Category Archives: Travel

Elephant Parade London 2018

When I first saw on Facebook that the Elephant Parade London 2018 was coming to London this Summer I couldn’t wait for the holidays to take the boys into London to look for them.

I have loved the Elephant Parade statues for a while now and a few years ago brought our very own herd. One for me, one for Daddy and one for each of the boys. They have so many hand painted gorgeous designs to choose from but I chose ‘A love story’ and the biggest one is one of only 88 made. We have the the 10cm (£39.95) the 15cm (69.95) the 20cm (£99.95) and the large 30cm one (£259.00). We absolutely love them and love that 20% of Elephant Parade net profits are donated to elephant welfare and conservation projects.

‘Elephant Parade® is a social enterprise and runs the world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues. Created by artists and celebrities, each Elephant Parade statue is a unique art piece. The life-size, baby elephant statues are exhibited in international cities and raise awareness for the need of elephant conservation.’

Now for this Summer you can take a walk around London and spot the hand painted gorgeous Elephant’s for yourself. There is also a pop up store selling replica elephants at 20 South Molton Street City of Westminster London W1K 5QE.

The Elephant Parade London 2018 runs from the 21st June until the 18th July 2018!

‘The Elephants around London will then be auctioned off at a high-profile dinner and auction conducted by Sotheby’s Harry Dalmeny, on 28th of June at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, attended by members of the Royal Family, key conservationists and society figures. Money raised will help protect Asia’s endangered elephants and support projects that protect not only wild elephants and their habitats but the people who share their landscapes.’ I would so love to own a giant version of one to have in the garden!

Enjoy the parade and I can’t wait to see your photos!

The Diono Traverze Stroller Review

With our Summer holidays coming up I had been on the look out for a light weight travel friendly stroller with a good recline for when Archie needs to have a nap on holiday and also a stroller with a large basket. He always naps after lunch when we are away and having a good recline on a small stroller was harder to find than I imagined. When we received the Diono Traverze to review about a month ago I was excited to try it out as I had done my research and it ticked all of the boxes I was looking for.

Image result for the diono traverze

When it arrived I got it out of the box and ours is in the Summery ‘Yellow Sulphar Linear’ colour which I love! There are 6 lovely colours to choose from. There was no putting together involved and once out of the box I followed the easy instructions and had the stroller unfolded and was up in seconds. The instant fold is so easy and quick to use, one-handed and the stroller itself folds so small. (Height 60cm, Width 41.5cm and Depth 23.5cm.) It is also so light to carry too at only 12.3lbs.

Our first trip using the Traverze was to Cardiff. We took the boys to the Principality stadium to watch Monster Jam. It was easy to steer through the busy streets of the city and once inside I folded the stroller which was small enough for me to carry through security and to our seats and fitted neatly under my seat not blocking the walk way at all. I found this so easy and much less stressful than travelling with a larger fold stroller as I would have then had to drop it into a designated area and then would have had to queue to go and retrieve it afterwards. Also carrying it up the steep stairs to our seats was easy too as its so light! We also had to park quite far away from the stadium and Archie was tired afterwards and jumped straight in, instead of us having to carry him on the 20 minute walk back to our car at 7pm. On our first trip using the Traverze I was totally sold and could really appreciate having a smaller, light weight stroller. The basket is also huge underneath, which fitted Archie’s carry potty, spare clothes and a few other bits easily.

A couple of weeks ago Oscar went out for the day with his Godfather and his sons to watch the rugby so Greg and I decided to take Archie into London for the day. To be honest I always drive into London as I always get so anxious about getting to a station and it having no lifts and having to carry Archie and a folded stroller on the very steep escalators. Now we have the Traverze we decided to take the train instead. When we got to Knightsbridge there was an escalator and stairs up to the main road, Greg carried Archie and I carried the stroller with no problems at all. The small compact fold also came in useful when we stopped for lunch as I just put the folded stroller under the table out of the way. Again pushing the Traverze through the busy streets of London was a breeze with the smooth rolling, never flat wheels, with shock absorbers and all-wheel suspension. It turns so easy with one hand with the swivel wheels making steering super easy.

The stroller also has a very secure 5-point harness with removable plush pads. The straps are easy to adjust to fit your child and when we were on the train and when getting on and off the trains having Archie comfortable and secure made me less anxiousabout travellin g on the train with him. I will defiantly travel on the trains into London more now that I know it’s so much easier using the Traverze.

