Friday, 30 March 2018

3 Of The Best Places To Visit In The South Of France

The south of France is a beautiful region that has a warm climate all the way through to September and October and plenty of amazing places to visit. You should avoid it between November and January because the weather is cold but the rest of the year you’ll get blazing sun all day long. It has great transport links so getting around is easy and there is a varied range of things to see and do. You can find great luxury resorts as well as traditional French towns and sites of historical interest so there is something for everybody. If you’ve never been to the south of France before you should definitely add it to your bucket list, these are some of the highlights for first time visitors.

Nice


Nice is one of the most popular and well known places in the south of France and if you’ve never been there before, it’s a good introduction to the region. If you’re looking for the best place to enjoy the warm climate and relax on the beach, Nice is the best place for it. The beautiful golden beach attracts over 3 million visitors a year but there’s a lot more to do if you don’t want to spend the whole trip sitting on the beach. It’s a great cultural hub with sights like the Russian Cathedral and the Matisse Museum. Nice also hosts an annual Jazz festival, which was the first Jazz festival in the world, and has played host to world famous musicians over the years. In February, during Mardi Gras, Nice plays host to one of the oldest and largest carnivals in the entire world.

Saint Tropez


These days, Saint Tropez is renowned for its luxury lifestyle but it hasn’t always been that way. Nowadays, there are all sorts of great high end villas from companies like Elegant Address for you to stay in but some of the old Saint Tropez still lives on. Before it was a hub for high end living, it was a quaint fishing town. Since then, it has established itself as one of the best seaside resorts in the world with picturesque beaches and great sun all year around. At the centre, you’ll find the old port that was once the heart of the Saint Tropez fishing industry, complete with traditional cafes and restaurants. When you’re down at the harbour, it’s worth visiting the old market square where you can buy some great local produce. If you’re looking for something cultural, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Saint Tropez is the Musée de l'Annonciade, the local art museum.

Cannes


You’ve probably heard of Cannes in association with the world famous film festival that is hosted there every year but it has so much more to offer. The film festival is the most widely recognized event but Cannes actually hosts loads more film, TV and fashion events throughout the year. It’s also got plenty of great beaches and some of the best shopping destinations in the country.

The south of France is a brilliant region that has something to suit all tastes so it should be on everybody’s travel bucket list this year.

This is a collaborative post


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Sunday, 25 March 2018

How Pregnancy Ruined My Teeth

When I was younger, I had the perfect smile. My teeth were in great condition. I never needed a brace and I had perfectly straight teeth. I looked after them well, brushing them twice a day and I was hardly allowed to eat any sugar. I didn't have any fillings. However, after 2 children my teeth have been ruined.



Pregnancy can effect a woman's oral health and cause swollen and bleeding gums. Pregnancy hormones also make teeth more likely to be attacked by plaque and my goodness did they attack mine. 

During my first pregnancy I had a lot of morning sickness and the acid from that was attacking my teeth. I used to brush my teeth straight after being sick and at the time, I didn't realise, that was the wrong thing to do. My teeth became softened by the acid in the vomit and therefore they weakened.

When I went to the dentist after having my second child, I was mortified buy what he found. I needed 4 fillings and they were all quite severe. 2 of the fillings may need to be changed to nerve root fillings very soon. I had very bad cavities which we have put down to the pregnancies etc. I felt incredibly sorry for myself. 


I've now become very self-conscious of my smile. Gone are the days when I had that perfect white glow. You can now see some of my ghastly fillings and therefore I have been considering having Veneers to achieve that perfect smile. A friend of mine has recently had them done and they look fantastic. She's very pleased with the results. I have been searching for places that offer Porcelain Veneers and I came across Harley St Smile. They offer various services such as teeth whitening (something I would also really like), teeth contouring, veneers and a mini smile makeover. 

If you are pregnant and are worried about your teeth then here are the tips my dentist gave me for future reference to keep them as healthy as possible:

  • Avoid sugary drinks
  • Clean your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Snack on vegetables between meals rather than acidic or sugary food
  • Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol

Did you suffer with cavities when you were pregnant? Would you consider having a dental treatment such as Veneers?

*This is a collaborative post*





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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Be in the Picture Weekly Favourites - 4

Welcome back to the Be in the Picture weekly roundup. Once again there were lots of wonderful pictures shared on instagram and I struggled to pick just a few favourites. I could have featured so many. If you missed the last roundup you can catch up with it here, Be in the Picture 3.



For those of you that haven't heard of #beinthepicture, it is an instagram hashtag that myself and Alana from Baby Holiday created. It is designed to encourage you to get in-front of the camera as opposed to behind it. I used to always be the one taking the pictures and I was never in them myself. 

You can use the hashtag on any pictures that feature you whether that be fashion, parenting, travel, with your partner etc. You name it, we want to see it.

