Tag Archives: summer

Five Hot Summer Sales Picks

The summer holidays are upon us. Like most people I’m staring into the dark wintery abyss of my wardrobe and wondering what to pack for my summer holidays. It’s time to go shopping for something a bit more summery and a bit less cardigany. I’ve been checking out the Joules sale at lovethesales.com and I’ve picked out my 5 hot summer sales picks for 2016.

Every summer holiday needs a new summer dress. Something you can just as easily throw on over your costume on the beach, or wear of an evening sitting in the hotel bar with a glass of something cold and refreshing. This Sade midi dress from the Joules sale caught my eye. It’s been reduced to just £19.95 and it’s bang on trend with the crochet detail and I do love navy.

joules sale

I love this chic Joules amaris top, it is a loose fitting casual style blouse . This shirt features a rounded collar with frill detail and cuff sleeves. It’s just £24 and could be dressed up or down very easily.joules sale

I live in flip flops over the summer and these are just beautiful. These “Sandy Flip Flops” are just £9.99 and would brighten up any beach wear and look great with jeans too. joules sale

This Joules Lizzie Empire Line Jersey Tunic is just the job for a casual evening out. The panel detailing in this empire line jersey tunic makes it a truly flattering piece that’s great for wearing with bare legs and layering up with tights or skinny jeans once the weather turns chillier. It’s reduced to just £32.95 in the Joules sale – which is a bargain for such a lovely tunic top.

joules sale

My last pick is a new swimming costume. I really like this one the flattering tummy control and adjustable ties give this all-in-one swimsuit a made to measure feel. Very flattering this one-piece wonder perfect for the beach or pool. This is a lovely dark denim colour and it’s a beach bargain at £22.95.

joules sale

There are some really lovely bargains to be had in the Joules sale at lovethesales.com with some items having up to 80% off. Joules is known for it’s bright, colourful eclectic range, and quality clothing, perfect for a summer holiday shop!

= Disclosure: via lovethesales =

Our Summer Bucket List 2016

With the summer holidays just one week away it’s definitely time for me to turn my attention to how I’m going to keep my lively and lovely 5 year old entertained during the summer holidays. We need a summer bucket list!

I say summer, it’s mid-July and we’ve seen precious little sign of the sun, or indeed the ‘not rain’ we tend to associate with the summer months. I am not at all hopeful that the next couple of months will be wall to wall sunshine. I’d like some sun and some warmth at least. I’m not a sun worshipper, but I do like a lazy evening in a warm beer garden. Plus it’s great to see the boy and his friends splashing about in a paddling pool to cool off. 

Summer, where art thou?

After school today I sat down with the boy for a serious chat about our summer holiday plans. He didn’t take it especially seriously and came up with this plan for the summer holidays…

  1. Go swimming
  2. Play
  3. Go to the park
  4. Go to the ice cream van

I put a little more thought into it, based on what we had planned already and what I think we would like to do during our time off together and came up with this…

OUR Summer bucket list:

  1. Go on holiday and find somewhere new to explore
  2. Camp at the Just So Festival
  3. Visit the Lake District and show the boy some of the sights and places I explored as a child
  4. Have a spa day
  5. Put the tent up in the garden and have a camping day
  6. Be by the sea
  7. Explore down by the river with the boy
  8. Have a picnic with some of his friends in the park
  9. Indulge in a spot of beer gardening
  10. Make jam
  11. Go on a bear hunt
  12. Find some happy.

There. It’s as simple or as complicated as that. It’s a loose plan but most of it is achievable. It doesn’t all require sunshine, but it would be nice if it could be arranged. I’ll let you know how we get on.

Summer Bucket List

 

Review: My Glasses Guru Sunglasses

I’m not a massive one for accessories, I don’t wear much jewellery and my handbag is a rucksack. My tastes have always been on the practical side of things rather than high fashion, more so since I became a mum. One thing I always carry with me and wear even in the depths of winter are sunglasses.

