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Holidaying as a family: Maintaining your health and your sanity.

Holidaying as a family: Maintaining your health and your sanity.

Life with little ones is hectic at the best of times, I should know I’ve had three in three years! Leaving the house is a daily battle, you almost need a military operation to pull it off and coming out the other end can leave you with some post-traumatic stress. It might just seem like a trip to ASDA, but to my kids it’s a defiant battle with three main targets, how to:

A) Give mum a heart attack thinking they are missing/been kidnapped

B) Find the most valuable and breakable item in the store and destroy beyond all recognition, making sure Mummy has to pay for the damage they’ve caused

C) Scream, Swear or just plain whine enough to make an entire store of strangers glare at mum like she’s raising the Antichrist.

That is just a trip to the shops, so how are we going to pull off a holiday? I mean all of us, leaving the house, for longer than a few hours and all coming back alive and unscathed…is that even a possibility?

Let’s be honest, we go on holidays to relax, unwind and escape reality, when you’ve got kids it can be really difficult to achieve that, especially in an unfamiliar place that you are spending your hard-earned money on. The average family go on one holiday a year, so that’s a lot of built up anticipation and expectations, you need to make sure it’s going to be worth it and that you actually unwind, relax and maintain your mental health whilst having your kids with you.

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Here are some tips on how to ensure you stay healthy, well and relaxed on holiday:

#1 Plan

Some prep before hand is essential to have a relaxing time, I don’t mean organised activities from hour to hour, I mean…DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Questions

First things first, your accommodation:

Does it have a travel cot?

Does it have a safe deposit box?

Stair gates?

Washing machine or nearby launderette?

Important factors you need to be aware of. The last thing you need is to arrive and realise there is nowhere for you to keep your expensive belongings or money safe and that your toddler or baby has to starfish in between you and your partner every night, because it’s either that or the floor when the hotel have no travel cots…I don’t know about you but I don’t find a swift kick in the face very relaxing and that is the reality of bed sharing with a toddler.

If you’re in a villa then is the pool gated?

If you’re in a hotel is there a crèche? Is it safe and governed? Or is there a creche nearby if you want to stay in a villa? 

Are there real reviews?

Check it all out, the key to a successfully relaxing holiday is peace of mind.

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Activities

OK so I know I said no activities, you don’t want to be rushing from place to place to get somewhere for a certain time, but it is handy to know what is going on in and around where you are staying.

If you know there is a certain show or activity you were interested on from say 1pm it might be nice for you to make your way over there in plenty of time, but if it gets a couple of days in and your on Google searching for where to go and what to do because the kids are getting restless, it just means more time wasted on that, that could be spent relaxing.

Have a little look on trip advisor before your holiday, find out where has the best reviews and save your self the disappointment of getting food poisoning from the 0 star restaurant you could have avoided.

2# Indulge and Hydrate

Drink, drink and drink some more…water!

If we’re talking about a summer holiday, especially abroad, staying hydrated is a no-brainer. I mean it’s a great idea to stay hydrated every day of your life, but when you are in an environment where you will become dehydrated rapidly, it’s important not only for your health but for your enjoyment to make sure you drink plenty.

You don’t want to risk causing yourself damage and ruining your holiday just because you forgot to drink, I mean you’ll get thirsty so you’ll more than likely drink, but it’s important to drink bottled water and be healthy. Even if you aren’t usually a “healthy” person, you are out of your usual environment so therefore are more at risk if you do dehydrate.

Little ones will have no idea they have to keep themselves topped up with water, they might tell you they are thirsty but don’t wait for that, make sure you remind them to drink plenty. It’s only a small detail that won’t even seem like a big deal, carrying water around with you, but it could be the difference between your holiday being relaxing and healthy or ruined by being unwell due to dehydration.

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Eat safe

Also make sure you eat plenty, if you’re planning on a busy holiday with lots to do, then don’t forget to eat and eat well! You are in an unfamiliar place so look at your surroundings, look at how hygienic the area is that you are eating in, if you don’t feel something is quite right then don’t eat it, but don’t stop your self indulging, you’re on holiday after all! It’s important to stay healthy but holidaying is a time of enjoyment so scoff the cake and for that week or two don’t worry too much about your waistline, a bit of indulging never killed anybody.

