5 Family Friendly Things to Do in Portugal

24.12.21

Portugal’s beautiful beaches, fabulous food, and warm weather make it a popular destination for family holidays; and with so many different towns and cities, there’s something every traveller. So if you’re planning your next get away but aren’t quite sure where to go, why not make Portugal top of the list? Whether you’re travelling as a family or seeking a grown-up holiday location, Portugal has so much to do. 


Here are just five fun activities to do as a family.

Ride the Lisbon Tram

If you have a child that loves transportation, riding the Lisbon tram will be a treat for them. The E28 tram is an adorable little piece of local history that will take you around some of Lisbon’s narrowest streets. Just be aware that this popular tourist attraction is also used by commuters, so it may be a good idea to avoid rush hour to avoid annoying the locals.

Explore the Caves of Grutas de Mira de Aire

If you have adventurous little ones, then make sure to visit Portugal’s largest underground network. Discovered in the 1940s, the formation of these caves date back 150 million years (keep your eyes out for dinosaurs) The beautiful lighting and atmospheric music will make this an afternoon to remember, and you don’t even have to worry about climbing back up, there’s even a lift to return you to the surface!

Visit Pena Palace

Take your little ones to visit a castle as colourful as a Disney palace. Pena Palace is located in the beautiful Sintra Hills and looks like it has been taken right out of your favourite fairy tale. With a family ticket only costing you €33, it makes for the perfect day trip to suit any budget.

Admire Portugal dos Pequenitos

Located in Coimbra, Portugal dos Pequenitos is a fantastic miniature park consisting of tiny versions of Portuguese homes and landmarks. A family favourite since the park opened, it’s a wonderful chance for your children to learn about parts of Portugal you might not get visit during your trip.

See the Wildlife at Lisbon Zoo

Going to the zoo is always a popular choice for keeping children entertained, and Lisbon Zoo is no exception. Lisbon Zoo opened its doors in 1884 and is currently home to over 300 species from all over the world. With everything you could possibly want to see, from elephants to tigers, there’s so much to keep them entertained.

The staff at Lisbon Zoo are committed to their conservation work and are more than happy to chat to you about their mission to keep natures incredible animals from extinction. And, if a family holiday isn’t enough? Consider making it permanent with one of the stunning homes available from Property Lisbon - with a good education system, low crime rates and an outstanding healthcare programme, Portugal is a popular spot for families looking to relocate.

What are your favourite things to do in Portugal?

This is a collaborative post.

Laminate vs Engineered Flooring: Which is Better?

18.12.21

If you want the look of real wood in your house, but aren't sure whether to go with laminate or engineered wood flooring, hopefully this post will help you with your decision. There are minor factors to consider when choosing between laminate and engineered wood. Engineered floors are built from many sorts of woods that are joined together to make a precise flooring framework. Laminate flooring is similar to engineered flooring in that it is made up of layers, but it starts with an high density fibre core and is then covered with printed layers. Both include a fitting mechanism for simple installation.

But how do you decide which one to go with?
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Budget

Although there are special offers on engineered wood flooring, if you're on a budget, laminate flooring is still the cheapest alternative. There are several laminate flooring available now that seem genuine and are of good quality. Don't skimp on quality because you're saving money. Walnut laminate, oak and beech, and a variety of other elegant styles are also available.

Durability

The most durable of all wood flooring is laminate. It includes a pre-applied lacquer to help maintain the boards in good shape. Solid wood, on the other hand, is the least durable. Depending on the circumstances of the rooms in which it is put, it will compress or expand. When the wood is moist, it expands and warps, and when it is cold, it contracts. Engineered wood lasts longer than solid wood, but not as long as laminate.

Over time, all flooring solutions will show indications of wear and tear, such as fine scratches or dents caused by certain shoes or heavy furniture. Brushing and cleaning with a moist mop on a regular basis will help avoid small dust scratches, while taking extra care when moving furniture will help prevent damage.

Repairs

Engineered wood flooring allow you to repair scratches that have developed over time. Gently sand it down and refinish it. Repairing laminate on the other hand is tough. You'll almost always have to replace the entire board instead of just the damaged area. Engineered wood may be sanded and re-sanded several times - the number of times determined by the veneer's thickness.

Sustainability

Did you know that engineered wood is one of the most environmentally friendly flooring options available? Slow-growing hardwood trees (such as oak and hickory) are used rarely since the core layers are made of fast-growing plywood. When you consider how many trees are used to make solid hardwood floors, the environmental repercussions are apparent. Engineered hardwood is the more environmentally friendly option.

Resale Value

Homebuyers are well aware that laminate are the cheaper option, especially if it isn't at the top of the laminate scale. Engineered wood, on the other hand, increases the market value of a property. So, if you're planning on selling your home soon, keep that in mind!

Did this help with your decision?

This is a collaborative post.

4 Ways to Make Parenting Easier (Hopefully!)

15.12.21

As a parent you’ll probably know that your job as a mother or father is a 24/7 thing. As soon as you found out that you’re going to be a parent, your life changed forever. And as soon as the baby was born, you became fully responsible for another (albeit little) person. Although mine are still under the age of 10, I know that even when they’re grown up, you’ll still have all of the same feelings and worries. The good news though, is that you absolutely can make this job so much easier for you. Here are just four ways how...


Set a Good Routine

Life can feel 10x harder in the mornings - especially the cold and dark ones we're experiencing now in Winter. And if you aren’t ready for the day and you feel as though you’re going to be sluggish, then parenting is going to be a slog. To help combat this it's a good idea to get into a solid routine and make sure mornings are the easiest they have ever been. Set a time, get the right coffee that suits you (here's a guide to the Lavazza coffee range – a wonderful recommendation for this kind of thing), and don't skip breakfast as this is the best way to get energy for the day ahead.

