White Cotton Peonies

Beautiful Botanicals from The Original Muck Boot Company

Fashion / Mar 12, 2018 /

Life has definitely changed in the last few years.

Rewind just four years and I was convinced that I was going to be a hard-nosed career girl for the rest of my days, living in the city with a penchant for parties. Kids? They were alright I guess, as long as they could be handed back and didn’t try to touch me with dirty hands at any point in the process. Fast forward to the present day and we now have two little monkeys, work is still something that I’m still passionate about (but not my entire universe) and we’re living in the English countryside and loving it.

Where Sundays used to be spent nursing a nasty hangover with the most effort being spent reaching for my mobile to call for a pizza, my favourite days are now those where we go out on long-walks through local country tracks, jumping in puddles and feeding the horses before stopping in a local pub for a good old Sunday Roast. Bliss.

Needless to say, my wardrobe… and footwear… has changed somewhat as a result. Don’t get me wrong, I still lust after Louboutins, but you’re much more likely to find me in my wellies than in heels. Hopefully all of this insight, gives you a little bit of background as to why I fell so in love with these RHS Tremont Tall Boots from The Original Muck Boot Company. I need practicality, something that I can throw on and be confident will be comfy, lightweight and 100% waterproof but that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about how they look!

Thankfully, I decided to grab a pair just before ‘The Beast From The East’ and so they’ve already been put through their paces. I love them as they’re nice and slim, which keeps you feeling feminine (no pasty feet over here thank you very much), along with 4mm neoprene with a breathable mesh lining to keep my tootsies cooler on warmer days (great when you’ve got a garden our size). There’s also a gel cushion insole which acts as a shock-absorber, making them super comfy for longer-walks.

If I’m honest though, I’m all about the looks and endorsed by the Royal Horticulture Society, they’ve got a whole range of boots in beautiful botantical prints inspired by the RHS Library. Practical doesn’t have to mean ugly…. thankfully. You can find more details here. They retail for £110.


M xox

My C-Section Hospital Bag

BeautyLifestylePregnancy / Mar 7, 2018 /

It’s fair to say that I was much more organised in my pregnancy with Bells… my hospital bag was prepared months in advance, as much out of excitement as necessity and I even had a playlist. This time around, my hospital bag has been left to the very last minute and my playlist? Well, I’m leaving it to the Radio Gods.

However, what I’ve lacked in organisation in time, I’ve made up for in efficiency of packing. I’m not sure if you remember, but last time, I packed to excess, EVERY eventuality had been covered, from black out blinds to battery candles and even room scent…. only then things went wrong and NOTHING got used. This time, my approach is to take the bare essentials only… hopefully meaning less to lug around the hospital for poor Dickie!

My packing has allowed for the likelihood that I’ll have a longer stay than a natural birth and as it’s a planned section this time, it’s likely that the wait will feel excruciatingly long too!

Here’s what’s in my bag:-

  1. 3 pairs of dark button-up pyjamas that allow for easy feeding
  2. Black Calvin Klein dressing gown to pop over my gown to walk to theatre (I’ve flashed one too many times in the past)
  3. Cheap dark cotton big M&S pants that will avoid anything from touching the wound (I thought they’d be nicer than disposable but cheap enough that I wouldn’t mind just chucking them away if needed)
  4. Nursing bras (only 3 for now, I figure I’ll buy more when my milk is in and I have a better idea of my melon size)
  5. My Mahabis slip-on slippers, keeping me warm and avoiding the need to bend over to pull them on
  6. A couple of pairs of black high waisted leggings that will make me feel secure but won’t mess with my scar
  7. My Cuddledry Baby&Me washbag including essentials such as non-scented shower gel, travel-sized shampoo and conditioner, moisturiser, lip salve (what is it with hospital air con?), hair bobbles and grips, deodorant, toothpaste and brush, foundation, mascara, vanity mirror. I know it seems crazy to be thinking about make-up after you’ve just had surgery and are balancing a baby, but last time, it was nice to have something for myself that made me feel human again).
  8. Breast pads (no more walking out of the hospital unaware of huge wet patches for me)
  9. Warm socks to rid the nervous shivers that you tend to feel
  10. Nursing vests (I couldn’t live without these! Pop them under a normal top or a cardigan for easy feeding and effortless style)
  11. A thick black cardigan – the last thing that you want to feel is cold when you’re sitting about waiting
  12. 4 loose tops (incase there happens to be any boob leakage)
  13. An old towel that I won’t mind getting ruined
  14. Maternity pads (the hospital ones remind me of the horrible things the school nurse used to give you when you started your period at school… you know the ones I’m talking about!)
  15. A book (in case I want distraction and to submerse myself in something… however I don’t think for a second I’ll be able to concentrate)
  16. Some trashy magazines with plenty of pictures (in case 15. is reality)
  17. iPad with movies (as much to entertain Dickie as myself)
  18. iPhone charger (I didn’t touch my SLR last time)
  19. Polaroid camera (I thought it would be cool and I love the idea of an instant physical picture that I can place by my bed
  20. Snacks for Dickie (just to torment me as I know that I won’t be able to eat before the op)
  21. Change of clothes for Dickie (I’m as keen for him to get skin-to-skin as for me… and sometimes, that leaves you a bit messy!)
  22. Chocolates for the midwives. They do such a great job, that having something on hand to say thank you is a must for me

