Tag: Reviews

Dining by the Sea: Bayview Inn (A Sort of Review)

Since it’s the Easter break, we’ve been dining out a lot lately.  Our latest jaunt, was at the Bayview Inn, another restaurant and hotel, along Widemouth bay, here in North Cornwall.  Last time I shared about our meal at Elements, another lovely restaurant by the sea, this other one is also located on the same stretch to Bude.

As always, we went for a walk before our meal.  Since we didn’t book a table (they were actually fully booked), we ended up sitting in the conservatory, which wasn’t so bad at all, because it overlooked the playground where little T happily played while waiting for our meal to be served.

And as I mentioned, since we didn’t phone in before coming, we had to order by the bar, which of course we didn’t mind at all, except when the place became so busy, you had to queue even to ask for a glass water.

The husband had their homemade fish pie with vegetables which he said was really good.  I had a taste and I agree with him.

I had the Crevettes cooked in butter, served in a salad with a side dish of chips.  I love seafood and I thoroughly enjoyed this.

And as usual, little T ordered their kiddie pizza.  We couldn’t convince her to order something else.  She did manage to eat at least half of it.

For dessert, my husband I just ordered a cappuccino each, while the little one had a dinky dessert of a brownie with ice-cream. Sorry for the lack of photos, this is why I also call my posts “A sort of review” as opposed to a “proper” one, complete with photos of the whole place, with amenities and all.  This is also why I can never be a food blogger, because I always forget to take photos.  I like to eat you see and when the food is in front of me, I forget about anything else!

Would I recommend the place?  Definitely.  Just don’t expect a large variety of food in their menu.  I think Elements restaurant have more choices in food.  But what they have at the Bayview Inn is done really well.

Is it a family friendly place?  Oh yes it is!  They have a playground where kids can have a little play while waiting for their food to be served.  There are also tables outside, so you can eat your meals when the weather is good and it’s not too cold or breezy.

Good value?  Yes, they Bayview Inn was a bit cheaper than Elements.

Service:  We had none, but that’s because we didn’t book a table and had to order from the bar. Although to be fair to them, they did come and ask if our meal was okay, so I can’t really comment much on their service.

Location?  Just like Elements, the Bayview Inn is in a lovely setting, right in front of the coast. Even though we weren’t seated by the window overlooking the coast, I can imagine that it must also be lovely to watch the sunset while eating your meal.

Would we go back?  Yes, especially if we have friends or family visiting, and because of its location.  The Bayview Inn also within walking distance of the beach, handy in the summer!

What do you think?

Does this sound like a place you’d dine in if you were visiting Cornwall?

Do share.

Trespass Clothing Perfect for Country Living (A Review)

We are lucky to live in a beautiful part of England. The village where we live is nestled between hills, going down into the sea. We have an old harbour that dates back to 1584. Although we don’t have a beach, when it’s low-tide in the summer, there is enough sand for the little ones to play on.

We love living here, and as much as we can, when we’re not busy we spend it out doors and of course, in the country, it is very important to wear the right coat, especially down here in Cornwall where the weather can turn really rough.

I love coats. I have about six of them. I like wearing them, because they’re so convenient to use, especially when you’re a mother. You can do a mad dash out of your house to do the school run even if you’re wearing the tattiest top you own under your coat – no one will ever know except you.

The problem for me though, finding the right coat is a bit like the Goldilocks syndrome, but instead of being too hot or cold, mine would be too big or too small, I’m barely five foot inches you see. I can easily be dwarfed in a big coat and it would make me look smaller than I already am.

And if I order a smaller size, I’d be lucky to be able to zip the coat up, let alone wear a cardigan underneath it, especially since … let’s just say I haven’t lost much of my post-pregnancy weight.

Lucky for me, I’ve found a match made in heaven, the Trespass Everyday Women’s Waterproof jacket. It actually feels like it was tailor-made for me.

Why do I love it? Let me count the ways:

1. I love that it has shape. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve lost mine five years ago, giving birth to T. It’s nice to have a coat that doesn’t engulf me and make me even look bigger than I already am.

2. I love that it has style. Most waterproof jackets I’ve seen look sporty, which is fine. Although I don’t claim to be a stylish mum (I’m probably the most non-stylish mum you can find on the school run), but that doesn’t mean I’d say no to style. Having said that, I love the details of this coat. The zips on the pockets and the small belts on the side, which you can adjust depending on your size.

