Our summer swimwear favourites

My girls have loads of swimming costumes all of various shapes and sizes, we’ve got a box in the utility with all their swimwear as well as some bits in their wardrobes. With the littlest doing swimming lessons once a week and the eldest being in the town’s swim squad and swimming 4 times a week (I know! She’s a fish!) we need lots ready to go. I do make a distinction between functional swimwear for lessons and training and beach wear. I really think that beach wear is the chance to have a little more fun with prints and styles.

I’ve been having a look at the collection of swim wear and beach wear and here are some of my choices.

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I chose these with my 8 year old in mind and think she would love the surfy style and geometric print. I’m not a fan of bikinis on children but I think this tankini is a great compromise. Both my girls have cover ups for when we’re on the beach and I love this whole matching set. With UPF 50+ protection these are all perfect for a sunny beach days.

 

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Now, this collection is just perfect for my littlest, she loves bright, fun prints and I think this watermelon themed collection from Sunuva is just so cute. We’re already big fans of Sunuva and like Platypus Australia their beach wear and swimwear gives UPF 50+ protection from the suns harmful rays.

All swimwear from House of Fraser.

 

What do you think of my choices?

 

This is a collaborative post

morganaOur summer swimwear favourites
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What we think of Matalan school uniforn

When both my girls started school one of the things they were most excited about was wearing a school uniform. No joke. I think with my youngest especially it was because she wanted to be a big girl like her older sister. It’s safe to say that now they are both established at school the novelty has worn off! They are still very opinionated about what kind of uniform they want though, for example now that N is in the juniors she no longer wears pinafore dresses, apparently they are just not cool (who knew?). I like to get organised with the Autumn/Winter uniform and will start buying bits now. Of course I size up as kids grow like weeds over the summer holidays. The only thing I leave until the last minute is shoes, I get them at the end of August.

I tend to buy a lot of uniform, especially for my youngest, she is always coming home with board marker on her shirts and dresses and food stains down her top. We joke that you can tell what she’s been doing and eating during the day as you can see it all over her clothes! N on the other hand has always taken great pride in her appearance and is really fussy when it comes to clothes and that even includes uniform!

We’re lucky in that my girls school doesn’t have a strict policy where you can only buy uniform from them or a certain shop, you don’t even need to have the school badge on anything. This means that somewhere like Matalan is perfect. Here’s a few examples from the Matalan school uniform range.

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As you can see we’ll never make serious kids fashion bloggers, will we?!

 

Our Matalan school uniform review

Matalan is a great place to pick up school uniform, my girls have always had various things from there and considering how affordable it is we’ve been really happy with how they’ve worn and washed. It’s not often you manage to get affordability and quality clothing. I’m particularly happy that the pinafore you see E wearing is stain resistant! As I mentioned early she’s not the neatest and cleanest of children so having a Teflon stain resistant coating that repels water and stains AND restricts stains from absorbing into the fabric is a must for her uniform!

The only downside to buying in lots of uniform is sewing name tags in everything, oh well at least I have all summer to get around to doing that job..!

 

 

(Thanks to Matalan for sending over this school uniform for my growing girls. All prices were correct at time of publishing. As always all opinions are our own.)

morganaWhat we think of Matalan school uniforn
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Summer ready with Vertbaudet

As much as I love partnering with brands I already know and love it’s also fun to try out new ones, so when Vertbaudet asked us if we’d like to try some pieces from the kids summer range I thought it would be a great chance to try a brand I’d never bought from before.

My two have very different tastes so often we end up having to buy from different shops for each of them. Checking out Vertbaudet’s summer range online I was so pleased how easy it was to choose outfits for both my girls. I’m having a thing for playsuits and dungarees at the moment, not only do they look great, they are just so easy to throw on and you have an instant outfit. I was happy to find that Vertbaudet had plenty to choose from in these styles.

For the five year old I chose a yellow broderie anglaise playsuit. E loves colourful clothes so I knew this would be an instant hit. To go with it I picked up a more neutral grey cardigan and white floral leather sandals.

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E’s outfit – she wears age 7-8

Yellow Broderie Anglaise Playsuit  £20

Grey cardigan with macrame flower £17

Leather floral and white sandals £21 (30% off usual price of £30)

As for N I found it really easy buying for her as one of the first pages I saw had an outfit that I knew she would love.

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I got the whole outfit, minus the scarf and N could not be happier with it. N is 8 and a half and I would say average height wise for her age. I ordered her outfit in age 9 and it fits perfectly.

