Saturday, 28 March 2015

Instaspiration - Myla & Oscar

You know by now how much I love Instagram and all the cool, amazing and creative brands I find on there.  Well, now and then there are brands I stumble across that make me leap up from my chair and do a happy dance.  Myla & Oscar is one of those brands.

For a while now I've been lusting after playtents and teepees I'd see online. They are all over Instagram and the cool blogs.  But do you now what?  They are REALLY hard to find in the UK, especially the foldable play tents.  They mostly seem to be sold in Australia and obvsiouly ordering from there comes with quite heafty import charges.  For an item that already costs close to £100 that's pretty pricey.

Well, a few days ago I stumbled across a brand on IG that hasn't even launched yet but is already (rightly) creating quite a stir.  Myla & Oscar make play tents people.  AND THEY ARE IN THE UK!!!!

Just the kind of brand I go wild for.  A creative work at home Mum who saw a gap in the market and actually had the balls to do something about it.  Respect lady!

Play Tents UK Myla & Oscar

Play Tents UK Myla & Oscar

This is what Jess (the lady in question) has to say about her venture herself:

"It's been on maternity leave that I truly discovered Instagram. I never knew there was a world out there of amazing women who were hand making items and selling them online. One 'follow' turned into another and before I knew it, I was a full time Instagram shopper for my 3 year old Oscar and baby Myla. It's the biggest shop with the most incredible products for babies and little ones, all being
handmade by immensely talented women.

Online, I soon came across the world of tepees and tents. I fell in love with them immediately-
reminiscing of my own tent building as a child with chairs and my mothers washing airer. But I couldn't find any I liked that didn't come with a huge international shipping cost so I decided to make my own for M & O. It was on the search for fabric for their tent that I realised how many cool designs there were available, and the penny dropped. So with the help of my father, a professional carpenter, and my mother who always had her sewing machine out (wonder web is a swear word to her!) I thought I'd make my own range of Play Tents, made with cool fabrics that my little ones would love. The idea of making and selling items grew super quickly, with the brands USP stemming from a passion for wood. I made a few different items and posted a couple of pictures on Instagram and the reaction I got was overwhelming. Messages of support and praise were coming in and I hadn't even launched yet.
There is a lot of love for small businesses and a lot of like minded women with bags of creative energy. I'm sure I'm one of many whose working day starts at 7pm, when my little scamps are tucked up in bed, but luckily I have a good concealer and a love of coffee :). Working in PR and the creative industry for 10 years, my head is now buzzing with new ideas for my brand and I can't wait to launch

Please do check out my little store, we've just opened and I'm so grateful to everyone who has followed, liked or shared my products so far."

I love that Jess did all of this off her own back.  I am so impressed - she has a young baby daughter and a three year old!! That's hard enough as it is!!

I can't wait for the shop to be open and I just know the orders are going to be flooding in.  If you have a little person in your life and you need a gift for them, I would seriously check Myla & Oscar out!!  Not only do they have tents, they have play cubes and prints.  Go check them out!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Funky Kid Friday - Amazing socks from Greenberry kids

I've gone a bit sock mad this year.  Despite loving clothes for years and kids fashion for a long time, I've never paid too much attention to socks.  In fact, it's quite hard to get "cool" socks from high street shops that don't look tacky.  I'm not into character clothing and loads of kids socks have characters on them..  or are just highly patterned.  Don't get me wrong, I like a pattern, but if your child is wearing highly patterned leggings or trousers you don't necsisarry want to add another loud pattern to the mix!

There are quite a few cool sock brands I've descoverd now, mostly on Instagram!  One shop stocking pretty epic socks is Greenberry Kids.  They have recently started stocking socks from the funky brand Mini Dressing.  You might have seen some of their socks before - their racoon and fox socks are pretty Instafamous!  Have you seen their snake socks though?

My two love snakes so I just new these would be perfect socks for them and Greenberry Kids very kindly provided us with a pair for Ethan to wear!

Ethan was so excited when he saw these socks he wore them for three days straight after which they pretty much slithered their way to the washing machine!!

Mini Dressing Snake Socks from Greenberry Kids

Cap - Ryder Style
Top - Beau Loves SS14
Leggings - Donna Wilson for John Lewis
Snake Socks - Mini Dressing from Greenberry Kids

They look amazing however you wear them and Ethan is very happy to wear them is a win.. but I am really looking forward to summer when he can wear them with shorts and sandals or jelly shoes.  They are going to look fab!

Mini Dressing Snake Socks from Greenberry Kids

I'd totally reocommend checking out Greenberry Kids.  The socks are quite rare in the UK still and they also stock lots of other coo things!

Want to share your kids fashion post?  Link up below!

Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Win with Wall Pops!