3. It has a detachable hood. Admittedly, it’s nothing new. A lot of jackets have this feature. But I love the way it detaches and attaches with a zipper. For me, it makes it sturdier than buttons or clasps.

4. The length is just right. Most coats are too long for me, again making me look shorter than I already am.

5. The arm length is also perfect. Most coats make me look arm-less, I must have it shortened, fold it or just awkwardly hike them up my arms.

6.  The fit is just right. I was wearing a bulky jumper underneath and it didn’t feel tight at all. I noticed some costumers commented on their website that sizing is a bit too small, but I guess that also depends on your build. When it comes to coats, a size 12 fits me and this is a medium, and it rather fits me well.

7.  And lastly, Trespass is a British brand. It’s nice to support my adoptive country’s own brand.


1. I’m not a big fan of coats with a faux fur trim in the hood, but luckily the fur is detachable, so I’m losing that one.

2. I don’t like the way the zipper is zipped upwards rather than downwards. It’s easy to accidentally unzip it and maybe drop things.

2. The coat is only available in navy and khaki, even though I love both colours, it would be nice to have a variety of other colours to choose from.

I haven’t used it in the rain yet, so I don’t really know how waterproof it is.  But considering how much it has kept me warm in spite of the harsh Cornish wind, I have a feeling it will be as weatherproof as any coat can be.

All in all, if I were to rate this coat, I’d give it a five-star rating. Like I mentioned it feels like it’s been tailor-made for me and its perfect for my lifestyle of country walks through the woods, on Rough Tor, jaunts on the beach, the school run or even just walking Doc on the headland.

What about you?

What are your criteria when choosing a rain-coat?

Do you go for style, brand or practicality?

Disclaimer:  Trespass sent me the raincoat for the purpose of this review. However all words and opinions are mine.  All photos are owned by Little Steps and were taken by my husband.

Small Joys and Skin Toners

When I was single, I used to enjoy walking around the aisles of supermarkets or drugstores and shopping for toiletries.  It’s one of those “small joys” I really enjoyed indulging as a single woman, not shopping for clothes, but instead buying “beauty products”, excluding make-up.  I never really wore make-up even when I was younger.  Does that sound odd?

And of course as a single working-woman, money wasn’t much of an issue. I could pick-up products without worrying about the cost. It’s a whole different story now that I’m a mother. I always double check prices and compare them before chucking them in my trolley. I would never buy anything expensive, the “mummy guilt” would always set in and I would always think “With that price, I’d rather buy something nice for little T”. Besides, I barely have enough time to pick up stuff for myself now, before hearing a little whingy voice saying ” Can we go now?”

Ever since I’ve become a mother, my priorities have changed.  The little one always comes first. Besides, I can’t really spend time in the bathroom longer than I have too, without an impatient knock on the door and that little voice (again) asking “What are you doing in there mummy? Are you doing a poo?”

But now that little T is getting older,  I’m slowly putting the “me” back on the list.  As mothers, it’s important to think of our needs too, even if it’s something as superficial as toiletries. After all, it’s a lovely feeling to pamper oneself isn’t it?

This Vitamin C Toner is all about just that – loving our skin the way it should be. It has a really refreshing “citrusy” smell which T really likes. “You smell like lemons mummy!” And that scent aways reminds me of summer.

I also love that it is made of natural ingredients, especially since I have very sensitive skin.

The only negative comment I have for this Vitamin Toner is the price. It’s a little bit too much for me. Then again, if price isn’t an issue for you, I highly recommend this product. I’ve been using this for about a week now and I certainly like the feel of my face. It certainly feels cleaner and fresher after every use. And to top it off, I have the smell of summer on me!  And that to me is precious!  Click here if you want to try it out too.

What about you? What is you’re favourite skin toner?


what to you, is the smell of summer?

Disclaimer:  I received this product for free for my honest and unbiased feedback.

Must-Have Boots for Spring (A Pisamonas Review)

I’ve always liked Spanish brands like Mango and Zara and I’m sure I’ve mentioned here countless times of having purchased clothes for little T on Zara’s website.  So I was really pleased when Pisamonas, a Spanish brand got in touch with us for a collaboration with them.

