Tuesday Bedtime Book Club

I have been wanting to start a new segment for a while now but wasn’t quite sure of which route to go down. I eventually decided that I should combine my love of illustration and design with my role as a Mama and do a children’s book recommendation each week. It has become pretty apparent that I have a problem with resisting beautifully illustrated children’s literature. Every time I share them over on my Instagram, I get so much interest in what we are reading at bedtime, so I thought I would share and review them weekly on here to celebrate these beautiful pieces of work! So here we go with the first one…

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A Beginners Guide to Bear Spotting

by Michelle Robinson and David Roberts

I couldn’t not start with a book about bears now can I? We seem to have the biggest collection of bear books going and this beauty is the latest addition to the shelf. If you are like me and you dream of seeing some real, live bears then this essential guide to bear spotting, filled with offbeat humor and quirky illustrations, is for you!

This is the perfect read-aloud book that is sure to delight both kids and parents alike – I love a book that the adults can enjoy just as much as the little ones. A young aspiring bear spotter ventures into bear country but soon finds out that coming face-to-face with the furry creatures themselves, whether black or brown, is dangerous business. Silly and fun, but with some real information on bears, this guide teaches us all about brown and black bears and when to run! The pen ink and pencil illustrations are both original and charming and really add to the brilliantly whitty storyline that make this the perfect off-beat read for your mini adventurer. I love the way that this book combines two illustrative approaches (the ‘story’ pages and the ‘guide’ pages are distinct) and that BOTH of these styles are rich with expression and the comedy actor. Michelle Robinson knows exactly how to mix tension and humor perfectly and illustrator David Roberts helps her pull it off flawlessly. These two are a superb pair for storytelling! A must have for any young explorer out there!

What I’ve Been Loving This Week

Well happy Sunday! In a week of Doris, hospital stays and one still very poorly baby, I’m pretty happy to be spending today snuggled up on the sofa with the bear! This week has been rather manic and basically a bit shit, so I thought I’d share a few of the gems that have tickled my pickle and made this week slightly more bearable!  Hope you enjoy getting stuck into them!

Style update:
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I’m loving the casual dressing trend that has hit big this season. As a mum it is so hard to try and make an effort whilst still being comfortable and able to lug a small child around with you. London Fashion Week saw a far more relaxed street style approach, heels were swapped for trainers, skinny jeans replaced by a ‘Mom’ fit whilst slogan tees and sweats were in the place of flamboyant blouses and shirts. This trend couldn’t of come at a better time for me as all I was really struggling with those Mum days where all you want to do is snuggle up in a giant sweat but don’t want to look like you have completely given up just yet. Check out Megan Ellaby and Alex from The Frugality as they can just ace any trend and know how to pair more causal items amazingly. I am obsessed with both of these bloggers! There is nothing they can do wrong!

Something to crush on:

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In case you haven’t realised yet, the worlds of fashion, music and art have gone pink crazy and I for one am loving it. I have always been a massive fan of anything pink so I am enjoying every second of it’s revival. So much so I have been debating how much pink in one outfit is acceptable and what shades are perfect to layer on top of one another – I think I may need an intervention. Anyway, I went to the Birmingham leg of the Kings Of Leon ‘Walls’ tour the other night and let’s just say I left very happy indeed. Not only is their latest album amazing and Caleb’s voice was on top form, but the album and tour graphics are amazing! Full of bold, pastel graphics and pop art imagery; I found myself swooning over the artwork and forgetting to watch the actual band…oops. Go check out the album and whilst you are there check out how beautiful the vinyl is!

Something to listen to:

I feel very late to jump on the bandwagon for this one but my latest music obsession has to be Blossoms. They are a bunch a very talented lads and I just can’t stop listening to them – their self-titled album is just so easy to listen to! I found out the other day that they are playing Reading festival the same day as Muse (my absolute fave) so I think I may have to buy a day ticket despite the fact that I will probably be about ten years older than most of the attendees…it’s so worth it though!

Something to look forward to:

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It’s pancake day this coming week! Literally one of the most perfect days ever where you can just stuff your face with loads of sugar and it’s ok to do so. It will be Ted’s first time having pancakes so I have to make a thing out of it right? How do you have yours? I am a fan of the good old sugar and lemon but you can’t beat a bit of Nutella either!

Girls – Just Be You!

