How to maximise your annual leave in 2019!

You know I’m all for money saving, ensuring good value for money and maximising your budget but did you know you can also fully maximising annual leave for this year too?

Not for everyone mine!  This may not work if you are one of the unlucky ones that have to work Bank Holidays but for those that don’t.. you MUST check this out!

Take less annual leave but get more time off!

How to maximise your annual leave in 2019!

When is Easter 2019?

You can get yourself 16 days off work in April, by only taking 8 days. This is thanks to the Easter bank holiday!

To do this request the following days off:

  • 15th April
  • 16th April
  • 17th April 
  • 18th April 
  • 23rd April
  • 24th April
  • 25th April
  • 26th April

How to maximise your annual leave in 2019!

May Bank Holidays

Ah May, the month of warmer weather and bank holiday weekends. Book the following off and you’ll get 18 days of hols by just using 8 days of annual leave:

  • 7th May
  • 8th May 
  • 9th May
  • 10th May
  • 28th May
  • 29th May
  • 30th May
  • 31st May

August Bank holiday!

If you book these dates, you’ll get 9 days off by only using 4 days annual leave:

  • 27th August
  • 28th August 
  • 29th August
  • 30th August

December & Christmas

If you get these 5 days off (before your colleagues!) then you’ll bag 12 days worth of hols:

  • 23rd December
  • 24th December
  • 27th December
  • 30th December
  • 31st December

So there you have it… instead of stretching your budget stretch your holidays!

But get in there quick before your work colleagues do too though!

Thanks for reading!

Kirsty x

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Why you should never pay to click and collect!

A Facebook notification popped up from a fellow money blogger on Saturday evening as I was out admiring the amazing light show in Hull city centre telling me I was in the Daily Mail!  I knew it was coming but I hadn’t been told it was in and boy has it divided the nation!!  Here’s why I feel we should NEVER pay for a click and collect service!

Why you should never pay for a click and collect service?

A couple of weeks ago now I asked to make a comment over on a Facebook group about when people order above and beyond what they need to to avoid paying a delivery charge and I openly admitted to doing exactly that!

It does seem though that the more media outlets it’s reached the more realistic the story has become  as opposed to the original article.  Both The Sun and my own local newspaper have picked up on it too … this wasn’t actually to do with home deliveries though and was with regards to click and collect ONLY!  (Oh & by the way Daily Mail… I’ve never shopped at ASOS so that picture of a delivery note that apparently is copyrighted to me… yeah it’s really not!)

Anyway I digress and it seems I have invented a ‘hack’ !?  Who would’ve known that mentioning something that so many people do day in day out would turn into a ‘hack’?!

Any way my point was that I wholly refuse to pay a delivery charge for something that I am going to collect from a store myself, in my own car, using my own fuel and in my own time.  Why should you?  I mean the large stores will have I have deliveries if not every single day then every other day at least… therefore they are coming anyway – why should we pay for the ‘service’?

Imagine all those who click and collect paying an extra £4 delivery charge and them all being on one truck to the same place… I know thats the case at the Sainsburys near us because it’s the only one in this whole area!

How much money would they be making across the whole country from click and collects alone?!  I dread to think!

Do you know the high street stores that offer free click and collect options and ones that don’t?  Check them out below…

Stores that offer free click and collect

Boots

Wilkos

Asda George

Matalan

Next (they even offer next day collect from store too!)

Superdrug

River Island

Argos (they even sell TU (Sainsburys clothing!) and happily have it in store the very next day to collect!)

Claires accessories

B&Q

Stores that charge for click and collect

Sports Direct

….charge £4.99 to collect HOWEVER do give you a £5 voucher to spend in store which although you do have to pay a delivery charge for YOU going to collect it it you do get it back in another way.

TKMaxx

….charge £1.99 click and collect or free over £50.

Debenhams

…charge £2 for orders under £30

Sainsburys

…charge £3 for orders under £15 of which they say will be ‘next day delivery’ however this is their only option if your order doesn’t come to £15.  If it does go over £15 then it’s free but takes 3-5 working days!

H&M

…charge a massive £3.99 for orders under £15

Why you should never pay for a click and collect service?