We love wall stickers in our household.  For us it started quite a long time ago now.  About 8 or 9 years ago I think.  Back then it was really hard to find wall stickers in the UK.  I fact, I don't think you could.  I remember importing some from America where they are known as decals.

These days it's much easier to get wall stickers/decals in the UK and the choice is amazing.  There are endless styles, patterns, types.  I love that you can get chalkboard wall stickers now.  Such a fun idea.

Wall Pops are a company selling wall stickers over here and they have a fantastic selection.  My favorite picks are the chalkboard stickers and the Jonathan Adler range.  It'd be hard not to find something you like!

Wall Pops have kindly agreed to give one of my readers £40 to spend with them!  Want to be in with a chance?  Complete the rafflecopter below and it could be you!

Good luck! The winner will be announced shortly after the giveaway ends on the 1st of April.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Instaspiration - Blaebird

Well, it might not be getting many reads or even comments yet, but I am loving my new feature!! What's not to love?  I adore finding new brands on Instagram and telling people about them!

This week I'm featuring Blaebird.  Blaebird is really REALLY new.  The shop hasn't even been live for a month and yet it's kicking up a storm on Instagram.

The lady behind Blaebird is Sophia.  Sophia is a Mum to an 8 month old.  Since having her baby, Sophia has found it very hard to find cool baby clothes, in particular trousers.  Being a creative person she came up with a creative solution - making her own!

Sophia has focused on harem style trousers which is lovely because that style isn't quite so common here.  At first she was just selling 0-6 months and 6-12 months but already there has been such demand (from myself and others!) that just yesterday her range now goes up to age 2-3.  Whoop!

Blaebird, kids fashion, baby harems

Sophia has picked some beautiful fabrics.  What I like in particular is that they all seem to be quite textured.  I've ordered two pairs for Felix and I just can't wait for them to arrive.

I think Blaebird is going to go from strength to strength so I would get following if I were you!

Are you a brand on Instagram? Want me to feature you?  Get in touch and tell me!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Dunster Castle without a bump!

We are huge National Trust fans in our house.  We've been members for 6 years now (well, I was a member as a child for most of my childhood too) and we get so much out of our membership.  If ever we can't think of something to do there's always a National Trust place to visit.   I love how if we go on holiday somewhere else in the UK there are places for us to visit at no extra cost.  When we visited Yorkshire two years ago it was wonderful to know we'd have activities that wouldn't cost us more.

There are many properties local to us that we visit several times a year such as Tyntesfield and Stourheard.   Then there are other places that we visit every few years such as Dunster Castle in Minehead.  We visited Dunster last Saturday as the weather was beautiful.  The last time we had been was almost exactly two years ago when I was heavily pregnant with Felix.  The time before that I was pregnant with Ethan.  This was the first time in 6 years I'd visited Dunster without carrying around a baby bump!

There's lots to enjoy in Dunster.  When you arrive there are a few fields next to the car park in which you can walk and picnic.  Last Saturday and the time before we had a picnic on one of the picnic benches.  This area is fenced off from the car park so it's nice to know your child can't get too far!

There are some beautiful grounds to walk around and a really lovely natural playground that was built a few years ago.  Our boys loved this.  We all did actually, especially the huge tree trunk stepping stones!

The castle itself is fascinating.  We like the spooky areas best!

Once you've looked around the castle, walked through the ground and enjoyed the beautiful views it's always nice to walk into the village itself.  My parents had their honeymoon in Dunster 40 years ago this March so it's quite a special place for our family!  There are some great little shops, cafes and pubs.  We particularly like the chocolate shop!

I heartily recommend Dunster for a day out!

Linking up with Coombe Mill.

Funky Kid Friday - a tiring week and a heap of monochrome

What a strange week it's been.  For some unknown reason, Felix has been quite grumpy and on top of that he's been sleeping badly.  His naps haven't been great and at night time.. well, he's waking up and staying awake crying for hours.  It's been hard work.  The only way we can stop him crying is by being with him but he doesn't settle in our bed so that means being in his room.  If we hold him whilst sitting on his chair he wriggles out to get down so that leaves trying to get in the cot with him but again, because one of us is there he sees it as play time.. so we leave him, and he cries.  It's been hard.  I wish I knew what was causing it.  A developmental leap?  Teeth pain?  Despite having quite an amazing vocabulary and being able to speak in quite long sentences he doesn't seem to be able to explain what's causing him to wake up and stay awake.


Needless to say I've not been feeling hugely passionate about clothes this week.  We manged to join in with Innocent Charms' #styleitkids a few times but apart from that we've not made much effort!

