Our Secret Beach {My Captured Moment #86}

Welcome back to My Captured Moment, a weekly link-up where I share my favourite ‘Captured Moments’ and invite you to do the same.

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Over the past week and a half the girls and I have been in Wales, staying with my parents in Lampeter. I love bringing them back to Ceredigion, where I grew up and taking them to all the places I used to go to as a child.

When I think about the long summer days of my childhood, my mind instantly goes to our frequent visits to the local beaches and evening drives to the coast for fish and chips. The coastline of Ceredigion is dotted with gorgeous little beaches and they’ve not changed much since I was little, although they are now much more busy, with the increase in tourism.

However, there is one small beach that stands out to me as my favourite and even after all this time, is still pretty quiet and ‘tucked away’, almost like a local secret beach. This is the beach that I make sure we visit every year, and last week we made our annual visit on a warm Tuesday afternoon.

Here are just a few of my favourite shots from this nostalgic and special day…
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Share your Moments

Your ‘My Captured Moment’ can be a single picture or a series of shots, new (taken this week) or old, with or without words. The idea is to simply share a moment in time you’ve captured on your camera and make sure it doesn’t go unseen. This could include vintage shots of your own childhood and beyond or a simple picture you’ve recently taken and want to ‘show off’.

How to Play Along

• Link up every Thursday to Sunday (ending at 11.00pm) • Add my badge (or link back to my website using #MyCapturedMoment) at the bottom of your post. • Share the love – try to comment on a few of the other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Go Social

Tweet your posts to me @HeleddLavender using the hashtag #MyCapturedMoment and I’ll retweet. Hashtag your picture #MyCapturedMoment on Instagram (follow me @HeleddLavender) so we can share our pictures and hopefully get some new followers and likes.

Running in Lavender


Introducing New Pampers Baby-Dry

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Did you know that babies spend around half their time asleep? Those precious hours aren’t just important for their mood, but they also have a positive impact on their development, too! Which is why I’m so excited that Pampers are launching a brand new innovation and upgrade to UK parents’ #1 nappy choice: introducing 3 Absorbing Channels! New Pampers Baby-Dry feature a revolutionary nappy design with 3 Absorbing Channels and unique Micro Pearls™ that distribute wetness more evenly and lock it away for up to 12 hours. With less wet bulk in the morning, so our little ones can wake up smiling!

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And, UK parents agree:

New Pampers Baby-Dry has been recommended by 88% of UK parents *

New Pampers Baby-Dry are also been BritMums Bloggers Approved, Mumsnet Rated, Mother & Baby Tried and Tested and 90% of Netmums mums would recommend New Pampers Baby-Dry.

With New Pampers Baby-Dry working as hard as possible, your little one is guaranteed a dry night’s sleep.

To celebrate the launch of New Pampers Baby-Dry, Pampers are working with baby sleep expert Jo Tantum, who is a member of the Pampers Love, Sleep & Play panel and has 25 years’ experience in helping hundreds of families to achieve a peaceful night’s sleep!

Jo has identified 5 sleep typologies that may help you to understand your baby’s sleep habits and needs better – so, is your little one a Starfish, Skylark, Sloth, Owl or Meerkat sleeper? Take a look and let me know using #PampersBabyDry!

Starfish

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·       This is when your baby sleeps in the same position, on their back with legs and arms out. They also wake up often and regularly, but they don’t go back to sleep easily after you intervene with a sleep prop – which they need to get to sleep!

Jo’s Tip – A muslin square, knotted in the middle. Tuck it down your top before giving it to baby so it smells of you and comforts them. Also, try and teach your baby to fall asleep on their own gently. Start in the day, at nap times, watching for tired signs, then settle them for a sleep in their room.

Skylark

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·       These are the babies that wake up early in the morning, singing and shouting, and refuse to go back to sleep whatever you try!

Jo’s Tip – Wave sounds. This can be a sleep App or sound machine. Keep it on continually while baby is asleep, so when they come into a light sleep phase it soothes them back to sleep. Total blackout is also key – remember that babies can’t tell the time! They don’t know it’s 5am! If your baby wakes up early, try and respond to them as though it’s still night, rather than creating a habit of early waking.

Sloth

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·       These little ones love sleep and can sleep anywhere and everywhere – lucky you! But what happens when they wake up? You will know it’s going to be for a growth or developmental spurt or they are teething or not well.

