12 November 2019


[Advertisement - This post has been written in collaboration with Silentnight. All opions are 100% my own]
So you might remember that last month I visited the new Silentnight Showroom in Bristol to take a look at their range and get some much needed tips for a better nights sleep.

Being mama to a toddler takes its toll on the old eye bags and currently I’m sporting some fetching suitcases. Our current mattress had surpassed the ten year mark and we’d started waking with shoulder and back aches. Knowing it was time to switch it up we headed down to Silentnight Bristol Cabot Circus Showroom to check out their mattresses and have a one on one consultation with a team member, all of which have had training from a sleep specialist.

Silent Night is one of those brands that has stood the test of time and is a well loved UK name in the sleep department, providing good sleep for 70 years. Do remember the hippo and duckling TV ads in the 80’s? so cute *and possibly showing my age* but it did mean I was in good hands.

While Romi literally climbed, bounced and treated the experience as her own personal soft play, I was excited to learn more about their range, it turns out there are a whole host of choices when it comes to choosing mattress, all with different structures and fillings, each creating various forms of support and breathability, plus prices vary hugely depending on your needs. Thankfully the in-house team have great in-depth knowledge and were happy to talk through all the ranges, while using the sample cut away mattress to show you how they work from a technical view point.

Did you know that the average person doesn’t even lie down to test the mattress before they buy even though they are going to sleep on EVERY night! As we spend a third of our life in bed finding ‘the one’ is so important. So here are some top tips on choosing the right mattress for you and improving your sleep:


1. When choosing a mattress take time to think about your sleeping habits, did you know your sleep position could effect what mattress you should buy? Do you sleep on your back, front or side? Turns out sleeping on your back is the best sleeping position for your spine but if you sleep on your side like me, there is more pressure on your shoulders and hips, so you should opt for a medium/soft mattress to allow you sink in and support the natural curve of your spine, rather than a firm one.

2. When choosing your mattress you shouldn’t be afraid to put your feet up! You’d be surprised at how many people take a quick bum bounce check before purchasing, and in some cases even not at all. The advised amount of time to lie on the mattress is more than five minutes in your preferred sleep position. This will allow you to experience whether the firmness and pressure is right for you.

3. Have a partner who likes to party while they sleep is no fun. tossing and turning is a sure fire way to keep your loved one from getting that all important shut eye. The best tip is to choose a mattress that provides motion isolation, this basically means movement on one side doesn’t effect the otherside. Foam mattresses tend to be the best at this but if you get hot at night you probably want to look at buying a pocket sprung mattress like the Silentnight Mirapocket mattresses.

4. If you’re looking for a little bit of added luxury, think sleeping on a cloud effect, then look no further than picking out a Pillow Top or Box Top mattress, all have an additional layer of padding built onto the top of the mattress for added comfort, while still offering support.

5. If like me you are looking for an Eco Friendly option as well as a comfortable nights sleep then Silentnight have you covered with their Eco Comfort range. These mattress are fully recyclable and naturally fire retardant without the use of any nasty chemicals! To top it off each mattress has a unique Eco Comfort fibre layer made entirely from 150 recycled plastic bottles!

6. The average lifespan of a mattress is 10 years! Even though it seems like you’re saving pounds by eeking out a few more years, in terms of hygiene and comfort, it’s time to say goodbye and invest in a newer model. Good news is SilentNight are able to take away your old mattress for a fee and recycle it rather that you duping it in your local tip. Plus this mattress range is available for all ages, from cots to king size so it’s a win for everyone.

After rounding up Romi and testing out ALL the mattresses, I managed to take a seat with a coffee and run through our mattress needs, like a consultation of sorts.

I was especially taken by the new Eco Comfort Range that not only gives you a great nights sleep but is eco conscious and helps remove plastic from the ocean, that effectively means I’m helping the planet while I sleep. Especially as it uses 150 recycled bottles to create the fibre layer, preventing them from causing havoc to marine life and floating in our oceans

Thankfully Paul has very similar sleeping needs and quite frankly was happy for any mattress that didn’t dip in the middle, so we were very grateful to be gifted The Eco Comfort Breathe 2000, which arrived within a few weeks. Giving it a few hours to breathe I couldn’t wait to add fresh sheets and dive into bed. I’m thankful to report it is very comfortable and I’ve really noticed a reduction in how hot I get at night. Even Felix and Romi have made up excuses to hop into our bed so it’s definitely got their seal of approval, plus suddenly changing the sheets has become an exciting activity!

