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Why We Would Love To Be A Simpson Travel Ambassador #Simpsontravelfamily


I was busy reading one of my favourite blogs whilst having my morning coffee break (in my day job, not just having a quick siesta away from the kids!) and came across a post where she was applying to be one of Simpsons Travel Ambassadors, and I thought why wouldn't I apply too? It would be the perfect match for us!

As a family we LOVE travel. We travel  several times a year, usually heading to Europe somewhere for a couple of weeks, a city break here or there and then throwing in as many camping trips as the British weather will allow.

I have a whole section on this blog devoted to our travels but you can also see all the hundreds of photos I share om my Instagram too. Both myself & Ben absolutely love photography, and a little videography thrown in too. I will share some images below but there are so many more over on my blog for you to see.

We have two children, Daisy who is almost 4 and Alex who will be 2 in May. Both who love to travel as much as we do! I am not saying it is ever easy with two children under school age, but they have both travelled since they were a few months old and for us the holiday experiences and memories always outweigh and stressful times sat on that plane or trying to catch your transfer! My blog is all about sharing our experiences as a family and encouraging other families that just because they now have children it doesn't mean they can't travel. Your'e simply travelling slightly differently (usually this meaning more luggage!), having a different mindset and most importantly seeing the world through a new set of eyes.

Simpsons Travel would be perfect for us, offering various different option for accommodation and locations mean that we can adventure and try out a new place. We have stayed in various different accommodations such as villas (meaning we can be home away from home), hotels, complexes and slightly off the beaten track too. Although we often book all of our flights separately to our hotel etc it doesn't mean that I Don't LOVE  that one booking sorts out all the travel arrangements, so much less hassle. There isn’t the boring trawling about for the best or cheapest flights and hotels. Now a days we often have to try and find prices that work around tight budgets, so to be able to have some luxury thrown in too would be a dream!

I don't even know where to start as to why I would want to be a Simpsons ambassador..  I could write about your incredible looking accommodation options, the beautiful villas and apartments. I could also start to write about how your locations make my heart sing, all of the beautiful spots we have learnt to love.  I could also talk about how you make yourselves an incredible one stop shop to suit everyone needs and requirements.

On to childcare...

I have never used childcare abroad, it has always worried me a little, I am not sure what it is but it has never left me wanting to try it. However,reading through your information I can see that your childcare crèches are provided in family-sized villas environments rather than hotels or apartments. This sounds just too goo to be true, if that is possible?  Your childcare is available from 6 months to 10 years old children so you cover a wide age group there, . This is perfect for Ethan & Evelyn, (who are 6 & 3 years old), to have fun at your wonderful kids’ clubs. It is such a peace of mind when I also learn that the clubs are provided by First-class, Perfect for busy families who just need a few hours break here and there. Maybe this would mean it was a holiday to think of ourselves for a few hours too as well as just pleasing the children, ensuring they're supplied with enough ice cream, sun cream and chasing them around for some shade! This could be a family of firsts...


Why We Would Love To Be A Simpson Travel Ambassador #Simpsontravelfamily
Cyrpus


Lake Garda 

Wales

Cornwall

Rhodes, Greece

Venice

Italy

Cornwall



Menorca


France


Cyrpus



Prague

Home <3

And if those photos don't let you get to know us a little better then please do check out some of our latest travel videos to get a real feel for what we are all about :)

Best of 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy4Y_-nIGz4

Cyrpus Villa Fun

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKytSijixqg


Berlin With Babies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1PwLBjStC0&t=11s

Prague in 3 Minutes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjT1nZRMWpw&t=118s

Please consider us!!

x

Living With One Hand | An Update | Adapting Her Bike

Many of you will know one of the reasons I continued to write was to share Daisy's progress and how we found living with a limb difference, in Daisy's case no right hand. I wanted to share awareness, share successes and also share our experience so that one day it may help some one else who perhaps was about to / is going through the same thing.


Bike adaptations



Daisy is almost 4 and starts school in September and I can honestly say that there has been very few instances of upset or frustration from Daisy or those of us close to her. There really has not been much, or in fact anything really that she has not been able to do or found upsetting.

For her last birthday she had a bike and she was absolutely over the moon with it. It didn't take her long to get the nack of pedalling it and she was soon moving about. However over time we noticed she somehow couldn't quite coordinate the steering whilst concentrating on the pedals and vice versa. We realised this was because steering was difficult, she couldn't quite gain the control she needed over the handlebars to be able to ride properly. It is quite clear to see that this is because her right arm- hand distance to the handle is shorter as she doesn't have the length that she has from the left hand, which leaves her naturally bending forward and putting weight awkwardly on the handlebars, which just means her steering is a little one sided and well, off balance.

