Features

Alternative Adventure Activities All the Family Can Enjoy This Summer

If you’re seeking some alternative ways to spend time together as a family this summer, why not aim for a little adventure? Adventure-based activities are great for children’s development, they help you to bond as a family and they keep you and the kids active.

So, what type of alternative adventure activities can you take part in? Below, you’ll discover just some activities you’ll want to consider.

Quad skating

 Back before the development of technology, children used to spend hours skating outdoors. While roller blades can be potentially dangerous, quad skates really couldn’t be safer. Why not treat the kids to a new pair of quad skates this summer? You can pick up some pretty cool looking skates these days from stores such as SkateHut.

The great thing about quad skates is that they’re affordable and enjoyable to use. They’re also suitable for most age groups and loved equally by boys and girls. You could even pick up some adult skates and join in. You’ll be surprised how enjoyable skating can be as an adult.

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Features

Top tips for dealing with the warm weather for kids & babies

This week we have been fortuante enough to speak to an expert from LloydsPharmacy who very kindly took the time to share her expert advice and guidance on dealing with these unusually warm tempartures we are having here.  These tip are also excellent to have if you are jetting off this summer too.

1. Sunburn

My pair are blue eyed, blonde and pale so preventing sunburn is very important, Rebecca has set out her top tips to prevent sunburn below:

sports

Pic Credit: Pixabay

We all know that sunburn is a huge risk factor for skin cancer, but did you know that much of the UV damage that leads to skin cancer happens in the early years of life. All children are at risk of UV damage, even those who tan easily.

  • Wear sunscreen, SPF 15 or higher in adults and SPF 30 or higher in kids and reapply every TWO hours.
  • Stick to the shade where you can to limit your exposure to UV rays. Babies under 6 months should be kept in the shade as much as possible. Make sure the shade casts a dark shadow.
  • Cover up as much sun-exposed skin as possible and wear a wide-brimmed hat made of cloth, or other close-woven material to give shade to the face, neck, head and ears.
  • Don’t forget to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses, sun exposure over time can lead to cataracts and cancer.
  • These tips apply whether you’re at home or away, UV damage is just as harmful from Irish sun as abroad. We’re getting an unusually hot spell right now but everyone needs to take just as much care on cloudy but bright days – up to 90% of UV rays can pass through cloud.

2.  Dehydration

I am always very aware at getting liquids into the boys during this heat. Some tips from Rebecca include:

  • Water should be given to counteract dehydration in hot or humid weather and should be drunk before you get to the stage of feeling thirsty.
  • Oral rehydration solutions such as Dioralyte replace salts, as well as water, lost through sweating.
  • Kids should be encouraged to drink water or a sports drink before, during and after any exercise in hot weather.
  • Adults should remember that tea, coffee and other caffeine containing drinks are diuretics and can worsen rather than help dehydration. The same goes for another diuretic, alcohol!
  • Children in cars need special attention as temperatures in cars can reach dangerously high levels very quickly. Children should never be left in a parked car.
  • If a child suddenly becomes dizzy, nauseated or weak in hot weather, bring them inside or at least in the shade. Give them lots of water or a sports drink and cool them down with a tepid shower or a sponge bath and fan air over their moist skin. Seek medical attention if their symptoms get worse or last for more than an hour.
  • Also avoid sun in the middle of the day, ideally between 11 and 4pm as sunburn stops your body from cooling itself down properly. Wear loose, light clothing that will allow the sweat to evaporate by allowing air to flow around the skin. Avoid dark clothing as this absorbs more heat than light colours.

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Fairy Travels

relexa Hotel Berlin – Family Travel Review

relexa Hotel Berlin – Our Review

Earlier in 2018 we visited the lovely city of Hamburg so I was very curious to see how similar or not Berlin was going to be.  Berlin was a very last minute decision for us. I unusually hadn’t done my months of research so in a panic booked the relexa Hotel mostly due it location. I like being central when travelling with kids. I peeked into Trip Advisor after booking and there were some mixed review so I was a tad nervous. I decided to go with it and off we went on a very early flight with the Grandparents in tow!

