Ethical Summer Style Inspiration


It's been a while since I did a summer style inspired post and even though I am still trying to minimalise my life I'm also in need of a few key pieces moving forward into summer that is fun, versatile and perfect for festivals, travel and exploring. I think with age I have become more experimental with clothing and as they say, fashion should be fun! I don't want to look back at photos and think all I wore was monochrome (as much as I like monochrome). Here are a few inspirational pieces I am loving at the moment and there is something for everyone's budget.

First up has got to be a pair of summer short dungarees by Lucy and Yak, I already own a longer pair which is great for colder months but now moving into summer I am loving these. They are practical yet fun and on trend and perfect for a spot of camping. They are also a Living Wage employer and have excellent fair pay and low waste credentials.

Tally Weijl

 An easy way to keep cool and stay cool this summer is with white buttoned playsuit from Swiss brand that is, their clothes are creative and well designed and at a very budget friendly price too with this playsuit coming in at £29.99. The company also has some pretty good ethicals as well with Tally Weijl banning plastic bags from all 870 stores a number of years ago and switching to only paper bags on top of that they also encourage their customers to bring in their old clothes into the store to be recycled. They are also an equal opportunities employer who employ a high number of female employees as well as striving to make coming back to work after motherhood as smooth as possible.

ethical clothing

One of my favourite ethical companies is People Tree and I am loving this collaboration with BBC Blue Planet, I mean how sweet is this eco-white organic cotton tee with shark illustration. What I really love about People Tree is how passionate they are about fair-trade and they know exactly who and how their products have been made. 

Surfers against sewage
I thought I would add one for the kids because how sweet are these Tootsa Surfers Against Sewage collaboration t-shirts which is currently on sale at £14. Printed on 100% organic cotton, proceeds from the sale of this tee go towards the environmental charity that is surfers against sewage. We are huge fans of Tootsa which unisex kids clothing company that creates some wonderful colourful clothing for children and doesn't separate sections for girls and boys (just how it should be). 

This list could go on and on and on but rather highlight 4 things I really love than 10 that are just okay because when it comes to any purchases in life I always say less is more and investing in a decent item is better for you and the environment than buying loads. Hope you liked my mini summer style inspiration post and if you have any suggestions please leave a comment as I love to discover new brands. 

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The Big Retreat Wales 2019 - Review



West Wales Festival

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If you have visited my blog before you may already know that not only do we love to travel but we also love camping at festivals over the summer and we kicked of this summer season with a real corker that was The Big Retreat Wales, which in my opinion has one of the best locations, in West Wales.

Before I get in too deep about our time at the festival I would like to explain a little bit more about The Big Retreat as it's not what you would normally expect, in a good way. The Big Retreat otherwise know as The Feel good festival, is all about getting active, wellbeing and also finding space to relax and enjoy the moment. It's a weekend to try new things, connect with other like-minded health inspired peers and soak in the West Wales landscape. Now you may be thinking that a festival that focuses mainly around health, wellbeing and fitness activities wouldn't be that family friendly but you couldn't be more wrong and here is why

Retreat Festival

Family friendly festival

Family friendly festival

Location and Campsite

The Big Retreat is located in the UK's only coastal national park in Lawrenny in the heart of Pembrokeshire, one of our favourite places in Wales and if you haven't been to this part of the UK then I do recommend it as the coastline is incredibly beautiful. While the festival encourages car sharing there is a carpark within a walled garden, right next to the festival.

What I really like about The Big Retreat was the size, it's not overwhelming and everything is close together. As I was at the festival on my own with the two boys this was a worry for me but I really needn't have worried as the campsite is only a 5min walk from the carpark and 1 min from the festival site, making it one of the easiest festivals to navigate with no long exhausting walks involved.

The campsite also has great facilities and is perfect for families, lots of fresh taps and running water, plenty of well-kept toilets that are regularly cleaned and refilled with toilet roll, as well as hot showers. You can also opt for a glamping option which is what we did and had a Bell Tent with futon beds and while we camp a lot this one of the most comfortable festival experiences I've had, we all slept so well.

Glamping bell tent

Kids camping

Family Friendly Festival Features

While the Big Retreat is a small and more intimate festival it still offers so much to keep children entertain and involved. Kids have their own timetable of activities on offer including family Yoga which we took part in, as well as bushcraft skills, crafting & art club sessions and evening kids disco and bedtime stories. On the campsite, there is also a football pitch and as the weather was lovely and warm kids from across the campsite came to play in a game of football, including my eldest, which was a lovely change to make new friends over the weekend.

