Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Very Merry Christmas hat!

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Pom pom Christmas hat, Primark, £3

Christmas eve used to be about getting all dressed up and heading into town for a big night out. Now it's about visits to Santa and making cakes - and there's nothing more perfect for that than a Christmas jumper and a new Christmas hat (Santa doesn't really care much for mums trying out their new LBD's!) I've been wearing this hat from Primark all month: I love this hat. In fact, I will take serious persuasion not to keep wearing it once Christmas is over! And it will be over far too soon.....

I hope you all have a lovely day tomorrow - I'm off to play elf and fill our living room with presents! The hat and jumper have been replaced with Christmas pyjamas (red ones featuring French bulldogs wearing Santa hats, if you're interested) but they will be making a comeback tomorrow. Ho ho ho!!

Love Tor x

Saturday, 13 December 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Hi guys,
The Christmas decorations are up and we are officially ready to enjoy my favourite time of the year! With just twelve days to go, we are breaking out the Christmas films, snuggling under our Christmas blankets and the seal on the Quality Street tin has been broken. The plan for tomorrow is to take a walk around the dinosaur park, make mince pies and then head to Waitrose to do the big Christmas shop. All normal routine is out of the window, and all things Christmas are the order of the next twelve days.
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I love putting up our Christmas decorations and making the house look all festive. I love remembering where each ornament came from and the look on Wilbur's face when he first saw the tree was a picture. He can sit and look at it for an age, touching all the ornaments and watching the lights twinkle. It's awesome! And don't even get me started on how he feels about the bowls of sweets everywhere....
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I finished wrapping all of our Christmas presents this afternoon and I have only 6 days left of work before I am very generously giving myself two weeks off: The stack of Christmas DVDs is primed and ready, and the board games have been dusted off. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!
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How are your preparations for the big day coming on? Have you got your Christmas tree up yet? Don't forget to head over to my twitter page to enter my Christmas competition, in conjunction with Shelter and Monster Slippers: there are two pairs of slippers of your choice to be won! 

Love Tor x

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Competition: Win Two Pairs of Monster Slippers With #SlippersforShelter

Hi guys,
We're now less than two weeks away from Christmas and as I write is post I am sitting all snug and cosy looking at my Christmas tree twinkle in my Christmas pudding print onesie and my fluffy pnk slipper socks (don't judge it 'til you've tried it, my friends, for this is my definition of comfort). Mike is upstairs giving Wilbur his bath and I can hear giggling and splashing coming down the stairs. Soon he will be scooped out of the water and wrapped in a big fluffy towel before being dressed all cosy in his pajamas and slippers to come downstairs for a story and a bedtime cuddle with his mummy. We might even build a train track together, if there's time before bed. All of these things make me so happy.
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So why am I painting you this picture of domestic bliss? Because I know how lucky I am to have it. Because so many mummies don't know where they'll be putting their babies to sleep tonight, or are having to put them to bed in hostels or temporary accomodation that they don't feel safe in. Because 90,000 children in the UK are homeless right now. And at all times of the year, but especially at this time of the year, that makes me really sad.

Christmas is a time for family, and a time for being comfortable. For putting on your slippers, for snuggling under your tree, for eating too much chocolate. But mostly for knowing that you have a roof over your head where you can keep your children safe and warm. That's what Shelter's brilliant new Slippers for Shelter (#slippersforshelter) campaign is all about. Nothing says warmth and comfort more than your favourite slippers: putting them on is the sign that your finally home after a long day. So what better way to raise money for people without homes this Christmas than by wearing that ultimate symbol of home?
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And Now For the Competition!! Because this is all about all things slippers, I'm giving away two pairs of Monster Slippers: that can either be an adult and child pair (family matching is so hot right now) or two children's pairs if you'd prefer.I would choose Dick van Dyke-style penguins for myself and cheeky monkeys for Wilbur (as shown above) but you can choose any design you please: If you love oversized novelty slippers (and what's not to love) then the world is your oyster!

To enter all you have to do is head over to my twitter feed @torbrierley where you will find my slippers for Shelter competition tweet! Simply RT that tweet and follow @shelterslippers on twitter and your competition entry will be complete: it's that easy! I will announce the winner shortly after the competition closes on the 18th December.

