July Giveaway: WIN a Pacapod Changing Bag!

Fancy getting your hands on this fabulous messenger changing bag from Pacapod? Well then you’re in luck… For this month’s prize draw I have been working with Pacapod to offer one of the Scarlett and Me readers the Jura worth £70 in a colour of your choice.

pacapod-jura-dove-front-1

Dove

pacapod-front-black-front-2

Black

pacapod-jura-cran-front-1

Cranberry

pacapod-jura-nav-front-1

Navy

The Jura is part of their classic collection and is packed with practicality without sacrificing on style. It’s the perfect lightweight addition to any mums bag collection.

pacapod-jura-navy-back_2-1

They have literally thought of everything…

This bag will look fabulous hanging from your pram with it’s handy pram attachments or worn across the body when going off road.

Jura_cranberry_lifestyle_portrait_B

 

Now for your chance to WIN…

Remember as usual, each way will count as a new entry!

  • Follow the blog by entering your email address top right of this post
  • Share this post on your Facebook page via the icon below
  • Comment below including the colour of the bag you would like to win

The extremely lucky winner will be selected on 24th July 2014 

Follow Pacapod on Facebook to find out first if it’s you!

Good Luck!

xx

Our Lavender Photoshoot With Mrs Shutterspeed

We are still totally buzzing from a fantastic photoshoot at Mrs Shutterspeed’s Studio in Mayfield yesterday. The girls had a great day and I managed to come home with some beautiful photos to share with you now. My 2 girls are the only females in the whole family that don’t like having their photos taken, it’s an absolute nightmare! To give you an idea of how difficult it is to take a photo of them, a commercial photographer we were on a shoot with a few months ago actually said it was the least successful shoot in the 22 years he had been a photographer, and recently we had to cut a shoot short because both girls were screaming blue murder refusing to have their photos taken! I had given up all hopes of getting some beautiful professional shots of the girls.

This is what makes Lorna of Mrs Shutterspeed so different. It helps having a spacious studio with a selection of backdrops and beautiful props, a state of the art editing suite and idyllic surroundings at her Mayfield studio, but what really sets Lorna apart as a brilliant children’s photographer is quite simple… She is absolutely bloody bonkers. She will go to great lengths to get your children laughing and will not stop until you have the perfect photos to cherish forever. It’s impossible not to enjoy the experience and you are guaranteed to leave knowing you have some beautiful photos of your children to share with the family. She has very kindly agreed to put together a special promotion for the readers of Scarlett and Me so check out the offer below!

Here are a few of my favourite snaps of the day. I love them because they are all so natural – of course they weren’t, but that’s the art of a truly brilliant lifestyle photographer…

_L1A4277a

Taken in the beautiful grounds of the studio

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 23.22.58

Making the most of the lavender!

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 23.22.32

Gorgeous Savannah in her Angel’s Face tutu

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 23.30.18

Scarlett in her fave strawberry dress – £2.99 H&M!

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 23.22.39

And then we moved into the studio…

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 23.35.59

Capturing every moment to get the perfect shot.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 23.22.54

Here I was actually having a serious portrait session and was suddenly climbed on by both girls, Lorna kept snapping away and ended up getting my favourite pic of the day!

Whilst I was there, Lorna took delivery of her latest collection of props for new baby shoots, they were just magical and made me wish I had got the girls photographed when they were still so tiny! If you have a new born or one on the way, don’t delay getting in touch and booking a slot. Lorna has a fantastic promotion on at the moment that you can take advantage of just by mentioning this blog.

The offer… 

1 hour studio portrait session plus a 7 x 5 digital image that you can print for all the family for just £45!

This offer is also available as a gift voucher which is the perfect gift for an expectant mum or any mum that has kids like mine who need a true professional to get them smiling for the camera!