During half term we ventured down to Devon for a couple of days. Packing the Traverze in the boot with our bags wasn’t an issue as it takes up only a quarter of my boot. It really is the perfect travel stroller. We went to Durdle Door on the Monday and had a really long walk from the car park to the beach. Once we got to the beach there were around 150 steps down to the beach which was easy with the folded stroller. On the way back up the hill to the car it was so far and we were so glad we took it with us for Archie’s tired little legs.

The long break bar at the back makes it really easy to use in any shoes, even bare feet. The handle is the perfect height as well, I am short at 5ft 2 and it was fine for me and equally Greg is 6ft and found the height fine as well.

The Traverze comes with a rain cover and waterproof travel bag. Once the stroller is in the travel bag it has a telescopic extendable luggage style handle to make pulling it through an airport even easier. It also fits in most overhead cabins on the plane. We go away next month and can’t wait to see how we get on travelling abroad with it! Especially as we have a late flight on the way home so Archie can sleep in the Traverze right up until we board the plane. Don’t worry I will post another review once we have been on holiday.

I absolutely love the Diono Traverze and it has made travelling and days out so much easier! It gets 10 out of 10 from us! The Diono Traverze has an RRP of £250. Mothercare have two exclusive colours, black facet and orange.

 

Disclaimer: We were gifted the Diono Traverze for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own.

Potty Training In A Day!

When Oscar went back to school two weeks ago I had it set in my mind that I would attempt to potty train Archie again. I’ve tried twice before, once last October and once in January. When I say tried this consisted of Archie crying repeatedly for his nappy back and holding his wee for almost five hours until I eventually gave in and put his nappy back on. He obviously wasn’t ready and there was no real need for me to potty train him if it was going to upset and distress him. I even asked a health visitor and she reassured me he would do it when he was ready.

It was so different with Oscar. Oscar was 2 years and 4 months old when I potty trained him, it was easy, he got it quite quickly and that was it. I did start panicking that Archie was 3 years old and we still hadn’t cracked it. It was also easier as there was just Oscar and I stayed at home all week to focus just on potty training. This time around with Archie I had to do it between school runs, swimming lessons, football training and everything else we do during the week.

So when Oscar returned back to school on Tuesday the 24th of April after the Easter break,  I decided that we needed to crack it before the next half term at the end of May and I especially wanted to do it before we go on holiday as I didn’t want to be taking any nappies with us. On the Thursday, the 26th we dropped Oscar to school, came home and I told Archie that the shops have no more nappies and he had to use the potty. At 10am he had an accident and got upset as he didn’t like being wet. Since then he hasn’t had one accident! He just got it straight away. Being that bit older, he understood he needed to wee/poo on the potty and had better bladder control. He also was so proud of himself each time he went on the potty and giving him lots of praise and cuddles really pleased him. We even had to facetime Daddy at work after his first ever wee on the potty as he wanted to show him!

On the first day he held out on doing a number 2 but the next day he was fine and ever since then he has been so good and just lets me know he needs the toilet and sits on his Fisher Price Thomas potty and goes. When he goes to the toilet his Thomas potty plays the theme tune which he absolutely loves. It also lets me know if I’m in another room that he has gone.

For when we are out and about I brought a My Carry Potty, I had one with Oscar and they are great. You simply open it up and let them go to the toilet and then you can shut it and the seal stops it from leaking until your by a toilet to empty and clean it. I also carry a little bag around with me with wipes, spare pants, socks and trousers in it from Annie With Alex.

At night time I had noticed for quite a few months that his nappy was always dry in the morning and he would do a wee within half an hour of being awake. So not to confuse him I brought the Huggies Night Time Pull Ups which have been dry ever night and he gets up in the morning and goes straight on the potty.

Image result for huggies pull ups

I’m so proud of Archie and how well he has done and it just goes to show waiting until he was ready made all the difference!

    

Our Amazing Day With Yellow Zebra Safari’s

Today we drove into London to a really special event hosted by Yellow Zebra Safari’s. If you haven’t heard of Yellow Zebra Safari’s before they are an award-winning luxury and adventure travel company specialising in African Safari’s. Taking Oscar and Archie on Safari has always been on our bucket list and as I have never been on one myself I just can’t wait to go! Taking your family on Safari is a trip of a life time with memories that are made that will last forever. Both our boys absolutely love animals and wherever we go a bag of Schleich animals comes along too. Oscar has said for a couple of years now that he would love to be a Zoo Keeper. So when we were invited to a fun-filled Safari day out I knew the boys would be so excited!

