Win Tootsa MacGinty SS15 Kidswear!

One of my favourite kidswear brands in Tootsa MacGinty. Gender neutral, fun designs and great quality, we’ve bought quite a few things over the years – from a fox knit to harem pants and a dress – and they’ve all lasted well. Some of my favourite things from their Spring Summer 2015 range are…

Tootsa Macginty dress

This fab blue smock dress, £28
tootsa-macginty-ss15
This animal print tee, £23 and these yellow shorts, £25
Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 12.29.39
These espadrilles, £15
Isn’t it all gorgeous? And dress aside, you could put them on a girl or boy. If you love these items as much as me, then listen up. Tootsa Macginty have given me one of each to give away. One winner will win the dress, t-shirt, shorts and espadrilles in the size of their choice (subject to availability – see T&Cs for full details).

How to enter

To enter, comment on this blog post saying which is your favourite current Tootsa MacGinty SS15 piece (take a look on their site to choose your favourite) and follow this blog on Twitter. For extra entries, tweet about the giveaway, follow me on Instagram and visit the blog’s Facebook page. Easy peasy! Don’t forget to fill in the Rafflecopter box below for your entry to count. Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Boden Spring Shoe Of Dreams

Every now and then (OK, every new season) I get a bee in my bonnet about a pair of shoes. Once I’ve seen them, I can’t get them out of my head and I either buy them or spend months regretting it – feeling pangs of sorrow each time I see them on someone else’s feet.

So let me introduce you to this Spring’s lusted-after pair…

Boden silver lace flats

I actually started getting slight palpitations when I saw these shoes on the Boden website. Isn’t that a bit mad? I bought a similar pair in black back from New Look back in December  – they’re a more affordable version of the Aquazurra shoes worn by fashion blogger Laura from WITblog.

New Look laced flat shoes

I’ve worn the black pair loads, but when I saw the SILVER! To me, metallic is a neutral, so these bad boys will pretty much go with everything in my wardrobe. Jeans, cropped trousers, dresses, skirts…

Just as an FYI, they also come in orange and navy and they’re not cheap at £89.99 but look at them…. they’re worth it, right?

boden-lace-point-shoes

 With thanks to Boden! For details of how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page.

A Day Out At A National Trust Park With Joules

Morden Hall Park

At Christmas time, Mr P and I bought a National Trust family membership instead of buying presents for each other. Well, actually, we said we’d do this, but we haven’t got around to actually buying it yet. We will, though! And I’m fully aware this makes me sound like an actual middle-aged person but there is something so NICE about National Trust properties. Beautiful scenery, impressive buildings, amazing history, and often fun activities for kids too. I get a strange sense of calm when I visit one.

Last week, Mr P and I took a cheeky couple of hours out of our day (I really should have been working…) to visit Morden Hall Park. Free to get in, it has a fab little cafe, a garden centre, an artist’s studio/gallery, a rose garden, a stable yard, a beautiful white bridge and loads more interesting little nooks and crannies.

Morden Hall Park - National Trust

Morden Hall Park - National Trust

Morden Hall Park - National Trust

We started off having lunch (soup and a sandwich) in the Potting Shed cafe and then wandered around, enjoying the sunshine.

soup-and-bread

national-trust-joules-range

I was wearing my Joules National Trust collection Windermere coat – part of a country-inspired range and PERFECT for a chilly spring day out in the park – waterproof, cosy and covers the bum so you can sit on cold logs or rocks, in comfort. The lining of the coat – as well as other items like the silk scarf, wellies and brolly – has a gorgeous floral design. Joanna, the designer behind the print, explains, “I was really inspired by the incredible English heritage behind the National Trust. History and nature are rich and vibrant aspects of the National Trust and the work they do, so I used this to influence my design. I began by referencing old botanical encyclopaedias I found in the British Library, where botanists would paint intricate detailed studies of plants and flowers. This subject inspired me when I studied Fashion Design at University, and I was eager to take this forward into the National Trust print.” Isn’t it gorgeous?…

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Kick-ass Mother’s Day Presents

bouquet-of-rosesFlowers and chocolates are the standard Mother’s Day presents, but if you ask me, we should be showered in these things all year round (and actually, we should treat ourselves to them, regularly too). So if you’re a bloke, what the heck should you buy your mum/wife/girlfriend on Mother’s Day then? And more importantly, what should you be hinting for?

Obviously I can’t speak for them all but here’s what I’d like on Mother’s Day…

The Necklace

Necklace from The White Company

You can’t go wrong with simple jewellery and this sterling silver necklace, £70 from The White Company is gorgeous. In fact it would look great with…

The Sweatshirt

Mother sweatshirt

This Mother sweatshirt, £45, is sold over on ace site Selfish Mother. All profits from sales of Mother designs go to Women for Women International – an amazing charity that helps women in eight war-torn regions rebuild their lives through training programmes. Order before midday on Fri 13th March for delivery in time for Mother’s Day.

The jacket

Yellow Joules jacket

Yellow Joules jacket

I’m a huge fan of a practical jacket. One that’s waterproof and has a hood, so that you can pull it on and get outside for walks in the woods or even just on the nursery/school run on a drizzly day. The Blighty jacket, £99, from Joules is completely awesome because it ticks those boxes and it’s bright yellow too, adding a splash of colour to my outfit. Joules made my spring complete when they sent me this jacket and Mother’s Day goodies like the floral top I’m wearing above, an amazing green coin purse, and this fab Rose Tomato scented candle….

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A Haircut & Some ‘Me Time’ At Ena Salon, London

Regular readers will know I love me some ‘me time’. Anything vaguely pampering is good with me, whether it’s a spa visit, getting my nails done or a hair cut.

However.

I also have a bit of a trust issue when it comes to hairdressers. Let’s just say it stems from a time when I was 18, and after a couple of hours in a hairdresser’s chair, I emerged with the worst haircut ever (it was so bad, my friends called me Alan for a whole year – I actually looked like a man). But being a typical 18-year-old, I was too scared to tell the hairdresser I hated it, so I thanked them very much, left, and cried the whole way home.

So it’s fair to say that since then, I get a little bit nervous when visiting a new hairdresser. I get flashbacks to Alan, and worry he might make a reappearance.

Thankfully, my recent visit to Ena Salon in Covent Garden, London was a success. PHEW.

Ena Salon is in a beautiful Georgian townhouse which is unusual for a hair salon, and means you climb up stairs to room where they wash your hair (and where they do colour) and it also means there are gorgeous original fireplaces, panelling and stained glass windows. Apparently, when they moved into the building, it had been an office, and they found all of the beautiful features hidden behind plain walls, which they stripped down.

ena-salon-london

ena-salon-reception

My haircut was in the safe hands of Gianni, a lovely Turkish hairdresser who really knows her stuff. She filled me with confidence, as she chatted about what kind of cut I was looking for, and she made some great suggestions, showing me how she would even up areas of my hair that had been thinned out before.

ena-cut

ena-salon-interiors

I think when it comes to having your hair cut, quality of haircut aside, some of the most important things are the small details. At Ena, the room where they wash your hair has a gorgeous design painted on the ceiling – makes sense when every client in that room will be staring at it! Later, my tea was brought to me in a cute glass teapot and was accompanied by a homemade cake (one of the salon staff makes them for the customers – such a nice touch.)…

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