A beautiful day in Nice

31/12/2014

9 comments

Nice promenade


With all the craziness of Christmas now behind us I can finally get around to finishing posting all about our amazing holiday to the South of France, as we went for two weeks and visited so many places it was only fair to break our mini adventures down into smaller posts - so this one is all about our day out in the wonderful city of Nice on the French Riviera. As some of you may already know I lived and worked in Nice for a few months before having Mr A and it was quite surreal going back but this time with the family in tow.




With it being at the end of September we luckily missed all the manic peak period and really got to enjoy the promenade, walking around the old town, through the flower market where we also picked up some locally hand made soaps (they smelled so good) and a walk up the citadel without having to push our way through crowds of people. The weather was good, not too hot but warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt. We came across a beautiful antique Carousel, in immaculate condition and furnished with the most stunning fairground seats, horses and this plane that Mr A loved - it went up and down and he ended up going on it three times.


garlic bunch

Old town Nice

Nice in France


The old part of the city is like a maze, filled with bustling side streets and secret cafes. We managed to find a fairly peaceful place to grab a bite to eat and I enjoyed a fresh salad while John opted for some Basil Gnocchi, which was complemented with an espresso each at the end. Across the road a man was stretching pizza and throwing it up into the air with real passion, Mr A was fixated on this while we enjoyed a lazy lunch people watching.


fresh salad


After food we popped into an Artisan bakery and picked up some Macaroons for our walk up the Citadel to admire the view and I highly recommend to anyone in the city as it you get to see the city from above, taking in the stunning coastline and promenade.

stylish menswear


We decided to end the day we a walk along the beach, picking up an ice-cream along the way and watching the waves crash on the shore. It was one of the those simple and blissful days and hopefully we will have the chance to visit Nice again soon, although it was great jumping back into our Fiat 500 and making our way back to the James Villas in Valbonne which was only around a 40 min away and perfectly situated for exploring the coast.





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Nursery Prints

30/12/2014

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cute nursery
I love this simple and nature inspired wallpaper print (image)


So I cannot believe I am already 32 weeks and we haven't even really started on the nursery, so that is our first port of call for the New Year and what a fun project it will be (hopefully). We recently picked up some lovely printed wallpaper from Laura Ashley which I cannot wait to share with you all. I have to admit I have never really bought into the "statement wall" trend unless done very well, although I have to say that I do think it works best in a nursery or kids room as that is the type of place you can really have some fun and it's the type of room that you need to inject a bit of colour and texture.


cloud pillow
I love this simple, subtle and stylish nursery and how cute is the cloud pillow (image)

The great thing is now there is so much choice, you can still keep the room fairly simple and clean  but bring in some light and subtle prints, which is what we are going to go with when we redecorate the nursery in the coming weeks.


beautiful nursery
Pretty feeding and reading nook in a nursery (image)

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Exploring Cowbridge

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winter sun

So after a few miserable and rainy days it was so refreshing to see the sunshine, even though the temperature has really dropped we took the first opportunity to spend it outside having fun and thought what better than a little road trip to the beautiful historic market town of Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan.

It has a lovely Physic Garden and outdoor spaces to explore as well as one of my favourite vintage indoor markets called Happy Days, where we stopped of for lunch in their quaint little cafe - I highly recommend the homemade vegetable soup by the way.

outdoor adventure

Welsh adventures

outdoor child

The little man has also recently discovered things like The Scouts and Bear Grylls and as much as I have a total dislike to guns (I really distain them) he enjoyed pretending being an outdoor ranger with his little rifle, protecting all the plants and animals.

Cowbridge has some beautiful shops, interior stores and florists and I always feel really inspired after a day out at this chic little village. It was one of those days filled with simple pleasures and it was lovely to just run around in the winter sun, just the three of us.


winter inspiration

pretty florist




Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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Big Beauty Giveaway

28/12/2014

516 comments


Near the end of the year I always like to put together a little Beauty Giveaway for one of my lucky readers and this year is no different. I have a lovely little pamper package - great for a new look in the New Year and Giveaway includes a

48 piece ELF eyeshadow Palette with mirror and dual ended eyeshadow applicator.
Elf Smokey Brown nail polish
ELF eyebrow lifter and filler
Colour Club "Regain in Spain" nail polish
No 7 Instant  Radiance highlighter
O.P.I Hand and Body lotion mini
The Bodyshop Vitamin E overnight serum
Elemis Lime and Ginger Body Wash
Elemis Lime and Ginger Body Lotion





