One of these gift ideas is sure to make mum happy this Mothers Day

If you’ve left buying your Mothers Day gift to last-minute, I’ve put together a sprinkling of fail safe gifts which will get you out of hot water and show just how much you care. From essential oil based natural body care which is free from synthetics to beautiful (and not bad priced ) jewellery sets and my own personal choice of flower delivery service. Keep reading and there’s a little giveaway treat at the end too!

Pia Jewellery 

Affordable and stylish , this 9ct rose gold-plated sterling silver ring, earrings and pendant with  faceted rose quartz is an alternative to gold and silver costume jewellery. Each piece comes beautifully presented and packaged making it positively perfect to give as a gift!

Oleo Bodycare

I’m a huge Oleo Bodycare fan. Hand blended without using harmful chemicals or synthetics. It uses pure essential oils so you have the added benefit of the power of each oil and they smell divine! The Hand and Body treat kit is top of my list.

Oleo body care is top on my list for a Mothers Day gift

Serenata Flowers

I’m a sucker for a bunch of flowers, I love how they brighten a room breathing life and colour. Always a welcome sight in my calm, grey decor. And when I want to share some floral love with someone who lives away, I nearly always use Serenata Flowers. The text message updates for leaving the warehouse and once they’ve been delivered is really reassuring that they’re A; going to make it on time and B; they’ve reached their destination.

Oleo body care is top on my list for a Mothers Day gift

And as a little treat to you for being such a kind, caring individual and putting some thought into showing mum they’re still your number one, why not try your luck in this giveaway? Pia Jewellery are offering one lucky winner a £50 voucher to spend on their website.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to UK residents over the ager of 18 only.

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky
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do you encourage your child to wear sunglasses? There's some iterating comments on this post about sun safety

I adore planning holidays. I love researching, comparing reviews, checking blogs and making sure that those precious weeks escaping the rat race and spending time as a family are as perfect. As a large age range family this is no mean feat though, I have to make sure our break caters for everyone from preschooler to teenager with a pre teen in between. And then there’s me, chief holiday planner, cause if mama aint happy, ain’t nobody happy!

So lets say, for arguments sake, that I had to pick out 10 travel essential items which would ensure our holiday went as smoothly as possible. Where would you start? I know what mine would consist of…….

 

Friendly Holiday Reps

Having the security of well informed, friendly and happy holiday reps at your destination is a make or break for me. You’re in unfamiliar territory and having someone who you can go to for information, problems or just a cheery good morning should never been under estimated.

We’ve got that #fridayfeeling #mwmoment #summer

A post shared by Mark Warner (@mwholidays) on

 

Waterproof mascara 

Don’t think for one minute that I like to go out with my full war paint on during a break, far from it. But just a little mascara maketh the (wo)man and whether i’m swimming, sunbathing, sightseeing or skiing, panda eyes is not the order of the day.

Sunglasses 

Not just for me, this is an essential for all of us. I started encouraging my youngest to wear them last summer to protect his eyes. The older 2 are a little reluctant but I keep pairs in the car, at home and in my handbag. If I was to land in on a beach somewhere hot and sunny right now sans sunnies it’d be game over. THAT’s how essential they are!

Tangle Teaser Detangling comb

All that sun, ski and swim plays havoc on my barnet. A tangle teaser comb will go where no other comb or brush would dare to go. It’s also the best way for tackling my toddler’s bed head without any trauma.

 

Sun suit

Summer holidays should be all about relaxing the rules and enjoying the moment. So taking out any worry factors in a biggie. I love sunsuits which protect my toddler’s delicate skin. My tween and teenager are quite partial to UV tops too, luckily, as it stops any embarrassing moments of mum running after them with suncream to top up their backs. It’s a lesser of two evils.

I think that a sun suit is a travel essential for a holiday with toddlers

Universal iPhone charger

Yes, I know, holidays should be all about leaving your smart phones at home and spending quality time as a family, I get that. But iPhones are also really good cameras and rather than lug my bulky DSLR camera around, I’d rather pack my phone in my pocket and go. So a universal charger is a must.

A clean modern hotel or villa

….with family safety paramount. I’m hesitating at saying a home from home as a holiday is about experiencing something different form the usual. Comfy beds and clean bedding are a must. Have a peak at my Pinterest board if you need a little more of an idea of what I’m hankering for.

A pillow protector

“What?” you say “an essential, are you sure?” ummm, yep. To me it is. You see the thought of lying on a pillow with the drool remininants of the previous guests is a niggling yuk of mine so if I can put an extra centimetre between said drool and my cheek then I’m willing to sacrifice some suitcase space for my own pillow protector. That’s got you thinking now, hasn’t it!

