5 Great Destinations to Teach Your Children History

28/12/2017

11 comments
Welsh castle


Travel is very important to us as a family, it's something my father was passionate about and growing up we luckily had the chance to travel to quite a few places, always visiting the major museums to take in the history and culture. Travel really is a form of education and is a chance to bring history to life, as much as we love to read there is something special about seeing things like the Mona Lisa in person. Becky from Baby Budgeting did a fantastic post recently on destinations to take your kids to educate them and with my two obsessed with Castle and historical landmarks I thought I would share  5 great destinations to teach your children history.


family adventure


1. South Wales, United Kingdom

I feel very lucky that I live in a country that offers such an array of historical landmarks, you may be surprised to hear that Wales has more castles than any other country in Europe! So you are really spoilt for choice if you decided to visit this small but action packed part of the UK. Of course there are castles dotted around all of Wales but the South has some very impressive ones including Caerphilly Castle which is the largest Medieval as well as Castle Coch and Chepstow Castle to name a few.


2. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is somewhere that is very high on our bucket list and I've heard is a great place to take children on a history lesson. It is the largest religious monument in the world and it attracts archaeologists and budding historians from all over the world. The temple complex takes up 400km in the province of Siem Reap and the temples were originally built as Hindu monuments before it became a religious area for Buddhists. There are more than 50 temples with the tallest tower being 213 metres tall. It is considered one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and there are plenty of great places to stay near the complex. 


Cambodia
  


3. Yorkshire, England

The English county of Yorkshire is well known for its many beautiful and historical towns which are brimming with Viking and Roman historical monuments. Visit the Jorvik Viking centre in York to see a stunning recreation of Viking life, and don’t forget to have a look at the gothic style York Cathedral which has beautiful ceilings.

Visit Aldborough to see the 1st Century site of the city of Isurium. You can trek in Yorkshire Dales National Park and see ancient buildings like the 12th century Bolton Abbey Estate. A few other places to visit are the York Castle, Royal Armouries Museum, Scarborough Castle and Bempton Cliffs. If you have time, you could also explore other historical areas in England; there is plenty of child friendly accommodation and attractions to keep your kids entertained throughout the country and I highly recommend you check out Babyfriendly Boltholes, a Welsh based family  -.


4. Pompeii, Italy

Another one for the bucket list, I have been to Venice and Milan but have always wanted to visit Pompeii which was destroyed by the eruption from Mt Vesuvius in 79AD. The city dwellers were all killed and preserved perfectly in ash. You can still see bodies of people and animals, pottery, furniture, glassware, and art from this time period. There are also some buildings and original streets that remain. Although visiting this ancient historical site is a little morbid and perhaps suitable for slightly older children is does provide a fascinating insight into what life was like nearly 2,000 years ago. 



Czech Republic



5. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, the stunning capital city of the Czech Republic and one of my favourite places in Europe. The city is filled with cobblestone streets and alleys, historic buildings, and many areas of historic significance. Explore the Old Town where you can see Wenceslas Square and the medieval Astronomical Clock.

Walk across the pedestrianised Charles Bridge and see the beautiful statues of Catholic saints. Explore the stunning beauty of St. Vitus Cathedral and its outer buildings. Visit the National Museum that was built in 1818 to view the nearly 14 million items that are on display here. 


Travel education

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A Christmas Shared

25/12/2017

6 comments


Well can you believe it, almost another year down and I'm still here doing what I love and sharing our  favourite moments with you all and I just wanted to stop for a moment and say thank you to all those that have followed my blog along on my little journey in this somewhat crazy world. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not I hope you have all had a wonderful past couple of weeks, enjoyed and embraced the company of friends and family, have managed to find sometime for yourself amounts the festive madness and are looking forward to the New Year with renewed positivity.

I look forward to sharing more of our adventures, my on-going minimalist challenge and hopefully a house move will be on the cards soon as well. Also remember to just take it easy, you don't have to have everything planned as life itself is such a gift just try and find the happy in whatever form that may take.






So from my family to yours hope your 2018 is full of wonderful experiences and with all the positivity we find comes naturally around the festive period I hope this follows you into New Year as well. I'm looking to reading everyones inspiring posts going forward because as we all know January really is a going month, feeling refreshed and moving forward and often the time people feel full of fantastic ideas. Just remember enjoyed the ride.

Also if you are at all interested in what we got up to in the run up to Christmas do check out my little vlog below, we had some wonderful days out locally and further afield and visited one of our favourite places - Puzzlewood as well as embracing the snow



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Visiting London - 6 Activities Your Family Will Love

24/12/2017

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Family Travel London



If you are a regular reader to my blog you probably already know we visit London a couple of time a year, usually with the kids and with so many families flocking to the Capital over the Festive season and New Year I thought I would share a few family friendly activities you should check out while there.  London is an exciting city and there are so many things for a family to do there. Exploring this city is like peeling the layers off an onion, but you will never reach the centre because there are so many things to do.

