The experience of raising young is a nurturing experience and some say the best experience that a person can have. As you grow as a family, you’ll want to turn your house into a home and here are five ways that you can do exactly that.

Display your memories // 

A person’s home should help tell the story of their lives. Display your favourite photographs of you and your partner, your children, other family and friends and adorn the walls with souvenirs from special trips of journeys home and abroad. Another great tip is to show off any and all of the artwork of your children. Doing so promotes feelings of inclusion, pride, and acceptance, and though they may grow to hate it, whatever that creation may be it will one day be priceless to you!

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Open space //

As your family grows, so does the necessity for space. The best way to increase space and the value of space is to create open, inviting areas between as well as in the rooms. Open plan homes are unbelievably ideal for growing families, as it helps each member to connect to one another, increases parent’s ability to supervise and communicate with children, and importantly allows a growing child to feel inclusion in the family context and their home surroundings. Freeing up space also means more room for activities!

A way to the outside //

Even the most introverted and reclusive of humans love the outdoors. Every person deserves a home of their own, but the adventure, mystery and wonder of the outside are something imprinted into the very fabric as human beings. Conntecting the inside to the out, whether it be a humble yard, a simple garden, or full on decking complete with double patio doors, can unlock so much potential in your home and improve the lifestyle of its inhabitants in many ways. Kids and adults alike will cherish being able to easily zone from in to out, and connecting correctly to the outdoors promotes an active lifestyle, indulges the senses, and respect for nature.

Looking at lighting //

Light changes everything in the space of a home. Invest in lamps; the affecting difference of atmosphere from an overpowering overhead light to a tasteful spread of lamps is incredible. There are so many choices when it comes to lighting, and experimentation can really introduce you to new, unimagined possibilities in really accentuating the best parts of what makes your house a home.

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Multi-functionality //

As your family grows, space can get tight. As we’ve discussed, opening up cumbersome spaces can be a positive step, and looking at achieving more inventive uses from even the most mundane items is something that can be incredibly rewarding in more ways than one. With more people come more possessions, and storage can be an issue for growing families. Shelves can fit into unexpected places, and utilising wall space for shelving works wonders. A coffee table that has interior storage is one the most simple and effective ways of really bringing the most out of your home for the family to enjoy.

Disclosure: PR collaboration

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  • SophieJuly 17, 2017 - 12:28 pm

    A good reminder of making home a home. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

With Father’s Day on the horizon (it’s Sunday btw), if you haven’t done so already, it’s really time to start thinking about what you are going to buy your lovely dad (or husband on behalf of the kids!). After the lovely response to my previous Father’s Day Gift Guide, I have pulled together another eclectic selection of fabulous gifts and whether your dad is an adrenaline junky, keen traveller, chocoholic or the sentimental type, I’ve got it covered.

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a // Morse Toad Chocolate Messages, From £7. I’m in love with these scrumptious Morse Toad chocolate messages and your dad will love them too. Morse Toad will turn your words into yummy Belgian chocolate and pop it in the post to your dear old dad. What’s not to love about chocolate post!

b // Zip-lining, From £35, Buy your dad the ultimate adrenaline rush with a ticket for the fastest and longest zip line in Europe. With speeds of 100mph (gulp!), Zip World offers a unique range of adventures in the heart of Snowdonia. This really is an experience of a lifetime and will make a unique and certainly memorable present.

c // Personalised BBQ Tool Set, £34.95. This personalised barbecue tool set makes the perfect gift for dads who enjoy cooking al fresco. Your choice of up to 26 characters can be engraved onto either the tongs, fork or spatula.

d // Chatty Feet socks, From £7, I adore these socks. Each pair of socks has its own name,  from Prof Brian Sox, with his trade mark hair cut, to Brad Feet. Full of personality, these socks will make your dad smile and you can also get ‘family sets’ so both adults and children can wear matching pairs!

e // Forestbound Escape Canvas Bag, $99,  Only available in the US, you will have to give your dad an IOU if you decide to buy him this, but it will definitely be worth the wait. This unique, canvas utility bag is perfect for weekend adventures and I LOVE it!

