It’s not often, since having children, that Stuart and I have a date night – we go out, and we have nights out together, but it’s usually for events or group outings. So when Festival Place got in touch to see if I would like to challenge myself to finding the perfect date night outfit for £100 I jumped at the chance! I filmed the experience over on my YouTube channel, so you can see exactly what I got up to: 

Child free shopping – this is an exciting opportunity!!

The perfect date night outfit with Festival Place

Finding The Perfect Date Night Outfit:

I really love the sheer trend, but I struggle with its wearability – I don’t want my underwear on show at the best of times, let alone in public when I am about to eat all.the.food.

I am obsessed with this top from Lipsy, it’s the perfect opaque fabric covering all the right paces with the beautiful lace giving it a luxe touch. It was the first thing I saw when I got to Festival Place, and I knew I had to go back for it. It was the most expensive part of the whole outfit, coming in at £40 but I think it is something I will get so much wear out of. It is from the Michelle Keegan collection at Lipsy, which I found at Next. I also love these boyfriend cut jeans which I didn’t end up buying sadly because typically the 8 was too big and the 6 was too small!! But I love the understated style of this cut of jean, they are so easy to wear and you can dress them up with a pretty top and heels as easily as you can wear casually with a pair of converse and a simple t-shirt.

The perfect date night outfit with Festival Place

The next item I found I was immediately drawn to – this beautiful blush pink skirt from Monsoon felt like silk and I felt all sassy as I sashayed down the changing room spinning and twirling in it. It was £49 so took up half of my budget – I had already fallen in love with it though and knew I would have so many other reasons to wear it over the summer. Sadly after a couple of hours of trying to find complementary pieces within my budget I had to admit defeat – but maybe one day I will be able to add it to my wardrobe.

The perfect date night outfit with Festival Place

Coffee break time. I had been shopping a couple of hours and needed a bit of time to refresh myself, in peace – what a luxury!!

The perfect date night outfit with Festival Place

I absolutely have to own this jacket. It’s faux suede and I have tried to justify it for weeks now. I just absolutely love the light, delicate colour which is such a nice alternative to a black leather biker jacket. Every time I put my one on I just don’t feel right in – it’s just not my style. But they always look so nice on other people, I just feel like an imposter! Zara also does a light blue and a light khaki version. But I love the blush pink the most. It will be mine one day!!

The perfect date night outfit with Festival Place

The perfect date night outfit with Festival Place

I put myself in a predicament of having to find a pair of shoes for £11 having over spent on the skirt and shirt. The hunt was on and I managed to track down these bargains in Debenhams. The pair I eventually went for were £14.70 and from Faith.

Guess what – I tried it all on together and it turns out I didn’t like the way the skirt bought the outfit together – all that searching for £11 shoes and when I pretty much found them I realised I no longer wanted what I had pictured in my head. I actually felt so much more comfortable in the peg leg trousers I chose from New Look in a similar colour.

The perfect date night outfit with Festival Place

I completed my date night outfit challenge using the Festival Place gift card, which they even accept in the restaurants and coffee shops!

My outfit came in at a total of £94.68 and I was so so happy with it! Here’s a little look at the finished date night outfit:

perfect date night outfit spring outfits in the shops at the moment

perfect date night outfit spring outfits in the shops at the moment

perfect date night outfit spring outfits in the shops at the moment

perfect date night outfit spring outfits in the shops at the moment

perfect date night outfit spring outfits in the shops at the moment

Date Night Challenge Outfit details

Lipsy Love Michelle Keegan Lace Frill T-shirt | £40 Next

Tie Waist Peg Leg Trousers | £19.99 | New Look 

Shoes £14.70 (no longer available but similar here 

Grey Faux Suede Bag £19.99
Very similar here

Total cost £94.68!!

For more info on the Festival Place gift Cards click here

 

I am also delighted to announce that I have been asked to be the Festival Place fashion Ambassador which is so exciting and I am really looking forward to working with them. This weekend they are holding the Love Fashion event which takes place 29th & 30th April with fashion catwalks from 11am, pamper and skincare sessions throughout the day in the health and beauty lounge and expert advice from stylist JP. I will also be involved across the weekend helping with styling and chatting about the top SS17 trends and must-haves. I would really love to see you if you can make it, take a look here for more info!! Let me know if you can pop along and have a look at all the exciting events happening at Festival Place over the weekend.

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I love the change of the seasons, every time it turns it reminds me why I love living in the UK. Just as you get fed up of the heat, the crisp Autumnal evenings set in, then once the excitement of the winter festivities are over the green shoots of spring start popping out of the ground. An eternal Summer may seem like heaven, but the reality would probably be a little more dull. I think we need to miss what we love to really appreciate it.

