Little London corners with storybook cafes on make me immeasurably happy. Dear pals, coffee here soon?
High fives and big grins for 6 hours sleep and favourite Summer dresses 💛💛💛 Happy Saturday, team. We made it to the weekend 😘 (Dress is by the gorgeous @paulandjoeparis - link in my stories) xx
Moments like these... my parents and grandparents and great grandparents all would have shared a gentle afternoon like this with their littluns. No TV, no internet, just the birds tweeting on a balmy London Summer evening and Baltic dance music blasting out from our neighbour’s garden. Total heaven. #everydayislaundryday
Team, Isabelle & I made it OUT. And not only did we go out, but we went OUTOUT for LUNCH. Actual food in an actual cafe. We went with new NCT pals, who have been completely amaze and lifesavers over the past few weeks. Our middle of the night Whatsapp conversations alone have seen me through some dark hours and I am quite certain we’ve all made some friends for life.
This is the gorgeous @woodstcoffee at @blackhorsews, where we sat with FOUR massive buggies, four babies and four brunches and coffees in the coolness of the cafe on one of the hottest days I’ve ever known in London. And we laughed. A lot.
Walking home with Isabelle, I silently high fived myself. We’d done it. We’d walked 30 mins there and back. We’d (both) eaten. And she’d cried. And it didn’t matter. And avocado on toast had never tasted so victorious. I’m so buoyed by this I’ve booked Sunday lunch with friends this weekend at a favourite local haunt - life is twinkling again in a way it hasn’t for a little while...
Baby news: We have definitely turned a corner over here - meds seem to be working (Omeprazole) so much less vomiting and screaming.. and little Izzy appears to be intolerant to cows milk protein as well (apparently this is extremely common and 90% babies grow out of it within the first year) so we’re on top of that too. Reflux, we are kicking your derrière 👊🏼
Hanging out with my new bestie 💛
I was just scrolling through my past photos and found this quiet corner in St John’s Wood... I can’t wait to show Isabelle these special pockets of London. I remember learning the word ‘cobble’ at school and then using it at every opportunity in any creative writing project I was doing. Cobbles featured heavily in my primary school story writing and I’ve not fallen out of love with them since.
In other news, I’ve just discovered Catastrophe- Ha! LOVE. I’m also waiting for the second series of This is Us to start and am meanwhile still working my way through Call The Midwife (loving @helenrgeorge In this) and hunting for other series I can lose myself in during night feeds... (And should I be watching Love Island? 🤔 Should I?).
Oh, and HELLO SUMMER! ☀️.
BABY QUESTION: Isabelle is 7 weeks and still using @pampersuk_ire size 0. Sound right? Size 1 still seems so massive! 🤷🏻♀️
One of my favourite views... (and in other news, SIX HOURS SLEEP! 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼 Hurrah for expressing and hurrah for @medela_uk and hurrah for amazing husbands warming up bottles in the wee hours of the morning.) But back to the house renovations - when @forgeworks.london first met with us, they asked us what was important to us. We said beautiful, natural materials, storage (STORAGE!!!) and light. We’d like ALL THE LIGHT. And alakazam 💥 We got our wish. Which either means that Chris & James of Forgeworks are actual fairy godmothers, OR, they are just brilliant architects... 🤔 PHOTO: @frenchandtye #houserennovation #victorianterrace #sidereturnextension #lovemyhouse
Baby: model’s own.
Team, this is me on 29 minutes sleep last night. Reflux, you are not the one. But we’re going to BEAT YOU.
I’m finding it extraordinary how I’m functioning on so little sleep. Something just kicks in and you find yourself getting through the days... because you have to. Also, I found my pants in the fridge yesterday so ‘functioning’ is definitely on a spectrum. But I’m ok. I’m not crying (as much). And I’m loving her more every day.
But not the reflux. I do not love the reflux. Or the wind. Nor do I love chilly pants.
p.s. look how tidy I am 🙄
What with Isabelle arriving 3 weeks early and all that encompasses by way of one’s world being turned upside down, I completely failed to show you our completed house renovations, which were finished in the nick of time and which I could not be more in love with.
We now have our dream kitchen with an eating area and a window seat to curl up in (currently my favourite spot for feeding Izzy).
