31.12.14

bits and pieces


A selection of photos that don't really fit anywhere/a snap shot of life lately

1, Green People Lip Stain* - I was sent the Sangria shade the other day and it is the business. I've been telling everyone about it as I find the feeling of wearing lipstick a bit odd but lip stain doesn't make me feel that way. Plus it's ethical (and 20% off)

2, New necklace heading to the shop, I get to keep one for myself of course ;)

3, Trains and cars, trains and cars, trains and cars. I never thought they would feature so prominently in my life until I had a little boy

4, I started getting into doing some other creative things lately, mainly just painting brooches for the shop but it feels very therapeutic

5, Christmas tree is down and we are rearranging our living room. It feels good, fresh start for the year and all that (these were from Asda)

6, Some lovely 80's toys at granny's house

7, I love shots of Amusement arcades. This one is at West Bay

8, A LUSH Christmas, I love their stuff and always treat myself around Christmas (although this was a lovely gift from them!).

I hope you have a wonderful New Years! I did intend to be all organised with a year gone by post but you know what it's like. I'll probably have it live in the Spring along with a post about ending breastfeeding (6 months later) and Wilf turning 3 just before he's about to turn 4 ;)

*affiliate links

30.12.14

What Mama Wore


Coat - Vintage
Dress - c/o People Tree* (on the sale and you can get a further 10% off with code TIGER10)
Jumper - Uniqlo
Sparkle boots - c/o Boden*
Scarf - Primark

A frosty morning walk the other day. We decided to take Wilf's birthday scooter out to a park a train stop away from us and pop into a few charity shops on the way. This time of year has been a bit overwhelming and we are dealing with a fair amount of three year old meltdowns. This particular day saw a huge number of them and we got home in the afternoon feeling like we'd ran a marathon. Sometimes its completely exhausting raising a small person.

For the most part I feel pretty happy with the way we parent and I'm often so proud at how self assured and thoughtful my little kiddo can be. Then there are times when we are on the second tantrum of the day, it's not even lunch time and we are getting the stink eye from other members of the public.

I mentioned on my FB page how I was feeling and so many of you guys left useful suggestions on gentle parenting articles with some ideas on how to tackle this. I've added a few books to my shopping list and hoping we can try and work through those days a little better. All I know is I don't want to resort to yelling as really then I know I've kinda lost hold on the situation and Wilf does too.

I'm kinda glad it the festive period though, how appropriate is it when you can have a glass of bucks fizz at ten am when you are feeling like you really need one ;)

Any advice on how to deal with toddler tantrums calmly and without resorting to yelling or punishments? I'd love to know if any particular books rang true for you!

*affiliate links

29.12.14

Four days a week

Tom surprised me with another post he wanted to share with you guys (I think the fame from the last one went to his head ;)). I've been meaning to mention for a while our work situation and when I mentioned it to Tom he said he would really like to share what it meant to him and why it what the decision meant for our family. I also wanted to note that I realise we are very lucky to be in a situation which allows us this flexibility, it's something I am thankful for daily and will never feel complacent about. 


After a lot of thought I recently dropped my hours at work to four days per week.  So far it has been one of the best decisions that I have made.

With Fritha working freelance, Wilf has been going to nursery two days a week, but Fritha really needed another day.  Wilf loves nursery and would be happy to go there more often (in fact he did do three days a week for a bit), but this seemed like the perfect opportunity for me and Wilf to spend a bit more time together.


One of my part-time colleagues recently retired, so when we recruited a replacement this allowed me to drop a day. This wasn’t something that Fritha and I rushed into without any thought, and I spent a long time working out if we could afford this move.  What became apparent is that although I now work 20% less time, my income has not dropped by the same amount once tax, student loan repayments and pension contributions are taken into account.  Then if you factor in the money saved from a day’s child care, the difference is really not that big.  When I looked at the number of pounds worse off that I would be, and then I asked myself would I pay that each week to spend a day with my son, it was an easy question to answer.