ELF has a store in Cardiff, which I have visited a few times and I can say that I really love their products so I am very excited to be giving this lovely palette and other goodies away to one lucky reader, plus the Elemis Body wash and lotions are divine. It's super easy to enter and good luck


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Scandi style inspiration for winter

26/12/2014

11 comments
I love the simplicity of Scandi interior style (image)


Scandi style, with its effortlessly chic blend of rustic and minimalist design, has been the go-to source for interior inspiration in recent years - and with good reason. The look is cool and stripped back, yet somehow always manages to feel cosy and homely. The trend seems set to continue and winter is perhaps the best time of year to get a feel for that understated Scandinavian style. The style has arisen from a land of long dark winters and scenes of ice, snow and reindeer.

In order to accomplish this look - it could be a handful of small Christmas accessories or a complete rethinking of a room...


Bringing nature into the home can add a real pop of colour (image)


Bring some nature indoors

Adding some greenery to any interior inserts some life and is often a key feature in Nordic-inspired homes. Simple, bright green plants with an occasional pop of colour look striking against the frequently pale, washed-out colour schemes. Bringing in some plants also offers the opportunity to choose a great container – think aluminium, wood, or classic pots with a cream or dove grey finish and of course glass – make it more contemporary with more unusual square shapes. Terrariums filled with cacti or succulents are a low maintenance option that look really modern and can go from golf-ball sized to a substantial feature piece.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate some Scandi flair is the use of natural wood. It’s a predominant feature in the style,and can be added via flooring, furniture or wall panels. Go for paler timbers for authenticity.



Faux fur can work just as well in the home (image)


Furs

In keeping with the theme of nature, the addition of fur and rustic faux animal skins is undeniably Nordic and conjures images of wintery chalets. Look around for some fluffy throws, rugs and cushions that are especially ideal during the winter months.

Light

Scandinavian architecture has adapted to the long periods of darkness that the region endures over the winter. The need to let in as much natural light as possible has led to the familiar sight of spacey, open-plan rooms and lots of windows left uncluttered with minimal window dressings. It’s also the reason behind the tendency for light coloured walls and overall colour schemes.



I never get bored of white interiors - how beautiful is these stairs (image)



White

Another easy way to channel the Nordic approach to decor is to incorporate white - and lots of it. It’s the only backdrop that allows the other customary features to shine and work their simplistic magic.


Whether you want to use these tips to update your home or you’re thinking about moving into a new pad like these new houses for sale in Birmingham and styling it from scratch - now is the time to get into the mood for Scandinavian style interiors.



I love simple scandi interior style (image)

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Merry Christmas

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family portrait


So a big Merry Christmas to all of you from John, Myself and Mr A. I hope you all had an amazing time filled with laughter fun and love. It was particularly strange knowing that this would be the last Christmas with just the three of us as we prepare for the new arrival, it was also the most magical to date in terms of Mr A being aware of all the excitement surrounding Christmas day and he rushed into our room this morning, very early and still dark unable to contain himself. We had made some mince pies the night before and left out some carrots for the reindeer as well as reading a traditional story and the smile across his face seeing the plate empty and half eaten carrots was priceless.
Merry Christmas everyone



OneDad3Girls
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A festive instagram

24/12/2014

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colourful instagram


So it's Christmas eve and I love to have a little look back on instagram over the past month and see how we have slowly got into the spirit of things from Christmas jumpers to Secret santa and homemade decorations and tags it's been a fun and colourful month and I hope all of you have had a great time over the festive period as well.

1. Christmas jumper and a knitted snood is my daily winter must haves
2. It's all about the homemade tags
3.Gluten free mince pies ready to be left out for Santa
4. A wintery stroll with the little man
5. Making some orange Christmas tree decorations
6. The little mans festive jumper
7. Secret Santa delights
8. Ejoying afternoon tea with John
9. A festive coffee to put a smile on your face
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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Wales

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Milgi Bar Cardiff
There are lots of great places to eat and see in the Welsh Capital  

Wales is a fantastic holiday destination, especially for families who are looking for something to suit all ages. But it’s one that is often overlooked by keen jetsetters who dream of something more exotic. If you haven’t holidayed in Wales yet, here are 10 things that might change your mind.

Cardiff was named Britain’s best city

According to Mirror.co.uk, Cardiff is the best city in the UK to live in, beating London, Manchester and Liverpool to the top spot.