f // Mens leather hoop bracelet, £64, This classic mens bracelet consists of beautiful sterling silver hoops which sit on a luxe woven leather bracelet. Each hoop can be personalised with text of your choice making this the perfect gift for your dad this Father’s Day

g // Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Men’s Face Moisturiser, £21. This vitamin-enriched, non-oily moisturiser, helps waken tired-looking skin and helps improve skin’s look and texture. With use, your dad / husband will soon be feeling refueled, re-energized and revitalized!

h // The book of dad, From £7.50. This beautifully illustrated 50-page book is a wonderful way for children to show their love for daddy. Created by you and a bunch of super-talented artists, illustrators, photographers and writers, this book brings a snap-shot of the world in which the person for whom you are creating the book was born. It is the perfect gift for the man that has everything.

i // Personalised Destination Blind Print, £14. What better way to say I love you than with a personalised destination blind print. Simply name your 11 favourite destinations and the lovely people at Kiaco with pull it all together so you can relieve your journeys and memories with your loved ones.

j // Ultimate TV Dinner Tray, £18. I love this tray of truth. Funny and useful, if your dad is a fan of TV dinners, this tray is the perfect present.

k // Child’s Artwork Cufflinks, £24.45. What could be a more special or unique gift than to have a pair of handmade bespoke cufflinks of your child’s artwork? Sentimental gifts are always a winner and your dad will love them.

l // Oak charging block, from £25. If your dad likes everything to be neat and tidy, this oak charging block will be right up his street.

m // #5 Black/Burgundy Trucker Cap, £24.99. My husband has a slight obsession with #5 caps so I thought i’d add it to the gift guide in case your dad/partner has a penchant for caps too.

n // Rocket & Rye Carnival Light, From £30. These lovely metal carnival style lights are hand finished to ensure a vintage look and make a great personalised gift for your dad. Fitted with LED bulbs that will last for up to 50,000 hours (or they require a transformer (sold separately) to plug in to the mains), the illuminated lights look great as individual letters and are fitted with connectors to enable you to put a few together. We have the ‘&’ sign in our kitchen and I LOVE it.

o // Motocaddy S1 Electric Golf Trolley, £299.99. For the golf mad man in your life, this electric golf trolley will be a huge hit. They are rather pricey, but if your budget allows, this is a great way to help your dear old dad lug his equipment around the course and i’m sure he’ll be eternally grateful. (Mr O received one as a Christmas pressie and loves it!)

p // The Brownie Post Chocolate brownies, From £13.50. Earn yourself some serious brownie points (sorry couldn’t resist!), by sending a box of these amazing brownies to your dad in the post. Just make sure you are there when he opens them to ensure you don’t miss out on their delicious gooeyness!

So there you have it, my top picks for Father’s Day 2017. I hope it has given you a little bit of inspiration so your dad doesn’t end up with more golf balls!

What are your go-to gifts for Father’s Day?

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  • MollyJune 14, 2017 - 7:46 pm

    What a fantastic collection of treats. Is it bad I want some of these for myself?!ReplyCancel

  • DonnaJune 15, 2017 - 8:37 am

    I don’t know about Dads but I want half of that for myself! Great selection xReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyJune 19, 2017 - 1:42 pm

      Thanks lovely xReplyCancel

  • SophieJuly 17, 2017 - 12:38 pm

    Great ideas, think I am going to have to pull the trigger on one of these.ReplyCancel

As promised here’s my ‘Guide to Mallorca – Part Two’.

If you missed my first post that detailed our favourite beaches, bars and restaurants, then you can read all about it here.

In this post I wanted to talk about the best places to stay on the Island and our favourite things to see and do when we’re not relaxing on a beach.

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Nakar Hotel, Palma //

Nakar Hotel

Located on Mallorca’s shop-lined Avenida Jaume III, Nakar Hotel is a boutique-style hotel with modern rooms and a gorgeous rooftop infinity pool.

St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort //

St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort

Beautifully situated with views across the Mediterranean Sea, The St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort combines a superb location with elegance, luxury and fine service for a wonderfully relaxing stay. Pricey, but oh so worth it.

Can Simoneta //

Can Simoneta

Can Simoneta Hotel is a 5 star hotel in the north of the island. With its beautiful cliff top location, it offers amazing sea views and is most suited to those seeking a child-free holiday, where you can enjoy the sun, landscape, tranquility and peace.

