I’ve never been one for wearing lipstick as I’ve always been more into eye makeup and that’s where I normally concentrate my efforts if I wear makeup. However, recently I’ve been longing to get lipstick right. I’ve struggled in the past with finding the right colour to suit my skin tone and I’m fussy when it comes to colour, in that I don’t like anything too solid looking or bold or bright! So you could say I’m a difficult when it comes to lipstick!


My Requirements:

I recently had a night out arranged with my friends and the day before I went in to Boots, on a mission to get a lipstick, to see if I could get it right. My makeup box is full of lipstick fails that I’ve brought and tried over the years. I didn’t have a lot of time (as always) and I had two main requirements:

1. Something that was long lasting

2. A colour suitable to wear day and night

Product Options:

I skimmed over the various make up stands and brands and ended up at the Maybelline stand and straight away their Superstay 24Hr Lip Color caught my eye. There were several shades that looked like good possibilities for me, including Plum Seduction (240), Forever Heather (310), Delicious Pink (150) and Rose Dust (185).


The Delicious Pink Shade (150) looked a bit too pale for my needs, but pretty none the less. This would have been a safe bet, but I wanted something that would make my lips slightly darker.  I tried out the Plum Seduction (240) and Forever Heather (310) on the back if my hand, but they looked too dark or too bold against my skin. That left Rose Dust (185) which was slightly more pinky than I was thinking of, but it looked a perfect medium tone for my colouring and for my needs.


The Product I Brought:

The Maybelline 24Hr Lip Color in Rose Dust (185) cost me £8.99. Pretty average on price for a lipstick of its kind and in comparison to the equivalent product from its competitors. So I was more than happy with the price and brought it.


Product Testing:

I wore my new Maybelline 24Hr Lip Color on my night out and the colour looked amazing for me. I was so pleased with how the colour looked and it was a perfect shade for my colouring, really complementing my skin tone. You apply it by staining the lips first with the colour end (it has a lovely soft brush) and once this has dried (a few seconds) you apply the moisturising end. The moisturising end gives your lips a lovely soft silky feeling and brightens up the look. I kept reapplying this throughout the evening as you can use it as often as you like.


I have used this product several times since, both during the day at work and for evenings out. It’s living in my hand bag and it’s getting some regular usage!

My Experience:

Overall I was very happy with this product. The colour was perfect for me and it lasts long enough. I can’t claim it lasts 24 hours, but it does last well, probably a good few hours depending on whether your eating or drinking. I found I particularly needed to reapply the colour after eating. I would say that during the day I reapply the colour once halfway through the day. The choices of colour are excellent, with a wide range of tones to suit all skin tones. I was so pleased to find a colour that suited me so well and one that I could wear day or night.

My Tips when using this Product:

I found this product worked best if you apply to dry lips (unmoisturised) and you can tone down or turn up the colour intensity by applying more or less of the colour.

My Overall Product Rating:

My Product Rating: 9 / 10

An excellent product for those wanting a long lasting lip colour which has a dual colour and moisturiser, which is available in a range of colours and tones.


Fancy trying a new look in the new year? You can be in with a chance of winning your very own Maybelline 24hr Superstay Lipstick in Rose Dust!

You can enter the competition here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Jess x



Super Busy Mum

*This is not a sponsored post*

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Theres no doubt about it, camping is a fantastic option for those families on a budget, who want to get away during the school holidays.  Camping wasn’t my first choice, but it was our realistic choice financially this summer.  So we were brave, and at the last minute booked a week camping at Mother Iveys Bay Holiday park in Cornwall.  I rarely look anywhere else but Cornwall for a family staycation. Those who read my blog will know I’m a big fan of Cornwall! To add to the excitement our best friends and their kids decided to book with us!

I’ve stayed at Mother Iveys Bay Holiday Park before, pre kids, with the hubby in one of their lovely caravans.  In fact, we visited a few times pre kids, and loved every visit.  I would say the cost of hiring a caravan is slightly more expensive than other parks, but personally I feel it’s worth it, as it’s set in such a beautiful place.  The price of a caravan was slightly out of budget for us this summer, but we’re definitely planning on returning and staying in one of their caravans soon.