The Hotel

The relexa comprises 208 rooms decked out in a neutral colour scheme. The building itself it located down a quiet side street. There is a restaurant called Boulevard on site which serves a mix of international dishes as well as a bar and outdoor courtyard where you can eat or have a drink. Also on siste is relexa cooking which offers all kinds of cookery related demonstrations, classes and themed events. There is also a spa area with sauna, steam bath as well as a fitness and relaxation room.

The Location.

Brandenberg Gate

Brandenberg Gate Pic Credit: Mamma Fairy Blog

Inside the German Parliament buidling done

Inside the Parliament Building Pic Credit: Mamma Fairy blog

The relexa hotel commends a pretty impressive location in Berlin, and to my mind this is probably its biggest selling point. I can be a tad hard to please when it comes to location as I like central but quiet, walking distance within reason and a safe area. I’d prefer not to be totally reliant on public transport when travelling with kids. From the relexa hotel we could walk to all of the key attractions, it is situated between the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie. You are literally minutes for Potsdamer Platz with its array of eateries and bars and to the far side you have the Berlin Zoo and the German Technical Museum. We walked to all of the attractions we had wanted to do,  Legoland Discovery Centre, the Parliament Building, the Berlin Wall, Aqua Dom and more!

Despite being in the midst of everything it was really quiet and felt very safe. Another huge plus was the Lidl just around the corner. I had forgotten sunscreen and was very handy to pop around for that plus a few goodies for the kids before bed.

The Room

hotel room

Junior Suite Pic Credit: relexa Hotel

We had a Junior Suite which was totally adequate for our needs. They located my parents next door which was great as the kids were in and out to visit Nana and Grandad. I understand the hotel is going through some renovation work. My parent’s room was a lot newer and the décor was really nice.

hot air ballon

VIew from hotel room Pic Creit: Mamma Fairy Blog

Ours while a lot bigger was a little tired looking but spotlessly clean and lovely size for the four of us. The separate sitting room is a big plus when travelling with kids as you can watch some TV and chill while they are in bed. The Junior Suite comes with a small complimentary mini bar too. Very much appreciated.

 

We had a view of the hot air balloon directly infront of us and the Berlin TV tower just off to the right. The kids loved watching that balloon up and down. None of us had the nerve to actually go up on it!

The Facilities

The breakfast was very good and really set us up for the day. While it was busy it was replenished quickly and we always got a table. The selection was great with plenty for adults and the kids to choose from. We escaped one of the nights while the grandparents baby sat and had dinner in the hotel and drinks in the cocktail bar (my mouth is still watering for the Gin Fizz cocktails). The food was amazing. So fresh and tasty. Id go back for the food alone. This was totally unexpected as you really never know  with hotel food.

The outdoor courtyard was a lovely way to have a coffee or beer before retiring to the room in the evening after a busy day sightseeing.

We didn’t get a chance to try the Spa but there is always next time!

The Verdict

As I said above if location is top of your agenda you will have this here. Everything is so close and easily walkable even with the kids. The food was really good with great selection for adults and kids. The hotel is ideal for families and the rooms are a good size for a city hotel. WiFi was free and perfectly adequate for us. The staff were efficient not overly friendly but that fine with me! We have resolved to come back as three days really wants enough to see all this eclectic city has to offer. When we do come back we will be coming back here without a doubt. I usually like to try new places if we return to a city but this property suited us perfectly and lets face it why fit something that not broken!!

Mamma Fairy Insider tips

  • If budget permits go for the Junior Suite – lots of space, complimentary mini bar and bottled water replenished each day
  • Book the breakfast, you will be well feed for the day ahead
  • The parliament building is about 10 minutes walk from the hotel. Its free in but you need to book in advance, its 100% worth it and even the kids loved it.
  • We had a late flight departing Berlin so decided to wile aware a few hours a t the nearby German Technical museum. I can say hand on heart this is quite possible one of the best museums I have every visited. Incredible, really incredible. We were a party of ages 3 to 60+ and everybody enjoyed. The kids didn’t want to leave and that’s after spending 5 hours. Do it, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
  • Don’t bother with the paid upgraded wifi – the free one is totally fine.
  • Ask for a renovated room and one facing the city. The view of the TV Tower at night time is lovely

 

For best rates book direct via the hotel website .

