7.10.18

Autumn is here


My favourite season forever and always. I'm a home girl at heart through and through, so a season that allows enough crispness in the air (but not too much to be too cold), allows for layering and presents us with the most beautiful colours in nature will always be my favourite. One that calls for little walks but home for cosiness, spiced everything and the promise of Christmas just round the corner.


Since our move to the other side of the city I find myself catching myself thinking 'how did we get so lucky?'. When people ask how or why I post in the positive 99% of the time it's because I honestly believe I have nothing to complain about regarding everything and anything. Of COURSE I have down days, I have frustrations and worries, we have days where no one is getting along. I have days where I feel lousy or sad or lonely or stressed. I also know I am fortunate for so very much, I am privileged and that privilege to me feels like to focus and share the negatives so often would be to be ungrateful for so much that I have.

That being said, my almost three year old (who thinks she's an almost 13 year old) has tested even my positivity ;) I'm not a saint for sure and I've have moments when she's thrown the 18th tantrum that day about something as major as her tangerine not being peeled to her specifications that I've found myself throwing my own tantrums right back.

For the most part I'm so thankful for this season and its promise of slowing down. I always feel like too much time indoors in the summer is wasted because we are all supposed to be out enjoying the sun (as we never know how much of it we might get I guess). With that comes a certain pressure I think. Autumn makes me slow down and often when the overwhelm overtakes me a little its always a reminder to do so. Isn't Autumn just like the feeling Sunday holds?


The house decorating is coming along nicely now and I feel like it's definitely my version of self-care. I can really switch off when I get into something like painting or wallpapering and don't really find myself flitting from one job to another or checking my phone or whatever. I've now wallpapered the living room and half the kids room (long story ha!) you can see a bit more of the decorating over on my YouTube channel if you fancy a watch. I've noticed a few new faces over there so thanks so much for watching!

One of the things I love so much about moving house is exploring our new area. There is definitely a lot more to do and even if we just have a walk around the harbour after school it really feels like I'm spent more time with Wilf during the week which I love. One day a week we meet up with friends for Wilf to play scrabble with (his fave!) and there are always things going on for us to pass the time at. I really feel like I'm discovering Bristol again, it feels like we are on holiday!

I think thats it for now, but I'll try and check in again later this week! x

30.9.18

Ten things I love Friday - Jumpsuit edition


Jumpsuit with tie belt 
Relaxed Jumpsuit with zip (although this is much cheaper option)
Rust Jumpsuit 
Jersey Overalls 

I LOVE jumpsuits, I'm not sure if it's a getting older and getting a bit lazier but I just appreciate an outfit that just involves putting on one (max two if you have top underneath) and you're good to go.
























I'm also finding that my taste in fashion is evolving a little in that I'm shying away from bold prints and colours a little and moving towards more muted and classic tones. Maybe it's age?

I'm definitely falling into the 'will this be OK for the school run and can it be comfy' check list when it comes to buying clothes lately. LOVE this jumpsuit from Stalf Studio for that reason alone.

Other items that I'm coverting at the moment.

This Monki tiger jumpsuit ( I'm loving Monki at the minute!)
Obsessed with this denim jumpsuit 
I have this plain Monki jumpsuit and it's so easy to throw on (and flattering)
Lastly a more 'fancy' one, love the shade of pink

Which one is your fave?!

*includes affiliate links 

26.9.18

That 3.28 break time and our work from home routine


Tom and I just celebrated a year of us working together! It feels longer (in a good way ha!) and I now can't really imagine life any other way. I certainly don't ever take this for granted and feel so lucky we able to both be at home with the kids, even if its only for when they are little.


I'm working with Galaxy in this post to share a new delicious product they've recently brought out, Galaxy Rounds! Available in two flavours, chocolate and salted caramel the combine Galaxy chocolate with shortbread. Tom and I were tasked with the job of giving them a review ( I know, I know but someone has to do it ;)). My favourite was definitely the Galaxy Salted Caramel and Tom was more of an original Galaxy chocolate kind of guy.


Did you know that apparently the average Brit stops work around 3.28pm for a snack? I definitely think that regular breaks keep up sane when working from home, especially working and parenting together we see each other a lot. I'm still working on creating a more definitive work/home life balance, for instance not talking about work over meal times or before 9am. It doesn't always work like that but we're trying to get a bit more routine into our day.

