13 Reasons why I liked “13 Reasons why”

You know sometimes we like telling you about the shows we’re watching, why we like them and a few lessons we can learn from them. We’ve done it with The Flash, the movie Trolls or even with Alice through the looking glass. Well, 13 Reasons why wasn’t going to be different. We know it’s kind of like a controversial show to talk about. You’ve got the people who loved it and people who are totally against it. On this post I want to share with you my 13 reasons why I liked 13 reasons why, and no, don’t worry, I haven’t recorded any tapes and I’m quite far from killing myself…

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Before I go into the reasons, let me tell you that it is not a series I would recommend for the whole family, it has some difficult scenes to watch that I wouldn’t let my kids watch at all. “13 Reasons why” tells the story of a teenager who kills herself after suffering all sorts of bullying and complicated life situations. She records 13 tapes. Each tape is addressed to the person she feels it had an effect on that decision. Anyway, so, sorry in advance if I’m sharing any spoilers, I hope not! but here they are, my 13 reasons why I liked 13 Reasons why:

#1 It reflects a sad reality

Teenage years, hormones going up and down, defining who you are and who you want to be, come on, we all know adolescence can be quite difficult. And it is sad to admit but youth suicide is a current issue of our society.

#2 It helps you see the small things

The main character suffers all sorts of dramatic situations, but some of them, if you take them out of the whole story, are not that much of a “big deal”. Who hasn’t had an argument with a friend sometime? But, see, from the very first tape, she shows that even the small thing can have a impact on someone else’s life that may go unnoticed to us.

Since watching this, I’ve been trying to be more careful with what I say and how I say it, especially to my little ones. Thank God they’re not in that stage yet but their minds are vulnerable and so teachable, I want to make sure that my words are coming across the right way.

#2 Every one has a story

See, the series not only shows a poor Hannah that decided to take her life, it also tells little bits of the other character’s lives that help you understand why they act like they do. Nothing is to be justified, don’t get me wrong, rape is ALWAYS wrong, no matter the angle from where you’re looking at, but there is always a story behind that bully too.

For example, you’ve got the rich boy, Bryce, whose parents are so nonexistent that they don’t even appear in the show once. He thinks he can have it all, regardless of someone else’s will. So, can you imagine, in a different world, where his parents would have been present in his life, really cared for him and showed him how to respect others? Maybe he would be a different person, who knows…

We cannot be that quick to judge others.

#3 Say something nice when it comes to your mind, ALWAYS

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Clay, the other main character, was so scared of showing her real feelings that at the end he couldn’t help Hannah the way he wanted to. There is never a wrong time to say something nice to others. Have you tried it? I remember once somebody thanking me for something I did. To me it was so small I didn’t even remember it but apparently for the other person it helped her a lot. A smile to a stranger, a heartfelt “I love you” to your kids and/or partner. You won’t never be wrong if what it comes out of your mouth is something uplifting, empowering or encouraging.

#4 Start to worry when you don’t feel anything.

Feeling bad is a sign that you’re still alive and feel something. At the end, she didn’t care for anything or anybody. Nothing seemed to matter anymore. I can, in no way, feel what she felt because I have been quite fortunate in my life so far. But, identifying the signs on an early stage is a pivotal point towards future decisions.

#5 Keep your eyes open for what matters the most

This is a lesson that I can relate more now that I’m a parent. In the story Hanna’s parents are so worried by their financial situation that they don’t notice the changes that she goes through. It’s really sad cause they are not depicted as bad negligent parents. You can tell they loved her but were too focused on what wasn’t that important at the end.

I’ve been guilty of that sometimes, and it’s so fundamental that we always keep our eyes open for what matters the most, our family relationships. Sometimes, you can miss something better for focusing on something good.

#6 Tony, one of my favourite characters!

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Come on, you gotta love Tony, with that sense for what is just, trying to keep himself out of all the school drama but unavoidably being part of it. I liked that he seems true to his convictions though. He doesn’t change or follow trends, in fact he likes to be different. Unlike Clay, he is not scared. You gotta be true to yourself and I think Tony does it quite well.

#7 The cast

I think they did an amazing job portraying all the characters. You wouldn’t think this was Hanna’s first appearance on the film industry. I love watching new faces, especially when they deliver. You can get bored of seeing a 30 something actor/actress doing the role of a teenager just because she/he looks younger and is already well-known. I think Netflix are quite good with that. They invest on new series, movies, talented people that might not be that famous yet.

