My Family Holiday Travel Items And Essentials

Last year I wrote about how we managed to spend 10 nights in Spain for less than a grand, and this year we'll be doing the same. Only this time, it wont just be our family of 5, but there will be 11 of us. Our family, my sister and kids, and my parents. A whole family affair, abroad. 

When it comes to going abroad, I think there are a few items that are essentials to make sure you have the best time possible, on and off the plane. So, here is my list of summer holiday essentials for adults, for children, and for travelling too.


Femme Luxe Clothing Haul Review

Pinafore dress

A few month ago I wrote my first post about my Femme Luxe clothing haul and how I had loved some of the pieces from them. It's not often I get to focus solely on myself when it comes to clothing, and so when I do, I like to pick out pieces that I wouldn't usually buy, to see how they fit, and how they look on me. 

I’m not usually one for dresses but nevertheless, I decided to order 3 dresses and a skirt that are not my usual style just to see if I could come out of my comfort zone a little bit more. And because I really do need to mix up my style a little.


Ways to Spend More Quality Time As A Couple

These days, it's easy to spend all day running around after the kids, and when you finally do get to sit down, quality time as a couple is at the end of the list. We pick a phone up and scroll through Facebook, usually liking the other half's status, without actually talking about the day they've had instead.

Whatever the reason that you don't get that quality time as a couple is, if you want to strengthen your bond and keep the love alive, it's important to spend some time together, without phones, or the kids, or the stresses of the rest of our lives. 

Here are a few ways that you can spend more time as a couple...

A Guide To Choosing The Right Stairlift

As I've written about many times before, my dad is disabled and struggles with some every day tasks. Because one of his disabilities is to do with one of his legs, just getting up the stairs can be a task and half, and with the fact that they live in a 2 storey house, this can cause problems with just the basics of getting up to bed or to the bathroom.

There are modifications that can be done to the house to make it really fit for him, but some can cost a fortune. Putting a bathroom and bedroom extension downstairs is out of the question, when they are both retirees.


A Guide to Recovering from a Back Injury

Back pain can be debilitating. In addition to causing excruciating pain, it can limit movement and, as a result, can prevent people from embarking on everyday tasks in the home or at work.

If you are struggling with back pain, you will more than likely want to do everything in your power to reduce the pain and get back up on your feet. For help doing just that, read the below guide to recovering from a back injury.


5 Ways To Make Your Home Elderly Friendly

I have been commissioned by Mobility Plus to give my thoughts on the following topic...

There are many changes to consider when you're updating a home to be elderly friendly. From small things such as making sure the spaces are lit properly, to fitting new bathroom fixtures to make their stay a smooth transition. 

It's hard to step into the new world of having to care for an adult, when you're not used to it. Ideally, you'd have a single story abode, with easy to use fixtures and fitting. But we don't live in an ideal world, and sometimes this means, working some adaptations into your home.


Growing Your Own Indoor Herb Garden

Herbs can easily be grown indoors as long as you kick off on the right foot. The key to creating a successful indoor herb garden is understanding each of the plants requirements and what they need. 

The ideal setting for an indoor herb garden is the kitchen, where you can snip fresh herbs and use them in dishes with ease. That's why you can grow herbs indoors where ever you live - whether that's in a house or flat, as long as you have a sunny room, you can get growing.


Be The Mummy With The Money With These Flexible Work Ideas

Looking for a little extra money to help with the budget at home? Or perhaps you’re trying to get your career kicked off even while your kids are still young? Whatever the case, moms are back in the workforce, big time, thanks to flexible working arrangements. Here are a few ideas on how you, too, can get a slice of that pie.


National Geographic Break Open 2 Geodes Kit Review

My sons love STEM toys, especially T who is 9 and loves to explore the world around him. The new STEM educational kits from Bandai are a great way to teach children about fascinating subjects with exciting experiments from their The National Geographic range. There's so much out there for children to discover and learn about.

And that's why, I am happy to announce that we've been chosen as Bandai STEM Ambassadors and for the next few months to show off this amazing range. This, our second month, I'll be talking about the National Geographic Break Open 2 Geodes Kit.


The Different Ways You Can Use Coconut Plus Giveaway

When it comes to coconut, most people just think of that hard brown fuzzy fruit (or seed or nut) which is hard to get into, and when you do, you lose most of the liquid inside due to having to break it open. But coconut is much more than that.