You can get in touch with Mrs Shutterspeed via her website here. Otherwise, give her a call on 07787 535388 or drop her an email at email@mrsshutterspeed.co.uk

18-16-im-photo_right-8050

Beautiful Baby Shower Gifts

With a good friends baby shower just around the corner, I have been searching online for the perfect gift that since having 2 babies of my own, I truly believe will be useful to a new mum.  So in no particular order, check out my tried and tested top gift ideas for stylish mums-to-be! (Click on any image for further information).

Faye and Lou Muslins, £28.95

Any new mum will tell you that you cannot have too many muslins, 3 years on I am still finding use for them around the house! I only ever had white muslins that didn’t take long to look worn and faded. This beautiful Rainbow Collection from Faye & Lou not only look incredibly stylish, they are double layered to make them highly absorbent and promise to keep their bright colours wash after wash.

231412326alt1

Pacapod Mirano Changing Bag, £99

The first baby changing bag is one of the most exciting purchases for a new mum and a great idea as a present for all the guests to chip in for. This Mirano bag by Pacapod ticks all of the usual Pacapod boxes of keeping you ultra organised with its separate compartments and internal bags, but it’s the stylish design inspired by Riviera Chic that sets this bag apart as the ultimate gift!

navy-front-web

I’ve been working with Pacapod to put together a rather exciting competition that will go live next week so be sure not to miss out by following this blog!

Love Boo Summer Skin Kit, £45.99

All mums-to-be and new mums need a bit of pampering and this award winning brand have put together the ultimate Summer Skin Care Kit for the perfect baby shower gift. The kit includes a tube of Bosom Buddy to restore elasticity on your boobs, Silky Soft Body Wash, a Body Smoother for stretch marks and a luxury body oil. This brand is purely natural and has won the Gold Award for Best Baby Skincare by Mother & Baby which is rather a big deal!

love_boo_gift_bag_new_productsx4

Natures Purest Bamboo Blanket, £28

Made 100% from bamboo fibre, this is honestly the softest blanket I think I have ever felt and something you wouldn’t hesitate to wrap your brand new baby in. It’s the perfect item to pack in the hospital bag and a very special gift for any expectant mum.

natures_purest_bamboo_blanket_pure_love

 

Natures Purest Bath-time Gift, £28

This best seller arrives in a beautiful gift box and is an essential for any new baby. The hooded towels really do make life easier when trying to dry a new baby and the beautiful bunny mitt will offer a distraction for babies a little less confident in the bath!

Pure-Love-bathtime-gift-set_comps_625x430

 

Pigeon Organics Romper, £20.70

This is a brand I first came across when I was pregnant with Scarlett and she is still wearing their summer dresses now. They have a beautiful collection of stylish baby gros, but what sets them apart from others I have tried are the fold-over mitts which is really handy with new borns as they can scratch themselves when they sleep.

Screen Shot 2014-07-06 at 19.57.42

Pigeon Organics Fine Knit Shawl, £31

This brand has the most beautiful prints on all of their products but it’s these beautiful shawls that will instantly make a style statement draped across the pram! They are also very lightweight so perfect for a summer baby.

 

red-mittens

Goldbug Mummy Clip, £4.50

Quite possibly the most useful thing I own… Am dreading the day I no longer need a pram and have to actually carry my shopping!

213-0016_PI_TPS2070310

Angelcare Soft-touch Bath Support, £24.99

This wasn’t around for my babies but I certainly wish it had been! I had one of those fabric supports that sit in the water which did the job but it didn’t take long for the fabric to start looking a bit tired and grubby. This moulds softly to the babies warm body and has a water level indicator to help with bath safety.

MB_ACBS_Aqua-Pink

Gro-egg Thermometer, £21.99 

A thermometer to monitor the babies room at night is essential and this really is the best I have come by. The glow of the egg will change colour depending on the temperature so you will know instantly if you need to adjust the heating or your babies clothing. Not only this, the thermometer works as a comforting nightlight which is another essential every new born needs.

