Tag Archives: holidays

Our Magical Trip To Lapland, Rovaniemi With Thomas Cook

Last Christmas we had looked into taking Oscar and Archie on a Family Trip To Lapland, Rovaniemi in Finland as we had read so many amazing reviews but were advised as Archie would have only been two at the time (two weeks off three) to leave it another year as A. He would enjoy it so much more and B. He would hold his heat better in the very cold temperatures. There are lots of companies that sell Lapland experiences whether it be a day trip or a slightly longer break.

After looking at several different websites we decided to book and travel with Thomas Cook. The booking process was quick and easy online and at the time they even had an online discount code like they do at the moment which gives you £150 off any booking over £1500. If you can use the code BOOKIT at the checkout you can claim this saving. Thomas Cook offer three different Lapland packages; The Santa Sleigh Day, The Sleigh Bell Sleepover which is for one night and Santa’s Festive Adventure which is for three nights.

After speaking with friends who had either been for the day or for a few days we picked The Santa Sleigh Day. For a family of four (two adults and two children) the total cost of the trip is £2,134. It works out to be £533 per person. This includes

  • Meet Santa (each child aged 2-12yrs receives a gift)
  • Meet Rudolph and friends
  • Sled dog/husky sled ride
  • Explore Santa’s Village and cross the Arctic Circle
  • Free time for family fun and sledging
  • Lunch with soft drinks, plus inflight meals
  • Thermal suits and boots

After the trip being booked back in January we managed to keep the secret from Oscar and Archie until the night before. I had packed in secret and then when we arrived at Gatwick Oscar did start to wonder where we were going. Once we got to our hotel room we gave the boys each a special ticket and a beautiful card that we had made by The Fox & The Paintbox with all the details inside. They were both so excited as was I!

The next morning we got up at 4.30am and went over to the terminal, checked in and got something to eat. At the check-in we were greeted by two Thomas Cook reps who were then with us throughout the whole trip. When we got on the plane everyone on board was excited and in a festive mood and throughout the flight the reps put on a Christmas quiz, we sang Christmas songs and watched the Snowman.

When we arrived at Rovaniemi airport which is tiny we were greeted by lots of elves who directed us to our coach. (I also asked the customs officer to stamp Oscar & Archie’s passport which they kindly did.) Once on board we drove to the changing area where you are given your thermal suit and boots. We brought our own coats, boots, thermal socks and under layer thermals, ski gloves and hats with us and got all the boys essentials from AlexAndAlexa.com who have a vast range of amazing ski wear. You are also given a bag with your family name labelled on it to put anything you don’t need to carry around with you and this stays under the coach as you stay with the same coach for the entirety on the trip. This was really handy and meant I just carried around the essentials in my backpack for the rest of the day.

We then drove on to the activity place where we were each given a lanyard with the four activities on them to get marked off as we did them so we didn’t miss anything out. As we walked in to the woodland area I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. Snow everywhere, a dimly lit sky and trees everywhere, it was breathtaking. Firstly we went inside Father Christmas’ house and he looked absolutely fantastic. He chatted to the boys and then gave them each a present (for children aged 2-12 years) which was a lovely plush husky dog. We then had a photo taken with him.

We then explored and wherever you walked were little teepee tents where you could sit inside next to a warm fire. There was also an area where you could get a cup of warm berry juice and some gingerbread biscuits. There is nowhere to purchase food and drink here so I could recommend bringing lots of snacks and water as it is quite a long time between breakfast on the plane until you go for your lunch.

We were then greeted by the Reindeer. Here you could meet and stroke them as well as go on an amazing Reindeer ride. Each family has a sleigh to themselves and we were pulled through what looked like Narnia, it was so beautiful. The boys absolutely loved the ride and stroked the Reindeer afterwards. I am sure it is something they will remember forever.

We then spent some time having snow ball fights and sledging which was great fun and the Thomas Cook reps also put on games and kept the children entertained.

We walked to where the Husky rides were and every family has an individual ride. I underestimated how fast the Husky ran. It was a great ride and the boys loved being pulled through the snow at such speed! By this time it was about 4.30pm and was already dark here in Finland. The sky is beautiful but sadly it wasn’t cold enough to see the Northern Lights. We were told that the best time to see them is in October so that’s a trip we definitely want to take Oscar and Archie on.

We had some more free time and enjoyed a warm berry juice around the fire and then went back on the coach on a short ride to where we were having lunch. Lunch was at a traditional Finish restaurant and I had a lovely soup and warm bread and Greg had a chicken and rice dish. To be honest the boys weren’t to impressed with the food options, they tried the soup but mostly ate the bread. There could have been a couple of simpler options for the kids I thought. But the food we did have was delicious.

We then took a two-minute drive on the coach to Santa’s Village. This is a much more touristy place with more people around as at the activity place it wasn’t busy at all which felt nice and relaxed. Firstly as a group we all crossed the Arctic Circle together which was a fun experience.

I took about €200 with us and in Santa’s Village there are shops, places to eat and other things to spend money on. I went to Santa’s official post office and sent the boys a hard each back home as you get a Santa’s official post office and Arctic circle stamp on the card when it reaches home. I also brought a couple of souvenirs and Greg and the boys brought bags of chocolate in the chocolate shop. There are also mini snowmobiles for the kids to ride on which Oscar went on which was €20 each for ten laps. He really enjoyed this.

Once we had explored the village we headed back to the coach which took us back to the changing village where we got back into our coats and gave the thermal suits back and then headed back to the airport. The airport is tiny but had a little cafe and a shop and the Thomas Cook reps also gave all the kids a Snowman activity pack as we got off the coach which kept them entertained whilst we waited for our flight home.

The flight home included dinner and the boys slept most of the way back as they were exhausted from such a fun filled magical day.

