Our March…

March seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye and as I still here going over what we have been up to I think it’s probably the fact we have been so busy it has just flown by.

Archie started off the month with landing himself his first real part time job. It is on a church retreat and he had the job of cooking, cleaning and serving the guests. He seems to be thoroughly enjoying the more tasks he is set and meeting new people who all seem to have sixth amazing stories to tell.

I have to admit when he first told me about where it was(down a load of country lanes with no public transport) I was moaning like made as I knew this was going to fall back on me to get him there and back. But it wasn’t until someone said instead of moaning you should be proud of him for taking the time to find himself work and apply himself that I realise I should suck it up and praise him for his drive and want for independence.

Frankie has one of his routine trips to the hospital for an eye check and the good news is he is nearly done with patching. There has been a huge improvement in this sight and they have got it to a leave that is now remaining stable, so the daily battles with the patch I’m am happy to say are now over!

I fast forwarded the year and stepped straight into summer at the Next Happy Hotel event where I got to look at a whole host of products from homeware, clothing and beauty that are set to make for a pretty great summer. There were some fantastic pieces in each and every section but I think I was most surprised by the amount of other beauty brands that are available through next. I had no idea they stocked Benefit…did you?

From a event on my own to one with all the family at Chessington World Of Adventures. For those of you that regularly read my blog you will know that I have been an ambassador for them for the past few years now and absolutely love watching the changes each and every year. This year the have a new interactive attraction based on the much loved book – Room On The Broom. The children loved it and it’s a must see for any fans of the story.

I have been up and down with my exercise but Jemma’s Health Hub has kept things pretty constant for me so I’m hoping to feel a lot healthier and less self continuous this summer.

Whist we are in the subject of health I had a little bit of a scare with some chest pains that I was referred to the hospital for. My blood pressure isn’t really what it should be and I am waiting on a scan just to check that everything is ok and it’s actually given me more of a push to shift these pounds and get my exercise back to being an everyday routine rather than a chore.

Peppa Pig is still very much a favourite in this house with the boys…even though Frankie wouldn’t let on to anyone; so we were very excited to go along to Leicester Square to see the new film that is put this Easter. The boys absolved it and I’m sure it’s going to be another big hit.

From this screening we went straight to the Royal Opera House to take a look at one of their family fun Sunday events. I was more than a little apprehensive about taking the youngest two as they don’t really scream Royal Opera house! I needn’t have worried though as it was such a relaxed atmosphere where they got to enjoy lots of crafts, storytelling sessions and witness the most amazing ballet and modern performances. It really would come highly recommend from us.

With Mother’s Day on everyone’s minds I was invited along for afternoon tea with Paperchase. We got to chat to lots of lovey mummies and take a look at all the amazing products Paperchase had to offer this year.

A highlight for me probably more than the children this month though was a screening of the new Dumbo movie. It is most definitely a childhood favourite for me and I was so pleased that Disney had worked their magic and managed to recreate a different but equally as thought provoking and heart warming movie as the last.

Spring definitely seems to have been making an appearance and we have been enjoying this with some time in the garden, plenty of hot cross buns and some spring flowers. I really do love this time of year.

The last few days of March will always be ones to remember as the day we were celebrating Izzy’s 13th birthday party my eldest daughter Alice decided to give birth to my beautiful second grandchild. We don’t like to do things by halves in this family and it was a whirlwind 24 hours but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

After all the chaos it was time to celebrate Mother’s Day and this is traditionally a nightmare day and this year didn’t disappoint.

I think I have this ridiculous expectations that my children are going to turn into angels for one day and the arguing and bad behaviour are all going to disappear! Sadly of course this doesn’t happen and we started the day with two of them devouring my chocolates before I even sat down to breakfast, one then decided to throw the said breakfast as their sisters head and so the day started.

Next year I’m going to lower the expectations in the hope that this will help!

Five Spring Wardrobe Essentials

[AD] Now that the winter is nearly over, my thoughts are turning to updating my spring wardrobe. So I have been doing a little research to identify the latest trends. Here are some of my favourites.

Linen is back…

Looking at the Fashion World website it is clear that linen is very much back on trend. Currently, this retailer and many others are stocking all kinds of items made from this wonderful natural fabric. It is great for regulating your body temperature and wearing it is good for the environment.

Keep an eye out for trousers and shorts made from linen. But, be a little careful with this fabric. It can wrinkle quite badly, so usually it is best to buy linen mix items.

