Monthly Archives: July 2016

Travel with children

School is now finished and holidays are officially on! I came back myself last night from a week in Lanzarote, a great holiday I will share with you soon.

I thought this was the perfect time of the year to post this article kindly written by Karen Simmonds, owner of the family travel specialist Travel Matters. This independent travel agency, based in South West London, established 18 years.

Here a  few practical tips on travelling on flights especially with young children and the stress that it can bring.

Many parents-to-be confidently declare that having children won’t curb their enthusiasm for overseas travel. Experienced parents roll their eyes, knowing full well that it’s simply not possible to travel abroad with kids without planning it out in the finest detail and packing enough to cover every possible eventuality at any given time. Having children shouldn’t put you off enjoying all this wonderful world has to offer.  Sure, a weekend away may now involve more than packing a toothbrush and your passport, but that’s not to say it’s impossible with a little forethought.

Flying with children is an activity that parents dread. It’s tricky enough being somewhere you can make a swift exit from with your child should they kick off, but what happens when you’re in close proximity to so many people and when there’s no way out? Even the most placid children can get upset when flying due to air pressure hurting their ears, being over excited, over tired, or simply picking up on your raised stress levels and responding to them.


There are a few things to consider and useful tips to know when flying with a baby.

Families with children under five get a priority while boarding, which is convenient and fantastic, but also means that it extends your stay on the plane by good 40 minutes. Let’s not forget that children get bored easily. Coming up with ways to entertain the kids is a necessity – it can be a favourite toy, movies, drawing and all sorts of games, that you invent as you go along.

Infants up to 2 years of age can stay on their parents’ lap, with an extension belt provided.

If you are flying long haul check if your baby can be vaccinated.

Your child will need its own passport to travel.

While travelling with an infant you are allowed to take a number of items on the plane with you – a bag with all the items the baby might require during the flight, one fully collapsible push chair, a car seat etc.

Best places to travel to with babies.

When travelling with such young children, you want flights to be relatively short and amenities easy to access.

Toddlers love a good sandy beach – there’s so much to explore and so much to do! From doing buckets and spades endlessly to taking their first careful steps into the sea, watching a young child on the first beach holiday is a delight.

Europe is the best destination by far that ticks all the boxes. You want your destination to have extensive sandy beaches with gradual and easy access to the sea. We can particularly recommend Portugal, especially Algarve area, mainland Spain and the Balearics, Greece (Zakynthos and Halkidiki among others) as well as Puglia area in Italy.


As parents ourselves, we have found the best approach is to plan for the worst and hope for the best.  Knowing you have a solution for problems before they arise means you can enjoy the adventure of the journey as much the holiday itself.

Happy Travelling!


Travel Matters, 10 Blandfield Rd (off Nightingale Lane, London SW12 8BG )

PS. If you have any questions feel free to contact Karen on, she is absolutely a lovely lady and I’m sure she will be very helpful.










Glowing of beauty – Maternity Photography

Maternity is really a magical time in a woman’s life.

It’s where all begins and even if sometimes it can be hard it’s still the biggest miracle ever.  I know maternity is not always an easy journey, indeed most women feel horrible, tired, exhausted . . . my pregnancy was a bit hard towards the end as I was suffering from PGP and it made it really painful to walk. However I remember it as a great time and sometimes I even miss the big belly
This gorgeous mum had a wonderful and easy pregnancy, she treated herself every day with an infuse of olive leaves and she is now glowing. We went to a very special location picked by dad-to-be, a place where he grew up and where you can breathe nature and history. But I will tell you about this story when I will post this session, for now, here a little preview.

Vale x


Photograface by Valentina | Maternity Photographer Clapham






How young mums can better care for their babies and themselves

Guest post written by Dominique Antiglio, founder of BeSophro. I had a mini session of Sophrology and I  felt really lighter and more relaxed. Read the article and try the exercise she is suggesting.

As a young mum myself, I know it can be challenging to take care of your baby, look after yourself and juggle home and work life. It is very easy to neglect your own health, but you need to be fit, healthy and well balanced to be able to look after your child. I practise Sophrology every day to help me deal with everything life throws at me and it helps me focus, feel less tense and be more present for my baby and my life.

Sophrology is a therapeutic discipline, a practice and a philosophy.

It uses the mind/body connection to build resilience and connect with inner resources. It is a wonderful blend of Eastern and Western philosophies and practices, combining breathing, visualisation, gentle movement, body awareness and relaxation techniques to bring both body and mind into harmony.

‘Sophrology’ means ’the science of the consciousness in harmony‘ and was created by Spanish neuro-psychiatrist Alfonso Caycedo in 1960. This technique has been used in Continental Europe for more than 30 years and has several applications in the medical field, particularly birth preparation.


How can you put Sophrology into practice?

Sophrology is a practice you learn and then adapt to your own lifestyle.

Ideally, it’s better to learn the technique from a qualified practitioner, but there are a few things you can do in your daily life to make you feel calmer.

Going out for a walk with the pram might be one of the few times you have for yourself: why not take this opportunity to let go of your tension and re-balance. During your walk you can regain your energy for the rest of the day or simply recuperate from your tiredness. The temptation when you go out is to check your phone and run a million errands but the priority here is to take some time out so you can feel better and be more energised afterwards.

Once you are out of the house, take the first five minutes to walk consciously: this means feeling the weight of your body on your feet, the movement of your joints, how your feet make contact with the floor, being aware of the body moving while you walk.

Listen to your breathing, making sure you breathe with the abdomen and release your shoulders. This is a way to connect and to start to release any tension you may have in your body.

In the next three minutes think about what your worries are at the moment, and every time you breathe out and take a step you let go of one of your worries. Exhale through the mouth and release the tension consciously, like if you could simply blow the worries away !

Continue the walk observing if something has changed. If you feel there is still a lot of tension in your body you can use the tense/relax exercise. The aim of this exercise is that, if you acknowledge you have tension, then the tension will go.

Gently inhale, tense the shoulders up, breathe out and release them down. Inhale, tense the stomach, exhale and release the tension. This can be done as you hold the pram and with any part of your body.

Further down the way, find a bench to sit down and take a moment to rest and have a conscious break : concentrate on the present moment and on how your body feels while you are sitting, notice the surroundings. As a busy mum you don’t have much time, as you are constantly looking after the baby and its demands, so a few minute of doing nothing and just being can really feel amazing.

Make an effort to really observe your surroundings: the trees, the people, the sky. Inhale and focus on this moment, think of something positive like the beauty of nature, the joy of being a mum, looking at your beautiful baby. If you’re having a bad day, try thinking about a calming word and invite it into your consciousness.

On the way back, decide on what you want to think about, something positive obviously and try to stay focused on it. When I go out for a walk, on my way back to the house I will concentrate on looking at what is beautiful around me, something new I didn’t notice before, like nature or the flowers on windowsills. I simply observe how everything unfolds from there and concentrate on the positive.

Hopefully, by doing this exercise, your mood will have changed by the time you get back home and you may feel more energised after oxygenating your brain and muscles. You might also notice that you have slowed down and feel more grounded. Of course be aware of the traffic and be careful ! Until you get used to this routine, you might want to start practising it in a park if you feel more secure there.

The most important thing you have right now is the love for your baby despite the chaos of being a busy mum and the tiredness you are feeling.


If you need more help and support or further advice on how you can practise some relaxation and visualisation exercises, you can contact me at or have a look at my blog for inspiration.





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