Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Country Living Christmas Fair {Harrogate}


Friday, 8 December 2017

A Winter Wonderland {Ft. "Glow" at Harlow Carr Gardens}


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Spreading Some Christmas Cheerz


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Christmas Treats

One of my favourite things about the lead up to the big day is Christmas baking; I love all the flavours of Christmas, the ones that only come out at this time of year and conjour up all those childhood memories! Even people who rarely bake or cook from scratch tend to make time in the kitchen at Christmas time. Kids especially love to get creative and celebrate the festivities with gingerbread houses or biscuits for the tree. Its also a great excuse to make some time to be together aside from all the busyness and preparation; It's easy to feel so overwhelmed at this time of year and I find having a bit of creative time really helps to relive some of the stress! The great thing about baking it that it doesn't have to be difficult or time constraining, it can be anything you like. Most kids are just happy to be let loos with some icing to roll our or a tub of sprinkles. Yes they'll end up on the floor/chairs/ceiling/dog but having fun is what Christmas is all about. There's inspiration for Christmas creations everywhere but I've gathered a few that I think are great for little hands to get involved with by some amazingly talented bloggers.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Cosy Little Toes {Ft. Voksi part II}

 At the end of the summer I decided to change pushchairs; with little E growing so fast and getting tall just like his brother, it was much needed. Having had one in the past I knew the only pram I'd be after would be from the Baby Jogger range. For me they're just the best when it comes to an everyday pushchair; wide and comfortable seat, easy to push, crazy easy to fold. Although we've had the Elite version before (and it is gorgeous) I decided to go with the more compact (and less pricey) City Mini. I knew it would be suitable for what we needed it for and at this stage would do perfectly well for our wild little guy, who is much more determined to walk these days. I picked one up a few weeks ago and I'm just as pleased with it as I thought I'd be.
Voksi asked us a little while ago to try out their childrens foot-muffs and since then I've been looking forward to getting him out and giving one a try in the Baby Jogger; now the cold weather has arrived it's the perfect time to get him all cosy for walks and of course the school run. The last couple of weeks seem to have seen off the golden Autumn days we were having but we managed to fit in a day out to catch the last few turning leaves.
Thankfully the Baby Jogger is generous in length, even the more compact City Mini, as the large extension on the Voksi bags are quite long, however it happens to sit perfectly without touching the front wheel. It was really easy to fit as the pre-cut holes in the sides and back cater for practically all pram harnesses. It sits lovely and snug within the seat as does the fur hood which looks so luxurious. I love the Melange Metallic colour as it goes with anything and looks really modern and smart.
As I've mentioned before, the bottom is filled with wool while the top is feather and down so it really does keep the heat in while protecting against the cold wind. Using natural materials also means better temperature regulation making it much more comfortable for snoozing. Little E has had a few long sleeps while out and about and I've been impressed at how warm its kept him without him feeling hot or sweaty, as you often find with other foot-muffs. If you did want to allow a little extra ventilation, the two way zippers make it easy to open in part or full.
I really wish I'd had one from newborn with the boys; they're just so soft and cosy! 
It really is no easy task keeping these boys contained but at least when they are sitting still they're lovely and warm in this chilly weather, thanks to Voksi!

NB Post in collaboration with Voksi. All opinions are entirely our own


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Stories for Christmas {Our Book Advent Calendar}


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Ready for Winter {Ft. Voksi}


Friday, 10 November 2017

In The Stars

Our home is pretty much ninety percent child orientated in that everything we have focuses on the fact that there are two small people running around the house; one who likes playing with Nerf guns late at night and the other who will empty any box, cupboard or drawer they can get their hands into, and both enjoy climbing. over. every. thing. We do tend to have to keep things quite simple and practical, which in a way is my type of styling anyway (probably not so much Joes!) as I love the clean, minimal look. I think we also realise that it won't be this way for ever and that there are more important things to us than being able to display things around our home that won't get sticky little fingers all over! Having said that we do have small corners of our own dotted around in hidden places and small things that we've had since before we got married are kept on shelves where they're visible to us and out of reach to others!
I think it's easy to lose yourselves as people when you become parents; I know it's a cliche but you can get so caught up in your children and their needs that sometimes you forget what you did before! While I don't think it's worst thing in the world, it's always nice to be reminded of special times you had before, and as a married couple, that it all started with just the two of you.