We had the most amazing trip and if we do it again in a couple of years I would book the Santa’s Festive Adventure three night trip so we have more time to relax in Finland and explore a bit more and hopefully see the Northern Lights. If you are looking to book a similar trip I hope you have found this post useful. Also a big thank you to Thomas Cook who made our trip really special.

Our 2018 Adventures

January

January always starts slow, after all we are recovering from a hectic Christmas, Archie’s birthday and the New Year! Oscar went back to school on the 8th and straight away had Rugby and Cross-Country fixtures. At school he was learning about Egyptians so we took a trip into London to visit the British Museum.

February

Oscar took part in a lovely concert at the O2 called Young Voices. He spent the day there rehearsing and then we went up in the evening to watch him, it was great! We went to Woburn the following weekend as the boys love it there, driving through the animals. As a surprise for Oscar’s birthday we took him into London to see the Lion King. It was one of the best shows I have ever seen and can’t wait to go and see it again with Archie when he gets a bit older. Oscar had a great 8th Birthday, we had family around on his birthday to celebrate and he had a bowling party with his friends as well.

March

This month I turned 30! We celebrated in style with a lovely meal with my family at the Grove, A Willy Wonka themed afternoon tea at One Aldwych with my lovely friends and the little ones, a fabulous night out at MNKY HSE with even more birthday cake with the girls and a lovely dinner at our friends house. I was thoroughly spoilt and had the best birthday!

We also took another trip to Woburn with my friend Georgina who had never been before. Archie had lots of fun!

April

April was a seriously busy month. We did so much! We visited Willows Farm as they had their Easter programme running with our friends. The Easter holidays were in full swing and we went into London to the Shrek’s adventure which was great fun and then spent the rest of the day in town.

We had a lovely Easter surrounded by family and friends and the boys ate way to much chocolate!

We stayed a night at Alton Towers in the enchanted village and spent two days in the park. Archie loved Cbeebies land and the park was pretty quiet so we went on loads of the rides.

We visited Zippo’s Circus which was in London and we had never taken the boys to the circus before. They were so excited and loved all of the acts.

Paradise Wildlife park opened their new World of Dinosaurs feature. We went on quite a rainy day but that was fine as the park was quiet and we got to see all of the animals up close. Oscar loved the new Dinosaur park.

May

Oscar had his first ever one night residential with the school this month. To say I was anxious is an understatement but he had the best time and enjoyed himself so much!

We took the boys to Cardiff to watch Monster Jam which is a great show that comes over once a year from America and the Monster Trucks have races and do tricks. It was SO noisy!

Oscar went to Twickenham for the first time to watch the Rugby with his Godfather and his two boys. As he had started playing it at school he really enjoyed it and had a really special day out with Uncle Matt.

We went away for a few days to Lulworth Cove in Dorset. We went to Durdledoor beach was is beautiful and then to Monkey World as well. Greg and I went to Monkey World years ago but had never been with the boys. It is such a lovely place and we got to see all of the Monkey’s so close up.

June

In June we went to Go Ape with some friends and Greg went up with Oscar. Archie and I stayed firmly on the ground! We visited the Warner Bros Studio Tour with my friend Claire and her son. We are so lucky to have this only ten minutes from us. Oscar had sports day and won the high jump, relay and the 50m.

We took Daddy to Bond In Motion in London. Oscar loves the Bond films and seeing all of the cars, boats and bikes used in the films was great fun! Its such a great exhibition and if you are a Bond fan you must visit.

July

Schools out! Oscar broke up from school at the beginning of July. We went on holiday for a couple of weeks to Rhodes. We stayed at the brand new Sensatori hotel which was lovely. We have stayed at a few of these now and always have a lovely time.

We went to Westfield, London to KidZania with my friend Claire and her son. I couldn’t get over how big it was and it must be so magical being a kid going to somewhere like that. It is a fantastic day out.

On the last weekend of July my Brother got married. Oscar and Archie were both page boys and it was a lovely day.

August

We went back to Woburn safari park again with the boys Great Auntie Liz. They love it here, I think this is our 3rd trip this year so far.

We went to Regents Park open air theatre to watch the stage show ‘Dinosaur World Live’. Oscar and Archie love Dinosaurs and really enjoyed the show.

Oscar learnt to finally ride his bike this month. He briefly learnt last year but wasn’t very interested but gave it his all and picked it up in no time at all. We are so proud of him!

We went away for the night to Southampton and stayed at the Grand Harbour hotel and on the second day we went to Peppa Pig World/Paulton’s Park. We went a few years ago when Oscar was younger but as Archie loves Peppa Pig we knew he would love it. Oscar went on the bigger rides in Paulton’s Park and we had a great day.

We went to Henley-On-Thames with Oscar’s friends from school for a night glamping in a bell tent. Just Oscar and I went, Archie stayed at home with Daddy. The kids all had so much fun as did the Mummy’s.

To end off the Summer break we went to the London Aquarium with my parents. We went on a behind the scenes tour of the aquarium which was really educational and we all had a great day. Finishing off with our favourite restaurant for lunch; Honest Burger. I have lost count of how many times we have been to one of these over the last year!

September

Oscar went back to school into year 4 and Archie started Nursery at the same school. It was so emotional for me and my anxiety went through the roof. Archie only goes three mornings a week but settled in straight away and absolutely loves it!

We were invited by Subway to an amazing NFL event on Piccadilly. Oscar ended up in the NFL live show and we had such a fun day out. The NFL is such a fun, family based sport and the atmosphere was fantastic.

We spent the day at London Zoo where we hadn’t visited for a while. There were new attractions in the zoo which was nice for us to see and the Zoo is always a winner with the boys as they both love animals so much!

Oscar and Greg also took on Liquid Leisure which is a giant inflatable park on a lake near Windsor. It looked like great fun and I am going to have a go next time.

