Friday, 26 May 2017

A bedroom review {ft The French Bedroom Company}

The Opportunity to restyle my bedroom came at a prime time. I had been feeling really uninspired by it all and as it is an attic room and there is only one flat vertical wall, there really isn't any room for changing it up and, it is safe to say, it has sat quite stagnant for a while. Yes, I have tried to introduce different themes through bedding, etc. but in reality it has all circled around the same white and grey theme. 
I think having bought myself some green paint last week and having that at the forefront of my mind, the opportunity to spruce it up came all at once. 
Like I said, there aren't many changes I can make to the room itself; the bed, mirror and chest of drawers must sit where they are and we have to have a low headed bed as it needs to fit under the roof. That all said, I got rid of the footstool at the end of the bed and that has opened it up somewhat mainly because it has stopped me covering it in clothes! I was saying to Rob how hard it is keeping our room super straight all the time as I spend my life doing it everywhere else and when I head up to bed I want to do just that, go to bed! So I have tried to help myself out, rid myself of the stuff I used to put bits on! That way, I have to put everything away! And in the last couple of weeks, it has surprised me how easy it is to get into a routine with that.
It always helps when trying to have a change that you get yourself some new bits. Whether it is bedding or some furniture, it always helps you feel fresher. 
I have made some super small changes but that alone has really opened up the room and I must say, made it feel really suited to us.
I spoke about this last week, but green has really been on my mind and in a bid to stray away from grey, I have gone full-out colour change in the bedroom. With the help of one key ingredient: this wonderful green velvet cushion. Yep, this one item, stunning in colour {and available from the beautiful French Bedroom Company} brought about the "greengate" craze in our house and this really makes the look complete. I didn't want to go entirely green, but teamed with the pinky blankets and pale pink velvet cushions I already had, this key piece really sets off the look. 

Having made up some simple pictures, also all in-keeping with the slightly minimalist (but green) trend, I have been able to create a really nice display on top of the chest of drawers. I always find the key is consistency, in pretty much everything, and in this case it is very much about the bed having green pink and grey colours. The chest of drawers uses the same colour ways. so it keeps it all matching. 

When it comes to making things seem more grown up, there is no other way than adding a metallic colour. Most grown up metalic colour? Gold, always gold. It is such a rich shade but you can make it stand out as much as you want. Team it with pale colours and it gives off a beautiful sheen; soft and subtle. But go bold; greens and bright pinks well, you can be on the cusp of baroque style!!

In this situation, my lovely circular old cross side table looks fantastically regal and having sprayed my angle poise lamp to match, you really see this colour stand out.
It looks so rich and with fresh roses, green plants, and against velvet fabrics that dress the bed.

Bring a few house plants to the room brings life into it also, not only in their calming manner but they give it the modern touch which is so on trend. House plants are key at the moment and it is just another great way to get the colour green into a space. 

There are only 2 new things I have used to create this look, The bedside table and the green velvet cushion. Everything else I have made out of things I already had, but it shows how simple touches can change a look completely. The colourful injection has really impressed me and the higher side table with such thin legs has helped open that area up really nicely and the mirrored top reflects lights so well.

What a fantastic way to give my space a much needed update.

Having this opportunity to work with The French Bedroom Company has been really fab. You can find me answering some questions over on their BLOG and this weekend I am on their INSTAGRAM sharing some pieces from my room so follow along!
*Post in collaboration with The French Bedroom Company

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


This year we are really lucky as a family to be going on some great holidays. Two of them are just Rob and I; one celebrating my 30th birthday and one for a friend's wedding which means we are heading out to some beautiful cities for some amazing experiences. Recently I have been thinking about how easy travel was before we had children; all the planning and organising especially, and personally about how little I used to worry. No obligations to caring for young ones definitely makes travel a wonderful thing and over the last few years I think we have been overseas once without the kids. It changes you. Not in a bad way, there is just more to consider and that has definitely affected the way we holiday. In the last few years we have spent many a happy holiday down on the British coast and you know what, I wouldn't change that for anything, but the memory of one special holiday Rob and I took is actually something I can't wait to recreate with the kids soon.
Around our home I have no photos displayed. It's hard to explain why. I have always found they are perfect for gathering dust and cluttering spaces and having come from a home where my mother proudly hung every single picture we ever had {especially school photos in the hall of shame} I think I have gone the absolute opposite way and have chosen to have none in public view. I suppose, in a way, I share pictures as a job and I feel I look at photos a lot and that is enough for me. The only place I have some pictures is in our bed room. One unit which is clear except for a few pictures of the kids at a very young age and one, yes one picture of Rob and I. Shockingly it isn't a wedding picture either. In fact writing this embarrasses me in a way as it seems crazy that a couple who have been married for 8 years has one picture of themselves framed from nearly 7 years ago. But I can explain why, well not why, but why I only have this one. 

This picture, is one of my favourites ever. It has so much wrapped up in this one shot of Rob and I that really for me, I don't need anymore. 
Over the new year of  2010 to 2011, Rob and I went to Austria skiing. This was my first ski holiday and like Rob's 20th!? This was our first holiday away over a usual family celebration. This was still in our newlywed season, just us, loving life and the ability and freedom to please ourselves. As this is us, our first picture taken together on our journey to parenthood as I was 12 weeks pregnant with Raph.
This point in our lives was truly wonderful. We got 2 days short of 2 years married with just us as a couple before everything changed and for me I suppose the excitement of experience from this holiday really reminds me of that.

Between the tears of fear from tackling mountainsides I wasn't ready to do and the delicious food that was consumed, this holiday was an experience I have never forgotten about and the feelings I had are still so fresh in my mind. By the middle of the week I had the confidence, and being pregnant was no worry for me. Travel with Rob is something I have always been so happy to do, and from the moment the plane took off I can still feel those butterflies of excitement, wonder and love for the trip we were about to take together.

Christmas season in the deep snow was something like a dream and this picture represents the true happiness of our little life at that exact time.
Happy Memories.

British Airways Holidays has teamed up with HuffPost Travel to celebrate those amazing little moments that make your holiday unforgettable. Share your favourite holiday moment and you'll be entered into a draw to win a city break to Rome.

*The post was sponsored by British Airways Holidays.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Slogan Tees, Voting & Understanding peace.

This last week has been a funny one in the news; this blog is not for politics, but it is quite interesting seeing all the media coverage of the parliamentary party tours. I actually have had confirmed to me this week that unless you personally choose to read all manifestos, plans and procedures you shouldn't really state your opinion. That sounds harsh but I mean it so seriously. The media is a crazy world and people are influenced by just one picture of a girl in a slogan tee. How mental is it that people can write or interpret things however they want and all of a sudden you wonder why every one is sharing crazy propaganda about each party and falling out with everyone. I have seen so many videos for both parties and it makes your head spin, but they are always slanderous towards each other. It's just tit for tat, so if you want to be serious, get the knowledge, read up, don't take the media's stance as I can guarantee the very next day they will u-turn on whatever they say. Be clever. Educate yourself. And that's all I have to say about that. 

My tee couldn't have been more apt also this weekend. A strong message which shouldn't be missed and with last night's atrocities at a concert in Manchester, it seems that to be quite honest we need to wake up. Only we have the ability to protect our future, our children. Our attitudes and behaviour are what will affect them most and if we choose to spout hatred, that is all we produce. It is our vital role that we are the educators and what we offer our children will be the backbone of their integrity. Life is ever changing and we need to wise up and be aware but the only tool you will truly need is the ability to teach love and respect. And at risk of sounding like a hippy I want to share something that my mum said to me recently which has put a lot in perspective for me. 
I was stressing about something someone had said about Etta on facebook. Something that really upset me and having spoken to my mum in tears about how I should deal with it she said this:
You have two choices. Choose life or choose death. If you choose the path that follows death you will spend your life being angry and upset and never, ever be able to see the wonders that are truly there. You may think you will, but you won't. Choose life and you will understand more about patience, love and care. You will be calmer, you will be happier. It's not to say you won't be upset by something but the path of life will equip you with a manner of respect and tolerance that death won't. 
I choose life. I choose the path that will make me think about my words and actions before they bumble out in some angry mess. I choose life so that every day I can remind myself of that choice when I feel that death is trying to get a hold of me. 

I feel that actually it is quite hard to end a post like this. I really just wanted to share some pictures of my cool new t-shirt, but sometimes there are more important truths to talk about, so I have.
Keep peaceful friends.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

A Better Lifestyle #everylittlehelps {FT. Tesco}

It is a constant struggle, for us all. I think every grown up has to think about the dreaded 'diet' word, but we need to learn that it is not about focusing on what we are giving up. No, in fact a diet is on going for your whole life and it is this that we must be conscious of. Not this sudden crash diet where you give up everything bad for you and eventually cave as that style of life makes no sense to anyone. The absolute stopping of all makes you crave it even more and eventually we all give in. The key to a diet is actually doing a gradual change for the better. Introducing more fruit and veg, drinking more water, missing out that weekly take away; it is actually a lifestyle change, not just about stopping eating chocolate.
There are so many ways that changing what you eat also helps. We all see the low sugar or low salt options on the shelves at the supermarket but still wander by and maybe don't think how items like that may benefit our lives in some way. 
You have to almost constantly think about the longevity of diet, not just wanting that summer bod, but wanting a long, healthy life and that my friends is where your journey will begin.
For me, we have not ever really substituted normal products for low sugar/salt ones. In fact due to Rob being head chef we have always been lucky that he makes most things from scratch and can therefore choose what goes in our meals. However, life is ever changing and actually three nights a week we now need quicker easy meals which means products will be bought to help with this. 
While trying to understand what works best we have been lucky enough to work with Tesco in testing some of their products to see how they measure up in our life, how they taste and how I know that in the long run they will benefit our diet.

