An actual perfect moment: My happy boy on Christmas Day
So, how was your Christmas?
Full of cheer, festive fizz and marvellous memories to get you through the next year?
Are you still somewhat stuffed, but ready to eat drink and be merry all over again on New Year’s Eve?
If you are, then I actually imagine you are in the minority – despite what the pictures on Facebook show.
When I was little, my Grandad died on Christmas Eve. My mum had four children under six and, despite finding out mere hours earlier that her beloved dad had suffered a fatal heart attack, she managed to still put on a happy face for us on Christmas day. To open our presents with us. To laugh at our little games. To play, to eat Christmas dinner. To snuggle up and watch festive films. To keep the magic of the day alive for us all in every way. Continue reading
Top rompers: Sonny Jim in his whimsical Twerpy Threads outfit
My little man is a brand enthusiast for the fabulous Nevada-based children’s range, Twerpy Threads… which means you can bag 20 per cent off EVERYTHING with our discount code, SONNY20.
We utterly adore this whimsical romper, which you can order in different sleeve lengths AND with short or long legs. We went for the tank version so Sonny Jim can wear it with different long-sleeve vests underneath through winter – but also rock it on its own come summer.
Made from 100 per cent organic cotton, all fabrics are prewashed/preshrunk before sewing begins — so they wash up lovely. And every item is handmade to order, by Twerpy Threads’ Ashley, who set up the brand after making outfits for her little lad, Merrick.
Elf life: Sonny Jim and his little buddy
Eeek! It’s almost Christmas!
I’ve always loved this time of year. The anticipation, the festive songs on the radio, the way a few sparkly lights can brighten up even the darkest of corners. The fact it’s acceptable – encouraged even – to drink Prosecco at lunchtime.
When my now husband proposed, on a sunny beach in Corsica, I had no doubt I wanted a Christmas wedding. And when we did tie the knot, on winter solstice in 2009, we had our own bit of Christmas magic… it snowed!
For years, the only thing on my real Christmas wish list was a baby. Now, this year will be my boy’s second Christmas. And it’s unlike any that have gone before.
Last year, Sonny Jim wasn’t crawling. Or chatting. Or doing much else, other than looking like quite possibly the cutest Christmas pudding ever (honestly, he’s going to hate the photos when he’s big!) Continue reading
At least the world’s eyes weren’t on me! At our friends’ wedding, six weeks after giving birth
There’s very little to feel sorry for, when it comes to the life of the Duchess of Cambridge.
She married an actual Prince. She has designers falling over themselves to dress her. Has great hair. And access to A LOT of diamonds. Two super cute kids. People whose job it is to make sure her life runs smoothly.
A few weeks after giving birth to her third child, she will be going to her brother-in-law’s wedding.
And pretty much the whole world will be watching.
Six weeks after I gave birth to Sonny Jim, one of my husband’s best mates got married. It was a humanist ceremony. In a field. With the reception in a big tipi.
It was a brilliant day, but I was still in somewhat of a new mum haze. I was still expressing. I was still a bit sore. I still – obviously – had a mummy tummy going on. And was still feeling a bit emotional. Continue reading
Bookalicious’ Llydia Bannocks with daughter Blossom Primrose (photo charlottegreenphotpgraphy.com)
When it comes to Christmas-themed books for children, Bookalicious‘ Llydia Bannocks knows exactly what she’s looking for.
“Pages that create those magical memories, nostalgia and evokes that emotion that stays with us for years to come,” she says.
“Babies will want to discover new and exciting textures, colours and sounds and start to experience those first special sensory memories that conjure up what makes it Christmas.
“Creative, interactive reads are a huge winner, captivating even the most reluctant of little readers. Bold and beautiful laser cut detail, elaborate pop-ups bring stories to life in a three dimensional way.
“But most importantly you want an awesome story that you just want to share for years to come with your friends, loved ones and future family yourself.
“It’s never about the most famous of authors or top sellers and its never about design over substance. When it comes to selecting the most beautiful jacketed books or detailed 3D reads, they must deliver that fabulous story too!” Continue reading
My little love: Sonny Jim snoozes
One of the things I’ve found since becoming a mummy, is parenthood seems to have a unique ability to stir up emotions that you thought were long suppressed or gone.
When I was little, I had a bit of a bad spell with bullying.
It was a horrid time. Which hugely shaped the woman I became and my outlook on life. Yet it’s not something as an adult that I’ve particularly dwelt on.
Then I had my baby.
And I don’t know if it’s the overwhelming love you feel that basically shakes loose every other emotion you’ve ever had. Or whether it’s the new and massive responsibility that makes you question every decision you’ve made. Or if it’s just the burning desire not to ever, ever, let down that most precious bundle that’s been entrusted into your care.
Whatever it is, it certainly opens the floodgates on your feelings. Continue reading
Vegan: From kitchens to salons
IN the past decade, the number of people who consider themselves vegan has rocketed from 150,00 in 2006 to 542,000, according to the Vegan Society and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
And it’s also becoming a growing trend among our celebrities, with the likes of comedian Russell Brand saying “I don’t see why someone should lose their life just so you can have a snack”. A vegetarian since the age of 14, he went vegan in 2011.
It’s no surprise then, that veganism is now stretching from our kitchen tables to our beauty regimes.
Superdrug’s budget B Beauty vegan range has just launched and the Body Shop, Odylique and Hourglass are just a few of the brands with entirely vegan make-up ranges.
Now Essex’s Beauty Shop is among a handful of the county’s businesses capitalising on the trend, by offering a unique vegan beauty treatment menu.
So how did the idea for the menu come about, I ask salon owner, 26-year-old Courtney Smith? Continue reading