28.2.17

What Mama Wore - Thought - Hettie Dress


I thought I'd share a little 'what I wore' post to go along side an 'ethical clothing haul' video I just popped up on my YouTube channel today. The video features four items of clothing but I wanted to do a stand along post about the Hettie dress from Thought as I've been living in it lately, it's SO comfy!

Click below to read on

25.2.17

Our bathroom makeover!



Ok obviously the above isn't a 'before before' picture. It's more of a mid way picture but I took it the point in the make over where it really was at its worst. Dust everywhere, mouldy walls, plaster and a solitary toilet in the corner that was plumped in at night so we could use it during the process.

Our actual 'before' picture is more like this


BEFORE



If I'm being honest it was that bad. The bathroom we were left with when we bought our place was pretty ropey but we fixed it up as best we could, changed the sink and put vinyl down, painted the wall and doors and it looked OK. That's where our skill set ended and although it wasn't exactly to our taste it was left like that for a few years until we could afford a proper restyle. We are lucky in that this space is quite large, we have a two bedroom victorian terrace so we were left with the option to make this a third bedroom and create a small toilet shower at the end of our kitchen or keep two bedrooms but make a large bathroom/utility room and we chose the later. For a good while at least the kids will be able to share and after that then who knows where we will be in life, we'll cross that road when we get to it!

So without further ado here is the
AFTER


So the things we knew we wanted where subway tiles, a combined bath and shower and a utility unit where we could house the washer and dryer. Other than that we were pretty open to what we would have on the floor and the type of sink unit and bath and shower we would go for.

We wanted to move the bath to the end of the room rather than have it run along side the right as we felt like this was a much better use of space and just worked better aesthetically. We also wanted to move the sink so that it wasn't directly in front of the window and could have a mirror above it.

After a bit of pining our favourite types of bathroom flooring we both agreed we wanted to tile it rather than lino it. I know that there isn't much between it when it comes to how it looks and you can get so many nice lino designs now but I think I would have always regretted not going that extra little bit and tiling the floor properly. We chose these Arabesque tiles from Tons of Tiles which I think absolutely make the space. They make me so happy every time I walk in there!

We chose a slighter wider bath given that we had the space and one that went even wider at the shower end so that it felt like we were getting a decent shower area too. We chose this bath from soakology and this shower screen, the taps were also from Soakolgy here. The shower was actually supplied by the company that did the renovation as well as the toilet and subway tiles. It can be used as rainfall shower and also has a separate attachment for using in the bath (or in our case giving mucky kids a quick spray in the morning!).

(another before picture)



Our sink, vanity cabinet and mirror were from IKEA, we chose quite a small sink even though we had a large space as our last one was so big and we felt like actually it was a bit unnecessary. We also got it dirty quicker or left things around the size so this one is super manageable to keep clean and just have soap next too (we are still working out how to store our toothbrushes so that cup won't be permanent!)

We still want to replace this slightly knackered window at some point but it's not super urgent and we also need to add a proper windowsill. The cactus vase was from La Redoute , the felt cacti are from Tiger and the candle stick was from IKEA.


her little toes!!


We used the space next to the toilet as a little 'reading shelf' although if I'm honest I'm using reading Grazia in the bath and not poems by Sylvia Plath but lets keep the illusion alive shall we?



We replaced the space where the stand alone shower was with this cabinet built for our washer and dryer which is one of my favourite aspects of the space. We previously had our washing machine in the kitchen and our dryer by the back door behind the kitchen (basically a space where we dumped things) which wasn't ideal. I feel like people expect to wash clothes in the kitchen in the UK but in lots of other countries that stuff is kept in the bathroom or utility room. It's actually freed up a lot of space in our kitchen now for extra storage too which is great. If you're interested in the machines we use then check this post out, we absolutely love them.

I realise this is massively localised but the company we paid to do our bathroom were so brilliant that if you are Bristol based I'd definitely recommend them! They are Shore Bathrooms and you can see their FB page here. Dave the plumber was the best, we miss having him around ha!



Images Lauren Jayne Hall
Items from Soakology purchased with press discount 

22.2.17

Agent Wilf!



We've been working with BEAR for a few months now and it's one of those brands that I think just really fits so well with our family and ethos. I remember first discovering them when Wilf was a toddler, we were in the supermarket and he asked for a packet of the fruit rolls, I initially said no assuming they were sweets packed with all the nasties and then was pleasantly surprised to find they were just made out of fruit. Since then we've always had a pack or two knocking about the kitchen cupboards. Many years after we first discovered them we now use them as after school 'treats' and his little sister is starting to enjoy them too.


If you already buy them you might know that each packet comes with a little collectable card. I still remember how exciting it was to collect things like this as a child (although I used to collect Spice Girl cards!) and Wilf is just as excited whenever he opens a pack to find a new card. He seems to have collected a great number of them over the years! 

