Stripes, Kamigata and Street Style Sunday


Joules striped dress

Earlier this week I was kindly invited to the Kamigata birthday bash at their St Davids Cardiff store and for those who don't know who or what Kamigata is it's basically one of the top hairdressers and beauty Salons in Cardiff - in fact I wrote about their express pamper service a while back. They had paired up with the Vivienne Westwood store which is just around the corner from Kamigata to do a season predictions showcase and their were a few pieces I really loved.  I knew it was going to be a very stylish affair and thought it would be a great oppurtunity to wear my lovely new Joules striped autumn dress, which I have to say accommodates my growing bump perfectly and can be dressed up or down.

Joules dress
Wearing - Joules dress, Gifted jacket, HM boots, New Look necklace 

There was a lot going on at the event with various treatments on offer including facials, reiki and what I opted for a mini manicure, something which was on my list of things to squeeze in before the next baby arrives (it's surprising how time is flying by at the moment). I went for an Autumn inspired red which has sort of got me into the Christmas mood already.

red nails

Here are a few sneak peak pics of the season predictions from the Vivienne Westwood team, I was really taken with the gold dress and the brown coat

fashion event

Gold dress

Fashion show

Remember I am linking up with the lovely Natalie over on Style Me Sunday to bring you Street Style Sunday link up so please feel free to link up any fashion related posts wether it be a mood board, inspiration, outfit posts of what you kids or partners are wearing

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Camping in West Wales


toddler camping

Over the bank holiday we joined a few friends camping right on the tip of the West coast of Wales in beautiful St Davids - the UK's smallest city, really it's just a quaint and picture perfect seaside village but with a very impressive Cathedral that really takes your breath away.

Even though we knew it was going to rain during half our trip it really made no difference to us, in fact it made it more of an adventure and there is nothing better than cosying up inside your lovely dry tent while it rains outside - there is something very natural about that.

outdoor fun

family tent

It was also lovely for Mr A to have so many friends to play with - all of different ages and at one point because of the rain they all piled into one tent and all that could be heard was laughter. He really is a very happy little camper.

morning coffee

I also love to cook on our little campaign stove and how everything becomes very slow such as waiting for the water to boil for morning coffee - there is something wonderful about this very relaxed way to start the day.

exploring St Davids

Vintage Citroen

We enjoyed a lot of running around at the quite and rural campsite, playing Frisbee and flying planes. We also enjoyed a lovely walk around St Davids and a hearty pub meal at the Bishops which I highly recommend - I had a delicious homemade soup with rustic bread - the perfect warmer on a rainy day.

rural campsite

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Linked up with Bonnie Rose Travel Tuesday linky 
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Pregnancy Update - Week 14


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pregnancy diaries

So as I write this I am actually around 14 1/2 weeks into my second pregnancy journey. Thankfully most of the morning sickness and nausea has now passed but to be honest I am still craving very salty food and have not been eating as healthy as I normally would and I have put on weight quicker than expected, unlike my first pregnancy were I actually lost weight, but who knows maybe it means we are having a girl? I have been struggling with fatigue of late due to slightly lower iron which I have supplemented with Pregnacare and Spatone which does seem to be making a small improvement. Also I thought it would be fun to see what I looked like around this time during my pregnancy with Mr A - I love this photo which was taken on a little day trip to Tintern and the Wye Valley - I think both John and I look a lot younger.


Because my waist is starting to get a little wider this week has been all about getting in top of any possible stretch marks, I have to say I was extremely lucky last time to not have one single stretch mark but I think this was down to three things - 1. Good genes 2. I was younger with supple skin 3. I religiously applied stretch mark oil from day one

It's really important to me to use products that are either organic or natural based and have good ethical stand point so when the lovely people over at Mustela sent me a little pack of things to try out. I had never heard of Mustela before but apparently they are causing rave reviews and I can see why, I was very happy to see the Stretch Mark Care Oil made from 99% natural ingredients as well as being mineral oil-free, silicone free and hypoallergenic.

stretch mark oil

It goes one really easy and doesn't leave a greasy film afterwards. So far everything is going well and I am using this twice a day. The great thing is because it's a high tolerance hypoallergenic it can be used during breast-feeding as well.

baby products

I am really happy with the oil and cannot wait to try out the rest of the products when the time comes such as the Vitamin barrier cream and multi sensory bubble bath for newborns, all of which do not contain paraben's, phthalate and phenxyethanol and priority given to ingredients of natural origin with the barrier cream being 98% natural ingredients, plus the products are designed to minimise the impact on the environment which are things that are of concern to me

I was kind enough to be sent these products to review
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Swatch Watch Love


colourful watches

 I think there must be very few people who don't know about Swatch Watches (if you don't seriously where have you been for the past 40 years?), with their creative and colourful designs and great prices they are the perfect fun accessory. Luckily there is an amazing store in Cardiff and I was kind enough to be invited to a little blogger shindig the other day to see a few of their new pieces and basically have a proper look around the store. Johns first watch was actually a swatch and I have owned a few in my lifetime as well.