The fact it's so accessible and easy to get to via trains, buses and If you are planning on flying into London, then Heathrow or London City are the nearest airport's. There are excellent public transport systems from both the main train stations and airports, however if you are going to be arriving at rush hour, then it might be best to avoid the packed commuter underground and take a taxi instead, I highly recommend booking in advance if your travelling with children especially if it's been a long trip.

Once you are all settled and checked into your hotel and are ready to head out here are six activities that you and your family will love.

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds is a wax museum in London founded by the wax sculptor Marie Tussaud in 1835 but it was moved to its current location in 1884. It displays wax replicas of famous personalities such as historic people, politicians, movie stars, and musicians. The statues are remarkably lifelike and you can take selfies with all of your favourite icons from different eras. The Wanderblogger has a great review on her blog so do check it out.


Kids at Buckingham



Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is such an iconic landmark that will fascinate both children and adults. You don't have to fork out the admission fee to explore the palace (although a tour including the throne room is amazing) to be inspired by this place. Located just in front of the Victoria Memorial with it's beautiful sculptures and pretty fountains as well as being right next to Green Park and St James Park means there is plenty of space for children to run and explore making this a fantastic free sight and walk around on a dry and sunny day.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is home to 80 million historical items that you can view on a tour of the museum. It is the 4th most visited museum in the world and there are great areas to visit like the Darwin Centre, The Attenborough Studio, and the Geological Museum. Best of all is it's free to enter and children will happily explore this treasure trove of exhibitions and displays for hours. It also has a very popular Dinosaur exhibition which both of my boys love and I highly recommend you factor this into your trip as you won't be disappointed.



Mammoth Skeleton



London Eye

The London Eye is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe and it is a fabulous way to see the iconic landmarks from a bird’s eye view. The ride takes 30 minutes and you can sit in the comfy capsule or walk around it to see Big Ben, The Parliament Buildings, Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the river Thames, and many more iconic landmarks that this beautiful city is known for. It is a little pricey but the views are incredible and if your short on time and want to at least view most of the famous sights then this is a great way to do it. 

Harry Potter Tour

The Harry Potter films and books have captured the hearts and imaginations of people from all over the globe. You can take a “Making of Harry Potter Tour” that allows you to explore film sets, see props, costumes, and discover the secrets behind how some of the special effects were done. There are also several walking tours that you can take like a “A Muggles Guide to Harry Potter”, or taxi tours with your own private guide. 


Vintage Train signs



London Transport Museum

This is a great little family friendly haven right in the heart of Covent Garden and is particularly good if you know you are going to be visiting the capital again as the ticket is valid for a whole year. The London Transport Museum offers a lot of interactive displays and exhibits and offers up a hands on learning experience all about the transport system across the capital. Kids can have a go at pretending to street the Thames Clipper as well as sit behind the wheel of a London Bus. 


Despite London being a Capital city and of course can be very pricey there are still plenty of free attractions as well, I wrote a post a while ago about our 3 favourite free things to do in the City so do check that out. 

West Wend London

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5 Places in Italy I want to share with my kids

23/12/2017

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Italy is an amazing country with spectacular coastlines, fascinating cities, and exciting history to explore and a place I have been lucky to visit more than once. The country is known for its spectacular food and vibrant culture and it is a great place to visit with your family and a country I long to explore more with the boys. Here are the best places in Italy I want to share with my family and you should too.


Amalfi Coast

Thousands of families travel each year to Amalfi Coast. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is filled with panoramic views of the ocean, limestone cliffs, and houses nestled on the hillside. You can explore the coast by car or boat and visit locations like the Gulf of Salerno, the Cathedral of St Andrews, Capri, grottoes, and the charming towns of Ravello, Amalfi, and Positano. There are many great places to stop and be amazed by the scenery. Be sure to try the freshly caught seafood that the
area is also known for.




Vatican City

The Vatican City is in the city of Rome and it is a separate country. It is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and it is filled with rich history and stunning architecture. Be sure to go on a tour to find out everything there is to know about this incredible tiny city. St. Peter’s Basilica is a stunning cathedral and the dome dominates the Rome skyline.

Visit the Apostolic Palace to see the Sistine Chapel and the stunning mural by Michelangelo. Be sure to visit the Vatican Museums and the Vatican Gardens. Do some research before you go because there are passes and tours available that allow you access to areas not open to everyone and you can also skip the long line ups. 




Italian Lakes

We are looking to possibly visit the lakes sometime this year and it's somewhere that have been on my bucket list for a long time. There are many beautiful lakes in Italy to explore, most of which have facilities for swimming, kayaking, bicycling, windsurfing, trekking, and exploring the lakes by boat. Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and there are several islands to explore, stunning views of the mountains, and fascinating towns to explore like Riva and Torbol.

Lake Como is in the Lombardy region and it is an area that is often frequented by celebrities. You can rent a Lake Como villa with a pool and Olivers travels have some great options so if you enjoy swimming whilst being surrounded by views of stunning snow-capped mountain ranges than this is the place for you. If you’d prefer a to stay by a lake a bit further south, then visit Lake Bolsena which is a crater lake in the centre of Italy and has islands like Bisentina that you can travel to by ferry.




