My top tips for making sure you are Lapland ready

When we first booked Lapland almost a year ago I read a lot about going to Finnish Lapland. Knowing that the temperatures would be colder than we had ever experienced. So making sure we knew what to take with us was essential. I have put together a my top tips for making sure you are Lapland ready.

How to dress

Layers, get those layers on. The temperatures can drop to -30 so you will need a base layer, a mid layer and an outer layer. I have bought us all thermal base layers, and in fact most of these came from Aldi during their ski week at the start of the year. Fleece tops for the mid layer and then included within the holiday package I added in our the snowsuits.

We made sure that the winter coats we bought were suitable for the snowy weather, for us to wear on the flights. I have bought the children snow boots, me and the hubby will be wearing our walking boots with an extra pair of socks to travel in. I also added snow boots to our holiday package when we booked it, so we will all be able to change into them when we arrive.

Socks, I have opted for ski socks for us all. Buying them from various places but Bridgedale kindly sent us some socks to take with us. They are alpine thermal ski socks, perfect for keeping your feet warm.

Cabin wear

All the reviews I read on the cabins we are staying in, and they all say they are really warm, so making sure you have light weight clothing with you. We are planning to just take our pj’s and onesies with us to wear in the cabin. Along with a couple of pairs of jeans and tops just encase we need them.

Accessories

So, not only do you need the basic hat, scarfs and gloves that you would use at home during the winter months. You will also need ski gloves, we have decided to for a light pair of wool gloves then a pair of ski mittens to go over the top for that extra layer to keep your hands nice and toasty warm. It also means that you are easily able to take off your mittens to do up your coat or pick something up while you are still keeping that of warmth on your hands. You will also need neck snoods or neck gaiters to help keep covered as much as possible and protected from the cold.

Believe it or not you will need sun glasses and sun lotion. Although it will be cold up on the mountains it can be sunny so stay safe and take some with you. Coola Sun Care kindly send us some items to take away to help keep us all sun safe while away. We might still buy the children some last minute ski googles to with us, but at the moment I have got their sun glasses ready to take.

We will be taking hand warmers and torches as they only have around 5 hours of day light during the winter months.

As I wear glasses and on occasion contact lenses, I was worried about my glasses either steaming up, freezing and me not being able to see. I then started to worry that my contact lenses would freeze to my eyes…. yeah I know crazy right! Well after doing a bit of research I found that using my contact lenses would be the best option.

Having read that the cabins wifi is very unreliable, we have just bought a little EE wifi puck to take with us. Although we are going to be out and about as much as possible, if the TV is not very child friendly, we will be able to watch things on their iPads if we need to. Plus I am able to do a bit of work if needed.

Food and Drink

From the people I have spoken to have said how expensive it is to eat out in Finland. As we do not have any food included within our trip, we plan to eat out quite a bit. However in Finland you are able to take food items with you in your suitcase. So we plan to take some basics with us, breakfast cereals, tea, coffee, snacks for the children just enough to keep us going and have something in the cabin.

I have read about the supermarkets selling items in bulk like dishwasher tablets or wash power, so I shall make sure we pack a few bits for just encase we need them.

Apparently the pizza’s in Levi are amazing, so that is one thing we will be trying out. Followed by some other local dishes, my Hubby is much more adventurous with foods than I am, so I am sure he will be trying whatever local items he can.

Flying to Finnland

Before we head away on 07:20 flight from Manchester airport we will be staying over at The Clayton hotel that also has secure parking. We shall travel up to Manchester the day before and enjoy a nice meal in the hotel before heading to bed early…. not sure I will be able to sleep I am just to excited. Plus we still haven’t told the children yet, so they are going to be so exited when we tell them, well I hope they will be.

On the flights, I shall be taking my beautiful Mia Tui flight bag, packed with all the essentials. Tickets, passports, snacks for the children, a book for me, wet wipes, a scarf and probably a range of other items I will not need but include anyway. Oh and make up… I shall be needing that.

