Greece 2021

Now that some countries are easing restrictions and allowing people to fly again there may be some families that may choose to head to a sunny beach or two with the kids in another country.

And one of those families are us. We booked our flights back in February in the hope that restrictions would ease and we could enjoy a beach summer. Now that time has finally come and we can’t quiet believe it.

The admin that’s now associated with travelling abroad can be lengthy not to mention the tests (if you’re not fully vaccinated) and the added complication of being from a country that’s no longer a part of the EU. There are a few things to look into to ensure you can even board the plane lol!

Dress – Arket, Sandals – Paul Smith

It’s our first time travelling as a family of four so I’ve had to be super organised with the packing and ensuring that both kids have what they need. With everything packed 7 days before our flight we were able to drop our bags at the airport the day before to make us more relaxed on the day of our flight.

Our main reason for travelling to Greece was for a wedding so we decided to combine the occasion with a family holiday and visit one of the neighbouring islands aswell. As recommended to us we picked the island of Thassos for the first 5 days of our stay and we absolutely loved it. A family friendly hotel combined with the most picturesque of beaches made this holiday one that we would remember for a long time.

I total we spent 7 days in Greece. Landing at Thessaloniki airport we hired a car and drove a total of 4 hours to the island of Thassos. This included a 30 minute ferry ride from mainland Kavala to the island of Thassos. Thankfully the kids were well behaved and we took breaks for them to walk when they needed it.

Dress – Mango

Road conditions were great and the satnav took us to our destination with no issues. Whilst in Thassos we stayed at Blue Dream Palace, a beautiful beachfront hotel with 2 restaurants a beach facing bar and lots of amenities near by. the island of Thassos is heavily reliant on tourism and that is quite evident when you travel around. There are lots of villas, hotels and private hire apartments as well as mini supermarkets and souvenir shops and that’s pretty much it.

We booked a room that came with a private pool and this was a great decision as it allowed the kids to use the pool under our supervision and we knew that they were safe especially as they are young and were using blow up floats. The service at the hotel was great and they really catered to our every need.

As we travelled at the end of June we were expecting high temperatures and it was in the low to mid 30’s for our entire trip, the temperature dropped to around 22 degrees in the evening which was a nice change to the sweltering temperatures of the day.

Greek cuisine is absolutely delicious and the produce is fresh and locally sourced on the island. We had lots of great seafood like sea bream, octopus and mackerel. The lamp chops paired with the Greek yoghurt sauce and grilled vegetables was a combination I enjoyed on more than one occasion.

Seafood platter for one from the hotel in Thassos

We spent a lot of time in the water as we found it was the best way to keep cool during the day. Whether on the beach or in our pool we were always in close enough proximity to the bar or restaurant should we want a snack or take a break for lunch or dinner.

T-shirt and shorts both from Arket (shorts linked) gold sandals and hat from Zara (sandals linked)

There are mosquitoes in Greece and they seem to come out more in the evening. We were well prepared for this and packed both kids and adult mosquito repellent. One evening whilst taking a stroll on the beach we even saw a swarm of mosquitoes flying together! To stay on the safe side we also stuck to bottled water and steered clear of tap water when eating out.

Dress and bag – Zara (dress linked) sandals – Birkenstock (sandals linked)

Our hotel were still exercising measures to comply with restrictions in the country. Which meant that the indoor pool was closed, masks had to be worn inside the building at all times and disposable gloves were supplied to be used when at the buffet stands. They were really strict with this and I did see a family turned away who had arrived for breakfast without masks. There were lots of sanitisation stands but in the hotel restaurant it was difficult to keep distance as the tables were fairly close together.

In the area there were lots of other beaches and restaurants to choose from. I’ll list our favourite restaurants below.

Places to eat in Thassos:

1. San Antonio Restaurant, Potos Thassos, 64002, Greece

2. Taverna Irene, Potos 64002, Greece

3. Elia restaurant by Blue view hotel, Limenaria 640 02, Greece Phone: +30 2593 058053

4. 6. Ayopaotóç, Kinira 640 04, Greece Phone: +30 2493 041225

The holiday travel checklist for families with children under the age of 3

As we look towards sunnier days some maybe thinking about a family holiday. If like me you like to get organised early and book the perfect place. There’s a lot to think about when travelling with babies so here are some tips to help your trip run as smoothly as possible!

1. Give yourself time to prepare and plan for your trip. Check that passports are in date and that your baby is up to date with their vaccinations.