Rural Wales
Walking up to Castle Cennen in Brecon


There are 641 castles and castle ruins in Wales

If you love history or the magic of a fairy-tale like castle, you will find endless fun in Wales. With 641 castles (or ruins), you will be in awe of the country’s wonderful past anywhere you go.


We often visit Caerphilly Castle



Caerphilly Castle leans more than the Tower of Pisa

Caerphilly Castle is the largest castle in Wales and it is said to lean more than the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.

There are more sheep than people in Wales

Lamb is a must-try dish in Wales; with a population of 11 million sheep versus 3 million people, it’s no wonder the meat is so popular. And with so many sheep grazing on the grassy landscapes, a holiday to Wales promises a scenic countryside experience.


Barry Island beach
Running free on the Welsh coastline


There are over 700 miles of coastline in Wales

With over 700 miles of beautiful coastline, you will be treated to dramatic cliffs and wonderful sea views. Some of the most incredible spots include the Blue Lagoon in Pembrokeshire, Three Cliffs Bay in Swansea, and the Llŷn Peninsula south west of the Isle of Anglesey.



West Wales cottage
We stayed in a wonderful self-catering cottage in Wales earlier this year


The Welsh countryside offers B&B and self-catering charm

If chain hotels just aren’t your thing, you’ll find charming little B&Bs and boutique hotels dotted all around the countryside. Get away from mainstream tourism and find something a little off the beaten path for your next adventure.


Welsh countryside
Taking a walk to the Waterfalls in Brecon


Wales is made up of breath-taking countryside

Wales covers a large part of the UK, with most of it being countryside. For nature lovers, there’s an endless world of rolling hills, stunning mountains and beautiful coast to keep you busy.



Festival Wales
Enjoying some music and storytelling at Beyond the Border festival


You can spend 48 hours in Wales

Wales is vast and there is so much to do. But if you’re touring the UK and only have 2 days to spare, have a look at how you can spend ’48 Hours in Wales’ over on the www.park-resorts.com blog.


Vegetarian pop up food
Milgi Bar pop-up eatery, Wales


Wales is one of the most environmentally friendly countries

The Welsh Government has a legal duty to create a sustainable environment, making it one of the greenest countries in the world.

30% of the country is protected landscape

Either a World Heritage Site, a protected National Park or an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; that makes up 30% of the Welsh landscape making it one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.


We love taking forest walks in the Welsh countryside

In association with Park Resorts
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Pregnancy update - 31 weeks

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Wow I literally cannot believe that I am already 31 weeks pregnant - time has flown by unlike the first time round which seem to take forever but now I feel like I am running out of time to get things sorted such as the nursery and finishing the house. Saying that this week is all about relaxing and enjoying our last Christmas as a family of three and I thought I would make a little vlog about what has been happening over the past few weeks and the lovely things inside my ProjectB box this month as well as getting a few things in place such as the Totsbots reusable nappies which I cannot wait to use, especially the newborn birthday printed one - it's so cute.


totsbots reusable nappy
How cute is this TotsBots reusable newborn nappy 

We used reusable nappies for around 6 months with Mr A but they ones we bought kept leaking all them time and we struggled with finding the correct size as Mr A had a really small waist - it meant they were fine for when we where at home but not practical out and about but we are really hoping that the Totsbots are going to give us more flexibility and we have heard great things about them. I expect for the first two weeks or so we will probably use a mixture of reusables and disposables only because newborns are so small and the all in one sizes nappies will probably bit a little large but overall I cannot wait to get stuck into the ethical and frugal (they really do save you money) nappies.


Alcohol-free wine
The Eisbery Alcohol-free wine has gone down a treat in our house 

maternity box
ProjectB Box - relax

As you can see the Eisberg Alcohol-free wine has gone down a treat this week - it's literally been months since anything vaguely resembling wine has reached my lips so having this included in this months ProjectB box was fantastic. There were also a few other useful and very much appreciated products such as the lovely Maternelle bath soak and tranquility candle and as I have been suffering with back pain it was so lovely to just lie back in a bath and let my troubles float away. I am also keen to try out this YogaBellies DVD which I am going to put on first thing after the indulgent festive period.

I was kindly sent the ProjectB box and Totsbots nappies to do an honest review.
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3 Christmas Colour Palettes For Decorating Your Home

23/12/2014

6 comments

Christmas table
I love the silver and grey shades I came across at Ideal Home Show

The Winter season inspires a myriad of colours to redress your home with. Typically, with Christmas and New Years crowning the season, you may feel like wanting to add that extra celebratory sparkle to your home decor. 

