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  1. I think we all need some girly time in our life. After all, there has been research which has found spending quality time with friends is great for our mental health. Therefore, to spend some time with your girls, you should organise a weekend away together. It’s the perfect time to catch up and have a laugh. Of course, it can be stressful to arrange as you want everyone to have fun. Therefore, here is everything you need to do when you are planning a weekend away with the girls!

     Girls, Friends, Funny Company, Girlfriend

      Pixabay

    Choose a great city to visit

    It’s so important to choose an excellent setting for your weekend away. Therefore, it’s time to chat to all the girls about what you are hoping to do during the trip. If you want to do lots of shopping, it’s best to go somewhere like Manchester or London. They both offer some sightseeing opportunities too. Or if everyone wants to have some fun, Blackpool might be perfect for you all! After all, it’s the liveliest place in the whole country with so many pubs and clubs for you girls to visit. You should also work out how far away the city is from everyone. You don’t want to cause tension as you choose somewhere which is going to take one of your friends hours to get to! Therefore, pick somewhere that has plenty to do and see for a long weekend

    Sort out your wardrobe

    You also need to plan out your wardrobe for your weekend away with the girls. You will need to make sure you pack everything you need for the trip. It’s worth checking out the weather before you go so that you pack appropriate outfits. After all, you don’t want to be walking around in a sleeveless dress if it’s going to be freezing! You might want to set a theme when it comes to clothes for the weekend. For example, you might want to all wear pink or yellow for one evening. You could even get some customised tops made for the trip; they would be so much fun for you all to wear. You can search online to find companies that do T Shirt Printing.

    Plan transport for everyone

    It’s also essential that you work out how everyone is going to get to the destination. If you are all heading from one place, it might be wise to go in the car and split the petrol cost. After all, train prices are so expensive! Or you could even pay for a large taxi to take you the distance. If you are heading abroad for the weekend, you need to make sure you have some transportation booked the other end. If you want to hire a car for your trip, decide with the others who wants to drive in the country! Remember that some places will not let you hire a car unless you are over 25.

    Book tours in advance

    You all need to sit down together and decide if there is anything specific you want to do in your chosen location for the weekend break. If there is a few of you, it would be an excellent idea to book tours or tickets in advance. Otherwise, you could be left disappointed if it’s fully booked when you get there. When ringing up, it’s best to tell them that there is a group of you. They may offer you a special rate to visit the attraction! Remember to make sure everyone knows how much you have paid so that you get the money back when you get to the destination!

    Make restaurant arrangements

    It’s also important to make sure that you have a good idea of where to eat when you are heading on a weekend away with the girls. If you are visiting restaurants on a Friday or Saturday night during your trip, you will need to book a table for you all. Otherwise, you might struggle to find a free table; especially in a busy city like London. If you haven’t heard of particular restaurants, you should check online on Tripadvisor for reviews. That way, you know what the food is like before you get there! You can also use Tripadvisor to check for accommodation reviews. After all, you don’t want to stay in a bad hotel which is far away from all the top attractions!

    Remember to make sure you send everyone the details of your trip. That way, they know exactly where to go if they get lost during the weekend!

     Friends, Girls, Cell Phone, Selfie, Sunglasses, Blonde

    Image from Pixabay

     

  2. If you like to know you’re making a difference when shopping for baby clothes or gifts, as well as purchasing ethically sourced goods, then From Babies With Love is perfect for you.  Their online website is bursting at the seams with the most fabulous printed baby clothes made from organic cotton in modern, fun designs.

    I’m absolutely in love with the cool elephant print babygros and adorable duck baby blanket!  If you’re looking for a high quality baby gift this Christmas, including organic toys, you’ll definitely find something on this wonderful website.   The brilliant patterns are right up my street and I want to buy the whole collection for my littlest!  If only funds would allow.

    In exchange for this blog post I was sent a cute cuddly monkey soft toy for my son Reuben, 19 months old.  Not only is the material organic, but the filling is made from 100% recycled material which helps to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.  It’s also made in Britain.

     From Babies With Love Organic Soft Monkey Toy Review Blog Lylia Rose

    I’m happy to report Reuben loves his new soft toy!  The shape of it makes it seem like a dinky cushion and I call it ‘Reuben’s cushion’.  I’ve said to him ‘Reuben, do you like your new cushion?’ and he grabs it for a squeeze or lies down on the floor snuggling into it like a pillow!  I think that is a definite yes.  It’s going to look right at home in his sweet toddler bedroom alongside his other contemporary cushions – 3 black and white bears and a retro mustard yellow design.

     From Babies With Love Organic Soft Monkey Toy Review Blogger Lylia Rose
    Look at that face!!

