My Style - People Tree dress


My Style - dress by People Tree

I have to admit pink it's not usually my colour of choice but I have been eyeing up this organic tunic I saw browsing House of Fraser and it's by one of my favourite ethical brands People Tree and I simply love the 1950s car print designed by Zandra Rhodes.

The dress is perfect for quick and easy style when you're in a rush and it's made out of 100% organic cotton. I decided to keep things fairly simple as not to clash with the colour or print and pair it up with my M&S jacket and Wallis Ankle boots.

Being petit I am always worried about buying clothes online as more often than not they don't fit but this is perfect, plus there is a House of Fraser in Cardiff which makes it easy for me to pop into the store and get things changed although luckily I didn't have to do that for this dress. I can certainly see myself getting a lot of use out of this dress over the summer, especially as a few press events I have planned for the next few months.

I am also absolutely over the moon to have been shortlisted for the BIBS Britmums Blogging Awards in the Style Category and I would like to say a massive thank-you to everyone who has voted so far and if you could spare a minute to vote for me to get into the Final five I would be over the moon

Thanks to House of Fraser for providing me with this dress for an honest review
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What fashion catalogues cater for all ages


Rocking the Monochrome look with some boots from H&M

I have talked before about how to stay stylish after having kids and how useful things like online shopping as well as picking up a few key pieces from catalogues can be - it really does help you stay on top of key pieces and essentials. You can pretty much find everything from children's clothing to gifts for your grandparents, you'll find everything you're looking for in UK catalogues. Ever wondered what catalogues cater for all ages? Here are two that you need to check out.

1. H&M 

A amount of people probably don't know that H&M actually do a catalogue - to receive it you need to be signed up online and it's really worth doing as they send out some amazing deals through the post. It's also really easy to order and they have pretty much their whole collection available, plus easy ways to pay and spread the payment.

2. Freemans

Even though I have yet to shop from Freemans, I do know it is one of the UK's most popular catalogues. With easy finance options and the ability to spread the cost of your purchase certainly has it's appeal. The company also offers next-day delivery and free standard delivery which is a major bonus as saving you money on postage is always a good thing. You'll find products and gifts that are suitable for all ages, including children's toys and games, and adult clothes. Looking for a gift for a friend or family member? Just use the search feature and filter products based on various criteria, or navigate around the website by using the different menus. Ready to order? Just add your products to your basket and head over to the checkout page. Use a promotion code when prompted and save money on your purchase!

3. La Redoute

La Redoute is one of the oldest catalogue companies in the world, a brand that has generated customers of all ages since its inception. You can find products like baby clothes, shoes and accessories, as well as clothes for adults, all under one roof. You'll receive a statement from the company on a monthly basis that will inform you of your outstanding balance and the minimum amount you need to pay. You can then make repayments online or on the La Redoute website. When you open a new credit catalogue account, you'll receive an instant decision in most cases. La Redoute stocks big-name brands, as well as labels you have yet to hear about, giving you more choice when it comes to clothing. The company also have sales and offers throughout the year.
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Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall Part 2



Bosinver Farm Cottages

Last month we had the chance to spend a few amazing days down in Cornwall at the luxury self catering Bosinver Farm Cottages near St Austell, in my first post I focused on the accommodation and outdoor activities on offer, in this my second post I want to share what there is to do indoors, wether it be a rainy day or you fancy a dip in their heated pool, there is plenty to do.

No stone has been left unturned at Bosinver when it comes to family friendly facilities and what's best is everything is included in the price, from the wifi to gym equipment, wellies, umbrellas and a film library, it's all free to use. What was a real hit with both of the boys was the designated Play bar which had something for everyone including treadmills and a cross-trainer should you feel the need to get fit while the kids have fun.

Soft play Bosinver

Bosinver playbarn

The play barn was particularly useful when we had a very wet day and after a mid-morning adventure we headed back to the farm and I had a chance to read a magazine in the warm while both of them enjoyed the climbing farm, soft play and different ride-on vehicles as well as a variety of toys and crafts. All located in a beautiful light barn conversion with views over the adjacent field which we spied many rabbits running across.

