How to Wear: August

Hi there Readers

I have a confession to make… I categorically said last month that I’d take more photos of what I wore during August but I have failed at that mission. I’m sorry. To be honest though, it’s mostly been a variation on the recurring theme that has been Summer 2015 – denim and khaki – my Maternity Leave uniform ;)

Stripe Top – H&M // Khaki Jacket – Karen Millen // Jeans – H&M // Trainers – Adidas Stan Smith

The weather hasn’t helped the fact that I’ve lived in jeans either, and I hope it’s marginally better for September as we are off on our holidays – a staycation to somewhere that Rebecca actually recommended. I’m really looking forward to our break as a foursome!

I have managed to wear a few of my summer purchases this month though. Some Snakeskin Ghillie flats made an appearance mid month, and the khaki jumpsuit got an airing.

T-Shirt – Cos // Jeans – Topshop // Shoes – Topshop

Jumpsuit and Shoes – Topshop

I also wore a boyfriend shirt into London for a day of work meetings – perfect to dress up some jeans paired with jewelled sandals.

Trench Coat – F&F // Shirt – Topshop // Jeans – J Crew // Shoes – Clarks

However last week was slightly different in that a) I was able to get dressed up a bit for a friends 10th Wedding Anniversary Party – it felt good to spend some time on my face and hair and wear a dress (albeit a BF friendly one!)

Dress – & Other Stories

and b) I WENT FOR A RUN! 4.19 miles in 45 minutes – not bad considering it’s been 9 months since I did any real running. I’m hoping the motivation will continue.

Running Kit – Nike

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with my thoughts on September purchases. As Rebecca alluded to, there’s some cracking AW purchases to be made now.

Erin xx

If the shoe fits…

We bought Bea her first pair of shoes at 11 months… I wouldn’t have bothered but it was summery weather (now a distant memory!) and she was walking a lot holding our hands around the garden, so I wanted her feet protected. It was a tough decision though, as you may know babies feet are still developing, so they should be out of shoes as much as possible. We figured it would just be brief spells so decided to go ahead. She then started walking around her first birthday and shortly after started nursery, where they have to wear shoes to go outside and often inside too. That first pretty pair, from Clarks naturally, are quickly getting worn out so I’m starting to think about autumn/winter footwear for walks in the park, puddle jumping (wellies I think!) and playing outside.

The problem is, its really hard to find nice children’s shoes. I like her to look half presentable so something that goes with everything is ideal, but I’m not compromising on fit for fashion. Bea’s feet are a tiny size 2F so shopping in the likes of the high street stores like M&S isn’t an option as they don’t seem to go below size 4. Added to all of that, a neighbour of ours who used to work for NIKE happened to tell us that NIKE spend more on research in a year into children’s foot development than Clarks turn over as a company in the same year. Which makes me think we’ll be adding some cute trainers to the collection.

I’d love to hear if you guys have discovered any ‘proper’ shoes that are safe and stylish around the internet or high street, suitable for first steps and tiny feet. Please do share!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS! Feeling a bit rubbish today? This will cheer you up ;)

Art Attack…

I’m always talking about how we never get around to finishing our rooms with real art on the walls and our Lounge, completed before Christmas is no exception. We partially remedied this with Pete’s birthday present to me, an Yvonne Coomber print, but there is still a large blank wall opposite the bay window and to the left of the sofa that looks very unloved. As the room already had a blue theme with a lot of jewel brights in it, choosing something has been tricky so I decoded to mock up a couple of ideas and I’d love to hear your thoughts…

One option would be to put up a single large piece, mirroring the other wall, but I’m not sure if that won’t look a bit odd. The wall, although it’s actually the narrower length of the room, looks long because of the radiator I think and it certainly needs a landscape print.

The other option would be to combine a few images. We are terrible at getting family photos printed out and I thoughts about combining some black and white prints with another print I spotted on Etsy from Clare Elsaesser. (The black and white images are of our bump shoot and Bea at 6 weeks by The Lawsons.) It’s just always difficult to choose images that don’t feel too personal or too ‘in your face’ for what is essentially a public space. I don’t want to do a more ‘gallery wall’ style of display as I think lots of pictures may look busy in here, in what is essentially a formal room and I have plans for one elsewhere downstairs.

