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Category: Lifestyle

HomeDNA at Home Genetic Testing Review – Healthy Weight

HomeDNA at Home Genetic Testing Review – Healthy Weight

*This post was written in collaboration with HomeDNA. 


A little while ago I was contacted by HomeDNA to try out their at home genetic testing kits. I’ve always been intrigued by these services and so I jumped at the chance to take the Healthy Weight test. Like many other women before me, I’ve always been conscious of my appearance and have spent many hours in the gym, trying to shed those ‘extra’ pounds. I was curious to find out how my body works and what I can do to aid staying at a healthy weight.


What did I have to do?


First of all, HomeDNA send out a test kit to complete at home and send back to them. The test kit comes with four swabs that you use to collect cells from the inside of both cheeks. It’s so easy to complete the swabs and all you have to do is seal them in the envelope provided, fill in all of your details and send them over to the lab for testing. This process is super simple, then all you have to do is sit back and wait for your results to arrive in your inbox!

Once your test has been analysed, you receive a report with detailed explanations into each area of your genetic makeup, in reference to maintaining a healthy weight. The report makes is really easy to understand the ins and outs of what is going on with your body and it also gives you pointers on what you can do to enhance your lifestyle, helping you to achieve a healthy weight!


An insight into my results –


The healthy weight test analyses four body traits;

  1. Weight loss ability.
  2. Food.
  3. Nutrients.
  4. Response to exercise.

As someone who has spent a hell of a lot of their adult life in the gym, the response to exercise sections was something I couldn’t wait to find out about. The test gives you an idea of the kinds of exercise that your body responds to, so that you can create the perfect exercise plan for you. I’ve also tried many diets over the years, so I thought it would be good to find out what foods are good for me personally, when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.

When my results came back, I was pleased to read that my weight loss ability is ‘normal’, that means that there are no more excuses! So if I feel like I’m carrying a little extra weight, it’s because I need to watch the kinds of food that I’m eating. Not because my body isn’t functioning as it should. My weight fluctuates naturally and since I’ve had children I’ve found weight loss harder to achieve. From taking this test I’ve realised that my body hasn’t changed irreparably and I can’t blame having children for an increase in weight, it’s just about balancing things out to maintain my healthy weight.

I also learned from taking this test that my fat loss response to cardio is ‘low’. Now, most of my exercise regime is made up of different types of cardio. I swap and change my plan between the exercise bike, the treadmill and the cross trainer. These days I do this around 4 days out of 7. Actually according to my results, in order to notice a difference from cardio training I should be exercising 5 – 7 days a week at a moderate to high intensity and for a minimum of 300 minutes per week. This was a real eye-opener for me as I’ve often commented on not seeing results from exercise and it seems there may be a reason for that.


The verdict –


These are just a few of the results from my test, the ones that really jumped out at me and what I was most curious to find out about. The report itself is pages and pages long, this test really doesn’t leave any stone un-turned. I still find myself going back to my results, this helps me to make the appropriate changes to my lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy weight is something that always has and always will be important to me. Even more so now that I have two girls to keep fit and healthy for!

I’m so pleased I took the healthy weight test from HomeDNA and I’m even more impressed with how in-depth and informative my results are. There are other tests that HomeDNA do too, including ancestry tests. I’m pretty sure they’ve not seen the back of me!

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Three Ways to Make a Small Garden Work for the Whole Family

Three Ways to Make a Small Garden Work for the Whole Family

*This is a collaborative post.


Spring is my favourite season of the year. I love the light nights, the pretty flowers and the warmth! Spring always hold so much hope and it always feels so good to have a long summer ahead of us. Each year I spend the early spring sprucing up our garden, making sure that it’s clean and tidy and ready for spending our days outdoors. As we have quite a small garden, organising our space doesn’t take up too much time. What we do have to think about though, is how we can make the small space that we do have, work for each of us individually and as a family together.

Now that our girls are both on their feet, we just can’t get away without having outdoor toys for them to play with. From trampolines to slides, you name it we have it! Long gone are the baby days when a blanket and a few toys would suffice. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the girls having toys out there, I want them to enjoy our garden too. Having said that, it’s nice to make sure we have an adult space outdoors. So that we can sit out in the evening and relax, or work which is much more likely! We also have two rabbits who love to spend time outdoors when the weather is fine, so we really do have a lot to squeeze in to a small space.