Gro-egg1

Beibamboo Sleep-Pod, £33

This lightweight sleeping bag is the height of comfort for any new baby with it’s patented seam covered designs. It also has fold-over mitts which as I’ve already said is very useful for new babies that scratch themselves when sleeping plus, this sleep-pod opens fully at the front to make nappy changes in the dark much easier!

sleep-pod-50-60-1

And now I must step away slowly from all of these beautiful new baby products, it’s getting dangerous and Paul is looking nervous…

 

My Top 5 Luxury Family Resorts

Following on from a previous review of the Sensatori Holiday Resort in Crete, I wanted to put together a brief summary of some of the other places we have visited that I would recommend to families with young children. I personally find friends recommendations far more valuable than any review on Tripadvisor, so I hope that some of you find this interesting and it can help you on your search to finding the perfect summer holiday! Click on any of the hotel names to be taken straight to their site for further information.

1. Sani Resort, Beach Hotel, Halkidiki - We stayed here with Paul’s family in May 2013, there were 4 kids in total aged 5, 3, 2 and 6 months and there was something for each of them. They were totally catered for children for all ages, with clubs, soft play and outdoor parks, they even held baby swimming lessons at the indoor pool! There was a convenient buffet available at meal times along with the choice of several other restaurants on the resort, but less than a minutes walk was a fabulous marina with cocktail bars and beautiful family-friendly restaurants to pre-book. The thing that really stood out for me at this resort was the evening entertainment. The outdoors auditorium held full scale theatre performances such as Mama Mia, it was so impressive and the kids were engrossed night after night. I’ve never stayed anywhere with such fantastic entertainment and it quickly became the holiday highlight!

SNF07T02SB_682_448528a

P1000376

 

2. Atlantis The Palm, Dubai - This is a holiday probably better suited to families with slightly older children so you can really take advantage of all of their fantastic facilities. The main attraction to the Atlantis is the water park. It’s amazing. One slide actually goes through a shark infested aquarium! Whilst the girls weren’t quite old enough to go on the slides they still loved going around the park in dinghis’. The real highlight of this holiday for the girls was walking around the massive underground aquarium in the hotel. If you have kids as obsessed with Finding Nemo as ours, this is the hotel for you!

We stayed here in November 2013 which was perfect as the weather wasn’t too hot.

1452563_10153587203815311_169048523_n

1499580_10153587200535311_1083378949_n

‘Must Do’s’ in Dubai: 

  • Get yourself some bargain diamonds at the Gold Souks
  • Check out the indoors ski slopes at the Emirates Mall
  • Visit The Dubai Mall for the ultimate shopping experience (largest shopping mall in the world)
  • Watch the water fountain show outside the Dubai Mall
  • Go up to the top of the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 11.51.19

 

3. Sensatori Resort, Crete - This was our most recent holiday and we were massively impressed. The first thing that made us go ‘wow’ was the room, if you can get yourself a family suite with a private pool you won’t regret it. It made holidaying with two little ones almost relaxing! The restaurants and variety of food was great, but I would recommend booking the restaurants as soon you arrive as they get booked up very quickly. The children’s splash pool was an absolute godsend and again, the entertainment which is key at a family resort, was brilliant. A CBeebies style show every night kept the kids entertained before it was the parents turn to enjoy an hours musical production performing everything from Motown to Elton John. You can check out my full review including lots more photos of the Sensatori Resort, Crete HERE.

Taken from our balcony

Taken from our balcony

SONY DSC

 

4. Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort, Cancun Mexico - We actually spent our honeymoon here when I was 6 months pregnant with Savannah and Scarlett was just 16 months old. It was relaxing enough for a pregnant woman with enough going on for a lively toddler. Like most Mexican resorts, its massive (10,000 rooms!) with a huge selection of restaurants, bars and pools giving plenty of variety to the week. Most resorts on this coast are all inclusive, but what sets this hotel apart is the holiday credit included in the package that you can spend on any of the hotels facilities. I obviously spent my share on massages, but Paul decided to venture out for a swim with dolphins! Most evenings (in the right season) they release hundreds of baby turtles into the sea which is a really special event for the guests to get involved with.

