Thursday, 31 March 2016

Twinning is Winning!

If you're a bit like me and have a daughter, you to might often feel the need to have an occasional matchy-match day. I am not one to pass up this opportunity and especially for our blog I am more than happy to document Etta's and my ability to wear similar outfits. 
Joules have got some new bright tops in and this season there use of a classic rose print is going to be pretty iconic.
Their ladies' Harbour Rose Stripe top goes perfectly with a plain white skirt and their girls' Marina Jersey top is the perfect compliment with the matching roses. 
Twinning is winning!!


Monday, 28 March 2016

The Perfect Spot

Spring means everything changes. That point in the year when you just know everything is brighter and every moment seems a bit easier. Having the light skies on a morning and towards late afternoon is so much nicer than getting up and arriving home from work in the dark. 

Last Sunday there was a definite switch in my mood towards the outdoors. It was officially the first day of Spring and it was also the day I unboxed our new garden bench from Garden Trading. The back of our house which looks straight down our garden is reasonably sheltered, so popping this lovely metal Bistro Bench by the backdoor overlooking our little plot seemed perfect.
The moment I sat down and felt the sunshine on my face was just perfection. Not only does this obviously suit our decor but this bench offers the perfect spot for just sitting and watch the kids play. It was almost made to fit between our windows and the edge of the building, an ideal size for two adult bottoms or even for a couple of little ones joining mine! 
In the beautiful Clay colour this bench also offers me a space for just enjoying the outdoors. From potting plants to enjoying a cup of tea for five minutes between jobs, having this just by our back door is going to be great!

I am hoping that the coming weeks are beautiful because it would be nice to be in the garden again over the Easter holidays. This week we seem to have been tidying a bit and starting to get the garden ready for the spring and summer. Sweeping off the patio and repositioning the picnic table are top of my list as this is the first summer we will have no building project debris!

Getting the opportunity to sit out and look upon an actually finished(ish) garden will be bliss. I just love it looking tidy and it is definitely getting that way!
Finding myself a little spot to contemplate and plan is just what I need. Avoiding spending all day in the house needs to become more important in my life and now we have these beautiful light evenings, getting outside and being able to watch the kids play after school will be delightful.

As we have a green themed outside; our extension cladded, our new shed that sits by our pizza oven and the kids' climbing frame, it is great having a bench that can be moved around and will match so nicely. This one is foldable so perfect for lifting, moving and storing. What a great piece of new garden furniture to take us into spring.

Have you thought about adding new furniture to your garden for Spring?

What would you like?


Feeling like a princess.

Ever since I can remember I have always wanted a tray that you can put on your bed. They always appear in Chick flicks, you know the ones where the girl lives in the penthouse or when she has such an easy life that breakfast in bed is a regular occurrence! There is something about them that just makes me go a bit giddy, so when I saw this Laura Ashley Lap Tray I just knew that it was going to be perfect for having in our bedroom, so if the option arose, we could lie in bed all morning and just enjoy an elegant way of relaxing.

What I love about the idea of a tray like this is also the romance (again with the movies) of the lover bringing a tray of delights to their partner. What's more romantic than being spoiled with tasty treats and having someone dote upon you? Ahhhh, it is just the perfect way to start a day!
However, please don't think I get many of my days starting like this, in fact very few! I have this tray as a tool to allow us to have the choice to make each other breakfast in bed. Sometimes the kind deed that needs to be acted on needs a little push from an object of inspiration.

As a lovely little extra to have in your home, I feel this tray is perfect for enjoying many moments alone, with your children or partner.


Friday, 25 March 2016


As with all bank holiday weekends when in this country it inevitably decides to rain, we find ourselves looking for indoor activities that will entertain the kids for a few hours. 
Just yesterday this fantastic opportunity arrived from Cath Kidston to try their Gnome Painting workshops here in our own home!
What a perfect treat for a Friday morning and for Raph's first day off for school holidays.
This Easter Cath Kidston launch their newest campaign related to a new print, their brilliant Gnome. From dresses to bags, aprons to salt and pepper pots, this little character is appearing on lots of new Cath Kidston products.

As I said, we have been sent a few of the gnomes to paint over this weekend and the kids absolutely love them! I thought I would let Rob try his hand at getting creative too, so donning his Gnome apron he let his artistic juices flow and decorated his new little friend. 
The children had a lot of fun decorating their gnomes. We will have to find a window sill to sit them on so they can take pride of place in the house somewhere. They are like new little best friends, it's funny how children get instantly attached to little things!

I can see these workshops being a great success, what's not to love. 

