Wednesday, 29 March 2017

She's Growing In Simple Denim {Giulietta} #Stealmystyle

I love sharing this little one's fashion stories. In fact it is strange looking back at these pictures; she looks huge. Like a different child. In fact, even looking at the size of her feet made me double take. This week in particular I think babies have been on my brain. I changed our spare room and took down the baby cot and Etta has been talking about all things baby related. It has been a bit strange really and I suppose seeing these pictures really confirmed that she is not a baby anymore. I have always regarded Raph as older and suddenly it's strange putting her in the same category as that. She is older. Her sentences are almost fully formed. She seems really clever and I am still thinking of her as a baby. Oh it's crazy. This year is going to be a big year also as she will turn 4 on the 28th of August and will start school a week later. That really is crazy! 
I picked up this little outfit from NEXT just recently and had actually spotted the dress a good few weeks ago but it was never available in Etta's size. I just thought it was a perfect casual dress and well, I have spoken about my love for denim before! With the uber frilled t-shirt at is a great little outfit for now and without tights in the summer!



My Gardening Story + 20% off @ Joules

One of my new year's resolutions was to become a bit of an active gardener this year. We have a really good boarder that runs the length of our garden that I have been building for a few years now but every year I let it get over run and don't really tend to it. This year I wanted to be way more active in keeping it nice as I wanted to benefit from it more and more. When we did our extension near 4 years ago I made the change from growing veg to growing just flowers. I couldn't do both and as I said, I wasn't the best caretaker so we let lots of free food spoil. Flowers are a passion for me though so it already has me more encaptured. 
When I started planting up my flowers lavender and hydrangea were a big feature. I have two big patches of them both and I love them. I also have a big rosemary patch from where I planted all my sister's wedding table decorations and they are now full and green and a lovely little memento of a good day. Last year I bought my first David Austen rose which has taken really well and is coming up full of leaves now. I have daffodils, grape hyacinth, tulips, ranunculus, scabious, veronica, wax flower, peonies, lilacs and wisteria now all in the garden and all have buds or big green leaves on ready to burst through the seasons and really show off a culmination of a few years of collecting my chosen plants. Interestingly I have spent the very few warm days getting outside and moving a few plants around, giving them more space and just rearranging slightly as I got rid of dead space. This year I am really looking forward to the blooms coming out as I want to try and harvest them better and encourage better growth for next year. Sometimes thinking about gardening makes me feel so old, but I really love just getting out there and having a go.

I also have found that gardening brings me a real sense of peace and calm. Even though I can get all hot and sweaty digging and moving things it really makes me feel good and it is becoming a real passion. I sit in the living room and look out in the space wanting to do things and waiting for colour to start popping.
One of my main tasks is going to be lawn care. I want grandparents' lawn. Do you know what that is? Rob and say it all the time, but it's when the lawn is full and soft and bouncy and perfectly cut (usually your grandparents as they are retired and have time to tend to it). So that is my aim this year as our grass is really mossy, I am going to try all the potions to feed it and make it luscious! I can't believe I am talking this passionately about grass!
Aside from that though, I want to be in my garden more this year and just get more sun on my skin as I have had a vitamin D deficiency over the winter which has really pulled me down so I need some serious sun on my skin!!

Getting out with the kids is great too. In fact last week, on that one hot day that tricked us into thinking it was really spring, we spent nearly an entire day outside. It was just beautiful and I enjoyed being in the garden for me, not because I had to sort it.

It also gave Etta and I the perfect opportunity to try out our new spring coats. Light, easy, waterproof, everything you want out of an outdoors jacket and that makes them perfect for me.
I'm wearing the Swithin Soft Khaki Parka (SALE) and Etta is wearing the Cloudy Clear Raincoat.

Even more interestingly I am finding that getting our coats on and getting outside is leading to wonderful opportunities with our neighbours and as our kids just love them and we are wasting many outdoors moments chatting and planning with them. It's so lovely as they are keen gardeners and they are really pointing me down the right track with any conundrums I have.

If you are lucky enough to have a garden, I urge you to get out in it and enjoy the outdoor space, it will do wonders for your mood, I promise!

As an extra spring time treat get 20% off Joules Clothing with code BDG20 until 1st May 2017 on full priced UK orders!!


* Coats sponsored by Joules.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Stepping Out In The Natural World Ft. Joules + 20% Off

We all get that feeling as soon as the sun begins to warm us that it is time to freshen our wardrobes. Going out becomes a must and enjoying viewing all of nature's beauty becomes a daily occurrence for all of us as we enjoy the views around our homes. I'm sure most of us have daffodils near by. They pop up everywhere and are a real sign to trust that warmer weather is on the way. Their bright yellow heads really reminds us that there is a special kind of joy to come and one that we all very much enjoy; the sunshine. 
Finding new and summer friendly clothing comes to the forefront of our minds. A lot of that is to do with advertising as it is the natural point where the clothing seasons change and with that brings a gust of wanting new and improved pieces that make our life easier. For me the biggest change is leaving boots behind. Let's be serious; jumpers and coats are still quite necessary in springtime but I do phase out wearing boots and thick socks, so the transformation into lighter smaller shoes is my biggest change now.
Joules, a pioneer in Chelsea boot fashion has been lucky enough to partner up with the wonderful Natural World, a fully eco-friendly, ethical Spanish footwear brand who are making beautiful canvas plimsolls which are made 100% from natural products. These shoes are also vegan friendly which really pops them on a pedestal showing how accessible they are. 