The cards that currently come with the BEAR Yoyos are the super spy cards and BEAR were kind enough to send Wilf a little parcel of spy goodies along with some of their Yoyos. Although we are lucky enough to get to work with some amazing companies which provide lots of experiences for us and the kids, honestly I've never seen Wilf quite as happy as he was when he tried on his Agent Wilf costume'. 



It just so happened that we were off that day to celebrate the Chinese New Year but Wilf insisted on keeping on his outfit to hunt for clues. So many people at the celebrations stopped to talk to us or smile at him and when we went for lunch later that day the chefs told Tom he had litrally made their day! 


If you're wondering what’s going in the pictures above he was writing with natural invisible ink AKA lemon juice. Once it's dried you can hold it to a heat source (like a radiator or light bulb) and the juice will turn brown and be visible again. I think we maybe didn't use enough juice for ours as it didn't have a dramatic effect but we're going to try a similar activity using candle wax (rubbing a candle onto paper) and then painting over it to reveal what it says.

Have you seen the new BEAR Super Spy cards? Do your kids love collecting them as much as mine?
Free from added sugar, concentrates and naturally full of fibre, with absolutely no added nonsense, BEAR Yoyos are available in a range of recipes: Strawberry, Apple, Blackcurrant, Mango, Raspberry and Pineapple.


Did you know that your cubs can collect bear cards from packs of BEAR Yoyos, send them to The Spy Cave and receive a free Spy Kit?  To find out more visit: http://www.bearnibbles.co.uk/ and follow @Follow_The_Bear


In association with BEAR



21.2.17

Cupcakes, bedroom tents and IKEA SPRIDD


I'll be honest, I was slightly apprehensive about the start of the school holidays. I wasn't sure if the combination of entertaining both children and their needs as well as getting any time to myself or deadlines would actually be possible. I have to say though we had an absolute blast and I think one of the reasons was that we planned 'something' for each day. It didn't have to be a big 'something' it could literally be a trip to the cafe or baking a cake but as long as we had at least one activity for that day then it seemed to go well!

On one of these days our activity was setting up a den in the bedroom and what better to use than an actual tent?? IKEA sent us some items from their new SPRIDD range of which one of them was this fantastically colourful graphic tent. The range has been designed by British fashion designer Kit Neale and it's full of fun and creative patterns on items designed to be used for an active life. Amongst the range are tents, drinks bottles, cushions, T Shirts and much more.

Anyone who is a long time reader of this blog will know how much IKEA is our happy place, we happen to live really close to the Bristol store so I actually spend a good amount of time there, taking the kids for a walk around, eating veggie hot dogs and taking advantage of the free weekday coffee! Tom and I always get really excited when a new range comes out and Wilf thinks a trip to Smaland is the biggest treat ever! I even started to wonder how many times it was appropriate to drop him off there in a single month, ha! ;)


I like to hope that Wilf sees me as a 'fun mum' but if I'm honest most of the time with a little baby in two I don't get as much time (or have as much imagination) as I'd like to really get down and play with him as often as I'd hope to. So one day after baking 'pink and green cupcakes' (Troll themed) I asked if he'd like to eat them 'camping'. I still don't think he quite believed what was happening when I suddenly started pitching a tent in his bedroom! Both kids spent the entire day excitedly running in and out of it, taking their toys and cushions in to play and drawing maps and puzzles.

The SPRIDD items featured in these pictures are :
Tent - £35
Notebook - 2
Plate - £3.25
Mug - £2.75
Cushion - £10


SPRIDD is a limited collection so will only be in stores for the next few weeks, so if you love what you see then definitely head to your local store whilst you can. I love these quirky ranges that IKEA come up with and the 80's vibe is so fun!

What do you think of this collaboration? I'd love to know!
In association with IKEA 

20.2.17

For the love of wall hangings



I LOVE a wall hanging, in fact I love them so much that I often wish I had more more space so that I can get more for our home. As it is we have one that I love (here) but I thought I'd list some of my favourites at the moment below.



Happy Friday wall hangings are all now reduced, going for around £24.99, grab a bargain!

I love Clementine Pepper's wall hangings, I actually have one of hers hanging up in our own living room

This dusty pink wall hanging from Home Place is so wonderful, as is everything in their store (be warned!)

A bit of a different one but I love these from Trouva, would be perfect for a children's room! Which is your favourite?

17.2.17

New Video - Babies and Sleep!


Hey all! Hope you had a lovely week, and if you were on half term like we were, you survived it! I popped a new video on my channel today so I thought I'd just mention it here too incase you're not a subscriber over there!
Have a lovely weekend! x


16.2.17

A pop of florals

I posted a picture of this top on Instagram the other day and you guys all loved it so much I felt like it needed its own blogpost too ;)


We've been really enjoying half term so far although I guess we are coming towards the end of it now & that does make me a little sad. I've loved hanging out so much with Wilf again & he's honestly such good company. I say it pretty much every year (apart from three..three was tricky) but my favourite age is now. I guess I've had it a little easier as I have had some childcare mornings too when I get to sneak off to the cafe, open up my laptop & drink hot coffee. We've managed to fit in play dates most afternoons too which are especially nice when they involve a cheeky glass of fizz too hey Lucy?