What do you think readers? Any other ideas or suggestions?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Friday [Fringe] Fun

On a bit of a whim and in an effort to be more spontaneous and tick off some of the bucket list items we had (before Bea) a couple of weeks ago we made plans to go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We’ve got an apartment booked (thanks AirBnB,) and now we just need some fun stuff to do!


Top to bottom: Hairy Mclary’s Cat tales // Fantastic Funny and Free // The Amazing bubble man

We plan to book a couple of children’s shows for Bea and then a couple of things we will enjoy ourselves, which are also baby friendly. And I hope there will be lots to see and do just wandering the streets.

I’d love to hear your recommendations for children, the festival and just Edinburgh in general – we have been before but not for about 7 years and never to the festival, so any tips would be fab!

Happy weekend!

Love, Rebecca xo

Triple Temptation: Boden Coats


Sienna (stripe) coat // (Mint) Pea Coat // Cape

For the first time in what feels like forever, I am REALLY excited about he coming seasons clothes. I think it’s a combination of not being in maternity clothes/post natal and the fact that the summer has been so poor I almost feel like just moving onto crisp autumn days and cosy sweaters for chilly weather, but either way, I’m desperate to start shopping!

As it’s no capsule time yet, I’m trying to control myself, but instead I’m preparing – scouring ally he new collections and deciding what I want and then what will all work together as a great capsule. What I may have to make an exception for is a coat. ever one knows the best ones go early and this year I’m int he market for a new one. Boden’s new catalogue is fab but the coats and accessories are the standouts for me and although I don’t think these pictures do them justice, the options are brilliant. This cape is waaaay more vibrant than the stock image and the Peacoat I’d choose in Navy. Theres also a couple of amazing coatigans.

Have you got your eye son a new coat? I have no doubt Erin will have some amazing options to share soon too!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The post baby body…

Now Bea is 12 months old I finally feel in a position to comment on my body. And honestly, it’s still changing, but I feel I can write this from a position of reasonable experience and with a realistic outlook. Before I start, please don’t anyone take any of this as a reflection or judgement on their body or decisions regarding it. This is purely my own personal experience and not meant to make anyone else scrutinise themselves, mother or not.

When I became pregnant, I was 10 and a half stone. To put that into context I’m about 5ft 7inches. It was the heaviest I have ever been and ironically I feel I got there because I was planning to get pregnant. My state of mind about starting a family was so messed up on reflection that I was constantly refusing to deny myself anything… if I had a pound for all the times I ordered something less than healthy or thought ‘to hell with it, I’ll have another drink…‘ because I thought I wouldn’t be able to eat/drink it during pregnancy, I’d be treating myself to something very fancy. I’d say my ‘happy weight’ i.e. the place where I feel good in my clothes but don’t have to really do much to maintain my weight is around 10 stone or just under, so I was at least half a stone heavier than I should be.

I weighed myself obsessively in pregnancy – not out of any concern for what I gained – I always assumed I’d get it off afterwards, but because I was fascinated by how much my body was changing. I won’t say I wasn’t keeping an eye on things, but I was eating everything in sight and so I made a mental note that if my weight ballooned I’d have to start being a bit more healthy. However, normal and healthy weight gain in pregnancy is 1 and a half to 2 and a half stone and watching my weight creep slowly up I never felt the need to cut back. In the end I gained exactly 2 stone, weighing in at 12 and a half stone the morning of my C-section. And I felt like a Goddess – I honestly can’t stress that enough. I LOVED my pregnant body.

You know how everyone tells stories about how they lost ‘a stone in the 24 hours after delivery,‘? Well, I had high hopes. I had a 6 and a half pound bundle, and had shed a placenta, a load of amniotic fluid and a bit of blood… I couldn’t wait to get on those scales with morbid fascination! Imagine my surprise when I had lost a measly 6 pounds! My flipping baby was heavier than that!


