Monday, 24 July 2017

5 Family Travel Sleep Tips

It was shortly after Cora was born that we decided to upgrade our pillows and a year in and we have never looked back. We tested them all out in the store and ended up Choosing some Tempur pillows in the end.  Suddenly we have become pillow snobs, finding faults in hotel pillows and declaring our own bed to be quite clearly the comfiest one ever.  

This post comes straight from France where we are currently staying in a mobile home with a small double bed and some slightly flimsy pillows.  I feel quite smug that I have packed my Tempur travel pillow and with the amount I am still up in the night with Cora, I am definitely glad to be getting more comfortable sleep when I can!



So here are my 5 family travel sleep tips.

  • If you are flying, then plan the times around the children so that they can sleep on the plain.  We normally choose either an early morning flight so that they can be awake in the airport and then finish their sleep on the plane, or straight after lunch when they are more inclined to nap.
  • Take your own pillow! My Tempur travel pillow is small enough to fit in my bags and their eye mask is super soft and thick and really blocks the light out.  Good quality sleep makes all the difference.

  • Pack the children's sleep cues, whether that is their favouite bed time story, a much loved bear or a dvd that they always watch in the evenings.  Keeping their routine as normal as possible helps them to settle in an unfamiliar bed.
  • If you struggle to sleep in new places then download some soothing tunes or ocean sounds to relax with and don't forget to pack your headphones if you are sleeping on the go!
  • Going for a walk before bed can help expel any energy the kids have been storing and can be quite relaxing.  Let them run off steam, take in the views and hope the fresh air helps them sleep more soundly.
Do you have any sleep tips that you would add?

Tempur® have a challenge until August 7th where you can test out their mattresses in stores and win a travel pillow of your own. You can find more details here

This post is in conjunction with Tempur® but all thoughts are my own
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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Whole House Wifi with TP-Link Deco

Both Ed and I work from home with the internet being a vital part of what we do.  We no longer have a TV licence, relying on Netflix for all our shows and we have three little boys that are desperate to get their hands on a tab to play games with whenever they can.  Unfortunately our wifi doesn't always hold out and the moment you step into the kitchen you lose all signal.


As a self confessed terrible chef, I rely heavily on step by step instructions when I try and cook something new, and there is nothing more frustrating than trying to see the next step and realising you have to carry your device back towards the living room to get enough signal!


TP-Link offered me one of their Deco kits and I wasn't the only one to get excited.  It was something we have been looking at buying anyway and it has made such a difference to our signal.  Not only am I burning less of the dinner, I am also able to control how much time the children spend online via the parental controls in the app, and the built in anti-virus helps keep all of our private information private.


The simple style means the TP-Link Deco fits easily into our home, no matter which room and it  provides up to 4,500 sq foot of coverage! The Deco currently retails at £229.99 and you can buy it from Amazon


Disclosure : This post is in collaboration with TP-Link
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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

What Cora Wore // Kinder Feet

I love the children wearing clothing that nobody else has, and our latest discovery, Kinderfeet is perfect for this.  Evi not only makes all the clothes and shoes herself, but she also uses a local designer for the prints so her clothing is really unique.  The soft organic cotton is all printed in the UK and the playful designs are perfect for little boys and girls.

I chose a daisy and ladybird print for Cora's outfit as I love the blue and these little rompers are just adorable! Perfect for crawling baby, chunky thighs and a great unisex shape.  Cora has a matching sunhat too, although she really wasn't keen on wearing it when I tried to take the photos so I eventually gave up.




Kinderfeet also makes little leather baby shoes and these are Cora's very first pair.  I am absolutely in love with the little strawberries and they are perfect for her cruising around outside as the bottom is soft but protective.  There are so many different designs on the website and Evi takes custom orders too if there is something different you want.  There are lots of co-ordinated clothing and shoes too which look adorable! I was tempted by the daisy shoes but I just can't resist strawberry clothing and the watermelon ones are next on my to-buy list.




Evi says "Kinder Feet started nearly 4 years ago when I finally decided to be brave enough and follow my dreams! I have always been interested in anything crafty and I have always been passionate about eco and organic materials and products.
When I touched the softest and most eco-friendly leather for the very first time, I knew I would never be able to find any better! And I knew this is the leather I want to work with and I knew it will keep those little (and now also big) feet warm and protected, without restricting them. My organic Kinder Feet exclusive fabric was born in 2016 when I got talking to a friend who is an artist. He had this amazing idea to help me design fabric which matches my shoe designs. The design was one element but the hardest part was finding the right place to get organic fabric knitted and printed in the UK, in order to make sure no child labour was involved. It wasn’t an easy journey, but it was also not impossible and I am now working with an amazing mill and printer in the UK. I am very proud to be able to say that there is no child labour involved at any stage in the making of the materials used and the making of my shoes and clothes! You will receive a truly ethical product!"






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Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Ordinary Moments // Birthday Parties

This weekend is our busiest in a while with three birthday parties and a Christening to attend.  We tend to have one day at the weekend where we stay close to home, and then another where we do something more exciting, but this weekend there is no quiet home day and a good amount of cake!

Archie's friend T had a brilliant balance bike party yesterday and the boys loved it.  The older children went out on their balance bikes round a trail and came back covered in mud but with giant grins on their faces.  The younger ones stayed at the base camp and scooted around, had their face painted and played with toys and we all reconvened at the end for party food and cake. 

T's little sister E is the same age as Finn and they get on so well, they were chasing each other round on scooters and bikes, hiding under tables with a bowl of mini sausages and they made the best lion and tiger. 


These two had no problem keeping themselves occupied whilst their elder siblings were off in the woods and their baby siblings were crawling around in the hay.  Finn hates being confined so a huge country park was perfect for him and I think E is just the same. 


