Spotted: Made.com x Living Etc

Imagine my excitement when Made.com joined up with my favourite interiors magazine to design a collection of design pieces with that extra modern edge? This summer’s isn’t the first collection but it’s the first that has been right up my street in terms of my own home’s decor and I’ve got my eye on quite a few pieces. Our master bedroom after being initially finished (i.e. no longer a building site) has languished at the back of the queue in terms of finishing touches and we’re on a renewed drive of enthusiasm towards getting the house more ‘finished’. And that includes those finishing touches. You can see our bedroom here.

As you can see, I was going for a grey and pink theme but really struggled to get the right shade of pink for what I wanted. We were still looking for a rug, cushions and throw, which I might have found in one go with this collection.

You can view all of the current Made.com x Living Etc collection here (including the pieces I have featured;) – Let me know what you think!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS More of My House Here:
The Attic bedroom
The formal Lounge
The Kitchen

How to Wear: July

Happy Hump Day Readers!

I’m afraid that this is going to be a short post as I’ve just been scrolling through my photos for what I’ve been wearing this month and I haven’t taken many at all! If this was about how Oscar and Calum wore July that would be fine, but it isn’t…

A lot of it has been my usual uniform of late, consisting of Khaki, a Shirt Dress or a Jumpsuit.  

I had a KIT day at work (Oscar came with me) during the middle of the month and the Warehouse Palm Print shirt dress worked a treat for that.

I also wore one of my buys from earlier this year which was the leopard print (but actual leopards) jumpsuit from H&M. Again, really easy to wear with the bubba and no real thought needed.


Slowly, slowly too I’ve been able to dig out some of my regular clothes – breastfeeding is good for the waistline! My embellished H&M jeans and skirts have made an appearance. I even braved getting into a swimming costume (a one piece…) for a day on the beach.

Yet again I can’t believe how quickly the month has gone but I promise to document what I’ve worn for August much more thoroughly.

Enjoy the last few days of the month and I’ll be back next week with some new season buys for the cooler climes ahead.

Erin xx

Found: AirBnB – Villa Dioni

It’s the first week of the holidays (or second for some of you) and I reckon many of you will be heading off for summer breaks, or if not, wishing you were, so I thought I’d share some info about my recent holiday.

When we went away 2 weeks ago it was booked not long before we went and I decided to give AirBnB a go for accommodation booking. In my experience accommodation in Greece is often rather basic and unfortunately not in the simple white washed walls and pretty blue painted furniture way… We wanted self-catering, ideally a private villa, with a pool and 2 bedrooms. We totally lucked out with Villa Dioni :)

Before I go on, the villa was up a STEEP hill, and a lot of steps – thats what gave it that glorious view, but there was always the pool to dive into after the walk up and we certainly earned our dinner. ;) It was a really short walk to the main area of Agios Nikitas, (it’s a really small place,) but if you can’t hack a bit of a hike, this isn’t the place for you! We also didn’t take the pushchair and just put Bea in the woven wrap everyday – which made life a lot easier.

The Villa actually has 2 downstairs bedrooms and a bathroom, a main kitchen and living space on the ground floor which goes out onto the pool area and has a balcony for eating on, then a mezzanine with another sleeping area. The main attraction however was the outside space and the pool – wow to the view and wow to the space.

We weren’t sure what to expect from AirBnB but our host Thanasis was great – communicated brilliantly and so quickly. I’m sure keys handover varies from rental to rental but he met us to give us the keys and there were some Greek provisions in the fridge – wine, fruit etc. A cleaner came once and more fruit appeared. As you might know from my other post about travelling with a baby, it wasn’t remotely child friendly. There are steps, stairs, steep drops as the villa is on a hillside, and no child provisions, but Bea wasn’t running around yet so it was ok for us and of course, she never left our sight. Thats might be more difficult with an older child.

