fell in love with a jumpsuit and a brand

Jumpsuits are one of those things that I love but never really work for me. I have quite a long tummy and I'm also fairly tall so 99% of the ones I try give me awful camel toe or hang around my ankles in the worst kind of way. I found a brilliant one last summer from La Redoute (here) which was almost but not quite the perfect for me. My only issue with it was the arms as I find myself quite self conscious about my upper arms.

SO when I spotted this one on ASOS from Weekday I crossed my fingers that its tummy to leg ratio would work with my long torso. And it did, hurrah! In doing so I also became more aware of this brand, a new one for me so I decided to give some of their other pieces a go too.

First up I tried some of their jeans, I love a brand that does a good high waist jean and after years and years of refusing to wear jeans I feel like once I hit my 30's I finally 'got' them a little more. My favourite style are 'high waist mom jeans' which I first discovered though an Liv Purvis's instagram (that girl rocks a good mom jean).

A year postpartum and I'm still working out my body shape so buying clothes are still a little tricky. If I'm honest I'm still about a half size bigger than I'd like to be which means I'm also either a little big for one size or a little small for another. That being said I bought these jeans from them and they are so comfy! I've been wearing them in a size bigger and they hang a bit like boyfriend jeans but are still really flattering as long as you don't oversize your top half too I think. I also ended up picking up a pant and bra set and they are super comfy!

Some other pieces I've not yet tried out but am loving are :

This Leopard Print jumper 
This pink waffle jumper
This Shirt dress (that colour!)
This jumper (notice a theme?)

Photos Lauren Jayne Hall

Me and Mine January

So I spent pretty much ALL of last year complaining about how the months were speeding past and I started writing my first Me and Mine of 2017 about to complain how much this one had dragged, ha!

I think it's pretty much a given that January is a long month though right? That being said we've had a pretty good one in the grand scheme of things. I'm really enjoying Mabli as a toddler and starting to remember just how much I loved this age with Wilf. One year olds are so full of delicious mischief and now both kids are interacting with each other much more they can create mischief together!

We had a funny time mid month that was pretty stressful (I explained it a bit more in this video) but apart from that I've felt very settled. One reason is that as well as childcare hours I'm also asking for help for bits of my job that I simply cannot do myself (or rather I can if I had 40 hours a week child free but I'm realising that I cannot cram 40 hours into 12 hours childcare). What I'm trying to say is that my work life balance is getting much better and as such I feel like our homelife is much more relaxed too. It's only taken about five years to work this one out ;)

Last weekend Wilf decided to dress up as a spy and quite frankly it made my day. It put so much into perspective, it didn't matter that the house was a mess or there were jobs to be done or (always) emails to get back to. Everytime I looked at him it would crease me up, those little people bring me so much joy. As much as I crave a bit of time away from them at times life is so much more boring when they aren't about. Now Wilf is at school our weekends are even more precious to us and I haven't smiled so much in a long time.

I snapped these pictures quickly on my phone and it makes me giggle to think I could have just popped them on here with no explanation to Wilf's attire. Five year olds are the best.

And by some kind of miracle we are all looking at the camera at the same time!

We have a new member to the Me and Mine team this year in the lovely Charlotte is joining us, I'm sure you'll agree her photos are just beautiful!
Don't forgot to visit the other Me and Mine hosts Lucy, Katie, JennyAlex and Lucy. I can't wait to see all your posts!


Spring Summer love for Oliver Bonas

Last week I popped up to the big smoke to attend the Oliver Bonas press day. Oliver Bonas are one of my very favourite brands right now and their clothing line is growing to be even more exciting. I think you can tell instantly when I item of clothing is from this store, pastel, a little bit sixties and even a little bit Wes Anderson at times. I own a few items from them and I always find they are cut really well, comfortable and simple whilst still feeling like some special.

My favourite item which is actually in store right now is this pink suede top. I love it SO much and think it could be a really versatile piece, you could wear it with shorts or a skirt or just a simple one with jeans. I think you can tell in

Another big hit for me was there range of shoes coming into store soon and the colour blocking purses. As for the sunnies, I'll take one of each please! ;)

I thought I'd compile a list of a few of my very favourite times below! You can also see my vlog of the morning here if you fancy a watch!


Made.com pop up in Bristol and dinner with Dela

This photo makes me laugh! Food arrives, phones out! Got to get that IG pic ;)

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to a beautiful supper held in the Made.com Bristol pop up shop and catered by Dela Bristol. I'm a big fan of Made and have worked with them on a couple of occasions through the blog (here and here, I actually created a little illustration for them back here!)

