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Saturday 3 October 2020

The Whole Family Can Go Greek: Child-Friendly Holidays to Greece

Family corfu beach
Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

{This is a collaborative post}

I have to be honest, when I think about child-friendly holidays Greece isn't the first place that comes to mind but actually, when you start to investigate and look a little deeper Greece is a wonderful place to take all the family. Be it the mainland or an island, there is such diversity of the places to visit. Some of the islands are developed and ready to embrace British culture and families, but others still remain traditionally Greek and very unspoilt.

Greece has everything that you need for a stress-free family holiday - sun, white sand beaches, beautifully clean and warm seas, hotels with children's clubs and amazing pools, friendly locals, stunning villas and history in abundance. Alpharooms have a good guide to Greece for you to check out.

Here are a few of my Greek highlights for places to stay and visit -


This is one of the largest Greek islands and has something for everyone, couple this with its low crime-rate and it is an island where you can feel safe to take your family. Across the island you have Acqua Plus for waterpark thrills, Dinosauria park for the younger ones and amazing underground caves at Dikteon. Depednign on the age of your children, one of these is sure to be a hit. 

You also have the beach lagoon at Elafonisi which many hail as the best beach in the whole of Greece, and there are hundreds and hundreds of islands with amazing beaches, so that is no easy accolade! It is exceptional as it is a long narrow peninsula with white sandy beaches on both sides. At times to reach the island you have to walk through the sea and of course kids love the excitement this brings. 

Friday 4 September 2020

The Ion8 Leakproof Water Bottle I didn't know I needed!

Ion8 water bottle

Every parent is fully aware it is back to school time and we've all been getting our kids kitted out with all the things they lost or had stolen before term finished back in March. If my twin teens had their way they would have everything new, every time a new terms starts but, of course, that would be super expensive and not very eco either, so I put my foot down and with some things that are still in good condition they have to make do.

This new term has been an expensive one as they had both grown out of their blazers, one needed new school skirts and the other shoes. Add on PE kit, some stationery, calculators and face masks and I'm a few hundred pounds down. I was therefore super pleased when Ion8 offered to send me a couple of water bottles for the girls, as they didn't really need any but I knew they'd like them.

Naughty mummy that I am though, I haven't given the girls the bottles as theirs were fine and I have fallen in love with the pastel-coloured leakproof water bottles that were sent to us. So I now have one for taking out in my handbag and when I'm walking and one beside my bed for in the night when I need a drink.

I've often seen Ion8 bottles and they've always looked stylish and we already have a Friends of the Earth steel water bottle so I know they are good quality and last well too. I genuinely had no idea I'd like these ones sent to us so much. Looking on the website they are sold as a child's bottle, but I really like them for me and here are 9 reasons why

  1. At 350ml they are the perfect size to carry with you, without being too heavy or cumbersome. 
  2. There is a lock to keep the kid closed and make them leakproof
  3. You can open the lid with one hand and it is super easy
  4. The opaque bottle with white lid looks so stylish
  5. Easy to drink out of, as there is a vented smooth liquid flow
  6. Made from BPA free, phthalate-free, non-toxic TRITAN
  7. It's just the right width for my cup holder in my car
  8. It's odour resist
  9. It can be used for hot or cold liquids (-10 c to 96c)
I think you can tell I'm a bit taken with my new Ion8 bottles and I've been using them every day since they arrived with us. They retail for £11.99 and for a sturdy bottle that will last a long time I think that is OK. I was able to find various Ion8 bottle of this size and shape on Amazon with prices from as low as £8.99, so have a good shop around. 

Disclosure: We received these water bottles free of charge for the purpose of an honest review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

Friday 24 July 2020

Enjoying Ye Olde Oak Hot Dog Fajitas

{This is a collaborative post}

I don't know about you but I get quite bored with trying to come up with different meals that all the family will eat, whilst not taking too long to prepare. Of course, I enjoy a good roast dinner or a slow-cooked casserole but sometimes I just need a filling and wholesome meal that I can put together in 20-30 minutes.

Fajitas is one of my go-to meals as all the family like to be able to get hands-on and make their own choice of what will go in their wrap. We range from Miss E who likes a fairly plain wrap with meat, sour cream, cheese and sweetcorn to my husband, who will pack a little of everything in.

In past times we have normally opted for chicken in our fajitas or we've had veggie ones with sweet potato and mixed beans, but yesterday we tried something new and had hot dog fajitas. Hot dogs may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of fajitas but I know all my family enjoy them and let's be honest, they are a really cheap way of adding protein to your meal.

Monday 15 June 2020

Beautiful Leather Gifts for Fathers Day from Trendhim

Fathers Day is just a week away and if you haven't got organised yet, then I have the perfect gift idea for you. How about a beautiful leather wallet, cardholder, belt or bag for the dad in your life?

Both my dad and my husband are getting one each from Trendhim, a Swedish men's accessory site that was new to me until a couple of weeks ago, but I'll happily use it again as the site was super clear and easy to use, the delivery was excellent (quick and tracked) and the actual products I received were really good quality, nice soft leather, that I'm proud to give as a gift.

