Holiday Inn Brighton Seafront review

Holiday Inn Brighton Seafront review

We have just returned from the most fantastic night at the seaside. It was wet and windy but the hotel was 100% what made it great for us. From the second we arrived to check-in, staff were exceptional. Fiona on reception was brilliant, asking us lots of questions and taking an interest in our journey. She told us that our room was ready a whole 3 hours early too which was music to our ears having a baby in tow!

We were directed to the underground car park and were met with two staff that had come down to help with our bags after being told my husband had a bad back. Our executive room was on the 5th floor and it was lovely. Very spacious with a king size bed, sofabed, coffee table, top of the range coffee machine, complimentary chocolates and drinks, a balcony and sea view. A travel cot had also been put in place for us which was a great help. The bathroom was also very large and modern, Austin loved crawling around on the shiny floor! We noticed how clean every area was and were very impressed by the little touches. There were choices on the bed between firm or soft pillows as well as very thick blankets, binoculars and a letter inviting us to take the blankets out to the balcony and use the binoculars to look out to sea.

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blankets, binoculars, cosy

The view outside wasn’t great at the time we visited as it seems the whole seafront is under construction! However, that’s absolutely nothing to complain about – the building work we could see wasn’t anything to do with the hotel – building work has to be done everywhere at some point after all! Here is the view from our balcony. I ignored the cranes and concentrated on the ocean.

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After unpacking we headed back downstairs for a walk along the seafront. It’s about a 15-20 minute walk to the Sealife Centre and we are Merlin pass holders so we took Austin to visit the fish. I have to say I was very disappointed with the aquarium. Having visited many Sealife centres around the country, this didn’t compare at all. It was very small and we’d done the whole thing within half an hour! If you’re going to make a trip to one I’d suggest their London version as it’s much bigger and has much more to see. Austin seemed to enjoy himself though while we were there.

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Austin got to touch a starfish!

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After the sealife centre we went onto the pier, into the arcades and eventually made our way back to the hotel getting caught in the pouring rain for the entire journey! We arrived back to hotel completely drenched. Austin had fallen asleep in his pram under the rain cover so we decided to head to the bar and get a drink while we had some peace and quiet. We were greeted immediately by a lovely member of staff who made sure we had drinks and were comfy. We had a nice chat and retired to the armchairs in front of the TV. I didn’t know they had Sky Sports and BT Sports at the hotel, so when we realised my husband was very pleased!

Shortly after we’d finished our drinks, Austin woke up. We gave him some dinner and headed up to the room with our free Starbucks (yes, they serve Starbucks too! The staff were training so we got to try some for free).

Austin loved exploring the large room, there was so much space for him to crawl around. We were thrilled to see that the TV channels included CBeebies! He watched some of his favourite programmes, crawled around some more and then it was bedtime.

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He went to sleep with no fuss in the travel cot (we did bring an extra mattress with us as the standard ones in travel cots are always so thin and hard. Having said that, the one we were given was more padded than I’ve seen before so I think it would have been fine). Once he was asleep my husband and I had a long hot bath each, watched a film on the iPad and were asleep by 10pm.

In the morning we headed down for breakfast around 9am. The restaurant was quiet, clean and there was an excellent choice of well labelled food.

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As you can see there was something for everyone. Everything looked fresh and tempting. It was great to see something different to other hotels too – a pancake station! There were so many toppings and fillings to choose from –  I didn’t take advantage but wish I had. 

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We went for a variety of foods to fully test what was on offer. A fry up for us adults, a bowl of mixed cereal and dried fruits for Austin plus we all tried the toast and pastries. The food was lovely. The sausages didn’t taste cheap like they sometimes do in hotels and everything was piping hot which we were most impressed by. I can’t tell you the amount of luke warm hotel breakfast buffets I’ve previously endured, so this was a relief. Another thing I took note of was the salt and pepper grinders. There is nothing that winds me up more than sitting down to eat in a restaurant and having a shaker full of white pepper and powdery salt. It’s the cheapest corner to cut and really drives me mad. Black peppercorns and rock salt in grinders can boost even the worst food. White pepper shouldn’t even exist! Take note restaurant owners…

Checkout wasn’t until midday and I’m used to being booted out around 10am so it was a nice treat to be able to go back upstairs after breakfast, pack slowly and enjoy the last hour before heading home.