#8 The music

The soundtrack of the series has definitely been well chosen from my point of view. Every song can take you to that moment and help you feel what the characters are going through. It is a sad story indeed, but I think, if watched with the right attitude you can learn a few lessons. I wouldn’t advise for someone who is already mentally suffering to watch it, to be honest, because it can demoralise you even more. Since there is no happy ending.

#9 If you’ve got no friends, search for new ones.

Hey! and here I am, a 30 something mum that usually complains of having no friends. So I should probably apply this to myself. In the series, Sky, is the character that could probably understand Hannah the better but, despite of her making a slow move towards her, Hannah is just so focused on all the rest of the people that she doesn’t notice a true possible friendship.

We can be like that sometimes, can’t we? We don’t see the ones in front of us, maybe we think they’re not the right match, we don’t have anything in common, but who knows?!

#10 Alcohol is friend of no one

Along with any drugs of course. How many families can be destroyed because of these substances? If you think about it, many things that happen, not really to Hannah in this case, but to others in the series could have been avoided if alcohol and other drugs were not in the way. To me, it’s another prove that a life free of these addictions is a better, happier, healthier life.

#11 Loneliness makes you grow older faster

That is something that the victim will say at some point on one of the last episodes and I agree with her. Humans were not made to be alone. We need to get involved with other people. We do need to know there is somebody else out there who cares for us. If you haven’t found it within your family you might have found it on a friendship, or a colleague. People need to stop feeling lonely. Sometimes, I do feel lonely too, and I shouldn’t cause I am surrounded by people that cares for me and loves me in many ways, but I think that if you feel you are missing something/someone the best remedy for that is for you to be that person for somebody else.

#12 Things don’t happen all of a sudden

Not things like a suicide anyway. There are signs, there is time. We just need to make sure we react to them promptly and search for the needed help. She spent a whole summer, a whole school year, another summer and then the start of a new academic year to figure it out. Things got worse for her, especially within her mind, but IF someone would…well you know.

#13 LIFE is PRICELESS

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No other time in life pain will equal joy

I cannot relate to a person who is suffering from these sorts of feelings, as the victim does, but we all go through our ups and downs. I could say that I don’t believe in suicide cause I consider life as one of the greatest gifts given to us. But at the same time it is hard to put myself on somebody else’s shoes. And if all, what I know is that I don’t want to judge. I don’t want to fall in the wagon of easily pointing at someone and saying I would never do that. I truly hope that my mind will always be as healthy as it can be, and if at some point turns to another way that I will have people who cares for me to help me realise that.

You don’t know this little story of mine, but I was once bullied too when being 12 to 13 years old. It wasn’t for being too short, too fat, too weird…it was for something I didn’t have control with. I was bullied because of my ethnicity. Being called many names for a whole academic year. It was hard. Every day going to school was a nightmare. I learned to defend myself with words I wouldn’t let my kids to even try to pronounce now. My parents weren’t fully aware of that because I’ve always been a good student and my grades didn’t drop down. But it was a daily harassment. I wouldn’t desire for anyone to experience that but I learnt to be stronger. I learnt to love myself even more. Because if no one else could see beyond my nationality, I could. And I wasn’t going to let them make me down.

Obviously I cried many times and it was hard to bear. But guess what, there was a happy ending. I learnt years later that one of my main bullies had his mother in prison and didn’t have a stable family situation at home. Our paths crossed a few years ago and he asked me to forgive him. The same happened with other one of the bullies, who purposefully wanted to meet with me on a school reunion just so he could apologise. I forgave them both. Every life stage has its own challenges and if we don’t move on we can remain there with the grief of the memories of what happened. We can forget that life is priceless and it deserves to be lived one day at a time, the good, the bad, the better and the worst.

I wouldn’t feel complete if I don’t share this link with you. There are many organisations out there eager to help you out if you’re struggling with feelings of taking your life. Or if that person is feeling too low and you are a friend of him or her, get the help, don’t think there is nothing you can do. It will always be their choice but let’s say that we did everything that was in our hands to help.

GET HELP https://www.papyrus-uk.org/

 

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#MovieReview- Spanish movies that actually made us laugh

Nothing like watching a good comedy to get a smile or even a loud laugh from you to help you relax and release some stress. That’s why we bring you our own personal selection of the 4 Spanish movies that actually made us laugh.