2. Read reviews on the hotel where you’ll be staying. Ensuring that your accommodation caters for families and can provide amenities like a baby cot and baby bath. Read reviews left by families especially. Booking.com usually show you if a review has been left by a family. Check the hotel pictures left by customers to get a real feel of the place.

3. Check if the airline your flying with provide meals for children. Some short flights do offer separate meals for babies and children.

4. Most airlines offer additional allowance without charge for you to check in your car or booster seat, collapsible buggy, travel cot and baby back carrier. Some airlines are specific about the type of stroller you can take to the door of the plane. Once checked in you should specify whether you want to pick up the stroller from the door of the plane or from the conveyor belt. Either way it’s best to have your baby carrier with you just incase baby is asleep when you land for example.

5. Baby food and water for your baby is allowed on the plane but will be screened by security. You can get more information from your airports website.

6. Pack snacks like fruit and sandwiches for the kids. It’s always good to have some to hand incase there are any delays to the flight.

7. Nappies and wipes although light can be bulky in a suitcase. Pack enough for the first night and second day of your stay. Use maps to check the local area for the nearest supermarket or pharmacy so you know where to go to pick some up.

8. Will you be hiring a car? Some providers offer car or booster seats. If your planning lots of trips whilst away it may be worth hiring a car seat instead of bringing the one you have. Call your car hire company and find out.

9. Most airports have a family check-in area, take advantage of these as they have specific tags for bulky check in items like pushchairs and buggies and are usually less busy than the normal check-in desks.

Credit: Getty images

10. Check your children’s baggage allowance. Some airlines don’t offer children under a certain age any baggage and some do. Always check beforehand to avoid any surprises at the airport.

I hope you’ve found this useful. Let me know in the comments section if you have any other top tips for travelling with babies. Thank you for reading x

Staycation toddler and baby essentials

As we’ve all been adjusting to a new normal way of life, we’ve also had to change our holiday plans slightly. Many of us are now vacationing within our own countries and exploring different places for the first time. If road trips are something your family are used to or whether you plan to venture into travelling by road for the first time it’s best to be well prepared, especially if there’s a toddler or baby with you.

I’ve compiled a list of some of the essentials that you may need for a slightly stress free family staycation.

Firstly, think about your destination, if your staying with friends or relatives, in a town near shops or somewhere remote that will affect the items your packing. If you’re concerned about social distancing in shops it’s best to take everything you’ll need for the kids to avoid any non-essential trips to the shops.

How many nappies?

As neither of my kids are potty trained (2 1/2 year old and 4 months) I pack enough nappies for our stay. I estimate that we go through 5 nappies a day per child, I add extra nappies in the nappy bag for the stroller. Although light, nappies can be bulky and take up space in the car so buy at destination if you can. Breastfeeding on demand means that nappy changes can vary for a baby so I always make sure I have enough.

Toiletries

In their toiletry bag I include their bath sponges, tooth brushes and toothpaste, shower gel, skin cream, hair oil and comb. I also have in there their vitamin d drops and some medicine in the unlikely event of a fever. Cotton buds and cotton wool are also added. For my daughter I have small travel containers I put her hair cream and styling custard in, just to save space if we aren’t going away for very long.

Snacks and food

Lots of snacks! If your travelling to your destination by car, snacks are a must for hungry toddlers I pack a mixture of chopped up fruit and packs of rice cakes, oat bars that my eldest can munch on. As I’m breastfeeding I usually only take my breast pump and two mam bottles which can be sterilised in the microwave- they are great. However if your baby drinks formula milk best to pack all you’ll need to make their feed at a stop off on the way and during your stay.

Skincare

I also pack sunscreen and swimwear, open spaces like beaches are great for kids to run around in and expel some energy!

Sunglasses and hats can come in really handy to protect the little ones from the sun. It can be scorching hot if you happen to be out when the suns at its hottest so don’t forget to protect their skin.

Clothing and shoes

I tend to pack for the kids based on two things- the weather and the activity. I always also pack something warm as the evenings can be cold for kids and you never know when you’ll end up staying out a little later. I pack one ‘going out’ outfit for each day and for a 4 day stay for example I’ll pack 3 staying at home outfits should plans change and we end up staying indoors. Vests I pack enough for the number of days for my eldest and 2 extra than normal for the baby. Same with pyjamas, if it’s a summer vacation it’s likely vests won’t be needed everyday anyway.

I try to keep footwear to a minimum and only take 2 pairs of shoes each max to save space. Socks are always good for keeping warm in the evening or just to keep their feet safe on non-slip surfaces, so these I pack one for each day.

