Lifestyle

Martinhal Sagres Family Holiday

Hey ladies

So we are home and settled after an amazing trip to Martinhal Sagres.

Friends of ours have visited Martinhal Sagres many times and I have heard great things from them, so it’s somewhere I have always wanted to go, it is THE Mecca for families, and particularly families with young children.

When Martinhal got in touch with me at the start of summer and asked if we wanted to visit and do a review in return, I jumped at the opportunity!!

So, just to be crystal clear, in the interests of complete transparency; Martinhal gave us a three night complementary stay. All flights, transfers, food, etc we paid for ourselves, the remaining 5 nights of our stay were also paid for by ourselves.

There is so much I want to say and mention about our stay, I don’t even know where to begin! From the baby concierge to the baby food MENU (yes a baby menu!!), to the accommodation, the food, the views, to the epic weather we got, it was an incredible holiday ! I’ll start at the very beginning…

Flights & Transfers

We booked our flights with Aer Lingus. We always opt for flight times that are easiest on the kids, so on the way out it was around 1pm which is Luna’s nap time which worked, well worked out ish! More on that later. Transfers we booked through the hotel concierge, I emailed them only a few days before to arrange and it was no problem, I also requested that the suitable car seats for our girls were included, which they were! I am sure there are local operators you could book transfers with either, or you could rent a car either, this just worked handy for us, the costs was added to our main hotel bill.

The flight time is around 2 hours 40 mins (from Dublin) to Faro airport, which is fine and then the journey from airport to hotel is 1 hour 20 mins, I was worried about this part to be honest, but in fact, it flew and didn’t phase the girls at all, Luna slept and AB watched her tablet! (and I had plenty of snacks at hand too!)

Flying and travelling with kids is not easy!!! I maintain the younger they are the better, we flew with Luna when she was 5 months old, she slept nearly the entire flight, it was relatively easy!!! Where as now, at 16 months, it is a very different story, she was tricky, at times, she likes to move around, so being restricted was “testing”to put it mildly …. but over all she did great! I’ve written several blog posts in the past on travelling with kids, my top tips, for the flights, what to pack etc, you can check them out HERE

On this trip we bought Anabelle a Flyte Scooter for the airport, it is a suitcase but also a scooter, she is 4 and it was perfect for her! It was brill!! It doesn’t hold a huge amount, but enough for some bits for the girls; their special teddies, blankets for the flight, colouring books and things like that.

Accommodation

There is a myriad of accommodation types at Martinhal Sagres; it really depends on your family and what suits you, your family unit, your sleeping arrangements and your budget. The options start from hotel rooms, interconnecting hotel rooms, garden houses, villas, and ocean houses and go right up to 5 bed luxury villas. Within the house options you have two and three bed options. If you visit this section of the website, I found it really good to explain all the options and their location within the resort. Check out accommodation options HERE

We stayed in a three bedroom ocean view house (ours was number 240 and had an extended double balcony with amazing views), it was stunning, simple stunning, genuinely.

This is the first time we have stayed in self catering accommodation, but Martinhal is Self Catering with a difference; the houses are cleaned every day, just like a hotel room, and you can choose to eat out for every meal, or eat in, the option is yours. We did a mix of both; we mainly ate breakfast and dinner out, (although had maybe 3 or so breakfasts at home). We had lunch at home daily, Luna naps around 1pm – 3pm so this worked well for us.

There is a supermarket on site so it was handy to buy a few staples like eggs, bread, pasta; just a few bits to keep us going to do lunches. They also sell Nespresso capsules… Yaaaay… as I am a coffee addict, I was thrilled when I saw the Nespresso machine in then house (It’s the little things eh?!) The supermarket sells everything, absolutely everything; from fresh croissants to coffee, to baby food, nappies, formula, baby snacks, a full toy section. But be warned, it is expensive, really expensive. If you get caught out and need something it is so handy to have on site (especially when it comes to babies) and for the few small essentials it was fine, but expensive if you planned to eat in for every meal!

Back to our house, I did a full house tour on my Instagram stories, which is saved on my Instagram page if you go to the ‘Martinhal’ highlights bubble, that will give you the best insight into not only the house but the entire Martinhal experience.

