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A weekend in Copenhagen with the kids β€οΈπŸ‡©πŸ‡°

For anyone who has seen the movie Danish Girl, you will know what I mean when I talk about the amazing scenery. 

The colourful high ceilinged buildings that line the beautiful canals, the costumes and the history. The Danish Girl was the true story of Lili Elbe, the world’s first receipients of sex change surgery. The movie was set and filmed in and around Copennhagen, amd ever since watching it I have wanted to visit this magical, theatrical city for myself.

Here are some amazing facts about Copenhagen –

– Copenhagen’s metropolitan area has a population of just over 2million people (comparitively London is estimated to be at 8.6million in 2017)

– The UN World Happiness Report has rated Danes as the happiest people on earth two years in a row.

– Danes have a special word “hygge” for that cozy feeling of togetherness. It means relaxing in great company.

– LEGO is Danish!

– 50% of Copenhageners commute to work every day on bicycle – come rain come shine.

– The Copenhagen harbour is clean enough to swim in!

– It is where the first ‘Joe & the Juice’ store opened up

Where we stayed –

As a family we love Radissons, so in Copenhagen it was the Radisson for us. We had a lovely pair of adjoining rooms at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia, which a short walk over a bridge from the main attractions.

What we saw –

  • The Tivoli Gardens – a famous amusement park and pleasure garden in Copenhagen, Denmark. The park opened on 15 August 1843 and is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world. Its a wondeful place for adults to be kids again.

  • The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen – is Denmark’s largest museum of cultural history, comprising the histories of Danish and foreign cultures, alike. My boys spent a good 3hours exploring this fantastic space. Its very kid friendly & the coffee shop does these great huge sandwiches! Perfect for kids & lunch. It has exhibitions from the Stone Age, the Viking Age, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Modern Danish History. 

  • Boat trip – A definate must to see the whole city. You can catch the boat all along the waterway. Its also a fantastic way to get a glimse of the infamous Little Mermaid from the sea.
  • Nyhavn – is a 17th-century waterfront, canal and entertainment district in Copenhagen. Stretching from Kongens Nytorv to the harbour front just south of the Royal Playhouse, it is lined by brightly coloured buildings. We sat by the water in one of the many lovely restaurants and just watched the world go by.


Where we ate –


  • Wagamamas- I know! Go all the way to Copenhagen and go to Wagamamas! But with kids sometimes whatever makes them happy works.
  • Nyhavn 17 – A great place to enjoy Herrings on a bed of fresh bread. Its delicious! Washed down with a cold beer.
  • Cows & Cocks – A chain of burger restaurants in the city. Chargrilled burgers o& ribs with homemade sauces in a trendy venue with booths & brick walls. 
  • Bagt – another chain of fantastic bakeries. Fresh Danish pasteries & great cappucinos! Beats hotel breakfasts everytime.


Top tip-

  • Do not get a taxi from the airport! Save money & time by getting the metro straight to the city! My boys loved sitting at the front of the train, there are no drivers so they lived the adventure! Getting tickets is super easy from the machines near the trains, a short walk from the airport arrivals. There are even stewards on hand who speak perfect English to help!

Enjoy Copenhagen! We loved it!  xxx

🌟Win🌟 A pair of fantastic books for Summer by Jan Ellis πŸ“š

It is officially Summer! Although June feels like Summer in my household the countdown to the holidays begins in July.

Only 3 weeks to go, or 15 school days as my son tells me, until end of term and we can relax in Antalya by the blue sea.

I normally start buying the staples for me few weeks away around now. I make lists and start stocking up slowly to avoid the last minute panic. This year is extra hectic as we are extending our living room, so more to plan.

I always try to take a few good books with me to Antalya. I find summer is the perfect time to read.

This year along with some new titles which I cannot wait to read & review for you all, Im taking the lovely Jan Ellis’s latest two books with me to enjoy again whilst overlooking the Mediterranean sea, with a tall iced tea on the side.

The Books –


These books are one and two in The Bookshop by The Sea series.

Book 1 – A Summer of Suprises & An Unexpected Affair

Book 2 – The Bookshop Detective

Both set in beautiful Devon around the lives of the residents of Combemouth. Eleanor is the main character who we loved in the first book, and with a mystery to solve in the second book things get even more exciting.

Jan ensures that her cleverly created eccentric characters make us smile and want to find out more. Her words flow so naturally that whilst reading, the story is brought to life infront of your very eyes.

🌟WIN🌟WIN🌟WIN🌟

On the back of ‘A Summer of Suprises & An Unexpected Affair’ I am honoured to be quoted.

