The start of the summer, Game of Thrones (obvs) and a bronze medal #LittleLoves

It’s the end of the school year! I don’t know about you but this has felt like such a long term, we are all completely frazzled and in dire need for some time off. Even though we’re not going on holiday just yet I will definitely be putting my ‘out of office’ on for a few days, just to recharge. Is recharging even possible when the kids are off? Who knows, either way, here’s to a couple of pajama days!

Here we go then, are you ready for some positivity? Grab a cuppa and enjoy my Little Loves, don’t forget you can read lots of other bloggers’ Little Loves by clicking on the linky at the end.

 

  read 

There’s been quite a few blog posts I’ve enjoyed reading this week, here are just a few –

Inside Out and Beyond – At Home with…. Claire (Clarina’s Contemplations) 

Suzanne runs a monthly feature called ‘At Home With..’ and this month she’s sharing Claire’s home (Clarina’s Contemplations). I loved learning more about Claire and taking a look around her home, I’m nosey like that! 

Kerry Villers – Tutorial: How to make a Hanging Flower Decoration

http://kerryvillers.com/tutorials/tutorial-make-hanging-flower-decoration/

How pretty does this look? I’m really tempted to try and make one myself 

The Ordinary Lovely – Celebrating the summer while it lasts

I love browsing through Rachel’s blog, her photographs are beautifully styled and I’d love to chat over coffee and get loads of interiors style tips from her. This post is no exception!

 

watched

Err

GAME OF THRONES!

As you know I’ve been a huge GoT fan ever since it first aired and so there was much excitement when Monday finally came around and I could get back into the fantasy of it all. I will say that I emphatically did not love Ed Sheeran’s cameo though, what on earth was that about? It felt so incongruous and I couldn’t stop looking at his annoying face. It ruined that scene for me completely. Moving on from Ed though, it was a good first episode back to ease us in and now I can’t wait for next week.

I’ve been stuck for something to watch on Netflix on my own to fill my Jane the Virgin void and decided to try Suits again. I used to watch it with the mister years ago but got a bit bored. Trying it again on the ipad though and I’m really enjoying it.

And of course, Love Island. I can’t be the only one who thinks that Chris should win all of the money..? I mean just look at this round up of tweets and memes from Wednesday night’s episode with the babies. Too funny.

 

MAde

I spotted on Helen’s Little Loves the other week that they made a strawberry flan, and remembered how much I loved them when my mum would make them when I was little. We had new friends over for dinner and strawberry flan was the perfect (easy!) dessert that I was looking for. It went down so well, and I’ll definitely be doing it again. In the busy-ness of getting ready for the evening I didn’t get any photos. Boo.

Biggest girl made us proud with her performance at yet another swimming gala last week and even came home with a medal.

My first monthly newsletters for this blog and for The Start Up Life went out this week as well as a blog post full of advice and tips on balancing the school holidays and work if you are a creative business owner / freelancer / blogger who also happens to be a parent. Have a read here, lots of people have shared their own experiences and I’ve found it super helpful.

tips for work life balance

 

Last Friday I managed to squeeze in a hair appointment to get those pesky greys banished and refresh the red. I love my hairdresser (who also happens to be a lovely school mum friend too), I do think I drive her up the wall with my ideas and fickleness though!

Friends of ours had their wedding blessed on Sunday and renewed their vows. It was so lovely to see and to share in their day. I wore my new jumpsuit that I mentioned last week. Sadly I’ve got no photographic evidence! I really must train up my children to take good outfit shots. Maybe it can be a summer holiday project… 😉

 

heard

I’ve heard a whole lot of moaning and stropping from my kids this week, but that’s definitely not in the LOVES category so lets go with some music instead 😉

This track popped up in one of my Daily Mixes on Spotify. I saw Gossip ten years ago (!!) when I was pregnant with Noo. I was right near the front and had a lovely friend keep me and bump safe while we all jumped around like loons! Oh the nostalgia… where on earth have the last ten years gone *weeps*.

