Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Getting a Good Night's Sleep in Summer!

5 top tips on getting a good night's sleep in Summer

It’s happened to us all – endless summer nights spent tossing and turning in bed, struggling to sleep because the heat is just unbearable. There really isn’t anything worse than trying to get some shut eye in a hot and sticky bedroom and when temperatures get higher and the nights stay lighter for longer, summer isn’t the best time to sleep soundly. Beyond the ideas of wearing thinner pyjamas and ditching the thick duvet here are five top tips on ways to keep yourself cool, beat the heat and get the good night's sleep you deserve during those hot summer nights.



Drink water before bed
This may seem an obvious one but that’s because it's one of the best things to do. You should drink plenty of liquids before bed but try to avoid drinks such as caffeine and alcohol. Keeping a glass of ice cold water next to your bed will keep you hydrated throughout the night.

Buy a comfy bed
Known as the Egyptian Method. Run a sheet or towel that is large enough to sleep on with cold water through the washing machine until it’s quite damp and not dripping wet. Place it on your bed and used the wet sheet as a blanket, this will keep you cool.

Buy the perfect bed components
Choosing the best bed components can be tricky but it is vital as your decisions on your bed, mattress and bedding will affect your temperature so think smart and be wise about your choice of materials. Choose a natural fabric for your sheets. Cotton and linen hold less heat so are good to help keep you cool. Your mattress choice and bed are also essential in making sure you have the perfect night’s sleep. Divan Beds Centre sell bed bases, so check them out to find your next bed for those summer evenings.

Turn electrical items off
Turning off all your electrical equipment will cool down your bedroom. Items such as TVs, Wi-Fi systems and radios give off large amounts of heat. Make sure plugs are taken out and sockets are all off to reduce the total heat in your room.
Buy a fan and ice it up. Sometimes it can feel like all your fan is doing is nothing other than blowing hot air around your room. Try putting a bowl of ice cold water with ice cubes in front of it. The fan will then pick up the cold moisture as the ice cubes start to melt and will circulate that around the room. Click here for some great deals on fans. Try out these tips and change your summer nights' sleep for life.

* Collaborative content.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Tarquin & Troops *Review & Competition*

There is nothing more than I like to do is to do than support small businesses. Anyone who enters into the world of self employment and makes a real go of running their own business I'm in awe of. Recently I've been lucky to review (free of charge in exchange for my honest thoughts) some rather lovely prints from the unique Tarquin and Troops....fun, quirky and colourful prints that appeal not only to children but adults to. What's not to like! They are cute, unique and funny, ideal for nurseries, playrooms or kids rooms they have endless possibilities. The main thing about Tarquin and Troops and is tongue in cheek look at celebrities and different professions. 

So, a little about Tarquin and Troops. 

Fed up of the rat race and the general commute on Southern Rail to Victoria the founder of these prints decided to ditch the stressful commute and embrace his artistic side. Inspired by his own childhood and TV shows that he enjoyed, Tarquin and Troops created these lovely prints where children can see these animals in uniform where they wouldn't expect and let their imagination run wild and create stories around them.



We are loving the designs in the Blogging Beautifully household, we're yet to frame then but can't wait to get them on the wall. Most of them are for Alfie, we're hoping to get his room decorated soon in a jungle theme so these will be perfect to add a finishing touch. Of course, I couldn't forget Elarna and this cute pink elephant is utterly cute to add to her room. The prints I have received are A4 in size and are beautifully printed. The images you can purchase in the online Etsy store are printable and will be emailed over in a high res image form, these are currently retailing for £4.80 an image, which is great value. 


There are loads of images to choose from ranging from snakes, emu's, rhino's, crocs and more, each with their own personal little story to really encourage the childs imagination to flow. So if you're looking for something to spruce up a kids room or for a gift these might just be the thing. Please do go and check out the Etsy store by clicking here!

Now onto the competition!

If you like the sound of these fab and funky prints you'll be pleased to know I'm offering one lucky reader the chance to win 2 of these prints. This is open worldwide so a fab opportunity for all. Entry is via the Rafflecopter below and will close in a months time, plenty of time to have a nose at the website and decide which 2 prints you would choose! Please ensure you leave a valid email/twitter handle so you can contacted if you win! All that remains to say is good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 20 July 2017

The Modern Marriage.

