Packing for a long weekend away

Even before I had the boys I was never one for packing light. I used to pore over the pages of Red and Grazia, marvelling over glossy pages of chic capsule wardrobes. Then when it came to packing in ‘real’ life, I’d panic and cram in clothes for every eventuality. I’ve never been too good at the pared down look; be it for home, fashion — or life in general. A case of go big or go home. But last month when we went on our little adventure in St Mawes, I made a pact with myself to ‘try’ and pack as lightly as possible. Tricky — as the weather can be so unpredictable at this time of year— but necessary. Particularly as the car was bursting at the seams, with everything two little boys might need for a week away. Two (or three) outfit changes a day for me, plus bikini, wellies, rain-mac, sunhat, maxi-dress, dungarees, sequins (just in case) was not going to cut it. I needed something casual to wear during the day — and possibly a sweater to throw on if things got a little too chilly — plus we’d got a special dinner planned, to celebrate my birthday and wedding anniversary so I wanted something a little bit glam and… Read More

Getting ready for our first family ski holiday with Mark Warner

There’s a LOT of excitement in our home at the mo, as we’ve been getting ready for our first family ski holiday with Mark Warner!! The little boys are so excited about the snow; much chat about this. I’m not convinced that they quite know what ‘skiing’ involves yet but they’ve watched lots of YouTube clips and Instagram Stories of the other current Mark Warner ambassadors. My big, man-shaped boy is beyond excited to go on his first proper skiing trip for more than 20 years. He’s not been ‘proper’ skiing since just  before we got together (which will be 21 years on May 28th this year!!!! Eeeek!!! HOW did that happen??!). He’s been to the Snow Dome on the odd occasion but hasn’t travelled any further than Tamworth — or Milton Keynes — to get his ski fix for a very long time. And I’ve been getting a little bit excited about shopping for some ski-wear essentials for us all. Having never been skiing before it’s been really fun choosing things that I’d never ordinarily look at. Plus it’s been nice to scour the internet for things other than clues on ‘How To Stop When Skiing’ (something that I’ve been getting a… Read More

The best baby changing bag? Meet the PacaPod Firenze

When I was pregnant I spent a lot of time Googling things. How do you breastfeed two babies at once? What’s the best baby changing bag for twins?  The best white-noise app/bottle steriliser/pushchair? You know the kind of thing. I’m not quite sure what we used to do before the days of the internet but these days, if you have a question, you’ll be sure to find the answer on Google. (Other search engines are probably available.) But anyway — I digress. Three and a half years into motherhood and an awful lot of water has passed under the bridge. Instead of breast-pumps and sterilisers I’m now Googling how to deal with tantrums. But strangely enough I think I’ve finally just come across the best baby change bag. For me anyway. When the twins were born I bought a PacaPod Mirano in navy. We’ve still got it; it’s a little scuffed round the edges but very much intact. I bought this particular bag because of it’s HUGE internal proportions — that bad-boy can carry a lot of stuff — and also the fact that it was unisex. My boy balked at some of the change bags that were available (pink bows and ditsy prints are not really his thang) but,… Read More

Colour Your World | #21 Pantone Buttercup

I think anyone who knows me — or reads my blog — will have a good idea what my favourite colour is. It hasn’t always been that colour though. It’s changed throughout my life. In my teens it was purple. I wore purple dungarees and lavender suede desert boots — with purple ribbons for laces — I had violet streaks in my hair and was generally (as you can be in your teenage years) a little bit compulsive about it. I even wrote a diary post listing all of the synonyms of the colour purple. As you do when you’re 16. Weirdo. Anyway, moving swiftly on. In my twenties and early thirties, it was blue. Baby blue, navy blue, teal and turquoise. Lots of variants of the same colour, in a myriad of different shades. I was definitely less obsessed by it —but subconsciously used to gravitate towards things in that colour, for sure. But for the last decade, my eyes and heart are drawn to the colour yellow. It’s such a happy-making colour — endlessly cheerful — particularly when the weather is grey. It’s the colour of sunshine and positivity. And the colour of my latest Pantone post. The next in the palette for 2016 is Pantone… Read More

