Friday, 20 September 2013

Quick Mid-Week Supper: Trying out a Wagamamas Stir-Fry Cooking Sauce

I generally don't use cooking sauces and prefer to make my own sauce from scratch, but I was pressed for time last night and remembered that I'd bought a Wagamamas cooking sauce last time I was at Sainsbury's, so thought I'd try it out! I used some chicken breasts and leftover vegetables from the fridge to make a quick stir fry.

It was very tasty, although quite a small quantity in the jar. I used half a can of coconut milk to bulk out it out for all three of us. I would recommend trying this out for a quick and fairly low calorie family meal.

Wagamamas fragrant ginger, coconut & lemongrass stir fry sauce
Half a can of coconut milk
3 cloves of garlic
1 onion, finely chopped
Sharwoods dried noodles
3 carrots sliced long ways
1 bunch of asparagus
4 chicken breasts

It was as simple as frying of the veg until cooked, boiling the noodles for a couple of minutes, then adding to the pan with the veg, coconut milk and cooking sauce and warming it all through.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Our lovely holiday in Kefalonia

Hi again all! Sorry it's been a while, but it's been pretty hectic here with it being the summer holidays - Jack is off school of course and we had Lyndon to care for to, so not easy to think of ways to keep them both entertained! Plus last week we went on a gorgeous holiday to Kefalonia, Greece - more on that later! 

Caring for Lyndon was a pretty full-on job, and very different from our experience with Lucy. he was a lovely boy but understandably had some difficulties from the tough start in life he had. Lyndon has moved on to a more permanent home now, where I really hope his new carers will have the opportunity to help him with his school work and to feel more settled and happy generally. 

We have a few weeks spare before we foster our next child, so last week decided to go away on holiday just the three of us. We haven't spent much quality time with Jack on his own since we began fostering, so we decided this would be the perfect opportunity to do so.

A pretty view from the harbour 

Tim and I were a little concerned that Jack might be getting too old to still enjoy a family holiday with us, but luckily he seemed to have just as good a time as we did. 

We took it easy while we were away, taking some trips to picturesque parts of the island and eating lovely food. The beaches were beautiful and it was nice to just relax after the busy few months we've had.

Our favourite day of the holiday was our trip to Fiskardo. This is the only part of the island that wasn't affected by the earthquake, and is absolutely beautiful. You can see some of the pretty little houses below. It is the most upmarket part of the island and apparently Johnny Depp has been known to holiday there - I kept my eyes peeled but unfortunately no sign of him!


We also went to the bay where some of 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' was filmed. This was beautiful too. I read the book while I was there, as I always meant to but never got round to it. I thoroughly recommend it if you haven't read it already.

The bay where Captain Corelli's Mandolin was filmed

Have you and your family been away yet this year? If so I definitely recommend Kefalonia for a relaxing trip. Have any of you been there? Let me know whether you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Welcoming Lyndon to our Home

Sorry it's been a little while, but last week we welcomed Lyndon to our home and today was my first chance to sit down and tell you all about it!

Lyndon is a lovely child, but of course has had a tough start in life and has some behavioural problems as a result, as well as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). This makes it difficult for Lyndon to concentrate for long periods of time and he has a lot of energy.


We are making sure that Lyndon is keeping up with his medication, and we're trying to avoid giving him too many sugary foods, as these can make symptoms worse. This is a bit of a battle however, as he's a fussy eater who prefers junk foods.

Jack likes having a boy his age in our home, but does find Lyndon's behaviour a little challenging at times. When Jack's friends come round Lyndon plays video games with them, which he enjoys and gives me and Tim a bit of a break!

As Lyndon is a short term placement we are working together as a family to care for him and make him feel at home as best we can, for the small amount of time he's joining us for. We are aware there probably isn't a lot we can do to change his life for the better when he isn't living with us for long, but hopefully we can offer him a sense of stability while his permanent adoptive parents prepare for him.

Are you caring for a foster child with behavioural difficulties? Or even have a child or teenager of your own with ADHD?

I would love to hear from you with any advice you might be able to give.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Preparing for a new foster child

welcome mat

Yesterday we heard the good news that we will have a new foster child moving in with us in the next couple of weeks! While we are still missing Lucy it will be wonderful to have a new child to help and focus on, and we are looking forward to it.

