The Big Moment

On the 28th of November 2009 I married my best friend. Five years on, we have two beautiful daughters and a happy home. I look back at this picture and remember the moment as if it were yesterday, it’s the moment I let go of my father’s arm and turned to my husband.

For more on the big day, click here.


Confessions of a Chocoholic : My Top Ten

I’m a big chocoholic, it’s my big vice, the one thing I can’t seem to shake. Throughout the year I try to be good (well as good as I can) but at Christmas I do seem to lose control. It’s the only time of year we have boxes, tubs even dotted around the house. This means I can literally pick up a chocolate before breakfast or just before bed, which I do realise is wrong… but I just can’t help myself!

With that said, I thought I’d give you my top 10 Christmas chocolates, just because it gives me the chance to write about my favourite subject.

My Top Ten

1. In at number one and therefore the top of my list is Godiva, the king or should I say queen of chocolates? This year I’m loving this Chef Inspirations box. If you’re going to splash out (and let’s face it, if you can’t splash out at Christmas, then when can you?) go for GODIVA!


2. In number two I have to put the delicious and more affordable Green & Blacks Milk Chocolate. My husband knows that he doesn’t need to ever buy me flowers, just a few bars of this chocolate and I’m happy! – at any time of year.


3. A recent discovery but it’s gone in high on my list is Charbonnel et Walker Sea Salt Caramel Truffles. Yes, they are as amazing as they sound.


4. Speaking of truffles, Marks and Spencer do a great selection of chocolates and truffles. I always pop in for a few boxes at this time of year.

5. Let’s face it we all have a tub of Cadburys Heroes or Roses at Christmas and that’s always fine by me!


6. At number six is my dad’s favourite (which means we all buy him a box every year) is the iconic Ferrero Rocher. Need I say more? We really spoil him.

7. Proving I’m a true chocoholic, I always have a festive Hotel Chocolat slab on my Christmas wish list. This one is not for sharing!!


8. A box of Lindt Lindor Truffles is another family favourite that always seems to end up on the sofa come Christmas Eve. These melt in the mouth balls also happen to be my mum’s favourite.

9. At number nine I’m going to go for Maltesers. A big box of these with a Christmas film and I’m in my element. Especially as I feel like I’m not being too naughty.

10. Guylian Shells always makes for a an easy, affordable gift. They’re all the same so there’s no fear that some will get left behind. And I haven’t met one person who can resist these rich, fluffy truffles.


So there you have it my Top Ten favourite chocolates!

What are you favourite Christmas sweet treats?

Mami 2 Five

I’m Dreaming of a White Company Christmas

It’s no secret, I’m a big fan of The White Company, I even mention it on my About Me page. Their bed sheets are soft and luxurious, scented candles divine and clothes are classic and comfortable.

Reading their blog is one of my favourite things to do – normally in bed on a Sunday morning while my poor husband entertains the girls. Often, I’ll try and recreate a look from their stunning catalogues or blog posts at home. However, at this time of year my obsession hits another level! I dream of living in The White Company Christmas catalogue where my living room would look like this…

And the kitchen table would look like this…


My presents would all be perfect wrapped in beautiful paper and coloured ribbon and my Christmas cards would be stylish and elegant…


The girls would both be happy running around in their little white company pyjamas and their hair pined up at the front…


And the garden would be lit up with beautiful lights and big lanterns…


I realise that I sound a little crazy but it’s such a perfect, beautiful world. And I dive right into the fantasy every year!

The One Lovely Blog Award

I always find these sharing awards lots of fun and a great way to give my favourite bloggers a big shout out. Thank you to Kelstagram for nominating me to join the ‘Lovely Blog’ club.

one lovely blog

I recently did a post where I shared 20 random facts about me, so I thought I’d make these seven facts a little different by making them ‘festive’ facts.


7 Festive Facts about Me

1) Every year just before Christmas I have to watch The Holiday, Love Actually and The a Family Stone. Yes I said have to, it’s just not Christmas if I haven’t watched these trio.

2) Although, my favourite Christmas film is actually Elf (of course!).

3) The night before Christmas I give my daughters a parcel to open, inside there’s a pair of new pyjamas and a dress for Christmas Day. I’ve done this for the past three years, it’s become our little family tradition.

4) Here are my Christmas mugs and yes, they’re already out! They’re from Cath Kidston’s Christmas collection a few years ago and I love them!


5) On Christmas night three years ago my husband and I decided it was time to have another baby. Eleven months later Poppy was born.

6) My favourite Christmas meal has to be the big Boxing Day buffet! Followed by a box of chocolates in front of the TV.

7) In the lead up to Christmas I love watching Jamie’s Festive Feast and making his Epic Hot Chocolate. It’s thick and delicious – and very naughty! But hey, it’s Christmas.