Florence

Florence is known as the birthplace of the renaissance and you can view beautiful art by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Donatello. The city is also known for its fantastic shopping and you can pick up goods by fashionistas like Gucci, Cavalli, Emilio Pucci , and Ferragamo. Via de' Tornabuoni is a great place to go shopping and you can hire personal shoppers to help you avoid crowds. There are plenty of fabulous places to stay and great restaurants to indulge in.

Puglia

Puglia is the heel of the boot in this boot shaped country and it is the perfect place for kids. It is famous for its hundreds of kilometres of coastline along the Mediterranean, large farms, and it’s beautiful hill towns. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Alberobello where you can see the trulli buildings and their unique cone shaped roofs.



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Style - Staying Cosy this Winter

22/12/2017

9 comments

short hair


As some of you may know I set myself a Minimalist Challenge this year and it's something I am still working on and will continue to work on throughout next year, I've realised it's a really big lifestyle change and can't be done over night and with two young kids it's something that takes time. I've made big improvements, you may have seen my recent Minimalist Inspired Bathroom vlog and I am slowly moving through the house. 

I have also changed my spending habits and been more selective about the clothes I buy as well as decluttering and getting rid of things I not longer need or use. I have sent so many bags full to the charity shops but it's also made me realise I was in need of some updated pieces to see me through this change in the season so I thought I would share a post on my new favourite pieces I have picked up to keep me cosy this winter. First up is this stupid knitted jumper from Mango, for years I avoided the higher roll neck but recently I have found myself liking them more and more. 


winter fashion
Wearing - Mango Jumper, Karen Miller trousers, M&S boots


I also picked up these simple and stylish maroon boots from M&S, they are super comfy and pair up so well with black jeans and have become a real staple to my wardrobe. When it comes to make purchases I am trying to not be so swayed with trends but rather with longevity and how they will work with the rest of my wardrobe in the hopes of creating a very usable capsule collection. 


Christmas jumper
Wearing - Topshop hat & scarf, Jaeger jacket, Royal Legion Jumper, Kanken bag


If you live in the UK you would of been aware of the flurry of snow we had earlier this month, now I am very much in the snow loving camp. Having grown up in South Africa snow is very exciting for me so of course we spent as much time outside building snowmen and throwing snowballs as possible. Being outdoors when it snows however means lots of layers and I'm so glad I picked up this Bobble hat and Scarf from Topshop a few weeks before hand. I was also sent this wonderful Christmas jumper from The Royal Legion Poppy Shop where a donation is made to the Poppy Appeal with every purchase. 


joules
Wearing - New York Laundry jacket, Joules top, Max Studio trouser, M&S boots


I of course got drawn into all the festive fun and fashion and you may have seen this striped long-sleeve tee from Joules on social media and I just love it and I know I will be wearing this again next year. What is your favourite winter and festive fashion piece? 


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India should be on everyones bucket list - What to see & Do

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India is one of those places that draws everyone to it, as long as I can remember I have wanted to go, as does my mother and thats the thing it's alluring for all ages with so many exciting historical temples, buildings, and natural wonders as well as the famous railways. The country has more than 5 thousand years of history to explore. From the research I've done it's clear that the government is putting a lot of money into promoting tourism and it is a great time to visit this exciting country. Here are the experiences that all at the top of our bucket list


Safari in Gujarat

Gujarat is known for its lion conservation. Visit the Gir National Park, Devalia Safari Park or Lion Safari Camp to see the spectacular lions in the forest. Visit the Velavadar Park to see antelopes like the Blackbucks and Nilgais. You can also see wolves, jackals and striped hyenas. Take a trip to the Khijadia Bird Sanctuary in Jamnagar which is a breeding ground for purple moorhen, pheasant-tailed Jacana, little grebe, black-winged stilt, and coot.






Marvel at the Taj Mahal

Agra is the home of the stunning white marble Taj Mahal. The building was built as a monument to his third wife by Shah Jahan. It has been declared on of The New Seven Wonders of the World and it is a beautiful building with 4 minarets and 4 stunning gates. You can hire a personal guide, go on a guided tour or explore the area at your leisure.

Beat the Heat in Shimla

Shimla is a hill station in Northern India that you can take the train to or fly from Delhi. It is nestled in the Himalayas and the temperature is a lot cooler than many areas in India. It is a great place for a honeymoon, a couple’s getaway or just a break from the heat. You can go trekking and fishing in the summer, or skiing and ice skating in the winter. There are also plenty of temples and natural areas like waterfalls to explore. There are plenty of great accommodations to stay in and it is nice area to relax in on your visit to India.




