I get so excited about the long summer holidays, in my mind they still (as they used to when I was a child) go on and on but in reality they fly by!! We’ve had the most wonderful summer with two weeks in Wales, followed by two weeks in Spain but we’re now home and with only a week and a half to go before school stats, I’m so glad I sorted out the girls’ school uniform before we went away.

School uniform essentials from Marks & Spencer

It’s a big year in our house, as Poppy starts Reception and Lili goes into the ‘Juniors’ this September. They both say that they’re excited and scared in equal measure but I know they’ll both bounce in on that first day with enthusiasm and ready to get going. They both love school (or nursery in Poppy’s case) and have missed their friends over the summer break.

School uniform essentials from Marks & Spencer

Both girls needed new uniforms, Poppy will need the school’s Infant uniform which consists of; a white shirt, a navy pinafore dress and a navy cardigan, as well as shoes and a PE kit. She won’t need a backpack or any stationary as the Infants are given a school ‘book bag’ and are not allowed to take their own pens or pencils.

School uniform essentials from Marks & Spencer

Lili’s going into the ‘Juniors’, which means she’ll need a new uniform too. It’s similar to the Infants uniform but with a pleated navy skirt instead of a pinafore dress. Excitingly, she will now need a backpack and her own stationary. Yes, we can finally go stationary shopping!! I don’t know who’s more excited, me or her.

School uniform essentials from Marks & Spencer

My go-to, one-stop shop for all things ‘school uniform’ has always been Marks & Spencer. It’s also where my mum got all our school uniform essentials when my brother and I were younger. For me Marks & Spencer’s quality is tried and tested, I know the clothes will wash well and last the year. Their school clothes all have clever little innovations like; stay put hems, stain and weather-proof finishes and StayNew technology. I’m also a big fan of their crease resistant finishes, which means less time at the ironing board for me! Lastly, I know that I can throw everything into the tumble dryer and they’ll all come out looking like new.

School uniform essentials from Marks & Spencer

This year Marks & Spencer have made more improvements to their Back To School range with; soft elastic waistbands on all trousers and skirts and hidden labels in their shirts and polo shirts for extra comfort.

I’ve always got Lili’s school shoes from Marks & Spencer, literally every pair she’s had have been from M&S. I like the quality, and feel they offer really good value for money. This year they’ve launched a brand new measuring and fitting service in store (selected bigger stores only), along with a wider range of widths and half-sizes, which now makes them a real player in the school shoes arena. They also have a clever little measuring chart that you can print off online, if you can’t make it into a store.

School uniform essentials from Marks & Spencer

As for backpacks Lili was delighted with this metallic number that’s both ‘cool and fashionable’ (her words) and big enough to carry all her new stationary and books.

School uniform essentials from Marks & Spencer

Thanks to Marks & Spencer we are totally ready for the new school year and have everything from; uniforms, PE kits, shoes, bags, socks and underwear. My list has all been completely ticked off!

School uniform essentials from Marks & Spencer

I wonder how I’ll feel this year as I send not one but two of my girls off to school? I wasn’t prepared for how emotional I was when Lili started Reception, it completely took me by surprise. Poppy is a different character though and I know she’s more than ready for full time school – plus I know that she’s got her big sister there to keep an eye on her.

Who am I kidding? I’ll be in bits, I know it!!

School uniform essentials from Marks & Spencer

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all copy is true.

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And just like that our two weeks in Wales has come to an end. For the past two weeks the girls and I have been staying with my parents in Ceredigion, West Wales. This is a little summer tradition that we look forward to every year. The kids get completely spoilt by my mum and dad, and I get a chance to relax a little (with their help). I love bringing my kids “home” to Wales every summer, it breaks up the six weeks perfectly and I’m able to share my childhood summer adventures with my girls. It also gives me the chance to relive my happy memories and make new ones with my children.

When you’re four and seven (like my older two) the summer holidays feel never ending, they go on and on. So it’s no surprise that when I think back to my own childhood most of my memories are summer based, running along a sun soaked country road in a summer dress or along a small local beach in a bright red swimming costume.

The Great British Summer has not been kind to us this year but that hasn’t stopped us from making the most of our time in Ceredigion. We may not have had long, warm days on one of the (many) local beaches but we have enjoyed lots of day trips to the coast and National Trust properties.

Here are just a few of our holiday highlights and some of my favourite pictures from the past two weeks.

Aberystwyth


New Quay Beach, Ceredigion


Llanarchaeron (National Trust)

Lampeter Agricultural Show


Aberaeron


My little home county has so much to offer the British holidaymaker. Ceredigion is full of great restaurants and beautiful beaches, as well as castles, National Trust properties and so much more! If you’re ever in the area you must try the Honey Ice Cream in Aberaeron and Conti’s Ice Cream in Lampeter. You should also check our Pizza Tipi in Cardigan and the Lobster at The Harbourmaster in Aberaeron.

Bye Ceredigion, we’ll be back for Christmas xx

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Redken have created these No Blow Dry creams, great for anyone who hates blow drying their hair.

I’ve had long hair, short hair and right now my hair is that in-between length but one thing has always stayed the same and that’s my hatred of blow-drying my hair.   I love all things beauty but styling and blow-drying my hair has always felt like a complete chore. However, I love products that make drying and styling my hair effortlessly easy! Which is why I’m more than impressed with Redken’s new No Blow Dry creams.

Redken have created three formulas that all include their Air-Tex Technology, which has flexible polymers to help control the movement of your hair, as well as quick-drying polymers to help your hair dry faster.