A lovely set of books to take away on holiday with you & read whilst relaxing on the beach or on a large comfortable sofa”

I still agree! And here is your chance to win the two books in the Bookshop by the Sea series! Simply click on the rafflecopter link below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Competition is open to International & UK residents & the winner will be picked at random. The competition ends on Sunday July 16th at midnight!

Good luck lovelies 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Top 5 things to do in London this Summer! πŸŒžπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

I love London! It is such a wonderfully diverse city filled with so many great things to do! And when you have the added benefit of sunshine in the city, there are even more lovely ways to spend your time.


I lived in central London for most of my life, but a few years ago we decided to move to the suburbs with our boys. But a trip to the city is always a great adventure for us, and only 35minute train ride away. I love to plan things for the weekend for my family to enjoy. London is a city that is always alive, there are things going on for all ages at all times of the day.

Here are a few of my favourite things to do in beautiful London this Summer –


1.A Picnic in Victoria Tower Gardens –

London has some amazing parks – St. James, Green Park, Hyde Park to name a few. But I always find them to be far too crowed in the Summer months and at weekends. So for my family and I a lovely peaceful park is the Victoria Tower Gardens. Located right next to the Houses of Parliament, it not only has fantastic views of the London Eye and the River Thames, it has a recently modernised playground kids of all ages will enjoy. A huge sand pit, water feature, swings and slides. And a great new snack serving kiosk. All you will need for an escape from the crowds of London, right in the centre of the big city itself.

2.A Visit to The Wallace Collection –

The Wallace Collection is an art collection in London open to the public, housed at Hertford House in Manchester Square, London, just a stones throw away from Baker Street station. This beautifully noble townhouse is filled with the most amazing antiques and paintings from all over the world. It has some lovely classes and tours which are aimed for children of all ages. What is great is entrance to the museum is absolutely free.

3.A Boat trip down the Thames –

The Thames is such a wonderful river to ride down in the summertime. My boys love to catch the Thames Clipper service from just under the London Eye on the South Bank. You can use your Oyster Card to ride the boat and it stops at several major attractions along the river. For an extra special treat for the whole family why not sit outside on the boat and enjoy the sights al fresco.

4.A Visit to the Sky Garden –

London in the Summer on a clear day is just amazing and the best way to admire the city is from up above! The Sky Garden in the City of London is a place over three storeys and with a 360 degree view across London. Visitors can wander around the landscaped gardens, observation decks and an open air terrace of what is London’s highest public garden. Entrance is free but you need to book the visit in advance.

5. Sensational Butterflies at The Natural History Museum –

My kids love to visit museums, and London is filled with the most famous museums in the world. When the weather is warmer however my kids love to do more things outdoors. The Natural History Museum has a great exhibition that kids and adults alike love every year from March to September. Based in the gardens of the museum, it’s a perfect family day out wandering among hundreds of free-flying moths and butterflies from around the world. There are booklets available for kids to fill in and enjoy a picnic in the gardens afterwards.

 Enjoy the sunshine 🌞🌞🌞🌞  (when it comes out! 😜)

A Noble Intention ❀️ a movie review πŸŽ¬

Big blockbuster movies are really not enticing me to watch them these days. I don’t know whether they are overdoing the special effects, or overdoing the ‘big name actors,’ the storylines are just so boring and predictable at times.

So the other day whilst zapping on Netflix I decided to take a look through the International Movies section. A selection I randomly go for mainly because I just cannot be bothered to read the subtitles! But that night I was willing to do anything to watch something remotely interesting. And this movie was just mesmerising from start to finish.

The Movie –


Set in 1888 in Amsterdam, a stubborn violin maker and his pharmacist cousin face hardship and tragedy as they oppose the powerful businessmen who plan to force him from his house and erect a luxurious new hotel in its place.

Verdict –

The luxurious hotel in question here was The Victoria Hotel, the exact hotel where we stayed with my husband on our visit there last year! And the story told is a true one, of a shop keeper who refuses to let the powerful businessmen force him out of his business to build this hotel.

The hotel is instead built around the little shop, and exists there inbetween the hotel today. It is now a super cute little gift shop. You can see it in the photo above.


If you are due to visit Amsterdam you must watch this movie to get a feel for the city in the 1800’s and you must visit the gift shop on your visit.

A Noble Intention is now on Netflix! Dont miss it x

Wonderful Diamonds for those special occasions…πŸ’

This year my darling husband and I will be celebration our 14th Wedding anniversary. Over the past 14 years I have had gifts of jewellery from my husband, but the one piece of jewellery I cherish most is my engagement ring.