Lyndon is 12 years old - which makes him a great age to be friendly with Jack. Hopefully they will share similar interests so our family trips will suit both of them, and perhaps Jack can take Lyndon out with his friends a couple of times.

Lyndon will be staying with us for three weeks before moving on to a more permanent home. This makes him a different type of placement to Lucy, who was fostered on a long term basis. Find out more here if you are interested in learning about the different types of foster placement.

We are busy getting our spare room ready, and removing some of the girly pictures off the walls and decorations that we had while Lucy was staying with us.We hope to make Lyndon feel at home for the short time he stays with us, and hope he enjoys our company.

I will keep you all updated, and let you know how it goes when Lyndon arrives!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Our Last Weekend with Lucy

Yesterday Lucy returned to her birth parents. This was tough for us, and Jack especially, who had started to think of Lucy as a little sister. We put on a brave face for Lucy’s sake and enjoyed a final weekend together.

While she was happy living with us, of course it is best for Lucy to be with her mum, and I think she was pretty excited about being able to return to her.

On Lucy’s last weekend we took her to Alton Towers. We wanted to have a day trip that Jack could enjoy just as much as Lucy, and it certainly proved to be a hit!  Lucy had never been to a proper theme park before and was a little nervous but she loved it.

Air Alton Towers

Lucy enjoyed a lot of the children’s rides – it was only Jack and his Dad that went on the scarier ones! I’ve included a picture of Air. I don’t know how they did it! 

We had a trip into Birmingham on the Sunday and went to Ed's Diner in Selfridges. Both Lucy and Jack love it there, and although I try to eat healthily most of the time burgers really are my weakness! We had a lovely couple of days as a family and Jack didn't ask to see his friends once! 

It was a bitter-sweet weekend however as we know it will probably be our last with Lucy, but we have spoken to the agency and they said it will be fine for us to exchange christmas and birthday cards which we look forward to doing, as we would like to see how she gets on over the coming years.

There is at least a light at the end of the tunnel – we are hoping our next foster child will move in with us in the next few weeks. Other foster parents have told us that saying goodbye to their first child was the most difficult, so hopefully we will get used to the process and it will get easier in time. 

We are looking forward to having the chance to help another child and do what we can to shape their future.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Saying goodbye to Lucy: The end of our first foster placement

When we agreed to foster Lucy we knew how difficult it would be to let go of her, but we have always had to bear in mind that this time would come and prepare ourselves mentally for it.

Achieving the right level of attachment can be very hard when fostering, and as Lucy was our first foster child the process was really a learning curve for my family. 

We treated Lucy like a member of our family and did our best for her, as we wanted her to feel loved during her time with us. However, it was important to keep a certain amount of emotional distance, and accept that although we feel an emotional bond to her, she won’t be a part of our family forever.

Lucy’s birth mother is now in a position to care for her again, and we know that it is best for Lucy to be with her real mother.  It has been wonderful to see her flourish and grow in confidence since she came to live with us, and I hope Lucy will continue to do well at school now that her mother can care for her properly.

We know it is important to stay positive for Lucy and talk about how wonderful it will be for her to return to her home, as her well-being must come before our own. We would like Lucy to email us and stay in touch if her mother is comfortable with this, as we would love to keep up our bond with her.

We were lucky to have such a lovely, well-behaved child when we fostered Lucy, but we are ready to accept that our next fostering experience may not go so smoothly.

Our family will be very sorry to lose Lucy, but we wish her well and hope that she is happy when she returns to her biological mother. 

If you are considering fostering, I recommend you read some fostering stories, to get a better idea of what the everyday reality of foster care might be.

Have you fostered? How do you cope when it is time for a child to move on? If you are a foster parent I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Weekend Treat: Chorizo and Haddock Sandwich

I like to treat the kids and Tim to a more exciting lunch when we're having a lazy day at the weekend and have the time. Usually they have rushed packed lunches that I make in the morning, and it can be difficult to make varied lunches all the time. 

This is the first time I tried this particular recipe out - adapted and simplified from a Jamie Oliver recipe. it proved to be a hit with Tim especially!

I try to get some fish into the kid's diets but they're not too keen on it, so mixing it in with lots of tasty ingredients in this way is a good way to make them forget they don't like it.