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As a parent this sign in the lift went down extremely well. Austin makes a horrendous mess when he eats, so this was a really nice touch to see that the hotel understands that kids aren’t clean and tidy!

Lastly I want to mention the outside of the hotel. Let’s not beat around the bush – it looks like somewhere I wouldn’t want to enter out of choice. It reminded me of a tower block in Peckham!

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However, it really was a very good lesson in not judging a book by it’s cover. As soon as we walked in to the modern, shiny lobby I realised the outside definitely was no representation of the hotel itself. There was a banner outside letting us know the hotel is having a makeover, so I’m sure improvements are being made! Either way, don’t let the outside fool you. The Holiday Inn Brighton Seafront was a fantastic hotel with exceptional service and great food. I would go back again in a heartbeat. If you’re heading to Brighton it’s definitely where I would recommend staying.

Thanks for reading!

Hannah x

Blueberry and cinnamon muffin recipe

If Autumn is not a good enough reason to bring cinnamon back, I don’t know what is. It has to be my favourite spice with nutmeg coming in a close second.

This week I baked my first ever batch of muffins and they were a huge success even if I do say so myself! Moist yet soft inside with a crisp crust on top. I’ve been asked for the recipe so many times since, so here you are:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 cups SR flour

2 tsp baking powder 

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 1/2 cup blueberries

For sugar topping:

3 tsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon


Method:

  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well   
  2. Soft flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and milk alternatively to butter mixture. Add vanilla. Gently stir in blueberries  
  3. Spoon butter into muffin pans
  4. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins  
  5. Bake at 200 degrees for 20-25 minutes
  6. Makes 12 muffins   
  7. Enjoy!!❤

If you make these I would love to hear how you got on – don’t be afraid to substitute the blueberries for strawberries or other fruit – I’m trying them again next week but with chocolate chips instead!

Thanks for reading🙂

Hannah xx

Autumn ‘fairy lights and fire logs’ playlist

Autumn is probably my favourite time of year. I’m never sad to see the Summer leave when it’s replaced with Cinnamon Yankees, blankets on the sofa, twinkly lights around my bed and pumpkin spice lattes everywhere.

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Instagram loses it’s beach shots and hotdog legs, but it gains Starbucks cups held by gloves, Autumn leaves, cosy evening photos of slippers on footstools in front of the fire and quite frankly I’m very excited about it. It means the next best thing is just around the corner – snow, Christmas trees and baubles!

I grew up with my dad force feeding us Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and I’m so glad he did. My music collection still contains albums by all of these people and many similar sounds.

I’ve decided to put together a playlist every season. My first is full of tracks I feel suit Autumn down to a T. Whether I’m walking through the park on a crisp evening crunching the leaves under my Mulberry boots sipping my pumpkin spice, sitting in front of the crackling fire with a blanket, or relaxing in bed with a hot chocolate surrounded by fairy lights, these are the songs I’d choose as my soundtrack. I’d love to know what you think. Enjoy!

 

 

A baby friendly fry up

It’s the weekend – hooray! Time to think about breakfast…

Austin is a terror with food lately (see my last post here) so I thought I’d try him with something a little different this morning. A fry up! I had made one for myself and he seemed interested so I made him a baby friendly version. It was also a great opportunity to let him try using a spoon and fork for this first time. We tried a regular set of cutlery plus a fancy set that came free with a suction bowl. The fancy set is set at a jaunty angle to make it easier for children to be successful when using them. We found no difference whatsoever, Austin didn’t have a clue with either! It was his first time to be fair, so I could be being a tad harsh.

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Austin sat patiently and waited for me to cook. I decided on scrambled eggs,  unsmoked bacon, buttered toast and cherry tomatoes. What a lucky little boy!

