Tenby and Kidwelly Castle



Every year during the colder months since I was 37 weeks pregnant with my now 3yr old we have visited Tenby for a weekend break, just to get away from the city and enjoy what has got to be one of the best coastlines in the UK. The pretty pastel houses that line the harbour and overlook the beaches never fail to make me feel joyful not matter how wintery it may feel. West Wales in general just seems to have this element of slowness to it, it seems less rushed and I find it's a great place to just recalibrate and enjoy some quality time with the boys.

We have been lucky that each time we have gone the sun has always shined and even though the temperatures are low at this time of the year seeing the sunshine is always an added bonus and meant two full days outdoors, on the beach, climbing rocks, eating good food and even though its only around two hours from Cardiff it really feels much further away.

We arrived just in time to catch the sunset from the beach and take a night time walk through the town before getting something to eat and heading to bed especially as we knew we would have an action packed day the next morning. The next day after breakfast we decided to head out first thing to make the most of it.

There are plenty of cute coffeeshops and places to eat in Tenby, we stopped off at Loafley, a bakery which sells fantastic sourdough and we stocked up before heading down to the beach. After exploring some of the cave inlets we decided to climb the stairs up to the top of Castle hill which overlooks St Catherine's Fort and also has some of ruins of Tenby Castle, you get some fantastic views from the top plus its an easy walk for young kids.

What we also love about West Wales is that there is always something new to explore as it's an area thats rich in history and culture. We have checked quite a few castles of the list but not Kidwelly Castle which we wanted to make sure we stopped by on our way home. Both of my boys love knights and castles, especially my youngest who can often be seen wearing his knights suit around the house.

We have visited many castles in Wales over the years, some have just been the remains and ruins of great castles others have been restored or well kept and nearly complete, each time you never really know what to expect so we were presently surprise to see how big Kidwelly Castle was and how much there was to see.

From dungeons to high towers Kidwelly has it all although do keep in mind that one of the towers is very steep and all you really have to hold onto is rope and very narrow stairs but saying that there is plenty for kids to see and standing among such large tower ruins you really get an idea of the grand scale of this castle. One of the rooms has a money pit which you can thrown coins into, another has some armoury for kids to get up close too. I would recommend you wear sturdy shoes if you visit Kidwelly as if the stairs get wet it can be slippery and it's pretty rugged as castles go.

You could easily spend a few hours here especially on a warm day as the castles is set in a beautiful green area near a river with some walks so you could make a day of it. There is also a small gift shop just next to the castle and while we only drive through Kidwelly it looked a very sweet town and somewhere we will come back to explore again at a later date. As always West Wales was a joyful two days and the perfect place for a staycation no mater what time of the year.

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Amazon Fire - The Perfect Tablet for Low Screen Families



I have mentioned many times on the blog that we are a pretty low screen family and while we do embrace technology when it comes to our kids its done in a very moderate and measured way. We aim for little to no screens Monday to Friday but we are somewhat more relaxed on the weekends allowing for a movie night or if it's pouring down and we have exhausted our creative outlets than some educational apps.

As a family we have always been passionate about getting outdoors and not being tempted to stay in to watch something although I do see the benefits of allowing some screen time but the idea of my 7yr old having access to the internet and user uploaded sites such as YouTube despite parental controls does make me break out into a sweat - so where is the middle ground when it comes to allowing your child some freedom as well as opportunities for online learning but still keeping them safe? Well we have been reviewing the Amazon Fire for Kids tablet and for the first time I feel that this tablet really does have parents in mind.

Amazon fire for kids

So what is different about the Amazon Fire for Kids? Well each child can have a profile and in my sons profile he has access to hundred of age appropriate apps and shows such as horrible histories and The Gruffalo but he doesn't have access to an internet browser, YouTube or the ability to purchase - this means he can still make choices, choices which have been carefully selected and I as the parent have piece of mind that he can't have anyone message him, spend money or be able to search for anything that may not be appropriate.

Other features that I like about this tablet is the easy to use time moderation where you can set how long they can use the tablet before it turns itself off. If you have children who have issues with giving their tablets up this is a good way to introduce time limits. In terms of durability this tablet has been designed for kids in mind as it comes in a kid-proof case as well as a 2yr worry free guarantee so if they break it Amazon replaces it.

