Thursday, 17 September 2015

Being A Working Mum

My dear friend Annie Ridout has written a little piece on me and life as a working Mum on her brilliant new online magazine The Early Hour – all about culture, lifestyle and parenting. Articles are published at 5am (‘The Early Hour’) so that parents don’t miss out... Head over to here to take a look.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Birthday Wishlist

Yes I have a saucepan on my wishlist this year - what has happened to me?! Well I am a part time SATH (that's stay-at-home-mother for the uninitiated) so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and less no time wearing heels. Regardless of that I have some heels on here in the mild hope that I will have something to wear them to at some point in my future. Also the striped dress - I would absolutely look like a giant round humbug dressed in this but it looks so damn cool on that model. Seriously though, I would rather someone (there are only 2 people who read my blog so YOU) just put the money in a pot and take me to see the Northern Lights at some point in my life.
1. Neoflam Retro Frying Pan
2. Mr Larkin Dress
3. Elisha Marie Hammered Ring
4. Herbivore Botanics Pink Clay
5. Grown Alchemist Day Cream
6. Moheda Clog Heels
7. Green Kitchen Travels or The Green Kitchen
8. Stine Goya Sweater ~ This just arrived in my inbox from Our Daily Edit this morning and would be perfect for the season ahead. See my pinterest for further links.

Luna 20 Months Old

I am so late on this but I will really regret it if I don't keep writing so here goes... I write down as much as I can when she does something new and amazing or when I have a thought on life with Luna in my phone so I think I may have to just write in list format for now.
  • She is speaking so much, it started with just a few words but she is now really trying to communicate and linking words together. Her very first sentence was - more please mama. She says Mama all the time at the moment - down mama or out please mama and even though I hear it all day it breaks my heart with how sweet it is and how much she is growing. Often I forget just how important I am to her, how I will always be her mama and how I am more comforting to her than anything else in the world.
  • We had a rain filled week with family in Austria but Luna discovered bikes and we went on lots of bike rides where she sat in the trailer behind with her cousin Eddy. She fell asleep on his shoulder and they fought like cats and dogs! Now she says bike all the time; so we got her a little bike seat to go on the front of my bike and she loves it so much she shrieks and waves at people and points things out all the time like, mama tree! mama doggy! mama swingsies!
  • We also had a beautiful week in Madeira with the Perry family with lots of time in a beautiful old mansion on the side of a hill, in the swimming pool and wandering around the lush garden. Luna was a star and got so much attention. The flight home was less then relaxing and I can't even talk about the flight back from Austria!
  • Started telling me when she needs the loo. Or when she just went.
  • Her favourite person is her Grandma and she adores her Granny Bunny, who she speaks to on Skype and Grandad Berries, Joe's Dad who brings her blueberries and raspberries every couple of weekends. She must be the most loved baby.
  • Making a fuss over getting dressed, I have to entice her by telling her who we are going to see - If you get dressed we can go and see Lola! If you get dressed we can go and see Aksel, Bertie, Jago, Sonny etc! If you get back in the bike seat we can go home and see Daddy! It works.
  • Luna came in to the shop with me at Loula & Deer and she played so happily on the floor with some toys for about an hour and a half. I thought she was going to ruin the displays but she was so good and sat in the server's chair which made everyone who came in laugh. 
  • Loves her teddies and gives them huge kisses and cuddles. She also loves the have a little bag which Granny Bunny gave her and is copying lots of what I do. It is so interesting to hear her play, impersonating me - saying no! to her dolls and speaking on the phone like I do to 'dolly'
  • ALSO she has discovered Peppa Pig and is totally in love. She asks for Pepig the second she wakes up and if she sees me going to my computer she shouts PEPIGGG! I have had to only allow her to watch it at dinner time or occasionally on a Saturday morning if I need a bit more sleep as she has started pushing me literally out of the bed saying mama up! mama out!
  • She also started saying sorry and it really made me realise how often I say it and made me think about the meaning of it. I don't want her to be a woman who apologieses for herself the whole time. When she says it it breaks my heart - sowwy mama. 
  • She is pretty scrappy and I have had to sign 2 forms at nursery when she has either been bitten or scratched. Apparently she always wins the fights, oh my god this is so reminiscent of me when I was little! But I thought that was because I had older brothers who were so scrappy. Now there is no excuse except genetics!
  • She loves the toys which my mum kept from my childhood - a Fisher Price school house and plays with them a lot. 
  • Now we can walk places without the buggy and we hold hands walking along the alleyway above our house, her little hand in mine, her body bouncing from side to side, she is so easily distracted by the doorways along the alley and flowers growing out of the cracks in the pavement.
  • We have spent a lot of the summer lying on grass and splashing in paddling pools and in sprinklers and she loves being outside. 
Motherhood is confusing in ways I hadn't expected - there is pressure coming from, I am not sure where, myself probably, to pursue my career and set an example for when Luna is older, I want her to be proud of me and I want to be creative, have an identity away from being a mother but I also want to give her everything and right now that feels like being with her as much as I can despite the financial implications and the urge to work more.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Luna 18 Months

