in Europe!
Edificio Banesto el Palacio de la Equitativa
  Admiteddly it’s December and it’s been oh so long since I’ve blogged… but I hope to jump back into the rhythm again and keep a record of what we’ve been up to, places discovered, my babies’ developments and thoughts on Madrid or wherever we are. We were lucky to return to Mexico again this year which was incredible exploring the Mayan ruins for the first time, and spending a lot of time at the beach in the Yucatan peninsula or swimming in the cenotes, and also enjoyed playing in the french countryside again and life away from the city. I’ve been home once this year without the babies, but we’re all off to London for Christmas wahey! We’ve visted several regions in Spain, Segovia, San Sebastien, Burgos, Barcelona… which are each so distinct and wonderful in their own way and there’s still plenty to see! We expect to stay two more years and I really want to make the most of it! Leon started school this September and seems to enjoy it a lot, Elias started nursery as well which was a big change but he took to it brilliantly, though now he’s misbehaving a lot more.. ay ay ay!!
Here are my boys

Chilling at the pool (July)
Chilling in the Mountains (June)
Elias and his Papa at the playground

Leon in Malasana off to another playdate
Boys in Retiro park admiring the ducks

See you soon!

Tips on Moving to Madrid

Moving to Madrid with a small child and a newborn baby? Follow my tips for a stress-free mudanza to the sunny Spanish capital!

Plaza Dos de Mayo Madrid
BEFORE the move

1. SORT THE MOVE Check your notice period for current flat and ask removal companies for quotes. It helps to have a rough list of what you’ll be taking with you. Boxes are likely to be double the amount that you think. I regret not getting movers with a packing service. Get rid of as much stuff as possible! Keep in mind your new home may be slightly larger but is likely to be a flat with wooden floors, so hold onto the rugs! Cushy carpets aren’t as popular as in the UK.

2. FIND A FLAT – is the most popular house-finding site and has a super app. If not sure where to begin your search, have a look at the Best Neighbourhoods to Move with your family to Madrid , a very useful map showing the different barrios in Madrid. You´ll probably prefer to visit the flat/house and it may be necessary for contract signing, but some agencies just accept a paid deposit if you don’t want to fly out. Moving2Madrid can also sort out a flat hunt for you up until signing the contract etc for 1 month rent as fee. Start packing!

Depending on where you live you may need a parking permit for moving day for which you need 3 weeks notice- if you find your new casita a week before moving, cross fingers that your portera is as lovely as ours and puts bins in the street- then get hubby to stand there until the van arrives.

3. TIE UP LOOSE ENDS BACK HOME AND ENSURE ALL DOCUMENTS ARE IN ORDER.  Of course see family and friends as much as possible, cancel utilities, sky, and inform bank etc. of new address. Make sure you arrange a final doctors appointments for children, and if you’re planning on using the national medical care, it can take a while to sign up in Spain as it’s related to social security contributions. Maybe don’t tell them yet that you’re moving- I made the mistake of telling my doctors surgery I was moving to Spain and so was de-registered instantly and when I returned a month later, my baby still hadn’t had his 8 week check and vaccinations (as wasn’t signed up in Spain properly and private care was too pricey) and my ex-local surgery were recommending private doctors who quoted me £270. In the end, we just gave him the checks and vaccinations a bit later than scheduled, in Spain, but I regret not having the option of returning to their original doctor. You’ll also need to legalise your marriage and birth certificates which costs approx £30 per document and takes a couple of days if you pay online.
4. Google your neighbourhood, and bookmark local news, shops, activities that may be useful later.

In Retiro Park Madrid
ONCE there

Sign up to Internet ASAP – ours took over a week. Take utility bill, rental contract and passports to the local town council to register with El Padron‘ – the local census which proves you live where you do.  You’ll need this certificado del Padron for social security and it’s useful for your neighbourhood to know what to provide. You’ll need it to register with the doctor and for when your child starts a state school or nursery.
Life in Spain will be easier with an NIE (numéro identidad extranjero) you’ll need your apostiled certificates, a correctly filled out form and patience. If you can’t bear queues or waiting, opt for someone to do it for you. e.g. . They can do it for anywhere in Spain pretty much, speak english and are very efficient. Spainwide can also help you set up a bank account with Sabadell.

