Tigerlilly Quinn

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

When you have no groceries and you want to keep wearing your slippers - Day in the life

What I love about my job is that no two days are every the same. What is tricky about my job is that no two days are ever the same! Add to that two cats, two kids and a household to run, like most mums I find juggling it all a bit of a struggle at times.

I'm going to just be straight here and admit, I'm 100% the mum that is remembers the same morning that it's 'dress as a (insert some random theme) day' at school. I'm not always so organised with the day to day 'life admin' and add to that Tom and I both don't drive and sometimes the food shop becomes one of those tasks that we struggle with.

I'm working with Tesco in this post to give their 'Same Day Delivery' service a go. I'm no stranger to online shopping, in fact that is how we generally shop but I actually didn't realise you could get a same day service so this was music to my ears! I think this would solve so many last minute problems  like when we're at the end of a loaf of bread or the milk is running low for the rest of the day.

I love that Tesco have realised how much of a help having a same day service can be for busy families running low on essentials. Sometimes with school runs and kids clubs and working from home the last thing you need to think about it heading to the shops to do your grocery shopping.

All you need to do is order by 1pm to be able to have your shopping delivered the same day from 7pm onwards. Just in time for dinner time. I thought it would be fun to show you a bit of a 'day in our lives' of a regular Tuesday and how we used the service to help out in our day-to-day.

So our day usually starts at around a 6am when I crawl out of bed to the background noise of 'down? Bing?' from Mabli. It's literally her favourite show and the first thing she says upon opening her eyes the morning. I really hope she gets a new favourite soon as I'm a little tired of hearing how many things Bing is claiming are 'a Bing thing' am I right?

Anyway, somehow the next two and a half hours fly by and its the general panic of rushing to get out the house, putting on coats and jumpers and hats and gloves and bribing Mabli into the pushchair. We're home by 9am and its another cup of coffee for me.

Next up I have a few Instagram campaigns to shoot. This is always somewhat of a challenge when I have an almost two year old assistant but it does make things a whole lot more fun too ;)

Whilst Mabli goes down for a nap I finally have a chance to work on a few bits and bobs and also to book my online shop! I love the fact that I don't have to wait until the next day for this and also that I don't have to drag the kids round the supermarket after school, perfect! I've popped a few essentials in like milk, bread and toilet roll but also children's snacks (we are always running low on healthy snacks for kiddos). I've also had a quick look in the fridge and realised we need a few more veggies for tonights meal so popped those on the list as well and picked up a few two - for - one deals I noticed where happening that day. I always find it easier to pick up bargains like that on-line rather than in store as everything is categorised so easily.

Off for pick up a quick play in the park before it starts to rain..

School run done and hope for a bit of chill out time, the kids have a snack and watch their shows whilst I run the hoover around and do some laundry. I can catch up on emails and shoot a few back that are urgent.

I can start to get the kids dinner done now and know that the shopping for ours is arriving at 7pm just before the kids bedtime. We used to try and all eat together but if I'm honest the things Tom and I like to eat or sometimes a bit different from the tastes of a 5 and 1 year old. As much as we'd like them to eat more exciting things sometimes and do try and make them try new things but we do find it easier now to eat our evening meal separately during the week. We also don't want to eat our dinner that early so it works to get the kids to bed before we have ours.

The shopping has arrived! The whole process was so easy and it's brilliant that its only been five hours since I ordered it. This is definitely a service I think I will be using again for sure, I think its so useful for families but also for anyone with a busy life (which I'm sure is all of us). You could even order it on your lunch break on your phone and have it ready for when you get home that evening. 

Mabli goes up to bed with Tom whilst Wilf gets to play lego for half an hour and I can start on our dinner. He then gets half an hour of story time (we've started the second Harry Potter book) and then its off to bed for Wilf and dinner time for us!

We went for a warm autumnal salad with goats cheese, beetroot and root veg (something we could never get the kids to eat ha!)

It was so nice to order this in the morning and have it for dinner that evening, perfect for those days when you just don't have time for a big shop in store or even for when you need the essentials like tea, milk, bread for the next day.

What do you think? Would you try out the Tesco Same Day Delivery service? I'd love to know what you think of the idea and if you'd use it.

