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.
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
- 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
- Shopping and pampering with Trainline’s new voice app December 5, 2017