As you may have read my summer staples feature a few weeks ago, you will know I had recently bought a few new bits and bobs for our May holiday to Portugal. I was so proud of my packing skills! seriously, such a ahem, capsule wardrobe.

What you may have also read, is that the weather was due to be fairly inconsistent, I will admit to being rather defeated on how to pack lightly for sun, wind, rain, thunder storms, cool mornings and evenings, warmer afternoons and completely blue skies and hot hot hot all day long towards the end of the week we were there.

As it turns out, I made some positive sartorial choices (see the slider above or my personal instagram account for the actual stuff I wore) and some not so clever ones. The mornings and evenings were actually really quite chilly and apart from the the cardigan I had for the plane journey (!) my usual layering knitwear was missing. Fail.

I also decided that my summer footwear was frankly, a bit old and tired looking so apart from my cross strap birkenstocks (love!) only really wore one other pair of flat silver sandals the entire time. If only I had paid more attention to Lolly’s epic shoe post before I left.

Thank goodness for my pack of ASOS ultimate easy T-shirts (the best!) that I bought last minute and then layered over a vest top and wore with skinny jeans to keep out the coastal breeze.

I don’t mean to sound all woe is me, the sun shone far more frequently than expected and I was uber impressed with my Heidi Klein Malibu push up bikini that made my chest appear significantly more pneumatic than it is in real life. Sometimes the odd spendy clothing investment is completely worth it when it boosts your confidence and magically lifts your bum.

We stayed at an apartment in Quinta Do Mar owned by JES property management and rentals which was directly in-between Vale Do Lobo and Quinta Do Lago, both great locations for shops, restaurants and golden sandy beeches. The apartment was one of the most luxurious places I’ve ever stayed, with a large private terrace, a fully equipped kitchen and two impressive bathrooms – one with a huge jacuzzi bath and rain shower. Apart from the amazing accommodation, one of the holiday highlights was um…the car hire situation. Yes I know, I’m showing my age.

Last year we waited two hours at Faro airport (TWO hours with a tired hungry baby!) after getting off the plane before we were in our hire car and actually ready to leave for our destination. Such a laborious task.

This time we booked through VDL, they pick you up from the airport (the taxi has a child seat already in place) drive you to your holiday apartment where a car is outside and parked ready and waiting for you – again complete with child seat already in place. On the return journey they come and pick up the car approximately 30 minutes before your return taxi arrives to take you back to the airport.

Cost wise because we had a smaller vehicle this time around (we didn’t have the requirement for a large boot as we didn’t need to fit suitcases in at any point) it didn’t work out much more expensive than last year. And the extra was worth every penny for the sheer convenience and lack of stress.

Our favourite family places to eat were The Shack (live music from 4pm on Thursdays) and Koko Lane which did lovely breakfasts and had a well equipped play park right next door that Mabel could safely use whilst we watched her from underneath a parasol whilst enjoying a caffeine fix (or by Midday, a glass of wine…)

Holidaying with a two year old means relatively early nights and (sometimes painfully) early starts. As you can imagine, James and I were not exactly dancing on tables until dawn. To be honest we were more than happy to read, watch a film or open a bottle of Prosecco and actually have an uninterrupted conversation. Bliss.

On the subject of films, we watched “The Longest Ride” (cheese and sugar strand sprinkles on toast but I loved it! you all know I want to be a cowgirl…it’s written by Nicolas Sparks, and it’s very um….Nicolas Sparks.) We also watched “Joy” with Jennifer Lawrence. She was ace (love her) but I found the film…mediocre. For those of you that don’t know it’s based on the true story of the lady that invented the magic mop. I wanted more detail and background on her as a business woman, rather than the rather uninspiring exploits of her family.

We are already planning our next holiday so do leave me some recommendations in the comments box below. Also films I need to watch – there must be loads I haven’t seen, James and I rarely venture to the cinema these days.

Also, is anyone watching “The Tunnel – Sabotage”?! Oh M Gee. SO. GOOD.

You can read more about Mabel and her holiday fashion (much more functional and covetable than mine!) over on Rock My Family. Talking of her majesty, I was surreptitiously admiring a rather dishy waiter whilst we were out for dinner one evening when she pointed at him dramatically and shouted at the top of her lungs “You! Man! Get. Me. My. PUDDING!”

I nearly died.