Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Perfect Travel Bag

We like to travel A LOT and we are currently wading through our holiday scrap books to write reviews for all of the places we have been. One thing I struggle with is hand luggage, we have 3 children of 5 and under and getting down airplane aisles that are increasingly more narrow, with a baby and bags is a somewhat stressful and hot flush inducing.experience. So for our most recent holiday my needs for a bag  were clear. I need a bag that is
  • Spacious but still within the baggage allowance guidelines
  • Lots of Compartments so I can find things easily
  • Stylish
  • Reasonably priced, Spartacus embargoed anything over £70  (he's such a meany)
  • Possibly a backpack or Messenger so that I can still babywear which I find altogether the easiest way to get Termite Peanut and The Golden Child on an aircraft.
So we narrowed it down from the huge amount available, to the following three

Skip Hop Dash ((you can see my review here )


PacaPod Hastings (you can read my review here)


Pink Lining Wanderlust Wise Owl Rucksack


I love all of these bags and to be honest every one of them would be perfect for air travel, but here are our thoughts

The Skip Hop fits an amazing amount in and has loads and loads of pockets, we have travelled with it before and it fits lovely under the seat, has a space for a drinks bottle (once through security obviously) and has a great double strap system so it can be clipped onto the handle bar of the pram, or quickly slung across body like a messenger. Priced between £45-£55 its within my budget and comes with a lifetime materials warranty and Skip Hops brilliant customer care. It does however come slightly short of space for my needs now with three children. I really need lots of space to fit in changes of clothes and entertainment and the many other things I now need to board a plane with!

The Pink Linings Bag is so beautiful and I love the very separate areas, a changing area that opens out fully for easy access, with wet bags, and dedicated pockets for all the bits and pieces you might need.

It has a mummy section big enough for a my net book, and change of clothes along with loads of pockets and hooks so nothing gets lost. Unfortunately at £89 it just busted my budget, so I cant tell you exactly how it functions but it scores highly with us for desirability and features. I will tell you though I am now saving furiously for this bag it has become a huge focus on my wish list. Pink Lining offer amazing customer care and the quality of their bags is amazing, and so covetable.

Last but by no means least The PacaPod, as you will see from my review this bag is brilliant, honestly I didn't want to love it so much because its really not the girly girl kind of bag I would normally go for. But it is amazing, and it fitted in everything on my pack list with room to spare, plus with Termites blanket rolled up and tucked in the top the kids said we looked like we were off on a real adventure! It fit perfectly under the seat and almost everything was easy to find. Priced at £65 it was So with my choice made here it is in action....

What we packed

Well, lots really !  Ipad with headphones and adaptor, change of clothes for me The Golden Child , Peanut and termite, passports, money, tickets, insurance documents, olbas oil, calpol, nappies, wipes, feeding cover, snacks, sweeties for takeoff and landing, a drinks bottle, blanket and a book (as if I would ever get 5 minutes to read!)

How it looked

How we used it

How it stood the test of a Monkeyfeet Adventure

Really well, its survived being used for travel, as a beach and pool bag its been used and abused in all honesty but it still looks brand new.

Massive thumbs up for PacaPod and a huge Thankyou for sending us this bag to put through its paces, its become a staple in the Monkeyfeet Household

Monday, 28 April 2014

PacaPod Hastings Review

I've been searching for the perfect changing bag for our travels this year and I put out a Twitter call for suggestions. PacaPod were mentioned in more than one reply and soon I was chatting with them about what we as a family needed. They are a lovely helpful and friendly company and in conversation they even added something to my list of requirements that I hadn't thought of  'something that dad will carry as well'. Admittedly I hadn't thought of this as normally I'm quite proprietorial about my bags but they made a good point, something unisex would be handy to share the load around the airport.

After a bit of discussion it was decided I would review the Hastings. It arrived in 2 days and I was very excited to receive the package In its logo stamped packaging  I knew immediately what it was but as I was rushing out I waited to savour the opening!

What They Say...

