Ball of Fluff

September 10, 2014

You may not have ever fancied looking like a big ball of fluff but you can’t get away from it on the high street. Whether it’s faux fur or turkey feather a key trend this Autumn is of the fuzzy kind.

If you’re not brave enough to try a big beautiful fluffy gilet, try getting yourself a little accessory like a bag or a key fob to give a nod to this movement.

Ball of Fluff
Alternatively you may just want to get yourself the real thing, although in my opinion a fur gilet is a wiser (and less smelly) use of your hard earned cash.
Nat x

Street Style Sunday – WordPress

September 10, 2014

I’m celebrating I’m about to make the leap from this blog to a self-hosted WordPress blog. It may mean diddly swat to you, but for me it feels like it’s a jump of mammoth proportions. I’m scared about the change because I’m worried all the followers and ranking that I’ve built up over the last two years won’t transfer over to the new website easily and I’ll be starting all over again.

 

The reason I’m doing it though is because Blogger can be bit restrictive (to give it it’s due it is free so I can’t really complain and it has served me very well so far). But I do get frustrated when I can’t design it how I want to and do other technical things other bloggers can do of which I won’t bore you with the details.

 

And what perfect way to celebrate any occasion than with these Milestone Cards. I came across  these cards whilst browsing the Desmond Elephant website. What a brilliant idea, so easy to grab and write on, for little things, big things and downright embarrassing things, all saved up to cherish for years to come.

 

To purchase your own Milestone Cards go here.

We are running a giveaway in conjunction with Desmond Elephant to celebrate.

Nat x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A day in paradise (wildlife park)

September 10, 2014

A couple of weeks ago Days Out treated us to a day at Paradise Wildlife Park. And what a day it was. Paradise Wildlife park has it all. Whatever the age or needs of your children there is something for everyone.

As you’d expect from a wildlife park there are a huge amount of animals for the kids to see. Some you can get up close and personal to and some you can even feed yourself. There are shows and ‘meet the keeper’ talks, which are a brilliant way of gaining better knowledge about the animals you see in a fun way.

What you may not expect however is the fantastic entertainment show. The Karizma Kidz were a huge hit with my daughter, well the girl one was anyway! The standard of entertainment was on par with what you’d expect from Butlins, and we all know how much the kids adore that sort of stuff.

There are so many play areas available, inside and out, that I challenge anyone to come here and be bored, whatever the weather you’ll have plenty to do.

Even though the place is big with so many different things going on, it still maintains that personal touch, maybe because it’s a family-run park, owned by the Sampson family since 1984. When my blogging buddy Katy from Modern Mummy asked if her daughter could go and handle a spider (I think it may have been a tarantula – eek) , they were more than happy to accommodate.

I never fail to appreciate beautiful flowers these days, it must be an age thing.

There are even bouncy castles and inflatable slides for the children to let off steam on, at no extra cost.

We were front row spectators to a wonderful training display.

It is also well set up for families who have any physical challenges with a separate play area adapted for wheelchair users.

I haven’t even scratched the surface of things you can do at Paradise Wildlife Park with this post, I recommend you allow a whole day to explore when you visit.

We were invited to this day courtesy of Days Out who offer a huge array of discounted days out in the UK, it’s a great website to find out what’s on in your area and the whole of the UK. Have a look at their website and I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the other attractions that you think we ought to try next.

Nat x

Are you getting enough?

September 3, 2014

I’m going to deviate from my usual style posts for this one, so please bear with me if you will, as you’ll know I usually leave that up to the other ladies. Yesterday I attended a press event by Worlds Apart – a kids lifestyle brand that sell lots of sleep encouraging products for kids. We had a chat with an amazingly informative lady called Mandy Gurney founder of Millpond Sleep Clinic.

Myself and a number of other bloggers – RuthKatyKaraClareKip and Sammy discussed and quizzed Mandy on a whole range of sleep topics. It was good and sometimes a little hard to hear other people’s situations. But Mandy gave us all some really useful advice.

I have a number of friends who have used sleep clinics in the past and I couldn’t recommend getting help highly enough, and obviously the sooner the better. Do you have trouble getting your children to sleep, or do they creep into your bed during the middle of the night and fidget? So many of us parents (and children) are sleep deprived and all we need is a little help knowing what the right thing to do is.

 

Don’t put up or shut up about your lack of sleep, everyone deserves a good nights sleep. As you’ll know if you’re not getting enough it effects all aspects of your life.

 

There are a number of different packages to suit your individual needs.

 

After yesterday it got me thinking about what things I’ve done to help me train my children to sleep. By no means am I saying my children have been perfect sleepers. My oldest daughter had colic and all sorts of other illnesses as a baby and sleeping was short and sweet in our household for a long while. However since the illnesses have subsided, she’s grown, and I’ve had another baby to throw into the mix sleeping as got a lot better luckily. I’ve drawn on my experience as a midwife and have listened to other professionals around me and have read few books to give me a little insight.

 

Things I swear by to get children sleeping better:

 

Sleep cues. It’s so important you repeat the same cues every time you want your child to sleep, after a while they begin to associate these cues with sleep. They can be things like low lighting, a warm bath, a blanket, a teddy, reading a book, using the same words like night night as you leave the room, you get the drift. Do the same things every evening.

