31.5.15

Me and Mine - May


I'm so pleased to be able to finally share our journey towards becoming a family of four with you guys and more so that by the last month of this year our Me and Mine photo will include a new addition! There are actually two new babies on the way from the rest of the Me and Mine team which makes me feel quite emotional (doesn't take much these days!) I love feeling like I'm sharing these experiences with this lovely community.

This month I've mainly been very emotional, tired and still quite sick so it's made for an interesting one. There have been a few days that I've felt well enough to do a bit more and we took these pics in Castle Park in Bristol on one of the most lovely sunny days. We ended up at a new gelato shop and I discovered that my new obsession is coconut gelato!

Wilf has been absolutely fantastic since finding out I have a baby in my tummy, I wasn't too sure how aware he would be of the situation but he is very excited and interested. He asks me questions every day about the baby and we talk about what things he'll be able to do with it at different ages, he was so happy when he learnt he would be able to share his favourite books and with him/her and I fear it made me cry (again!). He is going to be the best big brother.

I've been going to bed super early (just after Wilf) and then he has taken to coming into our bed around 9pm and cuddling up to me. It's funny because he is usually very happy to sleep in his own bed but I'm cherishing it as I know these are the last few months of just us two, there isn't many things I love more than him cuddling up to me in his sleep.


I think the scan made the baby become suddenly real for all of us, where as before we tending not to talk about it much 'just in case'. Our friends would try and engage us into conversations about what we could expect and Tom would say 'we're not really going to think about it until the all clear'. I think it was our way of protecting our emotions incase we found our self experiencing a loss again.

Now though we've all really started to get excited! We've been making grand plans for the house that we need to do before the baby gets here (how is it people always do things to their houses before the birth of a child? We ripped out our kitchen two weeks before Wilf's arrival!). I'm also feeling very nesty which is something that never happened to me in my pregnancy with Wilf (much to Tom's disappointment the house continued to be a mess ;)). So some spring cleaning and rearranging has been taking place when I've found I've had a burst of energy.

I'm so excited to take this ride with Tom and become parents to two! Roll on December ;)

This month I'm sending you over to the lovely Alex who is going to meet her second little boy very soon!





30.5.15

healthy ice cream!


With the weather heating up lately we've been spending more and more time in our garden and outdoors splashing in the paddling pool. We've also been indulging in lots more ice cream and lollies! I've actually found that cold things like lollies have been helping curb my morning sickness a little and although I'm not one to deny something like an ice cream on hot day to my kiddo I do worry about the amount of sugar it contains.

We were asked by Domu if we would like to give their VonShef Frozen Desert Maker a go and I thought it was a really interesting concept. Instead of an ice cream maker its simply turns frozen fruit into a delicious ice cream like desert.


All you need to do is decide what fruit combinations you might like to try (for this one we chose raspberries and bananas) stick them in the freezer over night then add to the machine and turn it on. Simple as that!

We actually store frozen fruit anyway as we use it for smoothies (you can pick up bags of frozen fruit in the supermarket to make it a bit easier) so it was really easy to whip up a batch and it was ready in minutes.

If you fancy a more ice cream like version you can also add milk or cream to the mixture and pop it back into the freezer for a short while. you can also experiment with combinations like chocolate and fruit or even nuts or syrups.

Wilf's initial reaction was a little suspicious but after he got stuck in he really loved it and it's great to know that al it had in it was a little fruit!


in association with Domu

10 Painless Ways to Save Money on Your Next Holiday


Taking a much-needed holiday is always going to mean paying a little bit—especially if it involves leaving the country and paying for accommodation. Yet at least you know, in advance, how much cash you’re going to have to part with and can plan ahead. What many of us do not take into consideration, however, are the hidden costs of holidaying abroad, which can be easy to pay for without thinking, only to return home with a rather excessive credit card bill. For ways to cut costs and stay aware of your spending along the way, here are ten handy tips from.
Click below to read on

28.5.15

The Psychology of the home

I was recently asked if I'd like to take part in a little project with Hiscox about the psychology of the home and what they way I design certain rooms in my house mean about me. 

