27 March 2018

Why I love the Skip Hop Greenwich Backpack

I’m a little bit in love with my new Skip Hop backpack. A decent 'mum bag' is an absolute must have and so worth the investment. Skip Hop pride themselves on a range of 'Must-Haves, Made Better' and I have to say their Greenwich backpack definitely ticks that box for me. It’s stylish, practical and roomy enough for all three of my children’s things when we head out for the day. 

The backpack is really cleverly designed as a changing bag which will see you through the baby days and beyond. Babies come with so much stuff and I remember as a new mum trying to cram everything in to a bag in order to leave the house confidently  - nappies, wipes, vests, sleep suits, muslin cloths, comforters, toys and a spare blanket to name just a few things.


Skip Hop Greenwich Backpack - Dusky Rose

The girls are now 6,4 and 2 so even though the baby days are behind us the amount of stuff we still need to take out and about with us is bonkers. There are changes of clothes, for muddy puddle or dripped ice cream incidents, water bottles and snacks, sunhats or bobble hats, suncream, tissues and an emergency pack of wipes. I also like to pack things like little colouring or sticker books and a box of pencils for when we're eating out or sitting in a cafe to keep the girls entertained. Then there are my things - my keys, purse, phone and I’m not often without my camera on a day out.  


Skip Hop Greenwich Backpack - Dusky Rose


There is plenty of room for all this in the Greenwich Backpack with nine handy compartments/pockets to organise it all in so it can be easily located.  I love the front and side pockets in particular for quick access to my things like the car keys. For mums with children in nappies it comes with a cushioned changing pad for nappy changes out and about. The pad pocket also holds tablets and laptops up to 15” which is perfect if you’re travelling or perhaps just using it ‘sans baby stuff’ as it’s certainly chic enough to use as a handy day bag. It's larger than I thought it would be and i'm amazed at just how much stuff I can fit in it.


Skip Hop Greenwich Backpack - Dusky Rose

We love an adventure so it’s great to just be able to pop everything in the bag and go knowing I have all bases covered, all in one place. The thing I love most about the backpack is that I’m handsfree meaning I can hold little hands, carry little ladies with tired legs, push the pushchair and have everything to hand when I need it. I find it so much easier to take out and about than a conventional changing bag. It’s really comfortable to wear even when fully packed, with adjustable, padded straps and fits over my coat. It’s does also come with stroller straps so you can attach it to your pushchair handle which is really convenient.


Skip Hop Greenwich Backpack - Dusky Rose

The leather finish is beautiful and wipes clean which is brilliant to keep it clean and looking it’s best.  I just had to have it in Dusty Rose but it’s also available in several other gorgeous colour ways. The colour ways are all neutral meaning they go with everything. I love the little finishes like the tassel straps and gold detailing, it gives it such a luxurious feel which doesn’t feel at all ‘mumsy'. It is so well designed and super functional.


Skip Hop Greenwich Backpack - Dusky Rose


We were already big fans of Skip Hop with the girls all owning one of their Children's Rucksacks each and matching lunchies so it is only right that I now have one too. Mine is packed and ready for our next outing, meaning I can relax and enjoy the day with my girls knowing I have everything covered in a bag Mary Poppins would be proud of. 


Me x


*This is a collaborative post. 
We were kindly sent the Greenwich Backpack featured in this post to review.
Alll thoughts and opinions are my own*

8 March 2018

Seeking Sunshine With Mark Warner

There is something so lovely about sunshine, something so restorative, something that warms you inside and out. My favourite thing about sunshine is that it makes you appreciate all of the simple things in life like ice cream, walking barefoot and being outdoors.


Summer is my favourite time of year and when we have our best adventures as a family, but the sunshine is a unreliable in this country and there is always the distraction of daily life. I'm not sure if it's the very long, cold winter we've had, but this year more than ever I am craving a holiday abroad and I would really love to take our girls on a search for the sun.


I dream of long hazy days in the Mediterranean both adventuring and taking it slowly, swimming and building sandcastles and exploring until we're that lovely kind of tired that you only feel at the end of day out in the sunshine.


There are so many places I'd love to go and flicking through this year's Beach Resorts brochure from Mark Warner has reignited a desire to go abroad, and a passion for travel - something we haven't done an awful lot of since having the girls. Holidays with a young family can sometimes feel like simply a change of scene, but something tells me that a Mark Warner holiday would not only be a stunning change of scene, but a wonderful family adventure too. I've narrowed my shortlist down to three destinations...



Sardinia

I have always wanted to visit Sardinia, sandy beaches, crystal clear sea, Italian food and the epitome of the laid back Mediterranean I'm currently craving. Mark Warner's Perdepera Beach Resort ticks so many boxes on my family holiday wish list - it's perfectly located to explore the island, offering what looks like a serene setting to relax and unwind in and just enjoy the moment. There is a beach just a few steps away, shaded gardens for the girls to play in and a pool to cool off in. I love the look of the little villas that make up the resort which offer family rooms and interconnecting rooms - perfect for a family of five like us. There are plenty of activities to keep everyone busy and the option of children's clubs too and the flight time is under 3hrs which having never flown with all three girls before definitely appeals!

Greece

I spent many a summer in Greece as a child and have such fond memories of it. The whitewashed buildings, blue seas and olive groves of Mark Warner's Levante Beach Resort in Rhodes look absolutely incredible. If I close my eyes I can imagine warm, breezy nights eating Tzatziki and Souvlaki in a taverna, with the sound of the sea in the background - bliss! There's plenty to wear the girls out too including six swimming pools, access to a beach, and a play area and watersports for us all to try.

