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Brand Collaborations

  • InBrand Collaborations, Interiors

    A Little Lounge Refresh With Desenio*

    Since I share my original lounge makeover post, I’ve been tweaking the odd thing here and there but I think I am FINALLY happy with this room. Earlier this year we were able to replace the carpet which has completely transformed this space. We also finished up cycling the sideboard that sits underneath the TV which I am very pleased with. We had the paint colour matched to the navy wall and it looks really lovely.

    I always feel like its the way you style a room though which is what really finishes it off. I’m often drawn to very scandi style interiors I find. I just love the simplicity of them and the way they pair lots of monochrome with pops of colour, bold prints and plenty of greenery. The main space I wasn’t happy with in this room was the piece of wall above our corner sofa. It just seemed a bit bare. As we had two large prints on the navy wall and a mirror above the fireplace, I wanted to do something different there.

    We toyed with the idea of a little gallery wall but decided we’d probably do that in the dining room instead and use some family photos. I was really keen for some wooden shelves to put prints and plants on but Josh wasn’t really on board. So in the end we settled on some oak picture ledges with some new prints from Desenio on.

    I absolutely LOVE how the prints I chose look together and think the oak ties in with the rest of the room perfectly. It’s given the whole room a little refresh and I’m so pleased with this corner now, it’s probably one of my favourite spaces in the whole house! I’m already trying to figure out where I can put more of the beautiful oak ledges. I’m excited to be able to switch the prints about easily too without making extra holes in the wall. I think Josh is also very pleased about that part!

    From Left to Right, these are the prints I chose.

    ‘Lune’ in an Oak Frame

    ‘New York Map’ in a Black Metal Frame

    ‘Be Kind Pink’ in a Black Metal Frame

    ‘Cotton Plant Blue’ in an Oak Frame

    My code “MRSLEE” gives 25% off prints* on all Desenio sites until midnight 17 October. Follow @desenio for more inspiration!
    *Except for frames and handpicked/personalised prints.

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  • InBrand Collaborations, Interiors

    Our Bedroom Makeover Ft Simba*

    *Advertorial – This post contains an affiliate link*

    When we first bought our house almost two years ago, we prioritised renovating the downstairs first. The bedrooms were totally liveable, just not to our taste. Eventually the time came to start decorating upstairs and we made sure the children’s bedrooms were done first and left us until last. But we have FINALLY done it and I am so pleased with how it turned out. Our bedroom is the middle sized room and at the back of the house. We went for a dark forest green on the walls in the end which I am totally obsessed with. We then accessorised with some neutral bits we already had and bought a new black mirror and some hooks too. 

    We’ve kept most of our furniture from before apart from our bedside tables which are a new purchase. I really wanted this room to be a minimalist and calm space we could relax in. I’m one of those people who finds that my home really affects my mood. So for ages I felt like our bedroom wasn’t somewhere I wanted to spend much time in. 

    Since we’ve decorated it, I am loving spending more time in there. I’ll often go and light a candle and read my book in there of an evening and it’s just such a tranquil adult space now. 

    The one thing we were DESPERATELY in need of replacing was our mattress. We’d had our old one for almost 7 years I think and it was totally knackered. Most of the springs had gone and neither of us slept very well on it at all. We are now the proud owners of a Simba Hybrid mattress and OH WOW, it is a total game changer. My sister in law got one last year and raved about it and she was not kidding. Josh and I both agreed they we have never slept on a more comfortable mattress! 

    I fall asleep pretty much as soon as my head hits the pillow and wake up feeling so much more well rested. It does make getting up in the mornings that bit harder though, as it’s just too comfy! Obviously being comfortable is probably the main objective when it comes to mattress but the other thing I have been super impressed with, is the fact that Josh and I no longer disturb each other if we move around a lot. I used to wake up constantly if there was any movement in the bed but he can roll about as much as he pleases and I don’t even notice when he gets up for work at the crack of dawn either! 

    I’ve also found that my body temperature when I’m sleeping is much more consistent too. I’m no longer boiling hot one minute and then freezing shortly after. Which inevitably all contributes to getting a better nights sleep. 

    Simba have very kindly given me a discount code so you can get a whopping £75 off your first Simba Hybrid Mattress too by following this link here

    *Simba very kindly gifted me our mattress but all words and opinions are of course my own*

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  • InBrand Collaborations, Home, Interiors

    Back Garden Renovation Progress

    The sun has finally got the memo that it’s Summer and apart from a few showers here and there, the weather is definitely looking much more brighter! This means that as well as throwing all my windows open at every opportunity and dusting off my summer wardrobe, my attention has been brought to looking at the gardens and wondering what the hell happened.

