6/30/16

Summer Abroad with Kids :: Prepping Kids for Travel with Lonely Planet Books

In the summer of 2016 our family set off to spend 8 weeks in London. We would explore the city and live like locals, renting a flat in Westminster. This was a far cry from our beach home in Florida and took a little adjusting to. We thrived in our new home away from home and had a jolly good time with many adventures along the way. This post is one installment in my series: Summer Abroad {with Kids}.

Prepping Kids for Travel with Lonely Planet Books
When we started planning our summer abroad I immediately began to research books to help prepare our kids for the new places we'd be visiting. After asking some friends who travel regularly with their children I decided Lonely Planet would be the best source of books for our family.

So here are a few of our favorite Lonely Planet Books (links to books are affiliates).

Pop-Up London - London will come alive with this beautiful and colorful pop-up book from Lonely Planet Kids. With a set of six stunning pop-ups and gorgeous illustrations, this book is the perfect introduction to the magic of London for any age. Perfect for younger kids, ages 4-7.Not for Parents London: Everything You Ever Wanted to KnowThis is not a guidebook. And it is definitely 'not-for-parents'. It is the real, inside story about London. In this book you'll hear fascinating tales about famous and infamous people, creepy underground places, dark history and strange characters galore. Check out cool stories about graffiti artists, murdered princes and people from all over. You'll find royalty, punks and sleuths, and some amazingly weird food. Great for ages 8+.London City TrailsDiscover London's best-kept secrets, amazing stories and loads of other cool stuff from the comfort of your own home or while visiting the city! But, you don't have to be a visitor or armchair traveller to enjoy this--Londoners are sure to learn new things about their very own city too! Perfect for ages 7-12.Make My Day London - This was a unique guide that allows you to effortlessly plan your perfect day. Flip through the sections and mix and match your itinerary for morning, afternoon and evening. Start the day with a ride on the London Eye, spend the afternoon exploring art at Tate Modern before enjoying a West End show in the evening; all with your trusted travel companion. Planning your city adventure has never been so easy and fun. This book was not designed for kids, but my 9 year old loved planning out our adventures so I'm including it. Perfect for the older kids who think they're too cool to travel with the family.

In addition to the ones listed, we also enjoyed some books about Paris. My daughter loved the Paris City Trails. There's also a beautiful Pop-Up Paris, and a Not for Parents Paris book that we loved.

Thank you Lonely Planet for sending me some of these books so my kids could read up before out trip. All opinions are my own.


6/28/16

Summer Abroad with Kids :: 10 Reasons Your Kids Will Love London's Borough Market

In the summer of 2016 our family set off to spend 8 weeks in London. We would explore the city and live like locals, renting a flat in Westminster. This was a far cry from our beach home in Florida and took a little adjusting to. We thrived in our new home away from home and had a jolly good time with many adventures along the way. This post is one installment in my series: Summer Abroad {with Kids}.

10 Reasons Your Kids Will Love London's Borough Market
One of the top to-do items on the list for our first week in London was to visit the Borough Market. I knew we'd want to stock up on some groceries, but it would also immediately give us a chance to be immersed in everything London. 

Before you head out to the market with your kids I have a few tips for you. 
1. GO EARLY! I'm not kidding. We were there at 10:15am and it was perfect. By 1:30pm I was ready to get out of there because it was just too crowded to try to navigate the area with kids. 
2. Take a reusable tote bag to carry all your purchases.
3. Bring cash. 

Honestly, the kids loved the market and we're already planning a day to go back. Here's my Top 10 Reasons Your Kids Will Love London's Borough Market.

1. Lots of Fresh Fruit - Not just fresh, but already cut up and ready for you to enjoy. Most of the stalls also had a fork for you so you could enjoy your fruit right away.

2. Live Lobsters - I'm not going to lie, I didn't even point out the live lobsters to the kids because we're from Florida and they've seen lobsters before. But they still spotted them and loved looking at them through the glass. 

3. Your Choice of Fresh Juice - In addition to the fresh fruit, there's also a plentiful supply of freshly squeezed juices. Pretty much any flavor combination you can imagine is available.

4. Ice Cream - Creamy and sweet and delicious describes the ice cream the kids had at the Borough Market. Don't be fooled by that sassy stare in the picture. She loved the ice cream, she hated that I made her stop eating it long enough to get a picture.

5. A Chance To Try New Things - One of the things I loved most about the market was that you could sample such a wide variety of foods. My son tried some wheat grass juice (that he decided he didn't like) and then both kids tried some wild boar sausage (that they loved). 

6. CHEESE - My kids love cheese and they loved sampling all the different varieties available at the market. We ended up buying a few different varieties to bring home to our flat.

7. Sweet Treats - In addition to the ice cream, my kids also sampled cookies, brownies, macarons, chocolates and so many other sweets. We did purchase a few to bring home, but even the samples were enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.

8. You Never Know What You Might See - I mentioned that the kids tried some wild boar sausage that they loved, but we also saw zebra burgers, ostrich eggs, ground crocodile and many other specialties that we've never seen in the States.

9. See How It's Made - My kids loved watching the grilled cheese booth toast and scrape the gigantic wheels of cheese, but on certain days there are also cooking demonstrations you can watch as well.

10. It's Fun for the Whole Family - The Borough Market really didn't disappoint when it came to family fun. There was something for everyone to enjoy.

So let's hear it parents... have you taken your kids to London's Borough Market? What was their favorite part?

6/26/16

Kinder Egg Surprise Toy Reveal

It's Sunday and that means it's time for another Kinder Surprise Egg Reveal Video. This week my daughter is unwrapping a special surprise toy.

6/23/16

Summer Abroad with Kids :: Afternoon Tea at the Milestone Hotel

In the summer of 2016 our family set off to spend 8 weeks in London. We would explore the city and live like locals, renting a flat in Westminster. This was a far cry from our beach home in Florida and took a little adjusting to. We thrived in our new home away from home and had a jolly good time with many adventures along the way. This post is one installment in my series: Summer Abroad {with Kids}.

The Milestone Hotel :: A Perfect Afternoon Tea for the Whole Family
So how do you celebrate your 15th Wedding Anniversary when you’re in London with the entire family? Well with a special Afternoon Tea at the Milestone Hotel, of course.

When we started planning our summer trip to London I knew we wanted to do something special on our anniversary, but I also knew we’d have the kids with us and no childcare. So a date night out was out of the question. We decided on booking an English Afternoon Tea for the family. After researching the best places in London, I decided on the Milestone Hotel for our anniversary tea.

The Milestone Hotel offers a delightful Afternoon Tea that is fun for the entire family. We were seated in the cozy Park Lounge where we delighted in tea and cakes and treats! The kids enjoyed their Little Prince and Princess Tea and my husband and I indulged in the Traditional Afternoon Tea. Everything they served was amazing. The little finger sandwiches were savory and delicious and the pastries were sweet and heavenly. My daughter even asked for more macarons and our server graciously brought her a plate of the most delicious pink macarons I’ve ever eaten.



My little macaron lover!
In addition to offering a phenomenal Afternoon Tea experience, the kids had the opportunity to decorate a cupcake before we left. Overall, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 15th anniversary.


Decorating cupcakes.
Thank you go the Milestone Hotel for offering us a complimentary tea in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.