MTT Travel: The Town Hall Hotel, Bethnal Green

The Town Hall Hotel review

On occasion I’m one of those people who gets smug about no longer living in London. I noticed it when I went for lunch with my Sister-in-Law recently; I started waxing lyrical about the low crime rates, big houses, affordable living costs and good schools out here. And it’s only 30 minutes into Euston!!! Amazing!!!!

I do adore living out here, it’s true. I have a house with a big garden for less than my old Shoreditch studio flat, I can afford a car and a gym membership and live within a 10 minute drive of one of the best schools in the county (that I didn’t have to fight to get my children into). The train service into the city is quick, regular and as long as you’re not travelling in peak times, relatively inexpensive.

But I still have to live with the fact I reside in Milton Keynes ;) It’s not the sexiest town in the country, that’s for sure. I can’t pop to Columbia Road flower market for my peonies at the weekend, our most exotic restaurant is probably Yo! Sushi and I don’t think we’ll see cold press coffee until 2020. Swings and roundabouts, swings and roundabouts.

Because I save all that money by living outside of the big smoke I like to think I’m able to splurge on a hotel for the times I do need to travel in and lovelovefilms.com stay. And we know how much I like a nice hotel, am I right? So when my blog pal Alice offered me a spontaneous ticket to see Blur at Hyde Park a couple of weeks ago I thought  it’s hotel time! and jumped on HotelTonight (a fab app for last minute hotel booking fans like me) to see what I could find.

The Town Hall Hotel review

The Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green was available, a place I’ve wanted to try for a while. I swiftly booked it for £128 (rates on their website start at around £217) and checked in at the allotted time of 3pm. That is, after a really quick diversion to Spitalfields Anthropologie and Office to buy jeans and trainers, having packed only dresses and heels for Britmums the discount viagra pills day before that were most definitely not suitable for Blur-watching.

The Town Hall Hotel review

I was offered an upgrade to one of their apartments upon arrival and if you know me at all you’ll know that ‘upgrade’ is one of my most favoured words. THANK YOU!

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My room was lovely – on the ground floor it consisted of an entrance hall with wardrobe, a kitchen, living space, bedroom and wet room/loo. It was packed to the rafters with beautiful features; huge windows, fireplaces (x 2), antique furniture and a beautiful muted colour scheme.

IMG_0658 copyI sat down, made myself an espresso and cialis from canadian pharmacy got comfortable reading about the history of the beautiful Town Hall. Which I won’t ruin, you’ll just have to go and discover it for yourself ;) Basically it originally opened in 1910 and has been through many iterations (including a famous film locations) before being saved from ruin and becoming the gorgeous hotel it is today.

The kitchen had absolutely everything you might need (and lots of things you probably won’t) so for those who stay for an extended period of time on business it is perfect to rustle up a bit of dinner or breakfast if you get tired of restaurant or room service dining.

The Town Hall Hotel reviewThe lounge area was lovely with a huge L-shaped sofa and big television. I obvs made good use of this and blasted out Kisstory while I was getting ready for Blur that evening.

On to the bathroom – it featured L’Occitane products (+1 point) and one of those dinner plate shower heads that releases so much water it makes you feel like you’re drowning. The glass loo and shower room were separated from the bathroom only by a white curtain so you’d have to make sure you knew whoever you were sharing with pretty darn well. Luckily me myself and I are pretty well-acquainted so we were happy.

The in-room facilities were good; I’m always disappointed by hotel hairdryers but this one did the job well. There were your standard bits and agp.qc.ca bobs – safe, umbrella, phone etc etc. Everything you might need.

The location is a bit out of the way but it’s a four minute walk to Bethnal Green tube station and from there you can get the Central Line straight into town. Bethnal Green has so much to do and see, too – it’s a real up-and-coming area for restaurants and bars, two of which are in the hotel itself.

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And Blur, how were they? I hear you ask.

