It’s been Dementia Awareness Week here in the UK and as this is a disease that I have sadly seen affect loved ones I was really keen to get involved and help spread the word as well as have that difficult conversation with our eldest son about what Dementia is and how it can affect people.

Dementi

Dementia Awareness week UK

There are approximately 800,000 people in the UK living with dementia, and an estimated 36 million people worldwide, and it can set in much earlier than you may think. We were kindly sent a box of fun, creative things from Active Minds, who provide activity packages to help improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. Our little package was for the boys to get involved in and decorate their pot and plant their seeds – all things they love doing, generally getting messy!

Active Minds Dementia week

Active Minds Dementia week

Inside our package were some talking points designed for young children to help them understand what happens to our brain as we age and how a person might change.

Active Minds Dementia week

To be totally honest Henry is still a little young to really have a concept of what I was trying to talk to him about, and frankly if it’s me up against glitter glue and stickers I know which would always win! But I do think it’s important for us to chat about these kind of things openly with our children, and even if they don’t take it in, perhaps in a year or so if we spoke about it again he might have some questions that I would be equipped to answer.

Active Minds Dementia week

Active Minds Dementia week

I found the talking points they gave (see above) helped me talk about the effects of Dementia at the right level for a child, and by making the conversation into an activity it held our child’s attention a little longer than normal!

Pop over to Active Minds if you would like to find out more about the support they can supply when dealing with dementia. Their mission is to improve the lives of people living with alzheimers by creating products that are engaging and have purpose to them. https://www.active-minds.org/uk/

Active Minds Dementia week

 

This post is not sponsored. 

Follow:

If you’re planning a trip to Swansea there are so many must-see sights and activities. Here are my Top 5 things to do in Swansea Bay area.

Rhossili Bay

Things to do in Swansea Bay, Rhossili beach Gower peninsula

Things to do in Swansea Bay, Rhossili beach Gower peninsula

Things to do in Swansea Bay, Rhossili beach Gower peninsula

Take a walk down the steep, winding cliff top down to beautiful Rhossili beach, it will be well worth your trip. The clean and sweeping bay makes it the perfect beach for families and surfers alike. The car park was being expanded while we were there, and I would imagine it will be finished by Summer peak. Head left from the car park and you will reach Worm’s Head, with stunning views and the chance to walk across to the islands if the tide is right.

The Mumbles

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Gower peninsula

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Gower peninsula

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Gower peninsula

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Gower peninsula

Cosmopolitan Mumbles is home to many independent shops and restaurants and is great for a walk around, look out for the Love Spoon museum and the Gower gallery for interesting artifacts and local artwork. Take a stroll along the coastal path and admire the relaxed and peaceful beach town with it’s brightly coloured houses and regenerated pier. Head to Verdi’s for world class ice cream with a view out over the vast Gower coastline.

Langland Bay

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Langland Bay Gower peninsula

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Langland Bay Gower peninsula  Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Langland Bay Gower peninsula

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Langland Bay Gower peninsula

This cosy, secluded little bay is a sheltered haven lined with quaint beach huts and perfect little rock pools for intrepid explorers. Take a walk along the cliff top to take in the rugged coastline or just take a seat on the large steps along the wall of the beach and enjoy the warmth of the sun on your face. Also try Caswell Bay and Oxwich Bay for similar beautiful beaches.

Oystermouth Castle

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Oystermouth Castle Gower peninsula

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Oystermouth Castle Gower peninsula

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Oystermouth Castle Gower peninsula

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Oystermouth Castle Gower peninsula

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Oystermouth Castle Gower peninsula

Oystermouth Castle, originally built as an English stronghold in Wales in the 12th Century, is steeped in history which our guide, Roger was so passionate in passing down to us. It was fascinating to listen to and our young children had great fun exploring, do keep an eye out for uneven footings, to be expected of course. Oystermouth Castle is an easy walk up from Mumbles and has undergone some great restoration including a 30ft high glass bridge which affords amazing views over Mumbles once you reach the top.