Now if you’re an English speaking person you might not fancy the idea of watching a foreign movie, but trust me, if you give it a go, you might be quite surprised of the outcome. We love movies in general, but we are usually quite picky as well, because not only in the Spanish cinema industry but in other productions, many times there are explicit scenes that, from our point of view, are of no use at all to get the message across.  So finding a clean, family comedy, sometimes it can be a whole achievement.

So here it goes, 4 films where we laughed out loud and enjoyed as a family! Oh! by the way, the order doesn’t refer to quality, it’s just to organise them. 😉

#1 Que se mueran los feos (Hell to the Ugly)

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This is the tender story of a not so “good-looking” man that due to his mother’s death he decides to relocate to the village of his childhood where he will cross paths with a not too “attractive” sister-in-law that has recently been cheated by the husband. The situations that will come out and the sense of humour will make you have a good time watching this movie.

#2 Perdiendo el Norte (Losing the North)

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It might be because we are expats ourselves just like the main characters but if you have gone through an immigration adventure you will feel related to many things of this film. It basically talks about this two young men who, after finished their studies, they decide to relocate from Spain to Germany looking for better job opportunities. Encouraged by a TV program that shows what they think will be their real experience they arrived to the new country facing the  cruel truth  of the story.

#3 Ocho Apellidos Vascos (Eight Basque Surnames)

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Not the Catalonian ones please. You know what they say that “second parts were never good”, well, in this case, that’s completely accurate. Without intending to be a mean film critique that will rip the movie apart we just want to say that we didn’t enjoy the second part. The jokes, the dialogue was too forced, it didn’t flow naturally like in the first one.

But, hey, straight to the point. Eight Basque Surnames was a whole surprise to us! A romantic comedy between a Sevillian (someone from the south of Spain) and a Basque (someone from the north) two opposite cities with very different cultures that will make you giggle and have a good time as you watch it.

#4 Cuerpo de élite (Elite Squad)

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We had never heard about this one before but it was a good Christmas treat! Since we went back home, to Barcelona, for the holidays our family there recommended it to us. We couldn’t stop laughing throughout the whole movie. This “elite” squad get you to laugh out loud thanks to their very few individual skills but great team work. You’ve got the very Spanish patriotic (Ecuadorian), the guy from Catalonia, the one from Madrid, a Basque one, and a Sevillian woman. What can happen with such a mix, right?!

So here you have! We hope it was of help if you didn’t know what to watch during this weekend of blanket&tv. 🙂 What are some good comedies that you would recommend to us?

Dear Bear and Beany
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5 family fun activities to do this Christmas Holidays

With so much free time with the little ones it can be difficult to find family fun activities to do during this Christmas Holidays. So we’ve decided to put together a list with 5 family fun activities that you can do to entertain everyone during this Christmas season.

#1 Watch some Christmas Movies

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So is it too cold to go outside? Nothing better than grabbing your blanket, getting cosy with your little ones and entertaining yourselves with a film for all the family. We recently created our own list with the top 7 Christmas movies to watch this season. That might give you a few ideas! 🙂

#2 Visit your nearest Winter Festival

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You don’t mind the cold weather and think the kids need to have some fun outdoors too? Search for your nearest Winter Festival. They will probably offer you a good range of activities for all ages. We went to Manchester Christmas Market at the beginning of the month and it was good, but the one we really enjoyed was one we had never been before, Bolton Winter Festival. It was more local to us, and we got to do Ice-skating, Giant snow slide and Santa’s grotto, all for just £16. It was definitely a good deal compared to other places.

#3 Get all crafty at home

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No better time to get messy, since the little ones will love it and you will have plenty of time to tidy it up later on. Rosie, from Little Fish Blog shared a while ago how to make a construction small world. Isn’t it great?! I have actually never thought of it, but it’s so original and you can go as far as your imagination goes. Go over to her blog to learn how to do it.

If you want to try something more Christmassy, LarabeeUK tells us about how to make snow filled Christmas ornaments. I never thought you could do them! but it can be something fun to try with everyone at home.

Lauren, from Dilan and Me, shared on her blog a few weeks ago how to make bird seed decorations. This could be perfect if you’re planning to go to the park with your little ones. So forget about the breadcrumbs and feed them on a very stylish way 😉

#4 Try some new recipes

Because you have more time than usual it’s a great opportunity to try your culinary skills and make something that you haven’t had before. We recorded ourselves not too long ago preparing Cau Cau de pollo, a Peruvian Chicken stew, that is easy, healthy and delicious for all the family. Watch our YouTube video and learn how to do it.

