On life lately {and why making Easter bonnets is good for the soul}

I began this blog 4 years, 5 months and 8 days ago. To the day. When I started writing I had no idea that it would become such a permanent fixture in our lives. Or be the bearer of so many amazing and wonderful experiences and life-changing opportunities. It was just an online diary, to share my thoughts and feelings. A cathartic escape, if you will. But over time, it’s become the keeper of our big family milestones and ordinary moments. A place to document the boys’ early years; for them to look back on when they’re a little older. I don’t tend to write about sad or negative things on here. This is my happy place after all. But when life-changing things happen, I do occasionally cover them on the blog. I wrote about the time my dad was gravely ill and rushed to hospital — and about losing our furry faced child Widget. I wrote about the death of my grandad and losing my nana. So whilst this little corner of the internet is mostly about the good things, it does occasionally bear witness to the bad too. Accidents Will Happen If you don’t follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may not know that I fell on… Read More

Our stay at the Hotel Aiguille Percee in Tignes | With Mark Warner

For someone — like me — who’s never been to the mountains before, the coach journey from Grenoble airport to the ski resort of Tignes was pretty spectacular. Winding through the French Alps, looking down over vast canyons and valleys — all smothered in a thick layer of snow — was breathtaking. And as we pulled in to Tignes-Le-Lac and the coach stopped, we were able to get a proper look at where we were going to be spending our first ever family ski holiday. Tignes is located 2100 metres above sea level; and due to the high altitude offers skiers the chance of fabulous snow, even late on in the season. We arrived on 12th March and — apart from the roads which were clear — everywhere else was covered in a dense blanket of snow. The coach dropped us off and we walked up the footpath to our home for the week; The Hotel Aiguille Percee. Looking every inch as chalet-like as I’d hoped, we were warmly greeted at the front desk by Wayne — the lovely general manager — who checked us in and let us know when, and where, all the welcome meetings were; plus the times of the meals etc. The Accommodation We stayed… Read More

5 Weird and Wonderful Things To Do at Camp Bestival

Hurrah! The clocks have gone forward!! This annual event literally makes me smile from ear to ear. Goodbye winter. We’ll miss you! Said no-one. Ever. It’s that time of year where I start coming out of hibernation and begin to look forward to the warmer months that lie ahead. We bought a family calendar a few weeks ago in the Kikki K sale and have been merrily filling out the boxes; marking off when we’re away or have people staying. One of the things that certainly puts a smile on my face is planning our festival weekends. Thinking about the colour and joy of festivals is always a lovely distraction. Having a look at what bands are on, at which particular festival. Take Camp Bestival for example. This year they’ll be celebrating their tenth anniversary and have got a stellar line-up in place. They’ve got Mark Ronson gracing the Castle Stage on the Friday night. Madness are doing a slot, plus Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys is the Sunday headliner. The thought of long hot days, sipping cocktails, watching the bands; then sloping back to Dolly, tired and happy, to have a  lovely sleep in our cosy Duvalay beds makes me smile from ear… Read More

Packing for a long weekend away

Even before I had the boys I was never one for packing light. I used to pore over the pages of Red and Grazia, marvelling over glossy pages of chic capsule wardrobes. Then when it came to packing in ‘real’ life, I’d panic and cram in clothes for every eventuality. I’ve never been too good at the pared down look; be it for home, fashion — or life in general. A case of go big or go home. But last month when we went on our little adventure in St Mawes, I made a pact with myself to ‘try’ and pack as lightly as possible. Tricky — as the weather can be so unpredictable at this time of year— but necessary. Particularly as the car was bursting at the seams, with everything two little boys might need for a week away. Two (or three) outfit changes a day for me, plus bikini, wellies, rain-mac, sunhat, maxi-dress, dungarees, sequins (just in case) was not going to cut it. I needed something casual to wear during the day — and possibly a sweater to throw on if things got a little too chilly — plus we’d got a special dinner planned, to celebrate my birthday and wedding anniversary so I wanted something a little bit glam and… Read More