P20 suncream

I use this sunscreen every summer. It’s a one stop shop in the morning to afternoon, I do top up though, I’m not willing to gamble sun damage to test out a theory to see if it does what it says on the tin (bottle.) 

Free wifi

(See iPhone charger above) I’m playing devils advocate here on what a family holiday should be. But let’s be honest here, anyone who’s holidayed with a teenager knows that they would crumble at the thought of not being able to Snap Chat their finest moments. It’s like a modern day postcard. I’d bargain some phone / iPad free time into the mix, but that free wifi will have it’s uses. Like getting inspiration for last minute things to do locally, or checking reviews on places to eat.

This is an entry to the Mark Warner Holiday Ambassador Programme. 

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Last week it was the toddler who graced these pages in the latest collection from River Island and now it’s the turn of Yours Truly. While my penchant for a funky little dude of a son edges me towards fun, fashionable and on trend, I’ve gone for something a little different for myself with a classy navy number which leaves just a little to the imagination but still follows the boob or legs rule of keeping on the right side of the fashion rules and some dream beige patent boots for my top picks from the current collection.


My top picks from the current collection at River Island this season is a classy navy wrap dress

I’ve got  growing collection of dresses for all occasions but nothing which is anything like the style of this little ditty.  The cross from neck line of this wrap dress isn’t too revealing and very flattering. But what really caught my eye when browsing was the thigh high split with an attached mid skirt. Plus the mid length sleeves makes it a little warmer than a strappy number. I’m a total wuss and feel the cold.

My top picks from the current collection at River Island this season is this classy navy wrap dress

Next on my wants and needs list were some day-to-night boots which wouldn’t leave me unsteady on my feet. I have a good supply of knee-high boots but nothing which would look good with skinny jeans or faux leather leggings on both a shopping trip into town or evening down the pub.

These nude patent, mirror heeled Chelsea boots tick all the boxes and liven up my go-to all black combination outfits. The pièce de résistance however is  I can stumble home at midnight without so much as a twisted ankle, Happy days!

My top picks from the current collection at River Island this season are these nude Chelsea boots & classy navy wrap dress

They’re surprisingly super comfy too, and as a busy mum of a toddler , I can still maintain a little dip in the style stakes while chasing the lively one around!

My top picks from the current collection at River Island this season are these nude Chelsea boots & classy navy wrap dress

Disclaimer

This is a collaborative post with River Island. All words and photos are my own unless otherwise stated. 

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It doesn’t seem that long since I was planning the kitchen in my new extension. I had a vision of how I wanted it to look and it complimented the general theme of the whole downstairs transformation.  Nearly four years on and I’m starting to fall out of love with it. The basis for my choice back then was a kitchen design which wouldn’t date. The shaker style I chose, with sage green doors and solid oak worktops ticked every box.

The rustic, cottage style which dominates my house is still looking good, it’s just my tastes, they are a changin’ so lets play a game where I pretend I have some spare cash which can only be spent on revamping my kitchen. Mmmmmmm, what to do?

Well, for starters I’m all about the light right now. So a fresh, modern style would really float my boat. With clean modern lines and clutter free feature worktops. My current oak ones look fab and bring real warmth into my kitchen but they’re not proving the most practical with marks from daily washing up as well as a leaky boiler and I’m pretty rubbish at remembering to oil it. With a modern kitchen you can really go to town on the extras such as under plinth light shows and fancy slash backs. I’m all for the final touches such as hidden counter top sockets and iPhone docking stations.

But should I not feel brave enough for something which could potentially age quickly, then I’d stick with the clean fresh feel but in something a little more traditional. This grey kitchen compliments the modern white perfectly and would be much more suited to my love a good range cooker. I’ve spied some perfect Belling freestanding cookers which would suit this style as be the perfect back drop for the Kitchen Aid mixer I’ve longed for for years.

Anyway, a girl can dream. In the meantime, it’s back to reality and keeping my fingers crossed for that big bucks win every Saturday night.


Blueberry Cheesecake Gateaux Ingredients 

Cake

  • 255 g  self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon  baking powder
  • 225 g  caster sugar
  • 225 g  butter (room temperature)
  • 4  eggs
  • vanilla essence
  • 1 tbs  milk

Topping

  • 400 g cream cheese
  • 1 lemon (zest & juice)
  • 110 g  icing sugar
  • 2 handfuls of  blueberries

Blueberry Cheesecake Gateaux Method

Preheat oven to 180’c (160’c fan oven) & line 3 x 7″ sandwich tins or one deep tin.

