festivals and toddlers

My boy has been going to Ynot festival since he was eight months old, no it hasn’t been easy taking a baby along and dealing with the trails and tribulations of parenthood while stuck camping in a field, I wasn’t really enjoying having to try to disinfect baby bottles in a tent (all about the Milton wipes) but our boy has experienced so much already that we are proud of our choices to take him along and remain a family in what ever we do and The Herb did get to watch Primal Scream in the wings his first year … so already a cool thing to say when he is an adult.


Herbie’s second festival was a bit easier, although at one and a half he was at that really great stage were they just run off super fast all the time and seem to be hell-bent on killing themselves finding as many dangerous things to climb and putting anything in their mouths!! (which is just exhausting).


But this year … this year was the one, Herb is at a really fun age, he has started to really understand everything, he likes holding my hand and he is just great fun.

A few weeks before going I started to prepare a “pack of fun stuff” for Herb to be kept entertained, just little bits and bobs that I know he likes, cars, mini Thomas trains, bubbles and a lot of crafty things like stickers and colouring.


What we didn’t know at the time was that this would completely save my bacon at this festival  ….. as it rained and rained and rained.

Even the massive wheels of our off-road buggy couldn’t manage the mud that occurred … nightmare is not a strong enough word. Thank goodness our friends came with us and let us stay in their camper (all the other years we went in a big family tent) so we had a place to keep dry and warm.


As my husband Duncan does the comedy at the festival we couldn’t just leave … but after trying our hardest to get into the main bit to “try to find something to do” in the morning ( Herbie did see a bit of the cinema which was pretty cool) we gave up and struggled back to the camper through the crazy mud.


Basically for the whole of Saturday The boy and I were stuck in the camper…. we played hide and seek for 2 hours haha and coloured two whole colouring books . The treat bag saved the day really along with the snacks we had packed.






In the evening when our pals came back we did manage to get back into the festival to eat and watch some bands (we saw Stereophonics) while Herbie slept in his buggy, I got to drink a half pint of moonshine cider and scout the vintage stall (added a retro Adidas hoodie to my collection and a silver ring) but it wasn’t the fun-filled weekend we had planned…. plus it got cancelled half way through due to the weather conditions and the lack of effort from the organisers regarding the ridiculous amount of mud, so it’s a bit of a shame really.


All in all my top tip for taking your kid to a festival would be “BE PREPARED” ……with stuff to keep them entertained because you never know whats going to happen.




Lucky Socks Club

This morning I got the most magical package through the letterbox, a pastel yellow delight in the shape of an Erik Buikema designed “Dont care bear” box from the ace Instagram shop Lucky dip club.


Inside a pair of ace #luckysocks designed by Erik Builema.

Builema makes Kawaii illustrations into limited edition items like pins, patches and key chains and now has made these socks for Lucky Dip clubs first ever sock box.

Also within the box you get a cute little booklet Girl Planet Mini which has a little to do list and colouring in ….everything a 90s girl mag would have (its pretty retro cool)




The box costs £6.95 and free 2 class delivery or £16.95 international

It’s such a cute little box and would make a great gift for someone or to yourself of course, I have followed Lucky dip clubs instagram for a while and think the producer Leona Thift-Ola has great style. I love retro items but also love the Kitch aspect of these socks they are so fun. plus she lives in Margate and we are big fans of dream land.

So give it a go … get some magical post I think it will put a smile on your chops

xxx O


Insta kid

My kids got style ….

I thought I would do a quick post about my favourite Kids clothing brands/independent shops we are crushing on right now ….

Herbie’s new striped overalls are from insta shop Cedric and Moley, they are cool and comfortable and get ALOT of comments. Herbie loves them as he looks like a Zebra and these cool yellow sports socks are from Cedric and Moley as well and are super sweet … we are in love with this outfit (plus these Cath Kidston shoes are now £10 in the sale .. winning)




I have been tie dying some things for Herb, just buying 100 % cotton t-shirts and leggings (t shirts from Primark and leggings h&m) and buying a machine wash dye, this time in denim blue as they will go with more stuff.

another insta brand we adore is Disko Kids do great designs we have the smile face T-shirt and iron on face patch (which is now on Herbs next dungarees)



We are a big fan of Haus of Mono, pretty much dress Herbie in this rock star t-shirt 90% of the time … because well look how cute he is in it !



Herbie is such a little retro looking kids so its only right that he is a brand rep to the most awesome vintage kids brand Happy as Larry, hand-picked vintage kids clothes and retro prints and t-shirts, we love being a part of the brand



So check them out !! it’s so good to shop independent not only because you are probably supporting a hard-working fellow parent but also because you can find unique fun clothes that will make your little one stand out from the crowd.

xxx O


A week of hot sun and cool outfits

I have always loved fashion, wearing bright colours and reading all the magazines, since becoming a mum I have enjoyed styling Herbie in lots of different threads, but now I have lost my baby weight and feel more confident this mama is loving trying out new clothes and spending time picking my outfits.