The Company
PacaPod is the only baby changing bag on the market with our unique and clever 3in1 organisation system (designed by a Mum), it works as a designer baby bag, cool bag, mini changing bag and changing mat all rolled into one. 
With so many well thought out features PacaPod has become one of the best multi award winning baby changing bags on the market, perfect for twins and making travelling easier. Now all you need to do is release your Yummy Mummy and decide which PacaPod baby changing bag is for you? 
The Bag
Hastings is a grown up knapsack that manages to retain the enduring charm of this much-loved old school style.
A reliable and sturdy travel companion whether heading into the wilds or the urban jungle it will instantly adapt from messenger to backpack and has a practical, easy to pack, top loading style. Hastings is part of the new ‘Lite’ range, weighing in at just 725 grams and the new to flat pack feeder, changer pods and mat are simple to clean and fold away when not in use. Quality detailing, durable fabrics and a smart pin stripe print will have mum and dad both reaching for this bag at the doorway!

What We Say....

We love it! I've never ever gone for a back pack style before so I was slightly nervous, but it's great. Loads of room, and the pods are just big enough for 3 Tots Bots and our wipes, or 8 pampers nappies and wipes so we have plenty room for big days out or just a quick outing  It's got loads of brilliant features like the buggy clips to hang it from the pram, the clever straps that can be converted from back pack style to  across body/over the shoulder without having the faff on off changing straps or clipping and unclipping things. The quality is lovely and it feels like it will last. I've had lots of comments from Mums who no longer is a dedicated change bag, and the all say they would use this as a normal bag. 


I found it really easy to use, and the zip opens right across the top and halfway down each side so its really easy access. Its also squashable. So it goes quite flat and the pods all flatten out so you can store it easily, although I love it so much my other bags have been left redundant so its not been stored at all!

The Good Stuff
  • The pods make finding things really easy
  • It's really spacious
  • The front pocket has a phone pouch and a key hook
  • The straps are really very clever and change the style of the bag quickly and with minimal fuss
  • Its sturdy and hard wearing
  • It looks good 
  • Customer service was great
  • The price is really reasonable
  • It kept me calm when boarding the plane and getting through the airport (honestly fussing with bags stresses me out when I'm travelling!) 
  • I loe that PacaPod encourage reusing and recycling their products and they raise funds through doing this themselves for charities. You can read more here
Room For Improvement
I'd love an inner pocket so I could slide my baby record book/ipad in and keep them separate  from everything else

I worried that the front pocket was a bit to easily accessible for pickpockets if the bag was used as a rucksack so I would prefer a secure zipper fastening 

That's it! I can't fault it at all and believe me in the month I've used it we have seriously put it through its paces! It has been full to capacity and hauled around airports, its been drooled on, chewed and worse! But its wiped down great and looks no worse for the adventure it has been on.I can't wait for our next holiday to really use it to its fullest potential again. If you are in the market for a new bag you should really consider this one, especially if you are planning to travel with it.

I unfortunately have become a PacaPod addict and now need to get my hands on ...

This lovely Toy Pod for Termite

This Travel Pod for our next holiday


And I would be overjoyed  if this Firenze found its way into my collection! (I'm not sure Spartacus will ever agree though)

You can connect with PacaPod on Twitter and Facebook or check out their website

Friday, 25 April 2014

Tiffany Rose Review

A few of my friends are big Tiffany Rose fans, Both Ak at My Buggy Junction and Colette at We're Going On An Adventure have both looked fabulous in their TR gowns so when I was presented with an opportunity to try one out I jumped at the chance to join the likes of Holly Willoughby or Katie Piper and become a Tiffany Rose girl! 

What They Say .... 

Truly beautiful, glamorous and high quality maternity styles - at your fingertips.

Tiffany Rose began in 2003 with a simple aim: to offer pregnant women the chance to wear exciting, elegant, beautiful and well-made designs for special occasions.
Our designs are inspired by icons of the 50s and 60s, timeless classics that will never go out of style, with a touch of vintage or a modern twist. Evoking the sense of special and occasion, we bring to you unusual shades, tonal hues, sumptuous textures and unique prints - all in classic, flattering and wearable styles - and all Made in Britain.

