Last year I posted how lucky we are to have the independent children’s shoe shop One Small Step right on our doorstep!
At the end of last year we bought baby E’s first shoes from there – she was the first ever customer to buy Start Rite shoes from the shop. Start Rite offers a lovely opportunity for you to make a video to commemorate the first shoe purchase, here is baby E’s – click on the image to enjoy 🙂
(Now if only I hadn’t spent the whole of the time watching the video thinking about the production process to create such a product – but that’s the working mum in me!)
For a small town, Buxton is a peachy spot for new parents looking for trustworthy, local outlets to buy clothes, shoes and toys for their little ones. I feel very lucky to have a bespoke children’s shoe shop almost on my door step, or should I say One Small Step away 😉
One Small Step is run by the lovely Nichola and since we’ve been here we’ve popped in just to say hello and also to pick up some first stage shoes for baby E.
Our first excuse reason was to get some shoes to wear to her aunty’s wedding. With a dress picked up from Mini Bugs (another post coming soon about another fabulous shop!) she needed some shoes to top off her outfit.
One Small Step stocks the lovely Inch Blue range which come in tempting designs such as bears, ice creams and even trains. I’m a bit of a train nut and the colours of the train shoes matched E’s dress so we had to buy them. I personally believe she had the best shoes at the wedding!
When friends with a baby visited recently, One Small Step was on the must visit list and when I spotted dinosaur shoes for size 6-12 months we had to get them (E insisted, honest).
Today we ventured there again with another purpose – some cozy sock type shoes that would keep her feet toasty and also let her crawl about. With the weather getting colder I wanted something to keep her feet warm but also have grip for her adventures in cruising and crawling. I contacted Nichola via One Small Step’s Facebook page and she advised they stocked lovely moccasins – the Mocc Ons brand. When we arrived the most difficult part was choosing the design, we went for the subtle rainbow colour.
I’m looking forward to baby E needing shoes for her first steps, there’s such a lovely range to choose from – more importantly from a trustworthy shop (no concerns about being told they need shoes when they don’t, like my sisters have had at other shops). They offer a professional measuring service by fully trained staff. But it’s not just shoes stocked, they also have a fabulous range of raincoats (hubby has his eye on a dinosaur design for E), umbrellas, hats, socks… you get the idea.
Oh and even if you just pop in to say hello to Nichola please do, she’s lovely! And the window display is always fab 🙂
In summary; a lovely local, child friendly shop with a fab range of goods.
* window display – scary Halloween pumpkins!
* service, lots of questions answered
* wide range of items for all children’s ages
* toys to keep children entertained
Would be even better if:
* Nichola had heating to keep warm 🙂
We’re lucky enough to live in Buxton within 10 minutes walk of town and, in the other direction, 10 minutes walk of gorgeous greenery and the Peaks.
When I first came to Buxton hubby took me up to the folly Solomon’s Temple which gives the walker wonderful views across Buxton and beyond. Recently, with it being my mum’s first visit to the area, it was top of my list of places to take her.
The walk to Solomon’s Temple starts from the car park by Poole’s Cavern and after a climb up some steps it’s a gentle walk up the hill through Grin Low woods.
I’m not a very good walker, but I found the terraine quite easy. It’s not really suitable for a pushchair so hubby put baby E in the Baby Bjorn and off we went.
It’s obviously a popular place with families and dog walkers. Once we came through the woods towards the summit of Grin Hill there were many excited children and families running up and over the mounds of kilns from limestone mining.
Solomon’s Temple was built in 1896 to replace an earlier building erected by a local landowner and farmer Solomon Mycock. Excavations have proven that it’s not a true folly, as it does have a purpose – it’s built on the site of an ancient burial mound. Several Bronze Age skeletons have been found, alongside later Roman items.
The new (!) tower has a spiral staircase you climb to get to the top, with handrails all the way along and at the top a parapet you can look over. All this meant my scared of heights mum was persuaded to climb and look out from the top! She even obliged with a cheesy photo of baby E, hubby and myself.
After a good airing and hubby pointing out all the local points of interest – such as the impressive dome of the University of Derby – we took a leisurely walk back to Poole’s Cavern to try out the cafe.
We picked a corner of the cafe so I could feed E, though to begin with she was more interested in the birds just outside the window, attracted by all the bird feeders. I felt a bit exposed, even in the corner of the room, but the lady needed feeding!
