22 May 2015

THE PERFECT COTTON SUMMER DRESS

Perfect Summer Cotton Dress Braintree Clothing
So a few weeks ago we flew to the sunny city of Palma, swapping the mild Bristol spring weather for a balmy 28 degrees. Just me, Paul, the boy and the perfect summer cotton dress. Oh how I love wandering around a new city bathed in beautiful light, feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin. As the weather in UK has a bit of catching up to do, I hadn't quite prepared a summer wardrobe and found myself on a mad shopping dash a few days before the flight.

When travelling somewhere hot I always try to pack light, but there's one must have item that I never leave without, and that's a comfortable summer cotton dress. When exploring anywhere with kids it's easy to get hot and sticky when swapping between carrying toys, child and bag full of essentials, so wearing something cool and comfortable while looking good is a must.

I loved this Jagger Stripe Summer dress from Braintree Clothing, the loose fit and cute pinstripe with lace and pin tuck details is made from Organic Hemp Cotton, which is completely breathable leaving your skin cool and it's the perfect length for letting your legs see some light – hello tan!

Colourful flowers in Palma
Doorway in the streets of Palma

I loved exploring the tiny cobbled streets with its crumbling plasterwork and beautiful doorways. There's something so exotic about the peachy tones and wooden shutters, with palm trees shading narrow passages. I can't wait to share more of our Palma adventures with you next week and hopefully inspire some wanderlust in you.

Tiled balcony from the Palau Sa Font HotelOrganic summer dress and Coffee at Palau Sa Font Hotel

Also just a quick note to say a huge thank you for all the kindness and support you've shown me over the last two weeks. All your messages have really helped lift my spirits through this particularly difficult time.

Honestly, I'm still not feeling myself, which is probably why it has stayed quiet over here. However I have a few posts to share with you and hope that you'll be patient with me as I pull myself out of this hole, and as always thanks for taking time to stop by, read and say hi. x


14 May 2015

SAYING ANOTHER GOODBYE


I'm sorry for the radio silence over on this little blog of mine, I was hoping to tell you some exciting news and that I've been super busy with fun projects – which is partly true – but unfortunately there's another reason why no words have been posted... we've been saying another goodbye.

The last two months have been a roller coaster of emotions. After coming to terms that a second child would be unlikely after already suffering two miscarriages in the past and not being sure whether I could put myself though it again, out of nowhere I found myself staring at two pinks lines. To be honest I was in shock, it was totally unplanned and unexpected and seemed to come along just as I had decided that one child was enough for me.

I think it took a week for it all to sink in. This was happening. It was actually happening and F would have a sibling, and I would have another babe in arms.

After some pains I know oh so well at five and a half weeks, I thought it had all been a bit short lived and an appointment was made for a scan at six weeks. I went to the clinic in tears, knowing what to expect, feeling awful for putting my body through this again, only to be surprised with the news that I had been carrying twins and had miscarried as I had thought, but only one. There was still one baby, it's heart beating away, holding in there.

Awash with new hope as my tummy grew and further scans showed the pregnancy progressing well, naively I relaxed a little. I was feeling exhausted but well in myself, and started to let my mind wander a little to the December due date, although slightly laced with doubt, not fully wanting to let myself indulge in these happy thoughts.

At the beginning of this week I was given the news that my baby's heart had stopped. Another silent miscarriage. Once again I was being wheeled into surgery, staring at magnolia walls and cups of NHS tea. I didn't feel like crying, to be honest I didn't feel anything, just numb or perhaps going through the motions. Only as they were administering the anaesthetic did the tears start to well up and fall, and I felt someone take my hand until I went under.

Now I'm back at home, resting with my empty belly. Still feeling very up and down but throwing myself into work for a bit of distraction and letting the tears come and go. It helps to write and share it, I know how isolating a miscarriage can be, how sad and destructive it can become. For me it's easier to be open, to let all these emotions wash over me and there are so many. It's hard to keep track of my head at he moment but I can feel the weight of my heavy heart.

After loosing baby Alex at 15 weeks due to Parvovirus and my second miscarriage, it seems there is no rhyme or reason to it all, just bad luck. Three miscarriages in a row. And so it's back to daily life and I know I'll be OK, it just might take a little bit of time. It's hard being a mama.




4 May 2015

WIN A £100 TO SPEND AT BURP BOUTIQUE

I love good style and when F was born I was very excited by the prospect of hunting out cool clothes for my little one to roll around in, I mean who wouldn't coo and ahh over tiny little shoes right? I don't always spend lots of money on F's wardrobe, it's a healthy mix of high street bargains, hand me downs and a few boutique pieces, and I love how his clothes are an extension of his colourful bubbly personality.

I often feel a bit deflated when I walk through the super colourful – although mostly pink with a splash of yellow – girls department into a sea of blue and dinosaurs for boys. F loves colour, I love colour so why do shops insist on these toned down hues for boys?! Yes F likes a dinosaurs as much as the next kid, but he also loves pink and wearing conformable leggings, so I often find myself looking at independent kids boutiques to bridge his wardrobe gap.