On August the 15th 2017 my husband and I will have been married for 7 years. 7 WHOLE years, that is crazy. My wedding day was one of the best of my life, I'd wanted to get married for so long and on this day my dream was complete. Prior to getting married we'd been together for about 10 years, it seems utterly mad that we've been together for so long and now have 2 beautiful children to complete our family. With our anniversary looming, it got me thinking about how we've managed to make it this far in our relationship and to share a few personal memories that stick out in my mind from our wedding and my take on the modern marriage and weddings! For legal and professional advice surrounding matrimony etc please do pay a visit to Slater & Gordon here https://www.slatergordon.co.uk/family-and-personal-matters/

They are a bit random some of these things but it's funny that bizarre things that are stuck in my memory.


  • Rescue remedy! Oh my I was so nervous on the day. I literally kept spraying rescue remedy to try and calm my nerves. So if you're about to get hitched and are feeling a bit stressy I can highly recommend the rescue remedy spray, it really does help calm the nerves a little. 

  • My car! I flipping loved my pink 50's style car, I remember seeing it advertised in a wedding magazine and saying to my Mum that's my car, I need it. Fortunately they were only in Leicester so my wish came true and it was most definitely a show stopper!




  • The feeling of happiness after we'd said 'I do', I was literally elated to the point of being super twitchy, I remember not being able to stand still!
  • How heavy my dress was. There was alot to it, an underskirt and a ton of net made for a big dress that weighed quite a fair amount! It also meant that it was trodden on quite alot due to the long train, most annoying. My veil also hurt my head, more so when people were hugging me and all I could feel was my head being tugged backwards.....it really is funny what I remember!





  • Seeing family and friends all in one place. They say that you see most family and friends at either weddings or funerals, they're not wrong. That being said it was a wonderful family occasion and everyone we cared about was there to share our happy day.



  • Photographs. Make sure you get a decent photographer, sadly ours ended up not being that great and although some of the pictures we have are lovely, many were not as we wanted. When we were having our photos taken it felt like it took forever, but remember it's worth it for some lovely images.
  • Make sure you eat! We didn't really get any canape's which is a shame as we picked them all but they didn't make it to us and I would have liked to try some, I seem to remember seeing them being passed around but it's such a busy couple of hours after saying your vows that it's easy to get sidetracked and not eat but I would strong advised hunting out those canape's!



  • My beautiful cake. My best friends Mum was a cake maker extraordinaire, I wouldn't have had anyone else make my wedding cake. Still to this day I look at it in pictures and adore it. The butterflies were all hand made by her and sparkled and glistened in the light, it was a truly stunning cake. 



  • Enjoy the day. Soak up the atmosphere, relax and immerse yourself in it. The day goes so quickly as do the years, 7 years later and I still look back at our wedding with fond memories and I would love to do it all again. 
So, these are a handful of my wedding memories, I've really enjoyed having a little reminisce, sometimes it's good to look back and remind yourself of good times. 

I'm hashtagging #TheModernMarriage in conjunction with this post!

* Collaborative Content

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Best and Worst Linky

Beautiful Things


Run, Jump, Scrap!
Hello and a big welcome to this weeks best and worst linky. We look forward to reading lots of new posts. This week is going quickly and here we are again, Wednesday and linky day.   

Let me welcome you, as always to the best and worst linky run by my lovely friend Sarah who blogs over at Run Jump Scrap and co-hosted by myself. If you're new to the linky we're delighted for you to join in, please do have a read of the rules. If you're a regular then thanks as always for the support. Sarah and I split the commenting now, it is working well doing it like that. You should have received a comment from one of us so if you are missing one please do drop us a tweet or email. We've had some great posts over the last few months and we're looking forward to reading some more fabulous posts!

So what is best and worst all about? This is the linky where you can tell us about the best or worst things that have happened in the last week or even the last year, this could in the form of a blog post, a photo or even a video. It can be an old post or a new post, we don't mind we just want you to share it with us. We want you to share your babies firsts, the crappy day at work you've had or a makeup disaster basically the good, the bad or the downright ugly! We want to share your excitement and tears, highs and lows no matter what it is.


