Thursday, 4 September 2014

The simple things in life...

I think it's fair to say that from time to time we all get caught up in the craziness of our busy lives, and forget to take a step back from it all and allow ourselves to remember and fully appreciate what is important in life and what makes us truly happy human beings.

For most people you will usually find that once you cut through all the material rubbish, the things that make us really happy are the simple things in life.....such as:

  • Experiencing an unexpected weekend of glorious last of the summer weather, that just happens to coincide with a visit to the seaside.
  • Rolling your trousers up to your knees and paddling in the sea with your child, and witnessing them squeal with delight as the water hits their little legs as they try to jump over the waves
  • Walking barefoot on the beach and feeling the warm sand between your toes.
  • Eating ice creams on a beautiful village green, just watching the world go by on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
  • Taking your son on his first ever boat ride and watching his face as he takes in the sounds and smells of the sea.
  • Watching your childish husband re-create the infamous Daniel-san move from the Karate Kid film.
  • Playing Bob the Builder with your son whilst he happily drills his pretend power tool into your mother in laws concrete pig!
  • Snuggling up in bed with your son in the middle of the night and feeling totally at peace whilst listening to the sound of his breathing against your chest.
  • Eating your mother in laws scrummy home baked cakes and trying not to think too long about how bad they are for you!


I was lucky enough to have experienced all of these simple things last weekend during a lovely visit to South Devon to see the in laws, and it brought it home to me that it really is the simple things in life that make me a happy bunny. So the next time I wish I had a bigger house, or find myself getting sad about the fact that I might be running out of time to get pregnant again, or wish that I could work less and spend more time with my son, I just need to take that step back and remember that those things would really just be the icing on the cake, and even if none of those things happen for me I am already one lucky lady, and know in my heart that I already have what makes me truly happy.....Yeah me.

Thanks for reading...

Rhiannon xx

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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Louboutin Nail Polish has arrived and I love it…

Oh Yes, Christian Louboutin Beauté has arrived with a stiletto-inspired bottle of timeless rouge nail polish….this could well become the most coveted nail polish in town!

For many years now, designer fragrance and beauty products have been the perfect way for the high end designers to reach out to the masses and allow them to feel included in what would otherwise be a world that they could not afford to be part of. We all know that what we would really love is the Chanel bag with a couple of thousand pounds price tag, but alas for most of us our disposable income doesn’t quite stretch that far, so we settle for the bottle of Chanel fragrance, usually given us a gift on birthdays or Christmas.

Personally I have always wanted to own a beautiful pair of designer shoes such as Jimmy Choo, Manola Blanhik or Christian Louboutin. What I should have done is saved up and treated myself to a pair pre child, and then I could have ticked that little desire off my wish list and moved on, as post child with a mortgage and huge nursery fees to pay the price tag on a pair of these little beauties is a just a little south on the self-indulgence barometer!

So when I heard the news that the great shoe designer Christian Louboutin had introduced a range of nail polish I was naturally keen to get in on the act.

Luckily for me I didn’t even have to purchase a bottle to try, as my MD had recently procured a bottle as part of his regular comp shop on all things gorgeous, new and innovative in the beauty industry.

A quick application later, I was sold, not only on the sheer beauty of the bottle, an architectural masterpiece with a towering spire like cap, clearly a symbol of his amazing signature stiletto design, but also on the formulation and the colour which was simply amazing. It is glossy, long-lasting and chip-resistant in the very same shade of red as the soles of every pair of Louboutin shoes…who could resist?

It is the truest red I have applied in many years and just one coat of the thick, lush formulation was all you needed for a vivid strong sexy look. 

What I also love about this polish is the story behind it, which completely validates why a range of Lauboutin nail polishes is such a lovely idea.

The story of the soles goes that Louboutin, looking for the perfect finishing touch for a prototype he had just created, spontaneously grabbed a nail polish from his assistant mid-manicure nearby and painted the soles with the shade which would become his signature. Little did he know this was the beginning of a true shoe icon.

