Family · family holiday · Parenting · travel · Uncategorized

Kids club abroad

So I have never been a fan of kids club abroad, I mean why pay for a family holiday if you are going to dump your kids in care several times during the week right? And whose kid really wants to go anyway? 
So the first two holidays we took to Spain T took one look at kids club and said nope, no way, She did absolutely no way, not one chance want to stay there! I could kind of see her point , It was full, and by that I mean crammed, of children of all ages who spoke all languages none of which seemed to be English. The workers weren’t English either and didn’t seem too fussed if we stayed or not. They had some activities out on tables and a play park attached but no real plan it was kind of just a free for all/do what you want sort of session and so for a 4/5 year old it must have seemed very daunting!

This year was 100% different. Firstly the welcome meeting at our hotel was a walkabout so we actually got taken to kids club where several staff members took the time to explain the sessions and how we signed up, What they do, How much fun they have. T was mesmorised! It was a boiling hot morning and she didn’t even once mention the glaring sun we were stood directly in while the explained, in maybe a little too much detail given the conditions, each aspect of the kids clubs for varying ages.
We took the forms and didn’t think much more of it, I wasn’t going to pressure T to go because being a family holiday I was quite happy to spend the whole week with her, after all it’s what I came away for right? But sure enough she asked to go. So the one day we knew would be cloudy I queued up first thing and got her a space in the morning session for 2 hours. She was thrilled.

We arrived and they took down our contact details and asked for T’s name and age and introduced her to the room, “This is Tiana from UK she is new today” 😊 She went in all smiles and seemed happy enough so we left.

Now what to do in a family resort without a child for 2 hours! We went and treated ourselves to a fancy coffee,took a walk along the beach, explored part of the hotel we hadn’t seen before and then waited until we could go and get her!

She had a great time! She came out with all sorts of artwork and had taken part in lots of team games inside, outside in the shade and in other areas of the resort. She had been given a t-shirt and water bottle that she was to wear to kids club if she went again and was hers to keep, again she was so happy about this and even bigger news…. She wanted to go again!!

I couldn’t believe it here was I doing everything i had ever stood against, putting my child in kids club on a family holiday! I wanted the difference to be that she wanted to go though, I was never going to force her. So again we left it a day and she asked again to go. One more morning session down and she had a great time once again.

As we were only there for a week I felt two sessions was enough not to interrupt our holiday too much so we didn’t let her go anymore and she understood why.

I am just still so shocked as to the turnaround in her this time. I think this was just the right kids club for her, the friendly faced encouraging staff really made her want to go and it seems so was made to feel so welcome she wanted to go back! The structure and controlled activities is just what she loves and I’m so pleased we let her have this positive experience, If she never goes to another one again she will always have that.

Children · Family · family holiday · Parenting · Uncategorized

Things I have learnt about T on this trip

She has the independence I knew about but is now growing the confidence to go along with it, during meal times she would happily go off to get her own drink and would get her own food and sit at a table on her own if I let her! Once I even had to chase her back to the poolside as she walked off to see where Scott had got too, this was day 2 and she had been at this pool once before! I don’t know why but she must have felt so immediately comfortable where we were she just seemed to forget all usual rules about not walking off alone.


 She can sing anywhere and not feel self conscious about it. Not loudly but quietly along to herself occasionally accompanying it with a dance move or two. Unless in the car when we get the full surround sound of whatever is going through her head phones, no need for radio!

She can laugh at herself, unless she is tired then she gets grumpy.

She has a determination that makes me proud-we saw this with her swimming, sea swimming.

She is young enough to still say things wrong and make us laugh but old enough to be able to go sightseeing in an old town and not complain.Some of the highlights of holiday were 

“Runaway track” – runway 

Sunball – the sun

“I’ve got dots on my screen!” – she is swimming and water has splashed her sunglasses!

Air freshener – air conditioning!
She is happy with hers and our company and doesn’t set out to make friends, She would have been friendly towards anyone that we met but as no one approached her/us to play she was happy to play at the park/in kids club etc on her own. This must come from being an only child but I’m pleased she isn’t needy of other kids attention and can be happy having fun with us for now.

Is too polite a lot of the time and often lacks guts/balls/just a bit of umph! She gets pushed infront of in lines and doesn’t speak up when I’m a group of kids until it’s too late and someone has already been chosen for the activity.

