Family Friendly Festivals

I love a festival. For me they, alongside picnics and lazy afternoons watching cricket, are the epitome of British summertime. For more summers than I care to remember I have donned my latest maxi dress, put plaits in my hair and let the bohemian in me shine through while dancing the day (and night) away with my friends in a field somewhere.

Now I’m a mother I also like to make sure I include the children in at least one of my festival plans over the summer.  I normally take them along to the Ben and Jerrys festival with us, what child wouldn’t appreciate being taken to a music festival where is there is free ice-cream all day? but this year I am thinking of taking them to a festival all of their own, one designed just for children.

The Lollipop Festival – Regents Park 17th-19th August

Back again for huge amounts of summer fun, this child focused 3 day  festival is just too good to miss.  With Halfords sponsoring the event and bringing along their new range of Balance and Apollo bikes for the little LolliBoppers to have an exclusive ‘first ride’ on, the Since Museum returning alongside old favourites, including ‘LolliSports‘, ‘Imagination Stations‘, ‘Itsy Bitsy StrictlyandThe Enchanted Forest and excititng new editions  such as The ‘LolliBop Kitchen‘, ‘The Disco Shed‘, and the The Village Green (with its own live music, craft stalls, and street theatre) it really is looking like another amazing event!

Super early bird tickets are already on sale for the price of £19.50pp (children and adult tickets are priced the same – babies under 12 months enter free of charge) from http://www.lollibopfestival.co.uk

Time To Get Serious – Working Mums Live 2012

After starting this blog on a whim one Sunday morning last summer I have seen both my passion for writing and my audience grow into something I could only have dreamed of that lazy weekend last August.  I have now reached a point where I am now getting offers of paid work in relation to my blog and writing and am considering making freelance blogging/writing more than a hobby; it is turning into my ‘job’.  I hadn’t planned to be a work at home mum, I was quite happy being a housewife and mother, but as this is now the way my life is taking me I thought ‘what the hell, I’ll go for it!’

With this in mind I was very excited to be invited along to attend Working Mums Live as one of their gust bloggers.  This free event, held at the Business Design Centre Islington, was aimed at empowering and advising mums on all things work related.  On arrival I was met by the lovely Annika Williams from Working Mums who showed me around the different zones of the venue.  I was  particularly impressed by the Advice and Support area.  It has a CV clinic offering guidance, employment law specialists such as Gelbergs Solicitors offering free advice, education centres like Hillcroft College showcasing their courses and childcare providers advising working mums on how to get the best from their childcare options.  This area offered really practical advice that could make the difference between a mothers return to work being a happy and successful one or not.  I think it was the real gem of the event.

I would highly recommend taking a look at www.workingmums.co.uk there are some great resources for working mums are those thinking of returning to work, plus many job opportunities listed, all from family friendly employers.

Hybrid Fashion – The LFW Party

Last week saw me leave Essex and head for the bright lights of London for a spot of fashion loving and celeb spotting.

Hybrid Fashion, a firm favourite of many celebs, hosted a London Fashion week party on Tuesday night to celebrate their re-launch and show on off how simply fabulous they are. Held at the beautiful Jewel Bar on Glasshouse Street, it gave me a great excuse to get all dressed up and let me hair down with my lovely friend Jen.

The event, sponsored by OK! Magazine, pulled quite a crowd and the atmosphere was buzzing. Everyone looked amazing, and the Hybrid dresses on display made me want to go and buy the whole collection.

Hybrid and OK! Magazine London Fashion Week Party - London

Image Credit - metro.co.uk

Hybrid and OK! Magazine London Fashion Week Party

Image Credit metro.co.uk

We had some lovely cocktails, some very tasty cupcakes from Black Vanilla Cupcakes and even a bit of a dance!  It was a fab  night and I cannot wait to see much more of this great brand.

Stockists in Essex can be found below – go check them out and get yourself a new dress – you know you want to!

Minnie’s Boutique – Brentwood

Glam – Chingford

Leyla’s Boutique – Chelmsford

An Essex Wife Loves……Victoria Eggs London Fine Bone China Mugs

The kitchen is my favourite room of the house! I love to purchase things to make it feel like my dream home and products from Victoria Eggs just look so perfect I had to share them with you.

www.victoriaeggs.co.uk specialises in simple, beautiful designs for the home which celebrate the British culture which has inspired them. The online retailer was founded by its namesake in March 2011 and is developing a devoted fan-base of fashion savvy shoppers, like An Essex Wife, that want original British pieces designed and produced in the UK.   I love her quirky designs and have put these mugs on my Christmas list – they are just too cute!!

Whats even better is the collection is now available online here from Not On The High Street.

http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/partners/cmyklondon/products.

Beauty and The Bib – because functional should also be fashionable

I, or should I say baby number 2, have been very lucky this week. We have received some gorgeous bibs from Beauty and the Bib that truly are amazing.

Pre motherhood I would have sent the men in white coats out to someone who used the words ‘gorgeous’ and ‘amazing’ to describe baby bibs, however now with already having one child and another soon to arrive I realise that bibs aren’t just for catching milk and dribble, they are also a must have fashion accessory.

I am all for finding a fashionable and stylish version of practical clothing and accessories – my beautiful collection of wellies and umbrellas are testament to that.  So when I became a mother I quickly saw that even the most mundane of children’s purchases could be livened up by finding a quirky version, and Beauty and the Bib are a brilliant example of this.

They create original and special accessories for little ones all over the world.  The bibs they sent were lovingly packaged in individual organza bags making them perfect for gifts.  As we don’t know id baby number 2 is pink or blue yet they sent us some neutral bibs.  My absolute favourite was the Bumblebee star bib, such a cute design.

 

 

They offer many different style bibs in so many wonderful designs, sure to match any of the beautiful outfits that our new baby is sure to receive from all our friends and family.  I’m a big fan of the funky bandana bibs they have for when you reach the teething stage and the non-stop dribbling begins.  So nice to have bibs that will compliment their outfits (that we mums all spend so much time and money on these days) while providing such a practical function.

I have already got a ‘wish list’ for the next batch of bibs to buy; the duck bib is at the top closely followed by the red and white polka dot bandana bib. Most bibs are priced at £8 each, which at first I thought was quite expensive, but then when I thought about how much money I had spent on clothes that they would be protecting I realised that, for the quality and stylish product I was receiving, they were very well priced.

Alongside the superb bibs these talented ladies also offer personalised products, newborn and christening gift sets, baby shower gifts and greeting cards.

For more information or to place an order http://www.beautyandthebib.com/index.php

Essex stockists are listed here http://www.beautyandthebib.com/company/stockists/location/essex