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3# Book Smart

Be realistic

When booking your holiday, you flick through the brochures and watch the adverts of the couple clinking their wine glasses together, snuggled in a shawl, watching the sunset. That’s great there’s no reason that can’t happen, but be realistic! If you are taking little ones with you, then book into a family friendly place, DO NOT book into a couples paradise.

Pandora’s Box

It’s all well and good thinking your kids are well-behaved, but when all the couples are cooing at each other over a candlelit dinner and you’re trying to contain Pandora’s box (a.k.a your kids) it isn’t that relaxing.

If junior decided to catapult meatballs across the room at a family friendly restaurant, then the waiter will no doubt duck without batting an eyelid because he will have become a master of dodging little people food fights and Freddie his new best friend with will be in fits of giggles at the other side of the room.

Whereas if Junior pie faces the guy who is about to change his girlfriend’s life by getting down on one knee, you won’t get the smirking glance from a fellow mum who knows what you are going through, you’ll get the laser stare of the ice queen who spent three hours doing her hair that your child has just streaked with spaghetti.

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Family Friendly

Trust me…just visit family friendly areas and restaurants! For your peace and tranquillity, even if there are kids running around, you can relax, because everyone’s in the same boat, your kids are running around too, there’ll probably be a crèche or some activities where you can leave the kids so you can get some one on one time. You don’t want to spend the entire trip red-faced or trying to contain a pack of wild beasts, set them free in the right environment, sit back and chill whilst watching the carnage unfold.

4# Open invite

I’m not saying invite the world on your holiday (1. Impossible and 2. Unrealistic) but it’s becoming an increasing trend to holiday with other families or even with a large number of your own relatives. If you don’t have friends (or you can’t stand the ones you have) and your extended family are the reason you need a holiday than this option may not be for you.

Multi-generational

But if Nana and Grandad need a holiday and love watching the little ones, it means you get lifetime memories with a larger portion of your family and let’s face it you’ve got ready-made, trustworthy babysitters whilst you clink the champagne glasses, cuddle up and watch the sunset (see, I told you it is possible).

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Bring your bestie

If your best mate has a family of their own, why not go together? Share a villa (half the cost for each other) you’ve got ready-made playmates for your little ones and you can take it in turns watching the brood of kids from both families while you clink, cuddle and watch the sunset (becoming more realistic now, isn’t it).

Basically, you are making your holiday cheaper (in theory), more relaxing (trusted babysitters & playmates) and more enjoyable (spending time with people you like). There’s every reason to expand the number of people coming on your holiday, for your enjoyment and also for your peace both physically and mentally.

#5 Where to go

Thinking of where to go? Think relaxing, beautiful sunsets, stunning scenery and an air of elegance…Tuscany is a region in central Italy, it is full of character and the perfect place for a relaxing family holiday.

If you’re like me and have a brood of kids, that make the thought of staying in hotel fill you with dread, then a villa is the place to go. No worries about disturbing guests or irritating staff with your kid’s wacky ways.

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Here’s the best place to rent a villa https://www.to-tuscany.com/

They have over 350 positive reviews on Feefo reviews and are a trusted merchant on there too: Feefo

They are also highly commended on thegoodwebguide.co.uk

Check out the To-Tuscany pages:

Facebook Twitter G+ Pinterest To Tuscany Blog Flickr Youtube Instagram Flipboard  To-Tuscany Newsletter

#6 Remember why you’re going

You want to enjoy your holiday, relax and rejuvenate. Make sure you don’t over do activities, booze or just not taking care of yourself. You don’t want to come home feeling like you need a holiday to get over your holiday.

Keep reminding yourself why you’re there and if something is stressing you out or making you unwell then don’t do it. Just remember these three key facts which sum up all the yammering I’ve done above:

  1. Stay healthy (Eat right & drink plenty)
  2. Make it easy (Do whatever gives you mental peace)
  3. Enjoy (Lay down, walk, dance, sleep..if it makes you happy then do it)

    BE HAPPY

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Day 12: 365 Day Activity Challenge & a review of Eat, Sleep, Doodle.

12th January 2017

Sorry guys, this one is a day late! But I am a Mummy of three and this is all real, so there are going to be the days you just don’t stop and Thursday the 12th Jan 2017 was one of them days!

It rained and rained and rained, it also snowed…a little.