Of course, I didn’t care. My ‘baby bump’ took at least 3 weeks to subside and I accepted that it can take a bit longer post c-section. And in fact for many weeks or months afterwards my tummy was round and quite solid. It slowly started to settle but it was at a snails pace. I was (and still am,) breastfeeding but to say that breastfeeding makes you lose weight is the biggest myth in town… I’m sure it does, but if you’re eating for England, nothing can help you! – I took my milk production very seriously and after an astonishing conversation with a midwife early on who clearly thought I was trying to get my figure back at 10 days in when Bea was weighed and hadn’t gained anything, I was told to eat 3 square meals a day with pudding and snacks and to take food to bed too for the night feeds! And I did. Granted I didn’t gain any weight, but I think the breastfeeding mother typically loses weight because of being pinned under a constantly feeding baby and neglecting her own needs – I’m grateful to say that wasn’t me, I was well looked after by Pete – far too well! ;)

As the months went on my weight plateaued then would drop a fraction, then plateau again. Sometimes it bothered me, but on the whole I really didn’t care. I wasn’t desperately concerned with staring in the mirror before I had Bea, and afterward, well, I spent all my time just staring at her instead. When it did bother me I set myself targets, saying ‘I’ll start exercising at 6 months,‘ which became 9 months and ‘next month’. In truth, looking back, I just didn’t want to at all. My head wasn’t in a space that prioritised me or my needs and wants and rather than resenting or regretting that, I just didn’t even think about it. I’m not going to lie though, it was tough walking round in a bikini on holiday before she was even 4 months old.

Reading this back, I just realised I’ve talked almost exclusively about my weight, rather than my shape. That’s partly because its only recently as my weight has gone down a little bit more again that I’ve started to dislike what I see more. I’m still breastfeeding, so my boobs aren’t what they were, but they aren’t totally deflated yet either. ;) Honestly, I don’t really care about them. It did take a whole new perspective when I finally went bra shopping as the shapes and styles I’d normally reach for weren’t working for me at all, but I can’t complain.

I think the part of me that has changed the most is my stomach. It’s the area I have always gained weight in but this is different, I really feel that no matter what I do now, the skin isn’t going to recover its elasticity and go smooth again. A lot of people complain about C-section scars causing a ‘pouch’ of skin, but I don’t think it’s anything to do with that, the skin just stretched so much it can’t recover. I hope I find I’m wrong but I guess it’s just reality that skin that was so stretched won’t be the same afterwards. That said, everybody is different! One positive is that I did get stretch marks when I was pregnant… quite a lot of them and early on – I remember being quite devastated when one appeared at 35 weeks and I still thought I had 7 weeks to go! They were all under my bump but I’m pleased to report that like the ones I got in my teens they are all invisible now unless you scrutinise my skin. So that’s a plus! What bugs me is when you can see that skin and roll of fat through my clothes. Not pretty and really motivating me now to work on getting my shape back.

As I write, with Bea approaching 13 months I’m 5lbs heavier than I was at conception, having done absolutely nothing to shift any weight. I’ve finally had a change of mindset and feel ready to make a concerted effort to get back into shape and work on my waistline, but I’ll save that for another post.

Right now I’d love to hear your thoughts on your body post baby – what has changed and how do you feel about it?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS
What I thought about post-baby bodies before I had a baby…

Instagram Capsule Wardrobe outfits

Today I thought I’d post a selection of recent outfits… so you could actually see my capsule wardrobe in action (see the links at the end of this post for the capsule all together). It’s pretty hard to get a shot where I’m not wearing Bea and most of these were captured running out of the door, hence so many featuring Pete’s feet! ;) Apologies for the quietness round here this week too… I’m actually writing a post about my postnatal body that I just don’t want to rush, so watch this space.

So hot favourites in the wardrobe right now? Boyfriend jeans. Always. Unfortunately this pair has developed a hole in the crotch (hate that word,) but I am NOT replacing them until I can buy a size down having lost some weight. Serious motivation that!

In all honesty, this is pretty much my daily uniform, striped tee and boyfriend jeans.

If it’s warm, this skirt is also getting a LOT of action. It’s one of the most flattering pieces I own at the moment and gives me some shape which is pretty unusual again in this forgiving capsule collection! The tee is great too – just a bit different as it has a slight slubby texture due to the linen.

I’m also loving having so many different blues in my wardrobe. When it’s warm bringing them all together feels like ocean shades – so fresh and summery.

