Inspect A Gadget

Here's the thing. When Wilf was first born in the those hazy winter days Tom and I watched weeks upon weeks of terrible television at crazy times in the morning, recovering from birth/ up all night with a colicy baby/vaguely dozing in the fuzy sleep deprived-ness that is being a new parent. 
We started watching so much rubbish there came I time where I would even ask that Tom didn't change the channel when 'Toddlers and Tiaras' came on. I think that was the point when I knew it had gotten bad.

When Tom went back to work (six weeks after Wilf's birth) we agreed to get rid of our TV lisense. I knew it was too tempting to waste half my day on morning television and selfishly I didn't want to have to ever watch an episode of 'In Then Night Garden' when Wilf got old enough to be hypnotised by such things.

We got to a year without Wilf really ever watching any TV but since he is a (very) early riser (5am) we have since embraced Netflix and all the episodes of Dora The Explorer it holds. Wilf will now watch 45 minutes or so of Dora or Kipper every morning and sometimes a half hour or so between his dinner and Tom getting home and I think thats a good balance.

I've written before about some of my favourite apps for kids so its no secret I am all for a bit of technology when it comes to fun games for toddlers. On our budget there is no space for an I pad as much as I am a big Apple fan. Tom and I have been out with Wilf on a few occasions (dinner time out at the witching hour which for us is around 6pm) and noticed a few other kids being happily distracted with their parents tablets whilst they can enjoy their meal. Perhaps there is a part of my that pre-motherhood might have thought this was a bit sad but now? I'm all for it!

So it being the case that an Ipad is not in the cards anytime soon when Money Supermarket offered us the chance to review a gadget under £50 I knew we wanted to get a tablet. We ordered this tablet which is actually on sale for £35.

First things first, we knew we were not about to get an Ipad for £35. Tom and I had a little chuckle at some of the reviews from people buying this tablet and being disappointed that it was not an Ipad. What it is, is a pretty decent tablet, we can download free educational games for Wilf (or the random talking cat one he chose), watch Iplayer and use all the apps I use on my phone (ebay, gumtree, instagram, facebook, twitter the list goes on). 

What I like about it is that for the price is isn't the end of the world is Wilf is a little heavy handed with it. He thinks the tablet is called 'Pat Pat' as he has so far gotten to watch a fair few episodes of Postman Pat on it as Tom and I get a little too comfortable with being able to eat and drink in peace for ahlf an hourwhen he gets home. 

We are really pleased with this little gadget for the price and the things it can do its it is real value for money. It's mad to think when I was a teenager you could spend the much on a mobile phone the size of your arm that could only call and send messages and now this money can buy you all this technology! 

This is a review post but all words and thoughts are my own


What Mama Wore

What Mama Wore:
Jeans - c/o Me and I
Shirt - Primark
Sandals - Saltwater

I'm still not sure if I am convinced about jeans. I wore these jeans in this post and felt a lot more comfortable wearing them under a tunic type dress. I felt like they were pretty hidden so I needed to take some proper shots of the jeans in full.

On the whole the jeans are really comfy and feel well made, Me and I are a Scandinavian company that have some really beautiful pieces for adults and children. I do like how they ruffle up a bit at the bottom. I'm still not hugely convinced jeans in general are a good look on me but I'm glad I tried some again, even if it was just to remind myself of that. I think my issue is with the top half, everyone has their body insecurities and mine is most definitely my thighs! I would wear them again on a cool day but layered with a long top or dress. 

I'm so happy the weather is finally good enough to bring out my Saltwaters again! 


Let's talk about hair - VO5

As part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias®  I treated my hair using VO5 products bought from Boots.

I couple of weeks ago I decided to dye my hair ombre.

As a child I had very blond hair, as a teenager very black hair and in my twenties various different shades of brown. When Wilf turned six months I had a small identity crisis and decided to dye my hair a bright red colour, which was fine for a little while but not really 'me'. It's rare that I would get my hair coloured at a salon but I find box kits can look so 'lego like' when it comes to hair tones so I decided to give 'ombre' a go.

I'm pretty pleased with the results, the bottoms are perhaps lighter than I expected but I think it works well with the length and with my skin tone.

