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Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

Where do I start?

 Well, 2020 was a bit of a shambles huh. 

The year has gone by in a blur filled with anxiety filled tiredness with the ongoing Covid situation and everything else that comes along with it. When we look back on this year and our children ask us about 2020 and the pandemic that swept the world up into a state of panic and depression we will shudder and the days of home schooling, survival at work, lock downs and mask life will creep back into our minds. Who ever expected us to be in this situation? It all still feels like a bizarre dream, when I really think about that it creeps me out a little! 

With the weirdness of the year, the craziness at work (I work in an industry which is linked to sales and supply of fast moving goods, i.e. - Supermarkets mostly and as you can imagine this year things went wild!) stepping up 16 levels, the requirement to suddenly become a teacher and home school my children to some kind of degree (it soon dropped off when I dusted myself off and realized I couldn't parent, be an employee, a teacher and survive this!) and come out of this whole situation in one piece it sadly meant that things had to give and this blog was sadly the first on the list. 

Outdoor clothing for kids

I wrote a couple of posts including one all around how to talk to your children about Covid, but basically that was about it. I had no time to even sit and think about writing, which makes me so sad. It was only thing morning when my domain renewal popped through that it hit me, what a waste. It was a waste, but in actual fact my views have been up double to the year before even though there was no new content. But when I think about it there hasn't been an awful lot else to do except be online or go for your daily walk!! But then this too is a waste, I could have been writing, getting my thoughts out on paper even if no one was interested in hearing them, for cathartic reasons. But there is little point in dwelling on it right now. My poor friends had me droning on and complaining instead, but then that what friends are for right?

The year hasn't all been bad though and we have had some good times amongst the chaos. It has actually been nice in some respects to go back to a more simple life, less running around, less planning and more being in the moment. 

Pumpkin Farm Shropshire

We had a great heatwave in the summer and spent most of the time sat in the sun watching the little ones roam about the garden and splash in the pool. It was almost as if Mother Nature knew it was really what we needed? I guess this winter season will test us, it was one thing being locked down in the summer but in the winter could be a whole different story. 

I thought as a come back I would share a couple of pictures I love from the year to remind myself it wasn't all bad. There were good times, we are healthy and we are still hanging in there, waiting for the days when the world opens back up again to our adventures. 

horse riding with one hand

Lanzarote with children

I hope you are all well, I would love to hear what you have been up to and what positive (if anything) has come from your year. 

Much love, H x

Quick, Easy Ways to Pamper Yourself

If you’re a mum that feels like she’s on her last thread every evening as the kids get tucked into bed, only to remember that you have a load of laundry to do, packed lunches to make (Pre Covid hell), and emails to respond to, firstly you aren't the only one and then actually it’s about time to take a moment and pamper yourself. First, throw in the load of washing and get that off the mental to do list. The other things can wait.  Then, get to pampering yourself. 


A bath is one of the easiest ways you can pamper yourself and is always my first stop in an evening when the kids are in bed.  In an earlier blog, soaking your troubles away was discussed, and it’s one the easiest ways to get rid of the tension of the day. Pop in a bath bomb or some bath oil, light some candles and play some music.   

Or if you are like me pop on some Netflix and relax catching up with your latest series or movie. 


A huge advantage to a little evening pampering after the kids have hit the hay is you don’t feel obligated to share that chocolate you hid with anyone. Pour yourself your beverage of choice (wine, milk, no judgements here!) and actually take the time to enjoy it. 

Or to mix things up a little you could turn on a podcast, pour yourself a glass of wine, and paint your toenails. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as that sip of wine after you’ve finished up the chores of the day and everyone else is in bed out of the way! 


Pampering doesn’t have to just be done in the evening. If you have an unexpected few extra minutes one morning, spend some time just on you, instead of starting on the first task on your jobs list. 


Playing with cosmetics that you never have time for is a fun way to pamper yourself, whether it be a revitalizing sheet mask or diy facial, or maybe you don't usually wear make up and just fancy making a bit of an effort that day. It is so weird how a bit of mascara and bronzer can perk you up. Another of my makeup favourites is mineral foundation, since it stays exactly where it’s put all day, and its light enough to crack on with your day,  even after running around after kids so you feel fresh even by the time dinner rolls around. 

