Thursday, 16 June 2016

Back to work stationery


I have been back to work for a few months now and mat-leave seems a distant memory. I do keep looking back to pictures of this time last year with a touch of sadness that those precious and short-lived baby days have gone. Toddler Sophie is so much fun - but long gone are the long afternoons spent cuddling a sleeping baby!




When my return to work was looming, new stationary was an obvious retail fix. I love Caroline Gardener's Heart Print, so I decided to overdose on it! Being a teacher, a pencil case is vital from moving between desk and classrooms with out loosing my matching pens and pencils and this one is just a beauty - esp with its little leather tag. I'm a real list person (often writing a few things I've already done just so I can have the satisfaction of crossing them out...!) so I do love this matching notebook to boot.


I love the little heart shaped notelets - as have the girls I teach - making some activities more fun just for using them. This heart shaped little box is also super handy to keep on my desk to keep paperclips etc which tend to go walkies nice and contained.


Who doesn't use post-it notes constantly? We  I do and I just love this pack with different sizes and patterns to choose from. I can give my male colleagues notes on the striped rather than the heart print, which may get them second guessing....!


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Sunday, 12 June 2016

Summer Scents: Diptyque Eau des Sens


Well as I type the rain is falling down outside and writing about Summer Fragrances seems a little odd. However, meteorological summer is here and we need to embrace whatever weather we get dealt. As the seasons change my fragrance choices do too (with a few favourites that I come back to year on year!) and I thought I'd write a few posts on some of the fragrances I'm wearing currently.
Diptyque is a fragrance brand I love for their candles - birthdays with my uni pals tend to be a Diptyque candle exchange this year as they are just such lovely gift adding beautiful scents to your home whilst looking gorgeous to boot. Until recently I hadn't tried out any of their eau de toilette offerings - what a mistake! 



Eau dead Sens (Space NK £60/50ml) is their newest fragrance. Combining orange blossom, juniper berries, angelica and patchouli this is a beautiful fragrance for the new season. The bitter orange stops this from being a sweet fragrance but instead gives a fresh and radiant scent that is perfect for teaming with a white cotton dress for a picnic in the sunshine.




Sadly this fragrance is only available in eau de toilette and a hand soap - a candle would be divine! A suggested complementary home fragrance candle is Choisya (Space NK £42/190g) which also contains the bitter orange scent.
So if like me, you haven't tried Diptyque's eau de toilette collection - have a sprite next time your at the counter....


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Thursday, 9 June 2016

OOTD: A Sunny Sunday Stroll



How stunning was the weather on Sunday? We arrived back from the lovely few days away in Devon and decided to go out and enjoy the evening sunshine with a stroll to the river. I had been travelling in jeans but was overheating so swapped into my new dress I'd purchased from Zara whilst we were away. I love this length in the summer - you can lean over and sit for picnics with no worries. Dresses are also the most effortless item - just pair with your flip-flops and shades for understated chic. I feel slightly embarrassed putting up these photos as I have the messiest hair and barely any make-up, but hey... this is reality!







After unsuccessful duck-feeding (Sophie wanted to eat the stale bread rather than throw it and the ducks didn't seem very interested anyway....) we had a potter round the waters edge. The open back of my dress kept me really cool on this barmy evening. But all too soon we need to head home and get ready for the new week.









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My outfit

Sophie's Outfit


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Sunday, 5 June 2016

What's in my baby bag



A stereotypical mummy-blogger post I know, but I find it intriguing the different bits and bobs different people have in their baby bags maybe because I’m super nosey, so I thought I’d share incase you are too.


When I went on mat-leave my super generous colleagues gave me a John Lewis voucher, which I used to purchase a baby-bag. I’d heard conflicting options from friends on whether to bother or not. Some telling me they are a complete waste of money and I should just buy a big bag for a fraction of the price and others telling me it was an absolute MUST. I decided to go with the latter (I don’t like to turn down a shopping opportunity…) and after much deliberation opted for Pacapod (originally I bought the larger Mirano but have now updated to the luxury leather Firenze) These bags come with two pods - one for changing and one for feeding to help keep you organised. These have been ideal. All your changing bits can be grabbed to run off to the nearest baby change when you are out and about - which itself has sections of all the essentials and a little draw string bag for any dirties you can’t dispose of.




Although the bag comes with a changing mat, it is only wipe clean and not machine washable, so I have upgraded to this pretty white and grey star option from The White Company which comes in a little drawstring bag too.