 

Note: We received a media rate for our staty but we were not asked or expected to write this review.

 

Mamma Musings

5 Refreshing Team Building Activities Staff WILL Love

If your staff run for the hills as soon as they hear the phrase ‘team building’, then you know its time to change tack. But rather than ditching the idea, maybe its time for some fresh, new team building activities.

1 Team building cookery courses

cake

Pic Credit: Pixabay

In many ways, the idea behind a team building activity is to push boundaries, both personal and as a group, gently ‘forcing’ people to communicate, listen and work out the best way of achieving a goal as a collective group.  When this happens and new skills have been learnt, as well as information about each other, then you can put a big tick in the box that says, ‘successful team building activity’.  Thus, you may think that team building cookery courses are the soft option, where everyone turns up, bakes a scone and leaves.

But consider;

  1. Not everyone can cook and/or bake – so the head of accountants who seems so in control of the books needs guidance on how to boil an egg by the intern in marketing.  
  2. Not all cooker courses are the same – from a competitive restaurant challenge to creating making a dish that no one has ever made before, you will be amazed at just challenging some cookery team building activities can be.

Unlike whitewater rafting and other outdoor activities where you end the day wet, cold and aching, with a cookery course you eat what you cook, together.

 

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Fairy Travels

Lough Erne Resort – Our family stay

Lough Erne Resort – Our Review

Hotel Exterior

Pic Credit: Lough Erne Resort

The June bank holiday weekend was our wedding anniversary. It is the one occasion I really like to mark or celebrate. We were invited to Lough Erne Resort in Fermanagh for the night and how could I possibly refuse a stay in five star luxury hotel?! With kids in tow we departed for Lough Erne via Donegal (!) for the Sunday night of the bank holiday.  I’ll admit from the outset expectations were high, hotel of the year 2017, home to the 2013 G8 summit, five star and award winning chef!!! Could this hotel live up?!!

The location

The hotel is located just outside  Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh, very easy to locate and well sign posted. You enter the hotel via a long driveway which I think forms part of the golf course.  When the entrance comes into view its impossible not to be wowed, its really stunning and the setting on the lake really adds to the charm.  We could see the swans on the lake which really excited the kids.

The room

hotel room

Pic Credit: Lough Erne Resort

Check in was smooth and dealt with efficiently and friendly by a lovely lady named Susan or Sandra  I think.  Helpful without being imposing exactly the way I like it.  The kids received swim bags with colouring book and crayons in it which was a really nice touch.  Our home for the night was a beautiful 2 bedroom lodge over looking the lake. It was huge!! We had a separate living space with kitchenette, two full sized ensuite bedroom and a breathtaking view of the lake. I could very easily wile away hours staring at that view. The lake is so calm and serene. Its also part of the golf course and the boys loved watching the golf buggies up and down the course. There were lots of lovely little touches the sawm teddy on the bed for the kids, the little slippers.  My pair felt like total VIP’s.

The Food

bar interior

Pic Credit: Lough Erne Resort

We had dinner in the Blaney Bar that evening. The first thing I noticed was the great kids menu.  My pair happily devoured the steak and chips.  The setting is really nice over looking the lake. The vibe is nice and relaxed which is important when eating out with kids. Both the Dada Fairy and I also opted for steak and chips and there was clean plates all round. Service was very good. Special mention to Lauren who was brilliant, attentive, friendly and unobtrusive.  The staff in the bar definitely add to the charm and appeal, all the staff we encountered were so welcoming especially with the kids. Big thumbs up for the wine and chilled glasses too!

There is another restaurant on site – The Catalina, which I understand is Northern Ireland’s first 3 AA Rosette Hotel Restaurant. We didn’t eat dinner there but did have breakfast there which was as you would expect really good.  Again the staff are a big selling point here. Service is attentive without being over done.  Great breakfast selection there was plenty selection for both the adults and the kids.