In Association with Tesco

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Getting out off a rut with Gousto

I'm not sure how it happens so often but when it comes to meal time we tend to stick and rotate the same few meals each week. I think we always have good intentions of mixing things up but often (and especially with kids) we find ourselves sticking to things that are quick to make and know the kids will eat. Those things tend to be a pasta meal at least twice a week, jacket potatoes at least once and stir fry for something easy and to use up veg.

I'm not saying we are massively unhealthy when it comes to meals and think we do eat a good amount of veg even if it mixed up with a lot of carbs but it does tend to get a bit 'samey'. When Gousto got in touch and asked if we wanted to try out one of their boxes I was intrigued. We have tried weekly meal boxes before but one of the things that we found tricky was not having control over what arrived and whether our children woulda actually eat it.

You can actually use this unique discount code which allows you two Gousto boxes from £14.99 each

With Gousto you do actually have quite a few options of what will arrive in your box. Each week you can pick your meal options from a good selection of meals. I actually expected as a veggie family for the selection to be quite limited but there were a good eight meals for us to pick from which ensured we were sure to have a few quick and easy ones and a couple ones we probably wouldn't have thought to make ourselves.

One of the meals in our box this week was the Tortizza Margerita and I thought this would be a great one to make together with the kids. I think that by cooking together it makes my children more interested in actually eating what they've created.

We actually made a little video of the process of cooking together which I think is pretty cute if I say so myself, what do they say about working with children haha! You can get a taster of how it went by the picture below!

One of the things we loved about how Gousto put their boxes together is they have measured out exact amounts so even when it comes to something like a meal with butternut squash for example (another of our meals that week) the squash would have been cut and cubed to the exact amount for you. So there's really not much extra work you need to put into the prep a lot of the time, which as a busy parent was a plus point from me.

The kids loved helping me make these pizza like dishes and they were simple enough for both of them to be able to add the toppings and spread the tomato paste which they loved doing, even if Mabli did make quite a mess!

One of the things I want to try and do more of when we can is eat together. Its not always possible with all our schedules being different but its so special when we are able to do so. I remember family meals as a child being about us all catching up and connecting, which I think is what good food and eating together is all about really!

I'd love it if you had a watch of the video we made and what we all thought of the dish. We were so impressed with the Gousto box and will definitely be booking them again.

Have you tried the Gousto boxes yet? Don't forget you can actually use this unique discount code which allows you two Gousto boxes from £14.99 each

In association with Gousto 

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Three favourite wallpaper prints right now

It's been ages since I've done an interiors post over here, I think mainly because my blog is whatever is going on in my life at that moment and doing up our home had taken a back seat since we decided we won't be staying here.

It's funny because when we were doing up our home over the past almost eight years we were so excited for what we could do with it and the potential it had. We actually did some major work on it but also just little interior bit and bobs like choosing carpets and wall paper and sanding down floor boards etc. Once we realised we were growing too big for it (mainly after we had Mabli really) and that a move would have to be on the cards at some point, it seemed a bit pointless to do anything else.

We now have a move in mind for the new year so I'm starting to get interested in everything home once more and I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite wallpapers at the moment.

Obviously flamingo is a thing but I think if you are going to go for a slightly kitch design like a flamingo you might as well go big right? I love this print because its bold but the illustration feels sophisticated too. I don't think Tom would be majorly keen on a pink flamingo bathroom but a girl can dream right?

You can pick up this one here

Or what about this Art Deco type print? Would love so good with those gold taps and accessories.

I feel like this wallpaper from Etsy would make me so happy every time I went into my bathroom. I'm really loving green at the moment and think the plant print would just make it feel like such an airy and inviting space.

So those are three wallpapers I'm loving at the moment, I'd love to know which one was your favourite! 

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Do you still read blogs?

how has blogging changed the way we communicate
It feels like forever ago since I had a chance to sit down and just catch up with guys. Tom is off for the evening and so I'm sat here with a cup of tea, a purring cat to the right of me and the baby monitor to the left of me hoping my *almost* two year old will sleep long enough to let me finish this post.

