Katie

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Planning Your New Room With Wayfair

If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a ridiculous amount of time planning exactly what each room in the house is going to look like, once you’ve decided you’re redecorating.

I spend hours, if not days, scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram & interior blogs to find ideas and inspiration, but, sometimes, they don’t work in the house. Because the shape of the room is wrong, the lighting isn’t quite right, whatever the reason, and I’ve often wanted to see how a piece of furniture would look in the room before spending hundreds of pounds on something only to realise, it doesn’t fit.

Anything to save the “I told you so…..’

Welcome the genius that is Wayfair. My favourite online shopping spot for everything home and interiors related.

They have an online room planner which gives you the option to pick from a selection of plain rooms, or, you can upload a photo of your own room, ready to whack some Wayfair goodies into and have a good old play around with style.

Planning Your New Room With Wayfair

This is perfect if you’re going for something completely different, a total room overhaul, and you have no idea if the thoughts in your head will actually work in the room, or, if you just think the room needs a little je ne said quoi.

I have obviously been on there already. I’ve used it to dress blank rooms in all kind of crazy ways. Often, in styles I wouldn’t have in my home but that’s the fun of it, you can go mad and it doesn’t really matter, once you’re done, delete it! But I’ve also used it in the way (I assume) it’s been intended, to see if a giant corner sofa would fit in our living room, and to see if we can add more to the dining room.

I’ve got to admit, it’s a dangerous tool. I could buy so much stuff from Wayfair after a few hours on there. In fact, I could probably build a brand new home from just a click of my fingers. *insert evil laugh right about now….*

I really want to add a little home office at the top of our stairs, it’s the perfect size I think, and it could be tucked away quite easily when it’s not in use, but I’ve been a bit nervous to try it because I didn’t want to end up with furniture I couldn’t actually use (I’ve been known to get overexcited or carried away with projects in the past, shocking I know) but now I feel like I could have a serious think about it and maybe, finally get the blogging space I’ve been pinning and researching for however many years!

Are there any rooms you want to change but you’re too worried to take a step into the unknown? I really recommend the Wayfair Room Planner tool, think of it as your own little George Clarke inside your computer. Try it and let me know how you get on!

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Time Bomb Supersize Hero Collection On QVC

Who doesn’t love QVC? The savings are amazing and if you can keep a eye out for products you use often then you’re onto a real winner. The latest QVC offer is the Time Bomb Supersize Hero Anti-Ageing Collection.

These super sized, anti-ageing super stars are exactly what you need to give your skin ‘dew it all’ – visibly firmed, tightened, plumped and hydrated, leaving it looking glowing and refreshed.

If you were to buy these products individually it would cost over £200 so this is a seriously amazing deal!

Time Bomb Supersize Hero Collection On QVC

The Hero Collection Contains:

  • Take-Off Time Cleanse & Buff 200ml (usually £25)
  • Complexion Cocktail with a Shot of H2Omega 150ml (usually £30)
  • Collaegen Bomb Essential Skin Fuel 50ml (usually £65)
  • Powerball Intensive Moisturiser 100ml (usually £80)

Take-Off Time Cleanse & Buff cleansing cream is uniquely formulated with professional grade crystals to gently lift away dead cells to uncover your most dewy, fresh, radiant complexion.

Complexion Cocktail with a Shot of H2Omega is a light, skin boosting cocktail serving up instant refreshment for dehydrated skin. It contains both Chia Oil and Coconut Oil, which are two of nature’s richest sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Plus a power blend of two hyaluronic acids to instantly inject your skin with moisture.

Collagen Bomb Essential Skin Fuel is loaded with high concentrations of potential anti-oxidants including Pycnogenol (a natural plant extract that helps to fortify collagen). Collagen Bomb helps to fuel the skin into overdrive, and leaves it feeling full, firm and fit.

Powerball Intensive Moisturiser floods the skin with a blend of hydrators that act on every level to refill, lock in and retain moisture.

Time Bomb Supersize Hero Collection On QVC

The offer is available from today on QVC and you can get all four products for just £62.88! That’s a MASSIVE saving and one you would be crazy to miss if you love your skincare products!

