Lovely things for the heart, home & little ones


My favourite picks from My 1st years

The lovely thing about being pregnant is the nesting period, a time when you can indulge in designing a stylish space for your new arrival or update your older child's bedroom. I like to keep things fairly simple with an element of creativity and personality we are all huge believers of less is more in this household and investing in quality pieces that will last so I was really excited about Mr A trying his hand at the Italian made Sevi wooden toy drum from My 1st Years. They also have an array of beautiful gifts that can be customised with our favourites being the beautiful fabric storage bags, rocking chair and Cashmere two piece baby set. There is plenty for boys and girls and these make great gifts for baby showers as well as styling up any nursery or interior space.

boys room

On first impressions it's very well made, colourful and perfect for encouraging little ones to enjoy making music. It comes with a nifty clip-on strap so your little one can carry it around the house, as long as you don't mind the extra noise. Mr A has really enjoyed pretending to be a little drummer and we are big fans of traditional style toys anyone but this has to be a favourite of ours.

rock and roll kids

We were kindly gifted the wooden drum in exchange for an honest review
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Capture 4/52

Cosmeston Wales

A little late this week with the 52 memories but we had such a lovely day at Cosmeston today and this little man was mid asking me a question about Newts and got this little capture of him. Spending the days with him, even when it's cold and overcast is always an adventure. Why not join in with 52 memories and My Sunday Photo and capture your year one week at time

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Don't throw money out the window!



We try and be as economical and frugal as possible (especially after Christmas and the dreaded tax return) and we are always looking at ways to save, especially in the home and are certainly not the only ones, I mean no one likes throwing money away. What I found out during my research is that a staggering 50% of domestic heat is lost through windows which is shocking and upon hearing this I wondered what the best was to prevent this loss as I don't know about you but heating bills are so expensive so anyway to reduce them is a good thing in my eyes.

The solution is pretty simple actually - for one it's best to have double glazing and secondly make sure you have the right type of blinds or thick curtains to increase efficiency. Duette® is a good place to start as they have a range of blinds for the home with the purpose of saving you money as soon as you put them up and have been proven to reduce heat loss by up to 46% which in turn can reduce your heating bill by up to 25%.

scandinavian inspired interior

As with anything though you really don't want to sacrifice too much style and interior design simply for practicality - as the home should be a beautiful place you want to spend time in, so it's great to see that Duette® has taken this on board to make an efficient but elegant line of blinds which can be custom made ensuring a perfect fit for any window in your home and I am throughly impressed with their collection which has something for every type of home from the traditional to the more modern and Scandi inspired interior.

natural light

Of course there are other things you can do to help cut down on those household bills and I thought I would share with you 3 easy and doable tips to help make your home a more green, economical and cost efficient household.

1. Food - only buy what you need and make a list beforehand - shopping blind is the worst thing you can do so knowing exactly what you need is the easiest way to not go over budget.

2. Turn off the lights - make sure you only have the lights on in the room you are in, it's really that simple

3. Draft excluders - you can get some really cute ones or make your own and put them under the doors to keep the heat in and not out.

January can often feel long and cold but don't get down, start the year as you mean to go one, with a positive can do attitude. Decided what you want to achieve and less is always more. I know we are planning to replace a few things in our house (including the curtains/blinds) and investing in affordable quality is always important.

toddler looking out
Don't get the January blues...have a positive outlook for 2015

In association with Duette® - words 100% our own
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Simple Things


fresh flowers

So the past two weeks have been rather stressful - mainly due to the dreaded tax return as well as trying to sort out three bedrooms before the baby arrives as well as needing to have the bath ripped out and replaced this Monday - as they say everything always comes at once. One the flip side we have been trying to see the beauty in the small things, breath and take a moment and be grateful for all that is good around us. Something we try to do often and I think is good for when you have one of those weeks which just becomes too much.

I was driving in the car this week, lost in a world of thoughts when I realised the rain had stopped and the sun was so beautiful having broken free from the clouds and there was such a simple beauty to it all which you can miss so easily if you don't open your eyes and enjoy the world in front of you.

family life

We have indulged in the senses with fresh flowers in the home, a wonderful bicycle ride in Pontcanna park, trying out some delicious Cawston Sparkling Apple and Rhubarb juice, little baby chino dates with Mr A and bringing colour, type and design into the home. Was also very happy to finally see our new little record print up on the wall, of course perfectly placed in the record nook about our player.