I have it in my head that wearing sunglasses will stop me squinting into the sunlight, and as a result they are my first defence against wrinkles and crows feet. So far, so good. I’ve found sunglasses were also good for hiding the fact I’ve not slept properly since 2010. I don’t mind spending a bit of money on a decent pair of sunglasses, given I’ll wear them most days, it’s an expense I can easily justify.

It was time for an upgrade so I had a look at the My Glasses Guru website. My eye was instantly drawn to the O’Neill Runa sunglasses in tortoiseshell and mint – my kind of colours. They have an extra large plastic frame and are unisex sunglasses. They were £45 which was a good price for O’Neill sunglasses and they had a really good range of other makes to choose from.

My Glasses Guru

The sunglasses arrived within a few days and came in a padded glasses case, wrapped in tissue paper and packaged in a sturdy box. I decided to take a few selfies and them take my self out for a walk to test them out properly.

My Glasses Guru

The glasses are very comfortable to wear, seem lightweight but robust, and left no marks across my nose or by my ears like some glasses do. I love the mint colour and the tortoiseshell is subtle but stylish. The glasses are big, which suits me and my anti-crows feet mission but I love them. A male friend of mine tried them on and they really suited him too, so I think this is a style most people could carry off easily.

The sunglasses are smoked glass and have a UV400 lens which offers a high level of protection for your eye. I really like the padded case which is great for throwing in my bag when I’m out and about. There’s nothing I don’t like about them. They’re really comfortable to wear and I can see me wearing these most sunny days. 

Note: I was sent these sunglasses free of charge for review purposes from My Glasses Guru. All images and opinions are my own.

Is it ever ok to wear sandals and socks?

This afternoon there was a knock at the door, a nice man handed me a bag of lovely summery things I’d ordered off the interweb. I scampered upstairs to try them on. I ooohed and ahhhed over a few things, then upon spying the lovely pair of gladiator sandals I’d ordered, choirs of heavenly angels did sing. It was shoe love. I’d found the one (pair) I’d been dreaming of.

Slipping them on I declared them to be perfect, that was until I took my first few steps and the agony of a new leathery shoe rubbing against my tender cankle was too much to bear. I took to Twitter to crowd source a solution. There was a resounding “dunno”, with a few people suggesting plasters. To me, the solution was obvious.

sandals and socks

I spend most of my days sat in my work chair at home, tapping on my keyboard. No one sees me, no one of consequence anyway, so I popped some socks on and slipped into my sandals. Let the breaking in process commence. I sat and wiggled my toes while I worked. My feet seemed excessively comfortable and warm, but not too hot. Wait! My feet were the perfect temperature. My feet might have been the happiest they’ve ever been.

I got up and moved about. The sandals didn’t rub, my feet felt amazing, they didn’t look like they should sashay down a catwalk any-time soon, but they felt AMAZING. Could sandals and socks be the future?

I have a friend, an older retired gentleman who had a lengthy career in the legal profession. He tells me gleefully that during the summer months he was known for wearing sandals and socks, even in court. He tells me that sandals and socks are both hygienic and cool (cool in the temperature sense though, we know sandals and socks are NEVER cool). He styles it out by wearing crazy, brightly coloured socks and I salute him for that. He thinks sandals and socks are the future too.

I am awfully, awfully torn by this situation. On one hand, sandals and socks feel glorious, I truly believe my feet have never been happier. Happy feet equal a happy person, and for one all too brief afternoon I was happy. Happier than I’ve been in a long time. But on the other hand, sandals and socks. Sandals AND socks. I’m not sure I’ve got the stones to leave the house in sandals and socks without irony or for fancy dress purposes.

So for now, with deep and considerable regret, I will remain a closet wearer of sandals and socks. Try it, I urge you in the privacy of your own home to experience the seductive joy of sandals and socks. If you do enjoy it, please spread the love and share the word. I truly believe that sandals and socks ARE the future.

Can I get a Hell Yeah!