As I mentioned, we had a three bed, the ocean houses are ‘upside down’, so bedrooms are downstairs. Our bedroom was huge with a beautiful en-suite, and there was another large bathroom downstairs too, with a bath. As well as a washing machine/ dryer (and clothes horse) always handy when you have a baby! Upstairs, a fully equipped kitchen, large dining table, a huge sitting room with a giant L shape couch and then our on to the balcony with stunning views of the ocean, a small outdoor couch and table as well as deck chairs.

The interiors of the houses are stunning, but as a mum, what struck me as soon as we arrived, was how well equipped it was and how child and baby friendly it was. There are BUILT IN stair gates top and bottom of the stairs, cots were provided, as well as a bed rail for smaller children or toddlers, a steriliser, (microwave as standard), a highchair, a potty and a toddler step in the bathroom. You can also pre book other items from the Baby Concierge if you wish, such as; baby baths, thermometers, door protectors. I have never seen anything so child and baby focused, I was blown away.

Food

If you choose to eat out, there are lots of options. In every restaurant there is a dedicated kids area/ supervised children’s play section where kids can potter up and down to as they please. Anabelle was shy at first but after a day or two, she loved going over to play while we finished our food. There is always a Martinhal member of staff at these areas, they do building blocks, colouring etc.

There is also a children’s menu in all restaurants as well as a baby food menu where you can select fresh baby purées if you wish.

O Terraço; This is where we ate breakfast in the mornings we didn’t eat at home. The view, oh the view, I suggest waiting for a table outside, it’s worth it!

Beautiful breakfast buffet; everything and anything you could want; smoothies, eggs done every possible way, breads, pastries, cereals, juice, meats, cheeses, juices, everything! It’s low key, relaxed and noisy! And you know what I loved, the noise… everyone seemed to be in the same boat, everyone seemed to have young kids and babies making messes and no one bats an eyelid, I have never felt more comfortable being out in a restaurant with the girls! It does get quite busy and a little chaotic at peak times, just be warned!

Os Gambozinos: This is the Italian and by far, our favourite, we ate nearly every single night here! It is overlooking a huge “Village Square”, full of trampolines, a small bouncey castle, slides, lots of little houses and fun for the kids. Anabelle LOVED it here, hence why we just kept coming back.

It is so relaxed, and so informal. Children can run in and out of the restaurant as they please. There is a childrens menu in this restaurant but there is also a children’s buffet, which is great, if your little ones are like mine and don’t went to what, this is genius! You can just go straight up and help yourselves from pasta and pizzas and other dishes to jelly and fruit for dessert. The main menu is lovely too, I recommend the carbonara, I can still taste it… so so good! The vegetarian lasagne is yum too! You can also get a takeaway from here to eat in your own house if you wanted! Handy!

As Dunas: This is the seafood restaurant and in my words, the “Fancy” restaurant, you need to pre book to get a table here. We ate here just one night, the night of my birthday.

The food was out of this world, the best prawns I have ever had, and I am addicted to prawns, for mains I had the Catch of the Day which was John Dory and it was so delicious.

The atmosphere in this restaurant is more refined, more elegant, it feels more high end, calmer, quieter, “posher”, all in all just a little bit more “fancy”, having said that, it over looks a kids play area, and there is a kids corner in it too, everyone had their children and babies with them, and whilst it was a quieter environment than the Italian, our children were made to feel very, very welcome.

The Wolf Grill: This may not to be to everyones liking, but wow, was this grill food tasty! It is essentially a pop up grill, it’s a van, you can sit outside and eat the food on the picnic benches (which is what we did) or you can bring the food back to your own house.

It is next to the Italian retsuant, so it’s right at that Village Square where all the kids play and the trampolines are, so AB again just was running over and back as we ate! You have full view of where the kids are at all times, and everywhere feels so safe. I recommend trying the corn on the cob, with a jacket potato, coleslaw and the grilled chicken.. wow! This food option is REALLY casual, relaxed and informal! This is only open during High Season.

Kids Clubs & Childcare

There are 5 different kids club, all catered to different ages at Martinhal. See more information on them HERE.