October

My Mum turned 60 and we had a lovely family get together at my Nanny’s house and then a meal out too.

I had booked Greg a car driving experience at Christmas so we headed to Loughborough where he got to drive a 1970’s Transam which is Oscar’s favourite car and a Mustang.

During half term we went to Go Ape Nets Kingdom which was fun and Archie could join in too. We went to Greenwich where we went on the Cutty Sark which is a really fun yet educational day out. We went to the theatre to see Baby Bum Live for Archie and went to the new Rock Up climbing place in Watford.

November

In November Oscar took part in a big Taekwondo competition which he did really well in. We went to a great event with Zoggs to Coral Reef in Bracknell where we had the pool and water slides to ourselves with some other bloggers. It is the best pool in the UK we’ve been to by far.

Excitingly for me I managed to get Spice Girl tickets for next year! I literally sat online with every device running until we managed to get four. I cannot wait! That afternoon we met our friends in St Albans and went to Prime for lunch and then to the theatre to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It was a fantastic show and the kids loved the flying car.

We went to the Warner Bros Studio Tour to its annual Hogwarts In The Snow event. It is such  magical experience and really kicked off the Christmas period for us.

I took Archie and my friend her little boy who is Archie’s bestie into London to see the Room On The Broom stage show which they both loved and we headed into Oxford Street and got our own personalised family Quality Street tin.

December

December was by far my favourite and most hectic month this year! The boys woke up on the 1st to their naughty elves returning with their advent calendars and the decorations up in the house.

Oscar took part in the annual TKD Taekwondo championships and got a silver medal in his patterns and a gold in sparring. He was over the moon!

Archie had his first little Christmas performance in his nursery class and I had fun wreath making with my friends.

We went into London for our annual Christmas tradition to visit Father Christmas at Harrods. We have done this for seven years now and I love getting our annual photograph. It shows how quickly the boys are growing up when you look back at the previous years.

We went to the Watersmeet Theatre In Rickmansworth to watch the pantomime; Snow White and we had never been before as Oscar had always gone with his school. Archie loved it and danced in the aisle from start to finish. It was a great production and something we will do every Christmas with them now.

I went to Willow’s Farm with Archie and my friend and her children to their Santa Spectacular. Willow’s is always a fantastic day out and they put so much on at Christmas!

The Coca-Cola Christmas lorry was touring the UK and was at an ASDA nearby so I took the boys after school to see it. The Coca-Cola Christmas lorry always reminds me of being a child and when you heard the advent on TV you knew it was Christmas time.

Oscar and Archie broke up from school on the 14th after a lovely carol service at the local Church.

On the Saturday we drove to Gatwick and the boys had no idea where we were going. That evening we told them we were flying to Lapland in Finland the next day to see Father Christmas. I have never seen them both so excited, they couldn’t believe it. It was the most magical trip ever! We went on a reindeer and a husky sledge ride, met the big man himself, went sledging and played in the snow, went on a snowmobile, crossed the arctic circle and visited Santa’s Village. It was a trip I am sure they will remember forever!

Last week we also drove over to Bruges on the Eurotunnel which was a lovely couple of days exploring such a beautiful city especially at Christmas time and eating way to much chocolate!

Then we came home to a wonderful Christmas with our family and friends and the boys had a fantastic time.

Last but not least Archie turned 4 on the 29th. We had a fun filled day with bowling, Prezzo’s and a Paddington bear tea party with family and friends.

It’s been a fantastic year and a big thank you to all of you who come back and read my blog posts! Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2019! Happy New Year!

Our Review Of The TUI Sensatori Atlantica Rhodes Resort

Back In July we stayed at the TUI Sensatori Atlantica Rhodes Resort for two weeks. We booked it back in February and at the time the hotel itself was still being developed. It was due to open in May but ended up opening in June. To be honest I was worried as a new hotel can come with teething problems, but on the upside everything would be brand new! The photos I had seen posted online looked amazing and we couldn’t wait to get there.

Before I get into everything about our holiday on our return my iCloud had a glitch and lost over 2000 photos which about 400 of them were of our holiday. I have a few so will share those but am gutted that I can’t share with you the videos I made.

This was our fourth Sensatori resort, we had been to Crete, Tenerife and Ibiza previously and know when booking a Sensatori hotel you are getting a 5* hotel with ultimate luxury with lots for the children to do as well.

We flew out to Rhodes from Luton which was fairly easy. I booked the priority lane as always which is £3 a person if you pre book and slightly more expensive if you purchase on the day. It allowed us to fly through security and into the shops! We were lucky to be the first on the plane and the pilot invited the boys into the cockpit. Archie refused but Oscar couldn’t believe it! We arrived in Rhodes quite late and the transfer to the hotel was about 45 minutes. Once we arrived, we had welcome drinks and were offered to go to the restaurant but as the boys were tired we were taken to our room by golf buggy where our luggage was waiting for us, along with a fruit platter and dessert tray.

We booked a family suite with a swim up pool and when we got to our room it looked amazing! A large main bedroom for us with a TV, mini bar which is stocked up everyday and is included in your all-inclusive, a second bedroom for the boys with another TV, desk and wardrobe inside. Hidden between the wardrobes in our room was the entrance to the bathroom which had a large bath/shower, two sinks and a separate toilet cubicle. The sliding doors then opened out on to out terrace and swim up pool. The boys loved having this and we used it everyday. There is tons of storage in the room, two wardrobes in the main and one in the kids room which was great to keep everything organised and room nice and tidy.

