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The Camping Diaries – Preparing for a New Camping Season

The Camping Diaries – Preparing for a New Camping Season

*This post was written in collaboration with


Last year was our first proper camping season as a family of four. It was a fun time, but also one that taught us a hell of a lot about camping and how we like to do it. Having been camping a few years ago as a couple, I don’t think we were quite prepared for how different camping with kids is. We have taken all of the good and bad points on board, now we’re planning for the new camping season ahead – with a little more experience under our belts!

Rookie mistakes –

Our first major mistake last year was underestimating just how cold it can get in a tent. Our first night in our new tent was mid-May when the days are lovely and warm, but the nights – not so much! Luckily we had taken a few extra blankets which we wrapped the kids in, but Hubs and I were that cold it was impossible to sleep. I ordered a camping heater that night and to this day it’s the best tent-related purchase we’ve made!

We also went the whole of last season without a proper tent carpet. Instead we used smaller picnic blankets, which didn’t do the job well. We were forever rearranging the carpet and stopping the girls tripping over the edges. That’s why, we’ve invested in an Outwell Tents carpet that is ideal for the job. I do love a bit of camping, but I firmly believe you have to make it as easy as possible for the whole family. If camping is hard work, it’s not going to be the fun holiday you want it to be!

Preparing for the new season –

With the new season creeping up on us, I’ve been thinking about how we’re going to make this camping season better than the last. I have finally come to terms with the fact that we are generally ‘fair weather campers’ and I don’t mind telling you that if there isn’t an electric hook-up, we aren’t going!

Here are a few things on my list to invest in before the season begins;

  • A second camping stove – we learned last year that cooking breakfast on one small stove is no easy feat, especially when you want a cup of tea to go with it!
  • Sleeping bags for the kids – I was weary of using sleeping bags for the kids last year as they were small, but this year I think they’re robust enough to have a cosy sleeping bag of their own.
  • A second lamp – last year our one lamp was moved around far too often, so a second lamp is essential to make camping life easier. A light for each room is on the cards.
  • A rucksack – Hubs and I like to walk with the kids, but taking them means you can’t go without supplies. I need a bag that is big enough to put the essentials in, but small enough not to be too heavy.
  • Camping towels – without a dryer to throw the towels in, I found that getting them dry between showers a bit of a nightmare. So this year we’re all going to have special camping towels, so they dry quickly ready for their next use.
  • A good book – a holiday wouldn’t be made without a good book. Now that the girls are getting older, I’ve found I can sneak a few pages in here and there whilst they play!

I thought I’d ask my fellow bloggers how they prepare for the new camping season, here’s what they had to say;

Emma from Happy Family Hub: ‘Put the tent up for a good airing (and to check it’s all there) well before you go. Also don’t leave finding where the plastic mallet has gone to until the last-minute! (Speaking from experience there…)’

Jaime from Our Family Homestead: ‘Make sure you have a good checklist! and don’t forget to check your camping gas canisters!’

Clare from This Mummy’s Always Write: ‘Earplugs, warm socks and head torches are my essential items. Also an electric hook up makes life a lot easier.’

Janet from Falcondale Life: ‘Air everything in the garden on the first warm dry day of the year. Especially open out and air the sleeping bags. Buy tent seam sealant and re-seal the seams the first time you pitch it each year. It’s quite easy to do, you just run the tube over the length of the seam and let it dry.’


Thankyou to all who contributed to this post!


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Your Honeymoon – What the Maldives has to Offer

Your Honeymoon – What the Maldives has to Offer

*This post was written in collaboration with


When I think of the perfect honeymoon, I think of somewhere hot. Somewhere with white sandy beaches and a crystal clear ocean. I think of trying out something new, something that will help make memories that will last forever. I also think of somewhere relaxing, somewhere that allows for a complete rest from everyday life. That’s why when I think of the ideal honeymoon destination, I think of the Maldives. It has so much to offer, making it the top of many a newly weds a list of places to visit! With a little help from, I’ve put together a selection of what the Maldives has to offer for your honeymoon.

