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What makes *you* feel super? **COMP**

It’s been a pretty good year for me so far (touch wood!) I’ve finally found my calling in life, and I am actually taking steps towards it. It may have taken me 34 years to get here, but I’d say that was all good life experience! We’ve welcomed a new pup to the family, finally got the dream car, the kids are doing AMAZINGLY well at school, I’m doing really well at college, the bloke is doing really well at work.

We’ve had such a good summer, this year we broke up the loooong 7 weeks with a holiday to France which was just gorgeous. We had nothing but pure sunshine and relaxation for the whole time we were there and the kids absolutely loved it. We’re planning next years holiday already!

I’m really trying to remain chilled and calm (trying being the operative word there) but I’m sure once the kids go back to school and we start a routine again things will feel more organised, I’ve got my yoga and pilates classes planned, I’m back to college and starting my maths GCSE (again) so I will really need to stay on top of that whole calm thing! Feeling organised and in control makes me feel super, as well as having a bit of time to myself, and some alone time with the bloke. As well as having some quality time with the kids…..!

But, I’m not the only one feeling super. Oh no. The #FeelSuper campaign is a partnership between Superdrug and P&G in support of Marie Curie, which, throughout 2015, aims to raise £100,000 for the charity.

New mum Frankie Bridge is supporting the campaign, and, from the 26th August to 22nd September, each time you buy any Pampers product from Superdrug, your purchase will trigger a donation to Marie Curie. Find out more at Superdrug.com/feelsuper.

All money raised from the campaign will go towards helping Marie Curie provide expert care, guidance and support to people with a terminal illness and their families. Marie Curie Nurses work night and day, either in people’s homes or in one of the charity’s nine hospices, providing hands-on care and vital emotional support to those that need it.

To celebrate and promote this campaign I’ve been given a months worth of Pampers wipes to give away to one person, all you need to do is tell me what makes you feel super – pretty easy eh!

The competition closes on the 22nd September!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The sound of silence.

Or not. It’s 2 weeks until the end of the summer holidays and I’m not sure I’ve had anything that remotely resembled silence since the 16th July. There are several drawbacks to that, but at least I know my ears work. Look on the plus side and all that?

We’ve had a bloody brilliant summer, we’ve chilled out (as much as kids chill out) we’ve travelled, explored, partied in the garden, drank cocktails (me, not them) swam (them, not me) and just generally made the most of the late nights and lazy mornings.

It hasn’t really been a proper summer in terms of the weather, at the risk of sounding like an old fart, when I was younger, the summer holidays were *hot*. Not so much anymore. If it had been better weather we would have spent a lot more time in the garden, music blaring and bbq cooking. We are music freaks in this house, we all have different tastes so stick the iPad on shuffle and you’ll get a good old mix. My speakers are pretty good for garden parties, but they do run out of battery pretty quick, if I was making a party wishlist, it would probably involve some new wireless speakers. Usually the husband sorts out all the technical stuff, but I do get a say in what they look like, he’ll pick the best of a bunch performance wise, and I’ll pick the one that looks the best out of those, usually works for us and he does know his stuff! I love the look of the Panasonic Technics c700 – if technics can be pretty, then this is. 

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Coupled with a big ole gas BBQ – I am aware that it’s not really a BBQ if it’s not on charcoal but I don’t really care, a cold glass of Aperole and some good company, we’re pretty much set. One summer, soon hopefully, we’ll actually get the chance to do it more than once, and with a bit of notice. Don’t you just love the British summertime…..! It does make me want to escape to a warmer country, the kids are so much happier (and quieter) when they can run around outside all day long, getting some vitamin D in their bodies.

In the meantime, I am going to dig out some earplugs and count down the days until my parents take the little darlings off me for a while.

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The White Company Fresh Fig Collection

Fresh Fig

Did you know I love candles?

Thought you did.

The White Company haven’t had a new fragrance for a while now, but we know that when they do release one, it’s going to be good and they haven’t disappointed this time! Known for their candle range, a personal favourite of mine being the Fresh Thyme, eucalyptus, lavender and rosemary, the new scent, Fresh Fig is a collection of home, bath and body products.

