Motherhood . Life . Style

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Let The Fun Begin - Vlogmas 2016

Vlogmas starts tomorrow and to say I'm excited is a little bit of an understatement! 


Last year I had only been making videos for a few months and had never vlogged in public or shared my day to day life before. Vlogging for me was a new adventure. So instead of going in and falling  flat on my face I decided not to put a lot of pressure on myself and do a weekly vlogmas instead of daily. 

Weekly was great, it didn't matter if I forgot to vlog for a few hours. It gave me time to settle into this new weird routine of talking to a camera during the day. However by the end of December i couldn't believe how much i loved it, I felt a little lost during the christmas period not talking away to the camera. 

I couldn't believe how many people were pressing that subscribe button on a daily basis and were leaving so many nice comments. People actually cared and loved the boys and enjoyed watching me even if I was mopping the kitchen floor :)


So to start 2016 off with a bang, I decided to weekly vlog. I wanted to set myself a challenge and weekly vlogging was the way forward. It made me confident, more relaxed in my sit down videos and  more relatable to my subscribers.



My YouTube journey still amazes me to this day. I never thought over a year ago I would be sitting down talking to a camera confidently and sharing my life with over a 1000 people. 

This year Vlogmas is going to be daily and I'm so so so excited.... Daily vlogging is challenging, especially if your having a bad day. However VLOGust prepared me and going back to weekly vlogs felt a bit wired again. However I know daily vlogging isn't possible for me, i don't have that much of an interesting life and being a mother and wife still has to come first. 

I just wanted to write this post to reminisce on how and when my vlogging adventure started and also  to thank all of you. I know I say it on a regular occurrence but I honestly do feel so honoured to have all of you. I call you my online family because thats how I feel. You support and care for us and that means so much. You are all so important to me and without you I wouldn't be the same Blogger and Vlogger I am today. So Thank you.

Thanks For Reading 

P.S Remember from tomorrow there will be a video live EVERY DAY on my YouTube channel.
So don't forget to hit that SUBSCRIBE button if you haven't already and be apart of my online family.  

With Love 
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Children's Book Christmas Present Challenge

With unforgettable characters and unexpected adventures, these stories can last a lifetime 
No batteries required!


Brit Mums and Penguin Random House have been working together to share their love of books and why they think books make the best christmas presents. They came up with this brilliant idea to send bloggers three books for an age category they selected and asked them to think who they would wrap them up for as a christmas present.  

I was selected to be apart of this challenge and yesterday i received my three random books from Penguin. 

My three books are - 
Girl Online - Going Solo
by Zoe Sugg


Diary Of A Wimpy Kid - Double Down
by Jeff Kinney


The Racehorse Who Wouldn't Gallop
by Clare Balding


I was a little worried doing this challenge due to not having many children in either side of our families. However within minutes I knew who I would be wrapping them up for.

Firstly Girl Online going solo would go to Charlie's niece. She loves Zoe Sugg AKA Zoella. What teenage girl doesn't? I know she has the other two Girl Online books and this one would complete her collection. 

Secondly Diary of the wimpy kid I would wrap up for my oldest son Taylor. He loves the wimpy kid. He has bought a few home from school and you just hear him giggling away to himself sitting on the sofa reading them. 

Finally The racehorse who wouldn't gallop I will be wrapping up for my god daughter. She has been bought up around horses and has a mum that is horse crazy. So this book is perfect for both of them to read together. 

Have you bought anyone a book for christmas? If so who and what book?

Thanks For Reading 
With Love   
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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Making New Friends In Adulthood

One person can change the way you feel!



Just over a year ago I saw a picture on Instagram of a landmark of where I live so I liked the picture and took a look at the persons profile. She was also a mum of all boys and a blogger. I then went back to the picture and left a comment asking if she lived where i did. 

From that point we spoke on and off by DM on Instagram and then on the 30th of October 2015 we meet up and took all the boys to a near by park. At this point we realised how close we lived to one another and that our boys went to the same nursery, what a small world....


From that day we have been a little bit inseparable. Our friendship was so unexpected for me and her too but i think we have saved each other from going insane. haha. 

