As the half-term break comes to an end, I thought I’d do a little summery of our happiest highlights. With Dom working all week, it has mainly been me and the kids, which is never easy. Don’t get me wrong, I love having my girls with me and not doing the school run but being a mum to three under seven (and parenting alone) is hard work! On the whole I try not to make too many plans but I also need to keep the girls busy and entertained. It’s the eternal juggling act.

So what has been our half-term highlights?

The first big highlight came from the lovely team at Marks & Spencer Kids, who sent the girls a brilliant half-term package which included a brightly coloured raincoat each and a fun pack of chalk games. The coats come in a variety of colours and are perfect for our unpredictable spring weather.

Our second highlight came on Monday, when we went to the Trolls DVD launch in Leicester Square. The girls got to meet their favourite Trolls, sit in a Trolls cab and see the movie (again!). Yes, we’ve watched this fabulous film a few times now but like the girls, I’m not tired of it (or the soundtrack) yet. Have you seen it? If not, you should! It’s the happiest film I’ve seen in years.

On Tuesday the girls and I made heart shape Valentine biscuits with white and pink icing. There was a lot of mess but we had lots of fun and the end result were tasty and looked very cute. Believe it or not, I forgot to take any pictures! What was I thinking? I was probably too worried about the mess and making sure Iris didn’t get her hands on the icing.

The rest of the week was more chilled with family visiting and some playdates for the girls. What did you get up to?

 

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Let’s talk mascara! What do you want from your mascara, extra volume or longer length? A defined, natural finish or a glossy dramatic look? I have very short, thin lashes so I need a mascara that means business. I also have ridiculously sensitive eyes that are constantly running and affected by the environment – wearing mascara just make them worse. So I’m quite particular about the mascaras I use.

La Roche-Posay have recently created a new range of RESPECTISSIME mascaras that offer protection and tolerance as well as the usual cosmetic benefits of a mascara. I’ve only ever used their skin and sun care products, so I was intrigued to try their make-up.

La Roche-Posay have recently created a new range of RESPECTISSIME mascaras that offer protection and tolerance as well as the usual cosmetic benefits of a mascara.

What makes the RESPECTISSIME range of mascaras different?

First of all, the entire range has been rigorously tested on people with severely sensitive eyes (and contact lens wearers). These mascaras contain an anti-tear formula, with Reconstituted Lachrymal Liquid which imitates a natural tear, ensuring your eyes do not react or run. Lastly, they easily melt away when removing, reducing rubbing and the chance of irritation.

I’ve been using RESPECTISSIME Volume mascara for a few weeks now and I’m pretty impressed. My eyes run less and it gives a very natural finish, making it perfect for wearing on a daily basis. There are two more mascaras in the rage; RESPECTISSIME Multi-Dimensions mascara and RESPECTISSIME Waterproof mascara, giving you the choice to opt for the version that gives you what you want from a mascara.

La Roche-Posay have recently created a new range of RESPECTISSIME mascaras that offer protection and tolerance as well as the usual cosmetic benefits of a mascara.

La Roche-Posay Waterproof Eye Make-up Remover

I’m also loving the La Roche-Posay Waterproof Eye Make-up Remover for sensitive eyes.The skin around your eyes is said to be four times thinner, so it’s so important not to use anything too harsh and not to rub too much. This light makeup remover is fragrance and paraben free, with a formula that minimises the risk of intolerance, even waterproof makeup is thoroughly removed without damaging the eye area.

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I don’t know about you but I am now more than ready to wave goodbye to winter. It feels like it’s been cold for a really long time  and I’m constantly daydreaming about a Thai beach holiday. Picture the scene, lying next to the pool with a fluffy towel, a drink on the table next to you and the sun shining down from a bright blue sky. Actually, take away the beautiful sunshine and a spa break can give you all this without having to wait for summer or suffer a twelve hour flight. Last week, I was lying next to a pool in my swimsuit and white robe, feeling warm and relaxed at Careys Manor Hotel’s, SenSpa – only an hour from London in the New Forest.