I will just add again that this was NOT with regards to groceries or as I’ve already mentioned home deliveries… it is purely click and collect orders where again in my opinion you should NOT have to pay to go collect things yourself when the majority of these stores will have deliveries if not everyday then every other day.

If you want something delivered to your house or you require your goods the next day then I fully expect a surcharge to be added on there and if that is the case chances are you would happily pay for a delivery however if you are content with the delivery times quoted on click and collect and you are passing anyway why should you have to pay more???

I would love to hear what you think; if you are in agreement or not, is there anywhere else who offers the service for free that I’ve not thought of and would you ever be tempted to shop elsewhere because of a delivery charge…. because I know I would!

Thanks for reading!

Kirsty x

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The best affordable stocking fillers for kids

The other day both me and my hubby nipped out together child-less for the first time in a loooong time! I had completely forgot he had booked the day off to go Christmas shopping 6 weeks prior to Christmas but it actually felt really good being so prepared and stocking up… particularly on stocking fillers. Here are what we came across in the value stores and the things I feel are this year the best stocking fillers for kids!

The best affordable stocking fillers for kids

My youngest (4) is obsessed with LOL dolls…. she has absolutely no idea what they really are so I think this year will be the only year that we can get away with not buying her the ridiculously expensive balls that she will play with for a day and buying her stocking filler LOL related toys instead.

If you remember I picked up a tin of fun at the Aldi toy event a few weeks ago and picked up a few more bits from Smyths and Home Bargains plus a sticker and annual from B&M today as well.

I’m not sure if there will be much left in Aldi as far as the items they had in their big toy event a couple of weeks ago but it’s certainly worth a pop to see what they have left.

In my opinion there are only three places you need to visit for your stocking fillers for kids… Poundland, B&M or Home Bargains.

It makes me wonder what we did when these shops WEREN’T on the high street!

In B&M there were sooooo many things on the shelves for Christmas or even just things that can be given as gifts for birthdays etc throughout the year!

We picked up an actual Chip cup (from Beauty and the Beast) and noticed they had these cool plastic ones too filled with bath goodies.  My youngest only has a plastic one that we picked up from Walt Disney World so she will be super happy with a £3 (ish!) real one I’ve no doubt!

The best affordable stocking fillers for kids

Whilst my 4 year old is obsessing over LOL dolls my eldest (7) is obsessing over lip balm!

He has probably over 20 lip balms and we’ve kinda added to that with these cuties again from B&M.  They had Walls ice cream flavours, Tango, Butterkist, Krispy Kreme…. we may’ve gone a little overboard and popped all of them in our baskets!  I will probably keep one or two back for his birthday in March.

The best affordable stocking fillers for kids

I’m still not sure on Unicorns… like why??  Where on earth did this craze come from!?

Anyway who doesn’t love unicorns right now and for just 99p from Home Bargains you can grab your little one a glittery Unicorn headband.  They had Unicorn slime too!

The best affordable stocking fillers for kids

Here’s something else my youngest will ABSOLUTELY love… last year I picked up a few make up bits from Poundland and wrapped them all up individually which she loved opening but was maybe a little bit grown up for her.  That and the fact that I ended up spending more than £4 for sure so this is pink, has a princess on and has everything in one place.

The best affordable stocking fillers for kids

Although Christmas will be technically nearly over when Christmas Day actually comes around I do love your Christmas novelty things as a stocking filler.

They had this snowman, a santa and even a reindeer shower cap too in B&M that I thought would make a cool addition to a Christmas Eve box too!

The best affordable stocking fillers for kids

Honestly these budget stores are somewhere you want to start visiting from NOW!

We spent next to nothing and have pretty much all the kids small stocking fillers for this year already… I actually can’t wait to get them all wrapped up just remember to make a list because you will just continue to buy buy buy until Christmas Day and you realise you may well have over bought! 😉

Thanks for reading & feel free to share with anyone you may feel would benefit from this post 🙂

Kirsty x

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Free and low cost things to do this autumn

A lot of schools throughout the UK have already had their October half term however I realised only this week that ours actually starts on Friday!! I quickly started researching local (cheap!) attractions and have put together a list of free and low cost things to do this autumn because if I don’t plan, the week will just go to waste and the kids will be back at school before we know it!