She isn’t boastful, T was lucky enough to get a suitcase scooter for Xmas that we could use around the airport and a lot of other kids commented on it how cool it was, they wanted one. She just smiled and looked at us proud of her new toy, one little girl even threw a tantrum because she wanted one right then! She was only about 3 bless her. 

family holiday · swimming · teaching your child to swim · Uncategorized

Teaching your child to swim

I’ve taken T swimming from a young age? I think she was 10 weeks old on her first trip and she has always loved the water. Well I say loved It, she loves swimming as long as she doesn’t get any water on her face! As long as I can remember she has never been brave enough to jump in, has never liked being splashed, and has never wanted her ears or head under the water. I suppose I didn’t push this or encourage it because she was happy enough bobbing along with her float on the surface and I didn’t like getting my head wet so why should she? Being the one to take her swimming the most and then being on my own with T we were happy with where we had got to and didn’t see any need to move on from there really. 
The last family holiday we had abroad was 2 years ago and all I remember was T’s confidence in the water soaring over the week and she had actually stopped crying if she got a drip of water on her face.

This holiday was so completely different. The first day we had the usual drama and upset when she got splashed and so in the end we bribed her, Yes it got to that, just to put her head under the water. It worked and she was soon walking along the bottom with her head under the water to huge cuddles and kisses at the end!

T could see how proud of her we were at how well she was doing so she tried and tried everything she was given. Firstly seeing how long she could stay underwater for then swimming underwater a short distance, then gradually longer. Throughout the holiday T was able to jump in to the shallow end, swim a short distance on the surface and jump in from the deep end swimming underwater a short distance to Scott or I.
This is a huge huge deal for T and we couldn’t be prouder although I have to give most of the credit to Scott. Without him pushing her to challenge herself further each and every day she would never have got this far. He encouraged her and told her she could do more and more to show Mummy so each time I came back to the pool there was another milestone reached. I am so proud of the way T has responded to him and the way she strived to make us proud and do well each and every day.

It only makes me feel why couldn’t I achieve with her what he has managed to? Because I was happy with her swimming the level it was at and didn’t push her to go further does that make me a bad parent? As I don’t jump into the pool or swim underwater very often she had no example and no one to look upto doing these things but now she does and look how far it’s got her. I’m proud of my baby girl each and every day but this holiday has made me extremely proud at just how much she has conquered her fear and achieved. Also i’m proud of the bond her and Scott have built, how they have worked together to move her forwards becoming ‘pool buddies’ only makes my heart melt.

Teaching your child to swim is a minefield, like the rest of parenting it doesn’t come with a manual but once you get it right you can be sure the struggles were worth it. 

chania · Crete · family holiday · travel · Uncategorized

Back from holiday, Back to blogging!

Hi guys I’m back after a superbly hot week away in Crete! What a beautiful place Crete is, We had a blast and I’m planning to tell you all about it over my next few posts. 

So firstly a bit about where we went, we stayed in Gerani, a small town just outside of Chania on the North of the island. It’s very mountainous there so the scenery on the transfer was stunning. As with anywhere in Greece there are a lot of unfinished buildings but if you look past that it is full of little local areas with a splattering of big, expensive looking villas with a sea view. 

As we went all inclusive we spent a lot of time in resort as we also had a beach belonging to the hotel so this was great. On one of the days we did venture out we went into Chania. 

Chania itself is a mix of old and new. We caught the local bus from near our hotel and took the journey through a few other resorts into the centre of town. The bus station is in a fairly new part of town but don’t be fooled as just a couple of minutes walk away we discovered the old town and the beautiful harbour. 

We wondered from one end to another looking at all the cafes and bars taking care to mind the horses and carts taking tourists along the front. We settled on a lovely little bar with a view right out onto the water. Considering the prime location the drinks were reasonably priced and the service excellent. 

This was our view from the bar, just picture post card really.

After our snack stop we wandered through the old towns narrow streets lined with multi coloured buildings often draped on colourful flowers. There were plenty of soiveniour shops but again all reasonably priced and also a town square which was lined with eateries.

We found Chania to be quaint, colourful and welcoming to visit and we would love to wander the streets again this time stopping at more of the bars and restaurants. 

More to come next time on our holiday to Crete 🏖

Thanks for reading!

Lou x

family holiday · family time · happy · making memories · Sunshine · Thankful · Uncategorized

MIA

The time has finally come after months of planning, excitement and waiting it’s that precious, wonderful time we call holiday! 

To me holiday means:

Hours of playing in the pool 

The excitement of exploring your destination 

Staying up late, no matter how little you are!

Dressing for the beach in the day and dressing up at night 

Trying the biggest ice cream you can, just because you can

Always finding out a little bit of history, still a history geek!

Trying all the cocktails on the menu, well it would be rude not to right?

Eating far more for breakfast than you would ever eat for lunch at home

Playing games by the pool, in the evening before the show starts, on the plane, in the airport…. tv? What is that?

Only having Wi-Fi once a day in reception or your room and not really caring!

Eating your body weight in food because after all it’s free! 

Dancing your self silly at a kids disco because you actually enjoy the music and the dance moves just as much as the little person!

