LETS GO TO THE BEACH, EACH


With our upcoming beach break, we are, (I say we are, I think we all know I mean me) in that furiously writing two hundred lists and trying not to forget to grab everything we need. It's inevitable somethings will be left by the side of the door as we turn the key and dash for our airport bound taxi, but there are a few essentials that I've been sure to remember thanks to Simply Swim & Simply Beach. If you didn't know we're headed of to the brand new Mark Warner resort, in Foca, Turkey, I'm counting down the days till we've got the sand between our toes and some real Turkish sunshine, quite frankly it's a liberty that I haven't downloaded an app to remind me every single day just how long it is till we fly.

BEAUTY ON A BUDGET


There is nothing quite like the feeling of knowing your skin looks smooth, creamy in the right places, cut in the right places, and your makeup sits just right. Aside from all the work it took you to get the base for all this hard work looking pretty, the peels, the scrubs the masks and the endless glasses of water – what is the one ingredient that you can’t afford to skip or skimp on?

PULLING A SICKIE WHEN YOU'RE SELF EMPLOYED



The perks of self employment are plentiful, there is no denying that, and it was a huge allure for me when I took the plunge in leaving my 9-5 day job. I can drop Noah to and from school, I don't have to worry if the boys are sick because I can just make up the work in my own time on an evening. But what happens when I'm sick myself? Ordinarily if you're really too unwell you'd call into work and spend the day resting, but when you're self employed and know there isn't anyone else who can pick up the slack, what do you do? Do you take the day off, knowing you'll be behind, or push through and run on empty?

CELEBRATING FATHERS DAY WITH DEBENHAMS


With Fathers day less than a month away, and June looking to be super busy I thought that for once I'd be a bit more organised and grab Johns presents nice and early. I'm usually quite last minute and nothing screams 'I wasn't organised' like a pair of socks and a 'best dad' mug does it? Well, not this year, because I've teamed up with Debenhams to show that actually, even with a few days to spare before the big day, we can definitely do better than the last minute supermarket trips. There's no worst feeling that seeing the hours tick down before the shops close and knowing you haven't got around to picking something up just yet, being forced to grab something that you know isn't entirely thought out. Dad's deserve more, I know John certainly does, it's not often he asks for the limelight so I think that on June 17th he can have every moment of it.

ITCHING LESS AND LIVING MORE WITH BALNEUM


With Spring finally taking centre stage, every aspect of me is grateful for the warmer weather, except my skin. My skin can't cope with the roller coaster temperatures. One day it's searing and we're needing to slap on sunscreen, the next it's blanket on the sofa weather and I have to pop the heating on. I've always suffered with psoriasis, ever since I can remember and though there has been periods of time when it disappears, it always comes back. Since having my boys it's been worse than ever, popping up in areas that I'd never had it before, my back and scalp being the worse affected. After trying almost everything to help it, I'd decided to switch to Balneum for the past month and I couldn't be more pleased with the results.


A TELETUBBIES PLAYDATE


If your toddler is anything like mine, then Teletubbies are high on their priorities. I'm sure if Patrick had his way and there was an opportunity to trade me or anyone else in our immediate family in for a tubbie, we'd be gone quicker than you can say 'Eh-oh'. And even though we're finally going full steam ahead into the British summertime, the weather is still pretty unreliable so we're constantly swapping between sandals and welly boots, never knowing from one day to the next what our plans can be, because it's so hit and miss. So when caught sight of the new Teletubbies Playdate packs, we were certain they'd be a hit in our household and we were not wrong.

DELAYED FLIGHTS - HOW TO PREPARE IN ADVANCE


There's nothing more frustrating that a delayed flight, especially if you have children. You factor in everything when you're travelling but inevitably there are some things out of your control, and timings are one of them. Sometimes you will know that a flight is going to be delayed or you will get an idea that it might based on weather reports, strikes at airports or things like this. It is always good to be prepared just in case, but if you know there's a high chance it'll be delayed, then you can do even more preparation.

HOLIDAYS DURING TERM TIME AREN'T ALWAYS A BAD THING


Every parent will know very well the perils of trying to book a holiday in the school half terms. It doesn't matter if you're opting for a staycation or heading abroad, you're going to be stung by the ridiculous prices. To me there isn't a rhyme or reason as to why the prices are hiked up, it's simply marketing on the school holidays and a small window in which most families are forced to take their holidays, I vehemently disagree with it, but, what can you do? You're forced to either; pay the excess for what will evidently be a much busier holiday as you're travelling in peak time, take them out of school in term time and risk the fine, or you go without. It's a big reason why we're keen to make the most of the rest of 2018 before Noah turns five and we're legally obliged to school him. 

