Venus Beach Hotel Review

We recently returned from our much anticipated family holiday to Cyprus and stayed at Venus Beach Hotel, a 5* hotel with a 5* service.

Prior to searching for hotels for our vacation in Cyprus, myself and my husband had only stayed either self-catering or bed and breakfast and hadn’t spent too much time looking for the ‘perfect’ holiday home as ‘cheap and cheerful‘ was good enough for us being a couple without children and we rather enjoyed exploring the country, food and scenery more than what the hotel could offer us.

Now with 2 young children, things were different and safety, comfort & great food were now our top priorities as we would be spending majority of the time at the hotel and only exploring during the day. Therefore we decided to go half-board and booked our holiday location and hotel with On The Beach

My first thoughts from the photos was that the scenery was beautiful and the hotel grounds clean and modern looking with a gorgeous overlook of the beach and hotel pool area. The hotel rooms looked well sized (as we needed a family room for the 4 of us) with modern decor and an added balcony with a sea view. I showed it to my husband who also approved and we booked with a deposit and paid weekly until the rest of the balance was finally paid off.

Arrival

We arrived to the hotel after an hour delay at around 11pm (Cypriot time) and we’re all very tired from the journey but also excited to be spending our first night in our holiday home. We had been dropped off using a private taxi service (which I highly recommend as it only took about 15-20 minutes to arrive)

Once I had gone inside to let reception know we had arrived I was amazed by the beauty of the chandeliers, the high ceilings and the attention to modern art on the walls and staircase. Myself and my husband knew we had made the right choice in those split seconds and my optimism grew even further.

The man on reception (I didn’t remember to take his name) was very polite and called someone to come and take our bags and also offered us some cold orange juice, after sorting out all the paperwork they offered us a free ‘lunch voucher’ to use at any time during our stay as we had already missed dinner; after telling us our room number we eagerly went to our room with our bags following via room service.

We were greeted to a bright and spacious room with 2 single beds pushed together plus a separate single bed and a cot. Nia-Mae enjoyed having her own bed and I was glad that there was enough room for myself and Josiah without half my body hanging off the bed. I chose not to use the cot as I didn’t want to wake up throughout the night to give him night feeds. Even with all of the furniture around there was still space for 4 of us to move around without feeling too over-crowded. We had been lucky to get a sea-view and the night time scenery was magical with lots of lights and an array of a deep blue from the pool and sea. It was perfect and we all slept very well on our first night!

Food

Breakfast was served from 7am-10am which was perfect for us as it gave us all enough time to be showered and ready in order to enjoy a good amount of time eating without feeling rushed.

We had a selection of buffet style food that served fruit, yogurts, cereal and fried breakfast. The choices were amazing and there was something for all of us (including Josiah who was recently BLW) Everything tasted wonderfully especially my selection of fruit and strawberry yogurt for starters followed by my fry-up of eggs, sausages, beans and crepes drizzled with maple syrup. My husband loved the same fried breakfast with added omelettes and Nia-Mae & Josiah rotated between fruit with strawberry yogurt and crepes with maple syrup. The drinks were bottomless which served either orange, apple or grapefruit juice as well as water. There was also a selection of Cypriot flavoured teas (but I found this tasted differently to what I was accustomed to and I missed my English breakfast – which they didn’t serve or my regular herbal teas)

Dinner was served from 7pm-10pm and was additionally just as delicious as the breakfast buffet choices; served in the same way there was so much to choose from with a different theme each night. My favourite theme was Cypriot and Italian and I loved getting food from the ‘live kitchen’ where you choose from a variety of pastas, toppings and sauces that are fried right in front of you by a chef! It was fantastic to see the flames of the pan rise in the night sky and the aromas from the delicacies being prepared for your impatient taste buds.

If we ended up having rooms in our bellies from all the food we demolished, we again were spoilt for choice from a buffet selection of desserts. My particular favourite was a strawberry cheesecake that was served on Italian Night (which I regretfully didn’t get extra servings off!) I could talk about how delicious the food was throughout the rest of the blog and writing this just takes me back to eating all the different flavours with the gorgeous palm trees blowing in the cool breeze with the sight of the all the oranges and yellows from the slow sunset which then turned into night sky accessorised perfectly with the bright shining diamond-like stars.

