People, especially ‘foodies’, are often a bit snobby about microwaves. I’ve got one and we use it quite a lot, whether it’s to heat up a quick bowl of soup or baked beans, melt butter to add to my favourite gooey iced bun recipe, or to reheat someone’s meal when they’re late to dinner AGAIN.
So the kids are breaking up (or have broken up) from school and now the loooong summer stretches ahead. My two seem to have been off for weeks already (both have done exams and have been on study leave since May – happily they both have part time jobs which at least keep them occupied some of the time). So whether you’re embracing this time with your children, or dreading it, you’ll still have between a month and six weeks of time to fill and there’s nothing worse than bored kids. So how can you keep the kids entertained? Here are my top 5 tips for surviving the school summer holidays:
I love a cute little infographic and this one all about summer at Center Parcs really caught my eye. Everybody knows that when the sun is shining, there’s no nicer place to be than right here at home and there’s a lot to be said for missing out all the queues at security and that airport parking to enjoy a summer holiday here in the UK.
So recently I talked about my quest for cheaper mobile data when travelling, and my discovery that Three’s ‘Feel at Home’ service allows you to use your Pay As You Go credit while travelling abroad (basically you just convert your credit into an add-on, then you can use your allowance of minutes, texts and data up to a limit of something like 25Gb.
At the end of May, I undertook a little facial maintenance with my lovely laser therapist, Melissa at Disappear Ltd in Milton Keynes. Melissa is removing my hideous tattoo, and I’ve become a bit obsessed with all the other little bits and bobs she does there for skin rejuvenation. I started with a session of Meso Vytal micro needling. One month on, and with two very sunny weeks in Florida and the Caribbean in between, I’m still pretty pleased with the results. I found the Meso Vytal very good for evening out my skin tone (I have quite a lot of Melasma – skin pigmentation, especially across my forehead), and with daily application of a good quality sunblock, I was feeling good about my skin. Good enough, I told her, to go without foundation ALL THE TIME – unheard of for me.
One of my favourite places in Miami is Lincoln Road. It’s a huge, pedestrianised area stuffed with shops, restaurants, cafés, and on certain days there are market stalls and food stalls too. After working up an appetite on our cycling tour of Miami Beach, we headed to SushiSamba and flumped down in the shade of their gorgeous orange brollies to do a bit of nibbling and people watching.
There has been loads of talk recently about providing our children with tasty, yet healthy school lunches. Not only will this help to combat the obesity problem throughout the United Kingdom, but a sugar-free lunch can also save a child’s teeth.
For food lovers, Italy is without a doubt one of the best places in the world for dining out. While the usual classics like pizza, pasta and ‘mamma’s tasty meatballs’ are indeed delicious, the culinary scene is vast and varied throughout the country. Italy boasts some incredible quality and a diverse range of flavours as each region has, over time, cultivated its own unique cuisine. In order to source the very best in Italian fare on a dreamy Tuscan city break or a fabulous Roman holiday, consider a few things to tantalise your taste buds.
We’re so lucky where we live to have an amazing choice of food shops – I shop all over the place: our lovely local farm shop, several different supermarkets and sometimes at a local, but quite small M&S Simply Food. We love M&S food and wine, and we often pop in, especially if I’m going to be away, to stock the boys up on their pizzas, which are amazing, and their meatball pasta sauce, amongst other things. Plus, of course, I need to keep myself stocked up with Penny Pigs. My fave.
Seven is one of my favourite numbers … and it seems I’m not alone! This great video published by Costa Bingo gives a brief visual look at lucky number seven and is just one of series of videos that are turning our favourite bingo calls into great videos.
Did you know that giving up coffee, buying a second hand car and checking your credit report with CreditExpert could be the key to securing your first home?
So as you know, I’m currently in the process of getting a tattoo removed. Melissa, my lovely therapist, is taking it nice and slow, taking care of my skin, making sure I don’t get any burns or blisters (I’ve heard horrific stories) and minimising the pain with a cold air thingy that really takes the edge off.
Are you considering relocating from America to England?
It takes a lot of courage to move from one country to another, but the experience doesn’t have to be negative. This guide will show you how to move across the pond without losing your mind. These strategies show you how to save money, time and effort, so you can transition from one home to the next with minimal stress.
We’re big fans of Prezzo and pop in quite regularly for dinner, or occasionally Mr English and I will pop in for a quick lunch and a glass of wine. They’ve just launched some lovely new Summer menu items, and we went along to try a few.
We parents have many things to worry about when it comes to preparing our kids to live in the real world. We have to educate them about alcohol, illicit drugs, and other things that could be potentially harmful. And now we have to talk to them about electronic cigarettes.
If you’re lucky enough to have a Dunelm Mill near you, you’ll already know how handy they are for things like bedlinen, curtains and kitchen equipment. Dunelm asked me if I’d have a look at their new Cook & Dine kitchen collection, which launched in early April.
Las Vegas is all about excess. People come from all over the world to have their stag and hen nights there, and with the rise of sites like GamingClub.com many more now come to Vegas to holiday with friends. Many choose Las Vegas because it has everything you could want in terms of fun. Bars, clubs, casinos and restaurants are everywhere you look, and there is something to suit everyone’s budget.
It isn’t something most of us like thinking about, but making sure your affairs are in order for when you’re no longer there can make it easier on your family when that day arrives. Probate is the process where someone, an Executor, applies for the right to deal with your estate when you are deceased. One of the important decisions to make for when that time comes, no matter what your circumstances are, is who you would like to be that person.
It’s only when I’m travelling that I realise how much I love a really beautiful bedroom. I read somewhere that it’s important to keep your bedroom uncluttered and orderly (and free from work stuff and screens!) to make it an oasis of calm. I’m naturally really messy, but I do try and force myself to tidy up. There’s something really lovely about going upstairs to bed and being greeted by a beautiful space in which to relax.
August is when festival season really kicks in in Edinburgh. The city is suddenly filled with thousands of street performers and you’ll be lucky to walk more than a few steps without someone enthusiastically pressing a flyer into your hand. The mass influx of performers and punters means the city is alive with an electric buzz.
Universal capital of The First World War, Verdun was the hotspot of the greatest battle the 20th century has ever seen. Destroyed villages, combat sites, museums, memorials and re-enactments bear testimony to the scale and the destructiveness of the war, as well as of the valour and bravery of the city’s defenders.
As you know, I’m really keen on being a bit thrifty in the kitchen. The leftovers to our Sunday roast generally becomes a pilaf or a risotto on Monday.
- July: what I’m loving now August 1, 2014
- 5 mad things about the Scandal, Series 3 event in London July 31, 2014
- Really lazy microwave syrup sponge. And the big microwave debate July 31, 2014
- 5 tips for surviving the school summer holidays July 29, 2014
- The Moët Summer Terrace at Le Meridien July 28, 2014