I have so much to tell you about my amazing trip to Kissimmee with Norwegian – I can’t believe two weeks has flown past since I was there. I travelled with such a lovely bunch of people and we had great fun exploring – honestly, it was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. If you’re considering a holiday to Florida, whether it be to the theme parks, or to discover a bit more of the area, I highly recommend Kissimmee as a base. There’s so much fabulous accommodation, beautiful scenery, loads of fun things to do, and, it’s so close to all the parks too. Here are my recommendations for fun family holidays in Kissimmee.
Now before we even get down to the subject of summer glow, let’s get something straight: I’m talking about glow: a gentle inner luminosity, a radiant, summery look of health and wellbeing. What I’m not trying to achieve here is any more shine than I’m already saddled with (which is quite a lot, especially on my forehead). More of this later, but it’s at this time of year when we all want to be moving away from the matte textures and chalky finishes of winter. We all want to look healthy and sunkissed, and there are loads of products out there that will help you achieve this lovely look. Here are some of my recent discoveries for achieving a lovely summer glow.
So if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’ve been on a bit of mission recently to take better care of myself. I’ve committed to taking really good care of my skin with the help of the experts, and for a while, I’ve been wondering if my hair couldn’t do with a bit of a revamp as well. You may remember that a while ago I visited Karine Jackson’s salon in London and I absolutely loved the Organic Colour Systems ethos and products. I was even more delighted to find out that there’s a salon even closer to me, The Hair Secret, Berkhamsted, that also uses the Organic Colour Systems range. Owner and Organic Colour Systems Mentor (one of only three in the country), Natalie Lupton invited me to come along and have a really in-depth hair consultation and a bit of a revamp – she also invited me to do it all live on her Insta-stories, which turned out to be the best fun. Here’s how I got on.
So after the big reveal that Lintenair is actually Trainline (it’s an anagram! check out the video here), Mr E and I decided to pick one of our bucket list destinations and head out for a little day trip. We wanted somewhere a bit different, with loads of shopping and eating, and some arty bits to see too. Luckily, my lovely friend Tara lives in the West Midlands and suggested a day in Birmingham. We booked on the Trainline App, and with our mobile tickets ready on our phones, and live journey updates we knew we had time for a coffee and a delicious bacon sandwich at the pretty station café at Wendover Station. Read more
Did you know that over the past few years, sales of swimwear have soared? I think it’s gone from one of those pieces that we might have one or two of, to a wardrobe staple that we might own in several different styles and colours. We’re also spending more money on beachwear than ever before, so this sector of the fashion market is booming. Interestingly, the strongest growth in sales has come from women buying bikinis, with sales of two pieces representing 68% of all sales for the swimwear sector! But what about if, like me, you’ve got hips and a bum, and maybe a bit of a tummy too – is a bikini for you? If you’re planning to hit the beach this summer, here are my tips on buying a bikini if you’re curvy. Read more
Now I know I said recently that my obsession with all things cute and floral was fleeting, but there’s so much lovely stuff in the shops at the moment, I fear my monochrome madness might have to be put on hold for a while longer. Everywhere I look there’s embroidery and splashes of colour, and as the sun has come out at least twice, and a lot of us are planning our summer getaways, it just somehow seems right. Here’s my weekend wishlist of flirty florals:
As you can imagine, I travel quite frequently, and it occurs to me regularly that my fellow travellers tend to slot in to a few distinct types. Mr E is definitely the impatient traveller – he strides ahead, leaving me bumbling behind, and can’t bear to queue. I’m a bit more laid back, but I do like a pair of shoes or three, so maybe I’m the fashionista (monochrome of course, dahling). I wonder if you see yourself in any of these descriptions:
The more I travel, the more I seem to pare down my in-flight beauty kit. At one stage, I was lugging all manner of things in a huge carry-on bag, but recently, I’ve started to realise that I wasn’t actually using half the products. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that last week, I travelled to Florida on Norwegian’s Dreamliner, which gives you a bit of added help in the in-flight beauty department by reducing the effects of jet lag with lots of lovely fresh air and adjusting cabin pressure to optimum levels. There’s also smart mood lighting, which is very relaxing, and 65% larger windows, but still, flying is very dehydrating, and it helps to whip off all your makeup and treat your skin to some extra moisture while you’ve got the chance to sit back and relax. I thought I’d tell you about my in-flight beauty heroes – the ones that made the cut and still travel with me every time.