Air-dry creams seem to be a big trend this year, I’ve read so much about them and the benefits of not using heated tools. These Redken No Blow Dry creams are perfect for anyone who wants to take a break from heat tools, or who are  (like me) tight on time and/or hate blow-drying their hair.

So which one would you need?

Redken No Blow Dry Airy Cream – for Fine Hair (£15.50)

This cream has the power to transform fine, lifeless hair without spending any time under the hair dryer. It’s pecially formulated for thin hair and improves drying time while adding body and texture. You simply, scrunch and go!

Redken have created these No Blow Dry creams, great for anyone who hates blow drying their hair.

 

Redken No Blow Dry Just Right Cream for Medium Hair (£15.50)

This is my go to cream! It’s perfectly formulated for normal hair that needs a little boost – without any effort. The Just Right Cream again ensures drying time is speedy and gives your hair a polished, frizz-free finish without having to spend time waving a heavy hairdryer around your head.

Redken have created these No Blow Dry creams, great for anyone who hates blow drying their hair.

 

Redken No Blow Dry Bossy Cream for Coarse Hair (£15.50)

This is the cream that tames thick, heavy or coarse hair – without having to go anywhere near a heated tool. It’s designed to control thick hair and allows you to manage your style in one quick, easy step. And again there’s no need to spend any time blow-drying your hair.

Redken have created these No Blow Dry creams, great for anyone who hates blow drying their hair.

So how does it work?

Step 1. Simply comb your hair while it’s still wet, parting your hair in the way you want it to dry.

Step 2. Squeeze a small amount of product into the palm of your hand and rub your hands together before carefully applying the cream to the ends of your hair.

Step 3. Slowly work the product through the length and root of your hair, then let to air dry.

Extra Styling Tip

When I used this product, I roll my hair into a low bun and secure it with a hair brand after applying the product. My hair then dries with a loose, effortless wave.

We’re going to Spain next week and I’ve already decided that a tube No Blow Dry cream is definitely coming instead of my usual hairdryer. Who wants to carry a heavy hairdryer when a tube of No Blow Dry cream is all you need!?

You can buy Redken No Blow Dry Creams from Look Fantastic, Feel Unique or HairHQ.

 

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I’ve always been a big fan of Next clothes, especially the kids range. They always offer good quality clothes for little girls (and boys) at a great price. I love going through the different trends, styles and prints available for my girls – but this year I’ve also picked up more than a few bits for me! Next have really nailed it for me this summer with their pretty dresses, gorgeous embroidery and beautiful broderie anglaise.

I’ve been so impressed I thought I’d gather some of my favourite pieces from the Spring/Summer collection and share them with you. Here are some shots taken from my Instagram feed

I must also mention these amazing rose gold sunglasses, which are retro and modern all at the same time.

Being 5’2 (which is pretty short) I find it tricky to get clothes that fit me perfectly but Next’s petite range is always spot on, which is a big bonus, especially when in comes to maxi dresses – and I just love this red maxi dress…

I was so obsessed by this top I also got the red one! I’d say this has been ‘the top’ of the season – as seen on all fashion bloggers  over the past few months.

Most of these pieces are now in the Next sale or sold out but it’s definitely still worth a look to see what’s left because there are some real bargains still up for grabs.

I hope that Next Autumn/ Winter ’17 collection lives up to their Spring/ Summer ’17 collection. And I for one can’t wait to see what they have to offer!!

Disclaimer: Some of these items were kindly sent to me from the lovely people at Next (some I bought myself) but all thoughts and opinions are honest and true. 

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I don’t know about you but the thought of wearing heavy makeup during these warm summer months is the last thing on my mind. I’d rather let my skin breathe and go for a barely there, dewy finish. Basically, the “no makeup look” – that still needs some level of makeup.

These new sheer makeup products from Pixi by Petra are perfect for giving you a natural holiday glow.

GelTint & SilkGloss Lip Duos

Having said I wear less makeup during the summer, I do still like to mix it up with a bold lip. I may use a lighter base and almost no eye products (other than mascara) but I love adding a pop of bright colour on my lips and I’m loving these beautiful GelTint & SilkGloss Duos by Pixi. They have a long-lasting lip tint at one end and a hydrating silky lip gloss at the other. These lip duos give bold colour, hydration and shine in one impressive product.

There are three shades available…

BeachTint & FreshGloss – a beautiful dark tint and a sheer orange gloss

PinkTint & PrettyGloss – a gorgeous bright pink tint and a shimmery rose gloss

BerryTint & SweetGloss – a pretty berry tint with a nude gloss.

The tints have a silky, long-lasting formula and the glosses add shine and dimension to your lips.

Sheer Cheek Gels

I love a good blusher, especially ones that give me a natural, healthy glow. I hadn’t come across a gel blusher before so I was intrigued by these little beauties and wondered how they’d compare to the usual cream or powder blush.

The first thing that impressed me about these gels were how quick and easy they were to apply. A quick swipe and a gentle rub on the apples of your cheeks gives you a beautiful, natural finish. It’s as easy as that!

Again there are three shades available…

Flushed – this shade looks much darker and dramatic than it is in reality. It’s actually a beautiful, ‘flushed’ colour on the skin (as the name suggests).

Rosy – this is a gorgeous sheer fuchsia gel that gives a very pretty pink finish.

Natural – this is the lightest of the three gels but builds to create a fresh faced natural finish.

These gel blushes are incredibly light textured, which means they blend seamlessly into bare skin or over a foundation base.

I’m a massive fan of Pixi by Petra, for me they can do no wrong. If you’re looking for a makeup update, I definitely recommend you check them out. You can buy their product here.

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