Making videos are still new to me and finding the time to vlog is proving very difficult – but I do want to persevere. One of my new regular videos will be my ‘monthly favourites’ vlog, where I talk about my favourite things from the month. This will include anything from fashion, beauty, travel, food, parenting and everything in-between.

This month I talk about a great beauty/charity collaboration, the best foundation I’ve tried in years (and it’s only £12.50), and a bargain jumper that I literally want to live in!

Here are my September favourites…

If I’ve tempted you with any of these items, here are the links…

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation
Liz Earle Body Oils
Unwash Dry Cleanser
Zara Jumper
The Bear Yoyos

Look out for my October favourites at the beginning of next month.

Our Week at the Mark Warner Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes.

First of all I must apologise for all the holiday spam. I realise that I’ve already posted two #MyCapturedMoment posts on our holiday in Greece but I haven’t really written much about our week with Mark Warner at their Levante Beach Resort – and why we decided on this type of holiday this year.

Our Week at the Mark Warner Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes.

As a family we don’t normally do ‘package holidays’, we usually opt for a rented villa with a private pool and organise our own flights and a car to get around. For the last two summers we’ve used AirBnB to rent beautiful houses in the South of France. This has suited us perfectly, choosing houses with a swimming pool and plenty of space for the kids to run around. I also like the fact that we have plenty of space in the house, with all the comforts of home. But this year we have a little baby. We even considered not going abroad at all. Would it be too hot for her? Would the flight upset her too much?

Our Week at the Mark Warner Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes.

After many discussions, we decided that we did want a holiday but that our usual choice might not work with our new family dynamics. The older girls now need more entertaining, while Iris takes up a lot of my time. For all these reasons, we started looking into package holidays that offer childcare and entertainment, and after some online searching and comparing we decided on Mark Warner.

Our Week at the Mark Warner Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes.

Our top 5 of reasons for choosing Mark Warner

  1. They have excellent sporting facilities included in the price; from mountain and road biking to tennis, sailing, snorkelling and windsurfing. You can also take part in a number of exercise classes including water aerobics and yoga.
  2. They are renowned for their award winning childcare facilities and only employing British staff to look after the children.
  3. Mark Warner also provide kids clubs during the evening, giving kids the opportunity to watch a movie and play with their new friends while the adults can relax and have a quiet meal.
  4. They only schedule flight with British Airways. No budget airlines here!
  5. The half board option meant we wouldn’t need to worry about breakfast or supper – and I’d read that the food was of the highest quality and plentiful. I’d also heard lots of good thing about the morning ‘omelet lady’ and ‘pancake man’. Who doesn’t like fresh pancakes for breakfast?

Our Week at the Mark Warner Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes.

What we thought of our week with Mark Warner

The week really did work well for us! Dom loved going sailing at whim or grabbing a bike for a few hours in the afternoon – while the big girls were enjoying themselves at the kids club. This gave me time to relax next to the pool with a napping Iris. Everyone was happy because we all got to do what we liked.

Lili and Poppy got to make news friends, try new activities including; tennis and sailing, they got to play games, paint and have fun making crafts. Dom loves being active and there was more than enough activities to keep him happy and I got to do nothing! Ooh other than go for a massage in the Spa. Bliss.

I must mention the movie nights because they were a massive hit with the big girls. Every night there’s an early supper for the kids, followed by a movie that’s shown in the childcare area. This gave Dom and I the opportunity to have little date nights together (with a sleeping Iris of course), which was a real treat. Lili and Poppy were beyond excited to go every night, we’d drop them off at 7pm and collect them again at 9.30pm. Poppy was usually asleep in a her designated camp bed by this point, so we’d carry her back to our room while Lili excitedly told us about her evening.

At the end of the week both girls also took part in a little show that they’d been rehearsing in group all week. This was so sweet to watch and gave the parents the opportunity to see what they’d been up to through the week. It was such a lovely way to end the holiday.

Our Week at the Mark Warner Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes.

This little video will always be special to us as it captures our first holiday as a family of five and of course little Iris’ first ever holiday…

Here are a few more of my favourite snaps…

Our Week at the Mark Warner Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes. Our Week at the Mark Warner Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes. Our Week at the Mark Warner Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes.

Disclaimer: We did pay for this holiday however we were given a discount in return for an honest post.

HM.5

We’re now a few weeks into the summer holidays and I’ve suddenly realised that my oldest two have grown out of most of their casual/ play clothes. They’ve both literally shot up in the past few months, which means lots of their dresses, trousers and tops now look too short on them. So yesterday I took the girls to H&M Kids to pick out some new play clothes. You know what I mean, good value, quality, comfortable clothes that are suitable for playing in the garden, park or anywhere else they find themselves over the summer holidays. These girls love to run, jump, climb, swing and play so their clothes need to be very durable – but also look good and be stylish.

I think it’s good to give them the opportunity to choose their own clothes when we’re out shopping, it teaches them to be independent and helps them create their own sense of style. Of course I’m there to make sure they choose items that match, or at least look nice together but on the whole I give them free rein to pick what they like. Also, by doing this I know that they’ll be happy to wear the items they’ve chosen, because believe me we’ve had some arguments about not wanting wear some of the clothes I’ve chosen for them!

