2018 Travel Bucket List

Travel Bucket List Magic Kingdom Castle

Yes, I know that traditionally bucket list posts appear in January but we were still busy thinking about our travel plans for the next couple of years so we are a little late to the party.

 

Florida

The sunshine state wasn’t even on our travel agenda for 2018 until a couple of weeks ago. We realised that we want to take J to Disney World before he turns 5 and that we already have ideas for next year which wouldn’t give us time to fit a trip to the Magic Kingdom in so we bumped it up to the top of 2018’s travel bucket list!

I have been to Florida twice previously. Once as a teenager to the theme parks with my family and then hubby and I visited Miami, Orlando and Cape Canaveral in our mid twenties.  I have always wanted to visit the gulf coast so that will definitely feature on our itinerary this year.

 

Centre Parcs

We are planning a trip to Centre Parcs for J’s 4th birthday near the end of the year. We went when we was almost 2 and we felt that he was too young (J was not keen on the swimming environment at all and was too young to join in any of the sports activities). However, we think that he would really enjoy it now as he loves swimming and biking.

Travel Bucket List Centre Parcs dome and pool

 

Peppa Pig World

J loves Peppa Pig at the moment so we definitely want to take him here this year – he will love it I am sure!

 

Isle of Wight

We love the Isle of Wight and I have happy memories of holidays as a child. The extortionate ferry prices have put us off visiting but there are so many great attractions for children that I feel it is time to head back and explore with J.

 

Wales

Wales is a country we haven’t visited as a family and since it is so near it seems a real shame. We are planning at least a weekend to visit friends and we will see how J copes with the journey. I think J would love to see Mount Snowden.

 

Spain

We love Spain! It is such a great country to visit with children and we always feel safe and welcome. We are planning a holiday in September to get some autumn sunshine. I think we will probably head south and may even time our trip to see the Vuelta as we are big cycling fans.

 

Camping

We bought a family tent last year but didn’t get to use it. This year we have every intention to get away for at least a few weekends. We need to buy a few more cooking bits and then we will be all set… now we just need the weather to help us out! (I do not like rain!) We are hoping to visit the Purbecks or the New Forest and possibly near Petersfield. Can you recommend any campsites?

Longleat

J loves animals so much! We took him to Longleat for his 1st birthday to see the festival of light and said we would head back this year as it was so fabulous!

 

Italy

We would live J to see snow (no hope in the south of England) and my mum has great friends in the Dolomites so I am sure that a family visit will be on the cards for either the end of this year or the beginning of 2019. We debated going next month but J wouldn’t want to do skiing lessons yet and although it isn’t an essential part of the trip for us we felt that he may enjoy it as he nears 4. J is also a fan of the sun (I think there must be a gene he inherited) and is not a fan of the cold which worries me a bit. Have you taken a 3 or 4 year old to the mountains. Did they learn to ski? How did they cope with the cold temperatures?

 

Carribean

Okay so this location a bit of a long shot for 2018, but all that Death in Paradise footage is irresistible! I have previously visited some of the islands on a cruise but I would love to see more. I have always wanted to visit the Cayman Islands. My dad was offered a job there when my mum was pregnant with me and both my parents wanted to go but it meant them being separated for the initial 6 months and my dad wouldn’t leave my mum especially while she was pregnant so he turned down the opportunity. I have always felt drawn to see the island that I could have called home if they had chosen differently.

What’s on your bucket list for 2018?

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J’s Christmas Reads: GIVEAWAY James and the Birthday Balloon

James and the Birthday Balloon front cover. James with blonde hair and blue t-shirt and Ruby with red hair and a purple top holding big balloons in a garden with a table and a birthday cake and a present in the background. Ruby has a red balloon, James' is blue.

J loves books, but he hates chocolate, so it makes perfect sense to give him a book advent calendar instead. Some of the books I have chosen are ones which we already own, some will be borrowed from the library and some will be new but we will read a new one each day and call them our special Christmas books. Although many of the books will have a Christmas theme, some will just have a nice message or lesson in them that we can talk about with J. I will blog about many of the books between now and Christmas so you have ideas for stories to read to your own children, or ideas for Christmas gifts for them or family and friends. Next in J’s Christmas Reads series, I have chosen the heartwarming, ‘James and the Birthday Balloon’ by Nicola J. Rowley. ‘James and the Birthday Balloon’ is not a Christmas themed book, but it sends beautiful and important messages about being a good friend, being kind and the importance of thinking about others, which is perfect for this time of year.

 

‘James and the Birthday Balloon’ is the second book in a series by author, Nicola J. Rowley about James. With a huge smile that can warm all those around him, James enjoys making other people happy. ‘James and the Birthday Balloon’ introduces us to James’ best friend, Ruby. It is Ruby’s birthday and James goes to her party. They have a fabulous time celebrating with their friends and the balloon man even blows up special balloons for Ruby and James. But then poor Ruby falls and hurts herself and has to go to hospital. She feels scared and lonely. Can James cheer her up and help her to feel better?

 

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J’s Christmas Reads: The Night Before Christmas Mustard’s Christmas Wish

Mustard's Christmas Wish A photo of the front cover of the book. Mustard the sausage dog is walking through deep snow with a satchel around his tummy. Snowflakes are falling from the sky and there is a tree behind him to the left.

J loves books, but he hates chocolate, so it makes perfect sense to give him a book advent calendar instead. Some of the books I have chosen are ones which we already own, some will be borrowed from the library and some will be new but we will read a new one each day and call them our special Christmas books. Although many of the books will have a Christmas theme, some will just have a nice message or lesson in them that we can talk about with J. I will blog about many of the books between now and Christmas so you have ideas for stories to read to your own children, or ideas for Christmas gifts for them or family and friends. To start off J’s Christmas Reads series I have chosen the fabulous, ‘The Night Before Christmas Mustard’s Christmas Wish’ by Sophie Scribble.

 

We welcomed a new addition in to our family at the beginning of the year, Orion the black labrador. It was incredibly tough going, which considering we have owned a puppy before was rather a surprise. For a start, we had not expected to spend two weeks coaxing J off the sofa because he was so afraid of the bouncing, biting, toy eating creature that had invaded his home! Anyway, as a result we still like to reinforce positivity of dogs and books are a great way to do this because they are given human emotions and characteristics that make them even more relatable for children. When I saw that new book, ‘The Night Before Christmas Mustard’s Christmas Wish’ was being published by author Sophie Scribble I thought it would be a great opportunity to encourage some puppy affection.

 

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House Hunting: With a Toddler!

Large detached house

So now that the house has sold and I know what I am looking for we can get out and start looking at potential future houses. House hunting is fun! I am nosey, so looking at someone’s home is interesting for me. I love to see how they have arranged their furniture, what kitchen they have, the layout of their home, how the garden has been designed. It gives me inspiration for the future. However, when you are looking for your own future home it can also be rather stressful and frustrating as you are so keen to find something you like, that matches my mummy criteria and is in budget. Plus this time around I have am house hunting with a toddler in tow!

 

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House Hunting: The Mummy Criteria

When did you last move house? Did you have a house hunting criteria?

 

Moving house is something I have experienced many times in my life. I moved countless times as a child, then as an adult from one uni house to another before upgrading to several rented flats and a house before finally buying my first home. I now live in my second ‘owned’ home and after 5 years we decided to put it on the market.

 

There are parts of moving house that I have always loved – looking at Rightmove to see which properties are available, visiting houses to look in more detail, getting excited about different layouts, new areas to discover, furniture to buy, decorating schemes to create etc. This time, however, things are different… this time I am mummy.
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