“Like sitting beneath a sun-warmed fig tree in Provence. Notes of succulent cassis, citrus and tomato-lead give way to bracing vetivert and a touch of sweet lilac to create this year round elegant scent”

Unlike other scents, this one really is a year round candle, it smells like it would work just as well in Autumn/Winter as it does now, it’s not sweet, it’s not heavy, it’s just a really nice, fresh smell.

With prices starting from £6 and the large, 4 wick candle being £50 – it’s a really affordable range compared to some of the more expensive brands, and it still has the luxe feel about it, the packaging is stylish and simple, no garish colours and, if you’re like me, and use your candle holders for make up brushes and the like, they’re the perfect size.

You can see the whole range here.

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Note to self: Remember this feeling.

 

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I should be doing some washing or tidying right now, we got back from France late last nigh/early this morning and the house looks like a launderette has exploded – four people, seven days = 96 loads of washing obviously.

The gorgeous weather we had over there has not followed us home, which isn’t helping the washing situation.

Anyway.

The past eight days have been heaven. Actual heaven. We were in rural France, in a gite, in the middle of green hills and stone houses. There was no phone signal, no wifi (although the owner is currently installing it today, much to H’s disgust!) and nothing else to do except wind down and enjoy each others company. While it was (at times) finger tapping annoying trying to get enough 3G to send an Instagram, it was also SO nice to *not* be able to check my phone. I mean, I can’t be blamed for not replying if I don’t even get it to start with, right? And that’s what I liked. Not being contactable. Not feeling like I had to be available 24/7. I’m the type of person who will reply to a text or email as soon as it comes in, no matter what I’m doing or what time it is. Call it OCD, call it polite, call it whatever you want really, unless I don’t particularly want to talk to you, or I am actually doing something where my phone needs to be on silent, I’m pretty much yours as and when you ping me.

Which isn’t very healthy. Not for me, not for my relationship and not for my kids. How often do we sit there staring at something on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and just nod along to what the kids are saying without actually listening? (Sheepishly puts her hand up) There have been occasions, where, if my kids were inclined, they could have got me to agree to anything, because I probably wasn’t listening as well as I should have.

But god, this week has shown me how much nicer life is when you concentrate on one thing at a time. I know we all big up the multi-tasker, and I will always be better at doing two things at once than the husband (he does sometimes struggle with brushing his teeth and listening to a convo at the same time, it’s the male genes) but giving all your attention to the one thing you’re doing? It means you do it really well. Whatever it is.

Listening to my kids has reminded me how bloody funny they are. Naturally funny. We can have conversations that last for ages, we chatted to bullocks in the field behind our kitchen, we coloured, played uno, did puzzles. We did it all without any distractions and it was bliss.

It also helped to make me 50% more relaxed than I ever am at home. Here, there’s always something that needs to be done (hello washing, garden, decorating, maths assessments, personal statements, college work….. GAH) which means I can’t ever really just switch off. But in France I had none of that. And I liked it.

The husband and I kept telling each other we didn’t want “English Kate” or “English Tom” on our return, we preferred the French versions of ourselves, and I am really, really conscious that I keep that side of me now we’re home. The down time, time to chill out, even a wifi free day (wait until I tell the smaller people in the house) and more adventures. I keep going on about yoga but I really am going to sign up to a weekly class. And go. Weekly like.

I’m just going to slow down. In life in general. Getting pissed off with people (strangers) for slowing me down and or getting in my way – it’s me that ends up with the headache not them, because they’re too busy being all chilled out and slow mo. Actually, I’m not making promises on that one because it annoys me just thinking about it, but it’s progress that I’m aware of the need to change eh…….? Yes. Yes it is.

Last but not least, travel. I need travel in my life. I may be a poorly student (and fingers crossed I will be for another 3 years, uni application time coming up soon) but I need to see the world, or at least the parts of it that I can (semi) afford. It’s important for the kids too – serious French was spoken by my two this week, where else would they learn so much and enjoy it? The hubs and I have been talking about New York for a 4 day visit (just the 2 of us) for years, next year he turns 40 *cough* and I’ll be 35, that’s the perfect way to celebrate. Yes, we’re going to need to get some cash to pay for flights, hotels and shopping but it’s a dream trip for me, and you’re a long time dead.

