My daughter, little miss Vivienne Rose, loves pink. She loves glitter, dancing, singing, sparkles. She’ll have the odd dally with a few dinasaurs or a digger truck I’ve snuck into the playroom, but then she’s straight back to the dolls. Coming from a psychology background I have always been fascinated by the whole nature/nurture side of development but no matter what I will always make sure Vivienne has choices and support her decisions. Even if they currently involve wearing pink every single day and insisting on sleeping in a tutu.

Well her absolute favourite characters at the moment are from the new Netflix series – Lalaloopsy. If you haven’t heard of them yet I am sure you will in the run up to Christmas. They’re actually really creative and definitely encourage imaginative play so I don’t mind her watching the show at all. She loves dressing up like them – customising and styling the dolls hair and clothes. I find myself rolling my eyes at the cliche but I know its what I did as a young girl and I am sure what girls (and boys) will do for generations ahead. So I love encouraging her creativity and imagination with the character dolls.

So to give you a synopsis – each character was once a rag doll who magically came to life when their last stitch was sewn. Very wholesome, it plays on the fact that each character has a unique personality and you see them exploring it on the show and working together.  The core values are there and its actually really cute.

Ok and now the details which according to Vivienne are very important! Each core character has a name which I was told by my ‘threenager’ that I had to learn! Jewel Sparkles (a princess), Crumbs Sugar Cookie (a baker), Spot Splatter Splash (an artist), Rosy Bumps ‘N’ Bruises (a nurse), Dot Starlight (a scientist), and Storm E. Sky (a musician). Can you guess which one Vivienne always plays as? The Princess – always the princess. So they live in this land – Lalaloopsy Land, and have pets, and get creative every day.

So ways in which I use it when the TV is off – taking the creativity the characters have and doing the activities in our day to day life. Baking, singing, drawing, playing vet, making music, star gazing even! I can find it quite hard to loose my inhibitions and play silly sometimes, I get so caught up in work and chores I forget how important it is to be creative with her. This definitely helps me direct it and really engage with Vivienne. Her current favourite is the Lalaloopsy Jewel’s Glitter Makeover doll, she loves customising her hair with the provided purple chalk!

So if you haven’t heard of them yet – check the series out on Netflix and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Your kids will be forever grateful! And watch out to now see them everywhere in the run up to Christmas…

 

Lalaloopsy

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This post was written in collaboration with the Netflix series Lalaloopsy – all images and opinions are my own.
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I remember about eight years ago hosting a birthday party for an old school friend of mine who worked at Red magazine as the Shopping Assistant. Her then boss, the Shopping Editor, had a blog – she showed me on her phone and from that moment on I was hooked. And that blog was WearingItToday.co.uk by the incredibly chic Laura Fantacci. I’ve followed Laura get married, move home, have two beautiful children – and always in the most incredibly glamorous chic way she is so well known for. And when she joined forces with Petro Stofberg to launch WardrobeIcons.com I was hooked once again.
So of course Laura was top of my list of people I wanted to speak to about exactly how she makes it work. How she juggles such a successful career with motherhood and the top tips, style secrets and makeup hacks she swears by. I hope you enjoy reading it…

What is the average morning routine for you?

I’m surprisingly quick at getting ready – I think it helps that I don’t plan my outfit the night before, because I think it takes more time to revisit a plan than it takes to make a new one. I like to see what the weather is like and then if it’s a work from home day, I would usually wear a pair of MiH jeans and a Chinti jumper, hair back and no make up. If I’m meeting a client I would wear something smarter, but overall it can take me as little as 15 minutes to be totally ready. My nanny gets the girls up, I prepare breakfast and go to every effort to have it with them, see them out of the door and then start my day.

Do you have any quick makeup hacks that hide a sleepless night?

I recently started using vitamin C in the morning, followed by SPF 50 – I find that it has transformed my skin and helped gaining some “glow” back. This combined with Hydrafacials at Medicetics every 2/3 months has really made a difference. I also sware by Erborian CC crea to even out skin tone.