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We are all massively guilty of not giving ourselves enough credit, putting ourselves down and comparing ourselves to others, I think it comes in the ‘girl’ job specification. I never realised how guilty I am of these until very recently when I hit a bit of a slump. I realised just how much of my own worse enemy I really am and I just thought ‘why am I doing this to myself?’ It was like one day I woke up and I was bored of making myself feel rubbish by constantly doubting myself as a Mum, my career, my looks… I suddenly didn’t want to put myself down anymore and prevent myself from achieving my dreams and, since then, I have never felt more motivated to get out there and make my life what I want it to be. A simple habit of positive thought processes help shift your mind-set. And brilliantly, a change in emotional state directly affects the way you experience the world around you.

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I have been working on a little project recently that will promote self love and ‘good vibes’. The power of words is quite unbelievable – it’s funny how reading a short quote can completely change your mindset and lift a mood. A few short words can be a quick and straightforward way to access the power of positive programming and start each day with strength and self-assurance. My aim is to produce a series of simple images to help promote positive thinking and encourage you to take a few seconds to be proud of yourself. Whatever you achievement may be, whether it’s simply getting out of bed, it’s an achievement and it needs to be acknowledged. These pieces are just the starting point. If you have any great pieces of advice or a quote that is pure inspirational that you don’t mind sharing then let me know – I would love to include them in this project. To all of you out there – you are all doing an amazing job so give yourself a pat on the back and have that extra treat today…you deserve it!

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What I’ve Been Loving In January

January is finally at an end! I swear this month has lasted forever. Christmas seems an age away now and I don’t think I have ever had to stretch such little money so far before – it’s not been fun. However, a new year has brought about some exciting new things so here are my top picks of the bunch.

Mamas & Papas x Tiba & Marl Collab

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I am a massive fan of nappy bags that don’t look like nappy bags. I hate the idea of lugging around a giant bag that just screams ‘I’m a Mum now’ – just because I have a little one in tow doesn’t mean I am going to give up my sense of style and individuality! Tiba & Marl are the perfect answer to this and their colab with Mamas and Papas is just everything. I am literally obsessed! I’ve been loving their previous designs, especially their leopard print changing clutch and mat, but as soon as I saw that leaf print I instantly fell in love. Their products are something you are almost proud to be seen with, and in a world of dirty nappies and numerous amounts of dribble and god knows what else, they are a little bit of luxury that just brighten your day. I love being able to hide away the practical Mum things inside something beautiful and not be seen as just Ted’s Mum and products like these allow you to do that! So if anyone would like to buy me that fab leaf changing clutch or bag I would be eternally grateful!

L’eau De Chanel

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I think it’s almost a rite of passage that everyone has their No 5 moment. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to talk about it as eloquently as the wonderful Sali Hughes does here , she’s spot on when she says it’s the ultimate unflappable, powerful and feminine scent. I must say L’eau De Chanel feels lighter, a little softer and more delicate than it’s original and I have been loving it! It’s still floral, slightly citrusy and iconic in its own right, but it feels younger and something I have been wearing almost daily since receiving it this Christmas.

Dusty Pink

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There is not too much more I can say about this…I’m just totally obsessed with all things pink right now. Literally can not get enough of it! Home wear, clothing, accessories…give it me all!

La La Land

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This movie was just everything! A week later and I am still thinking about it and have booked to go again! The cinematography, the directing, the acting and the script was all perfection. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a must!

Denim Jackets

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My love for the denim jacket fades in and out, but I have well and truly fallen in love with them again – especially after finding this amazing pink version in Topshop. They are so easy to wear and look fab layered up over thick knits to keep out the chill at the moment. I can’t get enough! How many jackets is too many?

Here’s To The Ones That Dream

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As I sit here listening to the soundtrack for what must be the millionth time, I think it is fair to say I have officially caught the La La Land bug! I’m obsessed. Not just because it’s an unbelievabley well scripted and shot film that happens to include a certain Ryan Gosling wearing the best suits and brogues (literal dream), but also because some of the messages in this film have come through at the exact point I needed them to! I’m not talking about reviving Jazz and returning it to it’s glory days, even though I will admit that after seeing it just once I suddenly find myself passionate about Jazz Music and have a sudden urge to start tap dancing or learn the piano. I’m talking about not giving up on the plan you have made for yourself – that ideal in your head that we all strive for. We all have that one thing that we want from our lives and it’s easy to admit defeat and leave that idea behind.

I have found myself in a bit of a rut lately. I love my new mother role and Ted is my world, but I can’t help missing parts of the old me. The part of me that spent hours wondering around exhibitions, discovering quirky, independent cafes and shops and the creative me. I miss being surrounded by great design. I know the older that Ted gets the more I will be able to get out and do these sort of things again and I can’t wait to share them with him and be creative together. I always dreamed of being a designer or running my own Insta-worthy, independent shop or both maybe. Yes, I am starting to get back into designing now and I am loving it, but part of me can’t forgive myself for letting my confidence hold me back and not go for it sooner. So in the spirit of January’s new beginnings, I am going to channel my inner Seb and Mia and I am going to work to make my dreams happen. I’m feeling confident for the first time in forever and I am motivated. I am going to go freelance and surround myself in creativity once more. I will provide a good future for Ted and I and make him proud of his mama. I might even invest in a pair of monochrome brogues to mark the occasion as I tap dance away to another day of sun!! Watch this space!