    From Babies With Love Organic Soft Monkey Toy Review Gift Blog Lylia Rose

    As well as providing the most environmentally friendly goodies, FBWL support orphaned and abandoned children around the world.  All their profits go to this wonderful cause to create better lives for children who have lost parents for reasons such as war, famine and poverty.

    FBWL say ‘Every penny of profit from our unique, ethically sourced designs goes to SOS Children, to build and run children’s villages around the world. And in these safe, happy places, abandoned and orphaned children can grow up in a loving family.’

     

    At the time of writing this you can also earn 16.5% cashback from this retailer with Top Cashback!  Not a member?  Sign up using my link here and earn cashback when you shop online: http://www.topcashback.co.uk/ref/victoriasully

     

    * I was sent the cute monkey cushion in return for a review of From Babies With Love which included a link back to their website.  Being a non profit organisation with such a great cause, I couldn’t refuse and honestly love their website!  Check it out here: https://www.frombabieswithlove.org/

     

    Or keep in touch with them here:

    Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/frombabieswithlove

    Twitter - https://twitter.com/frombabies

    Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/frombabieswithlove

     

  3. Shopping is one of those tasks that we just can't get away from. It's like tidying the house or washing our hair. It has to be done. But if you are not careful it can cost you dearly in time, money and effort. Not to mention feed into to the materialistic and wasteful culture that many people are trying to get away from. Remember, though that there are some specific dos and don'ts for shopping that you can follow to get on top on the job of shopping.

    Do make a list

    First of all making a list when you go shopping is essential to getting it right. You should plan your meals out for the week and then write a list of the ingredients that you need. You should also check what you already have so you don't end up replicating items, which wastes money and leads to food waste.

    Don't go when you are hungry

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     Picture source

    One of the best pieces of advice ever is to not go shopping when you're hungry. You are just bound to come back with armsful of stuff that is unhealthy, and that you haven't budgeted for. Going to the shops can be a stressful enough experience on its own so make sure you are well fed and watered before you leave.

    Do grow at home

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    Picture source

    Something that is a really satisfying is to take the initiative to grow some of your own veg at home. In this way, you are teaching your kids about food and where it comes from. You are also providing organic vegetables for them to learn about cooking and healthy eating with. Also by making soup, you have ready made meals so you won't need to buy as much on your next shopping trip.

    Do subscribe to regular items to make your life easier

    Isn’t it a nightmare when you have completed the weekly shop but forgotten something? It's always some important as well like toilet roll or washing up liquid. Well, now you can solve this problem by subscribing to products that you know your household uses regularly.

    You can get monthly shaving supplies delivered for your other half, or add products to your Amazon order to be delivered every so often. They are even rolling about a button that you can press when you see an item running low in the home, and it will automatically order it for you.

    Don't forget to use your food waste

    One of the biggest problems with the weekly shop is that we can overestimate what we will actually need to feed the family for a week. We just have that ‘better safe than sorry mantra drummed into us.' But this can often produce a lot of food waste, especially for fresh produce that ends to go off quickly.

    Therefore it's important that you use up the food as much as possible before it goes off. A great way of doing this is to freeze veg that is about to go over.  Then once a week or month you can cook it all up and make a delicious, wholesome soup, which is perfect for lunches or a light supper. Meaning you will have to buy fewer ingredients on your next trip.

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     Picture source

     

  4. Car safety is something you’ve probably given a lot of thought to as a parent. Being able to get around and easily go to places without the struggle of public transport is highly beneficial when you have children. As lets face it, when you become a parent you basically become a taxi service for a tiny human! Between school, parties, play dates, days out and more having a car makes life so much easier. So ensuring your children safe and comfortable in the car is crucial. Car seats and booster seats are the best way to go about this, and it’s not a decision you should make lightly. Here are some tips to bear in mind when you’re searching for the perfect seat for your child.

    Measure Your Car

    If you have a smaller car, or more than one child, you might discover that you can’t comfortably fit all of the car seats and booster seats in the back. Knowing what kind of size you have to work with will narrow down your options when you’re choosing a seat. You may even need to replace your car with a bigger model as your family grows. Some cars are also generally safer and so switching to a more family-friendly model may be on the agenda anyway.

    Buy New

    Since second-hand car seats could have been dropped, broken or even been in a previous crash- it’s essential you buy brand new. Even a second-hand seat that looks in good condition could be damaged which you’d never be able to tell from looking at it on the outside. Any damage will affect how sturdy and safe it is, and so don’t take the risk. Buy a car seat from a reputable seller too, which will be made according to all of the safety laws in your country.

     

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    Pic sourced from Flikr


    Consider Your Child’s Height and Weight

    Newborns and babies need to sit in rear-facing car seats, this is the safest position for them. Forward-facing seats have a minimum height and weight restriction, you’ll probably find your child reaches this at around age two. Once they’re big enough to fit in a forward-facing seat, they can safely use them. Even when your child gets older, they are likely to need a booster seat up until around age eight. This is because seatbelts don’t sit on the correct places on smaller children making them dangerous in a crash.

