Friday, 22 May 2015

I love you, Miss Elsie! // #PawHumour

I've had many pets throughout my life, I just love sharing my life with them and watching them become part of the family. Our pug Elsie is the dog I have always wanted. I'm so glad I waited to get her.... she came into our lives at just the right time. She's the most incredible, stubborn, funny and beautiful little dog I have ever met. I love her to bits! 

It goes without saying that your furry friends should be protected with insurance, it's just so important. It's been amazing for us the few times we have had to make those dreaded visits to the vets for treatment! 
The RSPCA are working with MORE TH>N insurance to provide UK pet owners with a range of insurances to suit their needs and budgets. We currently insure Elsie with MORE TH>N and have done for the past few years but it's great to know that if you have more than one dog (or cats too!) they can cover them all in one single policy and you'd be also eligible to receive a 10% Multipet discount.

Insuring your pets with MORE TH>N not only protects your furry friends but also helps the RSPCA protect less fortunate animals throughout the country too, because for each policy sold, £20 will be donated to the RSPCA for the care of unwanted and neglected animals in England and Wales. Amazing! You can read more about it all and get a quote by clicking on the pet insurance page here.

To celebrate the partnership of MORE TH>N and the RSPCA they have set up the #PawHumour campaign over on twitter sharing people's best (or worst!) animal-related stories. It's been great reading through them all! 
It's no secret that pugs are the clowns of the dog world and Elsie certainly lives up to this reputation by keeping us entertained every single day. Here are some of the things she does that make me chuckle and feel so very lucky to have her in our lives....

The infamous 'pug run' (youtube it, seriously), bum tucked under and running as fast as she can around the house or when she meets another dog that she likes. Other dog owners always look at her like 'wtf is that dog doing?!'

Always insisting on sleeping in our bed at night - never at the bottom though, always wedged between someone's legs or with her bum in our faces.

Taking herself to bed for naps throughout the day at the exact same times each day. To the minute. Like, how can she tell the time? Clever girl!

Rolling onto her back every time you pass her and tucking her paws up so you can give her tummy tickles.

Farting like an absolute pro. Especially when you're in a shop or a cafe with her. So blummin' embarrassing! 

Snoring. Pugs are the worst for this, am I right?!

Enjoying occasionally being dressed up a little (maybe on Christmas day or at a dog show!). She loves the fuss she gets and almost prances when she's wearing a little jumper as if to say 'look at me, everyone! I'm so cute!'.

Halloween 2014

Trying to eat everything when our backs are turned. Like Babybel cheese with the wrapper still on, entire pots of yogurt that she's fished from the table, wax crayons, or that time she ate an entire scented candle (pine forest breath for weeks!).

Barking at completely random things on the television such as Jeremy Kyle or a satsuma or an advert for bread(?!).

Insisting on hanging out of the car window when we travel (someone holds onto her, don't worry!).

Welcoming her human sister Emilia so beautifully. Forever patient and gentle, always in her shadow. I'm absolutely in awe at how their relationship is developing, it's amazing!

Does your pet have some funny quirks? and did you know about the partnership between the RSPCA and MORE TH>N insurance? Let me know in a comment!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Happy 19 Months!

Another month, another update! Emilia's at such a lovely stage at the moment. She's really so interested in everything and she's always keen to make us laugh. I really do love her at this age, everything is so magical to her and she's just the best fun to be around!

Here's what she's been up to this month....

Sleep - We've had a fair few super early starts this month but the last few days we've had some amazing and much more respectable 7am starts too! Emilia mostly sleeps through and is no trouble getting ready for bed!
At bedtime, Emilia currently loves sitting on our knee for a cuddle and reading books together. She loves pointing out the animals on the pages and she gets so cosy on us that it's become my absolute favourite part of the day. She loves the Belle and Boo stories at the moment and "I love you, Sleepyhead" by Claire Freedman.

Doing - Again, Emilia loves being outdoors. This month, we've spent a lot of time in the garden, visiting local farms or having long walks to the park. Her walking is so good at the moment that I'm often tempted to leave the pushchair at home.When Ben is here to help out, sometimes we don't take the pram at all and take it in turns to carry her when she get's tired! 

Saying - "Wowwww". All day, at everything! I don't know where she got this from but it's so cute! Also "broken", "pipe", "clock" and "star"..... the words she's learning at the moment are just so random!

