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Daisy, You Will Soon be Four Years Old...

Family Friendly Hotels in Skiathos | Morfia Aparthotel


We recently went to Skiathos on a two week holiday, with the 2 children. We actually went there for a family wedding but decided to stay on for a second week as a family. When we were looking for holidays I have to say we found the island to be quite pricey, although it is difficult to say as we were going within half term which always bumps up the prices massively, so perhaps out of term time it could be completely different.


kids hotel skiathos


Although I have to say it is absolutely beautiful and worth every penny in my opinion. We will go back one day I am sure, it is quite unusual for me to say that as I love to explore new places but maybe in a few years time we will be back!

Thomas Cook Image

I will do a post all about Skiathos; what we got up to, how to get around etc another day, but for today I wanted to tell you all about where we stayed. We stayed at the Morfia Aparthotel which is in Troulos and booked with Thomas Cook. Most of the bridal party were able to book here, it was more on the budget side of the hotels available but honestly, we struck lucky. It was beautiful. It is a little family run hotel and well kept.

They are really set up as a typical greek hotel, basic but completely geared up for families.

We had a maisonette which essentially has like a little mezzanine, with 1 double bed upstairs and twin beds in the living area. We also had the travel cot put downstairs too. We had every intention of us sleeping upstairs and the children downstairs, but I have to be honest and say I didn't like the stairs. We had a kind of make shift stair gate we could have put up but the thought of rushing down them to tend to Alex in the night, to stop him disturbing Daisy filled me with dread so I ended up sleeping in the bed next to Daisy. Which actually was fine really. I missed Ben a little but we survived!

It had a little kitchenette but it was basic, we didn't need to use it at all though really, we pretty much just used the fridge for our water and milk etc, it was absolutely fine and exactly as we would expect in a  hotel.

The pool was perfect. There was a big pool which had gradual depth and then like a paddling pool area which was raised for the little ones. That was perfect for them to splash about in, deep enough for them to swim in but shallow enough to play safely. With it being raised though and up steps we had to be in it with them at all times, which of course we would do anyway. But Daisy is at the age where she could swim and as long as we were watching her would be fine on her own but we couldn't risk her being in there on her own. Which is absolutely fine but worth pointing out.

family friendly skiathos


There was a restaurant on site called Ratatouille and it is had a really good reputation in the area for being great food. We had a couple of good meals in there so it is worth going there, they also have a childrens menu which is a bonus.

But overall the pool area and bar are very clean and the attached restaurant is good. But it’s the staff that really make this place, friendly and welcoming, they always took the time to speak to us and the children. They really did make us feel welcome and content.

P20 Suncream - Is it worth the hefty price tag?


So I got drawn into buying some P20 sun cream before our latest holiday to Greece. I have always been a little curious about it but have always been a bit scared off by the price tag, I mean its more then double the price of a lot of other options on offer.

suncream for kids


These days we know how sunshine is important for our intake of vitamin D, contributing to our overall health. When we do actually see some sun (living in the UK are time slots are limited!!),  it’s easy to make mistakes and get burnt to crisps. As parents this is something we are slightly psychotic about. Our kids have to be smothered and completely protected as often as we can. This means chasing them around the beach or pool reapplying at every opportunity.

We travel fairly often and so most of the time the two children will stand and be covered but you can still see the anger in their face at the inconvenience of being chased about all day! But we all know how important it is to protect our children's skin for their own future.

P20 by Riemann offers all day (up to 10 hours) protection: which can only be a positive. I purchased their continuous spray which basically means you can work quickly and spray from every angle, chasing the kids around the room if needs be! It dries instantly as well so no slippery bodies running about the place. I bought the SPF50 for us all but also the SPF20 for my husband and I too. For those with sensitive skin it’s also great to know that there are no added colourants, fragrance or preservatives, we saw no reaction with Alex's eczema either which is great.

Is p20 worth the price?


So P20. Will I buy it again? Absolutely. I would apply it first thing in the morning (before they got dressed, that stuff can stain anything yellow so watch out!) and then be confident that they would be protected for the next 10 hours. As a mum who desperately didn't want them to burn I have to admit i did top up their little faces a couple of times as well as sensitive spots like their shoulders when they were out of their swim suits etc.

But we had no burns at all, no rosy streaks across their faces and no nasty heat rashes either.

Their skin was beautifully smooth and it didn't have a nasty smell which some creams can come with.

I really do recommend it!


Traveling The World Makes You a Better Person


Just two years ago, roughly 1.24 billion people traveled internationally. Compared to numbers in previous years — 911 million in 2007 and 674 million in 2000 — it’s obvious more and more people are dusting off their passports and taking that long-awaited holiday.