For me it's all about day to day life; what are we going to swap out, what we would naturally eat for something better? The easiest way to look at it is what can I buy instead of XYZ. That way, you won't feel like you are starving yourself of something. If you have been into Tesco recently you would have probably been welcomed with a large display or aisle full of lots of old products that have had improved recipes with reduced salt, sugar and fat. Tesco are doing their bit to advertise better eating choices by offering a huge range of products with significantly less salt and sugar to help you along.
I thought I would share how I have simply swapped a few usuals with some new products.
A day for me would be simple, cereal for breakfast (usually sugary), sandwiches and crisps for lunch, then as we are big pizza lovers I thought I would offer a great example of a better pizza!


This is the perfect time of year for improved breakfasts. Not only are you more likely to reach for a light cereal because of the sunshine, but British fruit is coming into its best season. With plenty of fresh strawberries and raspberries picked from this country it only seems right that they make a welcome treat into your day while they last. Teamed with Tesco's very own special flakes (reduced salt) to help bulk it out, you really are starting the day in the best way. Like some juice on a morning too, well cranberry juice has huge health benefits anyway, but this new recipe has even less refined sugar in it.


Swapping out my white bread sandwiches, as simple is the best thing here. Bread, without wholewheat is pretty much just starch (complex sugar) and I love brown bread, so for me this swap is easy. It's silly I haven't done it before really. Having brown bread with increased fibre and spreading unsalted butter on it instead is an instant and still tasty swap for me. Also, having a warm bowl of Butternut Squash soup (a fave) which is reduced in fat, makes this meal hugely appetising. It would also be perfect for dinner too.


We love pizza in this house and having our own pizza oven lends itself to that a lot. For us we still often buy frozen pizza as it does make a very easy meal, but buying it means that you get a lot of added extras. Tesco produce wonderful stone baked pizzas which are a great alternative to any deep pan option mainly due to flavour; stone baked is delicious. Also the amount of carbohydrate you consume is pretty much halved. As for topping, nothing tastes fresher than a Mediterranean vegetable pizza and for us, cover it in fresh rocket which is quite simply amazing on fresh pizza. Honestly, it takes it to a whole different level. That's one thing Rob and I both love.
As far as aperitifs go, I have opted for Tesco's finest still lemonade which has less sugar in now. Add some fresh mint leaves and you have the tastiest summertime drink ever!!

How easy was that? It pretty much looks like our usual meals but I know we have introduced food that is better for us.
How about you try it? Swap out some usual pieces in exchange for improved ingredients and see if you miss the old ones. I can guarantee you will love what there is to offer!
*Post in collaboration with Tesco.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Hanging Peonies & Happiness

This week I have been really hung up on Instagram numbers. I really hate focusing any of my blogging energy on numbers as that is not what it's about. I write and share because I love doing so. Not because this is some twisted way to gain popularity. I suppose at the root of it is that I see certain people writing things that I know just isn't true and it is the classic #fakenews that gets a surge of likes. Be honest people, as my youngest sister used to say: "Lies make baby Jesus cry!".
But this week, these little happenings have chipped at me and having made 12,000 followers on Instagram, only to dip back down to 11.9k, I was feeling sorry for myself. But the wonder of this amazing app was that there was an out pouring of love from people I have never even met sharing messages of encouragement and support which made me realise, this really isn't about numbers, it's about the friendships you form. 
With this thought of not getting hung up on all the negatives the blogging world brings at the forefront of my mind, last night I fell asleep thinking about taking some more pictures of a beautiful peony bouquet I was sent by B L O O M & W I L D. It suddenly came to me, like an epiphany, that I  could hang them above the dining table. Lucking our light shades are colanders, so they are full of holes. Originally it was only to let me get some nice pictures of these blooming, blousy flower heads from a different angle but I quickly realised that this was a perfect way to display flowers at home.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's be realistic, flowers won't survive without water so this was simply for fun. It would be perfect for parties or celebratory occasions, but this is a short term thing.
For me, what came from this display was pure inspiration. What else could I hang? Could I make it from a more permanent structure {not the light shade}? What flowers would be best? With all these questions running through my head as I was stringing each stem up with a piece of thread, I realised that what I was creating was turning into a pretty perfect display of the beauty of Peonies.
As the pictures show, these stems are just suspended from the light shade. That simple. Just got my roll of thread and scissors and just went to work.

What was more wonderful about this little project was right in the middle the post man delivered a little gift from someone I had met on Instagram { B L O O M B O U T I Q U E } which had been personalised. The quote, "She Just Shines" written across the bar bracelet was the icing on the cake you could say. It just affirmed what I was doing really; what I truly enjoy and through truth, I am who I am.

*Thank you to Bloom & Wild and Bloom Boutique for the gifts! x
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