Thursday 27 February 2014

Trendy Thursday

Last week it was half term for us, so there wasn't a great deal of time for me to blog.  I didn't write a Trendy Thursday post, I wanted to enjoy my time with both of my boys at home.  It's lovely when they are both home together, it's great for them to have more bonding time and seeing them start to play together as Felix grows.  However, it does make me very busy!  Normally, I blog during the day when Felix naps and Ethan is at school.  I often blog late into the night as well, but I was extra tired in the evenings last week!

Well.. things are very much back to normal this week.  It's funny how quickly you slot back into the normal routine.  It's nice to get back to the blog after a "week off" as well.

One of the other lovely things about time off school is that Ethan isn't limited to his uniform.  Last week, both boys received a pair of gorgeous dungarees from Grubbies (review to follow soon).  Ethan loves his and asked to wear them almost every day!

Grubbies Dungarees

Our order from Handmade is Haute also arrived just before half term, so there was a lot of funky legging action over the holidays as well!

Handmade is Haute

I am SO happy with these leggings.  I really think they are fantastic value and it's so lovely knowing they were handmade by a WAHM.  It's worth following Handmade is Haute on Instagram because she posts when she gets new fabric in and things sell out very quickly!!

So, what about your little style stars?  Link up what they've been rocking below.  Don't forget to comment here and keep checking back to see who else joins in and visit them - share the love!

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Caitlin Charles-Jones for George at ASDA

Buying your clothes in the supermarket.  It's not glamerous, is it, but it's very handy!  These days it's much improved as well and you can really pick up some fantastic stylish bargains.

I was shopping at ASDA online last week, needing a new step stool for the Ethan to use, and I thought I'd take a look at the latest clothing.  I came across a knitwear range by Caitlin Charles-Jones who had won the knitwear award at the Graduate Fashion Week.  Her collection jumped out of me - very bold colours and simple designs with a geometric flare.  ASDA listed some amazing knit dresses, but unfortunately, they didn't have my size.  I decided to plump for an orange jumper and a black panel dress.

On picking up my order from my local store, I excitedly rushed home - the clothes did not disappoint!

I've worn the panel dress once, it was comfy and looked fantastic with leggings.  Today however, I am rocking my orange jumper.  I love it.  It's a perfect mix with my zigzag leggings and it really lifts my mood.  It suits the sunshine that has popped out today!

I hope Caitlin brings out another range with ASDA or they get more stock of the dresses - one thing is to sure, she's on my "to watch" list!

Linking up today with Transatlantic Blonde for What I Wore Wednesday.

Tuesday 25 February 2014

The Last One

Ever since giving birth to Felix I have been plagued by some rather unexpected feelings. You could almost say unwanted feelings! No. Perhaps that's too strong. Surprising maybe.

You might have an inkling about what I'm going to say, especially if you've had more than one child.

I am plagued by a creeping sadness. It comes on at unexpected moments.  It takes me by surprise.  Why sadness? A good question. I feel so much joy in being mother to my boys.  But it is bitter-sweet.  Every day I love them more.  Every day they grow a little more independent.  I am struck with the realization that they won't always rely on me so heavily.  Every day Felix does something new, it feels like the last time.

We don't plan to have more children.  We haven't 100% ruled it out, but 2 is probably it for us.  In fact, having Ethan was such a shocking change of lifestyle for us, it took us over 3 years to feel ready to try again.  However, it has been easier to adjust the second time around, and now, despite knowing how hard it all is, despite never wanting all the horrible parts of pregnancy again, I feel sad.

Each time Felix grows, I give away or sell most of the clothes.  Already he has out grown some toys which have been gifted to friends.

The baby bouncer- gone.  The bumbo- gone.  The baby gym- gone.  The list is endless.

These days are SO precious.  I swear, most days slip through my fingers before I have a chance to think.  To pause.

Tonight, Felix has woken several times already.  Each time I have gone in and held him close.  Breathing him in.  I wish I could bottle his scent.  The most precious memory.  I physically need my boys.  I can't bear the thought that one day I won't be able to hold them like this any more.

I think it's the hardest lesson as a parent. Loving them but knowing you have to let go.

How can a heart feel so full yet breaking at the same time?


Monday 24 February 2014

Justafit by Infasense - the onesie with sense!