While Rouge may be the ultimate, it won't stand alone as September sees the range expand to include 30 new polishes grouped into Nudes, Noirs and Pops as well as base and top coats. The prices reflect the sheer decadence of the product, a single bottle costs £36, but there is no denying that this is something that little bit different and will be a true masterpiece sitting on your dressing table, and your own personal little slice of Louboutin heaven!!!

You can purchase the debut Rouge polish at and from the 14th August in Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Christian Louboutin boutiques.

Love, love, love it...go get yours before they sell out..!

Thanks for reading


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Thursday, 17 July 2014

If Carlsberg did perfect summer days..

You may have read in my last post that it has been a busy few months in the Tudor house, and so as last weekend approached I was really looking forward to a long overdue weekend at home with just my boys.

We didn't have any particular plans, we were just going to see what Saturdays weather looked like and make a spontaneous decision about our day's plans.

Whilst we were busy talking through our options one of our friends called to say that they were taking their children to the Stanway village fete, in the grounds of the beautiful Stanway House, between Winchcombe and Broadway, a perfect example of a Cotswold Manor House set in acres of beautiful gardens, and also boasting the tallest single jet fountain in Europe!

Apparently a few more of our friends and their kids were thinking of also going along so it was a no brainer really.

So decision made, a traditional village fete on a beautiful summer’s day with friends, what could be better?

Now if you imagine in your head the most traditional of English summer fete's then you can start to get a feel for what this one was all about...oh yes...I'm talking brass band, village choir, morris dancers, and more tea and cake than you could shake a stick at! I literally felt like I had been dropped in a scene from Midsomers Murder but without the dead bodies!

However, my initial trepidation on the cheesiness of this particular fete soon gave way to the chilled out and friendly vibes that permeated through the whole event. All around people were chilling with their friends and loved ones, and the grounds were big enough for everyone to spread out and have a great time, whether it was just soaking in the sun or playing football and running around like lunatics, which was exactly what our little group were doing…and that was just the grown ups!!!

The jet fountain really was truly an impressive sight, and in addition to entertaining the kids, the cold spray on such a hot day was a real bonus.

However, the highlight of the afternoon (and I apologise in advance to my husband for writing this) was when Scott got stung by an unidentifiable insect. It wasn’t so much that it was funny watching him writhing around in pain…but watching Evan’s confused little face as he witnessed his daddy clutching his foot and trying his hardest not to swear in front of the kids was I have to say a very funny scene.

The fete ended at 5pm, but as it was such a gorgeous day and we were all having such a lovely chilled out time we all decided to move on to the Plough Pub in Prestbury, a cute little thatched roofed pub with a fantastic beer garden out the back, big enough to let the kids literally run amuck without having to worry about their safety or them getting in anyone’s way.

A few hours later, following food, more football and a good bit of banter the kids and some of the adults were finally starting to flag, and so we all decided to call time on our lovely day.

We got back home, and I just about managed to get Ev undressed and into his pyjamas before he collapsed into a deep sleep, and to be honest we weren’t far behind him!

So it's fair to say that if Carlsberg did perfect summer days, last Saturday would have been it…!!!

Thanks for reading,

Rhiannon xx

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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Too busy to blog!

So I can't quite believe it has been almost two months since my last post....I just don't know where the weeks have gone. Since starting my little blog back in December I have been trying to write a post once a week, so zero posts in two months is a truly sorry state of affairs...

This time of year is always a particularly hectic time in work, and it's also fair to say that the last few months have been a really challenging time with the little fella. I have discovered that the terrible two's is no urban myth, and in the last few months I have at times been literally at a loss on how to handle some of the tantrums and bad behaviour that have been unleashed from my previous well behaved and fairly chilled out son.

Even catching up with the writing on the weekends has proved tricky, as having checked the calendar recently I realised that I have only been at home three out of the last eight weekends.

So yep...I guess you've got the message...I've been busy of late!! Maybe I need to admit that sustaining a regular blog on top of a full time job, a demanding and challenging two year old, a full and busy social life and a house that unfortunately doesn't clean itself has proved one challenge too many.