Jo’s Tip – Increase feeding time by 5 minutes, if breast feeding and by 30ml if bottle feeding. If your baby is close to 6 months old, they may need weaning.

Owl

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·       This is when your baby goes to bed late and then wakes up in the night. They’re wide awake for long periods and can’t get back to sleep!

Jo’s Tip – A Sleep Fest! Allow your baby to sleep for 3 hours during the day to reset their internal clock. Babies need lots of sleep and it’s a myth that if you don’t give them naps, they will be so tired that they’ll sleep through the night.

Meerkat

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·       They stand up, move around trying to get comfortable all night and they don’t want to sleep. They’re late to bed and early to rise.

Jo’s Tip – Wind Down Time. Try bath-story-feed to establish a calming bedtime routine. Your baby is overtired and so they will thrash around trying to get comfortable just like we do. They will have lots of energy around bedtime and early in the morning, as their bodies and minds are overstimulated.

If you’d like to try New Pampers Baby-Dry, you can visit www.pampers.co.uk  to claim your free sample.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Pampers.

*based on a survey of 790 UK Parents, given the samples in May 2016

My Holiday Beauty Case

my summer holiday vanity case. Redken James Read, Perricone MD,Clarins, Pure by Marks & Spencer

As a huge beauty fanatic, I love packing my holiday beauty case. I really enjoy gathering all my favourite skin care, hair care and sun protection products, not forgetting a few all important make-up bits too.

The hot weather and a humid conditions mean that I tend to use different products on holiday, especially when it comes to my hair and sun care. The humidity always plays havoc with my hair (think Monica in that Friends episode), so I need products that will tame my mane and ideally give me that cool, effortless beachy look.

And when it comes to sun care, I’m after high protection that’s easy to apply and doesn’t leave my skin looking dull or too oily. At my age, even though I love the sun, I know that it’s not my friend and I can’t afford to burn or damage my ageing skin. For this reason I tend to stay in the shade as much as possible and go for a high SPF.

This year I took a few new items with me that I’d read about and wanted to try, as well as some old favourites. With this in mind I thought I’d share my favourite holiday beauty finds.

SUN

La Roche-Posay SPF50+ tinted cream gel

  1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Tinted Dry Touch Gel-Cream
  2. La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Comfort Body Lotion

I really loved this tinted gel-cream for the face, it’s such a great product that absorbs quickly, gives high protection and leaves your face smooth, with an even tinted colour.  I now can’t imagine going on holiday without this genius product and will continue to use it on a daily basis during the summer months here in the UK.

And I’d heard so much praise the La Roche-Posay SPF50 Comfort Body Lotion that I couldn’t wait to test it out myself. We all used this light milky fluid during the holiday and I was massively impressed by how quick and easy it was to use. Gone are the days of thick creams that take ages to rub in and this high SPF really takes it to the next level.

HAIR

Redone Beach Envy Volume Shampoo and Conditioner

  1. Redken Beach Envy Volume Texturizing Shampoo and Conditioner
  2. Redkin Beach Envy Volume Wave Aid Spray

I absolutely love this new Beach Envy range by Redken! For the first time ever, my hair actually behaved while we were on holiday, which must have been down to the merits of these three products. They also smell gorgeous and give the best finish. They didn’t magically turn me into a ‘beach babe’ but I was happy with the natural waves of my ‘fully in control’ hair, so again I was very impressed.

MAKE-UP

Summer Make-up from Clarins, James Read and Perricone MD

  1. Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation
  2. Clarins Double Fix’ Mascara
  3. James Read Tantour Sculpting Duo

Lets face it, we don’t really wear much make-up on holiday. For me it’s too hot to even think about make-up, especially during the day. But I do like the light fluid texture of this Perricone MD foundation and the natural, waterproof properties of this ‘clear’ Clarins Double Fix’ mascara.

Every evening I literally applied a light layer of this skin-nourishing foundation, shaped my lashes and brows with the clear mascara and used the Tantour Duo to give my face a slight sun-kissed glow.

SKIN CARE

Time Bomb

  1. Time Bomb Holiday in a Bottle
  2. Time Bomb Powerball Intensive Moisturiser 

The Time Bomb range has to be one of my summer time favourites! I found their ‘Holiday in a Bottle’ product last year and became an instant fan. This “liquid sunshine” literally bursts on contact with your skin, warming and enhancing your skin tone and giving you a natural-looking, tanned complexion. And their Powerball Intensive Moisturiser is exactly what you need when your skin is suffering from heat and air conditioning dehydration, as it gives it a super surge of hydration which is ideal for dry, parched skin.

