Illustrated Teacup

Family | Lifestyle | Food | Tattoos | Southampton

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Getting Christmassy with Degustabox

One of the best things about Christmas is the food. We all know that when the festive season hits, all diets go out the window and we definitely over indulge. But the food is just so so good. 

I also love trying new things over Christmas too, so the November Christmas Degustabox* is practically perfect. 
This box has to be my absolute favourite of this year. It is jam packed with great food and drinks, with a sparkly Christmas theme. So of course to go with the theme, I had to do my photos with plenty of tinsel and some Christmas decorations, and I think they might just be my favourite photos too. 

Anyway, on to the inside of this delicious box (you can get £7 off at the end of this post FYI)
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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

98 thoughts while watching the Gilmore Girls Revival


I'll start this with a huge SPOILER ALERT!!! If you haven't watched.... Do not read!!!

The Gilmore Girls was a huge part of my teen years. My sister and I used to love the show, and when it appeared on Netflix I was literally over the moon. I mean Lorelai and Rory were an amazing pair! Then when they announced the Year in a Life I was practically counting down the days to the return.

I'll leave my final thoughts til the end of the post, but thought I'd share my thoughts whilst watching the revival series!

Here goes...

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Monday, 28 November 2016

Remember when we lived here - a keepsake to remember


You guys know how much I love books. I mean I've talked about them enough over the last few months haven't I?
The thing is I loved books as a little girl and would literally be reading all the time. It was a running joke in my household that you couldn't get my attention as I always had my nose in a book. And I have so many fond memories of the books that shaped my childhood (some of which you can read about here) that I want to make sure that Henry gets that same experience.

I really think books make the most perfect gifts. Maybe it was your favourite book from when you were little (like when Alice and Arran bought Funny Bones for Henry just because they adored the book as a kid), or it was a book you really wanted to read but never got the chance to (we have the entire Faraway Tree collection from Emily, which I have never read, but am so looking forward to reading to Henry when he is older), or maybe it's a book that they can treasure forever.

Earlier in the month I wrote about Lost My Name and their amazing personalised books. We adored their first book, so were over to moon to receive their second one - The Intergalactic Journey Home*. Whereas the first book talked all about creatures that spelled out your little ones name, The Intergalactic Journey Home is space themed, but ends with your little one coming home - and of course it's personalised to your actual home.

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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Teething Troubles


We've hit that age where teething is an everyday worry.
Alongside teething, babies produce a lot of saliva as a defence against bacteria as they put things in their mouths. Of course they have absolutely no control over it, and it literally appears that your small child has turned into a water fountain of the slightly sticky variety.

With teething comes the usual drool, with extra dribble thrown in for good measure, as well as sore gums.

With this mind, Cheeky Chompers have produced a must have collection of baby bits perfect for every teething baby and slightly damp mother/father.

The centre piece for Cheeky Chompers is their award-winning Neckerchew*.

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Friday, 25 November 2016

Get your Taco on - Taco Bell Southampton


There's something new about Southampton this November, and I'm not just talking about the new Christmas German Market.
To add to the amazing selection of restaurants and fast food places in the city centre, we have welcomed Taco Bell. Yep Taco Bell is in Southampton, and we're already very excited!

The American fast food chain is so so popular in the states, being the hangover food of choice. We're so used to KFC and McDonald's and maybe the occasional Subway, that it is so great to see a new contender to the naughty food empire.

As part of the Sotonbloggers, I was invited along to the VIP launch night on Monday (ahead of their official opening on Wednesday 21st November) to try out their menu and get a feel for the place. And boy oh boy, did they impress.

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

3 time-saving tips for parents

Becoming a parent is a huge adjustment. The hours of sleep dwindle, someone else relies on you pretty much entirely, and life as you once knew it is changed forever.

For instance,  I'm writing this post, on my phone, with Henry asleep in the crook of my arm as it's the only way to get him to sleep for more the 45 minutes. I'm busting for a wee, and its 8:57am and we've been up since 5:35am.

One of the biggest things I've learnt since becoming a parent is how much you have to adjust. And it isn't just once when your baby is born. It's continuous. As they grow and change, so must you.

But life still has to go on. There's still all the adulty things that you need to do, which to be honest you now barely have the time to do, nor the inclination.

