Me and Mine January

I've been blogging for over 5 years now but only really discovered the community of blogging when I became a parent. When I did a world of parent bloggers seemed to open up to me and there are a few I discovered in those early sleep deprived days of new motherhood that have been firm favourites and I'm happy to say have actually become friends in 'real life' too. Two of those ladies are Katie and Lucy and I've loved catching up with their 'Me and Mine' series over the past two years.

I was really honoured when Lucy emailed at the end of last year to ask if I would like to be part of the team this year along with three other beautiful families Lucy, Jenny and Alex. Although I knew at the beginning of this month I needed to get a nice shot of us together I somehow left it until just two days ago to take one. I was feeling a bit stressed about it if truth be told, worrying I'd be letting the group down and if our photo would seem to forced or rushed. Actually the day I did set out with my tripod and camera turned out to be just perfect. We stopped at a local gallery for a quick coffee and a slice of art and then pottered round the corner for crepes (us savoury, lemon and sugar for W).

Propping my tripod up on a bin (of all places) we messed around taking these silly snaps as passers by looked at us curiously. I have to say I absolutely love these pictures, I think they capture our little family so well and it reinforced just why I wanted to take part in this project. I feel so excited that there will be (at least) twelve pictures of us together by the end of the year rather than the five I've managed to accumulate over the past three years.

After we took these pictures Tom and Wilf decided they would like to visit the big libary in town and as I had some work to do I let the boys have sometime by themselves. Giving them a hug and a kiss as Wilf cheerily told me 'see you later mumma! we'll have fun!' and they trundled off hand in hand together. I'm often reminded just how lucky I am to have them and to how perfect we all are for each other. My little boy is getting bigger and whilst he used to be tied to my hip he's now enjoying things with Tom that I'm not always part of but I'm happy for that too. I'm happy to hear his their tales as he rushes through the door asking me to help him take his coat off and we sit on the sofa whilst Tom makes the hot chocolate. These are the days and the moments I never want to forget.

This month I'm sending you over to to the lovely Jenny. If you've not come across her blog before then Jenny is one of those infectiously happy and positive people. She makes the cutest videos on her YouTube channel too!

Photobox will be sponsoring Me and Mine this year. Every month one post linked up will win a photo prize. January's prize is a photo cushion and everyone linking up will automatically be entered.

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Style in your city

I'm always banging on about my love for the city of Bristol and I love showing you bits of the places I love around my neighbourhood. Bristol makes me stop and notice the beauty around me and if you let it everyday can be a discovery of something new. If I'm honest there are parts of the city I've barely been to just because it's a half hour on the bus, something I'm going to try to rectify a lot in 2015 (South Bristol I'm coming to explore!).

I've grown up in towns, cities and villages and it's safe to say I'm very much a city girl. I can't ever imagine moving away from Bristol but I love discovering new-to-me urban places and city breaks. My friend Lori and I decided it might be a fun idea to showcase some of the places we find on our daily explorations around the city, not only that we want to find out what you love about the place you live! Do you have a favourite coffee shop? A piece of street art you like to rock your outfit photos or how about your favourite place for thrift shopping? I'm just stating my favourite things in life there to be honest it can be anything! You don't actually have to live in a city either, we just kinda liked the title ;)

These photos were taken in the Bear Pit by Stokes Croft in Bristol. When I first moved to the city I would walk though the underpasses to visit Tom in his shared house from my flat by the station, there are always great pieces of street art to check out. I have to admit that a few years back it wasn't really a place to hang out but it's recently been developed with a coffee shop and fruit and veg stall built into storage crates as well as a double decker bus that is yet to be built into a cafe. There are also some planters with flowers and a little veg growing which Wilf took his magnifying glass to to inspect.

What we are wearing:

On me:

Cardigan - Fever London
Dress - Vintage (from my honeymoon in Paris)
Tights - ASOS
Boots - c/o Kaleidoscope

On Wilf:

Coat - c/o Yellow Lolly
Trousers - c/o Boden
Boots - c/o Angulus 

We would love it if you wanted to link up with 'style in your city'. We are going to run this a bi-weekly feature and it would be amazing to see peeks of where you live! For this fortnight we are going with a theme of 'the place I call home' and were hoping you might like to link up what you favourite thing about the place you live is.

You don't even need to have a blog if you don't want to you can join in with our hashtag #styleinyourcity on IG or twitter. We'll be picking our favourites to showcase on our blogs each fortnight too.