Remember to tag us over on Insta and Twitter with the #bestandworst hashtag. We would love to see more of you over on Instagram and Twitter sharing your pictures and posts with myself @helsy_1983 and Sarah @runjumpscrap this can be throughout the whole week not just when our linky runs and we will then aim to feature some depending on who uses the hashtag. As this is still a fairly new thing for us it might take a few weeks before people start using the hashtag more.

So as always, on with the linky........please have a little read of the rules and we look forward to reading this weeks posts.

We are going to be keeping a close eye on the commenting in the coming weeks, it's not fair to link and run so please take some time to visit some other blogs and comment, linkys only work if people spend time to read other blogs and comment on them.

You 


Rules

  • The linky will open at 5.30am on a Wednesday and close at 23.55pm on a Friday
  • You can link up one or two posts each week
  • Please comment on the 2 posts before yours and have a nosey at the host's too. We've noticed that some people have just been link dropping and not commenting on the 2 in front, please do return the favour so everyone gets some comments and linky love, thankyou.
  • ***Please add the badge to the bottom of your page so everyone knows where you have linked up***
  • Tweet your hosts @helsy_1983 and @RunJumpScrap once linked up so we can retweet you. When tweeting and commenting use the hashtag #bestandworst so everyone knows where you have come from and remember to hashtag us over on Instagram too
Best of Worst




    

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Introducing 'Blogging Beautifully'

I thought I best write a very quick post as you may have noticed a few changes to my blog. I would like to introduce you to 'Blogging Beautifully.

After thinking about things long and hard I decided that my original name of 'Beautiful Things' was no longer fitting, my blog is much more lifestyle and parenting based with less beauty than I used to write about. I'd fallen a bit out love with the title also, I have done for a while now but toyed with the idea of what to do. I uhhmed and ahhed about starting a brand new blog or even just ditching the blogging altogether but I just couldn't do that. I decided to choose a different name, one that would tie in with my current web address so I could still maintain things like my domain authority and various rankings I currently hold, I also felt this was a fairly simple way to continue with things as they are and spruce up everything. 




I've worked with Yaya from My Dreamality to create my vision and I have to say she's been very patient with me! I had an idea of colour scheme that I wanted but found it hard to envisage the total package so she has been brilliant in showing me lots of ideas before finally deciding on the end results....although it's not quite finished but it's nearly there, I'm experimenting with fonts at the moment and can't decide what to go for but hopefully I'll make a decision soon. I'm loving the new design, it feels fresh and welcoming (I think!) and I feel it is a bit of a blank canvas for me to start loving my blog again, I wanted a bit more of a simplistic feel but still capturing 'me' and my personality. 

The only thing that is causing me a slight headache is changing my Facebook name, the dear folk at Facebook have deemed that the name change is too confusing to my followers which bemuses me some what as surely it's going to be more confusing that I've changed everything else and yet my Facebook page name is still 'Beautiful Things Blog', very frustrating and I've appealed their decision so fingers crossed they'll realise just how silly the declining of my request is.....finger crossed hey! The rest of my social media has been no issue, the only thing that may confuse people is seeing a different name to my usual blog, change is good though so I'm pleased to have had a little freshen up of everything.

So, from now on I will be forever 'Blogging Beautifully'. I hope you like the new design and name change! Any feedback appreciated so please let me know what you think. 


Best of Worst

Monday, 17 July 2017

The End of your 1st Year *sob*

A letter to my not so little boy at the end of his first year at school, in EYFS.




Alfie, 

Words cannot express how proud I am of you. This year you have exceeded all my expectations and surpassed in your first year at school. This time last year I was massively fretting about your transition to school. You were so shy and quiet and often would hang to us like a limpet. There was some confidence but you weren't sure how to handle yourself in new situations and I honestly thought school was going to be a real issue. I was wrong. You proved me so wrong. Your confidence and ability was there, hiding away and the school we chose for you has brought it out of you.....slowly but surely. I can't believe you're nearing the end of your first year at school, it's gone so quick, I'm excited for your journey in year 1, but also sad that you are growing up so quickly and you're certainly not so little anymore! You've shot up in height as well as growing in intelligence and confidence. You've also started eating us out house and home! Clearly school is very hungry work. 

