Thursday, 27 September 2018

Considering a Last Minute Getaway? Don't Overlook These Five Things

When it comes to anything, planning and preparation can save you a lot of hassle. However, sometimes it does pay to be spontaneous. Often, planning too hard or too far ahead can take the fun out of things, and you might find that you come up against issues that can put you off. Whereas if you just take the plunge and go for it, you find a way to make it work one way or another- and when you look back you’re glad you made it happen. This can be applied to booking a holiday; of course, planning, preparation, time to save money and research of the destination is never a bad thing. But sometimes, deciding that you want to go away and just doing it means you end up having a wonderful time with no expectations, and you don’t have time to talk yourself out of anything. But what do you need to consider when you’re planning a last minute trip? Here are some ideas.

Can you get the time off work?
Unfortunately for most of us, our time is dictated by work. Before planning an adventure, make sure you’re certain you can get the time off. You might have to give a number of weeks notice, and you might need to check how many holiday days you have left for this year. Either way, before making plans or doing anything else, check that you can get the time off from your workplace.  

Can you afford it?
The next hurdle to overcome when it comes to booking a last minute trip is whether you can afford it. When you’re going on a spontaneous break you have no time to save, so you’ll need to check your finances. You can often find cheap flights and discounts when you’re booking last minute, so be sure to shop around for the best deals.

Is your passport in date?
Don’t check your passport at the last minute, just to realise it’s expired! There are places in the world that will request that you have a certain length of time to be left on it before expiry, so you can’t necessarily use it til the end date. It’s something to check before taking the plunge and booking your trip.

Do you have clothes and luggage?
If you’ve not been away on holiday for a while, you might not have the things you need to go away with. If you’re in need of a suitcase and all new clothes then this is something you will need to work into your budget. Don’t forget things like travel sized toiletries too.

Do you have someone to go with?
As well as making sure you’ve considered all of the above, anyone you want to travel with will need to do the same. If you have a partner or friend that you want to go away with then make sure that they’re actually able to come along. If not, you could find a travel buddy online or look to meet people while you’re away. Otherwise, a solo adventure it will have to be!

*This is a collaborative post*

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

My Fondest Memory of Alfie

Growing up I always had a dog by my side. At the age of 5, I got my first Pet, a puppy called Rocky. As an only child he was my best friend. We did everything together. Later on we got him a girlfriend, a staffy cross called Tia. After Rocky died Tia remained my faithful companion and she was with my husband and I when we bought our very first home. Sadly after a few years she became very ill and we were advised to have her put to sleep. Even though we had Petplan Pet Insurance, it was nothing that she would ever survive, no matter what we did. She would suffer. It was heartbreaking. 

I was completely stricken with grief. Coming back home from work and not having a dog to greet me was unfamiliar. I was actually pregnant at the time but still a hole was left that I needed to fill. After a month we decided to get a puppy. 

When we went to visit the puppies for the first time and choose one, we decided on the one that came over to my belly. He climbed on my lap and snuggled into my bump. We knew he was the one. We later called him Alfie.

Alfie was by my side morning and night and he always wanted to rest his head on my belly. My fondest memory of him so far was when I went into labour with my first child. The one who he had been protecting. He was incredible. He was pacing up and down the landing, clearly concerned. But what amazed me the most is that he almost sensed when a contraction was coming and he'd come over to me and either cuddle into my side or rest his head on my belly. He was a great support.

When I was pregnant with my second child, he was interested in my belly but not as much as he was with Eva. I think it's because he's grown up with Eva. There are 5 months between them in age so they have always been together. She is his best friend and it's adorable to see. It reminds me of the relationship I had with my first dog Rocky. he of course loves Ophelia too but he's definitely Eva's dog. 

Having a dog in our family has bought us so many happy memories already and he's only 6 so hopefully there'll be many more to come. Now all I have to do is convince my husband to let us get another puppy for Alfie to play with.

Petplan want to hear your Pet Stories too, so whether it is a recovery from illness or just their day to day mischief share your story on Petplan’s Facebook or Instagram using PethoodStories

*This post is in conjunction with Petplan but all thoughts are my own*

Monday, 24 September 2018

Breakfast at the Earl of Sandwich in Disneyland Paris

As annual pass holders at Disneyland Paris, we quite often don't book a package break which includes meals. We tend to just book a hotel and sort out food when we are there. We  are entitled to extra magic hours at the park which is early in the morning and therefore we like to try and have a quick breakfast to be able to take full advantage of the short ride queues etc.

The Earl of Sandwich  at Disneyland Paris is a hidden gem and is located in the Disney Village next to the lake. We have previously eaten lunch there and we were big fans of the dining experience when we were in Walt Disney World last year. We didn't even realise they served breakfast so when we were asked if we would like to come and try their offerings, we couldn't resist. 

We arrived for breakfast at 9am and it was quiet which was nice. There were no long queues and there were plenty of tables.

