Scott Dunn Villas: The Family Holiday To Top All Family Holidays

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I recently went on a trip to Mallorca. It was one of the BEST and WORST trips I’ve ever been on. Why? Because it was such a luxurious few days, where every whim was tended to, every desire was realised, every dream was made a reality…. that I don’t think I can ever go on a “normal” holiday again. Scott Dunn have officially ruined holidays for me.

Let me explain further…

The villa we stayed in was incredible. Las Palmeras is around a ten minute drive from the beautiful Pollença and only a 45 minute transfer from Palma airport.

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The decor in Las Palmeras is gorgeous – lots of white, neutral tones, with a mix of modern shapes and traditional features. Built in recent years, it could fool you into believing it’s an old finca. There are fresh flowers in every room and big windows that allow the golden light to flood in.

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Despite the pale palettes, the villa is totally geared up for families. The cream sofas have throws on them (I can just imagine how grubby they’d look after my four-year-old had put her mucky feet on them and got her sticky ice cream covered hands on the cushions) and there is an insanely well kitted out play room with toys, puzzles, books, costumes – you name it, it’s there. There are four large en-suite bedrooms (including a master bedroom which has a walk-in wardrobe and sun terrace) so the villa would be perfect for two families or a multi-generation holiday.

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The garden area of Las Palmeras has lots of grass to run around on, football goals, table tennis, trampoline, paddling pool and swing ball plus a gorgeous outdoor pool, which sits alongside two towering palm trees which the villa is named after.

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But the beautiful villa is only part of the reason that this Scott Dunn trip was out of this world. The big thing that sets their holidays apart from the rest is the level of service their customers receive. Every villa comes complete with a small team of staff who are there to ensure your holiday goes smoothly. If you’re anything like me, you don’t feel hugely comfortable with the idea of having a butler or chef – it can just feel weird to ask other people to do things you’re perfectly capable of doing ourselves. But the staff at a Scott Dunn villa somehow manage to be there, ready to help you in any way you might want, in a way that makes it OK. I can’t really even explain how they do it!…

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My Summer Festival Look With Zalando

One of my favourite things to do in the summer is go to a festival. Granted, things have changed slightly since my days of going to T in the Park and Reading, but there’s something so magical about sitting on the grass, overpriced plastic glass of Pimm’s in hand, soaking up the sunshine, listening to live music.

These days, that live music is more likely to be the dulcet tones of Justin Fletcher, but honestly? Family festivals still have that same magical feeling to them. The giant bubbles, the music, the face painting, the costumes, the enchanted forests with storytellers perched on a log… family life doesn’t get much better than that.

I’m teaming up with Zalando to share my ideal summer festival look – after all, just because you might be going to Camp Bestival rather than Glastonbury, it doesn’t mean you can’t rock a cool festival vibe.

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Pieces across body bag, £30 // Quay Pippa sunglasses, £40 // Deby Debo dress, £70 // UGG Volta boots, £140 //  UGG Volta boots, £140 // Esprit denim shorts, £39 // Roxy beach bonfire scarf, £23 // edc by Esprit top, £19 // Suiteblanco sandals, £23

I love the 70s trend that’s so big this summer – fringing, embroidery, tassels and suede, all look amazing at a festival. I’d also mix in a bit of a sporty feel, with denim shorts and this animal print sleeveless top. Chunky straps on the sandals are everywhere this season and the mix of pastel mint with metallics looks great. I’d need some sturdy boots too, though, in case it gets muddy underfoot and I’d need to stomp back to my tent (who am I kidding, you’d never see me in a regular tent…. a yurt perhaps! I’m such a rubbish camper).

So what do you think? Would you wear these items to a family festival? Don’t forget to pack the glowsticks!

Because I’m Happy #3

It’s two months since my last Happy post…. but don’t worry, it’s not because I’ve been wallowing in unhappiness during that time. Kind of the opposite actually! So, here’s what’s been making me feel happy, of late…

M&S trainers

Bagging some bargain trainers. I spotted these lovely Marks & Spencer trainers on Kat Got The Cream – they were £29.95 and are reduced to £8 in the sale. £8! For real. I love them. Granted, it’s too hot to wear them at the moment but I will…

Midweek BBQs. Something it’s not too hot for! There’s something so BRILLIANT about a midweek barbie, isn’t there? It feels a bit naughty to sling some burgers and bangers on the grill and eat outside. On a Wednesday! Plus, the four-year-old loves any excuse to eat sausages, so she’s happy too.

Junior Design Awards

Being a judge in the Junior Magazine Design Awards 2015. This is something I’m hugely thrilled about – Junior Magazine have asked me to be a judge in their prestigious Design Awards. During its 15 year history, Junior has celebrated the best designer and high street children’s fashion labels, the luxurious hotels and fine restaurants that can cater to a family’s every whim while retaining high standards, the coolest and most child-friendly interiors, and the top classic and modern toys and books. Every year, they call upon parenting and family brands, products and experiences to enter the awards, to be judged against each other in order to bring their readers the cream of the crop.