Besides the activity timetable, there is also a dedicated kids area which included circus skills, trampolines, rope powered swings, sandpit and climbing frame and of course plenty of space to run and explore. The music lineup was also well thought out and family friendly and each night we really enjoyed sitting and tucking into some freshly baked pizza while watching the live acts.

There wasn't ever a point in the weekend when there was not something going on but at the same time we didn't feel overwhelmed by it and I loved the focus on the simple and natural things and as always a lovely step away from technology. My son also loved the Surfers against Sewage tent which encouraged children to make things out of plastic found at local beaches as well as educate them about reducing plastic. Another bonus is all these activities are included in the price of the ticket.

Kids trampoline

Wooden swing boat

Crystal sun catcher
My eldest holding up the crystal suncatcher he made.

Food and Facilities

This year there were plenty of food options for the whole family and for all dietary requirements including lots of vegan and vegetarian options from sustainable and local providers. The wood-fired pizza oven was a hit of course as well as the fresh vegan falafel wraps, Halloumi burgers and fresh fruit juices on offer. There were also plenty of places to grab a snack from the Handlebar Barista (a local to Cardiff), cashew nut ice-cream and baked goods from Ridiculously Rich Cakes to name a few and of course a Gin Bar which I may have sampled once or twice over the weekend.

The site again has great facilities in terms of freshwater stations, clean toilets and there was also a clear focus on being as low waste as possible with food retailers using biodegradable packaging and reusable cups as well as plenty well-marked bins across the site.

Ice cream festival

Handlebar Barista

Live music wales


We had a blast, it was the perfect kind of weekend for us, relaxing and inspiring but also with plenty to see and do in an unrivalled location. Unlike other festivals, it's a far more relaxed atmosphere where savouring the simple things in life is at the forefront, thinking mindfulness and meditation followed by some freshly pressed fruit juice, an inspiring talk in the talk tent of cooking tent then warming yourself next to the firepit and enjoying some fantastic live music from the small but perfectly formed main stage.

This festival has certainly captured a special place in our heart and if you're looking for a festival that really does offer something for both you and your kids then I highly recommend The Big Retreat.

Early bird tickets are already on sale for 2020 and a reduced rate, although this won't last forever. Also, children 5 and under go free and 6-17yr at a very budget-friendly concession rate.

Feel Good festival

Disclaimer - I was offered tickets in exchange for an honest review, words & thoughts 100% my own
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Check Your Car Tyres before Going on a Road Trip


friends cars

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Summer is here and for many that means a family trip - whether you’re heading off for a family adventure, exploring somewhere new or you’re heading across the country to see extended family or join in with a special celebration, travelling a long distance with kids can be at times a rather stressful affair. We already have a few planned for the summer including heading down to the coast and towards Kent and Essex. Growing up in South Africa our closest major city from Cape Town is an 8 hour drive away so I quickly got use to long durations and wanted to share a few key tips and hacks you can employ to make the trip that little bit less stressful.

1. Have a clear and straightforward route

It's really important when travelling with kids to plan your route well. You, of course, need to know your final destination and how long it's going to take to get there as well as pre-planned put stops and possibly somewhere you can stretch your legs for an hour or so, that way the kids can run off some steam. It’s important that your car tyres should be properly checked before hitting the road while driving in Essex or other local areas nearby. In the UK we usually try and stop off at a National Trust site or Cadw sight when on a long trip - many can be found near the motorways and they usually have a coffee shop and toilets as well as space to run around. Also as much as I love maps (and we always carry one) I do recommend having a Satellite Navigation of some sort as they are pretty reliable these days and can pre-warn you about any traffic jams up ahead and how to avoid them.

2. Check your tyres

The one must-do thing before leaving on any trip is having your car checked over, change the oil & water. Most importantly make sure your tyres are safe and of good quality. It's surprising how these things can be overlooked - in fact, I had a flat tyre last week and that's only a few months after buying my car. Making sure your tyres are in good condition not only makes your trip safer but also smoother. There will usually be a specialist in your area and yes it's always worth the money when it comes to these things and if you're looking for new tyres in Essex – you can visit Jet Wheel Tyre and they should also be able to give you advice on keeping your tyres well maintained. 

festival road trip

3. Get yourself car breakdown cover

If you want to prevent stress then do yourself one favour and get your car covered with breakdown cover. It’s important to always keep an extra car tyre to ensure you won’t face much trouble while travelling. Once we broke down on the way to Cornwall a few years back, it was the height of the summer season and luckily we had AA but still we had to wait for two hours on the hard shoulder with two small children but at least it didn't cost us a small fortune which is what happens if you do breakdown but you don't have cover - you have to pay huge premiums for on the day assistance.

