I’m going to be curating a weekly ‘Top 8’, ahead of the weekend, looking mostly at online shops. This week I’ve looked at the New Arrivals of some of my favourite online shops. All products are available currently on the UK sites and are priced in GBP. It’s been a real mixed bag weather-wise, so this week’s Edit reflects that!
This week’s online shopping Edit:
A few years ago we lived and worked in East London. We saw a lot of trends, styles, brands, come and go. But it was practically overnight that I spotted guys wearing NEW BALANCE trainers; and I’m not gonna lie, I was like “how are they even making a come back?!”. As a kid, New Balance were always a trainer that I saw as being fit for purpose, like for playing Tennis in or something else sporty!
A few more weeks went by, seeing more and more colours of sneaks popping up; and then I saw a pair of Bordeaux Red (my favourite wine no less) New Balance 574’s in the window of Albam, Spitalfields. I fell in love. I wanted them for myself, even though they were Men’s. I knew right then that my opinion on New Balance had been overturned, forever. And rightly so.
Fast forward 5 years and my almost 4 year old is loving life in his very own pair of All-Black 574’s.
For those who don’t perhaps know, Eli was born with several medical conditions – Talipes, Torticollis and Hypermobility. From before he was even born, Eli endured some pretty intense tests, scans, physio and corrective treatments (Ponseti method). He came out the other side meeting the milestones that all his pals met, at the same age (and some he hit even sooner than anticipated!). While, on the outset Eli looks ‘fixed’, you can’t help but notice just how clumsy he can be, how off-balance he can be and how crazily flexible he can be! He’s super-active and he never did learn to *just* walk – he quite literally got up one day and RAN. Eli also doesn’t sleep well – never has – since being a newborn. We sometimes excuse his lack of sleep with, “he just doesn’t want to miss out”, “he’s being a typical toddler”. But the older he’s getting, the more convinced we are that it could well be his conditions waking him and giving him jip. He’s commented recently on his feet and knee’s being sore. We were told that it’s likely he could grow up with Migraines and will get early onset Arthritis due to the flexibility of his joints. (We have his next check-up with his consultant in June).
When Eli did start
running walking we struggled to find suitable footwear that supported him fully, that would aid against relapse and would keep him upright. With this all in mind, I wanted to highlight how good these trainers are for his feet; and his balance (no pun intended). They’re a great fit for him, just narrow enough. They tie quite tightly, with no rubbing at any points. They keep him more sturdy than any other footwear he has, yet they’re really lightweight. They’ve worn exceptionally well and actually still look brand new. Eli has commented that they’re “my comfy adventure shoes”. And I think that says it all! He’s really happy with them – he runs like the wind in them – and looks pretty cool too.
I ordered Eli’s 574’s from OFFICE and had them delivered within the week to Berlin. They have a massive range of Kids’ New Balance styles, in loads of wicked colours. There are also velcro versions for smaller feet… or for feet that love untying those shoe laces! You can shop the full range online here.
Oh Saint Laurent, how I love thee, let me count the ways…
The rumours were rife ahead of the L.A showcase that this collection could indeed be the last from Saint Laurent Creative Director, Hedi Slimane. I sincerely hope it isn’t the final showcase – but if it is, he’s certainly gone out with a massive bang. The Fall / Winter 2016 collection is incredible. I want every. single. piece.
The showcase was presented during New York Fashion – Men’s Collections – but included around 40 Women’s looks, revealing a heavy influence of 70’s-glam-luxe wear. Lavish embroidery, fringing and signature Slimane leopard print adorns the Women’s collection – with highlights of gold and snake print added for good measure. I love the mixture of texture and print. The delicate beading and brash boots.
A glimpse of David Bowie was captured throughout the Men’s collection with 70’s tailoring and that glam-rock essence that was magically brought to life through Ziggy Stardust himself.
This is definitely not a subtle collection and I imagine not one for everyone, but my goodness, this is definitely a collection for me!
The showcase was brought to a close with a bow from Slimane, something unusual for the Hedi who would notoriously walk from the stage with the models. An added smile and short wave also hinted that this could indeed be a “goodbye wave”. Which makes me incredibly sad. Let’s hope the rumour-mill is simply in overdrive and Slimane is simply just ecstatic to be showcasing such a wonderful collection in his adopted hometown of LA.