You started the year off unsure, nervous but excited. You looked so teeny in your uniform, taking you to school for your transition days was so new for us all. I never really felt emotional about it, I was excited with a little apprehension. I was worried who would cut up your food for you, how would you manage going to the toilet in a new environment and would you make friends? I knew deep down you were ready for school physically and mentally but emotionally I wasn't sure, pre-school wasn't really cutting the mustard anymore, plus you hadn't cemented any friendships as you joined half way through the year. I'm sorry we upset the status quo son by moving, it was the best thing to do for you though as we wanted you settled in a school and not move you when you'd started in reception. 

You settled in fairly quickly, the class was so small as is the school, which is just what we wanted for you. Your teachers friendly and approachable and your head teacher is fab. There were no tears, we expected some but there were none, not really even a wobble. It's like you grew up over night. Yes you were quiet, it has taken you a long time to come out of your shell and find your confidence but we've watched it emerge over the last few months. You end of term report also tells us you are starting to develop in said confidence and finally finding your feet, you've also expand your horizons to playing with jets and not just trains and dinosaurs. You've made a really nice bunch of friends and with that comes some lovely friends for us, so for that I am thankful. It's the sort of school where you tend to recognise most people and there are so many opportunities presented to not just you but us as well, meaning we've really become part of the school. 



You don't limit yourself to making friends within your own class, we often hear you've been playing with the year 1's and 2's and sometimes the year 6's! You certainly tell us if you've been playing dinosaurs with your buddy or football with the older boys! 

The 1st time you got 'star of the week' in October my heart literally burst. You stood in front of us and the rest of the school to get your certificate. You were a little shy but I knew how hard you'd worked on your writing and I was delighted to see the pride in your face. Even in that short time you'd learnt to write your name and being a leftie that was most certainly a challenge. Throughout the rest of the year you have amazed me with your achievements picking up several headteacher awards for your work. I know just how hard you've worked and each and every certificate you have earned is thoroughly deserved. You've also participated in so many lovely things over the year, some that have required an element of participation from you. Most recently the amazing Robin Hood production that the school put on before the current year 6's leave. You were a teddy bear and a fine teddy bear you were too! You had to sing and do a little performance, when they brought you all out into the auditorium you all looked so overwhelmed but when the music started you actually performed and once again my heart could have burst out my chest with pride. 



As much as I'm sad that your first year at school is rapidly coming to an end I am so excited for you to be in year 1. I'm looking forward to the journey you're going to take and what you're going to learn, where will the next year take you I wonder? How are you going to develop? You keep applying yourself as you have this year son and you'll go far, keep it up. 

So, my not so little boy, aim high, work hard and you will go as far as the stars. So much love and pride for you. 

Mummy XX (p.s not quite ready to drop this title yet so please stop callling me Mum!) XX

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Simple Ways to Lift Your Spirits!

Simple Ways to Lift Your Spirits
Life brings us many challenges. Sometimes it all becomes too much and we struggle. This is especially the case when you face the loss of a loved one, illness or radical, unplanned, changes to your circumstances. It is all too easy to get very lost and go downhill mentally and physically.
When that happens, recovering and being able to get on with living your life again takes time. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet. No one thing that can be done to make you feel better instantly. However, there are lots of simple things you can do, which, over time, do make a difference.

Self-care quotes and images
As you know, I am a big fan of self-care quotes and images, which is why I share my favourites on this site. They are a surprisingly effective way to remind yourself of what really matters and what is possible. Having a few of the ones that inspire you the most on the walls of your home is a great idea.
This is really easy to do, with the help of a modern print firm like Hello Canvas. They can take any image and turn it into a beautiful canvas print. All you need to do is to send them a high-resolution copy of the inspirational quote you want to use. The fact that you get a choice of frame types and sizes makes it easy for you to order one that is suitable for the room you want to hang it in.

Image courtest of Pixabay.

Self-care books
I am also a big fan of self-care books. Reading about other people´s experiences and how they have coped can provide you with inspiration. As well as insight into why you feel the way you do. They also give you hope and show you that it is possible to move forward.

Mindfulness
Being aware of how you feel and accepting those emotions. However, so is taking in what is going on around you. Both could be described as forms of mindfulness. You are consciously aware of what is going on inside you and around you.
Taking the time to literally ´smell the roses´ can make a huge difference to how you feel. If you stuck in traffic, spotting a bird soaring above you or looking at the flowering bush in someone´s roadside garden can make a huge difference to how agitated you feel. Taking the time to notice and savour the nice things in life helps to keep the positive hormones and chemicals flowing through your body.

