Monday, 7 September 2020

Booking a Secure Post Covid Holiday.

{Collaboratie Content} You love to travel and want to take advantage of the restrictions. Nobody can blame you for this because everybody deserves a break this year! As you know, this blog is still posting travel content during the pandemic, so there's no judgement here!

Figuring out how to secure your holiday financially in a post-Covid world isn't straightforward. Let's face it - anything can happen by the time you book it and get around to boarding the plane. You don't want the industry's unpredictable nature to get in the way, but you're desperate to travel. It's such a horrible predicament!

Thankfully, there are ways to limit the damage.

Book With A Safe Airline 

"Safe" depends on your definition! Firstly, you want to choose an airline that doesn't appear as if it's about to go bust any time soon. For example, flying with Delta or Virgin after a multimillion-pound bailout is a gamble. Cancelling your flight is one thing, but you won't get anything back if they go bust. Also, you should factor in which companies have treated their customers well during the pandemic. Ryanair has yet to pay back the fees for cancelling, and some of them backdate to March. Therefore, it may be better to pick another airline if you need the money returned quickly.

Opt For A Package Deal

While package deals are usually not as cheap, they offer a higher level of protection. This is because you have two options regarding cancellations. Imagine the scene. You only book a plane ticket and the airline refuses to cancel, even though the Coronavirus R number is increasing. Sadly, you don't have much protection if the flight goes ahead as planned. Thankfully, with a package deal, the company has to come through with the accommodation too. Therefore, if the hotel cancels, you're entitled to a refund within two weeks.

Go Late

If you prefer not to take the chance with a more expensive holiday, a flight-only trip is the best option. You run the risk of not receiving a refund, yet there are lots of risks involved anyway. The trick is to draw a line in the sand regarding what you're willing to spend. Nobody likes to lose money, but if it's an amount you're happy to forfeit, you won't lose sleep. Always book late deals. Post-Covid, the latter you pull the trigger, the better since the situation will be clearer than if you do it weeks in advance. 

Delay It

Alternatively, you may not want a refund. Before you dismiss the crazy notion, you can accept vouchers instead, or the airline could offer to honour your booking in the future. For lots of people, this isn't suitable; however, you may find it ideal if the deal is affordable and you want something to look forward to in the future. It's been a long year, and it's not over yet, so a holiday when the pandemic has calmed down could get you through the hard times!

Here's to hoping your trip goes ahead and is as incredible as you imagined!

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Capturing the Newborn Days.

{Collaborative content} Having a baby is such a wonderful experience, when that squishy, little squeaky newborn is thrust in your arms it can both be overwhelming and mind blowing at the same time, especially if your first born. There are many things you can do or might want to consider to enable you to look back on these memories. Here is a little list of things to consider to capture those wonderful baby days!

- Capturing those special moments by using a newborn photographer is definitely top of my list. We had a photo shoot done with Alfie and the photos are just such a wonderful and special memento, I look back on them with such fondness. Of course you will need to research your local photographers to make sure you get someone you can trust with taking some beautiful images. Ask the photographer for their advice, ask them to play around with different effects and backgrounds, sometimes having plain backgrounds can be super effective, or you may want something a bit more quirky, or you may want a bold background such as solid wood flooring, the options are endless but you will be so pleased that you have captured moments. 

- Get a memory bear made. Using old sleepsuits or similar, memory bears can be such a lovely and effective way of having a keepsake. These look so cute and can have the babies name, date of birth and weight stitched onto the paws, or whatever you want really to make them personal. They look lovely and can passed down through generations. 

- Fill in your red book. You know those books that you get given at birth well fill them in! They are a wonderful memento and are a great reminder of immunisations and lost teeth! 

- Buy a memory book. Now I admit I was good with keeping the memory book up to date with my first but not so much with my second, however I am pleased I did make the effort more or less as I have some great memories written down and to look back over the years.

- Use some milestone cards or a milestone mat to capture all those wonderful firsts! I can't tell you how lovely it is to look back over the pictures of these! Such nice memories.

Of course there are so many things you can do and these tips really are just a small selection. There are many ways you can capture the newborn days to ensure you have lots of memories but of course the best thing about newborn babies is being able to care for them, nuture them and make them feel loved. 

