Saturday, 31 August 2019

Family Essentials That It Might Be Time To Change

Being the head of a family definitely does bring its troubles. All of the sudden you have this overwhelming sense of understanding towards your own parents, because you know exactly what they had to do to raise you. And that’s because you know there’s always a school run to do, a shopping trip to be had, a family day out to be organised. You have to be constantly on the go and doing something fun to make sure that your kids are leading the best life that they can possibly lead. Most of you will have fond memories of always doing something with your family, and that’s what you need to let your own kids experience. So to keep you always on the go and enriching their lives, you need a few family essentials, and some of them might be wearing out at the minute. So, keep on reading, and we’ll give you some examples that you might need to think about!


Your Family Car

Your family car is most likely going to have been your trusty steed for a while now, but the amount of journeys that you’ll do as a family will no doubt wear it down after time. But sometimes family life is not as simple as everyone else, and it’s so common for people to need adapted cars for either themselves or their partner, or their children. Which then makes things so much more expensive, and families far more stressed. But at the minute there are so many offers on Vauxhall Motability cars that you could check out, and you never know, you might be able to find the car of your dreams! It’s always good to get a new car before you run the one you have into the ground, as towards the end we often spend more money on the repairs, when we could have spent it on a deposit for a new car.

Bits & Bobs Around The Home

We find it hard to replace the things around our home, because a lot of them carry some sentiment. It might be your first coffee table, or something you had handed down to you. But when it’s got to go, it’s got to go, and your home could look so much more refreshed if you just check out the new styles that are in. For example, glass coffee tables are making a comeback rather than the big wooden clunky ones, they just look so much more fancy and elegant!

Family Fun

Family fun definitely needs to be switched up a little bit from time to time. Sometimes it can feel like all you're doing is going to the park. So we think it’s good to make a plan once or twice a month on the weekends, to make sure that you get out and do something fun and different. It could be something physical, or something like the cinema, but as long as you have the plan to get out and do something different, you’ll be keeping that family fun spirit alive.

*This is a collaborative post*

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Friday, 30 August 2019

Last Minute Back to School Checklist

If you're like me and you haven't managed to buy everything you need for your children returning/starting school or you're worried you have forgotten to buy something then this list is a great reference. This checklist is for children of primary school age.

Back to School Checklist
  • Uniform - Polo Shirts, Bottoms, Jumper or Cardigan, Shoes, Coat
  • P.E Kit - T Shirt, Shorts or Leggings, Trainers, Bag
  • Outdoor Learning - Wellies, Hat
  • Bag
  • Lunchbox
  • Water-Bottle
  • Suntan lotion
  • Labels for Clothes
  • Hair Accessories - Bobbles, Bands, Clips
  • Stationary - Pencil Case, Pencils, Notepad
You can pin the below image:


Clothing:
The shops I recommend for clothing are Next and Tu at Sainsburys. The clothes tend to wash well and therefore last better from both stores. 
I tend to buy school shoes and trainers from Next or Clarkes. Wellies I usually get from a supermarket.

Bags, Lunch Accessories and Stationary :
Both my girls adore Smiggle for bags and stationary. I think they are attracted to all the bright, cute, patterns and scented products. 
This year they have a range for suitable for younger children (ages 3-6) which is ideal for nursery or preschool. The bags are smaller so fit little ones backs and shoulders better. 

Image from Smiggle

They also have a fab school bundle in lots of ranges which includes everything you need such as a rucksack, drinks bottle, lunchbox, pencil case and goo which has a hidden character inside. 
The lunchboxes from Smiggle are a particular favourite product of ours as they have 2 sections so there is plenty of space for lunch, snacks and a drink. They also wash well.

Clothing labels:
From personal experience I have found iron on labels last longer than stick on ones.

Suntan Lotion:
I find popping a roll on 5 star sun tan lotion the best for a school bag. Kids find that easy to apply themselves.

Stationary:
In our primary school kids aren't required to take any stationary to school but the girls still like to have a pencil case, pencils and notebook for home to complete homework and to practice writing and colouring. We again get these from Smiggle. They have great pencil cases that have different compartments and a pencil sharpener already attached to them.
Image from Smiggle

Hair accessories:
The supermarkets such as Asda usually have a fantastic range of school hair accessories in various school colours. If you're lucky you'll find a 3 for 2 deal or a buy one get one free deal.

Where do you usually do your school shopping?










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Monday, 26 August 2019

Easy decorating ideas for a child’s room

Children’s bedrooms can often fill you with dread. This is mostly because they’re usually a
mess 30 seconds after you’ve cleaned them.



