Huggies Pull-Ups Bus

September 22, 2014

I am about to embark on potty training for the second time. Our house is mainly wooden floors and tiles, so the first time I just let my daughter run around with nothing on until she got the hang of using the potty as a toilet and not the whole house. This time it’s a little different, firstly it’s not warm weather, and secondly my youngest is going to nursery a couple of days a week, so running around naked isn’t a workable option for us. Because I didn’t use Pull-Ups last time, it had completely escaped my thinking that it was even an option. Luckily last week we had a very timely invitation to the Huggies Pull-Ups bus. It was at Surrey Docks Farm, which if you live in London is a great day out, it’s just over the river from Canary Wharf. It’s really weird seeing this oasis in the middle of a really built up area, it’s easy to forget you’ll bang in the middle of London. The kids absolutely loved the Pull-Ups bus, especially the mini bathroom splash play area, it had loads of other things too to keep them entertained, whilst the parents got hints and tips to help them through the potty training journey.

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Style Me Sunday - Surrey Docks Farm

Taking a selfie with this girl is basically impossible as you’ll see from the slide show, she just wants to grab my phone. Also from the photos you can see she has no fear, I was calling her from a good few metres away (looking like a twit) as she was getting up close and personal to a goat with very big horns. Luckily the animals are very used to being handled and my visions of her getting hoofed up into the air were fortunately unfounded. Can you tell I’m not a country girl?

Visiting the bus gave me the impetus to start potty training and so far it is going really well, she’s loving the huge amount of praise she gets when she uses the potty, and she adores her big girl Pull-Ups pants and doesn’t ever want to go back to those baby nappies.

Nappy training does not have to be stressful or problematic, if you’d like some support or advice go to www.pottytraining.co.uk

The Huggies Pull-Ups bus’ next stop is Manchester at the Baby and Toddler show.

Nat x

Street Style Sunday – My LiD dress

September 21, 2014

Here’s another one of my vintage treasures. I can finally wear this again now that Autumn is drawing closer. I bought it last year from Lucy in Disguise.

Check out their website they have loads of amazing unique pieces you’ll want to buy.

Style Me Sunday - Vintage Lid dress

 

Style Me Sunday - Vintage LiD dress

 

 

 

It’s not to everyones taste, but I absolutely adore it. I love the patterned fabric.

I paired it with my gold Swedish Hasbeens, which as you’ll know if you follow me on Instagram, are my latest obsession.

What do you think of the dress?

Nat x

Would love to see your style. Just tag #streetstylesunday on Instagram or link up your style posts below by clicking the button. 

Grab the Street Style Sunday badge (left hand column).

Comment on this post and one other post in the link up.

Tweet about it, and remember to tag @stylemesunday and I will always retweet. 

I run this link up in conjunction with the lovely Laura from Side Street Style.


The Waiting Game – The Last Few Weeks of Whinging

September 19, 2014

 Now even if you have had the most perfect pregnancy, we all concede that a heavily pregnant woman normally equals a fairly grumpy, uncomfortable one.  I know there are a few wondrous women out there who really do relish every moment of pregnancy and all the joys it brings, but unfortunately I am not one of them.  With every shooting pain up the nether region and every heave to turn my big beautiful bump over in bed, I become slightly more fed up at the prospect of having to spend another day as a monstrously moany second-time mummy-to-be.  But the thing that is keeping my spirits up (as well as the excitement at meeting my brand new baby any day now – of course!) is everyone else’s reaction to my heavily pregnant state.
 
First off, is our family.  Nothing quite beats the over excitement of your nearest and dearest, especially those doting Grandparents.  My mum and I are in daily contact as we discuss every potential contraction and twinge, but having your second baby means there is also another major consideration – childcare for Coco. We are very lucky to have my in-laws who live no more than twenty minutes away, so there should never be any need to panic when the big day does finally arrive, but for some reason not having a definite date to work to seems to send everyone into a major meltdown.  Despite being pregnant for very nearly nine months, the pressure of knowing they could be needed at a moments notice seems to do something funny to the brain and every job or appointment that needed doing for the last year HAS to be squeezed into your precious last few weeks.  In my case, that’s getting the car serviced, having your hair done and starting your new French class. It’s assumed you are suddenly able to develop a second sight, and as my midwife brilliantly put it, “look up your own vagina and check out your cervix” to tell people exactly when your little angel will be making an arrival. If only that were true! Even Coco has been getting in on the act when she announced during breakfast one morning that, “the baby is coming!”
 