We booked our holiday on line via the website with no probs.  we booked a camping pitch in ‘The Meadows’ for 7 nights.  You can choose different pitches, with or without electric/water hook up, but the price obviously goes up if you choose a pitch with electric and/or water. You can also choose to just turn up and pitch up wherever is free and pay on arrival. We chose to pre-book a pitch on the perimeter of the field near to the toilets and showers, without electric or water.  We pre-booked to ensure we could be close to our friends. The cost for the week was £234. We also paid and extra £40 to park a second vehicle (will explain why later!).

Mother Ivey’s Bay is about 10 minutes from well known Padstow on the north coast of Cornwall. The holiday park is set right by the sea with its very own private beach.  A lot of the caravans have sea views and ‘The Meadows’ where we camped had a lovely view across to the sea.  We travelled by car from home, which was about an hour and 20 minutes, so not too long, which was great for the kids.

We decided to take two vehicles as we couldn’t fit all the camping gear in to the car! So we paid extra and took the hubby’s van too. Of course that meant we could take as much as we wanted! A good thing and not such good thing! Blimey, we had so much stuff!

The kids were amazing on the journey down. My daughter slept the whole way (whoop) and my son watched a DVD on his in car DVD player (one of the best purchases ever). So the journey was quiet for me! Hubby had gone on ahead in the van with all the camping gear. On arrival (following the traffic stand still at the entrance – but we will skip over that!) it was just as I remembered, but busier – it was our first trip there in high season.  The place had hardly changed, it still looked in great nick, neatly cut grass, flowers in amongst the walls, clean looking caravans and friendly staff.  Despite my hubby leaving before us he pulled in to the car park at Reception just after us, so we all went in to Reception together.  We were met by happy and friendly staff who instructed us on how to get to our camping pitch.

We arrived at our pitch in ‘The Meadows’ to see our friends in the next door pitch with their tent half up and kids running around.  It was so lovely to see them and all the kids were super excited.  Our pitch was right by the shower and toilet blocks, bar one pitch in between. Perfect for the kids needing those last minute wee’s but not too close, so as to avoid any unwelcomed smells! The view was amazing, you could see the sea from our pitch (although the tent entrance faced side on). It really is beautiful there, perfectly positioned.


Once the tent was up (less hassle than I was expecting) we enjoyed exploring the site and familiarised ourselves with where to wash up, etc. and then we took the short walk to the beach (about 5 mins) and the kids enjoyed running in and out of the sea as the waves chased them – such a highlight for me.

Unfortunately on our first night, my son was sick in the night (literally) which was a bit of a low point and I felt so bad for him being ill on holiday. This introduced me to the on site launderette, which was great – lovely and clean throughout, so I didn’t mind spending an hour or so in there! Poor boy spent the next day asleep under the parasol on the beach – one out of the two days spent on the beach – such a shame for him.


The weather could not have been any more perfect those first two days, and we spent every moment on the beach (other than the visit to the launderette of course!). The first day we spent on Mother Ivy’s own private beach and it was as lovely as I remembered, a beautiful golden sanded cove.  The second day we walked round the coastal path to one of the smaller quieter coves, which are so pretty and worth the walk. It was lovely waking up early on those sunny mornings and watching the sun come up with a mug of warm coffee and a blanket round your shoulders. Perfect.

I tell you something, I’ve never spent so much time outdoors, as I did camping. If the weathers kind, you are literally outside from the minute you get up to the minute you go to bed. No telly, no wifi, just the outdoors and the company. I loved it.


On the third day, unfortunately the weather changed and it rained (a lot). Our spirits weren’t dampened though and we went in to Padstow for a potter and some lunch (love that place). We went to the lovely ‘Cornish Arms’ for dinner on the way home and sat outside during a break in the weather.


After a while you get in to a bit of a camping routine. Get up (early), put on Uggs, walk to toilet block, go for a wee, put the gas stove on, make coffee, put the kids Wellies on, make kids breakfast, get dressed (a shower if you can manage the effort), walk to the washing up block to do the dishes, etc. For some reason it took us forever to get ready to go out in the mornings! I think it was the logistics of everything. I also got used to not having a shower every day and not having cleanly shaven legs! You can’t worry about those things when you camp!


After the third day of persistent rain, camping wasn’t fun anymore and we decided to call it a day and go home early.  I think this is when some more on site facilities would have been useful, particularly for campers, like a bar/restaurant to keep warm or a swimming pool to entertain the kids – although you can swim in the sea in the rain as your wet anyhow! But what makes Mother Ivys Bay special in part, is the fact that it doesn’t have these facilities – it’s just you and the beautiful setting.