I was also pleased to see that the wallet and cardholder that I ordered both arrived packaged in smart black boxes with tissue paper and they look like really premium products.

For my dad I ordered the Luca black leather wallet at £35. It is a simple wallet with an elastic closure that has space for notes, credit cards and your ID. He never puts coins in his wallet, so it is nice to get him one that doesn't have a pocket for that, as it just takes up unnecessary space. 

We opted for the black colour, but this wallet is also available in dark brown and tan. It has a lovely pebble grain finish and I am impressed with the soft leather. It's also really reassuring that it provides complete protection from RFID skimming. 

Sunday 24 May 2020

Femme Luxe - Perfect Clothes for Relaxing during Lockdown

{This is a collaborative post}

I had a call from the girls form tutor at school today to ask how they were and if they were finding this lockdown time difficult? I had to be honest and say no, they were loving being off and just acting as if they had the longest summer holiday ever!

Of course, it helps immensely that we live in a gated community with 220 acres, so they can go swimming in the lake, climbing on the low ropes course or cycling through the woods. Also, being twins, they always have a playmate and that is great. As young teenagers though, neither of my girls want to be outside and being busy all the time.

The one thing they really do miss is their friends, so chatting via zoom, Instagram or FaceTime are essentials for them and I often come into my lounge or bedroom to find them lounging about and talking very loudly.

One of the things I've found a bit tricky since lockdown is that the girls both seem to have had a growth spurt and whereas we'd normally pop along to the high street and pick up some clothes, we can't do that right now, so online shopping has been a lifesaver. We've ordered from a couple of the high street stores that we know well and I'll be honest, I've been really disappointed with their delivery times and choice of courier.

Wednesday 20 May 2020

Photo Gifts from Funky Pigeon for Fathers Day and Beyond...

Fathers Day is fast approaching (21st June, in case you were wondering) and I always like to be a bit organised for these kinds of events so when Funky Pigeon got in touch to see if I'd like to try out a few personalised items, I was very happy to say yes. My Dad is the kind of man who wants nothing for any occasion such as his birthday or Fathers Day, but he does love his family, so anything with photos is a massive hit with him.

I have to admit that I didn't realise Funky Pigeon did anything more than cards, so it was good to look through their gifting range and they have a great variety of items, including alcohol, which goes down a treat with most people.

Let me share with you what I chose -

Full Photo Upload Socks - £14.99

Mens photo socks with a dog

These socks are great fun and I showed them to my husband and son and they both agreed they love the feel of them. They are totally seamless and I was worried that as they are 100% polyester that they may lead to sweating but, Funky Pigeon has that covered as they are infused with antibacterial agents and are sweat-wicking.

You can choose any full photo you like or there are other socks with smaller repetitive photos on them and they come in two sizes 4-7 and 8-11. We just love them! I think my Dad will crack up when he sees his dog on his socks!

Sunday 29 March 2020

Wicked Sports Equipment to keep you Active through Lockdown

Having Fun Indoors

Check out all these fabulous items from Wicked Mania to help you stay active during this lockdown, bot in the home and in your garden. 

Indoor Booma (Foam Bomberang) - £6
We were sent an indoor booma and I must admit I thought the idea was nuts, I had visions of cracked vases and mess everywhere, but I need not have worried as it is made of foam, but apparently, it isn't just any foam though, it is 'memorang' foam. When the booma is tuned correctly (slightly bent) and thrown right it will fly 4-6 metres and return to the person. I first started out in my kitchen and the instructions on the packaging are useful for getting you started, but it soon became obvious my kitchen was too small and a larger room is needed. I wasn't much better in my lounge I have to admit but my son had a more natural talent for it than me!

Have a look at this clip and see the experts fly the booma, neither myself or the kids have got to this level of expertise as yet!

Mega Jump Rope - £8
This can be used both indoors or outdoors and my girls are loving their new jump rope each. We're lucky that we have a courtyard right outside our door and they can get out and play to let off all their energy, but if you live in an apartment and can't get out, or just have a balcony then this might be perfect. You might have to adjust the length being aware of the ceiling height, and ensure no-one is around as you skip, but it is such a fabulous form of exercise, very high intensity.

It was easy to adjust the 300cm rope length to ensure it fitted my daughters perfectly, and it feels nice and solid to hold on to and skip with. The handgrips are also easy to hold and comfortable. It's definitely worth checking on the Wicked Vision TV channels for tutorials for use with this jump rope too, and there are three levels - beginner, advanced and pro. 

UKick - £8
This was another one I was totally useless at. I'm just not fast and agile enough, but I was very impressed with how good Miss E got in a short space of time with some perseverance and practise. The idea is that you keep the UKick flyer off the ground for as long as possible, either playing alone or with a friend. You can use your feet and hands, or even other parts of your body and face to keep it off the ground. The possibilities are endless.