My other main source of amusement has been the reaction of men.  Funnily enough it turns out that there is nothing more terrifying to a man in his mid-thirties than a heavily pregnant woman.   Now on the streets of Wanstead where I live, us pregnant creatures are very common and no one bats an eyelid.  But head out closer into town or Shoreditch and suddenly we are a rare and fearful species.  As I waddled along men actually made a conscious effort to move as far away from me as possible, just in case, heaven forbid (!), my waters broke and splashed their new leather loathers.  However, women seem to have the opposite reaction and are drawn to us like a moth to a flame.  Strangers don’t hesitate to massage our massive bumps, and even though women would automatically never comment on another ladies size, they take sheer delight at telling us how ENORMOUS we have become – the bigger the better!
 
All the while, I’m pretending to stay relaxed whilst carefully monitoring every false contraction and over analyzing every ache.  After months of panicking over pre-term labour, the baby has different ideas.  So despite the hospital bag being ready for weeks and everyone being on high alert, my heavily pregnant state is set to continue for at least a few more days. Cue, long walks, hot curries and the all the other old wives tales!  A perfect topic for next week’s post!?  I hope not!
 
Gemma x

My vintage leopard print cape

September 17, 2014

capecoat

capecoat2

As Elaine said yesterday it’s hard to not notice that’s London Fashion Week has descended upon us (it ended yesterday). But what does that mean to us mums? It seems like it’s full of people in mega expensive clothes looking fabulous and not to mention skinny.  Well for accessible unique fashion finds there is nothing I like more than a good old rummage in a charity shop. I have a wardrobe bursting its seams to testify to that fact (and a long-suffering husband I might add). But even better than my charity shop bargains was when I inherited this amazing original leopard print cape from my lovely mum. And capes are shit hot at the moment. And even if they weren’t I’d rock this coat until I got put in my grave.

I paired my cape with some Uniqlo skinny jeans, custom ripped at the knee my moi, and some brogues from Clarks.

brogues

Here’s a little selection of capes you can buy now.

 

Fabulous Capes

 

Click image for details
So if you have a mum who was vaguely fashionable at some point in time, I suggest you go and raid her wardrobe too. You never know what you might find.
Nat x

Dining table decisions

September 16, 2014

We are currently shopping for an everyday dining table to go in our open plan kitchen. Who would have thought that such a mundane inaminate object could be so divisive. We have such different tastes and styles when it comes to furnishing our home that it’s a wonder how we ever managed to buy a home and have children together in the first place. This time I’m adamant about not compromising, I’ve done it before and once the purchase has been made and the item is in situ, no one actually likes it let alone loves it. No one ends up being happy, we end up with something mediocre that reflects no one’s personality. This time I’m going to keep looking until we can find the perfect dining table for our family that we both love and that’s (more trickily) within our budget.

Here’s some of the options I’ve sorry we’ve been looking at:

Dining room tables

1. Cookes Dining table  2. notonthehighstreet.com table 3. Graham and Green Dining table 4. The Old Cinema Victorian table

So we’ll just keep looking until we can find the perfect table that both us actually really want, and until then we’ll keep bashing our shins on our current dining table that we both detest so much.

What kind of table would you go for?

Natalie x

fashion…turn to the left

September 16, 2014

photo 5

Unless you’re totally cut off from all social media or are uninterested in anything fashion-related, one cannot have missed all the Fashion Week frenzy going on in the world right now. The world being New York last, London this week, and soon to be Paris and Milan.

Clothes, shoes and all things sartorial – from gingham and florals to the latest It Bag and flats, it’s flooding social media.

