Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Next Mummy Stylist Blogger Competition

This post is part of the Mummy Stylist Blogger posts for Next with Blog All Baby Advice. As all of you know already I love Next, it's my best friend helping me out of tight spots with clothes and presents on a regular basis. As I write this I have a next kids clothes order winging its way to me, as I realised this afternoon that my 11 week old had some how (without me noticing) managing to outgrow all of his clothes! They have a great choice at the moment of children's clothes and if you order before 9pm you can have most things delivered the following day, even specifying a delivery preference such as after 1pm or between 10am - 2pm which when you are balancing toddler groups and feeds is a great thing!

Today I have styled a maternity outfit from my Next favourites and having been pregnant not so long ago I know the importance of wearing something you feel great in but that doesn't cost you the earth and is stylish and comfy. 

I have put together two basics looks, the first is an evening out look. I picked the Indigo Woven dress as its a classic black colour, which will slim you - something we all want to look when we are pregnant! It will look great for an evening out with the right jewellery and shoes, and you can also dress it down for those summery days ahead too. The dress will be one of your key items during pregnancy keeping you cool and stylish and yet making you feel feminine and pretty. The beautiful detail on the neckline of this dress will also draw the eye away from your bump, as lets face it sometimes you want people to look at you rather than your bump. One of my biggest hates when I was pregnant was that random strangers feel that they have the right to touch your bump, which lets face it is plain weird. Hopefully this dress will make you feel gorgeous and melt away those awkward moments!

The DKNY bracelet and the Boutique Catherine Drop earrings are very stylish and I was surprised at how lovely Next's jewellery collection was as this is not something I would usually think about Next for. To compliment the jewels I really like these silver jewel toe thong sandals, very practical as they are flat so perfect for Mummy's like me who have a toddler to chase around whilst being pregnant. They also will look great with the Indigo Woven dress or with your more casual everyday look. 

For the casual look I picked out clothes that I thought would work really well for the summer coming up. I actually own a pair of the Linen blend trousers like the ones above and they are lovely and comfy to wear as well as cool. They key to maternity dressing is to buy some key pieces that will work in a variety of situations and these trousers are a must as a staple! They also could be dressed up for work and come in black, navy and white as well as in petite, regular and longer length. For myself Next was one of the only places I could get a shorter length trouser that would actually fit. With the tie around the waist band these trousers will also be perfect for wearing in the first few weeks after giving birth too, because lets face it as much as we would love to fit back in our normal trousers only a small percentage of women actually do straight away. 

I paired the trousers with a cream navy floral bow top which I thought was very pretty for the summer along with a rib edge to edge cardigan. A cardigan that doesn't fasten at the front is perfect for any pregnant lady and you can carry it forward into your non maternity wardrobe too. With my choices I wanted to show you that with a few key pieces you can dress for almost any occasion without having to break the bank doing so! I know that when I was pregnant I spent a few evenings in my pajamas whilst I was washing my favourite maternity outfit so I could wear it again the following day. 

In my swim and sun section I wanted to show you this fab pink floral tankini which will look great on the beach or by the pool. I did swimming lessons with my toddler pretty much right up until I gave birth and I found it much easier to wear a tankini than a swimming costume. The tankini is also long in the body and has a rouched side that can be tightened or loosened off to give your more room and to stop your tummy from showing. Sometimes you just need a comfy T-shirt to wear when you are away or for the every day, and Next have lots of T-shirt 3 packs like the one on my mood board. Three pretty tops for a very good price! 

Finally what would a summery outfit be without a pair of brown rimless sunglasses and a gorgeous colour block tote bag! I love this bag! The great thing about a lovely bag like this is that it can become the perfect beauty to hide all of the unsightly things you don't want people to see but you have to carry as a mum! Accessories are also a great way to add sparkle and colour to your outfits and if you pick neutral bases they really brighten up your look. Changing your accessories can also change your look dramatically and hide the fact that you have worn the same outfit 3 times that week because it looks so different each time. 

In total it all only comes to 415.50 and many of the items you can carry forward out of your maternity wardrobe too, which I think is a bit of a bargain as you have something to wear both smart, casually, out for coffee, or on the beach! 

If I won the 500 giftcard I would use it in part to replenish my wardrobe as between pregnancy pounds and the holes our old washing machine put in my clothes my clothing selection is looking somewhat slim. I have had my eye on this navy floral sleeveless shirt dress for a while which would be perfect for breast feeding in because of the buttons down the front (FYI). I would also be picking out some lovely new clothes for my two ever growing boys and I would love to get them some little matching outfits while they will still allow me to do some styling for them!

