Me and Mine April

In true spirit of the 'Me and Mine' project these pictures were taken very last minute, it's not as if we had a whole 30 days to do them is it? ;)

This month has been a really busy one for our family, we took our first trip away as a family of four which was so incredible, although at times it was tiring traveling with a very little baby and a four year old just getting out of our home and spending real quality time with each other was fantastic. I'm still writing up my posts from our trip but if you want to see part one then click here or our video here. I actually think it's my favourite video of us yet.

Tom returns to work at start of June so we have one more month of the four of us at home. For those who don't know Tom took my maternity leave so I could continue working on this blog, it's been such a great help but also meant we've had the best almost 6 months off together. It's something that we won't be able to do again so it's meant to much to us all.

Wilf found out his school place a couple of weeks ago and although we're happy with the school he's going to I keep getting very emotional thinking about it! I can't believe there's only 4 months left until he starts. I know I'll be in floods of tears on the day, waa! It's so crazy to me how we are at this stage in our life already and it's a reminder of how fast the months and years are going by. It makes me want to freeze time because right now with my two littles at home with me is my absolute dream. We'll just have to make the most of the next few months and I know deep down that he will absolutely love it.

I've found that now the baby is almost 5 months old life is sort of returning to some form of normality. I've been able to pop to London a couple of times and so far she's been a very easy travel companion! There's nothing like a cute little baby to break the ice at an event either!

I can't wait to see what next month brings!

The Me and Mine gang have a new member this month as the lovely Katie has had her baby boy! Don't forget to hop over to the other blog hosts Lucy, Katie, Lucy, Jenny and Alex to see what their families have been up to and as always do join in if you have a picture of your family to share! Even if it's just on Instagram with the hashtags #meandmineproject

I'm SO thrilled to be nominated in both the MADS and the BIBS again this year. It means so much to be featured in categories like lifestyle and fashion because when you've only recently had a baby you can often feel anything but fashionable! Of course I'm just as thrilled to be in the baby section as I am over the moon to be in the baby phase of my life again and to be recognised for that puts such a smile of my face. So thank you so very much for anyone who nominated me in any of those categories, it means so much to me and to everyone who's in the finals I think!

Of course if you want to fling me a vote to win that would be gratefully received too! ;)


Speaking at Marie Claire 'At Work Live'

This time last week I did something completely out of my comfort zone and went to London to talk at an event. I'd received the invitation to be part of the 'Dare to Dream' panel at Marie Claire's At Work Live event sometime back at the start of the year when Mabli was just a few weeks old and my first reaction was 'oh wow but oh god no!'. I remember reading it to Tom and him saying straight away 'you should do it!' and feeling like really? Is this something I could do??

We both agreed that it was a fantastic opportunity and even though I was reading the email in my PJ's having given birth just weeks ago I had enough time before the event to start to get my brain a bit more into gear (ha!). As the months flew by, it suddenly became April and the month the event was in and my nerves jumped up a gear.

The team at Marie Claire were so nice in their emails, giving me examples of the questions that might be asked and letting me know who was on the panel with me. They also welcomed Tom and Mabli to come with me which was a great help as she currently doesn't take a bottle of expressed milk. Anyone who's had a baby will know how much your brain struggles to work on a daily basis in those early months and feeling a bit more prepared really put me a bit more at ease.

I'm not sure if it's becoming a mother to a little baby again but my confidence isn't what it was a year or so again. Probably a mix of hormones and tiredness and my body not looking or feeling the way that it was pre-pregnancy but was so unsure if I could do it. The idea of speaking in front of people or of saying anything that might be remotely useful or interesting was a huge deal for me. A couple of days before the event the baby had a particularly bad night and I was thought there was no way I'd be able to get on that stage without my mind going blank or bursting into tears.

Still the day came around and I felt calmer than I had done in ages, I think because I knew that regardless of how it went it would be over in a few hours! When we got there the team were so accommodating and Andrea the features editor of Marie Claire who was hosting the panel confided she'd also done a speaking event when her baby was 4 months old which made me feel a lot better.