What’s changed? While we don’t really know for sure, I guess we could make some guesses: for one, thanks to the advent of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the world has become a much smaller place.

And two, millennials. While millennials account for just one-fifth of international travelers, they view traveling differently than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations. To them, traveling means a potential transformative journey in the making — one in which they’ll come back as a changed person.

While this may sound a bit dramatic, millennials do have a point. Whether 25 or 75, traveling does change you for the better. How so?

1. You Become a Better Problem-Solver

According to research, those who are multi-national or travel internationally are not just more creative but are better problem-solvers. And when you think about it, it makes sense.

Traveling opens your eyes to new cultural experiences that are outside of your comfort zone. You’re forced to get out your map — or IPhone if you're a bit more with the times — and figure out where you are. You’re forced to try and communicate with people who don’t speak your language and you theirs.

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash



2. You Realise Material Wealth Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Another study revealed that buying experiences makes people happier than buying material goods. The reason why? People are more likely to reinterpret experienced positively, and they see them as more meaningful. Not to mention, such experiences help them become more successful in their relationships.

There’s also another reason. Like with becoming a better problem-solver, traveling forces you to choose which possessions to take and which to leave. Because, practically and physically, you can only pack so much.

3. You Turn into a More Self-Reliant Person

Especially when it comes to solo travel, you’re forced to become more self-reliant. Or I would guess that is the case, I have only solo travelled for work, and well yeah I guess I have become more self - reliant in that aspect.  You not only have to plan out your days in advance, figure out what to eat and where to sleep if you go overboard with the spending.


4. You Appreciate the Relationships You Have

According to an industry report by US Travel Association, couples who go on the traveling road together lead more healthier and happier relationships. We have never actually travelled for more than a few weeks at a time but you do get the sense this is or could be the case.

Need some spark in your relationship? It may be time to look at those jet charter flights in Houston by Stratos Jet Charters so you can jump start your travel in style. 

white cluse watch
Photo: Cluse via interest

Final Thoughts: Ready to Start Your Next Adventure?

 Where’s your next destination?

Travel Photography: A Simple Guide*

It is no secret that we love to travel as a family and we take a lot of photographs! Clifton Cameras who sell lots of familiar brands such as Nikon and Canon as well as Drone Cameras have put together a great guide for anyone who loves to take travel photos to hopefully give you some travel inspiration of places where you can get some fun photos you'll be really proud of.


Another part of their guide is a great"What To Pack" guide with two checklists - "Essentials" and "Nice To Have" equipment to make it a little easier for us, I need all the help I can get! I am fairly lucky that Ben tends to deal with these things but for times I am alone this will be perfect!





Travel Photography: A Simple Guide*












































































*PR Collaboration

Alex, How Is It Possible That You Are 2 Years Old Already?


Dear Alex,

It is sad that I haven't written to you in probably 9 months. It is crazy how time just whizzes by. And I hate to say it but especially second time around. I mean Daisy is 4 now and that really has flown by but how on earth are you almost 2? I just can't get my head around it. Are you still a baby?

speech tips for toddlers


Nope. You most certainly aren't. Of course you are my baby but you are most definitely a fully fledged walking, talking, full of attitude toddler. You are just little person now a days. You know your on mind and you can communicate well enough to tell us what it is that is on it.

We are told weekly how amazing your speech and vocabulary is, and don't we know it. You never stop. Ever! You can explain things, sing songs and have a full on conversation with us now. And well, you have been able to for some time now.

You are still a bit of a destroyer. You like to break things, throw things about and are a tad rough at times with your toys, and Daisy's. Much to your sister's annoyance. She quite likes her dolls with the heads attached, unlike you. You are forever emptying things out of places and basically having you nose where it doesn't need to be! But would we have you any other way? Maybe, just a little.

Your character is hilarious though. You are the funniest, cutest little boy I have ever met. Maybe  I think that because you're mine, I could be biased. But with your round little face, chubby cheeks and massive blue eyes that you still haven't lost, you could get away with anything.

2 year old milestones


I am pleased to tell you that your sleep is improving. You go off to sleep on your own accord now and are spending all night in your own bed. Hallelujah! You are still waking most nights, perhaps 5 out of 7 wanting to see me for a few minutes but then off you go back to sleep. Thank goodness, I really was wondering how I was going to get that situation any better, I felt like I was fighting a losing battle and was coming around to the idea that perhaps you just were not a sleeper!

