29 May 2018

Wanderlust and Holiday Gems

My travel wish list has been growing almost daily since booking a little escape to the sun this summer and I have a serious case of wanderlust. I love researching destinations and hotels and finding hidden holiday gems that offer so much more than first meets the eye, I'm already thinking about where to go next... 

Where to next? I'm ready for our next travel adventure

The girls are at an age where they are so intrigued about the world around them and I want to show them as much of it as I can, for them to see new countries and cultures and to explore all that they have to offer. Before having the girls, Oli and I loved to travel together and it would be wonderful for us to take a short trip or two together at some point, there's something so special about shared experience and travel is so good for the soul. Here are just three of the holiday gems on my 'to visit list': 

1. Santorini

I've holidayed to Greece many times but I am yet to visit Santorini. It looks like such a romantic spot and is famed for it's incredible sunsets -  I'm hoping for a little mini break here for Oli and I one day in the not to distant future. The little white buildings nestled in the volcanic cliff tops over looking the Aegean sea have such an allure and there's so much to explore on the island as well as it being the perfect place to just 'be'.  I'd love to spend a few hours wondering cobbled streets, visiting historic buildings and caves and learning more about the island's volcanic past. 

2. Cape Verde

What's not to love about somewhere where they experience roughly 350 days a year of sunshine?  This cluster islands off the coast of Africa have only recently opened their doors to tourism making it relatively unspoilt and there is so much to do here! The landscape is amazingly diverse and as is the culture with African, Portuguese and Brazilian influences. The draw for me is the feeling of escapism with white sandy beaches and turquoise seas as well as all the activities on offer from watersports, to horse riding and fishing but also wonderful experiences such as turtle and whale watching which I know the girls would adore.

3. Ibiza

I've always thought of Ibiza solely as a party destination but that is only one part of what the island has to offer. There are some great family friendly resorts where you can enjoy the stunning azure seas and explore quaint little villages, markets and Marinas. I'd love to visit Ibiza town which is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ibiza strikes me as a really laid back place where you can just slow down the pace of lift a bit and spend some quality time together as a family.

Me x

* This post has been written in collaboration with Holiday Gems where you can book holidays to all three of these destinations and more. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

10 May 2018

Pretty Partywear from Marks and Spencer

I don't know about you but my girls have a far better social life than me and a wardrobe to match! They have birthday parties most weekends and love putting on a pretty party dress to mark the occasion.

The 2018 spring summer girls occasion wear collection is so pretty.

Marks and Spencer have the most beautiful range of girls occasion wear and accessories this season which we were kindly sent to share with you. We have lots of events planned over the summer including a garden party to celebrate the royal wedding which they will be absolutely perfect for.

The girls absolutely love their floaty pink chiffon dresses from Marks and Spencer. They are perfect for all kinds of celebrations.

The collection features soft, floaty, romantic pastels with the gorgeous little details and a touch of sparkle too. The dresses move beautifully meaning the girls can run about in them comfortably  and have fun whilst looking absolutely adorable. They are timeless and classic, with a modern vintage feel and I can also confirm that they meet the very important twirl test in our house!

This dress would make a lovely flower girl outfit, it's classic and timeless

Lottie's gorgeous chiffon sequin dress is available from 1-7 years and is perfect for summer events, parties, weddings and christenings. It is a very pale peach colour with sequins on the petal sleeves and a subtle sparkly silver band around the middle. It's also available in a stunning mint green:

This dress looks so fresh and the sequin detail on the sleeves really stands out

The dresses are lightweight and cool and feel so luxurious, I adore the timeless and classic look they give. I think they are excellent value for money at £34-36 and I know we'll get so much wear out of them. The dresses are machine washable so practical too which is important if you're children like cake as much as mine do!

We love this pink flower cluster dress adorned with lots of sequins, it's perfect for twirling in!

Ellie absolutely adores her pink Flower Cluster Dress which has sequin detailing and a bit of volume to the skirt, I think if she could design herself a dress this would be it! The sequins catch the light beautifully in the sunshine, Ellie couldn't stop dancing around in it.

The sequin detail on this dress is so pretty and it's so easy to wear

No party dress is complete without shoes or accessories and M&S have such a great range which will co-ordinate with all their party outfits. The girls are all wearing little white lace pumps with a little bow at the front. They come with removable ankle straps which were very generous in size so you can wear them with or without these. 

These pretty ballet pumps go with everything, they would make great flower girl shoes

There is also a lovely selection of hair accessories available in store such as these pretty flower headbands which the girls called their 'tiaras' which look fantastic with the dresses.

No outfit is complete without accessories -  we love this gold flower detail headband

I love Lottie's simple white flower clip which keeps the hair off her face and adds the perfect finishing touch, it would be so lovely for a flower girl.

A simple yet effective hair clip makes the perfect finishing touch

The girls love their outfits so much they don't need a celebration to wear them, I can already tell that they'll be firm favourites! There are lots more stunning items in the M&S girls party wear collection which you can view HERE.

