You’re newly 16 – Fiction (tw).

You’re newly 16. You met this boy a while ago now, you’ve been friends for a long time. It is Valentine’s Day. He texts you and asks you to meet him, he’s even sent a picture showing you the ear of a teddy. Surprising you with thoughtful gifts is something he always does. It makes you feel special. For your birthday, he surprised you with a necklace with your initial on it. You had to say yes, you had to accept it – what else could he do with it? He said that he wanted to see you in nothing but that and then corrected himself. He just wanted you…

Why Sometimes Solo Parenting Isn’t Really Solo Parenting – Guest Post

WARNING: This post is a rant about the use of the phrase ‘solo parenting’. There seems to be a new trend lately. I say new but I’m pretty sure it’s been going for a while. Parents of both genders publicly declaring how they’re solo parenting whilst the other half is at work/away for business/other reason for a short amount of time. Not to be confused with parents whose other half’s work away for weeks on end, are only home for one or 2 days a week or work in the armed forces. “I am solo parenting today”. BTW Solo parenting is a really annoying phrase. “Look at me successfully single mumming it…

4 kitchen design features that could make you a better cook

Is your kitchen getting in the way of your culinary ambitions? A poorly planned cooking space can seriously cramp your style when you’re trying to create delicious dishes for your family and friends. So, if you’re not 100% satisfied with this part of your property, now’s the time to make some changes. Here are four kitchen design features that could make you a better cook. Plenty of storage for kitchen essentials You can’t create edible masterpieces without an array of kitchen essentials. From store cupboard staples including herbs and spices to those all-important gadgets like blenders and mixers, you’ll need plenty of cooking gear. So that you’ll have room to…

If You Cut Me, I Bleed Coffee

That is a slight exaggeration. Slight.  I do drink a lot of coffee. When I am on the go I prefer to stick with the classics, a Viennese coffee, a flat white or a large cappuccino are my usual orders while out. If I am back in Rotterdam, I head to Douwe Egberts and order something with a hazelnut twist. I’ve also been trying out independent coffee shops when I can, and I find often the coffee has a stronger and more interesting flavour. At home I am partial to a Bukeela ka, which is Ethiopian or a Dulsão do Brasil which is incredibly creamy and is made from yellow bourbon beans from…

How to be a Friend to Someone With Anxiety

I have read a lot of posts from people with anxiety about how people can help be more aware of what they are going through. I actually have a lot of friends with depression, anxiety and a few other things. I’ve decided to write this based on my experiences of what I have found helps to be a good friend to someone with anxiety, when you don’t suffer from it yourself. It’s not the same today as it was yesterday. Perhaps we had plans on Monday to go shopping and in the morning, while they’re trying to get ready, they actually find they can’t. But Tuesday comes around and they…

Easy ways to add a touch of class to the family home

The days are getting longer, the flowers are poking their heads out and spring is definitely in the air. Inevitably, we all find ourselves channeling our inner Hobbit, and wanting to do something more than a mere spring clean around the house to make our homes ready for the summer to come. Here are a few ideas to add that certain something to your home, without it having to cost the earth. Paint it black You would be amazed at how effective a simple lick of paint can be to revitalise a home, and bold colours can add a real air of drama and elegance. Add some shutters The right…

Self Care – Lux Gift Edit

Self Care has been sweeping the nation as the thing to do. To get your mind, body and soul all in a great space. How we do that varies from person to person, for me it’s really simple. I run a very hot bath with the bubbles or bath bomb I’ve reserved for this very moment, I hit play on my ‘Relax’ playlist, my bed is made, my towels are warming by the radiator. I light my candles, all scented with something floral and sweet. I use the Balmain shampoo  that smells amazing, and a leave in conditioner while I soak. I make sure that I have time to use the…

It’s only a sick bug, it won’t last forever.

For the last week or so, my two youngest have had one of those nasty sick bugs. A mixture of sleep, vomit, and crying has littered my days and nights. I’ve washed more towels in one day than I normally need to in a week. I watch them, laying on the couch, pale and still. They are slowly getting better now, but it swept them off their feet. I can’t lie, it’s pretty exhausting. The broken sleep, the continuous running one or the other to the bathroom, and then the eventual giving up and putting towels down wherever they might be sleeping. But this thing happens, it’s like a switch.…

The Spring Home Edit

I don’t know about you but when the mornings get a little brighter, it’s raining a bit less and it’s starting to warm up I know it’s time to pack away the huge blankets and darker coloured pillows and add some spring colours and textures. Going Green One of the very first things I do, is get in some new plants. Although we have some indoor plants all year round, it’s nice to bring in that extra green boost – cheers me up every morning. One of my favourite things to do is pick some new plant pots. Simple but so effective! Smell of the Season Secondly, I love to swap…