One great online store is Burp Boutique, who's mission is to create a collection of colourful, unisex, bright, bold and fun clothes for your little ones, while supporting British Made, up and coming designers. They focus on well made clothes, amazingly illustrated story books, fun squidgy soft toys and unique pieces of art, to bring you something different and fun for your little ones.

To celebrate Burp Boutique fourth birthday, they are offering you the chance to win £100 to spend in their online store! All you have to do is take a photo that conjures up a celebratory moment and post it on Instagram, not forgetting to follow @burpboutique and add the hashtag #WINburp! The picture can be anything, let your imagination go wild!

The competition ends on Friday 15th May and will be judged by myself and Fritha from Tigerlilly Quinn. I can't wait to see all your fab pics :) Good luck! x

Wild & Grizzly has been shortlisted for the Style Category in the Brilliance in Blogging 2015 awards.  It would be wonderful if you could take a moment to vote for me here. Thanks so much for your continued support. xx 

1 May 2015

WHAT WOULD YOU SPEND £100 ON?


Being a freelancer I'm often juggling money with various payments coming in at different times, it's certainly different to being on a full time salary at a nine to five job. Saying that, I think of myself as being incredibly lucky to be able to manage my own workload, pick and choose which jobs I take and most importantly work around my boy. As I'm sure most mama's find, I rarely spend 'spare' money on myself. I tend to think of F first and I'll make sure that any money I have gets spent on him, whether it's new clothes, toys or fun days out together – although I do keep a few pennies back for my daily flat white pit stop. So when asked by TSB Bank what I would spend a spare £100 on, it got me thinking. What would I do with a bit of extra cash that hadn't been earmarked for our usual spends? Would I treat F to a day out, or perhaps Paul to a music gig? Or maybe a treat for myself?Click to read more

INTERIOR TIPS FOR A HOME THAT GROWS WITH YOU

Earlier this week I was excited to have a photographer spend the day with us in the flat, creating beautiful shots of the space we call home. About a month ago I'd been contacted by Style at Home magazine asking if I would take part in an Interiors Feature and I excitedly agreed to the shoot and interview for an autumn edition of the magazine.

While I spent the day fussing around the photographer and styling a few shots, we got chatting about how things evolve once you have children and how your home needs to grow with you. This got me thinking about how I've styled our home and how it has slowly changed as F grows bigger year by year, from creating that first safe baby space which was warm and nurturing to a slightly more independent space that can be enjoyed by a young child and how it might change again as he gets ready to start school.


So I thought I share a few Interior tips that I keep in mind when doing anything to our home. 

1. Declutter
This is one of my key rules and we do this on a monthly basis. Do you really need that mug you got at a work Christmas party raffle three years ago? No? Didn't think so. Let's just take it down to the charity shop shall we and leave a bit of cupboard space for something you really need. Ensuring everything in your home is useful, beautiful and needed, allows you to look after the things you have and create space for things you'll need in the future.

2. Buy Smart
When buying a piece of furniture think about how it will be used. Buy furniture that will grow with your homes needs, will that nursing chair move into the lounge and make a great reading chair later in life? I bought an Eames RAR rocker when F was tiny and spent every night nursing him while rocking him back and forth, now it's in our lounge with new cushions and throws and is a great place to sit with friends.

3. Upcycle
Before you think about buying new furniture is there any way you can modify it to fit your needs? With I bought F's chest of drawers I kept away from the cutesy nursery child colour palettes and opted for a simple oak piece knowing that when the time came I could paint it a dove grey or simple white and change the handles to create a scandi-style inspired storage sideboard for the hallway. 

4.  Consider your colour palette. 
When decorating a home with young children I would always consider neutral tones and add colour through accessories. Whites walls can create a calm and light space which you can add colour to with prints in the lounge or decals in a child's room. With fabrics I tend to gravitate towards greys for sofas and chairs as it hides small marks made by sticky fingers and you can add colour using cushions and throws. As long as the fabric is machine washable or at least dry clean, it's easier to change cushions then it is to change a sofa.

5. Storage 
Using smart storage that allows you to keep bit of adult space in a house is key. Use woven storage baskets with lids around your lounge to keep your child's toys tidy. During the day they can play to their hearts content in a sea of plastic but once evening falls you can reclaim the your space and create a calm and stylish environment by popping the toys away and relax. 

Harvey's Furniture asked me whether I would like to share some tips on creating a home that grows with you, especially for those with young children, as part of their national survey and a chance for you to win a sofa and £500 to update your living room.  

Wild & Grizzly has been shortlisted for the Style Category in the Brilliance in Blogging 2015 awards.  It would be wonderful if you could take a moment to vote for me here. Thanks so much for your continued support. xx 

*this is a collaborative post