Dom and I arrived early on Monday afternoon and headed straight to the Spa’s Zen Garden Thai restaurant. The menu was full of my favourite Thai dishes, including; Green Curry, Pad-Thai, Chicken Satay and Spring Rolls to name a few.  I went for the delicious Chicken & Cashew Nuts with rice and Dom went for the equally tasty Green Curry. It was the perfect way to start our Thai Spa experience.

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

After lunch we checked out our huge room and got changed into our swimsuits and SenSpa waffle robes. There’s something about spa robes that instantly relaxes me… or maybe it’s the knowledge that I’m about to be truly pampered from head to toe?

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

The spa itself is big, it has a swimming pool, a jacuzzi, three different saunas, two different stream rooms, a large hydro pool, two experience showers, an ice room, two relaxation rooms and nineteen treatment rooms. It also has a SenSpa shop and of course the Zen Garden restaurant.

We started our spa experience with a one hour SenSpa Acu-Firm Facial. My amazing Thai therapist had magic hands that were not too light and not hard, just right. The powerful active ingredients of the SenSpa products, combined with face lifting massage and acupressure techniques left my skin feeling amazingly smooth and beautifully nourished.

Next we spent some time in the relaxation room before it was time for our 25 minute AlphaSphere Deluxe session. The AlphaSphere Deluxe is a unique sensory experience that induces deep relaxation, using sound, coloured light, aromatherapy and vibration. And as promised we both left feeling calm and utterly relaxed.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent in the hydro pool, where there were massage water jets for your shoulders, arms, back, legs and even feet. Literally every aching muscle in my body (and believe me there are a few, from chasing after my kids and carrying a heavy baby) was sorted by the time I stepped out of the pool.

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

That evening we dined at Careys Manor Hotel’s Cambium restaurant, which specialises in traditional dishes with a twist. The food is said to capture the essence of the local area, while embracing the seasons. I went for the creamy Haddock risotto and a Moroccan Lamb main, while Dom went for a Duck salad, followed by Pork Belly. The food was all beautifully presented and full of flavour. For pudding (as always) I went for the chocolate option, while Dom stuck to the wine.

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

After getting back to our room (did I already mention it was huge?), we found the room service breakfast menu on the back of our door and decided to indulge ourselves with breakfast in bed the next morning. And I’m so glad we did, because it was such a lovely treat. I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (you know the scene) going through the abundance food in my white robe, before taking my chosen bowls and plates back to bed to eat in comfort. I literally can’t think of a better way to start the day!

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

Before checking out, Dom and I went back to the spa for a few more hours of relaxation in the sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and swimming pool. We wanted to make as much use of the facilities as possible, before we had to leave and head home to our crazy house.

Relaxing at Careys Manor Hotel's, Sen Spa - only an hour from London in the New Forest.

If you’re looking for a special treat this mother’s day, (without question) I’d recommend a spa break – and if you can get to the award winning SenSpa at Careys Manor Hotel, I absolutely would!!

 Disclaimer: I did not pay for this spa break but this review is my honest account.

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Do your kids love getting dressed up and playing ‘pretend’? I’m pretty sure most kids do, so chances are they’ll love the new ‘top secret’ spy cards found inside packs of BEAR Yoyos. Each card has a special mission, with a different fun task to get your little ones ready for a spy themed adventure.

Last week the girls received their own Top Secret mission…

Dear Lili and Poppy

You have been specially selected by the Department of Danger to accompany Agent BEAR and Mole on their Top Secret spy adventure. Shhh! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save the world from the evil clutches of CLAW and his crew of evil villains.

All the best agents need a trusty sidekick, just like Agent BEAR has Agent Mole by his side, we think you two will make an excellent duo. Use your top secret spy kit to transform into agents from the Department of Danger, and complete your missions.

