Friday, 12 February 2016

#LoveAtFirstLight with Co-Operative Food

It's been a week of illness here in our house so we've not ventured out much at all, instead choosing to cosy up at home overdosing on duvet snuggles and far too much TV whilst we all get better! The other day though, we had an early morning knock at the door and the postman man outside our house handed me this completely unexpected and rather marvellous Valentine's food hamper from Co-Operative Food.....

Inside was a selection of coffee, pastries, treats and hazelnut chocolate spread.... everything needed for a perfect breakfast in bed. It was just the lift that I needed to cheer me up and make me forget how ill I actually felt! 

Co-Operative Food have teamed up with Fred Sireix from First Dates this Valentine's day to help create love at first light and a bit of magic in the bedroom. So.... back to bed it was to enjoy some of the treats! 

I warmed up the croissants in the oven and made some mugs of steaming hot coffee to enjoy them with. The chocolate spread melted inside the warm croissants.... it was heaven! I don't really have a sweet tooth but sometimes when I get poorly (or exhausted!), I go a bit nuts for chocolate so this all really cheered me up!  

Emilia, of course, helped out with the chocolate treats too. This chocolate lolly is absolutely adorable....

And this sweet little chocolate bear? Well I think he's just too cute to eat! I'm going to put him away and share him at a later date.

It just goes to show how small acts of kindness can really mean a lot to other people. So, why not treat someone you love (your partner, children, a friend or even yourself!) to a special breakfast this weekend? 

If you're stuck for ideas, take a look at for a bit of inspiration. Here you'll find heaps of ideas for indulgent Valentine's breakfast treats, from Pancake Hearts to French Toast with a twist. I'm sure there will be something to tempt your taste-buds and impress that special someone! 

Thursday, 4 February 2016

A Simple Spring Wardrobe Update

Having spent the past couple of years downsizing my wardrobe, I'm currently at a stage of updating some of my basics as we move through the seasons and buying with more intention in an attempt to put together a sort of capsule wardrobe.

By filtering out everything I don't wear, I now have a good idea of the kind of stuff I reach for over and over.... simple skater dresses that I can layer up, a functional bag, brightly coloured knits and versatile leather boots. 

I'm keeping things simple this spring by updating my wardrobe with a few key pieces and accessories from my favourite stores. Jones Bootmaker always have a great range of hard-wearing and stylish ankle boots that keep you going through that transition from winter to spring. These gorgeous brown leather Chelsea boots are a classic design that never go out of style. I'm also ridiculously in love with the bright jumper from Seasalt, perfect for throwing over any outfit for a splash of spring sunshine! 

What items are on your wish list this spring? Let me know in a comment below!   

1. Lille Ankle Boots from Jones Bootmaker // 2. Kew Stripe Dress from Fat Face // 3. Fruity Jumper from Seasalt  // 4. Button Spot Busy Bag from Cath Kidston

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Valentine's Day // A Wish List

February crept up on us all of a sudden, didn't it?! I'm super excited that it's now officially less than two weeks to go until Valentine's day as it also happens to be my birthday the same day!
My husband and I are really into clutter-free gifting at the moment but there's no denying on occasions like this it can be hard to think of ways to treat that special person in your life.... especially if you've been with them for almost 15 years! With this in mind, I thought I'd round up some of my favourite ways to make your loved one feel special this Valentine's Day without reaching for the usual suspects of chocolate, wine or flowers....

1. Tools to capture memories
A photo album, a photo book voucher or even a new camera. Give a gift that will preserve your special memories together. There are heaps of reasonably priced cameras out there so it doesn't have to be a totally indulgent purchase! Panasonic have recently launched their latest range of Lumix G compact system cameras which enable you to take high quality photographs without having to use a bulky camera. Some of these DLSM cameras also offer video recording in 4K.... what better way to capture special memories such as holidays and days out together?! 