 

 

and lastly

We finally have a slower paced weekend ahead, hurrah! After months of jam packed weekends this is very much needed. A family trip into Liverpool might be on the cards but only after a lazy morning! We’ve not been to Liverpool for years in fact this is from our last trip there, it’s one of my favourite pictures of the two of them.

 

If you’re on Instagram and want to join in with the Little Loves community on there, it’s so easy just use the hashtag #littleloves on any photo that shows something little that you love – so that can be pretty much anything! I’ll share my favourites on Stories each Friday.

coffeeworksleep instagram

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Fancy joining in?

Just copy the headings and use them as prompts in a blog post then link up below and let me know!



Don’t forget to show some love to the fellow bloggers sharing the little things that they’ve loved this week, by having a read and commenting on their posts too – especially if you’ve linked up a post. Be sure to use the hashtag #littleloves if you’re on twitter so we can all keep an eye out for the posts and promote each others.

Here’s my badge if you fancy popping it on your post:

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
 
 

morganaThe start of the summer, Game of Thrones (obvs) and a bronze medal #LittleLoves
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The juggle is real, advice for finding work/life balance in the school holidays

I’ve touched on this a bit in both the Coffee Work Sleep newsletter and The Start Up Life mailer, but I got so much good advice from other bloggers, freelancers and business owners I thought I’d share some more in a dedicated blog post. The long stretch of six plus weeks of school holidays every summer is rather overwhelming for the best of us isn’t it? We personally don’t have family nearby to help out and childcare costs can be crippling. In light of this one of the reasons I originally became self employed was so that I could do the school runs and be around in the school holidays. However, the downside of this is trying to balance ever growing work loads and fun with the children throughout the summer break.

On this subject of the work/life balance, I’ve asked around and got a wealth of advice, hints and tips for my fellow creative businesses owners that also happen to be parents.

Finding that work/life balance in the summer holidays

 

Jennifer from online store, WE ARE SCAMP – ‘I try and get business work done/orders made first thing in the morning (even if it means getting up early) so I can have most of the day wit the kids. If anything else needs doing I tend to wait until the evening. I also do try to have the kids at the odd days of summer/sports camp as well which helps too!’

Jennifer’s sister and business partner adds, ‘I like to do some child care swapsies to keep child care costs down.’

Sarah founder of online store, THE EAT WELL – ‘I usually work evenings in the holidays and then buy / beg one day of childcare a week. The rest is done on stolen moments on my phone from farms and ball pits’

Karina of video production company, THE QUICK BROWN FOX – ‘Our littlest one will have a childminder a couple of days a week throughout the summer break, so on those days, our eldest is signed up for camps/all day drop-off activities. The rest of the time, same as the others, I either wake up extra early to schedule email and social media and do admin or work late into the evening + stolen minutes here and there whilst on our days out. Phone calls during the summer are by appointment only. Luckily we’re a husband & wife team though, so everything else (filming and editing) gets done as per normal term time schedule… it’s my side of the business that suffers slightly more.

Emma from designer and Scandi children’s clothing store, DAPPER BABY – ‘We’ve done soft play so far and we’ve had them in the office. We’ve set up an area with toys, crafts and a tv! I work with my husband so one of us will work from home and the other will go in. And my sister who also works for us leaves at 3 so she’s going to come to my house and have them while I go back into work for a few hours. I’m also having her daughter over the holidays.’

Jude, founder of retro gift store, JESSIE JUMBLES – ‘My son has autism, we have a holiday club booked for two weeks but i have to go with him. I take my laptop and work on my website at the centre. I do a lot of work first thing in the morning before our days out and in the evening. It’s so tricky!’ 

Susanne, blogger at GHOSTWRITERMUMMY and business owner, SOCIAL SPARKLE –  ‘Early mornings and late nights haha! I find I work better in the morning before the kids are up and I set a timer, so do as much as I can in those first two hours so I have the rest of the day free. I also always try to set an out of office on emails so that everyone gets a reply letting them know I’ve seen their email and will deal with it asap. I also work with fellow freelancers for cover and days off which are just as important as work days.’