Monday, 31 August 2020

Planning the Perfect Family Get Away Stress Free.

{Collaborative Content} If you’ve been wanting to get away for a while with the little ones, you might have been unsure about the type of trip you should take, especially with everything that is going on right now. However, the fact is that just because we are living in the midst of a global pandemic, that doesn’t have to mean that you can’t head off on a family trip. Yes, things might be a little different than normal when it comes to your getaway and what you’re able to do while you’re there, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good time. 

Of course, with the current state of things, you will most likely need to do a little more planning than usual when it comes to your next family break. Admittedly, family breaks always require a lot of planning anyhow, but this time around you may need to think a little more carefully about where you go and what you will do while you’re there. You can’t have the most amazing time, it’s just a case of taking the time to think carefully about your trip and planning out every detail. 


Photo source: Pixabay

Bearing all of that in mind, below are a few tips and ideas for ways in which you can ensure that your next family holiday is fun, enjoyable, and as free from stress as possible. For everything that you should know, have a read of the tips and ideas below!

Be selective about the location 

First and foremost, it’s important to be selective about the location. You may previously have favoured traveling abroad, for instance, however, right now it’s far easier and less stressful to stay in the UK, especially with quarantines being introduced left, right and centre. If you’re going to stay somewhere in the UK, there are a few factors that it is worth taking the time to think about, such as where you should head to. A city break is always fun, but with social distancing measures in place and various attractions still only partially open, it may be a struggle to enjoy yourselves. Instead, it might be worth thinking about heading to somewhere a little more rural, offering plenty of outside space and activities to enjoy. 

Choose the right accommodation 

When it comes to planning a family trip, it’s important to take the time to choose the perfect accommodation option for you and your little ones. That’s why it’s so important that you take the time to think carefully about where you stay. If you have a young family that needs plenty of space, then you might want to consider looking at self-catering caravan holidays, where you have an entire caravan to yourselves, giving your family all of the space that they need. Plus, a self-catered holiday is a much safer option right now, as you’re able to stay apart from other guests more easily. 

Be prepared 

It’s important that you are as prepared as possible when it comes to your trip. This means taking the time to think carefully about what to pack for your trip, from hygiene essentials like antibacterial wipes and hand gel to toys and activities to keep your little ones busy while you’re on holiday. The more prepared you can be, the better. Take the time to map out your activities while you’re there, from long country walks to exploring local attractions - be prepared, and make sure to book any ticketed attractions in advance. 

There you have it, everything that you need to know about planning a stress-free family holiday. 

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Beautiful Character Features you Absolutely Need in your Home!

{Collaborative Content} While technology offers the potential to make constructing properties less expensive, it doesn’t appear to be thrilling buyers. It is now possible to prefab a property with everything you need in a factory and ship it out to a site, but few people want to live in soulless boxes. Homes aren’t just about meeting our material needs - they have to satisfy our aesthetic desires as well. 

This drive, therefore, could explain why so many people pay extra for character properties. We want our houses to include timeless features that delight our senses and help us to feel as though we’re living in a real home. We also want our house to feel safe and secure for peace of mind. Having a 'roof' over our heads is sometimes something we may take for granted but when things start to go wrong with this roof, e.g losing roof tiles, irrepairable damage from wild weather or you simply want a new roof or to change your roof, all these things to consider when changing your roof up this is why it is so important to speak to a reputable company such as roofers in Coventry for top quality advice and workmanship and professional advice on what you may or may not want.

The origins of these feelings are hard to explain. They don’t fit into the scientific world-view particularly well. But they certainly exist. 

In this post, we chronicle the beautiful character features that you absolutely need in your home. Check them out below. 

Solid Wood Doors

Pixabay - CC0 License

Most internal doors in homes are made of a combination of MDF and cheap stuffing. They’re light, affordable and easy to install, but they do little to add character or passion to your home. You wind up living in a property that feels inexpensive and unloved. 

Solid wood doors, on the other hand, are an entirely different kettle of fish. These sturdy objects often come with detailed engraving, patterns in the wood, and large knobs. What’s more, the solid wood offers a sense of presence and physicality that you just don’t get with the cheap alternatives. 

