An Overnight Escape To The Hut – Deal

Lowdown has meant seeing a lot of our own four walls or taking trips to out local green spaces. I am extremely grateful that we have a lovely home and plenty of places to choose from when it comes to getting out and about, but after months of end not going to far afield and not seeing friends I was delighted when the lovely Hanna from The Savvy Mummy asked to meet up at her beautiful hut in Deal – Kent.

It’s only just over an hour from us and I was so happy to see a beautiful, smiling face greet us and the peaceful Kingsdown Holiday Park.

The park is home to a collection of stunning wooden huts, set in the middle of a beautiful green space just a stones throw away from the beach.

The park has so much to keep the children busy from mini golf to tennis, a well equipped play area to table tennis and the ability to allow you to let the kids roam free and find their own fun.

The Hut itself is a real home from home with a warm feeling as soon as you step in. The ground floor has a well equipment kitchen and a living space with a dining area which you sometimes don’t find in places such as this. There is also a good sized bathroom a double bedroom and a super cute children’s room complete with bunk beds and a disco ball light that kept the boys very amused!

My favourite part was the mezzanine floor that had bunting draped from each and every banister and had two good sized double beds. The cute triangular windows also have toy a gorgeous view of the grounds and the sea!

The Hut really is a tardis and is deceptively more spacious than than it looks. We are a big family and it could house us all with ease.

After exploring everything the park had to offer we jumped back in the car and took a short drive into Deal town centre to get some chips and have a dip in the sea before Hanna and the girls headed home.

If we had more time we could easily have made the walk into town as there is a wide a flat promenade that is perfect for the kids to scooter on and is definitely on our list for a return trip.

After a sad goodbye we headed back to the hut for the evening and the boys were eager to head out on their own around the park. This kind of thing always fills me with anxiety – not so much because I am worried about their safety as I felt completely space there, but I know how my youngest two have an extreme ability to annoy and I don’t want them to impose on others!

After a while and with regular checks from their big sister I relaxed a little and was able to have a cup of tea in peace whist they enjoyed their new found independence.

I’m not one to sit still for to long though and I was getting itchy feet, so I took Oscar on the few minute walk down to the sea front. This section of beach had a row of pretty cottages and two pubs which I have heard serve great food and have benches on the beach where people were enjoying a glass of wine whilst watching the sunset.

Me on Oscar however headed( pj’s on) down to the sea to see what we could find in the rock pools. My ever inquisitive youngest had a bit of a shock though when he got a sea urchin sucker onto his finger!

A little bit wet and weary we went back and enjoyed chocolate dipped marshmallows and got an early-ish night!

The next morning Frankie was up by the front door at the crack of dawn trying to spot his new found friends. For me lockdown has meant he has wanted to do very little aside from be stuck in front of a screen, so seeing him back to his old self and wanted to get out and about was amazing.

We brought a few of our own supplies for breakfast, but Hanna has left the kitchen well equipped with all the essential such as tea, coffee and cereal which was most unexpected and very welcome.

Toast, and a tidy up and it was time to say fair well to our over night home and head back into Deal to see what else there was to offer.

I had come across Deal Pier Kitchen whilst having a look online and had made it my mission to visit before we left.

I didn’t even realise Deal had a pier and unlike the usual fairground filled piers this was just home to the restaurant that sat right at the end.

The pier has a brutalist feel to it which I love and the restaurant has been built in keeping with this, keep the exterior dark, with plenty of glass to take in the stunning sea views.

There were lots of delicious choices on the menu, but being early we grabbed skinny fries and cake…great for the waistline!

Izzy was desperate to have mooch around the shops, I was not so much so with all the COVID regulations in place, but we window shopped and Deal had a good variety of your usual suspects as well as some pretty homeware and gifts shops in a pretty lame type setting.

I really felt we made the most of an overnight stay and packed in as much as we could with The Hut being the perfect place for us to do this.