Ingredients for four:

2 haddock fillet
1 piece of chorizo
some rocket/lettuce
Fresh loaf of bread
1 large red onion
1 lemon, zest grated
red wine vinegar
greek yoghurt/creme freche
1 tablespoon mustard


1. Cut the chorizo into thin slices and fry briefly, then set aside
2. mix the chroizo-infused oil from the pan with the yoghurt, lemon zest and mustard, then spread on the bread and season
3. mix the sliced red onion with sugar and vinegar, then add to the sandwiches with the rocket
4. Fry the haddock over a high heat for a few minutes each side.

You could serve up with some home-made chips as I did, or a salad if you're trying to make it a little more healthy.

Me and Tim enjoyed the meal with some pimms - it was the weekend after all! We gave the kids lemonade with fruit in it in the same style, and enjoyed the first relaxing lunch time together we've had for a while.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Gardening with your Kids

The weather’s set to be lovely this weekend, and I’ve been working on getting my veg patch ready for planting. I think it could be a nice opportunity to get the kids involved. It is sometimes a battle to get Lucy to eat her greens, so I’m hoping that having a hand in growing them will make her keener to eat them.

I love my little garden, and last weekend I let Lucy pick out some pretty flowers from the local garden centre, which we planted. I hope that this is something we can bond over, and the garden will become a fun project we can work on together.

I also hope to get Jack out for some of the afternoon in the sunshine – he’s always stuck playing the play station inside!

You can see an extensive list of what’s good to plant for June here on the Channel 4 website, and the Botanico website is useful for more detailed information on how to plant your veggies. Here is my brief description of how I’m going to plant the following below:


These will take around 16 weeks. You need to sow the seeds thinly in shallow drills, and then cover them over. They need to be kept well watered, but apart from that little extra attention is necessary while they grow.


Sweetcorn grows best in moist soil. Use a dibber to make 2.5cm holes in the soil, and sow two seeds every 35cm, with 60cm between rows. Cover and water, then when they get to about 2cm tall remove the weakest of each seedling pair.

Spring onions

This a quick growing crop, which is useful to keep Lucy interested. You need to plant them in a sunny area with good drainage. Rake the soil to make it fine and crumbly, and make drills 12 0 20mm deep. They need to be spaced around 10cm apart, then sprinkle the seeds in and cover with soil.

Other plants for June include kale, chicory and squash, but Lucy is less likely to enjoy these I think!

If you are currently growing leeks, celeriac, celery and brussel sprouts indoors, it’s warm enough to move them outside. We have leeks in our green house that are now ready to get in the sun.

Are you planting vegetables in your garden? Is this something your children enjoy getting involved in? Let me  know your thoughts!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Bank Holidays in Birmingham on a Budget


In the last post I covered some Bank Holiday day out trips to enjoy with your kids in the Birmingham area, but by the time the whole family are paid for those options turn out pretty costly.
This bank holiday we are going to try some fun days out on a budget. There are lots of ways for us to have a lovely day as a family without spending a lot of money, here are some options I would recommend:


If the weather’s nice this is a great way for us to spend time as a family. The food needn't be expensive, but just buying a few treats that your children wouldn't ordinarily be allowed or wouldn't regularly eat makes it exciting for them.
We particularly enjoy Cannon Hill Park, but there are lots of nice places for a picnic around the Birmingham area. Try Arley and the area around for a picturesque setting if you live more towards Bewdley/Worcestershire.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

If your children take an interest in Art, visiting the gallery that Birmingham has to offer will be an educational and interesting trip for free. In the centre of the city, you can combine a visit to the gallery with a mooch around the shops – although that’s when your trip can start getting expensive!

The Black Country Living Museum, Dudley

Although not particularly cheap, once you have bought your family’s tickets you have free return to the museum for a whole 12 months. If you live fairly near I would recommend it. As there’s so much to do you can definitely get your money’s worth over the course of a year, and my kids love returning to the old fashioned sweet shop and fish and chip shop.

‘The Public’

The Public is an exciting creative, cultural and business space in West Bromwich. There are all sorts of exhibitions and events going on. It's a good place to take your family if you have younger children as well as teenagers, as it will cater to both. Current exhibitions include Tracey Emin, which is free.

