16.04

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D O N K E Y S   A N D   C H I C K E N S   A N D   L A M B S ,   O H   M Y !

Living on a farm, you’d think we might’ve had our fill of cute baby animals already this spring. There’s often a row of sheep and lambs there to greet us when we open the living room curtains in the morning, the horses lean over the fence for a fuss when I’m working out in the vegetable patch, and there’s a nest of baby rabbits next to the outbuilding that pop up for a snack and drive Elsie bonkers as she stalks them from inside the house. Telling the truth, I’ve half a mind to let her out there to scare them off since they’ve already had all the new shoots off my lovely raspberry canes…

But aside from our rabbit troubles we’re still animal-obsessed over here, and none of us more so than Ottilie! She asks to go out and visit the lambs approximately 400 times a day (‘coat, shoooos, NAMBS!’), can’t see a carrot without shouting ‘neigh neigh!’ at the top of her voice, and gives the dogs more ’tisses and duddles’ than they really care for.

And so when the team over at F&F (Tesco’s very own brilliant clothing line) offered to send us off on a visit to Odd’s Farm Park decked out in their very latest and loveliest Spring collection, we jumped at the chance!

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Let’s just take a moment to talk about these clothes, because aren’t they lovely?

The F&F line has been one of my favourite places to shop for children’s clothes ever since we had Ottilie. Initially lured to Tesco by the deals on Pampers, the clothes caught my eye with their fun patterns and gorgeous designs and I’ve been a fan ever since. In fact, one of my favourite ever pieces of Ottie’s baby wardrobe, a grey marl jumper with embroidered multicoloured pompoms on, was an F&F find!

I’m just in love with that floral romper Ottie’s wearing, and the raincoat is her new favourite thing in the world. The moment it arrived at our house she asked to put it on and stomped around the house in it right up until her bathtime! And it’s come in very handy already this spring, what with all the April showers we’ve been having…

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^ So taken with the friendly goats! ^

And yet I’ve never once thought to shop at F&F for clothes of my own, or Jason’s for that matter!

I absolutely love that Bardot top with the floral embroidery (you know how much I love a floral inspired pattern!), the yellow coat is the most cheerful clothing item I think I’ve ever owned, and the cropped-length navy trousers are such a lovely alternative to the jeans I seem to live in these days. And Jason too has been so impressed by his first taste of F&F clothing- he’s lived in that outfit ever since, which is true testament to the cut and quality of the pieces!

Ottilie’s outfit : Raincoat || Daisy cardigan || Daisy romper

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Grey marl jumper || Jeans || Canvas shoes 

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Odd’s Farm Park was such a lovely place to spend a morning too, with so many beautiful animals there to admire and feed by hand. My favourite was the snoozing pile of piglets (their little wrinkled noses just melt my heart) whereas Ottilie thought the rabbits were the best things ever.

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Once we’d had our fill of gazing at all the baby animals in the barn, we headed outside into the bright and blustery spring sunshine.

It feels as though this winter’s gone on for the longest time, so the sight of blossom unfurling on branches and people all around us taking off heavy winter coats as the day warmed up made my heart sing. With my garden back at home suddenly picking up in pace (onions are in, the first potato shoots are up and through the soil, peas are growing like weeds and the lettuces are tiny but flourishing), it’s just the best time of year.

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^ It was a little embarrassing how much I struggled when I tried walking along this wobbly board in the playpark at the farm…Ottie sauntered along it making it look easy, but when I tried? Well, I think my pelvic floor nearly gave way. ^

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Next on our list of animals to visit at the farm was the turkeys and chickens, because we’re all a little in love with them and I’m badgering Jason non-stop right now about when would be the right time to rescue some ex-battery hens!

I just think they’re the most beautiful things, with their knowing eyes and glossy feathers, and I’m desperate to add some to our menagerie. Ottilie just loves them too, though wasn’t nearly so keen on the turkey, who gobbled so loudly at us all that Ottie jumped so hard she nearly fell over!