Every single garment in our collection is designed and Made in Britain.
The Tiffany Rose design team work closely with reputable and quality British manufacturers, and we source our highest quality fabrics from all over the world. With a passion for making in Britain, we also develop many of our fabrics in local British mills. This year sees the launch of our bespoke Tiffany Rose digitally printed silk fabric, also designed and printed in Britain.

In April 2013 we were thrilled to be named as a winner of The Queen's Award - the UK's highest accolade of business success - as a result of our continued growth in international markets. We are very excited that so many of our customers across the globe are choosing Tiffany Rose, and we look forward to bringing you many more of our beautiful designs.
We are dedicated to offering a personal and genuinely helpful service to our customers. Our customer service team has in-depth knowledge of every design, fabric performance and cut, which means they can advise you on any queries you may have, with the understanding, care and attention that you should expect.

What We Say...

The company really are as helpful as they claim to be, they helped me choose when I was dithering over 4 different dresses, by asking some questions as to what I would be doing where I would be etc, and when I didn't like my first choice changing was no problem. They stock utterly beautiful maternity and Nursing wear. In gorgeous classic flattering designs. I couldn't fault their customer service at all and I was spoiled for choice.

So What did we choose? Well as you know my Termite is 8 months and still breastfeeding so my clothing choices are steered by two questions 
  • is it flattering to my somewhat misshapen body? (sadly 3 babies has taken its toll on my mid section) 
  • is it boob accessible?

First I chose the Eden in Caspian Blue 

The dress was utterly gorgeous but did not flatter my shape at all so the lovely team at Tiffany Rose said they would exchange it for a Hawaiian Breeze Maxi Dress. 

This seemed the perfect choice for my holiday to Crete. A maxi dress in a Beautiful summery pattern with a cross over front for easy feeding. Now officially this is not a nursing dress but I knew it would work for me.

It arrived promptly and beautifully packaged in their signature purple box wrapped up inside in tissue. The first thing that struck me was the weight. The dress feels beautifully and luxuriously heavy, the kind of heavy that makes you just know it's quality. It's made from a beautiful jersey material and lined so the dress just hangs as it should flattering curves and hiding imperfections.

It was packed swiftly in my suitcase and I couldn't wait to wear it. I saved it for an evening when the two big kids were in kids club and Sparatcus and I were hitting the Thai for a Date(with Termite in tow but a date never the less) and I'm pleased I waited for a 'special occassion'. The dress made me feel like a million dollars and I positively swished around the hotel and as if I wasn't feeling great already, Spartacus commented that I looked nice (he never ever comments on clothes) and a lady who I had never met stopped me to tell me my 'frock was gorgeous'! Tiffany Rose I LOVE YOU. This dress is absolutely worth every penny of its £99 price tag. If you are currently pregnant you are going to get loads of wear out of a TR dress as it will last all of your pregnancy and way after as well, I fully plan to wear this many many times over. 

The Good Stuff

  • The pattern is gorgeous
  • The colours are bright and cheerful and perfect for Spring and Summer
  • The fit is divine
  • The material is brilliant quality and reassuringly heavy but not so that I overheated in the warmth of Crete
  • The craftmanship is brilliant, no stray threads and a good well stiched seam and hem
  • The Sash is a pretty coral but you can order different colours

Room For Improvement

I can come up with only one suggestion to improve this dress and that is the length,  this dress was very long on me, but I am only 5ft 6 (this is possibly and exageration by around 1 inch, but ssshh I made a mistake once and can't admit Im not really 5ft 6) so for a taller girl this would have been the perfect length. That really is the only thing I would have changed about this dress, and that is really personal to me so overall I'm super impressed and I will be popping another Tiffany rose on my wish list, in fact I have my eye on this beauty...

Twilight Lace Maternity Dress (Blackberry)

 I'm hoping Spartacus hands over his credit card freely!