Things to do during October  half term

Decorate the house for fall

I had hoped to get some fall decoration up before now but having just two weeks ago lost our eldest dog I haven’t felt up to it until now. If I don’t get it done this week then I will for sure involve the kids next week and decorate the house for fall and Halloween.

Visit a stately home

Locally to us we have Burton Constable Hall and Sewerby Hall that both have on low cost Halloween events. We are very fortunate that although our autumn half term is a week after a lot of other peoples around the country it’s smack bang on Halloween so we always have a lot of things to do.

Burton Constable entry is £11/adult and £6.50 a child (my 4 year old is just £1!).

They have a spooky bat trail, a pumpkin trail and a witches hat trail. They do face painting (£2), spooky story telling and have a fancy dress competition too!

I imagine we will be there pretty much all day!

Pick a pumpkin

I’m not sure if by next week there will be many left but it’s something I’ve never EVER done and I’d love some small cute pumpkins to add to my fall decoration 🙂


free and low cost things to do this  autumn 

Visit a garden Centre

Garden centres are another place that will no doubt be all done up for Halloween and autumn – some even have events on too!

Visit the woods!

I want (no no no I NEED!) some autumnal pictures for Instagram A-SAP! 😉

 

 

I hope this has given you a few ideas of free and low cost things to do this autumn & feel free to share with anyone that may benefit from this post as well.

Thanks for reading!

Kirsty x

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Halloween make up tips you can do yourself at home

I used to LOVE face-painting when I was little. I was always a ‘model’ for my cousin pretty much every time we visited and I remember all my younger brothers friends being ‘models’ for me to do the same when I got old enough to do it myself! Although I can’t say I’ve ever done a scary movie inspired look on anyone myself, I would absolutely LOVE and admire the make up in movies so much these days. Here are 6 halloween make up tips you can do yourself at home… on any budget!

Halloween make up tips you can do yourself at home

Scars

First off for most scary movie looks you need to grab yourself some wax. Wax is great to make scars or cuts look super real and is so simple to make at home!

All you need is equal parts of white flour and Vaseline and jobs a good ‘un! Mix thoroughly and add some foundation to colour it up a bit. It should turn out like soft putty you can blend into your skin with water. Shade, paint, add some fake blood and it will look awesome!



Burns

To create yourself some raw real life burns all you need is some gelatine!

Pick some up the next time you head to the shop, dissolve in warm water, spread on your skin and add colour accordingly (try a little bit of mascara and lipstick). Once it’s dry it will still look a little wet and raw … exactly how a burn would look!

Contact lenses

Contact lenses are a good way of just giving that costume the edge over the one beside you.



Some look genuinely really REALLY scary.. so maybe don’t look at your children when you’ve got them in!

Nails

Before kids (when I had time!) I used to LOVE experimenting with my nails and if you’re anything like me you or your wife will have TONS of nail varnish colours!

Coat your nails with a white base, sponge a nude colour on the top (it doesn’t have to be brushed on or neat… far from it!), sponge (or dab on with a cotton bud) a dark purple towards the base of your nails (it doesn’t matter too much if you get it on your skin) and then add a thin darker still (or black) line to the very bottom of the nail bed.

Halloween make up tips you can do yourself at home

To finish it off you need to coat it with a MATT top coat. This is very important.. you want a dead looking nail bed not a glossy pretty manicure (unless you have some blood red looking nail varnish for the very tips!)

Fake blood

You can buy fake blood from the supermarket these says or what we used to call the Joke Shop in town but why buy it when you can make it with what you probably have in your house anyway!

All you need is;

  • Cornflour
  • Water
  • Cocoa powder
  • Red food colouring

Halloween make up tips you can do yourself at home

Hair

You can ‘grease up’ your hair by 1) being me and not washing it for a few days (obvs!) or 2) popping some conditioner through it. Eugh just the thought of it makes mine feel greasy!

To make it grey, dead or zombie-like stick some talc on it and brush it through to the ends.

I hope this helps and has given you some halloween make up tips you can do yourself at home this Halloween!

Feel free to share with anyone you may feel would be interested and thanks so much for reading!