‘The opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat, to watch a herd of elephant walk past their vehicle, to spot a cheetah with its cubs, or listen to a pride of lions roaring at night. It is a magical experience that they will never forget.’

When we arrived the Safari themed room looked amazing. We had been told before hand that we would have a chance to meet some animals today. We met Safari Pete who Oscar and Greg couldn’t stop asking him questions. He knows everything you need to know about animals and safari’s and is a fountain of knowledge. Safari Pete is a wildlife adventurer and conservationist and works closely with the Yellow Zebra Safari team. His stories of his adventures are amazing and his knowledge of animals is amazing.

We were fortunate enough to meet several of Pete’s animals; Gumbo the Toad, Pinchy the Scorpion, Juliet the Barn Owl, two lizards, Boo-Boo the Monitor Lizard, Jay-Z the Crocodile, a snake, Lady Gaga the Tarantula and Steve and Baby Bear the Meerkat’s. Oscar was so lucky and got called up to hold the crocodile. We also got to see the lizards, snake and crocodile catch and eat their prey, which was really amazing. I had never seen this up close before. It’s incredible how quick the crocodile reacts to his prey and how the snake is able to swallow his meal whole.

We then sat down to our Safari themed lunch which was very yummy!

When booking a Family Safari with Yellow Zebra Safari’s you know you are getting the very best of everything. They will recommend to you based on the ages of your children where is best to travel too. Their team is made up entirely of professional safari guides, camp managers and people who were born and raised in Africa so you are getting the best knowledge and advice when designing your perfect trip. For example if you go on to thier website, we are a family of four with Oscar who is 8 and Archie who is 3. Archie being Under 6 they advise to stay somewhere that is malaria free. For us at this time a Safari in South Africa would be perfect for us. The Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands offer epic ‘Big Five’ viewing, while the malaria-free safari reserves of ‘SA’ cater well for families. The accommodation choices all look out of this World, from lodges to hotels there is the perfect stay to choose from for everyone.

When Archie is 6 we can then all go to Kenya which is home to Maasai Mara National Reserve which is the place to visit if you are looking for a safari, super size. In Kenya is a hotel in particular that has been on my bucket list for a few years now and I know the boys will love it. It is called Giraffe Manor,  most of the hotel grounds incorporates the Giraffe Centre of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife and a group of giraffes lives in the Manor’s grounds, they even put their heads through the windows to say hello.

Image result for giraffe manor

 ‘EUROPE’S LEADING SAFARI TOUR OPERATOR’ IN 2015, 2016 & 2017′

After lunch we got to meet the Meerkat’s again and Oscar and I had one of them on our shoulder. They are Grandad’s favourite animal so he will be very jealous!

Oscar and Archie then got to choose a ceramic animal to paint which was great fun and now has pride of place in the playroom.

We had such a lovely day with Yellow Zebra Safari’s and can’t thank them enough for the wonderful experience the boys had meeting all of the animals and a big thank you to Safari Pete too. I am definitely booking one of his animal parties for Oscar’s next birthday! It was also lovely to catch up with Ruth and her family from Rock ‘N’ Roller Baby Blog.

*This post is in collaboration with Yellow Zebra Safari’s

Our Trip To Alton Towers & Stay At The Enchanted Village

Last Sunday after Oscar’s football match we got in the car and drove the two and a half hour drive to Alton Towers. The boys had no idea where we were going, we just told them we were going somewhere and staying away for the night. They were so constantly asking where we were going the whole way there and when we finally drove into the park and noticed the ‘Alton Towers’ sign they were so excited! We followed the signs to the Enchanted Village parking and headed to the reception to check in. Check in was really quick and then we walked to our Woodland Lodge.

The Woodland Lodges are really cute and the Enchanted Village really does look magical. Our Lodge had two bedrooms and a bathroom and everything you needed for a comfortable nights stay. We chucked our bags in to the lodge and headed to the Extraordinary mini golf course and played 9 holes. Oscar managed to get a hole in one on the first hole! It was great fun. We then walked to the monorail station and took the short ride to the theme park.

