Jim and I had been working away in London for a few weeks, so we were very excited when July 28th came around and it was time for my Dad's birthday BBQ. It was the perfect weekend with some much needed family time, yummy food, sunshine and no makeup days! Sorry it's taken me until the 10th of August to get this post up, but here it is none the less! I hope you enjoy this little look into my family life.
As soon as I arrived, Dad was keen to show me his bubble machine. I love this pic of my Dad, I think he looks a bit like a garden gnome!
Garden games are quite popular in my family. We play swing-ball, piggy-in-the-middle, stick-in-the-mud, charades and just general garden challenges. I love these action shots of Aston, Tasha and me!
Tasha beat me of course, so I decided relaxing on the grass with my Jimbob was a better idea than sports!
We began to smell the smoky BBQ and soon enough mum was giving us all little jobs to help set the table for lunch! Mmmmmm BBQ...
Everyone gathered at the tables in the garden to eat, here's my Mum and both of my Grandmother's looking cute together!
We sang Happy Birthday to Dad and presented him with a non-traditional birthday cake - a nutty, caramel cheesecake!
Although, I think somebody found some chocolate cake somewhere!
Maya started to do her high-five trick for my camera...
...but quickly got shy...
...so we gave her some tummy rubs - they're her favourite!
Tash and I tried to make her take a selfie with us, but she squirmed about too much!
We were about to sit down for a cup of tea when Aston (my sister's boyfriend) spotted a hot air balloon low in the sky! He got very excited and demanded we go and see it land. He was quite sure he knew where it was headed, so my sister, Jim, Aston and I all piled into his car and drove through the countryside and eventually found the balloon! I have to admit, it was pretty cool watching it land...
We drove back to the house just in time for a cup of tea...
It got a bit chilly once the sun had begun to set, so we wrapped Isaac up in one of Oscar's hoodys - how gorgeous does he look!
Dad lit the fire again and we finished the day with the whole family gathered around the flames roasting marsh-mallows.
I love hanging out with my family, we don't get together often enough these days, but when we do it's always special. We're like branches on a tree, although we're all growing in different directions, our roots remain as one. It's easy to get caught up in meaningless aspects of life, but days like this one remind me of what really matters, and thats my family. We may be a crazy bunch, but I couldn't be more thankful to have these people in my life...
When I returned from France on Thursday, I had a little package waiting for me in very familiar ivory packaging with chic black details. Inside was the new fragrance from Jo Malone, Wood Sage & Sea Salt. If you've read my blog or watched my videos for a while, you'll know that I've been in love with Jo Malone since I first discovered it 5 years ago and whenever they launch a new scent I'm always eager to try it! I felt all icky from the plane and wanted to give this fragrance a proper test, so I jumped in the shower, got dressed to go out for the evening and then spritzed my first spritz of Wood Sage & Sea Salt.
I knew I loved it straight away. I'm quite like that with fragrance. The last new scent I tried from Jo Malone was Peony & Blush Suede, which I instantly knew wasn't for me as soon as I spritzed it. This scent, on the other hand, was love at first sniff! It's inspired by the fresh sea air and the mineral scent of rugged cliffs, which is so my cup of tea. It smells natural and fresh on my skin, with a slightly warm woodiness to it. It's not at all pretty, floral or girly, but I prefer fresher scents.
I'm usually not all that great at describing fragrance, but I loved this one so much I felt the need to dedicate a whole blog post to it!
The Wood Sage & Sea Salt collection is available from September 2014, let me know in the comments if you think this is a fragrance you might like! Also, let me know if you have any fragrance favourites that are similar to this as I'd love to try them.
If you've read my previous two blog posts, you'll know that I have been in Cannes with my boy, Jim. We are home now and can't stop talking about what a great time we had! This morning when I woke up, I joked with Jim as his eyes were still closed and excitedly said, 'come on! It's time for breakfast on the balcony!', I think I may have fooled him for just a second before he came back to reality.
On our third and final day in Cannes we decided to make the most of the beach. It was the hottest day of the three we'd been there so we were delighted to find out you could order a huge plate of watermelon right on the beach! It was so refreshing and yummy!
The only thing about going away just the two of us, is there was nobody to take a photo of us together! I know we could have asked a stranger, but we felt a bit awkward so we opted for a selfie. This is 2014 after all!
As we chilled out on our sunloungers, we couldn't help but think of the delicious ice-cream place we went to the night before. I think it was called 'Le Quirly', so if any of you are ever in Cannes you must go! Jim claimed it was definitely ice-cream-o-clock and I really had to try the Ferrero Rocher flavour that Jim had gone for the previous night, so we snuck off for a scoop! OMG the Ferrero Rocher one was SO GOOD.
Back at the beach I got stuck into my book. 'Night Circus' by Erin Morgenstern. I actually finished it yesterday and I have to say it now makes my 'all time favourite books' list. I loved how I got completely lost in the story and didn't want the magical journey to end. The way the author writes is just so beautiful, which makes it a pleasure to read. It's definitely something I would read again and again.
By about 5pm, the sky had clouded over, so we went inside to get ready for dinner. We went down early for dinner so we had time to browse in a few shops along la croisette and have a drink at the Martinez beach bar.
We shared some steak for dinner at a beach restaurant just a short walk away with a beautiful view. I love being by the sea :)
After dinner Jim and I went up to our room, I ordered my final Pina Colada of the trip and we played card games out on the balcony.
We played about 20 rounds of our favourite game, 'Take 2', and I won nearly every time!
