Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Molton Brown's Muddled Plum Christmas Collection

I lay in wait for the Molton Brown Christmas Collection every year and I'm even more obsessed with this years range than I thought possible. Muddled Plum is Molton Brown's deliciously grown up Christmas collection featuring six beautiful products as well as a limited edition set perfect for Christmas. 

The opulent collection is available to buy now and I've been getting acquainted with the collection over the last couple of weeks and I'm in love. Who knew I was such a plum fan?

The Molton Brown Muddled Plum collection is a tantalising mix of oak aged rum, warming saffron and sandalwood paired with Victoria plums homegrown in Sussex. To create the rich scent, the plums are fermented in honeyed cordial trickled into a distillation of dark, rich rum. 

Monday, 29 October 2018

A Traditional Christmas with Mr Kipling

*This is a paid partnership with Mr Kipling*

What do you think of when you hear the word Christmas? I think of twinkling lights, Christmas carols, pigs in blankets and mince pies. Christmas has always been quite a traditional family affair and it is something I look forward to every year, especially when those first packs of Mr Kipling mince pies start appearing on the shop shelves.

Monday, 22 October 2018

L'Occitane Overnight Reset Serum

Anti-aging products are something I've really taken notice of this year, I'm fast approaching my thirties and it's important to me that I make sure my skin is getting everything it needs. I've always had a strong love for serums and so when I started to use the L'Occitane Overnight Reset Serum (£49.00) I was really excited to see results from the best selling product. 

The serum promises to change your skin overnight, big claims from a little bottle BUT with so many rave reviews, there had to be some truth and by the looks of my oh so fabulous skin right now, I'd say it's a pretty darn good. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Baby Spake is One!

Joshua is one! ONE! One whole number, one whole year of having our darling boy in our lives!

This post marks his first year and the end of my updates unless I throw in an 18 month one but we shall see. It's true what they say, it really does go so very quick and in what feels like the blink of an eye, our tiny little bundle is now a walking, babbling, toothy toddler. If you've read the previous updates then you'll know I've kinda been dreading this milestone as much as I've been looking forward to it because it marks so many things for us all as a family. 

First and foremost, our baby celebrates his first birthday but it also means I'm a year on from an emergency caesarean that I am still healing from and still having to meet with surgeons about. I think I've come to the decision that I will never share my birth story because I can't bring myself to read it again and again before I hit publish but also I don't owe anyone my story. I think birth trauma needs to be spoken about as much as positive birth stories which are pushed and pushed all the time, we need to stop sugar-coating things but I'll do it my way, one day. 

Anyway, enough about me... I want to talk about Joshua! 

Soo... Joshua's final month as a 'month' and I'm kinda glad I can just say he's one now, my poor brain cannot handle any more months. Teething is still our never-ending hill to climb although he has eleven now with number twelve pushing through and let's just say, having four little sharp molars make all the difference when the baby bites. Now let's hope they stay in his mouth for a few years before I have to take on tooth fairy duty. 

Unfortunately with teething comes terrible sleep and we have missed our sleeping baby so much. Fingers crossed once this last molar is through it eases up a bit. In the meantime, there's my best friend coffee to see me through the day. Once we move, sleep training will commence and then hopefully we'll all be a little happier. 

His hair is still growing and he even wakes up with bed head. I realise I'm probably the only person that can see it but it's there, I can assure you. Although I'm starting to wonder whether I'm ready to see him with hair, I'm so used to my beautiful, bald baby. 

The last month has been my favourite as he has changed so much again. He's been walking for over a month now and he's getting much more confident and a little too speedy for my liking. He says hello clear as anything, it's my favourite word after mama even if his favourite word seems to be dada. 

He also says dog even though no one we know has a dog and he's never around them but he says it at dogs in parks so I don't know about that one. It's cute and the friendly dog owners love it. 

Food is still fun if not a little messy but nowhere near as messy as we expected. He loves blueberries and hates strawberries, would happily munch on sweetcorn rings all day long and I always have to share my marmite toast with him in the mornings. 

We've also started the switch from formula to oat milk which is the first one we've tried so far. I may try soya and coconut soon depending on how we get on. He loves soya yoghurts so I think we'll probably stick to what we're doing at the moment for our dairy-free baby. 

He has the cheekiest personality, laughs at inappropriate moments and always after a burp. He has nose scrunching down to a tee and makes the cutest eeeee noise when he screws up his face. He's just a very happy, lovely little boy and we're so proud. Turns out we're pretty ace at this parenting malarky. 

We celebrated Joshua's birthday with close family and a trip to Nandos for Joshua's first Nandinos. We had originally planned a jungle themed first birthday party for him but created our jungle extravaganza at home instead after losing both my Nan and Great Grandmother this week. 

I think I can now add balloon clouds to the skills section on my CV. 