While some may think that little T is a bit boyish (there’s nothing wrong with that, of course). She loves playing with Ninja Turtles and “roughing” it out with the boys, she is also a typical little girl who loves clothes, bags and shoes.  So when we were asked to take a look at their website to choose some shoes for her, you can imagine her excitement.

If it were up to me, I would have chosen one of their lovely ballet flats.  Sadly, they are not for T.  She’s more of a boots kind of girl, so it wasn’t a surprise when she actually chose these boots Safari Chukka boots in Navy blue with pink laces.  Apparently, this style is their “specialty” and is known locally as “Las Pisamonas”

We were really pleased when it was delivered to us.  It looked absolutely fabulous on her.  See for yourself.  I wouldn’t mind one actually and surprisingly some of their shoes for kids also come in adult sizes, so if you’re one of those who like to dress up their kids in matching outfits as their own, you might want to take a look at their stuff.

These lovely Chuckka boots even came with a deflated blue balloon inside the box, and admittedly she was really excited with that too and couldn’t wait for her dad to blow-it up for her.

Their shoes are obviously well made and are of high quality.  It’s also good to know that they are for a change, %100 made in Europe and not in China.  And customers will be delighted to know that they offer free shipping, free return and exchange (which is always good to know especially when ordering for little ones).

The exciting news is that they are offering a welcome voucher for offers over £40 and I have a feeling it will be easy to spend more than that on their website.

What I love about the shoes:

  • It’s a perfect pair for spring and summer.
  • Not chunky like most boots.
  • They are lightweight.
  • Very stylish and we love that the pink laces combination with Navy blue.
  • They are versatile and can be worn with boots, shorts, skirt and even dresses.


  • The navy blue looked more like black.  But then again, looking at the photos posted here, they do look navy blue.  Even if it were black though, it still doesn’t change our opinion on how much we like it, even my husband agrees.

What little T loves about the shoes:

  • I love the laces mum.  They’re pink!
  • It’s Monster High black mum.  No, T.  It’s navy blue.  No mum, it’s black.  Whatever.  At least, she’s happy with it.


  • Is there anything you dislike about your new shoes T?  She looks at me with that “What-on-earth-are- you-talking- about-woman look?”  So I rephrase – Is there anything you don’t like about your new shoes?  She stares blankly at me.  And then says “Can you paint my face like a bunny-rabbit again please mum?  I sigh and give in.  She has after all been a very good and patient little girl allowing her mother to take photos of her running around like a loony in the parking lot.

What about you?

Are you like little T, who loves shoes?

Disclaimer:  This is a collaboration with Pisamonas, however, all photos and opinions are by yours truly and of course, Little T.

Little T’s Review of her new Clarks Trainers

We’ve been in the hunt for new trainers for little T, especially since she’s started her gymnastics class last year. Sadly, we haven’t had the time to shop for them, especially since we live in a little village by the sea.  Beautiful yes, but to get proper trainers for your little ones, you invariably have to drive at least about 30 minutes to get to the nearest shoe shop. While we do a lot of online shopping,  however, when it comes to shoes, it’s really best to get your child’s feet properly measured (instead of second-guessing like we normally do for other clothing).

Last week, little T and I chose some Clarks trainers online and ordered them to be delivered to the nearest store, which was in Bodmin, about a 45 minute drive from where we live.  The lovely woman whom I spoke to on the phone, advised us to order more than one pair and different sizes to make sure that we don’t end up leaving Clarks empty-handed. Within a few days, I received a text message and email from Clarks, informing me that our order has arrived, which was perfect timing because it was little T’s half-term break.

And so we arrived at the  shop with a happy little T, excited to get her feet all measured up.  We were really struck with how high-tech it was.  Last time we got her measured at their Exeter branch, they  used the old-fashioned slider-measuring gauge.  This time though, they had a tablet and even made little T click on her information like her age and sex before sliding the tablet in what looked like a weighing scale, as seen below.

We were all impressed with their new gadget and, of course, the friendly and professional customer service at the Clarks shop, Bodmin Branch.

Then they took out the shoes we ordered, but sadly the ones little T selected online (black with a flash of pink) didn’t come in her size.  They were too big for her!  I’m glad we managed to order another back-up pair, with a different colour – pink.

