My life has pretty much imploded this year; losing my lovely Mum, my father-in-law and our much loved family dog … Archie having continued problems with his health and all the normal guff too. We’d promised ourselves a holiday this summer and then other things were beginning to take precedence and Archie’s impending operation meant this was looking less likely. That glass of vino of an evening was being poured earlier and refilled more frequently, I was in fear of getting rickets from lack of exposure to sunshine and my tether had been reached and then some …. That was until I chanced upon a bit of fantastic luck in the form of a competition with Nipper Skipper (www.nipperskipper.co.uk) and the outdoor watersports company Rockley (www.rockley.org). All of a sudden I was on a winning streak and with luck and magic on my side and some major organising trickery performed – it seemed we were about to embark on our first family holiday in over 6 years!
Before preparing to bare all (or even a little bit in my more reserved case) and skip overseas to fairer climes there were more than a few things I needed to organise. These are the things I can highly recommend which set me well on the way ….
My lovely girlfriend Ann Marie treat myself and our other girlfriend Steff to gellish manicures after we helped her to organise her English wedding to her Italian beau in just a matter of weeks at the beginning of the year. It was a pleasure, and I for one really didn’t do much, but the gesture was so very much appreciated. We took it as a perfect excuse to go and have our ‘holiday nails’ done. Ann Marie opted for an elegant French manicure for her up and coming Italian nuptials, Steff went for a vibrant neon pink to compliment her Malaysian tan and I opted for a hot sparkly ginger to offset my auburn locks and the inevitable sunburn! Seems I also matched nicely with the decor in Patisserie Valerie … where we refreshed ourselves with peppermint teas after our nails were pimped.
The girls at Mint worked their magic on our nails whilst we gossiped. I’d highly recommend treating yourself and there’s always a deal or two on offer. The gellish manicure is notorious for lasting at least a week or two (mine are still going strong over two weeks) and there’s a massive array of colours to choose from.
In fact if you want to have a Mint manicure you can get yourself a nice little 10% discount if you mention @sjonlegs… 🙂
I decided to try a new Horsforth beautician who’d come highly recommended to me at Tranquility Day Spa, I’d had a couple of disappointments at the hands of other local beauticians in the past and so desperately needed to tame and define my brows and lashes for my hols. Knowing I had a week of sun and watersports ahead – I figured the safety of going bare(faced) with a little definition was a far safer option.
Now I’m not one for much make up or drama, but Maura did an excellent job of not only giving me a stylish shape and darkening my lashes and brows, but putting me at ease, treating me with kid gloves and pampering me with a wonderful hand and arm massage whilst the dye was taking hold. Whilst I learnt that my sensitive skin didn’t appreciate the brow wax (something to avoid in future visits) I can’t fault Maura or the Dermalogica products she used to soothe me. I’ll just chalk it down to experience and next time remember to pluck or thread instead. I’m already planning a return with my girlfriends in tow … I’m thinking a deep massage to ease the stresses of the summer hols and I’m sure those hot stones have got my name on them! Thanks so much Maura for fitting me in last minute and for looking after me so well. I can’t wait to come and see you for another pamper soon.
I knew we’d have a lot of driving (almost 24 hours from start to finish) to reach our holiday destination, as the logistics of flying with all Archie’s equipment would mean several extra cases (the mere thought of which brought me out in hives). So, to make the car journey all the more bearable, I treat the kids and myself to some fab and funky cushions from the home collection at Asda.
I particularly love mine of my heroine the stunning and talented Blondie (Debbie Harry).
Scarlett just loved her cute puppy and Jem thought his was … well… EPIC. Pete has ‘almost’ forgiven me for not buying him one!?*
Part of my holiday competition prize was a voucher towards some clothing from the children’s Nipper Skipper range. After much deliberation (their clothing is all so functional and wonderfully wearble) I chose to buy all-weather jackets for the children. They look fabulous and they’re very taken with their new togs – they’re a perfect combination of snuggly, breathability and showerproof! Lucky, lucky kids … Pete and I just wished they’d done them in adult sizes too.. Phhht!
Other than a squillion and one clothing changes per child, oodles of sun lotion, bottles of water, bags of apples and a wallet full of Euro’s, not forgetting the Stugeron (so no nasty surprises were in store) we were pretty much ready for the off!