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Articles tagged with: Reviews

Our holiday to Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos - Part Three.

on Wednesday, 28 January 2015.

By now we were in the swing of things and fully settled in to our holiday at Beaches Turks and Caicos...

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I absolutely love these photos of them sitting on the pier- the sun was setting and the light was gorgeous.  We went down there and it seemed that it was the perfect wedding time, there were a couple of brides on the pier having photos in their beautiful dresses.  A great spot to people watch.

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The beach, Grace Bay, was so gorgeous and it never felt overcrowded, even during the day.  Damn that photo bomber in the background though!

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What is it with small people and sand?  My girls don't try to eat it but they do get it EVERYWHERE.  At one point on our trip LL managed to fall flat on her face in the sand- it was everywhere, even in her eyelashes.  She was ok, but was less impressed with the cold beach shower she had to have afterwards.

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Happy smiles.  I think I need to move by the sea, it just makes us all happy and calm.

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Caught red handed putting sand in places sand should not go.

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After receiving a gift from Big Elmo of a little Elmo of her very own, she proceeded to carry it around the whole entire holiday and it is now the one she cuddles at night alongside her favourite Baa.  At least it matches her outfit.

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They got on so well on holiday and their relationship makes me so proud- although they do fight like cat and dog- it's mainly LL who isn't as tolerant as her big sister!

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The sand was the softest I have ever felt- utter perfection.  We normally are pool people during the day, but Grace Bay changed our minds and we loved spending time down there.  

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One last photo as the sun began to set, before heading off to start our evening together.

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The pool at the Italian Village where we were staying- it was such a great pool and you are allowed to swim after dark, which obviously was lots of fun for children.  It definitely had the most atmosphere, with lots of music, fun and games, and was the busiest pool during the day.

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There was so much entertainment for the adults and children alike- including a Sesame Street Stage show a few times a week, little dance parties which Mads and LL loved. (Gangham Style and What Does The Fox Say are the soundtracks of our holiday) bonfires with roasting marshmallows, and much more.  This photo was taken when we were at the 'open air cinema' watching Madagascar 3- they even had a little popcorn machine which you got in an old fashioned bag.  The girls loved it.

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Watching one of the Sesame Street stage shows.  I used to love Sesame Street as a child but my girl's didn't know much about it previously- although of course they knew who Elmo and the main characters were and my lovely Mum got them some Elmo PJ's and a book before we went.  However they are complete converts now and we have been watching it non stop on You Tube since we got home.  The Sesame Street element of our holiday was so special and we loved every minute of it.

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The drink of choice on our holiday- I think we would all unanimously agree that the alcoholic and non alcoholic frozen Strawberry daquiri's were delicious and refreshing.  Although having said that so were the Mojitos.  Oh and the Pina Coladas. 

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Some sea fun with Daddy.  She is a daredevil at the moment after going through a period of being a little unsure.

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I love the girl's matching cossies from Heidi Klein.  The little cross backs and the frills are so cute.  Definite beach belles.

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When you have frizzy hair like myself and my girls do- the sea makes it go even more awol!

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No filter needed.  The water was shockingly blue.

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On the last morning of our holiday as a special treat we attended a Sesame Street character breakfast. (you pay extra for it but not much)  It was the usual breakfast buffet but there were balloons everywhere, special Sesame Street plates and cutlery, and of course the Sesame Street characters.  It was a great atmosphere, with lots of dancing and fun, and it again was one of the highlights of my holiday as the girls were just in awe.  Here they are with Elmo and Alison's little lady too.

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Mads favourite character is The Count and she was so excited to meet her idol as he hadn't been about the rest of the holiday.  She literally gasped in excitement and had to show him her own Count toy, to which he proceeded to give it a cuddle.  I will never forget her face as she saw him come up to her.  

 

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Mr E met his idol too- apparently according to his facebook comments after he posted this photo, a lot of men like Cookie Monster?  Who would have thought it. ;)

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LL is getting far too grown up- where did my baby go?

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We all lead busy lives- full of ordinary times, routine, structure and occasional mundanity.  But these happy smiles are what make holidays or work free time so special- the chance to spend time with the people you love most.  I feel so genuinely lucky to have been given the opportunity to make these memories with my family.

 

Check out the rest of my posts on our holiday to Beaches below- 

Our Holiday to Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos- Part Two.

Our Holiday to Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos- Part One.

 

Special Offer 

 For a limited time only, anyone reading this and fancying a trip to this beautiful place are eligible for an exclusive £100 off per Beaches booking. The offer is valid for holidays booked by 28th February 2015 and valid for selected travel dates up to 5th December 2016. To book, visit Beaches Resorts or call 0800 597 0002 and quote BEACHES. Terms and Conditions: Book by 28th February 2015. For the extra £100 discount per booking, please quote ‘BEACHES’ when booking. Valid for selected travel dates up to 5th December 2016. Available to air inclusive packages only. Min stay 7 nights. Not combinable with any other promo code offer. Blackout dates and terms and conditions apply.