I felt like I answered my questions well and it was interesting to see everyones different opinions of things (as they really did differ at times!). I had some lovely readers contact me afterwards about it which really made me feel a million dollars and if you happen to be the lady who grabbed me after the event, do shoot me an email as I'm so sorry I had to rush off (breastfeeding and the train timetable called). I'd love to help out if I can. 

Mabli even got a cuddle with Caroline Hirons who along with Ruth Crilly are pretty much the only beauty vloggers I watch.

When it comes to the things this blog bring about it always surprises me how far I've come with it and what a lot of lovely people are interested in me and my family. I'm so thankful, it's honestly changed my life.

I've been lucky enough to be nominated as a finalist in both the MADS and the BIBS this year. I'm under the 'baby' and 'lifestyle' categories in the MADS so if you want to fling me a vote there then just click here. I'm also under the 'beauty and lifestyle' category in the BIBS which is incredible, if you wanted to vote there then this is the link.  

Thanks as ever for your support! Btw I made a teeny tiny video of my day speaking at the Marie Claire 'At Work Live' event here if you fancy a watch!


The Strength of Motherhood

Jessica Ennis Hill and Alison Powell for the P&G Thank You Mum Campaign
From the moment I had given birth and that first time I held Wilf on my chest the word that struck me the most about how I felt was 'empowered'. Holding my son in my arms I felt like I could literally do anything. I had created a life, a whole little person and I would spend the rest of my life doing the best I could for him. I felt strong.

Then the second feeling I felt almost immediately afterwards was worried, I worried that he was breathing, I worried what that red mark meant, why was he crying, was he feeding enough, the list goes on. I felt worried but at the same time a strange certainty that I knew I was going to give him as much of me as I could. Knowing that I would and could endure almost 18months of him not sleeping longer than 45 minutes anywhere but in my arms or on my tummy because he needed me and I had to have the strength to give him that and everything he needed from me. The boy that made me a mum.

Now that he's older I get to the end of the day and worry if he's felt loved enough that day, that I've given him enough of me.

Having a second child these feelings were revisited and felt just as strongly, this time with the hindsight that the hardest parts are short lived and will pass. What I cling to in my everyday with my children is that in the tough moments where I can't put one down and the other one is not putting on his shoes, and my tea is cold and my emails are glaring at me unread there are golden moments too. My big boy will learn to do his own shoes and be proud of himself for doing so and my baby will learn in closer to me and give me a smile. That I have these two amazing little people that won't be little forever but will need me for different reasons as they grow.

I read a quote by Donna Ball the other day that I've thought on a lot since, 'Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else's happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you're not sure what the right thing is...and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong'

Yesterday I attended an afternoon tea with Jessica Ennis-Hill and her own mother Alison Powell. They talked to Gabby Logan about their relationship and how Alison had supported Jessica to become the Olympian she now is and also how Jessica feels as a mother to her own little boy. Jessica and her mother Alison are ambassadors of the P&G 'Thank You Mum' campaign which celebrates a mothers strength in helping their children achieve their dreams. 

I actually brought Mabli along with me and she enjoyed it so much she tried to join in with the conversation. Burbling and cooing so much I decided to move to the back on the audience but Jessica and Alison sought her out afterwards for a chat.

One of the things Jessica said that really struck a cord with me is how much you realise your own mother did for you when you become a mum yourself. I remember clearly in those first hazy few days of becoming a mother for the first time feeling like I wanted to call my mum and say 'I'm so thankful, I had no idea!'

My relationship with my own mother has been complicated over the years but I'm thankful for the lessons she's taught me, the ones that stuck with me throughout my life and helped make me be the person I am today. To be kind and humble, to question things and know your opinion matters and believe in yourself. As I am now a mother to a girl I realise the importance of showing our daughters how important their opinions are, how we are strong. When I look at Mabli I wonder if she will one day be a mother and how she will need me again, in a different way.

The P&G 'Thank You Mum' campaign invites everyone to join in saying 'thank you mum' for the role they play in raising strong children. 