Its a shame that the weather put a slight dampener on our trip (excuse the pun) but it didn’t put me off camping and it certainly didn’t ruin my experience of Mother Ivys.  Mother Ivys is one of those hidden gems and a beautiful place to stay. We’ve already tried to rebook but unfortunately their caravans are all full in half term (couldn’t quite face camping in late October!).

Mother Iveys Bay is as beautiful as I remember and I’m so pleased we returned. It’s a perfect place for families looking for somewhere a bit quieter. The fact that it is set right on its own private beach is a big bonus. I wouldn’t recommend it for families who prefer  somewhere a bit more lively with on site entertainment (as there is none – other than nature itself) and they have a rule about there being quiet between the hours of 11pm and 6am (they have a guy walk round at 11am to check!). I actually liked this rule, it made it a bit more civilised and great for young kids needing a decent nights sleep (and adults!).

We will definitely be returning, maybe camping, maybe in a caravan, and I’m looking forward to it already.

Please visit the Mother Ivey’s Bay website here 

Please also see my other post about our camping trip ‘My Top 10 Tips for camping’

Jess xxx

Please not this is not a sponsored post. 

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I’ve been wanting to write some fashion reviews for a while, particularly in relation to my work style as I’m always thinking about how I can change things and mix things up a bit.  So here I go!!

To kick start things I’m featuring these gorgeous pink pumps that I bought from Next last week, on a bit of a whim, but a good whim!

My Fashion Pick  

Gorgeous Pink Ballet Pumps from Next.


As is usual for me, I wasn’t out to buy new shoes, but when I saw these I just couldn’t resist! (oops!) I actually went shopping for a christening outfit for my nephews christening and bought a gorgeous trouser and blouse combo. But whilst I was browsing I came across these beauts! Oh dear, the danger of browsing…! The colour caught my eye straight away and I thought what a beautiful colour they were and I started rummaging for my size. Before I found my size I noticed they had the same shoes in black and started looking at these.  But I couldn’t help but be drawn back to the bright pink! Be brave, be different, I thought! So I tried a pair of the bright pink ones (Thankfully they had my size!) and they just looked so cute I had to get them!

I normally wear heels every day for work and I’d been thinking about purchasing some smart flats as an alternative for a while.  I wasn’t out to get pink (or shoes at all for that matter!) but these are such a gorgeous colour and black would have been so boring!  I think wearing flats instead of heels is a good way to change things.  I also have a couple of pairs of smart trousers that are too short to wear with any of my heels, so I was so pleased to dig them out again now I have my new flats that go perfectly with their length!




The striking colour actually goes with more than you think.  The first day I wore them to work I wore them with navy blue and the day after black and they looked great with both.  This colour would also go well with grey (as my nice rug demonstrates nicely in the photos!).  So these are actually more versatile than you would expect.  And a great change from black!  I wore them with trousers one day and a skirt the next and they looked great with both.

For the couple of days I wore them to work, I was perfectly comfortable.  They have not rubbed my feet at all and have been comfortable throughout my days – including the long commute in the car and lots of walking around at work.  I’ve been doing 12 hour days and these have been very kind to my feet.  I quite often take a pair of flip flops in the car so I have something  comfy to drive in after a long day in heels, but didn’t need to the days I wore these.

Ive had so many people commenting on my new pink shoes!

‘Love your pink shoes Jess’

‘aren’t your shoes gorgeous?!’

‘Lovely, a touch of decadence’

They have been drawing lots of attention to my feet!  In fact, people missed them and noticed when I switched back to one of my usual pairs of shoes!

I love my new pair of pink ballet shoes!  One of those unplanned purchases, which end up being the best!

Cost: £22

Brand: Next

Available right now in store or via the Next website Next Website
image Continue reading My Fashion Pick: Pink Ballet Style Shoes from Next

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This was about my fourth visit to Cedar Falls, I try to visit once a year as s real treat and it really is a treat.  I’ve been with my mum a couple of times and last year went with one of my best friends when I was pregnant with my daughter.  Last year my friend and I stayed for one night and both said we would do two nights this year as one night wasn’t enough! But we only managed the one night again as it’s not cheap and it’s hard to justify spending so much just on you! I miss my kids like crazy anyhow, so one nights just about bearable! This year I visited with four friends and one of the bonuses of a stay away like this, is that we could all have a good old proper girly catch up!

