We can all admit that our health takes a little turn for the worse every now and then. There’s so many things that can actually put it on the wrong path, so many social influences to lead us astray. Plus, when you think about actually living a healthy lifestyle day in, day out, it seems like a bit of a chore. It is hard to think to yourself, ‘no, don’t binge eat and drink all weekend, stay in and eat a salad’. But living a healthy lifestyle isn’t actually as hard as you may think. All you need to do is have a bit of self restraint in a few areas, and make sure you’re giving yourself a treat every now and then. A healthy lifestyle is only hard to lead if you make it that way. If you want to know how to make it easy, have a read of the tips below.


Restrictions

Giving yourself some restrictions and limitations is the only way you’re going to keep your health on the right track. Firstly, you need to be thinking about a bigger scale, and what might really be damaging your health in the long run. For us adults, it is alcohol consumption. There are so many people who turn to a class of wine, or a refreshing bottle of beer at the end of the work day, and a few too many at the end of the weekend. Years of doing this is going to reduce your liver and kidney function massively, and promote weight gain. Try putting yourself on an alcohol detox for a while. Rather than reaching for a bottle of something for a bit of comfort, run a nice hot bath and have a read whilst letting your troubles melt away. If a bath doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then you definitely might not like the next one. The gym is the perfect outlet for relieving some stress from the day. A lot of people struggle to get the motivation to go, but after a while you will find yourself in a routine, and you will find it easy to get rid of all the stress from the day when you’re working out. Plus, you’ll feel absolutely amazing for it.

Routine

Getting into a routine with your health is the hardest part. So we suggest breaking yourself into it easily. If you know you’re terrible for skipping breakfast, then this is the first place we’re going to start. Skipping breakfast is the main reason why people are so terrible for snacking on chocolate biscuits throughout the morning until lunch. Start the day with this healthy little meal. You’ll need a silicone cooking mould for it to go into, some eggs, low fat yoghurt, cinnamon, and a scoop of oats. Grab yourself a bowel and mix two eggs, the scoop of oats, a low flat flavoured yoghurt, and around two tablespoons of cinnamon into a bowel. Add a couple of tablespoons of sweetener to finish, and cook for 25 minutes at 170. It’ll give you all the energy you need to get through the day, without snacking! Try and fill the rest of the day with healthy alternatives. Even simple things such as eating a brown bread sandwich rather than a white will do!

*This is a collaborative post*

There is no denying that we are a family that loves to travel. We've ventured on many different types of holidays which has allowed us to see what things are required to make our holiday stress-free and enjoyable. We have previously booked family holiday's through TUI and we've been very impressed with their service and knowledge so when I was asked if I would like to visit one of their 'Family Life' resorts for a few days, I couldn't say no.




Tui family life resorts are designed to cater for every member of your family. There is something for everyone so that you can concentrate on relaxing and enjoying your family holiday together. The resort I visited was in Bahia Feliz in Gran Canaria. 



When I arrived at the airport I was greeted by a Tui representative and coach who would provide my transfer to the resort. The coach was very comfortable. The resort is a short transfer away from the airport lasting around 15-20 minutes. This is an ideal transfer time when travelling with a family after a flight.

Bahia Feliz is a big resort which comprises of a few accommodation options, theres the main hotel and apartments with plenty of entertainment options, shops, pharmacy etc. I was staying in the 'Las Pitas' area which is a quieter area in the grounds of the Hotel Orquidea. It's a short walk away (less than 5 minutes) from the check in area but it's worth noting that there aren't any porters to help you to your room with suitcases etc so keep that in mind if you are travelling with lots of luggage and small children. If you were staying at the Hotel Orquidea you would just be getting in the lift to your room so you wouldn't have to move the luggage far.



Las Pitas provides an apartment style accommodation with a fridge, hob and microwave. Even though I stayed on an all inclusive basis, I know from previous experience that a fridge is very handy to have in your room. If you wanted to eat in the room instead of at the hotel you would be able to do that with the kitchen facilities which again can be a bonus if children are tired etc or just want a snack without going leaving the room. 



The apartment was spacious. I had a lovely terrace which overlooked some greenery that children could play on. The area itself was lovely and quiet which I liked. Even though it's nice to be around other people and in the hustle and bustle, it's great to go back to a room that provides less noise so you can relax and unwind. 





In the living area there was a large, comfortable sofa, kitchen, TV and table. The bathroom was big which included a sink, toilet and shower. The bedroom was also a good size with modern colours and furnishings. There was plenty of wardrobe space. The bed and pillows were comfortable- so comfortable in fact that they provided me with the best sleep I think i've had in the last 5 years. One night I slept from 10pm right through to 9.30am the following day which is unbelievable for me. 