Bosinver Cornwall

Another highlight was the stunning indoor pool which is not only luxurious but also eco-friendly and is heated by solar-power. We visited the pool three times during out stay and my eldest absolutely loved it, it was just the right temperature and he made some real leaps and bounds with his swimming, especially as there are pool noodles and kickboards on hand and as soon as you jump out you can jump under the wall of warm showers.

Indoor pool Bosinver

Bosinver pool

For the older kids and teens there is also a games room with table football, pool and ping pong, giving them some space to socialise and have fun. If you rather spend sometime in your cottage you can pick up Nanny Pat's baking box from the reception and get creative with your little ones in the kitchen and once that's done why not cosy up on the couch and watch a film together?

Bosinver Cornwall

There is a really goo reason why these cottages have been awarded 4 and 5 star self-catering ratings and that comes down to not only the high end accommodation but also the excellent family friendly facilities and during our stay we met a lot of families who were returning customers on their second or third stay at Bosinver and I am pretty sure we will be visiting again soon in the future.

Thanks so Bosinver for inviting us to stay 
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Perfecting your Spring Style



Spring trends

My one favourite things about the changing of the seasons is putting together a go-to capsule wardrobe that allows me to mix and match a few different key items to create simple but stylish outfits. This time last year I could be excused for not being on top of things as my main priority was trying to get some sleep in-between feeding and changing a 2month old baby but a year on and I attempting to be more organised as when I dress well I feel good.

I have also realised that I am in real need of some new clothes - I went on a spending ban when I found out I was pregnant with my second child so it's been a good two years since I have done a proper overhaul and I am loving all the soft a delicate castle tones in store at the moment and Coast capture that light and carefree style perfectly.

So what are the key things you need this season to nail your spring summer look?

1. Keep your essentials neutral and build on top of that, don't clash prints and keep things subtle while adding pops of colour in the form of accessories

2. Soft floral prints, gold, pink and copper are all in and adding a few key pieces into your wardrobe will make sure your on-trend this season.

3. Accessorise but don't go overboard - Spring is all about simplicity so invest in a few practical but stylish items that work well with many different looks, such as sunglasses, clutch bag and statement necklace.

4. Quality over quantity - if your thinking off adding a few new pieces to your wardrobe this spring always go in with the mindset of less is more as investing in well-made quality pieces will see you through the whole season and hopefully more. Try and pick up pieces that work with a variety of outfits and can be taken through into summer.

5. Be comfortable be confident - the real key to looking good is feeling confident and happy with what you are wearing - it really does make a huge difference so make sure to dress for yourself and not others and you will be sure to rock it this spring.

So I have put together a little moodboard capsule collection that I think sums up this seasons trends, lots of light pastel tones with a touch of gold and pink. My favourite piece has to be the Ciarra dress from Coast and the Quay Marble sunglasses.

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Big Beauty Giveaway worth over £100



Luxury skincare hamper

Spring is the perfect time to put your skincare routine in check and start getting ready for the summer time. I have to say I am pretty low maintenance kind of girl but with each year I get a little bit older and now try and stick to a doable daily routine to help me keep some of those lines at bay and also having clear skin certainly makes me feel better.

skincare hamper

Around this time every year I do a big beauty giveaway for one of my lucky readers and this year is no difference and there are some amazing products in this hamper including some Dr Organic,  Balance me and Neals Yard - three natural based brands that I love as well as a Burts Bee's essential kit. 

It's super easy to enter via the rafflecopter form below and the giveaway ends on the 7th May 2016.

Here is what is up for grabs - Essential Burt's Bees Kit, Balance Me Rose Otto Body Wash, Neal Yards Nurturing Rose Shampoo, Joules Blossom Body Lotion, No7 Radiant Spheres Highlighter, Dr Organic Rose Otto Face Mask, Dr Organic Rose Otto Body Scrub, Bandzee pack, OPI Nail Varnish, Crabtree and Evelyn Nail Varnish, Bellapierre eye shadow, Elemis Skin Nourishing Body Scrub, Laura Ashley Luxury soap dish set and two Montagne Jeunesse face masks all in a wicker basket. 