Vinyl love

What simple pleasures have been making you happy this week?
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Cheltenham Race Day looks


Ladies day vintage race style (image)

It's that time of year again – the Cheltenham Festival 2015 is just two months away, with the festivities kicking off from 10th March. To me it's always the signal that spring is on it's way and my mind drifts to summer days drinking Pimm's with friends or picnics or days spent looking stylish at the races. 

Three days of fun, fizz and fluttering on our favourites will ensue, but for certain racegoers, there's only one day that will truly be the highlight of the festival – Ladies' Day. Taking place on Wednesday 11th March, the day will be a chance for ladies from all walks of life to show off their fashion flair. If you're lucky enough to be in attendance this year, make sure you're equipped with some of these key trends for spring/summer 2015.

Yellow plunge dress
Yellow plunge style dress from ASOS £38


It was a hit in summer 2014, and it's made its way right back into our spring wardrobes, so live a little at this year's festival and embrace that sunshine-inspired vibe. Yellow may be considered a little informal by some, but you'd be amazed at its versatility – take for example, this gorgeous 'scuba' dress from Asos – with its flattering pencil fit, you'll bring the sunshine even if the British weather cannot promise the same.

Miniskirt gingham dress
Mini Gingham dress from Warehouse £25


Traditionally reserved for winter coats, gingham is creeping into the spring and summer trends in the form of gorgeous dresses – perfect for race day. While monochrome has been on and off the radar in recent years, it's back in a big way for gingham. You can rock the gingham monochrome look in this piece from Warehouse.

Sicily spot dress
Phase Eight Sicily Spot Dress on sale at £59 

Blue and white
Monochrome may be a little 'safe' for some race day visitors, but thankfully, there's a more colourful alternative that's a hit for 2015. Blue and white is here – think on the same weather-inspired theme as the yellow – and it looks fabulous on dresses. To pay homage to yet another trend, check out this polka dot beauty from Phase Eight.

Dorothy Perkins dress
Petit Ruffle one shoulder dress from Dorothy Perkins on sale £17.50

One shoulder dresses

They're a little risque, but, topped off with an elegant fascinator or stunning handbag, a one shoulder dress is a key trend this season that will have you turning heads at the races. Take for example this sultry black one shoulder number from Dorothy Perkins – with its pretty lapels, it oozes race day class.

Trouser suit
Me rocking monochrome in River Island Jacket, Max Studio trousers 

Trouser suits

I am personally a huge fan of the trouser suit, especially with a monochrome look. Perfect for the tomboys out there, this is one sophisticated look that's both practical and stylish. Consider pin stripe, dark colours or really trusting yourself with your champers and trying out 2015's all white trend. Check out Next's range of trousersuits which come in a variety of colours.

This is collaborated post 
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Style in your City - Apple Jacks

A little lunch date maternity outfit - wearing Bibee Dress and M&S jacket 

So the lovely Fritha and Lori have started up a new lovely linkup called Style in the City that highlights the best parts of the place you live. As some of you may already know we are based in the Welsh Capital of Cardiff. I am not sure if this will be our home base forever but for now we are enjoying what this little city has to offer. As I get nearer to the end of this pregnancy both John and I are venturing out slightly less although we still managed to enjoy a rare child free date lunch to Apple Jacks a few weeks ago and thought this was the perfect time to share our mini adventure.

Apple Jacks Cardiff
Apple Jacks has a great interior

Apple Jacks is a recently opened independent american style diner and coffee house located in the heart of the city, just of St Marys Street. We decided to try it out mainly because it caters for both veggies and meat eaters and has the option of serving it's burgers in Gluten free buns, as it's becoming more apparent that John has a real intolerance to Gluten and Wheat.

Eggs Florentine

As it was pretty quite we managed to bag a seat in the super cool VW camper - yes a camper in a diner! I decided to go with the vegetarian eggs florentine with spinach and tomatoes and a fresh side salad while John went for the house burger, slaw and fries. The service was slightly slow but we were in no rush and with all the produce being cooked fresh it is to be expected and once it arrived all I can say is yummy, I can't speak for John but the eggs were a great choice and I would order these again for sure.