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N’s outfit, she wears 9-10

Short denim dungarees – £14

T-shirt with lace detail – £7

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Pumps – £9 (with 40% off)

We are really happy with the outfits from Vertbaudet and I’d definitely consider buying from them again. The quality was good and the price really reasonable. We’ve had these clothes for about a month now as I wanted to see how they fared being put to the test by my girls and our washing machine! I can happily say that they are all wearing well. The sandals have hardly been off E’s feet at the weekends, a testament to how comfy she finds them – at five she’s not one to suffer for style! One thing I would say is size up on everything. I’m so thankful that one of my mum friends told me this before I placed my order. N is of average height for 8 so I got her 9-10 which fit perfectly. E is only 5 but tall for her age so her outfit is in 7-8.

 

Have you ordered from Verbaudet before?

What do you think of our outfit choices?

 

 

 

(All prices correct at time of publishing. As with all our reviews and partnered posts all views and opinions are our own, for more info on this see here)

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Little corners of my home in May

I love adding little touches to my home, they don’t have to be expensive homewares or fancy gadgets but something little that gives a new feel to a room. I’ve done a few projects in our living room and dining room, like repainting the dining room chairs and table as well as the side table in the living room. This month I couldn’t face another big job like that so I’ve made some little vases, plant pots and tea light holders. Well, I haven’t ‘made’ them, I’ve just upcycled them. Is that still an ‘in phrase’ in home decor, who knows, I’ll just go with it.

I gathered some jars and glass tea light holders from around the house and armed with my new chalk paint spray  headed out into the garden.

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I’m not a fantastic DIYer or a particularly creative or patient one. If there’s a project that involves lots of long winded stages then I’m just not going to do it, no matter how pretty it looks on Pinterest! This chalk paint spray, however, could not be easier to use and it dries crazy quickly. From start to finish these took just over half an hour. Perfect.

I’ve dotted them around in our downstairs living space, some are vases, some tealight holders and others are plant pots.

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Our back garden is full of bluebells and forget-me-nots. I know that some consider the tiny blue flowers to be a weed but I absolutely adore them and having a little flower pot vase is the perfect excuse for me to bring some inside.

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You know me and my succulent and cactus obsession so it’s no surprise to see two little pots with these beauties in them!
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I’m so pleased with how well they’ve turned out. I really love the chalky matte finish that they have. I’ve used spray paints on things before but they’ve always had a shiny finish. All in all the spray was so easy to use and much better for a project like this than having to faff around with paint and paint brushes.

The vases just need a spray coat of Pinty Plus water based varnish, so that they can be washed without damaging the paint.

Now that I know how easy it is to use I’ve got my eye on what I can use it on next. Our poor weather worn outdoors dining set, or the old metal chair my dad passed on to us or even the TV unit, decisions, decisions. I’ll definitely be choosing at least one of these for next months project so don’t forget to check back.

What do you think

Would you give this chalk paint spray at try?

What would you upcycle with it?

 

 

I’m a Pinty Plus Ambassador and will be sent chalk paint sprays to try out and share with you each month. As always all views are my own. You can view the whole range here – Novasol Spray UK

morganaLittle corners of my home in May
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My thoughts on the Archive by Alexa collection at Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer have been a staple feature of many a high street over the years. It’s a shop I’ve been to hand in hand with my mum as a child. Hiding in rails of clothes as she shopped and trailing behind as she perused the food hall. Now as a mum myself my own children are the ones that hide in the clothes rails and they even drag me into the cafe for a treat, or two. I often buy the girls clothes from there and pop in to grab some lunch or treats for dinner but rarely have I actually bought clothes for myself, well aside from underwear!

When I was invited to view the new collection by Alexa Chung inspired by the fashion archives of Marks and Spencer I was immediately intrigued. We know that what Alexa touches turns to gold, remember that Topshop dress she wore years ago that sold out almost immediately and then more recently the M&S skirt that had all of us flocking there to find it. As a fan of vintage and vintage inspired clothes I was keen to see what the collection would look like and how it would work on the high street.

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Alexa herself was so lovely and we had a chat about the names she’s used for each of the pieces. She searched for old fashioned names that would represent the archives but with a nod to how much these names are cropping up now and coming back into fashion. Of course I had to tell her that one of my daughters names is Effie and she confessed how much she loved the name when she stumbled across it.

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I was impressed by the range of clothes, it’s a small collection but with dresses, tops, coats and shoes it could make a cute capsule wardrobe! The price range is good too and in keeping with the Marks and Spencers price point, with the most expensive piece being the Frances Trench at £89.50.

Of course I picked up arm fulls of clothes and headed straight over to the changing room. As a ‘petite’ but curvy person I found that a lot of the more soon to be iconic pieces such as the Harry blouse and Edna shirt just didn’t suit me and of course the trousers were a lost cause as at 5ft 2 I can only buy from the Petite section. The Frances trench sadly drowned me but I was over the moon to find that the piece I’d had my eye on straight away was a perfect fit –  the Effie skirt. Of course I was drawn to it immediately because of the name but also the shape is one that I really love.