There's a problem with all in one sleepsuits, isn't there - baggy feet & legs - babies slipping and tripping themselves up.  Something my children have never needed any help with as it is!

Well, the folks at Infasense have designed something to help with this very issue - an adjustable sleep suit (or onesie as they are calling it).  It's such a simple idea when you think of it - adjustable wrists and ankle fittings so you can make them fit tightly, stopping those droopy baggy feet and sleeves hanging in the way allowing your baby to get around freely and more safely.

I'll let Infasense give you some information in their own words:

A NEW British brand, Infasense has created an innovative, patent pending, adjustable onesie for babies and toddlers.  The Justafit has been specially designed to eliminate the hazards posed by conventional, off-the-shelf onesies, by providing a safer, more hygienic, comfortable and economical alternative.
The product is the inspiration of Mumpreneur Caroline Driver, whose attention was drawn to the dangers of ill-fitting onesies during a routine visit from her family health visitor.  Previous to this, she had witnessed the ‘flipper feet’ that emerged once her children began to crawl and toddle, and the ‘daily dunking’ of overly long sleeves in the breakfast cereal.  The unique adjustable cuffs and ankles put an end to these problems, whilst ensuring the child’s safety; no more nasty trips, slips or messy cuffs caused by excess fabric.

"We all recognise that no two babies are the same, it’s therefore equally comprehendible that one size won’t fit all.  Parents often experience a point in their child’s life where the shelf size doesn’t match their child’s growth rate; some 12 month old babies will require an 18-24 month sizing, whilst others a 9-12 month sizing,” explains Caroline. “The Justafit adjustable onesie provides a simple solution to this problem, and in turn, helps reduce risks posed by ill-fitting onesies, whilst enabling for growth with the child”.

Made from quality hypoallergenic breathable cotton, the Justafit comes in five colourways and is available in five sizes from 6-months to 3-years.

So.  What did we think of the product?  Well, it's nice and soft for one thing, which is important.  The colour is bold and vibrant.  It's easy to put on and easy to adjust.  Really, it's just like putting on any other sleepsuit apart from once it's on, you use the velcro on the sleeves and ankles to loosen or tighten the fit.

Does it work?  Yes!  No droopy saggy extra fabric.  Felix is able to get around comfortably in it.  He isn't bothered by the velcro straps.  There is something I would recommend to Infasense to improve the product - grippy soles on the feet.  After all, the idea behind these suits is to make it safer for baby to get around by stopping those saggy extra bits of material that bunch up and hang down if a suit doesn't fit correctly.  This isn't really too much of an issue until your baby is pulling up to stand and walking though.. and if they are doing that, grips on the feet would be very useful as well to help aid falling over.  It's only a small thing though, that could be easily added!

Infasense have provided a video to tell you a little about the product which can be found on YouTube

You can buy from Infasense direct here.  They also have a Facebook page and Twitter account so you can stay up to date!

***This product was provided for review purposes but all views expressed are my own***

Sorting my skin out with Soap & Glory

I'm a long term fan of Soap & Glory products.  Their hand creams have been my go to favourites for years now (Hand Food and more recently, Endless Glove) and Scrub Your Nose In It is the best face scrub I've used in a long time.  They are staples in my life.

Despite this, I've never branched out to their other skincare ranges.  I decided recently that it was time to try something different for my skin.  I'm nearly 32 and with the birth of Felix, I've noticed some changes in my skin.  Not good ones.  It's probably down to late nights, early mornings, disturbed sleep and age, but I've noticed the fresh face disappearing (if it was ever there!) and wrinkles creeping in.  I think I'm quite lucky really, before now, there's been little sign of age on my skin, but it has to happen!

I've always looked after my skin, washed it twice a day, moisturised twice a day, always used an eye cream (since age 11!) but I thought it was time for something more appropriate.  I wasn't quite sure what to go for, but very helpfully, the folks at Soap & Glory provide an online Skin Diagnosis Tool which is very kind!

I have combination skin and am quite prone to break outs, so after completing the questions about my skin, I got a recommendation for quite a mixture of products, some to protect against ageing and some to prevent break outs.

