Monday, 26 February 2018

Be in the Picture Weekly Favourites - 3

Welcome back to the Be in the Picture weekly roundup. Once again there were lots of wonderful pictures shared on instagram and I struggled to pick just a few favourites. I could have featured so many. If you missed the last roundup you can catch up with it here, Be in the Picture weekly favourites - 2.


For those of you that haven't heard of #beinthepicture, it is an instagram hashtag that myself and Alana from Baby Holiday created. It is designed to encourage you to get in-front of the camera as opposed to behind it. I used to always be the one taking the pictures and I was never in them myself. 

You can use the hashtag on any pictures that feature you whether that be fashion, parenting, travel, with your partner etc. You name it, we want to see it.

My favourite photo from last week was by Kate at https://www.instagram.com/poutinginheels/. The picture is absolutely stunning. She looks beautiful but the caption stood out for me too. It's all about being able to see your own beauty. Kate did an instagram challenge called #seeingmyownbeauty and this picture was the last one she posted in the challenge. 





Day 7: #seeingmyownbeauty My one week Insta challenge is now coming to an end & so it seems only right that I share one of my most favourite photos of me, taken at the end of my Monica Bellucci shoot by my good friend @masque_photography (See day 2 of the challenge). I love how it captures a softer side to me & my husband loves it so much it’s up on our wall! 😊 I’m still wearing the heavy makeup from the shoot but my hair is my own & dishevelled and I’m not trying to be anyone else but me. πŸ˜„ It’s taken me a very long time to get to a place where I can see my OWN beauty & appreciate what I have. To not feel jealous or threatened by anyone else. But here’s what I have learned along the way: 🌟 Seeing your own beauty begins with you. 100 people could tell you how bloody marvellous you are but if you don’t believe it, it won’t make a jot of difference. You have to appreciate your OWN beauty and as corny as it sounds, love the skin you’re in. 🌟 Comparison is the kiss of death to confidence & self esteem. Stop comparing yourself to anyone else, don’t try to be someone you’re not and remember that what you see in the media & on billboards is not real. 🌟 You have to surround yourself with good people who make you feel beautiful! And believe them when they compliment you. (And if your partner doesn’t think you’re the most gorgeous woman alive, well you may want to trade him in.😜) 🌟 There are NO rules when it comes to beauty. Just do whatever works for you and what feels GOOD. Learn what suits you & never be afraid of experimenting. 🌟 Beauty isn’t limited to an age or a dress size. You can be beautiful at any age or any size. It’s all down to confidence and treating yourself in in a kinder, healthier and more appreciative way. ❤️ Last challenge!: Share one of your favourite photos of yourself, explain why you love it and talk about one thing you can do differently to help you see your own beauty more. . Thank you to everyone who’s supported or taken part! I hope it may have inspired at least a few of you to own YOUR beauty and love yourself more, in a world which continues to make all women feel ‘less than’. 😘
A post shared by Kate | Pouting In Heels (@poutinginheels) on

The next picture is by Emma at https://www.instagram.com/emmaand3/. Just look at that beautiful, happy, natural smile. 






Beth at https://www.instagram.com/twinderelmo/ shared this lovely photo of her and her twin girls. The colours of the sky are fab and I do love Mickey Mouse ears. I think every parent can relate to being excited about not having to do freezing cold school runs during half term too. 




Last up is this adorable snap by https://www.instagram.com/makedoandpush/. I love everything about it. It's such a precious moment. I'm also obsessed with their twinning coats.




My own favourite picture that I shared was this one of hubby and I. We managed to get 3 date nights in during one week which is more than we had all year last year. We had such a lovely time together and were able to reconnect. 




Make sure you join in with #beinthepicture over on instagram and also follow it to see everyone's pictures. 
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Sunday, 18 February 2018

TUI Family Life Bahia Feliz Gran Canaria Review

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 lattΓ©s 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*




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Thursday, 15 February 2018

Our Valentine's Day 2018

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 crΓ©me brΓ»lΓ©e 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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Monday, 12 February 2018

Disney Valentine's Day Gifts


Here are some of my top picks for last minute Valentine's Day gifts for Disney fans.

1) Minnie and Mickey Kiss Charm - Pandora
The Disney Pandora collection finally launched in the UK last year so there are some lovely charms to choose from for Valentine's Day. This kissing charm is perfect and costs £45.

2) Lady and the Tramp Soft Toy - Disney Store
This soft toy is adorable. It replicates the iconic scene from Lady and the Tramp. It's a must for any Disney soft toy collectors and costs £20.

3) Danielle Nicole Beauty and the Beast Rose Bag - QVC
Instead of getting actual roses, get this Danielle Nicole Beauty and the Beast Rose bag that will last a lifetime rather than a few weeks. It is currently reduced in price to £36.