The trouble always with bleaching hair is that it does of course damage your hair a little. I find now that within a couple of days the top of my hair is getting quite oily and the ends are very dry. When I saw there was an opportunity to try some of VO5's hair care range on the Social Bias network I jumped at the chance to save my hair a little!

I headed off to our local Boots this Saturday before work to pick my hair up some treats.

I know that when you use shampoo a little too much it can strip the natural oils in your hair so I was really keen to try the hot oil treatment. I have a few friends with bleached hair who tell me they swear by using a hot oil treatment once a month. I found before I bleached it my hair never needed conditioner but since then I feel like it needs some extra moisture. I actually picked up the 'miracle concentrate' along with the hot oil, shampoo and conditioner as I want to maintain the ends throughout the month in-between hot oil treatments.

So i'm presuming you have all washed your hair before but just for fun I thought I would put together a 'before and after'...

I also bought some of the VO5 dry hair shampoo to use between washes. I think it's important not to wash your hair too often (at the moment its every other day but I'm trying to stretch this out). Dry hair shampoo is surely a motherhood essential right?

I found the deep oil treatment worked wonders with the ends of my hair and the shampoo felt like it had really lifted some of the build up from previous shampoo's perhaps. 

I've been able to leave my hair a good three days now in-between washes and simply top the roots with a quick spray of the dry hair shampoo and run a bit of the serum in the ends. It's certainly an improvement.  

Since becoming a mum I've had less time to spend pampering myself or treating myself to products so I really appreciated being able to participate in this shop. My hair is grateful too! I also created a Google + album if you would like to see more pictures.

What hair products do you swear by? Anyone had any hair disasters? 


Bath Fashion Museum - Art Fund Pass

The lovely Bonnie, Lia and super cool India joined me on a day out to Bath Fashion museum last week. Lia and I had been lucky enough to be given an annual Art Pass from the Art Fund and had both been itching to go to the exhibition for a while. In fact Lia and I tried to go just a few weeks before but didn't check our times and the outfits had been taken away from the museum as part of Bath In Fashion week. Still it was a lovely excuse to catch up and try some of Lia's famous cooking.

Bonnie and I had just met a few weeks ago at Bristol Fashion week so it was lovely to meet up again and discus all things fashion. 

My favourite era would have to be the sixties although the 1940's aertex Micky Mouse dress (second picture down) was incredibly beautiful, I would wear that today in a flash! We reminisced about fashion from our childhood and cringed at the things we wore as teenagers. I distinctly remember thinking in the 90's that I don't know how they would define the decade as all the clothes were just 'normal'. Now I think, pedal pushers? those tops with slits in the front? DOUBLE DENIM?! What were we thinking, it was awful!

We all had fun dressing up in the victorian outfits and I have since decided I have a thing for top hats. Wilf had been asleep until this point so when he woke up so was slightly bemused at the sight of us. We agreed that the victorian boys striped outfits were adorable and the woman in the 1900's must have had hips of steel to carry around those underskirts all day. 

I'm really looking forward to using my pass this summer as I will be in London next month and there are quite a few exhibitions I want to see and can now justify. It also gives me the excuse to visit some of the exhibitions in my own city that I might never had got round to previously. 

Have you been to any good exhibitions this year? Did anyone make the Bowie one in the V&A? It looked brilliant. 



'A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013'

'You run and run, exploring our neighbourhood and its many parks and walks. When we get to open space we let you free and you squeal with delight, running and running and never looking back. You are an adventurer , you love the outdoors' 

Last week I loved seeing Caden in his superhero cape!


What Mama Wore

Mama Wore:
Dress: Vintage (a gift from Tom)
T-Shirt - H&M
Jeans: c/o Me&I
Shoes: Cath Kidston 

These silly shoes were so frustrating on Saturday. I had put them in the wash and I'm sure they came out a half size smaller. My feet were dying after my shift at the shop.

Me & I sent me these jeans which I will take better photos of soon (as in not cover half of them with a dress!) I'm very much not a jeans girl but I'm trying to give them another go. I always feel like I have to think that much harder about my outfit when I wear jeans and so for that reason they seem to me much more work than simply pulling on a dress, tights and cardi (my staple). When Me & I asked if I would like a pair of their jeans I thought it would be perfect opportunity to mix up my wardrobe a bit, still I've put them with a dress! 

Perhaps I should be brave and wear them with a shirt? A simple T? I don't know why I find jeans so much hard work, anyone else have this issue? 

