Side Street Style

Side Street Style

Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog

22/05/2017

Making Each Day Matter

mindfulness


I have never been that materialistic, from an early age I realised that an evening spent laughing with loved ones was worth more than gold. Ever since I was young I dreamed of dusty roads, music festivals, camping under stars and those intrinsic experiences that would stay with you forever and become the fabric of your being. Before having children I did a lot of self funded travel, working at a variety of backpackers, hostels and hotels, without much of a plan I sought the simple good things and added very little to my backpack I set out with. I have always been a happy seeker being aware that paradise doesn't always last forever and holding onto those sweet perfect moments and knowing when to move on.


twilight hour


Of course settling down and becoming a parent has brought so much joy and happiness but also a lot of compromise, a time to be unselfish, establishing routines and making more stable future plans. The thing is it's very easy to suddenly find yourself going through the motions, saying yes to things when you really mean no and days passing by with little change. The thing is life is short, why keep that bottle of wine for a special occasion that may never come and rather celebrate the now! Marks & Spencer recently did some research and found up to 96% feel we spend our lives on autopilot and I think that something we can all relate too.


I recently wrote a post about gratitude and finding happiness and fulfilment in the small things that make up a day. The one thing I have learnt over the years is it really doesn't have to be grand gestures or far-flung travel plans that make each day matter it's what we do and if that makes us happy, how we approach each day and allowing ourselves to slow down for a moment and appreciate what we have and gasp those moments of pure joy, which are often right under our nose.


brotherly moment



I no longer rush around trying to fit a million things into a short space of time, instead I step back especially when it comes to the boys who love to explore the outdoors. I am fascinated by their growing friendship and sibling relationship and in the quiet moments in the fresh air surrounded by nature these magical moments happen, away from all the "stuff" we surround ourselves with in our daily lives.

In general as a nation we know it's these little moments that are really special yet we don't give ourselves enough time to embrace them fully. I know especially after becoming a parent it's really important to practise self care as well as be present and as in the moment as possible. If there is something getting you down on a daily basis make time to address that. If your feeling out of touch with the things you used to do try and make time to do them again even if this is to find 5 minutes to read a book or listen to some records.


apple


As small as these things may seem some of my favourite moments of the day are biting into a fresh juicy apple, a quiet cup of coffee on those rare occasions I have to myself and even rarer mornings I get to lie in. Listening to my vinyl and dancing in the living room with the kids, making time to play my guitar, being pulled in by a good book and whizzing up milkshakes on a hot day. One thing I noticed is none of these things involve a screen which seems to take a lot of my time up these days and with that Marks & Spencer are calling for change, for a little self-analysis starting on the 1st of June for Make It Matter day - a national day we're they asking people to take a moment to think about what really matters. They will be holding events in store on these days and you can also check our their inspiring video all about the Make it Happen movement.




I have been asked by Marks & Spencer to share my #SpendItWell journey and I encourage you to do the same. This is something I am really passionate about, being grateful for the small things in live #Ad

Short or Long Hair and Self esteem

stylish mother



I know, some may say it's a trivial subject to discuss but our hair really does have so much to do with our self esteem and can have an impact on how we feel on a daily basis. Having a bad hair day/week/month can really start to get you down and I know personally that affects how I see myself, my mood and even in some ways my productivity as I feel less together to face this manic world. It's also one of those things that needs to be maintained and looked to ensure healthy roots and scalp and in the same way we brush our teeth twice a day you need to take time to look after your hair.


Mamahood


I have hit a bit of a brick wall lately with mine, I am in a weird in-between stage where my pixie cut has grown out and I am starting to resemble Justin Bieber circa 2009 and it's not a good look. The thing is do I carry on and try and grow out this mop top which is currently still style-able with clay or do I cut it short again?

With both pregnancies my hair grew so fast so this in-between stage didn't last long but then when you have a newborn, one of which who loved nothing more than pulling on my long hair a pixie cut felt very appealing for the get up and go aspect when you are already sleep deprived and are short on time. I even did a short hair makeover vlog about this a year ago which I will add to this post. So I thought I would weigh up the pro's and con's since I have had both very long hair and very short hair and if your looking for similar advice this may help.


bob haircut



Long hair

1. You can style this in so many way including the popular top knot or plaits
2. Longer hair does require more attention and maintenance especially if you straighten or blow dry your hair regularly.
3. It can take longer to style if your going for a pacific look
4. You can easily tie it up and keep it out of the way.
5. More flexibility when it comes to trends as you can cut it little shorter or have more dye if you want.

Short hair

1. Easy to maintain
2. Quick to style and get-up and go look.
3. Less options when it comes to creating different looks.
4. Doesn't suit every one (although has a lot to do with inner confidence and I believe as long as you love it you can get away with any look)
5. Perfect for busy mums and those very time short.





Knowing myself and knowing how little time I have in the morning to actually look after myself I will probably opt for going short again. I know its a look that I am comfortable with even though it offers less flexibility when it comes to styles but it offers me a great solution for my life at the moment and I always feel good once it all comes off and I get out of this in-between look I'm currently stuck in. Don't get me wrong I love long hair, I often look at photos and think wow couldn't I have it that length right now but I also know I am not fantastic at being on top of it each day.



