Family Food Shop Money Saving Hack

Christmas Hot  Chocolate station
This is a paid advertorial with Tesco

Christmas is my favourite time of the year, I love the smell of freshly baked cookies and a warm mug of hot chocolate to wash them down with. In the evenings we like to have a picky tea, basically a tea of all our favourite foods and snacks left out on the table to graze on.

However at this time of year the food shop budget creeps up, all those luxury items making their way into the trolley. They say never shop on an empty stomach or take children but I always seem to do both! Who can resist a cheese board, not me that’s for sure, when 1st December comes round we love our Cheese and Wine Fridays. But with Tesco Clubcard Plus on your side, there’s no need for the Christmas festive fear to arise.

Tesco Clubcard
Tap your big shop blue button in store to claim your two discounted shops

CLUBCARD PLUS SUBSCRIPTION

I love using my Clubcard it allows me to save while I spend but Clubcard Plus takes it to a whole new level. I have recently subscribed and If you haven’t seen the signs in store then you are in for a treat. Basically here’s what you need to know;

~ It costs £7.99 per month, you can currently get the first month free when you subscribe and the subscription continues for £7.99 a month after that BUT you can cancel anytime!

~ It can save you up to £40 in-store at Tesco with 10% off two shops a month up to £200 each.

~ 10% off selected Tesco brands in-store all the time. These brands are F&F, Fred & Flo, Go Cook, Tesco Pet, Carousel and Fox & Ivy.

Fox & Ivy Tesco
Fox and Ivy have some beautiful homewear

WANT TO SIGN UP?

The process is super easy to follow, all you need to do is download the Tesco Clubcard App and subscribe to Clubcard Plus. You will then see two options for 10% off a big shop, the cashier will scan the barcode to apply your discount and then your  Clubcard to earn points.

I always buy clothes from Tesco, so slightly gutted I didn’t sign up earlier. My last saving on one shop was £10.87, so it definitely worth the cost of £7.99. You could even subscribe just for those more expensive months like Christmas and birthdays. Anyone who shops at Tesco NEEDS a Clubcard, I don’t use my physical card anymore I just scan my phone at the till, its as easy as that!

I will be keeping a count of my total savings to see how much I save across the year, it would be good if the App also did this for you. I do love a good spreadsheet though so maybe I will start a money saving one.

Tesco clubcard
Total spend before savings £148.03, total spend after Clubcard prices and Clubcard plus discount £125.28

MY TOP MONEY SAVING HACKS

Useful tips to make shopping for Christmas a bit lighter on the purse strings

1. Meal Plan, decide in advance what you would like to eat for the week. This will make it easier to decide on what ingredients and products you need.

2. Write a shopping list, include your treat items and you are less likely to deviate from the list.

3. Save up Tesco Clubcard points for your festive treats, I save mine all year then spend them in December. It’s free to sign up for a Clubcard and my Clubcard Plus subscription saves me even more money on my Christmas shopping.

Tesco clubcard
£26 to put towards my christmas shop plus my Clubcard plus discount

I am really looking forward to the festive season and making savings for our family to enjoy on luxuries but definitely not on Mince pies I don’t like them, I think you either love or hate them. If you would like to subscribe, download the Clubcard App and get saving, click here for the Link.

T&Cs and exclusions apply, see Tesco.com/Clubcard/Clubcard-Plus £7.99 a month. Saving from 10% off 2 shops. £200 max spend per shop. 10% always on brands: F&F, Fred & Flo, Go Cook, Tesco Pet, Carousel, Fox & Ivy. In-store spend only. Exclusions apply. Clubcard app required.

Thank you for taking the time to read, Gemma Life Of A Mumsy lawyer.

Tesco clubcard

Furniture Maxi Rattan Garden Furniture

Furniture Maxi is an online retailer specialising in garden and indoor furniture. I had been looking for an outdoor sofa for a while and found Furniture Maxi had a great selection to choose from. They have different sizes and styles to suit your individual needs.

I was interested to learn that the outdoor Rattan Garden Furniture is handmade in a small village in China. Furniture Maxi works with the UK and Chinese governments creating job opportunities and giving donations.

