30.4.14

ice pops with an extra something something

Here's a little thing about me, I'm not crazy about ice-cream or ice-lollies.

It probably means I'm really dull or something but I can't even really remember loving it as a child. I'll eat it if it's a sunny day and other people are buying them too (I hate to be left out), but it's never something I've hankered after on a rough day, or eaten out of the tub when broken hearted.

Recently Wilf and I have been making ice pops out of fruit (an idea at first to get him to eat the mango that came in veg box and I didn't know what to do with). I've also made some with kiwi and grapes which I thought would result in something Pinterest perfect but ended up being something neither of us liked much.

I've realised now what I probably need to enjoy ice lollies is a bit of an extra something something. Here are a collection of some great ones I'm hoping to experiment with in the future.


Lime basil gin ice pops from Hungry Girl Por vida

For more great ice pop recipes click below!

29.4.14

our weekend in pictures

^^ love these two photos, such a familiar scene when you have a toddler no?^^
^^ he said he was checking his emails^^

This weekend I was away in Birmingham to speak at the TOTS100 Blogcamp. This will have been my third blogging panel I have spoken at now in total, if you would have told me even a few years ago that I would be doing any kind of speaking in public I would never have believed you.

I met lots of lovely readers and bloggers and attended some great classes. Thanks so everyone who came to my talk and took the time to say hi! I was so pleased my pal Laura was there too, always great to catch up, she even took a few pics of my session which I'll share here soon. If anyone was unable to make it then please do leave any questions you may have about lifestyle blogging in the comments, I've had a few questions over twitter and would love to make a full post for you.

On Sunday I felt totally wiped out so we took it really easy and stayed local. Tom and I moved our room around a little as we just got a new sofa (I feel like a proper grown up buying my first new sofa!). I'm hoping to do another little room tour soon as our space has changed around a lot. It's the one type of post people ask for the most but the hardest to do as our home is usually a mess!

Hope you all had fantastic weekends x

I use *RadLab to edit all my photographs

28.4.14

Lifecake



Like most parents these days I take many many photos of my child. I'm not sure if it's a love of photography, being a blogger or just being a parent (or all three) that makes me want to capture all these moments but capture then I do. I've been trying lately to make sure that I get in some of these photos too so that in times to come Wilf will have these memories to look back on.

Many of you may have seen the #melfie hashtag working it's way around social media recently, which came from the photo journaling app Lifecake. I've really loved seeing more parents faces in with their kiddos, we are so often the ones hidden behind the camera.

Lifecake is designed to be a space for you to document your child by video or photograph. The app will then organised by time and date for easy access. There are of course lots of photo apps knocking around the Internet these days but Lifecake differs in that it can be used solely as place to share images of your family with family members or friends. Viewing is by invitation only which I love, sometimes there are images I wouldn't maybe want everyone on my FB to see (if only so they don't get bored with tons and tons of baby photos!). As a blogger I am quite select with the photography I use but there are moments captured that I know my family would love to see regardless of quality.

The other benefit of using Lifecake is that you can create high quality photo books within minutes. Not printing out photos is something I feel constantly guilty about but collating all the images I want to use seems like a mammoth task most days. I love the idea that you can upload all the images you want and can keep them on there for easy access and without cluttering up your laptop!

I've been using the app for a week now and am surprised how easy it was to remember to upload at least one picture of us a day. I love that I now have a full week to look back on all the fun times we had. Wouldn't it be amazing if you could keep that up for a whole year? The app itself is free for you to add up to 500 photos although you can upgrade for £2 a month to a VIP account which gives you enough space for 50,000 photos.

If you played along with the #melfie why not give a week of 'mum selfies' a go with #melfie7??

Lifecake are giving away a VIP package to one lucky reader which includes 100GB storage space and a photobook and is worth £60.

Just enter any/all of the below and good luck!

