Beach Life, Stationery Shopping and French Plaits… (AKA What We Got Up To This Week)

Well, that was the weekend. How was it for you? I’ve been hanging out with my family doing fun things (isn’t that what weekends are all about?) We had friends over for a BBQ. I rustled up some Jamie Oliver salads and we sat in the garden drinking Pimm’s and cider until the heat became unbearable. So we retreated to the cool living room to watch Frozen and drink Champagne. As you do.

I’ve been reflecting back on the last week too. In the past week…

We packed up the car and drove out to the coast.

There were grey skies but it was still warm enough to sit on the beach so we made for the seaside. A few hours of sitting on the sand, building sandcastles, paddling in the sea and collecting shells is good for the soul. Oh and we also might have eaten a mammoth portion of fish and chips… and an ice cream. Healthy eating begins again tomorrow, yeah?

Minni Bay beach huts

Minnis Bay beach huts

Fish and chips



I did a French plait in my daughter’s hair for the first time.

OK, so it looked a bit pants but this is a real MUM ACHIEVEMENT for me as I’ve only recently worked out how to do the blasted things. I’m going to watch lots of YouTube tutorials on plaits and become a total plait demon. Just you wait and see…


Weย road tested some new swimming gear.

Rockley Cove sent us a super cute rashkiniย to try out and both me and the three year old were impressed. She loves the bold design, how comfortable it is and how easy it is to put on and take off. I love how covered up she is when she wears it outside in the sun (the fabric has an SPF protection of 50+). The set comes with a small bikini top which I’ve hidden away, as I’m not keen on small kidsย in bikinis (is that just me?) but the little shorts it comes with are adorable.

Mums Lynne and Judy set up Rockley Cove last year when they saw a gap in the market for bright, functional swimwear for girls. I think they’ve nailed it. Right now, there’s 20% off over at Rockley Cove which means this set would cost you ยฃ33.58 (plus P&P).

Rockley Cove rashkini


I visited brand new store Hema which opened up in Bromley’s Intu shopping centre.

The Dutch shop has only recently come to the UK with two other stores in Central London and Kingston. I was in stationery heaven. As well as getting a stationery fix, I was tempted by their wooden toys, kids’ craft supplies and homeware – retro storage jars, lemonade dispensers, party kits and baking gear.

The best way of describing Hema is that it’s like Tiger but with more stuff for grown ups. And it’s like the Ikea market place. AKA shopping paradise! Hema invited me and a bunch of fellow Bromley bloggers to the launch of the store and gave us each a gift card to spend (Thanks Hema!). See what Becky from Spirited Puddle Jumper bought over here.

Bromley bloggers

Hema party supplies

Hema stationery love!



I took a trip to Brighton with my mum.

It’s a city she has been keen to visit for years so we took the train south and spent the day taking photos and meandering through the streets down to the beach. I want to improve on my photography skills so it was great to spend time taking photos without any reason to rush. I’m looking at these photos below and already I can see things I’d improve on next time.

We stopped off at a vegetarian cafe in the North Laines area (amazing food… wish I could remember the name of the place) and then had a mid-afternoon wine outside a bar by the Royal Pavilion. I’ve been to Brighton loads of times over the years, but we usually head straight for the beach, so it was a treat to potter and faff around in the Lanes. THIS is the genius thing about being a freelancer. I can take random days off and spend them with family, doing brilliant things.


Campervan on Brighton street

Brighton Pavilion

Deckchairs on Brighton Beach

What have you been up to in the last week?



  1. July 21, 2014 / 7:02 am

    What a fab week you’ve had. It sounds like you went to Food for Friends in Brighton…. Love my city.

    • Alison Perry
      July 21, 2014 / 10:05 am

      It might have been that one.. it was delicious anyway!

    • Alison Perry
      July 21, 2014 / 10:06 am

      Minnis Bay… were you down that way too? I saw some snaps from the Margate area…

      • July 24, 2014 / 10:00 am

        No way? You know the Beach House is just around the corner, right?

        • Alison Perry
          July 24, 2014 / 11:26 am

          No! Next time we head there, I’ll let you know x

  2. July 21, 2014 / 10:01 am

    Ah, a lovely week! At least you had brilliant sunshine for one of your costal adventures, right? & loving that new app….i’ve not been brave enough to use it yet…’s up there on the list. & all hail HEMA! ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

    • Alison Perry
      July 21, 2014 / 10:06 am

      All hail Hema indeed! I have been telling all my local friends about it. In fact, I’m in town now (supposed to be working….) so might pop in later.