You can connect with Tiffany Rose on Twitter or Facebook

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Thankful Thursday Week 17

This is my weekly linky for us all to share our silver linings, brags, boasts or just something that made us smile. Be it a picture, a word, a sentence or a great big essay lets share what we are thankful for this week. It can be a new post just for this linky, an old post you think is suitable, a picture, a video, one word or a thousand this linky is all about thankfulness so whatever has made you grateful this week I would love to know.
If you would like to link up I would love for you to grab the badge below and spread a little linky love to some of the others taking part, and don't forget to spread the word, invite lots of people and help me grow this and make Thursdays a happier place.
Last week I was busy packing us all back up and travelling home with my family from a lovely holiday and it was so busy that we didn't run thankful Thursday! So this week I'm going to be thankful twice over.

Firstly I'm grateful for our NHS (I know I have said it before!), peanut was poorly while we were away with a high temp and a sore neck (panic not 'sore neck' on further questioning meant sore throat!) and we worried for a while that she may need to see a doctor. Having seen a doctor in Crete before, I know this would have been costly and yes we are insured but in most places you pay and then reclaim so you so need actual money available. This made me think how grateful I am that at home my first priority is not 'can we afford an appointment, treatment and tests' my first priority is getting the care we need.

Next I'm grateful for family gatherings, my family are loud, crazy and we drive each other bonkers sometimes but we have had a lovel time spent together at Easter playing and chatting and it's been refreshing and a lovely tonic to cheer me up.
Adventures Of A Monkeyfooted Mummy

Monday, 21 April 2014

Colic Help

When Peanut arrived I thought I was well prepared, I've helped out with tonnes of babies, changed hundreds of nappies, I've been around babies since I can remember, but nothing could have prepared me for the crying angry bundle I was faced with night after night after night!

It got to the point where we would switch on the hoover next to her as white noise was the only thing that would stop her crying for 5 minutes. I swear my carpets have never been cleaner! Turns out that crying for hours at the same time every night, yep that was colic. Its amazing how helpful hindsight is! Luckily we got through it but I won't lie it was hard hard hard. So when I was asked to help spread the word about a brilliant new app from Infacol I was more than happy to help.

First some facts...

On average,  first-time mothers make 16 trips to the doctor over a child’s first year, with colic being in the top three concerns of new mums.

Colic affects up to one in four babies. It is often associated with crying fits which may last for three hours or more, and occurs mostly in the lateafternoon, evenings and night-time, unfortunately when GPs are often not available. Cuddling or trying to soothe the baby’s cries doesn’t always help, which can be very stressful for parents.

Heres where infacol are trying to help,  the Virtual Colic Clinic app, is the first of its kind. It offers a new way for parents to get immediate, 24/7 support by accessing video response answers to important questions about dealing with colic; either through a smartphone, tablet or desktop.

“We know that anxious parents are turning more to online research as GPs are unavailable late into the evening, which is when colic can hit. Infacol want to give new mums and dads someone to turn to when in need of this extra support and guidance, at any time of the day or night” says Nikki Khan, Infacol’s Expert Midwife.

Designed to answer the questions of parents on the subject of colic and provide extra support for parents in need, with the help of Midwife Nikki Khan, the launch follows the success of the ‘Is it colic?’ web app, which helps to quickly identify whether a baby has colic through ten simple yes/no questions.
The 24/7 Virtual Colic Clinic works by encouraging parents to choose from 50 of the most commonly asked questions around colic from a drop down menu or alternatively to type their own, and then providing them with an instant video answer from Nikki Khan.

The Virtual Colic Clinic can be accessed at via multiple device platforms including smartphones, tablets and desktops.

The app is easy to use with lots of videos available covering a host of topics, like how to allieviate symptoms naturally and ways to avoid colic when breastfeeding. You can select a question from the menu or type in your own, and if no results are found you can email your question to the clinic.

Its a great idea and I think will be helpful to many many parents during what can be a stressful tough and exhausting time, So if you are struggling with colic or you are unsure if thats the problem give it a go.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter Bunting

Monkeyfeet HQ is hosting an Easter Eggstravaganza tomorrow, with egg rolling, egglympics, and an egg hunt for all the littlies in the family. So we needed some decoration.

