Category: Travel

Beat the January Blues

January is a notoriously tough month. The mood is always a bit down after the over excitement of Christmas, financially things can be tight for the same reason and everyones back at work and dreaming of sunnier days. The weather doesn’t really allow for a lot of outdoor fun either, there’s a big lack of vitamin D too and I know personally that my positive attitude suffers because of it. So how do you beat the January blues?

If possible we usually try and arrange some sort of trip in January, it’s my birthday at the end of the month, so can usually tie something in with that. Usually just a day trip to London, or sometimes if budget allows it can be an overnight trip. Even if we can’t actually go on a trip during January, it’s a good time to start planning and saving for one, and have something to look forward to later in the year.

This week we received an invite to visit Bluestone Holiday Village. We’re really excited for our first visit there, it looks perfect to help blow the cobwebs away. It’s in one of our favourite places, west Wales.

Mr H has been incredibly busy in work since before B was born, so it’s going to be perfect for his week off to be able to relax and have a proper week away.

We’ve been looking at the activities available on site and there is so much to do! G is going to be really excited to visit the Blue Lagoon swimming pool. I say will be excited as we haven’t told him we’re going yet. We recently made the mistake of telling him we’re going on an airplane holiday this year and almost everyday since he’s asked if “we going on the plane today?”. All holiday announcements are now going to be held off until the morning we leave haha!

I’m looking forward to getting out in the fresh air a bit more. I’m struggling to organise the house right now and it’s getting to me a bit. It’s feeling a bit stuffy and cluttered so I think a week away and bundles of fresh air will really improve my mood and let me look at the house with fresh eyes when we get back. I’m hoping to get myself some wellies before we go too so I can join in with any puddle jumping! Who says toddlers should get all the messy fun!? But there’s also an indoor activity centre if the weather is typically Welsh.

It’s going to be B’s first holiday too. I realise he’s only tiny and will have no idea where or what is going on, but i know he’ll love having us all together for a week. There’s also a few baby activities on site. There really is something for everyone to do!

Bluestone have got some really fantastic offers on at the moment, and with restaurants on site and even an option to get your weekly shopping delivered to your lodge for your arrival, it’s easy to book a last minute trip and get on the road!

Are you planing a family trip soon? What do you do to beat the January blues?

Mrs H xxx

Disclosure- we’ve been offered a mid week break in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest and my own. This is an introduction piece, we haven’t visited Bluestone at the time of writing this post. 

Diono Radian 5 – A Full Review 

 

We have been using the Diono Radian 5 for a few months now, and we’re really impressed! 

Many people who know me know that I’ve been banging on about the safety aspects of extended rear facing for a long a long time now. But getting the right car seat is essential to extended rear facing. Safety will go out the window if the seat is the wrong fit so please research that the seat is suitable for your vehicle and your child.

The radian 5 boasts a unique steel frame, meaning that it is incredibly well structured against any impact. It also means that the seat is really heavy, and even more weighted and secure in an accident. It also means that it can seat children up to 25kg, approximately 7 years old. This is from birth too! It’s at the higher end of the price range, but when you take in to account how long it should last, it’s simply provided one seat for the first 7 years instead of having to upgrade to the next suitable size etc.

It took me a little while to fit the car seat. I did need help lifting the seat in to the car, I’m not particularly strong anyway and being pregnant meant I didn’t want to lift it much. The instructions are fairly clear to follow for fitting, but it has additional straps and safety features that I wasn’t used to from other seats so I did watch a few videos on YouTube to double check where I needed to fit everything and how to check that it was installed correctly.

Despite the heavy frame, the seat is much narrower than you’d expect. Car seats can be really bulky and uncomfortable to sit next to, but this fits in our small car a lot easier than previous seats we’ve had. We recently went on holiday with my parents and our small Suzuki Splash was the main vehicle for day trips and visits to local restaurants etc. This meant there were for adults to fit in the car, two in the back alongside the car seat. Now I’m not saying it was a comfortable position for a long period of time, but I’m not sure that it would have been at all possible with other car seats.

The seat itself is really comfortable for G, and the interior is nicely padded with memory foam. Even rear facing G has been kept comfortable on long journeys for holidays this summer, wherever his legs rest is padded meaning they don’t tire or ache with leaning on the sides, so he remains comfy at all times. He’s fallen asleep on more journey’s than I can count and very rarely falls forward in the seat, something I was worried about as it doesn’t recline like some other car seats do.

It’s recommended that the fabric is surface washed rather than removed and machine washable, so I do try to wipe it down fairly regularly to keep on top of the cleanliness of the seat, especially as it’s an item that can last for many years. It would be easier if you could remove the covers to wash, but at the end of the day isn’t the end of the world. When you take into account the more important features of the seat, this for me out weighs how to clean the seat.
 