I’ll be writing more about the holiday later in the week – the village we went to – its such a lovely place I almost don’t want to share it! ;)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Travelling with a baby: Stuff that helps

Before we went to Greece last week we bought some travel gear that we found really useful and I thought I’d share… along with some fun stuff. I wish I’d known about some of these earlier for use out and about at home to be honest, particularly the travel high chair, so don’t discount them if you’re not traveling anywhere!

1. Totseat Kids Travel Highchair £23.99
There was no high chair in our apartment and to be honest we were only offered them at restaurants 50% of the time or less… and I won’t go into the standards of cleanliness of the ones we received. Nothing bugs me more than Bea eating on my knee, squirming and wiping her hands, face and food on my clothes so this was a godsend. It fits on multiple different seat backs (we didn’t find one it don’t fit,) is very secure, rolls up really small and is washable. Genius idea and we will be using it regularly back home too. The only thing is that it doesn’t add much height, but we tended to sit her on a rolled up towel or something which gave enough height and I suspect if your baby was a bit taller then Bea (not difficult!) it would be better. (Koo-Di do a much cheaper one but it’s not adjustable for all the different chair backs so I imagine wouldn’t always work.)

2. Koo-di Pop-Up Travel Bubble Cot Around £40
You guessed it, no cot either… Maybe some other mums can explain to me how you travel with one of the usual travel cots – they seem so big and heavy for suitcases? We bought this months back for going to friends houses but it’s also great for holidays as it’s light, fits into a case when packed down and functions as a mosquito net too.

3. Koo-di Pop-Up Travel Bubble Cot £9.99
For a bit of fun we bought this for Bea for the pool. It was great – after the initial terrified meltdown when we first put her in it! It was brilliant because of the sunshade, so even if it was midday, we could put her in there to cool off and she was covered from the heat of the sun :)

4. Summer Infant Tiny Diner – Green £9.99
Another brilliant find for baby lead weaners or any tot eating out, this was perfect for knowing that she was eating off a clean surface. Some of the places we ate were a bit grubby on the table tops or high chairs and while I’m not normally a clean freak, the last thing we needed in the heat was a dehydrating tummy bug! We sat this under her bottom on a seat (it’s quite big) or on the table and it worked really well – another one we will be using at home too.

5. Frostfire Popup Beach Shelter with UV protection (50+ UPF)
We were worried about keeping Bea shaded so bought this for the beach, knowing that the village we were visiting wasn’t the type where you pay for a lounger and parasol on the beach. ;) In fact, it was too hot even for this as it got hotter in the tent and we ended up buying a cheap parasol, but if it wasn’t as warm this would have been great – it provided good shade, a wind break and decent space for playing away from the handfuls of sand and pebbles that Bea was intent on shoving in her mouth!

Have you got any amazing finds for travelling with a baby? we’ve only got one year left before we have to start paying for her seat so I intend to do a lot more travelling with her over the next 12 months! ;)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

11 months with Bea

Tomorrow Bea turns one, so expect all kinds of sentimental reflective writing coming up over the next couple of weeks. I have so much to share on a year of sleep, feeding, fun and love. But first, I need to squeeze this monthly update in before it seems old hat and irrelevant.

Developmentally, between 10 and 11 months was massive, in fact every month feels like that now! Lots of things she has been practising for a long time seem to have finally clicked into place. She can stack the wooden tower of rainbow rings we have and the way she looks so pleased with herself is priceless. Another favourite is zooming around pushing the walker we bought her, although she hasn’t quite mastered turning!

We had our first nights away from Daddy as I went on a work course in the Lake District and totally chickened on leaving Bea behind. I used the excuse that we are still feeding, but really I don’t think I could have left her! My mum came to help looking after her in the day while I went to the workshops and Bea joined us on a walk that was part of it too!

Bea is also becoming more and more sociable and interested in children. It started with getting excited when she went past the park in the pram with my mum and now if she is in a room with other children or passes them anywhere she is so desperate to interact – it’s so cute!

