Saturday, 20 December 2014

10 New Year’s Travel Resolutions!

New Year’s resolutions should be fun, interesting and help you to become a better person. This is why travel-related resolutions are perfect. Travel helps a person grow and there is so much to see, learn and do, to plan a New Year’s resolution around travel is to open the door to some wonderful opportunities. 


Explore what’s on your doorstep 
A common mistake a lot of people make is to not see some of the popular tourists destinations close to them or even elsewhere in the same country. Holiday providers such as UK Breakaways run trips to some of the best resorts Great Britain has to offer. Take a trip north of the border or finally look around your local city’s art gallery. 

Learn a Language 
It’s a well-known fact that the best way to learn a language is to speak it with the locals. Spend a few months learning a language using a service such as Rosetta Stone and then spend a fortnight in the chosen country with the aim of only speaking their language. 

Start a Blog 
Writing a travel blog will help you analyse your experiences and keep a log of them for years to come. Blogs are easy to set up and are a great hobby in their own right. And if you do want any tips on starting a blog – let me know! 

Take a Cooking Course 
One of the joys of travelling abroad is trying the local cuisine. However, you do not have to stop enjoying the authentic dishes when you return from your holiday. Seek out a cooking course and learn some of the national dishes so you can repeat the experience at home. 


Visit a Friend or Family Member 
If you have a friend or family member living in a foreign land make this the year you go over and visit them. There is no better way to learn about an area than being shown around by a local. If they live a bit too far away why not come to a compromise and meet half way. Combine a catch-up with a holiday to a destination neither of you have been before. 

Save up for your Trip of Lifestyle 
Everyone has a mental list of the places they dream of going to. Why not resolve to commit to saving up for a visit to your top destination? If you are disciplined with your spending and saving you could aim to visit many far-off destinations towards the end of 2015. 

Plan Multiple Trips 
Instead of one big trip, you could keep an eye on budget airlines and go on lots of little trips this year. 

Get a Pen Pal 
Websites such as PenPal World allow members to sign up and get contacts from around the world. If you really hit it off perhaps you can visit at some point. Just ensure you stay safe and adhere to the advice given by the website. 

Volunteer Abroad 
There is a wealth of opportunities to work abroad in all different fields in many different countries. It isa great way to live like locals.

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Give a Thought to the Planet This Christmas!

Christmas is such an exciting time, as soon as the 1st of December hits, the trees come out, along with tons of decorations and fairy lights, whilst it does make everything look pretty and festive, the amount of electricity used really isn't great for the environment (or your back pocket for that matter). You can really help by purchasing energy saving lights, recycling the ones that just don't work anymore and by making better decisions when it comes to just throwing things away! No doubt you will have piles of wrapping paper this year, instead of throwing it all in the usual dustbin, pop it in the recycling box, not only will you stop it heading straight to a landfill but you will definitely be doing a good deed too! Same goes with leftover food, that little brown box you've got on your windowsill or sat out in the garden? It's all there to have save the planet and really isn't that difficult to do at all :).

Below is a little infographic for you all with some details on Christmas Energy use, just take a second out to read through it and see what you can do to help your environment this Christmas!


Friday, 19 December 2014

Giveaway | Fisher Price Rainforest PlayGym with Nelsons!


Hello all!
Can you believe Christmas is only 6 days away! Ahh so excited! :)

Today I have a giveaway for you all, as provided by the lovely team over at Nelsons! If you are the parent of a child under the age of 2, you will probably know of the brand already and know just how amazing their products are! For us we totally relied on the famous Teething Powder's for a lot of Abbie's baby life, well now they have created a new product to help those little ones who suffer with infant colic and I have such high hopes for it after previous experience!

"Life with a baby is a magical time full of making cherished memories as you get to know your new arrival. Despite this, for the one in five parents whose child has colic, it can be an overwhelming period."

Although colic is considered a harmless condition, a recent study by Nelsons reveals that almost half of parents think that colic is the most distressing ailment for parents. To help relieve the symptoms of colic, Nelsons is launching NEW Nelsons Colica® Colic Granules, a homeopathic medicinal product used within the homeopathic tradition for the symptomatic relief of colic in babies over one month of age.
Colic is a medical term for excessive and frequent crying in a baby who appears to be otherwise healthy and well fed. It usually begins within the first few weeks of life, but often stops by the time the baby is four months old and by six months at the latest. In most cases the intense crying occurs in the late afternoon and the baby may clench their fists and draw their knees up to their tummy or arch their back.