I’ve not captured many work outfits but this one featured a casual v-neck tee doubling up as work wear when it was really warm, dressed up with the pencil skirt and jewellery it looked pretty smart.

I’ve also managed to start venturing out more. Pete and I have been so lucky to have babysitting help from my mum so we can resurrect date night – we were in dire need of it – and it’s been fun dressing up a little and having adult only time. The top outfit was from a cinema date and this one was from drinks with the girls when my New Look jumpsuit got an airing on a balmy evening.

As an aside, this is the only bag I’m using too – £30 white faux leather rucksack from Zara that fits in a  few essentials for Bea (nappy, wipes, drink, snack, shoes/cardigan/hat etc) plus my keys money and a bit of room for small shopping. (this one is very similar and only £19.99!) It’s so good to ditch the change bag!

Happy friday readers… and expect something meaty next week :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS my work capsule, core essentials, dresses and round-up.

Five interiors trends to Obsess over…

After a hiatus of apathy and fatigue, I’m getting my interiors mojo back, ready to tackle another 3 rooms in our house over the next 6 months. Cue a pinning spate and lots of inspiration to share here. Some themes keep resurfacing though and one or two have taken me by surprise – not being my usual style, but now I can’t wait to shake things up a little bit.

1. Patterned tiles

Metro tiles have their place for sure, but recently I’m loving the idea of geometric or moorish patterns in kitchens, bathrooms and on hallway floors as a modern twist in an otherwise simple space.

2. Monochrome

I never thought I’d see the day I toyed with monochrome patterns and prints for a modern look instead of my go-to brights but theres something about how clean it looks that makes it the perfect foil for a few bright colour pops… you didn’t think I’d forgo them all together did you?!

3. Making bedding the focus of the room

I’m usually all about white bedding and a patterned wallpaper backdrop but as we work on another of our attic bedrooms I’m drawn to super simple spaces with minimal furniture and brightly patterned bedding as the star of the show. Watch this space.

4. Out with art, in with texture

Filling the wall space is something I’m really bad at getting round to finishing but instead of looking at prints recently I have been drawn to more textural or sculptural pieces for walls. I might just try and DIY something to rival this stunning ombre hanging.

5. Scandi style Multi use spaces

Right now we are busy with a couple of other rooms, but before the winter I want to tackle our dining room and plan to make it a multi functional space, to make up for our lack of dining/kitchen/family room. I’ve been trawling for inspiration on how I can make it warm and cosy yet light and bright.

What interiors trends are you obsessing over right now?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS Follow my pins here

What to Buy: August

Morning Readers!

So far August has been a bit of a disappointment weather-wise. I guess the typical British Summer is “shining” through although we do have the promise of warmer weather in the coming week. Fingers crossed!

The cooler days though have got me thinking about the Autumn and with it the drops of new season stock that are coming into the shops.

The items on this months list consist of some that I’ve posted before (but are still great buys if you haven’t indulged yet) and also some final sale buys which will see you into Autumn.

The Boyfriend Shirt

 Topshop / Boden

Specifically in blue, these shirts feature heavily on press images into Autumn. Worn over slim trousers to balance out the volume or easily tucked into a skirt, their versatility is great. I love the pale blue versions and the Topshop one here has added interest with a hip pocket. I’ll be wearing with Skinny trousers and flats.

Culottes

 Leather / Black

Huge for this current season, the culotte is a modest way to wear a skirt – no flashing here!

A leather pair like these Autograph ones will see you nicely into the Autumn but are equally wearable now with sandals. The Warehouse pair are a bargain. Limited quantities on line but plenty of sizes in store at both Warehouse and John Lewis. I’ve also seen them in House of Fraser for £15. Still a deal at under £20 and the weight of the fabric is just right.

For something a little different and a bit more for now, this jumpsuit is a find. Lovely fabric and print, and very easy to wear.

Suede Skirt

 Jaeger / M&S

This trend isn’t going anywhere and I am still favouring the Midi style. The M&S version is my go-to here but there are other versions to be had. The Jaeger one above is good for the discounted price.

For something even more achievable and for a nod to the trend in a different way, this New Look button through version is great and comes in three colours. Size up to get the fit right so the buttons don’t gape. This style reminds me of being in Year 10 (or Fifth Year as it was called when I was at school). I had a black version back then ;) I know it may be tempting but do try and get a real suede version. The faux one can end up looking a little cheap.