What I’m Loving: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like A Kitsch Christmas!

It is fair to say that I am so unbelievably excited for Christmas this year. If I could I would have the house decorated already.I can’t wait to get everything looking all festive, get wrapping presents and prepping the house for my Christmas Eve dinner! Here are a selection of some of the fab pieces I have come across that aren’t helping the excitement!

Oliver Bonas Christmas Decorations

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Pineapples, cacti and flamingos…what more could you want? If you are looking for the perfect kitsch Christmas tree than look no further than Oliver Bonas. They have a fab selection of decorations, lighting and general home accessories to get you ready for the festive period!

Berylune Christmas Accessories

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Berylune have always been a favourite of mine and I know I will be paying them a visit for a lot of my Christmas presents this year! I love how crafty and unique all of their products are and their chocolate box shop is literally adorable. I’m definitely after some of these paper star decorations to create a feature wall in my front room!

Paperchase Christmas Decorations

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Again if you are looking for a kitsch and child friendly selection of Christmas decorations, Paperchase is your place to visit. Cacti have been huge this year so why not end the year with the trend adorning your Christmas tree. I love the extreme use of colour in their pieces this years. Gone are the muted metallic golds and silvers. They have been replaced by neons, multicoloured sequins and ombre sprayed designs!

Habitat Christmas Decorations

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Robot baubles, pom pom garlands, paper honeycomb Christmas trees and metallic wreaths…what more could you want?

 

 

 

What I’m Loving: Space Edition 

Cambridge Satchel Star Collection

I’m a massive fan of whatever Cambridge Satchel do. Their bags are a thing of pure beauty. If it wasn’t for me already owning two of them, then I would definitely have one of them on my Christmas list.

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Space prints for both boys and girls is what it is all about. This gorgeous prints decorates a variety of children’s wear this season and it’s beautiful. This illustrative style is just so me and I’m seriously considering buying Ted one of those jackets to put away for next year when he will be able to fit into it!

John Lewis Wooden Rocket


Blast off to outer space with this star-striking magnetic Janod Rocket Toy. Your little astronaut can build their own space vessel then whoosh it around at light speed!

Zara 


It wouldn’t be a favourites if Zara wasn’t mentioned at the moment. Zara’s ditsy star print is just gorgeous and teamed up with their staple shirts and ruffles it’s just dreamy!!

Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers Of Space Book 


This book is a brilliant gift for any budding astronaut out there. Beautifully illustrated and packed with awesome facts and images, this is a book any child would get excited about. Why don’t adult books come like this…children’s books are so much cooler!

Ride On Rocket


What little one wouldn’t want a ride on Rocket. It’s literally amazing!! I don’t know what more I need to say other than if I had the room, I know what I would be getting Ted for his first birthday!

What I’m Loving This Week: Camplife, Robots and comics!

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Is there anything Zara can’t do? They are completely acing this season in my opinion. Both the Women’s and the TRF editorials are amazing and I have the biggest wish list ever. A couple of weeks back they launched their TRF Denim Camp editorial and its just everything. Patches have been huge this year but Zara have still managed to make their take on it unique by applying a Boy Scout/ Summer Camp theme to their patch designs. This is something I’m crazy about at the moment as it’s the theme I want for Ted’s nursery so I can’t get enough. I love the American imagery and the colour scheme on the denim is just perfect.

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The latest Woman’s Editorial is just as amazing too. I loved the Disney collaboration Zara did earlier this season which saw unisex Mickey Mouse tees and quirky Goofy and Donald sweats. Now, probably due to the up and coming realease of the film, Wonder Woman is adorning the woman’s wear. Again with a take on this years patch trend, they have created a collection of comic inspired products that celebrate the beauty of comic strip illustrations. Jeans and jackets adorned with the classic comic speech bubbles, ‘Bam’ lettering and that infamous Wonder Woman logo…what more could you want. Also can we just talk about those amazing Looney Tunes bags!! Zara what are you doing to me?


