Common Mistakes to Avoid when Moving with Children


Moving is well known as one of the most stressful things that you can do, especially if you have children. Young children tend to build their sense of safety and comfort around familiar surroundings such as the same house, school friends, and a regular routine. However if you've decided to move, you're going to have to break some of these at some point - especially if you're moving far.

The best thing to do is treat it like a plaster, and rip it off quickly but effectively. There are of course mistakes you can make along the way, but hopefully with the help of this post, you can avoid making the most common ones!

Not Explaining Why
It's a common mistake to think that you're protecting your children, by not telling them the reasons behind you moving. But children are smart and will find out sooner or later. It's best for everyone involved for everyone to have a clear picture behind the reasons for moving. Try calling a family meeting where you can explain the move, and hear each other's thoughts and feelings on the matter. Even if your children are a little too young for this, it's still a good idea to explain what's going to happen.

Leaving Things Until the Last Minute
Similar to the point above, it's always best to let your children know about your plans as early as you can. You're almost guaranteeing an uproar if you don't tell them until last minute, potentially causing unnecessary stress and anxiety. If you tell them in advance they have longer to come to terms with the move, start researching the new area and getting excited about things like their new room. Children need time to prepare just as much as you do mentally!

Tackling it all Yourself 
You're going to be much happier and relaxed if you have had support with the move, whether that is from family and friends or quality interstate removalists, everything will be much smoother if you're not alone with packing and moving day (especially when you have children to look after). Using a professional service and having the support of loved ones will allow you to focus on your children, and how they are dealing with the move on the day.

Being Unprepared for the Trip
As a parent, you will already know the importance of been prepared for a road trip. Having activities for your children to complete, and plenty of snacks and drinks to hand are essential to a successful trip. If you're moving a fair distance, then this road trip is probably going to one of the most stressful for everyone included. Emotions are bound to be running high. Being prepared will mean that everyone will feel a little bit more relaxed moving to their new home.

Have you ever moved with children? How did you find it, and do you have any tips that you can share in the comments section?
This is a collaborative post.

The 3 Values Of Home Design


Whether you are designing a brand new home, or you are just starting to think about how you might improve your current one, there are many things that you might need to consider. The more that you understand what kind of elements are important in home design, the more likely it is that you can create the kind of home you really want, so this is something that is going to prove important in any case. In this post, I am going to share 3 of the major values of home design which you need to be aware of. By ensuring that you get the balance between these right, you can create the perfect home for you and your family!

Any home needs a good amount and balance of space. If you need to redesign your home, then you will need to do so with a good understanding of how you are going to create and use the space in the home. There are a lot of ways to create more space, whether that is through loft conversions or extensions, or by decluttering some of the furniture you own. You can also create extra feeling of space by using reflective surfaces, creating smaller areas within bigger ones using lighting, and other similar means. As long as you get the value of space down well, you will find that your home is going to be much better designed on the whole.

By this, I mean the way that you create a sense of form and shape using lines of different kinds, in different directions and of different lengths. This is considerably harder to wrap your head around than something like space. But if you can get to the point where you are creating good lines, you will find that it makes a huge difference to the design on the whole, and that you are probably going to be able to create a connection between the different elements in a room, and in the home more generally. Playing around with the lines between things can be a powerful way to create new sights.

It’s clear enough that colour is important, but the way in which you should approach it is much more of a mystery, and something that you will find takes plenty of trial and error. In general, try to avoid using too much of a variety of colour throughout the home, and instead settle on a few choice colours which you can champion here and there. That will stop things from being overcrowded, and it will be an easier palette to work with as you redesign your home (or decide to redecorate in the future).

This is a collaborative post.

Our Summer Holiday Bucket List 2019


Today marks day one of the summer holidays 2019, so I thought it would be perfect timing to share this years summer holiday bucket list! I made a similar list last year, and I really think it gave us the push to do lots of exciting (but also lots of easy) activities over the 6 week holidays.

The littles loved ticking off each activity as we completed it too - so of course I wanted to make a list for this year. It's another exciting one for us, as it's Parker's last summer before he starts school in September. So let's hope we can make it one to remember!

