My Head’s Spinning!!!

I feel like my feet aren’t touching the floor of late.  I’m not going to lie, I have been so ridiculously busy my head is spinning!

I have been working on a new, exciting (and secret) project as well as getting into the thick of my clothes range.  It’s all going on!  I know I need to stop thinking of everything all at once but it is so easy to get lost in your thoughts and project yourself into the future.  To stop thinking of what you want and where you want to be, and start living in the here and now, is much easier said than done.  I have started to read a book called Mindfulness for Dummies (not sure I appreciate the title!).  I have always been interested in meditation and I have been saying I would love to take classes as I think it’s so important to be able to relax and give yourself that bit of time for you.  It makes you look at the world differently, or should I say, makes you take note and appreciate how beautiful the world we live in is!  I am loving it and find it so interesting.
I managed to read the first few chapters while on a short break from the madness, with Wes.  We went to Puerto Banus in Marbella; no kids, just us.  It was so amazing to have a bit of quality time together and I love Marbella.  With the fancy designer shops, the big yachts and people-watching in the restaurants on the port, we had a totally chilled out time (no crazy nights, just us and the sunshine!).

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If ever you get the chance one of my favourite spots is La Sala restaurant and bar.  The food is lovely and the atmosphere is great.  It’s nice to get a table outside because it gets lively inside, but if you don’t like standing I would book an inside table from the off set if you want to be in the mix!  Los Bandidos is my favourite restaurant on the port.  The food is lush and it’s situated right next to Louis Vuitton and Dolce and Gabbana, amongst other lovely shops!

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We stayed at  The Guadalpin Hotel as it’s only a short walk along the beach into the port (so no car needed) and the Mistral Beach, which is right in front of it, is really lovely.  They have traditional Spanish food which is beautiful and the beach is very chilled.  You’ll find everyone from young to old to families!  Obviously if you’re going for a crazy time that’s a different story…I will fill you in on the best spots next time I go with the girls!  Haha!

Start of the Season

I hadn’t seen my beautiful husband for almost 3 weeks and the girls had missed him so much with being in Turkey on holiday. They had loads of fun but they never stop asking for daddy!  The weekend we got back was the first home game of the season for Sunderland and they were playing Man Utd.  After a whirlwind one night stay at home (unpacking and packing again) we were off to The Stadium of Light!  Wes had got all the girls the new season shirts with their names on the back (and obviously their daddy’s number 5).  The game was a draw, so a great point for Sundo against Man U!

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We decided to stay at the Jesmond Dene House hotel in Newcastle.  Its set on the park and is a beautiful place.  It is so quiet but less then 5 minutes into the town centre.  The rooms were lovely; we had a deluxe room in a separate annex from the main building which was on the ground floor.  It had it’s own little garden which the kids loved (Halle took a beautiful picture of a bumble bee on a pink flower, which just makes you appreciate nature) but more importantly (for me the foody) the restaurant is amazing! 

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We have eaten there once before and we all loved it.  There is a private dining room for up to 12 people which is perfect for us as it means the children are less likely to disturb anyone in the main restaurant!  The food is so beautiful.  I opted for French onion soup for starter and the lobster tail for my main, while my mum and Wes went for the steak.  Both were outstanding and obviously I tried everything!  Now I am usually up for sampling a bit of the desserts but this was something else.  I had the dark chocolate sphere and it was lush.  Hot chocolate sauce was poured over the outer shell which melted to reveal ice-cream inside.  Finger licking good!!

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The wine menu has a wide variety and there is a wine connoisseur on hand to advise you (just in case you’re like me;  I often ask for something “full bodied with vanilla and chocolate undertones with a smooth finish”…something I once read on the back of a bottle.  Ha!)  Anyway, after baffling him with our extensive knowledge of wine he suggested a Syrah: Chateau Ste Michelle from Columbia Valley.  It was beautiful.  We followed it with a few cocktails and then it was definitely night night for us!  A hotel I would certainly recommend if you’re ever staying over in Newcastle!