We decided that before it because a frustration that we would speak to her OT (Occupational therapist) and ask for some help. This was the first time we had asked for any kind of help or support, up until now we had done just fine between us. I am going to write a post how I personally feel about this and the emotions involved but for now I will just say it wasn't easy, as in emotionally but for selfish reasons really. I knew that Daisy would thrive with a slight adaptation on her bike, that it would mean she could really put her all into riding her bike and hopefully enjoy it rather than finding it hard work and tedious.


How to ride a bike


We have had our appointment with the prosthesis team that will build her an adaptation for her handlebars and she has had her hand cast for the size and shape. Hopefully it should be just be a matter of weeks before we get to take her bike back there to see if its fits. The idea is that it will be almost like a cup that her hand will slide into, giving her the length she needs to balance and have good posture whilst also being able to control the bike effectively. I will no doubt share some more information about it once we have it and once we know how Daisy has reacted. So far she is pleased with the thought that they are "fixing her bike" so she can ride it good with her "little hand".

She did have a quiet moment whilst they were casting her (think of plaster cast like when you break your arm!) as i just think it dawned on her that something strange was happening, but she handled it like a champion! I am sure she is going to adapt to it well and be proud of it.


Hayley x

A Cure For Eczema In Babies? Childs Farm Review


I have mentioned before on here and my social media how Alex has always had slightly dry, sore from time to time skin. We have been prescribed various lotions and potions by the doctors, most of which do seem to help his skin out. However I do like to try and find more natural, luxurious (not quite the word I am looking for, but you know a nice smell rather than chemically), fun products for him.

Products he can share with his sister. So for his bath he has been prescribed oils and emollients that although they leave his skin feeling smooth and moisturised they leave the bath more slimy, milky and most importantly (for my children's fun rather than skin!) with no bubbles. Both of my children LOVE bubbles and you can see the disappointment on their faces when they have to have "milky" bath rather than a bubbly one.


johnsons versus childs farm

I was recommended Childs Farm by a few people and I have actually tried it before when Daisy was a baby. I remember liking it but thinking was it really worth the hefty price tag back then. As a bit of perspective Daisy has always had skin with no complaints so sticking to the usual every day named brands wasn't an issue. Where as the likes of a Johnson's bubble bath just doesn't do Alex any favours and can leave him a little dry and itchy. 

I spotted this bubble bath when doing my shop in Boots a few weeks ago and thought I would give it a go, I had forgotten about the brand actually so was pleased to have been reminded about it. I immediately popped open the lid to smell it, it really is the smell of the more medical products that really turn me off them. This though smell AMAZING! Tangerines, it just smelt good enough to eat. I should say that this post is in no way sponsored or gifted, I just wanted to share what I had found and my thoughts. But yep I could have had a sip from the bottle it smelt so good, I obviously didn't though!

But I thought the test really was in the bath time itself. It produced lovely bubbles, perhaps not as bubbly as some brands but enough to keep my babies happy. And the smell left the upstairs of the house smelling beautiful for ages! Alex's skin has been great since using it, although I am continuing to use his Cetraben and other creams when  needed so I can't put it all down to the bubble bath. 

I would love to try some of the other products from the range but it is just getting my hands on them that I struggle with. I don't tend to wander about the stores so spotting it isn't at the forefront of my mind. But I really do need to go and seek more out. I notice when looking up more about the brand that they do suncare products which may be a good place for me to start! 

A little quote from their website " We only use the best, naturally derived ingredients & fresh smelling essential oils to make mild, kind and safe products for babies and children. 
We believe that every child should feel happy in their skin – even it’s sensitive or eczema prone – so all our products are suitable for everyone even newborn babies. We call this our Happy Skin Promise™"

A Cure For Eczema In Babies? Childs Farm Review

Which products, if any, have you tried?

Hayley x

Is The Hype Around YourGoodSkin Really Worth It? | Skincare Review


It wasn't long before I noticed an influx of ladies sharing their experiences of YourGoodSkin on Instagram, sharing makeup less selfies and posting hopeful messages that they would see a difference in just 28 days later. They were reaching out for more and more people to give it a go, they were giving out skincare products for free and I although usually I would pass on this kind of thing as I just don't have the time to pursue it and review etc, something drew me and made me go for it.