But hey, I like a challenge...and my blog is after all entitled Frazzled here I am...truly frazzled!!

So I've decided that I'm not going to beat myself up about not having the time or sometimes the inclination to blog every week. Instead I'm going to remember why I started my blog in the first place....and that's not to keep up with the full time bloggers out there, and not to worry about the number of pageviews I get, but just to enjoy the simple act of writing,  whenever I get the time and the desire to do it...I'm just hoping it's not in another two months!!!

Thanks for reading

Rhiannon xx

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Saturday, 17 May 2014

Reflexology and fertility...really...

For those of you not in the know and I was certainly one of those, Reflexology is a holistic treatment based on the principle that there are areas and points on the feet, lower leg, face and hands that map via the nervous system to corresponding parts of the body. When pressure is applied to these areas and points it stimulates the movement of energy along the nerve channels, and helps the body to restore the natural balance in the whole body. 

So that’s the science bit sorted...

Reflexology has come onto my radar for a few reasons lately. The first one is simply due to the fact that my feet over recent months just ache a lot of the time, and for several years now I have been experiencing restless leg syndrome, which can go from mild irritation to full on driving me crazy. I have always been a lover of heels, and whilst it is no longer practical for me to wear heels as much now I am a mum, you will still rarely see me without a killer pair of heels when I am in work or on a night out. I know they are not good for your feet and I know that they’re not particularly practical, but what can I say…I just love them and I am not yet prepared to bow down to a sensible shoe! However, I’m not sure if my feet now that they have been pounding the streets for forty odd years are still loving the idea of me consistently subjecting them to a four inch heel for eight hours a day. The general advice I received from friends and family was on the whole, just wear more sensible shoes. However a few mentioned foot massage and a few also mentioned reflexology.

However, what really pricked up my ears and my interest levels in this centuries old complementary therapy was the talk of how it could have a positive effect on fertility. 

For those close to me or those that have been following my blog from the very beginning, will know that I very sadly suffered a miscarriage last December. We weren't trying for a baby at the time but you know how the old saying goes, you don't know what you've got until it's gone. I think the fact that we fell pregnant fairly easily with Evan and then fell without even trying last year, I guess I believed that if I just put the sadness of the miscarriage behind me and moved forward and started trying again, then I would get pregnant pretty quickly and could focus my attention on the new baby. 

Well that was clearly easier said than done, as five months down the line there is no sign of baby number 2, and whilst I am very aware that five months is not a long time to be trying for a baby, with my 41st birthday looming in the next few months I simply do not have an infinite amount of time to keep trying. 

So when I heard that reflexology could potentially help in this area I was naturally intrigued. How could someone massaging your feet possibly help you to get pregnant. Couldn't hurt to find out I thought. 

So two weeks ago I embarked on my first visit to a local reflexologist, who was particularly experienced in treating women with fertility problems. My first appointment involved a consultation period whereby my reflexologist talked me through the reasons why I felt I needed treatment and what I was hoping to gain from my sessions. My therapist is a lovely lady, the same age as me and I instantly felt a bond and a warmth with her that I was absolutely not expecting, and before I knew it I found myself becoming very emotional and openly cried when I talked about the miscarriage, and how I felt frustrated, angry and still very sad about it all, especially now that what was my due date of June is not too far off. 

The reflexology part of the session lasted an hour, and whilst some of the manipulation was a little on the uncomfortable side, it was on the whole an incredibly relaxing and soothing experience, and I have to confess that for a few days after I felt strangely lighter, more energised and uplifted in my spirits. 

Session two was yesterday and I'm not sure if it was due to the fact that it was the end of the day and also the week, but I felt so relaxed during the session that my whole body and mind felt completely in tune and at ease with each other, and it was on the whole just a lovely way to end the working week and begin the sunny weekend ahead. 

So who knows if there is any real direct link between reflexology and successful conception. There is certainly no scientific way of proving this, but if you check out the internet there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence from thousands of women who swear that nothing had helped them to conceive until they tried reflexology. 