It was a hard choice but I decided on the Barcelona Grey Modular 8 seater Corner Sofa Set. I wanted a sofa where I could put my feet up and enjoy the English sunshine while it lasted. It was easy to put together and took about 10 minutes, I watched from the window while my husband did the honours.

I love the set it is stylish and super comfy thanks to the padded back and seat cushions. The glass-topped coffee table and footstools completes the set and makes it a place for family gatherings.

This set retails for £649.99 and includes:

2 x three sided sofa

2 x footstool

1 x glass-topped coffee table

We also have the protective cover to ensure the furniture is kept under wraps in bad weather conditions. It’s easy to secure and keeps it ready for the next heatwave. I have added some decorative accessories, such as lights, cushions and an outdoor rug. I would like to add some greenery so that’s next on my garden agenda.

I love this corner of our garden, it feels cosy and the kids like snuggling up on it. We also use it at night, we bring out the blankets, light the fire pit, toast marshmallows while playing a game of scrabble.

They offer free mainland delivery with a 30 day returns policy. You can also buy now and pay later using Klarna. Furniture Maxi only uses premium PE rattan to ensure high levels of weather resistance.

If you use code GEMMA5 over at Furniture Maxi this will give you a discount on your order.

*sofa gifted for review but all opinions are my own.

Galentines – My top 5 Mum Bloggers

Life quotes To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I must share with you some Mummy Bloggers who I admire and love their style of blog. Having an online presence is very time consuming and there is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes that people do not see.

I often look to other accounts for inspiration and have a great support network of empowering females, who are the driving force behind my success.

In no particular order, here are my top 5:

Brummy Mummy of 2

Brummy Mummy of Two Mum Blogger

I actually met Brummy Mummy Emma Conway at Blogon, well I say met but I accosted her as my friend couldn’t make it and she really wanted to meet her. So I asked if she could face time her and they could unofficially meet, she said yes when she could have said bugger off and totally made my friends day.

Emma was also one of the speakers and spoke about her journey as an online influencer, including how to deal with trolling and staying authentic.  She inspired me to keep writing, stay in my lane and to be me, because that is enough.

Emma loves Disney and has just started a new project dedicated to her love for all things mickey, she has also just released a book! I love that she is brutally honest and how she comes across online is just as she is in real life. Im happy to tell you she is most certainly not a cat fish! Check out the brummy bab over at Brummy Mummy of Two .

Beckas Bubble

Beckas Bubble Mum Blogger

An ex drama teacher and down to earth northern lady, lover of leopard print and headbands. She blogs about family life in Yorkshire and days out in the local area. She writes from the heart and documents daily life with her two lovely children.

I love her bubbly personality, she is always positive and happy to help people out. She works in social media and is an experienced blogger, who I always get useful tips from. Check out Becka’s Bubble for yourself.

Zenas Suitcase

Zenas Suitcase travel blogger

I Love the style of Zena’s Family Travel blog and the photos make me want to travel with my family. She provides useful tips on travelling with/without kids, as well as parenting and lifestyle.

I have been reading her travel blogs to get inspiration for my own travels and I love to look for new places to visit. She also writes pieces for the Asda Living magazine! If you would like to get ideas for family trips then head over to Zena’s Suitcase.

You Baby Me Mummy

You Baby Me Mummy mum blogger

Aby is the Mamapreneur Revolution and provides access to practical advice to help build your blog and business. There are multiple free tools on her website such as the Blogging Roadmap Quiz, free checklists and planners. From designing your blog, finding your tribe, making a media kit, any help you need will be on there! 

It has inspired me to work on my blog and I need to look at my focus for the year ahead. There is also the option to join the Inner Circle, check out her website if you want to join the revolution over at You Baby Me Mummy.

Travel Mad Mum

Travel Mad Mum travel blog

A beautiful travel blog for families that like to travel and it just shows you can travel with kids and enjoy it! Currently renovating an RV to travel in and I spied the gorgeous safari wall paper on travel mad dads Instagram page.