Do you have any tips for keeping the girls entertained whilst you get ready?

I lock them in the bathroom with me and open my make up drawer! Both my 18 month old and 5 year old love it!! Each time I do I have a section of old make up I don’t care about that they can stick their fingers in…

Are there any essentials a mum should always have in her wardrobe?

  • Flattering jeans
  • A good quality pair of flat Ankle boots
  • A designer cross body bag
  • A good coat that will make you feel polished
  • And some cool Bella Freud sweaters

Any mum-life hacks you think make your life easier with the girls?

Always have a plan and always be prepared to change it. Post children it takes a while to accept that change is not failure, but adaptation. I always tell new mums: do whatever it takes to survive, there is really no right or wrong.

Amen to that! Thank you so much Laura.

Don’t forget to let me know of any mums you’d like to know about…

Thank you so much for reading and have a lovely week ahead.

Ashley

x

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I remember around this time last year I was pregnant with Margot and still hadn’t said anything about it on Instagram, hiding the bump in my pictures, I think I felt I just wanted to keep it to ourselves a little longer and then come December I felt the time was right and it was so exciting telling everyone. But strangely quite a few other mums I followed started revealing their bumps with due dates close to my own. One of them was a gorgeous lady I have followed for years – Sally Fazeli. Pregnant with her second the same as me and due in March – the same as me – we messaged and followed each others pregnancies and with not being part of any NCT type group this time round it was so nice having someone else that was at the same stage as me just to compare notes… and now she has her beautiful baby boy -Remy. And if you don’t follow her already then get ready for gorgeous photos daily… Remy is dreamy with all his luscious locks – the same can be said of Sally actually – prepare for hair envy!

So lets find out how she still manages to juggle her successful job with a baby and a toddler… and still look so good on very little sleep…

Do you plan your outfits in advance?

I’d love to say I do but I’m just not that organised. I do try and plan in my head though roughly what the kids and I will wear if that’s classed as planning haha.

What is the average morning routine for you?

Hugo normally wakes us up at the crack of dawn and wants brekky straight away. Sometimes Ayman will take him down so I can get another half an hours kip and if Remy’s awake I’ve started passing him to Ayman too as he is up so much in the night. It’s nice to get that half hour or hour of undisturbed sleep. On an unorganised day we generally chill in our pjs for a bit having brekky and coffee (of course) and a little play downstairs and then I generally get the boys ready and then myself before leaving the house.

Do you have any quick makeup hacks that hide a sleepless night?

Yes – eye cream, under eye concealer pots from Bobbi Brown and Rimmel concealer liquid – eye bag savers and absolute miracle workers!! I’m going to do a super short vlog on it actually as I feel I need to share it with the world haha.

Do you manage to style your hair everyday or do you have a tip for making second/third/fourth day hair last?

I’m becoming more and more lazy with my hair, I hardly do anything with it to be honest. Sometimes I’ll curl it which literally takes 10 minutes (again I’ve done a hair tutorial on this on YouTube) but more often than not I’ll just leave natural which for me is super straight, I do prefer my hair a little wavy though. For making your hair last longer, I guess just dry shampoo and switching up your shampoos so your hair doesn’t get too used to them and get greasy as quick. 

Any sneaky ways to look better than you might be feeling?

Fake tan on your face and neck, I put it on nearly everyday as I look so pasty without it and it gives me that instant bit of colour and lift.

How do you manage to fit in keeping fit with work and the children?

I’ve only just started a gym and Remy is 6 months, I’ve joined one that offers two hours free childcare 9-11 which is when Remy would be awake anyway so knowing that him and Hugo are having fun playing and I’m getting a bit of me time in too, I think it does us all good. I also use the time to answer emails and grab a hot coffee in peace too hehe.

Do you have to work a lot in the evenings too?