Within the resort there is the main buffet restaurant ‘Mesogios’ where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have different themed nights and the food was really good. I especially loved the fresh honeycomb at breakfast, that was so yummy! The other five restaurants you need to book for either using the screens in the hotel lobby or using the TUI Sensatori app. Caprice is a lovely Italian restaurant, Gaia is a healthy option restaurant, Kuzina is a greek restaurant and Liberty is an American restaurant. The last restaurant, Citrus is an adults only restaurant. Other than Citrus we ate at all of the other restaurants and the food was lovely. You can also eat lunch at Liberty or Kokumi cafe without booking. We were on an all inclusive package so you can eat and drink as much as you like. This is great with kids as they can eat and drink as much as they like and throughout the day waiters/waitresses came around to our sunbeds and took our drink orders and brought it to us.

In the evening there is a entertainment programme which you can view on the app two weeks in advance. For children they have Playhouse Live, movie nights and fun sleepovers. On the boardwalk each night there are different shows either from the Sensatori show team or acts that have been flown in to perform for you. During our stay we also had the World Cup and they showed the England games on the huge screen in the boardwalk, had a BBQ and brought beers around to everyone. The atmosphere was amazing and the Sensatori team made it really special and great fun!

During the day there are so many pools to choose from; the adult only pool (obviously not for us), the splash park and spray ground which was absolutely amazing for the boys with so many great flumes, the indoor pool, the ‘quiet pool’ which wasn’t that at all it was more like another family pool and this is where we spent most of our time, the main pool by the family rooms and the activity pool where they had lots of activities in that ran throughout the day. There was also the beach which is shingle but the sea was lovely and warm and there is also water sports you can do. Oscar and Greg went on the jet skis and Greg learnt to Water Ski, which was rather funny.

There is also a full activity programme for adults and children that run throughout the day as well. There is a kids club and stay and play sessions over in the nursery. I didn’t use this myself as the boys have never been in a club on holiday but other parent’s we spoke to said it was really good. Oscar did go with Greg to the sports hub to take part in a Nintendo DS racing competition which they loved.

An activity which Oscar wanted to do was learn to Scuba Dive. You can do this in the dive school which is located in the indoor pool. He had a lesson in the indoor pool for about 70 euros and then a few days later he got to do it in the sea which was amazing, this was about 100 euros for the hour. He absolutely loved it and can’t wait to do it again, he was a real natural and the instructors were lovely.

When they were building the hotel they came across ancient ruins from 5AD. They excavated it and have built a glass bridge above it so you can walk above and look at the archeological site. The main part was the village that had a church, two live presses and around 80 houses. You can even look down one of the wells. It is an amazing thing to see and we walked across it each night, its beautiful.

On site there is also a car hire office where we hired a car for the day, I think it was 140 euros and we drove to Rhodes Old Town. It was free to park and then you walk inside the medieval walls and there are so many lovely shops and restaurants. We spent the whole day here and also dove to see the Acropolis. I brought lots of bits in the town for the unique shops and we also had a man in the main square draw a picture of Oscar and Archie which he delivered to our hotel the next day. It’s absolutely amazing!

We also ventured to Lindos on one of the days. We got a taxi from the hotel as it’s not to far away. It’s a beautiful town full of little quaint streets, hidden away churches and at the top of the hill an ancient castle. Oscar and Archie had a donkey ride to the castle and back down again.

The rest of the time we spent at the hotel which was lovely and with so much to do you can you won’t get bored.

One thing the TUI reps sold to us was the VIP Lounge at Rhodes airport as it is a nightmare. It was around £150 for the four of us and yes it did get us through check-in much quicker but after that it’s a waste of money. The VIP lounge was small and cramped, the food was terrible and then it was so disorganised getting from the lounge to your boarding gate, at one point the stewardess just pushed us into the queue and everyone behind started moaning and it was a bit embarrassing to be honest. One man even missed his flight. I wouldn’t bother purchasing this if it’s offered to you, it’s a waste of money.

Overall apart from the journey home (Rhodes is famous for being a terrible airport) we had an amazing holiday and would go back and stay again. With all the Sensatori resorts you know you are getting luxury. It’s a beautiful hotel and obviously as it was brand new everything was sparkling clean. We had a fantastic holiday!

*This is a honest review of our holiday and I was not compensated in anyway for this post.

What We Did, Where We Ate & Where We Stayed In Jersey

Last Summer at the end of the holidays we took Greg’s parents to Jersey for five days. I had never been to Jersey before and couldn’t wait to go as so many people had told me what a beautiful island it is. I went online and researched hotels and restaurants so I thought I would put together a post so if you go to Jersey you can see all of the  wonderful places we went too and I might give yous some ideas.

Firstly I booked our flights with EasyJet from Luton which were around £150 each return and the flight itself is only an hour long so perfect when travelling with kids.

I then booked our hotel which was called The Grand Jersey Hotel and Spa which is right on the seafront looking over St Aubin’s Bay in St Helier and has a view of Elizabeth Castle which is beautiful. We booked the St Brelade suite which was huge. It had our main room, the boys room, two bathrooms and a living area with a sea view. On our first night we ate in the restaurant in the hotel and the food was really good. We had breakfast each morning at the hotel, with some much to choose from there was something for everyone. The staff throughout our stay were lovely and friendly and couldn’t do enough for you. The boys especially loved the pool which was indoors and the changing facilities, gym and spa downstairs were all lovely and clean and we used them everyday.

I booked all our restaurants prior to our arrival after looking on the internet at other people’s reviews and some our friend’s recommendations. Our friend’s told us to go to the Crab Shack which is in St Brelade which is the most amazing fresh seafood restaurant right on the beach. I had the Oysters here which were the best I have ever tasted and the restaurant was quite reasonably priced too.

We also went to Doran’s Courtyard Bistro which was in the street next to our hotel in St Helier. It is the most beautiful, quaint restaurant with the most amazing food. The restaurant was just so unexpected when you walk past and then you go inside and the courtyard and decor of the inside of the restaurant made you feel like you were in a french farmhouse.

