Booking a holiday with Snaptrip

Like many of us at this time of year my family and I are ready for a holiday or we are looking into planning one for later on. Unfortunately we don’t always have the funds to pay for a holiday when we find a good one.

That’s why I was so impressed when I found a last minute cottage on Snaptrip!

It is a great website that is full of great deals of last minute cottages across Great Britain.

IMG_1606 The website looks great specially to say it’s still really new and was only went live in May 2014 and so far has over 14,000 properties and are hoping by summer of this year that number will increase to 35,000. Which is great because it means there will always be cottages available when someone is looking for a last minute deal.

This is easy to see when you look at the map on there website. Thousands of little orange pinpoints come up and the top 24 deals and cottages stand out because they are marked with letters and then listed underneath.
This made looking through the cottages easy and quite enjoyable.
I loved dreaming of packing up the family and going to stay at some of the most beautiful and amazing locations across the UK.
Unfortunately we don’t drive and would have to travel by train or coach to get to our break away. So thinking sensibly I looked closer to home.

The filter section was great because I was able to find some beautiful looking cottages that would fit our needs. Like being baby friendly and of course having wifi and enough beds for us all to sleep in.

After looking through the them all I was finally able to find a great looking place. So I clicked the more details button and was taken the the properties individual page.


I loved this because it was filled with information describing the layout of the rooms, floor plans and what was included in the rent. Such as bedding, and if cots are available or if pets are welcome.


At the bottom of the page there is a great section telling you how far away all the local amenities are. I found this extremely helpful in planning activities that the family and I could do together.


I was really excited about this and I am really hoping to twist the hubby’s arm into us having a little family get away soon. Specially now that my step daughter A isn’t able to come in our first aboard holiday we have booked at this year.

for my reader though I have a discount code of £25 if you book a last minute cottage get away and quote NIKKI2015 on the booking form.

I hope you enjoy

Nikki x


I was compensated for this review. I was given a discount on a booking for my honest opinion, which is my own.

My Christmas – so far

As this is my first Christmas blogging I thought I would walk you through our family Christmas before the big day.

School Ends – Christmas prep starts
See normally during the half term I would have loads of crafting activities. We would make decorations, bake and right cards. Plus the kids would fill in their Christmas activity books and we would write letters to Santa and post them.

This year though, we had a very late start to the Christmas prep as 2 of my kids got poorly during the weekend after they broke up. Luckily they got well enough to join in last few days.

See Santa
I know to lots of people this is a right of passage too and they take their kids every year. I am on of those people and although they have seen many other Santa’s in the last month. I always take them to see the santa in local shopping centre every year.


Wrapping presents
This is actually one of the things I really don’t like about Christmas. I hate having to spend hours wrapping the presents, just do the kids can rip off the paper in seconds and it thrown in the bin. It’s a massive waste of money, time, effort and paper. But then though I hate it I still wrap nearly all their presents every year because it’s not Christmas with out wrapping paper.


Christmas shopping
I an the one that does the food shop every year without fail. I always go major over budget and end up with things I don’t need, want or know what to do with.
For the food shop I always start buying a month before Christmas. I buy my mini sausages and sausage meat as soon as possible and store it in my freezer until Christmas Eve. I start storing up on the booze, nibbles and “kid wine” (grape juice) and in recent years I have started. Preordering my main meat, starters and pudding, so it’s paid for and ready to pick up Christmas Eve with no fuss 🙂

Christmas clean up
In the week running up to Christmas, I try to do a major clean before my family come round (not that it looks any different) and on Christmas Eve, the cleaning steps up a gear as the prep begins. As the kids play the hubby and I will been seen darting about trying to get stuff polished, wiped or swept. Although soon as kids come down on Christmas morning it’s a bomb site again!

Christmas Eve night
Christmas Eve night has to be one of my favourite time though. I love how excited the kids get. We spend the day making decorations, watching Christmas films and spending time together.
This year we also went to see Santa. As we could go earlier due to ill children.
After tea we will all get in our pj’s curl up to read The night before Christmas, then put 2 mince pies, a carrot and a big glass of baileys out for Santa before bed.

Then soon as the kids are a sleep in bed the hubby and I get to work with sorting the presents, building them and finished what is left to wrap (if any!). Then we set them all up as if santa had been 🙂

Then it’s a quick clean up and off to bed we go 🙂

I can’t wait to see the kids faces in the morning when they see all their presents we have bought them and I hope they like the shoes Santa has got for them.