Breakfast is served everyday until 11am and is freshly prepared and made straight after you place your order. You are given a buzzer to take to your table to alert you when your food is ready to collect. We had about a 5 minute wait for ours. All ingredients are high quality and the bread is baked in house using a secret recipe. 

The restaurant itself is large, covering 2 floors. Upstairs also offers indoor and outdoor dining with one of the best views in Disney Village. 

You can get a French breakfast, American breakfast or an English breakfast, all at very reasonable prices.

Important to note is that The Earl of Sandwich is the only restaurant offering an English breakfast. For 9.95 euros you can have eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, toast and a hot drink. It is served in a box if you wish to take it away to eat. 

There are also muffins, cookies, fruit and soft drinks to choose from if you would prefer something lighter.

The kids chose to share an English breakfast and they also chose fruit and a cookie. They absolutely loved it especially our youngest. She likes to eat a bit of everything so an English breakfast is a perfect choice. There wasn't an option for a kids sized breakfast which is something I would like to see them introduce. It was too big for them to eat for themselves so a child sized portion would have been ideal. 

My husband and I chose an American breakfast which came with a hot drink. This costs just 6.95 euros. We had a ham and egg sandwich and a bacon and egg sandwich. We both really enjoyed these. My 15 year old cousin also had the American breakfast and he said it was filling. My hubby particularly enjoyed his coffee. If you've been to Disneyland Paris then you may have tasted the coffee in the park and realised it is not very nice to say the least. He was delighted to finally have a good, tasting coffee.

Overall, we really enjoyed our breakfast. It was fresh, tasty and certainly filled us all up until lunchtime. The menu has something suitable for all the family. We found it fantastic value for money. If you haven't got a meal package as part of your Disneyland Paris holiday then the Earl of Sandwich is perfect. It's quick and you can either eat in or grab it to go to enjoy on your walk to the park. We will definitely be returning on our next visit. 

*We were invited to the Earl of Sandwich in return for this blog post. All thoughts, opinions and words are my own*


Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Keeping Your Body Happy And Healthy

When it comes to living a happy and healthy life, the main thing we all want to make sure of is that we keep our body happy and functioning correctly throughout the years. Now that summer is over it is the tempting to let go of our summer body habits and go back to eating Marshmallows and drinking lattes, but we should still take the time and effort to try and remain healthy. Here are some top tips to stay healthy and happy all year long.

Eat a balanced diet

Our diet is the single most important aspect of our lives and it is the most effective way to stay healthy and have a long life. If you want to improve your diets towards the the end of this year it can be worth investing in some Tupperware tubs to create meal prep meals and lots of vegetables for protein and healthy carbs. Your diet is the most crucial thing to maintain so make sure to eat in moderation and always have some green on your plate.

Look for natural remedies

Natural remedies are always the best kind of remedy because they don’t involve any unnecessary chemicals which can cause side effect on the body. You can pretty much buy natural remedies for everything in your body, you can buy natural remedies for the heart, natural remedies for liver function, and even for your skin and hair. Do some research this year and see if you can find some handy remedies to do at home.

Get moving

Movement is something which a lot of people don’t enjoy but it is something which everyone needs to do during their week. If you hate the idea of being at the gym surrounded by people, you don’t have to go to a gym. How did people keep fit before gyms existed? They went outside and had fun! In the evening after school and work instead of sitting down in front of the TV right away, why not go outside and play some football? You can move around while having fun and this is the best way to keep your muscles strong and your heart happy.

Be less stressed

Stress can have a terrible impact on the boy which goes beyond simply feeling down in the dumps and unhappy. When you are stressed, it affects every system of the body and it can cause a number of things to happen. Your blood pressure can increase which can in turn increase your risk of a heart attack. Your liver can cease to rid the body of toxins effectively, and your body won’t want to digest food which can cause IBS symptoms. When trying to stay healthy, be less stressed with techniques and this will keep you functioning to the best you can.

Train your brain

The brain needs training just as the body does. To prevent the risk of Alzheimer’s disease later in life, regular brain training can be the ideal thing for you to do. It will keep you learning, allow for better memory and make you happier.

*this is a collaborative post*


Be in the Picture Weekly Favourites - 6

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 5.

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.

I've loved seeing lots of fashion style picture's recently and I'm especially loving all the autumn/winter trends all over the gram so for this roundup I've included some outfit pics. 

My favourite outfit has come from Lamb and Bear because I'm insanely jealous of her Leopard print boots. 