The countdown until the summer holidays has really begun now with term finishing on Thursday and I think the boys are going to be ready for a break after our busy weekend!

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Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Amazon Fire 7


The end of term is approaching and the boys are tired. When they come in from school and nursery they have taken to just flopping on the sofa or bed and wanting to watch TV or play a game. When they are well rested they are happy to run around and play, but most days at the moment they just need to switch off for a little while.



We have a tablet, but Ed uses it for work, so the boys were delighted when Amazon offered to send us a Fire 7 . It is an upgraded version of their bestselling tablet, compact and light for small hands to hold but durable and it comes with 8gb memory (that is expandable), a choice of colours (we have blue) and Alexa as well as access to the Amazon app store which has over 800,000 apps and games on offer.  It is fantastic value for money at £49.99 and I actually ordered a second one last night so that the boys can have one each.


I downloaded a few to start us off as we have a big drive coming up at the start of the summer holidays and I want to make sure there are a selection of games to keep them occupied. It was easy to turn off in app purchasing and I have added passwords so I know that when they have it in Kids mode, they can only access what I have allowed them too. They have discovered Minecraft  on Daddy's computer so I am pretty sure that is going to be our next purchase through the Amazon app store!



Our top 3 games for 4 and 5 year olds (so far) are

1) Peppa Pig : Mrs Chicken  - I wasn't expecting this one to go down quite so well, but they love the variety of little games. There are apps related to lots of their favourite shows and the Ruby and Max one has been entertaining them a lot too.

2) Cbeebies Playtime - This app is full of different games based on the different programs and it changes every so often too so there is often something new to discover. This was the first app that any of the boys tried and Dylan still enjoys it at 5.

3) Doodle Maths -  Every day they get 5 maths questions and I got to input information about the children and where they were at before we started so they are all age/ability appropriate. The questions are spoken as well as written and it has been good for helping Archie to follow instructions as well as increasing his exposure to math related terminology.





And of course I downloaded a few apps for me, my top 3 are

1) Netflix - There is always something to watch and the kids love it too. I have recently disovered that you can download certain programs from Netflix which I will definitely be doing ahead of our trip.

2) Instagram - I am a little bit addicted, I can't resist flicking through beautiful images and having a look into people's lives

3) Words with Friends - I never find the time to sit and play Scrabble anymore so I love this online version that I can pick up and put down whenever I find a minute.





I think this Fire tablet is going to be a great help with keeping the boys entertained on our summer travels.



This post is in collaboration with Amazon Appstore




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Monday, 10 July 2017

Fairytale Holiday Destinations

The list of places I want to visit seems to only grow as we travel more and I want to show my children so much of this world.  I want to take them to those traditional magical destinations, like the crystal clear beaches in Jamaica, and that fairytale castle in Disneyworld, but also to the lesser known cities that are still completely entrancing.



We recently took them all to Hamburg, but I would love to head back to Germany to take in the inspiration behind Sleeping Beauty's castle, Neuschwanstein Castle.  I am trying to sneak some classic Disney in between the more modern Pixar movies that they love to watch and I think that visiting this stunning castle would help them find the magic.  This fairytale destination also featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I have been looking for an excuse to share the films of my childhood with my own children.

It would be a dream come true to take a Christmas trip to Lapland and I can think of nothing more magical than real snow and a visit to the big man in red.  I think with the fact our children are all so close in age, there is going to be a 'sweet spot' where they are all at a perfect age for a trip like this, old enough to understand and young enough to still be completely under the spell.  Reindeer, mince pies, snow angels and Santa - what a combination!


We are hoping to take them a little further afield in the next couple of years, especially once we have ditched the nappies and buggy and are a little more free and India is high up on our list.  I want to show my children different cultures and ways of life, let them try different food and drinks, explore not only with their eyes, but with their tastebuds too.  The Taj Mahal has to be one of the most beautiful buildings ever built and I know they would be scouring the sky for magic carpets if we visited.

I visited Thailand after I had finished university and spent time backpacking around it.  It is such an amazing country and one that Ed has always wanted to visit, and we are hoping to go as a family in the next few years.  After discovering the Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, I am thinking we need to plan our trip around it! Sitting back and watching thousands of lanterns rising slowly into the night sky (think Tangled) would be such an amazing experience with them and I loved trecking in the mountains and visiting the elephants in this northern part of Thailand.

Which fairytale destinations have you always wanted to visit?

Collaborative post
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Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Ordinary Moments // Settling in Sessions

There are only 6 more sessions of nursery and then he has finished, for the summer, forever.  Next September Archie will be joining his big brother at school and he is pretty excited.  This week we had the final one of his three settling in sessions and I left him in his classroom for two hours.

The first two sessions involved me sitting in the hall listening to the head teacher and other members of staff and PTFA talking to us about the school and what to expect whilst Archie went off to his new classroom for an hour.  This final one was two hours though and I dropped him off and left the school.  

Archie never wavered, never looked back and I think (I hope) September will be just the same.  Unlike his brother who only turned 4 a month before he started school, Archie will be four and a half and that bit more ready.  I heard others speak of the boredom when Dylan was coming towards the end of preschool, but with a summer born baby I never really understood.  With my February son I get it though.  Archie seems to have outgrown preschool in many ways, he seems bored, ready for the next stage and I think school will challenge and encourage him in the right ways.

I didn't feel nearly as emotional when I dropped him.  I remember the worry with Dylan, counting down until I could collect him and constantly checking the time.  With Archie it felt easier and I don't know if it is because he is the second baby, or because he is that bit older, but we both enjoyed the session.


That was the last session until September now.  We need to buy uniform, shoes and a schoolbag and I know the time will fly until this baby boy of mine will be joining his big brother in the school playground at 9am.
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