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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Monday, 28 March 2016

Drops Of Youth Skincare Challenge - My Results

So after 28 days of using the Body Shop's Drops Of Youth Skincare range morning and night, I wanted to sit down and tell you what I thought of the range and share my results.

As you may already know, I've suffered with dull, dry skin for quite some time now, and starting this new skin care routine was definitely what I needed to get that glow back. I think changing up your routine every now and again is a good thing and even though this particular skincare routine isn't targeted towards breakouts or acne, which is my other main skin concern, it didn't do anything to aggravate my skin which was a real plus for me.

I really enjoy waking up with skin that feels so much more hydrated and doesn't have that tight feeling. I still don't wake up looking like a supermodel, (that would take a miracle!) But it helps to start my day off on a positive note as I find my makeup applies smoothly, and my foundation looks even.

I'm so glad I took on this challenge, as I'll now definitely be introducing most of these products into my morning and evening skincare routines, along with some of my other tried and tested favourites.

If you'd like to hear about my results in much more detail and see how I use each of the products, then check out my video below:

This post was kindly sponsored by The Body Shop
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Friday, 11 March 2016

Archie At 18 Months

I took these pictures of Archie the day he turned 18 months and they really capture everything about he's cheeky personality and boundless energy at this stage. I'm going to do a full video for his 18 month update soon, so watch out for that. But I just wanted to share these pictures with you and document some of the little things about him at this age.

At 18 months he's really starting to develop his individual personality, and I find myself looking at him so often thinking that my baby is now a little boy! He has the cheekiest of smiles but boy can this kid frown! I guess he takes after me for that one but judging by the lines I'm getting on my forehead, he mind want to grown out of that! He's very sweet and kind natured, and is so gentle with our dogs Miley and Pippa, and likewise them with him which is such a relief! He loves to give them treats and often throws them food from his highchair which he thinks is hilarious!

Archie was never the cuddliest of babies, as I've mentioned a few times before, he's is CONSTANTLY on the go, never wanting to sit down and goes from one thing to the next,few minutes, which according to his Nan, I have Rik to thank for that! But over the last month or so, I've noticed he's slowed down a little, he has a slightly longer attention span and will even sit and watch something on the TV for about 10 minutes at a time! The best thing though is I've suddenly got a very cuddly boy! I don't know if it's due to him being ill a few weeks ago which made him realise that sitting and having a cuddle was actually quite nice, or the fact that he's worked out that kisses and cuddles get him things! (I'm all for bribery!) Whatever it is though I am enjoying it and hope this continues!

He's walking really well now, although he still sometimes resembles a tiny drunk man, especially when he's tired. One of the things I'm really enjoying is seeing his language develop! I cannot wait for the day when we can have a proper little conversations. for now his favourite words are; 'Beebies' (Cbeebies), 'Chitchen' (Kitchen) 'Pat Pat' (He's Great Gandad) and most recently 'MUM!'. He's said 'mama' since quite an early age but for a while everything was 'Daddy', so It's nice to feel important for once.

We've been incredibly lucky with he's sleeping. (I know how annoying that must sound if you're struggling with this at the moment). He just loves his sleep and generally goes to sleep at around 7:00pm and sleep through the night until 8:00am. I have just completely jinxed myself by writing this down though. Especially as I know we're about to hit another teething stage.

He's current favourite things are:

Justin's House
fruity bakes
climbing on everything
playing with water

I'm basically just head over heels in love with him and I'm so lucky to be his Mum. I know I've only really touched on the positives here which can can make it seem like being a Mum is easy and I'm trying to say my child is perfect. That's not the case at all, it can be exhausting and really hard some days! I'm sure I've left loads out, so if you have any questions, then please leave them below and I'll try and incorporate them into the video!

Love Kate x

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Monday, 22 February 2016

London Fashion Week - Top Packing Tips

London Fashion Week
New York Fashion Week
Paris Fashion Week

London Fashion Week is once again in full swing, and the city's most fashion-savvy celebs, stylists, bloggers and dedicated followers of fashion are out in full force. I've been lucky enough to attend some amazing shows in recent years, highlights of which included Moschino and Topshop Unique. Sitting in the same room as the likes of Kate Moss, Anna Wintour and Philip Green and seeing Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn walk the runway sparked some serious style inspiration!

The lovely people at HomeAway, recently asked me to put together a little list of tips for packing for London Fashion Week, and as I'm a bit of a fan of the flat lay, I thought I'd show you what I'd take with me to London, New York and Paris fashion week. (A girl can dream right?) I actually enjoyed doing these so much that I nearly booked an impromptu trip!

LFW Packing Tips

1. Wear comfortable shoes! There's nothing worse than running around London all day in 6-inch heels, but if you just can't give them up, take a pair of flats with you for emergencies and wear your heels a couple of times to break them in. (Don't forget to pack the blister plasters!)

2. Travel light. You don't want to be carrying half your office around with you, but blogging can often mean lugging your heavy DSLR around with you, plus your laptop and phone - the list is endless. Try taking a smaller compact camera with you like the Canon G7X, you'd be surprised at the amazing quality photos it can produce. Or, if you just can't imagine not taking your big camera, swap your bulky lens for a pancake lens instead, it'll take up half the room in your bag and you won't need major back surgery afterwards!

3. Layer up! Fashion week in Feb is always temperamental weather wise. Be prepared for all eventualities with lighter layers that you can remove if we have a sudden sunny spell (wishful thinking?) I always bring a big scarf with me which instantly adds interest to an outfit, and a hat is a great alternative to carrying an umbrella around with you - and so much more stylish!

Even if you're not heading to Fashion Week, I think all of these tips would apply when packing for a city break. If you're off somewhere soon, why not create your own little packing flat lay? It's a great way to see if everything you're taking works well together, and you can see if you've left anything out. If you create your own, please share it with us using the hashtag #LFW and tag @homeawayUK.

Kate x

This blog post was kindly sponsored by HomeAway 
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