Category Archives: Holiday

Frugal & Fun: A Review

I actually begged to review this ebook from Cass Bailey, Jen Walshaw and Becky Goddard-Hill, with an 11 week summer holiday stretching before me I was desperate to keep my 10 year old entertained while retaining a grasp on my sanity. Two weeks in to those holidays I’m pleased to say that so far my daughter has been kept entertained (and not threatened with remaining in her room for the duration of the holidays) and we’ve planned a whole host of other things to keeps her occupied, both when she’s with me and while she’s staying with her nan for a few weeks with the help of the ebook.

The ebook covers a whole host of planning ideas and activities to ensure that the summer holidays will go with a bang and not break the bank. It starts with a planning section with a suggested activity a day to make sure that you know exactly what is available in your area throughout the holidays and to ensure you have everything you need to hand to keep the kids entertained. Although I try to plan ahead I never quite seem to manage it so having it laid out before me in such an easy to follow way really helped me to get organised and research what was going on in the local area, as well as getting the house ready for the holidays – well as much as you can when you have a 6 month old flying about in a walker and destroying everything you do!

One of the first things we did was create a boredom jar, I won’t ruin what it is by telling you, but it is an absolutely brilliant idea. One I’d never have thought of and has proved invaluable in keeping my daughter occupied. We also did a wish book early on too and are gradually ticking things off our list that we have done – there’s even a separate one for when my daughter is staying with her nan!

Having an older daughter I let her read the ebook and pick out activities she wanted to do herself. So far she fancies making a patriotic cake, building a den (it seems no matter how old kids are they still want to build a den!), and trying out the rest of the recipes in the ebook. We’ve had a BBQ and made Smores for the 4th of July, have a Mexican themed meal she’s making tonight, tapas at the weekend and she helped make a Greek themed meal (her favourite period of history at school is the Greeks apparently) last week too. She also made a photo collage of herself, her friends and our family, which living so far away from them was a really nice thing for her to do and she’s even used her pocket money to turn them into proper posters using an online photo company. That is just the tip of the iceberg, we have so much more planned and certainly no reason to be bored over the coming weeks and if she is, that’s when the boredom jar will come in handy (did I tell you how much I LOVE that idea?).

There are so many ideas to keep children of all ages occupied within the Six sections of the ebook, which are:

The Olympics

The Great Outdoors

Around the World

Heroes and Heroines

Home Sweet Home

Colours

The ebook is currently selling on Amazon for £2.99 and it’s worth every penny! I’ve saved money by creating fun activities at home using things we already have, finding out about local free events, I’ve not killed my ten year old (yet) or resorted to cracking open the wine by 4pm (again, there’s still time for this of course – I’m only human after all!)  and above all we’ve been having loads of fun. You can also find more ideas on the website Frugal & Fun which will be added to throughout the summer.

Please note I was provided with a copy of this ebook for the purpose of the review. For further information regarding my disclosure policy please click on the Disclosure tab above.

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Flying with a baby

Having just got back from a week long trip abroad with a 10 year old and a 5 month old, I thought I’d put together a few tips to get you through flying with a baby. It seemed to do the trick for us and I was left with a baby that slept for both take off and landing and was happy in the airport, which is a bit of a result as I’d been absolutely dreading the flight.