An engagement ring is not just a piece of jewellery, it is a symbol of your love for each other and in my opinion should be chosen by the bride. It is a very romantic gesture for the groom to choose the ring, but it is the bride who has to wear it and enjoy wearing it for the rest of her life. So either the groom has to very cleverly ask the right questions to find out the bride’s favourite style of ring, or just let the bride choose.

My engagement ring is a round cut sapphire, surrounded by diamonds all mounted on a platinum setting. I fell in love with my ring from the first moment I played eyes on it, and  14 years on it still gives me butterflies when I look at it.

When choosing your ring, be it as an engagement ring, wedding band or a ring to celebrate a special occasion, make sure you look in shops and online. There are so many great online jewellers who offer very reasonable prices and amazing styles.

The Company –


Wonderfully Diamonds prides itself on producing magnificent jewellery in a wide variety of original and stunning styles. With a wealth of experience and supreme artisanal expertise, they can transform your jewellery dream into a sparkling reality.

Wonderfully Diamonds, can provide a vast array of certified diamonds, ranging from 0.3 carats, up to 5 carats. They also offer a variety of cuts to suit every taste – from the popular, timeless Princess or Pear cut, to perhaps something more quirky and completely original. Experts are happy to work with you to design and create a beautiful bespoke wedding ring that will perfectly complement your engagement ring and captivate all who see it. The β€˜Wonderfully World of Bespoke Experience’ includes a design consultant who will expertly guide you through the whole process, from choosing the perfect diamond or gemstone to helping you to create a unique piece that embodies your personality and uniqueness. Free of charge, you can view a CAD image of your design. Once you are completely satisfied with the image, they’ll provide you with a free quotation before you commit to ordering.

Verdict –

The Wonderfully Diamonds web site is so easy to use and the product range available is amazing.


Diamond Engagement Rings, Rose Gold Engagement Rings, Platinum Engagement Rings, White Gold Engagement Rings, Diamond Wedding Rings, Sapphire Engagement Rings, Women & Mens Wedding Rings.

Wonderfully Diamonds launched their e-commerce brand just last week on June 15th.


Sapphires have always been a favourite of mine, I think any girl growing up in the UK had a love for Princess Diana’s beautiful sapphire engagement ring. Deep blue is also my favourite colour.

I am now looking for a sapphire eternity ring to accompany my engagement ring and diamond wedding band. It is very fashionable now to stack rings. Looking on Wonderfully Diamonds website finding my style of eternity ring couldn’t have been easier.

So if you are looking for that special ring or piece of jewellery and are short on time to visit jewellery shops, Wonderfully Diamonds is a great place to shop online –

https://wonderfullydiamonds.com/engagement

The Portrait by Antoine Laurain β€οΈπŸ“š a book review

Summer has definately arrived in London. My idea of heaven is sitting in my garden in one of our super comfortable rattan chairs, with a cold drink and a good book!

What could be more relaxing? Well a good book and a cold drink by the sea would also work for me, but sadly our school holidays are a few weeks away yet, so the garden will have to do.

When a favourite author brings out a new book the anticipation of starting it makes my day even more exciting.

The Book –


A collector unearths the find of a lifetime: an eighteenth-century portrait of a man uncannily like him. 

While wandering through a Paris auction house, avid collector Pierre-FranΓ§ois Chaumont is stunned to discover the eighteenth-century portrait of an unknown man who looks just like him. 

Much to his delight, Chaumont’s bid for the work is successful, but back at home his jaded wife and circle of friends are unable to see the resemblance. 

Chaumont remains convinced of it, and as he researches into the painting’s history, he is presented with the opportunity to abandon his tedious existence and walk into a brand new life…

Verdict –

There are certain authors whose style I love. Authors who bring out new books and I just cannot wait to read them.

Antoine Laurain is one of my favourites. I also follow his Instagram account avidly for breathtaking images of Paris.

The Portrait is another super original quirky tale unlike any other. What I love most about Antoine’s books are their ability to suprise you with something new unlike any other book on the market. The storyline is always fun and will keep you very entertained.

The Portrait is available for purchase now on Amazon & in all bookstores nationwide.

The future of blogging…πŸ–₯πŸ’»πŸ“±

I have been blogging for over 2 years now! Time truly flies when you are having fun!


Over these two years I have been lucky enough to juggle motherhood and do what I love best – write. I review products, review books, review movies, review beauty products, share recipes, give tips on parenting, tips on gardening, tips on being a mother.

I have also been lucky enough to meet the most wonderful people from all walks of life, some of whom have become friends for life.