Explore the Golden Triangle


The Golden Triangle of India is comprised of 3 cities: Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Agra has the world famous Taj Mahal to visit. Delhi is the capital city of India. You can visit the stunning architecture of The Lotus Temple, view the parliament buildings, and see India gate which commemorates the Indian soldiers killed in the First World War. The Red Fort is an amazing complex with several different styles of architecture that you must visit. Jaipur is known as the “Pink City” and it is popular for luxurious palaces and forts. Visit the Jantar Mantar, a UNESCO World Heritage site, City Palace, Jaigarh Fort, Jal Mahal and Albert Hall Museum.

Exploring the Backwaters of Kerala

Kerala is in south western India and exploring these tranquil backwaters on a houseboat is something you should add to your India itinerary. Spend your days relaxing on pristine beaches, viewing natural scenery and looking for elusive wildlife. There are different sizes of houseboats to rent and you can make it a family trip or have a romantic couple’s experience.




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Solvaderm’s Eyevage Review: How Safe and Effective Is This Eye Cream?

21/12/2017

4 comments
short hair



Get rid of all aging signs effectively.

Wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines among other imperfections may be signs of ageing, however, if you start realizing these symptoms earlier than you expect, it can be a little unnerving even if you do embrace a more natural approach to growing older gracefully. In truth nearly all of us simply wishes to maintain a youthful age for as long as they can manage.

I find after hitting my thirties it's certainly something I think about more and I have made a few lifestyle changes of late to hopefully natural slow the process as well as making myself feel more energetic and healthy. Number one has been making sure I stay hydrated and drink enough water as well as making time to be active each week and lastly considering using some skincare anti-aging products such as the Eyevage which is a recognized as one of the best eye cream in the market.

What is Eyevage

Information about anti-aging products sold out there emphasize on the anti-aging creams that are applied to the face. These may include facial cleansers and toners. However a lot of these products cannot be applied directly to the sensitive parts around the eyes despite the fact that such parts are prone to developing fine lines.

Eyevage is a special type of skincare product formulated for use around the delicate and sensitive part of the eyes. The cream is purposely meant for these specific parts because they are more sensitive than the rest of the facial skin. Eyevage is also dermatologist recommended so should be suitable for those who struggle to find skin-care that doesn't cause a flair up



eye cream




How does Eyevage work?

This product is formulated using active ingredients that are known to help improve the delicate skin around the eyes in a number of ways. Regular application of Eyevage plumps the skin, getting rid of fine lines and wrinkles as well as lifting the sagging skin and reducing dark circles around the eyes. Among the active ingredients used in the formula are

Arnica Montana extract- This is an anti-inflammatory that helps to reduce puffiness

Phytonadione - This is a form of vitamin K that helps to get rid of dark circles around the eyes and enhancing the elasticity of the skin around the eyes preventing the skin from sagging and eventually getting rid of the aging signs.

• Oxidoreductase - These are enzymes that fight cellular changes and minimize oxidative
stress-soothing any kind of irritation while adding hydration to the skin around the eyes.

Apricot Kernel - This ingredient is essential in providing a protective barrier against all forms of environmental damage to the skin. Traces of Squalane also help to boost moisturising of the areas around the eye.

Soybean protein and hydrolyzed rice bran protein - These two ingredients work together to enhance circulation and restricting blood capillaries that cause under-eye darkness. The ingredients also fight free radicals that cause skin damage thus protecting the skin against further aging.


What makes Eyevage the better option?

Eyevage is dermatology recommended and has effectively helped many people to get rid of fine line around the eyes. Besides, Solvaderm goes ahead to provide a 60-day money back satisfaction guarantee. During this period, consumers have the opportunity to see whether the product is effective and working for them, provided they are using the product as directed.

The most crucial point that makes Eyevage a better option is the fact that it is formulated using only natural ingredients that have been keenly selected depending on their anti-aging properties. This guarantees that there will be no side effects from using this product even on the most sensitive areas around the eyes.


Does Eyevage Really Help to Reduce Wrinkles and Fine lines?

Eyevage is formulated using only natural ingredients that have been keenly selected depending on their anti-aging properties to help get rid of dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and nearly all customers have reported positive improvements. This is backed up by there 60-day money back guarantee which I think is pretty bold of them to offer and also shows they have faith in this product too.

Benefits of Eyevage:

This eye cream is formulated using pure natural ingredients. This makes the product safe for use without having to worry about possible side effects. The ingredients have been professionally selected and scientifically proven to have the strength and anti-aging properties. In case of any concern, you are free to contact the company directly using the provided contact information.


Disadvantages

Regarding the effectiveness of Eyevage, there is no single disadvantage that has been reported so far. However, no free samples are provided as is the case with some skincare products sold out there.

Conclusion

Do not let wrinkles and fine lines lower your self-confidence as a woman; control your premature aging signs or even reverse them by using the right skin care products. While some of the facial creams promise the best results, it is not safe to apply them directly to the areas surrounding the eyes because the areas are sensitive and delicate while the creams may prove to be too harsh for the specific areas.

Instead of using such creams, you rather need to opt for an option like Eyevage which has been proven to be an effective anti-aging serum applied around the delicate areas around the eyes to minimize signs of aging.



