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The Bridesmaid Files

When my brother got engaged and his two nieces (my girls!) were finally invited to fulfil their destiny as flower girls, I promised you reams of taffeta and tulle, nosegays and grosgrain ribbon. Well, after months of research here it is: My Bridesmaid Dossier.

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If I we had a mega budget (the dresses I love are around £300) I would definitely plump for one of these beautiful dresses from Nicki McFarlane who kitted out the bridesmaids for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding. Was sorely tempted to lie about the price and go for it but then realised I was high.

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Can’t afford the Nicki McFarlane dresses but we can afford the shoes that she uses in all her shoots and that were indeed used for the royal nuptials!

Rainbow club Abigail Bridesmaid Shoes, £30-£35, John Lewis 

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This simple covered button dress looks a lot more expensive than it actually is. Silk Bow Dress (3-12yrs), £85-£89, Next. Yes indeed!

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Here’s eldest madam trying on a Dessy Flower Girl dress which she instantly fell in love with and threw herself sobbing onto a chaise-longue in despair when I told her that it might not be the bride’s choice. Yikes! Bridesmaidzilla! 

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Here it is full length: The romantically named Dessy Flower Girl Dress fl4038

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Another very rich seam of bridesmaid dresses is notonthehighstreet.com, (Who knew?!) which has a really wide selection of pretty dresses. Love this shade of green. Amy Jewel Dress, £175, Little Bevan, notonthehighstreet.com

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Perfect vintage style dress for a Kate Moss style country wedding. Faralaes Dress, £132, The Traditional Children Company, notonthehighstreet.com

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This Misty Dress festooned with hearts would look adorable at a chic city wedding. Love the scalloped neckline. £70 (age 2-14) Stella McCartney Kids

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Tulip & Nettle have some really pretty, traditional dresses with a more laid back feel at really reasonable prices. Dresses are from £50 -£95

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Tulip & Nettle also do great Page Boy pieces. Velvet Breeches and highwaymen shirts that don’t look too Fauntleroy.

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This is the dress that the bride favours so far. Clean lines and lace from John Lewis. Empire Line Lace Dress, £65-£70, John Lewis 

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I love the idea of going a little bit kitsch and having lots of flower girls in all different sugared almond shades. Rosie Corsage Dress, £50, Monsoon 

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The ilovegorgeous store in Notting Hill is a fantastic destination for unstructured heartbreakingly pretty dresses. They have a designated flower girl room at the back of the shop with lots of gorgeous accessories to try on and toys to play with for bored bridesmaids who are sick of taking their clothes off.

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More ilovegorgeousness

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And some more.

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These would look great for a vintagey evening wedding  - in fact I’d quite like one for me. Girls Star Crown Headband, £26.50, J.Crew

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I also love these grosgrain bows that would look lovely on their own or clipping in a delicate spray of flowers. Big Bow Clip, £4.00, La Coqueta Kids

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Here’s littlest madam trying on a red velvet cape in the ilovegorgeous flower girl room. I’m a tiny bit obsessed with Little Red Riding Hood capes and think they would look gorgeous as a cover up for a Winter wedding. 

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Winter Cape, £107, ilovegorgeous.com

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Silk Matilda Dress, £160, Sue Hill, notonthehighstreet.com Cute!

Gorgeous Boy’s Nursery

I used to secretly feel a teensy bit smug about the fact that I have girls and therefore a smorgasbord of sugary, pretty cuteness to choose from to decorate their bedroom but Jo Tutchner Sharp, Founding Director of Beauty PR company Beauty Seen has just burst my pink fluffy bubble. Her little boy’s bedroom and soon to be born (Good luck Jo!) baby boy’s nursery are the most adorable havens of creativity and cuteness ever. The thing that really struck me about her boys’ rooms was how tranquil they felt but without compromising on a sense of fun in any sense. Clever. Unfortunately Jo isn’t available for interior decoration consultation but her amazing shopping address book is below.

The Nursery:

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"I found this laughing bunny on @caraloren’s Instagram page in the middle of the night when I had insomnia and ended up ordering it from the US. He cost a fortune but I love him!" 

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Made.com chair and Belle & Boo cushion

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Oh go on, just one more look at Mr Bunny who sits pride of place on a hand painted antique trunk.

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Jo’s Kids Interiors Address Book

Farg Form  - for the cloud print curtains

The Great Little Trading Co. - great for storage

Belle & Boo - for artwork, cushions and quilts

This Modern Life  - for lovely artwork

Made.com  - for furniture - the blue chair is from here

Etsy - particularly for soft cloud mobiles 

Ferm Living - for bunting and other accessories

Little Baby Company - for artwork including the Pear Print 

Alex & Alexa - for accessories and the large cloud cushion in the cot

mini-mi.co.uk - love this website for toys cushions and nik-naks

You can follow Jo on Instagram at @beautyseenjo​ for lots more lovely pics and inspiration

Tune in over the next couple of weeks for part II of this interiors extravaganza when I post pics of Jo’s eldest son’s room

Pompom Crazy

I just bought this neon pompom garland for a friend’s birthday present and then about twenty minutes later I had to go back and buy one for myself. These pompoms make me so happy! They are like a woolly incarnation of Pharrell Williams hopping about the place. But where to hang them? I might have to buy another three strings - or get crafty.

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To complement the wall hanging? To jolly up the wall hung dresser? Or to add a little more crazy to the crazy dresser? Decisions, decisions…

Rainbow Pompom Garland, £17.50, Oliver Bonas

Shopping Event!