Kirsty x

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How to avoid over spending at the supermarket

We have a set amount each week that we spend on our weekly supermarket shop (or rather an amount that DON’T go over!).  Don’t get me wrong we do top up with bits a bobs during the week I mean who doesn’t.. fruit and veg doesn’t seem to last long as long from the supermarkets as it does from the greengrocer but the hints and tips below on how to avoid over spending at the supermarket helps us massively to stick to our weekly shopping budget.

How to avoid over spending at the supermarket

Order online

I order my shopping and collect because I know if I walk around the supermarket myself I WILL buy things we don’t need.

Ordering online allows me to see what we’ve bought before and what’s on our ‘usual list’. If I need something specific that’s not on that list then I search for it and it takes me straight to it; I don’t go walking past the Nutella aisle to get bread!

Meal plan

We have a list of all our favourite foods. We try to look down it before every shop and plan our meals for the following week. I say try because even though the thought is there it’s easier said than done!  By meal planning we find we again only buy what we need for that week. School holidays are the worst time to meal plan I feel as we are in and out not knowing what we are doing from one day to the next AND we have lunches to prepare too…. it’s so much easier when they have packed lunch or school dinners and I only have to think about the kids evening meal!



Why not use sign up to receive blog updates from us on the right hand side of this page and to say thank you will send you over a printable to list your families favourite meals and start next weeks meal plan!  You won’t regret it and I guarantee it will save you money!

Make a list

If you can’t order online and basically order from your electronic list then make sure you physically go with a list in hand every time you walk into the supermarket.

Do NOT deviate from said list! The list should come from your meal planning!

Check the offers

Not every offer is as good as it looks.  Always check the price per unit against the singles before you commit to popping a pack of 6 in there before it’s reduced by 50p.  Look out for £1.10/kg or similar and compare with other pack sizes around the same area.

Leave the kids at home!

How many times have you got to the till and found as you empty things on the conveyor belt ice lollies, chocolate bar, a box of Kellogg’s (posh!) cereal!  Don’t tell me it’s never happened to you so if you can leave the kids at home (obviously with a responsible adult & not on their own!)

I hope this post is of use… if you feel someone else may also benefit from a read then feel free to share!

Thanks for reading!

Kirsty x

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How to create an affordable child friendly halloween party?

I am NOT one of those creative, child friendly mums and I’m not ashamed to admit it! I’m also not one YET to allow my kids to have a sleep over. Don’t get me wrong I love kids but I can barely look after myself and the people (& dogs!) under my roof let alone have the responsibility of someone else’s child…. overnight!!! If you are daring enough though here are my ways to create an affordable kid friendly halloween party or sleepover!

How to create an affordable child friendly halloween party?

Make it spooky

If like me you’re not keen on organising a sleepover overnight just yet then stick some black bags on your window, make it as dark as you can and invite the children mid afternoon. By the time the film has finished it will be dinner time!

Throughout October save those empty loo rolls! Cut eyes into the sides and pop in some glow sticks. Blue tack them to the walls and when it’s dark you will have spooky eyes glowing around the room!

How to create an affordable child friendly halloween party?

Films

The film itself doesn’t have to be scary (obviously!) so here are a few Halloween themed that I think the kids would enjoy (mainly Disney of course but not intentional these are just the ones that sprung to mind!);

  • Coco
  • Haunted Mansion (with Eddie Murphy)
  • Hocus Pocus
  • Beetle juice
  • Addams Family
  • Casper
  • Scooby Doo
  • ET



Food

There are TONs of spooky themed food out there you can try but a lot of them you need to buy specific things to make. Here are some you can do that are really simple and super cheap!

I love the hot dogs with ketchup as blood and turned into fingers… these always look awesome and everyone with a child has a ton of hotdogs and ketchup in their house!

How to create an affordable child friendly halloween party?

 

Previously we’ve filled clear rubber gloves with sweets for the kids to take away with them. Just make sure the sweets are either wrapped up or the gloves are food safe… I had loads in as I used to bake and filled them with candy we just dug out of the cupboards!

Other quick, easy and cheap things you could do is just draw up a pumpkin face on small clementines, fill up a bunch of straws with jelly to make some ‘worms’ and wrap up some lollipops in toilet roll add some eyes and you have a bunch of ghosts!

