Enterkine House Hotel

Last Tuesday, the husband and I were supposed to go and see The Foo Fighters in concert at Murrayfield but due to Dave Ghrol breaking his leg, the gig was cancelled and rather than give up the opportunity of a babysitter for the night, we decided to go away instead.

I was searching on line for a nice hotel which wasn’t too far from home because the husband had to work the next day and I had an appointment to go to before picking up the kids. Usually I tend to go for getaways around the Loch Lomond/Balmaha area or further afield but I thought that I would look for hotels in the Ayrshire area for a bit of a change and I had gone on a drive there last week, and was reminded of how beautiful it was.

I stumbled accross this lovely hotel near Annbank that had a lodge on the grounds which looked stunning and cosy and I thought I would look at the price, and despite it being slightly more than I was thinking of spending , I knew that a refund would be given this week for the concert tickets, I decided to go for it. We don’t often get much time away together, alone and it had been a while since our last night away so I booked it.

When we arrived at Enterkine House, we drove down a lovely lane which was lined with beautiful trees , flowers and lanters and I could imagine just how beautiful it would be if you were getting married there or going for a winter break . We got out of the car and the lodge was just behind us, I couldn’t wait to go inside but I had to check in first and I was met by a friendly member of staff who told us a bit about the history of the hotel and asked us what time we would like to book dinner for.

We were then showed to our lodge and I have to say, it was really very beautiful inside and the color scheme inside was really very flattering. I knew then that we would enjoy our stay and that we chose a great place and to add to it all it was a beautiful and clear night which was perfecr for sitting outside and going on one of the many walks surrounding the hotel.

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When it was time for dinner, we were shown to the sitting room  and ordered drinks whilst looking at the menu. We were brought in a pre dinner snack which was very tasty and then once we had decided on what we would be having, we were shown to the table. It was nice to be able to sit and talk withought being interrupted every 5 mins by the kids adn it made me realise just how busy our lives had become over the past couple of years. I think we need to continue having date nights and take the opportunity to give up on the housework and just go out and have some fun! It’s so easy to be consumed by family life and not take time to enjoy one anothers company due to tiredness, work, kids and everything else!

For dinner, we had both decided on the beef which was cooked to perfection and was really “melt in your mouth”, and I wish I could cook a steak like that! I would go back purely for that bit of beef. We also had some vegetables and half a bottle of wine each which was included in our package, and my husband had one of the local beers which got his seal of approval on taste.  After dinner, I chose to have the cheese board whilst husband had the gingerbread pudding, again both were really very nice.

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After dinner we went around the grounds to take photos of the area and our room, sat in the gardens outside and then retired for the night. It really was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable evenings, the breakfast the next morning was nice and I was very pleased with the check out time of 11:30am as it gave us time to have a lie in , shower and relax. If  I was looking for a venue for a wedding, this would be high on my list, adn I do see us returning again, whether it be for one of their many theme nights, dinner or a full stay. Here’s a short video showing our beautiful room/lodge:)

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Turning down the volume can protect your children’s hearing

When we were teenagers, the loud music we played was probably a bone of contention in many a household up and down the land. Kids would ‘play it loud’ in their bedrooms, and have their parents shouting for them to turn it down – often with little effect!Today, however, in many households it’s a different story as the majority of children and teens listen to their music with their headphones on, plugged into their iPod, phone, or PC. Sometimes, we’re not even aware that they’re listening to music.

However, although you might be enjoying the blissful silence, it’s worth checking regularly on the volume that your children are playing their music as they could be damaging their hearing if they’re playing their music too loud.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than a billion people between the ages of 12-35 are at risk of hearing loss, thanks to playing music at too high a volume on their mobile music devices and attending noisy concerts or clubs.

Studies have shown that the number of young people with hearing problems has increased in the last 10 years, and that the link may be with increased use of iPods and smartphones for listening to music. The number of American teens who experienced hearing loss had increased from 3.5% in 1994 to 5% in 2006, for example.

If you’re concerned about your child’s hearing, you can book an appointment to have your child’s hearing checked at any time. Hidden Hearing is a nationwide supplier of free hearing tests in the UK and supplies high-quality hearing aid technology. Find out more information about what happens during a hearing test from Hidden Hearing. It’s best to book a test as soon as you have any concerns, as if there is a problem with your child’s hearing, the sooner it is discovered, the sooner effective treatment can be discussed and put in place.

