Hello Moon Prints & Giveaway


Hello Moon

Kids rooms should be all about colour and creativity, a place to celebrate the magic of childhood and to help nurture your child's unique personality. Its also the chance to inject some fun into your household and it's such a enjoyable interior space to style as it's unlike any other room in the house. As you know we love art, design, photography and prints displayed on our walls so why should it be any different for kids bedrooms? Well Hello Moon have some of the cutest and quirkiest prints that I am sure your kids will fall in love with, especially as you can customise them for your child.

Hello Moon

With iconic prints such as the London bus or all time favourite characters such as Pirates and Dinosaurs there really is going to be a print to suit your little one's personalities. Hello Moon was started by four like minded parents in search of something original and fun for their own kids and they are constantly adding to the current designs. They also offer free shipping on all orders.

They have also been kind enough to offer one of Side Street Style readers the chance to win a Kids Poster Print up to the value of £19. The Giveaway ends on the 15 June 2016 and is open to UK residents.

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Sunday Style - Tootsa Macginty



Tootsa Macginty

I was always a tomboy even from a very early age I didn't like wearing dresses or anything frilly or bright barbie pink was never going to happen and that was fine, in fact I wore a lot of my older brothers hand-downs in the early years because from the moment I could run I was off adventuring, climbing trees and such and my parents always embraced my personal taste (even if that meant some very interesting family photos with outfits I had put together).

Things have changed of course but one thing I learnt is that children how their own sense of being from very young and they are happiest when they are comfortable in what they are wearing which is why I love Tootsa Macginty, a completely unisex clothing company for children with the most beautiful and colourful clothing (wish they made adult sizes). When it comes to my eldest we allow him to make choices for example his hair, he doesn't want to cut it at the moment and thats fine, equally when he does we will sort that out and it's the same with clothing somedays he wants to dress all in green or camp, others he wants to be very colourful.

Tootsa Macginty

kids fashion

kids fashion

We have recently come back from a short trip to France which if you ask my eldest is his favourite country to visit so when we came across this Allo jumper I knew he would love it and combined it with a cute sausage dog printed tee which also happens to be his favourite dog so both of these items fit his personality. With baby G he is a really happy little thing and the watermelon raglan pretty much sums him up.

baby style

Tootsa Macginty

I love the fun, creative and colourful element to their collection as well as being very high quality and ethically made and being Unisex they have the major plus side of being able to be passed down from child to child, which is something we have done with Baby G, in fact about 90% of his wardrobe is passed down from his brother. Thanks so much to Tootsa for inviting us to review their clothing, we highly recommend their beautiful wears.

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The perfect picnic & Sweet Coconut bread



picnic style

Rejoice for Picnic season and eating Al fresco is upon us and it's something that is very much apart of what summer means to us as a family. Having grown up in South African, a outdoor loving country with a huge bbq culture, it meant I spent many warm evenings sitting outside enjoying good food and it's something I try to recreate here in the UK at every opportunity and this week we took full advantage of the dry weather and enjoyed our first picnic of the year.

Al Fresco eating should be all about celebrating what is in season and it's time to get colourful with bowls of beautiful fresh fruit, homemade salsa's and cloudy lemonade. Wether a picnic or having friends around setting the scene is key, although you really don't have to spend loads to make eating outdoors a cosy and comfortable affair.

Mexican glass
I am in love with this beautiful Mexican jug from HomeSense 

I recently popped into HomeSense which have a huge array of outdoor accessories and furniture and found this amazing Mexican recycled glass jug, some pretty bowls and ramekins perfect for filling up with olives and hummus, as well as a wicker panic basket and long wooden serving board and I am sure all of these things are going to see us through this summer and thought I would share my top tips for the perfect picnic.

fresh fruit

1. Set the scene - eating outdoors is a wonderful thing to do, wether a gathering of friends or just family it's the little details that make it really special such as a pretty picnic blanket or plates and napkins. If your planning an evening meal outdoors then pop in a few tea lights into your hamper to make things really nice and cosy.