After thinking hard about a space in my home that holds sentimental value I finally chose this section of my bedroom. I’m a hugely inspired by fashion and colour and my collection of vintage clothes is one of my favourite things to look at so I used open rails to display them. I up-cycled this dressing table and stool and the photos are a collage of some of my favourite moments with my family!


I submitted my picture to Dr Linda Papadopoulos and this is what she had to say after studying this section of my bedroom.

“Fashion is a big part of this person’s identity, the fact that it’s not hidden away in a closet but out on display attests to the fact that she sees fashion as art, something to engage with and enjoy aesthetically not just functionally.”

I took part of this project with a number of other bloggers who also submitted pictures of their homes and you can see the results over here

What do you think the way you design your living spaces says about you?

in collaboration with Hiscox 

27.5.15

Win Samantha George bedspread and curtain set for your kiddo


One of the things I love about being a parent is bringing fun playful designs into my home. If truth be told our home was already very bright and colourful pre-children but I love picking out fun designs for Wilf's room like new bedspreads that can freshen up a room so easily.

I'm working with Character Club this fortnight to give away a choice of these super cute Samantha George bed set and matching curtains in either the farm yard or pirate designs featured above. To enter just complete the rafflecopter form below and good luck!

Duvet cover sets come in 3 x sizes junior, single and double and the winner can choose which size they want, the curtains are 66" x 72" drop.

t/c all entries will be entered into the Tigerlilly Quinn newsletter of which you can opt out of at anytime

a Rafflecopter giveaway

26.5.15

A week with friends in Bluestone


We spent another lovely few days at Bluestone again this year (take a look at last years post here) and wanted to share what we got up to with you guys. This time we got a larger cabin and invited friends which was something we've never done before and is the perfect place to do so.

Our friends have two little boys, one the same age as Wilf (we met at our NCT group) so it was perfect for the kiddos to have a playmate for time we were there. I have to admit I struggled a little bit being in the early stages of pregnancy and having to manage sickness spells but thankfully this was my easiest week symptom wise, must be that lovely Welsh air!

I wasn't the life and soul of the party because of this (sorry guys!) but we were super lucky with the weather and the rest of the grown ups got to enjoy drinks at the onsite tavern whilst we could easily watch the kids play around.

Being self catering accommodation we only ate out once (again at the tavern) which was really good and had an actual inventive vegetarian option which is always a plus point. The kids spent every day in the pool which is probably one of the best family friendly pools I've been to and the grown ups (apart from me *womp womp*) enjoyed the flumes. I was really happy just to sit and chill in the warm water and it made my already sizeable bump feel better.

Last year the only thing I regretted from our stay was not visiting the spa which I made sure to amend this time around. Myself and my friend Jules both went for facials (I almost fell asleep it was so good) and also spent sometime in the outdoor hydrotherapy pool in the sun. We had the whole place to ourself at the time which was bliss! I'd certainly recommend treating yourself if you are planning a trip.


One of our favourite parts of Bluestone is the woodland area and the cute 'Camp Smokey' where you can drink hot chocolate and toast marshmallows. 


We decided to get bikes again like last year which we love doing, I think we got less use out of them this time just because the weather was so stunning last year that we spent more time just cycling around and probably because we were with friends we stayed in one place and chilled out a bit more. Both Tom and I don't drive so a buggy wasn't an option although I think my friends would have enjoyed one, they do look fun!



The only thing that differed this year slightly was that last year if you pre-booked anything before your stay you got half back to spend on-site during your stay. I didn't think to check this was still running and just assumed it was which was a shame but tbh we would have booked those things any way.

Like last year we made a little video, this one is much shorter because I was sick we didn't get a huge amount of footage but you get the feel anyway.

If you'd like to see last year's video then you can watch it here (it's pretty cute if I say so myself) and last years posts here.

Until next year Bluestone! 

25.5.15

Boden A/W


I missed all the A/W press shows (and ones to come in the next week or so, still playing it safe over here!) because of morning sickness. For the most part I haven't been too affected by the change of pace as I've not really felt well enough to feel I'm missing out, but there is one that I was sad not to see.

