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  • InBella, Mama

    The Perfect Summer Handbag


    Oh hey, my name is Harriet and I have a handbag obsession. For some girls it’s shoes, for me it’s bags. My husband has been saying it for years, but it was only recently when I added¬†yet ANOTHER new handbag to my collection that it fiiiiinally registered with me too. I have officially run out of space to store them in the bottom of the spare bedroom wardrobe and I need to find a new, more spacious home for them ASAP, because obviously I can’t bare to part with any of them! My argument is that they all have different uses, all suitable for different occasions. My husband however, begs to differ ūüėČ

    ALAS, this post is all about my current Summer bag. I love seeing what other people have in theirs, so thought I’d share what’s in mine. As I’m away from Bella three days a week whilst I’m at work, I either use a different smaller bag for work days or I like to use a smaller removable bag¬†which is ideal¬†for storing all the toddler crap¬†essentials in, yet this way I can just quickly whip it out on work days!

    At the moment I am using my gorgeous new Joules floral tote bag that I picked up in the sale for half price! It’s now sold out online but they do have the new season one available here. So far this bag has been absolutely perfect for summer days out. It’s made from a wipe clean material which is great for taking to the park or beach where there is always risk of it getting a bit grubby. There is a generous sized zip pocket on the inside which I tend to keep my iPhone and lipstick in. There is also another large pocket on the front which is great for keeping toddler snacks in and keeps them within easy reach. I definitely¬†think this bag would make a wonderful change bag if you have smaller children too as it’s super spacious so plenty of room for nappies, bottles, muslins etc.




    So, what’s in my bag this Summer?¬†

    For Bella

    • 2 pairs of spare knickers
    • A pack of botty wipes
    • Some nappy sacks in case of any accidents!
    • A change of clothes
    • Sun cream
    • Sun hat
    • Snacks
    • Her water bottle

    For Mama

    • Hand sanitiser – I literally don’t leave the house without a bottle of this stuff!
    • Hand cream
    • Purse
    • Lipstick (Normally whatever one I’m wearing that day… after a week I begin to wonder where they have all disappeared too ūüėČ )
    • Compact mirror – for applying said lipstick of course.
    • Tissues
    • Snack – normally a cereal bar or a pack of rice cakes
    • Water bottle
    • Sunglasses & case

    When it’s all written down like that it seems like A LOT of stuff to cart around on a daily basis¬†and I’m not exactly sure how it all fits in, but somehow it does!



    What are your handbag essentials?
    Harriet xo

  • InFamily

    The Ordinary Moments ’16 #9 | Just The Two Of Us

    Despite the fact I have Wednesdays and Fridays off from my office job to spend with Bella, because I also care for my Dad on those days it doesn’t often leave us with much time just the two of us. Most weeks we’ll also have some other plans in the diary too like seeing my sister and niece or catching up with friends. Which as lovely as that is, I felt we needed some alone time. So this week I made sure to keep Wednesday afternoon clear so we could spend some quality time just us.

    I had planned to take Bella out for cake and to see the animals at our favourite garden centre but typically she fell asleep in the car so I headed home instead to let her sleep for a little while. We then played at home for a bit as she managed to find the princess dress we had bought her as an Easter treat (at the bottom of the stairs wasn’t Daddy’s best hiding place!!!) and she was so excited to put it on I didn’t have the heart to say no. She looked so sweet in it, despite the fact that the hoop in the skirt kept tripping her over ūüėČ

    After the little madam was finished dancing and twirling around the living room to Disney songs on YouTube I asked her what she’d like to do for the rest of the afternoon and she chose to go to the swings so that is exactly what we did. Despite the bright sunshine and beautiful blue skies it was still bitterly cold but that didn’t stop us having a lovely time. I loved watching Bella excitedly run between the different pieces of equipment at the park and hearing her infectious giggle as I pushed her on the swings. She was having such a great time she really didn’t want to leave, despite her lips starting to turn blue!!

    We both had such fun together and I’m going to make a conscious effort to set aside a whole morning or afternoon once a week to do something just the two of us. An activity that Bella will really enjoy and I can give her my undivided attention. It’s these Ordinary Moments that I cherish the most and sometimes wish we had more time for, but it makes me appreciate them so much more because it isn’t something we get to do every day. It won’t always be just the two of us, hopefully at some point we’ll be able to give Bella a sibling, so I want to ensure we make the most of our time together as a two and make some super special memories we can both treasure.