So I guess let's just watch this space. But after just two sessions I already feel that the sessions are having a positive influence on my well being, both physically and mentally...oh and my feet ache a little less as well...

I would love to hear from any of you lovely ladies on the subject, especially if you or anyone you know has had any success with using reflexology as an aid to help them conceive...

Thanks for reading

Rhiannon xx

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Sunday, 11 May 2014

Bluestone family fun...

So Scott, Evan and I have just returned from a lovely little family holiday at Bluestone. For those of you that have never heard of Bluestone, it is a National Park Resort set in the stunning Pembrokeshire countryside in West Wales. You can stay in a variety of different sized and different style holiday homes, from small little one bedroom houses right up to four bed homes. We stayed in a Skomer style three bedroom house, with a great open plan living, dining and kitchen area, which gave Evan the room to run around to his hearts content within eye shot of Scott and me. We had a huge family bathroom with a lovely deep bath and great shower and two further en-suites in the bedrooms upstairs. We even had a little cwtch area upstairs with a couple of leather bean bags and a TV for the little ones or big ones to chill out away from the living area downstairs. It really was a great space and a home that I would actually be more than happy to live in all year round!

We stayed from Monday to Friday which cost us £262, which I'm sure you will agree for five days and four nights is a great deal. We did however, take advantage of the early bird special deal which gave us 15% off if you booked before the end of January. It is also considerably cheaper in term time as with all holiday destinations, however Bluestone is still like for like a lot cheaper than your average Centre Park stay.

However,  a negative point for me is that you cannot check in to your home until 4.30pm and you have to check out by 10.30am. You are however allowed to arrive and leave at any time and use all of the facilities, but personally I think they should consider employing a bigger team of cleaners and allowing people to check in a little earlier and check out a little later.

Included in the price is the use of the indoor adventure centre, with a variety of activities for all ages, the blue lagoon which is a fantastic indoor pool area and the outdoor park area which is a beautiful hand built wooden park, which conveniently for the adults has a lovely cafe area called Millers situated just below the park, with indoor and outdoor seating area and serving a variety of freshly baked goodies and ice creams.

However, there are loads of additional activities that you can pay for throughout your stay which cater for all ages, from sensory style experiences and messy play for babies and toddlers, right up to archery, kayaking and zip wires for the older children.

As Evan is only two then clearly a lot of the activities are too old for him but I'm sure he will enjoy them on future visits. The main activities that Evan loved this year were the blue lagoon, the adventure centre and the park area. The blue lagoon has the usual wave machines and slides that you would expect, but it also has what is calls the lazy river, which is a current based part of the pool that starts inside and then carries you outside and around the parameter of the building and back in. As Evan is getting quite confident in the water with his armbands he really loved this experience, as the current allowed him to move along the water without any assistance from us, and it was just lovely to see how much he enjoyed the independence that this experience gave him. As my parents arrived on the Wednesday to stay with us, their arrival also allowed Scott and me to have a little fun on the slides, which took me right back to being a teenager again and were great fun.

As far as eating is concerned there is a great cafe area in the adventure centre called the wild wood cafe, which is set up in the style of a forest, sitting you amongst trees and toadstools and little tree houses. There are then a variety of restaurants to choose from along with a pub which also serves food, all of which as you would expect are extremely child friendly, and the staff throughout the week couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating. One of the restaurant areas called the Granary situated within the Yard restaurant even had a variety of toys and soft play big cushions at the back of the room for children to play and enjoy hanging out together once they had finished their food. I found this particularly great as on two of the evenings we sat drinking wine for well over an hour whilst watching Evan happily playing an interacting with other children in this play area, and as a mum who works full time and therefore doesn't get to see their child play with other children that often I really enjoyed watching Evan having fun with the other young children.