Girls, boys, young women and adults are tuning in (and tuning out, granted) to Instagram, Twitter and all the latest technology that streams the catwalks directly into one’s lives at the touch of a button.

I have to ask myself then, why does this love of style not translate into everyday life?

This post is about overdressing. I’d prefer to call it dressing well, but when I look around and see the majority of folks kicking around in leisure wear, dirty shoes and generally looking unkempt, I realise I may be in the minority.

It’s not about money, it’s not about buying designer togs. It’s about finding a style that one likes, trying it in baby steps – or full-blown Sod it, let’s do this – and then going with it.

How one dresses reflects so much – it’s a way of saying who one is without the need for words. Perfect for the passive-aggressive Dorothy Parkers in the world (moi).

Angry? Wear black. Such a cliche but it works. Happy? Wear red.  Understated elegance? Grey – all fifty shades of it.

It’s about originality. Okay, maybe not Isabella Blow levels of it, but surely everyone has found a page in a magazine that’s made us stop and say “Wow, I love that look.”. Why not try it out? Sure the mag spread comprises Bottega Veneta or some other out of our price range designer, but it’s about experimenting with what one has…a fashion hack if you like.

Look at the overall image and key details – not just the colours, though these are important of course. Skirt length and style – A-line, tulip, pencil, ankle-length? Where does it fall – below the knee or on it? The fabric, unless we’re talking Dior Haute Couture or an uber cool Japanese fabric that took 6 years to make – is not important. Look at the outline shape of the ensemble – is it slim-fitting, voluminous or flowing? Again, mimic it so one keeps the key messages.

Shoes. Oh dear god. My general feeling is: What one wears to work or the gym should not be worn elsewhere. If one wears gorgeous heels to work (or the gym), this is different. Gorgeous heels, in good condition (no scuffs) can be worn just about everywhere and anytime. If, like most people, fancy heels to work are a no-no, invest in a couple of nice pairs  for evening – they’ll lift both the outfit and one’s height, not to mention the derriere and swagger.

If a 2 year old gal can march about in heels and climb a slide in them (looking at you, Amelia Yau), so can all of us grown adult femmes. Firstly, buy a pair that doesn’t cripple you in the shop. Walk about the showroom for at least a few minutes. Take them off then come back. Try them on in the late morning but never in the afternoon if feet are swollen or tired. Then practice at home, in the bedroom, up and down the stairs, on carpeted and wooden floors. Practice makes perfect, or at least might save us from face-planting in the street. Nothing worse than seeing a woman walking in heels that force her to strut like a deformed flamingo. We’ve all been there, done it and seen it on strangers. Don’t be that woman.

photo 1

Those that are firmly anti-heels, rejoice – flats are back. Even trainers/sneakers are a la mode for 2015. Just make sure the trainers are not dual-use. Those worn to work out are not for wearing with your skirts, jeans or trousers – EVER. The fashionable trainers are colourful and fun – some are $1000 of course, but like everything else, find an alternative that does the same sartorial service. Nike and Reebok have some fantastic trainers for the flat-loving fashionista. For night-time, low-heeled evening shoes are gorgeous – Kate Spade et al do some gorgeous ones with bejewelled low heels. Ines de la Fressange, La Reine of Chic always wears flats – day and evening. Google her and Swoon.

photo 4

Look at mags for clues as to what heel or shoe style works with your outfit. The wrong one can ruin your look in a heartbeat.

PSA about wearing all one colour heads to toe – make sure it fits very, very well. Get trousers tailored. Rarely does an off-the-peg pair fit properly. The same with blazers and jackets – nothing cheapens an outfit faster than a poor fit. In black, although you may wish to disappear and become invisible, every seam and tuck is exaggerated and more obvious. It doesn’t cost much to get them tweaked by a proper tailor and it’s worth every single penny. You’ll feel amazing and look incredible. Seriously. I promise this on my son’s shoe collection.