Overall I am really happy with the Radian 5, and we will be using it for G for as long as possible. The safety and comfort features are exceptional, and they’ve also just released a few extra colour options too and are really stylish. I feel confident in recommending this car seat to anyone, and I certainly wouldn’t do that for such a big safety feature if I didn’t truly believe in the product. We’re also going to be getting a second seat for Baby Herniman 2.  
 

Mrs H xxx

Disclosure – we were sent a Diono Radian 5 for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own 

Extended Rear Facing Car Seats – Diono Radian 5

 
There are many discussions about the pros and cons of extended rear facing, but for me personally the safety aspect far outweighs any of the superficial reasons for forward facing. Extended rear facing car seats are extremely popular across the pond in America, and are becoming more and more popular here in the UK. 

Extended rear facing refers to children staying in a rear facing car seat position until at least 2 years of age, but car seats are increasingly catering to rear face until 4 years of age.

Studies are showing that remaining rear facing can be up to 5 times safer in an accident, that’s 500% safer! In an impact the seats are absorbing the majority of the force, and helping to distribute the impact better.

When forward facing any impact can send young children forward, putting strain on their necks and spine, like a whiplashinjury  that we would sustain. But their delicate bones are not able to deal with this kind of force as well as we may be able too, often leading to incredibly serious injuries, sometimes even from the most minor incident.

But to rear face after the 1 year mark you need the right car seat to do this. As with all car seats height and weight limits still apply. It’s no use leaving them rear facing in an infant seat when their head is clearing the top of the seat, the intended use to protect them from impact wouldn’t work.
 

Having looked into the best seats for extended rear facing, and with even more available than ever before, we were really taken by the Diono Radian 5. Based on the best seller in America where extended rear facing is becoming the norm, its safety features are brilliant, and as a bonus it is also really stylish and extremely comfortable.

It’s not a cheap car seat, but you can’t really put a price on your child’s safety. Plus it’s made to last until they are approximately 7 years old. It is not solely a rear facing seat so can be used when your rear facing days are finally over. We’ll have to use it forward facing if we need to put it in the family van or it just wouldn’t fit without restricting the driving view! 

We’ve only been using the car seat for a few weeks so a full review will follow once we’ve really put it through it’s paces.

Initially what I noticed was the weight! Because of it’s higher weight capacity it has a unique steel frame, not only providing incredible protection against crash forces but also meaning that it can be used up to 25kg. It means that the seat is really heavy, but it folds up to be able to carry it better. It even comes with a travel case.

Despite the heavy frame, the car seat is really narrow. Much narrower than the car seat we had before. It’s a lot more comfortable whe you have to sit next to it in the back of the car! They reckon you could even fit 3 comfortably in the back of some cars. Obviously we’ve not tested this theory out but I can certainly see that it could work.

The seat and interior is really nicely padded. As with the rest of the seat it’s not overly chunky but it has memory foam meaning that it is extra comfy. Perfect for all of our day trips and holidays that we’ve got planned this year!

G’s already given it a sleepy seal of approval a few times, and he loves the cup holder. So do I for that matter, no more mid trip scrambling for a dropped cup or bottle.

Have you, or would you consider extended rear facing? What are your thoughts?

Mrs H xxx

The Family’s New Four Wheeled Friend

When I was younger me and my mum spent many evenings after school, and weekend day trips doing the same thing. Dreaming. For as long as I can remember, and probably for as long as my mum can remember, Mum has dreamed of owning a motor home. We used to go to motor home shows and showrooms dreaming of the trips we could take in our own van. Caravan holidays were lovely, but how great would it be to travel around in our very own mini home on wheels.
Well it’s been a long time coming, but I’m so happy so say that we have a new family member, and mum has her dream! A beautiful motor home has joined us for adventures!

Meet Lexie!

We’ve already been on a couple of very small day trip adventures to test things out, and Mum and Dad (and G) have explored slightly further afield for a weekend or two. But we are so excited to really explore in the summer. We’re going to be heading to find some sun, good food, and wine…well for everyone else. Watch out France, the Herniman House is going on tour ;)

Smiling on the drive to take her home!

Now some of you may have missed the news, but those close to me certainly haven’t missed my ever expanding bump. Actually you don’t have to be close to see it, I’m only 17 weeks but I’m pretty sure I can be seen from neighbouring counties! so as well as the usual holiday must have lists I’m looking out for what can help me be as comfy and happy as possible, but at the same time not add to much bulk or weight to the things we’ll already need. I’ll be 7 months when we go so I imagine I’ll be visible from space by then.

I think he approves…

We’ve already got a new airbed, as we’ll be camping alongside the motor home, its fantastic! A triple layer, all singing and dancing one. After a brief trial run in the living room I can’t wait to test it out properly, it’s so comfy!

Certainly going to need better summer shoes

Apart from the mattress though I’ve not looked into what else might be useful. Has anyone else taken camping/caravanning trips when pregnant? Or long driving trips? What items did you find you couldn’t live without, and what was a waste? Or generally what are your essentials for a camping/caravanning trip?

 
Mrs H xxx