Our Top Five Most Fun Summer Things

It has not by any stretch of the imagination been a boring summer, ok the sun could’ve shone just a little bit more, but we definitely made the most of it. We had days out to exciting places, met new people and tried new things. We had days in and did painting, crafts, splashing in the paddling pool. But mostly we had a really good time. Looking back over the summer here are our top five most fun things we did…

1. Coombe Mill – we snuck in a visit to meet the Coombe Mill gang, and take a tour of their farm while we were on holiday in Cornwall. It’s such a beautiful place and 100% geared towards families. The small boy loved it and still talks about his visit. We met and helped feed all their animals, collected eggs, tracked down a newborn deer, we played pooh-sticks on the river which runs through the farm and best of all, we visited their miniature railway. A grand day out and we can’t wait to have a proper holiday there soon.

Coombe Mill

2. CBeebies Land at Alton Towers – this falls squarely into the “we didn’t think we’d like it as much as we did” category. Neither of us adults like roller coasters, so we visited with very mixed feelings. By the end of the day we were completely won over and the small boy had the time of his little life. His highlights include meeting Postman Pat, the Charlie and Lola House and the In The Night Garden boat ride. A brilliant day out and the queues weren’t as dreadful as we imagined. We’ll be back!

Things to do summer

3. Blackpool – Being a northern girl I have fond memories of trips to Blackpool as a child, one sunny day we decided to hop in the car and head off to see a show on the pier, take in the sights and have a stroll on the beach. Blackpool has changed a lot since I was a girl, but the small boy loved the razzmatazz of it all and couldn’t get over the fact there were actual, real donkeys on the beach. We’re going to try and take him to see the illuminations this year, I think he’ll be wowed by them.

4. Just So Festival – We managed to bag ourselves a day ticket to the festival and we were suitably wowed. The Just So Festival which is held in the Rode Hall Estate in Cheshire was a magical, mysterious, marvellous experience. It’s a family festival which is packed full of amazing things, from pirate boats and buried treasure, forest adventures and crafty fun, drumming and dancing to theatre productions and circus training. All the festival goers dress in “tribes”, so be an owl, fox, stag, fish, frog or a lion, be yourself if you want. This was most definitely the highlight of my summer. I came home with flowers in my hair, looking more relaxed and happy than I’ve done in a long time. Oh, and the boys had fun too, as much fun, if not more than me! We’re already booking our ticket for next year!

Just So Festival 2014

5. Picnic in Delamere Forest – at the start of the summer we hopped on a train and the boy and I went to Delamere Forest. It was our first solo trip since my operations and I was nervous, but everything was fine, better than fine, we had a great day. He loved the train ride and was as good as gold. We got to the forest and found all our friends there, so we set to work making sandwiches for our picnic with the help of Roberts Bakery, while the children ran around and tumbled on the grass, later being entertained by a storyteller. Delamere Forest is a fabulous place to explore, I’ve heard they’ve got a Gruffalo trail, so we’ll be heading back their soon, you never know who we’ll meet in the deep, dark woods!

Roberts Bakery

Of course wherever we go, whatever adventures we’re having, we always take a picnic, you can find some of our favourite picnic sandwich recipes here and here. And if you’re looking for something to keep boredom at bay and for summer things to do, then Roberts Bakery have some great ideas in their 50 Days of Summer Activity Pack which you can download for free from their website.

Note: This is not a paid for post, I have not been financially compensated in any way.

42 Days of Summer – frugal summer fun

It’s been a busy old summer for us, it’s our last before the small boy slips on a school uniform and goes to the nursery at big school, so we’ve been busy making the most of our time together. We don’t have a lot of money to lavish on grand days out, so our fun is usually fairly frugal, with the odd treat thrown in for good measure.

When it’s hot, there is nothing more enjoyable than an afternoon playing in the paddling pool with some friends, it’s important for Mums to keep cool with a jug of Pimms too. Playdates are a great opportunity for the kids to burn off some energy while the parents have a catch up and a sit down.

