31.1.14

A month of vegan

It feels like just the other day when I announced I was doing vegan January. I had planned to update you along the way with how I was getting on, recipes etc..but somehow it just became so normal that I kind of forgot most of the time I was doing anything different.

Admittedly the first week or so I really did miss cheese. I used to eat cheese at least once a day, in fact in university I used to have grated cheese on noodles so much was my addiction. Once I'd got my head around not adding cheese to most of my meals then I think half the battle was over. We found ourselves eating a lot of thai and indian food as well as plenty of wraps, roasted veg, stir fries etc. The problem I didn't foresee was that most meat substitutes are not vegan so my go-to meals of veggie sausages, chicken pieces etc were out the window. It wasn't until a few weeks in did I find lots of vegan friendly substitutes (in our local grocery store hurrah!). I spend a good few days getting slightly addicted to vegan fish fingers!


In terms of health I do feel 'lighter' and less sluggish. As a veggie I led a pretty healthy diet anyway so I think perhaps I didn't see a dramatic change that I may have if I was living a high fat diet. My skin is certainly a lot fresher and brighter, I've noticed less dark circles under my eyes which is often attributed to diary. I never weigh myself so I have no idea if my weight has changed but I don't feel like my clothes are any looser so I don't think so (this was not the goal anyway so no issues there).

Living in Bristol it is really easy to eat out as a vegan as the city is full of veggie and vegan cafes or places with such options (especially in the area I live in). There have been a couple of occasions when I've been at a cafe and the only option was soup though, and once after a walk I found myself drinking black coffee as my family tucked into delicious looking cakes (that was hard!).


The main thing I've realised after this month is that I've felt a weight lifted off me in terms of my own morals. I've struggled for a long time with not agreeing with the dairy industry but not really putting any of those feelings into actions. A kind reader did inform me of Cow Nation which is a site you can buy diary products from in the knowledge that the cows will be allowed to live out their natural lives and with their calves too. I think this is an excellent idea for people who still want to eat diary and something I might look into in the future. There is also Egg Nation where we are going to buy our eggs from now on. I was really surprised to hear that even free range organic hens only have a laying age of 68 days before they are killed.

I'm not quite ready to call myself a vegan as I think it would be hypocritical (I still wear leather and wool - although you can buy vegan wool clothing here ) . For the most part though I'm really happy to carry on living a largely vegan lifestyle where convenient (e.g if I find myself in a situation where the only non meat option if veggie and not vegan I will go for the veggie option). We will carry on not drinking dairy and look into cow nation for cheese and certainly egg nation for eggs (they are really not that much more expensive than organic).

I hope that in the future I will actually become a fully fledged vegan ;) but I feel like this is a good place to start!

p.s I just remembered I had discovered vegan wool brand Izzy Land before and wrote about them here a while back!

p.p.s I wrote about some horrible practises regarding wool here and some shops that have pledged to avoid them.

30.1.14

London Fashion Week Giveaway


My amazingly talented pal Abby drew this picture of a model at London Fashion week a few years back. Isn't it amazing??

Just swooping in quickly to give you the heads up that Living Social are running a twitter competition tomorrow (Friday the 31st) to win a pair of LFW tickets. You can follow along with them tomorrow morning here for a chance to get your hands on therm. My littlest sister Serin and I are going for the day and I can't wait! It's going to be such a lovely girly day out!

Good luck!

we were given complimentary tickets in return for the shout out, thanks Living Social! 

Free Valentines printables


It's valentines soon don't you know? Tom and I usually end up making each other a little something, or if we don't make gifts we always do homemade cards. Last year I got a series of boxes each smaller than the other until it led me to a tiny box which contained a kinder surprise, unfortunately as usual I got a blimmin jigsaw in the kinder egg, I ALWAYS gets jigsaw's, what's with that?

