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There's no feeling quite like being out on the water. There's the liberation at pulling away from the quay, the exhilaration of pushing the throttle out and feeling the bow lift slightly as the wake gets ever more frothy. I love the thrill that comes with finding an isolated cove, dropping anchor and just bobbing in the water while waves splish-splash against the side. 

The last time I took Bella & Bear out on the water was in Salcombe. They were both very young and honestly Bear was too frightened to enjoy it so we cut the jaunt short, returned to shore and left it for a year a two. Well what a difference a few years makes. This time round he jumped on board with a smile a mile wide and pretended to be a pirate for the next two hours blowing his whistle, shouting 'land-ho', 'aye-aye Captain' and calling Grandpa a scurvy sea-dog whenever there was a lull in conversation. Bella loved jumping the wake from other boats and tried to catch the sea spray but in the end the excitement was too much for her and she slept for the last twenty minutes home. 

For me this is exactly what summer is about. Spending quality time together as a family, making memories and watching my children's faces light up when they try something new. 

Bella & Bear wore Mini Boden and Clarks shoes (mainly obscured by life jackets).
I wore:
Denim shorts by Gap
Oversized t-shirt from Anthropologie (old, find similar here)
Sunglasses by Marc by Marc Jacobs
Watch by Bell & Ross
Sandals by Miss KG
The last English pub in Cornwall...

Gone Boating

There's no feeling quite like being out on the water. There's the liberation at pulling away from the quay, the exhilaration of pu...
Thursday, 31 July 2014
I won't lie, this skirt makes me feel like a mermaid. In this skirt I am Daryl Hannah in Splash only less blonde. The material swishes about the back of my ankles reminding me I have a tail and that I am in fact a mermaid. All I need now is a top that says 'always be yourself unless you can be a mermaid'. They sell them on Etsy. Thing is I'd prefer to be Batman, he has better toys.

Skirt from Anthropologie (old, similar here and here)
Bomber by Second Female
Top by Cos
Necklace by Anthropologie (on sale)
Shoes by Kurt Geiger (sold out, similar here)
Sunglasses by RayBan
Stacked rings (from a selection here)



Splash!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Having breakfast with the family at the weekend is one of my favourite rituals. I love those lazy mornings when we just hang out in the kitchen in our PJs, not rushing anywhere. Bella loves to set the table especially pouring the OJ and milk into glass jugs. Her eyes widen at the mere mention of bacon, while Bear is most definitely a pancake man. My perfect weekend breakfast food is eggs benedict. Often I add a little hot sauce and paprika over the top of the hollandaise sauce to give it a kick of spice. Then I spotted this idea in the summer edition of the Waitrose magazine. It's so simple, just add a layer of thinly sliced grilled chorizo to the toasted muffin and top with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce as normal. Utterly delicious.

I've tried poaching eggs numerous ways in the past, but I've found the best way to get a restaurant perfect result every time is with a proper egg poaching pan. I bought mine from Williams-Sonoma, it's a heavy non-stick pan with customised egg-poaching cups. It has a glass lid so you can watch the eggs as they cook and even better still... it's dishwasher safe. For those who don't know, Williams-Sonoma is the quintessential American purveyor of gourmet cookware. It is a household name in the States and they now deliver worldwide (£10 flat rate to the UK). Yay! Yummy eggs for everyone.

Eggs Benedict with Grilled Chorizo

Saturday, 19 July 2014
You can tell if your child's teacher thinks you should up your game by the frequency with which the class toy comes to stay at your house for the weekend. The familiar line of 'oh just take a few pictures of you and your child doing something fun with (insert toy's name) and write about it in the book' is usually met with a death stare from the parent in question. To which the teacher smiles back with banality while secretly thinking 'Oh yeah I've stitched you UP fool! Say no to helping at the bake sale now why don't you.'

The thing is no one wants to be the parent who fails at this and so the family excursions with the toy get ever more grandiose as the year goes on. A trip for ice-cream might just cut it in September but come April you gotta take that toy to a One Direction concert, get pictures of the toy meeting the band AND being featured in a music video in order to get any kind of class kudos for your kid. Enough is enough.


I propose we as parents put an end to this but instead of dropping the ball completely which frankly would be a bit of a let down, I propose we creatively 'off' the toy in as many unique ways as possible, with pictures. I'll admit this idea is extreme and potentially upsetting for the kids but it's also funny. It's funny as hell. I mean how many times a day do you caution your child against danger? How many times do they listen and stop? Just imagine what the book would like by the end of the year. It could be the ultimate 'why I should listen to Mummy' repository for our kids. If you want to join in use the #IKilledTeddy.

Just remember, safety first.