So what more is there to do than Eat, Sleep, Doodle

Looking for something fun and interesting, yet different for your kids! Well here it is….

We have place mats, which actually have pictures of dinner plates, a knife and a fork on. They are made out of fabric and to come with it is a pack of fabric pens and the best part….you can put them through the wash! That’s right, use them scribble on them, then wash them and use them again!

The kids love them, especially Jack! It’s great to keep them occupied when they are waiting for food or just to have fun with as a great activity.

On their site they have all sorts of cool ideas for fabric doodles such as pillow cases and bags!

Check out their site: Eat, Sleep, Doodle

The boys loved playing something a bit different, this is really a unique idea that can be used again and again and again!

So that’s what our thoughtful Thursday consisted of, lots of lovely drawings.

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The 365 Day Activity Challenge

The 365 Day Activity Challenge

I always plan to do great daily activities with my kids and I’ll stick to it for a while, but we end up getting caught up doing other things, so I’ve set my self a 2017 challenge as a new years resolution and I’ve put it on my blog so I can inspire other people and also not give up because lots of people are reading, ha! A challenge to do daily activities with my kids and post it on my blog!

So I’ve dedicated a day of the week to a theme of activities, using Pinterest for a lot of inspiration, but STEAM Ahead for kids also had lots of great activities and also the 5 Minute Fun website, so I’ll be using a combination of the three to decide what activities I’m going to do and I’ll post daily updates with the hashtag #ymbactivitychallenge

I’m going to do my best to stick to daily activities, but if they get really inspired some days we’ll do two or three and they can allow for days when we aren’t up to it, let’s face it kids get poorly so there are going to be days off but I’ll do my best to post daily activities for people to follow and I’d love my readers to join in and take part in doing one activity (or more) a day for the whole of 2017!

Post your own ideas and I’ll schedule them in to do them and I’ll repost your activity pictures!

So this is the daily plan to mix it up a bit:

Monday – Messy Monday

(Doing messy activities, so get your aprons and baby wipes handy)

Tuesday – Toy Tuesday

(Imaginative play with your kids own toys)

Wednesday – Wacky Wednesday

(Dressing up and being silly)

Thursday – Thoughtful Thursday

(Using our imagination to make our own adventures)

Friday – Food Friday

(Baking and cooking)

Saturday – Sensory Saturday

(Sensory games, toys and activities)

Sunday – Storytime Sunday

(Time to relax and listen to some stories)

I’ll be starting it on the 1st of January and would love to see people join in and share your pictures, make sure you use the hashtag  #ymbactivitychallenge and tag @yummymummysblog so I see your posts!

Let’s do the 365 Day Activity Challenge! Who’s in?

Here’s the link to:

My Pinterest page: Yummy Mummy’s Blog Pinterest

STEAM Ahead for Kids Book: STEAM AHEAD For Kids

5 Minutes Fun: 5 Minute Fun

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Little Lulu’s Shoes: A Review

Little Lulu’s Shoes

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy shoes…which is kind of the same thing!

Little Lulu’s Shoes hand make shoes out of Italian leather for little babies just like my princess Nicole.

She was lucky enough to receive a pair of Little Lulu’s Ruby Tall Boots for Christmas and they are gorgeous!

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I’ve never been a fan of putting baby in shoes because they always seem to tough or hard for their tiny little feet, but the leather on Little Lulu’s is so soft, perfect for squidgy baby toes. I never want to take them off her feet now.

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If you are looking for the perfect gift for a newborn baby, then look no further. For boys or girls, Little Lulu’s have a shoe for any baby! It is the hottest new trend in baby fashion and they are even the winner’s of Bubble London’s Rising Star Award 2015.

I have a great nephew due in January so I’ll definitely be buying him a pair!

Beautiful handcrafted, eco-friendly baby shoes made in one of Italy’s most prestigious ateliers, available to order online, with free UK delivery.

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Check out their site: Little-Lulus

They even have their own blog: Little Lulu’s Blog

Plus a gallery of pictures for you to look through: Little Lulu’s Gallery

To learn more about their shoes: Little Lulu’s – Our Baby Shoes

Or to find out more about Little Lulus: About Little Lulu’s

Check them out on social media:

Little Lulu’s Facebook

Little Lulu’s Twitter

Little Lulu’s Instagram

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5 Minute Fun!