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As I said, he’s being a fussy little so and so of late so he wasn’t as excited as most of us would be if we were presented with a cooked breakfast. He ate some of the toast, picked up some scrambled egg and played with it (I’ll take this as a success, he usually throws his head back and screams in the presence of any form of egg) and poked holes in the cherry tomatoes. The bacon was treated quite well – he licked a few pieces.IMG_7065IMG_7062The spoon and fork were fun for him I think, he’s never seen a fork and usually never gets a go on the spoon! He enjoyed picking them up and even put them towards his mouth the correct way once or twice – shame the food didn’t go in though…

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All polished off with some melon and pineapple

Austin didn’t actually eat much, but I’m determined to stick to my plan of introducing colourful, healthy foods and if he choses not to eat them that’s up to him. I won’t give in and offer stuff I know he loves!

Today his breakfast mostly went to the dogs, but he still poked around and licked a few new flavours without moaning, so we’re getting somewhere. He should be pretty hungry by lunchtime so let’s see how that goes down!

Thanks for reading!

xx

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Help – My child only eats beige!

Austin has turned a corner with eating lately. Turned a corner and driven himself straight off the ruddy well-behaved-good-eating-cliff. What a NIGHTMARE!

I have always spoon fed Austin, only giving him bits to eat with his hands that are ‘supposed’ to be eaten by hand – toast, bread sticks, snacks etc. All of a sudden a month or so ago he’s been refusing the spoon and I mean full-blown tantrum, pulling his own eyes out of his skull refusal. I never wanted to go down the full baby led weaning route – spag bol up my walls and all that, but it suddenly seemed as though I might have no choice! Noooo!

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I somehow got myself in the mess over the last month or two of feeding him beige until he’d refuse anything that wasn’t beige. Brilliant, top marks Hannah. As an ex-nanny, and a seriously tough one at that, how did I get into this with my own baby?! I was on the highest horse as a nanny it seems, swore blind I wouldn’t do half the things I’m now doing. It’s true though what people say, it’s totally different when it’s your own child! I’m still sticking to the majority of what I preached when nannying, I’m no mug! But the odd few things have slipped the net due to the higher emotions that come with being a parent vs being someone who is hired to do the right thing.

I realised after a week or two of Austin’s beige addiction that he’d become ridiculously fussy – wouldn’t touch a vegetable (unless it came straight from an Ella’s pouch –  no real pieces mother thank you very much). He will eat pieces of real fruit and berries until the cows come home, other puddings and also anything that is beige. You know, bread, cheese, crisps, bread sticks, rice cakes, cocktail sausages, mini scotch eggs. Utter crap! It didn’t take me long to give myself a proverbial slap in the face and sort myself out – why was I letting him run rings around me? Enough was enough.

I’m a fan of the old ‘tough love’ so I went straight in for it the next day. Porridge and fruit for breakfast, then an omelette with some pieces of steamed broccoli, carrots and peas for lunch. Breakfast was fine as usual but he ate no lunch, just screamed at me in disgust. To be fair I expected it. He did the same with dinner too – would you believe I’d had the audacity to serve him up some grilled chicken, a roast potato and parsnips. Basically a roast dinner. What’s this boy’s problem!?hairy-bikers-roast-parsnips

He drunk a huge bottle of milk that night, surprise surprise and the same as soon as he woke the next day. He was so hungry but that’s what I needed him to be if he was ever going to give in. Lunchtime on day two, I’m calling a success – he held and licked a green bean! A GREEN BEAN! He also ate a few mouthfuls of the tuna bagel I’d made too. It slow, but its huge progress. Eggs and fish are things that have previously made his skin crawl, so it seemed.

I decide to carry on and only serve him fresh, real food from now on at least until he’d stopped his stubborn streak. He needs to learn that fish fingers and chicken nuggets are not going to be served up every day – sorry about that mate! I popped to the shop and picked up things I’d never fed him before, all different kinds of vegetables to steam or roast. His plate looks so much more healthy – he still refuses a lot but he will eventually learn that he will always be served up a plate of brightly coloured food and he has to get used to that.

