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 the penultimate day of our skiing trip to Tignes and shattered my knee.

I was heroically taken off the mountain by the Piste Rescue — carefully bundled into the back of a French ambulance — and driven to the hospital in nearby Val D’isere.

I had an x-ray to make sure nothing was broken, then the British doctor carefully dropped the bombshell, that he suspected I’d totally ruptured the ACL and MCL in my knee. Ouch.

As a result, life recently has been ‘tricky’.

To say the least.

I have to wear a full length brace on my leg. It can’t bend more than 30 ° and I have to sleep in it; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No idea how long for; I had my first UK hospital appointment yesterday and am now on the waiting list for an MRI scan.

My amazing  boy is having to do everything for both me and our little sons as a result.

I can’t dress them, pick them up from nursery, tuck them into bed.

It. Is Hard.

For all of us.

So being able to do something lovely with the boys — a little bit of normality — is just what the doctor ordered (if you’ll excuse the pun).

We spent a very happy morning yesterday, making Easter bonnets. Sticking, gluing and generally enjoying ourselves.

Easter Treats

It was so nice to do something fun and engaging with the littles. Really lovely to see the concentration on their faces and a joy for me to be able to do something with them, that didn’t involve bending, stretching, lifting or carrying!

I was thanking my lucky stars — and Sainsburys — for the bonnet kits. They’ve got such a gorgeous range in store this Easter; everything from Egg hunt kits to Easter inspired homeware.

You can channel your inner Jessica Rabbit; with a pair of bunny ears and clip-on bobtail. Or pretty up your home with a sweet little Easter themed jug; just fill with a bright bunch of daffodils and you’ll be set for the long, bank holiday weekend.

You wouldn’t think that a little kit of cardboard and foam shapes would be so good for the soul but they really were!

So cheering to be able to do something fun that didn’t require much movement.

We made salt dough Easter decorations a couple of years ago but these little Easter bonnet hats were much simpler for little fingers. Albeit they did need help at times.

If you’re looking to do something lovely with your kiddos over the Easter bank holiday, I highly recommend it. The boys had a ball.

As did I.

Many thanks to the lovely team at Sainsburys for sending the boys their Easter treats. You made two tiny boys — and their mama — very happy indeed.

Pop along to the Sainsburys website for lots more Easter inspiration. Everything from things to buy, to things to make — the best-ever Easter baking recipes look fabulous.

And whilst I may not be able to do the Easter egg hunt with the boys this year, I’ve made them bonnets and I can certainly make a cake! Ultimate Easter Chocolate Cake recipe, here I come.

Happy Easter everyone! xx

This is a collaborative post but all thoughts, words and images and styling — as ever — are entirely my own.

Flower Magic | Faux florals by Jane Packer


Faux florals by Jane Packer are not words that naturally sit together but last Tuesday I visited the London shop of the world renowned florist, to have a look at the new range of faux florals that she’s created exclusively for Sainsbury’s Home.

Now I’ve spoken about my love for faux florals before but these were something else entirely. The studio was FULL of the most extraordinarily beautiful blooms but it was so hard to tell what was real and what wasn’t.

Waxy leaves and velvety petals, tight buds and blowsy flowers; if I hadn’t been told which had been created by Mother Nature and which were manmade variety, I’d have had a real job to tell them apart.

The range features peonies, garden roses, hydrangea heads and orchids in delicious pastel hues.

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose.


By any other name would smell as sweet.’


William Shakespeare

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer
Faux florals by Jane Packer from £16 to £32

Gorgeous aren’t they?

Styled in simple glass or ceramic pots and vases these lovely everlasting plants and flowers will bring a real sense of the luxury of the Jane Packer brand to our homes without the hefty price-tag that you associate with fresh florals.

Prices for the faux flowers and plants range from just £16 to £32

As well as the faux botanicals, the team have been busily creating a range of home fragrances too; reed diffusers, candles and room sprays. And these were amazing!!

I WISH that I was able to convey, with words, just how exquisite these smell. I literally couldn’t put them down. Scent is so evocative isn’t it? And these lovely fragrances had me transported back to hazy summers in beautiful English gardens.

There are to be three aromas in the collection — Tuberose and Amber, Paperwhite and Jasmine, and finally, Violet and Peony — and they are all absolutely gorgeous. 

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Jane Packer home fragrances prices from just £6

Whilst I was there I was also treated to a floral masterclass with the amazing Charlotte Slade, who taught me — and a handful of other lucky journalists — to create the perfect hand-tied spring bouquet.

We mixed white tulips, jasmine and eucalyptus with Japanese aralia, paperwhites and hyacinths — to name a few — to make the sweetest smelling bouquet I’ve ever come across.

Faux florals by Jane Packer
The Jane Packer flower studio

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer
Our fab teacher — Charlotte Slade

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer
Me — pretending to look like I know what I’m doing!

Faux florals by Jane Packer

Faux florals by Jane Packer

I wish I could say that mine was as amazing as Charlotte’s but I’d be lying!

But whilst my bouquet was a little bit rough around the edges — and lacked the finesse of the perfect example made by our teacher — it was SO lovely to be guided by a professional florist.

I learnt tips and tricks that I will use at home and will definitely feel more confident buying and arranging flowers now.

Having said that, there may not be much call for fresh flowers, once I’ve invested in a couple of faux florals by Jane Packer ;)

Faux florals by Jane Packer

The Jane Packer Collection by Sainsbury’s will be available in stores from 20th May 2016