Thursday, 29 September 2016

Failing as a parent; forgetting non-uniform day!

I hate it. Failing. I know when I have done it as well and it truly eats at me. The fact that I have not achieved definitely doesn't sit well and I quickly spiral into thinking I am the worst person in the world. 

Pulling up to school on Friday my heart fell out my chest as I saw kids in the playground playing in their own clothes. SHIT. I didn't say it out loud but in my head it was flashing up in bright lights. "Raph, it's home clothes day," I exclaimed. He instantly burst into tears. It surprised me how quickly he did but I think he knew and had forgotten to say and he felt like he had failed as equally as me. So sat in the car with a crying child I suggested he go in, I drive home and come back with clothes. He didn't want to leave the car, I couldn't blame him. I jumped out ran into school and told one of the teachers we would be half an hour as we were going back home to change. 
That journey back into town was my time to be silent. I comforted Raph, he was relieved once I said we were going home to change, but I couldn't shake off that cloud. That one that comes down when you truly fail. I don't know why I took it so hard. The problem was solvable. Friday morning is assembly so he wasn't going to miss any teaching but it was there, this force, crushing me and making me call myself names. I really hate it. My character is not one to accept defeat but when it comes to trying to do right by the kids, I really hate it when I get it so wrong. 
After changing (and getting evidence in photo form of a happy child) and heading back out of the city I was trying to calm myself down, we were heading back to school, it was only just 9.30 and we had missed hardly anything but I was still livid at myself for not taking more notice of what date it was and what needed to be done. Slipping into the back of assembly after Raph had got back in I felt like a naughty school girl, that feeling all eyes on you, all these parents knowing what you have done, knowing you have failed, After assembly finished and I waved off a much happier child who was fully ready for a good day's learning I got out and relayed my morning to a friend. Her reply was one that changed my whole outlook, "I can't believe it Emily, I never thought you would do something like that; that makes me feel so much better about myself." HAHA. We are all the same really, always just trying to be the best we can, and here I am, at my shittest point, I can still make others feel better, and in a good way. Parenting is not a competition, it is not about checking up and ticking boxes against each other. It is about how you can make things better, how you can truly care for your child, and as I looked back into the classroom window to see Raph still waving out in his jeans and shirt I realised that I had saved the day, to him I had been a hero and not a failure and it was only my high standards that had failed me. 


Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Embrace Your Baggage!

Being a parent and one who likes to look stylish, finding a happy medium of bags that offer practicality and prettiness is actually quite hard. I can't remember buying my first piece by Cath kidston but I know it was when I was a student as I had one of her box bags for my books, and then when I started working in schools I used a lot of her bits and pieces. That was 10 years ago now so it is most certainly a brand I have been hooked on for a long time. I remember one of my most favourite pieces was my first Nappy bag from them. A friend bought it as a gift for me and it was a beautiful dark green/teal colour with flowers all over it. Very classic, very practical and it served its purpose for both our kids.
Nowadays I actually struggle more as we are at a stage when we don't necessarily need a nappy bag as such, but spare clothes, baby wipes and bottles of water are still quite a necessity.
The kids have plenty of back packs which they could have all their own items in but that means me then relying on them taking them everywhere and all parents know, they only carry their own stuff for so long before they palm it off onto the donkey to carry!!

At the moment, I am loving having a small bag as my handbag, I started to downsize a few years ago and go for much smaller bags so that they can be just thrown on and have all immediate necessities to hand rather than having to rummage for them.

My Forest Rose Folio Bag is perfect for my phone, purse and keys; that is all I need in it. Then my camera, child related stuff and other random pieces of toys and Lego go into my Peony Blossom Backpack which means if I am just popping out I can grab my handbag and for bigger excursions I have my backpack ready!
This is the perfect combination for at the moment until the next stage in my life where I would need no nappy bag or potentially a very full one!

*Post in collaboration with Cath Kidston who have gifted me these products.


Sunday, 25 September 2016

#BDAG wears Pleated Skirts

If there is one fashion trend to follow this season it is pleated skirts. Honestly, I love them. Dress them up with heels and a glitzy top or wear them casually with cashmere and trainers, but investing in a pleated skirt this season will sure be a good thing and if you can, go metallic and add some glam to your everyday casual look.


Love Your Little Home: Good old white paint.

Huurraah! After abandoning these series for a few months it is back and boy I am excited to share more home love. If you have no idea what I am talking about with 'being back', Love Your Hittle Home is a series about how to enjoy the space you have and how we best utilise our 3 up, 2 down space. 
This post is mainly about one thing and that is our love for white paint! Before we have written about space saving ideas and styling, but this one is all about the paint. 
There are only two rooms in this house that aren't white; the kids bedroom is light grey and the spare room is a beige colour from when it was the nursery. The rest of our space is white. Pure brilliant, no fancy shine, white, matt paint. We buy it in big tubs from Dulux and we just whack it on. It is great. Basic, what we need for the constant covering of everyday life marks; scuffs from toys to finger marks from sliding hands down the wall, you know, general everyday markings. 

