Instagraming the shit out of life

Once again January is nearly over and I’ve not written a word in weeks. Life got in the way again, and I’m not sorry about that.

My last post was actually a guest post written for Bad Mum in early December. For those that missed me, you can read it here. I can share it now as the news is official. My bestie Gravy, has totally made a baby!

I did hope to write a festive post in December as I usually get creative and wanted to share some of my festive makes and bakes. Instead, I want to talk Instagram shops.

I’m not recognised as a trendsetter (try this lady for that!) nor do I care too much to follow fashion closely. I just pick things I like and hope I don’t look too much like Stig of the dump…I’m definitely not a fashion blogger. However, I do like to shop Independent, and I’m not just talking clothes (just as well as I look like an oversized potato these days….) #dontdresslikethismum

Im talking, quirky cafes and bars, locally sourced produce, handmade arts and crafts, and personalised touches. I have a particular fondness for ‘Mama Merch’ as despite my Bad Mum post,  I am very much in awe of all those mamas that can get shit done and still create. You get the gist. I like to support small, local business’, whenever I can.

I was hoping to write this post closer to Christmas as it has been a long time coming but I’m going to share it now. We’re all getting over the expense of the holidays I know, but we can still look, right?

Here’s my favourite pick of Insta-Shops:

1. @BlackandBleech

www.blackandbleech.com

‘Alison’ necklace from Black and Bleech and T-shirt from La Totch

I absolutely love their ‘Scandi’ take on monochrome and these beaut beaded necklaces are rad. Handmade and contemporary, they are also practical and baby-friendly! They’re made from Food-Grade Silicon and unfinished wood. It’s a cool gift for a cool mama, and perfectly fine for baby to give it a good chew!
I was already a fan before I discovered (and subsequently won in a pre-Christmas giveaway) this cheeky, little number:

Coffee and Calpol from Black and Bleech

Coffee and Calpol. Medicine for mama, medicine for babe. Take note: the gift box service is spot on! #bestgiftwrap

2. @iamacrylic

www.iamacrylic.com

Battersea Power Station by I am Acrylic

These guys have been a favourite of mine for a few years now and I am still in love with them. Most of the jewellery is made from acrylic and it’s all hand cut by fret saw (no laser cutting here!). All pieces are individual and iconic.
On suspecting myself and Mr Intrepid had duplicated an order (we ordered the same thing, separately on the same day 😂) they contacted him to query if he’d ordered me a surprise present, and offered to cancel his order without giving the game away. Super, sweet service to go with the super, sweet products. #bestservice

3. @mresoeur

www.meresoeur.com

Mere Soeur Pin

This is my mama crush. Everything about Mere Soeur is uber hip. Madame Mere Soeur herself, is a powerful, positive role model for us womenfolk and her merch oozes strength, support and good vibes. Never underestimate the power of a girl gang. #bestgiftsforyourgalpals

4. @nor_folk_store

www.nor-folk.com

T-Shirts all by Nor-Folk

Nor-folk is a graphic design-led, lifestyle brand. It’s neutral, minimalist and timeless designs are ideal for everyone. Quality over Quantity, and perfect for monochrome lovers. I’m a big fan. #bestfortwinning

5. @weareenough

www.weareenough.co.uk

Jumper by We are Enough Co.
This is your reminder. Even on your darkest day, you can do this. I can do this. I am enough. We Are Enough Co merch empowers, unites and supports through good times and bad times. A percentage of profits go to charitable causes that do just that too. You got this. Strong, positive designs to empower. Very special. #bestforreassurance

6. @la.totch

www.latotch.com

This one is as fresh as they come. New mama business. Cute ‘Type’ monochrome tees supporting women. Definitely one to watch! #bestshopperbag

T-Shirt and Shopper bag by La Totch. Necklace by Black and Bleech.

7. @gisellastapletonart
www.gisellastapleton.com

Rebel, Khalo Thayer by Gisella Stapleton

Prince by Gisella Stapleton
Gisella is a Peruvian born Spanish artist based in London. Her work is particularly influenced by women and her blend of colours really bring her creations to life. She is a real inspiration and extremely talented. #bestcolours

Wild Tina by Gisella Stapleton

Gisella is currently exhibiting at Coya in Mayfair, London until 1st March.