French bulldog


I am very lucky to have very thick hair which is also why it's a lot of work when my hair is longer. It's something that runs in my family as my mother has extremely thick hair as does my brother but thats not the case with everyone and it's something I am really grateful for. As I said before hair can have a real impact on how we feel about ourselves, I have this issue when it comes to my teeth which could be better than they are and I know if my hair was thinning I wouldn't be comfortable with that, which is personal to me as everyone has different priorities and different aspects they are more conscious about.

The good news is that they are making real advancements in hair treatment and Harley Street Hair Clinic has seen fantastic results with Advanced Tricho Pigmentation Treatment. It's something in fact John may consider in a few years to come as unlike myself the thick hair trait does not follow in his family and I know its something that would impact him deeply even if he wouldn't like to admit it. Whatever you decided long or short, colourful, straight or shaved right off do what feels good because this will have a positive impact on how you feel



Short hair style


A collaborative post

20/05/2017

Creating A Space For Entertaining This Summer

outdoor entertaining


As we say a sad goodbye to spring and the last of those lingering Easter eggs, we look forward to what will hopefully be a hot, dry summer (fingers crossed). Summer is wonderful because of the warmth, the daytime relaxation outdoors, the ability to cook outside, and of course, the ability to entertain outside. There's something so wonderful about chatting with friends as the sun goes down and the sky becomes streaks of pink, purple and red.


South of France



Sharing a cocktail or two with loved ones as the birds sing and the warm summer evening starts to cool. It really is a wonderful thing. The only thing that might prevent it being quite so lovely, is if your home and garden really aren't prepared for entertaining outside. Overgrown shrubs, a lack of lighting, an uneven path leading bath into the house; it doesn't take much to throw plans to entertain outside to the side and instead opt for an evening in, missing out on all the ambience of of a gorgeous summer evening. But this doesn't have to be you. With these useful tips you'll be outside enjoying the summer nights in no time



fair lights



Lighting Up The Party

This might seem silly, seeing as the nights are so much longer in the summer, however, once the light begins to fade, you have two reasons to have some lighting ready to go on. The first reason is ambience. The right lighting will provide a soft, beautiful hue as the sun fades and the stars come out. The second reason is safety. As soon as the light dips, navigating your way down steps, across paths and over plants is much more tricky, especially for guests who don't know your garden as well as you do. Fairy lights are a good option for both considerations because they are soft and romantic, they are cost-effective and they are easy to wind around plants, shrubs, trees and pretty much anything. There are plenty of well priced outdoor fairy lights to choose from on the market. You can even have fun making your own lanterns for them, like in this cool DIY ping pong ball lanterns Youtube video.

Interlinking Your Home & Your Garden

You might wonder why your home relates to entertaining in your garden, but it is actually integral to any outdoor occasion. First and foremost it is practical to have easy access indoors so guests can get to the toilet easily, so that you can bring food out and take empty glasses in really easily, and so you can easily move inside once you've had enough of being in the garden. Depending on your setup, it might be a good idea to look at patio doors. Bifold doors are a great option because they connect your garden to your home visually, closed or open, and because they allow for such easy access between your home and garden during entertaining. There are also lots of additional ways to link the inside and outside of your home including:-


1. Getting pot plants that are the same inside the home and onto the decking or patio
2. Continuing floor tiles from the kitchen or dining room out onto the patio
3. Continuing the colour scheme in the room nearest to the garden into the outdoor entertainment area



outdoor living



Warmth & Shade

We are only human after all, and so we are affected by the temperatures we are in. If you want to keep everyone safe and comfortable during both day and nighttime entertaining in your garden, it is a great idea to create ways to adjust the temperature. An area of shade is important and it isn't hard to create an adjustable area of shade if you don't want a permanently shady spot. Awnings are a good idea, or a DIY setup with material and permanent wooden beams could work really well if you are handy. With heating, you could get a patio heater if you want to invest in the easiest form of outdoor heating. Or if you're more about the ambience and the occasion, a chiminea or firepit could work well (and give you something to toast your marshmallows on to!).
Clean-up For The Win

Before you get going with any big home improvement projects to improve your garden parties, it is so important to deal with the basics. It is so easy to 'dress up' a garden that really could do with a bit of love and attention. It doesn't pay off though, as the garden will never be at its best, and some problems may be dangerous or might get worse. Do a complete garden survey and write down everything you want to get sorted. Prime examples could be:-

Fixing the fence
Dealing with bald grass patches
Repotting plants
Getting nuisance shrubs or trees removed
Relaying a cracked or uneven path
Fixing decking
Decluttering old toys, broken pots, piles of leaves and other debris
Washing down the tiles
Strimming all overgrown and uneven plants and hedges



homemade lemonade


Detail Is The Key

Often the key to entertaining outside is all about the detail. Little things like having a basket full of rugs, dotting candle lanterns around, offering hot chocolates and making people comfortable is all you need to make the night a success. Although the setup is important, little details that enhance the social situation are often the key to successful entertaining.


Remember, the more thought you put into your entertaining setup, the more you will get out. Be creative, enjoy yourself, and most of all, make the space your own, because after all, you'll be spending the most time in it, so it is important you and your family love it.

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