2. Gift an experience
The sky really is the limit with this one! Concert tickets, restaurant vouchers, a trip to the cinema, zoo tickets, travel vouchers, theatre tickets, a cookery class, dance lessons.... think of something you like doing (or would like to do) together and gift that experience!

3. Gift time
Give a home made gift certificate for something you know your loved one would appreciate. Your time together is valuable, so why not package that up?! A few ideas could include a coffee date, a relaxing morning/afternoon together without the kids, a massage, a movie night or a romantic walk in the countryside.

4. Gift membership
An annual membership is always a great idea, it's a gift that keeps giving all through the year! If you're a couple who like watching movies together, how about a Netflix or Amazon Prime membership? Attraction lovers might like an annual pass to a favourite theme park or zoo. Or maybe you like to explore new places together? Try a joint National Trust membership!  

5. Gift kindness
Adopt an animal, sponsor a child, gift the gift of safe drinking water or medical care for those in need around the world. There are so many amazing charities out there that all need our help. Take a look at your favourite and see what gift options they offer! 

* This is a collaborative post, all words and opinions are my own. 

Friday, 29 January 2016

Snow Day

There are few things more exciting to a child than a fresh blanket of snow. The first few flakes fell on Saturday evening and we couldn’t keep Emilia away from the window, she was absolutely mesmerized. When it snowed last year, Emilia had only just started walking and so she was a bit unsure of the icy white stuff on the floor! Now she’s a bit bigger though, she couldn’t wait to get out and experience it. Luckily, we woke up on the next morning to a good covering on the ground, it was certainly enough to go out and play in!

Wrapped up warm, we grabbed the sledge and headed out to Mayfield Animal Park in Sheffield to make use of our annual passes and make the most of the snow.

Emilia had plenty of warm layers on as we would be outside for a while. I am such a fan of base layers and cosy fleece clothing when the weather is cold.

We recently bought some of the Drift base layer bottoms from Muddy Puddles; they are absolutely perfect for popping on underneath trousers or jeans to keep those little legs nice and warm!

Mayfield Animal Park is situated right on the edge of the city and on a good day, it has the most spectacular views over the city and beyond. It’s one of our favourite places to visit locally; they have a huge assortment of animals including the famous alpacas as well as pigs, chickens, guinea pigs and even meerkats. The park is nice and compact so it’s the perfect size for toddlers to explore without getting too tired. Emilia loves it there so we visit as often as we can.

We grabbed a few bags of animal feed and headed off round the park to see what creatures we could spot. Emilia loved making footprints in the snow along the way and couldn’t resist taking off her gloves to grab handfuls of snow to see how cold it was! Her favourite thing of all though was sitting in the sledge and letting us take her round the alpacas who were all very eager to receive a handful of food each. They are always such a joy to meet and didn’t seem to mind the cold weather at all!

After a good walk around the park, it was time to head back home but not before stopping off at the coffee shop for a large mug of hot chocolate complete with cream and marshmallows. A perfect end to a lovely trip out!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The best winter bedding!

I don't think it's any secret that I have a soft spot for bedding. Other folk might go weak at the knees for new shoes, bags and cosmetics.... but me? It has to be bedding. 

Now, I don't have the biggest collection. In fact, I spent the best part of 2015 selling most of what I did have on eBay. I was left with 3, maybe 4 matching sets. And then I received this set as a gift for Christmas.....

It might just be the best bedding that I have ever owned. Combined with our new Leesa mattress (review here), I can honestly say I'm having the best sleep I've had in years.

The bedding I'm talking about here is a four piece duvet set from QVC, a shopping channel of all places. The whole set is made from ridiculously soft and snuggly fleece. Yep.... the duvet cover, the sheet and even the pillowcases!

Now, you might be thinking that fleece would be too hot to sleep in. But trust me, it's absolutely not the case. It's more of a micro fleece.... the kind you'd find on specialist outdoor clothing. Super soft, subtle and oh, so warm

It's an absolute dream to sleep in when the weather is cold.