Birmingham Nature Centre

This is a cheaper alternative to the Safari Park and Dudley Zoo, with entry just £2.50 for 5 – 16 year old, and free for under 5's. If you take a packed lunch with you your day will cost under £20. It’s a great place for kids that love animals like mine do - you can see meerkats, lemurs and otters, as well as a collection of endangered reptiles that Jack particularly likes to see.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Foster Care Fortnight 2013


Today is the first day of ‘Foster Care Fortnight’, which is a really big, yearly event in the UK for foster carer recruitment. As the event was such a turning point in mine and my family’s life, I feel like it’s important for me to share this with you all!

I was interested in the idea of fostering when the event took place a few years ago, and the information I received helped me and Tim  eventually make the decision to foster Lucy.

The ‘picture frame’ event running this year puts foster care services, care leavers, their children, as well as prospective carers in the spotlight. A bit of research shows that around 9,000 new carers are needed across the UK at the moment, leaving a huge amount of vulnerable children without the support they desperately need.

The time that my family have spent with Lucy has been invaluable to us, and hopefully provided her with the support she needed as well. It’s been wonderful to have this special little girl in our lives, and see the way her confidence and happiness has grown since she came to live with us.

I’m not saying that foster care is an easy or perfect experience for any parent, but I think there are many people out there that would make great foster parents, but don’t pursue the idea 
further because of their limited knowledge or misconceptions on the subject. Hopefully the ‘Get in the Frame’ event will help prospective foster parents get a clearer idea of whether foster care is right for them.

If you think you could be a foster carer I would urge you to look into what is happening in your area for Foster Care Fortnight.

Are you a foster carer, or considering becoming one? Let me know what you think, and what your experiences have been so far – good and bad.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Encouraging your Kids to Read

Boy reading illustration

There are so many options for children’s entertainment – countless TV programmes, games consoles, laptops, mobiles, that few actually turn to books to pass the time, seeing it as the boring option.

Encouraging Lucy to read is important to improve her ability to do so, but I encourage Jack to read more often to expand his knowledge and interests, rather than limiting his time to playing video games and watching TV. It’s lovely to see him engrossed in a book and learning from it, or being inspired by it.

Take an interest in reading yourself

It’s all well and good to say you want your children to read more often, but are you setting the example? If your children see that you often read as a way to relax, they will consider it to be a normal everyday activity, and one that they want to master themselves.

Buying books that you think they will enjoy and leaving them in accessible places around the house might encourage children to pick them up and take a look when they have a little time to spare.

Make reading your special time together

Reading with Lucy before she goes to bed is a special time for us to bond, when she gets my undivided attention.  It is a good opportunity for us to work on her reading in a relaxed setting, when the pressure she feels in the classroom is taken away.

It’s important as a foster child that Lucy gets some special time with me, and as Jack is obviously too old for bedtime stories it’s not time that he resents me spending with Lucy.

Choose books that have been adapted for cinema

A good way I have found to encourage Jack’s reading is to buy him the books that his favourite films are taken from. For example, he enjoyed the first ‘Hunger Games’ film when it was released, and went to see it with his friends.  I bought him the trilogy that the film was taken from, and he hardly put them down until he had finished all three books!

There are lots of other options depending on the age and interests of your child – Lord of the Rings, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Defiance are all books that I have encouraged Jack to read after he enjoyed the films based on them, whilst Lucy enjoyed ‘Alice in Wonderland’ after seeing Tim Burton’s adaptation.


If your kids love technology and are always on their laptops, a good way to encourage reading might be with a Kindle. I personally consider them to be a bit of a waste of money, but if it encourages older children and teenagers to read it’s probably worth it.

Last time we went on holiday we bought Jack a Kindle, and now find that he reads a lot more, as it seems to make the books more relevant when they’re in a format he enjoys.

Do you have any more tips for encouraging your children to read?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Lucy's Birthday

Birthday cake inspiration

Lucy’s 8th birthday is coming up in the next few weeks, and we want to make the day as special as possible for her.

Lucy’s background has meant that she hasn't experienced many special birthdays where she has been spoiled and treated, so we try to make them wonderful for her. This will be Lucy’s second birthday with us.

Last year we felt very nervous about how to approach her birthday – whether she would feel emotional about not having her birth parents present, and wondering what she might want or expect.

Luckily it was a wonderful day, and I thoroughly enjoyed throwing a party and buying presents for a little girl for the first time.