Sensible headphone use

To protect children’s hearing, WHO recommends that listening to mobile devices should be limited to one hour per day and that the volume should not go above 60%. In normal conversation, the sound level is around 60decibels (dB) which won’t affect hearing at all. However, the volume of a bulldozer is around 85dB, and this can cause permanent damage after just eight hours, while a clap of thunder can register 120dB and damage hearing after just nine seconds.

Hearing loss that is noise-induced can be immediate or build up over time with prolonged exposure to loud noise.

It’s not all bad news for headphones, though. Research by Southern Illinois University School of Medicine showed that over-ear headphones can actually encourage people to lower the volume of their music as they are effective in cutting out background noise. However, a pair of leaky headphones will have the opposite effect, actually encouraging users to turn up the volume in order to cancel out background noise. Listening to music with headphones at maximum volume can cause hearing damage in as little as four minutes, and most young people will not be aware that this damage can be permanent.

The message seems to be clear. If your child uses headphones to listen to music, make sure they wear over-ear headphones, limit the time they use them and keep the volume at a reasonable level. They’ll thank you for it in the long run.

Pallets and Pinterest:Creating for the creatively challenged

Ok, so its no secret amongst my friends and family that I am a pinterest fail despite trying hard and pinning so much that I think my head will explode and burst. I love the idea of trying to create these projects and often when I think i’ve nailed it, I just get a look of sympathy , a shake of the head or just someone laughing out loud at what I have “achieved”…

Until recently… until the day that I discovered what one can do with Pallets.. cue song, ” I love pallets , any kind of pallets , as long as their wooden .. my mind and hands are a groovin’! ” Ok, I’m taking this maybe a wee bit too far but I am so impressed with my first pallet project and subsequent ones that it has led to new ideas a new hobby and even my husband bringing home gifts such as a power drill, new claw hammer and some nails. What more could a girl want?

This is a picture of what I made a few weeks back but due to the recent weather, I haven’t had a chance to paint it- it will be white and I think I might change the cushions to blue if I can find any suitable ones.. I think I might try Ikea and I want to add tables and possibly a footrest before I ccomplete and I need to close the gaps at the front.

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I haven’t got a lot of time to do much before we leave for Canada next month but a bar and pergola would be ideal to complete this summer project.

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Maybe next year we can think about building a deck but as the garden is so uneven, it will take a bit of time to complete and my husband will need to help me. In building this I have gained a lot of confidence adn I would love to do a wood working course in the future as I enjoy working with my hands to create adn my kids also love helping out.

Have you built anything out of old pallets?

 

25 Days and Counting

As of today, we only have 24 more sleeps until we fly home to Canada and I couldn’t be more excited. I have planned a full itinerary of what we will be doing with friends and family, but before we leave,  I have booked my daughter into the Air Transat “Kids Club”, where she will enjoy some perks on the plane to keep her busy and me stress free!

As someone who hates to fly, this is going to help calm my nerves and take away some of the boredom that can come for a 7 year old who can’t sit still and is super excited to be travelling and going away on holiday. I think its a fantastic idea to have something like this, and I only wish that all airlines followed suit because it really can make a difference especially when going long haul. When we travelled with Air Transat in December , it was last minute and I didn’t have a chance to add the kids to the club but the staff on board were really lovely and made sure that my two had an activity pack to keep them occupied, supplied them with blankets and brought them some snacks and turned a blind eye when the 2 yr old felt that he wanted to commandere the aisle!

So what does a junior traveller receive in the Air Transat Kids Club? Some of the perks includes and covers children from the ages of 2 – 11, celebrates birthdays on board, gives the opportunity for priority boarding which is fab because its less waiting around, I like to get onboard, settled and comfortable. I also like that they run an annual competition for a free trip to a Canadian destination which would be really cool to win because its for a family of 4, which we are! They also give children an activity pack, tags for luggage so that it is easily identified when picking up on the other end, coupsons for snacks on board and other exclusive privillages.

Whilst she is looked after, I also have the opportunity to download the in flight cineplus app which allows me to watch different programmes from my phone or tablet without having to strain to watch the screens which are available for all travellers. It provides me with loads of differen’t programmes of various genres as well as a selection of music and tv shows which is sure to distract me and calm my flying nerves. I can certainly see why the airline has won a Family Friendly award for the second year running as it caters to all travellers fromt he moment you book a flight with them or one of their agents,  we used Canadian Affair again because its who we have always booked with due to their low prices and ease of bookings.

Have you used Canadian Affair and travelled with Air Transat? I thoroughly recommend using them for ease, value and comfort!

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