A Year of Adventures with Subaru- #XVAdventure.

on Monday, 26 January 2015.

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You can probably tell from this blog that we are a family who love to have adventures.  Whether that's close to home or far away, like any parent I absolutely love to make memories with my girls and to give them new experiences and help them see new places.  For someone who actually thrives on routine and being at home, I also love to get out and have impromptu trips and fun- those kind of memories are often the best ones.

Back in the Summer we got contacted by Subaru to work with them on a very special project.  The Subaru XV is their family car.  It's an adventure car.  It's made for families exactly like ours- families who like to go out, have fun, and make memories.  Whether those are big or small, ordinary or not so ordinary.  Subaru challenged us to go on an adventure, that adventure was entirely up to us, and they lent us an XV to test out for the weekend.  We decided to go to Pembrokeshire in South Wales, and experience camping for the first time, albeit we may have cheated slightly and gone down the glamping route.  We had so much fun as a family on our little adventure and Mads still talks about the time we 'went in a tent' to this day.

And that's the thing.  That's why we do these things.  For our children to have fun experiences and to remember the family times.  They don't have to be expensive or elaborate.  Some of our favourite family times are just popping down the road to the local country park to feed the ducks and splash in muddy puddles.  Or to head into town, have a cake and wander round the shops.  We invent our own adventures and the ordinary moments can be an adventure too when you have small children with very big imaginations.

That is what the Subaru XV is all about- it's about having family time.  Exploring off the beaten track.  Handling the roughest rural terrain. Even nipping to the local shops. Compact when you need it for winding country tracks, but hugely spacious inside, to take whoever and whatever you care to bring. Umpteen pairs of shoes, the kids, the bikes. On journeys only you can invent.  We loved the car back in the Summer and were so sad to give it back at the end of our adventure- it suited us perfectly as a family and was similar (but SO much nicer) to the car we already drove.

So when Subaru asked us if we wanted to have a 'year of adventures' we couldn't actually believe our luck.  In fact we have had to pinch ourselves a few times- it couldn't be a more perfect partnership for us as a family who love to make memories.  Subaru have loaned us a beautiful white XV (they are going to have to come and physically wrench the keys out of my hands at the end of the year) and have challenged us to have twelve adventures as a family.  They don't have to be big, they don't have to be expensive, or they can be something exciting we have never done before- it's just about how we see life.  It's about having fun and enjoying these moments together, and that's exactly what we intend to do.  And of course they want us to film it and take lots of photos along the way.

I don't do a huge amount of brand partnerships on my blog, this blog has first and foremost always been about documenting our memories and our family life.  But to work with a brand who completely sum up and share our ethos on what family life is all about is really exciting and I am honoured to be working with them.  I can't wait to drive the XV around in our every day life, our ordinary moments and our fun adventures.  I couldn't be more excited to have this car as another member of our family, albeit just a temporary one.

Just after Christmas, Subaru asked to come along and film one of our family adventures.  Being that it was absolutely FREEZING and with two small children, there isn't much we could do just three days after New Year.  So we decided to do something that's entirely normal to us as a family- we went on a bike ride.  We love to go out on our bikes and in the Summer we are out on them most weekends, but in the Winter it's a little bit harder.  However once the girls are bundled up in hats, gloves and under a blanket, it's actually great fun to go out, even if it is cold.  It was a little surreal to be followed round by a film crew, certainly something that has never happened to me before, but we all had a really good time.   The result is this rather lovely little introductory film to our year of adventure's with our XV.  I find myself a little bit cringey in parts, (I don't think any casting directors are going to be knocking on my door anytime soon) but it really does show the kind of stuff we get up to as a family- and it just shows you that you don't need to do anything massively exciting to have fun and have adventures together.  About how when you are four and one, getting snuggled under a blanket on a family bike ride and eating ice creams outside when everyone else is indoors is the perfect kind of day.

The film guys also took some still photos of our day, and I took a few on my phone too.  We are really looking forward to a year of adventures with our XV and we will be sharing them on here once a month or more if we have them. You can also follow our adventures over on twitter or instagram by using the hashtag #XVAdventure, and of course can follow Subaru on twitter, facebook or instagram.

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Being followed by a film crew is a total every day occurance for me.  Not.  Now we know what Kanye and Kim feel like.  Except we aren't rich, famous, or even the slightest bit interesting. Oh and we could probably fit our whole house in their downstairs toilet. ;) 

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Standard Mummy photographer.

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NB: We are working in partnership with Subaru for twelve months and they have loaned us a Subaru XV for this time period. All words, opinions and adventures are entirely up to us.

Putting my Girls in a Joint Room- eBay Collections....

on Thursday, 18 December 2014.

I absolutely love to decorate and style my home.  No sooner have I done one project then I want to move on the next one as inevitably decor and paint starts to look tired when four people and two cats live in one little house.  This year we have done two quite large projects, in the form of our living room and a complete bathroom renovation, as well as re-decorating our bedroom.