Time Bomb Supersize Hero Collection is available from QVC now!

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5 Modern Technologies I Couldn't Live Without.

Sometimes, to make myself feel really old, I like to remind my kids that there were days without internet, catch-up TV, or even Instagram.

I really was bought up in the dark ages!

I remember arranging to meet friends on the phone (the house phone that is) and then having to be there, in the right place, at the right time because there was no way of changing it once we’d left the house. Even as an adult, in my first job, I had to use fax machines and dial up internet. It sounds laughable now!

I love how technology has changed our lives. Being married to a serious tech expert I can’t escape it, it’s part of our lives in every single way.

I don’t think we ever watch ‘normal’ TV now, (apart from Love Island obviously), we speak to Siri more than we speak to some family and we won’t even imagine what life would be like without broadband.

5 Modern Technologies I Couldn't Live Without.

Sometimes, I do think life would be easier without so much technology, being available all the time has it’s pros and cons but there are some pieces of modern technology that I just could not live without.

1: Online Banking

I am far from loaded, but I do like to know where my bank balance is at. Starling Bank is one of the new styles of banking, it’s all done online, with all the usual features but with added extras like alerts, visuals on where your money has gone and easy ways to save extra pennies. It beats all other banking systems hands down.

2: My Phone

Obviously. I was going to put this as number one but I’d hate to be predictable. If there was ever an emergency, and I lost my phone, I’d only be able to call myself because it’s the only number commiytted to memory. Which is, you know, helpful.

It has my calendar, my kids calendar, shopping lists, web pages, the list is endless, all within a tiny little device that never leaves my side.

3: WiFi

Thank GOD the days of dial-up are gone. That irritating noise while you sat and waited, impatiently, to connect to the world wide web. I do think we’ve been a bit spoiled by the wonder that is WiFi. Should it ever dare to slow down, or, heaven forbid, stop working, it’s like the whole world has crashed! The real techs out there have back up plans from data only sim deals, so if they ever get stuck somewhere without the wonder that is WiFi they can still connect their tablets or laptops with a sim, just like the ones we use in our phones!

It’s like the WiFi God’s have got our backs, no matter where we are in the world, we can be sure we’re connected and there are a huge selection to choose from!

4: Apple News

The bloke was telling me forEVER to download the app onto my phone, saying I would really rate it. Me, being me, had zero interest in a news app, my phone was for fun times only. I’m pretty sure I only downloaded it to shut him up, but, turns out it’s actually quite interesting and useful. Plus, it’s not just serious news. I can have all my favourite mags, wellbeing & food all in one place. Who knew!

5: Instagram

Well, duh.

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How to Make the Most Out of your Hallway

Many homeowners overlook the hallway when it comes to interior design but this is actually one of the most important spaces in the home. It is the first place that people stand when they enter so it helps to form the first impression, plus it is also a space where people either get ready to enter the home or get ready to leave so it needs to be functional too.

Here are a few tips to help you to get more from your hallway.

Maximise Space

You do not want a hallway to feel cramped so you must be smart when it comes to decorating. You can make the space feel larger through the use of neutral colours and through maximising natural lightwith a mirror. You do not want this to be a bland space, meanwhile, so do not shy away from a bold injection of colour which can add visual appeal to the space.

Storage

The hallway can be a stressful area if there are not storage solutions in place. Having intelligent storage solutions can help to keep this space free of clutter while also improving the decoration. There are many smart storage solutions to consider, including hooks for coats, cubby holes for keys and other items and a hallway storage bench from somewhere like Cox & Cox. Make sure that everywhere has a home and you will be able to maximise space and keep it neat and tidy

Decoration

You will also want your personality to be evident from the moment you step in the door so it is an area that needs decorating. You can do this with an interesting piece of artwork or through having a shelf which contains items like photographs, potted plants etc.

Lead Them In

You will want to lead people into the home so that they feel welcome. You can do this through the use of a stair runner which can also add depth and by making sure that there is decoration visible further into the house as opposed to just a series of doors with blank walls.

Add Comfort

Although the hallway is not an area that people spend a large amount of time, it is a space where they spend time putting on/taking off shoes, getting their coats sorted etc. Making the space more comfortable can make this process much easier so, if space permits, furniture like a small sofa or a bench can work well in this space and help it to feel more homely.