Tips from Nelson's to help settle a colicy baby!
Try soothing baby with a gentle rocking by walking round the house while holding them. 

You could also try taking them out for a ride in the car as the vibration, noise, movement and change of scenery can be soothing.

Give your little one a gentle massage on their stomach

Hold your baby close so that they can hear your heartbeat to help calm them.
Your baby spent months bathed in a warm amniotic fluid so try a warm, peaceful bath. 

Nelsons Colica Colic Granules costs £5.80 and is available from Boots and www.amazon.co.uk

Always read the label.

* If you are concerned about your baby’s symptoms or their excessive crying you should seek advice from your GP.

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T H E   G I V E A W A Y

These little babies of ours really do go through a lot in their first 2 years, it's only fair they get a little treat and something to make them feel a little better, after all, we can treat ourselves to chocolate and ice cream and they can't, poor things ;). Nelsons are giving one of you the chance to win the amazing Fisher Price Rainforest Melodies & Lights Deluxe Gym worth £50!



How do you win?
Enter the rafflecopter below, the more options you complete, the higher your chance of winning! What are you waiting for? Read the T&C below and happy entering :)


T&C's
1. All entries will be checked, double checked and triple checked to ensure fairness!

2. If the winner does not respond to my email within 14 days, another will be chosen! :)

3. Open to the UK only!

4. The prize will be sent out after Christmas!


GOOD LUCK! :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Butlins | Bognor Regis | Accommodation

Hello all!
As you probably know by now, we were chosen as Butlins Ambassadors for 2014/15! Our role entitles us to 2 breaks away to review the whole Butlins experience, from the activities to the accommodation  through to the staff and the surroundings! We recently got back from our first trip and can honestly say we had THE best time! It was our first holiday away together and things couldn't have gone any more perfect! :)

To start off Part 1 of our review, I thought I would kick things off with the Accommodation as it's probably one of the most important factors, so without further ado, here is what we thought!

Walking into the lobby was straight away festive and magical, lots of fairy lights and Christmas trees with presents, Abbie LOVED it so much, it took me 15 minutes to get her away from it all and up into the room! 


We booked into one of the Family rooms and specifically asked to be on one of the top floors away from the noise of the main restaurant. The room itself is pretty basic, but enough space for the 3 of us, i've never been one to pay a lot of money for an actual hotel as you don't ever spend any time in there other than for sleeping! 

As you step through the door you have a little hallway with the kids area on the right, this includes a double bunk bed with storage under the bed and a cabinet with a TV and DVD player! Simple but all you need for winding the little ones down ready for bedtime! The hallway had lots of storage space for all your clothes, suitcases and bags, hanging space, an iron and ironing board, and even a little safe to keep all your valuables in when you're not in the room! Walking to the end of the little hallway is the main bedroom, complete with a mini fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, tv & dvd player and a hairdryer too! There were towels on the bed that were made into the shapes of elephants which was a lovely little touch, Abbie however pulled the off before i could snap a photo!


The decor was simple and although the room had a little wear and tear, it wasn't enough to bother us and was to be expected really, the rest of the room was spotlessly clean and tidy too! My only little qualm would have to be the "kingsize" bed, not actually a kingsize but 2 singles pushed together, I wouldn't have mind so much but one of them was slightly higher than the other so it was pretty uncomfortable, the mattresses on both were firm and a bit lumpy too so not the best night sleep for me, but I understand why they've used the 2 singles, it's convenient for them to either push them together or to keep them separate as per the customers requests, so I don't mind too much, just might've been nice to know before arriving so we could bring a thick blanket to put on over the mattress!


Bathroom
We were really surprised at how big it was, it had a lovely modern design and also the added bonus of a HUGE bath which Ben could actually fit in! Again it was super clean and perfect for our little family! :). Abbie absolutely LOVED the little yellow duck that came with it too, it was the first thing she asked for when we walked in the door! Easily enough space for a bigger family too, you are provided with a few little toiletries but nothing big so make sure to take your own bits too! I loved that they provide you with a little step up to the sink for the little ones, so much easier for them to brush their teeth on!



