Instalife

30/11/2013

7 comments
With the move throwing everything off at the moment and still trying to hold onto a normal routine I thought I would share a little bit of my instagram with you as it's been a while since we have. So here is our little instalife, lots of coffee breaks, trying a new food joint with John, walking in the woods, Mr A being a reindeer and sharing my love of my new red cheeky shoes.

Instalife

What have you been up to lately?

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How much information is too much?

29/11/2013

5 comments
Online information


The popularity of social media channels has increased rapidly in recent years. What started out as something that was used almost exclusively by the younger generation has evolved into a tool that people in all walks of life use as means of socialising, sharing photos, organising social events and staying in touch.

It’s true that social media networks have almost revolutionised the manner in which we communicate, socialise and stay in touch. We’re a world that is almost constantly connected. But as more and more of us are migrating to social media channels as a way of staying in touch, how many of us stop to contemplate the information we are sharing?




Cybercrime has reportedly risen by 26% over the course of 2013, so perhaps it is worth considering how transparent we make our personal lives, who can see this information and how might it be used against us to gain access to our bank details or other online accounts?

The biggest mistake we make is being led to believe that it is safe to share as much information as possible via our social media networks. Many social media sites are not policed yet as they’re perfectly legitimate and international companies, many people trust that giving their personal information is safe.

In addition, many social media networks gain revenue from targeted advertising, which is why so many encourage users to complete a “full profile” where they complete all fields from their date of birth to their address to their town of birth. Moreover, ever since the most recent Facebook facelift, I’ve been prompted to update more and more information and constantly being told that I’ve only completed 90% of my profile – as is 90% is not a lot!?


online profile



Yet the more information we provide, the more likely it is that our identity and the security of our information can be compromised. While it might seem harmless to share this information amongst our online network of friends, fraudsters can easily use information such as your full name (particularly if you include your middle name), address, home town and relationship status all of which are can be used maliciously against you.

It’s worth considering how much of this information can be used to complete a form for other online accounts or even for a credit card application. Even using a profile picture can be used for fraudulent applications such as a drivers licence or passport.

Whilst your date of birth is a usual requirement of most application forms, it can also be used by fraudsters to try and guess passwords and banks PINs.

Even information that might seem harmless enough to share, such as your pet’s name, can be used to answer secret questions in the event of a forgotten password, enabling identity thieves to gain access to your online accounts.


lips



t’s important to remain vigilant online and while social media channels have changed the way we communicate, your private information should remain secure. The Cybercrime Index is a free tool from Norton which alerts users to suspicious activity as well as real-time cybercrime happening around the world. With a little common sense and the right tools, social networking can be a safe way to communicate without having to worry about our information getting into the wrong hands.


I was encouraged to write this post as part of a PR activity, but all words and thoughts are my own.
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People Tree Party Dresses

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First of all this is Not a sponsored post, I am simply sharing my love of one of my favourite eco brands People Tree. I have been on the lookout for something chic but not over the top and ethical that can be worn during the party season this Christmas but also if I want on a daily basis too and I think People Tree have some lovely options that capture all of my wants. There dresses are quite simple which works really well for me as you can dress them up or down and use accessories to add that extra sparkle. The quality is also amazing and everything I have ever bought from people tree last a really long time and don't lose there shape. Here are a few of my favourite pieces for the festive season. What look are you going for this Christmas and New Years?


Printed dress

People tree

ethical dress

Floral print dress

Beautiful dress


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Eco Friendly stocking fillers for kids

27/11/2013

6 comments

Eco friendly toy
Felt Giraffe £9.95


We are huge fans of natural wooden, nature inspired toys and crafts that inspire imagination and creativity. I think personally the craftsmanship and quality always seems a lot better than that of plastic toys and longevity is important to us, especially if we have any more children it's something that can be passed on. There is also something wonderful about the texture and feel of a wooden, fabric or paper toy that is more warming than that of a plastic one and it's really good for children to be surround by different textures that increase the sensory experience of their toys. Now this is not a sponsored post I just wanted to share our favourite picks from a store we often use when it comes to birthdays and special occasions - Myriad, a lovely natural toy and craft online shop. I wanted to put together some fun and affordable stocking fillers that are beautiful but also eco friendly


Wooden toy
Wooden Push Up Animals £5.50

Wooden instrument
African Kalimba £14.95

Wooden plane kit
Artful flyer - wooden plane kit £6.50

Eco friendly toy
Felt Elephant £9.95

wooden toy
Mini Roller Ball Animals £4.50

Eco friendly art
Magic Mandala Stamps £19.95

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Men - How to Dress casually without looking unkept

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Mens street style
John in casual attire 


Men's clothing can be a bit of a tricky business. It is an area of extremes. There are the smart tailored suits at one end of the scale, whilst on the other end you will find baggy t-shirts and hoodies paired with homogenous jeans.

