We love where we live. We’re so lucky to live in this beautiful part of the world, surrounded by gorgeous countryside and yet just 30 minutes’ train ride away from London. I feel like we have the best of both worlds. Recently, the lovely chaps at booking.com asked about our favourite places to eat and stay in the Chilterns, and it’s honestly taken us lots of evenings of chat (and lots of bottles of wine) to narrow down our choices, such is the wealth of fabulous places throughout Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and beyond! Here, then, without further ado, is my perfect foodie weekend in the Chilterns. I do hope if you’re ever in the area, you’ll come and give some of these fab places a try!
Now Charlie has gone off to university, I’ve been doing a bit of research on student discounts for 2017 and beyond. Loads of companies are really generous with their student discounts and, as some will be on a limited basis, this is the best time to think about using your discounts. First things first, though, you need to prove that you’re a student and most companies want to see your official NUS Student Card.
This week saw the announcement of the new hush autumn 17 collection and it really is a gorgeous one. I’ve seen them go from quite a niche online company to wandering the racks of their clothes in John Lewis like a proud mama, and I continue to love everything about their relaxed, grown up style. I absolutely love it when a new season collection lands and it’s no secret that autumn’s my favourite: all those snuggly jumpers, muted colours and soft fabrics make me so happy. Let’s face it, our summer’s been pretty nonexistent, hasn’t it? During our dog walks recently (yup, in wellies and rainwear), we’ve picked handfuls of blackberries for crumble, and the crabapples and sloes are dotting the hedgerows already… It’s like mother nature wants us all to forget it ever happened and move straight on to autumn. And honestly? At this stage, I’m pretty happy with that.
If you’ve not heard of Carla Bikini before, they’re a lovely French swimwear company that stock a wide range of swimwear, sportswear (if, like me, you’re always after good fitness stuff, they have some great tops, sports bras, leggings and shorts, beachwear and lingerie, from some great brands like Seafolly, Rip Curl, Fantasie and Freya. I ordered this swimsuit (pictured above – sadly not in the sale) a while ago and absolutely love it – it’s so comfy and supportive, doesn’t ride up and washes really well. I’ve done a couple of orders now and found them really helpful too. At the moment, there’s a summer sale on with prices up to 80% off so I thought I’d pass on a few of the bargains I’ve spotted. Here are my top picks from the swimwear sale at Carla Bikini.
Now you all know I’m a huge Boden fan, and it’s that time of year again when they’re releasing gorgeous pictures of all their beautiful beach and holiday ranges. I love Boden for great quality, bold patterns, awesome design and just a little hint of British quirkiness. As an added bonus, from now until tomorrow, Sunday 11th June, there’s 30% off dresses, (including playsets and rompers), accessories (non-footwear), boys’ trousers and menswear with code: 6T2C. Here’s my pick of Boden’s holiday heroes – get those credit cards at the ready!
When you try to focus on keeping a relatively minimalist wardrobe full of good quality classics, the new season can always be a bit of a challenge. I have to really keep myself (and my wallet) in check, especially faced with all the pretty new spring colours and shapes. Still, there’s no harm in a bit of window shopping, and what better way of getting my fashion fix than sharing all my faves with you? Here are a few lovely spring bits that are definitely being added to my thoughtful spending list:
Last night, we spent the most magical evening in London. I always love going to London at this time of the year to look at all the lights (my Dad used to drive us to London and drive down Oxford Street when we were little – it was one of the highlights of Christmas!) and we were especially lucky to be treated to a gorgeous sail down the Thames with MBNA Thames Clippers, London’s fabulous riverboat service, alighting at the London Eye to catch the festive production of Peter Pan at the National Theatre. It’s such a lovely, lovely way to travel too.
So the biggest shopping weekend of the year is upon us, with loads of retailers doing special deals and discounts. It’s worth having a look, especially if you’re pressie shopping or looking to bag a lovely Christmas outfit. My worst habit is buying all the pretty things just because they’re discounted, rather than because I actually need them, so I’m trying to be sensible and just buy Christmas gifts! Here’s my roundup of some of the best ‘black Friday’ weekend special offers from some of my favourite retailers.