Joe very unexpectedly surprised me with a really beautiful gift a few weeks ago that I just love and I thought I'd share it with you, as it is on our living room wall now.
He'd come across a website called The Night Sky that makes custom star maps for any date you choose. The stars have been a bit of a prevailing theme in our relationship for lots of reasons, but the night we got engaged, my birthday, we were actually sat out in my mum's garden (on a trampoline no less) looking up at the stars like we often did; The map is a copy of the constellations that were in the sky on that night. I was totally bowled over by such a thoughtful gift (and may have cried a little.) I'm not great with saying how proud I am to have Joe as my husband but I am continually surprised by his capacity to show me so much love and grace. It really meant a lot to me to receive something like this, that's so connected to our story.
We don't have a lot of things in our home that are just for us so I love that this square is ours. I love that we have this memento on our wall of the night we decided to start this crazy and beautiful journey. It's something I hope will stay in our home forever and remind us how it all started, 
with just the two of us. 


Friday, 3 November 2017

A Little Mama Time {Ft. Spruce Moose}

Like most busy mums with little children, time to myself isn't something I tend to get much of.
The days just don't seem to be long enough and even being as organised as possible doesn't mean much if your little one is suddenly poorly or just needs you. I'm not really any good making time-out for myself a priority but I don't think any mother is; our families come first of course and then there's always something that needs doing or an extra job we can cram in to those few minutes while they're napping or distracted with a toy or their favourite show. Motherhood is a massive juggling act and keeping everything spinning can be exhausting. I think everyone has their limits and you have to be able to realise when you just need some time; whether its an hour or so at the shops or just being able to drink a hot cup of tea in peace!
My quiet time tend to be early morning as little E is usually up at the crack of dawn and thankfully is very happy just sitting next to me on the sofa having tea and toast and watching Moana.
Actually making time to go out and do things by myself isn't something I'm great at; in truth it doesn't bother me too much as I love doing things as a family more than anything but I suppose it does come down to a healthy dose of Mum guilt too!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

A Cosy Space {ft.Cotton Ball Lights}

Hello again
It's been a while since I've actually sat and wrote here; I think I've just been so eager to get us settled into the September routine it feels like I've thought of nothing else and to be honest I've been feeling quite exhausted! It's no secret that I struggle a lot with headaches or migraines as they so often seem to be these days. After so many visits to the doctor and countless alternative and dietary efforts I still have bouts of them that can last for weeks. The after effects leave me feeling so drained that all I want to do is sleep but having two little guys means it's not really an option! I've had to realise that I have to prioritise my family of course, but also that I need to stop trying to be and do everything; to sometimes just be and enjoy the quiet moments. I got a little book on Hygge a few months ago- if you're new to the party like me, Hygge is a Danish concept that has really taken off over here in the last year; it's all about embracing and cherishing the present moment and creating an environment in which feelings of warmth, cosiness and contentment can exist (hopefully I've got that right?! That's the gist I get of it anyway!) As soon as I started reading into it I found that it's not much different to what many people do in their different cultures, only using a different word(s); it's about living slowly, being present, peaceful environments, incorporating nature into your home and creating a welcoming atmosphere where people feel relaxed. Whatever you call it, I think it's certainly something we could all use  and definitely something that should be part of our lives. Sometimes we spend so much time trying to do everything as fast as we can in order to relax that we just find more things to do (well I definitely do).

 I decided to make our back room into a more relaxed space rather than the simple dining room it's been since we moved here six years ago. Now that little E and I are together all day while TJ is at school I wanted it to be somewhere he could play as well being a comfortable space to sit and just read or have a peaceful cup of tea being able to look onto the garden. It didn't take me long or cost much at all and without even trying to hard I managed to work in a few of the tips for creating a "Hyggeligt" space, adding some plants, a large soft rug, clean looking cube storage and a comfortable chair. I used some old crates given to me by our local supermarket of all places (they were for spring bulbs!) as these kind of makeshift shelves and I love them.
Joe surprised me with this adorable Samsung  Bottle speaker which also glows any colour you want it to; it's perfect for listening to some relaxing tunes or just the radio on a morning. I love that it looks like a little milk bottle!
Most unusually my favourite furniture addition to the space is what has become a large low table in the centre of the room. It was once our small dining room table but Joe kindly chopped the legs down for me and it now functions as a brilliant low coffee/play/dining table. 
One Hygge theme I noticed about creating a relaxing and cosy space was the addition of soft lighting. I am an absolute sucker for lights especially lovely glowy lamps and fairy lights; they just add so much to any room making it seem so much more inviting and warm. These Cotton Ball lights are the first set I've ever had and I think they're just gorgeous; great quality,they give off such a lovely soft glow and go perfectly in my little room. I picked the colours myself and decided to go with soft greys and vanilla colours which I think work well in any space. It was so easy to pick the colours out using their website and they're super easy to put together; I think these are a fantastic idea if you want to add a different style of lighting without spending a lot of money or if you're not too sure when it comes to placing lighting around a room with effect. These look so wonderful wherever they are and I think just add that special feel; the way simple candlelight does or the lights on a Christmas tree.
Being able to choose from such a variety of colours means they can be suited to any room or even season; I think they'd look perfect in Autumnal Oranges and yellows or Christmas greens and reds for staircases or fireplaces.
I'm really thrilled with my new space and even more so that we actually do use it; it's our place to play, eat and do homework on an evening as well as somewhere to relax in and just look out at the garden.
I have a few more things to add to this room so I'll be posting more soon!