Railed Or Spiral Staircases

Pixabay - CC0 License

Railed and spiral staircases might sound like a feature of the most luxurious homes. Still, prices are coming down, and now they’re accessible to the vast majority of people. 

Spiral staircases harken back to the medieval age and were often used in castles as a defensive aid. Now, though, you find them in many exquisite homes, usually as a secondary staircase, designed to take up less area in the property. 

Beamed Ceilings

Oak beams running across the ceiling or up the walls are one of the most common character features. In the past, builders would first construct the frame of a building using wood and then fill in the gaps with a mixture of aggregate and plaster. With the advent of brick, the building technique fell out of fashion. 

Nowadays, many property hunters want to return to the old ways. There’s something cosy about wooden beams, low ceilings and warped wood that makes a property feel infinitely more relaxing. 

Stained Glass

Stained glass is a feature of modern homes, but there’s nothing quite like the classic equivalent. While it looks less polished than the manufactured variety, there’s something incredibly real about it. 

Stained glass is best experienced in hallways and stairwells. It helps to create a kaleidoscope of colours as the light shines through, allowing the character of rooms to change profoundly with the course of the sun. In the middle of the day, you get a rainbow effect. While in the evening and at night, it looks more like a regular room. 

Thursday, 27 August 2020

4 Quick and Easy Ways to Boost Your Health.

*Collaborative content. If you want to improve your health, you’re probably assuming that a major lifestyle change is required. However, you don’t need to overhaul your day-to-day routine in order to improve your health. In fact, making small, sustainable modifications is likely to lead to better long-term results. To start making a change today, take a look at these quick and easy ways to boost your health:

1. Stay hydrated
Most people don’t consume enough water throughout the day, which leads to chronic dehydration. If you want to avoid the fatigue, headaches and dizziness associated with dehydration, make the effort to drink more water throughout the day. Additionally, you can use supplements to keep you hydrated. Order CBD hydration powder supplements online, for example, and you’ll find it easy to achieve optimal hydration levels. With the right combination of water and supplements, you should notice major benefits.

2. Eat regularly
If you follow a traditional diet, you’re probably used to eating three relatively large meals a day. Although this works for some people, it’s not necessarily the best regime for you. If you experience energy slumps between meals or find yourself reaching for sugary snacks, you might be better off with a different eating plan.
Many people prefer to eat six small meals a day, as opposed to three larger portions, for example. This ensures your body has a steady supply of fuel and can stave off cravings. Providing you choose healthy options and don’t exceed your daily intake of calories, carbs, fat, sugars and protein, eating in this way can enhance your health.

3. Get enough rest
Ideally, adults should get between 6-9 hours of sleep every night, but this can be trickier than it sounds. There are many things that can affect your quality, from stress and anxiety to a poor quality mattress and external light.
However, getting a sufficient amount of sleep is important when it comes to improving your health. Take steps to make your bedroom more comfortable and change your night-time routine to improve your sleep habits.

4. Stay active
Exercising regularly and staying active can reduce the risk of developing numerous health problems, including diabetes and heart disease. In addition to this, exercise releases ‘feel-good’ hormones called endorphins, so it can help you to feel more relaxed and less anxious.
If you don’t feel confident going to the gym or heading out for a run, aim to get active at home. Virtual workouts, family dance parties or even a regular cleaning routine will help to increase your heart rate and keep you active.

Commit to Making a Change Today.
You don’t have to make major changes to boost your health, but you do need to be prepared to make small modifications to your routine if you want to enhance your health and wellbeing. By setting achievable goals, you can monitor your progress and celebrate your success. Once you begin to feel the benefits, you’ll be more motivated than ever to do more to boost your health.

Monday, 24 August 2020

Cutetitos Fruititos! * Review *

{Ad/Gifted Items}. Cutitos Fruititos are THE sweetest smelling, cutest little surprise plush toys you will find. These fruity little stuffed animals are sweetly wrapped in a fruit blanket within a mystery packet concealing their identity until they are opened. These are just the cutest little surprise toy and they have been a hit in our house. Elarna has been desperate to get her hands on one for a while now so was absolutely delighted to receive a selection through the post, she was the happiest of girls. 

