Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Monday 21 August 2017

Summer Kids Edit with the Bentalls Centre

This post was written in collaboration with The Bentalls Centre

I love working with local brands, so when my favourite shopping centre Bentalls in Kingston asked me to write some articles for their in store magazine I was thrilled. One of the articles I penned was a Summer Edit for the smaller people in our lives, which you can read here. Some of the pieces I picked I got Sophie and my gorgeous little nephew James to model. Doesn't he look adorable in these little nautical pieces from Mothercare?!

Little James is such a good model, sitting smiling at the camera - I need to get him to give Sophie some tips (she generally needs bribing with raisins...) but was happy to be playing baby-mummy looking after little J. I just love her little blouse from Zara and cut-offs from Gap - both of which were perfect for our recent holiday to Greece, keeping her cool and the sun off her shoulders.

So if you are in The Bentalls Centre in the next few months - pick up a copy and see what else was in my edit (oh and check out my other articles on Mummy Beauty and my Fragrance edit!)


Thursday 10 August 2017

Our Summer Family Holiday 2017

I don’t think I’ve ever gone back to the same holiday destination twice, let alone the same hotel. However, this year we did just that, choosing to visit the exact same resort that we stayed at last year - Levante Beach Resort in Rhodes. Loving instagram and travel blogs, you’d think I’d want to go exploring new places, and I do, but what we really needed this year was to take some time to really relax and spend as a family.

My hat: Sunshine and Shade

With a toddler in tow exploring little quaint villages and remote beaches isn’t impossible, but its not the recipe for a chilled out break. Compare this to Mark Warner’s sun resort with built in childcare, activities for everyone on tap and food that will keep even my fussy eater happy and this year it was a no-brainer. 

Sophie's Hat: Sunshine and Shade

Having raved about our holiday last year (see last years blog post) my parents and sister and her family were all to get a piece of the action too, so we booked our party of ten ranging from 0 to, shall we say 60+ to head to to Greek island of Rhodes.

Mark Warner uses charted BA flights and has organised sensible flight times - I have sworn I will never again book a flight pre 8am! Sophie was an absolute dream for 90% of the journey, but the last 45mins she was not… but rather than tuts and mutters of ‘control your child’ from other passengers, I received sympathetic looks, offers of toys and understanding ‘we’ve been there’ comments, which helped minimise the stress levels. Thankfully when we arrived at the airport it was a smooth transition through security, baggage reclaim and the transfer to the resort was only half an hour, and all this excitement kew the little ones entertained.

We upgraded our room to a suite, so there was a sliding door between our half of the room and Sophie’s - which meant that everybody had a good nights sleep (Sophie decides she like to play in the middle of the night if she can see us…!) and I would TOTALLY recommend this! We also asked for our rooms to be ground floor and poolside which meant that when Sophie has having her afternoon nap we could sit outside the french doors rather than being stuck on a balcony. Our room was 5002 and we decided that if we visited again(!) we'd ask for the same room.

Like last year, Gareth and I tended to go off in the morning whilst Sophie played at Jelly Fish Club on little adventures, sailing, windsurfing, paddle boarding and cycling, oh and the odd morning just chilling out by the pool. One of my favourite of these was cycling the 40 min mountain bike trip to the Beautiful Anthony Quinn Bay. We wore our swimmers underneath our clothes as well as having a refreshing drink we had a swim in the beautiful blue waters.

My dad, sister, bro in law and Gareth are all keen cyclists so as well as taking the bikes out for little trips, they went on the organised mountain and road bike trips - which they loved. But as there were so many of us, there was no-one that ended up being left on their own. If you are a super keen water sports enthusiast you can book different courses to complete throughout your stay, such as the RYA levels.

Although the adults had blast, I think the little ones really had the time of their lives! George (8) and Evie (5) LOVED going to their clubs where they were taken sailing, windsurfing as well as loads of other activities. Even so, they were all so happy to be reunited at lunch time for lots of fun in the pool and so lovely to see them all playing together, Sophie donning her armbands and splashing around with her elder cousins and helping push baby James around in his inflatable.

Sophie's UV Suit, Hat & Beach Shoes: JoJo Maman Bebe

In the evenings, the kiddies all had their kids tea (whilst we oversaw drinking the happy hour ‘cocktail of the day!) and with all the classics even my fussier eater was well fed. The little holiday makers were then dropped off at the ‘evening listening service’ where they watched a film and then the smaller ones were put into little beds before we scooped them up.

My Dress: Millie Mackintosh - now in the sale!
Sophie's PJs: The White Company

My Dress: & Other Stories at the Bentalls Centre Kingston

Last year we only had one week and I am SO glad that we booked a fortnight as when we got to the middle Saturday, there was no way I was ready to go home. As the kids clubs don't run on satursdays, we took the bus (which was only a few euros each and stopped pretty much outside our hotel) to Rhodes Town. We explored the old town and I snapped away at all the instagram worthy doorways and old buildings.

Rhodes Old Town is beautiful, we walked along the cobbled streets (not hugely pram friendly!) and took our time choosing which of the eateries to choose.

So next year, I might have to try out another of the Mark Warner reports, but I don’t think I’m ready to deviate from the winning formula that meant that we all had a well earned break in the sunshine!

***Mark Warner have kindly offered my readers a discount of £100 per booking by quoting code ‘blogme100’ or entering the same code on their website***

This is applicable to summer 2017 bookings
Book between now and 8th September 2017
This cannot be combined with other discount codes/ or offered in retrospect direct bookings only


Sunday 6 August 2017

My Summer Holiday Makeup

If you follow me on instagram you might have noticed that we’ve got home from a fortnight in Greece last weekend. I got a few messages asking about what make up I was wearing - so I thought I’d share a little post with what I used on holiday.

As the temp was a scorching 30C+ most days I didn’t bother with any make up on my skin during the day as it would either melt off, or be found at the bottom of the pool! So all I did was pop on a quick layer of waterproof mascara (Smashbox Full Exposure).

I love dressing up for dinner, so despite the hotel having a relaxed evening feel, I did up my pampering as the sun set.

Going for a fresh-faced look, I ditched the foundation, instead dusted my whole face with bronzer. This oversized limited edition Clarins Summer Bronzing & Blush Compact is an annal favourite,and although it is only stocked in summer, its subtle enough to add a glow in the colder months too - if you need a new bronzer - this is THE one!

To add a bit of summer shimmer, I love a highlighter on my cheekbones. Bobbi Brown is the queen of the Shimmer Brick and going for a rosy shade (mine is actually called Rose) it doubles as a blush.

As I mentioned, saying in a family resort, with a relaxed feel I went for very subtle look, going for nudes and bronze eye shadows. I love the limited edition Clarins Summer Eye Palette and didn’t use the orange colour pop. I then finished with layers of my favourite mascara - Too Faced Better Than Sex (although I’m not a big fan of the name….!)

I do love having a ‘holiday perfume’ that when I get home reminds me of our lovely time away. I opted for Ellie Saab Resort Collection (mine is last years bottle - its pink for 2017) for a fresh daytime Mediterranean fragrance and Nuxe Prodigieux for a more heady hot summer nights scent that I wore in the evenings.

If you have a holiday planned have an amazing time, I'm only a tiny bit jealous that you've still got it to look forward to!
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