Winner will be drawn on the 12th May. UK only. email entries will be added to the Tigerlilly Quinn newsletter. This post is in association with Lifecake

a Rafflecopter giveaway

27.4.14

a little post about beauty

The other day whilst chatting to a friend over a glass or two of cava we got talking about beauty tips. I've never been much of a 'beauty girl' although I do wear make up on a almost daily basis. I figured a while ago what (I think) works for me and have kind of stuck with that for almost a decade now. My go-to is liquid eyeliner and mascara, a teeny tiny bit of foundation under eyes, on nose and chin and blusher on cheeks. I did buy myself a lipstick for the first time in my 28 years the other day though, I kinda like it.


So whilst I'm surely no beauty expert I shall try and impart some of my limited knowledge as so:

Beautiful skin
I'm pale as pale (english rose I like to think rather than pasty) there is no doubting that a tan makes your skin look healthy and beautiful though. While a tan may be easy to come by during the two weeks of the year you're in Tenerife or Cannes it's not always an option to be jet setting to hot locations, it's also not a good idea to use sunbeds or to expose your skin to too many harmful ultraviolet rays. The perfect solution is to use a tanning product. Products such as StTropez’s fake tan are easy to apply as long as you follow the instructions and prepare your skin properly, leaving you with the healthy, golden look of a Hollywood starlet.

Perfect nails
Whether you paint them bright colours or leave them with the elegant white tips of a French manicure, the appeal of beautifully manicured nails will never fade. If you bite your nails, there are foul-tasting treatments that you can apply to help you to kick the habit (also applied for thumb sucking..I know from experience), but if you have false nails applied, that can give your real nails time to grow, while you can enjoy looking as though they already have!

Luscious lashes
I can't remember a time when full, long lashes weren't in fashion. If nature hasn't blessed you with the lashes of Elizabeth Taylor, you're probably already aware that there are several options for faking it, including strips of lashes that you can apply at home using adhesive. Alternatively, you could have lashes fitted professionally, either one lash at a time or in small strips. Both of these give a result that feels natural and can look natural as well, depending on the style of lashes you choose.

Classic hairstyles
Sometimes a hairstyle is the 'must-have' look of the moment, but there are several styles that have a timeless look and always seem to be in fashion. The bob, for example, has been around since the 1920s but hasn't dated at all, while the tousled, layered look is still going strong almost half a century after it became popular. Look at pictures of Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot and Grace Kelly for inspiration. Failing that - watch a few episodes of Mad Men!

Luscious lips
Apparently even during times of economic hardship, sales of lipstick remain steady. This is because perfectly coloured lips are a permanent fixture on the fashion calendar. For the bold, a strong, shiny scarlet is the ultimate statement in lipstick, while a coral or rose says something less overt, but the most important thing is that lipstick should be applied with precision, using a lip liner if necessary, or a brush. Just remember to buy a lipstick that guarantees lasting colour or you'll end up checking it in a mirror every few minutes.


So that's a little run down on some of my beauty tips! Would you have anything to add? I'm sure I still have a lot to learn! 

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25.4.14

A Easter egg hunt



Since having a kiddo I have started to rate Easter pretty highly. Not being religious and not really caring too much for chocolate it's always been one of those things where you are just happy about the bank holidays either side of it. However last year Wilf's granny threw him a little Easter egg hunt and we were really surprised how much he got into it. You can see some of those pictures here (oh little Wilf!).

This year we ended up spending some time at Tom's mums again and I just loved seeing the excitement on his little face every time he found another egg! Initially we filled all the plastic eggs with chocolate eggs inside them but after letting him eat two we hid the eggs again but this time filled with raisins. He was no less excited and was just as happy to see a raisin in there!

He has been talking about finding them for days now and we still have a few eggs left over, yesterday Wilf and I had a couple of little bunnies as a treat although he insisted they were chocolate walruses so…

p.s thanks again to Lindt for sending us so many goodies!

I use *RedLab to edit all my photographs

24.4.14

Portmerion


I was recently asked by LOOK to submit my favourite place in the UK to their map of 'hidden gems', which showcases some of the most stunning places in the country. Without doubt, one of my favourite favourite places in the UK is Portmerion so it’s no surprise that I submitted Portmerion to the map. I've been a few times now and it never fails to impress me with its beauty. Tom and I have even said if we were ever to get married it would be a pretty beautiful location for a wedding.