A whole year and a half old! Luna is turning into a little girl, her hair is getting long and her tummy isn't quite as chubby as it once was. I love her so much she is really fun at the moment, this is the best age since she was about 9 months. My favourite bit at the moment is the kisses; she woke me up this morning by kissing me on the nose - I think it was meant for my lips but she missed. Cute. She is also very into blowing kisses when we say goodbye to someone. Also cute. Sorry for being a baby bore this probably makes babyless people a little sick in their mouth.
She has got so good at playing, with the most unlikely of things sometimes too. She played with 4 postcards for about an hour at the weekend and she is obsessed with changing our shoes, I often end up wearing sandals when it's raining and slippers just before we go out. She is going to nursery on Thursdays and when I pick her up we are so excited to see each other, we go down to Yellowave on the beach so that she can play in the sandpit and I buy her a mini milk ice cream, a lot of it ends up down her dress or in my mouth. Yum. Last week there was a little boy there who was chasing a pigeon around in circles and she was absolutely cracking up over it. Shouting Anya Anya (what she calls me - yup) to see what he was doing. She is picking up on lots of words now too, I need to write them down but her best is night night and bye bye and flowers and Luna (more like Una) and Lola (more like Ola). She has got pretty good at going on her pot and will now walk moderately far without needing the buggy. We got a metal framed back carrier for Cornwall which she liked. She loved the garden in Linkside, the house we stay in in Cornwall. It was the best week after a couple of hard months of winter in Brighton (just as she got mobile the winter seemed to go on forever, the house was permanently trashed) we spent it in the sunshine in the garden, playing with water and running around after each other. Hoping for a summer of this too. Happy happy.


Come and find me on Not on the Highstreet for some exclusives.

Friday, 24 April 2015

May Wishlist

1. Hugo Monkey Boots from Young Soles
2. Nordstrom Romper
3. Oh My Kids! Jumper
4. Twig Wooden Camera
5. Madewell Dress
6. Normann Copenhagen Jug
7. Clark & Dumbo Candle
8. Aether Speaker (lusting over this hard!)
9. Rachel Zoe Sandle

Saturday, 11 April 2015



...Just cos they are pretty.
All from knighttcat

Friday, 27 March 2015

Isabel Marant AW15

You know the wedge trainer? Well that all started with Isabel Marant (this time around - lets not talk about Buffalos) so apparently we are all going to be wearing high waisted trousers this Autumn, as per my English teacher from 1988. Can't wait to see how the high street does it.
All these fabrics though. Love.

White Moon

Did you know we do white phases of the moon decals too?
Shop here.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Luna 16 Months

Since January Luna has got more and more interested in the world - she is a wild one, totally fearless, she never really clings on to me at playgroups or around other kids, she wants to feel and touch everything and she gets bored very fast! She has such a huge yearning to see everything and go everywhere, I have found certain times with her these past two months really tough and exhausting. Being a mother is endlessly domestic and repetitive and on the rare day when we don't have plans I find it so hard to go from morning until evening without speaking to anyone. The support of Mothers new and old has been one of the best parts of the past couple of years and I have made some incredible friends which I am so thankful for. They stop me feeling quite so insane and it's spooky how often one of us says something which the other is thinking/going through at the same time. 

I am heading back to freelance graphic design 3 days a week (let me know if you need me!) as of the end of April and although my heart literally hurts at not spending everyday with Luna I think it will be so good for her to hang out with other kids at nursery and spend some time with her Grandma and a dear friend of mine Lola (and her puppy, categorically the love of Luna's life is dogs so yeah... I think she will like this set up) and I hope it will make me a better parent in many ways because I can be so distracted when we are together. I want to work on being much more present in the time we will have together. I will get all my instagramming, vlog watching and blog reading done on my commute!

I think it took me by surprise that I have found the second year so much more challenging than the first year. I had heard the words just get through the first year and you will be ok so many times but I never struggled in the first year like I have since her tantrums, destruction of everything in her path and relentless energy and demands have picked up. It's different for everyone, something I have found out a lot too. But it being difficult is ok and although a bit of a surprise, it is a part of being a parent. Hard doesn't mean bad, in this case anyway. Plus everything is a phase right, right?! 18 months I have been promised you are a million times better! Don't tell me otherwise Mamas.

But onto the best bits of the past couple of months; Luna now says - hiya, oh dear, oh no, Eddie (constantly, this is Bertie the dog, I know perfectly logical right!?) Daddy, teddy, tummy, baby, nana (banana) Fraaa (can't quite get to the end of Frankie, 2 syllables is tricky when you are 1) row row as in your boat and does a woof woof sound for dog which I taught her but wouldn't be recognisable to anyone else! She is absolutely dog obsessed shouting Eddie every time she catches even a glimpse of a dog in the distance! Her favourite spot is on the swings in St Ann's Wells playground where the swings look out over a bit of grass where there are a lot of dogs being walked. Her 2 favourite things at once, heaven! When she breaks something, spills something or after sneezing she says ooooh in such a downbeat way it makes me laugh. She is funny. She loves putting things around her neck such as my bra or pants or fur scarf. I hear you lady, accessorising is the best! The most she ever laughs is in the bath when she is splashing like crazy or pelting us with saturated sponges. We have a new little tradition (one of the things which made me most excited about starting a family was making new traditions) that we have a candle lit bath on Sunday nights. She is always wide eyed during it. Must be quite cool the first time you see candles. And a super relaxing way to end the week. She is also super ticklish especially under her chin and is still madly obsessed with Frankie, who she quite regularly gets in a bouncer style head lock. Sadly this love continues to be unreciprocated. All in all life is pretty great and I am so excited for more of whats to come - the conversations and the learning and the summer! Man are we ready for a few warmer days to spend in the sandpit, countryside and on the beach.
And this summer i am doing it... I'm getting us Birkenstocks. I wish I could say that we are all excited about it.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Personalised Milk Bottle

Who needs a little customisable milk bottle with their name on it? I thought you did..!
Head on over here to buy one, go on!


A small selection of Clara Ivy products are now available on Etsy.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Cake Toppers

LH Design and I have collaborated to make some very pretty, multi functional cake toppers. Made by myself and hand lettered by Lola, these could be perfect for weddings, birthdays or any special occasions. Find them here.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Clara's Brighton Guide

At this time of the year I often get people who are organising hen do's or weekends away asking me for my Brighton tips so I thought that I would put together a little guide of where to eat and where to shop. Head over to Liv Purvis on where to stay as that isn't my speciality living here and everything ;)