Cedar Falls is a Hotel with a health Spa and Golf course, just outside of Taunton in Devon.  From my house it’s about a one and a half hour trip in the car.  You could also get the train to Taunton and taxi it.  I would say it’s about 15-20 mins from Taunton Train station.   The house it’s self is situated just off the road up a lovely private drive surrounded by lawn and trees.  As you come up the drive the house stands proud.  It looks absolutely stunning in summer.  It’s grand but not too large, there’s only 40 rooms.  As soon as you get there you feel a million miles from anywhere.  Perfect.


My friend picked me up at 10am and we arrived at Cedar Falls at about 11.30am.  When we checked in we collected our robe and towel, treatment schedule and made it straight to the pool area. I couldn’t wait to get in my swimming costume and robe! We filled in our health questionnaires for our treatments, settled down on our loungers and ordered a prosecco!  As soon as I arrived I felt relaxed.  It was literally an instant feeling of calm and relaxation. It’s a bit serreal, like a different world. A far cry away from my usual days balancing work and the kids.  It’s difficult not to feel too guilty, but I really believe it’s important to treat yourself and do something for yourself, when you can and I only do this once a year so it really is a treat. But it feels weird.


I had pre-booked my treatment which had been scheduled for 4.45pm so I had plenty of time to relax.  We booked a table for lunch for 1pm, so I started reading the book I had brought with me ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn.  It only took me a few pages in and I was hooked.  I never get a chance to read books at home, by the time I’m in bed I’m too tired to pick up a book.  I’m always starting books and nit finishing them, let’s hope I get to finish this one! At 1pm we went up to the restaurant for lunch, in our robes. Yes, I know, it’s pretty weird dining in a bath robe, but it’s the done thing there! In fact, you look even stranger in clothes! Lunch started with a broccoli soup and crusty roll, which was delicious, then we helped ourselves to the salad buffet, which had lots of different dishes to choose from and felt very healthy.  For pudding we had a pistachio ice cream, which I’ve not tried before and was really yummy.

After lunch we went back down to the pool area and lay on our loungers with our books.  After a while we went for a swim and a juccuzi. I love sitting in the juccuzi! And we just chatted and laughed for ages.

At 4.45pm I went for my treatment.  I had ‘The taste of Clarins’ treatment.  This was a one hour treatment consisting of a back, shoulder and neck massage and mini facial, using the Clarins products. My therapist was lovely, welcoming and friendly.  She made me feel relaxed and she tailored the massage to my needs.  This included concentrating on my lower back area, which I suffer with as a result of lugging a 15 month around! Generally on my hip! The massage was lovely, but I think the facial was amazing.  My skin felt so rejuvenated and fresh, my face felt amazing!

After my treatment I returned to my lounger for some more reading (I was addicted to my book by this point!) and we enjoyed a pre dinner prosecco by the pool.  We booked our dinner table for 8pm so I went up to my room at 7pm for a soak in the bath. It was almost too quiet in my room all by myself.  I actually get lonely when I’m not with my family!

My room was tucked away at the back of the hotel. I didn’t have a view of the garden, which was a shame (my friend had the most amazing garden view from her room) but I was really pleased with it and the decor was lovely and modern, but cosy too.  Here’s some pictures of my room.




It was quite strange having a bath in complete peace and quiet with no interruptions! I’d brought a dress with me for dinner and I was glad I’d chosen a loose summery style, as it was very warm in the hotel.  My skin was still feeling amazing from my facial so I just popped a bit of mascara on for dinner.  Dinner was a very civilised affair but dress was casual and the atmosphere was relaxed. There was a three course set meal, with a choice of three dishes per course.  I had the salmon mouse for starter, which I think was just smoked salmon mixed with cream cheese.  For main, I had chicken wrapped in bacon with new potatoes and green beans. For pudding I chose a shortbread stack with red berries and cream.  The portions were just right, not too large, so I felt satisfied and not too full. After dinner we had some post dinner wine in the lounge area (just realised it sounds like we drank a lot of wine!).


The next morning I dressed straight in to my swimming costume and robe and went down to the pool area to get a lounger.  My friend was already down there lying on her lounger reading her book.  I was glad to see she had already reserved some loungers. There’s not enough loungers for everyone staying to have one and it does get very busy at the weekends, especially Saturday’s with day trippers.  We were lucky with the weather when we stayed however, so lots of people sat outside in the sun.