Oh, and as well as entering the competition you can also take part in #SlippersforShelter day on the 18th December. All you have to do is wear those comfortable slippers that you love and donate £2 to Shelter. It's amazing the difference this will make to those 90,000 children who won't be waking up in a bed of their own this Christmas morning.

Love Tor x

And now for the science bit! Here are the Competiton Terms and Conditions:

1. No purchase necessary. 2. The closing date of this competition is 18 December 2014. 3. Only entries from 11 December to 18 December 2014 will be counted as eligible for this competition. No new RT made after this time will be considered. 4. The winner will be picked at random by Tor Brierley and will be announced on Twitter and Fab Frocks. The prize is 2 pairs of slippers from Monster Slippers 5. No cash alternative will be available and the donation is non-transferable. 6. Entrants must be aged 13 years or over and resident in England, Scotland or Wales. 7. We reserve the right to amend these rules at any time. Entry in this competition implies acceptance of these rules. 8. Fab Frocks reserves the right to remove comments which may be deemed inappropriate or offensive. 9. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter or Blogger. By participating in this promotion you agree to a complete release of Twitter and Blogger from any claims 10. By entering this draw you agree your personal data will be used by Shelter in accordance with our data protection policy. 11. Fab Frock's interpretation of the rules and decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered in to. 12. These terms and conditions shall be governed by English law and the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction.​ 13. The employees and family of Fab Frocks, Monster Slippers and Shelter are not eligible for this competition.

Days Out: Drayton Manor's Thomas Land at Christmas

Hi guys,
Last weekend was a big deal in my house: Mike turned 30 on Saturday and then Wilbur turned two on Sunday (I can't believe my baby boy is already two!) To celebrate these momentous occasions we loaded up the car with presents and headed off to Thomas land, which is in Drayton Manor in Staffordshire. There seemed no better place to celebrate the birthday of my Thomas mad little boy!
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Because Wilbur has a December birthday, we were there for the Magical Christmas event and the whole park was beautifully festive, with lights and garlands everywhere and Christmas music being constantly piped out. It snowed several times a day and we saw the most wonderful Santa I have ever seen: he was so gentle and patient with a very shy Wilbur, who knew he wanted a present but most definitely didn't want to get too close to the big bearded man!
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We all loved Thomasland: it looks just how you imagine the Island of Sodor would look, and every detail is accurate, from the station to the 'sodor ironworks' markings on all the tracks: I love aesthetics and attention to detail, so it really impressed me that everything was just right. Although Thomasland was the main draw for us, the park offered so much more: there was a zoo full of animals, a small dinosaur park, and plenty of other more 'grown up' rides if you're travelling with bigger kids or adrenalin seeking adults. For us though, riding Wilbur's favourite four rides in Thomas land over and over again was the order of the day! The only downside? The food. If you're travelling in the summer months though do consider packing a picnic: we had burgers that, whilst cheap, were definitely not very tasty. My husband will eat pretty much anything, and even he couldn't manage more than a couple of mouthfuls!

We stayed in the Drayton Manor hotel which is wonderfully Thomas themed: everywhere you turned there was another fantastically Thomas-y touch. They even had huge wooden Thomas train tables in the breakfast room and restaurant so that the little ones could play whilst they were waiting for their food to arrive (take your own wooden trains for these though, as they aren't provided). We knew this so we wrapped up a couple of wooden trains as extra birthday presents and he didn't let go of them all day, just in case another opportunity to play presented itself! As it was Wilbur's birthday we also paid a supplement (of £7.99 per person) to have a special VIP breakfast with the Fat Controller, and an extra £5.99 to have birthday balloons waiting for him in the bedroom when he arrived.
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I think the hotel must have a lot of young people travelling to see them for their birthdays as they were really geared up for it and offered lots of nice little touches to make the small birthday people feel special: the fat controller even wished Wilbur a happy birthday with a friendly 'toot toot'!

Overall it was an incredible experience, and one we will definitely do again: we're already planning a day trip next Easter where we can take Wilbur's equally Thomas crazy cousin with us for double the trouble and double the fun!It was a very cold weekend in December and even when wrapped up like Eskimos we felt cold to our bones by the end of each day. But the festive atmosphere and the look on Wilbur's face when he got to meet all his favourite trains was simply priceless.

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Time to talk Christmas jumpers!