Riddle & Finns. Go for: Oysters and champagne. Stay for: Romantic, candlelit conversations and chocolate brownies.
Silo. Go for: Zero waste composted and fermented food using local ingredients and lots of interesting/super healthy drinks. Stay for: Great coffee and lovely cake in minimally decorated surroundings.
The Flour Pot Bakery. Go for: Nordic themed interiors; all white and marble and copper piping not to mention beautifully on site baked bread, cakes and coffee. Stay for: A mean stew in the winter months, alfresco dining and people watching in the summer months.
Gelato Gusto. Go for: The best ice cream you have ever tasted, the strawberry cheesecake has almost an entire cheesecake in it. Stay for: Daring flavours such as bacon and maple syrup or balsamic and strawberry.
Plateau. Go for: A romantic sharing platter with fantastic wine. Stay for: Hours being thoroughly spoilt by the efficient and lovely service, oh and the sharing platter dessert is something very special.
Alfresco's. Go for: The sea view. Stay for: The hot chocolate in winter and a 'smiling calzone' on the terrace in the summer. It's bigger than your head.
42 Juice. Go for: Cold pressed smoothies and juices. Stay for: The incredible cashew or almond nut mylks.
Marmalade. Go for: Ottolenghi style salads and beautiful interiors. Stay for: Enormous chocolate and beetroot cake.


Edited. Stocks: Ferm Living and Hay ~ never have I lusted over trays and notepads so passionately before. Surprises you with: Neon lights and dreamy interior must haves.
Snooper's ParadiseStocks: Insane selection of anything you could think of from mid century furniture to bowler hats and vintage wedding dresses. Surprises you with: Photobooth fun; take in army officer hats and elaborate masks with you to make some printed memories.
Magazine BrightonStocks: Every super trendy arty magazine you can possibly imagine and many you have never imagined. Surprises you with: Lovely chats with the owner, whose dream it has been for 30 years to open such a shop.
Peggs & SonsStocks: A curated selection of apparel for the modern man such as A.P.C. and Nudie Jeans. Surprises you with: Salvaged American denim and new Japanese brands.
Our Daily EditStocks: Super cool brands such as Swedish Sandqvist and Danish brand Won Hundred. Surprises you with: Must have lip balm Kiyoko.
DowseStocks: Popular prints, gorgeous jewellery and Frankie magazine. Surprises you with: Danish ceramics and modular shelving, you can't resist.
Posh TottyStocks: Beautiful hand engraved jewellery at no extra costs. Think geometric gold plated necklace pendants and beautiful stacking rings. Surprises you with: A lovely curated collection of homewards; candle stick holders, cool monochrome tea towels and wire baskets.
Sandro/Maje. Stocks: Super cool French girl clothing; skinny jeans, striped dresses and tartan dream jackets. Surprises you with: The price! Sandro is the slightly edgier of the two but there is something for any occasion between the two shops if you have money to spend.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Spring, Is that You?

Oh sweet Spring, are you ever going to bless us with your cherry blossom, light evenings and balmy sunshine? In the meantime I will dream about my summer holiday in June, light candles and smell completely epic in Santal 33.

1. The Equilateral Soap
2. Oh Acne, every season you are perfect
3. THE top thing on my wishlist at the moment after I doused myself in Liberty over Christmas and couldn't stop sniffing my jacket for days after
4. Kevin Murphy makes products all from plant based and deliciously smelling natural products. I have been lusting after this since my hairdresser washed my hair in KM products and told me about the dry shampoo. An instant backcomb, yes please. 
5. Ah Isabel Marant, if I could have a fashion designer drip in my arm she would be my gal
6. Hopscotch make the scrummiest soy candles with hours of burn time. They are all hand poured in London and are a very reasonable price. This one is 'Fresh' and smells of lemon and basil. Mmm.
7. Nikki Stark makes the most beautiful simple stacking rings, I recently bought a silver one with a blue jewel but the gold is just so beautiful
8. Emmeline one piece, I have until June to prepare for getting into you! Ahh

Saturday, 24 January 2015

We Are Counting Years Now... 14 Months

 Becoming a parent has changed me in many ways. It has made me softer, given me compassion, strengthened my view of myself. It is full of trial and error and I have learnt more in the past year than any other previous year in my life. I am sure that this will continue as Luna grows. All I hope is that I can let her bloom without doing anything to dampen that fierce spirit.