Pure Rose Cleansing Balm by Marks & Spencer

  1. Pure Rose Cleansing Balm by Marks & Spencer

Lastly, I must mention this Cleaning Balm from Marks & Spencer. It really reminds me of other more expensive cleansing balms but at £12, this little beauty is a quarter of the price, acts just as well and still manages to feel luxurious. Use a small amount and rub onto dry skin, then wash off with a cloth (provided) and warm water.

What are you favourite holiday products?

Mark Warner Levante Beach Resort {My Captured Moment #85}

Welcome back to My Captured Moment, a weekly link-up where I share my favourite ‘Captured Moments’ and invite you to do the same.

We are now back from our holiday in Greece, where we were staying at the beautiful Mark Warner Levante Beach Resort in Rhodes. The kids had the time of their lives and loved all the activities, kids club and movie nights.

During the week Lili went wind surfing, Poppy and Dom went sailing and I actually got the chance to relax with Iris  (even read a book while she napped, which is a first for me since having children). It really was the perfect family holiday, with something for everyone.

I’ve now been through my holiday snaps and thought I’d do a second post sharing our holiday captured moments…

Mark Warner Holidays - Levante Resort Rhodes Mark Warner Holidays - Levante Resort Rhodes Mark Warner Holidays - Levante Resort Rhodes Mark Warner Holidays - Levante Resort Rhodes Mark Warner Holidays - Levante Resort Rhodes Mark Warner Holidays - Levante Resort Rhodes Mark Warner Holidays - Levante Resort Rhodes Mark Warner Holidays - Levante Resort RhodesMark Warner Holidays - Levante Resort Rhodes

I’ve also done a little video of our week, which I need to edit and post!

Share your Moments

Your ‘My Captured Moment’ can be a single picture or a series of shots, new (taken this week) or old, with or without words. The idea is to simply share a moment in time you’ve captured on your camera and make sure it doesn’t go unseen. This could include vintage shots of your own childhood and beyond or a simple picture you’ve recently taken and want to ‘show off’.

How to Play Along

• Link up every Thursday to Sunday (ending at 11.00pm) • Add my badge (or link back to my website using #MyCapturedMoment) at the bottom of your post. • Share the love – try to comment on a few of the other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Go Social

Tweet your posts to me @HeleddLavender using the hashtag #MyCapturedMoment and I’ll retweet. Hashtag your picture #MyCapturedMoment on Instagram (follow me @HeleddLavender) so we can share our pictures and hopefully get some new followers and likes.

Running in Lavender


Shopping with the Girls – H&M Kids Autumn Fashion

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We’re now a few weeks into the summer holidays and I’ve suddenly realised that my oldest two have grown out of most of their casual/ play clothes. They’ve both literally shot up in the past few months, which means lots of their dresses, trousers and tops now look too short on them. So yesterday I took the girls to H&M Kids to pick out some new play clothes. You know what I mean, good value, quality, comfortable clothes that are suitable for playing in the garden, park or anywhere else they find themselves over the summer holidays. These girls love to run, jump, climb, swing and play so their clothes need to be very durable – but also look good and be stylish.

I think it’s good to give them the opportunity to choose their own clothes when we’re out shopping, it teaches them to be independent and helps them create their own sense of style. Of course I’m there to make sure they choose items that match, or at least look nice together but on the whole I give them free rein to pick what they like. Also, by doing this I know that they’ll be happy to wear the items they’ve chosen, because believe me we’ve had some arguments about not wanting wear some of the clothes I’ve chosen for them!

H&M Kids is the perfect place to give them the opportunity to choose their own clothes because the prices are so reasonable – and they often have some great deals on offer! So I know they’re not going to pick an inappropriately expensive item to wear to the park.

At the moment H&M have a great Top and Bottom Deal, where you can pick two items (one top and a pair of trousers or a skirt) for only £6.99. When I saw this offer I told the girls they could pick two outfits each. Here’s what we got…

And here’s what the girls chose…
HM.11HM.16 HM.12 HM.9 HM.8HM.20 HM.7 HM.2 HM.22 HM.6

Disclaimer: This is a collaborated post.

On a Greek Holiday {My Captured Moment #84}

Welcome back to My Captured Moment, a weekly link-up where I share my favourite ‘Captured Moments’ and invite you to do the same.

