What I Would be buying for Spring if I wasn’t Knocked UP!!

There has been a definite shift in the weather this week; cue the school run without a coat, remembering that outside your back door lies a garden which if it’s anything like mine is in need of some serious T.L.C and time to get shopping for some pieces for your spring/summer wardrobe. Woohoo!!

So you know how it is that whenever you have the time and money to go clothes shopping, naturally you can’t find anything you actually want to buy!! And then vice-versa the second your broke the shops are bursting with clothes you’d kill for. Arrrggghhhh what is that about??!! Well I have the exact same thing while I’m pregnant too. The shops seem to be full of soooo many gorgeous items I want to buy at the moment but there is no hope of me being able to squeeze my belly full of jelly into them (I’m hoping it isn’t all jelly, small human too). So I have decided the best way to deal with this is to put together what I would be buying for spring if I wasn’t knocked up.

Fashion has gone super feminine for spring/summer this year; think pink, pink and more pink, florals are everywhere, as well as lots of gorgeous detailing in the form of ruffles, frills and lace. Even if you’re not a girly girl (which I’m not) this trend can still work for you. In my opinion feminine pieces work best when contrasted with more masculine or edgy styles, so leather jackets, destressed denim or tailored trousers all work perfectly. Or for an everyday winner of an outfit pair a pretty ruffled top with some destressed jeans, it’s so easy to just throw on while making you right look on-trend and gorgeously chic. And if you are a girly girl then totally embrace this trend head to toe and just enjoy.

The high street has some seriously stunning pieces at the moment, Zara as always is full of gorgeousness but I would also recommend checking out River Island and New Look as well. Here are my pick of tops, starting with this beautiful white, lace panel top from Zara; this top could be dressed up or dressed down. The t-shirt shape makes it an easy throw-on piece; comfy, versatile and beautiful this top as a total winner.

zara lace top

https://www.zara.com/uk/en/woman/tops/view-all/contrast-lace-top-c719021p4405031.html

Next up is another white and lace combo from Zara; the detailing on the sleeves of this otherwise simple top make it really stand out. It manages to incorporate 3 big spring/summer trends into just those sleeves, with the ruffles, the lace and the floral pattern. There are some hardworking sleeves right there!!

zara lace-sleeve top

https://www.zara.com/uk/en/woman/tops/view-all/frilled-top-c719021p4360059.html

Rounding off the Zara tops is this asymmetric blue strip top. I love this!! The big frill around the shoulders make it super fun and flirty. It allows you to show off some skin without having to worry about it falling down or being yanked down by children. Its another really versatile piece which can be worn day or night,  chuck it on with some white jeans and heels and you are gorgeously chic for a night out.

zara frill shirt

https://www.zara.com/uk/en/woman/tops/view-all/asymmetric-striped-shirt-c719021p4371054.html

This cami from River Island is so, so pretty. Firstly the colour is gorgeous really flattering on most skin tones. This top manages to incorporate lots of beautiful detailing without becoming fussy; from the layered scalloped hem to the floral embroidery its these details which add to this cami making really beautiful.

river island pink cami

http://www.riverisland.com/women/tops/cami–sleeveless-tops/pink-embroidered-cross-back-cami-top-696805

I have seen loads of these bardot style shirts across the high street and they make a great daytime throw on piece while allowing you to look on trend. These shirts are comfy, offer good coverage of those areas us women might feel a bit self-conscious of but the bardot style still shows off some skin. You can get this top in a number of different colours including grey, pale pink and blue, and longer length means it’ll suit a jacket being thrown over the top while its still chilly.

river island grey off-shoulder shirt

http://www.riverisland.com/women/tops/bardot–cold-shoulder-tops/light-grey-chambray-bardot-button-front-top-696828

Speaking of jackets how gorgeous is this pink, suede effect one from Zara; this jacket is top of my birthday pressie list (hope your reading this hubby!) I love the colour, it’ll look so beautiful paired with blue jeans. The zips and buckle detailing add that biker edge to it which works so well paired with the softer, pastel colour. This jacket is also available in a pale blue if your not a fan of pink. I am totally in love!!

zara pink jacket

https://www.zara.com/uk/en/woman/jackets/jacket-with-zips-c358002p4086025.html

Finally I have to show you this dress from Zara; now I’m not really a dress girl and hardly ever wear them during the day but when I saw this I was smitten. This beautiful dress combines the laid back quality of a shirt dress with feminine floral detailing, and the addition of the knotted front gives that little bit of interest and edge. Throw this on with a pair of flip flops on a hot summers day and you have effortless laid back chic. Add a pair of eye-catching heels and a little sparkle and you have a stunning outfit for a special occasion.

zara floral dress

https://www.zara.com/uk/en/woman/dresses/printed-tunic-with-knot-c358003p4560524.html

I really hope you enjoyed this I haven’t written a fashion post before so I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below. Just remember ladies whatever your style or shape fashion is about having fun and making you feel good about yourself. So don’t wear something because someone else is or because you’re told its a trend, put on the clothes that make you feel good in your own skin. Don’t compare yourself to others, your individuality makes you beautiful. Life is way too short to worry about not looking like an over-airbrushed model; be happy and comfortable with how you look. Remember heads up you beautiful queens or the crown slips.

Charlie.

 

 

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Side by Side We Stand.