The hallway is often an oversight when it comes to interior design but it is actually a highly important space in the home and can make a big difference to your daily life as well as how people perceive your home. These are just a few ideas which should help to elevate your hallway and create a functional and attractive space.

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Simple Ways To Make You Feel Less Tired With Wassen

I don’t know about you, but sometimes (most of the time) it feels like, no matter how much sleep I get, I am constantly exhausted.

The world we live in, where we’re switched on 24/7 means our brains never really switch off & we’re always trying to play catch up on a sleep deficit, which, with two kids, work, life and house, is never going to happen (also, hello, Netflix?)

I was lucky enough to chat to Jayne Wilson about the best ways to feel less like you’re wading through mud, by incorporating changes to your diet and including supplements. And when I say diet, I don’t mean to lose weight, that ship has sailed right on by, it’s all about having a healthy lifestyle.

1: What reasons are people low in Magnesium? Is it purely down to diet and not eating the right foods? 

Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in helping to release energy from the food we eat. It is important to make sure that you have enough magnesium, without this you maysuffer from tiredness and fatigue, poor energy release and poor muscle function. Magnesium also plays an important role in healthy psychological function and the healthy functioning of the nervous system.

Poor diet – Make sure that you are eating at least the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables a day. Remember that the magnesium in foods can be lost in cooking or processing. Choose to lightly steam or boil your vegetables or eat them raw if you can.

  • The stress associated with fast-paced modern living may lead to poor food choices that are high in sugar and drinks containing alcohol and caffeine. These choices can have a detrimental effect on nutrient status in general.
  • A healthy digestive system ensures that you are able to efficiently absorb nutrients from your food, leading to a higher intake of vitamins and minerals from a healthy balanced diet. 
  • Inaddition, if you are not feeling on top of things, you may not have a great appetite, it is important to eat nutrient dense food little and often to ensure you get the vitamins and minerals that you need to maintain your health.
Simple Ways To Make You Feel Less Tired With Wassen

2:What are the best ways to increase energy levels and feel less exhausted? 

It’s important to understand what may be causing energy dips, so first of all, if you have concerns, you should speak to your doctor to make sure there are no underlying reasons. Energy levels can be linked to how tired you feel. There are a few main lifestyle influences that maycause your energy to dip:

1. Psychological causes such as being under pressure: 

Over time if you are exposed to ongoing stressful situations, it can take its toll. Help reduce tiredness and fatigue by eating Magnesium rich foods (dark green leafy veg, nuts, seeds, wholegrains). You may also consider taking a Magnesium supplement, for extra reassurance. 

2. Physical causes such as poor sleep.

An adult needs 7-9 hours sleep but many of us fail to achieve this.

 Being unable to fall asleep, intermittent waking and snoring, may have many causes, again, speak to your doctor to get checked out. However, promoting good sleep hygiene prior to going to bed may help you to drop off: 

  • No devices an hour before bed or in the bedroom including TV
  • Spraying bed linen with Lavender spray
  • A relaxing bath with a restful book
  • No caffeine after midday (Try decaf or herbal teas)

3. Lifestyle causes such as poor diet

Many people may usecaffeine and sugary drinks or snacks to keep goingduring the day when they feel exhausted. This is a double-edged sword as the body has to work harder to compensate for sugar highs and lows. Substituting with nuts, seeds and protein bars along with eating regularly every 4 hrs can help to keep you going all day. Other nutrients that help with combating tiredness include- Magnesium (wholegrains, nuts, dark green leafy veg), B Vitamins including B6 (poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables) and B12 (oily fish, eggs) and Vitamin C (citrus fruits, dark green leafy veg, strawberries).

3: What foods should you be eating each day to help you to achieve a healthy, balanced diet? Not necessarily to lose weight but for better health. 