The people involved in this project were all such brilliant folk, but the brains and creativity behind the design is down to the extraordinarily clever architects @forgeworks.london. They met with us back in October, over a cuppa and our carefully compiled @pinterestuk boards, which we’d spend many an evening pouring over...and the whole process from start to finish (including me waddling around a building site in the snow, heavily pregnant) was a total joy. Our superhero builder @optimalbuildltd brought their designs to life and always with a smile.
I’d heard so many horror stories about building projects that take gazillion years and builders that run off into the sunset with your tea, biscuits & money, so I feel extremely grateful to have discovered such excellent, diligent, kind, empathetic and skilled folk, to help us reimagine our house and change the way we live forever.
We kept our original bay window and fireplace and invested in a few key things that we knew would make all the difference... (so much to tell you about our extractor fan). And then where we could save money, we did. The whole room (and house!) is painted in @duluxuk’s cheapest undercoat (no top coat at all - we just keep slapping it on if marks appear) and yes, those are @ikeauk cupboards and I completely love them.
If you’re interested, you can see the renovations unfold on my blog - I’ve the final part to write, in which I will link up to all the products we sourced and people we used, but for now I just wanted to show you the end result and what can be achieved if bloody clever architects get hold of your dreams... 💭 🏡 💛
p.s. more pictures to come!
#sidereturnextension #sidereturn #houserenovation #fortheloveofply
Woweee Word To The Mother - THANK YOU for these gorgeous gifts! Love love loving your work Om Baby Mutha.Hood organic zoo 💛💛💛
Team, you are amazing. Thank you so so much for all your wonderful comments and messages on my last post - they mean the world. I will write back to each one soon - please don’t think I’m ignoring you. So comforting to know I’m not alone. I’ve been send advice on everything from medicine to routine to products (has anyone else experienced the @babocush?) and I am investigating them all. I took this photo yesterday as I walked around Walthamstow Village with a sleeping (hurrah!) Isabelle... I walked for two hours around my little corner of London. Got a smoothie, spoke to my mum, saw this pretty cottage and took a deep breath. The world still turns, the sun still rises, smoothies are still being drunk and at some point, this chapter will end and I will sleep again. And eat cake with eggs in. What a support you are, you wonderful folk. Thank you so much xxx #GORD #reflux #newmum #whatsmynameagain
Good morning team. I’m here and I’m alive 👋🏼 I’ve been very quiet here while I find my feet with being a new mummy... 5 weeks ago little Isabelle popped into the world via emergency c section, 3 weeks early. I went into hospital thinking I’d wet myself and came home with a baby. Surprise! I created this nursery to be a place of calm and peace for our little sausage, however Acid Reflux (GORD) has had other ideas and the last few weeks have been the hardest of my life. I thought it about time to be honest here about what’s been going on as, quite frankly, I could do with some words of encouragement/advice and any shared or similar experiences would be gratefully received. And also, I wish I’d known more about reflux before finding myself in the middle of the crazy. Getting it diagnosed properly was not easy, but now that we have she is on medication and I am on an exclusion diet - no dairy, wheat, egg or soy. (CAN SOMEONE SEND ME A RECIPE FOR CAKE PLEASE!!) We’re 5 days into her meds and are hoping to see an improvement soon... but I’m currently writing this with her attached to me as lying on her back isn’t an option for her right now. I will be writing more about the symptoms of GORD soon and we can talk about the crying (THE CRYING) too... but for now, I wanted to say hello. I miss you all and just need to get through and past this chapter of little Isabelle’s life with her... and she needs every bit of me. Even the bit that allows me to post here regularly... but I haven’t forgotten you and I will be here more regularly from now on. Because sanity. Because mental well being. Because Instagram Xxx
[AD] If I hadn’t just had a baby (I’VE HAD A BABY!) I’d be heading to my annual foodie happy place - @tasteoflondon. This Summer, from 13 – 17 June, Taste of London, will again be descending into the gorgeous Regents Park in a puff of magical foodie smoke. They have gathered together the world’s best chefs, 40 of the most exciting restaurants (including ROKA, Kricket, BAO etc) and some of the best gourmet producers around.
