Recent Posts

Our Disneyland Paris Plans + Bucket List | June 2019

25.5.19

After months and months of planning, it's now just over a week until our magical holiday to Disneyland Paris. I didn't actually share too much of our trip last year on my blog, but this year I'm hoping to share so much more, starting with our plans for our visit!

Last year I shared our holiday plans, so I thought I'd do similar for this year's trip - as well as sharing my Disneyland Paris bucket list! There are so many things we missed last year, either because we didn't have time, or because we didn't even realise they existed.


Our holiday plans

This year we're travelling differently, opting to self-drive via the Eurotunnel instead of the Eurostar. Our Eurostar journey home last year was particularly disastrous (over 2 hours delayed, dirty train, Indiana was unwell and Lilah screamed the whole journey...) This way we don't have to worry about luggage allowances, as we can pack as much as we want in the car. Wish us luck!

I am so excited that this year we're also staying in a different hotel - Disney's Newport Bay Club. Santa Fe was great last year, but the deal we got this year made NPB so much more reasonably priced. The pool will be great when we just want to unwind, and the walk to the parks will be slightly shorter too.


We have the half board plus meal plan again this year, as it was fantastic on our last trip (I would 1000% recommend getting a meal plan and pre-booking your restaurants before your trip!). We are having meals at -

Cape Cod (NPB restaurant)
Plaza Gardens character breakfast
Chez Remy
Auberge de Cendrillon (Princess Character Dining)
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

Bucket List


Of course there are soo many other things that I want to do and enjoy on our holiday (and I'm also not expecting to tick off everything - we are travelling with three children aged 5 and under after all!). There's definitely things I've missed completely too, so I'd love to hear what your must-dos are for Disneyland Paris, so I can add them to my list!

Parvel GO Baby Monitor | Review + Giveaway | AD

21.5.19

I remember the very first baby item we bought when we were expecting Indiana, was a baby monitor. It was incredibly basic but did it's job perfectly. Technology has changed a lot since she was born though - and she's only 5!

We were recently sent a Parvel Go Baby Monitor to use with our youngest, Lilah. The monitor is unlike any other we've used before. It is completely unique; using advanced motion sensors to monitor your baby's sleep, the connected app will then alert you when your baby is awake (or even when he/she is about to wake up).


The Parvel GO device is of Scandinavian design, making it small and sleek. You simply pop it next to your baby while they are sleeping (we've popped ours under the cot sheet to keep it safely away from Lilah's hands), and connect it to the app on your phone via Bluetooth. No wires or lots of different monitors to keep charged. Just one unit - and Parvel doesn't even need charging either as it runs on a single, replaceable battery that lasts up to 2 years!

Although the baby monitor doesn't offer video, the app gives you plenty of useful information regarding your baby's sleep. It monitors the temperature (in real-time) and can give alerts if the temperature rises or drops significantly. It monitors your baby's movements, so you can receive alerts when your baby is waking up. And over time the smart software will even be able to interpret the type of motions registered and identify them - only alerting you to genuine 'I'm awake' movements. The app also features a built-in timer, to help you keep track of how long your baby has slept for!

There are a number of features of the Parvel GO that I absolutely love. Firstly, it is incredibly easy to set up and use. Once you have connected the device to the app, you just need to make sure your Bluetooth is on to connect it the next time. The small size of the Parvel means it's also perfect to use out and about, or when travelling. It could easily be used in a pushchair, or thrown into your suitcase for a holiday.



I do not think the Parvel will be for everyone though, as I know some people may not like the idea of needing an app to use the monitor. I like to close everything on my phone each night to preserve the battery, so have mistakenly closed the app on a number of occasions myself too.

That being said though, the technology used by Parvel emits extremely low levels of electro magnetic radiation - dramatically lower than other baby monitors on the market! This ensures it is perfectly safe to use, and won't expose your baby to any unnecessary radiation.

We have really enjoyed using the Parvel Go baby monitor, and I think it's a great device to use - especially if you have an older baby. I am excited to be offering my readers the chance to win a Parvel GO of their own, all you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter widget below!



*The Parvel motion- and temperature baby monitor indicates values regarding motion and temperature within the immediate surrounding environment of the device. Parvel can NOT meassure the body temperature of your baby.