8. @lennieandco
www.lennieandco.co.uk

Unisex Handscreen printed t-shirts and sweatshirts made with eco-friendly inks. Award winning (Junior Design Awards 2016) clothing for our little one. My own BV loves his tees from here. Fun designs to wear on fun days. I’m looking forward to getting him the new ‘bossy’ tee. #bestforfun

T-Shirts both by Lennie and Co

9. @amanzi_live_life_as_water
www.facebook.com/amanzi.live.life.as.water

No website for this one yet. Handmade in Cornwall (yay home county!) crocheted hats and blankets made to order. Fam-A-Lamb received a beautiful hat each as a gift and we just love them! Great for gifting (and receiving). Just ping them a message with your request! #bestforhandmade

Fam-A-Lamb hats by Amanzi Live Life as Water
This is proving to be quite a lengthy post as there are still a heap more cool shops I have not yet mentioned. Il carry on Instagramming the shit out of life for now but watch this space for a part 2!

Lindsay x

The Reluctant Hostess

As a child I’d cry if anyone came to the house, and not just strangers; I remember sitting at the top of the stairs at Bromley Cres. crying my eyes out because my Grandparents whom I loved, had come to visit. The cheek of it!

Fortunately, I am no longer shy in my every day life. I enjoy meeting new people and I am confident in one-to-one situations.  I’ve got several close best friends, including some that go as far back as school days; and I have a phone book full of mums whom I see pretty much every week. Cram them all in to my flat for a sober, toddler birthday party and I am sick with nerves.

I love to have guests, but I’m not much of an inviter, self-consciousness creeps in and overwhelms my good intentions.

Growing up, I don’t recall ever having a birthday party although I attended many. I always assumed it was because of the expense (5 kids, 5 birthday parties) but now I have realised it is just too stressful. When I was 11 and in my first year of secondary school, myself and my two younger siblings begged to have a party, and eventually we wore our folks down and convinced them in to agreeing to letting us have a Christmas Party. One condition. I had to share it with my little brother. Easy.

He invited his entire class and I invited a select number of my own classmates. I was too embarrassed to invite boys, so I invited girls only, including some of the “cool” girls. I was painfully shy and hitting puberty- can’t imagine why I thought this would be a great idea. The “cool” girls obviously didn’t attend (No boys – duh!) and that was it for me.

I was picked on and bullied after this for not being “cool”. Do you remember when you were at school and there was always the one kid in the class that really smelt? Or, everyone said really smelt, and you went along with it just grateful that you weren’t the smelly kid? Well, I was the smelly kid. Or at least, I was the kid everyone called the smelly kid. I think it was because (despite the fact I was showering 2-3 times a day in attempts to just not be the smelly kid) once in PE I didn’t use deodorant (for fucks sake, how many 11 year old’s use deodorant?). Anyway I am digressing, these days I try to avoid hosting.

For my sons birthday I teamed up with a lovely, sociable mum (whom also had a birthday tot), my wing woman, (safety in numbers and all that) and planned an outdoor party in the park (neutral ground). I don’t know what I was thinking to be honest, I am a rubbish hostess. Hosting is most definitely not my forte. Anyway, of course my leading lady got sick and the rains came, oh and Sainsbury’s didn’t deliver my grocery’s due to a “technical error”…I needed a Plan B. Let’s have the party here in my home! You know, the one where I avoid hosting coffee mornings or playdates at?  Great idea stupid ass. Rarely does anyone get an invite to my flat, I dislike it so much. We are fortunate enough to live in a very affluent area with pretty river views and lovely neighbours. However, I live above a pub in an old flat. On the upside, the windows and ceilings are high and magnificent, and the flat is spacious and light, and the downside? the kitchen looks like it belongs in a 1980’s youth hostel, and the bathroom grows more mould than Alexander Flemming. Hardly yummy mummy territory.

I want to invite, I really do. I know how loved I feel when I’m invited. I watch friends do it with ease and grace and admire them for their ability to fold people into their lives. I can’t concentrate once the anxiety sets in. The promise of forced interaction in the name of good parenting instills a panic.  What if no one shows up?, or worse, what if they do? Oh god, what if they notice my washing drying in the bedroom, or that my bathroom towels don’t match?

Sweat trickles down my back and my lips are dry. I am talking. I am not sure what about, I am talking non stop. I am acutely aware of the awkwardness I’m desperately trying to hide. I can’t tell if my guests are startled by my deliberate effervescence or if they think I am witty and charming (I did make them wear moustaches!) I am 20% having an ok time, and 80% racking my brain for something to say and wondering when they can all go home? I am at my most uncomfortable as I do my best to ensure everyone is having a nice time.  My surface level housekeeping, eclectic furniture, fear of saying the wrong thing, and decidedly awkward inability to offer anyone a drink, stops me, if I even have a minute to think about being a hostess.

I am lucky enough to have an amazing husband with a level head. Mr Intrepid works in hospitality which we all know is technically hosting for a living. He is charming and he is witty and despite the fact that this party is for a 2 year old, his emergency trip to Waitrose brings us booze. Hurrah.

Oh and there were cakes!

