I am a week away from my milestone birthday. How I have managed to survive 5 decades on the planet is a mystery. I intend to celebrate and to be proud of how far I have come through good times and bad. So for a bit of fun I thought I would imagine all the things I would like to have in my life over the next year or so. I should warn that the items on this list may be quite random – welcome to my world!

A is for Afternoon Tea and Abacus. Afternoon Tea is always delightful and I had an abacus years ago. There is something lovely about an abacus and I would like another one.

B is for blankets, Baileys and books. I love to read and am managing to find time to do it recently after a long dry spell. As my late Mum said, you are never truly lonely if you have a good book and fond memories. Baileys should speak for itself and I know is a guilty pleasure for many of my readers too. Blankets are important because I like to keep warm and snuggly. In fact, if I had enough blankets, I could also have a beach hut all year round!

C is for cushions, champagne and chaise longue. My other half hates cushions so the only ones we have are in my daughter’s room or in storage. My Mum always had cushions and I would like some of my own on the sofa to be enjoyed. Champagne is something I only truly enjoyed when I was a teenager on French exchange. It was very good and I think it spoiled me for lesser versions. So I am on a mission to find a lovely bottle of Champagne. I had a chaise longue but it was not retro enough and actually not very comfy either.

D is for duvets and decanters. I do enjoy duvets and the higher the tog the better. I want a decanter because my parents had them and so this one is pure nostalgia really.

E was a letter I struggled with. A friend suggested eroticism and once I find out what that is, I may well consider it.

F is for flowers and I would like some to be delivered every week. My other half buys them so rarely for me so I have started buying them myself from time to time. I would love the luxury of them just turning up on the same day every week.

G is easy because I have wanted a globe drinks cabinet for years. I know why of course. It is because my amazing Uncle Lawrence had one in the Seventies when we used to visit him regularly at his flat in London. I would also like a glitterball because I have just always fancied one.

H is another letter I struggled with. A friend suggested a hot tub but I would want one to myself as I am such a shy, introverted woman.

I is for Impressionist prints. I have always loved Impressionist paintings. I chose a card with one on to present to my parents when I got into Cambridge and we all took a day off from life to celebrate going to Ilkley and indulging in hot chocolate fudge cake.

J is another letter I struggled with. I used to want a Jaguar but I think that moment has passed. Maybe I will just settle for jelly either with ice-cream or in a trifle just like my Mum used to make – boozy and with deep layers of cake, jelly, custard and cream.

K is for kiss. I would like to have a kiss from someone who really wants to put one my way. Don’t they say you have to kiss a frog who will turn into a Prince?!

L is for lighthouses. My late Dad started this one off I think as he took us to Flamborough a lot. I used to hate it at the time but nowadays I love all things lighthouses and have often thought I would like to live in one. L is also for lamps because I would like to have lots of them just like my Mum did and have seen some spectacular ones recently in vibrant colours and that give off aromatherapy scents too.

M is for music, maxi skirts and Mah-Jong. I love an eclectic range of music. My other half does not like me to play it loud.  As he now has poor hearing and we have a bigger place, I can get away with it more. I keep wearing trousers and miss having maxi skirts but cannot seem to find any in the shops here. If anyone knows a good online store for maxi skirts, let me know. Mah-Jong is a game that my lovely Uncle gave me years ago but I was too young and could not grasp the rules. I do remember the set was beautiful and would like to finally learn the game before I am older and even more grey.

I warned you it would be random!

I will work on N-Z tomorrow!!

If you had to pick just one item off my list to receive yourself, what would it be?

Milestone Birthday



Cuddle Fairy

Strong Soham Mums have joined forces to produce a charity calendar with a cheeky twist. They are getting naked but all in the most amazing cause. I don’t often ask people to share my posts in a begging type fashion but this time I am and I think you will see why when you read on.

Who are the Strong Soham Mums?

They are like you or me in that they are  mums who love their children. The difference with these mums is that  they have all lost a child and all live in Soham. We all know that losing a child is the biggest fear of any parent so I urge you to empathise with these amazing mums and lend your support to their collective efforts. They loved their children so much and they lost them which is gut-wrenching all the time but perhaps particularly challenging at this time of year.

