Decade Review: dream and believe

I am loving all these decade reviews on SM RN!

Looking back over pics from 2010 is such a good piece of self-care reflection: it’s made me realise how I’ve grown* and nourished in the last decade.

*not literally! I’m actually twenty pounds lighter 😂

In the last year, I’ve achieved so much: Jeremy’s promotion, our move to the Cotswold, home-schooling Ambrose, getting Nectar’s colours done. I don’t know how I’ve done it all TBH!

Here’s a picture of me ten years ago- excuse the mess in the background and the state of my hair *cringe*

And here I am now: I’ve got my two darling children, a devoted husband and 90% of the White Company catalogue still to unwrap. Sometimes I can’t believe that this is my life. But then I remember I deserve it. Just dream it and it’ll manifest, guys!

The Perfect Photo

Hi guys,

Loads of you have requested a BtS (behind the scene) blog about how I shoot my pics.

They’re incredibly popular and have repinned hundreds of times.

First, I make sure house is empty- I can’t work when the children are at home. Nectar thinks because she did photography in third year that she’s qualified to make scathing remarks and Ambrose tries to eat the props.

Next, I get a trug from the boot room and collect different items that might work. This can take half a day- factoring in coffee breaks. Then I lay them out and move them around. Then I take a photo using my expensive camera that I haven’t really learnt to use but always takes good snaps #naturallygifted.

Here’s the result and some analysis

First things first, the glasses are Nectar’s from her bookish phase- I don’t want you to think I’ve got anything but 20/20! The books were a gift from J’s mother- she knows I don’t read, she’s just being spiteful. The leaves and cones etc have been collected by the gardener- I briefed him to scour the garden for the perfect look and got him to chop down a small tree which was just the perfect circumference for what is envisaged. The bedsheets are only John Lewis: I shot this snap in the au pair’s bed as didn’t want earwigs in mine.

So there you go, guys. It takes a team and not all of you will be able to pull it off but don’t let that stop you from trying. I love being an inspiration. ❤️


Hi guys!

I just love this autumnal weather. When it gets autumnal I like to wear autumnal colours and kick leaves and light candles and take photos of me wearing autumnal colours whilst I kick leaves and light candles. When I had my colours done at the children’s school fair, the representative from John Lewis said I was a Winter…but I know I’m an Autumn.


With my two children, absent husband, and a staff of three to manage, I can, like most women, feel overwhelmed.

I nearly didn’t post this photo because I look dreadful- but #authentic

Over the years, I’ve found a number of ways to unwind.

Spa Breaks

Book four nights away with the gals and a nearby country manor. You can save money by bringing your champagne and then treat yourself to the onsite pampering facilities.

The only time the help can touch me

Winter Sun

We all know how long winter feels and how sad it is to see our St Tropez tans fade (the actual place, not the bottled one- imagine!). Winter is the time when true friends rally- don’t be afraid to reach out on the WhatsApp group and someone’s sure to lend you their holiday home.

Buy Things

A cashmere shawl, a new silk blouse, a leather bag: we deserve little treats now and then.

Nourish Your Body

Nibble a RAW Org fruit bar. They’re sugar-, dairy-, and preservative-free. Did you say organic…or orgasmic?!

Be kind to yourself

I always start my day by asking my family to tell me three things they love about me. It really helps the soul.

If all else fails, I just wipe some sudacrem on my cheek and bask.

Brexit Nightmare

I’m not one to do politics as every time I mention it I haemorrhage followers but I’ve just realised if Brexit all goes ahead my mother-in-law might have to move back from France.

Oh god- what if we have to sell our ski chalet?!

And will we still be able to find suitable au pairs? Everyone knows European ones are the best.

The Darlings Get Political

It comes as no surprise that our two are getting political- we pay enough for their schooling to secure a spot in Cabinet- but I’m so delighted they are getting involved at such a young age.

Both Nectar and Ambrose were passionate about joining the Climate Change strike today. Jeremy and I wrote letters of support to their housemasters after a tearful plea from both children.

Nectar sent us a photograph of the banner she’d made during GCSE Fabric Design classes. She was worried it wouldn’t travel well so I swung by school and picked the both up in the Landy to drop them at the march. I had a lovely mooch in John Lewis whilst they got it out of their system.

Commuter Conundrum

I’ve had loads of requests for this post – so many of you have DM’d me asking me for tips and hacks for how to survive a marriage where one commutes. I hope you find this as useful as I find my own advice.


Basics first- a small flat in the City. Jeremy has his little two-bedder near the office where he crashes four nights a week.

Live Near the Train Line

I made it clear I wasn’t willing to be chauffeur for the 6am train so J just takes his road bike down the hill to the station. Ideal for everyone!

Make the Weekends Count

After a full on week managing the au pairs and scheduling ski trips, I need my weekends to count. That’s why I always book in an hour’s Me Time for each day that starts with an S. (See my previous blog Remunerate to Rejuvinate)

Family Time

Having a parent who is away from the family home most of the week can have a long term effect on children. This is why Jeremy and I never let a weekend past without texting them even though they’re not meant to have their phones at boarding school (don’t tell!).

Me making time for the family

I’m a Best Seller!

You guys! You are the absolutely best! Thank you again for all your preorders of my book- Parenting: Learning on the Journey.

My editor just phoned whilst I was at the salon- I’m in the bestseller list for the Mumpreneur section!!!


I cried so much I nearly had to blow my nose in public- totally overwhelmed!

Just finishing up one of my last chapters- Luxury Interiors: from curtains to colonics.


So psyched!

Summer Hols are Here!

Don’t you just love the summer? The smell of the hay being cut in the back field, the Aga finally being off, the vindication that you were right to buy a house with a pool. Glorious!

This summer is super special because Jeremy and I have both taken breaks from work so we can finally spend time together- something we rarely do. We’ve taken advantage of the kids being in Tennis Camp for the fortnight (check it out- – #afflink) and we’ve packed the Landie and heading off to Norfolk. Can’t wait! More in a post to follow!

See you on the other side, guys!

J&I love our pool- but can’t wait to have a real rest

Book Progress

You lovely lot! I’m so delighted how many of you have preordered my novel Parenting: Learning on the Journey!

I have been busy tip-tapping away in the summer house but the thing that really takes the time is research.

For my chapter If I Were You I have gone undercover at a local primary in Chipping Chowden to see what real poverty is like (it’s rated ‘good’ by Ofsted 🤦🏼‍♀️). I also interviewed our most recent au pair to get her perspective but reading back through my notes she was actually pretty evasive so that was rather a waste of time. I also tried to interview Jeremy for a dad’s perspective but he said he wasn’t qualified to comment.

I am absolutely loving using my brain again- just yesterday I spent over an hour coming up with a metaphor for childbirth and couldn’t have enjoyed myself more!

The ‘fruits of my labours’ !