Last week We painted the downstairs living space. It had been 3 years and I had the biggest itch for change, or maybe it was just a refresh, but I had been bugging Rob about painting and I just decided to start last Monday, so we had no excuses for putting it off.

It was actually our pine skirting boards which were what started it. When we first did the extension we really loved the look of fresh pine, it is a lovely pale colour and so woody that we didn't want to cover it and we like that bare wood look. Over time though it has become the orange toned pine colour as all the natural oils develop and to be honest, I didn't like it. It just dated the house and with the other wooden topped tables and sideboards I felt that the bright area was very orange toned. 

After painting on a primer I then covered the skirting in Ronseal Diamond Hard Floor Paint in white. This is also what we have used on our wooden floors upstairs and we really love it. It is cleanable which means with kids I can wipe it rather than having to repaint, making life and house upkeep that little bit easier. 
It also is smooth and has a great sheen to it so it looks incredibly neat.

I also used the paint on our wooden fireplace and large cupboard doors as they get touched a lot and again, I wanted something more protective than matt white paint. 

For me using white is key to fooling you into thinking you have more space. Colour can be cosy but when you struggle for room, making things cosy isn't often the best idea. You need to be able to expand with trickery and white sure does that. We are lucky also that this area in particular has a lot of natural light flowing in so that also helps bounce brightness around the room, and with big mirrors everything is reflected well.

So if you want to best make use of creating taller walls and clean space, go white!


Thursday, 15 September 2016

Two shoes, new shoes...

......bright, shiny, blue shoes. Not in this case but if you are like me then this Shirley Hughes rhyme may be one that often goes through your head when you mention the words 'New Shoes'. The classic children's book 'Two Shoes New Shoes' was one that my mum often read to us and it is just one of those phrases that has always stuck with me. I often think about it when getting the kids shoes and it always makes me smile. But like I said, in this case they are not bright, shiny, blue shoes like the character in the story but more the complete opposite. 

I am sure if you are on the Boden mailing list you will have had multiple emails and catalogues tempting you on to their website. I have been on so many times and filled my basket then panicked at the price at the check out and bailed! Haha! I am sure I am not the only one! But for Etta, she had some birthday money from her Great Grandparents to buy something for Autumn and I knew just what to get her. 
Recently I have been buying her lots of checked dresses to team with leggings and tights in blacks and navy blues so these Fun Mary Janes seemed like a perfect purchase. Last year I got her these, they were a slightly different design but they went with everything so getting the new season ones seemed like a good idea.
We haven't worn them much yet but so far they have looked gorgeous with the dark, autumn colours that Etta has worn!

I actually have a bit of a lust list with the Boden kids shoes at the moment, they always look gorgeous and hopefully I might be able to get a few extra pairs over the coming months when they do there regular % off days!
Here is what is constantly in my shopping basket:

Are you lusting after certain Boden products? Don't get me started on the women's shoes!


Our weekend in pictures; When Adventure calls......

I don't want to write too much in this post because I am sure what I am going to say, we all know and agree with. My family rented a house in Cornwall for a week, but because of Raph's schooling (and knowing that we are taking him out of school in term time at another point in the year) we decided that having just started back it wouldn't be appropriate for us to go down for a week. That choice was made at the beginning of the summer when we found out they were all going down and it was fine. We would miss out but that's our choice. Roll on a few months and the date of them leaving grew closer and closer. Rob and I had mentioned going down for the weekend as my family's trip was from Friday to Friday, so it would be possible but a lot of hard work. We left it and didn't discuss it until the Tuesday before they left when we had been at theirs and Raph and my youngest brother Gabe had been sorting out all the wet suits. Raph didn't particularly understand what was going on and we didn't mention anything to them, but after getting home we decided that maybe we should go for the two days so long as the weather forecast was good. Which it was, so off we went! And what a good choice it was. We had the most beautiful weekend, in a place that has so many happy memories for us. It was like going home in a way as everything was so familiar and the weather was perfect for what we needed. Sun shone and allowed us to have two full days at the beach surfing and body boarding at Polzeath and Watergate Bay and a lovely evening in Padstow. We drove home on Sunday evening and got back about 2am but the absolute joy of the trip outweighed the lateness. The kids slept in the car and then fully in bed so they got a decent sleep and Rob and I just made it through Monday a bit blurry eyed. 

Heading out for adventure is always worth it, remember that, and if you have the opportunity to have time with your family even though it may take a big effort and a long journey, most of the time, those moments that you have together will be so worth it!
Thinking that the journey is too long is an easy excuse, at the end of it I am sure your life will be filled with more joy, love and memories that outweigh the small chaos it causes!

Here is our weekend in Pictures.

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