But, if you’re more into veggie food, Lou, from Mammy not Mummy showed us how to make Veggie and Cheese Muffins on her blog. We will give them a try this break, cause I think it’s always a great way to add more healthy stuff to the children’s diets. For my little ones, the only way they have some broccoli, for example, is if I put it on my veggie soup. We will share with you our recipe for that one day soon, cause it’s a really success with the “veggie-haters” 😉

#5 Find a new hobby!

I recently met with another Spanish mum at a Spanish families gathering in Manchester. You know how we are, good food, lovely people and we can set up a party within a few hours! haha

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Anyway, so she was telling me about her new project that she’s launched a few months ago. I believe so much in entrepreneurship, and I think us women, have the right qualities and skills to make things happen. So her business is called Printathome123, and her artistic name is Anantaviana, it’s basically the new trend in crafts for adults. If you thought the colouring was relaxing you might want to try papercutting. She designs beautiful templates that you can download for an affordable price and then print them at home and with your own paper and scalpel create authentic pieces of art. You can even create shadowboxes, if you have more than one layer.

I need to give it a go myself! Definitely worth trying while the little ones are on their siesta time or not around. Go over to her Etsy page and see all the cool designs.

What other suggestions do you have? This year is a special one for us, cause for the first time since moving to UK, hubby will be around for Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day, plus we will spend Christmas with his family over in Leeds and New Year with my family in Barcelona. We are so grateful for that! And J is so super excited 🙂 Because of that we have decided to leave the blog and vlog aside for the holidays. We want to focus 100% on spending quality time with all of them.

Don’t worry, we’ll tell you all about it when we’re back! With videos on our YouTube Channel, Pictures on our Instagram! and more stories on our blog of course. It will just be like you were a part of it. 😉

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE AND

A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!!

Eliana, Sam, J and E 😀

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Top 7 Christmas movies to watch this season

Nothing helps you more to get into the Christmas spirit than a good Christmas movie. Do not miss our top 7 Christmas movies to watch this season if you’ve liked some of our movie reviews. Maybe you can watch one every day for the last week before Christmas. Maybe you can do a little marathon movies with the little ones on a Friday night. Whatever you want to do, grab some popcorn, a few drinks and a blanket -nothing feels better than being under a blanket- and choose your movie:

#1 Home Alone

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This is a Christmas classic! Released in 1990, I was 7 years old when this movie came out but we watched it the other day with our little ones and our 5 year old couldn’t stop laughing with Macaulay Culkin’s interpretation. There are some things that are timeless and even though if that would happen nowadays mummy would just skype the kid and tell him she’ll be back soon, you still have a great time watching it.

#2 Miracle on 34th street

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Do you believe in Santa Claus? This is a tender movie that shows how the magic of Christmas brings back the happiness to a broken family through a non-believer 6 year old little girl and a white beard gentleman. One of the favourite movies of my husband to watch during this season.

#3 rise of the guardians

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Different to Guardians of the Galaxy, ok. Don’t get confused! I like that one too but today it’s all about Christmas movies. This 2012 animation is a perfect choice to watch with your little ones. It’s entertaining for all ages. It tells the story of how Jack Frost gets his powers back after he suffers from a period of amnesia. A must to watch with all the family. 🙂

#4 ELF

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Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the Christmas spirit all the time. But this Elf shows you how to face the real world and don’t lose a cheerful bubbly personality. This is such a classic that even though it was released more than 10 years ago people still love it and there’s always a meme, a quote or a scene referring to this movie. J’s school are watching it at a movie night next week! 🙂

#5 foster

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Maybe you haven’t heard about this movie. We certainly hadn’t before arriving here to UK but on our first Christmas we saw the DVD at a store and we bought it for just 1 pound. We didn’t expect to cry with it and enjoyed it so much. The story of this married couple who lost their son on an accident and then crosses paths with this peculiar little boy will touch your heart. Don’t be misguided for its low price or promotion, it’s a very good Christmas movie.