She didn’t seem to mind at all that these were pink – and I mean very, very pink – not black. Will she always be this easy to please?  I’m afraid not, but she was absolutely loving her new screaming pink trainers as if they were her first choice!

At first, I wasn’t really impressed with her them, or perhaps I was just too distracted with how pink they looked and the fact that it actually lights-up once she stomped her little feet.  But upon closer inspection, they looked like really proper trainers, or as the Cornish would say “It’s a proper job!”

Of course, this isn’t little T’s first Clark shoes.  We’ve bought her winter boots, wellies and other kinds of shoes with Clarks before, not to mention my own pairs of shoes from the same brand 😉

And here’s little T wearing her new trainers to her gymnastics class.

I have no idea why she’s standing like that, and please pretend you can’t see the yogurt stain on her leotard, which she had before this photo was taken.

The verdict:  I love my new trainers mummy!  I never want to take them off ever again!  Can I wear them to school please?

She actually wanted to sleep with them.  We managed to convince her to leave them on the floor.  And as I’m typing this, she is actually wearing them at home.  After all, who says trainers have to be boring?  They can be pink, flashy and sparkly especially when you’re a four-year-old like little T, don’t you agree?  So if you’re looking for trainers for your kids, you now know where to get them!  After all, they are a traditional British shoe shop, you can never go wrong with that right?

Do you have a favourite brand of trainers for little ones?  Do share.

Disclaimer:  This is a collaboration with Clarks, however, all photos and opinions are by yours truly.

Book Review: Confessions of a Mother Inferior by Ericka Waller

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple”
– Jack Kerouac

Write what you know about, what you’re familiar with, I’ve heard those lines dozens of times from writing workshops, and books on writing; advice for people who want to write their own novel for the very first time and Ericka Waller, did just that.

This is a must-read for all mothers; you’ll recognise each and every character she has mentioned on the book.  The school-run mothers, I know them too. You know, those who like to stand around in circles, talking as if they have nothing else important to do.  Perhaps, they’re just stalling and doing their best to delay going back home to a pile of unwashed dishes/laundry, not to mention the mess in the living room.  Women who make you feel like a crap parent, because their kids go to school with packed lunches straight out of a pinterest page (What?! Your daughter’s sandwich isn’t shaped like a Ninja turtle?!)  And yes, they are also probably the same mums who have been drilling their kids with flash cards even before school started.  Thank goodness there are no mums in Little T’s school who show up with matching shoes and handbags.  But then again, that’s because we live in a small village by the sea.  We however have, slim, tall and blonde mothers.  The rest of us are short and fat.  Yes, I also am aware that all these are probably just in our heads.  We mothers are nuts, like that.  But no one else is allowed to say it, or else there will be war!

Erica Waller vividly describes this.  Confessions of a Mother Inferior is funny, witty and is sad too.  It’s not just the characters who suspiciously sounds like your friend or next-door-neighbor, but also the situations, and instances.  It’s almost like you’ve invited her to your home after the school run, for a cuppa, and a little chit-chat.  You know the loneliness that engulfs you as you plod on each day picking up duplo or lego parts, and you’re wondering, is this it?  Is this my life?  And you think I used to have a life and a career.  Whatever happened, and then the guilt seeps in and you think, you’re not supposed to feel that way, because you love your family and your kids.

And Peta, the main character in the book not only has to deal with all these, she is also dealing with grief, the death of her best-friend, even though it’s been four years, the pain is still there.    Then there are worries about her children:  Her middle child is not fully toilet trained and the eldest who just started reception class is having her own difficulties at school which would break any mother’s heart. Then there’s her husband.  There are indications that he might be having an affair with his beautiful young PA.  But is he really cheating on her?

I enjoyed the book, although sharper editing might have trimmed it down just a little bit, without diminishing the narrative (this process may have filtered out the handful of typographical errors that inhibited the flow).  And I also have to admit though that at first, I was a bit worried it was going to be one of those books that try too much to be funny and then like a bad joke, just fall flat in the end.  But she manages it perfectly well.

Erica is also a blogger and yes, I am familiar with her blog.  Admittedly again, I was worried about that too.  You see, the problem with bloggers who end up writing a book is that the reader (especially if that reader has read her blog), might struggle to separate the blogger, her life (or what she has shared in her blog) from the novel.  Yes, there are similarities.  In real life, she also has three kids, with the same age bracket, and is also a writer (a journalist).  But does it matter?  To me it doesn’t.  She manages to pull it off too!

