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Spending lockdown in their Essex home, Denise Van Outen and her adorable daughter Betsy (10), have been setting time aside each day, away from the pressures of homeschooling and the lure of TikTok, to spend some quality girls time together. Here they let us into their daily ritual and explain how it’s helping them stay positive.

Whilst it took us a couple of weeks to settle into lockdown, we’ve now got a decent routine. I’ve managed to carve out space each day to spend some time as a family and also some girls time with just Betsy and I, as a working mum with a busy schedule pre pandemic, this has been an absolute blessing.

We have also made family time with the 3 of us a priority. When I’m working it’s so crazy, Eddie, Betsy and I can be like ships in the night. Our dog Tilly has given us a great motivation to get out together for daily walks and and we love a bike ride too if we can squeeze it in, we feel so lucky to live in the countryside, we’ve got a good few hour long routes, and have discovered new routes we didn't even know about.

Turning Betsy’s art projects into a time to get creative together has been one of my favourite things, and definitely makes it more enjoyable for Betsy. We’ve made an Olympic stadium, a Greek vase and this week we are creating a Greek monster. I’m loving all the pipe cleaners, sticking and painting, its pure escapism and has really brought the child out in me again. Betsy is full of ideas of other things she wants to create, which is fantastic and something we will definitely continue for as long as she loves it.

We tend to go out for a walk just before dinner, sometimes Betsy and I will decide to get our glam on, we'll wear nice dresses and do our hair, it’s a little like getting dressed up for dinner on holiday! It feels more like an event and separates the day. She loves a bright dress, and feeling grown up. We get ready together, it’s super cute, and one of the moments I now look forward to most.

Once we are back Eddie will cook dinner - and I’ll grab a moment to myself at the end of the garden to watch the sunset with a cup of tea or a cheeky glass of wine. Whilst the past few months have of course been a worrying time for all, finding these special moments in each day has made the world of difference to both Eddie, myself and most importantly to Besty. She says that I’m far more relaxed, and making the time to really be with each other is something we will continue way beyond lockdown. Love Denise x

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