Thursday, 14 July 2016

A Message To My Mum...

I count myself very lucky that I've always had a close relationship with my Mum. Not everyone is given that opportunity in life and I've made a mental note to show her more just how much I care.

She's given me a lot of support and advice over the years and always encouraged me to follow my dreams. My Mum was never very strict with me, I think this is one of the reasons I never rebelled and we never had many heated Mother/daughter arguments when I was a teenager. She always had trust in me and because of this I didn't feel like I had to keep any secrets from her - and even if I did get something wrong, the 'I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed' line always had much more of an impact on me!

She's taught me to be kind, and see the good in people. She encouraged my love of performing arts and musical theatre, something that's had such a positive impact on my life. She also shows me everyday, that even when she's in pain, and having really bad days as she suffers from M.E., that there's so much to smile about and be grateful for. She brings so much happiness to my life, and that's reflected in the way Archie lights up when he sees her. The love they share is indescribable and I feel so lucky that she's my Mum and his Nan.

She's been very supportive of me over the last 6 years of my blogging/You Tube journey. But I've never used this platform to say thank you. So as part of my efforts to show her just how much I love her, I've decided to offer some of my own advice, something she can read back whenever she maybe feels a bit low, unwell or not her usual bubbly self.

Dear Mum...

1. Worry less - That's quite a statement coming from me, queen of the worriers. But we both worry about a lot of unnecessary things. Focus on the good and positive things in your life because there are so many things that far outweigh the bad.

2. Keep that youthful glow - We were definitely blessed with the youthful gene, I'd say the women in our family look at least 10 years younger than they are (which wasn't so much fun when I was 22 and looked 12!) You always taught me the importance of a good skincare routine so now I'm giving the same advice back to you. NIVEA has been in our family for years. Our lovely Nan swore it's what kept her skin super soft, and as you know the generations have all used it since. Which is why I'm so excited about NIVEA’s new cleansing range (you know Rene would have loved it just as much as me!)   The range includes the Creme Care Facial Cleansing Wipes, which I personally love for travelling. The Cleansing Lotion which is so gentle, it can be used to remove eye makeup and is strong enough to remove waterproof mascara! And the Cleansing Cream Wash. Its rich formula removes impurities and leaves skin feeling clean and incredibly soft. The smell instantly takes me back to when I was young. I know your favourite thing is raiding my beauty draws so I can't wait to see what you think of this range!

3. Have more adventures! - I'm at the start of my parenting journey. Right now freedom seems a long way off! And even though we will never stop being your babies, Chris and I are grown up now, so this is your chance to be selfish! Go on some crazy adventures with Dad, try something new or learn a new skill (cooking maybe? Just kidding!) But in all seriousness, have fun and throw caution to the wind!

4. Ask for help - I know it can be hard sometimes to ask for help, but that's what daughters are for. You help me in so many ways and are always there for Archie and I and I hope you know that I'm always here for you too. Whether it's someone to go shopping with on the good days, or someone to wash your hair on the days you just can't do it yourself.  Basically just listen to our song 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' that explains it better than I ever could.

Kate x

Thank you to NIVEA for Sponsoring this post


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Friday, 24 June 2016

We'll keep you safe, you keep us wild...

Toddlers are like a riddle that's impossible to solve. Just when you think you've got it sussed and are doing quite well at this parenting thing, they throw you another curveball that changes everything. Archie is about to turn 22 months but I feel like the terrible two's are already knocking at our door!
But on a recent trip to the park, as I watched my little whirlwind run ahead without a care in the world, I suddenly realised that this moment, right here and now might be one of the happiest of our lives.

In the mist of a meltdown because he wants the other half of the biscuit instead of the identical half you gave him, or because you're not letting him throw himself off the dining room table, it's easy to get down and dream of the day you have a slightly more rational little human to reason with, but I know all too well how fleeting these days are. He's only little for such a short amount of time and one day we will look back on this with fondness and smile at the memories of the way he once was, and wish for these days back, so I try and remember this during the more challenging moments.
Floral Shirt - River Island
Fringed Sandals - River Island
We haven't had the best weather recently, (that's the great British summer for you,) but on this particular morning, the sun was shining, so when Archie announced that he wanted to put his 'shoes on' (his way of saying, I want to go out Mum!) I was happy to oblige and so we made the short car journey to his favourite park.

