It All Started In Barcelona

We are by no means massive travellers, we've visited a few places and most of them hold special memories. From our first holiday as a couple, first family holiday or the first time the girls flew on a plane, they all have their place in our heart. One trip really stands out and that's Barcelona which was in February 2007. The plan was for us to enjoy a short break in the lovely Barcelona, just the two of us.

We had been trying for a baby for a little while, but not a long time. Mrs LADs had bought a pregnancy test while in the airport before we had left England but she decided not to tell me. After dropping our bags at the hotel before we head off to have a look around and grab some dinner she heads to the bathroom and a few minutes later comes out with a look on her face, straight away I can tell "We're having a baby!"

The words you'll never forget, the words that will change your whole World.

By this stage, we'd been a couple for 6 years and married for almost 3 years so we knew we were ready to start this next chapter.

Before we left for this little break we'd just had the news that the landlords wanted our flat back by the end of March. Laura at the time had said that these things happen for a reason and now we knew what that reason was.

Barcelona would always be in our memories.

Once the excitement had died down slightly we wanted to make the most of Barcelona and all that it had to offer. When we travel we get very organised and plan what we want to see and on which days.

The first place to visit in Barcelona is, of course, Gaudi's amazing La Sagrada cathedral which after over 100 years still isn't finished. It's a remarkable sight and you can visit many parts of the cathedral and around it, you'll find lots of gift shops and plenty of places to eat.

Being a massive football fan I couldn't visit Barcelona and not make a trip to Camp Nou. If you're a sports fan then you need to visit one of the iconic stadiums in the World. We didn't get to see a match but if you can then I would really recommend it.

We tried to fit in as much as possible so we visited the Sea Life centre, the Barcelona Zoo and enjoyed lot's of yummy food.

Barcelona is a city that will always hold a very special place in our hearts and in the next year or so we will try and visit again with the girls.

The team at Avis have produced its own Barcelona travel guide. It’s well worth looking at if you want some hints and tips for visiting the city.

If you plan on visiting then we'd suggest getting a car to hire so it makes it easier to get around, check out Car Hire in Barcelona and really enjoy Barcelona.

The article has been sponsored by AVIS

Russell Hobbs 6-in-1 blender and Nutella Cheesecake

I enjoying cooking the problem is that I very rarely get the chance so when the chance to try out the Russell Hobbs 6-in-1 blender I thought this was my chance to set some time aside to give it a test and I also get to make something yummy.

So what can this kitchen gadget do? Well, it is a 600W multi-functional hand blender with food processor attachment and can do 6 functions in one including processing, creaming, slicing, shredding, blending and whisking.

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Our Film Date Night

Look at their beautiful faces, filled with excitement and joy as they run to their grandparents for the night. It’s one of those truly blissful moments as a parent but you can’t show your happiness too much, party poppers and fireworks as they leave aren’t allowed. It’s a rare night off for us as we don’t ever get babysitters. In fact, I can’t remember the last time that we went out for a meal, as just the two of us. But this weekend is our weekend, you see two weeks ago it was the 16th anniversary of our first date. How did we celebrate? Well, we didn’t and the day almost passed us by.

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Men's Health | A Personal MOT with TENA Men

Men's Health | A Personal MOT with TENA Men

The New Year for many signals the start of a new health and fitness plan. Most of us have high hopes of joining the gym and ditching the junk food. We use this time to think about improving our body and look after ourselves.

How many of us actually stick to it?

I'm exactly the same, the running trainers have been cleaned...the healthy eating cookbook has been ordered and I have no doubt it'll soon be forgotten.

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Our New Reading Chair

This is a collaboration post written by me on behalf of Great Little Trading Company, all opinions are 100% mine.  

Ever since my girls were young they have both enjoyed reading and as parents, we've always tried to encourage that as much as possible. Every night we try and read with the girls or as it has now become they read to us, this is normally on the sofa but we wanted to make somewhere cosy for them to read. We've always had a little reading area but they used to have to sit on their cushions, but now they have a new beanbag chair from the lovely people at Great Little Trading Company.

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This is the Washable Bean Bag Chair which is available in a few different colours and designs but we picked the blue with white stars. The beauty of this is the cover is really durable and is also removable so you can take it off and wash it which parents will know is important when children are involved.

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This chair has allowed the girls to sit in comfort while reading their books. It is also pretty lightweight so when it comes to Minecraft game time they bring their seat with them and can sit on their chair while playing their game.

I'm so glad we got this for the girls and if anything it has made the girls read more and they are cosy.

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You can check out the range of Bean Bag chairs on the GLTC website and at the moment they're on a special offer at £48.

Chicken Nuggets Don't Have to be Boring

This post is in collaboration with Iceland Foods. All opinions are 100% mine. 

I wouldn’t say my two girls are fussy eaters, certainly not when compared to lots of other children. There are a couple of things one doesn’t like and the other does such as pasta...Aly loves pasta, but Mia doesn't. And as for jacket potatoes - Mia loves them and Aly doesn't! There is one thing that they both love and that is chicken nuggets. It’s one of those meals where they both finish their whole plate full so we tend to have it quite often. With our nuggets we’re always trying to find ones that taste good and aren’t filled with anything bad.

We’d heard good things from our friends that Iceland food one is yummy and after having a look in a bit more detail found that a blind taste test conducted by Cambridge Market Research Ltd, Iceland XL Crispy Chicken Nuggets are as good as McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets for taste, texture and quality.

As we needed a bit of fresh air over the festive period, we decided to pop over to our local Iceland to take a look...it also helped that there was a toy shop nearby for the girls to spend their Christmas money in.

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Iceland have an easy way of laying their store out and the chicken nuggets were easy to find in either 32 or 75 packs. This time we decided to go for 32 chicken nuggets and also picked up some chips and dips to go with our meal. When we go shopping, packaging is key to grabbing my attention, helping me choose new products both in-store and online. These chicken nuggets came in a bright blue bag with three important things that caught my eye...Firstly they look yummy on the bag, secondly the words ‘our best ever’ and finally (and most importantly to me) they are 'made with 100% breast fillet’.  

As the girls have got older we have come to love using frozen food, anyone with children will know that you really don’t get any spare moments. Both of the girls have after school classes as well as swimming classes and Brownies, so we end up having rushed or later dinners. The #PowerOfFrozen is all about tasty food that is high quality and also convenient. It allows us as parents to be able to feed our girls quickly.

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Whenever we have chicken nuggets we try to make it interesting, we try not to just serve them up on a plate. This is mainly because the girls eat more if there is colour on their plate that is presented a little bit differently. Some cut up carrot and cucumber sticks, a choice of dips, chips and some nuggets in cones goes a long way to making it look even more appealing.

I also personally think that if you served this up for your friends or partner they’d still be equally impressed.

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The real test with children is what it tastes like and they really loved them and so did I. You could really tell that these were made from 100% chicken breast. They were very substantial and full of meat rather than thin ones we’ve had in the past. So the Iceland chicken nuggets were a big hit and remember chicken nuggets don’t need to be boring.

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