“You’ve definitely lost weight,” says my boyfriend, very sweetly.

“I don’t think I have,” I say, in a way that he would call stubborn and I would call realistic, “you’re just saying that to be nice.”

He looks exasperated with me.

“You definitely have. You look amazing in that dress.”

I try to be quiet because although I’m not entirely convinced I do, I love to be told it and don’t want him to stop saying nice things.

Although I don’t actually own a pair of scales, it may well be true, as January was my ‘get super fit and slim and gorgeous‘ month, aided by the Garmin Vivofit from Halfords. Throughout the month Halfords were challenging people, with their #31fitterdays campaign, to increase their levels of activity with the help of a simple exercise plan. The Vivofit is an invaluable tool as part of any bid to get in shape as it helps you keep track of exactly how lazy you have been.

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Looking for cool things to do in New York?

Forget Times Square and the Empire State Building.

Central Park? Sure, it has trees, but who cares? OK, lots of people, but come on, it’s just a park. We’ve all been to a park. Have you ever taken a ride on a wooden escalator though?

No, I didn’t think so.

When the flagship Macy’s store moved to 34th Street in 1902 is was the very height of innovation and sophistication and its wooden escalators were no exception. Today you can still find several sets of the escalators in the middle of the store, so after checking in at my hotel and giving everyone I saw two dollars just in case, because I don’t understand how to tip, I headed to Macy’s – one more big tick on my 40 things before 40 list.

A few kids have apparently had fingers severed in the steps but that is surely a small price to pay for the preservation of heritage?

Macy's wooden escalatorOne peril of travelling alone is that most of your holiday snaps are massive close ups of your own face, with something interesting just about visible in the background. Like this one: View Post

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Weather permitting, tomorrow I am flying out to New York to interview some of the cast of the new SpongeBob movie: A Sponge Out of Water.

*acts nonchalant*

Who am I kidding? I am about as chalant as it gets. (Why is chalant not a word? You feel like it should be.)

Firstly, there is the snow. I’m not good in snow. I will fall over and it will be embarrassing.

Second, NEW YORK BABY!! I have only been to America once and that was to go to Arkansas. Even the guards at airport security looked at me funny and asked me why I was bothering.

And finally – the thing I am most chalant about – I have to conduct video interviews with celebrities. When they asked whether I wanted to do written or video interviews I figured ‘in for a penny’ and all that, and so said video before I had chance to think about it. I figured it would look far more impressive and then you would know that I had actually been there and not just sent an interview by email. View Post

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I have always wanted to live in Bristol. I’m not sure when the feeling started, but it has been there as long as I can remember – a sort of tingle of excitement, mixed with a happy contentment from knowing a place is just right for you.

The move was a long time coming – Bee started using air quotes whenever she said ‘when we move to Bristol’ – but I had to wait for the right moment. It happened though, and although it wasn’t easy moving to a new place, especially with the Chuckle Brothers as our moving team, I never doubted my decision.

Circumstances conspired unfortunately to make living in Bristol difficult for me last year, and so we moved back to Somerset. It sucked at first. I’m adjusting, but I still miss Bristol and hopefully one day I will go back.

While I don’t want to sound negative about Somerset – it has plenty of good points – Bristol is, I’m fairly certain, the city I love most in the world.

Here’s why: View Post

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This is a two part review.

First off I’m going to tell you a little bit about Bluestone National Park Resort and what they’ve got going on over Christmas, then Bee is going to add her two pennies’ worth as a pay-off, as she mentions, for getting the double bed for a night. I thought this might give you a nice perspective on what teenagers are really thinking when they are made to go on family mini-breaks. (It’s not what you might be expecting, although Bee may not be a typical teenager.)

My bit first then, as I am the tallest. (Bee once said she just always thought of me as being in charge of the family as I am the tallest. God help us when Belle grows.)

Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire was to my mind a kind of mini Centre Parcs without the forest. (I don’t know if every Centre Parcs has a forest, but the one I have been to did.) I’m not sure if this is a comparison Bluestone like, but given that Centre Parcs is rather lovely, I hope they would take it as a compliment.

The general format is similar in that you stay in self-catering lodges and chalets in beautiful surroundings, get to enjoy a well-equipped water park, and then can book extra activities on top depending on your own interests. There is also a rather luxurious spa. In the middle of the park is the ‘village’, a small cluster of shops and restaurants, plus a play area. The Christmas lights are up now, so in the evening it’s very pretty and has a nice festive feel to it. The benefit of it being smaller is that everything is within a sensible walking distance so you aren’t forced to hire bikes, although bikes and golf buggies are available should you want a little extra help getting around.

As well as lights to get you into the Christmas spirit, Bluestone are also running the ‘Kingdom of the Elves Elf Workshop‘, an interactive festive journey, where children get to meet different Christmas characters, take part in mini challenges and games and collect items for their elf aprons. I have to be honest and say that there was a certain amount of reluctance on Belle’s part to don her elf pinny but she is 12 and the average age of the other elves was about 6, so perhaps it’s to be expected. The experience was really well thought out though and the small children definitely enjoyed being spun around on a giant penny, collecting coloured snowballs and getting squirted with bubbles. View Post

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