These are my top tips for spoiling a foster child on their birthday:

  • Let her choose what she wants your family to do for the day – where does she want to go, and what does she want to eat. Does she want a party? Perhaps she would find this overwhelming if she isn’t used to this kind of treatment.
  • Throw in some surprises that she wouldn’t expect, but would make her feel extra special. Try decorating the house with balloons and streamers, getting party poppers, or decorating a dining chair to look like a princess’s thrown for when she comes downstairs in the morning.
  • The issue of her birth parents may be a tricky one. Each situation is very individual, but if your child is keen on seeing them on her birthday talk to the agency about whether this is a possibility.
  • Create something fun and different that is especially for her. For instance, Lucy’s favourite treat foods are jelly, chocolate muffins and chocolate sauce. She was delighted last year when I created a sort of sundae, with jelly, broken up double chocolate chip muffins and ice cream, drizzled in chocolate sauce.
  • If you have other children, make sure you include them in the planning. Make them feel involved by asking  for suggestions, and explain why it is so important that your foster child is treated to a special day, so they don’t feel that there is any favouritism.
  • Obviously presents are central to any birthday. While you may feel like splashing out a lot of money on your foster child, try to put careful thought into what you buy, rather than buying a lot of expensive gifts for the sake of it.
  • If you have really taken the time to understand what your foster child enjoys they are sure to love their gifts. You could use the opportunity to encourage a hobby or interest, or buy something you could enjoy together – maybe materials for crafts or painting.

Whilst you may well feel that it is important to make this day special, try to relax and enjoy it, rather than worrying too much.

Tim and I were quite concerned on the run-up last year, but we needn’t have been. Everybody had a wonderful day, and it was terrific to see Lucy with such a big smile on her face.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Bank holiday days out in Birmingham

With the bank holiday weekend fast approaching it’s time to plan a fun day out with the kids. There are of course a huge range of days out in and around the Birmingham area, suitable for every family, budget and changing weather.

Sealife Centre Fish

Here is a pick of our family’s favourite day trips locally, perfect to enjoy some time together this May Bank Holiday:

Think Tank

The Think Tank is a brilliant option for the bank holiday weekend – educational whilst keeping kids occupied. There are art activities, drop in sessions and storytelling for under 8's going on all weekend. There are four floors of hands-on exhibits and historical science-based collections to see.

The Leisure Box

This will be my family’s pick if we are unfortunate enough to have bad weather this weekend. There is both ice skating and bowling, and children can go here for skating lessons or host a party – with a choice of ice skating, or a combination of skate and bowl.

Blakesley Hall

There is a fair offering vintage treats and hand-crafted items on Saturday 4th, between 12pm and 4pm - something for you and the kids, as well as beautiful gardens and grounds you could enjoy a picnic in.

Your kids are sure to love the exciting range of sea creatures available to see and learn about. Children can touch the crabs and starfish, visit the 4-d cinema and walk through the underwater tunnel. There are feeding demonstrations throughout the day, and even a play area. When Jack was younger he used to love going here to see the ray fish!

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

If the weather’s nice a visit to the Botanical Gardens can be a lovely family trip. There are glasshouses with everything from tropical rainforest to desert plants, as well as beautiful gardens to enjoy and a playground for the children. There is a nice tearoom as well to enjoy a bit of afternoon tea!

Toy Collector’s Fair, NEC

This will be paradise for children and serious toy collectors alike, with everything from traditional dolls and teddy bears to sci-fi Stars Wars and Doctor Who toys, to Scalextric, Lego and Disney memorabilia – panned across over 600 stalls.

This is just a list of our potential days out this weekend and is by no means exhaustive – has anybody else got good ideas for days out in Birmingham this bank holiday?

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Quick sticky chicken recipe

If you’re after a quick and tasty Chinese takeaway alternative this recipe is just the ticket! Although some fussier children might be put off by the pak choi, the chicken and rice should be enjoyed by most. 

You could add peas to the rice if you like, skip out the chilli if your children only enjoy mild flavours, or try a different side vegetable.