We are currently on our summer holiday on the beautiful Greek island of Rhodes. So for this week’s My Captured Moment post I thought I’d share some of our holiday snaps. These are just a few of my favourite shots of the week so far…

a greek holiday, my captured moment a greek holiday, my captured moment a greek holiday, my captured moment a greek holiday, my captured moment a greek holiday, my captured moment

Share your Moments

Your ‘My Captured Moment’ can be a single picture or a series of shots, new (taken this week) or old, with or without words. The idea is to simply share a moment in time you’ve captured on your camera and make sure it doesn’t go unseen. This could include vintage shots of your own childhood and beyond or a simple picture you’ve recently taken and want to ‘show off’.

How to Play Along

• Link up every Thursday to Sunday (ending at 11.00pm) • Add my badge (or link back to my website using #MyCapturedMoment) at the bottom of your post. • Share the love – try to comment on a few of the other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Go Social

Tweet your posts to me @HeleddLavender using the hashtag #MyCapturedMoment and I’ll retweet. Hashtag your picture #MyCapturedMoment on Instagram (follow me @HeleddLavender) so we can share our pictures and hopefully get some new followers and likes.

Running in Lavender


Afternoon Tea with Thomas at the Hilton {My Captured Moment #83}

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Welcome back to My Captured Moment, a weekly link-up where I share my favourite ‘Captured Moments’ and invite you to do the same.

On Monday the girls and I went for afternoon tea at the Waldorf Hilton with Thomas and Friends. We also got to look around the Thomas and Friends pop-up suite at the hotel, which is a pretty cool, large family room that’s been completely decorated from top to bottom in Thomas the Tank Engine memorabilia – and is available to book throughout August.

As you can see from the pictures the girls and I were treated to some amazing sandwiches, scones and cakes, as well as balloons, bubbles, games and plenty of toys to keep us all happy. We had such a fun day and ate way too much cake but it was nice to be out of the house and doing something fun together.

On the way home I tried to explain to them how lucky they were to have had such a special day at a posh London hotel. I think they understood and appreciated that they were lucky and that this was not a normal day. Especially when Poppy looked at me and said “yes, we don’t normally have so much cakes for lunch do we mummy?” – not quite what I meant but at least she got the idea of what I was trying to say.

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Share your Moments

Your ‘My Captured Moment’ can be a single picture or a series of shots, new (taken this week) or old, with or without words. The idea is to simply share a moment in time you’ve captured on your camera and make sure it doesn’t go unseen. This could include vintage shots of your own childhood and beyond or a simple picture you’ve recently taken and want to ‘show off’.

How to Play Along

• Link up every Thursday to Sunday (ending at 11.00pm) • Add my badge (or link back to my website using #MyCapturedMoment) at the bottom of your post. • Share the love – try to comment on a few of the other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Go Social

Tweet your posts to me @HeleddLavender using the hashtag #MyCapturedMoment and I’ll retweet. Hashtag your picture #MyCapturedMoment on Instagram (follow me @HeleddLavender) so we can share our pictures and hopefully get some new followers and likes.

Running in Lavender


July Favourites {A Vlog}

My July favourites, from skincare to makeup and a necklace

At last I’ve got round to recording my monthly favourites vlog. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while – and something I now want to do at the beginning of every month. This month’s favourites include some skincare products, makeup, a special necklace, a delicious gluten-free snack and a new amazing TV show.

Here are the links to my July favourites, if you need anymore information…

Liz Earle – My current favourite Cleanser and Toner combo. Honestly you can’t go wrong with this brand.

James Read -This ‘Tantour Palette’ gives the perfect contoured, tanned face. Ideal for a summer glow.

IT Cosmetics – A Mascara that gives the most amazing, dramatic lashes.

Perricone MD – The best Foundation I’ve tried in years. I’m in love with this!

Redken – ‘RootFul Spary’, a roof lift product that actually works! I also love the Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner.

NibBling – A Teething Necklace that’s a gift for me and Iris.

Nakd – A Gluten Free Snack Bar that is delicious and healthy (that’s a new one on me – usually they’re one or another)

Stranger Things – Best thing on TV this summer

My July favourites, from skincare to makeup and a necklace

What have  been your July favourites?