Amazon fire tablet

So what we have decided for now is to keep tablets mainly for when we travel, which is fairly often and also for when we are eating out somewhere were we know the service will be longer than normal, this has worked really well for us as it means they have something to look forward too at times that it may become boring or we will be travelling for a few hours. This past week we took the sleeper train to Edinburgh as well as spent a night in Shrewsbury - a 3hr drive away. It was nice knowing that they had something to break the boredom that was safe and in many cased educational as well.

I was kindly invited by Mumsnet to try out the Amazon Fire For Kids tablet - words and thoughts 100% my own 
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Feeling Overwhelmed? A Minimalist Lifestyle May Help



There are many people who believe that cutting down on the clutter in your surroundings can help you to cut down on the chaos you feel in your mind. If you have a home that is filled to the brim with belongings, you may be overwhelmed and feel trapped without even knowing it. The following guide walks you through a few things to know about living a minimalist lifestyle.

Why Do People Choose a Minimalist Lifestyle?

There are some people who choose to live a minimalist lifestyle so that they can focus on things that they feel are important in their lives. The fewer items you have to take care of, the more time you can focus on other things.

Some people choose to live as minimalists so that they can use their money more efficiently. Being able to save their money and allows people to be able to go and do things that they would not be able to do if they lived a lavish lifestyle that required them to spend massive amounts of money on belongings instead of experiences.

How Can You Start a Minimalist Approach to Life?

If you feel that minimalism may be a good option for you, consider starting off small. The first thing you can do is chose to invest in items that are efficient and serve multiple purposes. You can choose to have dimmable lighting installed in your house so that you do not need to have ample lamps placed throughout the rooms. Lighting that can be dimmed allows you to have ample or low lighting in the house as needed.

Invest in furniture that can serve multiple purposes so that you can have fewer items within the house. Items that nest or fold up are often great for a minimalist household. Rather than having a guest room in a minimalist house, someone may choose to have a futon, foldout couch, or Murphy bed available for guests to sleep on.

Reevaluate the Belongings that You Have

When you want to live a minimalist lifestyle, that means that you have to get rid of items in your home that do not serve a purpose. Most minimalists do not have clutter and Knick knacks throughout their house. They have only items that they actually need so that there are not ample things to dust that never get used.

Go through your belongings and consider what items you have not used recently or that do not serve a purpose. You can have a yard sale to get rid of them or donate them to a local charity so that someone else can enjoy them if they are not damaged. While everything in your house needs to serve a purpose when you are a minimalist, you also need to make sure that you do not have a surplus of the useful items. If you do not have dinner parties often, you do not need to have a ten-piece place setting stored in your cupboards. Evaluating what you really need will make decluttering your house easier.

If you want to start living a minimalist lifestyle, it is best to start off slowly. Get rid of a few items every week until your home reaches the minimalist look that makes you feel most comfortable. Once your home feels less cluttered, you should notice that you feel less overwhelmed overall. Freeing up space in your home may be able to help you free up some space in your mind, as well.

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5 Family Travel Bloggers you should follow


family travel

Travelling with kids is a unique experience and is certainly different to my free soloing backing days around Europe. There are logistics and practicalities that need to be taken into account as well as having an itinerary planned that is suitable for everyone. No country or city is off bounds all you need is a little inspiration and these 5 fantastic family travel bloggers will give you all the wanderlust you need while showing you family travel is possible from long-haul to short haul, city breaks, rural adventures, staycation, camping and everything in between so make sure to check them out.

One Tiny Leap

family travel

One Tiny Leap is an award-winning family travel blog charting the world adventures of Maria, her partner Rob, and their son. Maria, a marketing manager in the travel industry, has been blogging since 2013, when the family decided to pack up their bags, live in Lisbon for a year, and then embark on a year-long round-the-world trip. Now based back in Brighton in the UK, One Tiny Leap continues to share tips, stories and reviews of their travels and adventures, both close to home in Europe, and further afield.

