Illustrated Teacup

Family | Lifestyle | Food | Motherhood | Tattoos

Friday, 28 July 2017

Thank You Notes #4 - the co-ordination edition

Another month down, another month to be thankful!
July has been such a strange month. 

We've had very busy days, and very quite days. 
We've had beautiful sunshine, and pouring rain and thunderstorms! 
I've had some of the best blogger collaborations land in my emails, but had illness and sleepless nights to contend with. 

It's very much been a month of swings and roundabouts!
But I suppose that's life, and we should be thankful for what we have, even dreadful wet weather, because although we can't really go outside to play, it's doing wonders for the plants and grass in the garden.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Puppy love

Man's best friend is his dog, or so they say.
A to some extent I really do have to agree because you'll never see a boy happier, than seeing Henry with his favourite pup.

Since he was small(er) Henry has always had a love for dogs, which we can only assume came from meeting Dann's parent's dogs when he was quite young. They were the most tolerant of dogs, and although we unfortunately had to say goodbye to Bob a couple of months back, Alfie remains, and has fast become Henry's furry best friend.

As an animal lover (er hello I'm Hufflepuff,like you expected anything else) it makes me endlessly happy to see Henry fascinated by animals and showing zero fear. He is quite happy to play fetch with Alfie, or push him away when Alfie decides it's face wash time. They trot alongside each other quite cheerfully and sit for a cuddle. It truly is the most endearing sight to see.

A couple of weekends back I got a load of photos of the pair of them (partly for this post) and I couldn't not share them as they're just so damn cute!


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Bigger, better and more Lush | Lush Launch at Westquay

Any self respecting blogger and bathtime lover has heard of Lush right? And if you haven't, then where on earth have you been for the last few years?

Anyway, as a blogger I've grown to learn and love more and more about Lush over the years, and definitely have a minor addiction to the smell of the Comforter (and a sentimental love for Prince Charming which was my post-birth shower gel of choice so has lots of special memories).

Here in Southampton we've had our little but very much loved Lush on the High Street, tucked away behind the Bargate. However it's popularity was making it's little home quite crowded!
Luckily, and with enormous pleasure, Lush has relocated, and has a new home inside Westquay, with three times the space, and three times the amount of products too!! Can we get a hell yeah over here?!?!

I was very kindly invited along to their launch evening* last Thursday, ahead of their official opening last Friday, and thought I'd share with you a little insider look of the new store, and what we got up to.

Monday, 24 July 2017

A picture is worth a thousand words - Canon EOS 200D Photo Challenge

A picture is worth a thousand words.
Never has a truer statement been made.
And it's a philosophy that I live by.
Yes I'm a words girl. I live for writing. But I also live for photos. Photos have the ability to bring back so many memories, create new opinions, endure feelings. Photos... they're my jam.

And I'm a Canon girl, through and through. Ever since my university days when I would hire out a DSLR from our media rooms to do my photojournalism course.

Although a fujifilm was actually my first ever DSLR camera of my own, it was a cheap buy from a friend, and my heart wanted a Canon. So I saved up and bought my 1100D.
It's lived a very good life, even surviving a four foot drop from a bookcase (thank you cat!) and has toughened up with a toddler too!

But now I'm upgrading, and I've been put to the challenge by Lifecake and Canon, to truly road test the brand new Canon EOS 200D* and show you how each photo is worth a thousand words.

Friday, 21 July 2017

The best family to visit Southampton - The Addams Family at the Mayflower Theatre

I have loved the Addams Family since I saw the 1991 version when I was a  kid.
There is just so much to love about this quirky family. From Wednesday Addams's pessimism and cunning, to the most beautiful love between Morticia and Gomez, and of course all their shenanigans that make them the most fantastic family.
Plus does anyone else think their home is total goals?? Might just be me, and it definitely isn't Instagram goals, but I simply adore a haunted house!

So when I found out that the Addams Family A Musical Comedy* was coming to the Mayflower Theatre I just knew I had to go.


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

All about that park life

Oh I do love a little park trip. 
We try to get outdoors as much as possible, and this can include simply going to our local park. 

Some of my best childhood memories are from playing outdoors and specifically the park. One that really stands out is Higginson Park in Marlow, Bucks, which is the town my Granddad lived, and we would visit the park every time we went to see him. It was pure happiness for a kid. And that's what I want for Henry as much as possible.  


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Little bum saviours with Harry and Rose

Is there anything more cute than a bare baby bottom??
I didn't think so either! Though knee and arm rolls do come in a very close second.

the thing with baby bum's is they are so very delicate and need ample protection, especially during the teething stages.
We've had a lot of teething recently as Henry has finally started to sprout some pearly whites, but man does it play havoc with his poor bottom, and the somewhat inevitable teething nappy rash.

Luckily for us Henry hasn't suffered too badly, with only one bad flare up which was quickly calmed.
We've also been trying out these brand new products from Harry and Rose at the Conscious Parent Co*, to help prevent nappy rash before it occurs.