The family are going off on their travels and at the moment the Corona Virus is a major issue and there is a blog post delicated to this epidemic! It’s nice to see practical advice from a parents perspective. For travel goals visit Travel Mad Mum.

These blogs are the ones I read and recommend, they are current and relatable. If you have any blogs you love then please share! I would love for you to nominate your own top 5 blogs.

Life of A Mumsy Lawyer

Faweather Grange Log Cabins

AD|Gifted – we were invited to stay at Faweather Grange in exchange for our honest review.

Faweather Grange

Faweather Grange is a set of traditional Log Cabins, located on a 9 acre site on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales with the most amazing views to match.

The location is perfect, only 5 miles to Ilkley or Leeds is 12 miles away. We took the opportunity to explore the surrounding area before heading to our accommodation, we had lunch at the Cow & Calf pub on Ilkley Moor then headed for a short walk. The boys found rocks to climb and little caves to explore, it was very windy so we did not get as far as Id have liked, but it was a beautiful view.

Ilkley moor

The cabins are located on a quiet country road and my husband nearly drove past them, the log cabins are not entirely visible from the road, which is good as you feel like you are a million miles away from the hustle and bustle.

Faweather grange log cabins
Photo credit: Faweather Grange

Directions to reception were clearly signposted, we checked in and were shown around the cabin with full explanations on how everything worked. There is also a welcome pack, which has instructions in and useful information, such as local places to eat or visit.

You can even treat yourself to a pamper package if you fancy a massage in your lodge! For those who seek a more active weekend there are recommended walking trails and cycle routes with distance and time, to assist you in making a decision for the day ahead.

Faweather log cabins

We stayed in the Foxhollow Log cabin, it has three bedrooms, a fully functioning kitchen, a log burner, Jacuzzi bath and an outdoor hot tub with patio. The double bedroom has a four-poster bed and an ensuite bathroom attached to it. The views from this room were lovely, looking right out across green rolling fields.

Then there were two twin rooms, two single beds in one and bunk beds in another. The boys loved the bunk beds, having had an in-depth conversation as to who was sleeping in which bunk I caught them top and tailing in the top bunk!

Faweather log cabins

I jumped in the hot tub five minutes after arriving, before the kids had chance to find their swimwear! I had five minutes to myself and it was really relaxing, until the kids jumped in splashing me. The views are stunning, and you are not overlooked as the cabins are spread out and positioned in a way that means you get your privacy.

We called at the local Aldi on our way there and purchased supplies so had pizza for tea, followed by popcorn and sweet treats. The cabin had basic essentials such as salt/pepper, tea/coffee and sugar sachets. I was impressed there was a dishwasher and two tablets were supplied. I didn’t mind washing up as the view from the window was stunning!

Eating as a family in log cabin

For breakfast we made bacon sandwiches, I say we but it was I who cooked it all while the hubby enjoyed an extra hour in bed. Washed down with a cup of Yorkshire tea (I take my own supplies everywhere!) taking in the morning views. It started off drizzly with a fog in the distance but by mid morning it had cleared and we went for a walk within the grounds.

We had asked about a short walking route and the owners had directed us to the woodland in the distance with a stream for the boys to play in. It was nice to be out in the countryside and the only sound was the water running down stream. The boys loved walking over the rocks and exploring the woods.

Playing in a stream family selfie

For lunch I sent the hubby to a local fish & chip restaurant for takeout, the food was really nice and went down a treat. The boys then went in the hot tub again as they were obsessed with it and couldn’t keep out of it. I think they would have slept in there if they could!

Overall Impressions 

The cabin was in the perfect location and the scenery was beautiful, it was equipped with all the essentials and added luxuries such as the log fire and hot tub. The owners were so friendly and available to assist throughout our stay.

The only thing we forgot was the highchair but we made a makeshift seat on the dining table and made it work. I appreciate that each family is different so don’t expect all baby equipment to be provided but it could be worthwhile having some to hire then you dont need to bring larger items with you. Our car was full to the brim but we are known for not travelling lightly!

