He’s everyone’s favourite sweet treat and this week Percy Pig celebrated his 25th Birthday. I can’t quite believe he’s been around for twenty five years but it’s true! The deliciously, juicy little pig has been delighting kids and adults alike for a quarter of a century. A milestone that deserved a big party!

Now I’ve been blogging for over three years and in that time I’ve had some amazing opportunities and been lucky enough to be invited to some pretty awesome events but I must admit when I received this invite by Marks and Spencer I was super excited – and as you can imagine my two big girls were very jealous.

I’m not able to go to many events on a school night as we don’t have any backup childcare, so I really have to pick and choose my events carefully but I knew this was one not to miss.

It was a beautiful and fun night, that had a big emphasis on gorgeous food and wine from the past 25 years – with no pork in sight!

Here are some pictures from the event to give you a flavour of the evening…

This last snap was saved from my Insta Stories so please forgive the low quality.

On the night we were served ‘Percy on the Beach’ cocktails, made from Percy infused vodka. Here’s how you can recreate this deliciously fruity and refreshing cocktail at home…

Thank you so much Percy and Marks and Spencer for a gorgeous evening full of fun, flowers, food and lots of yummy sweets!

Last week Iris and I had the pleasure of welcoming the lovely Alice from Piccolo into our kitchen to cook for us. Alice is a Nutritional Therapist for the Mediterranean based baby food brand Piccolo. Iris and I have been big fans of Piccolo pouches over the past year (since she started weaning), Iris has loved the delicious taste of their vegetable and fruit based creations and I’ve been happy to know that she’s getting the nutritional benefits she needs from each pouch.

Piccolo is also a brand that gives back with their Food Education Foundation charity. With this charity Piccolo provide practical advice and help to parents (in disadvantaged areas of London) about baby nutrition and healthy eating. They run interactive and educational workshops to equip parents with the tools and knowledge to give their children a varied range of first foods – which will in turn help them establish a healthy relationship with food.

It was so interesting talking to Alice about their charity work, it’s great to hear that Piccolo is a company that’s not all about the money, they really are a brand that wants to give back and help.

Alice and I also spent time talking about food, her wealth of knowledge on nutrition and superfoods was fascinating and I felt incredibly lucky to have this brilliant opportunity.  She then cooked for us!

Here are a few of my favourite healthy, family friendly recipes from the day…

Cherry and Apple Yoghurt with Wholegrain Oats

Ingredients 

  • 2 Pink Lady apple, peeled and chopped
  • 10 cherries, stoned and halved
  • 150g natural full fat yoghurt
  • 40g rolled oats

Method

1.Heat the apple in a pan with a little water for 5-8 minutes until soft. For older babies (around 7 months), you can simply grate the apples.

2.Remove the apples from heat and add the cherries and oats.

3.Purée together in a blender. For a few seconds for a chunkier texture, longer for smooth yoghurt.

4.Once the mixture is cool, stir in the yoghurt.

 

Flatbread Pizza

Ingredients

2 Corn or whole wheat tortillas/flatbread

2 tbsp Passata

Around 50g mix veg such as sweetcorn, peppers, tomatoes and/or grated courgettes

20g grated Cheddar cheese

 

Method

1.Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas mark 4.

2.Simply spread Passata on one side of flatbread or tortilla. Add vegetables then top with grated cheese. Place in the oven for 8 minutes. Serve with cucumber and carrot batons.

 

Savoury Flapjack

Ingredients

200 g/7oz porridge oats

200 g/7oz grated carrot

200 g/7oz grated courgette

200 g/7oz Grana Padano or Cheddar cheese, grated

2 eggs beaten

1 tsp grainy mustard

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 375°F/ Gas mark 5.

2. Grease a baking tray (Swiss roll tin size). Mix all the ingredients in the large bowl and press into the tray.

3. Bake 25-30 minutes, until set and lightly browned.

 

When I’m away on holidays I always take way too many pictures and never really share them on here, which is a shame. Especially when I think back and remember that one of the main reasons I started this blog was to capture our special moments and document them in one place for the future.

In an attempt to resolve this issue I’ve decided to start a new section called ‘My Holiday Photo Album’. It should be quite self-explanatory, I just want to have an area where I keep all my precious moments and favourite pictures from our many adventures and jaunts across the world.

I’m going to start with our most recent trip to Vegas. We were in Las Vegas for four days in June 2017,  during a heatwave that saw temperatures soar to 45 degrees. I’ve never known heat like it!

Anyway, here are my favourite snaps from Las Vegas…

The Vegas Eiffel Tower.

The Las Vegas strip.

Outside the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace.

The Mirage Hotel.

Hotel New York New York.

At the Flamingo Hotel sign.

We didn’t make it out to the ‘Welcome to Vegas’ sign but I did find this Hershey’s version, which I loved.