Here’s what’s in baby’s bag:-

  1. 5 baby grows with built in scratch mitts and feet (guaranteed not to fall off)
  2. 2 baby hats
  3. 5 vests
  4. 3 muslins
  5. Swaddle blanket
  6. 20 nappies
  7. Nappy cream
  8. Nappy bags
  9. Infacol (I literally couldn’t live without this with Bells but it took me ages to discover it)
  10. Baby wipes
  11. Baby sponge
  12. Olive oil. Weird one, but apply a little to their bum as soon as they arrive and it makes that first nappy change SO much easier
  13. Comforter
  14. Family photo for the cot
  15. 2 Dummies (just in case)

Thankfully this time around, I’m using the brand new Cuddledry Baby&Me washbag which allows me to store all of mine and baby’s essentials in one place thanks to it’s 2 separate sections with colour coded zips to make finding things super easy. I got it especially to take to hospital as it’s waterproof and has two really generous compartments, but I know that it’ll be great for the future too as the parent side contains two BPA free re-fillable toiletry bottles which are 100ml making them great for carry on.

I think that I’ve covered, but no doubt I’ve forgotten something major! What did you pack? Is there anything that I’m missing? Anything that you hadn’t thought of? I’d love to hear from you.

Arrrrrrgh! It’s almost baby time!

M xox

NB: Cuddledry kindly sent the washbag to me to see what I thought… however, the fact that it’s now replaced a really cute Liberty washbag, shows you just how good I think it is. You can buy it here for £24.99 😘

SS18 at The Lexicon…

Fashion / Feb 14, 2018 /

When I was invited to spend a Saturday morning at The Lexicon hearing all about Spring Summer trends for 2018, it took me the whole of 5 minutes to respond excitedly saying yes… Of course, those 5 minutes were just in the interests of playing it cool.

I love being a mum and everything that involves, but it’s fair to say that shopping for myself hasn’t happened for a long time and so knowing what’s on fleek (that’s what the cool kids say now, right?) doesn’t come naturally.

Now, for anyone living in the Berkshire area, you’ll know if I say “Bracknell” that it’s not somewhere you’d previously have chosen to spend your spare time. However, since the redevelopment, it’s unrecognisable! Completely pedestrianised and with plenty of undercover shelter, it’s a shopper’s best friend.

Some of the stores include Fenwicks (including MAC, Jo Malone, Creme de la Mer, Links of London, All Saints, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Barbour, Kurt Geiger, Dior, 7 For All Mankind, Bottega Veneta, Burberry and Chanel just to name a few), Topshop, H&M, Jack Wills, River Island, Pandora & Office amongst others. Not to mention all of the awesome restaurants… I’m a little bit in love.