You can follow One Tiny Leap on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

POD Travels

family travel

Charly is an ex-agency Marketing Director with 20 years experience in the marketing industry. She’s worked with numerous travel brands over this time having initially cut her teeth at Virgin. Charly is well travelled, not just in the UK and Europe, but long haul destinations such as New Zealand and the Pacific Islands to the Caribbean, South America and Australia where she lived for two years. Charly launched her first blog (Multi-Award Nominated parent & lifestyle blog PODcast) in 2012, family travel blog POD Travels followed 3 year later. Both are heavily led by photography. With the Doves travels focused on discovery, adventure and exploration, the family particularly relish unusual or off the beaten track destinations. Charly lives in Surrey with her husband and seven year old daughter.

You can follow POD Travels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Have Kids, Can Travel

family travel

Have Kids, Can Travel is the place Laura (of award-winning parent blog LittleStuff) talks about all the family friendly travel; from wild camping in Wales, a sunshine stop in a villa in Italy or playing with orphaned elephants in the jungle, anything goes. She’s always on the hunt for the best places to stay, ways to travel, and bargains to be had for families finding their perfect holiday. Laura’s the writer of the tribe, while her husband Courtenay is a professional photographer and the four home-educated kids (now aged 19, 16, 15 and 11) are simply up for any adventure.
Popular posts include How Easy Is It to Take Your Dog to France, Perfectly Remote and Perfectly Relaxed in the Highlands, and Meeting My Roman Dog in Pompeii (yes. He’s all mine).

You can follow Have Kids, Can Travel on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and You Tube.

Bavarian Sojourn 

family travel

Emma started blogging back in 2009 when she first moved abroad with her young family. After two years of exploring Copenhagen and beyond they moved to Munich where A Bavarian Sojourn was born. This blog has a strong focus on family travel, and the youngest member of the family has already chalked up a respectable ten countries in his two short years. As well as family travel, the blog also contains valuable advice on living abroad. It now also contains posts on what it’s like to repatriate, as the family returned to the UK last year (who knows where they will end up next!). Follow their journey as for the first time in over 7 years they get to introduce their children to their own country, as well as carrying on their travel addiction further afield. Popular recent posts include: Hiking the Emerald Trail - Austria; A Morning with Pippi Longstocking at Junibacken Stockholm and An Ex Insider’s Guide to Munich with Kids

You can also follow Emma here: Twitter / Instagram/Pinterest 

Project Wanderlust

family travel

Established in May 2015, Project: Wanderlust is a travel and lifestyle blog focusing on inspiring, yet affordable, travel. Concentrating on family friendly adventures, Project: Wanderlust is packed full of destination guides, road-trip ideas, festival guides and top tips for those who are looking to get the most out of their time away.

Alice is a freelance writer, blogger and family travel expert with a passion for good food and seeing the world. With two children now in education Alice fits her family travels around the school holidays - and is always looking find the best deals for non term-time travel.

You can follow Alice here - Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

family travel

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Getting Married? A guide to finding the perfect venue



front door

As we move into spring and slowly closer to summer there are many looking ahead to their Big Day, having worked for a while as a wedding photographer after graduating and having attended a variety of weddings I thought I would put together some things I learnt about what does and doesn't work.

Planning your wedding is an exciting time but there’s always a lot to organise for the Big Day. One of the first decisions you’ll have to take is where to get married. Your choice of venue will usually be determined by 3 key factors: 

What sort of ceremony are you hoping for? 

According to recent figures, just under a third of couples choose a religious ceremony so if you don’t want to get married in a church, you could have a civil, humanist or another type of ceremony or blessing. 

The format of the day will set the tone for the mood you want to create. Generally speaking, formal wedding receptions are better suited to hotels or country house settings, while a laid back party is perfect for a renovated barn or a vintage style wedding tent

Small & intimate or are you planning a grand celebration? 

Having a rough idea of numbers enables you to choose the right sized venue, but don’t forget that the location and accessibility of the venue will determine whether your guests can attend. A destination wedding in the Caribbean is likely to limit your wedding guests for reasons of logistics and finance, while a chic city venue may be unsuitable for guests with kids. 

wedding settings

What is your budget for the venue? 