 

Don’t get in the habit of your child/ren using you as a crutch to get to sleep. Children should learn early on how to fall asleep alone. I have a friend who’s son could only get to sleep by rocking him in her arms, as he got bigger her back pain got worse and worse. This also has the disadvantage of when they wake in the night they instantly think about needing you again to help them get back to sleep. Not good.

 

Routine, routine, routine. Now I’m not talking about being rigid and not having any room for flexibility, as people often assume when you mention the word routine. But when you are in the throws of sleep training do things at a similar time every day, and in a very similar way each day. When you’ve got it down properly the odd evening spent out at a friends house resulting in a later bedtime won’t have such a negative impact. Oh and kids love routine, they love knowing what to expect.

 

Think about the behaviour that you are complaining about and have a really hard look at whether that behaviour is as a result of what you have perpetuated. Even though you moan do you actually want that behaviour to change or actually do you quite like it. The main one I’m thinking of here is the children coming into your bed. Some parents actually like this and don’t want this behaviour to stop which is fine if you’re happy with that.

 

Try and make sure they have age appropriate nap times in the day – I have always found the better my children sleep in the day the easier the night time sleeping situation is.

 

And lastly be consistent. It could take a day or 3 weeks, depending on how entrenched that behaviour is. If you want to break the habit you can, but it’s going to be hard and you have to be prepared for battle!

 

My girls couldn’t wait to try out the ‘Ready Bed‘ – a portable and inflatable bed.

 

Nothing is wrong or right, I’m just giving you  my tips that have helped me in my experience. At the end of the day we are all just trying to do the best we can.

 

There are always going to be exceptions to this advice – like illness or additional needs that my (very) generic advice isn’t appropriate for. If this is the case go and get some professional help, whether it’s in the NHS or privately.

Gosh it’s not like me to write such a long post, I guess it’s just something I’m really passionate about. Hope it’s helped and if not let me know your tips for helping your children to sleep? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy sleeping x

Nat x

 

Street Style Sunday – The casual midi

September 2, 2014

 

A couple of week’s ago I showed you my favourite item in my wardrobe – my spotted ASOS skirt. Now to show you how versatile it is here is my casual version. 

 

As you can see I paired it with a tucked in big baggy jumper and some silver sliders

 

This is a typical school run outfit for me – quick, easy and most importantly comfortable.

 

 

 

Would love to hear what your most worn item is? 

 

Nat x

 

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Iglo&Indi AW14 collection

August 29, 2014

This downturn in temperature has got me thinking about warm clothes for my little ones (or lack of), even though we are still technically in August!

I have already given you a sneak peek at some of Iglo&Indi’s range before. Soon to come out however is there Autumn / Winter range and this household is more than a little bit excited to get our hands on some of it. And if anything is going to keep our offspring warm and cosy during the cold spell without forfeiting style is this Icelandic brand that I so love much.

Check out what’s coming soon…

Check out the collection here.

Nat x

Mexico

August 26, 2014

Mexico. When you read that word, what does it make you think of?

 Many think danger, kidnappings, beheadings and drug cartels. After the film Savages, Salma Hayek and Benicio del Toro made the gringos look a little differently at Mexican gardeners.

 Others maybe think of tequila, Tijuana, sombreros and ponchos.

 Frankly, that’d be like associating Great Britain with Jack the Ripper, bad food, ghastly weather, football hooligans and Jimmy Saville.

It all exists, of course, but it’s neither a fair nor accurate picture of either country.

This post is about the country that I love. It’s become my second home and I find myself lauding her beauty and defending her to my back teeth.

People talk about the warmth of a country as experienced through its people – you feel this immediately on arriving in Mexico. Be that in Mexico City, Puebla, Veracruz or Cancun – the smiles, the manners, the sense of the familial. Family and food are held in high esteem (as they should be, really) and meals are important.

The cuisine is incredible. Forget burritos (they barely exist in Mexico by the way, a bit like General Tso’s chicken….an invention to satisfy the Westerners’ tongue). From tacos, quesadillas and chilaquiles to chicharon, chiles nogada and molé – the cuisine is enormous and deserves to be taken as seriously as Italian. Whilst not as “adventurous” as say, the Chinese, the snacks are pretty entertaining – found in market places all over the country are delights such as gusanos and chapulines – worms and grasshoppers. Fried to a crispy crisp and if one doesn’t look closely, as delicious as peanuts.

The architecture is breathtaking. Puebla, a former Spanish city, is chock full of stunning colonial buildings. Then there’s the Talavera, ceramics native to Puebla – every single piece carefully painted by hand and signed on the bottom by the artist. Think a more funky and colourful version of Wedgewood.


There are the bustling cities, the plantation like swathes of tropics (Veracruz) and some of the most gorgeous beaches on earth (the Caribbean side, think Tulum).