Put the flour, sugar, butter, baking powder eggs, vanilla essence, milk into a large mixing bowl  and mix until it has the consistency of sticking to the back of a spoon.

Divide equally between each tin and back in the centre of the oven for approx 20 mins. Check by inserting a clean skewer or knife to see if it comes out clean.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Prepare the topping by combining all the ingredients. Once the cake has cooled completely, spread each layer equally and finish with the blueberries.

a recipe for a delicious blueberry cheesecake gateaux, moist and tasty it's the perfect centrepiece for an afternoon tea

Disclosure

This is a collaborative post with affiliate links 

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I've trialled the range of acid peels from Bravura London and found the perfect skincare routine!

So, hands up. What’s your most annoying skin complaint? Wrinkles, spots or just dull, tired looking skin? Maybe it’s all three. But here’s the thing, you don’t have to settle for it. I’m totally in the whole you are what you eat  camp. (unfortunately that means I’m a walking bottle of Proseco after a week with my sister staying. Everything in moderation I say, and if Mama aint happy, ‘aint nobody happy, last week Proseco made me happy but I’m back on it with a detox and health kick ahead

Anyway, I digress. The point I’m trying to make is that sometimes you don’t have to settle for what nature gave you, that you can tweak what you don’t like if you fancy it. And back along,  I wasn’t loving the dull, tell-tale signs that the ageing process and months of stress was doing to the skin on my face.

You see I’m in the midst of a midlife changeover and will take anything I can, within reason, to help boost my confidence and point me in the right direction of a whole new world I’m just discovering. So I’m well up for testing out the Bravura London skincare range of acid peels. Initially I thought no way hosé am i waking a load of chemicals on my face with the danger of looking like a zombie run attendee. But after reading through what this actually entailed I was swayed.

I've trialled the range of acid peels from Bravura London and found the perfect skincare routine!
It’s not acid in the strongest, scary sense of the word, far from it, these are carefully blended potions of face transforming, do-at-home wonder pots.

Glycolic Acid is an Alpha hydroxy acid which performs at the base of the stratum corneum (the top layers of your skin), dissolving the ‘glue’ that holds dead skin cells together. Because this increases cell turnover, skin becomes smoother, more elastic and more even in tone and texture.

At the same time Glycolic Acid also stimulates your skin to produce more collagen. Collagen is the main structural protein of the skin and keeps it elastic and line free; when this starts to disintegrate, skin begins to sag and wrinkle. Replacing the collagen your skin has lost with age can help diminish crow’s feet around the eyes, frown lines, and vertical lines around the lips.

It all started with a flurry of emails asking which skin type I was and what did I want to rectify. Then a parcel arrived containing my recipe to fabulousness. I’m guessing by now that you’ve realised that I am seriously impressed by how effective the Bravura range is.

I've trialled the range of acid peels from Bravura London and found the perfect skincare routine!
I received two different types of acid; glycolic and lactic. A pot of moisturiser, a fan brush to apply the acids, facial cleaning oil, toner and some hyaluronic acid serum. Along with a full and thorough leaflet explaining how each worked along with some safety advice, like a reminder to use an spf while using them as your skin is more susceptible to UVA/UVB damage.

So tentatively I sat down at my dressing table, following the instructions to the later.

You begin by giving your face a good clean with the cleansing oil, the evening cleanse took a couple of cotton wool pads worth. Man does this stuff shift the grime! You then clear the skin of any left over oil and dirt with the deliciously smelling toner. Then it’s on with the acid.
The recommendation is to alternate between each one every other days (so one day doing neither) and log it on the back on the leaflet so I knew which day was which. I decanted the acid into empty glass pots and then dipped the brush in and swept it over my face for 5 minutes. You feel a very slight tingling sensation but nothing uncomfortable. (Those 5 minutes are perfect timing for my daily planking exercises) and then wash away with warm water, pat drying gently with a towel. Next step is the serum, which helps get the moisture back in as well as pup up your skin, and then you follow with the moisturiser,

The effects are almost instant, with brighter, softer, clearer skin but the real benefits are seen after a month or so. I’m quite freckly and the excess pigmentation is reduced. Fine lines are much less visable too. This is one skincare routine which I am sticking with and have been recommending to friends and family. It’s not too pricey either (£9.59 for 1 bottle of glycolic acid) and after a months continued use I’ve only used half a bottle.

Huge thumbs up from me ladies (and gents, I’ve tried it on my son’s face to help with a few acne scars) my skin has never looked better.

Disclaimer

I received the mentioned products to trial and share my results. All words and photos are my own. 

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