Hello everyone, I’m back! Hope you all had a fantastic summer! This summer I took a 5 week break from writing, to refresh and renew. But Im back with some fabulous recipes, great trips planned to write about & some fabulous books to review for you all!
What better way to start the new season than with a brand new book by my dear friend & brilliant author Hilary Grossman!
The Book –
Executive, wife, and mother of an outgoing first-grader, Sydney Clayton crushes her day-to-day obligations at work but flounders in the cutthroat world of parental politics.
She manages to avoid the local drama until she’s faced with an ultimatum: join the Forest River PTA or risk her daughter becoming a social outcast. Sydney reluctantly becomes treasurer, and takes the recently vacated position of the president’s sidekick. If protecting the children’s freedom of speech, one best friend ban at a time, isn’t complicated enough, Sydney and her husband receive an unexpected offer for their house they don’t think they can refuse.
Embroiled in the deception and manipulation rife among the elementary school moms, Sydney struggles. Should she sell the home she worked so hard to build in a town where betrayal runs rampant? Or should she stay put to avoid the fallout from uprooting her child? As Sydney focuses on what is best for her daughter, and lets go of her judgments, she finds friendship can develop in very unexpected ways.
Warm, witty, and wise, Go On, Girl dramatizes the dilemmas of life in the suburbs and the bonds shared by women. Perfect for fans of Class Mom and I Don’t Know How She Does It.
Oh my goodness! Hilary, you have done it yet again!
I could not put this one down from the word go. Being a full time mum and having kids at school, I knew exactly how Sydney felt. PTA meetings, school politics and the battle to push your child’s happiness in school are topics any parents with children in the school system can relate to, and Hilary Grossman’s fantastic talent of putting prose together has made this another wonderful read.
This is a fun filled story that will make you cry, laugh and never want it to end. With a 7year old myself, I could relate to Sydney’s ups and downs. Birthday parties, school events, fellow parents and the continual need to keep going, Go on Girl will have you cheering for Sydney from page one!
Who doesn’t love a gift delivered straight to their door? When that gift is personalised, and filled with delicious chocolates, what more could anyone ask for?
I find giving gifts is so much easier in the age of technology. Things are so much easier to order and organise, as we can do it straight from the convenience our smart phones.
With Fathers Day fast approaching, I thought this fantastic service from the producers of top quality chocolates Lily O’Brien’s, just a fabulous idea!
The Product –
Lily O’Brien’s Chocolates started life as the brainchild of Mary Ann O’Brien who, having recovered from a debilitating illness in the early 1990s, discovered her true passion for all things chocolate. Embarking on a journey of discovery, Mary Ann honed her chocolate-making skills among world class chefs and chocolatiers in both South Africa and Europe before starting her own mini enterprise from her Kildare kitchen in 1992. With little more than two saucepans, a wooden spoon and her then toddler, Lily, acting as production manager Mary Ann began to create high quality chocolate recipes for friends and family.
With Mary Ann still at the helm of the business, the passion that first inspired her chocolate honeycomb hedgehogs is still present in every aspect of the business and family values remain at the very core of Lily O’Brien’s. Based in the heart of Co. Kildare, Mary Ann and her team continue to develop mouth-watering chocolate creations using the finest quality ingredients.
Perfectly Personalised Chocolate Gifts by Lily O’Brien’s Chocolates. Choose your favourite assorted chocolate collection, upload your most treasured images and add a heartfelt gift message.
It could not be easier! All you have to do is chose images your loved one would adore, upload the images, choose the box of chocolates you’d like the image to adorn, and leave the rest to Lily O’Brien’s.
I decided to send my darling mother a gift, a box of delicious chocolates from Lily O’Brien’s.
My mother is a very special person, She is so giving, so thoughtful, so full of love, I knew she would be over the moon receiving this gift.
Her grandkids are her everything, my two boys Eren & Kaya just adore her because she loves them so very much.
So what better gift than a box of chocolates delivered to her door with a great big picture of her adored ‘grandkids’ on the front that she could keep forever. In addition to a wonderful card & note!
Needless to say she was absolutely delighted when she received the gift. Scrumptious chocolates & when she opened the box, seeing a wonderful high quality image of her boys brought her to tears!