The key with any road trip is being prepared as it most likely will all go smoothly but it may not - pack and extra pair of clothes for the kids in case one of them has an accident, make sure you have a first aid kit as well as an extra 2L bottle of water for the car as well as Oil on hand. Know your route and also have a paper map in case your Sat Nav fails you but most of all just try and chill out and enjoy the ride.


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Tips for keeping your phone charged when travelling


phone travel

We use our phones more than ever and they tend to go with us pretty much everywhere these days, especially when we travel as it usually doubles up as a camera as well. However when we travel there will be occasions when you're not going to be near a charger especially if your camping.  If you are sick and tired of your phone dying whenever you're on the road or exploring somewhere new have nothing to worry about. Those days are long gone because there are plenty of things that you can do to try and preserve your battery.

Use the Original Charger

A lot of people buy spare chargers when going abroad. This is great, but there is a high chance that your phone battery is suffering as a result. If you do not use the original charger then your device won’t charge as quickly, and you may even find that it depletes faster. This can cause you major issues when you are abroad, so make sure that you take your original charger with you.

Turn On Airplane Mode

Airplane mode can save you a huge amount of battery. You don’t just need to use it when you are on the plane either. You can use it when your phone is getting low, or even when you need to conserve your battery for a long period of time. Airplane mode essentially stops your phone from trying to find a signal, and when you turn off your GPS and Bluetooth as well, you will soon find your phone can go for hours longer than usual.

Use Dark Wallpaper

The less pixels your phone needs to light up, the more power you will ultimately save. This rule also applies to apps, as well. If your app has a dark theme, it will also help to conserve your battery life. If you want to help yourself even more here, then it helps to lower the brightness of your screen as well.

using a phone

Uninstall as Many Apps as you Can

Uninstalling your favourite apps can be a difficult task, but you can easily go without them in most cases. If you are concerned about being disconnected from everyone then you have nothing to worry about. It is more than possible for you to invest in an iCloud mail set up for your Mac. That way, you can handle everything without any concern of your phone battery.

Download Content before you Go

It’s so important that you download as much content as you can before you go. This will save you from going online and trying to find everything there, and it will also make it way easier for you to stay entertained on the go. This will save battery, as you won’t be loading up data all the time. If you do need to watch things on the go then it may be a good idea for you to invest in something like a portable DVD player so that you can conserve your phone battery.

Buy pocket chargers

You can now pick up small pocket charges for a very reasonable amount although I would recommend staying away from pound stores and investing in a decent on which can charge up your phone fully, more than once. These can be a real lifeline when your travelling and I now pack 2-3 every time we go camping or to a festival as this will usually cover me for a few days when I combine it with the tips above. Here is a guide to some of the best portable chargers out there.

Having a mobile that is always low on battery can be frustrating when you are abroad. You may even find it difficult to take the photos you want as well, but with these top tips, you can be sure to not only save your battery but also eliminate the stress that comes with it running low.

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Tips on saving for the school summer holidays



Bournemouth Alun Chine

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Can you believe the summer holidays are nearly upon us, while it's a time that both my kids and I look forward to all year but in all honesty I am also guilty of having that feeling of slight dread, not because I find having the kids at home all day hard (I love having them at home) but because of the financial implications it has, as like many I work, freelance and from home and on top of losing any day time working hours during the summer holidays it also happens to be one of the most expensive times of the year - not a great combo when your earning the least but spending the most.

No matter what your situation whether you work full time, are a single parents, a freelancer or a stay at home mom, I thought I would share a few tips on how to have a little bit more in the pot when it comes to the summer holidays, even with only a few weeks to go.

Empty the penny Jar

We have a big penny jar where we pop our 1p, 2p and 5p coins and we empty it twice a year - just before the summer holidays and just before Christmas and while these coins on their own have very little value you will be surprised how quickly it adds up - within around 6 months we usually have anywhere between £45-70 in small change which we then take to the bank. This is a really nice little bonus with no work or time going into it and it equates to a few ice-creams when at the beach or coffee and cake stops when we are out on our adventures.

saving money

It's not too late to put money aside weekly

With a few weeks to go it's still not too late to tighten your belt and go without your daily coffee or weekend bottle of wine and put £10-20 aside each week and if you do have a partner get them to do the same. Even in this short space of time, together you can save over £100 which can really come in handy over the summer, even if it just means it will help cover petrol and parking for those free days out at the local park.