#6 the nightmare before christmas

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If you are into spooky things and Tim Burton then this is your perfect Christmas movie. We watched it last year at home and J spent all the month of the December singing “Halloween Halloween This is Halloween!” hahaha It is a fun movie to watch, maybe if you’ve got very young children might be better to wait until they grow a bit more. 😉

#7 Love actually

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Ok, I’m putting this one on the list against my husband’s will because according to him this is not a great movie. It’s a so-so movie. But there is something in this film that I truly love, maybe it’s the simplicity, the love stories or the scenes at the airport where families get reunited, but this movie has for me, a special place in my heart and I enjoy it very much. I am the one who writes this blog, so yep, this is one of my top 7 Christmas movies to watch this season.

What are your favourite Christmas movies? I’m pretty sure you’ve got some good recommendations too! 🙂

Our not so typical advent calendar

Christmas is just around the corner! You don’t seem like a fanatic any more if you’ve already set up all the decorations at home. It’s time then to get your advent calendar ready for the main date. This year our church, the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints, has launched a great way to  follow the advent calendar, called #LIGHTtheWORLD. We don’t push our faith to anyone, and trust me when I say this is not the intention of this post.

But doing something good for others I think is the givesall-quoteessence of not only this Holiday Season but also the essence of a happy life. So why is this advent calendar any different to others? Well, on this one you don’t get ready for Christmas eating chocolate and treating yourself, on this one every day, starting on December 1styou will do something good for another person/s.

 

 

25 days of service in preparation to December 25th

Our family is definitely on board here! Many times we’ve already said we are far, quite far, from perfect, but we do try to follow Jesus Christ example, whom for us, was perfect. You might not be religious at all and maybe He doesn’t mean anything to you. However I’m pretty sure you will have someone in your life that you admire, that you respect and that you probably think has incredible attributes that you would like to emulate. Whoever is your role model you can think on that person and experience this special advent calendar.

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We will try to involve our children too so they learn they importance of thinking of others and helping out the ones in need. There are many ways you can do this. Small simple acts of kindness that you do everyday will help you remember what matters the most during Christmas time.

First day for example is all about “lifting someone’s burden”

So you may help an elderly person do their shopping or you could give some food to someone in need. You can maybe speak with a friend that you know is feeling a bit low. There are so many things we can do. Could you imagine we all do something for another person? We think of others first…Imagine we do this worldwide…wouldn’t it be amazing?!

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We’re excited to start this not so typical advent calendar. Obviously you can help others anytime of the year, but I think that making an effort on a season that has been so inundated with consumerism is the perfect way to get rid of selfishness feelings and stress. Anyway, whatever your preparation towards Christmas we hope you make the most out of it! And if you decide to give this advent calendar a go don’t forget to tell us how it went. We can all support one another in case we run out of ideas! 😉

 

Top 6 things to take with you when flying with kids

From our experience with travelling with 2 under 5 a few times, let us share with you some things that have worked for us to make the trip more bearable. So without further ado, our top 6 things to take with you when flying with kids:

#1 The Hand luggage

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Her first own hand luggage! 😀

This last summer we checked  a few kids hand luggage trying to find the right one for our 5 year old. I’ve seen many families using “trunki” but after checking dimensions and features it didn’t fit quite well for our needs, to be honest. So here, we found online this cute one, from Sophia the first. What we liked the most was the 4 wheels, makes it easier to push around the airport and the hard case…our child would seat on it every time she wanted a break. Plus, compared to other ones, had enough room to actually carry a few things in it.

#2 The Travel Pillow

We bought ours from Poundland (it was more than a pound) but you can easily find it in other places such as Primark, M&S, Quality Save, that it’s up to your pocket. This is a must if you’re travelling with little ones so you can protect them from any stiff neck during the flight.  Trust me, if you’re lucky enough, they will fall asleep and you will need this pillow.

#3 The Snacks

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Doesn’t it happen in your family that every time you go out with your kids they suddenly get starving as if they hadn’t eaten for a month?! Well, flights are not any different, apart from the money you can spend if you decide to buy things at the airport. Where, for example, a bottle of water can cost you almost 2 pounds and if you buy the food during the flight you can expect to pay 3 times the cost of a Tesco meal…

So, since you are flying with kids, you can put some snacks in your cabin bag, just don’t buy any drinks before the trip, remember that anything bigger than 100ml will be taken out at customs. For our last flight, we bought some crisps, small bags of fruit and cereal bars from Asda. Also, don’t forget if you’re flying with a baby you are allowed to take with you your baby’s food along with some milk. Just in case, it is always safe to check the airline you’re flying with beforehand.