What have you got on your list this year? I would love to add some more ideas to ours!

3 Ways to Keep your Family Home Looking Great!


When you buy your first home it quickly becomes your first love. You spend so much time tinkering around with it, investing into it, and just becoming stupidly house proud. Some of you will even agree with me that it actually becomes a little obsession. However it's one that’s quickly snatched away from you the moment you start your own family!

As much of a joy as it is to have your own family, family life does know how to test your patience. Things are easily broken, trinkets and decorative items become a thing of the past, and you'll spend forever getting curious spills and stains out of carpets. But this doesn't have to be the case, as there are lots of quick fixes you can make, to make your family home special again.

Stop Ignoring Niggling Issues
We're all guilty of ignoring small issues - after all they're only little problems right? But when you add all of these small issues together (or leave them too long), they can really make a difference in your home. One example of this is the garage door. Family life gets in the way, and if it’s not something that seems to get a lot of use, it can be ignored for a long time. But if it's just because you don't know how to fix a noisy garage door, there are easy fixes! It's always easier to sort things sooner rather than later, before the issues becomes a much bigger problem.

Buy More Storage Solutions
Space is definitely something that would have slowly rolled away from you as your family grows. So to bring space back into your life, why not have a good clear out, and then store the bits you do want to keep in better ways. There are lots of furniture you can buy that can also double up as storage, such as footstools that lifts up, beds with under storage, and draws you can have built into the walls. Ikea also do a whole range of fantastic storage solutions - their Kallax units are particularly great!

Bring Furniture Back to Life
Years of continuous use (and usually not for it's intended purpose) plus the other delights family life brings (sick, pens, and sticky fingers), can leave your furniture looking rather sorry for itself. But rather than going through the expense of buying brand new items, why not bring it back to life? Either buy yourself a cleaning kit, or get an expert to come in and do it for you. It could quite literally save you thousands!
This is a collaborative post.

The Siblings Project | July 2019


What a difference a year makes huh?

A year ago Lilah was just 6 months old, a teeny tiny squish between her brother a sister. And now? She's just turned 18 months and is just as crackers as the other two! I absolutely love the dynamic between the three of them at the moment though. Of course the squabbles and fights are still as full on as ever, but they are so fiercely protective of each other too. 

Indie has absolutely loved showing Parker around her school and telling him what to expect come September. Proudly telling everyone that 'my brother Parker is in *** class!' I'm still not sure he gets that he won't see her every day when he does start, but it's reassuring that they have each other around the school in general. I just know they'll have each others backs over the years - because you know that no one else is allowed to hurt the other but them right?

And then there's our not so little Lilah, who is quickly learning that whatever they can do, she can usually do better... help! For example, a few weekends ago the big two were climbing a hugeee dirt hill, when Lilah ran over and climbed to the top nearly just as fast. No hesitations. No fear. Just the biggest grin on her face that she was joining in with the big kids. I just know she's going to be trouble.

Four Easy Tips for a Smooth Pregnancy

I'm sure you've heard many horror stories of pregnancy - the back pain, the swelling, and all of those hormones causing awful mood swings. But it really isn't like that at all! There are things you can do to make your 9 months of pregnancy easier; giving you that 'glowing' pregnancy journey. In this post I'm going to share just four tips you can follow to have a smooth pregnancy.

Build a Support Group
Everything’s easier when it feels like we’re not the only ones going through something. Going through a pregnancy alone (and believing that there’s no-one looking out for us) would be incredibly difficult. So take the time to find a support system! If you have family living near to you, then this could mean getting them more involved in the process, or inviting close friends to help with baby shopping. And definitely make sure you sign up to antenatal groups such as NCT or pregnancy yoga, as this is a great way to find likeminded mums to be - plus make friendships for when baby arrives too.

Stay Informed
There’s no getting around the fact that a pregnancy can be full of anxieties and worries. This is the most likely the biggest thing that you’ll do in your life, so of course it’s natural that you’d be a little anxious. But by keeping yourself informed about everything you're experiencing can really help. Read books about pregnancy, visit your healthcare professional regularly, and download a pregnancy tracker to see how things are progressing each week.

