It’s Wednesday afternoon and I’ve just realised it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. How did that crop up so quickly? I hope Dom and the girls have been more organised and have something lovely planned for me! My mum is staying with us this week as it’s been Iris’ birthday, so I really have no excuse. I should have planned something weeks ago but alas motherhood and general busyness took hold and I’m now feeling a little caught out.

When I was young (maybe seven or eight), I remember going to the local flower shop and buying a bunch of daffodils with some coins I’d got from my money box. I knew mum liked daffodils and thought it would be the perfect gift. To be honest I’d be more than happy with a bunch of brightly coloured daffodils from my girls come Sunday morning. Thinking back, I also remember creeping downstairs with my brother and attempting to make mum breakfast in bed.  I don’t think it would have been much more than some jam on toast and a glass of orange juice but we thought we were the best kids in the world, as we carried a tray of ‘breakfast’ up to my parent’s room.

As the years went on the bunch of daffodils turned into a box of chocolates, then perfume and more recently photograph gifts of the kids. For me Mother’s Day (just like Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day) is a lovely excuse to celebrate and treat our loved ones. My mum lives in Wales, but she travels up to visit us in London as often as she can (usually once every six weeks) and we speak on FaceTime most days. She’s the one person in my life that I can always depend on and is the person I want to talk to when I’m excited about something or feeling down and need a ‘pick-me-up’ chat. I hope she knows how much she means to me and the girls.

This year, Tesco have to come to my rescue with their range of experience gifts. Most of the vouchers can be bought immediately online and be used anytime over the next ten months. Having looked through the different options, I’ve chosen the Chocolate Afternoon Tea for Two at The Hilton, Green Park. What I really love about this ‘last minute’ gift is that as well as it being a lovely treat, I’m also buying quality time for us together. I hope she’s as excited about it as I am… CHOCOLATE Afternoon Tea. It literally incorporates three of my favourite things; afternoon tea, chocolate and my lovely mummy!

If you’ve left it to the last minute and need a little help in finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift, don’t panic because Tesco can help you too. They’re setting up Inspiration Stations in over 300 stores nationwide this Saturday, 25th March (the day before Mother’s Day) to help all stressed sons and daughters find the perfect gift. Each station will be manned by shopping experts who can make recommendations for a truly thoughtful, personalised gift. So no excuses, there’s no need to stick to the same old predictable gift this year.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all the words are my own and true. 

Last weekend was a quiet one of us. We had no real plans but wanted to get out as a family and enjoy time together. Quality family time is so important, and one thing we all love is good food! So an easy choice was to hop over to East Croydon’s new Boxpark.

Boxpark is a construction entirely made out of refitted shipping containers. Each container houses an independent food outlet, creating a unique ‘street style’ food destination. The quality of all the food is fantastic – the bar has been set high by the passion and enthusiasm of these small business owners! You can literally have your pick from; Indian street food, to Thai, Brazilian, Vegiterien, Pizza, Gluten-Free, Vietnamese, Burgers, the list goes on and on.

The best thing is that there is something for everyone, even the fussiest of eaters. On Saturday the girls chose Pizza from Arancina, while Dom and I went for a tasty pulled chicken box of gluten-free goodness from Feed Me Primal. It was so delicious and flavourful! We then went to Dum Dum Donutterie for cronuts and Chillbox for frozen yogurt – for our pudding!

I’m so glad we now have this amazing place on our doorstep. The atmosphere is fun and cool, everyone is relaxed and enjoying their food. Music plays in the background but you can still chat and of course share your meals together on the table and benches in the middle of the construction.

I honestly can’t wait to go back again. I’m such a creature of habit. Once I find something (or somewhere) I like, I’m hooked and I can’t get enough.

Here are some shots from the day…

By the way, also loving my new top from Next. I’ve got it in blue (as seen in these pictures) and red – just couldn’t decided, so got both.

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

If you read my blog regularly you’ll have noticed that I’m a big fan of French skincare brands and Decleor has to be one of my absolute favourites! The fragrances of the products are just gorgeous, but the results are what draw me back. If you’re new to the Decleor brand, here are my top picks and where I suggest you start.

Warning! Total product gorgeousness ahead…

Aroma Lisse Dark Circle & Eye Wrinkle Eraser 

This gem of an eye cream smoothes away fine lines and brightens dark circles. It combats the first signs of ageing with the help of Mandarin Essential Oil, which is clinically proven to protect and repair skin cells. This wonder wrinkle eraser also contains illuminating gold pigments which neutralise dark tones (under the eyes) to immediately enhance the radiance of your eye contour area. Perfect for when you’re over tired and need a little extra help!

Aroma Lisse Energising Smoothing Cream

This is a super light, all-in-one moisturiser with a deliciously refreshing citrusy scent. It also happens to be one of my favourite ever day creams. The potent powers of Mandarin Essential Oil again works to repair DNA damage and protects against free radicals. The other cocktail of plant extracts work to hydrate and plump the skin, leaving it looking illuminated, smooth and radiant. For me this is the perfect cream for the warmer summer months, when you want a lightweight cream that protects your skin, while enhancing your natural glow.

Aromessence Mandarin Smoothing Oil Serum

This serum is said to have been specifically created for busy women in their thirties. Well that’s definitely me! Mandarin Essential Oil once again works to protect and repair any skin cell damage. The addition of Lemon and Bergamot Essential Oils create a powerful fruity/ citrusy cocktail that’s refreshing and invigorating – which is perfect for a morning pick-me-up.