The feeding pod is insulated and comes with an insulating sleeve for bottles too. Although we are now past the milk during the day phase this pouch is really useful for keeping Sophie’s pack lunch and snacks in for a day out. I also always keep a fold-away-highchair from JoJo Maman Bebe in her incase we visit friends with no baby and therefore no high-chair too.



I’ve tried a range of bibs and if you are opting for anything even vaguely baby-led an full on sleeved apron is a must. Bumpkins have been my fave so far - a back tie preferable to velcro which loses its stick after a few too many times in the wash, and the elasticated cuffs stop them getting in the way for grabbing food. Thankfully(!) as well as some cute and colourful designs Bumpkins has also given a grey and white colour way option… phew! My Mum also bought this knowing my obsession for everything grey...









Another absolute essential are a huge muslin cloth - they can be used for just about everything - a burp cloth, to give shade, play mat, swaddle scarf for mum….. the options are endless. When I was pregnant, my sis bought me some more colourful versions from Boden as an experienced mum gift which I have added to with these grey and white starry patterned from aden + anais.



A handful of toys, favourite cuddly are also now also on my packing list - As Sophie is a bit of a chew-er this fun weather from como too which mimics little chewable fingers always keeps her busy when we are out and about.  



Seasonal items (wooly hat/sunhat/gloves/sunglasses/suncream…. etc) and a cheeky change of cloths incase of any emergencies for Sophie also feature, but as I have lost my handbag I have also popped in a zip-up for all my bits with would otherwise get lost in the abyss and that I can grab to transfer to my actual handbag when I go to work etc. I love this Mama bag from The Grey Store - I’ll have to do another post about what I put in here….!





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Changing bag - Pacapod Firenze in Chocolate £265 (also at John Lewis)
Pocket High Chair - JoJo Maman Bebe £16

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Sunday, 22 May 2016

Gifts for Newborns


So many of my nearest and dearest are currently expecting or have just had babies and I absolutely LOVE choosing gifts for their new little bundles. Everything is just so tiny and beautiful and makes me feel very nostalgic to when Sophie was teeny and brand new. I don’t think anyone needs much help in what to pick for a gift for a newborn as it is so much fun, but I thought I’d share some of my favourite pieces I have given and that I’m saving for future arrivals. 



I adore the Peter Rabbit collection which was launched earlier this Spring at Mothercare to celebrate 150 years of Beatrix Potter. Particular favourites are this Peter Rabbit neural unisex all in one (£10) , a cute romper with collar and buttons  (£12) to make any little boy look adorably smart this Summer and a this baby girls body suit (£8) with peter pan collar and puff sleeves - even the popper has a little rabbit detail. 


aden + anais are well know for their super soft painted muslins, but did you know they also offer a range of clothing in the cotton muslin material? Beautiful soft body suits (£17) and sleep suits will keep the littlest ones delicate skin super comfy. I simply adore this Night Sky Starburst Smock Top (£12) with open back detail and Night Sky Blue Ruffle Bloomer (£11). I only wish they did bigger sizes!





 I adore giraffes and Sophie has quite a few in her menagerie of soft toys. JoJo Maman Bebe have an adorable Sophie la Girafe Collection for tiny baby to 6-12 months and this sleep suit (£18) is such a lovely gift - especially teamed with an original Sophie la Girafe toy (£14)!



Mega Muslins are super useful for all sorts of baby situations - burp cloths, providing shade, a play mat, the list goes on. I love this grey elephant print version from JoJo Maman Bebe (£10) and the 'scrunch' to keep it rolled together in your baby bag is genius....


Having had my own little bundle, buying items I have loved to new parents makes me confident they will be really well received. Sophie has received so many compliments on her Toastie Pig bobble hat  (£35) and she has actually been really happy wearing it - no wonder made of superfine alpaca! I can’t wait to give this newborn size to a new family member in the autumn! 



 We have loved our Baby Bjorn Carrier from when Sophie was tiny and still use it all the time, especially now to carry her on our back. I am ‘everything in grey’ obsessed, so I was delighted when Baby Bjorn released their Water Colour Collection. This beautiful colour combination has now sold, out, but there are others greys to choose from.  Baby Bjorn Carrier One £124.99



 Baby blankets are such a special present. My mum and sister knitted one for my when my bundle first arrived which I will treasure for ever. But if you are less including to get the knitting needles out, then I love this super soft 100% cotton Knitted Patchwork Baby Blanket (£34) from The White Company is just beautiful with a patchwork design of different stitch patterns. Just ad a gift box to make this a real treat to open. 



 Do share with me any other gorgeous newborn gift selections you’ve made - I’ve got a few to be purchasing in the next few months!





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