He is definitely a wild one, he loves to find the biggest slide in the park and launch himself down it which scares the life out of me. He definitely gets his fearlessness from his Dad! He also loves water and would run in and out of the water jets and fountains all day if we let him.
 His little outfit is so adorable! I love the contrast of the monochrome shirt and the bright pop of colour from the red shorts. The little red plimsoles are really easy to slip on his feet and because they're so light he can run around in them all day! River Island do some of the most on trend kids wear available on the high street and I love dressing Archie is their pieces. The mini range is available in sizes 0-5 and the kids range is age 5-12 which I love as they don't leave the littlest ones out!
22 Month Update:

At 22 months I feel as though he's learning so many new things everyday, and he often surprises me with things that I didn't even realise he knew! He's still currently a really great eater, and there isn't much he'll turn down.

One of the biggest changes since I last updated you is his sleeping. Luckily he's still going to sleep really well, but he now gets up anywhere between 5:30am - 7:00am which is a huge change for us and it's still taking us a while to adjust to it. We were pretty spoilt with a baby who got up at 8:00am everyday so I think It's pay back time!

He's talking lots now and making his wants and needs known! I'm not sure exactly how many words he can say but his vocabulary is growing rapidly. He'll sometimes speak in 2-3 word sentences, often things like, 'Mummy up' or 'Daddy shoes on' but it's still mainly a word to tell us what he wants to do.

He seems to have been teething for quite a while now, with his four incisors coming through in one go which isn't very nice for him! I'm hoping that's what's contributing to the meltdowns at the moment but you can never quite tell!

Some of his favourite things at 22 months are:

Peppa Pig (but mainly George)
tea parties
sitting in the drivers seat of the car
playing in the park
Jumping off the sofa
brushing his teeth
saying his name!
Cookie Monster and Elmo (Cookie & Mo Mo)
Mr Bloom

One thing's for sure, he keeps us on our toes and we couldn't imagine life without him now... 

...Stay wild baby boy...

Thanks to River Island for working with us on this post
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Friday, 10 June 2016

A Messy Day

Messy play. Two words that fill me with equal parts excitement and horror! Archie's favourite thing to do by far is painting and drawing. I have to admit I don't get the paints out as much as Archie would like which makes me feel bad, but the thought of the clean up can be a bit of a nightmare, especially when he's asking for the paints at 7:00am! But recently, the boys and I decided to throw caution to the wind and have the messiest of messy play days (I know. We're wild!)
 We started off quite safe, filling one of our plastic storage boxes up with ball pit balls, which Archie delighted in turning upside down and scattering across the floor!
Daddy also did some juggling, which Archie found very amusing!

Play fights were also on the agenda!

 We made up a batch of moon sand (which you can find out more about in my new toddler hacks video here.) Archie loved the texture of it and I have to admit we had quite a bit of fun making shapes  & sandcastles too. It was like having a mini beach in the kitchen! It was all fun and games until he decided to start sprinkling it all over the floor and stamping through it!
After that we cracked open the paints! He'd been screaming PAINT! at the top of his lungs for about half an hour, so you can imagine how excited he was when we finally filled the pots up with brightly coloured stuff. The house was in a bit of a state by the end of our messy afternoon to say the least, and of course it was left to me to clean it up whilst the boys went and enjoyed an ice lolly. (It's alright for some!)
 Plenty came in very handy indeed! It really is a lot stronger than your average, supermarket own kitchen roll. Great for mopping up spillages and wiping over floors. I just dampened it with water and my kitchen beach disappeared! I really enjoyed our afternoon together and afterwards we made a promise to do it more often. After all, a little bit of mess never hurt anyone! If you want to see more of what we got up to in video form & how we use Plenty, plus some rather clever (if I do say so myself) tips and hacks for toddlers, the video is below!