NB Post in collaboration with Cotton Ball Lights  however all opinions are entirely my own


Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Starting the School Year {Getting Organised ft. Cheerz}

 The last few weeks have completely got away from me;
with our eldest starting school I feel like every bit of energy has been focused on it. The whole preparation has felt so long, getting everything he needs sorted, making sure he's happy and settled and then actually getting through the first week has been so much more draining, physically and emotionally, than I anticipated. I'm not sure if anyone else feels this way when their child starts school..please tell me it's not just me?!
Anyway the blog has suffered a little; as is the case when you work for yourself, you tend to put off everything you can and try to fit in work at crazy hours as there just isn't time in the day. I've been so tired recently I just haven't been able to muster up the energy to pull any late night blogging sessions and on top of which I have had a stint of headaches which really hasn't helped. 
I'm feeling better now TJ is finally in school and I'm starting to get my bearings being at home with just one child again, it's just so quiet! Something I've discovered about family life is that it is always changing; just when you've got the hang of something, a newborn, breastfeeding, a toddler, weaning, working from home, having one child, something changes and so does the whole dynamic. With the best intentions in the world, a routine only works for so long and then it's time to start a new one. It can be hard to keep up but at least life is always interesting!
So here I am now, starting at the beginning of the school year;
We were given a welcome pack which has a list of all the diary dates for the next year and of course I forgot the first one and only realised today when I saw a lot of queuing parents with very smart children; yeah it's photo day. Luckily the little man looked smart and let me do the stereotypical mum face wipe before he ran off to class. Silly Mama!
I am quite an organised person usually, (believe it or not!) but I do need to up my game. Thankfully my gorgeous new calendar from Cheerz arrived just in time- so I can actually remember whats happening and keep track of all these dates. 

It was super easy to personalise with some of our favourite pictures of the boys; you can also change the colour frames and add your own dates. I'm a little addicted to the Cheerz site as it is just so easy to use and the quality of the photos is always fantastic. You can even add yourself a hook to hang it on- super organised right? I've never had a personalised Calender before but having seen this one I think I'll need one every year!
I'll be spending this week getting on top of everything, but I'm sure it won't be long before everything changes up again..

P.S Here's a code for 10% off the Cheerz website (minimum spend £20) 84TE56 or use SAL8CR for £4 off your first order! (and Just so you know, this ones a Referral Code)

NB Post in Collaboration with Cheerz however all opinions are entirely our own

Monday, 25 September 2017

Autumn Days {ft. Stuffel Bags}

There's nothing like a beautiful September to set you off into Autumn;
Considering the end of Summer was a bit of a washout, it feels so good to see the sun albeit with a bit of a chill in the air. This week has been perfectly Autumnal although we've been so busy it's been hard to properly enjoy it. This month has all been about getting out eldest ready for school; meeting teachers, buying supplies (last minute of course!) and making sure forms are filled in. It'll be a hard and strange transition for all of us but one that  I'm hoping and praying proves a to be a great change and something TJ really thrives with. He is so excited and we've been really impressed so far with the School; he's starting on Thursday so I'm trying to keep a level head and keep myself busy(and not cry at the gates!) I think knowing that our full days together are coming to an end and made me pause a lot more during the day; leaving the tidying up to play or read a story just a bit more often. The age gap between the boys seems to have been closing over the Summer, and although there's a lot of squabbling over toys/lids/empty shampoo bottles they actually do play together quite often. As long as I keep a watchful eye over Little E, he loves playing Lego with his brother. I think he just wants to copy whatever he see's him doing, so he tries really hard to build things and watches his brother with intense concentration! Lego is a big part of our lives in this House; TJ has been literally obsessed with it since he saw it occupying shelves in his Dad's office and he has only grown to love it even more. He builds Lego from the moment he gets up, has a whole scene set up in his room and always asks for it at Christmas and for his Birthday. I am so impressed by the things he creates from his own imagination and I think its one of those really great toys that everyone can enjoy.
Clearing it away is the biggest problem as apparently the best way to play with it is spread out out on the floor, so naturally when I saw these Stuffel Bags I knew they'd be a brilliant solution.
They're heavy cotton and make tidying away a mountain of Duplo, Lego or any other toys so much easier. The novelty also means little people are much happier to tidy away their toys!
  Yesterday was lovely and Sunny so after a morning at home we decided to head out for a little Picnic; It wasn't very well planned, just a few snacks and sandwiches from our local Sainsburys; but the Stuffel proved to be the perfect bag for carrying our supplies and Picnic Blanket. We had a lovely time sitting under the trees and playing on the grass. The Stuffel was the perfect size for us and although the grass was a little damp kept our sarnies dry!
I'm relishing in these days together but I'm sure we'll appreciate our new routine once it comes around; I think the most important thing is our intention to always make the most of our time with our children whether they're at home or at school. These precious days with our little ones just fly by so quickly.

