30/04/2017

My Sunday Photo!

Photalife



27/04/2017

Everything but the Kitchen Sink- Holidaying with Kids and Pets!

Planning and going on a family holiday can be so stressful that by the end of it all you feel in need of a…holiday. Add a dog, an ageing relative or grumpy husband into the mix and you may be just about ready to throw the towel in before you even begin. Here are some tips on having a successful, relaxing and enjoyable trip to sunnier climes, whatever your family situation!

1- Destination choices
It’d be one thing if you were travelling solo, but because the more the merrier, choosing a destination that is fun for all is important. Picking a location and accommodation, which allows for kids and pets will save you from stressing over misunderstandings when you arrive to your destination, and help things run smoother. Don’t worry though, because of many travelling families, locations are now mostly understanding of certain necessities, so finding a holiday spot is not hard; just double check before you book!

2- Travelling with kids-
Travelling by plane is already stressful as it is, but adding children to the equation may make it that bit more intense. Don’t fret though, because you’re not alone; plane rides with your children can also go super smoothly. For example, if you’re worried about the aeroplane food, call before or check the website to see what the best option for your children is. Even bringing toys, extra clothes, and other objects can help keep your child occupied through the flight. Just keep in mind that as long as your children are happy on the flight, you and everybody around will be too.

3- Travelling with Pets
For the most stress free experience it’s probably wise to use a specialist company who know exactly how to transport animals in Europe. They can provide you with all the information you need, in terms of pet passports, vaccinations, travel arrangements etc… Also talk to your vet, put an item of your clothing into the pet carrier to let them have a familiar scent with them and be sure to pack their regular food to avoid any unpleasant accidents once in your accommodation.


4- Pre-airport preparation
Before your flight, make sure you print your boarding passes at home (or saved on your smart phone), have your passports at hand, and organise your carry-on with everything you might need while you’re on the plane. With children, having them bring a smaller backpack packed with their toys and belongings will have them feel part of the airport adventure, and help you deal with the various lines you’ll encounter; whether that be security, boarding and disembarking the plane, or waiting for your luggage.

5- Avoiding security/carry-on mishaps
Remember the liquid rule, and how the TSA sets certain limits for the amount of gel, liquid, or aerosols you bring in your carry-on. Along with the liquid rule, don’t forget that your carry-on also has to fit in the specific measurements, and that the last thing you need is to have your carry-on either searched through, or taken from as you’re boarding. Check on the rules before your flight, and you will avoid any possible mishaps!

6- Get your children excited for the trip
Over thinking the trip and what could go wrong is normal, but there’s no better feeling than the excitement before your departure. Sharing your excitement with your children makes it even better, and seeing their wonder and curiosity as they explore their new airport surroundings is a scene that you’ll remember for a while. Of course they’ll probably have quite a few questions of what is what, who is who, and where you’re going, but their lit up faces will make the extensive explanations definitely worth it. 


7- Enjoy it
Remember that you’re going on holiday, and that yes getting to your destination may be somewhat stressful, but you’re going there to relax. Think of all you’re going to do once you get there, all the new places you’re going to visit, all the new food you’ll get to taste. Just keep in mind that the airport struggle is limited to that moment, and that where you’re going is definitely worth it. 


Guest post by Mary D



 

26/04/2017

A Nice Dress for the Summer!

Now that the days are getting warmer (or should I say, they should be!) it's time to nip out and update your wardrobe to make sure you have plenty of lightweight, cool clothes to wear. For the summer, dresses are a good choice. They look great and are a quick way to put together an outfit.
When you wear dresses, there is no need to think too much. You do not have to try to match it with other items of clothing, all you need to do is to select the right pair of shoes and slip it on. Looking good really could not be easier.


There are a great choice of styles. It's nice to see that a lot of designers have opted to include dresses in their collections. There are all kinds of styles available, which means it does not matter what body type you have, it is easy to find the perfect dress for you.

Skater dresses
Skater dresses are in most collections. They are a great way to show off your legs, and are comfortable to wear. The fact that they flare out slightly from the waist makes them very flattering for most body types. Being short, this style suits me best!


The maxi dress carries on turning heads
For the past few years, maxi dresses have been very popular, and from the looks of things, are going to continue to be so for the rest of 2017. As you can see on this page, there are several types available in the shops. Some of the nicest looking dresses are made from jersey. This lovely stretchy fabric is comfortable to wear and always hangs well. If you are looking for a casual dress to take with you on your holidays, a nice t-shirt maxi dress is the perfect option. For those who prefer something a little shorter a skater dress is a good idea.


Shift dresses
For the office or a formal occasion, a shift dress is perfect. They can easily be dressed up or down, so they are a very versatile style. If you can, treat yourself to a matching jacket, that way you can still wear your dress even when the sun does not shine. Tunic dresses are also a good choice for the office. The fact that they skim over the stomach and hip means that the tunic cut is very forgiving.