Apple Jacks Cardiff

The staff were very friendly and welcoming and the interior is very well styled and designed with lots of wood and geometric prints it's a feast for the eyes. It also has a kids menu so we do plan to come back at some point and also there menu changes in the evening for a slightly more formal affair. It's really great to see independent restaurants like Apple Jacks pop up in Cardiff. Come and join in with #Styleinyourcity which is going to be happening every two weeks

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Filling Space with Potted Flowers and More


Geodesic pot
I love this Geodesic style pot (image)

After you get all of the furnishings in a room, you may notice that it does not quite look complete without accents like plants, flowers, or indoor trees. When you want to add this decorative touch to your home or workplace, however, you may lack the time to go out shopping at your local florists. Rather than go without such fixtures or substitute with fake potted plants, you may find what you need when you shop for decorative touches like indoor plants online.

You can find arrangements for both your house and workplace your are decorating, regardless of the space you can find plants that will fit into corners, by windows, or near tables, letting you arrange the room to look hospitable and occupied. It maybe useful however to have dimension of the room to help you choose the right varieties, size, and shape, which will help you create a room that is interesting and full of character.

Mockingbird Cafe Bristol
I love this simple arrangement I came across at The Mockingbird Cafe in Bristol

Once you have your plants, you may worry about keeping them alive and taking care of them as required. You can purchase starter kits that let you grow your plants from seeds or seedlings. The packages contain instructions for taking care of your plants, letting you grow accustomed to watering, pruning, and sunning them as necessary. Some people like to grow from starter kits because it gives them the hands-on experience that they need to become competent plant caretakers. It also lets them grow plants that they can develop a sense of bonding with and know the plants' history, ensuring that their plants have a better chance of surviving for years. I know when I lived in a small apartment in Europe that I became very attached to three house plants I had in my studio flat, they brought in colour and had a beautiful scent.

potted plants
I love these cool sky planters from dwell, would be perfect in the kitchen

If however you need potted fixtures for corporate or special events, you will need something that is already grown rather than a starter kit which is no problem as even online there is a variety of indoor potted plants and flowers for corporate meetings, dinners, and other special occasions that will provide the accent you desire. The plants will complement the surroundings and help you establish the hospitality, yet professionalism for which the event calls. You can click on the link for corporate events and check out the selection that is available to you.

These same fixtures are available for weddings as well. You may want a wedding that is decorated with live flowers and plants, giving the event a vibrant and lush feeling. The options are truly endless and if you read the blog you will already know we are huge fans of bringing nature into the home, so why not start with something small and easy to maintain and go from there.

This is a collaborative post
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Funky Giraffe Giveaway


funky giraffe bib
I love this starry bib from Funky Giraffe bibs 

So I am officially 36 weeks and things are really starting to gear up towards the new arrival and I was super excited to received these wonderful soft and beautiful designed bibs from Funky Giraffe - I love the patterns and prints and the easy bandana style which adds a little element of baby fashion in a useful and practical way. What is more exciting is I get to offer one lucky reader an assorted 5 pack of bandana bibs, with there lovely 100% cotton front and fleece back to keep your baby dry they are the perfect stylish accessory.

So it's super easy to enter and 5 beautiful designed bibs will be sent out to the lucky winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Bringing Colour Theory into Everyday Life and Interiors



Colour can really effect your moods (image)

Have you ever noticed how throwing on a brightly coloured top or a slick of red lipstick can help cheer you up on a gloomy day? Colour can have a direct impact on our mood, which makes it important to choose the right themes for your interiors. Different colours can evoke specific reactions. For example, painting your kitchen red may cause you to eat more, while painting a child’s room bright yellow can leave him feeling agitated. Take a look at the basics of colour theory and how to use it to brighten up your daily life!