As with most things to do with being a mum I have to say this video make me feel really emotional! especially the line 'It takes someone strong to make someone strong'. I know that if there was something my children wanted to work at to achieve I would be there for them every step of the way just like mums do all over the world every day. It's funny the strength you pull on when your children need you, when you're feeling tired or stressed or scared yourself and you manage to keep your voice steady and never make them question that everything was always OK. 

What do you think of the video and the 'Thank You Mum' campaign?

in association with P&G


A little bit of sun and an indoor picnic

This boy loves sweetcorn so much, he would eat about four in one go if we let him. When he first started to talk he would call them 'sweet pickles!' for some reason and so it stuck, now we all call them that!

With the weather heating up a little (how nice has it been over the past few days?!) we've been enjoying getting outside as much as we can. On wednesday I took part in a Bristol creative Instagram walk which was so much fun and so nice to get to know some new people. Then on the weekend we went on a nature trail on Brandon Hill (post to come) it was SO nice to spend time outside and its reminded me (as it does every year I'm sure) how much happier everyone is with some vitamin D.

I'm working with Aldi on this post to show you their new Special Buys range of BBQ and Picnic items. I'm sure lots of you know about the Special Buys that pop in the shop (the baby range in particular has been fantastic I think). This is the first time however that these ranges will be available to buy online. Although like usually you have to be quick to get them as these special ranges sell out quickly!

Click below to read on


Slow Fashion - Aesthetics meets Ethics

As you may know if you are a regular reader of my blog I am such a big fan of ethical clothing brand People Tree. In the simplest form because they produce beautiful fashion whilst being fair trade but once I'd got to know the brand and founder Safia a little more the brand became more than that to me and I became even more inspired to share their ethos with my readership.

I'm so honoured to be featured in her new book Slow Fashion which you can find here* which included the double page spread you can above. You can actually get 15% off anything in their full priced range using the code TLQ15

I was fortunate enough to be invited to one of their previous launches (at Zandra Rhodes penthouse no less, to celebrate her new collection) it was there I heard talks from Safia, Zandra, Lucy Siegle and  Rebecca Pearson. I was seven months pregnant (and pretty emotional about most things if I'm honest) but it was as if hearing them talk about ethical fashion with such passion reminded me of the things I care about too. It's really easy to forget who makes your clothes (I'm very guilty of this at times) but I now try as much as possible (actually in honesty I could try harder) to shop with this in mind.

On 24 April 2013, 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured when the  Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It was then that Fashion Revolution started the campaign #whomademyclothes. If you follow their IG account they've been asking people from the 18th-24th on Instagram to ask the question to the companies that made the clothes they were wearing over these days. I asked on Sunday if you want to see my outfit and the answers given.

Unfortunately not all the companies I asked answered but People Tree and also the boot company Seven Boot Lane did and I found it fascinating who had actually made them!

the beautiful Rebecca Pearson featured above check our her YouTube channel here

Safia has also started a kickstarter campaign here to raise money to start a 'slave to fashion' campaign highlighting and raising awareness about modern day slavery in the fashion business.

I've not had a chance to read through much of the book yet as I've not had much of a chance to read anything (or drink a hot cup of tea) with two littles around the place but I'm dipping in and out and so far finding it a fascinating and inspiring read.

Do you think about who makes your clothes? Do you think it would impact you to shop differently?

As always you can get 15% off People Tree clothing with the code TLQ15


Win a voucher to spend Hip Little People

I'm really excited to bring you another giveaway from one of my favourite children's boutiques Hip Little People. The lovely ladies at the store are Bristol based too which gets them a double thumbs up from me, ha!

You might remember I ran a little giveaway with them last year and we thought it would be fun to do something similar this Spring. Wilf is wearing the 4 T shirt from Nor Folk found in the store here and also the Beau Loves mask leggings found here.