The location was perfect to relax in and just let kids be kids and it allows you to do as little or as much as you want.

We had a wonderful stay and hope to be back very soon!

What Families Look For When Renting A Home

[AD] The rental market is growing all the time, with a lot of people having to stay due to not being able to get on the property ladder and many just opting to stay in rental properties due the the flexibility it gives them.

Whatever the reason there is a whole host of things to consider when moving with a family and some things are often overlooked by both tenants and landlords; so I have compiled a few top tips for you below to make these decisions a little easier:

Schools – One of the top priorities for most families is the location of the nearest public and private schools and how well they perform.

Recreation – Having parenting groups, open space, playgrounds, libraries etc that are easily accessible is a big must for many families.

Crime Rate – We obviously all want to keep our families as safe as possible so one factor would definitely end to try and find an area with a low crime rate.

Community – This isn’t something everybody would find important, but a lot of people like the opportunity to be able to be part of a wider community for support, finding friends and getting together at different types of events for the whole family to enjoy.

Parking – Coming from someone that has only just found a property with good parking this is a big priority – especially when you have a young family.

Having to drag your shopping along the street with small children in tow is never fun and can add additional stress to your day.

A Safe Home – You could find a beautiful home that completely fits the bill in many ways, but there is a banister free stair case or a sheer drop off of the patio area that simply would be safe for your family. This is something that both tenants and landlords should consider.

Pets – Pets can be a important part of the family so with many landlords not accepting pets this is something you most look into.

Gardens – Gardens are an extension of the home and something a lot of people look for in a property. With small children you need to ensure this area is safe and can work with outdoor toys etc.

Insurance – This is import for both the tenant and the landlord to get right as for a landlord there are many more things to factor in being able to compare landlord insurance to ensure things such as theft, loss of rent and malicious damage are a must.

How To Clean Wine Stains From The Carpet

[AD] Everyone has found themselves at least once in their life in the difficult situation of cleaning wine stains from the carpet after a birthday party at home or a family gathering. This is not something you should be afraid of, you just have to know how to clean your carpet the right way.

The question is should you use professional carpet cleaning procedures or should you try and deal with the problem yourself?

Everything depends on two main factors – is the wine stain fresh or old, and how much time can you afford to loose attempting to remove the stain yourself. If domestic carpet cleaning is not your preferred way of spending the weekend then you should pick up the phone and contact a carpet cleaning London based company to schedule a service. However if you have nothing more important to do and you are strongly determined to clean the wine stain yourself, follow these tips below:

• The first thing to do when cleaning a carpet is to immediately remove all the liquid. The best way to do this is with paper towels of a kitchen sponge, they will quickly soak up any spills on your carpet.

• If there is still moisture in your carpet, mix one part vinegar with two parts water, mix thoroughly and pour into a clean spray bottle. Spray the affected area gently and apply tissues to absorb the liquid completely. Repeat until the stain has completely disappeared from your carpet.

If the stain could not be completely removed, then it is time to start using household cleaning solutions.

How to get rid of wine stains that have been there for a while.

Where should you start when you are dealing with an old wine stain?

Start with a tried and tested mixture of water and vinegar. It perfectly washes away wine pigment form both natural and artificial hairs.

Then next use household cleaning products. For example washing powder – the main thing is that the product doesn’t corrode the skin of the hands. Dissolve it in mildly hot water and rub throughly into the pile. You can add a few drops of ammonia for the best effect. Remember never apply too much pressure when cleaning g the carpet as you can damage the carpet’s fibres. Moreover, by rubbing the carpet the wine stain may penetrate even deeper into the fibres.

If the above domestic carpet cleaning methods do not help – and your carpet is still ‘flaunting’ with a greasy red spot, the time for the most decisive action has come.

Dampen a cloth with 3% peroxide solution and gently wipe the affected area, then let the liquid dry on its own for an hour or so. Then you can rinse the area with clean water and dry quickly with a hairdryer. Again, there are two important rules to follow – never apply to Koch water or other liquid to the carpet when cleaning it and do not keep the hairdryer too close to the carpet.