You see as horrible as it is to see them cry and starve themselves (they will definitely not actually starve themselves), the only way of getting kids out of the “he’ll only eat chicken nuggets and chips” problem a lot of parent’s face is to stop flippin’ serving it!! Kids will only eat that because it’s being offered. If the problem foods are removed from their world, they will need to learn to enjoy others – simple as that. Here’s some of what we tried in the first week of change:

Crackers topped with boiled egg, garlic mayo and herbs

Crackers topped with boiled egg, garlic mayo and herbs

Eating the crackers with egg. Until this point Austin has always completely refused anything egg-based

Eating the crackers with egg. Until this point Austin has always completely refused anything egg-based

My saviour has been crackers. He absolutely loves them so I’ve found even if he’s refusing his main foods – fish, eggs, meat etc I can always create a way to stick it on a cracker. I’ve become one of those bloody Annabel Karmel mums I used to laugh at – hiding 48 vegetables in a tomato sauce on pasta FFS. I’ve topped crackers with fish paste (vom), mashed boiled eggs up into a paste with a some garlic mayo and herbs, avocado (his new favourite, I can’t believe it!) And lots more lately. Anyway, this is only a stop-gap to get him back to enjoying different flavours again. I’ll stop mashing and hiding soon enough and he’ll just have to get used to what he is served!

Chopped vegetables mixed with a tbsp of Ella's carrot puree

Chopped vegetables mixed with a tbsp of Ella’s carrot puree

Vegetable mix above used on a homemade pizza. Austin loves pizza so it's an easy way to get extra veg in him

Vegetable mix above used on a homemade pizza. Austin loves pizza so it’s an easy way to get extra veg in him

The end result - pizza loaded with vegetables plus finger food veg

pizza loaded with vegetables plus finger food veg

I don’t imagine it’ll be easy as he really has become a fussy so and so. There will be times when we’re out for a meal and I’ll order him chicken goujons and chips, or he’ll eat some of my fish fingers or whatever and that’s fine, I’m not some organic super mum and I won’t pretend to be. But at his meal times day-to-day unless he is poorly, we’re in a serious rush or for a treat, he’ll get proper food with fruit and veg. He can cry and refuse all he likes, I certainly won’t be giving him another option. In the mean time though I’ve been giving him a large pouch of Ella’s vegetables mid-morning just to make sure while he’s refusing most veggies, he’s still getting what he needs each day. I’ll phase those out at some point, but one thing at a time, eh?!

I don’t even need to ask how many of you have been through this before or are going through it right now – I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about!

This is just my way though, I think it’s up to each mum to decide how to approach the situation and good luck to any of you that tries! I have gone from the best eater (by spoon) in the world to the absolute worst, but it’s not going to become a big deal for me. He’s not going to starve himself after all. I’ll be sure to update you all soon – wish us luck!

Thanks for reading
hannah

 

 

 

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When to switch your child from sleeping bag to duvet

Last week I decided it might be time to try Austin with a duvet. Ha! What an idiot. Look at his face, mocking me.

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Since he was a few months old he has slept in a sleeping bag, but this summer it got so hot, he started to sleep in just a vest. Once it got a little cooler again recently, he was going to bed in a pair of full pjs. Now he was happily sleeping without needing a bag I thought maybe I should add a duvet in preparation for Winter. He’s 14 months old now, what could go wrong?!

I had no idea.

On the night in question I placed the duvet over him tucking it in slightly at the sides – enough to be secure (or so I thought), but lose enough for him to be able to move around. By the time I’d got downstairs and turned the video monitor on, he’d fallen asleep but he’d already kicked the covers off. Brilliant. Luckily for the first trial night I’d dressed him in enough layers so he wouldn’t be really cold if this happened.

An hour later I went up to put it back over him while he slept. Ten minutes later he’d rolled over and kicked it off again. Of course he had. One last time I put it over him at 11pm when I went up to bed, but from then on during the entire night I was kept awake by him stirring and moaning. Looking at the monitor I could see he was sitting up and rolling around blatantly annoyed at this massive pile of padding shoved in his bed. You could almost read his mind “Mother, what the bloody hell do you think you’re playing at?”

Doesn’t he know he has a brand new duvet and sheets?! Everyone knows there’s nothing better than a bed with fresh sheets! Crazy child. I shall remind him of this when he’s a student and won’t vacate his stinking pit. “You know, when you were 1 you cried just because I put you in the same vicinity as a duvet and now look at the state of you”.

I digress. Fortunately I’d tested the duvet situation before it got too chilly, so he didn’t wake from being cold. I’m very sad to say that the brand new duvet and sheets are back in the cupboard where they will most probably stay until he moves in to a proper bed. They are grey with chevrons on and everything😦

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I’ve decided that even though Austin is technically old enough for a duvet, he has absolutely no clue what to do with it. After trying it out, I feel that he needs to have the awareness to pull it back over himself if he’s chilly. Right now if he woke up cold, he’d start crying which would wake me up and aint nobody got time for that unneccessary shizz.

