I am in partnership with Argos to launch the new range of My Little Pony accessories and toys.

I wrote recently about our trip to the zoo and the importance of embracing our inner child, so it shouldn’t really come as a surprise to see me tweeting things like this:


Yes, that’s Rainbow Dash. I’ve decided that she is quite possibly my favourite ever My Little Pony because she has HAIR THE COLOUR OF RAINBOWS. (You can’t see it all in that photo, because I especially curled the red section neatly around the front and the other colours are behind her.)

The night that I took that photo, I sat with her on my lap for two hours while we watched TV, combing her hair, winding it around my fingers and separating out the colours. There was something quite magical about it – a bit like having a pet. I felt relaxed and content.

And also slightly jealous.

I remember as a child being jealous of my ponies’ hair. I’ve always had pretty rubbish hair – it’s very fine and won’t do anything at all that you ask it to – but my My Little Ponies, well, their hair was special. There was something about how it came out of the top of their head and curved around their face in a way that I knew mine would never do. It made them look demure and sophisticated and mysterious – all of the things I imagined I would be when I grew up, if only my hair would wave around my face like that.

Alas, it never did. View Post

Because we’ve already been. Sorry.

I mean you can still go obviously, but we won’t be there. Which might be preferable.

I didn’t really expect that I would get to my 23rd year (GAH!) of parenting, and have my oldest child ask if we can go on a trip to the zoo in the summer holidays, but that’s kind of why I wanted to write this, because I think more people should do things that are FUN, like going to the zoo and buying tiny lion fridge magnets in the gift shop and making them ride around the revolving doors at Pizza Express.

Just as an example.

*coughs*

Or you know, climb into a giant penguin egg, or whatever.

Bristol Zoo View Post

When Belle left primary school, it hit me a bit harder than I had expected. I’ve never really been big on ‘firsts’ – first day of school, first whatever else – they are exciting and fun but never moving. 

But when Belle finished primary school, it suddenly hit me that I had no children left to watch in school nativities. No more primary school sports days to go to. No more having to ingratiate myself with the other parents on the playground so as to arrange play dates. Nothing.

It turns out that ‘lasts’ are a bit more moving for me than ‘firsts’.

And then she went to secondary school and every day is an achievement just to get her to go, so that’s a distraction. Bee finished her A-levels and graduated and all of those things are okay because they aren’t the END. Bee can finish things and that’s okay, because Belle stills gets to do them.

Last night Belle brought home her school report for the end of Year 10. It was part of a big pack of information about school uniforms and newsletters and a calendar for the next academic year. I have a paper diary, because I can’t get my head around not writing down dates with a pen, and I have an academic year one because it seems to fit better.

I picked out the calendar and got a pen, ready to write in dates of note. I started at the end, (I don’t know why really, but I do the same with magazines), and the first date was GCSE results day.

empty nest

I text Bee.

‘MY DIARY GOES UP TO THE DAY BELLE GETS HER GCSE RESULTS. I AM NOT READY TO NOT HAVE ANY CHILDREN LEFT AT SCHOOL AND TO NEVER HAVE TO GO TO A BORING CONCERT OR PARENTS’ EVENING.’ View Post

I have two questions for you:

  1. Do you love taking your family to the theatre? (Maybe you’ve always wanted to take your kids but never quite got round to it – that counts too.)
  2. Did you know that Amazon sold discount theatre tickets?

If you answered YES then NO then welcome to my world.

(If you answered YES and YES then good work, go to the top of the class.)

I am probably one of Amazon’s best customers. I have Amazon Prime and man, I get value from my free delivery. I could be in the middle of doing something, like getting dressed, or hoovering, and I’ll suddenly think ‘Oooh, I really need one of those box files for all my documents…’ and boom, it’s ordered.

(Probably a little bit impulsive but I’ve never ended up with anything too ridiculous.)

I have an Amazon wish list for things I want, lists for other people… I’m ALL OVER IT.

And yet.

Until a couple of days ago I NEVER KNEW that Amazon sold theatre tickets! How have I missed this?? More to the point, how has Amazon, who seem to know I need microfibre cleaning cloths before even I do, failed to let me know?

You missed a trick Amazon! We love the theatre!

Anyway, now I know, so it’s okay.

Amazon Tickets actually launched back in 2015. It offers all Amazon customers quick and easy booking, low and all-inclusive prices and trusted customer experience when booking tickets to music, West End theatre, comedy and live events across the UK.

I love the idea of ordering tickets through Amazon like this as I always get a bit anxious booking tickets when it feels like there are half a dozen places you could buy them from, and you’re never sure which is going to give you the best deal.

June is Family Show Month at Amazon Tickets, so they have extra special offers on some really great family shows, like these.

Amazon Tickets family shows View Post

I’ve never done a proper family photoshoot before. I guess because in my mind they are always awful. No offence if you like those dreadful staged photos on a cheesy background, where you’re all lying on your fronts with your heads resting in your hands, they’re just not my thing.

We’re going to be moving house soon, (once the vendor finds her stupid gas safety certificate and we can finally set a date), and looking around the house where we are now I’ve realised that all of our family photos are at least five years old.

On the one had this is fine – I looked much younger and thinner then, and the girls had cute chubby cheeks – but it’s starting to feel a bit weird, like perhaps the last few years haven’t actually been real?

I decided that a new house should mean a new start photo wise, and so reluctantly I have been taking down the photos of Belle dressed as an Easter bunny, ready to put up more recent ones.

But what to do about a shoot that wouldn’t mean us looking like this??

family photo shoot

Image – 

(Apologies if this is you and your family but seriously, what were you thinking with those baubles and Dad casually holding a gift?!)

Cue Liam from Life is Crawsome and his super cool drone.

Nothing could be further from the Christmas bauble awfulness than spending the afternoon in the middle of a forest, lying on the floor while a drone hovers above you taking pictures.

Life is Crawsome family photo shoot

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We were at my Mum’s for tea at the weekend. (Roast chicken – very nice.) It was the Sunday at the end of the half term week. I was on my second glass of red wine. (It had been a long week.)

‘What did you get up to over half term then?’ my Mum asked Belle.

‘Not much really,’ Belle replied.

I spluttered a bit.

‘Not much??’ I said, wondering why I had bothered to do ANYTHING AT ALL.

‘Okay,’ said Belle, ‘what did we do then?’

‘Well,’ I said, ‘we went to the races and you doubled your pocket money*, we had a day in London, we went for a day out and a picnic with Rin and her twin babies, and we took your friends to a theme park, and we went to the cinema??’

‘Yeah,’ said Belle, ‘but that was all.’

Jesus Christ.

So yeah, that was all we did, so nothing to see here.

Seriously though, I thought we actually had a lovely half term and did a lot of stuff, despite what Belle says. I’m not sure what she was expecting exactly – a cruise around the Norwegian Fjords perhaps? Afternoon tea with the Queen??

We were very lucky actually, as we had been given a Kia Optima Sportswagon to try out for the week, which was a bit lush, so everything we did, we did in total comfort. It was interesting to try it out actually, as a couple of weeks ago we had the Hyundai i30 to test drive and they are very similar in terms of their basics functions and features. I did a bit of research and discovered that the Kia is basically meant to be the sporty, feisty big sister, whereas the Hyundai i30 is the more subtle, elegant, middle aged aunt.

This felt about right to me.

Kia Optima Sportswagon View Post