We made this really simple egg bunting

Cut out some large egg shapes

Let the kids paint them

Try to ignore the mess
Leave to dry

Clean up the mess!

Punch two holes in the top of each egg

Feed some wool through the holes

Hang and admire ! 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Travel Journal, Easter in Crete - Part 3

It's Day 5 we are unpacked and settled, our tummy's  are full of good food and we are relaxed. we've noticed some real changes around since last year.  

The outside areas have been refreshed with lovely lime wash paint, and previous areas of concern over slipping have been re tiled with non slip tiles, there are new brightly coloured food trays in the kids buffet area (just like school so the wee ones do well carrying them) and some new dishes on the menus in the al a carte restaurants. Best of all HOTEL WIDE WIFI! This has been something we've puzzled over on previous visits it seems odd to us that  a modern 5 star hotel would not have wifi everywhere, but this is now sorted. I've also been informed by the Public Relations Manager that many of the rooms have been refurbished and even some of the pools in the Private Pool rooms have been made larger, although, still unable to upgrade, we can't comment on that. 

We do however have some frustrations...

I'm a bit of a perfectionist and think that at the beginning of the season all rooms should be perfect, the hotel has been closed for maintenance over the winter and I don't quite understand how we could be in a room that has a missing terrace clothes airer, curtains not hung properly and hanging off the window, and windows with curtains missing. This makes for very early get ups when the sun streams through the very pretty voiles!  There are chips in one of the bathroom mirrors and the patio furniture has no cushions, not good for a bigger girl ( no one needs a lattice patternon their  thighs right?) 

Another gripe and really this is silly, there is a speaker in the bathroom which outputs the sound from the tv in the bedroom, really really loudly. There is no way to switch this off or turn it down without reception sending a technician!!! 

These however are very first world problems are they not? I mean we are relaxing in the sun with people working hard to clean, feed and entertain us but this is not a cheap holiday and there are some things I don't expect to have to ask for and curtains are certainly one of them! 

Overall though our room is clean and luxurious our bed is large comfortable and freshly made every day, we have fluffy robes and decent toiletries I have TWO bathrooms and a jacuzzi bath and an army of staff on call to assist us with almost anything we need.

Guest Post - Lasagne With A Twist

Today I have  guest post from the wonderful Kate of Family Fever. We love a good lasagne in Monkeyfeet HQ and this one sounds absolutely luscious, I can't wait to try it.

Lasagne with a twist recipe

I love a good lasagne – a real classic that everyone in our family loves, and it can be a great way to use up any leftovers too – just chuck them all in! This is one of my favourite lasagne recipes, with a slightly unusual lasagne ingredient that makes it rich, moist and delicious!

 300ml beef stock
100g pancetta, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
500g mince
200g sausage meat
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
4 large squeezes of tomato puree
1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
Salt and pepper
Lasagne sheets
White lasagne sauce (you can make your own, but we cheat here by using a jar of sauce or making a very simple cheese sauce)
  • Bring the stock to the boil. In another pan, brown the pancetta and add the onion and rosemary. Cook until soft, then add the garlic, beef and sausage meat.
  • While the meat is cooking keep an eye on the stock. When it has reduced by about half take it off the heat and set aside.
  • When the meat has browned add the stock, tomatoes, sugar and seasoning and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Grease a dish, then spread a layer of meat on the bottom. Next add a layer of lasagne sheets, then more meat followed by the white sauce. Continue until you have used up all your meat mixture. Grate some cheese onto the top.
  • Cook at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes

What do you think? Do you add any little twists to your traditional recipes, I would love to hear them. You can follow Kate on Twitter and Facebook

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Travel Journal Easter in Crete -the Food

The food here is plentiful and very lovely, I fear some of my recent weightloss has been ruined by the scrumptious-ness! So a post all on its own here's the food low down

Breakfast is served until 10.30, a vast array of choice, continental salads,cooked meat and fruits, cereals, pastries, crepes, eggs of many varieties, full cooked breakfast, and freshly made juice and smoothies, along with breads and yoghurts. 