Ooh! I’ve got 30 tickets to give away to a fabulous shopping event at Wembley Park’s London Designer Outlet on Thursday 18th September from 6-9pm. If you fancy an evening of Dim Sum nibbles courtesy of Ping Pong, complimentary hand massages from Crabtree & Evelyn and an extra 20% off all the already discounted LK Bennet, Kurt Geiger and Phase Eight stock, leave me a comment below stating how many tickets you would like or just tweet me @themumdaytimes​. First come first served! Oh, and I’ll be there too to give styling advice so come and say hi!

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Lovely things you could buy on the night…*

*Obv can’t guarantee these exact goodies will be in stock on the night. 

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We’re Back!

As part of my husband’s ongoing mid-life crisis he booked tickets to two festivals this summer (I had no say in this but we’ve moved on). I was kind of dreading the thought of days on end up to our knees in mud and poo but I have to say as an overnight festival virgin I was pleasantly surprised and we’ll definitely be booking one again next year. We went to the kid friendly Latitude and the all about the kids Camp Bestival and both were great in different ways. Latitude was more organised and had less smelly loos, Camp Bestival had a more creative bent and better food. It’s hard to say which one was better.

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Festival Fun. Hiring or bringing your own wagon is a must if you have small children. Ours loved the novelty of being pulled about and falling asleep under their canopy. There were no wagons left to hire at Camp Bestival as they were pre-book only and they weren’t as nice as the ones at Latitude. Point to Latitude.

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Our wagon hired at Latitude and worth every penny.

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After Camp Bestival we went camping in Dorset. This is the evening view from our tent! It was the best campsite I have ever been to in my life and considering I Eurocamped my way from Cornwall to Spain over an entire childhood (free welcome gift alarm clock and wine by the end) I consider myself pretty clued up.

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The campsite was amazing. Free roaming Shetland ponies, guinea-pigs, piglets, goats, kittens and puppies were all about! You could have a campfire and arrange (for a small fee) for the campsite staff to drop off bales of hay to your tent for you to arrange around said campfire. The compost toilets weren’t too smelly, the solar showers were great and the farm courtyard and eating area was fantastic. All lit up with fairy lights and flanked by a well stocked farm shop, an organic bakery, ice-cream shop and a wood fired pizza takeaway trailer. Oh, and there was a yurt for massages and meditation and a hay barn for leaping about in. Basically idyllic camping conditions for middle class North Londoners. Apparently this campsite gets fully booked in a hummingbird’s heartbeat so please send gold, old mobile phones and any loose diamonds if you want me to reveal exactly where it is.

Confession time: I bought the Stella McCartney dress for her in the sale, wasn’t me, fingers slipped, can anyone recommend a prescription for this issue/section me? But I do love it!

Top camping tips:

(Based on what i forgot)

Remember to pack your knickers so that you don’t have to wear your husband’s boxer shorts for three days.

Pack a Lantern so you can see outside in the evening

Pack Mozzy cream/spray

Pack a small mirror

Pack enough blankets, sleeping bags etc to guarantee you will be warm. 

Pack a washing up bowl for emergency wee-wees in the night

Pack a portable potty - for washing up in 

(Based on what I remembered)

One of the best additions to our tent were two thick sheepskin rugs that turned out to make excellent mattresses for the kids who were forever sliding off their blow up ones. The sheepskins were also great for layering over hay bales to make a comfy sofa and for general coziness. 

A set of oil pastels hastily thrown in the bag because i couldn’t find any felt-tips turned out to be a genius move as they were perfect for decorating stones which the kids loved doing when the grown-ups were tidying, cooking, drinking elderflower cider etc 

Battery powered fairy lights (from Cox & Cox) and Bunting. Seriously important.

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Essential camping equipment: Sheepskin Rug, £30, Ikea

A Lost Weekend

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Maida Hill Market, Macaroons, Pub, Petit Aime, Slow walk…

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Bedroom tidying and drawer filling.

Wow. I recently had a whole weekend to myself while the kids went ‘Daddy Camping’ in Wales (4 dads, 8 kids gone feral). I literally didn’t know what to do with myself so I decided to do nothing. Well, all those nothings that you can’t really do with two kids in tow. First up, I met up with friends at the new Maida Hill Market for a long LEISURELY LUNCH of Masala Chips, Monster Burgers and WINE. Then I MOSEYED down to Ladbroke Grove where I had an entire CONVERSATION and drink in The Elgin with my brother, then I headed off to Portobello Market for a POTTER, then I went to my favourite kids shop Petit Aimé for a BROWSE and bought some cute pom-pom hair clips for the girls and those masks that I framed (see earlier post) and then I went home and tidied my bedroom and filled up my new old linen press that worked out MUCH cheaper than a fitted cupboard and then I went to SLEEP. After the novelty of the first few hours I missed them terribly and cried at their sunbeam faces when they got home. Soppy date as my mum would say. A well rested, re-charged soppy date though. Thanks Daddy Campers.

Today’s Purchase
Just popped into Topshop (work trip honest) and saw these dear little wired bows. Perfect for sharing with my girls! Kind of expensive at £10 for the set but they did get very good reports and so did I. I might have forged mine.
Not online as yet but def in the Oxford Street London Branch in plentiful supply. Apologies if you are not a Londoner.

Today’s Purchase

Just popped into Topshop (work trip honest) and saw these dear little wired bows. Perfect for sharing with my girls! Kind of expensive at £10 for the set but they did get very good reports and so did I. I might have forged mine.

Not online as yet but def in the Oxford Street London Branch in plentiful supply. Apologies if you are not a Londoner.