School’s Out For Summer

L breaks up this afternoon, marking the end of her time in early year’s / foundation class. Although it’s two years ago in September, I remember clearly the day I dropped her off at nursery, a tiny three year old decked out from head to toe in school uniform. I could have burst with pride at L’s excitement, holding hands tightly as we walked along the path. Beginning a whole new adventure of her very own, and signalling a distinctly symbolic day for both of us.

Due to the system at L’s school she’s had the same fantastic teacher throughout nursery and reception, meaning a seamless transition so far. In a way, because of this, entering the next stage almost feels like the end of an era.

We plumped for Lindt as our parting thank you, from their Gifts for Teacher range. After a long week with my own children, let alone an extra thirty, I reach for the sweet stuff with a glass of Gordon’s and slice of lemon. As nicely as it would have fit into the metallic gift-bag, a celebratory can of Marks’ G & T alongside the choc seemed a little inappropriate.

Token packages aside, the main thing I want to pass to Mrs P today is my immense gratitude for giving L the precious foundations of her education. This invaluable mentor developed the confidence of my shy little girl, making her shine through all the things she loves. Showing L the beginnings of her own budding ability and guiding her steely strength of character, Mrs P sums up the true power and inspiration of a great teacher. Words of a slightly emotional parent that no present could ever be big enough to convey.

Wardrobe Wishlist: Joules

As always, the latest collection from British brand Joules* is a veritable mix of major must-haves for the wardrobe wishlist. Covering gorgeous floral dresses as well as chic breton tops and sleek cut shorts, their summer pieces are brimming at the seams with hand created prints and beautiful fabrics. Taking you from work to weekend are tunics and capri trousers, striped shirts and tailored jackets. I put together my top picks; ticking off lace detail, a bright pop of coral colouring and all important layering options for chillier days.

And those cosy evenings when you just want to collapse after a Saturday packed full of al fresco dining or paddling/ shivering in the sea? Always a treat to have some new PJs, perfect for stylishly sipping fizz by the fire.

Items featured- Lisbeth Lace Top; Floella Cardigan in New Melon; Southcote Coat in Indigo;  Elspeth Shorts in French NavyJenny Flip Flops in Navy Floral and Evette Pyjamas in Creme Bouquet.

*Sponsored post.

Beach Cafe SS14

It’s summer holiday packing season again and top of my wardrobe seaside picks are the latest Seafolly finds from I heart this heavenly Desert Springs Swimsuit with graphic palm tree print and shimmering effect. Paired with the Sherbet Maxi Dress in Coral for pure pastel perfection, they make up my sandy summer wishlist.

Full of flowing festival fabrics and chic coveted patterns, Beach Cafe dazzle every time with stunning luxe swim and beachwear to suit all. Streamline silhouettes are their forte, and the fitting service this beautiful boutique offers is also well worth a look.

Seafolly Desert Springs Swimsuit and Sherbet Maxi Dress in Coral c/o See the rest of their Seafolly range here.

Mhoula Matcha Tea

Mhoula recently sent me some Teapigs Matcha, a super concentrated green tea with a 1g shot containing the health benefits of fifteen times your standard cup. Already a fan of green tea, I was keen to give it a go and eager to beat that dreaded three o’clock slump with something other than coffee. As much as I enjoy caffeine, the amount I drink is a little on the excessive side.

Given that the Matcha came with a shot glass and tea bowl, there are lots of different ways to sample this mini wonder. Some days I’ve just had a quick slug of Matcha to wake me up before the school run, and others I’ve added it to juice or hot water for a more relaxing tea break. Matcha tea is high in anti-oxidants, offers a natural boost and kick starts alertness. These are facts listed in the information sheet accompanying the tea, which I wanted to put to the test myself. After a decent dose of Matcha, I can vouch that the results I’ve experienced have proven the Teapigs Matcha promise. It’s a tiny tea energy boost with bags of goodness. I can see this one becoming a new part of my daily elevenses routine.

Receive 20% off Teapigs Matcha Tea over at Enter MMMHOULA14 to redeem this offer. 