I’ll be judging the lifestyle categories including travel, books, toys, dining, buggies and cots. Other judges on the Junior Design Awards include my fellow blogger and journo Erica Davies from the Edited, TV presenter Kirsty McCabe, singer Rachel Stevens, designer Olivia Rubin and Cass Chapman from Kodomo. If you run or look after a brand, you can register to enter here.

martin-millers-gin

Discovering I like drinking gin! I’ve never been a fan of gin…. until now. I think I must be a proper grown up or something, because when I was in Mallorca last month with Scott Dunn Travel (full post on that coming shortly) I drank gin. Twice. And I liked it. It’s like a whole new world of drinks have just opened up to me. First up, I’m trying out this amazing looking gin that Martin Miller’s sent me – it’s distilled in England using water from an Icelandic spring. Gin and tonic on ice, anyone?…

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23 Thoughts That Parents Have During A Heatwave

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1. Ooh YAY it’s going to get warm!

2. Oh crap. It’s going to get HOT. 33C? We’re going to melt.

3. Where’s the paddling pool? Why don’t I have a set place to store things like paddling pools? I’m totally going to create a ‘Seasonal items’ box in the cupboard under the stairs for this kind of thing.

4. I’ll just buy a new paddling pool.

5. Oh crap. Why has everywhere sold out of paddling pools? Wonder if I can buy this toddler ball pit and fill that up with water? If I buy three super soakers and spray my child with them, will that be the same as having a paddling pool?

6. I found a paddling pool! I officially win at life. This is as good as getting a half price turkey on Christmas Eve.

7. Totally going to sit with my feet in this paddling pool, while my little one splashes around in it.

8. Why does my child refuse to put on sunscreen and wear a hat? How can I make this happen without a full on tantrum? Maybe I can creep up on her and slather the cream on her before she notices.

9. Didn’t work. Neighbours now hate me because I’ve ruined their chilled ambience by shouting “I’m going to count to three!” and my child screaming and wailing.

10. Shall we have an impromptu BBQ tonight?

11. Oh crap. Why has everywhere sold out of burgers? All that’s left are korma-flavoured beef kebabs.

12. Mmmm I can smell next door’s BBQ. They have burgers. Dammit – they must have planned ahead.

13. Does opening the windows make the house cooler, or just let warm air in?

14. Will my neighbours think we’re weird if we keep the curtains closed all day, to keep the sunshine out?

15. Whyyyy is there no air in my upstairs rooms?

16. My child is never going to get to sleep in this heat.

17. Ooh, I’ll get the oscillating fan and put it on in her bedroom. Now where did we put the fan? See, told you we needed a seasonal items box. The fan would be in that box, if we had one.

18. Found it. In the airing cupboard. Obviously.

19. Do oscillating fans even do anything apart from push warm air around the room?

20. Oscillating is such a funny word. Oscillating. Oscillating. Oscillating.

21. I’m just going to have this cold glass of wine. Just to cool myself down, you understand.

22. Ooh I’ve caught the sun today.

23. Oh crap, now I can’t get to sleep. My pillow feels so warm. It’s too hot for my duvet but it just feels weird to lie here without anything over me. When I create my seasonal items box, I should put some thin bed sheets in there.

Image: DTTSP

3 Ways To Bring Some Wimbledon Spirit Into Your Home

There are a few signs that summer is truly with us – the sound of the ice cream van chiming a tune as it drives along your street, the smell of cut grass and burnt sausages filling the air and Wimbledon being on the telly. Wimbledon is one of the few sporting events that I love to watch. Growing up in Scotland, where the schools break up for summer at the end of June, I would always spend the first two weeks of the summer holidays watching tennis with my friends (in between running around outdoors, playing Connect 4 and going to the roller disco, obvs).

And Wimbledon spirit is still going strong with me – we even have the four-year-old keen to watch! Yesterday, she had a sports instructor come to her pre-school and they did an hour of tennis, in honour of Wimbledon starting. She just announced to me that she really want to watch Andy Murray playing later today (I suspect she’ll get bored after five minutes, but I’m keen to encourage her to watch).

If you’re a fan of the tennis too, there are some easy ways you can bring the Wimbledon spirit into your home.

1. Make a large pitcher of Pimm’s and lemonade. Mix one part Pimm’s with three parts lemonade, add ice, strawberries, mint, cucumber and lemon. Then enjoy!

Jug of Pimm's

2. Buy some gorgeous official Wimbledon towels. These are the actual towels used by the tennis players at Wimbledon – Christy have been making and supplying them for the past 28 years. You can buy both the men’s and women’s towels for £29 and use them to wipe the sweat from your brow as your watch Andy Murray in the Championships. (Christy also have a fab guide to throwing a Wimbledon party)…

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