As previously mentioned I stayed on an all inclusive basis which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks including alcohol. The buffet restaurant was located in Hotel Orquidea and provided a vast choice of offerings at each meal time. There was plenty of choice for all dietary requirements with vegetarian and vegan offerings and also an area for dairy free. There was a dedicated kids section which I thought was a great touch as. It was all lower so children can help themselves.



Image from www.tui.co.uk

There are other restaurants and places you can eat at whilst you are there. We had a fantastic tapas style meal at the Taverna. You can book into this restaurant once a week during your stay for it to be included in your all inclusive package. Al of the food was delicious especially the dates wrapped in bacon. 

Thea's Coffee shop was also on site offering freshly made coffees and juices throughout the day. This isn't included in the all inclusive but you do get a discount with your band. I do enjoy drinking lattés so I loved the fact that I could get a freshly made one at the resort.

What impressed me the most about Tui Family Life Bahia Feliz was the outstanding selection of kids clubs and entertainment facilities. The children's entertainment team were amazing, very enthusiastic and friendly. The children are entertained from day to night through activities, a parade and evening entertainment. There are a few pools and also a splash pad which is great for little one's. There are a few park areas which were very popular. 


Image from www.tui.co.uk

I was fortunate enough to be given a tour of the kids club facilities which are completely free and available 6 days a week. They are easily the best I have seen. They are split into 3 age groups, Bamse Club for 3-5 year olds, 611 for ages 6-11 and a teen hangout. They are international kids clubs with staff speaking multiple languages which I think is great. They also follow the British standards when allocating the amount of staff members to children which is reassuring.



There are also fantastic facilities for babies and under 3's. The is something I have not seen before. Quite often babies needs are forgotten in holiday resorts when actually they can be quite challenging to look after. There are parent and baby classes available, an under 3's kids club, small soft play area and there is also an enclosed area next to the pool which boasts feeding areas, changing area, sleeping area, baby toys, a TV and sofa. This is such a good idea as it provides shade from the sun and also it's handy to pop in to change your baby rather than head back to the room etc. 






The resort also has a great range of adult classes (included in your package) which is wonderful to see. I actually did a Body Balance class outside which overlooked the sea. It was so peaceful and relaxing. It's lovely that adults can get some me time at the classes or if needs be the children can also come along and play around the sides.



Included in the holiday package is access to the gym. For an extra charge you can visit the spa which has a sauna, whirlpool bath and hydro-massage pools. There are also a range of beauty treatments on offer if you'd like to be pampered. 

Overall the resort is wonderful so much so we've been pricing it up to visit later this year. It's perfect for families. The children's entertainment and adult classes really ensure that there is something for everyone to enjoy and to get the most out of their holiday, but i think the fact that the kids clubs cater for such a large range makes this even more appealing for families especially with children of different ages. 



*This is a collaborative post with Tui and Mumsnet but as always, all of the opinions expressed are my own*




We've all heard the phrase money can't buy love but does that still stand today?  I'm sure most of us look for other qualities in a lifelong partner, than how much they have in the bank.  I know I fell in love with my husband for his personality and not his bank account but with so much financial pressure on people these days, money can be the making or breaking of a relationship.



I read an interesting article published by Shepherds Friendly which was How does money impact relationships? The findings showed that money (or the sense of security that money brings) has an impact on every area of life including love, romance and dating.


I found the part about who should pay during date night very interesting. Hubby and I pay with our joint account but before we were married we would usually take it in turns to pay. According to the article, just over 68% of people thought that men should pay on a date night which I was very surprised at. 

It also found that most people would not share their financial situation with their partners during the early stages of a relationship. I have to agree with this. I think until trust etc is built then that kind of information should stay personal. However, later on in a relationship I would be very suspicious if my partner didn't share his spendings etc with me. 

The article also talked about whether your partners debt is your responsibility too. Someone that I work with ended up getting a divorce from her husband as he was massively in debt and blowing their money on silly things. He would lie to her constantly about what he was spending money on and it caused so many arguments in their marriage. She supported him for years until she couldn't take much more and eventually his debt caused the marriage to break down. 


In some respects I do feel that your partners debt is your responsibility. If you've been in a long term relationship or are married then I believe debt should be shared but only if the debt has come from things for both of you and not like the situation my work colleague was in.

Do you agree with the article? Do you think money can't buy love or do you think it's a big deciding factor on finding a partner? Do you think money can make or break a marriage?

