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Top holiday destinations for new parents *

As a new parent, you may find that you don’t always have time to enjoy time together as a family. So, when the holiday season comes around, you need to make the most of it! 
But which places are best for babies and toddlers? With the help of Babythingz — a leading UK supplier of cute cosytoes for prams and buggies — I have found some of the top child-friendly holiday destinations for you to choose from, as well as a selection of tips and hacks for travelling with your little humans 

The Algarve  
You can reach Portugal’s popular Algarve region in around two-and-a-half to three hours by plane. So, if you think your little one can handle the journey, treat yourself to a holiday abroad! 

As such a popular holiday destination for Brits, the Algarve region has plenty of child-friendly resorts, hotels and activities that will suit kids from newborn to toddler. There are lots of waterparks around the area featuring sections for babies, although we recommend choosing some of the calmer towns that may better suit your young family — such as Praia de Luz, Cascais and Alvor 

Cornwall  
The safest bet when it comes to child-friendly destinations is to stay within the UK to cut down your travelling times — beneficial if your little one is fussy or easily aggravated. So, how about Cornwall? The Cornish coast in south-west England has a pleasantly warm climate and is one of the country’s most beautiful, peaceful and exciting spots. 
Here, you’ll have a choice of relatively-secluded cottages to book, which is ideal for young families that have crying babies or playful and loud toddlers! Try to go for accommodation that offers you and your family space but is still within walking distance to activities to keep children entertained — like the beach. In Cornwall, you can visit Newquay Zoo and the Minack Theatre, which is based in Porthcurno and features comedy puppet shows for kids. 
  
Disneyland Paris  
Who doesn’t love Disney? Although this destination may be best suited to kids around three years old and over, all children will enjoy the colours, lights and characters of Disneyland Paris. Plus, you have a collection of great, family-friendly Disney hotels to stay in, which will make travelling to and from the park much less stressful!  I took Darcy for her 3rd birthday, and we stayed at the Sequioa Lodge which was lovely and opted for half board.
Like the Algarve, the capital city of France is only a short air journey away from the UK, which makes it a great holiday choice if you’re travelling with babies or excitable toddlers. At Disneyland Paris, you have a wide selection of shows, rides and attractions designed to captivate and entertain babies, toddlers and adults. Wander through Wonderland at Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, go up in the air on Dumbo the Flying Elephant, enjoy the bouncing Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin ride, or book to meet Mickey Mouse himself! 

Scottish west coast 
Similar to Cornwall, the Scottish coast is a stunning place to enjoy a holiday — although, it may offer a slightly cooler climate than Cornwall! Visit here, and you’ll have your choice of child-friendly hotels and quiet chalets to choose from.  
If you have an infant as well as older kids, the Scottish west coast is perfect. You don’t have to head abroad for beautiful beaches — the Scottish west coast is peppered with gorgeous coastlines. Head to Sanna Bay, which features white sand and turquoise water, or take a family cycling trip to take in the incredible landscape of Glencoe.  

Tenerife  
Trust your toddler on a long flight? Then try Tenerife. After a four to five-hour flight, you’ll land on one of the most popular islands in the Canaries and a place where there’s no time difference — no need to spend time and effort getting your little one adjusted to a normal sleeping pattern! 
Many hotels offer on-site childcare should you and your partner want to head out alone at some point, or you can all take a scenic walk up Mount Teide or give a few organised water sports a go. Tenerife has a fantastic climate for children as well — not too hot, little rain and practically no humidity, which will make sleeping easier.  