Another things we've been trying to do to keep a bit more order in our lives is only work from the kitchen table rather than bringing our laptops to the sofa. I also find this helps the kids know that we're just catching up on an email or something rather than just browsing the net so they can be busy playing in the living room whilst I'm blogging at the other end of the house but can see them clearly.


As you can see Galaxy also sent us an alarm clock so we can be sure never to miss our 3.28 snack! Wondering if anyone would notice if I reset that alarm for more regular intervals ;)

The new Galaxy Rounds will be a cupboard staple for this work from home environment I think. I'd recommend they become part of yours too!

In Partnership with Galaxy Rounds

25.9.18

Life Lately


It's been almost a month in our new place! I can't believe how quickly these past week weeks have flown by. Somedays I feel overwhelmed with how much I still need to do and I try to remember to not to put too much pressure on myself to make everything perfect all the time.


We are so thankful to be in this new-to-us part of the city it truly feels like we are on holiday every day! We've still got a lot to do but it's amazing to be able to do things after school like taking the kids to galleries or even the garden centre. Where we lived before didn't have places like this that were accessible to walk to so we'd usually save them for the weekend. I love being able to say 'shall we go for a walk round the harbour or go see the new exhibition?' we just feel so lucky and I fortunate to be able to show the kids these things.


I've been having so many lovely chats with Wilf about him question the wider world. Being almost 7 brings us to a different chapter in our relationship. I just love it. His new favourite things are scrabble, chess and building trainset after trainset daily in there new shared bedroom.


Over the weekend we took a trip out of the city to another near by city, Cheltenham. We've only visited once before and it was a lovely. Such beautiful gardens! It's actually only 45 minutes away from us though so we should visit more often really.


If you visiting with kids then I would definitely recommend going to Pitville Park. It's the most amazing adventure type playground with loads to do for all ages. Right next to it is a lake for boating too, so pretty. They also have a cute little cafe which we didn't eat at but I think sold toasties and bits like that. We all have so much fun there (me and Tom enjoyed the zipwire haha!).


Wilf is enjoying his new school after a wobbly first week (understandably) and even has an invite to his first party! I'm so proud of this kid, he's defo had the most change out of all of us. On the days when I'm feeling the most tired with the list of chores for the day I remind myself of his strength and try a little harder.

One thing we havn't been able to sort yet is childcare for Mabli. It's a really family based neighbourhood we've moved to so unlike our old area doesn't have much space for childcare places. We don't really need many hours (she only did 9 hours a week previously) but I think we'd find a happier place workwise if Tom and I had a bit of time without the kids at home in the week.

Thats it for now! I'm hoping to bring some regular feature to the blog and also bring back some of the series I used to do like the 'We Like to Read' one. Do let me know if there any regular posts you'd like to see more of over here, be it kids fashion, interiors or just parenting in general! x

22.9.18

What we learnt from selling our home


First off I want to prefix this post with the acknowledgment that I know we are SO fortunate to be in a position to own our own home. I know that its something many people are striving towards and that house prices are so mad these days its not a possibility for most.

In fact I don't come from a family that have ever owned their own home, my parents rent as do all my siblings so the whole 'home owner' thing is a little new to me. I was born (but not bred) in Bristol although I have lived here now for a decade. I think its so rubbish that lots of people born here won't be able to ever buy here but thats a post for another day or I'm going to get a little side tracked!

As I said above, buying property wasn't really ever a goal for me or even something I aspired to do. The house we have lived in for 8 years was bought by Tom when we were 24 and 27 respectively. We had only been dating for a year and a half (and living together for a year) and buying a home was something he very much wanted to do. At the time he had been given the opportunity to cover his boss's maternity leave that put him on a higher pay grade for a limited time and a better chance of getting a mortgage. As I had some loans and debts to pay off we decided it was better if that was something he did by himself. Our home was bought for a little over 100k in the summer of 2010.

If you've followed me on here for a while you'll know the house needed a LOT of work and over the years we accomplished a lot, some major work and some aesthetic. The first few years were slow as we had no money to work with but we got there eventually and I'm proud of the house and home it became.

Roll on six years later, marriage and two kids down the line we felt like it was time to move on, to a different area, a bigger house and a new project. We decided to put our house on the market the first time round in Spring of 2017 but it actually didn't sell, (which for Bristol is really crazy).
After checking out three local estate agents finally went with the one that had been in our area the longest, had the lowest commission and we got the best vibe from.. saying that we actually didn't get great impression from any of them!