You can follow myself on IG here and twitter here
You can follow Lori on IG here and twitter here


Our weekend in Pictures

Hope you all had lovely weekends! I've been feeling a little overtired at the moment as I think many of us have. That third week of January is a killer sometimes and with the weather and feeling generally a little run down it was a struggle to make it through. I can't tell you how glad I was to see the weekend.

Now Tom has Thursday's with Wilf it's really helped to ease up the amount of work I feel I need to do on the weekends. I often worry the balance isn't quite right when it comes to work/life, so much of my life is also my work and although actually that means that I often feel I'm not working it can also mean I feel like I can't escape work (if that makes any sense!). I know I'm very lucky to have the job I have though and I'm always thankful for that.

Can we pause for a second to appreciate these shoes?* Thanks
The bag and brooch are from my shop here and here.

I was recently asked if I could take a day off from the internet as an experiment and after thinking about it, I realised I really couldn't! I have taken a conscious effort to stay off my phone as much as I can though, I downloaded an app called 'checky' which told me the scary truth of just how much times I check my phone and consequently I've been putting it on the shelf when I'm home and playing with Wilf, only checking it here and there which has really cut down my addiction ;)

I've been getting into film photography a bit more and have bought a bunch of new film to try in my diana, I also picked up a super cheap second hand Holga so I'm excited to test that out. When we had the wedding I had a Instax mini and also bought an instant back from my Diana. I didn't test out how to use it though and it seemed to be printing black. I didn't realise until the end of the night when reams and reams of instant film has been used by our guests trying to make it work. This weekend I tried it out properly and realised that it isn't as simple as just shooting an instant picture as you do with a polariod or instax. I think I might do a little tutorial on it as it really isn't all that simple to realise and I wish I had known before I spent so much on film.

The camera Wilf is shooting with is a Diana Baby (SO CUTE right?) I've not yet got to the end of his film so the results will be interesting I'm sure!

Do you have any film camera's? Which one do you rate? I find it so exciting getting the prints back and not knowing if you've captured the moment or not.


Son of a tailor - giveaway

When it comes to clothes I truly believe that the fit of your clothes is as important to finding items that look, and, feel good to wear. I can't tell you how many times I've bought a dress that has a cute print to find it's cut completely wrong for my body.
Son of a Tailor got in touch with me recently to ask if I'd be interested in introducing their service to my readers and with Valentines coming up I thought it would be a great fit (pun not intended!). I'm pretty sure it's not just Tom that's hard to buy for, men are notoriously hard to shop for in my opinion.  When I start asking him what he likes he mainly says things like 'well I do need a new screwdriver' or something equally as dull (my dad was always the same!).
Son of a Tailor appreciate that the cut of a product is as important as the design and as such they have taken their Tailored T-shirts to the world 'in a bid to end bad fitting T-shirts, and make way for handcrafted truly Tailored T-shirts, which the man in your life will love'.

To create the perfect t-shirt you can visit Son of a Tailor, input vital statistics and customise by selecting preferred colour, style and adding embroidered initials for a personalised finish. Or you could simply buy them a gift card to the site so they can purchase one for themselves. 

I'm giving away one gift box to one lucky reader (or the man in their life) in time for Valentines day. To enter simply enter any/all of the below and good luck!

all entries will be added to the Son of a Tailor and Tigerlilly Quinn newsletters of which you can opt out of at anytime.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Three things about my beautiful city

It's been about six months since I last wrote about my beautiful city of Bristol so I thought I'd chirp up again about why it's ace ;) There are a few more places we've visited and discovered since then so it made sense to share them with you guys. If you've not visited before then you must!

Bristol is a place that will always hold so many memories for me, there's the pub I met my husband (at the King Bill before a comedy gig in Colston Hall) the place we went on our first date (the Rummer) or the place we got engaged off St Nics market (an eco metal caravan). There's the registry office we got hitched at, the local pub we held our reception and of course our own home where I gave birth to my son.

What I love about our city though is how it never gets dull, we can tread the same grounds over and over and still discover something new. It's a city thats full of colour and character and as a parent it makes for a exciting and cultured place to raise my kiddo.

It's hard to choose three things I love about my city but if I were to generalise I'd say the art, the food and it's 'eco friendliness'.

Let's start with food because it's almost always on my mind ;) So if you have never visited Bristol and are just stepping of the train? I'd recommend a stop off at St Nics market as your first port of call. I wrote a little about my three favourite places to eat there here but to summarise it's a fantastic place for a mooch, a spot of Moroccan tea or if you're hungry you really do need to visit Pie Minister, I think that's a Bristolian right of passage actually.