Joanne of social media management company, SOCIAL BODS – I’m not sure I do balance it to be honest! I work when I can, and concentrate on the children when I can’t. I’m lucky in that my business has staff so I can increase their hours through the school holidays. It costs me more money but i see it as survival until September! My eldest is off two weeks earlier than the others so she either comes to the office with me, or goes off for the day with grandparents. My husband works shifts so he can do quite a bit of childcare too. We simply muddle through until September when I can breathe again and think about maybe making a profit.

Katy, digital marketing business owner, MODERN MEDIA, and blogger at MODERN MUMMY – ‘I get up at 5.30 to get a couple of hours of work in before the kids wake up – ditto working in the evenings once they’re in bed. If one gets invited on a play date I will try and get a play date for the other too so that I can have a child free day and really knuckle down and if I have a deadline looming that I’m struggling to meet I’ll arrange a sleepover at Granny & Grandad’s house (harder than it sounds as they live quite a way away). Generally though, I try to reduce my workload for the month of August – and if we have a holiday booked I put my out of office on and enjoy it!’

Jen, of award winning craft and parenting blog, MUM IN THE MADHOUSE – ‘I think that we also need to be honest and admit it is a real juggling act and balls do get dropped! We cannot give 100% to everything and get through the holidays sane IMHO. At the end of the six weeks, I am ready for a break myself.’ 

Helen, KIDDY CHARTS ‘I have struggled with this and my advice is be ruthless with what is achievable and stick to the hours that you give yourself. So if you know you can do five hours a day; working before the kids get up and in the evenings, don’t over commit beyond that. As tough as it is, it’s so important for your sanity. And do as much as you can before the kids break up – depending on what you do this is very possible. So for example, as a freelance social media manager I used to schedule client blogs and social posts. Finally, talk to other mums in the same boat and work together. You look after a friends kids while they work and vice versa. That can massively help you both.’

 

What a lot of fantastic advice!

Are you ready for the summer holiday juggle?

Got any tips to add? 

 

 

morganaThe juggle is real, advice for finding work/life balance in the school holidays
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Mutha.Hood’s Start Up Story

You know me. I love a bit of ‘mama merch’ and combine that with an indie maker and seller who is a mum herself and you’re onto a winner. Insta famous Mutha.Hood is a indie brand that I really love and I was super keen to get the mama behind the business to feature in my Start Up Stories. Gemma is lovely and one inspiring lady, enjoy finding out more about her brand, how it started and how she runs it. Oh and keep scrolling right to the end as there’s a little treat for you my dear reader.

Copyright – In The Den Photography

My name is Gemma, I have a deep need to own everything that is embroidered, multi-coloured and adorned with pom poms. I also run Mutha.Hood.

Tell us a little bit about your business 

Mutha.Hood has been running for a year. It was actually its first birthday a few days ago and I’m still blown away by how much it has grown in that time. I sell merchandise that aims to empower and celebrate women.

Once you had the idea how did you go about turning it into a reality?

I’m very lucky that my working background helped to give me the confidence to take the leap. Before maternity leave I was an Assistant Buyer for a high street clothing company. I learnt all about garment quality, printing techniques, cost prices, negotiating and the importance of sticking to your brand identity. I also used to be a TV Researcher so I then utilised those skills to learn as much as I could about the stuff that I didn’t know about like shop set up and Illustrator. I set up through Big Cartel, found a UK based printer, took some pictures and hustled on Instagram… the rest is history.

What’s been the hardest part of your life as a start up business so far and how do you overcome those kinds of hurdles?

This year has been challenging because neither of my girls are in childcare, due to a house move. I’m a completer-finisher through and through and balancing looking after them with the demands of a third growing baby, my business, has caused some pressure. I’m lucky that my Mum lives near-by so she has them 1.5/2 days a week, and that Dom is happy to sit next to me every evening in the office whilst I work; often agreeing to fold tees with me whilst I force him to listen to Zayn for the millionth time.

I run on black coffee and chocolate biscuits when I’m working, what couldn’t you live without?

The Instagram-Chats from my followers. It can be a lonely old road setting up on your own. Not least because there’s a serious lack of water cooler chat. I love the messages I get from people and they brighten my day and reassure me that I’m making a difference. I don’t just want to sell products, I genuinely want to help women feel good about themselves. That can either be through fun, printed tees, or by sharing snippets of my life and internal ramblings through Insta-Stories. So when I get a comment or a message from someone, it makes my soul happy.

I know from running this blog and my own online store that when you’re a primarily online based business you need a strong social media presence, which is your favourite platform and do you have any tips for running it?

I think it’s clear that I am IN LOVE with Instagram. I love the community that exist on there, the inspiring people I’ve found and the banter that it provides. Part of the reason why I’ve achieved what I have on it is because I love it so much. I reply to almost everyone who gets in touch with me, I’m the biggest Fan-Girl when it comes to my Insta-Heroes, so I don’t simply use it as a tool to sell my wares and I think that shows. I recently signed up to Iconosquare. It’s got wonderful analytics and scheduling but I mainly started to use it because my thumb began to really ache from all of the comments I was leaving. It’s a great tool when you use Instagram as heavily as I do for a business.

What is the best part of running your own business? Has there been a ‘pinch yourself to check it’s real’ kind of moment for you?

I love the connections that it has brought me. Motherhood can be a lonely place, I never found a good network of friends in playgroups and I feel like I’ve found them through running the business. When people are so nice to me and supportive it really makes me feel so grateful. I’ve chatted to some lovely people and when my Insta-Heroes share what I’ve thought up and started to sell I literally can’t stop the happy tears. DLAM, MOD (#MODNZOK4EVA), Alison Perry, Make Do & Push, InPoLife, LittleFlea, Molly Forbes, Lisa Dawson, The Frugality … and the God-dess that is Erica Davies. These are women that I literally adore to the same level as I once loved Keanu Reeves so that pretty much makes me beam from ear to ear.

Has being a parent influenced the way your business works? 

Being a parent is the reason why the business started. It shook me to the core but by becoming a Mum it made me realise the importance of helping other women know that they’re awesome. I also wanted a business that could work around the children; so I try my hardest not to let it interfere too much with our time together.

Running an online business must overwhelming at times, what do you do to manage your time and what tips do you have for avoiding being overwhelmed?

Last night I had a melt down in front of Dom over tissue paper. I don’t think I’m the wisest when it comes to not feeling overwhelmed. Although, a big step forward has been acknowledging to myself what this is. It isn’t a little hobby, it’s a valued business and I need to start believing in it more. It needs the time that it’s demanding and it’s okay for me to give it.

What’s your current favourite item or range in your store at the moment?

The Strong Girls Club Tee. I loved it the moment the stock came in and seeing so many wonderful women and kids wearing it has made me love it even more.

Got any new products or projects in the pipeline?

I’m always thinking of new bits, I don’t think my brain ever stops really. I’m working on some new jewellery which has taken months to come to fruition, some new enamel pins and, of course, some new graphic tees.

Whether practical or inspirational, what is your top piece advice for anyone out there wanting to take that leap and start their own business?

Do what you know, do what you love. I love everything about what I do – the designing, the customer chats, the admin, the ‘gram and I think that shows through the business and my enjoyment of the business as it grows. I also think it’s important to set yourself small targets, then you won’t ever be disappointed in yourself and bail too early on your idea. You can sit there and wish to be as big as the already established brands, but if that’s your only goal you’ll feel like every achievement isn’t quite good enough, and the pressure can put you off.  My first mini-goal was to see my tee on DLAM (@dresslikeamum), then sell a new design, the next was to break even, … each one that I achieve reminds me of how far I’ve come and on the nights where I’m packing orders until 2am, worrying that I’m not balancing it all that’s a good reminder to have. 

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Just click on the logo to get shopping!

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Want to read more inspiring Start Up Stories? Just click on the image below 

Start Up Stories a series of interviews with parents that started up there own businesses

 

(Discount code runs from 16/07/2017 until 23/07/2017 and is valid for one use per customer)

morganaMutha.Hood’s Start Up Story
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A dance show, listening to Blur, and a binge watching Jane The Virgin #LittleLoves

It’s not been the best of weeks for us. I’ve had the flu mixed in with chronic hayfever and my eldest girl’s beloved hamster passed away. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know how inseparable they were, in fact most of my photos of her over the last couple of years have the hamster in too. We had a really busy weekend so that helped but she was and is beside herself. It’s on weeks like this that Little Loves really helps me to focus on the good.

So in light of that, are you ready for some positivity? Grab a cuppa and enjoy my Little Loves, don’t forget you can read lots of other bloggers’ Little Loves by clicking on the linky at the end.

 

  read 

I’ve finished The Girls by Emma Kline, maybe now I’ll get my reading mojo back a bit. It was a good read and I found it kept me hooked to see what happened in the commune with all those girls. It reminded me a bit of Virgin Suicides in some ways. 

I had some books languishing in our Amazon basket and was surprised to see them turn up in a delivery. My lovely husband did an Amazon order and included them in for me! So now I have Jen Hatmaker’s – Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity* to get started on as well as Rising Strong by Brene Brown*

Blog wise I’ve got a few that have stood out this week that I’d like to share with you. Firstly, Julia of Rainbeaubelle’s blog post reflecting on two years after losing her husband- Two Years On I’ve read Julia’s blog for years now and find her so wonderfully inspiring. She’s been such a supporter of mine with my shop and never fails to make me smile (and cry!) with her way with words.

On the topic of blogs I enjoyed this one from Jess Soothill – When everyone has a blog, just how do you stand out? It is full or wisdom and tips that are perfect for any new blogger or one that wants to take theirs up to the next level.

 

watched

Being ill has it’s perks, I managed to binge watch the whole of season 3 of Jane The Virgin in three days. I had no idea that it had even been added on there so it was such perfect timing. There was no way I could have coped with anything serious or taxing, I needed funny and fluffy and Jane The Virgin is just the best. Now I just need to wait until October for season 4! Talking of October and Netflix, did you see it’s been announced that season 2 of Stranger Things comes out then too? So exciting!

On Sunday my eldest girl’s dance school put on their annual show, it was in Lytham, you know how much we love it there, so we had some time in the sun while rehearsals were on before the big event. It was lovely to see her hard work pay off during the show. Just one more lesson and then it’s the summer break – I think she’s ready for it!

 

MAde

I’ve managed to put the finishing touches to my new monthly email newsletter, the first one goes out on Sunday so make sure you’re signed up to it.

 

Now you definitely do not want to see a picture of me in my pajamas or hoody and sweatpants, but really that’s all I’ve worn! I have just received this gorgeous culotte jumpsuit* from New Look, and look it’s not black!!

I also picked up some bargains with my VIP slot for the Next sale, I’ve had my eye on a couple of pairs of shoes and was so happy that they were put in the sale!

heard

I’ve had a rather eclectic mix of music on in my car and laptop this week. I must say I had a proud mum moment when I let N choose whatever she wanted on Spotify for the car and she chose Blur! We spent a lovely trip to Lytham enjoying their greatest hits.

I’ve been out of the habit of listening to podcast recently, even my favourite ones (!) but I did have a little listen to Shauna Niequist interviewing Jen Hatmaker and loved it, you can listen to that one here. You might know Shauna as the author of Present over Perfect, a book I loved from last year. I must get back in the habit of listening to more. Now I can hook up my phone to the car stereo I should listen to some while driving.

 

and lastly

We’ve got friends over for dinner tonight and another weekend of swimming galas..! I must admit I’ll be glad when the season of triathlons and galas is over so we can get a bit of a break! I can’t believe that next week will be the last week of term, I’m so not prepared for the holidays, are you??

 

If you’re on Instagram and want to join in with the Little Loves community on there, it’s so easy just use the hashtag #littleloves on any photo that shows something little that you love – so that can be pretty much anything! 

coffeeworksleep instagram

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Fancy joining in?

Just copy the headings and use them as prompts in a blog post then link up below and let me know!



Don’t forget to show some love to the fellow bloggers sharing the little things that they’ve loved this week, by having a read and commenting on their posts too – especially if you’ve linked up a post. Be sure to use the hashtag #littleloves if you’re on twitter so we can all keep an eye out for the posts and promote each others.

Here’s my badge if you fancy popping it on your post:

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
 
 

morganaA dance show, listening to Blur, and a binge watching Jane The Virgin #LittleLoves
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My Favourite Colourful Family Life Instagrammers

This isn’t a list full of huge Instagrammers with hundreds of thousands of followers, these are a few of my favourites that make me smile with their content and fantastically colourful feeds. Some will be well known and others are gems that should have way more followers than they currently do. As well as sharing a few photos from their accounts I’ve asked each Instagrammer for their top tips and favourite hashtags for a little insider knowledge that we can all learn from.

Colourful Family Life Instagrammers

 

Lucy | @Dear_Beautiful_

Lucy’s youngest girl has THE best bedroom, I mean just look at the rainbows! I really enjoy Lucy’s instagram, not just because we’ve been friends ever since I started blogging but because it’s a lovely space that reflects her family. The pops of colour and the beaming family photos are a joy to look at and shine so brightly as I scroll through Instagram.

Lucy’s top tip – ‘Don’t let the algorithms sap your joy. Post what you love and what makes you happy. Like and comment on the photos you love and that make you happy. Instagram is, and always has been my happy place. And to keep it that way I have to let all the follower-engagement-likes-unfollowing-dramas go.’

Favourite hashtag/s#colourcolourlovers because it’s so pretty and I love #meandmimeproject not because it’s mine but it makes me smile to see so many happy family photos.

 

Hannah | @MakeDoandPush

Like so many of my favourites, Hannah has such a knack for capturing bright and fun moments. Her photos are full of colour and fun and I love her photographic style. Not to mention how cute her kids are!

Hannah’s top tip – ‘My top tip would be to mix up your hashtags every couple of weeks to see which ones are working best and to discover new ones.’

Favourite hashtag – ‘My favourite hashtag at the moment is #mycolourfulkids (created by @ladybirdsadventures) because it basically sums up everything I love posting on Instagram.’

 

Gill | @Gill_C

Gill’s wall is just so vibrant and happy, she is so clever with her use of colour within each photo and her wall as a gallery. Too much colour can be overwhelming but you don’t get that from her account, her clever composition and use of space mean that each picture can be enjoyed. Her daughter is very much like my youngest with their love of tiny colourful toys!

Gill’s top tip – ‘If you’re going to post lots of colourful things then pick out 2-3 colours to focus on (but don’t get too obsessed with something ‘fitting’ if you like it then post it anyway!).

favourite hashtag –  #walltravelled – colouful walls from around the world.

 

Molly | @MollyjForbes

I love Molly’s instagram, you know me I’m a fan of keeping things real (but still pretty!) and Molly definitely does that. Her girls remind me of mine when they were younger and they share the same love of the colour yellow! Molly mixes up her wall with photos of her family and photos of her own style, clothing wise. Weaved through it all is her love of bright colours and a sense of fun.

Molly’s top tip and favourite hashtag – ‘At the moment I’m really enjoying #whatmamaworemonday. A tip from me would be, engage, engage, engage. Comment on hashtags and keep looking up your favourite accounts and liking and commenting (don’t just wait for them to turn up on your feed) and give regular shout outs to other Instagrammers you love.’

 

Jenny | @LetsTalkMommy

You’ll know by now that Jenny is a ‘real life’ friend of mine, but don’t think I’ve included her because of bias. One look at her Instagram and you’ll see it’s bursting with colour and family fun. She is such a bright and shining person in real life and her photos really reflect that.

Jenny’s Instagram tips – ‘My tip is to create new friendships with engagement. Don’t just like and comment in bulk. These are the people that will continue searching back for you and will like and comment regularly not just as a one off. If you use hashtags, which I absolutely love, ones like my own hashtag #lifecloseup, have great support. Don’t just use hashtags, join in the conversation and be active in the hashtags you use, this will help you get more engagers from this hashtag coming back to you too. Try to love Instagram for what it used to be not what its turned into. Let’s keep sharing what we love.’

Favourite hashtags – #letthemplay #littlefierceones #myweekofhappiness #joyfulmamas #lifewithatoddler #lifewithkids #mummyshot #siblingsproject #meandmineproject #curiouslittleexplorers #rememberingthesedays #myfamilyadventures #littleloves #onemillionmagicalsmiles

A huge thank you to these lovely Instagrammers for letting me use their photos and for sharing their advice. I do love the blogging and Insta community for this kind of thing.

For more Instagrammers I love check out my post on my favourite UK Inspiring Instagrammers

 

DO YOU FOLLOW ANY OF THESE?

WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITES?

LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW

 

morganaMy Favourite Colourful Family Life Instagrammers
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Vegan Brownies, a new car and The Girls July #littleloves

It’s been a week where I feel like I’ve not really stopped. I’m currently stood up in my kitchen typing this while figuring our how to simultaneously put my kids to bed and make myself some dinner. The creative and industrious part of my brain has completely checked out and I want to crash out on the sofa (kids asleep and food cooked for me, obvs) and watch Love Island.. don’t you judge me. I usually try and write a nice, warm intro but instead this week you have this rather rambling incoherent paragraph, sorry about that! Moving on…

Here we go then, are you ready for some positivity? Grab a cuppa and enjoy my Little Loves, don’t forget you can read lots of other bloggers’ Little Loves by clicking on the linky at the end.

 

  read 

I’m meandering my way through The Girls, grabbing a moment here and there to enjoy it. Following Eve as she tells the story of being a teen in a cult, it’s not a heavy going, dark book despite the core content, though I imagine I’m on the precipice of something big. 

I’ve read some really good blog posts this week that have left me feeling affirmed and aspired. The first comes from a lady that has inspired me ever since I stumbled across her in my early days of Instagram, so we’re talking about 5 or 6 years ago. If you’ve been to Blogtacular then you’re probably aware of her, I’m talking about Allison Sadler. Allison, like so many of us has fallen out of love with Instagram and is fed up of being bogged down with worrying about the algorithm (bear with me if you’re not an Instagram fan or user), stressing about likes, interaction and how your grid looks. She’s started up Free Up My Insta in order to help us all shake off the pressure and get back to the innocent love of sharing we once had. You can read her post here or just head straight over to her insta.

Getting away from social media for a minute I just had to share this post from another lady that inspires me daily, Sarah Bessey. This week she’s written about faithfulness and how it’s so often underestimated, the tenacity and ‘digging in’ that’s need not to quit in the tough times. However you read it and apply it I think there’s plenty of gems in there for everyone. Have a read –Keep Not Quitting.

 

watched

I’m still in my Mad Men binge state, and mid way through season 3. Of course, I’ve joined the masses and got sucked into watching Love Island. Oh the shame. I’ve tried to resist but it takes no prisoners!

The mister and I enjoyed watching Why Him? for our Saturday night film. I was so ready for something funny and involving very little brain power and this fit the bill perfectly.

Onto something a little more highbrow, we’ve started the film, The Circle, starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. Apparently it did so badly on it’s released in the US it has been released straight to Netflix bypassing the UK cinemas. Don’t let that put you off though, we’re only about half an hour in and I’m seriously intrigued. It centres around and ‘Apple’ style huge tech firm and newbie worked Emma Watson, there are lots of dark undertones as we face a dialogue about oversharing/transparency and what is in the public and private domain. It has some serious Black Mirror vibes for sure.

