25 March 2020

Rainbow Room Edit with GLTC

We absolutely love a rainbow in our house - there is just something so uplifting and magical about them. Great Little Trading Co have recently added a gorgeous rainbow design to their collection so you can add a cheerful splash of colour to your children's play spaces and bedrooms. As part of our testing team role we were kindly sent a few items from the range which have provided a simple and effective update in the girls' rooms. Here are our favourite GLTC rainbow room picks:

Rainbow Rug 



I adore this rainbow rug, it's neutral but with a gentle splash of colour meaning it will compliment so many colour schemes. We've added it to the girls' playroom where the carpet is quite 'well loved' and it has given the room an instant facelift.


The rug is made from 100% wool and super soft to sit, play, read on - or in my children's case lie on and so cosy underfoot - it really is the perfect invitation to come on in and play. If you have hard floors it would be such a great way to add some softness to a room and would also look great in a children's bedroom.

Rainbow Canvas Storage Cubes



The rainbow storage cubes co-ordinate perfectly with the rug. We've popped three into our Abbeville nine cube unit which is great for keeping toys tidy, with our existing sage and green rope baskets and think they look great together.


The canvas cubes are a pale blue with little rainbow and stars motif. They are great for housing all sorts of things, we find them particularly good for look things like Duplo, or farm animals and other things the girls like to collect. The girls can easily lift them up and down and tidy up time is quick and easy at the end of each day.

Rainbow Shelf With Cloud Hooks



GLTC's Rainbow shelf is an adorable way to display some cute little trinkets and treasures. It comes with two little cloud pegs which you could use to hang small bags or an outfit or dressing gown. I think they make a lovely addition to a children's room.

Rainbow Bedding



Going to sleep covered by rainbows and stars seems pretty perfect to me, as does waking up to them. 100% high quality cotton, soft, fresh and bright - this rainbow bedding set ticks all the boxes for me when it comes to childrens bedding. We really love the pale blue background of this bedding as it reminds us of clear sunny skies and the outdoors, it's a really calming colour too with an injection of colour from the rainbow motif.

Rainbow Beanbag Chair



GLTC's Rainbow beanbag chair is perfect for popping in a reading corner and snuggling up with a book or for movie afternoons. I love that it can be moved around to wherever you need it and that the cover is machine washable for when it inevitably becomes a victim of snack time! Practical and pretty and really inviting for children to spend some quiet time on or get comfy while they play.

I hope you like our edit, pop over to Great Little Trading Co to see their full collection.

Me x



20 January 2020

Phoebe is 6

To Phoebe

You are six! That feels so grown up! For your birthday this year you asked me to make you a millionaire shortbread cake... you were very sure of your decision and had every faith that I could make it - both qualities that I adore about you. Whenever you decide something it's always on your terms and you stick with it.



Last summer you decided to start ballet lessons after you heard the ballet school were doing a show which involved wearing a silver sparkly leotard! You danced beautifully in that sparkly leotard and enjoyed it so much that you have continued with your lessons this year. You also have weekly swimming lessons and are so speedy in the water and your confidence is growing with each class. You are desperate to do gymnastics classes so I'm hoping by the time I write your next birthday letter that we have found a group we can fit in as I know you'll be a natural.

You learnt to ride your bike just before Christmas and tackled that with real courage, repeating to yourself 'I can do it' over and over as you peddled off independently into the distance. You have great determination and self belief in just the right quantities and will keep trying until you succeed. You are incredibly keen to learn and so studious - you like to do your homework as soon as it is set and always read more of your reading book than is expected.

You lost two teeth in December - your bottom middle two - resulting in your first visit from your tooth fairy blossom and are fascinated by the whole process of a tooth getting wobbly, coming out and a new one growing in it's place and of course the 'gold coin' reward for a shiny white tooth! If you're not a jeweller, a banker or a geologist when you're older I'll be amazed. You are still so drawn to sparkly, glittery things and asked Father Christmas this year for 'lots of gems' and were over the moon when he brought a gem excavation kit!

You have a lovely groups of friends who came for a unicorn afternoon tea the weekend before your birthday, they all wrote in your card what a wonderful friend you are which was so lovely to read. You are a kind and caring girl and will always stand up for others which is really important. My favourite thing at the moment is how much you tell me that you love me. You will just walk into the room, look at me and say 'I love you mummy so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so much!' You write little notes and leave them on our pillows, you laid out every Lego star wars character we have on daddy's bedside table recently to find when he got home from bed because you know he loves star wars.