It's such an odd feeling to get off the train in north Wales and suddenly feel like you are in (albeit a rather wetter) version of Italy. As someone who loves architecture and bright colours I feel very at home in the village. Not to mention how brilliant it would be as a back drop for photos!

I've only ever been for a day trip but you can actually stay over in one of the cottages or hotels, there are also a good variety of places to eat. Portmerion also hosts Festival number 6 in early September which looks like such a brilliant family friendly event, I hope we get to take Wilf someday. Tom and I visited years ago on a trip to see my parents (who live in west Wales) and I snapped these pics on my phone, writing this post has reminded me how much I want to return and now I know a little more about photography take some photos that really show how stunning a setting it is.

I think what I love about the UK is you really can live here for years and still manage to happen upon a secret spot or 'hidden gem' you had no idea about. I had never visited Dorset for example until I met Tom and likewise he had barely seen much of Wales. There are still so many places I would love to visit, although I do consider myself very lucky to live in the west country. 

I really loved reading about some of the other areas via the interactive map, there are so many spots right on our doorstep we have yet to visit which is quite exciting! Here's to a spring and summer exploring more of our beautiful country!

In association with LOOK

23.4.14

Our weekend in pictures


We spent our weekend in Bridport in Dorset which is Tom's hometown. We often say how lucky we are that Tom grew up somewhere so picturesque for us to visit, it has that lovely village-y feel to it whilst having lovely cafes, vintage shopping AND the seaside just down the road. Kind of perfect really, I've grown up in a variety of cities, towns and villages and I have to say I am a city person for sure but it's great to escape to the countryside once in a while.

Very image heavy post so click before to read on! (it will be worth it promise!)

22.4.14

SOLVING A READER’S CHALLENGE; THE ISSUE WITH LIGHTING A DARK ROOM




little while back I did a call out on my social media channels to find a reader that was facing a challenge with an area of their home that they didn't quite know what to do with as part of my campaign with HomeSense and Huffington Post

I heard back from Sophia, a single mum who was having trouble knowing what to do with her living space. With the only access to direct sunlight through the adjoining kitchen she wanted to know what she could do to brighten up the area without a major overhaul.

We talked about the colour palette that would work best and were drawn to bright pinks, golds and turquoises to complement the other features in the room. I'm thankful we had quite similar taste which made the task a lot more fun!

Choosing bright colours are a great way to add light to a room but make sure you don't go overboard with the amount - stick to two or three at most.”


We chose open shelves to display some of Sophia's beautiful items and to draw the eye upwards when entering the room. There was a great selection of unique cabinets and shelves so we were really spoilt for choice. I love that they had a real shabby chic feel to them and, with only one of every item, they felt very unique. 

By choosing a colour scheme we were able to match items, like the table cloth, to the throws and cushions which created a clear theme to room. We used gold frames to create a feature wall of a few of her favourite images.

Using mix match frames and hanging them at different levels gives a room a dramatic looking focal point that brings new life to the selected area of the room.”

We also moved the futon to face the feature wall and covered it in turquoise throws; this gave it a really cosy homely feel to it. A great find was also a large circular mirror that was placed to reflect the natural light coming in from the kitchen and bounce it into the living space.

Mirrors are such a great way to add light to a room and make the space seem bigger.”


I loved the selection at the store, the gold was perfect for the colours we were after and the circular shape meant the room didn't look to angular. I was so impressed with what we were able to find within our budget and really loved working with one of my reader's and HomeSense in this way!

Don't forget you can find me on Pinterest for beautiful home inspiration!

Next week, I'll be spending an afternoon at my local HomeSense store in Bristol, so pop on over to my HomeSense Inspiration Day on Monday 28th April! I'd love to meet you!