Going back to the American Camp theme…Fossil have literally brought to life my vision for Ted’s room. Their press day saw campfires, smores, nature park themed photo booths and constellations embroidery how tos. Again the patches are a big focus but they have also introduced bag charms that capture the Boy Scout badge feel too. Beautiful rugged khaki bags have been adorned with colourful badges and quirky illustrative elements to capture that nature park feel. Feathers are also a focus as well as colourful faux raccoon tails. They also have the cutest leather raccoon toy that I just may need to get for Ted.

The final thing I’m loving this week is something for Ted and its robots. In particular Joules’ latest boys fashion drop of the most gorgeously illustrated little bots going. Joules are always on point with their colours and artwork and the latest pieces are no exception to the rule. Such beautiful children’s products. I’m also desperately trying to get hold of a retro wind up robot toy for Ted for Christmas as I just think they are a thing of beauty.


Whilst searching the depths of the internet for one I came across these fab DIY cardboard robots from Ohh Noo. They are great little kits as you can build them up however you want and are the perfect crimbo present for any little man out there. They also massively remind me of a project Joe and I worked on for his degree when we had to dress up like robots so this is obviously a must for Teddy Bear!!

What I’m Loving!

Hey Duggee


Ted absolutely loves this show and, I’m not going to lie, I do too! It’s my go to ‘give me ten to get my hair done show’ but I find myself sitting down to watch it too. I obsessed with the colours and illustrations…they are literally my design goals!  It’s so nice to see Ted’s face light up when he hears the theme tune and he will just sit there in sheer amazement. It’s great timing that he has developed a love for something wth Christmas coming up as I know exactly what to get him now!

The Joy of Plants


My latest obsession since since moving into the new flat is plants. I love having them dotted around. I wanted to test myself with a couple before I went too crazy to see if I would look after them and I’ve quite impressed myself. Now I’m looking around for a selection of beautiful pots, terrariums and macrame hangings to adorned my house with. The Joy of Plants Instagram page is the most perfect source of inspiration. With a feed full of gorgeous images capturing the latest plant trends, DIYs and care tips, it’s hard to resist turning your home into a garden centre!

Light Boxes, Marquee Lights, Festoon Lighting…


I’ve been obsessed with these for years but they have often had a hefty price tag to go with them. Now, however, there are so many good high street versions that anyone can afford these beauties and there is something to satisfy all tastes. Next at the moment have a really good selection of lighting and are now selling their own light boxes for as little as £12!! I may have just purchased one for our hallway as my one currently lives in Teddy Bears room!!

Meri Meri’s Halloween Collection

I’m way too excited for Halloween now and Meri Meri aren’t helping the obsession. They have the most perfect selection of party wear and accessories that will top any Halloween get together.

Things I’m Loving: September Edition

As it has now officially reached the start of my favourite season, I have suddenly become all autumnal and can not wait for the festivities that lie ahead. I thought I would put a quick post together of everything I am currently loving now it is turning from Summer into Autumn…queue chunky knits, halloween and everything PSL.

Gap Kid’s Halloween Collection

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Their collection the year is simply irresistible and I just want it all. They have nailed the orange and white ‘candy corn’ colour combo and the illustrations are so adorable. I’ve managed to snap up a few pieces already and will probably have to go back to more. An absolute must have!

Selfish Mother X Cheryl Rawlings ‘Honesty Cards’

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“A collaboration with ace illustrator Cheryl Rawlings, these are cards that simply tell it like it is, mixing Cheryl’s signature design style and with Selfish Mother’s signature Winging it philosophy. Whether you’re WINGING IT, or living in a HOUSE OF CHAOS or are wondering IS IT GIN O’CLOCK YET? These cards are ace to have on hand, so that you share your feelings with others on social media or simply just to put on the wall so they can make you smile”

These cards are brilliantly hilarious and sum up ‘Mom life’ perfectly. They are also available in a new mum version too so make the most amazing gift for any Mum-to-be!! I’m addicted to them.

Cracking out the jackets

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Yes, Ted and I are going to match this year in our bright yellow coats and I couldn’t care less I’m that excited. These two beauties are from Zara. Ted’s was an absolute bargain price of only 15 pounds!! I can’t wait to crack these out and both of us snuggle up in them for Bonfire Night! Nothing beats the feeling of being all warm and cosy!

Poppy’s Papercuts ‘Cut It Out’ book

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I’ve been a fan of Poppy every since she appeared on one of Kirstie’s many shows. I’ve always been a fan of paper cutting and Poppy just knows how to do it right. This book is packed full of ideas for you to try. With practise sheets at the front, you can really get to grips with the basics so you can then tackle the big tasks. I find paper cutting so therapeutic and it is something that is great as you can do it bit by bit, you don’t need to sit and do it all in one go. Perfect when you have a little one who will only nap for fifteen minutes at a time.

Everything Pumpkin


Need I say more…