#4 The Entertainment

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You can see the colouring AND the travel pillow ! (a spiderman fan 😉 )

Let’s be honest, the excitement of seeing an aeroplane will last them, for how long, maybe 20-30 minutes…then you are in a place where there are loads of people, many corridors, too many gates and doors, so you want them to be entertained and by your side. For our little E, who’s 8 months old now, on our last flight he was 5, we took a few of his toys (the small ones of course) For princess J, we took a colouring book, some crayons, and a couple of barbies. She paid more attention to colouring than to playing so probably next time Barbie won’t get to come with us! But you know your children and will pick the right entertainment for them. Our advice, make it small and easy to carry. Something that in any case you can put inside your hand luggage at any time.

#5 The wipes

Between snacks, running around, crying, or whatever you need, it is always safe to have some baby wipes handy. You will use them for anything, ANYTHING! 😉

#6 Kids app that will work off-line

Or during plane-mode. If your iPad or any other device is full of games that will only work online you won’t want them to spend all your internet during the flight or while waiting at the airport. So better safe than sorry and make sure you have the right apps for them, along with some children movies that you previously downloaded. Oh! and don’t forget the headphones! You don’t want to be a pain for whoever is sitting next to you.

Oh well, now that you are super ready with our top 6 things to take with you when flying with kids, relax and enjoy the flight! Wherever you are going, and no matter how long or horrible the experience may be, -hopefully not- remember that it will only be a small part of your whole journey! 🙂

Any other recommendations? Things that have worked for you? Looking forward to reading them 🙂

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What are my baby’s favourite solid food meals

A while ago we shared with you the best tips to know when your baby is ready for solid foods. It’s been a couple of months since then and our 8 months old baby boy has already decided which foods are the best, or “tastiest” for him, so we thought we should share them with you too. Just in case you might be running out of ideas…

So, we are weaning him off through the “finger foods” method, that means we give him the food in small portions, easy to grab and eat by himself. We have made purees every once in a while too, but most of the time it has been things he can eat on his own and breast milk, cause yes, I’m still breastfeeding him, and if possible, I will continue to do so until he turns 2, just like I did with J.

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Anyway…before I go deeper into breastfeeding, let’s go back to the meals.

Meal #1

Ham and cheese sandwich 

This is basically a slice of cooked ham that we roll up and cut it in half, some bites of cheddar cheese fingers, and a small piece of bread. We put everything on separate sides of the plate so he’s able to choose what he wants to eat.

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Meal #2

Homemade Fish and chips

Please, don’t, don’t think we go to a fish&chips place and buy him some, we don’t want to kill or baby! Homemade fish, usually cod, that I do in the oven or cooked in the pan with a bit of olive oil and oven chips, I put some mushed peas once but he didn’t pay much attention to them..

Meal #3

Macaroni cheese with Broccoli

I made this the other day, it was an absolute success. I boiled the broccoli along with the pasta and cooked apart the sauce with some cheddar cheese, a bit of butter and onion. When they were done I mixed them together. He loved it!

Meal #4

Omelette with natural tomatoes

I cut both things in small pieces that he will be able to swallow and he likes them quite a bit. I fry the omelette by the way and put the tomatoes aside on his plate. Sometimes I add some cheddar cheese bites.

Meal #5

Pasta Bolognese

I usually do it with my own pasata sauce, so everything is more natural for him. But I cook everything as usual, the only thing is that if I know he is going to eat from there I won’t add chicken stock and I will boil the pasta with just a bit of olive oil and salt.

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and his favourites bites are...

  • Fruits: strawberry, grapes and banana
  • Snacks: french yougurts, apple biscuits, leak and tomato cheetos
  • Meat: tuna, cod, salmon, chicken and ham

As I said before, when I know he is going to eat from our food I don’t add any salt to the ingredients, the same applies for sugar. I use full fat milk, if that’s part of the recipe and I usually breastfeed him before and/or after the meal, it is up to him.

happy baby

We are so pleased with his development in all ways that we feel very blessed and grateful for having such a strong, happy and healthy baby boy.

If you’re getting closer to that stage but are not sure if your baby is ready for solid foods you might want to read this.

Anyway, hope these meals give you some ideas! What are your little one’s favourites?!

**If you’ve liked this post don’t forget to give us a shout on our Facebook Page, or tweet us a Hi! OR even get a little bit nosier and sneak on our Instagram 😀

low cost airlines

Our Top 5 Low-cost Airlines for a family trip

Over 3 years living in UK, travelling twice a year back to Barcelona, either for Christmas or Summer time, or lucky us, both sometimes, has made us try a few low-cost airlines and we thought to ourselves, let’s do a ranking of our top 5 low-cost airlines for a family trip, shall we?