Last but not least, the view. I actually forgot that we had booked a partial sea view with our room so that was an amazing little surprise, I've seen other reviewers mention the car park was the first thing they saw outside their window, which yes is correct but your eyes automatically go straight to the sea and the beach! It was absolutely gorgeous throughout the day and was amazing to hear the waves too!  For that little bit extra money I'd definitely recommend booking the sea view, it really makes the room that much better :). Below i have taken photos throughout our stay of the view, I think i've fallen in love with Butlins a little bit more!




If you can't jet ski in the middle of December, when can you eh?



Overall the Accommodation was exactly what we expected, spotlessly clean, plenty of storage space, quiet and a gorgeous view from the 3rd floor! If you can book a Stateroom I would highly recommend it, however a partial sea view is definitely second best and made the time we spent in our room even nicer :)

Come back for our review in a few days of the Dining too!

Visit the Butlins website to book you and your family in for a wonderful holiday for 2015! I promise you won't regret it!

Jess x

Christmas Gift Guide with TheWorks!

Good morning all!
Hope you're all having a good week and are as excited as I am that Christmas is here next week! Eek! I haven't made many gift guides for Christmas this year, however I really wanted to create one for TheWorks as it is a website i've recently found out about and they have amazing deals and discounts across a huge range of toys, crafts and games! Including Frozen merchandise, (always a popular one), Mr Men box sets and colourful stationary! Perfect for any last minute purhcases and gifts for stocking fillers! 

Below I have created a little gift guide for you with some of my favourite items, all great prices and free delivery if you spend over £30! Check out the Frozen section, Kids Zone and Special Offers too!


1 / 2 / 3 / 4
5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Books
I don't think i've ever met a child who doesn't like books! TheWorks have a huge range of books for all ages, we both really want Abbie to love the Mr Men & Little Miss range, as we both read them as children too, TheWorks have them both on offer at the moment where you can save over £100! Might have to make a sneaky last minute purchase of them both I think! Speaking of books, we've bought Abbie a bunch of sticker books for Christmas, they are great for their imagination by helping them to create their own setups and pictures using whatever stickers they like, even if they stick Peppa upside down and pull an arm off, it's all creative and they will love it! 

Crafts
Probably Abbie's favourite things to do is getting crafty, anything to do with colouring, drawing, building and sculpting and she's happy! It's such a great way for them to get creative and amazing for hand eye co-ordination as well as identifying new shapes, sounds and colours too! Perfect for babies right up until adulthood actually! I remember having so many felt pen packs like number 7 in the guide above, they are always a hit with kids and there are lots and lots to choose from, some with paints including, pencils and even oil pastels! Pens and pencils are great stocking fillers too, we have some Christmas themed ones with festive giant rubbers for Abbie! And who can forget the craze of the loom bands!? Again Abbie is far too young for them but they are everywhere at the moment and are amazing for older children too!

Musical
I know a lot of parents hate those noisy musical toys but we actually love them in our house, Abbie is such a musical person and will play us lots of songs on her little wooden guitar throughout the day, she also has an amazing musical table from BoiKids which she uses every day too! Anything that makes a bang, rings or plays music and she LOVES it! Xylophones are her favourite! 

Games
Probably the thing the kids look forward to the most at Christmas, and boy are there tons and tons of things out there! Whatever your child likes you will be overwhelmed with choices, obviously if you have a toddler you can kinda get away with not having to go overboard as they haven't asked for anything yet (i'm thanking Abbie for not being into Frozen, saved me SO much money!), but when you have little ones who are 3+ they know exactly what they want and can create a wish list longer than your arm! TheWorks have a lot of the most well known brands for you to browse through, as well as the lesser known ones too, games the whole family can join in with, puzzles they can get on with themselves and building and stacking blocks are always a winner too!