There is a creche at Martinhal, we didn’t use it, but I met and spoke to lots of mammies over there who did, and found it great. If you are considering it, my understanding is, you need to book in, it’s not just drop in, so on arrival make sure to check in with them and suss out availability. As part of my tour of the resort with the hotel management, I visited the creche, it’s spacious and bright, plenty of toys and looks good. Child to staff ratio is 3 is to 1 (and often can be less). Luna May isn’t in creche here at home so I was happy to just have her with us at all times. The creche is for 6 to 23 months.

There is also a kids club for 2 years to 5 years, again you need to book in your children for this. Anabelle didn’t go, purely as she was just happy to be in the pool all day with me or her daddy, or down on the beach building sand castles. But the option is there, which is great! There is also a club for 6 years – 9 years , and then clubs for 10 – 13 year olds and a teens club for 14 – 17 year olds! A great way to keep them entertained! (Please note: there are extra charges for using the childcare facilities)

Pools & Resort Facilities

There are 5 swimming pools in total in the resort. We visited two, we found the one we loved, that suited our girls and stuck with it. That’s this pool, the one looking over the ocean; the view is gorgeous. There is a pool snack bar, doing coffees, cocktails, snacks, ice lollies, baby food, and full lunch if you want. It worked for us because it had a small baby pool adjacent to the large pool.

Hubby and I were basically tag team with the girls, Anabelle who is 4 was keen to swim, swim, swim, ALL DAY LONG, so the larger pool suited her.

Whilst Luna loved playing in and next to the baby pool where all the other babies, and ‘wobblers’ and toddlers were.

There are buckets of toys by the baby pool, for use by everyone, with buckets and spades etc. I mainly stayed with Luna-May, whilst Cormac swam with Anabelle, that’s holidays with young kids, there isn’t exactly much relaxing or sunbathing 😉 But I wouldn’t have it any other way!

The other pool we liked was the ‘Village Pool” it has an outdoor and indoor area as well as two slides, the excitement when Anabelle saw the slides!!! You can see more about the pools here

The Spa

Not that I personally got the opportunity to visit but there is a gorgeous spa on site (Which stocks and uses all VOYA products; an Irish brand!!) Other facilities include gym, tennis courts and a bike station for renting bikes. We didn’t rent bikes, BUT we did rent two scooters for the week… one for Cormac and a mini one for Anabelle.. which she loved!

The resort is very large, depending on where you are staying, there is some walking, some houses can be located further away than others, once you find your feet and figure out which pool is going to be ‘your pool’ it gets easier. But I found Anabelle got tired walking to and from the pool, so do bear that in mind, if you are on the fence whether your child need the stroller or not, bring it! Just bring it! There was maybe a 4 or 5 minute walk to where we would usually eat in the evenings (The Italian) from our house, I brought Luna in the stroller and Cormac and AB would scoot down on their scooters, they cost €20 for the week to hire!

The resort in its totality is cashless, meaning everything goes on to your main bill, handy, especially for drinks, snacks, ice lollies, the supermarket etc, you never need cash or a card, but it can then come as a bit of shock at the end!!! 😉

The Beach & Scenery

Martinhal Sagres is on one of the most stunning beaches I have ever been to, we spent a few mornings down at the water, the other days were a little too windy for the beach, but the last three days the weather was spectacular so the beach was a must visit!

The clearest water and the softest sand. It wasn’t crazy busy while we were there either which was ideal for us. My biggest issue with visiting the seaside at the moment though is my little monkey Luna May is constantly eating the sand!! Lol, we might have visited more if it wasn’t for that.

The access to the beach is a little tricky with the buggy, this was was my biggest downside, there is a road which is the easiest way to access it with a buggy (about 5 – 6 minute walk), for older children there is a walkway which is much quicker.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it’s a very easy yes from me. I recommend Martinhal Sagres for families, ESPECIALLY if you have younger kids and babies. I feel, it is best suited to children around 8 and under, whilst they do accommodate families with older children and teens, I felt it was so well equipped for younger children (As I write this, I wonder, perhaps that is because that is the stage we are at with our children so thats what I notice most?)

If you don’t have kids, this is not the place for you, in my opinion. It is built with families in mind and families and children are at the very heart of the ethos of Martinhal.

Martinhal Resorts was set up by parents, they saw a gap in the market for a family friendly resort, that didn’t downplay on the luxury element for parents.