Make a clear summer bucket list with mainly free activities

For big attractions, summer is their biggest earner and can sometimes hike the prices up which is why we focus on mainly free things to do in summer with the odd special paid-for treat. We make a clear list of things we want to do, some of our favourites are - geocaching (the app is free to download), hiking up local peaks (just pack a picnic), trips to lesser-known (and less crowded) beaches, gardening and playing in the garden, visiting local country parks etc.

eating apple

Check online for discounts

The great thing about the internet is the easy access to online discounts for everything from cinema trips to amusement parks, so if you are planning on some day trips over summer it's really worthwhile searching for online discounts which can save you up to 50% off making it far more affordable. There are also a few websites which offer discount cards for £1 for the first month and you can cancel at any time - Day Out With The Kids offers this kind of membership with 35% off cinema trips it's worth taking the £1 deal for a month over summer.

Break up the summer with a budget friending camping/glamping or YHA stay

If you haven't booked a trip abroad this summer don't let yourself get down when your seeing everyone else swanning off to sunny destinations. My kids love staycations and will never turn down a couple of nights under canvas or exploring the coast and countryside of the UK. Camping can be a very budget friendly option with some pitches only costing around £12 a night - you just need to do some research. Websites such as Groupon often have excellent glamping deals over summer and it's worth checking out. We are also huge fans of YHA for a quick night away and last year we had a brilliant stay in St Briavels castle - yes a castle, in the Wye Valley which cost only £35 for the night!

Glamping Cwmcarn
Glamping in Cwmcarn Forest 

Have a budget and stick to it

No matter what kids cost money so having a very clear budget for days out is really important as it can quickly spiral out of control. There are easy ways to reducing extra costs, many which I have listed above but also always take your own food, remember to pack those reusable water bottles are buying drinks out can quickly rack up an extra £15. Make sure you research places before you go for any hidden costs and if you can do put a little aside for those treats such as ice-cream at the beach - it's often the small things that go a long way and to a child who doesn't have much concept of cost, an ice-cream or a big meal out are the same things so just make sure to focus more on the small. 

Get family and friends to help if you have to work during the holidays

Like I said the summer holidays can be an expensive time, many of us work and are unable to take 6 weeks off, instead, it's about finding a workable balance and you may have to work for some of the duration of the holidays and summer clubs can be incredibly expensive. This is the time to call in favours and if you have grandparents that are able to step in, don't feel bad about that. My two boys go to my mothers once or twice a week in summer and it's a real lifesaver for me to catch up on work during the holidays. Another option is sharing childcare with friends, perhaps you are able to just work part-time and you can babysit your friend's child on the days you are free and visa versa. It's always worth checking out as many options as possible.  The less stressed you are the better you can enjoy the moments you have free with your kids.

caravan glamping
The boy's grandmothers are a huge help during the holidays.

If you are struggling financially explore options

Things like the school holidays shouldn't be stressful or cause real financial constraint but for some it really does, we all go through up's and downs but it's really important to talk to people, this could be friends, family or places like the Money advice service. Talking to your bank can also be an option although not everyone has ideal credit and you may not be looking for a long term commitment to cover the 6 weeks of the summer holidays. There are some well-established and reputable short-term loan lenders on the market and as long as you have read all the terms and conditions and know you can make the repayments a no credit check loan could be a good option depending on your circumstances.

At the end of the day, the school summer holidays should be a joyous time and you really don't need to be splashing the cash to have a good time as some of the most simple joys cost nothing. Get outdoors more, embrace nature more and focus on quality family time, plus putting down the phone and screens is a good idea too, especially if you start to get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that we have some good weather.

school holidays

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A Family Travel guide to Guernsey



Kids in Guernsey

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As you may already know we recently visit Guernsey, the second largest of the Channel Islands, a place on a bucket list we were keen to tick off and it didn't disappoint, we had an incredible time and one we won't forget for a while. Being well travelled and having visited over 25+ countries I can honestly say Guernsey is something special and I know we will be back as it truly offers that relaxed island life without the long-haul stress, so if you're looking for a Brexit-proof break this summer then I highly recommend you consider the Channel Islands.

