Sunday, 23 August 2015

In Photos // Our Weekend

Today was a car load of stuff to the local charity shop and an early morning walk at our favourite park. A nice contrast to the busy day we had yesterday which involved holiday preparation and 'to-do' lists!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Zippo's Circus // OMG!

This weekend we were delighted to be guests of Zippo's Circus* who are in Sheffield for the next few days. Zippo's are proud to be London's favourite circus and have also been voted "Britain's Best Circus". It's really not hard to see why too. I must admit that I have such a soft spot for their shows! Their 2014 production was so memorable and one of the best that I have seen so I was super excited to see what they had in store for this year.

The brand new show for 2015 is entitled "OMG!" and is promised to be a real feast of spectacularly talented circus artistes led by the world's greatest ringmaster, Norman Barrett MBE. 
We had ringside tickets for the 7:30pm show on Friday so after arriving early and purchasing obligatory circus snacks and a programme, we found ourselves seats and waited for the show to begin.  

The two hour show was absolutely crammed full with non stop action, we honestly enjoyed every single second! There was brilliantly atmospheric lighting and music, comedy, heart-stopping moments, impeccably well cared for animals that provoked countless squeals of delight from the audience and a seemingly endless stream of breathtaking acts.

We loved it! 

My favourite parts though? Here we go.... 

This Italian-born aerial superstar wowed the audience with an impressive aerial chain presentation high in the air without the use of any safety device. He also performed a superb diabolo act on the ground. & yes, he set fire to it too! 

Lucius Team
This is the act you'll have seen if you've seen any advertising from Zippos this year! This act saw intrepid motorcyclists speeding around a steel cage at over 60 miles per hour. What made this one extra special was the lady who climbed inside and stood in the middle of four bikes shooting round her at such speed. At one part the globe even splits into two, exposing all bikers to the utmost severe danger. I couldn't look! 

Norman Barrett, MBE
The charismatic veteran British ringmaster returns to lead the show and to present his famous and ever-popular budgie act. I am such a fan of these darling little birds who delighted the audience with tricks performed on miniature apparatus (slide sliding birds, yay!). It's clear that they are cherished and so well cared for. We were lucky enough to attend the open house event the following morning to see how the birds are trained and hear more about where they live. They are so beautiful! 

The Rastelli Clowns
My goodness, these guys are ridiculously funny. Perfect family entertainment. I just can't get enough of them! Unsurprisingly, the Rastellis have won top awards all over the world. The roots of the Rastelli family trace back to the 17th century and Zippo's circus have tempted the current generation to make their first British appearenced for over thirty years. 
In the musical routine they've perfected, Oreste is joined by his brother Vittorio and sister-in-law Hajni. They really are superb, I love a good clown act! 

As mentioned above, we also had the pleasure of attending a behind-the-scenes visit to Zippo's Circus the following morning. Here we had the chance to look around the circus and Norman Barrett presented visitors with a bit of background and history to this wonderful travelling circus. It was also a chance to meet the beautiful horses and other animals who star in the show and to view their stables and play area. It was a pleasure to see how the little dog was trained by his owner Raoul Nadler, mine could learn a thing or two from them for sure! 
I really admire how open and honest Zippo's are about their use of domesticated animals within their shows. They are a real highlight to me and it's obvious to anyone how well looked after they are. 

We had a really amazing few days with Zippo's Circus and we'd recommend it to anyone. It's a fantastic and unforgettable evening out for all the family! 

Here's a little video of the show....

Zippo's is currently touring the UK and is in Sheffield until Tuesday so grab a ticket now before they leave! Tickets are available from the circus box office which is open on site daily from 10am to 8pm or you can book in advance by phoning 0871 210 2100. For full venue details, show times and online booking please hop over to

*We were given tickets for the show in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Wish List // Autumn Boots

I've been on the lookout for a new pair of everyday boots for so long now. I've worn the same pair of boots for the past few winters and so the time to replace them is most definitely here!

When it comes to boots though, I shan't deny that I'm blummin' fussy. They have to be good for all kinds of weather. They also have to go with every outfit and they have to be just as good for dog walking as they are for a family day out!
With this in mind, I usually turn to a sturdy pair of biker style boots. The main reason? I'm a little bit obsessed with buckles! The more the merrier, I say!  

I've put together a bit of a wish list of eight of my favourite boots at the moment. Jones Bootmaker currently have a huge range of amazing ladies boots (even better, a lot of them are on sale too!) and I'll forever be a fan of Dr Martens footwear. I still haven't purchased a new pair ready for autumn yet because I just can't decide which ones I like the most! So maybe you can help me pick, right? 

1. Dr Martens "KATHLEENA" boots - £145.00
2. Jones Bootmaker "Shakira" knee length boots - £140.00 (currently on sale at £70.00)
3. Clarks "Volara Melody" casual boots - £110.00
4. Fly London (from Jones Bootmaker) "Mel" ankle boots - £110.00 (currently on sale at £55.00)

5. Ten Points (from Office) "Plazac" calf boots - £199.00
6. Jones Bootmaker "Petra" knee length boots - £160.00 (currently on sale at £80.00)
7. Ugg Australia (from Schuh) "Volta" boots - £160.00 (currently on sale at £114.99)
8. Steve Madden (from Selfridges) "Kindell" biker boots - £129.00

Let me know which pair of boots is your favourite in a comment below! 

Monday, 10 August 2015

Life // An Update

My husband and I have had some big conversations recently and I kind of felt like I needed to jot down where we are currently at. Over the past couple of years I have become a mother, quit my job, adjusted our spending, saved money, found new ways to make money and downsized our possessions. Our lives are 100% better for it and the many benefits of our new lifestyle have made me want to continue pursuing a lifestyle of both living and being content with less. 