Later in the year, you can expect to see linen jackets being made widely available. When choosing which trousers you buy bear this in mind and try to buy cuts that will look good when worn with a semi-formal linen jacket.

If it has been a while since you owned linen, you might like to read this post. It explains how to take care of this wonderful fabric.

Comfy trousers…

Widelegged or slouch trousers are a big trend. They are very comfortable, but be careful not to buy a pair that are so big and baggy that they drown you.

At this time of the year, crop trousers are a particularly good option. They will take you right through the summer too.

Asymmetrical necklines…

Necklines have got really interesting this year.  Look a special eye out for stunning asymmetrical necklines in a bewildering range of cuts. Try a few on to find out which ones suit you the best. Also, bare in mind tan lines if you are buying tops or dresses for your holiday. If you are not careful you could end up like a stripped tiger.

Beautiful lavender clothing…

For the spring, the standout colour is lavender. It appeared on the catwalks late last summer but didn’t really take off. Fortunately, this means that you get a 2nd bite of the cherry. It is a difficult color to match, so the best approach is to dress head to toe in lavender using different tones to add interest. 

But, you can get away with wearing white accessories. White sandals work particularly well with a lavender dress. Plus, you can always pair lavender trousers or skirts with a nice white blouse.

Head to toe neutrals…

If that colour is not for you, go for neutrals instead. The winter whites trend has moved on slightly with stone, light tan and beige items being introduced. This is a classy and stylish look that works for most skin tones and complexions. When choosing which items you buy, think about how you are going to blend them in with other items in your wardrobe. For example, a cream blouse is going to look great with your jeans, much better than a tan one would. 

I hope you enjoyed this women’s fashion post and it had given you all a little inspiration.

Our February…

Well February has been a pretty funny one weather wise hasn’t it. We spent the beginning of the month with everything crossed that the snow flurries were going to settle and give us a couple of ‘snow days’ and then the end of the month stripping back to T-shirts and eating ice cream in the park.

The beginning of the month was actually a cause for celebration in our house as we celebrated granddaughter number two’s imminent arrival with a baby shower for Alice. I haven’t quite got my head around being a nanny to Isla yet and we already have another one on the way to add to the madness of the family.

We also spend a good few hours in the garden getting it ready for the warmer weather. The boys have been really lucky to have a new playhouse, slide and sandpit and we can’t wait to find the perfect paddling pool to make us completely summer ready!

It’s not to often that I socialise in the evenings anymore and I decided this new year that I was going to stop being such a misery and get out with my friends more.

I had a lovely evening with the mums from Oscar’s class. Ate to much a drank more than I should which made for an all round great evening.

Getting back into my fitness has been a great success this month thanks to Jemma’s Heath Hub. Jemma and I had found each other though the wonderful world of Instagram and she asked me to trial her online fitness program which had seen me out of bed super early three times a week to take part in an online exercise session with a whole load of other likeminded women. Go and check her out if you are looking to get back into fitness and want something to do in your own home.

My husband is the romantic one in our relationship and my lack of romantic is something that really gets to him. So this Valentine’s Day we both took a few hours out of our day to grab some lunch and randomly walk around a local museum…not really his idea of a good day out!

One of my first real jobs was working in the food hall at Marks and Spencer. I still have fond memories of this and they were an amazing company to work for. So fast forward a good few years my new job has landed me back at Marks and Spencer…but behind the scenes at head office.

It really is moments like this that make me realise all the hours I put in are most definitely worth it and it was so amazing to be behind the scenes of a place that is so close to my heart.

The boys were gifted scooters from the wonderful Micro Scooters this month and they literally haven’t got off them since. They have always been my first choice for scooters as they are so easy to use and look amazing. They came with use on a trip to the park the other day where we all enjoyed our first ice cream of the year.

We get to explore many parts of London with my job but Battersea is someone I don’t I have ever been and the children certainly haven’t. We had a more than pleasant surprise when we went along to the power station during half term and got to witness what an amazing job they are doing there.

They have some great shops and restaurants and lots of bits and pieces to keep the children occupied along the waterfront. We were actually there to try out a class at the über cool Boom Cycle whist the kids were kept occupied at the lovely ladies from Kids Table. It is definitely one to put on your list.

We actually did a lot of eating in town this half term with a trip to Yo Sushi and Las Iguanas who both offer great deals during the school holidays so keep this in mind for Easter.