stylish watches

fun watch

Swatch watch jewellery

Two of the things I was really impressed and surprised with was the lovely jewellery they also do - the beaded bracelet and necklace really reminded me of similar pieces I used to pick up in markets in South Africa when I was younger - something to do with the bead designs I think, they also had a stunning ring. Another thing was there slightly more grown up and classical style watches most of which were unisex and oozed quality without costing thousands. Also seeing there kids range made me think that perhaps it was time for the little man to have his first proper watch and with his birthday around the corner this might just be the right time to get him one. Did you ever own a Swatch Watch as a kid?

designer swatch watch

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How to Buy Maternity Clothes on a Budget



happy pregnancy
Me around 25 weeks pregnant the first time round in a lovely dress I picked up for a bargain

Buying maternity wear can be an expensive exercise, sending your modest bank balance into shock, as it distributes cash left and right, completely blowing itself of all proportion as you snap up an adorable booster seat you just HAD to have. Most Mum’s will scour the shelves in search for the perfect outfit for their soon-to-be-newborn, clutching at jumpsuits and cooing over little shoes, entranced by the design possibilities. While we want our babies to be blessed with the best (that we can afford), you may consider yourself for a moment and account for your changing body. Your clothes won’t fit at some stage in the nine months period; in fact, a growing belly and swelling boobs pretty much guarantee at least two areas will need to be accounted for, not to mention your butt and thighs. It is possible to spend minimally on a few essentials with the following tips:

happy pregnancy
Me throwing a casual look together during my first pregnancy

Buy Online

Online shopping is fast becoming a thing; more people every day log in and browse, on their lunch breaks or daily commute, whipping out a debit card to grab a bargain with minimal delivery charges. Digital commerce is a time and monetary savings exercise, allowing you (the consumer) to reach out and find the best price for a certain item or style, read reviews and make an informed judgement call before accepting the purchase and throwing it on the moment it arrives. You’re a bit time poor at the moment, so take advantage of the price comparisons and convenience of online specials at Maternity Sale, or several other maternity centric sites. Additional perk? No more horrible shop mirrors.

Mix and Match

What’s better, off-loading a couple of hundred off onto a nice maxi dress, or spending the same amount on basics suited to any occasion and configuration? Tees, stretch singlets, tights and maternity jeans are all cost effective staples to make your wardrobe go the distance without putting too much pressure on credit card mileage. It maybe be boring at first, but don’t be afraid to decorate and accessorise; jewellery and scarves can add a new, colourful dimension to any outfit, so don’t be afraid to express your personality and creativity!

maternity fashion
My mother picked up this look maternity top for me

Ask Around

Sisters, friends, relations…Most of us know somebody who was pregnant at one time or another, and if it was recently (say within the last year), tap into your network and ask to borrow their wardrobe for a while, until you get your own pieces together. You’ll be surprised by the kindness and versatility of some items, and you never know, once you have your first pair of maternity jeans firmly around your legs, you may be inspired to buy another for yourself, gauging what you need in terms of comfort and style.

Just be happy with how your body changes during pregnancy 

Buying clothes for yourself need not to be painful, nor selfish; if you look and feel good, those happy endorphins will be passed to your growing baby, and translate into a calm, confident and sexy Mum to be. 

This is a collaborated post 
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Snippets from the Road - Zagreb

basketball Zagreb

One of my favourite memories from my solo travels before Mr A was taking the overnight train from Zurich across Slovenia into Croatia and the capital city of Zagreb. Leaving Zurich was like leaving the first world and then stepping back in time - the train was amazing in itself - wood panelling everywhere and the train conductor chain smoking the entire way while stamping tickets in his baby blue suit. I shared my couchette with two rather large Bosnian men who at first I was a bit weary off but they ended up being really nice people and we had some interesting conversations.

Upon leaving the EU and crossing into Croatia meant having the once over from the boarder patrol who were perplexed by why I was travelling on my own and who spent a rather long time looking at my passport, in the end of course everything was alright.

Zagreb Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb Croatia

Pulling up into Zagreb Station which looked somewhat rundown with many walls scribbled over with spray paint didn't full me with confidence but my couch surfing host met me and immediately put any doubts I had to ease. She was a playwright who lived in a two bedroom flat in the city centre and we immediately hit it off and I literally would not of had the amazing time and insight into the city had I not stayed on her couch. During my 5 day stay she worked most day but on two of them showed me around, we went to local restaurants, ate really good pizza, went to a very old black and white cinema which showed a iconic Croatian film which despite my lack of Croatian was amazing. We hung out with other creative people, actors, writers, theatre production staff in late night coffee bars and talked about the current state of the country which was in the middle of a transformation, which you could see and feel everywhere. Its an exciting time for the youth of Croatia as long as the past allows them to move on.

Zagreb market

Zagreb Croatia

I found the city fascinating in appearance with old run down buildings next to new. I enjoyed the markets, food and friendship I made while in the city and felt it was a really exciting place to be and would love to return one day soon, for longer this time.