Ask for Help

You’re not going to be able to be a superhero every single day. There will be times where you need a break as everything has got too much. This is where friends, family, and even professionals come in. Don’t feel guilty (or embarrassed) about having breaks and asking for help. If things get a little too hard, be sure to talk to someone and open up on what’s happening. A problem shared is a problem halved!

Keep Fit and Healthy

If you’re okay to go in terms of your physical body, then your parenting ability will be so much better. This is not just by eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting enough exercise though. Make sure you take care of yourself and do what you can to be the best possible individual and role model. This could even include taking time for yourself and being able to let off steam. A happy parents = happy children.

Teach the Basics from Early On

Do yourself (and your children) a favour by teaching them classic manners and some of the most fundamental aspects of life from as early as possible. If they’re really young, then they won’t be able to grasp a lot of things that you say just yet, but consistency really is key when it comes to 'good' behaviours and manners. Get older children involved in chores around the house to help you out (while teaching skills along the way), and make sure everyone is respecting the home by tidying up their toys or belongings as they go too.

 This is a collaborative post.

Our Month - November 2021

8.12.21


After last month's monthly round up post being so late, I thought I'd get ahead of myself with November's post! We started the month by celebrating Bonfire Night. A low-key affair this year as we had already seen fireworks back in October, but we did enjoy some sparklers in the garden and some mini 'cricket' fireworks -small but mighty for sure!. Then it felt as soon as it was over the weather changed, and we were thrown in to proper Autumn with dark mornings and nights (thanks to the clocks) and super chilly days.

Jack and I managed to enjoy a child-free day at the start of the month, whizzing up to Bluewater to tackle as much Christmas and birthday shopping as we could, before picking the littles up from school. We don't get much time just the two of us now he works 5 days a week, so it was lovely to have this time - and super productive too! Of course I had to pick up my first Christmas Costa of the year whilst we were there too (Terry's Chocolate Orange Hot Choc if you were wondering).





Unfortunately the middle of the month took a bit of a turn, with Indiana actually testing positive for covid! Thankfully she wasn't too poorly with it (a few days of headaches seemed to be her symptom), and I'm even more pleased that the rest of us didn't manage to catch it. It did mean I had all three littles home for almost a week, which was definitely hard work after them being back at school for so long. Indie seemed to enjoy the home learning set though, and I must admit I did enjoy the few lazy mornings we had together.

Luckily Indie's isolation ended just before her birthday, so we were able to celebrate our beautiful girl properly! We did presents, had birthday pancakes with all of the toppings and then she spent the day at school. I made sure to get her a birthday badge to wear so everyone could give her birthday wishes, and the whole of year 3 ended up singing to her apparently. We then came home for birthday cake before dinner at Pizza Express. She then had a little bowling birthday party with a few friends at the weekend. Such a lovely few days and Indie said she had the best birthday. I started this blog when she was a few months old and now she's 8!





We ended the month by getting into the festive spirit... putting up our Christmas tree! We're not usually this early, but as the 1st December was midweek this year (and because the littles were practically begging) we thought we'd just go for it. Of course we had to visit the garden centre to see all of the lights and pick new decorations first, and this year they picked a unicorn, a robot and a cat. Totally Christmas themed right?


5 Luxury Additions to Improve your Home

6.12.21

Everyone deserves a home that they can proudly call their own. And when you introduce lavish luxury to your interior design, you’ll have a home that you’re excited to return home at the end of each day. You don’t need to consult with a professional designer to get that luxury look though - you’ve probably watched enough 60 Minute Makeover and DIY SOS over the years to know exactly what you like and what you don’t! So if you want to impress your friends and neighbours, then why not try one (or all) of these ideas to improve your interior design. 


Black and White

Nothing says sleek and stylish quite like the contrast of black and white. A great place to introduce this is in your hallway, as it’s the first place that your guests will see when they enter your home. Ditch the carpet and paint the floors and stairs white but the banister and skirting boards black (ditch the carpet because a white carpet, especially in a room with so much footfall, is a recipe for disaster isn't it?).

High-End Touches

Small, high-end touches are perfect for making your home just that little bit more special, and materials such as hard wood, gold, and marble are the perfect addition to any room. In fact, if you find a gilded mirror on your hunt through antique shops and car boot sales, you’re on to a winner. Not only will the frame look fantastic, but a mirror is a great way to make your space look larger.

New Furniture

Tattered and torn furniture can really drag down the aesthetic of our homes. Why not invest in some fancy furnishings stocked by the suppliers at SM London. The splendid sofas brought to you by these experts will give your rooms the luxury feel that you’ve always dreamed of. You can even go one step further and add soft furnishings to the new furniture (pillows, blankets, etc), to add that extra level of luxury.

Floor Length Curtains

High ceilings are fantastic signifiers of luxury. However, not every home is blessed with them. If your ceiling height leaves a little to be desired, fear not, there’s a great hack that will easily trick the eye. Rather than just having curtains that cover your window, instead, you should move the rail to the ceiling and get drapes that drop to the floor. This way your ceilings will look much higher than they really are. Clever right?

Custom Shelving

Bespoke units are a fantastic indicator of luxury too. From beautiful bookcases to wardrobes that possess the wow-factor, experts such as Sharps Bedrooms can help design the d├ęcor of your dreams. When you invest in custom selves, you’ll be able to turn even the most awkward alcove into a usable, stylish storage solution. And after all, the only thing better than luxury is useful luxury!

This is a collaborative post.