Take the time to appreciate yourself and show yourself some self-love. Pampering doesn’t have to take place at exotic spas, and it doesn’t mean needing to order a five-course meal. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a warm chocolate chip cookie and a hot, steaming cup of tea in your favourite mug. Or catching a spare 10 minutes with a trashy magazine or a good read.  

Why You Need To Remove Makeup Before Bed Every Night

It’s safe to say we’ve all been in the position where you lie down on your bed and realise you haven’t taken your makeup off. Sleep threatens to engulf you, and you end up giving in because what’s the worst that can happen? If this happens once, then it can still be temporarily bad for your skin. But, if you do this frequently, then you’re asking for a long life of skin problems.

It may seem trivial - why does it matter if you leave your makeup on, you’ve already worn it all day? Hopefully, the points below will show you precisely why you need to start removing your makeup every night. This is something I have learnt as I have sadly got older...

It will age your skin

Leaving makeup on your skin each night will gradually age it. There are studies that back this up, with one woman apparently ageing 10 years after not removing makeup every night for a month! Leaving your foundation on your skin will basically break down the protective skin barrier that sits on the surface. When this happens, you’re going to get wrinkles. This barrier will naturally get weaker as you age, but leaving your makeup on means it’s more likely you’ll be seeking a facelift before your 40th birthday (If you are into that kind of thing!!). So, think about that before you go to bed every night with your makeup on!

You’ll get more spots

Even if your skin is naturally quite clear, you will get spots if you leave your makeup on every night. It’s pretty easy to see why. Not only will you have makeup clogging up your pores, but you also have a day’s worth of sweat and dirt on your face. All of this becomes ingrained into your skin and will leave you with lots of spots the following day. This is why it’s essential to remove all of your makeup and use a facial cleanser to keep your skin clean and fresh. Now, you can sleep safe in the knowledge that your skin is free from any dirt or sweat.

Your face might get red and itchy

It’s not uncommon for people to wake up with a red face and a rash. This happens because of the ingredients in your makeup. They can often be pretty harmful to your skin, particularly when left on there for a long time. A few hours of wearing your makeup during the day is bad enough, but an extra 8 hours on top of that at night is very dangerous. If you have sensitive skin, then you could see redness or itchiness on your skin in the morning. To make matters worse, how would you usually respond to this? If you have places to be, you need to cover the redness with more makeup! So, you compound the problem, and it gets worse and worse.

Your skin loses its natural shine

The skin has layers. An old layer will gradually waste away to reveal a new one underneath. Typically, the top layer of your skin is full of oils and dead skin cells. That sounds gross, but it’s just the way the body works. Usually, when you wash your face, you remove the dead skin and reveal a new and bright layer of skin. As such, when you leave your makeup on, you don’t give yourself a chance to get rid of the dead skin or oil. Therefore, you can wake up and feel like your skin has lost its natural shine. For want of a better phrase, your skin looks dull and boring. Cleansing before bed is the best way to prevent this. Remove all of your makeup and get rid of any dead skin or oils. As a result, you will wake up with cleaner and more vibrant looking skin.

You stain your pillow

Okay, this has nothing to do with beauty, but it’s still a concern! Leaving makeup on your face will mean it rubs off onto your pillows. Not only does this look gross, but it means you have to keep washing your pillow covers every day. Or, you leave it on there and it causes a stain. Neither option is ideal, so don’t put yourself in that position. Clean your makeup off, and you avoid any stains!

As you can see, leaving your makeup on every night can be detrimental to the health of your skin. If you want to look younger and have brighter skin that’s free from blemishes, then be sure to follow a night time cleansing routine. Take all of your makeup off, no matter how tired you feel.

How to talk to children about coronavirus

I wanted to be next coming on here to write about our recent holiday to Lanzarote and share what we have been up to, how it was staying in a villa versus a hotel and so on... But sadly like every other person in this world we were locked down and didn't really get the holiday we planned.

We are home safe and sound (and have been for some time don't panic!) and have spent the last few weeks isolated at home. With 2 small children. Working full time. Whilst attempting home schooling (or emergency schooling) and keeping sane.

how to talk to your child about coronavirus

I expect none of us actually ever imagined we would be in this situation. It feels as if we may wake up any minute and it was all a dream. How in this day of age does something like this happen? It feels absolutely ridiculous, but it most certainly is happening. And it is terrifying to us as adults never mind small children.