The Facilities

infinity pool

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Unfortunately having only had one night we didn’t get enough time to experience the activities on offer but I did hear from another guest that the pool really was amazing.  There really is lots for families to do onsite you can take an hour-long cruise down the Lough in the region’s famous Water Taxis or head off to nearby Marble Arch Caves – one of the world’s leading Geoparks.

On site there are beautiful walks around the stunning surroundings of Lough Erne on the famous Collop Walk. It goes without saying aspiring junior golfers can practice their skills on the Mini Himalayas putting green or take part in a Junior golf camp. There’s also a host of other family-friendly activities such as fishing, arts and crafts, and a dedicated games room, Ernie’s Den to keep kids occupied and parents relaxed.

I really need to come back to experience the facilities on offer 😉

The Verdict

I was a little worried that as a five star hotel my boisterous pair might seem like  unwelcome guests amongst other patrons and staff! Absolutely not from the minute we checked in the kids were made feel like special guests.  The lodge was fantastic with so much space and the kitchenette while we didn’t use it I can see how helpful it would be if you were staying a couple of nights. We really thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Everything from the setting to the food to the room (s) was wow, spotlessly clean and welcoming.  If I was to start being really picky, the wifi in our lodge wasn’t picking up the signal well however lets be honest you don’t visit a five star resort for its wifi!

I can say hand on heart we will be back.

The cost

For best rate always book direct with the hotel.  For this summer the ‘Fermanagh Family Fun’ package is available which includes complimentary access to the Infinity Pool (children’s swimming daily 8am-11am & 4.30pm–5.30pm), jacuzzi and sauna at The Thai Spa plus an indulgent breakfast each morning by Noel McMeel and his culinary team. It’s available midweek (Sunday to Thursday) from the discounted price of £310 /£280 / £269 per night, based on two adults and two children under 12  based on 2/3/4 night stays and is available 1st July – 31st August.

 

Note: We were provided with a complimentary stay however all views are my own or the kids. I was not asked or expected to write this review.

 

 

 

Mamma Musings

10 Reasons You Feel Tired All the Time and How to Fix It

sleeping

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Always feeling tired but aren’t sure why? You are certainty not alone, as countless other people continue to feel tired despite having enough sleep, with as many as one in five people feeling tired at any given time.   Let’s take a closer look at 10 reasons you may feel tired all the time, and how you can fix it.

Lack of Sleep

We’ll start with the most obvious reason most people are tired all the time –  a lack of good sleep. Sleeping is vital for restoring energy levels, so it’s important that you get a restful night’s sleep with minimal interruptions, while sticking to a regular sleep schedule also helps.

 

Not enough Food

Undereating is another common cause of tiredness. Food gives us the energy to go about our days, so you want to ensure you eat enough calories each day to avoid feeling tired. Your caloric intake varies depending on age, gender, weight, and height, so try work this out an ensure you’re eating enough.

Dehydration

Not drinking enough water is a leading cause of tiredness. The better hydrated our bodies are, the more blood flow to the brain, helping to avoid fatigue and tiredness. So, make sure you’re drinking as much water a possible.

Stress

While we all deal with stress from time to time, suffering from frequent chronic stress has a serious impact on your mental and physical health, including feeling tired all the time. If you frequently suffer from stressful situations, consider stress management techniques such as meditation or yoga.

Sugar

Not only is sugar bad for your waistline, it can have a significant impact on mental functioning when consuming too much.   By decreasing activity of orexin cells, sugar can cause feelings of tiredness after that initial sugar buzz wears off. While difficult, you may want to reduce your sugar intake, especially during the morning and afternoon.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Nutrient deficiencies lead to a lack of focus, increased fatigued, and even physical weakness, with anaemia being an overlooked condition when it comes to tiredness. Consider checking to see if you suffer from iron, folate, or vitamin deficiencies and upping your intake of each should it be lacking in your diet.

