This year will be my husbands first Fathers Day as a dad of two. He treated me like a queen on Mothers Day so I want make sure he gets spoilt rotten this year too. If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know I am a huge fan of Notonthehighstreet.com and collaborated with them for Mothers Day, so I couldn’t wait to work with them again on their new Father’s Day campaign. This year, they are encouraging everyone to get to know their dads better and discover things about him that they didn’t know before. Whether he is Part Dad, Part Rockstar or maybe Part Dad, Part Style Icon, they want the nation to #GetToKnowDad and surprise him with a gift that shows him you really know him.
With Vivienne now three (how did that happen?!) she can hold whole conversations and the things she comes out with make me laugh so much. We wanted to find out more about her dad and using her three-year old insight really be able to get him a thoughtful gift – something with real meaning to him. Bring on the questions…it was time to delve into what she thinks she knows about her daddy…

Here’s how our conversation went and what her dad had to say about her comments…

Me ‘What’s the coolest thing Dad’s ever done?’  Vivienne ‘he lets me watch golf before bed’  Richard ‘I love having this time together each night when I get in from work and its something I don’t share with you so its nice that Vivienne enjoys it with me’

What’s Dad’s favourite thing to do? V -‘go to work’ R ‘I am putting this down to how happy I am when she sees me each night’ 

What’s the most embarrassing thing Dad’s ever done? V ‘dancing’ ‘haha thanks Vivienne’

What does Dad do at work? V ‘he sits on the train’ ‘I might need to explain the commute a little more here’

If Dad could have any job in the world what would it be? V ‘errrr… drive the train’ R ‘at least she gets the concept of promotion’

What makes Dad really happy? / What does he love doing? V ‘watching golf – oh and chasing me on the scooter!’ R ‘she’s hit the nail on the head here’

What’s Dad really good at? V ‘making mummy happy – and hide & seek’ R ‘that is adorable – I love that she sees how happy we are together – and I do love a good game of hide and seek haha’

What’s the cheekiest thing Dad’s ever done? V ‘when he gets me – and tickles me’ R ‘this is when she always calls me a cheeky monkey copying you’

If Dad could be anyone in the world, who would he be? V ‘Dustin Johnson’ R ‘This is incredible – I love that she remembers his name! Our golf sessions are working – she’ll be a golf pro in no-time at all’

What’s the funniest thing Dad’s ever done? V ‘silly voices when he reads me books – he sneezes funny’ R ‘Glad the voices haven’t gone unoticed’

What was Dad’s favourite holiday? V ‘skiing with his friends – without mummy’ R ‘Shows she knows I like my alone time perhaps?’

If Dad could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? V ‘in the sea’ R ‘more alone time?’

What’s Dad’s favourite food? V ‘meat – he’s always eating meat’ ‘I do like a good steak’

If you were going to get Dad a gift, what would he like? V ‘a bigger car – he says it is far too small’ ‘is it too much to ask for a newer for Fathers Day?’

What makes Dad laugh? V ‘me!’ ‘she certainly does’

I’m sure Vivienne’s dad would rather be part rockstar but Vivienne and I agreed on Part Dad / Part Sportsman. Golf seemed to be weaved throughout the conversation and to be fair Richard completely agreed with all of her comments even if her comments did make him chuckle.

Notonthehighstreet.com Fathers Day Gifts

After a browse together on the iPad we (me) chose a gorgeous leather score hard holder which we personalised with his favourite quote he always has Vivienne tell him before setting out the door to play a round… ‘One shot at a time’ and signed with love from both Vivienne and Margot. I love that he will always have something from his daughters when he is out playing.

Personalised Leather Golf Score Card Holder

I wish I had filmed the converstaion to show her dad – so funny watching her ponder the questions and how certain she was of some of the answers. So this year grab your phones and become the interviewer asking your kids what they think of dad, get the perfect most thoughtful gift from their answers, and then you can show him the interview afterwards! Memories to treasure!

#GetToKnowDad @Notonthehighstreet

These are the pick of products for all the other Part Dad / Part Sportsmen.

Ashley

x

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The past few months have been pretty busy. Having a baby and buying a house has certainly kept me busy. But as the dust is starting to settle and we are in our new home I thought I’d go old-skool and bring back my Sunday inspo posts. And today’s inspiration centres on feeding the soul… looking after yourself, taking some time to yourself, relaxing and resetting.