Clifton is a beautiful part of the city and one I haven't really fully explored as much as others. Brilliant for taking pictures of victorian architecture, pastel houses and of course the suspension bridge. Sometimes on a work day I will try to inspire myself by working from a coffee shop instead of at home (where I despair at the mess and yet do nothing about it). My favourite place to do this is The Mocking Bird cafe just off Whiteladies Road, it's perfect as it's just minutes from the train stop so you can easily get there from around the cities' many train stations or direct from Temple Meads within about 5 minutes. They serve southern style food with many veggie options and some of the best coffee in town.

Park Street is a great one to stop at for some independent shopping or a bite to eat. We love Rocotillos for milkshakes and Boston Tea Party for a quick coffee and a cake.

One of my favourite parts of town is Stokes Croft, I was born just off it on a street called Thomas St. It's full of street art and independent shops, my favourite is the Here Gallery which is next to another of my favourite cafe's Kafe Kino. Actually pretty much everywhere around the city you will see brilliant graffiti and installations. It's the perfect backdrop for pictures and makes sure I never lose my inspiration when it comes to taking pictures out and about.

The house I was born in! (well the room above me really)

Bristol has just won the European Green Capital title for 2015 which makes me love my city even more! If you are visiting you can stay in a bunch of eco friendly options (including the airsteams I mentioned at the start of this post) or how about a cosy eco-cabin for just £49 a night? The restaurant Friska has just won 'best ethical restaurant' which I've yet to try and there are lots of vegetarian and vegan cafes and restaurants to choose from including Maitreya Social. What I really love about Bristol is how many parks and green spaces there are and not just little parks either! Our favourites are St Andrews, Eastville and St Georges park.

Did that tempt you to want to visit? I hope so!

This post was an entry in the 'tale of three cities' competition ran by Accor hotels. You can see some of the other entires by checking out the #3cities hashtag on twitter. I've learnt so much about cities I've never been to!


A cruise around Norway?

via Tea Collection

via The Cool Hunter

via Wanderlust 

You may have noticed the theme of my blog posts lately are all about a bit of escapism and wanderlust! After my evening At The Chapel chatting dream destinations and travel wish lists I've been pinning madly to my 'travel' board and hatching plans.

It's funny that before having Wilf travel really wasn't a big part of my life. I never really had that lust for adventure and dreamt only of settling down with my family. Becoming a mother has changed me in so many ways, I think it's near impossible to be the 'same person' as you were before. Having a child has made me want to show him new places, new cultures and all the possibilities life holds. It's made me more confident and more interested in the world around me.

Norway is one of my top places I'd love to tick off the list and I recently heard about Norwegian cruises. Wouldn't it be incredible to sail through the fjords and experience those stunning landscapes? I've been checking on 'Cruise Plotter' about where we could take a trip, it's a really interesting site that literally shows you everywhere in the world you can plan a cruise. Stopping at four different Norwegian desitations including Oslo which has been of interest to me for a while.

I've never been on a cruise before and for some reason hadn't thought about using them to explore scandinavian destinations. I think it would be a really interesting way to explore more than one destinations over a few days.

What do you think? Would you consider a cruise holiday? Where would you go?

In association with Deal Checker 


An evening with I-Escape At The Chapel

Last Wednesday when the winds were howling and storms were threatened I took leave of my mummy-ing duties for a night and headed to At The Chapel for an evening with the i-escape team and a bunch of some of my blogging favourites.

Myself and my roomie Lori had kindly been offered a stay over at this beautiful venue and such a treat it was too. We checked into our twin, oohed at the beautiful bathroom and headed downstairs for a glass of prosecco and to hear more about what the company is about.

For anyone not familiar with the site (I wasn't!) i-escape find the best and most beautiful locations around the world. They are really selective about which hotels and venues they work with and a team member will review the place and state honestly the pro's and cons of every location. They basically find the 'little gems' you might only have heard about from a friend without you having to search them out. If you book through them you spend exactly the same amount as you would do by booking direct but you also get a little extra at each place (for example booking At The Chapel through them would mean you would get a free glass of prosecco on arrival) those little touches that make nights away that little bit extra special.

What was really interesting though is i-escape's 'with kids' section. Whenever we travel, book accommodation or visit locations, style is a big factor in us making a decision. I want to stay in a place that matches my aesthetics and if I'm on holiday I want it to be beautiful and unique. I think I must have spent a good few evening since adding place after place onto my wish list (like this architect's cottage in Reykyavik or this house boat in Berlin!). They are rated by family friendliness by one to three stars and a break down on why it was graded as such (perhaps buggy access wasn't great or the hotel didn't include children's activities etc). Although depending on what you want from a family friendly holiday one star could actually be exactly the time of thing you were after!