Print dresses
If you want to add to add a splash of colour and interest to your wardrobe, you could buy a print dress. This year floral prints are the most popular, but stripes are also hot this year, so a lot of designers have also included those in their collections.


As you can see it does not matter whether you are looking for a dress to wear for a special occasion like a wedding, or something for work, you will be able to find what you need. Shopping early for your summer dresses ensures that you get the widest choice, and that you will be able to snap up the best designs, before they sell out.


Which style of dress suits you best?

Guest Post


 


 

18/04/2017

Gtech AirRam Mk 2 - Review

You may remember we reviewed the Gtech Multi last year and loved it. Well, we've now been using the Gtech AirRam Mk 2 for a month or so and...........we also love that too! 

The Gtech AirRam Mk 2 is the latest AirRam model. A cordless, upright vacuum which is lightweight and so easy to use. Take a look the TV advert! 

What's in the box?
Instructions
Battery pack
Charging lead
Main vacuum body
Handle
The AirRam is so easy to put together, with simple instructions, it's ready to use in a jiffy. Ours came with a little power in the battery. Enough to give it a quick whirl and then we plugged it in to charge. The AirRam is run on a professional grade 22V Lithium-ion battery.
The pieces fit together nicely and click into place, so you know that they are in position correctly. The feel of the upright is similar to a carpet sweeper but that's where the similarities end. 
How to operate it?
To use the vacuum, just push the round button in on the handle to extend it, put your foot on the top left hand side of the front of the AirRam to tilt the handle back, and hit the on 'paddle' All this takes seconds and then you're good to go. 
A full charge will allow for 40 minutes of vacuuming. 

Any Pitfalls?
We can honestly say the only thing we've noticed is that on the kitchen floor the Gtech is quite noisy. once back on carpet it's not. There is nothing else we don't like.

Nifty Features!
  • There are LED lights around the entire front of the vacuum which allow you to see the dirt and crumbs in those darker corners (or in our case, dimly lit house).  
  • The battery pack on the right side of the vacuum has LED light indicators to show how much battery power is left. 1 means it needs charging, 4 is fully charged.
  • The dust cartridge is super easy to remove and empty, with colour coded components.
  • The handle swivels for easy movement and manoeuvrability.
  • A small adult or child can easily vacuum with the AirRam.
  • There's not need worry about different floor surfaces, as it glides easily across multi flooring types with no settings to change!
  • Gtech’s patented AirLOC system means that it not only collects small particles but bigger objects too!

How to empty the dirt cartridge.
Simply pull it up and out of the vacuum, hold it over the bin and push the green slider along the cartridge. The dirt will empty out of the trap at the end, straight into the bin. To replace the cartridge, just click it back into place.
Here's a short video we made!

Conclusion
I would say this vacuum rivals the leading competitor! Its very powerful, so light to use, easy to keep clean (and empty the cartridge), plus it's very handy to use at the push of a button. It's glides easily from left to right and back to front, whilst it's ultra low profile means you can vacuum under furniture too! The charge takes 4 hrs from empty and the vacuum time is ample to use in all the rooms in our home. There's also a quick charge (1hr).

We think this is the best vacuum we've had (excluding the Gtech Multi). So much so, we've recommended this and the Multi to the inlaws, who bought both! Hubby is often found to be vacuuming now and even both the monkeys have been keen to use it. The two Gtech vacuums we have, perfectly compliment each other. We wouldn't be without them! 

The Gtech AirRam Mk 2 comes with free delivery and a 2 year guarantee. It cost £199.

We were sent this Gtech AirRam Mk 2 for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
We're going on an adventure




13/04/2017

Starting to Think About Turning Fifty!

In a few months time I shall be 46! Unbelievable I know. This means that I'm starting to think about one or two things around turning 50. I know it's a little way off, but do I have a party? Just celebrate with a family meal? Have a few different mini celebrations with friends and family? Or something different! 
Right now I'm thinking I'd like a party! I've not had a party since my 30th Birthday. I'm leaning towards a mid afternoon one, meaning children will be invited too. Maybe at one of the local Golf Clubs, with lots of Prosecco and yummy food. We'll see.

I've also been thinking about what I'd like to achieve before I'm 50. I'm not really big on bucket lists but there are a few things I've always wanted to do.