Remember to Look After Yourself
Your focus will be mostly on the little human that’s growing inside of you, but make sure you’re not putting all of your attention on the baby - you should also focus on yourself. You have some license to be a little selfish when you’re pregnant, so make the most of it! You can treat yourself well by making sure that you’re getting as much rest as you need, and all-around looking after your body. That means eating well, regular low intensity exercise, and taking any prenatal vitamins your midwife recommends.

Enjoy the Process
There are always going to be stressful moments when you become a parent, both during the pregnancy and after. But there’s also plenty of scope for having fun and enjoying the process too. Embrace your growing bump and capture it's size with a bump cast. Enjoy decorating the nursery and buying your baby's little wardrobe. And most importantly make the most of the time with your partner before the baby arrives - a babymoon is the best way to do this!

This is a collaborative post.

8 Fun Wedding Theme Ideas


Planning a wedding is one of the most exciting, but most stressful things you’ll ever do. And deciding where on earth to start can be one of the trickiest parts! Choosing the theme of your wedding is tricky, but with the right idea, you can create an unforgettable day that will represent you and your future spouse beautifully. But what theme to choose? In this post I'm going to be sharing 8 fun wedding theme ideas, that hopefully you will love.

If you and your fiancé love nothing better than getting muddy in a field listening to live bands, then a festival theme could be an ideal way to share that vibe with your family. Think live music, teepees, outdoor games and food trucks. Why not send out wristbands or tickets instead of traditional invites or Save The Date cards for an extra touch of fun?

Love the beach? Then why not get married on one! Think light and breezy fabrics, tropical details and relaxed island vibes. Check out some beach wedding tips to make sure you choose suitable clothing, food and decor to tackle sand and sea on your big day. If you can't afford an actual beach, then why not get creative and make your own!

Photo by Arshad Pooloo on Unsplash
A very popular theme for those who love the romance and magic of classic Disney films - fairytales. Go for large floral arrangements, blush tones and why not even look into hiring a horse and carriage instead of a traditional wedding car.

If you’re tempted by a venue like a barn, then maybe go for a rustic theme to compliment it. Fill your venue with hay bales, string lights and mason jars full of candles. Think simple, outdoorsy details, like using natural woods and hessians in your decor, and carry seasonal, local flowers to match your colour scheme. The current trend for naked wedding cakes also fits the rustic theme well!

Photo by Tikkho Maciel on Unsplash
Getting married at the most wonderful time of the year? What better excuse to go all out with the festive spirit. Decorate your venue with lots of lights, a Christmas tree and flowers in deep reds and golds. Fill your evening playlist with Christmas classics and serve hot chocolate or mulled wine to really get in the Christmassy mood. You could even hire a Father Christmas for that extra festive touch!

This is a perfect theme if you and your partner met while travelling, or just simply love exploring and adventuring together. You could send out airline tickets or boarding passes as invites. Then decorate your venue with maps, photos from your travels and decor from the countries you've visited. Name tables after countries you’ve visited together - maybe even adding a photo from each destination for that final touch. You could even ask guests to sign a globe instead of a guestbook, to make an extra special keepsake!

Are you an art deco fanatic or a rockabilly babe? You could theme your wedding on your favourite era or decade, by finding appropriate props, decor and music. If you really want to stick to the theme you could even ask guests to come dressed in appropriate outfits for your chosen era!

Photo by Thomas Curryer on Unsplash
Are you both Trekkies, Jedis or wannabe Vampire Slayers? Theme your wedding on your favourite 'geeky' things, whether it’s games, comic books or movies. You can inject a lot of fun with a theme like this, such as sending out invites that look like old school game cartridges, filling bowls with Lego for centerpieces or naming your tables after favourite comic book characters. This is a perfect theme for fancy dress too!

This is a collaborative post.

Everything you Need to Know About Driving to Disneyland Paris


There are 3 different ways you can travel to Disneyland Paris - fly, on the Eurostar, or by car. We have now travelled by Eurostar and driven, and both Jack and I agree that driving was the better and easier option! Of course driving in France can seem a little daunting and scary at first, but honestly it's nothing to worry about as long as you do a little bit of research first.