THE CAPITAL CITIES WE WANT TO VISIT


Choosing one city to see when you visit a country is hard. I'm fickle and I change my mind quicker than I change my socks, but there's a few cities that just never escape our bucket list. I'm sure I'm not alone, everyone has those places they're desperate to visit, right? Even if they are pipe dreams. You know you’re only going to get a small glimpse of everything that the nation in question has to offer. That’s why it’s usually best to go for the capital city. In the case of most nations, the capital is the heart of everything that is great about the particular country. It's rare we go to cities, we are a beach vibes kind of family and I'm trying to rectify that slowly, cities always teach you things that no shoreline ever will and I've got a bucket list as long as my arm of cities that I am desperate to be absorbed in.

STEPPING INTO SPRING WITH JD WILLIAMS


I love the warmer months, it means we get out more with the boys, they sleep better as a result and everyone is just a whole lot happier. You're suddenly able to discuss the weather with the lady at the till, your neighbour over the fence and the postman - the sunshine has a funny way of making everyone just that bit chirpier, we are no exception to this. I love spring and summer, I truly do, but after having such a long winter, I wasn't exactly prepared for the sudden bout of sunshine and neither was my wardrobe.

DINOSAUR WORLD LIVE REVIEW


Last week we were really lucky to be invited along to our local theatre, to review the Dinosaur World Live show. As visiting some shows with Noah was on our 'before school' bucket list, and we'd read up the glowing reviews on Dinosaur World, we knew we had to go, it would have been silly not to. I was a little apprehensive before hand, we'd never taken Noah to the theatre so I didn't want to be disappointed if he wouldn't sit still or lost interest. As Dinosaur world live is set for children age 3+, again I wasn't too sure if he'd be still on the younger side, making it a bit too advanced for him as he is only four. I was wrong, thankfully, and we had a superb time. On the car journey home Noah was already asking if he can go again tomorrow. (do not be fooled by the above picture, we waited till everyone left to take it and the theatre was actually ram packed)


KITCHEN RENOVATIONS - MY TOP TIPS


So, the time has come. You want to renovate the most difficult-to-renovate room in your home: the kitchen. Kitchen renovation is never simple task, but it is all the more challenging when you are a parent with young kids at home. I remember when we gave ours a 'make over' if you will, the other alternative was ripping it out and starting new which to be honest, terrified me. We painted all the walls, though me and John did have to debate as he fancied something a bit more like a custom forest wallpaper, but for me I just wanted chic and simple. We used a full day and evening to get hard at it because having an out of action kitchen, was just not a possibility I wanted to face. As a parent, you rely on the kitchen more than most. You need to be able to access the food your kids eat; the washing machine so you can deal with the numerous laundry loads children tend to generate; and you’ll also likely treat the kitchen as the central hub where the entire family can congregate. As a result, the idea of your kitchen being out of commission during the renovation process is a concerning one— but here’s what you need to know to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

OUR 'BEFORE SCHOOL' BUCKET LIST


Noah starts school in September and I'm all to aware of the impending journey that we're soon to begin. It's exciting of course it is but that doesn't mean I'm not internally mourning having the entitlement to his every waking hour. He's my first so every experience we go through together on our parenthood journey with him, is new, we're just winging it and hoping to get the best outcome for our boy. I've thought about his beginnings at school probably every day since he turned three, and in my head I come up with wild ideas and exciting days out that we just have to do but so far, I've not really gotten around to putting the words into action. With the days turning into weeks, and those soon after becoming months - it's time we started to plan how we want to spend our last term before school starts.

BECOMING A HAPPIER YOU, POST BABY

The desire to get your pre-baby figure back after having a baby is strong, it's stressed upon us by everything from family members, strangers in the street to magazines and news articles. It can be difficult to achieve. With the average weight of a newborn baby in the UK being 7.7lbs, a woman’s body during pregnancy goes through a lot. Many new mums feel the pressure to lose weight after giving birth and some consider turning to cosmetic surgery to overhaul their appearance and make themselves feel better. But, before you go under the knife, have you really considered whether it’s the best thing for you and your newborn child?

'WHAT HAVE YOU DONE AT SCHOOL TODAY?' NOTHING.

Noah started school in January, half days, every day. He turned four before the January term began and luckily for us, that means his school of choice will let him attend every afternoon in a class they call Foundation. It's great, it's been undeniably positive for him and us. I'm watching him flourish more every single week, he'll come out with little phrases that I can't fathom where he has learnt it so it has to be school. Just this week he was telling me that if ships break in the ocean, and leak oil, it will make all the fish poorly 'that won't be good at all will it Mummy?'. It puts a smile on my face, for the first time in four years we're not the sole basis of his learning and it's lovely to hear him spout off these facts that even I forget myself.