Thinking of ideas to do with your little one that don’t take a lot of time or preparation?

Look no further!

5 Minute Fun are 5 minute activities that can be done any time, any place and in just 5 minutes!

We decided to make a picture out of leaves! Both of my boys were poorly so we wrapped up warm just to go out in the garden to get leaves and then did the rest of the activity indoors making the picture.

Here’s a video to show what we did:

Jack loved it, now he wants to do “his” 5 minutes everyday! Mikey likes to join in on certain ones too and I feel this is really helping his social skills. Plus Jack loves showing his baby sister his pictures, so the entire family is involved.

Get over to the website now to sign up:

https://www.5minutefun.com/signup/

Also follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular updates:

5 Minute Fun Facebook

5 Minute Fun Twitter

5 Minute Fun Instagram

 

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My Cupcake Toppers: Make Your Images Edible – Review + 10% Discount!

Everybody loves cake!

No matter what you’re trying to say, there’s nothing that says it better than cake.

Whether it’s: Get Well Soon, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Congratulations, I Miss You or even if you just want to let someone know you are thinking of them, cake is the best way to say it!

Well all your prayers have been answered, say hello to…My Cupcake Toppers

Edible icing toppers for fairy cakes, cupcakes and celebration cakes.

Not only that they will print your image…whatever it is onto icing!

No longer are you restricted to finding a cake that’s “just right” for your loved one, now you can personalise with pictures, writing or anything you want printed onto icing!

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Own a company? Support a Charity? Get your company or charities logo printed onto a yummy cupcake topper!

Having a Christmas party? Get some festive toppers printed! Or even better get Christmas pictures printed of your family, friends or even your pets!

If there’s an occasion…there’s a topper!

They come in a range of standard sizes but you can ask for a specific size, there is also a wide range of toppers you can choose from:

Seasonal, Special Occasions, TV and Film, Charity, Sports, Computer Games & Toys and a few other suggestions too, but don’t forget you can completely personalise your own as well.

What better gift than the gift of cake, with the festive season coming up you could cater to the entire family from Football toppers for Dad to Frozen toppers for little girls, they have them all!

The website is really easy to use!

I chose what toppers I wanted, uploaded the pictures and went through check out within a matter of a few minutes!

I chose a range of cakes to show some great ideas and how great photos and logos come out on the cakes.

I chose a large cake topper for my Niece’s Baby Shower, they had a template design on the website so I just typed in her name and the date of her baby shower and they created it for me! It came as a round template (as I’d chosen) but on a rectangle piece of icing, so I could either cut round for a circle cake (which I did) it could of gone straight onto a rectangular cake, so there are a couple of options.

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I also got 12 cupcake toppers, they could have all been the same or all different. I chose six images so got two of each.

As you can see my blog logo stands out great, I think this is such a great way for businesses of any type to put their logo out there! I know I’d remember seeing a companies logo more if it was on a cake than just a card!

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The photographs of my children are so clear and the kids loved it seeing their faces on the cakes! I thought it could be great for a Christening or a Birthday party!

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Of course I got some Christmas pictures too! There are some Christmas designs on the website to choose from or you could upload your own image, logo or picture that’s Christmassy.

Whether it’s for a gift, a party or even as part of the spread on Christmas day, these cake toppers make it extra special over the festive period!

Here’s a few from their website:

What’s even better is I got a confirmation email sent as soon as I ordered and also a confirmation Facebook message! How cool and current is that?!

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To start you off here’s a discount code for 10% off your first order: YUMMY10

Check out their website: My Cupcake Toppers

Why not follow them for updates and ideas on social media as well:

My Cupcake Toppers Twitter

My Cupcake Toppers Facebook

My Cupcake Toppers Instagram

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Christmas Gift Guide Request

It’s that time of year again!

I’m currently building my Christmas Gift Guide which will be released on the 1st December 2016.

In there will be some favourite toys that boys have tried and tested, but I need some companies to work with to fill it up!

So if you want your product to feature in my guide then get in touch!

I will also be having a section all about newborns, Nicole will be 3 months old by Christmas and both of my boys were very young at their first Christmas’s, it’s so hard to know what to buy for a newborn, but I’ll be helping all my readers get some great ideas.

Don’t hesitate, get in touch!

Merry Christmas! x