It won’t come as a surprise to hear that weddings can be eye wateringly expensive (although they really don't have to be). The latest research has found that UK couples spend an average of £27,161 on their wedding, with the venue taking up the biggest chunk of the budget. 

Of course, not everyone wants to spend the equivalent of the deposit on a house on their wedding so set aside a realistic budget and stick to it.  Local village halls or a marquee in the garden that can be customised and decorated to your heart’s content can be just as romantic as the pricier wedding venues. 

Once you’ve agreed on the ground rules, it’s time to look at wedding venues in a little more detail. The wedding industry has mushroomed in recent years, with an unbelievable choice of venues on offer where you and your beloved can tie the knot in style. To help you make the right choice, let’s take a look at the main 4 categories.

wedding dress

Traditional Venue
If you’re after a classic wedding with a religious ceremony in front of all your family and friends, followed by a lavish reception, choose a traditional wedding venue near your home. Local hotels, restaurants or halls offered for weddings typically offer full facilities.

The venue will be able to accommodate a sizeable number of guests of all ages and provide everything you could possibly need. From a full sit-down Wedding Breakfast to ample space for dancing and celebrating, it’s a one-stop solution for your Big Day. Choose a hotel and have overnight accommodation on hand for the bride and groom and any guests who have come from far away.

Destination Wedding

If you fancy getting hitched in a far-flung venue, there’s no shortage of exotic wedding locations to choose from to give you the occasion of a lifetime. You may have a connection with your chosen place – perhaps it’s where you first met, were part of the family lives or a dream location you’ve always wanted to visit.

From Hawaii to Las Vegas, Tuscany or Thailand, many resorts now target the wedding market, offering all-inclusive weekend, midweek or full week packages for everything from a welcome cocktail to a farewell brunch. Check with the resort’s wedding planner to make sure all local marriage licence rules are complied with, then stay on for the honeymoon.

Quirky Location

If you want to put your own stamp on the proceedings, why not opt for a more unusual choice of wedding venue? Perhaps you fancy getting married in a modern art gallery, a picturesque barn, or organise an outdoor celebration in a botanical garden, festival teepee or anything the imagination can think of.

The location is sure to make for a unique event, giving you a blank canvas upon which to realise your vision of your perfect Wedding Day. Yes, it’s more work – chances are that you’ll have to organise the entire event from scratch, including the catering, entertainment, sound system and any licences and insurances required – but the result can be a truly spectacular reflection of your and your partner’s personalities.

overseas wedding

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Let them Be Bored Challenge with Petit Filous


positive parenting

If your a regular reader to my blog you may remember a couple of weeks ago I wrote about how important free play is for our children especially as screens are becoming more prevalent in daily life. If your not sure what Free Play is all about it's pretty simple, you turn off the screens and let your children enjoy some unstructured play without you being tempted to dive in to direct it (of course if it's becoming unsafe you do need to step in), allowing them to learn through play. All you need to do is simply provide them with a safe space that will allow their imaginations to run wild, whether this be inside or out.

We are pretty low screen in our household as it is with having little to none Monday to Friday and a movie or two on the weekends. Outdoor play is something I am very passionate about although lately even I have felt screens have been creeping into our lives more than usual mainly due to all the wet wintery weather. So taking on this challenge I really wanted to focus on keeping screen time to a minimum on the weekend too, no matter how cold and miserable it may be and focus on quality family time, creativity and natural learning.

So this past weekend we set ourselves the challenge and while Saturday was pretty wet and at times very temping to pop on a film instead we it was lovely to see the boys actually play with their toys, get creative, draw more and they actually got on a lot better when screens where not an option, the environment was also calmer. On the Sunday we decided despite it being bitingly cold we wrapped up and headed to Garwnant near the Brecon Beacons for a hike and to allow the kids to take control of how the outing would turn out.

rope climb

Animal trail

My eldest had actually initially been hesitant to go out but once we were there they enjoyed it so much we struggled to get them to leave. We simply provided them with a space that was safe but inspiring and had a variety of options for play. They first spent an hour or so in the nature inspired play park and turned the rope ladder and bridge into a pirate ship climbing to the nest to see across the sea. They then wanted to head off on the animal trail through the woodlands with sticks in hand the pirate adventure continued. 