Eating - This month we dropped her milk so she only drinks from a cup during mealtimes now and her appetite is so good now! She loves her snacks and bananas are her favourite fruit. She also loves cheese scones, pasta, beans, bolognese, rice, apples, raisins and cucumber. She'll quite happily try anything though!

Likes -  Sticker books, dancing, colouring, walking the dog, dancing, stacking and shape sorting toys, reading books, bath time, toy trains, gardening, helping with the washing or putting things in the bin (even if it's not rubbish!), being outside, smelling flowers.

Dislikes - Being told no!

Happy 19 months, my princess! 

Thursday, 7 May 2015

The Right Bra // Panache Lingerie

Would it surprise you if I told you that roughly 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size? That's a crazy amount! I was certainly one of those ladies though until I met the lovely Zehra from Panache at the City Girls event recently.
I know it's been a while since I was pregnant but being measured again was just one of those things that wasn't on my mind so I knew that the size that I was wearing was probably not correct. Zehra blew my mind though when she measured me up and told me that I was wearing completely the wrong size! Wearing a properly fitted bra can help you look and feel great so I was thrilled to be sent the Flirtini set in my actual size(!) from the Sculptresse range to try out.  

If you are not familiar with Panache, they are an award winning company who are impressively one of the world's leading designers and manufacturers of D plus lingerie. With over 30 years experience, they have built an excellent reputation for fit, technical ability, quality and value for money. I'm going to admit that this is the first time I have tried Panache and I'm really impressed! 

The Flirtini set* comes in the form of a balconnet bra and midi brief in the most ridiculously cute cherry spot print with black lace. It's pretty fabulous and completely my kind of style. The design of is totally evocative of old school Hollywood glamour yet it is equally fresh and fearlessly fun. I absolutely love it!

The whole of the Sculptresse range has been designed for ladies with curves and the fit really is very flattering whilst being super comfortable to wear. When you're a lady who wears a larger cup size, you're pretty much ruled out in most high street shops so it can be super difficult to find pretty underwear that is both affordable and looks amazing. Panache seem to tick all the right boxes though and I'm now so tempted by some of the other sets in the range! 

I love underwear that doesn't take itself too seriously but at the same time, does what it is supposed to do and supports you where it should! This set is a complete joy to wear and yes, it really is comfortable too! I've noticed that my back does not hurt half as much now when I'm wearing this bra, especially when carrying a toddler around too! Hooray for properly fitting underwear!  

* I was sent this product to review but all words are my own.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Bank Holiday Monday

A simple morning at the park. Sunshine, family, relaxing and a yummy lunch at one of our favourite cafes afterwards. A lovely way to spend the bank holiday!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Pretty in Prints

Whilst spring cleaning recently, I packed away a bunch of winter clothes and dug out some of my spring favourites in anticipation of the warmer weather coming our way. I'm a massive fan of prints when it comes to clothes and love nothing more than bold nautical stripes and fresh vintage florals at this time of year.

I was contacted by BonmarchĂ© recently who asked me to have a think about how prints inspire my day. I thought that it sounded like a fun little challenge so I thought I'd give it a go! They kindly sent me a "Pretty in Prints" containing the items below as a bit of inspiration.... I love the vintage floral teacup candle and the cute polka dot socks are right up my street!  

As you might know, we're currently in the middle of a massive clear-out at home and doing this has made me realise my signature style is changing. From the items we have remaining though it's evident that I'm still a massive fan of polka dots, stars, stripes and florals! I just can't get enough of cheerful prints! So with this in mind, I thought that I'd share some of my favourite prints and patterns from around our home at the moment....

1. Duck egg blue floral Cath Kidston wallpaper in our dining room
2. Ridiculously cute pink cloud print on Emilia's pyjamas! 
3. Candy striped craft paper I have ready to make some sweet little cards with.
4. Blue skies and fluffy white clouds on this gorgeous skirt found in the latest issue of County Living magazine.  

5. Classic Orla Kiely prints on boxes housing ribbon in my craft room
6. A bright polka dot tablecloth with a crisp white background
7. Dots on a roll of wrapping paper in my favourite colours; grey, blue and mustard yellow!
8. I love the bold mix of tartan and stripes on my large Maileg clown that I have in my bedroom. So cute!

