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MTT Travel: Stratford Manor Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon

July 27, 2016
Stratford Manor Hotel

What makes a hotel truly family-friendly? It’s easy to squeeze a cot in a bedroom and say you’re all up for kids staying, but I find that true family-friendliness is something totally different than just the sleeping arrangements. It’s about whether the children feel happy being there, and the grown-ups, too: how often have you been made to feel uncomfortable for having your children in a hotel’s common areas, or a restaurant? I know I have, probably completely unintentionally, but…

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Oh Boy, He’s Growing Up

July 21, 2016
He's Growing Up

I’d say I’m a pretty pragmatic person. Yeah, I might weep at the odd Grey’s Anatomy episode (they’re an unlucky bunch, aren’t they?) but I’m not one to cry at the drop of a hat. At least, I wasn’t before kids. Typing the above paragraph I’m now running through in my mind all those times I did cry at the drop of a hat. For instance, I watched The Notebook for the first time lately: it was a car crash in…

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Crafting With Kids For The Unskilled: #PrintingDory

July 18, 2016

Last week I did something a little out of the ordinary – a wee bit out of my comfort zone. I travelled into London (OK) to speak at an event (fine so far) that was all about crafting with kids. What the WHAT NOW?! Crafting?!!! You see, a natural crafter I am not. My lovely friend Jessica (who is possibly the most creative person I know) will look at a couple of old loo rolls and some lolly sticks and…

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Single Parent Holiday: The Mark Warner Verdict

July 14, 2016
single parent mark warner holiday

When I thought about travelling alone to Mark Warner Lakitira Greece with the kids, I wasn’t too concerned. Despite murmurs from friends and colleagues of “you? Just you? You and the kids?”, the solo aspect didn’t worry me. I spend a lot of time on my own and it suits me: I appreciate my own company and feel I need the headspace to decompress from my busy life. The logistical side of the holiday – now that I was worried…

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Which Serum Should I Use? My Top Two

July 13, 2016
what serum should I use

This weekend, as I drove back from Elfie’s birthday party at Hollywood Bowl, I got ID’d buying a bottle of wine. I was surprised – firstly because I had the look of a shellshocked crime victim, having just spent 2 hours manhandling fourteen 5, 6 and 7 year olds, but also because I am 12 days away from turning 31. I handed over my driving license, expressing my surprise to the lovely, wonderful man behind the counter. “I have to ask…

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Love + Dating

My Real-World Dating Failure

July 12, 2016
real world dating failure

Six months ago I closed all my online dating accounts. Tinder, Guardian Soulmates,, Bumble, Happn: they all went. They were draining time and of energy that I could have quite happily driven into other areas of my life. I mean, my online dating communications could clock in at almost two hours an evening. Imagine the size of the mountains I could move with that time! That’s my book written in a few months, or a successful PM campaign fought…

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MTT Travel: Bloc Hotel Gatwick

July 11, 2016
Bloc Hotel, Gatwick

Airport hotels are a necessary evil. Much like visiting the dentist, getting a bikini wax or spending 50 quid on a pair of school shoes that will shortly be scuffed to buggery, splashing out on a hotel that you need for the sole purpose of being close to the airport is not The One. Hotels are supposed to be luxuries, places you visit for relaxing weekends, breakfast in bed and 1000 thread count sheets. They’re for lovely long dinners, top…

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Elfie Motherhood

Now You Are 6 (Oh! The Places You’ll Go)

July 7, 2016
Elfie is 6

Elfie’s entrance into the world six years ago today wasn’t an easy one. For a start, she’d spent the previous six months as a stubborn footling breech, with no amount of baby ball bouncing, crawling up the stairs or acupuncture turning her. And with one of her feet dangling somewhere around my cervix, the doctors were keen to whisk her out before I went into labour myself. So out she came through the sunroof on July 7th 2010, one week before…

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WIN! Your Dream Nursery from Oak Furniture Land

July 6, 2016
Oak furniture land

Even though my children are now 4 and (eek) 6, I think I’m still allowed to lust after nursery interiors. I mean, when it comes to decorating your kid’s room, the newborn stage is the one time you will have full autonomy over exactly what it looks like. That blissful period before they discover everything Thunderbirds, Minions and Frozen. The calm before the storm when all they’ll want to do is paint EVERYTHING pink and plaster photographs of princesses all…

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Life Stories: Alice Audley, Founder of Blogosphere Magazine

July 5, 2016
Alice Audley, Blogosphere Magazine

What did you want to be when you grew up? My aspirations were: fashion journalist (not far off), solicitor (I watched too much Ally McBeal), and Hollyoaks cast member (WTF). My dreams changed depending on the day of the week and the direction of the wind, and I was a terror for spending more time thinking about who I wanted to be than actually working on being it. I think it’s wonderful to have dreams, to shoot for the moon…

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Single Life Travel

Surviving the Single Parent Holiday (With Bells On!): Mark Warner Lakitira

July 4, 2016
Surviving single parent holiday

I always find it incredible that when I go on holiday something profound seems to shift. Literally every trip I’ve been on in the last few years has brought a positive change in some way – Thailand, New York, New York again, Paxos – and I think the perspective you gain by being somewhere geographically foreign to you is one of the most incredible gifts. You see yourself in a slightly different light, see the world in a slightly different light.…

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