Anyway, this year I thought it might be fun to make a card with a favourite movie quote and I made a couple of extras for you guys too. I'm not ashamed to say the Moulin Rouge is still one of my favourite films (I must have watched it at least 40 times by now). The second quote is from Elf, which is basically a classic and a firm favourite with Tom and I. I always think of Elf every time I see a coffee shop that claims to have the best coffee, one of these days I'm going to run in shouting 'You did it! Congratulations! World's best cup of coffee! Great job, everybody! It's great to be here!'

Feel free to use these images if you fancy it or send them in an email to a friend! 

Do you have anything planned for Valentines? Do you celebrate it or think it's a silly idea? 

p.s long time readers of my blog will be bored of hearing about it but two years ago now I designed Paperchase's entire Valentines range! you can seed that here 

29.1.14

We Like To Read - Foyles reading list

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.


I'm back a little later than usual this week for a 'We Like To Read' with a twist. This post is going to be about the books I bought from the independent book shop Foyles to add to our ever expanding reading list. We bought three books from Foyles that I'm pretty sure will soon become some of our favourite books!

On Friday Tom and I had a day off together (you can read a little about that here, there is also a chance to win a spa day so it's worth a read). After our morning at the spa we went for lunch and then for a bit of shopping. We stopped off a Foyles in Cabot Circus to browse the kids books for some new reads for Wilf. As you may by now be aware we are kind of big on books in our household!


We chose three books (in the 3 for 2 section) as follows:

Lion Vs Rabbit by Alex Latimer


This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers


How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth by Michelle Robinson and Kate Hindley. 


Kate is actually an (internet) friend of mine so I was really pleased to finally pick up a copy of her lovely book. I just adore her illustrations, they are so comforting some how.


We choose the Oliver Jeffers book as the main character was called Wilfred (plus I am also a great fan of Oliver Jeffers work).


Lion Vs Rabbit was chosen by Tom and is not one I'd heard of before, although since googling Alex Latimer and certainly recognise his illustrations from elsewhere, they are very distinctive and eye catching.


If we were going to do a 'Wilf review' then How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth would win hands down. We had to read it no less than three times in a row when we first showed him it and he has asked for it every day since. Once a night or two ago he woke up and told me 'oh dear, the tump tump has bubbles in his eyes!'. Funny enough he is really not bothered by the Oliver Jeffers book even though the character has the same name as him. Perhaps it's still a little old for him, I'm not sure.

I don't think I had ever been upstairs in Foyles (or knew it existed) until I was told at the counter that every ten pounds spent meant you got a free coffee (they even do soya lattes). That on it's own I think should win them retailer of the year as they now has a customer for life in me just for that brilliant bit of marketing ;) I was really impressed by their cafe area and chilled environment and am now looking forward to more trips there in the near future! 

I've added a button to this series if you would like to link up just enter the following HTML underneath your post! 
all posts with buttons linked up with be shared on my Pinterest :) 

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28.1.14

4/52 Living Arrows



'you are the bows from your children as living arrows are sent forth'

On a babyccino date with my little buddy. I told Tom later how embarrassed I was that Wilf is now so accustomed to cafe's that he walked right to the counter and said 'babyccino! mine have a babyccino!'. How middle class have we become?? 
Top that off with an IKEA lunch with our pals straight after too and well, hello to parenthood! I kind of love our simple days like this, despite how predictable we have become ;)

27.1.14

Giveaway with Experience Days


source

On Friday Tom took the day off from the office and I took a day away from the shop for a little time out/date together. I've been talking lately about how important it is we spend time together as a couple ever so often, so we dropped Wilf off at nursery and headed into our lovely city for a day of pampering and a little shopping too ;)

We chose a pamper day, or rather I chose it and Tom he would enjoy it when we got there, honest. Neither of us had ever had a massage before so it was such a treat and even Tom admitted it was very relaxing and he should just trust me when it comes to things like this.. (OK so he didn't say that last part but I think it was a like an unspoken understanding).

It was a such a treat to have a little break just the two of us and a reminder to do things like this more often!