I hope you a great day and I will fill you in on the rest of our Christmas later on x

Nikki x

 photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg


My word of the week this week is


As most people will know I haven’t been online or blogging over last few weeks. It was because we where on holiday. So my life was wrapped up with packing an getting everything sorted and last week we where away. (which was great and there is a post to come I promise)

Well on Monday we returned home and it was time for us to return back to normal life. Hubby returned back to work and I returned back to my usual life of hospital appointments and cleaning. We also got the return of my argumentative kids.
With it’s being the summer holidays the kids are bored and restless, they constantly want to do something or go somewhere but there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to get house work done and through the mountains of washing we brought home and go on day trips everyday.

We have had some fun days out this week and visited a few museums through.

And I have even managed to meet up with a few friends.

I have also had a return to my blog and I seem to have a return of my blogging mojo. (which is in full swing tonight this is my 4th post)
So it’s great. And I’m hoping it will carry on as I have enter the blog every day in August challenge.

My word this week is returning 🙂 because life is finally returning back to normal 🙂

Nikki ❤

word of the week

The Reading Residence

Where I have been!

I know I haven’t been been around or blogging much recently but don’t worry.

I’m back!


*happy dances*

Oh how I have missed you all.

The reason I haven’t been around is because we have been on holiday recently. Which meant the first half was spent cleaning, packing, making sure everything was covered and ready. Then we had a week away. It was bliss

an we had loads of fun but the only problem was no internet or wifi.
The only place I could to get wifi in the restaurant and the mobile data signed on my phone was crap.
I couldn’t blog, tweet or update Facebook.
It safe to say by end of the week I was suffering with from serious withdrawals and I was making up any excuse to go to the restaurant or looking for nears cafe or macdonalds. Just so I could use their free wifi to be able to check my profile and uploads my holiday pictures to Instagram.

The holiday it’s self was and just what my family and I needed. We had loads of family fun and reconnected with each other. It was amazing seeing the stresses of work, school and family life just melt away. So I was able to watch my kids grow, explore and have fun. While hubby and I topped up our tans because the weather was beautiful. We had so many fun family adventures and I tried to cram in loads of activities to keep kids busy because I didn’t want to hear the dreaded

“I’m bored!”

sentence escaping their lips.
But there a future blog posts 🙂

Here are some holiday pictures to help tide you all over until I get chance to type them up between the constant washing and unpacking of cases followed my some much earn glasses of wine 😀




Nikki ❤

magic moments

What’s the story

 photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg


I have been sitting trying to think about my word for this weeks word of the week and It has been rather tricky to come up with on.

See this week has been a bit of a mixed one. I have been feeling really low in myself and I don’t know why. My hubby has been great though and has been trying his very best to support me and help look after kids but I have still been left feeling very over whelmed and like I want to cry.

I am hoping it’s just because I am in need of a serious holiday. Luckily we have one booked at Haven very soon.
That’s why at start of week I dug out the suitcases and I have been on a mad hunt for all the kids nice clothes, swim suits and shoes. I have got all the new clothes that I have been hiding in my wardrobe are finally been removed. I will admit as the days decrease in the the count down I do get little flurries of excitement but they don’t last and I am left with the feeling like I still have so much to do and clothes to buy.

Money has also been a stress this week for me because I have gone over my budget repeatedly and I am left wondering how I’m going to make a great holiday. I have sacrificed my driving lessons again this month because I want to make sure we have enough to make this holiday and amazing one that my kids will remember forever.

Add to that the hospital appointments we have had this week. Baby had her first audiology appointment since birth to check her hearing today. She did really well and was able to hear and turn to all the high pitch sounds which is great. She has got a build up of fluid behind her ear drum in both ears (aka glue ear) which is common in people with Down’s syndrome. They are going to monitor her over next few appointments and then decide were to go from there. She may need earring aids, so she doesn’t need fall behind too much with her speech. Will know more in 8 weeks.

P has to give blood tomorrow because the doctor wants to test for anaemia because I and school have both noticed that he is eating loads and keeps eating things he shouldn’t. Such as plastic, rubbers, loom bands, paper clips and he even snuck a tech deck screw driver into school and was caught chewing it. I am a bit sceptical of the results because I honestly don’t think he has anaemia but I also really hope it is just that simple because it don’t know how many more medical things I can handle.