Kate x

Thank you to Plenty for working with me on this video
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Friday, 20 May 2016

A Rare Day Off | South Kensington

 Last week I enjoyed something that's become a bit of a rarity in my life. A day off. Being a Mum and having a full time job doesn't leave me much time to enjoy a day to myself. I'm not complaining, I love being busy, and I love being a Mum but sometimes I do feel the pressure and I need to escape Even if it's just for the afternoon. Sometimes, without wanting to sound too much like Greta Garbo, I want to be alone! I often feel guilty, for taking this time for myself. Usually if I'm away from Archie it's because I have meetings or days filming, so I can justify it because I'm working, but the pang of guilt feels especially strong when I'm away from him to enjoy myself! It's ridiculous really isn't it, as I wouldn't begrudge another Mum of doing it. I sometimes have to remind myself that a day off every now and again is actually good for all of us. I come back a calmer person, a nicer person, and even a slightly better Mum. It's like I've had the chance to recharge my batteries and I'm back up to 100% again.

One of my favourite places in the world is London. Even though I'm a Kent girl, whenever I'm in London I feel at home and I haven't had that feeling anywhere else I've visited. On this particular day, I jumped on the tube and decided to have a little stroll through South Kensington. I just adore walking down the streets lined with beautiful white townhouses (and not at all pretending that I own one of them). I had a wonder along the high street and paid a little visit to Holland Park. I could spend hours walking though the beautiful gardens.

I've been wanting to wear this little outfit combo for ages, and a relaxed day in London felt like the perfect opportunity. The dungarees and striped bardot top are from Dorothy Perkins, to be honest I couldn't actually believe that I'd bought a pair of dungarees, but the fit of these are really good, and paired with a bardot top or cute blouse I think they can look really on trend. I also wore my bronze Isabella Crocs and let me tell you they are the most comfortable shoes I think I've ever worn! They're so light it doesn't even feel like you're wearing shoes. These are my first pair of Crocs, But after this I think I'll be getting some more, specially the sandal style as they'll be so good for days running around after Archie, going to beach and when I know I'll be doing lots of walking. Of course I had my trusty Mulberry Del Ray with me too! I don't think I've hardly used another bag since I got this about 18 months ago. It's like my second baby!

I got home that evening in time to give Archie a bath and put him to bed. I love our little evening routine together. He was the sweetest boy when I got home that day!

Have you had a day to yourself recently? Did it make you feel guilty or did you feel like it did you good? Let me know in the comments!

Love Kate x

 Thank you to Crocs for working with me on this post.

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Thursday, 14 April 2016

A weekend Away...

Recently the boys and I went for a little weekend get away by the sea. It was just the sort of thing the three of us needed, as we've been working a lot lately and the days just feel like they're flying. Weeks are turning into months before we've even had a second to sit down and just breathe. So when FatFace offered to whisk us away on a weekend of happiness, we jumped at the chance.

So last Friday, we packed up our bags and headed towards the sleepy town of Sandwich, not too far away from our home in Kent, but just far enough to feel like we were somewhere completely removed from our every day life. When we pulled into the gravelled driveway of The Butlery where we would be staying for the next 3 nights, I felt instantly calm and peaceful. After we got the keys, we headed inside to explore our new little home for the weekend. This is always my favourite part of staying somewhere, and it didn't disappoint. The Butlery is a quaint little cottage attached to the main house. It's walls are lined with brightly coloured books and the duck egg blue kitchen is like something out of a magazine. It felt cosy and inviting and I just felt so at home. There was also the added surprise of a playroom just across the drive which Archie adored. He had so much fun going in and out of the little tents and playing with the vintage toys.

Our Outfits:
Kate: Joanne Coins Jumpsuit // Shoes - Primary
Rikki: Thurston Shirt // Trousers - Next
Archie: Jumper - Next // Jeans - Next

Not long after we arrived we were surprised with a food delivery, full of some of our favourite treats, including ice cream and chocolate! And some ingredients to make some delicious home cooked meals. That evening once Archie was fast asleep, we cracked open the Prosecco and found a trunk full of classic board games, so we played a bit of Monopoly! We haven't played it, (or any board game for that matter) since we were teenagers, and it really made me think about how busy our lives have become, and that we would usually feel guilty for taking time out like this as we always know there's something more important we could be doing. But I have realised you need to be kind to yourself. Take time out and enjoy the simple things, so you can return to life's stresses with a clear mind and more determined attitude.