Cap Rocat //

Cap Rocat

Cap Rocat is a former military fortress located in the most secluded area of the bay of Palma de Mallorca. More heritage site than hotel, it really is a stunning, unique offering, but the fortress’ architecture isn’t suited to little ones and children can only stay if they are over 15 years old.

Villa Italia, Port d’Andratx //

Villa Italia

Located in one of our favourite ports, Port d’Andratx, Villa Italia is a beautifully restored 1950’s villa perched on a steep hillside overlooking the port.

Port d’Andratx is full of amazing restaurants and has some lovely beaches nearby so I’d definitely add it to the hit list. Here are a few photos of our Boden clad brood out and about in Port d’Andratx.

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Laceless pull-onsHoliday sandals, Suede sandalsGladiator sandals

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Pretty playsuit, Starboard cardigan

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Navy Glitter Spot Statement SweatshirtLong Sleeve Short Line Breton 

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Piqué Polo, Chino shorts, Nostalgic Woven Dress, Super Soft T-shirt 

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Louisa Sandal

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Slub Crew, Chino Shorts, Allegra Top

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Statement Sweatshirt

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Frilly Cardigan

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Palma to S’Arenal Cycling Route //

When you fancy a day away from the beach, or when the weather is a bit inclement, I cannot recommend this cycling route enough. It’s flat, scenic and its purpose made cycle paths ensure it’s safe for all the family. Passing through Portixol and Ciudad Jardin, there are a number of refreshment stops on route and a fab playground or two for the littles. The whole journey is approximately 6 miles one way, although you can obviously cut that short if you so wish.

There are numerous bike hire shops in Palma that you can just walk into and hire bikes on the spot, but if you have children and need to hire bike seats or tag alongs, I would highly recommend booking ahead. We didn’t and sadly could only get our hands on one tag along, which meant poor Jack had to squeeze into a seat that was far too small for him!

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Flowery Jersey Dress

Palma to SPalma to SPalma to SPalma to SPalma to SPalma to SPalma to S

La Seu, Palma //

La Seu

Palma is best known for La Seu, its imposing cathedral which is well worth a look around. Don’t miss the rose window, one of the largest stained-glass windows in the world at 12m wide!

Dragonera //

Dragonera

A ferry leaves for Dragonera from Sant Elm in the south-west of Mallorca, every half an hour in high season. An uninhabited island, Dragonera is a nature reserve with brilliant walking trails and excellent snorkelling and swimming areas.

Sóller train and tram //

Soller train

The Sóller train and tram is a great day out for any train mad youngster (or adult!).

A must do on the Mallorca tourist map, the historic train runs from Palma to Sóller, winding through the mountains, over the beautiful Mallorcan countryside and through 13 tunnels of the Serra de Tramuntana. It really is a lovely journey and once you arrive in Sóller, you can hop on the the quaint and quirky Sóller tram that runs from the town to the port passing through numerous orange, lemon and olive groves en route.

A huge thanks to Boden for sending us all some lovely threads to wear on our jollies!

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  • HelpfulMumJune 10, 2017 - 10:24 am

    Looks like an amazing place to visit with children. What stunning pictures.ReplyCancel

  • Clare's Little TotsJune 14, 2017 - 12:30 pm

    Looks like a perfect place to visit with kids (and the short flight time is a bonus). Biking around is such a good idea to see the local area as well.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Twin MumJune 14, 2017 - 8:10 pm

    Oh wow, now I really want to go to Mallorca, who knew there were so many amazing places ot stay and visit on the island. My experience to date is just a brief visit into Palma and I stayed in Palma Nova, back when I was in my early 20’s. I’d certianly like the more cultured areas nowadays. Mich xReplyCancel

  • Stevie - A Cornish MumJune 15, 2017 - 9:29 am

    I am gutted that the glitter spot jumper is out of stock at the moment as I just clicked through to buy it ha! It’s gorgeous and looks amazing on you :)

    I’m so jealous you’ve been to Mallorca, we went a few years ago and it was the best holiday!

    Stevie xReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyJune 19, 2017 - 1:42 pm

      That’s my sister in the spotty jumper (but we are very alike :)) Such a shame it’s OOS, hopefully they’ll get more in soon xxReplyCancel

  • Alex GladwinJuly 3, 2017 - 2:32 pm

    Wow, this has made me want to visit! And I love all of your images, they’re brilliant! xxReplyCancel

Following on from this post featuring our Easter holiday in Mallorca, I thought I’d share some of our favourite places on the island with you, including a few lesser known hidden gems.