After ‘duvet gate’ Austin went back to sleeping in just pyjamas, but now the temperature has dropped he’s back in his sleeping bag. Happy as a pig and back to sleeping his usual unbroken 14 hours at night. I know, feel free to hate me – I don’t care!

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I’d love to know your experiences of this switch – did you try to make the change early and fail like me? Did you leave it really late and it worked? Fill me in!🙂

Thanks for reading
hannah

We’re back! Here’s a little post to explain why…

Well, hello. We’re only bloody back!!

As you may remember, back in March I decided to have a little time away from blogging for personal reasons. I was getting a little too involved, spending too much time on my laptop and not enough time with Austin. I’ve had a lovely break and have barely touched my computer, it’s been fab!

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However, I missed you ‘orrible lot!

I have taken a long time making sure I definitely wanted to return and if I were to, deciding what my blog content will look like, how much time I would spend on it and essentially what it’ll mean to me.

I’ve made those decisions and right now I really want to write again. I miss telling you all what we’ve been up to, what Austin has been eating or wearing and the great products I find whether they’re for mum or baby. What I’m not going to do is chase PR companies non stop to try to get involved with tons of reviews, stop looking at my stats every day to see how many views I’ve had, stop getting involved in blogging while Austin is awake and could be being played with – basically I’m going to blog in my own time because I enjoy it. I put too much pressure on myself before to try and make my blog into something big, thinking that stats and blogging non stop was what I had to do to get readers. For me, it took the enjoyment out of it – I thought I wanted to try to turn blogging into a job – I got involved in everything and all it did was stress me out. I now know that isn’t the kind of blog I want, I want a relaxed one with lovely readers who I can chat to and connect with – maybe doing a few reviews/bits of work along the way.

I’m not promising to blog every day or even every week, but I’ll blog when I actually have something to say, or really feel that I want to write. I’m still interested in reviews as they benefit me as well as the brand – everyone loves receiving free stuff and/or payment for writing your opinion, but it’s not going to be my main goal. If I never receive another free item or get paid for writing ever again, that’s OK too. I’ll still be hashtagging on social media like I used to, this brings new readers and does attract PR attention, so if a brand comes to me following a hashtag, that’s a bonus.

I’m not interested in stats this time round, I really do want to write for myself and Austin – of course it’s lovely to know you guys will read it – I do definitely still want readers! Don’t be afraid to comment or ask questions too as I still really want it to be interactive. I just won’t be putting pressure on myself to make it into something more than I want it to be, or stressing out wondering ‘why this post only got half the views yesterday’s post got’.

I may join in other people’s linkys occasionally if I enjoy them, but I won’t continue running my own. I started a linky previously called Weekend Baby Style which was really succesful. Sarah from Knott Bump and Us (soon to be changing to This Mama Life) came on board and took it over when I left the blogging scene – she is still running it but the linky is now called Weekend Mini Style if you want to join in with it in future, go check out her page!

So that’s it! I’m REALLY excited to be back with no stress, pressure, huge to do lists, linky commitments, just plain old blogging and being social🙂 Come find us on Instagram @hannahaustinuk or Facebook here.

Whether you’re an old, loyal reader or a brand new one – come and say hello!

Thanks for reading – here’s to a new start!❤

hannah

 

 

 

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‘A quarter of’ retro sweets review

Hands up who remembers shrimps, black jacks, flying saucers, space dust, kola cubes, white chocolate fish and chips and pear drops? I could probably fill a couple of paragraphs listing all the sweets I used to eat as a child! They were definitely the best though weren’t they? They don’t make them like that any more! Or do they….?!

If you love old-fashioned sweets from when you were young and you haven’t discovered the website A Quarter Of yet, you need to pop over there immediately! There are pages and pages filled with every possible retro sweet you could think of. If you can’t find what you like, you can message them to let them know what they’re not stocking (although I genuinely think you’d have an impossible job thinking of what they’ve forgotten – they stock it all!)