I hope I have shown you that you can still be stylish when pregnant and you don't have to spend a fortune to achieve your look. Remember accessories are great when you are pregnant and beyond in changing your look day to day! 

Monday, 18 June 2012


Sunglasses have become this tricky area in my life. For some reason (maybe it's because I am getting older) in the last few years my eyes have become more sensitive, and the need to wear sunglasses even when it doesn't seem that sunny is great. My problem is I have a small head in fact I reckon my two year old son's head isn't much smaller as I can get his bike helmet on my head! This means that when I go for sunglasses most look ridiculously oversized on my face a bit like when you wear your mums heels around the house when you were 4!

I have come to the conclusion that my only option is to go for children's glasses which fit much better, however if you have ever looked at the children's glasses on offer most have pretty little flowers in diamantes on the lenses or just look like they belong to a child! This is where SmartBuyGlasses Uk comes into play as they stock designer sunglasses, and designer child sunglasses, in fact beautiful sunglasses at a very good price. I love this pair by Ray Ban.

As you can see they are very stylish as well as very functional! I love that they are Fuchsia with violet lenses, and above all they do not look like a child's pair! Love, love, love!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Great Garden Moments

I wanted to tell you about my favourite garden moment as part of the Great Garden Moments Competition for Furniture Village. We love having a garden. After having lived in an apartment for the last 3 years with a concrete jungle patio area, it's lovely to have a garden to play and grow in, and its something that we do a lot! In fact my son often begs me to go out and water the plants!

There is something very magical about a garden to a two year old, whether it's the freedom to run around and glug in the fresh air, spot aeroplanes and birds, search for ladybirds or help with the planting, watering and growing. It brings excitement and lots of fun.

Last September at the tail end of summer my son had great fun everyday when we stayed with my parents, picking the tomatoes off their tomato plant and learning the difference between the green and red ones and when we could pick and eat them. I really enjoyed watching him laugh and munch down his prize picks with tomato pips stuck on his chin.

This year we have our own garden so along with some other things we have planted some strawberry and tomato plants with lots of help from our green fingered two year old. It's really lovely to see him learning how to plant and allow him to get really mucky in the process. He is also very attached to the watering can and I love to sit out and watch him watering the plants and checking them to see how they have grown since he last looked. I can't wait to see his face when he sees the fruit once it grows!

As you can see from the pictures we planted the strawberries in pots and the tomato plants in grow bags as we live in a rental house and its easier to move them if we have to move! I want to encourage you that whatever garden space you have you can do something with it that encourages little growers!

The garden brings so much fun for us as a family and is a special place where we laugh, play and eat together and I would encourage every family to enjoy their gardens and the time you get to spend in it together. We regularly BBQ and eat in the garden, and we often just nip out to BBQ are chicken kebabs for dinner too. I also love that it's a great tool for learning and there is always something to do or see the possibilities are endless and that's exactly what you need when you have a busy toddler to entertain!

Just a few ideas to get you going: 

1. Sunflowers are a great start to learning about growing flowers and they are amazing when they flower and grow really tall! 
 2. Tomatoes and Strawberries are great fruit plants to start with and it's great when your kids can eat what they have tended! 
 3. Ladybirds, bugs, butterfly's, birds all these animals are usually your garden and are great fun to look for. 
4. Little tool kits are great for small fingers and stop them trying to use yours or lift a watering can twice their size! 
5. Big grassy areas are great for building tents using your garden hairs to hold it up 
6. You can get great chalks that are perfect fr using outside on concrete slabs (just make sure you ask whoevers house it s first!) 
7. Be imaginative with your garden adventures and enjoy!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Dreams - Design a spiffing bedroom fit for the queen!

So for the dreams bed competition I asked my son to design a bedroom fit for the Queen, as he is only 2 his drawing is still a whirlpool of imagination so I decided to get him to talk about what his room would look like and pick out pictures. This is what he came up with;

His thinking behind his room was that whatever he liked a queen would too! He is currently obsessed with tents and at bedtime he regularly asks me if we can build a tent instead of going to bed! The lion in the picture is the toy he takes to bed with him (and everywhere else obsessively) so he told me "Lenny too". So here you have it, a room fit for a Queen from the imagination of a two year old!