 

MAde

The best vegan brownies EVER! I quickly made them on Sunday morning to take to church for a bring and share lunch. It was a bit of a gamble and I was prepared to run to a shop after church quickly if they went wrong but they were delicious. I know I’ve not had brownies or even dairy for a while but honestly you would never know that they were vegan. I loved them so much I’ve made another batch, and I’m desperately trying not to eat the lot! I’ve tweaked the original recipe and when I’m completely happy with it I’ll post it up so keep an eye out.

Talking of ‘free from’ successes I gave this yeast free pizza recipe a try earlier in the week and it was another big success. My eldest girl adores pizza and misses it massively so I’ve definitely scored some brownie points with this one. Now I just need to find a decent vegan cheese to go on top. It was eaten so fast I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture!

I’ve finally sorted myself out and got round to promoting my new monthly newsletter. It’s been on my ‘to do list’ since last year, and now in July I’m actually doing it. It will be a letter to you and a round up of a few posts and things I’ve been loving and want to share. 

A little while ago I was approached by White Stuff to style their new Rose Tassle Jacket for an ‘alfresco’ lunch, you can see the full post here. It’s such a gorgeous cover up and I cannot wait to wear it at the beach later in the summer. You can see the White Stuff’s blog where I feature alongside another lovely blogger here.

white stuff summer cover up

 

 

heard

After driving a car that has been slowly falling apart for the past 18 months I’ve finally replaced it. With lots of my friends being pregnant or with newborns I’ve joked that this Mini is my third baby. We’ve loved having the top down and playing the music loud. Though N was mortified when her sister chose the Trolls soundtrack and we drove past school with it blaring, she was even more embarrassed when I sang along and did a little dance!

Besides Trolls, I’ve been loving this track, Loveblood by Sundra Karma. It’s an old one but it popped up on my Spotify Daily Mix and I’m obsessed.

 

 

and lastly

We’ve got a busy weekend ahead of a swimming gala and a ballet show. Poor N is going to be exhausted! I’m exhausted just trying to keep track of everything! Hopefully we’ll be able to fit in some chill out time in between.

If you’re on Instagram and want to join in with the Little Loves community on there, it’s so easy just use the hashtag #littleloves on any photo that shows something little that you love – so that can be pretty much anything! 

coffeeworksleep instagram

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Fancy joining in?

Just copy the headings and use them as prompts in a blog post then link up below and let me know!



Don’t forget to show some love to the fellow bloggers sharing the little things that they’ve loved this week, by having a read and commenting on their posts too – especially if you’ve linked up a post. Be sure to use the hashtag #littleloves if you’re on twitter so we can all keep an eye out for the posts and promote each others.

Here’s my badge if you fancy popping it on your post:

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
 
 

morganaVegan Brownies, a new car and The Girls July #littleloves
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The perfect summer cover up with White Stuff

When it comes to my summer wardrobe my main focus is versatility. With the weather in the UK going from hot sun to dreary rain and back again we need to be prepared for anything. I don’t know about you but I can’t afford to spend money on loads of clothes only to never get to wear them because of the change in weather. Anything I buy in the summer months needs to earn its place, and pieces that can be worn and adapted for different weather and occasions, are much easier to justify.

The lovely people over at White Stuff asked if I’d like to try a key piece from their summer collection, the Rose Tassle Jacket, it’s such a beautiful and versatile item of clothing that of course I jumped at the chance.

Teamed with their Little Delhi Skirt in khaki and a pretty cutwork jersey tee I wore it out for a family lunch in the rather intermittent British sunshine.

white stuff summer cover up

white stufff summer cover up

white stuff summer cover up

I love that this jacket can be worn on the beach over a swimsuit, teamed with the vest top, trousers and heels or in this case a skirt, it will soon become a summer staple and must have in your holiday suitcase. I’m off to Turkey later in the summer and this will be the first thing I pack for sure!

You can shop my ‘alfresco dining look’ in this feature by The White Stuff alongside another lovely blogger here – Hard Working Summer Cover Ups -White Stuff

This is a collaborative post

morganaThe perfect summer cover up with White Stuff
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