The owner and founder, Chitra Stern, once said, when developing the concept of Martinhal resorts; she wanted mothers to be able to ‘enjoy their cappuccinos with the foam still on’ ; doesn’t that ring true to so many of us mammies, half drank cups of cold coffee?!! Martinhal want the children to have fun, be happy, feel relaxed and be entertained, but also for the parents to be relaxed and comfortable, in luxurious surrounds, with 5 star service and high quality food.

I do think that sums up Martinhal; they have thought of everything. I have been to family friendly destinations before but there is something in the air in Martinhal Sagres; it’s a vibe, a tone, everyone is SO relaxed and so friendly. I never been on a holiday before where other guests spoke to each other as much, it was like a big mammy (and daddy!) tribe, it was so lovely, so refreshing! On my first morning a gorgeous English lady came over started chatting to me, and asked to borrow a swim nappy for her baby. Days later I got caught out with no wipes and a lovely family lent me some, everyone was so friendly and chilled. By the end of the week, we had actually made friends with so many other parents, it was so lovely! We promised to meet another family there next September, (You could see how Martinhal becomes a tradition with families and their friends).

I think, this lovely sense of ease and relaxed camaraderie stems from everyone being in the same boat, we all had young kids, we were all trying to still enjoy our holidays, whilst stilling run around after the children, but managing to a sneaky glass of Rosé together while we watched our little ones burn off steam in the Village square.

Prices

Martinhal Sagres is a luxury resort, it’s five star and the prices reflect that luxury. It is expensive, however, off peak times you can get a much better deal, for example, when we traveled in September when kids were back at school, the prices were so much lower than peak seasons like July and August. If you have children of pre school age I definitely suggest you try to holiday during term time when children are in school.

Weather

I was really worried about what the weather would be like, we didn’t travel until 17th September, so I expected it to be be chiller, but wow I was in for a pleasant surprise!

The weather was great, and so warm, well, warm enough for us, most days were in or around 28 degrees, it does get cooler in the evenings and some evenings get a little breezy so be sure to pack cardigans for the little ones! But while talking with the hotel management, I mentioned how surprised I was by the heat, for September ( I had been expecting low 20’s)… She smiled at me, that’s one of the areas we need the biggest PR, she laughed, no one realises how beautiful Sagres is ALL year round, she said the best months temperature wise are often September, October and even November! And mentioned how Christmas in Martinhal Sagres is always gorgeous too!

You can learn more about Martinhal on their website here

One thing I know for sure is, we will be back!

‘Til next time

Naomi & family xxx

*** Please note: My family and I were gifted a three night complementary stay in Martinhal Sagres; flights, transfers and all food expenses were covered by ourselves. We decided to stay an additional 5 nights, which was also fully paid for by us. The blog post was written completely by me, and reflects my own true and honest experience.

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Recipe: No-Bake​ Oreo Truffles

I don’t know why I haven’t shared this recipe before now. 🙂 It’s my absolute favourite sweet treat and best of all, it’s so easy to make. Keep scrolling for the recipe and method!

Credit: Butter With A Side Of Bread

Ingredients

  • 200g Oreo Cookies/Biscuits
  • 100g Cream Cheese
  • 200g Baking Chocolate.
  • Vanilla Extract

Crush the Oreos in a food processor

Showing how to make Oreo Truffles. Oreo cookies in a food processor about to be blitzed.
Credit: Cooking Classy

Add the cream cheese and mix thoroughly

Roll the mixture into small balls using your hands and chill for one hour in the fridge

Melt the chocolate (white or milk)

Roll the balls in the chocolate and allow to cool. Then sprinkle with chocolate to finish. Cool for one hour.

Finished Oreo truffles on a baking sheet

Enjoy. 🙂

Laura x

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Recipe: Toasted Marshmallow Martinis

S'mores Martini. This creamy, chocolatey cocktail tastes like a boozy version of your favorite campfire treat. | hostthetoast.com
Credit: Host The Toast

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup marshmallow fluff
  • 2 crushed graham crackers (an American cracker but you could swap these out for cinnamon or Digestive biscuits)
  • 1 ½ ounces marshmallow vodka
  • 1 ounce Irish cream
  • 1 ounce heavy cream (or half-and-half)
  • 1 ounce chocolate syrup, plus more to drizzle in the glass
  • ½ ounce Drambuie
  • Toasted jumbo marshmallows

Prepare Your Glass

  1. Spoon the marshmallow fluff onto a small plate, just wider than the rim of the martini glass. If necessary, add a teaspoon of water and mix in to thin slightly. Allow the fluff to settle and smooth before continuing.
  2. Crush up graham crackers and place them on another plate next to the marshmallow fluff.
  3. Dip the rim of your martini glass in the fluff and turn to coat. Then do the same with the graham cracker crumbs.