Breakfast was a buffet of cereals, yogurt, fruit and pastries.  Coffee and toast was brought to the table. My friend and I had been looking forward to a cooked breakfast as we had one at our last visit, but for some reason they weren’t offering a cooked breakfast this time.  It didn’t really matter though as I was quite satisfied with my chocolate croissant and coffee!

After breakfast it was time for some more lounging around, reading my book (it really was a hard life). We had a swim in the pool, sat in the steam room (they have a sauna too) and a long soak in the juccuzi. Instead of lunch we had already decided to have a cream tea instead (and couldn’t justify both). We had looked with envy at all the cream teas the day before, but had already had lunch.  Because it was such a lovely sunny, warm day, we had our cream tea outside.  Also, we had been told we couldn’t have cream teas poolside, even though the day before people had had them down by the pool. I thought this was s bit strange, but we didn’t mind as it was such a gorgeous day.



I hadn’t been outside since our arrival the previous day, so it was lovely being outside in the sun and Cedar Falls has a really beautiful outside seating area in its grounds.  Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to walk around the lovely vast grounds (all good intentions and that).  I’d even brought my trainers and gym gear but hadn’t quite managed to make it to the gym or exercise class! There’s a small but well equipped gym in the therapy area if your feeling energetic enough! A short induction is required first, so I think you need to be there longer than 24 hours to really make it worth while.  Relaxation was the most important part of my visit, so I made sure I was still and quiet for most of it!



Our stay was short but sweet. I can’t believe how quickly the time went by, despite not doing much, apart from relaxing! We left at 3pm on the Sunday and it came around a bit too quick, but I had missed my kids like crazy and couldn’t wait to see them.

The cost of our stay was £119 for bed, dinner and breakfast, for one night, including use of the facilities. When we booked we paid a £75 deposit. On top of this if you have lunch it is an extra £15 and the hire of a robe is £10. Drinks are not included, so I budgeted for this and you pay for any treatments on top. My Clarins treatment was £50, which I thought was good value for a massage and facial combined.  A massage and facial treatment separately would be more expensive.  You can obviously have as many treatments as you want, but this all adds up and can make a one night stay extremely expensive.  I was satisfied with just the one treatment and I had plenty of time to relax and enjoy all the facilities. My friend had the Clarins scalp massage which she highly recommended too. If you had a Clarins treatment, you got some nice little free Clarins samples too which was a bonus!

Cedars Falls is a perfect (not too expensive) health spa hotel, for anyone wanting complete relaxation in a peaceful atmosphere, in a reasonably small hotel setting. There’s a pool and gym if you want to be more active and lovely vast grounds (including a golf course if that’s your cup of tea) to walk around (or run!). Although those staying were predominantly female, there were a few men there too as part of a couple. I actually think my hubby would love it, so I’m thinking of taking him there for our anniversary next year.  I felt completely and utterly chilled for my whole trip, it was just what I needed and I’ll definitely be going back!

If you fancy visiting Cedar Falls, visit their website for more info


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I don’t think I care as much about getting a tan now as I did when I was younger.  Mainly because I’m a mum oŵf two and hey let’s face it, there’s just more important things in life! But there’s no denying we feel better for having a bit of colour and there’s a kinda good feeling about it, isn’t there? Why is it, we will spend hours and hours of time trying to tan?! Is it a sign of beauty? Is it a sign of happiness? Of health? Who knows.

Now I’m not fortunate enough to have that kind of skin that just goes brown.  Unlike my husband who has the most gorgeous of olive skins and only has to step outside to start glowing with a tan.  Not me, I’m the one who has to wear factor 30 or I’m burning bright pink! Not that I’m jealous of course.  I think my son has my hubby’s skin, the lucky thing, but my daughter I think is stuck with mine.  I will tell her it’s beautiful (like my mum said to me) but I expect she’ll fight against it and want to tan ( just like I did).

My tanning history

All my young adult life I strived to get the perfect brown tan.  I tried all means of fake tan, tanning gel, tinted moisturiser, etc.  you name it, I tried it! I even went through a stage of using sun showers (sun beds).  Yes, I know, bad huh?! At one point I did have a decent tan, but blimey it took some time and commitment!

Now I’m not one to preach, but seriously, sun showers and sun beds are SO BAD for you.  I really cringe at myself for using them and really regret it now.  However, there was no telling me back then, all I wanted was a tan and I didn’t care how.

