Birthday Bonanza 

So last month it was my birthday. Its lovely to receive presents particularly when most of the year youre spending your money mainly on other people (kids I’m looking at you). Want to see a selection of what I was lucky enough to get?

As a working mum/stepmum of three boys, doing up a house, with a foreign summer holiday on the cards, there’s nothing too extravagant here but have a look and hopefully get inspired for some present choices of your own…

V by Very colour block coat, V by Very embellished cross-body bag / Very.co.uk

I had been after this coat for a while and when it went 50% off in the Very sale pointed my boyfriend towards it. It is wool with different colour panels and really looks fab with just jeans and a t-shirt.

This bag was another item that went into sale, it was out of stock for ages but when a few appeared online I made sure one of them ended up as a birthday gift for me! The detail on the strap is just lovely and has got quite a few comments plus they go together nicely too!


Embroidered sleeve peasant top / Next

Everywhere on Instagram, this top will be a summer staple for me. Be warned though it comes up quite short so I went up a size to the medium. The detail is amazing though and it looks like a £300 top not a £40 one.

Love you to the moon and back artwork / Clintons


I am going to hang this within a collection of artworks on one of our feature walls – its a phrase my fiancé always says to me so has real meaning too.

Boho jacket, fluted sleeve jumper, assymetrical earrings / M&S


I had been given some money so put it to good use in good old M&S. The fluted sleeve ‘it’ jumper had been on my wishlist since Christmas so I decided to treat myself but instead of my usual grey I went pink!

Reasons I love you gift box / Not on the High Street

This was the cutest little birthday gift from my fiancé…there are 10 handwritten notes in this pretty box saying reasons why he loves me ☺️ I do love a personalised gift and a romantic gesture too. 

Bloom by Estee Lalonde/ Amazon


I was interviewed by Estee as part of the behind the scenes filming on the Garnier advert I filmed last December and was struck by her cool Canadian style. Her book has all sorts of tips and information in and I really like its relaxed but stylish vibe.

‘Hello Lovely’ hanging mirror plaque / Wilkinsons


Because if you can’t have a mirror tell you youre lovely then whats the point? This is really lovely and adds a feminine touch to my usually quite retro tastes.

Vintage 1980’s necklace / Vintage Fair


Ah my best friend knows me well! I will wear this with a black polo neck or t-shirt while channeling my inner Melanie Griffiths in Working Girl. I love vintage jewellery for its uniqueness and love this look.

And that is a selection of the bits I got!  I hope my presents gave you some style inspiration – its lovely to receive gifts you love and I usually set up a wishlist or ask for money to achieve just that. 

So I’d better start building it back up – its only 8 months to Christmas!!!

Ripleys Believe it or Not – London

As you may know, in our family there are 6 of us. Myself, my partner, my 8yo son and my partners three sons of 23, 8 and 3). Being in a blended family has its challenges, but also can be wonderful too. My ‘stepson’ Cam’s (although we are not married I refer to my partners younger children as my stepsons as I bring them up 50% of the time) birthday was last month and we looked to organise a fun day out in London he would enjoy.

IMG_9130 We settled on Ripleys Believe it or Not in Piccadilly and booked tickets for the Saturday. I’d been past it so many times as its in such a busy part of London but never really found out what it was. Well I think it’s a hidden gem for families! Due to the type of attraction it is we choose to not take our youngest as at three he wouldn’t really understand what he was seeing, so a family ticket for two adults and two children’s was all we needed. Now, tickets for Ripleys are not cheap – the family ticket bought online is the cheapest option at £67.96 and you can also use Tesco Clubcard tokens too. After a quick search on the internet though I found a buy one get one free offer so all together for the four of us it cost £45.82 – not bad for a central London attraction. Ripleys is in a fantastic building just off of Leicester Square and the attraction has over 700 artefacts spanning six floors, 19 themed galleries, plus an additional Laser Race area which certain entrance tickets cover.

IMG_1445 Inside it really is a mass of things to look at – mostly totally random but lots of fun. I didnt realise that Ripley has been a real person who spent his life collecting the unusual and the rare for people to then visit – there is information about him all through the tour – he must of been an amazing character. Some of it is probably a bit silly for older kids (knitted car, giant chair, upside down room) but for two 8 year olds it was perfect! There are crazy objects, models of record breaking things such as the worlds tallest man, the smallest piece of art, ornate coffins, animal skeletons and bits of meteor to name but a few…

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IMG_9133 Parts of it are more like a traditional museum whereas other parts are much more interactive. You can walk through a medieval dungeon with all its torture equipment, see Olympic Torches from throughout the years and look at crazy optical effects like walking through a tunnel of moving light that makes you think you are moving upside down.

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IMG_1444 I have to say I loved it! I loved seeing all the different art made from crazy things, part of the Berlin Wall and walking through a hall of mirrors. The boys loved the interactive parts such as the light tunnel, creating virtual graffiti as the Berlin Wall and feeling how cold the water was when the Titanic sank.

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IMG_9144 The Laser Race Attraction at the end of the tour had long queues when we got to it, but to be fair we moved to the front quite quickly. You go in as a family and then have to navigate through to rob the bank vault without setting off the alarm via the laser sensors. The boys loved the idea and did really well but be warned you do have to wiggle all over the floor like a cat burglar!!! No good if you’re wearing a dress!

There were a few parts I found a bit ‘too’ weird – there was a whole section on real life freaks and some of the real shrunken heads (including a film on how they were made) were quite macabre! At the end of the journey there is of course a gift shop which is over priced and mainly full of sweets and a hard sell if the £25 posed photo books of you in Ripley style pith helmets they encourage you to pose for. However you can leave via the Laser Race route, which we did to avoid the cries of “Mum/Dad can I have…” We had a great day and I’d definitely recommend it. Book the tickets in advance and definitely don’t pay the price on the door and avoid the gift shop. But if you have kids under 12 I think its a great day out that will keep them talking (and thinking) for long after they leave. Find out more on the Ripleys website here. Photo sources my own or via the link above.