AMAZING. Damon Albarn does not get older, only better, and Song 2 will go down in history as a gig-going highlight for me. It rained the wildbeautyworld.com whole time and my £10 hotel umbrella was confiscated but it was SO worth it. My night ended in a gay club in Stoke Newington with my hairdresser (who isn’t gay). As you do.

The Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, London E2 9NF

www.townhallhotel.com

 

 

Going Balls To The Wall, Learning How To Fail and Other Life Lessons From Thailand

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I’m going to start this story with another story, which is surely how all the best stories begin.

When I went to Thailand a couple of months ago I had the absolute pleasure of crossing paths with Laura, someone I’d known on Twitter for yonks and yonks. We’d be in Bangkok for 24 hours at the same time and had never managed to meet up in London so we agreed to hang out on the other side of the world. Casual.

Now, Laura’s blog is one of a few that I love. She lays bare her heart and fertilityroad.com her head in stories of raw, true human emotional experience and emotion. Some of it resonates and ALL of it prompts me to think and for that I adore her words. So I was looking forward to meeting her, sharing the life experiences I know we’d had in common and getting to know each other better.

I’m sure Laura won’t mind that I describe her as a force of nature. She is HERE, she is PROUD, she know what she wants and she ain’t afraid to get it. As soon as I met Laura we got into one of those conversations that is just so intensely interesting that I remember wishing more than once that I had a pen and paper to write down the golden nuggets of truth she was telling me (over pints of £1 Thai beers, natch).

In the last year I’ve had a personal motto, and that is JFDI. Just fucking do it. Because if you want to do something you should – life is too short and best online viagra uncertain not to. Laura embodies this motto, she goes where her heart takes her, falls in love with abandon, tries new things, puts herself in uncertain situations… because what is life about if not that?

I walked away from my 5 hours with Laura feeling indestructible (and more than a little pissed, it has to be said). I’m so sure of what I want out of life but I have to admit that I’m still a little wobbly on how to get there, but Laura made me focus on what I want: cut the crap, balls to the wall, just fucking do it.

I want to travel, I want to meet new people, I want to write, I want to make people happy with my cooking, I want to be the healthiest I can be, I want to train, I want to work hard, I want security for my family. That’s what I want, and I will always love Laura for giving me the opencredo.com courage to  be proud of that. In the hours I spent with Laura she allowed me to summarise and process the changes I went through experiencing rural N.E. Thailand and converted that into ways I could live my life moving forward.

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On to the story part of my story.

Six weeks ago I was offered a promotion that was so very unexpected. I’d been working freelance as an Account Director at a Marketing agency and they asked me to come on permanently to take on their Head of Marketing role. I was stoked. I’d have a team, lots of great clients, autonomy, fiscal responsibility… it was a huge deal. I basked in the glory of my new job for a while – I’d worked so hard for the last few years, why not? – and got on with the job in hand.

Full-on is not the word. This was the challenge of all challenges. The Marketing team at the agency had gone through many recent personnel changes, there were difficult and time-consuming situations that needed resolving and I was leading projects that I had little experience in. Having worked in digital almost since I designed my first website 15 years ago it was odd to look at physical flyers with print lead times, traditional marketing plans, campaigns that didn’t have websites or Twitter or Facebook at their core. I felt out of my depth which is something I haven’t experienced in years. I was working my arse off, 70 hours a week at one point, but the job was never done. When I worked for myself I was always confident that I’d done the best job possible but working in a business when you’re responsible not only for your own actions but those of a team was hard – I was answerable for everyone’s work, not just my own.

I really loved the job. It was challenging, exciting, all-encompassing. But tough, TOUGH. I started feeling more stressed than I think I ever have, didn’t sleep well, was unconsciously grinding my teeth, developed palpitations. I was rushing around from pillar to post, neglecting my friends and becoming snappy with the children. Our house was a state because I just didn’t have time to clean and sunamuna.com one week I ate cucumber for breakfast four days in a row because I hadn’t visited a supermarket in weeks. I was so tired that I became reliant on an afternoon pickup from those tubs of M&S Caramel Crispy Bites (I don’t do coffee). I’d be at work all day, pick up the children, put them to bed then get back to work until bedtime. It was relentless. Enjoyable but relentless.