Sticky chicken dinner

·         5tbsp hoisin sauce
·         1tbsp each soy sauce and sunflower oil
·         2 garlic cloves, crushed
·         1tbsp grated root ginger
·         4 skinless free-range chicken breasts
·         200g (7oz) basmati rice
·         1 free-range egg, beaten and seasoned
·         handful coriander leaves, chopped
·         2 spring onions, finely sliced
·         1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
·         Pack of pak choi

1.Mix the hoisin, soy, garlic oil and ginger in a bowl, and leave teh chicken to marinate in it for about 20 minutes, before putting in the oven at 200c or 180c fan, 400F gas 6 on a foil lined baking tray.
2. Meanwhile you can be preparing the rice and pak choi. Steam the pak choi as it is for about 5-10 minutes, or stir fry for around 2 minutes. You could cut it in half to cook more quickly.
3.Heat a small pan with oil, and fry a beaten egg. Cook on both sides then cut into strips.
4.Boil your rice as normal. When cooked, add the sliced spring onions, chilli, coriander and your fried egg strips.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Re-decorating Jack’s bedroom

Anyone with a teenager will know how much of their time is spent in their bedroom – it’s an age when kids start needing their own space, and value having a nicely decorated bedroom of their own.

It’s time to re-decorate Jack’s room, and of course it’s important to consider the way he wants it to look as he will be the one spending the most time in it. However, it is still a room in mine and Tim’s house, and we want it to fit with our tastes and the d├ęcor of our home.

Generally, teenagers will be happy to get a new look for their room since leaving childhood behind, and will want something that reflects their current interests. We have discussed our initial ideas with Jack, and he seemed pretty hell-bent on a dark colour scheme. We really aren't keen on this, and feel he would want the walls re-painted again pretty swiftly.

Teenage boy's bedroom design

I decided to find some great pictures on-line of rooms that I like which I think Jack would to. Luckily we all like the room pictured and are going to take some inspiration from it. Whilst there are some darker areas, they don't overwhelm the room and the main colour is white.

However, this has resulted in a new contentious issue – Jack loves the sofa (above), but we don’t want to spend that quantity of money on his room re-decoration. Teenagers! At least we have him off the idea of brown walls though.

If handled in the right way, re-decorating a bedroom together can be a good opportunity to bond and spend some quality time with your teenager.

Has your teenager’s room re-decoration gone smoothly? How did you handle any conflict? 

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Busy mums: my guide to being practical but looking great

It can be really difficult to adjust to a changing style once you become a mum. Once upon a time I wore heels everyday with my smart, sharp work wear wardrobe, but now said heels are reserved for meals out and special occasions only!

Pretty flat shoes

As a mother you are constantly rushing round so need to make comfortable wardrobe choices, and perhaps don’t have the figure you once did since going through childbirth. These are my pointers for developing a chic mummy style:

Colour choices:

Whilst white jeans might not be a sensible option anymore, this is no excuse for choosing dowdy colours. Even a simple t-shirt will make you stand out more if you choose it in a flattering colour for your skin tone.

Tunics/ shirtdresses:

There is no need to wear jeans every day – certain dress styles can be comfortable, practical and stylish to. A simple shirtdress can be smartened up with heels for the evening, or worn with flats in the day, and the style suits most body types. A tunic-style dress or top is flattering for those with a mummy tummy.


You might not be able to wear your heels all the time, but that needn't mean settling for scruffy trainers. Try pretty ballet pumps in summer and stylish ankle boots in Winter - both options look great paired with jeans or a dress and tights.


Putting some earrings in or a bracelet on takes seconds, but will help make your outfit look carefully put together.


A large handbag with lots of useful compartments will be essential to you when taking your kids out for the day. Luckily there are plenty of stylish ones available on the high street.

Perfecting a 5-minute make-up routine:

You can look polished in a short amount of time if you perfect a clever make-up routine. Choose hard-wearing products, and spend a bit of extra money to buy a few key essentials that really work. A great tinted moisturiser, touch of blusher and flattering lipstick are quick to apply but freshen up a tired face.

Beautiful hair:

You might not have the time to blow-dry your hair every morning, but this needn’t mean it has to look a mess. Get a hair-cut that requires less maintenance, and choose hair products that can be put in the hair and left to dry naturally. 

Dry hair shampoo will be your best friend, and can freshen up your hair before you put it in a quick up-do. Using styling tools less frequently will mean your hair is shinier and undamaged. What a bonus!

It’s easier for me now my children are a little older, but when I first became a mother these are the key approaches to style that I took, and I have been developing a fuss-free approach to fashion ever since. Have you got any more great tips for busy mummys?