But, the even bigger headache is decorating. That’s why you’ll find three ways to decorate
your child’s room without giving yourself too much of a headache blow.

A Theme

One great idea for when you decorate or re-decorate your child’s bedroom is to go with a
theme. Now, first thing’s first, the best time to do this is when your child is little as you can
make the theme about something they are obsessed with.

If they love animals, or space or even a popular TV show or film series (you know Toy Story
4 is about to see them wanting again), you can transform their room with this. You can do
this by first opting for neutral walls, possibly an off-white and furniture, which could be
white or a basic wood, and a neutral carpet – make it a little darker. Then you can add wall
stencils and paints to create a theme, stickers work too, and then incorporate a rug and
bedding to help tie the theme together, finally, opt for themed curtains, like animal print,
which you can buy from Swift Direct Blinds to finish the room off.

Neutral

If your little one doesn’t have a particular interest or changes their mind constantly, then
neutral is the way to go. By following the above instructions when it comes to your base
theme you can then add their favourite colours, or just a mix-match of bright colours to give
the room a little dimension. This can be done through lampshades and bedding or curtains
and blinds, while you could also transform a wall into a feature colour wall. An idea here is
to use chalk paint on one wall, so they can decorate it as they please while adding a fun
dimension to the room.

To grow into

This is a mix match of the above two. While keeping the base colours, buy basic furniture
than can change with the child. A bed that extends or a unit for storage, where they can place
toys as a small child or fitted storage cubes as they get older. Also, by not putting anything on
the walls, aside from some pictures maybe, you won’t have to keep painting the walls year
after year.

If you’re looking to decorate your child’s room these are the three easiest ways.

*This is a collaborative post*
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Sunday, 25 August 2019

Warm October Half Term Holiday Destinations

More and more people are searching for the sun during October half term and jetting off on an aeroplane to find it. But where can you fly from the UK that is warm at that time of year and that doesn't take too long to get too? Immediate thoughts are for a long haul holiday but most schools only have 1 week for the half term so you don't want to waste a day travelling.

Here are some warm October holiday destinations:

Gran Canaria
Gran Canaria should have temperatures in the early 20's during October and with a flight time of around 4.5 hours from London, it makes for a popular destination for an October half term holiday. 


There are plenty of different resorts but I can recommend the Tui Family Life Bahia Feliz. The kids clubs were fantastic and there were adults classes for parents to do. You can read my blog review here, Bahia Feliz and watch the youtube video.






Marrakech
Marrakech could reach temperatures in the high 20's making it a great spot for some heat in the winter months. The flight time from London is around 3.5 hours.
You can find some fantastic family friendly all-inclusive hotels just outside the city which provide shuttles into the centre. Often these hotels have water slides etc for entertainment.
In Marrakech itself you could get henna tattoos, visit a souk, go on a food tour, visit Bahia palace, experience a camel ride and much more. 


Tenerife 
Tenerife could reach temperatures in the mid 20's and the flight time from London is around 4.5 hours. There are so many great activities to see and do there which is why it is a hotspot for a winter holiday.
The waterpark Siam Park is a must for families, young and old alike. There's slides for adrenaline junkies (including a vertical drop) or you can relax on a 1150 foot wide beach. 
You can also take a cable car ride up Mount Teide (Spain's highest peak) and view craters and rivers of lava. There is also a night time excursion of stargazing there too.


Cape Verde
Cape Verde usually provides temperature in the high 20's. There are lots of all inclusive hotels on the beach to choose from. The flight is around 6 hours so it's not a short haul holiday but it is still a top choice. 
There's not a great deal to see and do with kids outside of the resorts other than seeing local culture so it's depending on what your children enjoy out of a holiday which would decide whether this would be a good location for you.


Dubai
As a family destination, Dubai has it all. Whatever age there is something for everyone and with the hotels all being of a luxury standard, you will be made to feel like the royal family. Temperatures are usually above 30 so it's a hot destination to hit during the October half term. The flight from London is around 7 hours but if you took an overnight flight you would have a full day there the next day instead of losing any time travelling.
The Palm area hosts the most luxurious of hotels with the Atlantis being one of the most family friendly. Inside the Atlantis there is a waterpark, an aquarium and much more. You wouldn't really have to leave.
We visited in 2015 and you can read about it here, Atlantis The Palm.


There are so many other things to see and do such as:

  • Go to the top of the Burj Khalifa
  • Visit the mall
  • Visit the souks
  • See the Jumeriah Mosque
  • Go on a boat trip
  • Visit Legoland
  • Visit Motion Gate Dubai
Have you been anywhere that you would recommend for a warm October half term holiday?




