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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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…

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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

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Living The Dream – On Telly

This morning over on the ol’ instagram, I proudly shared that our family had been featured in a real life TV ad. Don’t go anywhere – this is not a shameless plug for said ad or the company I spend 30 seconds waxing lyrical about during my starring role. Instead, I want to give a little “don’t give up” to the mamas who might have that nasty voice in their head saying “jack it in – it’s not worth it – you’re crap”, like I too often do. But if you do just want to see the ad – head to the bottom!

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Monochrome Rug | My Rugstore Review

Anyone that’s been following along on my instagram would’ve undoubtedly heard me referring to our never-ending building works and the elusive extension – which, of course, will offer the answers to all our spacial problems, child tantrums and teenage angst – right?! Well, maybe not the latter two, but we’re certainly hoping the first issue might be solved. But me, being me, the moment the architect had made his first visit I already had a dozen Pinterest boards dedicated to the cause – bathroom taps, kids rooms and rugs – all with a common theme, black and white. I’ve often mused about the wonders of a monochrome house; when there’s enough chaos under one roof with 5 boys, two adults and two dogs – adding colour to the mix would be like raving it up in a life-size bag of skittles while everyone gets high on candy-floss.

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