Monday Must-Have: Fall for nails…

After years of painting my nails in rotation, one colour off, another on, I haven’t painted them at all since I had Bea. I could find time, but I wonder how they would stand up to the constant hand washing I now do and half of me almost feels like gaudy nails don’t fit against her perfect brand new skin. However, I’m starting to crave seasonal rich jewel like tones, muddy autumnal shades and new textures like this leather effect polish. Here are some of the colours I’m coveting right now…


Ciate Fashionista Sister (Black Purple shimmer) // Essie Wrapped in Rubies // Topshop Nail polish in Exhibit
Essie Snake it up Snake effect metallic blue/grey // Topshop Matte metallic nails in Scream // Nails Inc Alexa (Black) Leather polish
Nails Inc Fouberts Place // Deborah Lippmann Laughin’ to the bank // Essie Armed and Ready

What nail colour are you wearing or wanting right now?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS I love how unexpected the khaki looks. I’ve never gone for green before but I’m really into it right now.

What to Buy: November

Morning Readers!

I’m finding it really hard to believe it’s November already – October seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. Also, I’m not sure about you, but the unseasonably warm weather has slowed my thinking about Christmas. Just last week I was in our garden hosting a Halloween party for 12 toddlers, none of which had coats on. However, true to it’s word, November is certainly feeling more wintery, so here are my picks of what you should be thinking about buying this month.

A Christmas Jumper

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Bird / Bauble / Snowflake / Metallic
Now I know it may sound premature, but I ALWAYS leave it to the last minute and never get my hands on the one I want. I remember last year seeing a Sweatshirt with Christmas Puddings strategically placed in Primark in November, and regretting not buying it as soon as I saw it on Holly Willoughby during Celebrity Juice. FAIL.

But… I’m not normally one for the “Novelty Jumper” so here are some that are Christmas themed, yet still tasteful (in my opinion). Thanks go to a very good friend of mine who pointed out the Joules ones to me ;)  I really like the Bauble one as it has a hint of Markus Lupfer about it without the price tag. The Snowflake one also comes in a more festive red, but I rather like the Navy for subtlety and the Bottle Green one well, this doesn’t just have to be for Christmas!

Moody Florals

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Trousers / Dress / Jumper / Skirt
I’ve noticed a fair few painterly dark and moody floral prints around, and being one of the trends for this AW there are some really nice ways to wear them. From some statement trousers (I LOVE THESE!) to a really easy to wear skirt that could be dressed up or down, now the weather is getting colder, something of this print would really transform your wardrobe. The tiny caveat in the above choices is the Jumper, but the floral embroidery on the sleeves and shoulders was just too beautiful not to include here.

The Blanket Coat

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Navy / Green / Multi-Coloured
Call it what you like – a coat, a poncho or a wrap – the “blanket coat” is a big statement for this season. Now, you could pullthis off by belting a large cozy scarf having draped it round your shoulders, but for some ready to wear versions, these are my High Street favourites. The checks bordered with grey marl is my favourite, perfect to wear over denim or black trousers, but the tassels and colours of the Per Una version take this trend to the letter.

Slogan Sweatshirt

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Kiss / Ciao BellaFeline /  Feminin
These aren’t going anywhere fast, and if you haven’t dipped into the trend already, now is the time to do so. There are some great versions available on the high street, meaning you can take your pick from something that perhaps is personal to you, to something a little more tongue in cheek. So easy to wear, they are the perfect finisher to your weekend uniform.

Over the Knee Boots

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Zara / Russell Bromley
Seemingly everywhere at the moment, the new wave of these boots is much easier to wear. A flat, or small block heel, the lust-worthy Stuart Weitzman 5050’s are still probably among the most coveted, but there are some brilliant (and most importantly) affordable high street alternatives. This Zara pair is amongst my favourites available at the moment.

So, will any of the above items be on your shopping lists this month?

Erin xx

Found: The Nursery Paint Company

When we were preparing for Bea’s arrival I decided against a moses basket in favour of a swinging crib for our room and were lucky enough to be given one just like the one I was going to buy. I had however planned to buy a white one and this was a natural wood crib so I decided to paint it. Because it was going to be so close to her head and all around her while she slept, I decided to look into baby-safe paints and was recommended The Nursery Paint Company .


The finished crib in ‘Twinkle’ by The Nursery Paint Company

Their paints are VOC free and made from natural soya beans so there’s no nasty vapours being released around the baby, and they are all toy grade paints – meaning they are safe to be chewed. They also happen to be antibacterial and have a good range of colours, including a few greys which pleased me. ;)

The paint was beautiful to use and whilst not cheap, went a very long way. I thought those of you looking for baby safe paints might like to take a look…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

3 months with Bea

Bea’s 3 month milestone has been and gone, and again so much has changed in a few short weeks. I write these posts for my own records but also as I imagine many of you will identify with the changes and perhaps have advice or stories you want to share, so please do pitch in in the comments box below.

