25.06

Cider-with-Rosie-Zara-kaftan-2

S U M M E R   U N I F O R M

What’s this? My first outfit post in about a billion years? YEAH IT IS!

I basically had no choice NOT to post about this dress, since it’s all I’ve been wearing lately. In short, I’m obsessed. It’s from Zara (I can’t find a link, I’m sorry!), is light as a feather and has been so cool to wear in the recent hot spell (which I’m missing already, it felt like being on holiday!). And, crucially, the V neck is just low enough that I can whip a boob out (for Ottilie, you understand) at a moment’s notice. Which is top of my ‘shall I buy this?’ checklist these days, don’t you know…

And anyway, I’m all about minimal effort dressing these days. I had a wardrobe cull a few months ago and am slowly buying a few new pieces, trying to focus on buying not only things that make me feel confident and stylish and happy, but also are comfortable and practical when I’m on the go all day with a baby.

I fell into the trap, when Ottie was tiny, of dressing in plain basics all the time because they were easy and hid milk stains and, looking back, allowed me to shrink into the background at a time when I didn’t feel very confident at all. But lately I’ve been so enjoying refinding my mojo, fashion-wise, and am not ashamed to say that Zara has taken a fair few of my pennies over the past couple of months…

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This particular outing for the Dress Of Dreams, as I’m calling it, was to Wisley Gardens with Ottie and my Mum. We’re both big into our gardens, and Wisley is such a beautiful place to visit for a wander. And since I’m a paid up RHS member these days, it’s basically law that we have to go at every possible opportunity.

It’s such an calming, peaceful place to visit, and I always leave full of grand ideas for my little garden at home.

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I’m going to end this short but sweet post with my Mum and husband’s thoughts on my outfit. Here we go.

Mum: ‘I’ve just worked out what you look like in that dress- Amish. You look like a sister wife. All you need is a bonnet.’ <Thanks Mum, absolutely the look I was going for.

Jason: ‘Those shoes are horrible. They look like you’re in your slippers going out to peg out laundry.’

So that’s that then. I’m hopeful that the comments on this post will be filled with just as positive, glowing reviews.

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28.07

Cider-with-Rosie-DFS-garden-festival-chic-8

T I M E   F O R   A   G A R D E N   P A R T Y ?

Now, Jason and I are hardly your typical festival goers.

We’re too fond of home comforts- of the snuggliness of our own lovely bed and crisp, line-dried sheets, of familiarity and routine, of the dogs who fall asleep by our feet each evening, and of, let’s face it, the glory that is hot running water ;)

And, let’s face it, we’re just not that cool either!

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But, the lovely relaxed atmosphere of some of the more family-friendly festivals I’ve seen pop up over the past few years does totally appeal to me!

The ones where children and adults alike enjoy music and great food and refreshing summer drinks from sunrise to sunset, and the whole affair has a garden party kind of vibe, as opposed to being all about mud and tent-burning and the like! ;)

And so, when just recently DFS got in touch and challenged me to give my garden a mini ‘festival chic’ makeover using some of their gorgeous furniture, my immediate response was a big fat YES!

I loved the idea of trying to capture a little of the summer festival spirit, and bringing it home to my very own garden!

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The set we picked out for our garden makeover ‘look’ is called the Napa, and is made up of four woven rattan armchairs and a glass-topped table, comfy grey seat cushions, and a parasol to boot.

The chairs are insanely comfortable (especially when accessorised with a few colourful cushions to complete the look) and the table is the absolute perfect size for our pretty tiny garden and deck space!

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I love that right now the decking is looking so lush and vibrant, flanked on all sides by flowering plants and our hanging basket and wall planters.

The tomatoes are nearing the end of their life (I’ve been picking regular handfuls of ripe beauties for a weeks now, and eating them in salads and on toast in the mornings!) but our strawberry plants are just beginning to spring into action!

I’m a little concerned about the little nibble marks that have been appearing on the strawberry plant leaves, but I can never seem to spot any slugs or caterpillars when I go out looking for them. Keeping my fingers crossed Jason and I get to enjoy the fruit before the bugs do!

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Once Jason and I had finished bedecking the lovely parasol with a set of the festoon lighting we’d bought for our wedding last year, we put some music on (still obsessed with Bear’s Den, and also the Spotify Weekly Discovery playlist!) and then sat back with a tall jug of watermelon and apple juice pepped up with some frozen berries and mint.

Candles were lit, Teddy and Elsie pottered in and out of the house proudly showing off the rawhide treats I’d given them to keep them from getting under our feet whilst we set up the garden, and eventually we all settled down outside on the deck, and whiled away the evening whilst the sun went down.

So what’s that- music? Check! Fancy drinks? Check! A beautiful and cosy outdoor space to enjoy? Check!

All the ingredients for a ‘festival chic’ vibe at home, don’t you think? :)

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Thank you to DFS for sponsoring this post.

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15.07

Cider-with-Rosie-32-weeks-pregnant-berry-picking-3 Cider-with-Rosie-berry-picking-bump

O N E   Y E A R   O N .

If you can believe it, it’s mine and Jason’s first wedding anniversary this weekend. Isn’t that just ridiculous?!

I’m not sure where on earth this past year has disappeared to…though I’m pretty sure the speed at which the last 8 months have flown past has something to do with that bump up there…

In the final couple of weeks before my wedding last July, my sister and I took an afternoon out to head to Crockford Bridge Farm for a spot of berry picking. And the experience was such a lovely one, we decided to do it all over again this year!

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The farm sells all sorts of Pick Your Own produce- strawberries, raspberries, runner beans, carrots- but we decided to head straight to the berry fields.