Sweets come in 250g bags and are usually around the £2 mark. Penny sweets are back – hooray! smoothcolabottles-380x200-c

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As exciting as it is being able to fill your kitchen cupboards with your very favourite childhood sweets, the best thing for me about the website is the sweet hampers page. For me, something like this is a perfect present. You know everyone loved penny sweets as a child and how amazing would it be for a giant hamper to arrive at their door? It’s the perfect ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘Thank you’ gift.

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Have you visited this site yet? What’s your favourite retro sweet?!

Why after nearly a year of blogging, I’m taking a break….

I’m not really sure how to write this post. I’ve been meaning to write it for days….

The thing is, I’ve decided to take a large step back from the blogging world for a little while. My blog started when I was pregnant and so far has seen and taken note of almost everything Austin has done, what we’ve been up to, how he’s developing with food etc And that’s why taking a break has been a very hard decision. There will be a big chunk of his life missing from the blog and it was originally started as something for him to read back on, so I feel that will be a shame.

The other side of things is that I feel I’m spending too much time on my phone and laptop. I always said to myself that as soon as I feel that way, I’ll stop for a while. If he naps in the day or after his bedtime I’m usually blogging/editing/filming/replying to a PR’s email from days ago – the list goes on. That only takes a certain amount of time, but it’s added to the million other things we have to do online these days – banking/emails/social media etc. As much as I have loved blogging (I really have), I feel like, along with everything else online, it’s consuming me a little. Sometimes when Austin naps, I quite fancy going to cook some food for him to freeze, or hanging the washing out, or putting his old clothes in the loft (sob) – you know, mum jobs. I always ignore these and find myself rushing to get online before he wakes up. I am prioritising the wrong things and find myself getting stressed about that, as I’d much rather concentrate on being a mum at the moment and sticking the laptop in the bin! When I said the wrong things, I mean wrong for me personally.

The things that make me happier should be top of my list right now. It may sound like I’m being dramatic – blogging and online banking is hardly the hardest job in the world, but I’ve always been old-fashioned and really do prefer the simple things sometimes. A lot of it comes from my old career as a nanny – I’m used to spending my days with babies, painting, baking, playing, colouring and I want to get back to that for a while with no distractions!

Anyone that blogs knows it takes time to create and edit posts, vlogs and everything else that comes with blogging – I knew that when I started but lately I feel like when I return, I’ll have had time to reassess what I want to do with my blog, which direction I want it to go in and how much time I’ll spend doing it. When I was pregnant, I just started documenting, but now that’s it’s grown a lot I need to work out where I’m going to take it next.

I’ve noticed that there can be so much pressure as a blogger – an insane amount! You should post every day to maximise exposure, get PR’s interested, get your stats higher, Tweet all the time….. Are you exhausted yet?! I do understand all that though, I’m just not sure a big successful blog is what I’m interested in anymore. What’s all this ‘like for like’ ‘follow for follow’ business as well?! Don’t people want others to read their blog because they enjoy it, or would they rather have fake likes to up their numbers?

I’ve found, sadly, the blogging community can sometimes be very fake and that’s not enjoyable for me at all. The majority, and those I keep up with on social media, are absolutely lovely but as with everything in life, there’s always a few that ruin it for the rest. I don’t enjoy being around fake people and fake things so maybe when I return I should steer clear of some of the Facebook blog groups. I  love some of them, they have a great social presence, the admin can be vey sweet and they really do help grow readers, but some of them are just full of the usual “Leave your Twitter page below and people will follow, you also MUST follow the 5 above you”.  I get why people want to do it, as stats are key when growing a blog, but that’s not me – I don’t want to be following a load of unrelevant, boring people just because they follow me back! Anyway, I digress….

Talking about how much time the internet takes up sounds silly as I see mums with 3 kids, twins, a full-time job and a husband away at sea who still blog daily, bake a cake and do the school run! I’ll be honest, I have absolutely no idea how they manage it – they’re superhuman, I swear! Amazing mummies! I’m very lucky to have my husband working from home, so he’s around with us all the time. You’d think that’d give me more time to blog as he can watch Austin but actually I find it makes it harder. If I am on my computer too much, I find that I would rather be making the most of the time we have as all 3 of us.  If all 3 of us are around all the time, I can get internet guilt. Why am I rushing online all the time when I could be relaxing and enjoying my family? It’s mad because I have more time than anyone – no job, a cleaner, husband at home – but whatever my reason, something is telling me to take a step back from the internet for a while.