You can get a pay as you go SIM card for €10 which includes €5 credit from Orange. It’s better to get your number sorted early for socialising and for dry cleaners etc. You’ll then need your NIE to get a contract.

6. SOCIALISE Get some mama friends to discover the city with and hang out at one of many cafés, terrazas, galleries, markets, shops…. Go to a playgroup – there are more springing up across Madrid but one of the longest running and best is at the British Church of St George in Salamanca – it’s very friendly and a great welcomer for newbies with young children. Wednesdays 10-12.30pm €5
Sticky Fingers has a regular playgroup too, Baby deli offers a hug array of activities and you’ll soon find more. Check out this list.  Alternatively join some Facebook groups such as Mamas en Madrid, English speaking Mom and Baby Madrid (closed group but ask to join) or look to Meetup to find like-minded people and explore the city together!

The city is generally pretty friendly where people chat to strangers, aren’t afraid of staring and comment things to each other- I love this about Madrid: people don’t hide as much as in UK. In the playgrounds you can soon get to know the regulars and for this perhaps is why there’s no equivalent of Netmums – which is perhaps more natural?

7. SORT OUT A NURSERY if you want. If you’re looking for a Nursery be warned they may not do 2/3 days a week as I was after- settled for 5 mornings a week but a lot cheaper than UK €240/mth for 4hrs day x 5 days = 20hrs wk = roughly €12 day or €3/hour. Or childminder in spanish is madre de dia and seems like a newish concept here. There’s an abundance of nannying options also with many opting for live-in nannies/housekeepers.

8. LOCATE THE FOOD SHOPS There are many markets in Madrid, traditional big ones full of gossiping pensioners and cool architecturally-interesting street food with sweet port types such as  Mercado de San Ildelfonso, Mercado San Miguel, and Mercado Villahermoso who also have live music and Beer festivals. Smaller fresh food markets and butchers are all over the place and there are plenty of supermarkets to choose from. My favourite neighbourhood shop in Chamberi is Mama Campo specialising in organic  produce from farmers not far from Madrid. They also sell fresh organic milk (In Spain, it’s more normal to drink long-life milk) and more importantly, opened up a super delicous restaurant next door in Plaza Olavide.
9. TRY OUT SOME CLASSES ! We love Shake Rattle and Roll which is a fun english music class run by the brilliant Amy Jo Doherty (yes she’s from a musical family), there are some fab spanish kid rock schools, multitude of crafting and cooking classes but otherwise we didn’t really commit as the local primary school offers an extensive list of extra-curricular activities.

When I moved to Madrid there was a lack of mum and baby excercise classes limited to expensive gyms with creches, but more and more sprung up during my time here, yoga, sports, power walking, outside fitness and with some mum groups we also organised some Mum and Baby Flamenco classes! Madrid is rather hilly so any amount of walking is good- just remember to squeeze and hold in core… A few Mum and baby yoga and pilates places about but I found the classes to start late morning which is annoying as am out of the house by 9am to take Leon to playschool.

10. DISCOVER THE CITY and the shops…. Clothes shops in barrio Chueca are original, quality and fun there are many big stores everywhere… but vintage is more fun. There’s an extensive list here and here where I’ve found many fab dresses and bags. I love Calle Velarde between Fuencarral and Plaza Dos de Mayo for vintage shopping and I if you’re patient, many lols rifling through the piles of clothes at the Rastro Market too.  Just wonder around, pop into cafés that take your fancy and visit the brilliant galleries and museums!

I hope that you enjoy your move to Madrid!

Check out these websites for plans with kids


For you


Plaza Juan Pujol


Bye Bye Breastfeeding

So, it has come to an end – my bouncing little cherub of 7 and a half months is coming off the boob. I feel liberated but a bit sad that I may never breastfeed again – it’s such a beautiful feeling to produce your baby’s milk and satisfy their demands with your body. Their sounds of indulgent gulping throughout, and contented cooing after they’ve finished a feed – all produced by you. I loved how easy it was (after the first week’s soreness hurdle) to feed my baby and not need to sterilise bottles and buy powder and have water ready at a time when Elias needed feeding the most often. Milk on tap, portable, warm and forever ready beat night-time formula prep and also gave me an extra hand free to pick up my coffee (it’s OK during a feed!), browse online, stroke baby or fend off a toddler. Oh, and it gave me massive boobs for a while, which is such a change!