We all had a brilliant time and would like to thank Faweather Grange for their lovely hospitality. Perfect for a romantic couples break or a family getaway to escape the hectic everyday lifestyle.

You can book your stay direct or at Hoeseason’s under the Autograph Lodge Holiday Collection. They have a 5 star rating and it’s not hard to see why.

Life of a mumsy lawyer

Travel Bucket List 2020

A new year and new travel goals waiting to be set, after all we need something to look forward to. I feel blue if I don’t have advance plans in the diary. I like to have plans or travel planning to do, to get me through the working week so I have set 10 travel goals.

I have decided to write a travel bucket list to inspire me for the year and next year I can look back to see what we have achieved! There are lot of places we would love to visit but Myles is still young for some of them so I have tried to set realistic goals.

Here we go, in no particular order:

Turkey Belek Ela Quality Resort
Ela Quality Resort – photo credit booking.com

1. Take the kids to where we 1st met – Turkey is our real love, that’s where we fixed eyes on each other and we have been back pre kids but haven’t got round to taking the kids on holiday. We have booked to stay at Ela Quality Resort in Belek, Antalya. I did lots of research before booking and chose this particular hotel because of the fab facilities for kiddies and I love the fact they get their own checking in desk, teddy bear and dressing gown in the room.

Les miserable London theatre west end
Photo credit – lesmis.com

2. Theatre Trip to London – I love musicals, my favourite so far has to be Phantom of the Opera, the singing was amazing and I cried happy tears. For Christmas, the hubby did not disappoint and got us tickets for Les Miserables. I’ve wanted to watch it for so long, well since I sang a medley of the songs with the military wives choir at Howard Castle.

Lake windmere Lake District lakes

Lake Windmere – photo credit Visit Cumbria

3. Lake District Trip – It is so pretty and only a two hour trip from us but we have never been as a family. I want to appreciate all the hidden gems on our doorstop or a short drive away. We went to Cornwall twice last year, it’s a place I love but the drive with two kids and a sickness bug was an absolute killer.

Nostell priory national trust woodland Smartrike

4. National Trust Visits – We have a National Trust Membership, it is £10.50 per month for a family. We often visit Nostell Priory, as it is a short distance away and we love it there. Lovely walks, playgrounds, wildlife and the hot chocolate is lush. I would like to visit new places in the trust to make the most of our membership and tick off at least 5 new properties/parks.

Cornwall footprints in the sand beach

Perranporth Beach

5. Cornwall – I just love It, there’s something about the place that draws us back year after year. Our first visit was 7 years ago when my son was 6 months old and we stayed in a caravan and it was freezing but the views were worth it. We always visit Newquay and St Ives, so this year I would like to visit a new part of Cornwall.

6. Danes Dyke/Flamborough Head – In Yorkshire, we have some beautiful places and I would like to visit more local attractions. Flamborough Head is a place I took the boys for the first time last year and I would like to go back, now Myles is a little bit older and will be able to walk. Danes Dyke I have never visited but it is close to Flamborough so you can do both in one trip.

Flamingo land theme park peter rabbit
Flamingo Land

7. A theme park to entertain the whole family – not decided on this one yet but there is lots of choice within the UK. We have Alton Towers not too far away or Lightwater Valley. They are also opening a new Gulliver’s World in Rotherham in the Spring, we have visited the one in Warrington a few times so Im sure we will take a trip there. Fun for all the family too.

Lapland santa reindeer northern lights
Photo credit – kiddie holidays

8. Lapland – well this is something I did not think I would be writing about. Every time I have priced up Lapland the price has put me off. I accidentally fell into a Facebook group called ‘Lapland Budget DIY Trips’, I dont even know how I found it but im so glad i did. The group has over 8000 members who have booked Lapland themselves or are planning a DIY trip.

So after a few days of stalking the group posts, I decided to submit a case to my husband. I worked out the cost of going with a tour operator v DIY (aka mum travel planner guru) and it came out less than half the price. How could the hubby resist, with those cost savings we could now have two holidays instead of one! Not sure he quite saw it like that but I am a Lawyer for a reason!