© Photography courtesy of Vogue.com
What Eli Wore: Dinosaur Costume
Brand: H & M
Price: £17.99 / 24.99€
Sizes available: 2 years – 10 years.
It’s no secret, Mr Eli quite literally lives and breathes Dinosaurs. Some of that love is potentially down to us as his parents – we did
force the SCIENCE upon him encourage it from before he was even born; you know, the dinosaur prints here and there, the odd toy figure, a couple of books, DVD’s… (and had even meticulously planned that first trip to the Natural History Museum for when he was JUST the right age, of course. And, incidentally, it was the “BEST DAY EVER!” when we took him for his 3rd birthday). He was destined to be our little Science Boy. THANKFULLY, Eli is fully appreciative of our efforts and is 110% fully immersed and committed. If he’s not acting his role as Chief Explorer then he’s THE dinosaur that’s being searched for. (It’s sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two roles… and sometimes, just for laughs, he merges them into one, to keep me on my toes!).
Eli did have a dinosaur onesie from his Auntie, but he outgrew it a little while ago and I’ve looked for something similar since. I couldn’t believe my luck when I stumbled across this gem in H&M at Alexanderplatz before Christmas. It was under the tree waiting for him on the big day… but looked massive. The sizing is quite broad, I’d bought a size 2-4 years. So, I whacked it in his wardrobe shortly after Christmas and expected we’d get it out again during Summer at some point. Yesterday he’d retrieved it himself and brought it over to me, whispering “Mummy, I think this is a real dinosaur!”. We tried it on, et voilà, it looked wicked! Eli was indeed instantly transformed to REAL DINOSAUR status – complete with sound effects and some pretty scary actions!
PRO’s: So, its a great price for a play-costume. The detailing is brilliant – especially the detachable padded tail and golden spiked spine. The print is spot on and kind of shimmers. It’s flowing and comfy – slight elasticated hems and a zip cover at neckline. Machine washable at 30c.
CON’s: It makes Eli sweat – its that sort of sweaty polyester material; could have done with being lined.
We’re properly chuffed with this outfit and know we’ll get LOADS of
daily wear out of it. And I think he makes a pretty cool REAL DINOSAUR!
YESMUM Cards, by Hollie de Cruz, available in her shop, here.
Better late, than never, right? Happy New Year.
2016: The dawn of a new age for me. 2016 is all about positive vibes only.
I ended the year on a not so good note, I’ll be honest. I’ll go into further details when I get round to blogging about my wonderful YESMUM Cards. But that aside, I wanted to bring the old blog up to date now we’re in 2016. So what’s happened so far in 2016? Well, we’ve had the coldest of January days we’ve ever had, ever, a flight back to our Motherland in the North of England, the death of the incredible David Bowie – which has left me somewhat broken hearted, amazing snow-filled fun, a cough, a cold, a stomach bug and Tonsillitis. The past few weeks have also cemented the fact that I need to step back and CHILL – for someone with anxiety, this is obviously a bigger thing than just ‘chilling out’. I’m taking steps to indeed ‘chill the hell out’, and I feel much happier stepping into February. Onwards and upwards, eh!
Here are a few snaps from January and into February:
Our first flight of 2016, at 10am on 01/01/2016 – start the year as you mean to go on?!
Haupstr. 155, Schöneberg, Berlin – the apartment where the wonderful David Bowie lived during his Berlin years. Myself and Mr Memoirs were always Bowie fans, but something really struck us about his shock passing. Perhaps it was because we’re in Berlin and he did so much for this incredible city? We genuinely felt heartbroken and haven’t stopped listening to his back catalogue since. We found the trip to his apartment so emotional – albeit, Eli referring to Bowie as ‘The Starman’ and picking yellow flowers for him definitely didn’t help things! We’re so sad he’s gone, but so happy he existed. Wonderful Starman, we will be forever indebted to you for the musical education and creativity. Our son will live in a happier place for your music and choice-looks, and for that we will be eternally grateful.