Many men complain that the casual look can be hard to get right. Most guys do not want to spend hours co-ordinating accessories and scouring the latest style guides to find a fashionable outfit. We want to keep it simple with a thrown-together look that still looks smart enough to take us anywhere.


Mens style
Simple style - shirt and jeans is always good. Image Pinterest


Fortunately, it is possible to find men’s clothing that falls into the ‘casual’ bracket, yet will help you to look the part when the situation needs you to. So swap your blue jeans for earthy cotton slacks, your t-shirts for a polo shirt and your hoody for a cotton sweater and see how much better you look and feel.

There are a few wardrobe staples that the modern man should definitely have, but probably doesn't. However, if you are tired of the same old t-shirts and jeans you should consider these alternatives to update your look and style.

A range of jackets

There are so many great jackets and coats out there, from good old fashioned pea-coats to eternally stylish leather jackets. It's good to have several different coats as this is an item that you will wear every day and you don't want to always look the same. It's usually best if you dress for the weather too. In the depths of winter you might want to wear a long woollen overcoat, however in the summer a lightweight denim jacket is far more appropriate. A good coat should be more than just functional. It is just as important to your overall look as any other piece of clothing.


Post Overalls jacket
John in his new Autumn jacket by Post Overalls

Trousers in a variety of fabrics

Jeans are great but they can be a bit boring, especially if you wear them every day. Similarly, you don't want to go out on the weekend in the trousers you wear for the office. There are lots of fantastic casual styles of trouser out there, from colourful corduroys to stylish grey flannel trousers. Choose trousers that don't match the colour of your jacket to create a look that is casually appealing without looking too shabby.


Green chinos
Chinos are always a good option, paired with some casual but stylish shoes


Tops and shirts

Polo and rugby shirts are a great casual alternative to wearing a t-shirt. They are preppy and cool and give the impression that you are sporty and intelligent too. The Breton shirt is another stylish alternative. The blue and white vertical stripes are one of those classics that look great on younger men.

Casual shirts also look great, especially when they are slightly crumpled. You can wear them open over a t-shirt to maximise the dressed down look. Add a cotton jersey or a chunky knitted sweater and your casual wardrobe is complete


Mens fashion



This post contains a supported link although thoughts and opinions are 100% our own
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Winter wonderland inspiration with Home Sense

26/11/2013

3 comments
Christmas decorations


So I am not sure if you have heard of HomeSense but if not, check them out! Basically is the home store version of TK Maxx and it's amazing, you never know what your going to find which is part of the fun and everything is at a discounted price - win! Last time I went to our local Home Sense in Cardiff I picked up a Ralph Lauren bath mat, a Eco Soy Candle and Laura Ashley Garden gloves for more than half the price. With moving into a new home our heads have gone interior crazy and with Christmas literally just around the corner I thought it was time to do a little winter wonderland inspired post.


Peace and Joy wreath £9.99


I really want to get the Scandi-inspired minimalist look down to a tee this year, a cosy, natural, heart warming home with the touch of homemade. The one thing I love about the Scandinavian look is the incorporation of natural materials and the use of wood and nordic animal prints. Every time I have gone into Home Sense I have managed to find something unique and they always have something to my taste so I am sure I can find a few pieces that fit this theme


One thing we do every year is always have a real tree, I can honestly say in my 29years I have never had a fake tree and the smell of pine just sums up Christmas too me. I also love to make christmas tree decorations and hang a natural wreath about the door.


natural decoration
Wooden Tree Ornament £9.99

What kind of Christmas look are you trying to achieve? The main thing is as long as your with the people you love that's all that counts and I cannot wait until we have sorted ourselves out in the new house, have time to shop for a tree, sit back and relax and have some real quality family time. Cheers to Christmas.


christmas inspiration

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Moving house with a toddler - are we crazy?

25/11/2013

14 comments

Our new home
Our new Kitchen, although the rest of the house needs work

Well hear we are again, one year later and on the move, it was just before Christmas last year that we completed the sale on our house, moved into a cottage my mother owns and now we are finally back on the housing ladder although this time with the luxury of being able to take our time to move into the new house although in a way I don't think this will make things any easier, in fact it will take longer and be a bit more disjoined than the first time around. Saying that we can get those little things sorted like having a plasterer to come and cover some artex left on one of the bedroom ceilings (who ever thought artex was a good idea I don't know) as well as being able to give each room a nice new coat of paint, we can take our time over sorting out labelling and making sure the right stickers are on the right boxes and hopefully de-stressing the whole thing, as well as hopefully de-cluttering our lives and getting rid of anything not helpful or useful.


