At Home Column - Aah! Ibiza!

This summer we went to Ibiza. It was the most eagerly anticipated holiday we’ve had for a long time. You know when you are on your day to day treadmill of work, house chores, running the kids from A to B doing the daily juggle, and you need a break? This was where we were before Ibiza and we were looking forward to 2 weeks in the sun to press that internal ‘reset’ button and have time to chill.

I’d decided in advance that nothing was going to stop me from totally relaxing, so before we went I did a mental run through of the day of travel, to check I’d got everything covered. I think mums are usually the keepers of passports and boarding cards in their handbags, I know I am! So I made sure my handbag was up to the challenge of holding everything, looking great and keeping all my documents and personal items organised and within easy reach. I used a Kipling bag which I got from QVC ( This bag was excellent as the quality of it is great which makes it hard wearing – the zippers are still in good working order despite the bag being stuffed to capacity several times on the trip, and you don’t find this with cheap bags. The two front pockets were big enough to keep my camera and video camera so I had them to hand if a photo opportunity presented itself. Plus the bag was hot pink- what’s not to like?!

Multi Tasking Mama
Within my ‘bag of tricks’ I kept a ‘Horrid Henry’ book for my 8 year old, and we took the Leapster Explorer for my 4 year old son. I also managed to stash all our travel documents in it, a book for me, my make up bag, my diary and two purses (one with Euros and one with Sterling). The bag was like a tardis- small from the outside but packs a load inside! The Leapster Explorer was new, so my son first played with it on the holiday, and it really kept him entertained so the boredom of waiting at the airport and the long journey didn’t bite. (From

Now we are in September, my son starts full time school, and the Leapster Explorer was perfect for him as you can set the level on it to be suitable for pre schoolers, Foundation Stage and Year One plus. My son is Foundation Stage so he got the games suitable for his level and he played educational games without realising it! I liked how the Leapster Explorer came with a ‘touch screen pen’ which helps his fine motor skills – holding it like a pencil which is great for school when he learns to write and form letters, as he will have already developed pen control. This games console came with a camera attachment so he could take photos on our holiday to record the fun, but it mainly did the job of keeping him amused on our travel days and sometimes at night before bed to wind down.

For me and my husband, our days were spent on the sun-lounger or in the pool with the kids. I managed to read 9 books over the fortnight which is the most I’ve read on a break since I’ve had children, but it probably helped that we weren’t out partying every night! We’d have dinner then go to the kids disco and then back to the room to get the kids to bed and we’d sit out on the balcony so I got plenty of reading done then!

Long Summer Nights
When you are holidaying with young kids, even though they will be staying up past their usual bedtime, you will still be getting them to bed before you are ready to go yourself, so little touches like the Bottle Bouquet can help to make your evening suitably ‘adult like’ whilst you are in the room with sleeping kids! I took a Bottle Bouquet with me (from and you slip it over the neck of a wine bottle and it holds 6 stemmed glasses, so you can have a grown up drink on the balcony with your book. As we were all inclusive, our alcoholic drinks from the bar came in disposable plastic cups, so it was nice to get a bottle of wine from the supermarket and use the glasses in our room with the Bottle Bouquet to create a grown up atmosphere! As it is flat it is easy to pack, and it is especially useful for parties at home when you are trying to carry loads of glasses to your guests without dropping them! But I’m glad I had it on the holiday, we felt like we were out drinking and dating every night in our own private bar looking out at the ocean. It was a beautiful view and our neighbours were nice so we shared some evenings with them on the balcony too!

All I’d wanted from Ibiza was to relax, get a light tan, have time to read, eat what I wanted and enjoy some fun days with the kids and I got all of this. Our last few breaks have been more ‘action packed’ so it was lovely to have a beach holiday where we did nothing all day long. Even the most skilled Jugglista needs to down tools every now and then and do exactly nothing!

I write a fortnightly column for At Home - the Premier UK celebrity and lifestyle magazine, and this one appeared on their site a month ago. Do visit At Home and leave me a comment on the post there so they get to see your opinions too!
About the Author
Nadine Hill is a busy working mum (“Is there any other kind?!”) who has a fascination with time management which borders on the obsessive! She loves to find more effective ways of doing the daily juggle whilst enjoying the journey and has lots of practise through raising her two children, managing her small business, being a best-selling author, running her home, public speaking and finding time to get to the gym! Nadine’s ambition is to help busy mums claw back a bit of ‘me time’ so she shares her tips with at home in these fortnightly columns and her own life stories on her blog- Juggle Mum.
She also micro blogs on Twitter where she is @Businessmum. You can learn more about Nadine at


  1. Professor of DenimologySeptember 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    Please will you come and live with us, you disgustingly organised woman? I may be an expert in all aspects of the science of Denimology, but I am a disorganised bint, without the practical skillz to improve. Poor Philip has to think of everything!

  2. I could come and live with you but fear that your midnight brainstorms about the science of Denimology would be too intense for me! I need to be in bed by 8pm to function propery! Thanks anyway professor!

  3. Wow looks and sounds so fab. 9 books? I need 2 weeks in Ibiza!


Share your thoughts with me - I love comments! xx

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.