I booked Mark Jordan At The Beach a few weeks before we went as its such a popular restaurant. It is in St Peter and again has stunning views. We sat outside meters from the beach. It has a  Michelin Bib Gourmand for good food as well as two AA Rosettes and an entry in the Tatler Restaurant Guide 2014. I was really excited to go here as all the reviews I read were so positive. The menu was great and had great food for children too. This restaurant was by far the most expensive of the other four we ate at but was a lovely treat.

St Helier itself is a beautiful town full of lovely shops, coffee bars and restaurants. There is also a lovely park which is directly behind the hotel where we took the boys a couple of times. In the middle of the town is a beautiful clock that plays different songs and I am so please we stumbled across it.

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During our days in Jersey we went to St Brelade and played on the beach and strolled along the beachfront. We visited the famous ‘Jersey Zoo’ which was amazing. You can absolutely not go to Jersey without visiting the Zoo. We spent the whole day here and the boys loved it!

We also got the sea bus over to Elizabeth Castle. We spent a couple of hours here and when we walked around the top of the castle the views were amazing. We then headed back for some lunch. It was lovely to explore and be a ‘tourist’ after being in Ibiza a few weeks before where we just relaxed.

When we visited the zoo and other beaches we took the bus which was so easy to do as the bus station in St Helier is huge with frequently running buses going everywhere on the island. It’s so easy to get around.

We also went to St Martin which is beautiful as my Mother In Law wanted to go to the Jersey Pearl shop. I ended up coming out with a beautiful necklace and a ring. When in Rome and all that!

We absolutely loved Jersey and can’t wait to go back. It’s so quick and easy to get too even for a short break it’s the perfect place. Everything is so beautiful, people are so relaxed and everywhere we ate the service was amazing.

Admittedly it’s not the cheapest of places to go too but it’s definitely worth it! We love Jersey!

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.

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 ‘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

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!

Bluestone National Park Resort, Wales Review

Last month the most exciting email landed in my inbox, inviting us to come to the 5*Bluestone National Park Resort for a Monday to Friday mid week break. As Oscar broke up for half term last Friday it was perfect timing. The boys were so excited and it is their first ‘outdoors’ holiday that involved being outdoors, activities and getting muddy! Normally we go abroad and I am ashamed to see that I have only even been to Wales once before which was only last month for the opening of our trampoline park in Newport. So needless to say I was really looking forward to a different type of holiday for us in a totally new place!

Day 1

So on Monday we arrived at the Bluestone National Park Resort in Wales. We left at about 11am from home as Greg had some work to do first and it took us around 5 hours to get here which included a stop off for lunch and a quick coffee break further on. We arrived at about 3.30pm and we drove up to the check in kiosk and the whole process only took a few minutes. With our key cards and welcome pack in hand we headed to the car park as we couldn’t go to our lodge until 4.30pm. We walked over to the adventure centre and Oscar and Archie played on the soft play and bouncy castle. At half 4 we went back to the car and drove around to our lodge to unload and unpack. When we arrived at our ‘Ramsey’ lodge Oscar was so excited and as soon as we opened the door he was running around to explore his new home for the week. Our lodge consisted of two bedrooms, one with a doubled bed and one with two singles and a travel cot, two en suite bathrooms and upstairs an open planned kitchen, living room and diner. I actually brought my own travel cot but a travel cot is included. All bedding and towels are included too (not bedding for the travel cot) but I would use my own anyway. On first impressions the lodge was lovely and clean and we had everything we needed.

I unpacked quickly and then we had to return the car to the car park as it is a car free zone. We walked to the buggy and bike hire station where I had pre booked buggy hire for the week and two bikes and a trailer. We picked up the buggy first which Greg and Oscar were very excited about and drove around the park to get our bearings. We drove to the village and grabbed some bits for breakfast from Newton’s Store and as we were shattered from the long drive went straight into the Farmhouse Grill for an early dinner. The food came really quickly and was very nice. I had liver and bacon, one of my childhood favourites. The only grumble was for Archie’s age (1, or 21 months to be precise) there wasn’t a great deal for him to choose from. Afterwards we headed back to the lodge and bathed and we were all in bed by 9pm.


Day 2 – Tuesday

Today was our first full day at Bluestone. Archie and Oscar were awake at 6.30am so we watched Cbebbies upstairs in the lounge and waited for Daddy to get up. Archie slept in with Oscar last night and woke up 9 times, he has a bit of a cold but it was a huge milestone as up until now Archie had never not slept in a room with us. I then cooked us all breakfast and Oscar had been begging since we arrived to go to the blue lagoon swimming pool so we got ready and drove the buggy up to the pool.

We got ready in one of the family changing cubicles which was really clean and as we walked in a member of staff was cleaning the floors. The lockers are £1 but when you open them you get your money back which was great as you know with children your always going back again to grab goggles or nappies/wipes. Inside the blue lagoon is a main pool with a wave machine, baby pool, pirate pool, jacuzzi, lazy river and water slides. I took Archie into the baby pool whilst Greg and Oscar went on the water slides, we then switched so I could go on the slides too. The lazy river is amazing, it takes you outside which was a bit cold to start with but is so refreshing. I got out with Archie after an hour as he was a bit cold and with the £1 from the locker we went in the drying machine. You get 3 minutes for a £1 and its amazing, my hair was dried and Archie was lovely and warm. Greg and Oscar stayed in the pool for another half hour and then we met in the cafe for lunch upstairs whilst Archie had a nap. They serve jacket potatoes, sandwiches and chips.

We then drove the buggy back to our lodge and then went back to the buggy and bike hire to pick up the bikes. The boys thought being in the trailer was very funny and we headed on to one of the bike paths and ended up deep in the woods by the high ropes and the Camp Smokey restaurant. The scenery is absolutely stunning, trickling streams and some of the tallest trees I have ever seen. It is simply breathtaking.