I have joined in with Travel Tuesday linky on The Compass Rose
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Fun at the Woodland Fair



outdoor fun

Last weekend we headed over to Sophia Gardens in Cardiff for the one day woodland fair which was a free event put on by the council and with the weather mainly dry we could't wait to see what was in store. The event was the perfect size, no too much going on but what was on offer was great for kids, from circus skills to making crafts, watching tree surgeons at work to discovering plant fossils in rocks, something Mr A loved in particular as it came kids free range to hammer away at rock more than 1 million years old.

toddler learning

There we also some owls and birds of prey on display and the trainer was kind enough to let Mr A stroke a Tawny Owl. There was also a dog show with a variety of different breeds, as well as local craft and food stalls and we picked up a jar of local honey.

After about 2 hours we decided to take a walk around Bute park and pick up a bite to eat at the Summer house, I had a lovely roasted veg and hummus panini while Mr A found some pretty flowers on the floor, after which we decided to burn some energy off by having a run around the park, playing hide and seek and climbing trees.

free range toddler

free range fun

outdoor play

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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Street Style Sunday - Short Hair flashback


short hair style

I have been thinking a lot about what to do with my hair, I am too busy to sort it out most days as having an active toddler running around and another one on the way means I really don't have much time to blow-dry straighten and all that jazz and for so many years I had short hair and I am thinking more and more that that is the best option for me, as you can still look stylish and chic but in a quarter of the time as it's much more low maintenance and I like to be able to get up and go. I have also been looking back over some of my favourite outfit posts on the blog and put together some of my favourite ones with short hair.....

street fashion
fashion and street style
yummy mummy

So as always I am joining up with the wonderful Natalie from Style Me Sunday and together we bring you Street Style Sunday - the linky about everything fashion related - you can join in with mood boards, inspirational posts or what you, your children or partner/husband are wearing, come and join in the fun

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Life lately.....



So with the summer holidays it has pretty much been go go go but we have had moment of enjoying the little things and trying to slow down. I love having flowers in the home and this bouquet filled with sunflowers has been my favourite so far. I also found these amazing brogues in an Oxfam shop in Cardiff - brand new by Hush Puppies! I have been spending rainy days with the little man in Ikea getting Scandi inspiration for the home as well as making masks - good times all round
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Make a statement, Business tips


barber style
John in his element as a traditional barber

So for those who don't know both John and I are self-employed, this is both very exciting but also stressful as basically you are totally in charge of your future and your finances. The one thing I have learnt about running a small business or being self employed that visibility is key, if people don't know what you do or who you are you simply won't pull in the clients, thats what marketing tools are really key.

My business cards at the ready

So what are our top tips we have learnt so far on our journey into self-employment

1. Never underestimate the power of networking 

Both John and I have benefited a lot by networking with like minded people, wether in a formal or casual situation if your passionate about what you do it alway comes across and usual makes the person you are talking too interested as well, we have both seen the benefit of this when a few weeks later that person has got in touch to know more or work with us.

2. Have a clear marketing plan

Never get complacent when it comes to marketing - it doesn't need to cost the earth and a lot of the time you can do effective promotion for free or hardly anything. Firstly know who your target audience is and work on what is the best way to reach them effectively. The internet is a great way to promote yourself for free - get on twitter, instagram, have an easy to navigate website and why not have a blog attached to it. Also in terms of physical marketing always have business cards and information on your, do letter drops and taken part in trade shows. Makes sure you stand out and having things like a roller banner and a clear well design table with promotional information is a must.

I love working with others, meeting up, sharing ideas and collaborating 

3. Collaborate

Collaborate with other small businesses that offer something that compliments what you offer and your services as this can offer your clients and extra dimension and open up a large market to you, the power of two is often much stronger than the power of one. Just make sure whoever you work with has the same ideals and standards as you do so that there are no issues later on.

4. Let your personality shine through and don't be afraid to be different

It can be ruthless out there and often what sells is the personality and character behind the business so make sure that does shine through and you are true to yourself. You need to be passionate about what you do because if your not people will pick up on that quickly and won't be willing to part with there cash with anyone who is not sure of themselves.

barber style
Through good customer service John has built up a loyal client base

5. Learn to say No

If you are offered something that is simply too much or too big a job or not suitable to what you offer don't be afraid to say no, other work will come around but don't put yourself in a compromising situation if you know you cannot fulfil an order you will only create a bad reputation equally if the quality or idea is not something your happy with don't bend on your ethics.

The main thing is to persevere, nothing happens overnight and anything worth doing is worth doing properly. What we have both found is when you are starting up you have to be ready for some knock backs, the road won't always be smooth but just be confident in yourself, your brand and your marketing plan and things will happen, don't be complacent and actively try and find opportunities for your business to grow in a natural and financially beneficial way and always have customer service at the forefront of everything you do. Never underestimate small pieces of work as you are building up a portfolio as well as gaining new contacts and clients and I have noticed that sometimes this connections develop into large jobs later on.

Do you run your own business? What are your top tips?

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