We’re all looking just perfect, honestly!

If like me you’re looking at the bikinis in the shops and thinking about your holiday wardrobe and panicking about how ‘beach ready’ your body is – then this one’s for you!

I tend to stay out of the ‘beach ready body’ debate. I think so long as you’re moderately  healthy, which is different from what your body looks like, your doing fine. I do find it difficult that we as Mamas especially worry so much about what our body’s look like and what messages that means we are passing on to our Smalls. The media in all it’s forms, is constantly telling us how we should look.

Beach Ready Bodies – constantly meaning something new!

Coming home from our Italian campsite last summer which was home to thousands of women from a range of nationalities, Dutch, German, Italian, Swiss, British I can report we’re all looking just perfect!

It was a family campsite, 90% of the women there were mums, mostly with children under ten, mostly with two or more kids and we were wading knee deep in the toddler pool and sitting on the shore in our swimwear as it was gloriously hot!

I was Mama-ing without make-up, with my pear-shaped chunky thighs, c-section over hang and boobs that have fed three small infants. And while I can’t admit to splashing into the sea carefree, as if I were Pamela Anderson in Baywatch, I did my best to try to ignore my inner thoughts telling me I wasn’t looking how I was ‘supposed’ to look.


Mama; in a bikini or a maxi dress, I’m still a Mama

I was witness to all sorts of body shapes from all sorts of nationalities in that pool. What struck me most was that none of what I saw tallied with the ‘beach ready’ images I’d been bombarded with before departure. Tummies were worn with strechmarks, over hangs and scars having housed the growth of a couple of humans, boobs were wobbly having provided food for a baby or two, hips were wide having sacrificed good diet and time to exercise to the much greater need for sleep recovery.

The biggest trick to not worrying about what your body looks like is not worrying what other people think your body looks like like. These are such good messages to pass on to our Smalls. We’re always telling them – ‘it doesn’t matter what they think’ well we need to start practising what we preach, it REALLY doesn’t matter what they think!


While we worry about our own figures way more than we should, we so rarely have anything to compare them to other than the mass media pictures of toned, non saggy women. Word up folks, those pictures you see are not of ‘normal’ women. Normal women are the ones I saw hanging around the holiday pool. Scooping up their little ones on to their we’ll worn hips, squashing their thighs into the sand to help build a sandcastles and pulling toddlers on to their soft tummys on a sunbed.

You are not fat or curvy or wobbly or saggy or scarred. You’re normal! Perfectly normal. This is your body, eat healthily, take a little exercise because it’s good for you, not because you want to be beach body ready – trust me you already are! Mamas you’re looking perfect! Pick up that bikini, wear it with pride and trust me that it really doesn’t matter what other people think of your body, it’s YOURS!

Lucy xx





FREE Print Giveaway for you to Win!

Win this Fab ‘Gin and Prosecco’ Print

This gorgeous print by Do You Punctuate? is up for grabs by leaving a comment on my Harrogate Mama Facebook page post. It’s A3 size and comes unframed. You might have seen it in my Spring Wins and a Giveaway! post earlier this week.

The lovely mugs are also available to buy from Do You Punctuate too! The Harrogate Gin is from Harrogate Tipple and the Prosecco is Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference! Feeling thirsty? I am! 😜



Terms and conditions:

1.) The giveaway is for you to receive one Do You Punctuate “Love, Laughter, Prosecco and Gin’ print (which is unframed) delivered to an address of your choice.

2.) The giveaway will run from Friday 21 April 2017 until Sunday 23rd April at 23.59hrs.

3.) The winner will be contacted on Monday 24th April 2017 via Faecbook.

4.) The winner has 24 hours to respond before a new winner is selected.

5.) There is no cash alternative for the giveaway.

6.) Do You Punctuate will be responsible for the redemption of the giveaway, any matters arising must be taken up with them directly.

7.) No purchase necessary to win.

8.) Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ are no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with the giveaway.

9.) The winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via Facebook.

10.) Harrogate Mama blog reserves the right to publish the winner’s first name and last initial.

11.) Harrogate Mama blog also reserves the right to choose a different winner in the case that the randomly chosen winner refuses to co-operate with rules, reply to winning email in 24 hour time period or does not have verifiable entries.

12.) Only one entry per person please.

Lucy xx


Six Things Mama’s Really Want for Mother’s Day

I’ve been a Mum for almost ten years now, and over that time I’ve had a few insights into how Mother’s Day goes down.