And so I had one moment last Wednesday at about 11.30pm when I received an email I didn’t really want to receive and I burst into tears. My first thought was, “I really don’t want to do this anymore” and then my second thought was “so don’t do it anymore, idiot”.

Doh.

I’ll admit my pride was a bit hurt at the thought I’d tried really bloody hard at this job and just didn’t have the http://purplemum.com/viagra-pills-canadian mental, emotional or physical capacity to see it through but in the end logic won. It would have been easier to keep trucking on with my lovely big reliable salary and impressive job title as I slowly descended into a pool of my own stress-related mentalness but I thought back to my time with Laura and realised this is not what I want. This is not something that makes me want to go balls to the wall. I want to do what I’m good at, be in charge of my own destiny, work in an area I feel real passion and a connection for (that’s you, internet).

Plus, come on. I’m a single mother of a 3 and 4 year old, it’s hardly realistic to be working 70 hours a week now, is it?

So this is me stepping outside the box, apologising for following my head and not my heart, for choosing money and http://siliconloons.com/natural-viagra-pills security over what I truly love. I feel like I’m back in control of my own destiny and making that decision on my own feels really wonderful.

And I share this story because I want to say thank-you. Thank-you to Laura who puts her own self out there to help other people see they can do it (and you can read her own personal story about why it’s OK to quit here). Thank-you to the Universe for the series of events that led me to feel empowered enough to make this decision (that’s the biggest fucking hippie sentence I’ve ever written, right there). Thank-you to my mum who has held my own personal fort down and looked after my children while I’ve been living the stressed-out corporate dream. Thank-you to my friends who haven’t forgotten about me while I’ve drifted off into this period of craziness.

I also share this because I think it’s important to realise we don’t have to do what others expect us to do. We can take the road less travelled and discover that path is much happier. As Laura says, go balls to the wall… it’s a great way to take steps towards finding your happiness.

Internet, I am back. And by god have I missed you.

Bed Wetting: The School Age Taboo

This post brought to you by DryNites®. The content and opinions expressed below are that of More Than Toast.

IMG_0190 I’ve noticed as a mum there are still some topics that are taboo, even within circles of friends. We discuss so much with other mothers – education, health, relationships, POO – but there are some things that really still don’t get discussed. One of these things I’ve noticed is the subject of bedwetting. I have one particular friend who I talk about this with and we always comment that it’s really unusual to hear other mums discuss where they are at with this stage of their children growing up. I’m not sure if it’s seen as shameful or embarrassing but I very rarely get roped into conversation about it. I’ve asked my own mum about it and apparently I was incredibly advanced and was dry at night at something like three months old. Not really. IMG_3039 But in all seriousness according to her it happened from something like 20 months onwards, which despite me already knowing I was an incredibly advanced child ;) has made me wonder if I’m doing anything wrong with my children. Is it OK that, at the age of nearly-5, Elfie is not consistently dry at night? Of course it is! I’ve recently been doing some research and have learnt that 10% of all 4-15 year olds wet the bed at some point, with most cases occurring in children after 8. So you’re definitely not alone. Normally just a developmental stage, it’s worth bearing in mind that night time dryness is usually something that feels like it takes ages to be mastered. One could argue that this isn’t a situation limited to children under five. I’ve been reading the comedian Rob Delaney’s autobiography recently and he wet the bed up til the apefluff.com age of 21… IMG_3046 Interestingly boys are slightly more prone to bedwetting than girls, with boys making up 60% of bedwetting cases in the younger age groups. Some studies suggest that girls tend to develop bladder control before boys. I went through a stage of thinking Elfie ‘should’ be dry at night by this point. But after a couple of upsetting nights for her I thought: really? Does it matter? Bed wetting is a part of growing up – she would like to be dry at night because I know it’s not a situation she enjoys but it’s really not the end of the world. IMG_3036 For the time being we use DryNites®(and always have for their lovely character illustrations and their age-appropriateness). I want Elfie (and Hux!) to feel confident when they go to bed at night and I think this really helps them. They feel slightly more grown up and it brings that little element of fun to our post-bath bedtime routine. We get our kicks where we can ;) The DryNites Confident Kids 24/7 campaign aims to provide parents with helpful tools and advice to boost their child’s confidence and alcoholforum.org overcome challenges such as bedwetting.