You are still a good little eater most of the time but you like everyone to know that you are in control of your food destiny. You won't be made to eat anything and don't even bother trying if you are tired, it is a no go. I am slightly worried you are becoming a tad more fussy, I just prey you won't end up like Daisy who has a diet that really is limited to a handful or 2 of things, and it just can't be good can it? I say I am worried yet in Lanzarote a few weeks ago you were munching away on tapas, cured meats and cheeses and living your best life! 

Please don't grow too fast, I am not ready for that yet. You make me broody, how is that possible? I think it is because I can see my baby slowly fading away, and in is place, a strong willed rascal that likes to run circles around me!

Always be my little man,

Mummy xx



A Ban On Baby Wipes?!*


Seriously, this news sent me into a spiral of panic. I mean I use wipes for EVERYTHING! Babies bottoms, faces, cleaning, dusting, bathroom wipe downs, taking make up off, cleaning the inside of my car... the list goes on. What am I going to do?

banning baby wipes


Okay so seriously. I do use wipes a lot and honestly, have never thought too much about the end destination of them. So to see the news articles did actually horrify me and leave me with a pang of guilt. Why had I never thought about if they were biodegradable before?

I have seen all over social media a variety of responses but lots of parents have expressed a tad bit of outrage after the government said they want to "eliminate" wet wipes in the UK within 25 years. So we are looking at a fairly big time frame anyway hey!

A statement for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said wet wipes would be among the "avoidable plastic waste" it aimed to banish as part of its environmental plan. I get it, and I agree. I do need to research more into it to be completely honest, is it how we dispose of them that causes the trouble? Or the fact that no matter how they are disposed they still can cause detrimental effects on the our environment? For example I wouldn't dream of flushing them but know people who do? I do know though that they are made from polyester, which is very slow to degrade and poses a huge risk to the environment.

However in the interim I have come across a solution for our household. Something that will make me feel a little less guilty when using a wipe for every single task known to man, and baby! And that is Aqua Wipes.

So not only are they made of 99% purified water BUT Aqua Wipes® are also biodegradable, meaning that you can care for the planet too. Some of you will be pleased to hear they are actually classed as vegan friendly too.

We have been testing out these wipes for the last few weeks and I have to say I love them. They feel soft on the children's skin, they have no nasty smells (which I am a bit sensitive about!) and they do the job nicely. I have also been using the odd one in my gym bag for taking off make up and freshening up and they really are nice.

Image Source: Aqua Wipes


Have you tried anything similar?

Hayley x


*PR Collaboration but all opinions are my own. I was gifted Wipes!

Finding Local Treasures: The Bringewood, Shropshire


If you follow me on social media you will know that not so long ago I was busy planning (and then attending) a hen weekend. I booked a beautiful venue in Ludlow, which was is buried away in the Shropshire hills. Most of us are from Shropshire so with us going on a plane to Greece for the actual wedding it felt like a nice, easy thing to do for everyone. And not to mention how beautiful it looked there.



The Venue is called The Bringewood, Burrington and honestly it exceeded even my expectations. I was searching around on Airbnb and stumbled across it but I actually seeked out their website and booked it directly as I know what whopping fees they have to pay via that way and kindly they passed on the difference to us, so we paid far less than we would have had we have gone through Airbnb.

I will try to share a couple of photos with you so you can see how vast the venue was and how luxuriously decorated and kitted out it was, it is tricky though, it was a hen party after all and some photos shouldn't be fining themselves on here!

Hen Do Shrewsbury

Hen do shropshire


The Bringewood self catering apartments  are available for holidays, short breaks, weddings, group bookings, hen/stag parties and special occasions. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to find somewhere that isn't against large groups of either females / males.

The venue is built up of various holiday let apartments that sleep between 2 and 4 guests, with the large group booking The Bringewood sleeping up to 22 guests in total (28 with sofa beds). We booked the whole venue exclusively and used a sofa bed too and at no point did we feel cramped, except maybe when we tried to cram too many bums into the hot tub (that we hired from somewhere else) late at night!! Each apartment has a large screen LED  TV and PlayStation 3 (not that we needed them!). The bedrooms also have luxury bed linen with hairdryer, hair straighteners,  radio, toiletries and a bath with shower or shower room. We were really spoiled!

What I absolutely loved about the setup of The Bringewood was that it was super easy for us to eat together with a commercial kitchen and a dining table which can seat up to 28 guests. The kitchen was an industrial style kitchen, kitted out with everything you should need! It was actually amazing! And the highlight for us was the bar! An actual bar! Completely stocked with glasses, ice machine, glass washer etc! We just took the supplies to fill it :)


I really hope to go back soon and was only thinking this week actually how lovely it would be to get a bloggers retreat going on there, I know a lot of people would love to stay there and well, it is always nice to see some fellow blogging friends.