Turkey

Oli and I went on our first holiday together to Turkey and I'd love to go back one day with the girls. Mark Warner are adding a brand new resort to their collection in Turkey this year and it looks perfect for soaking up the sunshine. The Phokaia Beach Resort is situated in it's own little bay, nestled amongst the hills. It looks like somewhere you could really escape to, with amazing facilities and I think that's what sets Mark Warner apart for me. Their resorts are luxurious, yet relaxed and all about enjoying moments and making memories - it seems that the only difficult thing about a Mark Warner holiday is choosing where to go!

Me x

*This is our entry to the 2018 Mark Warner Ambassador Programme. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own*


5 March 2018

Choosing Children's Beds With GLTC

Parenting is full of milestones which mark the that fact your children are changing and growing up. They serve as little markers of their childhood meaning I often feel emotional as we leave one stage behind and enter another. Moving the girls into their first proper beds was a big milestone for us and the girls, one which we were all excited about even if it did kind of mark the end of an era. The girls seem to grow overnight at the moment and at six and four (although still fairly dinky for their age), Ellie and Phoebe were definitely ready for full size single beds. Our friends at Great Little Trading Co were on hand to give us a helping hand with their fab selection of bedroom furniture.


There was so much to consider practically along with the emotional side of dismantling the cotbeds that they've slept in since they were tiny. I wanted to share with you all the things we thought about when choosing the girls' beds and what was important to us when making decisions.

Practicality

The practicality of the space we have was really important as the beds needed to fit comfortably in the bedroom that the girls currently share. We had considered bunk beds but due to a sloped ceiling in the room we decided that two single beds would work best for us and chose two white Star Bright Beds. Great Little Trading Company have a great range of single, mid sleeper, cabin and and bunk beds giving you plenty of choice but not overwhelming you with too many options. Whatever your room shape or size there is sure to be something in the range that will work for you and the neutral colours of the beds mean that while the room decor might change, the bed will always tie in with your scheme.


Quality

I knew straight away that I could rely on GLTC for a bed that was high quality, stylish and built to last. I didn't want to be replacing the beds in a few years time and felt an investment in well designed bed was absolutely worth it. The Star Bright beds did not disappoint and with a 10 year guarantee I'm hoping that they will see the girls through well into the teenage years. The frames are made from solid wood with MDF panels and a pine slatted base which fixes to the frame giving it lots of stability. We are so impressed with the quality of them.


The beds arrived quickly in three really well packaged boxes each with just 5 parts which were very well protected. They come with a Allen key and simple to follow instructions meaning they can be built quickly. The parts of the bed are all labelled to ensure that you assemble it the right way up which was also really helpful. It's these little things that make something potentially stressful, really straightforward, and meant both beds were built in just under an hour.

Comfort

When your children are spending 10-12 hours in their beds at night it's so important that they are comfortable so they can get a good night's sleep. I really wanted a high quality, breathable mattress, which was soft and supportive. We chose two Express all Rounder Mattresses which were delivered in just three days. They arrived rolled up and once unrolled just needed a few hours to air before being ready to sleep on. They have an anti allergy finish and breathable side vents and a soft quilted cover. I am really impressed with them and have serious mattress envy! I'd really recommend getting some waterproof mattress protectors to help protect them as with children that accidents and illness are likely!



We added 7.0 tog microfibre duvets to the beds snuggle up under which feel ever so luxurious and provide the right amount of warmth without too much weight. We also added a microfibre pillow to each bed which is lovely and plump whist being soft and supportive. A huge is that both the duvets and pillows can go in the washing machine at 60 degrees. Finally to dress the beds we chose some  of GLTC's gorgeously soft cotton bedding in the reversible Bunny Hop and Pink Spot Design. The simple printed design looks great on the bed and the girls like that they can be the same but different with one having one side and the other having the other. I also couldn't resist two Grey Star Blankets for the end of the beds, ready to pull up and add an extra layer for chillier nights or as a light layer on it's own on warmer nights.


Other furniture in the room

With the girls sharing a room we needed to think carefully about the other furniture in the room and where all their things were going to go. We needed to maximise all the available storage space we had and think smart. Due to the sloped ceiling in the room there isn't space for a wardrobe so we chose 6 under bed truckle drawers to house their pyjamas underwear and school uniform. I absolutely love these drawers, they are a perfect fit to the GLTC beds and slide in and out with ease on little castor wheels. They have given the girls some independence to get their own things out and putting their washing away is now super quick.


We also added a Star Bright Chest of Drawers for the rest of their clothes, it's low enough to put next to one of the beds and doubles up as a bedtime shelf for a drink, with plenty of surface space on top for displaying toys for example. The gap left next to the other bed was quite small and I wasn't sure whether I'd find anything suitable to fit there, but I should not have doubted GLTC as their Potter Bookcase fits perfectly and provides another space for the girls belongings and nightlight. Finally, we have mountains of books and lost our little book nook space in the room re-shuffle so we chose a large Gallery Bookshelf for one of the walls to house some of the girls favourites which we rotate.


Ellie and Phoebe absolutely adore their new beds and feel so grown up, it's so lovely to see. It's wonderful to be able to sit on their beds comfortably with them and share a bedtime story and hear all about the favourite bit of their day as we tuck them in. Or to find them snuggled up together reading a book or hiding under the covers from or each other!


As I leave their room each night I can't help but glance back and notice how tiny they look in their 'big girls beds' but know only too well that they will grow into them in the blink of an eye. It is hard leaving one stage behind, but I've realised that each new stage brings it's own magical moments to enjoy.

Me x

*This is a collaborative post as part of our GLTC Testing Team role. 
We were kindly gifted the beds, mattresses, bedding and under bed storage drawers in exchange for an honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own*