Yes which I find is really hard especially when I start feeling super tired as my eyes start going blurry and I just have to give up for the night. Now that Remy is a lot more active in the day I find it hard getting anything done, responding to emails is enough and I can’t even keep on top of that eek. I’m probably better with official deadlines as I know it ‘has’ to be done instead of just doing it for myself if you know what I mean.

Do you have any tips for keeping the baby/kids entertained whilst you get ready?

I sit Remy on a blanket and get him a bucket of toys to play with. Hugo also generally just plays or I’ll pop ‘Little baby Bum’ on YouTube it’s all nursery rhymes and the kids love it.

Do you get to shower/bath everyday?

I don’t actually, is that gross?? haha.

Do you have any help with the kids in the morning from your husband or anyone else?

My husband is generally rushing for work so not really unless I ask him. He’ll attend more to Hugo in the morning so he doesn’t wake Remy or myself up which is nice.

What time do you normally leave the house?

On a gym day 8am on a none gym day it’s generally around 10am but I am trying to get more organised these days.

Any style tips to make you feel and look better if you’ve not had time for makeup and hair?

Jeans and a lovely snuggly chunky knit – I always think they look cool, effortless and comfy 🙂 – why not pop on a pair of heeled boots too to add a bit of leg lengthening and to tone your legs whilst you’re at it haha. Also a hat – total hair mare game changer!


I think you’ll agree not only is she beautiful but she’s a total mum-boss with the kindest of hearts. So glad I am not the only one that has to skip the shower some mornings. Our house is crazy that hour before the preschool run! Also – had no idea about mixing up shampoos I am so trying that tip from the queen of long hair – thanks Sally!

@sallyfazeli / www.youtube.com/c/sallyfazeli

Don’t forget to comment or message me with any mums you’d love me to speak with…

Thank you so much for reading.

Ashley

xx

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I hate to admit it but I am already listening to Christmas music (everyday) thanks to the delight that is digital car radio. I’m not usually one to get the decorations up before the ‘twelve days of Christmas’ but actually this year I think I might. Its such a short period of time, yet probably my favourite time of year so I am starting to go down the route of well lets just extend it! Getting to see family and friends you haven’t seen in so long, everyone having that merry cheer – whether its alcohol induced or not – its merry right! Then there are the parties, celebrations, excitement – and the gifts!

Now the gifts – enter Etsy. I’ve written about how much I shop at Etsy before – my incredible handmade Sputnik light that graces the living room ceiling (read it here – and shop the light here). But when it comes to Christmas, it really is the perfect place to by your gifts. I love anything a bit different, unique, special. And Etsy is one big online marketplace. Millions of market stall owners online selling their own designs, creations, pieces. The personal one to one service, messaging with the sellers is so lovely, you can have a real chat with that lady that handmade your daughters doll and get to know a bit more about whats gone into it, and tell her how much it will mean yo your daughter. For me it makes gifts even more special.

So with that I wanted to share with you a few pieces I have bought so far… and some other gems I am contemplating. If you are expecting a gift from me this year look away now. Kidding… please read!

The handmade doll

So Vivienne is actually a little bit obsessed with brides at the moment. She very sweetly and naively tells me when she is bigger she will marry me. My heart melts every time, her little face full of hope and excitement. So I wanted to buy her something she can act out her bridal dreams with. I found Rosie on Etsy – she was a dressmaker that held stalls at various markets across London including Portabello. Years down the line and after having children she started making baby clothes and other beautiful pieces like Viviennes doll. So special!

 

The Vintage toy

I actually bought this for Vivienne – I have such fond memories of having one in my childhood and I thought it would help with playing shops and learning to count and add up. However Margot is currently quite obsessed! I bought it from Carol at Caravan Vintage Retro – she has the most incredible selection of vintage and retro pieces – real nostalgia – and would make for incredible talking point Christmas gifts! I had this vintage Matchbox musical teddy as a baby…

 

The black and white print

I actually love Brigitte Bardot. Margot could have very nearly been called Brigitte if it wasn’t for Bridget Jones. This gorgeous print with the dog is yet to be framed but going to look amazing on the wall. I bought it from Vintage Photo Shop, they have some amazing prints – the Kate Moss ones are incredible!