I shall pack the children up an activity kit each, so they have some new bits to read and play with on the flights. My son will have a new book, a word search book, a magazine, also a drawing pad and pens. My daughter will have a colouring book, pens, a magazine, a book for us to read to her. They will both have a packet of sweets and we will be taking their headphones and iPads. All inside their own backpack, so they don’t fail out, along with a new blanket each and travel pillows. On the last flight we went on back in May we they both got a bit cold and would have benefited from travel pillows, so I thought I would get them one each.

My Hubby will also take a his back pack, again with a book, his reading glasses, snacks, and he will have everyones hat, scarfs and gloves.

Technology

Of course no holiday is complete without taking my camera and tripod. I will be taking an extra battery for my DSLR camera. I have read that with the temperatures getting down so low that the batteries do not last very long, so we shall be taking an extra one out and about with us at all times. Our iPhones batteries are also not expected to last very well, so I will also be taking my power banks with us. I just can’t bare the thought to missing out on some fabulous images. I shall also be taking my mac book so I can upload the photographs each night. The tripod will be coming with us for nights out in search of the Northern Lights.

I am so excited about going on this trip, it has been planned for the last year and will be a magical trip for our family.

If you can think of anything we will need for our magical trip to Lapland, please let me know.

3 common health questions answered

From fending off viruses to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there is a lot to get to grips with when it comes to looking after your wellbeing. To help ensure you’re clued up, here are the answers to three common health questions.

1. Should I have a flu jab?

With winter setting in, cases of the flu are set to rise. This virus, which can range from mild to severe and potentially even fatal, is spread by sneezes and coughs and it’s especially common during the colder months. If you’re worried about catching it, you might be wondering if now’s the time to book yourself in for a flu vaccination. Medical experts recommend that anyone who is at risk of developing complications as a result of the virus (such as pneumonia or bronchitis) should have a jab. The groups considered to be most in danger include pregnant women, people over the age of 65 and those with an underlying medical problem. Frontline healthcare and social workers are also advised to get vaccinated.

So, if you fall into one of these categories, it’s probably wise for you to arrange a flu jab. If you’re not sure whether or not to get vaccinated, speak to your doctor.

common health questions

2. Does the emergency contraceptive pill have to be taken the ‘morning after’?

Because it’s often referred to as the ‘morning after pill’, it’s tempting to assume that the emergency contraceptive pill is only effective when taken within 12 to 24 hours of unprotected sex. In fact though, this isn’t the case. As health experts Online Doctor LloydsPharmacy note, there are two types of emergency contraceptive pill – Levonelle and ellaOne. Levonelle is effective for up to three days after unprotected sex, while ellaOne is effective for up to five days.

However, it’s important to bear in mind that the sooner you take either of these types of pill, the more effective they are likely to be. If you have had unprotected sex and want to avoid a pregnancy, it’s essential that you speak to your doctor or a pharmacist as soon as possible.

3. How can I avoid high blood pressure?

Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure if left untreated can increase your risk of a range of potentially serious health problems, including heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, vascular dementia and heart failure. If you want to tackle high blood pressure or reduce the risk of developing it in the first place, certain lifestyle changes can help. For example, it’s best to limit the amount of salt in your diet and cut back on alcohol if you drink excessively. It’s also useful to reduce your caffeine intake, and if you smoke, consider giving up. Regular exercise is important too, and try to ensure you get a minimum of six hours’ sleep a night.

As well as following this advice, you should keep tabs on your blood pressure. Bear in mind that anyone over the age of 40 is advised to get theirs tested at least every five years. If you’re found to have high blood pressure and you can’t manage this through lifestyle changes, your doctor might have to prescribe you certain medicines.

 

* This post was made in collaboration with LloydsPharmacy.*

Dreaming about skiing in Canada

This year we are heading to Finland, and I honestly cannot wait, but that doesn’t stop me thinking about future holidays. I love the thought of going on another winter holiday next year, somewhere cold with snow. Real white snow that we very rarely get at home. My daughter is now 4 years old and we haven’t managed to build a snowman as the very little snow we get disappears as it hits the ground.

Skiing In Canada

Canada has for years been a place we would like to visit. My Hubby and I very nearly booked to go skiing there a few years ago before finding out I was pregnant. So we decided to put a skiing trip on hold until we could take the children and enjoy it as a family.

