It is happening, it is that time of year. The shops are putting their Christmas cards and decorations out, selection boxes and Advent calendars are popping up all over the supermarkets and you know that the minute that Halloween is over, the Christmas music will be playing, all day, every day. Whether you are a ‘think about in December' kind of person or ‘buying gifts since the January sales’ kind of person, there is just no getting around the fact that Christmas is now firmly on the horizon which means that plans can now be made. That is why today we want to share with you 3 tips for planning your family Christmas. 



Planning the gift lists

Some years this one can go smoothly and at other times it is a struggle. You might have had a brilliant idea for what you can buy your children, or they might be begging for a certain something which, as long as it is within your budget, makes this much easier.  

Start creating a list full of ideas for your children and everyone else that you need to get a gift for. Jot down your budget next to it to help to keep you on track as this can easily get out of hand otherwise. 

If your little one simply does not need any more toys, books, or clothes, perhaps something else would excite them? You could book experiences in for them, such as theatre nights or trips to the zoo, or surprise them with a new-look bedroom
We would suggest that whether you are looking for video game consoles at Latest Deals or searching eBay for collectibles that you shop around for the best buys and voucher codes so that you manage to get all that you need within budget. 

Planning the food

The food at Christmas is such a big part of the season and so it is important that you plan to have everything covered.

Pop to your usual supermarket to find out when all of the Christmas range comes out, and if you shop online, make sure that you know when the Christmas delivery slots are released so that you can snag a good one immediately. 

Ask your family what their favourites are for the big day itself, and then stock up on the nibbles that you all enjoy. 

Planning the fun

This one is possibly the best bit, as you need to plan plenty of fun activities, traditions and outings.

If you have young children the chances are that you are going to want to pay a visit to Father Christmas. Get this one booked in early as the most popular events and times tend to get booked up very quickly. 

There will then be those traditions that are special to your family, or traditions that you want to create. They might be family get-togethers, the day that you buy the tree or put it up, family Christmas film nights, making a gingerbread house or baking cookies or a trip to a nearby shopping centre or stately home to see the lights and decorations. 

This one will be personal to you and your family, you just need to ensure that you are planning things in across December so that you are confident that you will get to do everything and enjoy it all. 

*This is a collaborative post*

 

Cleaning companies operating in London offer various types of deep carpet cleaning at home: dry, steam or intensive cleaning. The choice of technology depends on the type of product, types of contamination, the customer’s availability of cleaning time and many other factors. The technology is selected by professional technologists - all the personnel of companies working with deep carpet cleaning undergo special training.

Characteristics of Dry Cleaning Method


Dry, or hydrocarbon, cleaning is suitable for upholstery - cotton, silk, viscose, wool, as well as leather and suede. Using this method, grease, wine, coffee and other contaminants on upholstered furniture are carefully eliminated, which is especially important, for example, for upholstering chairs and armchairs in cafes. Dry cleaning fights against stains of rust, mold, glue and even iodine. The pattern on the upholstery does not suffer, and the effect of a hydrocarbon solvent increases its life. 
Dry delicate cleaning is also suitable for Chinese silk carpets - it keeps the ornament in its original form without damaging the pile and keeping it soft. Cleaning is carried out within a few hours - depending on the complexity of the pollution and the “age” of the spots. Modern carpet cleaning companies offer quality cleaning services not only during the working day, but also at night - by appointment, because everyone knows that situations often develop more paradoxically than in the movies: for example, a beige sofa drenched in red wine on the eve of guests' arrival.

Steam Carpet Cleaning - Advantages


Steam cleaning methods is ideal for cleaning carpets - with the help of this technology, they can easily remove dirt, dust and almost any stains: from shoe polish to traces of a ballpoint pen. At the same time, the pile remains soft, and the pattern is bright and clear. Processing is carried out using special machines filled with chemically active detergent, which is supplied to the surface by a pump, and the vacuum pump then carefully collects dirt and dust. After that, it is important to let the carpet dry completely naturally or, if the process needs to be accelerated, using heat fans. The power of the extraction machine is usually quite large, so it rarely takes more than an hour to dry. Extractor cleaning has a number of advantages: work with large surfaces, long-lasting effect - the next cleaning will be required no earlier than six months later, absolute hypoallergenic composition and time saving - the whole procedure takes no more than four hours.