We generally find on our outdoor adventures we try to have it as unstructured as possible but even so especially when visiting somewhere new the urge to want to see and do everything can come into play and you end up rushing your kids, this time however we took it slow and at their pace and thoroughly enjoyed our walk. If you find free play a little bit too much indoors as it does mean embracing mess than heading outside is fantastic and good for the whole family. We ended the afternoon with some hot chocolates in the beautiful cafe overlooking the reservoir. 

Brecon Beacons

What have I learnt

During the Free Play challenge I had the chance to speak with Anita Cleare a parenting expert and co-founder of The Positive Parenting Project, I found our discussion really useful and insightful and she gave me some really good tips on structuring screen time better on weekends by still being very clear about rules when it comes to tablet use, making it something that was positive and moderated.  

I've also found that we often as parents complain our children don't play with all the toys they have, the ones we spent a fortune on but perhaps we are not providing them with enough distraction free time to do so. I found both of my boys have been far more creative, enjoying role playing and also being better companions with each other when a screen is no longer an option. 

free play

 The Petits Filous Play Free campaign is all about putting those screens down, getting creative, going with the flow and letting your children learn in a natural and unstructured way. We often underestimate how much children learn from doing thing themselves, from jumping in puddles we see cause and effect, from making dens they learn about spacial awareness and sometimes these vital skills are being lost when children are provided with too much screen time and now enough organic learning opportunities.

Petits Filous are also the perfect snack as they are a good source of  calcium and Vitamin D for healthy bones and teeth and also have no artificial colours, flavours or sweetness and no added preservatives. As part of a well balance diet these make for a tasty treat after a fun session of free play.

I’m working with Petits Filous and BritMums promoting the #PetitsFilousPlayFree campaign about the importance of free play.
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Great Weekend Reads for Home or On Your Travels


Books to read

I found last year I just didn't make enough time to read and I think there is something very relaxing, calming and positive about picking up a book and being immersed into a story and with this ever increasing manic world we live in taking a moment to just step back and detach yourself from the now and get lost in a book is very important.

I have put together a small reading list which I feel is doable even around working from home, travel and running after two small children. I have included a mix of fiction and non-fiction as well as one or two books to help keep me inspired and help with different areas of my life. So I thought I would share my reading list for 2018 with you and perhaps encourage you to take some time out and enjoy reading.

1. The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway

This is such a fantastic pocket sized book perfect for when your travelling, it's lightweight and less than 100 pages long and great if your taking a train across country or just going away for the weekend. Its said to be one of the best short stories Hemingway has written and is a classic fable of an old man, a young boy and a giant fish.

2. Our Lady of Alice Bhatti - Mohammed Hanif

I picked this book up at a second hand book sale as it really caught my eye. I love stories and tales based in India and Asia especially as that part of the world is very much on my family travel bucket list and I am really looking forward to getting started with this one. It's about a healer, ex-prisoner and now nurse working at a hospital in Karachi, her ways are unorthodox and so is her new relationship

3. Winter - Ali Smith

I actually started this just before Christmas but because everything was so manic at the time I decided to revisit it when life was a little bit more calmer. I have heard fantastic things about Ali Smith with her book Autumn being shortlisted for the Man booker prize and this is her follow on from there. It based around family, history and memory all woven and entwined with each other which is meant to be both warm and uncompromising.

Reading list

4.  Sweet Encore, a road trip from Paris to Portugal - Karen Wheeler

This is the perfect summer feel good travel book and documents Karen Wheeler a former fashion editor now living in France and her adventures from Paris to Portugal with her sixteen year old niece and dog called Biff. A 3000-kilometre round trip where they mingle with surfers, wander around Lisbon, spend time at a Ayurvedic spa in Madeira and learning why you should never argue with a Spanish waiter. It's fun, full of wanderlust and I am sure I will be wanting to pack my bags into my tiny car and hit the road.

