Wednesday, 20 April 2016

We're going on a summer holiday

As I sit with a coffee in hand and the laptop perched on my knee, I stare out into spring. It really has arrived now, bringing with it sunshine and crystal blue skies. This afternoon I felt my winter coat starting to feel that little bit too warm as I joined my fellow Mum's on the ritual that is the school run. As I looked around I realised that most people, like myself, still had their winter clothing on, some, a small few as it were, were embracing the sunshine with short sleeves and tank tops. It got me thinking about the Summer months that are really only just around the corner, would we be in luck this year? Would the sun carry on shining? Would the temperatures rise and bring with it a real summer?

One can dare to dream and dream I will, you see for while I dream, I can justify the summer clothing wishlist that is coming together with each passing day. Its just 5 weeks until the entire family jet off to Greece for a weeks break, and although I already have a rather generous selection of clothing...A girl can never have enough, especially when there is a House of Fraser Sale over at Love the Sales... It would be rude not to have a little look right?

House of Fraser

Jane Norman Crochet Shorts, Pink £17.00 (Was £25.00) *Bottom Right*
Check Cotton Shorts £19.99 (Was £29.99) *Top Left*
Zebra print asymmetric midi dress, Zebra Print £130.00 (Was 199.00) *Centre*
Jane Norman PU Trim Skater Dress £30.00 (Was 45.00) *Top Right*
Embroided Crop Top, Black £24.50 (Was £35.00) *Bottom Left*

To say I am looking forward to getting away for a week is a little bit of an understatement. It has been such a crazy couple of months that I haven't really had chance to catch my breath, and I know that the time away with Leo is going to create some life long memories that we will both keep close to our hearts. Leo's excited about spending all day every day in the pool, and i'm excited to spend that time with him. Of course... I am also excited about getting to wear a pair of shorts without the fear of the British weather succumbing me to frost bite. 

For now though I am going to enjoy the rarity that is sunshine following weeks of endless rain and let my mind wander to warmer climates...

Visiting Croatia

Croatia is extremely popular on the Summer destinations list for 2016, and it's not hard to work out why either, from it's stunning Mediterranean coastal line, the complete unspoiled nature that is apparent from the beach front right through to the eight national parks and stunning old harbour towns. It is without a shadow of a doubt a beautiful take on your typical sun, sea and sand holiday that you would find if you flew out to Spain for a week.

The region is renowned for it's Venetian-era port towns over on the West Coast, where the top seaside destinations of Porec and Rovinj are based. If it's vineyards you are looking for, then you are in for a treat, the hills are ripe with rich Red Teran wine. It is the perfect destination for a low-key foodie holiday, or for the avid adventurer who loves to head out on hikes to enjoy the local culture and history.

What to do on your trip to Croatia?

Plitvice Lakes National Park 
The perfect opportunity to hike between the Plitvice Lakes in this stunning National Park. Walk beneath waterfalls and be captivated by the always changing colors of the water. 
Plitvice Lakes National Park

Trakošćan Castle and Varaždin 
If castles and adventures are your sort of thing, then definitely book in to visit Trakošćan Castle and Varaždin! This is one of the best preserved buildings in the country and it is quite rightly considered to be the most romantic castle throughout Croatia!

Trakošćan Castle and Varaždin

National shrine of Holy Mother Marija Bistrica
Head through the beautiful Zagorje region to Marija Bistrica, a town famous for its shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is a place visited annually by thousands of pilgrims, where Pope John Paul II beatified Croatian Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac while visiting Marija Bistrica on October 3rd 1998. 

 National shrine of Holy Mother Marija Bistrica

Truffle hunt and Hum city
One of the things the biggest Croatian peninsula Istria is most famous for are truffles. Black or white – they were always considered “diamonds of the kitchen”. Embark on an adventure trying to find your own, and taste various products that use them as an ingredient.

Truffle hunt and Hum city

These are just a few ideas of the things that you can get up to in this beautiful part of the world. I myself have never been to Croatia, but I am hoping that this is something that will change over the next few years. Leo and I are using 2016 to really go on some adventures, and this looks like it could be an absolutely fantastic experience for the both of us.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

3 things not to miss in Kenya

Image Credit 

With its world-famous national parks, dramatic scenery, stunning beaches and abundance of wildlife, Kenya makes the perfect setting for a family holiday. If you’re planning a vacation to this fascinating and beguiling country on the equator, it’s important to do your research first so that you don’t miss out on the top attractions. To give you some inspiration, here are three highlights you you’ll want to know about while visiting Kenya.

1. Maasai Mara National Reserve
Widely regarded as the best nature reserve in the country, the Maasai Mara National Reserve sits almost 2,000 metres above sea level and its seemingly endless grasslands are home to an astonishing range of animals. At any point in the calendar, you can see a variety of creatures, from hyenas to lions and elephants. However, for a truly awe-inspiring spectacle, it’s worth timing your visit to coincide with the annual wildebeest migration. Around half a million of these magnificent animals cross the terrain during this yearly mass movement. As well as seeing the wildlife that  characterises this part of Africa, you can meet Maasai tribesmen. Bespoke holiday specialist The Explorations Company has a lodge in the park where, between game drives, you can interact with tribespeople. You can even learn skills like basket-weaving and beading, getting a real insight into the local culture and customs.

2. Lake Turkana
Stretching out for 250 kilometres and straddling the Ethiopian border, Lake Turkana is well and truly off the beaten track and it’s another of Kenya’s gems. One minute, the waters of this vast lake can appear emerald green and tranquil, while the next they are choppy, grey and menacing. Home to hippos, crocodiles and a variety of other creatures, the lake has a mysterious and timeless quality. You can reach camps there by special helicopter flight, giving you a chance to cast your eyes over the spectacular scenery below. For the best experience, try to stay in a tented camp that overlooks the water.

3. Laikipia plateau
With the dramatic backdrop of Mount Kenya, the Laikipia plateau covers over 9,000 square kilometres and it is one of the best parts of the country to spot wildlife. Although there are no national parks there, a host of conservation projects have helped to protect animal habitats and the traditional lifestyles of the people who live on the plateau. It stretches from Mount Kenya to the Great Rift Valley and boasts more than 80 species of mammals, including leopards, zebras, giraffes, wild dogs, elephants, lions and black rhinos. Different accommodation styles are available in the area, including private villas, tented camps and lodges. You can even arrange to sleep beneath the stars for a night.

Whether you visit these parts of Kenya or you explore the other attractions that the country has to offer, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy a family holiday like no other.