The UnNatural Mother

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Why The S.A.S Need Training By Mums

  Now I am sure that the SAS go through some tough training, but nothing compared to being a mum. I am damn sure that after completing a covert operation involving helicopters, snipers and dynamite that they…

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Haven Hafan y Môr Holiday Review

We have just returned from our 2nd short break at Haven Hafan y Môr. Our first visit was 3 years ago just before the birth of Charley and we enjoyed the holiday park so much we decided to return for another 3-night stay. When we stayed previously we only used a couple of the attractions on site and due to being heavily pregnant and extremely tired we stayed in most evenings. So this time we decided to take full advantage of everything on offer and really put Haven Hafan y Môr to the test. I want to make it clear now that our holiday was 100% funded by us, Haven didn’t know we were coming and this review has been written because I want to give my honest opinion to anyone looking to book a break to Haven Hafan y Môr.

Travel & Accommodation

We are based in Blackpool so Haven Hafan y Môr was roughly a 3-hour drive away. Check-in is from 3 p.m and collecting your keys and welcome pack from the site’s reception is really easy and quick. We stayed in a Deluxe – Newer category caravan near the boating lake which was very spacious with 3 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms. The caravan could sleep up to 6 people but I personally think any more than 4 would have felt crowded. On our last visit, we stayed in a Prestige category caravan and if I am honest I did miss the extra luxury and decking area that comes with the upgraded model. I do have to say that there was nothing wrong with the Deluxe – Newer model and we arrived at a spotless, well-presented accommodation, with all the essentials* required for our stay.

*Towels are available to book at an additional cost, but we took our own.

Food & Drink

We took a cool bag packed with a few frozen pizzas and quick meals we could make for lunches but most of the time we grabbed food from the selection of venues on the park. The Mash & Barrel restaurant was a 5-minute walk from our caravan and normally I am very sceptical about the food quality from ‘on-site ‘ venues but I needn’t have been as the food was delicious, good-sized portions and very well priced. We also ordered pizza from Papa Johns on site and I really enjoyed it. The only downside to both was the wait time was about 1/2 hour after ordering but they did make this clear from the start. The site has 2 mini markets as well so if you want to save a few pennies and cook in the caravan you can. Prices again were reasonable and on par with a Tesco’s Express.

Now as I mentioned last time we visited the park I was heavily pregnant so not drinking anything alcoholic, this time I was not pregnant and with 2 kids in tow, Mummy needed an ice-cold beverage after a long day of action-packed fun. Mash & Barrel has a lovely outdoor seating area right next to the kids park so while we sipped a cold glass of wine the kids played safely in front of us. At night the evening entertainment was inside the Cove and from about 8 p.m onwards the venue gets very busy and so does the bar. Be prepared for a 10-minute wait. If alcohol isn’t your thing and coffee are Haven Hafan y Môr has a Starbucks with the full menu of drinks available. Each morning at 9 am I took a little walk and enjoyed a quiet coffee in the sunshine.

Onsite Activities

There is a vast array of free & chargeable activities to do each day ranging from den building in the forest to Segway tours around the site. I offered to book a couple of the Nature Rock activities for Harry but he chooses a morning of peddling around on a go-cart with Lee instead. There is a selection of bikes and scooters available to hire so while Harry & Lee were zipping around on their go-cart Charley took to 3 wheels on a Micro Scooter which cost £5 for an hours hire inc Helmet. There are also several parks dotted around the site which gives the kids plenty to do and parents a welcome 10 minutes break. By far my favourite and totally free activity  ( about it the cost of a net & bucket )  is a few hours down at the beach playing in the rock pools. Even though it wasn’t the warmest of days we still all enjoyed paddling in the rock pools and netting a selection of creatures. It did help that I packed my new rash guard swimsuit by Gottex from Uk Swimwear that kept me warm and was the perfect swimsuit for running around after 2 kids on a Welsh beach.

 

Swimming Pool

The pool at the Haven Hafan y Môr has just had a 3 million pound refurb and is a brilliant way for the kids to burn off some steam. It has several child-friendly slides suitable for anyone 5+ and a great toddler area perfect for an adventurous 2-year-old. It was nice to see how clean the changing area was and the amount of Life Guards on duty at once. Water temperature wise, it was a little bit chilly but after the first trip I wore my rash guard swimsuit and found that really helped keep the chill at bay. For an additional cost, the pool also has bookable sessions to use the AquaJets, Water Walkers & Turbo Paddlers.