If you pour to much liquid onto the carpet it may not dry completely; mould will form and it will start smelling bad. Remember mould is a much more serious problem than a wine stain. It can seriously balm your health!

So if your don’t know how to cope with a stain on your carpet, you should not experiment with it. Book a cleaning service and leave the work to experienced professionals. As you probably know hot water extraction carpet cleaning is the best cleaning procedure you can use for disinfecting and deep cleaning carpets.

Mysteries In Time – An Adventure Through History GIVEAWAY

[AD] If the past few months have fought me anything, it would be that teachers should never be taken for granted.

Trying to keep my youngest two engaged in learning has been no mean feat, but what I have learnt…especially with Frankie is that he responds much better to anything a little outside the box rather than the traditional style of learning.

So when Mysteries In Time got in touch I was hopefully this would work for us.

Mysteries In Time is a monthly subscription box that brings a whole host of historical topics straight to your door.

They cover world history, ancient Egypt, the Elizabethan era, evacuees, Ancient Greece and the Wild West.

The classic box gives you –

• A story full of adventures

• History booklet

• Word puzzles and other activities

• Themed bookmark

• Sticker sheets

• Three colouring pages

• Timeline stickers

• Free map – with your first box

The bumper box gives you all this, plus a few more additional items, so as you can see there is more than enough to keep them busy.

The time machine designed box arrived at our door and just this alone made him eager to check out what was inside.

Ancient Egypt was our them and Frankie loved uncovering all the exciting elements inside the box – especially the Tutankhamun shaped pen that unusually he was itching to get writing with!

Each aspect of the box interlinks and along with reading from books and worksheets the children can draw, colour and even make things from the modelling clay provided. This was extremely popular with Frankie and he loved making his very own Amulet.

This box really does give you a little bit of everything wether you are history buff or not. From the excitement of receiving something in the post, to discovering everything hiding in the box, to learning all kinds of new facts this box has been brilliant for us.

The quality of the box is fantastic and it really amazing value for money. If you would like to try one out for yourself then click HERE to enter!

Guilt Free Screen Time With Osmo

[PR SAMPLE] Getting the right balance when it comes to screen time and little ones can be so hard, especially in this current climate. I find myself allowing the children more of it so that I can get work done and then feel guilty that I have let YouTube take over my duties as a parent.

I have recently however found a brilliant solution to this – Osmo.

Osmo is a unique educational gaming accessory that you can use with a list of compatible devices. Osmo brings together tactile exploration and innovative technology to allow children to learn in a super fun way.

When our Osmo Creative Kit arrived I was worried the set up would be tricky, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. All that was needed was to download the Osmo App, place our iPad onto the Osmo base and the then place reflector over the top of the iPad’s camera and we were good to go.

There is a huge range of different kits available for Osmo that help your children learn skills in coding, maths, puzzles, spelling and drawing.

The creative kit that we were sent came with a white board style board and wipeable pens to use on it, as well as a case for the pens that doubles up as a cloth…how cool is that!

Oscar set to work following the instructions and jumping with glee when his creations were brought to life by being dragged into the screen by the big lovable bear. It was so much fun the my husband couldn’t resist joining in to.

I loved the combination of him working on his drawing skills, listening and following instructions and learning to navigate his way around the screen.

The creative kit has given a new meaning to screen time for Oscar and has made me feel so much better about getting on with work, safe in the knowledge he is is gaining new skills.

Protecting Your Family With Life Search

[AD] There are a whole host of things to consider when we think about starting a family and to be honest it can be a bit of a daunting prospect.

Are we at the right stage in our life to bring a little one into the world? Is our relationship strong enough to deal with the responsibility? Have we got a good support network in place to help us out? Are we in a good financial position?

