Autumn in all its rainy, windy, leafy glory is here, which would once upon a time mean I’d be spending most of the days indoors. Life with kids, however, now means we need to get out a lot so we don’t all drive each other mad. So, of course, the change in season has given us many opportunities to test run the girls’ new coats sent to us for review by Lighthouse clothing.
At five and two and a half, Talitha and Ophelia are both at ages where clothing is fun. They especially love the vibrant colours and cheerful prints on these Ella waterproof raincoats. The shared colours in the details means that they’re kind of matching without twinning. They often ask to match but sometimes would rather not so this satisfies both desires.
In terms of performance, they’ve taken these coats into some serious rainfall and bitter winds and have been absolutely dry and toasty. It’ll be interesting to see how they fare through the winter season but they look so well made, I have no doubt they’re up to the job. The soft waterproof outer and the fleece lining make for a great combination of comfort and practicality.
I’ve come to really love this time of year. The world is full of celebration and change and altering your wardrobe is a silly, little, fun bit of that.
I usually think of raincoats as being sad, shapeless, colourless affairs that in no way compensate for the misery of rainy weather. Not so with this Fayda waterproof parka coat sent to me by Lighthouse. This shade of green (they call it seagrass) is an instant pickmeup. The striped blue lining offers a classic feel and all the detailing makes for a structured piece I actually look forward to taking out into the rain or even just a windy day. It’s seen a few rainy outings now and done the job too. Sadly, whereas I could still zip it up three weeks ago when these pictures were taken, my bump now won’t even let me hold it together! Crazy how that’s happened so quickly. I’m looking forward to wearing it again once the baby is here.
Laurence hasn’t had as much work on this week so he’s been around a bit more. It’s something we always want to embrace with him working freelance. It’s annoying when he has to work away or longer hours but brilliant fun when he gets to spend more time with us.
The girls have loved having him around to “play chase”, do more gardening and even a spot of baking! Admittedly, the TV hasn’t been on as much because someone less burned out than I am is here to keep things going. I’ve been teasing him that he’s better at this home educating/parenting lark than I am and maybe I need to be the one out working.
The truth is, we are all a bit happier when we get to share the load, parenting and working. In an ideal scenario, we’d find a way to hit that sweet spot more so that both of us get to pursue careers part-time (ish) and be with the children. Realistically, that can’t happen right now so it’s about making the most of the flexibility we have been blessed with – and we do have more of that than many families.
Another great thing about having him around more is that I’ve been able to kick through a fair few things on my spring cleaning (nesting?) list, which has meant getting some stuff out of the shed, like our good ol’ indo board, as well as massively decluttering all of our wardrobes. It’s made space for the baby’s things, simplified the morning dressing process for the kids and generally decreased the mountain of washing.
It’s also made way for adding fun new bits like a T-shirt from House of Fraser. This is the O’Neill O`Riginals Odyssey Print. It’s organic, with a solid big print and a sea reference, always welcome in these parts. Laurence has gone off most of the big surf brands but he respects O’Neill for keeping their focus and doing things well. And I quite like the colour!
Here’s to more Spring days, getting the balance right.
In association with House of Fraser
I’ve been collecting a few bits here and there for baby girl number three since we’d given most of our baby things away. Mostly it’s second hand and I’m hoping to make a few bits too (we’ll see!). It’s been quite fun as I didn’t go through this process the first couple of times. In fact, Talitha was dressed in my cousin’s son’s stereotypically “boy” baby clothes. While I really didn’t mind, it’s fun actually choosing things because I like them.
When Funky Giraffe asked if I’d take a look at their collection, I enjoyed picking a few bits and making it an opportunity to give one of you the opportunity to win some of their sweet bibs too.
In the throes of Spring tulips are fully on my mind, some of ours have opened but many in the garden are just waiting. I’m willing them to be OK as we may have planted them in too shady a spot. Anyway, this tulip bandana bib was just the thing.
They also do bigger bibs, perfect for when you’re out and about with food and need a bit more coverage. I couldn’t resist snapping up a pair of purple socks. Is there anything sweeter than tiny baby socks?