4) Pooh and Piglet Figurine - Disney Store
There are some really cute Disney Tradition's figurines on the Disney Store online. Winnie the Pooh is one of my favourite characters and the books are full of beautiful, love quotes. This currently costs £35.

5) Couple's Mugs - The Disney Store
Hubby and I have a few of these at home but we are missing the Lady and the Tramp mugs. They join together with a love heart. They cost around £8.99 each.

6) Danielle Nicole Snow White Fairest One Of All Bag - QVC
As you can see i'm a big fan of the Danielle Nicole Disney collections. Show your Valentine they are the fairest of them all with this fab bag which currently costs £45.

7) Mickey and Minnie Valentine's Day T-shirt - George at Asda
This tee is such a bargain at £8. The design is super cute and I love the fact it says 'Forever' on it.

8) Mickey and Minnie Mouse Valentine's Day Tsum Tsum Soft Toy Set
This is a lovely collectable as it has the 2018 date on it. The Tsums Tsums are chocolate Strawberry scented too. £13.

Have you seen any Disney gifts that would be perfect for Valentine's Day? 

*Prices correct at time of publishing*


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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Disney Quotes for Valentine's Day

I'm a big fan of anything Disney and I run a series on my blog featuring Disney quotes. It's Valentine's day this month so what could be more fitting than some of my favourite Disney quotes about love.


1) I'd rather die tomorrow than live a hundred years without knowing you - Pocahontas

2) For it is plain as anyone can see. We're simply meant to be - The Nightmare Before Christmas


3) Some people are worth melting for - Frozen

4) You are my greatest adventure - The Incredibles 

5) You're the best thing I never knew I needed - The Princess and the Frog


6) I look at you and i'm home - Finding Nemo

7) To face the future with another, who means more than any other, is to be loved - The Rescuers 

8) I knew at once that you were meant for me. Deep in my soul, I know that i'm your destiny - Mulan


9) If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart. I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh


10) So this is love, so this is what makes life divine - Cinderella

11) When i'm with you I don't feel so alone - Hercules 

12) You mean more to me than anyone in this whole world - Peter Pan


13) You're the one that i've been looking for - The Little Mermaid

14) Love is a song that never ends - Bambi

15) Now i'm in a whole new world with you - Aladdin 


16) You are my new dream - Tangled 

17) True, that he's no Prince Charming, but there's something in him that I simply didn't see - Beauty and the Beast


18) I made a wish upon a star, I turned around and there you were - Bolt

19) From this day on now and forever more, you'll be in my heart - Tarzan

20) My name is Doug. I have just met you and I love you - Up






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Monday, 5 February 2018

Me and Mine Project - January 2018

As a family we've had a busy few months since my last Me and Mine Project post in November. December saw us heading to Abu Dhabi and Australia. We had a couple of days in Abu Dhabi as a stopover to break up the super long flight. It was fab there. We visited Ferrari World which was such an adrenaline rush. 


We also visited the beautiful Sheik Zayed Mosque. It was one of the most incredible places i've ever seen. 

We then headed to Australia to spend Christmas with my family. They live in Newcastle, in New South Wales. We've been there a few times but this was the first time we'd actually spent Christmas day there. It was very odd having Christmas in the sunshine and eating different food to what we're used to but we all enjoyed it nonetheless. 


On the way back to the UK, we had another 2 day stopover in Abu Dhabi. We went to the new Louvre museum which was a fantastic building. We also visited Ferrari World again as we had such a good time there.


January saw us attempting to get back into a routine with school and work. It's so hard isn't in when you've been off for so long? 

We had Eva's 5th birthday near the middle of the month. She had a birthday party but unfortunately I was ill so I couldn't go. Poor hubby had to do everything. I was ill for a good few weeks that month with a viral infection and the flu. I hadn't been that ill for years.

I had grand plans to take lots of pictures whilst we were away etc but you know what? We were so busy enjoying ourselves I forgot. 

This month is half term which we haven't made any plans for yet. I need to get a move on and decide what we're doing as it's only a couple of weeks away. 

Together last month we enjoyed:
Christmas
The Sun
The Beach
Rides
Race Cars
Chocolate 






The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful
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Thursday, 1 February 2018

Be in the Picture Weekly Favourites - 2

Welcome back to the Be in the Picture weekly roundup. Once again there were lots of wonderful pictures shared on instagram and I struggled to pick just a few favourites. I could have featured so many.

For those of you that haven't heard of #beinthepicture, it is an instagram hashtag that myself and Alana from Baby Holiday created. It is designed to encourage you to get in-front of the camera as opposed to behind it. I used to always be the one taking the pictures and I was never in them myself. 

You can use the hashtag on any pictures that feature you whether that be fashion, parenting, travel, with your partner etc. You name it, we want to see it.




Last week my favourite picture was shared by Cliona from https://www.instagram.com/leanmeanmomma/. Cliona recently travelled to Iceland with Primark where she visited the Blue Lagoon. It looked incredible. I was so envious of all of her pictures and instagram stories. 