Before going into it, let us just clarify a couple of things, most of our trips, if not all, so far, have been from Manchester to Barcelona, so our opinion is based on that route. And, because we are not filthy rich, we won’t mention any of the other normal airlines, which I suppose can be an option for some, but if you want to travel on a budget and want to have a rough idea of what to expect from a low-cost airline when travelling with kids I recommend you to keep reading 🙂

airport

So…without further ado…

#5 Ryanair

Price is usually one of the lowest ones in the market. Their website is quite easy to navigate in. They usually offer discounts for children’s luggage. All these pros have made us choose it more than once but it cannot be in number one because of these things: seats are quite small and not too comfortable, they don’t have a priority pass through the gates if you go with children, unless you have paid for it, like everybody else. Cheap tickets usually mean inconvenient departure or arrival times. You don’t want to have to leave home at 4 am with two kids because you need to be at the airport at 6 am…trust me, it’s not good for anyone.

#4 Vueling

Their bookings are quite easy to manage. Their staff is usually friendly. This is based on my brother’s experience when travelling from Barcelona to Manchester. I remember once they had to land in Birmingham because of a storm but they handled the situation quite well. They kept the people informed at all times and even the hostesses were quite nice with my little niece. Not in number 1 either because prices can vary quite a lot and the way they charge for the luggage according to your type of ticket is a bit of a hassle…

#3 Easyjet

They were our first choice for a few trips actually. Website easy to navigate, I really liked their app that kept me updated at all times. The inside of the aircraft was well looked-after, something that you appreciate when you have to breastfeed your little one during the flight…But it became too much having to get a bus from Manchester to Liverpool airport to then get the plane to Barcelona. Our “low-cost trip” would end in more hours and more money, and above all, more tiredness. If you’re travelling with little ones you want to make the experience as much enjoyable as possible, that means, short trip, quick nap and that’s it.

#2 Monarch

This low cost airline won our hearts on one of our trips. The seats are quite comfortable. You have priority pass when going with kids under 5 I think…not sure about the age now, but I do know you go first through the gate if you’re with little ones. Staff are friendly. Time flights are great, during the morning around 11 am maybe or then in the evening but not too late…The only problem? The price tickets…you wouldn’t consider it a low-cost airline depending on the time of the year you want to travel…

Finally, the “Oscar” goes to…

#1 Norwegian

norwegian

We traveled with them this last Summer since they recently opened new routes from Manchester, among them, to Barcelona. Heard about this and went to their website. I couldn’t believe how cheap I got the flights for end of July til mid August, definitely high season for such a touristic place like Barcelona. Because of work we had to reschedule our returned dates and Sam had to come back on his own first. I was able to sort this out through their Live Chat quite easily. A very friendly customer service assistant helped me solve it by splitting the tickets so I could then change the dates on each of them separately. Must confess that airport staff were more friendly from Barcelona to Manchester than the other way around. We were even given a plastic bag to put our pushchair inside to protect it. Also their aircrafts are more spacious than their competitors, plus brand new, and you can tell the difference. You don’t have priority pass with them, not that I can recall at least..but hey, overall it was the best travel experience so far. Also flying times are great, late afternoon or during the morning. One little thing that I’m not too happy about though, I still don’t get how it works their cashpoints (when you sign up) because I didn’t seem to get any through my purchase…

Anyway…we are going to visit family in January, and yes, this time we had to appeal to #5 so the flight tickets could be within our budget, but hey you’ve got the list now! Where are you travelling next?! Share with us your favourite ones!

 

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A Mum Track Mind
The Places We Will Go
big sister

8 things you will only experience if you are a big sister

This blogpost is based on real events, although if you ask the little brother we will deny any evidence of it.

Here 8 things that you will only experience if you’re the big sister based on my own experience as a big sister and now our first child’s experience.

#1 You are suddenly considered an “almost” full grown-up

big sister

no matter if you’re 5 or 13, if you’re only months or years apart, from the moment you become the eldest you are responsible for your brother’s sake ALWAYS.

This takes me to #2 The blame is always on YOU or at least most of the times…

blaming you

When little E (our baby boy who’s 7 months old) pulls J’s hair (our 5 year old) we never say ‘E stop pulling J’s hair’ It’s actually more like: ‘J why did you put your hair so close to his hand??!’