This post was written in collaboration with Parvel. All opinions are honest and my own.

5 Easy Ways to Personalise your Home

16.5.19

Our home is the place we come back to at the end of each day, to relax in and enjoy with the people we love. When designing our home to be the best it can be for ourselves and our family, there are a lot of different elements that come into play. Today we are going to take a look at some of the ways that you can personalise your home, to make it feel totally unique to you and your tastes.


Photographs
There is no better way to make a room feel like a true family home, than to have some photographs of you and your family around the space. You can use Bryce Noone Photography to take professional photos of your loved ones, or simply use photos from family holidays and trips to make your home feel like it truly belongs to you. Why not create a photo gallery wall in your living room, or have frames going up the stairs?

Hang Art
If your children are anything like mine, then you will know that they love to be creative and create artwork at the weekends or at school. One of the things you could do as a parent to show your pride (and to also brighten up a blank wall) is to hang some of their artwork up in a frame. It will make the house feel lived in, plus it will be a good talking point for people who come to your home too.

Add Colour
One of the best ways that you can take a full room and transform it into something new, is to use colours to brighten the space. Colours can be a great way to show your personality in the home, because you can choose the shades to really get the right feel for you - bright and bold or light pastels, whatever you do make sure it reflects you. You could even paint a feature wall, or hang some coloured wallpaper onto one wall of a room, if you're not feeling brave enough to decorate the whole room. 

Plants
Sometimes a great way to show off your own skills and bring some life to a room, is to literally bring life to a room. Plants are always a wonderful thing to bring into your living space, and you could even think about something like a herb garden for your kitchen. It can be fun bringing plants into a space and it will make your room feel more organic as well as providing some fresh air and colour. Just remember you need to care for them properly, in order for them to grow and thrive though!

Keep it Light
A bright and light room will feel much more cosy and relaxing! Make sure you have plenty of windows around the house, and consider removing chunky curtains as these will block light. Making space in your rooms by moving furniture around can also make your design look better and feel more complete. 

This is a collaborative post.

The Siblings Project | May 2019

15.5.19


Another May siblings project post, and of course another visit to the bluebells! I love looking back of these posts over the years - I mean, just look at how the big two have grown since our first hunt for bluebells 3 years ago! This years trip was probably my favourite yet. Watching all three of them exploring the woods, and climbing fallen tress amongst the beautiful flowers. 

This month has been an extra exciting one for our three little loves. After discussing getting a cat for as long as I can remember, we finally added a new little member to our family. Belle has been welcomed into our home with sooo much excitement and lots of love (although probably too much from Lilah), and I love that all four of them will get to grow up together.



Next month we have the most exciting surprise for the Littles, as we're off on our trip to Disneyland Paris. I cannot wait to watch all three of them soak up the magic again - especially now Lilah is not just a teeny baby - and enjoy quality time as a family again. Keep an eye out for plenty of Disney spam!

6 Money-Saving Tips for your Home

5.5.19

Everyone could do with a little extra money to play with each month - especially when you have little ones to look after. The cost of raising children has skyrocketed in recent years, with everything from clothes and childcare, to school trips and other treats costing so much more. If there’s no way for you to increase your income, or you’ve tried everything that you can think of, then you might find yourself needing to find other ways to cut costs. With that in mind, here are six money-saving tips!


Find Cheaper Childcare Options
Most parents spend a lot of money on childcare. After all, there are going to be times when you can’t watch your little ones yourself, so it does make sense to pay out for someone experienced to look after them. However, this isn't always necessary. There are many cheaper and free childcare options to consider. Childminders are usually a cheaper alternative to a nursery, and you might find the more intimate setting is more suited to your child too. There is also the option of asking loved ones to help you out with childcare - grandparents, siblings, close friends, etc.

Cook your Own Meals
As lovely as it can be to treat your family to a meal out now and then, you should avoid making this a habit if you want to save money. Most restaurants and takeaways charge much more than they need to on their food, leaving you out of pocket. So cooking your own food is not only better on your bank balance, but usually healthier for you too. You can even bulk cook meals and freeze some for later to save time and money in the long run!

