God damn bargain

Love mixing high street with bits of bling and I couldn’t resist this holiday bargain of the century from H&M! Striped bandeau dress £7.99 yes £7.99! Teamed it beach hair, gold vintage jewellery and Michael Kors clutch.

Great night with live music whilst kiddies played around a beautiful fountain in the square. Who cares what Peter Pan is up to!


Why’s daddy not here on holiday?

The witch in me would love to answer honestly, but I know that would be an evil and irresponsible response!

Whilst I’m playing beach ball, sharks in the pool and grandmas footsteps with my brilliant brood, he’s living up to his Peter Pan persona in Dubai with his latest squeeze.

Not what the kids want or need to know.

But when do I tell them the truth and how much? They are simply too young to understand and ‘divorce’ doesn’t even register in their world or vocabulary.

We separated three years ago when my youngest was just 8 months old and the eldest was 4 years. They have grown up with parted parents as their normality. They see him during the week at bedtime and his house every other weekend. But the time has come when my eldest is asking why I can’t go with them and dad to Italy and why he’s not here in Spain.

The main impetus to start sowing the divorce seed is that the latest squeeze is being introduced to the kids after the hols. Major change in dynamics – as the kids haven’t acknowledged that mum and dad don’t love each other and aren’t living together. Strange but true.

I have no venom, just want them to understand and be happy. But also in the back of my head I want them to know at some stage that what he did was very wrong – I would be devastated if my boys followed in their father’s philandering footsteps. I know it’s his job to tell them the truth-but will he really? My assumption is he’ll don his rose-tinted Ray bans 😉

Spanish sequins

Headed out sans kids! Met some friends in La Manga Club and their parents kindly offered to babysit 🙂 headed to new restaurant and bar Ampersand. A cool mix of al fresco dining with club that caters for all with a downstairs music lounge, massage, tattoo and fashion boutique. Feeling very grown up without the kids! Drank fizz followed by a stunning rabbit (a first!) paella. A real treat.

Opted for sequinned Pacha River Island play suit with jewelled flip flops and Stella McCartney handbag


A time to reflect

I suppose summer hols should be used as a chance to stop, standstill and reflect into the windows of our world.

I’m a manic, single, career mum who rides on the adrenalin of keeping all the balls in the air. Stopping and just chilling feels alien and hence rather a lot of blogs all of a sudden!

My thoughts of today are hovering over all that is our family’s divided life. A product of a single parent I have a lot of experience to draw upon, but when I got married it was a ‘forever’ vow for me. I have always had a determination not to bring my kids up with split parents. I now do feel naive and a ‘numpty’ really! As Britain has highest divorce rates in EU at nearly 50%. But despite a lot of awkward and desperate days the husband’s philandering got too much.

With wonderful hindsight, I can guarantee I’m happier, but there will always be the regular hurt and disappointment of not being able to give my kids the cohesive 2.4 I always longed for as a kid.

With external objectivity everyone who meets us comments on how happy we all are, so must be doing something right-may be I over compensate though. I regularly burn myself out juggling being MD, mum, mate and MILF haha! ensuring I do school pick up, cook all meals as well as after school club chaos in between directing all business activity, going out with the girls and running Marathons. Knackered just writing it down!

Dating seems to be last on my priority list. The ex seems to have easily shifted his gear up a knotch (not surprising) and after this holiday I will have the heart wrenching debacle that is him introducing the kids to his new partner.

Lots of reflection and more to follow…


Sun Sangria Single

Day one of solo mum hol went swimmingly.

Now, what to wear on a sun-soaked Spanish evening out with the mini munchbunch. You want to feel good and make the most of going out-partly practical partly glam (who needs an excuse to glam it up?!) but no way wanting to encroach on tramp-like! Would defo get odd looks from the wives! The look: wet hair fresh from day at pool, Diesel puffball cotton dress to hide odd tan lines, Replay belt, acupuncture flip flops (determined to finish hol with perfect posture!).

Having the chance to have late chilled nights in open air restaurants is all part of the fun on holiday, it’s very different when single with kids….still huge fun BUT you don’t get any adult interaction. I suppose its still rare to see a single parent of three out in the evening, so I find it a great chance to focus solely on the children with no other diversions. When the kids make friends and go off to play then that’s when it feels weird as you’re surrounded by couples and families, but even then I just relaxed into it and tonight was great.

Tonight we sat out by a fountain drinking fizz (me!) and having huge ice creams 🙂


Travel style

The all important travel outfit x4!

Never easy to stay smart, comfortable and kids stain-free throughout. Trick is simple, fuss-free especially with airports asking you to literally strip off if you beep!

Keeping the kids cool, clean and looking half decent is a trick in itself and I do admit to feeling proud when they behave and look good too 🙂 blame my grandmother’s Victorian standards! Gold stars for the kids they were fab from start to finish.

The two boys donned trilbys and matching Gap shirts with trendy Toms whilst the Princess Diva that is my daughter (not sure where she gets that from!) swished her way through the crowds in a cool cotton joules dress and straw hat.

Me. A thin bright neon jersey dress from H&M (this summer bargain less than £10!) which was a tad too hot in the queues but then a bit chilly on the plane-never can win that travel battle unless you carry numerous layers which is not for me-bag was already filled with kiddie entertainment and essentials, no space spare! Matching neon shopper, acupuncture flip flops (comfy but not sure if their medical benefits kicked in!) and striped straw hat from Accesorize.


School’s out for summer!

Well we did it, first time as solo flyer with three kids, two heavy cases and a full flight to Spain. Despite the 4.30am start, the car was packed last night and so it was literally get dressed and drive.