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And so to our final stop of the day, the gift shop of course! Ottie had beelined for the little rubber ducks (of all the toys!!) as soon as we entered the shop when we first arrived at the farm, and was equally smitten with them on our way back out again. So home one came with us, with Ottie stopping every few paces on our way back to the car to bounce it along the floor whilst shouting ‘QUAAAACK!’  as loudly as she could!

It’s has been confiscated since we’ve been home though, since a certain toddler kept putting it in the dog’s water bowl for a swim…

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It was the nicest day out, and with life feeling so busy lately, a real treat to go on an outing as a family and get to spend some quality time just the three of us.

The biggest thank you to F&F for sending us on such a lovely day trip, and for making us the most colourful, smartly-dressed family around in their beautiful new season clothes!

~ This post was created in collaboration with F&F. Thank you for supporting the sponsored content that makes Cider with Rosie possible! ~

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15.02

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S P R I N G ,   S U M M E R ,   A U T U M N ,   W I N T E R

Do you ever wish you were better at shopping? I mean, it’s a skill many of us practise with relish (much to Jason’s dismay, in my case…) but am I actually *good* at it? I’m not sure!

I seem to forever be buying the same things over and over, never stopping to think if they’re actually adding much to my wardrobe. I’m drawn time and again to the same pieces- stripy tops (see last blog post for proof!), soft knitwear in oatmeal colours, and oversized boyfriend jeans…though I’ve just come round to the Mom jean trend and am loving it!

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This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the reopening of TK Maxx‘s new look Guildford store, and of having a one to one consultation with colour expert Pam from House of Colour. Pam specialises in providing a personalised colour palette recommendation, which is designed to help you shop smarter! It’s a completely fascinating process, and it was so interesting to learn that despite being drawn to the earthy autumn colour palette, I’m actually more of a summer girl! I should’ve guessed really, given how much I’m drawn to pale blues and pinks!

She also recognised just from the outfit I was wearing that day that I’m a very soft and natural person, and she guessed that I’m likely drawn to loose fitting clothing with an often quite feminine feel. She couldn’t have been more spot on!

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And so armed with new knowledge of what clothing colours and styles might suit me best, what better place to put it all into practise than a treasure trove like TK Maxx!

The new-look store felt so fresh and easy to shop, with key pieces highlighted at the end of rails and everything broken down by size. Deliveries come in several times each week so there’s always something new to find, and with such a wide range of clothing- from casual wear to active wear, winter coats to evening dresses, I think it’d be the perfect place to shop for something completely unique. And given that TK Maxx’s prices are up to 60% less than RRP, you’re certain to find some real hidden gems. I’ve actually found that it’s an amazing place to shop for baby bits over the past couple of years- you often can find brand names at a completely amazing price point!

I decided to go in search of some new sportswear, with the muted summer colours Pam had recommended in mind. I’ve not invested in any new gym gear for years, and so thought it’d be lovely to take inspiration from the colours that suit me best when picking out some new pieces. Have a peep over on my Instagram to see what I picked out!

The other piece I chose was a gorgeous oversized slogan sweater, in a off-white shade that made up part of my summer colour palette. I think it’ll be perfect to throw on with a pair of soft denim jeans and my favourite leopard print trainers.

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There were so many beautiful pieces in store, and being able to make a beeline for specific colours and prints thanks to the colour consultation experience made shopping so much easier!

Do you want to know what my favourite piece of advice Pam gave me was?

‘Shopping is a skill, and we should practise it to get better!’

Have you ever been so inclined to take someone at their word before?!

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This post was in collaboration with TK Maxx! Thank you for supporting the sponsored content that makes Cider with Rosie possible.

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21.11

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As you know, over the past six months I’ve been sharing reviews to some of Graco’s brilliant line of carseats and pushchairs as part of a partnership with the brand, and it’s been such a pleasure! It’s been so great to test out a variety of such brilliant baby gear and also to hear from so many fellow new parents and parents-to-be that the review and ‘top tip’ posts have been helpful!