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Loft living inspiration


Loft apartment
How amazing is this Loft inspired room at the Wythe Hotel

As with most things in my life, I take inspiration from different countries, cities, places visited, cultures experienced and try and inject the things I love into my home and life. Both John and I like the idea of living in a loft, or artist studio or disused factory such as the amazing rooms at Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn and although in Wales properties like this are few and far between that doesn't mean we can't take the vintage and retro elements of a loft space and bring in to our own home.

We both love the industrial feel that combines materials such as metal, brick and wood and even though we are not sure what kind of property we are going to move to next we would love one that would suit a feature exposed brick wall in either the kitchen or bedroom without it seeming to out of place. Although you don't have to go to such lengths to get a little bit of loft living style in your daily lives and living spaces.

industrial furniture
I love this industrial style table from PIB

So if your looking to add that New York feeling into your home here are a few tips on getting that industrial vintage style with ease.

1. Less is more - Loft living exudes open-plan living and space and even if your somewhere the complete opposite of this by decluttering you can create that sense of space. To start with keep floor and wall space space simple by showcasing some feature artwork rather than lots of smaller pieces. Also make the most of your window by making sure you are showing them off to their full potential, keep curtains simple and make sure if you have blinds that they are fitted properly and allow the natural light to flow in during the day.

2. Upcycle - the industrial loft feel is all about retro designs so why not set yourself your own project and upcycle some urban pieces such as using a colander for a light fitting or a larger project such as turning a palette into a wine rack.

3. Artwork - big bold prints with pops of colour work really well in an Urban inspired living space. They work especially well in a decluttered space and can help tie the room together as well as bring some vibrancy to the room.

4. Contemporary furniture - modern and minimalistic furniture really help capture that urban loft style, using good quality natural materials such as wood alongside industrial staples such as metal make the perfect combination. PIB home interiors stock some amazing furniture and accessories perfect for the industrial vintage look from studio stools to metal light fittings there is a reason why it's number one in France.

industrial chairs

Exposed pipes - if you really want to push the envelope on the urban loft look then having exposed piping and heating is a must. Most lofts are originally located in warehouses or buildings with high ceilings and so often pipelines are exposed with the metallic finish a popular option.

Statement lighting - when trying to bring that loft living style into your home, lighting is really important. Flood lights, metallic pendant lights and workshop lights are all good choices and hanging multiple lights in spaces such as the kitchen or hallway.

At the end of the day your interior space should reflect your personality and it's doesn't have to stick to one type of style but do make sure things work cohesively, such as the simplicity of industrial living also lends itself well to the Scandi minimalist style. Just make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, make notes, draw up rough plans and allow yourself for some flexibility and creativity and you will be on your way to making your house a home.

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3 Best Online Fashion Catalogues


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Street style

I have always lived by the rule of purchasing things upfront but occasionally things crop up, life happens and staggering the cost of things over a few months is actually the least stressful option. When I was pregnant both times I went on a personal spending ban - meaning I didn't purchase anything for myself for about a year, instead putting aside what I had for the new arrival. This however did mean that once I was getting back into my pre-maternity wear that I was pretty low on seasonal clothes and replying on classics, which I made work for a while but everyone likes to look and feel good and this is the kind of time that online catalogue shopping would be an option. 

It provides consumers with more flexibility and choice than retail outlets on the high street as well as being less stressful if you have a new baby at home to look after or simply very busy as everything is brought to you plus you can pay for your order in installments and choose from a wide range of products from the comfort of your home. So which online fashion retailers offer this service, well I thought I would put together my favourite three online fashion catalogues.

mama style
Wearing a denim shirt dress from Next

1. Very

Very has an assortment of clothes for men, women and children, including big-name brands and new designer labels. There are various finance and repayment options, and you have your purchase delivered to your door. Need your items in a quicker time frame? Choose the next day delivery option at checkout. You'll find ordering clothes and accessories a breeze on Very's online store, where you can filter products based on brand, price and other features. Alternatively, just search for the products you are interested in with the easy-to-us search feature.