The cafe has recently refreshed their menu, focusing on a wider range of local produce and good coffee. Being a breast feeding mum I was quite peckish, but unfortunately there wasn’t anything dairy free I could eat. I settled down with a decaf black coffee (as did mum – she prefers skimmed milk) and hubby had a white coffee. We all agreed that the coffee should have been stronger, it was a bit disappointing. (Update: hubby has since been back and reports that his filter coffee was much better the second time around).
After her feed we entertained E with a selection of the toys available – very child friendly! Mum checked out the toilets and they do have changing facilities, though we didn’t use them.
As the weather was still sunny we decided to go for a walk into town, rather than go into the cavern so that’s saved for another day.
Baby friendly overview:
Gentle, short walk suitable for baby carrying with the pay off of amazing views at the end.
Large car park.
Cafe with baby changing facilities.
Toys to entertain children.
Large outside play area and picnic tables.
Plenty of space for pushchairs.
Would be even better if (in the cafe):
Coffee was made a bit stronger!
Some dairy free options on the menu.
Comfy / cosy chairs for more discreet breast feeding.
In summary; a lovely walk, amazing views, child friendly cafe but the coffee needs to be a bit stronger!
On a rainy day we’ll be back to explore the cavern and I’ve heard it’s THE place in Buxton to see Santa!
I was looking for a way to bond more with Elizabeth so was delighted when I discovered there were baby yoga classes in Buxton. Katherine from Pure Bliss Yoga is a yoga practitioner with over 12 years experience who specialises in yoga for families. You can tell she’s pretty cool – just look at her socks!
The other week was our third session and baby E and I were starting to get the hang of some of the poses and songs! My mum even came along to and joined in, it’s a real family activity. The sessions are held in the United Reformed Church in Hardwick Square, which is an easy walk from my house.
Each session starts with a chat about how the previous week has been, it’s lovely to be able to share with other parents the highs and lows of parenting and ask for advice on topics such as weaning (which we’re just starting).
Then, after asking baby E’s permission to carry out some yoga with her, it’s onto the session. During the hour there’s a lovely mix of stretches and loosening up poses for the parents (such a relief from being hunched over when breast feeding), close contact and movement with the babies and of course some songs!
I’ve really enjoyed the sessions because of the gentle pace, and that it’s aimed at me and baby E. We both benefit and baby E is definitely chilled at the end of a yoga session.
Also, due to an accident a few years ago, I have a slightly wonky leg which doesn’t do everything I want it to. When I was pregnant, living somewhere else, no class would let me join pregnancy yoga. In comparison Katherine has been completely welcoming and helped me adapt movements where necessary. It’s made me feel much better as I get fed up being told I can’t do things and don’t want to think of myself as a cripple!
After all the relieving stretches and songs that make E giggle, it’s time to wind down and chill. I’m not the best person in the world at relaxing (understatement) so it’s really important to me that I’m learning how to consciously relax. Either I do so with E, or if she’s particularly wiggly Katherine entertains the babes.
The social aspect at the end of a session is as much of a benefit, particularly as I don’t know many other local mums. I enjoy the cuppa, fruit and nuts and if she’s hungry E gets a feed in a lovely relaxed atmosphere.
We’ve both thoroughly enjoyed the yoga sessions and I’m really going to miss them when I start work.
In summary we loved:
* How the activity is for families all together, not just the babies
* Relaxing location, plenty of pushchair space and baby changing facilities
* Adaptability – Katherine adapted the session for me and my nervous mum
* Professionalism – a yoga practitioner who knows her stuff!
* Social side – a rounded holistic approach to parenting
Would be even better if:
* Hubby had been free to some along as well, I think he’d have really enjoyed bonding with E
* Weekend classes – just because I won’t be able to attend once at work!
* Prompt sheets with stretches / movements – because I forget what to do. I’ll have to ask Katherine for some book titles…
I thoroughly recommend baby yoga and hope to be able to attend sessions in the future.
Thanks for reading and here’s to our next adventure!
Beltane is a small bar / cafe in Buxton I’d wandered past a few times and had always wanted to pop in. Last week we had our chance – we’d been out for an afternoon meeting and E needed a feed.
Beltane had always intrigued me because through the window I could spot comfy seats and (you know the way to my heart) there was free wifi.
The most annoying part was getting our bloody awkward really useful 3 wheeler pushchair through an angled step, negotiating the steep hill. Once in it was all good, I settled E next to a comfy sofa and ordered a decaf black coffee and some nuts to nibble on.