The Benefits of Driving to Disneyland Paris

Of course the first positive of driving to DLP, is that it is a lot cheaper! The Eurostar can be incredibly expensive, whereas you can get Eurotunnel or ferry crossings from as little as £66 each way. Parking is free is you're staying in a Disney hotel for the duration of your stay too.

Taking your own car means you also have no restrictions when it comes to packing, and shopping while you're at Disney! We filled up our car with a huge suitcase, a buggy, plenty of food and lots of entertainment for the children (and still had lots of room for the souvenirs and giant Mickey balloons we bought on the way home).

Self driving means you are also on your own schedule. The drive from Calais to DLP takes roughly 3 hours, but you don't need to worry about rushing or it taking longer. The route has plenty of rest stops (a mixture of both service stations and picnic areas), so you can stop whenever anyone needs the loo or you want to stretch your legs. If you pick the latest tunnel / ferry crossing back you can also make the most out of your time in the parks too, as Eurostars tend to leave a lot earlier!

What you Need to Take (in the Car)

The laws in France are slightly different to that of the UK, so make sure you have everything you need before setting off. There are certain items you legally need to carry, which are:

Your driving licence
Your passport
Your V5C certificate
Your insurance documents
Green Card (Brexit dependent)
GB sticker / GB numberplate

Plus a recovery kit* that includes:

A warning triangle
Reflective safety jackets (for each passenger)
Headlight beam deflectors
Spare bulbs
Important Information to Know

The route between Calais and DLP is incredibly easy to follow. You take the motorway most of the way, until you reach huge signposts that tell you Disneyland Paris is near! You'll join a toll road quite early on along the route where you take a ticket. Just keep on the road and you'll reach the end where you use the ticket to pay for the toll - this costs €22.50 (each way) which you pay with card or cash - the machines do give change if you choose to use cash.

Remember that your speed is measured in km/h not miles in France, and keep an eye on the speed limits, as they are very strict about speeding. Speed limits also vary depending on the weather conditions too:

  • Motorways - 130 km/h in normal conditions, 110 km/h in rain, 50 km/h when visibility is under 50 metres.
  • Dual carriageways or inner city motorways - 110 km/h in normal conditions, 100 km/h in rain, 50 km/h when visibility is under 50 metres.
  • Other roads - 90 km/h in normal conditions, 80 km/h in rain, 50 km/h when visibility is under 50 metres.
  • Urban/built-up areas - 50 km/h in all conditions.

Another couple of important rules to remember are that if you are the driver, you cannot use headphones or headsets at all while driving. You must also switch off are speed camera alerts if you're using a sat nav, as these are not allowed in France.

It does seem daunting at first, but hopefully this post will have helped settle some of your worries. Feel free to ask any questions if there's something I've not included though, I would be happy to help!

*Affiliate links. These mean I earn a small percentage if you buy through these links, however there is not extra cost to you.

The 4 Biggest Signs You’re Ready to Propose


It can be difficult to judge exactly when you should consider proposing to your partner. You shouldn't just listen to the peer pressure of family and friends (or the hints dropped by your partner!). It's got to be at a moment when you think BOTH of you are ready to commit to marriage. If you're still unsure, there are luckily plenty of signs that you can look out for, and I'm going to be sharing 5 of the main signs you're ready to propose in this post.

You Talk About the Future
This is usually a red flag if it’s done in the first few weeks or months of a relationship, but if you’ve been with your partner for a long time and your talks have gone from “what should we do this weekend?” to “where should we look for a house to buy?”, then there’s a good chance you’re both ready to tie the knot.

You Support Each Other’s Passions
Whether it’s a sporting career or a business venture, being supportive of each other and understanding each other’s ambition is a great sign of things to come. Neither of you should feel you are giving up something you love in your relationship.

You're Honest About Your Financial Situation
One of the most difficult things to trust a partner with is your financial situation. If you’re both open about your finances and can trust each other with money, then it’s a good sign that you’ve already built a lot of trust in each other. You cannot go into a marriage with secrets and worries.