A light jacket or cardigan, as mentioned previously sometimes the early mornings and evenings can be nippy so taking an extra layer on top of that t-shirt or blouse will help keep the kids warm.

Toys

Toys and activities- you don’t have to be on a long drive to know that kids get bored of activities/games really quickly lol. I don’t want to get into the habit of always buying new games for trips but I do pick toys that they may not have played with for a while. Colouring activities, interactive books, puzzles that are easy to use in the car work well. new toys do work well as there is something different and exciting for them to explore.

Take their own plate/bowl and cutlery. I think this adds some familiarity to mealtimes in a new environment. These are often light and don’t take up much space when packing.

Wipes, wipes and lots of wipes oh and hand sanitiser of course. When you’re on the move in the car this is a good way to ensure that little hands are kept clean especially when they are snacking. Of course there is no substitute for hands being washed under clean running water but in between that time sanitiser and wipes do a fairly good job.

Lastly…

Try and get enough rest, car journeys can be tiring especially if there are delays on the roads. Providing entertainment, feeding little ones and possibly helping with navigation is all part of the fun of a staycation so relax and make great memories!

As always thank you for reading and I hope you have found this useful x

Holiday Maternity fashion

I had to plan my outfits for our holiday quite strategically as I knew that my bump would grow during that time and I had to be mindful that we were going to a hot country and that above all I would need to be comfortable in what I was wearing too. For this pregnancy I wanted to avoid buying maternity wear specifically but instead go for things that I could still wear in the summer after the baby was born. So my criteria was trousers would need to be beneath the bump or elasticated in the waist. I also opted for stretchy dresses and skirts and loose fitting dresses.

Here are some of the outfits I wore whilst away…

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Dress made in Ghana. Shoes – ASOS

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Top – Massimo Dutti. Skirt and Bag – Zara. Shoes – Topshop

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Dress and Sunglasses – Mango. Bag – Michael Kors. Sandals – Mint Velvet

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Shirt and Bandeau – ASOS. Skirt – H&M. Shoes – Zara

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Top, Vest, Trousers, Heels and Earrings – Zara

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Dress – And Other Stories

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Dress and Fascinator both made in Ghana

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Blouse, Trousers and Mules – Zara. Bag – Michael Kors

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Shirt and Sandals – Zara. Cycling Shorts – ASOS

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Headband and T-shirt – Zara. Jeans – ASOS Maternity. Shoes – Topshop

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Dress – H&M. Mules – Zara

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Dress and Fascinator both made in Ghana

Lugano and Lake Como

Hey everyone, it’s been a while since I posted on here because well…#mumlife things have been pretty busy around here so it was so nice to have a couple of days off to relax and unwind with the family in Lugano (the Italian side of Switzerland) and Lake Como in Italy. They are really close to each other so we were able to cover both places in 3 days by car.

Lugano has to be one of the most beautifully picturesque places I’ve been too. The region is shielded by these huge mountains covered in greenery that seem to be everywhere you look. Having such a mountainous country has meant that only the very bottom of these mountains are habitable.

Our first evening in Lugano we dined at Baja a nice restaurant right at the edge of the lake where we ate some pretty impressive seafood. The customer service was soo good even though they were super busy hosting a party that evening.

The following day we visited Lugano town, from the train station we were able to take a tram ride down the hill. This was super quick and cost just 1.30 one way. This was the only option for us because there were lots of stairs otherwise and we had our baby and the buggy.

After about 2 hours site seeing in Lugano we decided to check out the designer outlet which was a short drive on the motorway Fox town outlet we got a few nice things here. There are lots of shops spread out across 4 floors and is a great place to shop for a bargain! The website has a full list of all the brands you can find there. It’s a pretty big place and the layout of the shops isn’t very clear so you’ll need to allocate a good amount of time if you’d like to visit.

In the evening we dined at Osteria Lanterna this restaurant was soooo good! Everything from the ambience to the service to the food! I’m gutted that I didn’t save any of the pictures I took of the food because it looked and tasted amazing. I only have one picture (which isn’t the best quality) of my husbands desert – a panna cotta with berries.

The following day we headed into Italy, the drive was some what memorable as we drove up and down narrow and seriously winding roads along the mountain whilst taking in breath taking views of the land below.

We used the car ferry (roughly 23 euros one way for 3 adults in a car) to cross the lake in Italy and found parking nearby. In preparation for our trip I had booked a 1 hour private boat ride around lake Como to see the sights as I’d read this mode of transport was the easiest way to see everything. It was super cool and so relaxing my daughter fell asleep half way through lol!

