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We’re in the final stretch, one kiddo has finished for summer, the other one is finishing in two hours. There are no more school runs for 6 and a bit weeks, no uniforms to wash, PE kits to find, homework to argue over – absolute heaven!!

Of course, that’s not counting the arguments they’ll have with each other, apparently two kids can’t sit on the sofa at the same time without there being some sort of war, there’s no TV programme they both agree on, activities are fun to one and boring to another – but hey! Can’t have it all can you!

I’m starting work in a few weeks, like a proper grown up 9-5 job three days a week and I literally cannot wait, to speak to adults that have NO connection to my kids, to wear work clothes, to pretend to be a fully functioning adult for 3 days a week!? Come to mama!!! It’s kind of the best of both worlds, three days a work, four days with the kids/at home. And in the meantime, we get a few weeks of lay ins, a weeks sun in Spain and there are some *seriously* good days out planned.

So, summer holidays, we’re ready for ya!!!

(and if you think that photo is a bit dodge for a main pic, have a look at the options I was left to choose from…..)

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You know that shabby chic craze that was so in a few years back? Yeah, I’m not into that, and no matter how many times you try to throw the phrase “distressed furniture” at me, it is not going to stick. Nope – shabby chic is just a polite way of saying something is in dire need of a trip to the skip but you are refusing to accept this fact, or are trying to flog it to some poor unsuspecting fool. I am however all about contemporary, practical, yet beautiful furniture. Gadgets are where I am at and currently I am coveting quite a few items that will give my home that modern feel I crave.

If you, like me, are stepping swiftly away from the hippy vibe and running at full speed into the future, feast your eyes on these bad boys and I guarantee you will never so much as sneeze in the direction of a tin of chalk paint again.

The Self-Cleaning Auto-Ordering Fridge

It’s like someone has been sneaking into my home and listening to the conversations I’ve been having with my family. O.K, they could just stand at the end of my road and hear the wails of despair about the sludge in the fridge, and threat-tinged interrogations about who put empty packets back, instead of in the bin, but you get the gist. This fridge is the stuff of dreams. Really boring dreams to most, but lovely lovely, domestic dreams to me and anyone else who hates cleaning the fridge. This splendid item has been designed by The University of Central Lancashire and the online supermarket, Ocado; the latter having more than a vested interest as the fridge will automatically order food when items need to be replaced. As well as cleaning itself (I’ve no idea how, and to be honest, I don’t care), the fridge suggests recipes for left over food items. Oh fridge, you had me at self-cleaning.

TV Bed

So, as well as eating, I do have other hobbies. Most recently I have been enjoying lying in bed whilst also watching television. Trust me, when you have kids, these things do become hobbies, because you have to pencil in time to actual enjoy them. In the quest to modernise my home, I have found the perfect piece of furniture which combines my two great loves of slobbing out in front of the TV, and lying around doing naff all: the TV bed. I’ve been particularly impressed with the range offered by online retailer Bedstar and I’ve already got my eye on a Sweet Dreams TV bed as mentioned in their blog. Besides it being so convenient, the idea that I can hide the television safely away from the kids and keep the joy of it all to myself without the fear of it being toppled when they decide to bounce all over my bed, makes me so so happy.

The Orbital Washing Basket

This. Is. Amazing. The basic gist of this gadget is that you shove all your washing into the spherical basket and place it into the machine. This means you don’t need to gather it all up and transfer it from the basket to the machine. However, this isn’t the only benefit – oh no no no – the shape of the basket makes the clothes go in several different directions which encourages a faster and more energy efficient wash. Anything that makes my life easier is a winner.

Only five and a bit months to go until Christmas. Santa, what do you reckon?

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The call of the summer holiday is almost upon us, you know the sound, feral kids, moans of being bored after 10 mins, stressed mamas dragging their offspring round the shops, that kind of call, so to pre-empt those fun times ahead, Brooklands BSpa invited the bloke and I to have a relaxing day off and to experience a little bit of pampering.

Obviously we said yes please! Because we’re not silly.

The kids were at school and we had the whole day to ourselves, and so we made our way to Weybridge to bask in luxury and chill the hell out.

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The actual hotel is massive, it’s hidden out of the way enough to feel like you’re away from hustle and bustle but it’s actually situated right next to Mercedes World, and you can watch the cars go round the race track as you sit in the giant hot tub. I know, pretty damn good!