Despite me never being cold at night any more though, my favourite things about this duvet set are;
  • It isn't cold when you get into bed. There are no cold spots, there's no 'sheet shock'. It's kinda warm before you've even started! It's brilliant.
  • The sheet is super generous and fits over our deep mattress with ease. It stays on all night and is super comfortable! 
  • After washing it like normal, it's dry within 1-2 hours of being hung up. And the best bit? You don't need to iron it. Ever. It's pristine and ready to put straight back on the bed, every single time. Amazing. 

This is the set that I have. The nautical stripes are very 'me' and neutral enough should we change our bedroom decor! If stripes aren't your thing though, QVC have a whole range of styles including a gorgeous polka dot pattern and even a leopard print. I'm finding it very hard to resist buying another set for when this one is in the wash, I love it so much! 

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Things I've loved this week // 004

A little Sunday round-up, some of the little things that I've been loving this week!

Our snow day
After it was forecast for what seemed like every day during the past few weeks, finally we got some snow! We've had a morning of sledging, freezing our toes off, feeding the animals and warming up afterwards with hot chocolate. It's been lovely! 

Walt Disney World
This weekend we booked our Orlando holiday which I'm insanely exited about, as you would expect! I'm no stranger to the ways of Disney and have stayed at the Paris resort more times than I care to count so we thought we'd try something a bit different this year! We don't leave until November, so plenty of time for planning and looking at all the food menus. I have a bit of a thing for Disney food!

Tattoo plans
My most addition was a teeny tiny one on my ankle which I got just a couple of days before Christmas. Completely a spur of the moment thing but a little nod towards my love of music and one of my favourite bands, Ghost. I have a couple more booked in over the next few months which I'm super excited about! 

Lord of the Lost
Honestly, it's true love. I don't think I've ever loved a band so hard! 

Happy days! 
Since Emilia moved into her big girl bed a few weeks ago, her mood and her sleep have both improved immeasurably. She's a lot happier now for sure and we've had some really lovely days together recently! 

What have you been loving this week? Let me know in a comment!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Attic Plans // Paint colours, Clutter and New Blinds!

The large bedroom room at the very top of our house is currently lacking both purpose and personality. Ever since we moved in, we've had no real use for it and so it has become the dumping ground for all our clutter.

Currently I use it as an eBay room/office and Emilia uses it as a play room, of sorts! There's a bed, a desk and a whole heap of junk that I am still working through selling/donating/etc. My absolute main goal for this year is to finally clear every last item that we no longer use and turn this room into a proper office and guest bedroom. 

The clutter dump aka the room of doom! 4 years later, I still haven't sorted out a proper light fitting!

First thing I'll be doing is getting rid of that kingfisher blue wall for sure! I'm really into neutrals at the moment and once the room has been decorated it'll be time to get started on lighting, blinds, new bedding and storage.

These are some of the paint shades I am debating at the moment for that back wall and the rest of the room. All of them are good old Farrow & Ball!

The other bits that we need to purchase will be essential to make the room fit for purpose. An ergonomic office chair, good lighting and suitable blinds are essential if I'm going to get any work done in there!
I'm all over anything that is well designed and will last for years and this article I read recently on the rise of 'buy me once' shopping has really inspired me to continue buying better quality products that last a lifetime.

I really like the idea of the 2-in-1 VELUX blackout and awning blinds from the VELUX shop. Our attic gets insufferably hot in the summer and these blinds offer the solution of providing blackout as well as effective light and heat control. Usually I have to relocate to working downstairs in the summer as the room gets so hot so this would be absolutely ideal!

According to the website, this particular blind solution offers 100% blackout and 90% heat reduction. Perfect for a guest bedroom and day office solution! Also, if we do go down the route of turning this room into Emilia's bedroom further down the line, the VELUX Blinds website also sell a range of themed blinds suitable for children including both Disney and Star Wars designs. They look incredible!

We have so many options for this room. I can't wait to finish clearing out the clutter and make it usable again!