As it was already around 3pm we decided to head straight to CBeebies Land. Archie’s face was a picture when he saw the rides with all his favourite TV programmes on. We went on the Postman Pat ride, the In The Night Garden Magical Boat Ride and on the Get Set Go Tree Top Adventure. It started to rain so we walked back to the Monorail to head back to our lodge. As it was 5pm and the monorail is also used to get back to the car parks as well as the hotels the queue was massive. We had to wait around 45 minutes to catch the monorail. By the time we got to the other end it was tipping down, we ran the usual 5 minute walk back to the lodge and got absolutely soaked.

Back at the lodge we showered and got ready to go to dinner. I booked the Secret Garden restaurant a few days before our stay as the restaurants get booked up really quickly. We walked to the Alton Towers Main Hotel where the restaurant was. The food was really nice and the staff were really friendly. Oscar and Archie loved the ice cream factory where they got to make their own ice creams covered in sauce and sweets. Dinner for the four of us with drinks was around £50.

If you are staying on the resort there is entertainment in the evenings (check the entertainment board and your hotel reception for details). After dinner we caught ten minutes of the entertainment before getting an early night ready for a full day in the park the next day.

Day 2

We headed to the Crooked Spoon for breakfast at 8.45am, again I booked our breakfast before we arrived. The breakfast was really good and then we checked out and out the bags in the car and then walked to the monorail station as with our stay we have early access into the park. We got the monorail at 9.30am and again the queue was absolutely huge so we decided to walk to the park instead of wait. The walk took about 15 minutes. When we got to the park we headed to CBeebies land to finish off the rides. We went on the Go Jetters ride and the Octonauts rollercoaster. We found that as Archie is 0.9m he could go on a lot of rides in the park throughout the day.

We then walked to the Katanga Canyon and went on the Runaway Mine Train and the Congo River Rapids. Both of these Archie could go on too. He loved the the Runaway Mine Train it was really fast, I was so surprised as I thought he wouldn’t like it. Oscar loved the fast rides and was even tall enough to go on the Wicker Man but when he saw how big it was decided to save it until next time (phew!) We headed into the Haunted House instead which was an interactive game where you have to shoot the Zombies.

We headed to the Rollercoaster Restaurant for lunch as I left it too late to book it for dinner for the night before. It is an absolute must, the experience is great fun. You order your meal and drinks and they get delivered to your table on the rollercoaster. The boys loved it, it really is a great restaurant. For the four of us to eat it was about £60 but worth it just for the experience.

We took the Cable Car ride back to Mutiny Bay and went on the rides there and got soaked on the Battle Galleons. Then we went to Cloud Cuckoo Land. After grabbing a drink at one of the many Costa’s at about 3pm we got the monorail back to the car park and started our journey home.

We had a great stay at Alton Towers and would really recommend it. The Woodland Lodges are lovely and the restaurants were great too.

A stay at one of the Woodland Lodges which includes breakfast, 2 days in the Theme park, early access into the park on Day 2, free car parking, evening entertainment and 9 holes of the Extraordinary Golf costs around £277. You can also add a waterpark ticket at the Splash Landings hotel for a day who around £50 for four people.

Below our two videos I made of our days at Alton Towers…..

My Top Toys & Games To Take On Your Travels

With the holidays in full swing and only a couple of months until the Summer holidays I thought I wad write about the top toys and games that the boys love to take on our travels. From a long car journey in the UK for a few nights away or a flight abroad, when you have children keeping them entertained is crucial to a peaceful journey.

Archie is three so keeping him entertained is obviously a little harder at the moment then Oscar who is eight. So here are my top 10 toys and games to take on your travels……

Both the boys love arts and crafts and the Crayola Colour Wonder colouring books are great. They are completely mess free so great for in the car or on an aeroplane so they don’t accidentally get any pen anywhere. I also take them into restaurants on holiday for entertaining them at the table whilst waiting for our meals. Smyths Toys stock the books that come complete with the ‘magic’ pens and have an RRP of £6.49. I always keep a few of the books in the cupboard so I always have one when needed.

An obvious one is Lego. I always buy a couple of little boxes of Lego and Duplo before we go away. They are great for getting the boys to sit quietly in the shade for half an hour and build something.