Invest in Loft Insulation
A poorly insulated home can cause a lot of bother. Not only will you struggle to keep your house warm, but you’ll waste a lot of money doing it too. Because of this, you should consider investing loft insulation such as spray foam insulation. This works to block up and seal all of the gaps in your loft, which helps to keep warm air in and cold air out. Saving you money and also helping the environment in the process.

Head to Bed Earlier
Staying up late can be bad for your health, but it doesn’t do your bank balance any favours either. After all, the later you stay awake, the more gas, electricity, and water you will use. For this reason, you should develop a bedtime routine where you head to bed a little earlier. While you’re asleep, you also can’t order anything online or eat, which will save you even more money.

Tackle your Own Repairs
Some repairs should definitely be left to those who know what they’re doing, (attempting work involving gas, electricity, or plumbing is often a mistake that risks your own health, as well as your wallet). However there are many other simpler tasks that you should have no trouble handling yourself! So grab your toolbox and tackle those simple DIY jobs yourself.

Remember to Treat Yourself
Completely eliminating treats from your budget is rarely a good idea. Although it can potentially save you money, it’s more likely to make you want to splash out - usually costing you more. To avoid a big spend, make sure to allow yourself and your family a few treats each month. You could plan a day trip somewhere special, or allow yourself a budget for clothing and treats. Just don't let yourself go over that budget!
This is a collaborative post.

Me and Mine Project | April 2019

2.5.19


Well wasn't April the most wonderful month? We celebrated Jack's birthday at the very beginning of the month, had a fantastic family holiday to Somerset, enjoyed the sunny bank holiday, and ate allll the chocolate over Easter. It was so lovely to spend so much time with my little team, especially now Lilah is on the move so much - 3 children is a lot to chase after by yourself!

We managed to capture so many family snaps while on holiday, so I thought I'd share them all for this month's Me and Mine post. We had plenty of people around to take the photo for us instead of setting up a tripod, so I definitely made the most of it... I don't think the littles or Jack were quite as thrilled as I was though!



We ended April with the excitement of school placements for Parker. Thankfully we didn't have as much stress as we did with Indie last year, and he got into the same school as her no problem. He already cannot wait to go, and although he's going to be one of the youngest in his year (turning 4 only a few weeks before starting), we know he's going to thrive there. I just cannot believe the time has come for school for him already. Those first few years really do just fly by don't they?

After a busy April (and an even busier June to come), we're planning on having a quiet May... well, as quiet as you can with three children, birthday parties, ballet and day-to-day life to fit in! 

How to Find the Best Babymoon Destination

27.4.19

Pregnancy is the most incredible journey, but having had three babies myself, I know first hand just how exhausting and difficult those 9 months can be. From the moment you get that positive test most of your focus goes directly to the well-being of your unborn child. Making sure you're eating the right things, taking the right supplements, and of course thinking about of the things that you need to buy too.

But as important as all of these things are, you cannot forget just how important taking care of yourself is too. You need to find time to relax and enjoy those precious moments in pregnancy - switching off in the bath of an evening was the best way for me to enjoy those kicks and rolls! And of course if this is your first baby, you need to enjoy time with your partner just the two of you, before you become a three. It's for reasons like this why it's not wonder there has been a 52% increase in online searches for babymoons over the last 3 years.


A babymoon is a great opportunity to get away on holiday before the baby comes. Whether this be a romantic or relaxing break with your partner, or simply time to enjoy yourself with friends or on your own. I enjoyed a babymoon during each of my pregnancies, and so did many of my fellow bloggers.

Lianne visited the Lake District for a few days to enjoy spa days and fine dining meals - making the most of the time she had before her baby arrived. Emma also decided to babymoon in the UK, enjoying the sea air and delicious treats of Cornwall. And although she had SPD and was on crutches, she loved getting away and enjoying time with her husband.

Leona travelled to Oman when she was four month pregnant, which is a perfect destination during pregnancy as it's Zika free, and already serving plenty of alcohol-free cocktails. And Emma enjoyed time in Crete relaxing, sightseeing and spending quality time with her partner - the last time she felt well and truly rested!