Your Missions

  • Ministry Of Baddies Fingerprint Test: Got a sneaky suspicion that someone in your house might be working for CLAW & The Ministry of Baddies? A simple fingerprint test will help you find out. Take the prints of everyone in your house, then use your magnifying glass to examine the prints and see what you find (Top Tip: The more lines on the print, the more cautious you should be!).
  • Write a Secret Letter: Follow the secret spy tips below to write a top secret letter in ‘invisible ink’. Only our chosen recruits can read these very important letters.

Make your secret spy lemon juice invisible ink!

1 lemon

1 piece of paper

A heat source (like a warm radiator or a lit light bulb)

A thin paintbrush (or cotton bud)

Method

  1. Squeeze your lemon and keep the juice in a bowl.
  2. Dip your paintbrush (or cotton bud) into the lemon juice and use it like ink to write your secret message on the paper.
  3. Allow the lemon juice to dry on the paper.
  4. When you want to read your secret message, hold the paper up to a heat source (remember to ask a grown-up for help)
  5. As the paper warms up, your secret message with appear.

Good luck with your missions and welcome to the Department of Danger!

As you can see my two little spies got into character and loved playing this game. For more missions and secreter spy tips, take a look at the cards inside packs of BEAR Yoyos.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

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With another six weeks to go, it’s starting to feel like winter will never end. I’m really looking forward to the light and warmth that spring brings but I’m not so excited about the unpredictable weather. I like the certainty of knowing what to wear in winter, spring (and Autumn for that matter) can be so uncertain which makes it more difficult to know what to wear.

These days my wardrobe check list looks a bit like this; a big warm scarf, a beanie hat, a padded coat, over sized jumpers, jeans, boots and of course lots of layers. As a ‘school run mum’ my clothes need to be practical and warm but I certainly don’t want to look frumpy… or lumpy for that matter!

So what do I want from my winter wardrobe? Classic styles, that are flattering, not frumpy, warm and practical. Is that too much to ask?

Fat Face recently approached me to create a capsule winter wardrobe using their latest collection. They asked me to choose a selection of winter must-haves that would see me through the season. After spending some time on their website, I started a list of my favourite items and winter essentials. This is what I came up with…

The first thing I chose was this gorgeous scarf. The colours are stunning and it’s beautiful soft and cosy. Definitely one of my favourite pieces from the collection.

Secondly, I went for this easy to wear Puffer Jacket. Again, it’s warm, cosy, and perfect for the chilly morning school runs. I love the length too, it’s not too long, not too short – just right!

My eyes were then drawn to this padded denim jacket. I’m a big fan of a denim jacket (in the warmer months) but of course it’s way too cold for my usual one at the moment. As this one is padded, with a sheepskin style collar, it’s warm enough to wear through the winter months (although maybe not on sub-zero days) with a scarf and gloves. I love how easy and casual this jacket is to wear.

Now let’s talk jumpers. I picked out a few winter woolies and I think this longline stripy number is the warmest and most practical of my choices. It covers all ‘those’ bits and is ridiculously comfortable, a total go-to essential for those really cold winter days. Just what you need when you’re snuggled up on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon.

This Saskia 2 in 1 jumper has to be my favourite knitwear choice. To say it’s super soft would be an understatement and of course the attached shirt detail at the bottom means that it also covers all the areas you want covered. I love this jumper!!

Next I chose this classic style Bella Jumper – in Vintage Blue  (can you tell I like stripes?). It’s casual, with  a button detail on the sleeve – this is basically my ‘mum uniform’!

Without question, you need a good winter beanie hat and let’s face it, finding a good one is not as easy as it sounds. So many times I’ve seen one I like but as soon as I put it on, it just doesn’t look right. Thankfully, this Fat Face beanie was an instant winner!

Lastly, I picked out this absolutely gorgeous Luna Embroidered Blouse (for spring). I love these peasant style tops and know that this one will be a firm favourite this year.

So there you have it, my Fat Face winter and spring capsule wardrobe. What do you think? What are your favourite items?

Disclaimer: I was sent these items from Fat Face in return for this post.

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