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.
So now we’re back from our travels, I’d kind of forgotten that half the house was a building site! It was a bit surreal to walk into the kitchen to see half the units missing and the bare plaster on the wall where the tiles have been taken down (we got our own one-man wrecking machine, Charlie, to do it, of course).
This week I’ve spent the most incredible week in Barbados enjoying the Crop Over festival. I’ve got so much to tell you, from the glorious sparkly, feathery costumes at the Grand Kadooment Day Parade to a heavenly day spent lazing on a catamaran in an ultramarine sea, and an encounter with a turtle! More of this later. The other thing that these sorts of blissful holidays do is make me take stock: reassess how my life is going, and suddenly see what I really want (generally this happens reading a magazine by the pool, or entranced by the passing scenery from my seat on the coach). Is this just me, do you think? Or is it some kind of universal truth of holidays: the lightbulb moments an inevitable result of unwinding and really having time to think? Read more
Whenever I travel, I use a company called APH parking. I’ve mentioned them before, and I love them, because you basically just drive to the airport, where they meet you, whisk your car away, then keep it safe while you travel. On your return, you give them a bell when you’ve picked up your suitcase and hey presto, your car’s waiting for you outside at the airport ready for you to drive home. No muss, no fuss. They’ve recently published a really interesting article about flying when you’re pregnant and I thought I’d share some of the key facts. It makes interesting reading and is a great guide if you’re preggers and considering flying.
So last time I told you about project kitchen refurb, the wall was down, but not a lot else was done. We’ve moved on a little bit, and in an effort to feel like we’ve made a little progress in all the dust and rubble, Mr E finished the dining room side and painting it a beautiful shade of blue. The kitchen is awaiting our poor kitchen fitter, who is currently stacked out, to come and fit new wooden worksurfaces, and then all it needs is a bit of tiling. Which brings me neatly on to my first wishlist item:
Shopping (and window shopping, as we’ve currently run out of money) continues for our new kitchen. I love a gadget and there are TONS of great gadgets and appliances on the market at the moment. Here’s my current gadget/appliance wish list:
One of the many things we do really well in this country is make beer. To celebrate this fact, The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is once again organising the UK’s biggest beer festival. The Great British Beer Festival takes places at Olympia from 11th to 15th August and features all sorts of real ales and ciders (not just British ones, there are plenty of beers from all over the world to discover). If you’re tempted to go along and join in, here’s what to look out for:
Last night we were talking about graduating. Sam’s got a couple of years left, but when the time finally comes and you’ve completed your degree and ultimately, completed your academic career, we reckon you should mark the occasion in some way. All too soon, it will be time to enter the big wide world of work, so before that happens, there should be a moment (or longer) of celebration. Something that you’ll always remember. Here are my thoughts:
Glastonbury has ushered in festival season good and proper. I watched all the BBC coverage with mixed feelings. My boys love it, but I’m still not sure I’m a festival person. Still, there are still a good three months of quality festival action all over the country to make us change our minds, so book tickets to the one you fancy as soon as possible – I’m seriously considering Blogstock actually. I think it’s probably quite easy to do a festival badly, you know, assume it’s going to be sunny every day or you just bring bottles of wine and find out at the door (as my boys did) that no glass is allowed on site. So here are my top festival tips for making the most out of the experience.
Every time I go abroad, I come back with a little ‘holiday baby’ – a couple of extra pounds due to all those yummy dinners and cocktails. I find it quite hard to eat healthily and I never know whether a couple of dog walks a day is enough exercise, so when Kiqplan asked me if I’d like to review their digital training coach app, which promises to change the way you look and feel in 12 weeks, I jumped at the chance. Here’s how I got on.
I love a holiday snap. As you know, my own philosophy is ‘snapshots not stuff’ – I’d rather spend my money creating a lovely memory than spend it on more stuff to clutter up our already busy lives. This is my favourite one of ours – on the beach at Val André in Brittany stuffing our faces with ice creams:
- Extra cheesy bacon mac and cheese with a herby crunch topping August 23, 2017
- The crunchy brunchy breakfast burger and a Snaffling Pig Co giveaway! August 21, 2017
- Weekend wishlist: oh, hush autumn 17, you’re looking lovely! August 19, 2017
- Honey and mustard glazed pork medallions August 17, 2017
- The De Vere Latimer Estate August 15, 2017