Hi guys,
The 12th December is officially Christmas jumper day: a new holiday concocted by Save the Children to raise money and get everyone in the holiday spirit. I love Christmas jumpers (I am the proud owner of three) and so any opportunity to wear one is fine by me. But what to choose? What was once a very niche market has exploded over the past couple of years and now you'll find Christmas jumpers literally everywhere. Whether you want something subtle, something cute, or something all-out Christmassy as hell, there IS the right Christmas jumper for you. Here are my picks of the very best you can buy right now:
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Kissing robins jumper, £14, George @ Asda (Buy it here)
Red traditional jumper, £12, George @ Asda (Buy it here)
Christmas present jumper, £25, M&S Collection (Buy it here)
Green fairisle jumper, £40, Topshop (buy it here)

Seasons greetings jumper, £40, Topshop (buy it here)
Elf jumper, Florence and Fred, £18 (Buy it here)

I really like the Seasons Greetings jumper from Topshop which is super soft in the flesh and has really stylish looking sequinned embellishment. I also like that the background is such a neutral colour, meaning that you can wear it with anything: key if you like to wear Christmas jumpers for pretty much the whole of December like I do! I also like the wrapped present-style fine knit sweater from M&S, simply because I've never seen one like that before. The supermarket versions are all lovely if you're on a budget too (why would you spend alot of money on something you can only wear one month a year?)

Are you a big fan of the Christmas jumper, and will you be wearing yours throughout December? Or do you think Christmas jumpers are a throw back to the 1980s that should stay there?

Love Tor x

Monday, 3 November 2014

Beauty: The Benefit Christmas 2014 Advent Calendar

Hi guys,
I know it's only November, but it's time to start thinking about and (worse still!) talking about Christmas. All of my Christmas presents to be sent everywhich-way around the country to extended family are being distributed on the 30th November, meaning the usual December Christmas gift guides just come too late for me. I have to have shopped, wrapped and sent by then! I'm sure I'm not the only one that has to plan this early, so I thought I would get a head start on my Christmas posts this year!
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First up, on my shopping list: an advent calendar. On Saturday we popped to Debenhams to collect my Benefit advent calendar, which I ordered at the beginning of October. The theme this year is the 'Candy Coated Countdown' and the contents are:

- 0.25 oz “That gal” brightening face primer
 - 0.25 oz the POREfessional pore minimizer
 - 0.08 oz Benetint cheek and lip stain in Rose
 - 0.08 oz High beam liquid highlighter
 - 0.08 oz Chachatint lip and cheek stain in Sheer Mango
 - 0.08 oz Posietint lip and cheek stain in Poppy Pink
 - 0.04 oz Stay flawless foundation primer
 - 0.1 oz They’re real! mascara
 - 0.22 oz Ultra plush lip gloss in Dandelion
 - 0.22 oz Ultra plush lip gloss in A-lister
 - 0.22 oz Ultra plush lip gloss in Fauxmance
 - 0.14 oz BADgal lash mascara
 - 0.08 oz Stay don’t stray concealer and eye shadow primer in Light/Medium
 - 0.1 oz Fakeup concealer in 02 Medium
 - 0.1 oz It’s potent! eye cream
 - 0.3 oz Total moisture facial cream
 - 0.08 oz Ooh la lift eye cream
 - 0.08 oz Watt’s up! highlighter
 - Beauty sticky notes
 - Doodle pad
 - Heart-shaped paperclips
 - Pinky, polka-dot hair tie
 - Elastic hair band with bow charm
 - Metallic silvery hair tie

Lots of lovely miniatures and a wonderful way to try the full range of Benefit products to help you decide which ones work (or don't work) for you and which ones you like best. I'm sure a better blogger would have opened it all up to show you what's inside, but I want to open mine each day of December in traditional advent calendar style and be surprised and delighted by each of my daily treats - I will post little updates as I open it throughout December though.

The calendar cost £60, but the goods inside rrp at £110, so it's a massive bargain really. Although it is a lot more expensive than the £2.99 chocolate calendar I usually munch on! These have sold out in most Debenhams stores, but there are still some available directly from the Benefit website. It sells out really fast each year though, so if you want one of the few that are left be quick: there are plenty selling on eBay for £120 already!

Have you started thinking about Christmas yet?

Love Tor x

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Shoes: Baby, you're a firework!