  • Make sure you have everything you need for baby in one bag to avoid confusion at both security (when you may have to taste the baby’s milk) and when in the airport and on the plane.
  • Try to book flights that fit in around your baby’s nap times. I didn’t intentionally do this but it really worked and I was left with a baby who was asleep for 80% of the plane journey.
  • Change baby on arrival at the airport to keep him/her comfortable and also just before you get on the plane. Airplane toilets are tiny and made even smaller with changing tables so if you can avoid changing baby while on board – do! Of course if h or she decides to do a huge poo while onboard the plane there’s little you can do to avoid it.
  • On arrival at the airport make sure baby is fed, to keep him/her happy for the duration of your time in the airport. This may reduce time to stock up on duty frees but it will be worth it when you arrive on the plane with a happy rather than screaming and hungry baby.
  • Remember you can take as much milk/juice/water/food to the airport and for the duration of the flight through security in your hand luggage. Keep it together as you will be asked to remove it from your bag and place it in a tray along with your other belongings.
  • Look out for a family assistance lane at the airport, like they have at Gatwick. You bypass the normal queues for security and get through in minutes rather than half an hour or more. If you aren’t sure what you can take through or what you have to take out of your bag, there is someone on hand to offer advice and in my case remove my boots when they had to be scanned as I couldn’t bend down with the carrier on. (bless that poor woman having to touch my boots!)
  • You can take your buggy right up to the plane, it will then be checked and stowed at the last minute and brought up to the plane for you as you disembark. I chose not to do this and wore a carrier instead and this worked well for us as baby boy was reassured by being close to me yet able to look all around and get a great view of what was happening in the airport.
  • To avoid pain in baby’s ears at take off I had a bottle in his mouth as we were going up the run way, taking off and climbing and he was asleep before we’d even finished ascending. Likewise for landing, as soon as I felt my ears starting to pop I gave him a bottle and by the time we landed he was asleep again. No tears, no fuss and above all no pain for baby boy.
  • Keeping him occupied was relatively easy where he was asleep for so long during the flight, but we packed a few of his favourite toys which he played with quite happily. He loved poking his head above the seat and looking all round at the other passengers and even being held in the aisle so he could get a better view of everyone, not to mention fluttering his eyelashes at the air hostesses.
  • Make sure you check baby’s hand and hold baggage allowance. On the flight out he wasn’t allowed to take anything unless it was paid for, on the flight back he was allowed 10kg for free to go in either our luggage or his own separate bag. We were also allowed to take two items out of a list of several including a car seat and pushchair.

We were incredibly lucky with both our flights in that baby boy had no problems with pain in his ears and was easily occupied. I hope that if you follow the above tips you can have as stress free a flight as we did!

>Lucky me!

>
A few months back I won a competition through Delicious Magazine. I received an email congratulating me and was told someone would be in touch shortly, I ended up chasing it for ages and eventually got a response back in mid November saying they would be in touch. I practically forgot about it what with Christmas and M going to Gibraltar until I got an email the other day congratulating me again and saying (again) someone would be in touch shortly! This time though I actually got a letter from the marketing company and the hotel, both of which arrived today and I couldn’t be more excited!


It’s a 3 night break to include dinner, bed and breakfast, morning coffee, afternoon tea and use of the leasure facilities, plus £150 towards travel and a spa treatment – I can chose from a facial, massage or oriental head massage. Sounds like heaven!!


The hotel in question is Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island, oh yes it’s on a private island near Oban in Scotland. The hotel is 5 star and has 16 bedrooms, with premium spa suites (in which M and I will be staying) and 2 bedroom suites in the grounds. The meals are in the hotel’s 3 AA Rosette restaurant and the spa includes an indoor pool, sauna, steam room and gym with a treatment area. On the island you can use the tennis court, go clay pigeon shooting and play golf, or just head off on one of the nature trails around the island. It looks and sounds amazing!


We’ve got to go by the end of June and with M on 3 months probation in Gibraltar until mid March and the World Cup taking up most of June (he’s a sports trader so won’t get time off in June as he gets paid to watch sports for a living! Every mans dream eh!) it leaves us pretty much with April and May but we have to avoid bank holidays and Easter so tonight I’ll be looking at flights to Glasgow and car hire prices (it’s a 2 hour drive from Glasgow) to see when we could go.

The pics are of the hotel, the views, the locals (seals! lol!) and both of the spa suites (one of which we will be staying in). It really does look gorgeous and I still can’t believe I won the prize in the first place, I never win anything! Now all I need to do is hit the jackpot on the lottery and I’ll be laughing!