Although he’s forever developing, I feel as though Elias has entered a new phase of mobility, exploration, and communication that ties in well with a severence of our special bond. I too, am entering a new phase of independence and freedom, allbeit due to my own disorganisation of not expressing milk or leaving my baby for too long. Most mothers balance breastfeeding well with normal life, my response was to just involve my baby with everything I did and everywhere I went, thanks largely to babywearing – but now I want to burst free and go out dancing, drinking, stay out late, largely because I can – but mainly because I miss it. (err I haven’t yet but want to! On the hunt for a babysitter 😉

Gosh this sounds dramatic and life-changing but it’s a just a new phase of so many others: he’s commando crawling, loves holding our hands and going for a little walk, leading the weaning and I had almost forgotten how messy that gets! His night-time sleep is always interrupted by a need for 2 bottles which is frustrating and tells me he needs to eat more during the day, but this is part of our journey to make him a strong little boy and I’m happy knowing that I started it the best way I could.

Now, to wait for les boobs to settle and go underwear shopping!

Seven Months

I’ve just sat down with the laptop on my knee and after a fabulous morning at a pool party followed by a difficult afternoon I find respite watching the Madrid v Barcelona match with man and friend thus not having to move anywhere, but whipping out connection. Oh how I’ve drifted.

Elias is 7 months old, massively interested in food, having a disrupted sleep between travelling between Spain, France and the UK, and breastfeeding to bottle crossover, teething slightly but non bearing and confounding my expectations by travelling quelques metres and climbing up the side of the cot. He can stand.

He’s so smiley and goodnatured, laughs and awed by Leon but sometimes fearful of his heavy hugs or threatening playtime.

Leon wishes he could play with him more but they’re getting there. He’s very protective of his little brother but then again, is also super protective of his toys, and mama. He’s learning! He no longer wears nappies and has aced the toilet training. Some accidents at night but he’s learnt so quickly. Leon can converse well in English and now French after his summer holiday in France and daddy’s chitchat. After listening to the Olympics on the radio in French countryside he sang the Marseillaise. A week later, he’d interrupt my ‘Rule Britannia’ with La Marseillaise (God Save The Queen wasn’t catchy enough), but since returning to London for a week, he sings it happily.

6 months at Laguepie
6 mois au Petit Pradel
6 months country bumpkin (outfit from Latte Mama do check out the Swedish Goodness!)

Cows coming (past our) home


Leon playing with his trains

Elias bubbles


I love Madrid, our new home, and meeting fun mamas locally and in Expat community but not as much on offer as London and although bursting with ideas and will, I feel a lack of tribe and confidence perhaps to kick into action. I need a night out but tommorow it will happen although I feel bad leaving the non-dormeurs.

But hey we’re having a super summer and passing stages, saying goodbye to childhood homes, reigniting generation old family homes, seeing sisters grow up, seeing friends move up, seeing your babies develop and bloom. It’s beautiful and emotional.

As for me, I bathed in the cool Aveyron river, jumped 50 metres off a Viaduct, ate like a country queen – sparking a love of Roquefort and reviving the family holidays of yesteryear into a different page and spreading over.

Tommee Tippee digital video monitor with movement sensor pad review-it's ace

We’ve never used a baby monitor before and, well never really needed one as our previous one bed flat was too small to warrant it. Leon had shared our room up to 15 months and then we got a comfy sofabed, collapsed our own bed and migrated to the living room separated by the kitchen. We’d hear the little prince if he needed us.

But, our new flat in Madrid is considerably larger, making it harder to hear little yelps, and requires running up and down a long corridor if checking on the babies- often waking them in the process…

So, the Tommee Tippee Digital Video Monitor has been a heaven sent piece of equipment for us! Not only can we check on 5 month old Elias and 2 and a half year old Leon from the comforts of our living room, it also alerts you should there be a lack of movement from the baby, helping relieve new parents’ fears of SIDS thanks to the high tech sensor pad.

Tommee Tippee Digital Video Monitor with Movement Sensor Pad

Easy to set up, this is a brilliant, sleek monitor with super quality, colour visuals, night vision and zoom function: this is so cool as you can focus on your baby and even better if you have two kids as you can zoom in on each one.