The meal was so well thought out with five delicious courses served up by the Dela team, all served on Made.com tableware of course. It's 100% down to this evening that I now wonder how my life can be complete without gold cutlery ;)

The highlight was definitely the cauliflower main course which is so much more exciting than it sounds. I'm not sure what magic is done with that dish but I've been thinking about it ever since. Really looking forward to trying that again and even trying to work out how to make something similar at home (it involved tahini which is always a win from me).

I thought I'd share a few photos from the event but I've also recorded a bit of footage in this vlog if you want to see a bit more behind the scenes from the night. It was so lovely to catch up with some of Bristol's finest blogging bunch, we're even in plans to make supper club a monthly thing, which makes me feel very grown up ha!

Here are some of my favourite pieces in store right now:

Starkey Statement cluster lights (we just got these for the bedroom)
Newbury 16 piece cutlery set (after using these at the dinner I want so bad!)
Another one that caught my eye at the event was these vases
Always obsessed with rugs and this one is a beauty! 
I have such a thing for chairs, I wish we had room for one more..

Thanks to Made.com and Dela for a wonderful evening, photos by Emli Bendixen 


Dear Egg Dress / Little Loves

Dear egg dress of dreams, thanks for coming into my life and making me so happy

and also being a two piece so I can breastfeed in it

Dear Lily, thanks for passing on said egg dress and the joy that comes with it

Dear Lauren, thanks for making me look fancy whilst covered in eggs

(enough about the eggs Fritha)
Click below to read on


DisneyLife: Going Live!

I am a DisneyLife Brand Ambassador and this post was created in partnership with DisneyLife, who have provided me with a free 12-month DisneyLife subscription.

January is such a tricky month isn't it? Getting back into the swing of work and school and all the in betweens after the Christmas break can feel like hard work sometimes for sure. Add to that the amount of bugs that are flying around over the winter months and we've been having quite a lot of cosy sofa weekends this month so far! 

Click below to read on


Life Lately / A day in the life

I finally made another video! Lets just pretend that I missed out last weeks shall we? I was so confident that 2017 would be the year I managed to get something up there at least once a week. Anyway, its done and I've even got my video ready for next week so let's just forgot about that blip there and move ahead ;)

This video shows a few behind the scenes of a photoshoot I had with my photographer pal Nell and also a sneak peek at home our bathroom make over is coming along as well as a few thoughts on my real/life Instagram life and how I'm changing things up a bit in 2017 to get a better work life balance..well here's hoping! It also features a very messy bedroom and a pretty sloppy 'get ready with me make up routine' ha, it's a learning process for sure.

Thanks as always for watching! I'll be back later this week for a couple of posts about the Oliver Bonas press day I attended last week as well as a lovely dinner with Made.com so do check back in if you fancy a peek at those xx


Growing older - Lift and Luminate #bettertogether

I used to be so worried about growing older, about achieving milestones by certain points. I would think 'such and such will be OK as long as I've done this or that before I'm 30'. Thirty was such a huge number in my head, maybe because I distinctly remember my parents both turning 30 and how grown up they seemed to then five year old me.

photography by Nell Mallia

I hated my 25th birthday, it was a marker to me that I was approaching 'late twenties' no longer was I fresh out of uni or 'young and free'. I worried if I was too old now to wear certain clothes or attend certain events. I had my first child at 26 and funny enough it was this moment that I started to put age into perspective. It didn't matter how old I was or what I wore or what music I was into. Motherhood reminded me how silly all that was and by the time my thirtieth did role around I was completely ready to embrace it. If anything my confidence has done nothing but grown as I have got older and I actually think I'm more self assured and empowered now than I was as a twenty something. 

That being said two children later and I most certainly look older, and whilst age is of course natural and to be celebrated there are a few things I would like to improve on, such as how tired my eyes look! Five years of sleepless nights and very early mornings have given my eye bags eye bags. My skin isn't as firm as it once was (I'm noticing my neck especially so) and I'd say that I generally feel a little less 'brighter'.

I'm working with No7 (who are the number 1 serum brand) in this post to review their 'Lift and Luminate' skin care regime.  If you've ever used their Triple Action serum then these are new products which act as an extension of this technology. The day and night cream now include the same triple action formula that the serum uses. Having been proven to help tackle the three most common signs of ageing, wrinkles visibly reduced and skin appears lifted and firmer and skin tone more even.

