31.5.14

A little post about sleep


^^ this kitty has no problem sleeping..top pillow from NEXT home^^



A few weeks back myself and some other lovely bloggers were invited to a NEXT Home event to talk about sleep. Mainly how to get more of it (don't have children) but also the right conditions for sleep. I have to admit I kind of went in wondering how much I was going to learn but I was really surprised by how interesting it was.

Myself and Lori arrived stylishly late (we went to the wrong store at first whoops!) but were greeted by the team with much needed coffee and hot chocolate and headed for the talk. Sammy Margo author of The Good Sleep Guide* then proceeded to give us her top tips for restful sleep which included.

Stay cool when sleeping, this helps hormonal sleep hormones release easier resulting in a better sleep. 
I tend to feel the cold quite a lot but Tom gets quite hot in bed, one of Sammy's other pieces of advice was to wear bed socks. The thought of wearing socks in bed made me feel a bit odd to be honest but I have to admit I tried this a few nights ago and it was a game changer! Apparently your feet getting cold is a reason to wake in the night but keeping your feet warm and body cool (wearing as little in bed a possible bar bed socks, a great look no?) improves sleep.

Use a different duvet to your partner
Tom was thrilled when I told him this as this is something he's wanted to do for a while (I said it was not very romantic) but it does make sense. If you get hotter or colder than your partner then why not use a different blanket with a different tog rating?

Use the colours green or pink in a bedroom for calming
I'm not sure either of these colours would suit our decor but it's interesting to know which colours are good for sleep, apparently blue is a big no no.

Dark black out blinds 
We've certainly noticed a difference to Wilf's sleep when introducing these in his room so it was good to know that all NEXT's children's curtains come with blank out blinds sewn in.

Have a quite uncluttered space
Getting up in the night is an obstacle course in our bedroom, another reason to keep on top of the tidying!

Wind down
Children need to wind down for their bedtime routine so it stands to reason we do to. I really agreed with her point on ban screen time for the last half an hour, my head is often buzzing with things I've seen or watched before I've gone to bed so I'm certainly going to make more of an effort with this. 

After the interesting talk we were left to peruse the store armed with a rather lovely gift card. I was really impressed with their garden and kitchen items the most especially these nautical style bottles and as ever their lighting range was really fantastic. You can see one of our NEXT lamps here actually. Wilf was being rather wild as usual and running all over the store so I'd love to return and have a proper browse sometime soon.

After this we were treated to a very yummy lunch and a natter before we took our tired boys home on the bus cuddling their new teddies they were generously gifted with and Wilf fell asleep promptly after such an action packed day. It really was a lovely day out and I picked up some great tips, thanks NEXT!

I was invited on a lunch and day out with NEXT but all words and thoughts are my own

30.5.14

Travel products for children

So last week I took part in my first live Google + Hangout. I was to review the Innotab 2 baby tablet as part of a travel themed chat with Argos along with three other bloggers, Mirka, Susan and of course my lovely blogging pal Laura. I was fairly nervous about it in the morning leading up to the live chat as it wasn't a nursery day and Wilf has a brilliant habit of shouting really loudly and being a bit wild when he knows I am on the phone or such like...


So with half an hour to go before we went live I set Wilf up with Frozen (great parenting I know) and got myself organised, turned on my laptop...to find the internet had gone. This isn't something that usually happens so I wasn't expecting it at all, after some hurried texts to Tom I tried connecting it directly with the cable, tried to hook my phone up to use it via that..but nothing. The minutes were counting down and I was more than a little bit stressed, just my luck!

I finally decided to call upon the help of my neighbours so with Wilf in one arm and my laptop and the tablet in the other I knocked on one of their doors and asked to 'borrow their internet'. It does make me laugh to think that this is what the modern day version of borrowing eggs and sugar would have been in our parents age. Thankfully my lovely neighbour didn't bat an eyelid and set me up in her living room with a cup of tea and working wifi and took Wilf upstairs to play games. As it was I only managed to just sit down before it was time to go live so I totally forgot I was nervous and I think it went really well!

It was really interesting to hear about the other bloggers review products and tips for traveling. Unsurprisingly the Trunki products got sterling reviews (we love them too!) and I love the idea of a mobile black out blind, such a simple but effective idea!

Do have a watch and let me know what you think!

In association with Argos

29.5.14

Our Weekend In Pictures

Bristol vegfest 2014, bristol family blog, children's activities in bristol
It was Bristol's annual Vegfest at the harbourside this weekend. Tom and I have visited the festival the past three years running and I think it had rained on the last two so it was a welcome change to see the sun shinning for this year's event.