 

Entertainment

Harry was keen to join in with the kids evening activities so we joined the other mums & dads at the advertised time of 6 p.m for the Kids Disco. You need to get there for 6 p.m for a decent table near the front but the actual disco doesn’t start till nearly 6.20 which when you have 2 over excited kids can be a long 20 minutes wait. The disco is pretty poor with only a couple of cheesy songs and 1 entertainer leading a pack of 30 small kids. The word chaos springs to mind. The kids show featuring Rory The Tiger and Anxious The Elephant was a roaring success for Harry but personally, I found the American accent all the characters had a bit strange for a UK based holiday park. I also didn’t like that all the kids were invited to queue for a picture with Anxious The Elephant but instead of being able to take a quick snap on your phone, Haven has a photographer and a £8.99 price tag for the photo. I say all of this from the point of view of an adult but I can assure you every kid on that dance floor was thoroughly entertained and joining in with all the characters.

From 8.30 onwards the adult-based shows start. On the 2 nights we went to The Cove we saw a very old school illusionist  & a Michael Jackson tribute show. They may both have been done a million times but both shows were well choreographed and entertaining. Charley by this point had normally fallen asleep in her pram and Harry loved watching the magic tricks and dancing along to The Jackson 5 songs. Just to add for anyone who enjoys a good dabber, bingo is available to play each night too. I had a go in the spirit of trying something new but put it this way Mecca Bingo won’t be getting a new member anytime soon.

So that concludes my review of Haven Hafan y Môr and our first staycation as a family of 4. Overall I love the Holiday Park and the positive points definitely out way the negative points. Will we be returning? Then yes, I think we will in the future for another short break and to enjoy an easy and restful few days as a family.

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*** The swimsuit featured in the photo's was kindly sent to me by UK Swimwear but all my thoughts & opinions are my own **

Last Minute Wedding Tips For The Bride To Be

Me & Lee On Our Wedding Day

With  Royal Wedding fever upon us and mine & Lee’s 11 year anniversary next month it got me thinking about how I felt the night before we got married and how Meghan must be feeling right now. I don’t remember having nerves, I just hoped it wouldn’t rain and everything would run smoothly ( oh and that Lee would turn up ). Our wedding was pretty small in comparison to the Royal Wedding and I didn’t have the eyes of the world waiting to critique my every move but It still felt very overwhelming. So with this in mind, I thought I would enlist the help of some other brides to give Meghan and anyone one else getting married soon a few last minute tips to make their day go without a hitch.

I would have made sure that everyone else knew what time they needed to be ready on the day, ahead of time. No one seemed to have any sense of urgency and it stressed me out a bit!  – Julie

Plan a nice meal with your close friends & family the night before the wedding, this is a great way to distract you from getting nervous and worrying.

Best thing you can do for your skin is find a great skincare routine that fits into your life and one that you can afford. If it’s too expensive you will scrimp abs not get the benefits of it. I’m a huge Liz Earle Fan. You can’t beat it for simplicity and quality. Used it religiously for years including the run up to my wedding  – Gail

Write each other a nice note to be opened on the morning of your wedding. Escape off somewhere for 20 minutes and read it alone. It may be the only time you get to yourself that day.

Have your lashes lifted and tinted before the big day. That way you won’t have to worry about mascara running or smears. The lift works wonders for opening up the eyes too. Emma

Start drinking champagne at breakfast. Job done 😉 – Erika

Remember to take time out with your new husband at some point during the day/evening and just watch what is going on – otherwise, the whirlwind is over before you know it. – Emma

It’s YOUR day and no one else’s (well except your other half but you know what I mean!!) So ENJOY it. – Claire

Make sure your shoes are comfortable. I spent £300 on Jimmy Choo’s and they cut my feet to ribbons.