You know those decaf coffees that taste sooooo good you forget there’s no caffeine? Yep, it was one of those 🙂 It was a really chilled atmosphere, partly due to it being mid afternoon so after the lunchtime rush and before the evening drinkers arrived.
Hubby came to meet us and had a beer while I topped up on fruit juice liquids (boobing mama mantra DRINK <<< said in Father Jack style). It was then a quick change for baby E before heading off on more adventures.
Baby friendliness overview:
Chilled atmosphere, relaxed setting
Comfortable boobing sitting in the squishy sofa and didn’t feel too exposed
Felt baby friendly with baby changing facilities
Decaf drinks – goooooood coffee
Lunch time menu looked good
Plenty of space for pushchairs
Bit of a bugger getting a pushchair up the step into the bar!
Bar rather than cafe so limited snack options (i.e. no cake)
In summary – lovely relaxed setting, will be back to check out the lunch menu.
What you really don’t need when you move with a refluxy little one is the washing machine not to work! One of our ‘Buxton resolutions’ is to not end up with mounds of dirty washing to wash or piles of clean washing to put away – the parents’ NeverEnding Story. The new plan was to set off a load overnight and then in the morning it could go straight in the dryer.
The start of the plan worked… until at 3 in the morning I heard a constant beeping so sent hubby off the investigate where he declared the washing machine wasn’t working 😦
I was delighted to find that the laundrette also had a cafe attached – genius idea! Whilst I was waiting for the washing, it would have been rude not to have a fry up, surely?
The lovely lady behind the counter (‘chelle) let me look at the ingredients on all the packets so I could check for dairy and with the promise of no butter in the cooking a fry up was on order.
Happily baby E slept through mummy’s unhealthy brunch, so I enjoyed the bacon, sausage, egg, mushrooms and tomato in peace and quiet. There’s nothing quite like a good fry up!
I finished, E woke up and then it was time to dry the washing alongside trying to entertain the little lass. We ALMOST had the washing dry before she decided enough was enough so we went quickly home for a feed.
The good news is that the washing machine is now fixed, the bad news is that I don’t have an excuse to go back to the cafe!
Baby friendly summary:
Traditional British cafe – range of food including dairy free fry up
Plenty of space for pushchairs
Also a laundrette!!!
Would have felt a bit exposed boobing, but female staff were supportive when I chatted about dairy free feeding
No toilet / changing area I could see (but didn’t ask)
Wifi advertised but couldn’t get it to work
In summary, a good cafe if you have cravings for a fry up – though need to check for toilet facilities.
After our photo session Saturday morning we were looking for somewhere to get some grub. Baby E was due a sleep (having your photo taken is far too much work for a little girl!) and after all the posing we were starving.
We headed into Buxton town and with it being a lovely day, everywhere seemed heaving. Also, with having a dairy free diet at the moment I wasn’t sure where would be a good place to eat. Luckily hubby knows his restaurants and suggested Simply Thai as Thai cooking doesn’t use a lot of dairy.
I was a bit nervous about going to a restaurant, compared to a cafe, with baby E, as I was worried about boobing in public and what to do if she cried. But I needn’t have worried as they were very welcoming.
We had to leave the pushchair in reception which stressed me out a little as E needed a sleep and I had planned to rock her, so when we sat down I used plan B and the good old boob to get her to doze off. It helped that the restaurant, though busy, had a lovely relaxed atmosphere; subdued lighting, relaxing music and quiet chitter chatter of the clientele. The environment meant I relaxed and so did E, she totally zonked out on my boob and slept on my lap for the rest of the meal.
We perused the menu and chose the lunchtime deal of two courses for less than a tenner. I don’t know if other couples do this, but we like to order dishes we’d both like to try and then swap half way through. Two dishes for the price of one! Even better, they were easy to eat with one hand and there was plenty of no dairy choice on the menu. Oh and I shouldn’t forget the delicious pots of Jasmine tea.
The food was scrummy; quickly served, fresh and full of flavours. For the main course we chose a pork and a chicken dish. I can see why they are endorsed by the Thailand Ministry of Commerce – a guarantee that you are dining on authentic Thai ingredients, professionally prepared and cooked using authentic methods.
Baby E woke rather grumpy just as we finished our meal so we quickly paid and left, not wanting to disturb other dinners. Though some would have definitely understood the situation as there were two other families with babies there whilst we were eating.
