Our February…

Well February has been a pretty funny one weather wise hasn’t it. We spent the beginning of the month with everything crossed that the snow flurries were going to settle and give us a couple of ‘snow days’ and then the end of the month stripping back to T-shirts and eating ice cream in the park.

The beginning of the month was actually a cause for celebration in our house as we celebrated granddaughter number two’s imminent arrival with a baby shower for Alice. I haven’t quite got my head around being a nanny to Isla yet and we already have another one on the way to add to the madness of the family.

We also spend a good few hours in the garden getting it ready for the warmer weather. The boys have been really lucky to have a new playhouse, slide and sandpit and we can’t wait to find the perfect paddling pool to make us completely summer ready!

It’s not to often that I socialise in the evenings anymore and I decided this new year that I was going to stop being such a misery and get out with my friends more.

I had a lovely evening with the mums from Oscar’s class. Ate to much a drank more than I should which made for an all round great evening.

Getting back into my fitness has been a great success this month thanks to Jemma’s Heath Hub. Jemma and I had found each other though the wonderful world of Instagram and she asked me to trial her online fitness program which had seen me out of bed super early three times a week to take part in an online exercise session with a whole load of other likeminded women. Go and check her out if you are looking to get back into fitness and want something to do in your own home.

My husband is the romantic one in our relationship and my lack of romantic is something that really gets to him. So this Valentine’s Day we both took a few hours out of our day to grab some lunch and randomly walk around a local museum…not really his idea of a good day out!

One of my first real jobs was working in the food hall at Marks and Spencer. I still have fond memories of this and they were an amazing company to work for. So fast forward a good few years my new job has landed me back at Marks and Spencer…but behind the scenes at head office.

It really is moments like this that make me realise all the hours I put in are most definitely worth it and it was so amazing to be behind the scenes of a place that is so close to my heart.

The boys were gifted scooters from the wonderful Micro Scooters this month and they literally haven’t got off them since. They have always been my first choice for scooters as they are so easy to use and look amazing. They came with use on a trip to the park the other day where we all enjoyed our first ice cream of the year.

We get to explore many parts of London with my job but Battersea is someone I don’t I have ever been and the children certainly haven’t. We had a more than pleasant surprise when we went along to the power station during half term and got to witness what an amazing job they are doing there.

They have some great shops and restaurants and lots of bits and pieces to keep the children occupied along the waterfront. We were actually there to try out a class at the über cool Boom Cycle whist the kids were kept occupied at the lovely ladies from Kids Table. It is definitely one to put on your list.

We actually did a lot of eating in town this half term with a trip to Yo Sushi and Las Iguanas who both offer great deals during the school holidays so keep this in mind for Easter.

Half term was actually a pretty packed one for us and aside from duties of dog sitting at mum and dads we got to enjoy some great events, including a trip to Neville’s in Belgravia for the launch of the new range of hair care from Child’s Farm.

The boys thought they were super models and spent the morning requesting exactly how they wanted their hair styled whilst me and Izzy were treated to some braids and of course a bit of glitter.

The end of month saw an event just for me which is always a welcome change and I attended the launch of the Emma Willis Collection from Next.

It was an amazing evening where I got to see the whole range which was a stylish and gorgeous as Emma herself.

I spent the evening catching up with friends, drinking way to much Prosecco and fan girling Emma for most of the night!

The Perfect Break At The Old Barrel Store Margate

We discovered the delightful town of Margate last year and immediately fell in love with the up and coming, quirky seaside resort.

When I was offered the opportunity to have an overnight stay at the Old Barrel Store in the heart of Margate town I was over the moon.

We had a short and easy drive into Margate with just the youngest two and easily found the property nestled just off one of the quaint streets that house some wonderful shops selling anything from vintage homeware and clothes to yummy retro sweets.

The boys ran to the front door of the grade ll listed flint cottage to be the first in to investigate.

We were lead straight into the kitchen that had everything you could possibly need including a cupboard stocked with all the essentials you need to prepare meals that you wouldn’t necessary want to drag along with you which ead a lovely touch.

The kitchen also housed a visitors book full to the brim with positive comments and lots of great tips and piles of leaflets to help you get the most out of your stay.

We headed from here into the living area that was a real step back in time.  The furniture and accessories had all been perfectly sourced to create a wonderful vintage feel which is a huge love of mine.

Although the decor is immaculate it still felt homely and with the addition of plenty of toys that could be used indoors or taken down to the beach with you I was at complete ease having the two little wirlwinds with me!



The living room leads straight out into a pretty little garden that is perfect for the children to play in, cook a yummy BBQ or simply relax and have a drink while soaking up the sun.

With bucket and spade in hand he boys were itching to get down to the sea which is literally a few minutes walk away.

They ran up and down the beautiful stretch of sandy beach and were even brave enough to take a paddle in the sea that was still extremely chilly!

It wouldn’t be a trip to the seaside without some seafood which we grabbed from Manning seafood stall which is situated right by the Turner Contempary.

We then made our way to Dreamland amusement park that the boys were itching to get to. We had a good few hours there trying out everything it had to offer and we were all extremely impressed.

We had worked up a good appetite so headed down to GB Pizza where we sampled the best pizzas I have even tastes and I challenge you to say anything different!

With two extremely tired boys in tow we headed back to the cottage for bath and bedtime.

The bathroom again was immaculately decorated and had a wonderfully calming atmosphere perfect to start a relaxing evening.  The children were thought of again in here with a slip mat provided to prevent any accidents with slippery little ones!

All cleaned and ready for bed we headed to the children’s room which had the vintage theme carried through.

There were pretty vintage decorations, plenty of books for bedtime stories and crisp white, cosy bed linen that the boys fell asleep in within minutes.

With the children fast asleep for the first time in months we savoured the moment by having a cheeky glass of wine while enjoying our beautiful, peaceful surroundings.

It wasn’t long before we made our way to our cosy room that had a good sized bed, ample storage space in the wardrobe and the all important hairdryer that I’ve often found missing in many self catering properties.

We woke up after a good nights sleep and the only night number five has ever slept through and grabbed a quick breakfast before heading out to do some more exploring.

We bumped into some very friendly neighbours as we made our way to the shell grotto that I had wanted to visit on our past trips but had not yet got round to.

It was only a short walk from the cottage and was strangely situated in the middle of a residential street that I was not expecting.

Once inside it was a magnificent sight and well worth a trip.

The boys were itching to get back to the seafront and I was desperate for an ice cream.

We stopped at Melt ice cream parlour in the Sands Hotel that served the most delicious ice cream in a beautiful setting.

Sadly it was now time to make our way back to pack up the car and say goodbye to the Old Barrel Store.

We had a perfect stay in a wonderful cottage that was steepted in history and loving resorted to create the most wonderful holiday getaway.  The passion for their cottage really shine through and nothing had been overlooked, everything you could ask for was there for you to make your stay as easy as enjoyable as possible.

The Old Barrel Store would make a fabulous weekend getaway as a couple as much as a family holiday with all the family.

If you are looking for a seaside getaway with a difference then look no further than this fabulous cottage.
*we were given an overnight stay for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions.