mamas V.I.B

Stylish inspiration for Very Important Babes (big & little)

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Friday, 27 May 2016

V. I. BUYS: My love affair with Greece and my go-to Greek lunch {Staycation Style #5}

mamasVIB | V. I. BUYS: My love affair with Greece and my go-to Greek lunch {Staycation Style #5}

If there is one country I love it's Greece

I have been on holiday there many times. I don't think I with ever tire of the Greek Islands, the historic mainland or the breathtaking views.

The weather of course helps, the relaxed lifestyle is a bonus and the food - ooh, the food. 

Greek food - can you actually beat it? 

In fact I often try to recreate that Grecian feeling at home with some of my favourite Greek recipes. 

Over Easter we had our lovely neighbour - who often helps with looking after Miss Marnie when I can't get childcare - for lunch. I figured if we're going to have lamb for Easter Sunday why not make it Greek lamb? 

I always turn to my tried-trusted-and-never-let-me-down-yet Bill Granger Slow Cooked Greek Lamb recipe and Jamie Oliver for the ultimate Greek Salad.

I also have a few different recipes for Greek Beans that are worth the slow cooking - who knew beans could be so good? I used this one over Easter for Greek-Style Green Beans and regularly use this one from I Like You: Hospitably Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris.

To serve I like to toast some pitta breads and set with a big bowl of homemade Tzatziki. This Fresh Greek Tzatziki recipe is one of my favourites and can be made 2-hours in advance to really enhance the flavours.
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Monday, 23 May 2016

V. I. BUYS: Welcome to #mamamondays… M&Co, Love the Sales & Cut & Colour Playbook *Giveaway*

mamasVIB | V. I. BUYS: Welcome to #mamamondays… M&Co, Love the Sales & Cut & Colour Playbook *Giveaway*

Welcome to  #mamamondays.  Here I try to include anything that is making us happy - and hopefully you too - even though it's a Monday. And, I have to say it really is making me try to make the most of this often 'depressing' day

It has been anything from what we're doing or planning to what we're eating, watching or reading. I've even included items I'm lusting after or buying and anything else that has been inspiring me to make Mondays - and the rest of the week if need be - just a little more bearable.

I really hope that #mamamondays is inspiring you to make the most of this fresh start we get every week…

RE-DISCOVERING

In my career I've worked with lots of brands. I've seen brands come and go and I also *sometimes* forget about brands too.

I guess the 'overload' of so many shops and more online retailers than ever means sometimes when you shop, you just stick to what you know. That has probably been the case when shopping for Miss Marnie.

We have a few favourite places and we tend to stick to them. Plus you get a feel for the sizing, how it washes and lasts - so you know what you're getting.

Well, it wasn't until I bumped into an old colleague who was working at M&Co that I remembered this Scottish brand (formally known as Mackays). We got chatting and that evening I had a look online and was actually pleasantly surprised at the vast selection  - and even better the reasonable prices.

It helps to have friends in fashion as a few days later Miss M received a massive parcel full of M&Co new summer pieces to try herself. She went straight for the tropical shorts and a bright tee which, as you can see it was a big hit (and the sun was out too!)


mamasVIB | V. I. BUYS: Welcome to #mamamondays… M&Co, Love the Sales & Cut & Colour Playbook *Giveaway*

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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

V. I. BUYS: Palm Springs fashion & interiors style inspired by The Parker Hotel {Staycation Style #4}

mamasVIB | V. I. BUYS: Palm Springs fashion & interiors style inspired by The Parker Hotel {Staycation Style #4}

Palm Springs is a place I've always been desperate to go to - and I've been lucky enough to have visited twice. 

I'm am just drawn to anything old school Palm Springs - the glamour, the style, the colours, the flamingos, the Palm trees, the kaftan's, the casinos, the mid-century modern architecture…. I could go on.

We first visited as part of a Californian road-trip holiday in 2005 and again for a few days whilst on our honeymoon in LA.

On our second visit I did a little more research to find exactly the sort of hotels I wanted to stay in. One was a kitsch little place called Palm Springs Rendezvous.

A retro B&B built in the 1930's with 10 themed rooms decked out in 1950's style furniture - we stayed in the Pretty in Pink room - a tribute to Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn is believed to have stayed in this room in the fifties also - today it has a whirlpool hot tub, a vast vanity unit and lounge area.

mamasVIB | V. I. BUYS: Palm Springs fashion & interiors style inspired by The Parker Hotel {Staycation Style #4}
Palm Springs Rendezvous in the 1950's (then known as The Mira Loma)

We then stayed at the The Parker Palm Springs. A much more modern hotel with interiors designed by the uber-cool Jonathan Adler. It's an impressive 13 acres - and the ideal spot for a wedding. The Parker has 3 outdoor pools, a bistro, Norma's Diner, luxe cottages and the most Instagram worthy entrance ever!
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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

V. I. BUYS: Housework Magic…How to be a Domestic Goddess with my 5 quick tips

mamasVIb | V. I. BUYS: Housework Magic…how to be a Domestic Goddess with my 5 easy steps!


I used to love a bit of cleaning. Really.

I am still one of those people who gets very excited about buying new cleaning products.

Saturdays were my big clean-up day. After working all week I would de-stress with a bit of house work! I would spend a good part of the morning changing sheets, doing the washing, dusting, hoovering and generally using as much lavender scented cleaning spray as I could.