Alison’s story

“My husband and I lost our son, Charlie in June 2017.  He and our younger son have a rare immune condition.  After a couple of very dangerous bleeds, and worried that the next bleed could be fatal, the doctors wanted Charlie to have a bone marrow transplant.  Unfortunately after 5 long months in hospital he lost his fight for life.  Our lives will never be the same and we will continue to love and miss him forever.”

Alison’s story is so sad and every mum in the calendar has her own tragic tale to tell. We cannot bring their children back but we can get behind their fundraising efforts by purchasing their calendar and spreading word of mouth far and wide.

Strong Soham Mums Calendar 2019

As I say the photos in the calendar are more boudoir than boardroom. They are tasteful and were taken professionally. At just £9.99 the calendar is great value for money and will raise a giggle at Christmas or the New year as well as giving you that feel good-factor of helping good causes.

Where is the money going?

100% of the proceeds will go to Addenbrookes Hospital, Children’s Wards and the Road Victims Trust.  The Strong Soham Mums have chosen Addenbrookes Hospital as it is local to them.   Road Victims Trust was also chosen as a few of the mums lost their children in road traffic accidents.

Two requests

Please spread the word about this calendar via your social media networks and in the real world too. It will make a great gift for Christmas and the New Year.

Please consider buying at least one of these calendars because it will make these women feel they did the right thing and help some amazingly good causes.


Strong Soham Mums


Cuddle Fairy

Linked to https://www.clairejustineoxox.com/2018/12/the-christmas-forest-christmas-tree-review.html

Linked to http://www.reflectionsfromme.com/a-blogging-good-time-113/

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With summer well and truly here, it won’t be long before the cooler temperatures arrive and if you have a new addition to the family, you will want to take extra care to keep the baby warm. The delicate newborn baby should never be exposed to wind, especially not a cold one – and with that in mind, here are some useful tips on keeping a baby snugged up when the summer finally says goodbye.

  • Maintaining Body Temperature – Babies have difficulty maintaining a good body temperature, so they need all the help they can get. Too much clothing and the baby will perspire and if the room is a little on the cold side, the baby’s fingers and toes might turn blue. Make sure that the baby is wearing a single piece jump suit, one that covers their hands and feet and wrap them up well whenever you have to go outside.
  • Layered Clothing – Well, if it works for grown-ups, why not for a baby? There are affordable baby gift sets available online from leading suppliers such as https://babygiftbox.com.au/ and they have hampers filled with items that are suitable for winter wear. Don’t forget hats and mittens if you do have to go out, as these will prevent the baby’s extremities from getting cold.
  • Don’t Make Baby Wear A Coat While Inside – This could cause the little one to overheat and even a few minutes is too long, As soon as you enter a warm interior, remove the baby’s coat before you do anything else and avoid exposing the baby to heat too quickly.


Image Source: Unsplash

  • Stay Inside As Much As Possible – This is the time to forget about the afternoon walk in the park, as cold wind can seriously harm a baby’s delicate skin, and if you can limit your outdoor time to being to and from the car, then this will ensure that he or she doesn’t catch a cold. In the event you have to take baby out, there are some great tips on winter dressing that might help.
  • Swaddle In Blankets – The age-old tradition of swaddling a baby in a soft blanket is as good today as it ever was. Rather than using loose bedding, which could lead to suffocation, swaddle baby, but not too tight, as this will help to maintain body temperature.


Image Source: Unsplash

  • Be Careful Using Portable Space Heaters – If you prefer to use one rather than turning on the central heating, make sure you never leave the room while it is running. If a baby suddenly learned how to crawl, it could have serious consequences. Perhaps it is better to preheat the room before removing the space heater, as the baby will not come into contact with it.

There are many specialised items you need for a newborn baby and the online supplier has a wide range of quality baby clothing and accessories, and all at lower than retail prices. If someone you know is soon to have a baby, why not send them a baby basket or hamper? They come in all sizes to suit every budget and each one contains essential baby care items that every mother could use.

A Guide To Keeping Baby Warm This Winter

Open days allow you to get a feel for a potential university and your future academic study. They are often packed with various talks, activities and tours; it’s important to try and get the most out of these days so here a few things to do to make sure the trip is worthwhile.