    Know Where To Put a Car Seat

    The safest place to put a car seat is in the back of the car, on the middle seat. Research has shown that this is the best place for a child seat to go. Even once they’re big enough to no longer need a booster seat, children should always be seated in the back seat as opposed to the passenger seat too.

    There’s a lot to consider when you’re choosing a car seat for your baby. But when their safety is involved, it’s essential that you choose well and follow all of the current the safety guidelines regarding car safety and children.

  5. benaug16 (553)

    romantic yurt for two michaelchurch escley (3)

    romantic yurt for two michaelchurch escley (2)

    romantic yurt for two michaelchurch escley (6)

     

    romantic yurt for two michaelchurch escley (4)

    romantic yurt for two michaelchurch escley (1)

    Grwyne Fawr Dam & Reservoir in the Black Mountains, Wales (4)

    Grwyne Fawr Dam & Reservoir in the Black Mountains, Wales (5)

    Grwyne Fawr Dam & Reservoir in the Black Mountains, Wales (7)

    Grwyne Fawr Dam & Reservoir in the Black Mountains, Wales (6)

    Our First Time… Staying in a Yurt!

    Review of Romantic Yurt for Two, Michaelchurch, Escley

    Welcome to my new series ‘Our First Time’.  I’ve decided (and persuaded) Ben that we should have a date day or date night at least once per month where we try something new or go somewhere we haven’t been before.  We rarely spend time alone as a couple so it will be a great way for us to ensure we do things just the two of us and we get out of the house! 

    We’ve been in our new home for two and a half years now and for the first two years, and still often now, any time the children are away for a night or day with family we’ve used the time to work on the house or garden.  We’ve been redoing every room, top to bottom, floors, ceilings, doors, fireplaces, kitchens, baths, you name it - we’ve been changing everything!  There’s still a ton of work to do, but not so much that we have to devote ALL our time to it.  I’m also getting a little tired of spending all our money on the house and want our lives back a little.  So once a month, or twice if we’re very lucky, we’ll be getting out of the house and exploring!

    Our very first new experience was at the end of August and we went glamping!  I’ve wanted to stay in a yurt for quite a while now, since glamping really popped onto the scene a couple of years ago.  I love yurts, and teepees and wigwams.  They’re much more my thing than camping in a standard tent!  So much more interesting and wonderfully made.  Ben loves camping full stop.  You know, camping in a tent.  I didn’t mind this so much when I was younger (and drank alcohol).  In fact not long after we got together we camped in Cornwall and it was fun.  But I was drunk and so sleeping in a tiny tent on the floor didn’t bother me!  Now I prefer a little more luxury, so glamping is a great half way compromise I think!

    We couldn’t help but exclaim ‘wow’ several times when shown the yurt.  It was really beautiful inside and instantly inviting.  Cosy, warm (thanks to the wood stove), splashes of boho themed textiles all around and even a glamourous chandelier hanging in the middle!  Best of all was a big comfy bed swamped in cushions and snug throws.  Perfect!  This was my idea of camping! 

    The yurt had everything we needed including a kettle with a selection of hot drinks, fresh water, towels, toilet roll and toiletries.  It was a short walk to the toilets, so you still get a feel for ‘real’ camping’!   There was even a small DVD player and several DVDs to choose from.  There was a film we hadn’t seen so we snuggled up under all the blankets in the evening and enjoyed watching a film on the portable player with a hot drink and the log burner roaring.  It was so relaxing and so nice to spend time totally alone.

    The yurt is set near a campsite which is by a pub and B&B.  We enjoyed a really scrumptious home cooked meal in the pub before cosying up in the yurt.  It was so delicious.  There was plenty of food too, way too much for us to finish. They were very generous with the portions, so a good idea to go on an empty stomach!  In the morning we enjoyed breakfast in the B&B – a lovely country farmhouse where all guests sit in the kitchen together at a huge farmhouse table whilst nattering to the hosts as they cook breakfast!  The breakfast was included in the price of the stay and we enjoyed every mouthful!

    Before arriving at the yurt we went for a walk to the Grwyne Fawr Dam & Reservoir in the Black Mountains, Wales.  It was an absolutely stunning place.  So peaceful and picturesque, it almost didn’t feel real as we sat by the glistening water with the mountains behind.  The dam is super impressive too.  If you’re wondering what to do whilst staying here then this walk is a must.

    Our first experience staying in a yurt was a very good one and I’d definitely stay in another!  It’s much more luxurious than regular camping and all the little extras make it worthwhile.

    Here’s the link to the yurt we stayed at 'Romantic Yurt for Two, Michaelchurch, Escley: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/12280185?s=KqBjZt9-