Visit the Marina, the tallest building in Wales and Museums.

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Marina Museum Waterfront Gower peninsula

 

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Marina Museum Waterfront Gower peninsula  

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Marina Museum Waterfront Gower peninsula

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Marina Museum Waterfront Gower peninsula

Things to do in Swansea Bay, the mumbles Marina Museum Waterfront Gower peninsula

There’s so much to do in this busy and vibrant area of Swansea. Make sure you visit one of the interesting, free museums in the area; the Swansea museum has a moving & informative WW1 exhibition at the moment, and don’t forget to look out for the £3m Flemish masterpiece which was found in the museum’s storeroom! The Waterfront museum provides interactive, informative, entertainment for all the family and is home to a host of historical exhibitions. The “LC” Leisure complex has enough to keep the family entertained for the whole day; not only is it home to Wales’ largest indoor waterpark but there is a huge, interactive play centre, climbing wall and even a boardrider surf machine.

The recently regenerated Marina has had a lot of improvements and is great for a walk around. The attractive former docks are lined with apartments. The highlight would have to be a visit to Wales’ tallest building, with incredible views over Swansea and beyond. At the end of your day head to the top floor for a decadent meal or delicious cocktail at Grape & Olive while taking in the vista.

Thank you to Swansea Bay for helping us put this post together, Video coming soon.

Take a look at the Swansea Bay website for more info.

Follow:

It’s a bit of a whiny, moaning post today but I just feel like we are at breaking point with our toddler’s sleep regression and I guess I want to reach out to anyone who may be going through the same or who has any advice for us!!

breaking point toddler sleep regression

I wrote a while back about baby sleep tips, and back then we certainly did have it nailed. But now it’s our almost 4 year old we are struggling with. When he turned 3 he suddenly became a lot more aware of his surroundings, and with that more scared of the outside world. Totally normal, I know. We went 3 months having to sleep on his floor and finally he seemed to grow out of it. That was for a good few months, but then back around Christmas time he regressed again. Currently we’re having to sit with him each night until he falls asleep. And then once he wakes, around midnight or 2am he just walks straight into our room and into our bed.

breaking point toddler sleep regression

In theory this doesn’t sound too bad. But the reality is that he gets in and somehow, inexplicably, manages to sleep across both of our pillows kicking and headbutting us both all night. I fear waking him to move him because the thought of trying to get him back to sleep in the middle of the night seems to hard to bare and getting sucker punched in the eyeball seems the more appealing solution.

We have tried putting him back into his bed and this can happen 5 times a night, and it just gets to a point when it’s so much easier just to roll over and let him in. Last week felt like we were at breaking point when I spent the majority of the night sleeping, like a dog, at the foot of the bed, with no pillow and only my arms covered by the duvet. Not ideal.

breaking point toddler sleep regression

I filmed a little video over on my YouTube which goes into more detail. I’m not even sure what I am going to gain from even sharing this, but sometimes it just feels a little bit better when you can get it out there, and frankly have a bit of a moan! Have you been through this? Did you survive to tell the tale? I’d love to know what worked for you.

Thanks for listening to me moan!!

toddler sleep regression breaking point

Follow:

I love the planning that goes into organising a romantic weekend away. The anticipation, the excitement of escaping the ordinary. Before we had children we used to book a weekend at a spa or jump in the car to another city every couple of months. Being based in the South of England, we’re lucky to have lots of beautiful places within a couple of hours drive away and equally just on our doorstep. I love getting lost in beautiful surroundings, learning things about the places we go and I’m passionate about exploring close to home as well as further afield.