The best thing is that it now gives me and Wilf a day just for us (sorry Fritha).  I love our family time at the weekend, but it’s great for me and Wilf to be able to go on nature walks or play in the park, just the two of us.  Normally during the week I would only see Wilf after work, so although we enjoy a bath and a story before bed, he is always tired.  It has also meant that Wilf has been able to see a lot more of his cousins as we can now meet up with my sister.  So far we have been to a soft-play (which Fritha is not a fan of) and to a toddler dance class (which was a big hit with Wilf).

As we approach a new year I’m really looking forward to all the adventures that Wilf and I will share.

What set up do you have in your household? I'd love to hear your thoughts on sharing childcare and working hours. 

27.12.14

January Sales - wish list



1, Midi Skirt in Scuba with sheer panel (this one may have fallen into my shopping basket)
2, Sixties Slingbacks (half off)
3, Models own scented nail varnish 
4, Daphne jacket (get an extra 10% off with code TIGER10 - plus new Orla Kiely in stock!)
5, Camel 70's Floppy Hat

Oh January sales, all those things I didn't care about wanting before because I couldn't justify I now get the urge to haul as I wouldn't want to miss a bargain. I always feel like when I shop in the sales it's like me saying in the new year I'm going to be 'this' person. Maybe I'm going to be the person who wears 70's camel hats and it becomes my thing? At least I'm not kidding myself with the exercise equipment anymore, although part of me wonders if it's even worse that I no longer even kid myself I'm going to get fit!

*affiliate links

26.12.14

Merry Christmas!!


Merry Christmas! I hope you all had fantastic ones whoever you were with and however you were celebrating. These are some pictures from our family walk in West Bay (where Tom is from). When I got home and checked my camera I felt like they should be part of the 'Awkward Family Photos' website as they were all so hilariously bad. A nice family portrait is so hard to come by!

Even so I actually liked some of the shots just for being true to life, here are some of the better lot (I feel like I should make a separate post post on the bad ones, think half blinking, Wilf whinging, me accidentally poking Tom in the eye..)

Click below to read on

23.12.14

What Mama Wore - Christmas


Last week Wilf was poorly for an entire week and just when it seemed like he was coming out of it he would be struck down with another fever. It felt quite relentless and I felt so awful for my little boy. Consequently we spent most of the week in doors and in our jim jams so by Saturday I was SO ready to get dressed and out the house even if it was just for coffee!

Click below to read on

22.12.14

Eating Out

image via DTSP

There is almost nothing more I like in life than meeting up with friends over good food and good wine. Nowadays our meet ups with friends are usually in the daytime than evening and involve our kids too but I think that can be just as fun as long as you are choosing a place that's pretty casual and tolerant of children and their slightly unpredictable ways. We try to catch up with friends like this as least once a week, I figure the amount we save no longer going out on the weekends allows us for a little treat like this from time to time.

I was recently introduced to Quandoo.co.uk which is an app that allows you to find restaurants in your area and make bookings online. Whats interesting about it is that it uses a loyalty scheme meaning every time you book through them you get points towards a restaurant voucher. You can earn 400 points just by signing up with them. I do love a good loyalty scheme ;)

You can narrow down your searches by choosing the type of cuisine, the time you are going and even who you are going with (a date or your family for example) and even the type of atmosphere you are after.

Currently the UK only has seven cities available on the app but I'm sure more will follow soon. Originating in Germany it now covers lots of Europe and some major capitals so a great one to have on your phone if you are planning a city break too!




Places in Paris (our honeymoon) - A post from Tom!