On our final night with grandparents offering to babysit, we took advantage and booked into the fine dining restaurant the Carreg Las. The food was on the whole of a high standard but the portions were a little on the small side for Scott and me. They also managed to over charge us by £21 pounds which was a little disappointing. Also parents or adults with no kids need to be aware that whilst Bluestone recommend no children after 7pm some parents may choose to ignore this, which was the case with us when a toddler was sat with its parents until 10pm, not being too much of a pain, but to be honest when I'm spending close to £100 on food and drink and deliberately looking for a bit of peace from my own child I don't particularly want to be sat by anyone else's!

You can choose to stay all inclusive or self catering, but for me its self catering all the way, as I like the option of eating out when I want but also just hanging out at home and cooking whenever I feel like it. We did a big shop before we went and took it with us, but there is a great little shop in the village area that has a great selection of almost everything you could possibly want or need. There is also a pretty good take away service which takes orders up until 9.45pm. We had the fish and chips on the Wednesday night, and whilst the fish was a little on the greasy side, it was still pretty tasty and a great sized portion for the money.

Whilst you can walk or cycle around the site, no cars are allowed to park on the main resort, and whilst you are allowed to park outside your property to unpack and pack up you then have to park it in the main car park on the edge of the resort. This is of course great when you have little ones charging around all over the place, but not so great when you want to go anywhere in the car and are staying over the other side of the resort, which can be up to a twenty minute walk, especially if you have little ones that don't move at a particularly fast pace.  This also means that when the weather is bad it can mean a fair old walk to the adventure centre and blue lagoon, which is what we found last year when we stayed.

Expecting a bit of rain and realising that we were staying a fair trek from the adventure centre and pool we decided on check in to hire a golf style buggy for £75 for the five days, although you do have to take it back by 10.30am on your last day. However, this was money well spent as not only did Evan think it was the best thing ever, especially when he sat on his dads lap and helped drive, but it was also a real advantage getting around the resort when the weather wasn't too great or when Evan was tired and not in the mood for walking. However, remember your buggy number or you may spend twenty minutes trying to load your pin number into the wrong buggy...oops!

As we have in the last few months been really enjoying our family bike rides, we decided to take our bikes this year, and whilst due to poor weather we only managed to fit in one bike ride I'm still glad we took them. There is a great cycle path which you can follow on the resort, or be a little more adventurous and continue off site through the beautiful countryside. I have to confess that some of the off road stoney hills took their toll on my 40 year old relatively unfit body, but it was still a lovely experience all the same and Evan loved racing through the trees and cycling through the puddles and mud. If you prefer not to take your bikes but fancy a bike ride during your stay you can hire them, along with cute little buggies that fit to the back of the bikes for the little ones.

For those wanting a little relaxing time there is also the Well Spa Retreat on site offering a variety of treatments at typical spa type prices, or you can just pay a fixed price to enjoy chilling out using the spa facilities which include a thermal sauna and steam area and an outdoor hydro pool. I haven't managed to take advantage of the spa on either of my two visits, but I have been informed by family and friends that it is a really great spa and a great spot to chill out. In fact Scott and I are seriously considering taking advantage of their two night spa deals and returning for our anniversary in June for a little child free fun and relaxation.

What is great about Bluestone is that whilst you could easily fill your days on the resort, there is an abundance of children friendly activities all within a twenty minute drive, including some world class beaches if you have good weather, Folly Farm which you can literally spend the whole day at, and was our chosen activity during the rubbish weather on Thursday. There is also a Dinosaur park and Anna Ryder Richardson's Zoo near Tenby, so there really is loads to see and do off site without having to go too far.

So all in all our second experience at Bluestone was thoroughly enjoyable, and if you are looking for a UK based family holiday in a truly beautiful part of the world then you really can't go far wrong giving Bluestone a visit. The downside for me as it was last year was the weather. Most of the week it was cold and Thursday was almost a right off as it rained heavily until tea time. Of course we all know the one thing that you can't guarantee in this lovely country of ours is the weather, but for me, I like being outdoors when I'm on holiday and I like feeling the warm sun on my body, as I am cooped up in an office from Monday to Friday most weeks of the year. We always have one family holiday a year abroad and I have always liked the idea of also having a UK based holiday that doesn't involve the stress of airport queue's and flights. However, the lack of good weather is seriously making me re-consider whether we should be bothering with a UK holiday, knowing that for some of your precious family time, the chances are you may have to spend some of it indoors, which for me is a real shame. Nonetheless I am pretty sure that I will be returning again in the not so distant future for another Bluestone fix for Team Tudor..!!