    When we first bought our house the front garden was beautiful, it was so well kept and full of amazing plants and flowers. But it was super high maintenance and we definitely let things slip! And then next thing we knew, it looked like an overgrown mess. Oops. So we have started doing some work out there which I will share soon.

    But today’s post is about the back garden which wasn’t so pretty. It’s very small sadly and was covered in super uneven patio slabs. Which were not child friendly at all. Like most families, our gardens are mainly used during the summer months only. And, though we are pretty good with the whole refreshing your home on a budget thing, I wasn’t really sure where to start when it came to the gardens. But after many hours on Pinterest looking at various ideas for small garden spaces, we decided in order to make best use of the space we would create some different zones. We made a start with the renovations out the back last summer and started by ripping out all the patio slabs and levelling the garden as much as possible. And then we created the following zones!

    Adult Space
    We decided to use CorTen steel edging to make a slightly raised seating area with cotswold stones. We put our garden corner sofa up here which I added some colour to with some outdoor cushions. In the afternoon it becomes a real sun trap and a lovely spot to sit and watch the kids play. It’s always good to get a bit of extra sunshine as its a great source of vitamin D which most of us are lacking! I’d also love to add a fire pit to this space so Josh and I can sit out there in the evenings when the kids have gone to bed and enjoy a nice cold gin!

    Play Space
    For the main garden area we opted for a LazyLawn. Artificial grass was definitely not Josh’s first choice but I managed to sway him by pushing my point that it would be ideal for the kids to be able to play without getting muddy. And it would mean we could enjoy the space all year round rather than just in the summer. I love that when I look out into the back garden during the cold and wet winter months that the grass still looks pristine. I also really enjoy being able to hoover it!

    Dining Space
    Eating al fresco is one of the simple pleasures in life. Both kids always eat so much better if we sit outside! We have a table and chairs set up on the artificial grass and we recently invested in a better BBQ. So I am planning to try and use it more during the week as well as at the weekends. I have been scouting out recipes to try and came across this great list of 33 types of chicken on the bbq which I am hoping to try out a few of!

    As well as these three zones we have also managed to squeeze in a small shed too! We’ve then created a little flower bed that runs along the house too. We made a great start last year but need to finish things off this year by painting the fences and shed, planting some more flowers, adding some festoon lights, replacing the gate and finishing the path off! So it’s still a bit of a work in progress but here is a few snaps so far!

    *Collaborative Post but all opinions and images are of course my own*

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  • InBella, Brand Collaborations

    Preparing Your Child For School

    It feels like only last week Bella was preparing to start school, and I can’t believe that she is now coming to the end of her first year. This time last year we were starting to thing of ways we could help her with the transition. The school sent out some really helpful leaflets of things we could do to encourage independence. Of course we all want our children to be well-rounded human beings and the school systems plays such a huge part in this. But there are also many things that are the parent’s responsibility to teach them too.

    Bella is one of the older children in her year and after three years at a very good Nursery, I felt like she was more than ready to start school. But there were quite a few things on the leaflet we received that I hadn’t even considered. Things like buying zip up dresses rather than button down to make it easier for her when getting changed for PE. And that she would need to be able to use the toilet independently and to carry her plate or tray at lunchtime! Other bigger things I felt were important were things like…

    Health Consciousness
    This is something I am super passionate about. Teaching my children the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle. We started doing this from a very young age. When Bella was a baby we used to go for plenty of walks together with her either in the buggy or I’d wear her in a baby carrier. We also did baby swimming lessons. And then at 18 months Bella started Ballet lessons which she still does now and we have recently started horse riding together too. We also got a dog at the beginning of the year which has really helped to encourage us all to get outside walking more!

    As well as being active I really want my children to have a good relationship with food by teaching them the importance of a balanced diet. We don’t deny the children treats as I personally don’t think that’s the best way to go about it. By telling I child they cannot have something, it makes them want it even more. Instead we try to eat healthily most of the time so that they can enjoy the odd treats. We cook most of our meals from scratch using plenty of lean meat and fresh vegetables to ensure the children get all the vitamins they need. The fruit bowl is always well stocked too for snacks.

    Time Management
    My sister bought Bella a watch for Christmas and this has been great for teaching her to tell the time. Its been really helpful for gently teaching her about time management. For example in the mornings she knows that we all need to be up, dressed and downstairs by 8am for breakfast and out the door by 8.45am. Then in the evenings she knows what time she goes to bed so this helps give her an idea of how much time she has to play or read before it’s time for lights off. Schools obviously operate on a timetable so just by making Bella aware of these things at home, it will hopefully help her understand how her school day works. Time management is one of those skills that benefit us for life after all! As she gets older she’ll be set homework with deadlines so hopefully this will help her to manage her time with that too. I suppose that time management is one of those things that is a very subtle blend of pressure and rewards.