Games

We’ve played the mummy game at a Halloween party before. It’s where the kids partner up and wrap each other up using toilet roll as mummy’s. Time them! They get super competitive but it’s impossible to do on their own they need to be in twos (or more!)



[do the games before the film and use the empty loo rolls you’ve acquired from here to make your glow in the dark eyes I mentioned above!]

If you have some pumpkins in already or intend to get some for Halloween anyway pick up some the next time you are at the supermarket but make sure they have quite tall stems.

Use the glow sticks, I’ve no doubt you now have loads of from decorating the room and only using 5 out of a pack of 100(!), and pop them together to a necklace.

Line up the pumpkins and have a game of pumpkin ring toss!

How to create an affordable child friendly halloween party?

And that’s is for my ways on how to create an affordable kid friendly Halloween party!

I’d love to hear if you have any ideas; drop me a comment down below and if you found this post useful then feel free to share!

Thanks for reading!

Kirsty x

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I’ve lost the boy who made me a mum

My near 11 year old big baby boy has crossed the rainbow bridge and I’ve lost the boy who made me a mum.

It was nearly 11 years ago and less than a year after we got our first house together we decided we wanted a dog. Hubby had a British Bulldog in mind for I think most of his life. They say your dogs personality should be just like yours and a bulldog is one that we knew was for us (we’re a bit lazy and stubborn too!) 😉

We didn’t choose Hutch though, Hutch chose us.  He waited for us.  He was the last one in the litter to leave mum and we fell in love immediately.

I had never had a dog before and had been in fact quite scared of dogs for most of my life. No real reason, I am still a bit wary of dogs that aren’t mine but only because I don’t know them. I felt at ease with Hutch. He was relaxed, friendly and such a chunky monkey!  He made me think about caring for someone other than me.  He confirmed my maternal instincts and was my first baby.

We took him home a few weeks later in the towel I brought down to him only a matter of days ago to keep him comfy on his hospital bed in the living room.

A few weeks ago he went off his food and bizarrely wanted the puppys. I was sure that he had teeth issues or gum disease or something so I started mixing, soaking and mashing his food to try and encourage him to eat. He wasn’t interested so we just let him have the puppy’s … we knew he was getting old 11 years old is an extremely good age for a Bulldog and we kind of got to the point of letting him do what he wants. As long as he was eating something he could have anything.



He had been struggling to jump up onto the settee for a couple of weeks too but we never saw it as a sign of anything other than him getting old.  He has been a super healthy bulldog, only I think going into vets for the snip, pulling his leg muscle from running in like the crazy fool he was through the french doors and then picking up the bug his sister had a month or so ago.  I don’t actually think he had ever stayed overnight.

We have two other dogs too that I have no doubt kept him young and active as long as he was, well the puppy for sure. We have Hutchies sister (9) who was born to the same mum but the following litter a year later and young Walt who is 10 months old.  He was the best big brother to them both and loved puppies!

Alex used to sit on the floor with him and the other dogs every single night pretty much without fail… although he was struggling to jump on the settee he didn’t stop getting excited and humping Alex’s arm when he was playing with them!

Last night I brought his bed back in to the loving room that he unfortunately had an accident on Wednesday night. It was after that accident that I rang the vets and got him in. I had cancelled appointments on Monday and Tuesday because he had been seen to getting better. I brought some stinky tripe which he ate off a spoon but he was drinking fine and although lethargic was still going in and out to the toilet.

The vet on Thursday morning gave him a steroid injection and because he took some food from her she encouraged us to try him on something else. She saw nothing on Thursday that would suggest his passing was imminent he just seemed weak from not eating. I don’t think the steroid injection did anything apart from keeping him comfortable and a little more awake. I noticed his head was up and he was a little more alert than he had been but his body was still as lame as it had been if not a little more.

I feel they all knew something was imminent last night either that or they just wanted the comfy bed but they all shared the bed last night which is very rare 🙂

Although I was feeding him through a syringe because he no longer wanted to open his mouth; it makes me feel better than he had some weetabix for his breakfast today before he went in. And also the fact that this morning, like every other morning, he woke to and acknowledged his Dad going to work and walked out with him to go to the toilet.