Tropic Skincare review

mum skincare regime


So it is no secret that I was sponsored to share my 28 day challenge with my Instagram audience, that was a non biased account of how I actually found it. I was entitled to share otherwise if I felt I needed to but in this case I absolutely did really enjoy using the products and yes, I did notice a change in my face. So much so that I thought I would come on to this little space of mine to share it too, and this is is no way commissioned, all off my own back.

I have to start with my hero product, the Hot Cloth Cleanser. First up i have to say this product is £8.99, and I really couldn't believe it when I looked up the price of this. I have paid MUCH more for a cleanser like this and have easily substituted it for this version. It is gentle, smells beautifully spa like and leaves my face feeling fresh and clean. My only negative would be that it does leave behind a little bit of eye make up, but again that could be me being a little too precarious (if there is such a thing) around my eye area. anything to avoid more wrinkles!

To combat the eye make up trouble I either use one of my micellar waters that I still love and will always use or I reach for one of their makeup wipes to just remove those impurities quickly and easily. I am not a massive fan of wipes, I do find them a little rough on my skin and a little drying at times, but these are great to have in my bathroom basket to reach for when I need to just finish off before bed.

The final product I wanted to mention was the Balancing Skin Concentrate, RRP £16.99. It aims to restore & maintain skin's natural balance. Designed to improve the 5 key signs of healthy looking skin; skin texture, skin tone evenness, radiance, moisture levels & oiliness. (extract from YourGoodSkin Website). Moisturisers, serums and products of this consistency usually make me nervous. I have skin that is easily upset and I don't like to risk using a product that could leave me feeling oily, blotchy or give me a break out. But I am absolutely loving this product. It leaves me feeling moisturised but barely noticeable, I can't feel it on my skin, I just feel fresh faced.

Is The Hype Around YourGoodSkin Really Worth It? | Skincare Review


So if you get the chance to try out this product I really recommend you do, I really don't have a bad word to say.

Hayley x



Why Won't My Baby Sleep? | Sleep Regressions & Sleep Training SOS


Now I wish I was here offering you some SOS on sleeping, getting babies and toddlers to sleep. But hell no I am not! I have a 19 year old little rascal, Alex, who has only ever slept through the night twice in his life!

Wonder Weeks sleep

Daisy had ups and downs and reading back on my blog makes me realise that perhaps she wasn't always a sound sleeper and that she too had a few weeks of disruptions, but by all accounts (and those of my poor memory) it was nothing like this. I certainly wasn't up and down most of the night with her.

Alex is waking every single night, at least once. Usually 2-3 times. He doesn't usually take a lot to settle and if I bring him into our bed he does usually dose off pretty quickly and we all get a little bit of sleep, all be it a little disrupted, awkward and uncomfortable. I am in no way against co-sleeping, if he was a pleasure to lie next to then I would have him in there no trouble, but he is a kicker, wriggler and climber! An absolute terror to have squeezed in between you both.

If this was just a stage then I would certainly say he was going through a sleep regression. But how can he have been regressing since the day he was born?! It is just becoming a nightmare. I haven't been well since well before Christmas and I just know the power of decent sleep would do me the power of good. Not that I am complaining of course!

Maybe it is just him, he isn't a sleeper. He needs the comfort, doesn't need the 8-10 hours worth of sleep most kids need and he just doesn't like to settle. I just don't get it. He has busy, action packed days, he doesn't stop and he eats well. Why wouldn't he sleep?

So what can I do to stop this? I know some responses will be controlled crying. We have been there with him and he will settle himself to sleep no problem, but it is a few hours later when he wants to wake up again that the trouble starts. I also fear leaving him to cry in the night in case he wakes up Daisy, which just never goes down well. That is a girl who really does need 11/12 hours sleep a night to function properly the next day!

co-sleeping sos


So help. SOS! I am admitting defeat....

Little Life update | A Personal Diary

SO, hello! Happy 2018!

Where do we start? Where we are now I guess...


Things are still very busy here which is why I have been a little quiet here for a while, that and the usual Christmas madness of course. Our house renovations are still in progress, and although it feels like we may actually be getting somewhere now, it has just taken so long! Or perhaps it has just felt that way.

Why Do i blog?


We have been living with my parents now for well over a month, it could actually be longer to be honest. It probably feels about 10 years to them, poor devils! We are hoping though to be back home within the next couple of weeks though. It is looking really good and it is so worth all of the struggles and ridiculous expense but my goodness sometimes I think to myself was it really worth it? I guess time will tell.

Work is still busy, I have lots of travel booked in for the first half of the year and lots of London trips, which is where my head office is based. Personally I don't like this sound of the role I am in as it just disrupts routine for all of us, and I am a stickler for a bit of structure. But the littlies don't ever seem to notice and sometimes at least I get some sleep!