The first was really smarmy, quoted us the lowest and said there was no point even taking pictures or putting online as he had someone lined up to buy it. We found out from friends that this was generally the tactic for this agent, sell lower but quicker. It makes sense I guess from their point of view as the difference of 20k for them is around £200 commission but obviously is a lot of difference for the seller!

The second was professional but had charged a non negotiable 3% commission which was 2% higher than the other quotes we'd had and does make a big difference in the grand scheme of things.

The third had a school teacher vibe, an older company who hadn't really caught up with modern times (they didn't see the point in floor plans for example) didn't have mobile numbers and generally felt a bit old fashioned. We went with them as they felt like the best of a bad bunch and at this point I just wanted to put it on with someone and get it started.

The whole experience of trying to sell our home initially was awful. We wanted an open day but they couldn't find enough people so over the next six weeks we were called up randomly to fit people in at odd times and never received any offers. I found it really hard to keep up with work, two kids (and at the time no childcare) and making the house presentable. It was the business time of year for me work wise so we decided after a good think to take it off the market and instead focus on Tom quitting work and us working together.

It's funny how life works as we were so disappointed at the time not to be able to sell our house and start somewhere new. It made me feel trapped especially as Tom leaving his job would mean buying in the future would be down to my wage alone (you need three years tax returns if you are self employed to be able to get a mortgage). I guess we took a gamble that by the next year (and my third tax return) I would have made enough for us to get a mortgage somewhere and that we'd be able to sell our home.

So our second and most recent attempt at selling our home was completely different!


After our bad experience with selling first time round we decided to go a bit more modern and chose a non traditional estate agent. We went with Purple Bricks and I can't recommend them enough! We chose the service where the agent also does all the viewings and the total cost for all of this was just over a thousand pounds. If we had chosen just them marketing it and not doing the viewings it would have been around £800 but I really think it made such a difference to have someone who knew what he was doing selling our home for us.

Our agent (Nathanial) arranged an open day and I think we had about 12 couples in total turn up. Within hours of the it closing we had already received 6 offers over asking! One viewer hadn't been able to bring his girlfriend and so contacted me through the Purple Bricks messaging platform to ask if they could come back the next day. I have to say that I almost didn't bother as we already had so many offers but as the house was still so tidy I thought why not? These guys actually ended up buying the couple that eventually bought it. By the time the weekend was over we had 9 offers over asking which was such a turn around from our first experience.

As we were selling at the same time as last time (spring) I can only imagine that having a good agent made such a difference. He also took amazing pictures with a good quality camera (no phone snaps here) and just brought a more modern approach to the process. He was also contactable at all times (weekends, evenings ect) and went above and beyond to get us the best deal. In the end our buyers had to drop their price a little bit due to not being able to get the mortgage they thought they would, which tied them in with the second highest bid but we kept informed all the time by our agent and he actually managed to get them to go a little higher than they had come back with so that we could buy our new home.

I had been worried that paying a one off fee would mean there was no incentive to get us the best deal (and therefore the best commission) but I feel like he just wanted us to be 100% happy with the service and for that we're so pleased and grateful. Especially as the fee was a lot less than any commission would have been.

I was constantly surprised at how out the way he went negotiating and keeping contact with us both when solicitors were being slow and both parties felt a little in the dark (as our sale dragged on 5 months in the end). He also acted like a traditional agent in the sense that he met our buyers with the key, and kept in contact all the way to the end even though really he didn't really need to!

We were so pleased with how it all went this time round and I wanted to write this post incase anyone is about to sell theirs, I can't recommend Purple Bricks enough.

I hope this post has been helpful to any of you guys looking to be in this situation. Do let me know if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer any you might have!

(This post isn't in any way sponsored or gifted, we paid ourselves and just wanted to pass on a good recommendation!)

21.9.18

Wallpaper inspiration


So now we are in the new place I'm pretty all about the things we are going to do here and how we're going to decorate! I'm so excited to put my touch on it. I think you guys know by now I'm not scared by colours and pattern so I've started a new Pinterest board all to do with wallpaper if you're in the market for some too!

Above

1, Ferns
2, Forest 
3, Harlequin 
4, Wonderland Hoppet 
5, Miami 
6, Orange blossom

You can see more wallpapers I've been pinning on the board here 

And here are a few I'm thinking of buying, let me know what you think!


Riffle Paper Company, love those orange tones!


This wallpaper is my DREAM! I'd have it in the bathroom I think but..its also crazy pricey..it is Gucci after all!


