Thursday, 30 November 2017

Mama Style - The Motherhood of the Multifunctional Skirt (of dreams)

I don't go out very often these days, I wouldn't go as far as to say becoming a Mum means your social life ends, but your priorities certainly change, and going out and spending money on cocktails when your kid needs new shoes is just not realistic. I do still get the occasional night out, but it tends to be a couple of drinks then home by 10pm.
So, as a result of my lack of nights out, I don't tend to buy specific 'going out out' clothes anymore. I just don't get the wear out of them, and then get the guilts over wasting money on glitzy garments sitting unworn. So, the only solution is to find clothes you can dress up for a night out, but also dress down for a playdate.

My wardrobe is very much multifunctional, what I wear for work, going out and playdates with kids are pretty much the same but with different accessories and shoes.
For those who got the ever so subtle early 2000s movie reference in my post title, this skirt is like the jeans in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (not seen it? Go watch it now, I'll wait)... I swear it would suit any occasion, dressed up with heels, dressed down with a slogan tee and converse... Truley multifunctional - and bloody beautiful to boot!

Top - Simply Be £8, Skirt - Simply Be £40, Boots - Simply Be £25,

I was asked by Simply Be to try out some of their Partywear, so I decided to try something that could be dressed up, but also be worn during the day. I had seen this pink velvet skirt on Jess - On the Plus Size and fell in love, I was worried it might not look as good on me, but I am really trying to push outside of my comfort zone and channel a bit of Zoe from Dress Like a Mum, she always looks so stylish, so after a glass of Malbec or two I though "Go for it".I am go glad I did as I love this skirt, its so shimmery and soft, and fits so well. For it looking so fancy its surprisingly comfortable, with its elasticated waist and lightweight feel.

I teamed it with a black bardot top and leopard boots for a bit of a day look for a recent trip to see Olaf's Frozen Adventure (the glamour of parenthood), I felt fantastic and even got a few compliments in Tesco, which is always lovely. When I wear bright and bold clothes I start to feel a little more like my old pre-child self and it definitely gave me a huge confidence boost, even if I was just off to the pictures with my kid.

I can definitely see me wearing this skirt again, maybe a more relaxed look with a slogan tee and converse as well as possibly some heels for my work Christmas night out. This post is a bit of a huge leap out of my comfort zone so I hope you enjoyed it, if you dig this sort of post or want to see more fashion (from me or Zoe) let me know in comments? I studied fashion design at university and love clothes so much, but never really think others would be interested in what I am wearing.

Disclosure - I received the items in this post from Simply Be in exchange for this post, all opinions and thoughts are completely my own.


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Gift Guide for the Colourful Mamas in your life.

I was going to style this out as a generic 'for her' gift guide, but who am I kidding? I might as well call this dear Santa. So if you have a woman in your life who loves coffee, feminism, colourful stuff and mama merch then listen up, as this will be everything you wanted and more...

1. Pompomzigzag Ugly Beads

I literally cannot get enough of these ugly bead necklaces. I already own 4, but each is so unique and different I want more! They come with a child-friendly clasp which I actually really like, and it means Zoe can wear them too. I like the chunky paracord and how different each necklace is, I feel like these necklaces are my signature style to a tee.

2. Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman.

My Feminist book wish list is getting longer by the day, but this has been on the top of it for a while now. Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman is a non-fiction, feminist book based around women in the public eye and the status quos they have kicked down and made their own.

3. Monki Oversize Shirt Dress

Being a mum (and therefore having an extortionately high childcare bill) I don't often prioritise buying myself clothes these days, I know £30 for a dress doesn't seem much but I definitely get the mum guilt spending that much on one item just for me. Monki is one of my favourite retailers right now and this oversize shirt dress gives me ALL THE HEART EYES! *UPDATE* I managed to nab this at a HUGE discount on black friday!

4. Grrl Gang Art Calendar

Grrl Gang Art is one of my absolute favourite etsy sellers, the body positive message and unique quirky illustration style speaks to my soul! I simply NEED this calendar to get me through 2018.

5. Girls Who Grind Coffee

I am a big coffee lover, almost as much as I love supporting female run businesses. So stumbling across this female led coffee roastery; Girls Who Grind , on Instagram was like fate. I have yet to try their coffee, but I promise as soon as I do I will share what I think.