The gift that keeps on giving! Make that special person in your life super happy, and send them a box of Lily O’Brien’s to cherish forever. Its so easy!
1. Pick the box of chocolates from the wonderful selection online.
2. Upload the high resolution image you want to go on the box.
3. Give your receipient’s details & add a special note.
Every year my darling mother and I chose a city to explore! I dont like to be away from home for too long, so weekend city breaks are ideal.
It takes lots of planning but a weekend away in a European city can be so much fun.
This time we chose Italy and historic Rome. My mother had been before but this was my first visit to Italy. So I was super excited as you can imagine.
Where we stayed –
A very good friend of mine who has lived in Rome, and has actually written a fantastic book about her time here, recommended our hotel.
Set in the beautiful, quiet, residential area of Prati, very near the Vatican, this hotel is fabulous! Set in an ancient 19th-century patrician villa, this hotel has been managed for over 45 years by the Pandolfi family that personally tends to its guests by offering the best services. Enjoy moments of true relaxation, sipping a cocktail in our inviting indoor garden, the perfect place to lay back after a day of business or sightseeing, listening to the fountain’s soft gurgling whilst sitting amongst the mature trees.
The lounge bar provides the ideal ambiance to spend your free time, meeting friends, reading a magazine or organising your day in front of an 18th century fireplace.
We loved staying here, it was like our little piece of heaven after a long day of site seeing.
Where we ate –
We had planned to eat at various places recommended by friends, but when you truly experience Rome, there is so much you want to see that by the end of a long day of sightseeing all you want to do is eat good food at the closest place to the hotel.
So we asked our lovely Concierge to recommend a nice authentic restaurant near the hotel, and we were not disappointed.
L’isola della Pizza is a popular and historic restaurant pizzeria steakhouse in the Prati district near the Vatican City. Famous for the mixed appetisers, pizza, typical Roman pasta and grilled meat. Opened in 1985 by Adele and Vito who still manage with their sons Renzo and Laura with the same passion. Founded as a small pizzeria over the years has grown to become one of the most popular restaurants in Rome.
I absolutely agree, it may look a bit touristic at first glance, but the food is just fantastic! The spaghetti and the pizza were scrumptious! And the bruschetta topped with freshly chopped tomatoes and garlic was to die for.
Places to visit –
The very first thing my mother & I do on a trip to a new city is a ride on a Big Bus tour bus. Not only is it a great affordable way to see a new city, its also a good way to decide what you want to see up close.
The Colloseum was a breathtaking site from the tour bus, and although it would have been nice to visit, with the hot weather and crowds, seeing it from the bus was more than enough for us.
These are the places we visited –
The Trevi Fountain– So much bigger in real life than I imagined. A definite must see, but very crowded so maybe an early morning visit would be best.
The Spanish Steps – Amazing again, the flowers, the piazza, was just wonderful. But again an early visit will mean you beat the crowds. Make sure to see a wonderful museum to the right of the steps, where renowned poet John Keats lived.
The Vatican – Just amazing. A country within a city, just took my breathe away. Make sure to buy your entrance tickets online, otherwise you face lines of up to 4hours long. The Sistine Chapel was just breathtaking.
The Hotel Russie – The enduringly glamorous Hotel de Russie is a captivating mix of old and new, blending modern design with classical architecture. Located on Via Del Babuino, close to the Spanish Steps, the beautiful hotel has striking views over Piazza del Popolo in the center of Rome. From renowned artists and writers to world travellers, Hotel de Russie is the escape of choice for our distinguished guests. My mother and I enjoyed cocktails in the beautiful gardens.
All in all a fantastic city for a weekend away…my next trip to Rome is with the boys x
I am a stay at home mummy to two gorgeous boys. I love to cook, look after my home and make it a haven for my family. I also love to go out and feel the buzz of London.
Healthy living and eating inspires me. Vegetables & fruits, pulses & seeds, juicing & souping – I love to keep up with the superfoods and create things my family will enjoy and that will be good for them.
I love to go out, visit museums with my boys, eat at different places around the city and enjoy the wonders London has to offer.
I hope you love my blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it!