This last month has been bittersweet for the first time. As Bea gets older she becomes so much more alert and more fun. Her smiles are consistent now and the beam I get in the mornings or when I get her up after a nap makes my heart burst. A few people have commented about the way she looks at me, describing it as ‘adoration’ and when she was younger I didn’t really get it, thinking she couldn’t love me back but recently it’s like there really is a bond between us, from her side too.

The bittersweet part is that already I see her stopping doing little things that she has grown out of. She used to make an ‘O’ with her mouth, almost a pucker, which I called ‘kissy lips’ and caused me to cover her in kisses, which she doesn’t do now. Her grasp reflex is gone and that gorgeous back arch and bum out thing babies do when you pick them up from deep sleep is so very rare now. However, now she holds my finger out of free will, calls out for my attention and seems to notice the whole world instead of things close to her. Sounds startle her and she looks to them, she follows me with her gaze out of the room and notices when I come back in, and has officially found her voice. Several times a day she really gets going with shouts and ahh’s and ooohh conversations which are so much fun.

Her sleep at night is still great and she has slept through every night since the beginning of last month, but other difficulties have emerged. Now she sucks her thumb to sooth herself, the car seat is becoming enemy #1 as she can’t get her arm round the wide infant straps to get her thumb into her mouth, leading me after a long journey in the back or the car with my finger in her mouth and other times when I was driving and couldn’t loan a finger, to resort to a dummy.

We seem to be floundering a bit with naps too at times… we had long episodes of crying around the 8-10 weeks mark in the day before she would nap and I realised fairly quickly I was totally missing her sleep cues, so she became overtired and couldn’t sleep. Once I got them and got her down* as soon as she showed signs of tiredness, everything got better and she would sleep within minutes. (*When I say get her down, she falls asleep in my arms 9 times out of 10, apart from the odd occasion I have put her down and turned back round to find her asleep, which never works when I purposely try it.) I used advice from the EASY routine to help me get to this point and she was sleeping for roughly an hour, after around an hours awake time, 4 times a day. More recently however things aren’t going as well, with her not sleeping until about 1.5hours after she last woke up and then she often wakes around 30-40 minutes into the nap but then seems ready for another short one soon after. I feel that we should be moving towards condensing these catnaps into a longer morning nap and 2 afternoon naps but I don’t know how to extend her nap times. I also know she is capable of putting herself to sleep if caught at the right point but can’t reliably put her down to sleep* by herself at all. (*With the exception of after her dream feed at night, when she goes to sleep herself as soon as the light goes out, if she wakes at all.)

Half of me thinks does it matter while she is small? and how sad I’ll be when she doesn’t fall asleep in my arms, but the other half is so frustrated at pacing the floor trying to get her off when she’s clearly over tired and my back is aching after a long day without Pete, that I wish we could improve things. Her napping is also the only time I have to get things done and I’ve realised those precious minutes make me feel so much better able to handle her when she’s awake too.

It’s a minor niggle though when she really is still the best. thing. ever. We go swimming to a baby swim class once a week and have started doing a mum and baby post-natal yoga class so we have classes 3 days a week now. The days we don’t can be hard, as they coincide with Pete being gone until 7 or 8pm – a very long time on an unsettled day, but they also let me get house jobs done and see friends or just do nothing. Which sometimes, is just what you need to do.

Have you got any advice on getting a good nap routine going with your little one? I was recommended the Ferber book, but at this stage I can’t justify letting her cry for even short periods or mentally square it with my personal comfort zone. What do you think readers?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Reviewed: Modern Country

I’m a massive fan of interiors inspiration books and so I was happy to receive Modern Country for review recently. Normally I wouldn’t classify my style as ‘country’ at all, but if you feel the same definitely don’t let this put you off exploring this gorgeous collection of stunning homes.


I was really pleasantly surprised to find a collection of homes that ranged from eclectic to modern to rustic, salvage and industrial takes on relaxed country style.



It’s a perfect gift for those interiors lovers you may know and the publishers have arranged a special offer for you all…

Reader Offer:
To order Modern Country at the discounted price of £24.00 including p&p* (RRP: £30.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG217.
*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

It’s definitely worth a look! Have a great weekend readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Modern Country is published by Jacqui Small www.jacquismallpub.com (@JacquiSmallPub)

How to Wear: October

Looking back at the outfits I’ve worn this month, I’m quite surprised to see that I’ve inadvertently been following a couple of themes. Mostly, I’m quite lazy in preparing what I wear on a daily basis, taking the time I spend in the bathroom of a morning to figure out my outfit. However this October, I’ve been following one of the many Blogger/Instagram challenges that are out there, this being a #nynystyleproject. It’s actually made me feel a little more prepared for the following day, and the prompts have certainly made me think about what I have in my wardrobe, rather than wearing new favourites on rotation, which is often the case.