I would say that reading up before you go anywhere is essential but if your planning on visiting with your kids, even more so, as you need to know there are going to be the right facilities and what to expect. Now what I loved about Guernsey was the lack of takeaway chains restaurants, garish seaside arcades or multi-story soft play centres - instead, the focus is far more on embracing nature, getting outdoors and enjoying the simple things, which is what we love. However, some places are naturally more family-friendly than others on the island so I thought I would share my guide to getting the best out of your stay in Guernseys.

Family travel Guernsey
My son in a disused canon at Clarence Battery, just above the coastal bathing pools

Getting there


We took the high-speed Condor Ferries service from Poole to Guernsey, with a sailing time of only 3hrs! The big benefit to taking the ferry is you can take your own car and even though there is a bus service on the island, having your own car massively helps.

You can of course also hire a car on the island and if your time short and really want to make the most of your stay you really do need to have your own set of wheels. Our ferry crossings both left and arrived on time, the staff were very professional and friendly and the ships have good facilities to help make your crossing as comfortable as possible including wifi, kids TV room, viewing platform, a duty-free shop, a well stock bistro and bar and a guaranteed seat for every passenger, plus the option to upgrade. The trip out what a bit chopping so if your prone to seasickness than I do recommend using Sea-bands which helped with both my son and I, as well as drinking real Ginger juice, although our crossing back was so smooth and very enjoyable.


There are quite a few airlines that fly from the UK to Guernsey and Jersey although the Islands actually have their own airline called Aurigny, which flies daily to both London Gatwick and Stanstead as well as 6 other smaller airports across the UK. The prices are in general really budget friendly and this, of course, is the quickest way to get to the Islands and perfect for quick weekend breaks although if you plan to stay for more than a few days I would highly recommend hiring a car so you can explore more of the island.

Guernsey travel guide

Where to stay

I can personally recommend Les Rocquettes Hotel having stayed there 3 nights with my two young boys and it's perfectly located within walking distance of St Peters Port. It's a 3-star hotel but certainly packed a punch with the facilities as there is free parking on site, a relaxing family-friendly lounge, a reasonably priced Bar with children's menu, as well as an upmarket restaurant. You also have access to the Health Club with an indoor heated swimming pool (and kids pool) which my boys loved and there is also a quiet and well-contained garden to the back of the property.

Our room had a comfortable king-sized bed along with a pull-out sofa bed, as well as all the normal amenities such as a coffee station and TV, as well as Wifi but with all hotel Wifi, it can occasionally be a little hit and miss.

There are also some great Wood Cabins and glamping options at Fauxquets Valley Campsite, which also has an outdoor pool, kids' outdoor play park and far animals as well as La Bailloterie Campsite which offers a tranquil tea garden, Boules, mini golf, and an outdoor play area complete with a premium stand bag. These are both great budget-friendly options but still keeping comfort in mind and perfect for families.

If camping or glamping is not your thing Visit Guernsey has an extensive list of the accommodations available on the island, from high-end hotels to Bnb's and self-catering, there is something for everyone's needs and budgets. 

Where to eat

Crabby Jacks, Vazon Bay

Crabby Jacks is probably the most family-friendly restaurant on the island and a fun dining experience with friendly out-going staff and a well-rounded home-cooked menu including vegan options. I loved the colourful surf-inspired interior and located right next to the beach in Vazon Bay and the kids' eyes were on stalks when they saw the massive ice-cream menu. I went for the vegetable fajitas which were delicious and the kids enjoyed pizza and hot dogs. It is slightly on the pricey side but a great treat for the whole family when you're on holiday.

Cafe Delices, Market Street, St Peters Port

Hands down some of the best Crepes I have ever had and well worth the wait as the first time we visited all the tables were filled but after a little stroll around the cobbled streets of St Peters Port we made out way back to Cafe Delices and managed to grab a table. They offer a variety of sweet crepes and savoury galettes as well as omelettes and salads and some excellent coffee. Great place for a lunch stop, and bonus they don't use any single-use coffee cups either. 

Cafe Delices

Dix-Neuf, Commercial Arcade, St Peters Port

This all-day cafe restaurant welcomes families and we popped in here just before our return crossing back to the UK. It is located in the heart of the capital, on one of the quaint streets with bunting hanging across it and has a lovely al fresco terrace to hang out in and people watch. I had a delicious French Onion soup while the kids enjoyed some pastries, the staff were welcoming and the atmosphere was nice and relaxed, a great little place to wind away the day.