Valentine's Day romantic weekend away for 2 on a date at Tylney Hall Hampshire

It is especially exciting planning a weekend away now, because since becoming parents they are understandably rare. In fact I think we have only done one or two so far, but as the boys are getting older, in turn they are getting (slightly) easier to send to doting grandparents. Equally we love to show the boys the adventures we can have as a family, hopping in the car and going off on a road trip together. Although it has to be said it’s not quite as spontaneous as it once was when we only had to think of our own needs.

Valentine's Day romantic weekend away for 2 on a date at Tylney Hall Hampshire

As Valentine’s Day approaches I’m sure many couples are planning romantic ventures, be it at home or away. There’s a certain pressure that comes with a weekend spent with a new partner, a relationship in its infancy is put to the test when trying to plan for a weekend away together. It can certainly be a deal breaker. It’s probably a good idea to have spent a couple of nights together before putting your relationship to the test of a full weekend away. There’s nothing quite as awkward as realising actually you’re not the match you thought you were, when 300 miles from home and have 2 days to get through.

Valentine's Day romantic weekend away for 2 on a date at Tylney Hall Hampshire

I love the spontaneity of a loosely organised trip. Not knowing exactly what lies ahead provides extra excitement and adventure to your weekend. Showing your partner how you can be flexible can be an endearing quality, especially if you have children who don’t normally allow for such impulsive freedom. Getting insider tips from the hotel staff for the best brunch in town, or the secret spots they don’t show you in the guide book can be exciting and a fun way of getting to know each other. It’s great to discover the places on foot too if you have the time to meander through village streets without time constraints.

how to plan a romantic weekend away

It’s especially important to make time for a romantic weekend away if you have children and rarely spend time together as a couple. Even just to give yourself that time, have a bubble bath without interruptions, to take things slowly, enjoy each other’s company like you used to be able to without having to think of your children first. Rediscover each other, remember what made you fall in love with one another in the first place. It’s so so hard to make time for yourselves in day to day life amidst the school run, the food shop and the daily battles with getting children to eat their dinner. Each day ending with falling into bed, your head hitting the pillow desperately hoping for a few straight hours of shut eye and any thoughts of intimacy as distant as the memory of a full nights sleep. We’ve all been there and it’s only natural to put yourself and each other last.

Valentine's Day romantic weekend away for 2 on a date at Tylney Hall Hampshire

Valentine's Day romantic weekend away for 2 on a date at Tylney Hall Hampshire

Finding the perfect spot for your weekend of romance is key to getting the mood right. Whether that’s a weekend of escaping to the countryside to an exquisite peaceful retreat where you can spend the whole weekend soaking up the splendour of the romantic setting, walking amongst stunning gardens and taking time over afternoon tea. A weekend in the City, shopping all day, fine dining and taking in a show by night. Or perhaps an action packed weekend of fun and mayhem, jumping on the Eurostar and picking a destination as you get to the station. It’s important to choose something that you would both enjoy and that is an escape from the norm. Personally I like to make sure I get as much from the weekend as possible, which means the less travel the better – there’s not much point flying to New York if you only have 48 hours to enjoy your adventure.

Valentine's Day romantic weekend away for 2 on a date at Tylney Hall Hampshire  Valentine's Day romantic weekend away for 2 on a date at Tylney Hall Hampshire

Packing for a weekend away needs to start with the bag. Nothing too big so that you have to check it in for a flight, nothing too small so you have to scrimp on outfit options. I found the perfect bag whilst scouring one of my favourite websites, where I often get lost scrolling through their pages of beautiful homewares, iconic designers and luxury gifts. It’s just one of those sites where you want everything. I knew I wanted to get something uber stylish and special for a weekend bag because it will be something I use time and time again. This beautiful Ted Baker weekend holdall is a definite investment piece and one that I think will see me through years of adventures.

Valentine's Day romantic weekend away for 2 on a date at Tylney Hall HampshireValentine's Day romantic weekend away for 2 on a date at Tylney Hall Hampshire

What ever you do, wherever you go, it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourselves to be romantic, just relax, enjoy the time do something fun together.