This month we left Luna for the first time overnight for a friends birthday in Leeds. It was so nice to feel like Joe and I, just us, able to have a few drinks, to be a bit irresponsible and to direct some love right at each other instead of pouring it all into our little girl. It was healthy and it was fun and it was incredible to get back to her on the Sunday night. I didn't want to put her to bed I was so happy to see her.

These past few months have been a roller coaster. Her sleep was consistent for 3 months and then stopped around Christmas and is now, touch wood, back on track. She laughs like crazy when you tickle under her chin and asks for cuddles the whole time, including from people she does know and doesn't know that well but has just made a little bond with. It's beautiful to watch. She does this thing where she kind of backs up until she finds something to sit on and then seems happily surprised when her little bottom finds something. It makes me laugh. She is all about the physical, into running and wanting to be chased by any child at the library, dancing is a big deal at the moment too, she plants her little feet and sways and puts her hands up, waving them around. 

She is down to one sleep after lunch, half a bottle of oat milk in the morning and 5 scoops of formula at night. Food varies, sometimes she is into it, sometimes not but she has cracked using a spoon although between the loading and the turning upside down just as it makes it to her mouth it is still a messy business. She has discovered her nappy and tries to pull it off, grabbing at the tabs. She also pulls off her clothes when she possibly can, whipping off her socks and undoing her sleepsuits. She is a little scamp and has endless energy, she never sits still and is so full of life. I just need to step it up to keep up with her ;)

PS Check out those ringlets

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Moon Decal

Who loves the moon? 
We do over here so I made this c. 75cm wide decal for Luna's wall. 
Get it here.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Luna 1 Year Old

Oh man, so I have a one year old. How did that happen? Where has my baby gone? This little person is just so amazing, so quick and so independent (I can't believe I was complaining about separation anxiety only a matter of weeks ago) she gets on and off our bed super speedily, handles the stairs like a pro and wants to walk everywhere without holding my hand! Also she is a CLIMBER. Oh god, well I was too apparently so what did we expect. She wants to climb anything and everything and gives me regular heart attacks when I find her half way up the book shelf or balanced precariously on the step of the stool. How has that little teeny baby turned into a bigger than life person standing on the dining table when I looked away for 10 seconds?!

We had a little gathering on the Saturday before her birthday for family and her sunmother, moonmother, earthmother, starmother and her newly appointed forestfather which was so fun! On her actual birthday Granny Bunny and Joe and I took her to Druscillas Zoo which was so much fun. As my mum said we should take her back every year to see how her reactions change to the animals. It was a fab first birthday and we loved having Granny Bunny here to celebrate.

Her first proper word that I could decipher was Teddy, she also says Bertie and Frankie, or her interpretation of those words! She now has 4 teeth and suddenly seems very tall to me. My absolute favourite thing at the moment is when she goes and chooses a book and brings it to me to read her. She plonks herself down and looks at me like, come on mama! She got sooo many amazingly beautiful and brilliant books for her birthday which we are working our way through but the one she goes for the most is I Am A Bunny. The other day she was reading this on her own and I sneezed on the other side of the room and it gave her such a shock she started crying, she was so engrossed she absolutely jumped out of her skin! 

At the moment she just desperately wants to share everything with us. I have had all sorts of random objects and food shoved into my mouth. Very kind, Luna thanks. She brings me her instruments to play, the things besides books that she loves the most in the world. She got a tiny little piano from us for her birthday and a recorder and maracas and tambourine from her Grandfather, which she absolutely adores. We have been going to baby signing classes. She runs up to the lady who takes it and stands about an inch from her swaying from side to side as she sings and signs. Meanwhile the other babies can hardly see what the lady is doing but how can you stop such enthusiasm?

Also there is a little glint that has developed in her eye, she knows when she has done something naughty, oh yes. Last night I came into the bathroom and she had unravelled the entire loo roll and the second she saw me she charged at me and held it out to me with a beaming smile knowing I can hardly resist it. She also does this when I find her eating the cat food. Something which happens more often than I like to admit. She walks towards me with a big handful of it grinning - here you go mmmmm (my name)! No thanks babe. 