We love breakfast here and enjoy spending time relaxing and chatting over a nice cuppa and a leisurely breakfast.


Served from 12.30-3.30pm You've two choices on a lunchtime, Tex Mex (open most days) for Burger, enchiladas, chilli, nachos, salads and a small desert selection. The Tex Mex has a limited menu but the food is freshly cooked and served to you so it's a nice place for a more relaxed lunch. Next is the main restaurant with a selection of hot dishes, pizza, grilled meats, traditional Greek gyros, pasta  and a huge salad selection there's also a big desert selection as well as nuts and cheese. 

My ultimate favourite from lunch is the eggplant salad served grilled chicken with Greek salad and pita absolutely gorgeous!


Served between 6.30-9.30pm in most restaurants The dinner restaurants  included in the hotel package are :


Serving themed buffet, salads, grilled meat or fish, breads, soups and deserts.


With a reasonable selection of Thai Starters, a choice of about 10 main courses including beef,pork, chicken, fish and veggie dishes and then a choice of around 5 deserts

Red Saffron

This is based on a traditional Greek taverna so you are given a mixed Meze starter including bread, salad, dips, hot dishes and baked cheese, then a Greek buffet with lots of grilled meat and some traditional moussaka, stifado and vegetable dishes followed by a desert meze. It's very lovely but I would have like to see a bit more salad, and Greek dips available with the main course as the meat really needed something to accompany it. 

Tex Mex

A larger selection available on an evening including hot starters, soups and salads alongside main courses like rack of ribs, steak and swordfish as well as some traditional Mexican dishes, there's a limited selection of deserts as well. This is a waited restaurant not buffet so it's a nice break from the constant back and forth with the kids. Its very tasty and the meat dishes especially are lovely quality and taste yummy, staff are very friendly and happy to accommodate specific requests. 

There are also, Al Dente, Hot Stone Grill and  Sugiyama Japanese  al a carte restaurants available at an extra cost to your package. You do however get a 15€ discount pp against the menu price

All the food we've had has been lovely and the service in most cases absolutely brilliant, some improvements we woul like to see would be 

A snack bar so that you could just grab a sandwich at lunch instead of having a proper sit down meal.

Tea and coffee in pots on the table at breakfast, this happens in Tenerife Sensatori and really adds a luxury edge to breakfast.

The childrens menu is limited to nuggets and burgers etc in most restaurants so it would be nice to be told that you can order a child's meal from the adult menu, as some people who've not been before don't like to ask. Its never been any trouble when we've requested it so it would be useful if this was on the childrens menu or explained at the beginning of a meal.

The reservation system is a faff on, basically you queue at a booking station, which operates from 10am to 10pm there's often no availability and people miss out. I'm not sure what the solution is  but I think Thomson need to look at the system. 

Tea and Coffee after Dinner, it seems such a little thing but as drinks at meal times are included it would be nice to be able to finish a nice meal with a tea or coffee, even if it's from a machine and I need to get it myself, I like that part of Dinner. 

Thankful Thursday Week 15

Welcome back to my weekly linky for us all to share our silver linings, brags, boasts or just something that made us smile. Be it a picture, a word, a sentence or a great big essay lets share what we are thankful for this week. It can be a new post just for this linky, a picture, a video, one word or a thousand this linky is all about thankfulness so whatever has made you grateful this week I would love to know
If you would like to link up I would  love for you to grab the badge below and spread a little linky love to some of the others taking part, and don't forget to spread the word, invite lots of people and help me grow this and make Thursdays a happier place.It was lovely to see more of you last week and I'm grateful to you all for joining in.

This week I'm thankful for holidays, for switching off the alarm, having lazy mornings and no rushing around. Ah bliss
Adventures Of A Monkeyfooted Mummy

Travel Journal Easter in Crete Part 2

Settling In

It's  day 3 and after speaking to reception we have been moved to a ground floor suite. I feel much better and more relaxed. The new room wasn't ready as quickly as we were told and instead of lunchtime we weren't settled in with our bags and the cot until past 10pm. But it's been great to just be changed to a different room with minimal fuss. We are also still on standby to upgrade to a swim up if one comes available so I'm
hoping that come change over day we can be swimming in our own little river ! 