Hours I spent exfoliating, moisturising, applying tan and washing off. Repeated. A few times a week.  It really takes time and dedication. And the smell, blimey fake tan stinks!

I don’t think those adverts help.  You know, the ones where those long legged models parade their beautifully bronzed and bikini clad bodies?! Who wouldn’t want to look like that I ask?!

I was always a sun worshiper pre kids.  As soon as the sun was out, I was out too, in my bikini, sun creamed up (a lower factor than it should have been) and ready to tan.  We had lots of holidays abroad pre kids (she sighs) where the hubby and I would just lie in the sun (she sighs again).  Even from being abroad for 2 weeks I was borderline tanned, sometimes people didn’t even know I’d been abroad!  I was in denial that I was destined to be pale.  Your an English rose, my mother in law said.

I think I’ve at last accepted I’m never going to have that beautiful sun kissed tanned skin.  Nope, not me.  Ok, so it’s slightly forced on me by the fact I’m a mum, and frankly I don’t have time to lie around in the sun anymore or spend hours fake tanning!

My product recommendations 

Although I’ve accepted I’m an English rose , if I do feel like I need a little uplift by having a bit of colour, here’s my two best buys for a stress free and super quick subtle glow.

Dove Summer Glow Nouushing Lotion.  £5.25 for 250ml – half price from Boots right now at £2.62.  Be brave and buy the medium to dark one.  Even if your pale the dark one is ok and will give you a bit of colour after just the one application.  It’s super quick and easy as you can apply more or less straight from the shower.  Apply the same as you would any other moisturiser.  Don’t forget to wash your hands though! I normally apply first thing in the morning and it develops over time.  It’s very subtle, so perfect just for a slight glow.  You can build the colour up if you want by reapplying several days in a row.  But it can start to smell and look a bit fake so don’t over do it.  It looks perfectly natural if you use every now and then.


Garnier Ambre Solair No Streaks Natural Bronzer (Gel).  £10.69 – save a 1/3 at Boots right now at £7.13.  This is about as fake tan I as I get these days! It’s a good one as its in between a tinted moisturiser and a full on fake tan.  You apply it the same as a body moisturiser.  Be confident and use a good amount when applying.  But you need to rub it in quickly as it soaks in to the skin really quickly.  Use sparingly around the ankles, knees, elbows and wrists. Again, wash hands well afterwards. It feels sticky for a while after application so be careful and wear loose clothing afterwards.  I normally apply this one at night before bed and by the morning I’ve got a natural subtle colour.


I have to say the two products together work well too.  For example I used the Ambre Solair gel the night before last and used the Dove lotion the following morning.  This has given me a lovely natural and subtle colour. The smell of both products is ok, quite sweet and subtle so not too obvious, unless over used.


I use both on the face and find it works well as long as you use sparingly (don’t be fooled in to having to buy the separate face versions).
Follow application to the face with a normal face moisturiser.


Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t take the tanning lark seriously now (as explained above) nor do I look like I’ve stepped off a Carribean beach when I do use these products! (Blimey, I hate those fake tan adverts!) I’m still pale compared to most, but occasionally I’m a little less pale.  If anything else, it’s something nice to do for a night out (if your lucky) or just to pamper yourself a little bit! Realistically I only get to do this maybe a few times each summer, normally rushed between looking after the kids.  Like anything to do with any sort of beauty product, it’s a treat when I do get to use it and I think it’s important to do things that make yourself feel better, no matter how small.

Happy (safe) tanning all! Especially all my fellow English roses out there!

Jess x


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As all my followers will know, we recently took a short trip (very short) to sunny cornwall. I had spent almost two weeks online checking out what hotels, B&B’s, etc. were family friendly enough for my young brood. All I knew was that we wanted to stay in cornwall, preferably St Ives and be really close to the beach. I just fancied getting away somewhere as a family for a weekend and was feeling rather brave, I thought, when even considering a hotel for my 4 year old and 10 month old! I carefully scoured the net, reading all the trip advisor reviews. Then one morning, whilst my baby girl napped, I took the plunge and booked! I chose the Tregenna Castle Hotel in Cornwall. From the outset this hotel looked perfect, large enough that hopefully noisy little ones wouldn’t stand out too much, with plenty of amenities, close to the beach, reasonably priced and with good reviews.