What I love about social media and technology in general is how it has given me the freedom to reach out to the world from the comfort of my own home. Despite the restrictions of school runs, kids clubs, homework, cooking, cleaning.

But where will blogging be in 5 to 10 years time? This was a question posed to me by the Innovation Company who are conducting a study into the views of bloggers on the future of blogging. A question which I have been pondering over and here are my views.

Will ‘bloggers’ still be around in 5-10 years time?

In short yes. I believe they will be around, but what will they look like? I believe this is a more important viewpoint.

I believe they will look very unlike what we see today (especially on the 10 year horizon) and even on the shorter timescale. Technology is moving so quickly and becoming so prevalent, especially among the young, that what we categorise, or even pigeonhole as ‘Blogging’ will be second nature to these new generations. It will be their ‘communication’ means in most cases.

We are already seeing ‘Vlogging’ shoot up the ranks. With Video Blogging accounting for increasing percentages of the overall Blogs created year in year out. This will only increase. There will then come a time when written blogs become old fashioned.

People are so short of time these days. Everyone is in a mad rush to get more information in the fastest, most efficient way possible. Even today I get requests from my followers to do a video blog of my recipes so they can watch and copy them, as they just don’t have the time to read and digest the information.

There may even come a time when ‘holograms’ are projected into the home of the follower to actually demonstrate things to them. So for example, someone wanting to create one of my recipes would be able to have a laser hologram of me in their own kitchen demonstrating the recipe for them to follow. Almost like a cookery lesson in your own home. How cool would that be?

Will WordPress still be King in 5 to 10 years?

I use WordPress like many other bloggers, not only is it convenient, it is free. One of the most important factors for us very underpaid bloggers.

I believe WordPress will be around, but it is unlikely to be ‘King’. There are just too many new sites, technologies and mechanisms rising for people to easily produce content, especially now there is video based content. Take Twitter with ‘Moments’ or Instagram with ‘Stories’. These are the Blogs of the future and come as second nature for people who are online.

So WordPress needs to act and act very fast to keep up.

Podcasts will be there but will they necessarily take over blogging?

I’m not so sure. I think Video is the key. And YouTube/Twitter/Instagram are the Blogging giants for the future, and of course Zuckerberg’s Facebook.

The ultimate question though, when we think of Blogs in the Year 2020 say, is which technologies we can not yet consider? Take Artificial Intelligence (AI) for example. There is increasing examples of parts of article creation being automated, especially in the Finance sector. How long before we have whole editorials created by a Machine, this could also replace blogging.

Already the Art of writing itself is being automated. Take http://www.grammarly.com as an example. How many newsroom journalists or exam ready University students are putting their coursework through these very low cost (sometimes free) online check tools? How long before AI is not just checking but suggesting and even creating these new Blogs?

Did you know that AI can predict your personality traits better than your spouse of partner, your friend, even your family? That’s one of the key insights shared just last week at Pegaworld in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.

So what will stop AI from reviewing products, demonstrating recipes and so on.

How will the future of blogging affect me – The Mummy Blogger?

Well in the short term not hugely. I am a mummy, babies will continue to be born, they will poop and need to be fed and cleaned like babies today. And mummies & daddies will look upon other mummies and daddies for tips and advice. So bloggers will always be needed. As long as robots cannot give birth to babies, mummy bloggers will need to be human.

The question is how can technology help get this information from the bloggers to the followers in the quickest and most efficient way? This is where technology comes in. So Video Blogs, Robots, Holograms. All ways in which bloggers – the human touch in getting reviews, information, tips across – can reach the information thirsty followers.

Conclusion 

In conclusion I believe the strength and power of bloggers will continue to grow. Blogging is not a fad or a trend that will sizzle out, it is a trend that is growing and will continue to grow over the years.

Technology will help bloggers to get more hi tech, to utilise tolls more efficiently, to get information out quicker.

I believe the next 10 years will see the growth of Vloggers, Bloggers and Robots – all working together as one.

I have written this as part of Innovation Company’s study of what bloggers see as the future of blogging.

http://innovationcompany.co.uk  

Perfect for summer! πŸ˜‹ Sugar free Appy juices with Paw Patrol & Peppa Pig πŸŠπŸŽπŸŠπŸπŸŠπŸŽπŸŠπŸπŸŠ

The sun is out! We in London are enjoying the sunshine and the lovely outdoors.

My kids are enjoying picnicing outdoors and just lounging around the garden.

I find carton drinks & juices in those handy pouches are a godsend in the summer months. Not only are they spill friendly, they are so easy to pack away for trips to the park and also in lunch boxes. But some on the go juices can contain so much sugar and nasty additives we have to be careful when making choices.