Chocolate Heaven with Red Letter Days

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A few months back I was contacted by Red Letter Days, asking me if I’d like to review one of their gift experiences. At the time I was heavily pregnant and didn’t want to commit to anything while I was so close to my due date – and for a while after the birth. However, I did have a good look at their website and scanned through the massive list of experiences on offer.

At the time my eyes were drawn to the pamper packages, spa days and afternoon teas. Basically anything that would give me a special treat and take my mind off the back pain and heartburn. Fast forward a few months and I decided to share my Red Letter Day experience with my two big girls, because they deserve a little treat too. So I set about looking for something we’d all enjoy. As soon as I saw the chocolate decorating experience at Hotel Chocolat I knew that was the one for us, for many reasons…

  1. We’re all massive chocaholics
  2. We LOVE Hotel Chocolat
  3. The girls really love backing and decorating cakes (I guessed this would be a similar thing)
  4. It was an experience we could do together (they’re a little too young for a spa day – although this day will come)
  5. Did I mention we’re chocoholics?

We turned up at the Hotel Chocolat School of Chocolate at 1pm on a Sunday afternoon and after a short wonder around the shop we were taken down to the beautifully designed ‘classroom’ underneath the shop. I call it a ‘classroom’ but to be honest it looked more like a luxury cafe with a bar, and some tables and chairs.

The first part of the experience included an interesting lesson on how chocolate is made and the different varieties available, taking us from the cocoa bean to a block of chocolate found on the shop floor. After we’d learnt all about chocolate we went on to the main event of decorating the chocolate!

We were given two blocks of chocolate, one dark and one white, along with some melted chocolate, marshmallows, tried fruit, chocolate buttons, nuts and some crispy cereal and told to do whatever we liked. Of course we had to test/try everything before using it to decorate our precious little slabs. It was so much fun and I could tell (by their beaming faces) that the girls were loving it too.

At the end of the experience we were given a chocolaty goodie bad, filled with our very own creations, which had been sealed and packaged up.

For more information on this experience and many other check out the Red Letter Day website.

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Disclaimer: We were given this experience as a gift from Red Letter Days, however all words and opinions are my own.

A Family Portrait in July {The Me and Mine Project}

a family portrait - running in lavender

It’s the first of August and my favourite time of year, the summer holidays! For me August is always the quickest month of the year. No school runs – and I get to spend every day with the girls, which means the weeks will fly by and before I know it they’ll be heading back to school and it’ll be September.

But hang on, this post is supposed to be about looking back on the past month and what we’ve done as a family. For me July has not gone so quickly, I’m not saying it’s been a bad or slow month just that the beginning of the month feels like a long time ago. The month started with Lili’s school sports day and Poppy’s open day at pre-school. We then had my parents up for a few days, which gave Dom and I the opportunity to go out and celebrate our anniversary. This wasn’t our wedding anniversary but the anniversary of the day we first met seventeen years ago. The date means a lot to us because we’ve been together ever since and moved in together five years later, to the day and Dom proposed on the same day ten years after we’d met. We went to Sticks & Sushi in Wimbledon because I’d been craving sushi all the way through my pregnancy and Dom knows how much I like this restaurant. We had a few cocktails and a huge platter of sushi – my idea of culinary heaven!

The following weekend we made our annual trip to the lavender field where we took this month’s family portraits. And of course this year was extra special because it was Iris’ first time. We had a lovely afternoon eating ice cream and drinking homemade apple juice. Unfortunately the sky wasn’t as clear and blue as I’d hoped but at least it didn’t rain.

Last weekend was pretty hectic, we went to see Finding Dory with Specsavers on Saturday (day), then I went to see Dirty Dancing at the Secret Cinema with my friend Bonnie from MamasVIB that evening. If you haven’t heard of the Secret Cinema, please google it and find out what it’s all about because it’s amazing. I ‘had the time of my life’ and I can honestly say it felt like we were at Kellerman’s – and yes I even carried a watermelon!

The next day we were back in London decorating chocolate with Red Letter Days and Hotel Chocolat, as you can imagine it was a pretty good way to spend the afternoon. We had a chocolate lesson and got to taste some different chocolate favours and toppings. The girls and I were in chocolate heaven!

Other highlights have been watching Stranger Things on Netflix, we’re now five episodes in and completely obsessed – I actually  don’t want it to end. Also, we booked our summer holiday to Rhodes, which is so exciting!


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A big thank you to Bonnie from MamasVIB for taking our family portraits this month.

The Me and Mine Project