As with Finland we really love the idea of staying in a lodge, so we can get the real winter feel to a trip. Hotels are fabulous, but sometimes we love to have the space to feel at home and enjoy evening in from of a fire while drinking a glass of wine or two.

I have been looking at ski lodges in Canada to see what type of options we would have. Staying in a lodge would be fabulous for us, having that freedom to step out of the door into the garden and enjoy the snow. Or a walk down into the nearest resort for food or a hot chocolate. Then after a day on the slopes enjoy a relaxing evening in. Knowing that a lodge would suit are needs the best, it was then down to choosing a resort to stay in. So I have put together a list of top ski resorts in Canada.

Jasper

The ski resort of Jasper is a small one and perfect for wildlife lovers. You are able to ski in the Marmot Basin within the Jasper National Park. Jasper offers so much more than just skiing with its gorgeous frozen lakes, glaciers, waterfalls and forrest, that are home to lots of wildlife and fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. Sledging, wildlife safaris and ice canyon walks plus many more. Although Jasper is a small resort there is still slopes for all abilities and lots of accommodation options. When you are not hitting the slops you can visits the restaurants and bars.

Banff

Banff is resort set in the Banff National Park. It is a lively area to stay, with a variety of restaurants, bars with live music all catering for a range of tastes and budgets. Banff is in easy reach of 3 different ski areas, each offering skiing for all levels of ability.

Lake Louise

Lake Louise is hailed as one of the worlds most spectacular ski settings. Giving beautiful views of the magnificent peaks, glaciers and the stunning lake. The resort is quite small with only a few shops, restaurants and hotels, so its perfect for a more peaceful holiday.

Mont Tremblant

The resort of Mont Tremblant is regularly voted by the Ski Magazine as the best resort in Eastern North America. Mont Tremblant is set in the Laurentians National Park. The village of Tremblant is a pedestrian area with all the ski lifts accessible from the hotels and everything within walking distance. They say that Mont Tremblant offers the best skiing in Eastern Canada. As Mont Tremblant is part of French speaking Quebec there is a fabulous selection of French restaurants to choose from.

Whistler

Whistler has over 200 ski trails set out over two peaks and has become North America’s best ski resort. This resort has everything, hotels, lodges, apartments and condos. Whistler also offers a ranger of top restaurants, various bars and also nightclubs. Skiing and snowboarding in Whistler are world class, offering amazing ski schools. There are also slopes for every skier, whatever your level, Whistler has what you need.

Fernie

The resort of Fernie is well known with skiers, as it offers ‘steep and deep’ slops. Perfect for the strongest skiers an snow boarders. Set in the British Columbian Rockies. Fernie has excellent snow records and has recently opened ski lifts to the Polar Peak the biggest vertical slope of 3550 feet within the Rockies. Fernie offers a range of accommodation types, restaurants and bars for the evenings.

Skiing in Canada

There are around 275 Canadian ski area, and it is thought that during each ski season more than 19 million people visit, to enjoy the fabulous skiing on offer here.

The snow in Canada is some of the best you will find. It is always in pristine condition, which is helped by the care put into the resorts by the staff. The grooming is fabulous with dry powder snow, perfect for skiing and boarding.

The Canadian ski resorts pride their selfs on offering something for everyone, with various different slopes for very one, brilliant ski schools and other activities make your trip to Canada skiing one you will never forget.

Having looked at some of the fabulous ski resorts in Canada finding that they all offer something slightly different, it isn’t something easy to decide on. Speaking with friends who have regularly visited different ski resorts across the world, they recommended either Whistler or Mont Tremblant both for different reasons. Mont Tremblant because it beautifully quaint village that offers everything within walking distant, plus there are some stunning properties to choose from. Whistler because it has the perfect condition for beginners, with really well groomed nursery slopes for the children.

Decisions, decisions, where would you recommend in Canada for the perfect skiing holiday?

 

*This post has been made in collaboration with Luxury Retreats. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*

We are going to Lapland

That’s it I cannot keep it in any longer……. we are going to Lapland. Actual Lapland. I am so very excited I just had to share it with you all.