You can even talk back to whoever won’t sleep and tell them to knock it off!

Another great feature is that you can turn off the screen while keeping the sound on, which is handy. You can also opt to turn off the sound or have it very quiet- all combinations that we use. Great for showing off your baby to friends at night if he’s quietly sleeping. (Just make sure you zoom back out again to reduce noise levels as it squeaks unnervingly if you take it into baby’s room on full volume if he’s crying.)

There are little lights that blink on if there’s noise – but it’s not very obvious and not too visible from afar (for when we’re outside on the terrace and I can look in on the monitor through the door or if music is on…). The great thing is that you can unplug it from the power source and carry it with you.

Tommee Tippee Digital Video Monitor Parent Unit. So Clear!

I loved the function allowing you to respond to baby, calming him down with your soothing voice. Though I found it hard to know when he could hear me or not- a little experiment with my man sorted that out- and a read through the instructions put my mind at ease.

All the buttons are helpful and I found the nightlight function on the baby end very useful giving a lovely soft glow- adaptable with a slider or with the parent unit- and I found that if you placed it in front of a white background the light glowed further.

The movement sensor pad that is placed underneath baby’s mattress is a good idea for young babies, sounding an alarm if it detects a lack of movement for 20 seconds- a drive to reduce SIDS, however I didn’t feel the need to use this and personally felt it would make me worry more about it! But it’s a good idea to link this to the baby monitor for parents concerned about their younger babies (after 5months they perhaps wriggle too much but it’s a sizeable pad so some of Elias was always on it). When I tried it out I was impressed, however you need to remember to switch it off if picking baby up, and to bring parent monitor with you- things I forget at 4.30am thus provoking unnerving beeps!

Another great function is the temperature which now, summertime in Madrid can be above 37 celcius during daytime and still in 30s at night. Even if we’re cool, the babies’ room seems hotter but then it drops in the early morning so this reminds me to go check on windows etc.

I love that the parent monitor is so portable and the high quality of the video image even at night! Look!

Tommee Tippee Digital Video Monitor so clear even at night!

The digital quality is superb and there’s no interference noise as I’ve heard with other friends’ monitors. The whole set is super easy to set up- and I highly recommend it. You can buy it here for £199 and follow Tommee Tippee on Twitter @TommeeTippee_UK

*I was sent the product for the purpose of the review but am using it a lot and love it!

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Leon loves his brother- I know this- but I worry about his displays of aggression towards Elias that can happen most days through roaring loudly at him, thumping, pinching and kicking him for no apparent reason. It seems that he’s realised all the attention he gets from me and how much time we spend together and isn’t liking it. Im making more of an effort to take time to play Duplo on the floor with Leon and praise him for all the positives and it’s paying off. I’ve become more patient too and try not to take out my anger of his actions on him but still discipline him appropriately. It’s hard not to leave them both together, especially when I know Leon really cares for him but it’s not possible and this makes it tough for me constantly moving baby around the flat in the afternoons when leon’s back from playschool.

He shares his apple as well as his toys with his little brother and can’t wait for him to be able to play with him properly. He loves giving him cuddles and jumping on him- still not twigging how little he really is.

Need to find ways of them playing together safely I suppose. Elias wants to move around a lot more too- though he can’t yet and I feel like I’m constantly surveilling them!


I’m constantly springing around my home barefoot and managed to step on a thorn-like black thing that I can’t get out of the ball of my right foot. Feels like glass, but is black and smaller- a splinter or perhaps a bee sting but I didn’t spot any bees on the floor. It’s incredibly frustrating digging around the the underside of my foot with tweezers and a needle but give up after 5 minutes as ankle aches from the twist and I realise I’m digging deep into my foot and possibly making it worse (or I’m needed by a child…). I can’t get the thing out. It’s even more gross as I’ve realised the extent of pedi neglect and thick layers of dry skin make the task harder and more disgusting. I walked on it a lot yesterday so have probably lodged it in more though I’ve been limping along the side of it. At nighttime the immense corridor appears more like an expedition than a few leaps.

I feel lame.

Foreign body in my foot get the fuck out!!

**Update: IT WAS A MASSIVE SHARD OF GLASS and it’s out now PHEW**

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