We hope Berlin does change the street permanently!
Winter MOTHER – Jewels by the absolute SuperMum that is Kelly Seymour of Cult Of Youth.
FINALLY! The schnee arrived!
Wanna build a schneemann?
Eli got a mega bike for Christmas and refused to part ways on the Kita-run, regardless of terrain!
…tea solves everything. Especially a proper cuppa!
We dressed in lots of red to show our support for the recent British Heart Foundation #WearItBeatIt campaign. See more on my post, here: Our personal account, and #WearItForIvy!
…and here we are, today. Today saw the bluest of skies and a mild 12c! Spring is certainly in the air, and I for one cannot wait for sunshine filled adventures!
For now, over and out!
Well, I’ve been meaning to write up this post for a long while now! But, the usual happened… Lots going on with work, Eli running riot, holiday shopping, going on holiday (INCREDIBLE HOLIDAY – post to most certainly follow), more work and family time.
SO! Where do I begin?
We had the most amazing weekend at The Big Feastival and we were so sad when it came to an end! From start to finish – from the delicious food and drink we had the pleasure of tasting, actually watching and meeting our favourite Chef’s and of course, the absolutely incredible activities and performers for the kids. (I *even* loved the camping part too!). Quite literally, our perfect festival! We cannot wait until next year!
This post is most likely to be quite photo-heavy.
So here it goes!
Our journey there (and back) was brilliant. No traffic and beautiful country roads as we travelled from our Essex-home to the Cotswolds. Eli slept a lot which was also great. We’d been up since 5am, so we hoped he’d sleep in the car to catch up. (We also could have done with sleeping en route too – we barely slept a wink for the excitement!)
Our car was brilliant going across the fields – finally, proper off-roading in our off-roading car! It was raining and really quite chilly when we arrived on site, at Alex James’ farm. We decided it best to hire a Mr Trolley, because as you can see, we did not travel light! I don’t know how we would have managed without it to be honest, lots and lots and lots of trips back and forth to the car I guess! Which, frankly, isn’t ideal with a toddler and drizzle! We hired the trolley when we arrived and again when we were packing up on the Sunday. We hired the trolley for the minimum time of 30 minutes. We weren’t far from the car so filling and emptying the trolley and returning it back to the Mr Trolley stand took no time at all! We located some flat land within the Family Campsite and set to work…
Our wicked tent cost just £50 from Halfords! I honestly cannot recommend this tent enough. I’m not a camper, by any stretch of the imagination, (although after this trip, I might be a camper now!), but this tent was perfect! It took about 15 minutes to put up and about 10 minutes to take back down again (thanks to the help from Mr Eli of course!). It was sturdy and roomy inside; and it felt like really good quality. We’ve had a ‘pop-up’ tent previously (unfortunately, this tent is lost somewhere between France and Newcastle due to friends not returning it back to us, post-2008 Surf trip . They know we’re not happy about it…) and the new tent is by far a better product! I look forward to camping with this tent again.
We decided that we didn’t want to sleep on the floor of the tent – let’s be honest, we’re too old to be sleeping on the floor now. I also refused to sleep on a blow-up bed or with a sleeping bag. We purchased two very, very comfortable camp bed’s for a tenner each from eBay (brand new, inc postage!) and we took a long our Winter duvet as it tends to get very cold on a night, even in August. I suppose you could call us Glampers in respect of this. Eli also equally had his Glamping cap on with his Little Bird by Jools Oliver sheets and blankets in his travel cot.
Never before have we been to a festival where there are food stalls on the camp site. The main ‘arena’ didn’t open until after 10, so the stalls were much-needed for our breakfast before you head into the main area. Of course, this isn’t any old food van on a campsite! This is a “Le Swine” van by Bruno Loubet! Also wanted to mention that on each campsite there are an amazing amount of loo’s, showers and an area to use a cooking stove should you wish. There were no camp fires allowed on the site, at all. I thought this was brilliant. I was of course worried about other people using gas around out tent due to there being several tragedies in the past few years, so this set me at ease. And how nice is it waking up and not smelling of fire?! Definitely made for a lovely camping experience.