After having a good read up about all the products recommended, I decided to plump for Make Yourself Youthful Super Serum (online reviews really raved about this but also mentioned it hadn't caused acne), Make Yourself Youthful Rejuvenating Eye Cream (need to combat those under eye wrinkles!), Beauty Sleep Accelerator (something to use at night to work hard on my poor skin!) and The Fab Pore Purifying Mask & Peel (something to use a few times a week against those spots).

I ordered my products through Boots and had them delivered to my local store.  On Friday they were ready for collection, so, very excitedly (me that is!) I dragged the boys into town to pick up my products.  The evening could't come quickly enough so I could get the boys in bed and drink wine try the products out.

I washed my face and used the mask first, leaving it on for a good 15 minutes so it could do it's work.  It was easy to apply and smelt nice.  I liked that it didn't go hard and uncomfortable whilst on and was quite easy to wash off.  My skin felt really soft and fresh afterwards.  I followed it with all of my new creams.

Every single cream smells lovely.  They all sink into my skin easily and none of them feel heavy.  You don't need to do loads of rubbing, just massage them in gently.

I've been using them for 4 days now and personally, I feel my skin is looking brighter.  I have had a few new spots appear, but that is most likely my skin just adjusting.  I've certainly not had a major break out or bad reaction.

Happily, the creams all work well under my make up so I don't have to wait ages after applying them before I can put my make up on.  This has been an issue with other creams in the past.

All in all, I'm very happy. Soap & Glory - I love you!

Real Mom Style - Winter colours

This weeks Real Mum Style (or Mom if you're from the USA!) is brought to you by tiredness - that's the badge of all Mum's out there, isn't it!

Half term has just gone.  It is lovely not to have the school run in the mornings and not to have to rush to get Ethan and Felix dressed, but the weather wasn't very kind to us (as is often the case in February in the UK!) and getting out and about wasn't easy.  We didn't get up to a great deal.  I couldn't get any blogging done during Felix's naps due to Ethan being around so I had a week off from blogging (well, I was working on background work, emails etc until late most evenings!!).

So... yes.  I'm a bit tired and quite happy to be having a normal week this week.

One of my favourite colour groupings for Autumn & Winter is yellow, brown, orange, maroon & turquoise.  I love this kind of palate.  It's colourful and fun  but without being too in your face.  I styled today's outfit around a dress I bought a little while back in a charity shop and I think it's come together quite well.  Even my hair and slippers fit in!!
Dress - Charity shop
Maroon long sleeved top - New Look
Mustard tights - New Look
Slippers - Moccis

I feel happy in this outfit.  I might be tired and have no make up on my eyes (eye infection - joy!) but I feel pretty good.  It lifts my mood - and that's a good thing!

I'm linking up today with Maria from Very Busy Mama for the Real Mom Style linky.

Thursday 13 February 2014

Boys in pink

Continuing from last weeks tirade on people calling my boys girls, I thought I'd feature Felix wearing pink and a whole load of rainbows today - go on, I dare you to call him a girl ;-D

Bib - eBay
Romper - Plastisock
Leg Warmers - Tiny Nippers
Moccasins - Moccis

I love this outfit.  It's comfy for him, but bright as well.  Apart from the leggings, these are all Ethan's old clothes.  The Plastisock romper is one of my favourites so it's lovely to see it being worn again.  I adore Plastisock prints.  Their clothes wash really well as well.  You'd never know this was on it's second child!

Have you got any cool outfits to show off this week?  Show off and share what your children have been wearing and link up below.  Don't forget to tweet me your link and comment here and on other posts.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Teething jewellery - staying stylish with a teething baby.

I love accessories and jewellery.  Always have!  When I had Ethan, I wasn't really aware of teething jewellery, it wasn't quite so well known.  However, when I was pregnant with Felix, I was very aware of it and felt very happy.  Why?  Well, apart from having something to offer a teething baby, I was looking forward to still being able to sport a bit of bling whilst carting a small person around.

Anyone who wears jewellery but has a baby or small child (or anyone who's ever come into contact with one whilst wearing jewellery!) knows how much they tug on it, chew on it and pull on it.  When you think of it, it seems obvious - why not create jeweller that looks good but is also safe for babies to chew and pull on.

The first brand I became aware of were Gumigem.  They offer a range of necklaces and bangles that look great.  I bought Felix and I a necklace and bangle from them.  He quickly took to the necklace so I ended up wearing it all the time - this is one of the reasons I wanted to buy more!  The bangle he didn't love straight away, but most of the time I have it attached to his buggy for him to chew on and he's always chomping away on it!