42 days of summer

Picnics in the park are a brilliant thing to do, we live close to lots of great parks as well as National Trust properties. We often just throw together a pile of sandwiches, pick up a ball and his scooter and go and spend an hour picnicking and relaxing in the park.

Dunham Massey

One thing we like to do on rainy or dull days, is a spot of baking or creating in the kitchen.  The small boy loves baking cakes and helping Mummy make lunch. His latest fun thing to do is making milkshakes in the blender. He likes helping to tip the ingredients in and whizz them up. But I think he enjoys sampling his creations as much as he does making them.

Malteaser milkshake

When the clouds gather and it’s wet and miserable we like to curl up with a good book. As a family we’re quite big on reading, a book can transport you anywhere in the world, or beyond. His favourite book at the moment is Dear Zoo.

summer

There’s lots to do locally if we want a day out somewhere. Again to cut down costs we’ll take a picnic, but so far this summer we’ve been to Blackpool to see a show and go on the beach, CBeebies Land at Alton Towers, Brookside Miniature Railway as well as to the Foodies Festival and to various National Trust properties. We’ve used vouchers and membership cards where we could to help cut down on costs.

photo 3 (8)

Having fun can be hard work, so a quick juice and a biscuit break is essential. We like McVitie’s BN biscuits, they’ve got a cheeky smiley face which appeals to kids, the biscuits themselves are not too sweet, but they come in raspberry jam, chocolate and vanilla flavours. The boys loved the jammy raspberry ones and I like the chocolate. They’re a nice treat if you’re out and about, or if you’re just having a fun day at home.

summer

Hopefully we’ll be able to squeeze a few more days of sunshine and frugal fun out of this summer. We’ve got lots more adventures on the agenda before we have to pack his book bag ready for school in September and enter a new phase of childhood.

This post is an entry for 42 Days of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVitie’s BN. Learn more by visiting their website

Gin and Tonic Lemon Lollies – Strictly for grown ups!

These gin and tonic lollies are great fun at parties and barbecues, and they’re perfect to make in advance for an easy dessert. Try using your other favourite drinks such as Pimms or Mojitos for a refreshing summer treat.

Makes 6 lollies – Ready in 4 hours
35 ml gin
½ lemon, juiced and zest finely grated
45 ml (3 tbsp) sugar syrup (available in most supermarkets)
250ml tonic water

  1. Prepare the lolly moulds by first rinsing with warm water.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a jug and pour into the prepared moulds, leaving a small gap at the top. Clip the handles onto the moulds and place in the freezer and leave for a minimum of about 4 hours.
  3. To serve the lollies, run the lollies in their moulds very briefly under warm running water and serve immediately.

Gin and tonic lollies

This recipe was developed by an Appliance House Chef. For all your kitchen appliances at discounted prices please visit www.appliancehouse.co.uk

 

Sponsored

Summer Memories – 1995

Me and Him

In the summer of 1995 I fell in love with my husband. I was a youthful 18 year old, freed from the shackles of A level revision and all set for university. I had a handsome man on my arm and a badly paid summer job in the steamy kitchen of a care home.

Though my memories of that summer are patchy, I remember sweaty evenings working in the kitchens followed by sweatier nights out at nightclubs with my man. I worked hard and played hard. I hardly saw daylight and was focused on squeezing every last bit of fun out of my pre-uni summer.

I was busy getting to know the man I would eventually marry, even though we’d end up at universities at different ends of the country for a few weeks until he moved up to be with me.

Our love burned brightly and intensely as teenage love does. I still love him intensely and passionately for the man he was and the great man he has grown into. I often look back at the boy and see how being together we’ve helped shape each other and grow, our shared destiny intertwined.

I love that I married my soulmate, my best friend and favourite person in the world. I love that I managed to just stumble across him so early in life before I managed to accrue too many broken hearts and hurtful memories. I know how lucky we are.

Though I met him in the summer I know we’ll hold each others hearts until the winter of our lives.