Top beaches (hidden gems) to visit in Malta

Malta is a great place to explore and travel to, the coasts around the island is rugged and has lots of caves and cliffs. There are not many sandy beaches but swimming from the rocks can be just as fun. The island basks In about 299 days of sunshine a year, with the summer months reaching up to 35c, its an ideal country to catch some rays any time of the year.

Malta along with its sister islands, Gozo and Comino has many popular sandy beaches but these can become very busy during peak times.

I suggest going off of the beaten track and explore the island and it’s many hidden gems.

Here are a few that we have visited

Imgiebah Bay / Selmun Beach

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Found on the North of the Island, this bay is a sandy and secluded beach. The road down to it is very small and uneven (pretty much a dirt track) there is just about enough space for one car to drive along. Once you’ve parked the car you need to walk down a hill, which can be slippy under the foot on very dry days, to the bay. Because it is untouched, there are no amenities –  just a few bins. Make sure you take plenty to drink and food to eat. The beach is small, so no space to kick a ball a round and you can get plagued with wasps, as they fly around the bins. That said, it is quiet and doesn’t attract many tourists.

St Peters Pool

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One of our favourite places to visit when in Malta, the boys love to dive into the cool, crystal clear water at this natural swimming pool. St Peters Pool is close to Marsaxlokk on the south of the Island. There are flat rocks that surround the pool, which offer shade and a place to sunbathe. Although, it is advertised as a place to relax and sunbathe, everyone that visits here to dive off of the high rocks. It can get very busy here with the younger visitors and groups of adults. So i would advice to visit earlier on in the day to get a spot, especially if you have children.
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Not only is St Peters Pool a pretty natural swimming pool, with it’s crystal clear blue-green waters and beautiful to look at, it also has something rather cool going on the rocks surrounding it. People have carved names of singers, bands, groups and famous people into the rock.

Slugs Bay

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This place really is an amazing little find. It is one of the most secluded little bays that we visited, we pretty much had the place to ourselves, apart from the odd couple. It is situated on the south of the Island, over looking Mellieha bay. The path down to it is winding and uneven, but definitely worth the climb down. 20170825_142138

There was a tiny amount of fine sand but enough for the children to play in. Lots of rocks to search for crabs in and the shallow water was ideal to look at the fish. 20170825_124240

Again, there are no amenities around so go prepared. We found a little cave at the bottom which we took shelter in, it was big enough to fit our bags in and a chair to sit on and take shelter from the glaring sun

Fomm Ir-rih

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Is a small bay on the west side of the Island of Malta. It is surrounded by vertical cliffs and has a pebble beach. It is not easily accessible, making it quite secluded. It’s a popular bay to reach by boat. The only way down is via a tricky, steep and slippery pathway which takes about 15-20 minutes. The climb down is worth the views over the bay. I would advice not to do the journey wearing sandals or any type of footwear that can aid your feet in slipping, as there are many rocks and boulders to climb over. Once down, the beach is full of pebbles and the water is calm and clear. My boys found a huge flat rock in the water by the shoreline, which made a great slide. They spent their time sliding down it into the water, there were lots of squeals of laughter and fun. Again, like many of the bays that i have mentioned, there are no amenities. As the climb down is steep and tiring, carrying lots of extra baggage can be exhausting.

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Kalanka Bay

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This bay is next to St Peters Pool and is very similar, but is more family friendly. The water is crystal blue and is not as deep. There is still a height to the surrounding rocks, so jumping in can still be fun however, there is more of a variety for those not as confident in jumping in. The water is calm and there is an overhang which is fun to swim under.

Mistra Bay

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Is based on the North side, close to Mellieha bay. It is of shallow waters, that makes it ideal for young children to paddle in. We like to visit here and spend time to relax, it is a quiet bay, with not many visitors. Take a walk up to the battery and walk down to rocks towards the waters edge for a more of a secluded swim. Ideal for jumping in and sunbathing.

Gozo

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Xlendi bay

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Is a popular swimming and diving spot, with a small beach that is surrounded by lots of fish restaurants. As the beach was small we took a walk further along and found an ideal place to jump into the water from a diving board.

Wied il-Ghasri

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Based North Gozo, this inlet is very small which means it can become quite busy. This beautiful, secluded inlet is wedged between two cliffs. The view down from the top of the valley is stunning.  Take the steep staircase down to the beach, which is tiny and full of pebbles. Rock shoes are advised. When the water is calm, it is a lovely place for a swim but when the sea is rough it can become quite dangerous. The waves start crashing against the valley.

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Although the sea looks calm in the photo, the waves were thrashing against the cliff rocks and making a large banging noise. The boys managed a little swim down the inlet, before heading back.

