Send it Now - my donation to the PDSA #gooddelivery

As many of you know I'm a big fan of vintage, colour and kitsch. When Tom and I first moved into our house from our tiny flat it was so exciting to be finally able to pick up items to make it our home. This turquoise porcelain cat was one of the first items I found in the local vintage shop.

The PDSA are working with SenditNow to collect items that have a special meaning for people from a small handful of bloggers and vloggers. I'm so happy to be part of this campaign and it seems fitting that I've chosen a cat to donate to an pet charity as well!

How it works is each of us will choose and item to add to the 'box of good' and when it is full it will be auctioned off to raise money for the PDSA.

I've packed up my donation to the box and will be sending it on to Poppy Loves to see what she is going to add! What would you put into the box of good?

If you want to follow along and see what other bloggers are putting in the box then check out the #gooddelivery hashtag

in association with Send It Now

Me and Mine - July

July has whooshed by in a flash! (I know I probably say that about every month!) We've had a busy month getting stuck into work projects and a bit of travel which I'm trying to fit in during this second trimester period before I get too bumpy and tired.

Saying that I'm already sometimes finding it a struggle to bend down and and get up again! I certainly have less energy than I did at this point the first time around but I suppose that's always going to be the case with another child to look after.

We took this quick snap at Larmer Tree festival earlier in the month and although it's not a perfect photo I love that it will remind us of this mini adventure we had as a family of three. Wilf had a blast and although it was hard work at some points I'm so glad we did it before the baby arrives as I doubt we'll do anything like that for a couple of years now.

I'm really aware of how fast the year is going and feeling conscious that I need to soak up these last days of us as a family like this before the new baby is thrown into the mix. Although I'm so excited for that time to arrive too it's bitter sweet watching Wilf during these last few months, although I just know he'll make the best big brother!

This month I'm sending you over to the lovely Lucy, another pregnant mama and a glowing one at that! It's always really nice to share pregnancy experiences with friends going through it at the same time so it's lovely to have Lucy to gush about all things baby!


M&S back to school - inventors hub

Whilst myself and my friends were chatting all things kiddo and eating far too many cookies we sent our children up to Wilf's room armed with plenty of paper and and some pencil crayons to come up with some ideas of what they would design as a 'cool school uniform'.

All the four year olds decided upon princess themed uniforms and there was some argument at first about who's uniform Elsa or Anna would wear when they went to school ;)

(a princess - witch uniform for magic school - from Wilf)

I love that he chose to draw a princess as well like his friends, and that he drew a girl instead of himself! It reminds me how innocent and unaware or gender stereotypes he still is!

Darcy (6) said she loved swimming so much that her ideal school uniform would be a swim suit so she can splash and have fun with her friends all day long and Cherry (4) chose to draw a dress with love hearts although she did mention that she would have chosen it to be pink if she's had that colour at the time.

My two favourites, I love the fascinator in this regal like uniform from Talitha and this water proof outfit from the eight year old in the group. Perfect for those underwater schools! ;)

'Harry likes the idea of classes involving exploring the caves under the sea so he would get kitted out with an underwater suit'

I'm working with Marks and Spencer to create this post, they would love for you to check out their inventors hub page for your kiddos to design their own. I can't wait to see what they come up with, children's imaginations are great! I love these videos from school children on their inventions, the mood skirt might be my favourite yet!


Glamping in Style with HomeSense

1, Floral tiffin - £12.99
2, Cut out lantern - £9.99
3, Grey and pink aztec throw - £24.99
4, Yellow print floor cushion - £49.99
5, Hazelnut coffee - £3.49

So after our recent glamping adventure in our bell tent I decided that if I'm ever going to go camping, it has to be like that! As a homeware addict I am in love with this collection from HomeSense that I think would be perfect for a stylish glamping adventure!

My favourite item has to be the floral tiffin, I love the idea of cooking up a rustic feast and eating it around the campfire (although in the UK you'll be more likely to be hiding from the rain in your tent ;)) The yellow floor cushion has to be my second favourite item, and such a great price for something you can use in your own home when you're not away.

I love that you never know what you are going to find when you pop into HomeSense, it gives me the same buzz that thrift store shopping does, and you who doesn't love a bargain?

