Mothers Day Gift Guide

The items in this post were received in exchange for inclusion and my honest opinion

I am very much in favour of any excuse for my children to adorn me with gifts. This year Mother’s day falls in the same week as International Women’s Day – if that’s not enough of a reason to show the most important woman* in your life how much she rocks then I don’t know what is. 

Here are some fabulous ideas for gifts for you to surprise the Mum in your life (if you live with a Mum who is not YOUR Mum then you still have to shop for her. I don’t make the rules) 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

A beautiful bouquet from E-Florist

What could be better than receiving a stunning bouquet? Everyone I know loves a flower delivery and none more so than Mums (hint hint kids). 

E-florist have bouquets to suit all tastes and budgets and you can even add little extras like chocs too! A great gift for those of us whose Mums live too far away to be able to visit in person. 

Impasto Impressions stemless wine glass

As a self confessed clumsy oaf, I am a big fan of any kind of less dainty glassware. The Impasto Impressions stemless wine glass is so pretty to look at but a great practical gift too. 

Each glass is unique as it is painted by hand – like a fine sculpture or timeless painting. It is almost too beautiful to use, but please do| Perfect for casual entertaining and durable enough for everyday use.

Myros Soap

Contrary to popular belief, Mums don’t actually like sharing absolutely everything they own. This super posh Myros soap comes in a pretty little tin and smells absolutely gorgeous! Definitely a hands-off it’s mine kind of a soap. 

Traditionally made Turkish pomegranate soap, presented in a stylish tin based on historic Turkish silk printing. With most ingredients and materials sourced and created in Turkey, this is a handy go-to gift for friends, family or even yourself. Great for those on the go, travelling or just looking for a sophisticated bathroom accessory

Disney loving Mums 

Don’t fret, Stitch. Of course we forgive you. How can you resist such a cute face? Lilo taught Stitch to love and he’s here to say “I love you, too.” Each piece is hand painted and slight colour variations are to be expected which makes each piece unique. 

If Stitch isn’t your Mums favourite (really? He’s adorable) then GiftGivingAllWrappedUp have got you covered with plenty of characters to choose from that your Mum can cherish for years. 

Harry Potter goblet

“Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves it’s own mark. To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.”

Whichever house your Harry Potter mad Mum belongs to GiftGivingAllWrappedUp have some awesome Potter goodies perfect for this Mothers day

We love the house goblets! 

Mophie Powerstation Mini

 

A Mothers phone is her lifeline to the outside world. Whether she uses it for comparing notes (or venting) at other Mums, googling an impossible question asked by one of her darlings or simply a game of candy crush to take her mind off yet another tantrum. Do not underestimate how much those bars of charge might impact on your wellbeing. It really is not worth risking a low battery. 

The Mophie powerstation mini lets you charge your devices from just about anywhere with a push of a button. A convenient USB-C input/output port means you can charge the powerstation and then use that same port to charge a device. It has an attractive fabric finish and is approx the same size as a smartphone so easy to carry when you are on the go.

Tea & Chocolate gift box

 

It is a fact (ish) that all Mums love a good cuppa. The Tea and Chocolate gift box from Bird & Blend improves upon the good old cup of tea by adding tea infused chocolate with unique blend teabags all in a nice little gift box! 

A fabulous quirky gift for Mums and one that can be posted too! 

Spice Pots Box

If you are looking for something a little different for your mum this Mothers Day – then look no further! The Luxury Indian Spice Box contains 5 premium curry powders which are packed full of flavour and intensity – there is a level of heat for everyone! The luxury curry kit also includes a 150 page Indian cookbook and a bespoke soy wax cooks candle to get rid of those curry smells and leave your kitchen smelling lovely and fresh with scents of basil, patchouli and geranium.

And if your mum doesn’t love cooking – give this gift to your dad to help him hone his cooking skills while your mum puts her feet up with a good book and a cup of tea (or a glass of wine if you’re anything like us!).