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6 Incredible Reasons to visit Sri Lanka in 2018

20/12/2017

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Sri Lanka is one of those far flung places I have always dreamed of visiting, so different to life in the UK and a place I would love to share with my kids as it's such  a beautiful country a holiday here will be filled with visiting cultural attractions, stunning beaches, and exploring the beautiful nature of the surrounding areas. Here are 6 incredible things to do in Sri Lanka and why you should visit in 2018

Explore World Heritage Sites

There are 7 UNESCO Heritage sites in Sri Lanka. Visit the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa that has monuments built by the Chola dynasty, Hanna from Hanna Travels has written a really good review of it. The Ancient City of Sigiriya is 180 metres high and has a series of staircases and a step well. The Golden Temple of Dambulla is a cave temple complex with Buddhist mural paintings. Old Town of Galle and its fortifications were built by early European settlers in Sri Lanka. The Sacred City of Anuradhapura was built around a ‘tree of enlightenment’, the Buddha’s fig tree. The Sacred City of Kandy is a sacred Buddhist site and you should visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic that has a sacred tooth of Buddha preserved in it.





Get Involved in a Volunteering Programme

In Sri Lanka there are plenty of worthwhile volunteering programmes to get involved with, I wish I had done one of these when I was younger, or perhaps I will when the kids are a bit older, Oyster offer some really meaningful programs with something for everyone.. One of the most popular is to look after elephants. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has been open since 1975 and the elephants are allowed to roam freely. You can volunteer and do chores like prepare their meals, help maintain their stalls, work in the garden where there food is grown, and help clean up after them. At the end of each day you can go down to the river with them and play games with them while they have their daily bath.

Join a Bicycle Tour

There are many interesting bicycle tours that you can join in Sri Lanka. You can cycle around colonial cities, along mountain roads, through ancient forests, and tour ancient ruins and small villages. This is the perfect way to work up an appetite so you can make the most of the delicious Sri Lankan cuisine.

Walk Through National Parks

Join a walking safari through Uda Walawe National Park where you can see elephants, sambar deer, wild buffalo, sloth bears, water monitor lizards, crocodiles, mongooses, snakes, jackals, and more than 200 kinds of birds. You can also visit the Horton Plains National Park which is a large preserve of stunning waterfalls, grassland, gardens and mountains. Wilpattu National Park is a great place to see stunning lakes and elusive leopards. 




Visit the Beautiful Beaches

This small island nation is known for its stunning beaches. There are many different beaches and you can find beaches that are filled with resorts and exciting activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing, and football. You can also find beaches with very little development where you can just relax in pristine quiet. Some of the popular beaches are Unawatuna, Bentota, Galle, Tangalle and Weligama. Mirissa is a great place to go for a quieter beach and you can also head out whale watching from here.

Stay in a Treehouse

Visit the Tree House in Ginigathena which has cottages built nearly 10 metres off the ground. The tree houses are connected to each other with separate wooden bridges and each house can accommodate two to three people with attached washrooms and private balconies. You can indulge in jungle trekking, river swimming and diving. There are campfires at night and you can explore the jungle during the day to see birds, wild boars, hares, and porcupines.




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The Bump Bundle Review

19/12/2017

16 comments
Stretch Mark Cream


Having gone through two pregnancies and being the mother to a toddler and 7yr old I found that there were certain things that personally helped me through each journey even though both were quite different. Not only is your health important but so is your mental wellbeing and having a monthly box full of treats that are tailored to each trimester is something I certainly would of welcomed.

There are a few different subscription boxes out there but The Bump Bundle is truly unique in that is not only is it full of luxury products but each month it also provides you with an essential formula of vitamins, which helps ensure you receive your daily intake of important nutrients throughout your pregnancy and come in a handy dispenser. The formula contains Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Iron and Zinc along with a separate Omega 3 tablet. Of course with any supplements if you have any underlining conditions than consult your GP but this essential formula was very similar to the pregnancy Vitamins I took during both of my journey and helped to keep my energy levels up thus making this a very useful monthly subscription.


Pregnancy box



So what else did my box contain? Well beside the Essential Formulas there was also some healthy recipe cards and ideas and a detailed Due Date Calculator which alone is worth £4.50 and you can use it throughout your pregnancy to work out how your baby is developing and how far away from you due date you are.

Now moving on to the lovely treats in this months box and they really are lovely, first is two Chocolate Caramel Smoothy bars from the Grown Up Chocolate Company which are hand made in the UK with Fairtrade milk and are absolutely delicious. These pair up perfectly with the Heath & Heather Organic super seeds tea in the box which if four are naturally caffeine free and perfect for a little time out before your new arrival hits the scene.


Bump Bundle


What I really like about The Bump Bundle is it has mum in mind and offers some indulgent goodies that are for mum during this special time that encourage relaxation and moments of calm. There was a beautiful Bath Tea Bag which is handmade in the UK with essential oils and sea salt with of Lavender, Patchouli and White Tea alongside a Starskin Hydrating Face mask to help your face feel more rejuvenated and supple.

