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Mermaid Gin

photo credit: Piracy Corporation 
Being a big Gin lover I was very excited when I was asked to review the Mermaid Gin.  There's nothing better than sipping on a good quality spirit, I do have a couple of favourites in my cupboard at home so was intrigued as to whether this would fit in with them and I wasn't disappointed.

Firstly one of the things I love about this is the bottle. I've never seen such a beautifully presented bottle of Gin, the striking blue colour, with the gold lettering along with the Mermaid scales make it so appealing.  Best of all the bottle is plastic free and uses entirely recyclable materials, including plant based seal around its wooden cork. (Little note: My favourite Gin bottles I keep when used & buy little bottle lights to place inside, these would look amazing in the Mermaid bottle!)

Now lets get to the taste, hand crafted on the Isle of Wight using ten ethically sourced botanicals (information of which can be found here) with a fresh blend of organic lemon zest and peppery grains this has fast become one of my favourites, whilst I love a dry Gin this just has that extra kick to it and its definitely one I would recommend.  For me this would make a lovely present or even a treat to yourself, I know its something I would 100% buy again.

Little Tip: Add a little ice & a slice of cucumber 
Mermaid Gin is available at Marks & Spencer RRP: £45 You can also read more about the Isle of Wight Distillery online.

*This post contains a gifted product

Blogging and how times have changed

This time 7 years ago I made the decision to keep a pregnancy diary for my youngest Daughter, little did I know that it would grow into a job that I loved, something that whilst being a Mother to my eldest kept me sane and still in touch with the real world.  Stuck in a very unhappy relationship that I was desperate to get out of even whilst pregnant, blogging saved me from spiralling into a hole of unhappiness that I was already in.  My blog back then, London Mummy of Two was amazing, I got to work with amazing brands, had a brand ambassador deal with a major baby brand, attended amazing events, and best of all met some amazing people whom I now call my friends.  Unfortunately due to personal circumstances I had to close down my blog, after 4 years of hard work I let one person ruin it all for me something I massively regret but at the same time I'm not the same person as I was back then, my life has changed for the better and I'm in a much better place in my life and so are my children.  I began to miss writing, I missed the whole social aspect that comes with blogging, attending great events, networking with other women who shared the same passion as me so I decided to set up The London Lifestyle Blogger, this isn't just about parenting but also more about me, the interests I have, I can still dish out some parenting advice and post about the girls and the things we love but I wanted this also as a space for me not just being Mum!

Sadly (my thoughts anyway) times have changed within the blogging world, people have become hooked on Instagram and its now one of the main platforms from which 'influencers' work from, now when I was blogging all those years ago Instagram wasn't really a 'thing' -  we used Facebook, Twitter, and people used to search on google for blogs to read.  I'm not saying I dislike Instagram but I have a love hate relationship with it, don't get me wrong there are some amazing people on there and bloggers but then there is a whole load of fakeness on there which is even worse,  these 'influencers' are buying followers, they are buying likes and getting deals with brands and paid work for building up fake accounts, surely with organic growth you will get more out of working with a blogger who actually engages with its audience, PR's (I hope you're reading) sadly fall for this and other people who are working massively hard behind the scenes to build up their own little brand are being turned down because they don't have 10,000 followers or 1,000 likes on their photos.  It makes me sad as I said when I was blogging people actually used to communicate properly, the hard work that went into my last blog I want to give more of now to this one, to build my brand.  People think its easy we write a post, press publish and that's it, but its not that easy there is hours of work going on behind the scenes taking photos, editing, writing posts which believe it or not takes hours sometimes, staying up until early hours of the morning writing, there's the emailing back and forwards with the PR's making sure everyone is happy both sides with the work that's put it with it all.  My whole point is if apps like Instagram went down then people would have to revert back to the old way of blogging, the way I like where photos are natural and not staged, where you wouldn't be turned down for work because you didn't have thousands of followers, brands would work with you because they liked your style of writing and the way you relate to your readers and the real world, not because your staged photo looks good on Instagram!
I know so many of my blogging friends who work their arses off and are being turned down work because they are not as popular as these other influencers, they don't have the right look there is so much fakeness out there I find it frustrating that PR's don't see this.

Anyway I'm happy with my little online space and I'm excited to build my own brand back up, I'm happy to have the same blogging friends I had 7 years ago because to me they are the originals I would much rather read advice on a blog that going onto Instagram and reading a post that's full of fake likes and comments.  What happened to the days when people used Twitter, I think that's a great platform to engage.

Writing a blog comes from the heart, and I always believe that one day apps like Instagram won't always be around so for now I'll keep it original and if I don't build up to have thousands of followers it doesn't mean I haven't succeeded.

The Tiger Who Came To Tea

The Tiger Who Came To Tea, a book that was read to me when I was a little girl and now one that I have read to my own children.

We were gifted tickets to the press performance of The Tiger Who Came to Tea Live, and what a fantastic show it was.  The girls had so much fun, Abi being that little bit older than Sophia I didn't think she would interact as much as she's at that age where she thinks she's too cool for everything! But she loved it.  I loved the way the characters engaged with the whole audience, we sang, danced, laughed it was fantastic to watch.  Being an hour long performance was just the right time for a younger audience.

The show will be playing at the Haymarket Theatre (just a two minute walk from Trafalgar Square) until the 19th of January, and its definitely one to watch for the whole family.

*We were gifted tickets for the show in exchange for an honest review

Fitness - Lifestyle

Well its been a while! I've been away working on new content to put up so firstly I wanted to talk about something that has massively helped me and I couldn't imagine not having this routine in my life - Exercise.

Exercise has had a massive impact in my life not only for the physical changes I have seen in my body but mentally too, and when I hear people ask what's good for anxiety/depression and to clear the mind, the first thing I will tell them is exercise! You don't have to be a member of the gym exercise is free and can be from going for a long walk (even in the rain!!) to doing a workout at home.  YouTube has loads of great videos you can get ideas from.  As well as exercise there's also eating well too, don't get me wrong my diet isn't perfect but I do cook from scratch most days, especially as the kids love helping too.  Cutting out processed foods is a big start, you can easily cook fresh meals on a budget especially if you have children.  I sometimes make meals that I can freeze or something we can have the next day. I will however do a separate post on meal ideas.

The past 12 months I've really got into a good routine with the gym, I've also joined an outdoor group which has been amazing too, lots to strength and cardio workouts which is amazing for anyone who prefers working out outside.  For me they both work well, when I feel like I want fresh air I can go there, other days when I have particular areas of my body I want to work on or things I want to clean up on then the gym is amazing.  I tend to gym more than I do working out outside.  I will start posting my workouts to hopefully inspire someone.  I've set myself a goal on what I want to achieve from my training now so I'm going to give myself three months to see if I can reach that goal.  But, I will be doing regular weekly blog updates as well as over on my Instagram page too.

I'm by no means a fitness expert so any content I put up will be purely from my own personal experiences.