You're always keen to help me with jobs around the house and have recently started showing more of an interest in cooking. You've learnt to peel and chop vegetables, grate cheese and are intrigued by flavours and how all the different ingredients come together to make a dish and I'm really enjoying teaching you.

You've overcome your fear of dogs this year too with the arrival of our puppy Tiffin in the summer. When we first went to see him when he was just a few weeks old you were scared to hold him and were cautious when we first brought him home. It's been great to watch your confidence around him grow and how wonderful you are with him. You're often the first to go down in the morning and say good morning to him, he sits at your command and you're always taking stolen toys off him and grooming him. We're so proud of you for that.

It's been quite a year and can't wait to watch you grow even more this year my darling and love you to the moon, round all the stars, one hundred times around the world and back again.

Mummy x

You may also like to read Phoebe is 5




2 December 2019

Ellie is 8

Dear Ellie

And just like that you're eight! It's been a busy year for you with some changes as you've moved into year three and key stage three at school. You've started wearing glasses this year for board work at school and watching TV and chose a really cute pink pair that really suit you, they do however make you look ever so grown up which I'm not sure I'm ready for!



True to form you're getting involved in lots of different activities, trying new things and really enjoying all your extra curricular clubs. You've started playing the fife this year in preparation for a flute and I can tell that this brings you a huge sense of achievement. The arts are definitely your thing and something you are naturally good at and enjoy. You're doing amazingly well with your ballet and have moved up to Grade 2 and have auditioned for extra classes as a Cecchetti Associate in London - something you are so keen to pursue. 

I love that you take every opportunity that is presented to you with such enthusiasm - one of these being singing at Young Voices 2020 in January. Even though things scare you sometimes you dig deep and find some courage surprising me sometimes. This summer you had a go at indoor rock climbing with daddy and it was amazing to watch you climb a little higher and then a little higher each time. You do love an adventure, particularly when it comes to holidays and were thrilled that we stayed in a beach hut in August and even had a very chilly early morning dip in the sea each day! You're off on your first school residential next year and although you're apprehensive, with a likely little wobble just before, I know you'll take it all in your stride because of how you've approached life so far.

You are incredibly sensitive and caring and love animals. You asked to sponsor an endangered animal  for Christmas this year which was such a thoughtful request and are looking forward to your newsletters arriving in the post. You love to read, and be read to - we're covering some great authors together which is really special - David Walliams, JK Rowling and Enid Blyton to name a few. You still love Harry Potter, along with narwhals and llamas!

We moved you back into what was your nursery this year after sharing with Phoebe for a few years. You have definitely inherited my need for space and time on your own every now and then so we created a lovely grown up room for you with a high sleeper, with a reading corner and desk underneath where you really enjoy taking yourself off to. This change has also meant that you've been able to stay up a little later than your sisters on occasion and I've loved sitting watching Strictly Come Dancing and the Greatest Dancer with you on Saturday evenings - you're such great company and I treasure that time with you. 

You have a great imagination and still play often which I'm so delighted about in a time where childhood as I remember it appears to be getting shorter. You come up with great creative ideas and will make things like tickets and posters for our movie nights and you draw whenever you get chance.

The icing on the cake this year if I were to ask you, would have to be the addition of our little border terrier puppy Tiffin! With you all being a bit older were finally in a position to add a dog to the family and it was wonderful when we took you to see the litter to choose one. Tiffin sat on your knee for ages the first time we went and then the second time we went to visit he came straight over to you. Daddy says it's like he knew he was meant to be yours. He's bringing the whole family so much joy so thank you for being so persistent - we're all really glad you were!

I want you to know how proud I am of you every single day just for being you, of your kindness and your patience with your sisters (it's not always easy being the eldest, I know) and that I love you so much. 

Happy birthday my love. 

Mummy x

You may also like to read last year's birthday letter:
Ellie is 7




27 November 2019

Countdown to Christmas with GLTC

The countdown to Christmas is such an exciting time but it can feel like a long wait until Christmas day if you're a child. Something our children look forward to each year is opening their advent calendar, which as well as providing a little treat each day helps them count down the sleeps until Christmas morning.

Great Little Trading Co Wooden Advent Calendar

This year we have been very kindly sent a beautiful Wooden Advent Calendar by Great Little Trading Co to test as part of our testing team role and we love it for several reasons:
  1. It's incredibly well made and doubles up as a decoration too. The girls love the cute little characters on top!
  2. It's plastic free and reusable making it a sustainable option as we can keep it forever. I love creating Christmas traditions for the girls and really like the idea of using the calendar year upon year and it becoming something they'll remember when they are older. 
  3. You can fill it with whatever you like! The girls love chocolate coins so I'll be filling ours with those, but you could also put in stickers or little Christmas notes with festive activities on. GLTC have a brilliant set of printable ideas over on their blog which you can download HERE
  4. There are 24 easy to open doors and behind each door there is a hidden message telling you how many sleeps there are until Christmas.
  5. It's well sized with a small footprint, but with enough space behind each door for me to include three little treats meaning the girls can share it. 
Great Little Trading Co Wooden Advent Calendar

I can't wait to fill it up this year and every year after and I know the girls will love opening it each morning. You can find this calendar and a whole host of gorgeous Christmas decorations and gift ideas over on the Great Little Trading Company website.