As a new Mum, I held the misguided belief that Mother’s Day was a day for everyone to be grateful for what I had done for them; from wiping their noses, to playing jigsaws, from hauling the food shop in from the car to loading the dishwasher, to nurturing and growing a tiny human to soothing them to sleep in the middle of the night. It was the one day I could put my feet up and hear everyone just say ‘ Thank you! You’re doing great!’

Well in years gone by it’s not always gone down like that. One memorable year I recall spending the whole day cleaning and vacuuming my car so I could then list it on AutoTrader – not how Mother’s Day was ever due to go down in my head.

So I’ve learnt now I’m coming up to my tenth Mother’s Day, the best way to get what you’d like from the day is to be totally explicit with your expectations! That way there’s no margin for error and everyone is happy come the end of the day!  So here are the six golden rules for a successful Mother’s Day round ours!

1.) A Lie in

A totally uninterrupted lie in, on my own, where I can possibly sleep, or even read a few pages of an actual book.


2.) Breakfast in bed

Nothing too fancy, maybe a bit of granola, a croissant and a cup of tea.


3.) Thoughtful gifts from the Smalls

Usually the Smalls make something at school, Brownies or pre-school which fits the bill nicely. A homemade card, better still a thoughtful poem, that thanks me for the lovely things I do for them, if it makes me cry it’s a winner!



4.) Little gift

Yes a lovely bottle of perfume or a coveted necklace would be ideal, but I’m really not that bothered, 1, 2 and 3 are much more important to me, so a new mug or small box of chocolates and I’m happy. Honestly 😉


5.) Flowers

This is a personal one as Mr P doesn’t agree with buying flowers as ‘they just die’ 😬 So if I get just a small bunch I’m totally over the moon, as I know, he knows, it means I know, he’s really made an extra effort to do something that goes against his feelings just to make me happy!


6.) A little TLC

Not too much pampering, I don’t need whisking off on a Spa day – just to not have to clear the table, an offer of making up the packed lunches for tomorrow or bathing the kids. And it’s the offering that counts, I’m happy to do the things, just someone else thinking if I do it, then you don’t have to, is enough! Though to be honest, someone else doing the things is up there too! 😆


What’s on your explicit Mother’s Day list – have you had any shockers in the past?!

Lucy xx



Spring Wishes – Covet List

Apparently Meteorological Spring is here, but the real thing still seems like a little way off to me! Winter hurry up and be gone!

In the meantime here are a few things making my Spring Wishes Covet List!

1. Chanel No.5 L’eau

The iconic fragrance just got better, this (in my opinion) lighter version does exactly what it says it does ‘Tangy and Fresh, Sensual and Velvety, Vibrant and Sweet’. I love that it’s a long lasting scent too, like all Chanel fragrances. I absolutely adore it! But at £74 for a 50ml bottle it’ll have to wait a while before it makes an appearance on my dressing table!



2. Flared Back Cashmere Jumper by Cocoa Cashmere

This gorgeously soft Cocoa Cashmere jumper is even nicer to the touch than it looks, when I spied it in John Lewis recently. It’s super soft and extremely wearable! It goes so perfectly with soft, blue, denim and would make sitting on the sofa, with a mug of tea, watching the Spring showers through the window dreamy! Incredibly wearable cashmere! At £185 it’s going to have to be a ‘lifer’ piece for me!



3. Topshop CRYSTAL Flatform Lace Up Trainers in blush Velvet

Loving the Velvet trend at the moment, just not sure how I was going to pull it off, but these trainers would be the perfect way! I love blush too! Just need the muddy puddles to go away before these beauties come out to play! These are on Topshop’s website for £26 – Mother’s Day is approaching…





Three things that helped me get healthier

Since starting my health kick in January I’ve been trying to exercise more and eat better. It’s not really a ‘rocket science’ way to loose weight, but it works!

Here are three things that have helped me on way;

1.) Cooking Family Meals From Scratch

Cooking new family meals is always a pain in the arse! Invariably the small people aren’t interested in something that ‘looks funny’, ‘might have vegetables in’ or ‘smells disgusting’. That paired with the effort it takes to shop for new store cupboard ingredients and the time it takes to learn and prepare a new recipe are sometimes quite frankly not worth the bother!

However, since it was January and the season for new ventures (and I was on a health kick) I decided to give it a go! Here are three family recipes that went down a storm with the kids, first, second and third time around!

1.) Jools Tuna Pasta Bake from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Super Food Family Classics‘ recipe book


I wasn’t sure about going to the effort of cleaning leeks and chopping fennel for a tuna pasta bake I could usually knock up in ten minutes, but this one was worth the effort. It has plenty of ‘hidden veg’ in it, it’s lower in calories than a normal cheese laden one and even Mr P enjoyed it!


