Illustrated Teacup

Family | Lifestyle | Food | Tattoos | Southampton

Friday, 31 March 2017

What Beauty and the Beast can teach our kids



So I saw Beauty and the Beast last week and three words for you.
It was incredible!!

Now I knew I was going to love it from the start as BATB is probably my favourite Disney film of all time, and the live action might just have stolen that top spot because it was utterly perfect.

Being such a fan, I'd seen many reviews of it, the majority of which where hugely positive. But I couldn't be on social media and not see some of the backlash for the film, especially around LaFou's character *spoiler alert* who is in love with Gaston. Josh Gad plays the role beautifully and to be honest, very nearly steals the show with his performance as LaFou.

I debated so much whether I wanted to write this post, but I decided after reading Toby and Roo's post on the same subject that I just had to - thanks again for the inspiration Harriet!
The thing is Beauty and the Beast isn't just magical and beautifully crafted with amazing songs and outfits and actors, it teaches so much.

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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Disney-fy your home


OK so it's no secret that I'm a pretty big Disney fan.
No I'm not generally in your face about it, but we have pretty much all of the Disney collection, and I know most of the songs from the films by heart. My favourite film of all time is Beauty and the Beast (and I think the live action may just have edged it out as my new absolute favourite as it is absolutely perfect in every way and I'm completely obsessed!). I'm currently dreaming of Disneyland Paris for my 30th birthday (seriously Dann, please can we do this!?!?). And I have a rather enviable Disney mug collection!

It's always been my intention to have my kids grow up knowing the Disney films as well as I did when I was growing up, and Henry is already on a good track. His current favourites are Zootopia, Tangled, Frozen, and 101 Dalmations! Luckily I love them all too! We also LOVE the Moana soundtrack!

In light of getting a little more Disney in our life, (and until we can get to Disneyland ourselves) we're adding little bits from our favourites into our home decor and life.
Customised By Me lets you bring a little Disney into your life, but with your own little twist as every product can be customised and made more personal.

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

My first Mother's Day


Last Sunday was my first Mother's Day, and it was a good one! 

We didn't really have a plan as such, but knew that as the weather was looking good (hooray for sunny Southampton) that we wanted to get outside and make the most of all the sunshine! 

So after red velvet pancakes in bed (very good by the way) and presents, we went out just before lunchtime. We decided to walk up to the Royal Victoria Country Park so donned our trainers, our rucksack and grabbed some bits for lunch, and off we went. 
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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Why I switched camera lens & how I use it


If you've been reading this blog for some time, you'll know that I love nothing more than LOADS and loads of photos! Two of my absolute favourite blogs, that I go back to time and time again, both because I adore their content, but also for mega amounts of inspiration, are Love Taza and Barefoot Blonde, and both are HUGE lovers of over-the-top amounts of photos, which fortunately are all utterly amazing too!

Now back in 2015 I invested in a new 50mm lens for my camera in the hopes of upping my photography game! And well in all honesty, I used it a handful of times, and then reverted back to my trusty kit lens.
Fast forward to 2017 and I decided that I'm going to try again and see if I can master this lens and what it's capable of producing! And I'm pleased to say, I'm actually doing it and the results are fab!

Basically this lens is fabulous for people photos, and as that is kind of 90% of my photography, it's a match made in heaven.

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Monday, 27 March 2017

The first spring blossoms

Spring Blossoms Southampton
Get ready for some spring time photo spam...
So at the weekend we took the opportunity of finally getting some sunshine and took a trip into the city. 
We stopped off for pancakes - because this entire household loves pancakes - and then took a walk. 
One of the things I absolutely adore about this city is the amount of green space. We have half a dozen parks all connecting to each other and as you walk through them you forget that you're actually in the middle of a busy city centre. 

We stopped off for a bit in the sun under these gorgeous blossom and magnolia trees (anyone else obsessed with magnolia trees too, cos I am LOVING them!) and grabbed the camera to capture probably some of my absolute favourite photos!! Now I just need to remember to get a photo of the three of us together!!  
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Sunday, 26 March 2017

A letter from this mama


My first ever Mother's Day...
And on this day I've decided to write to you, all the mothers, mums-to-be, the women who want to be a mama one day, the daddy playing at being mummy, anyone and everyone that cares for and loves a little human, big human or chunky human (mine's definitely the latter)

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Friday, 24 March 2017

My 15 minute lazy pasta dinner


Do you know what I really love? Really good comfort food. There's something to be said for carbs and their ability to make us feel full and comfy and cosy inside. These dishes are of particular importance during times of need or when requiring cheering up.

Today I thought I'd share one of my favourite comfort foods, which also happens to be a super fast dish perfect for the lazy cook. We usually save this for evenings when we're super busy, or returning from a trip (the homesickness gets very real, and this helps quite a lot). 

It isn't pretty really, but damn is it warming and loved.
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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

We didn't go out today


We didn't go out today... or the day before if I'm totally honest.
We didn't get dressed, and we never even planned to.
I wore no make-up and didn't brush my hair.
We didn't leave the house once.

And sometimes that is perfectly OK, even when your baby is a bit older.

The thing is, with the weather like it is in not-so-sunny England, it's hardly difficult to think, that there are going to be quite a few stay-at-home days, especially when you don't have a car during the week (and frankly even if I did I'd probably hate it because this girl HATES driving!).

You often see these mums on the internet that really do have their shit together, and are out and about every single day,and every type of baby group you can imagine, having coffee dates with other mums and basically nailing mum life and maternity leave.

I don't do this.
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Monday, 20 March 2017

What's in my changing bag - Edition 2 - 9 months+


I always knew babies came with a lot of stuff, but I was never really prepared properly until Henry arrived. Our hospital bags were filled to bursting just to see us through the delivery and bringing him home. Our newborn changing bag was also filled with odds and ends from the start.

