This week, Mr E and I travelled to the lovely Soho Hotel in London (have you been there before? It’s SO funky! Plus we saw beautiful Kate Beckinsale chatting away with a couple of mates in the lobby and she gave me the most gorgeous smile). Anyway we were in London to find out more about Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando, Florida.
On his recent trip to Barcelona (great fun had by all, nobody died or got hurt or fell of a balcony, phew) Charlie was travelling with cabin baggage only, so we very carefully checked the baggage sizes allowed by the airline for his suitcase. He was on a pretty tight budget anyway, so he didn’t want to risk any extra charges. Trouble is, then we completely forgot about the liquids restrictions and he got all the gorgeous Ultrasun UK suncream that I gave him confiscated. ARGH! My sister in law told me a story recently of her Mum treating herself to a hideously expensive Crème de la Mer moisturiser and then completely forgetting about the restrictions and getting it taken away. Can you imagine?
Ahhh, this is so lovely. So Marks and Spencer contacted me recently about their new campaign: Decades at School celebrating over a century of helping parents get their kids ready to go back to school. They’re showcasing their back to school archives, focusing on the evolution of everything from uniform to packed lunches.
Those lovely bags of fries. They’re the nation’s favourite, aren’t they? A staple for any classic British meal. Quick, easy and tasty, the faithful oven chip has never let us down. It’s simplicity is its strength, because it goes so well with so much. Steak and chips, egg and chips, fish and chips, and so on.
However, chips are still far from reaching their full potential, and there are, it seems, plenty of quick, easy and mouthwatering ways of preparing a bag of McCain fries that we need to try. Some of these may seem unexpected, but they may just be your new favourite way of eating Britain’s favourite side dish. Here’s how I got on with my research:
This weekend, Royal Caribbean’s new mega-ship, Harmony of the Seas came to Southampton. Sadly, I missed it as I was away on Carnival Vista, but lots of press, bloggers, vloggers and other folk were invited to sample life on board the largest cruise ship in the world on a weekend mini sailing.
So we all know about the beautiful ski resorts of the French Alps: Val D’Isere and Morzine are on everyone’s skiing radar. But what about in the summer? I’ve noticed that a lot of friends are heading off to these types of resorts in the off season too, and after a bit of research, I’m definitely ready to join them.
While we were at Walt Disney World Resort, Florida last week, I was lucky enough to catch a press conference about everything that’s new and coming up at the parks. There’s exciting news of two new lands: a Star Wars themed land, and a new Toy Story land, plus more information on Pandora: The World of AVATAR, which is coming in 2017. We also had some sneaky peeks of attractions and shows that are due to open, including Rivers of Light and new nighttime Kilimanjaro Safaris. Step this way for all the news (by the way, I had to write really, really quickly while people were talking so please excuse any errors or omissions):
Can you believe that the Olympic Games are coming up in August? It seems like only yesterday that the boys and I cheered ourselves hoarse at the London 2012 Paralympics. We’ll all be glued to the telly, as usual, coincidentally on our DFS sofa (it’s new – we love it). I also love that so many great British (or should that be Great British companies get involved as partners of Team GB, supporting them in loads of different ways to make sure they’re at the very top of their game.
If you read the title and those chunky clog-like shoes appeared in your mind, well, they did mine too, so when Crocs asked if I’d like to have a look at their spring range I was a bit hesitant. I think the original Crocs are a bit like marmite – you either love them or you hate them. We have a couple of pairs by the back door as they’re great for slipping on for gardening, or taking the dog out, but I could never really see myself wearing them out. It turns out, though that they have some really cute new spring shoes that are perfect for the warmer weather and holidays too.
Every since we spent one single day there after our Disney Cruise back in 2013, I’ve been desperate to go back to Barcelona. Way back then, we were lucky to be with some lovely friends, Dave and Drew, who go to Barcelona a lot and could cherry pick all the best bits to show us in a single day, but even so, it’s impossible to cover in a day. Next time we’re back (which I think is in September), I’ve got so much stuff I want to see.
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.
Are you a new or aspiring blogger? If so, you might be interesting in an afternoon of friendly networking at Three’s new Discovery Store in Islington. I’ll be hosting a workshop entitled ‘Mum’s the Word’ at the store in Islington next Wednesday, 23rd March from 4.30 – 6pm.
Recently, I’ve been trying to sort out the office/ironing room/room where everyone dumps all their crap, and one of the things we’ve been meaning to replace was our very old, temperamental printer that only prints when it feels like it. We were delighted to be offered an Epson Eco-Tank wi-fi printer, especially as I’d read about these new, fabulous printers that just have ink reservoirs and no cartridges.
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.
I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Scenic. After enjoying a lovely trip on the brand new Scenic Jasper (you can read my Cruise International article about it here) last year, I was really impressed by their impeccable service, gorgeous accommodation and all round feeling of laid-back luxury. I was delighted and excited, then, to be invited to The Ivy on Friday for a top secret announcement (I’ve had to keep quiet until now – can you imagine how difficult it’s been?!) and you won’t believe what I’ve got to tell you.
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.
- What to expect at new Toy Story Land, Walt Disney World February 20, 2018
- Weekend wishlist: REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic February 17, 2018
- Moroccan spiced hummus with roasted chickpeas February 15, 2018
- The new hush spring 2018 collection February 13, 2018
- Perfect, fluffy pancakes for Pancake Day February 12, 2018