My favourite photo from last week came from cwing1. The words described how motherhood is like a fast train and how you just want it to slow down. She has managed to capture a beautiful moment in time here. Simply stunning. 




When motherhood is like a train that keeps on moving, no matter how much you want it to slow down to relish every smile, every kiss , every laughter, every silly thing they do, but you can't slow the train down, So you hang on as tight as you can. This picture is a moment in time that last forever. A moment that you can slow down. A time when a simple hug from you can solve all their problems . A time to be cherish . #naturephotography#Benicia#bayarea#napa#napavalley#vacaville##flashesofdelight #darlingmoment #pursuepretty #darlingmovement #thehappynow #livecolorfully #abmlifeiscolorful#bayarea#Benicia#napa#fairfield#naturallight#naturephotography#fallfoliage#fallincalifornia#familyfirst#familyphotography#clickinmoms#fairfieldcaphotographer#clickinmoms#preciousmomentsphotography#californiafallcolors#walnutcreek#sonomacountyphotographer#fairfieldcalifornia#mommyandmephotoshoot#beinthemoment#beinthepicture
A post shared by K&P Photography (@cwing1) on

The next pictures comes from the beautiful Lamb and Bear. I just love the way she is looking at her son with such a natural smile. It's perfect.




Our Fairytale Adventure  is giving me serious wanderlust. They are currently a full time travelling family, touring around Asia. I am loving their insta stories and you tube videos. They celebrated their 5th year wedding anniversary in Thailand and it just all looks so dreamy. 





Fiona at Dolly Dowsie  has one of the prettiest instagram accounts i've seen. This picture was taken on Mother's Day and it shows her lovely relationship with her children. It's gorgeous. It's also making me very excited for some warmer weather.




My own favourite picture that I shared on my account Kerry Louise Norris was this capture from the Great Mosque in Abu Dhabi. The lighting was amazing and the whole experience was breathtaking. 




Make sure you join in with #beinthepicture over on instagram and also follow it to see everyone's pictures. 
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Monday, 19 March 2018

How to Pack for Hot and Humid Travel Destinations

If you are planning a trip to Australia or any other hot and humid destination for that matter then you’ll want to make sure that you not only pack the right clothing but the right gear as well. After all, it is hard to enjoy yourself when you are constantly trying to comb through your wild and wiry hair with sweat flowing like the River Nile. If you want to beat the heat, you can find some useful hints and tips below.

Fabric that Breathes

You really can’t beat having fabric that breathes. You’ll want to go for natural fabrics rather than synthetic fabrics as well. After all, synthetic fabrics can make you feel rather uncomfortable and the main reason for this is because the water isn’t able to escape through the fabric. If you want some good options then try and look out for cotton, linen or even rayon. Clothing for humid climates needs to be loose and it needs to be comfortable as well. This helps airflow to circulate around the body and it also helps sweat to evaporate as well. This helps to prevent a ton of irritation.


Bug Repellent

If you are travelling to a hot destination then there is a high chance that there is going to be a lot of bugs. After all, bugs love hot and humid places and they really do thrive in these types of conditions. If you want to avoid coming back looking like something out of a horror movie then consider taking some insect repellent with you. You’ll also want to try and take some soothing Aloe Vera gel with you as well, as this is one of the best ways for you to soothe irritated or broken skin.

Road Trips

If you are planning on going on a road trip then nothing will compare to the feel of cool air running through your hair as you venture out on the open road. If you aren’t able to go on a road trip but want to, then this Bayswater Charity Drive infographic will show you how you can do that without having to pay out for a rental car. Either way, when embarking on a road trip, you’ll want to pack plenty of bottled water and you’ll also need to take a scarf with you as well. Dust can get everywhere when you are out on the open road and it helps to be able to cover up your face when you are travelling at high speeds.


Hats

Hats are a must-have for anyone who is planning on travelling. If you are planning on venturing out in the world then straw hats are far better than caps and this is because they are able to keep the sun off you way more when compared and they are also great at letting air circulate around your head as well so you know that you won’t have any problems staying cool when the sun’s out. If you can’t get a straw hat then make sure that any hat that you have has breathable material.

*This is a collaborative post*
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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Mama Style - Vintage Feminine by Joanie Clothing

I was recently introduced to a new fashion brand which I am now obsessed with and that's Joanie Clothing. They ooze femininity through their quirky, vintage inspired pieces which are perfectly unique. If you're looking for something bold, eye catching and pretty then this is your go to brand. 




They kindly asked if I would like to choose a couple of pieces from their collection for my recent trip away to Disneyland Paris. I honestly could've picked everything. I wanted it all (not that i'm greedy or anything lol). After seeing the beautiful Holly Willoughby in one of their slogan tops, I knew I needed one. 