Nowadays, we can use it for anything and everything. From health and beauty to food and drink. Every part of the coconut can be used for something or other. I've talked about the CM La Vie beauty balm from Coconut Merchant before, about how this cruelty-free, cold pressed pot of loveliness has extremely hydrating properties and can be used for the skin, hair, deodorant, and even as a make-up remover.


My Wedding Guest Outfit & Accessories

Burgundy dress with black and rose gold accessories

We all have to walk a fine line when it comes to deciding what to wear to a wedding. You want to look striking, but still appropriate. You want to be remembered for the right reasons, without trying to upstage the bride. There are some basic ground rules worth thinking about before rushing to the big day - a few dressing dos and don'ts so that you can be the best dressed guest, with zero wardrobe stresses.

So whether you have a city wedding to attend, a religious ceremony to consider carefully or you just don't want to have a miffed bride on your hands, it's best to follow a few steps, to make sure you've got the best outfit for the situational wedding you're attending.


How To Set Up Your Dining Room Like An Interior Designer

The interior design embodies the concept of enhancing the interiors of your living space to assimilate into it aesthetically pleasing and functional decor that best suits your personality. While most of us aren’t interior designers, who are specially trained for this, it is very possible for you to do this on your own if you keep a few key points in mind. This includes playing around with various combinations of lighting, colours and materials until one is satisfied with the feel of the room. This is even more applicable to the place where you and your family wines and dines. Dining rooms are responsible for contributing a whole lot to the look of a home, and if you would like to set it up like an interior designer would read these invaluable insights on how to decorate your dining room.

What are the latest and most fashionable doors?

Generally, there are two categories of doors. Internal and external. Internal doors refer to doors that are installed inside a house, like doors leading up to the bathroom, kitchen and patio. External doors are the main doors. Depending upon their function and utility, there are different materials and designs available on the market for both of them.

In case you’re doing a little spring cleaning, here are some of the fashionable doors that we are offering.


Need Some Change? Here's How to Get Through it

It can sometimes be difficult to know if this need for something new is just a passing feeling - or a sign that you really need a change in your life. We’re impulsive beings, after all, and will usually be advised to ‘sleep on it’ and not do anything rash so it makes sense to second-guess ourselves and wonder if a change really is for the best.


5 Tips for a Fun Break Away with Your Kids

A family break away will provide parents with an opportunity to develop a greater bond with their kids, which can help their son or daughter to experience many superb childhood memories.

What’s more, it will allow the whole clan to escape the monotony of everyday life and focus on having a bit of fun in a beautiful setting.

If you want to ensure your children have an unforgettable time on holiday at home or abroad, check out these five tips for a fun break away with your kids.


My Monthly Favourites - Beauty and Health

We're now well into April which has so far seen all the males in our household have a horrible stomach bug which has lasted throughout the whole school holiday. So, today I thought I'd talk about health. I'm here to share some of my favourites from the last month with you. This will be a new monthly segment of mine where I'll talk about products I've loved with a specific angle for each month.

This month I am focusing on beauty and health products. Those that are ideal for the family, the kids, and those beauty items that I am loving at the minute...


Garden Easter Egg Hunt Ideas For The Family

Easter is a fantastic time of year for a lot of reasons, but one of our favourites is the Easter egg hunts! It’s so much fun to get out into the garden, enjoy the spring weather (hopefully!) and spend some time on a treasure hunt. (Not to mention eating the reward!)

I’ve teamed up with Greensleeves, UK lawn care experts, to bring you loads of ideas for your Easter egg hunts! So you can entertain your children and celebrate Easter in your garden.

Hiding little chocolate eggs around the garden is a classic way to enjoy an Easter egg hunt, but if you’re looking for something a little different this year, check out our ideas below!

Save Money In The Bathroom! | Top Money Saving Tips

Every parent knows it’s important to save money where possible and the bathroom is a place we often forget about. I’ve teamed up with The English Shaving Company to bring you the best easy tips to save money in the bathroom.

For an added bonus, a lot of the ways you can save money will also help to improve your environmental footprint so you can be good to your purse and the planet!


Win A Blissful Spa Day For Two

We all love to be pampered but sometimes it's not affordable to do. Well, Red Letter Days have you covered with this as they have slashed the price of their Blissful Spa Day Choice for Two from £113, right down to £55. So you and a guest can enjoy a relaxing day at the spa, for a fraction of the cost. 

This perfect spa day is the opportunity for friends, or a couple, to get together for a date at one of over 80 great spa locations across the UK, including top brand names such as Bannatyne, Virgin Active, Hallmark, Mercure, Marriott or Village spa.