Intensive Cleaning – Purposes


Intensive cleaning is used when it is necessary to quickly eliminate local impurities, such as old stains, stains of an unknown nature, chewing gum on a chair or traces of dirty shoes on a carpet. The technology resembles wet cleaning, the difference is only in an individual approach to each type of pollution, even on one piece of furniture.
Consumers have already managed to evaluate the convenience of using deep carpet cleaning services at home, which has given a powerful impetus to the development of this market segment: at present, there are hundreds of companies engaged in on-site cleaning of carpets and furniture in London. However, when it comes to top quality and affordable carpet cleaning services, the leader on the market is Prolux Cleaning! Prolux Cleaning serves thousands of customers in London, both individuals and business clients, who benefit from regular discounts from cleaning services. The greatest benefit of contacting Prolux is the chance to receive a cleaning service, performed by the top cleaning professionals in London!
*This is a collaborative post* 
Turkey is a country that I have travelled to many times. I used to visit every year with my family when I was a child and I have no taken my own children on holiday there 4 times. Planning a family holiday there shouldn't be stressful so here are my tips such as making sure you get your Turkey Visa before hand and more, to help you plan the perfect holiday.

Here are my tips for travelling to Turkey with young children:

1)      The Weather
Turkey can be very hot during the summer months with temperatures in the late 30’s most days. Always ensure you pack adequate sunscreen (preferably factor 50) to keep your child’s skin protected. Make sure they have hats and sunglasses too. Try and avoid being in direct sunlight during the warmest part of the day (midday/afternoon). In the hot conditions, it’s very important to keep hydrated so drink plenty of bottled water throughout the day.


2)     Turkey Visa
Most people don’t realise that to enter Turkey, everyone requires a visa. This needs to be purchased before you arrive. There is more information here for Turkey visa requirements. There are many false websites around selling visa’s so it’s important to make sure that you buy yours from a legitimate website. I have previously used e-visa Turkey.
My children love going through the passport check area in Turkey as they get a stamp in their passports.

3)      Water
In Turkey you need to buy bottled water to drink. I’d also recommend that you use bottled water when brushing your teeth and, in the kettle, to make hot drinks. Also check how the ice is made when eating and drinking out in restaurants. 


4)      Medicine/Insurance
Always make sure you have adequate travel insurance as a trip to the doctor or hospital could be expensive. Hopefully you won’t ever have to use the medical services whilst you are there.
I advise packing as many medicines and first aid kit such as Calpol, antihistamines, plasters etc to save buying any from a pharmacy if they are needed. 

5)      Where to stay
There are plenty of areas to stay in Turkey which are child friendly. I’d recommend a hotel with kid’s clubs and entertainment. Lots of the all-inclusive hotels have water slides and children’s pools so it’s worth looking for those. I haven’t stayed in this particular hotel, but many people recommend staying in the Tui family life hotel which isn’t far from Dalaman airport. 

We have always stayed in Icmeler, which is a town next to Marmaris. We find Icmeler to be much more family friendly than Marmaris. Marmaris tends to be livelier with lots of bars and clubs so I’d say it’s more aimed at couples and groups.

Olu Deniz is also a lovely area with beautiful beaches and many family friendly hotels to choose from. 

If you're struggling to choose then head to TripAdvisor for some honest reviews on accommodation.


6)      The people
Turkey is a family orientated country. Everybody in Turkey is very friendly and the people are wonderful with kids. They always go out of their way to make them feel welcome at restaurants etc. It can often be quite disconcerting how friendly the Turks are with children but please don’t be alarmed, this is just their way. 


7)      The food
There are plenty of local dishes that are worth trying but for children I would recommend the Turkish Ice-Cream stalls, the Baklava, pide and a Turkish breakfast. 
A Turkish breakfast brings the family together. It consists of various dishes of food (like a buffet) so that everyone sits together and enjoys the sharing plates. Typical foods would be cucumber, cheese, tomatoes, breads, jams, olives and more. If you’re lucky you could even get Turkish Sausage (Sucak which is delicious) or Menemen (which is like an omelette) with yours. 
Pide is a Turkish pizza which you will find served in the local restaurants. There are various flavours and toppings you can choose from. I actually got to learn to make a Turkish Pide at a restaurant in Cardiff, you can read about it here, Saray Restaurant.

8)      Safety
One aspect of Turkey that scares me when taking my children are the notorious drivers. The roads are dangerous so be very vigilant and careful when crossing any roads. They seem to drive fast and recklessly.


9)      Transport
One of the easiest ways to travel around are on the buses. They are cheap and cheerful and young children are not charged. They can get very busy at night so you may have to stand. 



Overall we would recommend Turkey to anyone looking for a family friendly holiday. I hope my tips have helped you plan and don't forget to get your Turkey Visa before you travel to avoid any delays on your holiday.

*This is a collaborative post*
If you follow me on Instagram you'll have noticed that over the summer I got the chance to review the Do The Unthinkable food plan by Musclefood. It seemed like perfect timing as I was super busy with my lifestyle as I was working, looking after my kids, also studying at uni away from home and I had various weddings etc. I was also trying to train for a half marathon so I knew my exercise and diet needed to be on point whilst I was leading up to the run.
I received a 4 week plan for 6 days each week. 