Boden of course.

Click below to read on

24.5.15

Baby number two


When the sonographer printed out the pictures from the scan he gave the first one to Wilf. He's been cherishing it and taking peeks every now and again when he thinks we're not looking. The other day he wanted to take it into his nursery to show his teacher and friends during circle time. He almost ran into into class this morning and handed the picture to his key worker blurting out 'I'm going to be a big brother because this baby lives in my mummy's tummy!' and then quite embarrassingly, I burst into tears in front of a class room of three year olds.

Thank you so so much for your lovely messages over here and on my social media. We've been totally blown away by your lovely sentiments and I'm so happy to be sharing the news finally with you all.

I have to start this first pregnancy post with a bit of a moan (bare with me) as the past two months have been really really difficult to say the least. Having suffered very badly with morning sickness with Wilf until 17 weeks I was very prepared for these symptoms and yet in a way I wasn't, you really can't fully remember how they felt until you are in the midst of them again (or you probably wouldn't go through with it again! ;)). Truthfully the symptoms started off a lot milder than my last pregnancy and have mostly continued that way of which I am more than thankful of but it's still felt like a big struggle. 

I think a lot of this has been down to my situation being so different this time round. Last time I worked in a hot, cramped office above a chinese takeaway where my almost hourly dashes to the bathroom did little to disguise to my colleagues my situation (and yet they didn't let on they knew!). I was also working long hours, commuting, attending meetings and generally putting my body through a lot more. That being the case morning sickness with Wilf was 24hr nausea with sickness roughly about 2-4 times a day.

This time round although I have a three year old to look after I am able to take it a lot easier, although the 24hr feeling of nausea is the same I am able to deal with it in the comfort of my own home and decided pretty early on to cancel all events and travel that I possibly could so I could camp out on my sofa or the many walks around my local park for fresh air. I'm lucky that my blog is now my job and so although I've felt terribly guilty about how I've pretty much abandoned this space over the past few weeks as I found it so hard to type words through the fog of sickness, I knew that ultimately when I was able it would still be here for me. That and the fact I couldn't really tell you I'd done anything much but feel sorry for myself at home! 

The past week or so have been the hardest so far where my symptoms stepped up a notch and I found myself in that all familiar place of evenings sat on the bathroom floor wiping 'sorry for myself' tears from my eyes. On the day of our scan we went to a tea garden with Tom's mum to celebrate and my body celebrated by making me throw up in a bush, all the glamour! 

I'd love to say it's passed now but I'm pretty sure it will continue for a while longer (so apologise again if there is sporadic posting for a while longer). I guess the difference is that now I have a child I have the benefit of knowing it really really is all worth it, regardless of just how miserable it is at the time. 

Wow who knew you could write so much about feeling sick hey? Thanks for reading this far ;)

We had decided around Christmas time that we would be ready to try for another baby this year but mainly in the loose 'it would be nice to have another child sometime' kind of way, so when nothing happened in January or February it wasn't of any real concern. I have to admit that I had this funny idea that it would happen the first month and so that was a little bit of a disappointment but after that we just got on with our busy lives and so by the time we actually discovered I was a couple of months later it was a bit of a surprise.

We actually found out on our three city trip whilst taking a bike ride around Vondelpark in Amsterdam. I hadn't given any thought to being pregnant until I realised I was four days late and so decided to pick up a test that morning and we found out later that morning in the park's cafe toilets. Thankfully we were due home a couple of days later and although I realised that's why I was probably crazy tired and cranky the sickness didn't kick in until midway through week 5 which I'm so thankful for! 