5. Moominsummer Madness - Tove Jansson

I was given this book when we visited Helsinki for a week two years ago, we had been invited by the tourism board to come and discover the city and see what made it tick. When we arrived at the apartment this book was there and our host told me that Moomins to them was much more than just a cartoon but a sort of Ethos to life and that it was something both adults and children enjoy as there was many different levels to the messages of Tove Jansson. This is a fairly short book and a really positive one by the sounds of it that will be perfect for when head out on one of our many adventures we have planned this year

6. The Moneyless man, a year of freeconomic living - Mark Boyle

I have to say I have always been attracted to the whole sell everything you own, buy a bus and head for the sunset but of course one does have to be at least semi-relistic and I am currently really trying to declutter my life and make things more simple and Mark Boyle takes that a little further. A story of a social experiment of living for one year without money, trading for goods with skills, volunteering and learning to adapt and use what you have in a very economical and environmentally friendly way. I'm sure his story and what he learnt over that year can be adapted for modern living as well.


7.  Let my people go surfing - Yvon Chouinard

For those who don't know who Yvon Chouinard, a renowned rock climber, reluctant businessman,  founder and owner of Patagonia, an ethical outdoor brand and he is also a keen environmentalist, activist and all round solid guy. This book is a combination of an autobiography of his interesting life from where he started out as part of the original "dirtbag" climbers in Yosemite as well as a story of business and hope. I know I am going to feel really inspired after reading this.

8. Mindfulness for Creativity, Adapt, Create & Thrive in a frantic world - Dr Danny Penman

I felt last year especially near the end I felt very stressed and overwhelmed and this has an impact both on my physical and mental wellbeing as well as my work, social and family life. I had a lot going on of which much was not in my control and I am determined this year to not be the same as last and feel this book is perfect for putting things into perspective especially when your work is online in what is such an ever changing environment. This book is meant to offer a easy to follow four week program, that takes around 10-20mins a day and helps to clarify the mind and feel more in control, relaxed and inspired.

9. In My Heart - The Children Meditations - Gitte Winter Graugaard

So I thought I would add this book in as it's aimed for children but with the help of adults and both my boys need a little assistance at bed time to help them settle. This Danish book has helped thousands of children sleep and helps to create a calming atmosphere to the end of the day. The book contains four short stories for sharing together, they are beautifully written and help to re-enforce your Childs sense of belonging, self-love, gratefulness and empathy. You can pick this book up from Amazon.

Books to read

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How to keep your home Pest free

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cat in kitchen

The occasional bug, spider or little insect invading your home isn't anything too alarming. The warmer environment after we move from winter into spring, weather changes or an open door could have given them the perfect opportunity to rummage and explore. It's when they're frequent your home that you should show concern.

As long as you deal with the issue early on and don't let it become a problem but you and your home will be fine, saying that however if you allow pests of any kind to run rampant in your home not only do you risk the spreading of diseases but also possible structural damage to your house.

Having gone through many home renovations with my parents as I grew up and having helped John finished off his last home as well as nearly completing the house we currently own I thought I would share a few facts about possible pests you need to look out for and provide some solutions on how to keep them at bay, especially if you travel a lot and your not always home.

Common household pests include:

While many on this list are just irritating rather than causing a real issue the same cannot be said for termites which can shake the very foundation of your home. Or, how bed bugs can lead to a full sweep and removal of furniture, clothes, and other items throughout your home. So as I said don't leave things until too late, rather deal with the problem straight away. 


It's no easy feat eliminating them one-by-one. If you were to peel back the walls, then you'd be in for a surprise with how many critters are lurking. Plus, let's not forget what's coming in from outside!

How to Eliminate Unwanted Insect Guests

Minor infestations are easily manageable using insecticides, repellants, and traps found at your local hardware store. The main areas to look out for are attic crawlspaces, openings to the home, damp basement quarters and inside cabinets and storage areas
Got yourself a bigger problem? Then consider location as different places have different pests. You also need to consider your budget and whether to try deal with it your self or use a professional service.
It's best to understand the environment to create a better plan of action. Knowing the locale and the pests in your area will help eliminate these vermin before during peak seasons (where it truly becomes a pain in the rear). The pest control services in Northern Virginia will target different critters native to the area compared to those you'd find in different parts of North & South American and then again to those pests that causes issues in Europe and Africa.  

