I’ve got a lot of time for Barry M.

I’m not massively into make-up personally, but when I do wear it I want something fun and colourful, especially on my nails. Barry M nail varnishes are WAY more exciting than a lot of make-up brands, with loads of different colours and finishes. How cool are these Under The Sea nail varnishes? I wore one of these when I went to visit that aquarium in Boulogne, just to get into the spirit of things.

Barry M Under the sea nail varnish

Belle is HUGELY into make-up and she loves creating new looks and experimenting with different products. British company Barry M is perfect for her as it’s good quality but affordable, meaning her she can add new things to her collection without bankrupting me.

Also, fun fact: Did you know that all Barry M products are cruelty free? None of their finished products or individual ingredients have been tested on animals since the company began back in 1982. Most Barry M products are also suitable for vegans. Vegan friendly products all have a green ‘vegan’ symbol on the ingredients page so you can be sure. View Post

I really enjoyed our brief period living in Bristol. I made some lovely friends, I joined a netball team and I ate more brunches from independent cafes than you can shake a slice of fried halloumi at.

I missed Somerset though.

I missed the feeling of familiarity and belonging somewhere, of driving past places and thinking ‘I remember going there with Gran and Grandad when I was little.’

When I moved back to Somerset about four years ago (four years!) it felt like coming home, only better than first time around because I appreciated it more. Perhaps it’s age too, that means I enjoy all that shiz like heritage and feeling rooted in a community. I like chatting to people at the weekly farmers’ market in Taunton and buying locally produced food and drink. I like going to garden centres and drinking cups of tea.

I am living my Best Somerset Life.

Given how fond I am of all the tea drinking and local producers and what not, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I was pretty excited when local tea and coffee legends Miles asked me if I fancied coming for a nose around their factory in West Somerset and helping them launch their new range of Tea Kites.

Basically they asked me to be the poster girl for local tea bags. Pretty sure that’s what happened.

Look how excited I am to be holding a box of tea!

Miles Tea Kites View Post

I went to Iceland for a few days with my sister recently. We had a really lovely time, made even lovelier by the fact that my sister is one of very few people apart from my children with whom I can watch TV.

What is it with people pretending they don’t like watching TV?

Is it just not FANCY enough? Do we want people to imagine we spend our evenings reading wholesome books or going for walks or learning to crochet or something? Because sure, I do do those things from time to time, (not the crochet), but mainly by the time it gets to the evening I just want to mix up a cheeky pina colada, sit on the sofa, and watch some TV.

(The pina colada bit is mainly just in this hot weather.)

how much TV do people watch

My living room. (Not really.)

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If you watch my Instagram stories you may have noticed a little while ago, between pictures of my cats sleeping, a few posts about Blue Coffee Box.

Coffee for me is a bit like gin. I know I like it, but 90% of the time I can’t taste the difference between one brand and another. When you hit upon something in the other 10% though, (like Sibling Gin – have you tried it?), you KNOW. It’s a class above the rest, something distinct that you have to have again.

That was how I felt when I tried the coffee from Blue Coffee Box.

blue coffee box competition

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Have you been on a flight lately with one of the budget airlines? They’ve started doing this thing where they insist that you put your specially purchased cabin bag sized suitcase into the hold, meaning despite having made every effort to pack light, you still have to wait for your luggage to come out on the belt, thus negating the ENTIRE POINT OF THE WHOLE THING.

It really annoys me because I pride myself on travelling light and don’t want to add an extra twenty minutes to my journey thank you very much. If I’m going to have to wait like a pleb for my suitcase then I also miss out on all the smugness of being able to walk briskly past all the people who apparently can’t go away for a few days without taking six different pairs of shoes and a hairdryer.

Fortunately I have discovered a solution in the form of the Ruitertassen traveler cabin bag

Ruitertassen traveler cabin bag

It’s beautiful isn’t it? And the SMELL. Honestly, I could just shove my face in it like it was a fluffy cat tummy and take big whiffs. (Everyone likes the smell of leather right? That’s not just me being weird?)

The leather is soft but strong, pliable and warm. It’s bliss.

The big selling point though is that although you can fit an awful lot inside thanks to the concertina thing it has going on, it LOOKS like an ordinary bag. View Post

In association with Match

I’ve been dating on and off for about ten months now and I’m actually really enjoying it. I’m happy on my own but I’m open to meeting new people and that feels nice – I can enjoy getting to know someone over dinner without any pressure and I’ve met some really interesting and fun people.

I don’t know if it’s an age thing, and generally having a lot more confidence, but I feel more relaxed and positive about dating than I ever have before. It’s pretty cool.

It’s very different to when I dated ten or even five years ago. The fact that Belle is now 15 and happy to stay home alone makes a massive difference. When I think back to my earlier experiences of dating as a single parent I mainly remember the painful logistics of the whole thing.

Specifically, babysitting.

I mean think about it, it doesn’t matter how much effort you make getting your feet ‘summer ready’ or curling your hair in sexy waves around your face if you end up with a small toddler casually sat next to you at dinner does it?

single parent dating babysitting service Match Yoopies

What me?

(Just to clarify – I have never taken a toddler on a first date, mine or anyone else’s. This is one of my favourite ever pictures of Belle though, known affectionately in the family as ‘big sandwich’.) View Post