Inside the box was also two 30ml Anti-streach mark cream from the Nature based British skincare brand Bloom and Blossom and this is more than enough to get you through one month. I am a huge believer in Anti Stretch mark cream and used it throughout my pregnancy and it really helped to prevent stretch marks and this cream is really on the higher end. To top off these pampering time-out products is a book of Mindfulness with simple meditation practices to help you live in the moment.


Memory Jar


The last item inside the box is beautiful Memory Jar which you can use as a time capsule to full up with memories and moments you want to relieve in years to come and I love this idea. We have a gratitude jar at home where we put a little piece of paper every couple day inside with simple things we are grateful for and really like reading these back so I wish I had done the same during my pregnancies.

Personally I thought this box was really useful especially as I often forget to restock on vitamins during my pregnancy so having them delivered each month is perfect for keeping on top of it. Also the products inside are well curated and thoughtful and perfect for each stage. These boxes start as low as £30 and you certainly get more than that in terms of value of each box so if your expecting do check out The Bump Bundle and my vlog below to see more of whats in the box



Thanks to Bump Bundle for providing this box to review 
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Your Home Improvement Guide for the Holidays

18/12/2017

6 comments

Christmas door



The holidays are just about here and if you happen to be the host this year, you’ve got a lot of preparing to do. Most people, when they think about preparing for the holidays they consider things like changing out the d├ęcor, choosing a menu, buying drinks, and selecting gifts for their guests. Although they are all key components to having a successful holiday gathering there are some things you’ll want to do beforehand. Check out this holiday home improvement list below:

1. Prepare the Exterior

Though putting up lights and other holiday decorations may be what you’re most excited about there are some things you want to do beforehand to prep the exterior of your home for your guests. This includes making sure there is enough space for parking, removing any snow, ice, or debris from walkways as well as anything hanging from the roof that could potentially fall, and installing security lighting for latecomers so they can get to the house safely. You can also get your garden in check for the winter seasons and I recently wrote a post on how to prepare your garden for this time of the year.

2. Check the Stove

It may not be the first thing that springs to mind but you’re going to be cooking a lot this holiday season and the last thing you need is for the stove to stop working in the middle of preparations. Our worktop stove gave up the ghost a while back  To ensure that your holiday meal gets cooked without issue, it is ideal to have your stove and oven checked in advance. Ensure that the oven’s temperature is correct, and no additional parts are needed for it to work efficiently. As many appliances come with service contracts and warranties, you should be able to have it inspected and repaired at a reasonable price.


Christmas time




3. Have the Chimney Serviced

While many newer homes in the UK use central heating or have done away with their fireplaces this is certainly not the case for all, in fact my mother has a lovely fireplace which makes for the perfect spot to cosy up against in the winter and is a great way to warm up a room. While drinking hot chocolate next to a fire is a quintessential festive thing to do you want to ensure that you don’t end up causing a house fire, however, it’s probably a good idea to have your chimney inspected, cleaned, and if necessary repaired.

If you live in an area with harsh winters like the Scottish Highlands you probably are aware of the importance of maintenance but if not Creative Masonry and Chimney repair offer a free consultation. They have the manpower to thoroughly inspect, clean, and repair your fireplace or chimney in time for the holidays. They will ensure that the fire burns brightly while you and your loved ones are safe.

4. Stock-Up the Bathroom

One of your most used rooms is the bathroom, especially if your having guest over this Christmas. While we have minimised our bathroom a lot we still make sure we are fully stocked up when it comes to basics cosmetics and toiletries. So even when your running around doing to Christmas shopping or getting ready for New Years do make sure you have enough soap, hand towels, toilet paper, and air freshener for your guests. If you’ll be having overnight guests you’ll also want to make sure you’ve also got extra toothpaste, toothbrushes and guest towels.


bathroom in eaves


5. Child-Proof the Home

While you may not have small children, if your guests do, you’ll need to be prepared. Though you don’t have to get as detailed as you would if a young child were living in your home you do want to remove any obvious means of danger and child-proof the home for the holidays. Here are a few things to think about - remove easy access to cleaners, medications, and other hazardous chemicals. Install gates to prevent children from entering areas of the home that aren’t safe. If there will be a lot of kids in the home, it may be safer to child-proof one room in the home and make it the kid’s zone. This way, they have a designated area to play safely.

Sure, you’re excited about decorating your home for the holidays. However, if you to be the best host for the holidays, it is imperative that you complete a few home improvement projects before your guests arrive. The above-mentioned tips will ensure that your guests feel safe and comfortable while creating new memories in your home.
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The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide and Giveaway

14/12/2017

312 comments
Christmas snow
Wearing my Poppy Appeal Jumper 

Are you still running around searching for a few unique and original gifts for your loved ones this Christmas? Well look no further as I have an array of ideas from pocket money budget gifts to larger luxury ones. Don't forget you have until the 21st for first class postage and the 22nd for special delivery.