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Thursday, 1 May 2014

A wonderful tribute to a lost father...

The loss of a parent is such a dramatic and monumental event in anyone's life, particularly if you have continued to have a strong bond and relationship into your adult years. I think growing up you take your parents for granted, especially if they are great parents. You just assume that everyone has the love, support and security that you have, and it is only when you grow a little older and learn from your peers that sadly not all parents are like that and not all your friends have the relationship with their parents that you do. Well that was certainly how it was for me and even when the thought of either of my parents dying pops into my head I have to dismiss it very quickly, as even the thought is too much for my brain to process, so I just bury my head in the sand and figure that I will deal with it when it happens and just hope that this will be a long way off in the future.

So yesterday when I heard the news that Bob Hoskins had sadly died I felt a tinge of sadness, as I always admired him as an actor, and whilst he was best known for his London hard man image, my favourite memory of him will always be as the loveable boyfriend in Mermaids, still to this day one of my favourite films. However, when I read the tribute that his daughter Rosa had paid to him yesterday and read through the life lessons that he had shared and taught her, the human story really hit me hard, that this lady who obviously worshipped her father had lost him forever, and when I read the amazing and beautiful lessons he had taught her I cried for the loss that this person that I don't even know is suffering. For I too will have to one day experience this loss, and therefore my thoughts and greatest sympathy are with Rosa and her family at this saddest of times.
I wanted to share the tribute and lessons with you if you haven't already seen them as they are fantastic and lessons to truly believe and live by...

11 Lessons from my Dad

My darling Dad has died. I loved him to the ends of the earth and he loved me back just the same. These are the lessons he taught me, I will keep them close to my heart and remind myself of them whenever I stumble or falter. They are his words; the words spoken so often to encourage, comfort and reassure. This isn’t general wisdom, rather advice that he tailor-made just for me. I love you Dad.
1) Laugh. There’s humour to be found everywhere, even your darkest days there’s something to have a joke about. Laugh long and loud and make other people laugh. It’s good for you.

2) Be yourself. If someone doesn’t like you they’re either stupid , blind, or they’ve got bad taste. Accept who you are, you’ve got no one else to be. Don’t try to change yourself, there’s no point. Don’t apologise. Don’t make excuses. Be yourself and if anyone else doesn’t like it they can f*ck off.

3) Be flamboyant, it’s who you are and always have been. Be eccentric and unique. Don’t try to adapt yourself to someone else’s view of normal. That belongs to them, not you. Like yourself as you are.

4) Don’t worry about other people’s opinions. Everyone’s a critic, but ultimately what they say only matters if you let it. Don’t believe your own press. People can just as easily sing your praises as they can tear you down. Don’t waste your time on things you can’t change. Let it slide off you like water off a duck’s back.

5) Get angry, it’s ok to lose your temper now and then. If anger stays in, it turns to poison and makes you bitter and sad. Get angry, say your peace, then let it go.

6) What ever you do, always give it a good go. Don’t be afraid of failure and disappointment. If you fall flat on your face then get straight back up. You’ll always regret not trying. Disappointment is temporary, regret is forever.

7) Be generous and kind because you can’t take it with you. When you’ve got something to give, give it without hesitation.

8) Appreciate beauty, take pictures and make memories. Capture it, you never know when it’ll be gone.

9) Don’t take yourself too seriously. People who take themselves too seriously are boring.

10) Never, ever, ever, ever give up. Keep on punching no matter what your up against. You’re only defeated if you give up, so don’t give up.

11) Love with all your heart. In the end, love is the only thing that matters.

Thanks for reading

Rhiannon xx

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