2.) Chicken Curry from ‘Tom’s Daily Plan‘ recipe book by Tom Daley


This is an easy to prepare curry that tastes fab! I serve the grown ups and then add a small carton of natural yoghurt to the kids before dishing theirs up to cool it down a touch! They have even asked for seconds. Note: this recipes need doubling up on quantities as it’s written to only serve two people.


3.) Salmon Parcels from ‘Tom’s Daily Plan’ recipe book by Tom Daley

The kids love this dish as they each get a parcel on their plate to open! What’s more is that there’s lots of veg in it but it’s bright, tasty and not over cooked. The sweetcorn and sweet potato mean it’s obviously sweeter in taste which suits their pallet more and the salmon is really easy for them to eat! Family winner!


2.) Looking the Part

Exercising is never really a glamorous pass time (if you’re doing it properly anyway) but I found it helped me to have the right gear. So much so I spent some Christmas money on a new pair of Asics pink trainers, which make me smile when I look at them and still desperately don’t want to get dirty! Proving harder as the weeks go by!


This fab Nike top from the JD Williams Sportswear site has also been a winner, it’s great to have a warmer pull on as an outer layer when getting to the gym. It made me feel less self conscious when entering the gym and helped maintain my core temperature before I’d warmed up properly. It meant I could feel relaxed and comfortable whilst still looking and feeling gym ready! Plus the pockets mean you can keep your hands warm getting to and from places in it too!

Going for a run gear!

For more of their sport range you can check out their full range online. It has also been the perfect (pre and post workout) school run cover-up, and looked the part for a pre-session coffee catch up with friends to boot! I love it!

I love the big hood on it, which makes it really warm if I’m heading out for a run, or, to be honest, for throwing on if I’m catching up on a bit of blogging while the heating’s off!

IMG_6344 (1).jpg
JD Williams Nike hoodie, perfect for chilly morning runs!

3.) Going for a run


As I mentioned in my Personal Trainer post, going to the gym has never really been my thing! Neither, to be honest, has running!

But on and off over the last couple of years I have tried to get out and head out for a bit of a run! I started with the couch to 5k programme on my phone and now I just try ‘run a minute, walk a minute’ for a longer distance. It’s gradually increasing to ‘run two minutes, walk a minute’ so it must be working a little bit!

Sometimes you can even look this glamorous as you do it! 😆


It’s great to get out of the house and into the fresh air, even when it’s cold, and if you can go with a friend it’s even better as chatting your way around makes the distance seem much shorter! I always come home feeling good about myself and wondering why I don’t do it more often!

So, if you can bear it – pull your trainers on and have a quick walk/jog/run around the block – however far or near you go you’re lapping everyone on the sofa!


Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with JD Williams.




My twins LOVE Smiggle and it’s always a destination shop when we’re in town and it’s perfect for birthday party gifts too! We were lucky enough to open the Harrogate store in the summer – you can read all about it in my post What Opening the Smiggle Store in Harrogate was really like!

I’m running a competition for Smiggle with the prize being a bundle worth more than £75 to kit your little ones out just in time for 2017!


Smiggle – where a smile meets a giggle – is dedicated to creating original, fun and affordable stationery and is the place to be for essentials to add a whole lot of sparkle to the forthcoming festive season.

Smiggle’s products are focused on bold colour, quirky graphics, good value and innovation;  giving fans must-have essentials for helping them start 2017 in style.

Managing Director of Smiggle, John Cheston said: “We at Smiggle believe that stationery should be fun, quirky, innovative and engaging. Through all of our stores we hope to inspire children to immerse themselves in creativity by providing them with all the right tools.”


Why not also head down to your local Smiggle to see the treasure trove of quirky and exciting products in store!

To enter the competition just include your answer to this question on my Harrogate Mama Facebook page post about the competition. The winner will be chosen at random on 1st January 2017 and the prize will be posted out to them directly from Smiggle.

Visit www.smiggle.co.uk to find the full range of Smiggle goodies.


Terms and conditions:

1.) The giveaway is for you to receive one Smiggle bundle worth the value of around £75 delivered to an address of your choice.

2.) The giveaway will run from Tuesday 27th December 2016 until Sunday 1st January 2017 at 23.59hrs.

3.) The winner will be contacted on Monday 2nd January 2017 by email.

4.) The winner has 24 hours to respond before a new winner is selected.

5.) There is no cash alternative for the giveaway.

6.) Smiggle will be responsible for the redemption of the giveaway, any matters arising must be taken up with them directly.

7.) No purchase necessary to win.

8.) Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway.

9.) The winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email.