I am still working my 4 days and the balance really does feel right at the moment, sometimes I wonder if I could drop one more day but I really am not sure I could (1) do my job in 3 days, I struggle as it is to fit it all in and (2) be the mum I would want to be. I find that a Wednesday is lovely, we spend the day swimming, having a rest watching films and getting on top of a few things that need sorting, you know general life admin. And then I have 2 more days at work and its the weekend. When I say I am not sure I would be right for another day dropped, I mean I am not sure if I am enough for them at the moment. They both need so much stimulation, particularly Alex. And patience. And when the terror is still not sleeping through that tends to shine through in my patience (or lack of it).

sleep regression


Alex is 19 months old and not sleeping all night. He often wants to come into our bed or have milk and comfort, I know these are all the big NO NO's but anything for an easy life and some sleep, particularly when we are all living at my parents house. Anything to make it easier and more pleasant for everyone else too. I have a feeling when we get into our house it is going to be time for some mummy boot camp. That child will sleep! Or will he? I have heard of boys (why is it always boys?) not sleeping until they are like 4 years old? I pray this isn't the case, my eye bags couldn't carry another 2 and a half years worth of sleep deprivation. Other than his sleep troubles he is a bright, overly intelligent little creature! He is brilliant, he certainly thinks he is the joker!

fussy eating sos



Daisy is also doing fab, loving nursery and is brighter than ever too. She knows a little too much and this comes through in her attitude at times, but it is brilliant to watch / hear! She makes us laugh, she is becoming very sure of herself. Our only concern with Daisy is her diet, she is still having problems with not trying new foods. Point blank refusing them. I think I may do a post about that in the coming weeks as this doesn't feel the place for it.

Over and out,

Hayley x

A Fresh Start | My New Years Resolutions


Another year has whizzed on by, so another set of goals is at the front of my mind. I don't like to have resolutions as such, more mind sets and fresh, positive ways of thinking.

A Fresh Start | My New Years Resolutions


Last year I aimed for a positive mind; getting out more, spending more time on myself and to de-clutter. I would like to say I fully succeeded and in some aspects I did but other ways, not so much. I definitely got rid of "stuff" from our house and found it easier to manage at home, easier to keep clean and tidy. We had some new storage solutions put in for the kid's toys and things and that seemed to do the trick.

A big part of my years goals was: Plan to plan. Make plans. Simple. Fill the diary with travel, breaks, coffee dates. Which means we see the world like we love to but are planned and organised, we see people and socialise. 

And really I guess in some aspects I did do that, but not as much as I would have liked to have. We had lots of adventures as families but outside of that, not so much.

So a big part of this years is to change that up a little bit. Even popping out to the gym for an hour makes the world of difference, it is that break away from home life and work, giving a slightly more positive balance. I think a realistic goal would be that once a month I spend and plan to have time for me. Things like a cinema trip, drinks with the girls, date night with Ben, all things where I am treating myself, allowing myself to be Hayley as well as Mum. Ben and I planned to go out once a month in 2017 for tea or something similar, we did it a fair few times but no where near once a month, life does just tend to get in the way. We did however get to Prague for a child free weekend! Not planned I should add, I won it in a competition and would never have dreamt of going without them. I actually dreaded the time away from them. But it was nice, it reminded me just how easy travel was without the little ones, it was different. I love travelling with the children, it isn't easy and it certainly isn't hassle free but it is worth the stress and panics most of the time. But to get away, just the two of us, really was a nice break away.

My blog changed a little over the last 12- 18 months, bringing more photography and travel based posts into the design and a big switch up of the generic design made it more simple, clean and minimal. I am happy with it at the moment, as always I wanted to put more content out but with working full time (well, 4 days) and spending time with the babies around that, it does get pushed aside a little. And I am okay with that. With everything going on at the house too, it really can not be top of the priority list. It can only get easier though hey!

My DA score (jargon if you aren't into this SEO kind of rubbish!) has been better than it ever has been in2 017, so to continue that would be the dream. It has turned into a little revenue stream for me too, not enough to ever consider it becoming self sufficient or to be able to drop hours at work or anything like that, but enough to make me feel proud that something I love has started to make a little bit of money. I have however stepped away from some of the personal posts that I started this blog with, so this year I want to go back to writing more from the heart, more natural, personal type posts. So expect that this year!

Do you have any goals or resolutions for 2018?