Whilst enjoying brunch at Coffee Barker (they do the best smoothies!), we heard all about the forthcoming season’s trends. Here are the things to look out for:-

  • Pastel tones (think summer ice-creams!)
  • Denim…. tailored and dark
  • Primary colours. The brighter the better
  • Trench coats. Time to dig out your Burberry!
  • Plastic (I’m personally still not sold on this)
  • 1950s pencil skirts
  • Fringed hems
  • Shorts
  • Slip dresses
  • Evening sheer glamour (I’ll be giving this one a miss until I’m back in shape!)

After we finished brunch, I took a couple of hours to make the most of being baby-free, to browse the shops. Topshop as always was hitting so many of the trends with this pinafore dress:

I also loved this sheer bodysuit, which would look perfect with tailored jeans:

As soon as I stepped inside of Fenwicks, things got dangerous. I loved these primary colours from Hugo Boss:

Not to mention this gorgeous Bexley Mac from All Saints:

Tommy Hilfiger were nailing the pastels:

Whilst their denim department made even the pickiest of jean buyers pleased…

I decided to treat myself in H&M, combining denim with some super comfy ripped dungarees, a pastel girl power top and another broderie anglaise white top which is as sheer as I dare to go with a mum bod going on:

It was such a fun morning and I felt so self indulgent spending time to think about myself for once. If you’re planning to check out the Lexicon during half term, you can enjoy The Lexicon Express, a land train with four stops around the town. I’m definitely planning to take Bells, I know that she’ll love it. Donations will be going towards The Lexicon’s Charity of The Year, Bracknell Gymnastics Club.

Be sure to head to Princess Square where you’ll have the chance to ‘Beat the Clock’. Test your nerve by holding out as the potential prizes get better the longer you hold the button down, but if the klaxon sounds, you’re back to the beginning again. There’s loads of cool prizes including £250 Fenwick gift vouchers, free parking, Lexicon gift cards, discounts and meal vouchers!

Thanks so much to The Lexicon for giving me such a lovely Saturday. I’m so happy to have such cool new neighbours in town. The perfect day out!

M xox


Transitioning to a toddler bed…

InteriorsParenting / Feb 12, 2018 /

We had quite possibly the worst sleeping baby in the world. We’ve had bouts of good spells, don’t get me wrong, but as soon as Bells turned 1 we had a good four months of 4.30/5am wake ups and I struggle to believe that’s any type of regression.

I knew that something had to change. With another baby on the way, it was important that we addressed the issue rather than just living with it, as we probably would have done if we didn’t know we were going to have another sleep thief to contend with.

I took a look at our bedtime routine and quickly (I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before) discovered what I thought we’d been doing wrong. After her bath, we’d get her ready for bed before giving her a bottle of milk whilst enjoying cuddles with her on our bed. Within a couple of minutes, she’d fall asleep and of course, we’d enjoy the cuddles for a little longer before carrying her to her own bed.

No wonder the little monkey was confused when she woke in a completely different environment. Not to mention, she’d never learned to actually send herself to sleep.

We decided that it was time for a complete overhaul. Throw into the mix that I also didn’t want to buy a second cot 🤑 when Bells was already 18 months and we decided to change her bed and routine… it was time to make her love her room.

Just at that time, we were approached by Little Green Sheep to offer to send us their Twist Natural Cot Bed Mattress. To say the timing was perfect was an under-statement.

We decided to take the side off of Bells cot and to replace it with a bed protector to see how she got on before transitioning her to a toddler bed. It turns out she loves it and so we went ahead and ordered her “house bed” from Etsy, complete with her comfy new mattress.

Her room got emptied of it’s changing drawers, making room for a table and chairs which she loves to sit up to, as well as some of her toys – transforming the space into fun area rather than just somewhere she’s sent to sleep.

Within just a week of trying the new routine, she’d happily stop drinking her milk at the end of the two stories and roll over to send herself to sleep after a cheeky kiss goodnight. The 5am starts stopped almost immediately and now whilst she may wake and grumble for a little bit, left to her own devices, she’ll send herself back to sleep for a good 1/1.5hrs.

She loves being a grown up girl in her big bed and she looks so cosy when she’s all snuggled down. Having experienced the mattress first hand, I can confirm that it’s really comfortable! It’s also good to have the peace of mind in knowing that their mattresses create a pure and healthy sleep environment, away from toxins and chemicals.

