Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year/Spring Festival ‘Tet’ to Vietnamese) was a joyous celebration in London for the first time post-covid. The lion dance was back for a short appearance on 01 February which Little Miss had the honour of watching. I have never taken the kids to watch the CNY celebrations at Soho before – simply because it was always too busy – but this year, it was slightly less of a crowd but still busy enough to showcase its bustling atmosphere.
There’s no surprise – we love reading a new book. My children’s school teacher may argue otherwise as I never seem to read the school books with the kiddos (I do, but it’s sporadic) but they love getting a brand new book to read. The kids have a good collection but there’s always room for more!
I’ve been away from the blog for a little while since my last post as I’ve developed eye strain and pressure building up behind the eyes. Sitting at the computer and blogging using the phone have not been easy on my eyes. I’ve been to the opticians and my prescription’s changed a lot since my last check up so I’ll be getting new glasses. A couple weeks ago, we were sent a delightful children’s book called ‘Big Splash Circus’ written by Karina Choudhrie. I’ve read it a few times with the kids and Little Man’s read it himself once too. Both of them have enjoyed the story book in their own ways.
2020 brought with it a significant number of challenges, seen across a number of sectors – with hospitality and travel being among those industries that were hit particularly hard. The restrictions on these areas have been significant, and experts warn that while the vaccine roll-out and plans for moving out of lockdowns are underway, a complete recovery of these industries could take up to four years – particularly if we’re talking about reaching pre-pandemic levels.
One thing that has come out of this, though, is the rise in people turning to the great British shores for their break from reality, instead of flocking to the nearest airport by default. Towards the end of the first lockdown, UK travel bookings experienced a significant boom. And this surge in staycations is likely to remain a more permanent fixture than many had initially imagined, particularly as overseas travel continues to remain unpredictable.
Manny from The Wandering Mother agreed, saying: “Since the first lockdown we have focused on travelling within the UK. It’s something we’ve always done, but definitely not as often. We are also a big fan of glamping and there’s so many wonderful places to visit in the UK. This year, we’ll be glamping near Wales.”
Once again, people are longing to escape the boredom of lockdowns and get out of their homes which, for many, have become multi-functional places to live, work, and learn over the past year and a bit. No wonder the walls are starting to feel like they’re closing in a little!
Whether your coming from Richmond or Runcorn, Greenwich is a major tourism town that sees thousands of people paving its streets every year. This year has seen a rise in tourism again and with lockdown officially behind us all, the streets of Greenwich are starting to fill up.
I originally published this post in August 2020 but have revised it again to keep it current with this year’s events. Spending a day trip visiting Greenwich during the summer holidays can be easy, cheap and very enjoyable for the whole family. Train companies usually offer GroupSave discounts when travelling during summer holidays if you’re coming from outside of London.
Mountain Warehouse launches their new organic cotton collection!
2021 has not dampened our enthusiasm for more family adventures, travels and days out.
Okay, we’re a little restricted with the travel part for now but you can bet we’ll still be out and about exploring real soon. We’ve been enjoying the outdoors safely in small trips. This is because I’m not great with cold weather but I still love the outdoors haha!
We’ve been visiting our local parks and animal farms. Unfortunately the almost-freezing weather meant that we didn’t get to see as many animals as we’d liked to. Last Sunday we were blessed with warm, sunny weather so we decided to visit the woods.
I was SO excited when we were asked to become family ambassadors for the new organic cotton collection and to review some of their lovely items.
Mountain Warehouse are a well-known British brand supplying high-quality clothing, outdoor equipment and accessories worldwide since 1997.
We visited the park and woodlands of Shewsbury Park in Plumstead Common and decided it was a good time to test out our new gear. If you love the quiet outdoors, this place is definitely worth a visit. It’s serene and calm, a totally different vibe from the busy-ness of Greenwich Park. The woods feel like a safe haven. There’s only ever a few dog walkers and families walking by. It was perfect!
These two had a field day climbing around on the massive trees and logs, swinging around on the tree swings and exploring nature. Because the woods were pretty much empty, I didn’t have to worry about getting in anyone’s way or having to tell the kids to keep it quiet. They could just really enjoy the outdoors without restrictions.
Little Man felt comfy all day in his tshirt and I’m sure the organic cotton helped him keep warm. Little Miss had no problems getting around with hee dress. The cut and length are just right allowing her to climb freely without ever rising too short. It did go up a little too much on the tree swing but that’s because the swing has a rope that she has to sit around. Easiest way to solve that problem is to make your your little ones have tights, shorts or leggings on underneath the dress to avoid unwanted pant-flashing.
Prices are RRP and correct at time of publishing which may be subject to change at the brand’s discretion.