These new fruity rolls (recently launched) are available from Smyths Toys (RRP £7.99), with 12 characters to collect and love your child will be delighted with them. Each plush has a different scent and there are a variety available either common (fruity), common (very fruity), rare (extra fruity) and ultra rare (super fruity). 

Each cutetito smells like the scent that matches their blanket (watermelon, kiwi, dragonfruit or orange) they come wrapped in, they also have a really sweet little fruit spot and fruit level so you can identify what cutetito fruitito you have received within the packaging. They smell SO good, I cannot tell you. I have spent way too much time sniffing the 3 that Elarna received, the orange scent is particularly lovely! 

Also included in the pack is a collector card and this is where you will find out everything about your cutetito, their birthday, species, name and favourite quotito! We loved the cute little blanket that they come wrapped in, they are so soft and the design of them is really cute.

What did we love about Cutetitos Fruititos?

- RRP of £7.99 is great, I feel they are more than just a plush even though that is what they are. They are decent in size (19cm) and are just SO cute, we loved the designs. Elarna loved the little fruity blankets they came with and has put her little pets to bed every night. 

- Suprise/blind bags are always popular in our house. The children love having the element of surprise and it is like getting a proper little treat. I always think it would be handy for the parent to know what is inside so you don't get duplicates but I'm not sure how that would work! 

- These little plush toys encourage caring and nurturing behaviour, they are super soft and cuddly also so make lovely bed time teddies to snuggle up with and feel comforted. 

- Readily available and would make a great little birthday treat or stocking filler.

- They smell so delicious, the scents are long lasting and they feel so soft as well as looking cute and cuddly.

Anything we weren't so keen on?

- Overall we loved Cutetitos Fruititos, as mentioned above for parents being able to subtley identify which ones are inside the blind bags would be good but I'm not sure how feasible this would be! 

We would highly recommend the Cutetitos Fruititos fruity surprise plushes. They have been a huge hit in our house and I'm certain Elarna wants to add to her collection. I will leave you with a few more pictures of Elarna discovering her new little plush toys.

* Please note we were kindly sent the items free of charge in exchange for review, all thoughts are our own. 

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Scruff Surprise Vet Rescue *Review*

*Advert/Gifted products* There are some new Scruffs on the block! If you read my blog you will probably remember that we have reviewed Scruff a Luvs a couple of times and they are a much loved cuddly toy in our household, well you can now say hello to the Scruff surprise vet rescue, these brand new collectables are just SO sweet! Continuing on the theme of rescuing homeless scruffs that need adopting into their new homes the vet rescue range is just so sweet. We were sent the Vet rescue ambulance, the families groom set and the surprise pet rescue pet. 

These items are absolutely perfect for my five year old, she is obsessed with anything cute and animal related and actually is extremely caring and nurturing so as soon as they arrived I knew they would be hit. They look so appealing and any budding vet or animal lover is bound to like them.

The ambulance is a lovely size and nice and robust (RRP £19.99), not only is a great little push along but comes with some nice little accessories including 1 x scruff character, a hospital bed, a vet accessory and collectors card. 

The families groom set is brilliant (RRP £9.99)! For a small item it certainly is a great little play set. Included inside is 1 case/bed, 2 x parents and 1 or 2 babies, a vet accessory and collector card. I loved that it opens up into a little play set and then can be packed away with the accessories stored inside, it is well thought out and it adds another dimension to an already cute little play toy. 

We also received two of the vet rescue pets assortment, these little cases actually open up and click into a pet bed! Very clever little touch. These little packs contain 1 x suitcase/bed, 1 x surprise pet, 1 x accessory and a collector card. 

Not only are these little play sets well thought out and appealing to young children the scruff pets included need to be 'healed', this can include spots, tears, broken hearts and fleas, rub or warm these gently away to heal the little creatures. It is a nice little added touch and enables the child to nurture and feel good about making their little pets feel better. 