Teaching the little person just a tiny amount of the local language but enough to make them feel proud 

Spending a whole week actually together, no interupptions, tiredness from work, no homework, routine or housework, just being a family and loving every minute of it!

Our last family holiday abroad 2 years ago

See you in a week guys!  😁

Lou xx

Children · eat the rainbow · fitness · food diary · Healthy eating · healthy parenting · Uncategorized

Eating the rainbow

We are always looking for new and exciting ways to eat food in our house, whether it be counting our fruit and vegetables and trying to outdo each other or finding new snacks that are healthier than the pre packed alternative. This week we have discovered ‘eat the rainbow’ after seeing it on a tv documentary I was hooked at the way it encouraged young children to try new foods and the benefits that came from this. 

T has been really up for this from the minute I mentioned it, she loves a chart and couldn’t wait to get started trying new foods! 

To start with I downloaded this simple chart which is easy for us to complete every day and has a space for us to tick each time one of us has the colour food.

To go along with this I also downloaded these, 

These show T why is is good to eat as many different colours as we can and we can also record our new foods too.

There is a whole world of foods out there and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut when going shopping. So this week we tried 3 new foods already,

avocado –  unfortunately I still don’t like it and neither does T but at least we tried, 

Cherries- T was nervous at first, shouldn’t have done the avocado first, but she actually really liked them.

Apricot – these were an instant hit, We added them to yoghurt with blueberries and natural honey, delicious!

So now I don’t have T here for a couple of days it’s easy to fall off the bandwagon and stick to my beige plates but nope I’m determined to carry on eating colourful foods so I can show her when she gets back how much I’ve enjoyed doing it, this was my lunch today 

Alongside eating the rainbow I’ve also been made aware of the health benefits of apples, cutting cholesterol, lowering the chance of diabetes and aiding weight loss/fighting obesity. So from now on we are going to try doing various different recipes with apples to try and include them more too (I’ve not eaten an apple since I had my braces fitted 6 months ago so this will be good for me too!)

I’ll keep you all updated on how we get on and all the new and colourful foods we try along the way!

Thanks for reading 

Lou x

Family · making memories · motherhood · Parenting · Uncategorized

Why the build up to our holiday is so bittersweet

Now we are down to under a week until our holiday we are all feeling ready. Ready for adventure, sunshine, a pool and a beach and most of all just ready to be together. 

We love spending time together as a family more than anything else in the world. Making happy memories and building a childhood for T is what our days off and time together is all about. The work Scott does means this time is even more precious because usually public holidays and fun family events like Halloween, Easter, and every weekend he has to work. We are used to this routine now and use this time to have all the more fun Mummy and T days, but when she knows Scott will be off too she gets super excited. It’s amazing for me to see the bond they have now, it’s like a love that has grown over the years they have known each other and is now blossoming into something long lasting and wonderful.

Now as we are going away for a week with her it was only fair she see her Dad for 2 nights this weekend instead of one. Not only that but then Monday and Tuesday night too, Just so he gets to spend lots of time with her before we go. 

So Sunday night T will be home for a big family bbq, she will have friends to play with and the house will be busy and full. Monday morning I will take her to school and I won’t see that gorgeous little face again until Wedsnesday evening after work.

Now this was all my idea so what am I feeling so sad about? 

This is the right thing to do.

We have to share, she enjoys going and spending time there so this is good for her too.

All this is true but it still doesn’t mean I will miss her any less. She has been away with him for a week before and it hurt like hell but it was made better by the fact I knew she was enjoying herself. I think this is worse because I know she will only be at school during the day. I think I just need to focus on getting ready for the holiday and fitting in as many workouts as I can to feel as good about myself as possible before I go. Walking Poppy will help as a distraction too as I will still walk her in the mornings like I would do on a normal school day. 

I just need to think once I have that little body back in my arms she is ours all ours for a whole week and then the fun can really begin. 

Blogger · challenge · Cockapoo · exercise · fitness · goals · Uncategorized · walking · walking for fitness · walking for fun

100 posts down still blogging!!

Wow so I made it to 100 posts! When I started this blog I wasn’t sure I would even have anything to write about but the more I write the more I enjoy sharing my life with you guys. I’ve had so much lovely feedback and support from you all over the few months I’ve been doing this and love keeping you upto date on my braces,  fitness goals, family life and Poppy the cockapoo as she approaches a year old! 

So for my 100th post I can tell you I have reached my walking goal of 60 miles in May! Woohoo I’m so pleased I managed to achieve this! For anyone that doesn’t know I work 3 days a week, am a Mum, wife and puppy owner so am not able to just pick up and go walking any minute I choose, it has to be a carefully planned and scheduled event around all other duties! Plus the great British weather doesn’t always play the game so quite often it’s a washout and walking is cancelled! So now for the good news, I’ve not just reached my target I’ve actually smashed it with a total of 72 miles!!