6. Slippers

Christmas just isn't Christmas to me without a new pair of slippers, I love the colours and quality of this pair from Accessorize, Don't they just like fluffy rainbow clouds for your feet? If I do get these for christmas I might never leave the house again!

7. Mother Like No Other Phone Case

I am slightly obsessed with my phone, I mean isn't everyone? As soon as I saw this every mama is different illustration I had to have it, its the perfect phone accessory for the modern mama. Also, I get the warm and fuzzies over supporting a small mama run business like Mother Like No Other.

8. Mere Soeur Coffee Cup

I am sensing a theme with this gift guide, yet another coffee/mama related item. This Stay Strong Mother Hard Cup has been on my lust list for a long time. I try to make my own coffee at home in the morning to take to work with me (to save me from the temptation of a shop bought coffee - that stuff is pricey). I have a few different take out cups, but they al have white lids, which is less than idea if you -like me- are partial to a bright lip. This double walled porcelain cup with a silicone black lid is just perfection.

So tell me, what is on your Christmas list?


Thursday, 23 November 2017

Gift Guide for the Bearded Gentleman in your Life.

I don't know about you, but I find men so so hard to buy for. Growing up my dad always got some sort of generic aftershave gift set and a shirt and tie from Burton for every birthday, christmas or fathers day. Pretty uninspired.

When it comes to the women in my life I can think of hundreds of possible gift ideas, but with the fellas I draw a complete blank. So with the help of my own bearded gent, here is a little handy gift guide for those like me who are feeling a little uninspired .

gift guide for men

1. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Sony Uncharted: The Lost Legacy for PS4 is a spin off from the popular uncharted game series, but instead of playing as Nathan Drake, you play as Chloe and Nadine, women from previous uncharted games. According to reviews it is the best uncharted game yet, and I personally love the fact that it has female leads.

2. Fat Face Pembroke Hoodie

I feel like there is something really traditional and lovely about giving a jumper for Christmas, but novelty ones are a bit of a waste really as they only get worn once a year. My Husband is king of casual so I chose this more relaxed Pembroke Zip Through Hoodie. Fatface quality is really good and I know he would get a lot of wear out of this.

3. Thiery Mugler - Pure Malt

My Husband is a fragrance addict, he loves to smell good and I can't say that I mind. He has a vast collection of different fragrances, but Pure Malt is a firm favourite and in fact is the one he wore on our wedding day. It is a warm, spicy and slightly woody scent with hints of whiskey and coffee... What is not to love?

4. Sennheiser Urbanite XL Headphones

My bearded gent is a big music fan and swears by these Sennheiser Urbanite XL Over-Ear Headphones, they have amazing build quality, the signature Sennheiser sound quality with enhanced bass. They are also foldable with a detachable cord, making them perfect for commuters too. He has had many MANY pairs of headphones over the years but these are the stand out ones.

5. Mo Bros Beard Comb

We couldn't have a bearded gent gift guide without a few beard accessories. This Mo Bros beard comb is cheap yet effective, a great stocking stuffer! I love the look with the mo bros logo carved into the wood. Its the perfect size to carry with you, and does the job of keeping his wild facial fur in tip top shape.

6. Hofmeister Beer

Hofmeister is a bit of a blast from the past for my husband and has made an award winning come back in recent years and was the first 5 star winner of the Best Lager award in the 2017/8 IWSC awards. Hofmeister is the perfect gift for lovers of craft beer and lager, it is very easy to drink but with a slightly hoppy aftertaste which I really like. You can get a box of 12 Hofmeister for just £19.99 on Amazon, which is a perfect treat for the festive period (also get free delivery if they enter the code FTBHOF17 at checkout).

7. Woody's Beard Balm

Beard balm is a must have for any self respecting bearded gent, this particular Woodys Beard Balm is not only affordable but its not too greasy, has a nice light fragrance (sandlewood), and my own bearded gent ranks it better than alot of the pricier balms on the market. Tried and tested favourite.

I hope this helps anyone struggling to shop for the gents in their life. What have you bought for the men in your life? If you have stumbled upon any gems please do share them in the comments too!

Disclosure - there are affiliate links within this post, which means that while it doesn't cost you any more to purchase any of these items, I get a little commission if you do.

I was also sent a box of Hofmeister to try, which I then included in this gift guide, although all thoughts and opinions are very much my own.


Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Toddler Takeover | Great North Museum

A friend of mine messaged me recently saying she had booked tickets for the Toddler Takeover at the Great North Museum and asked if I'd like to go too. I had never heard of it before, but with Zoe's recent Museum obsession; fuelled by the Night at the Museum movies, it sounded like a perfect way to spend a Friday morning.
The event itself is free but divided into hour long sessions, so you have to prebook to get a place (and it is pretty popular so book fast!). When I first read the itinerary I didn't think we would spend the full hour, as keeping a toddler engaged for an hour is a tough task! However, the hour flew by and she didn't want to leave!
I had really hammed up the fact that the museum staff needed her help, as I was worried beforehand that she would be bored or not be engaged by it. But I shouldn't have worried as I literally had to drag her from the place to cries of "But mummy, they neeeeeeed my help!" and the promise of a Happy Meal.


Monday, 20 November 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 20 November

Another OK week last week, but with Christmas fast approaching the need to be extra frugal is weighing heavy, I have actually been fairly organised this year and most of the presents have been bought and stashed away. Although December always feels like such a long old month, so frugality is the word of the week.

I am a little obsessed with Christmas food planning at the moment, I'd love to hear any Christmas food traditions that you have, or alternative menu ideas.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Our Perfect Little Wedding Day.

My official photos are back and I have finally stopped crying (with happiness obvs) long enough to share a little more about our perfect little wedding day with the world. I did share an initial post on how we planned our Wedding on a tiny budget, but now I want to just share how the day itself wend down and all of these beautiful photos... LOOK AT THEM!
Firstly of course I have to do a GREAT BIG SHOUT OUT to our fantastic photographer Hannah from Lifeline Photography, please go check out her website and give her some love as she is just amazing. She fit in so beautifully with our laid back day and knew exactly the type of shots we wanted. If you are looking for a slightly quirky and bloody talented wedding photographer, pop her at the top of your list, OK?


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

What I'm really thinking; The Mother of a Ginger Child.

I recently read this article in the Guardian and I had so many thoughts and responses I decided to write my own account of what I am really thinking, as a ginger mother of a ginger child.
I struggle to remember Zoe's birth very clearly in a bit of a blur of gas and air and pain, but I vividly remember when she was born, firstly asking "Is this her?" as they plonked her on my chest. She was so tiny and I'd been told over and over what a chunky giant baby I was going to have, so I almost didn't believe this tiny little thing could be my baby, despite literally watching her come out (sorry for that visual).
The second question I asked Paul was "Is she ginger?". I remember the midwife saying something about all babies looking ginger due to blood and stuff, as if she was trying to comfort me in the fact she might not really be ginger. The reality was that I really really wanted her to be ginger; like me.
It makes me incredibly sad to think that so many people are possibly disappointed when recessive ginger genes appear in their children, as if this pesky gene is a passport to a lifetime of bullying and should be something to hate.


Monday, 13 November 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 13th November

We definitely had a slightly better week last week, much less shop bought and more homemade. I still think we could do better though, especially with my work lunches. If we don't have leftovers from the night before, I tend to end up buying a sandwich and it all adds up.
So my pledge this week is to be prepared, have my breakfast and lunch sorted each day. I'd love to hear the sorts of things you make for lunches at work? Hit me up!


Monday, 6 November 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 6 November

Last week was not good, not good at all... Far too much takeaway, far too little meal planning. The irony that I posted my 'How to Meal Plan Like a Boss in 5 Easy Steps' last week while chomping away on my second take away of the week. I need to sort my life out.
I am in a serious life funk at the moment, I am busy and stressed with work, which means I am tired and grumpy by the time I get home and get the toddler to bed. So this week we are determined and focussing on quick and easy meals.
Wish me luck!


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

How to Meal Plan Like a Boss in 5 Easy Steps (Free Printable)

meal plan printable and avocado lunch
I have been posting fairly regularly on here about meal planning for the last couple of years. It is something I feel is really essential to not only cutting costs, but also keeping food waste to a minimum. On weeks where I don't meal plan I really notice a sharp increase in the number of top up trips to the supermarket, and also the amount we throw away. So for those of you new to the meal planning world or who are noticing your food bills creep upwards, I thought I would share some of my top tips so you too can MEAL PLAN LIKE A BOSS.
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