Not Exercising

The idea of working out to feel less tired may seem counterintuitive, but it does work, and many don’t realise a lack of exercise is likely causing their tiredness. A sedentary lifestyle may contribute to this, so consider walking, running, or swimming a few times a week – you’ll notice the different immediately.

Skipping Breakfast

breakfast granola

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Many people struggle to eat during the morning time, but this should always be avoided, as breakfast provides our bodies with a much-needed dose of energy to start the day. If you don’t like eating much after waking up, try starting with something small such as a piece of fruit, toast, or some yoghurt. 

Too Much Caffeine

Drinking caffeine-rich beverages such as coffee and energy drinks may offer a short burst of energy, but this becomes a problem when done too often. High sugar and caffeine consumption results in rebound fatigue after the initial energy wears off. Ditch frequent cups of coffee and energy juice, replacing them with water instead.

Food Allergies

Not everyone realises their food sensitives, whether is being lactose intolerant or gluten sensitive, but the symptoms are a nightmare, with fatigue being chief among them. Dairy, gluten, and eggs are a few types of foods that could be causing sleepiness – try dropping them for a while to see if it makes a difference.

Fairy Travels

Good Reasons to Go on a German Adventure

Berlin TV Tower

Berlin TV Tower

Have you ever thought about going on holiday to Germany? If not, you definitely should. Why? There are so many reasons from the friendly locals to the fantastic beer and the beautiful, which combine to make Germany a   destination for people of all ages, sexes and tastes.

Not convinced? Check out these very compelling reasons to start thinking about a German adventure right now…

River Rhine Cruises are so Relaxing

If you’ve been working too hard of late and you’re looking for a little relaxation, you’ll find all of the peace and serenity you can handle on board a cruise ship sailing along the River Rhine. You’ll see delightful old castles, lush green vineyards, happy people and pretty landscapes aplenty along the way and you’ll find yourself wishing that you could stay there forever.

The Courtyard Cologne is so Swanky

Wherever you go in Germany, especially in the big cities, you will find no end of high-end hotels that offer fine local food and drinks, luxuriously relaxing hotel rooms,  quality gym facilities and much more besides. A good example of this is the Courtyard Cologne, which is also keenly priced, but there are many more. So, whether you’re traveling with the family, heading off for a romantic weekend break, or going solo, you’ll never have to worry about the accommodation.

Oktoberfest is a Blast

Berlin Beer Fest toast

Beer Fest

In many places, Germany is probably best known for its Oktoberfest festival, with many people timing their holiday to coincide with it, and there is a good reason for that – it’s fabulous fun. Not only will you get to sample some of the best beers in the world if you attend, but there’ll be amazing sausages to tempt you around every corner, lots of people getting together and having fun, and of course, plenty of traditional Germanic celebrations for you to take part in and get to know the local culture a bit better.

The Berlin Festival is a Cultural Highlight

If you’re a movie buff, you don’t have to fly all the way to Hollywood to get your fill – the Berlin Film Festival or The Berlinale, to give it its proper name, is a hugely prestigious and extremely glamorous celebration of all things cinema. Concentrating on true art and innovation, it is far more interesting than the Oscars and with no less than 400 films to choose from in a single festival, you’re certain to find something you like.

Berlin is Buzzing

The city of Berlin is without a doubt one of the most vibrant, energetic cities on the planet. Buzzing with life, art and culture, it’s impossible to be bored when you’re in Berlin. From the notorious KitKat Club to the C/O Gallery and the extremely moving Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, you’ll laugh, cry, wonder and have your mind boggled, but mostly you’ll have a very memorable time there.

Bachfest Leipzig is Beautiful

This wonderful annual event which celebrates the life and music of the much-loved baroque composer Johan Sebastian Bach is a great way to get some culture into your life. Even if you aren’t particularly into classical music, you will not fail to be moved by the combination of the music and the beautiful historic surroundings of Thomaskirche church where the event is held, The final performance of Mass in B Minor will blow you away guaranteed.


Germany really is the place to be!