Here are three ways we make our small garden work for the whole family;


Have designated areas for each member of the family –

Even though our garden is small, we have designated areas for each of us. Granted the kids have most of the space and we do have a lot of brightly coloured plastic around the garden, but we make sure that each item has its own space. We have an area with patio furniture, which we use to relax in. You can find some great patio furniture deals from Groupon, there are pieces to suit every taste and garden size. This area also has a small BBQ in it too, so that Hubs and I can enjoy our evening meals outside on summer nights!

I love to see pretty flowers and I think it’s good to get the kids involved in a little gardening. So, we have a very small but neat garden area that we grow a few seasonal flowers in. This area benefits the whole family and when the flowers are in bloom, it draws your attention to them instead of the kids toys. Our bunnies have their own little space too, so when we’re all outside together everyone is happy!


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Be selective with what you keep in your garden, don’t over power your space with too much stuff –

I’ve already mentioned that we have a lot of kids toys in our garden and to be honest, we are on the brink of over powering it. These days, we have to stop and think about the things that we buy, so that we don’t add too many bits and bobs to an already small and crowded area. We make sure that the toys that we buy can be stored in the garden shed and when we recently bought a new table, we went for the smaller option to make sure it fit nicely in the space we have. It’s important to step back and look at what you have. If it feels like things are getting on top of you, then it’s probably time to have a clear out and get some garden back!


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Keep your outdoor space tidy –

This is by far the easiest way to make sure that your garden works for everyone that uses it. They say that an untidy house makes for an untidy mind and I’m sure this works when you head outdoors too! I always make sure that things are put back in their place at the end of the day, that way each area doesn’t encroach on another.


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Alienwork Quartz Watch – Review & Giveaway

Alienwork Quartz Watch – Review & Giveaway

This week I’ve been lucky enough to have been testing out the Alienwork Quartz Watch.  Watches are one of my favourite accessories, I love good watch and I was so excited to asked to try out this lovely looking number. This Alienwork watch is available in an array of colours including black, rose gold, blue and silver, making it suitable for the ladies and gents among us. For a split second there I though I might let Hubs do this review for me, but my love of watches completely took over and I went for the blue watch, all for myself. Who says we shouldn’t treat ourselves once in a while?!

How did I get on?

The thing I adore most about this watch is that it’s so slim. It has quite a large face, but as it’s slimline it doesn’t sit too high from your wrist. I think that watches that are too chunky can get in the way a little, so this is a real bonus for me. I think the easy to adjust milanese strap is great too. As I have quite small wrists, it’s not uncommon for watch straps to be too big for me, even when they’re as small as they’ll go. This watch adjusts super easily, right to the perfect size. There’s no messing with fiddly adjustments and the watch doesn’t spin annoyingly around my wrist!



The other great thing about this watch is that it can be easily dressed up, as well as being perfect for the more casual days. It’s understated, yet eye-catching. The build quality is good, which is a real treat considering it’s so reasonably priced. This watch also comes with a small, soft case to protect the strap and face when it’s not being used. All too often watches are scratched when they are thrown into drawers. The case means it’s as good as new each time you want to wear it!



Overall, I’m very impressed with my new Alienwork Quartz Watch. I love the look, the feel and the affordability of it. I would highly recommend this watch to anyone who wants to treat themselves or if they want to treat someone else!

The guys from Alienwork would like to offer my readers the chance to win a Quartz watch of their own! All you have to do is enter using the form below. Please do check out the terms and conditions…good luck! 



Win an Alienwork Quartz Watch #3

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The Bank of Mum and Dad – Getting on the Property Ladder

The Bank of Mum and Dad – Getting on the Property Ladder

*This post was written in collaboration with the Post Office. 