Richmond Kiosk, Vazon Bay

Inevitably you are going to spend a lot of time at the beach if you visit Guernsey and with most bays having a little Kiosk it would be wrong not to indulge in some locally made Guernsey Ice-cream. What I love about Richmond Kiosk is that is had a seating area so you can avoid the sand while you and also that they offer up a surprisingly good variety of choices for lunch including baked potatoes and pulled pork baguettes, as well as veggie and vegan options, all being very budget friendly too.

Guernsey travel guide

What to see and do 

We really wanted to focus on getting outdoors, discovering the history of the island, connecting with nature and allowing the boys to enjoy those moments of carefree childhood joy in the simple pleasures. Of course, there are tons of things to do in Guernsey but here are the ones we enjoyed the most.

La Vallette Coastal Bathing Pools

With the weather being warmer and milder in the Channel Islands it means you can have more fun enjoying the simple pleasures such as swimming outdoors and not just outdoors but in a sea pool! The La Vallette Coastal pools have a fantastic view of the sea and Castle Cornet. The pools are free to use and have changing facilities.

The Little Chapel, Saint Andrew

No visit to Guernsey is complete without visiting one of the worlds smallest chapels. Created by Brother Deodat in 1914 the chapel is decorated with seashells, pebbles and broken china and it really is quite breathtaking how beautiful it is. The boys and I loved wandering around it looking at all the pretty decorations and intricate details. It's free to visit by leaving a donation goes back into helping to restore the Little Chapel.

Wild swimming

Guernsey travel guide

Explore Fort Hommet and The Gun Casemate Bunker 

For those who don't know Guernsey was occupied by the Germans in WW2 with many coastal bunkers and forts remaining as a permanent reminder of this prominent time on the island's history. Fort Hommet is a large fortification on Vazon Bay headland and a fantastic place to explore with kids, overlooking the ocean.  Next to Fort Hommet is the Gun Casemate Bunker which is open from April-Oct on Tues and Saturday with a nominal entrance fee. The kids were really keen to go inside one of the 21 Fortress bunkers built on Guernsey and this offers an interesting insight to the history of this time without being overwhelming.

Get on your skates at Beau Sejour Skate Park

Located right new to the island Leisure Centre which itself has an indoor swimming pool, cinema and cafe. If you take the ferry to the Channel Islands like we did, we made sure to pack the kids scooters so they could enjoy one of Guernsey latest additions that is the large concrete skatepark. With a bowl, street course, mini ramp and many features for beginner to intermediate it's a great space for skaters, inline, scooters and BMX.

Beau Sejour Skatepark

Walk across the causeway to Lihou Island

If you're looking for a family-friendly adventure then pack your sandwiches and water bottle and head out across the causeway at low tide to small tidal Lihou Island. You need to check the tide times before you go as you will only have a limited time to make the crossing which takes around 20mins (longer with small children). Once you are on the island which is rich in marine and birdlife, you are free to run around as there are no cars or roads. There are ruins of a Priory on the island and are worth visiting as well as the famous Venus Pool. I highly recommend this mini day adventure, just make sure to take a picnic along with you and you know the right times to cross.

Take in 800yrs of history at Castle Cornet

The castle which sits proudly in St Peters Port is one of the islands main landmarks and while the entrance is more on the pricey side but the Castle is much bigger than it appears and also includes five museums and four-period gardens and more than enough to spend a few hours taking it all in. Kids will love the firing of the noon-day gun by scarlet-clad gunners followed by a living history performance as well as many other activities on offer.

Castle Guernsey

Causeway Guernsey
On the causeway from Guernsey to Lihou Island

Other things we really enjoyed doing during our time on the Island was Fort Grey, Candie Gardens, Clarence Battery,  the small Aquarium housed in a tunnel used by the Germans, Pleinmont Observation towner and the Petit Train. There are also plenty of beaches to explore, 27 in fact and spend the whole day simply building sandcastles and going for a swim.

Guernsey is also great for those with older children or if your there on couples break and want to try something new such a surfing, kayaking, sailing or stand-up paddle boarding or if relaxing is more your thing then why not visit on the islands spa's for a treatment.

We really enjoyed our time on the island and are already planning a return trip, especially as there are 5 off-islands to visit and explore and feel we have only just scratched the surface of what makes this very special place tick.