We rode back to the village and had a cup of tea whilst Oscar and Archie played in the play area then headed back to the lodge for showers before going out for dinner. We booked the Oak Tree restaurant and the food was absolutely amazing. I had the lamb, Oscar and Greg had the cod pasta and Archie had pizza. All the food was freshly cooked to order and tasted fantastic. Topped off with a chocolate brownie we headed home full and tired from an action packed day. Again we were in bed by 9.30pm!

Day 3 – Wednesday

I was up at 6am with Archie who coughed pretty much all night. We had a cooked breakfast at the lodge again and Oscar really wanted to go swimming so Greg and Oscar went off to the blue lagoon pool for a couple of hours on their own as Archie wasn’t 100% we stayed at the lodge so he could have a two hour nap instead. When the boys got back we put on our coats and wellies and drove to the village for a quick coffee then to Camp Smokey’s as we had a lunch reservation at 2pm. As we were a bit early we walked through the woods and the boys walked in the stream and jumped in puddles.


At 2pm we walked back to Camp Smokey’s for lunch. Camp Smokey’s is outside in the woods and served barbecued food. The setting is fantastic. I had chicken fajitas and the boys had pulled pork baps. The food was great. Pudding was what Oscar was super excited for, we had smores and marshmallows and roasted them on the fire. Afterwards we walked back to the buggy and drove to the village where one of the nature trails started and walked the 2.5km trail. Oscar took his creepy crawly I spy book that he brought in the village shop and ticked them off as we walked round. After the walk we were shattered, Archie with his little legs impressively walked most of the way. We wanted to go and Pan for Gold but it was fully booked from now until we go home so we have put ourselves on a waiting list at the booking office.

We went to the Knights Tafern at 6.45pm for dinner, you can’t book this restaurant but we turned up and got a table straight away. The menu is pub food. Oscar had sausage and chips which he loved, Archie had fish fingers and Greg had BBQ chicken and I had fish and chips. To be honest the food wasn’t great and I left most of it, compared to the other three restaurants we went to where the food has been of such a high standard I wouldn’t eat here again. I tried to book the Oak Tree for the Thursday night but it was fully booked so booked the Farmhouse Grill instead. Looking back now I would recommend booking all your restaurants on the first day as they all get booked up really quickly! We drove the buggy back to the lodge and watched some TV then went to bed.

Day 4 – Thursday

We got up at 7.30am and we had breakfast at home again and then drove our buggy up to the car park and drove the short 5 mile drive to Folly Farm. We had read loads of great reviews about Folly Farm and decided it was a must do day out. Folly Farm has a farm, zoo, fairground and play area and we couldn’t believe how cheap it was to get in. Only £13.95 for adults and £11.95 for children aged 3-15 and senior citizens. So for the four of us to get in as Archie was free it was only £39.85 which is great value for the amount on offer inside. The only optional extras are the the Vintage Fairground, The Pembrokeshire Wheel, Follystone racetrack and The Big Dig which you can buy 50p tokens for. I looked at the daily timetable online the night before so we knew what was on and at what time so we didn’t miss anything we wanted to see.

We arrived at 11am and went around the farm and the zoo and stopped for some lunch. There is so much to do at Folly Farm and it is well worth a trip if you are staying at Bluestone. The boys had a great day and the amount of different animals they have there is amazing! The lions were my favourite and we got so close to them.

We left Folly Farm at 2.45pm and drove pack to Bluestone. We rode our bikes back to the buggy and bike hire so we didn’t have to worry about doing it in the morning. Oscar was desperate to go swimming again so we went back to the Blue Lagoon for an hour for our final swim of the holiday.

We had booked dinner for 7.15pm at the Farmhouse Grill so headed back to the lodge at about 5.30pm to shower before dinner. Dinner at the Farmhouse Grill was great again. I had the steak this time, Oscar and Greg had the beef burger again and Archie shared mine. In the Farmhouse Grill is a small children’s play area where the boys played why we waited for our meals. After dinner Oscar had the build your own ice cream which is great fun for the kids with four different sweet toppings to build his own sundae. I was a piggy and had the biggest ice cream sundae which came in a huge bath dish. It was delicious. We headed back to the lodge on the buggy and I packed our bags before we went to bed. We are sad that we are going home in the morning.

Day 5 – Friday

We are going home today 🙁 You have to check out of your lodge by 10am (but you can use the facilities until 3pm( so we had breakfast and then Greg went and got the car so we could load all of the bags into the boot.

We then went to the village for a coffee then returned our buggy to the buggy and bike hire station. Hiring the buggy has been well worth it, we have used it to go everywhere and it is big enough to fit Archie’s pushchair folded on to it as well so if he fell asleep after dinner it wasn’t a problem. To hire the buggy for the week it is £85 and I would completely recommend hiring one, especially if you have young children. To hire the bikes and the trailer for the week was £65. On reflection I should of just hired them for the day as we only went on one long bike ride and didn’t use them to get around the park as we had the buggy. I used the Bluestone website to add on all our extras and the booking system is so easy to use to book in your activities, restaurant reservations and bikes/buggys.

We left for home at 11.00am as we had a five hour drive home. We have had the most amazing week at Bluestone and as you can see we have had an action packed week of fun. I asked Oscar what his favourite bits where and he said the Blue Lagoon pool, lunch at Camp Smokey, the golf buggy and walking in the outdoors. We will defiantly be coming back again soon and have loved every minute of our holiday.