Getting outside
Getting close to nature brings many benefits. It has a restorative effect, and as there is a growing body of scientific studies that show this to be the case. You can read more about some of this research, here.
Take up some form of exercise
Exercising is good for you in several ways. It helps you to become physically stronger, but also has a very positive impact on your mental and emotional well-being. Even something as simple as going for a walk can make a huge difference to all three aspects of your health.

Poco a poco (little by little)
The truth is no one thing is going to make you feel instantly better. However, making lots of small, but positive, changes soon adds up and makes a big overall difference to how well you cope and feel.

* Collaborative content.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Best and Worst Linky

Beautiful Things


Run, Jump, Scrap!

Hello and a big welcome to this weeks best and worst linky. We look forward to reading lots of new posts. This week is going quickly and here we are again, Wednesday and linky day.   

Let me welcome you, as always to the best and worst linky run by my lovely friend Sarah who blogs over at Run Jump Scrap and co-hosted by myself. If you're new to the linky we're delighted for you to join in, please do have a read of the rules. If you're a regular then thanks as always for the support. Sarah and I split the commenting now, it is working well doing it like that. You should have received a comment from one of us so if you are missing one please do drop us a tweet or email. We've had some great posts over the last few months and we're looking forward to reading some more fabulous posts!

So what is best and worst all about? This is the linky where you can tell us about the best or worst things that have happened in the last week or even the last year, this could in the form of a blog post, a photo or even a video. It can be an old post or a new post, we don't mind we just want you to share it with us. We want you to share your babies firsts, the crappy day at work you've had or a makeup disaster basically the good, the bad or the downright ugly! We want to share your excitement and tears, highs and lows no matter what it is.

Remember to tag us over on Insta and Twitter with the #bestandworst hashtag. We would love to see more of you over on Instagram and Twitter sharing your pictures and posts with myself @helsy_1983 and Sarah @runjumpscrap this can be throughout the whole week not just when our linky runs and we will then aim to feature some depending on who uses the hashtag. As this is still a fairly new thing for us it might take a few weeks before people start using the hashtag more.

So as always, on with the linky........please have a little read of the rules and we look forward to reading this weeks posts.

We are going to be keeping a close eye on the commenting in the coming weeks, it's not fair to link and run so please take some time to visit some other blogs and comment, linkys  only work if people spend time to read other blogs and comment on them.

On to this weeks featured posts! My pick of the week is from the fabulous Jaki Jellz all about her son transitioning to big school. This was me last year, I can hardly believe it and I know exactly how she's feeling.....go have a read of this lovely post. 


JakiJellz

Sarah's featured post is from Natalie who blogs over at Confessions of a Crummy Mummy with the brill post about sports day! Having just attended Alfie's 1st sports day I can confirm that this is all very true.....although at Alfie's school they stopped the parents race as it was too competitive, ha! Also......next year we will be taking camp chairs.......

Confessions Of A Crummy Mummy


Rules
  • The linky will open at 5.30am on a Wednesday and close at 23.55pm on a Friday
  • You can link up one or two posts each week
  • Please comment on the 2 posts before yours and have a nosey at the host's too. We've noticed that some people have just been link dropping and not commenting on the 2 in front, please do return the favour so everyone gets some comments and linky love, thankyou.
  • ***Please add the badge to the bottom of your page so everyone knows where you have linked up***
  • Tweet your hosts @helsy_1983 and @RunJumpScrap once linked up so we can retweet you. When tweeting and commenting use the hashtag #bestandworst so everyone knows where you have come from and remember to hashtag us over on Instagram too
Best of Worst





    

Friday, 7 July 2017

Bluestone Wales Review *Part 1*

It's been a few weeks since we've returned from our rather lovely break to Bluestone Wales. My feet haven't touched the ground since we returned and I fear I've had a little bit of the 'bluestone blues'! I've got quite alot to write so I think I'll split the posts, probably 3 the amount I tend to ramble on! I had heard lots about Bluestone through a variety of bloggers and also from my parents who stayed there a while back, so I had an idea of what to expect. I was pretty chuffed when I was asked if we'd like to head to Pembrokeshire and have a stay in the resort.  The few days leading up to us going I was really looking forward to having a few days away,  we all needed some family time.