Scuba diving –

The Maldives is a picturesque location when it comes to diving. Even if you aren’t an experienced diver, there are companies that will walk you through the process, enabling you to make the most of the experience. If you’re a seasoned diver, you’re in for a real treat! Divers in the Maldives have reported getting up close and personal with stingrays, whale sharks, turtles, seahorses, crabs and lobsters! You can take an under water camera along too, so that you can take others on the incredible journey with you when you return home.

Snorkelling –

If deep-sea diving isn’t for you, then the Maldives has gorgeous reefs that you can snorkel through instead. These colourful reefs are home to vibrant shoals of fish and all sorts of other weird and wonderful species. Visiting these extraordinary habitats is a once in a lifetime experience, it also gives you a greater understanding of why we have to look after our oceans. If you do honeymoon in the Maldives, snorkelling is an absolute must.

Dolphin spotting –

Looking out over the calm ocean, it’s not unusual for holiday makers to spot a pod of dolphins in the distance. There are also trips available, so that you can head further out to sea to get a closer look. Seeing dolphins so playful, happy and carefree in their natural environment is a sight not to be missed. It’s just beautiful.

Boat trips –

There are so many boat trips to choose from that depart from the Maldives, depending on what kind of trip you’re after. If it’s relaxation you want, they you can go out on a twilight cruise into the sunset. Enjoying a champagne supper as you take in the views. There are also trips to other islands, where you can witness the everyday lives of the locals. You can sample the favourite foods of the natives and enjoy what the local entertainers have in store.

Spa visits –

If you’re looking for a relaxing honeymoon, then visiting a spa on your break is essential. You can have treatments as couple or by yourself, you can relax on a private area of the beach and you can enjoy the cool waters of the pools. Whether you do this with your other half or by yourself, you’re sure to feel renewed and refreshed.

Honeymooning in the Maldives is an experience you and your partner will never forget. It’s a place of so much beauty, you’ll fall in love with it and never want to leave!


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Our Family Holiday at Bluestone Wales

Our Family Holiday at Bluestone Wales

*We were gifted a mid-week break at Bluestone National Park resorts for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.


Recently, we were lucky enough to be invited to enjoy a mid-week break at Bluestone National Park Resort in Wales. My husband has wanted to holiday at Bluestone for some time now. He’d heard so many good reports from friends and colleagues about the place, so needless to say he was so excited to finally get to stay. Holidaying with two toddlers is never easy, but Bluestone promised so much fun and something to do whatever the weather.  We had high hopes for an extra special family holiday!

Perusing over the Bluestone Wales website before we went, I noticed that there were many activities that we could book before hand. Including hiring bikes and golf buggies for the week. There were also tonnes of activities included in our holiday, such as the Blue Lagoon swimming pool and a large activity centre. As it was our first time, we didn’t know what to expect and so we didn’t book anything beforehand. When we arrived though, we decided that we would hire a golf buggy for the week. The Bluestone site is huge and quite hilly, as much as our girls love to walk sometimes it proved a little too tiring for them. The golf buggy helped us get around the site with ease and our girls thought it was so much fun!



Free range fun –

The guys at Bluestone are huge believers in free range fun. The landscape and the activities they provide encourage both adults and kids to get outdoors and enjoy being with nature in the fresh air. This kind of holiday is perfect for us as a family, so when we found out that our lodge was right on the edge of the lake, we couldn’t have been happier. The girls loved walking around the lake and into the surrounding woodland each day. I loved waking up to such a beautiful view too!

When the weather is bad, there’s still so much fun to be had at Bluestone. Our girls were fans of the Blue Lagoon swimming pool. It has two smaller pools, including a special baby and toddler area, which is ideal when you have little children. The large pool has a wave machine and a lazy river, so there’s something for everyone. Our girls loved that the lazy river took you outside, especially when the sun was shining!