This year, The Taste Residence is set to be very exciting - curated by legendary culinary star-maker Andrea Petrini, the line-up includes renowned chefs from all over the world, (including Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken Magasinet, Niklas Ekstedt of Ekstedt, Sean Gray of Momofuku Ko, Manoella Buffara of Manu and Gregory Marchand of Frenchie) and comprises of a bespoke small plate tasting menu with paired wines... I want to be there now!
For more info and tickets click the link in my profile... and when you go, send me a picture so I can revel too. I’ll be dreaming of those BAO buns from underneath a pile of muslins... 💛🍾🥗🥘🍣🥐🍷
When your little one decides to be nearly 3 weeks early, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it 💛 I had no idea how much extra love I had hiding in my pockets... it turns out, I’m overflowing and it’s completely overwhelming. Welcome to the world, Isabelle Rose 💕 (I’m going to be a little quiet here for a while, but I’ll be back. Just like Arnie. But with more poo).
p.s. If you haven’t heard of Neighbourhood Midwives and you’re expecting & live in London, please please please look them up. They have been my fairy godmothers and have been there every step of the way... they will also be visiting me at home over the next few weeks. The kindest, most wonderful souls and so so knowledgable about everything we know absolutely nothing about. Thank you Tina & Monica 💛💛💛💛
Being pregnant is amazing in so many ways, but it can also be a bit of a bummer when it comes to food you can’t guzzle for the duration. Luckily, I’m not much of a drinker so I haven’t missed that cheeky glass of wine or G&T… but what I HAVE missed are things like paté and brie. Ahhhh brie. I’ve missed brie so much I’m considering putting a slab of it into my hospital bag. I’d eat a wedge of it like an apple. BUT, it really is not all doom and gloom at all, for there are plenty of cheeses I can still eat, and I have been taking full advantage by way of the ULTIMATE #foodporn - the Cheese Toastie. Follow the @deptofdairyscrumptiousaffairs for more gorgeous dairy delights #iheartdairy #ad
Thanks to Miele I made a fish pie to end all fish pies. (Was SO YUM) And the good news doesn't end there - I have a 20% Miele discount code for you, valid until 31st May 2018. Just click the link below!
[Sponsored by Miele]
Temperatures are back on the rise (today is an exception ☔️) but there is warmth & sunshine on the horizon! In the meantime, I can’t work out if this house is delighted to be covered head to toe in #Wisteria, or if it’s inwardly screaming, “SAVE ME”. 🤔
Excuse me, dear London. But April showers aren’t allowed in May 🙄. Today is your last chance, so do please get it out of your system as I am cold and would like to wear my sandals ☀️
This house of ours is being taken over with beautiful signs of an imminent new human...
I was introduced to @thewandererlondon by @word.to.the.mother in their pop up at @debbieblisshome in the Stow, and it was love at first sight. I was perusing their Instagram last week when I spied a competition to win one of their Moses Baskets. I never enter competitions because I never win (I know. I read it back. It’s idiotic) BUT on this occasion I entered. And I blimmin WON!! It arrived a couple of days ago and I can’t stop looking at it. Do go and have a peek a peek at what they do - the baskets are handmade in Ghana and are completely overwhelmingly gorgeous. And get yourself down to Walthamstow village for the pop up at Debbie Bliss - so much gorgeousness 💛💛💛
Belgravia hideaways... 💕 I want to sit here all day and work from this table. And eat croissants. Or maybe just eat the croissants and scrap the work. With jam. Damson ham. On the croissants. (Not the work).
There was a queue outside this house yesterday in Marylebone. An INSTAQUEUE. Well, there were two other people taking photos of it. I had to wait. That’s a queue. I saw it en route to the @aanddgallery on #Chilternstreet where @shootmyheadplease had his opening night for his photography exhibition. It was AMAZE. It’s on all week so do pop in if you can - it’s pretty spesh. As is this house’s #Wisteria hairdo.
Slowly slowly... the nursery is coming together... 💛
Today we are building a cot, laundering everything baby related in Fairy non bio, putting up blinds, trying to destroy moths and work out where the fruit flies are coming from. This is where I was one year ago and my caption then has calmed me to my core...
“Oh hello there, from #Fordingbridge in the New Forest. We're having a family getaway in a barn. (It's a big barn). There's been cheese, cake and much Rummikub. (LOVE). We're doing nothing, then strolling, then doing nothing. We're eating chocolate in front of movies and making pots of tea every couple of hours. Today there will be Boggle and I'm on roast chicken duty. There will also be no getting out of my pyjamas until at least 4 o'clock.”