The kids have been to Playhouse (Sensatori's Kids Club) and seen a lovely lady called Jo Jo who we first met in Tenerife Sensatori so this is our third holiday with her. She gave the kids a massive welcome totally recognising Peanut and because of that we've hardly seen the kids as they want to go to every session, and there are up to 4 sessions a day! Yesterday they went to the 'arty party' from 7.30-9.30pm so Spartacus and I enjoyed a meal in The Five Flavours Thai with just a sleeping Termite for company, the novelty of just adult  conversation was so wonderful it took us almost 30 minutes to even look at the menu! 

We've been recognised by a few of the hotel staff Chryssa in the restaurant always greets us like family which is lovely, even the Executive chef remembers us and cooed over Termite, welcoming our 'new addition', and Dimytris from Tex Mex behaved like he had just seen us yesterday! 

The weather was miserable on Monday with rain, but there was plenty to keep the kids entertained and the sky is showing promise of a beautiful day so we are off to choose which of the 5 pools to visit.... 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Guest Post - A Rich Vein of Socks

Today I have a guest post from the very brilliant Fiona from Mama's Little Baby Loves. This is a post close to my heart, I hate socks, I do theres no lying, when we married I told my husband to never expect to have his socks paired. In my humble opinion life is just too short!

A rich vein of socks...
Since becoming a stay at home mum I have learned that there are no bounds to the excitement everyday tasks can give you...when you have no other source of excitement...well mental excitement anyway. Today I was overjoyed to find that a magical 1 in 230 event had occurred... (wait for it...)
When the tumble dryer stopped lots of tiny child socks happened to be in VERY close proximity to each other.
I know. Awesome right? Was worth the build up wasn’t it? Now if you’re not a mum or someone responsible for dressing multiple small people that might not mean anything to you. If you are and that still doesn’t mean anything to you then you’re obviously broken or lying...I’m talking SOCKS PRACTICALLY PAIRING THEMSELVES here woman!

Whenever this occurs it gets me excited, it gives me hope for the future, it brightens my otherwise potentially epically dull dayI don’t care that the other 229 times I’ve opened the dryer door I have to crouch there on the cold floor rummaging around for 40 minutes looking desperately for 4 socks (I gave up the whole ‘matching pairs’ thing long ago – any four will do), this time the socks were caught unawares, and when the music stopped they were not prepared, they didn’t have time to sneak to the four corners of the tumble dryer, cram themselves in the fluff filter or squash themselves down joggybum legs. This time I won. In your face sockymcsocksocks, I AM the daddy (well the mummy) and I OWN you!!

You might think this is a bit of an over the top reaction, I would think that too, if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m here at home every day where sorting out the socks is a task with quantifiable results, on which my performance as a stay at home mum can be judged. If the sock situation is on a failure pathway, it means the child dressing stage gets delayed, which means we might have to negotiate a deal on watching cbeebies till the end of the next show, which means walkquickly’ negotiations might be damaged ultimately resulting in a multiple meltdown scenario. By the time we’ve got to playgroup we’re all late and I’m cross.
You might not believe it, but I used to have a ‘real job’ where we used all the same words as I’ve used about socks, but about multi-million pound engineering jobs instead. I thought when I started as a stay at home mum that my job would be less important and demanding than my ‘career’, but as it turns out, it’s really not. We still do ‘blue sky thinking’ and ‘work things through’ only now I do it with a 2 yr old and a 3 yr old...instead of ummmm... well let’s stop there shall we...
I’ll tell you one thing for sure though, I’ve left all that washing in the tumble dryer again tonight, because now I know there’s a rich vein of socks to be found, I’m not messing up that load until I’ve exhausted the supply, and have to risk putting the next load in and the epic disappointment that will result when the socks once again, conspire against me, forcing me to pair them. Well at least get out vaguely similar looking ones; let’s not get too carried away.