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Saturday, 17 August 2019

Best child-friendly beach holidays

No matter who you are, there’s one thing we all look forward to – a holiday.



This week or two in the sun is an annual tradition of us Brits, with millions travelling abroadeach year to relax, unwind and forget about our daily troubles while topping up that tan. But, for all those parents out there, you know that when it comes to holidaying with little ones, there can be a few issues that can arise.

The main one being where to find the best beach holidays? Well, to ensure the whole family can enjoy a beach holiday this year, you’ll find some of the best family holiday destinationsbelow.

Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal

An old fishing village, this is a sleepy area that remains filled with life, due to recent development. This hasn’t detracted from its charm though, especially that of the little beach that sits front and centre here. With plenty of rock pools and caves to explore alongside water sports and wonderful shops and ice cream parlours, this is a family spot like no other.

Llafranc, Costa Brava, Spain

Everyone loves Spain, but this is a place, unlike any other Spanish destination you’ve visited. Once the home of stars such as Salvador Dali, this is a place that’s big enough to keep you all entertained for a week or two while being small enough to make it ideal for the whole family. The beaches that surround this part of north-eastern Spain are surrounded by little coves and rugged hillside, while the clear waters remain the same. A particular beach highlight is Tamariu, which is much smaller and has delightful camping nearby.

Cirali, Antalya, Turkey

Another well-known destination for families, this is a spot that brings the stunning countryside and the beaches together at the same time. Surrounded by forest, mountains, farms and even lemon groves, the beach here is practically untouched and is ideal for those with slightly older children. The shingle bay stretch is a protected area, due to turtles laying eggs here between June and July. Meanwhile, the quaint town offers wonderful restaurants and even ancient temples and tombs for you to explore.



As we all know, the beach is the best place to take the little ones on holiday. They can have hours of fun and it’s relatively free, so, when you’re looking to book your next holiday keep the above places in mind, as you’ll be able to get a tan while the rest of your little tribe enjoys the beach.

*This is a collaborative post*



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Sweet Potato, Feta and Beetroot Salad

One lunch I have been loving this summer is my Sweet Potato and Beetroot salad which I've eaten almost every week. It's packed full of protein and flavours to keep you feeling satisfied and it tastes delicious.


It's fairly quick to make and I usually make it in advance (the night before). When I buy the ingredients I can usually make at least a couple of salads with them.


I don't have a dressing on mine but you could use simply olive oil or for more flavour try a honey mustard dressing with it.

What you need:
  • 1 Small Sweet Potato 
  • Feta Cheese
  • Ready Cooked Beetroot
  • Salad Leaves (I used a mixed rocket and lettuce bag)
  • Handful of Pine Nuts
The instructions are on the recipe card below which you can save to Pinterest by clicking in the top corner of the image.






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Friday, 16 August 2019

5 reasons to care more about the coffee you drink

Many of us drink coffee throughout the day to help sustain our energy levels, even if we know that it’s going to backfire later on in the evening. The effects of caffeine come with many helpful benefits, but also downsides that we should always keep in mind before chugging another cup.

But have you ever stopped to think about the coffee you drink, or do you just buy whatever’s cheapest or available? In this article, we’re going to go a little more in-depth about the coffee you drink and give you 5 reasons to care more about the type of coffee you drink.


1. The Caffeine Content

One of the first things to think about when you purchase coffee is the caffeine content. The caffeine you get from a frappuccino is going to be a lot different to the filter coffee you get at work or even the instant coffee you might drink occasionally. A quick check of the caffeine content in certain coffee drinks will give you an idea of how much you’re actually getting from stores and brands, but the general idea is to remember that every cup of coffee has a different amount of caffeine.

2. The Price Savings

People drink coffee for different reasons. Some people drink it just for the caffeine boost, others drink it as a treat because they love the complex taste and some are enthusiasts that enjoy making their own blends. By understanding the coffee on a deeper level, you can make some serious price savings by doing your research and buying the beans that best represent what you want out of the coffee.

3. The Origin

The origin of the coffee that you drink has a profound impact on the taste. If you’re not well-versed in coffee origins then this might be difficult to understand at first. For example, a single origin coffee mean that the beans only came from a single location whereas blends mix different types of beans to create a unique taste that is a trademark taste of the brand. Similarly, coffee from Ethiopia is known for its brighter and floral flavours whereas beans from Costa Rica are known for their brown-sugar sweetness and citrusy notes.