What a difference a year makes 😉
I loved all your comments on my insta stories yesterday, about my Miele tumble drier! I bring GOOD TIDINGS and a 20% Miele discount code! Please feel free to share amongst your family and friends :)
Mary Poppins vibes on Stanley Crescent...stunning capture @gokican!
Thank you SO much for all the amazing tips and ideas on my hospital bag post yesterday. Today I shall be collecting everything I need! Massive @marksandspencer pants, here I come!! #35weekstoday #kickkickkickKICKKICKKICK
Five weeks to go 👀.
I need to start packing my hospital bag. So far I have maternity pads and Twiglets. All suggestions welcome... #nogearnoidea
So looking forward to this exhibition next week in Marylebone.. join me there?
Thank you nookoo, for this gorgeous gift for my nursery! LOVE LOVE LOVE 💛 (and especially love that you’re based in Walthamstow too!) See this gorgeous Andie and Ollie abacus here 👉🏼 https://www.nookoo.co.uk/products/hexagon-abacus?variant=1433005981714
Hydrangeas spilling over London’s gardens... must be Spring 💛
I’ve been spending the day at home today... pottering, working, doing laundry... These home renovations certainly took some time to do, but now that they’re done, I can nest and eat cocopops til I pop 💛🏡
SPRING!!! Hurrah!! It’s another regram (thank you @a_ontheroad 🕺🏼) as yet again I’ve been stuck inside during this glorious weather, building flatpack furniture (assisting/watching/cheering) and becoming very friendly with DPD and the postman - so many deliveries 📦 and SO MUCH CARDBOARD 👀 Today @mamasandpapas are arriving with a changing table #morecardboard and I’m going write another list of all the baby stuff I’ve forgotten to get. Aside from that, if anyone can explain what was going on in #ordealofinnocence last night, I’m really quite confused 🤷♀️
London’s getting its Spring on ✌🏼.
In other news, I have discovered the *best* smoked salmon bagels in St John’s Wood. This is BIG NEWS. Head to @panzers_deli or if you can’t get there today, click the link in my profile to have a read and a dream 💭
This Knightsbridge house speaks Spring.
And in other news, my very first real piano (I grew up on real piano at home when I was small but I’ve had an electric one for 20 years) arrives today. I can’t tell you what this means to me... it’s so very special. Emotions are running high in E17 today 💛
More signs of Spring 💛 This time from @elensham - a keen blossom snapper! Today @carpentryandi is here putting up shelves in every possible available spot in our house. Victorian terraces are wonderful in so many ways, but turns out they didn’t need to store much 🙄 The odd plum pudding and perhaps a petticoat or two... Those Victorians just did not consider my wardrobe needs. Nor my book addiction. Or penchant for, erm, stuff... Hurrah for Andi! #poppyloveslondon #morestorageplease #andabitmoreplease
The living room is slowly starting to take shape again... and today I’m on blinds research! (That black blob is a cardboard blind that’s been there since we moved back in...) We chose this @skandiumltd sofa a while ago and it’s been wrapped up in plastic during all the building work. Unwrapping it again was like Christmas, and I LOVE how it looks on on our new floors... This is my office today :) My PA is next door. #iwish #ireallyreallyreallywish
WOW. We had the most amazing and gorgeous time at The Scarlet in Cornwall for our Babymoon. And Honeymoon! Massages, facials, swimming, yoga, clifftop hot tubs... we absolutely loved every single minute 💕 (Oh, and it snowed!) 💛💦☀️🌨
"If I hadn’t come to choir, I don’t know if I’d still be alive today.
These choirs work. I’m living, breathing, singing proof”.
@Choirwithnoname is a charity that runs choirs for homeless and marginalised people. The choirs themselves are full of the most diverse bunch of folk; all genders, all colours, all cultures, all creeds, all ages… absolutely everyone is welcome and it’s an amazing, amazing thing. What I’ve only just learnt is that by shopping via AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.co.uk) I can also support them (you can select from over 2000 charities).