Embroidery

 Sequin Jacket / Skirt / Coverup / Shirt

You may think that embroidery needs to be kept just for summer. By and large this is true but I’ve spotted some very grown up, autumn appropriate embroidery in the shops. Whilst the White “jacket” from Zara above is a summer piece, there’s hope we may have an Indian Summer so this would act as an excellent coverup. The colours are stunning. For true Autumn though, the H&M Trend skirt is lovely – K.I.S.S (can you tell I’m a marketer?!) it with a black polo and boots (the jacket in this sold out immediately!) The magpie in me also loves the Sequins on the Mango trophy jacket. Again, something to throw over even the simplest of outfits for that WOW factor.

Statement Flats

 Studded / Snake / Red

Hurrah! The flat shoe is big for A/W15 and the more statement the better. Here are some that are a nod to that trend in that they can multitask for you – not too out there but still something a little different. I like the Aldo ones as a nod to the Valentinos I covet every year. Another good option are the Russell Bromley Chester Loafers. I picked up a multi-coloured suede bargain in the sales after covering for ages and can’t wait to wear them!

Enjoy the rest of your Month readers. Do share any purchases you happen to make!

Erin xx

Dream Destination: Lefkada, Greece

I wouldn’t normally share what was essentially a quiet family beach holiday that we took recently, but given the recent controversy surrounding Greece I thought I would share and try to encourage more of you to travel there if you were reconsidering. Pete and I have travelled extensively round Greece as students and since, so it holds a special place in our hearts and we were really excited to go back with Bea.

We went to Lefkada, essentially one of the Ionian islands (just above the better known Kefalonia,) but actually only separated from mainland Greece by a small body of water. You fly into Preveza airport and drive to the island – over a causeway. It took about 45 minutes to get to Agios Nikitas from the airport.


We had actually been to Agios Nikitas several years earlier but I didn’t remember much of it as we went early in the season and the weather was shocking. What we did remember was a quiet small village with a single restaurant and shop lined street leading to the sheltered beach. It’s a perfect family resort, with very few English people (we only heard/saw one couple all week,) with a couple of bars and no clubs so mainly couples and young families.

The beach is gorgeous and was perfect for us because it started getting shaded at one end from about 2pm which meant we could sit with Bea, without worrying about keeping her from roaming out from under a brolly and she could swim in the sea in shade too. It’s a pebble beach, which we had varying degrees of success at preventing Bea from eating!


For true sun worshippers, over the headland is Milos beach which would start the day in shade but faced west so kept the sun until it set. We got the water taxi around the headland once but we also trekked up for the view one night after dinner too. It’s a serious hike in the heat but doesn’t actually take that long. Maybe 10 minutes up and the same down.


Our days were lazy, starting with breakfast on the balcony, then a swim with Bea in the pool before nap time. We often spread a towel out by the pool as a play mat and headed down to the beach for lunch or afterwards once the shade started to arrive.


We took toys to the beach, tried to get another nap out of Bea and took her swimming in the sea – she loves swimming! We took snacks too and around 6 would head up to one of the beachfront bars for a drink before dinner. Each night we ate on the way back to the villa then headed up for bedtime and a drink if we weren’t too exhausted ourselves!



As for the financial crisis, we were there just as the banks closed and everybody was tut-tutting when we announced we were going to Greece (we had pre-booked, but somehow blissfully unaware a couple of weeks prior.) We compensated by taking a LOT of cash – we brought home half of what we took and paid for the car and hotel for the last night online before we went. We didn’t really hear mention of it or see any difference at all. It’s not an expensive village and we weren’t doing much so it was cheap but the hotel we stayed at on the last night was cheap to eat in too – the evening buffet for example was 15 euros each.


We loved it so much as a family holiday we are thinking of making it a regular trip for (early or late) summer sun. I do hope you haven’t been put off Greece – they certainly need our tourism right now and I imagine much of the islands are unchanged by the situation – in terms of what a holiday maker would experience at least. We had the most amazing week! :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS.
Where we stayed: Villa Dioni & Ionan Blue
Travelling with a baby – gadgets and kit we took with us that made the trip easier