Have fun with it all. Dress up to the cinema, supermarket, playgroup. If an outfit makes YOU smile, wear it as often as possible. So what if people look – unless you’re dressed in an evening gown in Wholefoods at 3pm, chances are people are looking at you with admiration – probably jealousy actually – but that just means you look spectacular – win-win. Tip: supermarket trolleys are marvellous props if one’s heels are too high or are a bit painful.

Another PSA: the higher the heel, the longer the skirt hem. Don’t be that girl. Wear a killer heel, platform or stiletto – but if it’s higher than 2 inches, make sure your skirt or dress hits just on or covers the knee. Believe it or not, it elongates the leg and makes the outfit a whole lot more sexy and mysterious, and a LOT less cheap and tacky. Save the thigh flashing for the beach. Everything has its place.

The same goes for gentlemen – a well-cut suit (get it tailored to tweak the too-baggy legs and too-long sleeves PLEASE) will win the women (and men) over. It’ll flatter the figure (bye bye beer gut) and lift the spirits. There are SO many collar options available out there now – the Cut Back, the Spread, the Rounded etc.

photo 3

Ties come in many different fabrics – silk, cotton, wool – wide, narrow. Not to mention the different ways of knotting them. Wear the trousers a little short a la Thom Browne, show some ankle and fun socks (no cartoon characters once one has left high school, please) – or brave the elements and go without socks.

These days, men have almost as much of a choice in footwear as women. Boots, mocs, loafers, brogues, oxfords, monks…and yes, the trainers are there too. Inspiration is everywhere.

Seriously, sneak a peek at a female friend’s Pinterest page under GORGEOUS MEN – there is tons of inspiration there. From the edgy, yet immaculate Nick Wooster of NYC to the classic and beautiful Italian chap in Milan – and get extra tips about how to knot a tie or what colour shoes to wear from mags such as Esquire or GQ. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSES.

photo 2

Most important PSA of all: a red lip fixes EVERYTHING. Maybe even a LuluLemon outfit.

Elaine

Street Style Sunday – My Insta Style

September 15, 2014

This week’s Street Style Sunday is more of a Street Style Monday I’m a bit late with this post, sorry.

As some of you may know I’m am a little bit addicted to Instagram. It is by far my preferred means of communication. I’m a very visual person so I love looking at everyone’s images for inspirations. Also I am not so keen on writing, my skills are rather lacking but I’m trying really hard to get better. Pictures and a little bit of text is ideal for me.

Tips – Try really hard not to post too many photos, people get bored if you post too many photos of a similar thing. Limit yourself to 1-3 a day.

Try and mix it up a bit, I include pictures about lots of different things not just shoes.

Look at other people’s photos and if you like them then actually like them. It’s not just a one-way street.

Try to refrain from posting blurred or crappy images, no matter how much you want to show off your mate’s wedding!

Having said that don’t make them too perfect, sometimes people will think it’s not real and you’ve just nicked the picture from a magazine if it’s too picture perfect.

If you want to gain more followers, try to look at who your target audience is and follow those people by looking through other people’s followers or who they follow.

I am by no means an expert, so if you can give me any tips, I’d love to hear them.

instastyle

 

If you’re not on Instagram go and get yourself an account NOW, I promise you’ll love it.

You can take a look at more of my pictures here.

In the week I will share the love and let you know who inspires me on instagram.

Now it’s time to link up your style posts:

Grab the Street Style Sunday badge (left hand column).

Comment on this post and one other post in the link up.

Tweet about it, and remember to tag @stylemesunday and I will always retweet. 

I run this link up in conjunction with the lovely Laura from Side Street Style.


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

To enter the giveaway make sure:
  • You are a UK and republic of Ireland resident.
  • You must be 16 or over.
  • You MUST enter the 3 mandatory fields – each worth 1 point.
  • After completing the mandatory fields you can enter as many times as you like. Every time you get 3 points you get another entry.
  • The giveaway closes on 11/10/14.
  • Rafflecopter picks a winner at random.
  • I will notify you via email within 3 days from the end date.
  • You have 28 days to acknowledge my notification, after which another winner will be picked.
  • You will get your prize within 14 days of acknowledging your win.
  • Your email address will be shared with Desmond Elephant and no other parties.

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

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