Can you believe that the school summer holidays are nearly here? I love this time of year because it means… holiday shopping! I know, any excuse for shopping, but this one’s an important one: there are shorts and sandals and swimwear to be bought and you know what it’s like: blink and they’re all sold out! With this in mind (and because many stores have just started their sales), I’ve decided to put together a few tips to help you to simplify both the shopping and packing processes.
So did you know that Sunday was International Picnic Day? Luckily the weather was absolutely gorgeous so it was easy to get outside and do some alfresco snacking. Of course planning the perfect picnic really shouldn’t include limp sandwiches and sweaty salads – I think the key to an impressive picnic is to mix a few things you’ve made yourself with a selection of ready made bits and bobs, blurring the edges so nobody quite knows which is which. I’ve been trying out a few items from Tesco’s brand new Mediterranean-inspired Deli range, and they fit the bill perfectly: you can eat many of the items hot or cold, and there are loads of tasty little bits and pieces perfect for eating with your fingers.
Okay, so I’m aware that I’m publishing my weekend wishlist on a Thursday, but there’s a good reason for this: I wanted to give you a heads up about the return of the legendary M&S Summer Beauty Box! It’s always hugely popular and I think last year sold out within hours, so it’s really important that you get in there quickly! The offer is: spend £40 across clothing, homeware and beauty and get a beauty box gift – worth £105 – for just £10. The offer is valid from today until 26th June 2017 (but it’s doubtful whether stocks will last that long). The M&S Summer Beauty Box contains all sorts of gorgeous goodies, so if you’re planning a little M&S shop, this is the perfect time to do it!
Hello! If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ll know that I’ve just spent a brilliant week with Virgin Holidays at Elite Island Resort’s The Club, Barbados, singing my heart out in the most amazing choir. Much more of that very soon (and more about the gorgeous resort as well), but for this weekend’s wishlist, I just wanted to tell you why Ultrasun should be in your beach bag (and on your face!) this summer.
So if you’ve been following along with my post 40 beauty diary, you’ll know that I’ve been trying hard to take better care of my skin, and trying out a few different treatments with the lovely people at One Stop Doctors, a brand new medical facility in Hemel Hempstead. After my consultation with GP and Aesthetic Doctor, Dr Heidi Miller, I was really excited to take the next step and book in for some Botox. If you’ve been considering having any aesthetic treatments, I thought it might be helpful to give you a completely honest account of what it’s really like to have Botox.
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!
Last week, I mentioned my need for a few little calming rituals, like my coconut chai tea. My brain is particularly whizzy at the moment (hence, I went to my first yoga class this week – and loved it), and if I’m up really early, I quite like to go downstairs, say hi to the dog and have a little potter in the kitchen. At the moment I’m a bit obsessed with baking bread – I tend to bake two loaves at a time, using my standard, lazy recipe (which doesn’t involve any kneading at all). I’ve mentioned before that rye is really good for you – I don’t make 100% rye bread, which we find too strong, but when mixed with white flour, this is our absolute favourite. Another bonus of home made bread is that it lasts ages when compared to shop bought, which seems to go mouldy very quickly. This particular recipe has rosemary added, which is surprisingly delicious. Here’s how to do it:
I’m currently obsessed with everything pineapple and I fear my fever is getting worse, not better. Everywhere I look (mostly on Instagram, admittedly), pineapple symbols and patterns are adorning everything from swimwear (see the evidence here) to sofas and most things in between. I’ve seen pineapple earrings, pineapple lip balms and of course, I love my pineapple trainers. Yes, friends, pineapples are no longer just for pizzas (I never did that, honestly) and it’s time to put your hands up and admit that you’re a bit of a devotee of pineapple perfection. It’s not just me, surely?
So remember a while ago (actually about a year ago) I talked about the positive life plan? It stemmed from a lovely conversation with my friend Erica, and was a bit of a life-affirming exercise in which we discussed aspects of our life and added our thoughts about them (adding the rule that everything had to be positive). I now have a notebook especially for the plan, and update and add bits to it all the time (I’m pretty much a notebook nut – my whole life revolves around notes and to do lists and little snippets of things I’ve copied down).
Where’s your head at? I feel like mine’s usually like the scene in the Wizard of Oz (it’s a twister!’) where Dorothy bangs her head and then everything starts lifting off the ground and whooshing past the window. If, like me, you feel your thoughts and tasks and mental to do lists all start to become too much, I’d like to recommend a little ritual. Something that I find comforting and grounding, especially when I’m really busy. I’ve started to replace my morning cuppa with a coconut chai tea. I take my time, stirring the ingredients together and really trying to clear my head, then take it back to bed and sip it slowly.
This post is sponsored by British Airways Holidays.
It’s 2009. I’m with a small group of fellow mums and we’re walking through the gates of Walt Disney World, Florida for the first time ever. Even though we’ve only just met, our excitement has brought us together and we’re firm friends already. Spotting beautiful Cinderella Castle for the first time, pretty, pastel and huge at the end of bustling Main Street USA, we’re already grabbing each other’s hands, laughing and breathless with disbelief.
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.
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:
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.
- 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