If you read my blog regularly or follow me on instagram then you'll know we are a travel loving family. Whenever we are off work, we always take the opportunity for a trip away. With that in mind I found the perfect jumper for me. It had my name written all over it. It's the Annual Leave Slogan Jumper (£38), ideal for when you're out of office is switched on. 




I also received the Charlie A-Line Denim Midi Skirt (£38) which I adore. It's really comfortable and very flattering. It certainly hides my mum tum which is always a bonus. I'm only 5 foot so it's quite long on me but I like the length it sits at. 


Whilst we were away I teamed the outfit with a pair of blue trainers for a casual look. To smarten it up i'd wear the outfit with loafers or smart flats. 


I have such a huge wish-list from Joanie. Their pieces are affordable and versatile. We bought annual passes to Disneyland Paris so the next jumper I am going to buy is the 'Bonjour' one. Here are some of my current favourites on their website.





Have you heard of Joanie Clothing before? What's your favourite from my top picks?





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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Side effects from my first 2 weeks on antidepressants

As I write this I am now 8 weeks into taking 'Setraline' for my PostNatal Depression (PND) and I can honestly say that the side effects I experienced in the first couple of weeks are long gone. I've always said I will write honestly about my PND journey so I knew I needed to write this.



I've decided to write this because I felt so scared and confused when I started taking medication. The decision to actually take medication is not one I took lightly and it was a massive step for me, but I will write about that separately. This post will focus on the side-effects I suffered so that if you are taking these tablets, you know these things are normal and that they will get better. Also don't forget medication effects people differently so if you do take any anti-depressants you may or may not get any side effects.

The Setraline dose I was subscribed was 50mg but this can be increased if needed. I can honestly say the first week of taking these tablets was hell and I thought i'd made the worst decision of my life. I suffered so much and if it wasn't for my husband and family members, I would've given up. The second week was still bad but things started to ease off. 



Here are the side effects I experienced:

Headaches
I had quite a few headaches in the first couple of weeks. I treated these with paracetamol and that seemed to work.

Insomnia
The worst symptom for me was the insomnia. For the first week I literally slept probably about an hour a night in total. My mind would be racing constantly. It was horrible. I couldn't switch my mind off and relax at all.

Increased energy
This symptom tied in with the previous one. I seemed to have increased energy at night-time. I felt hyper and I couldn't keep still. I would twitch a lot or tap things. It was very annoying.

Feeling unsettled/uneasy
I couldn't shake an uneasy feeling. I was worried something bad was going to happen. I'm not sure what but I was worried, scared and more anxious than usual. I'd follow my husband around everywhere like a lost puppy. I'd cling to him and I always wanted reassurance. I didn't want to be left alone.

Weakness
For a couple of days I felt very weak. My muscles ached in a way which is similar to the ache you get in them when you have the flu.

Nausea
Feeling queasy lasted about a week. I was sick a couple of times but most of the time it was just nausea.

Restless Leg
Another symptom that kept me up most of the night was restless leg. My knees ached. This lasted about a couple of weeks. Somebody suggested taking magnesium tablets which I take every day to help with restless legs.

Tiredness
The tablets made me very tired. In fact they still do. Before I started taking them I could never nap in the day. Now I fall asleep during the day at least twice a week. 

Intrusive thoughts
This was a very frightening symptom which co insides with feeling uneasy. I constantly questioned my own existence. kept saying I was a failure and that everybody would be better off without me. Thankfully this only lasted about a week.



As i've already said you may not even suffer with any symptoms when taking these tablets. It's so important to make sure you have a good support network around you when you start taking anti-depressants and to always talk to someone if you are worried. 

I am feeling so much better now. I am a calmer, happier person but I will write about that in more detail soon. 





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Friday, 9 March 2018

It Must Be Love: Shouting Loud About Committing To Your Favorite Clothing


We’ve all got that one favorite item of clothing. It might be one year old, or you may have had the thing for six or seven years already. Either way, this is your go-to. You can’t imagine anything being more comfortable than this baby. Sure, you’ve thought about updating. You’ve even looked around in a half-hearted attempt at it. But everything you’ve tried on has felt like cheating. And, they haven’t even been as good as your one true love.

The trouble is that this fast-fashion culture (Zara update their stock daily for goodness sake), has made us feel as though we can’t hold onto things. Commit to clothing? Forget it. You need to update with the seasons! Hence, many of us keep these favorite pieces as a dirty secret. We wear them at home, or out to the shops, but that’s about the extent of it.

This is as sad as any relationship kept secret. Love shouldn’t be hidden from the world. Besides, you’re doing yourself an injustice by acting this way. Because of this, you don’t get to wear your favorite thing when you go out! It’s time to put an end to that madness. Here are a few tips on how you can shout loud and proud about old clothing you love.