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Fairy Travels

7 Activities to Ensure You Get the Most out of Your Family Holiday

aircraft wing

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Planning your summer holidays and wondering what to do to keep the kids entertained? Here are some tips and tricks to keep them happy, and keep you from tearing your hair out.

Be prepared

If this is your child’s first adventure on a plane or ferry, hype them up to the experience by injecting fun into what they can expect. There are new noises, sensations, and even rules to get to grips with when navigating ferry ports and seaports. Why not turn passport control and security checks into a game or, at the very least, a point of reward for best behaviour when you’ve passed through?

Everything edible

Okay, maybe not everything is edible, but knowing what treats are in store might be one way to build excitement for the kids about where you are going. Whether it’s the almost-familiar patatas bravas in Spain and keftedes in Greece, or slightly different spätzle in Germany and gołąbki in Poland, there is something that will appeal to both those who prefer the comfort of home-cooking, and those who are willing to try something new.

Plan a virtual tour

There’s nothing quite like planning an itinerary of where you are going, and what better way to keep the kids interested than to let them plan for themselves? Whether it’s kid-friendly theme parks or interactive museums, showing pictures and videos of all the places you might get to see is bound to make them even more excited for their holiday.

A few words?

Why not add a little something educational to your holiday preparations in a fun way so your kids don’t really know they are learning? From a few words in the language of the place you are going to a fun history lesson of the culture of the country, there are so many ways to grab their attention and teach them something at the same time. Better yet, learning a language with companies like Listen & Learn, FluentU or Babbel means you can bring some of your travels and memories back with you, continuing lessons even after you’re home!

Autonomy

While we are on the subject of languages and learning, what better way to prepare your children for their first trip overseas than to teach them a few new words? Basic greetings and polite pleases and thank yous will go a long way to building their confidence, as well as delighting waiting staff and friendly locals with their efforts.

Making memories

How about getting your kids to create their own holiday mementos? Disposable cameras are cheap, or a kid-proof tablet will capture any photos they choose to take. And when you are all back in rainy England with still weeks of the holiday to get through—or even worse, are back and work and school—a little scrapbooking with those holiday photos will help build those memories, and enthusiasm for planning the next one!

Peace of mind

Pack the essentials that you’d take on a day trip and remember shops the world over will likely stock most things you can get at home. Figure out all the things you want to see and do as well. Your kids will enjoy themselves a lot more if you are just as excited to be there. Relax, breathe, and take your time; this is your holiday as well!

 

Note: This is a collaborative post

 

Home & Interiors

How to Make the Most of Shrinking Living Rooms

No, you’re not imagining it. Living rooms are officially shrinking! According to new research carried out by LABC warranty, lounges in Britain’s homes are now 32% smaller than the equivalent properties in the 1970s. Separate research conducted by Cambridge University in 2014 found that new build homes in the UK are the smallest in Europe. So, what are we to do about the lost square footage and what’s the best strategy for living with smaller spaces? Let’s take a look at how to make the most of shrinking living rooms.

Clever furniture choices

Sitting room furniture

Pic Credit: Pixabay

When you don’t have a lot of floor space to spare, you need to be even choosier about the furniture you select. In fact, if your lounge is on the small side, you may actually have issues putting essentials like sofas in situ. Go too large and you may find you have to take your UPVC glazed window out just so you can get your sofa in your living room! I may or may not be speaking from experience here!!!  If you really need a larger sofa for lounging on, think about purchasing a two-piece L-shaped sofa that can be slotted together once in position so you can avoid awkward window removals! Many L-shape sofas can now be set up in right or left facing, so you can make the most of your room shape too.

Mounting your TV on the wall rather than on a stand is another commonly used space saver but if you want to get serious about reclaiming as many square inches as possible, it’s time to select stackable and multi-use furniture. Nests of tables are handy pieces that can be tidied away easily; footstools that double as storage space are a godsend when you need quickly clear up for a guest’s arrival too. Folding tables and chairs are great for creating a little kids’ play corner that can be stored away when not in use.