IMG_3047 What I’m trying to say is that you needn’t not worry if your children are still wetting the bed at this age. It’s so very normal (almost 600,000 children are affected by this every year) and I bet if you started a conversation with your friends about it they’d have more experiences and stories about it than you might think. 4690-DryNites-POME-Content If you’re worried do take a quick look at the DryNites® website where there’s stacks of information to help you navigate through this particular motherhood minefield. You’re not alone!

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Blogging Is Weird (But We Love It)

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The blogging world is a weird one.

It’s like school. It’s a bit cliquey sometimes, we all have the groups that we seem to slot in to and if you’re a new arrival it might take you a while to fit in. Sometime there are fallings out – you say something that upsets a friend, or a friend of a friend of a friend, and things get a bit odd (which to be honest is how I have felt after writing this). There are the bloggers who have been there for a long time – they’re the ones on the back seat of the bus who you go to when you need to ask an advanced question about WordPress (who am I kidding? Most of these back-seat-bus bloggers are on SquareSpace now). There are also the cool bloggers, the smoking behind the bike shed bloggers.

Sometimes I don’t know where I fit in.

I have been blogging for a loooooong 15 years and have never seen such a saturated blogging community as we have now. Sometimes it feels like we’re all in a crowded room at a party, trying to shout, make our voices heard above the we use it rest. It sometimes feels difficult to find your space, find your voice.

I’ve always said that the main reason I blog is because I enjoy it and I never want to forget that – I want to stay true to why I began; to record my family’s life and to give myself a voice. Not for the money or the notoriety or the freebies. For the love. And sometimes the shouting gets tiring. I shout enough at home.

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Having not blogged for the last few weeks has been weird; I’ve truly missed it, missed you, the people who read my blog, missed everything about it. I’ll be back soon to tell you the story of how I’m becoming the next Sheryl Sandberg in the time I used to use for blogging (if SS was a Single Mother Marketing Director from Milton Keynes innit) but in the meantime I’m still here – figuring out my place, working like an animal, mothering like Maria Von Trapp.

I’m off to BritMums with the lovely Boots lot tomorrow and I’m excited to feel inspired again, see some of my favourites in this lovely shouty blogging world who will give me the kick up the bum to remember why I love it so much.

See you on the other side!

5 of the best last minute city break destinations for summer 2015

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City breaks often provide a far more enjoyable holiday than a traditional beach vacation. This is mainly due to the fact that there is usually a lot more to do in the city than in a more rural location. If you enjoy sightseeing and visiting amazing landmarks, museums and http://nirvanaspa.co.uk/best-price-levitra historical sights then a city getaway is the ideal summer vacation. Here are five suggestions for a great last minute break.

  1. Lisbon

The ‘hilly capital’ of Portugal overlooks the beautiful Rio Tejo and boasts tons of fantastic sight-seeing opportunities for tourists. Whether you are taking your family on a fun holiday or exploring the city with friends, Lisbon has something for everyone. With soulful music gracing the streets, walking around this enchanting city will have you feeling as though you have just stepped foot inside a fairytale. Lisbon is famous for its traditional and more modern style architecture buildings which gives the city a gorgeous ‘time-travel’ appeal.
To learn more about this wonderful city visit this website and start planning your Lisbon adventure now.

  1. Prague

A 9th century castle overlooks the capital city of the Czech Republic, immediately transforming you into the authentic nature of this captivating city. Prague is perfect for people who love an active nightlife holiday as the bars and clubs remain open into the early hours of the morning. Visit the Old Town Square to get a taste of what life is really like in this lively city. Some of the best attractions include the Prague Zoo, St. Vitus Cathedral and Charles Bridge.

