We were talking the other day about the last time we deliberately bought something labelled ‘low fat’ or ‘low sugar’. For us, it’s been a really long time. I think we’ve deliberately moved away from things with bits and bobs taken out, to more natural, healthy products: proper wholesome, whole milk yoghurts; proper bread from the bakery (yes, I love to make my own, but I don’t always have time and who wants to live on squishy plastic bread?), and mature cheddar. We’re never going to be a hard-core healthy family that lives on quinoa and chia seeds and gives up sugar, salt and dairy – that’s not my style at all. I’m an ‘everything in moderation’ person when it comes to food, and as a family we embrace everything, even treats in small amounts. But even with treats, I’d rather the boys were scoffing homemade cake than handfuls of sweets packed with artificial goodness-knows-what.
So the start of this week was ‘blue Monday’ apparently – the most depressing day of the year. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see my post about how I keep happy, basically by always having something to look forward to. Yes, I know I go away a lot so this is quite easy, but often, and especially when I don’t have a trip planned, it can be something as simple as having a page in my notebook where I jot down ideas for our lovely new en-suite (when we can finally afford it), or planning a family night out, or a drink with a girlfriend pencilled in the diary. As long as there’s something lovely to look forward to, or something that needs planning, I’m a happy girl.
One of the things Charlie got for Christmas was his own key to the little Renault Clio that Sam currently drives around in. He’s just passed his theory test, and is having lessons with a local instructor. Thing is, though, those lessons are REALLY expensive, so we’ve just gone through the process of insuring Charlie on the Clio (at great expense) so he can start getting used to his own car too, plus have a bit of extra practice.
Every year when it’s coming up to Christmas, we have the same old conversation about whether we’d go away and spend it somewhere else. We’re generally divided. The boys aren’t so keen, but I’d love to spend Christmas somewhere cool (sometimes we just need to break out and do something a bit different). Here’s my pick of five AMAZING destinations I’d love to visit over the festive period. So, pack your bags, book your flight cheaper with Hotels.com deals, and give your family something unique this Christmas – the whole wide world!
So it’s 1st December, which means I can finally start to mention Christmas without people throwing things (who am I kidding? I’ve been doing it for weeks already). I’m a complete Christmas-a-holic, and absolutely adore a Christmas advert too. I still cry EVERY TIME that single tear rolls down the face of the Man in the Moon, and every time Mog the Forgetful Cat accidentally ruins Christmas, I well up all over again.
The Christmas shopping has begun in earnest, so I was delighted to discover a gorgeous new website that’s going to be verrrry handy indeed. Join up and tell Lyst your favourite shops and brands, and you can see them all in one place. Once you’re logged in, you choose which brands and shops you want to follow, save items to buy later and even flag items so Lyst will let you know when they’re on sale – genius! There are items from designer brands like JBrand, Gucci and Michael Kors and retailers like Zara, Selfridges, Asos, Topshop, John Lewis and The Outnet. The lovely people at Lyst asked me to choose a few of my faves, so I’ve chosen carefully, just in case Mr E is reading…
I don’t know about you, but I enjoy the build up to Christmas every much as the day itself. I’m one of those people who love having something to look forward to, so whether it’s the planning and packing leading up to a holiday, or the twinkly lights and lists and shopping on the run up to Christmas, I’m never happier.
Living in the country, I see horse riders all the time, and I’m often struck by how equestrian style is actually quite a good look: think those tall, sturdy but stylish riding boots, warm polo necks and fitted jackets. The thing with equestrian gear is that it’s all quite sleek (I guess you can’t have your clothing flapping around you when you’re riding a horse?) so it tends to be well fitted and quite flattering, while still .
The trouble with having a lovely new kitchen, with freshly painted walls and brand new, sparkly worktops, is that you don’t want to put anything in it. Now we’ve got our longed-for blank canvas, it’s been a struggle to go ahead and personalise it, as after removing all the clutter (and a whole wall of units), it seems so lovely and bright and fresh.
One of our biggest stress points is our morning routine. The boys often have to be up early, and Charlie has to catch an early bus from a nearby town on two days a week. They always hit snooze and go back to sleep and ALWAYS insist on squeezing in a shower, even if they’re already late. It drives me crackers. I absolutely hate it when they rush out without eating.
There was a really good article somewhere recently (of course I have no idea where I read it now I need it) in praise of the affordable restaurant. Of course, heading out to a lovely, expensive restaurant is something that I love to do for a special occasion, but there are so many times – family birthdays, Sundays, get-togethers with friends – when you want great food at a good local restaurant.
As you know, we’ve slowly been working our way through the house, repainting and refurbishing everything, but for some reason our bedroom has been ignored. I mentioned to Mr E that I was sad that we weren’t going to get to do our bedroom for a while now, as I wanted it to be a cosy haven in what is usually a rather noisy, teenager filled house.
As a writer (and a mum), I think it’s so important to give children some creative freedom. Creative writing isn’t just a skill for school (my boys are still writing essays, even at college and university), but it’s a real pleasure – an escape that I adore, even when I’m not doing it for work. I loved this article on encouraging the creative process, and thought you might enjoy it too.
My travel bucket list is huge, and I’m always adding to it. I love dreaming and plotting, planning my next adventure – it’s really important to me to have something to look forward to. One of the regions I’ve just added to the list is Picardy in northern France. If you’re not familiar with the area, you’re not alone, but the more research I’ve done into this beautiful area, the more I want to go.
I love this. I don’t usually share this type of thing, but I think it’s SO interesting (I’m really nosy). It’s a huge list of celebrity holiday homes that us mere mortals can actually stay in! Read more
Going on holiday with the family is a wonderful experience, and a roadtrip with the whole gang is something we’ve always wanted to do. However, any type of holiday can be expensive, especially for large families or groups. Taking a motorhome instead of staying in expensive hotels is a good way to save on initial outlay, but I’ve got a few ways you can save even more money on a motorhome holiday.
- The Mother’s Day/birthday weekend March 28, 2017
- En suite inspo on a budget March 24, 2017
- The best rides at Walt Disney World Resort, Florida March 21, 2017
- Weekend wishlist: Mother’s Day beauty with M & S March 18, 2017
- Soft iced buns with chocolate orange drizzle March 16, 2017