Prepare Your Garnish

  1. Stick a skewer through a marshmallow and toast the marshmallow using a grill or kitchen torch. Set aside.

Make The Drink

  1. Add the marshmallow vodka, Irish cream,  heavy cream, chocolate syrup, and Drambuie to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well.
  2. Drizzle chocolate syrup lightly into the martini glass to create swirls on the glass.
  3. Strain the cocktail into your prepared martini glass and add your marshmallow garnish.
  4. Serve immediately. 

Enjoy everyone!

Laura x

Please drink responsibily. For the facts, visit drinkaware.ie.

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Chocolate Strawberry Martini

How delicious do these Chocolate Strawberry Martinis look? I spotted them on Viktoria’s Table and just had to share them with you. The chocolate-dipped glasses are a smooth presentation technique and your guests will love it. If you plan on serving more than one, just make sure your guests resist the template to bite the chocolate off. 🙂

Keep scrolling for the ingredients and instructions.

Course: Drinks / Cocktail

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Wild strawberry SKYY vodka or another strawberry-infused vodka
  • 2 oz White creme de cacao (Hiram Walker, Marie Brizard, or DeKuyper brands)
  • 5 oz strawberries about 1 cup, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup ice
  • 3 oz of vanilla ice cream 2 full scoops
  • For decoration:
  • 2 oz chocolate of choice for decoration
  • fresh strawberries for decoration

Instructions

Make the chocolate ganache for dipping the glasses:

  1. Pour about an inch of water in a small pot, and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Chop the chocolate into equal pieces, and place in a heat-safe bowl (and one, that is flat bottomed and wide enough to enclose the rim of the glasses) over the simmering water, so that the bowl does not come in direct contact with the water.
  3. Stir constantly, until about 80% of the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat, and stir until all the chocolate is melted.
  4. Dip the glasses in the melted chocolate. You can tilt them slightly to create the wavy effect, then turn upside down, and allow the chocolate to drip on the sides slightly.

Make the cocktail:

  1. Place all ingredients (except the solid chocolate) in a blender, and process until smooth.  
  2. Pour the cocktail in the prepared glasses and garnish with a fresh strawberry.

Enjoy everyone!

Laura x

Please drink responsibily. For the facts, visit drinkaware.ie.

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Autumn Book Club Recommendations

As the temperatures begin to drop and the darker evenings start to creep in, it’s time to start thinking about coats, candles, hot chocolates and the ultimate companion for cosy nights in – a good book!

We asked you for Book Club Recommendations and you did not disappoint. We received hundreds of amazing suggestions so the only way we could compile this list was to highlight books that were suggested 4-5 times by different people. 🙂 So, without further ado, here’s a round-up of some of the suggestions we received.

Oprah What I Know For Sure

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A beautiful book with a ribbon marker, packed with insight and revelation from Oprah Winfrey. Organized by theme – joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power – these essays offer a rare, powerful and intimate glimpse into the heart and mind of one of the world’s most extraordinary women, while providing readers a guide to becoming their best selves.   

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

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Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . 

The only way to survive is to open your heart.

When All Is Said

Image result for when all is said and done book by anne griffin

Five toasts. Five people. One lifetime. ‘An extraordinary novel, a poetic writer, and a story that moved me to tears.’ John Boyne ‘I’m here to remember – all that I have been and all that I will never be again.’ At the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town sits 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He’s alone, as usual – though tonight is anything but. Pull up a stool and charge your glass, because Maurice is finally ready to tell his story. Over the course of this evening, he will raise five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him. Through these stories – of unspoken joy and regret, a secret tragedy kept hidden, a fierce love that never found its voice – the life of one man will be powerfully and poignantly laid bare. Heart-breaking and heart-warming all at once, the voice of Maurice Hannigan will stay with you long after all is said. ‘A hugely enjoyable, engrossing novel, a genuine page-turner.’ Donal Ryan ‘Beautifull  

Becoming

Image result for michelle obama becoming

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same. 