Baby hasn’t been well since last week with a barking cough over the weekend. On Sunday night was the worst though and I barely slept because she kept making a gasping noise but when I checked her she was fine. On Monday morning I rang the doctors at 8 am to get an appointment. It took over a 100 redials on my phone until nearly 9am to get through and when I told the receptionist the problem she told me the closest appointment was 3.30pm. I was annoyed but I accepted it. At least it meant I didn’t have to miss the boys sports day.

They did so well T got 2 3rds places and P got 2 2nds places. #superproudmummy
Anyway after I took Baby to doctors it turned out she has a chest infection add that to her teething and I have had a super grumpy baby to deal with all week.

This week has had it’s good points though. The boys sports day was fun, I even took part in the parents 3legged race. (we came last)

and Baby as finally started to attempt to sit by herself

20140710-223506-81306144.jpgand is getting about rolling and pulling herself along even more then before 🙂

It’s also looking like next week is going to be very smiler to this week with the amount of hospital appointments, packing and cleaning that needs doing.

But this week has been mixed, stressful, tiring and tricky!

My word this week is TRICKY!

Nikki ❤

word of the week

The Reading Residence

Half term and Easter holidays.

As the school holiday approached I was oddly optimistic that everything would be fine and the school holidays would be as enjoyable as the pervious one. Being full of play areas, family time and fun.

As you can guess it wasn’t at all like that. On day 1 I was awoken by my 9 year old (who seems to be going on 16) with an attitude and that’s how my half term began. The first week was a misery with daily tantrums, hourly outbursts of attitude and a very shouty, unhappy mummy. All my plans were put on hold because I couldn’t take my children out into the world and have them decide to do a runner or for T not to get his own way and start screaming “your the worst mum ever, I hate you!” (which seemed to be on repeat the first week). I knew that adding disapproving stares and fellow parents tut’s would just tip me over the edge. So I saved myself the let the ground open and swallow me whole moments and opted to stay in. I did explain to my children why they were missing out and punished my kids accordingly because they knew their behaviour was wrong!

And then finally the day came that I had waited for, the day where they started to behave and we managed to have a good family day. It had only taken over a week! It was as if someone had come in the night and swapped my argumentative and disobedient boys for ones that wanted to go out an play, wanted to be good and didn’t think I was the bad guy.

So the second week was full of fun with only the odd blip of misbehaving.
We did arts and crafts, plus P learnt to ride his bike, we had a movie night and on Good Friday we managed to make it to a play area near us called funsters.



On the Saturday we had my friend round with her girls where we made Easter rice crispy buns and we spent the afternoon in the park.


That evening my friend and I had a fun. Once the kids where all asleep we decided to share a bottle of wine to blow off steam and put the worlds to rights. We talked well into night and the 1 bottle quickly turned into 2. We finally went to bed after 1 am, slightly tipsy and knowing I was going to pay in the morning for drinking more then a couple of glasses.

I was very much right and the next morning I woke up groggy headed with a creeping hangover that got worse as Easter Sunday wore on. It didn’t matter how I felt though because the Easter bunny had to turn up to hide the eggs in the garden for the hunt. So at 8am I was hobbling foggy headed hiding foil covered eggs around the garden while the kids still dozed in their beds. I didn’t even put all the eggs out and I saved at least half for a hunt the next day :). Later that day we had my nephews 6th birthday party, which was murder with a hangover. (Being surrounded by 50 screaming kids while my head pounded was my punishment for the second bottle of wine) Fortunately by the end of the party and a strong coffee later my head started to lift and I was starting to feel more normal again.
After the party I spent my time at home while my kids went off to a Easter fair with their grandma.

The next day was Easter Monday and again I went out into garden hiding eggs so my kids could have another hunt and I could hopefully snap some pictures but they ran around so fast finding the eggs that they were a blur for the most part. However I did get a some lovely pictures of my mini Easter bunny 🙂


We had a lovely family roast and some friends round for tea. It was really fun and I enjoyed to company (with no alcohol in sight!). Then it was back into the usual routine as my boys were back to school the next morning.

It was once they were all bathed, bedded and asleep that I managed to finally get some cleaning done that I hadn’t been able to do the last 2 weeks. I cleaned the bathroom, scrubbed my sofas and wiped down all the mucky kiddie prints off the doors and walls. I did all this because then I was able to enjoy my first day with my kids back at school.

I do love my kids whole heartedly but after the ups and downs of the last 2 weeks, today was a much needed break that I thoroughly enjoyed 🙂

Hope you all had a lovely half term and Easter holiday 🙂

Nikki ❤