Picnic! | Simply Marcia

Shortcuts and top tips to a more healthy, mindful, positive and energised you!


Oh! we do like to be beside the seaside (or park, or garden or umm, living room (indoor picnics happen A LOT in our house)!) enjoying a lovingly prepared picnic of top-nosh scrumminess! I love, love, love browsing through lifestyle magazines (and quite frankly, even supermarket summer mags) with their beautiful picnic scenes … Fantasising – this could be me. This could be us. Our picnics could look like this. Everything looks so perfect. So co-ordinated. So very Cath Kidstonesque, Joules and Boden and I want some! I want the handmade cloudy lemonade being decanted from a frosted glass (glass!!!) jug into pretty glass bottles with stripy straws. I want the bunting. I want the pastel throws and squishy luxurious cushions. I want the homemade EVERYTHING!

In my experience however, what I usually get picnic-wise is last minute shop-bought EVERYTHING (we pretty much hot-foot it to Lidl or Aldi and grab anything vaguely picnicky); squash decanted in to a couple of old 1L water bottles; an angry wasp (or two); a confused bee (the yellow stripe in our picnic blanket is not a row of sunflowers confused bee), a random dog (not our own) peeing on the cool box; grumpy, hot,”I’m bored” (what?! the?! actual?!) children; and a localised weather event the forecasters forgot to mention (rain, wind, sand storm …).

However, even though my fantasy picnic has never materialised, I totally love our real version – low expectations help. As do:
– access to toilets
– ice-cream vans
– a football (my two boys + football = lots of random boys joining in and playing en masse)
– a wind-break (it will be windy, you may need shade (if you’re lucky) and a small child near you (not one of your own – even more annoyingly) will probably create a mini sand-storm effect by digging a hole right next to you and fling sand everywhere – brilliant – think of your wind-break as potential sand-flinging protection (note to self to invest in more wind-breaks))
– wet-wipes (not so good with sand but great for sticky situations!)
– layers (it will probably get cold at some point)
– more towels than you think you’ll need
– spare clothes (one child (not in swim wear) will insist on not getting in to the sea, river, pool … only to get in to the sea, river, pool … emerging 30 seconds later rocking the bedraggled drowned rat look).

And due to a serious case of every-child-in-our-house-likes-different-things and daily changes as to who eats what and who now doesn’t like this or that (ANNOYING), we’ve gone down the purely buffet-only picnic route, with the kids completely helping themselves (no pre-made sarnies or soggy egg rolls on our picnic blanket!) – that way everyone eats what they want (the only rules are that there must be some bread-type substance plus some form of protein and veg/fruit before any naughty stuff) – it works.

Happy picnicking days obviously!


Brow-dly presenting …

… only THE best eyebrow pencil and brush. The Rimmel London Professional eyebrow pencil is perfection. And super cheap – umm hello £2.99!!! That’s less than a high-street packet sandwich (not that we actually eat those things any more …).

For a brunette like me, their black-brown is eyebrowlicious; it pencils in evenly and stays put (v important). I totally love this product and no other (even the expensive and swishy brands) can beat it.

You can find it at your local Boots or Superdrug (and probably most supermarkets – handy when out and about doing your groceries!).

According to the experts, big brows are in (though think full and healthy as opposed to furry caterpillar). Apparently, your brows frame your face and ‘bring’ your loveliness together helping to make you look brighter, sparklier and (yes!) younger.

So if you need a bit of a foolproof step-by-step guide to the perfect eyebrow then take a look at this guide courtesy of elle magazine 🙂

Here’s to perfect arches and beautiful brows (pussy-cat-ears hairband optional!) x


Ouchy head

Hungover in other words 🙁 Boo hiss, why do I do it?

I start out to have one (yes, one!) very civilised g&t – a post getting-kids-to-bed and reward for having survived another day of parenthood/working/domestic stuff/SUMMERHOLIDAYS (!!) but instead this ‘one’ turns in to a giant mid-week g&t bingette (how? what? gulp!). Am awakened by a roaring, pounding head being held in a vice-like grip, gritty eyes and a dry mouth – whyyyyyy! What a picture of healthy glowiness I very much am not …

There are so many hangover ‘cures’ out there, but I think that whilst age doesn’t necessarily affect my ability to say ‘no’ to ‘just one more’, age has given me plenty of time to figure out what actually works for me. So my hangover cure consists of:

more sleep
dark glasses
fried egg sandwich (with tonnes of ketchup)
more ibuprofen
persuading partner to administer medicinal head massage
more sleep
more water
hot soak in the bath
a large g&t

Which is ok if your hangover happens on a Saturday or Sunday, however week day hangover’s are in a completely different league 🙁 and pretty much you just have to work through them. Think tonnes of water, a day’s supply of ibuprofen, whispering (no loud voices please), grabbing a full on carb-protein hit en route to work, grabbing super quick power-snoozettes when sat on toilet or when on train, and declaring that wearing dark glsses indoors is ‘so now’ … It’s the only way (for me).

According to science though, there are some little tricks that might work:

1. eat some honey (apparently the fructose helps with low blood sugars the morning after the night before)
2. drink in some electrolytes (these restore the much-needed salts in your body – exercise or energy drinks are good for this – or, good old fashioned Dioralyte sachets)
3. do some light exercise (fresh air and a light stroll help clear your head) *
4. eat a banana (when you drink, alcohol depeletes your body of potassium which the good ol’ banana contains – hooray!)

* number 3 is not for me until at least 3pm on hangover day

Ultimately, all of the above could be avoided if only I knew how to say no!

Psssst, this is possibly not appropriate having berated hangovers, but, if you happen to be on a budget then Aldi do a great London gin for only £13.99/L 🙂 just saying …


Get your glow on!

At the top of my list of beautylicious desirables is dewy-soft and super-glowy skin, however finding a product that a) doesn’t break the bank and b) does-what-it-says-on-the-tin is not akin to finding the Holy Grail … So, step forward Superdrug’s (yes, Superdrug’s)  Simply Pure Hydrating Serum.

It’s brilliant (and only £2.69 a bottle!! £2.69!!!). It rehydrates and moistens and plumps and brightens, imparts a super lovely dewy glow AND it’s got a bit of a cult following by those in the know (late last year stocks ran out as crazy women who should’ve known better, stampeded through Superdrug’s doors to bag themselves a bottle (or two, or three … literally)).

Stock up now (umm I have) …

simply pure