The November round-up: my travel essentials

I’m not quite sure where November got to. Without as much travel as October or September, I was expecting a bit more of a laid-back month catching up with everything.

Well, perhaps there’s just been more than I thought to catch up with because I haven’t been buying much. I have been trying to hold on to the pennies in case my house move, still stuck in paperwork limbo and slowly driving me mad, does go through…not to mention Christmas presents to buy.

woman's feet on a vintage or retro suitcase - tips on what to pack for both adults and children.

So a select few items for me and my girl this month. Here’s what I’ve I bought, reviewed and considered for my packing list in November – fashion, books and travel essentials.
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Book review: The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen

Fairy tales are dark. I don’t even mean the original stories, I mean the child-friendly versions too. Death. Attempted murder. Evil magic. Unexpected vegetables in beds.

Somehow, I seem to have forgotten that over the years – when we visited the Hans Christian Andersen house in Copenhagen, I suddenly remembered just what goes on before the happy ending.

Purple embossed cover of The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Anderson published by Parragon BooksKids, naturally, have no problem with this (in my experience, anyway), and I can’t imagine Minnie growing up without me reading her some of the most famous fairytales – thanks to Disney, she’s already made a start on Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella, not to mention Frozen which is (very loosely) based on The Snow Queen.

So I was hugely excited to unwrap our new review copy of The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen from Parragon Books.

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MummyTravels’ guide to Amsterdam with kids

Amsterdam’s reputation might not instantly seem child-friendly, but there’s far more to the city than red lights and those coffee shops. Instead you’ve got all the attractions of a major city, linked by picturesque canals overlooked by gabled houses, plus plenty of green space in between.

And along with the famous art museums, zoo and science centre, the friendly Dutch are very welcoming to families. Just don’t step out in front of the bikes. Check out my photos if you need any more tempting.

Amsterdam-canal-boats-bridge-viewWith flights, ferries and Eurostar to choose from, it’s easy to discover for a weekend break as well. Here are my top tips for travelling with children – as ever, do add your own tips and suggestions in the comments.
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City Tripping #3

Brrrr. Winter is very suddenly here. Fortunately that’s no bar to a bit of city exploration, as I’ve discovered myself over the last week – from the castle at Dover to the preparations for Christmas at Kew.

I have to admit, I wouldn’t say no to a lovely sunshiney city break though! In the meantime, it’s hot chocolate and a bit of virtual wanderlust with week 3 of the City Tripping linky.

chicagoCITYLast week, my first time to host, matched the launch with 25 more great posts linked up, so do check out our four favourites – and I hope you’ll join up again over at Wandermum.

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Kew Gardens prepares for Christmas

Today started as a thoroughly grumpy day. I won’t bore you with the list, but for starters it’s anyone’s guess if that house move I mentioned is actually going to happen. Throw in some selective hearing from Minnie and there was only one solution: get outside asap.

The sky was thankfully blue, as being stuck indoors definitely wasn’t going to help my mood, and as it’s been a while since we last went to Kew Gardens, we hopped into the car and headed over – Minnie’s balance bike in the boot for a spot of practice.


And while it was the perfect morning to blow away a few cobwebs, we had slightly mistimed it. Because in two days, Christmas at Kew starts. Continue reading