    Linking up with Katie over at Mummy Daddy Me for #TheOrdinaryMoments

    Thanks for reading
    Harriet xo

  • InMama

    Love At First Sight; NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

    If someone was to ask me what my desert island make up item would be then I would without a doubt choose foundation. Unfortunately I don’t have great skin, I have a lot of acne scarring and a very uneven skin tone so therefore a good base is really important for me. I have tried so many different¬†brands¬†over the years including a good few of the higher end ones like¬†Mac and Clinique but never have I found that holy grail foundation everyone speaks of.

    I did try Estee Lauder double wear last year and although I couldn’t fault the high coverage, the consistency is very thick which made it feel a bit heavy for me and it was a nightmare to get off which in turn made my acne worse as my poor skin just couldn’t breath under it.

    A few months back I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the limited edition NARS Glossybox’s and I very quickly fell in love with all five of the products I received. I hadn’t ever tried NARS before myself but had heard so many good things about it from various beauty bloggers/vloggers and the products certainly didn’t disappoint. As I was so impressed with the NARS Glossybox¬†I decided it was about time I gave one of their foundations a whirl. I’d heard people rave about their Sheer Glow foundation and decided I needed to add it to my collection as I’d just used¬†up a couple of others I had been wearing. The only problem was that I couldn’t seem to track down a NARS beauty counter locally to me so that I could get colour matched and I didn’t want to risk ordering online and getting the wrong shade.

    On a recent shopping trip to Bluewater I decided to pop into both the department stores just before we left on the off chance that they miiiight have a NARS counter and I was so chuffed when I found that John Lewis did indeed have one. Although typically the girl on the counter was on her break and wasn’t going to be back for an hour and unfortunately we didn’t have time to wait around. So a couple of weeks later we made another visit back purely to go to the NARS counter again. Luckily this time there was someone on the counter who was able to colour match me but she didn’t actually have my shade in stock! Talk about bad luck. But as soon as I got home I ordered the correct shade online instead and it arrived a few days later. Hallelujah.

    It’s been about¬†two weeks¬†since I finally got my hands on a bottle of NARS Sheer Glow and I’m honestly so in love. It applies beautifully using a brush, beauty blender sponge or even with your fingers and it is so so easy to blend. It feels very lightweight on the skin but still gives a really good medium to full coverage whilst looking very natural. It lasts fantastically and after setting it with a powder it then stays put on my oily skin all day long without going patchy which is the problem I often have. I was recommended the shade Mont Blanc and I don’t think I have ever had a foundation match my pale skin better.

    A bottle of NARS Sheer Glow retails at ¬£31 for a 30ml bottle so it’s definitely on the pricier side but I personally think it’s worth every penny. I think foundation is one of the few things really worth investing in. It doesn’t come with a pump but you can purchase one separately for just ¬£3. The only thing that’s a tad annoying is when using the pump it means you can’t put the lid on which even though the pump does lock shut, I would still be a bit worried of it leaking in my make up bag when travelling.

    Overall I’m¬†extremely impressed with my purchase and it will definitely be a make up bag staple for me from now on along with my trusty NARS blusher in Orgasm that I absolutely adore. I’d like to try one of their lipsticks next, if you’ve tried any of them then please do let me know your favourite shade!






      Thanks for reading
    Harriet xo

  • InMama

    Things I’m Loving Lately {January}

    We’ve had a lovely quiet January but it definitely felt like it went on forever! So I’m quite glad to see the back of it and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what February will bring. We haven’t got many plans in place at the moment, but quite frankly I’m really enjoying this slower pace, so I’ve been trying to keep our diary’s as free as possible. Hopefully this will mean we’ll have plenty of time for some family adventures at the weekends¬†and a few quiet days pottering around at home.

    Here’s a few of the things that I’ve been loving lately.


    Throughout January I have been loving wearing a nude lip paired with nude nails as let’s be honest, they just go with everything so you can’t go wrong. My go to nude lipsticks are of course my favourite Rimmel Kate Moss ones in shades 08 and 38.