I was a little disappointed with the ending, but that’s just me.  Don’t worry, I won’t mention it here, you’ll have to read the book, and I do emphasise that – it’s a definite must-read, especially if you’re looking for an insight into a mother’s concerns and pressures, feelings that are so rarely shared – even at the school gate.

Disclaimer:  I was sent the book by Britain’s Next Bestseller for the purpose of this review, but opinions and photo is by yours truly.

Mad about Bleach (A Harpic Review)

I never really thought about how difficult it would be to have a young pup join your family.  Admittedly, in the past, especially when I was young, there was always someone else to do the cleaning-up-after-the-pup for me.  Sadly, apart from the husband, there is no one else to do the dirty-job except yours truly.

Wouldn’t it be great though if pups were born toilet and house-trained already?

I’ve read somewhere when potty-training your little pup, it’s important for them to have a ‘safe-place’ where they can stay without you worrying that they’ll leave a mess for you to clean-up later on, especially when you’re busy and don’t have the time to keep an eye on them.  You know make sure they don’t chew on your daughter’s toys, husband’s slippers, wee or worse pooh on the carpet.

We don’t have a big house, so our designated safe-place for him was in the kitchen.  We used little T’s old stair-gate to corral him in.  The good news is, it actually works!  The bad news is our kitchen, or part of our kitchen has been turned into a tip, muddy paws, dog wee on newspapers, bits of chewed paper, name anything filthy and Doc probably has it.

Doc’s safe-place with his most favourite things in the world.  Little T’s old leather shoes, a bone and bits of newspapers.

But I’ve found a secret weapon, or probably the next-important thing in the world to me right now, without it, I’ll probably break into cold-sweat and start hyperventilating.  What – you may wonder?  It’s called BLEACH and right now, I’m mad about Harpic bleach, without it our lovely-white kitchen will smell and look like a dump.

Exhibit A:  Doc’s Lair

See that ratty-smelly-looking towel?  That’s what I could only guess is his comfort-blanket.  He loves to chew on it and play with it.  We wash it daily and as soon as we give it to him, he manages to soil it right-away.  It might actually be his way of telling us “What?!  You’ve washed my blankie again?!  How many times do I have to bark at you not to do that?  It loses the lovely-stinky smell!  Humans are so slow!”  Woof, woof, woof!

That lair also has to be cleaned at least twice a day, change the newspapers, sweep away the day’s debri of mostly chewed newspaper, wipe away the wee.  He hasn’t really poohed on the newspaper anymore.  I’m proud to say, we think he’s getting there.  He only poohs in the garden for emergencies and the husband says, he’s been poohing out on their walks.  But his lair still needs to be addressed.

How to Clean a Doc’s Lair:

1.  Fold-away stair-gate.

2.  Put away his bed, bowls, comfort-blankie and favourite toys.

3.  Fold all soiled-newspapers and put in a plastic bag to be recycled later.

4.  Sweep floor of chewed paper and try to avoid wet parts.

5.  Boil water.

6.  Pour bowling water in a bucket, just enough to clean a small area.

7.  Pour a few drops of Harpic White & Shine bleach and mix with mop.

8.  Mop whole area.  I usually mop the place twice.

9.  Rinse mop and bucket.

10.  Mop the area again with the remaining hot water.

11.  Dry floor with a clean and dry rag.


I did this yesterday, while my husband and daughter took little Doc out for a walk.  It was a slow process what with my injured foot, but so worth the pain.

What do you mean I only cleaned up the newspaper?  I MOPPED THE FLOOR PEOPLE!  I SWEAR I DID.  I blame the bad lighting, my not-so-poweful camera, the bad weather outside…  Seriously though, I can’t wait to use the bleach on our bathroom especially since we have a white-suite.  I love the smell of bleach – to me it smells really clean and germ-free!  Who knows, I might actually do a post about bathroom cleaning tips?  But I’m afraid that will have to wait till my foot is completely healed.