This week my friend Kerry came to stay, we got to have a girl night of drinks (which was amazing because I never get to do that) had a picnic in a meadow and chilled round Nottingham town exploring the vintage shops and cool pubs.



Really enjoying wearing body suits lately, this H&M red suit is so cool and I pair it either with these striped H&M trousers (the ones I always wear because they are just the best) or my ASOS high-waisted navy culottes.

This week I also wore my Topshop body suit with 78 on, its amazing and from last summers sales.



we ate our hangovers away in the very hot sun, while Herb looked for his tadpoles (we couldn’t find them I think we may have missed them turn into frogs)

Kerry even took some family photos of the three of us, but Herb was far too busy haha



It was so amazing having my friend stay, I really miss my old pals and it’s just wonderful to catch up and share stories, we are all growing up either starting families, buying houses or some are traveling the world.

I am proud to show off Nottingham though, although it’s not got any of our family, it’s still a great cultured place and has a lot to offer my little boy, my husband and me.



xxx O





Womble Crumble

When I was little I called crumble .. Womble crumble, my mum and I would have it for pudding most Sundays and it’s still one of  my favourites, so when we got some rhubarb from a lady down the roads garden I couldn’t resist.


This is a diary free recipe and is very simple to make.

The topping 

120g plain flour

60g of caster sugar

20g brown sugar

60g of vitalight (milk free)

The filling 

10 sticks of rhubarb

1 apple

a few table spoons of sugar (up to you how sweet you would like it)

DSCF7232.JPGright … cut the 10 sticks of Rhubarb into 1 inch chunks, skin the apple and add it to the rhubarb, put into a pan and heat for approx 15 minutes, add sugar to the mix tasting it to see if it us sweet enough. DSCF7234.JPG

The rhubarb should simmer into a liquid type texture when it is cooked so by then its ready to place into the bottom of your oven dish.


Then you can work on the crumble, this is really very simple although you will have to get your hands dirty, put the flour, the caster sugar and the butter in a bowl, rub the butter through the flour making a (surprise surprise) crumble like mix, it’s up to you how big you want the crumbly bits to be.


Then when the rhubarb mix is cool, crumble the crumble (lol) over the top until the bottom rhubarb is covered, then sprinkle the brown sugar over the top.


lastely place the crumble into a preheated oven on about 180c and bake for 20 minutes or just until the bottom layer is bubbling and the top is golden brown.



and that’s it one rhubarb crumble .. serve with custard, ice cream … or like us mango sorbet (it works surprisingly well).

so flipping easy but so yummy.

xxx O




Weekend Walks

This weekend we took a trip to Southampton for my brother-in-laws 40th birthday …I went to university in Southampton and met my husband there five years ago, we lived in Southampton together until getting enough money together to move to Nottingham, so now we go back once in a while to visit the other Oakley crew.

It wasn’t a normal trip down, we took our friends Bill and Jan’s awesome camper van Rosie. It seems little boys love sleeping in camper vans “I not want to sleep in the house mummy, I want to sleep in the van!’ Herb told me on the second night!!

So me and The Herb slept in the van all weekend which was cute as he woke me up every morning with kisses.


The party was great, lots of family and friends came and my husband Dunk and his band played so that was great.

The next day though we finally gathered our hungover selves together to go and walk the dog Ronnie (Barker) around the country park.

Holly Hill park is flipping amazing!! we had never been before and I can honestly say it’s my favourite part of Southampton now.



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we explored all round it and Ronnie dog swam around the ponds, making sure he got us wet every time he got out … yuck


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Herbie loves a good adventure and walked around touching all the trees and quacking at the ducks.

The park also has magical wood carvings.



It’s just a beautiful place and I really want to run around it sometime, we will definitely be going for a walk their everytime we visit.



xxx O


City Kids.

I am so excited that Herb is getting big enough to explore places and hang out with me. We travelled into Nottingham city this week, we normally only go for the shops but after having lived in Notts for over fours years I really want to start exploring and finding out what our home city has to offer, with our friend Sarah and her kids we visted the city farm, a gorgeous little place on the edge of town. Its has so much more to offer than I thought it would have.

DSCF7035 (1)The little ones fed Lambs, pigs, goats and chickens …. plus a duck called Manic that looks a lot like it was the child of both a chicken and a duck !


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We even got to hold some baby rabbits !



The farm has so many beautiful plants and apple trees, the play area is amazing as well, perfect for toddlers.


I’m really obsessed with flowers lately, I think it all started with the big bunch of wild flowers Sarah got me for my birthday … or maybe it’s because it seemed like we waited forever for summer to come back around and now the bright colours make me feel so happy, either way this farm had some stunning ones. DSCF7100

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Hoping my sunflowers grow as tall as these, they are great.