I definitely ate lots while we stayed the week there and even put on half a stone because I just couldn’t resist going back for more! Along with the gorgeous weather, this was definitely my best thing about the hotel and we are very grateful to the hard working chiefs, waiters and waitresses for their excellent service.

Scenery

There really isn’t enough words to describe the scenic views that we saw for the week. Pictures don’t do it justice to how beautiful it looked and the atmosphere around the pool was so fun and inclusive. From families and wedding parties, to couples and individuals the hotel catered for everyone. The smell of sun tan lotion, the sounds of splashes from the pool and the taste of dripping ice-cream and ice cold bottled water will always be my happy memories of Venus Beach Hotel!

Service

The staff and service was 10/10, they always went the extra mile for you and always greeted you with either a smile or hello. This really was a bonus to our stay as sometimes the lack of customer service can let the stay of accommodations down but all the staff were so hard working and helpful, it made the stay with young children that tiny bit easier. Especially on our last day when our checkout was 12 noon but the flight wasn’t until 10:45pm! Once breakfast was over we were given another room to stay in until it was time to leave free of charge, this definitely helped with that final prep before departure. We also used our free lunch voucher at around 2:30pm which came in very handy as it carried us over (with the addition of snacks) until our private taxi arrived to pick us up for the airport.

This is Skevi Nikolaou (Guest Relations Manager) who provided a very friendly and approachable customer service and always with a smile!

We would definitely recommend staying at Venus Beach Hotel if coming to Cyprus, they are even opposite a Lidl which we often visited for our munchies around the pool or balcony seats at the bar area.

I would say that the only thing we expected more of was evening entertainment (especially for younger children); even though they had a Kids Club, Nia-Mae was too young for this and I didn’t feel comfortable leaving her alone without anyone she knew. My feelings are that it would have made our evening meals a lot smoother with young children having evening hotel entertainment on our sides.

Despite this thank you so much to all those that helped to make our stay the wonderful experience it was and we can’t wait to revisit again in the near future!

*This was not an ad and I genuinely wanted to write a review about the positive stay myself and my family had. All opinions and accounts stated are my own.

Letterbox Bakery Review

So anyone that knows me will know that I love a sweet dessert so when I came across Letterbox Bakery at a Market Night and had luckily bagged a ‘Caramel Box’, my tastebuds were delightfully thankful. I then recently managed to bag another 2 boxes at another Market Night and these tasted just as good as the first time (if not even better as I had a double portion this time)

I was then kindly gifted one of their new bakes the ‘American Box’ to review and I am happy to say I have found an online bakery that I will be continuing to order from!

Each box has around 6 bakes each of assorted flavours and are beautifully wrapped in tissue paper and then covered in a cardboard box with a label clearly stating flavours, allergen advice and shelf life instructions.

These bakes contain gluten, peanuts, soya, dairy and eggs so anyone that has food allergies these unfortunately are not for you but they do come with a gluten free option when requested on the website. There is also a ‘Vegan Flapjack Box’ and a ‘Build You Own Box’ so lots of other alternatives to choose from!

All of the bakes should be covered and kept out of direct sunlight and last for around two weeks at room temperature, three weeks if stored in the fridge and can also be frozen for up to 3 months which is wonderful news if you want to ever buy in bulk or for a special occasion.

The boxes all fit easily fit through the letterbox so even if you aren’t at home for delivery you’ll have a lovely surprise waiting for you once you arrive home which personally is an added bonus as I would hate to have my food parcel outdoors for long periods of time if I’m not around.

American Box

Peanut Butter Tiffin

Peanut Butter Tiffin consists of a chocolate crumble base but soft at each bite with chewy centre bits. There is a taste of peanut butter but nothing overbearing which I found really nice as although I can manage the taste of peanut butter it’s not a flavour that I always have so to have a mild flavour of it with the addition of chocolate tasted amazing!

RATE:- 4/5

Peanut Butter Jelly Flapjack

Peanut Butter Jelly Flapjack consisted of a classic taste of flapjack covered with a sweet jelly topping. Again there wasn’t an overpowering taste of peanut butter which I loved! I think this bake is lovely for all flapjack fans but I personally find them too chewy so although these were baked to perfection (and I still ate it all) this wasn’t one of my favourites.