The vintage jewellery

Where else can you find a simply stunning 9ct Gold signet ring, engraved for you, and for less than £100?!! Seriously where? I bought this from the lovely Lin at DivineJewel – she’s based in Wales. Such a pleasure to message and I’ve told her how much I love the ring already. Heres the link if you fancy treating yourself or someone special.

Perfect storage

The eternal storage problem we have – finding storage that look good in the girls bedrooms is hard. drawers can be impossible for Vivienne to pull out, and dangerous for Margot. Our toy trunk is a sitting danger – fingers caught ouch! These on the other hand – so affordable, look great, the girls love them, personalised so they can’t take each others and they hold tonnes. I’m using them for toys but they’d also make amazing Christmas sacks for presents! These were from the lovely Carol at Bye Bye Birdie England. Highly recommend!

 

And those other gems I am coveting… enjoy choosing your special gifts.

Ashley

x

This post was written in collaboration with EtsyUK but all images and opinions are my own. 

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Sunday Evening, that time I run around the house trying to sort and tidy the bomb site that is my house and get the family sorted for the week ahead. It’s always manic, I inevitably get ratty and take it out on who ever is closest at the time, the wine gets poured, I give up and then the circus that is the week commences again. I know I am not alone in the franticness. It literally is Friday *blink* Monday… the weekends are never long enough. But it does mean it’s time for another peep into another successful mothers routine… I’ve called this one ‘how does she do it’?

This Sunday I am very excited to share an interview with the incredible Lena Terlutter. Effortlessly stylish, Lena is a successful influencer, stylist, author, model, and the proud owner of several shops in Cologne. At 34 years old, she has over 336k Instagram followers, has worked with incredible brands like Cartier and Chanel. She is mummy to the beautiful Luca and seriously cute Lola and is pregnant with her third due very soon! If you’re looking for stylish bump inspo you can’t go wrong following Lena! In fact you can’t go wrong following her full stop.

1. Do you plan your outfits in advance?
No, i tried that some times but I always failed. I really need to decide spontaneously, otherwise I don’t feel good.
2. What is the average morning routine for you?
Getting ready in 15 minutes, drinking my first coffee meanwhile, fast make up, dressing and feeding the kids, driving them to their kindergarten and off to the office afterwards…

2. Do you have any quick makeup hacks that hide a sleepless night?
Yes I swear on touche éclat concealer from YSL.
4. Do you manage to style your hair everyday or do you have a tip for making second/third/fourth day hair last?
No, unfortunately that takes much more time – if my hair is not styled I wear a hat or cap, that´s always the best way to hide a bad hair day.
5. Any sneaky ways to look better than you might be feeling?
An outfit that makes you feel good, in my case it´s almost equal whether it´s a casual or elegant one, if it makes me feel good i´m having a good day.

6. Do you have to work a lot in the evenings too?
Sometimes I like working in the evenings when the kids are sleeping and i´m in front of the computer with the baby monitor next to it – it´s a calm atmosphere since you know there´s no one disturbing you 😉
But i prefer working in the morning, I have the most energy then and it´s easier since you can also make all the phone calls or get a direct answer by email.
7. Do you have any tips for keeping the baby/kids entertained whilst you get ready?
Haha, no I wish I had – for the elder one it´s easy because her biggest hobby is painting and she does it like always, so when I have to get ready she´s already on her painting table, so cute. The little one who is one year old is of course not that easy to entertain while doing my make up, that´s when my husband plays with her and there are also days without make up because of that lack of time 😉

8. Do you have any help with the kids in the morning from your husband or anyone else?
Yes fortunately…my husband and I have a company together, so we do not only share our private but also our business life – it´s far more easy to organize when you have the same job.
Thank you so much for sharing your mum-life with us Lena. Another advocate of the hat and touche éclat!
And thank you guys so much for reading…
Ashley
xx

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