The first thing to keep in mind is to try and split your time equally between your potential course and getting a feel for the university itself. It’s important to know that both of these are a right fit for you and not just one or the other. Of course, it is different for each student, and a course of study that’s perfect for you might outweigh worries you have about the social side of the university. On the other hand, you might find yourself willing to compromise on the course if you find a university you know you’ll be happy to study at for three years or more. Overall these are two equally important areas and both deserve consideration, therefore make sure you get to know your potential faculty and talk to the staff wherever possible, but make sure you also take tours of the student accommodation and social areas, and talk to current students about their experience of studying and living in the area.

Take your time to make the most of the students at the open days. Students will often be a lot more honest with you and have a closer understanding of what you find important than university staff will. Of course, don’t go around harassing busy students on their way to lectures, but talk to the student ambassadors (often wearing very visible clothing or badges) who are there to tell you as honestly as possible what you want to know. They may be getting paid by the university for this service, but they are people who have gone through the same decision process you are currently going through, and want to help you make the right decision.

Often, your potential university can be quite far away from your current home. This might mean a long trip to get there and potentially going to towns or cities you’ve never been to before. Make sure to take the time to explore your potential new town or city. It can be a chance to see what is available outside of student life and other housing options such as Wolverhampton student accommodation, which offers city centre benefits while still being in student style accommodation. This can be particularly worth checking out if you know your potential university has limited on campus housing.

How To Make The Most Out Of Open Days



Have you heard of Aquaphor? I had not done so but was delighted to receive a sample and see how it helped my family’s skin in these colder months. We all know that Winter brings its challenges including chapping, chafing and so on. I love my walks in the forest and am finding Aquaphor is keeping my skin in tip top condition despite the challenging conditions.

Skincare in my family

I take my skin for granted. I seem to have inherited good skin genes and rarely get even so much as a spot. I also feel as it is so rare that I put any make-up on that my skin benefits from the good old-fashioned benefits of fresh air. I did not get the common teenage acne. As menopause approaches, my skin can be a little dry from time to time but not enough for me to stress about it. Over the years through talking to female friends, I am aware of how lucky I am to be able to count on my skin and not have to spend a small fortune on products.

My husband has to think about his skin al the time because often it hurts. He has three forms of psoriasis. He had it when I met him and it fluctuates in severity. However, it is a rare day when he is pain free and he constantly feels the need to itch.  It isn’t nice for him or us as a family but there is no cure and treatments have not had much impact. Often he will wake in the night due to the condition so is often operating on limited sleep with all that that entails.

My children are all now teenagers but have inherited my good skin. They have the odd spot but nothing major.

Aquaphor review

Aquaphor is a balm so you do not need huge amounts. I have used it to moisturise my skin and it feels good to be taking care of myself a little better than usual.

We are looking after two kittens at the moment too so scratches are inevitable. Once again, it was good to have Aquaphor to hand.

Impressive results

For us, we were really surprised when my husband tried it on his psoriasis. He has tried injections, light therapy and other treatments over a number of decades. He found Aquaphor gave him full relief from itching and pain for almost 24 hours. When I asked him what he thought, his answer was “I would like some more!” which I guess speaks volumes.

Aquaphor details
  • Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm gives dry to very dry, cracked and irritated skin the SOS care it needs
  • Formulated with only seven ingredients, Aquaphor is gentle enough to be used on highly irritated skin as well as on sensitive baby skin and also in the nappy area
  • Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm protects the skin by creating a breathable protective barrier, allowing oxygen and water vapor to circulate to and from the skin, allowing skin to ‘breathe’ and strengthen its natural barrier function
  • The Eucerin Aquaphor formula was first introduced in the US market in 1925 and has been a household staple ever since – long trusted for its effectiveness in repairing a wide range of skin SOS cases

It seems a no-brainer to invest in Aquaphor. I love how it is a multi-purpose product so if you skin is in trouble even chapped lips or cracked skin on feet, it is just what you need. For us, the relief my husband got from his psoriasis symptoms was a relief to the whole family too and just in time for Christmas.

This post is an entry for the BritMums #MyAquaphor Challenge, sponsored by Eucerin. Discover the benefits of Eucerin https://www.eucerin.co.uk/products/aquaphor/soothing-skin-balm-45ml

Winter SkincareWith Aquaphor

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