Oh hello Monday! I’ve been a little bit giddy about today. My first full week back to my working routine and hopefully getting my emotions back on track 🤪 I’m also starting my short course with @selfishmother. I’m so excited to learn something (anything!) to get @adaandalfredshop off the ground. A lot of passion, emotion, sweat, tears goes into what I do, I just need a little helping hand to help me grow. So here’s to a new week, new goals, new achievements. ✌🏻 I’ve got this 💪🏻 • • • • • #Momstyle #mumstyle #fashionover30 #styleover30 #whatmamawore #whatiworetoday #mamastyle #dresslikeamum #instamum #lifecloseup #thismamaloves #thisparentlife #ohmamamoment #ohheymama #mumlifeisthebestlife #acupofmotherhood #whatmamaworetoday #girlboss #investinwomen #bossbabe #ahappyboss #startup #beinthepicture #mumsthatslay #lionessmama #blondehair #whatmamaworemonday #beglamorous
A post shared by Lamb & Bear (@lambandbear) on

Next to feature is memeandharri. This outfit has autumn written all over it. It's making me cosy just looking at the picture. You can't beat a dress with an oversized knit.

This outfit by lifeafterblue is just gaols. The colours are lovely and I'm rather envious of her hair. She's been through lots of life changes lately and she still remains positive. Go and give her a follow.

If anyone has been following my stories or posts to date, they may have noticed that a lot has changed in our lives – we have moved cross-country, we have left/changed jobs, we are now the gracious roomies of my parents (for money saving reasons), Lola has started ‘big’ school and Sadie has… well, let’s just say found her voice. I also had a scare two weeks ago, whereby, what started off as blurred vision and a blind spot in one of my eyes led to a few days of querying a tumor. Luckily, after some tests and scans, we were told this was not the case. The whole experience definitely changed my outlook on things and certainly made me more grateful for, well, today. Although we are not sure if the central vision will come back, it is definitely something I can adapt too (except the injections 👁 ... I’ll need a drink on ice after the next one of those!) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I have realised just how quickly life can change. It is not enough to live in today but being grateful is the key. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I went to see a movie with my four old last night staring the always insightful, Mr Winnie the Pooh, who in fact lay this lesson down with a fully-grown Christopher Robin - “Today, my favourite day.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ *full post in blog, click link in bio if you want to read more . . . . . . . . . . #today #todaywasagoodday #todayful #gratitude #gratitudejournal #gratitudeattitude #themommydiary #me #beinthepicture #love #family #begrateful #documentyourdays #thingsiwanttoremember #thehappynow #thehappycapture #quotes #quotestoliveby #quoteoftheday #liveauthentic #livefortoday #inspirationalquotes #positivemind #mindfulness #mindful #inthemoment #picoftheday #winniethepooh #winniethepoohquotes
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Last up from my favourite picks is leanmeanmomma. Cliona always looks great. Her holiday snaps have been making me wish I was away. 

The skies over Marbella quite literally opened up & unleashed a torrent of H2O down on top of us this weekend. Never mind we said, we’ll grab a taxi to town. Oh no you won’t they replied as there is a 2 hour wait on the taxis and ye are no 5 in the que. Right so scratch that! Instead we strolled to @beachhousemarbella and I had the BEST cauliflower vegan salad ever. And wine... pleanty of fruit & veg then huh? 🤗 Eventually we managed to nab a cab and went for .... well more food. And more fruit 🤭🤷‍♀️ 🍷 in the fabulous @casatuamarbella. I highly recommend it!! A weekend away that was good for the soul - feeling so grateful to be able to do it. Feeling ready for the winter now! Time to knuckle down!! . . #familyholiday #familypic #familyday #igersworldwide #picoftheweek #instalove #instatravel #instatrip #realmum #realmomstyle #realmumstyle #momsofinstagram #momlifeisthebestlife #mommylife #mommyproblems #parenthood #parentlife #mumstyle #dresslikeamum #irishblogger #mamarazzi_square #mumswithhustle #dailyparenting #pbloggers #mamalife #acupofmotherhood #beinthepicture #vsco_mom #raisingragamuffins
A post shared by Cliona O'Connor (@leanmeanmomma) on

My own personal favourite outfit pic that I have shared over on my instagram is one from my holiday to Turkey. I wore a Next dress which isn't something I'd normally wear but I loved it nonetheless. 

Good morning. Happy Monday. For what mama wore Monday I’m wearing a dress that I was kindly sent by @nextofficial for our recent holiday. To see more pics etc, you can head over to my blog (link in bio) and read my What I Wore On Holiday Post. The night I wore this Eva shattered my princess dreams. As you probably know I am Disney obsessed and Jasmine is my fave. I decided to attempt a Mum bun as I couldn’t be bothered to do my hair. Eva decided to tell me I look just like Mulan 😫. If you’ve seen the film you’ll know this is when she cuts her hair to make herself look like a man. Cheers Eva 👍 You can always count on a child for some brutal honesty 😂 #whatmamaworemonday #mumdresscode #mamastyle #kerrylouisenorrisfashion #sharewithnext #fbloggers #ootd #wiwt #stylediary #stylediaries #mumsthatslay #mumsthatshop #thismamawears #beinthepicture #motherhoodunplugged #honestmotherhood #lifewithkids #review
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Make sure you join in with #beinthepicture over on instagram and also follow it to see everyone's pictures. 

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