Harpic bleach has a strong and powerful cleaning products range.  I love their newest product, White & Shine Bleach, which I used to clean Doc’s lair and it has a nice Eucalyptus and Mint scent.  And if you have problems with limescale, (which we don’t down here in Cornwall, but I’m hoping it will remove the black mould around the bath though) and need a limescale remover, do try out their other products.

This is a sponsored post.

NOTE:  In case you are worried that Doc spends most of his time in his ‘safe-space’, don’t be.  He gets loads of walks and is allowed to join us in the living room when we can keep an eye on him.

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!:)

Hope you guys are having a lovely one!

I’ve linked this up with Post Comment Love


I don’t really like to rant about bad experiences on-line.  Don’t get me wrong.  I do love a good rant especially when I’m ranting off to my husband, friends and family.  Nothing makes you feel better than a good rant.  But ranting about things like online shopping experiences like this post leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  But the thing is, when something like that happens to you, you just can’t help but do it, especially if you have a blog.  After all, it is your blog and you can write anything on it, as long as you do it responsibly of course.

So yes, dear folks, this is another rant.  Feel free to skip reading this post.

Here goes.  I have a new Mac Book Pro.  Since it’s new and does not come cheap, I want to make sure that I do all I can to make sure that I protect it from scratches etc.  My sister uses a hard-case on her Mac and suggested that I use the same product called Speck which has wonderful reviews online.  So I decided to get one and ordered it through iThings.  They looked like a good reputable website.  I actually saw the same product on Amazon and it was even cheaper.  But I didn’t want to take my chances and so ordered the pricier one on the said website.  I should’ve followed my gut and saved myself time and money.

I ordered the clear-case on the 28th of November.  Their website promised a 1-2 day delivery.  On the same day I ordered the product, they sent me a transaction confirmation email.  Goody!  I actually thought that it would be on its way.  I order loads of things online.  Yes, I’m a regular online shopper, not because I prefer to do it on the virtual world, but only because we live in a remote little village near the ocean in North Cornwall.  The nearest cities are Exeter and Truro and both are about an hours drive away.   Anyway, on the 1st of December, I checked my bank account and noticed that they’ve already taken the payment off my account.  That alone should’ve raised some bells.  From my experience (and like I said, I’m a regular online shopper), most online shops don’t take payment YET until the product is with you or is at least in transit.  That was the 1st of December and that was also the last time I heard from them.  So the days passed and I expected to hear from, once again, online shops usually send you another email to inform you that your product has been despatched and in fact, you can even track your package.  Isn’t that great?  No such email from iThings.  In fact, I emailed them twice, but didn’t hear from them except an automated reply saying they received the email.  I also tried their chat-function online, but nothing happened the first time.

Today, I tried to phone them twice.  Guess what?  No answer, except for some lovely jazz music on their play-list and then an American sounding automated message, asking the customer to leave their name and number.

By this time, I’ve lost my patience and once again, tried their website and chat-function, and lo and behold!  It actually worked!  Someone was online to chat with me, whoopee-bloody-doo-dah!  So I gave them my details and my complaint and then waited another ten or maybe even twenty minutes.  I thought they disappeared but left the chat box open, and then lo-and-behold again, they replied!  And this is what they said:

So an error occurred and they committed another blunder by failing to inform me and I actually had to chase them down only for them to tell me that “Oopps, sorry.  Our mistake.  But don’t worry, will send it today”.  Sorry?!  Sorry?!  Grrr ….

I don’t mind mistakes and errors, that happens.  But what really irks me is that I had to chase them down and it’s as if they’ve only just processed my order right there and then, or worse that they’ve only realised the error AFTER I’ve chased them down.  Oh not only that, they’ve taken out money from my account without processing the order.

In the physical world, if a customer goes into a shop and takes something without paying, isn’t that stealing?  If the customer gets caught, do you really think they could get away with “Oops, sorry.   I was really planning to pay.  I just kinda… err… forgot?”.  No, chances are, you’ll be hauled to jail and have a police record for theft even if you’ve genuinely just forgotten to pay.  That’s about.  Rant over.

Dear iThings,

Your service is crap.

From a very disgruntled ex-customer.


I took  my business to gearzap.com and their service is exemplary.

You should actually take some tips from them.

Ordered it after the lovely chat that we had

and they’ve sent the confirmation order within seconds

and then

the much-awaited “your order has been despatched” email within an hour or so.

And it’s a Friday! =p