House moving



Luckily children are far more flexible than adults, the little man loves the new house and cannot wait to be in, in fact he doesn't understand why his bed is not there already, even though we have just ripped up the carpet in his new bedroom. We have less than two weeks to paint, lay one new carpet, have some minor plastering and carpentry work done and move in and hopefully put up a christmas tree in some kind of organised fashion. We survived the first time around so I felt it would be a good time to share some tips on how to keep your sanity and move home with a toddler in tow.


B&Q
The two boys shopping for paint and hard wear
Tips for moving house with a toddler

1. Include your children/toddler in the excitement of the move, most of the time they really do want to help and want to be involved and it should be seen as family thing. When it's safe to do so have them around, let them unpack their toys into their room, it also eases any moving anxiety they may have.

2. Pack healthy snacks - this is really important as you will be on the go, in fact I did a post earlier in the year about healthy snacks for toddlers. Main meals may go out of the window a bit and the odd takeaway during this time may just be the easiest solution but that doesn't mean you should go without something nutritious the rest of the time, such as apples, oranges, dried fruit, wholemeal sandwich etc

Healthy snacks for toddlers
Healthy snacks on the go

3. Label Label Label - even the smallest boxes, don't label them at your own peril! When you have a small child running around you need to attempt to be as efficient and organised as possible and having secure and label boxes is the key for a smooth move, not only will you be able to find just what your looking for without losing the plot but you can also prioritise what needs to be unpacked first and what can wait until later. In our last move we had a whole bunch of stickers printed up and I cannot tell you how useful they were and still are, if you get a whole load printed at the same time you get a discount which is an added bonus. This will also help any friends, family or moving firms know what is in the boxes and where to put them and even if you have a whole load left over you could reuse them like we have for envelope return address or on business cards etc.

sticker labelling


4. Enlist help from family and friends - this is not the time to turn down an extra pairs of hands because you will need them, even if it's someone to babysit for a few hours so you can get the tricker things done and out of the way. Also if you follow tip number 3 and label all your boxes clearly, including which room you want them to go to it really helps when it comes to family and friends who are helping out and you don't want to stop every 5 minutes to tell them where things go.

5. Celebrate together  - once the move is all done and dusted do something special together that marks your new journey as a family in new surroundings. Perhaps explore the local area and afterwards bake a cake and have a special meal, celebrate your achievement!


Keep the family at the heart of things

Any kind of house move is stressful, very stressful but it really is all worth it and the main thing is to not loose site of the people you love and why you are moving in the first place. Nothing is too big you cannot deal with, so try relax, chill out and it will all work it's way out in the end.



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What Mr A Wore - Grubbies Review

24/11/2013

6 comments

Grubbies


I don't think there is anything better than a boy (or girl) in dungarees, they are a classic that encompasses practicality, durability and style all on one, it just seems right and is perfect for active children. We were lucky enough for Grubbies to send us a pair to review and the little man loves them, he feels like a real workman in these and had a lot of fun on his mini excavator as well as pretending to be a mechanic fixing it.


Ride on excavator

We have had a few pairs of dungarees in the past but I have to say we are really impressed with the quality of these Grubbies ones that are produced in the UK - we love to support local so this is an added bonus. The denim is very soft and not too heave and I love the two tone effect on the pockets as well as the cool retro detailing and colourful pipping which has a hint go nostalgia to it. The shoulder straps are adjustable and this pair should last him for a longtime which is something we look for in children's clothing.


Grubbies dungarees


Not only do Grubbies make dungarees but also pretty pinafores for girls and line rompers and playsuits for little ones. Overall we give these the thumbs up, they are perfect for indoor and outdoor play and have a real vintage classic feel to them and as we have said it's great to see UK made clothing.


Grubbies Dungarees


You can check out more at Grubbies Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest


We were given a pair of Grubbies Dungarees to do an honest review, no money was paid and our words and thoughts are 100% our own

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Cold won't keep us in

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Raking leaves
Mr A hard at work raking the leaves

So since wednesday the little man has come down with a horrible head cold, which having recently started kindergarten and the change in weather is was almost to be expected, so we have all been eating lots of healthy vegetable soups of late. Even so, if we didn't spend a little bit of time outdoors, even just 10 min we would have some serious cabin fever going on. I devised a few short and simple things for us to still to enjoy the fresh air, one was sweeping up all the leaves outside our current house, something the little man loves to do and really lifted his spirits.