Im a planner and now I get to spend the year planning our Lapland Adventure – in all reality an expensive trip to see the man himself, Father Christmas. I plan to write a dedicated blog on Lapland so watch this space.

Spa spa bath Budapest relax pamper hammock
Spa baths Budapest

9. SPA Trip – A couples or friends trip, I dont mind who I go with as long as I get to relax, child free of course. Self care is so important and working full time I often find myself run into the ground without realising. We have a few spas in Yorkshire that are worth a trip but I have wanted to visit Rudding Park Hotel ever since my sister stayed over. The rooftop pool looks so relaxing and the food comes highly recommended.

V fest girls trip festival weekend away
V Festival

10. Girls Trip – I don’t get to see as much of my friends as I’d like to so we always get a trip booked in the diary. Not sure whether it will be a UK break or Europe but as long as we are together it will be good for the soul. We originally decided to visit the tulip fields in Holland but we couldn’t make the dates work so back to the drawing board and next year we might get to see the tulips.

I think 10 is enough to see me through the year, I’m looking forward to fun family travels making new memories and seeing the world!

Life of a mumsy lawyer thank you for reading

Discovery Digital Walkie Talkies – with Giveaway

*Disclosure: gifted for our honest review

Discovery walkie talkies stem product toys kids

We have been looking for some long-range walkie-talkies, since our son Riley took an interest in them. He loves anything action based and loves to role-play undertaking missions. He has had some superhero ones in the past but they broke easy and did not cover a great distance.

Discovery walkie talkies stem product toys kids

I was impressed that these Discovery walkie- talkies from Trends U.K. work up to a range of 3km, perfect for father and son nerf wars.

Suitable for 4 years plus, they have three channels but you need to be on the same channel to communicate. There is an on/switch, a button for a light and a button to change channels. If you want to chat you can press the ring button or press to talk to whoever you are pairing up with.

They are really light and you can attach them to your clothes using the belt clip attached to the back.

STEM Product

Discovery walkie talkies stem product toys kids

They are a STEM product winning a Creative Play Award in 2017. For those that haven’t heard of STEM, I had to google it as I didn’t know what it stood for!

It is an acronym, representing the academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Essential for children’s learning and in keeping with the modern world, supporting enjoyable education at home.

STEM toys can be identified from the logo, which explains that the toy supports STEM learning. Parents may recognise STEM as many Primary schools use it in their National Curriculum.

Do they do the Walkie- Talkie?

Discovery walkie talkies stem product toys kids

Riley is certainly impressed, he likes to use the clip to hang one on his jeans. He has showed them off to his cousins and roped in myself and his dad to test out the long distance. They are clear sounding and good for hide and seek or ninja spy games!

They are available to purchased from various retailers, such as Debenhams and you will need 3 AAA batteries in each walkie – talkie.

I will be running a giveaway over on my Instagram page, if you would like to be in with a chance of winning a set of these walkie talkies.

 

Aldi – Mamia Premium Nappy Range

*AD|Paid Partnership with Aldi U.K.

Mamia Aldi nappies baby

We have used Mamia nappies since Myles was born, well actually I had a stock load before he was born as my friends supplied me with enough for the 1st month, at my baby shower!

I have been impressed with Mamia, the value for money does not compromise on quality. Myles is comfortable in them and has been kept dry in the day and night. He has multiple allergies, in which we have seen the skin peel off his body as though he is sunburnt. His skin is so delicate but Mamia products have never let us down. I would recommend them to any parents who are making that important decision for their child.

Mamia Aldi nappies baby

Mamia has been awarded Britain’s favourite best value nappy brand at the Mother & Baby Awards for five years in a row. It’s not hard to see why, let’s face it having a baby is expensive but Aldi lightens the purse strings.

So I was very excited when Aldi asked me to partner up and trial their new Mamia Premium nappy range. It was like Christmas had come early as It’s a brand we regularly use and absolutely love, it’s the perfect partnership.