Would you go glamping? Which is your favourite piece from the collection above?

in collaboration with HomeSense 

a few days in Dorset

We spent the few days after our time at Larmer Tree at Tom's mums house in Dorset. It was Tom's birthday on the Sunday so his mum came up on a day ticket for the last day of the festival and then we headed back to hers that evening. I can't tell you how nice it was to be able to jump into a car and drive a short distance back to a warm bed! I had no idea how much the previous few days had taken it out of me and with a lingering cold too I felt completely and utterly drained for all of the next day, another reason we were so glad Tom had booked some time off and Wilf was happy being entertained by granny!

We took it easy for the most part but did end up doing some fun things like rowing down the river in West Bay with Tom's dad and visiting a little wildlife park with his mum. We did 'guinea pig fishing' which was SO much fun (basically they tie lettuce to bamboo sticks and you feed the guinea pigs) it's a genius idea! Wilf had a blast and it was nice to just chill out and unwind without the day-to-day chores of normal life.


Back to School

I feel so fortunate to have a bunch of friends who are also mothers to share this parenting journey with. From our days breastfeeding babies and sleepless nights (oh the sleepless nights!) to growing toddlers and now small children, it's amazing to have a support network like this. 

As my friends went on to have second children and with myself being due with another in a few months time I'm sure I will be asking for their advice all over again. Wilf is actually the youngest of his friends in this friendship group and so with his last year at home before school I invited them over for tea to discuss all things that comes with having 4 & almost 5 year olds (and for my friend Nichola 6 and 8 year olds too!). I can't believe my little boy will be starting school next year, where on earth did that time go?

My friend Jess says ' I've found that it's really important to start every moment with a clean slate. I've found Cherry aged four can wake up every day in a different mood!'

Nichola who is mum to a 4 year old a 6 year old and an 8 year old 'say's one thing is that uniform ALWAYS sells out so fast and it's good to buy them as soon as possible, especially so you can get a wide range of sizes and styles. It's good to buy an extra pack of shirts or polos as they're constantly coming back from painting or messy play or just lunch with stains and it's good not to put yourself under washing pressure!

It's also good to be prepared for all seasons so for girls the summer dresses are great but if you're looking for something to last through the year then to buy a skirt and shirt that can then be teamed with tights and cardigan in winter but be worn with socks in summer means it can go all through the year.'

A great tip she shared is to get uniform as early as possible but shoes later as they always grow out of those faster. Something I wouldn't have thought of before.

Having a not quite four year old I'm already seeing how much of his own person Wilf is becoming. I'm currently working out how to nurture that as best I can whilst still ensuring boundaries, I mean he's not going to be allowed yet another biscuit not matter how much he believes its his right ;) I feel lucky that he's still allowing me to choose his outfits for him as I realise his sense of personality will probably mean he'll want his say over these things pretty soon.

Another good point I hadn't even considered was to remember to name everything....when they're getting themselves changed for PE etc clothes can get muddled up so make sure they're well labelled.

For Adele having a four year old is realising the need to let her little girl discover things herself. 'When she sets the pace for learning or doing something it happens so easily. She is also testing boundaries a lot so I'm learning to respectfully hold on to the ones that are important and help her make good decisions in general. I try to do a lot of listening and talking. It's hard work and I don't get it right a lot of the time. Quite often she just wants to chat, which is nice. I remember things that happened from when I was four so I'm very aware that we're making conscious memories.'

What advice would you give to nurturing a child of these ages? Do you have any tips for when the time comes to start school? I'd love to know your thoughts!


ethical sale shopping with People Tree

Wearing the Billie Stripe Tunic 

People Tree, one of my favourite ethical fashion brands have an extra 10% off their 50% sale right now. They are also offering People Tree readers an EXTRA 15% off sale items with code TLQ15. Here are some of my top picks, enjoy!

1, Daphne Drawstring skirt in pink
2, Orla Kiely Monochrome open back dress 
3, Geometric diamond bracelet 
4, Shannon loopback top in navy
5, Ava Animal Print cardigan 
6, Twin Moon necklace 
7, Colour Block purse 


Larmer Tree and festivals when pregnant

We spent last weekend at mine and Wilf's first ever festival, Larmer Tree! I'm sure my first festival experience probably differs from most considering I'm five months pregnant and had a three year old in tow but there you go ;)

A few people have asked how I found going to a festival pregnant so I thought I'd post about what things helped or what was a bit tricky!