Experience Days are offering Tigerlilly Quinn readers the opportunity to win a £50 voucher to spend on any of the deals on their site. You could choose a massage like ours or maybe an afternoon tea..or a tequila tasting class??

All you need to do is enter any/all of the below and good luck!
This giveaway is UK only and runs until the 10th of February 

we were given a pampering experience of our own but all words and thoughts are my own

a Rafflecopter giveaway

24.1.14

What Mama Wore


What Mama Wore:

Pink Floyd baseball T-shirt - ℅ Truffle Shuffle
Cardigan - Fever London (from 6 years ago but you can see a very similar one here in the sale!)
Jeans - Levi from the Clarks Village Outlet
Boots - Kurt Geiger in the Brand Alley sale!
Necklace - I Am Acrylic

(this is me doing my serious face..also it was cold)

this post contains affiliate links 

23.1.14

Our Weekend in pictures - the boat ride


^^ look! it's rosie and jim! ^^

Our weekend adventures only really consisted of one day last week. I had a cold on Saturday which meant I spent the day feeling sorry for myself in bed. It was a real shame as I missed Wilf's buddy's second birthday party, #blogclub AND a cocktail class with my bestie, waaa! I never usually have so many fun things planned for one day, I guess I should have known something would have come up!

I felt much better on Sunday thankfully and we headed into the city centre for a coffee with Tom's sister. We had a lovely walk around the harbourside and a teeny tiny boat ride across one side of the river to the other. I'm not entirely convinced Wilf even realised we were on a boat as there was also a small dog riding with us which he was quite interested in. 

Wilf stopped at every exciting puddle, exclaimed at how exciting our shadows were and decided to 'cuddle all the trees!' on our walk so it did take about 3 times longer than your average person. My thinking is you are only two once, I sometimes envy him for his wonderful curiosity about the world around us. 

There are times however when we walk home from nursery and it takes 55minutes because we have to pretend we are bunny rabbits/feel the coldness of the wall/count all the pom poms in the trees…in the pouring rain..that it gets harder to remember how wonderful his curiosity is ;)

We ended the morning with lunch at falafel king which is always a treat! 

p.s Toms sister took that last picture, thanks Ruth! I'm thinking I either need another hair cut or decide whether to grow it all over again..decisions decisions!  

22.1.14

3/52


'you are the bows from your children as living arrows are sent forth'

Another shot of stillness, I find these are the only moments I get to really stop and take a picture lately. Wilf was feeling a little grumpy so I thought it rude to take a picture of his face this time. I've sort of realised I have a thing for taking pictures of his cute little feet too! 

21.1.14

Willow and Hall


So I guess you guys know by now that I'm pretty into homes and interiors. Actually the lovely people at Hibs100 even said I was the number 1 blog on the matter, don't cha know ;)

When my big brother and I were small we used to read the catalogues that came through the post and point out the furniture we would buy for our homes when we were big (is that odd? I'm not sure). I would spend aaaages picking out which sofa I would have. Maybe it all stems from those days, but I do love window shop for living room furniture!

I'm writing today to introduce you to not only to a high quality independent business but a local-to-me one at that (go the west country!). Willow and Hall make handmade independently designed products that are made to order. Each one of their sofas, armchairs or sofa beds are hand made with design in mind and there are 78 different fabrics to choose from. You can tell they are a company that feel passionately about what they do and despite being a small business they are still able to offer the same guarantees as the big guys.


Do take a peek if you are on the lookout for some new furniture!

You can find Willow and Hall on Facebook, twitter, pinterest and google +

p.s they have a sale on now too!

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20.1.14

Me and you


I mentioned in this post at the end of last year that I was really excited to be hosting this linky with four other lovely bloggers (and their long suffering partners, ha!). There really are hardly any pictures of just Tom and I and it's something I want to rectify in 2014.

Although we kind of expected it to some extent, I guess I wasn't fully prepared as to how all consuming the love for your little one is when you become a parent. Truthfully there are times when I didn't put as much effort into our relationship as I could have. For me I struggled with 'me time' and felt that being there and looking after the small person in our lives meant when he was finally asleep I didn't have the energy for anyone else and that was a hard process to work through. There were only two occasions in our first year of parenthood that we spent without Wilf and they were both for less than two hours!