Try on your tights or stockings beforehand! I didn’t, and they were so uncomfortable, and I didn’t have any spares! – Gemma

When I was going to pieces the night before and on the day it was my amazing bridesmaids that made sure I ate and sent me to bed early to stop me stressing about the preparations. Couldn’t have done it without them 😍 (Also prosecco 😂) – Emma

Build in easy entertainment for the child guests – we had party bags and bubbles. Bubbles also very good for photos – Kate

 

Well, I hope you found this post helpful and if you are getting married soon Good Luck !!!  Enjoy your Big Day

 

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Feeling Anti Social

Feeling Anti Social

 

I am sorry if you haven’t heard anything from me in a while, but quite the opposite of the title I have been out being very social. After 3 months of doing nothing but working, eating and sleeping this little caterpillar has turned her self into a social butterfly. Want to know how I did it? I said ‘yes’. That simple, I said yes to all the days & nights out I didn’t have to worry about childcare to attend. When I was asked if I wanted to go on a spa day , i didn’t do my normal ” How much ??? ” feeling the guilt that the price to attend could have brought Harry a whole new summer wardrobe , I justified that I work bloody hard for my money and a few hours away and a pampering was just what I needed. There comes a time when you can’t stare at the same 4 walls anymore and if you hear the theme tune to Peppa Pig one more time you may be forced to wing the IPad across the kitchen just for a little peace. We can all dig deep and power through, suppressing the need to escape the madness but then why should we ???

 

Now I am not trying to annoy my lovely readers with my new-found social life, what this post is about is sometimes something has to give. For the first time in 2 years, I have taken a blogging break. I knew that when I became a Social Media Manager working online 8 hrs a day that when I came home at night I would find it a lot harder to pick up my laptop and write blogs for myself, but recently I really have had writer’s block. A combination of having nothing to write about and the desire to stop stressing myself out meant  I downed tools for 2 weeks and became anti-social.  The break gave me a chance to clear my head and do a bit of mental housekeeping. I have written many times about the immense amount of pressure I put myself under to be ‘perfect’, to look like a swan gliding across a pond, all the while paddling my little legs kicking like fury to keep my self from sinking. I have a daily struggle with my burning desire to have a successful career and to be a great mum. Although I now work my day job around both kids, there are still many nights I need to be tapping away on my laptop to make a writing deadline for the blog. My fear was always if I took a break my readers would all disappear overnight but by you reading this now is proving the point that I needn’t of worried. I am sure occasionally you feel the need to have a mental clear out and just feel the need to put yourself on a short sabbatical.  Maybe I can inspire you to put down the duster and pick up the phone to arrange a dinner date or leave the washing pile for one more day and kick back in a garden chair. We are all worried about taking a step back from our responsibilities but lesson learnt for me, for my own sanity I am occasionally going to have to do that.

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DON’T LET THE BED BUGS BITE – 7 SPRING CLEANING TIPS FOR YOUR BEDROOM

Spring Claen

It’s that time a year again when we all look at the house and get Spring Cleaning Fever. I am the first one to admit I normally hate cleaning but at this time of year, I like to give the house a deep clean from top to bottom. The one place that people normally forget about is the bedroom but as most of us spend 25 years of our lives lying down in bed this is the most important part of the house to start with. Today in partnership with Silentnight I share with you 7 tops tips to leave your bedroom free from any unwanted visitors.

1.Wash your bedding, not just your sheets

If left unwashed for just a few months, up to one-third of a pillow will be dead skin, bugs, mites and mite droppings. So wash your pillows and duvet every two or three months, to get rid of the build up.

2.Give your pillows a spin in the tumble dryer once a month

As well as plumping up the pillows nicely, the heat kills bugs between washes.

3.Replace your pillows regularly

They do lose their support so it is a good investment from a health point of view – but if you’ve had your pillows for some time, it is inevitable that there will have been a build-up of skin, dust and mites. Experts recommend you replace them every two or three years.

 4.Purchase the right kind of bedding

A product like Silentnight’s Anti -Allergy range is machine washable and actively combats dust mites and bacteria, to help prevent allergies and keep your pillows feeling fresh and clean. Machine washable with a two-year guarantee, a pack of two is just £12.49 from Amazon.

5.Use pillow and mattress protectors

These prevent skin getting into the pillows and should be washed regularly – ideally weekly with your sheets.

6.Air your bed.

An adult can lose up to a litre of sweat in one night, so don’t rush to make your bed in the morning. It may look nice, with all the lovely cushions, but actually, it is much more hygienic to pull down the duvet, open the windows and let your bed have a good airing while you get ready.

7.Vacuum – regularly!

Carpet is a breeding ground for dust and dust mites. Dust and vacuum twice a week. Include curtains and the bed!

 

I hope that these tips have inspired you to give your bedroom a spring clean. Silentnight is the UK’s most trusted bed brand with over 70 years’ experience in creating products to help the whole family get that  ‘great sleep’ feeling so check out their website for more details.

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This post was in collaboration with Silentnight but all my thoughts & opinions are my own.