    And, of course, there are so many other skills needed, like money management, decision-making skills, and even the importance of saying “no” to someone. Something that I have re iterated to Bella many times. Just because she is in full-time education now, I can’t just rely on the school and her teachers to provide all the information for her to live a well-balanced life. It’s just as much up to us as parents too!

    I hope these tips have been helpful, is there anything you would add?

    *Collaborative Post but all opinions are of course my own*

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  • InBrand Collaborations, Family

    For The Easter Basket

    I’ve been playing Easter Bunny and putting together a little basket of goodies every year since Bella was born. I think Josh thought I was nuts going through the effort when she was just 5 months old but it’s just as much for me as it is for the children. Things like Easter, Birthdays and Christmas were never really a big deal in our family when I was growing up and I am determined for that not to be the case for my children. I love any excuse to celebrate and do something special for them.

    So I thought I would share some ideas for filling an Easter Basket. I did share a similar post a few years back here. As I have done this a few times before now, I actually already has most of the bits around the house. It certainly does not need to cost the earth or be super extravagant. This year I have kept it simple and just put a couple of Easter books in, a stuffed toy each, some bunny ears, a bag of Easter themed marshmallows and lastly some Kinder chocolate goodies from their Easter range which is available in all major supermarkets (apart from the Giant Eggs which are exclusive to Tesco and Ocado).

    Other good non chocolate items to include are things like hair clips/bows, play doh, craft supplies, bubbles, stickers and even clothes. In the first one I ever did for Bella I put a little Easter romper in there.

    We have some lovely plans with both family and friends this year and I can’t wait to celebrate Easter with our loved ones. There will be roast lamb, Easter egg hunts, my annual Easter cheesecake and lots of country dog walks I’m sure!

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    ***The lovely people at Kinder very kindly gifted us a hamper of Easter goodies in exchange for a mention in this post. All photos and words are of course my own***

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  • InBrand Collaborations, Mama

    Casual Weekend Style {ft the new SkipHop Greenwich Convertible}

    Oh Hi! Hello! It’s been months since I have shared a post over here. Last year was very quiet for this little online space of mine. Mainly because life was just so busy. The renovations took over most of the first half of the year. And then with Bella starting school in September and me working more it’s just been very full on over here. Life is still just as busy. But I’d really love to start sharing more again. More style posts, more interiors, more recipes I love and just more general personal ramblings. So I’m kicking off the new year with a style post! It’s an outfit I wore at the weekend which I loved and I wanted to share with you all about my new favourite bag.

    It’s been super chilly in East Sussex over the last week or so, we’ve had a few days of snow and a hell of a lot of ice. I have been cooped up at home with two sicky babes which hasn’t been much fun. The horrible germs that come with winter is definitely my least favourite thing about this season. I’m already dreaming of warmer spring days with less layers and being able to leave the house without a coat on. Thanks to the sick bug that graced our house last week, I spent most of the time in my comfies with my hair chucked up in a mum bun on top of my head to try and avoid it coming into any contact with puke. No one wants sick in their hair now, do they? So by the time the weekend rolled around I was desperate to get dressed into something nicer, to do my hair and make up properly and just get out of the house!

    I opted for my favourite ‘mom’ jeans paired with a black lace cami tucked in and my huge chunky pink cardigan thrown over the top to keep me nice and cosy. I definitely should have thought more about my shoe choice before leaving the house though as those ballet pumps left me with frozen cold feet! Eeek. As I was going out with the children in tow I took my new Skiphop Greenwich Convertible Backpack which is in the shade Portobello.

    I’ve had a few different change bags since becoming a Mama but this in hands down he best one I have ever owned. I think the thing I love the most is how stylish it is and how it really doesn’t look like a change bag. The bag is made from vegan leather which means its easy to wipe clean which I think is a huge bonus. It’s incredibly roomy and has plenty of space for nappies, wipes, spare clothes and even drinks and snacks. Which makes it so much easier than having to take a a separate lunch bag out for those things too.

    It has a long shoulder strap which is super comfy. I also don’t find it slips down like others I have had before. But what makes this bag unique is you can covert the straps into two shoulder straps so that the bag can be worn as a backpack too. Which is perfect if like me, you have an older baby that’s walking as it means you can wear it on your back and still have your hands free to chase your crazy toddler around!

    I totally wish I had this bag when Hugo was a newborn as it would have been perfect. There’s two pockets for bottles, nine different compartments and there is a padded change mat included. It also has super handy clips so you can attach it to the pushchair too. Overall it’s a super versatile change bag which I think grows with your baby. I have really enjoyed using it over the last few weeks and received so many compliments on it! The Skiphop Greenwich Convertible is available to purchase from Amazon here.

    *The Skiphop Greenwich Convertible Backpack was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. As always all thoughts, opinions and photos are my own*

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