207 weeks and 2 days | Me and Mine {February} featuring Joules

February. A very short and very memorable month for me and mine. We’ve done some decorating. Been  planning and getting very excited for our upcoming ski trip with Mark Warner. And, of course, we celebrated our wedding anniversary down in Cornwall; at lovely Dreamcatchers; courtesy of St Mawes Retreats. It is definitely one of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever had the privilege to stay in; but bricks and mortar aside, Cornwall was breathtakingly beautiful. Even in early February. The sun shines differently on that little corner of the British Isles and even on the darkest, stormiest day, the little fishing village of St Mawes was bathed in a magical, clear light. Inside, outside and exploring… We took some family with us; my sister-in-law, her husband and our niece — who is the Twinkles big cousin — and her husband. Spending time with our nearest and dearest is always something I treasure; our annual family BBQs are something I really look forward to and it was lovely hanging out with them for a few days. Really freeing not to have a fixed agenda for a change; to not have to be at a particular place; at a particular time. To have leisurely lunches, bimble around the little towns; browsing shops and… Read More

A good nights sleep | Featuring Order Blinds

Getting a good night’s sleep becomes as evasive and mystical as the unicorn, when you’re a new parent. Sleep deprivation is most definitely a form of torture and ‘sleeping through’ is a hot topic of conversation; discussed in every playgroup up and down the country. Those first few weeks of life with a newborn can be  pretty exhausting. And then once you’ve managed to get your angel into a good routine — BANG — teething starts. And so, your good night’s sleep is disturbed once more. And again when they’re having a growth spurt. Or ill. Or when the clocks change. Aaah the clocks changing. The clocks going forward has always been one of the highlights of my year; a clear signal that winter is finally over and long light days are ahead. But when the boys arrived, putting the clocks forward was something that threw us all out of kilter. Losing an hour was bad enough but trying to put them to bed in the daylight was awful. Even a black-out blind — and curtains with black-out lining — couldn’t stop the light shining around the window frame on sunny mornings, like a halo. And as the sun greeted the world, so my little sons awoke… Read More

Celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary at St Mawes Retreats

At around twenty past two on the third of this month my boy and I had been married for sixteen years. The happiest times of my life have happened with — and as a result of — this amazing man. I love him more than words can say. I’ve written about our wedding day before. It’s bizarre that it was so long ago; the memories are etched in my mind and, if I close my eyes, I can see scenes of the day playing out as clearly as if it were just last weekend. And even though sixteen years may not be a landmark year in the strictest sense — after my wobble about mortality and age the other week — I think every milestone should be celebrated. So we decided to mark another year of married life by escaping to Cornwall; to St Mawes Retreats. Not only is the house an interior lovers delight— with it’s designer fittings and luxury feel; you can read about that here if you fancy a nosey — it’s positioned in one of the most beautiful parts of the British Isles too. St Mawes is so picturesque. Think quaint little, pastel painted cottages and stunning landscapes and you still probably wouldn’t be imagining anything as beautiful… Read More

Getting ready for our first family ski holiday with Mark Warner

There’s a LOT of excitement in our home at the mo, as we’ve been getting ready for our first family ski holiday with Mark Warner!! The little boys are so excited about the snow; much chat about this. I’m not convinced that they quite know what ‘skiing’ involves yet but they’ve watched lots of YouTube clips and Instagram Stories of the other current Mark Warner ambassadors. My big, man-shaped boy is beyond excited to go on his first proper skiing trip for more than 20 years. He’s not been ‘proper’ skiing since just  before we got together (which will be 21 years on May 28th this year!!!! Eeeek!!! HOW did that happen??!). He’s been to the Snow Dome on the odd occasion but hasn’t travelled any further than Tamworth — or Milton Keynes — to get his ski fix for a very long time. And I’ve been getting a little bit excited about shopping for some ski-wear essentials for us all. Having never been skiing before it’s been really fun choosing things that I’d never ordinarily look at. Plus it’s been nice to scour the internet for things other than clues on ‘How To Stop When Skiing’ (something that I’ve been getting a… Read More