I also chose a bib from their bamboo range because it’s such a great fabric for absorbency and is naturally antibacterial too. I like that Funky Giraffe steers away from the typical baby colours and isn’t afraid to go bold and brave.
To win 10 baby bibs* from Funky Giraffe, visit their website and tell me what your favourite print in the bandana bib range is, then enter the Rafflecopter below.
Although I do a lot (most?) of my shopping online these days (life with small children…), I find it a bit of nightmare trying to find clothes I like. Often either feel overwhelmed with everything a Google search throws up or opt for a familiar website, even if it means not buying exactly what I was looking for.
I’m currently on the hunt for a maternity dress for an upcoming wedding so I’ve enjoyed looking through Lyst, a site that makes it easy to shop across a wide range of brands, putting together “lysts” you can review later. It’s a kind of wishlist system meets social network (you can follow people’s lysts). You can click straight through to purchase.
Above are a few bits that caught my eye when putting together my maternity lyst.
The pyjama bottoms are from Frugi, a brand I love because of its pretty prints and high quality manufacture as well as its commitment to using organic materials and ensuring fair production.
This boho swing dress is just the thing for easygoing summer style as the weather gets warmer. It is getting warmer, right?!
I have something of an unusual shape, small back size but big cup size so I’m really picky about what bras I’ll go for. Freya bras are the only ones that consistently give a shape I’m happy with. With it’s dotty pattern and lacy detailing, this nursing bra is anything but frumpy.
This form fitting lace maternity dress is probably the sort of thing I’m looking for wedding-wise. I’m not totally sure about the colour “berry” for me but I do love the look of it.
This cowl has pretty much made the season for me. My friend Tash crocheted it and it’s a real testament to her craftsmanship, quirky personality and joyful dedication. She recently launched her crochet business Lori & Lumps Lace and there is lusting a-plenty to be had over the collection there.
There are dragon shawls, swirling scarves, children’s cardigans, mermaid tails and much more, all exhibiting her careful stitching and beadwork. Many of her pieces are made from beautifully hand-dyed merino yarn.
You can probably tell I’ve been drooling over her shop for a while! I kept saying that I would buy something and I finally have. I’ve ordered two of her My Little Pony hats for the girls for Christmas. Talitha, for some reason, has decided that Coconut Cream is her favourite and I couldn’t resist choosing Rainbow Dash for Ophelia.
In the meantime, this beautiful, crazy cowl is brightening these chilly, grey days and garnering lots of compliments. She’s named it her “Serendipity Cowl” as it was the product of a happy accident! From the moment I saw it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it! I was actually planning to buy it but she ended up offering it to me for the purpose of this review.
Her prices are extremely accessible (the cowl is valued at £29), especially when you consider how much work goes into each piece. I love giving gifts that are handmade, added bonus if it means supporting an independent business. So as our thoughts turn towards Christmas *hint hint*, I suggest you take a look here.
I’ve been trying out the new PacaPod Idaho-Marine changing bag and wishing this is were the changing bag I’d started out with. My changing bag history began with ugly but functional changing bags I’d been given and moved on to non-changing bags that ticked the boxes for me aesthetically but didn’t allow me to find a blessed thing.
I love that PacaPod combines both style and functionality. There are so many pockets! There are also two pouches inside that pull out and can be opened to lie flat. One for food and bottles (if this is what you need) and one for changing stuff. I could see that being particularly useful on a flight when you want to nip to the loo with just your changing bits.
My only gripe is that the changing mat is too small, in my opinion and the changing pouch can just about fit a couple of cloth nappies if they’re on the smaller side.
Other than that, the bag itself is very spacious and, provided that you don’t overpack, it’s brilliantly comfortable when worn across the body, which has worked well for me when I’ve had a baby in a hip or back carry in a sling.
The bag comes with hooks you can leave attached to your pushchair. They’re really rather useful if a bit fiddly. You can attach the pods on their own or the PacaPod itself.
This is a bag I happily use when I don’t have small children in tow. I could see myself continuing to enjoy it long after a changing bag is needed. The Idaho-Marine has a laid back look which is perfect for the every day but smart enough for situations that call for it. Read more about it here.
Thanks to PacaPod for sending me this bag for the purposes of this review.