Cupcakes & photo both by Passionfruit Bakery

Happy 2 year old? Tick #ParentingWin

Parents plied with booze mid afternoon with no offer of an alternative, whilst being ordered to wear moustaches?

#Hostingwin? – jury’s still out on that one!
Lindsay X

Happy Wife, Happy Life

This week, Mr Intrepid and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. 2 Years since we said ‘I do’, 732 days since I married my best friend.

The day has brought back happy memories of the most beautiful day we ever had together. Friends, Family, Art, Cake, Love, Skulls, Pineapples, Cacti, Tweed, Street Art, Bow, Yellow, Rockabilly, Pimms, London, Mexican, Tequila, Cake, Blue, Flip Flops, Dancing, Buttons, Rain, Sun, Red bus, Shoreditch, Oasis, Day of the Dead, Face paint, More cake…

I won’t blog about our wedding as I literally have no words to describe how amazing it was (cliché but true), but you can read about it here, and here on two of my favourite blogs: http://www.todreamofdresses.com and http://www.rocknrollbride.com

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In these 2 years we have been married, I have learnt a few things. Marriage brings out who you truly are, and often it is not pretty or smooth. It is transitional. Together we are growing, improving and striving.  We are a team (Woohoo Go Team Lamb!). We have changed as individuals. For a start, we have become parents. We have added a whole new dimension to our 2. We are now 3.

No amount of preparation can make you ready for parenthood, nor can any amount of assumption predict how your spouse will actually be, during those stormy days (trust me, the days are not always calm). However Mr Intrepid, my love, has remained my constant. He is my rock. We support one another, and we trust one another. He keeps me grounded and he keeps me high, and we tackle all stormy moments head on, together.  He is my witness, and I , his.  This is why Marriage exists.  Life is not all about the individual, it’s not about me, it is about someone else too. It is about us together.  I am a happy wife with a happy life.

Together, we pay the bills, take care of our son, fight battles, make decisions and laugh and laugh and laugh. We adore and endure each other, and life is sweeter.

Lindsay x

 All photo credits are by talented photographer Sassy from Assassynation
http://www.assassynation.co.uk

 

 

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Toddler Wanderlust (Part deux)…scrap the toddler essentials and just pack wine

As it turned out, my previous post’s packing list proved to be totally useless. You can tell I am total beginner at this mum thing.

  1. Distraction toys. Unnecessary mostly. BV was happy with an IPad and slept on both flights. I bet I’d need them if I didn’t take them so for now I’m keeping them as an essential. ✅
  2. Sunscreen obvs. ✅ pop up tent? Pff considering we only made the beach in the evening this was a big fat no. ❎
  3. Baby carrier. Yes! #holidaywin ✅
  4. Beach shoes. Did you even read my Santorini with a toddler post?  #holidayfail ❎
  5. Baby powder. For Fucks Sake ❎

For our next trip i’ll start a fresh as clearly I brought more crap then was deemed necessary. However, I did bring one item that turned out to be the absolute shizzle.

img_1509

 THIS!

Corksicle Canteen Keeps drinks cold for up to 25 hours or hot for 12 hours. This really is the best thing since sliced bread. Totally revolutionary and worth every penny of the £20 note I handed over. In fact I’m off to buy a few more..

 

Lindsay x

 

 

Toddler Wanderlust

At some point in my life (a few years ago) I held an aspiration to write a travel blog.


I have travelled extensively over the years. I hoped to someday visit every single country. (Pfff I can but dream). I’ve great memories (and great pics) to remind me how breathtaking and beautiful the world is. I am fortunate that I’ve been able to experience it’s diversity.


Motherhood meant putting my plans for world domination to one side. My priorities changed, however now that BV’s practically fending for himself (22 months), Mr Intrepid and I are thinking about further travels.


In the interim (and to start us off gently) we’ve chosen a simple family holiday (well it’s primarily for a friends wedding so it’s kind of chosen us!) to Santorini.
I know what you’re thinking, “taking a toddler to the island of love and honeymooners…?” You must be mad! Well, my friends indeed we are.

After a bit of research, and finding blogs and articles that advise against taking toddlers to Santorini (especially in July-gulp) I’ve decided to (panic!) ignore it and hope nothing’s as bad as it seems 😳Watch this space for my follow up.

My 5 essentials to pack for a toddler in Santorini:

  1. Aeroplane distraction toys and snacks for the flight (standard)
  2. UV pop up tent and sun screen. Because obvs.
  3. Baby carrier (all them bastard steps!)
  4. Beach shoes. Hello! Hot Black Sand.
  5. Baby powder (rub it in and the sand brushes straight over. Genius)

It’s taken me 2 days to even make a bit of a dint in the packing and I’ve realised two things:

1) BV needs so much more crap then anyone else, and 2) he doesn’t get his own hold luggage so somehow I’ve got to squeeze it all in with mine.