Mallorca really is a wonderful island, we come here a lot and absolutely love it. We have a place in South West Mallorca, near Camp de Mar where we spend a lot of our time, but we love venturing out and about, exploring the rest of the island too. So without further ado, here are some of our favourite haunts.

best beaches

 

 

Cap Falco //

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Situated on the southwest coast, about 6-7 kilometres south of Magaluf, Cap Falco is a hidden gem. Surrounded by a pine forest, Cap Falco offers everything you need for a fun day out in the sun; a gorgeous sandy beach, clear, shallow water, and an amazing beach hut/restaurant that serves up the most delicious fresh food.

Cala Mondrago //

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This stunning sandy double bay is located in the protected area of Mondragó and is one of the most beautiful spots on the East coast. Ideal for families with small children, the form of the bay gives it natural shelter and it really is gorgeous with its pine wood backdrop, turquoise coloured sea and fine, white sand. There is also a beach bar offering snacks and refreshments and a big public car park.

Illetas Beach //

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This small sheltered beach has crystal clear water and soft golden sand, and is one of the more attractive beaches on the coastline to the southwest of Palma. It’s not very big, so I’d recommend arriving early to claim your patch of sand/grab a sunbed or you can head to one of the two good beach clubs (Virtual Club and Las Terrazas) instead.

Es Trenc //

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Often referred to as Mallorca’s answer to the Caribbean, Es Trenc is stunning. With 2km of white sand and crystal clear waters, Es Trenc isn’t attached to a resort, and is backed by the peaceful Es Salobrar de Campos nature reserve. There are sunbeds and parasols for hire and numerous beach bars and restaurants too.

Cala Formentor //

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At the other end of the island to us, but definitely worth a road trip, Cala Formentor is one of Mallorca’s best loved beaches. Situated in the Bay of Pollensa, Cala Formentor has it all; a stunning backdrop of pine forest, views to the mountains, turquoise blue seas and a white sand beach.

Camp de Mar //

Our local beach, Camp de Mar is brilliant for families and is a huge hit with our Boden-clad clan as you can see below. The sea is crystal clear, calm and shallow and there are little rocky coves that the kids love to explore. At the back of the beach there’s a playground and numerous restaurants, but the most eye-catching restaurant (and our favourite) is Illeta, which is on an island in the sea that can be accessed by a wooden bridge from the beach.

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Image credit

Swimming outfits c/o Boden – you can find their individual outfits here – Phoebe / Jack / Bea / Teddy

Cala Portals Vells //

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Portals Vells is well off the beaten track but it’s a gorgeous beach that is perfect for families. Located down an unmarked road from Magaluf which leads through pine woods,  this beautiful cove is well worth a visit. There is a gentle incline to the shallow, clear water making it ideal for little ones and there is a brilliant restaurant to boot. Just make sure you call ahead to reserve you sunbeds, parasols and a table for lunch as it does get busy.

best rest

 

 

Ca’n Eduardo, Palma //

If you love seafood, Ca’n Eduardo has the perfect location right above the fish market. Open from lunchtime until late, the seafood is unsurprisingly delicious and you can gaze out at the cathedral and harbour views as you enjoy your dinner.

La Boveda, Palma //

A favourite with locals and visitors, La Boveda combines a busy tapas bar at the front of the restaurant with a slightly more formal dining area behind and serves the most amazing tapas in Palma.

Ca’s Patro March, Deia //

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Made infamous by ‘The Night Manager’, Ca’s Patro March is located in an idyllic spot, perched at the side of the rocky Cala Deia in the Tramuntana mountains. The furnishings are simple and rustic, but the seafood and location are hard to beat. Just make sure you book well ahead and check the weather forecast for the day you visit as the ‘roof’ over your head wouldn’t fair well in a sudden downpour!

Sa Roqueta, Portixol //

Sa Roqueta doesn’t look much, but the seafood is amazing, especially the lobster, and Portixol is really lovely for a wander.