I'm a bit believer in a skin care regime and really see a difference to my skin when I don't follow one. For example we've just gone though a bathroom refit so all my products had been stored away in our bedroom, this meant I got into the habit of just slashing water on my face twice a day in the kitchen sink and my gosh my skin got bad! I definitely see a difference when I cleanse and moisturise and also when I use day creams and night creams. I've learnt a lot about skincare over the past five years or so, gone are the days I'd use face wipes and a general cream for both day and night, ah!

I'll be trialling these products over the next four weeks to see if I can see a noticeable difference and will be posting my results here then so do check back in if you're interested to see how I got on. Apparently results can be seen within two weeks with 88% of women seeing better results when using the L&L day cream with the L&L serum.

For me looking good isn't about adoring to a standard type or idea of how a thirty something women should look but about how I feel in my own skin. When I feel good about myself and how I look then I also feel more positive about my life in general!

I actually have five sets of these products to give away to 5 lucky readers. All you need to do is enter the rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions there. I'm actually taking part in this review along with some of my favourite bloggers, proving that we are indeed #bettertogether. I thought I would link them below too just incase you fancy heading over to their blogs to see how they get on with them over the trial period! 

Hayley Carr     londonbeautyqueen.com
Kate Marten    katelouiseblogs.com
Tracey McAlpine     fightingfifty.co.uk
Alex Garman    Iheartbeauty.net
Jane Cunningham     britishbeautyblogger.com
Louise Woollam     getlippie.com
Lisa Barrett     glowology.co.uk
Jo Middleton    slummysinglemummy.com
Sareta Fontaine    kikiblahblah.com

Good luck with the comp and don't forget to check back in to see how I found them in four weeks time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In association with Boots No7

Collecting memories with Blurb

January is one of my favourite months. Yes the days are short and dark and the weather has much to be desired (especially in the UK) but I love how it feels almost like a 'fresh start'. Like so many others I'm using this time of year to reflect on all that we did last year, to feel thankful for what we have and and to feel excited for what 2017 might bring.

 We have taken so many pictures over the years and I'm always so grateful that this blog gives me the inspiration I need to do so. Quite often days can go by when I don't pick up the camera but I think without my blog to remind me to do so then months would quite easily slip by without me noticing. Every month we take a 'me and mine' picture and every month it's almost always on the last day of the month, it's aways in a rush and there's always part of me that thinks 'lets do this tomorrow'. Without the prompt to publish a photo of us all each month then I'm fairly certain there would be only a couple of photos with us all in them each year rather than 12.

I'm working with Blurb in this post to share with you the photobook we created using some of our favourite pictures of 2016. I love the idea of doing this at the end of every year to look back on and to give as gifts to family (we actually gave one to grandparents as a Christmas gift this year). 

Blurb make the process really straightforward, you start with the book size, pick the style, paper type and a few other options and then simply chose which pictures you want to use and where to place them. I chose not to in this instance but you can even add text to each page if you want to. I love this idea for something like printing out some of your favourite blog posts at the end of the year, especially our travel journals. They also have templates to chose from for the design and layout of your pictures which makes placing them and creating the look you want really simple.

Something else I found really neat about Blurb is their bookshop where you can purchase books other members have made. There are some absolutely stunning looking books on there, like this one called 'The Lifestyle Notebook' which is packed full of simple vegan recipes that I'd love to try. I also got a bit lost looking through their travel section and I'm really tempted to pick up this beautiful book  on the Arctic and Greenland. I could buy so many beautiful books from their bookshop if I'm honest!

After picking some of my favourite shots from the year I placed my order and the book arrived via courier ten days later. I was so pleased with the quality of the book and especially the paper used in the pages. It's been lovely to have on our coffee table and flip through with the kids. I'm really keen to do this yearly so we have a little collection of our lives and the kids growing up. I also have plans to print out a few separate ones of our travels as they hold such special memories for us. 

I'm so excited to get started on our next book! I think I'll go back and make some of the last few years  first. I can't wait to see what 2017 brings us and what moments we can capture for this years book! 

Have you ever made a photo book

Sponsored by Blurb
Photos by Nell Mallia 


House Renovations update

So over the past six months we've had A LOT going on in our home. Pretty much everything I earn..well OK minus the odd dress or two..oh and the odd (daily) latte and cake treat.. so not quite everything but a large part..has been going towards doing up our home. In might sound strange to some but Tom and I have never had a joint account, he's always been in charge of the mortgage and all bills and I've always been in charge of the food and childcare..on top of that I'm in charge of meals out and holidays. It might sound like Tom gets the worst part of the deal but he's a natural saver and I'm a natural splurger so by me feeling no guilt about us going out for breakfast he feels less worried about it because it feels like I'm 'treating' us. In reality all the money is of course shared but it just seems to work better done like this. I'd be curious to know if any of you are the same!

