Monday, 18 December 2017

The Pains of Travel – Can’t it be Easier?

Travel can be an absolute pain, especially when you don’t have a car to easily whisk you from A to B. Even then, it can feel as though you are playing ‘dodge the idiot driver’ when on the road, only to miss your turning and fight every fibre of your being not to throw the Sat Nav out of the car when the annoying voice screeches ‘make a U-turn now!’.

Oh, the joys of travelling.

And that’s all before you arrive at your destination; before you even begin to consider food and sleeping arrangements. Then it can turn into nothing short of a nightmare.

Sound like You?

Does my intro sound familiar? I’m sure you have been there at the end of a long journey, whatever mode of transportation you utilised, only to realise that the list of challenges you will be faced with is only just getting started.


How do you react when the hotel that you booked months in advance cannot find your name in the system? Or how about, once you have convinced the world’s most unhelpful receptionist that your booking is legit when you see the state of the room you have been lumbered with?

Personally, I try to tell myself it’s alright and look on the bright side of things. That is up until the point I realise we have arrived just after dinner has finished, and our favourite receptionist appears to take great pleasure in breaking the news to my starving family and me.

Maybe it’s just me

So, maybe it is just me that feels this way about travel. I’m a home bird and, when I’m on holiday, I like to feel at home as opposed to staying in some second rate hotel. It’s probably why I much prefer staying in one of those caravan homes on holiday, as I don’t have to put up with such tiny quarters or the ghastly sounds coming from the adjoining rooms (if you know what I mean).

Hotel beds always, to me at least, seem to be some of the most uncomfortable anyone could ever attempt any sleep on. Just the one pillow (I’m a two pillow minimum person) and questionable bed covers are enough to send me in a first-night-on-holiday-tantrum. The children are that tired after the journey they could sleep on a cactus, so there’s that, I suppose.


We’re Here, Now What

Have you ever been looking forward to a holiday so much that, when you arrive, you’re not quite sure what to do with yourself? That’s me. For example, last year when we went to Mallorca for a week, we quickly found that, other than the obvious (and when you travel with the kids’, that’s also out of the question) there wasn’t much else to do other than lazing about on the beach.

You find yourself looking for things to do and spending a lot of money on buying gifts and souvenirs for everyone else, leaving you with barely enough money for food and drink. Eventually, it is the end of the holiday and time to go home back to reality.

Keeping it Easy

Call me a killjoy, but it’s these experiences why I much prefer to stick to easy travel arrangements and cheap but good accommodation. Travelling isn’t really for me, but I do value the quality time with my family.

Keep your sun, sea and sand and give me a no thrills week away on the outskirts of Warwickshire any day. At least I know that my bed is never more than a couple of hours away.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

The Gruffalo's Child At The Lyric Theatre Review


There is something about the theatre at Christmas that makes the whole experience more magical, especially for children. We were invited along to the Lyric Theatre in London to watch the Grufffalo's Child recently for the Christmas show. We all know that The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child was written by Julia Donaldson and her popular books are read by children across the world, but she also wrote Stick Man and it is lovely to see Stick Man make an appearance in the Gruffalo's Child stage performance.

Friday, 1 December 2017

I Just Didn't 'Get' Dr Seuss Until My 7 Year Old Showed Me!

Dear Dr Seuss

I never 'got you' as a child, I never understood the nonsense books and I suppose, I never really got into the books because they weren't as widely available in schools as they are now. I grew up in an army environment and spent most of my childhood in Germany. We didn't have the access to bookshops like we do these days as we walk down the high street. We didn't have internet, in fact, we didn't even have home computers back then. I really struggled with reading as a child and it wasn't fun for me, but we didn't have the support that we have now.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Pass The Pigs Competition


We have a family tradition that started when my older kids were little, It is that every year we get a new board game for Christmas. So it is a different recipient every year and it has become a bit of a family joke as to who will get the game each year. This year it will be Tilly's turn to receive the gift and we are going to introduce her to Pass The Pigs.  This is such a simple game and everyone can join in because all you need to do is throw the two pigs in the air and however they land, is how many points you score. Now they can land in some funny positions ..... so it can have you laughing for ages. You score points for each position that the pigs land in and the first person to 100 is the winner. The best thing about Pass The Pigs is that it comes in a compact package, so its easy to pop in your handbag and take when you get together with friends too. Pass The Pigs is available for RRP £9.99 and is a fab game for kids from 3 years old.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Places To Stay In Antalya With Clickstay

Of all the things that Tilly could ask for Christmas, she has asked for a holiday to Turkey! I have been with friends for the past three years and I think that she feels like she is missing out on something. So like all good parents I started looking for a holiday. Holidays can be expensive, especially if there are a few of you going but if you look around you can find some cheap ways to go on holiday. Booking a private villa or apartment is so much cheaper than staying in a hotel and in some ways, it's so much better because you have privacy and often a private pool (where you don't have to fight for a sun lounger)

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Winter Wonderland Fairy Rider And Interactive Dragon

What is on your child's wish list for Christmas this year? I am sure many of you will have a Baby Born toy on your child's Christmas list to Santa! Just in time for Christmas, Baby Born have bought out the Winter Wonderland range for your child. The range consists of Baby Born Interactive Fairy Rider Doll and Baby Born Interactive Dragon. playing with these toys, your child can really let their imagination run wild as they join in with the magical world of play. Magical toys like unicorns and mermaids are huge at the moment so to see fairies and dragons too, makes for exciting magical fun. The toys are interactive so you get to really pretend that they are real.