Preventing Visits from Uninvited Guests

Outside, you should take an active approach to management by removing anything attractive such as avoid leaving food out which encourage pests to come.

You'll also want to seal any cracks, holes, or other openings in the outside and interior walls. These crawlspaces are the perfect opportunity for pesky pests, like termites, to make their way into the foundation where they begin to do their damage.

white tiles

Consider these actions, too:

Keep ample distance between flora and your home since pests use these spots for habitation, the last cottage we lived in had the most gorgeous ivy over the back wall but this also became an issue for spiders as they loved to live in the ivy and come into our home. Avoid leaving standing water which many pests use for a breeding environment (like mosquitoes)
When it comes to inside try doing regular, deep cleans including vacuuming, scrubbing, and dusting the hard to reach spots which will help stop them spreading, as they say prevention is better than cure.

Clean the nature you're bringing into the home if you're privy to doing crafts with plants and other found items

With Pest Control: The Sooner the Better

No one likes opening their pantry to see a roach skitter away. Or, having to hop onto the counter because you saw a mouse streak by. Having to not deal with pests is one less thing you have to worry about. It's especially less of a hassle when you're out doing travels and not having to come back to a home that's overrun by vermin! The sooner you squash the problem, the better.

What do you do to stop pests from overtaking your humble abode?

alarm clock

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Positivity and the Power of using a Life Planner


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #CollectiveBias

girls with short hair

I'm going to level with you here between losing of good friends to illnesses last year as well as during the latter months struggling with stress, anxiety and anaemia I felt really burnt out by December and very much on edge. Christmas felt a bit like a tipping point, I had been working towards a calmer more minimalist approach to things and it felt like I was railroaded by others in so many ways, I felt I had to compromise way to much for others with little return, I put everyone else's needs before my own and my body suffered because of it. 

At the start of January, I had another emotional rollercoaster as I faced losing another one of my longest friends to a terminal illness and saying goodbye almost broke me but in reflection, I know events like this show how resilient we really are, as woman, as mothers, to carry on. I took a much needed fortnight off work, I didn't even take more than 5 days off work when I had my youngest nearly 3yrs ago so let's just say it was long overdue. 

This year I know things have to change, I have to find time for myself as well as prioritising things properly. I love my work but working from home around a family does take some organisation and I need to be more on top of that and cut out anything unnecessary out of my life. I feel there comes a point where you have to be a little selfish but selfishness doesn't mean being unkind or not compassionate about other things going on or happening to others, I mean it more in making sure I'm okay, that my needs are met too and also not to compromise on the things that are really important to me. 


Self care

On that note I felt I really needed more than just a diary to keep me on track but rather a life planner and daily journal space that will give me a way to reflect and realise what I want to achieve, big or small. Like I've said before I didn't make any resolutions but rather long term goals to work towards. I found the perfect planner from Paperchase which has 5 sections - Spending, Exercise, Mood, Dreams and Habits - all areas I want to work on.

It took me a while to find exactly what I was looking for, I visited a few different stores in Cardiff from independence to larger stores like Paperchase but the straight forward uncomplicated approach to this planner is what I love and how I want to approach the rest of this year. The Spending section will be particularly useful being self-employed I wish I had something like this in the run-up to Tax return this year. Also with regards to working from home and finding time for exercise is really important as it's easy to put work anything else and even though I spend a good amount of time outdoors with the kids I really want to start up Yoga again and this will be a good way to monitor that. Moods, Dreams (and sleep) and Habits are also areas I want to improve on and are often areas that are overlooked.

Life planner

Life Planners

I would recommend if you want to try a Life Planner now is the time as many stores are starting to get low on their stock especially if that have a Dated diary included in the planner. Paperchase had a variety some more targeted at Fitness, Travel or Food. I wanted a more general planner as I have a Traveller planner online which I find works really well for me at the moment. I almost didn't spot this planner as it was on the lower shelf but I am glad I stumbled across it as I think this small daily change and reflection is going to have a positive effect on my life, making me feel more organised, less stressed and able to visualise how I want the year to go. 

Power of using a life planner

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