But it is this last question that I want to talk about today as most people take into consideration the financial position they are currently in, but don’t think more long term or consider what would happen if you or your partner were no longer around.

This is where life insurance is something we should all consider, no matter how old we are as sadly no one knows what could be round the corner and if you have the security of life insurance then this allows you to have a safety next if the worse should happen; and peace of mind that your loved ones will be looked after financially.

So what is life cover? – to round it up it is a payment made to your loved ones if something should happen to you. This is usually made as a one off payment, but some companies such as Life Search offer a family income benefit policy which in my opinion is a much better way of receiving payment.

Family Income Benefit is a bit different to other life insurance products in that it doesn’t pay out a lump sum to your loved ones should you pass away, but instead provides the beneficiaries with regular, tax-free income – either monthly or quarterly, to help cover household and living costs when the main earner isn’t around anymore.

When you take out a Family Income Benefit policy, you choose how long you want your term to last. For young families, this could be until the children are financially independent and would no longer need the income payments.

Loosing a loved one if one of the hardest things anyone could go through, so making the financial side of things easier gives you one less thing to worry about.

Is this the kind of policy you would consider?

Our First Trip To Godstone Farm After Lockdown

[PRESS TICKETS] Godstone Farm is one of our favourite places to visit and I can safely say I must have racked up a fair few visits with my crew over the years – so after months of being stuck inside with very limited time outside of our own four walls we couldn’t wait to have our first real trip out at Godstone Farm.

Ordinary Godstone Farm is really good at putting hygiene first and I was at ease knowing they would do their upmost to get the farm ready for visitors after lockdown.

I wasn’t disappointed as when we arrived there were very clear instructions as to what is expected of you on your visit and wash stations and hand sanitizer at every turn.

You need to pre-book online before your visit, time slots have been made to stagger people on entry and numbers have been limited to make sure it is easy to stick to government guidelines.

Due to the amount of open space at the farm keeping your distance can be done with ease and in the few areas that it may become tricky, one way systems have been put in place and reminders dotted around the floor telling you to keep ‘2 pigs’ apart.

One of the first things that really struck me was the fact all the animals looked as happy to see the children as they were to see them. They we happy coming over the the children to say hi and the boys couldn’t have been happier.

We spent ages walking around and seeing if there had been any new arrivals since our last visit and I was happier than the boys I think to see the gorgeous little piglets that were only a few days old.

My children are always thinking about their bellies and although we took a picnic with us there were plenty of places to grab something to eat, and we enjoyed a coffee and an ice cream on our way to the play area; and I can say I was definitely tempted with the delicious looking pizzas.

My main worry of getting back out again was letting the boys on play equipment, but I shouldn’t have worried as the farm had carried out a deep clean and with it being so vast it was easy (even for my boys) to keep a good distance from others and still have a great time.

We finished our day with a walk around the Dino Trail and can safely say that even though a few areas of the farm have been closed we still had a day as full of fun and adventure as always and will be back again more than a few times over the summer I’m sure!

Creating The Perfect Gallery Wall With Desenio

[AD] The past few months have seen us all spending a lot longer indoors than we ordinarily would and making changes to our home have come to the forefront of our mind.

Big renovations are out of the question at this present time, but filling our walls with beautiful things is something I love and instantly adds something different with minimal effort.

Staring at that vast expanse of plain wall can sometimes be a little daunting though and the kind of look you are thinking of and how you would position your art can be a little overwhelming.

This is where Desenio have come to the rescue – not only are they suppliers of a vast range of prints, posters and frames, they also offer a fantastic service that allows you to create your own gallery wall online before taking that big leap.

Desenio have an ever changing selection of different galley walls on display with a plethora of different styles, colours and materials to suit anybody’s needs and taste.

After browsing all that they have on offer you will hopefully have a clearer idea of the look you are going for in your own home and with the use of their online tool you can build a gallery wall with your own selection of prints.

These can be moved around, swapped in and out for different pictures until you have built your perfect gallery.