A good balance of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, abalanced choice of fats including Omega 3 rich oils from oily fish or seed oils e.g. flaxseed oil and eating and up to 10 portions of fruit and vegetables. (UK recommend 5 portions a day, USA 8-9 portions a day, Japan 13 portions a day)

  • Lean protein: eggs, organic poultry, lean cuts of beef, wild salmon/fish, game, non-processed tofu/tempeh, legumes, pulses. (roughly ¼ of your plate).
  • Healthy fats: Olive oil, rapeseed oil, hemp oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, seeds
  • Complex carbohydrates: brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, wholemeal bread. (roughly ¼ of your plate).
  • Fruit and vegetables: Ideally more vegetables than fruit as some fruit can be high in sugar content.  Great choices of vegetables include: broccoli, berries, dark green leafy veg, sweet potatoes. (roughly ½ of your plate).
Simple Ways To Make You Feel Less Tired With Wassen

4: Should you take supplements as well changing your diet or is one or the other enough? 

Diet should always be your first port of call. Cleaning up the diet by reducing your intake of sugar, saturated fats, fizzy drinks, caffeine, salt and processed foods/snacks and replacing it with fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats and complex carbs will have a significant impact on your health.

If you feel that you need a little extra reassurance Wassen has two Magnesium supplements:

Introducing Wassen Magnesium Bwhich is specially formulated to include Magnesium and Vitamins B5 (Pantothenic acid), B6 and B12 for healthy energy release and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Wassen Magnesium B provides 300mg of Magnesium combined with a Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin C.

Wassen Magnesium-OKcan be a good choice as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Wassen Magnesium-OK for the monthly cycle is a unique, one-a-day nutritional supplement which contains a balanced combination of six important minerals and eight vitamin with Vitamin B6 to support the regulation of hormonal activity and Magnesium to support a healthy nervous system and healthy energy release. 

The full Wassen range is available from www.wassen.comand Boots the Chemists. Food supplements should not be used a substitute for a balanced diet or healthy lifestyle. 

Answers provided by Jayne Wilson, Wassen Wellbeing Expert

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Time Bomb Over-Exposed Sun Damage Rescue

We all know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun, regardless of what season it is, because it is just so damaging. UV exposure is the number one reason for accelerated ageing, and when we’re doing all we can to slow down the ageing process, the last thing we need to do is go out in the sun without any protection and wreck any good results we might have already achieved. And I for one am not ready to start looking my age!

While it’s never too late to integrate an SPF into your routine (like this one from SKN Rehab) it’s good to know that there are products designed to help reverse the damage we might have caused before we knew better.

Time Bomb, one of my favourite brands of ALL TIME has the aptly named Over-Exposed Sun Damage Rescue.

Time Bomb Over-Exposed Sun Damage Rescue

Designed to visibly improve the signs of long-term photo damage, while restoring skin’s natural radiance and resilience. It’s a massive hit of moisture in one tiny little green tube, but with a touch of magic.

Over-Exposed Sun Damage Rescue visibly addresses the impact of UV exposure with clinically-proven, heavy-duty anti-oxidants and deep emollients. It’s the first skin care formula to harness the power of Omega9XEster, a vegetable-derived emollient repurposed from saddle manufacturers who use it to maintain and restore leather to optimal smooth, supple texture. Omega9XEster penetrates skin’s top layers
to counteract dry, rough, rigid, leathery texture associated with photo damage. No more Something About Mary old lady skin here.

A proprietary, bioactive Milk Peptide Complex helps kick-start your skin into natural repair mode, encouraging production of hyaluronic acid and healthy collagen fibers to keep your skin full, firm and smooth.

Time Bomb Over-Exposed Sun Damage Rescue

High levels of anti-oxidant Pycnogenol help inhibit the impact of UV rays to reduce visible signs of photo damage. Clinical tests confirm Pycnogenol has also been shown to lower skin pigment intensity, so skin tone appears more even.

Over-Exposed Sun Damage Rescue is basically a heavy duty moisturiser but one that has been designed to reverse the sun damage of years gone by (or even recently by mistake!) and I am impressed!

I’m planning on taking this with me to France this summer, I have every intention of smothering my face in SPF50 every single day, but even then my face can feel tight and over-exposed to the sun, as well as the sea and sand, so I’m hoping this will help to inject some life back into my face and give me that sun-kissed, but healthy glow I’m always in search of!