So this time the concept is pretty similar, all you need to do is hop over to their shop and come back here to leave me comment on what you would spend £50 on. The winner will win a £50 voucher to spend against clothes in the shop. PLUS for the next two weeks you can get 15% off clothes using the code 'tigerlilly'

All you need to do is enter the rafflecopter widget below & good luck! The winner will be announced in two weeks time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Washed in Happiness

Spring is here, bare legs can come out of hiding (OK so I'm wearing clear tights here but..almost bare legs). I have to say I'm loving Spring even more this year as last year I spent it with dreadful morning sickness, and most of summer too boo!).

One of the things I'm loving the most is changing up my wardrobe. I'm still working out my postpartum body and what works on my new shape. I'm in no rush to get back to my old figure and know it will take time so for now I'm happy to be a bit bumpier here and there. That being said lots of my old wardrobe definitely doesn't work with breastfeeding so there is some limitation there but I'm enjoying the challenge of keeping to my style and being nursing friendly.

I'm working with Fat Face on this post to style up some of their current pieces and going a bit out of my comfort zone and wearing denim!

My absolute favourite piece from their range is this dungaree dress, it's so fun and playful and although I own a few dungaree dresses I hadn't tried a denim one before. I'm a convert! 

I teamed it with this white top which I think makes the outfit feel even more fresh and spring like and also this cardigan. My boots are from Seven Boot Lane and my necklace from here.

I also tried out this denim jacket which is a look i've not tried to wear since I was about 13! I did initially think I was too old for trends like these but I think paired with a dress it can fit with my colourful style quite well.

In case you were wondering sunglasses from here and scarf here

Lastly I love this embroidered blouse, I think it would look great under the dungaree dress, or like my friend Kat has styled it here.

I wasn't really sure how much I suited white being that I'm pretty pale but I think the little pop of embroidery add enough detail to not wash me out.

Have you been enjoying the Spring weather? Has it made you change up your wardrobe? I'm hesitant to put away my winter items because lets face it, this is the UK but I'm lapping up each sunny day that comes our way!

in association with Fat Face


scilly isles family holiday (part one) accommodation

scilly isles cottages

So if you've been following me over on my Instagram you'll know that we spent 7 glorious days in the Isles of Scilly. It honestly was one of the best family trips we've ever had and Tom and I keep wondering how anything will top it!

We were invited to the Island of Tresco for our stay and accommodation at the Sea Garden Cottages for five nights. Flying from Exeter on the Sky Bus on a tiny 13 seater plane was quite an experience. I'll be including it in our video of the week but if you want a sneak peek of the plane size and journey then I posted a snippet on my Facebook page! The flight generally only takes an hour from Exeter (15 mins from Cornwall!) but as we flew out in really strong winds it took about twenty minutes longer. We find that even living in the South West we rarely take a trip to Cornwall because the journey feels quite long so knowing you can fly over to these islands in an hour was amazing.

One thing I'd say about flying in such a small plane with kids is that I wished I thought to bring ear defenders. I just didn't think it would be so loud (although of course it totally makes sense when you think how small the aircraft is and close to the engine you are) and Wilf found the noise quite scary. Mabli on the other hand fell straight asleep!

scilly isles accommodation
scilly isles with kids

 The plane lands at the Island of St Mary's and from there its a few minute jet boat journey to the Isle of Tresco. We were met at the harbour and driven up to our cottage on golf buggy, one of the things we LOVED about these islands is that there are no cars. The islands are so small people either cycle or golf buggy around the place. We ended up hiring bikes which Tom and Wilf found great fun, Mabli is still too little to sit in a child seat but on one occasion Tom wore her in the sling on his front and had Wilf on the back, obviously thats something we wouldn't do here on the roads but with no cars and such a slow pace on the island we felt it was OK. I took another bike (carrying no children) and still found myself pushing it up small hills, clearly it's been about a year since I'd used those muscles and they need some practise!

scilly isles tresco
Tresco scilly isles
the scilly isles beaches

Can you believe those views are from somewhere in the UK? Amazing! 