Going To Lapland

Although parenting things are not the normal find on my blog, this was just to exciting not to tell you about. Since having the children we like so many families visit Santa each year. We have for the last few years had a Christmas weekend at the start of December, we have visited some fabulous grottos, Christmas markets, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, The Polar Express on Weardale Railway and last year we visited Lapland UK. Lapland UK was the most amazing experience we had been on as a family from start to finish it was fabulous. But to top that we decided that the only way to do that was to go to actual Lapland in Finland.

Our trip to Finnish Lapland was booked almost a year ago and the children still don’t know we are going. I had spoken with a friend who had visited a couple of times when his children were younger, he gave me lots of advise about not going on a set Santa trip but to book it all separately. Which is exactly what we did, he also recommended that we used holiday company Inghams. He said they offered the best prices, he was not wrong.

Finding our perfect holiday

I had looked at a few options but we decided to book it all separately. Inghams offer Finnish Lapand trips to Ylläs, Saariselka and Levi, after reading about them we decided that Levi was the best place for us. Although Levi is the biggest of the ski resorts, it also offers the most for the children with extra activities, restaurants and supermarkets. It is also only a 20 minute transfer from Kittilä airport.

We already knew that we wanted to stay in a cabin, we wanted to be able to open the door and step onto the snow (eeek….. real thick magical snow). The cabins we chose were the Immelmokit Cabins they are a fairly basic 3 star cabin, however they offer everything we need, plus they have really good reviews with lots of returning customers.

The Immelmokit Cabins are about 400 meters out of the resort centre, they are on the edge of the resort. Just far enough away to be quiet yet close enough to get to everything we need. The other thing that drew my attention to these cabins was that they are set very near a Lake Immeljarvi and away from all of the light pollution of the resort, giving me the best chance to cross seeing the Northern Lights off my bucket list.

Our activities

Choosing out activities was the easy bit, there are a lots of different trips that you can choose, we decided to pick 4 different options. Knowing that during the week we would have some time playing in the snow. However should we decide to add another trip while there we could do with the Inghams reps.

The Reindeer Safari and Sámi Farm

The Reindeer Safari & Sámi Farm visit, this is a local trip only 15 minutes away. Where you get to feed the reindeer, learn about the Sámi farmers and their way of life, reindeer herding and lassoing. We opted for the 3km scenic sleigh ride costing from £45 an adult and £29 a child. After your sleigh ride you get to go back to the family house to enjoy coffee (I am hoping for tea) and cake.

The Husky Safari

The Husky Safari was our next pick, visiting the local husky farm. We get to drive the Husky pulled sleds before heading in to a Kammi hut for a hot drink and a snack. With prices starting from £35 for adults and £19 for children.

The Lainio Snow Hotel

I really wanted to visit a snow hotel, so we have booked a visit to Lainio Snow Hotel. It is an evening coach trip that gives you the chance of seeing the Northern Lights on the way. During this visit you get a guided tour of the snow village, seeing all of the ice sculptures and get to see the snow hotel bedrooms. Then you get the chance to have a drink in the ice bar. Although I would have loved to have had an over night stay, it is not really suitable for the children. Prices for the trip start at £25 for adults and £16 for children.

Santa’s Elves Hideaway

Of course with a 8 year old and a 4 year old a trip to see Santa was the top of the list. There are a couple of options but we choose the Santa’s Elves Hideaway, which is a 2.5 hour trip but it is only 15 minutes away from Levi. Santa’s Elves Hideaway is set in a the forest, we will get to meet the reindeer, attend Elf school, do some gingerbread baking before enjoying some snow fun and meeting the big man in red. Each family is given a private meeting with Santa. Prices start from £55 an adult and £45 per child.

The Aurora Cabins

Inghams have also kindly offered us an over night stay in one of their Aurora Cabins while we are away. We am so excited to be staying in one of these cabins with a glass roof so we can lay in bed and look up at the stars and fingers cross have the chance to see the Northern Lights.

I cannot wait to go, it’s going to be a trip of a life time. I cannot wait to tell the children, any idea’s on how best to surprise them please let me know.