My go-to Spring Outfits:

Spring time is up there with Autumn as being my favourite season; nature is coming back to life with a bang and the shops are full of pastels, cotton and open toes. I thought I would share some of my go to Spring outfits which I have been loving recently, in case you’re also looking to refresh your wardrobe at the moment.

Spring outfits best spring transitional outfits to keep warm and look stylish

Spring outfits best spring transitional outfits to keep warm and look stylish

Spring outfits best spring transitional outfits to keep warm and look stylish

Top New Look £14.99 http://www.newlook.com/shop/womens/tops/blue-broderie-long-sleeve-bardot-neck-top_523381043 

Topshop Cain Jeans £45 http://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/moto-premium-step-hem-cain-jeans-6425920?bi=0&ps=20&Ntt=cain

pretty girl bardot top spring look outfits

Now we all know, Spring in the UK is pretty temperamental! One day it is 20 degrees and we’re all stocking up on suncream and the next it’s back to being freezing – it was actually sleeting today, SLEET!! It’s almost May! I love how wet look leggings/leather trousers look so stylish without having to put any effort in. I paired these from Next with an old shirt from Asos and this hat from H&M (which is actually too small for my tiny head!) Perfect for dinner with the girls.

girl in hat with floaty shirt and wet look leather trousers

girl in hat with floaty shirt and wet look leather trousers

Wet Look leggings | £25 | Next http://www.next.co.uk/search?w=Leather&af=category:leggings%20category:trousers%20gender:women&isort=score

Shirt, asos, no longer available

Hat, last year, H&M

perfect date night outfit spring outfits in the shops at the moment

perfect date night outfit spring outfits in the shops at the moment

I love this outfit so much. The lace detail sheer top is beautiful and I really love it, the peg trousers are high waisted which is great for the “mum tum” and the bow detail is a lovely feature, I am a huge fan of the blush pink colour too. I paired this outfit with these absolute bargain sandals from Faith which were £14.70!!

perfect date night outfit spring outfits in the shops at the moment

These are perfect Spring outfits for cooler days, the trousers are lightweight and SS17 trend colours, I love the floral print of the top pair but they are a bit too big for me sadly. The jumpers come in handy during the cooler days – or when it’s downright freezing like today! All of these are from Zara https://www.zara.com/uk/en/woman 

I think metallic shoes create such a stylish finish to any outfit and are so easy to wear, they go with everything! These little puppies are from H&M £14.99 http://www2.hm.com/en_gb/productpage.0482656004.html#Silver 

perfect date night outfit spring outfits in the shops at the moment

I’d love to know what your go-to Spring outfits are! If you would like to see more outfits have a look at my YouTube look-book video which just went up on my channel 

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It’s the end of an era!! My baby’s nursery is about to get transformed into a brand new office. I have such strange mixed feelings about it. I am obviously so excited for the room to be transformed into an office for me; I currently work from the dining room table, which is nice…I love the decor of the dining room (video update here) the coffee pot is within arm’s reach, as is the fridge…but it’s just not practical. I have outgrown the space and it’s becoming too difficult to pack everything away each evening to service the table for what it was designed for and store any deliveries which arrive during the day. But it’s bitter sweet.

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

I remember excitedly designing the nursery for our first child’s arrival, planning each part of it because I wanted to give that tiny baby (who had no idea, nor was he in there for months!!) the best room I could give him. We didn’t know the sex until he was born, so I went for a unisex green & white colour scheme with clouds, cute bunting which matched the light and a cool canopy I found at a nearly new sale, finished off with some lovely little details from independant online stores including a sweet Owl and the Pussycat wall sticker. I was proud of it and I was ready to welcome our baby into the world (he kept us waiting for a lonnnng time)

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

I was particularly proud of the baby change station I had created, with a basket for every conceivable baby contraption and all.the.paraphernalia; everything carefully organised in its place. Of course it rarely stayed so neat, especially when dealing under pressure with a poo explosion of mammoth proportions, many times per day! Wipes flying around, the place covered in Sudocrem. But I loved it all the same. (The most embarrassing bad quality video of it here)

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

Many, many, many nights were spent feeding in the super comfy nursing chair which we bought from friend’s of ours. All those hundreds of sleepless nights, cradling our sweet boys as they fed multiple times throughout the night for months on end. The 17,000 rounds of You Are My Sunshine, a song we used to sing to both boys, memories I will cherish forever. I’m pretty sure I spent a fair few hours asleep in that chair too.