We’ve been on the property ladder for a few years now. Buying our first house was one the most exciting things I’ve ever done. I loved everything about the whole process from start to finish. Both Hubs and I have always been interested in property, so heading round to have a nosy at different types of houses was so much fun. Our first viewing ignited something in both of us and we became so passionate about finding the perfect house for us. We would sit for hours adding new properties to our ‘must view‘ list. I made so many appointments with estate agents that in the end we found ourselves on first name terms with a few!

For us, buying a house was something we wanted to get right the first time. We wanted our first home to be our forever home. That meant spending an incredible amount of time thinking about what kind of house would suit us when we bought and what would continue to suit us as life took its natural course. The trouble with buying a forever home from the outset, is that the prices of the houses we really wanted didn’t always match our budget. We’d saved hard for some time and Hubs had downgraded his car so that we had the best chance of purchasing the right house for us. We pooled our savings and had a respectable sum. At the time though, we knew it wouldn’t quite be enough.


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After many months of searching, we finally found the house we wanted. I’d been told numerous times that I’d ‘just know’ once I walked into the property I’d want. I must admit, I thought this was a little far-fetched. We’d seen so many, they all had good and bad points. It had to be a compromise, right? Wrong! The very first time I walked through our now front door, I knew this house was for me. This would be the place I settle, get married and have children in. I wanted it and I wanted it now!

Inevitably, this property was one of those that we really had to stretch ourselves to afford. At the time I was still on an apprentice’s wage and so it would be down to Hubs to pick up the bulk of the costs. We left after that first viewing with a heavy heart. Wanting the house so much, but wondering if it just wasn’t meant to be.


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After much thought, plenty of to-ing and fro-ing and even a few tears. We decided that we really did want this house. It was too good to let go. So, we decided that we would talk our situation through with my parents. We went back to show them the house and they fell in love with it, just like we had a week or so before. They could see the potential it had and how much Hubs and I had pinned our hopes on this place becoming our home.

We’ve all heard the old saying ‘never a borrower, nor a lender be’, but it was becoming increasingly clear that borrowing money from my parents was the only way we were going to get the house of our dreams. We had the majority of what we needed, but my parents were more than willing to give us a helping hand to secure our future. We sat down as a family and agreed on the amount we would need to borrow in order to get by. We made it very clear what the funds would be used for and most importantly we agreed on payback terms. Its not unusual though for parents and children not to have a payment plan in place. In fact according to research completed by the Post Office, as much as 87% of first time buyers don’t have an agreement in place. It can be a really difficult conversation to have and if it’s something you are struggling with you can use this Conversation Guide to help make things easier for everyone! My parents are great and there really was no pressure from their side to get the money back. I wanted things to be clear-cut though, so we devised a monthly payment plan. In my eyes, proactive reimbursement of funds shows the lender how grateful the borrower is. Plus, I didn’t want to be indebted any longer than was necessary.


Would I borrow again?


I absolutely would! For me, the borrowing process was made very straightforward because we’d spent some time agreeing on terms before any money was exchanged. The fact that everyone knew where they stood made me feel comfortable and the fact that there was a payment plan in place meant that there was no confusion further down the line. I didn’t find the process stressful at all as we were able to buy the home that we had fallen in love with and I know it made my parents happy to know they had helped us in achieving that.


Some interesting statistics…


  • The majority of parents don’t formalise and agreement with their children when they lend them money.


  • One in six first time buyers are taking long-term loans from their parents in order to buy a house.


  • Parents loan an average of £24,347 to help their children get on the property ladder.


Did you have any help when buying your first house?


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Making Mother’s Day Special with Home Bargains.

Making Mother’s Day Special with Home Bargains.

*This post was written in collaboration with Home Bargains. 


Spring is my favourite time of year. I love to see the days getting longer and the pretty spring flowers pop up. I adore daffodils and have always got them around the house at this time of year. They really brighten the place up and remind me that we are heading in the right direction, especially where the weather is concerned. I can’t be the only one who is ready for a little sunshine!

With Spring also comes Mother’s Day. A time of year that still feels alien for me to celebrate, I certainly don’t feel old enough or mature enough to have one whole day that’s all about me! The day isn’t just about me though, it’s about all of the other mums in our lives, the ones that are always there for us and who deserve to have a lovely day celebrating too!