We attended the festival as guests of Mamas and Papas and they were kind enough to put us up in a bell tent from 'Hotel Bell Tents'. I have to say I think the experience would have been very different had we been regular camping (or the camping I remember from my childhood!). The bell tents come with a inflatable double bed and you can pay a little extra for a bedding package which comes with a duvet and pillows as well as towels and toiletries.

As we don't drive there really wasn't anyway we could have brought a tent or bedding on the train so it was perfect to travel with just the clothes we needed and snacks!

How cute are the gypsy caravans also though??

I think as Larmer Tree is such a small family friendly festival it was a great one to go to when pregnant as we could easily head back to our bell tent in the afternoon for a rest. The weekend was such a sunny one that on Friday after we had arrived and checked everything out we headed back for a kip. I ended up stripping to my underwear to nap as it was so humid and I woke up to find Wilf had stuck ALL the minions from his sticker book over me. On top of that the staff from the Hotel Bell Tent company had just stepped in to ask if they could blow up our mattress a little more (as they do daily) so it was quite an amusing situation!

We met up with our lovely friends from Globalmouse Travels on the saturday and they had brought a festival wagon with them which I would really recommend if you have the room to bring one. You can hire one from the festival for the weekend and to be honest in the future I would do this as they really are worth it. At three Wilf just doesn't have the stamina to walk around all day and needs little breaks here and there.

We brought along camping chairs as we could just sling them over our shoulders with our rucksacks and they turned out to be such a good idea. Sitting on the ground for long periods of time with a bump it just pretty uncomfy and it also helped with Wilf in the evenings when he was knackered to cuddle up with him whilst we could enjoy the bands.

I'd say the only real downside of being pregnant at a festival is the amount of time you need to pee. The toilets were actually amazing in the festival and especially the ones in the comfy camping where they even had shower trucks with hot showers cubicles. Our tent was only a five minute walk to the posh loos but even then it gets a bit much three times a night having to put your jumper and wellies on!

I'm really glad we went though as we are unlikely to go ahead for a while with the new baby arriving and the fact that traveling with two might be a bit tricky until one of us learns to drive. It made for some lovely memories whilst we are still a family of three.

I made a little video if you fancy a watch too!
What are your festival tips for going with children (or pregnant?)


Small Kitchen Spaces

I'm always really inspired by small spaces and especially small kitchens as ours is a typical victorian galley design. It's often quite hard to find surface space or to feel like you can do anything in it but quickly cook and get out.

I love trawling the internet for ideas on how to improve our space. I remember in the days before Pinterest (yes really!) I used to print out my favourite ideas and stick them into a sketch book for mine and Tom's one day dream home. The hours I use to spend cutting and sticking!

These images were taken from a piece I saw on a a caravan makeover where you of course need to be very clever when it comes to space. I'm so in love with what they did with it and it almost makes me want to sell our house and buy a mobile home (I have way too much 'stuff' for that to ever be a possibility!).

If you are looking at buying a place this loan calculator from TSB can be a handy tool to work out how much you could borrow. Our house is almost a constant 'work in progress' with some sort of project needing to be undertaken but I also kind of love that about it!

in association with TSB


Pregnancy - boy and girl - can you spot the difference?

So clearly I'm not an expert. I've had one pregnancy with a boy and one with a girl, it's not exactly conclusive of anything really other than these pregnancies have been completely different and they also happen to be different genders. However I find these things fascinating and I'd love to share my experience and see if it's similar to any of yours.

From the moment we found out I was pregnant in the public toilets of Vondelpark Amsterdam, a moment of dread filled me. I wish it hadn't, I wish I had been jumping for joy or beaming like Tom was but the sudden realisation of the months of sickness I had ahead of me made me feel like weeping. All the memories of Wilf's pregnancy came flooding back and I wondered how I was going to be able to cope. I woke each morning from week 4 to week 5 wondering..when will it start? As it happens I started to feel poorly from the start of week five and it continued to around week 16/17 (so around three months). Although this time was pretty awful and actually wasn't as bad as my first pregnancy and it was my first inkling that this pregnancy might be different. Despite the old wives tale of sickness being stronger in girls I know that my mum always suffered more with boys as have lots of my friends.