Now some 8ish months on, we're a little more clued up on what we do and do not need on an outing, and Henry's needs have definitely changed, so I thought I'd write the "what's in my changing bag, edition 2". I've put this as 9 months plus, but really I think we've had this set up from about six months when we started Baby Led Weaning.
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Friday, 17 March 2017

My baby doesn't sleep through... and why we co-sleep


All the books/google suggest that babies will sleep through the night before the age of six months. Some even from three months old.
My baby does not sleep through the night... at all. Not ever! And he is nine months old.

The thing is, I'm kind of OK with it.
Sure I miss a full nights sleep (OK I a lot miss a full nights sleep).
Sure I do sometimes wish I didn't get woken at night, and on particularly rough nights (thanks teething) I'm practically praying for him to stay in his bed for the night.

BUT I know this won't last forever.

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Thursday, 16 March 2017

Date nights for parents


Being a parent means foregoing quite a few things in favour of your little ones. Hot meals. Hot cups of tea (I miss them the most I think). Using the bathroom in piece. Having clean clothes for an entire day. Eating alone. Going out alone. And going out as a couple alone... well we've gone 8.5 months without going out alone.
It's a sacrifice we were of course willing to make, but man do I miss a good old date night.

We're now at a stage where we feel Henry is in a good enough place with his night time routine that we can leave him with someone else (hoorah!) so that's what we did. Henry's Godparents kindly took over the ropes for the night and allowed us to go out for our very first date night as parents.
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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Henry's nine month update


Oh my goodness I really can't believe we're at nine months! I no longer feel like I can say I'm a new mum, or that I have a tiny baby, because he's been outside in the real world for longer than he was inside. He's now 39 weeks old (39+2 to be accurate) and he was born at 38 weeks + 6 days! It's hard to get my head around. I felt like I was pregnant FOREVER, waiting and waiting to meet this tiny human, and now he's here, the time is flying by. He's not a defenceless little baby anymore but a bouncing, climbing, standing and babbling little lad who is growing into the most wonderful human being that I could ever have wished for (soppy mum moment over...... maybe).

So yeah, nine months old. Nine months and two days.... and wow has it been so much fun.

So what's new?
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Sunday, 12 March 2017

Becoming a Conscious Parent


The world of parenting comes with decisions. Oh so many decisions.
To breastfeed, or bottle feed?
Baby Led Weaning or Traditional Weaning?
Organic Cotton or Normal Cotton?
Baby Wearing or in a pushchair?
Disposable nappies or cloth nappies?

None of them wrong, all of them right.
Today's post is about nappies. Honestly a topic I never really thought I'd ever blog about, but I love a good debate, a little education and trying new things.

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Friday, 10 March 2017

Embroidery Love Affair


Something I've noticed as I get ever closer to 30 and move further away from my early twenties is how often fashion is re-visited. I can't be the only late twenty-something that has noticed that half of New Look resembles their teenage wardrobe, and the nostalgia is more than welcome.

We've seen the of chokers in full force, some of which are the plastic kind, and the other are the upgraded velvet cuties. Midi skirts are also making a huge comeback, one that I am loving, possibly a little too much. And then my favourite of all the returned childhood and teen trends - embroidery! *heart eyes*

I'm a little obsessed with everything embroidered at the moment, and luckily (or unluckily if you're my bank balance) it appears to be everywhere too, which I'm a-okay with (sorry again bank balance).

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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed Recipe


Right so it's my first Mother's Day at the end of the month, and to say I'm excited would be an understatement! We didn't do anything last year whilst I was pregnant, as for me it just didn't feel right.

Anyway this year,since becoming a mother myself, I've really realised how important our mums really are (yep, I'm super important don't you know!). I know for a lot of people Mother's Day can be really hard, and in some respects it is for us. We don't live too close to our family, so seeing them on Mother's Day isn't hugely logistical and remind me that, like my mum, I'm basically doing this motherhood on my own (of course credit to Dann where it's due).

So to celebrate Mother's Day, and hopefully get you inspired, with Blind's Hut* I've put together a little recipe post (and back story) for the perfect alternative Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed!

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Monday, 6 March 2017

Seven mum and baby essentials


Having been in this game for 9 months now (where did the time go?!) I feel like I'm in a reasonably good place to give some friendly mama advice.
We've been pretty lucky that most stuff we've bought or been given has been useful, or at least used, with very little being a waste of money (thank goodness as babies can be sooooo expensive).

As a little disclaimer, I'm of course working from what worked for us, and this is definitely not the be all and the end all. Just a few things that I think really helped us, and honestly, most mums should probably try if they can.

Now you're obviously going to need the basics, such as a travel system/pushchair, car seat (you need that as a minimum to get baby home from the hospital!), a place for them to sleep, and clothes, nappies etc. This list is the little bits and pieces.

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Saturday, 4 March 2017

What's Inside: February Degustabox


It's a new month, which means a brand new Degustabox* delivery. The foodie highlight to my month. 
This month was a good'un with lots of brands, new and old, and a real mix of healthy foods and naughty treats.

So without further ado....
(there's a money off code at the end of this post just FYI!)
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Thursday, 2 March 2017

City Walls and Polka Dots


Aside from the food,one of the things I love about my fair city is the mix of old and new.
In amongst the huge building and new complexes, lies the city walls, weaving their way through the city and break out to inject a sense of history.

They also make for really great outfit photo locations! Double win!

When we went out for lunch for Dann's birthday last week I decided to take out my new Metisu dress for a little show off, and of course get some OOTD photos against the city walls. Of course, as is always the way with Southampton, it was windy AF but I was utterly determined to get these photos, and actually I think they show just how floaty and fun this dress is.


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