We've tended to just attend in the day as I've either been pregnant or we have a small child/baby and this year was no different. With a plan of action to pick out the best food stalls straight off and settle down to watch some live music it's kind of the perfect scenario for me. This year Wilf was old enough to take part in some of the kids activities so we (ahem I) made some fun juggling balls out of beans and balloons, a flower crown (isn't it pretty!) and Wilf got stuck in making a mask with lots of glitter and feathers.

Click below to read on as this is an image heavy post! 

28.5.14

Vegan Carrot Cake Bars

vegan carrot cake bars
vegan carrot cake bar recipe 
I have a great post for you this week from one of my favourite foodie blogs. If you haven't heard of The Cake Hunter you are in for a treat, although I'm sure you had considering Sophie won the Cosmo food blog award last year. Some favourite posts from her would include this Triple Layer Berry Victoria Sponge  and this Blood Orange and Almond Syrup Polenta Cake mmmm. Sophie has been kind enough to share this Vegan Carrot Cake Bar recipe with Tigerlilly Quinn readers, it looks easy enough for even me to make, can't wait to try it!

vegan carrot cake bars

Hi, I'm Sophie from The Cake Hunter and I'm delighted to be guest posting here with my recipe for vegan carrot cake bars. These are dead easy to make and absolutely delicious. I love vegan baking, it's like an extra little challenge I like to try and turn everyday bakes into vegan friendly dishes. These bars are a great snack to have on hand in the day, especially when the 3pm sugar cravings strike.

There are all sorts of ways to replace eggs when making cakes vegan friendly but my favourite way is to use flaxseed. It's really easy to find in the shops and you can't tell the difference in the final product. I've used it as an egg replacer in cakes and cookies and they have all turned out great. As a rule, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water and left to sit for 5-10 minutes equals one egg. Very simple and it even adds extra fibre for your gut, which, let's face it, helps us pretend that cake is healthy. These bars are so easy to adapt as well, you could try replacing some of the carrot with parsnip or courgette or adding in dried fruit, nuts and dark chocolate chips. I'm going to double the recipe next time, divide between two bowls and try out different add-ins.

Vegan Carrot Cake Bars

makes 12 bars

130g plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
100g light brown sugar
150g coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tablespoons cold water
450g carrots, peeled and grated
100g desiccated coconut

for the glaze:
60g icing sugar
2 tablespoons almond milk
Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and line a 29x18cm/11"x7" tray with greaseproof paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicard, salt and spices.
In another small bowl, whisk the coconut oil, sugar and flaxseed egg.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined.
Fold in the carrot and coconut until evenly distributed.
Tip into the baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.
Leave to cool completely before removing from the tray and slicing into bars.
For the glaze, sift the icing sugar (so important if you don't want lumps) and mix it with the almond milk. Pour into a piping bag and snip the very end of then drizzle the icing over the bars.

Thanks so much for sharing Sophie!


27.5.14

For the kiddo

Some of the pretty things catching my eye at the moment..

handmade children's skirt

The cutest! I want it for myself

handmade children's dress

The most playful dresses! and loooook at these shark dungarees!

handmade children's dungerees

And finally..are these not the best thing you have ever ever seen?? So many more amazing things on that store too (it was hard to pick one)

handmade children's dungerees

Which is your favourite? 

26.5.14

We like to read


I know it's been a little while since I've done of these posts! But we are still reading and still love it too. A lovely local to us shop called Jack and Jill Toyshop sent Wilf and I these books which gave me the push I needed to post again, thanks guys!

Colours

We really loved this design led book. Each double page spread has a layer of acetate between the pages leading to some pretty nifty results when you flip it. Wait, this will explain it better...



neat hur?

The second book was one for parents more than kiddos but it certainly made me smile.
H is for Hummus


Tom says this book is all about me ;)
O is for Ocado, Olives and Osteopathy..


F is for Farrow and Ball..


Can any of you relate?
What are you reading, link up below if you fancy it 




Giveaway with HomeSense


interiors, lifestyle blog, giveaway
As part of my ongoing partnership with HomeSense and my column with Huffington Post Home I'm pleased to be offering one Tigerlilly Quinn reader the chance to win a £100 gift card to the store. I know from experience just how much that will get you, for example here is what I found for £30 and you can see here how we made over an entire room for £300!

To be in with a chance of winning simply answer the question below!

giveaway will run for two weeks and entries will be added to the Tigerlilly Quinn news letter (which you can opt out of at anytime). 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

25.5.14

For the Home

You could call me many things (please don't) but plain just isn't one of them. I love colour in everything in life, my clothes, my illustrations and of course my home.
interior design, colourful interiors 
I spend many an evening flicking through pages of beautiful homes on Pinterest (rock and roll hey?) so I thought I would compile some of my latest favourite colourful decor's here.

coral stools and turquoise lamp

Love the contrast of these stools against that lamp (via here)

colour bird wallpaper

How amazing is the wallpaper in this hallway? And the rug?  And that chair? I want to live here (via here)

Click below to see some more beautiful colourful interiors! 