Great Places in Bodrum

We went to some beautiful places in Bodrum. The beaches aren’t sandy (unless they are man-made) so there was a lot of jumping off jetties! Everybody was so welcoming of children so it was never a struggle to find somewhere to entertain them. Stacey’s house is in Torba and there are a couple of beach front restaurants there which are lovely. We also went to Kuum Beach in Turkbuku (known as the St Tropez of Turkey) and stayed until the sun set. The kids were running around and jumping in and out of the sea all afternoon!
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We went to B-long beach in Yalikavak too; it’s part of the newly built Palmarina. It was so beautiful. The children were playing in canoes in the sea and the little ones took advantage of the (slightly strange) sand! After the sun went down we went for some food and walked along the marina, looking at all of the yachts. We even managed to squeeze in a waffle with Nutella!
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We were there for ten days so, of course, we managed a cheeky night out! Stacey used to live in Turkey so she has lots of friends who live there, including the famous belly dancer, Tanyli. We had a really fun night at the open air club, Halikarnus (decorated by Jade Jagger…it was stunning), and Tanyli showed us a few of her moves. I love all types of dancing but found her particularly fascinating. What that girl can do with her hips…wow! Amazing. 
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When the Earth Shakes

In Turkey we were lucky enough to stay at my friend’s house with her and her two children. Stacey has Grace,9, and Zac,6, so between us there were three mums and six children. Little Zac was the only boy and Lola has a big crush on him! It was so cute, they were inseparable, like a little married couple! When I asked him who he is going to marry when he grows up he replied, “Well, I think lots of girls are pretty, but I’m going to wait to see if they will still be pretty when they grow up”. Ha! Then I asked if he would marry Lola and he said, “Will she still have curly hair when she grows up?” Apparently “yes probably” wasn’t the right answer because his response was, “Oh right, well that’s bad”! Aaaaah, how can he not love those curls?! Well Zac, you might regret that one day! Hahaha! They are just the cutest!

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The other four girls were occupied as pupils at the Halle Brown Dance School! They all got on great which is the main thing …six happy children equal three happy mummies!

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The house in Bodrum and when we arrived Stacey warned us about the earthquakes (or mild tremors) we may experience while we were there. The fault lines are at the top of Turkey so Bodrum gets the occasional rumble. I didn’t really feel any until one morning, a few days into the holiday, at about 7am. I woke up to the whole house shaking and making the loudest thundering noise, the bed was literally vibrating. I opened my eyes and lay there frozen but after about 5 seconds it stopped and everything was still again. The house was quiet and I closed my eyes and went back off to sleep (assuming that must be the earthquakes Stacey told us to expect). Lilia and Lola, who I was sharing a bed with, didn’t even wake up! Anyway, an hour later Halle came running downstairs shouting, “Did you feel the earthquake?” Stacey was clearly shaken and explained that she had never experienced anything as strong as that before. She had jumped out of bed ready to evacuate! Apparently it had registered 4.1 but they usually register over 2.3…I’m glad I didn’t know at the time!

Holiday Packing

We had the best time in Turkey but packing for my brood is a big job (especially if you’re as anal as me when it comes to organising outfits). Unfortunately I’m not the kind of girl who could be spontaneous; pack in 10 minutes and hope for the best; no way, I get palpitations just thinking about it! Ha! Ok, slight exaggeration, but I do like to be organised. We all need bikinis with matching cover ups or sun dresses, and then I pack all of our evening outfits altogether too. When I have four lots to pack I usually begin the process at least a week before!

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I used to roll everything in the cases but just recently I have discovered these packing bags which are a god send. They create so much more space and because everything is so compact inside them, there are little or no creases in any of your clothes; they don’t move around in the case at all. I would definitely recommend them! These ones are from Muji and you can get them in three different sizes.

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Growing up too fast!

So it happened.  Even though I was (kind of) expecting it, I still think she is far too young!  Even though it’s the most natural thing to happen in a girl’s life, you’re still never 100% prepared when it’s your little girl.  My beautiful, eldest daughter, who is 11 years old, shouted me last week: “muummmmyyy come here”,and I just knew what was coming as I walked up the stairs.  She is a big girl for her age and, although very athletic, she is very well developed (well, far more so than I or my mum was!).  “I think I have started my period”.  She looked a little shaken but to be honest, quite composed.