I will definitely need a holiday after this.

Lindsay x

The Magic Garden. Magical.

One particularly chilly and overcast day this June, and after checking the daily weather report (let’s face it – I should have known better!) Mr Intrepid, BV and I decided to check out the new Magic Garden at Hampton Court.

I’d heard good things about it, and it was relatively local (2 train stops, a bus ride or a 30 minute boat trip).  Almost 2 years living in Surbiton and Fam-A-Lamb have never taken a River Boat (insert shocked face emoji here!) It seemed like a pleasant, outdoor option for a bit of a grey day, so we opted for the latter.

Turks River Boat Cruises did exactly what it said on the tin. For £8 for an adult return ticket (BV free), we hopped on and settled ourselves down for a leisurely and relaxing river cruise. Pff fat Chance. BV was wild with excitement (and a little bit suicidal). He ran around the boat’s cabin like a wild animal, followed (and saved from diving of the side) by daddy! So not relaxing! With the exception of my crazy, little hell cat – it was a delightful journey and I highly reccommend.

We disembarked at Hampton Court, whereby BV continued to run like a mother fucker- straight in to the path of an oncoming tractor! Fortunately for my poor heart, it was travelling about 2 miles an hour and I was able to save him. Again.

The Magic Garden itself costs £7.70 per adult (under 5’s are free). This includes access to the Maze. I believe it was free for a short time before the official opening  on 4th May by Kate (The Duchess of Cambridge). Gutted we missed that. On busy days there is a time restriction, however we got lucky with a term time week day visit. Boom.

The Magic Garden is epic. There’s water, and sand play, big slides and staircases with thrones at the top. Not to mention, a dragon, a unicorn and a coffee shop! Hurrah – we were in for a fun, caffeine filled day.

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There was plenty for my little bear to do despite being ‘under 2’, the astro turf alone proved to be a hit! The only thing to impair our Fam-A-Lam day out was the weather. It was so hot (bloody weather apps!) and we were all massively overdressed. BV had the luxury of the water features to run about it, however I am not sure the Mr and I could have got away with free spirited leaps through the streams. We were all so sticky and sweaty by the time we left – in fact that is my only criticism of The Magic Garden here, the lack of shade. If you are visiting here on a sunny day – ensure you have plenty of sunscreen and maybe a parasol.

BV day trip rating 10/10

Lindsay

2016

Well, January is over and I am already flagging.  I have never been one for New Year resolutions. I find that even with the best intentions, that they get dropped at the first hurdle.  Statistically, 1 in 3 give up their resolutions by the end of January.  Sometimes, life just gets in the way.

However, this doesn’t stop me from making them. This year, I’ve tried to keep them simple.

  1. Blog
  2. Lead by Example

This year, for the first time ever, Mr Intrepid has opted to make a resolution.  It’s a tough one. A proper resolution.

  1. Give up smoking

This is a biggie for him. He has smoked all of his adult life. Neither of us wish for BV to grow up knowing that Papa Bear is a dirty smoker, nor do we wish for him to have to see it.  Now that we are a family, we need to lead by example.  So far in 2016, he’s managed to get a tattoo of a Sherlock Holmes-esque Badger smoking a pipe (doh), and completed just 2 fag-free days (#fail).

Now that February is here, we take a deep breath and give it another go (I hope).  Watch this space! No one likes a quitter!

Lindsay

The Sky Garden Snoozey Time

The Sky Garden, London’s highest public gardens is located at what is affectionately known as the “Walkie Talkie”, or for the proper; 20 Fenchurch Street.

The Sky Garden offers 360 degrees of uninterrupted views across London Town, and 3 levels of gardens, bars and restaurants and an open air observation deck. The best bit? It is absolutely free! Hurrah! Tickets, however are limited and must be booked in advance.

I thought the Sky Garden would be a great place to take BV for his first views over the big city. I was wrong. He was asleep by the time we hit the queue and remained so for the entire time we were here….

The gardens itself are actually not that impressive. You should only really go here for the epic views over the City.

Fam-A-Lamb had a great time here (despite BV’s snoozey time) and we are likely to be back soon too. MIL would love it up here.

We were lucky, that despite it being November we had a clear (if a little grey) day. It is the first time I have seen The Shard this close.  We spent a lot of time (much to Mr Intrepid’s dismay) of attempting unsuccessfully to take Fam-A-Lamb selfies with The Gherkin (my fave London building). I blame BV and his bloody pram!

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At least we all got to see The Shard! oh wait….

…..BV and The Shard