Monday, 28 June 2021

East Sussex Walks: Seaford Head to Cuckmere Haven Beach

Sharing photos from our 4.5 mile walk along the cliffs from Seaford Head to Cuckmere Haven Beach

I absolutely love going for a long walk and exploring new places and to my mind, there is nowhere better to do this than by the sea. I've posted many times about walking the cliffs at Beachy Head, Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters but this was the first time I have walked the cliffs in the opposite direction starting at Seaford Head and walking to the Cuckmere Valley. It really is beautiful and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Drive to Seaford and you can park on the seafront and plenty of it is free for up to 12 hours, so that's great news! Definitely take some time to enjoy walking along the prom and in low season you'll hardly see anyone. They have the classic pastel-coloured beach huts and lots of nice little beach hut cafes as you wander along. We've had coffee at Martello's Coffee before and they have plenty of seating on a deck right on the beach. But my favourite is Frankie's cafe where you can get a slice of homemade cake and a toastie for a very reasonable price. 


Walk down the seafront towards Splash Point. You can fail to notice the enormous white cliff face there, so you'll know you're heading in the right direction. In parts, there is quite an incline to climb up onto the clifftop and I wouldn't say I'm the most proficient hill walker, but I managed fine.  So just make sure you have on good shoes and wear a backpack, rather than a handbag like I did. Turn back to look over Seaford as you head up as it is a really nice view and not too spoilt. You see the gold course at the start of this walk and I can't say I'd fancy golfing on the cliff.

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Stress Urinary Incontinence - Breaking the Taboo

Stress Urinary Incontinence affects many women in the UK, it's time we broke the taboos and spoke about it openly.
Photo by Hollie Santos on Unsplash

{This is a collaborative post}

Some people will have read that blog title and clicked straight away, who wants to read about someone with a leaky bladder? Right? However, I suspect many people, especially mothers will be interested to read on, as this is an issue that is impacting so many women worldwide, even relatively young women. Patient.info states that around 3 million women in the UK are regularly incontinent. Overall it is around 4 in every 10 women, and over half of those are suffering from stress urinary incontinence.

What is Stress Urinary Incontinence?

Stress urinary incontinence is described as involuntary urine leakage on exertion such as coughing/laughing/sneezing or exercise. It is caused by damage to or weakening of the pelvic floor muscle, which leads to an incompetent urethral sphincter and it is largely caused by childbirth thus young women can develop this problem. I was really interested to learn that constipation, menopause and hormonal changes can all have an impact on the effectiveness of your pelvic floor muscles too. 

This isn't your regular topic of conversation at toddler group or in the works canteen though, no it is the kind of thing that women are brushing under the carpet and keeping quiet about. No one wants to be the woman who leaks urine when she laughs, coughs or sneezes. But let me put my hand up and say, I'm Michelle and I suffer from this, and when better to share this post than during World Continence Week. 

I absolutely adore my three children but they have a lot to answer for in terms of the havoc they reeked on my body. Being overweight already and then carrying twins my pelvic floor muscles were put to the test and failed. Ever since the birth of my twins (14 years ago) I've had some leakage and now it seems to be getting worse, but the good news is, I bit the bullet and asked for help.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

How To Plan A Child's Birthday Party

Photo by Victoria Rodriguez on Unsplash

{This is a collaborative post}


It always initially seems like a great idea to plan your child’s birthday party – and then you start to appreciate the scale of the challenge and the amount of work that you have in front of you! If you are starting to feel a little overwhelmed, the following blog post is going to help you out with some of the essentials in planning your child’s dream party!


Set Your Budget

Unless you set a budget right at the early stages, it is more than likely that your costs are going to start spiralling out of control. So, divide the party into different areas such as food, venue, entertainment and so on. Remember, the bigger the guest list, the more likely it is that you are going to rack up some steep bills. If you have a limited budget, this is the time when you can start to think about how to stretch it as far as possible. Check out Bustle for how to throw a party on a budget.


Involve Your Child

Unless your child is very young or you are planning a party that is a complete surprise, it makes sense that you involve your son or daughter in the planning stages. This way, they are much more likely to get exactly the kind of party that they want. For example, you may decide to have a themed party. A popular option at the moment is based on superheroes, so perhaps you could ask what your child’s favourite superhero movie is. With younger children, it's likely you'll need to help them out with inspiration.


Send Out Invitations in Good Time

To make sure that as many people from your guest list as possible are able to attend the event, it makes sense that you send out the invitations in plenty of time. If you leave it all to the last minute, then people are going to have their diaries fill up and you may be disappointed. While e-invites are a modern phenomenon if you want to do things the old-fashioned way still, why not go for some more traditional invitations, to match your chosen theme?