Lastly, we had a little staycation, which was so lovely. We had things to do during it but spending every day as a family together was so much fun. Our usual routine involves us switching off a lot in the week as Pete works late on Mondays and Fridays and I work late 2 of the other days so being together as a 3 is precious time. Bea chose that week to stand up by herself, (she had been cruising for a while but this was unaided,) which was pretty exciting too!

We will be having a birthday fun day tomorrow, do follow along on Instagram, and I’ll be back on Wednesday :)

How are you and your littles getting on?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

What to Buy: July

Happy Friday Readers!

Apologies for the tardiness in getting this post up. It’s been very busy in the Johnson household. I’d forgotten how days can just morph into one whole week with a newborn – adding a toddler into the mix just seems to speed things up! Whilst I have been in a cloud of Toddler actives, Baby Cafe visits and NCT meet ups, I have been keeping an eye out on what’s in the shops, and there are few things I’d recommend getting your hands on this month – both for immediate use and “buy now, stash for later” wear.

To the Beach!

Since Summer holiday season is upon us, and for those of you who have not yet been on yours yet (that’s me, we are off on a Stay-cation in early September), there are some really nice beachy bits to be had, some of which are in the sale (bonus!).

Of course, as it’s me, stripes feature here, and I have to say that the H&M dress is lovely in the flesh. Cotton and just throw on, so perfect to put on post beach or for a relaxed day out. Not good for the Breastfeeding amongst us, but would be good to maybe keep for when you aren’t. I also couldn’t go without mentioning off the shoulder here – HUGE for this summer, the Mango dress below is easy to wear and a great nod to the trend.

I’d dropped a Hammam towel in here too as not only are they great for the beach (quick dry) they are chic enough to wear as a Sarong too. Make sure you buy cotton ones for authenticity. I use ours as throws on the bed as well.

Striped Dress / Hammam TowelOff the Shoulder Dress

Palm Print

I’m obsessed, and it seems as if I’m not the only one. I know I’ve mentioned this before on the blog (I did say I had an obsession) but there are some really nice bits around, not least the H&M print.

There is a gorgeously light cotton shirt in this print (sold out on line but some in stores), and I wore it on the beach last weekend with some crochet shorts when we went down to Dorset. A day on the beach I used to frequent as a child (Knoll Beach, Studland BTW) with my boys and Hubby. A lovely way to make memories of your old memories. Plus it’s National Trust and as members, parking was free ;) The playsuit here is a nice alternative. I also love the Topshop Jumpsuit, but I have one similar from a couple of seasons ago that I will dig out. Get this whilst you can as it is selling out fast.

Dress / Playsuit / Jumpsuit

Yellow

Set to be a big accent colour for AW15 (you only have to check out the J Crew looks from the season), you won’t go wrong in investing in some yellow to perk up outfits come the Autumn. The Karen Millen flats below also nod to the flat shoe trend that is BIG news for the winter. It will look great with the Pink that’s set to be huge, as well as lifting any neutrals you have – it’s always a winner with grey too.

Shoes / Skirt / Top

Pink

The rose tones of this season’s pink make it much more grown up and less “sweet” than has been seen on the runway in the past, and again, can be worn as the main part of an outfit, or as an accent. I really like the Clarks Bag – the leather is divine – and it’s a great size. Not available on line anymore though, but you may be lucky in store.

Bag / Shoes / Skirt

Monochrome

Again, a trend that’s set to be huge for AW15, from geometric prints to simple contrast, black and white it’s where it’s at. Easy to do in a simple top and bottom combo, there are some pieces around that would really work hard come the Autumn. The ease of the Stories silk-blend sweater is wonderful. Pair with slouchy white jeans and you are good to go. I also really like the Finery shoes – the trend nailed in one piece!

Shoes / Sweater / Dress

Wishing you all good rest of July’s. I do hope the weather becomes more summery and less Muggy – it’s doing nothing for my hair at the moment. Monica from Friends when she goes to Barbados springs to mind – LOL!