Helly Hansen Mono Material Raincoat

If your Mum is a fan of the great outdoors then this is the gift for her! 

Built on the idea of making garment-to-garment recycling easier, this Helly Hansen waterproof and breathable coat combines urban design lines with singular material construction. The entire jacket, except the zipper puller, is made of polyester that can easily be recycled. A great investment piece which will keep your Mum warm and dry on her daily walks.

Little Butterfly London

If the Mum in your life has recently given birth then she deserves to be pampered. The Little Butterfly London Pamper gift set is perfect!

Three mother skincare products are delicately presented in a stunning keep-sake gift box that features a grass print inside and glossy butterflies on the outside, then tied with a beautifully designed cotton ribbon. 

Red letter days hamper

hamper

A luxurious selection of treats, all packed up into a gorgeous wicker basket, is the perfect gift for those who love all things pink, bubbly and delicious and with the Ladies hamper, Red Letter Days have you covered!

A big bottle of Zonin Rosato Vino Brut is included for Mums who love fizz. Those with a sweet tooth will adore the selection of sweet fancies, which include salted caramel luxury fudge, Maclean’s Cherry Bakewell Luxury Biscuits, a Linden Lady milk chocolate bar with pearlescent balls, strawberry and elderflower jam, Joe & Seph’s prosecco gourmet popcorn and a Gold Crown cake with Brazil nuts, flaked almonds and cherries. Utterly scrumptious!

Jane Scrivner Products

jane scrivner products

If your Mum loves to pamper herself in the bathroom then the Jane Scrivner range has you covered. 

Natural, organic and fast acting products encased in stylish and sophisticated packaging, this brand is perfect for Mums this Mothers day!

Jane Scrivner is a skincare brand with a difference, that difference being their ingredient-led skincare delivers powerful results in a short space of time and there is a collection of hero products which all work harmoniously together, so they’re all ready to go. New skincare regime sorted!

Whether you are looking to care for hair, body or home Jane Scrivner are bound to have a product your Mum will love.

Virgin Wines hamper

Why not let your Mum have the night off with a Movie Night hamper from Virgin Wines –  the Pizo Syrah is wonderfully fresh with trademark bramble fruit and black pepper flavours. Partnered here with a mouth-watering box of chocolate truffles and tasty bag of salted caramel popcorn. All you’ll need to do to complete your evening is select a top film

Happy bake co

Happy Bake co offer a decadent array of mouth watering home baked goodies. Whether you want to collect from their Peterborough location or order for delivery your Mum will definitely love their brownies and blondies. 

Each month sees a new range of flavours with special boxes for occasions like Mothers day. 

My favourite is the Bakewell Blondie! 

 

*If you did not emerge into this world out of a woman then of course I will concede that perhaps someone else is more important. Anyone? No? Best go get a card then!

 

Meal Plan – The Healthy Eating Starts Again (Again) On Monday Edition

Only 6 more sleeps to go, you guys! I feel like a kid at Christmas!! That is, until I actually stop to think about it and then I remember that actually, it has been so nice to have Moose and Bess at home – mostly.

There can’t have been many times in history where parents got to spend quite so much extra time with their kiddos? Sure a lot of that time as I recall was them asking for snacks or trying to kill each other but still, memories!

Anyway, 6 sleeps until some of the people in this house actually leave the house for a few hours during the day. The idea of having time in my home alone is so exciting!

There is one downside of everyone disappearing during the day though. This is that I can no longer blame my prolonged Pac-Man impression on them. Currently I am asked for snacks approximately 1500 times per day which explains the weight gain creeping up. So, Monday morning I shall be returning to healthy eating and I might even start exercising a bit. Nothing too hazardous you understand, just behaving like a normal human adult again. You know, rather than behaving like I am on an episode of Woman Vs Food…

I am willing the weather to get warmer so that I can get back into taking myself off for walks. I have no interest in trudging along in the cold!