Well Said Fiona, I personally think socks are evil and wicked! So what winds you up at home or is sock finding and pairing a universal bug bear? You can follow Fiona on Facebook or Twitter

Monday, 7 April 2014

Travel Journal - Easter in Crete Part One

Crete is one of my most favourite places in the world, and I'm sure it's obvious by our previous review that we are big Sensatori fans. So we jumped at the chance of a last minute getaway.
I decided to write a journal while we are here to give an almost 'real time account of things, I sometimes find that when you come home from a holiday, reviews written retrospectively tend to be rose tinted so hopefully this will be a real honest to goodness, warts and all of everything we experience.


Spartacus got booked up quickly and easily with Thomson online and we managed to choose some seats on the plane and check in all from the comfort of our lap top

The Flight

Sadly this is a bug bear for me, we have to travel around 3 hours to get a Crete flight at this time of year as schedules don't start yet at our local airport. Never the less we were boarded quickly, and ready to leave on time, alas queuing on the runway meant a late take off but we made up time and arrived only slightly late.


Herklion was as efficient as always. They are only small but really the most efficient I've ever been through and the only airport I've never experienced a delay in and we've been here 10 times now. 

Now the idea is Sensatori guests get preferential meet and greet but at this time of year with few other hotels open everyone on the plane is for Sensatori so the queue is huge. I genuinely think Thomson would be better served getting everyone on the bus super quick and straight to the hotel instead of tagging cases, explaining things and handing out forms, all of which could be done in reception instead of making passengers queue in the street at night.

Last year (our third visit) we had a marvellous welcome with lots of acknowledgement and a free upgrade, as well as fruit and wine in our room, this year not so much, we has fruit and wine (but I think everyone does) and a postcard from Thomson but nothing else, now don't get me wrong I don't believe we are 'entitled' to anything but I think we were spoiled last yet and so our expectations this year were even greater!

There was as always glasses of bubbly or juice on arrival and check in is quick and there are lots of Thomson staff on hand to help with finding rooms etc

The hotel had kindly left the restaurant open for a cold buffet but with all the delay at the airport staff were eager to get closed by the time we got there, another reason I think to not to keep people at the airport so long.

ImageImage via

The Room

Because we booked so late there were sadly no swim up rooms available. And the hotel have not been able to let us purchase an upgrade with them directly as they have no availability, but we managed to book a suite instead, the suite officially sleeps up to four so we had to book  a double room as well but in honesty the five of us are sleeping in the suite with loads of room to spare! The room is decorated in lovely opulent Greek style with big gilt mirrors and shiny marble flooring, we have a large double bedroom with a big sofa, and a small tv, a seperate living area with two sofa beds and a small tv, and a lovely bathroom. We seem to be missing a chest of drawers like we normally have and the wardrobe is smaller than usual but it has everything we need. My only concern is that we are on the top floor and there are no safety gates of child proof locks on the balcony doors so mummy is having a rather sleepless night with worry ! I would much prefer being on the lower floors.

Well that's all for tonight, we shall report again in a few days 

Amber Anklet Discount Code

You will remember we reviewed Amber Anklets a while ago, and LOVED them. We also ran a very successful competition to win one, so successful in fact that to say thanks to everyone who entered the lovely Tamara has offered my lovely readers a whopping 20% discount and free delivery! Enter code spring at the checkout but hurry its only valid until 2/5/14. 

What are you waiting for ? 


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Thankful Thursday Week 14

Welcome back to my weekly linky for us all to share our silver linings, brags, boasts or just something that made us smile. Be it a picture, a word, a sentence or a great big essay lets share what we are thankful for this week. It can be a new post just for this linky, a picture, a video, one word or a thousand this linky is all about thankfulness so whatever has made you grateful this week I would love to know

If you would like to link up I would  love for you to grab the badge below and spread a little linky love to some of the others taking part, and don't forget to spread the word, invite lots of people and help me grow this and make Thursdays a happier place.It was lovely to see more of you last week and I'm grateful to you all for joining in.

This Week my thanks are simple ...... 

Adventures Of A Monkeyfooted Mummy