Valentine's Day romantic weekend away for 2 on a date at Tylney Hall Hampshire

What’s your favourite kind of adventure?

</p>

“Outside

Follow:
With thanks to Tylney Hall for the use of their stunning hotel in rural Hampshire.

It’s easy to spend every Friday and Saturday night putting on a movie and sitting on the sofa mindlessly flicking through our phones. Being parents to young children we know it’s not always easy to make the time for each other, especially after a hard day of looking after the boys, it’s the ultimate down time. So it’s important once a month that we make time for date nights. We don’t have that many options when it comes to babysitters, and we never use them just to go to the cinema or go out to dinner because we save them for big events when we really want to go out together. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching I thought I would share 15 stay at home date night ideas for anyone who isn’t able to get a babysitter, or perhaps if you aren’t able to leave your children to go out. There’s just as much fun to have together at home.

– 15 Stay At Home Date Night Ideas –

Cook together – this is one of my favourite things to do. Getting something like a Hello Fresh box means you have a step by step guide to a surprise meal you can cook together with a glass of wine in hand. I love this as my husband doesn’t cook things from scratch very often so learning how to cook makes for a fun night in together.

free date night ideas for valentine's Day nights in with no babysitter

Wine or beer Tasting – pick up a selection box of beer and find out the history behind each one – marking and describing them all as you go through each taste.

Watch your wedding video with your wedding wine, or look through photos of your first holiday together chatting through your favourite memories.

Gift your loved one a little present, a book they might find interesting or a new posh candle they’ve been lusting after. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, just something to show you’ve thought about them in the lead up to Valentine’s Day. Check out my Valentine’s Day gift guide video here.

valentines day date night in ideas for couples who don't have a baby sitter

Have a couple’s spa evening complete with back massages and soaking feet in a foot spa. Maybe even share a bath together, candle lit and relaxing without the children wanting to get in and squirt you with water!

Play YouTube Karaoke! Click Here for ideas.

Set up a dessert station where you can make exciting ice cream bowls filled with loads of different sweets, or hire a chocolate fondue kit to dunk strawberries into.

valentines day date night in ideas for couples who don't have a baby sitter

Play video games if it’s something you don’t normally do! Something like the NES Mini can bring back memories of playing nostalgic video games like Mario Bros!

Make cocktails, pizzas or a cake! Get creative and make sure you eat at the table with a couple of lit candles so you make the effort to have a proper conversation about things rather than watching TV.

free date night ideas for valentine's Day nights in with no babysitter

Plan a holiday together. Look through guide books, check Trip Advisor, work out budgets, look at online photos and get excited about planning a special trip.

free date night ideas for valentine's Day nights in with no babysitter

Play a board game, it’s amazing how fun this can actually be when you play a game together, especially with a glass of wine!

free date night ideas for valentine's Day nights in with no babysitter

Build a fort – an oldie but a goodie!! Everything seems better when you’re surrounded by fairy lights and big fluffy cushions!! Make a floor picnic of cheeses and picky bits and enjoy snuggling up with some popcorn and a movie after.

Look at an old photo album together and reminisce about the times you spent together during that time. Or look back on old family photos and tease each other about how awful their clothes/hair/style was when they were growing up!

free date night ideas for valentine's Day nights in with no babysitter

Make Lists! Bucket lists, places you want to visit, favourite things about each other, favourite outfits on each other – they all get you talking and are a fun way to engage each other during the evening.

21 Questions – Stuart and I filmed a couples questions video during Vlogmas and it was so much fun attempting to guess the right answers! Make up the questions and take turns trying to answer them about each other.

free date night ideas 21 Questions - Stuart and I filmed a couples questions video during Vlogmas and it was so much fun attempting to guess the right answers! Make up the questions and take turns trying to answer them about each other.

I hope you liked these date night in ideas, pop over to watch the video here. Have a happy Valentine’s Day xx

Follow: