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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.

Best Swimwear for Kids

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Makini Print Surfsuit, £24, Monsoon, Makini Print Bikini, £12, Monsoon

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Striped Ruched Swimsuit age 2-10yrs , £34.50 (sale price), Rachel Riley

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Hotchpotch Swimsuit age 1.5-12yrs, £16-18, Boden

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Mexicana Swimsuit age 1-14yrs, £37, Sunuva 

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Mexicana Rash Vest age 1-14yrs, £38, Sunuva

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Striped ruffle swimsuit age 1.5-10yrs, £7.99, Next 

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Star Print Swimsuit ages 2-12yrs, £12-14, John Lewis,  image

Konfidence Aqua Swim Nappy (suitable for 3-30mth),£9.99, John Lewis

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Green Star Suit and Hat, age 3m-6yrs £17-£18, Next image

Solid Colour Swim Shorts 1.5-8 yrs, £2.99, H&M

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Swim shorts with Nappy age 0-3yrs, £14, Jojo Maman Bebe

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Surf Suit age 1.5-10yrs, £24-£28, Boden

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Bambino Mio Re-usable-Swim-Nappy age 6-12mth, £8.75, Mothercare

The Frozen DNA Pool
Every time I watch Frozen (I can count the times on ooh, 58 hands ) I  am driven to distraction trying to figure out who it is that Elsa reminds me of. I have finally cracked it!!! Or am I cracking up? 

The Frozen DNA Pool

Every time I watch Frozen (I can count the times on ooh, 58 hands ) I  am driven to distraction trying to figure out who it is that Elsa reminds me of. I have finally cracked it!!! Or am I cracking up? 

Framed it

I posted about these masks a while ago and said I’d like to frame them…so I did. The twinkly creatures leapt into my hands in a shop called Petit Aimé in Notting Hill  (why, oh why aren’t they on line?) and at four pounds each, I couldn’t resist them. Steelier bargain hunters out there can find them at Sister’s Guild for just £3.60 each. I used a floating Habitat frame I had lying about, et voila shiny sparkly cheap art! Just need to go back into the frame and snip the elastic ties off the masks now. Maybe a cup of tea first.

Dotty for this
If you’re looking for a quick nursery update these wall stickers could be the answer. Love the fondant colours against the grey and think they would pop even more against an even darker grey. Each dot is about 8cm in diameter and each pack contains three sheets with 72 dots in total at a cost of £29. Hmm, this is beginning to sound like a GCSE maths problem but don’t let that put you off.
Gelato Dots Re-usable Wall Stickers, £29.95, www.peanutandpip.com

Dotty for this

If you’re looking for a quick nursery update these wall stickers could be the answer. Love the fondant colours against the grey and think they would pop even more against an even darker grey. Each dot is about 8cm in diameter and each pack contains three sheets with 72 dots in total at a cost of £29. Hmm, this is beginning to sound like a GCSE maths problem but don’t let that put you off.

Gelato Dots Re-usable Wall Stickers, £29.95, www.peanutandpip.com

Come Up and See My Etchings…

Last week I was incredibly excited to attend one of lingerie label Triumph’s Women In Making workshops at their pop up store in Covent Garden. Triumph have been holding various talks and mini courses as part of their campaign to celebrate female entrepreneurs and creatives and I managed to squeeze onto Louise O’Keefe’s fashion illustration workshop which was fantastic as A) I am a big fashion illustration fan and B) I love a spot of drawing but haven’t done any for such a long time.

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The Student. Spot the rookie mistake. White shirt alert. (scuse the paint pots)

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The Venue: Maison Triumph, Monmouth Street, Covent Garden where you can get measured as part of the Triumph Stand up for Fit mission to properly fit 100,000 women and browse the new Triumph collections.

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The Tutor: Acclaimed fashion illustrator Louise O’Keefe

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Yes, that is meant to be Jem and The Holograms.

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The one that got away.

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Maison Triumph Medley featuring vintage Triumph stays and new gossamer peach bras from their latest collection.

Wow what a great afternoon of splodging paint, being bold with pastels and getting to use a dippy pen in black indian ink. I was quite pleased with my fashion sketches and one of the ladies at the table (quite mad) asked me if she could buy one. “Errrrrr, it’s OK you can just have it.” Not awkward. Not awkward. The best thing was that  I managed not to get anything down my white shirt until I drank a smoothie on the way home. No, scratch that, the best thing was that I’m definitely going to try my hand at some more art soon. Thanks for reminding me how much I enjoy a doodle!

Find out more about Triumph’s Women in Making Campaign here

NB:This was a sponsored post but I absolutely loved it!!!