We’ve not gotten round to test-driving the lovely, summery Penelope dress outdoors just yet as it’s not been warm enough but we’ve had fun doing photoshoots with the dress. Little Miss really loves wearing this dress around the house. She says it feels nice and soft on her skin. 🙂
Shrewsbury park is pretty big so it’s really ideal for mini explorers. The woods make a great place to play hide and seek. The grassy hills are fab for rolling down. The massive tree swings dotted about the park are super fun and perfect for the mini thrill-seekers. Even I had a cheeky go on the tree swing. 🙂
Little Miss has sensitive skin that’s eczema-prone so I try my best to buy her clothes that are soft on her skin. I can definitely vouch for the softness of her stripy tunic dress. In fact, all the clothes we received are soft and comfy to wear. So comfy that I’d be willing to swap my loungewear for it which really says something. Little Man also hasn’t taken off his shark t-shite since!
I love my Lily Dress so much, it’s comfortable enough to wear all day long. The front pockets on the Lily dress are really handy too and big enough to fit my iPhone 7+ in it. Both of the girls’ dresses above have pockets making it great for little ones who like carrying things around with them. Mine always loves bringing home a “souvenir” from the park. The clothes are cut in a regular fit which gave us room to move around freely. I’m only 5ft 1″ and the length of the Lily Dress is just below the knees which is perfect for me. I’m no longer a fan of short dresses!
As we’ve only worn our clothes a couple of times since getting them I can’t fully quote on the durability just yet but I can bet that these clothes will stand the test of time and provide us with many more wears. The organic cotton is amazing, it’s thick but in a premium, hard-wearing way. Nothing like I’ve worn before. I’ll update later on the quality as soon as they’ve had their first few washes.
The last year has taught me that I need to be more conscious with my buying – I’m trying to make more of an effort to purchase clothes that are sustainably made or made from reusable or recyclable materials. This is why I love H&M’s conscious range and now I can add Mountain Warehouse to that list. This is something I guarantee you’ll see more fashion brands adopting – slowly but surely. In a world where we over-consume, it only makes sense to start living and consuming responsibly and to reuse, reduce, recycle whenever possible.
Why choose organic cotton?
To call clothing ‘organic’ a company must meet strict international fabric standards. Brands like Mountain Warehouse pledge to become more environmentally friendly by sourcing their materials in a responsible and sustainable way.
According to Mountain Warehouse, organic cotton helps to protect the wildlife as farmers eliminate the use of pesticides on their cotton crops. This results in a softer, more durable material that not only feels good on the skin but is kinder too.
Mountain Warehouse currently have an online sale across their organic cotton range for women, men and kids.
NB. We were kindly sent samples of Mountain Warehouse’s new organic cotton collection to review for the purpose of this unbiased blog post. All words, content and photos are my own and should not be used without consent.
I came across this post below on my WP feed and it’s just what I needed to hear today. Rosemary is the owner of Soul Essence and she writes about all things mindfulness. If you need a little calm in your life every now and then, make sure you have a read at some of her very useful posts.
Happy New Year! Another year passes but for me, it doesn’t feel much different from last year. On top of that there’s one thing from last year that we can’t yet shake off… the pandemic. However, we do have the vaccine being rolled out so it won’t be long until they are able to do this successfully throughout the country.
Shifting my focus for 2021
Right now, the UK has risen to the ranks of what is dubbed as ‘Tier 5’ (basically a national lockdown) to try and take control of the pandemic. So whilst the government are busy battling with that, I’ve set my intention – not resolution because they never last – for this year to focus on TAKING CARE.
Taking care of my…
Mental health Teaching myself about self-care and learning to look after my mental wellbeing by stressing less, trying to become more mindful and embracing the slow pace.
Family Looking after myself and my family in the best way possible. Spending more time with my children, to really connect with them and build on our family bond. We’re loving the extra time to do activities as a family unit.
Skin Winter’s really put my skin out of balance thanks to the central heating (I get really cold due to poor circulation) but my skin is so dry! I’m stepping my my skincare game to include at home facials with creamy moisturising masks, serums and using active exfoliants to gently slough off dead skin cells and resurface the skin.
Home My living room is slowly turning into an urban jungle and I love it! My monstera that I bought last May has given off so many babies I’ve now been able to cut and propagate. (I can’t wait until these cut-offs start rooting and growing in spring!) Also being back on furlough means more time to declutter the flat and spruce it up with new paint and DIY home projects.