How To Check Tyre Tread Depth Using The 20p Method

Tyres are the vehicle's only point of contact with the road which means they are the most important thing on your vehicle when it comes to safety. Bald tyres may work great when you're in a race car but no good at all when you're popping down the local Asda on a wet road surface. 

The treads on tyres are designed to pump water from the road surface and provide maximum grip, being the only grip you will get to the road. Checking your legal tyre tread depth is one of the most important checks you can make on your car as having worn tyres is basically an accident waiting to happen.


Have You Spotted The Yorkshire Water Wipesaur?

Whatever you use - baby wipes, wet wipes, make-up wipes, moist wipes, cleaning wipes - wipes are wipes. And wipes are responsible for blockages in our sewerage systems, even the ones that say they're flushable are not! Despite what the manufacturers say, wipes do not disintegrate once you’ve flushed them into the sewer system.

Enjoying A Perfect Family Holiday With Your Children In Sussex

Most parents will agree that there is nothing more precious than going on vacation with their children. Holidays provide special family moments that you will cherish for a lifetime. You are creating memories for you and your children to look back on with love. Nonetheless, planning the perfect family vacation is not always easy. There are so many different factors to take into account. But, don’t panic, as that is exactly what this post is here to help you with. Read on to discover all you need to know about planning the perfect family holiday to Sussex with your little ones…


The Importance Of Pelvic Floor Exercises

During your pregnancy, your pelvic floor muscles will loosen due to hormonal changes in your body. This loosening, as well as your growing baby pressing down onto your bladder, can cause you to leak urine when you cough, laugh, sneeze, exercise, or do anything too strenuous. 

For some, this is can also be a short-term problem, as a result of a medical condition or medication, but for many others, it is a problem that is on-going, especially during and after pregnancy.

The good news is that there are ways to improve your incontinence and one is pelvic floor muscle exercises. Doing pelvic floor exercises will strengthen these muscles and help you control any accidents. It will also help you ease your baby out during labour, and recover faster after the birth too.


5 Tips to Repair a Broken Relationship

Relationships with family members, friends or partners can sadly break down over time. Disappointment or painful emotions can create distance between loved ones, which can stop them from seeing each other for a week, which could turn into a month and then into years.

If you want to resolve any past issues and potentially reconnect with your loved one, take a look at the following five tips for repairing a broken relationship.


National Geographic STEM Dig Kits Review

My sons love STEM toys, and so I try to encourage educational play as much as I can. The new STEM educational kits from Bandai are a great way to teach children about fascinating subjects with exciting experiments from their The National Geographic range. There's so much out there for children to discover and learn about.

And that's why, I am happy to announce that we've been chosen as Bandai STEM Ambassadors for the next few months to show off this amazing range, and for our first post they've sent us the National Geographic Real Bug Dig Kit and the Dino Fossil Dig Kit to review.


My 2019 Mother's Day Gift Guide

With Mother's Day just over 2 weeks away, on Sunday 31st March, now is the perfect time to get prepared. I thought I'd show off what is available at the moment for those mums out there - the perfect gifts for Mother's Day. Some items are perfect if you're on a budget or for if you want to splurge, but most of all, they're all with mum in mind. 

Here is my 2019 Mother's Day gift guide...


My Femme Luxe Fashion Haul

Buying clothes for myself is usually something that is last on the agenda. I'm usually a mum-clothes type and opt for leggings and a long top, or gym gear, most days. When Femme Luxe got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to update my wardrobe with some pieces from their collection, it seemed like a great time to pick out some new threads to wear this year. 

Describing themselves as a 'current, classy and forward thinking online fashion brand', Femme Luxe produce clothing that can be worn for a night out, day wear and on special occasions, as well as just for relaxing in whilst at home. 


My Monthly Favourites - Kitchen and Snacks

It's the first day of a new month and I'm here to share some of my favourites from the last month. This will be a new monthly segment of mine where I'll talk about products I've loved with a specific angle for each month.

This month I am focusing on kitchen and food items that are the perfect snacks for kids, and us adults who want to eat better...