If you've considered a babymoon but are struggling to decide where or when to travel, then why not check out Loveholidays Babymoon Finder? The team at Loveholidays have created the handy online tool, to help you choose a babymoon destination based around your due date, travel length and what type of holiday you're looking for. The unique tool then helps guide you to a range of holiday options that are suitable - how fab is that?

A babymoon may not be for everyone, but I honestly think they are just as important during your pregnancy as preparing the nursery! Finding the time to relax, enjoy quality time with loved ones, and focus on you and your growing bump. Bliss!

Did you go on a babymoon? Where did you go?

This is a collaborative post.

5 Ways to Make your Home Feel Bigger!

Most homeowners wish they had a bigger property, but unfortunately very few have the funds to make this dream a reality. But there are things you can do to make the best of what you already have! Planning and preparation are vital if you are going to make this work though, which is why knowing which ideas to follow is key. Here are five of the most effective ways to make the home feel bigger and better.

Extend or Convert - The most obvious way to make the home feel bigger, is to increase the physical dimensions of the property. Converting the attic or building an extension is a great way to either add rooms or make existing rooms feel bigger. Garage conversions are also a cheaper alternative that can add a new living space to your property.


Avoid Clutter - A thorough de-cluttering session will instantly make the home feel bigger. Just make sure to follow this up in the right way though. Reducing your household waste, opting for paperless bills, and using modern tech to avoid wires can all play a positive role. By cramming fewer items into the home, you will naturally have a greater volume of floor space to enjoy.

Use Smarter Design Ideas - It’s very easy to trick the eyes into believing that more space is available. Using shelving instead of bulky display cabinets is a great starting point. Similarly, creative uses of window film can section off areas of a room, while still promoting natural light. Incorporating light colour schemes, mirrors, and geometric shapes can also offer a similar affect.

Revamp the Garden - A well-designed garden space can bring a whole new dimension to your property. Building a deck or constructing an annex can completely transform your home for the better. Get it right, and you’ll also have the perfect venue for hosting friends and family on those long summer evenings.


Make Floors Look Free - There are many ways to create the perception of added floor space, as the idea of shelving already shows. Other ideas are to choose chairs and tables with raised legs that allow you to see the space underneath. Fixing your TV to a wall can be another fantastic solution. Similarly, using table ornaments and plants rather than the floor alternatives can be an effective solution too.

A bigger looking home won’t suddenly feel perfect, but it should give you far greater opportunities when trying to get the look you truly desire. You may find you had your dream home all along, you just needed to give it the attention it needed!

This is a collaborative post.

Design Your Own Trunki! | Trunki Review

We have been fans of Trunki ride-ons for a long time now. The ride on suitcases are bright, colourful, hand luggage approved, and most definitely fun for little ones! We have had our Gerry the Giraffe Trunki for 3 years now, taking it on planes, trains and lots of UK breaks. But with three children one Trunki just isn't enough! So thanks to the team at Trunki, we have been sent one of their 'design your own' Trunkis to review.


As well as there being 21 different 'characters' to choose from, Trunki also have a fantastic 'design your own Trunki' option, giving you (or your child) over 1 billion different design combinations! Absolutely everything is customisable meaning you can pick the colour of each of these features:

Body (£5 extra to add stripes!)
Nose
Stripe
Horn
Handle 
Hub Caps
Wheels
Cotton Bags
Shoulder Strap
Internal Strap

Indiana and Parker absolutely loved the design process, each taking it in turn to select the perfect colour for their Trunki. They are aged 5 and 3 and found it simple enough to do themselves too. You can see their finished design below:



The Littles were so excited to open their Trunki when it arrived, and were so pleased that it matched the design they created on my computer. It's already been ridden around the house numerous times, and Indie has thoroughly tested out it's 18 litre internal capacity. And as the ride-on is made from the same plastic that adult suitcases are made on, it's super durable too - our original Trunki is 3 years old and still going strong.

As I wrote in my original review, I am still not a huge fan of the way the Trunki opens, and I don't think I would use it on a plane anymore as a proper carry-on. However they are perfect for filling with your children's clothes or favourite toys and books - keeping as much space free in your suitcase as possible. Plus they provide hours of entertainment while your on holiday as a ride-on too!