We picked up the children from school early today and broke the news to them when we all got home. My youngest at 4 handled it really well but that was probably because I had mentioned to her yesterday that Hutch might have to go to heaven soon to get better because he is very poorly. She broke down then and went to bed with her ginormous Hutch teddy but today although she was clearly upset it didn’t come as big of a shock.

My 7 year old though was a different story. Although the dogs have always been here for some reason he has never been a dog person. That being said he was absolutely distraught. He cried a couple of months back when Missy went in the vets with sickness and diarrhea for a few nights and thought she wasn’t going to come home so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We had prepared him also but he is one to not really take things in at the time and reflects afterwards so it wouldn’t have even entered his head or stayed there as a reason to be concerned. Especially as the last time one of them was poorly she had some medicine and was fine.

We told him he needed to start showing Hutchie some love and he did say night to him last night and told him he loved him (obviously in the hope that non of us were listening but I heard it plain as day!)



Because it was so sudden there’s a few things I kind of regret and more guilt is coming out as the days pass and I have time to think. I know everything happens for a reason but I hate the fact that I’m struggling to remember the last time we did things too; when was the last time he had chicken, the last time he had Primula cheese from the tube, the last time he had a McFlurry, the last time he humped Alex’s arm and the last time he played with the pup. I hate that everything he did in the last few weeks was the last time he would ever do it but we didn’t realise.

I regret booking him in for bloods this morning, I regret not telling the kids to go give him a kiss before school because we were just to busy doing what we do every morning and I had no reason to think that today was going to be his final day. I rang and booked him in at the vets on the way to school after I had tried to get him out to the toilet and he just didn’t want to stand so it was very last minute – something told me I needed to do that and get the earliest possible appointment at 9:10am.  I knew it was time but I regret trying to get him out of the door by shoving the other two in the kitchen instead of them being able to say bye because I had to carry him the 25kg lump to the car, he couldn’t walk.

My biggest regret is the fact I told the vet it was ok to keep him until 11:30am to fit the cannula in preparation of putting him to sleep on Saturday morning. He needed a nurse present and she wasn’t due in until 11am. I wanted to bring him home and give him a nice warm soak in the bath and clean him up; I was even so close to texting my husband to tell him to bring home a McFlurry even though I knew he wouldn’t eat it!  I received the phone call from the vet at 11:15am to say sorry he had passed before they even had even put it in.  He said his heart just stopped and he didn’t suffer.

It’s 3 hours since I received the phone call that he had passed and I have just sent this picture to my husband asking if it’s just me over thinking or clutching at straws but has my now eldest dog Missy ever laid here? This was always Hutch’s chair. He agreed and I sat staring at the TV with a teary eyed blurred vision of what I wished was Hutch in the corner of my eye. She has gone back to that spot a lot since he left. Missy has never been the only dog and was one of the reasons we got Walt when we did. She has never in her life been without Hutch so we will have to keep an eye on her for sure.

We were just not expecting it to happen so quick.  I truly believe he went the way he did it for us. He was a dying dog whether we chose to believe it or not and we know we made him as comfortable as we could in his last days.  He didn’t want us to know it was time.  I can still see his face as the vet picked him from the table and took him into the back.  I told him I loved him 50 times a day but I can’t remember doing so yesterday in there and it pains me.  I remember stroking him throughout, giving him a cuddle, kiss and my tears falling on his head.  I said ‘see you later mate and be good’ just like I always did.  He knew we loved him and I’d like to think he took comfort that I didn’t treat it as the last time I would see him and it was like any other normal day.

It was the pretty much the first thing I said to my husband when I called him that I shouldn’t have left him.  I’d like to think that he went his way so not cause any more unnecessary pain to US. He did it so he didn’t cause any emotional distress to his brother and sister and especially the kids. I just wish he had gone with at least me or his Dad around him or we were the last ones to see him.