Hi guys,
This is my absolute favourite time of the year. We welcomed dozens upon dozens of trick or treaters last night and are having a Halloween party for Wilbur and some of his friends this afternoon. There is a distinct chill in the air, everything is feeling a little bit Christmas-sy and we are going to two different fireworks displays this week. My shoe choice for the month is based on my excitement about the impending fireworks explosions: because these gorgeous sequin print Converse look just like they've been covered in fireworks!

I'm a huge Converse fan. Converse are my go-to casual shoe and when I'm not wearing my beloved ankle boots, I have Converse on my feet. I love these ones in particular because they're so unusual and because, if there is such a thing, they look like a dressy version of the classic Converse hi-top. Someone much cooler than I could definitely get away with wearing these as evening wear: I would like to wear them with skinny jeans and an oversized sweater for super-chic Sundays. I have my fingers on my mouse ready to order these. Are they the most practical Converse I've ever seen? Well, no. But who says that fashion has to be practical!? 

Want a pair of your own? These currently have 15% off, meaning you can pick them up for just £60.24.

Love Tor x

* Post written as part of a partnership with Spartoo shoes 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Fabfrocks for mamas: Take a Trip to your Local Pumpkin Patch

Hi guys,
Looking for something fun to do with your little person to get them into the spirit of the season? Something halloween-y but not scary, outdoorsy and energetic, and not too expensive? Then I really couldn't recommend a trip to your local pumpkin patch more highly! That's exactly what we did this sunny-but-cold morning, and we had a great time:

We had such a lovely morning out; we let Wilbur ride in the wheel barrow before we loaded it up with our pumpkins. We counted pumpkins, hunted for first big ones and then small ones, and searched out muddy puddles that we could jump in wearing our wellies. Wilbur had such a great time counting out each of the 'pompkins' to us, stopping to examine the ones that caught his fancy more closely, and he chose and re-chose the one we would take home with us, just to be sure he was making the right decision.

If you're in the Norwich/Norfolk area and are looking for somewhere to go to pick out your own pumpkins then we went to the Hill House Farm, North Walsham Road, just outside of Crostwick. We chose five pumpkins (2 huge ones each for Mike and I and a smaller one for Wilbur) and paid just £7.50 for all of them: a remarkably small price for such a fun morning out and so much cheaper than going to the supermarket too. Now I can't wait until we can carve them: Mike and I have spent an age choosing our designs. I'll share the finished products with you as soon as they're done!

Are you carving pumpkins this Halloween? And do you have any more ideas for fun Halloween activities you can enjoy with toddlers?

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Wordless Wednesdays: Beautiful Brighton

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 photo brighton2_zps5522b9f0.jpgAside from for whistle stop business meetings from London, I had never been to Brighton before my sister's hen party there last month. Now I can't wait to visit again with the family next summer.
Love Tor x

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Lifestyle: Chime for Change With Kelloggs Special K

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Hi guys,
Why am I showing you a box of breakfast cereal, I hear you ask? Because this is no ordinary box of Kelloggs Special K! In fact, only 200 of these boxes were produced. They were designed in collaboration with Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini to help raise awareness for Chime For Change: the latest charitable collaboration that Kelloggs are supporting, and the one with the best byline: "Education. Health. Justice. For every girl. Every woman. Everywhere. Because none of us can move forward if half of us are held back."

Chime for Change is much more than pretty cereal boxes: the charity was founded in 2003 by founded by Frida Giannini, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Salma Hayek Pinault and so far they have funded more than 390 projects to support girls and women in 88 countries through 132 non-profit partners. Now Special K have come on board re-designed 18.5 million of their cereal boxes, enabling people enjoying a bowl of Special K in the mornings to have the opportunity to join in the campaign. You can support education, health and justice for girls and women by going online and voting for the projects you would most like to see funded. You literally can help to encourage change whilst eating your breakfast!
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I was not paid to write this post, but I was given the opportunity to choose one of the Chime for Change charities to receive a £50 donation on my behalf. I chose a project based in India with the aim of helping to fight childhood malnutrition before it starts. I know worldwide poverty isn't a particularly current or 'sexy' issue. But I chose this charity because the idea of not being able to feed my little boy is terrifying to me. I can't imagine having to watch helplessly as your child becomes increasingly ill simply because you can't afford to give them something to eat: It makes me feel sick. It's mind boggling that this is something that still happens all of the world (including right here in this country) every day.