Gifts for Mother’s Day –


Traditionally, I’ve always bought flowers for others on Mother’s Day. They are my go to gift, as to be honest, buying good presents has never been my forte. I never know what to buy for people and flowers just seemed like a good option to show my appreciation. This year however, I’ve had a little helping hand from Home Bargains!

I’ve always enjoyed doing a little shopping at Home Bargains. It’s the kind of place that has a bit of everything all under one roof, usually for a very reasonable price. In this day and age we all like to look after our cash, so this is the perfect place to stock up on essentials without breaking the bank. I don’t know why I’ve never thought about looking for gifts here too, but since they sent out some great Mother’s Day selection for us to try out, it’s definitely a place I’ll be heading to in future.

The thing I loved most about the gifts we received was that there was so much variation in the types of gifts they stock. There’s something for everyone and they’re all packaged beautifully, right in line with a fresh Spring time feel. I know that our Mums will love some of the gifts that we have wrapped up for them, as I’m a mum too I’ve kept a couple aside to treat myself on the big day too!


A selection of Mother’s Day gifts from Home Bargains.


What are your plans for Mother’s Day?


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Taking Time Out for Mother’s Day with Debenhams

Taking Time Out for Mother’s Day with Debenhams

Recently over on my Instagram feed, I spoke about how I still find it hard to believe that Mother’s Day is all about me. Even though I’ve been a mother for nearly three years, I still feel like a bit of an imposter when it comes to identifying as ‘mum’. Life is so hectic a lot of the time, I just don’t get time to sit down and think about life as a parent. It’s just something we crack on with, along with everything else we have to squeeze into the day.

Even if I do say so myself, I keep everything together over here. I keep the kids fed, watered and entertained. I make sure that the house is clean and tidy. As well as all of this, I run my business in the background, often into the small hours so that I have something that’s just for me. As Mother’s Day 2018 approaches and with a lot of thanks to Debenhams, I’ve been forced to sit back and think about the role I play in our house.

I’ve realised that actually, Mother’s Day should be about me. I should take some time out and enjoy being spoilt for a day, because for the rest of the year I work damn hard to keep my brood happy. With this in mind, the guys over at Debenhams were kind enough to send me for a Mother’s Day afternoon tea at Patisserie Valerie. It was time just for me, so that I could sit back and relax with lots of delicious cake. I absolutely loved every minute!

Taking Time for Yourself –

As a mother, I’m the first to admit that taking time out for myself is often at the bottom of my priority list. Like most mothers out there, I’m in the ‘as long as the kids are happy, I’m happy’ camp and for the most part this is true. There comes a time though when it’s not possible to keep the kids happy, if you’re not looking after yourself properly. That’s why I highly recommend spending some time all to yourself every now and again. Just like my hour spent with a cuppa and an afternoon tea. I left feeling super refreshed and after a particularly busy week, it was just what the doctor ordered.

Treating others this Mother’s Day –

As well as afternoon tea, Hubs and I took full advantage of a child free afternoon and decided on a little retail therapy too. Seeing as the day was all about being a mum, I thought it’d be a good idea to treat the other mother’s in our lives too.

We headed into Debenhams as they always have so much to choose from, it’s impossible not to find gifts to suit all tastes. With three mums to buy for it was the perfect place. For my mum we decided on a pretty Radley purse, it’s a very girly pink and I know she’ll absolutely love it!

The other two mums in our lives are my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law. I wanted to treat them to something that I knew they would enjoy. As we’d just enjoyed our afternoon tea, I knew I had to get them the same gift experience. It’s something that they will find really yummy and something they can do together too!

So with Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s time for you to start thinking about how to spend your special day. Do something different, fun or completely relaxing. As long as you’re taking the time just for you! 

*This post is in collaboration with Debenhams as part of their Mother’s day campaign. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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The Power of Women – Am I being Drawn in by Feminism?

The Power of Women – Am I being Drawn in by Feminism?

Up until recently, I would never have identified as a feminist. In fact, I would have said I sat right at the other end of the scale. It wasn’t until I made it my mission to learn more throughout 2018, that I came across a book with the potential to instigate a significant shift in my views and beliefs. It forced my brain to think in a way that has never been that natural to me. I began to see my life from an entirely different perspective and I liked it.