Putting the Colour Wheel to Work

Interior designers use the colour wheel to pick and choose colours that will work well together. It provides a nice visual of the basic colours, and how they blend. One popular way to use the colour wheel is to choose a complementary colour scheme. This involves using two colours that sit across from one another on the wheel, with one acting as the dominant colour and the opposite acting as the accent. This provides a high contrast in your home design. It’s helpful to brush up on your interior design basics to learn the ins and outs of blending colours in a home design scheme. You can study interior design from the comfort of your home with a number of online courses, if you’re new at it.


colour wheel
Colour Theory (image)

Colour Schemes for Different Rooms

Once you’ve taken a look at the colour wheel and how colours can be used to complement and balance one another, the next step is to look at the psychology behind them. Here are a few popular ways to bring living spaces to life with colour.

Kitchen: Warm tones like red and orange can be used to stimulate the appetite, making them popular colours for restaurants. They can also be used at home, but if you’re on a diet use them sparingly! Accent these warm hues with minimalistic splashes of black, white, and grey, to ground the colours and create a functional, cosy space.

modern kitchen
Bold red in the kitchen (image)

Bedrooms: Cooler colours like blue, green, and purple are popular for bedrooms. Green and blue are known to create a sense of peace and calm, which is conducive to a good night of sleep. For children, subtle pink, lavender, and lilac can be good choices as these are also calming tones. Avoid overusing primary colours, particularly bright yellow and red, because these can be too stimulating in the bedroom.


girls bedroom
Perfect for a girls bedroom (image)

Living Room: Earth tones like brown and rust provide a grounded, comforting atmosphere in the living room. Accent this with soothing botanical shades of green or warm shades of yellow and orange to create a positive, warm feeling.


living space
Earth tones brings calm into a living space (image)

Bathrooms: It’s hard to beat a clean, white palette for the bathroom. This not only makes a room seem larger, but it creates a feeling of calmness and tranquillity when paired with cooling greens and blues. White reflects the light, for a flattering effect that puts the emphasis on the occupant without a cluttered effect.

Putting it all Together

You don’t need to completely revamp your property to harness the power of colour theory in your daily life. A cheerful green set of throw pillows can create a soothing effect in your living room, while a fresh coat of white paint will perk up a tired bathroom. Bringing in new colours to your living space can create a more harmonious, comfortable environment for day to day life!

This is a collaborative post
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Street Style Sunday - a Love of Clarks


Christmas fashion style
What I wore to the Clarks Press Day...Clarks brogues of course

I have to admit none of us have been 100% this week, we have managed until this point to ward off most colds but it seems like winter has finally caught up with us this week so we have been hibernating somewhat the past few days but that means I have finally had time to get around to blogging about the lovely Clarks Press Day I attended near the end of last year and showcased the summer styles coming 2015 and I totally feel in love with the silver Clarks Originals for kids (I really want a pair for myself!) Plus all the fun colours and patterns.

Cute baby shoes
Comic shoe

Silver clark shoes

Clarks Orla Kiely

We love Clarks in our household, I think it's because it's such a great British family brand and there is something for everyone. John has always been a keen collector of Clarks Originals and have a few mint pairs of Desert Boots that are more than 15 years old! I personally love their brogues, loafers and summer sandals plus the collaboration they are doing with Orla Kiely. When it came to Mr A it was obvious his first pair of shoes would come from Clarks and ever since then we have had at least one pair in his size going as they are so durable and totally toddler/young child proof.

Clarks family style
Mr A putting his Clarks wellies to good use and John wearing his YMC Clarks collaboration loafers
Shift dress
I love my Clark patent brogues

Would love you to come and join in with myself and the lovely Kerri-Ann and Natalie for Street Style Sunday linkup - anything fashion related goes, including what you and your kids are wearing or just what simply is inspiring you this week.

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Free Range fun at Bluestones Resort



free range fun

Earlier this month we were lucky enough to have a 4 night break at Bluestones National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, a welcomed relaxing trip after the mania that was Christmas. Unfortunately John had to work but my mother was more than happy to come along which was lovely as both Mr A and I got to spend some quality time with both her before the baby arrives next month.

