Tigerlilly Quinn

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Good Friends and The Ivy Bristol

I've never considered myself a popular person, my entire school life was mainly spent trying not to get noticed by anyone and to fit in as much as I could. I spend a good majority of my life ridiculously shy and it's only really been the last five years or so that that has changed. Whilst I do have some close friends in my life I'm never been one of the popular girls, someone thats particularly good in big groups. So whilst I wouldn't say I have large social circle I do have a small group of besties.

I think you just know when you'll get on with someone, when they get you and all you don't have to try. When you can say pretty much anything and there are no awkward silences. When you know you can message them about something totally random at any time of day or have a good rant about something really silly but means a great deal to you at the time and they'll agree that whatever got you in a twist is 100% justified.

When you go 'glamping' but both agree afterwards that you'd rather be in a hotel near a cafe that does avocado toast.

When you switch from chatting politics to children to blogging to travel to food to clothes and everything in between in about ten minutes and still manage to keep track of what each other is on about. When your conversations stop and start a million times as you both have kids with you but it doesn't matter.

When you cheer each other on and are so proud of each others achievements.

Yep I'm talking about you Nichola West (and she's cringing right now for sure!)

The other night I was lucky enough to take a plus one for a complimentary meal at The Ivy. A night without interruptions from kids, one where we could leisurly drink our drinks not wolf down our meals in ten minutes flat. Absolute bliss!

I'd been pretty excited about this evening out for a while, it was going to be my first evening out after having Mabli. With Wilf my first evening out without him was full of anxiety, I left for this one like 'woo hoo!'. Funny how things change second time round ;)

( photo by Nell Mallia - this wasn't actually on the day but I was wearing this exact outfit so thought I'd include it! - Dress / Shoes / Bag ) I'll do a proper outfit post soon!

We were greeted by the General Manager who recommend delicious cocktails for us both and we set about catching up on all we'd missed from each others summers. Nichola has just come back from an amazing three week trip through Singapore and Hong Kong. Last year she spent weeks travelling through Malaysia with her family and her trips always inspire me to be a bit more adventurous with our travel. In fact her trip to Russia opened my eyes to a place I'd never thought to visit before, to ride the Red Arrow through the night to St Petersburg or visit Gorky Park, amazing!

We picked out a bottle of wine, chose our starter and mains and while the wine was flowing managed to cover this and that and all the in-between. I was laughing so much as the night went on that my sides were hurting and my eyes watering. It's only when you laugh so hard with a good friend that you realise how you haven't really been able to let loose for a while. Having a little baby is tough at times, its tiring and overwhelming and of course wonderful but having a couple of hours to just laugh and think of myself was absolute bliss. And what better location to do so?!

I kept saying how I felt like I was in the fancy restaurant in the Titanic, (still a favourite film haha)  which I think is because The Ivy is decorated perfectly in the most beautiful 1920's style. Every little detail had been thought out and felt so luxurious without being in the slightest bit over the top or garish. We were sat in the orangey and even with it pouring with rain outside it felt so bright and open sitting right next to a beautiful courtyard full of flowers.

And those tiles! Tiles of dreams for sure. I'm already planning another visit and plonking myself on that beautiful bar for a cheeky cocktail or two!

Our food was as expected impeccable, they had a couple of brilliant vegetarian options for both starters and mains. I'm pretty sure I could have eaten every single one of their pudding options (in fact I did end up eating some of Nichola's too!).

After an evening that felt just perfect in every way we ordered a strong coffee each and bundled into our cab missing the rain on our way out. Brilliant food in a beautiful setting with a best friend, I felt truly spoilt. We've already agreed we need to make this a regular thing!

I was invited to The Ivy in return for an honest review, all words and thoughts are my own 

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Refreshing our clothes with DYLON

dylon DIY pastel shoes

As you may be able to tell from my blog already we are a family that love colour. I always feel like if I dress cheerfully then it helps me to feel cheerful. That and I don't think I've ever really grown up so I tend to dress a little like my four year old, ha! We're lucky enough to live in a city that is also full of colour, from hot air balloon festivals to street art, to bright vibrant cafes and play parks I really feel like where we live happens to reflect our style perfectly too.

You may remember last month when we partnered with Dylon to re-create a corner of our living room, using cushions and a little wall hanging DIY dyed with Dylon colours. This month I'm going to be working with them again to show you how we used their products to brighten up our outfits!

dylon DIY pastel shoes

I thought it would be fun for Wilf and I to brighten up some of our shoes and I chose pastel colours to experiment with as they tend to be the shades we gravitate towards. Wilf chose the shade 'French Lavender' as purple is currently his favourite (although this changes weekly). I experimented with China Blue and Powder Pink. I picked up some cheap plain white espadrilles to experiment with, reasoning that you can never have enough shoes and why not had them in every different colour?

With my interiors makeover I wanted to have quite faded colours so didn't use the whole box of dye as recommended. This time however I wanted our colours to really pop so used the whole packet on two pairs of shoes each time I dyed a set.

With Wilf's shoes we experimented on some white ones he already owned, he thought it was really cool to be able to transform them like this. In hindsight I could have taken out the laces if I wanted them to remain white but as they are just decoration I don't think it matters too much. These are the ones we tried in the Powder Blue and you can see below him wearing his favourite ones in the French Lavender

I was so impressed with how the colour took to my white espadrilles!

dylon DIY pastel shoes

My favourite however was how bright the Powder Pink made them, I think it's the most gorgeous shade.

dylon DIY pastel shoes

Wilf and I decided to take our newly dyed colourful shoes to the perfect pastel spot for some photographs. I also chucked in an old white T Shirt of his when we did the Powder Blue shoes so he decided to team his purple shoes with his up-cylced top too.