The team behind Graco are so passionate and care so much about their products, and it’s been a joy to work with them and get to know their brand! And thank you also to my lovely readers, who are always so willing to engage with sponsored content and I hope do so with the knowledge that my endorsement of products here on Cider with Rosie is always genuine, honest, and wholehearted :) I’m looking forward to seeing what products Graco release in 2018!

I’ve put links to each of the posts I’ve created as part of my collaboration with Graco below, and included product links also. Thank you again for reading!

Graco Evo pushchair and Snugride carseat (post link)
Graco Featherweight (post link)
Graco Milestone (post link)
Life on the go with a baby- tips and tricks!
Life with a newborn- tips and tricks!

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19.10

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Now, I’d like to head up this post with a little disclaimer that Ottilie’s facial expression in the vast majority of these photos is in no way a reflection of the comfort of this pushchair. ;) She’s at that awkward stage right now where she’s just started taking her first few independent steps (just this weekend, woohoo!!) so now all she wants to do is walk, but isn’t anywhere near steady enough to toddle along with us when we’re out and about for any length of time. And so, pushchair rage ensues!

Anyway! We snapped these photos whilst in Haslemere over the weekend, which will be our closest town when we move next month. We’re so, so ready to get going now…though I do of course mean ready in the emotional sense, and not a practical one. I’m still yet to book a removal company and our loft is crammed full with 7 and a bit years worth of crap…but we’re basically pretending that doesn’t matter and are busy selecting paint colours instead! Some great adulting going on over here in the Chappel household…

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Haslemere’s such a pretty little town, and is where we’ve dreamed of moving nearby to for a good few years now. I’m so excited to explore the area, so any tips for places to visit will be welcome!

And I seriously cannot wait to show you around our new home! Though thinking about it you might never get to see photos or anything given that the internet is basically non-existent and I’m not sure the mobile data situation will be any better. (Basically, pray for me!!)

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We got to Haslemere bright and early, and after swinging by our new house just to say ‘hello’! to it, parked up in the centre of town and went for a mosey up the high street with coffees in hand and Ottie in the pushchair.

Now, let me talk to you about the Featherweight

When I was pregnant one of Jason’s cousins advised me that there may come a time when I’d be more concerned about having a lightweight, one-handed folding pushchair than the ginormous fancy one I was about to order. I privately thought she was crazy, and that it really wouldn’t be all that big a deal, but now? I TOTALLY get it!

The real genius about the Featherweight for me is the fact that it’s just so, so easy to put up and collapse. It weighs a mere 3.7 kilos (the lightest pushchair in the UK!), and with just the press of a button on the handlebar and one simple action, it pops up and is ready to go! And when you’ve got a baby on one hip, not having to faff about sorting out a chassis and then clipping on a seat is a total lifesaver!

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Above we have a photo of an angry mouse, totally unimpressed by her Mum’s attempts to use a dried up old leaf as a way of coaxing a smile out of her…one to frame, for sure!

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The other feature of the pushchair that’s just complete genius, that I mentioned a little in this post here, is the fact that because it’s so light and comes with an attached carry strap, you can carry it on one shoulder!

Which would be ideal if you’re travelling in a city and want to hop on and off buses, or go on the tube without having to worry about step-free access, or, if you’ve got a baby like mine who has an aversion to being strapped into anything for longer than she deems truly necessary, you can give in to the inevitable and let them come out and walk whilst you carry the pushchair like some kind of long suffering mule! ;)

Alternatively, you could just let them use the pushchair as a walker which, it turns out, is a great game and will keep your babe happy long enough that you can sit and drink your coffee whilst it’s still hot! Bliss.

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This post was part of my ongoing partnership with Graco! Thank you for supporting the branded content that makes Cider with Rosie possible.

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