Hayley x

How important is colour in a child’s early life?*


Learning starts from the moment we’re born. But stimulating a child’s mind and helping them develop their awareness are crucial to ensuring that they absorb as much as possible in the early years.

So, what part does learning about colour play in benefiting your child’s development and how can you help them along the way?

Colour and children’s learning


Colour and children’s learning 

A baby is born with monochrome vision. Until around eight months when their colour vision is fully developed, an infant is unable to distinguish the difference between colours. However, by ages three or four, a child can recognise basic shades — and frequent exposure can help strengthen this skill.

The advantages of learning about colours

From around eight months, it’s a good idea to start surrounding a baby with multiple colours to help them recognise and differentiate between various shades. This can help them make colour connections early on in life and experts have said that showing patterns to a baby is important, as it provides visual and cognitive stimulation.

While distinguishing between basic colours is important, it’s also beneficial to expose young children to different shades (e.g. navy and sky blue). Learning these allows children to recognise significant visual hues — such as red as a code for danger. It is useful outside of the curriculum too — for example; knowing the difference between a red and a blue coloured tap.

Once a child can identify different colours, they then should learn how to describe and write it — which improves their speaking and writing skills. Describing an object without saying its colour is difficult!

Aside from education, studies have suggested that colour can affect emotional well being, productivity and behaviour. Some experts claim that:
Blue: encourages creativity and relaxation — but if overused, it can bring the mood down.
Orange: promotes critical thinking and memory retention.
Yellow: boosts mood and excites a child (because of its vibrant appearance).

Considering the right colour for a classroom can also help the teacher, as it can create the ideal atmosphere for controlling a class and raising mood and productivity. Research has shown that colours are more memorable than monochrome too — a bright and colourful classroom makes new learning experiences stick in the mind.

Ways you can help teach kids about colours 

Playground canopies and parasols make excellent props for a fun, visual lesson in colour without the children even realising. Place them over areas of a playground where they’ll catch the sun to create different colourful patterns for the children to enjoy. Pupils can trace shadows of the patterns on the floor with chalk and learn how they move with the sun throughout the day.
If you’re teaching very young children, sensory development is the foundation for all other learning, and you can encourage this with colourful toys and play mats. Research has also highlighted the importance of messy play — where children can take part in unstructured play and get their hands dirty! Let them play with brightly coloured foodstuff, such as jelly, and develop their fine motor skills, too.

These easy and effective lessons will work to boost colour development and help improve the learning of other areas.

Sources
https://www.houzz.com.au/ideabooks/45115534/list/the-importance-of-colour-during-your-childs-early-years
http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/baby/education-play/how-colour-can-affect-your-babys-development-20160725-gqdk1c
https://www.color-meanings.com/color-psychology-child-behavior-and-learning-through-colors/
http://www.infiniteplaygrounds.co.uk/colourful-classrooms/ 


*PR Collaboration

Magic Unicorns Supa Bag | Cosatto Changing Bag Review*


Changing bags are something I had never even noticed before having Daisy, never mind thought about. When I was expecting Daisy I bought an oil cloth bag (think Cath Kidston style but cheaper) with a pretty floral print, it was on trend back then and it suited me. It didn't have any useful pockets though or dividers so rooting around finding things was a bit troublesome and frustrating but I could wipe it clean and well, it was cheap. It didn't last too long but it did me that first year pretty much.

Magic Unicorns Supa Bag | Cosatto Changing Bag Review*

With Alex I decided on a nice rucksack, a leather one. It was actually just a handbag I picked up off ASOS. Again it did me the job just fine but once again it wasn't designed to carry about all paraphernalia that comes with a baby AND a toddler! But it did mean I had my hands free.

I had never really come across these beautiful bags by Cosatto before. I knew of their gorgeous, bright pushchairs and travel systems and although I didn't personally have one I always admired the prints and part of me wished I had been more daring and just gone for it. When I bought Daisy's next stage car seat I had to have the flamingo print, because well, why wouldn't I?

When I was upgrading Alex from his crib and looking at Cotbeds for sale from Kiddies Kingdom  I noticed they were for sale there too. You can pick up various designs from online fairly easily.

Cath Kidston bag review

The bag has some useful pockets inside which you could store dummies and things in easily, or your car keys maybe! That is what I have used mine for, that and my lip balm, the two things I was forever losing at the bottom of my huge changing bag that felt like Mary Poppins' bag! This design is the Supa change bag in Magic Unicorns. The bag itself also comes with a fold-able changing mat inside it which is so handy!

Cosatto unicorn

Hayley x



*PR Collaboration. Samples provided but all my own opinions