Check out TheWorks for last minute deals, presents and stocking fillers and if you spend just £30 and order before midnight on Sunday, you are guaranteed next day delivery FREE using code FREENEXTDAY!

x

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

4 Tips To Ensure a Successful at Home Party for Your Child

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Celebrating your child’s birthday in the comfort of your home is not only affordable and convenient, but it can also be a lot of fun. You get to control just what food is served, what activities are played, and the overall theme of the party. How great is that? If you’re about to organise a birthday party for that special child of yours, then here are 4 tips that will help ensure it’s a complete success. 

Go for a small party
Although you may initially feel like inviting the whole class, and all your close family and friends, less is more when it comes to putting on a house party for your child. There’s a reason why class sizes do not generally hover above the mid 20s: too many children can be a nightmare to control! Make an initial list of all your child’s friends that you wish to invite, and then reduce that list by as much as 50 per cent. Small birthday parties allow everyone to have a good time without missing out on taking part in activities, and allows your child to spend quality time with his or her friends. 

Send invitations at least 3 weeks before the big day
Once you’ve settled on an invite list, start collating the addresses of your intended guests as soon as possible, and make sure your invitations are sent out at least 3 weeks prior to your child’s birthday. The same 3 week window applies if you opt to send e-invitations instead. This amount of time will give your intended guests enough notice to get back to you so you can start planning your activities and menu. 


Do your cooking and eating outside 
If you want to keep your home in decent condition whilst throwing a birthday party for your little one, then try and keep his or her friends outside as much as possible. Children don’t necessarily have the best reputation when it comes to behaving responsibly when in another’s home. Muddy shoes, broken vases, and dirty fingers on walls are just some of the realities you may just have to face when you have scores of little kids running around the house. Limit the potential carnage by setting all (or most) of the activities outside. Also, fire up that barbeque outside and use that to cook your party food. If you don’t already have a quality barbeque in your backyard, head on over to a retailer such as Barbeques Galore and take your pick. 


Notify neighbours of your party
It’s common courtesy to inform your neighbours of your intentions to throw a birthday party at least a couple of weeks before the big day. Letting them know through great communication will give them the chance to either stay at home and put up with any minor inconveniences, or spend the day away from the noise and general excitement of a child’s birthday. Whatever they choose, you will have done your part. The last thing you need are angry neighbours! 

Do you have any other tips to help make a child’s birthday party a complete success? Leave your comments down below and let us know your ideas! 





Friday, 12 December 2014

20 Things I learnt after having a baby!


one
Changing a nappy takes practice, lots of it, I think it took me about 10 minutes to do Abbie's first one ha ha

two
It makes things really hard between you and your significant other, you will want to kill each other on multiple occasions

three
You will question yourself on why you ever decided that having a baby was a good idea A LOT

four
A lot of babies don't sleep through the night until they're at least 2 or 3 YEARS old

five
You will cry more than you ever thought was possible

six
It's ok if you don't feel that instant bond with your little one, you are not a bad mother

seven
You DO remember the pain of childbirth

eight
A baby's smile can wipe away the entire crappiness of a day

nine
Cbeebies will become your hero, and the iPad for that matter

ten
Do what YOU want to do when it comes to parenting

eleven
You get more excited for Christmas now than when you were younger

twelve
You WILL have time to shower and wash your hair, you just become the world record holder for how quickly you can do it

thirteen
Toddlers are MUCH easier than babies

fourteen
The terrible 2's really aren't that terrible (cue comments from others 'you obviously aren't in them yet...oh yes we are)

fifteen
Co-sleeping is actually pretty awesome

sixteen
Planning a day out as opposed to actually doing one are 2 completely different things

seventeen
You'll hear less of your current friends but you'll gain lots of new mummy friends

eighteen
You see life in a completely new way

nineteen
A routine is actually pretty easy to get into, you just have to listen to your baby's cues and natural pattern, the key is not to force them into what works for you

twenty
It is the hardest, most rewarding, emotional, tiring, exciting, happy, fun, eye opening experience in the world and NOTHING beats it, just remember (and I used to roll my eyes at people who said this) but it does get easier, it does get better, the sleepless nights do go away and you will start to feel sane again, i promise! This is coming from a mother who's daughter didn't sleep through the night until 20 months!

My one word to describe being a parent?
Life-changing

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