During May we'd had some lovely warm days but in typical British fashion it looked like we were in for a bit of a wet week while we were at Bluestone. It wasn't going to stop us enjoying our time though as we knew by looking online at the Bluestone website there would be plenty to keep us occupied while there. 



It was fairly wet when we arrived, ha!

After a bit of an epic 5 hour journey (including 1 stop) we arrived at Bluestone with no problems at all (other than the shocking wet weather!), the resort is well signposted and easy to find. When we arrived, around 5:30pm there was only 1 car in front of us to check in. I loved this system of being able to check in while staying in your car, considering it was hammering it down, the last thing I wanted to do was walk somewhere to check in. We were waiting at the kiosk (if that's what they're called) for less than 10 minutes, the lady who checked us in was lovely and we were sent on our way to find our lodge quickly and efficiently. It was fairly easy to find our lodge, there are various parts to the resort each named differently so it was a case of following the map and the signs and looking out for our lodge number. 




We were staying in a Gateholm Lodge on Preseli View (named after the mountains you can see in the distance) which sleeps 6 in an upside down design. Once we'd found our lodge we unloaded our stuff and Adi headed over to the nearest large supermarket (which FYI was Tescos in Haverfordwest) to stock up on some essentials, there are smaller supermarkets nearby and a village store on the resort but for a larger supermarket this would be the place to go. On entering our lodge it was immaculate and beautifully presented. There were 3 bedrooms on the ground floor (1 double room with en suite and 2 twin rooms, travel cots are provided as standard) and a decent sized wet room. The bottom of the stairs have a safety gate, as did the top of the stairs. The upper floor is a generous sized open plan kitchen, dining area and lounge with flat screen TV. It's clean, modern and airy and these lodges really do immerse you into the countryside and the view over the lush green hills is stunning. Most nights I would stare out of the patio doors and just look out over the hills, even with the pouring rain it's incredibly peaceful to take in the view. The lodge itself is very well equipped with a little welcome package to see you through (consists of washing up liquid, dishwasher tablet, bin liners and washing up sponge/cloth), very handy. My one very small gripe is that the cupboards aren't child locked so I did spend quite a considerable amount of time convincing Elarna that wine glasses and plates are not for playing with! It is only a very small gripe though. Wifi is also included within your stay, this is basic wifi which can be used for general browsing so if you're wanting to do any streaming or more intense stuff it's worth upgrading it to the premium option, my husband was doing exam marking at the time so we used the premium wifi and it was definitely worth getting.





Now Bluestone is an eco friendly 'no car' resort, meaning that once you've found your lodge and unloaded the car you need to park said vehicle in the large car park and make your own way back to your lodge......unless you have a golf buggy, but more on that later. While we were there I have to say we did see quite a few cars driving within the resort which baffled me somewhat, especially as we were walking everywhere (more on that later), so I can only assume that they had special permission to use their car within the resort, there were also several maintenance vehicles on site around the time we were there but again, I assume these were because there were several works going on improving the resort. These didn't impinge on our stay at all, other than the short cut from our lodge to the long stay car park was closed off meaning that any time we did need to go to the car, or the blue lagoon we had to go the long way round and with 2 small children this wasn't really ideal but we got on with it. I have to say the resort itself is so clean, I don't think I saw an ounce of rubbish on the floor while we we were there.



It did dry up and we were met with some beautiful blue skies.

Our first night was very chilled, we had a simple tea and the kids went to bed while Adi did exam marking and I sipped wine and listened to the rain hammering down. I find it really quite hard to relax but sitting on the large sofa, wine in hand looking out over the hills watching the rain absolutely lash down made me feel really quite zen!! I watched it get darker and darker until all I could see where the lights around the resort and continued to sit quietly. I watched a bit of telly and went to bed, I have to say I slept brilliantly while there, the bed was so comfy and the room was a good temperature. I woke up feeling very refreshed which was lovely and On Tuesday morning we wergreeted by beautiful blue skies and no rain! 