That's it for my Cannes blog posts guys, I hope you've enjoyed reading them and seeing my photos as much as I've enjoyed documenting our trip. I love that I'll always have these blog posts to look back on and remember all the fun we had.
If you read my last blog post, you'll know that Jim and I escaped to Cannes for 3 days. We just got home last night and I'm missing it already! I wish I could go in a magic time machine and have the whole trip all over again! Who wants to come with me?!
I got so many lovely comments from you guys on my previous post and lots of you asked to see more from our trip, so here is what we got up to on day 2!
We started our day by eating breakfast on the balcony. I loved that we didn't rush down to the hotel breakfast buffet, instead we took our time to gaze out to sea and chat to eachother as we relaxed back into our chairs and nibbled on pastries.
I may have ordered too many eggs! My French is not up to scratch...
I posted an Instagram video of breakfast on the balcony and a few of you said how strange it was that I took my Emma Bridgewater Big Love mug with me to Cannes! Well, the thing is, I often get anxious when I go on holiday and struggle to enjoy myself because I get so worked up with worries. I know, I know, I sound crazy!...Holidays are supposed to be relaxing! I'm just weird. Let me know in the comment section if any of you get the same way too so I don't feel so crazy! Somebody suggested to me to try taking a couple of home comforts along with me to France. Now, I don't know if it was taking the familiar things from home that worked, or the other little strategies I was using, but I managed to have an anxiety-free holiday which is a huge deal for me, so I've come home feeling very happy indeed. Here's me looking quite contented with my Big Love mug full of tea!
After breakfast we headed straight down to the beach and spent most of the day soaking up the sun and frolicking in the sea!
We were super lazy and ordered lunch straight to our sun-loungers! It was SO YUMMY. The food at Plage 45 beach is simple, fresh and tasty.
That evening we had plans to go to Baoli for dinner, a famous Balinese themed restaurant. We lucked out and happened to be walking to dinner at sunset, it was pretty...
I would describe Baoli as an "experience restaurant", it's more about the setting, design and atmosphere of the place, rather than the quality of food. It was incredibly glamorous even at the entrance...
I ordered a Pina Colada (typical Tan!) and it came in a coconut! So cool!
Once we'd eaten, (I didn't photograph the food as it got very dark!), we decided to politely decline the dessert menu as Jim had a better idea - to sneak off to the late night ice-cream place near our hotel! I had a scoop of mint choc chip and it was delicious - my all time favourite ice-cream flavour.
I've loved reminiscing about our second day in Cannes whilst writing this post! I hope you guys have enjoyed reading it and looking at my photos :) Hopefully I haven't made you crave ice-cream too much! Check back tomorrow for my third and final Cannes blog post.
Jim and I have escaped away to the South of France for a couple of days of fun in the sun! We arrived at our hotel in Cannes on Monday and ran straight out to the balcony to check out our view. We've got a pretty great one!
I didn't gaze out at the sea for long before having to jump straight in it!
We had a gorgeous lunch at Plage 45 (a pretty little restaurant, right by the sea). We shared the burrata and then both had a plate of the "big prawns", which were very tasty!
I know some people hate feet photos, but little makes me happier than being barefoot on the sand :)
After a couple of hours, we came inside to de-sand ourselves and freshen up for dinner. I decided to wear no makeup to dinner as that's what holidays are for right? Here's what I wore...
Incase you guys didn't know, July 14th is French National Day, known as Bastille Day. The French celebrate with parties all over France, but Cannes is really the best place to be for Bastille Day, as they have a HUGE firework display. We had dinner in the front garden of our hotel at Le Park 45 restaurant with the idea that we would be in the best place for the fireworks at 10pm.
Here's my gorgeous dinner date, Jim.
Dinner was errrrrrrmmmm, interesting to say the least! We didn't realise before we sat down, but it was actually a rather posh restaurant. One of those places that put weird foam on EVERYTHING! I admit that I am no food connoisseur, however I appreciate good food, whether it's fish and chips from my local or amazing sushi at a great Japanese restaurant. This place was just too fancy and fussy for me! However the staff were really lovely so we still had a great time. Jim and I found it quite funny daring each other to try each dish first, as half the time we weren't sure what it was we were eating! Jim went first with the canapé...I would tell you what it was, but I have no idea!!
I just asked him to give me a quote about them and he said "foamy....and weird"
My face says it all!!!
My Pina Colada on the other hand, was the best I have ever tasted! That means a lot coming from me, Pina Coladas are my official holiday cocktail and I love them.
The starter was beautifully presented, but again, the taste was a bit strange!
Luckily my main course was delicious. Four tasty little red mullets with olive gnocchi. Jim's was yummy too, but you'll have to head over to his blog to see what he had ;)
At 10pm we suddenly realised the best view for the fireworks was probably from our hotel room balcony! We asked the waitress if it would be possible to bring our dessert up to the room and she kindly said yes. We hurried up to our room as the music for the fireworks began to start! A lady does a speech at the beginning for a couple of minutes, so we didn't miss a single firework. It was so cool looking out to sea and seeing all the yachts that had come in to watch the show. (The yachts are all the pretty lights in the middle of the sea!)
I wrapped up in my favourite Disney blanket and watched the most incredible firework display I've ever seen.
It was a magical end to a brilliant first day in Cannes.
Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this post and if you'd like me to blog about my second day in Cannes too! Sorry I haven't got a new video up since being here, the wifi is very slow. The second I get home tomorrow I will upload my Summer Haul video :)