Jerk(ish) chicken with rice and pea and mango salsa

This week in food

Monday: Steak with mashed potatoes, asparagus and baby sweetcorn served with diane sauce.

Tuesday: Sesame sticky chicken with stir fry veg and udon noodles served with duck bao.

Wednesday: Scampi, chips and peas

Thursday: Jerk(ish) chicken with rice and a mango salsa

Friday: Beef stew and dumplings

Saturday: Pizza (treating us to a takeaway)

Sunday: Roast pork, roast veg and sprouts with stuffing and lots of gravy

Katykicker

And for my next trick… the juggle!

It’s been a bit of a year, hasn’t it? I don’t just mean good old Rona and the never ending story that is lockdown. Just everything. My children are now 19, 15 and 6. I haven’t seen my eldest, Col, properly, since last September when we had to take our lovely beagle to be put down.

I miss him very, very much. He lives with his Fiancée across town now. We haven’t really even been able to celebrate them getting engaged yet. He used to be a carer which worried me massively because of all of the contact he was having with so many people. Thankfully now he has a job as a contact tracer which means he is working from home. That, at least, is a little reassuring.

Bess is plugging away with her schoolwork. We just got her report. In a way I wish I had done what a friend of mine did and requested that they didn’t send it home. Thankfully Bess is a good student and is on course to get very high marks but I don’t really think measuring them in terms of grades is at all helpful right now. Our kids are living something which is unimaginable and we are still using the same way to measure progress? No, no thank you. I don’t care what she is currently getting in Maths or Dance. I want to know she is managing ok with so little social interaction. Is she keeping up friendships that she will need later? Does she have people her age to vent to about being stuck in the house with us oldies?

Is she coping? Are any of us?

Moose is a different breed to be honest. In a lot of ways he appears to prefer lockdown. We have tried to keep everything upbeat as much as possible so it is fun for him but he really likes home school and never complains so I think we are quite lucky really in that respect. We have good support from his teacher. He does miss his friends and I have made sure that he has video calls regularly with his cousin and his best friend. He absolutely loves those chats. Next week his teacher has organised a little Zoom meeting so that her class can all see each other. He is going to love that!

Boy in the snow in a yellow coat

G is working from home and will be for the forseeable future I think. Can anyone actually imagine that we are all going to return to offices after all of this and work like we did before?! I can’t see it. We are getting on better at the moment than I think we ever have. It’s actually really nice. Maybe we are both just too worn out to pick fights? Maybe seeing what the other does all day has stripped out some of the resentment I suspect was bubbling before lockdown happened. He got to escape, I got to stay home. I dunno. Whatever the reason, I like it.

And me?

I have had the biggest change I think. At the beginning of lockdown G was made redundant. With him being the main breadwinner this was problematic to say the least! I decided that it would be best if I took a look online to see what jobs were around and managed to snag a job as a contact tracer within 30 mins of starting to look! That contract ran it’s course and that was that. Luckily my old manager pointed me in the direction of new contracts with them and I got back into it. There I was happily doing that and home schooling Moose until last month when I got a promotion.

I am now working as a Quality Coach and I absolutely love it! I mean, looking forward to going back after a couple of days off love it. The ideal would be that this continues on a permanent work from home basis but who knows. I am still making cake toppers and writing too so for the first time in quite a long time my life feels quite full and a lot if it is things that make me happy!

Working and kids

I am not going to pretend it is all plain sailing. Going from being completely freelance to having structured working hours and attending meetings has taken a bit of getting used to. For me and for my children. Moose said to me a few weeks ago that he wished I didn’t have a job. That stung a little bit to be honest. I need this though, having a regular income and a job I genuinely like doing has done masses for my mental health.

I know it is a little selfish on my part but I don’t want to give that up. It hurts that Moose felt that way but I have stepped up the time we do have so we “do” more. Well, as much as we can do right now I guess. I think it will be ok though. It has to be really.