And… we’re in!
We watched DJ BBQ for a wee while and then decided to head for some late-lunch!
Mr Memoirs headed straight to the DJ BBQ stall where he ordered this incredible pulled pork burger! YUM!
Me, being me, opted for Risotto… because that’s what you have when you arrive at a festival, right?
We then spent some time at Adam Henson’s farm. Eli is a massive animal-lover so he was in his element being able to get up close and personal with all the lovely animals!
We then caught Mr Levi Roots and his Reggae band.
The Doom Bar tent by Sharps Brewery was particularly awesome, with its beach and secret tasting rooms! I had a lovely pint of IPA which tasted like honey.
We’ve been going to festivals for over ten years now. But this festival was special. We had our beautiful, and well-behaved, little boy in tow – it literally could not have been any better!
Dancing at the main stage!
Having a drink with one of our favourite people, Mr Gennaro Contaldo. Last time we caught up with Gennaro, Eli was fast asleep and we were sat they didn’t meet properly. This time, Eli was more than awake!
Want to also do a massive shout-out to the ever-so-brilliant ladies from the Up All Hours tent. They provided a cosy, home-from-home environment in which you could change and feed your little one’s. I loved chatting to you both over the weekend! Thank you for making our festival experience a fresh and clean one! (And cheers for all the goodies you send us home with too!). Up All Hours is a new parenting platform that connects, entertains and most importantly supports parents who are ‘Up All Hours’. sign up, here> Up All Hours.
The Katsu curry from Yu Kyu was so good I had it TWICE over the course of the weekend.
Crepes from Crêpe Lucette to satisfy my sweet tooth.
It went A LOT higher and faster than I expected… and seemed to be never-ending!
Only bumped into our favourite off of Countryfile! Mr Adam Henson!
We went for ‘Number 5′ from Alex James’ Cheese Hub – and what a choice! It was so delicious and creamy – and went really well with our red wine back at the tent.
I will have to do a blog post on everything Little Bird by Jools Oliver related – too much to talk about!
One of our festival highlights was watching the lovely Justin Fletcher from CBeebies.
I can’t bare these… but Mr Memoirs do love a Bloody Mary! He thoroughly enjoyed this one from Little Devil. It didn’t half have a kick to it!
Well, this was dreamy! Amazing smoked short rib in a brioche bun with salsa and a fried egg. RIDICULOUSLY GOOD! It was the salsa that really did it for me. This was from the stunning Barbecoa van.
Oh heck, it’s only David Loftus and Bruno Loubet!
Chatting to David Loftus while we wait for Jamie and Jools to come from round the van!
These two people, right there, are my favourite people. I adore Jamie and Jools (I know you’re all so sick of hearing this now!) but I do. We’re huge Jamie Oliver fans – every recipe we’ve ever cooked and in every Jamie restaurant we’ve ever dined, we’ve always eaten the most tasty food our tummies could muster. And Jools, well, Jools has given me the chance to dress my son in beautiful clothes that suit US as a family. Our son wears clothes that reflect him as a person and he looks so damn cool it’s untrue
(not even being biased). Oh, and while we’re on it…
Speaking with Jools Oliver is probably the most star-struck I’ve ever been! (Even after meeting all those rockstars… and indeed the actual Queen!). She’s just beautiful, isn’t she?!
We had a lovely Gin and Tonic while the boy slept, from the great guys over at Fever Tree. We love their soft drinks (mixers), they go amazingly well with Sipsmith Gin and Chase Vodka too!
Watching Daisy Lowe bake (who knew she was doing that now?!) with her Mum Pearl Lowe and Danny Goffey standing infront of us.
Seeing Jamie and Gennaro cook together in real life was an absolute pleasure. The relationship they both have is wonderful. They were so funny, informative and so full of passion.
My path recently crossed with Alex James’ via work. I would have loved a chat and a proper photo with him but unfortunately his P.A wouldn’t let me. Such a shame! I took a #selfie irregardless, ha!
We waited for what felt like hours for our pizza’s from Rossopomodoro – but when they arrived, my goodness, they were goooood! Worth the wait!