I am though happy to report that I actually did practice what I preached earlier in the month and managed to squeeze in some jeweled and faux fur bits too.

Starting with shoes, as that is a passion of mine, mine during the working week have mostly been pointed. My new ASOS flats have worked really well for busy work days, and I really like the pointed lace ups I picked up from Next (another rule followed – Burgundy!). The R&B Vixen’s were a sale buy this summer but still a bit of a splurge.

Weekends have been a very welcome mix of casual. From rips and skaters with cashmere, to Wellies (love these short Boden ones) and my old-faithful Converse, it’s been really nice to dress down. I’ve also noted that Rebecca has mentioned Skaters and Wellington Boots this month too, so it’s nice to be able to wear these trends.

As I said though I have managed to squeeze in some Faux Fur and some Jewels. Faux Fur was worn as a gilet over a relatively simple outfit of a Breton top and coated jeans for a day of Agency meetings and an evening out, and then a Jewel encrusted shirt was worn on my birthday. My Mum always told me that you should wear something new on your Birthday and this fitted the bill nicely, being a recent J Crew (new with tags!) find on eBay for a tiny fraction of the original cost after lusting after this new season one but absolutely not being able to justify the price-tag.

Finally, I must share today’s outfit, if only to say BARE LEGS in almost November. What’s with that? I’m definitely not complaining. I’m a big fan of this inbetweeny weather. Makes my commute so much easier.

So what do you think Readers? Good choices for what is probably my favourite month of the year?

Erin xx

Find Erin on Twitter @ErinLauraWalsh or Instagram @ShoeQueen79

Meet and Greet… Erin

It might have seemed a little odd when I ‘re-introduced’ Victoria a couple of weeks back, as she is a long standing contributor, but I wanted to properly introduce Erin and Esme also, so it seemed like a good idea to start with Victoria. Today Erin is here, pre-empting her second post of the month rounding up how she wore her October must-buys, which is coming right up tomorrow. I love reading about other women’s holiday hotspots, beauty must-have’s and real life, so I hope you enjoy this insight into Erins!

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I am wife to Richard and mummy to 2YO Calum and live in Reigate, Surrey. My day job is looking after the Marketing for a cruise company where I’ve been for over 13 years – it must be love! I love to cook, and a big foodie but am mostly a huge shoe lover (have in excess of 200 pairs probably) and love fashion so, unsurprisingly…

What are you going to be writing about?

… I’ll be writing a monthly column about fashion & style, also sharing what I’ve been wearing in the month for some (hopeful) reader inspiration.

What is your weekday/weekend uniform?

My style is quite varied, going from casual to super glam, depending on the occasion of course! One of my mottos (given not made) is “never knowingly underdressed”! Weekdays consist dresses, skirts, trousers, always worn with some sort of print or jewel, and weekends are jeans, jackets, sweats, flats, but always considered.

Favourite Food?

Wow this is hard as I love to cook and try new things, although I do have dislikes. Keep Green Peppers away from me! I guess my “Death Row” meal would be a good old English Breakfast… Poached eggs though and Marmite for the toast!

Holiday destination recommendation?

I’m really lucky that in that I’m well travelled – a mixture of the perks of work and being taken to far-flung places as a child so there’s only one continent I’ve not been to and that’s Africa. Working in Travel has also given me access to some amazing deals and places but two places I’d really recommend for a holiday. One is quite close to home and that is the South of France. For a laid back vibe, beautiful food and people watching, I could go back there (to the Cote D’azur specifically) again and again. The other is Thailand. We had probably our best holiday there as a two centre mix of Bangkok and Koh Samui. A must do if you can.

Can’t live without Beauty product?

I’m actually change up my beauty products every so often as I believe it’s good for your skin, and hair, to make changes. However over the years the one product I’ve been loyal to is Palmers Cocoa Butter as a body moisturiser. I love the texture and the effect it has on my skin although I did have to stop using it during my pregnancy with Calum as the smell was overwhelming!

Last book I read…

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. I was at a conference in Las Vegas this summer and Sophie was one of the Keynote Speakers. For those of you who don’t know, she started the brand Nasty Gal in the US and her story really is a rags to riches phenomenon. I read the book (she signed my copy) as she came across so well as a speaker, so very “normal” and actually, quite humbled by what she’s achieved. It’s a good easy read.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

As I work full time, a perfect weekend is a lazy Saturday start (that’s 8am in our house due to Calum!) followed by breakfast after Richard has been to the bakery and butcher for supplies, followed by some family activities and a nice home cooked Saturday supper in front of Strictly/X Factor and then a Sunday that involves seeing friends or family and maybe a pub lunch. BLISS!