Photo by Tania Miron on Unsplash

Consider Your Food Options

As for your food, you now need to think about whether you are going to go for fun and simple fare or whether you want to go all out for a full sit-down meal. Really, it depends on the type of party that you are going to be hosting, as well as the budget that you have initially set for yourself. Oh, and do not forget that you are going to need to order a birthday cake as well!


Plan the Entertainment

The entertainment can really make a party so make sure that you have plenty of games to hand. Alternatively, you could leave it all to the professionals and hire a magician or another similar type of entertainer. It depends on how much you want to be involved on the day itself. 

Hopefully, these top tips have given you a helping hand and some more direction in planning the perfect birthday party for your child, one that they will remember for years to come.


Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts 

Sunday, 20 June 2021

20 Fabulous Things To Do in the Test Valley with Kids, Hampshire

Suggestions of 20 great places to take the kids when you are staying in the Test Valley, Hampshire

Earlier in June, we spent a few days in the Test Valley and we had such fun. It is definitely an area we fell in love with. It feels like you are in the depths of the countryside but then it is only a 10 or 15-minute drive to a major town or the motorway. I'd highly recommend the area for a short break, either as a couple or with your family.

Here is just a taster of some of the many, many wonderful things you can get up to in the Test Valley when you have your kids with you (and of course many of them are suitable without kids too)

1.  Walk the Test Way. This runs alongside the Test River for 44 miles and it is divided up into eight sections so you can navigate it easily. Many parts pass through gorgeous market towns and villages, where you can stop for a nice drink.

2.  Stop off at Paultons Park/ Peppa Pig World. Depending on how big your kids are will dictate which part of the park you visit and if you have kids of both ages, don't worry as the entrance fee covers both parts. We have visited a number of times but not for a few years and the girls are keen to go back and experience the new Tornado Springs area.

3.  You're sure to have a great day if you visit Marwell Zoo, as there is 140 acres filled with hundreds of animals and five adventure play parks to enjoy and explore. We last visited in 2015 and the giraffes were a highlight for us. 

Saturday, 19 June 2021

3 Getaways Abroad for a Relaxing Trip

Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash

{This post is written in collaboration with Emily Jones}


After a year of staying indoors and lockdowns, we are all craving some sun and a fun excursion. A relaxing holiday to an exotic location can help to relieve the anxiety and stress caused by the pandemic and will be a really welcome release for most people.

If you are planning a getaway abroad, here are three destinations worth considering -

 

1. Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Experience ultimate relaxation soaking in the geothermally heated water surrounded by breathtaking views of the Icelandic landscape. The Blue Lagoon is an artificial spa that utilizes water from the surrounding geothermal plant. The water is warm all-year-round making it perfect for soaking in even in extreme temperatures. Besides, the minerals and silica boost its healing properties, making it perfect for rejuvenating your skin and relaxing your mind.

The ideal time to vacation at the Blue lagoon is during winter if you want your skin to reap the benefits of both warm and cold temperatures. Apart from swimming in the spa, you can enjoy a drink in the swim-up bars. You can also enjoy premium services like facemasks and other treatments from the in-water mask bar at Blue Lagoon. The silica and algae masks have numerous health benefits for your skin, reducing signs of ageing and nourishing your skin.

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Which Quick-Step Vinyl is Your Preference?

{This is a collaborative post}


A person's home can say a lot about who they are and what is important to them. It's interesting to see all their design choices, furniture and fixtures in place, giving an idea of who they are and what they like.

With this in mind, what floor you put in the home could be a major factor to decide upon before you fit out the rest to match your vision. Thanks to luxury vinyl flooring you can get to explore your potential vision at a fraction of the cost and hassle you may experience with products such as real hardwood.

With quick step luxury vinyl, you have a wider choice for much less. It's a great choice!

Light Wood

Having that all-natural look and feel in your home allows you to showcase a unique combination of nature as well as a bright interior.

Team your lightwood effect flooring with some light curtains or blinds and you can really feel the benefit on a sunny day, where your light wood vinyl floor gives your room a real gorgeous glow. If you like to lay on the sofa with a book and brew, light wood style vinyl provides a very calming feel to the room, allowing you to relax and soak in the feel of your environment, without a care in the world.

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey, Hampshire - Fun for all the Family!

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Romsey, Hampshire is great for all the family to explore and has some fun children's activities too

{Dislcosure: We received free entry and a drink in exchange for an honest review}

A couple of weeks ago we stayed in the Test Valley, Hampshire for a few nights and we had the most wonderful stay. The glorious weather, of course, helped but more than anything, it is just a fabulous area to explore. It is easy to access, close to both towns and countryside and there is an abundance of things to do on your doorstep.

