Thursday, 21 May 2015

Long time...

Well HELLO! Can it really have been over a year since my last post... WOW where has the time gone!

I'm in the process of revamping and relaunching the "Of Millinery & Motherhood" blog at the moment. Were having a custom design for the blog header done and we'll be featuring lots of guest bloggers in the future bringing you lots of hints and tips, craft projects and recipes that you can try out with your little ones as well as regular features of my millinery work and life with my growing family!

More news soon!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Where have I been? (Did you miss me?)

So I realise I've been a bit remiss with this Blog over the past 8 months... sorry about that! Time to rectify that and start blogging again! 

So firstly and most importantly its time I introduce you to the little person who has been taking up a great deal of time since she made her presence known in November of last year!

This beautiful little girl is Alice... she was delivered by c-section and weighed a tiny 5lb 12oz at 39 weeks!

She is simply adorable and completely loved by her big sister Kaylee! Between the two of them I've been kept rather busy for the past few months but things are slowly finding their way into a nice manageable routine!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Dealing with Pregnancy in Summer

This week I've been dealt a harsh reminder that I am in fact now 26 weeks pregnant and need to take things a little easier!! On Thursday I was travelling to work (driving!!) when I felt extremely dizzy and nauseous. As I started to see blotches on front of my eyes I pulled over to the side of the road, switched on my hazard light and switched off the engine. Having never experienced anything like this with my first pregnancy I had no idea what was going on so I called my husband and got him to come and rescue me (just didn't feel safe enough to drive myself back home) and then called my midwife. It turns out that my blood pressure has been creeping lower, a common complaint in the later stages of pregnancy as your body undergoes many changes which can affect your fluid balance levels. This combined with the recent high temperatures had left me feeling generally unwell. So I though I'd share the advice I've been given for all the other women who have found themselves pregnant in this summer!!

1. DRINK PLENTY FLUIDS - seems like common sense but in this heat and in later stages of pregnancy its important to make sure your fluid levels are topped up regular. I've been advised to drink a 2l bottle of water over the course of a day as well as my usual cups of tea/fresh orange juice etc.

2. INCREASE YOUR SALT INTAKE - now this does not mean covering everything in salt... just increasing it a little. As someone who never adds salt when I'm cooking or after I know I need to start using a little more, thankfully I'm a fan of Salt & Vinegar crisps so I'm sure a packet of them will help me out!!

3. KEEP COOL - avoid over dressing in the hot weather and use a cool air fan (I picked one up from the Argos Value Range at £8.99, or why not try your local Freecycle or Freegle Groups!)

4. GET UP SLOWLY - take it easy when getting up from a sitting position (or if like me dealing with a toddler you're playing on the floor or sitting by the potty!!), get up slowly!!

5. EXERCISE - gentle, regular exercise helps to maintain good blood pressure! I know that in the later stages of pregnancy that its may feel like you're the size of a small house and its not conducive to most forms of exercise but gentle forms of exercise are great for ensuring a health pregnancy. Go out for a walk or go enjoy a swim!

6. FIND TIME TO TAKE IT EASY -  this is the hardest one for me as I'm used to being on the go, and a three year old full of energy doesn't really understand that Mummy needs to rest!! But its really important to find some time each day to relax and unwind. For me... its reading!! I set aside time every day to pick up the latest book I'm reading (currently: A Feast For Crows by George R R Martin on my Kindle).

Please Note: This is a summary of the advice given to me by my midwife. However if you are pregnant and feel unwell in this summer heat then its it best to contact your Midwife or GP for full advice. If in doubt head to your local maternity assessment unit for a full check up.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A round up...

OK, so its been toooooooooooo long since I blogged!! I'm going to have to rectify that!! 

Here's my pledge... from this week onwards I plan to blog at least once a week!! Please someone kick me up the backside if I don't!

First of all its seems only fitting that I round up what's been going on here over the past 6 months!!

Lets start with the BIG news!! We're expecting Baby Number 2!! Yep thats right... our family is growing and our new arrival will be with us at the start of November!! I'm currently at 24 weeks... and enjoying this part of the pregnancy!

The other BIG news is that Kaylee turned 3 this month... I cannot believe that she's almost ready to go off to nursery school after the summer!!

On the business front I've been really busy this Spring with a fantastic fashion show in Glasgow in which I showcased an 8 piece collection entitled 'Turning Japanese'. And I attended a wonderful business roadshow courtesy of The Girls Mean Business where I learned lots about marketing the business correctly!!

Its been a great first half of the year and looking like the second half on the year will be something really special too!!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sunday Spotlight - Restoration Cake

As a new feature on my blog I have decided to dedicate Sundays to some truly wonderful, creative and talented people in what I am calling my Sunday Spotlight.

December's Sunday Spotlight is the amazing Restoration Cake!

A couple of months back I was casually reading the latest issue of Vintage Life Magazine when I turned the page to see one of my own creations atop the head of the amazing Charlotte from Restoration Cake, so I sent her a wee message to say thank you and to ask if she's mind doing a little interview for me as part of my Sunday Spotlight.

Lisa: In 100 words or less, tell me a little about yourself.
Charlotte: I am a Cake Designer, living and working in London. I'm a history geek who never grew out of playing 'dress up'. My family motto is 'never knowingly underdressed'. I live in hats, high heels, and red lipstick. I adore Marilyn Monroe and have 'Nobody's Perfect' tattooed on my wrist because it is the last line of Some Like It Hot, my favourite movie. I have an eclectic taste in music and play bass guitar - I even sang and played at my own Wedding!