NB Post in Collaboration with Stuffel however all opinions are entirely our own

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Mama's & Makers {#1 Little Dot Company}

Ever since I started blogging I've been amazed by the amount of successful small businesses there are on social media. One of the things I love about the internet is that it has given so many people the opportunity to share their talents and run their business from home without being put off by having to pay to rent a space or shop while they are still growing. Having the chance to see how people respond to your products and gain more confidence is a huge help when you're trying to set yourself up- I'm speaking from experience as a small Etsy shop owner myself. 
The other thing I was impressed by was just how many Mama's there are out there running their own businesses - either full or part time but always whilst chasing after their little ones. It inspired me a lot, and still does. I think at the heart of any mama trying to set herself up is the desire to be your own boss; to set the rules; to work at your own pace. It gives you that degree of flexibility to work around family life. That's not to say it's easier, as generally you have to find the time to complete orders at some point; late nights are common if you unexpectedly get a surge in sales!
I love being able to make something that someone else not only likes but is happy enough to buy with their well earned pennies, even in this day and age its a big deal! Of course we sit up late at night, creating and packaging and sorting to make our contribution to the family money pot but there's also so much heart and soul that goes into what we make. It's ours, and every thing we carefully put together and send out has a little bit of ourselves in it; it's hard work but really rewarding seeing your vision come to life. 
Though the lovely window of social media I've come across so many inspiring and brilliant Mama's who make so I've decided to use this little blog of mine to show them some support by sharing their work. I'll be sharing a series of posts about some of my favourite Mama's and makers and their lovely creations. Hopefully you'll be introduced to some fabulous small businesses and be inspired to shop independent- or start one yourself! 

This week I'm sharing with you Little Dot Company - a clothing and accessories shop for Mums, Dads and their little people. 
Beth Campagna is Mum to two Isabella (little Dot) who is two and Teddy who is Five. 
The concept of Little Dot Company is to journey with you from Baby Shower, to baby to parenthood.
The increase in the Baby shower trend over the last few years inspired Beth to create her own range of coordinating accessories, before moving on to her own clothing range, some of which are inspired by her little ones being "non-sleepers"!  Beth stocks an adorable line of tots apparel with hilarious slogans and her "need more sleep" tops for tired Mama's have been hugely popular, being spotted on one of my favourite bloggers Katie at mummydaddyme and footballers wife Rebecca Vardy
Beth's describes her designs as a "Tongue in cheek nod to the sleep deprived Mama" and the tired mama movement; Beth saw a gap in the market for cool clothes for Mama's with a twist, combining modern styles with a cheeky recognition of the Mama life. She's since expanded the range to include a Dad collection and even something for the Grandma's!
Little Dot Company also supports charities such as Kicks count and mental health charities, with donations from their sales; Beth recently wrote for the Huff Post about her own experiences of depression in her family and raises awareness though her blog to encourage Mums to support each other through motherhood and speak up about anxiety and post-natal depression.

 "...it's important we stick together and find ways of supporting and raising awareness of coping with mental health. Hearing other people's stories of their experience with post-natal depression or anxiety can be a comfort for anyone going through it. Sometimes it feels a relief to know you are not alone. "

This little company has a big heart and I'm sure I'm sure there are exciting things to come for Beth and her business. There's definitely going to be a some Mama wear on my Christmas list, and as I'm at that stage where I get to pick my little ones clothes, some twinning outfits, as I'm a cool Mum like that! 
Thank's to Beth for sharing her Mama made business with us; do pop over to Little Dot Company and check out their Facebook page too!
Do you know any brilliant Mama's who make? Or are you your own boss? 
I love to check out new independent shops so let me know below or drop me an email!
#supportsmall !

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