I never thought i was going to find a friend that i could open up to like i do with Hannah, We sit and laugh and moan about our men, we obviously talk about the blogging world, (which hannah has helped me so much with) She has been there for me through thick and thin when i have needed her, weather that is accompanying me to appointments or to check that i locked the front door :)  I just feel so at ease with her, i never thought that would happen again especially with a girl.


I have always been the person that used to be known as the girl that got on better with boys more then girls. Which was difficult for my senior school years when i went to an all girls school. I had the odd girl friend but only a handful, what i think goes back to losing me childhood friend Vicky to cancer at just 9 years old. I just didn't want anyone to take my best friends place even though she was no longer with us. Every time i got close to someone i cut them off..... Looking back now i don't really know why.

My Friendship with Hannah has felt different from day one, I don't know why or what it is but it just is.  

I saw a friendship necklace in Next on one of our many shopping trips, I automatically picked up two and knew i wanted to get us one each to match. This was a big deal for me, i have never had a friendship necklace with anyone else apart from Vicky. I still have my half of the forever friend heart pendant she bought me. I just wanted to show Hannah how much I appreciate her and our friendship.


Hannah has been the one person that has come into my life that has changed how i feel. My friendship with her has bought me out of my shell making it easier for me to approach other people and to gain more friendships. 

Unfortunately Hannah is moving in just a few days and not just around the corner. She's moving to Norfolk which is over 140 miles away and will be over a 2 hour drive to see her. Of corse i am so happy for her and the boys having a nice fresh start, a new amazing house and being in a little village by family. However it has hit me hard, i feel i am losing a friend again. I know this isn't going to happen and myself and hannah will keep in contact and try and meet up as much as possible.

I just wanted to write a post about my friendship with Hannah for many reasons, but mostly to share the message that you are never to old to make new friends, there is always a space in your life for a new person and most importantly to tell Hannah how much she and her boys mean to me.

Thanks for reading 
With Love 
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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Mens Christmas Gift Guide 2016

I thought it was just my man that was hard to buy for, but so many of you have been asking for a mans christmas gift guide so it can't be. It must just be a man thing! 



I have come up with several categories with gift ideas at a variety of prices. Hopeful you will you will find this guild useful and give you some ideas for that man you are buying for this year. 


Gadgets


What man doesn't like a gadget! There are so many great things on the market now at a range of prices.

1. Kindle/ Tablet -  If he is a reader or always online and social media. Then this gadgets are perfect for him.

2.  Drone -  Drones are really popular at the moment, this is one gadget I think all men would love. If you are working with a budget don't panic it is still definitely do able. There are plenty of drones out there for people on lots of different budgets it just depends what your looking for. 

3. Go Pro - If your man is sporty a Go pro will be perfect. With so many accessories available you can buy the right part for him to attach the Go Pro to. 

4. Aneroid watch - This is a great, more affordable alternative of the apple watch. 

6. Multi Head Screwdriver - Men like to think there hands on, weather they are or not. This handy little screwdriver is a cool little tool to keep indoors for them some little jobs.  

Sport



The only sport Mr B likes is Golf. Which after a few christmases buying golf balls and tees it can become boring and repetitive. However there are many other sports and even though it can sometimes feel it takes over the TV, weekends and well their lives think as it as a plus for christmas present ideas :) 

1.  Shirt - What ever team they support in Football, Rugby or F1, shirts are a nice gift.

2.  Shoes/Trainers - New Shoes for the sport they play.

3.  Golf Set - Accessories for that sport they play. 

4.  Bobble Hat - For outside sports the hats with the headphones inside are brilliant. Especially for winter time. 

Day Experience



There are so many companies out the now doing day/ weekend experiences. I think they are a brilliant idea if your not sure what to get him.

1. Bungee jump - For them brave thrill seekers.

2. Stadium Tour - Take a visit to the stadium of their favourite football team. 

3. High Speed drive - Another thrill seeker experience to drive a sports car of their choice. 

4. Flying Lesson - Have they ever said they wanted to learn how to fly a plane? I found that as a day experience. 


Work


I know, I know your probably thinking a work category, really? But think about it, Its something their going to use on a day to day basis. Ive tried to think of a few things for a few different job types. 