After understanding the time that goes into choosing the right mattress I would definitely recommend popping into your local Silent Night store, the team have a great understanding of what makes a great nights sleep and it feels like a brand you can trust, giving you a full 60 days to try the mattress at home and if it’s not right for you, you can send it back no questions.

You can find details and opening time of the new Bristol Cabot Circus showroom here.

*This post is in collaboration with Silentnight.
 I recieved a mattress and fee in exchange to an honest review of my shopping experience. 
All thoughts are 100% my own. 

31 August 2019


All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design

Since watching Extraordinary Homes on Netflix, The Optical Glass House in Japan seems to have captured Felix’s imagination and left him wanting to learn more about Japanese architecture and design. Mix this with his love of cars, seeing his face light up when the All-New Mazda3 was delivered to our front door was nothing short of explosive excitement.

As a family we love travel and good design, and always jump at the chance of adventure, whether it’s local or further afield. So when we were asked take the All-New Mazda3 for a test drive to a Japanese twinned town of our choice, we couldn’t resist a fun summers day out.

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Twinned with Beppu, Japan’s most spectacular ONSEN natural hot spring city nestled between the mountains and the sea, Bath made the ideal location for us to experience the engineering that goes into the sleek and sporty design of the All-New Mazda3. Loading the kiddos into the car, made easy with the ISOFIX anchorage as standard, we took the scenic route using the cruise control, while Felix excitedly navigated from the back seat and asking whether he could sit in the ‘cockpit’.

We headed into the historic city of Bath, a UNESCO heritage site known for its Roman Baths and honey coloured Georgian architecture and although there are many links between the popular tourist destinations of Beppo and Bath, including thermal springs, a love of rugby and Saki festivals, it is always the open spaces and parks that Felix and Romi make a beeline for.

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design

More than a car and a simple need to get from A to B, I love learning the stories behind great design and every Mazda is designed around one thing, you. Each car isn’t just engineered to move you literally, but to do so emotionally. This is called Jinba Ittai, meaning a sense of oneness between car and driver. Inspired by Japanese tradition, it symbolises the oneness between horse and rider, something entirely natural, like a true extension of your being that brings pure driving pleasure. Pretty cool ay and to be honest it does feel like the car is designed with joy in mind.

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design

We drove past the Bath Holborne Museum in the hopes of cheering out the new Lauren Child: The Art of Illustration exhibition as it was a staple book when Felix was little, but unfortunately they were filming that day so we made mental note to head back next week and drove a little further on to Royal Victoria park.

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design
Apart from the epic playground, this holds a warm and fuzzy place in my heart as we often go Ice Skating here at Christmas and it’s become a bit of a family tradition with hot chocolate, Christmas Markets and looking for a Christmas Eve book for the stockings. Romi got straight into the drivers seat on the wooden toddler playhouse, while her and Felix squabbled over who would ‘drive’ especially as he was keen to pretend he was in the new car using the heads up display, projecting the speed limit, actual speed and next navigation instruction onto the window when driving.

After the kiddos had covered themselves in sand we headed for a quick coffee and nose in our fave two haunts, Toppings bookshop and Mr B’s Emporium. After Paul and I met in a bookshop in London we can’t help but wander around stacked shelves and reminisce with family in tow.
All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design
As a surprise addition to our day out, we were gifted a picnic hamper stacked with Japanese goodies from sushi and seaweed to Lychee soft drinks to really immerse ourselves in the experience, before driving up through the narrow streets for a stroll along the infamous the Royal Crescent. Being conscious of driving through the heritage site and trying to be a more eco-conscious I was pleased to learn about the All-New Mazda3 innovative Skyactiv-X engine and its low CO2 emissions, it burns less fuel than a conventional petrol engine but provides better performance. Plus I can confirm that the Petrol needle didn’t seem to move even after a full day out so it’s economical too!