I've always wanted to go in a helicopter. I really don't mind where. Obviously somewhere like the Grand Canyon or New York would be amazing, but somewhere in the UK would be good too. Friends have mentioned a couple of companies in the UK which offer helicopter flights. I'm sure a helicopter flight would be exhilarating and give me such a buzz. So too would a wing walk! Though I'm not too certain I actually have the guts to go through with that 'wish'! I've seen it on TV in the past and always thought it would be awesome though. I certainly DO NOT ever want to do a skydive. Hubby has done two tandem skydives and to be honest, watching him do the last one, was awesome but I'd never have the guts to do it myself. I think I'd need pushing out of the plane, kicking and screaming! It seems silly that I'd like to do a wing walk but I think that would be safer (and fun)!
Photo Credit:Flydays
I'd love to go on a Hot Air Balloon flight and would ideally like to take both my parents on that with me. It's something they too would like to do.

I would love to go to San Francisco. Not specifically by the time I'm 50, but that could be a goal perhaps! I can't tell you why I'd like to go there. I just would. Maybe whilst there I could have that helicopter flight! Another place I've always wanted to go to is The Maldives. It just looks absolutely idyllic. I'll put that trip on the 'Things to do before I'm 50' list but I think it may be more than 4yrs away though to be honest. I'm more likely to go to Skegness!  

I can see myself celebrating my 50th at The Ritz! Afternoon tea there would be just my thing. Maybe a bit of shopping first or even a Spa, then cucumber sandwiches, tea and cake. I almost cannot wait until I turn 50! 
I need to think of more realistic things I can add to the list, but we can all have dreams and wishes can't we. Some more achievable than others. I shall keep you posted if any of these 'dreams' come true.

In collaboration with Joss Comber 



 

12/04/2017

Boots Mini Club - Boyswear!

Both monkeys are growing and therefore need new clothes pretty often. Now that they are both at school, they obviously wear uniform most days, but I like them to be dressed well (but comfortably) when they are not at school. 

Boots mini club 'the gorgeous Spring Look Book' (exclusive to boots) has arrived! 
We've been sent a gorgeous casual set of clothing for little monkey.
Denim Jeans with stretch £12, Zipped Hoodie £13, T-Shirt £7.

The latest collection includes adorable items from 'Tiny Treasures', 'Mini club Baby', 'Bows and Arrows' and 'All Dressed Up' as well as lots of other lovely pieces from the whole mini club range.

It has spring all set with stylish and comfortable items which are perfect for:

- Sophisticated special occasion wear

- Picnics in the park

- Children’s parties (indoor and outdoor play)

These gorgeous pieces are all size 5-6yrs but this range is available from 9 months to 6yrs. Fully machine washable, little monkey has worn the set in full (which looks lush) and each piece individually with different clothing! It all fits just right
The mischievous monkey design has little monkeys 'name written all over it'! It's perfect for him. 

I've washed the whole outfit several times now (as he has worn each piece a lot (and the entire set to a classmate's party). It washes up brilliantly! The zipped hoodie has a 'zip protector' behind the zip to stop it scratching delicate skin, the sleeves on the T, turn up and the jeans have cool turn ups too. Little monkey loves his outfit, and looks like a really cool dude wearing it! We're thrilled with his outfit.

The range has some gorgeous pieces at really affordable prices too! I'm loving the baby bodysuits (and have seen some fab ones for my niece!).

Thanks Boots Mini Club.

This outfit was sent to us for the purpose of this post.





10/04/2017

FreshX Toilet Tissue Spritz

We're big users of wipes here. I carry a packet around with me when we're out with the monkeys and use them to mop up spills, food off their clothing, grubby hands and faces. We also often keep a supply of flushable toilet wipes on top of the loo for the monkeys to use. We use far too many which does worry me at times. I mean, they're not good for the environment are they! We can't flush the the non flushable wipes and they fill up the bin a treat!

This is why I was keen to hear more about Fresh X Toilet Tissue Spritz. 
FreshX ‘Toilet tissue Spritz’ is a new generation of environmental friendly personal care products being launched as the alternative to ‘flushable wipes’.

Available in two formula's - Aloe Fresh & Fragrance Free. They have the benefits of botanics and vitamins. Dermatologically tested for sensitive skin and free from oil, alcohol and parabens. 

The new environmentally friendly freshX Toilet Tissue Spritz simply transforms toilet tissue with a quick spritz into a moist, soothing, cleansing wipe with the additional benefits of skin loving ingredients such as Aloe Vera, White tea, Cucumber and vitamins E, B5. Dead easy to spray onto your usual toilet tissue.

Over one billion so called ‘flushable’ wipes containing plastics were sold in the UK last year but unlike toilet tissue they don’t break down easily when flushed and create untold damage to our drains and block the sewers (costing the water companies over £88million a year) and when they eventually reach the ocean are causing havoc with marine life and littering our beaches. 
 
FreshX ‘Aloe Fresh’ and ‘Fragrance Free’ is great for all the family and is available both online and nationwide in Sainsbury's stores.

150ml bottle (equivalent of 300 wipes). Recommended retail price £3.50. 


We're looking forward to giving it a go and seeing if this will work for us instead of the wipes we get through! 

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Information from FreshX.

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