Keep on top of repairs

Admittedly, when clothes are old, they don’t always look their best. The chances are that your loved item has a rip or two which aren’t fit for public consumption. But, there’s no need to let that keep your love in the closet. Instead, get your alteration head on. There’s not much you can’t do with a sewing machine and some spare fabric. Alternatively, you could head to companies like the one you’ll find when you click here, who can take care of things for you. Either way, keeping on top of repairs is half the battle for overcoming your secret shame.


Update to keep up with fashions

If your primary fear is going out of fashion, stop worrying. There are a few ways to make sure old pieces stay in keeping with current trends. All you need to do is know what fashion is doing, and how you can mimic it. This could mean including additions or even sewing patches of fabric to the exterior. Bear in mind, too, that an old piece may not look as outdated as you think if the rest of your outfit is on trend.

Notice that nobody else cares


For the most part, the only people who care about these love affairs are those involved. If other people have noticed you’ve had this piece for years, it’s unlikely they think twice about it. Why should it bother them if you have a favorite clothing item? It’s likely they have one too. For the most part, those haters you think are out there are only in your head. So, stop feeling ashamed and let the world know about the beautiful power of loving your clothes!

*This is a collaborative post*

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Thursday, 8 March 2018

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

This week it's Mother's Day. Here are some gift ideas to help say thank you for everything she does.


For the fashionable Mama:

1) Joanie Clothing*





I was recently introduced to the fab vintage inspired clothes from Joanie Clothing and I am obsessed. They have lovely dresses and skirts but my favourite on their site has to be their slogan jumpers. 

2) Lamb and Bear


Slogan clothes are definitely the thing to be seen in amongst mamas. There is a great new range over at Lamb and Bear. There are various ones such as 'Coffee and Conquer' but this 'Wine and Winning' one is my personal favourite, (probably because it sums up my life).

3) Avon*

I didn't even realise Avon sold more products than beauty and make-up. They have a big range of fashion items such as clothes and accessories which are all very reasonably priced. I was sent a fab animal print scarf and toiletry bag which was in collaboration with T by Tabitha. I love the print. It's so striking and vibrant.



For the Mama that needs a break:

1) We Are Tea*

There is nothing I love more than a good cup of tea. I am a tea addict. I recently tried a selection of teas from We Are Tea including flavours such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Peppermint, Fruit infused loose leaf tea and more. The English breakfast is one of my favourites. It's full bodied and doesn't leave an after-taste. I've also tried their super tea's which were great when I was ill with a cold and flu. A selection of different tea's for a tea addict is a practical but comforting gift.

2) A Spa Treatment

One thing I adore as a special treat is a treatment at a spa. It's the perfect way to relax and switch off. Last year I attended a blogger event at Lush Cardiff where I was given a tour of their amazing spa. It is incredible. It's nothing like I imagined but it is so unique and it looks very cosy. They offer a range of treatments which would make a lovely Mother's Day gift. You can view some pictures of the spa over on this old blog post, Lush Christmas Blogger Event.



For the beauty Mama:

1) Benefit

One of my all time favourite beauty products is Benefit Hoola. It's my go to bronzer and i've used it for years. They have a special edition, personalised 'Mum's' Hoola available which is a must for any Benefit lovers.



2) Ruth MastenBroek Eau de Parfum*

For an extra special, luxury, unique gift then a perfume by Ruth Mastenbroek is a great idea. Ruth is a classically trained perfumer who has previously created perfumes for Jo Malone, Jigsaw and Kenneth Turner. She has now released her own range of fragrances with 4 to choose from. 
I adore tha packaging and print. They ooze luxury and distinction. Each lovely picture tells a story.



For the travel Mama:

1) Baylis and Harding*

We travel quite a lot and I always try and feel as comfortable as I can when flying with a pair of fluffy socks. There is a pretty limited edition 'Pink Gin Fizz' range by Baylis and Harding and one of the gift sets is a travel set which guess what, includes some pink fluffy socks. It also has a travel mug (essential for car travel) and a foot lotion to look after those tired feet from all of the exploring. The packaging and print is my favourite by them so far. It's very modern and trendy. This set is available in Morrisons for £10.


2) Paperchase

A travel journal is essential for travel fans and this new one from Paperchase is certainly top of my list. It has got sections for documenting trips, wish lists, people that inspire you to travel etc. 



For the Mama that likes a pretty home:

1) Baylis and Harding*

I've already said how much I love the print on the limited edition 'Pink Gin Fizz' range so I was delighted to see the candles. They smell amazing too. The trio set is £15 and is available from Tesco. 

2) The White Company


Diffusers have become increasingly popular in the home and my personal favourites are the ones from The White Company. The Seychelles is such an incredible smell but they have a vast range of other scents.


*Prices correct at time of publishing. Items marked with a star were gifted to me to include in my gift guide. All opinions are my own
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