HELLO MARCH 2018
Agh! I’m beyond excited as we go on our much anticipated trip to Dubai & Australia at the end of this month and it can’t come quick enough for the Barker family!
I’ll be blogging about that next month whilst I’m out there so in the meantime I’ll get on with this months blog!!
FABULOUS THINGS THAT HAPPENED LAST MONTH
- Booking an amazing spa day at Mottram Hall in Cheshire for my mums 70th birthday in July. Can’t wait!
- Being able to take Dora out for short walks now she’s had her injections
- Isabelle being nominated for a scholarship for her Grade 4 ballet exam & competing at the IDTA finals in Manchester in February. It’s a really big achievement to be nominated & as always I’m extremely proud of her.
- At last I had some free Sunday’s to be at home with my amazing family just doing normal family Sunday things.
- Meeting up with an old friend I’ve not seen for a long long time for dinner & cocktails at one of my favourite places Harvey’s Bar Kitchen in Huddersfield.
- Isabelle turning 13!!!! & her party at Inflatanation in Manchester. Amazing place!
- A full Sunday just me & Max. We had a lovely long walk & just talked & talked. Real uninterrupted mummy & son time and not an X box in sight!!!
- A full Sunday girly shopping with Isabelle. We had a fab time shopping in Leeds and going to The Alchemist for lunch. A gorgeous mum & daughter day!
- A lovely day at The Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden London watching one of my pupils dance.
- Half term, a few lovely days with my children off school.
LIFESTYLE & HOME
Spring cleaning hacks
With my favourite & much anticipated season on its way I love to clear out the miserable winter and welcome in the Spring. The minute daffodils are in the shops I buy them weekly to enjoy the first signs of Spring & Spring smelling candles and scents fill our home.
One of the best ways to bring in the new season for me is a big Spring Clean & clear out & here are a few tips & tricks that I use to get you started.
Not only do they flavour drinks beautifully they are also great to use around the home. The acid in them helps to remove dirt, lime scale & rust leaving everything squeaky clean and smelling so fresh. You can use them on taps, chopping boards & surfaces by leaving the juice for a little while then rinse.
Another trick is to add lemon to steam clean your microwave. Fill a bowl with water, add slices of lemons & cook in the microwave for 5 minutes. You’ll then be able to wipe away any built-in grease with ease afterwards. The smell is fresh and fabulous too.
- De clutter your wardrobes
A good idea for your wardrobe is to hang all your clothes with the hangers facing the wrong way round. When you wear something hang it back the right way round. If you do this each time you’ll soon see what you are & aren’t wearing and after a certain period if you still haven’t worn it give it to charity.
- Wash your windows on cloudy day
For a quick homemade washing solution mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water and wash them on a cloudy day as sunshine makes them dry too quickly leaving streaks.
- Clean your dishwasher
A dirty dishwasher is no use and needs a bit of care too to keep it in tip top working order. Place a dishwasher safe cup of vinegar on the top shelf and run on the hottest cycle. After that sprinkle a cupful of baking soda around the bottom and run it through a short but complete cycle using the hottest water.
- Use cola to clean the toilet
This is a miracle worker, just simply pour cola along the toilet bowl and flush for a sparkling result.
- Use Cotton buds for cleaning key boards
Instead of a wipe, take a damp cotton bud and use it to clean the difficult bits in between your keyboards and remotes.
- Be realistic
Don’t try to tackle the whole house in one day if you’re really giving the place a deep clean & de clutter. Give yourself targets and finish a couple of rooms fully per day.
- Clear out kitchen cupboards
It’s easy to forget old tins & packets lurking at the back of kitchen cupboards which can be years past their sell by date. Take time to do a full clear out of expired products & see how much more space you have. Do the same with your medicine cabinet too.
- Open windows
As soon as the better weather starts get the windows open and let in some fresh air! There’s nothing nicer than letting old fusty smells out and the fresh smell of Spring inside your home.
- Bicarbonate of soda
This is so much more than a baking ingredient. Mix with a little warm water to make a paste and this will clean everything from fridges to ovens. Leave the paste on the oven overnight to get it sparkly clean.
BEAUTY & STYLE
I swear by Estée Lauder
For my wedding day I was introduced to Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation and I’ve sworn by it ever since. Double Wear boasts a cult following which is no surprise considering its large colour range, great coverage and long lasting results, it also has SPF 10. At the end of my wedding day people were asking if I’d had my make up re done but apart from my lipstick I didn’t touch my face all day so good was my trusty Estée Lauder foundation & powder.
To compliment the double wear I also wear the Estée Lauder pressed powder which also comes in various shades and stays put all day. Although I’ve been wearing them both for almost 15 years they still work for my skin and I’ll continue to use them for as long as they look and feel great.
COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH
less than 30 mins
no cooking required
Try this recipe for a classic Singapore sling using gin, cherry heering and ginger ale.
- 25ml/1fl oz gin
- 25ml/1fl oz cherry heering (available from online retailers)
- 1 tsp benedictine liqueur
- ginger ale, to top up
- slice lime peel
- Pour the ingredients into a tall glass and top up with ginger ale.
- Garnish with a lime peel and serve
BOOK OF THE MONTH
‘Me before you’ by Jo Jo Moyles
Although I had heard of Jojo Moyes, I had not read any of her books, so other than knowing that this book was gathering some momentum & it had been made into a film, I didn’t come into it with any preconceived expectations.
In ‘Me Before You’ we follow Lou Clark, a bright but directionless young woman who drifts between dead-end jobs until she eventually (rather reluctantly) takes a post as a carer to a young man who has been left in a quadriplegic state following a road accident two years earlier. Will Traynor had a high-profile, well paid career and a very active lifestyle, until it was all taken away from him in the accident. Will is left very bitter and angry about the hand life has dealt him and his family have tried everything to bring Will back to life. They decide to hire Lou in the hopes that she might be able to convince Will that his life is worth living.
I was hooked from the first page & this is a love story unlike others. Beautifully written & for me it was definitely a page turner, so much so that I went straight out & bought the DVD of the wonderful film.
FILM OF THE MONTH
A dying mother’s life lessons to the husband and sons she left behind. Based on the best-selling novel by St John (Singe) Greene, the film is the story of Singe and Kate, a couple from North Somerset, whose lives were turned upside down when Kate was diagnosed with an incurable breast cancer. Over her last few days, she created her list: writing her thoughts and memories down, to help the man she loved create the best life possible for their two sons, after she was gone.
This film had me hooked from the minute it started. Knowing it was based on a true story certainly makes it poignant and I watched most of the film through tears. Moving performances by Emilia Fox & Rafe Spall as Singe & Kate certainly brought the film to life and makes you want to cherish every minute of your own. Not a film I’ll watch again due to the sheer sadness of it but it was beautifully directed & acted and is a perfect reminder to live each day to the fullest with your love ones and continue to make memories every day.
THIS MONTH I’M LOVING
Holiday shopping!!!!! So flipping excited!
THIS MONTH I’M NOT LOVING
This awful British weather, hurry up Spring! (Although having a snow day with the kids off school was nice!)
THIS MONTHS FAVOURITES
- Garnier summer body moisturising lotion for a gradual tan
- Megan Ellaby. A fab vlogger from Manchester whom I’ve just discovered.
- Daffodils_ my favourite flowers are out again. #spring #happiness #newbeginnings
- ‘Call the midwife’. I’ve dipped in and out of this over the years but this season I’ve watched each episode as I love to have a Sunday night drama to watch & I’ve loved it.
- The Flo and Joan Sisters NatWest advert. Hilarious!!! 😂😂
THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH
‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page!’