Ahhhh I could happily jump back in there now!! We spent Friday afternoon having fun over at Blackrock castle testing out the new kids leisure wear from @primark. My kids think they are the coolest kids on the planet when wearing them. 1st born especially loves that she has trainers that match mine! Someday I’ll embarrass her and she won’t want to know me. I’ll take the fact to that twinning with Mum is cool for now 😎 We got some cool shots, scones and hot chocolates .... I’lI share them this week. Well the shots... not the scones or hot chocolate obvs πŸ˜πŸ‘ŒπŸ» . #momlife #momblogger #mommyblogger #motherhood #mommyhood #realmom #momsofinstagram #momlifeisthebestlife #mommylife #mommyproblems #parenthood #parentlife #mumstyle #dresslikeamum #irishblogger #mum_hub #realmum #realmomstyle #realmumstyle #teammotherly #ohheymama #primarksetgo #motherhoodrising #mamarazzi_square #mumswithhustle #dailyparenting #pbloggers #mamalife #acupofmotherhood #beinthepicture
A post shared by Cliona O'Connor (@leanmeanmomma) on

 Next up is the lovely Alex from https://www.instagram.com/lambandbear/. She has her own established children's clothing line but has recently launched clothes for adults, whoop. I love the slogan on this jumper and i'm looking forward to seeing future releases. 






 The next picture is by https://www.instagram.com/lovedbyesther/. This picture really stood out for me when browsing the hashtag. The caption then had me smiling even more. She has some lovely travel memories of her family and in particular her father. I love the fact that she has inherited his sense of adventure and is hoping to pass that on to her own children. 



Last time I was in Egypt was 11 years ago, and I keep thinking about how much has changed since then ❤ Jared and I had only just started texting a few days before (he remembers because he was worried I wouldn't text back after my holiday 🀣) and I was with my family, not ours. I climbed (except my Dad hired a camel 🐫 for himself - typical) Mount Sinai with my family through the night, so that we could see sunrise. It was magnificent..and cold...and one of my sisters was wearing a catsuit and glittery ballet pumps (again typical - unprepared, yet just as eager). We rode quad bikes in the desert and I snorkeled with my Dad...something he loved. He had his own prescription mask that we made fun of because the lenses were so thick πŸ€“ I feel so thankful for his sense of adventure (who even considers having 11 children? πŸ˜„) and his fun side πŸŽ‰ It's something I'm desperate to pass on to my children...go new places, try new things and meet new people 🌍 So thankful to have so many memories of him πŸ’”
A post shared by Esther 🌿 (@lovedbyesther) on

Last up this week is another beautiful picture from https://www.instagram.com/alex_gladwin/. Alex's instagram account has been one of my favourites for years.  She looks stunning in this picture and it was just lovely to see some flowers in my instagram feed. Hurry up spring.





I’ve not eaten meat or fish since I was about 14 now and I can’t imagine a time where I would ever eat meat again. Over the years it’s been amazing to see so many more brands bring out meat-free alternatives and restaurants bring out more and more veggie dishes. It’s made life as a vegetarian feel no more difficult than life as a meat-eater and I love that. πŸ™ŒπŸ» Recently I have had lots of requests and questions about being vegetarian and so I thought I’d sit down and just share some of my tips, advice and experience. I’ve talked about things like hidden ingredients to watch out for, eating out as a veggie, best vegetarian recipe books, where you can get iron and protein from and lots more. It isn't intended to persuade you to go veggie, that's your choice, I simply wanted to share some helpful advice for anyone out there who is interested in eating less meat/transiting to becoming vegetarian. If you’d like to watch/read there’s a post over on my blog and/or a video on my YouTube channel. The links are on my profile page. πŸ’•✅
A post shared by Alex Gladwin (@alex_gladwin) on

I didn't share many pictures on my own feed last week as i've just been so busy but I adore this one of Eva and I. She is such a mini me.



Eva is currently at the stage where she wants everything of mine. Make up, jewellery, hair clips, pens, notebooks, you name it, she takes it. Luckily she hasn’t tried to swipe my @icewatch yet as she has her own. I’ve heard her proudly announcing to family that she has a watch just like mummy. For now I will relish in the fact that she wants to be just like me as I’m sure the older she gets, the less cool she’ll think I am #beinthepicture #ukparentbloggers #myminime #mummyanddaughter #mummyandme #clickinmoms #celebratingmotherhoodig #momblogger #bestofmom #lbloggers #icewatch #ad #motherhoodrising #motherhoodunplugged #motherhoodsimplfied #mum_hub #joyfulmamas #mommymoments #momtographer #mommyhood #lifewithkids #lifewithgirls #parentinglife #kidsforreal #acupofmotherhood #lionessmama

Make sure you join in with #beinthepicture over on instagram and also follow it to see everyone's pictures. 
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