I have been doing lots of reading up on how we should be talking to our children about the situation and how perhaps they may be feeling. It has become fairly clear over the last few days that Daisy is pretty worried over "the germs". And Alex definitely knows something serious is going on. So, how should we talk to our children about Coronavirus?

So a couple of my tips or at least things I am trying to do currently:

- Shelter them from the news stories and publicity as much as I possibly can. We all know what it is like to become absorbed by the news aound Covid-19 but even I have taken the steps to stay away from it as much as possible at certain points of the day, to avoid starting the day in a dark place. If I struggle how hard must it be for a 5 year old to absorb and process all of that terrifying news? They pick up of far more than we give them credit for. We are now catching up on the headlines when they have gone to bed in an evening. It may not exactly be sheltering them from the news but perhaps filtering.

- Give them a sense of control. So one thing we can control now we are in lock down is our hygiene. Take it as a time for education on germs and virus. How can they keep themselves clean. How can we wash our hands effectively. But also making sure you get that balance correct and don't push them into becoming obsessive over washing their hands for example.

- Reassurance is key. We have been asked questions such as we have to look after older people at the moment and stay away. will they die? But we turn it around and talk about older people we may know and talk about how fit and healthy they are and how they too are isolating to keep themselves safe. Try to keep the way in which you talk to them super simple and appropriate for their age.

- Take your cues from your child. This is a tip from Childmind and I thought it was really, really helpful.  Invite your child to tell you anything they may have heard about the coronavirus, and how they feel about it. Give them the chance to ask questions they may have, just be preapred that you have to answer them!

- Try to avoid them seeing you in a state of panic or heightened anxiety. We are all going to feel it at some point and I expect potentially there may be more to come but we need to try and disguise this. Children pick up on our behaviours and moods. When we are all stuck at home the last place we want to feel like a deep dark gloomy cave is here.

There are some fantastic resources available to help you with this such as the below:

Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus: https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/

Unicef: https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/how-talk-your-child-about-coronavirus-covid-19

Young Minds: https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/talking-to-your-child-about-coronavirus/

Kids Health: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/coronavirus-how-talk-child.html

Jooki | Kid's Music Player Review*

We were recently sent a Jooki Music Player to test out and it went down an absolute storm.

jooki music player review, kids listening to music,

Jooki is a very colourful, bold, solid and super easy to use speaker for Children. It comes with five little solid characters which you then can program to play different songs and stories set up in Spotify (or Deezer). You can also upload any MP3 content that you may wish to or even stream live internet radio stations. We haven't actually done that though as we have never had a need, the spotify function has always been more than enough! The idea behind Jooki is that it allows your kids to control the music themselves.

The Jooki was super quick and easy to get set up, we had it up and running within 5 minutes. You just simply follow the instructions in the leaflet, connect your Jooki to your wifi – download the app (which is free from iTunes/ Play Store) and you’re ready to get playing. The next task is to program all your characters, you just use the app. You can create simple playlists and then just assign the character you want to that playlist. The the kiddies can argue over which character gets to go first!

Our Jooki has already had a few tumbles (3 year olds!!!!) and has survived without a mark at all. It really is built for little hands and is built to survive a few bumps and crashes. It is a little heavy as expected for something so strong, it definitely feels like it is worth the money you pay for it.

jooki music player review, kids listening to music,

My favourite part of the Jooki is that it is actually screen free. To find something so interactive that doesn't involve a screen can only be a good thing.

Another good benefit is that it is rechargeable and will easily last 8 hours whilst on. You simply just plug in the USB charging cable to the back of it for easy charging. It didn't take long to charge either.

I would say that the age range for this product would probably be up until about 8 years old. But although the characters may become tiresome at that age it also doubles as a bluetooth speaker so can be used forever more. It isn't something they grow out of and it is never used again! It would be a great birthday gift! 

Jooki is available to buy online at Jooki or Amazon.

*We were gifted our Jooki for an honest review. All opinions are my own 

Things to do in London with your mum

I recently went to London as part of a girls weekend away. We were a mixed group and thought we did some great things that your mum may enjoy to do whilst in London.

There is so much to do and look at but it really would depend on the season, weather and how active you want to be.

I will pop a few mum friendly London things that we did down below, that you may also like to try next time you go.