Half term was actually a pretty packed one for us and aside from duties of dog sitting at mum and dads we got to enjoy some great events, including a trip to Neville’s in Belgravia for the launch of the new range of hair care from Child’s Farm.

The boys thought they were super models and spent the morning requesting exactly how they wanted their hair styled whilst me and Izzy were treated to some braids and of course a bit of glitter.

The end of month saw an event just for me which is always a welcome change and I attended the launch of the Emma Willis Collection from Next.

It was an amazing evening where I got to see the whole range which was a stylish and gorgeous as Emma herself.

I spent the evening catching up with friends, drinking way to much Prosecco and fan girling Emma for most of the night!

Transitional Dressing With Simply Be

Christmas is now all done and dusted and as always I’m onto the next thing and getting excited about the fact that spring shouldn’t be that far away. I love the cosiness of winter and wearing all those big chunky knits and heavy coats but I want a bit of brightness back in my life and am looking forward to introducing some colour back into my wardrobe, along with some softer fabrics.

There is actually no harm in getting ahead of the game buying a few key pieces that you can wear now and will take you right through to summer.

I have found a few of my favourite pieces here that are going to be perfect for layering up with whilst the weather is still cold as well as being perfect for wearing alone on those gorgeous spring days we are all so looking forward to.

T-Shirt Dress: Without fail there is always one of these in my wardrobe. I wear mine with chunky cardigans and jeans during the cold months and swap this for sliders and sunglasses as soon as the sun shows its face.

Maxi Dresses: These have been a favourite of mine for a while now as they are so easy to wear come day or night. They look great with knee high boots or trainers as well as sandals or a killer heel. I love wearing mine with oversized demin or cute leather jackets now and then letting them make a statement all on their own once spring is here.

High Waisted Shaper Jeggings: Shaper jeggings are my best friend at the moment as they allow you to create a smarter look than a conventional legging whilst giving you good shape and support after all those mince pies! They look great with oversized sweatshirts and trainers now and equally as good with a floating floral blouse come spring.

High Neck T-Shirts: A good quality plain t-shirt is a staple for any wardrobe as it is one of the most versatile items you can own. The possibilities are endless and it can be used as something as simple as a base layer in the cold to making a great background for a piece of statement jewellery during warmer times.

Zip Front Pinafore: I have so much love for a pinafore…although I am regularly told by my sister I am far to old to be wearing one! This zip fronted one is perfect to wear with a roll neck and tights right now and then with a plain tee and sandals in the summer months, I would even go for a vest top underneath if I was feeling brave enough.

Chunky Cardigans: We all know that even in the hight of summer the UK can throw us a curve ball when it come to the weather and things can be pretty nippy; so a good cardigan with splash of colour can brighten up an dreary day just like this gorgeous blue leopard print one that is certainly on my list.

Duster Coats: Now these are another item that I find a life saver and perfect for those time in the winter when I’m nipping on and off a hot tube and need something a little lighter than my big winter coat and great for slinging over a spring outfit when it gets a little nippy.

I hope you liked this little selection and I would love to know what pieces  in your wardrobe you rely on the get you through all the seasons.

*Collaborated post.

Get Ready To Sparkle With JD Williams This Christmas

For anyone the knows me I need no excuse to get the sparkles out and at this time of year  it is of course completely acceptable to wear sequins from head to toe all day long…isn’t it?

However if you are a little more subdued than me Christmas really is the perfect time to sparkle. There are more ways then you may think to wear sequins, with party dresses coming top of my list. I have a few ways in wish to wear then below so check them out as I can guarantee there will be something to suit everyone.

Shirt Dresses – For me this is a really versatile way to wear a lot of sparkle. You can go all out and wear the dress along with a pair of killer heels or wear over a pair of jeans and pumps to dress it down a little. Either way would give you that real wow factor.

Sequin Collars – For those of you that still want a touch of glitz then accessories are the way forward. Anything from a clutch bag to a pair of shoes would give you a little sparkle or even better some sequin detail to the collar of a plain blouse would make an outfit.

All Over Sequin Tops – Dressing up a pair of jeans or some tailored trousers is always a good option for a night out and a colour popping sequin is the perfect way to jazz up what could ordinary be a bit of a bland outfit.

Sparkly Kimono – I love the fluidity of a kimono style dress. This is certainly a dress that speaks for itself and vert little else is needed to make it a standout outfit.