Anyway, I'm getting distracted! If you remember from this post we recently knocked out an inbuilt wardrobe and decided to do up our landing. A few months later and for various reasons this isn't quite finished and we're still waiting for a carpenter to finished the banister, shelving and skirting so that's sort of been left on hold for a while..

(this is before all the work)

Instead we started thinking about getting cracking on the back two rooms of our house. The backdoor corridor and old toilet. When we moved in we decided we didn't want to use it as a toilet and instead it became a place we kept our tumble dryer and freezer. The space where the backdoor was we blocked up with boxes of my old stock as we had french doors put in from our living room this time last year.

I've been needed an office for a while now and so we decide that by knocking down the two rooms into one made best use of the space. That's currently happening right now (I'm hiding in a cafe).

We also decided to tackle our bedroom and wallpaper it which is something we'd been planning for a while so whilst it was empty for that it made sense to carpet..so all our room was moved into Wilf's room, Wilf then lost his room for a week or so..and the list goes on.

As yet none of these places have been 'finished' enough to share with you guys but I've been filming little bit son the way, hopefully it will make for a good before and after!

So our home has been having work done in most room which has been pretty full on if I'm honest. Not happy enough we that we've now booked in for our bathroom to be finished this week! I'm hoping that February will bring a calmer more complete household as living with boxes and bits and bobs of building work isn't ideal.

I'll hopefully be able to share our bathroom with you in a couple of weeks but do keep an eye out on IG as I've been doing little updates on my stories.  This was it two days ago!

In the meantime I've been pinning away like crazy! You can check out some of my boards here and here.

I have this wallpaper bookmarked for my office! It's only £6.74!

hope you all have a lovely weekend xx


For the baby

Before I start did you see Oliver Bonas are now doing baby stuff? As expected it's lovely and colourful whilst being modern and simple too. They go up to 12m so I've grabbed them whilst Mabli still fits! 

Mini Boden as always are making my heart flutter with their Baby Boden range, those little shoes!!

Click below to read on


Those baby days

I can't believe a whole year has passed by since I became a mother of two. It's not without it's difficulties (of course) but the amount of joy this little girl has brought us is boundless. Seeing my little boy become a big brother and the love they share for each other, it makes my heart so so happy.

I say to Tom almost daily 'we are just so lucky aren't we??' Even when the baby doesn't sleep or won't be held by anyone but me and we have had only one child free evening together in the past 12 months (as in she stays up with us until we go to bed..yes still!). Even when we are sniping at each other and the tea has gone cold and we can't invite anyone round as the state of the house is just..awful! I still feel lucky, I'm so ridiculously lucky to be their mum.

Second time round motherhood is easier, but it's also hard. You forget to quickly those yearly days, you still have to work out feeding and sleeping and getting out the house and 'why is she crying?! do you think she's teething/tired/hurt/just crying for the hell of it?' moments. It's familiar but new all over again and its wonderful and awful and tiring and uplifting and joyful and all the other millions of contradicting feelings magnified and repeated tens times a day.

I've been working with Huggies wipes this year as part of their ambassador program during Mali's first year. Now that she's changing from a baby to a toddler, starting to talk and all the wonderful next steps that happen at this time, I'm waving good bye to those newborn, new baby moments.

Click below to read on


Christmas in Amsterdam, what we did and where we stayed!

The idea to go away at Christmas has been one we'd spoken about for a good few months, weighing up if we could afford it, if it was an indulgent expense (probably!) and how much our need to get away and switch off was greater than the work we needed to be doing in our home and money we needed to be saving. Both Wilf and Mabli have December birthdays and as such we see a lot of family and have a lot to celebrate with them on the run up to Christmas. We felt really strongly that we really needed to switch off and focus on our little family unit this year, mostly for me really and the industry I work in. The ability to 'switch off' is a really tricky one and without proper set work hours or holidays it can feel a bit overwhelming.

I find it really hard to not check emails, to turn down work and to get out of the social media bubble and I knew that staying at home it would be too tempting to open my laptop throughout this time.

One of my big resolutions this year is to have a better work life balance. My goal really in my work life is to be able to have holidays that fit around the children. With Wilf now at school each term is roughly around 6 weeks long and then he has a little holiday. Although it won't be achievable fully for a while I imagine I would love to be in a situation where I was able to take these off and spend quality time with him now he is out the house 5 days a week at school.