Sumailla, Port d’Andratx //

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With its stunning waterfront location, Sumailla is one of my favourite restaurants in Mallorca. Situated in Port d’Andratx, Sumailla offers the most delicious Japanese food and I’m currently daydreaming about their soft shell crab rolls and black cod!

Marc Fosh, Palma //

Located in the old town of Palma, Marc Fosh is a superb michelin-starred number. It’s not cheap by any means, but ideal if you want a perfect meal with top notch service.

Diablitos, Puerto Portals //

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Offering pizzas & tex-mex to salads & pastas, Diablitos has a great atmosphere with a DJ on the terrace. The only downside is that you can’t book so expect a lengthy wait in peak season.

Flanigan, Puerto Portals //

Specialising in fish and tapas, (they also do a mean Paella), Flanigan is one of our favourite restaurants in Portals.

best bars

 

 

Roxy’s Beach Bar, Puerto Portals //

Roxy’s is a super cool beach bar located on the water’s edge. It’s the perfect place for post-sunbathing cocktails and sangria.

Abaco, Palma //

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Located in a 16th century converted palace in La Lonja, Abaco is a bar like no other! Filled to the brim with mountains of fruit and flowers, Abaco serves delicious cocktails in fabulous surroundings.

Tim’s Bar, Port d’Andratx //

A popular spot for sundowners and open until late, we love Tim’s Bar with its fab music (often live) and great atmosphere.

My ‘Guide to Mallorca // Part Two’ will be posted next week and will feature places to stay and things to see and do on the Island.

A huge thanks to Boden for sending us all some lovely threads to wear on our jollies!

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M&S Spent It Well (10)How often do you keep things in your wardrobe ‘for best’? I know I certainly do. I have numerous dresses that have been purchased with certain special occasions in mind, that are yet to see the light of day, and that’s why Marks & Spencer recently launched their new ‘Spend It Well’ campaign.

More than just a tagline, M&S are on a mission to make every day special. It’s a call to action encouraging all of us to seize the moment and make every moment special by focusing on the quality experiences, people and things that really matter.

‘Spend It Well’ is about grabbing life with both hands, burning the luxury candles, wearing your best coat, breaking out the best biscuits, saying no to food that doesn’t take you to extraordinary places and never settling for uncomfortable knickers – life is too short, after all!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, I’m sure you’ll have seen the ad by now that is backing the campaign, but if not here it is in all it’s glory…

So what have we got to lose by jumping on board? I think it’s a brilliant campaign and has really made me think about what I purchase and why.

With Summer just around the corner, I’ve already been stalking the M&S website (there are soooooo many pretty threads!) and all of the following are on my hit list to buy and wear, not lurk at the back of my wardrobe gathering dust for a special occasion!

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1 // Striped Tie Waist A-Line Midi Skirt, £29.50

2 // Embroidered Sleeve Striped Bardot Top, £25

3 // Pure Cotton Embroidered Smock Swing Dress, £45

4 // Tie Back Flared Sleeve Tunic Dress, £45

What do you think of the ‘Spend it Well’ campaign? Will you be taking heed? Let me know below…

*Disclosure: PR collaboration

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  • Claire at Tin Box TravellerMay 19, 2017 - 11:36 pm

    ‘Yes’ to banishing uncomfortable knickers! Age has really taught me that life is too short for putting up with second best. It’s definitely time to grasp every moment and make the most of what you can affordReplyCancel

  • Mummy Times TwoMay 20, 2017 - 7:26 am

    I totally subscribe to this philosophy, I would much rather love the things I wear everyday rather than have special things I never wear.ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca | AAUBlogMay 22, 2017 - 10:41 am

    I love this campaign and completely agree – life is too short to be dealing with the little things that we don’t actually want to. Love your picks of clothes too – that pink dress is amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Cardiff Mummy Says - CathrynMay 22, 2017 - 1:11 pm

    This is totally my philosophy! Before I had children, I used to go out a lot more so i’d keep my ‘best’ clothes for going out. Now I wear my nice tops in the day, always wear perfume, burn my Yankee candles etc. No point letting it all gather dust instead! XReplyCancel

  • Stevie - A Cornish MumJune 15, 2017 - 10:57 am

    Such a good idea for a campaign, I think we all end up saving things for best, but life is too short not to just enjoy every moment that you can and treat yourself when you can.

    Stevie xReplyCancel