Time Bomb Over Exposed Sun Damage Rescue is available now online and via QVC, priced £40.00 for a 40ml tube and £70.00 for 70ml.
More info on their website here.

Gifted PR Sample.

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SKN Rehab Daily SPF30 SKN Filter

Before I was serious about skincare, the only time I used an SPF on my face was when it was ‘proper’ summer or when I was on holiday. It just didn’t occur to me to use it every single day, even in the winter.

I know.

Now, I don’t leave the house without some kind of SPF on my entire face, usually SPF30 but when it’s really hot then I am factor 50 all over. I will never tan and so the only thing I’m interested in is protecting my skin from sun damage.

The SKN Filter SPF 30 (£30) is a broad spectrum protection that contains a combination of powerful vitamins and antioxidants to protect the skin while targeting and treating sun damage effects. It has Vitamin C to help treat sun spots, pigmentation and uneven texture while Vitamin E will help the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

SKN Filter SPF30 will help to protect against UVA/UVB damage while reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It also helps recover damaged cell DNA, shield the skin from visible impacts of pollution and helps to soothe skin irritations and hydrate the skin.

It’s quite a thick cream so I have been using this when I’m not wearing make up, choosing to stick to my usual moisturiser with SPF under foundation, but it doesn’t leave any white streaks or residue on the face, it’s just a matter of feeling like I have too much on my skin when I wear make up on top, but that’s totally personal to each person.

SKN Rehab Daily SPF30 SKN Filter
SKN Rehab Daily SPF30 SKN Filter

It soaks into the skin easily and doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything too heavy. It does have a kind of medicated scent, I am tempted to describe it as an unscented kind of smell, if that makes any sense whatsoever? Probably not!

SKN Filter SPF30 is available here and costs £30 for 50ml.

Gifted PR Sample.

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Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is my best friend. I’m not even going to pretend that I’m the kind of person who washes their hair every day, or even every other day. I have SO much hair that it takes me a good two days to work up the energy to wash it. Which is why I always have a can of dry shampoo in my house and my bag.

I usually go for the standard Batiste brand (even though they do a range for blondes & brunettes and have completely disregarded us redheads) because it’s nice and cheap and has always done an OK job, so when Philip Kingsley sent me a can of the One More Day Dry Shampoo I was very excited to see if you actually get what you pay for.

The short answer to that question is, yes. You absolutely do get what you pay for, when it comes to dry shampoo anyway.

This stuff is beautiful. It is really light in the hair and doesn’t give it that chalky feel that you can get and there’s minimal white residue, which is a real bug bear of mine, despite how often I use it!

Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo

You simply spray it into your roots, leave it for around 10 seconds and then massage into your scalp like you would a normal shampoo. Give it a quick brush if you’re so inclined and away you go. I tend to not brush my hair too much (I sound delightful don’t I!?) but it’s wavy, thick and if I brush it when it’s not just freshly straightened, I end up with a giant ‘poof’ on my head. So I avoid brushing where I can.

It says it refreshes and soothes the scalp and I couldn’t agree more, usually, my hair feels dry and overly textured, especially if I use it two days in a row (bad hair washer) and while that’s good for people with fine hair, it makes my hair feel dirty and stiff. One More Day seems to soak up any excess greasiness and gives a little bit of volume but there’s no actual residue from it, almost as if the hair soaks it all up.

It smells incredible, even my husband noticed and was sniffing my hair like a, hair sniffing creature.

Obviously, it’s not the cheapest brand out there, but, if you’re a fan of dry shampoo then it’s definitely worth trying. The 200ml can costs £19.59 and the handbag friendly can is £9.00 for 50ml. Both are available from Philip Kingsley here.

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PAYOT Blue Techni Liss Nuit

Payot is a brand I have been a fan of for a while, and they’ve introduced some new products to their skincare range; Blue Techni Niss.

This range has been created to fight the effects of desynchronised skin biorhythms, and helps to lessen the impact of blue light on the skin, allowing the cells to regenerate easily – serious skincare stuff!