I think we now worked out a good balance and  although date nights are few and far between we even managed a night away a few months ago! That being said we have worked out we can still spent quality time together if we plan it right, a hot chocolate date whilst Wilf is napping in the pushchair can do the world of good!

I do hope you like the linky and join in too!

You can visit the other lovely bloggers below:

Lucy, Becky, Kirsty, Lauren



18.1.14

How to save money when buying your children’s clothes


Image source

The rate kids grow and go through clothes is mind-boggling and means that you are often having to spend lots of money just to dress them. These tips on how to save money when buying your children’s clothes will help you keep costs down while giving your children a good wardrobe.

1. Buy end of season

If you buy clothing at the end of a season you will often be able to pick up some excellent bargains on new clothes. True, you’ll probably have to wait till the season comes around again before your child can wear them but the savings will be well worth it. Just make sure you buy a size too big to allow for your child to grow. We bought Wilf's coat last spring and waited for this winter for it to fit him, this saved us over half of what we would have had to have spent buying full price.

2. Gender neutral

If you have children of different genders, it’s a great idea to buy clothes that both boys and girls can wear. Buy clothes to fit the larger child and later the smaller child will grow into them. 

3. Online shopping

With online shopping, you can get great bargains from around the world. But you’ll need to be sure that the dealer is reputable and that the cost of the clothes and postage are less than you will have to pay locally. Don't get caught out on grabbing bargains on Ebay and then finding the postage is more than the item itself!

4. Second hand

Don’t forget about buying second hand. Charity shops and second hand dealers often have great quality children’s clothing at a fraction of the new price.  Check your purchases carefully to ensure that they are in good condition, and you should be able to pick up a bargain or two. Our local charity shop has a cot they fill with clothes for 20p an item and on a good day I can pick out 5 of 6 good items!

Once your children outgrow their clothes, why not donate them to your local Oxfam shop?   If you have a Nectar card, you can even collect points when the items you donate are sold.  To take advantage of this, simply link your Nectar account and Oxfam Tag Your Bag account online, and you will able to collect points on donations, to spend on any Nectar reward.

5. Sales

It goes without saying that you should be able to pick up good, new children’s clothing during the sales. You can buy clothes to be worn straight away or else put them away for later.

6. Shoes

Children seem to grow out of shoes so fast that often they hardly seem worn. It’s tempting to buy too many shoes for children, but do your best to resist. A pair of sandals for the summer, heavier shoes for the winter and a pair or two to play in should be enough. As with other clothes buy end of season or end of line items, or wait for the sales.

7. Re-use

When your child has grown out of an outfit or has worn it out, you have a couple of options. If the condition is acceptable you can put it away for a younger sibling or sell it. Alternatively, if appropriate, you can repair it or alter it so that it can be worn again. Trousers, for example, often get holes in the knees that cannot be sewn up, so you can always try to cut them down and turn them into shorts. What you do is limited only by your imagination.

Anyone have any thrifty tips for saving money on kids clothes? I'd love to hear them!

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17.1.14

Look Magazine - Tigerlilly Quinn

LOOK, it's my cat bag in LOOK magazine!

So just before Christmas when the holiday rush was on and I'd sold my very last cat back of the year, I got an email from a customer desperately asking me when the cat bags would be back in stock, as she had seen them in a magazine. She was kind enough to tell me which one and I headed to my local corner shop to grab a copy. It's so lovely seeing yourself in print..or rather your name and products. It helps when the person modelling it is as pretty as the lovely Megan from The Briar Rose!

I'm so glad she gave me the heads up as other the next two weeks I had no less than 20 pre-orders for the bag (now back in stock and frankly quite literally flying off the shelves!).

Here's to more magazine features for 2014! ;)

You can buy the Tigerlilly Quinn cat bag here.