The Sky Garden

This wasn't the first time I have visited here but I knew the group I went with would absolutely love it. And it is Free, which is a bonus! You don't mind paying the slightly high prices for a G&T when you get to the top then. The Sky Garden is basically a free public space at the top of the Walkie Talkie Tower with the most spectacular views of London, depending on the weather.

The garden is filled with various species of plants and fauna which makes it unique compared to many other spots you will get to see the views of london. There is a restaurant (which has to be booked separately), a bar and plenty of seating. There is also an outdoor terrace, but this was closed this weekend due to the bad weather.

It was absolutely peeing it down when we went up at the weekend and we were expecting the views to be pretty poor. However we were pleasantly surprised to find it absolutely fine.

You do need to book tickets before you go though.

Photo of the walkie talkie building in london

Gin-themed visit to Mr Fogg's.

I had heard of Mr Foggs several times before heading to London last week, it has been a must visit for a while. It is an instagrammers heaven, so beautiful. There a couple of location and we headed to the Covent Garden Tavern spot. A really fun spot especially if you’re not from London and on a weekend trip. It’s a different and unique experience to the usual British pub you may stumble across. You won't miss the doorway of My Foggs with its gorgeous floral garland, first up you will notice tourists having their photo taken outside of it !

Not only is the venue quirky and visually pleasing but the staff were also so welcoming and did all they could to give their customers a real experience! The bar itself is really cool & based on a Victorian theme. We didn’t have food but it looked and smelt good too!

The drinks were absolutely beautiful too, to look at and drink!

beautiful doorway outside mr foggs

Mr Foggs Gin Parlour, Mixologist making cocktails, gin cocktails

Breakfast at the Ivy, Covent Garden

Everyone has heard about the Ivy, and who wouldn't want to be treated for breakfast (or lunch or dinner of course!) there. I know i would! It had again been on my watch list for a while and finally last weekend we went.

I made the reservation for the Saturday morning and we got there at around 10.15am and it was fairly well occupied. By the time we left at around 11.45 it was really busy! I would definitely recommend booking and getting there early if going for breakfast.

The venue itself is absolutely beautiful, it is what you would imagine. Classically decorated, shiny brass and interesting artwork. The bathrooms are also beautiful.

The breakfast menu was good, something for everything although rather heavily egg based.  Was expecting the quality of service and food along with the gorgeous venue to come at a fancy price but I was surprised by how modest the bill actually was.

the bar inside the ivy market grill in covent garden,

Visit the west end and see a show

We often go to see a show, weather that be in London or when touring at more local venues. The reason we actually visited London this weekend was due to us getting tickets to see Pretty Woman at the Piccadily Theatre. There is nothing better though that a trip to the actual west end to see a show.

The show itself was fantastic. I have always loved the film so was excited to see how it would transfer to the stage. From the opening scene I was loved it, the music was really catchy & the story followed the original fairly well.

The theatres in London are beautiful and really are an important part of London and in particular the west end. Whats On Stage has a fantastic article all around the ideal show to take your mum to: https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/mothers-day-top-shows-presents-theatre-mum_48718.html

Pretty woman in london

Where to stay with kids in Lanzarote & Favourite Playa Blanca Beaches

We went to Lanzarote with children in 2018 and are heading back there again in a few weeks time.

The canary islands are a favourite destination of ours for a winter escape to the sun. With it being just a 4 hour flight and almost guaranteed sunshine, it is hard to resist! We do get the odd cloudy day and you will definitely need a cardigan or jacket in an evening but to have a high chance of feeling the sun on your face and a bit of warmth after the freezing, wet weather here in the UK it is most definitely worth it!

Best beach in lanzarote with children, flamingo beach playa blanca. Kids playing in the sand on the beach

Where to stay in playa blanca with children, family friendly holidays in lanzarote, instagram spot in playa blanca

On both occasions we will have visited Playa Blanca with Kids. The first time we stopped at the THB Tropical Island resort in a self catering apartment. At the time we had hoped to stay in a villa or an apartment as we usually would, but we had left it too late and when we came to book on somewhere like Owners Direct they were 90% booked for our dates and we couldn't really afford what was left. So we ended up here.