The spa area is on the 3rd floor, and it’s all decorated in muted greys and white, giving it a really nice vibe. It’s really quiet, despite there being quite a few ladies there that day (yup, poor hubs was the only man, but he braved it!) We were shown to a little table with our names on, and given a menu to choose our lunches. I went with halloumi and pesto hot sandwich and the man, being a man, went for the burger with sweet potato fries, soooo good. The food was lovely, and HUGE, I wasn’t expecting such big portions if I’m honest, being a spa and all, but big it was. It came from the 1907 restaurant on the ground floor, named after the year the Brooklands race track was opened.

We were given robes and slippers and shown to the changing areas. Now, the man and I had the same size robes, but his was twice the size of mine, I did feel like mine was slightly too small but maybe that’s because I like my robes to smother me. I tried to steal the husbands but he was having none of it. The changing areas were, as expected, open plan *shudder* so, me being me, got changed in the loos. I don’t do the whole communal changing, never have, never will. Men obviously don’t have those issues and can get naked wherever they like…! Anyway.

We made our way out to the balcony and settled in the giant, 12 man hot tub. Just the two of us. And we sat. I can’t tell you more than that because that’s all we did, it was just *so* relaxing. Watching the race cars, having a chat about live and the universe and unwinding. It was so nice. And we were so lucky it was just the two of us in there, it made it even more relaxing!

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The lovely Ceri had arranged for us to have a 50 minute treatment each, I was having a Caudalie facial and hubs a massage. We also had a twin room, so we could be together, although there was no talking going on (there may have been some snoring from someone who wasn’t me….)

The facial. Oh my god, the facial. I honestly don’t think I have ever had a facial that good before. My therapist was SO good. I feel like there were a million products used, but each one was perfect and needed. There was even a hand, arm and head massage in there. Honestly, if you’re feeling stressed and or you have skin that needs a pick me up, a Caudalie facial is the way to go. I am hooked on their products now! Obviously it would help to have someone who is as good as my therapist was, but I’ll keep practicing! The husband informed me the massage was just as good, it was done with bamboo sticks, which were rolled up and down the body in sections, and although it’s meant to be a rejuvenating experience, he still managed to nod off!

Another top tip if you visit the Brooklands Spa is to book a slot in the meditation room. It’s a dimly lit room, with gentle, hypnotic music playing and 3 heated water beds in a row. Each one has it’s own curtain so you have full privacy and you get a 30min slot to just lay there. We both nodded off at one point, snuggled under a fluffy blanket, on a water bed, listening to music. Who wouldn’t.

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We, of course, had another half an hour in the hot tub, and then decided to make our way home to the kids, four hours of pure uninterrupted relaxation meant we were both feeling pretty damn good.

We’ve already started planning our next trip, it’s so easy to get to and you leave feeling like you’ve had a whole day off, even in the few hours we had there, which is saying something. All the staff were friendly and discreet, you hardly knew they were there unless you needed to ask them something, which makes it feel all that more private, there is nothing worse than feeling like you’re being watched, like in some

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If you’re in the London/Surrey area and you’re looking for somewhere to go to unwind, I cannot recommend Brooklands BSpa enough, like, you really really should go. And thank me later for it~!

Massive thank you to Brooklands BSpa for inviting us along, but as always, opinions are my own! |

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Lots of condoms

Sexual health can be a sensitive and embarrassing issue to discuss and there are lots of myths surrounding this subject. If you want to look after yourself and enjoy a satisfying sex life, it’s important to separate fact from fiction and make sure you’re in the know when it comes to this topic. To help you along the way, here are three things that every girl should know.

1. You can’t always tell if you have an STI:
We all want to avoid sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but some of us are taking risks without even realising it. It’s important to be aware that many people who contract STIs don’t experience symptoms. This means you can’t always tell if a partner has an infection or if you have picked one up. For example, most women who get chlamydia experience no symptoms, while half of women with gonorrhoea have no obvious signs. If left untreated, conditions like these can have serious implications for your long-term health and they can even lead to infertility. This means that if you’ve had unprotected sex, it’s important to get yourself checked out. Being tested for STIs might seem scary, but many of these infections can be cured with a simple course of antibiotics. Also, catching these infections early can prevent them from getting worse.