A History of Britain in 21 Women by Jenni Murray opened up a whole new world for me. One that I’m completely unfamiliar with, but also one that I was eager to explore. As much as I’m not going to be burning my bra any time soon, I don’t think I’ve ever fully appreciated what we as women are capable of achieving. As well as what the women before us dedicated their lives to, in order to secure a better future for the generations to come.



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Hypocrisy –


Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’m able commit to feminism entirely. You see, I really love it when my husband holds a door open for me. I also like it when he does what we call the ‘blue jobs’ around the house. Surely this makes me a hypocrite? I’m sure a determined feminist would revolt at the use of such terminology.  

I want to be a strong woman, who is successful in motherhood, housekeeping and business. Yes, in that order. We have very traditional roles over here, my husband is the ‘bread’ winner and I am ‘mother and maid’. Truthfully, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want my strengths and qualities as the female of the species to be recognised, but I also want to be treated like a lady once in a while.

It’s obvious from those revelations, that I’m never going to be recognised as hardcore feminist. I’m always going to pass the ‘male’ jobs over to my husband without a seconds thought. I’m also going to continue being the one that keeps our household ticking over nicely. I’ve no intention of changing.

Having said that, I’m definitely going to continue to work towards achieve my goals in business. I know that with hard work and determination I’m capable of reaching them, alongside being the best mother and wife that I can be. I’m also going to spend my life empowering our girls, teaching them to believe that anything is possible whatever their gender. They need to know that they are capable of making their wildest dreams come true – woman or not.


Unity –


Most of all, I’m going to teach our girls that great things can happen when people work together. By pooling resources, brains and hard graft, men and women can work alongside each other to achieve the unachievable. I don’t believe that men don’t need women, or that women don’t need men to make something of themselves. I believe that there is a mutual need, that’s requires nurture if we want to flourish as human beings.  Team work definitely makes the dream work.  Maybe I’m not being drawn in by feminism after all.


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Cookhouse & Pub – Three Course Meal Review

Cookhouse & Pub – Three Course Meal Review

Over the last couple of weeks, Hubs and I have been lucky enough to be invited to try out our local Cookhouse & Pub. As parents, it’s inevitable that we don’t get out nearly as much as we used to. A combination of being far too tired and keeping the girls in their routines has meant that meals out have had to drop in our list of priorities. We really miss heading out and catching up with each other though, so we were so excited to have an evening to ourselves and to enjoy some good food!

There are currently four Cookhouse & Pub restaurants in the UK; Oldbury, Holystone, Ripley and Kilmarnock. They offer a full menu including breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also have lighter bites and grazing options to suit every appetite. I can vouch for the fact that have some amazing desserts on offer too!


Good food & good company –

Over the space of a few weeks we were kindly invited to try out Cookhouse & Pub on two occasions. On both, Hubs and I were super impressed with the food and the service. All of the staff were polite and attentive, whilst giving us the space to enjoy our meals and to relax on our first evenings off in a long time.

There’s so much to choose from on the menu and both Hubs and I can honestly say that everything we had, tasted so good. The drinks menu looked really inviting too. Neither of us drink alcohol, but if you like a tipple once in a while they had a fabulous list of wines, beers and cocktails among so much more.

We’ll definitely be heading back to Cookhouse & Pub, hopefully sooner rather than later!


Check out some of the amazing dishes we enjoyed;

King prawn & garlic grazer.


Honey & mustard chipolatas.


Steak, cheese & suet pie.


Chicken & lime skewers. Lamb & humous kofta.



Sausage & mash with a giant Yorkshire pudding.


Half baked cookie dough with vanilla ice cream.


Warm chocolate fudge cake & custard.



*We were invited to sample the menu at Cookhouse & Pub for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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KAYA Jewellery Review & Giveaway!

KAYA Jewellery Review & Giveaway!

Recently, I was contacted by KAYA Jewellery to see if I wanted to review their silver jewellery range. KAYA Jewellery is a UK based company that not only makes beautiful jewellery for mothers and daughters, they also give a percentage of their profits to underprivileged children. I’m a sucker for a nice piece of jewellery and I love a company with good morals, so working with KAYA Jewellery was sure to be an absolute pleasure!