The vintage dress is one of my favourites, it doesn't get as much wear as it should as its not nursing friendly and so I only wear it when I know we are not spending a huge amount of time away from the house. I've not yet refused nursing Wilf if he asks (he says 'booboo?' and does the nursing sign) so I'm always I bit worried about being in a situation where he might ask for it and not be wearing the right clothes! 

On that note I'm thinking of writing another breastfeeding post soon (as I seem to every 6 months!) we are approaching 18 months and I thought it might be interesting to cover the ins and outs of breastfeeding a toddler. My friend asked me if I ever felt tied down by breastfeeding still which I think is a valid question and one that I will go into in my post. Do any of you have any questions you might like me to go into? If so please let me know in the comments! Thanks! xo


Our Weekend In Pictures

Our weekend in pictures
A sunny one, and nothing went wrong! 

We spent Saturday morning on an adventure and for evening I played my take-away card for the month and we enjoyed chip shop chips on the sofa watching old episodes of 'Spooks'.

The goose and the swan on the fourth picture down play this funny game where they walk around the pond together. The swan pretends he doesn't like the goose and won't let him in the pond and the goose occasionally pretends he wants to get in the pond, but really they are just old pals.

Tom turned wilf round forward facing in the Orbit so he could better see the ducks. I ran ahead just to make sure he knew we were still here ;) only kidding. He enjoyed it but I think we would miss our chats too much to keep him that way. 

p.s I home died my hair, ombre like all the cool kids are doing (y'know about three years ago) what do you think? xo


Wish List - High Heels

I am a shoe girl. 

As a student I had no less than 45 shoes in my possession, my friend recently told me she has a suitcase of shoes from our uni days that I didn't even know was missing. I've also been known to buy shoes in the size too big if they are the only ones left so I can stuff with socks or even (only happened once, they were Irregular Choice) just to have on display as they were so beautiful. Don't judge. 

When I entered the working world after my student days I always teamed my work outfit with a good heel, on a dress down day perhaps some Mary Jane's but you would rarely ever catch me in flats. Then something happened somewhere along the line, changing jobs, growing older, have a child maybe, heels are very rarely worn on my feet. Its all about the flat these days. I do still love me a good heel though. 

Running after a toddler in three inch heels is a skill I have not mastered not am I planning on trying anytime soon. 

That being said I do still love to window shop the high streets latest amazing heels. Here are a few I have been lusting after on this grey Monday morning...

1, Chinese Laundry Colour Block Wedges from New Look  - £40 
I think these are my favourite from the above selection! I had seen some Irregular Choice shoes similar to these years ago and loved them (but not their price!) so these are the perfect cheaper alternative.
2, Premium Scotch Leather Loafers - £65
I love that these shoes can be paired with so many different styles of outfit. They are really unusually without standing out too much or being too 'loud'. Plus the peach against the dark wood is the perfect contrast.
3, Camper from Sarenza - £95
Ideal work shoes, pretty and practical. Such a lovely summery colour!
4, Getta by Madden Girl from Sarenza - £40.50
I think I must have a thing for mint at the moment, I am thinking they would be perfect teamed with a floaty white skirt and a vintage blouse?
5, Mint Green and Cream Platforms from New Look - £69.99
I would love them already for the cream/mint colour block but the gold heels makes these shoes just that little bit more special

Are there any heels you are obsession over this spring? Are you a heel girl or do you love a comfy flat? 

We Like To Read

One of the most surreal books from my childhood, unsurprisingly these illustrations have really stuck with me. The illustrations by John Hurford are so fantastically..trippy (for use of a better word!) when google-ing him to write this post I also discovered he has another children's book A.B.C of Animals, although at £60 that is out of our price range, as wonderful as I'm sure it is.

Lovely bonkers book 

I spoke last time about opening this post up as a collaborative project so that we can all share the books we love and are reading to our kiddos. I few of you said quite rightly that it might be hard to not get repetitive (good point!) but perhaps you could post on the books you loved as a child? It doesn't have to be books you own yourself. 

I love the idea of us all sharing these books and the memories behind them or the memories being created with our kiddos!

I've also set up a Pinterest board with the same name so if you would like to we could all post to there as well. If that's your kind of thing then please leave your Pinterest name and I can invite you to the board!