#3 It will be 10 times harder to impress your family

gymnastics

So you’re doing all sorts of acrobatics BUT your little brother is suddenly able to hold his toy with one hand, that’s it, you’ve lost it! He got your parents attention for a good while!

#4 Baby brother has to be a part of the game regardless of time and circumstances.

siblings playing

When playing with your Barbie doll he will be the giant monster that invades the mansion or when you’re with your friends or cousins and you want to go somewhere he will have to come with you.

Which makes me remember my teen years and #5 when your little brother is not so “little” any more he then will become your chaperone.

giphy-3

His will is not questioned on this matter if you’re going on a date your parents will make him go with you. Nothing less appealing than having your little brother around, right?

#6 You will be able to comfort him like nobody else does

siblings comfort

This applies when you’re still little and you’re able to make him laugh with your silliness or when you grow older and you’re able to connect with him and say the right words to make him feel better.

#7 You will be able to understand each other by just a look

siblings look

As years go by, complicity between you and him will be so strong that words won’t be necessary to laugh at a joke or understand a situation.

#8 He will become the best friend you never asked for but you cannot live without.

siblings sleeping

Siblings relationships are fascinating, when being young you can fight, laugh, cry, all at the same time. When you grow up it’s not much different to that… The truth is that beyond time, age or distance there’s a special bond. I can see it with our children and I’ve lived it with my own brothers. When I was little I always wanted to have a big brother, I used to complain for being the eldest. I wouldn’t change it for anything now. Being the big sister is the best!

What would you add to this list? There are so many things!

Cuddle Fairy
Mumzilla

The best places to breastfeed in Manchester

“May you find your own way with confidence and pride, as you experience the womanly art of breastfeeding”

The Womanly Art of breastfeeding 8th Edition

My baby boy is 7 months and a half and I can proudly say I am still breastfeeding him. This “pride” doesn’t come from thinking that whoever decides not to breastfeed has chosen the wrong path, this pride comes from the feeling of achievement that I have because of overcoming the pains from the first month, because of not paying attention to uncomfortable situations where I had to do it in public or to the many times where my t-shirt was stained due to an overflow… I love that I can give my baby what I think will be the best support for him.

 breastfeeding

Not everyday you are able to breastfeed within the walls of your own home, on your own rocking chair (I don’t have one by the way) or doing a skin-to-skin contact with your baby. So for any of you that are around the city of Manchester here are our recommendations for the best facilities to breastfeed your baby, from my own experience:

intu Trafford centre

Everyone in Manchester has been to this shopping centre, probably because it’s the biggest one in the city! so if your little one gets hungry and you’re around that place you can go to the Nursing room located right next to the toilets on the food court. There’s another one on the upper floor. Because in peak times it can get really busy and that is just an individual room. You can find there a rocking chair, a normal chair for the partner, and a sink. It’s quiet and clean.  So perfect for a relaxing time with your baby.

Manchester Arndale

Located on the food court, the main toilets have next to it a nice and quiet nursing room as well. Quite convenient if you’re looking to escape from the noise and the crowd from the town center.

Mothercare Store in Stockport

We have been to that one because we were doing some shopping and had to ask around to see if there were some facilities. I was quite surprised to find out about this one, since they have a nice, tidy and comfortable space for feeding your baby. It can be shared with other mums, but I don’t think that’s something, we women, bother that much… We were in Stockport at that time, so this one is the one we know of but if you go to their website you can probably check which ones have this type of facility. We know of this one for sure.

The Creche and Play area at intu Trafford Centre

Almost forgot to mention but if you have any older kids playing at this indoor playground may you know they have a quiet room, with a couple of comfy sofas for you to nurse your baby. The only thing is they ask you to not leave your other child unattended so either you have them with you or your partner can look after them.

baby_e

Breastfeeding is a right and a privilege so for most uncomfortable that you may feel remember that most of the times you will be able to do it almost anywhere. So don’t get shy and remember your why. I’ve breastfed at the airport, at the cinema, at a park,  at restaurants…sometimes with a blanket, sometimes without one because little E gets fed up with it… just forget about the people and focus on your baby, he/she will give you the confidence you need.

Any other recommendations of places from your own experience? I’m still planning to breastfeed him for a while, so we will appreciate any other suggestions! 🙂