We had originally ordered the Trunki to take on our recent holiday to Somerset, however as custom made Trunkis take up to 10 days to be made, it didn't arrive in time. However delivery is free and each case is designed and made in the UK, (plus each Trunki comes with a 5 year guarantee), so I wasn't too upset. We are off on plenty of adventures this year that it will come along on! 

The Design Your Own Trunki retails at £44.99 and is available to buy at Trunki.co.uk, alongside many extras and fun Trunki products.


We received this product in exchange for this review. All opinions are honest and my own.

3 Factors to Consider when Moving with Children

26.4.19

When it comes to moving away, especially if you have children of school age, it can feel like a major upheaval. A lot of people move out of an area for a cheaper way of life, or because they need a bigger property. But whatever the reason is, there are a number of things to consider, especially if you are moving with children. I have shared 3 of the main impacts to consider:

Schools
You might have had the huge pressure to get your children into the school you wanted, and now if you're thinking about moving somewhere else, the whole stress of the situation may come flooding back. What if you moved to an area and the schools are full? Or the quality of education isn't to your standard?

Before you decide on an area, it's worth checking out the school league tables first, and having that help you with your decision. Of course it's not the be all and end all, but if you want your children to be at the school you think is best for them, it's worth researching first.


Finding the Right House for Everyone
Finding the right area to live in can result in a limited choice of houses to look at. Sites such as Redrow and providers of other new builds can help you to see what's on offer at the moment. It's far better to find the perfect house for everyone (not just in terms of amenities, but location as well) so that everyone in the family is happy.

It's also important to remember that it's not just about the right house for your needs right now, but in the future as your family grows too. Trust your instincts and find what will make you feel that tangible “at home” quality.

Is it Feasible to Start Again?
It's easier to start again when it's just you and your partner, but when you have children, you're taking them away from everything they know. Their education is important, but the relationships they've fostered over the years are just as important too. Issues such as catchment areas could mean that even if you move a little bit further out, your child may not be able to stay in their school. You've also got to consider travel costs when moving too - will you be able to afford travel costs if you move further away from work?

Of course sometimes the choice is out of your hands when it comes to moving. But whatever you do, make sure you consider all of the factors I've mentioned above. And good luck!

This is a collaborative post.

3 Steps for a Better Night Sleep

25.4.19

Getting better quality sleep at night can have some fantastic benefits for people of all ages. Some of the many health benefits include having more energy, better concentration and focus, healthier weight loss, and clearer skin. For young children and teenagers, getting enough sleep at night is absolutely essential to healthy growth and development (both physically and mentally).

So, what can you do to make sure that your family is getting the best nights sleep, every single night? In this post I'm going to share 3 steps for better sleep quality for the whole family!


1 - Be Strict About Screen Time
Gadgets such as smartphones, tablets and laptops are playing an increasingly important part in our lives, with most children using them from a very young age. But while there is no denying that these devices can be essential to education or keeping connected to loved ones, not everything about today’s modern technology is beneficial.

Using your gadgets too late into the night will affect the production of melatonin - a natural hormone produced by your body in the dark to get ready for sleep, bringing on feelings of drowsiness. If you use your smartphone in bed, the blue light from the screen can seriously hinder your sleeping pattern, rendering you wide awake into the early hours. The same goes for your laptop, PC, tablet, and even your TV! Why not schedule a ‘screen-free’ hour for the whole family, at least an hour before bed, to help everyone relax in the evenings.

2 - Try Natural Remedies and Sleep Aids
There are several great natural sleep aids that you use to aid peaceful sleep. Essential oils such as lavender and chamomile are some of the most popular; put a few drops in your bath water, on your pillow, or into a diffuser in your room to help create a calming atmosphere.

It is also important to make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep - calming light colours and a good quality mattress, such as those from the silentnight mattresses range, will make a huge difference to your sleep. Even something as simple as a blackout blind can create a better atmosphere for sleep.

3 - Exercise More Often
Getting more physical activity as a family has many more benefits on top of improved sleep. Exercising in the morning or during the afternoon can make it easier for you to fall asleep at night; physical activity raises your body’s temperature, leaving you feeling sleepy once it returns to normal. For the best results, aim to time your family exercise sessions no less than four hours before bedtime. It is a great way to bond as a family unit too!
This is a collaborative post.