Me x

*This is a collaborative post. 
We were kindly gifted the girl's outfits*

7 May 2018

Mealtimes with Skip Hop

There seems to be a real shortage of children's tableware but luckily Skip Hop have got it covered with their adorable animal character sets. The have it covered from drinks bottles to bowls, plates and cutlery - making mealtimes brighter and more fun whilst being practical at the same time.

We were kindly sent some butterfly plates, bowls, drinking bottles and cutlery to try out and I was really impressed. The thing I love about Skip Hop is the quality and design, as well as looking super cute their range is made to last. The girls really love the simple and colourful characters and are keen to set the table at mealtimes.

Zoo Straw Bottle

Recommended for 12 months plus these drinking bottles are fab. They have a a flip lid and flexible straw and are perfect for on the go, for lunch boxes or just at mealtimes to prevent spillages. They are  BPA free and there are clear instructions on how to clean the bottle and straw as well as a spare straw should it need replacing at any point which I thought was brilliant. Lottie is able to open and close the lid herself which is great.

It's also dishwasher safe and having taken it out and about there were no leaks in my bag. Lottie loves the butterfly motif and the pink bottle, I've found having a drinking bottle she likes drinking out of has encouraged her to drink more which on warmer days is important so that she is hydrated in the sunshine.

 Zoo Melamine Plate and Bowl Set

I was really impressed at the quality of the the plate and bowl, they are made from melamine and really durable. Coming as a set they make a lovely gift and represent good value for money. Suitable from 6 months onwards they are perfect for all mealtimes whether that's hot or cold lunches and dinners, picnics or snacks. 

The girls rush to the cupboard to pick theirs out ready for mealtimes. They really like the divider on the plate which is good for separating food and the bowls are a firm favourite at breakfast time. They are perfectly sized and again can go in the dishwasher. 

Zootensils Fork and Spoon Set

This set is brilliant for toddlers learning to use a fork or spoon. They are so easy to hold and perfect for little hands with soft grip sides. They are durable stainless steal with the character motif on both sides and can of in the dishwasher. Lottie finds them really easy to use due to the size and shape of them making mealtimes less messy, even when it comes to things like yogurt!

There are so many different designs in the Skip Hop mealtimes range so you can choose a character your child will love and you can mix and match and collect designs too. We have our eyes on the new Luna Llama set next!

Me x

1 May 2018

Making our house a home

After renovating our kitchen last summer I have a growing list of projects I'd like to work on in our home. Some of the other rooms are looking a little tired and are definitely in need of a refresh in terms of painting and replacing flooring. Renovating the kitchen also really helped us pinpoint our style as we ripped everything out and started completely from scratch meaning we love every element of the room from its styling to it's functionality, it's no wonder it's started to show the other rooms in the house up!

we completely refitted our kitchen with a Howdens kitchen, oak beam and work tops, travertine stone floor and micro subway tiles
Our Kitchen which we refitted in August 2017
Making our house a home brings me such a sense of satisfaction and I'm excited to continue to update each room and make it a space we really love. I thought I'd share 5 home improvements I'd like to make in the not to distant future:

1. Update the flooring

After seven years in our home (and with three children!) the carpets are looking very tired throughout the house. They have seen their fair share of spillages and footfall and have seen better days. I'd really like to replace the carpets with wooden flooring, something practical like a high quality laminate flooring and make it cosy with runners, rugs and other soft furnishings.

2. Replace the front door

If you follow me over on Instagram you'll know I'm rather fond of our front door however it is rather drafty, the paint is peeling and it really does need replacing. I have dreams of a dusky pink door and whilst the girls agree that this is a fantastic idea, Oli may take a bit of convincing, if not i'd settle for one like this...

Rustic solid wood door painted ivory with a spring floral wreath
Door goals... My parent's lovely front door

3. Install a new bathroom

Our bathroom is very much a functional place and not a very beautiful one - currently accessorised by a million bath toys and a potty! As the girls get older I'd really love to reclaim this space and give the room a complete overhaul with tongue and groove panelling, patterned tiles and a roll top bath perfect for relaxing in with a book.

4. Change the blinds and curtains to shutters

Many of our windows are still undressed and we have kind of ended up with different styles throughout the house where we do have them. I'd love to unify everything with some white wooden shutters. I love the light that they let in, the privacy that they provide when required and how stylish they look. not to mention that they go with everything so changing the room scheme is not a problem.

A little shelf we have in the home corner of our playroom from GLTC
Extra space will be a priority in the future as the girls get older

5. Converting the loft

This last one is a big one but something we are probably going to have to do eventually. The house currently has three bedrooms which means two of our children share a room The shared bedroom is working out fine at the moment while they are little but I know from experience that they will want their own space as they get older. We don't plan on moving as it will be far more cost effective to add an extra bedroom on. The loft would lend itself beautifully to a cosy extra bedroom full of character.

Me x