Great-Nanny brought Archie a Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet which is fantastic. The tablet is £129.99 and comes with a 2-year worry-free guarantee, 1 year of Fire For Kids Unlimited app download and a Kid-Proof Case, available in Blue, Pink and Yellow. For the money its a great deal and we have downloaded so many different apps. On my profile on it I have also downloaded Netfilx and some movies for Archie on Amazon Video. He loves it and plays little educational games on it, watches episodes of his favourite programmes and he likes having something like that of his own when Oscar is playing on his Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch is a great gaming console. We got it for Oscar for Christmas. It can be used at home in the playroom TV using the docking/charging station or as a handheld when out and about. The controls also detach from the device and using the inbuilt stand you can play against a friend using the device as a screen. He absolutely loves it and as he has never been into using an Ipad or a tablet likes to use his ‘screen’ time playing games like Mario Kart and Super Mario. The Switch is £279.99 and the games are around £40 each.

For an Easter gift Archie got the Masha and the Bear playhouse playset. He loves the programme and watches it on Netflix and we saw a TV advert for the playhouse and Archie really wanted it. He never asks for anything so we got it for him. Why it is on this list is because its nice and small and all fits inside it self and closes so you can take it on your travels. I didn’t know this when I ordered it but its brilliant and fits in my handbag!

Last year I brought some fantastic car road tape from We Are Kidly and stuck some on the aeroplane tray so Archie could play with his cars. I also used it on the sun lounger and on our hotel room floor. It comes off easily leaving no marks behind and the air hostess on the plane couldn’t believe how long it kept Archie entertained and what a genius idea it was. It is £11 for a roll and as well as road they also do a train track tape.

We love Orchard Toys and have tons of their games but they also sell different mini travel games for toddlers which are great. Archie loves playing games and doing puzzles so have mini versions to take away with you is a great idea. Oscar will join in too even if it is a bit easy/young for him.

Orchard Toys Animal Match Mini/Travel Game Orchard Toys Llamas in Pyjamas Mini / Travel GameOrchard Toys Little Bug Bingo Mini / Travel Game

When it comes to games Oscar loves Cluedo and Monopoly and games like that. But recently he has fallen in love with Top Trumps. We have a few sets of cards now, sports cars, predators and dinosaurs. They are the perfect size to fit in your bag and we take them to Nanny and Grandad’s on the weekend so they can play too. It is the perfect family travel game.

I hope you have found this useful and it’s given you a few ideas of how to keep your children entertained whilst traveling! Happy holidays!

My Separation Anxiety

Last week Archie turned 3! I can’t quite believe it and just don’t know where the time has gone. Being the second and last child I have definitely noticed more anxiety this time around watching him growing up and I just don’t want to let him go. He is so ready to start nursery and was meant to start next week but I have delayed it a term, as the time got nearer my anxiety went through the roof. He is around children a lot during the week as we go to two toddler groups, a Playball class and his swimming lesson so I know he’s not particularly missing out on anything by staying at home with me. He also needs to be potty trained to start at the nursery as we haven’t quite mastered that yet. I’m not going to lie there is a part of me that just wants him to start next September and just do one full year in nursery before reception.

Looking back Oscar didn’t go to nursery until he was three either, he started nursery on the September after his third birthday going a few mornings a week and did a year in nursery before going into reception. Again we went to lots of classes so he had lots of child interaction. Even now as Oscar’s school holidays draw to a close and he goes back to school next week I start to dread it, as I love having him at home with us and really enjoy the school holidays. During the week he has such a long school day (8.20-4.15) and then after school clubs, reading, piano practice and homework so we don’t have a lot of time during the week to do anything fun. So we make the most of the weekends and holidays.

I think in my crazy mind I think that once Archie starts nursery and he does a couple of mornings which will then lead into days and then suddenly he will be at full time school that I just want to keep him at home for as long as possible as once he starts that’s it. He’s my sidekick and goes everywhere with me so suddenly having free time to myself will be lovely but very strange. My Mother In Law said to me years ago that your children are only lent to you and then they grow up and fly the nest, I get that but it scares my how quick the time goes, Oscar is almost 8 and I wish life would just slow down.

I 100% have an issue with leaving the boys, Oscar was only left once overnight when he was 2 weeks old as it was our best friend’s wedding (he was 3 weeks early) and since then I’ve never had a night apart from either of them. This year my brother is getting married and I was invited on the hen do to Marbella. Now instantly I wanted to go, sit in the sun and have fun with the girls and then my anxiety kicked in. Leaving the boys behind even though I know they would have a fun weekend with Greg and be totally fine, the thought of being in a different country to them made me say no. Even now there is a part of my brain that says don’t be so stupid, go and enjoy yourself! Greg’s been away with his friends loads since we had children and its great to have time just being you!