Tips on travelling with kids  
Even getting to and from the car can be a challenge when you have a baby or toddler in tow. So, what can you do to make travelling on holiday less of an ordeal? Here are a few tips:  
  • Give yourself plenty of time: if you’re late, you’ll stress yourself out and a fussy child will only add to the anxiety. So, start your holiday on a positive note by setting off early.  
  • Have plenty of toys on hand: from the car ride to the airport to the plane journey itself, make sure you pack your child’s essentials — toys and games. Preferably, opt for quiet games that are best suited for public transport.  
  • Think luggage: packing all the essentials for a baby or toddler can add a lot of extra weight to your luggage, so cut down where you can by opting for a lightweight buggy and travel-sized toys and sanitary products.  
  • Check your booking: make sure you verify that the hotel is child-friendly with plenty of amenities for kids. 
  • Comforts: don’t forget the little things that soothe your baby, like their favourite soft toy, blanket or even type of food. They may just help calm them down during long car rides.  
  • Be careful with baby food and milk: you can carry baby milk and baby food through airport security in containers over 100ml, so make sure you prepare this before setting off.  
  • Check in online: minimise the airport hassle by checking in over your laptop or phone prior to your day of travel.  
  • Discuss the journey: if this is the first time your child is taking a long-distance journey, make the event seem positive and exciting by chatting them through what will happen — this may make them less apprehensive, especially if you’re flying.  
Hopefully, this has inspired you to take that family holiday you’ve always wanted to go on this year! Bear the above tips in mind to help make the journey just as good as the destination, too. 

Trutex School Uniform Review*

So, something major is having in September. My baby is starting Primary school, yes I'm a little emotional about the whole situation I'm not even going to lie.

Darcy had graduation at nursery this year and her last ever day there is just around the corner. I thought I should be organised and get some of her school uniform together, I don't want it to be August and me struggling to find her uniform as everything is sold out.


Trutex produce everything from skirts, trousers and pinafores to shirts and blazers and even PE kits. We were offered to pick a few items for us to start getting Darcy's uniform together and she couldn't wait to try them on. 

Darcy is tall for her age, so I made sure to size up to an age 5. To give her room to grow into them, there's nothing worst than your child having a growth spurt when you have just brought them brand new clothes.



The stitch down pleated skirt is really good quality compared to other skirts I have seen. I love that there is size adjuster buttons at the sides which mean Darcy will get as much wear as possible out of this skirt, letting it grow with her during her school months.


The jumper is lovely, being a good size and unisex. It has a fleece inside, Darcy commented straight away how warm and cosy it was. Perfect for the winter months ahead.


The pinafore is really smart-looking. I love that it has zip, so it makes it so much easier to put on and off. Darcy was excited that it has a pocket.

I have folded her uniform away neatly in a drawer all of its, own ready for September, I am so excited to get that official first day of school photo!

I have to say that I have brought some uniform bits from a well know supermarket chain but the quality is no were as good as Trutex. Their whole school uniform range is lovely and just what any child needs for school. I have never heard of Trutex before this review but now I know I’ll be buying uniform pieces from them regularly going forward.

Have you got your childs uniform sorted yet?

*Disclaimer: We were sent items of school uniform for the purposes of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own 

5 tips to make a rental feel like home

We have been in our rented flat now for almost a year. I won't able to get a mortgage for a while now, so I'm going to keep adding to my living room inspiration board on Pinterest. Untill that day comes.

Rental homes can be tricky, on one hand you want to make it feel like home whilst you're staying there. On the other hand you don't want to make it so homely that you will lose your deposit. When we moved into our new home I hated the fact that all the walls were white and we couldn't decorate them to my liking.

Today I'm sharing with you some 5 tips to make a rental feel like home;



1.Use removeable wall arts, they are brilliant as they do not take the paint off the walls. I have fallen in love with this stunning pink jungle wallpaper it would really add some much-needed colour and personality into our bathroom.


Websites like wallsauce are great as who specialise in exciting and inspiring wall murals. They are easy to install and more importantly easy to removable when you fancy a change.

2. Invest in rugs, another thing most landlords will not allowed you to change is your flooring. A rug can hide a horrible flooring and add some home comfort. There's nothing better than watching the TV with a glass of rose, whilst your feet are getting all cosy in a fluffy rug.

3. Add plants, you can never have too many plants! Invest in some shade loving plants that will happily grown indoors. You don't have to be green fingered as they basically look after themselves. Just water them once a week and leave them to it. They not only look good, but some also help clean the air and remove toxins.

4. Place pictures of family and friends around the house. We live in a digital world and tend to keep our pictures on our phone or albums on Facebook. I always make an effort to print some of my favourite pictures and have them around the house as they bring back good memories.

5. Change your cabinet doors and handles, if you thinking of staying in your rental for a few years. Changing your cabinets doors and handles is a cheap way of updating your kitchen. 