Inland Sea at Dwejra

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This small salt water lake is next door to where the Azure Window once stood proudly, before the structure fell down.  It is connected to the Mediterranean sea by a tunnel that goes through the cliffs. You can get a boat trip through the cave or just sit and chill by the water. The water is calm and many people swim over to the caves and climb up the cliff surface to jump into the sea.

Like anywhere around Malta and Gozo, the sea is made easily accessible by ladders, they have been placed around the rocks so that swimmers can get in and out with ease. Malta is an ideal holiday destination for divers and snorkelers, there are dive sites situated all around the islands.

If the weather is rough I wouldn’t advise a trip to any of these beaches as they can become dangerous. We visited Malta during August and we only had a few rough days where we wasn’t sure about the sea currents, so we visited the sandy bays instead. What this island lacks in sand makes up for it in cliffs, rocks and shorelines.

Although the island is small, every time we go (We have been 5 times) we always find somewhere new to explore.

Do you know of anymore secret hidden gems that the island has to offer?

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A Kitchen is What Makes a Home: New Kitchen Transformation

A Kitchen is the hub of the family. It is where we cook, eat, socialize and entertain. As a bust family of five we were looking to expand the old kitchen and replace it with something that fitted into our lifestyle, something that was more modern and sleek.

We had moved into our new home back in March 2017 and the Kitchen didn’t quite fit in with the decor of the rest of the house. Although it was a nice size, it was dated and there wasn’t enough cupboard space. We wanted to give the room a fresh new look, that no only was functional but also utilise the space that we had.

We found that the cupboards didn’t have much depth to them, so items took up lots of the shelf space. The Kitchen also had a peninsula that had an overhang, to be used as a breakfast bar, where the cupboard doors were-which didn’t make sense! So if you wanted to use the cupboards you had to get down low to see what was in them and also no-one could sit there if you wanted to use the cupboard.

We visited Kitchen showrooms and scoured the internet looking for ideas as to what particular style we wanted, the colour and how big we wanted the kitchen to be.

With something in mind the next thing we needed to do was book in with a kitchen designer to plan it all for us. The designer visited us at home, took measurements and advised us on where to place the units. He listened to our requirements. We had a lot in  ind but after listening to our ideas, the designer then helped us plan it so it would be more convenient to our use. Once the designer got a good idea of how we would use the new kitchen and what we required, the next was to consider the layout. We really wanted a kitchen with an island but it just wasn’t feasible, the room wasn’t big enough to fit it in. So we was advised to keep with the peninsula and just move it further into the dining area, which would then open up the working kitchen area.

The Old Kitchen

The Old kitchen was a U shaped kitchen with the sink on one wall, the oven on another and space for the fridge on the other. At the other side of the working kitchen was the peninsula, all by itself.

Before we had a design in mind we had chosen our cooker, I had wanted a range for a long time and as the eldest boy had an interest in cooking we wanted to buy a double oven. We found one that was sleek and big enough for our needs. It wasn’t a range but a similar design by Smeg. Once we had oven we then went on to order the fridge freezer, again we wanted a double one. The colour scheme seemed to be heading towards grey.

Once the designer had visited us at home we made an appointment to see them in the showroom where we would get to see the final design in 3D format.

To make the best use of the available space, we thought of the following:

  • How much storage do we need?
  • What exactly will we be using your kitchen space for?
  • How much time will we be spending in there?
  • What type of storage cupboards will we need?
  • What type of oven will we be using?

We wanted to accentuate the feeling of space in the kitchen so we chose a light-reflecting surface and colour that would give a fresh and airy feel. It would also give the kitchen an ultramodern look.

We chose the Sofia Range in Pewter. An iconic, minimalist design that offers supreme versatility and features the sleek lines of integrated handles in a high gloss, lacquered finish. As for the work surface we went for a dark oak as thought that it would emphasize the colour of the cupboards and walls. It also gives the kitchen a warm glow.

We wanted a peninsula that would double up as a breakfast bar, to achieve this the worktop would overhang the unit which would create a seating area. We decided to move the oven over to where the peninsula would be, so this would be the cooking zone, giving this area an L shape.

The colour scheme we settled on was Pewter cupboards, red wall tiles and dark oak worktop.

So, first thing we had to do was get the old kitchen ripped out and prepare the room ready for the new kitchen to be fitted. We had a date set for delivery of the new kitchen. It was to be delivered at the beginning of July, hoping it would be all built and installed ready for the summer holidays. There were lots of boxes, that we stored in our dining area ready for when we was ready to rip out the old kitchen

Once the boxes were being emptied we quickly realised that we had missing items: the larder panels were missing, the worktop was the wrong colour, the drawer unit was missing, the peninsula back board and worktop were missing too. Our hopes of having it fitted before our summer holiday was quickly fading. The company we ordered it from couldn’t deliver the missing items for another 2 weeks. This put out our builder and extended the length of the job. We had no kitchen to cook in, no oven and the place was a mess! In total we had waited 3 weeks for items that had been missed off of our original order with the showroom. If you are ever buying a kitchen, I would advice you to check all reference codes on the delivery note against what was ordered and what the boxes say.