However next year once we have saved up a little money there is another project I would love to do.   For ages now we have been toying with the idea of putting Mads and LL in a joint room.  Part of me thinks this is a bad idea, mainly because they sleep so well at the moment and I would be worried about that aspect of it, but we also are desperate for space.  Before the girls came along we had a spare bedroom and a lovely little study and we do miss having that space- at the moment our desktop Mac is in our living room which isn't ideal and I work from my laptop on the dining room table. 

Our ideal plan is to put the girls into LL's room together as it is a little bigger and get our study back- it would be great to have a space to do work during the day and the evenings as I work from home and we potential have exciting plans in 2015 for Mr E as well.   I have visions of creating a gorgeous little room for them, with a lovely bunk bed for them both and making it a great shared space that they will love.  However it all just depends on costs and time really, as at the moment LL is still in a cot and I am in no hurry to move her as she sleeps from 7pm until 8am the next day.

I have lots of ideas for their bedroom, but one theme I am thinking of is rainbow colours.  I absolutely love colour and our whole house is super bright and cheerful.  I look at this photo of them both and I wonder how I could incorporate rainbow colours into their new room.  

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Last week I mentioned how I am working with eBay again to highlight their fab collections tool.  I already have lots of collections set up from a few months ago, including my cosy living room inspiration one, but I also have now set up a rainbow bedroom collection.  It works in very much the same way as pinterest, I use it to collate items into my wish list and then use it as inspiration for when I am planning.  

I love some of the things I have on there so far...

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1.  I love Farg Form and Mads already has one of their lampshades in her current room, but I love the idea of getting them matching duvets but in different colours for their bunk beds- these ones are super cute and come in a variety of different colours.

2.  Who doesn't love the Care Bears?  Mads and LL already have a care bear each but I thought about getting a couple more so they can sit on the top of their wardrobe in the colours of the rainbow.  Although they have far too many stuffed toys as it is- the charity shop is going to be doing well off us this Christmas.  Mean Mummy.

3.  I have seen this cute rainbow ornament on Lucy's blog and also on some other cute blogs and shops- I think it would look great in their joint room!

4.  I had a night light like this when I was little and I just love this cottage one.  

 

Those are just some of the things on my rainbow collection but I am adding to it daily.  Does anyone else's children share a room?  Do you find they keep each other awake?  We are so torn about what to do!

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I have a competition running to win a £20 eBay voucher- it's so simple to enter, you just need to follow one of my collections, either my living room one or bedroom one, using the rafflecopter below!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
NB: This Collection is part of an eBay competition that is running over December and if you Follow you will be in with a chance win an eBay voucher to the value of £20. The winner will be chosen at random from their eBay ID and notified by the 5th January 2014.

A Little Photoshoot and some Beautiful Dresses.

on Friday, 12 December 2014.

When my girls were smaller I used to get my little DIY backdrop out and try and take mini photoshoots of my them both.  I absolutely love taking photos of them (I think that's obvious!) but as they have gotten older and more mobile, I rarely try and take photos where they are actually posing, I actually don't get my 'big camera' out anywhere near as much as I used to as my iPhone is easy to take around with us- I much prefer being out and about and taking natural photos while they are having adventures or having fun.  They are less posed, the light is always better than indoors and I don't get those forced, fake grins that you inevitably get when you ask Mads to smile at nowadays.

However at Christmas we like to get the Grandparents and Great Grandparents a lovely photographic keepsake of our little ladies.  Whether that's a photo book or a framed photo, there is nothing they love more than getting a recent or up to date photo of them both.  Indeed my Mum's house is actually like a shrine to them both, my Stepdad jokes that we may as well move in as he see's them every direction he looks!

They all prefer the more traditional style of photo, rather than action shots, so around this time each year I do try and take some photos of them together, usually with varying success.  I decided the other day to have a little impromptu photo shoot of them both to try and get some nice ones for Christmas time.  It also seemed like a great opportunity to try out their new Poppy England dresses which we were kindly sent.  So armed with my camera and the dresses we headed off to my Mums house as the light in her house at 4pm in the afternoon is a lot better than at mine.

I actually adore all these photos I took.  Far from looking posed and unnatural, I think they look happy, smiley and full of love for each other.  I actually look at these photos and feel a lump form in my throat as they couldn't paint a more accurate picture of my girls at this present moment in time- they are the best of friends (most of the time) and they really are the most happy little souls.  What is it about putting on a traditional looking dress that makes them look so carefree, innocent and childlike?  

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 I'm just so pleased with these photos.  Technically if you look close they are quite grainy because it is just so dark at the moment but the girls were just so happy and loved putting on their dresses and being silly.  The Poppy England dresses are beautiful and we are going to wear them on Christmas Day as they are perfect for a special occasion.  The team there also very kindly sent us some cardigans as well but we forgot to put them on.  The girls are so lucky to have been sent such adorable dresses- we can't thank them enough.  

Here's hoping that the Grandparents will love their photos of our terrible twosome this year- I know I will definitely be framing one of these to go by my bedside table too! 

 

 

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