Travel Guernsey

This blog post was written as part of my Press Trip with Condor Ferries to Guernsey, words and thoughts my own. 
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Is It Time Your Kids Had A Little More Freedom?

young boy

I eldest is going to be turning 9 this year and I am starting to feel a real shift in how he perceives his place in the world, our family unit and himself. He is not old enough to do things unsupervised as of yet but I can see the beginnings of wanting a little bit more independence. While I actively encourage my boys to take calculated risks such as climbing trees, making dams in rivers, exploring the outdoor world and their surroundings, I am always in close reach, in fact nearly all playdates with the except of one or two when I've known the parents for a substantial time, I have been present, even birthday parties are mostly with parents present. Although the change is slowly starting to happen, for example, he has yet to do a sleepover but I can imagine that it will be the first request of the small step to independence and it's made me think about the future.   

One of the hardest thing for a lot of parents to come to terms with is just how fast their kids grow up. After all, it can feel like one day you're cradling this tiny, fragile thing in your arms and the next they're heading off on their first day of school. However, one mistake that a lot of parents tend to make is that they try to stop their child from growing up too fast and can unintentionally end up smothering them. The truth is, as much as we don't always want to accept it, is that, as your kids get older, they're going to want more freedom and you need to be willing to let them have it, within reason. With that in mind, here are some ways I am trying to prepare myself for the future to allow my kids to feel like they can have personal growth and the freedom to do so while still being safe and well looked after. 

Kids travel

Sleepovers with friends

I feel that this is going to be the first thing we will have to negotiate. At the moment the only sleepover he has done has been with his younger brother at their grandmother's house which of course is very familiar to them and I am always on hand and can be there very quickly if something goes wrong. Of course, his first sleepover will need to be with one of his longer known friends and someone he has built a solid friendship with as well as myself knowing the parents having done playdates before and that trust has been built up. My son at the moment is not a great sleeper and doesn't like the dark so I feel these things need to improve first and I am sure they will with age. I just feel this one will need to be carefully planned and well throughout so that all parties are happy.

A phone they can use when going out with friends unsupervised

While I know many parents allow their children to have phones at a young age and I know their reasons will be justified, as it's a personal decision, for us it's something we are going to hold off on for a while to come. While my son won't have his own phone for a few more years we will probably get a spare phone that he can use when he starts to go out with friends unsupervised or on sleepovers, so that he can get in touch with us quickly. A phone can be a great tool and an extra measure in their personal safety so when the time comes we will get a basic phone that cannot connect online with a very simple and straightforward plan such from someone like  SMARTY Mobile. That way you can be sure they're not racking up huge bills but still means we can contact them easily. 

Going out alone

Again we are a few years off from this but the idea of your kids walking around out in the world unsupervised is one of the scariest things there is for a parent but it's an important milestone that you all have to reach. As I've said above, the great thing about the modern era is that it has never been easier to keep in touch with your kids when they're spending time out and about without you so again using a phone in their moments is a good safety tool, as well as knowing where they are going to be as well as planning a clear a pick up spot and time before and knowing who they will be with (and preferably having their contact details too).

converse shoes


You've been buying pretty much everything for your child since the day they were born and it's been fine. After all, toddlers tend not to complain about which clothes they're wearing. But as kids get older they want to be able to have some say over what they wear. Sure, you're still going to be paying for it but there's definitely something to be said for giving your kids the money they need for clothes and letting them make their own choices, I know I was very excited as a child when this happened and it gave me sense of some control over my own choices. To start with, you might have to give yourself veto power but most of the time kids are actually pretty good at choosing their own clothes (I say most of the time, but not ALL the time).

Of course, just because you're giving your child more freedom and independence doesn't mean that you're just going to just stop setting boundaries for them. The truth is that kids really need boundaries in order to properly express their own independence. If they're left entirely to their own devices it can not only cause trouble but it can actually be more than kids are ready to handle. They might not realise it, but kids really do want boundaries so working on the finding the balance is key and it's something that is on my mind a lot now that my child is moving further away from being a young child.
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Visiting Guernsey with Condor Ferries



Channel Islands

*AD Press Trip

I have wanted to get to the Channel Islands for years, it's somewhere that has always intrigued me and has been sitting on my bucket list for a while so when the opportunity arose with Condor Ferries to visit Guernsey we jumped at the chance. Guernsey, smaller than Jersey and being just 25sq miles packs a punch and is filled with opportunities to explore and have adventures. I am going to be doing a list of things to do with kids on the island in a separate post, while in this post I want to focus more on the overall experience and getting to the island.