I've been blogging now for about eight years (what?!) and I've seen this whole world change SO much since I started. I started a blog because I wanted to show people my illustrations, because I was a bit lonely and wanted to strike up online friendships and because I wanted an online scrapbook of things I liked (before Pinterest!). I was 24 and I never thought it would anything more than a way to have a conversation with people.

Fast forward a year or so and becoming a mum meant my blog changed because my life changed. No longer was a trying to carve a career for myself from illustration, I was fully immersed in my new life as a parent and just very happy documenting life. I look back on those posts and cringe (A LOT) because quite frankly they were pretty dull haha, talking about the ins and outs of newborn baby life, sleep, feeding and no sleep. Luckily though these kind of firsts are universal, other new mums found my blog, we chatted on twitter and I joined Instagram. I felt like I had so much help and support from people I would most likely never meet but were so part of my life and me theres I suppose!

(who would have known a hand in frame with a latte would be a thing 8 year ago?)

When Wilf was about six months old I was offered my first sponsored post (from Ecover funny enough as I worked with them again only last month) I was thrilled! I think I even called my parents I was so chuffed. A brand I used and loved had heard of me and wanted to work with me. I was paid £40 and Tom and I were able to pay for a meal out and that to me was as far as I though this would go to be honest.

I blogged first and foremost to connect with people and every single comment would make my day. I remember someone tweeting me when I had posted twice in one day saying 'oh my gosh I just called my sister to say there was a double post and we both ran to read it'. I was sat next to Tom on the sofa in my PJ"s thinking 'really?! did that really happen, are people that interested in me??' I'm not going to lie it gave me a massive boost to know someone loved my content as much as I loved writing it and I guess in the end that's what it comes down to. If I didn't want that conversation or gratification then I would have just always had comments off.

I wasn't going to return to my job after maternity leave anyway but when more and more work came up (still for fairly small amounts) it made sense to see where this all might go. About six months later I was earning enough as I would have done at a part time job and my goal really was to reach the same amount as my old job. I started blogging daily and saw the same names popping up in the comments. Mums I think, like to talk, to chat about their own experience and to take part in the conversation. It felt like filling in friends of your latest news over coffee.

Somewhere along the line Instagram began to take off, I had used it pretty much from the beginning but often just popping a load of pictures up in a row with no captions or (gasp) no filter! Nothing like the big business it is today and again I think something that no one really saw coming as a earning potential.

Fast forward another few years and my hopes of making a full time wage not only came true but surpassed my expectations, so much so that a couple of months ago Tom was able to leave his job and we are both able to be at home with the kids. Something I never would have thought of in my wildest dreams!

About a year and a bit ago I made the decision to start vlogging over on my YouTube channel. I actually looked back on some of these first videos and cringed so much, yikes I was so nervous and awkward! It's amazing how much can change in just over a year so I'm excited to see where that might lead, even though I'm very much starting from the beginning over there I'm happy to learn and hopefully grow and I'm so enjoying documenting our lives in a different way.

So what with Instagram & You Tube now taking over a little bit I often worry that I'm neglecting my blog. It will always be my first love and my favourite platform but rather than being the only space to pop down my thoughts we now have so many, and so many we are tying to keep up with.

I know that blogging have changed in these past eight years, I mean it's changed my life for a start! It's turned into something no one could have expected and I don't think it's about to shut down because people are micro-blogging on Instagram (as much as I LOVE IG) or filming their day to days. I actually think that there are almost three different audiences on each and those of you reading this might not be interested in seeing my day-to-day on either of those which is totally understandable! I mean there is only so much of me wittering on anyone can take right ;)

Our lives have also changed, with Wilf starting school last year it felt only natural he would appear on here less. Mabli is almost two and whilst being a mum is of course the most important thing in my world its not my only passion. It's only natural I think that content changes as a person does. I'm now 31 and not 24 for a start I guess!

Do you think blogging has changed? Do you still read blogs as much? Do you watch YouTube or only really have time for a quick scroll through Instagram? I'd love to know.

Thanks as always for reading and commenting, it truly means the world, in fact I still get that buzz when I read a new comment. I owe you all so much for sticking around and supporting me over the years so I'd love to know what kind of content you'd enjoy seeing too.

Ok I'm going to make another cup of tea if my sleeping baby lets me! Speak soon xx

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