2. Tapas style food - finger foods are a must at a picnic especially if your catering for kids who will want to graze on food while playing in the sunshine. If your having a larger group of friends it also means there will be something for everyone and it doesn't need to take a lot of work - simply stock up on quick snacks such as olives, feta, sundries tomatoes, corn chips and dips. 

3. Celebrate the season - summer is all about big juicy strawberries, grapes and blueberries so do take advantage of the wonderful fresh fruit on offer and is also perfect for little ones to pick and choose some healthy treats.

picnic style

What I also love about family picnics is the opportunity to create something a little new to try out and thought instead of going for my fail safe banana bread which is very popular in our house, I would try making a Sweet Coconut bread, which was so delicious and full of goodness it may of become our new favourite treat. My recipe as been inspired by Shivi Ramoutar out of Caribbean Modern, I've made a few changes to keep it as quick and simple as possible.

Sweet Coconut Bread

125g self-raising flour
100g Wholemeal Spelt flour
100g desiccated coconut
80g brown sugar
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 free-range egg beaten
150ml Coconut Milk
60g Coconut Oil
1 tsp vanilla essence

1. Pre-heat the oven to 160c/gas mark 3. Grease or line a loaf tin with some olive or coconut oil
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, desiccated coconut, sugar, baking powder and spices.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, coconut milk, vanilla essence and melted coconut oil.
4. Slowly fold the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients until there are no dry patches (if you need to add an extra splash of coconut oil then do so). The batter should look similar to cookie dough and make sure not to over mix otherwise you will be left with a tough bread.
5. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and try and even it out as much as possible. Place into the oven for around 50mins until golden, skewered the mild with a knife and if it comes out clean it's ready.
6. Allow to cool before cutting and store in an air tight container and eat within 3 days.

al fresco
Coconut bread may be our new favourite treat

It's meant to be warm and dry this bank holiday so why not pop into HomeSense and pick up a few things to make your picnic and al fresco eating extra special, plus you never know what your going to find there.

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Fathers Day Kisses with #TeamTickly #AD



John and Mr A sharing a secret in Brussels 

We are really excited to be collaborating with Braun and that when it comes to fathers day gifts it's really the thought that counts and the simple things such as hugs and kisses that mean the most.

John has had a beard since before our eldest, who is now 5yrs old, was born. He once shaved it off when Mr A was two and he was so distraught and upset and refused to get close to John, since then he has never been without a beard. It's all that both of the boys have known and at times Johns beard has been very big, in fact looking back at our holiday in Brussels a few years back it was huge and Mr A loved running his fingers through it.

John has gone back and forth with the idea of shaving it all off but if you asked Mr A what he thinks well it's simply not an option, to him his Dad is a man with a beard and he wouldn't have it any other way, especially as it's so nice and tickly.

A recent survey revealed that children are in one of two camps when it comes to facial hair with either a soft clean shaven Dad or a tickly bearded one with 71% of Dads recognising this and with no surprise that stubble was the least popular with up to 38% of children opting out of kisses due to stubble. Some may overlook the importance of looking after their face but apparently showing love and affection through kisses is very important to children under 8, so it's good news to know Braun have a solution for both camps with the Series 3 Shaver giving a very close clean shave or the Beard trimmer for a perfectly groomed beard.

A very old Polaroid of John before having a beard and before becoming a father.

I am really grateful for the amazing relationship John has with both of our sons and the absolutely adore him, he never leaves the house without giving them both a big hug and kiss and we measure our love through experiences, quality family time and the simply things such as being affectionate or finding time to read a book together, make a craft or enjoy our super as a family of four.

With John being a barber it's important to him look after his appearance, including his beard, so he was looking forward to putting the Braun Beard trimmer to the test. He felt that the ergonomically-designed dial gave the user easy control over length meaning you could achieve the exact trim length you wanted. It also comes with lifetime lasting sharp blades, is washable and easy to clean plus charges up very quickly.

The great thing is even though John went down a little shorter than normal with his beard, both the boys loved it and I wanted to create a little video that captured those little moments between father and son were words are not needed, just love.