RATE:- 2/5

Salted Pretzel Brownie

Salted Pretzel Brownies consist of a taste of a soft chocolate centre that mouth-wateringly crumbles in your mouth. If you are a lover of all things chocolate then hands up this will be your favourite. This bake actually surprised me as although I like chocolate I don’t really eat it too much and can only have it in small portions but this was so gorgeous, rich and soft but not too chocolaty, that this was definitely one of my favourites. I loved having this with a nice hot cuppa!

RATE:- 5/5

Pop Tart Tiffin

Pop Tart Tiffins are a biscuit base covered in chocolate with a crumbly centrepiece and a sweet jelly pop tart on top. The mixture of chocolate and the pop tart work really well together as they are sweet but not a sickly type of sweet. This was my next best favourite!

RATE:- 5/5

Toffee Popcorn Flapjack

Toffee Popcorn Flapjacks surprisingly worked well together as it has a chewy centrepiece with a slight hint of a chocolate taste with popcorn pieces on top. Although it still has the standard chewy flapjack taste I found these less chewy than the Peanut Butter Jelly Flapjack but still not really to my liking (although of course I still ate it all!)

RATE:- 2/5

S’mores Brownie 

S’mores Brownies are a wonderful chocolate brownie bake with a crumbly base that is also soft and melts in your mouth once bitten. Again I loved this as the chocolate wasn’t too overpowering and was something that you could eat more of without the sickly feeling you get afterwards.

RATE:-4/5

Overall all the bakes tasted so delicious and left me with a moreish feel; now they have all gone I am pining for my next box!

Thank you so much Letterbox Bakery for gifting me with these wonderful treats, these make delicious gift ideas, wedding favours or dessert buffets and you can purchase your own box here

Letterbox Bakery have kindly gifted me with a discount code that gives you 15% off your order using:- ‘gracehasfoundme’ on the website at checkout.

Although I was gifted these delicious treats everything written and all opinions are my own!

Lollipop Baby Camera Review

The Story Behind Lollipop Baby Camera

Lack of sleep for a new mother is something that is all too familiar and relatable but with the added worry of not being able to hear or see if your baby needs attention once they are asleep is something I experienced with both children.

I would have just settled Josiah and be in the shower or washing dishes and could clearly think that I have heard him cry only to rush upstairs and still find him soundly sleeping. And then there are times when he would be crying and I didn’t hear it straightaway until it got to that unmissable volume or Nia-Mae comes and gives her reports.

We had never used a baby monitor with Nia-Mae but instead used a movement detector that is placed under the mattress of the crib so to monitor her breathing and when she wakes with the additional audio monitor. It ended up being too sensitive so this was quickly removed and instead we depended on listening out for her cry. Doable with one child but having 2 children I quickly realised that I needed a monitor to be able to check on JJ and put my mind and ears at ease when I am carrying on with my other daily activities along with spending quality one-on-one time with Nee.

While being pregnant I had looked around for monitors and couldn’t find any that fit our requirements which was to wrap around the crib instead of being laid flat on a surface as JJ was still in our room in his crib. I had given up looking as there wasn’t any on the market until I came across Lollipop Baby Camera

We were kindly gifted our Turquoise Lollipop Baby Camera which is a toxic-free silicone baby monitor that provides smart intelligent video-based captures with added true crying detection. It has so many added features that are so helpful whether supporting newborns, toddlers or siblings.

Features

• Night Vision- The infrared lens gives a clear image not just during the day but also at night.

•Instant App Alerts- You can choose which notifications get sent to your phone letting you be in control when you attend to your baby’s need. Simply view the live feed or event videos to check out what is going on.

•Cry Detection- The Lollipop can tell the difference between ambient noises like the wind or traffic and when your baby is actually crying and needs attention. If your baby is crying when your out of the room, you’ll receive an alert that lets you know.

•Audio Monitor- You can have the option to turn on the audio only and use it as a traditional sound monitor which is perfect for when I’m using my phone and can’t always use the video monitor at the same time.