The Class Toy

Friday, 18 July 2014
I am always on the look out for functional jackets, particularly in the sales. Having a selection of jackets in your closet is essential. The right one will elevate a look taking it from a nice top and bottom to a considered ensemble. I find biker jackets with a collar are the easiest to wear, as opposed to those smart little round neck ones which I love on other people but I find look too preppy on me. 

This one was a steal in the Anthropologie sale. It's by the Danish label Second Female, another Scandi design house with a fast growing fashion following. Feather & Stitch (my fav London boutique) is stocking them in their AW14 collection and I love what I've seen so far. 

Boots from Anthropologie
Bag by Mulberry
Watch by Bell & Ross


The Biker

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Oh me oh my I do love the Anthro sale and this season is no exception. I snapped this skirt up the second I saw it online, it's selling out fast so if you want one you'll have to get your skates on. The reason I wanted it is simple... it's incredibly versatile.

Recently in conversation about style choices with mummy friends who read Bella & Bear there's been a common thread. A significant number believe (erroneously) that jeans are the only real wardrobe workhorse available to them. Consequently they have a truck load of skinny jeans to choose from and little else come summertime. Yes jeans are versatile (boyfriend jeans in particular) but they also encourage you to get stuck in a style rut which can be hard to pull yourself out of. If this is you then might I be so bold as to suggest you take a really good look at some of this seasons maxi skirts (I've added links to some of my favourites at the end of this post).

Maxi skirts come in every possible shade, print and material known to man. There are pleated maxis, cross-over maxis, buttoned maxis, pretty fish-tail maxis... there are even maxi skirts that have a concealed zip half way up the leg so the skirt can be transformed into a mini. Talk about versatility! You can wear your maxi skirt as a dress, which is particularly awesome if you're in the early stages of pregnancy but not quite ready to tell the world. Hey jeans. Jeans! Can you do all that jeans? - Jeans slink off sadly to sulk in the cupboard.

If you want to get the most out of a maxi skirt here are my top tips:

An elasticated waist, a little stretch in the waistband is essential in order to wear it as a dress.
If in doubt size up slightly so it doesn't pinch under your arms.
Pleats add movement and structure.
Prints don't show the dirt at the hem so much, making them more wearable.
Beware the short hemline on fish-tails, unflattering knobbly knees alert!
If necessary have your maxi skirt tailored so you don't trip over the hem, or buy a petite size.

Anthro have in fact, restocked the skirt I'm wearing, it's in a different print but it's the same skirt. See it here.

Look 1: Skirt: Anthropologie (on sale). Top: Cos. Shoes: Kurt Geiger. Watch: Bell & Ross. Sunglasses: Ray Ban. Bag: Mulberry. Jewelry: Necklace: Anthropologie (on sale), stacked rings (old), large amethyst jewel ring (antique, similar here), earrings (old).


Look 2: Skirt: Anthropologie (on sale). Waterfall kimono: Anthropologie (old, similar here). Belt: Gap (old). Backpack: Rutbag (on sale with free delivery). Shoes: old (similar by Michael Kors here). Jewelry: as for look 1 except for vintage watch. Sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Look 3: Skirt: Anthropologie (on sale). Shoes: ASOS (on sale). Jewelry & sunglasses as Look 2. Bag: from a tiny shop in Paris.

Alternative maxi skirts to covet:


3 Ways to Wear a Maxi Skirt this Summer

Thursday, 10 July 2014
Some brands have the ability to capture a moment in time, even if that moment is yet to come you know it will exist, that it will excite and thrill you when it happens and you want to run to it with arms wide. Coco Chanel could do this, she gave the world what it needed before it even knew it wanted change. Once we become aware of this desire it can render us desperate, utterly desperate to become part of it. So it is with me and the new pre-fall collection by Tibi

If I were to come face to face with this collection today it could get ugly. I can picture myself crouched in the dreamy changing area surrounded by ice cream coloured pastels and the occasional flash of black leather clutching at the clothes with a wild look in my eye as the kindly (yet deservedly worried) assistant looks knowingly at her colleague and whispers "we've got another one". I'm not sure I could leave a single piece behind.



Take the leather skirt and cami, add the Anita Ko Gradient Pearl Necklace and a pair of strappy black sandals and you are September-ready to party. So ahead of the curve it hurts.


Pink was the colour to wear in AW13 and it's not going away for AW14, but the sweetness is tempered with perfectly hued mint this time around. If head-to-toe pastels aren't your cup of tea wear them with contrasting black pieces for a modern, slightly badass look (as pictured above).


Eeny meeny miny moe... Aaaarrrrrrghhh! Idea for a new reality TV show: 'Can't Choose, Won't Choose'.


If you want this as much as I do it's available online at Tibi.

Swoon

Wednesday, 2 July 2014
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