Lisa: How did you get started in the world of cakes?
Charlotte: As a child I baked with my Nana. I have baked cakes all my life, it is just something that I have always loved to do. I made my first Wedding Cake in 2007 for friends and they then encouraged me to consider cakes as a career. I took evening classes at my local community college and learnt loads of techniques and set up Restoration Cake in 2009.

Lisa: What is you favourite cupcake flavour and why?
Charlotte: It has to be Red Velvet. I make a fabulous Red Velvet cupcake with a cream cheese frosting, which is pretty tasty! It is also hugely popular. I lust admit, I am much more fond of Cake than Cupcakes.

Lisa: Any advice for people who’ve never given baking a try?
Charlotte: Take your time and enjoy it! Baking is a science so you have to really read the recipe and follow it to the letter for the cake to turn out nicely. If you are rushing, this is when you will make a mistake. I cannot recommend the recipes of Nigella Lawson enough for beginners... she really talks you through each stage of the recipe so that you know you are on the right track.

Lisa: You’ve been featured with your amazing cakes in Vintage Life Magazine wearing both the Cherries Jubilee and Monroe Fascinators by Off With Her Head Millinery, so we know you love your hats! How many Hats do you own and do you have a favourite??
Charlotte: I have no idea how many hats I own! Isn't that awful. I am a sucker for a beret. I own them in every colour... black, white, grey, red, royal blue, baby blue, navy, pink, purple and that's just the berets. I love hats in the 1940s style at the moment and I have a ladies trilby in claret with three feathers in the front... I think this one is my favourite this week! I have several 1940s style hats and loads of fascinators too. I love wearing my Monroe fascinator in the summer months when the sun is out.

Lisa: What are your plans/ambitions for the future?
Charlotte: I have lots of lovely Weddings booking in for 2013 so I am looking forward to another year of wonderful Brides and delicious cakes. There are lots of exciting projects in the pipeline and I am excited to be releasing my very first e-book of recipes and cake decorating tricks. This will be available via the website very soon. I will also be announcing more classes and teaching loads of lovely people how to create beautiful cakes.

Lisa: How can people contact you to order your amazing cakes?
Charlotte: All of my contact details can be found on my website

Charlotte from Restoration Cake wear 'Cherries Jubilee' Fascinator by Off With Her Head Millinery 

Thursday, 8 November 2012

We love to read!

When I first found out I was pregnant with Kaylee, one of the first things I started to do was build up a collection of children's books, I wanted to share the ones I remember as a kid and remember reading to my two younger sisters when they we're little. Among these were 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar', 'The Cat in The Hat' and 'Funnybones', all classics I'm sure you'll agree. So I  started to read to the bump from pretty early on! It was fantastic and gave me a real chance to bond with my little bug.

Kaylee is now two and adores her books, she'll read several books over the course of one day and has at least two stories before bedtime each night. Yes, she is a little bookworm!! Now she's 2 I've been busy trying to change her room from the nursery into a little girls room and one of the recent things I've done for her is to create a 'reading' corner. We purchased some paper mache letters from Hobbycraft and decoupaged them with tissue paper to spell out the work READ amounted it on the wall as a piece of art. We also got one of the inflatable Ladybirds from Ikea, but instead of using the air element we've filled it with bean bag beans making it a comfy place for Kaylee to sit with her books while she enjoys reading to herself and her toys! Her bookshelf was made by her Grumps (Grandad) and is filled with all her favourites!

I thought I'd share a couple of those favourites with you! First of all is 'The Gruffalo' by Julia Donaldson. This has been a favourite since she was very little and nowadays she joins in with the story describing the Gruffalo as we go along; with his terrible teeth and terrible claws, his knobbly knees and turned out toes and even his purple prickles!! As a parent I just love Julia Donaldson's stories. They are so imaginative and have a lovely rhyming style to them that makes them so very easy to read! I must confess that we actually have all of her books to date, many in not only hardback/paperback but also in board book format and some even in their 'sound book' format too!!

One of my other favourites by Julia Donaldson is 'Night Monkey, Day Monkey'. As a parent who often works night shift we use this one to help explain that I'm sleeping during the day and quite often when I come home from a shift in the morning I'll be greeted with 'Hello Night Monkey'!

We discovered 'Owl Babies' when we were in holiday in Spain in an english newsagents and it has become a firm favourite with Kaylee ever since. Again its another good story to help explain that I'm off to work at night but just like the Owl Mother will be back in the morning!!!

For reading by herself she can't get enough of the 'That's Not My...' books. She loves all the touchy feely bits and the simple style of them means she's picked up the basic story really easily.

I'm very happy my love of books has rubbed off onto my little girl... she has a whole world of adventures open to her now!!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Treasury Thursday - Happy 2nd Birthday

So It's Thursday (not Tuesday!!), I know I'm a little behind this week with my Etsy Treasury, in fact I meant to post this last week but we got rather tied up with the birthday celebrations.

Yep, that's right, last week Kaylee celebrated her 2nd Birthday. I don't know where the past two years have gone!! She's becoming a proper little girl. She had a great time both on her Birthday and at her party on the Saturday! Family and friends all helped to make it a wonderful celebration. I must admit however to cheating on the bakery front this year with a shop bought Birthday Cake and fairy cakes which we decorated ourselves. Next year I'm going to do the cake from scratch!!

Anyway... here it is Treasury Thursday:  Happy Birthday - 2 Today!

Crown by Glam Hatter