Other key ingredients include; Hazelnut, Camellia and Sunflower oils to nourish, hydrate and boost radiance. This powerful oil is said to slow the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and leave your skin smoother, brighter and bursting with energy! And I’d have to completely agree, my skin really benefits from using this little thirst-quenching super-oil.

Aromessence Mandarin Smoothing Night Balm 

Night creams are so important and this is a nourishing one that helps rejuvenate your skin while you sleep. I tend to use it whenever my skin is extremely dry or dehydrated and needs an extra boost. It has the most gorgeous, calming scent, which helps me to feel relaxed and comforted before bed. The active ingredients include; essential oils of Basil to purify and heal, Neroli to soften and Camomile to calm and nourish. This balm is such a treat to use, it literally melts into the skin with almost no effort. Honestly, it’s a little pot of pampering heaven.

So there you have it, my top picks from the dreamy Decleor.

My girls are all good sleepers, thank goodness! I need my sleep and wouldn’t be happy getting up a few times a night. Equally, I need some chill-out child free time in the evening (to catch up on my favourite TV programs and just unwind), so bed time has to be at a decent time, without fuss. And on the whole we manage this (most nights). How? Well for me establishing a good, firm bedtime routine early on is the answer.

Here’s how we’ve managed this with all three girls, more recently of course with baby Iris. 

I once read that a baby/ young toddler typically needs 12 hours sleep per night, so you need to work it back from when they usually wake up. If like Iris it’s 7am, then 7pm is a good bedtime.

As for getting your baby to bed, a routine should to start by allowing your child a cot/bed of their own, and getting them used to self-soothing so that they have the ability to get themselves to sleep in a relaxed way. Iris went into her ‘big cot’ at six months, which is when we started to establish this  more firm, yet warm and calm approach.

Iris’ routine includes; a bath, some warm milk, a song or book (if she’s not too drowsy from the milk) and then bed. We try to make it a fun, cosy time for her – making it clear she has my (or my husband’s) full attention.

I go through this little routine and then leave the room to deal with my other two little monkeys. If she sits up straight away and cries, I’ll keep comforting her but from that point on I have less physical interaction, no long cuddles, just a quick reassuring hug and kiss and then I walk away again.

Tip… If your baby seems to be afraid of the dark or being alone, try low lighting, a special teddy (maybe one that lights up), or a low background noise such as a soothing nursery rhyme.

Remember you’re in charge, and if you stick to it, it should work! I fully understand this is firm (but I stress, calm) approach is not for everyone but I can testify it’s worked for us, three times now! During the day I don’t really have a routine and am much more relaxed, letting the kids do what comes naturally but bed time is different. At bed time I’m in charge and they accept it because they don’t know any different.

Iris is wearing an aden+anais sleeping bag in these pictures. We’re big fans of aden+anais and these sleeping bags are made of the same beautifuly soft, cotton muslin used in their famous swaddle blankets and muslin squares.

Heads up, Mother’s Day is coming soon! And here’s a little collection from Clarins you may want to pop on your wish list.
This Tender Moments collection has to be their cutest limited edition yet! It includes three Skin Illusion Blushes and a Daily Energizer Lovely Lip Balm. Each product is packaged with love and kisses and looks so adorable! And what I’ve always loved about Clarins makeup is that each product is packed full of skincare benefits, giving you beautifully nourished, radiant skin (and lips).

This Tender Moments collection has to be Clarins' cutest limited edition yet! It includes three Skin Illusion Blushes and a Daily Energizer Lovely Lip Balm.

These cute Skin Illusion Blushes (£16) come in three beautiful shares; 01 Luminous Pink, 02 Luminous Coral and 03 Golden Havana. I’ve been using the Luminous Coral recently and I absolutely love it! I can see it becoming a big favourite for me this summer. This super cute blush blends quickly and easily and adds a pop of healthy colour to your cheeks. The active plant ingredients include red algae extract and pink opal powder which leave your skin feeling soft and looking radiant. And the clever, compact packaging makes this blush really easy to use on the go. If you haven’t already guessed, I really love this product – but if I’m honest they had me with the packaging!

This Tender Moments collection has to be Clarins' cutest limited edition yet! It includes three Skin Illusion Blushes and a Daily Energizer Lovely Lip Balm.

This nourishing Daily Energizer Lip Balm (£16)  has been a firm favourite in my handbag for a while now, it contains an intelligent pigment that reacts to your lips’ own ph to develop a natural pink shade. So when I saw this limited edition version I was instantly  ‘in love’ and very excited! The balm is also rich in cocoa butter, shea butter and redcurrant giving it a silky smooth texture that helps repair and nourish your lips. It also has a peachy flavour that’s just gorgeous and reminds me of long summer days, which is just what I need right now.

As I’ve already mentioned (a few times) the packaging is so cute and what makes it even better is that it’s also eco friendly, made from sustainable forests. So the theme of love runs from the packaging design to the environment, which I think is a lovely touch.

This Tender Moments collection has to be Clarins' cutest limited edition yet! It includes three Skin Illusion Blushes and a Daily Energizer Lovely Lip Balm.
What do you think of the Tender Moments Collection? Will it make your Mother’s Day wish list?