I was amazed by the activity centre at Bluestone. There’s something for every age group, including mini golf, soft play, a bouncy castle and a climbing wall. There’s a cafe for the adults too, which serves a mean burger if you’re feeling a bit peckish! The weather on our first day was particularly bad, so the activity centre was an absolute god send. The kids had so much fun and were completely worn out. If we’d holidayed anywhere else we’d have been cooped up all day, which with toddlers is almost always a disaster!


Idyllic surroundings –

Every which way you turn at Bluestone, you’re met by idyllic surroundings. My favourite part of the site is Camp Smokey! It’s a restaurant down in the woods, just by a stream with a small ford. We went down there one evening when it was quiet and it was just perfect. The kids loved playing in the stream and throwing sticks into the water from the bridge. We found a bench and the girls had their supper surrounded by nature. It was one of those night where the planets aligned and we all felt utterly content.

The village area of Bluestone has two playgrounds for the kids. One for the older children and an area specifically for tots. As our girls are in between ages, they enjoyed both playgrounds thoroughly! There are tree houses with walkways that join the two playgrounds, each tree house has a fun activity in it which were a massive hit with our girls. The village also has a grocery shop, coffee shop, restaurant, spa and a couple of boutique stores. We had lunch in this area a few times over our stay, the girls even enjoyed an ice cream in the sun!


Returning to Bluestone –

Bluestone National Park Resort is definitely somewhere we’ll holiday again. It has everything you need for the whole family to enjoy their stay to the full. Next time we stay, I’m determined to book myself into the spa for a little pamper and Hubs would love to go to the shindig down at Camp Smokey. We made some amazing family memories at Bluestone, it’s a holiday that will take some beating!



Take a sneek peek into life at Bluestone –



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Our Camping Adventures and Why we Love #VanLife!

Our Camping Adventures and Why we Love #VanLife!

*This post was written in collaboration with Sherwood Campers. 


This year, Hubs and I have decided to take our girls camping. As a well seasoned camper myself, I know it’s something our girls will absolutely love. I have so many good memories from the camping trips I’ve had over the years. We’ve stayed in everything from standard tents to trailer tents and from caravans to folding campers. You name it, we’ve had an adventure in it!


Matching campers!

Getting outdoors –

I’ve always loved spending time outdoors and now that our girls are getting a little older, they adore heading out to explore too. That’s why we’ve decided to make a real effort to get our girls out into the fresh air as much as possible! There are so many places that we want to visit in the UK, I’ve never visited Scotland so I think that will be first on our list. To tour such a vast area though, I think we’ll need to enlist the help of my parent’s VW camper! It has everything we need on board, to make the journey as fun and as comfortable as possible.

My parents have been VW lovers for quite some time, this isn’t the first camper they’ve had to go on holiday in. Over the years they’ve had a few different models, all of them offering a little something different to the whole camping experience. At one time they even looked into a VW camper specialist, to convert their VW into a unique living space. In fact, they love them that much, they bought the girls a miniature pink version too!


Peeking through the roof!


Why we love #VanLife  –

The beauty of holidaying in a camper van, is that your accommodation is on wheels. You can jump in and head to where ever takes your fancy, with all of your home comforts by your side. Inside is your very own space, to live and to make some amazing memories with your family. Both of our girls love to spend time in their grandparent’s camper, that’s why we knew they would love to go on holiday in it too!

Here are a few benefits of holidaying in a VW camper;

  • The roof pops up to expand your living space, providing you with a large bed. There’s also a safety net attached for the little ones!
  • They have so much storage, you’re sure to fit in everything you need to take with you.
  • Some even have toilets and cookers inside, meaning you can stay in the most remote areas and not have to worry about facilities.
  •  They have a table and chairs neatly hidden away. So you’ll always be able to eat in comfort on holiday, inside or outside of the camper.
  • You can attach canopy’s and awnings to the side of your camper, making your living space bigger when you’ve pitched up for the night.
  • They are a dream to drive, making your cruise around the country a total pleasure!


In the roof space!

Have you always wondered what it would be like to holiday in a VW Camper? You can follow our camping journey over on Instagram!