24.5.14

A grown up addiction to creating interiors

When I was a teenager I used to be addicted to the computer game the SIMS. My best friend and I would visit each other's houses and literally watch each other play the SIMS, which sounds quite odd now I think back on it. 

When I got a bit older and my interests changed from playing computer games to staying out too late at parties I passed my copy down to my younger siblings. I'd often find on my return from uni that i'd be strangely drawn to the game again, I'd build these fantastic houses, furnish them and then get bored. It was then I realised that I had no interested in playing out the lives of the characters in the computer game but simply for the architecture and interior design aspect of it.

I got that same buzz from designing a home on RoomSketcher, and with it a flash of nostalgia for my youth funny enough. 


RoomSketcher is designed for both the every day person and the interior designer. The program is immediately easy to work out and user friendly. The professional can create floor plans and visuals for potential clients but you or I can use it in the same way to redesign a room or plan home renovation. The above picture is from my play around and mimicking our living room, we are planning on adding elements like french doors in the future so it was fun to plan out our 'dream living space' so to speak. 


Being a big fan of interior design I was really impressed with the detailing on the program. There is a huge amount of variety when it comes to picking furniture and other detailing like kitchen accessories which really adds to the package as a home. 


(above image is a screen shot of the 3D walk you can take around your designed home)

I think this would be a great little program to use when organising a re-design like re-doing a kitchen (in fact we attempted to use similar floor planners when we did ours that really didn't compare). Or even to use to visualise what something simple like painting a wall might look like. You can view your creation in 3D which really helps to give you a feel of how it would transfer to real life. 

Once you have made your design in the free Home Designer version,  then it is easily upgrade to RoomSketcher VIP (£30) for high resolution 3D Photos and 3D Walk - which really helps to give you a feel of how it would transfer to real life. There's even a professional version for designers - RoomSketcher Pro (£60) with even more great features.

In association with RoomSketcher 

23.5.14

Turquoise and grey


My third and final post for the BHS Allusions range. This time I teamed up this turquoise scarf necklace with a simple maxi dress and Hunters for a day at the beach

As you may well know turquoise is my favourite colour so this necklace was certainly my top pick from the range. I can totally imaging styling it in lots of different ways and think it could easily transfer from a day to a night look. The flower pendants in the centre were really striking and compliment the rest of the necklace really well, as you can see I got a little sun burnt that day! Whoops!

You can see how I styled my other two looks here and here. I hope you've enjoyed this little series!

in association with BHS

22.5.14

Our Weekend in Pictures


As all Saturday's should go we escaped the mess of our house (which was even messier than usual due to a broken dishwasher and mine and Tom's aversion to the dishes..) and went for breakfast.

You may know by now that I love breakfast, it is by far my favourite meal of the day.

We headed to La Ruca on Gloucester Rd, a health food shop of sorts with a almost hidden cafe upstairs. I went for the enchilada as I always do and Tom for the chimichanga as he always does. Sometimes I want to go for the chimichanga just because it has the most fantastic sounding name. Wilf opted for the quesadillas and there was smoothies all round. Ahhh breakfast, I love you so.

The weekend was so glorious (as most of you guys in the UK will know) so we headed to St Andrews park for ice creams and lie downs. Most of our adventures are lead by my need for more delicious things to eat to be quite honest, that and a hunt for coffee.

I picked up this outfit for Wilf from the BabyShow which I attended earlier in the week. I was hosting a twitter party for Cosatto and they even had my picture on a board at the stand, I felt quite famous ;). The outfit was from the Little Bird range by Jools Oliver for Mothercare, I've had my eye on a few pieces for a while but I was swayed by the discount on the day and picked up these two items. I wish I could have known when I was pregnant that dressing boys would be this much fun.

By the afternoon we had headed home where we had a street BBQ with our neighbours. As luck would have it our road was closed for maintenance works so the kiddos got out their chalks and drew pictures and played hopscotch. With Wilf in his outfit you would be forgiven for thinking it was the seventies.

By the time Sunday came around poor Wilf was stuck by a tummy bug so most of the day was spent on the sofa watched Frozen and having lots of cuddles. Is it bad that even though I feel so bad for him being ill I kind of relish these moments where we are able to cuddle up like this again? He even slept on my tummy like he did as a newborn. Luckily it was just a 12 hour thing and up bright and early for more adventures together by Monday, and by adventures I mean trips to the Post Office and a babyccino at our local cafe ;)

And that was our weekend! What did you get up too? x

What Mama Wore


I love me a good selfie and I love Instagram and I'm kind of a teeny bit excited about our trip to Paris (next week!) did I mention that already? ;) 

What do these things have in common? I'll tell you..