I wasn't sure how I felt at first finding out I was pregnant again. My pregnancy with Wilf was conceived after baby loss and I felt at the time that getting pregnant again was the only way to deal with my grief. Rightly or wrongly becoming pregnant again helped me deal with an immense grief I wasn't coping well with and I clung to it. This time round I already have my lovely boy and I have to admit that I wasn't 100% sure how I felt. I'm not sure how that comes across but I thought it best to be completely honest that it took me some weeks to really get my head around it. My initial thought was 'how am I going to cope with 24 hour sickness and a three year old' a thought that hadn't occurred to me with my last pregnancy as my previous failed pregnancy had been one of no symptoms and I had no idea what was in store for me. My other thoughts were filled with how this would change our dynamic, would I be ruining Wilf's life? Also the realisation that our relationship would be tested to the limits yet again with all that comes with sleep deprivation and life with a newborn. 

I felt very guilty for a long while for not feeling the same excitement I had expected and truthfully the past few weeks have been ones filled with a lot of tears. I have no idea if this is normal in second pregnancies but it's taken a lot longer for it to really sink in. I didn't actually tell my parents until week ten which probably had a lot to do with how confused I was feeling. I'm really happy to say now that since the scan and telling Wilf (which was pretty much one of the best moments of my life) it really has sunk in and I'm feeling those bubbles of excitement about welcoming a new member of our family. It's definitely all become real now and I'm letting myself day dream about life with a baby again, seeing Wilf become a big brother and all the love that is coming our way.


23.5.15

Get Ready for Summer with Iced Snacks You Can Make at Home


The clocks have moved forward, spring has sprung and summer is on its way, which means moving away from the comforts of warming soups and pasta bakes to console your winter blues. This time of year calls for refreshing salads, plenty of fruit and iced drinks to keep you cool and energised. Here are some iced recipes to make at home, which are quick and easy yet impressive enough to entertain with your friends or family. As a cooling snack, a light dessert or a vitalising drink, these delicious recipes will leave you wanting more!

  
Elderflower Ice Cream

This recipe comes from David Johnson who works at The Cross Keys in Chelsea

Ice cream is simple to make from your own kitchen and tastes even better homemade. This one is beautifully light and fragrant with the elderflower; a perfect sweet refreshing treat.
Ingredients
150ml full-fat milk
3 medium egg yolks
50g caster sugar
150ml Jersey or clotted cream
100ml Elderflower cordial

Method
Bring the milk to the boil in a heavy saucepan, then remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl, then pour the milk over the eggs and sugar and mix well. Return to the pan and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk, ensuring you do not boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and cordial. Leave to cool, and if you have the luxury of an ice cream machine, churn in this until thickened. If you don’t, decant into a clean container and place in the freezer, removing after 45 minutes to stir vigorously. Repeat this at regular intervals until your ice cream is smooth, thick and creamy, beginning to firm up. Leave in the freezer for 4-6 hours, then enjoy.

LIME ICE LOLLY

Another recipe from David Johnson

Limes are just incredible in summer; their tart yet sweet taste lends so well to iced treats such as these amazingly zingy ice lollies.
Ingredients
Zest and juice of 5 limes
180g icing sugar
450g crème fraiche
90ml cold water
Method
Place the lime zest and juice, icing sugar and water into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Leave to stand for 30 minutes to infuse and develop the flavours. Beat the crème fraiche into this lime syrup and pour into ice lolly moulds, placing into the freezer for around 2 hours or until firm.

PINK LEMONADE ICED COCKTAIL

Recipe adapted from Cosmopolitan
I love to have iced drinks in the summer, from tea and coffee to lemonade and cocktails. There are lots of easy ways you can make a delicious yet speedy iced drink–this chocolate iced mocha recipe will only take 5 minutes but will taste incredible! Here is an adult twist on a childhood favourite. As a child I adored pink lemonade, it always reminds me of celebrations and warm lazy days, and this cocktail generates those summer vibes.
Ingredients
50ml citrus vodka, such as Stolichnaya Citros
1 tbsp sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Dash of grenadine
Method
Mix all together in a cocktail shaker, and pour into a glass with ice. Finish with slice of fresh lemon or strawberry and sit and enjoy.  

This is a collaborative post

21.5.15

Some news..


Just popping in to share some news with you all! I can't tell you how long it's felt keeping this under wraps for the past couple of months. It feels so good to share!