2. Some STI tests and treatments are available online:
You can get tested for STIs in a sexual health clinic, and some GP surgeries and contraceptive clinics also offer these services. However, there is another option. Certain tests are also available from pharmacies and you can even order them online. For example, it’s possible to get tests for chlamydia and HIV from online pharmacies. Treatments for particular STIs can be accessed in the same way too. For instance, you can check out your chlamydia treatment options over the web. If you test positive for this infection, you may be prescribed the antibiotic azithromycin from an online pharmacy. Accessing tests and treatments over the internet means you don’t have to speak to doctors face-to-face. However, if you think you might need extra testing or treatment, it’s important to book an appointment with a specialist.

3. There are 15 types of contraception to choose from:
Finding a form of contraception that suits your needs and lifestyle is essential if you want to enjoy carefree sex. This means it pays off to investigate your options. As well as the best known contraceptives, including condoms and the combined pill, there are a host of other types of birth control to consider. From the injection and the implant to the intrauterine device, patch, ring and progestogen-only pill, there is no shortage of options. The one that works best for you will depend on a whole range of factors, including your daily routine, your weight, whether you smoke and any other medicines you’re taking.
Finding the best option for you might seem like a challenge, but you can get all the information and advice you need by speaking to a doctor or pharmacist. Regardless of the decision you make, remember that condoms are the only form of contraception that prevent STIs as well as pregnancy.

Making sure you know your stuff when it comes to sexual health should help you to stay safe and it could increase your confidence between the sheets.

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I don’t tend to join in with linkies, purely because I always seem to forget but I really, really love Morgana’s blog Coffee, Work, Sleep, Repeat and her friday link up so I made notes and reminders to ensure I didn’t forget this one.

Skills.

It’s been a bit of a shit week really, world wise. And it’s generally times like these that you appreciate the things you have in your life so the #LittleLoves tag is perfect.

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I have 3 bookshelves in my living room, all full of books (obviously) and a whole pile of magazines to catch up on, but this week I have mostly been reading blogs. I’ve launched a new site with a couple of other bloggers and so I’ve really been getting lost in the world of websites. I have a few faves that I head to every day without fail, like Noah and the Girls, Hannah Gale and Modern Mummy but I love finding new ones to read, ones that just ‘click’ with me, ya know?

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WATCHED

Ohmygod! Sons of Anarchy. I know this series is like, 6 years old or more? But this week we *finally* got round to watching the very last episode. Jax died, Gemma got caught, Bobby was killed, all the baddies got their payback, bloody LOVE SOA.

Now my evenings are free for Love Island (don’t judge) and OITNB.

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MADE

Um. Dinner? A mess? I’m going to have to work on this area of #LittleLoves. I did make a decision, which kind of counts doesn’t it? I’ve been beating myself up trying to find a job that fits in with the family, won’t take me away from the kids 5 days a week and won’t cost more than I earn in childcare but there is nothing out there at the moment. So, I’ve decided to take the summer off, spend it with my babies and start again in September. And breathe……

WORE

I’m a natural redhead which means I have pure white lashes and brows. I tint my brows at home once a month, but tinting my lashes is a bit harder, A; you need to lay down really while they develop and it’s quite hard to do that yourself (not lay down, I can do that bit well easy), B; I have to leave it on for a LOT longer than the packets suggest and C; it just doesn’t last long enough for it to really be worth it. It also costs quite a lot to get it done every month. So, when I saw Rimmel had a mascara that tints your lashes while you wear it, I was all over it! I’ve only been using it a week, so I haven’t really noticed any different yet, but fingers crossed!

Also, in the face theme, I’ve been smothering myself in Superfacialist Rose Face Oil from Boots, in the hope that it will help with the ridiculous breakout I had, and it has, almost overnight the redness reduced and now they’re almost gone, try it!

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HEARD

Couldn’t be anything other than Adele at Glastonbury. I love that woman. I swear, if we were in the same room we would be best mates in seconds. She swears as much as I do, has amazing nails and I just love her. Serious girl crush.

 

AND LASTLY

Check out my new project, www.the-take.co.uk – A no BS take on everything life. I’ve teamed up with Aimee Horton and Charlotte Nash and we are proper proud of our work so far! It’s gone live today, so grab a cuppa and have a read!

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