Summer travel essentials

Close your eyes, visualise a sunny beach with warm sand and waves of fresh water washing your feet …. Summer is close and we all really need a break of some sort. I have been gifted some lovely Summer travel essentials that my family and I will use during the school holidays. And ahead of our Italian trips I have tried them and here are my thoughts. 


Osprey red backpack 

If you want to enjoy your holidays, you need to teach kids to be flexible and independent. The school holidays are perfect to start learning that. Summer travel is ideal as we move around with less stuff so kids can pack their ‘essentials’ and get going. The Osprey Red backpack is sturdy and practical with lots of pockets (which children love) and the red colour is great to keep an eye on the kids while at the airport or in a park filled with people. My son, who is 11 now (going 12 during the holidays), has been travelling a lot since he was born. He is a great traveller and has learnt how to pack his essentials in his own backpack. He is never been allowed to dump his stuff onto me so he is now used to pack less items than he would want to. 

Young people need to get away from screens and enjoy the outdoors so the Osprey range of packs will give them the same level of pack fit as their grown up counterparts! I might borrow it myself from Diego as I love it too (wink).


Rucksack Style Changing Bag with Bottle Holder – Black Nylon by Mamas and Papas 

Changing bags that look like changing bags are out of trend these days and traditional maternity brands such as Mamas and Papas have now changed their ranges to make it look as urban fashion.


I love their new Rucksack Style Changing Bag with Bottle Holder in Black Nylon. It’s the ideal accessory for feeding and nappy changing on the go. I don’t have a baby now so I am using it as a stylish and practical backpack. This fashion design means this backpack doesn’t look out of place from my usual wardrobe. The style takes its inspiration from the spacious multi-pocket unisex trends of rucksacks. Ideal for both mum and dad. The Rucksack Style Changing Bag comes an insulated bottle holder ideal for storing a child’s bottle or food and keeps it at just the right temperature. 

Made with a water resistant fabric, the Rucksack Changing Bag also comes with a coordinating changing mat which is ideal when you need to change a nappy on the go. It costs £59.00 and can be purchased via the manufacturer’s website


Feet rescue

During the summer, I love walking a lot more than usual and I tend to wear comfortable shoes. However I also love wearing lovely shoes and they are not  necessarily suitable for walking. There’s a solution to that and it comes (surprise, surprise) from mumpreneur Laura Birrell, founder of Sticky Heelz, who has created Sticky Heel pads that allow heels to fit comfortably.

Sticky Heelz anti-slip heel pads have a shoe pad and a heel pad that connect to physically stop shoes slipping off feet whilst also reducing rubbing and blistering. I love this easy and cost-effective solution (they are available from both Superdrug in Store and online at from £4.99).

The Teardrop pads (£9.99) reduce discomfort at the ball of the foot, especially when walking, standing or dancing for periods of time. Check the lovely website  www.stickyheelz for further details and demo videos.


Travel entertainment devices 

RCA by Venturer tablet / computer for children unboxing and review by 11 year old child reporter Diego


Summer toys and games 

With a super Lego fan as a son, I understand now the charme of little bricks and construction games. There’s a new kid in town, a brand called Strictly Briks, which have just launched an award winning product called ‘The Brik Buster Tower Toppling Game’. The perfect game for family fun brick by brick! During the Summer kids have a lot of time and can play with board games, build a den outdoor but can also play with bricks on a very wet day. 

With Strictly Briks it is easy to play flexibly. Play by the rules, or make up your own, the direction it takes is up to you as children explore their new found sense of creativity. With five stories of fun to be had what new heights will your toppling tower reach? But who said it was the kids that get all the fun? The Brik Buster offer a whopping 133 pieces, available from ages 3+, for 2 players or more it’s fun for the whole family! Sure to bring briks of laughter and learning into any home this toppling tower game was meant to be enjoyed together.

Strictly Briks® items are compatible with all major brands of large bricks, including LEGO® DUPLO® and Mega Bloks® brand sets. So much so that if you don’t want to play the actual game you can use the bricks to build things and use them in combination with other construction toys. You can even make a mini den out of these bricks. Brilliant! My 11 year old son can spend hours building stuff and rebuilding. 

The Brik Buster Tower Toppling Game is available to buy online from Amazon for £26.99.