(in case you were wondering - top* / jeans* / shoes*)
above and below shots taken by Lori 

After a good natter that evening (which reminds me that Wilf calls talking 'chattering' which is just so adorable 'I think I'm going to go chatter to daddy now' ahh) I sank into one the comfiest beds I've ever slept on and was awoken the croissants hanging from the door to our room. The best way to wake up in my opinion.

(last shot also taken by Lori)

Two delicious lattes were drunk in the restaurant downstairs as I wished I could return to my room and sink into that deep bath but home beckoned and I had a little boy to cuddle and share stories with. I love treats away like this and it always make me hug my son just that bit tighter and read another story with just that bit more enthusiasm after getting a bit of my own time.

I left At The Chapel and my evening with i-escape inspired by travel and all the wonderful and exciting places in the world to be discovered together with my family!

I was a guest of i-escape's At The Chapel but all words and thoughts are my own.

*=affiliate links


Lapland part two

On our first full day in Lapland we set off early for some taster sessions, first up a sleigh ride pulled by huskies followed by ski mobiles! In December Lapland get's about four hours day light which meant even though we left at 9am it felt like the middle of the night.

Our elf led us to a fire in the woods where we were told a story about how Lapland was divided between the animals. It was very magical sitting around in the dark with Wilf, drinking hot better juice and hearing an old folk story told in a thick Finnish accent. Our noses were marked with charcoal from around the fire as part of the tale and I was reminded what a strange and amazing experience we were having.

Myself, Wilf and my sister were the first to try out the husky ride, as this was the taster session they ran round a track for roughly 5 minutes in a lap through the snow covered trees. These few minutes had us longing for more, it really was fantastic! Husky dogs are built for these conditions and absolutely love to run, in fact in the summer they don't run at all as they are too hot so come the freezing temperatures they are in their element.

After the husky rides we took to the snow mobiles, as neither my sister or I can drive we snuggled down into the blankets on the sleigh that the instructor pulled along with the other children (and couple of adults that weren't driving either). The children all yelled at the driver 'faster faster!' and shrieked in delight every time he sped up ever so slightly. After a quick taster session of this and a promise of the full version of each later we were left with a few hours to kill before lunch.

We took this time for a quick sledge into the village to check out the supermarket and tourist shops. My sister and I excitedly pointed out all the Moomin products to Wilf and we picked out a toy Reindeer as a 'present' for daddy.

A lot of the decor and feel of the hotel was quite seventies in a way. I'd not stayed in a lodge or been on a snow type holiday before so I had no idea what to expect. For a vegetarian there wasn't masses of choice on the food department but there was always at least one vegetarian option and always an option of pasta and chips for Wilf (who can be a bit fussy at times) which was totally fine for the amount of time we were staying. If I have one regret it would be that we didn't get to eat out at any of the cafe's or restaurants as we were so busy but then again with all there is to do it was nice to know all the meals were there and inclusive when you needed them. A friend told me about cloudberries which apparently are eaten a lot there, another reason to return and eat out at least once or twice I think.

After lunch we had a trip to the husky farm for a real husky ride. If there ever was a time I wished for a GoPro this would be it! There is no way I can describe the sensation of either ride unless you experience it for yourself but it was incredible! the guide showed us how to ride the sleighs and my little sister even surprised me by taken the reigns and driving us Wilf and I!

And I got to hug a husky puppy!

That evening after a few hours back at the hotel and dinner we headed for a snow mobile ride. My sister buddied up with a driver and Wilf and I snuggled down into the sleigh again. He was so exhausted by this point he slept pretty much the whole ride, through the forest and dark was setting in and the snow glistening from the trees. Another truly surreal moment that I wish I could be able to describe or share in some way doing it justice. I think this might have been my favourite activity if I had to rate them. We stopped at the top of a hill in the middle of thick thick snow to watch the sun set whilst warming ourself with hot berry juice and Wilf woke up and threw snowballs with our friendly Elf guide. I kept thinking 'this is literally a once in a lifetime thing to do' and pinching myself at how I lucky we were.

Whilst we did quite a few activities over a couple of days due to it being a press trip and wanting to fit in as much as we could, if you came here with your family you could definitely take the bits you wanted to try and have a slower pace. If I'm honest Wilf would have been just as happy playing around the hotel, sledging and building snowmen but I think if he had been a tiny bit older he would really have been able to take in some of the amazing things we did.

I have one last post on our time in Lapland to come..the day we visited Santa!

We were guests of Thomson in Lapland and all words and thoughts are my own
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