You can help to support the project using the hashtag #chimein @MySpecialK_UK and of course, by donating to any of the incredibly wonderful good causes the project supports that you feel passionate about.

Love Tor x

Thursday, 16 October 2014

A Wonderful Winter From Primark

Hi guys,
Primark really do define the concept of 'fast fashion': it seems like they have a new season drop every week! Here are the latest images from their winter collection, and they clearly have cosy Christmas days in mind (offically the first mention of the 'C' word: sorry!) I love the combination of knitted sweaters with matching knitted skirts, which would love perfect teamed with thick tights and ankle boots for eating turkey (think how stretchy those knitted skirts will be), festive walks to the pub and, well, just about anything else really!
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Image 1: Dress £17, Tights £3, Shoes £14, Snood £6, Cuff £4, Bag, £12
Image 2:Jumper £12, Skirt £8, Snood £6, Bag £12/
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Image 3:Jumper £12, Skirt £10, Necklace £4, Ears stylists own
Image 4:Jumper £16, Hat £7
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Image 5: Jumper £12, Skirt £10
Image 6:Coat £35, Top £8, Legging £6, Shoes £14

The subtle Minnie Mouse theme through the new drop was always going to appeal to me too; I'm always looking for cute but not to tacky Disney attire to save for my next trip! The pieces that are immediately on my must-have list though are the vintage style faux fur jacket (which at £35 is a complete bargain) and the checked knitted skirt and jumper combination. I love a bold check and I love the colour combination too: definitely something I would wear for smarter-than-casual cold winter days.

Are you still in love with Primark (it's an adddiction that's hard to give up) or have you lost interest in their cheap disposable wears?

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Bridesmaids Shoes

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OK: not quite wordless (I'm rubbish at that!) But I just had to show off these amazing Irregular Choice shoes that I will be wearing as a bridesmaid at my sister's wedding in just 6 weeks time! (You can buy them here, where they have been reduced to £67.99)
Love Tor x

Friday, 10 October 2014

Holiday Guide: Disneyland Paris With a Toddler

Hi guys,
It has taken me a full month since we got back to sit down and write this post, but we had such a truly wonderful time that I just had to document it here, as well as share the ups (and downs) of taking my favourite little person to the happiest place in the world.
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The first thing to say it that we had an amazing time. We are a family of Disney lovers (we watch a different Disney film every week) which definitely helps but isn't a pre-requisite of enjoying a Disney trip.  We stayed at the Sequoia Lodge (which is one of the Disney hotels) in a Golden Forest suite for 4 nights. This meant we got to have breakfast with the characters and afternoon tea in a separate lounge each day - well worth the price of the upgrade! Wilbur was 21 months old and over the required 90cm tall to ride most of the rides aimed at kids. This made for a much different trip compared to last time, as this time last year he was only allowed on 4 rides. This year we rode dozens!

Based on our experience this time, here are a few do's and don'ts for travelling to Disneyland Paris with a toddler:
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DO dine with the characters if it's within your budget. We managed to have 3 character dinners and character breakfasts everyday. It was the highlight of the trip for all of us, as it meant Wilbur could meet all of his favourite characters (the highlight of his holiday) without having to stand in line for an hour.
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DO make the most of extra magic hours. This is something only available to Disney hotel guests that means the parks open from 8am-10am, giving you exclusive access to Fantasyland and Discoveryland. We managed to ride all of the rides in these areas at least twice every morning! Fantasyland is the section of the park most suitable for toddlers, so this was especially helpful for us, and we loved being able to wander around the almost-empty park taking photos.
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DO see the parades. Yes, you have to wait for a little while to get a decent viewing spot (as we were travelling during the off peak season we actually only waited 15 minutes and had a brilliant view) but the parades are well worth it. Wilbur was sat on Mike's shoulders clapping his hands and waving at all his favourite characters and the moment was so magical that I cried. Happy tears like a lady! It was the highlight of my trip.
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DO take your kids in costume. During the course of our stay Wilbur dressed as Buzz Lightyear, Pirate Jake, and wore a whole host of Mickey outfits and hats. He loved all the fuss and attention her got because of it, particularly on the Buzz Lightyear ride, where the cast members saluted him and called him 'Commander Buzz'. However.....

DON'T wear costume yourself. Children over 11 and adults aren't allowed to dress in costume as it may confuse other guests about who the real characters are (which makes sense when you think about it!)