So today I'm sharing some time-saving tips, so you can parent and still get all the adult stuff done too!

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Monday, 21 November 2016

Behind the scenes of a family/lifestyle blogger


I've been a lifestyle blogger for over a year now, and a general blogger for over two years. In that time I've gone through a number of changes on a personal level, which have impacted my blogging life.

Blogging is a huge hobby to undertake. It comes with so many added extras if you let it. If you want to make money, or collaborate with brands, you have to promote and engage. You need to be 'out there' on social media. You need to write, and photograph, and edit. You need to plan and schedule. It's practically a 24/7 job even if it's just a hobby - I can't imagine the time and commitment required for running a blog full time.

So what is it really like running a blog as a family and lifestyle blogger?
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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Animal loving baby clothing

 
We all love a good shopping haul right? Well recently I went a little mad at Next buying lots of new clothes for Henry ready for when he  goes up a size. 
As he's pretty much bang on the 50th centile on the growth chart,I think he's going to go into his 6-9 month clothing sometime in December, so I wanted to get prepared. 

Although this growing lark is pretty pricey for us parents, I have to admit I really love updating his wardrobe every few months. And Next are absolutely nailing the boy fashion trends this Autumn and Winter.  
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Friday, 18 November 2016

Authentic Japanese with Kyoto Kitchen


Kyoto Kitchen* in Winchester is a hidden gem.
Now you all know my love affair with food, especially Japanese food. We've even been trying it at home (at home sushi here, and katsu curry here FYI) so when we were asked by Alice to join her for a review of Winchester's premium, authentic japanese restaurant, well, we jumped at the chance, especially as it was my birthday!

Kyoto Kitchen is a japanese food specialist, particularly with sushi and sashimi, which we were really excited about as none of us had ever tried real sashimi before.
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Thursday, 17 November 2016

A lesson in MAC


You guys know I'm not a beauty blogger, but man do I love playing with make up. I just really can't afford the good stuff so I've always stayed clear of the bblogger realm. But with beauty blogger friends, it was only a matter of time before I gave in and started to learn about some of the best beauty buys and trends. 

After a recent blogger event at MAC in Westquay, and of course seeing MAC featured in any self-respecting bloggers beauty stock, I jumped at the chance to get a make-up lesson with one of their artists. So off I went last Friday, and I just had to share the experience with you guys. 

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Henry's five month update


How is it November already?! And half way through too?!
I say this every time I do these updates, but gee is time flying!! Five months old already!! How?!

My teeny baby is gone, and is becoming a rather robust and cheery little soul. It's hard to imagine that next month we'll be weaning and I'll be half way through my maternity leave!!

I'm so proud of my little Henry,  he's literally stolen the heart of everyone he meets. 

Some five month facts for you.
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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Wind in the Willows at the Mayflower Theatre


I really love going to the Theatre. But isn't it always the way that we can't always indulge in the things we really love.
In all honesty I've never really done shows. I've been in the theatre loads, especially since moving to Southampton, but usually for comedy performances, but I think things are about to change.

As part of the Sotonbloggers, I was invited, along with a group of other bloggers to see the Wind in the Willows Musical at the Mayflower Theatre,* and boys and girls, I'm afraid I've turned into a theatre lover through and through.

I've always loved anything involving a little dance, and if there's some really good singing, well I'm as happy as a pig in... well I'm sure you can guess the rest!
Now to let you in on a secret... I was a bad blogger, and did literally no research before the show. But actually it was kind of nice. I didn't have any expectations going in, I had no idea what it was going to be like. I also couldn't quite remember the story of the Wind in the Willows, having read the book a VERY long time ago.

The thing is, it was beautiful. It was so much more than I could have imagined, so I'm glad I went in with no idea what I was going to see.

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Saturday, 12 November 2016

My simple Choc Chip Banana Loaf

Autumn is basically the perfect season for baking isn't it. 
Nothing beats the smell of fresh baking on a cold windy day, and as I'm spending a lot of time at home right now, I've decided to try some recipes and make them my own! 

For my first recipe, a tried and tested favourite banana loaf bread. However I've mixed it up a bit with a little chocolate, because, hey why not. Banana bread is literally one of the most simple things to bake, and perfectly uses up those last couple of old bananas, because we all know we leave two in the bowl for far too long. 

