Here I Am!

So the Easter holidays came & went & both of my children have been back at school for one whole week now.

The return to school is always somewhat bittersweet....
on the one hand we seem to be hurtling towards yet another school year being almost over &....
on the other, the house returns to its calm, tranquil & tidy state, for a few hours at least, and there can't be a mother alive who doesn't enjoy that!

My children spent the first few days of the holidays in their pyjamas doing as little as possible, which was soon followed by several days of desperately need activity (at least on my part) & running off all the steam that had built up at home.

We went to Wales for a couple of days at Easter & my heart beat just a little faster as we crossed the Bristol Channel into Wales.
We went to the beach & walked across to an island which can only be reached when the tide is out, my children loved it, wondered what would happen if we got marooned there for the all felt very "Famous Five"!

The weather in London has been completely gorgeous this past couple of weeks, today is unbelievably warm & lovely. 
Blue skies, blossom & magnolias everywhere.
No coat required, my ankles have even made an appearance or two.

For now, we are finished with the builders in our house, they will hopefully return in July....
there is much to be getting on with in the meantime though.
Painting & more painting. Sorting out our storage unit. 
The jobs & plans are endless. 
Our finances and my patience are not ;) 

After a month or so of not reading very much at all, I am now finishing "The Miniaturist" & have just started Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying", having heard great things & read about it on many blogs. 
 I'm very interested to see if the book is as good as everyone says it is....
there's nothing like a move & having to be creative about storage space to make you realise that you still, despite regular decluttering, have too much stuff

A mother in my son's class is currently taking part in "Masterchef"on TV....
she has been completely brilliant on it & stands a really good chance of winning this week's final, I think.
She also has four children under 9 & runs a successful business.....
whilst being thrilled for her - and totally in awe - it's definitely had me wondering what I am doing with my life?!

It is also my birthday this week....big birthday next year. 
I've always said that I never worry about ageing....that may be changing!

On that note, my head is full of plans & I am, inexplicably, feeling recharged....
I say "inexplicably" because my 2am internal wake up call is still going on, ugh!
I've been spending less time online recently which has been rather with plenty to do, I have new lists to make, this week is going to about Getting Stuff Done.
Have a great week.

Five Recipes : Easter Baking.

For this week's five recipe series, I've chosen some fabulously delicious & pretty cakes which would grace any Easter tea table perfectly....enjoy!

Easter polka dot fun is this!? 
Perfect pastels for spring or for a child's party

all recipes link to the original bakers & creators via their websites

Beauty : A Little Online Shopping with Chemist Direct

I love a good beauty product & when I was asked recently if I would be interested in trying out the Chemist Direct website, I didn't have to be asked twice!

I hadn't heard of Chemist Direct before so didn't know what to expect but it stocks a wide range of brands from French brands La Roche-Posay, L'Oreal, Garnier & Vichy to salon brand Dermalogica to Bio-Oil to Simple & many more.

Prices are up to 35% cheaper than on the high street & they also offer 3 for 2 deals - the L'Oreal products pictured above that I bought were a 3 for 2 deal which was excellent.

L'Oreal remains a favourite brand of mine, it has such a good range of products & always seems to suit my non-sensitive but prone to dryness skin. 
To me, it's a mid-range brand price-wise....
I purchased L'Oreal Extraordinary Nourishing Oil-Cream (£11.24 reduced from £14.99), L'Oreal Revitalift Repair 10 Night (£11.24 reduced from £14.99) & L'Oreal Extraordinary Oil (£6.99 reduced from £9.99).

In total, I spent £50 but the value of what I bought was £77 - not bad at all!

The website is very easy to navigate, it took me no time at all to order & I received my order within 36 hours = excellent service, one that I will most definitely be repeating, especially in the summer for all those summer holiday essentials :)

This is a collaborative post, all words, opinions & content are 100% my own.

Well, Hello April!

In the days when I worked full time in an office, January lasted forever & spring took an eternity to then is it already April, how did that happen?!

This year is all about our house & Getting Stuff Done....third largest project (yes, there is an order, I work on it every night when my brain apparently feels the urgent need to wake me up to think about it ;)) was the bathroom.

Work began on that one month ago & I am beyond happy to say that it is finished - I cannot tell you how good it feels to have one beautiful, dare I say perfect, room in this old house of ours!
It is clean, bright, spacious, everything's totally blissful!

When all around you are projects in varying degrees of completion (or total disrepair), I can completely see how important it is to have something that is "done", somewhere you can go to where all is good, happy & bright :)

The builders left just in time for the school holidays and now, hoorah, we have two much-needed weeks holiday for Easter....

My blog has been the quietest that it's ever been this year, I've missed it a great deal, & so I am planning to challenge myself to "30 days of blogging" in April.

Here's what else has been going on....

Reading : I finally finished "The Goldfinch" last night & loved it.
I am now reading "The Miniaturist" by Jessie Burton, which will be followed by "The Girl On The Train" by Paula Hawkins & "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed.

Watching : "The Good Wife" (finally) on Netflix from the very beginning.

Movies : I saw "Selma" & thought it was incredible, the best & most powerful film I've seen for ages & I'm going to see "Still Alice" tomorrow.

Dreaming Of : Holidays & Sunshine. For once I don't yet have anything planned for this year &, gulp, we may have major renovations going on in the summer which may require us being around. Best not to think about that too much yet I think.
I would love a weekend away somewhere....anywhere.

Loving : morning smoothies & green juices.

Needing : a really good haircut, a massage, a mani-pedi....a spa day would be perfect.
My birthday is this month so maybe....

Planning : house stuff....some painting, organising/emptying our storage unit, planning the loft conversion & kitchen extension for this summer.

Wanting : to get to the gym. As soon as school goes back, I will be there.

Worrying about : my daughter. Parenting a teenager is not for the faint-hearted, every time you think you've cracked it, along comes another dilemma or issue! Tricky times, a true rollercoaster of emotions...all you can do some days is hang in there & know that your're not the first parent dealing with this stuff & you won't be the last.

Desperate for : a good night's sleep! I've got into a terrible habit of waking up around 2-3am...and once I'm awake, I cannot get back to sleep without thinking about anything & everything, it's driving me crazy!

Shopping for : bathroom accessories!

Coveting : these boyfriend jeans, these chelsea boots, this deep relax balm & to be magically transported to this gorgeous holiday destination....

Happy April! 
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