Airport was heaving with holidaymakers making their costa del sol exodus and this time I’ve signed up to follow the European invasion with my three intrepid travellers (age 7,5 and 3). Hot, sweaty and manic Manchester airport is never the most relaxing start to a break, but we did it with very little stress – wow.

kids seemed to have a sense of staying close and they had their own wheelie cases to pull as novelty that thankfully didn’t get boring. Their cases packed to the brim with new books, colouring, nibbles and the obligatory DS in desperation!

We’re heading to a sporty, kid-friendly safe haven for our first time doing it alone – La Manga here we come. We’ve been before so a little less intimidating than a completely new holiday as a singleton. To be honest you could be anywhere-not an authentic tapas bar in sight, but for a family break it ticks all the boxes…safe, plenty of kids, sports clubs, pools and dozens of cafes.

Easy on the energy is the mantra for this summer! Not done the cheapest but definitely the easiest-meet &greet parking at airport, hire car delivered to villa and tennis club booked to give mum a free hour each day-cant wait!

Being solely responsible for three dinky dots under 7 abroad is pretty hardcore but when it all falls into place i feel like supermum! Day one done let the fun begin!



Goalscoring brings smiles everyday

A friend recently asked do I set goals, and that’s pretty much all I do!

Driven? Yes. OCD? Probably!

Lifetime achievements, monthly work goals, personal achievements, weekly to-do’s and micro daily milestones probably fills 90% of my head.

Since the divorce I have been even more aware of identifying what makes me happy and not wasting excess energy on things that don’t. Kids was the obvious answer, but then came career, friends, fitness, style and love. And pretty much in that order I allocate time, energy and resource to those things and make sure I don’t spend much time doing anything that doesn’t fit into those categories. You can get so stressed and pulled in all sorts of directions doing things that really don’t have any positive impact for you or your loved ones.

Sounds very calculated and it is really! I’ve analysed that I subliminally break it down daily…75% of all my time, love and resources goes to the kids, 10% to career, 5% to friends, 5% to fitness and 5% style. I’m afraid love isn’t getting much attention at the moment – one to change!

It obviously fluctuates with some weeks me going out with friends every other night, but if that’s the case in the back of my mind I’m always thinking of finishing early from work to see the kids and going to bed early the other nights so I have energy for work and family. Every day I don’t just have a work ‘to-do’, I have a personal/social and fitness to-do. I always ensure I leave work to pick up and drop off the kids at school/pre-school and toddler group, and always back for tea-time. During my lunch I’ll email friends to sort catching up, I finish work on the dot and ensure I run from the office at least three times/week.

I know that, like my kids, I blossom and bloom with structure and routine, and when I complete a task whether it’s simply fitting in the hoovering or finishing a triathlon it brings a real sense of achievement.

Clear daily, weekly, monthly journeys make for a happy life 🙂

100 minute hour

My two youngest still nap for an hour at lunch, this is my saving grace when it comes to keeping ahead and yes, they could probably manage without it now and again but I definitely couldn’t! I usually plan in my head in the morning exactly what I want to fit into that time frame and it ensures I’m chilled with the kids because I don’t have numerous chores to fit in when they want to play.

Example – this Saturday I had a big girls night out, so Friday lunch hour:

12.30 – put a colour on my hair

12.45 – topped up my Shellac nail colour from Christmas

12.55 – mopped the kitchen

hair dyed, nails done..on to the mopping!

13.00 – loaded the washing machine ready to turn on when kiddiwinks awake

13.03 – emailed local nightclub to organise VIP entrance (girl’s nights out are such a treat it had to be done haha!)

13.05- tweezered my brows

13.10 – showered and rinsed hair, body brushed and face scrubbed!

13.20 – epilated under arms

13.22 – hung evening outfit up

13.25 – took Saturday’s meals out of freezer to defrost

13.26 – put roast chicken in oven for tea

13.28 – kettle on and cup of coffee made

13.30 – kids up!

Now that, pre-kids, would have taken at least a day and a half!

I could have easily tried to fit that around the kids on Saturday but will have undoubtedly not achieved half of it in double the time and it left me Friday night for my first bootcamp session – the pain!!

Diaries are Dead!

Syncing makes multitasking a cinch

Manic multi-tasking is a true art-form and women are pretty darn good at it. It comes naturally to most of us and it is the very best and underestimated skill to have on this earth!

The tests start rolling in with kids, the first real test with kids plus work AND the uber test comes with multiple kids, a social life (yup we are allowed!) plus a serious work schedule!

I’m a demon possessed most days and achieve a lot in 24 hours, but when I missed my son’s first non-uniform day my happy world collapsed and the guilt rolled in like a huge thunderstorm. I vowed never again.

I know you can’t always keep all balls in the air and I would have coped if it was a work-thing, but just the forlorn face of my five year-old still haunts me now 😦

So…..I googled, synced and installed plug-ins so now my work, home and social diary is all on my iPhone. This has been the most valuable tool for me to manage the manic circus life!

Every morning I switch it on when I wake and I get reminders beeping at me for school trips, after-school clubs, sports kits needed, dinner money, playdates, my girls nights out, yoga, meetings, awards do’s, when the kids are away, holidays (yes please!). I can create a calendar entry wherever I am-shops, playground, bath, bed (all the obvious thinking hotspots!) and it is immediately uploaded and never lost or forgotten.  I get so engrossed at work that it even beeps at me to remind me to leave the office to do school pick up – my phone beeps, my computer beeps and my Office Manager has my diary and also gives me a shout!

I had a few calendars which I needed to sync but this link here makes it sound so easy:


My mobile is now my world, but luckily it’s synced so if I lose it, it’s all saved in cyberspace and I can use Google calendars on any computer so I’m now safe from the roll of thunder!