Mamia Aldi nappies baby

Key facts

The Mamia Premium DryFast Technology™ nappies helps provide more comfort and protection with unique Features:

  • Extra soft material
  • Stretchiness
  • DryFast Technology™
  • Extra gentle leg elastics
  • Wetness indicator
Mamia Aldi nappies baby

The nappies come in a range of sizes from newborn to size five, and range in price from £0.99 to £3.19, depending on the size. Still leading the way for the best value nappy brand, premium but without the high price tag.

The new range is a trial product and is only available in selected stores, across the Midlands, Yorkshire, North East & North West. It is not designed to replace the core range but simply offer parents more choice and options for their children.

Mamia Aldi nappies baby

Overall Opinion

We have tested the premium nappies out over the last few days and I’m really impressed with them. They fit really well, I love the cute animal designs and the wetness indicator. No leaks here even with Myles teething and waking in the night for a full bottle of milk.

Fingers crossed the new range is here to stay!

3Doodler Start Essential Pen Set

*Full disclosure we were sent this set in exchange for our review but all opinions are my own

3Doodler 3D Pen Art

My son loves to draw and make things, he has an amazing imagination and is always coming home from school with drawings and cards he has made for us. He loved the idea that he could bring his ideas to life in 3D and couldn’t wait to get started.

3Doodler is an award winning 3D printing pen that melts plastic that cools and then hardens very quickly allowing you to draw and mould your creations. The starter kit is suitable for children 6+ and includes:

*3D Printing Pen

*2 mixed colour packs Start Plastic

*Micro USB charging cable

*3Doodler start activity guide

3D Doodler Pen Art Creative

I love that it uses Biodegradable Start Plastic, made entirely from food grade materials which are BPA-Free and Non-Toxic. The pen is easy to use and the activity guide provides examples of what you could draw and it’s good to use this as practice. I even had a go, I was a bit shaky at first but I found it quite therapeutic.

Drawing 3D pen

Are you even a parent if you don’t worry about the mess when your child asks to do some arts and crafts, thanks to the 3Doodler you can doodle on most materials without any damage and it adheres firmly to clear plastics. It isn’t just a drawing pen, it is a learning toy that will inspire your child to get creative and come up with their own designs and ideas.

How does the 3Doodler work?

It’s not as complex as you might think, all you have to do is choose a strand of plastic and feed it into the top of the pen. The LED light on the pen turns green when its ready, you then press the orange button and the plastic strand that has melted will come out of the pen to create your masterpiece.

Father son drawing 3D

Honest opinions

When you first use the pen it is strange that you can draw and mould what ever you wish, but once you fixate yourself on a drawing it gets obsessive. My husband and I also had a go and I have to say he has the best artistic skills but I didn’t struggle. My son loved it but was scared to try it at first as he didn’t want to go wrong, you have to mould your design pretty quick before it dries but the templates help you make shapes. It was nice that we all did it together as a family and I’m looking forward to seeing my son use it more.

Father son 3D drawing

The plastic strands do go down pretty quickly so I would like to see more in the starter pack to make it better value for money. Maybe a couple of practice strands before you create the real deal as it’s good to have a play around first and get used to the speed of the pen.

If you head over to 3doodler.com you will find stencils and tutorials to help with those creative decisions. There is also an App that lets you use your mobile phone or tablet as a canvas.

Where to buy

There are a few places you can buy 3Doodler Start Essentials Pen but I looked in Smyths and it is currently £35.99. I still feel It is good value for the kit that is included, it is a unique concept and good for children to be creative.

Useful info

*Wireless use for 45 minutes/ hour (Charges in 1-2 hours)

*Batteries required: 1 x Lithium Polymer (included)

All round perfect gift for a child who loves to draw and watch their drawings come to life. Ideal Christmas present 🎁

Life of a mumsy lawyer blogger mum blog

The Sands Resort Hotel & Spa – Family Hotel Cornwall

Sands resort hotel Newquay

*Full Disclosure – we were gifted a hosted stay in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are my own.

We love visiting Cornwall, it is a 6-hour trip for us but the views and beaches are worth the drive. We were invited to review the Sands Resort Hotel and Spa and it did not disappoint, another Cornwall trip added to the happy holiday memory bank.

