Author: Jen

Taking Care of Number One

It’s Christmastime, probably the busiest time of year for parents.  There are presents to buy and wrap, Santa visits to arrange, endless school events to contribute to, festive gatherings to plan… it can be all-consuming.  With our thoughts taken up with making Christmas magical for everyone else, it is so easy to let our own health and wellbeing slip over the festive period.  Be honest, when was the last time you took a multivitamin?  Have you had your ‘flu jab?  Are you getting enough sleep?  Have you checked out that nagging pain/ache/lump?  Or are you actually existing purely on Baileys and Yule Log at this stage?  No? Just me then… I jest, but genuinely it is so important to keep on top of any health concerns even during busy periods in your life.  Ignoring a nagging complaint will not make it go away!  And yes, it may be nothing serious, but there is always a chance that it could be and it really isn’t worth the risk of leaving it.  It takes a matter of minutes …

The Best Christmas Markets in the UK

I am an overgrown child at the best of times but December makes me giddy with all its festive excitement.  I love everything to do with Christmas: the lights, shopping, presents, meals, grottos, everything.  I’ve not yet been to a Christmas market but I feel like it is somewhere I would really feel at home.  Christmas markets have totally exploded over the past decade and are dotted generously across the UK.  Here is my round up of the best: Edinburgh Where is it?  East Princes Street Gardens When to go:  17th November – 5th January Where to stay:  Fraser Suites Edinburgh offers luxury in the heart of the city. Manchester Where is it?  Albert Square When to go:  November 9th – December 22nd Where to stay:  The Midland Hotel London Where is it?  Alexandra Palace When to go:  until December 16th Where to stay:  Central Park Hotel Bath Where is it?  Bath city centre When to go:  22nd November – 9th December Where to stay:  No.15 Great Pulteney These are just a handful of the many …

Travel Wishlist

My last holiday was at the end of August – a week in France which (and I know I shouldn’t complain, but…) wasn’t the most restful or enjoyable holiday for me.  On day 2, I had an unfortunate run-in with some gravel which not only injured my foot and meant I couldn’t go in the pool all week but also managed to infect me – my foot started to swell at the beginning of our mammoth 24 hour journey home, which was uncomfortable to say the least.  Thanks to this, I feel like I need another holiday already and I have a wishlist rapidly building; a wishlist that I will be unburdening here: I would like to visit America; it has come up in conversation more than once recently.  I’d like to throw some things in a backpack and set off on a US adventure.  I want to stay at Clickstay villas in Orlando with my children, to spend Christmas in New York, to drive from one end to the other and soak up the …

Dreaming of a White Christmas

What is it about snow and Christmas that just belong together so perfectly? For as long as I can remember, as a nation, we have collectively been bursting for it to snow on Christmas Day.  I don’t remember if it has ever happened in my lifetime (other than the odd solitary flake that apparently still counts but is in no way as exciting as a blanket of pure white), in fact it generally doesn’t snow a lot where we live on the south coast.  But I still have that dream of experiencing a snowy Christmas, and it is one that Jasmine appears to have inherited.  For the last couple of years, she has been asking if we can visit Norway for her birthday (which, incidentally, is today), to be snowed in and hopefully catch a glimpse of those elusive Northern Lights.  One day, I hope to make that dream of hers come true. Another way to get that festive flurry fix would be to book a ski holiday.  Mark Warner Christmas ski holidays look particularly …

Christmas Party Season

Over the weekend, December arrived and brought with it the unspoken assurance that it is now wholly acceptable to talk about Christmas.  Suddenly, BOOM, it’s everywhere.  My social media feeds are chock-full of advent calendars, Christmas trees, Santa visits, cheeky Elf antics and all the other assorted paraphernalia that comes with Christmas.  My calendar has also just exploded.  We don’t have a weekend free between now and the big day; we have pantomime tickets, breakfast with the big man himself and, of course, Christmas meals and parties galore.  It is all very exciting (if a tad overwhelming) but I am left with the constant anxiety over what, exactly, to wear for each occasion. For me, festive jumpers cover the majority of occasions and can be funny, pretty or even stylish depending on your requirements and what you team them with.  Myself and the children own a few each and wear them for our pantomime trips and anywhere we might bump into Santa!  For those occasions where a little more sophistication is needed, I tend to opt …