AmazonSmile donates a percentage of my spend to the charity I’ve selected and it lands straight in their pocket. I bought this amazing jazz song book, which I’ve had my eye on for AGES and it seems very fitting that my purchase has supported others in their musical endeavours.
The full story about this incredible choir and how AmazonSmile works is over on my blog, just click the link in my profile 🎤🎶💛 #justsmile [ad]
Look at this CAKE! To celebrate the traditional cherry blossom season, Sexy Fish Restaurant are hosting a ‘Sexy Sakura’ celebration at their restaurant, with Japanese-inspired cocktails & THESE AMAZING cherry blossom cakes! It’s completely delicious! See my instagram stories for more 🌸🌸🌸 (and no, the outside isn’t marzipan 😉 And yes, it’s entirely edible (apart from the wire in the stems!)
Oh hi, Monday. My To Do list is so long that I’ve had to write a secondary list of things to add to the To Do list, just so I don’t panic when I look at the ACTUAL To Do list. I play these games with myself regularly. Makes me think that everything is under control. The chaos is real, people. But I have strawberries for breakfast so whatevs. #sendhelp (And this glorious pic is from @mformorena - clever lady she is)
Today is another day of staying IN. The plumber is coming (ceiling leak) the electrician is coming (no power) John Lewis is coming (with something... I think blinds. But maybe the other half of the buggy 🤔) I’ve done the MOTHER of online shops (having new storage = bulk buying of loo roll) and so assuming a photo of any of these things would be very boring, instead I rediscovered this pic from @kseniaskos from last year. COME ON THE MAGNOLIA. #warmuplondon 💛 p.s. THANK YOU for all the comments on my stories yesterday - you were right. I had a nap for about an hour and suddenly I was myself again. Will repeat as necessary 😘
Here comes Spring! Gorgeous capture from @mylondonfairytales 💛. I can actually feel it in the air as I waddle about (32 weeks and counting... 🤰🏻) and could not be happier to see magnolia blooming and blossom exploding all over these London streets... We Londoners need this, it’s been a while... 💕 #poppyloveslondon
Our downstairs floors are DONE! The wooden sash windows have been repaired & draught-proofed and the whole house has been painted white 🙌🏼 We sanded our pine floor and stained it a mixture of 6-1 walnut-black. We could not be happier with the results. We did the upstairs around a year ago, so it’s been a long time saving for it and doing it. Hip pip! Now to dust all our furniture, cushions, accessories & books. The Big Clean starts tomorrow. It’s time to make this house our home again.... 💛💛💛
Oh hi! 👋🏼 I am back from our Cornish getaway (#honeymoon 💕 #babymoon 🤰🏻) and am home again in London - this pic is by @elensham and is in KentishTown - an area I used to frequent more in my teens, when I would stroll the markets of Camden and return home with glittery candles and army shirts. My mother was thrilled. I am actually in MY HOUSE after 4 months of renos and despite the layer of dust that has keenly and most effectively wrapped itself around the most teeny of objects (every teaspoon, pair of pants, hair clip...) I am over the moon. So many interior pics coming your way soon. But first, I’m off to meet the incredible Tina from @neighbourhoodmidwivesltd, whom has become my fairy godmother. I’ll be telling you all about these magical women over the next few days as well... Now it’s time to grab a cuppa before I fly out the door... (but need to find the kettle...) 👀☕️ #homesweethome #callthemidwife #IMBACK
If you can believe it, this view from yesterday is now covered in snow. It’s over on my stories and it looks like I’m staying in an alpine ski resort... Extraordinary! Hot tubbing at @scarlethotel is my new favourite thing. (And they reduced the temperature for me too, to make it safe for pregnancy 🙌🏼) Yesterday I had my ‘pregnancy journey’ which included a full body scrub, a massage, a facial and a guided mediation... and today is my one-to-one yoga session. (I can’t see my toes, let alone touch them). Hurrah for babymooning! But first, breakfast. #BREAD🕺🏼💛 #scarletmoment
Hot tubs in the snow, sticky ginger cake & tea in the spa, bubbles in the bath, the most delicious supper and now this morning’s view...
Honeymooning and Babymooning at @scarlethotel might be the best idea we have ever had 🙌🏼 🌊☀️❄️ p.s. see my stories for our snowy hot tub!
#mawganporth #cornwall #scarletmoment #thescarlet