There are 6 little discs that you can add or remove from the bottom to adjust the difficulty of using the UKick and I like how it is super light and won't damage anything in the home, even if it does end up where it is not supposed to. Check out the advert and see how it is done by people with far more skill than us.

Having Fun Outdoors

Sky Rider - £10
There are various styles of this high-performing flying disc. We have the 175g ultimate one, which meets competitions specs, not that we are going to do any competitions, as we've all been pretty useless with our attempts. I'm blaming the wind and really should have got thee things out earlier this week when the weather was much better. I'm praying for some nice still weather next week, with minimal wind.

Mega Bounce XL - £20
The Mega Bounce XL ball has a circumference of 2.51 metres, it is huge and we haven't even blown it up completely yet, as otherwise, we can't get it in and out of the house, and it isn't warm enough to just leave it outside at the moment. 

It comes with a foot pump, which Miss E used and found the ball easy to inflate. It is a pretty flimsy pump and I'm not sure how long it will last, to be honest, but we'll just switch to our electric one when we need to. I like that you get a plastic tape measure so you can see when the ball has hit full inflation.

The ball has the wicked graphic all over it and this slight protruding text gives it good grip-ability for catching it. I can confirm that it really is a super bouncy ball and for us so far it has worked on cobbles, paving slabs and grass. It's not something I'd recommend for inside play, for obvious reasons! lol The actual ball itself feels really durable and I'm sure we'll get lots of good use out of it. 

Our Thoughts

In conclusion, we love the Sky Roider, the Mega Bounce XL and the Mega Jump Ropes, I think all these things will be used loads, especially outside and as the weather gets better. All three kids used to love creating a sports club together, so I can see this coming back as a feature during these times when we have to stay home. I think each of these is good quality and worth the money, so I am hopeful they will last a very long time. 

I think we'll use the indoor booma and the UKick less, basically because we do not have the skill for them. Miss E has vowed to practise with the UKick and to get much better at it, and it is good she has something new to enjoy and try to master over the coming weeks.

Disclaimer: We received the Mega Bounce XL and the Sky Rider at Christmas and last week Wicked Vision sent us the other items for use during the lockdown time, in exchange for an honest review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest. 

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Review - Azul Board Game: Great Fun for all the Family

Azul board game

{This is a collaborative post & as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, 
any affiliate links will be marked with #ad)

During this Coronavirus lockdown, we have been so lucky to have a new game to play. I was first introduced to the board game, Azul (#ad) in February when I played it with a few friends and I was hooked from the start. It seems to retail for around £32 - £35 but I came across a brand new copy on eBay for £12 so I was very chuffed with that. Read on for our Azul review -

Azul is suitable for 2 - 4 players and adapts well to whichever number of players we've tried it with. I think 2 player is probably my favourite though as the gameplay is quicker and feels more exhilarating. It says it is suitable for ages 8 plus, but our friends have it too and they play with their 6 and 8-year-old daughters, so the concept is quite easy to grasp, but they may just need a little help with the scoring.

Azul board game set up

The box contains:
100 Resin Tiles
4 Player boards
9 Factory displays
4 Scoring markers
1 Starting player resin tile
1 Linen bag
1 Rulebook

The aim of Azul is to score the most points by placing various coloured tiles onto your game board, over a number of rounds. It sounds simple but there is actually a little more to it than that, the skill is in deciding which tile/s to pick up each turn and where to put them to gain the advantage against your opponent/s.

Set-up is super easy and the instructions are clear and give all the details you need. My 12-year-old twins had it mastered after one game and have played it dozens of times since. My 16-year-old has also joined them a few times to play and he plays a more cunning and devious game, as he likes to strategise and project where others might want to go. It is certainly more challenging when he is playing.

The quality of the board and tiles is really good. They are sturdy and feel like they will last a very long time. You get a large bag with the tiles, to hide them whilst you deal them out at the beginning of each round and that it is a bit flimsy and has already lost one of its strings in the first week. I really can't moan though, given the £12 price tag I paid.

Azul has only been on the board game market since 2017 and in 2018 it won the Spiel des Jahres award, making ti the board game of the year, a highly coveted accolade in the board gaming world. This seal of approval means that board gamers the world over agree with me and find it a fabulous fun game for all ages. That engages but is easy to learn and play.

Gameplay takes about 30-40 minutes and again that makes it very easy to play, or you may get hooked like us and still be playing 3 or 4 games down the line. There is also a more freestyle version of the game on the back of the game boards, but we haven't tried that as yet.

As I just had a look on Amazon I was pretty excited to see there are two newer versions of Azul as well - Azul Stained Glass and Azul Summer Pavilion, so I know what I might be buying if this lockdown goes on for too long!

(#ad) Azul is currently for sale on Amazon for £37.36

Azul game tiles

If you want a good instructional video on how to play Azul, rather than reading the instruction booklet, have a watch of this one, it is clear, concise and very accurate.

Why not pin this post for later?

Azul pin