•Sound Machine & Microphone- The Lollipop also comes with the additional feature of white noise and you can choose from either the Music List or Sound List. Josiah’s favourites are ‘Water’ and ‘Sea Wave’.

These are the main features that stand out to me and the ones that we regularly use having had the camera for a couple of weeks. I love how even if I’m not at home I can still check that Josiah is sleeping ok.

Eventually the kids will be sharing a room and the Lollipop Baby Camera will definitely be a necessity them as I’m sure it will be another battle getting them both to settle at the same time! Along with the camera I’ll most likely be using the microphone feature telling them to ‘Get back into bed’ or ‘Stop making so much noise and go to sleep’.

I can’t emphasis just how amazing this monitor is and I think that it’s a must in every home.

Thank you so much Lollipop Baby Camera for gifting us our stylish monitor that has changed our bedtime routines for the better!

Although this item has been gifted all opinions are entirely my own.

Gummee Glove Review

Every baby is different and especially being a Mummy of 2, I am finding this so true the older JJ gets. He has been teething for a few months now and while Nee never had problems with this it seems to be affecting JJ a lot more.

All fingers in mouth, dribble down chin and a nappy full of mess it was easy to see that he wasn’t copy well and especially at night.

I came across gummeeteething on Instagram and I instantly loved their product called Gummee Glove that we were kindly gifted to try out. Gummee Glove is a teething mitten designed to fit on a babies hand for ages 3m+ which helps to provide relief on their gums by the side teethers being well positioned so that when the baby brings their hand to mouth they can easily chew on the teether.

We chose the turquoise Gummee Glove (3-6 months) for stage 2 teething which comes with the detachable heart shaped teether and free laundry/travel drawstring pouch. This makes it easy to wash and keep the teether clean after baby’s use.

Once we ordered the Gummee Glove it arrived very quickly with next day delivery, I was really excited for JJ to try it as he’d had a rough few days of teething where we had needed to administer Calpol. As soon as I put the glove on JJ’s hand he knew exactly what to do with it and brought the glove to his mouth in a sideward position to allow the teether to fit in his mouth. The glove fit perfectly on his hand by the adjustable Velcro strap which makes it so useful for babies that are too young to grip onto the normal teethers.

JJ was so happy right away on the relief the teether brought him and I was especially happy as prior he had been sucking and chewing on his fingers which I were afraid would get sore as he suffers with sensitive and eczema prone skin.

We love our Gummee Glove and this is such an innovative idea that we will be using the other products when he moves up in stages.

Gummee Glove Features

Adjustable Closure

The adjustable hook and loop design means that once the mitten is fitted onto baby’s hand there is no fear of it falling off to the ground whilst you are out and about. A teether that has a perfect fit!

Secure Pocket

There is a pocket at the top of the Gummee Glove which is for the heart shaped detachable teething ring with the popper that holds the teething ring securely in place. This is good once the baby has been introduced to the glove and is comfortable with its use, it can either be used with the glove or separately as baby learns how to hold onto a teether.

Teething Ring

Every Gummee Glove comes with a free, high quality, food grade silicone, BPA & Phthalate free detachable heart shaped teething ring that can be used once baby has outgrown the Gummee Glove and can be separately used with added relief by popping it in the refrigerator for half an hour to provide instant cooling relief on hot and itchy gums.

The Side Teethers

The side teethers are perfectly designed to fit into tiny mouths so that when baby puts hand to mouth the teether is right there where it needs to be. These can also be used as gel applicators by just applying some gel to the side of the teethers. The heart shaped teether can be washed in soapy water or sterilised using any of the usual methods.

Absorbent Cotton

The Gummee Glove is made with 100% cotton which makes it really absorbent and breathable. This is particularly important as it prevents baby from getting rashes as the glove absorbs all the drool while baby stays comfortable and dry!

Machine Washable

Every Gummee Glove comes with a free laundry pouch which makes it easy to wash after baby’s use. Simply pop the glove into the drawstring bag, tightly pull the cord and loosely tie the string, then wash with similar coloured items.

The heart shaped teether can be washed in soapy water or sterilised using any of the usual methods.

Even though we were gifted the Gummee Glove all opinions are my own and this has been a great help with JJ’s teething. Thank you GummeeTeething for sending us this gift!