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

baby unisex nursery decor and styling ideas office renovations

But, as I said it is the end of an era, a new transformation awaits this lovely little room which we spent so many hours in; rocking, singing, hushing, smiling, willing sleep, caring for our small little babies. Our boys who have grown into charming, clever, cheeky little men who pretty much demanded that they share a bedroom and were becoming really difficult to tear apart come night time. It seems to have come at the perfect time for us as a family and I am now so SO excited to have started the office transformation, and I can’t wait to share some of the ideas I have for the room, for the decor and design and for all the amazing videos and articles I am going to create from within this space.

Watch this space for mood boards, wish lists and design ideas a plenty! If anyone knows of any cool instagram interior shops please let me know in the comments!

 

 

Click here for a super embarrassing room tour whilst heavily pregnant/the size of a whale!

 

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Last weekend we traveled down to Brighton to stay at the brand new and super stylish Malmaison Brighton for a weekend away. But it wasn’t just any weekend away, Stuart was running the Brighton Marathon! It’s not often, since having children, that we get to enjoy a weekend away, child free, so I wanted somewhere that was special. One of our very first dates, 9 years ago, was dinner at Malmaison in Reading, and we both remember it fondly, so when I saw that there was a brand new Malmaison hotel in Brighton I was really pleased that it was nice and close to the centre.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

| Malmaison Brighton |

Boasting modern décor, stylish furnishings and perfect ocean views I was really excited to book and see what Malmaison Brighton was like in the flesh. It was the most perfect sunny day to visit Brighton – although I was worried about the heat for the marathon runners the next day. (Stuart ran the London marathon 10 years ago and it was the hottest day of the year back then too, ironically!) The hotel, located in the marina area, was around 2 miles from Brighton along an easy and scenic beach path. It was visible this area had been given a big facelift and the whole ambience felt like we’d popped down to the south of France for the day! The hotel itself had undergone a £5m transformation and had recently opened as the 15th boutique hotel in the chain.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison Brighton boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

The first impression I got of the hotel was the amazing outside bar. We walked in and immediately I knew it was totally stylish. It had beautiful views over the marina. We sat and had a drink before checking in, something we just don’t get the chance to do with our young children, certainly not in peace, anyway! The atmosphere was so friendly and people were in such a good mood – unsurprisingly considering it was a balmy 19 degrees and everyone sat enjoying their delicious cocktails and crisp cold beers overlooking the boats. I only wish that we had had longer to be able to test out some of the cocktails and soak up the sun – but we had to rush out to register for the race.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

The rooms themselves were so light and airy with uber cool and contemporary style. Our room was overlooking the marina – we had the luxury of a lovely little balcony where we sat and watched the world go by. Our room had all the modern amenities including an absolutely huge TV, WiFi, fancy coffee machine and the most comfortable bed with beautifully soft sheets and luxury feather bedding.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison Brighton boutique hotel  a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison Brighton boutique hotel

After we had spent our day exploring Brighton and registering Stuart for the race we headed back to Malmaison to slowly get ready. I don’t think it’s possible to fully appreciate having time to yourself to get ready until you’ve had children! We called the boys and had a chat about their day. It had been incredibly hot in Brighton and we actually felt pretty exhausted. After a gorgeous “rain” shower I wrapped myself up in one of the fluffy robes and sat on the balcony watching the sun go down. I must have said to Stuart about 5 times that I just felt like I was on holiday, or on a cruise liner! I felt so relaxed and happy. I was enjoying myself so much, watching the sunset over the marina, listening to the sailboats clinking away and the hum of the chatter from the below restaurants was so peaceful and calming.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

We had to be up and out early the next morning, so we booked into the brasserie downstairs for dinner. Having seen the beautiful cocktails coming out of the bar earlier in the day I knew that we were in for a treat when it came to dining and I was so pleased that we had chosen to eat there. The restaurant itself was stylish with characteristically dark decor and low lit lighting creating an elegant and chic atmosphere.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

Hopefully the pictures do our meal at Malmaison Brighton’s Chez Mal brasserie justice because it was just so delicious. The style of cooking I would say was a mixture of French/British cuisine mixed with contemporary Asian fusion food. I began the meal with a Malmaison Fizz – Maison Champagne, Finlandia Grapefruit, Kamm & Sons Ginseng, Belvoir elderflower and it was refreshing and delicious (supportive wife, I know – Stuart had tea!)