The Siblings Project | April 2019

16.4.19


We're half way through the Easter Holidays now, and amazingly we haven't had nearly as many arguments of bickering wars as I thought! This was most likely helped by Jack being home last week, and us actually being away on holiday. Everything is much more relaxed on a holiday right?

We had such a lovely time away though. It was definitely what we were all craving after busy weeks of school / work, and not much family time. I could tell Indiana needed a bit of down-time especially; the actual learning and work she's doing at school seems to have increased loads in the last few weeks! And Lilah absolutely loved having everyone at home with her to play with (although she wasn't so keen on sharing all the toys).


These photos were taken on our visit to Dunster Castle, and although the fake smiles are out in full force, I love them anyway! Indiana is looking SO grown up, Parker seems to have finally had a growth spurt (he's almost as tall as Indie now), and Lilah just looks super sweet in her little yellow wellies. And just look at the girls in their matching coats... how did I get so lucky?

5 Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing your Wedding Dress

15.4.19

One of the most important parts of many bride’s wedding day, is that moment when their groom sees them walking down the aisle. When everyone gets to see 'the dress' that you spent so long deciding on and keeping secret. So it's not wonder that for many women, wedding dress shopping can be incredibly stressful.

You of course want your dress to be memorable for all of the right reasons, but with so many gowns to choose from, it can be tough to get it right. So, if you want to really wow at your wedding, here are 5 key mistakes to avoid when buying your wedding dress!


Ignoring the Experts
Of course it’s your wedding, and you want to recreate the fairytale that you have in your head, but remember to take advice from others too. There are lots of excellent bridal consultants and dressmakers out there, who will have a really good idea of which shapes and silhouettes will work for you.

Not Considering the Wedding Ring
Most brides (and grooms) spend time weighing up the pros and cons of particular wedding rings. Should they choose rings with VS clarity diamonds, or go for something plainer? Will it match her other jewellery? It’s rare however, for the bride to consider whether the ring will match her wedding dress! You don't want a huge ring just to get overshadowed by an even bigger dress.

Doing it Online Only
Of course there’s nothing wrong with buying your wedding dress online, but it's usually best to do so after you have tried a few dresses on in real life. This will help you to get the right size and style to suit you, and even give you more ideas!

Ditching your Style
Whether you have a classic or quirky style, it would be foolish to leave it behind on your wedding day. Embrace your own style and choose a dress that is completely you, even if it isn’t what’s expected. You'll feel far more comfortable and beautiful if you pick the style you love.

Expecting a Massive Weight Loss
So many women determine that they will lose weight for their wedding. But if buy a tiny dress to reflect your goals, you could potentially end up with a dress you can’t fit into. Anything can happen between buying your dress and the big day, so don't put any extra stress on yourself. A dress can always be altered smaller!
This is a collaborative post.

HERODRIVE DC Superhero Vehicles | Review


Like most children, Indiana and Parker are absolutely superhero obsessed. We have lots of toys and figures of their favourite characters, but nothing like the fantastic HERODRIVE vehicles we were recently sent to review. Aimed at children aged 3-6 years, the new toys feature DC Superhero characters mashed up with vehicles, to make the ultimate super toy!

We were sent the Herodrive DC Superfriends Speed Squad Minis as well as the Mash machines Batman Police Car - both of which are available now in most Asda stores (the 2.5 inch vehicles can be bought online too).



The Speed Squad Minis (2.5 inch vehicles) are available to buy as single cars or as a 4 pack. So you can either pick your child's favourite character (between Batman, Superman, The Flash, Aquaman and The Joker), or collect them all! They are a perfect size for small hands to push about and get imaginative with, and their size also means they are easy to take out and about on crime fighting adventures too!

The Herodrive Mash machines are a bigger vehicle, and feature fun little extras such as flashing lights and sounds - you simply press the bat logo on Batman Police Car to set them off. Each vehicle retails at £7.99, so they are reasonably priced enough to build a collection.



So if you have a mini superhero fan in your household, these are definitely they perfect toy for them. Plus make sure to keep an eye out, as there are more Herodrive vehicles to come!