There are lots of ‘taxi boats’ as they are called that run tours of Lake Como but you can also take the ferry that takes more people and I assume cost less too. We used a company called Taxi Boat Varenna it was so easy to book and pay on their site. We booked a 1 hour boat ride which was enough to see all the best bits and was totally worth it!

We finished off the afternoon with a late lunch at on of the cafe’s close to where the boat dropped us off, it was called Cafe Varenna I had a delicious rocket and tuna pasta with a nice chilled glass of Aperol Spritz. It really was the perfect end to what had been a lovely lovely trip. You’ve got to check out Lugano and Como if you’re looking for a nice place in Europe to go to. There’s so much to see, beautiful weather, nice people and the food is incredible!

Thanks for reading! Xx

Maternity fashion

I must say that since finding out that I was pregnant maintaining my personal style has been something that has taken a lot more thought and consideration. Over the years I had heard from my friends that are mums that they really struggled to find really nice trendy high street items to dress their bump and they were so right!

Celebrating my birthday earlier this year

During my first trimester (and much of my second trimester) I was luckily able to team many of my loose fitting tops and shirts with leggings (I bought a couple of sizes up from Zara, you can purchase the exact pair here) and maternity jeans from ASOS. I bought two pairs, which you can purchase the black pair here and the blue pair here. Being able to wear much of my existing items not only saved me a few pennies but also allowed me to maintain my style and dress my bump the way I wanted.

Continued birthday celebrations!

I found out I was expecting in September the winter months meant boots, jumpers and nice stretchy tops I could layer with. Now that the weather is warming up its a lovely change to be able to wear loose flow-y dresses that are comfortable.

This was at the very beginning of my second trimester, baby bump was not very visible at this point!

 

Dressing for the summer I must say is sooo much easier. Firstly wearing less layers is more comfortable for me. Also the warmer months marked the midway mark of my pregnancy which meant having a little more energy and nearing the finish line. I found that A-line dresses are perfect for growing bumps as well as fitted dresses made with a nice stretchy fabric are great too.

Thank you for reading my first pregnancy fashion post. If you’re a mum or are expecting I would love to hear about your experience with maternity fashion, leave me a comment or drop me an email at fuschiasequins@gmail.com

xx

Dubai

For my birthday (in January) my husband and I went to Dubai and I thoroughly enjoyed 7 days of basking in the sunshine, eating delicious food and spending some time with my husband before the busyness of the year began.

Here are a few pictures from our trip:

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The Global Village

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The Global Village

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The Global Village

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The Global Village

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Probable the finest hummus I’ve ever had!

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Jumeriah Beach

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Jumeriah Beach at sunset

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Dubai City

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Dubai City

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A delicious watermelon beverage to cool me down before our flight

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A timely return

Considering I haven’t posted on here I should probably start with a little explanation, but I think its far better if I actually continue to striving to be more consistent rather than giving my excuses. So, this year I would love to give you all more reviews on my favourite beauty buys as well as the odd posts on alternative topics that I would like to share with you all.

There’s something I’ve learnt here about persistence and determination. I some how allowed the lack of topics to keep me from posting but I find that when I just sit in front of my laptop I do actually find topics to write about.

I hope you’ve had a positive start to the year and are well on your way to achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself (even if it is just to become better at doing your eyebrows 🙂 ) The thing about goals however small or big is that they give you something to work towards and provide you with tasks for each day, those incremental steps take us closer to reaching where we want to be.

They say you must do something every day for six weeks in order for it to become a habit, whether it be working out or sticking to a diet and although I wont be posting on here everyday I will most certainly stick to a weekly goal.

I’m happy to be back and expect more from me soon!!

 

Have a lovely weekend x

 

Paris!

I’ve had a few requests to write up a little review/recommendations list for my trip to Paris recently so here it goes! 🙂

My tips

-The best way to see Paris in my opinion is by public transport. If you do choose to use the buses and the trains then buy a day travel card from any of the train stations rather than paying for singular journeys. You’ll save money!

-There are lots of places that are walking distance from each other so do have your google maps handy on your phone and walk so that you can take in more of the sights 🙂

-Choose your hotel carefully. There are lots and lots of hotels in Paris but not all of them are central and can be over 30 minutes from the city centre. So do check carefully, many cheaper options are further out but will mean you spend more time travelling to where you want to go, which isn’t really worth it if you’re only staying in France for a couple of days.