IHG Rewards Club and Eurostar are celebrating 20 years of the the Chanel Tunnel (can you believe it's been 20 years??). As such they are asking people to send us their 'fabulously French' or 'brilliantly British' selfies on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook to be in with a chance of winning a luxury trip to London or Paris! The idea is you take inspiration from either of the two cites and post it using the hashtag #IGHSelfie, it really is that simple. 

IHG rewards Club will be handing out 1,000s of points every week for the most creative and highest rated IG selfies and at the end of the campaign two more entires will be picked at random to win a luxury break for two. You can find out more here.

Your selfies can also be assisted if you like (Tom helped with mine as usual!) and you can be as creative as you like. I was kind of going for the french colours in a striped top with silk trousers and white sunnies. Wilf photobomed it with a similar themed outfit ;)

Incase you were wondering:

Top - Ruby Belle
Silk trousers with elephant print - Forver 21 (sold out but these are similar)
Sunnies - Primark
Brogues - Clarks 

on Wilf: 
Tshirt - Zara Kids
Shorts - Little Bird for Mothercare
Boots - Joules


If you do take part let me know, I'd love to see your pics! You can find me on IG as @tigerlillyquinn

This post is in association with Digital Advisor

I use *RadLab to edit all my photographs

21.5.14

Working from home - what mama wore


Yet another one of those posts where I mention I work from home, (I work from home did you know?). I guess it's still pretty astounding to me that I get to do this, work at a job I love, that I created and that I'm passionate about. I get to plan my day around things I want to do at a pace I want to do them at. I know I'm really fortunate to be in this position and there isn't a week that goes by that I don't stop and take a moment or to to be thankful.

It's not without it's stresses of course and as a blogger I am often off on a train and this or that event which although fun can be super tiring too. I try to dress smartly on my 'work from home' days as I feel that if I look 'put together' it will help convince my brain to be 'put together' too (this does not always work). I know if I were to stay in my apartment pants (something Tom & I started calling joggers years ago and stuck) I would probably just be tempted to watch Netflix all day and get nothing done.

The outfit I'm wearing in these pictures is pretty standard of the type of clothes I wear on my work days. Something loose and comfy but hopefully tidy/smart-ish. I teamed by Yumi shirt and Marks & Spencer's trousers with this scarf necklace from the BHS allusions range to add an extra element to the outfit.

Do you work from home? What do you wear on your work days? Do you think it matters if you make an effort or not?

In association with BHS

I use *RadLab to edit all my photographs

20.5.14

me and you



I definitely did not take this picture this morning before Tom headed out to work.. ;)

I'm not sure how the 20th has come round again and I realise I have no pictures of just Tom and I. Which of course is the whole point to this series. Without this prompt I'm sure we would have 5 months of no pictures of just Tom and I, and now I have five.

So even though this picture is not the best, and our fat cat photobombed it, and our toddler was shouting from his high-chair and flinging cereal...maybe I'll look at this picture in times to come and remember all the things going on in the background and smile because that's my family and thats life and I'm sharing it all with this guy, which is pretty great.

Because I don't say it enough, but he's pretty great too.

Have you taken any pictures of your love this month? Link up, I'd love to see (and I'm sure they are much better than mine!). Don't forget to check out Lucy, Kirsty and Becky's pics too.


Entertaining at home



Every bank holiday myself and my neighbours in our cup-de-sac always throw a street party. Each of us will bring a dish and a bottle and set up chairs in the street. What often happens however is that half an hour into our party the heavens open and it begins to rain. That being the case it's always handy to have an indoor space as a back up.

Myself and my two year old son quite regularly throw tea parties in our living room so this is just entertaining on a larger scale. I love using mix-match kitchenware in lots of bold and bright colours, and there is something so very cheery about cake served on non matching plates. Flowers are always a great idea when entertaining but I often cheat with fake flowers so that they be dotted around the house all the time, lots of them look so real these days and I hate seeing a wilted flower!


Go big with decorations, I love these simple paper balls hangings and I really think they make the space. By adding small touches like colourful straws and napkins it can really tie in a theme especially when the rest of the items are mix-match and colourful also.

When entraining in our home we like to throw cushions and blankets on the floor to create a more relaxed space and leave the dinning table as a buffet type area. It's also a good tip to try and take as much unnecessary items out of the room you are entertaining in, we often clear a shelf of books to make room for people to place their drinks.


With entertaining over the bank holiday weekends I tend to keep it to day time hours which helps in terms of lighting. However if you are planning an evening get together then fairy lights and dim lighting is perfect for a cosy casual. There's nothing worse than a glaring bright light at a cocktail party or dinner.


The most important thing I feel about entertaining at home is to just be relaxed! Make sure you're not stuck in the kitchen, keep things easy and fun so you are able to relax and enjoy yourself too!

I use *RadLab to edit all my photographs
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