Six Easy Ways You Can Help Your Husband Love How He Looks

Successful relationships are two-way streets, so just as you need your partner to help you feel good about yourself, remember that he needs your help, too. Men can be just as self-conscious as women in terms of their looks, especially as they get older. You can help him regain his confidence and that spring in his step and doing so will strengthen your relationship tenfold. All you need to do is follow this easy guide:


How To Keep Your Teenagers Out Of Trouble

As our children grow, our relationship with them changes. Whereas once they wanted and needed us with them at all times, the older they get, the more independent they are, and the less they want us around. Although we might not like it, it is all a part of growing up, and it’s actually a good thing as it prepares them for their adult life ahead. However, for some teenagers, it can be a confusing, worrying time, and they might get into trouble because they don’t really know who they are or how to deal with the challenges they are facing.


Creating An Easy To Maintain Garden

There's nothing worse on that first day of the school holidays, to open your curtains, see that bright sun, and then run outside to realise that your garden looks a state, and that it's going to take a good few hours to get it ready for playing in and enjoying. 

That's why I opt to creating our garden to be easy to maintain all year round. And here are a few ideas to create an easy to maintain garden...


Retro Perfumes are Coming Back in a Major Way

Time to dust off those old bottles, dig through your mum, or grandma's fragrance stash and get into the retro groove as they're making a major comeback.

Perfume, like fashion, is very much a product of its time with more fashionable brands taking over the market and being popular and than others, falling to the shadows for a few years, or decades, until they become popular in scent again.


What Should the Best Man Wear?

In a couple of month's time, a family friend will be getting married, with my husband being the best man, and this got me thinking about the big day. Weddings are about the couple who standing up there, at the altar. The bride's gorgeous flowing gown, the groom's dapper suit, and flowers aplenty. 

Few consider the best man though. That man who is not only entrusted with holding the rings, but also making sure the groom shows up, doesn't pass out, and is armed with a speech that will make even the kill-joy laugh their socks off. 

How to Plan a Minimalist Skincare Regime With Maximum Efficiency

The days of applying a plethora of creams are numbered. What if you could achieve perfectly moisturised skin without a strenuous regime? Cue the Marie Kondo era! Minimising your skincare routine could save you both time and money, two things you never have enough of.

Here are some top tips on what to include in your new regime…

Reverse Mortgage Qualifications and Considerations

When you retire, you want the flexibility to do the things you love, but many of those things cost money. If your income is not what it once was when you were working, it can often be hard to fund your hobbies. You may even have trouble paying basic bills. If you own your own home, you have cash available to spend that you may not even know about. You can spend that cash by applying for a reverse mortgage. Here is more information about reverse mortgage considerations and qualifications.


4 Romantic Wedding Anniversary Ideas For Couples

As they say 'time flies when you're having fun', and that also comes in to play when you are with the one you love. As the years go by, it gets to the stage whereby you might forget about that special yearly day though, as your anniversaries begin to sneak up on you. Always ending up going out to dinner again, rather than spending your time, and money, and something more worthwhile.

Or perhaps that big day comes, and you don't end up doing anything at all because you are on a tight budget and can't think of something to do that is a celebration and memorable, but won't cost a fortune. Luckily, you can be both romantic and financially smart. Here are 5 inexpensive and exciting new ways to celebrate your anniversary.


School Holiday Educational Fun For Children in Yorkshire

With the school holidays in full bloom now, it can be hard of things to do each day to get the children away from their screens and out doing something exciting, seeing something fun and learning something new.  

And I don't mean, sitting in the garden watching them kick a football at the fence - not in this ever changing weather anyway! I mean things that will entertain the kids, educate them and having them going to sleep knowing they've had a great day.


5 Brilliant Boys Bedroom Design Ideas

Who says boys’ bedrooms can’t be stylish yet practical? Having 3 sons, I've had to go through a lot of designs over the years,to work out what is best for them. I've selected a few of my favourite ideas, schemes and tips for boys’ bedrooms that look great while remaining practical. 

Bunk up the colours
Traditional colour palettes such as blues and reds are the classic option when it comes to decorating a boy bedroom. But zingy yellows can look a little different if you're daring to be bold. Change up the normal by painting bunk beds in a standout colour to make them a cheery focal point. Or go for a low key background colour on the walls so that bright furniture and accessories can take centre stage.


Pink Clove | I Love a Good Patterned Print in Clothing

When it comes to buying clothing, I'm usually a lover of plain patterns and basic colours so I don't stand out from the crowd. But I realised that if I'm wanting to gain body confidence in my own skin, then I need to make an effort, and the fact that some patterns can actually help disguise those bit of the body that we have problems with. 

I have recently been sent a couple of items from Pink Clove to show off how you can wear patterns beautifully. Pink Clove is home to a fantastic range of clothing in plus sizes - around 16-28, although a few items are available in 14 too. They take latest influential trends from the catwalks and redesign these to flatter the fuller figure.