We have been working with Britmums and Braun on the #TeamSoft vs #TeamTickly campaign about hoe Braun ensures that nothing gets in the way of enjoying Daddy kisses this Fathers Day . See the products that work for you wether your #TeamSoft or #TeamTickly 
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Sunday Style - Black pattern dress


leather jacket

I am slowly switching up my wardrobe with a few practical pieces as I am still breast-feeding baby G although he is going for longer periods during the day time and recently John and I managed a quick little lunch date so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to wear this little patterned black dress from H&M. I have never been a huge dress wearer, perhaps because I have always found them restrictive in some way but this dress is perfect for me as it's loose fitting, very soft and I love the side pockets and I could easily wear this all day.

street style

Black and monochrome have always been natural choices for myself but I am always looking at ways to add some colour or extra dimension to an outfit such as this pattern and have paired it up with a geometric necklace from Top Shop, Jacket from M&S, Gold slip-ons from Zara and a Ralph Lauren Bag, for an easy casual springtime look.

Sunday street style

Some of you may have also noticed an added accessory - my glasses. I have been experiencing headaches for a few months and have been struggling to focus on the screen while working so I made an appointment with an Optometrist and it turns out I am long sighted as well as having a Stigmatism. I thought picking a pair of glasses would be a doddle but when you have never really worn them before it's actually quite hard, in the end I opted for these rounder more vintage style as well as a moe square pair. I did a little vlog about my new hair and glasses, check it out below.

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Little Adventures and Life Lately


family adventure

So it has been a bit quieter than usual on this blog of late and there are three main reasons for that
One - We all came down with a horrible virus which we are still not completely over yet but feeling far better than we were. Two - my laptop has been out of action for a week - that may not seem a lot but when your living depends on being online then a week a very long, especially when you have loads of work to do, thankfully it's now fixed. Three - we have been on a mini adventure across the English channel to France.

So I thought to touch base I would share a these four little snaps of our mini break away to Northern France. We have been to France before with our eldest on the Eurostar but this time drove from Cardiff down to Dover and took the P&O ferry across and there is something really wonderful about travelling by sea. We stayed a Hotel Du Park which was an easy 45mins drive from Calais and next to the coast near a small village of Hardelot where we come across a vintage carousel. The hotel was really fantastic and I will share much more about it in a post very soon, as well as exploring Nausicaa Aquarium while we were there.

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The Big Home Improvements that add value




If you are looking at selling up and moving on and want to get the most out of your property then perhaps it would be a good idea to look at amore drastic change than just newly painted walls, fresh flowers and a clutter-free interior to attract those buyers who will fight to get your property. ECL Roofing recently brought out this very interesting infographic that highlights the top improvements that you can make to your home that really will add value.

1. A loft Conversion and extra bedroom - we are currently viewing houses at the moment as we will be moving later this year and I have to say we naturally veer towards those that have a converted attic simply because both John and I are self-employed and therefore could really do with a proper study or office space.

2. Conservatory - if you don't mind losing some garden space then adding a conservatory can be a very smart move and is a very attractive bonus to potential buyers.

3. En-suite - for most having an en-suit in the UK is a real luxury and especially appealing to families and best of all it really doesn't cost that much to install a small and simple toilet and basin, keep the design easy and chic and you are onto a winner.

4. New Kitchen - we have a new kitchen extension in our home and it certainly is one of our main selling points as it's added so much extra space and light with french doors to the garden as well as a dining area. You need to remember that for most they spend a lot of time in the kitchen and therefore needs to be a space that is not overlooked. 

5. Swimming Pool - well for most installing a pool is not an option but if you were looking to make your property really stand out among the others this would be the way to go.

Property improvements

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Bathing Bunnies Giveaway


Jolly Giraffe

Bath time is a family favourite in our household, especially for my youngest who loves water and would spend hours in the bath if he could and is not always happy to get out, which is why we make sure he has something soft and cosy to be wrapped up in such as this beautiful Jolly Giraffe baby bath set. It's super cute and sure to put a smile on your little ones face, plus it's really soft and absorbent meaning they will be dry and warm in no time.

Bath towel set

The lovely people at Bathing Bunnies have been kind enough to offer one of my readers the chance to win one a Jolly Giraffe Baby Towel set worth £29.99 and consists of a baby bath towel, matching bath mitt and baby bib. It's super easy to enter and the giveaway ends on the 28th May.