I'll be back soon to share a longer post about how the past couple of months have been. Although be warned there may be a fair bit of moaning as it's been more than a little bit tough. Still I'm just so thankful to be on this journey and becoming a family of four! 

15.5.15

Party Crown DIY plus Wild Things - Funky little clothes to sew giveaway!

I'm really excited to share this post with you today, a DIY from one of my favourite creatives plus a really lovely giveaway! If you've not come across Wild Thing Dresses before you may recognise them from the shark dungarees Wilf is often found in (here last year and here more recently). I've been a big fan of Kirsty's work since I discovered her around three years ago and I was so excited when she told me she's made a book of simple patterns so that we can make her designs ourself. 

The book in itself is stunning, everything from the photography to the brilliant tutorials and of course the colourful creativeness in each design. I'm really excited to share with you a DIY that Kirsty came up with exclusively for Tigerlilly Quinn readers. I know you'll love it!

(don't forget to scroll down to the bottom of the post to enter the giveaway!)

This super easy crown is a great way to use scraps of fabric and a plain old headband to create a funky little party crown which can be reversed. Using heat n bond allows you to create a firm bonded fabric which can be cut without fraying and is reversible.


I have used similar techniques in the book to create super easy appliqué shapes which are easy to apply.



1. Bond adhesive web to the reverse of one piece of fabric of felt.
I’ve used a metallic finish fabric and a printed cotton.

2. Peel off the paper backing.

3. Bond the second piece to the reverse.

4. Cut out the paper template, Trace around the template and cut out.



5.Bring the ends together. Sew with a single stitch back and forth to secure.

6. Continue to slip stitch the two edges together and finish again by
Sewing with a single stitch back and forth to secure.

7.Gently fold and snip two small openings into the crown as shown.



8. Feed the headband through the crown to assemble.

And now for the giveaway! I am delighted to be able to giveaway a copy of Kirsty's new book, a choice of fabrics to make two of the designs in the book AND either a ready made character dress or character dungaree. All you need to do is enter the rafflecopter below and good luck!



all entries will be added the Tigerlilly Quinn newsletter of which you can opt out of at any time. The competition runs for two weeks and is UK only entries 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

12.5.15

What We Wore


It's been a while again (sorry!) but at least i'm not a week late this time. As you might have noticed things have been a bit busy round here and I'm finding days flying by and meanwhile my little blog is being a bit neglected. Thanks for sticking with me, I'll be back to normal soon, promise!

Click below to read on

6.5.15

a little catch up

Sorry for the almost week long break! I didn't mean to go silent on you all, it just somehow happened. I wanted to pop in this morning with a little catch up on a few things and promise I'll try and get back to normal soon.

Firstly, why not head over to our pal Burp Boutique who are running a fun comp to win £100 store credit. All you need to do is follow them on IG and post with the hashtag, simple! Find out more here.

Wilf is wearing a hoody from their store which you can find here (he calls it his eagle coat because of the ruffles)


The picture is where me and Wilf spent our bank holiday morning morning, I'm starting to hate the park less and less which is an improvement for me. I think Spring is helping :)

illustration via here

I also wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who nominated me in the Style section in the BIBS. I'm feeling anything but stylish over the past little while so it means a lot to me! If you fancy flinging me a vote here that would be much appreciated (I hate asking for these things!).


What else? Wilf and I have been making fun creations out of our sandwiches and have partnered up with Flora to give you some 'sandwich art' ideas if you fancy a peek over here.


look at this cheeky face! The parrot print above Wilf is by Curio and Curio who kindly sent us a copy.  I love mixing up our living room prints, it gives the room a different feeling every time!


Other than that the last few days have been spent enjoying my time with this little boy. Every day with him is an adventure. When I re-tell my days to my friends they probably seems mundane, the park, a hot chocolate, watching a film, discovering the joy of stickle brick. It's these ordinary activities that are so full of joy when you do them through the eyes of a three year old though, I never knew stickle brick could be the source of so much imagination, just like I'd never throw blossom in the air until my son did and it laughed so hard. Simple pleasures!


Maddie the cat has mainly been doing this

I'll be back sooner than a week next time, promise! x

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