1. A holdall - A few friends of mine husbands/partners work away from home. Weather its just over the weekend, during the week or for longer. A new holdall will make a lovely gift for him to take with him on his travels. 

2.  Belt -  Maybe your man works in an office and wears a suit. A new leather designer belt will make that nice finishing touch. 

3. Briefcase - Does your man have a lot of paperwork to take to and from work? This way he will have somewhere to put it and not leaving it all over the house miss placing it. 

4. Travel Mug - Travelling to and from work in the morning is the worst. However a cup of tea can fix everything. Its gonna keep him warm and awake and hopefully give him a better start to the day. 

5. Pen, Cufflinks and Tie pin - When i saw this set I thought teacher, doctor, estate agent, solicitor etc.   This again is a nice finishing touch to a mans suit. 

Essentials



Essentials are called essentials for a reason, We use them everyday. So is it really bad giving someone Socks, Smellies and Slippers? 

1. Dressing Gown - A new soft furry dressing gown is perfect for cold winter nights. 

2. Pjs - Another way to keep nice and warm during the colder months.

3. Shaving Set - Shaving kits are a brilliant essential, he uses this pretty much everyday. That is unless your man grows a beard. :) To make it more special you could get a nice brand of products.   

4. Smellies - Aftershave, shower gel and sprays are another get essential. They will be used during the year.

5. Slippers - Who doesn't like a new pair of slippers for during the cold winter months.

6. socks - Everyone wear socks... apart from in the summer But thats a whole six months away yet :) 


I hope this has help you and gave you  few ideas for the man/men you are buying for.

Thanks for reading 
With Love
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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Illness has hit our home

Its the season to be jolly...... Sorry i mean ill

Last Monday I came down with something I'm not initially sure what it was, but i was shivering and got to sit in bed all day with Charlie bringing me cups of tea. Luckily whatever it was it didn't hang about for long and by the next morning I was fine.  

I thought we had been lucky and dodged the colds so far but over the past few days Freddie has suffered with a runny nose and a horrible dry cough. 

Today i kept him home with me and we had a cozy day in on the sofa watching Blaze, Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig.


This to me is the worst thing about Autumn/ Winter time. Children catching things for school and nursery. It takes days to get rid of the dam thing for it to return in a few day where they have caught it again. 

What do you do to keep the colds at bay? Are your children that always catch whats going around? 

Hopefully Taylor and Mr B can keep away from the illnesses especially with just 5 more Monday's till christmas. Ahhhhhhh! 

Thanks for reading 
With Love
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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Electric is the way forward!

Trying to brush a toddlers teeth can be tricky!

I don't know about you but trying to get them little teeth brushed with a tooth brush is a mission. Your child thinks your a crazy mother, holding their chin for their head to tip to see what your doing. Yet telling them to keep their mouth open so they don't bite on the brush. Making all the silly nosies Ahhhhhh and Eeeeeeeee! What must our children think!? 

Brush time was stressful for us with Freddie, Thats until I invested in the Oral B electric tooth brush.

Over a year ago now Mr B, Taylor and I made the transition from a regular brush to electric ones. At this point Freddie had just turned two and the brush i wanted for him was from 3+. So i carried on with the struggles for the next year. 

A few months back we were doing our weekly shop in Asda and the Oral B Micky Mouse electric brush was on special offer. I whipped it up. 

Brush time is so much more easier and less stressful now. He now doesn't need to be bribed to brush his teeth, he can't wait! He runs upstairs and grabs it after breakfast and before heading to bed.

Look how happy he is..... do you and your children use electric tooth brushes?



























Thanks for reading 
With Love
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Thursday, 6 October 2016

Losing A Friend To Cancer!

With Macmillan and Stand up for cancer happening I thought I would share a story with you about my childhood friend Vicky. 


At just 8 years old I lost my best friend to the horrible C word .....Thinking about our friendship and sharing this with you, I already have tears in my eyes. 