Thanks
Hayley


A Hen Party Back In Time: Top Destinations for the Culture Vultures


Hen parties are evolving. They have become much more than obtaining a hangover with the girls at the pub down the street. These days, brides perceive hen parties as a way to get away from the stress of organising a wedding, and doing what they love.

As the maid of honour, it is your responsibility to ensure the bride’s last fling before the ring involves everything she loves. While it makes the job a bit more difficult, a hen party is a sacred tradition that calls for pulling all stops and pleasing the bride.

While some brides still prefer the old bar crawl routine, there are a number of other activity options available to choose from. If your BFF is tired of the whole getting sloshed routine, and is looking to absorb some history before her big day, we have rounded up the perfect list of destinations for your cause.

Berlin

Berlin for a hen do



Berlin is a happening city with an amazing nightlife. The German capital boasts a sexy nightlife, amazing art, bags of culture, cocktails with a kick, fabulous desserts, great shopping, and of course, a rich history. Here are just a few of the city’s many historical spots you and the girls visit:

East Side Gallery
Berlin’s East Side Gallery is actually an open-air gallery with political artworks drawn on what now remains of the Berlin wall.
Reichstag
Built in 1894, the Reichstag has endured a fire and a war, and still stands strong as the parliament of Germany. Tourists especially take interest in the dome built by famous architect Sir Norman Foster.
The Berlin Cathedral
The Berlin Cathedral, situated on the Museum Island, is a Protestant Church that offers magnificent views of Museum Island, the Gendarmenmarkt, the Synagogue and the Reichstag from its famous 243-foot high dome.

Paris



The city of love offers history aficionados the treat of a lifetime. Those who like to do their research understand that Paris offers a lot more than Eiffel Tower. Here are a few alternatives:

The Catacombs Of Paris
Formerly used as mines, the catacombs were converted into a graveyard in the 18th century. The labyrinth now houses over six million human skeletons, many of them of people that lost their lives during the riots of French Revolution.
Les Invalides
Built under the reign of King Louis XIV, Les Invalides houses a number of significant museums, along with the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Prague



Gorgeous in the summer, awe-inspiring during the winter, Prague is the perfect love-child of metropolitan fun and rich historical values. If you’re planning to take the girls to Prague, don’t miss these historical spots:

Prague Castle
Originally built in 970 AD, the Prague castle has gone through a number of transformations, and boasts examples of some of the most significant architectural styles of the past thousand years. The castle walls also house some of Prague’s most visited tourist attractions like St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George's Basilica, the Powder Tower, the Old Royal Palace, and the Golden Lane.

The Old Town Square and The Astronomical Clock
Situated in the historic centre of Prague, the Old Town, the Old Town Square is the best place to begin exploring the city. Apart from a number of museums and other historical attractions dating back to the 11th century, the Old Town Square is also home to the World famous Astronomical Clock.



Just a small reminder that the hen party is all about making your best friend feel like the centre of the universe. For that reason, make sure every activity you choose, and every destination you go to, resonates with her individual preferences.

As mentioned earlier, each of these destinations offer plenty of bucket list adventure sports and legendary drinking havens, so the group will not just have to settle for sightseeing.

Hayley x

Finding a Perfect Summer Wedding Outfit*


We have a wedding in beautiful Skiathos at the end of this month and although I am very lucky to have a dress chosen for me, as bridesmaid (well maid of honour actually if we want to be exact!), but I know a few of the guests have really struggled to find a suitable outfit for the wedding. And having had a look for a few of the girls I have struggled too!

But... I thought I would share a few little finds with you, just in case you too are looking for that perfect summer, special occasion frock. (Do people actually say frock anymore? That aren't a granny?)

Here goes...

Finding a Perfect Summer Wedding Outfit*
Karen Millen
Karen Millen wedding outfit
Karen Millen

Coast
Lipsy (Available at Next)
Lipsy (Available at Next)
You will see I am all about that classic style, lace and anything delicate and beautiful! I can't say that I would usually go for a Lipsy dress, however, I was so pleasantly surprised when I was looking through Next for that perfect dress.

It is always worth looking at sites like latestdeals.co.uk if you want to find some vouchers codes and latest reductions. I tend to forget but always seem to remember when I am looking for that "special" dress that may cost that little bit more than I would usually spend!

The beautiful Lu Lovely has also written about how to wear spring/ summer trends for 2018 which is a great read!


*PR Collaboration, but all opinions are my own as always