Your Friends and Family Support You
Having a friend or family member be against you proposing is usually something to take into consideration. However, if they’re all really supportive of your relationship then it usually means they’re giving you the thumbs up on your engagement. A close friend or family member may even be a good help for choosing the ring!

If the signs are right and you’re ready to take the next step, then the infographic below will help with the actual proposal itself - it's got to be perfect after all!

This is a collaborative post.

Swimming with Konfidence Swimwear at Splash Landings, Alton Towers! #Swimologist


If you have followed for a while, then you'll know that we are currently Child Swimologists for the fantastic swimwear brand Konfidence. We previously worked with them a few years ago, testing out their baby swimwear range during baby swim lessons. But this year we were given the task of testing out their Konfidence Swim Jackets, plus other items from the older swimwear range. To test them to their full potential, we headed off to the amazing Splash Landings Waterpark at Alton Towers, for a weekend of swimming, sun, and lots of fun!

Although the littles absolutely love swimming, we don't nearly go as much as we'd like to. And when we have been in the past, Indiana and Parker have been a little nervous heading into the pool. But I can honestly say that since having their Original Konfidence Swim Jackets there has been such a positive change in them.

First released back in 1998, the Konfidence Swim Jacket is the bestselling buoyancy swimming aid! It's made from high-grade soft neoprene, making is soft and comfortable for your child/ren to wear - plus giving it a lovely snug fit too. The jacket incorporates eight 'float pockets' which are what help your little one to float, while still giving them the freedom to swim. These are then removed in pairs as your child becomes a more confident swimmer, and eventually all floats can be removed as your child can swim independently!

Indiana is 5 and Parker is 3, and both of them really enjoy wearing the swim jackets. Indiana can independently put hers on and do it up thanks to the chunky zip, and I love all of the fun and bright designs you can buy the jacket in. The jacket also features a high-vis yellow back (to increase visibility in crowded pools), as well as being 100% UV protective when worn outdoors!

Both Littles usually complain of being chilly not long after getting in the pool, so while in the Splash Landings Waterpark we teamed their jackets with the Konfidence Warma Wetsuits. These not only kept them warm while splashing about in the interactive water features and pool, but also protected them from the sun while we were in the outside pool, as they provides 100% UV protection to all covered areas. These will definitely be perfect for future trips to the seaside too!

Of course Lilah didn't miss out on any of the fun though, as she had a Konfidence Floatsuit to wear. Combining a traditional swimsuit with the principal of the Original Konfidence Jacket, it was perfect for Lilah as it was easy to put on and super comfortable too. We swear by the Konfidence Swim Nappies too, and have used them since Indiana was a baby!

With the help of our Konfidence swimwear we had the most wonderful time at the Splash Landings Waterpark. The littles were splashing and swimming with so much confidence; even Indiana who was too scared to jump in a few months ago was in her element! I just know that with time and lots more swimming practice, we'll have three confident independent swimmers. So thank you Konfidence for taking us to Alton Towers, we had an amazing time!

We were gifted our visit to Alton Towers and the Splash Landings Waterpark (plus our Konfidence swimwear) as part of our role as Konfidence Swimologists. However all opinions are honest and my own.

Top 5 Must Do's at Disneyland Paris!


Despite our Disneyland Paris trip over a month ago now, I've definitely still got the Disney blues! So what better way to cure them, than by talking about all things Disney? Since our visits we've been asked lots of questions about what we got up to, and what the best parts were, so I thought I would share my top 5 'must do's' when visiting Disneyland Paris. And hopefully if you're planning a future trip this will help you with your planning!

Watch Illuminations

There is no better way to end an amazing Disney day, then by watching the incredible Illuminations show. A combination of fireworks, projections, fire, lights and music brings the Disneyland Park and Sleeping Beauty Castle to life. The show makes me emotional every time I watch it, and it really is pure Disney magic! Timings of the show depend on the time of year, as it begins at park close (this was 8pm in March and 11pm in June), but it's totally worth staying up for.