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She is such lovely, patient, polite girl (or should I say young lady now?).  In some ways she is quite mature, but in lots of others not so!  I am always telling her to sit up and close her legs and “sit like a lady”!  And she is probably a messier eater than my 3 year old!  Oh, and she hates washing her hair!  It’s naturally curly so it doesn’t look great if she doesn’t look after it.  I think all this will change when she goes to secondary school as there will be boys, which I’m sure she will start noticing sooner or later!  Hopefully later!!! I looked at her little face, asked if she was ok and gave her a big hug.  As we were on holiday at the time the first thing she asked me was “does this mean I can’t go swimming?”, bless her.

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I had explained everything to Halle a few years ago as she started asking me questions.  I was pregnant with Lola and I told her about the birds the bees, as well as everything that us women have to go through on a monthly basis…boys just have it so easy!  She took it all in her stride and went on her way.  I have always believed that, when your child asks questions about nature and the facts of life, there is little point in filling their head with rubbish.  Maybe if more parents were straight talking about things like this we may have less teenage pregnancies?  Too many young people think silly things, like ‘you can’t get pregnant the first time’!?  I feel it’s our responsibility as parents to educate our children on such a sensitive matter and it shouldn’t just be left for the classroom.  A room full of teens sniggering and laughing and not paying attention because they are too embarrassed isn’t overly useful to anyone!  Don’t get me wrong, I feel sex education in school is very important, but it’s not usually done until mid secondary school.  I think even though we all hope our children wouldn’t even be thinking of having any sexual relationships until a lot later, we all know it happens!  It seems girls are developing earlier now and by the time they hit year 6, for some, a talk, is just a little too late.

I am lucky enough to have had a very open relationship with my mum and always felt I could tell her anything (well most things! Ha!)  This has allowed me to be the same with my girls and I am so grateful for this as I know it isn’t always the case.  Anyway, she had a bit of a tummy ache, and for a day or two she was a bit quieter than her normal bubbly self; nothing that lots of mummy cuddles couldn’t sort out and she definitely didn’t let it spoil her holiday!  I am just praying the mood swings don’t kick in next month!

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I am so proud of her as she grows before my eyes and it makes me so emotional.  She is beautiful inside and out with a sensitive and kind soul!  I sit watching her organise her sisters and their friends.  Halle has the ability to command the attention of all the girls; usually by making up dances with them (it’s like she already has her own little dance school going on).  She is the best big sister my other two could ever wish for, and the best eldest daughter a mother could ever wish for!

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Killer Heels!

I love beautiful shoes! I suppose I do prefer to buy clothes, but that’s only because I have a high instep and, due to my childhood hobby gymnastics, my feet have hard soles (as well as having a really narrow and boney foot).  Don’t get me wrong, I still manage to dance all night in a pair of killer heels, and after a few drinks, if the music is good, I will dance til’ the end of the night!  Then, when it’s time to go, I’m always the one limping out of the club because my feet are in agony. Ha!

Louboutins are the ultimate sexy shoe! I wanted them so badly for my wedding day that I went back and forth to Paris to have a pair designed and made just for me.   I even had extra cushioning in the soles as I knew I would be on my feet all day and night (always thinking!).  They are so beautiful; they have the date we got married in crystals on the heels and the eternity sign around the edge of the platform!

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Yesterday Louboutin launched a nail polish in the same colour as his famous red soles, and the bottle is the same length as the spike heels he designed.  This is his highest ever shoe; even with extra cushioning I doubt I would be dancing home in the early hours!

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It would make a stunning present that any girl would adore, and at £36 it won’t break the bank!  Red is a great way of adding a splash of colour in autumn/winter; it’s definitely on my list of things to buy this season!  If you want to grab one you will have to be quick because they may be limited stock.  Also, keep an eye out for more colours coming very soon!

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