Monday, 17 July 2017

Crafts with a baby - they rarely meet the expectations

I always imagined how life would be with a little one, especially when I was pregnant. 
Of course, like any expectant mother (or father) I focused on all the positives like cuddles, first steps, playing together and crafting together. 
Now the latter of these is what I want to focus on today. 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Honey and Bee's at the Farm

One of the things I've loved most about being a parent, and especially a parent of a one year old, is filling our weekends with trips and new experiences. 

I've had quite a few comments recently that we're quite a social family, and always seem to be off doing things, and I am seriously OK with that. Getting outdoors is one of my favourite things to do, and I really do think it's a big contributing factor to how Henry is so chilled, he isn't cooped up too much. He's given lots of space and fresh air, and lots of opportunities for learning. 

A couple of weekends ago we decided to head back to one of our new found favourite places, Manor Farm, (we went there for the first time for Henry's birthday) for their Honey and Bee weekend. 

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Recipes for the whole family - The Flavour Led Weaning Cookbook

Our weaning journey has been a pretty great one.
I never realised how much fun meal times could be.Yes I love food and love to experiment with new foods and dishes, but nothing quite compares to seeing your little try and love new foods.

However, sometimes it can be really difficult to make a meal that suits everyone at the table and that can be made relatively quickly and easily.
That's where the Flavour Led Weaning book* comes in handy. It's a healthy guide to introducing your little one to different flavours and textures.


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Once in a life time - it might not be enough

This is a post I honestly never thought I would write.

And it's been sat in my drafts for quite a while now.

So I'll jump straight in.
We turned down the opportunity of a life time. A once in life time kind of thing, that we are unlikely even to get close to again. And I'm going to share it with you (be warned, this is going to be a long'un!).


Monday, 10 July 2017

A swimming update - six months in

It would be fair to say that the favourite part of our weekly routine is our Tuesday morning swim class.
I first wrote about our swim classes back in the early days, when Henry was around seven months old.
Now we've been attending class for six months,I wanted to give you a little update on our progress, why it's so important, and our must-have products and tips to make classes easier.

A caution - this post contains lots of super cuteness involving this gorgeous lion poncho* - which I will be talking about a lot towards the end of this post!


Friday, 7 July 2017

The reading list - Quarter 2

So we're over half way through the year and it's time for my second quarter reading list.
I'm not going to lie, with being so busy recently, the reading time just sort of dropped off my radar. In fact it took me over a month to read one book!!

But when we went away on holiday I took a stack of books with me and I finally got back into my reading zone. I got through a book and a half whilst away, and started the third. Of course with the back to reality, I soon stopped reading as much, but I am working on making more and more time for it!

So what did I read?


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Is your home ready for a little walker?

The last couple of weeks have seen our little crawler start to take his first steps.
Everyday he is getting braver and letting go of furniture more and more, and taking more steps with every try.

It's an unbelievably exciting time but also a really nerve-racking time too.

With new movements and development, comes more exploring, and of course, the realisation that maybe our house isn't completely child-proof! You only need to sit on the floor and get down to their level to see your living room/kitchen/staircase how your little one sees it, and all the opportunities for exploration your home provides.

As with any exploration, you need to be prepared, and as safe as possible.

If you're little one is anything like ours you'll probably have been baby proofing for a while now, but we're now stepping up our game a little more with our very nearly walker, with a little help from Fred*. 


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

How to wear dungarees mama

One of my absolute favourite go-to pieces of clothing is dungarees.
I discovered my love of them just before I fell pregnant with Henry. They were of course put to one side whilst my bump grew, but were one of the first things I fitted back into post-baby. 

Now I have a baby/toddler (what are one year olds classed as?!?) my style is 100% about what works with having a child and makes me feel comfortable (you can read how I've changed my wardrobe post-partum in this post) and dunagrees hit the mark perfectly. There's no risk of them riding down when you bend over, you can move pretty easily in them and they are really versatile. Plus they hide the dreaded mum tum, which is always a bonus.

However, I've seen many people worry about how to dress up/down with dungarees. It's very easy to think you're going to look a little like an over-grown child in them, but fear not. 

I have three ways to dress up your dungarees, and they're all tried and tested!!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Lavender Fields

I'm not sure much can beat a sea of purple in the middle of a field!

It's the season for the flowers, and in particular, lavender. If you've been about on Instagram you've probably seen the influx of lavender field photos, and I'm here to say I love them, and let the purple sweet scented spam continue for ever! (can you tell I'm not entirely over the blossom spam of March?!)

So on Sunday we headed out to our local Lavender Fields, and to be honest I have ZERO regrets. Not only to Henry nap the entire way there (about an hour), he was good as gold too, plus I got a shed load of beautiful new photos that I'm obsessed with!

Monday, 3 July 2017

Summer Breakfast Juicing

After the roasting us Brits got a couple of weeks back, I got really in the mood for Summer, and Summer means lots of refreshing fruit.
I actually think I go through my healthiest phases during the Summer. I eat less, drink more water, eat more fruit and salad, and get outside more.

However with being a parent, I don't have as much time as I used to for prepping food and making fancy dishes.

One of the best ways I find to get lots of fruit in, plus help stay cool and refreshed is with smoothies and juices. Especially homemade ones where you know they aren't packed with extra sugars. Plus this is something you can share with kids too either as a drink, or frozen into ice lollies or fruitsicles and they have no idea you've packed them full of vitamins.
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