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A Beach adventure in Spring



Beach fun

 Last week we had our first proper beach day of the year and even though we have taken Baby G to the beach before this was the first time he has really taken it all in, dipping his toes in the ocean and making sand castles with his big brother. With Mr A being at home it means we are lucky enough to enjoy weekdays at the seaside and miss the weekend crowds.

We decided to head to Barry Island, even though we are not huge fans of the pavilion with all it's fish and chip shops and out-dated arcade stores the actual beach is beautiful and with some recent regeneration happing in the area it's only going to get better.

Barry Island

Beach time

Beach sand

We have really been trying to slow things down and take in the little simple moments of late and the beach is the perfect spot for connecting with nature and using your imagination. Both of the kids spent hours on the beach with just a bucket, spade and a yellow foam board while enjoying the picnic I packed for them. We also did a little bit of beach combing, picked up some shells, made a little stream and searched for seaweed, driftwood and any beasties we could find, although I have to say Baby G's favourite thing was following the seagulls up and down the beach.

I just hope that we see the return of the sunshine soon. The weather forecast for the next week doesn't look to good and Spring has been a little stop start and we are all so desperate for some good weather this year, fingers crossed for a hot, warm and sunny summer. 

barry Island

Monkey and Mouse
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Kitchen Cool


Clean kitchen
Liking this clean and light kitchen from Harvey Jones

So we are slowly making our way through each room and ticking off our snagging list, we have finally set ourselves a goal with getting the house on the market by September and our next room to work on is the kitchen. Our kitchen is probably the best room in the house, it's light and airy and has an island as well as space for a dining table but I just feel it needs a bit of an update in terms of style.
As you may already know I am quiet taken with the white and copper trend this season and want to incorporate that into the kitchen. 

First of all the walls which are Apple white (not our choice) need to be repainted and this time with clean and crisp white which will work well for all the art work I plan to hang up. We also need to replace our well worn stools and I am loving these white ones below from George. I have also been wanting to replace our wall clock with a piece I know I will keep forever such as this iconic Dial clock

If this was a longterm home we would at some point probably switch things up as there are so many stylish modern kitchen designs out there and I think being continually inspired is always a good thing, I have been making lots of notes and scrapbooks and pinterest board and have a real clear plan of what I want to achieve with what we have. Here is a little wish list of things I am loving at the moment 

kitchen love

1. Flap Analogue Wall Clock from Habitat - £60
2. Elzora Chalk white bowl from Habitat - £12
3. Tom Dixon Copper Pendant light from Amara - £400
4. George Copper Canister Set from Asda - £12
5. Home Eye Test Tea Towel from Ulster Weavers - £7.50
6. Wooden Salad Servers from H&M - £7.99

7. Bunny Glass Jar from M&S - £20

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Spring Style - Dungaree dress


Spring style
Dorothy Perkins dungaree dress, Zara shoes, Next tee

Well Spring may be a little start stop at the moment but that doesn't mean we are not going to make the most of every single day of dry warm weather. I am trying to change things a up a little bit this season and want to strike a good balance between practical outfits that suit my busy lifestyle travelling and running after two small people while also feeling good about myself and on trend.

I have been really getting into dungarees and workwear, may have something to do with my favourite Netflix series "Love", so when I saw this Dorothy Perkins dungaree dress from House of Fraser I knew it would be a winner and perfect for springtime adventures in the city and further afield. I have paired it up with my gold Zara slip on's, a white tee from Next.

A few other things on my spring style wish list are a pair of Saltwater sandals and some culottes. What is on your list?

Spring style

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Little snapshots


family adventures

Every few months or so I like to have a little look back at my favourite memories I have shared across my IG feed - a place I use to capture those little happy moments in our life and has become very much a visual diary of sorts. The past few days we have all been under the weather - my eldest seems to be pretty much back to full steam but myself and Baby G are still in the throws of a bad cold, so all these colourful snaps are reminding us of the recent god weather and adventures we have had of late while we snuggle on the couch on this rainy day.