2. Next

As well as being a hughstreet retailer Next is a major player in the catalogue industry. You can open a new account at your nearest branch, online or over the phone. There are loads of fashion accessories and clothes to choose from and they have something for every member of the family. They have also been around for a longtime and know what their fashion forward customers are looking for and they have their eye on the season trends as well as being know for good quality and customer service.

This is the place to look if you want to capture that effortless chic French style and they stock everything you need for your Parisian inspired outfits. They have an excellent selection of accessories and also stock guest brands such as Vero Moda and Levi's. They also stock Mens and children clothing.

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Renaissance Hotel Heathrow with World Privilege


Heathrow Hotel

When travelling with kids you want to keep stress down to a minimum so when we recently took a trip to Helsinki we knew we had an early flight from Heathrow and decided to stay at Heathrow the night before so we could get some rest and not have to rush breakfast before flying to Finland. 

We wanted to be as close to our terminal while still managing to keep costs down and by using my World Privilege card I managed to get our hotel discounted more than half price, making our stay come in just under £45! This meant we could treat ourselves to nice family meal that evening.  We opted for the 4-star Renaissance Hotel overlooking terminal 3 and we really enjoyed watching all the planes take off from our room, which added to the excitement of our own trip. 

King size bed

Stylish bathroom

The entrance to the hotel parking was a little tricky to find but we got there in the end and check in was quick, easy and the staff were fantastic with the kids. The reception was really impressive and a great place to relax with a variety of seating areas. We decided however to first head up to our room and freshen up as well as get the kids a bit more settled after a few hours of sitting in the car. 

Our room was spacious and spotless with more than enough space for all four of us without feeling cramped at all and had everything we needed for our one-night stay. There was a rain shower in the bathroom which was bliss after an afternoon of driving and negotiation greater London and we debated getting room service but decided to check out the bar menu as our eldest wanted to explore and stretch his legs.

Bathroom products

We decided to dine in the bar instead of the restaurant as it was a little less formal and with two kids we just wanted somewhere relaxed. The menu was fairly simple and family friendly, John opted for a burger which he said was very good and I had the vegetarian mezze platter which pitta, hummus, falafel's, salad and grilled halloumi cheese and was just what I needed. After food we headed straight back to the room to get some sleep before our morning flight. 

We managed to get up early enough to enjoy the breakfast before heading to terminal 5 only a few minutes drive away and once again to keep stress levels to a minimum we decided to use APH meet and greet parking which really saved so much time and my eldest was happy to know our car was going to be in good hands while we were away.

I would certainly recommend this hotel if your looking for somewhere comfortable and close to Heathrow that offers family friendly rooms as well as sorting out meet and greet parking if you are driving to Heathrow and make sure to book in advance for both to get the best prices and if like us you want to get an even better rate than use a World Privilege Plus card which offers loads of travel and lifestyle discounts which you can use again and again for the duration of your yearly membership.

Thanks to World Privilege for providing us with a membership card

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New Me, New Hair


stylish mama

Have you ever woken up and taken a long look in the mirror and feel like you don't know the person staring back at you? Well there was a moment the other day when shopping for my son that I spotted my reflection and I didn't like what I saw. Now don't get me wrong no one pressured me to lose the weight after having my second baby or to spring back into shape and I wouldn't go as far as saying I had let myself go but I certainly had allowed myself to be engulfed by sleep deprivation, a bad diet and not getting enough (or any) time for myself but enough was enough.

After being inspired by fellow blogger Alison from Not another Mummy Blog who has talked a lot about getting out of the style rut, I wanted to follow suit, especially as many many years ago this blog was born out of my love of both clothing, art and interior design and it was time to start feeling like myself again and that meant addressing the thing bothering me the most, my hair. 

