My Body Confidence Journey | Pledge to be Real

One thing that quite frankly gets on my tits, as in, makes me growl at my phone is…. “This is what REAL women look like…” followed by a picture of a wonderfully curvy woman, with fab norks and a booty that inspired Beyonce’s first solo album. The assumption by many being that if you’re under-weight, slim, athletic, skinny, toned or under a size 10 – you’re for some obscure reason branded unreal, or even fake! I grew up with my mum (see below) who, at 5ft4″, blonde, blue eyed and feckin’ fabulous, was somewhat physically different to me – but, as far as I was concerned, she was just as real as me. No?! So when the fab folks over at Dove asked me to tell my story about body confidence and image, in support of the Pledge to Be Real Campaign, I nearly chewed their beautifully smelling, wonderfully moisturised arms off!

View Post

John Lewis Christmas Ad 2016 #BusterTheBoxer

It was only last weekend mid X-Factor ad break, whilst keeping a keen eye out for our very own family ad, that I turned to Mr Only Girl and muttered, through a mouthful of Fruit and Nut, “I haven’t seen the John Lewis ad yet.” It had undertones of a disappointed 7 year old discovering that, perhaps, Santa doesn’t really exist… we all know he does really! These days ads are often seen as an obstacle to overcome to get to what it is we really want to watch – we fast forward, skip and watch online in order to avoid full length ad breaks. But the John Lewis Christmas ad breaks these rules – with over 26 million YouTube views on last year’s offering, the JL Xmas vid is the hottest drop since Take That reunion-tour tickets went on sale. It’s a serious calendar worthy event, which for me, signals the official start of the festive season and is the green light for the Christmas soundtrack in the office!

View Post

Getting Cosy | Matalan Sheepskin

It’s come to that time of year when Mr Only Girl and I start to wrangle over the thermostat as my inner hibernator craves to whack up that central heating and surround myself with cosiness. Heading into autumn harks the beginning of log fired evenings, lighting spice-scented candles by the dozen, throwing on my much-loved grey cashmere hoodie and convincing the kids it’s bedtime a little bit early, just because it’s dark! Nothing screams cosy more than natural sheepskin rugs – nature’s answer to a warm hug, so when I found this double Sheepskin ready for Autumn, I did an inner-jig at all the styling possibilities.

View Post

Star Wars At John Lewis | Boy Gift List

There are certain things, as a mum of boys, that I had little interest in/didn’t have a clue about just over 10 years ago – oh, how my world has changed. I now have a wealth of knowledge on the latest football boots, how to acquire FIFA points and the epic saga that is – Star Wars. There seems to be an intrinsic link between Star Wars and boys – as though the love of lightsabers, the dark side and Jedi aspirations are woven into their DNA*. But there’s varying degrees of the force – some kiddos prefer to watch, admire and perhaps don a Darth Vader costume come Halloween, whilst others go all-out and opt for a full-on Millennium Falcon bedroom theme.

*This is a mama proven theory, not yet scientifically researched/published.

View Post

No Bull Motherhood

These days in the great world of the internet, I’d like to think we’re a lot more open about the struggles motherhood brings – the lack of sleep, the sibling fights, the mess, the fact we haven’t had time to shave for over a month and our sex lives – what sex lives?! I’ve found myself firmly nestled in an instagram community where declaring you need a large G&T by 11am (drink responsibly folks) or sharing a picture of your hell-risen lounge after it’s gone ten rounds with a toddler clutching a strawberry, receives high-fives and comments of humourous empathy. This is the era of no bull motherhood.

It’s not about wanting praise for looking like a zombie, needing to caffeinate your way through to lunch time or being up at 3am with a teething toodler. It’s all about finding those parents going through the same things, saying “I feel your pain” and normalizing the low points, the crap days and the struggles parents face everyday. Even the slickest school run mum with her pristine sprogs, matching shoes and Cherrio free hair (life goals!) – has rubbish days.

So why then are there some peddling the early 2000’s mantra that motherhood is a blissful stroll down Oblivious Lane?