It turned out that, pretty and promising as the strawberry fields looked, the rain had made the crop a little less than plentiful this year! It kind of made me feel a bit better about how sloooowwwllyyyy our own little garden wall planter of strawberries is coming along…

We gathered a small handful, and then moved along to the raspberry fields instead.

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^^ Oh, new (TOTAL bargain) maternity dress! And hello 8 month bump! This baby only has 7 or so weeks left to cook, and I can’t quite believe it! ^^

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The raspberry fields were overflowing with ripe fruits, so much so that it was hard to stay restrained and not fill punnet after punnet with dark red berries!

It was so, so lovely to chatter away as we picked from the raspberry bushes in the sunshine- the first full day of sunshine in ages, it felt like! This summer’s weather hasn’t been a patch on last, and it’s made me so thankful for the beautiful sunshine we enjoyed last July during the week of our wedding.

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With punnets full, we paid for our bounty (plus a scoop each of gelato from the lovely ice-cream shop by the farm entrance), and then were on our merry way home before the clouds rolled in for the late afternoon.

It was the most summery day we’ve had so far this year, and it made me so very happy!

Is there some petition or something we can sign, do you reckon, to get the sunshine to stick around?

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Posted in PREGNANCY STYLE, SUMMER

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03.09

Vauxhall-road-trip-Cider-with-Rosie

Do you know what I’ve always admired most about my Mum? Hands down, it’s her joie de vivre.

She has this incredible, unending appetite for life that seems never to diminish, but instead to grow as the years go by.

I’m sure I’ve told you before about how the dynamic between us has always been the total opposite of that of the typical Mother-Daughter relationship, in that my Mum is by far in a way the more adventurous and outgoing of the two of us.

She spent her younger years travelling the world on the QEII (the biggest cruise liner in existence, at the time!), booked herself onto a trip to Ghana a couple of years after hitting the big Five-Oh, and barely a week goes by where she’s not signing up for some new short course at the local adult education centre, or zipping off to visit friends in far flung corners of the UK.

Meanwhile, I’m more likely to be found researching recipes for the perfect winter chutney, or rereading my favourite books (Little Women, anyone?), or telling anyone who’ll listen how elated I am that I’ve managed to keep my tubs of herbs growing happily for almost an entire season now.

I mean, if you ever want advice on how to grow older with style and grace and exuberance, you’ll just have to ask my Mum!

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A couple of weeks ago, Vauxhall dropped me an email asking if I knew of anyone over the age of 50 who happened to embody the spirit of their ‘#ThisGranCan’ campaign. The campaign, as I was to find out, is a celebration of the adventurous spirit and ‘can-do’ mindset that many women over the age of 50 have, and is coinciding with the launch of the VIVA, their newest and nippiest little car (the first model launched over 50 years ago!) And you know, as it happens, I *did* know someone who fit the bill just beautifully!

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Which is how it came to be that, a couple of Fridays ago, my Mum and I were seated comfortably in the smart leather seats of a shiny grey Vauxhall VIVA, shooting down the M3 singing loudly and poorly along to my wedding playlist! And I’ll tell you for starters, that car won major bonus points with me for its swish USB connector alone…looking at you Fiat 500 with your stupid non-functioning media system.

We left bright and early for Brighton that morning, keeping our fingers crossed for a day of good weather to go along with the adventures we had planned. I’d been given strict instructions by Vauxhall to let my Mum take the reigns when it came to selecting our activities for the day, and given that my usual idea of a good time pretty much just involves eating, pottering, and taking photos, it was probably a sensible plan to put our Day Of Fun in the hands of one Ms Dianne B! ;)

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First on the agenda? Why, a trip to the pier, of course!

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^^ Oh Brighton and your beautiful pastel paintwork. You stole my heart! ^^

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If you can believe it, despite living a mere hour or so’s drive from Brighton almost my entire life, I’d never actually been before. Sacrilege, right?

We decided that our first port of call should be a visit to one of the vendors of hot sugary carbs that are scattered at handy intervals along the pier. Mum went classy (-ish, this is Brighton pier we’re talking about!) with a crepe, whilst I bagged myself some doughnuts with Nutella dipping sauce (did you see that coming? I’m as predictable as there being rain on Bank Holidays in the UK). The crepe was good, but the doughnuts, if you ask me, were best. But then again, anything with Nutella was bound to be, wasn’t it?

Once we’d eaten our fill and left ourselves feeling a little sick from all that sugar (though I’m lying when I say ‘ourselves’ here, since really it was only me…), what better to do next than hit the rides?

To the carousel!

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N E V E R   T O O   O L D   F O R   T H E   C A R O U S E L . . .

Friends, the carousel is just as much fun at the ages of 20-something and 50-something as it was when you were a tot. The tinny music, the wind in your hair, the view from the brightly coloured horses that always zip round faster than it looked like they would from the sidelines- it felt like the clock had rolled back!

A little sidenote here, but I’ll treasure that snap of my Mum up there forever! I just love it so very much. (And for goodness SAKE please let me have inherited her beautiful skin!)

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What I wore :: Skirt || Top || Flipflops

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Our morning went by in several goes on the carousel, one trip down the Helter Skelter, and a myriad of turns taken on the arcade games right at the end the pier. My especial favourites were the basketball throwing and air hockey games, though no fluffy unicorns were won on any of our goes, which was maybe the biggest disappointment of my adult life to date…;)

What came next in the day though, after we’d paused for a little lunch at The Breakfast Club in the Lanes, turned out to be one of the most incredible experiences either of us had ever had in our lifetimes.

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But for those adventure stories? You’ll have to come back on Sunday…

~ This post, and our day down in Brighton, was sponsored by Vauxhall. Watch the ‘This Gran Can film here, & find out more about the VIVA here! ~

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Posted in BEACH, DAY TRIPS, FAMILY, MUM, Sponsored, SUMMER

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