scilly isles accommodation sea cottages

Our cottage and the view from our secret garden

We checked into our beautiful cottage Pearl and set about doing the essentials, putting on a large pot of coffee (us) and testing the bounciness of the beds (Wilf). I love the little touches the cottages had to them, homemade shortbread laid out and all the essentials me might need for the evening and morning before we headed down to the Tresco Stores. We decided to spend our first evening at the local (and only) pub The New Inn and were treated to an amazing three course meal. The food was delicious and much 'fancier' than I expected from a pub dinner. My favourite part was my rhubarb Eton Mess pudding and my biggest regret was being too full to finish it.

the scilly isles New Inn

We spent the next day sorting out our bikes and checking out the island a little more, it was set to be our sunniest day so we decided to make the most of it and visit the Abbey Gardens which were just incredible! Most of the plants and succulents tend to only grow in places like the Canary Islands so to find them so close to home was quite a surreal experience. We just kept stopping and looking at each other like 'this is amazing!'. We actually could have spent a whole day there I think, especially as Wilf had a little Valhalla trail activity pack with a compass and certain plants to spot, he was in his element.

 scilly isles gardens
abbey gardens bury st edmunds

I think Tom had to tell me more than once that I couldn't take a picture of every tropical plant I saw (there were so many!) I could have spent ALL day there for sure. As well as the gorgeous scenery there were red squirrels and golden pheasants running around, magic!

Tresco beaches UK

I'll be posting more about our stay visiting the islands of Tresco and Bryher over the next couple of weeks as there's no way I could fit it all in one post. I hope you like this taster of some of what it was like!

we were guests on Tresco island but all words and thoughts are my own

Some time out #momsdayoff

Being a mum of a little baby and a pre-schooler its safe to say I don't have much in the way of free time or 'me time' these days. I obviously wouldn't change it for the world but I find that I'm a much happier parent when I do get a little time to myself. Even if it's just a half hour in the bath with a good book or a massage once a in a blue moon! I'm teaming up with Crocs for this post to celebrate 'moms day off'.

Whilst Wilf isn't yet in school (although we just had his school place for this year! *sob sob*) he does do two days in nursery so that I can keep on top of work and whilst Tom is still taking my maternity leave he can watch the baby in between feeds whilst I get caught up. Sometimes being a mum can make you feel overwhelmed as you are needed so much, ALL the time. Whilst I love being a parent and wouldn't have it any other way I actually feel like I do it better when I've had minute (or 60) to recharge a little.

This week I did just that and spent an hour enjoying brunch at a newly opened bakery in Bristol called Pinkmans. The decor is just spot on and very instagramable ha! Most importantly the coffee and the food was just amazing, this is from someone who takes her coffee very seriously.

I chose these sandals from Crocs and was really impressed with how comfy they are! Running around after my four year old means that I need to have something on my feet that can last the whole day without making my feet ache and it helps when they are cute too. 

How pretty are these blooms? I'm so glad the weather is warming up enough to show my feet again!

I ordered the baked egg and finished it off with the most amazing donut I have ever eaten, no word of a lie. Although I was so full after that combination you could have rolled me down the hill home afterwards.

Thanks for having us Pinkmans!

Crocs are offering the chance to win a £30 voucher for Crocs and a £70 cash reward for ten winners and also a £30 voucher for fifty runners up. To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is post under the hashtag #mumsdayoffcontest on twitter or Instagram to be in with a chance of wining 
    in association with crocs


    Misaki Kawai for TIGER

    I absolutely love TIGER stores since I discovered them in London a few years back. Since then we actually visited Copenhagen and Tom popped into the original store which looked fantastic, I was still throwing up constantly with morning sickness at this point so was hiding out in our AirBnB boo!

    Anyway, when I was offered the chance to take a peek at their limited edition range with Japanese artist Misaki Kawai I think I actually squealed because this kinda thing is right up my street!

    The pieces I adore the most from the range were the memory game, wooden cube puzzle and wooden banana car.

    You can find out more about the collection here which hits stores in May or see the full range here. What do you think of the designs? Do you love TIGER?

    I received these items for review purposes but all thoughts are my own! 
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