Sparkly Skirts – This season you can’t of helped but notice the hot trend for sequins and chunky knits and this is by far my favourtie way to wear them at the moment. A sequinned midi skirt teamed with pretty much any chunky knit can be worn with traders during the day for a dressy brunch outfit or the heels can be cracked out to give it a head turing evening feel.

I hope this has given you some food for thought for the festive season ahead and I would love to know your favourite take on these outfits.

*collaborated post

Bobux:Comfort, Style, Made With Love

“we make shoes that are the best thing parents can do for their kids feet”

These are the words of the husband and wife mastermind behind the beautiful brand – Bobux.

For me choosing shoes for infants is a hugely important task with so many things to consider. Their delicate little feet need to be well protected, the shoe needs to be comfortable and easy to move around in and also look good.

Bobux have got this down to a tee and taken all these elements to create beautiful shoes that grow with your child.

My youngest two are super adventurous and certainly know their own minds when it comes to dressing so something that can withstand active boys whist appealing to their fashion needs is always a challenge.

Thankfully from the minute they started to scroll though the vast collection that Bobux have online their wish lists grew and grew and had to be whittled down to their favourites.

With the colder weather fast approaching we decided on a pair of boots for the both of them with Oscar going for the red Outback boot and Frankie and his quirky taste going for the silver Vault boot.

Both boots are made of super soft leather with zip fastenings and an elastic panel to the side making them really easy to get on and off.

We put the boots to the test with a walk around town and no complaint was made about sore or uncomfortable feet. So often within a few hours I have little ones moaning and groaning about shoes that rub or simply just don’t feel right.

The quality make and leather of this boots really shone through and made for an easy day for us all.

The simplistic design means they are perfect for everyday wear but can equally be dressed up for a special occasion.

They also lend themselves well to suiting both sexes.

As I said Frankie loves something alternative so the super cool silver was a big hit with him and the boldred of oscars boots really makes a statement.

The love and attention to detail really shines thoughin each pair of shoes and they arecertainly a brand we will be going back to time and time again.

*collaborated post

Protecting Young Eyes With Smart Buy Glasses

When it comes to sunglasses for me it is fashion first before anything else.

I’ve never been one to spend a lot on glasses as I change my mind all the time as to the style I like and I am also terrible at loosing them!

I have always made do with high street glasses that normally don’t cost more than £10 and for the children it is pretty much the same thing.

Picking up a pair that they are drawn to in the supermarket has always been how I shopped for them as I know they aren’t going to last five minutes before they get broken or lost.

It wasn’t until the other day when I had to make an eye appointment for Frankie that I was informed of how important it is to look after our little ones eyes.

Below are some of the reasons why we need to protect our eyes…especially when the children are little:

  • UV damage is not only harmful to our skin, it can also affect our eyes too. I mean none of us would let the children out without suncream would we.
  • Half of the damage of our lifetimes sun expose is in the first twenty years of life so it’s really important to protect ourselves from a young age.
  • Longterm effects of UV damage to the eyes can cause problems such as cataracts in old age.

There are so many things we can do to prevent this from happening so when Smart Buy Glasses asked me to try out some glasses for me and the children I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to get something trendy yet protective.

Smart Buy Glasses offer a huge range of designer glasses with up to a massive 50% discount on brands such as Ray-Ban, Tom Ford, Oakley, Ralph Lauren and many more.

Ray-Ban have always been a favourite of mine for their timeless classic designs that never age.

I picked the Erica that have a really attractive oval shaped lens and a full frame.

They will be perfect for any occasion and will never go out of fashion.
For the kids I went for Ray Bans too as they are both durable and stylish and come with super bright cases so even my forgetful children would misplace them!

Izzy loved the mirrored lenses and the namesake of the Izzy Junior while Frankie thought he was super cool in his plastic frame Ray Ban Juniors.


If you are looking for a new pair of designer sunnies for yourself or looking to protect the eyes of your precious little ones then you will be spoiled for choice with Smart Buy Glasses.

*Collaborated post

TOMS Animal Initiative With WildAid 

TOMS are a company that have been on my radar for many years now, as not only do they make beautiful shoes for both adults and children…they also have a fantastic ethos behind what they do thus enabling them to provide over 70 million pairs of shoes for children in need over the past 10 years.

This is why I was very excited to go along to an event at their flagship store on Carnaby Street the other week to see how their generosity was stretching to yet another great initiative.