We had some goodies arrive from Stitched Up Apparel this week, some of the amazing narwhal print leggings (ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh) an adorable graphic cloud print infinity scarf and a cute wall hanging.  Stitched Up Apparel are still running a brand rep search on IG - I'm hoping against hope with all my fingers and toes crossed that we might get picked!!

Stitched Up Apparel Narwhale leggings

Stitched Up Apparel

Stitched Up Apparel

Don't forget to check my blog over the weekend - my new Saturday feature "Instaspiration" will be live from midnight and this week I'm featuring an amazing new brand I've found called Blaebird.  A brand created by Sophia in response to the lack of cool clothes for babies.

You can link up any kids fashion/style posts you've written below.  Please don't forget to tweet me your link so I can retweet it for you.  Comment here and visit others who join in :-)

Happy Friday all! x

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Everyday sexism

It wasn't until about 5 or 6 years ago I started to think about feminism.  Until that point I'd never not considered myself to be a feminist, I just didn't really think about it.  Having children has made me much more aware of my place in society.  In the last 6 or so years I have become a much more confident and aware person.  Several things have contributed to this; age, being a mother, not working, knowing myself better, meeting new people.

Having had children I am so much more aware of how important it is that we teach our children the right things and that we lead by example.  So many things we say and do have an undertone of sexism or stereotyping.  Most of the time we don't even realise we are doing these things.  Have a boy?  Suddenly without realising you're buying blue, tractors, planes and cars.  Next child a girl?  Find yourself thinking you'll have to buy everything new again because "I can't use a blue buggy with a girl!".  Many things are even more subtle.  Ever noticed yourself making more of a fuss if a female child falls over than you would if it were a male child?

It's really hard to buck the trend.  I know, I've done it.   Throughout my life I've not been afraid to stand out a bit.  Well, I wasn't always so happy to stand out when I was younger but my desire to look the way I wanted to and dress the way I wanted too was stronger than my fear!

When I was pregnant with Ethan, my first, I was convinced I was having a girl.  So convinced.  I bought items in all colours and patterns for my "girl" to wear.  When he was born I was handed a boy - shock!! Did I get rid of any more the more "girly" items I'd bought?  No.  I dressed him in them any way.  I let his hair grow long.  I bought him a buggy to play with.  Dolls.  A play kitchen. A dolls house.  I let him dress up as a princess as well as an astronaut.  I let him play with cars and roll around in the mud too.  Of course I did.  Those are things that a child does.  A child.  Not a boy or a girl.  Child.

When Felix was born it was the same.  He's worn every colour.  He has exceptionally long hair and I can't bear to cut it.  One of his favorite toys is his baby.  Mind you, he's obsessed with cars.

Every single day and I do mean EVERY day Felix is mistaken for a girl.  It'll happen up to 5 times a day.  Only once or twice has someone tactfully said "Mind out for that child" or "what a beautiful child".  It's usually "Let the little girl have her go" or "My, she's beautiful, what curls!".  If I correct them, they are apologetic and I'm not really bothered but I am starting to wonder what Felix thinks.  He's 2 in May and he's not stupid.  I wonder if it'll bother him to be called a girl all the time?

It's not easy.  Do I give in to society's pressures?  Cut his hair and only dress him in green and blue?  I don't want to though!  So.. I keep on down this path.

Why?  Why am I doing this?  Because I want my boys to treat people, everyone, with dignity and respect.  I want them to know about equality.  I want them to strive for equality.  I want them to know they can do anything and be anything they want to be and anyone can.  Every day I send Ethan off to school and I pat him on the chest and say "believe in yourself" and he repeats it back.  I want strong children.  Fair children.  I'm trying my hardest to equip them with the tools to deal with small mindedness.

As a woman I encounter sexism every day.  Years ago I didn't notice it, or didn't want to.  These days I sometimes don't realise it's happened until I've thought about it.  It's not always blindingly obvious.  In fact, the people doing it probably don't mean it as sexist in any way, but when you really think about it, it is.

An example.   I've had short hair for years now but a few weeks ago I decided to have a grade 3 cut on most of it.  I love it, I'm so happy with it.  When women see it they all tell me "Wow! I love your hair!".  Do you know what all the mean who have commented on it have said?   "Wow!  That's a change.  What did your husband think?".  Innocuous?  Maybe.  But think about it.  What did my husband think about it?  I'm sorry.  Who's hair is it?   It's MY hair.  I can choose how I want to wear it.  Pete is in a relationship with me, not my hair.  If he can't look past something like that (which grows!) and still love me then heck, that's not a good relationship!  I'm not saying that as adults in  relationship you can't discuss these kinds of things together, but ultimately it's my hair and I feel, my choice!