La Sultane de Saba Summer

Despite loving the various lotions and creams on offer, they’re not the quickest beauty regime to contend with or be bothered to maintain daily. On sunny bare leg days I’m reaching for the savvier alternative, body oil. La Sultane de Saba Body Oil with Orange Blossom is soothing and softening, not to mention it smells delicious.

I’ve also been using this to replenish my hair, a tiny bit of it taking away the dreaded fizz and re-hydrating lethargic locks. A luxe brand, La Sultane de Saba is well worth the price tag, with products that are multi purpose indulgence. This beauty even doubles up for sandal season cuticle care. Non sticky and lightweight for those hot days which will hopefully continue, you could even call it summer in a bottle.

RRP £30.50. Stockists-, Nature & Co and Hydrofit. For mail order telephone Spa Voyage Ltd on 01483 450830.

Luxe Layers

With World Cup mayhem taking momentum, I wanted to focus on the fashion side of things; beautiful Brazilian style. Independent boutique Luxe Layers is the work of founder Flavia Young, a super stylish and talented businesswoman whose mother ran her own chic shop in Rio De Janeiro. Flavia has an amazing attention to detail and flair for spotting fabulous designers, components she injected into the creation of Barnes based Luxe Layers. Luxe Layers stocks many gorgeous garments, and you can find a style selection specially dedicated to shopping Brazil-born designers here. I was asked to pick my favourite piece, and couldn’t resist choosing this metallic animal print Lucidez Donna cardigan. It’s an extra luxurious addition to my wardrobe, and I can’t wait to dress it up or down. I also love the matching Lucidez Donna knit. Think this will probably be as far as my football fever goes though…

Cardigan- Lucidez Donna c/o Luxe Layers; Jeans and Necklace- Topshop; Shoes- Office; Bag- Anya Hindmarch; Bracelet- The Dressing Room.

Protected Species

Living in the North of England, we get blustery showers in abundance and I always struggle to find coats which are waterproof, windproof and stylish to boot. Protected Species fit that very brief, as I found out this week when they sent me their West End Waterproof Mac. It comes complete with taped seams and stretchy breathable fabric, plus a handy detachable hood which I particularly like. Perfect for impromptu rainstorms on beach trips, or damp and drizzly school runs. You can choose between the mac featured, or Protected Species’ other piece de resistance, their Northern Quarter Waterproof Parka. Either way, you’re onto an all weather winner. In the words of Protected Species, rain on!

Mac- c/o Protected Species; Shirt- Crew Clothing; Tee- c/o American Vintage at The Dressing Room; Trousers- Dorothy Perkins; Shoes- Boden; Bag- Mulberry.


Sew Lomax Baby Accessories

Sew Lomax recently launched their very first baby range, as inspired by designer Emma Lomax’s brand new nephew. I got a look at the gurgling goodies and in particular, the large baby muslins, which are a definite newborn must-have. Super soft for swaddling, snuggling and wiping milky chops, they would make an ideal baby gift.  With prices starting at £4, the range also covers bibs and dummy clips, and each item is available in blue, green or pink.

All perfectly designed with Mamas and Papas in mind, products are made up of 100% cotton. The bibs are also plastic backed, to protect from spills onto clothing underneath. Other nifty features such as the dummy clip’s wipe clean plastic insert ensures the collection expertly covers functionality as well as style. The only problem is, these baby bits may make you a little bit broody…

For the chance to win a Large Muslin Set, Set of Bibs and a Soother Protector Clip in the colour of your choice, head over to my Twitter page.

Neon Brights

Neon shades and stripes are my two favourite Summer staples, and the sun has certainly got his hat on this weekend. After a hit and miss half term weather week, we were ready to make the most of it with Magners and a Magnum in the garden. That, and a helping of mud-pie from the minis and their new water and sand table.  Here’s what I’ve been digging out to wear…

Top- Regram Runway; Skirt- Crew Clothing; Shoes- Accessorize; Necklace- The Emporium