For Her I have put together a collection of both useful and practical ideas along with some stylish and luxury items. The Pukka Tea tea comes filled with herbal organic teas and is a great way to store your bags. I can also personally vouch for the new Tiana organic skincare range and The Oral Kiely Poppy bag donates a portion to the Poppy Appeal. If your really stuck for a gift pop over to BuyAGift which has a range of vouchers offering afternoon teas, adrenaline experiences and spa days.

Gifts for Her






1. Parks Winter Wonders Candle £30
2. Oral-B Genius 9000 Electric toothbrush £89.99
3. Pukka Christmas Collecting Tin £9.98
4. Charles Conrad Rose Gold Mesh Watch £199
5. Orla Kiely Swirl Poppy Juco Bag £9.99
6. Abbot Lyon Entwine Bangle starts at £29
7. Instax Mini £64.99
8. TIANA Organics Rose Coconut Anti-Ageing Moisturiser £17.99
9. Hema Weekly Diary £6
10. Puck Wanderlust Moon Mandala £40
11. Gear4 Victoria Geometric for iPhone £35
12. Nivea Shimmering Skin £12
13. BuyAGift Superwoman smart box £49
14. WhiteFlash Tacori SR13901 Lilac Blossoms Amethyst Ring £228

Next up is the mens gift guide, I find often people struggle with what to get their other halfs, Dads or siblings so here are a few fun ideas. There are also a few organic and ethical choices - Soap Daze is a small Devon organic soap company which is amazing and ethical retailer Thought have some beautiful note pads. Keep Cup is a great way at reducing buying plastic coffee cups as it's reusable and the Roxi JukeBox player will bring a lot of fun into your home.







1. The Poppy Shop Christmas Jumper £24.99
2. Thought - Collection of notes notebook £2
3. Soap Daze Black pepper and Ginger soap £8
4. Patagonia backpack £65
5. No7 Men Anti Ageing bundle £55
6. Bo Wireless headphones £249
7. Patagonia Let My People Go Surfing book £16
8. Roxi Electric Jukebox £149 
9. Desktop Arcade Machine £22.99
10. Natural Himalayan Salt Rock £13
11. Mens Jord wooden watch £162
12. Keep Cup from £8

My mini kids guide has a collection of wooden toys mixed with modern technology as well as gifts that offer an educational dimension to them while still being fun and engaging for young children. I am loving the cute organic clothes from Newbie and the sweet Dutch inspired city blocks from Hema. These small face paint kits from Snazaroo make the perfect stocking fillers and why not get your kids active with a skateboard or roller-skates from Skates.co.uk.  





1. Children Medication from the heart from £3
2. Fracture Skateboard from Skates.co.uk £49.99
3. Wooden Bunny Racer £16
4. Snazaroo Mini Face Paint Kit £2.99
5. Newbie Organic Hat £12
6. RCA Mercury Android Tablet £39.99
7. Drumming Solider pull-along £18.99
8. T-Rex knitted Dinosaur from £14.95
9. Little people Big Dreams Amelia Earhart £9.99
10. Hema Set of Wooden Blocks £12
11. Tumball Bead Stacking Game £17.99
12. Rio Milkshake Quad Skates £69.95
13. Deep Space Planetarium £22.99
14. Grimms Earth Blocks £21.95


In my honest option food gift are always a good ideas as it's something everyone can relate too and has favourites so here is a guide with someone for everyone from chocolate and coffee lovers to fans of liquor and craft beer. The Makers Mark and Four Roses Bourbon offer a smaller batch and unique option to other more mainstream bourbons and the Choc on Cho Brussels spouts are amazing. If you want to get creative why not pick up a Sushi making kit for two  or the British Heart Foundation Heartfelt book.





1. Vegetarian Haribo Giant Trees £3
2. Choc on Choc Brussle Sprouts £9.99
3. Hema Stovetop Espresso Maker £17.50
4. Qcumber Sparkling Water £2.39
5. Divine Chocolate Tasting Kit from Oxfam £5.99
6. Chocca Mocca real strawberries covered in white chocolate £5.99
7. Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon £25
8. Best of British Beer Festive Beer Crate £42.50
9. BHF Heartfelt Healthy Recipe Book £14.99
10. IL Gusto Christmas Tree Gingerbread Liquor £17.50
11. Guylian Mug & Hot Water Bottle Chocolate Winter Warmer £19.99
12. Yutaka Sushi Making kit £9.99
13. Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon £26.95
14. Hema Wine Rack £12


Small Gifts and Stocking Fillers

One of my favourite things to do it put together stockings, I love small gifts and finding fun and unique fillers for the kids and my other half. How cute are these wooden dominos and wooden airplane. For older children they may enjoy the grow you own crystals and for adults some mindfulness books.