There are things I am looking back on now, did we miss something?  Was there a sign?  Was he suffering?  Was he in pain? But there was nothing obvious.  As I said there was the jumping on the settee that he struggled with but he was 10 years old!  The vet said his nervous system was shutting down and his circulation was bad hence why he was struggling to stand and why he wanted him to stayto get a cannula put in while he can because he said he thinks he would struggle to get a vein. His urine test was fine (for a 10 year old bulldog!), his teeth were healthy, he wasn’t over weight, he didn’t have an infection, his temperature was fine, there was no obnormal swellings or lumps or bumps and no blood or anything that would be a cause for concern in his urine or faeces. He wasn’t being sick or had Diarrhea and wasn’t dehydrated. I’m so glad in the end he wasn’t prodded and poked with anything unnecessary and we didn’t call time or give up on him. We all feel old age just got the better of him like it does to us all one way or another but even the vet said he didn’t expect him to go so quick.

I am so thankful for his life. He had an awesome life, he was the best dog (don’t tell the other two!) 😉 he was so loving, peaceful, content, a character and on that table when we went to see him and say goodbye this evening he was still the peaceful sleepy bugger who slept through everything that he has always been.

Oddly enough even with no heartbeat he looked healthy. He looked at peace and I’m so glad we went to see him. He even used to sleep and snore with his eye open so it was no surprise to see one open a little and he looked no different than sleepy Hutchie.

My eldest didn’t want to even come out of the car, to be honest he didn’t want to get in the car to go but my youngest wanted to come and say bye so we let her.  I took a towel in with us the same towel we used to wrap him up and pick him up as a puppy. I don’t know why but I did.

We can tell Missy knows he has gone. We have put the towels down on the settee that he’s been on in the last few days and she is constantly going back to the edge of the sofa aka Hutchies seat. I don’t think Walt really knows and is a little young to understand.

I will miss hearing your snores through the floor at bed time Hutch (even though your baby brother isn’t far off your standards!), I will miss you not being able to hear a thing (he was deaf) but knowing our signs and when we came in the door, I will miss you playing on the floor with Dad and humping his arm, I will and have missed since you went deaf barking at the intro to I’m a Celebrity Get me out of Here, but most of all I will miss the big lump as a whole that used to lay on us while resting his chin on our nose whilst we struggled to breath!

In the last few days there have been times I’ve woken up waiting to hear him just so I know he’s ok but it kills me to say I won’t hear that sound again and coming down this morning to just two of them was hard and it sounds so silly but I don’t even want to pick up his last poo he did outside either! 😉

No doubt gramps will have already taken you on a super long walk Hutchie pie… ok maybe not maybe just round the block once or twice and you’re now laid there shattered asleep with your eyes open but wherever you are baby have fun!

Love you Hutch! Sweet dreams mate, run free, love ya lots!

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Post cruise day room review of Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport

Hyatt Regency is the hotel that is based at the centre of Orlando International Airport.  To us and so many it’s the point of no return… you’ve arrived in Orlando!  Unless of course you’re leaving but if you are why not consider on your last day booking a day room at the hotel?  It keeps that Florida feeling going just a little longer and you’re on the doorstep of your plane home!  We did just that on one of our previous trips and it was such a fab end to the holiday!  Keep reading for our post cruise day room review of Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport.

Post cruise day room review of Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport

We docked from our last Disney Cruise at Port Canaveral around 7am in the morning.  We knew it wasn’t ideal with small children not really having a base or anywhere to go until our flight at 6:30 that evening so we decided to book a day room at the Hyatt.

Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport day rooms review

You must give them a call to book the day room – there is no option on their website at the time of typing to book it online unfortunately and you’ll be looking around the $90-100 mark for the day.  It’s not cheap but one affordable luxury especially with children.

The room was a standard room that overlooked the centre of the airport.  There were rooms that overlooked the runway but I can’t see these being the ones that they use as a day room.

Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport day rooms review

Our room just had a king bed if I remember rightly which again was fine for us.  A simple but clean, modern room with a large bathroom (why I took no pictures I’ll never know but just trust me on this one!). I felt a little mean just sitting on the bed as we were only there for a couple of hours!  I didn’t want them to think we had slept in it and had to remake the bed etc so we just people watched from the balcony that overlooked the airport atrium.



I don’t feel we can really comment on the noise levels unfortunately as we didn’t even attempt to sleep to be fair but once the doors were shut on the balcony you could just hear sound.  Nothing really loud; it was just noise.  You are in the middle of a ridiculously busy airport so it’s not going to be silent!  I would be able to sleep no problem but if you are a light sleeper ask which they think would be quieter.  Again not sure what it would be like at the other side of the hotel that overlooked the runways as it was not only the aircraft you could here but also the wind!  They may all be the same and during the day is bound to be busier than on a night so it might be absolutely fine!

Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport day rooms review

One thing I wish we had prepared for was the pool area!  It overlooked the runways and looked amazing!  There was a hot tub as well and because chances are everyone will be paying a flying visit at all different times of the day it wasn’t busy at all.

There are two restaurants within the hotel however there are TONS more eateries within easy access within the airport food court itself.



The only disappointing thing we found with the hotel was the parking.  There was NOT enough parking.  I’m not sure if it was just hotel guests that could park in there or it was a short stay car park but we felt we were driving around FOREVER!

We decided to head to the Florida Mall too for lunch and encountered a few issues leaving/returning.  Something to do with ticket we had been given (or not given!) by reception.  Just make sure you let them know on check in you may be leaving (even if you don’t) and you won’t end up stuck at the gates to exit the car park trying to explain to an attendant that you have paid and are staying in the hotel (but have nothing to show for it!).

One thing we all loved about this hotel was the views.  It was a little depressing seeing the arrival of the Disney Magical Express coming to pick guests up who have just arrived but wherever you looked (apart from down!) was jaw dropping.  This, I think(!), is the same location the Disney Cruise Line bus would pick up too.

Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport day rooms review

This picture gives you a good idea of location of the hotel too – you are literally above everything you walk through in the airport.  The two ‘train tracks’ (tram lines!) to the left and right are the monorail style trains that take you to and from your aircraft.  You can see what was probably our Virgin plane to the right of the picture too.



We LOVED the Hyatt Regency room – it wasn’t cheap as I mentioned but something that made travelling with children soooo much easier and there’s no need to use shuttles to and from other hotels with bags and kids in tow because you are already just steps away from your plane!

So if you are arriving late or leaving late seriously consider the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport … you won’t regret it!

If you got value out of this or feel it would be something a friend would love to read too then feel free to share!

Thanks so much for reading!

Kirsty x

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7 ways to prepare your child for the Dentist

My youngest loves the dentist but my older one is very much like me; has no reason to be scared but isn’t a fan of the unknown and can tell he is a little anxious the minute he gets in the chair. He’s not scared, refuses to go or doesn’t cooperate but the dentist does need to break every now and then for him to take a breath and relax.  Today I’m sharing with you 7 ways to prepare your child for the dentist.

7 ways to prepare your child for the Dentist

Book yourself in at the same time and you go first

Show them there’s nothing to be scared of and remember to stay positive!  Even if you’re nervous yourself try your hardest to NOT show it – your dentist will know if you or your children are a little anxious without you telling them.  If they don’t then you want another dentist!

Sit small children on your knee while you are being seen to

The dentist can sometimes look at theirs whilst they are sat there and its not as scary as being in the big chair.  Some children like it and might want to… mine likes to slide down when she’s finished!  Just let them do what they want to do to make them comfortable.

7 ways to prepare your child for the Dentist

In the build up don’t make it a big issue.

Just keep as relaxed and things as normal as possible. If you fuss or make it a big issue they will start to wonder if it’s something they should be worried about or overthink things.  Just mention in conversation that next week they are going to dentist or that a doctor is going to look at their teeth if that makes more sense to them if they are too small to understand.



Ensure the chid that initially seems most scared DOESN’T go first.

Chances are if you have multiple children you will be taking them all together. Let the one that’s even just a little bit more confident sit in the big cool moving chair first.  Should the confident one sees a negative reaction from the other they may start to worry and wonder if there’s something they too should be scared of.

7 ways to prepare your child for the Dentist

Play dentist before you go

Do pretty much what the dentist will do so they know exactly what to expect and let them do it to you!  In the build up when they/you brush their teeth is a great opportunity to role play being at a dentist.

Avoid bribery.

That’s not going to help anyone and little one will remember and associate the dentist with something to play up to because they get a treat.



Reward AFTER the check up

My dentist when I was younger used to give me a sticker every time I went; it was more than enough. I did it!

 

If you got value out of my 7 ways to prepare your child for the dentist or feel someone else may benefit then feel free to share!

Thanks for reading!

Kirsty x

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