One morning we visited the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, which were just a 10-minute drive from where we were staying at Michelmersh Manor Farm near Romsey. You might not think that some gardens are the perfect place to take teens but we had some really lovely family time there. As we wondered and enjoyed all the different vistas, plants and the sunshine too we just chatted and mused about our lives.

Any parent of teens will know how important it is to be able to easily chat and sit alongside their teenager. So much of the time they are super busy and out with their friends or chatting to them online, so this kind of relaxed downtime together is perfect.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

The True Importance of Our Gardens


{This is a collaborative post}

After the past year our gardens now feel more important than ever before, what is it that makes them so beneficial to our everyday health? Keep reading to find out some of the ways that outdoor spaces can positively impact your life, family and the local environment.

 

They Are Great Places for Exercise

It may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about where to complete your workout but our gardens provide a great spot for exercising. Outdoor gym equipment can be easily installed to allow you to work out in the fresh air. This will also save you money in the long term as you can cancel your expensive gym membership. Many sports can also be played outside such as football and padel – a popular alternative to tennis. Doing all of this outside in the sun will also allow you to soak up some much-needed Vitamin D which supports healthy teeth and bones.

 

You Can Spend More Time with Loved Ones

Our gardens are also great places to hang out with your friends and family. From starting a garden project, hosting a BBQ, to practising yoga or painting the options are almost endless. Gardens are also ideal for encouraging your children to spend time with nature and learn about the world around them. Just make sure that you’re keeping your littles safe from the sun with a canopy or adequate shade.

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Staying at Michelmersh Manor Farm Cottages, Romsey, Hampshire - 10 Things I love!

Michelmersh Manor Farm is a beautiful working farm with various self-catering holiday accommodation. You can feed the animals and explore the area

{Discosure: We received one night's accommodation free of charge in exchange for an honest review. We paid for two nights ourselves}


Earlier this week we spent a few nights in the Test Valley at Michelmersh Manor Farm self-catering holiday accommodation and we had a fabulous time. The Farm is near the town of Romsey, in the Test Valley, Hampshire and there are a selection of self-catering cottages and a shepherds hut that you can book to stay in. We had a really wonderful time staying in Bluebells Cottage on this working farm and we would happily go back again.

I want to share with you ten things I loved about staying at Michelmersh Manor Farm -

1.  Accessibility of the Location 


The Farm is situated under 4 miles from the town of Romsey and it is very accessible from the A3057. I was super pleased that you don't have to go down too many tiny lanes to access it, just the one small road that the farm was on and in the four days we stayed we never came across another vehicle on the road, so no dreaded reversing for me! lol. 

It is 18 miles from Southampton, about 8 miles to access the M27 and 14 miles from Winchester, it really is very easy to get to towns, shops, cinemas and days out attractions but still be in the heart of the beautiful Test Valley countryside with the stunning River Test running through the area. You can also access the major attractions locally like Paultons Park/ Peppa Pig World which is just 8 miles away and Marwell Zoo is 13 miles. Whilst you can get to the heart of the New Forest in just 16 miles and the beautiful coast at Bournemouth is only around 45 minutes drive away. It is a perfect location.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Visiting the Hawk Conservancy Trust, Andover, Hampshire - A Great Day Out!

The Hawk Conservancy Trust near Andover is a great day out for all the family and Feathers Restaurant is worth a visit too

{Dislocusre: We received free entry and lunch in exchange 
for an honest review and sharing our opinions}


During our recent stay in the Test Valley, Hampshire we headed to the Hawk Conservancy Trust, near Andover. If you're just looking for the punchline as you don't have time to read this article then I can safely tell you it is a wonderful day out and you should go and visit there if you enjoy watching beautiful birds of prey. Their Feathers Restaurant also offers great casual dining for a reasonable price. If you have a bit of time, then read on...


What is the Hawk Conservancy Trust?

It is clear from the start how much the staff and volunteers love what they do and have a real passion for all birds of prey. This is what they say about their purpose 

"By working with many organisations and conservation groups across the world, we are able to deliver conservation, education, rehabilitation and research programmes and generate awareness for birds of prey, their habitats and the problems they face. This includes projects such as the Raptor Nest Box and Red Kite reintroduction projects in the UK through to the International Vulture Programme in southern Africa and South Asia."

I have to be honest, I don't know much about birds of prey except that I like to watch the Kestrel who nests in the church behind my house and the Red Kites who regularly fly overhead. But it doesn't matter if you're clueless like me, as the trust is not only an education and conservation charity, it is also running a fabulous visitor attraction and that was what my family got to visit.

The Hawk Conservancy Trust near Andover is a great day out for all the family and Feathers Restaurant is worth a visit too