    On my nails I have been wearing the shade ‘cinnamon’ by perfect summer which is a shellac brand available¬†here.

    I received some Lush goodies for¬†my Birthday & Christmas and have really been enjoying using them. If¬†you haven’t smelt ‘The Comforter’ scent from Lush then¬†you are seriously missing out.¬†It smells like pick a mix sweets and is my all time faaaaavourite Lush scent. My mother in law bought me a bottle of the shower gel for Christmas and not only does it smell absolutely incredible, its also hot pink which definitely brightens up shower time! I’m obsessed with it¬†and will definitely repurchase when this one runs out. I also used a ‘Candy Mountain’ bubble bar for the first time¬†which was equally lovely.



    During January I haven’t been very adventurous fashion wise at all and my go to outfit has been some sort of oversized jumper and skinny jeans teamed with my new chocolate brown chelsea boots which I can’t get enough of. I normally wear a lot of dresses with tights but it’s just been too cold so I’ve just been playing it safe and opting for anything that will just keep me warm recently.

    Although saying that, I have been trying to gradually wear a few things a bit out of my comfort zone lately. Nothing too extravagant, just things I have seen on other people and really liked but never been brave enough to try myself. Firstly I’ve been trying to embrace black as it became apparent recently, that it’s not a colour I wear much of and i’m not entirely sure why.¬†I fiiiinally wore these black dungarees that I bought a while back, but wasn’t confident enough to actually wear out the house. Since losing some more weight this month, they fit so¬†much nicer and I think I’ll definitely get a lot of wear out of them now.

    I also wore my black Nike Roshe Runs for something other than working out for the first time ever. I see so many stylish Mama’s rocking trainers with various different outfits but I’ve always thought¬†I would look ridiculous but I recently bit the bullet and wore them with my favourite ripped jeans for a casual Sunday outfit. Let me tell you, they¬†were SO comfy that they’ll definitely make an appearance again, regardless of if I looked ridiculous ūüėČ I’m now eyeing up these too.


    For once not much exciting happened to our home in January. Our next project is going to be our spare bedroom, which I’m ashamed to admit, but for the last year has just been full of stuff I’m not quite sure what to do with. It’s the biggest bedroom so it seems like such a waste of space, so we’re going to give it a fresh lick of paint, upcycle some furniture we already have and set it up as a quest bedroom / office so that Josh can work from home when needed and I’ll have somewhere quiet to blog from. I think d√©cor wise I’ll keep this room very simple & minimalistic with lots of white and maybe some yellow bedding.


    Since the start of the month I’ve been back to my healthy eating and fitness mission which I blogged about here. I’ve discovered a new love for stuffed peppers and have to stop myself from putting them on the menu every.single.week. I’ve been really enjoying cooking this month¬†and trying out some new healthy recipes. We’ve also¬†just bought The Body Coach’s Lean In 15 book and I can’t wait to start cooking some of his meals, they look incredible!

    We’ve enjoyed a few lovely¬†meals out this month including not one, but two trips to Bills at Bluewater, what can I say, we just really like it there! I’m obsessed with the Olives at Bills, I’d go as far as saying that they miiight just be the best I’ve ever had.

    What have you been loving lately? I’m linking up with the lovely Emma at Life At The Little Wood, you can check out what she’s been loving here.

    Thanks for reading
    Harriet xo


  • InRecipes

    Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

    I absolutely love giving and receiving homemade gifts. I find it’s so much more personal and I always really appreciate the thought and effort that has gone into it. I’m a really keen baker and therefore love making baked goods to give to others. Today I’m sharing my lemon drizzle loaf cake recipe which would make a lovely gift for Mothers Day.

    I have made this lemon drizzle cake countless times before and it never lasts long because it’s¬†seriously tasty. I always think that a lemon drizzle is very appropriate for Spring and it would be the perfect addition to a Mothers Day afternoon tea spread. If you really want to impress then you can¬†top the loaf with lashings of cream cheese frosting, lots of fresh blueberries and a dusting of icing sugar.

    This recipe works just as well when doubled and baked in a round bundt tin if you have more mouths to feed or alternatively you can bake lots of mini loafs using cases like these which I have done previously and they were a big hit especially with the little ones!