For starter I had the tuna tartare which was a beautifully melt in the mouth texture, personally I couldn’t get on with the flavour from watermelon accompaniment but the avocado & wasabi sauce was perfection. Stuart chose the parfait which they had unfortunately just run out of. Our waiter went through some possible alternatives, none of which Stuart liked the sound of but he kindly offered something from a different menu which was perfect – Spring lamb Benedict – Slow braised Dorset lamb shoulder with American glaze, brioche and mint Béarnaise.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

A palate cleanser of sorbet and champagne poured at the table.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

For mains I chose the Lobster risotto with Mal house side salad – I always choose fish when we dine out, I guess because I don’t cook it as often for myself at home and I just love fish. Stuart (predictably) went with the Pan roast Black Angus New York strip steak served with a creamy garlic mash and beautiful bearnaise sauce -which I have to say I had total food envy over, it was cooked to perfection!! To my dismay we were both too absolutely full to order pudding – a first! But they all looked delicious, I think I would have chosen the Valrhona dark chocolate fondant with Peanut butter ice cream & sesame brittle, had I not already been ready to be rolled out of there!

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

We were served by the lovely Colm who had also looked after us when we first arrived at the bar earlier in the day. He was so interested in talking to us, despite the usual pressures of serving a busy restaurant, and made us feel really welcomed. All the staff did actually, especially the lovely lady who checked us in, we found everyone to be so friendly and helpful. The only slight negative from our whole experience was breakfast the next day. The hotel had several marathon guests staying, and they had attentively arranged for the breakfast to be laid on especially early to accommodate everyone, which was really great. Runners nervously hurried to fuel up for the day ahead, but perhaps the hotel didn’t realise quite how many people they would have to serve and it ended up in quite a restless queue full of anxious people needing to wait a period of time and then rush through their breakfast to get going for the day. I think the main problem was that everything was table service and cooked to order, perhaps on this occasion it may have been better to organise a hot breakfast buffet which people could help themselves to, or perhaps have more staff serving.

Having said that, the breakfast was delicious and of course normally this would not have posed a problem at all. I eventually had the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs while Stuart had eggs and maple bacon – I actually think it was rather kind to start the breakfast so early for everyone.

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

a uk break weekend away to Brighton for the marathon staying in the stylish Malmaison boutique hotel

We had the most perfect stay and I am so pleased we were able to stay at the brand new Malmaison Brighton, I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking to stay in Brighton and I really hope we can come back to visit another day – ideally when we didn’t have a marathon to have to fit into the trip!

Malmaison Brighton kindly invited us to stay at their new hotel but all views are my own and I would honestly love to go back again one day soon.

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I just couldn’t resist showing you this quick Spring outfit blog post as I am so in love with this blush pink coat which is perfect for the change in season when it’s warm but once the sun goes behind a cloud you remember it is still only April! Teamed with these total bargain shoes which are so comfortable, it makes a perfect Spring transitional outfit! If you watch my Youtube channel you’ll know that I recently bought a blush pink waterfall coat which was sadly just too big and I’ve not been able to find another one since.

The perfect blush pink coat for Spring beauty, lifestyle and parenting blogger from the UK, come and find us on YouTube under mumadventures

Luckily for me I found this one from New Look for the super affordable price of £29.99, it’s oversized so I got a 6, although the arms are a little snug. It’s just the perfect coat for this season where it’s still too cold in the UK on some days to go out without one but when the sun is shining you don’t want anything too heavy and hot

The perfect blush pink coat for Spring beauty, lifestyle and parenting blogger from the UK, come and find us on YouTube under mumadventures

on-trend-coat

I kept this Spring outfit it simple with these fab jeans from Topshop, high waisted & perfect for hiding the “mum tum” and, essentially, avoiding the inevitable “mum bum” when crawling around after toddlers. They are more expensive than other high street jeans but are definitely an investment purchase, coming in at around £40, but they are the best jeans I own. The cropped white top was £6 and could be swapped with a little t-shirt if you felt more comfortable.

The perfect blush pink coat for Spring beauty, lifestyle and parenting blogger from the UK, come and find us on YouTube under mumadventures

My my most comfortable shoe purchase comes from Primark, I think these were around £14!! The easy to wear cream colour and comfortable thick straps and heel will definitely keep them as my go-to summer shoe.

The perfect Primark shoes for Spring beauty, lifestyle and parenting blogger from the UK, come and find us on YouTube under mumadventures

This whole outfit cost £90, and almost half of that is on the jeans which as I said are a real investment, but it always seems to get the most compliments. There’s just something about that coat…

Photos by Etienne.

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