  1. Paris

Lonely Planet describes Paris as the ‘city of love’ as well as being both the ‘fashion capital’ and a ‘literary paradise’. It is clear that Paris has many charms and the famous Eiffel Tower is just one of the spectacular attractions of this romantic city. Paris also has the 12th Century Notre-Dame Cathedral where thousands of visitors flock each year. Other attractions include the Luxembourg Gardens, Les Puces Flea Market and some exquisite designer boutiques, which are heaven for those looking to do a bit of shopping on their summer break.

  1. Barcelona

Barcelona is the capital of sunny Spain and probably the most popular destination for football fans across the globe. The Camp Nou football stadium is a sight to behold as is the beautiful Casa Mila Basilica of the Sagrada Familia. Gaudi architecture is one of the main tourist attractions of this great city with thousands of admirers coming to view the buildings every month.

  1. Berlin

Berlin is the perfect choice for those who want to see a lot of historical sights on their summer holiday. Some of these great attractions include the Holocaust Memorial, the Reichstag Building, Brandenburg Gate and the Museum Island. The most popular tourist spot of Berlin has to be the famous Berlin Wall which was created in 1961. It was the barrier that separated Germany into East and West before it was pulled down in 1989 and the nation was united again. Little exists of the actual wall today but there are monuments and memorials in place so it’s still possible to ‘see’ it – this article on Lonely Planet expands further.

 

10 Tips for a Clutter Free Home

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In extreme cases, a cluttered home can be a serious health hazard. According to the NHS, when there is excess clutter in a home it can become a fire risk, often resulting in dangerous trips and falls. On top of the physical implications that clutter can cause, it can also lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety which is why having a clutter free home will lighten your mood and buying viagra in the us free precious living space in your house.

  1. Purge your Clutter

In the first stages of de-cluttering your home, you will need a few rubbish bags to get rid of the things in your house that you definitely do not want to keep. You can do this one room at a time to make the process go quicker and watch on as your home becomes more spacious in a matter of minutes.

  1. Self-Storage

A quick and cost-effective solution to free up space instantly in your home is to make the most out of Alligator Storage. Having your own storage unit will allow you to use it as you please. You can store large or small items for as long as you like. This is especially a great option if you have things in your home that you have no room for but remain reluctant to completely part with.

  1. Donate your Things

Clothes, books, shoes, DVDs and even old toys can all be donated to charity shops to help others in need. You will be doing a good deed while also giving your home space to breathe.

  1. Use Pegboards

A great tip from Real Simple is to use pegboards on the inside of your closet door as a ‘mini dressing station’. Pegboards can be used to hang belts, scarves and other essentials in your bedroom.

  1. Organize your Home

Give everything in your home its own space and keep it there. This will help to keep you organized whilst maintaining a tidy home.

  1. Magnetic Strip Holders

Items that tend to produce a lot of clutter are often found in the garage or the bathroom. These can include hair clips, nails, screws, tweezers and scissors etc. A magnetic strip glued to the wall will give these slippery items a place to rest and will keep them off the floor.

  1. Use Drawer Dividers

Drawer dividers can be used in any room in the house. You can use it in the kitchen or in the bedroom to separate your socks from your underwear and http://purplemum.com/cialis-online-store your tights from your vest tops.

  1. Use Various Racks

Store your CD collection on a DVD/CD rack and your shoes on a shoe rack. Racks are a great way to display your possessions in a neat format and they can even be used to store towels and books.

  1. Bed Storage

If you have a lot of free space underneath your bed, use it to store your extra bed linens in plastic boxes. People often forget about the large space under the bed but it can actually offer some much needed additional storage space.

  1. Say No to Impulse Buys

The only way that your home will remain a clutter free zone is from restricting the amount of clutter than comes into the house. Stop making unnecessary purchases and resist the strong urge to make impulse purchases.