Told you these colours were right up our street! 

dylon DIY pastel shoes

Matching our shoes to the pillars. Oh and Wilf was insistent on wearing his Junior Doctor badge with him the whole day and I had to carry the rest of his kit around in my bag. Lucky I have a massive Mary Poppins 'mum bag' the things I often have to cart around! 

dylon DIY pastel shoes

It was such a fun activity to do together and be able to create things that we can actually wear too. One of Wilf's favourite things is 'crafting' and he loved being able to pick out the colours and transform our clothes like this. Obviously being a bloggers child he's also pretty used to pictures being taken out and about, he even asks for his picture to be taken these days!

dylon DIY pastel shoes

What do you think of this simple DYLON DIY? Do you think it's something you'd try?


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

My Two Little Superheroes

OK can we just pause for a second because I think these are my absolute favourite pictures of my two yet..gah I know I'm bias but..so much cute right?

When it comes to dressing my kids, you guys will know that it's one of my favourite parts of motherhood. From those tiny baby grows I bought all the way back when I was a 'mother to be' to their first outfits and the in-between. I love finding unusual prints, bright colours and fun designs for my children and I think I'm pretty lucky that they both up until recently have been happy for me to put them in whatever I like.

Recently however Wilf has shown a preference to the things he wants to wear. He's never particularly not wanted to wear something but he definitely has his favourite pieces and he gets excited when he finds particular clothing in the shops. Often the items of clothing that he wants to chose from his own collection are the ones that fit whatever character he wants to be that day. So somedays he'll be a bat or a skeleton or whatever else he can find in his drawers. Childrens clothes are so fun, I often wish I could wear some of his wardrobe!

I'm working with Vertbaudet on this post on the idea around children being able to express themselves and how important that is. At four and a half Wilf is really growing into his personality and it's so wonderful to see. His imagination is really coming alive and I am seeing influences from story books and the world around him to shape his play, his drawings and the way he wants to express himself.


Monday, 15 August 2016

A little catch up / loving my city and blogging for a living

bristol harbourside

Bag* / Skirt (currently only £18) / Trainers
*affiliate link 

These pics were taken a few weeks before before I got all my hair chopped off but I somehow forgot to post them! I thought I might as well now even if they are a bit dated as they show off the beautiful harbourside of this lovely city we live in. I always feel like I'm on holiday a bit going through Bristol harbour in the sun, something about being close to water I think?

Although I was born here we moved away when I was around six months old. I moved back at 22 so I've lived here for eight years now, almost a decade! It's the longest I've lived anywhere as I moved up and down the country (and to Wales) when I was growing up. I like having roots and knowing that this is home. When we arrived back from a trip somewhere it feels like home, it's felt like home since the first week I lived here. Funny how you can find 'your place' isn't it.

bristol harbourside
bristol harbourside

Almost nine months since I became a mother to two I feel a little more like 'myself'. A friend told me that nine months is a marking point, like the first three months or the 'fourth trimester', you can feel a shift. I'm tired, life is hectic but its feeling more manageable, it feels like this family dynamic is now more normal. I'm not going to say I don't remember life with one child, of course I do, I spent four years with Wilf being my only child. There are times when I look at him, growing up so fast, how his face has changed, he's looking older, more like a little boy. Of course the change in Mabli is more noticeable in these past nine months but he's changed too, I don't notice it every day but when I do I can't stop marvelling at him and the person he is. There are times I wish I could give my everything to him like I used to, but I know this gift of a sibling means more. I know that Mabli was the child to complete our family, whilst I can remember life without her I know our lives are so much better now she's here. We didn't realise we were missing her until she arrived.

bristol harbourside
bristol harbourside

I grew up one of five children, whilst there were benefits to that there were also disadvantages. I don't think there is every a perfect number or a perfect time or a perfect financial situation. I know we are done at two though, I know my children will only be this little once. That when old ladies tap me on the shoulder and tell me they are at the best age, that they miss their babies being babies, I know exactly what they mean. I want to freeze time, which I'm doing I guess, with this blog. Of course this space is now my job, something I feel grateful for everyday but really its my time capsule, of our lives together.

bristol harbourside
bristol harbourside

Whilst I absolutely have bad days, I have days when my children are driving me round the bend, when I want to wee in piece and when I feel such rage towards my husband I throw him two fingers up behind his back as he leave the room (he does this to me too we both confessed ha!). I guess people who read my blog or look at my Instagram only see the pretty bits and I think thats OK as long as everyone understands thats what it is. That it took me all weekend to get our house tidy enough to take a picture of our living room and I'll repost those pictures when it's anything but tidy!

I read a comment lately that said they gave up on blog that accepted sponsored posts, that they only read blogs who blog just for them. It's a funny concept I think, as an illustrator I drew for fun but I also drew to get paid, my dream at the time was to draw for a living and I don't really see blogging for a living as any different. I didn't actually intend for this post to go this way but I just started typing and it led me here!

I'd love to know what you think, why do you read blogs (or my blog in particular maybe?!) does it bother you if a blogger is earning a living from their blog?
p.s totally happy for discussion but no mean comments please! ;)
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