A few men have even seen fit to see my short hair as an expression of my sexuality.  Yes, because short hair on a woman means they are gay.  Right.  Can we not get past this sort of thing?  Short hair on a woman has nothing to do with sexuality.  Sure, you might get lesbian with short hair but you're just as likely to find one with long hair.  If my son has long hair and wears a pink top it doesn't make him gay.  If I paint one of his bedroom walls pink or let him push a doll in a buggy, none of these things will have an impact on his sexuality.  All it will do is allow him the freedom to be him.  To explore himself and find his place in society.  And then maybe, one day in the future, when one of his female friends has a short hair cut he won't make a judgement on her sexuality or ask her what her husband thought of it.  This is feminism.  Feminism is EQUALITY.  Equality for ALL.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Instaspiration - Stitched Up Apparel

Happy Saturday folks!  Today I would like to share with you another wonderful creative brand I've found on Instagram - Stitched Up Apparel.

I got particularly excited when I found Stitched Up Apparel because they sell clothing made with a material I'd only seen used in American stores.  Whilst I'm not at all against buying from American shops, I prefer to go for homegrown if I can. If I buy from abroad it takes longer for packages to arrive, somehow the likelihood of them going missing goes up and there are sometimes customs charges.  So buying within the UK is preferable!

I placed an order straight away and I don't regret it.  The quality is great!  Speedy service too.  I bought narwhal leggings because that was the material I'd been lusting after.  I ordered size 2+ and the sizing is quite generous so I think that Ethan (who's 5 but slim) will be able to wear them before Felix!

I can't wait to order more, there are a few more new fabrics that have arrived that I'm really coveting.

Go check Stitched Up Apparel out now!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Funky Kid Friday - Ryder L

Have you seen my new feature?  Once a week I'm going to write about brands/cool feeds/crafty folks that I've found on Instagram.  I'm calling it Instaspiration and it will be published on Saturdays (I think that's the time of week people have a bit of time for some inspiration!).  I love stumbling across new brands, especially small start up businesses, work at home Mum's, UK businesses etc.  Instagram is the perfect place for this.

A brand I love on Instagram is Ryder L.  I've been following them for a while and have wanted to make a purchase for ages.  Something I've noticed about Ryder L is that they have a very defined style and a particularly good range of accesories, especially hats!

In the end it was a hat I decided to purchase.  Ethan really likes a cap for Spring/Summer.  They come in very handy for school as well.  We can never have too many hats, it's good to have a few at home, one in the car, one for school etc.  Ryder L have the coolest range of snap back caps I've seen.  It was hard to choose which one to go for but in the end I chose the one with DUDE on the back - my boys are often described as dudes when I post pics of them on IG!

Ryder L, hats, caps

I was hoping to be able to share a photo of Ethan wearing the cap but unfortunately the post person decided to deliver my parcel to the wrong address - goodness knows where!  As a result it's ended up back at Ryder L HQ.  They are very kindly sending it straight back out to us, but how odd!!

Luckily there are loads of gorgeous pictures from the Ryder L shop for me to share.

Ryder L, kids fashion

Something else very exciting - Ryder L are holding a Brand Enthusiast search on IG at the moment.  If you have stylish kids you might want to enter.  Details are on IG but it's running for a few more days so go check it out!

#repforryderl Ryder L

Over to you guys now - got a kids fashion post?  Link up below!  Please link to me in your blog posts and tweet me your links so I can RT!

Have a lovey Friday :-) xx

Monday, 2 March 2015

I let my son dress me! #styledbymykid

Did you read about the lady who let her toddler dress her a few weeks ago?  One of my friends pointed the story out to me and it got me really excited.

I'm always picking what my boys wear.  Now Ethan is a bit older he sometimes asks to pick his own clothes, or I ask him what colours or clothes he feels like wearing, but very often he's still happy for me to pick.  Felix doesn't really mind one way or the other yet.

I thought it would be fun to switch roles for a few days so over half term a couple of weeks ago I let Ethan choose my outfits for five days and I shared them on Instagram with the tag #styledbymykid and #styledbyethan.

Ethan enjoyed getting to pick what I'd be wearing.  I asked him to pick the night before because mornings can be a bit manic and that way we had time to have a proper look through my wardrobes and draws.

At first I think he found it a bit overwhelming, having so much to choose from and not normally being faced with such choice!  After a few days he was really getting into it though and this morning he asked if he can dress me again at the weekend!

Styled By My Kid

I enjoyed not having to think about what to wear for a few days.  It was a bit unnerving not knowing what I'd be put in. Generally speaking though, he did an excellent job and every photo I shared received a positive response!

Styled By My Kid

I'd recommend giving it a go - we found it to be a fun bonding experience, a good way to spend a bit of time together!  It was good to be able to talk about what type of clothes were suitable for different circumstances and weather conditions etc.

Linking up with Style Me Sunday, Mummy's Got Style and Rachel The Hat.