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Holidaying in Corfu – Memories that Last a Lifetime

Holidaying in Corfu – Memories that Last a Lifetime

*This post was written in collaboration with Holiday Gems.


Of all of the holidays we go on, there are just some that really stick in ours minds. We’ve all had those breaks where we feel so much happiness and contentment, like we never want to go home. Those destinations that find a place in our hearts and where we create memories that really do last a lifetime. For our family, most of our Holiday Gems, memories that we’ll always hold onto, were made in the beautiful Corfu.


Happiness and contentment –

The first time we visited Corfu, we were instantly taken aback by how beautiful and the blue the sea is over there. When the sun shines on the water it’s as though the ocean sparkles right back at you. There’s nothing more idyllic than taking in the evening sun, with the warm breeze passing by and the sea twinkling at you as the waves move. It makes you feel so content, like you’re the only people in the world with no worries on your mind. Not only is the sea crystal clear, it’s also warm. There’s just something about dipping your toes in to a warm ocean at the end of the day. Utter bliss!


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Adventure and exploration –

As much as we like to rest on holiday and take some time out from the stresses and strains of everyday life. We also like to have a little adventure and explore the local surroundings. Heading out of the centre of Corfu is a real eye opener and an experience that we will never forget. We hired mopeds, which was an adventure in itself and headed out into the ‘sticks’. Far away from the hustle bustle of the tourist locations, that are so different from real life in Corfu.

There were women dressed in what we’d see as rags, working in the heat of the day. They had donkeys to help them with their tasks. The donkeys also carried baskets of fruit over their backs, it’s amazing to see these old methods of work still well practised. We’ll also never forget the snakes that would slither across the road in front of us, out to get warm in the midday sun. I’m not a snake fan and wouldn’t get close to them, nevertheless the apparent normality of the occurrence is something I won’t forget!

One of the most amazing things about the landscape in Corfu are the rows of brightly coloured lemon trees. The people over here live off of the land so much more than we do and it’s humbling to see how happy it makes them. I really do think we could learn a lot from their way of life.


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Celebrations –

We also love to have a little fun whilst on holiday. One of the best ways to do this is to experience the culture of the place you’re visiting. Whilst in Corfu we had one of the best nights we’ve ever had, when we experienced the kinds of cultural dancing that we just don’t see over here. Not only did the locals have moves to put ours to shame, they also threw in a little plate smashing for good measure. I’ve never appreciated before just how fun a little plate smashing can be!


Where is your favourite holiday destination?

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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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Having an Elf-tastic Christmas with Tesco & Hallmark!

Having an Elf-tastic Christmas with Tesco & Hallmark!

Christmas is just around the corner and we are getting so excited.  There are so many traditions that we dreamt about starting when our eldest was born and this year has been the year for us to begin! From new pyjamas on Christmas eve, to Christmas crafting and stockings stuffed with presents. This year is set to be one of the best Christmases yet!

The most important tradition that our girls are yet to be introduced to, is our Christmas eve movie marathon! We settle down in our new pyjamas, to watch a selection of some of the best Christmas movies of all time. The last one we watch and the best of the bunch, is Elf! It’s my all-time favourite festive movie and I can’t wait for our girls to watch it for the first time.

This year thanks to Tesco and Hallmark, we’re going to give our girls the most Elf-tastic Christmas! We have the perfect hamper to make their first Elf experience out of this world. They have jelly beans to snack on, whilst Hubs and I set the scene with magic snow and streams of tinsel. Then we’ll settle down with our Christmas hats at the ready to watch Buddy the Elf in action. They’re sure to love the film as much as I do!


A Festive Competition!

Tesco are running an in-store competition offering one lucky winner the chance to get their hands on a £2000 gift card, to use towards the holiday of their dreams! To enter, all you have to do is pick up an Elf card and an entry form from one of the participating stores across the UK!  You can find out more HERE! 

Do you have any Christmas traditions?


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*This post was written in collaboration with Tesco & Hallmark.

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