10.) Harrogate Mama blog reserves the right to publish winner’s first name and last initial.

11.) Harrogate Mama blog also reserves the right to choose a different winner in the case that the randomly chosen winner refuses to co-operate with rules, reply to winning email in 24 hour time period or does not have verifiable entries.

12.) Only one entry per person please.


Stocking Fillers for Kids from Harrogate Independents

My Mamas Christmas gift guide went down so well I thought I’d do a little round up for the Small People too!

It’s often little stocking fillers ideas for the kids that I struggle to find, so here’s a little inspiration from some local Harrogate Independents if you’re still, like me, looking for those last minute bits and bobs!

‘Add some Sparkle’ – with Jamberry Nail Wraps

Kim from Jamberry nails was featured on the blog over the summer. She has a fab kids range, my girls might be opening a stash of these on the 25th 😆!

Jamberry Nail Wraps for Kids

Kim says: “Jamberry are vinyl nail wraps that are heat and pressure activated to give a long lasting and beautiful look! They are available for adults and children (age 3-8 years). With the correct application they can last up to two weeks on fingers and up to 4-6 weeks on toes!

There are nearly 300 designs to choose from so you’re bound to find some that suits your style and personality! There’s even a Mummy and Me collection that allows children to have the same wrap designs as their mums but with smaller wraps for smaller fingers 😊”

“Each Jamberry junior sheet will give at least 4 full manicures and 3-4 pedicures! They’re also great for helping children (and adults) stop biting their nails too!”

Junior Jams for Kids

You can check out the whole collection at kimdnimjamz.jamberry.com or join Kim’s facebook page for more details. A sheet of Junior Jamberry wraps costs £15.

Stylish Kids Artwork- from Gifty Prints

Harrogate Mama Katie from Gifty Prints creates personalised wall art and prints, she has a fab range on her website to choose from, they’d make a great little addition to any small person’s bedroom! From £15


Gifty Prints

Little Alligators

Little Alligators on Cold Bath Road in Harrogate is rammed full of unique gifts for the Small People! It’s really worth a visit! This make your own sand cards kit comes in the cutest little box and makes creating unusual masterpieces simple!

Little Alligators Sand Cards

The Small Boy would love to find one of these in his packed lunch every day! What a fab idea. Food boxes in the shape of cars at £6.50!


And these Christmas scented sketch and sniff gel crayons are an ideal stocking filler. At £7.25

Scented Gel Crayons

Stocking Filler Heaven – at Butterfly Kisses

Our children’s ranges this Christmas at Butterfly Kisses cover everything from stocking fillers to advent calendars. These paper products are our favourites brought, hands down. The advent books give children an activity to complete each day as the excitement of Christmas builds and the colouring books are a must for the Christmas table to keep little people busy during the grown up festivities.

Advent Activities

Perfect Handmade Treats – from PollieAnn Bakes

We had some of these biscuits at Halloween and they were SO, SO tasty! A box of six medium sized Christmas biscuits is £5.50 (Santa, Snowman & Rudolf or red & white collection) available for collection from Knaresborough by pre-oder from Pollieann Bakes.

PollyAnna Bakes Biscuits

Cost of Kids at Christmas

If you’re worried you’re spending too much this Christmas on your kids gifts then you’re not alone! Safe.co.uk have shared that their research shows that parents are planning to spend an average of £204 per child on presents this year!

Don’t worry though, you’ll be pleased to hear Yorkshire is at the bottom of the list as one of the least generous counties when it comes to its spending habits at this festive time! 😝

1 Have a holly jolly expensive Christmas - safe.co.uk infographic.jpg


Disclaimer: Since this is the season of good will to all, these contributors have been included solely as they are lovely local independents.

Time Management for Mamas

With Christmas approaching and so many other things to do, it’s easy  to become overwhelmed with the challenges of multitasking.   I had a chat with local coach Zoë Whitby of ZW Coaching recently and she shared her top five tips for being as effective as you can at this busy time.


Tip 1 – Know your priorities

Aside from family, we all have goals we want to achieve and knowing what’s most important to move forward helps us to focus our efforts when we’re short of time.  Zoë suggested using these headings to think about where you are and what the ideal is in each of these areas before deciding some goals and identifying the actions that will move you forward:

  • Finances
  • Career or volunteering
  • Health and fitness
  • Love – your significant relationships
  • Wider family and friends
  • Growth – personal development and learning
  • Leisure – holidays, hobbies
  • Home – your living environment

Tip 2 – Use your energy patterns

We all have different times of the day when we tend to feel ready to tackle more challenging activities.  Work out when you are at your best and use these times to power through some of the more meaty tasks.  If you’re feeling tired or ‘off colour’ stick with routine things if you can – or identify some activities on your list that you know will energise you.  Something that involves getting outside or a change of environment often works.