Here our some top tips for your Bluestone holiday:

  • Hire a buggy, the park is quite hilly and with small children having the buggy has made getting around so much quicker and easier.
  • In the lodge towels and bedding are included. Bring some extra towels to take to the pool with you. I hung ours in the inside of the airing cupboard along with our trunks/bikini so they dried over night.
  • A small paper bag with a few kitchen cleaning essentials are included but bring a few black sacks, dishwasher tablets and surface cleanser. Also bring kitchen roll and toilet rolls.
  • I brought with us tea bags and sugar and a few other snacks.
  • The kitchen is fully equipped for you to cook a breakfast/meal. We had breakfast in the lodge everyday and picked up fresh bread and eggs for the store in the village.
  • Book your activities and restaurants in advance. Some activities like the panning for gold that Oscar really wanted to do was only on one day during the week and when I went to book it on the Tuesday it was already fully booked.
  • Go for lunch at Camp Smokey. The lunch is lovely and roasting marshmallows over the fire in the middle of the forest is great fun!
  • If your not serious bike riders like us then hire your bikes for the day as we hired them for the week and didn’t use them as much as we thought.
  • Have loads of fun!

Disclaimer: We stayed at Bluestone free of charge for the purpose of this review. However we paid for all activities, food, buggy and bikes. All opinions are completely honest and my own! We love Bluestone!

Our Summer Holiday Round Up 2016

With Oscar returning to school on Thursday 🙁 I thought it would be nice to put together a Summer 2016 round up post of all that we have been up to. We have had a very long Summer as Oscar had nine weeks off as he broke up on the 8th of July. I absolutely love him being at home and we have had so much fun.

Week 1

We started off the holidays going straight from school at 12 o’clock to a hotel near us with Oscar’s school friends and went in the walled garden where they swam all day had hot dogs for tea and had a fantastic time! As the weather was nice we spent the rest of the week in the garden and got ready to go on holiday. We also went into London to a Finding Nemo event with Epson which was great fun! Archie had his first hair cut at Sharkey’s and he was so good sitting in the Lightning Mcqueen car.


Week 2 and 3

We flew to sunny Mallorca on the Saturday. We had an amazing time and the flight being only 2 hours was perfect for Archie who was a right fidget. We met up with one of Oscar’s school friends who was also in Mallorca which was lovely and went to see some close friends of ours that moved out there a few years ago. Our hotel was on the east of the island, the Protur Biomar Gran Hotel and Spa and it was really lovely. We went on an excursion to see the Pirates show which if you have kids is a must. The show is absolutely amazing, I have never seen anything like it. It was fantastic!


Oscar made lots of friends around the pool and both the boys loved the kids disco in the evening. We also hired a quad bike for Oscar which was so funny as Greg had to run behind him to make sure he didn’t bang in to anyone and we took a horse and carriage ride where the boys waved to everybody we went past.

Week 4

When we got home Oscar’s friend from outside his school had finished for the Summer so we went swimming with them and for a picnic. We went for our weekly fish and chips on a Tuesday with Great-Nanny which was lovely for Oscar as he is usually at school. It was great to go and check on our house build to see the progress. It was amazing to see what they had done in just 2 weeks! We had some lovely weather so I put the pool up in the garden and we also went to the local park a few times. Oscar also went to the cinema with Daddy.

Week 5

Daddy went on a stag do for a few days so I booked a few days in Norfolk with my best friend and her two children which was so amazing! Norfolk is home from home for me as as a child we went there 3 or 4 times a year staying in Brancaster. This time we stayed a few miles from there at a hotel called Briarfields and the kids loved being on the beach, building sand castles, eating ice cream and running around. We had such a fantastic time and we will try and do it every year now! We missed Daddy loads though!


Week 6

We met up with Oscar’s school friends at the walled garden for the day and the weather was amazing! I looked after my friends son for a couple of days and we went to the opening event of Gravity Force in St Albans that the boys loved. We went to visit Great-Nanny, went to the local aquadrome and went to see Scooby Doo Live at the London Palladium which was great. Even Archie sat in his own seat the whole time as he was transfixed on the singing and dancing.

Week 7

Daddy took a day off and we went bowling and for lunch with my Mum and Dad. The weather was amazing so we spent quite a lot of the time in the pool in the garden with Oscar’s friends over to play. We went to the Crayola Bus Tour event and Oscar got to do lots of art and crafts. On the weekend we went to Oxford for my Auntie’s 60th birthday and I got to see all my cousins and we even retook a photo that was taken 27 years ago!


Week 8

One of Oscar’s best friends had been away the whole Summer so we got to catch up with him and go for lunches and to the park and they played in the river. Oscar was so pleased to see him.

Week 9

This week has been a really special week! On Saturday Oscar and Archie were page boys at Greg’s best friends wedding. Greg was best man and I was asked to do a reading in the church. I won’t bore you to much but Steve has become one of my closest friends, hes more like a brother to me than a friend and we were so happy for him and Cheryl and it was an extremely emotional but amazing day. I almost crumbled in the church when I had to do my reading, I had never been so nervous! So congratulations Steve and Cheryl and thank you for a truly amazing day!


On the Sunday Greg was a little worse for ware and I was totally exhausted. We went to bed at 2am and Archie woke up at 6.30! Oscar stayed awake until 1am and partied all night long so he was a bit of a grump on the Sunday. So we decided to get some fresh air and went to the hills in Northolt, had a picnic and walked to the top of the hills and looked at the view of London.


We also went bowling with friends, went to see Great-Nanny and now we are ready for Oscar’s first day back tomorrow! Year 2 he we come….

Dreaming Of Dubai………….

Dubai is somewhere that I have always wanted to go to. A few of my friends live there and I always see their amazing photos on my Facebook and Instagram feed and as I sit here writing this post and its pouring with rain outside in May I am extremely jealous! Blazing hot, super glamorous and loads to explore and do, what more could you want?

The internet is full of amazing things to do when holidaying in Dubai and when I saw on Twitter that Tots 100 had an amazing competition for bloggers to win a holiday to Dubai with Dubai Tourism I had to enter! Dubai is the perfect location for a family holiday with amazing hotels and beaches and loads to see and do. I have looked at lots of the fantastic things you can do in Dubai for here are my top 5 if we were lucky enough to ever go!