PAYOT Blue Techni Liss Nuit

There has been lots of research into the effects of blue light, from computer screens, smart phones & tablets, even flat screen TV’s and fluorescent lighting , where the damage is literally up close and person and right in front of our faces. Long-term blue light exposure to concentrated sources of blue light energy can cause skin damage, including colour changes, inflammation, and weakening of the skin’s surface.

Put simply, blue light promotes stressors in skin that cause ageing from exposure to light. So, we’re getting it from all angels really, sun exposure isn’t to blame entirely! It makes sense that the rays would cause some damage, but it’s just not something I have thought about until now!

Blue Techni Liss Nuit is a gel like texture which melts to oil on the skin. It’s not thick or sticky but it definitely feels different to the usual oils, it feels more like a balm oil than a liquid one. It sinks into the skin quickly, there’s no residue which is surprising considering how thick it feels.

PAYOT Blue Techni Liss Nuit

I spend my entire days in front of computers and phones, and while I’ve always been aware of sun damage, especially because I’m a pale redhead, I had never considered the damage I could be doing to my face indoors! I’ve been using this alongside my other products before bed, and I love how it feels on my skin, and how it might be helping prevent insider damage!

The Blue Techni Liss range is available from Payot here, with the Nuit cream costing around £60.

PR Gifted Sample. All views are my own.

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Half Term Activities // Dreamland Margate

Another day another activity! Don’t be fooled though, it’s not always just for the kids benefit, us parents enjoy a little bit of fun as well!

All work and no play…..

Half our family absolutely LOVE roller coasters and rides, the other half aren’t so keen but can manage them if they’re not too fast/scary/terrifying, so when we were invited to Dreamland in Margate, we were all over it!

Having never been to Dreamland (or Margate for that matter, as far as I can remember) we were intrigued as to what it would be like. Sometimes you can be a little spoiled when you’ve got places like Thorpe Park & Disney to live up to, but rather than competing with the high-tech thrills of those places, Dreamland has a gentle, retro version. Pure seaside fun.

Half Term Activities // Dreamland Margate

There are lots of old fashioned rides which have been refurbished, giving everything that vintage feel, without feeling like you’re on unsafe ground, which is always a plus. I absolutely love the whole look and feel of it! From the, slightly worryingly, old looking big wheel to the merry-go-round and swing chairs. There’s no high tech rides and it’s brilliant!

Think Waltzers with great music blaring (old school Queen!), rickety wooden slats on the Scenic Railway which takes you all the way round the grounds but not in a gentle, slow way, this is definitely a bit of a bone shaker! Pinball X, which we went on no less than three times – has you zooming round in a pinball, forwards, backwards, round and round. You get the idea.

The staff are all in bright t-shirts with slogans like Netflix and Thrill and Scream if you want to faster, coupled with bandannas, crazy sunglasses and brilliant attitudes!

There’s plenty of food and drink options available if you don’t want to take a picnic. We had an early stop off for some liquid refreshment and I can’t tell you how happy I was to see Aperol on tap. Forget a boiling water tap, I need to get me one of those in my kitchen!

When we eventually stopped to eat we just grabbed a (huge) portion of chips each as we were planning on having pizza when we got home, but there were some great choices, pizza and prosecco for £10, jerk prawns, fish and chips as well as the classic burger and hot dogs. The food isn’t cheap, you’re looking at a good £50 for a family of 4 including soft drinks for lunch (Aperol was £7 a cup!) but I think that’s to be expected at places like this. It’s a shame, as I think if the food was a little cheaper, there would be a lot more families eating, but it is what it is!

We stayed outside the whole day, but there’s a roller-disco inside, plus loads of arcade games, and an Octopus’ garden for the little ones. There are also quite a few rides for the mini’s – all the rides have height restrictions – luckily my giant kids were well above the limits so they were free to go on everything.

Half Term Activities // Dreamland Margate

There were no huge queues for any of the rides, I think the longest we queued for was about 30 mins for Pinball X (round 1) but even that moved fairly quickly and you can get fast track tickets too.

Half Term Activities // Dreamland Margate

There are various payment options, you can either pay as you ride with a card that you can top up, rides cost around the £4 mark that way, you can buy a wristband (which gets you onto all the rides including the roller-disco) these cost £18 for the day if you buy them in advance, or £23 on the day, or you can become a member for £190 for a family ticket, which also gets you discounts on food and soft drinks, as well as the chance to book early for special events. All the ticket prices are here.