View Post

Housework Sucks | Oreck Hoover Review

Being the domestic goddess (ha!) in a house of 7 humans and 2 dogs, doing a silly amount of hoovering comes with the territory. I find myself lugging the overworked sucker from the cupboard at least once a day for a quick whip round – then there’s the extra outings it gets treated to when someone explodes a packet of crisps, upturns their croissant plate at breakfast or the mother-in-law’s popping in! So when the team over at Oreck got in touch and asked me to give their Oreck Magnesium a whirl, whilst it might not have seemed like the most glam of opportunities, on my scale, it rated it pretty highly. After all, I was the gal who actually got excited when she received a hoover for Christmas (it wasn’t feigned excitement either) and anything that runs the risk of making my life a little easier (yes, contraception would’ve been easier) is a bonus in my book.

View Post

They’re Back | Furby Connect Review

I don’t know about you, but sometimes handing my kids a clinical looking box, stuffed with a titanium encased gadget seems a little cold come Christmas day, and runs the risk of turning our squidgy urchins into the consumer crazed teens of tomorrow way before their time; cue Furby Connect. Chances are, you’re still having nightmares from the neon-coloured, e-numbered Furby ads of the late 90s, coupled with flashbacks of frenzied parents smashing each other out the way to nab the “toy of the year” (oh how times were blissful before internet shopping!), like Augustus Gloop at an all-you-can-eat-chocolate-buffet.

Luckily, my kids are young enough not to have the perhaps scarring effects of the pre-millennial Furby etched on their psyche – and are more receptive to the idea of a Pride-parade meets Gremlin like creature entering their lives. In the years since its original launch in 1998, the Furby has undergone quite a spectacular makeover with LED lights, bluetooth connection and its very own app; and that’s just its technical spec.

View Post

Dream Come True | HUSH for John Lewis

My love of lounge-wear only really took hold shortly after having my first bubs in 2006. In a constant state of “is it day or night?”, not knowing if I was sleep walking or actually awake in the stupor that can only come in those early weeks of motherhood – I yearned for, and very much needed, to envelope myself in luxury – super comfy luxury. As if all my 3am prayers had been answered (not the ones about having a sleeping baby) I stumbled upon Hush – at the time selling swoon-worthy PJs, sheepskin slippers and a couple of super soft jersey basics. I was smitten, even buying my new little, non-sleeping bundle matching pinstripe PJs long before twinning was considered winning or even a concept at all!

View Post

Family Car Journey | Nostalgia Lane – KFIS

Day 47 (and the last day) of the summer holidays: The kids have been piled in and out of the car on six separate occasions today to head to yet another fun filled activity. Each trip undoubtedly ends with “can we go home yet?” as the excitement wears off and they suss that I’ve again stung them with a cheap-skate trip to the beach or park. But isn’t that what summer holidays are about? Filling your days with wholesome, outdoorsy activities that feed your parents’ souls, make for cracking Instagram updates and will, eventually my little cherubs, make for joyous, nostalgic memories.

When I look back on my childhood, it was a much quieter one than my children are being subjected to. I was an only child with a small, close knit family – the kind that were civilised enough to venture on a nine hour, family car journey every summer to visit my aunt and uncle in Scotland, without feeling like all sanity might be lost by the time we hit the M25. It was on one of these mammoth escapades that my tale unfolded…

View Post

Extension Update | Hexagon Tile Trend

We’re getting to that dizzying point in our mammoth extension build where the fun starts – I get to pick out the finishing touches. No longer am I being bugged by builders about supporting walls, first fix plumbing and suspended floor options – instead, I’m losing hours to Pinterest to ensure bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and even windows hit the interior’s nail on the head.

As a mum to so many boys, one of the only places I find solace, peace and privacy is the bathroom. Need a 10 minute re-group after a fraught dinner time or a 5 minute breather from a relentlessly tantrumming toddler? Excuse yourself and leg-it to the bathroom, lock that door and soak up the calm. (I generally ensure there’s another adult in charge prior to the above!) With this in mind, my sanctuary needs to be a space I retreat to without the thought of “Eugh, I hate those tiles!” – nothing’s worse than trying to regain your inner buddha whilst being distracted by a regrettable interiors decision made in

View Post