Tip 3 – What can you do with the children?

Some of the things you will want to do on a routine basis or as part of your bigger projects could be interesting to work on with your kids around.  There are lots of things you can’t do with the Small People around, but there are some things you can – try and work out what they might be for you. Zoe suggests you could sit alongside them while they are colouring or playing and be working with pens and paper yourself shaping your plans, writing lists or making notes on your phone.  Giving the children a role on shopping trips, planning a route around town or ticking things off a list can sometimes keep them distracted. Allowing them to “help” clean or garden helps to keep them interested while you get on and helps them learn life skills for when it’s time for them to do it themselves.

Tip 4 – Buy yourself some time?

Some tasks may need concentration or be inappropriate to do while children are around – phonecalls that you do not want interrupted, tasks involving machinery that could be a danger, present wrapping etc.  Seek out buddies who you can arrange timeswaps with – you benefit from some time on your own and you reciprocate by looking after their kids.

Tip 5 – Keep notes and review daily

Parents brains get so full of things that need to be done and we can’t expect to have superhuman powers of memory.  Zoë’s tip is to use your phone notes or a paper pad to jot down things you think of while you’re out and about so that you can review and add to your wider task list later.  Make reviewing and re-prioritising part of your daily routine – either first thing in the morning or in the evening ready to get a quick of the blocks start the following day.

If you are at work, Zoë has a Top 10 Tips guide to working smarter which you can download at the following link: https://www.kulahub.net/forms/webform/330?cl=671

If you’d like to know more about how a coach can work with you to help you move forward in gaining confidence or achieving certain goals, contact Zoë@zwcoaching.co.uk for a no obligation chat.

Zoe Whitby

There are lots of helpful articles on Zoë’s blog at www.zwcoaching.co.uk.

Hope these tips have helped a little with the time management in the run up to the big day! I think ‘knowing your energy patterns’ is a great one. I’m always better on a morning than an evening and knowing that’s a good time for me to crack on helps me focus my day!

The Small Boy seems to have the gist of how things are panning out though, he told pre-school today that the Christmas Tree doesn’t go up until Christmas Day! He’s got the measure of what’s what around here at the moment! Ha!


Disclaimer: This was a guests post by Zoe Whitby without obligation from me.


Wicked Wednesday – The ‘Nature Footwell’


I’ve seen these lovely display tables in schools and nursery settings whereby all the wonders of nature are displayed on to a ‘nature table’. Some lovely Mamas even have them in their homes! Not us though, we much prefer the rustic look with a whole car footwell set aside for our ‘nature table’.

To be honest, the car footwell looks like this most times of the year – just turns out we are en vogue with it in Autumn most of all! The addition of the conkers makes it all the more justifiable, IMO!


Do you have one of these in your car?

#Sticksarenotallowedinthehouse #theyliveonforeverinmycar 😆😬🙈

#WickedWednesday 2nd November 2016


(*The lovely BrummyMummyof2 shares her favourite #wickedwednesdays picks of the week over on her blog…so if you’re feeling like the only one who’s dealing with this sort of shizzle, then check out the links, for you’re not alone!)

Follow: Me (Harrogate Mama) on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

Lucy xx


Wicked Wednesday – Hunt the Blu Tac


I kid you not – this is a game I, a 39 year old woman, played just last night! I know! This folks, is what real parenting actually looks like!


You think you’re getting a baby, you know, the ones that look all cute in their knitted hats in the magazine, and wham, before you know it –  you’re playing hunt the blu-tac whilst trying to make the tea in an effort to prevent bat sh*t craziness ensuing from the smallest child in the house!

The game is fairly obvious. The Small Boy devised it himself 😐 he hides the tiniest pieces of blu-tac he can find, all around the house and then he waits expectantly for me to find them, giving helpful three-year old clues, like – ‘it’s der Mummy!’ as he opens the cupboard door to reveal the hiding blu-tac! This can go on for almost ten minutes – which as Mamas know is a long time when you’re TRYING TO MAKE TEA!

This game has the added bonus of finding long forgotten tiny pieces of blu-tac for days to come when you open cupboards, put on your shoe or go up the stairs!


#WickedWednesday 26th October 2016


(*The lovely BrummyMummyof2 shares her favourite #wickedwednesdays picks of the week over on her blog…so if you’re feeling like the only one who’s dealing with this sort of shizzle, then check out the links, for you’re not alone!)

Follow: Me (Harrogate Mama) on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

Lucy xx