Strictly Briks® – portable construction fun

Strictly Briks® are also the trend for the Summer and the Premium Rainbow Coloured 6″ X 6″ Construction Base Plate (12 Pack) box is fantastic and can be taken anywhere for hours of undisturbed playtime. This interlocking brick-based toy offers the opportunity for building whether that’s a house, castle, towers or parking garage there are no rules to this game the choice is yours. 

Due to its versatility Strictly Briks® items are compatible with all major brands of large bricks, including LEGO® DUPLO® and Mega Bloks® brand sets so that you can mix and match and still get as much use of children’s existing toys. 

They are available to buy online from Amazon for £17.99. Suitable for 3 Years +


Preparing the body for the Summer 

Sunshine in a glass – Health in a pill 

There’s no doubt that when the sun is shining the world seems a less stressful place, although living in the UK you can never be quite sure when that will be. Ahead of the Summer months, Spring can be quite stressful and I know I will have big down moments if the sun does not shine so I always get supplements to avoid that. This year I have found chlorella, a green algae which is thought to be one of the most effective ‘crops’ at turning sunlight into energy and nutrients, could help reduce stress levels. These supplements have worked well for me so far because I have felt immediately cheerful and more energetic even when it was really rainy and miserable weather. 

Researchers found that chlorella may affect part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which plays a big role in how we react to stress. It was discovered that the algae appears able to reduce the amount by which the hypothalamus activates the body’s stress system; resulting in a lower production of a specific stress hormone, called adrenocorticotropic hormone, and a reduction in stress induced hyperglycaemia (a raising of blood sugar levels seen in stressful situations). I have been taking chlorella supplements as tablets for a month already and I feel that my body (and mind) doesn’t get as stressed as usual. Chlorella is available directly from or health stores nationwide.



With UK temperatures set to reach 25 degrees in the coming days and weeks, Solar Buddies is warning parents to suit up their little ones and slap on the sunscreen in preparation for the heat.

I love the fact that Solar Buddies, the roll on, child friendly, mess-free sunscreen applicator, was been designed by two mums, Kelli Aspland and Laura Griffin, who were concerned about sun safety for their children. 

They devised the SolarBuddies after expressing concerns about how their children were protecting themselves against the sun during school hours. On top of creating a solution to allow kids to apply sunscreen independently, they also want to spread the message to parents and children alike that proper attention needs to be paid to sun cream habits. Research conducted by the Met Office and NHS England in 2017 found that 17% of parents with children under the age of 11 said their offspring had experienced painful sunburn four or more times in the past two years. The study also showed that there are still a number of myths surrounding sun protection for little ones – particularly in the UK sun. Most kids hate applying sunscreen, but if you make it part of a daily routine from an early age, it will soon become embedded in their way of life. For this reason SolarBuddies is perfect.


Bedtime bath routine products 

Bedtime is crucial especially when you are travelling and are exhausted at the end of the intense day of activities. Creating a nightly routine for babies while on holiday is important and I have often used JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Baby Bath (500ml – RRP £2.99) to help my restless son sleep better. What I love about this product range is the relaxing NaturalCalm™aroma and the NO MORE TEARS® formula.

We still buy it from time to time even if Diego is now 11. The new range feels even milder to the eyes. Away from home on a holiday accommodation you can treat your baby to a warm bath before bed in combination with the JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Baby Shampoo (500ml – RRP £2.99) to get the lavender smell even stronger. The baby hair stays soft for a long time with this shampoo containing the NO MORE TEARS® formula which is the main reason we bought this product in the first place. 


Rest &Relax Air Spray 

Travelling often brings restless sleep so I recently was on the hunt for something to help myself and my son relax during the transfers. A great product is the Rest & Relax Air Spray by Puressentiel. It has helped us have peaceful and restful night’s sleep (even at home). I like the fact that is is 100% of natural origin with 12 pure essential oils (Asia Rosewood, Roman Camomile, Cypress, True Lavender, Lemongrass, Mandarin, Marjoram, Neroli, Orange, Palmarosa, Petitgrain, Sandalwood).

We have both felt that this spray has significantly improved the quality and duration of our sleep. It is suitable for adults and children from 1 year old. You can use it either spray it in the air at night in the 4 corners of the bedroom before going to bed) or spray on a tissue. I love that this product is made in France. 



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Why swimming is beneficial to children with Autism

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