If there’s one thing Joe and I really enjoy then it’s food! We love going to a restaurant for a date, or to the local pub for a roast. Now that we have small children, eating out as a family can be challenging. And couple time? Well, it’s few and far between! We are lucky to live near Bromley where there is a regular food market. Be it fresh fish, stinky cheeses or food from around the world, we love exploring the stalls. So to hear that there’s a food festival happening this weekend in Orpington is music to our ears!!

Eats from the Streets is a pop-up street food festival happening this weekend, 19th-20th August at Nugent Shopping Centre in Orpington from 11am to 6pm.

The festival will see artisan vendors serve up a multitude of different cuisines from around the world, such as homemade Italian pizza, Caribbean barbeque, Vietnamese noodles and traditional Greek dishes. I know Violet will be very excited to hear there will also be pudding with cupcake and donut stalls!

There is also going to be a converted double decker Routemaster bus which has been transformed into a dining area. I know this will delight Ezra as he loves buses!

The weather looks like it will be kind to the festival, but whatever the weather I’m sure there will be a wonderful atmosphere.

We will be there this weekend and I hope you decide to pop along too!!

This is a collaborative post.

On Saturday it was Ezra’s first birthday. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling really emotional at the thought of him turning one! The baby of the family isn’t really my little baby any more! I can’t believe it’s been a year since we met him for the first time.

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The day started with a lay in for everyone! The kids didn’t wake until 7:45am! We came downstairs and there was a lovely pile of cards and presents for Ezra to open. However Ezra was far more interested in the balloons we had blown up much to Violet’s frustration! She was desperate to ‘help’ him yet he was rolling around on the balloons threatening to pop one! Eventually she coaxed him over and they made their way through the presents one by one.

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We had bought him some moccasin slippers, a toy tv remote, a Hatley fleece all-in-one, a shape sorter and 9 plastic bugs which can be joined up together. From friends and family he also received some stacking blocks, a jumper, abacus, mega bloks, a book and a remote controlled recycling truck! What an incredibly lucky boy to have so many people in his life thinking of him on his first birthday!

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After his nap we set out to Hayes High Street for lunch at our favourite café. The Java and Chai Tea Room is a wonderful vintage inspired café which now has a children’s room in the back. I just love this place. The owners are SO friendly and welcoming, in fact we go so often that they know us! In the back room there is a large play pen with foam letter flooring and loads of brilliant toys for under 3s. The room also has a beautiful large dolls house and brio train track. There’s also a small tv playing cartoons. I’m not a huge fan of kids watching TV or tablets during meals out however the room has so much to entertain them that the tv was largely ignored. We had such a lovely lunch and the kids played very sweetly.

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Next on our birthday agenda was a trip to the swimming pool. We have never taken Ezra swimming before so this could have gone either way! We went to Bromley Pavillion which we like because there is the main pool and then a shallow small pool alongside. Violet stormed into the little pool and immediately was full of beans and had the biggest grin on her face! She loved running and jumping through the water, going down the little slide and laying on a float while trying to kick her legs. It was so wonderful to see her feeling free and confident in the water. No fear. For Violet who naturally is a little nervy this was absolutely huge! Ezra was quite uncertain when we first got into the pool. He turned round and clung on to me with his (long, I’ve cut them now!) nails. He wanted to be held close, to get that reassurance and comfort. I could feel him physically relax, as I laid the back of my head on the ledge of the pool I allowed him to perch himself on my front and just look around at all the kids having fun. I had bought him an inflatable ring with a seat. We popped him into it and from that point onwards he was in his element. His feet could reach the floor and he was able to walk himself around the little pool and go where he liked. He smiled with confidence. Violet enjoyed pulling him around the pool away from Joe and myself. We kept a watchful eye on them but it was just so special to see them both go off together. I think Violet is really waiting for the day Ezra can walk steadily and follow her in the playground. In a few months I think he will.

I thought we would be in the pool for about half an hour. Well 90 minutes later we decided we better get out otherwise we would be late for dinner! Getting changed after swimming with kids feels like such a mission! Violet kept trying to look in the next door cubicle, the baby harness was broken on the chair so I had to just hold him once we were dressed and you never feel like you are dry enough! But we made it out and home in time. A quick dinner was followed by birthday cake.

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Today was perfect. A family day making normal things special and memorable. We celebrated a whole year of having Ezra in our family. Violet was so thoughtful about this being her little brother’s special day. She kept saying happy birthday to him, giving him kisses, showing him his new toys and overall she was just a top girl.

Ezra is my sweetest boy. Loving, affectionate, happy and cheeky. But we are seeing his changes as he leaves babyhood behind. He is learning how to show his frustrations and will roll onto the floor when he feels upset. He is trying to play more with his toys rather than just throw them around. He is watching his big sister and desperately trying to get involved. Violet is learning to include him a little.

These 2 kids drive me mad sometimes. I look at them and wonder how we are going to get through. But days like this are what we live for. When the every day is good, it is the best.

Happy first birthday Ezra x
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