So what is the plan?
Musclefood Do The Unthinkable is basically all the the food you would need for one day delivered straight to your door so there's no need for any meal planning or food shopping. 
There are 3 lengths of plans to choose from which are delivered weekly. You can have a 5 day, 6 day or 7 day plan. Each day comes with 3 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and also 3 snacks. 
The food arrives in a huge box, with fresh food in a freezer type container. The bonus of it all is that you can cancel anytime, there is no subscription required, unlike many other similar plans on the market.



The food:
When you sign up you get to choose your goal such as weight loss, toning, building muscle etc. You enter your height and weight and then your food choices will appear. There are so many to choose from. I must admit I found choosing the meals and snacks to be quite daunting as there were so many but they do highlight one's which would be perfect for your goals to help you decide.
The meals were high in protein to aid the exercise required to achieve your goals. There were things such as eggs, porridge, protein pancakes, various chicken dishes with rice, stir fry, a protein pizza (this was music to my ears as pizza is a personal favourite thing of mine) and so much more.



The snacks were plentiful and ranged from protein baked crisps to protein packed chocolate bars.
Most of the meals already came prepared so all you had to do was pop it in the microwave or oven. These ones were particular useful for when I was in work. Some of the meals you had to prepare yourselves (chop etc) and then cook but overall it was very easy and stress free. Another highlight with the food was that a lot of it could also be frozen.
You can view an unboxing video of one of my delivery's on youtube.




The exercise:
In your delivery box you receive a workout DVD and a wall planner with HIIT (high intensity interval training) pencilled in. I am usually very active but where my lifestyle had been super busy whilst doing this 4 week plan, I'll fully admit I didn't stick to the exercise schedule on the planner. I also feel that I didn't do enough exercise. I did less than what I normally would but again this is my fault and nothing to do with the plan.

My results:
Here are my results from start to finish (weight is in kg and measurements are in inches) -
Weight 65.2kg to 65kg
Chest 36 - 35
Waist 29.5 (remained the same)
Hip 39 to 38
Thigh 22 to 21
Arm 11.5 to 10.5

I was hoping for a bigger loss but again I think it was more down to the fact that I was too busy to fully commit to the exercise.

What did I think:
I really enjoyed the plan. I just wish I could have had more spare time to exercise more and therefore get better results. My favourite part of the plan was not having to meal plan, food shop and meal prep. That saved so much time. It was super easy having everything delivered to your door and then most of the meals were prepared by popping them in the microwave or oven.



If you'd like to try the plan use code KERRY5 for a discount.

*I received a monthly plan in exchange for my honest review in this blog post*

Living a healthy life isn’t as simple as snapping your fingers and instantly making changes. It takes time to adopt habits that will improve your physical and mental wellbeing. So, if you’re struggling to maintain a long-term healthy lifestyle, then it might be time to make permanent improvements. Forget the quick-fix diets; you need a lasting solution. These are the health changes you should consider making.

Eating healthier meals.
For starters, you should eat healthier meals. And we’re not talking about the “miraculous” fad diets that you might have seen advertised on TV or social media. We’re talking about healthy diets that you can actually maintain. A diet that helps you lose weight incredibly quickly is not a healthy diet. Slimming down quickly isn’t always a sign of good health. Denying yourself food is denying your body the sustenance it needs. So, if you want to live healthily, you have to focus on getting the nutrition you need without filling up on junk food.

Try filling your meals with whole foods. Fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are food groups that fall under the larger classification of “whole foods”. Most modern food is processed to some extent, but whole foods tend to be more natural than many processed food items that you see on supermarket shelves. Rather than avoiding calories, you should simply avoid empty calories. Focus on getting your necessary intake of protein, carbohydrates, iron, calcium, and other important nutrients and vitamins.

Cutting down on unhealthy habits.
You should also cut down on unhealthy habits if you want to make a positive change to your lifestyle. Adopting healthy habits will improve your wellbeing, but you’ll still struggle to make a big difference if you keep up bad habits such as drinking or smoking. It’s important to talk to friends and family members if you think you need help. Remember, the goal is to take gradual steps in the right direction. Perhaps you could check out Nova Vapes. These might help to wean you off nicotine cigarettes. The occasional treat is fine, but you have to recognise habits that are out of control. Most people can allow themselves the occasional glass of wine, for instance, but it might be time for you to cut down or stop drinking alcohol completely if you consume it in excess.

Sleeping sufficiently.
Additionally, you should start sleeping sufficiently if you want to improve your wellbeing. Many people in the modern world fail to do this. Yet, sleep is so important to your health. You should be aiming to get 8 hours of rest on a daily basis. You might think that your morning coffee solves the problem, but sleep deprivation affects your physical and mental state in so many ways. You should really consider getting 8 hours of sleep every night if you want to ensure your metabolism works quickly, your immune system stays strong, and your mental state remains in good shape. If you struggle to fall asleep, then you might want to avoid stimulating your mind before bed. You should sleep in a dark room and avoid phones or other bright lights.

*This is a collaborative post*
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