So how do I feel after walking this much in a month?

– I feel better in myself, fitter, I’m able to walk 3 or 4 miles and not need a nap straight after now! I feel proud I’ve set a goal and stuck to it.

 – I’ve made myself go out and walk on evenings where I would really rather not and I’ve always felt like I’ve achieved something after.

– I feel like I’ve finally started to explore the area I live in more and I’m finding new routes all the time so walking isn’t boring to me.

– Mostly I’ve enjoyed walking Poppy so much, I love being a dog owner, getting out and meeting other dog owners and dogs is so interesting and fun for me and Poppy. She is now learning not to be so scared of other dogs and I’m learnim how to deal with it when she is nervous thanks to puppy classes so walks are now so much more enjoyable.

Tips from walking 72 miles in a month

– Good, comfortable shoes are a must. Yes I sound like my Nan but you can’t walk very far with blisters can you? I remember my first week at walking group being nervous that I would be the only one wearing walking shoes but getting there and seeing everyone was wearing them! I would never have been able to walk so many miles without them, fact.

-If you don’t want to walk on a certain day or at a certain time then don’t! I’ve had days I really didn’t want to go out so I made a promise to myself I would make up the miles another day. This is meant to be fun not a chore!

– Food and hydration are key! If I know I’m going to be out a while I will always make sure I eat and drink enough before I go or take something with me, for me and Poppy, usually if I’m thirsty so is she!

-You can never explore too much. Just when you think you are getting to know your area you can bet there will be another route you will find you never even knew about!

My goals for walking in June

Well I only have 3 weeks to walk in June as we are away for a week so I plan to try and manage at least 16 miles a week. I think before and after our trip this should be easy as before I will be sad I’m leaving Poppy for a week so will take her out lots to compensate and after I will need to walk/run to burn off the holiday pounds I have gained!!

So far I have learned I really love walking, getting out and exploring, seeing the countryside and finding new places to go has been so much fun so here’s to many more miles!!

Thanks for reading!

Lou x

Family · making memories · motherhood · Parenting · philosophy · Thankful · thoughtful · Uncategorized

Finding time to make memories because life is short

These days time is even more in short supply, with the constraints of a working life, hobbies, keeping relationships with friends close, adding in playdates for your children and just generally maintaining your house where do you find time to make memories and just have fun? 

We are all guilty of just wanting to sit and zone out while we mindlessly scroll through pages of social media, it’s just the way people relax these days but it’s far too easy to forget our little people grow so quickly and are not little for long. Time is precious and so even if it’s for a few minutes at a time I always make sure I take the time to put my phone down and actually listen to what T has to say, properly listen. 

Only when we are fully in the moment can happy memories be made and fun times had. 

Like when I climbed the tree house Sunday to eat my ice cream with T, there was no social media, no distractions, just for a few minutes it was just us two eating ice creams in her den. Perfect.

Don’t get me wrong little people can talk, and talk, and talk about mostly pointless things but sometimes it does us good to just listen. To remember what it is like to be little and how important it is to cherish those funny things they say because one day they will realise how silly they sound and stop saying them. 

T a couple of weeks ago ‘I am growing up you know Mummy!!’ We couldn’t stop laughing! 

So take a minute, inbetween loads of washing, on the way to school, after dinner and homework to just appreciate the little things, build those happy memories because life is short and moments matter.

RIP to the zookeeper that lost her life yesterday at the zoo we happened to be visiting at the time. 

Make every minute count, You never know what is round the corner.

gardening · happy · home · Sunshine · Uncategorized

And our garden is complete!

Three weeks ago Scott and I decided we wanted an arbour seat for our garden. Off we set to the garden centre to see how much it would set us back. We quickly left again once we realised we didn’t have a spare  £350 to spend and Scott came up with the grand idea of building one with his Dad! 

Three weeks later and every day off spent at his Dad’s and here it is at a fraction of the cost! To say I’m happy with it is an understatement! It’s like it should have always been there, it’s just perfect for the space we had and we all love sitting in it.

I love watching T sit in the seat in the mornings before school with Poppy and coffee there in the sunshine is just perfect 😊

So today I finally went and bought some plants to brighten up my garden, I love this time of year and getting pretty flowers out in the garden makes me happy so I am pretty pleased with what I achieved today.

Now after 2 and a half hours our side fence is also completely painted! It’s amazing what a lick of paint will do to a garden, yes it was a lot of work climbing round the bushes but it looks so much better now and really sets off the colours in the post I think. Another job done now time to sit and enjoy our pretty space!