Tom is taking over my blog today with a little guide on the things we got up to in Paris on our honeymoon. I've had so many emails since we went on recommendations on things to do and I felt awful I'd not got round to sharing some of the things we did. Tom is always the one who plans out our trips (he would pretty much laminate his itinerary if he could) and he surprised me by saying he'd quite like to write this post. I thought it was pretty cute, hope you like it as much as I enjoyed reminiscing about our time there!
Here is a quick guide to the places we visited (and most importantly ate) while on our honeymoon in Paris.
Firstly I must say that Fritha is the positive one in our relationship and I am the one that always finds something to grumble about. So it may be surprising that I have so many positive things to say about the places we visited. This is for the most part as I had spent a long time researching good vegetarian/vege friendly places before our trip.

Eating
VG Burgers – Great selection of vege & vegan burgers and very cheap for Paris. I would very happily eat there again and again and again.
Maceo – We ate here as our expensive ‘honey-moon’ meal as it was somewhere we would never go with Wilf. The service was excellent (attentive but not in your face) and very welcoming.  The food and wine were great but while we were both glad that we went there we agreed that not being ‘foodies’ we would be just as happy eating crepes or vege burgers as fine dining.
Bobily –Fritha chose this place for lunch in le Marais on the Sunday (she does love pasta!). It is a nice little Italian restaurant with a clean, fairly minimal/scandi interior. It was a great, calm place to stop for a glass of wine and a bowl of pasta in the middle the busy shopping streets.
Brocaliante Creperie – This place was fantastic. It is fairly small so fills up very quickly. As there was just the two of us we were able to fit on the only free table. They have an extensive menu of savoury gallettes and sweet crepes along with a selection of ciders (a winning combination).
Falafel place – Last time we visited Paris we had falafels from L’as du Falafel. This place was directly across the street. The queue on Saturday lunchtime was long but moved quickly. Great falafels with fried aubergine which we ate away from the crowds just around the corner in the Rue Payenne park. After trying both I think that L’as Du Falafel still just edges it in the battle of the best falafel on Rue de Rosiers.

Soul Kitchen  - This is a very friendly little café on the far side of Montmartre. Despite being only a short walk down a couple of flights of steps from the crazily busy tourist spots of the Sacre Coeur and Place Du Terte, Soul Kitchen was a charming little café full of local French families. We had a delicious simple brunch and coffee before heading off to the flea market.
Le Grenierre du Pain & Pauls- Both these bakeries in Montmartre were great for grabbing a quick pain au chocolat on the move.

La pick Clops – We only stopped for coffee here but the food looked good and we would happily have eaten there. The décor is in the style of an American Diner, but in a very French way. It was busy, but the staff seemed friendly and efficient.
Drinking
Dirt Dick –  The name of this place is a nod to the seedy past of South Pigalle. It is now a fun Tiki bar. The cocktails are sweet and boozy served in a kitsch style (think little umbrellas and coconut shells) and the décor is just as kitsch.
Experimental Cocktail Club – This is a more serious cocktail bar where it is all about the cocktail. I chose a drink from the regularly changing drinks menu that was a delicious combination of armagnac, raisin and egg white. Fritha told the barman that she liked gin and citus and created a great cocktail for her. We could happily have stayed here all night, but dinner reservations dragged us away.
La Venus Noire – We stopped in here for a glass of wine/beer on a brief visit to the Latin Quarter. It was interesting to see the old vaults turned into a bar, like many of the other bars/jazz clubs of the area.
Shopping
Cos – This was the first place we visited on our ‘shopping day’. Fritha chose three dresses that she ‘couldn’t live without’. As this was the first shop we had visited I suggested she only buy one. There was a great selection of clothes for men, women and children many at sale prices.



Free P Star – We visited many vintage clothing shops. The best in terms of price and selection was definitely the various branches of Free P star. Fritha bought a dress for 1 euro and I found her another dress for about 10 euros.
Kilo Shop - Kilo Shop which is another one that is good for bargain hunting where you pay by weight. My tip is to go to the Saint Germaine branch away from some of the other shops to find the better items.
Coton Doux – There are a few branches of the shirt shop around Le Marais. They sell lots of different patterned shirts. Fritha bought me one with a rather fetching tennis racket motif.
 Le 29 photography bookshop – We stayed on the same street as this shop last time we were in Paris, and I travelled back here to pick up a gift for Wilf. They have such a great selection of children’s books that I ended up buying a few. Wilf loves Crocalou.
Fleux – We didn’t buy anything from Fleux on this visit, but it is without doubt the best interiors shop (well more like 3 or 4 shops) I have visited. Well worth a look if you are in Paris.