There unfortunately are not any Cath Kidston shops here in Lincoln, though we do have Stockists like Pretty Little in Lincoln. Our closest store is probably Meadowhall Sheffield, which is also lucky as that is one of the places where Cath Kidston will be offering Gnome painting workshops! Other stores include Bluewater, Cardiff, Cambridge, Dublin, Liverpool, Metro Centre Norwich, Manchester King Street, Piccadilly, Trafford Centre, White City and York. Head on down to you nearest store to find out more about the workshops!

Keep an eye on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as we will be sharing a few snaps of our own little Gnorris The Gnome over the Easter weekend!


P.S. Rob has been coming up with gnome puns for the last 2 days now, safe to say, he is also enjoying this little project!

*Post in collaboration with Cath Kidston


Thursday, 24 March 2016

What does Easter Means To Us?

It is a great question. Finding out that bit more about someone and understanding a little more as to how they live their life can be a bit eye opening but it is all about understanding who they are. I have to say, for religious reasons Easter is my absolute favourite time of the Church's calendar. As fun as Christmas is, it is this point in my year when I actually have to sit up and announce what it is I believe.
You see, from today (Thursday) my world gets turned upside down. We have to experience the joy and understanding of one of my best friend's final meal. Tomorrow (Good Friday) we watch his agony, his absolute disbelief that everyone turns away from him and leads him to his death. On Saturday we rejoice that it is nearly time for Him to come home and on Sunday we celebrate that what seems unbelievable is achievable as we watch him walk among us, his friends again.
Being a Catholic is who I am, I have never been different and when I was younger, Easter was another reason to relax and party whilst pigging out on lots of chocolate, but I would say that in the last 10 years, when I have really understood what it is I believe in, the whole journey to Easter has been far more important with an end goal of trying to be more like Jesus. And boy do I mess it up. The whole of lent is littered with sin for me, usually I notice that my swearing increases? Why is that? And I can be more unchristian than ever. I could do loads more for our Church and I should but time flies and maybe I don't prioritise properly. One think that Rob and I are so strict with in the run up to Easter is our Lenten Fast. We make sure we give up something and we bloody do! We always give up Chocolate and Sweets. If we can muster the courage we might also throw bread or crisps or another vice in there but this year, we just did the Chocs and sweets. And it was hard, as a blogger I have had to take so many photos recently of chocolate eggs. I have been to parties or had very chocolaty things offered (it is hard to resist) but what is so important is that we just do it and we don't faulter. It is so good for our mind and soul and we are so excited about that first taste on Sunday as our celebration for trying to deny our "needs" in life. I must say, the Church allows you to break fast on certain days, for example Mother's day was one of these, and I made a chocolate cake covered in mini eggs and you know what, we hardly ate any of it. I took it into the teachers at Raph's school the next day as we didn't want it in the house. I suppose maybe we just wanted to try our best.
The 40ish days of lent are almost over now and we are going to enter into a time of mourning. I love it though. Easter is the true time to reflect and to reevaluate why I continue to go to church every week. I don't need to, I could opt out of this practice but every year I am so harshly reminded that the "stories" we listen to happened. This is not make believe. And I choose that I am going to live my life by the cross, as a Christian prepared to love my faith and pass it to my children. This is the time when I understand why my parents dragged us to church, why I know I needed to marry a fellow Catholic, why I spend every Sunday trying to get the children to focus on the Alter for the 10 minutes; that it is important. Because we believe in Jesus and This is our truth. 
For us as a family, faith has never been so important. To be able to both take the children to church and show a united front and to pray with them together is essential for our daily lives. 
Rob and I always say we feel quite lost if we don't attend church on a Sunday, It is funny how it effects us.
Today I have got our Easter books off the shelf; lovely child friendly versions of everything that is about to happen and I will be taking them to church with us so I can read them to the children and they can get a sense of what is happening. For Rob and I guiding them in any way to help their understanding is what we will do to help teach them our faith. As Christmas is a sign of celebration for Jesus's birth, Easter is the time allowing us to understand his death and how important it is for us living our everyday lives, trying to do the right thing. 


Easter Cake Inspiration

I cannot wait to get in the kitchen on Saturday and bake up a selection of goodies. Mainly involving chocolate as Rob and I have given it up for lent and only relinquished that fast on Mother's Day. we are so wanting a big slab of it right now so on Saturday I am putting my strength to the test and will make something chocolatey and not lick the spoon ready for mega indulgence on Sunday!
I was on Pintrest and finding inspiration when I can across some stunning Easter and Spring cakes. For me, I am always seeking decorating ideas. In reality the sponge will be a simple one, as I usually have all standard ingredients for a Victoria sponge but it is always the outer appearance that I love to think about and some of these examples below are just stunning. 
I thought I would share them with you all as if you have a spare afternoon over this weekend it might be a perfect opportunity to get in the kitchen!


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