Why Mummy Drinks

Image result for why mummy drinks

Boy Child Peter, Girl Child Jane and Daddy have exciting adventures with Mummy. Daddy likes gadgets. Peter and Jane like starting fires, trying to kill each other and driving Mummy to drink. Written from the point of view of an exhausted mummy at the end of the day, it’s honest, it’s funny, and it’s a little bit sweary.

Letters To My Daughter

Image result for letters to my daughter

To sisters Bea, Jeannie and Rose, the death of their beloved childhood nanny is a devastating loss. As the girls grew up, Nanny May had become so much more to them all: confidant, advocate, comforter, friend. In whom will they confide their hopes, fears and failures now she has gone? Especially now each sister needs a mother’s wisdom more than ever…

Martha cannot understand why her daughters are so upset about losing their childhood nanny. Yes, Martha was always in demand as a busy midwife, but that doesn’t mean she loved her own children any less. But why don’t the girls realise that? And has she left it too late to let them know…? 

The Book Thief

Image result for the book thief book

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

The Couple Next Door

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Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all–a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years.

When Death Becomes Air

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At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. 

This Is Going To Hurt:

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Adam Kay was a junior doctor from 2004 until 2010, before a devastating experience on a ward caused him to reconsider his future. He kept a diary throughout his training, and This Is Going to Hurt intersperses tales from the front line of the NHS with reflections on the current crisis. The result is a first-hand account of life as a junior doctor in all its joy, pain, sacrifice and maddening bureaucracy, and a love letter to those who might at any moment be holding our lives in their hands.

Happy reading everyone and don’t forget to let us know your thoughts!

Naomi & Laura x

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Coconut Grapefruit Margaritas

Happy Bank Holiday weekend everyone. 🙂

If you’re looking for a refreshing twist on a classic margarita, you’ve come to the right place. There is nothing wrong with a plain ol’ lime margarita, but when you can make it more fun – do it! 

via GIPHY

These coconut grapefruit margaritas from Pizzazzerie.com are melt in your mouth delicious. Keep scrolling for the ingredients and directions on how to make them…

Coconut Grapefruit Margaritas Recipe
Credit: Pizzazzerie.com

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 tablespoon cream of coconut
  • 1-ounce triple sec or Grand Marnier
  • Salt or sugar for rim

Directions

  1. Rub a slice of lime around the rim of your glasses and dip in salt or sugar. Combine grapefruit juice, lime juice, tequila, cream of coconut, and triple sec in a blender. Pulse for 10-15 seconds or until thoroughly combined. Pour over ice.
  2. Garnish with large flaked coconut.
  3. Enjoy responsibly!
Coconut Grapefruit Margaritas Recipe
Credit: Pizzazzerie.com

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have a lovely weekend. 

Laura x

Please drink responsibily. For the facts, visit drinkaware.ie.

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Summer nights in Barcelona

Hey ladies

Home after a whirlwind few days in Barcelona, it was a last minute trip for myself and hubby. A kid free escape after what has been a crazy few months for us! We both have been to Barcelona in the past, I spent a few summers in Spain in my teens and twenties (they were the days.. lol), but both of us knew we wanted sun, a short flight, and flight times that meant we could maximise our time on the ground there while not missing out too much on the girls here. It came down to Ibiza or Barcelona. This time around Barcelona made the most sense for us, we had both been dying to stay in the W Hotel and it did not disappoint.

The W Hotel is on the beach and yet minutes from the city so it had the best of both worlds for us. It’s an incredible hotel, in my opinion, it’s NOT one for the kids, well not my kids anyway, maybe older children, but it is very adult focused hotel. A place for a total chill out, fancy cocktails and tunes by the pool, most days they have a live DJ at the pool which we loved!

We had three nights in total, although we didn’t arrive in until almost 1am the first night so really we just had two proper nights and two glorious full days, here’s a round up of all my outfits from the trip.