If you’re following me on Instagram (if not, why not?!) my Instagram story is currently full of me obsessing about packing (and worrying about forgetting boarding passes and passports!). You’ll also have seen my holiday picks from Cocobay Swimwear, where, strangely for such a lover of colour, I actually chose a completely monochrome outfit! I’m very excited to tell you that, exclusively for English Mum readers, we’ve arranged a special 20% Coco Bay Swimwear discount! Before you choose – here’s what I picked: Read more
WHAT a weekend. We had our amazing summer sparklers party on Friday night. I am absolutely rubbish and took NO pictures, but we had such a fun time and – apart from the fact that I was an idiot and bought single cream, so my pavlova ended up being ‘deconstructed’ – it all went really well. More of this very soon! I had a complete day off anything to do with health and fitness on Friday: I scoffed pavlova and cheese and all those good things, but now I’m back on it: exercising regularly (I WILL be toned and fit by our holiday in September), drinking loads of water and looking after my body and my skin, which brings me neatly on to my EXCLUSIVE offer: 20% off REN Skincare exclusively for you guys!
I’ve had SUCH a busy week. Oh, I’m absolutely not moaning – who else gets to spend their days chatting on the radio and talking to wonderful, interesting people about the job that they love? I feel like the luckiest girl in the world, especially as it’s my birthday tomorrow and the Easter long weekend! And all this lovely stuff has put me in the mood for a bit of shopping. I’m loving all the hush spring brights AND they’ve got 10% off (enter EASTER16 at the checkout) and a free bar of delicious hush chocolate if you order (over £30) over the Easter weekend. What’s not to love? Here are my picks of their most beautiful must-haves to brighten your spring wardrobe:
So this is a completely selfish roundup – basically consisting of everything I’d quite like the boys to buy me. I’m not sure if they ever read the blog, though, which could be an issue. Ah well, just in case… Boots have got some really lovely things for Mother’s Day, including these stylish Orla Kiely gift sets. Also check out their Mother’s Day offer of the day, with different offers all week.
The White Company also have some elegant gift ideas. I especially love their signature lime and bay scented candle:
Marks and Spencer have such amazing beauty ranges. If your mama is partial to the odd beauty treat, I highly recommend La Maison de Senteurs, which are such pretty presents (above), also I’d love the Emma Hardie face starter kit please – I’m addicted to the Moringa Balm and this looks perfect for travel!
The best thing about winter when you work from home is being able to snuggle up in a lovely warm jumper, light a candle that smells of Christmas pudding, make yourself a hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and sit in front of the fire all day, with a warm whippet for company. Unfortunately the aforementioned whippet also needs to stretch her legs, so my day is broken up with a couple of frosty walks, which actually I don’t mind, as long as I’m well wrapped up.
As I mentioned recently, Boden are ON FIRE at the moment (not literally, I just mean their stuff is fantastic). If you haven’t experienced their fab new autumn/winter range, I’ve got the perfect excuse to order a few bits: a fabulous 20% off plus free delivery + free returns (excluding Boden Icons range) from today just until Sunday! *Update – there’s now a new 25% off code from now until Tuesday 29th!)
Now my kitchen is complete, I’m starting to add those little touches that make it perfect. One thing that I adore is flowers – from a bunch of big, bright, happy sunflowers to a proper, formal bouquet, I love them all, so when lovely new flower delivery company Blossoming Gifts wrote to me and offered to send me gorgeous flowers AND a discount code for you too, well of course I was delighted!
- Entertaining over Christmas: my festive pie December 12, 2017
- A night out at the Gourmet Picture Company, Marlow December 10, 2017
- Weekend wishlist: festive fun with Love Layla Designs December 9, 2017
- Christmas crumble muffins with the Kenwood Chef Elite December 7, 2017
- Christmas gifts for the man in your life December 6, 2017