So it’s just dawned on me, after all the excitement of Florida, that I’ve totally missed out one of the birthday cakes: the birthday chocolate orange cheesecake! You all know about the birthday challenge, right? The birthday person gets to choose whatever birthday cake/dessert they want (within reason – I don’t do novelty cakes, I’m too cack handed), and I make it for them. I told you about Sam’s birthday lemon meringue pie, but then completely missed out Charlie’s chocolate orange cheesecake. This didn’t start well as I tried everywhere to find Terry’s Chocolate Oranges in all our local shops and supermarkets and just couldn’t find any, so I had to settle for Lindor Truffles. Still, it all turned out okay. Here’s how I made it:
I’m back! I’ve had the most incredible few days with a group of really lovely people, and I’ve got so much to tell you about our wonderful trip, from flying to Florida with Norwegian’s state of the art Boeing 787 Dreamliners, a stay in the most ridiculously luxurious villa in Kissimmee, loads of really fun outdoorsy stuff like kayaking, climbing and swimming, and discovering pretty towns, gorgeous hotels, white sandy beaches and trendy towns with buzzy nightlife. Read more
By the time you read this, I’ll be exploring Kissimmee, St Pete and Clearwater in Florida with Norwegian – I know! I’m so excited. I try really hard not to buy new stuff every time I go away – it would become a very expensive lifestyle – but there are so many lovely things in the shops at the moment – I’ve been trying to limit myself to maybe just a few new holiday accessories for 2017 (I already bought that amazing embroidered playsuit and those embellished slides from Zara that I told you about last week – oops), and I really wanted some comfy trainers that aren’t too sporty looking – I love Converse, but I just don’t find them comfortable to walk around in all day when I’m sightseeing, they’re just too flat, and while running shoes from Nike and Adidas are comfortable, I find that they can be just too casual for a nice outfit. I wanted something in between.
So I told you last time that I’ve made a serious commitment to take better care of my skin, and after the incredible interest and feedback I got here and on my Facebook page after chatting about this, I’ve decided to keep a bit of a post 40 beauty diary. Last week saw me at One Stop Doctors in Hemel Hempstead again for the next step on my journey: microdermabrasion and a light skin peel as recommended by Cally. Here’s how I got on. As this is a bit long-winded, I’ve divided it into the different sections so you can skip down to the one that interests you!
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that over the weekend I was chatting about the ‘birthday challenge’. I’m not sure how this started but it’s been going on since the boys were really small. In our family, whenever it’s anyone’s birthday, they get to choose the birthday cake/dessert of their dreams – anything at all – and I promise to cook it for them. When the boys were small, they were always begging for novelty cakes way beyond my level of expertise: Buzz Lightyear and Power Rangers, then when they turned into little pre-teen smart-arses, it was always something really, really complicated – they would research for hours and come back with requests for things they thought were really exotic (my favourite was Sam’s request for a black forest gateau – I’m not even sure he knew what it was). Now, though, it’s all about requesting a big, yummy dessert and that suits me just fine. Sam’s birthday is on Tuesday, and I promised I’d do the birthday challenge last weekend as I’m away again next week (exploring Kissimmee, St Pete and Clearwater – I can’t wait). I was pretty chuffed when his request was for lemon meringue pie too – one of my favourites.
Last week while we were enjoying our week at Walt Disney World before Saturday Night Takeaway, we spent at least a couple of our free afternoons at Disney Springs (oh, how I wish I had a Disney Springs near me – I’d be poor, but so happy). There are so many shops there that I adore: Anthropologie, Kate Spade, the awesome Havaianas shop and – oh my goodness – the biggest Zara you’ve ever clapped eyes on. You know when you go shopping sometimes and you just love everything in a certain shop? It feels like it’s all just made especially for you? Well that’s exactly how I felt. Generally, as you know, I’m all sensible and minimalist, but there’s obviously something about shopping while it’s sunny and warm outside that changes my shopping personality, and I found myself rather taken by quite a lot of the items currently in the shops – things that I can only describe as – well – some kind of Spring cuteness overload: Bardot necklines, Self Portrait-esque lace, ruffles, and stripes (ruffles and stripes together!).
So following on from part one of our awesome adventure to see the live final of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway at Walt Disney World, here’s part two of our fabulous Florida photo diary. Friday started with some safari fun at Tusker House, with a delicious African-themed breakfast with Mickey and friends. If you’re thinking of booking a character breakfast, this is a fab one to choose: the setting is gorgeous and after an early start, a delicious breakfast, and some musical fun with a host of characters, you’re all set to head out into Disney’s Animal Kingdom to enjoy your day at the park. Plus you get to hug Safari Mickey and dance with Donald Duck, I mean, what’s not to love?!
- Why St Petersburg, Florida is one of my favourite holiday destinations June 27, 2017
- 2017 packing and holiday clothes shopping tips June 26, 2017
- Planning the perfect picnic June 24, 2017
- Weekend wishlist: the M&S Summer Beauty Box June 22, 2017
- In which I finally get to visit Celebration, Florida June 20, 2017