Elarna has taken the role of nurturing vet very seriously indeed and has made sure that her little pets have been well taken care of and are tucked into bed and all healed. I love watching her play with these type of tyes, I see her imagination taking over and her caring side really come out. These are a wonderful toy to buy if you want to encourage a child to start to take a little resposibility for little creatures and look after them. 

What did we like about scruff surprise?

- Really nice and unique range to the already popular scruff a luvs.

- Good retail price for what you receive, the ambulance is such a great toy and I really feel that alot of thought has been put in to the other items. The little accessories are great and there is lots to discover.

- There are several pets to discover, each with different ailments. I love that you have to 'heal' them to make them feel better, it is such a cute addition and adds another dimension to these little toys. 

- Encourages role play, imagination and nurturing, vital life skills learnt through play

- Lots of different varities to collect so you can create a lovely collection!

Anything we weren't so keen on?

- For me, the creatures are a little odd looking but after a while I grew to like them! Elarna thought they were super cute though so that is all that matters.

- Some of the accessories are quite small, something to be aware with if you have younger children around.

Overall these were an absolute hit in our house. What I particulary liked is that you can make the little suitcases into beds and then make them back into suitcases again for ease of storage, the same with the grooming set, you can pop the little accessories safely in the cube and store ready to play with next time. The ambulance is a push along and the added accessories really add to the playability. We both adrored the pastel colour scheme of them all and these have been our favourite yet of the scruffs range without a doubt. A big hit in our house!

Widely available with varying retail prices, you can purchase from Smyths as well as the exisiting range. We can't wait to see what comes next from the Scruff a Luv range! Here are a couple more pictures of Elarna enjoying healing and care for her scruff pets. 

* Please note we were kindly sent the items free of charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased review, all thoughts are my own.

Hiring a Photo Studio for the First Time.

{Collaborative Content} What do you think when you see photo studio hire services? Do you still consider shooting on location? Why? Nowadays, photography studios are equipped to take care of all shoots and films, as well as the classic style of photo-shoots. 

Of course, there are occasions whereby it makes sense to use a professional service, rather than to control the shoot yourself. If you hire a photographer for newborn photos, you will be able to go to their studio instead. However, if you want to take the photos and have full creative control, such as for a client’s calendar shoot, you need studio hire.

When you are deciding which studio to choose, you must first make sure that it can provide solutions to everything you need. Security is the primary thing that you have to consider. Film studios can assure you, unlike when doing shoots on-site, that you have the security. You can monitor the people on the premises, meaning your equipment, personal things, and crew is safe while doing the shoot. 

Second thing, when you’re in a studio, you do not have to be worried about unnecessary sounds in the scene. Acoustics will be improved and recording will be in an orderly manner.
Thirdly, your camera and equipment will be safe from natural elements like rain showers, sleet, or snow, which can cause damage to your shoot or even to the equipment you are using. 

Next you will need to consider the aesthetics and how you might want your photos to appear. You may want light and airy with a pale floow or you may want something more dramtic and dark, using a beautiful and exquisite wood floor, imagine the decadent images you could capture with this type of flooring, beautiful. 

Photo studio hire also offers convenience. Studios might be hired in a location that is suitable for you and the whole staff and doesn’t require lengthy or tiring trips. 
Lastly, the cost; renting locations, or making the trip to them, can cost a lot of money than hiring studio areas for the time you need. 

Keeping costs low
If you simply search on the Internet for the cheapest photo studio you can find, this is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. Why? Well, you don’t know if the studio fits into your wants if you have not done the necessary research. Moreover, while it may be cheap on the surface, it is not uncommon for hidden costs to be entailed, which could cost you a lot more in the long run. Therefore, it is all about making clever savings and ensuring value for money.
The key when looking for cost-efficient photo studio hire is to consider the expenses as a whole. You are not only going to have the rental cost to contend with. You are also going to have the cost of getting to and from the studio. This is why a convenient location is paramount. If using public transport, you want somewhere that is close to a tube station so that you can quickly hop on the tube for a few pounds and get to the studio, as opposed to paying for a taxi. 

You also need to consider the equipment hire. A lot of companies will include this as part of the rental fee. Nevertheless, not all equipment will be included; some will be available at an added cost. Make sure you check this to determine whether you are going to need to pay any more. 