It’s all too easy when you have little people to look after to neglect yourself and it’s something my blogs always promoted – happy mother happy child…

 ‘always put your own gas mask on first’

So whether its taking time out to read a book in the evening, going for a run, using a face mask, or just sitting in silence in front of trash tv – don’t forget to indulge yourself.

And my favourite ways to restore the equilibrium

  1. The cliche of a glass of wine in the bath exists for a reason. Mine is always red and large.
  2. Exercise – still not quite back into that but when I am it feels great. And my gym has an amazing creche – even better.
  3. Dancing – alone, or with Vivienne, to loud music (Kisstory always a winner for me)
  4. Cooking. Being in the kitchen preparing and cooking a meal from scratch. Less common since the arrival of Margot and the end of ‘bedtime’ but hopefully it’ll return soon.
  5. Blogging – saved my sanity when I started after having Vivienne. It’s an outlet that allows me to be creative and have fun. And I am so grateful to you for reading it.

 

 

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After spending nine months looking forward to being able to wear ‘normal’ clothes again along comes breastfeeding and all the sartorial complications it brings with it… but it doesn’t have to be hard. With a few simple rules to take with you to the shops and key styles to look out for you can still wear your favourite looks and confidently breastfeed.

  1. Buy a handful of tight, stretchy vest tops – H&M are perfect – make sure they’re long and can be popped under the boob when you feed. I wore these when I was pregnant too – the longer length is great over a bump.
  2. If you’re wearing a ‘normal’ top I just like to choose something looser I can easily pull up. I’ve linked the Stradivarius breton I have been wearing a lot so far just below. The fabric is great on the post birth tummy too. And this where the vest comes into play so you don’t get an eyeful of belly whilst feeding. Top up, vest down.
  3. Wrap dresses and shirt dresses are everywhere right now and so easy for feeding in.
  4. Test the top in the changing room – literally whip a boob out and check you’re comfortable. If you feel too exposed you’ll end up never wearing it out.
  5. I like to have a really lightweight scarf with me that I can just drape over my shoulder if I feel exposed out and about. Zara scarves are great for this – really big but light fabric.

 

I have rounded up some of my favourite breastfeeding friendly pieces here, from wrap dresses, shirt dresses, button dresses and jumpsuits – to loose tops perfect with a vest underneath, stylish shirts and silk blouses.

Ashley x

Dresses

Jumpsuits

Tops

 

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How can you still feel like you when knee deep in nappies, nipple pads and having no sleep?

My blog was started as a means of making myself feel better… after a years maternity leave feeling less than glamorous and slowly falling into a bit of an elasticated waistband, dry shampoo, make-do hole I missed making an effort and feeling good about myself when I looked in the mirror. So I started taking photos of my outfits in a bid to force myself to make more of an effort again. Even if it was just to pop to the shops or out for a playdate. A Mothers Edit was always about ‘bringing style to the every day’. So taking every day life and making sure you feel good in it, stylish in it, that it makes you happy. Of course there will always be days you spend in trackies or don’t even get out your pjs but not so much that it effects your mood.

With little Margot well and truly here now, I have had two weeks of chaos. The first week in hospital, a few visitors but mostly just me, little MG and the doctors. I had a few tricks up my sleeve to make the stay a little more comfortable though. A silk pillowcase, lavender pillow spray, my favourite music and indulgent fashion magazines (when else do you ever get to read magazines?). There were some days I didn’t shower until the evening, I just sat in the hospital bed feeding and feeling sorry for myself. But as soon as I got myself up, cleaned, fresh and back in a good headspace everything was better.  So I wanted to share with you some of the little ways I’ve been holding onto my personal sense of style, then, and the past week at home in the newborn bubble. How to feel like you.. even when you don’t recognise yourself in the mirror.