Whilst on holiday recently, I realised how nice it was to be away from my laptop, phone and decent wifi. Basically the modern world. Do you know what? Grant and I talked more than we have in years! Nothing exciting, just chit-chat throughout the day, but in our house at home the internet and modern lifestyle definitely gets  in the way sometimes.

Family time by the pool

Family time by the pool

Do you ever find you both sit at home staring at your phones and forgetting to talk?!

It definitely happens with us lots and my blogging definitely adds to that. I’ve decided that I’m going to enjoy my family a little and stay away just for a bit. It’s a very hard decision as I absolutely love my blog and it’s something I’m very proud of.

Do you ever feel like you want to take a step back from the modern world, grab a pen and paper and do things the old-fashioned way? If so, you’ll know where I’m coming from.

Thank you to each and every one of you that reads my blog every week – if you enjoy it, please do stay following me as I’ll definitely be back. My Weekend Baby Style linky is the one thing I am absolutely certain will be staying. I started it only 11 weeks ago (terrible timing to take a break, right?!) And I absolutely LOVE it. It’s insane how much it’s grown and it’s something I’m going to really, really miss until I’m back! Fortunately, I roped in a co-host recently, a bloody good one at that. Sarah from Knott Bump & Us will be keeping it warm on her own – please keep linking up and give her some support, she looked after it alone whilst I was on holiday and did a fantastic job!

WBS3_zpscxyafxqgMost importantly I will definitely be staying on Instagram (and my personal FB page)  just as much as ever so please stay with me there, I can’t vanish completely, now can I?🙂

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Love ya and thanks for reading. See you soon!
hannah

APH Gatwick airport parking review

Before I go into detail, let’s get this out there – I cannot recommend this company enough! I may have been given 2 spaces for a week for free of charge, but that has nothing to do with it. I have actually used this brand twice before over the years (paid for by myself) and have always received fantastic service.

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Before we arrived, we had been emailed a confirmation of our booking, plus a very detailed list of directions which we printed off for reference. We got to our parking site around 6am and pulled up right outside the office. I left Austin and Grant in the car and popped in to let them know we’d arrived. We were instructed to leave our key in the car and unload our bags. One great thing I noticed is that they wouldn’t take my house key on the car keyring – they said it was for insurance purposes but would I really want to leave lots of employees of any company with my home address and key?! I was pleased they reminded me to remove it and keep hold of it myself.

There were APH men milling around ready to move the cars into their own parking spot for the week, so we left them to it and jumped on the bus to the South terminal. The bus is right next to the office, so the rain didn’t trouble us as it was also under cover. The bus driver was helpful, lifting our bags and prams on for us and tucking them away. The journey was less than 10 minutes and was a pleasant ride right to the airport door. The driver helped us off again and from there we disappeared onto a plane and off to the Canaries!

Fast forward a week and we were home. We got on the bus, which arrived around 30 seconds after we got to the bus stop – they come so often you’re never waiting long at all. We had the same route back and an even more helpful driver than last time! He was chatty, interested in our holiday and had lots of questions about the babies too – really great service. When we arrived at APH site again, we popped inside the office and gave our names. They wouldn’t let my husband sign the car out as it had been me that signed it in. You may think that’s annoying but think of the security – these guys have your car, they need the same signature checking it both in and out and I totally understand why. After all you wouldn’t want anyone being able to stroll in and sign your car out now, would you?

We were absolutely exhausted but were finished in the office in under 2 minutes. The lovely ladies behind the desk let me feed Austin in there too, ready for the journey home. The car was waiting right outside – we hopped in and drove home. Absolute success. Our car had not a scratch, our odometer read the same, it looked exactly as it did when we left it. I would absolutely trust this brand with any car I owned, no matter how expensive the car was. It’s the 4th time I’ve used this company and has been so smooth and easy every time. Even with two 7 month old babies, the parking and bus journey were completely stress free.

If you’re heading abroad and don’t want to pay silly money to park in the airport grounds, contact APH now!

Thanks for reading!

hannah