So at the moment I am working a 40 hour week but making sure that on my days off we are spending time together. I would love to be able to take him out and about again but that will come in time. For now it’s a Scooby Do style repeat of baking, Lego, movies and Minecraft.

For now that seems to be enough and if I can just be enough then I think I am ok with that.

 

 

 

Meal planning – Chinese new year edition.

First and foremost I should just say that when it comes to food related festivities I am an unfaithful hussy and will do my best to celebrate each and every single one – remember Halloween? Except possibly Mexico’s Noche de los Rabanos (night of the radishes). Not going to be queuing up for that one.

I love Chinese food so any excuse to eat that is one I am happy to oblige! This year is the year of the ox so it only feels fitting to have something beefy and what is better than crispy chilli beef? I love it and was really surprised when I found a recipe which was so like our local takeaway it was unreal! I will also be trying my hand at sweet and sour balls for the first time. Probably chicken but I might pick up some king prawns as they are Bess’ favourite.

Now that I am working a 40 hour week in one job and trying to get other stuff done too (homeschooling, healing a retinal bleed, making cake toppers and writing) I am conscious that I am cooking less from scratch. Something has to give though to be honest and after a 10 hour day I want quick and easy! I am trying to get around this by having a couple of chuck and bung dinners and then just simplifying the others. Any suggestions for under 30 min meals will be gratefully received!

dim sum in steamer

Our week in food

Monday – Salmon with teeny tiny new potatoes and broccoli and hollandaise sauce

Tuesday – Sausage and fennel pasta bake

Wednesday – Pizza express pizzas (pollo ad astra since you asked..) with dough balls and salad

Thursday – Creamy chicken pie with mash and beans

Friday – Homemade chicken balls, chilli beef, egg fried rice and dim sum. I might make sweet and sour sauce but there is every possibility I will use a tub of mayflower because it is actually pretty good!

Saturday – Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese.

Sunday – Pulled pork, stuffing and apple sauce baps with crispy potato slices and green beans

 

Katykicker

2021 Staycation planning

This post is in collaboration with hotels.com but all opinions remain my own

I realise that I could be tempting fate here given what has (or rather more pointedly has not) happened in 2020. However, I am sitting here and looking out to my frosty garden dreaming of getting away. Yes we are in tier 2 here in Cambridgeshire so things have begun to reopen locally but I still feel like my wings are clipped.

One of my favourite things to do is to get away with my family and top of our list for 2021 is London.

I’m not gonna lie, the thought of sun drenched beaches is tempting. Honestly though, I can’t help but to err on the side of caution. I am thinking a UK break will be just what we need.

Moose has been learning about London landmarks at school. He asked me the other day if we could go for a visit to see Big Ben. I think it would be so much fun to take the kids down to the capital. Maybe stay in a nice family friendly hotel close to the museums?

Earlier this year and before all of the madness began. I took Bess down to London for the day. We had lunch on Leicester Square, went to see the Be More Chill musical and took funny selfies at Trafalgar square. Afterwards we also venture to Camden Market which Bess absolutely loved. Exploring the markets with a teenager was great fun.

We all know that outdoors is best

It would be great to go and explore some of the parks. I think that there are so many things to do outdoors in London that it would be a great choice for a post Covid 19 restrictions trip. We will all still be a bit more careful of course so I would imagine that some practical social distancing rules will remain. That’s quite reassuring to me.

High up on my list of places to take Moose will be Big Ben and of course the Natural History Museum. The Science Museum will be a big hit with him too. I think we will also book a trip to The Sky Garden. Moose would love to explore the gardens and the views would be fabulous from up there!

I will definitely be travelling by train. We are only 45 minutes by train to London!

Further afield?

The thought of dealing with foreign travel is not a pleasant one for me at the moment. I would be up for going back to Guernsey on holiday though. All the charm without the hassle. You don’t even need a passport to go!

We stayed on Guernsey last year and it was so beautiful. It was my return to the island after spending many idyllic childhood holidays there. It did not disappoint.