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Half Term Activities // Hever Castle

It’s Half Term again. I’m pretty positive we’ve only just gone back after Easter, but here we are!

Luckily I only have to work two days this week so I’m able to spend some time with the kids while they’re off and we have no horrible school run to do.

Boo to the school run!

We were invited along to Hever Castle at the weekend, one of our favourite places to visit locally.

Half Term Activities // Hever Castle

Until the 2nd of June you can step back in time to the early 20th century when the Astor family were in residence for half term family fun at Hever Castle with Edwardian Life.

The whole castle has gone Edwardian which means you can enjoy everything from traditional Punch and Judy shows to games from the period including hoopla, tin-can alley, boules or even a game of croquet on the lawn.

In the Castle you can learn about Edwardian inventions, (like windscreen wipers!) and listen to interviews with former ‘below stairs’ staff on old-fashioned telephones which never fails to entertain my electronic loving ten year old!

Half Term Activities // Hever Castle

It always feels so decadent being at Hever Castle. We’ve not been during the warmer months for years, usually it’s freezing cold and just before Christmas which is magical, but sitting on the lawns with people eating picnics all around you, it really takes you back in time!

Half Term Activities // Hever Castle
Half Term Activities // Hever Castle

Not forgetting the water maze, which was a revelation for C – luckily we went just before we left as he had to travel home in just his pants and his Dads t-shirt….!

Edwardian Life is on now until the 2nd June. Tickets cost £16.75 per adult for the gardens and castle, and £9.40 per child. A family ticket is £44.30. You can get tickets at the gate or online here.

Half Term Activities
Half Term Activities

PR tickets were provided for this visit.

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These Aren't Just Any Gel Nails...

The Nails Are Back.

I’m going to blow my own trumpet here. I grow very good nails and very good hair. There, I’ve said it. If you were to ask me what my talent is, that would be my answer. Growing. Ahem.

They grow that fast. And we’re not just talking about flimsy nails here, no no. These are good, strong nails that, with a little time and care look bloody spectacular.

A few years ago I went all out on the nail front. My nails were super long, stiletto shaped and painted in the craziest colours you could imagine. It was great at the time because I was freelancing (and doing social media for a Nail Salon, wink wink…) so I didn’t really have to think about my nails being too long. Because that’s a thing you know.

These Aren't Just Any Gel Nails...
These Aren't Just Any Gel Nails...

But. Real life got in the way (damn you real life) and the nails had to go when I got a desk job in the worlds worst company but we’re going to skip past that debacle.

However. Kate is getting her nail groove back. I had a manicure as a birthday present last month, and it got my juices flowing, so to speak. Then I got a voucher to get my nails done as another birthday present (see, people know me!) and that was it.

Colour me neon, I was hooked again.

The nails are back.

Once I have good old Shellac on my nails, they’re virtually indestructible. Which means I can carry on about my business and grow my nails to all kinds of lengths. At this particular moment in time, I’m sporting what you might call a peachy-orange shade but I’ve already decided I’ll be going for actual neon pink next time. I’m hoping that, in 2 weeks, the sun will be shining and we’ll all be feeling full on summer vibes so it’ll fit right in.

They’ve also been filed a little too short for my liking, as I was getting used to having talons back, so we’ll have to work on that particular issue before my next appointment.

These Aren't Just Any Gel Nails...
These Aren't Just Any Gel Nails...

Admittedly it’s not the lowest maintenance routine to have in your life. I have to get them done every two weeks (ish) because they grow so fast, and it’s just not possible for me to live in a world where my nails are only half painted. I’m sorry, it’s just who I am, I will take no shame in that.

However, in between visits, my nails look freshly painted every single day. There’s no chipping or peeling (well, hopefully there’s not) and I can go about my daily business of whacking a keyboard, cooking, cleaning and, even, sit down for this, gardening without too much thought to my varnish. Plus, these nails give the best back scratches ever, or so I’ve been told.

That, my friend, is what you call a win win situation.

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