I know a lot of the problems go back to when Oscar was born and he was poorly and then when he was a few weeks old he couldn’t breathe and I had to clear his airways. It scared me how quickly things can go wrong and since then have always felt safer when they are with us. Which is crazy I know.

Even me reading this post back now and I think ‘crazy lady’ and can see how I am missing out on doing certain things/trips which would be fun. But for now I just want to enjoy our boys whilst they are still young. After all when they are all grown up I will have plenty of time to do other things.

Hitchin Lavender Farm

I have wanted to go to Hitchin Lavender Farm for a few weeks since I saw lots of beautiful family photos amongst the lavender rows on Instagram but as the weather has been so awful we hand’t got to go. So on Sunday as the Sun was shining we decided to make the 30 minute journey. I packed my new Olympus Pen 8 and tripod and off we went.


Hitchin Lavender is a lavender farm attraction close to both London and Cambridge and they have 25 miles of lavender rows which you can walk through and pick your own fresh flowers from. When we arrived we parked up and paid only £11 for the four of us to get in and we got given a bag and scissors to pick and collect our own Lavender. Adults are £5.00 (picking included), Under 14’s are £1 and Under 5’s are free. You can buy additional bags to fill for £4.


The farm is open from 10am until 5pm every day throughout the season which runs from mid June until early September.


As soon as we got to the field, the smell was amazing! I love the smell of Lavender. The boys enjoyed picking their lavender and filling up their brown bags and we took so many great photos. You can also pay £50 for a professional photo shoot but if you have a good camera and a tripod you can get some great pictures.


We had a great morning, captured lots of great photos and it was a really cheap and fun family day out. We will be going back next Summer and making our family photo in the lavender rows an annual thing!

 

Our Holiday To The Sensatori Resort In Ibiza

Sensatori Ibiza

When I started looking for our Summer holiday a few months ago as Archie is two and a half and won’t sit still we thought it was a better option to pick somewhere with a shorter flight like we did last year. I went onto the Thomson website and as we have stayed at two of their 5* Sensatori resorts before in Crete and Tenerife I thought the Sensatori Ibiza one would be great location wise and the only thing that worried me was the size of the rooms in the photos. The rooms/suites we had before at the Tenerife and Crete hotels were lovely, spacious and what a proper 5* room should be like. I rang the Thomson help line and they reassured me that a double/family room would be big enough.

So on Saturday the 8th of July, the day after Oscar broke up from school we flew from Luton to Ibiza. Prior to our flights I had booked the Luton Priority Lane which I couldn’t recommended higher especially if you are travelling with children. For only £3 per person you can use the Priority Lane dedicated to getting you to Security and into Departures faster. It literally took us five minutes to go through with no queues at all. I will be using this every time we fly from Luton from now on without a doubt! You don’t have to pre book you can pay £5 per person on the day to use the priority lane.

Our flight was at 7am so we arrived at the Sensatori Ibiza resort at about midday. The transfer from the airport was only 20 minutes which was great! Our rooms weren’t ready until 3pm so I grabbed the swimming stuff out of one of the cases and we headed to the main buffet restaurant for lunch. As it is an all-inclusive resort you can eat and drink as much as you want and there are a couple of extra payable restaurants on the resort if you wanted to book. There are also …. other restaurants that are included in your package which you can book at the kiosk in reception. We went to the main pool and had a swim and some drinks and then walked down to the beach to see what it was like.


One thing we picked up on immediately is that there are hills everywhere! Anywhere you want to walk to on the resort involves walking up a hill. When we got to the beach it is beautiful, the sea is crystal clear, you can hire jet skis and book water sports and there are some lovely restaurants in the cliffs and on the beach.


Once our room was ready we headed to our room which was in block 9 furthest from everything except the retreat which was only up the hill which we used for the whole holiday instead of the main pool anyway. More about that in a minute. There are also no lifts in the blocks, luckily we had a ground floor room so everyone with rooms upstairs had to leave their pushchairs outside the blocks.

So we got to our room and I was genuinely shocked at how small it was and then on further inspection how filthy it was. I complained at reception and asked to change rooms but as it is peak season they had no rooms to move us too. A few days into the holiday we were offered a family room with a sliding door for an extra 800 euros, we went to look at the room at it was no bigger just configured differently with a sliding door so the boys would be separate. How they can justify asking 800 euros for literally a sliding partition door is a joke and we turned it down. To be honest after a few days we got used to it but as Oscar is at private school we can get our holidays cheaper as its outside of state school holidays and when I did a comparison and it would have been almost £6000 for the identical holiday in August I would not have been happy with the room at all if we had paid that sort of money. Even for us paying a bit less than that is too much in my opinion for the standard of the hotel compared to Tenerife and Crete!