The kids park also had an amazing space ship, painted on the inside which the kids adored, they actually had some really great art work at the farm, bright colours, really eye catching.







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I would totally recommend City Farm and we will be going again soon.

Herbie recommeds the strawberry ice lollys .


We then ended our day out at a cafe called Blend Nottingham, as I’ve had to go milk free because of my Crohns diseases recently going out for coffee normally means a boring Americano, but at Blend they had coconut lattes and vegan Eccles cakes!! and the boy played happily on the floor with his trains, a perfect end to a fab day.


xxx O

Bye bye baby, hello little man.

As a parent you go between wanting your baby to stay small forever and then wanting them to grow and achieve greatness. Sometimes I find it really difficult to come to terms with my boy not being a baby anymore, he comes out with new words each day and holds full on conversations with his toys, it’s truly delicious to watch but hard as I feel like time is running away from us already. The baby phase is pretty much gone from our household now and we are even in talks about the big transition from nappies to big boy pants (Herb did his first wee on the potty the other day) scary really as potty training seems like the worst!! but Herbie seems to watch, watch ,watch and then boom! learns something new so fingers crossed that happens with him going to the loo.


We had a heart breaking moment when I called Herb my baby and he said “no mummy I’m not a baby I’m Herbie”

I’m confused as to what my role is now? I’ve spent so long cleaning his bum and making sure he is eating enough that when he gets more independent I feel a bit lost. I know he will always be my baby and he will always need me but now I’ve got this little nagging feeling that I will need to be getting more independent as well, which will probably be a career of some kind when he goes to school full-time.


Missing the baby stage is craziness as it seems I’m a much better mother to a toddler than I ever was to a baby, my post natal anxiety caused me to have meltdowns and having a really small human hanging off my boob was pretty stressful, but still it’s another phase gone … another step closer to terrifying things like preschool, university or him moving out.




This all sounds silly but I just really like the little guy and hanging out with him is the best, I fear I will be that mother that all the teachers know the name of because I wait at the school gates for the whole day until I can take him home again …. that too creepy? … yep I’m going to need a career haha.




I have been really lucky though, being a stay at home mum I’ve seen every smile, nursed every sickness and witnessed every step. Every moment so far I have treasured (apart from the things like him pooing in his play house, screaming round the super market etc but we forget about those things don’t we? haha) and although I feel he is growing up really quickly I’m sure I will have more and more proud moments to experience.



Being a mother has been the most difficult challenge of my life so far but bringing Herbie into the world is my proudest achievement and I don’t think that will change even if I end up living to be a hundred.



xxx O




Suns out get your gingham out.

Finally some beautiful sunshine has arrived and I have been making the most of it ! Herb has been a dream boat this week and happily playing while this mama has been sunbathing, its been ace.

I got to wear my Primark gingham top properly (without a jacket or cardigan over the top) the sleeves are really pretty but I find them a tiny bit stressful while having to run after a toddler so I have mainly been wearing the top as a vest and tucking the sleeves under. This top is great for a smaller chest as it gives a bit of bulk up top (something after breast-feeding I really done have anymore)


DSCF6811.JPGThese lime green high-waisted shorts are from H&M last year, I still adore them and am hoping that h&m do a similar pair this year as another colour would be great.


Even rocking summer nails, Rimmels yellow 60 second dry in chin up butter cup.

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Another little gingham top I own is this Topshop one, this cost me £4.50 in a charity shop

I do love a bargain .

Really wanting to add a gingham dress to my summer wardrobe, Think i’m going to have to try Zara as that’s the shop that I hear most instagramers rave about.


also this pretty little things dress is cute



love the back detail


xxx O

Leap !!

I had an app called the wonder weeks when Herbie was born, you put in your baby’s due date and then it will tell you when you are likely to see a change in development. Even now at two and a half these leaps still happen, they start with a week of grumpiness and tantrums almost like he is coming down with something then BOOM he has learnt something new.

Herb then gets on with being a happy little bean again. These leaps take us by surprise every time, but every time something amazing occurs (this time round it has been more speech, more understanding in what you are telling him , learnt how to swim with his arm bands and sat on the potty and did a wee !!

I am one proud mama this week The boy is on a roll x


So this week we found a new place to explore near our house “The clay pit” a great picnic spot, Its full of wild flowers and has tad poles that Herbie has been watching grow.


When I was little I remember my mum took me to see the tadpoles and then the tadpoles grew legs and arms then as if by magic became frogs, it’s a great little process to show a child and Herb is taking it all in like a little sponge.




Our friends Sarah and Dustin bought us a picnic blanket its amazing and already had alot of use, I think the clay pit maybe my new happy place, mainly because all three of us are together chilling out eating scotch eggs haha nothing better than that.


xxx O