Fat Boy Slim was incredible! We hadn’t intended on staying for the set from Norman Cook, but we got sucked in! Eli was fast asleep and the crowd was just so happy – the atmosphere was amazing!
The next morning was our final day (booooooo). Mr Eli helped us pack up the tent so we could then go into the main arena and enjoy the rest of our last day at the festival.
Eli and I had lovely bacon rolls and Mr Memoirs opted for Kedgeree from What The Dickens!
Our first stop (and possibly my actual highlight of the festival!) was seeing the delightful Mr Bloom
swoon. Eli was in absolute awe – he was so mesmerised, it was beautiful to watch him!
Then we went to see Jamie and Adam Henson…
…followed by Monica Galetti (who was surprisingly lovely in real life!)
Then we spotted Mr Nathan Outlaw.
After a final mooch around the site and a spot of lunch (yes, we went and had a Katsu Curry again) it was time to get the car packed up and drive home. We literally had the BEST weekend – we had the time of our lives, all of us. This is the perfect festival for a family – and of course, a foodie.
I must also take this opportunity to thank the brilliant folk over at Jamie’s Italian without whom we would not have had tickets The Big Feastival! We sadly missed out on the Early Bird tickets for the 2015 Big Feastival as it was while we were on holiday (we didn’t time that well did we!) but we will certainly be booking up when they’re available for general release.
MANY THANKS AGAIN BIG FEASTIVAL – YOU WERE EPIC!
“Shy bairns get nowt”. For those who don’t understand what this means… I shall explain! This well known phrase (an overused phrase by oneself!) translates to: a shy person doesn’t get anything without asking for it.
I absolutely LOVE this mug. My dear friend Christie bought me it for my birthday this year, but due to Royal Mail being HORRENDOUS the birthday gift not only arrived smashed to smithereens but as we were out at time, it was put into a food caddy that was FULL of food at the time. (I honestly don’t know where to begin with that one!).
A few weeks ago, we went back to Newcastle for the first time in 6 years, where we had once lived for 4 years, to visit our lovely friends Christie (who sent me the mug!) and Adam. Our Motherland is a 1 hour drive from Newcastle, so we used a lot of Geordie lingo to begin with, but living in Newcastle gave me a proper tongue from the Toon! This mug is perfect for me and I couldn’t wait to get it replaced!
I managed to get the mug back Daaaaaahn Safff in one piece, I’m hoping it remains the case!
Wot Ma Like is an ingenius brand from husband and wife team, Jo & Nick Burrows, who set up the Geordie Mug company initially, before expanding the dialects to include accents such as Yorkshire, Scouse and Manc to name but a few. Their items are definitely one-of-a-kind and make such great gifts and treats for your home. We’ll definitely be purchasing more items for ourselves and others! I do love to give Independant, small and local brands a shout out – so if you’re a new/small/local business, please do get in touch!
So, as dedicated followers of 1970’s interiors, we have been ridiculed a lot – to say the very least.
Some of the following statements are just a few of the regular comments that we get when people come by our house:
“Oh god, my Nana had that when I was a kid.”
“Christ, it’s like walking into a time warp in ‘ere.”
“Erm, my Nana called, she wants her crockery/cushions/lampshade/curtains* back” (*delete as appropriate).
I’d say our parents are most opposed to our fondness of all things 70’s. Apparently, they despised the era and just don’t “get” our love and adoration for the prints, the colours, the design, the style – the loveliness! We’ve had 7 houses in our 10 year courtship, so far – we love the 1970’s and we the feelings are mutual, we’re sure. We’ve collected some absolute treasures over the years – and the 7 houses – and we’ve also had some wonderful things handed down to us. We love that the majority of our ‘time warp’ of a house has a story. Most item’s aren’t just things that we bought for the sake of having a fruity looking house – there is sentiment and lasting memory.
As I have mentioned MANY a time, Little Bird by Jools is literally my favourite brand – EVER. I’ve always wanted to dress our children in that 70’s fashion – but not in the itchy or dowdy fabric’s and styles. Little Bird is spot on with design, colour and that whimsical nostalgia that surrounds being an actual CHILD. It’s a little bit of US.