The first thing I will say is that my experience of actually making the booking was excellent. I had unfortunately lost my voice at the time so everything was done via email. I was unsure which room to book online so I emailed the hotel and they emailed me back within the hour with a response. We continued exchanging emails throughout the day, with quick and helpful replies. Nothing seemed too much trouble and I got a little money off too. I booked a family room, with a double bed, a single bed and room for a cot. I arranged for them to set up a cot for us, to save us taking our travel cot, which was very convenient. We were also able to pre-book a table in the hotel restaurant so we didn’t have to worry about finding anywhere to eat. In hindsight I wished I hadn’t done that (will explain later).


My boy checking out his bed

My boy checking out his bed

On arrival the hotel looked grand and welcoming. Not quite as bright and flowery as in the glossy picture online, but grand non the less. My hubby said to me ‘are you sure this is the right place?’ as he thought it looked too grand for us! My little boy was in ore ‘a castle? We’re staying in a castle?’. It really was magical from his point of view. On arrival we met a lovely lady at reception who was very welcoming and gave us our keys. As we walked through the hotel to find our room my little boy kept saying ‘wow’ and ‘Ooh’. ‘This is a beautiful place’ he said, and I agreed. I have to admit I was quite impressed for the price. Our room was not as cramped as I was expecting and there was plenty of room for all of us and a lovely view out across the front of the hotel. The room was very clean and the ensuite was huge! The double bed was the biggest bed I had ever seen!


The hotel overlooked St Ives and was only a short walk to St Ives beach. It took us about 10 minutes to get to the beach. We walked down the hill, part through the hotel grounds, across a very busy road and down a narrow lane on to the beach. It was stunning. I had forgotten how lovely St Ives is. We had a lovely picnic on the beach and then walked round the beach to the town. We were lucky with the weather so we spent the whole afternoon either on the beach or pottering round the cobbled streets. It took us a bit longer to walk back up to to the hotel, about 30 minutes. It was a slightly longer route from the shops and it was all up hill, so I was a little worried about my boy managing it, but he actually managed it well and with no complaints other than he was cold. My baby girl was in the sling (we took our excellent Boba 4g) all afternoon and seemed quite happy. I would say the walk to and from the beach from the hotel is ok for a 4 year old but maybe a bit much (specifically going back up) for smaller ones.

View from the hill walking up

View from the hill walking up

Me & the boy in the restaurant

Me & the boy in the restaurant

The hotel had its own swimming pool, which I thought was great, an added bonus if it rains. We used it a couple of times and the kids loved it. To get to the pool you had to walk through the gym, which wasn’t ideal and there were no baby change facilities! So I had to change my little girl on the bench. Not ideal but we managed. The pool was so warm it was like getting in a bath (lovely), but it was quite merky (not sure why). I think they could do with updating the pool area and especially the changing rooms, a baby change is a must! Still, it served its purpose and the kids enjoyed it.

We ate in the Brausserie restaurant which was lovely. I was slightly confused in that we had pre-booked a table for 5.30 but was then told it didn’t open until 6. Luckily we had been for a swim which made us late! The food was good, but boy was it expensive. The cost of dinner was as much as the actual cost of our room and breakfast. So next time we’ll do two nights and just have fish and chips! Next time I would definitely eat out in St Ives and not at the hotel. Especially with kids, it is not worth spending that much on dinner.

Breakfast was a buffet, help your self affair, which my boy loved as he could have a bit of everything and could keep going back. There was a very good selection of cereals, pastries, fruit, yogurt and cooked breakfast. The coffee and pastries were delicious but I was not over keen on the cooked breakfast. I think you lose a lot of quality when you cook breakfast on mass in this way. But I can understand in a hotel with 90 rooms, this is the most efficient way.

The grounds of the hotel are quite vast, with a lovely children’s playground, tennis courts, golf course and woodland walks. The outdoor space is perfect for families with little ones and there’s always the pool if it’s raining. There’s also a kids club, didn’t look like anything was happening whilst we were there, but I can imagine quite useful if your staying for longer.

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Tregenna Castle Hotel. The hotel and grounds are perfect for families. We were made to feel very welcome and didn’t feel out of place. My advise would be to look at eating in St Ives itself as the hotel is quite expensive and the cheapest family room which we stayed in had ample room for a family of four. I thought the Tregenna was a real find and we will definitely be returning with the family.  Cornwall is a beautiful place and I always enjoy going there and want the kids to experience it as much as I have been lucky enough to.




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