Who is the Smartest Woman You know?

A few years ago there was a pretty fab campaign for  Clinique Smart Custom Serum.  It Starred one of my fave Beauty experts Caroline Hirons (whom I discovered on Twitter, and who is as funny as she is smart), and it  celebrated smart women and their qualities. For Caroline Hirons, the smartest woman she knows happens to be her mom, something I can totally relate to.

If you have read the Sam Haskell memoir ‘Promises I Made My Mother’ you will probably find yourself agreeing that although you meet many people in the course of your life, it is your Mother you still turn to in times of need, in times of stress, even when you are way past 40, but still need someone to put their arms around you and tell you it is going to be OK. Sam Haskell rose to the top of a very successful career at the world famous William Morris agency, and felt he did this by holding onto the values and life lessons that his mother instilled in him during childhood. These helped him to retain his pride and dignity, even when working in the often morale free world that is Hollywood.

I’m so with Sam! My mom is my heroine in so many ways. She was a teenage mom who proved to be the best mom any young girl could wish for – clever, funny and most certainly smart. She was a stay-at-home mom until I was 12, and then went back to work and rose to the top of her career path. Now she is almost 64, still working in management and is as great a grandmother to her three grandchildren as she is a mom. My son Joe just adores her.

Life lessons from my mom, I have them in abundance and they certainly still guide the way I live my life. She taught me that you can do anything if you try, that you can be opinionated, intelligent, funny and outspoken without needing to be brash, rude, egotistical or offensive. She taught me that if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing in heels (although she does wear them slightly lower these days) and that you only have one skin, so you most definitely need to look after it, she certainly never sleeps in make up.

I get my love of fashion, of animal print, of Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, of T Rex  and The Beatles all from her. She is inspirational, and most definitely deserving of the title smart woman. My love of reading, of old movies, of animals and travel, all come from my mother, but she also taught me that manners cost nothing and that if you can’t say or do something good, then maybe you should say nothing at all.

You can have lots of friends in your life, but you only get one mom, and I totally struck lucky with mine.


On holiday in Menorca.


my mom and me!


At Marco Pierre White’s in Birmingham.


Mother’s Day with my mom and sister.


Travelling With Children: Tips and Tricks

Going abroad on holiday is often an event that is looked forward to for the entire year. Jetting off to far warmer, sunnier climes is a real treat, and pretty easy to do if you’re a young couple with a lot of free time and disposable income. Once you become a parent however, things get a little more difficult. Even if you can rustle up enough dough to go away, travelling with the kids can be a real headache, fraught with all manner of difficulties. For single parents, this can be even more difficult due to having to handle all the responsibilities by yourself. With this in mind, we thought we’d offer a few tips to help you have a wonderful holiday with your children – whether you travel as a single parent or a two parent family.



Choose your destination carefully. Spain, Greece and the Greek Islands, Portugal and the Canaries offer shortish flights, lovely sunshine and are family friendly. Make sure there is plenty for the whole family to do and try not to limit this to just pools and beaches, look for culture and heritage to do.

The Canary Islands offer volcanoes a and mountains to explore, whilst Greece has ancient ruins that are steeped in history. Both Rhodes and Crete offer stunning archaeological sites that children will enjoy just as much as adults. In Rhodes the old town is best explored on foot, but the best way to explore Crete is by car, particularly with younger children. You can get great deals at auto-huren-kreta.nl and can then explore much further afield.


Chances are you’ll be staying in a family friendly hotel if you’re going away with the children. Family friendly resorts have better facilities, better layouts and don’t mind as much about noise compared to hotels aimed at either couples or singles, so you should definitely think about booking a room in one of these hotels. One of the draws of family friendly resorts is the ability to hire a hotel nanny during your stay. Sometimes included in the room price, these nannies will come and look after your children whilst you go out, meaning you can enjoy some quality time to eat and explore whilst your child sleeps!

Go Out

Utilising the above tip, use the late evenings to explore your surroundings and take in a little local flavour whilst you visit; you don’t want all of your memories to revolve around being by the sea or pool, after all! Enjoy a romantic dinner together at a local restaurant and sample some cuisine, or perhaps dress up glamorously and visit a local casino.