Make sure you keep the original door and handles safe so you can put them back as you found them with you leave

Do you rent? How have you made changes to your rental to make it feel like a home?

6 Effective Health Tips for Before and After Pregnancy *

Pregnancy, birth and the first few months of being mum are one of the most demanding times for your body, physically, mentally and emotionally. Being in the best shape makes sense but what tips are there for women during this exciting but daunting phase of their lives? 

 

Tip #1 – Clean up your diet 
The food and drink we put into our bodies is the fuel it needs to meet all the demands we make of it. Under normal circumstances, the demands we make are pretty high. 
Being pregnant places an enormous strain on our bodies, as does the process of healing in the first few weeks and months after giving birth. Eating the right foods and staying hydrated helps the body to cope with surging hormones as well as carrying the extra weight of a growing baby. 

Pre-pregnancy – clean up your diet by taking a hard look at your eating habits. Could your diet be improved? 

During pregnancy – adapt your eating habits to cope with heartburn and other common pregnancy issues. Make sure you eat a varied diet but check what foods are off the menu. 
After pregnancy – keep on with your varied and healthy diet but don’t be too hard on yourself! 

Tip #2 – Exercise 
The one thing that helps our health at every point in our lives is exercise and generally being active.  

Many pregnant women assume that they have to change their exercise routine but in fact, you may be able to continue with it for some time to come. 

Like any changes you make during or after pregnancy, always seek advice from your midwife or GP. And listen to your body too! 

Pre-pregnancy – start to incorporate more exercise and activity into your day. 
During pregnancy – stay as active as possible, but make sure you get plenty of rest too. 
After pregnancy – get active again as soon as you can, but don’t push it! 

Tip #3 – Look after your pelvic floor 
The pelvic floor muscle is important – it is the muscle that helps you to control well you release urine and also helps to keep your bowel in good health too. 
Pregnancy, labour and birth all place extra pressure on this muscle. Surging pregnancy hormones can lead to some women suffering occasional incontinence and the growing weight of the baby squishing your bladder can make toilet visits a more frequent occurrence. 

Labour and birth can damage the pelvic floor muscle, leading to some women relying on incontinence pads. 

Pre, during and after pregnancy – practice pelvic floor exercises to maintain the strength and tone of your pelvic floor muscle.
  
Tip #4 – Sort out your sleep 
Sleep is important whether you are pregnant or not and so following a healthy sleep pattern is important for your health. 

But in pregnancy and after birth, getting enough shut-eye doesn’t always come easy. Some pregnant women find it difficult to get comfortable, whilst other women find heartburn a problem and when they do sleep, they are plagued by unpleasant dreams. 

Pre-pregnancy – get into a good sleep pattern, making sure you get your eight hours sleep every night. 

Pregnancy – as well as resting and napping during the day, sleep with extra pillows to support your body. 

After pregnancy – get you and your baby into a good bedtime routine, such as a warm bath. 

Tip #5 – Ditch ‘bad’ habits 
You want to give your baby the best start in life, just as you want your body to cope well so that you enjoy this exciting time. 
And so the time has come to ditch those less-than-healthy habits. Your GP, practice nurse and midwife will be able to help you; 
  • Stop smoking 
  • Help with stopping recreational drug use 
  • Talk to you about alcohol and how it affects your baby 
Pre-pregnancy – it is important to look at your lifestyle and make the changes before you get pregnant. 

Tip #6 – Get a health check 
For women who have a pre-existing and long-term medical condition, before you start trying for a baby, spend time discussing how you can manage your condition alongside pregnancy. 

If you take medication, for example, you will need to understand how this affects your chances of conceiving, if there is any effect, and how you will manage your pregnancy. 
You may have other health concerns too. Ask your GP about a pre-pregnancy health check for you and dad-to-be too! 

Pre-pregnancy – check with your GP how any long-term medications may affect your chances of conception and a successful pregnancy. 
During and post-pregnancy - continue with your medication working with your doctor to manage your pregnancy. 

HARTMANN Direct is a well-known online retailer of incontinence pads and products, suitable for use during and after pregnancy.