We received these toys in exchange for this review. All opinions are honest and my own.

5 Thing to Think About Before Starting your Kitchen Renovation!

13.4.19

They say it is the kitchen that adds the most value to a home (only if it's done right that is!), but for many of us, this usually means renovating and decorating the kitchen that we have. When it comes to kitchen renovations though, there is quite a lot to consider before you start - I have shared the top 5 in this post! 

Design 
The first thing you need to consider before you renovate your kitchen, is what kind of layout you want. You usually have to factor in important thing such as gas placement and plumbing, so make sure you haven't just picked your design based purely on aesthetics - if you can't move the plumbing there's no point changing where you want your sink! Designing your kitchen maybe something that you need some professional help with, as it can be hard to work out in what position things can go on your own. 


Flooring 
The next thing to think about before you begin your renovation, is the type of flooring that you will install. After all, it needs to take a lot of wear and tear from constant use as well as regular cleaning. Think sensibly about the material that you would like to use. The most hardwearing tend to be stone and hardwood, but these can be pretty expensive, so it may be more cost effective to go for laminate or even a lino floor (which you can get in designs that actually look like wood and stone now).

You may even wish to consider installing underfloor heating if you are going for an entirely new floor. Not only can this make your kitchen a more comfortable place to spend your time, but it can even be a more efficient way to heat your home.

Cabinets
Cabinets are another feature to think carefully about before you begin your kitchen renovation - they are a central part of not only the aesthetic but also the functionality of the space as well. First to consider is whether you will replace the entire cabinets or only the doors. Obviously just changing the doors is cheaper, but if you haven't got the space you actually need for your kitchen to be organised and functional, then it may not actually be the best for you in the long run.

When it comes to the style it is essential to consider not only what will fit into with the aesthetics of your kitchen, but also what is most practical too. Gloss white cabinets look great when they're clean and smudge-mark free, but if you children and not much time for polishing, it may be hard to keep them that way!


White Goods 
It is important to do three things when you're considering your white goods / large appliances. The first is to research the review on any appliance you are considering investing in. Be sure to not only look at the reviews displayed on the company’s own site but on objective, independent site as well to get a real sense of what you are buying!

The second is to accurately measure the spaces that you have in which to install these appliances. It always helps to measure your front / back door too, to make sure they can actually fit into you
r house too! 

And lastly, if you are replacing old appliances, you need to make sure you dispose of the old ones correctly. If you don't think you can get bigger appliances such as your fridge in your car, there are companies that specialise in fridge disposal services.

DIY or Professional 
And probably one of the most important decisions to make once you've picked your kitchen, is whether you will be getting experts in to help install it, or whether you will do it DIY style (that can include finding your own fitters, outside of the company you bought the kitchen from too). There are plenty of tutorials and videos online that can help you complete your kitchen renovation if you do decide to go solo!
This is a collaborative post.

3 Ways to Make your Household Less Wasteful!

In recent times, more and more of us have been becoming more mindful of the value of living low-impact, environmentally friendly lives - especially as the horrors of our past are now coming to light. Years of burning of gases and creating crippling amounts of non-degradable plastics, have taken such a terrible toll on our planet. There is still time to make a change though, and to make improvements one step at a time. Here are just 3 ways to make your household a bit less wasteful.


Install eco-friendly smart devices
There are plenty of smart devices on the market today, that utilise innovative modern technologies, in order to streamline and optimise the way you do things in your home. One you may not have thought of investing in is a water softener systems for the home. These can reduce running costs as well as help preventing such as limescale damaging your appliances. You may find that you use less water for things like showers, as the water will leave your skin feeling softer and more supple by default.

Bring less Plastic in your home
It's likely that wherever you live you'll be able to shop in a way that helps accumulate less plastic. For example you should be able to buy certain groceries such as fruits, vegetables and even pastas loose (as opposed to wrapped in plastic packaging). This is maybe a little bit less convenient, but it is certainly more environmentally friendly - and may even support a small business while you're doing so! Depending on what's available in your local area, you may even be able to get almost all of your groceries plastic free from somewhere like a farmer's market, an authentic butcher's shop.