So, as soon as I clapped eyes on these fruity pyjama’s, I just had to have them! I ADORE them. I bought them back in July when they were first released and kept them for Eli’s 2nd birthday. It was so tough to not break them out of the wrapping paper! We’ve also kept the wellie’s for The Big Feastival at the weekend too. I’m definitely going to have to dress Eli in both, like the campaign – he’ll look wicked!
As you can imagine, I was pretty shocked when some of the usual folks – who would regularly give us jip for our 70’s affection – commented on the first photo of Eli, above, saying how much they loved Eli’s pj’s… and then I had a dozen comments across the social channels asking where they could purchase such wonderful sleepwear! Oh how the tables have turned… and I LOVE IT! I know they’re still just printed pyjama’s, with a retro inspiration – and I know that just because someone likes these pyjama’s, they’re not automatically going to LOVE our house and the rest of the clothes we dress Eli in. But it’s a start… and we love it all regardless, so we’re not changing for nobody! Hurray to the 1970’s!
These ‘Retro Pyjamas’ are available in store and online at Mothercare.com now – just click here to purchase!
I enter competitions on a whim. I forget about them. I entered The Big Feastival competition via the Jamie Oliver ‘Gold Club’ back in December… at the time, I remember saying to Mr Memoirs, “We should keep that weekend free, just incase!”. His obvious reaction was “No need, we never win anything…”. He’s eating those words right now, because I DID WIN!
We’re so so excited, I can’t even put it into words! And that is saying something.
I’m even excited about the camping part! Which is DEFINITELY saying something.
We’ve always wanted to go to The Big Feastival – as we’re huge fans of Jamie Oliver, and Alex James fan’s to boot (I was always on team BLUR, of course). This is literally the perfect festival for us, especially with Eli in tow too. It’s hugely family-friendly (heck, Justin Fletcher A.K.A Mr Tumble and actual Mr Bloom
swoon are there too!). There are dozens of activities and area’s to keep little ones entertained. Plus, and most importantly, this is a foodie festival. With all our favourite chef’s in attendance! You can see the list of who’s-who, here> CHEF’s.
The marketing team at Jamie Oliver have been absolutely fantastic. They’ve been super swift to reply to any queries we’ve had and have kept me up to date with everything. The tickets landed on my doormat this morning, giving me a new lease of excitement – WE’RE ACTUALLY GOING!
So – what’s the plan when we get there?
Well, we’ll unload the car and get the tent up as soon as possible – and get settled in! We tested the tent a few weekend’s ago and it was super easy to assemble – which is good news because I would get bored so quickly otherwise! For the first time ever, we also have a camp bed; there was no way we could sleep on the actual floor for a few nights (we literally have the bones of elderly people!).
We’ll then head into the festival, which open’s at 11am!
We’re really looking forward to seeing presentations/tasting’s with our favourite Chef’s, as well as joining in all the toddler activities we can feast on! Eli is very, very good with his food, so we’re certain he’ll get stuck into munching whatever he can. As reader’s of my blog, and friends of mine IRL, will know, I’m
massively mildly obsessed with Little Bird by Jools. Basically, there is little else that I will dress Mr Eli in, other than Little Bird. It is my imaginary children’s fashion made reality (and probably better than my imagination to be honest!). And guess what? Little Bird will be at The Big Feastival too! Last year there was even a catwalk (I can’t cope!), which I’ll so be FROW of with Eli. Hoping he doesn’t gatecrash though – I know he has a soft spot for Jools and her design’s too! I’m literally so excited I can’t even contain myself!
Just look how adorable these kids are man! LOVE LOVE LOVE Little Bird!
So the countdown is officially on, now that tickets are in hand! T-minus 13 day’s! This weekend we’ve bought Eli some new threads to keep him cool or warm and dry across the Big Feastival weekend. That’s the only trouble with a British festival, you really need to pack for ALL weather! I’m certain we’ll have an amazing time whatever the weather will be. There are adventures and memories to be made… and that’s the main thing.
PS – any tips you have for camping with a 2 year old would be greatly appreciated!
Here is the line-up (in full, more or less).