1. We recently made these cute crayon hearts and I have been giving this Beauty Boost Skin restore cream from Green People a go as the lack of sleep with Baby G has been taking it's toll
2. I join in with the #EthicalFashionCollective and share a snap of my new organic People Tree dress
3. Oh babies are so cute when they are sleeping, just wish this little one would sleep at night
4. My eldest and I had a little date day in Cardiff, it involved lots of coffee, babycinos and cake
5. Exploring Cardiff Story museum in Cardiff with my little workman
6. The new Ralph Lauren Polo Blue fragrance for men is out and just in time for Fathers Day next month
7. Managed to squeeze in a little coffee break at our favourite spot in Pontcanna, Kemi's 
8. When made a break for it and spent are rare warm spring day at the beach
9. A family forest adventure is always a good idea on a Sunday

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#RidiculousPossibilities with TK Maxx Outdoors


 natural childhood

Readers of my blog will probably know three things about my little family – we love spending time outdoors, we embrace the unexpected and we are always up for a fun and exciting challenge so when TK Maxx asked us to pop in store last week and check out their latest delivery of outdoor equipment and make this bank holiday an adventurous one, we jumped at the chance.

I have been both a fan and customer of TK Maxx for many years as I love that you never know what you’re going to find and you have to approach any shopping trip like a treasure hunt and allow yourself to be open to the idea of Ridiculous Possibilities. The great thing is the stock is always changing as each store gets several deliveries throughout the week. What we picked up last week would be completely different from what’s in store today, so if you see something you love, grab it because once it's gone, it's gone and I have made that mistake more than once in my life.

We had not been told exactly what the outdoor world range would consist of except that it could be anything from tents to hiking and biking equipment and even paddle boards, so I was very pleasantly surprised to see how much specialist and outdoor tech equipment they had, including binoculars and multi tools to camping hammocks, waterproof bags and high-end outdoor clothing.

camping in the woods
Setting up camp in the middle of the forest amount blue bless and wild garlic

We wanted to pick up things that would be useful to us as a family, especially as my eldest loves nothing more than a day spent in the woods pretending to be Bear Grylls. So we filled up our trolley with water bottles, thermal mugs, a storm shelter and pop-up tent, a new camping stove (as ours has seen better days), a high tech waterproof bag and outdoor jacket, sleeping bag liners, an all-weather lamp, small camping stool, a waterproof picnic blanket and an array of other bits and bobs which would make any weekend away under canvas more comfortable.

As soon as we got home, my eldest could hardly keep his excitement under control and luckily despite most of the bank holiday being a washout we managed to spend a couple of ours hiking up into the woods and setting up a little day camp. We have camped in a variety of places, from festival s to open fields and clifftop pitches although never deep within the woods and even though we decided to do a day camp rather than overnight we used this mini expedition to scout out the area for a bigger trip in summer.

wild child
Scouting for the perfect place to pitch
wild child
Taking a break with a cup of Coco

Once we found a good spot to set up camp near some bluebells and wild garlic, our 5yr old who has been helping me put up tents since he was 18months old got straight to work with the pop-up, which is by far the easiest and quickest way to get a tent or simply a rain shelter up and is perfect for younger children to have a go on their own. We spent most of the afternoon just collecting sticks, looking for bugs, running around and coming across some wooden dens, as well as taking a break to make a few cups of warm coco.

There is nothing better than the simple pleasure of spending time outdoors in nature with your family, free away from the distraction of technology or toys and even though we spent hours here would could of easily stayed much longer without the kids enthusiasm waning or getting bored. The only advice that I have is that you pack appropriately, tell somewhere where you are going if you plan to go off track, make sure you take enough water and invest in decent equipment but with prices at TK Maxx always at up to 60% less than RRP it’s a great place to start.

The Outdoor World event is only available in selected stores, so find your nearest store and head down to TK Maxx. 

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Styling a guest bedroom



When we move we are hoping to have a small study space or extra guest bedroom where our friends can come and stay for a few days and explore the Welsh Capital. Being an expat means that I have lots of friends and family who I would love to visit and the prospect of being able to style a space like this is very exciting. 

Of course space would be limited, a spare room would most likely be the small space such as a box bedroom so keeping things simple but stylish is key to making the most of the room. I have put together a little moodboard of a few key bedroom accessories I think would make the room feel welcoming, comfortable and cosy but still on trend. 