The necklaces feature a clasp which gives away easily if pulled making it harder for the necklace to be broken by little hands pulling!

After Gumigem, I wanted something a bit different.  I stumbled across Coastal Path Creations on Facebook and couldn't wait to place an order.   Coastal Path Creations is run by Stef, herself a Mum.  She makes all the jewellery herself.  As well as a range of gummy jewellery, she also makes jewellery with crochet beads.  These are great because they have a lovely texture for babies to chew on and fiddle with.  She also makes a range of "twiddlers" which are strings or bangle type items which can be attached to buggies, slings and carriers so babies have something to fiddle and twiddle with!  

I ordered a bracelet and twiddler for Felix.  The necklace I wear all the time.  It's my favourite and most versatile teething necklace.  Felix really really likes to chew on it.  The twiddler generally stays attached to his buggy and again, he chews on it all the time.

One other brand I've discovered recently is Jellystone Designs.  They are an Australian company but are stocked in various places in the UK - I bought from Amber Pumpkin.  Jellystone Designs have created a range of silicone teething jewellery and chews.  They have also created a range of necklaces for children age 3+.  Many children still like to chew on something even when all their teeth have grown.  Ethan loves chewing on things still (he likes to steal my teething jewellery) so I love this idea.  Ethan has asked me to get one for him (the range includes a robot necklace and heart necklace in a variety of colours).    I wanted to order something different to my other jewellery so I went for one of their owl pendants in yellow.  I'm so happy with it.  It looks really cool.  Felix has taken to it.  It's very handy during nappy changes (he grabs on it, so I take it off and hand it to him for the duration of the change!).  It's very eye catching as well!

Like Gumigem, the necklace features a plastic clasp.

So - there you have it!  No need to say goodbye to jewellery when surrounded by little monkeys!  You can look good, soothe them and make both of you happy at the same time.  Love it!

Thursday 6 February 2014

Trendy Thursday - Vintage clothing and Golden Docs

Happy Thursday everyone!  Yes!  It's Friday Eve! Let's all have a big sigh of relief - the weekend is in sight!

I got some gorgeous bargains via eBay last week.  Ethan finally grew out of his collection of waistcoats recently so I sourced some replacements on eBay.  I'm more than happy to buy second hand.  I managed to buy three, one smart Next one that came with a shirt and two woollen style ones, one Jasper Conran and one from Tesco Clothing.  For all three I think I paid less than £10.  I love the woollen ones, they can make an outfit slightly smarter but are also good for adding an extra layer of warmth and make an outfit extra trendy!

Stripy Waistcoat - Cherokee For Tesco via eBay
Rocket print top - Smafolk
Checked leggings - H&M Girls
Gold Doc Martens

I'd been looking for some Docs for Ethan for an age.  I find it hard to buy something like that brand new for him - they go through shoes so quickly and Docs aren't cheap.  I've no issue buying second hand shoes as long as they haven't been heavily worn.  Finally, I got lucky and found a pair in Ethan's current size on eBay.  The starting bid was £9.99 but with free postage so I went for it.  No one else bid and they were ours!  Total bargain I think.  Ethan's feet will probably grow out of them soon but at least I can save them for Felix.  They look amazing on him, really go well with his leggings and skinny jeans.  He loves them as well, he calls them his golden dancing boots.  I'm happy to report that he's comfy in them as well.  Perhaps in the case of Docs it's better buying them slightly worn in - I know it takes a while to make them comfy!

Felix hasn't been left out.  I found a lady selling a whole load of vintage children's clothing from the 50s - 80s.  It was old shop stock, unworn.  I decided to limit myself to one item but it was very hard to pick!  I went for a 1970s Ladybird romper.  So adorable!  It's a little big for Felix just yet, but it'll be great for spring and summer!

I also bought a couple of items from the new season collection at Zara Baby - I really like their clothes for children.  I've never been a big fan of them for myself (I feel they are the same quality as H&M ladies clothing but more pricey with less choice) but really do like their children's items.  I bought a cute t shirt which I think is super trendy and some of their baby trousers - I especially like their baby trousers because they are generous around the bum which is great for big cloth nappies!