428588_314_z

249646_10152085521735311_1177115161_n

Releasing our baby turtle into the sea!

 

5. Gloria Golf Resort, Turkey - This place has come very highly recommended by Paul’s parents (a very reliable source for luxury hotels!) who visited this golf resort last year so we are in the process of booking it up for August. We are already assured the food, spa and hotel facilities are out of this world, but having looked through the site it seems it’s the kids activities that steal the show! Kids clubs for all ages, sheltered trampolines on the beach, an indoor jungle, a mini village, a water park, a zoo! The list goes on, and as I have said before - if the kids are happy, everyone’s happy. I’ll let you know more after we’ve been!

672_2_Gloria-Golf-Resort_cocuk-Aktiviteleri

682_2_Gloria-Verde-Resort_Gogi-Kids-Club-1

If you have any holiday resorts that you’d recommend please let me know in the comments below so I can get researching for next year  :)

 

Stylish Father’s Day Gifts

Paul if you are reading this blog post, don’t get too excited… Scarlett insisted on choosing your Father’s day gift and we both know how much she loves the Pound Store. However, I did put in some extensive research for the rest of you looking for some stylish and very special gifts for the Father’s in your lives! Check out my top gifts for the most ‘impossible to buy for’ men. You can click on any of the images to be taken straight to the site for further details.

Auntie Mims Personalised Wooden Hammer

All men love new tools but this is a particularly fabulous gift for a Dad into DIY. This quality wooden claw hammer can be engraved with a personal message from his little ones and arrives in a cotton presentation draw string bag. Auntie Mims have a huge selection of beautiful hand crafted wooden items to personalise as special gifts for all occasions, make sure you check out their site here!

IMG_9490_1024x1024

Auntie Mims, Personalised Wooden Hammer, £20

 

All Things Brighton Beautiful Barbecue Tool Set

Now that summer has officially landed, the roast dinners have been replaced with barbecues and al fresco dining. What better gift then smart new tools to get the man doing the cooking! This 4 piece set by All Things Brighton Beautiful is made from high quality ash wood and stainless steel making them incredibly hard wearing and can be stored in this handy canvas carry case.

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 21.27.03

All Things Brighton Beautiful, Barbecue Tool Set, £29.95

 

Luckies Scratch Map

If the Daddy in your life loves to travel, this is the ideal gift from his little ones. The deluxe edition Scratch Map allows him to log his travels by scratching off the top foil of the countries visited to reveal beautiful bright colours. A stylish edition to the study or as a keepsake to enjoy looking at with his children as they explore the world together.

7016_6869_5060146591256_b_600

Luckies, Scratch Map Deluxe, £19.95


Luckies Smart Phone Projector

You can’t go wrong with a gadget when shopping for men, but it’s hard to find something they haven’t already come across. Luckies have a huge online selection but it was this mini portable cinema that caught my eye. It’s new to the market and will project on a wall, any images or videos you play on your smart phone.  Perfect for those Peppa Pig re-runs on YouTube!

7508_smartphone_projector_01

Luckies, Smartphone Projector, £15.95

 

Dermalogica Shave Kit

For the modern man that takes care of his skin, Dermalogica have put together this kit to offer the ultimate shaving experience.  The box contains the Soothing Shave Cream, Daily Clean Scrub, Pre Shave Guard and the Post Shave Balm.

New Shave Kit

Dermalogica Shave Kit, £43

 

Stow London Luxury Coin Tray

Finally for the man that really does have it all, look no further than this super stylish coin tray by Stow London. I for one hate seeing Paul’s pocket junk scattered all over my dresser, this little tidier in butter soft leather means he can finally store his clutter in style. If you wanted to really impress, there is an option to personalise this item with his initials in embossed gold…

stud-tray-brown-1_md

Stow London, Luxury Leather Coin Tray in Sanderson Smokey Quartz Brown, £49 (on offer!)

I’m always on the lookout for beautiful brands not on the high street, so if you have any that you’d recommend please let me know about them in the comments below!