One extra silly fact! Here is my favourite Christmas tree decoration…


There are so many amazing blogs out there! Here are my nominations to the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD…

Mums Days
Pouting in Heels
Mini Travellers
Mummy of Boy Girl Twins
Mrs H’s Favourite Things
Life on Vista Street
What Katy Said
Extraordinary Chaos
Everything Mummy
Dairy of a Midlife Mummy
Headspace Perspective
Tinny Footsteps
Stopping at Two
Life of my Family and me

The Award Rules

1. Thank the person for nominating you and link back to them in your post

2. Share seven facts about yourself

3. Nominate 15 or so bloggers that you admire

4. Contact the chosen bloggers and let them know.

There’s so pressure to join in guys, I just wanted to let you know I think you’re all fab! But of course, I’d love to read your post if you decide to do one

The List

A Funky Lunch

A few years ago Mark Northeast, a dad of two realised that he could make his young kids more excited about food by creating meals that were fun to make and fun to eat. It all started when he decided to cut his son’s sandwich into the shape of a rocket. Fast forward a few years (and hundreds of different creations later) and Mark turned this hobby into a brand with the publication of his first book ‘Funky Lunch’. He realised that by getting his kids involved in the kitchen and making the food look fun, they were more likely to try new things.

funky lunch, kids, toddlers

Funky Lunch by Mark Northeast

Yesterday I was invited to a Funky Lunch master class where Mark and his daughter showed us how to create some festive, healthy snacks for toddlers. We made a rice cake snowman, a Christmas pudding shaped cheese sandwich,  a penguin shaped tuna sandwich and some white chocolate covered strawberry polar bears. It was such a fun morning and I learnt so many new tricks. I’ll definitely be trying a few of these with my daughters over the next few weeks…


Rice cake snowman – made with cream cheese, raisins and a small piece of carrot.


Christmas pudding shaped cheese sandwich – decorated with cheese, tomato and cucumber


The full collection of savoury snacks

I’d like to thank, a toddler specific nutrition resource for parents, for inviting me to this cooking event.

Mami 2 Five

My Beauty Gift Guide

I think I may have mentioned once or twice that I’m a bit of a beauty and make-up junkie. Having worked in the beauty industry for the past ten years, I know what I like and what products make me feel pampered and spoilt. So if you’re stuck for a gift to buy that special woman in your life, (be it; mum, sister, friend or grandma) here are my personal beauty suggestions…


Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil (£37) – This oil literally turns every bath into a truly pampering experience. Try it, you’ll see what I mean!

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne (from £40) – I wasn’t sure about the sound of this fragrance but as soon as I smelt it, I was completely won over. Take my word for it, it’s divine!

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Ultra-Moisture Body Oil (£34) – I do love a good body oil (apply onto damp skin after a shower, in place of a cream or lotion) and this is my current favourite. It leaves your skin super soft and smelling amazing.

Elemis SpHome Body Soothing Skin Nourishing Milk Bath (£42) – Everyone who knows me or has had a conversation with me about beauty products will know that this is my all time favourite product – my desert island beauty essential. Use it in the bath and it turns the water into a gorgeous moisturising milk or use it neat for the best body lotion I’ve ever tried. Also it has a delicate, powdery (almost baby like) smell. Win, win, win!

EVE LOM Cleanser (£55) – This a big treat at £55 but it really is so much more than just a cleanser! Yes, it cleanses your skin but it also exfoliates and moisturises all in one. I call it my “one-step facial”.

Diptyque Jasmin Candle (£40) – I have so many candles dotted around the house. I think a good candle always makes a lovely gift (hint, hint) and this is my all time favourite. Actually, I’d be happy with any candle from the Diptyque range, they all have an amazing aroma that literally fills the room.
Must-Have Palettes

While I’m talking beauty, I also wanted to focus on these amazing limited edition make-up palettes that are currently available. I could have listed so many more but these are my top five…


MAC Keepsakes/Smoky Eye Compact Kit – £32

Bobbi Brown Mini Eye Palette – £26

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette – £37

Clarins The Essentials Eye Make-Up Palette – £35

Estee Lauder Ultimate Make-up Kit – £50

So there you have it, my run down of the top beauty gifts for Christmas 2014. I hope it’s given you some inspiration for yourself or the lovely ladies in your life.


Linking up to #TheList

The Best from Mothercare S/S 2015

Last week I found myself at the Mothercare S/S 2015 press event. This was especially exciting because it meant I got a sneaky peek at the new Little Bird by Jools Oliver range. Now it’s no secret on this blog that I love Little Bird. For me, it’s the perfect kids range; colourful, comfortable, stylish, with a nostalgic sprinkling of my own childhood fashion memories. I really think Mrs Oliver has found a perfect niche with this range.


Okay, so you get the message – I love this range! Now, what can I tell you about the new collection? Well, let’s just say, she’s done it again! It’s full of brightly coloured, beautifully designed pieces that I can easily see myself snapping up for the girls come Spring. New to the range comes a clear raincoat with a matching umbrella, babywear makes a welcome comeback and there’s a new pair of fab pyjamas!