Outfit Diaries

The Flight

On the flight out I wore a dress from Onjenu, this is a brand I love and have worn for years, they do the most comfortable dresses, I particularly love their maxi dresses and wrap style dresses. They are renowned for their use of vibrant colours and prints. And the quality of their pieces IS incredible, one Onjenu dress will be in your wardrobe for YEARS.

The sandals are River Island, on sale at the moment and unfortunately sold out online (but might still be in stores).

Day 1

The morning we spent exploring the city, soaking in the atmosphere (my favourite thing to do on a city break) drinking coffee and strolling around.

A light and comfortable sun dress was ideal for this!

Shop my dress HERE

Shop my sandals HERE

We spent the afternoon by the pool, chilling out, something we NEVER get the chance to do (Like most parents!) and I won’t lie….. it was pure bliss!

Shop my hat HERE

Shop my swimsuit HERE

Shop my cover up HERE

Shop my sandals HERE

Night 1

Thursday night we headed to a traditional tapas restaurant, we had so many recommendations for here, be warned, you need to book in advance, it’s casual, simple, no frills but the food is EPIC!! Can’t recommend enough! It’s called TAPEO (Visit their website here)

I absolutely loved this white crochet style dress I wore, it’s currently sold out but I have been told it’s coming back so as soon as it is back in stock I will let you know. This dress is such a good price and really fab quality!

Shop my dress HERE

Shop my sandals HERE

Shop my bag HERE

Day 2

We started the day easy, had a lie in, headed into the city for some breakfast,, even more coffee, before coming back to the hotel for a swim in the sea. Does wonders for the soul (and the hangover!!)

Shop my dress HERE

Sandals are from Joules

Bag is from Penneys

Shop my Swimsuit HERE

The next part of the day, and probably our highlights of the whole trip was a two hour trip around d the coast of Barcelona on a catamaran. It was unbelievable, what an experience. The trip was all done and organised through the hotel, it was two hours, a bar and a DJ on board, totally surreal and SO.MUCH.FUN.

Shop my beach shirt HERE

Shop my Swimsuit (mine is currently sold out but have linked similar options) HERE, HERE or HERE

Shop my hat HERE

Shop my sunglasses HERE

Night 2

On our second night we went to a restaurant called Llamber, another one you would need to book in advance, we had gotten lots of recommendations for this place too, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to the hype for me. It is a gorgeous restaurant, cool vibe, fabulous interiors, an interesting and unique menu but overall the food was a bit disappointing for me, especially after the brilliance and simplicity of the previous night! Llamber gets incredible reviews though so maybe we just got it on a bad night!

We still had a fabulous evening, strolling the city streets, soaking up the atmosphere, no where to be and all night to do it, just perfect!

Shop my trousers HERE

Shop my top HERE

Shop my bag HERE

Overall it was an amazing trip, with life being so crazy it is often hard, if not impossible to make time for each other, so it was really special to just be together, be us and not be “mammy and daddy” just for a couple of days, even though mostly all we did was talk about our girls!!!!

Hope you enjoyed

‘Til next time

Naomi xx

*Please note: Some of the above included links are affiliate links meaning Naomi may earn a percentage commission based on sales via these links.

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Strawberry Prosecco Smash Cocktail

Hey everyone,

The last cocktail recipe we shared, Blueberry Lemon and Cucumber Gin Mojitos, went down an absolute treat so I’ve been on the lookout for another delicious summer cocktail to share with you ever since. 🙂

I stumbled across this recipe on a beautiful blog called These Northern Roots. If you love bubbles and strawberries, this cocktail is the one for you. The best part? It’s super fast and easy to make. Keep scrolling for the ingredients and directions…

*Makes one cocktail*

What you’ll need…

3x strawberries, diced 
1 ounce cream of coconut
1/2 tsp honey  
1/2 lemon, squeezed 
Prosecco

Directions…

  1. Muddle strawberries in a cocktail shaker until juices release.
  2. Squeeze lemon, add honey and cream of coconut. Add little ice.
  3. Shake vigorously for ten seconds and pour into glass. FYI, It’s super thick, so you don’t need to strain all of it if you don’t want to. You can pour it straight into the glass if you’d like!
  4. Top with champagne, garnish with thyme (optional) and enjoy!

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have a lovely weekend. 🙂

Laura x

Please drink responsibily. For the facts, visit drinkaware.ie.