If you know me in real life or have been following for a while then you'll know that we have been discussing the dreaded decision of either renovating our current house or buying a new home for what feels like forever! 

Well, we've finally made peace with the decision to stay where we are.

Moving house and climbing the property ladder is pretty much expected but in reality it's not what we want. At least not for now, anyway. To buy a house identical to ours but just a few roads away would add another £100k to the mortgage. Nope. And now we own less, the house is less cluttered and feels so much more spacious. I've realised that our home is actually more than big enough for what we need! 

I feel quite relieved that we know where we are at now. Sure, we need stuff doing to our house though. We need a lot doing to it to make it liveable. So we've resolved to spend time and money getting the important stuff done. A bathroom that functions would be amazing. And I'd love to say goodbye to 100 year old plaster and wonky doors that don't shut. 

So yes, we're finally going to get it done and I'm quite excited! 

And maybe, whilst we are doing that we can continue to overpay our mortgage. Pay it all off, even. To be content with what we have, what we own and where we live means we will have more freedom to live the life we want as a family.

I hope to share any updates on how we're going and I'm looking forwards to sharing my ideas for family friendly minimal interiors over the next few months! 

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Happy 22 Months!

Emilia turned 22 months old yesterday. The past month has been a real mix of exploring, laughter, learning, minimal sleep and tantrums.... oh, so many tantrums!
We've baked cakes together, enjoyed many trips out, played in the garden and cuddled up and fallen asleep together. She's super generous with hugs and kisses for mummy and her sense of humour is amazing! I love that we can have mini conversations now and I love that she understands so much of what is going on around her. She's always alert, always questioning what everything is and very determined to understand how things work. 

Here's what she's been up to over the past few weeks....

Sleep - The past few weeks have seen a real change to Emilia's sleep. All of a sudden we are seemingly back to late nights and incredibly early starts with lots of night-time waking! We've all been feeling pretty frazzled because of it recently and we're not sure of the cause of it all (new teeth or a development leap maybe!). We're hoping it passes soon and she starts sleeping better again soon!

Doing - Climbing anything and everything! She's really into climbing frames and slides at the moment so the park is the perfect place to be. She loves painting and making sandcastles, decorating cakes and looking for animals. Running and dancing are two activities she loves to practice at the moment and she's super ace at the actions for "Heads, shoulders, knees and toes" and "Incy wincy spider".
Emilia is sure of what she wants and always wants to do things by herself with no help from mummy or daddy! This makes bath time, getting ready in the morning and crossing roads safely really interesting at the moment (ahem!).

Saying - Emilia is picking up more than a few words each day now. Her vocabulary is vast and she's amazing at stringing words together, especially if it's to tell us what she wants.... "no home, stay park" for example. 

Eating - Emilia has such a good appetite recently and is a real breakfast lover at the moment. She'll try most things, especially if we are out at a restaurant. She has realised I carry round a bag full of snacks ("nacks!") when we go out and and won't hesitate to ask me for what she wants. Her favourite foods this month are bananas, bread/toast, cheese and chicken.  

Likes - answering "no!" to every question we ask her (!), dancing, playing with cars and her toy pram, sticker books, Disney Tsum Tsums, going out to the park or on day trips, reading books, sandpits, being tickled, kisses and cuddles, napping in mummy and daddy's bed, helping with the dog and being tucked up at night with her teddies.   

Dislikes - Sleeping, bath time and getting her hair wet!

Happy 22 months, my princess!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Brantano Footwear // Review

Recently I was kindly given the opportunity to receive a pair of shoes from Brantano to review. Now, if you know me then you'll know that shoes are my downfall! I'm very choosy when it comes to shoe shopping though and I tend to stick to my favourite brands so I'll admit that I have never purchased any kind of footwear from Brantano before. 
After a good browse of their website I was pleasantly surprised to see though that they sell a good range of well known names such as Clarks and Nike. They also have a really superb range of children's footwear (including school shoes) so I'll definitely be taking another look when Emilia needs her autumn shoes!

After browsing through the website and much deliberating, I opted for a sweet pair of faux black suede ankle boots by Emilio Luca X. Perfect for autumn and nights out, I'm looking forwards to getting lots of use out of them over the coming months. They are such a versatile style, a bit of a wardrobe staple that I'll be able to wear with most things (thinking of my new minimalist wardrobe here!).

I'm all about comfortable footwear, especially when it comes to heels. Amazingly, these boots needed no breaking in and the contrast elastic panels at the back offer an enhanced and comfortable fit. The uppers are so soft and the comfy wedge heels are just the right height for me!   

These boots by Emilio Luca X are currently for sale on the Brantano website at just £40.00. I took a chance on a brand that I had never heard of before and I'm really pleased that I did. They are really well made and are such a comfortable fit with a really reasonable price tag too!

Brantano offer various shipping options including free super saver delivery on orders over £20.00 and next day delivery at just £3.99. In addition to this, they offer free returns on all UK orders which I think is amazing as buying footwear online can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare.

Have you shopped at Brantano before? 

Why not take a look at their website or like their facebook page to keep up to date with all the latest info?

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

In Photos // Dog Walking

I never usually think to take my camera out on our morning dog walk but I really want to do it more often, especially as I only ever seem to take photographs of this place in the snow! So here are a few snaps from our walk this morning. I love all the wild flowers out at the moment, we are so lucky to have such a nice open space so close to our house!