But what's the point? Is there a need for these shoes in your life? When I was asked to try a pair and share them to the blog at first I felt that: Yeah, they were just another pair of shoes. Yes they were incredibly comfortable, very soft and their strawberry scent was a quirky feature but did I truly care about them being eco-friendly? When the kids put theirs on though I began to get this twinging feeling. I felt they looked gorgeous, in fact watching them pull them on themselves I felt that it was a real moment of nature; their growing up, their want to take them outside, to climb and play and to explore, to be part of the world. That then got me thinking about how lovely it was that these shoes are made from products that our children long to be near. 

Stepping out into the world is where we all long to be. Like I said earlier, signs of spring draw us all out and our souls yearn to be with nature, to watch the season change. We take pleasure in seeing the blossoms appear so when you have the opportunity to step out, do so!

As an extra spring time treat get 20% off Joules Clothing with code BDG20 until 1st May 2017 on full priced UK orders!!


*This post is sponsored by Joules

Monday, 27 March 2017

Love Handles by Cath Kidston #Stealmystyle #loveyourhandles

It's always nice receiving some post for Cath Kidston and this last week I got a fab little package with some brilliant straps from their Love Your Handles range. This clever idea of sprucing up your bags to suit a more personal style go on sale on the 27th March. What a beautiful way to accessorise bags you already own with these perfectly alternative handles. Anyway, I just wanted to share a couple I got and how I have styled them on my larger weekend bags. Head over to the Cath Kidston website to see all their new season items.

Emily x


A Proper Sunday Lunch FT. Salted Orange Food Co

I am finding that I am really building a passion for finding and writing about local loves. With recent discoveries of such places like the LPAC Theatre it seems only fair that I start to bring a real focus onto what's about locally that people can enjoy. Also, from a tourism point of view, I want to show off what Lincolnshire has to offer, so when the winning of a competition from a local food company came my way it seemed a perfect opportunity to place a Love Lincoln tab at the top of this blogger's page so that you can see all things wonderful and local!

That all said, Last Sunday I was lucky enough to welcome Chef Sam into our home from the Salted Orange Food Company, a wonderful local business who operate in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire providing catering for all manner and size of party. I was lucky enough to win one of their Facebook competitions to have a full taster menu cooked at home for me and 8 guests! What a fab prize! And with that I really felt it was fair to share what they were doing to my little space here.

First off what a surreal thing to happen. Sam arrived at 12pm with a van full of cookers, crockery and food, ready and prepped for feeding (in the end 15 of us) a huge 6 course taster meal. I was worrying he wouldn't have enough space to cook with our little oven, and I was making sure there was nothing left on the sides in the kitchen, but in his professionalism, and apparently with all private dinner parties they provide for, they came with everything they needed, and then took it all away without leaving a single scrap of washing too!!
It was amazing! A 'Head Chef' pottering and working round our kitchen. We also had our own waiter which also lent itself to the wonderful gastro-experience that we were all about to have.
I wouldn't say my family are foodies but we know what's good, and we don't need too much fuss with our food. I think that is probably because we are a huge family (It's usually just about getting everyone fed) but I must say, I think this experience changed us all somewhat. We all came away in almost a bit of shock at what we had experienced in the comfort of our home and how such wonderful food was made and presented to us with such ease. 
We in fact were all blown away by the standard, the presentation and indeed the tastes that we all looked at this local food company a bit differently. 
Before I share what we had I really want to emphasise the ease of this for me, as a host. Having made the tables pretty and providing everyone with drinks, that is pretty much where my role stopped. I was able to enjoy fresh food, having it brought to me was amazing and the fact that Salted Orange provide all plates and cutlery and then TOOK IT ALL AWAY UNWASHED was an absolute God send. I mean for any parents or host that is the dream right? No pots to wash after a feast for 15 - Totally amazing!!

Having chatted about the experience, which was overall fantastic, I want to share my views on the food. Obviously when you are having a gastro-cook come and prepare a taster meal I suppose you already have an expectation of what kind of things you are going to eat. I've have had fancy food in fancy restaurants before but what we had, well, it was something really special.
From starting with the aerated celeriac; a very soft delicate foam pot of goodness to then having Ham and cheese croquets on a bed of the tastiest, sweetest tomatoes I have ever tasted. 
I think my favourite was the 3rd course which was a seafood thermidor and was totally delicious. I could have eaten a huge bowl of that, so warming and creamy, completely gorgeous it opened up the door for our main course which was then the most tender brisket of beef and stunning (my mouth is watering as I write about it) gravy that just melted in the mouth.
Our puddings were then a coconut and tonka bean brulee and then a lemon tart with raspberries and meringue. The whole meal was just something we had never really tried in this way before and we all came away amazed.
For us also, Chef Sam introduced the course explaining what everything was and where he sourced specific ingredients from. It was a real opportunity for us to learn and enjoy food together.

What a brilliant thing to do as a family and what an experience to have together enjoying this wonderful local company.

Having had this experience it has shown me how great it is to have a catering company in for a private function. Not only is this area part of the Salted Orange's strengths, they are also big wedding and function caterers and recently have found themselves providing food for food festivals. As an independent and local firm I can't tell you how pleased we were to get this experience and look forward to hopefully eating again with them soon!

We love local.

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