Come back tomorrow for Erin’s next style post and in the mean time, you can follow her on Instagram @Shoequeen79 or tweet her @ErinLauraWalsh.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Moody Blues


Blue room with dark floors

Although I’ve been talking a lot of baby stuff recently, I’ve been thinking a lot of interiors ideas. Our builder only left 2 weeks before Bea was born, after finishing the kitchen and decking – I promise I’ll be sharing that soon; and with a new baby plus a house that was clean for the first time in about 6 months, I had no taste for returning to renovations. However, now I’m living in the house everyday, I’m getting more and more fed up with our living rooms heavy cream walls and peachy curtains (from the previous owners) and ready to change it all. Dare I say it, I don’t think I want another grey room, dispute it being a favourite of mine, but luckily inky, dramatic, moody blues are where it’s at in interiors right now and I thought I’d share some inspiring images I’ve been looking at for ideas.


Period living room with marble fireplace

This particular image with the fireplace is exactly what we are going for in our more formal living room. I think these blues really lend themselves to a sense of formality and period grandeur, don’t you?


Traditional style bedroom


Navy bedroom with bright accents

It seems to work equally well with bright accents and colour pops though – which is perfect for me as I always come back to colourful accents.


Dusty blue, lilac and copper room set

This (relatively) paler shade with lilac and copper makes for a more feminine combination…


Aerin Lauders home

And I love darker shades framed by a bright white and light room when you are coming into them, like this shot of Aerin Lauders home.

What do you think readers? Could you take the plunge with dark walls? Or would you consider it as an accent? See more over on my Pinterest board Moody Blues

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The Fash Flash: Wet Weather Style

Since I’ve been on maternity leave, I have barely used our car. Firstly I wasn’t allowed to drive post c-section and also, Chorlton has everything I need within walking distance. We also have one very old car that Pete uses to run to work and my three door car. So we can continue to re-do the house and because we don’t really need 2 cars right now, we’ve opted not to to buy a new one (as we had planned) when Bea arrived. Why am I telling you this? Because it left me in the market for a new coat. Coats are cheaper than cars.


Joules Waterproof Parka £129 // Petit Bateau Iconic Raincoat £132 // Boden Rainy Day Mac £119
Seasalt Snowdrop Coat £140 // Seasalt Dayboard 3 in 1 jacket £150 // Helly Hansen W Kirkwall Rain Coat £100

The particularly warm and dry September and most of October we have had meant I didn’t really think about my need for wet weather gear (who was I kidding, I live in Manchester!) But after getting soaked through to my skin pushing the pram back from a baby class 2 weeks ago, the search came sharply to the forefront of my mind. I wanted an actually waterproof coat, but something that also looked stylish. Perhaps unusually, I also didn’t need something super warm as I have a heavy duty waterproof(ish) parka that will be coming out in my winter capsule. This was more of a spring/english summer/autumn piece.

I actually made my first purchase (this Boat Coat) from Seasalt after being recommended their coats but I was really disappointed by how frumpy I felt in it. It just wasn’t ‘me’ and although I like lots of their coats, none really fitted the bill. Next I combed the slightly more fashion led brands like Boden and Joules and google searched, which led me to some surprisingly good looking options.


Boden Short Rainy Day Mac £110

After spotting someone wearing a lovely yellow coat I was reminded of my yellow raincoat from ASOS. Now that it’s stood the test of time and remained one of my favourite jackets, I decided it was time to invest in the real deal and purchased the yellow one above. It arrived yesterday and I LOVE it. It’s got grey detailing, playful oversized buttons, a fleece lining (not too thick, but cosy) and smart pleat detail to the back. I opted not to get a longer length as they just don’t suit me and I don’t mind getting my legs wet.

So readers, do you do rainy day outerwear? I like the Helly Hansen Mac here too for city types.

Happy weekend!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Triple Temptation: Leopard skates

Dune Leopard skates // Bertie Leopard skates // Kurt Geiger Leopard skates

One of the trends I was a little unsure about trying this season that I took the leap with was my leopard skater shoes slip-on’s. I went for it due to their sheer practicality, and was absolutely right. I haven’t had them off and they go equally well with dresses or trousers. One additional benefit? If I happen to get caught in the rain, the sole is deep enough to prevent wet feet and splashes brush off th peony skin easily. Mine were an ASOS bargain, but these were all shoes I looked at. If you’re a little afraid of the full coverage at the front, try the Dune pair. They’re a slightly lower fronted style. The Kurt Geiger pair are a beaut if you feel like splashing out. The colours of the leopard print are really luxe.

Would you go for a skater shoe?

Love,
Rebecca
xo