Blending and zoning

Even with smaller, cleverer furniture choices, some modern living rooms still feel cramped. After all, the living room tends to be the space where the family gathers together for activities. You might use the living room for watching TV together or as a space where the toddler plays with their toys or you may want to eat and entertain in your lounge. That’s a lot of demands put on a small space and a variety of different activities that require very different types of furniture. Many homeowners choose to alleviate this closed in feeling and accommodate different goings-on by blending and zoning spaces.

Fancy giving blending and zoning a go? Removing the wall between the living room and dining room will open up your space, but you may want to retain some element of separation. Floor-to-ceiling internal bifolds like these from Vufold will let lots of light flow through the space while giving you the option to close off into defined rooms. Alternatively, you could try your hand at simple zoning of your living room using separating furniture such as bookcases or other stylish options so that you have quieter nooks for play or activities like homework or reading.

Go digital

According to research by Which, 24% of UK homes now contain some kind of smart home device. I have written about this before, the Dada Fairy has become hooked on smart home features these days! Some of these gadgets will be cameras aimed at increasing security or central heating control systems, but many more are likely to be smart TVs or hubs like the Amazon Echo. These nifty devices do your bidding with a simple voice command, playing your choice of music or film, searching the Internet for you or even making a call. 

Part of our living room renovation included a small segregated home office area.  We were very fortunate to be sent a BenQ e-Reading LED desk lamp.   I would never have considered lighting to be a feature not only useful but aesthetically in a room. The room was kept very neutral and the lamp is hot pink which  adds a fab fun element to an otherwise toned down neutral space.  The lamp is designed to provide constant and flicker-free illumination and no unstable lighting which may potentially cause harm to your eyes. What I love most about this lamp is how movable it is adapting to whatever technology is in use. The feature my pair love the most is the ambient lighting moods! You can easily switch between warm tones for casual reading, to the cooler tones for concentration and work.  Coming with a price tag of £149 this isn’t the cheapest lamp on the market but you do have to consider its functionality which cannot be denied. In a world ever engrossed with all things techie. I wont scrimp on devices that assist in that regard therefore hand on heart can attest to the quality and functionality of this lamp.   Continue Reading

Fairy Travels

The Allure of the Algarve – summer holiday planning

How beautiful was the weather this weekend? You can really feel the Summer vibe on the way.  I often find when the weather is good my mind starts to wander to holidays! The weather was so lovely all weekend it prompted our very regular family discussion of where to next next.

While we love city breaks and action packed holidays, for the last couple of years we take my parents on a total chill out holiday.  Think, sun, beautiful beaches, good food and good wine. Whats not to love?.  We quite literally stumbled on a beautiful town in the Algarve called Alvor and have been making a family trip every year since.  We range in age from 6 to 60 plus and the beauty of the Algarve for us  is that there is something for everybody.

If its nightlife your after its there, you want good wines as you chill listening to the ocean its there too and probably most importantly there is plenty for younger members of our holiday party to do too.  I work full time, have two young kids ( a husband :-)) and blog by night so for me what I love about our now annual family trip is total relaxation. Lying on the beach, reading a book as I keep one ear out listening to the kids laugh and play.

For my parents they love all inclusive, that’s one price for pretty much all your food and drink and you don’t have to worry much after that.  For them that’s the relaxing part of the holiday.  If you are considering booking all inclusive Holiday Gems has cheap all inclusive deals. 

I’m going to let the pictures do the talking now! How breath taking are these view in Alvor? We usually go in the October school holiday break and while busy its not crazy busy.  Also the temperatures are lovely and warm with out being too hot for my blue eyed blonde haired fair skinned duo.  They burn so easily I have to be mega careful about applying sun cream.

sea view

Pic Credit: @mammafairyblog

beach scene

Pic Credit: @mammafairyblog

 

pool with view over looking the sea

Pic Credit: @mammafairyblog

 

Take me there right now.  This place has really cemented itself in history in our family anyway! Alvor we will see you for the fourth time later this year and every one us for 6 to 60+ share in the excitement.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control.