The neon signs and lights of Vegas old town.

Vegas old town by day.

Palm trees and the High Roller observation wheel.

Posing with my man at the Hoover Dam.

The Grand Canyon.

Luckily I’m okay with heights.

Wondering around the Mojave desert.

Looking at Joshua Trees in the desert – yes that’s what they look like.

Posing inside the Bellagio Hotel’s floral model version of Positano in Italy.

Wondering around the beautiful Wynn Hotel.

Watching the water fountains dance outside the Wynn Hotel.

Posing outside the stunning Venetian Hotel

Who develops pictures these days? Definitely not me, although this is another thing I want to do more often, even if it’s just one or two of my favourite snaps her holiday.

Holiday hair care for the hot summer months. Keep your hair glossy and frizz-free this summer.

With the long summer holidays just around the corner, I thought I’d focus on my favourite holiday hair care heroes. We all know how important it is to protect our skin from the damaging affects of the sun, however our hair is often overlooked. Have you noticed how dry, frizzy and generally damaged your hair can look and feel during the summer months? This does not need to be the case. To keep your hair shiny, healthy and colour rich during the heat of summer you just need to offer it some TLHC (tender loving hair care). Here are five of my current favourite summer hair heroes…

Holiday hair care for the hot summer months. Keep your hair glossy and frizz-free this summer.

L’Oreal Professionnel Solar Sublime After-Sun Protect Shampoo (£11.50) and After-Sun Nourishing Balm

As you’d expect from their names these duo protect and nourish your hair after prolonged sun exposure. I have highlighted hair and these duo stop it from getting dry and straw like after too much sun. They’re also great to use after swimming (in the sea or the pool), as the shampoo gently clenases your hair of chlorine or salt and the nourishing balm leaves it feeling soft and healthy. I absolutely love these products and can’t recommend them enough, especially if you’re going on a beach holiday.

Holiday hair care for the hot summer months. Keep your hair glossy and frizz-free this summer.

L’Oreal Professionnel Wild Styles Beach Waves (£15)

I’m a big fan of L’Oreal Professionnel products but this has to be up there as one of my absolute favourite products. It gives amazing texture and volume in a matt spray that leaves your hair looking effortlessly tousled and bouncy. A little goes a long way with this one, I simply tip my head upside down and spray the product into the ends, then bring my head back up and run my fingers through the ends to finish the look. Also this spray smells incredible and which now reminds me of summer.

Holiday hair care for the hot summer months. Keep your hair glossy and frizz-free this summer.

Mythic Oil – Nourishing Oil (£16.50)

You want you hair to stay glossy and healthy during the summer months? Try this bottle of gorgeousness! Mythical Oil is the perfect name for it because it really will transom your hair from frizzy and damaged to healthy and shiny. I normally take two or three pumps of the oil and rub it between my palms before running my hands through my damp hair, then dry normally. The results speak for themselves.

Holiday hair care for the hot summer months. Keep your hair glossy and frizz-free this summer.

John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves (£6.99)

This one’s an oldie but a goodie! I must have been using this product off and on for the past fifteen years and although I’ve now progressed to the L’Oreal Wilde Styles spray (which I mentioned above) I do also love this as an alternative. This tends to be the  version I’d take with me to the beach or the pool. Again, a little goes a long way, it’s very easy to over do it and spay too much product into your, which can leave it sticky and looking matted. It’s best to spray a little at a time and manipulate your hair using your fingers for the best result.

Enjoy the summer!!

Las Vegas top attractions and travel tips.Las Vegas was never really on my list of places visit but I’m so glad that I recently got the opportunity to go, because I absolutely loved it. It really wasn’t what I expected, it was beautiful and clean, yes it was tacky but in a cool, fun way. I don’t really gamble or drink (that much) but I still had the best time!! And I can’t wait to go again.

Dom and I went without the kids, who stayed at home with my parents – and to be perfectly honest it was the best decision because Vegas is not very child-friendly. Yes, there’s lots for them to see but on the whole ‘sin city’ is designed around adult entertainment and there’s way too much walking for little legs. So my first tip would be – don’t take the children.

As I’ve already mentioned I’m not much of a gambler, or drinker so I wasn’t sure how I’d enjoy this notorious party city but I needn’t have worried, Vegas has so many other things to offer. There are countless things to see and do. Here’s my list of top attractions along with some useful tips…

Las Vegas top attractions and travel tips.

1) The Eiffel Tower at Paris –  this famous miniature version is well worth a visit. Try and go between Tuesday and Saturday, and you might meet Vern who is a brilliant character and works at the top of the tower. He can tell you everything you need to know about each and every hotel on the strip and beyond.  Also, try and stay up to watch at least one of the Bellagio fountain shows, which is located across the road.