It took us just under two hours to reach Bluestone although we were in no rush and enjoyed driving along some pretty country lanes. Once we arrived and checked into our Ramsey Lodge it was already dark but that didn't stop us having a night time walk to explore our surroundings and get our bearings.

bike ride

Bluestones Wales

Bluestones Park

The next morning we were up bright and early as it was going to be the driest day of our stay. We walked down to the village where we enjoyed some fresh pastries from the bakery before having some fun in the treetops treehouse which is a little wooden playpark that encourages natural play and has some fun slides, bridges, ropes to climb and a stream running underneath which Mr A loved wading through. We then decided to have a walk around Bluestone Lake and came across the Bug Hotel which was of much interest to Mr A. We wanted to make as much use of the free range outdoor fun while it was dry and as always spend as much time in nature as possible.

family outdoor fun

running outdoors

After we had explored the village we took a lazy walk back up to the lodge for lunch, Bluestone is very hilly but a great place for walking and cycling. We had planned to only use bikes during our stay but as we knew two of the days were going to bring pretty heavy rain we decided to hire a buggy to get around so after lunch on our way to Blue Lagoon we picked one up. I was actually glad we had not pre-booked one as they were running a mid-week special for £40 to hire it from Mon-Friday and it turned out to be a really fun way to get around the Resort and Mr A couldn't get enough of riding around in it.

outdoor fun

Indoor Facilities

We enjoyed two evenings at Blue Lagoon swimming centre, which I have to say is great for kids and adults although do bring your own paddle boards for little ones. There is a lazy river which Mr A loved going round and round riding on my back as well as the wave machine which happens 2-3 times an hour. There is also a little toddler and baby section with very shallow water and a mini slide and rock pools. The only negative we had was there is not much for the in-between as Mr A was too small to go on the big slides and little to big for the baby one but he still really enjoyed it, as did I and couldn't wait to go back for more.

mini golf
Wild Wood Cafe Bluestones

On the Wednesday which was rather stormy and very wet we decided to see what The Adventure Centre had in store as well as giving us a chance to try out the Wild Wood Cafe for lunch, as we had been taking full advantage of the self-catering facilities up until that point. As soon as we stepped into the centre Mr A was drawn to the mini putt putt, it was the first time he had tried it and found it very exciting, we had a few rounds of it during the day and by the end he had really got the hang of it. He also enjoyed the lego station, ball pit, jumping castle and wooden treehouse and climbing frames. The Adventure centre is free but they also offer 4 more adrenaline options at a cost which included the sky trail, win, drop and wall, all of which Mr A was just a little to small for. but looked like a lot of fun and something I would love to bring him back to do at a later stage.

Wild wood cafe Bluestones

The Wild Wood Cafe had a lovely atmosphere and a large magical tree in the centre which was wonderful for kids. We sat upstairs in a little treehouse hideout while Mr A tried to spot the hidden fairies and birds in the tree. The staff were very friendly and we didn't have to wait too long for food, the only improvements I felt that could be made would be to have more healthy options on the menu especially for kids, although saying that Mr A did enjoy his cheese and tomato pizza which was a real treat. I opted for the Swamp soup and roll and my mother went for the Mushroom Rarebit. Also they only offered filter coffee in takeaway cups which is something that could be improved but we enjoyed our lunch and found it reasonable and Mr A loved the magical surroundings.


Bluestone is set within a beautiful location that is perfect for family walks, bicycle rides and outdoor fun. It's also not to far from the coast as well as some wonderful little Welsh villages, including Narberth which we went to on Thursday and I can't wait to share that adventure with you in post soon. There are a lot of extra activities which range from £7-£28 and if you had older kids I can imagine that it's easy to spend a lot of money, however there was less for Mr A's age range but had it not been raining on the Wednesday we would of tried out the nature hunt which sounded really fun.
There is a variety of places to eat, from the very family friendly to a more upmarket affair in the form of Carreg Las which would be perfect for a kid-free evening out. You can also take advantage of the self catering facilities in the lodges or they even offer a takeaway service. The lodge was perfect, spotlessly clean and again will be doing a separate post about it very soon. Overall we really enjoyed our time, rain or shine and would recommend it for a relaxing break away.

Bring a torch - it's very dark at night
Bring either bikes or hire a buggy as it's a pretty spread out site. We did do a lot of walking and we were located near both the Villae, Blue Lagoon and Adventure centre but you could be placed on the authorised of the site which would be a pretty far trek each day.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

We were guests at Bluestones
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