Don’t Succumb

It can be quite easy to fall into the child-led trap whilst you’re on holiday. Instead of visiting the museums, galleries, local restaurants and places of beauty, you end up almost purely frequenting water parks, beaches, play areas and western-themed restaurants, catering almost entirely for the kids. The tip here is to do a healthy mix of both types of activities. If you enjoy exploring and experiencing your destinations, then teach your kids why travelling in such a manner is so wonderful; they’ll learn a lot and you’ll be surprised by the lack of tantrums!


Take Time

Perhaps our most important point is to simply take it easy! If you have younger children you simply must factor in the endless stoppages, toilet breaks, crying and general tedium that makes up a regular day, then multiply it by two! Trust me; rushing around an airport is no fun at the best of times, but with a young child it’s nigh impossible!



How To Help Kids Manage Anger

Anger is a normal reaction when things are not fair or right. It can be a very useful emotion under certain circumstances such as in problem-solving and in improving yourself. However, it is different for our kids when they experience anger. Hence, it is important that at this early age, we can help them identify what kind of feeling they’re experiencing so that they know how to deal with them in the future. In this piece, we listed some ways how you can help manage your kids with their anger.

  1. Help Them Develop Emotional Vocabulary

Emotional vocabulary is an important tool for your kids while they are growing up. This is a collection of words your kids can utilise to express their emotions and reactions. As parents, we are responsible to guide or children to learn the feelings they’re experiencing that are related to anger.

Allowing them to be able to identify what they are feeling at certain experiences, such as when they are angry, frustrated or annoyed, and other types of emotions that might occur before anger like embarrassment and hurt can help them describe how they really feel and hence allow them to be more perceptive on what changes are taking place in their bodies and know what it is about. This will teach them how to be more familiar and comfortable with how to deal with the situation in the future. Hence, the first step is awareness.

  1. Allow them to Get Mad

We don’t want our children to believe that it is wrong to feel angry. This is a common misconception in raising kids across a lot of cultures. It is very important to let our kids feel what they have to feel in order to be more familiar with their body’s reaction and in order to trust their experiences or their own perception or understanding on what’s going on around them.

If we disallow our kids to express how they truly feel about certain situations, we are potentially putting them at the risk of all kinds of negative behavioural patterns. As parents, it is our task to let them know what is okay and what is not okay as this will help them gauge which reactions and emotions are appropriate for certain situations. For instance, we can say that it is okay to be mad that your lego piece is missing but it is not okay to throw the remaining lego pieces at your brother/sister to express these feelings of annoyance.

Hence, it is significant to have a clear yet not a degrading teaching method, such as the language of “okay” and “not okay”, to make them aware of the mistakes they committed. This technique will help our kids understand their own emotional states and be able to eliminate which are proper from not.

After being able to accomplish that part, it is essential that they can validate their feelings and reactions once they identify what these feelings are about. This is vital as this will allow themselves to recognise these reactions so that they can be able to stop themselves once they occur if they are not beneficial or they are not valid.

  1. Ask for Professional Help!

Many parents think that they know what is best for their kids as they are more familiar with how they react in certain situations. However, there are still instances in their life that even parents cannot completely handle as we lack the proficient tendency and understanding to address the issues our kids experience.

In helping our kids manage their anger, it is important to adhere to the tips listed above as they have been proven to be powerful in aiding our kids. However, these tips may not work completely in other instances and the help of a professional can be very effective in successfully achieving your goals for your kids as they have the expertise in these matters.

If you suspect that your kids have anger management issues and you have already exhausted all your efforts to help your kid overcome it, it is important that you immediately ask for professional help so they can address the issues head-on before your kids develop bad behavioural patterns.

When it comes to anger management find experts, such as Brain Wellness Spa, they know how to properly help your kids work through their emotions and reactions. Consulting professional will guide you and your kids how to face the situation as they can give you tips and strategies that you and your kids can implement in the future.