16.1.14

A Winter Walk - Our weekend in pictures


Our first weekend after the Christmas holidays. We laid low, stayed close to home, baked, went on walks and watched films. It was kind of perfect in it's simplicity and just what we needed for this wet and dreary month. Despite January being supposedly the most depressing month I've felt inspired about the new year and what it will bring, for my work and for my family. It's probably the first time in my life I've felt this content.

I made a little video of our weekend also if you fancy a peek! It made made on my iPhone and edited with the iMovie app. The music is by Fleet Foxes and is called 'white winter hymnal'. I hope you like it!

15.1.14

02/52


'you are the bows from your children as living arrows are sent forth'

Wild hair, jam on your cheeks, having ran away from getting your trousers on (and your mum having taken a break from trying) I find you engrossed with in your cartoons. In the morning light, I try to hurredly reply to some emails, sip my tea before I need to scoop you away and out of the house for our morning activities. 

Simple mornings but wonderful all the same

14.1.14

How to save on your next family holiday


Tom and I last took a proper holiday roughly three years ago, it was for valentines and we went for a city break to Barcelona. It was just perfect. Little did we know that was the last time we would go abroad for a while! Since Wilf has come along we've taken a family holiday down to Devon with Tom's family but have yet to take a real holiday jut the three of us. 

Over Christmas however I finally got it together to apply for Wilf's passport and I'm really hoping 2014 will be year we get to go away. Holidays are expensive but there are many ways in which you can cut down these costs. These suggestions will help you reduce the cost of your next holiday.

Research
A little research can go a long way to keeping your costs down. Check out several destinations to see how they compare price wise. Take a look at the cost of transport and accommodation and also check the price of local restaurants and attractions (many places have free attractions – London’s museums, for example). If you aren’t keen on flying (read, completely and utterly terrified of flying!) but want to travel abroad, the Eurostar can also be a good option.  Also, remember that the further you go, the higher your travelling expenses will be, and you don’t have to go abroad to have a good holiday.  

Timing
You can save quite a bit by travelling at off peak times. During school holiday periods, you should expect to pay a lot more than during other times, so if you can take your holiday during school time; you will also find your destination less crowded. If you check around, you’ll probably be able to find good off peak deals from airlines and providers of accommodation.
If you are planning to fly, the day of the week can affect the price; mid-week prices tend to be lower than those at the weekend. Prices also vary with the time of day; very often, early morning or late evening departures are cheaper than flights at other times.

Book early
When you have decided on your holiday time and destination, it’s generally best to try to book as early as possible. This will give you time to hunt around for the best deals and the opportunity to take advantage of early booking offers. You will also stand a much greater chance of getting the bookings that you want rather than having to make do with second best.

Use the Internet
The Internet is a blessing for travellers. You can check which airline has the cheapest flights to your destination, rather than being at the mercy of travel agents and you’ll also find that booking online is usually cheaper than going through an agent.
It’s the same with accommodation. You’ll be able to look at all the options at your destination and choose which suits you best and generally you’ll be able to find some good discounts. And, you’ll be able to contact the hotel directly yourself to see if they will give you an even better discount.
The Internet will also allow you to have a look at what other people have said about the airlines and accommodation that you are considering. 

Self-catering
A big part of the family holiday budget goes on food and drink. The cost of regular restaurant dining for a family quickly mounts up, so you should consider self-catering. Even if your hotel has no cooking facilities you can still cut costs by making your own breakfast – cereal, milk and bread need no cooking. Or, if your hotel has a buffet breakfast, eat well so that you need less at lunchtime.

Passes

For local travel, find out if you can buy travel passes; they are often much cheaper than paying for individual journeys and are much more convenient. Also, you may be able to buy passes that offer access to multiple attractions at a discount. These are fine but check the price of each attraction you plan to visit first - you may not want to go to all those included in the pass, so it may prove more expensive than individual entry. Check, too, if there are any discounted family tickets available.

Do you have any tips for keeping the costs down on planning a holiday?

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