9. British seaside locations adorning luggage tags on one of my travel bags.
10. Vintage floral print on a dress I am selling on eBay.
11. Grey star print dress that I purchased the other day ready for my holiday!
12. Floral cake tins in our kitchen.

I'd love to hear what prints inspire you. Whether it's a playful polka dot, sunny flora or maybe even a bold tribal print.... let me know!

Why not check out more from the Pretty in Prints range over at BonmarchĂ© and see what inspires you?

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Adult Colouring Books // Enchanted Forest

Hands up, who's in on the adult colouring book craze that seems to be so popular at the moment?! I know I am and I'm thrilled to see so many new books and magazines being released all of a sudden. 

Johanna Basford is the lady responsible for spearheading the trend for colouring-in as a popular form of relaxation. It's really taken off recently and even celebrities such as Andrew Marr are having a go. 
I love a spot of colouring in an evening and I know I've mentioned before that Christmas is not complete for me without new colouring books and fresh pens/paint! So when I received the "Enchanted Forest" recently (courtesy of the fab goody bag from The City Girls event*), I was thrilled and couldn't wait to get stuck in.

"Enchanted Forest" is the eagerly anticipated follow-up to the sought after "Secret Garden" colouring book which has sold over 1 million copies worldwide. Enchanted Forest takes readers on a new adventure through a labyrinth of of over 60 illustrations, to find the secrets hidden in the depths of the Enchanted Forest.

Each page is just so intricate and so impeccably well illustrated that deciding where to start almost seems overwhelming! 

The illustrations in the book are inspired by the woodlands that surrounded Johanna's grandparents house on the Isle of Arran. The pages are just magical and contain everything from flowers and plants to an abundance of wildlife such as rabbits, owls, birds, frogs and fish. The surprise on the final pages is breathtaking (I won't share it but trust me, it's amazing), I'm definitely saving that one for last!

The size of the book is impressive and the paper quality is beautiful. I've had a go with everything from crayons to watercolour paint and the paper has held up really well with everything that I've tried. My favourite method so far has been watercolour paint as it's quite portable and easier to tidy away than piles of crayons. I also find that it's easier to be creative with watercolour, though everyone is different!

If you're feeling proud of your colouring-in then you can submit your finished pictures to the online colouring gallery. It's a great place to get a bit of inspiration or to see how other people have completed their pages. Johanna posts the most liked photos up on her facebook page each week too!

Are you a fan of the adult colouring book trend? 

* PR sample

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Yankee Candle - Meadow Showers

When it comes to candles, I'm a real fan of fresh and uplifting scents. Personally, I think it's an area that Yankee Candle do really, really well and i'm not ashamed to admit that I have quite a stash of clean, fresh candle scents at home! Joining my collection recently is the "Meadow Showers" large housewarmer jar candle*, a beautiful scent that I'd love to share with you today.

Meadow Showers is officially described as "daydreaming of a quiet escape.... the naturally tranquil and airy scent of fresh raindrops on blades of green grass". It's a delicious scent with fresh, watery notes. Very beautiful and perfect for burning at this time of year!
I've used it quite a few times recently and I really love it as it's uplifting, spring-like and very clean smelling. It's definitely a little soapy too but the luscious wet grass notes balance it out perfectly. 

This candle has the power to fill our house with it's captivating aroma after just a few hours of use.  I must say it's not at all overpowering though which is lovely as i'm not a fan of scents that whack you in the face when you enter a room!
I'm really impressed by the throw of the scent and it would probably be a good one to burn after cooking food to freshen up the house again. If you like candles at bath time then this is a great one to use then too as the humidity of your bathroom really brings out the dewy fresh scent.

The candle wax itself is a gorgeous gentle green colour, very calming and a bit of a stunner to look at! Definitely one to leave out on the mantelpiece when it's not in use, it's just too pretty to put away!

Yankee Candle large Housewarmer jar candles provide an impressive 110 to 150 hours of enjoyment and retail for £19.99 on the Yankee Candle website.

Other scents that have been re-introduced for a limited time include:

A quiet day at the beach . . . the warm, musky scent of calm sea air with touches of citrusy sunshine.

Red Velvet
A most decadent creation of creamy frosting atop moist cake and a touch of brown sugar. So very sweet!

Coconut Bay
Intoxicating scent of wind-swept palms and coconut milk.

What Yankee Candle scents have you been burning recently?

* I was sent this product to review but all words are my own!