I don't know when or how our friendship started but as she lived next door with her parents to my nan, I just remember spending every weekend with her. 

Its crazy what little things I can remember about her and all the fun things we did together. 

Saturdays after dancing I remember being picked up and being driven the 5 minutes drive to my nan's. Knowing when we reached the bottom of the close there she would be sitting waiting on the living room window seal. I never did ask how long she had been waiting but she always greeted me with a massive smile, even when she was very ill and weak. 

We spent hours making dens just to sit in and eat all the sweets we could find in the house. 

Dressing up as the Spice Girls learning all the words and dance moves to perform it to my nan and her mum and dad (Their poor ears haha.)

Playing in a massive shed house thing at the bottom of their garden that was filled with spiders.... I think we spent more time in panic and screaming to be honest.

We would sit watching Nickelodeon and draw characters from Hey Arnold, Rugrats, Doug, Real Monsters and all the other classics. Hers were MUCH better then mine, she was an amazing little drawer. 

Them stories could go on and on....   


I don't know how or when she was diagnosed with cancer I just remember seeing her one Saturday with much shorter hair and the innocent 8 year old i was said " you had you hair cut, it looks nice" Now that I think back, she looked up to her dad with tears in her eyes with a shy smile he nodded and she looked back at me and said thank you quietly.

She started off being ashamed of loosing her hair, wearing a wooly hat around me all the time till one time she showed me. She started to wear wigs, I also use to put on because I had short hair too and loved the long locks. She used to pin my hair up and attach it to my hair so it fitted correctly.



She was the most caring little girl, she had a good heart, loved animals and even though she was fighting this horrible illness she remained strong.

Unfortunately after being told she was cancer free a month later it had returned and twice as bad.

I will never forget the day I was told about her passing. It was a Friday night I was dancing around the living room to something on top of the pops and the phone rang. My nan had received a letter though the door about her passing. 

Now I'm a mum myself I can only imagine how my mum felt telling her 8 year old daughter about her best friend passing. I remember just sitting in the living room that felt like hours crying on my mums lap and her comforting me in her tightest hug to protect me.

At just 8 years old I experienced my first lost, My first funeral and My first heart break.

We used to speak about the things we wanted to do together when we were teenagers and adults. We couldn't wait to go to the same senior school, getting a bus to the nearest shopping centre, Holidays, sharing a flat, having children so they could be best friends too...... Remembering all these made it difficult for me doing them without her. 

My mum always says that even though I had friends growing up I never had that one Best Friend again. Was my friendship with her so strong I never got that with anyone else? Was i scared to get close to someone incase they go too?

Have you loss someone to this horrible illness? Please feel free to share your stories in the comments below. I would love if you would share this post also to spread the word, Its not just adult its children too.

I've donated, will you?

Thanks For Reading 
With Love 
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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Appreciating That One To One Time

Before I know it he will be off to secondary school wanting to spend more time with his friends then his mum.




Trying to get that one on one time with each child is quite a challenge. I struggle to get that time with Taylor more then I do Freddie. Freddie is home with me two days a week and this is when I give him my solid attention. However with Taylor attending school I don't get that free time with him.

During the summer holidays was my chance. Taylor is happy with anything really, weather it is fun or educational, Inside or out in the fresh area... his even happy with shopping!

We went on many adventures the two of us and it showed me how much he has grown up before my very eyes. Its crazy how quick they grow. Before I know it he will be off to secondary school wanting to spend more time with his friends then his mum.


Im glad that this year I made a real effort in taking him out and having that time to bond again. Next year will be the last year I get this time with Taylor as Freddie will then be starting school and having the same holidays.


























Taylor shocked me with his knowledge when we spent the day at Hever Castle. He showed me his caring, loveable and wiliness to learn when we went to Wildwoods Wildlife Park. He showed me his understanding of life, Friendships, love with emotion when we went to watch the BFG. Lastly he showed me his a respectful, excitable, happy nine year old boy when we spent the day at Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tours.


This summer holiday has given me the chance to step back and look at my oldest son with pride. Im not saying every day is perfect but I now have something to look back on and remember them amazing days we shared together.


