Making memories in Crete

2017 was the first time we went abroad as a family. In fact it was the first time me and the Hubby has been abroad in the then 11 years we had been together. We headed to Crete one of the many Greek islands, with our 2 very excited children and my Mother and Father in law.

We chose the tiny little coast town of Almyrida and the most fabulous private villa up on the hill side about a 5 minute drive out of the town itself. We hired 2 cars that we collected at the airport nice and easily, it was about a 45 minute drive along to the coast from the airport to our villa. The drive gave us time to take in the beautiful island.

The villa

Our villa was fabulous, set up the hill with views over the valley, across the town and out towards the sea. The villa also had it’s own private pool, set in a olive grow. The villa had 3 bedrooms, 2 double and a twin each with ensuite bathrooms on the ground floor. Then upstairs there was an open plan kitchen, dinning and living room, with doors out on to the wrap around balcony. The balcony became home to breakfast, board game in the evenings and many glasses of wine of the adults.

The Beach

The beach was lovely, sat right in Souda Bay. We spent a couple of lovely days on the beach. We hired lounger chairs from the local hotel at €3 each, but it was also perfect because it mean that the bar staff from the hotel came down onto the beach taking orders for food and drinks.

Although as a family we had been on UK coastal holidays, being able to spend a whole day on the beach was lovely. We made sand castles, played with the beach ball and swam. We ordered food and drink from the hotel bar, which was all reasonably priced. For those couple of days of family fun making memories was worth every penny that the holiday cost us. Even now almost a year later we are talking about the holiday and the child are asking about when we can return to Crete.

The food

Greek food is some of the best in the world. Freshly made salads that are just out of this world, fresh fish dishes are very popular, things like moussaka, stifado, souvlaki are all popular. They also cater wonderfully for the children. The hubby tried the very popular lamb and goat meals, while I stuck to the fresh fish and salads. Oh I also loved the fried cheese, stuffed vine leaves, that we shared for starters most evening. Every time you go into a restaurant for a meal, they bring you ice cold water to drink while you choose your meals, they when they bring you your bill they bring out a small dessert, or bite size piece of cake.

The Island

making memories in crete

The island of Crete is just beautiful, steeped in history. We visited Chania and Rethymnon both old Venetian harbour towns. We wondered around, popping in and out of the shops and beautiful cafes. If you love seafood you must pop to Rethymnon as the restaurants around the harbour have the most amazing selection of fresh sea food. Although we didn’t you can take a boot trip out to sea from the harbours which we plan to do when we next visit the island.

Even though Almayda is small town, they have everything we wanted. A couple of small super markets, a bakery that sold the tastiest cakes, an ice cream shop, only a hand full of shops and then a nice selection of restaurants and taverns.

We loved our week in Crete, the Cretans are some of the friendliest people you could wish to meet. All so helpful in shops, brilliant with the children and in the restaurants more than happy to explain what the food is and what it contains. We are going to go back but next time with think we will look at an all inclusive holiday. We have found some great ones here https://www.holidaygems.co.uk/all-inclusive-holidays We made memories that will last a lifetime and cannot wait to make some more during our next adventure.

Have you ever visited Crete? What did you think to the island?

 

*This post was made in collaboration with Holiday Gems. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Getting beach chic this summer

It’s coming to the time of year when the shops fill with all the lovely summer clothing that you just can’t wait to get your hands on. Yet, know you can’t wear it, as it’s still cold and raining outside. We start to think about getting our bodies beach ready. To make sure we are looking at our best for those cocktails on the beach. My body has not been beach ready in one to many years now and honestly probably never will be back to its former pre-children glory. However this year on our annual holiday I am determined to find something flattering that isn’t just the black swimsuit I wear to the gym.

It’s isn’t always just about your swim wear it’s about so much more. So, I thought I would share with you my beach chic style for this summer. 

The Bikini

I really love this two piece bikini Indian Summer set, I love the slightly boho feel to it. Plus the high waisted bikini bottoms are just what I need to help with my beach confidence. As the bottoms are high waisted they will hold me in just in the right places. I love the slightly open wave at the side of them, adding that bit of chic I have been looking for.