Personalised jewellery –

KAYA Jewellery is handmade in the UK. Each piece can be hand engraved and personalised for any occasion. I love the idea of special pieces that are personalised , to represent the people I love. After spending some time looking through the KAYA website I finally decided on the perfect piece for me. The idea of the mum necklaces really stood out, so I went for a delicate silver necklace with three stars engraved with the initials of Hubs and out two girls.



The necklace is really nice quality, with a sturdy chain. It also comes with an extender chain to ensure a good fit for everyone. It looks great on too, it’s something you could wear as an every day piece or as a dressy necklace when you head out. I’m really impressed with the quality of the hand engraved initials, they are neat and sit in the centre of the stars. KAYA Jewellery also sent a silver polishing cloth with my necklace, which I think is a great touch. It’s not something I’ve ever received with jewellery before, it’s definitely something I will use to keep my necklace looking good!


The guys over at KAYA Jewellery would like to offer my readers the chance to win a £40 voucher to spend on their site. All you have to do is enter using the form below. Please do check out the terms and conditions…good luck!


KAYA Jewellery £40 Voucher Giveaway


*I was gifted my necklace from KAYA jewellery in exchange for this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Holiday Bucket List – History, Relaxation & Wildlife!

Holiday Bucket List – History, Relaxation & Wildlife!

With a whole new year ahead of us, Hubs and I cant help but think about holidays. There are so many destinations that we would love to visit, from places to spend time relaxing on a beautiful beach. To heading out into the towns and cities of new places around the world, taking in their customs and culture. With two young children in tow, travelling doesn’t always come easy, but we have a holiday bucket list packed full of our dream holiday choices. Whether we get to visit them sooner, or later they’re places that we can’t wait to explore!

Having limited travel experience myself, means that I have an array of places on my list. All offering different things. Hubs has travelled much more than me, he knows that beach holidays aren’t really his cup of tea. For that reason his dream destinations are full of culture and history, with so much to see and learn. Between us though and with a little help from Destination 2, we have managed to choose three places from our holiday bucket list that for us are a must visit!


History: Greece –

First on our list is Greece. A destination that is steeped in history and culture. I would love to hire bicycles to explore this amazing place, taking in the architecture of famous landmarks. Hubs and I would also love to explore life in Greece off of the beaten track. I’m always amazed by how other people live and I’m sure we could learn a thing or two about living out in the sticks. Imagine what life would be like without our smartphones and the world at our finger tips. This trip would surely induce a lot of soul-searching. Greece is a destination that I’m positive we would never forget.


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Relaxation: Seychelles –

Even though relaxation isn’t at the top of my husbands to-do list, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to indulge every now and again! I love nothing more than taking some time out in idyllic surroundings, with a good book to escape every day life. I would love to experience the breathtaking views of golden sands and clear blue oceans. Having researched this area, I’m awestruck by the perfect coves surrounded by extraordinary sea life and exotic plants. I really believe that this would be the holiday of a lifetime, with there being such a contrast to how we live our lives over here. I think this is the ideal destination for us to visit as our girls get a little older. There’s so much for them to see and experience, it’s a holiday that we’d want them to remember!


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Wildlife: Sri Lanka –

I’ve always been a lover of wildlife, as I would much rather see the worlds amazing animals in their natural habitats. There are so many beautiful animals that I would love to see and I’m sure that Sri Lanka is the place to go to witness them. I know that this would be spectacular for our girls to experience too, you just can’t put a price of the beauty of the natural world. Holidays in Sri Lanka are often accompanied by wildlife tours. It’s possible to see elephants, whales, leopards and exotic birds among so much more. There’s even the opportunity to head on safari and to camp out in the wild. This really is my dream holiday destination, I get all excited just thinking about it!


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Over the next few years as our girls are more able to travel longer distances, we are sure to visit these amazing places. Hubs and I will make it our mission to allow our girls to experience the world as much as we possibly can. All we have to do now is decide where we’re heading first!


What destinations are on your holiday bucket list?


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*This post was written in collaboration with Destination 2. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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