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Recipe: Blueberry Lemon and Cucumber Gin Mojitos

Hey everyone. 🙂

Today was such a beautiful day. The clear blue skies and sunshine got me thinking about refreshing cocktail recipes for summer soirées with friends and family.

I came across this one on Justine Celina’s blog and absolutely fell in love with these late summer sippers. The Blueberry Lemon and Cucumber Gin Mojitos combine sweet blueberries with refreshing lemon, cucumber and mint. A splash of soda water adds just the right amount of sparkle. Best of all, the mojitos are free of refined sugars and made with all natural ingredients – so the next time you’re craving a cooling summer cocktail, indulge yourself with a fresh twist on the classic mojito!

Ingredients

For the Blueberry Honey Simple Syrup4 cups fresh blueberries

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Juice from half a lemon

For the Blueberry, Lemon and Cucumber Gin Mojito1.5oz Blueberry Honey Simple Syrup

  • 2 oz of gin
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 5 leaves fresh mint
  • 5 slices of cucumber
  • Soda water
  • Ice

Optional GarnishEdible flowers (I used pansies)

  • Cocktail skewers
  • slice A of lemon
  • Fresh blueberries
  • A sprig of mint

Instructions

  • If you’re making floral ice cubes, begin by sourcing your flowers, washing them and dropping them into the ice cube trays to freeze. You really can’t mess this up — so experiment with different flower place- ments within each cube and have fun with it!
  • Start on your Blueberry Honey Simple Syrup. Add blueberries and water to a medium sauce pan over low heat. The blueberries will begin to break down quickly — help them along by pressing them with a potato masher to aid in extracting the juices. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the blueberry juice into a heatproof bowl, using the potato masher press the juice through the strainer. Reserve the juice for the Blueberry Honey Simple Syrup and discard the skins.
  • Add the blueberry juice and honey back to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to thicken for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the burner. Add the juice from half a lemon to your saucepan, stirring until incorporated. Allow your Blueberry Honey Simple Syrup to cool before using it in the Blueberry Lemon and Cucumber Gin Mojitos.
  • Begin assembling your cocktail by adding lemon juice, mint and cucumber to a cocktail shaker and muddling them together with a pestle. Add Blueberry Honey Simple Syrup and a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously until the cocktail shaker becomes cold.
  • Add the contents of the cocktail shaker to your glass along with your gin. Pour soda water overtop to fill your glass to the desired level.
  • Garnish your Blueberry Lemon and Cucumber Gin Mojito with a slice of lemon and a few blueberries on a cocktail skewer.
  • Add a sprig of mint, or a few more edible flowers and enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed the post!

Laura x

Please drink responsibily. For the facts, visit drinkaware.ie.

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Interiors Styling: Coffee Table Books

When it comes to interiors and interiors styling, coffee table books are a must. They can make the simplest of dressers, coffee tables, or side tables look so chic and well styled. 

A mix of fashion books (my favourites), lifestyle, cooking, interiors, history and photography books all look really great styled into your interiors. I never truly understood the importance of this nor how much I liked this look until it came to doing the interiors in our own home just recently.

I have collected a few fashion books over the years, and I have bit by bit been growing my collection. It’s fair to ay I am obsessed. In. a world of technology where we no longer own books and all we consume seems to be on laptops and phones, it is nice to have a touch of elegance with real, hard back, beautiful books.

 I have lots of them dotted around the house; namely the sitting room (on the coffee table, on some side tables and in our main TV unit on the shelves.  My husband, as it happens, also had a number of beautiful books built up over the years and these mixed with my fashion ones look really well (He has some books on photography, national geographic, The Kennedys and various others) 

I often get asked for advice on interiors styling and my advice is to always invest in some really good quality coffee table books, that not only look good, but are filled with up beauty too. They add character, colour, personality and detail to any space. 

Here is some inspiration on how to style them:

The Inspiration

My Top Buys 

Click on the image below for more detail and to list the link of the book in question

Hope you enjoyed

I have lots more interiors styled posts planned over the coming weeks but, as always, if there is anything you want us to cover in the area of interiors, please leave a comment below.

‘Til next time

Naomi xx

**Please note: The above included links are affiliate links and Naomi earn receive a small percentage commission based on any sales via these links. This does not have any impact on the price the consumer pays. 

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