191 weeks and 5 days | Laura Ashley Press Show SS17

One of the loveliest things about my job is being invited along to the press shows of the amazing brands I work with, so when an invite to the Laura Ashley Press Show SS17 pinged into my inbox I was very excited indeed. It’s a real treat to see the product before it hits the shops and — particularly in the winter — being able to fill your eyes with lots of colour and newness is a glorious thing indeed. The perfect antidote to winter. The girls at Laura Ashley are lovely and have always been so supportive; encouraging my mad-cap ideas (wallpapering a ceiling anyone?) — and incredibly patient to boot (always a bonus when real life gets in the way and the deadlines slip) — plus they generously sponsor Home Etc too (the blog linky that I host with my lovely friend Jess). Their HQ is a bit of a trek from our village but I couldn’t wait to see what they have in store for us for the coming year. Needless to say, it was so worth the journey. I was greeted by a door surrounded with summer blooms; such a sight for sore eyes. And what followed was equally as lovely. There were such a lot of lovely things to see.… Read More

Colour Your World | #20 Pantone Snorkel Blue

It’s been a while since my last Pantone post. So much for one every couple of months eh?! There’s been so much going on recently though, it’s hardly surprising. We’ve barely been at home and the couple of free days that I do have — during the week when the boys are at nursery — seem to be over in a flash. I certainly don’t seem to be able to fit as much in as I’d like. But hey. Better than kicking my heels and wishing for something to do. I’d much rather be busy, than not. The next colour in the palette for this year is Pantone Snorkel Blue. Personally, I’d probably label this one ‘French Navy’ but I always love Pantone’s names for their colours — and Snorkel Blue is a lot more pictorial — so I’ll let it slide ;) We’ve had a fair few blues since I started this series; Aquamarine, Scuba Blue to name a couple and, actually, this shade is not dissimilar from Classic Blue that I featured in February last year. It’s such a fresh shade — looks gorgeous in an interior setting — and can be paired with so many lovely colours to make it really pop. Clash with fuchsia pink or orange… Read More

Introducing Bobux Shoes {Siblings August}

Siblings August? But it’s September, I hear you cry. Yep. Late again. There’s a pattern emerging here. Life has been ridiculously crazy over the last couple of months — I feel like a hamster on a wheel to be honest. Forever running but not really ever managing to break the cycle or catch up. August flew by in such a whirlwind, bookended by festivals; we began the month down in Dorset for Camp Bestival and ended it at Shambala. This week we’ve been decorating — the house is upside down, as (still) is my she-shed — and all the bits in between have been a blur. The boys have really good structure to their weeks; Mondays is the day we have together, Tuesday and Thursday they’re at pre-school from 9 until just before 6 and Wednesday and Friday they have a half day (9 til 1). I wish that I could say my weeks were as structured! Still, this time apart is good for all of us. It has given me the chance to (try to) catch up on work and it’s also preparing them for school, this time next year. Not quite sure I have even typed that last sentence. School,… Read More

Blue suede shoes (and boots)

It’s been a weird old start to the year hasn’t it? This week it’s flip-flop weather; we’ve had a run of gloriously sunny days and everyone is saying that spring has been given the push by the early arrival of summer. But last week, winter made a comeback — all guns blazing — and Saturday afternoon we had a hail storm and torrential rain of biblical proportions. Good. Although it’s not, because it’s playing havoc with my wardrobe choices. Go out in sandals and realise (when the heavens open) that wellies would have been more appropriate. Go out in winter boots and, later on in the day when the sun is beating down, I’m wishing I had opted for my Berks instead. I find the mere *thought* of wearing clumpy black or brown boots in spring quite disturbing. It’s even more depressing when I’m having to actually wear them. I want colour in my life — and something a little more stylish than a pair of UGG’s (sorry UGG) — at this time of year. Enter my newest favourite item of footwear. My beautiful new ankle boots from Jones Bootmaker. OK, so they are still boots but they’re a million miles away from my winter boots — they’re a vision in petrol blue suede. They’re by Fly London — uber stylish footwear designers — and super… Read More