Looking
Photography Museum – I had been here before and really wanted to take Fritha due to her interest in photography. The exhibitions are constantly changing but while we were there we both agreed that photo-journalist Pascal Maitre’s  collection on life in Africa was the most interesting and moving.
Puces de Saint Oeun – I have included Europes largest antiques/flea market as an attraction rather than shopping as for us we could happily walk around for hours looking at the various shops/stalls. There are several different markets specialising in antiques to 60s/70s memorabilia. Not to be missed is the ‘House of the Future’ that now sits in the middle of one of the indoor markets.



View from Sacre Coeur at night – I am not a fan of the Sacre Couer architecturally. However, after dinner in Montmartre we headed up the steep hill for to take in the view of the City of Lights.
Sleeping



Hotel Josephine – A compact (as all are in Paris) boutique hotel with patterned wall paper and vintage style furniture. The location is great, just on the edge of Montmartre with metro stops a few minutes walk away.
(me again! as in Fritha) You can see a little of our honeymoon in this video if you like! 

Star Pendant Lampshade - Giveaway


image via DTSP

Only a few more days until Christmas! I can't believe how fast this year has gone (although I say that every year and probably will do each year going forward. I'm looking forward to time with my little gang and taking some time out to rest. Although saying that I've never been all that good at resting, I'll probably find a project or two to do over the break ;)

I have a lovely little giveaway on this blog today from House of Bath to win this Star Pendant Lampshade and also a Yankee candle gift set. I think the lampshade is so unique with an Moroccan type feel to it, and who doesn't love a Yankee candle?

All you need to do is enter the below and good luck!

UK entrants only, all emails will be added to the House of Bath and Tigerlilly Quinn newsletters of which you can opt out of at any time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

20.12.14

19.12.14

Christmas in Lapland


A week or so ago myself, Wilf and my little sister Serin were invited to take a trip to Lapland with Thomsons. I have to admit I literally had no idea what to expect, from what to wear to what we would eat, to how we would get in on in such cold temperatures.

Click below to read on

Cath Kidston Spring Summer


A few weeks ago Tom and I took a little break away for my birthday for an overnight stay in London. We timed it so that I could pop into the Cath Kidston Spring/Summer press day and Tom dutifully came with me. I actually think he quite enjoyed it, at least he defiantly enjoyed all the refreshments ;)


I've been a fan of Cath Kidston for such a long time in fact one of the things that excited me about my move to Bristol a little over six years ago was the store on Park Street. I'd often request we stop in on a Saturday and I'd just browse all the beautiful things. Tom has used it as a pretty sure bet when buying me gifts too, there is so much to like you're not likely to go wrong.


I love the animal themes to the Spring Summer collection and especially the use of rik rak on lots of pieces. It feels very Cath Kidston but also a bit fresher too somehow. Oh and the grey jumper above totally reminds me of the episode of Green Wing when one of the characters gets fuzzy animals felt stuck on the back of her cardie (and I LOVE it for that). So many things already on my wish list.


And look who I finally met! (thats Kat from Kat got the Cream btw) who FYI is just as lovely in real life but that was no surprise

So looking forward to Spring!

P.S for anyone wondering my dress is from People Tree and you can get 10% off with code TIGER10 (off sale items too)

18.12.14

Wish List - Early Sales


1, High Jinks Jumper (I wore my one here) is now 40% off (lots of items 60% off with code AF01)

2, Anthropologie have started their sales and I picked up yet another mug (because what I really need are more mugs ;)). I thought this little hand puppet was the cutest!