My 2019 Valentine's Day Gift Guide

If you've been together for a long time, like my husband and I - 14 years and still going strong-ish - then you'll know that after the first couple of years, Valentine's Day doesn't factor in as an important day any more. 

It's not all about the big gestures and romance in abundance, it's about knowing what each other likes and going with that. So this year I thought I would write about the best items to buy to celebrate Valentine's when you've been together an age.


Everything you ever wanted to know about spam filters

The amount of times I've emailed a person, a brand, a client, and not got a response until maybe a month or so later, when they tell me I've entered their spam folder. When your emails start going into the spam folder, it can be hard to get out of, unless that person lets their email provider know, by clicking the 'not spam' tab, that you're not in fact spam. It seems to be the black hole of the email universe, and when it comes to email marketing, the spam folder is the last place you want your emails to land. 

Many a time I've missed an important campaign because my emails have wondered off into the wrong folder, so it not only affects marketing but potential work for us why rely on email for our clients too. For me, email is such an important aspect of my job and so it's paramount that my emails are delivered to the correct place.


Alternative Valentine's gestures that will revive your love life

We’ve just finished giving gifts to our loved ones for Christmas, but in a few weeks, we’ll be doing it all over again for Valentine’s Day. But unlike the general love for Christmas, Valentine’s Day has developed something of a ‘trendy’ dislike — 52% of consumers say they think the day is a waste of money, and 81% reckon the day is far too commercial these days.

Yet, despite the apparent public fatigue with Valentine’s Day, we all seem to be engaging with the day to some degree. In fact, Valentine’s gift spending is actively increasing year on year, with 2018’s Valentine’s gift sales hitting £650 million in the UK, up from £620 million in 2017 and £470 million in 2016.


The Priority Services Register | Making It Easier For Those We Love

Since meeting my husband, and subsequently being a part of his family, I have seen just how people with disabilities are sometimes treated differently, and not always for the better, when it comes to paying bills, and how they live. 

My mother-in-law has a range of complex needs which leave her unable to always leave her house, talk to people, and understand what she is being told. This can mean that she is sometimes left flustered when she has to ring utility companies about her bills, or for any other reason, especially when they won't allow other people to converse for her.


My 5 Minute Make Up Routine

As a busy parent, I sometimes don't have time to brush my hair let alone put on a full face of make up. I used to have good intentions, getting up five or ten minutes earlier each morning and mastering the art of the subtle contour, or drawing the perfect cat-eye, or at least putting on some damn concealer, but I realised that I'd rather have those extra 5 minutes in bed. 

So I came up with my own 5 minute routine, to give myself a nice day look that is quick and easy to apply, without taking up too much of my time. Here is how it goes...


How To Make Sure You Pass Your Car MOT Check

If your car is more than three years old, it has to pass an MOT test every year to make sure it is road worthy. Taking your car in for a test can be a daunting experience and often the reasons for failing are minor faults that can be fixed beforehand if you make sure to check your car before taking it in. 

If you pass the test, your garage will supply you with an MOT test certificate, and you are then legal to drive off. You need to make sure you do this every year as a legal requirement, and to make sure you car is road legal.

Regional foods of the UK – How did they begin?

Part of Britain’s perpetual charm is its ability to retain regional traditions that maintain a city’s pride. Etiquette would encourage us to dive in to a local pub in a new town and order the local delicacy, the server would even be happy to fill you in on the inception of the dish and how it revolutionised until modern day, as after all, it’s a history lesson as well as a tasty dining experience! Here, with the help of Alnwick restaurant Hog’s Head Inn, we take a brief look at some of the country’s weird and wonderful local dishes and how they came to be.

Win University Games Staccups

Today I've teamed up with University Games to give you the chance of winning the family favourite game, Staccups! Speed and hand eye co-ordination are needed, in this fast, frantic stacking game. 

Race your opponent to clear all of your cups. If the base colour of your cup, matches the top colour of one on the podium, then stack it. Quickly!


How to Emotionally Prepare for the Arrival of Your Baby

Welcoming your son or daughter into the world will be a life-changing event. It is perfectly natural to feel a mix of emotions both during pregnancy and after childbirth, which can range from excitement and joy to fear and ambivalence.

While it is almost impossible to know exactly how you will feel once your child arrives in the world, here are some helpful tips on how to emotionally prepare for the arrival of your baby.