It is a family hotel overlooking Porth Beach in Newquay, sea views all around and there is something about being by the sea that puts me at ease.

We arrived just after midday and headed straight to the bar, kicking off our mini break in style, I ordered a BlackBerry Gin and took in the surrounding rainy views. Yes, it was raining but we did not let the weather control our mood. The gin had barely touched my lips when we were informed that our room was ready, gin in hand I headed to our room while my husband went for our excess baggage. We are over packers and it only took three trips to make ourselves at home, I like to unpack everything and put things in their places, I’m such a mum!

Cornwall Newquay Burberry autumn sea beach

The rain had subsided by the time we had settled in so we decided to go for a walk after being cooped up on the long drive. Straight across from the hotel is Trevelgue Head, also known as Porth Island and one of Cornwall’s finest ancient monuments.

The views were lush, not sure how we managed it with a pram but we manoeuvred it through the mud, wind, sea spray and steep hills. My son loved trying to avoid the sea spray, running through it as it splashed over the ground, the sea was rough so there was a lot of it.

Newquay Cornwall Matalan Autumn Burberry

 Accommodation

We stayed in a sea view family suite with floor to ceiling windows and what a beautiful view we had. I loved that there were two rooms, one for the parents and one for the kids so you could still have a bit of separation like at home. There is nothing worse than trying to get a baby to sleep and your all in one room trying to be as quiet as a mouse so as not to disturb said child who will wake at the slightest sound.

Hotel Cornwall Sea View

We had a king-sized bed, which was super comfortable. I actually slept for 12 hours which is a rarity but then so did the little one which is odd as at home he has been waking up several times a night. It was nice to have a kettle, fridge and an iron, all basic essentials but in most hotels they don’t come as standard.

The boy’s room had twin beds and a cot, so no travel cot was needed on this occasion. We also had a seating area with a TV and Dvd player, DVD’s could be rented from reception if you didn’t want to bring any of your own. There are different room types to suit everyone, some of the ground floor rooms had an outdoor space which would be lovely in the summer.

The Sands Hotel also provides baby equipment such as sterilisers and prams. Meaning you can pack a little lighter and if you do forget something no need to worry as they really have thought of everything.

Dining

There are set times for food, an early sitting at 4.45-6pm so you have the choice to let the kids eat then dine as a couple and take advantage of the evening childcare. Family dining is also 6.30-9pm if you want to eat with or without the kids.

On our first evening, the kids had the spooky Halloween High Tea, everything was themed and there was a good variety of food. The kids tucked in and we ordered a burger, although I would have happily eaten the spooky food and might have tried some to ensure it passed the kids fussy taste test.

Food buffet

On our second evening, we all had a lovely 3-course meal. We all sat and had family time and enjoyed good food, except the little one who thinks it is funny to throw everything on the floor. I had Chinese Crispy Beef for starter, Steak for mains and Gin & Tonic Sorbet for afters. I also indulged in the complimentary breadbasket on the table, which is always my down fall but who can resist warm bread and butter.

Breakfast was buffet style, with the option to order additional items such as fresh pancakes for an additional £5. We opted for toast and a full English breakfast, the kids had a mixture of it all with some fruit thrown in. On our last day, my son wasn’t very well so my husband went down to breakfast and they allowed him to bring up a tray with a selection of food for us all at no extra cost.

Activities

As it was October half term there was lots to keep the kids entertained with an action packed schedule and kids clubs on throughout the day. On our first evening, we enjoyed a Halloween Feast as above, followed by a Halloween Party where many fun games were played.

My favourite offering is a complementary childcare session on each morning of your stay, we decided to coincide this with a couples Moroccan Spa Experience . I have never stayed in a hotel in the UK that offers these kind of facilities. There are different kids clubs to suit all ages and our boys happily went off without looking back, not that we gave them chance as we headed straight for the pool and steam room.

Being working parents its not often we get time together so it was nice for us to be away and actually get time to talk to each other, even if only for a few hours (8.45am-11.45am to be precise).