Photo Credit: Emma

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

I had heard so much about Buffalo Bill's, but was still a little unsure what to expect before we visited this year. All I can say is WOW! I won't give too much away, but it is an interactive dinner show full of fun, laughter and lots of yummy food. You get to see plenty of Disney characters during the show (and if you arrive early enough you may bump into Wild West Mickey too), as well as stunt riders and real live cattle. I really wouldn't miss it!

Explore Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Of course you cannot go to Disneyland Paris without exploring the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle! You can climb the stairs and go into the castle itself, where you can find out more of the story of Sleeping Beauty (and spot the snoring suits of armour). As you walk through the castle there's the Christmas Shop and a Glass shop - this is where you can watch them make (and buy!) amazing glass wands and ornaments. But don't forget to explore underneath the castle too, as this is where you'll find the Maleficent dragon! To find the entrance to the cave, head to the left as you walk towards the castle, and you should find the secret door.

Eat Mickey Shaped Treats

There are many iconic snacks at Disneyland Paris, but of course the best ones are Mickey shaped! Not only are they fun to find (and make for great photos), they are all super tasty too. You can find Mickey shaped waffles at The Old Mill in Fantasyland, special Disney popcorn buckets dotted around the park, and of course Mickey shaped cookies and marshmallows at the Sweet Shop on Mainstreet - it's on the right just as you wander down towards the castle!

Enjoy a Character Meal

The best way to meet characters without the crazy queues, is to enjoy one of the many character meal options. We love these as you can meet lots of characters while enjoying your meal, leaving you free to enjoy rides and explore the parks without hunting down the characters. A great time saving tip! You can have character breakfasts at Plaza Gardens or with the princesses. And then lunch / dinner with the characters or princesses at Inventions (in Disneyland Hotel), Auberge de Cendrillion (Disneyland Park), or Cafe Mickey (in Disney Village). Make sure to book these in advance though as they are super popular!

So those are my top 5 must do's at Disneyland Paris, especially if you are visiting for the first time. Is there anything you would add to my list? Why not let me know by commenting below!

Four Ways to Survive the Summer Holidays

Can you believe that another school year is almost over already? Indiana's first year has absolutely flown by in a blur of school runs, birthday parties and plenty of fun. But with the six week Summer holidays upon us, I must admit that I'm already feeling a little nervous! As much as I love our children it is super hard work, and the responsibility can be overwhelming at times. Thankfully school keeps them busy and teaches them all of the things we can't, but what do we do when the term is over?

For the first few days they’ll probably make their own fun, but 6 weeks can feel like an incredibly long time - especially for children who don't understand the concept of time. I've already started thinking of ideas, and hopefully this post will help you if you're worrying too. So here are just 4 ways to entertain your little ones during the school holidays!

Arrange Playdates 
Of course the holidays means that all children are off of school, so make sure to arrange playdates and days out with your children's friends. Whether it's just a picnic at the park, going to each others houses, or a big day out, I can guarantee this will be beneficial for you just as much as your children! If you don't know the children's parents already, now is a good time to get those contacts before the school term finishes.

Have Movie Days
Having a fun day doesn't necessarily have to mean leaving the house - especially if the weather isn't looking so good. Let your children pick a few films (you could get a Netflix subscription or look at the latest now tv offers to see if there’s anything you will all enjoy), then get some popcorn and sweets, and set up a 'movie theatre' in the living room with duvets and cushions. You could even make it an event by getting your children to create theatre tickets and decorating the room with fairy lights, to make it even more fun.

Join Holidays Clubs & Groups
A lot of regular clubs finish for the holidays just like school, but there are plenty of different holidays clubs and activities you could go to instead. Whether your child is into sports, dance, drama or just getting outdoors, there will be something to suit everyone! Make sure to look into these as soon as possible though to guarantee a space, as some may require payment in advance too.

Get Them to Help Around the House
With everyone at home you can imagine how messy and chaotic it can be - especially if you use school hours to catch up on house work! A great idea to combat this is to get your children to help you work around the house. Depending on the age of your child, you can get them to do simple chores such as tidying their room, setting the table or organising toys. This not only helps you out but helps teach them important skills. If you don't think your children will be too keen, why not try making it a game, or using pocket money as a little incentive.

What would you add to my list?
This is a collaborative post.