My husband and I often disagree on artwork…I usually win the battle; but this has been a great way for us to work together and blend both of our tastes to create something we are both really happy with.

We have a beautiful wall in our living room that we created using the gallery planner a while ago now and are now moving into the dining room so watch this space!

My First Virtual Event With Moonpig

[AD] The world is a pretty funny place at the moment and we are all having to adapt to a new way of life. This can be hard and there are definitely things that I am missing more and more as time goes on.

With my line of work the majority is done online and I predominately work from home so this isn’t to much of a change for me; but a fairly large percentage of work is also event based which I have to say I am really missing now.

Meeting new people, discovering new brands and simple face to face interaction has completely gone and I’m definitely missing this side of my work. So when an invite to a ‘virtual event’ from Moonpig popped into my inbox I was very excited albeit a little a sceptical as to how this was going to work.

A night of cocktail making and flower arranging had been planned and the running order of the evening was exactly what you would expect from any other event, and when the bits and pieces started to arrived at the front door the excitement started to build and I was eager to get started.

With the children shut in the front room with bowls of sweets and a movie for bribery to keep quiet I transformed my dinning room into a flower arranging/cocktail masterclass area and waited patiently for the Zoom meeting to begin.

The screen started to fill will faces – some familiar and some not so, but all super smiley and welcoming.

We started of the evening chatting a little about the Moonpig App. Now I have been a customer of Moonpig for many years now and I hadn’t even realised there was an app available.

It was super easy to use and allows you to access 10,000+ cards and filters from wherever you happen to be.

They have also added something new and exciting, so now not only can you personalise your cards with your own words and pictures, you can also add your own handwriting in a few easy steps. This was a real bonus for me and something I know the little ones will love to be able to join in with.

This service is available on all iOS devices and will be coming to android soon.

Another thing I didn’t know about Moonpig was the extent of gifts they have on offer to add to your cards, with the gin and flowers we were going to be using being just a few of the things on offer.

Next up was our cocktail masterclass with James from Mix and Twist. We had a step by step guide on how to make a Gin Garden, Elderflower Colin and a Strawberry Gimlet with a few games thrown into the mix too which got so competitive it ended up with lots of spillages, a broken glass and plenty of belly laughs.

It was a brilliant way to discover something new but I think it should have been saved until last as I went into the flower arranging more than a little tipsy!

I had been sent an amazing bouquet of flowers from Moonpig and one of their experts Roxanne was on hand to give us some tips on how best to arrange these bouquets.

For me a bunch of flowers will always brighten up my day and it’s just what so many people need right about now!

I came away from the flower arranging with a lot more tips than I was expecting. For years I have moaned about the leaves in the water going gunky and it was a complete surprise to me that I should have been trimming these off before putting them in a vase…pretty obvious if you think about it!

I also hadn’t realised the importance of the size of the vase and I soon came to the realisation I don’t own any that are suitable for displaying flowers well.

All these tips come inside the flower box which is something I’ve never seen before, but for someone like me it would be of great help.

I came away from the event having learnt new skills, met new people and super happy that my first virtual event had been one to remember, so thank you very much Moonpig!

My Talking Tom Friends – A Game For All The Family

Way back in 2010 we saw the release of Talking Tom – a mobile app that involved the cute Tom cat mimicking the user by repeating things they said.

He was a huge hit in this house and we have loved watching him evolve over the years and are now super excited to see he is back with a new gang of friends and a new app – My Talking Tom Friends.

During these difficult times we have been trying to keep the everyone busy and this new app has been perfect for this and something the whole family can join in with.

For me this app is a great way to build people’s nurturing side by seeing to Tom and his friends needs by looking after them in a range of different ways. As well as caring for them they can take part in a whole host of mini games where they can play sport, grow food, cook dinner, sing karaoke and much more.

It’s a great game for all the family and is available worldwide on iOS and android and can be downloaded here for free.