I was firstly taken back by the store itself to be honest.

I had only ever bought TOMS shoes from concessions in shops such as Office and didn’t realise they offered so much more than just their trademark canvas shoe.

The shop itself is home to a beautiful coffee shop serving delicious coffees and snacks as well as a huge range of shoes, boots, sandals, bags and sunglasses.

After taking in everything they had to offer we got down to taking about the new animal initiative that TOMS are working on in conjunction with WildAid.

The majestic giant pandas of Sichuan are in such grave danger that there are now less then 2000 in the world.

TOMS have bought out a limited edition range of vegan shoes for both adults and children by taking inspiration from this beautiful creature.

They are hoping that through this they will be able to to provide impoverished students living ammongest these pandas with the education they need to protect these endangered animals.

I known I for one in this age of throw away culture would love to be able to purchase a beautiful yet practical shoe and feel pleased that I have helped in some way towards the fight for this magnificent animal.

Boohoo Kids Spring/Summer 17

Around Christmas time last year I was introduced to the newly launched children’s wear range from Boohoo.

We reviewed some lovely pieces for number three who was really taken with the on trend, affordable clothes they had to offer.

Last week I was asked to the press preview of their spring/summer 17 collection that in my opinion has improved even more than last season.

My attention was immediately drawn towards the girls section that had a real festival vibe to it.

There were lots of floaty, floral prints, off the shoulder tops and dress and plenty of sparkle that always goes down well with the girls.

Embroidered pieces and lace detailing are key this season and Boohoo has incoperated this within their range alongside simple classics such as Breton stripes that are always a wardrobe staple.

My daughter has a real love for shoes…I can’t think where she gets it from!

Boohoo have a great range of strappy sandals that will be perfect for the much longed for warmer weather and sparkly pumps that will be real eye catchers.

Next up was the boys and they certainly haven’t been left out here.

Summer brights for the pool and stand out t-shirts and shirts for those long summer days are a plenty.

If your boys like something a little more neutral then there is a great range of cosy t-shirts and shorts in muted green and beige tones that are bang on trend whilst remaining wearable which is all that more important when thinking about boys.


The shoes range from more formal styles to everyday trainers that fit perfectly with the clothing that Boohoo have pieced together.

  

Number three was super excited to see all the new pieces and already has a long list for her summer wardrobe and j will certainly be trying out some clothes for the boys this time.

I would love to know what you all think!

Water:A Basic Need We All Take For Granted

If you’re thirsty you fill up a glass from the tap, if you a dirty you pop into the shower, if your little one has a fall you rinse the graze with some fresh water.

It’s a basic human right to have clean water and sanitation and thankfully in the UK it is something we all regularly have access to.

Sadly in many third world countries clean, safe water isn’t as accessible and this has a profound affect on many people’s lives, and the tragedy and suffering it can cause has dire consequences.

Illnesses such as diorreha can be fatal simply because they don’t have the ability to keep clean.

For us illnesses like this are horrible to deal with but it wouldn’t even enter or heads that it could be fatal.

Thankfully there is the help of some fantastic charities out there to try and help this horrendous situation with Frank Water being one of them.

India has the largest amount of people in the world that don’t have access to clean water so Frank has set this charity up to provide gravity-fed water systems, watershed management, waste treatment, sanitation infrastructure and education programs that have all massively improved thousands of people’s lives.

Because of their fantastic work Mahi Leather have joined up with them by donating $1.50 from the sale of each of their outstanding bags.

They take their name from the River Mahi in India where 103 million people lack the provision of safe water. For a river that is thought to be so sacred it has bought so much suffering to so many.

Through these charitable donations Mahi Leather has helped raise $7439 (up to Jan17) and wouldn’t it be great if you could help towards those statistics.

Not only do you get the good feeling of making a charitable donation to a good cause through your purchase, by cutting out the middleman and buying online you are getting a hardy canvas of premium cow leather bag at a fantastic price made to order and even personalised if you wish.

It was their wearable duffle bags that really caught my eye and would be perfect for carrying around all the paraphernalia  that come with a large family like mine and would be a great reminder each time I filled it with bits for my children of how lucky we are and how by purchasing through Mahi Leather I have done a little bit of good.

In this busy day and age it can be really hard to find the time to give to charity so by including a donation in something you can simply purchase online is a great idea that allows you to get a top quality product whilst giving back too.
*collaborated post