Monday, 27 November 2017

10 Beauty Hacks For This Winter

Who has extra time to get ready this winter? I know I don't! Its the time where we are trying to catch up with the girls before Christmas and there never seems to be enough hours in the day! So here are a few Beauty hacks to help you through the party season.

Plump your lips.

Lip plumpers can be expensive and its often difficult to get one in the lip colour that you like. So if you have a favourite liquid lipstick or lip gloss, then add a drop or two of peppermint oil. It makes sense because when you buy a plumping lip gloss, it always has a peppermint taste to it. Plumping your lips will give you a fuller look and draw attention to your lips. Finish the look with a lip liner to stop the lipstick smudging and define your lips.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Alternative Gift Ideas For Christmas For Mums

Today is Black Friday the day when people usually officially start their Christmas shopping so today I bring you a gift guide for parents that REALLY need that different present to help save their sanity - especially at this time of year!

We start with Vodka! Where else would I start? Its that time of the year where we are all rushing around trying to get our kids everything that they want for Christmas. We are trying to find the most obscure gift on our kid's list like pink unicorns that are 4 foot tall or in Tillys case, a pink inflatable flamingo! Where on earth am I going to get a pink flamingo in the middle of winter? Whilst trying to fill their Christmas lists, you have to hear the constant whines of  'How many sleeps until Christmas?' or 'Is it advent calendar day yet?' So please help a mum at Christmas and buy her some Vodka from Just Miniatures. From £5.99 you can save a mums sanity!
The second gift idea is an Amazon Dot. I actually need one of these as it is voice controlled and I can use it as I am running around the house like a lunatic trying to get Tilly ready in the morning. You can ask it things like train times, you can play music on it and it even controls the lights and tv. How easy would this make my life? You can even use it as an alarm clock - boy do I need this to get out of bed in the morning! My New Year resolution will be to get up earlier for the school run. They are even on a Black Friday deal for £34.99 in so many places.

What about a spa voucher? Sometimes a mum wants needs to wear a look other than rushed and covered in Weetabix! Sometimes a mum needs to become herself and not be 'mum' for a few hours. If you buy them a session at a spa or a voucher so they can choose a time to go to a spa, then this will actually be a priceless gift for them because they will have just a few precious moments to be themselves. A visit to the spa will help a mum to unwind and give her confidence because she will feel so much better. You can often find some fab deals on Groupon or take a look at local spa's leisure centres around you and see what they have on offer.


One of my little secrets as part of being a mum is to carry earphones around in your bag. We travel a lot and if we are on the train and Tilly is in her talk, talk, talk mood, I just pop my earphones in and just randomly nod my head and say things like ' umm' 'aha' 'Really?' She thinks I am listening and in reality, I am not. It's also handy to carry earphones and pretend you are listening to music when you attract the attention of strange people on the bus and train. This happens a fair bit to me because I commute three days a week! You can buy them for every budget too prices are as low as £1 from the pound shop.


Coffee shop vouchers - Every mum loves these, especially as we are always on the run. How about getting a mum a coffee shop voucher to make her take time out and sit and have a coffee, hot chocolate or whatever her heart desires. Sometimes there is nothing better than drifting off into your own world and watching the world go by as you enjoy your drink. you can get vouchers from everywhere and it will make a mum sit down and take 5 minutes out. Personally I would prefer the Vodka from the first idea.


I hope this post helps and you find the best gift for the stressed out mum! Happy Christmas shopping!

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Creating A Simple Party Eye And Lip Look With Superdrug Products

Party season is soon going to be here and its one of the busiest times in Superdrug for cosmetic sales. Everyone wants to create the perfect look and wants the best products to do it. The best thing with a lot of the Superdrug own brand products is that they are fab for people on a budget. Its so easy to get a stunning look on a budget! As part of the Superdrug Blog Squad we were sent some Superdrug Lash glue, Superdrug lashes in number 302 and 303, B. lipstick in Mulberry Smooth and some B. Stubborn make up remover.


Monday, 20 November 2017

Tilly Is Not Letting Dyslexia Beat Her!

Monday morning and here I am feeling pretty smug as Tilly has had the most excellent weekend with her reading. It's a little over a little year that we discovered that Tilly had severe dyslexia. A year ago when she was in year 2, she was at reception level for her reading and writing. At a meeting last week we found out that she is now only a year behind. She struggled when she started in year 3 and it was heartbreaking to watch her cry everytime she had to go to school. To see her scared to do the tests when she has finished her reading book and to see her anxiety got through the roof. Then suddenly out of nowhere, she seemed to get the grasp of reading.... you know when they say that a light bulb suddenly switched on? Well, that happened!


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