I would love this in our hallway, wouldn't it be so cheery to walk through the door too? From Hygge and West 

Which one is your favourite? 

19.9.18

Our new bedroom with the Eve Sleep bundle


We've finally moved house! There were definitely days where I felt this moment would happen but five months later and we are here. I can't wait to show you around properly. I'm also going to do a post on how we found the selling/buying process and any tips we have for moving if that would be interesting to you guys.

I'm working with Eve Sleep in this post who kindly sent us their 'Welcome Home' Eve Sleep Bundle when they heard we were moving. The bundle includes a mattress, duvet, two memory foam pillows, and a mattress protector. Something like this would be so perfect if you were moving from furnished to unfurnished, however, I also think moving house is the perfect time to 'start afresh'. We ended up having such a great clear out when we left our old place, I love the idea of starting from scratch with some great quality items.


We are lucky in that our new place doesn't actually need any structural work so it's basically just cosmetic changes and making the place our own. We had some awful red velvet fleck wallpaper in our bedroom so that was the first thing that got ripped out ha! I'm still tempted to paint all the walls in our new room a dark blue colour but I've started with just doing the fireplace and see how we go from there.

I love that the Eve Sleep mattresses come rolled up and vacuumed packed as it made it so easy to get up the stairs and straight onto the bed. With the rest of the items in the bundle, we were able to make the bed up perfectly and ready for a good nights sleep.


I was so excited to dress the rest of the room. We don't have as much space for clothes in this one as we gave the kids the bigger main bedroom to share. Tom popped this rail up for some of my most colourful clothes which I think helps serve as decoration as well as being functional.

I knew I wanted to add some plants in there so we picked up a couple of hanging ones and then some little ones to pop on this picture rail. I can't wait to add to the collection, pretty sure I'm going to become a plant lady to be honest ;)


After the room was all dressed the real test was to try out how comfy the Eve Sleep mattress actually is. I was actually a little uncertain at first as to how firm the mattress would be as I usually like a softer feel. However, it was actually perfectly soft whilst still keeping the firmness of being able to move around comfortably. We've literally all slept on it now (as the kids often pop up in the middle of the night) and I can confirm it's been given a thumbs up all round.



I actually made a little video if you fancy watching me put the room together and our first impressions of the bundle. I love that its so easy to order and be at your door as soon as you've moved in, making it one less thing to worry about in the whole move process.



Thanks to Eve Sleep for collaborating with us on this post!

17.9.18

Thanks for sticking around

I have so many posts lined in my head, for those moments when we are not living out of boxes or so tired int he evening I can't open up my laptop. I feel like I'm emerging out of the summer holidays and all that came with it with some renewed motivation and inspiration for this here blog of mine.


So thank you in advance for being patient, sticking with me in the slower months (remember when I used to daily blog?! Anyone been around here long enough for that?). I don't know that that will ever return but I definitely want to try to get to twice a week at least!

In the meantime, I thought I'd leave you with a little video I took on the day we moved in. I feel a bit emotional watching it back, it took me a while to edit and pop it onto YouTube as I couldn't find the battery for my camera but we're getting there!

4.9.18

Just as delicious



Breakfast is without a doubt one of my favourite meals of the day and I'm always really conscious of making time for it in the hustle and bustle of the morning. As a mum I also want to ensure my kids are getting a good meal before school or heading out to whatever activity we are running off to.


This year Coco Pops has improved their recipe, with 30% less sugar!* We were sent a pack to try out and with two big Coco Pop fans in our house (and let's face it me and Tom too actually) I was excited to try it. Our box arrived full of balloons and the kids were so excited to tuck in!

I have to admit that I was surprised to hear it has less than sugar now than toast and jam (which I often eat and give to the kids) or even a glass of juice or yogurt. 
Over the past three years, Kelloggs have removed 50% of sugar in their cereals. Something that can only be a positive thing as we become more aware of what we are putting in our bodies. Coco Pops now has half the sugar it had in 2016 and double the vitamin D. It also boasts 30% less sugar* than other chocolate flavour rice cereals.






The most important thing is we think it tastes just as delicious. What's more Wilf literally wolfed it down and you really can't get kids to eat something if they don't love it right?




Now Coco Pops are firmly a breakfast item of choice at our kitchen table and I can feel good about it too!
Have you tried the new 30% less sugar recipe? *
*30% less sugar on average than other chocolate flavoured toasted rice cereals. IRI UK 2018. For verification see www.cocopops.com


In Partnership with Coco Pops
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