How do you find your inner strength?

I remember being in labour with Mister G, it was late at night, things had suddenly moved fast and I was afraid. I was given a blend of essential oils containing frankincense to help me face my fear. Every time the consultant entered the room – a formidable lady who terrified me – I sniffed the oils, and felt my fear dissolve.

Sometimes we all need a bit of help locating our inner strength…

My last visit to Eden Hall Day Spa was all about finding and honouring inner strength.  I am becoming something of a regular, but I do feel very at home at Eden Hall. Continue reading

Buying Bracelets – Silver or Gold?

One of my favourite pieces of jewellery was an amber set, bought for me by my parents for my 16th birthday and inspired by reading about a boy in a book I’ve since forgotten, who liked to stare into his mother’s amber pendant. Today’s guest post has some great tips on buying bracelets to suite your skin tone, from a jewellery expert.

Using stones is a great way to make silver jewellery suit any skin tone. The higher the stone to silver ratio, the better the jewellery is for warmer skin tones.

We all have a preferred metal, regardless of whether we suit it or not. Maybe we secretly feel like a princess when we wear our silver and diamond or necklace, or we like the suggestive bohemian/pirate look of some big hooped earrings, but do you want your skin to really glow and look its best? Here are my tips for choosing the best metal for your bracelet and your skin colour. Continue reading

What’s your favourite childhood memory? #REBUILD

Me and my brother, my children

Mine has to be collapsing in a fit of giggles with my brother in a Danish supermarket over a packet of biscuits named BUMS! I’ve always been close to my brother and it was amazing when life replicated the same birth order and age gap in my children. When I watch my kids plotting things together it takes me right back to my childhood.

My brother and I still find ourselves falling apart with laughter over the most inappropriate things. People often ask me what the secret to us remaining close over all the years is. I’ve no idea. I think the shared experience of holidays, day trips and adventures really helped though. We were lucky to have parents who were able to help us see the world, to have adventures and experience new cultures and to have the time and space to simply enjoy our childhood together.

This week we got a letter from Luqman, the boy we sponsor through Action Aid. His life is different, but throughout his letter is so much evidence of the positives sponsorship brings to his community. Sponsoring a child through ActionAid is about helping their whole community.

Action Aid recruited some special people to highlight how important happy childhood memories are. This triggered some great ones for me.

Sarah Alexander visited Sierra Leonne, this video shows how children in conflict countries are still so in need, even 11 years on from the conflict.

I saw very similar scenes when I visited Ghana, but Ghana is a stable country by comparison, the thought of what children have seen in Sierra Leonne, and since experienced, makes me really wonder about their childhood memories. Little things make a huge difference though, windows of play opportunities, a bottle of bubbles goes a long way to creating happier memories.

I’m joining ActionAid in kicking off their #REBUILD campaign. You can help:

  • Please share this post wherever you can, on Twitter using the hashtag #rebuild.
  • Write a post or a status update about your childhood memories #REBUILD
  • Please consider ActionAid child sponsorship, if you can, £4 a week can make a real difference to another community. We’ve found it opens up a whole world to our children too.

Ad watch: Did you stay curious?

If you had to condense your life so far into a few minutes, what would the story board look like? Which would be those key moments that you featured? I would want to show myself with my babies, but is that really the best way to represent what parenthood means to me, how children fit in my life? I really like this ad, it looks beyond the cliches to more fully represent a life story. Continue reading

The Alexanders do Halloween Costumes, at sea.

This year Halloween is going to be a bit different! We are on our Mediterranean cruise with Carnival Cruise Lines. I had no idea whether this means we need costumes. We’ve been pretty focussed on making sure we all have enough everyday clothing. But I checked and it appears there will be Halloween decorations, lots of spooky fun, and we can bring costumes if we fancy. Continue reading

New Arrivals – Preparing Your Home and Storage For The Baby Boom


I am really excited to have a guest post from a Dad today, over to Andreas!

There was a time when a weekend away meant throwing a change of clothes, deodorant and a toothbrush into a bag and jumping into the car. That was before the pregnancy, of course. Now there are changes of clothes for the baby, nappies, wipes, sterilised empty bottles, sterilised full bottles, baby food, baby bibs, baby spoons, juice, water, dummies… more than one bag can cope with, and we haven’t even started on the toys! Continue reading

My MAD Blog Awards 2013 Scrapbook

It was a night filled with pampering, glitz, fun, friends, extreme tension, followed by lots of letting our hair down. There were 76 finalists from the thousands of nominations for the MAD Blog Awards 2013. Alexander Residence has been nominated but never quite made the final before, so to go from nothing to the Outstanding Contribution category was rather amazing. (I still need to link to all the bloggers I mention, but it was post it now or never get round to it) Continue reading

Top 10 electric super heroes

Phwoar Thor

Guest post

When it comes to superhuman powers, the ability to fly, to absorb enormous punishment and to possess remarkable strength are de rigeur. However, there is one more remarkable superpower some of our heroes share: the ability to create energy. What would you do with it, would you use your powers for good, be selfish and power your own house and appliances as an energy saving measure, or turn into a villain? Continue reading

Digging for spuds and definition

Digging up Spuds at Stonehurst Farm

I am looking out through the grey clouds to the end of the garden, thinking all my hard work in spring has now left me with a great pile of half harvested crops. Yesterday I went to the farm with L’s class and we got to harvest potatoes, which reminded me we must do ours. In previous year’s L’s birthday has been tomato ripening weather, but this week has been so chilly, I almost want to shut the door on the garden and curl up with a gardening book and a cup of tea instead. But there is Miss L dangling a carrot in front of my nose, we will harvest the potatoes this week, you can’t beat digging up spuds Continue reading