In the meantime I have decided to publish these posts on the first and third Monday of the month so if you find yourself wishing to play along you can add your link at anytime during those two weeks. 

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'A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013'

Lots or rain this week has sent us out in our waterproofs, jumping in puddles and playing in rather empty parks. You play 'peebuu!' behind trees and under benches and you slide on the slides right down on your front like the thrill seeker you are

My favourite portrait from last week was this gorgeous boy on his second birthday. Such beautiful colours Caitlin!


Life Lately (or our weekend in pictures..)

Last weekend was a bit of a fail.

I was planning on recounting the story of how we visited the Bath Artisan market, ate custard tarts, drank the 'greatest coffee' and pottered at the craft stalls. I was going to tell a witty tale of how, when milling about at the chili stall, I dipped extremely hot chili chocolate into extra hot chili sauce and had to pretend that I was some kind of chili connoisseur and that was exactly how I liked my chili...despite my eyes starting to water.

Instead, when ordering our lunch at the paella stand, I realised I had left all the money I had withdrew for the week at the cashpoint a few minutes earlier. I don't usually withdraw that amount but knowing we really needed to spend as little as possible for the rest of the month I spontaneously decided that withdrawing a weeks worth would help me save. 

Now I know there is no 'good time' to lose money but when you are living on a shoestring budget, oh gosh it's hit me pretty hard. I just can't get over how many things keep going wrong lately. Granted we are all healthy and safe and we really have nothing major to complain about, but all these little things, I can't help wishing I would catch a break soon, c'mon!

So Tom went ahead and bought our lunch and we headed to the park in the rain, me cursing under my breath all the way. When we got there Tom handed me my paella and ran off to watch Wilf. Third bite into my meal and I realised I accidentally had the chicken one and Tom my veggie one (with veggie sausages which is why he made the mistake). Frankly with everything else it was the final straw, even though I'm sure I hadn't eaten any chicken the thought (as a life long veggie) made me feel nauseous and I sat in the rain and just cried.

What a silly Sunday.

Thankfully we bought the custard tarts before all this happened. As soon as we dragged our tired. wet and grumpy selves home, flopped on our bed and stuck on the Emperor's New Groove with a cup a tea, all was (sort of) better..


Wish List (Ask Her Friends)

1,Darjeeling Limited set of 3 Brooches  by And Smile
2,Science of Love Hand Drawn Plate by Inkbandit 
3,The Moths print by Amy is an illustrator
4,Wooden Circle Glitter Necklace by Hello Pushkin
5, Funny Fox handmade brooch by Violin Viola 

I've teamed up with Ask Her Friends for this wishlist. 

The folks over at Ask Her Friends contacted me a little while ago to see if I would like to become one of their new blogger panel. When they explained that they were looking to promote new designers and source handmade products I was immediately interested in getting involved. As an independent designer myself I know too well how important it is to support handmade and champion the small businesses. 

Over the next few months I will be submitting some of my favourite handmade items to their 'Gift Set' competition. The idea being that you vote for your favourite 'Gift Set' and you can win £50 to spend with any of their partners. Also if I win the winning set then I also get £50 (so go vote for me! ;))

I've taken a peek at the gift sets from the other bloggers on the panel and their some truly beautiful products out there! I love discovering new designers, I hope you do too! 

To enter the competition click here and vote for your favourite set. 


The Great British Farmhouse

Yeo Valley sent us their cookbook 'The Great British Farmhouse' last week and I've since made three delicious meals from it. I would have made four but I accidentally added a tablespoon of pepper rather than a teaspoon to the lasagne, and well, there was just no saving it. Still three out of four isn't too bad and you really can't blame them for my mistake. I've found the book extremely easy to follow and love how it uses ingredients you will actually own in your kitchen. On top of that the photography is very appealing and makes you wish you lived a country life tending to your chickens.

On the subject of stupid mistakes (re: the pepper mistake above) in the past couple of weeks I have:
Almost burnt down our kitchen
Locked myself out the house
Smashed my phone
Withdrew money for the week and left it at the cashpoint
Ruined dinner

Honestly don't know whats up with me lately! Anyone else been having a similar time??

As well as having a fantastic cookbook and products I like Yeo Valley as they openly opposed the Badger Cull, a brave move perhaps but in doing so also making a few (like me) loyal customers.  
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