The cover up

I think every time you head to the beach you need something to cover you up, when heading to the bar for a cocktail after a day on the beach. Or even for the a lovely evening stroll along with waters edge, when the sun has started to set and you just need that extra layer to keep the chill off. I really like this ViX sold Fuji Kaftan, its really chic, it will go with any beach wear you choose and will look fabulous accessorised with some jewellery.

The Beach accessories

No beach outfit is complete without the all important accessories. For me, choosing the accessories is just as important as finding the perfect swimwear. I have so many bags, items of jewellery, sun glasses and old beach towels, but they are just not quite right for the beach chic style I am going for this year.

I’m all about a hand bag, I have so many, but a beach bag should be big, it should be fabulous and it should be something that is just for holidays. I always carry so much in my day to day handbags, when I go to the beach it’s not much different, well may be my beloved kikki k planner might stay at home. But the phone, lipstick, a book, purse, sun lotion and goodness know what else will still come with me to the beach. So, the bigger the better, I love this Heidi Klein Grace Bay bag, it’s perfect for all my beach needs. Plus it looks amazing.

Every beach chic outfit needs a lovely pair of flip flops, now I’m not talking about those rubber cheap ones you buy. I love a great pair of flip flops, they can be worn on the beach all day, during the evening, on the plane, everywhere. Chic flip flops are a summer investment. I really like this leather pair of Melissa Odabash flip flops, they will match my beach chic style perfectly for this summer.

Sunglasses are an essential part of any summer wardrobe, I have recently taken a likely to classic aviator style. Which put them at the top of my beach bag. I really like these Seafolly Venture sunglasses, perfect for the whole summer.

I wear jewellery every day, I am rarely seen without earrings or a necklace on. So, why would that have to change for on the beach. I really like the boho vibes of long multi gold necklaces, they will sit perfectly with both the bikini and the kaftan. Finishing off the beach chic look perfectly. This Ashiana Autuma necklace is perfect for my beach style.

beach chic round beach towel

While having the perfect beach chic outfit is wonderful, you also need the perfect beach chic towel. And I have found this gorgeous Watercult Beach Roundie towel with a beautiful mandala pattern. It will just finish my fabulous beach chic outfit off.

What do you think to my beach chic look for this summer?

 

 

*This post was made in collaboration with Simply Beach. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*

15 Simple Garden Maintenance Tips for the Non-Gardener

For some of us gardening is therapeutic; our little safe haven to relax and enjoy the summer sun whilst tending to our flower beds. For the rest of us we’d rather spend time chasing the dog around the garden with the newspaper than pushing the lawn moor along. Regardless of your preference, no one wants to look out the back window to a neglected, rundown garden. These top maintenance tips will help keep it looking tip top minus the effort.

Simple Garden Maintence

Watering

  1. It doesn’t need to be a mammoth task! Flower beds need a top up 1-2 times a week maximum.
  2. Water in the morning when the soil is cool, this will stop any water from evaporating.
  3. Don’t drown your plants, an even covering of flower beds is suffice.
  4. Avoid plant heads to prevent damage.
  5. Forgotten to water? Add plant food to your next batch – Baby Bio is great. This gives them a little spruce up for greener leaves and vibrant colours.

Lawn

  1. Don’t cut your grass too short – if the temperature rises above 30 °C there’s nothing to protect it. Leave it at least 5cm long.
  2. The best time to water your grass is first thing on a morning around 8am.
  3. Don’t drown the grass. 10 – 15 litres of water per sq.m is enough.
  4. A lot of modern watering cans or hoses come with flow control sprinkler attachments. These are great to achieve an even coverage. 

Weeds

  1. Keep your plant beds fully stocked to minimise to room for weeds to develop.
  2. Bark or other mulch is great for preventing weeds sprouting.
  3. Pull weeds from the root to prevent further growth or spreading.

Automate the Process

  1. Don’t have time to water the plants or lawn? Get some automatic sprinklers to do it for you.
  1. Don’t enjoy mowing the lawn? If you’ve got the budget – Automatic lawn mowers take the chore out of cutting the grass but can come at a cost.
  2. Not feeling gardening at all? Go artificial – Eliminate the process all together and opt for fake grass – There’s a range to suit every budget!

 

 

*This post has been made in collaboration with Grass Direct.*