DON'T worry if you don't get a direct train. Direct trains from St Pancras to the Disneyland resort don't run everyday. We had to change trains at Lille instead and were worried about how we would cope with the pram, the luggage, the toddler and everything else. We needn't have worried: the change was a really easy one (with lifts everywhere!) and we were in the Parks in no time!

DON'T feel the need to stick to an itinerary. That way lies disappointment! At one point we rode the 'It's a small world ride' six times in a row because that's what Wilbur wanted to do. Being lead by him rather than trying to force him into an itinerary meant for a much more relaxed and stress-free holiday for everyone.
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DON'T worry too much about money! The internet can be a dangerous place and when I started doing some research about spending money and the cost of food prior to this trip I was worried we weren't taking enough cash. Yes, food is expensive (but no more so than in any other theme park) and there are souvenir shops everywhere but if you're on a budget I also noticed a McDonald's and there are so many rides, shows and other things to do that you don't really have time for shopping anyway! In the summer months you can even picnic in the beautiful grounds just outside the park. We had a blow out this trip and spent far too much on toys and presents for Wilbur, but I wouldn't feel my holiday was lacking at all if we don't do the same next time.

This was our second trip to Disneyland Paris with Wilbur (you can read about taking a baby to Disneyland Paris here) but it won't be our last. I have my eyes on a trip for the enchanted Christmas celebration next year.....

Love Tor x

Monday, 6 October 2014

Shoes: Three trends in one boot!

Hi guys,
I love ankle boots. I've been wearing mine for weeks, whilst everyone else has been trying to enjoy wearing their sandals a little while longer! I put them on in September and don't like to take them off until spring springs, no matter what the occasion. That means it's time to search for that holiest of Holy Grail ankle boots: a pair that you can wear in the evening. Normally I am fairly boring in my boot selections, when it comes to colour at least. I like uber versatile varieties in black and tan. But when I saw these gorgeous Irregular Choice ankle boots combining both metallic red, leopard print (my guilty pleasure) and even a big old bow on the back, I fell a little bit in love.
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I've always had a soft spot for Irregular Choice shoes. They're always over the top and I'm sure the company motto is why try one trend when you can try three. But that's part of what makes them so appealing. Because I tend to default to a simple black dress for pretty much every evening wear occasion, a coloured shoe is a great idea for adding pattern and interest, and as an added bonus they're so damn comfy! I have several pairs of Irregular Choice shoes and their low stable heel makes them perfect for dancing on all night.

Want to make them your own? You can pick them up from Spartoo for £76.49 (they currently have 15% off!)

Love Tor x

*Post written as part of a partnership with Spartoo shoes

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Fabfrocks for tiny people: Winter coat inspiration from Coaters

Hi guys,
I agonise much more over fashion choices for little dude than I do for myself nowadays. Each outfit he wears is carefully considered both for style and practicality. It's important to me that he looks handsome (which he is!) but also that his clothes are durable and that he is able to play in them, run in them, roll in the mud in them. Choosing his winter coat has taken months of internet trawling and decision making. I definitely knew I wanted a nice wool coat with a hood. First it was to be a red duffel coat from Jojo Maman Bebe. Then I changed my mind and had chosen a navy blue duffel coat from Mamas and Papas with a gorgeous checked lining. Just as I thought my mind was made up however I saw these and, despite the fact they completely blow the budget, I can't stop thinking about them:
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Coaters lion coat, 159 euros
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Coaters fox coat, 159 euros
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Coaters dinosaur coat, 159 euros

Coaters handmake all of their gorgeous coats with each one taking between 12-15 hours to make (depending on the intricacy of the design). Each coat consists of between 40-60 individual component parts and so cutting each individual piece and pieces it together is like a labour of love: something I think really shines through in the finished designs. They are truly charming, and each one has its own personality. It is the attention to detail that I really love though: each of the animals have claws on their coat cuffs, all of the eyes are made of vintage buttons. I know I'm gushing but it's unusual for me to become so enamoured with a children's brand. I would love to see one up close! As regular visitors to Norfolk's dinosaur park, I know it would be the dino one for my dino mad little man. However it is the lion one that is my personal favourite: look at the attention to detail in that face and mane!