4. The Different Flavours

If you consider your coffee as a treat, then you can create some wonderful flavours by combining coffees from different regions with flavourings. They’re a fantastic choice for an after-dinner drink and you’ll get to explore some of the many different types of coffee-based drinks. This can include mocha drinks, latte, or even homemade frappuccino-style drinks with your own favourite flavours. 

5. The Knowledge

Coffee can be a fantastic topic to break the ice when you’re talking to friends and co-workers, but the knowledge is also great if you ever want to visit smaller coffee shops that know their stuff and have a wide range of excellent drinks for you to try. Whether it’s talking about the origin of the beans, the flavour profile or even just some random facts, the knowledge from coffee can have some unique uses.

*This is a collaborative post*
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Forky Disneybound

On my last trip to Disneyland Paris I Disneybounded as Forky from Toy Story 4. 


For those that don't know, Disneybounding is basically dressing as a Disney character but in normal clothes (adults aren't allowed to wear actual costumes). You put an outfit together which is inspired by a character. In the past I've been Mickey Mouse, Moana and many more. You can find pics over on my Disney Instagram account, kerrylouisenorrisdisney.

The Forky inspired outfit was fairly cheap to put together but it did require some creativeness.


My Forky ears were from Hannah Marie Magic who makes incredible ears. She has lots of designs on her website but she also does custom orders too. I wore them all day long, from early i the morning until late at night and they were super comfortable. 


I bought a plain t-shirt and maxi skirt from Boohoo. I then bought iron on patches and a sash from Amazon.


The tee needed to be plain as I had to make Forky's face out of the iron on patches to stick on. I cut the shapes out and simply ironed them on which only took about 15 minutes in total.


The skirt was a good buy as I knew i'd wear it again. When I Disneybound, I try my hardest to use clothes that are reusable as other wise it can all cost a fortune.


I had such fun at Disneyland Paris running around pretended to be Forky, especially in Toy Story Land in Walt Disney Studios.




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Wednesday, 14 August 2019

How to fit exercise into a busy routine

If you want to get fit, you need to exercise. We all know this but it’s not quite that simple when you have a busy life. Most people don’t have the time to go to the gym for a few hours every day when they have work and family responsibilities to deal with. That’s why so many of us struggle to keep up with a fitness routine and often end up giving up on it completely. If you’re going to stick to your fitness program, you need to find ways to fit some exercise in even when you have a long list of other things to do. These are some of the best ways to fit exercise into a busy day. 




Turn Your Commute Into A Workout 


When you drive to work or take the bus, that’s a big chunk of time spent sitting down and not moving. But it’s a great opportunity to get some exercise in if you just try cycling or running instead. As long as you commute isn’t too long, this is a simple way to get a good amount of cardio exercise into your routine every single day. If your commute is quite long and you don’t have the time to run the entire way, you could still get off the bus a few stops early and jog the rest of the way. If you live in a big city, you might even find that it’s quicker to run or cycle to work because you can avoid the traffic. 


Home Workouts 


If you don’t have time to get to the gym but you have a spare half an hour at home, why not do a workout there instead? There are plenty of free workout videos online and a lot of them are designed for people that are short on time. Even if you’re just doing 15 minutes, it’s better than nothing and you should still see results. You can also use an online personal training service where you’ll get exercise and diet plans and feedback videos. You get all of the benefits of being in the gym but it’s a lot easier to fit it around your busy routine. If you’re serious about getting fit, you should invest in some home gym equipment as well, so you can boost the effectiveness of your home workouts. 


Make Socializing An Opportunity To Exercise 


Socializing often takes priority over exercising because if you only have a spare few hours and you have the choice between meeting a friend that you hardly get to see or going to the gym, you’re probably going to choose the friend. That’s fine because socializing is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but do you really have to choose one or the other? Why not just make socializing an opportunity to exercise instead? You could take a yoga class or go for a run together and then go out for a coffee or a drink afterwards. You still get to spend time together and do something fun but you’re both getting a bit of exercise in as well. 


These are all simple ways to fit exercise into a busy day so you can keep up with your fitness routine without getting in the way of other responsibilities.

*This is a collaborative post*
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Be in the Picture - Weekly Favourites 11

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 10.


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.

This week I haven't chosen a theme. I've just picked some of the pictures that made me smile.