2) The Bellagio Fountains –  made famous by the 2001 Oceans Eleven movie, this free water and music show happens everyday from midday to midnight. We managed to catch a few of them as our hotel was opposite the fountains. Each show (we saw) was different but they were all amazing. The shows are every 30mins from midday to 7pm and every 15mins from 7pm to midnight.

Las Vegas top attractions and travel tips.

3) The Mob Museum – I’m a big history geek so the Mob museum was right up my street. Be prepared to read lots and learn how the maffia built Vegas. There was also a few short movies to watch and some interactive sections, where you can shoot a fake gun and take part in a police line-up.

4) The flamingos at The Flamingo Hotel – This is another free attraction that’s available to anyone. The pink flamingos have a gorgeous, peaceful garden area that’s tucked away at the  back of the hotel.

Las Vegas top attractions and travel tips.

5) Shopping – All the big hotels have a shopping area but biggest malls are attached to Planet Hollywood and Caesar’s Palace. There’s also the Fashion Show Mall which is the biggest of them all and includes the large department stores. We also visited the Las Vegas South outlet village, which was a few stops on the bus from Fremont Street. This is where I managed to get a beautiful Kate Spade bag at 70% off.

6) High Roller at The Linq – this is said to be the tallest observation wheel in the world and is another great way to see the strip. Each pod also has a bar so you can enjoy a drink or two as you look out over the city. The wheel is open from 11.30am to 2am everyday and costs $27.

7) The dolphins at The Mirage – For $23 per person you can interact with the famous dolphins at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.

Las Vegas top attractions and travel tips.

8) The CSI Experience at MGM Grand – This is where you can test your inner crime solver CSI skills. The exhibit costs $31 and includes forensic equipment and interactive displays. If you’re a CSI fan this is a lot of fun.

9) The Shows! – you can’t go to Vegas without seeing a show. We saw Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil, which was amazing! Although from what I’ve read and heard, they’re all very good. We tried to see O, another cirque show but failed to get tickets. My tip would be to book your shows as soon as you can, maybe as soon as you’ve booked your trip, to ensure you get the tickets you want.

10) Fremont Street (The old Vegas) – this is the old or original Las Vegas and has all the bright lights of the bygone era. The street has recently been given a modern makeover with a light up roof and a zip line ride but you can still see and feel vintage Vegas in the signs and the buildings. Fremont Street attracts an eclectic mix of people and is definitely not suitable for children- especially after dark! But it’s well worth a visit. It needs to be seen to be believed. They have free nightly concerts on three different stages as well as street performers and an hourly light show on the hour from sunset to midnight.

Las Vegas top attractions and travel tips.Las Vegas top attractions and travel tips.

That’s just ten of my personal favourite things!

The biggest tip I have is to take comfortable shoes! I’ve never walked so much in one holiday. One day my husband’s Fitbit recorded 17 miles. There’s just so much to see and each hotel is so big, you’ll walk for miles without even realising it. Just walking around the shops at the Plant Hollywood Mall is one mile.

Every hotel in Vegas has a unique theme and something different to offer, from; dolphins to flamingos, aquariums to gondolas, rollercoasters to water shows and much more. Each one also has an amazing breakfast buffet, which should not be missed! Without question my absolute favourite hotel was The Wynn, we wondered up there on our last morning for breakfast and I absolutely fell in love with the place. Everything was so beautiful, I felt like Alice walking around Wonderland.

Las Vegas top attractions and travel tips.

The $25 breakfast buffet was simply incredible! Just to give you an idea, I had; fresh pancakes with crispy becon and maple syrup, then some mini muffins and pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt and granola, a mini carrot cake, a mini cup cake and some mango sorbet (because, why not?!) and Dom had some of the same things as well as eggs Bénédicte, some sushi and smoked salmon. We then spent the day walking off the breakfast calories!

Las Vegas top attractions and travel tips.

Las Vegas is a pretty expensive city to eat and drink but here are a few of my favourite inexpensive places that offer great food…

1) The Cheesecake Factory – the portions here are massive so you may want to share a meal and a slice of one of their iconic cheesecakes.

2) Denny’s – we went here for breakfast one morning and loved the food (especially the pancakes) and the cheap prices. Think typical American diner!

3) In and Out Burger –  offer the best burgers and milkshakes in the city.

Other famous attractions that we didn’t get round to seeing but you might want to check out include; the skyjump and other rides at The Stratosphere, The rollercoaster at New York, New York, gondola rides at The Venetian and Shark Reef aquarium at Mandalay Bay. Of course there’s also the Grand Canyon nearby and the Hoover Dam, which we did go and see and I’ll cover in another post. For now, all I’ll say is that this day-tour was the absolute highlight of my Vegas visit.

Las Vegas top attractions and travel tips.

Vegas has so many things to offer, there are countless things to see and do. Here's my list of top attractions along with some useful travel tips...