Now on a positive note just up the hill is the retreat. You can also get a free shuttle bus from reception if you don’t want to walk anymore hills. The retreat is fantastic! It has two normal swimming pools, a children’s splash pool, tennis courts, archery, football pitch, kids playgrounds and a spa. Also at the retreat is a buffet restaurant so if your there all day you can get lunch there too. The lunch is the same most days so if you want to change it up a bit you can go to the main buffet which has loads of choice. Also by the children’s splash pool is a big freezer full of ice creams and the kids can just help themselves (obviously after asking us first) to an ice cream. The retreat also do water orb sessions that you can book on to and we also booked the tennis courts for an hour as well which is all included. The prestige spa is amazing and I had a Swedish massage and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. Massages are around 90 euros.


They have a nursery and kids club on site but I can’t give you a review as we didn’t use them. There is also a kids sleepover club once a week and a movie club in the evenings. If you children like kids club then there were a lot of activities on offer.


Opposite the retreat is a supermarket that sells inflatable toys, gifts, clothes, snacks and drinks which is great and about half a mile down the road is a pharmacy if you need it. There is also a doctor on site that is 90 euros a visit, I got an ear infection after diving in the pool and you can claim the money back once your home on your travel insurance.

In the evenings there is a play house live show which is indoors for the younger children but Oscar who is 7 didn’t want to go as it was a bit young for him. The evening show then didn’t start until 9.45pm and really they could do with putting on a little show/disco for children aged 5 upwards to enjoy as there is nothing really to entertain that age group in the evening without putting them into a club. The main shows in the evening are hit and miss, when they bring in tribute acts; we had Robbie Williams and Jesse J they were great but the Sensatori shows weren’t great. We often left half way through. ​


We booked one of the extra restaurants included in our package, the Trattoria La Torre restaurant which is an Italian, the food was lovely. The food in the main buffet and the retreat was always good and tons of choice in the main restaurant as well. Other restaurants on the resort are the Sunset Mediterranean restaurant, the Pan-American restaurant which in total are the four restaurants included in the all-inclusive package and at an extra cost you can book the T-Beach restaurant and the Le Souk restaurant. You can look on the Thomson website as to what restaurant serves what type of food.


On one evening we booked the Cotton Club restaurant which is on the cliff by the beach. It is a beautiful restaurant and is famous for having the best sunset on the Island. The food was amazing and the sunset was fantastic. If you go to the reception in the hotel they will book it for you. It is a bit on the expensive side for a family of four with no alcohol it was around 200 euros. It was a lovely treat!

On three occasions after dinner we got a taxi from reception to Ibiza town which is 80 euros there and back and takes 25 minutes to get to, but well worth the trip. There is a beautiful port with some fantastic super yachts docked in it. There is also a beautiful square in the town with lovely shops and places to get a coffee. On all three occasions we went and sat outside of the Cafe Montesol Ibiza where we had ice cream and coffees. It’s a beautiful hotel! On the way back the taxi driver showed us a few of the gigantic night clubs that we drove past. We couldn’t get over the size of the club called privilege that can hold over 10,000 people at any one time! Crazy!


Overall we had a lovely holiday and the boys loved the water slides at the retreat and spent all day long in the pool. The hotel rooms in my opinion were not up to scratch and I am surprised that they claim they are a 5* hotel. The food was great, the staff were lovely especially in the restaurants, they were so friendly. The cleanliness of the rooms is awful, in fact after a few days we only let the maid change the sheets and towels and we cleaned the floor with floor wipes (the floors were black with dirt) and cleaned the rest of the room ourselves. Location wise it was good and the beach is beautiful. I would defiantly go back to Ibiza as the island is beautiful and we loved the town but I wouldn’t stay at the Sensatori resort again unfortunately. Next time when I book a Sensatori holiday I will do more research on the rooms etc as after going to the other resorts in Crete and Tenerife we expected the same level of luxury and room size which Ibiza doesn’t offer.