*This is a collaborative post*




January seemed to contain far too many weeks, and winter hasn’t finished when the month did; the school runs and daily commutes are still cold, and there seems to be snow or frost somewhere in the UK every day. Like most people, you’re probably a little tired of the cold; it can make everyone tired, and, well, sometimes grumpy. Don’t worry, spring is just around the corner, honestly; there are flowers and bulbs popping up everywhere, and the days are getting a little bit longer (phew). However, it still feels brisk outside, and you’ll be craving warm comfort food. The food you’re eating will help to determine how you’re feeling and functioning, and, if you’re a busy parent; energy levels are crucial to getting through the day in one piece.

Therefore, why not bring some summer warmth into your home through your cooking and mealtimes. If you’re tired of the bleak weather outside, you can add colour and vibrancy to your plate, and give everyone in the house something to smile about. Aside from the visual appeal; food is a great way to ensure that you’re filling up on nutrients and energy that will last longer than a quick burst of something sugary. It’s not about cutting out your sweet treats completely (a little of what you fancy will do you good), but if you start being mindful about what you’re eating, you’ll begin feeling better from the inside out. Take a look at some meal plan ideas here so that you can get a good idea of how to plan ahead. By the time summer actually arrives; you’ll be full of beans (maybe literally), and ready to take on the challenges of family and work. The following are some ideas, information, and advice for busy parents who need a hit of sunshine to brighten up their chilly days.


Colour Is Key

Bright and vibrant colour is often associated with the warmer summer months, but if you head into the grocery section of the supermarket; you’ll see it in abundance. The more natural, fresh, and colourful ingredients that you can add to your plate, the better; you’ll get the benefits of vitamins, fibre, and an array of other healthy properties that a bag of chips can’t offer you. It’s worth reading through articles like patient.info so that you can better understand the effects that a deficiency in fresh vegetables and vitamin C can cause suffering conditions like gout. Winter is often a time where unpleasant health complications can occur more often because people head towards their cravings or sugar and carbohydrates in the wrong places. Keep thinking of summer; fresh and colourful foods are the alternative you need.

Switching It Up

Nobody is going to get excited by the same meals each day, so it’s vital that you’re not creating a salad that nobody enjoys so that food becomes a chore. You can have plenty of fun with healthy food; take a look here for some recipe ideas that will be perfect for the whole family, before you write the next shopping list. Whether you go for a warm veggie-packed curry, a simple stir-fry, or some spicy tacos; you’ll be added interest and sunshine to mealtimes so that the whole house feels better. Bring summer back, and fill up on delicious food in the meantime!


*This is a collaborative post*
I'll be the first to admit that hubby and I used to despise Valentine's Day. We never celebrated it and we thought it was a load of commercial crap. However, since becoming parents we have realised that the quality time we have together is rather limited. 

We decided to start celebrating Valentine's Day as a way of remembering why we got together in the first place and showing that we love and appreciate one another. We have been sending cards etc since Eva has been born but this year we decided to do something extra special. 

We booked to have a 3 course lunch at the newly opened Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill in Cardiff. The restaurant is located on the top floor of the Hotel Indigo Cardiff and provides sweeping views of the city centre and beyond. This wasn't just any old lunch though, this was a special lunch where you could meet the main man himself, an opportunity we couldn't miss.


We are both foodies. We've eaten in many fantastic restaurants all over the world and michelin starred restaurants in the UK. We have a silly amount of cookbooks from our favourite chefs with of course, Marco being one of them. After all, he is the godfather of cooking. 

We arrived at the restaurant and immediately met Marco who was lovely. We chatted about Masterchef Australia (one of our favourite cookery programmes) and he then signed a copy of his new cookbook for us. 


We then headed to our table, champagne in hand to enjoy our 3 course meal. I had Calamari for a starter (which was delicious), Steak for my main, followed by a lovely Apple Crumble for dessert. Arwyn had a baked Camembert for starter, Steak for main and a créme brûlée for dessert. We also had a couple of glasses of Rioja which was divine. 



It was so lovely to actually do something special on Valentine's Day. We felt like our old selves again (pre kids). We spent quality, alone time together and chatted about food and memories etc. It was perfect.


I managed to find Arwyn an amazing Valentine's card. We are a big Disney loving family so I couldn't resist this beauty from Design me Pretty on Etsy featuring one of our favourite Disney films. I could have bought her entire shop. 


Eva received her first roses from daddy which she loved. Her little face was delighted. She felt so special and she has them on pride of place in her bedroom. 

i'm looking forward to Valentine's Day next year now but i'm not sure how we'll top this one. 




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