As a parent we all wish our children will remember these times too, but lets be honest can you remember every outing you went on at nine years old? Its only thanks to videos my mum took on a HUGH camcorder and developed pictures with tops of peoples heads missing and people blinking that I can look back and see all the wonderful things we did. How technology has changed!

Not only is it great that I make weekly vlogs to share our lives with you, But its a great way for my boys to watch them back too. I started my blog to also share these little moments weather its outings, products i love, or even just to let my thoughts out somewhere.

Life passes by so quickly. Id love to hear how you document your special moments and when do you take a trip down memory lane?
Thanks for reading 
With Love 
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Friday, 16 September 2016

Back to School Means Back To Normality!

With having Taylor home for seven and a half weeks, its taken me over a week to get back into the swing of things! 


Summer holidays are done, Finally... and life goes back to normal. By the end of the holidays even Taylor was getting bored and wanting to return to school. A clue was waking up to him on the Monday before his return date to school with his uniform on. 


Freddie had been attending nursery the three day as normal during the summer which kept us waking up early (Thank god, i don't know how i would have coped with the early mornings again  too) which also gave me time to spend one on one time with Taylor.
However school routine has hit hard. Not only am I out of practice but our routine has changed a little too. Freddie now also attends the schools nursery on a Wednesday afternoon and Friday Morning. This was advised to us by the school so he can then make friendship and get to know the school soundings before starting school next year. 


Now that the house is back to normal i can get back to working. I am slowly working out a new routine for the boring jobs around the house and getting time to filming, edit and writing too. 

How have you dealt with the first week back to normality? Is this your first year of doing the school run? 

I hope you all had a lovely summer now roll on Autumn 

Thanks for reading 
With Love 
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Sunday, 21 August 2016

Jeremy Strong - The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog - Master Of Disguise

Giggle all the way to the end of the latest story from King of Comedy, Jeremy Strong


I remember when I was at Junior school we actually got a visit from Jeremy Strong himself. I can't remember when or why but I remember getting a signed copy of a book that i found hilarious and reading it over and over again. Im a bit gutted i actually don't know where it is... I was hoping my mum was going to find it when she moved... but she didn't :(    


When we were asked if we would like to review one of his books I couldn't decline. I couldn't wait to sit down with Taylor to read it... OK i'll admit I had a sneak peek one evening but made myself put it down before I read the whole book.


The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog is an eight book collection. Streaker, is a rocket on four legs with a woof attached. She's brilliant at many things but most of all she's brilliant at getting into trouble! 

In this book She is on the run again! There’s a mysterious pet-napper at large. Dad wants to send Streaker to behaviour boot camp and Trevor and Tina think they can save her with hair extensions and dye! No wonder Streaker is desperate to escape.

Jeremy didn't let me down... its brilliant. Taylor really enjoyed it and has picked it up within minutes of us returning home from our Summer holiday adventures. 



The book is perfect for his age. From the size of the writing, The language used and still having Pictures throughout the book.   


Taylor has already asked me to get the rest of the collection so he can read them form start to finish. I know its a while away but i have written it down as a gift idea for christmas :) Got to be prepared right! 

To be honest i was surprised when I was offered to review a NEW Jeremy Stone book, I just assumed he wouldn't be writing anymore. I buy most of the boys books form super markets so I hardly go into WHSmiths or Waterstones where i would find Jeremy Strong books. Now i know new books are still being written and Taylor enjoys reading them i will go in just to look for them. 


Do you have an author that you used to read as a young child that is still releasing new books? Do you children like them as much as you?


Thanks for reading
With Love
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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Organix are launching a new snack range!

Another great healthy snack from Organix that my boys love. 


Organix is the UK’s favourite baby finger food and toddler snack brand. They have now stepped out of this box and have launched a healthy, No junk snack range called Punk’d aimed for older children.  

According to the ‘Kids Snacking Survey’ by Organix, parents are becoming more concerned about the junk in children’s food. Parents are struggling to find healthy options and feel the food industry should be doing more to help.