1. In a small room the main furniture would consist of the bed, side table and small wardrobe so space for a large lamp may be limited so this Copper Desk lamp would be a great space-saving choice.

2. I love notebooks and when I travel it's often the time I feel most inspired to write something down, so having a little notebook on the side table for guests is a nice touch, plus how cute is this one Kate Spade

3. Once thing you should always make sure to have in any guest bedroom is an alarm clock and this grey vintage style clock from Newgate is perfect

4. You want to keep a guest bedroom free from clutter so make sure you keep the decor simple although you can add pops of colour with one or two wall prints and this Etsy print from Spell and Tell is so much fun.

5. The small touches are what make a room great and adding a spot of luxury not only help ties in the space but will also impress your guests. Go for something small, as they say quality over quantity such as this gorgeous Spirit Lamp Candle from Net-A-Porter

6. I love cushions as not only do they provide comfort but can also be a key feature to any room so following on from my favourite colour theme of soft pink and gold, this Vermarette Rose cushion is perfection and I really want it for my bedroom

Omero bed
Omero King Size bed

What is also very important is of course the bed. You want to go for the largest size you can fit comfortable within the space, a double or a queen is usually more than adequate. You also want to have something that is sturdy and well made, my preference is for a classic metal frame bed as these tend to stand the test of time as well as being timeless in style such as this one from Bedzrus.

The main thing to remember when styling a guest bedroom is to keep things simple and keep anything unnecessary aside and don't make it too personal. Keep to a fairly cohesive theme in terms of colour-scheme and design and go for quality over quantity when it comes to decorative pieces or wall art. Also it's worth spending a night sleeping in this room as this will allow you to see first hand how comfortable it is and wether there are any small changes you need to make.

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Kids Style with ShortStitch


Short stitch

Life with kids can be pretty hectic at the best of times and if like me you have been swept of your feet with a variety of things the past month and you suddenly realise that your child has shot up and all the trousers are looking way too small and the t-shirt are sitting a bit tight but you just don't have time to cart them around the shops to kit them out for the season ahead. Why can't a whole box of clothes including everything you need from socks to shoes, shorts, jackets and tees in your child's size and style just magically arrive at your doorstep? Well thats were ShortStitch come in, an at-home styling service just for kids.

Left - Jacket, jumper and trousers from Shortstitch - Right - Shirt and shoes from Shortstitch styling service.

So what is ShortStitch exactly? Well basically it's a free styling service for kids that comes to you - they provide you with your own personal stylist who once you have filled out an online profile while give you a phone call to discuss what you are looking for and what appeals to your child, they then put a box together an individually style box and get it sent over to you, packed with all the latest trends.

kids clothes

Your box will consist of about 20 pieces of clothing, mainly from European brands such as Soft Gallery and Scotch Shrunk and they allow you up to 10 days to decide what does and what doesn't work. You then only pay for the items you decided to keep and the styling service, delivery and collection are included.

Kids fashion
Mr A in a Soft Gallery jumper

So what did we think of the service?

It certainly is very convenient and being a busy mum this is something that would appeal to me and the clothes they sent were spot on, in fact there where only a few pieces that didn't really work. Also the box is seasonal and is almost like a capsule collection in that it contained everything from two pairs of shoes, socks, shirts, jumpers, t-shirts, trousers, shorts and jackets - giving at least two options of each which allows for lots of different outfits to be put together.

There is also no obligation to purchase any of the products which means you can work within your own budget without any pressure.

So what are the Cons to a service like this?

Even though the styling, delivery and collection is included you are certainly paying a premium for this service as although the clothes are branded I had only heard a few of them and it can be hard to justify £60+ for a pair of trousers or £100+ for a rain jacket for little known brands although the t-shirts are more affordable at £25 I did feel that you could get more well known kids brands for less.

As the products are on loan you do need to be careful with them and reading over the terms and conditions first would be wise as you will be liable for any mishaps so perhaps be discreet with what you allow your children to try on if you don't intend on purchasing everything.

We were asked by ShortStitch to provide an honest review of their styling service for kids

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