We  ended up booked in to the Tropical Island Aparthotel (Has all the facilities of a big hotel but is made up of smaller self catering apartments) through Hotels.com and we are really pleased it worked out that way as we had a fantastic stay. If we are honest, the hotel was far bigger than we would usually go for, with lots of facilities we knew we just wouldn't use. However, being out of season meant that it was quiet. Which for us was just what we were after. We like enough to keep the children entertained, so the big pools dotted around the grounds, the splash park and the mini playgrounds were just what we needed. There was enough to keep them busy at the times were around our accommodation.

The hotel was a short 5 minute drive from Playa Blanca's centre, we had read that a car was easiest but there was a fairly safe walk with a pavement if you fancied it. We did it once or twice and although it only took 20 minutes or so, it was quite hard work with the 2 kiddies.

This time we have booked into a smaller part of Playa Blanca towards Flamingo beach in a little family villa that we have booked through owners direct. I will of course share our thoughts on this, photos etc when we return.

playa blanca with kids, best restaurants in playa blanca, playa blanca reviews

Flamingo beach is a really small beach area that we stumbled across one day when we were out for a drive and absolutely fell in love with it. We ended up spending a lot of our week there in the end so to find a villa that is on it's doorstep was the perfect choice for us.

There is actually a TUI resort next to Flamingo beach too that has good reviews if you wanted more of a hotel based break.

Flamingo beach is a location we highly recommend with small children. It is the perfect Lanzarote beach! It is the perfect beach for the kids because it has really tranquil waters and really fine white sand, which they will play in all day long.  Flamingo beach has showers and sunbeds with umbrellas which is something we always look out for at a beach now that we have children to cater for. Along the perimeter of the beach there are shops and restaurants too, perfect to grab some lunch and snacks from.  Oh, and ice cream of course!

It is worth noting that this is a man made beach and so here you will find clean but imported sand and reliable breakwaters, which means the water is shallow and gentle.

Shall update this as soon as I have more details on our next stay!

Secret Hidden Bars in Copenhagen

We recently went to Copenhagen for a long weekend to soak in some festive atmosphere before the chaos of Christmas actually struck.

Not only did we find some of the most gorgeous Christmas markets and shops but we also found some lovely, hidden gems of bars. We were lucky that we (I say WE lightly, it was Ben!) did some research before we went and had a little list of places we wanted to go to when we were there and there were a couple of bars and restaurants on that little list.

Top of the list has to be Ruby, an understated Cocktail Bar which from the outside you may never know is there except for a little neon sign that hangs above the door. Ruby is placed in an old terraced townhouse in the oldest part of town, directly opposite the parliament buildings and Thorvaldsens museum. You go through a door which feels as if you may be wandering directly into someones house and amble your way through to what feels like a lounge. It is dark in there and slightly mysterious, but the atmosphere is indulgent and special. The cocktails were not cheap but they were really good! If you are looking for a cocktail bar in Copenhagen then I would highly recommend here.

Ruby Cocktail bar copenhagen
Image: Telegraph. (It was too dark to take my own!) 

Next up is Lidkoeb. Now this place really is hidden. You walk down some random alleys and end up at the back of what looks like an old disused building. Located down a windy old street in Vesterbro, Lidkoeb is a bit hard to find but definitely worth it. Lidkoeb is a cocktail bar with two floors of cocktails and the top floor is a whisky bar. When we arrived at a weekend around 9pm it was very busy. There was not anywhere to sit but we were able to stand to the side of the bar until some seats at the bar become free. It was a beautiful location and the atmosphere was nice, it appeared to attract a nice clientele that enjoyed good drinks, all be it for quite a big price tag again. But again watching the mixologists at work I would say they were worth every penny.

Overall we found it friendly, good service, great products and a cosy atmosphere.

hidden cocktail bars copenhagen

Next up, is Noho. This is in the meatpacking district where you can find several really cool bar and restaurants. If you are into instagram worthy venues then this is your place. NOHO is one of those places that when you step in for the first time you just can’t stop looking at the interior design, the flowers all over the ceiling and the beautiful neon lights. Again on a Saturday night this place was very busy. The restaurant side of the venue was full and the bar appeared full too. However, after we had been there a while we noticed there was also a downstairs and that lead to lots of areas of seating.

Noho Meatpacking district, cocktail bar copenhagen
Image: Noho
Have I missed any top bars?