Marks and spencer

Last week I managed to get a free spare hour sans both kids and decided to see if my local hairdresser could fit me in last minute, desperate to get my longer-than shoulder-length hair chopped off to a neater, more practical and much more me pixie cut. As the hair fell down onto the floor I felt like a weight had been lifted off me and I could think clearly again, it's funny how small changes such as this can have such a big impact.

So now that I have a new do I thought I would put together a little outfit post together of a few casual pieces which work well when running after two young kids. I picked up this fun geometric print a while back from M&S limited edition and I love the retro style collar, I decided to pair this up with some Topshop black jeans, Clarks brogues and a bag I picked up from a vintage market in Italy. 

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Dyffryn Gardens - Spring at The National Trust



National Trust

If you are a regular reader of our blog you will know we love spending as much time outdoors as possible and have been meaning to visit one of two National Trust properties local to us, one being Dyffryn Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan, which we had heard was a fantastic place to explore, with a variety of gardens, sculptures and an imposing Manor house. So when the wonderful people at The National Trust invited us to a spring adventure we couldn't wait to put our boots on and get outside, especially now that baby G is running around, climbing over things and enjoying the fresh air as much as we are.

adventure park

Dyffryn Gardens

We headed down to the gardens on what happened to be the warmest day of the year so far and it really felt like spring had arrived, especially with the sight of spring buds and daffodils in full bloom. There are plenty of parking spaces  at Dyffryn and just before the entrance is a fun little adventure playground which both of the kids loved, as well as the main cafe and shop. We were provided with a day pass although it's normally £7.80 per adult and £3.80 per child which includes entrance to the mansion.

outdoor family

Edwardian house

Dyffryn Gardens

As soon as you go through the main entrance you are welcomed to beautiful lawns, trees, wild gardens and a rockery along the path that leads you toward the imposing edwardian mansion which we decided to check out first before exploring the rest of the 55 acres.

The house which is only partially restored is like stepping back in time and the interior is absolutely stunning with a huge stained glass window in the main hall which leads into a room with a stunning bay fronted window and vintage wall paper. In two of the rooms there are the most intricate marble fireplace surrounds which Baby G loved and Mr A was take by the large wooden boat model. In time the trust is hoping to slowly restore all of the Manor house and by the look of the amazing work they have done so far it will be an exciting time to see this complete and in it's original state.

Dyffryn Gardens house

Dyffryn Gardens

When then headed outside with a little pit stop by the vintage style kiosk for a bite to eat before making our way to the walled gardens and garden rooms, each with their own theme including statues, small pools and fountains which can be seen in the newly restored Pompeian Garden. With so many winding paths to follow it was exciting to see what would be behind each corner and my eldest loved exploring in this magical place.

Dyffryn Gardens

Dyffryn Gardens

National Trust

When we arrived at the Gardens we were given a little I-spy treasure map for the kids of different sights to spot along the way, something we all join in with, we didn't find everything but that just means we have an excuse to go again next week, in fact I can see us spending a lot of time here this year. It's always great to run out the cobwebs and I know it does everyone a lot of good and we all feel so energised after a walk in the forest or along the coast. Do you have a favourite National Trust property? Why not sure your spring adventures on social media using #NTFirst

National Trust

Dyffryn Gardens

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Redecorating your bedroom on a budget



If you are redecorating the bedroom, how do you to about utilising your finances? Depending on whether you need new furniture, new drapes, new electricals in the bathroom, or simply want to buy a few accent rugs to spruce up colour and style, you have to know how to utilise your money to make the most out of it. These are a few tips to consider finding the best designer styles, all while making the most of your funds when redecorating.