The New Kitchen

We chose to tile the floor and as the rest of downstairs has wooden floor, I really wanted to carry on with the effect and found a tile that had a wood effect in grey. We also placed down some under floor heating (Hubby is an electrician, by trade, so he fitted it himself)

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And I wanted the grout to be the same on the wall as on the floor, so chose a dark grey. I think it worked well and really contrasted against the red tiles on the wall.

Once the floor was down and the cupboards were all in, all that was left to do was tile the wall. The previous kitchen had tiles from floor to ceiling but we decided against this and only tiled in between the top and bottom units and above the oven

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The New Kitchen

To finish off the look we added in some chrome USB plug sockets

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 We cut down our cost by doing the electric, the rewiring and plumbing by ourselves.
I am really happy with the finished look. I now have a Kitchen that suits the family, somewhere we can entertain and just spend time in.
My favourite part is the peninsula, as when I am cooking the boys sit at the other side and I can help them with their homework. It is now a room in the house that everyone enjoys. The youngest loves the under floor heating and lays on it in the morning to warm himself up.
I think that it all come together really well and love the colour combination of the red and grey, they are both classic and sophisticated.
What do you think?
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Hospital Waiting Room – Scanxiety

As I sit here in the waiting room

Memories come flooding back

Tears sting my eyes, as they fall onto my cheek bones

I spent too many hours here

Moments of dread

Fear

Not knowing

I’m waiting for my yearly scan

Since having the tumour removed last November I must have a CT scan once a year

The last one I had, I can not recollect

Back then there were so many days that seemed to run into one

I spent 7 weeks in hospital, being prodded and poked every day

Being wheeled, in my bed, downstairs into the radiology department and left in the corridor waiting for my name to be called

I remember being in so much pain, that with every movement of the trolley it ripped through me

I remember crying and praying that the scans would be clear

After having the tumour removed, I ran into complications and had to have a further operation

But still, weeks after that operation the doctors had no answers as to why I was still in pain and why the bowel was refusing to work

Scan after scan, but still no answer

Today, I sit here and the memories of my time there came flooding back

Feeling the fear again, trying to control my breathing

Telling myself that all will be well

That this time is different

Entering this hospital, takes me back to diagnosis time

The day a black cloud entered my world

Having scans is an anxious time, especially for cancer patients

It’s a time when you hold your breath, awaiting the news that you’re in the clear or that the tumour has shrunk or that you’re stable

After, sitting in the waiting room for an hour, I eventually get called in

With this scan I have to drink 4 glasses of water prior to the scan. Then a canula is put into a vein ready for the iodine to be flushed through my blood stream

This is a horrible experience, as the iodine runs through the system, I can feel my body heating up. I almost feel like I have wet myself

It always makes me feel very sick as I get that copper taste in my mouth

Within a few minutes it is all over

The experience maybe, But not the anxiety

Now I await the results

I now need to focus on positive things

I will not allow the anxiety to take over

I tell myself that all is in the past and I have a bright future

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Make Your Own Mouthy Trick Or Treat Bags for Halloween

Are you ready for Halloween? Whether you’re ready or not, I can bet that your children are already planning what they are going to wear and how they want the house decorated ready for the many trick or treaters that will be knocking on your door.

Help your children collect their goodies in these spooky trick or treat bags. Which are also ideal to give out to any spooky guests that may turn up at your door

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They are simple to make and a fun activity for the children to do over the half term

You will need:

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  • Paper bags
  • Acrylic paints or felt pens
  • Scissors
  • Black marker pen
  • Pencil

First cut away the handle from the top of the bag

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Then place your hand on top of the bag, in the middle with your fingertips touching the top and mark with a pencil either side of your fingers (little and pointing finger)20171015_113139

Now draw in your monsters mouth – this will be your new handle

Once your mouth in place you can then draw your monster. Be as spooky as you like

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Why not draw a zombie monster or a spider?

Choose the colour and paint your monster, think bright colours like; orange, purple, green and red.

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You can design both sides with different characters or just do one side.

Add sparkle in with some glitter, paint it with glow in the dark paint or even some googly eyes

Now you’re ready to fill the bags with goodies

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Have a spooktacular Halloween 🙂

 

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Bungee Jump Experience – The Ultimate Rush for a Teenager

Bungee Jump – The ultimate energy rush, the perfect gift for any daredevil and thrill seeker.