Gold, silver and reflective materials are all welcome on the tree in tinsel and bauble form, so why not extend this into the colour palette for your home? By co-ordinating the eye-catching with the cosy, you can create a homely, festive feel within your home this holiday season.

From the classic to the contemporary, we’ve compiled three Christmas decorating colour palettes for your home decor, each with its own feature pieces and home accessories.


Match classic silver with textured greys and cosy creams.

If you favour neutral colours in your home, such as pale yellows and white, then the winter months can make your home feel a little cold and bare. Crisp white works wonders for freshness in the spring and summer but for the winter, use silver, grey and cream to warm with a festive shine.

Decorating your home pre-Christmas doesn’t have to be an interior design overhaul. By adding a few larger pieces and little ornamental touches, you can create that distinctly seasonal look that you’ve always wanted in your home.

Gold coloured rugs, such as Bazaar Velvet’s pascale champagne rug, are ideal for homes with wood or wood laminate floors. The rug will not only warm your usually cool floors but it will help the room to retain heat. The added texture also makes the room look more cozy and inviting.

Pair the rug with coal and stone grey blankets and cushions. Finish the room with silver candles and fairy lights - around your mantelpieces or strung along a blank wall as cute lighting for the dark evenings.


beautiful throw
Oh how soft does this Lambswool throw look


Balance Christmas reds with burnt oranges, copper and bronze.

Red and green are the typical colours of Christmas. We find them used throughout modern and vintage decorating, from pine trees and poinsettias to Coca-Cola and Christmas cards. To create an embracing heat in your living room this Christmas, look for burnt oranges and hot metallics, such as bronze and copper. A burgundy or burnt orange rug will bring a cool coloured room to life. 

If you already use warm colours in your home, adding a few signature touches can take it to new seasonal level. Fill a large bowl, like The Other Duckling’s rustic decorative bowl, with pine cones or pomanders - clove studded oranges.

wooden bowl
How lovely is this rustic bowl


These decoration will not only add a delicious scent to your home, they look great as the shiny, copper tones play off the deep reds of the rug and dark browns of the cloves. Include cream coloured blankets and throws in your room to counter the richness of the reds and oranges. The neutralising, pale tones will stop the room from appearing too dark or intense.

Use modern turquoise and royal purple to create a bright, bold Christmas.

From the the expected to the adventurous, if you prefer not to play it safe with your winter decorating then consider a turquoise and plum colour palette. A shocking combination for some, when done correctly these two colours contrast beautifully.


How beautiful are these turquoise glass baubles (image)


The key to balancing these colours is to include equal elements of each. For example, if you decorate your sofa and chairs with plum throws or blackberry blankets then accent the rest of the room with turquoise candlesticks and baubles.

However, if you want to make royal purple your statement colour, by selecting a indigo or violet rug, then consider marrying it the couch with cushions or add turquoise with table runners and candles. You can also bring in some hints of nature and natural shades with cut oranges or raffia, tote and organic fabrics.


Noel heart


The advantage of decorating for Christmas using a seasonal colour palette is that once you’ve selected your colours, you’ll have a plethora of options available to you. Even if you don’t pick these exact decorations, you could spot a silver cushion, deep red candle or plum coloured bowl that perfectly suits your home’s winter style. Its just about stumbling upon the perfect choices for you hoping you all have a wonderful Christmas and here is a kiss from my little Christmas elf


Christmas Elf


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Outdoor fun and Picaloulou

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free range childhood


We love some good outdoor fun and if you regularly read the blog I am sure you will have picked that up already. We had to skip our usual weekend adventure as the little man came down with a 24 hour bug which he has already bounced back from and we have again been enjoying the British countryside with all it's mud, puddles and fresh wintery air.


Boden Gilet
Mr A wears Boden Gilet, Picaloulou Jumper, Name it trousers

We decided as we were still in recovery mode to just take a simple stroll to our local park to kick the ball around and it also gave the little man a chance to wear his cosy Picaloulou knitted shawl jumper from the lovely people at Loubilou which has some amazing ethical products for little ones. Back to the jumper which is so beautifully made and best of all it's made in the UK, I am genuinely really impressed with this company which use organic textile dyes and hand knit their products.


outdoor fun

It was nice seeing the little man get back to his cheeky self and hopefully we won't have any more sick days this season, fingers crossed and we cannot wait for our annual Christmas day afternoon walk which I always look forward to as everything is so peaceful and quiet and I always feel by that time of the day it's nice to get some fresh air and walk off all that over indulgent lunch that we will of course partake in.


Cable knitted jumper
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