Then the afternoon would involve a leisurely soak in my newly cleaned tub before a night out on the tiles (the disco kind, not kitchen - although they would be shining too!)

Meaning come Sunday I could rejoice that everything was done and ready before the Sunday night work blues kicked in.

Fast forward a few years and housework is just that - houseWORK.

I seem to have lost my love of it. I'm not sure if its because I toddler-tired, have picked up toys/clothes for the 100th time already or if it just really doesn't matter to me as much now.

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Monday, 9 May 2016

V. I. BUYS: Welcome to #mamasmondays… Little People, Big Dreams,The BiB Awards & #thisis40

mamasVIB | V. I. BUYS: Welcome to #mamasmondays… Little People, Big Dreams,The BiB Awards & #thisis40

Welcome to  #mamamondays.  Here I try to include anything that is making us happy - and hopefully you too - even though it's a Monday. And, I have to say it really is making me try to make the most of this often 'depressing' day

It has been anything from what we're doing or planning to what we're eating, watching or reading. I've even included items I'm lusting after or buying and anything else that has been inspiring me to make Mondays - and the rest of the week if need be - just a little more bearable.

I really hope that #mamamondays is inspiring you to make the most of this fresh start we get every week…

READING

I admit to being a bit of a magpie when it comes to beautiful books. I have many a coffee-table style book on everything from fashion and interiors to cocktails and old Hollywood movie stars.

Since having Miss M I have been the same with children books - in fact I think it started before then as I collected all the Madonna children's books and vintage Eloise books long before Miss M came along.

So, when we were sent these beautiful Little People, Big Dreams books to read and include in my #mamasvibXbookclub posts on Instagram - I was literally sucked in by the covers alone.

But, far from judging a 'book by its cover' these fantastic biographies of famous women are the perfect way to inspire little ones - especially girls - to follow their dreams.

Miss Marnie and I have been reading them and the stories - although adult are re-told in a quirky, fun and fresh way that appeals to younger minds. The illustrations are not your standard kids books cutesy drawings either - they are bold and thought provoking.

The first two titles to be launched are Coco Chanel and Frida Kahlo written by Ma. Isabel Sanchez Vegara. Each book charts the incredible things they achieved with their lives (Coco who beam a fashion designer and Frida who was a celebrated artist) and shows no matter what obstacles they had to over come (like Coco's early life in an orphanage and Frida's devastating accident as a young girl) they started life as a little girl with a big dream.

Both books include a fact section and time line at the back (great for older kids) and information on further reading. Miss M has really been enjoying these books and often asks for 'the book about the lady who paints' - I really hope this books will be a constant inspiration to her growing up.

I'm also looking forward to getting the next two books in the series. Launching in September the stories of singer, actress and writer Maya Angelou and Amelia Earhart - the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean will be re-told for little eyes.



mamasVIB | V. I. BUYS: Welcome to #mamasmondays… Little People, Big Dreams,The BiB Awards & #thisis40

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Friday, 6 May 2016

V. I. BUYS: Casa La Siesta & how to get Spanish farmhouse style at home {Staycation Style #3}


mamasVIB | V. I. BUYS: Casa La Siesta & how to get Spanish farmhouse style at home {Staycation Style #3}

Have you ever been to a hotel and thought 'oh my, I could soooo live here?'

That's exactly how I felt when I first stayed at Casa La Siesta.

Casa La Siesta is in a little village called Vejer de la Frontera and a traditional style ‘cortijo’ or Spanish country house. Beautifully restored to offer a tranquil stay in a rural setting it stylishly decorated with reclamation and vintage pieces -  and it immediately feels 'homely'.

We visited pre-parenthood - Casa is an adults only retreat anyway. Think healthy, locally sourced meals, roll tops baths and big comfy beds, no TV and the best bit tranquil peace and quiet surroundings.

The house is decked out in cosy muted tones, the lavender filled gardens scent the air and the big open fireplace all add to the rustic charm. We first stayed here as part of a Spanish train travelling holiday that took  us from Madrid to Seville, then here and finally onto Mallorca.

I didn't realise it at first but 3 out of the 4 places we stayed at all made perfect wedding destinations - so when Mr VIB finally proposed on this holiday after 15 years together - it seemed fitting to have a small family wedding back here in Spain.

With both of us having quite a large family this was also a way to contain numbers and keep it informal and more personal to us. It also meant we got to go back to this little piece of Spanish heaven. Casa La Siesta has had many weddings here before - but ours was the first one at Christmas time. 


mamasVIB | V. I. BUYS: Casa La Siesta & how to get Spanish farmhouse style at home {Staycation Style #3}

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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

V. I. BABYBRAIN: This is 40! 40 things I've learnt at 40 *Part Two*

mamasVIB | V. I. BABYBRAIN: This is 40! 40 things I've learnt at 40 *Part Two*

Well, next WEEK I turn 40 and I've been sharing a few thoughts about it here.

I have a weekend away planned with my closest friends and all the kids (how times have changed?) - and we've having a 1970's themed dinner party which I will be sharing on here soon too.

Writing about it here is proving a great way to document my milestone birthday - and a way for me to process if life really does begin at forty!

One thing I have been reflecting on is 40 things I've learnt in the last 40 years - you can read part one here.

And, although they may not be my own words - because isn't a quote just so much better at saying what you mean?

One things for sure - they are words I have finally come to understand now I'm heading towards to big 4 - 0!
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