Gold Docs - eBay
Vintage Romper - eBay
Teepee t shirt - Zara Baby
Trousers - Zara Baby

My boys at the weekend:

Ethan - as above


Collar - Polarn O. Pyret
Long Sleeved Vest - Katvig
Bloomers - Beau Loves via Scandinavian Minimal 
Tights - Trumpet

What have your little fashion monkeys been wearing this week?  Link up below!  Please don't forget to link back to my blog and/or include my button.  Please comment here and visit others who join in!  You can tweet me your link as @MedicatedFollow well using the tag #TrendyThursday.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Mac lusting - which Boden mac to go for?

I know it's a bit stereotypical "Yummy Mummy" but there's a reason why Boden are popular.  They know colour, they know pattern and they know quality.  For the last 5 years I've bought myself a Boden Rainy Day Mac.  I've had two and I'm currently planning my third.  I'm just stuck trying to decide which one to got for!  I can't afford to buy one this month so it'll give me some time to decide, but I thought I'd ask for some help.

These are the two I've had before:

As for my next one, I've narrowed it down to three:

Image source: Boden
Boden Rainy Day Mac available from Boden for £119.00

Initially, I am most drawn to the dotty patterned macs.  What makes me hesitate is the colour choice.  These are the boldest ones available (I like bold) but they aren't really that in your face.  The blue is nice, but it's very safe.  I really like the yellow, but I already have a yellow duffel coat which I wear a lot and a yellow body warmer.  I wear yellow tights a lot but look like a yellow jelly baby if I wear them with a yellow coat so I need another colour option!  I also think it'd be nice if they'd put a stripy liner in the hoods of the dotty print coats.

That brings me to the stripy print.  It's bold, yes, but I'm not wild about the colours.  It's the pink that's putting me off to be honest.  It's a little too powder/baby pink for me.  I do love stripes, but in coats, I'm not quite so sure.  If this had bolder colours in it, it'd probably be the one.

What are your thoughts?  I suppose if pushed, at the moment I'd go for the blue dotty print.  I like the flash of yellow you get from the liner and the blue will contrast with more of my dresses, tights and jeans... but still!!

Help me choose whilst I get saving....

Sunday 2 February 2014

Real Mom Style Linky - Expressing Myself

My dear blogging friend Maria has, with a couple of other bloggers, started up a new fashion/style linky for blogging Mums with a sense of style and today is the first time it's being held - exciting!  I've been a bit lax with the personal style blog posts of late so I'm using this as a good chance to get back into showing off Mummy style.

Getting dressed and the clothes I wear are a big deal to me.  I know loads of people who just throw their clothes on in the morning not at all concerned how they look or whether what they are wearing is stylish or even suits them and they are perfectly happy like that.  Why shouldn't they be?  Clothes don't define us.  However, I personally do like to express myself through my clothing.  I feel better when I have an "outfit" on, not just clothes.  During the week I always plan and organise my clothes for the next day so that getting ready in the morning is simple.  As long as you know what you're doing the next day and what the weather is supposed to be doing, it's easy and worth doing.  It's so much easier not having to think in the morning when time is tight!

I have quite a mixed style I think.  I love skirts and dresses but also love leggings and jeans.  I tend to tailor what I'm wearing according to what I'm doing and the weather.  Some of my clothes don't work well with my rain coat so I'll avoid them if I believe it's going to rain.  Some days, if they are going to be active, or involve a lot of sitting on the floor with an active baby are better suited to jeans or leggings.  You get the picture.

I thought I'd share a few of my most recent outfits.  Very often, due to being very busy with the children, my photos are just taken on my phone, so please excuse the quality.  Hopefully you'll get the idea!

Necklace: Teething necklace from Coastal Path Creations
Dress: £3 bargain from Primark
Stripy tights: Poppy England
Boys: Felix & Ethan - my own ;-D

Spotty oversized jumper: H&M
Leggings: H&M
Necklace: As above
Triangle print top: Second hand from charity shop
Star print jeggings: H&M (kids section)

Cardigan: New Look (past season)
Dress: Primark sale
Tights: New Look 
Belt: New Look

So - there you have it, a good variety of looks from the last week.  If you're new to my blog, hopefully it'll give you an idea of me, what I'm about, how I like to dress.  I'm really excited about this linky, getting to "meet" some new bloggers!  Don't forget to check out Maria's blog!