If your small person comes in lady form then they also have leopard and bunny rabbit versions. All of the coats comes with neutral coloured linings too, meaning that if your little lady is dino mad then there's no reason why she couldn't have the dinosaur coat too!

Admit it: you secretly wish they made them in grown up sizes too! Which animal coat is your favourite?

Love Tor x

Monday, 29 September 2014

Halloween Costume Inspiration Without Looking Like A.....

Hi guys,
Whenever I start thinking about what to go as for Halloween that infamous quote from Mean Girls always pops into my head: "In the real world, Halloween is when kids dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything else about it."

I am not much of a slut: I like to keep myself covered up so I'm not very good at it! That means that my Halloween costumes require a little more imagination. As I mentioned in a previous post, we are throwing a mixed child and adult Halloween party for Halloween this year, so I need a costume that won't scare small precocious children but that feels adequately 'Halloween-y'. I turned to my go to site for all of my one stop fashion needs: ASOS, And I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by some of their Halloween offerings. Here are my picks:

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I love this skeleton look because you could wear the pieces individually again - It's a good way to justify the extra expense of the costume's component parts and means that you won't have to wear horrible polyester all night. Those leggings would look cool with a simple t shirt dress and the tee is perfect for pairing with jeans.

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This is a great outfit if you want to wear your favourite black dress whilst still looking like your wearing an awesome costume. Accessories are also cheaper than buying a full costume, which in an added bonus if you're only going to one party and then won't be wearing the outfit again! This is definitely what I would wear if I was going to a fancier evening party.

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This is probably closest to what I will end up wearing: a super casual sweater so I can run around after kids all afternoon but still with a distinct costume-y feel. Wilbur is going as a super-cute (and not at all scary) bat, and Mike is toying between being a zombie or a vampire. Decisions, decisions!

Need a little more costume inspiration?
Here I am as Madonna in 2011
Here I am as Lady Gaga in 2010 
Here I am as Alice in Wonderland's White Rabbit in 2010 

Have you chosen your Halloween costume yet? Do you have any fantastic ideas or inspiration to share? I'd love to hear it!

Love Tor x

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Fabfrocks for Mamas: Halloween Crafting With Toddlers

Hi guys,
It won't be any surprise to you when I say that I haven't been blogging as much as I used to. The reason for that is simple: fashion doesn't dominate my life anymore. Don't get me wrong, it's important to me. I still follow the trends and love reading the lastest fashion news. But a blog about what I wear every week (as this blog used to be) just wouldn't be exciting anymore because most days what I am wearing is jeans covered in paint and chewed toddler food! I still love blogging though and I miss it. The separate blog idea I tried last year didn't work for me either, so now I'm pulling everything together here. Instead of just blogging about fashion, I am going to occasionally post about the other aspects of my life. Being a mama, being a busy freelance, decorating and renovating our house which we are so proud to own and call our home. First up, being a mama: the best and my favourite part of my new life! Here's what Wilbs and I got up to yesterday:

Halloween Craft
We love crafting and are always looking for an excuse to get the paints out! So for the next month the focus of our efforts will be on all things Halloween-y: Mike and I are throwing a Halloween party for Wilbur and some of his friends so this is the perfect way to get him excited and sort some of the decorations too! We tried two different crafts. One that looks good and one that was pure fun!
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First we used pom poms and red, green and yellow paint to do some pom pom printing. This is easy and fun because pom poms are so absorbent. We decided that we were smearing monster blood and goo across the page! There's no real rhyme or reason to Wilbur's paintings at this early stage, but he loves getting his hands dirty. He also loves having his hands and feet painted and has since he was a baby, which leads nicely to the next craft: monster footprints!

I painted his feet and then turned green footprints into monsters using nothing more than googly eyes and a Sharpie. These will be turned into invitations for his party and Halloween cards for his grandparents. The beauty of this is that you can do it with baby's of all ages: I first painted Wilburs feet when he was just a couple of weeks old and have been doing it regularly ever since. Its nice being able to see how they've grown!
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Our next crafty mission will be to make pumpkin faces from paper plates and I have a couple of create your own lantern and bunting kits aimed at his age group for us to try too: Wilkinsons is great for cheap craft ideas for kids and they have loads of great Halloween stuff in store. Poundland also has a lot of great Halloween supplies if you need cheap costume ideas: I have no idea what I'm going to dress up as yet! Anyone have any easy but original inspiration?

Love Tor x