The Bristol Parent

Family lifestyle, things to see and do, in Bristol and beyond

Latest posts


The Bristol Parent and Canopy and Stars

I remember our first child-free night away. It was the night before New Year’s Eve 2013. Since then, there have been two more. Three child-free nights in two and a half years. Bittersweet pleasure and relaxation time, often longed for. Much discussed. Carefully selected. It takes time to choose something so significant. Recently, The Bristol Parent became part of the #CSCollective, which is a small group of travel and lifestyle bloggers, handpicked and brought together by Canopy and Stars, the collectors of beautiful places to stay, with a focus on… Read More

Charts that change your life!


You know when you just WISH somebody would tell you what’s the typical way it should work? Or give you a diagram? Especially when you’ve got milestones happening all around you to other kids, and yours isn’t nearly there, and you don’t know what’s normal. I just spotted this unbelievably helpful post on Buzzfeed this morning. 23 charts to change your life as a parent. Worth putting on Pinterest, if you use it, and saving for later. Here’s a sample…   *Disclaimer – I didn’t write this piece for Buzzfeed… Read More

The BOYS shoes in the GIRLS world


Last week I had a tearful tantrum on my hands as I tried my best to attach Tibbs’ blue trainers to her flailing feet before nursery. In between the enraged screeching, I managed to decipher the shrill shriek of ‘NO BOY’S SHOES!!!’ I was shocked. Never have we discussed the concept of girls this and boys that. Never have we labelled these innocent, fun shoes as being for boys. The answer lay in wait for me at nursery itself, when I picked her up later that week. “I have blue… Read More

Road trip food and drink in France and Spain


When you’re travelling for any length of time with children, and you’re self-catering, food and drink become one of your primary holiday challenges. It can get expensive, and, let’s be honest, a little confusing. Having spent nearly a month in several different Spanish locations earlier this year, here are my tips for keeping sane in the supermarket, and rational in the restaurant: From talking to other mums and dads, I learned that our experience was pretty common – kids go a bit weird when it comes to holiday eating, especially… Read More

Flashes of colour for summer


I’ve been doing a bit of shopping, making little changes in the house, in my life, in Tibbs’ life, to make us both happy. They all involve flashes of colour of some sort, which I think is down to my mood – I’m happy at the moment! I’m really getting into my exercise plan and healthier eating. Breakfast today was cashew butter and local honey on wholewheat toast and a big fruit and goji berry home made smoothie. I am loving my new plate set as well, the fresh green… Read More

Advice for me – changing toddler sleep patterns


I wondered if anyone had any advice for me? Tibbs has always been the sort of child that goes to sleep first time. She has a big track record of early waking, but this new phase is puzzling and a bit stressful so I’m looking for advice. Tibbs is two and a half. Basically, I put her down after stories, cuddles and singing, and instead of drifting off, she slowly starts to cry for me. The only way to settle her into relaxation is to ‘lie on the floor’, which… Read More

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from blogging


…is that commenting on blogs in haste, or without thinking of the effects you might have, can be something that you might regret later. Many bloggers will have done this, or seen it happen, and nobody feels good in the aftermath. Borrowing a the format du jour, here’s an intended to be light-hearted chart that might have some moments you recognise!

On being the spendthrift in a relationship

I think I’m a bit of a spendthrift. Give me £20.00, especially on the magic debit card where you don’t actually see it, and it could be gone within a couple of hours. My husband is precisely the opposite. But this is how Wikipedia defines a spendthrift: A spendthrift (also called profligate) is someone who spends money prodigiously and who is extravagant and recklessly wasteful, often to a point where the spending climbs well beyond his or her means. I’m not sure I’m recklessly wasteful! And I always thought prodigious… Read More

Bristol loft conversions – top tips

Yeah, it's steep

If you drive down lots of our streets, you’ll notice heaps of Velux windows and three storey houses, so many people do Bristol loft conversions. It’s a great way to get the most out of your house in a city that has so many beautiful hilltop views. In my experience of talking to friends, lots of us convert our lofts because we’d like more space, but don’t want to leave our community to get it. Below: typical Bristol view with loft conversions peeking out everywhere! Bristol strolls #bristolviews A photo… Read More

Terraced garden inspiration for summer


In the early spring, we had our garden re-designed. This gave us a beautiful blank canvas to start filling with plants. Looking back at the photos in that post, four months on, I can’t believe the flower beds were ever that bare. I’ve never planted my own garden from scratch before, and it’s given me so much confidence. I thought i’d put in a few pictures in case you’re looking for some terraced garden inspiration. This is what it looked like, empty, in the spring: And now, it’s absolutely alive!… Read More