Beauty

  • Keep it simple – when I was in hospital I didn’t wear makeup but I did use Dr Lipp lip balm and used the Jurlique rosewater balancing mist. The scent every time I sprayed the mist over my face was just the perfect amount of luxury. 
  • Toe nails – paint them. Get a pedi or do it yourself. When everything else is falling apart atleast when your chin drops you see a good set of talons. 
  • Showers – find time. This morning, my first alone getting both girls up and out the door, I set the alarm for 6am and jumped in for a quick wash before they woke. I’ve been using this gorgeous natural shower gel from Elemental Herbology too, it made even the hospital bathroom feel like a spa! So important its natural post-baby and well worth treating yourself to a little luxury that won’t irritate down below. 
  • Moisturise – when your skin feels good you feel good. The sprays are great when you’re down on time, I’ve been using a dry body oil from Liz Earle which I just slap on before bed. I think you’re supposed to massage on but I have been far too tired. Anything is better than nothing right now. 
  • Body – I am a huge fan of the Belly Bandit range. Mentioned before that I have been wearing the BFF. I am now just wearing at home rather than out and about but I swear by it in getting my stomach back to where it should be. 

Clothes

  • Buy yourself some new pjs. If you’re going to spend a lot of time in them at least treat yourself to a pair you wouldn’t mind being seen in. Just be aware you sweat a lot more after pregnancy – there is a lot of water your body is shedding so cotton pjs are best! 
  • Don’t do what I did and try on all your old jeans a week after birth. I cried. Just for a minute though, then realised I was being ridiculous as well as the fact it totally did not matter. But good to have a few items of clothing that aren’t maternity but are more forgiving so you feel a little more like the old you. Drawstring trousers, shirts, floaty dresses… if you can organise them before the baby comes too then all the better. You’ll be too tired (and emotional) to start organising your wardrobe when the baby is here.

Home

  • Clean sheets – nothing feels better.
  • Pillow spray – I love This Works and Blossom and Bloom. 
     
  • Cleaner – hired help or friends and family helping out. Makes such a difference and not something you want to be worrying about.
  • A special glass for your gin/wine/tipple – get out the special china, crystal or flutes – enjoy.every.last.sip.

Life

  • Music – turn the TV off and just listen to some music. Daydream. It’s good for the soul.
  • Online shopping – one of the only things to keep me sane during the night feeds. Shame most of it gets returned.
  • DO NOT COMPARE – easier said than done but social media is the devil for this. A few truths – that girl isn’t that thin, it was a good angle/lighting, her house is not really that tidy, the crap is hidden behind the lens, their children don’t always have perfect hair/clothes/smiles, they’re devils 50% of the time and remember Instagram is a show-reel of the best bits… not the full picture.

 

Ashley

x

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I’m not sure there’s a more special relationship than that with your mother. And being a mother is far more than biology. Working mums, foster mums, grand-ma-mums, gym mums, coffee-shop mums, stay-at-homes mums…. this Mothers Day notonthehighstreet.com is celebrating mums from all walks of life by championing their differences.

#ForMumsWho is about recognising our uniqueness, our diversity and our individuality – celebrating it with gifts that are just as unique and special.

Not a single week goes by where I don’t think about how lucky I am to have my mum. She is incredible, having had three daughters herself (I am the eldest of three sisters) she’s now the proud grandmother of three grandchildren. My mum is that mum who just does… and does everything. She still works but when she has free time she gives it up to look after Vivienne for me, to allow me to work. My mum’s the mum who makes sacrifices to allow her own daughter to succeed. And not just since I had Vivienne – since forever. My mum is the mum who is constantly giving, completely unselfishly giving herself, her time, her energy, her love, her knowledge and her wisdom. Whenever I am lost, upset, confused I call on my mum. Whenever I am happy, excited, desperate to tell – I call on my mum. She is my best friend in the whole world.

I hope that one day Vivienne and Margot will feel the same about me. If I can be even a small part of the mother my mum is I will be proud of myself. She is my inspiration every single day.

When notonthehighstreet.com got in touch with me and invited me to work with them on their #ForMumsWho Mother’s Day campaign and choose a gift from their site for my mum I knew instantly it had to be something that involved her grandchildren. Something she could wear close to her heart and something that was as stylish as she is. So this Mothers Day I treated my own mum to a beautiful personalised necklace from Rachel Jackson. This stunning amulet contains crushed pearls and aquamarine the birthstones of the months her three grandchildren were born in. It also has their names beautifully engraved around the front and the ‘Nana’ on the back. I know already she’ll love it.

Rachel Jackson necklace

Thank you NOTHS – for always providing the best ideas and most special gifts.

Ashley

xx

Visit www.notonthehighstreet.com to discover unique gifts for every mum this Mother’s Day, 26th March.

This post is in collaboration with NOTHS but all opinions and photographs are my own. 

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