We played cars, had a birthday tea and I made him his own dairy-free birthday cake. My parents also bought him a special first birthday cake covered in lions, monkeys and elephants which was perfect. We sang happy birthday and made memories to last a lifetime and we can't thank my parents and sister enough for making it so very special as always. 

We really did have a lovely day celebrating our gorgeous little boy. 

Happy 1st birthday Joshua, we love you so very much and maybe one day you'll read all your updates.

Read Joshua's previous updates
Baby Spake is one month old
Baby Spake is two months old
Baby Spake is three months old
Baby Spake is four months old
Baby Spake is five months old
Baby Spake is six months old
Baby Spake is seven months old
Baby Spake is eight months old
Baby Spake is nine months old
Baby Spake is ten months old
Baby Spake is eleven months old

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Monday, 15 October 2018

The super sleek city stroller from Ickle Bubba

In the late summer, we made the decision that we needed to find ourselves a stroller for nipping into the city and for days out. We adore our iCandy Strawberry, so much so that I don't really want to put it away just yet but we needed something smaller, lighter and more compact and so we discovered Ickle Bubba. 

We hadn't heard of Ickle Bubba before, they're a relatively new brand that launched in 2013 stocking a whole host of affordable luxury products and after reading more about them and their award winning travel systems and strollers we finally settled on the ultra lightweight Globe Stroller. 

The Ickle Bubba Globe Stroller is a travellers dream. It's incredibly lightweight at just 6.4kg and it folds and unfolds in seconds. It's also suitable from birth to 15kg and has an easy attachment for compatible car seats which is ideal for when your little ones are younger. 

On the website, you can choose from three separate bundles depending on your price point and what you need included. The first bundle is the Globe Stroller with rain cover and user guide for £199, the second is the Globe Max Stroller with soft quilted liner & foot muff, cup holder, rain cover and user guide for £219 and then the last bundle is the Globe Prime Stroller with soft quilted liner & foot muff, cup holder, buggy organizer, protective storage bag, rain cover and user guide for £239 which is what we have in the denim blue.

The stroller comes in four colour ways with each have a tan leatherette handle: 

Denim blue on a silver frame 
Grey on a silver frame 
Khaki on a rose gold frame
Black on a rose gold frame

There are a number of reasons we opted for the Globe Stroller, the main one being it's ultra compact and great for small spaces as it's only 45 x 55 x 25cm when folded and the lightweight aluminium frame comes with an easy to carry strap. We also have the storage bag which means that if we ever need to store it away, we won't have to worry about it getting marked or scuffed. 

It folds down in one easy movement and then when you're ready to use it again you just pull it back up from the bar and you're good to go. The hood and front bar folds in without obstructing everything too, it's that easy! 

Getting Joshua in and out is a breeze thanks to the gate opening bumper bar, we just put him in and strap him up using the adjustable five point locking system which comes with cushion pads for more comfort. 

The leg rest is also adjustable, you can lie it flat or keep it down when bubs is sat up nosing about the place as he strolls by the world. I love watching what he's doing from the viewing window at the back.

The seat comes with a three position recline feature but unfortunately for us, Joshua has worked out how to pull it up by himself which makes tricking him into a nap a bit harder. At least I can pull down the large hood to give him some shade while he resists sleep as the hood comes equipped with UPF 50 to help protect against sun rays. 

I think storage is really important when it comes to any pushchair and being able to get to everything quickly and easily is vital so I found having the storage pouch at the back a real help. We also have the buggy organiser which has compartments to make getting to things even easier like snacks to keep him happy and coffee to keep me happy. 

There is also a storage basket underneath the seat but I don't find it particularly big although I think that's because we've been so spoilt with space with our iCandy and I'm just being fussy. We keep the rain cover and my cup holder in there at the moment and then a blanket if needed. I've since compared it to other strollers on the market and it is considerably bigger than others. 

I think my dream of a huge basket on our stroller is just a dream. 

The Ickle Bubba Globe is a nippy little thing and because it is so incredibly light, it takes next to no effort to move. The first time I used it, I had to keep two hands on the bar at all times as I was used to using something heavier but I soon found my groove. 

The wheels make it a smooth ride and all four have suspension to allow for easy movement. The brake is really easy to use, you just navigate it with your foot which firmly locks the wheels when being used on buses, trains or the tube. My only gripe is that I wish the handle bar was adjustable as Arran really struggles using it as it's too low for him. 

We have definitely found the perfect stroller to make our days easier when going to the zoo, the park or a quick run to the shops, it's going to be ideal for when we book that first flight or strolling around a cruise ship. The Globe makes getting out the house effortless and the super soft foot muff is going to be a dream in the colder months, I want one myself! 