H&M Kids is the perfect place to give them the opportunity to choose their own clothes because the prices are so reasonable – and they often have some great deals on offer! So I know they’re not going to pick an inappropriately expensive item to wear to the park.

At the moment H&M have a great Top and Bottom Deal, where you can pick two items (one top and a pair of trousers or a skirt) for only £6.99. When I saw this offer I told the girls they could pick two outfits each. Here’s what we got…

And here’s what the girls chose…
HM.11HM.16 HM.12 HM.9 HM.8HM.20 HM.7 HM.2 HM.22 HM.6

Disclaimer: This is a collaborated post.

My July favourites, from skincare to makeup and a necklace

At last I’ve got round to recording my monthly favourites vlog. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while – and something I now want to do at the beginning of every month. This month’s favourites include some skincare products, makeup, a special necklace, a delicious gluten-free snack and a new amazing TV show.

Here are the links to my July favourites, if you need anymore information…

Liz Earle – My current favourite Cleanser and Toner combo. Honestly you can’t go wrong with this brand.

James Read -This ‘Tantour Palette’ gives the perfect contoured, tanned face. Ideal for a summer glow.

IT Cosmetics – A Mascara that gives the most amazing, dramatic lashes.

Perricone MD – The best Foundation I’ve tried in years. I’m in love with this!

Redken – ‘RootFul Spary’, a roof lift product that actually works! I also love the Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner.

NibBling – A Teething Necklace that’s a gift for me and Iris.

Nakd – A Gluten Free Snack Bar that is delicious and healthy (that’s a new one on me – usually they’re one or another)

Stranger Things – Best thing on TV this summer

My July favourites, from skincare to makeup and a necklace

What have  been your July favourites?

butlins7

Last weekend we packed up our car and headed west to Somerset for our first mini-break as a family of five. After a long six and a half hour drive we were all feeling tired and a little emotional but thankfully it was worth the journey. I must admit I wasn’t sure what to expect from a weekend in Butlin’s, my expectations weren’t high but I’m happy to say that I was proved very wrong!

It was almost dark when we arrived, we picked up our welcome pack and keys from guest services and drove round to our chalet in the West Lakes Village. This section of the resort is obviously newly renovated, each chalet is simply yet stylishly decorated and has either a lake or park view. Our large chalet had four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a family room with a kitchen, dinning area, sofas and a large TV. It also had a lovely balcony overlooking the lake. To say I was impressed with our little (or not so little) home from home would be an understatement, it really was lovely.

Butlins.11 butlines.2

We were at Butlin’s to review the entertainment they had on offer, which included shows by Dick and Dom, Angelina Ballerina, Mike the Knight and many more. On the first morning Lili was booked onto Dick and Dom’s Practical Joke Academy, this involved her learning to do some funny practical jokes and then going on stage to act them out in front of an audience. Thankfully she’s not too shy for a five year old and was more than happy to take part. She even won a signed book and got a certificate for taking part. They also gave Poppy a certificate, although she was too young to take part – which I thought was a sweet gesture and made her very happy!

butlins.1 butlins.3

The entertainment on offer really was vast! Over our two day stay we watched five different shows, all aimed at kids – but we could have watched so many more. Lili and Poppy really enjoyed the Dick vs Dom show and Mike the Knight – I’d say they were their favourite ones.

Of course, there’s so much more things to do at Butlin’s from the swimming pool, to the fairground, amusements, cinema, crazy golf, go-karts to name just a few. There is literally something for all ages. We were on the go from the moment we got up, till our heads hit the pillow at night. And what makes it all even better is that most things are included in your accommodation fee. So you can go on as many rides as you like without spending a penny. Although, speaking of pennies the girls did get a little addicted to the 2p machines.

butlins.15 butlins.9 Butlins.8 butlins.5 butlins.4

We also had a premium food package, which included an ‘eat as much as you like’ buffet breakfast and dinner at two different restaurants. The choice is massive and there’s even a few stations where the food is cooked fresh in front of you – omelets and pancakes at breakfast and grilled meat at supper time.

The only thing I was shocked by was that supper is served from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, so when we got to the restaurant at 7pm on the first night, the place was pretty empty. Luckily there was still plenty of food left, and the girls were over the moon with the ice cream machine.

We were so lucky with the weather, it was sunny and warm the whole weekend. So it would have been a shame not to have a wonder onto Minehead’s beautiful sandy beach, which is literally across the road from the retort.

minehead

As you can see from this little video, we had a really fun weekend at Butlin’s. The girls are already asking when are we going again.

One last thing I must add is that the staff at Butlin’s (not just the Red Coats) are all amazingly friendly and happy, which I think is a massive credit to the brand and the resort. They all made our stay a truly happy one.

Disclaimer: Thank you to Butlin’s for organising this trip for us. All images and opinions are my own.