Percy's Vodka Iced Tea

July: what I’m loving now

Can you believe July has disappeared already?  I’d love to tell you of long, lazy, hazy summer days lolling in the garden sipping Prosecco, but I’ve been ridiculously busy, rushing to London for meetings, buying a house (hopefully!), travelling and writing to various deadlines.  Still, I’ve taken the time to jot down a couple of the things that have been useful/beautiful/handy/delicious.  And here’s to a slightly more chilled out August!   Here’s what I’m loving now:

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SCANDAL LOGO

5 mad things about the Scandal, Series 3 event in London

So recently I got invited to a very swish private screening of the third series of Sky Living’s drama, Scandal.  If you’re not already hooked (bet you are), it stars the gorgeous Kerry Washington (who we all remember most as the blind lady who dated The Thing in the Fantastic Four, but who was also amazing in Django Unchained), as White House fixer Olivia Pope. It’s full of intrigue, secrets and cover-ups and is seriously good.

So how did the evening pan out?  I’m not sure you’ll believe it…

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summer fun

5 tips for surviving the school summer holidays

So the kids are breaking up (or have broken up) from school and now the loooong summer stretches ahead.  My two seem to have been off for weeks already (both have done exams and have been on study leave since May – happily they both have part time jobs which at least keep them occupied some of the time).  So whether you’re embracing this time with your children, or dreading it, you’ll still have between a month and six weeks of time to fill and there’s nothing worse than bored kids. So how can you keep the kids entertained?  Here are my top 5 tips for surviving the school summer holidays:

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Chopping board from Getting Personal

A lovely giveaway for English Mum’s eighth birthday *closed*

So this week, my little corner of the internet is celebrating its eighth birthday.  Eight whole years of talking waffle!  I was telling someone recently (in the manner of a very old lady) that when I started out, I knew most of the other ‘mummy bloggers’ out there.  There weren’t very many and we all felt like friends, commenting on each other’s blog posts and actually meeting up in real life occasionally too!

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Yumi dress cropped

Dresses for people who really don’t suit dresses

So recently me and the Mr were out shopping.  He’s actually one of those men that’s really good at shopping.  He’s not a ‘stand outside the shop looking awkward’ kind of man, he’s a ‘get stuck in and have a rummage’ one.  He has an opinion.  He’ll tell you if he thinks something suits me (not that I always take his advice, obviously) and he’ll also be honest if something doesn’t (brutally, occasionally – he’s been known to make me cry, but that was years ago, he’s learned to be a bit more tactful these days).

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SP68 Arianna Occhipinti

A secret wine tasting and some fab new wine discoveries

My brother is really into his wine.  He’s a serious collector and really knows his stuff. He’s introduced me to some amazing wines and we’re always telling each other about our new wine discoveries.

We decided to get together for a bit of a ‘wine-off’ with Big Bro and his wife picking some wines, then me and Mr English picking some wines, and decided to make it a bit more tricky by agreeing to cover the labels.

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The H of BF

The House of Bodily Fluids

So I wrote a while back about our house dilemma: stay here or move to pastures new.  We’ve been looking around for a while, and a house in the same village we currently live caught our eye.  And kept catching our eye.  It was in an area that we quite like, a nice size… but there it was, every time we did an internet search – that same house.  It didn’t sell. And in a buoyant market that seemed a little odd. Read more

FGM Rose

Things I’ve learned this week: using my voice

It’s been a really interesting week.  Firstly, I had a meeting with the lovely folk at Plan UK.  I’ve just been asked to join them as an ambassador, and I was delighted to say yes.  I’ve been asked to do stuff with a few charities before, but I’ve always resisted, but I’ve actually noticed their ‘because I am a girl’ campaign, and really wanted to learn more about them and, I guess, help, if I can.

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Samsung Galaxy Fame

Three’s ‘Feel at Home’ and the Samsung Galaxy Fame

So recently I talked about my quest for cheaper mobile data when travelling, and my discovery that Three’s ‘Feel at Home’ service allows you to use your Pay As You Go credit while travelling abroad (basically you just convert your credit into an add-on, then you can use your allowance of minutes, texts and data up to a limit of something like 25Gb.

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ClearLift at Disappear Ltd

A facelift in a lunchtime with ClearLift

At the end of May, I undertook a little facial maintenance with my lovely laser therapist, Melissa at Disappear Ltd in Milton Keynes.  Melissa is removing my hideous tattoo, and I’ve become a bit obsessed with all the other little bits and bobs she does there for skin rejuvenation.  I started with a session of Meso Vytal micro needling. One month on, and with two very sunny weeks in Florida and the Caribbean in between, I’m still pretty pleased with the results.  I found the Meso Vytal very good for evening out my skin tone (I have quite a lot of Melasma – skin pigmentation, especially across my forehead), and with daily application of a good quality sunblock, I was feeling good about my skin.  Good enough, I told her, to go without foundation ALL THE TIME – unheard of for me.

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Prom

I’ve written before about how hard it can be to see your children growing up before your eyes, and before you can blink.  My curly blonde babies are now strapping lads, taller than both me and their Dad, but honestly?  I don’t feel sad.

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Family English on the Allure of the Seas

The Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas: a guided tour

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I’m pretty sure that you’ve noticed we’ve been cruising on the Allure of the Seas around the Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean challenged the boys to have a really active high-adrenaline cruise and I think we managed it, what with zip-lining, surfing on the Flow-Rider, snorkelling, power rafting and much more.  And while the boys were doing all this, it left us lots of lovely free time for lazing, eating out, sunbathing and a few cocktails too!  Here’s how we got on:

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