Although I actually had no idea of the gender at first I started to really think it might be a girl around 14 weeks. I was constantly hungry in a way I hadn't been with Wilf, to the extent of eating a full lunch at around 10.30 and then again at 12. I also started feeling completely and irrationally hormonal. I know most people are pretty hormonal in pregnancy but this was something I'd never experienced before and to be honest could sometimes feel quite scary! It actually made me feel like I understood my three and a half year old a little better too as the tantrums I was pulling could rival his any day!

My bump looks different. My bump with Wilf felt like someone had just put a football under my top, it got big really quickly and was aways very noticeable. This time round I have days where you might not even notice I'm pregnant to days when I look massive. This is me at twenty weeks with Wilf and currently..

I've always wondered if people 'know' what gender they are having but I actually started to forget we didn't know ourselves at around 16 weeks as I was accidentally using the word 'she' and 'her' without realising. I also felt guilty and self conscious every time I realised I was doing so in case people thought I had a strong preference and also incase I was wrong.

A lot of people have asked how I feel to be having a girl and of course I am thrilled but I would be equally thrilled to be having a boy and that is the honest truth. I think as we have decided this is our last baby (for me simply because I cannot go through the sickness again..ever) I would probably always wonder what a girl would be like had I had another boy but I'm no more pleased than I would have been otherwise. Being a mum is such an honour and being one to this little boy of mine over the past three years has been the biggest blessing in my life. He has taught me more about myself, made me a better person and enriched our lives like I could never imagine.

Did you feel a difference in your pregnancies and were they different genders? Did you feel like you 'knew'? I'd love to know!

p.s I'm also doing a pregnancy blog over on Cosatto each week if you fancy a peek!

(p.s both my outfits are from Boden)


Top tips for brightening up your home - Plus win a John Lewis voucher!

I'm not sure if I'm 'nesting' or just suddenly come to the realisation that we don't need to much 'stuff' but I'm slowly slowly in the process of clearing out and brightening up. I would LOVE a home that white and minimal but with a small child (and another on the way) that just isn't happening so I've been making small and subtle changes to our space.

One of them has been to refresh our cushions to some fresher summery looking ones and another has been to add more storage options to the space. We picked up a TV cabinet on Ebay for a steal and I can't believe the difference it's made to put all our board games and jigsaws in there instead of under and next to the sofa. I'm currently looking at adding shelves to the alcove in our bedroom so we can buy a few baskets to keep things off the floor too.

Everest are asking you guys to share your tips on brightening up your home in the summer months. In doing so one reader will win £100 in John lewis vouchers. They say that 
'Blooming flowers, gentle breezes and light evenings allow you to throw open your windows or bi-fold doors and breathe new life into your home, while it’s also a great time to look into self-sustainability by growing your own vegetables or investing in solar panels '.
All you need to do to enter is answer use the rafflecopter widget below and good luck!

T&C's found on rafflecopter widget
In collaboration with Everest

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Embrace the mess

If there is something I'm very guilty of when it comes to parenting it's not always being so keen on getting messy. When Wilf wakes up and requests gardening, baking or painting I usually think about how much cleaning up that is going to involve or that we aren't really dressed for those kind of activities and try and steer him towards a more calmer, tidier activity.

Getting in the moment and being fully chaotic and carefree is something I struggle with. I often have whatever tasks need doing that day on my mind and when the day ends I find myself wishing I'd just embraced his suggestions and not cared so much about what mess it might cause, regardless of oily stains on clothes or fingernails embedded in mud.

Last weekend on Persil's suggestion we decided to throw this mentality to the wind and fully embrace the mess!

We had such a fun morning painting with our hands and feet and using large pieces of paper and brushes to make marks and create what I'm sure you'll agree is a bit of a masterpiece. Thank you Persil Small and Mighty for reminding us as a family to let go of my usual idea of play and really embrace messy play with Wilf.

Do you like to embrace the mess? Or if you usualy stick to the safer types of play would you be happy to just let it go and get messy?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Persil. All opinions are 100% mine

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