Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Tuesday 28 February 2017

Travelling with a Toddler

The last two holidays (see my Sun and Ski holiday posts here) we’ve taken have been with Mark Warner. When your travelling with a tot in tow, everything gets that much more complicated. For the inbuilt kids clubs and childcare, to the high tea and baby kit provided, Mark Warner know just how to make it that much easier.

So when this years’ opportunity to apply to be a Mark Warner Ambassador came up, it was a no brainer. Collaborating with a brand I love to spread the word to other parents planning their week in the sun or snow is something I’m on board with.
So to apply for this opportunity I’ve put together my top 10 travel essentials to going abroad with a toddler.
As gorgeous and fun as toddlers are, they really aren’t the best travelling companions on any length of flight. Their ability and passion for running and climbing combined with their short attention span on any particular activity keeps the most enthusiastic parents on their toes. I, unsurprisingly, don’t have a magic formula for a relaxing and stress free flight, however, if your mentally prepared to be on full-on-entertainment mode for the duration of the flight and arm yourself with a few carefully chosen goodies, it should be less painful for you and your fellow passengers.
I can’t wait for our next trip!

1. Snacks. Pack more than they’d normally consume in a week, for each flight. I’m not normally a advocator of feed to keep little ones quiet, but when your in an enclosed space for a number of hours, I do.

2. Although Sophie is well past the formula days, she loves milk. To save any issues when we go away I take ready made formula for her age bracket as they don’t need to be refrigerate (so also don’t need to be warmed to take the chill off). If your organised you can click and collect these airside at the Boots at the airport to save on your luggage allowance (I do this with nappies too!)

3. Activities, new and exciting, or old faithfuls. Sophie is Peppa obsessed and loves sticker books, which can keep her well occupied for a decent length of time when she does them with Gareth or I. The Aqua Doodle is amazing too, using water to write and draw which then evaporates, ready to go again and no embarrassing doodles on the airplane or your clothing.

4. Favourite Soft Toy. A pretty obviously one, as their special cuddly friend will help them sleep on the journey and when you get to your destination. Just don’t let them lose it! Sophie is obsessed with BooBoo (the bunny) and he comes everywhere.

5. On that note, even though child-friendly destinations will provide bedding, a well love blanket or sleeping bag will smell and feel like home and help promote normal sleep.

6. As long as your not travelling to remote areas, you’ll be able to get your hands on medicines, but thats not going to help if a new tooth starts to wiggle in the middle of the night, so pack a few handy pre-measured out sachets for emergency.

7. Thermometer is always a good idea and mine also tells you the temperature of the room so you can get the right number of layers for your room.

8. Be it a hot or cold holiday, suncream is obviously a must and you’ll save yourself the inflated prices buying before you’re in resort. Opting for a baby suncream will be sensitive to precious skin.

9. Bringing their own bubble bath and moisturiser is also going to help with their bedtime routine and a known product is going to reduce the chance of an adverse reaction too. I bought mini versions of our regulars to reduce packing space and weight!

10. Finally you just need something to put it all in! Sophie LOVES her unicorn Trunki and also doubles up as good entertainment in the airport!

 Despite all my best efforts I managed to forget some of the essentials on both our holidays, including all Sophie’s swimwear when we went to Greece last year. Luckily the Mark Warner team were amazing and managed to help us find everything we forgot to pack - including a UV swimsuit that they lent us from the kids club!

Can't wait for our next trip...

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday: one of the best days of the year. Spring is with grasping distance and who does't enjoy a yummy pancake (or three?!). I remember when I was little it was a real event, with my primary school teachers getting us to make saucepans and pack cakes and having competitions to toss them. Then when we'd get home from school, mum would make us wait util after dinner to have our packs for pudding. A special day

Sophie is months away from being two and is into EVERYTHING so this year we thought we'd have ago at making pancakes as a family. Sophie loved staring the batter with me using a wooden spoon of her own like mummy.

We also played with her kitchen toys pretending to make the batter and fry the pancakes in her little pan. She's really starting to pick up lots of words now so she squealed 'cook' with delight repeatedly. My heart melts.

I am a traditional lemon and sugar girl. Nothing beats it. But I laid on a spread of fruit (and chocolate for daddy!) treats to choose from.

A pancake isn't a pancake without being flipped in the air. Gareth is far more accomplished at this then I am - but you have to have a go, and I look very pleased with myself having landed my pancake, despite it being a twisted mess in the pan! 

Then for the best bit - getting tucked in! Sophie did far more playing than eating, but she seemed to enjoy her first proper pancake day!

The only problem with pancakes is that you don't really get to enjoy them together as they really are best eaten straight away, and being greedy we can't wait to cook the next one! However I saved my last pancake so we could eat them as a family and savour the final moment of our new family tradition.

Now I just need to decide what to give up for lent...


Thursday 9 February 2017

Valentine's Gift Guide for Him

Buying gifts for women is easy, well I think so! i choose something I love and if I don’t really ant to give away, I know I’ve got a goodie. But men are much more challenging, so i’ve put my thinking cap on this year for some gifts that my other half will love and appreciate.

We are off for a night away in the New Forest at The Pig in half term, so country walks are on the cards. So, a quilted jacket, cashmere jumper and sturdy boots will get him ready and excited about out mini break! (I just hope he is carrying a large bunch of roses for me!)

I know Gareth would love an old-school study, I’m not about to re-decorate, but adding a few beautiful leather desk accessories will make those days working from home more stylish.

We love listening to the radio on lazy weekend mornings, normally through the TV, but this does prompt requests for Peppa Pig from Sophie! This simple and elegant VQ DAB Radio will look fabulous in our white and grey home, I might even let him choose where it goes… maybe.

My husband isn’t really into his grooming, so exfoliators and facemarks are lost on him. However, I’ve convinced him to moisturise every day and I know his stocks are running low, so a replacement will be a perfect gift - and stop him using mine! He does also like to smell good (as much a gift for me!) so a new fragrance is another option. I love the new scent from Cartier and how stunning the bottle?!

I hope you have a fabulous Valentine’s day and I hope you’ve been inspired by my little gift guide for the man in your life x


Wednesday 8 February 2017

Valentine's Day - For Her

As lovely as getting ‘things’ is, I appreciate being made to feel special even more, so as well as a gift list this year, I’ve added in some little ‘spoil them’ suggestions to make your loved one feel even more cherished.

As the 14th is a Tuesday this year, I’m not sure many of us will have time for a lie in, but come the weekend, we’ll have little Sophie in bed with us for cuddles and having special tea and biscuits in bed will be a little gesture of love. Get your favourite tray out, add a rose and your good to go. 

Is there anything more lovely than a hot bath and time to relax and unwind? II didn’t think so. Add some of their favourite bath oil to the tub, light some candles and pour them a glass of bubbles and you’re favourite person will know how much you care. Leave out some extra pampering goodies for them to enjoy some proper me-time and get prepared for a romantic evening in, or out.

Perfumes are a classic love token, and treating someone to a beautiful bottle of fragrance that looks as good its smells is an ideal gift. I’m in love with the bottles of Paco Rabanne Olympea and Cartier Baiser Fou with their stunning stoppers. ALA├ĆA Paris Eau de Parfum Blanche is simple and elegant, like the fragrance inside.

A little personal, thoughtful gift is even better than spending lots of money. I’m terrible at losing my keys (and everything else I need!) so a big key ring to help me find them is a gift we can giggle over.

Staying in or going out, end the night with a special glass of bubbles and sweet treats. 

Happy Valentines x

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