Monday, 17 August 2020

Tips for Achieving a Fresh New Look!


{Collaborative Content} There may come a time when you look in the mirror and are tired or bored with what you see. The upside is that it’s possible to achieve a fresh new look with a few tweaks and modifications.

Apply the following tips, and you’ll be on your way to feeling and looking your best. Have fun experimenting and transforming your appearance so that you can improve your confidence levels and be happier in your own skin. Give it a try and remember you can always make additional changes based on what you think and the reaction you receive from others. 

The same applies to your home, making a few tweaks here and there can make such a big difference. Of course if you wanted you could go the whole hog and fully redecorate or how about changing up your floor, you might want to consider something like engineered wood flooring which is long lasting and looks fantastic. Of course, when considering these things many things need to be considered so when you achieve a personal new look the same also applies to your home. Below are some tips and things to consider when making changes!

Research Ideas

A wise place to start is to take the time to research what ideas are out there and possible for you. Achieve a fresh new look by understanding the trends and seeing what you like and don’t like. There are plenty of fashion blogs and resources out there to help you find a look that will appeal to you. You may also want to ask your stylish friends for advice or pick up on some of their beauty habits.

Make Changes to Your Hair & Makeup

You can also achieve a fresh new look by making changes to your hair and makeup. For starters, invest in tools to hydrate hair so that you can say good-bye to frizz and have smooth and straight hair that looks beautiful. You may also want to meet with a stylist who can give you a new cut and colour. As for your makeup, be willing to experiment with different shades and change up your appearance based on the occasion. For instance, you can apply a smokey eye and red lipstick if you’re heading out with friends.

Whiten & Straighten Your Teeth

Your teeth are another vital aspect of your overall appearance. They’re what people look at when they meet you, and you flash a smile or begin to speak. You’ll be much more attractive and confident in your looks when you whiten and straighten them. Your teeth will look pretty so you’ll also have the urge to want to show them off and smile more.

Use Accessories

Work on achieving a fresh new look by using and wearing more accessories. Get a few handbags you can switch out and wear jewellery to add a bit of sparkle to your outfits. Accessories are an excellent way to improve your overall look and add a sense of excitement and interest to your appearance. You can keep it fresh by using different accessories based on your mood and what look you’re trying to achieve.

Revamp Your Wardrobe

It’s also in your best interest to take the time to go through and revamp your wardrobe. You can quickly achieve a fresh new look by changing up your attire. Choose clothes that fit your body type well and will help you to appear more fashionable and on-trend. Now is an excellent time to clean out your closet and get rid of or stop wearing what’s outdated and no longer fits right. 

Friday, 7 August 2020

Revamping your Home with Wooden Flooring.

* During these unusual times I don't know about you but I have become slightly obsessed with making subtle changes around the house and the garden to really make the most of our space and improve our surroundings, there is nothing better than a declutter and a reorganisation is there? It can be quite hard not to accumulate a ton of items over the years and having a big clear out really can do wonders for your zen! 

There are lots of things that I would like to change in our house, I have talked about it before, we have a large conservatory which is now affectionally know as the 'play room', not idea as it such a lovely space and would be great if we could at some point in the future knock it down and make it into a proper room and extend our kitchen into it. I have lots of thoughts about how I would like it to look, introducing some real wood flooring would be a good place to start. I often think if you decide on the flooring the rest of the design and decor will follow.....

With so many choices for wood flooring there are endless possibilities about how you would like the room to look and feel. Would you prefer it decadent and a bit darker, cosier for those cold winter nights or would you prefer light and airy with beach hut vibes, imagine that with bifold doors opening out onto the garden to enjoy those balmy summer evenings. The possibilities are endless. 

Once you have decided on the look to achieve, research your options, request free samples and ensure this is the desired look. Make sure you set and try to keep to a budget, this is sometimes easier said than done but remember you will want to accessorise and add other personal touches to really make the most of the space that you are designing. It is so much fun making your home feel amazing! After all this is where you spend many hours, eating, working, playing, entertaining and most of all making memories so it's best to make the most of it!