Spa Moroccan Vibes

We headed to the spa at 9.45 and were shown into the Moroccan relaxation room, I absolutely loved this room it was giving me all the holiday vibes with the beautiful lights and stained glass windows. There was a room attached with a hot tub, sauna and showers. We spent an hour relaxing, drinking flavoured water and to be honest talking about the kids and wondering what they were getting up to.

At 11am, we were served cake, cava and tea, a lovely end to our couple’s time. It was the highlight of our trip and something which makes the hotel stand out from the rest.

Spa Mood lighting Prosecco

When we picked up the kids, they both had a fab time. The little one had done a footprint painting, a lovely keepsake for us and Riley had done some Dinosaur Pottery. You can book additional sessions at £5 and they are worth it, if you want to go for a bite to eat or have some relaxation time. There is also a baby listening service, which we did not take advantage of but another additional extra for parents to use.

Footprint Art Activties Kids Club

There are also outdoor facilities; we completed the maze, which had some spooky things going on. The boys played on the park and zip wire, there is also an outdoor pool with a slide that is used in the summer months.

Maze Matalan Outdoors zip wire

You can hire items such as surfboards, wet suits etc. that saves time finding somewhere to get them from, before heading to the beach.

Things to do nearby

Sea beach Cornwall Newquay

As mentioned above the Sands Hotel overlooks Trevelgue Head and Porth Beach, both are within walking distance. We took a drive into Newquay and headed to Fistral Beach, we enjoyed a Cornish pasty and bought some Cornish fudge. Watergate Bay is a 2-minute drive away, we drove past it on our way home, and I didn’t realise how close it was and wish we had time to stop, as the beach looked beautiful.

We spent a lot of time in the hotel as there was so much to do and the boys didn’t want to leave but if you did want to venture out, you could visit Newquay Zoo or Healeys Cornish Cider Farm

Overall Impressions

Sands Resort hotel and spa Cornwall Newquay

The Sands hotel puts family at the heart of everything. The staff were so friendly, from the reception to the dining room, they couldn’t do enough for you. We all loved our stay and didn’t want to check out, back to reality. The food was all delicious, I would say the evening menu could have a bit more choice but we all found something we liked. The indoor pool is a good size for kids, I only wish it was warmer so we could have enjoyed the outdoor pool.

Overall we had a fab time and the Sands Hotel was very accommodating, going above and beyond to ensure families were catered for. If you are planning a trip to Cornwall I would recommend staying at the Sands Resort Hotel and Spa. It’s not hard to see why this hotel was in the Top 25 UK hotels in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.

Cornwall Newquay Burberry autumn

Thank you for reading our family blog, Gem – Life Of A Mumsy Lawyer

My Swizzles Summer Competition

Swizzles sweets On the Beach

Who LOVES Sweets and fancies winning a holiday worth £5000 from On the Beach Holidays?

To enter all you need to do is take a photograph of you enjoying your summer with any swizzles sweet. We were kindly *gifted a suitcase of goodies from Swizzles and have enjoyed taking them with us on our family days out. So far they have travelled to a Yorkshire lavender field and Cornwall. I must admit the supply didn’t last long as we all love sweets so we have bought some more!

Swizzles sweets

I remember eating Swizzles sweets when I was younger and I would save some love hearts with a special message for my mum, to earn some brownie points. My sisters and I enjoyed the lolly’s, purple being my go to colour. I feel nostalgic thinking back to my childhood and now my sons can enjoy the same sweets.

Swizzles sweets

Get creative and photograph your sweets, I would love to see how far they can travel! My personal favourites are Parma Violets and Refresher Chews, there is so much choice in the Swizzles range.

You can submit your entry by clicking here and filling out the form or use the hashtag #MySwizzlesSummer on Instagram /Twitter . On Facebook there are daily posts, just leave a comment to enter (*see website for full terms and conditions).

All entrants also have the opportunity to win one of these daily prizes too:

Swizzles sweets

Fun fact: Swizzles is the UK’s largest family-owned independent sugar confectionary business and one of the few companies to still manufacture sweets in the UK. I actually love this about them, a family British brand adding value to the economy.

***Good Luck and happy holidays, Gem Life of a Mumsy Lawyer!***