Linking up again with the lovely Love Chic Living #loveyourhome linky 

Shaking the sillies out & some things about being two


Wilf is now a little over two years old, well two years and four months to be exact. I stopped counting in months pretty much since he turned one as saying things like 15 or 20 months just got me confused and sounds a bit too much like maths. So it goes one year, a year and a half, two and now two and a bit.

Being two and being Wilf is pretty fun. This boy has the best sense of humour, he will throw a look just at the right moment or make observations on just how silly his folks really are (like when I got my coat caught on my dress) *sigh* 'oh mummy, why are you pretending to be a super hero?' *raises eyebrow and shrugs his shoulders*.

He is kind and mischievous and fickle and clever and oh so cute and adorable. He will run into my legs and burry his face in my skirt and tell me 'you are the best mummy in the whole wide world'. He will also have a complete meltdown at the end of the road when I was unable to change the colour of the car we passed that was just 'too blue'.

He is confident but wary of strangers and will tell any dog that passes him on the street that it is bad 'you bad dog!'. He will spend days refusing to eat anything but pasta and he will demand to wear his red wellies and socks even when it is boiling outside.

Pretending we are a menagerie of animals is one of the only ways I can make him hurry up on the way to nursery. You will often see me hopping passed the coffee shop and galloping passed the greengrocers in the early morning. Wilf is a child that is at home in a cafe, he knows where the counter is and will march up and demand 'babyccino please!' 'and a biscuit too?'. He loves listening to stories and will recount to the most amazing detail what happened in his bedtime tale, we are currently reading Babar fyi.

Every morning he will shout from his bedroom that the sun is up and will come running round the corner and into our bed with owley and panda tucked under each arm. Ready for a day of adventures!

When I found out I was having a boy I felt a little stumped, what did I know about boys? What do boys do? What do they like? The truth is I am girly girl. I was the little girl that loved dolls, and flowers and fairy dresses. Wilf likes cars and football and I struggled with thinking I should try and like these things too. I don't, I hate playing cars, but that's OK. Wilf also likes baking and 'crafting' and painting and singing (although lately I'm not allowed to sing, Wilf say's it's a 'bad noise'). He loves cuddles and stories and so many many other wonderful things we can both enjoy.

So it's OK that playing cars and kicking a ball can be something he can enjoy with Tom (so so thankful!). Being a mama to this boy is the most wonderful experience. At the end of the day if we are stuck for something to do we can still go to the park and take selfless and shake the sillies out*

*yes that is a Yo Gabba Gabba refrence

I use *RedLab to edit all my photographs

21.4.14

a happiness list


It's been ages and ages since I've done one of these posts but I have so much (so much!) to be thankful for I always love thinking about all the positive things in life. It's even nicer to read back on old list's, especially when I was pregnant.
So here are then things I'm happy about right now:

1, Spending more than two days in a row with my little family, running around the garden and playing 'piggy-in-the-middle' until we are laughing so hard we are all snorting like piggies!
2, Feeling inspired and excited about my work
3, Making new friends, keeping in touch with old ones
4, Oil pulling, the difference it's making to my teeth is making me happy!
5, When Wilf say's 'lets take our socks off and dance!' and we all do
6, Little hands around me neck as he nuzzles into my hair and tells me 'you are the best mummy' and I tell him 'you are my best boy'
7, Ridding our house of so much junk, I am feeling more zen for sure ;)
8, Cava wednesday's with my mama friends, parents, I recommend it
9, Coffee, always coffee
10, Date nights with my boyfriend, holding hands, planning the future, our hopes and dreams all together with my favourite people

What would go on your happy list right now?

20.4.14

Me and You


We are visiting family who were kind enough to let us sneak out for a little date night. Wilf and I had spent the past few days just us two whilst Tom was away, and without someone to tell me to go to bed I had been staying up way too late trying to clear a little bit of my inbox (and lets be honest catch up on some TV shows that Tom would never sit through). This doesn't really work with a two year old who still wakes at night (and gets up at 6) so truthfully I wasn't really sure if I was up for drinks, kind of day dreaming about an early night instead.