  1. I would soak up some rays on the gorgeous beaches and swim in the crystal clear sea. Oscar loves playing on the beach and building sand castles and I have always preferred swimming in the sea to a swimming pool. Photos on Instagram of the beaches in Dubai look amazing and hot hot hot!

2. Something I have always wanted to do is swim with Dolphins, wherever we have been on holiday in Europe before we have been to watch Dolphin shows but have never been able to swim with them. Oscar always asks to see if he can swim with them so I know it would be an amazing surprise for him if he could swim with them.  Dolphin Bay In-Water Experiences & Aquaventure Waterpark is based at the back of the Atlantis on the Palm which is a hotel I would love to visit in itself. For £159 each you can visit the waterpark and then have a  personal and truly unforgettable shallow-water dolphin interaction. You get your own little show as the Dolphin’s swim and show off some of their favourite skills, then come truly close to them and touch, hug, kiss or even play ball with your new dolphin friend. You get to have an up-close experience which is appropriate for all ages which is great as Archie is only 17 months old but can still join in too instead of either Greg or myself missing out we get to do it as a family. This would be an unforgettable experience and would tick swimming with Dolphin’s off my bucket list.

four people in large pool with dolphin in Dubai

3. Obviously outside the hustle and bustle of the city you are in the middle of the desert. You can go on a excursion and one that really caught my eye is where you go for the day and not only get to ride a camel but also get to drive a quad bike and try sandboarding which all sound great fun! For around £75 each I think that’s a bargain for the amount of activities you get to try out. It sounds like a great day out, having tons of fun and we would get to try lots of new things and after all that’s what holidays are all about, making memories and trying something new!

two camels on sand dune in Dubai

4. So the Dubai Mall is the World’s largest shopping mall and is probably somewhere Greg will try and keep me away from with its array of gorgeous shops and boutiques! Obviously I would love to have a day of shopping here as I have been told that most things are quite a bit cheaper in the shops in Dubai. I will most probably need an extra suitcase to bring my new purchases home! 🙂 The Mall even has its own aquarium which is just mind blowing!

Dubai Mall (6)Dubai Mall (2)

5. Last but no means least, I would love to take Greg and the boys to Ferrari World. It is £ 49 per adult to get in and £40 for a child. Greg loves cars and Oscar has his own electric ferrari at home that Archie now uses. We recently went to something similar for Mercedes in the UK which is much smaller and we had a great time. It is the World’s largest indoor park (and only Ferrari-branded theme park) offering more than 20 Ferrari-inspired rides and attractions for visitors of all ages. Being indoors is good and in the midday sun would be a cool break for a few hours inside. For kids they can play in the waterless car wash, pilot remote-control cars, peddle their own Ferraris, and play with a Formula 1 car made entirely from kid-friendly foam and for adults you can go behind the scenes at the Grand Prix. Get up close and personal with the ultimate display of Ferrari cars, take a tour the historic Ferrari factory as you experience what was previously a privilege for only Ferrari owners plus so much more! This would be an amazing day out and one my boys would really enjoy!

So there you have it, my top 5 things I would love to do in Dubai. Obviously there are a few more I could add as there is so much to do there! If you are taking a trip to Dubai check out the Dubai Tourism website for more great ideas on how to make your holiday extra special!

This post is an entry in to the Tots100/Dubai Dreams blogger challenge, and be sure to share your own Dubai Dreams for a chance to win a holiday to Dubai yourself!

My Perfect Holiday With My Family #MarkWarnerMum

My perfect holiday has changed only slightly over the last ten years. Before we had children when Greg and I booked a holiday I would always pick somewhere that was hot where I could return with a glowing sun tan. It also had to be somewhere where we could relax and grab a few spa treatments but also somewhere we could explore too as Greg gets bored laying around a pool for two weeks where as I love it, laying on a sun lounger reading a book.

Paris 2008

Before we had children we would take short breaks to explore amazing cities like Paris, have beach holidays but one of my most memorable was when Greg took me to San Francisco. It was my first trip to America and exploring such an amazing city was unforgettable.

  

San Francisco 2007 , Excuse the awful yellow cargos

When we had children I thought that my idea of the perfect holiday would be somewhat different but it hasn’t changed at all. The boys have travelled abroad since they were babies and are used to it now and we have been blessed with dream little travellers. Last year when we flew to Toronto other people around us commented on how well behaved Oscar and Archie were, which made me feel every proud.

  

My perfect holiday now is still somewhere warm that Oscar and Archie can have fun in the pool, somewhere that has attractions to visit and sights to see as I love Oscar to see and learn about different cultures. My favourite thing about being on holiday is being together and watching the boys in their element as they have Daddy with them 24/7 and making memories as a family is just amazing. It is somewhere that has amazing local food and a gorgeous veranda that looks over the sea and we can sit and eat dinner together and watch the sun go down. It is somewhere where we feel at home and that the staff are friendly and welcoming.

I love watching Oscar make friends around the pool and us then making friends with their parents and having lunches together. Seeing his excitement when we leave the pool after a long day of splashing to shower and get ready for the children’s entertainment before dinner is always so special, then watching him growing in confidence and playing with his friends is unforgettable as this is something we don’t get to see when he makes his friends in school.

  

Taking walks down the beach, walking along the shore, searching for pretty stones and shells. Feeling the sand between your toes and writing the year and where we are in the sand for our yearly photo.

  

Looking back through our holiday photos, we as a family have made so many amazing memories so far and I cannot wait to keep making even more. Roll on Summer!

Disclosure: This is my entry into the Mark Warner Holidays’ Family Ambassador search for 2016 in the Fab Photographer category. Find out more here. #MarkWarnerMum