 

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The Effie skirt – £39.50

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It is supposed to be a midi length skirt but on me it’s just above my ankles, a length that I prefer anyway!

I’ve got my eye on a few pieces to go with the skirt..

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Myrtle Jumper – £29.50 Helen Trainers – £49.50

It’s a really versatile skirt that can be dressed up or dressed down and would work for both spring/summer and winter.

The range isn’t in all stores, but it is all available online and I would definitely recommend taking a look. I’ve enjoyed scrolling through Instagram looking at hashtag #archivebyalexa and seeing how people are styling pieces from the range. It definitely seems like Marks and Spencer are attracting a younger shopper without having to sell out and compete with more fast fashion styled stores.

 

Thank you to Marks and Spencer for inviting me to view the collection in and chose pieces from the range for the purpose of this post.

morganaMy thoughts on the Archive by Alexa collection at Marks and Spencer
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Little corners of my home

I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages but find myself waiting for that time when the house is tidier so I can take the photos. Sadly in our house that time never seems to materialise, so I’ve just gone for it anyway. Brace yourself for a lot of ‘shelfies’!

Our living room and dining room make up my favourite space in the whole house – they are the rooms that are done completely to our taste and I think really reflect our style.

 

As you can see I’m a little obsessed with succulents, I think this is partly because they are so hard to kill off. Let’s just say I didn’t inherit my mum’s green fingers! I’ve bought mine from Homebase, our local garden centre and M & S. Apparently there are lots in IKEA too, but unfortunately our nearest store is about an hour away, and I know I love succulents, but that is stretching it a bit!

I find myself sitting in this little corner whenever I get the chance.

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I love collecting prints for our home, and the great thing about putting them on the picture shelf is you can chop and change which you display.

Print by Dottie Rocks

 

I’m really happy with the girls’ bedrooms too – despite E still protesting that she’d much prefer pink walls.. and I won’t even mention the fact that they never stay tidy!

Wall shelf from This Modern Life – though it is now out of stock. We also have a similar one from H & M.

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We have lots of home improvement bits still left to do – like the upstairs bathroom which is being renovated next month (hurrah!) and the flooring that needs finishing downstairs. I’m looking forward to sharing with you the progress we’ll be making with the bathroom, keep your eye out for my ‘before’ post.

 

Collaborative post

morganaLittle corners of my home
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Bomber jacket trend – for mamas and minis

The Bomber jacket trend is huge this season, and I for one cannot wait to get my hands on one (or two) as the weather starts to brighten up a bit.

I’ve put together a high street edit for us mamas and our minis. I’ve chosen stores that have both Women’s ranges and children’s though it’s worth noting that the New Look range starts from age 9 (so perfect for my eldest girl).

H & M

I buy a lot for both myself and my girls so this is a great option for us. It has ranges for both my daughters’ age groups. I choose pink for my five year old (even though it’s not to my taste I know she would LOVE it) and a gorgeous satin effect mint green/ice blue for my eldest.

 

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MINI – Glittery bomber jacket – £14.99 (age

MAMA – Bomber jacket £29.99

MINI – Satin bomber jacket £17.99 (age

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ZARA

We unfortunately don’t have a Zara near us but I often buy from them online as they have lots of stylish pieces for both myself and the girls. I adore the bomber jacket in the middle and I’m not surprised it’s out of stock in all sizes. You can be notified when they are back in though, something I’m waiting for with baited breath!

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MAMA – Oversized Bomber Jacket £49.99

MINI – Embroidered Bomber Jacket £22.99 (age 5- 14)

MAMA – Nylon Bomber Jacket £29.99

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NEXT

I wasn’t blown away by the choice that Next offered for Women, but I do like the kids bombers, particularly the middle green one. I can see my eldest in that one for sure.

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MINI – Pink Quilted Bomber £26-£32 (age 3-16)

MINI – Khaki Bomber Jacket £26-£32 (age 3-16)

MAMA – Indigo Bomber Jacket £24

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NEW LOOK

This is a store that I rarely went in after having the girls but I think it’s really upped it’s game recently. It has a fantastic Petite section and now that my eldest is old enough for the 915 clothes we are often in there having a look. It’s great to update your wardrobe with a few pieces for the new season. You could definitely twin with these jackets, though I don’t think older kids get quite so excited wearing the same as their mum as little ones do!! 😉

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MAMA – Shell Pink Sateen Bomber Jacket £29.99

MINI –  Teens Shell Pink Sateen Bomber Jacket £24.99 (age 9-15)

MINI – Teens Khaki Lightweight Bomber Jacket £24.99 (age 9-15)

MAMA – Khaki Sateen Bomber Jacket £29.99

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What do you think of our choices?

 

Will you or your minis be rocking the bomber jacket trend this Spring?

 

 

morganaBomber jacket trend – for mamas and minis
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