1. BFH Dechox Travel Mug £5.99
2. Back Rescue Chewing Gum £4.99
3. Grow your Own Crystals from Prezzybox £4.99
4. Time Bomb Hand to hand combat hand cream £7.25
5. Joy of Mindful writing book £8.99
6. Janod Magnetic Plane £15.99
7. Jo & Co Rainbow Zip House £13.50
8. Hema Wooden Dominos £3.50
9. Coco Loco Hair Spritz £6.95
10. Cool Doodles English Breakfast tea £6 
11. My Year in Small Drawings book £9.99
12. Botanics Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm £8.99


If your looking for a treat for the whole family Cyber Jammies offer some amazing mix and match Pyjamas for the whole family and I can personally voucher that they are well made and excellent quality and a great family treat. 

Cyber jimmies


One last gift for those who travel a lot or work as digital nomads than the Riut Bag is a must have. It's a secure backpack with all the zips hidden against your back and space for carrying a laptop in a way that can't be pick pocketed. They are constructed with waterproof material and fit as carry on luggage. 








Under Lucky Stars create beautiful Star Maps which show the unique alignment of the stars in a place and time chosen by you - whether it be birthdays, engagements, weddings, a first kiss or just a special date you have in mind. There are 16 different designs, 3 sizes and 6 framing options - with free shipping on unframed prints, all over the globe!

Under Lucky Stars are the original Star Map company and the only one verified by a NASA astronomer! Check out the video below - these are really cool for any member of the family. 


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Gift Ideas when buying for couples

13/12/2017

9 comments
Drinks for two


When it comes to buying a gift for a couple it can be two times as difficult (if not more!) trying to please two people at the same time with one thing is a big ask but not impossible. If you do manage get the gift right, then you’ll kill 2 birds with one stone which can potentially save you some money and stress.

As you get older purchasing gifts for couples becomes more of a regular thing as friends start to settle down and buying a wonderful gift for a couple that’s close to you can sometimes be tricky, since in most cases you’ll tend to know one person better than the other, so while you know how to make one person happy you will be less sure for the other. Well after a few years of having to navigate this situation myself I've decided to put a few helpful, original and amazing gift ideas together that I perfect for two.

Before we dive head first into these suggestions though it's not only Christmas that you may have to purchase a couples gift but also anniversaries, engagement parties, weddings or a new home so I've tried to find suitable ideas for all of these situations.


date lunch


Food’s up

For a special occasion it is always lovely to be treated to some fine dining, especially when you’re not the one that will be picking up the bill! And that’s why a gift voucher that’ll see them eating at their favourite restaurant or trying out somewhere totally new will be more than welcome. A romantic meal for two will give them the chance to enjoy some quality time together too.

If you would like to get them a foodie gift but want something a little different than a trip to a restaurant, then what about a sumptuous gift hamper, check my recent foodie hamper post for more ideas. Filled to the brim with their favourite treats and tipples, they’ll love this decadent gift that’ll let them feast in the comfort of their own home. We particularly recommend this type of gift for either Christmas or to celebrate moving in to a new home.


Chepstow

Just the two of us

With work, social and family life, it can sometimes be difficult for couples to make space in their schedules to enjoy some quality time together. This is so important for relationship happiness though, so why not encourage it with a gift that’ll see them spending time together without outside distractions. For a truly generous gift that they’re never going to forget, then we recommend a mini break away with a night or two in a beautiful country hotel. They can enjoy gorgeous surroundings, rambling country walks, delicious food and all without those mundane daily tasks.

In the same vein although on a slightly smaller scale (helpful particularly if they’ve got small children), what about a half day together at a local spa? Generously paid for by you, they can enjoy some seriously indulgent pampering together and are sure to leave feeling rested and relaxed. We enjoyed a lovely indulgent afternoon tea and spa treatment day last year as a couples date and really enjoyed it, highly recommended if you have children and just need a mini break. 



Wedding date


Hands on

Perhaps they always stick to the same routine, in which case, it could be time for you to shake it up a little, and what could be more novel than having them take a class together? And with such an endless choice, you’re easily going to find something that they’ll both enjoy. From pottery classes to sushi-making, acting, dancing, rock climbing and a whole lot more, this is a lovely way to have them spend some time together whilst also learning something new.

Snug as a bug

Most serious couples these days move in together whether they’re intending to get married or not, so a failsafe present can be something for their home. Maybe they’ve been talking about how they need this or that, or about how the place is looking a bit bare. And this is where you can step in with a lovely home gift.

Soft furnishings, wall art, furniture, lighting – have a good think about what would look just right in their home and that they’d both love. One of our favourite types of home gifts has to be a printed canvas with a prized family picture. It’ll be light enough for any wall (even in rented accommodation it can be attached with sticky strips) and it is a lovely way to celebrate their relationship.


lighting


Buying gifts for couples should be fun and leave you anticipating the great big smiles they’re going to have upon opening it. And even if you don’t have much time for trawling the shops, head online instead where it’s obviously quick and easy. If you were a fan of our tips and suggestions here, then we really recommend that you check out these gift ideas at Groupon too. They’ve got plenty of gift options to suit any couple, and of course all you have to do is click to buy. With exciting gifts like trips away and those fun classes we mentioned, you’re going to seriously impress any couple with your gift giving skills!


Couple love

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