Mexico is home to true artisans – we’re not talking straw donkeys here. Stunning hand-embroidered Otomi fabrics, delicately hand-painted alejibres from Oaxaca, silver to die for…

Take a stroll around any marketplace and you’ll see more chiles than you’ve ever imagined possible – ancho, guajillo, chilpotle…and hundreds more. If you love to cook and enjoy experimenting with spices and herbs – you’ll be in culinary heaven.

As for drinkies – we all know Tequila but it’s time to discover its lesser-known friend Mezcal. No, Corona doesn’t count as a Mexican beverage. Nobody drinks it there. Like the burrito, another thing that only non-Mexicans consume.

It’s a family-friendly country – children are welcomed wherever they go. No stuffiness or side-eye if your little one is out with you for supper at 9pm. In our case, we’ve been lucky enough that our toddler all but became part of the staff at the last hotel we stayed at.

This is just a wee snapshot of an amazing country. Go quick, before the rest of the world realizes what a wonderful country Mexico is.

Elaine

My first Autumnal outfit

August 26, 2014

This hat from Zara is a little bit special, and is my first must-have item for this Autumn/ Winter.

Zara £19.99

I personally love a bit of grey on grey, and I’ve gone for an understated mannish look with this one from one of my favourite stores – Cos.

Top £79 Trousers £89

I’ve paired the outfit with some patent brogues (they aren’t going anywhere) to contrast with he texture of the outfit.

Brogues £39

What do you think of this outfit?

Nat x

Street Style Sunday: How to style an old white shirt

August 26, 2014

 I recently inherited my husband’s white work shirt from T.M.Lewin, I only got a look in because it has a rip in the arm, but I’m not going to let that deter me. I love a good white shirt, so easy to style, whether they are fitted or oversized you can never have enough white shirts in your wardrobe. So I just rolled up the arms and paired it with a tulle skirt, and some brogues.

 

The skirt has been in my closet forever it’s from H&M unfortunately it’s not still available (although they have some superb midi skirts at the mo), but you can find a similar tulle skirt here.

The necklace is from a local shop called The orange Tree, which is great for one-off finds, unusual gifts and amazing for your interior design needs.

The bangle is from Halcyon days and I adore the simple beauty of it.

Usually I wear heels, but after comparing I think these flats looked just as good, so I went with them. The brogues are from Clarks, you can find similar here.

The outfit was for a night out with my husband for our anniversary. We went to L’anima where they serve the most amazing contemporary Italian food. The cocktails are also worth a visit even if you don’t sample the food.

The brilliant mixologist looked after us and made us this smokey concoction. I believe it was his signature drink.

The Mister and me in our matching white shirts. Ha.

How do you wear your white shirt?

Nat x

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“She’s alright but her bum is massive”…

August 26, 2014

Are the words I heard come out of a car as I strolled along to my midwife appointment this week. There was no one else on the street at the time, so I can only assume the lads in the car were talking about me and my beautiful nearly eight month pregnant buttocks.  After feeling fairly happy I had still managed to squeeze said bottom into my Topshop Leigh size 10 maternity jeans that morning, I felt a little bit deflated to say the least (side note – the jeans are old and incredibly stretchy so the sizing is by no means realistic, but you have to take the perks you where you can get them at this stage of pregnancy.)

And it got me thinking, why is it that women (and men too but perhaps not so much) are always being judged by their appearance and why did those lads comments mean so much.  Even at eight months pregnant, when I should just  be pleased as punch to be growing a little mini me, I still feel an intense pressure to look and dress a certain way.  Look at poor Kim Kardashian.  I am not her biggest fan but the way she was scrutinised by the press and general public when she was pregnant was blatant bullying.  Granted, I was just walking along the street minding my own business, and Kim’s business is obviously to be in the spotlight 24/7, but who cares if your bum becomes that much bigger when you’re pregnant and your thighs that bit wobblier.  Does it warrant being subjected to unkind comments regardless?  More to the point, why should anyone have to put up with unpleasant remarks about their size – men, women, pregnant or otherwise.

Saying that, I am currently obsessed by pregnant celebrities.  I will scour the celebrity news sites daily hoping I’ll catch a glimpse of Mila Kunis and her rounded belly.  But to be honest, I am also looking for verification that there are other women who are a similar size to me, so am I just as bad?   I recently had a scary stint is hospital due to a racing heart rate and yet one of the most unpleasant bits of my stay was when the doctors weighed me and revealed my weight after I had deliberately stayed off the scales for the last seven months.  I weighed 13 stone 3 pounds, and who cares?  No one, but regardless I am still spending far too much time thinking about the ways in which I will lose my baby weight and get back into my real size 10 skinnies.  I am not one for fad diets and I am planning on breast feeding again if I can, so my plan can only include gradual and healthy weight loss, but surely this shouldn’t be a concern before I’ve even had the baby!

So I am saying this for myself and any other ladies in a similar position.  Let’s give ourselves a break.  None of our friends or family care if when pregnant we pile on the pounds, as long both baby and mummy are healthy.  Don’t beat yourself up for reaching for that third, fourth or even fifth biscuit, pregnancy can be hard enough without chastising ourselves for any indulgences.

So if you find yourself questioning whether you should be reaching for your comfiest pair of joggers for the third day in a row, just do it!  I know I will.

Gemma x

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