The Boys Summer Wardrobes From AlexAndAlexa.com

With only a couple of weeks until we go away to Ibiza, over the last month I have been putting together the boys swimwear, day and evening outfits and making sure I have everything I need for them whilst we are away. So I wanted to show you The Boys Summer Wardrobes From AlexAndAlexa.com.

I have always brought a lot of Oscar and Archie’s clothes from AlexAndAlexa.com as I like buying higher end clothing for them and the service when buying from Alex And Alexa has always been second to none! The boys also both modelled for a collaboration with Stokke and Alex and Alexa a few months ago and the array of boys and girls clothes there for the children to wear were gorgeous!


They sell a huge range of top designer brands such as Burberry, Dolce and Gabbana, Kenzo, Fendi, Hugo Boss and loads more. They also have an amazing sale running at the moment and for a limited time only you can get an extra 15%off the sale using the code AA15!

From the clothes I am about to show you some of them I have brought myself and Alex and Alexa also kindly sent me a few bits for each of the boys as well.

A pair of shorts that Oscar has had for awhile is these lovely blue camouflage ones from Stella McCartney. They go with a lovely crisp white tee or a nice shirt in the evening and are a great pair of shorts to have in his wardrobe as I can team it up with various tops and Oscar will get lots of wear out of them in the evenings on holiday. They are currently reduced from £55 to £41.30 and then don’t forget you can use the extra 15% off code too!


Another pair of shorts that are great to have are a beige pair of chino shorts. There are lots to chose from but my favourite were the Burberry Taupe Chino shorts as they have a great fit and go well with  a smart tee or a lovely shirt, especially a plain linen one. They are reduced from £80 to £64. I’ve put it with the Burberry Blue check pocket tee which I have for both of the boys as I like some of their clothes to be matching. Again it is reduced, from £50 to £40.


I brought a couple of pair of swimming shorts for Oscar as he asked for some ‘big boy’ ones like Daddy and I got the Burberry Bright Blue Check Swim Shorts which you can get in a few different colours and the Hugo Boss BOSS Blue Swim Shorts which again come in other colours too. Both of these are in the sale at the moment and the Burberry ones are £55.30 and the BOSS ones are £36.


For one of Archie’s evening outfits I picked the Burberry Navy Classic Check Shorts which are £56 reduced from £70 and again will go with shirts and tees and he can wear them on a few evenings whilst on holiday with different tops. One of the tees I have got it the Burberry ‘White Use Your Head Beefeater Print Junior Tee’ which I think is really cute. Burberry have some lovely tees this season with fun graphics on them like Thomas the bear and the Full English breakfast Summer tee which are great fun!


I like the boys to match on a few occasions when we are away and having a 5 year age gap between them can often prove difficult to find nice matching items on the high street. With designer clothing this is never really an issue as they have the same pieces in loads of different sizes. I wanted to find a nice evening shirt for them both and absolutely love the Burberry Pale Blue Check Short Sleeve Shirt. There is a range of different colours in this design but I picked the blue as it will go well with the taupe chino shorts that they have. The shirt was £70 and is now reduced to £56. As you can probably tell I am really loving the boys Burberry clothing this season.



I also got a Hugo Boss tee for Archie which is worn a few times already and can be worn in the day or with his chino shorts in the evening. I love the stripes in the bright green and blue and think it is a really great item for his Summer wardrobe which can be put with lots of different shorts or trousers.


As well as the boys having a pair of Havaianas for holiday and some Tom’s Canvas shoes I wanted to get them each a pair of smart trainers for the evening and they will last for the whole Summer into Winter. The Burberry Heacham velcro trainers are to die for and I got a pair of the black ones for Oscar which were £135. They also do them in a gorgeous baby blue colour which I will get for Archie. I did pick Archie up some BOSS jelly sandals last year in the Summer sale and they finally fit him now.



Last but not least, Oscar loves his new baseball caps from Mini Rodini. He has the Light Green Lion Embroidered Cap and the Off White Music cap which are both £26. Then to keep their little eyes protected from the Sun the boys each have a pair of Zoobug Sunglasses which are really funky. Oscar has the Blue Camouflage Round Sunglasses which were £60 and are now reduced to £42 and Archie has the Black and White Clubmaster Baby Sunglasses which were also £60 and are now reduced to £48.



As you can probably guess I absolutely love the AlexandAlexa.com website and wouldn’t shop anywhere else when picking up the boys some designer clothes! I have also had a sneak preview of their Autumn/Winter 2017 collection and it is all totally amazing, so watch out for that going on their website very soon!