Shop around and Spread the wealth 

Don't spend it all in one place. If you need new furniture, look at thrift shops, consider online catalogues, consider financing. Look for ways to save, and ways in which you can reduce this burden, as it is typically the priciest of all things you are going to do when remodelling a room. Also you no longer need to go to shop at expensive interior design stores anymore with so many amazing products being stocked on the high street as well as supermarkets such as George by Asda investing a lot into large homeware ranges, you may remember I visited The George house earlier this year and was really impressed with their collection.

Consider alternatives 

Rather than the pricey Persian rug, why not consider a few stylish accent rugs instead or perhaps a beanbag or pouf rather than an expensive sofa? Consider lower cost but durable materials, finishes, or DIY projects. All of this will help you in reducing cost of remodelling, while still getting the great design and detail you seek when updating the space. 

Do it yourself 

Sure, for some jobs you have to hire a contractor. But, for other simple tasks, such as painting a wall, moving some pieces around, or installing a new accent pieces of furniture or wall decor, can all be done by the homeowner. Not only will you save on the cost of labour you can also add your own personal touches when you take on these challenges and jobs yourself as well. 

Choosing pay later, purchase now options  

When financing new furniture, you can easily reduce the financial burden of redecorating by using buy now pay later or other finance options. There are dozens of catalogues which offer this option. Further, many of them offer zero financing options if the balance is paid off within a certain time frame (typically 6, 12, or 18 month options). Depending on the type and amount of furniture being purchased, this is an easy way to save up front, and spread the total cost of redecorating over a set period of time. 

Sure, remodeling is pricey. With this being said, when you spread your resources, spread the cost, and take on the work yourself, it is far more affordable, all while attaining that great style and decor you desire, when remodeling the bedroom space you want to revamp in the home.

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A weekend in Cardiff, Good Food & Castle fun



Cardiff food

Having been away so much lately I thought it was time to do a post closer to home, highlighting a simple weekend in the Welsh capital of Cardiff. I have mentioned it a few times before on the blog but there is a real food revolution happening in the city and so many new places popping up one is really spoilt for choice.

Our weekends are of course set aside for quality family time and we often find ourselves in the city, usually running around Bute Park or talking a stroll down the bay and then on the hunt for a bite to eat. I was invited to the opening of The Stable a while back but unfortunately couldn't make on the night but had heard great things about their Pizza's so we thought as a treat we would check it out. First of all I love the open plan interior and large floor to ceiling windows which let in so much natural light. Also the large communal tables and benches provide a cool and informal dinning experience.

The Stable Cardiff

The Stable Cardiff

I opted for the salad which was fresh and wonderfully seasoned while the boys tucked into some freshly homemade pizza which not only looked but tasted very good and was certainly a hit with the boys as pizza is not something we normally eat at home so Mr A was very excited about this. The Stable also stock loads of craft beers and ciders and it's very welcoming towards families, which on a weekend is what we want.

Pizza Cardiff

 Just around the corner from The Stable is one of my new favourite places, perhaps because they serve the best Cortado I have had in the city so far but also because I love the Scandi inspired interior of The Little Man Coffee, an independent Coffee shop which supports local produce. This place attracts a combination of office workers with a young and open minded crowd, but again I had no issues with taking the kids and I really like their small and simple menu with smashed avocado toast alongside some other homemade goodies.


Cardiff coffee

One thing we finally sorted out after years and never actually getting round to it even though we have visited Cardiff Castle many times for various reasons, is getting out Castle Key, which is basically a card for people who either live or work in Cardiff and are allowed free entry for 3yrs when purchasing a key for £5. It also happened to be Baby G's first visit and it's been a long while since we took Mr A around the keep and down in the bunkers that lie within the walls of the castle.

Norman Keep

Wartime shelter

If your visiting Cardiff for the first time one thing is for sure you are more than likely to come across Cardiff Castle which stands at the top of St Mary's street and is such a beautiful building to have at the centre of the city. There is a lot to see and do within the grounds including a small war museum and wartime shelters, the castle apartments and house rooms and of course the Norman keep.

I will be sharing a lot more about our local city over the summer months as we have lots of adventures planned and places to try, coffees to drink and new outdoor walks to explore.

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