Me x

*This is a collaborative post.
We were kindly gifted the calendar as part of our GLTC Testing Team role*

1 November 2019

Three Days In New York

Last November I spent a long weekend in New York with two wonderful and much treasured friends. The three of us met when we had our first babies and have formed a friendship that has gone from strength to strength over the last seven years -  even when one of us emigrated to Australia!

The view of Brooklyn Bridge from DUMBO

Together we booked and planned our trip in just two weeks. This is most unlike me... I am one of those people who likes to research my trips and have a detailed itinerary. I guess when we're travelling with three children in tow I do that for peace of mind but a girly trip was entirely different. The main purpose was to see each other and everything else became a bonus, albeit in one of the most incredible cities in the world! Between us we simply made a list of places we'd like to go and things we'd like to experience, then roughly made a plan each day after a quick look at the weather and a map. 

The view from our apartment in New York

Staying in an apartment in Midtown Manhattan we were pretty much able to walk everywhere. This gave us a real feel for the city but also meant we were able to chat while we walked from one place to another. Jet lag meant we were up and out pretty early having had a quick breakfast in the apartment. The whole time we were there I felt like I was in a movie - even thought it was my first visit to New York it felt so familiar. I felt like we saw so much in the short time we were there as well as ensuring we stopped to take it all in. We undoubtedly only scratched the surface of what this amazing place has to offer, but I wanted to share our 'itinerary' with you in case you find yourself in New York for the weekend so here it is:


Day 1 


Tiffany's

We couldn't walk past Tiffany's and not go in... numerous floors of iconic jewellery and even a restaurant on the top floor where you can have 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. (Apparently there is at least at 30 day wait list so you definitely need to book this in advance, rather than attempt to walk in like we did!)


Brunch at the Plaza

We found ourselves feeling rather peckish as we arrived at the corner of Central Park and right next to the Plaza Hotel, so we nipped down into the food hall below for some brunch. It's full of gorgeous places to grab a quick bite to eat including cheesecake, cupcakes, pancakes etc. We opted for avocado on toast, smoothies and coffee sitting at the counter of the 'Tartinery'

Me enjoying the sunshine in Central Park


Central Park

I could have easily spent a whole day here. It is an amazing place of calm, surrounded by skyscrapers and all I had imagined it to be and more. We took a tuk tuk tour in order to see as much of it as possible in the short amount of time we had. Our guide was funny, took us to several famous spots and pointed out lots of interesting sights that we might not have found otherwise. It was a good whistle stop tour, but it was very expensive for what it was so I think I'd prefer to wander at leisure if I ever go back.

John Lennon Imagine Memorial in Central Park

Times Square

Times Square was much smaller than I had pictured but no less amazing. It's not somewhere I'd want to spend any length of time but the bustle and all the lights on the billboards, combined with the steam coming up from the subway are a must see sight even in daylight. 

Times Square New York

We got a bit carried away with excitement when we were here and popped into one of the Broadway theatres and booked tickets to see School of Rock the following evening... it turns out that New York is a great place to be impulsive!


Rockefella Centre

We didn't go up the Rock as all three of us aren't great with heights and we'd planned to see the skyline one night from the comfort of a rooftop bar! Wandering around the bottom of with the iconic Christmas tree and ice rink at the front of it was pretty amazing in itself.


Saks

Saks is right across the road from the Rockefella Centre and their Christmas lights show is amazing if you happen to be there over the festive season. We popped inside too but as it was Black Friday it was a little manic!

Saks department store at Christmas


MoMa

We planned to go to MoMa on Friday as it is free entry between 4pm and 8pm (normally $25). It was well worth a visit with original artwork by Van Gogh, Monet and Andy Warhol to name just a few of the iconic artists exhibited there.

Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol at MoMa New York

Cocktails at Baccarat

When we came out of MoMa it was dark and across the road we spotted the draw of twinkling lights which turned out to be the most incredible bar in the Baccarat Hotel where we sat for a few hours chatting with drinks, nibbles and the most wonderful service.