Have a Happy Father’s Day! x

Bold Summer Prints

Two posts in one week?! I couldn’t resist… I’ve been spending my birthday money and have come across some beautiful things on the high street that I just had to share. Whilst the sun may not be shining, the shops are still celebrating the summer months with bold and beautiful prints and here are a few of my high street favourites…

Marks & Spencer Kaftan

I noticed the latest in-store M&S marketing campaign focus’s mainly on press coverage for their key pieces. This beautiful embellished beach kaftan appeared in Vogue so I am expecting it to be snapped up pretty quickly, I just wish I’d seen it before my holiday!

SD_01_T52_5519_E4_SP14_EC_90

Dune Espadrilles

I LOVE these animal print espadrilles by Dune, they immediately caught my eye and are a brilliant addition to any summer casual shoe collection!

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 18.25.22

Miss Selfridge Shift Dress

This is my second shift dress from Miss Selfridge, I absolutely love them! They are the most flattering cut and have a stretch to the fabric that give you shape where other shift dresses fail. This monochrome number can be dressed down with sporty white pumps or pushed to the ultimate 60′s glamour with summer heels.

26D02PMUL_large

Zara Wrap Top

This slinky wrap top screams summer glamour worn with skinny jeans and sparkly heels!

2573167500_6_1_1

 

 

 

What To Wear To A Very British BBQ

Come rain or shine, as soon as May hits – BBQ season is upon us. With such unpredictable weather, planning an outfit to an outdoors event is harder than ever!  (I know this only too well having recently hosted an ‘indoor BBQ’ to celebrate my birthday…) Only in this country do you have to carry a mini umbrella and a tube of Factor 30 around at the same time. So with this in mind, I have put together some fashion essentials for a truly British BBQ…

The Genuine Panama Hat

Nothing says instant summer style like it, and The Panama Hat Company have the best collection around imported directly from Ecuador. I have the Brisa Snap Brim Trilby and can’t recommend it enough. This is the first hat I have ever owned that has been sized and fitted to my head and it makes all the difference. It is crucial that the hat sits perfectly for the overall look to work.  Of course you can get high street alternatives, but once you have sampled the quality of a genuine Panama you can appreciate and justify the cost and will cherish this hat for years to come. Check out their complete collection of hats for men and women here.

The_Panama_Hat_Company_0602147800_Copy_Brisa_Snap_Brim__37896.1394117708.1280.1280

Brisa Snap Brim Trilby

The Statement Scarf…

If you a regular reader of my blog you will know how much I love a brightly coloured scarf and can imagine my delight when this little beauty arrived in the post. The Animal Denim by Siskin London. They have a beautiful collection of fine silk scarves to brighten and compliment any outfit. The designs of their current collection have been inspired by the stunning surroundings of the Pyrénées-Orientales in southern France (sounds magical doesn’t it!). They have a very exciting Pop up Shop launching in Marylebone from 29th May – 4th June to showcase their latest Spring / Summer collection and to help promote some equally beautiful British brands not available on the high street. If you are in the area then be sure to check it out, click here for more details!

AnimalDenim_SettMagNOGROUND

Animal Denim

A Touch Of The Sports Luxe

Of course you can’t go wrong with summer wedges for a BBQ, you have the elegance of a heel with the practicality of comfort on unsteady ground. But, if you fancied venturing out from the tan/cork combo – give these fab ‘sports luxe’ shoes from Dune a go! Compliment with a bright pedicure and a pair of your skinniest jeans for subtle summer style.

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 17.22.40

Gisellet Colour Block T-Bar Wedge Sandal

To Keep You Warm

When the sun has set and the cool evening breeze is upon you, lose the shades and the panama hat and replace with this beautiful linen waterfall cardigan by Phase Eight. The light grey means it will go with pretty much anything you are wearing and the cut is flattering whatever your shape thanks to the gathering detail on the back. If there was such a thing as an investment purchase for summer evenings, this would be it.

301563069_1

Lea Linen Cardigan