The highlights of 2020
It’s always good to see the silver lining in everything, including a pandemic. Here are the highlights of 2020 that I think people should think about before dwelling on only the negative things that happened:
Rising demand for climate change With the focus shifting to climate change, many laws and regulations were put into place to help stop climate change including more cycle routes implemented and the switch to only electric cars announced
Becoming a plant parent Not only are they great for the environment (plants are natural air purifiers), they can help boost our moods and keep us busy and happy
Looking after our health With hand sanitisers everywhere you go, I’m sure places are more cleaner now than they’ve ever been. We’re also learning to look after our own health better with multivitamins, lemon, honey and ginger tea and other natural and homeopathic remedies
Re-learning the importance of family Family is always there but in these difficult times it’s ideal to reach out to those older relatives or family members you haven’t spoken to in a while
When will we travel again?
THIS is the million dollar question for me.. when will travel resume back to ‘normal’ – or at least as normal as can be – which noone seems to know the answer for. The travel industry has been hit so hard I can’t imagine what it’s like.
I might have to look back at my old travel posts just to get a little nostalgia! Our last official holiday was a staycation to Kits Coty Glamping which was amazing! If abroad doesn’t look as promising this summer, we will definitely opt for another staycation close to home. Failing that, there are a lot of small businesses that offer at-home experiences so if you have a back garden or communal area that you can use, you could hire an ‘igloo’ for dining/hosting, a campfire set, a home jacuzzi experience and more!
Photo Credit: Jakob Owens via Unsplash
My top posts of 2020
CGM Hair Posts Well, you guys seemed to really enjoy my Curly Girl Method hair posts! 🙂 I really didn’t expect as many readers to these posts but because they’re doing so well, I will continue with working on more content for 2021 and don’t forget to check my Youtube channel for video uploads
Beauty Related Posts Particularly my beauty box reviews – I guess they’re really helping you out! 🙂 I love reading other blogger’s beauty box reviews too, it’s a nice way of getting to know the types of products you can get from these subscription boxes
Days Out Reviews I guess with everyone trying to live their best life as much as they can post-first lockdown, family day trips and days out where high up on the list of things to do. At the moment, these days out are on hold for the beginning of 2021 but soon it’ll be reopened and hopefully we can start visiting these wonderful places again by Easter 2021
As we move closer to December and Christmas, we wrap up the end of the autumnal months with the clocks going back last weekend. I can’t believe how quickly the year has FLOWN by (I know I say it every year but I could swear that this year has gone by faster than usual!) especially with the ongoing effects of the pandemic still looming around.
I think I’m ready for November and the rest of the year to pass by and wash over… like a cleansing. As much as 2020 seems to have been really shitty it’s also taught me some valuable lessons and re-confirmed what my primary focus should be on, which is always FAMILY. I think sometimes people forget how important family can be – especially if you have annoying family members, or family members that you’ve fallen out with. No matter what the differences are, try to set them aside because there really is nothing more important than family as everything else really does come and go but your family are always there to stay.
Rekindle the love with your partner. Rebuild those bridges with your siblings. Mend the bond with your parents.
These past couple of months I have actually been really struggling to get any motivation going. I have not put pen to paper – or hand to computer in this instance – for a while now which is scary as I love blogging and writing new stories, etc. Some days I find the energy to sit down and do something but most days, I am just exhausted of everything. I’m sure I’m not the only one!
If you’ve been away from the blog last month, here’s what you’ve missed so far…
I’ve been enjoying having guest writers contributing their great articles and content to the blog and I hope you enjoy reading them too. If there’s any stories or articles that you’d also like to see more of either from myself or a guest writer, do leave me suggestions below in the comment box. 🙂
What’s been happening in RL (real life)?
With the crappy rule of six in place, there’s not been much going on in terms of meeting up with friends and heading out for days out. This Wandering Mother & co. are already a group of four which limits how many people we can actually see but we have been meeting our friends and family separately in our individual bubbles.
The children seem to be managing well at school and end of October. We met up with our social bubble friends and had an autumnal retreat for the kids which was amazing! No trick or treating this year but we carved a pumpkin with their cousin Lils and aunty L which was a treat! I made a delicious pumpkin soup with some of the flesh. They really enjoyed themselves and had lots of sweets to make up for the lack of trick or treating. We put a pumpkin out on our balcony for anyone on a Pumpkin Hunt to discover! Look up as we’re on the 5th floor. 🙂
Pumpkin Patch pickings…
We didn’t go pumpkin picking this year (which is a shame) but saying that, there’s still time in November to pop along! Throwback to last year when we went to a pumpkin patch and got involved in Pumpkin Carving at Lewisham Shopping Centre.
Wishing you all a fabulous day today. Have fun visiting a Pumpkin Patch to pick your own. Get dressed up and go on a Pumpkin Hunt. Watch Coco, Room on the broom, or even The Witches on TV with the family. Get creative with a Pumpkin Carving activity. Make a delicious Pumpkin Soup or Pumpkin Pie if you’d got a sweet tooth.
Not really a crafty person or going to be at work? Make a pitstop at your local coffee shop and pick up a Pumpkin Spiced Latte to get you in the mood…