Thursday, 29 June 2017

Channelling Beyonce #StealMyStyle

Most of us would definitely want to be as fierce as Queen B, but let's be realistic, this lady is so inspirational to so many and in so many different ways that even channelling a bit of her spirit on something feels slightly empowering. Recently I got myself a new summer dress which actually resembles an outfit made quite famous from Beyonce's music video for Hold Up. She is a kick ass woman in this video and the yellow dress just bellows around her making her look awesome which was a feeling I equally got when I tried on the Marks & Spencer Tiered Yellow Dress. It was purchased and has become an absolute hit with me finding it is a perfect dress for these hot summer days. It is so floaty that it keeps me cool and I love its midi length and long sleeves as it hides all the bits I am most self conscious about with my body. Marks & Spencer is one of my all time favourite shops. In recent years it has always given me the best outfits and I absolutely love shopping there. I always find they have a few pieces that become the Blogger Favourites too and they have so many collections to suit so many styles. I must say, they are not often well advertised and sometimes I think they style things on the wrong kind of model but if you go in store and actually try it on, I get something every time. Their shoes are also so comfortable and I think everything is a good price for the quality you get. 
{By the way this isn't a sponsored post, these are my true feelings towards M&S!!}

That all said, the M&S summer collection is great and I have a few posts coming which have a couple of other amazing dresses from them in and I can't wait to show you!
The details for this post however are:
D R E S S / {similar} S H O E S B A S K E T / E A R I N G S {H&M}

*Thank you to East Unique for my basket!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Messy Hands & Summer Dining FT. Sainsbury's Home

Last Wednesday marked the official start to summer and what better way to make the most of the glorious weather by lighting up our pizza oven and making dinner alfresco! We are so lucky to have the space and equipment to cook our own handmade pizzas and having a pizza oven to then cook them in outside makes the experience fantastic. Our kids love it but in a way it has lost its magic as it is now something totally normal for us to do. Don't get me wrong, it is always nice eating homemade pizza and from a wood burning oven, it is a taste that isn't easily replicated so it is really still special when we light up the oven. 
Not to blow our own trumpet but we have got pizza dinners down to a fine art now and what's lovely is that something that used to get me quite stressy due to the mess and clear up has actually become something I totally embrace and don't find difficult at all. Having the space helps but as the kids have grown, they also know what to do and I think that actually makes it quite enjoyable, understanding it from their point of view and letting things just get messy, its all part of the fun!
And getting messy comes hand in hand with pizza making, you are going to get covered in flour no matter how hard you try and you will find yourself using the stuff on everything! If it's not to roll the dough out on, it is also great for getting dough off your hands so the fact is, embrace that everything you touch will have a fine layer of white dust! Once the pizzas are made though, you quickly forget about the mess as you can't think about doing anything other than getting that fresh, hot pizza in your mouth and most likely burning yourself on it!

Pizza is funnily such a huge part of our lives and throwing pizza parties or just doing it for ourselves becomes a regular thing. Its easy enough to set up for and eating outside is always enjoyable so making sure I have a variety of plates and boards means that we can have pizzas cooking and filling up plates all evening. An endless supply is the best way to go at pizza parties so we always make sure there is one cooking while one is eaten. It also offers up great opportunity for everyone to get creative with what they want on each one and for children it is great allowing them to partake in food preparation especially with pizza as it is so hands on.

Giving the kids the chance to have a go offers up so many wonderful learning opportunities and it's something that Raph especially loves to do. Etta can usually be found with her hands in the dough bowl, squishing and stretching it and getting generally messy, but Raph takes it so much more seriously and it is great to watch. 

What's more ideal, especially at this time of year is that it just encourages us to eat outside more which is such a good thing. Setting up the picnic table is so easy and not worrying particularly about what falls on the floor makes the clean up job pretty easy. A few good plastic plates and cups are great {especially with the kids} and this wonderfully bright summer collection from Sainsbury's Bright and Colourful range is a lovely addition to our outdoor eating style. 
In fact, as soon as I set the table I just loved how colourful it all looked and how inspiring and summery the colours were. Bright and bold and perfect for using for any outdoor occasion.

With a tin can of fresh flowers, and toppings a plenty, we were able to enjoy a simple family tea which to most may actually look quite extravagant. Regardless of how much everything was covered in flour, our bellies were full, our creativity was encouraged and our hearts were full from having dinner time spent together.

What's on my table {the details}:
{Other items available in store}

*This post has been sponsored by Sainsburys.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Distraction of a Good Book

It's what can be deemed a treat, with children especially. In our house it often refers to sweets or if we are shopping it would imply some kind of toy or little token gift, but if we are in the main part of town, which isn't often, with the kids a treat also means going to our local Waterstone's book shop as they have toys in there that the kids love to play with. In fact, years ago before this was a chain it was always a bookshop and I remember as a child going in and they always used to have an activity area. It was a perfect setting, getting creative whilst being surrounded by thousands of books. Nowadays there isn't an activity table but our kids love going in there to look and play anyway. I can understand why. There is something so nice about being in a bookshop. In fact, it is almost library-esque as most of the time people are quiet and it is quite a peaceful place to be. This one also has a coffee shop on one of the floors so depending where you are you can also get nice coffee aromas drifting about which is also very relaxing. 
Last week we were waiting for an appointment and I had Etta with me so we went and spent 45 minutes in the children's book section looking at different books off the shelf. While she played with some bits I got to looking through the older children's book section and was really taken with a few classic books that I fancied reading. The thing is; I am a rubbish reader. As a child I wasn't very good and in a way, as you are forced to read, I didn't read for pleasure and therefore have never read a lot of classic children's tales. When Disney started producing their versions of the stories I would more readily watch a film of the book and never actually look at the original story itself. 
While i was stood there I noticed Mary Poppins, set on a table and began to read it. I was totally taken with the first few pages, but put it back on the shelf when it was time to go. However that evening when I was stood telling Rob about it I got a pang, and went back a few days later to purchase it. I also got a copy of The one hundred and one Dalmatians book as that is often a fave at our house as Etta loves Dalmatians.

Having bought two books very much for the children's section I went for a peruse more "Adult" stories and I was really turned off them. There are so many similar style fiction stories these days and I just can't cope with them. Either they are full of absolute heartbreak or they are about females "discovering" themselves and I find that so disinteresting. I want a story, and yes maybe one about dogs, but I just want something enjoyable to read, with a soft familiarity, no death, destruction, woe or hate, just light hearted, enjoyable and something that can reminisce in my mind of things I have seen in my younger years.

I am so looking forward to getting through these stories, as that is what they are, just simple stories that can just lightly fill my mind and offer a retreat from screen time. Going away this week also means that I can enjoy flicking through the pages while on the plane and waiting at the airport, 
I just wanted something easy to read and I think I have that with no grown up nonsense involved!

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