Here are my personal two stand-out items from the new collection…

mothercare9 mothercare2

Having gushed over the Little Bird collection, I then went on to view the beautiful mothercare S/S2015 range, which was full of gorgeous separates that could be easily mixed and matched to create different outfits. This range had a very different feel to the usual mothercare collection – which made sense when I was told that they have a new creative director at the helm. I was really excited by this range, which had an obvious French influence with lots of navy and red pieces. Here are my must-have outfits

mothercare4 mothercare5

The award winning BabyK by Myleene Klass range for S/S2015 was super pretty! With lots of daisy flower and spotty prints, tutu skirts and girlie styles. To be honest, in the past this range hasn’t been to my taste but this collection really caught my eye. I know my eldest daughter would love these designs



Many thanks to the team at Mothercare for allowing me to preview these stunning collections. I enjoyed every second!

Linking up to #FashionFridayand #StreetStyleSunday

Vintage Elegance with the Jacques Vert Group

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the Jacques Vert Group press day, where they were showcasing their S/S 2015 collections. The group has a number of well known brands including (of course) Jacques Vert, Kaliko, Precis, Planet, Windsmoor and Dash.

Every collection was very elegant, feminine and had a nod to bygone eras – which I personally love. This is a run down of my favourite collections and their stunning, must-have pieces.

Jaqcues Vert

This collection had a very definite 1920s, Downton Abbey feel. The colour palette was muted in beautiful greys and creams and embellished with crystals and pearls. As a massive fan of this era, I could have happily spent hours going through each elegant piece. I think this top encapsulates the collection’s style and theme perfectly, it was also my favourite piece.


Jacques Vert Top £79



The Kaliko range also had a very vintage feel but this time we jump forward 30years to the 1950s. The collection was full or vintage Dior inspired A-line dresses and diamanté accessories. Again, I could have spent hours going through each dress and bejewelled accessory. A really interesting fact is that Kaliko have gone back to their original designs from the 1950s and reworked them for this collection. This is such a genius idea, as vintage is such an important fashion story at the moment. I don’t know why other brands aren’t do the same! Here are my personal favourite pieces from this gorgeous collection


Kaliko dress £149


Kaliko headband £49



As a brand that targets the petit market, Precis know how to design and cut for the smaller woman. As I’m only 5″2 myself I was really interested to see what they had to offer. If I’m honest, this collection was not really to my taste, however the designs and prints were very classic and I know that my mum would have loved them. Having said that, there was one stand-out piece that really caught my eye. And that was this Chanel inspired jacket and broche.


Precis jacket £149

I could definitely see myself wearing this jacket with a vest and some jeans come spring next year.

There were so many other amazing collections and pieces I could have mentioned but these items were my personal favourite.

All the collections mentioned above will hit the hight streets and online in January.

Linking up to #FashionFriday and #StreetStyleSunday

The ‘It’ Bunny and Petit Bateau

Last week I attended a press event for Petit Bateau, who were launching their latest collaboration with the ‘It’ bunny Fifi Lapin.


Fifi Lapin is basically the Olivia Palermo of the bunny world. She has her own fashion blog, where she shows us what she’s wearing each day and includes key pieces from the main designer brands and catwalk looks. The illustrations are so cute and are fast becoming iconic in their own right.


Petit Bateau has teamed up with Fifi Lapin to create a limited edition collection of three tops for women and girls. Fifi has selected three outfits from the current Petit Bateau range for the clever illustrations.




Girl long-sleeve top £18

PB Fifi Short Sleeved T Shirts

Women’s t-shirt £30 and long sleeved top £35

This must-have collection is now available on-line and in selected stores. As you can see my two little ladies, were very happy with their t-shirts…


Get them before they’re gone!

Linking up to Reasons to Dress

Sunday Stars #5


Welcome back to our Sunday Stars linky, a place for you to share your favourite posts each week.

Myself and a group of lovely bloggers decided to start this linky together. We wanted to create a place where all our favourite posts from the week could be easily shared and then thought why not let everyone join in! We take it in turns each week to host but we all comment and re-tweet throughout the week.

Last week’s Top Reads

Last week’s Star Sunday top posts came from Becoming a Stay At Home Mum, who wrote a powerful post on the highs and lows of breastfeeding. I particularly loved how she reminds us that it’s a very personal decision and as mums we should respect each other’s choices. Also a salute to Mummy’s Blog for her post titled “Why I don’t want to buy my daughter a Christmas present”. This is a very brave post that really challenges us (as parents) to think about whether it’s necessary to buy very young children presents.

Back to this week…

This linky is designed to give everyone a place to show off their favourite posts and make sure they don’t go unread. This week it’s myself and Amy from Everything Mummy who’s hosting and we can’t wait to read your star posts!

Tweet your posts to either of us (@heleddlavender or @amycooperem) and @SundaysStars using the hashtag #sundaystars and we’ll RT. We’ll also be pinning your posts to the Sunday Stars pinterest board.

Next weeks hosts will be the lovely Karen from Mini Travellers and Jess from Mummy of Boy Girl Twins so keep an eye out for them next Sunday.

The Rules:

• You can link up to 3 post old or new, anything that you are really proud of and want to share.

Please remember to add the Sunday Stars badge to the bottom of your posts.

• Share the love – try and comment on at least three other posts. After all that’s what it’s all about.

Running in Lavender