Set up your own self-sufficient, eco-friendly systems
If you want to take the whole eco-friendly ethos a bit further, and make forays into the world of homesteading, you could always investigate setting up your own self-sufficient, eco-friendly systems in order to get a bit more "off grid." For example, you could have your land surveyed to see if you're above an aquifer, and if you are you could have a well drilled down. You could also set up some solar panels if you happen to live in an area that gets a decent amount of sun. Even something as simple as growing your own vegetables will help - and it ties in nicely with bringing less plastic into your home too!

This is a collaborative post.

Drusillas Park - The Best Zoo in the South East! | Review

8.4.19

Last Saturday we were invited along to Drusillas Park, for the grand opening of their brand new attraction - The Rainforest Carousel. We had the most amazing day out as a family, and I just know the littles will want to go back to visit again and again!

Widely regarded as the best small zoo in the country, Drusillas Park is a family-run business located just off the A27 near Alfriston (approximately 6 miles from Eastbourne and 12 miles from Brighton). I have such fond memories of the park from my childhood, so it was lovely to take my own children along to see all of the new additions and attractions.


They still have the wonderful animals I remember, but they are just half of the fun now. There are also a number of other fantastic attractions, including Go Wild! and Go Bananas! the huge adventure play areas, Get Wet! the splash park, and the rides at Go Safari! and Hello Kitty's Secret Garden! The Zoo Route also features three walk-through exhibits - Lemurland, Lory Landing (where you can pay £1 for nectar to feed the lorikeets!) and the Bat Cave. 

On arrival we headed straight to the Go Safari! section of the park to get our first experience of the brand new Rainforest Carousel. The beautifully designed carousel is the first of its kind in the UK, and features over 30 different rainforest animals for you to sit on, including a jaguar, a sloth and even a turtle that has been specially adapted for wheelchair users. 







The Rainforest Carousel is a perfect addition to the park, and so much fun for all of the family. Indiana and Parker wanted to ride again and again, choosing a different animal each time. Even Lilah was able to ride (the recommend age is 12 months+), and she was absolutely mesmerised by the lights and colours. The littles also tricked me into the 'snake basket' and decided to see how fast they could spin me - probably one to avoid if you don't like too much spinning!

Once we were sure the littles had definitely had enough rides on the carousel, we decided to head back to the front of the park and follow the 'zoo route'. Drusillas have a great focus on education for little ones, so there are plenty of hands-on activities and interactive displays around the park. We made sure to pick up some animal spotters books as well as a Zoo Olympics book. The big two loved spotting all of the animals and then using the stamp stations to tick them off, and the Zoo Olympics brought me right back to my childhood! Indiana completed it all and was given a lovely certificate at the end, so it's definitely worth getting stuck in and enjoying the challenges.







Our favourite part of our whole day had to be our visit to Lory Landing. We were lucky to go in at a really quiet time, so the lorikeets seemed extra hungry and flew straight over to us. One even landed on Indiana's head which she thankfully found hilarious! It did get much busier shortly after though, and guests weren't given the nectar as it was just too busy. So definitely keep that in mind when you visit.

After seeing all of the animals and a pit-stop for lunch, we ended our visit back at Go Safari! to enjoy the rest of the rides. Our big two (aged 5 and 3) were the perfect age for the attractions, and could go on all of them either alone, or with a grown up. The train ride was slightly disappointing as it is incredibly short and the animatronics are very sad looking. But if the queue is short I would say give it a go as children seemed to enjoy it!






The only negative I have of Drusillas would have to be the price of entry. They have a colour code payment system so prices depend on the time of year - with school holidays and weekends of course being more expensive. Prices vary between £63.80 - £86 for a family of four, and everyone pays the same price from aged TWO! I really feel they need to introduce an adult and child pricing structure, as it just seems so unfair to pay the same price for a 2 year old and an 32 year old. You can save a bit of money by pre-booking online though, so definitely worth planning ahead.

There really is so much to see and do at Drusillas Park; from the animals to the adventure play and brand new Rainforest Carousel - it's such a perfect day out for families with children aged 12 and under! Ticket prices may be a little high, but if you pack a picnic and spend the whole day exploring, I promise you'll have a fantastic day out!

We received entry into the park in exchange for this review. All opinions are honest and my own.