There are two main ways to get to the channel islands are either flying or by Condor Ferries who offer a variety of options when it comes to channel crossings and can take you to Guernsey, Jersey and St Malo in France, leaving from Portsmouth or Poole. You can opt for the high-speed trimaran or the slower Clipper service which also offers overnight sailings. We decided to use the high-speed Liberation from Poole with a sailing time of only 3hrs!

Liberation Ferry

Condor Ferries
Horizon Lounge on Liberation 

Our check-in for the midday sailing was very efficient, you can tell the staff are knowledgeable and take the safety and security of their passengers seriously while still being very friendly and welcoming. Once we had all our documents checked we very excitedly drove onto the ship looking forward to what adventures lay ahead. The Liberation has 3 different seating options and guarantees a seat for everyone, you can upgrade from standard seating to the Horizon lounge which is what we did and does offer a higher level of comfort with it's own Cafe bar, panoramic views and large reclining seats or you could go one step further and opt for Club Class with at-table steward service. There is also fast wifi available (free for the first 30mins) as well as a kids room with TV, Duty-free shopping and Casquets Bistro and cafe where you can get a nice hot meal.

While we sailed out of harbour everything was nice and smooth but unfortunately, high winds out in the channel made our crossing a somewhat bumpy affair, which to be honest my youngest loved! He thought it was all very exciting however my youngest and I did struggle a little bit but found listening to some music and having a bit of a nap to be very helpful and with the sailing being so quick we were on dry land in no time. Once again disembarking was very quick and smooth and you drive off the boat straight into the heart of St Peters Port, the capital of Guernsey.

Channel Islands

Guernsey Hotel

As soon as we arrived we felt like we were a world away as the cobbled streets and colourful bunting of St Peters Port invite you to explore and the whole place has a Medditerean French inspired feel to it with Parisienne style bistros overlooking the castle and port. As we drove up the hill towards Les Rocquettes Hotel, which would be our base for 3 nights and in a beautiful 18th-century country house, you can look back and take in the view across the port as well as stunning French inspired houses which line the streets.

Unlike most places in the world today you won't find many big chain hotels or restaurants here but instead smaller independent ones, traditional B&B's and self-catering options. The 3 star Les Rocquettes is perfect for families with our spacious room consisting of a queen bed and sofa bed in the original part of the building as well as a restaurant and bar and access to a Health club and indoor pool on site, you can also opt for a self-catering apartment.

Guernsey Hotel

Channel Islands

I know that many have the impression that Guernsey is very expensive in terms of eating out but we found it to be no more so than Cardiff, for example, a burger at the Oak Bar at Les Rocquettes is £7.50 or soup and a homemade roll at £3.95 which is the same as anywhere and all the local food we ate was amazing. We tried a variety of places across the island from beachside kiosks serving up baked potatoes to family dining at Crabby Jacks or crepes in the capital, all of which I will cover in my guide and each experience was delicious to say the least.

What we really loved about Guernsey was the stepping away from the manic day to day life and slowing down, relaxing and reconnecting with nature and the island is perfect to do that. We spent many hours exploring coastal forts and bunkers that line the coastline and are a constant reminder of the rich history that lies here as well as making sandcastles on one of the many beautiful beaches in Guernsey, 27 beaches you can choose from in fact. We also visited the smallest chapel in the world, crossed a causeway to Lihou island and went swimming in a sea pool among many other things. It was everything and more we expected and the perfect place for a family who wants to get away from technology for a few days and reconnect as a family and embrace the simple pleasures in life.

Guernsey Fort

You can also island hop to Herm, Alderney and Sark but unfortunately, we ran out of time and were enjoying what Guernsey had to offer but it's given us the reason (among many others) to return to this wonderful place and I highly recommend you put this place on your bucket list. Our ferry crossing back was so smooth and we actually did it in just under 3hrs and was a real breeze and while you can fly, I would recommend having a car on the Island and therefore the ferry is a fantastic option as well as being able to take more luggage with you - we packed the kids scooters, my skateboard and swimming floats because with the car it was easy to do so. If you're looking for even more inspiration then do check out Visit Guernsey.

Condor Ferries

*We were kindly invited to visit Guernsey with Condor Ferries, this was an unpaid Press Trip and words are 100% my own 
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