Day 2 


Empire State Building

We didn't go up the Empire State building once again due to a residing fear of heights, but we did walk right by it on our way to the High Line and enjoyed looking back at it across the city. It looks particularly iconic when it's lit up at night. The whole skyline is amazing - we were lucky to have beautiful clear blue skies while we were there too providing the most glorious backdrop.

Empire State Building Street View

The High Line 

The high line is an old disused rail road which has been converted into a 1.45 mile elevated walkway through Chelsea, right next to the Hudson River. There's lots of artwork along the way and it's really peaceful spot  to wander along with some fab viewing platforms looking down long streets lined with brownstone buildings. 

Artwork along The High Line New York

We joined the walkway on West 30th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues just by 'Think Coffee' where we had hot drinks, doughnuts and a 'Brookie'. (A Brownie and a Cookie together in case you were wondering - and every bit as tasty as it sounds.) The High Line and the area around it is great for people watching, bohemian boutiques and so many atmospheric places to eat and drink.


Chelsea Market 

Chelsea Market was one of our favourite spots where we lost ourselves in a gorgeous book shop called Posman Books, wandering past flower stalls, and admiring gorgeous interiors shops for our imaginary loft apartment! We also had a long lazy lunch with a wine flight at 'Corkbuzz' and just soaked in the atmosphere of it all. 

Chelsea Market New York

Cocktails at the Standard at sunset

We had late afternoon drinks in 'Le Bain' at The Standard at sunset - a rooftop bar with glass walls and the most amazing views of the skyline. It was a really cool place to watch the sun go down and see the city change from day to night. I would absolutely love to have pre-dinner drinks in 'The Standard' itself, which has the same views but is much more formal, you need to book and be dressed to impress though. (Which we weren't after a day of sightseeing!)

School of Rock on Broadway

We finished our day with a quick slice of pizza and 'School of Rock' on Broadway. The cast were absolutely fantastic and we thoroughly enjoyed the show. I'd most definitely recommend it, although I probably enjoy the London West End theatre experience more as it just feels a more special.

Day 3 


Ground Zero

I felt like I couldn't go to New York and not visit Ground Zero. It was a very emotional few hours spent at the memorial and in the museum and an experience that I won't ever forget. The survivors tree, colour of the sky art installation and white roses on the names of those who lost their lives on their birthday will particularly stay with me. 

Survivor Tree at Ground Zero

The new One World Trade centre stands magnificently next to the memorial and is absolutely incredible.

One World Trade Centre New York

Brooklyn Bridge

From Ground Zero we walked to Brooklyn Bridge and then across it, looking back at the skyline. We could also see Lady Liberty in the distance and then the Manhattan Skyline in the other direction. The bridge itself is beautiful and a really pleasant stroll across, although busy!

The view looking back from Brooklyn Bridge


DUMBO

DUMBO Stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass and is a super trendy area of Brooklyn with some amazing spots to watch the world go by and just wander around. 

DUMBO, Brookyn, New York

We had coffee and sweet treats in 'One Girl Cookies' and then wine sitting in the window of a lovely little restaurant called 'Atrium'. It was so much quieter in comparison to the bustle of Manhattan and felt like a really relaxing place to be.

Coffee and sweet treats at One Girl Bakery in DUMBO

Jane's Carousel

You can't visit DUMBO and not go on Jane's Carousel no matter your age. It's a beautifully preserved Victorian carousel in a glass atrium with the most amazing views of the city and at just $2 each it was a wonderful bit of magical escapism!

Janes Carousel, DUMBO, New York


Dinner in Greenwich Village

From Dumbo we got a Uber to 'Pinto Garden', a great Thai restaurant in Greenwich Village which has a really intimate setting that I'd highly recommend. Ask to be seated in the enclosed garden at the back, it left us feeling like NYC locals!

Things I'd like to do if when, I go back:

I've literally thought of New York every day since my visit and cannot wait to go back, In fact, I've already starting saving!
  • Spend more time in Central Park with lunch at the Boathouse on the Lake.
  • See the Flat iron building and Washington Square Arch
  • Pop into New York Library and see the original Pooh Bear and friends.
  • Grand Central Station - we had a really quick look at this but it’s absolutely beautiful and somewhere I’d like to sit and have a drink and people watch a bit more.
  • Explore more of Chelsea, Greenwich Village and West Village
  • Have pancakes, eat a cupcake and have pizza - How I didn't get round to doing these things is beyond me!
  • Take a walk around Battery Park
  • Explore more of Brooklyn
 I'd love to know your favourite New York spots, please do share them in the comments below and I'll add them to my 'to visit' list for next time!

Me x