    • 225g unsalted butter, softened
    • 225g caster sugar
    • 225g self raising flour
    • 4 eggs
    • Finely grated zest & juice of 1 large lemon
    • Juice 1 1/2 lemons
    • 85g caster sugar for the drizzle topping


    1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
    2. Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. I use my Kenwood K mixer for this but can be done with a hand mixer or even just by hand. Add in the 4 eggs one at a time, slowly mixing through.
    3. Sift in the flour then add the lemon zest and juice and mix until well combined.
    4. Either grease and line a loaf tin (8 x 21cm) or us a loaf tin liner. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top with a spoon.
    5. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Set the cake aside to cool in the tin.
    6. Mix together the lemon juice with the 85g of caster sugar to make the drizzle topping.
    7. Prick the warm cake all over with a skewer or fork, then pour over the drizzle ‚Äď the juice will sink in and the sugar will form a lovely, crisp topping.
    8. Leave in the tin until completely cool, then remove and enjoy served in thick slices with a dollop of cream or natural yoghurt and some fresh berries.

    *NOTE* – The loaf will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days (I doubt it will still be around then ūüėČ ), or you can freeze it for up to 1 month.











    This recipe is my suggestion as part of the Cotton Traders Mother’s Day Inspiration Guide. You can see some other ideas here.

  • InFamily

    The Ordinary Moments ’16 #3 | Saturday Baking

    I’m writing this on Sunday afternoon, I’m currently snuggled under a blanket on the sofa warming up after a frosty walk around Scotney Castle this morning. Josh is in the kitchen preparing vegetables for our roast dinner this evening and Bella is tucked up next to me watching a film looking like she may fall asleep at any moment. I’m totally contemplating joining her for a Sunday afternoon snooze. ¬†Josh had to work yesterday which meant Bella and I got to spend an extra day just the two us. Whilst of course we missed Daddy I always try to soak up our one on one time together as much as I can. When we woke up on Saturday morning it was absolutely freezing and there was a beautiful frost covering the ground outside so we decided to stay warm and cosy and have a relaxed day at home. We’re always on the go, there is always somewhere we need to be and a million errands that need doing and this year I really want to try and embrace a slower pace of life. More time at home, more quiet days, more country dog walks and overall just less unnecassary stress.

    We had to pop out quickly in the morning¬†so I could go for my weekly weigh in at Slimming World but then we headed home, put our slippers on and whacked the heating up ūüėČ Chilly winter days call for baking in our house so we decided to make some chocolate muffins with the leftover mars chocolates from the Christmas celebrations tin! They were clearly everyones least favourite this year along with the milky ways which have now been relocated into Bella’s treats tin. I’m personally all about the galaxy caramels, malteasers and snickers ones! I’ll be sharing my muffin recipe with a photo heavy post later on in the week if you’re interested.

    Being a working Mama, we don’t have much time in the week for activities like baking so it’s something special we save for the weekends. Bella absolutely loved putting all the cases into the muffin tray, helping me measure out the different ingredients, she then mixed the dry ingredients together and unwrapped all the chocolates while I cut them into chunks. Surprisingly she made little mess as she was being so careful, her concentration face is just the cutest. Bella was so excited and just kept looking at me and grinning which makes my Mama heart so very happy. I have always loved baking and I so hope that she will share my baking passion. When I was pregnant and found out I was expecting a daughter it was these little moments I dreamed of. Spending my weekends in the kitchen baking with my little girl.

    We had such a lovely day together and we both really enjoyed each others company. There were no toddler tantrums for a change and Bella couldn’t wipe the smile of her face. While our muffins were in the oven, we made our lunch together, Bella loves buttering her own bread and choosing what she’d like to eat, she really is such an independent little madam now. As silly as it may sound, its these little moments that I miss most when I’m at work. Eating lunch together at her mini table and chairs and chatting about our day and what we’re going to do next.

    I’m so glad I had my camera to hand and took some snaps of our cosy day at home together. My baby who’s really no longer a baby¬†is growing into such a lovely little girl and I don’t want to forget these ordinary moments spent with her.






    Thanks for reading
    Harriet xo