Organix took on the mission and Punk’d was created. 
The Organix No Junk Promise offers the reassurance for parents, with organic ingredients and no junk. It is then wrapped up in bold and bright packs, so it’s cool for children to eat.


Organix Punk’d is aimed for children aged five years and up, offering great tasting snacks, with real recognisable ingredients with no junk. Punk’d is kicking off with a range of two cereal bars with more snacks to follow.




Punk’d oaty bars are soft baked, packed with real fruit and wholegrain oats, portion sized for kids and available in two tasty flavours – Cocoa & Orange Crash and Strawberry & Vanilla Smash. Each box contains six individually wrapped bars in portion controlled sizes for kids (23g each), with an RRP of £2.   
   


Even though Punk'd is aimed for an older child, both my boys enjoyed them. Within a minute both of them had eaten their bar and i nearly fell off my chair when Freddie asked for a second one. Which this time i did allow, however he did automatically brake it in half to share with his bother.... Sharing is caring as we say.


This one didn't go down as quick for Freddie. I don't think he was as keen on the cocoa & Orange as the Strawberry & Vanilla one.


Thank you to Organix for sending us these new Punk'd bars for us to try. Im glad they have been bought to my attention and will be defiantly be repurchasing to include in Taylor's lunch box when he returns to school after the summer holidays. 

I would love to here what snack you give to your children and if you will trying the Punk'd bars. 


Thanks For Reading 
With Love  
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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Innocent Smoothies For Kids

Wanna way to get fruit into your child's diet? Innocent Smoothies For Kids are your best bet! 


Taylor is good as gold when it comes to eating fruit and vegetables but Freddie.... its impossible, I've tried everything. 

Well I thought I had until I found these Innocent smoothies for kids in Morrisons when I went in for some milk. They were on half price at the time so I thought ok ill give them ago and picked up two boxes in two different flavours. 

Each box contains four 180ml cartons that look a little bit like a Capri Sun with the straw attached to the back. On each box it tells you all the ingredients in the smoothies, which is 100% pure fruit and no added sugar.


Now that we are finally having some nice weather, these innocent smoothies can also be put in the freezer to make a nice fruit lolly.  These will be much more refreshing and not full of all the nasties that some ice creams and lollies have. 

I was surprised when I gave Freddie one and he finished in less then five minutes, bonus! I did wonder if it was a one off though. So a couple of days later I asked if he wanted one and his response was surprising. 
"Yes..Yes..Yes pleeeeeaaaase mummy" he shouted jumping on the spot. I nearly fainted.... Freddie wanting fruit..... 

Since then I do try and give him one every day. Sometimes I forget and when I go to the fridge after dropping him off at nursery or putting him to bed i think dam! 

If your child/ren don't eat a lot of fruit then I highly recommend them. Maybe don't mention to them it contains fruit if their of an older age then Freddie. Surprise them after its all gone. 

How do you get you child/ren to eat their fruit and veg? Do you have any secrets to share with me? 

Thanks For Reading 
With Love
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Monday, 1 August 2016

Essentials For Long Car Journeys With Children

Keeping children happy and entertained is hard on a normal day, 
let alone stuck in a car for hours!

During the summer holidays we will be travelling here, there and everywhere. Some journeys may take less then an hour others two or more depending on the traffic. 

Over the past week or so I have sat and wrote a list of the things I am going to make sure I take with us on our car journeys. Weather they are a short or long because as I have already said TRAFFIC.... its everywhere so its best to be prepared. 

So I thought I would share them with you incase you are travelling a lot during the summer holidays too.

Entertainment 

*Colouring, Read Along Stories, Books, Dvds and DVD Player, CDS, Travel Games  







                                                                       





                          
Food And Drink

Fruit juice, snacks, travel bottle warmer






















Essentials

Change Of Clothes, Wipes, Calpol



















Have I forgotten anything? Let me know what you take in the car on a long trip. If you are traveling abroad I made a whats in my child's hand luggage last year when we went to Zante that you may find helpful. https://youtu.be/iunIHovNhnQ Beware it is an old video :)
Thanks For Reading 
With Love
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