3, GAP kids have an amazing range lately and they also have 60% off lots of items including these jim jams! 

4, These cute charm bracelets by People Tree are now on sale and you can get an extra 10% off anything with code TIGER10 (and feel good about shopping there as they are so ethical)

Other places having some lovely sales are Burp Boutique (40% off Tootsa Macginty with code winterwarmer). Clarks have 50% off loads of styles and Green People have 3 for 2 on lots of items including these lip stains which are amazing (I've tried one).

If you know of any other amazing sales, let me know and I'll try and add them to the list :)

*affiliate links 

17.12.14

A birthday treat at the Rosewood


A couple of weeks ago I turned the grand old age of 29. This will be the last year of my twenties and I'm finding myself very at peace with that. My late twenties have been the best of my life, becoming a mum a fews days after I turned 26, setting up a business, travelling, getting married. A lot has happened in the past three years! I feel like I'm finally in exactly the right place in my life and I can't wait to see what 29 brings me!

We decided to celebrate my birthday weekend in London and checked into this rather swanky apartment in the Rosewood Hotel.

 Click below to read more!

15.12.14

Girls in games


Most people are surprised to hear that I'm interested in things like computer games, and often even more surprised to find out I'm a sci-fi fan too. My favourite childhood shows were Star Trek and Deep Space 9 and I'd much rather watch Battlestar Galactica than a rom-com. When negotiating who got what after the break up of an old boyfriend I didn't mind if he got the TV and the furniture just as soon as I got the DS and all the games with it too. 

It's funny that being interested in these kind of things is usually considered a bit surprising because I'm a girl. 

Click below to read on (and win an iPad Mini!) 

13.12.14

Some Shop Bits!


Just popping over to say there are lots of new items in the shop if you fancy a little shopping before christmas (or need a little something for a stocking?)

you can find them all here 

Five Interior Design Trends for 2015 – Which will you adopt?

This is a collaborative post

As we say goodbye to 2014, it's time to look forward to the colours, fabrics, and trends that will define interior design next year. 2014 was all about metallic accents, jewel tones, and floral prints, so what will the new year bring? Let's look into our design crystal ball and see what trends are forecast for the next twelve months. 



1. Handmade, artisanal fabrics
Are you an Etsy addict? Handmade, folksy, and crafty designs are everywhere at the moment, including the fashion world. This will carry over even further into interior design over the next year. The emphasis will be on pieces that look handmade, but are crafted from high quality materials. Look for handwoven and quilted fabrics, as well as one-off furniture pieces carved by hand.


2. Red and grey colour palette
Pantone's colour of the year for 2015 is Marsala, a rich, earthy red wine stain that will no doubt lend itself well to walls, throw pillows, and kitchen accessories. Expect to see variations on this deep red theme next year, along with infinite shades of grey. Charcoal, smoky hues, and more metallic silvery tones will dominate. These will be balanced out with minimalist and tasteful shades of black and white, continuing a trend from last year.



Click below to read on

12.12.14

Win a Frost Fayre Hamper with Fortnum & Mason



The other day I stopped by Somerset House's for a fleeting visit. I really wish I had had the evening free for an skate on their pop up rink but another reason to visit would be to check out the Fortnum & Mason's Christmas Arcade that overlooks it. 

The Christmas Arcade is situated in the West Wing and holds 15 rooms stocked full of Fortnum's signature wares. These include it's conic hampers, food and drink, confectionery, decorations, candles and diffusers, tea caddies and china, ladies’ and men’s winter accessories, plus stocking fillers, gifts and games. 


Click below to read on and enter!

What Wilf Wore


Jumper - c/o Fub at Mama Owl (the softest and most well made jumper he owns) this was well used during out trip to Lapland, so warming.

Leggins - c/o Indikidual c/o Burp Boutique 

Boots - c/o Angulus - another item well worn during our snowy visit to Lapland. Such well made boots with snuggly wool lining.

Balloon - Models own

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