So it was decided (a little last minute!) that we would spend Christmas in one of my favourite cities in the world, Amsterdam.

A few of you guys have messaged me to ask where we stayed and what we did that was child friendly. I didn't take many pics of the place we stayed as I wanted to switch my work brain off and appreciate the fact that I wasn't reviewing anywhere I did take a few pics and would really recommend this type of break so I thought I'd mention a few bits and bobs in this post in case it's of help to any of you planning to do something similar.

Amsterdam I think is such a family friendly city, it's small, there are barely any cars and it had loads of space and parks and kid friendly cafes.

We stayed at an Airbnb during our trip which we tend to do quite a bit. We first stayed in one years ago on our first trip to Paris (here) for some reason I cant seem to link them but if you put in the search it is called 'Lovely&Cosy 76m2 Canal'. We chose it because it was a beautiful flat but also had a little boys room which we thought would be useful for Wilf. We LOVED staying there so much and the kids room entertained him so much that we said we'd always stay at apartments with kids room in the future.

The next Airbnb we stayed at was in Copenhagen (search 103 m2 bright, central apartment) and you can see more pics of the apartment here. Again this was a beautiful flat, really great location and had a little kids room Wilf loved!

So moving on to the Amsterdam place we stayed at one named 'Lvly Sps Light Family House'. This one had two childrens rooms, one for a girl the same age as Wilf and one for a teen boy. Mabli slept in bed with me and Tom and Wilf stayed in the little girls room. Both Wilf and Mabli loved playing with the toys in this room and it really helped when packing light. We actually only took stocking presents with us so having a room full of new-to-him toys to play with made his Christmas!

We found the apartment to be in a really good location public transport wise, we could jump on a tram right outside the place and it was really well connected. It was also walking distance to the bus that takes you to the airport to which we discovered on our way back. I think it was probably quite a family friendly area as there was a little playground at the bottom of the building and we saw a few little kids playing there (Wilf and Tom played out there on Christmas day whilst me and Mabli watching in warm from the living room).

Wilf's jumper is from Tootsa here and is now only £17!

In terms of what we did over our break (apart from take a trip out for a couple of days to Efteling) we mainly walked around the 9 streets, drank coffee, looked at vintage shops. Went to the Christmas markets at the IAMAMSTERDAM sign on Christmas eve which was so lovely. Drank mulled wine (or Gluwine, new favourite thing!).

Tom trying to work out directions to somewhere, he very rarely ever gets his phone out as he's practically allergic to technology, he even prints off maps ;) Wilf actually used the pushchair we brought Mabli on this trip. He hasn't used one since he was two and a half but we did a lot of walking and didn't actually realise how tired he must be sometimes poor thing! It made for a smoother trip at times rather than trying to get him to walk faster etc etc. He thought it was such a novelty! 

Our first night in the city we actually stayed over a the Hilton in The Nord. If you've never been to Amsterdam I'd recommend traveling across to there on the free ferry, you can see what we did there last year by reading these posts. We actually found that it was cheaper to book a room over in The Nord and only took a short while on the ferry straight from the train station so was really easy to get to after we had initially arrived. We ate at Plek and had coffee in the morning at a bakery that looks out onto the ferry stop so we could see our ferry come in as it rained outside onto the water. It was really beautiful and so interesting to see people who live in The Nord off on their commute or kids off to school in their bucket bike. I would move to this city in a shot!

Both kids were given hot cookies by the hotel on arrival, hence chocolate faces! Mabli shared hers with me ;)

Wilf's onesie is from Boden (now on sale) and he wore it on the journey home which was perfect flying attire I think, I might take his lead and wear one next time. So comfy! Mabli's snow suit is from here (also on sale!)

The kids were so so sweet to each other and it's really lovely to see their relationship grow. Now Mabli is one she can at times join in with his games (she can also destroy them too!) and they both make each other laugh which is just so adorable. I can't wait to see how they grow up together, I hope they will be close.

So that was our Christmas! Tom and I had both agreed no presents for each other but he did actually buy me a book (he got me Bloom! Such a good gift!) I bought him a jumper he wanted and my sister in law bought me the brilliant Hurrah for Gin book which has left me in stitches (and tears at times!).

I hope you all had a lovely break with your loved ones and were able to recharge for the new year! I meant to do a round up of the last year but in reality I know it just won't happen (or if it will it will be published in May ;))

I made a little video of our Amsterdam trip if you want to give it a watch below, and I would love love it if you subscribed! Another of my goals for this year is to make sure I'm uploaded a video once a week so it would mean to much if you joined me other there too xx

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