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design
We eventually headed to the perfect shaded picnic spot, as the weather was being temperamental, threatening rain and got stuck in! Sometimes relaxing together outside as a family is just what the doctor ordered and it was sweet to hear Felix’s giggles as Romi gave the sushi experience a suspicious stare!

I wondered whether the car would feel cramped with two children, a 6ft4 husband and pushchair all in a hatchback when we were used to our estate, but in all honesty it didn't feel like that, and even though the boot space is very different compared to an estate it was such a treat to drive the All-New Mazda3. As well as all the cool tech details such as Bose 12 speaker sound system, Apple play and best parking assist I’ve ever seen (I would so need this), it very much felt that this sleek car has been designed and engineered to the enjoyment of the drivers experience.

All-New Mazda3, Japanese design, Car review, Mazda3 review, Family Travel, Japanese Car Design

Note to Father Christmas, Felix is now wondering how he can wangle one of these on his Christmas list or at least visit Japan for the architecture AND the cars. What can I say the kids knows good design!

*This is a collaborative paid post with Mazda. 
We test drove the All-New Mazda3 for five days to get a true feel for the car as part of this review. 
All words and opinions are my own. 

8 July 2019


Mawgan Porth Bay, Cornwall Holidays, bedruthan Hotel & Spa, luxury stay cornwall, family holidays cornwall, Sensory Spa Garden
Just over a week ago I waved goodbye to Bristol and the kiddos, for a much needed night away and headed to the beautiful Bedruthen Hotel & Spa Cornwall. It’s not often us mamas take time to recuperate, let alone use the bathroom alone (*toddler alert! if you know, you know) so when I was invited to enjoy the Sensory Spa Garden experience sans children, I jumped at the chance to treat my mam to the beautiful beach views and the outdoor hot tubs Bedruthen Hotel & Spa has to offer.


26 February 2019


It's not often I rave about food on here but when it's oh so right it's hard not to share! Now we're firmly past Veganary and cheese is back on the menu, I can't wait to tell you about Two Belly Cheese & Beer shop in Bristol. A few weeks back I went along to a fondue night full of all the deliciousness that follows to sample the evening events hosted at Two Belly, a new on the scene shop/eateries/event space ran by wife and husband duo, Lara and Dominic, who are on a mission to empower people with exciting cheeses and beers from around the world. I mean who could say no to that right?

Upping sticks from London, this dynamic pair have followed their passion and turned their vision into reality, serving up carefully curated pairings of cheese and beer to the vibrant city of Bristol and it hasn't gone unnoticed.

The minimalist Two Belly shop has gone beyond the normal store set up with its fun taster evening events challenging you to explore your taste buds. The long shared table transformed to an evening dining experience introducing the Beer & Cheese Flight £10.50 pp followed by Fondue with accompanying UK cured meats, sourdough bread and fermented pickles amongst a few of treats for dipping. 

The opening Cheese & Beer flight took me by surprise, the delicate pairing was nothing short of genius and me, who is normally not a beer drinker, was very pleasantly surprised at the tasty combinations:

Mad Hatter Brewing, Tzatziki Sour - Kirkham's Lancashire cheese, a raw Cow's Milk Hard cheese
Braybrooke, Session Lager - Innes Log, a Raw Goat's Milk cheese. 
Moor, Dark alliance, Coffee Stout paired with Beenleigh Blue, a Sheep's Blue cheese. 

The whole evening was an absolute delight, and dining in the shop after trading hours allows you to feel like you are in the midst of a personal dining experience with the 'chefs' themselves. Lara and Dominic were on hand to answer any and all questions about the cheese and beer, as well as their passion and background before launching Two Belly.

I love any meal that brings people together over a table and the Two Belly Fondue Nights are a far cry from the nostalgic scenes of the '70s, intead they have created an almost fine dining experience where you can bond over a melting pot of delicious cheese. 

*Two Belly invited me to attend their Fondue Night without any obligation to review the event. However I'm very happy to share my thoughts from the evening as the food and whole experience was delightful and hope you enjoy it too. 

11 February 2019


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I’m always on the look out for a grand day out with the kiddos, something to excite their imagination, nurture their creativity and generally inject a bit of wow factor into their lives. So when I heard that Carrot Productions will tour Wallace & Gromit’s Musical Marvels across the UK, I was very excited for Felix and his love of the iconic Aardman duo.


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