Looking back, I didn’t give much thought to Bells mattress when we’d bought her cot… and yet we spent a small fortune on our bed as it’s a space you spend (hopefully!) so much time in. It seems only right, she gets the same treatment and complete with her Little Green Sheep mattress protector (which feels just like a sheet, no plastic rubbish here) and sheets, she’s now got a bed even most adults would be envious of.

I don’t want to jinx things by saying that we’ve cracked it, but it’s certainly heading in the right direction…. just in time for number two 😩🙄

Thanks so much to Little Green Sheep!

Have you struggled with sleep? How did you resolve it? Are you still struggling? I’d love to hear from you!

JoJo Maman Bébé | For those who like a simple life

Parenting / Jan 30, 2018 /

Things are very different with my second pregnancy than they were with my first – balancing full-time work and a toddler means that it’s barely registered that it’s only a matter of weeks until we become a family of four. That very thought BLOWS MY MIND.

Where the first time, I’d organised everything months in advance, things have very much been left until the last moment this time. As a result, I’ve become a lot more efficient, I guess every cloud and all that! Most of my shopping has been done online so that I can place that naughty order which Dickie doesn’t know about when I grab that 2 minute loo break to myself (yes, I take my phone with me, please don’t judge).

I’ve always been a fan of JoJo Maman Bébé having first discovered their Windsor store when I was pregnant with Bells. I love the cool products they stock (both their own brand and other obscure lesser known brands too) and the quality that you know that you’re getting. Most recently, it’s been a God send allowing me to sort maternity wear (I swear by their maternity underwear), toys/clothes for Bells and stuff for number 2’s nursery… and yes I know that we are going to have to find a name at some point, I don’t think the baby is going to appreciate being called number 2… but that’s another story.

When the team at JoJo recently got in touch to see if we’d be interested in receiving anything, I jumped at the chance to get browsing again. Safe to say, I ended up buying a lot more than I chose for them to kindly send. Amongst the selection though was Bells very first denim, a cute pair of dungarees. I’ve avoided putting her in denim until now as I don’t want to admit to myself that she’s turning into a proper human, and they seem, well, just so grown up. However, having seen her in them, it’s now my go-to outfit whenever we need some cute appeal going on.


At 19 months, Bells is developing so quickly. Imaginative play seems to make up a huge part of her day and is something that I really want to encourage as I think it’s really good for her. Whilst she has a toy kitchen and other “typically girly” toys, she’s always been super keen to give Dickie a hand when it comes to DIY and so I decided to get her the Jojo Maman Helpful Handyman Toolkit. I don’t think that toys should be determined by gender… I know that as a little girl, my train set was my fave!

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I know that the guidelines say from 3 years and I would never leave her alone unsupervised with small parts (have I included enough disclaimers in there?), but she ABSOLUTELY LOVES IT. She goes around the house pointing out things that need fixing by attempting to do it herself with her toolkit, causing poor Dickie to have lots more added to his to-do list.


As you can see, I’m not sure who was enjoying it more…. Bells or Dickie *rolly eye emoji*


Lastly, I chose the meelight from meemoo which is for the arrival of our second human. It can be used either as a nightlight (it has a 30 minute timer option) or as an attachable light so that you can attach it to you hands-free for those early hour feeds… oh how I’m looking forward to those again. It’s got 3 different settings, allowing you to dim it and it’s a really lovely soft glow (such a soft glow that it’s impossible to photograph, but you’ll have to take my word for it). I’m actually really excited to try it out properly, I know that it’ll certainly be nicer than using the torch on my iPhone like last time!

Now that I’ve finally got my act together… and it’s started to dawn that we’re running out of time, I’ve got a list of things that I want to buy including some Aden + Anais swaddles (by far the best swaddles I’ve ever bought.. they literally get softer with every wash), a Baby K’Tan Carrier because we know number 2 is going to be ickle again and I want to keep them close and a BabyBay Convertible Bedside Crib, because…. it’s gorgeous.

I’m sure that if you have kids, JoJo Maman Bébé is well and truly on your radar but with so many gorgeous things coming in on such a regular basis, it’s well worth checking out again. Thanks once again to the team for ticking a few things off of my list!

M xox