I picked up form New Look the other day (for less than £20) it's actually sold out on their site right now but you can still get it as ASOS here.

I'm loving everything and anything with florals right now which I think might be a sign that I'm longing for Spring to properly arrive. I can really feel it just round the corner though! I love this time of year for planning for the rest of it, I can never truly decided on my favourite season as I love them all for different reasons but I think Spring just feels so promising, like that feeling in the morning when you have the whole day ahead of you.

We just booked our flights and accommodation to go visit my sister in a few months, she moved to Italy last year and I can't wait to see her, it's been ages!

Photos by Lauren Jayne Hall 

15.2.17

Trying out juicing and three simple recipes!


Before I start this post I should mention that I know that 'eating better and being healthy' are often cliche resolutions we give ourselves after Christmas. I've never been too great at new years detoxes be it 'dry January' or exercising. I find January such a hard month that I wonder why we often try and make it even harder for ourselves. Instead, as February is in mid flow I find myself noticing signs of Spring cropping up. It's not so dark on the school run, daffodils are blooming and I'm finding myself not wearing 'quite' so many layers when I leave the house. So with the new season right round the corner I'm finally looking to making some healthier changes to my lifestyle.

I'm very much set in my ways when it comes to the food and drinks I have and as a mum who survives on fairly little sleep I have to say that caffeine features a lot in my day. Phillips challenged me to their 'healthy habit swap' and suggested that, with the help of their Advance Collection Centrifugal Juice I might look to make some small changes that could lead to some bigger health gains.

I've been working with Phillips and trailing this product for around three weeks now. The first thing I used it for was swapping my morning cup of coffee with a juice. If you follow my blog and Instagram already you'll know that this one might have been a toughy! I LOVE my morning coffee and I usually cannot function until I hear the soothing click of the coffee machine coming on ;) HOWEVER I had to say that I have been really enjoying a morning juice instead. I'm still drinking a cup of coffee later in my morning but I've been starting the day with a carrot and ginger juice, the ginger feels like a nice kickstarter to wake you up properly when I would ordinarily rely on caffeine.


Phillips actually have a handy app that has lots of juicing recipes on which makes life a lot simpler. I have also tried just experimenting by chucking all sorts in there but I think I'm going to stick to the recipes from now on. Some of the ones I came up with just didn't go together at all ha!

My three favourite picture here are the carrot and ginger, the celery and pear and the melon and pineapple.


I actually usually get a sweet craving around 3pm (school run time!) and am often found reaching for the biscuits so instead I've been trying going with a sweeter juice like the 'Watermelon cooler' I've just been using honey lemons instead which is why in the photos mine is so yellow.


This me using the app to make the 'green booster' which contains celery, lemon, parsley, pears and spinach!


I thought it would be fun to demonstrate me using the machine in a little video below. One of the brilliant aspects about it is that it has 'FiberBoost' technology which essentially means that is allows 50% more fiber into the drinks so you have a more wholesome juice. The other great aspect about it is its super easy to clean, it uses on a few parts and they can all be bundled into the dishwasher You can find the juicer here if you want to find out more about price points or sizing etc.



In association with Phillips photography by Lauren Jayne Hall 


14.2.17

A cosy Valentines inspired day look


I actually can't remember the last time Tom and I celebrated Valentines day, I think it must have been around seven years ago now! My parents never really were into the idea so I never grew up with it being a 'thing' , although I think my dad once bought my mum an egg slicer one year haha (it seems my bad present buying is hereditary). When you have kids celebrations like this sometimes fly by without you really paying much attention and whilst this year won't really be celebrated either that doesn't stop me from putting together a valentines inspired outfit just to show the love instead!

It's not all bad though, Wilf wrote us out his first valentines day card to Tom and I stating he loves us SO MUCH which more than makes up for the lack of date nights!


I'm wearing this cute top from one of my favourite favourite ethical brands People Tree and paring it with this laser cut skirt from Anthropologie. My lipstick was an impulse purchase from the Monki counter, I do love a bright lip crayon! (Don't forget that you can get 15% off People Tree items with code TLQ15 at People Tree and 10% off sale items with TLQSALE10)




Mabli joined me for these snaps on Sunday afternoon that Tom kindly took for me, ever the photobomber just like her brother and I wouldn't have it any other way!




I hope that whatever you have planned you have a lovely one! I think Tom and I might go crazy and get some chips and dips and watch a film, ha! Although to be honest I think that would be my perfect date before kids too, what can I tell you, I'm a homebody for sure!

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