5 Decades of School with M&S

I’m buying school uniform. I’m in Monkhouses, the shop I only visit once a year, to queue, and queue, and queue – or so it feels, to a ten-year-old desperate to cling on to the last days of summer. The shop feels vast, though I know it must be ordinary, in its ordinary precinct location. It smells of newness, and stiff, shiny leather shoes. It fills me with apprehension for next week. When I ‘left’ school in 1983, this was the motley take on our uniform. As long as it was some kind of brown, with some shade of cream, it passed. …

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A Day Out at Liverpool’s Albert Dock (review)

Imagine a square half mile that provides enough entertainment for the whole family for an entire day. It’s not a theme park, or a festival (although it has a festival atmosphere this summer); it’s just a city attraction that will keep all ages happy just hanging out together. I’m talking about the Albert Dock, in Liverpool, a small but vibrant commercial centre built around the historic old dockyards of Liverpool’s port. It’s years since I’ve been to Liverpool, but it’s only 2 hours from London on the train, so we decided to have a day out somewhere different now that …

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Back to School: 5 School Uniform Mistakes, and how to avoid them

Making sure you get the right school bag is an essential part of uniform shopping

This is how the Bug looks today. It’s hot, they have a non-uniform day, and a water fight on the field, so he’s in his coolest new t-shirt. I love this final week of the summer term, with teachers finishing off admin while kids let off steam and have fun after all the hard work. But nonetheless, mean mother that I am, I made him put on his brand new winter uniform trousers and shoes, just so I could show our readers, and get you thinking about adding school uniform to your summer to-do list. You’re welcome. Common School Uniform …

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Food: Zesty Strawberry Mojito Sorbet (recipe)

Combine mint, strawberries, lime and a magic ingredient to get the perfect dessert sorbet for summer

  A frozen strawberry dessert based on the classic cocktail After loving our Strawberry Mojito mocktails, I got a bit excited about what else I could do with the recipe. We may have been a bit over zealous at our local fruit farm this week, and had rather a glut of gorgeous strawberries beginning to soften in the fridge. So, never one to waste food, and bearing in mind that July is national ice cream month, I had the idea for a strawberry mojito sorbet. We have the Smart Scoop ice cream maker from Sage by Heston Blumenthal, and we’ve …

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Zesty Lemon Meringue Ice Cream (recipe)

A zingy, crunchy, refreshingly sweet lemon meringue ice cream recipe you can easily make at home

This lemon meringue ice cream is refreshing and zingy – perfect for a summer treat. Scroll down for the recipe, or watch the video. As if you needed an excuse now the hot weather is here, it’s ice cream month. It’s an actual thing – July is national Ice Cream Month. There, it has capitals, so it must be true. In 1984, Ronald Reagan signed ice cream month into US law, and it’s been celebrated in America ever since. Must have been the cold war…   Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Recipe Joking aside, there’s nothing nicer than a scoop of …

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Gravity Force: Why Trampolining is the new Clubbing

Trampolining is the new soft play! Gravity Force is a new trampoline park in St Albans that the whole family can enjoy.

“Whether you’re a freestyle pro looking to showcase an insane routine on the Tumble Tracks or an average Joe looking to get stuck into a game of trampoline dodgeball there really is something for everyone.” Does that not just make you want to jump? And that’s just the adults! My kids cannot be the only ones to have recently discovered the craze for trampolining – it’s the new rollerblading as far as they’re concerned, and it’s always top of their list when you ask them what they want to do with a free day. So they are beside themselves with …

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Affordable First Laptop for Kids

GG is off to secondary school. It feels like yesterday that I photographed my 4 year old in her first school dress, book bag clutched to her tummy, precious despite its emptiness. And now she is leaving. Now she wears mirror sunglasses and lip gloss, listens to Meghan Trainor and likes to tie dye – because it’s a bit different. I have a nearly teen, and she knows more about some things than I do. She knows how to code, and how to spot a phishing attack, what to say to strangers, and where the best sales are. So she needs …

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Food inspiration for all occasions

As a mum, the need to provide food for your family feels never-ending. The continual roundabout of shopping, cooking, serving, and cleaning up feels monotonous at the best of times, and often it’s a point of despair. Before I was a mum, I loved nothing better than to spend entire Saturdays menu-planning for dinner parties with friends. I would browse recipe books the night before, and head out early to buy ingredients. I have shelled walnuts for soup, shucked fresh oysters, lovingly created foaming hollandaises, and whipped up meringues to rival Mary Berry’s. But with children, my love of food …

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Why Theresa May should be Prime Minister

  Theresa May for Prime Minister Look, I know this is not going to be a popular post with a lot of my friends. She voted remain, we (allegedly) wanted to leave. You all seem to hate her, declaring her anti-feminist, a homophobe, and a racist. Ok I’m exaggerating, but largely the Facebook posts of my online contacts are not indicating joy at her appointment. I’m not going to comment on her politics. I know very little of them, I’ve paid her no attention in the past. Does that mean I should be disqualified from my vote in the next …

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Travel: Treehouse Glamping in Norfolk

Sunrise treehouse at West Lexham in Norfolk is the perfect home from home for a relaxing glamping break.

Advertising disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you click them, for which I thank you. All opinions and imagery of West Lexham are my own.  Treehouse Life Is there anything more lovely than camping in the woods? Waking early to sunlight peeping through the leaves, and the sound of birds singing the sunshine into the day. Or snuggling down by a log fire in the dusk of evening, hot marshmallows roasting in a flame as fairy lights twinkle. It turns out there is. Sleeping (and living) in a treehouse. I have always wanted …

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