So, French Kate, remember this feeling yeah? And make sure you stick to your word.

PicMonkey Collage

 

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The perfects night sleep…….

Well, it’s over! College is officially over for the summer. No essays to hand in, no exams to revise for and no presentations to prepare. I can finally switch off and maybe stay up past 10pm…… that will make a change!

Even though I’ve been crashing out early I’ve still been having crappy sleep. Waking up in a panic that I haven’t double spaced my essays or revised the right things, the other morning I woke up at 5am with a nose bleed! Stress levels were *through the roof* I’m not exaggerating – if you saw my last post, you’ll know!

I am SO looking forward to a decent nights sleep, I’m all about the fresh sheets and open windows, a late movie once the kids are in bed, decaf tea (I know, I know, I am sounding ridiculously rock and roll here…..) and a gorgeous candle to make the room smell amazing – they all add up the perfect nights sleep, for me anyway!

The Fine Bedding Company are doing some research into the recipe for the perfect nights sleep themselves, they’re also giving away £750 worth of goodies to help with it, including bedding, pillows, a Lumie BodyClock, Neals Yard gift set, herbal teas, yoga kits and more. All you need to do is complete the sentence “To help me get a good nights sleep I do/have…..” and the most impressive or unusual will win! All the entries need to be tagged with #sleepingredients. Easy peasy! And, if you don’t win, you’re going to get some amazing sleep tips, it’s a win win! The comp closes on Friday 10th so get going!

Ingredients prize

 

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These are a few of my favourite things…..

Since I had my babes I’ve become very sentimental, almost stupidly so, and things have become more special to me. Obvious things like drawings and paintings by my gorgeous ones, little messages they leave me, stickers that appear on my bathroom wall……. I blame the hormones completely!

I have a tattoo dedicated to them and now I have their initials on my necklace thanks to AnnaLou of London. I’ve been searching for the right initial disc necklace for *ages* I could picture it in my mind but nothing ever lived up to my expectations so when I was offered a piece of jewellery from the personalised range and I spotted the necklace I was so happy!

Anna Lou of London’s creations have made a mark on the jewellery and accessories scene – being snapped up by department stores and luxury boutiques like Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, John Lewis, Harrods, Fenwick (UK) and if I could have one of each, I would!

My necklace is the gold initial disc necklace with a H & C on each disc. I went with the longer chain length because I don’t like feeling strangled by jewellery or clothes and it sits just under my collar bones so it’s perfect. I think it would look fab teamed with a couple of others, in a layered effect.

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It comes in three colour ways, gold, rose gold and silver and costs £67.50. Because it’s personalised it can take up to two weeks for delivery but it’s worth it, and I love having my two favourite people in the world around my neck at all times.

Also from AnnaLou of London is my new silver ring, which arrived a few weeks ago but I had to resize it because between us, the husband and I couldn’t get the sizing right…..! (All down to us and nothing to do with the website!) I was debating going with our wedding date on the ring, or something to do with us as a couple, but because I was going through my “I can’t do this” phase with college I wanted to get something that was inspiring and special to me, I love a good quote and one in particular by C.S. Lewis is my favourite, so, on my gorgeous silver band is “Courage, dear heart” I know it’s cheesy to some, but it’s special to me, it reminds me to suck it up and get on with it when I’m having a panic and it will remind me that I can do these things,*did* do those things, and did them well. Everyone needs a little boost every now and then. This is my little reminder.

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I decided to wear it on my middle finger, I have my wedding band on my left hand and it’s the only ring I wear on that side, so it’s on the right hand next to my Pandora rings. I only ever wear silver rings as for some strange reason I am allergic to anything else, even white gold. Yet to try platinum but that’s an expensive test…..!

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The ring costs £81 and can have up to 21 characters on it so you can create something unique and special to you. I absolutely love AnnaLou of London and it’s a brand I am really proud to be an ambassador of.

 

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