Wooden Castle
Mr A exploring our new garden

With the excitement of moving and getting the keys to our "new door" as my little man likes to call it we have had some fun exploring our small but perfectly formed garden, that to much delight of Mr A came with a wheelbarrow and wooden castle with swing. I have big plans for this little garden and we plan to grow lots of veg next year and planning for that starts now, well as soon as Mr A is over his cold and happy to don his gardening gloves.


Outdoor fun

We also manage to enjoy some homemade pizza alfesco in the park this week, nothing beats having a little snack outdoors, even if it is short lived. Hopefully we will be having a lot more outdoor fun next week.

eating alfresco


We have joined this post with Country Kids from Coombe Mill - its a great linky for families who love to spend time outdoors.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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Vivienne Westwood and St Davids Christmas

22/11/2013

7 comments

Chase Potato vodka
Our lovely mixologist from Kapu Lounge and the British Chase potato vodka - you must try!!

Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a VIP Reception of the St Davids Christmas Shopping night and also have a sneak peak at Vivienne Westwood's new arrivals. As always it's great to meet up with other bloggers, catch up and see whats new in Cardiff. The VIP Reception had a casino theme with some amazing drinks by the lovely staff at The Kapu lounge who mixed some Chase (potato) vodka with flavours like Rhubarb for some interesting cocktails. There were tons of events going on in St Davids 2 for the launch of there Christmas Shopping nights and before I attended the reception I popped into The White Company to pick up some slippers for the little man,  they offered  their customers bubbly and mince pies - nothing better to get you in the christmas mood.



After having a quick look around the other stores in St Davids we all met up again at Vivienne Westwood were the staff showed us the new collections which included some amazing luggage, hats Duffle coat and scarfs to name a few - all on my wish list. As always I love how Vivienne Westwood has brought the punk movement to the mainstream and all that filters through her different lines, as well as her political stand point, something you don't often see on the high street/designer side of things.


Vivienne Westwood


I really love these pin badges, perfect as a stocking filler, I want the Climate Revolution one as it's something we feel strongly about in our household. The staff were really informative and accommodating and had some lovely canap├ęs on offer, as we browsed the lovely array of bags, dresses and creatively design socks.

Canapes

Vivienne Westwood bag


The Navy Mini Utility Case seen above is made in Hertfordshire on original Victorian machinery, formed form 14 layers of specially bonded "vulcanised fibreboard" each is riveted and lined by hand and it's really nice to hear a large designer is using local craftsmanship as we really don't utilise the UK based skills base enough and it really is an exquisite bag.


Fashion bloggers
Cardiff Bloggers 

As always was lovely to catch up with some other bloggers which is a real perk of being a blogger is making real life friends and being constantly inspired by them. I love Chantele from Daisy Days and Leanne from a Slice of my Life
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Boys Club - Back to where it began

21/11/2013

8 comments
 New Years


The photo above is one of the earliest I took of John, it was at a New Years Eve party a few years back, in the early hours, he was showing me his collection of New Era caps and listening to some vinyl on his 80's record player. He has always been a fan of America/Japanese street wear, even if he doesn't always wear the items he likes to collect things and I know if he had his way the house would be filled with BAPE, New Era and Comic book memorabilia.

Beardy man
John during the summer wearing a Norse Projects Hat

John's been debating lately about what kind of hat is going to get him through this cold winter, as his Norse Projects summer hat is making it's place on the shelf until the warmer months and also just because he wants a change. So John has put together his Hat wish list, which is perfect for me as it doubles up as a possible christmas list too, as not only is it practical but also stylish - win win. We recently found out about this great site called Capology, an independent (thats what we like to hear) store in Newcastle which has a massive collection of urban wear, clothing, accessories and of course caps and stocks one of Johns favourite lifestyle brands - The Hundreds. Caps and headwear can often be overlooked but it really shouldn't be especially when it comes to mens wear so here is a little collection of his favourite picks


Denim cap
Entree Lifestyle Washed 5 Panel £40

Plaid cap
The HundredsVaried £32

5 Panel cap
King Apparel Krest 5Panel £32

Beanie
King Apparel Insignia Fall13 Beanie £30

Winter hat
47 Brand Stevenson £30


John really likes the 47 Brand Stevenson hat above which will no doubt come in handy during what is meant to be a very cold winter, he has a similar hat that he wore during the snow last year, but as always wants to update it. They also stock kids hats, including toddler New Era's which can be hard to come and John would love to add a miniature New Era to the collection.

Winter fashion
John keeping warm in the snow


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