Erin xx

Vichy Purete Thermale: Cleanser and Waterproof eye makeup remover

A couple of weeks back I was sent the Purete Thermale Beautifying cleansing micellar oil and the Purete Thermale Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover for sensitive eyes by Vichy to test out. I’ve been intrigued by all the micellar oil hype recently and you all know I’m an oil based cleanser devotee (having previously used Eve Lom and currently, Lush Ultrabland,) so I was happy to give this a whirl. You can see from the picture that this wasn’t a one off test – I liked it enough to take on holiday with me for the week instead of my usual cleanser. :)

 
Let’s start with the basics – You can pick up the Purete Thermale range from Vichy at your local Boots store and it’s priced around the £10-12 mark, which seems like a reasonable price for a better range than your average high street brand. It certainly looks lovely on the bathroom shelf and the fragrance is light and refreshing, whilst feeling luxurious.

The micellar oil cleanser is ridiculously easy to use and swift, so I was a fan instantly, being a bit of a lazy skincare addict! You simply use it as a makeup remover too – applying a pump of the light oil to your fingers and massaging it into your skin at the end of the day, straight onto your makeup. Once the face is covered you simply wet your hands and massage again and the oil becomes milky, then splash it off. Done! My skin tends to feel tight after wash off cleansers which it didn’t after this one, and it was a nice deviation from my usual routine in the warmer weather – it always feels cleaner to wash with water doesn’t it?

I must confess, I don’t use waterproof mascara, but the waterproof eye makeup remover was very good too, making light work of a few coats of mascara after a night out. I have previously used Lancome’s Bi-Facil eye makeup remover, and compare all to this as it’s the best I’ve ever used, but the Vichy version is equally good – minimal greasy residue on your skin, absolutely no irritation or redness from rubbing and the mascara just slid off. It’s also meant to have lash strengthening properties.

If you are looking for something new for your cleansing routine or need a new eye makeup remover, I’d definitely recommend these two and I’d try the rest of the range if I was in the market for something – in fact I’ll probably buy the toner when mine runs out very soon. Thanks for the samples Vichy!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Secret Linen Store

Happy Monday readers! Now who is up for some bed linen inspiration, and interior style with a discount to boot? I thought so, read on!


Artichoke in Navy

Secret Linen Store were recently kind enough to send me some of their Navy Artichoke bedlinen for my bedroom. When I wrote about the yellow room which featured the Dotty Coffee spot bedlinen, I was a little sad it would only get used by guests, ;) so I am thrilled to have some to use myself. It’s breaking the habit of a lifetime for me to not have white bedlinen, so it’s different, but it’s so luxurious in feel I can’t help but love it. (You can see it on my bed here.)


Coastal Stripe in Navy

It seemed like a good time to share some of the current collection as the room sets themselves are rather inspiring, as well as the bedding!


Teasels in Dove Grey

Aside from the quality and feel, I think Secret Linen Store have really nailed the balance between style and colour. The designs are modern, fresh and stylish yet won’t date easily because of their timeless feel and classic choices like the coastal stripes. I particularly love the abundance of chic grey designs! ;)


Graphite Ferns


Giant Purple Artichokes


Coastal Stripe in Natural Linen

So if you are looking to update your bedlinen for summer, you’re in luck!I have collaborated with Secret Linen Store to give a reader offer of 10% off everything with the code SLEEPY at checkout! Offer ends on the 16th of August ;)


Luxury 600 thread count white bedlinen

And there’s still all white if you’re a die hard white bedlinen fan ;)

Happy shopping!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS! A Cow Parsley Attic bedroom

Summer Capsule Part 3: [Dresses & Round Up]

So I guess this is a kind of Friday Frock in disguise post. The final instalment of my capsule wardrobe! You all know I love a dress and I am finally taking full advantage of not needing 24/7 boob access. I was still feeding 2-3 times a day when I started this capsule and just took it off if I needed to feed when wearing a dress, now it’s just morning and evening so I can wear what I want. I have loved having dresses back in my wardrobe!