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Thursday, 10 November 2016

27 facts about me


Well this morning I turn 27 years old!
I tell you, that makes me feel well and truly old, and creeping ever closer to 30.
I'm pretty certain I should feel like I have my shit together by now, but honestly, even with all the 'adulty' things I've done,I still feel like a kid trying to find my way around life (I imagine it's the same feeling a duck would have if they tried to paddle through treacle -tricky and slightly sticky).

But I have had a good run so far.
I've achieved a lot, and am pretty damn happy with my lot, and know that my life is really rather good, apart from when the hormones take over!

So in honour of turning the grand old age of 27 I thought I'd share some little known facts about me.
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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Teething fashion with Seb and Roo


Teething ain't no funny business, but there are a few ways to help your little one battle through the discomfort and save all of your worldly good becoming stuck in your child's mouth.

Henry has been teething for what feels like forever, and we have a number of toys to help soothe those sore gums, including our Sophie La Giraffe and liquid filled teething rings. These are great, but are more for at home. The last thing you want is the teething toy to hit the floor, especially outside, where you can't clean it properly straight away.

Luckily Seb and Roo has the perfect answer in their teething jewellery range. These modern silicone teething necklaces and bracelets are a total win for teething on the go. Not only are they made from food grade silicone, meaning they are perfectly safe for little hands and mouths, they look great for mummas too.

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Monday, 7 November 2016

Reviving old to new fashion


There's something to be said about originality.  And this is especially true when it comes to fashion.
I'm all for budget clothing... At the end of the day, most of mine is covered in spit up or dribble anyhow. But I love unique pieces too.

I loved textiles in school. In fact I was gutted when I had to do graphic design instead of textiles for GCSE, which is now a little ironic considering I do graphic design as part of my living. Unfortunately I never went much further with it, and I really wish I had. But that could all change soon.

Recently we had Henry's Christening and I wanted something special for it.
Back last year, I bought a beautiful dress for a family wedding, but have since never worn it. The fabric is so gorgeous, I didn't want to get rid of it, but also was having some difficulty finding an excuse to wear it again.
I'm very fortunate that my sister-in-law is a dab hand on a sewing machine, as she offered to turn it into a skirt for the Christening.  

And voila... A brand new custom skirt.
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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Lost My Name - the perfect children's gift


I love books.
I love children's books.
I love books as gifts.
So a children's book as a gift is like the perfect present to me.

The thing with books,is that can create the most amazing memories - more so than any toy. They're pretty timeless, especially if they're taken care of. They can become hand-me-downs to your children, and kept for nostalgic reasons for decades. You can see some of my own children's books in this post, which I will be reading to Henry.

Anyway, I always like books as a gift. I don't think you can really go wrong with them. You can get classics, or pop-ups or something modern. Or you can get something truly personal.

The Lost My Name books* are pretty much the perfect gift for a little one. Something they can keep forever. A story about them that will stay with them til adulthood.
(there's a 15% off link at the end of this post too so you can get your own!)
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Friday, 4 November 2016

Wild friends for little dreamers - Kippins Baby Comforter

Who knew babies would need so many toys?
But all those toys are a huge part of babies development, from teaching them different textures and colours, to comforting them. 

I'm a big believer in multi-tasking, especially when it comes to children's toys.

So when I was sent the Kippins Baby Comforter* by Crab and the Fox, I knew it would be a hit with me and Henry. 

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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

At home Katsu Curry

Ok so you guys must know I love me some Japanase food right? If you didn't, well I do! It's one of my absolute favourite foods. The thing with Japanese food though is it's not very well advertised as an at home kind of meal. But luckily that is starting to change with a little help of Yutaka.

Back in August I made my own sushi at home, which was so much fun. This month, I'm making Katsu Curry* in the kitchen.

What I really love about Japanese cooking is that it is so much fun to make. It's a little bit different to your normal at home cooking, and really pushes you to try new things.

For the Katsu Curry, we received Panko Breadcrumbs, Japanese-style Curry, and Sushi Rice.
We've used sushi rice before so knew our way around it, but we've never cooked with Panko Breadcrumbs before.

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