-Reservations are a must in Paris. Wherever you choose to dine, I recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. Paris is full of tourists pretty much all year round and the locals eat out a lot too so book a table (and be on time 🙂 ) to avoid a long wait or being turned away. It’s very normal in Paris for small restaurants have a queue of hungry customers leading out of the restaurant.

-You probably already know this but when planning your trip let sites like trip Advisor be your friend. People are very frank on there and give you all the little details when it comes to hotels and restaurants. I prefer to look at the pictures that reviewers post rather than the professional pictures uploaded by the company, these give you a better idea of what to expect.

Attractions

  1. Eiffel Tower is a must see. Walk around to the north entrance so that you can get a good view from the end of the bridge. If you’d like to go up the Eiffel Tower you can do. You can book in advance or on the day and it costs 17 euros per person.
  2. Louvre Museum If you’d like to go to the museum please note that it doesn’t open on a Tuesday. Admission is free but there may be charge to enter some of the exhibitions.
  3. Notre Dame Cathedral This beautiful cathedral is well worth a visit, its easily accessible by train or bus.
  4. Square Louis Michel This green area is elevated and gives you amazing views looking down onto the city
  5. Pont des Art Also previously known as the padlock bridge. Although you can no longer place padlocks on the bridge you can walk across it and enjoy views of the river. Its also very close to the Louvre, so can be admired en route to the museum.
  6. Louis Vuitton Foundation We didn’t get to see this but when I was doing my research it looked pretty cool and is worth checking out.

Food!

Bistrotters Booking beforehand is a must here! Its a small restaurant so service can be slow but the food is faultless. We loved it here. The desert was sooo good- toasted brioche wish chocolate and caramel sauce. The menu choice is small with three options for starter, main and desert and you can have either a two or three course meal at a set price. You are of course free to order a la carte of you wish. The pictures aren’t great because I took them on my phone but you get the idea 🙂

Pottoka Again this is a lovely small restaurant and would strongly recommend you book a table in advance otherwise you’ll need to wait for a table. The food here is delicious, really different flavours and the service here is also great. I had the cod dish for my main with white beans, bacon and a tomato gazpacho, it was so tasty. A lovely dining experience 🙂

Twinkie Breakfasts If you’d rather have an English or an American breakfast in addition to french options then Twinkie is your place! The service super quick and the food is delicious. Just like with all with the restaurants do try and book. We went on a Sunday without booking and found ourselves in a queue! I didn’t get any pictures of the food itself (I was too hungry and the food smelt so good!) but you’ll like this one 🙂

Le 68 Guy Martin A lovely place with beautiful decor perfect for either lunch or dinner right in the heart of Paris.

Brasserie Barbes This cool find is open until 2am and serve reasonably priced lunches and dinner. It was on my list but I didn’t get the chance to eat there but the reviews I read on this place were very good. So if you do there please let me know how you found it.

Breakfast in America This cute diner serve breakfasts all day as well as all your american favourites. Theres no booking needed here, you just turn up and get seated. It was the first American diner in Paris and has loads of character. A cute place with good food. We had breakfast there and were so impressed by the quick service. This diner is also walking distance from lots of cool sites. We wandered down the hill from the street and discovered places as we went along.

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Shopping

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Les Halles This covered shopping centre houses over 150 stores and has many of the high street clothing brands we know and love. Its linked to one of the main train stations in Paris Chatelet-les-Halles. There’s something for everyone here, such as a dedicated basketball store by Footlocker, a Lego store as well as lots of nice restaurants to choose from too.

Galleries Lafayette A large department store in Paris’ city centre that can only be described as a shopping experience. The decor inside of this huge store is truly breathtaking. You’ll need some time in here if you like to take your time and browse through stores. The menswear is in a separate building and also includes lots of really cool brands. There’s a rooftop on the 7th floor (take the lift to the 6th floor then take the stairs) from where there are some cool views of Paris. On the rooftop you’ll also find a restaurant and bar thats worth checking out.

Carrousel de Louvre This little shopping centre is linked to the Louvre Museum. It has some shops and restaurants too.

 

Phew that was a long post and well done for making it to the end! I really wanted to include most of the places I liked/enjoyed or would have liked to go to. I found these places purely through researching and reading reviews and I tailored our trip around the things my husband and I would enjoy.

I hope its useful and as always I’m happy to answer any questions. Just leave it in the comments section or drop me an email fuschiasequins@gmail.com

Thank you for reading x