My eldest son is 15 and buying gifts for him is becoming harder every year, although he is very easily pleased and doesn’t really ask for much. I wouldn’t say that he is a daredevil but he certainly likes to experience the wild side.

Leaping 160 ft from a crane, watching the ground rush towards you at a speed of 60mph, attached to nothing but a bungee cord, isn’t really something that I would fancy doing but for a young teenager it’s certainly a very attractive activity. There are no special skills needed, just courage.

I booked him onto a 160ft jump from a crane that is set up near to the 02, London. This isn’t far for us to travel to and is an ideal spot for some lunch after or just a stroll along the River Thames.

We arrived in good time for him to be fully briefed by one of the experienced instructors, before being kitted up and securely fastened into the bungee cord.

He sat in line and watched the previous jumpers leap to the floor. Getting more nervous as he moved along the chairs, getting closer to his turn.

It was a lovely day, the sun was shining and it was a clear blue sky, perfect for us to watch and for him to jump in.

It wasn’t long and it was his turn.

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He was taken up to the top of the crane in cage and once at the top it was seconds before the cage door opened and out he fell, plummeting to the ground only to bounce back up again, dangling by his feet. I half expected to hear him scream, but he was very reserved and held it all back, Or maybe the force of the air in his mouth stopped him from making a sound.

Once he was lowered to the ground he was taken by the shoulders and guided to a mat on the floor where he was taken out of his cord by two instructors.

 

Jak says: “I was pretty nervous, even though I knew that nothing could happen to me I was still anxious about the experience and what to expect. The view from the cage at the top of the crane was amazing, but I didn’t get to look at it for long as I was soon guided over to the edge. I was told to stand still and put my arms directly out in front of me at 90 degree angle. They counted down from 3 and gently pushed me from the edge. I was told not grab anything as I fell from the edge of the cage. As I fell to the floor, it felt like  I was staying still and the ground was moving up towards me, however the feeling of falling was still there. I think the best part of the jump was seeing the 02 upside down. I almost felt like my heart had stopped until the moment I was pulled back up by the cord. It was an experience not to forget. I had a blast and almost wished that it had lasted longer.”

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It was the perfect gift for him and I was so proud that he approached the experience with such maturity and gallant.

Jak gives the day a big thumbs up

I booked the bungee jump through Buyagift costing £59, the minimum age of the jumper is 14.

Photos courtesy of Bungee UK

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5 ways to get your children drinking more water

Keeping children hydrated is important as they are less heat tolerant and are more likely to feel dehydrated, especially when they are doing physical activities and hot days. Children, especially younger ones need to be encouraged to have a drink as they are more likely to go through the whole day and forget to have one.

When my children were babies I always encouraged them to drink water in between milk times and I carried on that as they grew older. My children are very active, so I always like to have water readily available for them to drink to keep them healthy and energised.

Did you know that the amount of fluid a child needs to drink depends on many factors including their age and gender, the weather and how active they are? Children aged 5-11 should be consuming about 6-8 glasses of water a day.

A recommended daily amount of fruit and vegetable juice should be limited at one small glass (150ml) and they should really only be drunk at mealtimes. The best choice of drink to keep hydrated throughout the day is water – this doesn’t provide extra energy or risks them harming their teeth

My 5 top tips on getting your children to drink more water:

  1. Make sure water is readily available-When we are out and about I like to fill up a sports bottle with water and take it with us. I always carry one with me, so the children get a drink all the time, it also ideal to fill up from a water station when empty. Buy a water dispenser for the home. We have one in our kitchen, placed near to the edge of the work top. The children help themselves to water when ever they feel thirsty. We bought a Kilner one from Dunelm Mill, but they are available from lots of shops
  2. Be persistent. Keep offering them water, especially during and after being active. The more you offer it throughout the day they will eventually become accustomed to drinking it and get into the habit of remembering themselves
  3. Add in some flavour with fresh fruit and vegetables. We like lemon and lime but you can add in strawberries, melon, pineapple, mint, cucumber and berries. You can even freeze the fruit in slices and add them into the water to cool down as well as giving flavour
  4. Offer food that has a high content of water. Fruits, vegetables, smoothies, soups and even pasta and rice absorb water as they cook. Homemade ice lollies and ice cream are a great way of introducing more water to a child
  5. Remove temptation. Stop buying juices and fizzy drinks (or hide them away from the children) they will soon start drinking water if there is nothing else to drink. We still have juice but they are no added sugar types and are at the back of the cupboard away from there little hands.

Remember children will do as their adults do. So, if you drink water then they will too!

How do you encourage your children to drink more water? Please leave a comment below 🙂

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