  3. July 21, 2014 / 10:23 am

    Fun packed week and lovely pics! That campervan pic is awesome. Wouldn’t you just love to get one and bum about the country… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Alison Perry
      July 21, 2014 / 10:39 am

      YES that would be amazing. I’m always tempted to hire one for a festival too…

  4. July 21, 2014 / 1:31 pm

    Big Brommers fist bump to you! *BUMP* Major envy of your beach trips- we need to get some more seaside action in over the next few weeks, I can never get enough!

    • Alison Perry
      July 21, 2014 / 3:45 pm

      We don’t go enough either – can heartily recommend Minnis Bay… there is a small cafe that serves THE best fish and chips.

  5. July 21, 2014 / 4:10 pm

    Looks like a lovely week. Brighton is one of my most favourite places ever. And I have never heard of HEMA may have to check it out. I can’t do a french plait, wouldn’t even have a clue how to do one! x

  6. July 21, 2014 / 5:44 pm

    Oh hai Hema! That shop looks like my idea of heaven. Please can I come and stay with you and spend a day there?! PS. Love your Brighton pics. I haven’t been back to Brighton in the last 18 months but as it’s where my dad is from and my gran used to live, it has a special place in my heart. It’s even the place I got my first ever paid bit of work as a journalist. Miss it. Your week sounds brilliant. x

    • Alison Perry
      July 23, 2014 / 6:23 pm

      YES come and stay ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. July 21, 2014 / 6:03 pm

    What a week! I really wanted to check out Hema last time I was down south but couldn’t squeeze it in. The lovechild of Tiger and Ikea = my kind of shop!
    Lovely pics of Brighton too x

    • Alison Perry
      July 23, 2014 / 9:45 am

      I suspect you would love it!

  8. July 21, 2014 / 8:06 pm

    ooh i always love beach photos! and yay for french plaits. i promise they get easier. i couldn’t do them at first (AT ALL) but as with most things, practice makes perfect ๐Ÿ™‚ also that hema place looks ace!

    • Alison Perry
      July 23, 2014 / 9:45 am

      I need someone to give me a lesson!

  9. July 21, 2014 / 9:58 pm

    wow so many good photos, totally loving the blue camper van and all those beach huts! Plus you’re making me hungry talking with that vegetarian place in the lanes. x

    • Alison Perry
      July 23, 2014 / 9:46 am

      YOUR San Francisco breakfast post made me hungry!

  10. July 21, 2014 / 11:20 pm

    I love Brighton. I lived there for five years. Was the vegetarian cafe called Iydea by any chance? x

  11. July 22, 2014 / 1:00 am

    Oh wow you have been seriously busy this week and how amazing has the weather been – a trip to the beach never gets old and have cute are those french plaits!! Love the swim suit and how nice to meet up with other bloggers ๐Ÿ™‚

    Laura x

  12. July 22, 2014 / 7:43 am

    totally impressed with that french plait! I’m rubbish at them ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. July 22, 2014 / 9:31 am

    ooooo now where do i start?! Frozen & Champagne? Hema? Fish & Chips? Brighton? Very jealous of that week!!

    • Alison Perry
      July 23, 2014 / 9:47 am

      Frozen and Champagne was a particular highlight ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. July 22, 2014 / 9:18 pm

    Isn’t it just? The downside of course, is that you’re always chasing your tail after those days off, but I refuse to dwell on it ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hema looks really cool!

    • Alison Perry
      July 23, 2014 / 9:47 am

      Haha – exactly! It’s all swings and roundabouts, isn’t it?

  15. July 22, 2014 / 10:28 pm

    What a lovely week you have had! I was invited to Hema in Kingston- my local- but work prevented it! But, I am now rushing there as am a stationary fan too! Love that swimwear that G got to try – really fab. May have to check them out. And, Miss P I will teach you how to french plait- I can also do the reserve version too which is easier to master.

    Hope to see you son

    • Alison Perry
      July 23, 2014 / 9:48 am

      Oh you should go Bonnie! You’d love it. And YES please give me a lesson.

  16. July 23, 2014 / 6:16 pm

    these types of posts are my favourite to read, maybe because I feel like I’ve catching up with a friend! Love that campavan shot and all the beach huts! Isn’t it so lovely to be able to get out and do nice things when the weather is so good! x

  17. August 15, 2014 / 6:55 am

    I love Brighton. We go a couple times a year as it is only a couple hr drive. The lanes are my 1st stop.
    I love Hema. I am so jealous you have been to a store.

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