You can purchase the Globe Stroller from Ickle Bubba direct and the various bundles make it great for matching your ideal price points. You can see how much we love it by my Instagram feed! 

What do you look for in the perfect stroller? 

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Sunday, 14 October 2018

Possibly my favourite cleanser EVER

*Features press sample & affiliate links - see disclaimer*

Whenever I've asked for cleanser recommendations in the past, Eve Lom have always been the first suggestion yet it's only been now that I've tried it for the first time and I am kicking myself that I waited so long. I'm quite old fashioned in the way I like to purchase most of my beauty items in person and it's only been recently we've had a Space NK near to us for me to go and check out one of the most loved cleansers so when the oh so lovely guys at World Duty Free dropped The Eve Lom Cleanser Duo Set Exclusive into my hands, my prayers were answered and my skin has never looked so good.

I think it was fate. 

Friday, 12 October 2018

Three Faves from Tropic Skincare

*This post features press samples - see disclaimer*

Tropic Skincare has been everywhere this year. My favourite bloggers have been raving about it, family and friends have been buying it and then there was little old me that completely missed the memo but did eventually jump on the last train it seems. I've been using a handful of products from Tropic Skincare over the summer and I get the hype, I do and so here are my three favourite products that have been real standouts for me. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

September Beauty Favourites

The beauty of this job is always being able to discover new products. Some of them wow you, some of them end up in the meh pile and others quickly find their way into your routine and never leave. With September ending, I thought I'd share five favourites I've been using recently that I think you should be too. A little bit of hair, a little bit of skin and the eyeshadow palette that still hasn't left my makeup bag. 

Monday, 8 October 2018

The NEW IN from Clarins for Autumn

The Autumn collection from Clarins is one I wait for excitedly every year and this year does not disappoint especially with the oh so pretty packaging. There are three products in the collection, the all new Joli Rouge Gradation lipsticks, the limited edition Supra Volume which is one of my favourite mascaras ever and the waterproof gel liner. 

As the Joli Rouge lipsticks are some of the best lipsticks available on the beauty market, I'm going to show the three all new shades available now from Clarins. 

Sunday, 7 October 2018

An unforgettable experience with Solent Forts

What is the first thing you think of when you think of luxury hotels?

Decadent rooms? The fluffiest white towels? A fort in the middle of the Solent?

The last one isn't something most people think of but it is a reality, a reality I was able to experience recently which includes just that when I spent the day with Solent Forts exploring Spitbank Fort, No Man's and Horse Sands. The forts, also known as The Palmerston Forts encircle Portsmouth and were built in response to the 1859 Royal Commission dealing with the perceived threat of a French invasion. The forts were intended to defend the Dockyard in Portsmouth. 

They took fifteen years to complete by which time the invasion no longer existed and they didn't really get their time to shine during both world wars either. By 1956 the forts became empty and unused until a couple bought the forts in the 1980's and then in 2009 work began by Solent Forts to bring you what you see today. 

Friday, 5 October 2018

Wicked the Musical at Mayflower Theatre

I have been sitting in wait for the arrival of Wicked, a musical I have wanted to see for years and yesterday, I finally took my seat and witnessed the West End and Broadway sensation for the first time and it exceeded all my expectations and more. 

It truly was unbelievable and I want to see it every night while it is in Southampton. 

Wicked opened at Mayflower Theatre 3rd October and will run until 27th October, casting a magical spell over Southampton in the process. The show has broken records across the world and is the 5th longest-running musical playing in the West End and after last nights performance, I can totally see why. It was captivating, exhilarating and magical. 

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Coffee & Cake in Aid of Macmillan

*This is a paid partnership with M&S*

The World's Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan's biggest fundraising event and so Southampton Bloggers held our very own coffee morning last weekend to raise as much as we could for the charity. As many as one in two of us will face cancer and so Macmillan Cancer Support helps make that time that little bit easier so every penny counts. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Getting our jerk on at Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay Southampton is the place to go for all your jerk needs and so we headed back in recently with Joshua to give him his very first taste. The restaurant and bar has always been a fave of ours, whether it's for lunch, dinner or cocktails with friends so when they launched their new look menu with a handful of new dishes featuring lots of vegan options, we couldn't wait to try it out. We spent a blustery Friday afternoon sipping on cocktails, fending Joshua off of our curries and bribing him with sweetcorn fritters. 

Joshua loved it, we loved it and we're already dying to go back for some more goat curry. 

Monday, 1 October 2018

September on Instagram

Another month has been and gone and now we're finally in Autumn, my favourite season ever! As I've said before my Instagram round ups are my least popular posts and they don't get many views at all but I love them and having a record of what I shared each month. So with that in mind, I'm going to continue sharing them, mostly for me. If you ever want to have a nose at some more then I've added an Instagram Round Up tab to the categories above. Now for September 2018 and what a month!
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