I'm so glad we made the effort though, especially with some time apart we had a really fun night reminiscing and chatting about this kiddo of ours. Most people say you shouldn't talk about your children when go out but I have to disagree. There is no one that loves Wilf more than Tom and I so why not talk about how fantastic that is?


The last time we went out (this time last month actually!) we went to a wedding and joked about how we had forgotten how to dance like normal people and not parents. I'm hoping by this time next month we may have snuck in another date night and we've agreed that a night out dancing is just what we need! Also I've been told that playing 90's music is somehow cool again so I feel we need to take advantage of this moment in time where I actually know what song they are playing ;)

As usual I'm hosting this Me and You linky with the lovely Lucy, Becky and Kirsty. If you fancy linking up your posts with you and your loved one then just enter below!



19.4.14

That time when I yelled


The other day I yelled. A basic exasperated 'arghhh!!' rather loudly, aimed directly at my son. It's the first time I've ever done this to his face and we both took a second to be a bit shocked. I then left the room to compose myself and tried and failed to return with renewed patience. Mothering a two year old can be hard sometimes.

Don't me wrong I've certainly used stern words, told Wilf off or repeated exasperatedly that he needed to 'hurry up' 'not throw food' 'give me a second whilst I complete a task' but I've never really shouted like that before. 

In hindsight there were lots of things I could have done to have stopped myself getting frustrated to a point where I couldn't stop myself yelling. Trying to pack orders, reply to emails, get a suddenly fashion conscious boy dressed and ready to leave the house and make a picnic! I need to remember that something has to give and I don't want it to be my patience. Those order's should have been packed in the evening, the emails could have waited another hour and maybe I shouldn't have given in to a request of three shoe changes and two T-shirt changes before 8am.

As it was we had to compromise and yet we still left the house on the sunniest day of the year with Wilf demanding to wear his wellies and not his sandals. He also left the house having drawn all over himself, the table and his play mat in the blue sharpie that I was using to write on orders and that will.not.come.off.anything.

And so what do you do with a morning like that? Well you go get a coffee for starters, lovely lovely coffee. Then you meet up with some good friends, their adorable/frustrating toddlers and you give them an Easter egg hunt in the park (because chocolate is just what they need ;))


As usual what we both needed was to get out the house and do our own thing for a little bit. Whilst the kiddo's ran off together to play on the slide and sandpit the mamas compared notes on how contrary a two year old can be. Then we gushed about just how wonderful they are too!

This parenting thing is always going to present new challenges to overcome, every so often I am going to feel frustrated or a little out of my depth but for the most part I just feel thankful I get to experience it all, even the difficult parts! Whilst I may roll my eyes at the tantrums I also cannot wait to tell Tom each evening of all the amazing, wonderful and funny things we did together too, me and my little boy.

P.S Hope you all have a lovely Easter sunday!

I use *RedLab to edit all my photographs

18.4.14

DIY Glitter Eggs

A special Easter egg DIY on the blog today from the lovely Christine from Just Bella. Do check out Christine's other DIY's I adore her kiddo crafts!



There is something about easter and spring that just makes me crave bright, happy colours - throw some glitter into the mix and I think you've got yourself a pretty happy easter! These DIY glitter eggs are the perfect last minute craft (I can't believe easter is already this weekend!) to add some sparkle to your table. Seriously, they're so easy, here's what you do:

Supplies:
- craft glue
- glitter
- styrofoam eggs (available at most craft stores this time of year, I got mine at the dollar store)


Step 1: Use a paintbrush to completely cover your styrofoam egg with glue. 
*tip: I stuck a toothpick in mine to hold so you didn't get so much goop all over your fingers.

Step 2: Roll egg in a small bowl full of glitter. You can use shake the glitter over top the egg too and let the excess fall into the bowl. Don't be shy!

Step 3: Shake off excess glitter and set aside to dry.


That's it! I hope you enjoy the sparkle because you're likely to be finding glitter all over everything after this craft - but that's all part of the fun, right? Happy Easter! Thank you so much for having me, Fritha!
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