Baby friendly summary:
Relaxing, chilled environment.
Felt comfortable boobing – sat at the back so not too exposed.
Yummy restaurant food, not much more expensive than cafe prices!
Popular with other parents and young families.
Great range of dairy free choices.
Can’t have pushchair at the table.
As a restaurant, I wouldn’t feel comfortable just hanging out there for a few hours like you would in a cafe.
Note: we didn’t hang around to change E so don’t know about baby changing facilities. An excuse to go back and find out!
In summary, a relaxing first restaurant trip with Baby E. As a family, we’ll be back.
Saturday was one of those picture perfect kind of days; the sun was shining, Buxton looked beautiful and there were smiles all around.
It seemed fitting that we had booked a photo session with White Box Photography to capture this new stage in our family’s life adventure – the move to Buxton. A few of my more organised friends have proudly shown off their new baby family pics on Facebook (yes that’s you Emily Macdonald!) and I wanted to try it out.
We don’t have many newborn family pics of baby E as she was in hospital for quite a while after she was born and once out I had the constant wild woman look about me of someone getting about 3 hours sleep a night – not particularly photogenic. I really wanted to try a family photo shoot and the criteria for me was a) not too expensive (incase I didn’t like the pics of me, more of a behind the camera kind of gal), b) gave us digital copies with copyright so we could do as we pleased with them and c) in a local, informal situation so I didn’t get too stressed about the whole thing!
After trawling the web I came across a discussion on a Facebook parenting group where they recommended White Box Photography. I had a quick peek at their website and was excited to see that the next session in Buxton was just after we had moved up. With only a £15 booking fee (of a total cost £45 per session) it meant that if we had to cancel due to E being unwell it wouldn’t be too costly.
Ahead of the session I messaged Liam at White Box Photography asking for advice on how to prepare. He helpfully suggested:
The sessions are informal and taken mostly sitting on a white background so wear clothes for comfort and modesty.
White clothes often lose detail and can make the subject a bit bland so pastel or strong colours which suit the individual work well.
Look other photos to see if there are any particular poses you’d like.
And I’d add to the list:
Take at least two changes of clothes in case the baby is sick and be careful holding them as they may be sick on you!
Pick outfits for the family that you think will compliment each other.
Plan the day’s timings, I worked out when I’d need to boob E so that she’d be a full happy baby for the shoot, not hungry or tired.
The session was booked, we sorted out our clothes to wear (first time for me not wearing jeans since E was born!) and looked forward to the shoot.
When we arrived we were warmly greeted by Liam and Carolyn who instantly put us at ease. First for photos was Elizabeth; we changed her into a dress, then repositioned the dress where she was a bit sick and with much squeeking of her Sophie giraffe Liam captured some smiley pics.
Then it was a family turn, three of us sitting together – was lovely and quick!
We then changed E into her awesome stripy outfit and tried just ones of her. She started crying so I went in to cheer her up and Liam took some pics of me and a giggling little girl before it was finally daddy’s turn.
The shoot wizzed by and Liam took loads of photos. After the session finished I picked E up and she promptly threw up over both of us – timing 🙂
Carolyn let us look at all the pictures whilst she burnt them onto disc and we were done. Here’s one of the gorgeous pictures of me and my little pickle!
A brilliant photo session, it was just what we wanted and for such a reasonable price we’re going to book to go back again.
Now I’m an ‘expert’ at this, here’s what I recommend you should think about before booking a family photographer:
Do you get copyright of the photos so you can print them how you like, e.g. a mug for gran, framed photo etc.?
How long a session do you want? We were happy with 15 mins but you might want a longer session with more clothes / prop changes.
Are they run at a time and location suitable for you?
Does the photographer seem friendly – you need someone who will put you at ease to get good photos out of you and your family.
Does the price fit your budget?
Can you look at previous photos the photographer has taken? You need to be happy with their style.
Here’s a summary of baby friendliness of the whole experience:
Nice and quick! Babies have short attention spans.
Time for an outfit change.
Baby friendly photographer and colleague who made E smile.
Easy to get to location (space for pushchair).
Photos on CD and copyright free so we can easily share with family around the world.
If your baby is under 3 months the first shoot is free!
No baby changing facilities we could see at the location, but plenty of floor space.
Short photo session – some people might prefer a longer shoot.
Nowhere to sit and feed a baby, if required, but High Street, with cafes, was 5 minutes away.