One of my favourite brands Appy Drinks has brought out a great selection of fruity pouches, in addition to their carton range, filled with sugar free juice and with some of your kids favourite cartoon characters on the packaging. So everyone is happy!


The new range is sweetened with stevia instead of sugar, and contains no GMOs or artificial preservatives, making them a great option for kids’ lunchboxes as well as perfect for drinking on the go now that the days are getting warmer.

Stevia is a healthy and sweet leaf, it makes a great natural replacement from sugars and artificial sweeteners. Appy uses more elements of the stevia leaf to give a refined delicious taste that is low in calories!

The products can be found in Ocado, Tesco, Whole foods market and Spar.

Verdict –

My boys loved the pouches & the cartons, they look and taste great! Apple has always been a favourite of my boys and they have tried nearly every apple juice available in supermarkets, and they loved this one!


Here’s a little tip! In the morning before heading to school place the pouches in the freezer for an hour or so. This way your kids will have a fruity and cool drink to enjoy at lunch time!

The stevia gives the drink a perfectly natural taste and without all the nastiness of sugar and artificial sweeteners.

🌟🌟🌟COMPETITION TIME 🌟🌟🌟

If you want to win a huge hamper filled with Appy drinks and other goodies, including a fantastic Peppa Pig puzzle by Jumbo games – http://www.jumbo.eu/

All you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter link below, the competition is open to Uk residents only & closes on June 29 2017. Good luck!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a61846201/?
In the meantime make sure you follow the Appy social media accounts & visit their website below. The Appy Instagram account has some super cool tips! 
http://www.appykidsco.com

A novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler πŸ“ša book reviewΒ 

If there was any era I could go back in time to and experience for myself it would have to be the 1930’s. Especially Paris in the roaring 30’s ; the music, the clothes, the era of having fun. The age of Jazz.

I first came across Zelda & Scott Fitzgerald in my favourite movie Midnight in Paris. 

A lovely couple who have an intense yet extremely loving relationship. I then found out that Christina Ricci was to star in a mini series about the life of Zelda Fitzgerald. So I just had to find out more about her exciting life. An author and wife to the great Scott Fitzgerald, her life had to be anything but boring.
The Book –


A novel of the woman dubbed ‘The First Flapper’ – Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, wife and muse to F.Scott Fitzgerald. Set against the glamorous backdrop of the Roaring twenties, Z is the story of the woman who lived large and ached to find her own identity in the shadow of her celebrated husband.
Verdict –

Firstly let me try to explain what this book is – is it fact or fiction? Well its fictional but based on true facts so it is ‘biographical fiction.’ Im guessing because not too much information is available of Zelda’s life, what is available has been cleverly glued together to form this novel.

This book is exactly what I look for in biographies, it is a novel so instead of just giving us facts and figures it takes us on a journey of Zelda’s life. Zelda & Scott Fitzgerald had a fantastically glamorous life, but it was also filled with ups and downs.

The characters who make up their circle of friends – Hemingway, Picasso, Cole Porter, Gertrude Stein. Living a life filled with parties, excess, drinking, frivolity can ultimately lead to depression and we find out about Zelda’s demons who she battled with through her life.

I really enjoyed this book and am very excited to see Zelda’s life come alive on screen.

A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald is available to purchase on Amazon and at all bookstores now.

 

Harvesting & freezing Coriander πŸŒ±πŸ’š

We just had some fantastic sunny weather in London. It was short lived as today it is pouring with rain and very windy.

My herb garden absolutely loved the sunshine and the mint, coriander and parsley my darling father planted not long ago has gone wild. The mint and parsley we use often in salads etc, but coriander is used less often so I wanted to utilise it before it wilted away.


Searching online for methods to harvest and store coriander leaves I opted to chop and freeze the leaves, this way it would be available to add to home cooked meals over the year ahead.

I already use frozen chopped onions and garlic regularly. Not only does in make the whole cooking process quicker, the vegetables are always fresh and ready to use.

So why not frozen herbs.

Ingredients –

  • Fresh Coriander leaves (take off thick stalks, wash thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel)
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil

Method –

  • Finely chop the coriander leaves in a food processor or by hand
  • Add the olive oil and continue to blend until it forms a thick paste
  • Carefully spoon the paste into an ice cube tray
  • Place in a freezer overnight
  • Once frozen remove from the ice cube tray and place in a sealable bag
  • Store in freezer and use when needed.


Ideas for using coriander in cooking –

  • Add to oven baked salmon with lime & chilli for a tasty crust
  • Add to chicken with garlic and soy sauce for a delicious marinade

Yummy πŸ˜‹