As we'd driven quite a way to get to there we decided that Tuesday would be a quiet day and we'd go to the blue lagoon and have a less busy afternoon and explore the resort a bit, I'd already booked our dinner reservation at the Farmhouse Grill later in the day so there were no worries about food. Everything can be managed online prior to arriving which is brill, there are tons of activities to choose from and a wide variety of restaurants to eat at, you simply choose your time, pay a deposit and then turn up on the day. 


I confess, we didn't book the kids any activities, firstly because in my opinion they are expensive, plus there were none that really would have appealed to my 2, Alfie was either to young for the ones I though he would like and Elarna was either too old for some of them or too young for the others so as we were only there for 4 nights I figured there was plenty to keep us occupied without booking any extras. I wasn't wrong! The only thing I wished we'd booked and paid for was a golf buggy. These cost £90 for the week and on initial costing this does sound a little pricey but I feel that we would have massively benefited from one. We actually visited the golf buggy area to try and get one while we there but rather disappointingly there were no buggies left and we were put on a rather large waiting list for one. I was really quite bemused by this, naively I thought that they would have enough buggies to go around but apparently not, so because of this, with the weather being wet we were fairly restricted on where we could visit within Bluestone, we didn't even make it to the steep ravine or camp smokey which was a shame, so should we be lucky enough to go again I would definitely shell out for a buggy! It would have made getting around so much quicker and easier, we just had to put up with the protests from the littles that their legs were tired and get on with it! 


So, I shall leave it here for this post, otherwise it will start resembling a dissertation! In the next post I'm going to be talking about eating out at Bluestone, the blue lagoon and our trip to Folly Farm, which will also be another review!  So keep your eyes open for Bluestone part 2.......

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Holiday Packing Tips!

We are soon going to be off on our holidays and I cannot wait. It's felt so long since we were away abroad, it was only last year but it feels like it was absolutely ages ago. I'm a terrible packer. I start a good 10 days or so before we are due to go away and I get every I think I want to take out of the wardrobe and drawers, lay them on the bed and then start to deduct what I don't need to take. I then do the same with the kids stuff.....it can be quite the mission. I am notorious at over packing and even when I try to 'travel light' (my husband finds my definition of packing light hilarious), I still end up taking a ridiculous amount of clothes. 

So,in an effort to shame myself into 'packing light', I thought I would compile a little list of 'must have' things to pack when going away. Now we tend to travel within the EU so anything that is forgotten can be easily purchased if you do forget something, it might not be so easy if you're going somewhere more exotic. So here are my top tips!

  • Ok, so first and foremost think about your footwear, I have learnt over the years that there is no need to take a ton of footwear. I usually just take a load of flip flops, a pair for around the pool, a comfy pair to walk around in and a couple of fancy pairs to wear on evenings. I very rarely take heels where we go as it's quite hilly and bumps so flips flops are a much better option. 
Image courtesy of Pixabay.


  • * I take a blazer or similar. One that can be worn on an evening but also can be worn fairly casually, Espirit have some lovely ones, a classic style and can really make a difference to an outfit. They are also perfect if the evenings are a little chilly. 

  • * Check to see if the place you are staying at has a washing machine, if so it's a winner as you can wash and rotate clothes, if not, how about packing some hand wash in and just giving your clothes a wash and doing it that way. Washing clothes while away of course isn't much fun but it does save alot of space as you don't need to take so much. In case you need to separate your clothes, which many of us will do then here are some useful tips for you.

  • Take items you can layer up. I usually take a couple of pairs of leggings that can be worn under dresses or with tops if it is colder than anticipated, I also pack a light cardi that can also be layered over to keep a chill away. 


  • I take 1 handbag, I generally have the changing bag for the kids stuff but now I tend to take 1 handbag that I can use wherever I go. This has it draw backs as I do tend to take my nicer handbags which then I take everywhere with me but it's so much less hassle than packing a selection. 

  • With the kids, they have a trunki each and then a 3rd for extras......I kid you not. I can never cut down on the kids stuff so actually end up putting their clothes in the trunki's and our cases so the packing light really only applies to us!

  • My top tip, you want to know? Make sure you other half packs less so you can pack stuff in their case, it solves alot of problems if they don't take much, haha. 
So there you have it. A few tips to help you pack for your vacay. Have you got any tips to share?