I'm challenging myself to something: BE PRESENT in the pictures. I was looking at photos of my kids to do an album and I sadly realised I'm not in them! Why, oh why, am I so critical of myself? I used to look at this photo and notice that my face was smashed, my arm looked too fat, my clothes were boring, my hair was dirty and I had no make up. Now I'm training myself to forget these things and look at the expression on my face and my child's. I was smelling his neck, giving him a kiss that would make him laugh. I was FEELING him and the immense love I have for him. And he? He was feeling loved. Why don't we remember that after we are gone our kids and grandkids will not care if we looked gorgeous, if we were fit, if the hair was done and the make up fresh, they will only care that they have this memories of us and they will see much they were loved.
A post shared by BRUNA GUERRA (@brunaguerra0) on










A post shared by Alana Perrin (@alanababyholiday) on






When I started skating in my teens I would go for months (sometimes years) without seeing another girl skater, it was such a rarity. It wasn’t easy learning on my own & also the occasional mean words being thrown at me when your a girl in a male dominated sport & the only girl in the skate park. Things were starting to change when I sustained a knee injury (which sidelined me for a decade) in 2007 & needed two lots of surgery. Fast forward 12yrs and wow what a change, more and more girls are skating, being seen, we even have ladies only nights once a week were there will easily be 20+ girls ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ which is incredible. Social media has allowed so many to connect, meet up and support each other. I’m so glad I decided to pick my board up again after a such a long hiatus, it’s been so good for my mental and physical wellbeing. Also while I couldn’t be more excited about the ever growing movement we are still the majority, even more so when your over 30, so I like to think I’m doing a small part in bringing visibility to the older ladies in the skateparks who enjoy riding around on four wheels ✌๐Ÿป✌๐Ÿปalong with some fantastic friends I’ve made over the past year #mamaskater #ladieswhoshred #getonyourboard #womendoskate #getoutdoors #feelfreefeed #girlskaters #cardiffmums #momskater
A post shared by Laura ๐ŸŒต Side Street (@laurasidestreet) on





One of my top tips for photographing your everyday family life is to make sure YOU get in some photos too.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Set the camera up on a tripod (or balanced on a rock like we did for this picture) and use the timer or a remote to take some photos of you and your family together. Chat, joke, laugh, whatever. Just be with your family, and capture those moments in a photo.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #photographytips #familyphotographytips #meandmine #meandmineproject #showyouwerethere #beinthepicture #mumsinthepicture #littleloves #capturingtheday #candidmoments #documentyourdays #capturingtheday #mytinymoments #momentsoverposes #motherslove #nothingisordinary #clickinmoms #mummyblogger #amomentinmotherhood #motherhoodrising #lionessmama #motherhoodalive #acupofmotherhood #beautyinmotherhood #humansofjoy #ukparentbloggers #igerswales #mumsnetparents #themeinmummy
A post shared by Madeline Littlejohns (@this.glorious.life) on



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WEAR • THE • SWIMSUIT • don't worry about what you think you look like , or what other people think ! It's what your kids think ! All they are going to think is Mummy played with us in the pool and we had so much fun ! They will remember those summer memories not what swimsuit you were wearing or how you looked in it ! We had so much fun at @andrewshayes_holiday_park (review stay) last week and I have been looking back through all the pictures and videos thinking about the amazing memories we made and how my little ones will treasure them in years to come. So I'm urging you to get in that pool) the sea and have fun with them all summer long ♥️๐ŸŒป #freespiritedchildhood #myfamilyadventures, #Lifecloseup, #LittleFierceOne #happylittlebuttons, #WorldofLittles, #rememberingthesedays #littleandbrave #momentsoverposes, #thatsdarling #cherishthesemoments, #myhappycapture, #momswithcameras, #clickinmoms, #pixel_kids, #candidchildhood #our_everyday_moments, #littlestoriesofmylife #themagicineveryday, #whatevertheweatherkids #awanderfulchildhood #beinthepicture #perfectandproud #childhoodunplugged #capturingtheday #wildandfreechildren #showyouwerethere #motherhoodintheraw #beautifulmama #youarebeautiful
A post shared by Lianne Freeman (@anklebitersadventures) on


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Two adorable Bo Peeps stopping Forky from running to the trash. (Hopefully you’ve seen Toy Story 4 to understand this pic lol). Seeing the joy on my girls faces as they watched me pretend to be Forky around Disneyland Paris this weekend was awesome. They laughed and played as they pulled me from the bins or chased me whilst I was running around like an idiot. It’s an incredible feeling experiencing the magic of Disney through the eyes of a child. I just hope they’ll still think I’m cool when I’m still disneybounding in 10 years time lol. #disneyfamily #disneybounding #disneymemories #disneymagic #disneyblogger #disneybloggers #disneyboundinguk #whatiworeindisney #disneyday #disneystyle #dressedinmagic #styledbymagic #disneydreams #sharemydisney #igersdisney #disneylandparis #disneylove
A post shared by Kerry Norris (@kerrylouisenorris) on

Keep joining in with #beinthepicture
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