Denim dress // Digital print dress

This denim tencel blend swing dress was the first I bought and as my bust settles down it’s looking better and better. The Boden shift was a no brainer for a summer and holiday dress that I mentioned last week.


Jumpsuit // Maxi // Jumpsuit

The only dress that has been pulled from storage is this Gap maxi. I had it last year and hoped to wear it feeding but couldn’t in the end as it didn’t fit. It’s light and super comfortable so it’s a bit of a beater dress for everyday. The strappy tile print jumpsuit was bought when I couldn’t get hold of the Boden one, in hindsight I didn’t need it, but I’ve already worn it to playgroups when we had the recent heatwave and at £20 I don’t care about crawling on the floor!

So let’s do a little overview shall we?

I ended up with 27 pieces. (Don’t forget, this doesn’t include PJ’s, ‘loungewear’, stuff I paint or do the gardening in and exercise (ha!) kit.)

  • 8 work wear items (included in the below)
  • 10 tops
  • 3 knits
  • 6 dresses
  • 2 trousers
  • 2 jeans
  • 3 skirts
  • 1 shorts

And the prominent stores I bought from? Boden, GAP, Hush, New Look, Baukjen and Komodo – stocked in a local boutique and a new ethical brand find to me.

Here’s the whole summer capsule wardrobe 2015, en masse:


27 is just the number that works for me and I feel comfortable with. Last time I did this I ended up with 35 pieces but I included 8 shoes… so it’s exactly the same. I haven’t done that here – maybe I’ll post a selection on Instagram later today, and I forgot to shoot this top which should be included here. I’m really happy with what I’ve ended up with. I wear all of it, and fairly equally too, weather dependent. nothing feels like a waste or a splurge and my clothes seem to be striking a balance between being functional and fashionable.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and soon I will bring you a few posts on the pieces in action.

Have a fabulous weekend readers :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

10 months with Bea…

Whoa, ten months. Seriously, time is flying and it feels like she will be One already any minute. (Edit: I’m a little behind with these and in fact she will be One very soon, sob sob!)

As you can see from these photo’s, Bea’s mobility has gone to a whole other level. Gone are the days of me taking cute photos of her lying down in pretty outfits every week! Just before she reached 10 months Bea scaled the steps of our decking and she now climbs the stairs to bed every night (with us keeping a watchful eye and ready hand behind her!) She pulls up on everything and by the end of the month had started cruising too.

I won’t lie, it is tiring, but if it wasn’t for safety, I could leave her to entertain herself for hours. Toys aren’t getting a look in these days, now it’s all about radiators, wires, plug sockets, random bits of fluff or grit on the floor (cue crazy cleaning efforts daily from me,) the cats food bowl… you name it, if I don’t want her playing with it, she makes a Bea-line. ;)

Bea is talking more now and expanding her range of sounds. I think Cat (or ‘Ca!’) is her first word, used accurately for our cats, but also for all animals in general. Of course Daddy thinks Dada is the first one, but I’m not entirely convinced it’s used in context yet ;)

This months big achievement was clapping! I know lots of babies do it sooner but Bea just hadn’t tried at all, then one day I returned from work and it was the thing to be doing. ;) She pretty much hasn’t stopped since! Mum has also taught her to put her hands in the air when we say ‘SO BIG!’ - so cute. Their days together are lovely – I think she has been tiring my mum out but Mum does things with her I wouldn’t think of and I love hearing them laughing (Bea gets quite hysterical,) over something I have no idea about when I’m in the other room.

I’ll be squeezing another of these posts in next week because the week after, Bea is 1! Expect lots of nostalgic reflective and mushy posts while I mourn my tiny baby and celebrate my cheeky toddler ;)

Where are all you mama’s and babies at right now?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS 9 months, 8 Months, 7 months, 6 months, 5 months, 4 months, 3 months, 2 months and the first month with Bea.