The following day, we explored the pretty, medieval town of Sandwich, and also headed into Canterbury which isn't too far away, just for a little bit of lunch and a quick browse around the shops. I wore my Saunton Cami, a beautiful cream piece with a lace trim and Haywood Cardigan which is one of the softest things I own, and it just goes with so many things! I teamed them with a pair of grey skinny jeans, which was the perfect mix of stylish and comfortable.

When we arrived back at The Butlery, we spent a bit of time letting Archie explore the gardens and play in the playroom, and Rikki cooked us a lovely dinner. And so we settled down for our second night.

The following morning, we decided we would have a real lazy, relaxed day, and just stayed in and around the cottage all day. I think my hands down favourite part of The Butlery was the master bedroom. It was just my style with it's shabby chic bed, delicate furnishings and even little bunny door handles on the wardrobe were just so sweet (I wanted to take them home but I restrained myself!) Our sweet little boy loved playing on the bed, getting lost in what must have felt like a mountain of pillows to him.

I loved lounging around in my Sudbury Top which, to me is a grown up take on wearing broderie anglise, it's easy to wear with so many things, and I'm sure I'll be wearing it a lot this summer. It was still a bit too cold to wear this and the Ripped Denim Jeans outside, but the cottage was toasty warm, so I made the most of that!
Archie did the cutest thing ever on the Sunday. He fell asleep in his high chair whilst having lunch! This might sound like the norm for a toddler, but our energetic little man has never done this before, so it was so funny for us to watch! We got it on camera too, so make sure you watch the vlog to see ultimate Archie cuteness! He slept really well at night whilst we were away, but I think he was so excited to play and run around that he wasn't napping in the day like he normally does, so by Sunday lunch time he was exhausted! We put him into our bed, crumbs still covering his face, and I took the rare opportunity to snuggle up with him for half an hour. It was pretty amazing. I just looked out at the view and felt so happy and blessed. A bit cheesy I know but true!
Once Archie had, had his nap, we decided to go and check out the beach. The property we stayed in had 5 miles of private beach just outside it's front gates which was incredible. It was just such a shame it was so, so windy! We couldn't stay out there for long as I thought we might all get blown away, but Archie made the most of his brief trip to the beach and filled my pockets with pebbles which he found very amusing. His Daddy took him down to the sea, he hasn't been to the beach since he was quite a bit younger and I can tell he will absolutely love visiting places like this when he's a a little older. I wore the Waterfall Jersey Cardigan to keep the chill off. We all know I love me some stripes! And again it was just so super soft and comfortable. I also wore this Pretty Lace Trilby which helped to keep my hair under control! I love the little tan trim detail which will go with so many of my bags and shoes. Rikki Wears: Marden Check Shirt and a White Slub V Neck Tee I love him in check shirts and this one really suits him.

After our quick visit to the beach, we decided to drive a few minutes back down the road so that Archie could see the sheep and baby lambs in the fields leading up to the house. The road is lined with hundreds of daffodils at the moment and with the backdrop of the lambs, I've really never seen anything that screams Spring more in my life! It was so pretty as it was late afternoon by this point, but it had got a bit warmer, so I put on my Zara top and Pale Wash Super Skinny Jeans. I was actually so surprised with how much I liked them as I'm very fussy about jeans and stick to just a few brands that I know fit me as so many seem to be a bit baggy. But these were definitely skinny jeans, and just the right length too! Archie loved looking at the lambs, and we knew we could just take our time, knowing we didn't have to rush back for anything.
On Monday morning, it was sadly time to pack up and leave. With a little sigh, we said goodbye to The Butlery after another little run around in the grounds of the house. I wore the Durington Kimono, and the Saunton Cami to go home in, with a pair of skinny jeans and plimsolls. It didn't take too long to get home, only about an hour and a half, but it was nice to snuggle up in the knitted kimono whilst Rikki drove us all home.

We can't thank FatFace enough for this little weekend we got to spend together. It felt like we were in our own little world and we got the chance to really switch off and enjoy just being a family. I will treasure the memories forever, and it's taught me the importance of taking a break every now and again, to re-evaluate, to stop and notice the little things and special moments.
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