Exactly one year ago, on International Women’s Day I published my first ever blog (I have linked this in the comments below if you wish to have a read). In it I discussed the concept of blogging and how it can inspire us as women but also place expectations upon us. As this was my first ever blog my perspective on blogging was situated firmly as an outsider. So after a year what have I learned? Well firstly I have to be honest I haven’t been blogging for a year, I have dipped in and out of it and only in the last few months have I actually dedicated myself to blogging regularly. Part of my blogging journey has understandably involved social media; Facebook is where I share parts of my life online with I’ll refer to them as my ‘real-life friends’ and I have found using Instagram has connected me with new ‘virtual-realm friends’. I have been able to connect with other female bloggers, most of whom are mothers; some new to blogging like me and others more established well-known bloggers. When I read my first blog post back what strikes me now is that I don’t once mention the women behind the blogs; the real women behind the words or the Instagram pictures. It didn’t once occur to me that I would have a true connection with these women, who I would share experiences with. Women who I would empathise with, gain support from, while being encouraged and inspired by.

Yet that is precisely what has happened; I have started to build up relationships through social media with other women. I recently contacted a number of established bloggers to ask them to contribute to a blog post I wished to write (watch this space it’s coming!!). Now when I sent out the email I honestly had no idea if I would get any responses. Because when you think about it these women don’t know me, they are insanely busy running successful blogs, working, oh and that little chestnut motherhood!! But I did!! I got a lot of responses, these amazing women took the time not only to email me back with the information I had asked for but also to offer me support and encouragement as a new blogger. And that was it right there, the part of blogging that I hadn’t thought about, the part of blogging which hadn’t once occurred to me when I first started and wrote my first blog post. Other female bloggers supporting and encouraging me!!

This isn’t really about blogging; this is about women, blogs and social media are simply the platform that connects these women together. Women being inspired and motivated by one-another, learning from one-another and most importantly supporting one-another. We live in a patriarchal society, there’s no denying it, a significant pay gap between men and women still exists (according to the government stats it currently stands at 18% https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-gender-pay-gap). You are still more likely to see a man in the most senior positions within businesses and our political environment is still a male dominated arena. The only way this is going to change is if we as women support one another and celebrate the success of strong women around us. So often it can seem like society pits women against one another, forcing us to compete. But the truth is there isn’t a limited amount of space for women to be successful in. One woman achieving something that you want to achieve shouldn’t be viewed as her taking your spot, she isn’t, she’s pushing open that narrow gap for women which exists and making it wider.

An Instagram post I saw shared recently said “Real Queens fix each other’s Crowns” (@thefmlystore) How bloody awesome is that? And so true!! Let’s support one-another ladies. Be inspired, be supported and show each other the love. Whether it’s in a workplace or at the school gates that successful, badass women you’re in awe of, she’s your ally not your competition. Side by side, together we can elevate one another and make sure those crowns stay straight and sparkling.

Happy International Women’s Day you amazing woman.

Charlie

 

 

Do you wanna Read a story?

Seen as it’s world book day tomorrow and I am most definitely a book lover I thought I would share with you some of the most loved books in our house.

book-5Starting at the baby end and an absolute classic; ‘Peepo!’ by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. This is just such a beautiful book to read to babies and young children. The illustrations are wonderful and if like me you were read this as a baby incredibly emotive. I also think it makes a wonderful gift, it’s one of those books which will be kept and read to future generations within families.

 

book4

Next up is this wonderful picture book ‘Arthur’s Tractor’ by Pippa Goodhart. This is such a fun story and perfect for families with boys and girls, as it cleverly combines the essentials of a classic fairy tale with the down-to-earth charm of Arthur and his tractor. Who in our house is indisputably an Irish farmer (yes we do voices). This adorable book has fantastic illustrations that will engage and absorb children. A firm favourite in our house!

book-1Another favourite in our house is the fantastically funny ‘Dragon Stew’ by Steve Smallman. This picture book tells the story of a group of Vikings who go on the hunt for adventure and a dragon. This book never fails to captivate my boys and have them in giggles. Again the colourful, detailed illustrations by Lee Wildish bring the story to life for little eyes.

 

book3Now our house like I’m sure most with children up and down the country is full of all the fabulous stories by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. My absolute favourite without a doubt is ‘Room on the Broom’. I adore this book; both the witch and her cat are the most endearing characters. I mean how can you not love an independent woman, with an enduring spirit whose own generosity is rewarded with a life-saving dragon rescue as a result of some kick-ass teamwork?

 

harrypotterNow as my big boys are now 9 and 7 we are sadly leaving behind the stage when they want a story book at bedtime. So around 6 months ago I started reading them ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. We are all massive Harry Potter fans in this house but the boys have only ever watched the films. Because these are such brilliant books for adults to read as much as children I find myself just as eager as the boys are to carve out 20 minutes before bedtime and read a chapter. These books are just so incredibly magical I love how engrossed the boys are while I read to them. Plus there are lots of parts of the books which don’t appear in the films so if you or children haven’t read them you need to. We are currently on the third book ‘Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban’ and while we don’t manage to read every night I love having that little nook of time just me and them before bed, it’s special and a way to hold onto them as they grow up far too quickly!!

book-6 If this is something you already do or are going to do with older children then I would recommend you read Michelle Paver’s Chronicles of Darkness. They are the most incredible books, I read them for the first time about 5 years ago and although they are aimed at children 11+ I literally couldn’t put them down. There are 6 books in total, starting with ‘Wolf Brother’ set 6 thousand years ago in a world of clans, it follows the main character Torak and his adventures in the forest. These books are just so incredibly gripping I guarantee you’ll struggle not to read ahead once the kids are in bed.