Ah I love her so much when she is sleeping I miss her but by bedtime I am so ready for some down time. Her bedtime has got so early now - she wakes about 6.30, goes back to sleep about 10, eats lunch at 12, sleeps about 2/3. Has dinner about 6 and then last night was in bed at 6.30 but usually 7.30 at the latest. It's become really hard to keep her up for when Joe gets back at 7.45 and this makes me so saaaaaad. I really struggle with the idea of him just seeing her at the weekends and I know he does too. Families all around the world must contend with this, right? I just thought maybe I could change her naps so that she would be up when he got back as until now he has always put her to bed. This also brings the end of our nightly shared baths (Joe did Wednesdays) because its too difficult to get out of the bath, get her out, us dressed and Luna fed and to sleep without another pair of hands so I just sit on the floor next to the bath now. We will keep doing the shared baths at the weekends I guess. 

What a huge responsibility it is comes to me randomly from time to time, she makes me want to be a better person, better mother, better girlfriend. The challenge is to keep this sweet little girl laughing and happy and her spirit alive, to keep her curiosity intact and her innocence all fresh and new for as long as we can. And oh man do I not feel worthy of that task sometimes. If you ever read this Luna moon, thanks for the best year of my life and making our little family of three so so happy.

Friday, 24 October 2014

New Season Wishlist

Why be gloomy, right?

1. Acne dream jumper
2. Totem Organic Cotton Cushion
3. Grace Lee Stackable Ring
4. Je t'aime Jane Candle 
5. Couverture and the Garb Store Rug
6. Ferm Living Basket
7. Hey Kaleido Trays 

Friday Song

So rainy and gross out there. This is keeping me cheery this Friday afternoon.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Numbers at Violet And Percy

My A3 card numbers now available from the brilliant Violet and Percy.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Luna 11 Months

I feel a little overwhelmed writing this, this month because it has been the most amazing and also the hardest of times so far, it feels like 3 months in one. Not only is she walking, insatiably curious and an absolute joy she has also, at times, been clingy, sad and an absolutely awful sleeper. At one point I gave in and ordered a co sleeping book, then I decided there was no way, tried controlled crying, helped a bit (horrendous) then couldn't handle it and just brought her into the bed at some point in the night and didn't think about it. What has happened to my brilliant sleeper?! At the start of the month we went through the worst sleep regression yet, which was hard and exhausting, and exhaustion leads to all sorts of other not good things. 
So here is where we are; things she loves - the stairs, books (specifically her little pantone books), Frankie, eating stones, the swings, her grandmas and aunt and grandpas and uncles, shiny things, being tickled, or maybe I just like doing that, the stove fire, mobile phones, putting mobile phones or anything out through the cat flap, when Daddy comes home, Bobby Dazzler (a toy which sits on the book cupboard, she points at him and giggles) our bed, preferably between us, horizontal. Yup. Things that she does not like; being in her cot alone, awake, being in her high chair too long, being strapped in anywhere too long, this includes the ergo and the car seat, being given calpol, being shut out of the kitchen, being shut in the kitchen and being placed on the floor before she has indicated that is where she would like to go!  
What she is doing to communicate is also quite cool, she shakes her head when she is full, she points at her beaker when she wants it, she points at what she is interested in and then does an impression of someone casting a spell on something with a very serious face and five fingers extended. This freaks out about half of the people in the post office queue and especially one woman in the Hove town hall parking information waiting room. 
One thing really good is that we have cracked the food situation, I may later regret saying this when she becomes a two year old who wont eat anything green. I think her favourite foods are blueberries, olives and yogurt, sometimes I put medjool dates and a bit of cinnamon in it. She goes wild for it. At the moment she is having lots of autumnal veg, mixed with some cashew nut butter and quinoa. We dropped the 3pm feed so she is just having milk in the morning and evening and I am suspicious as to whether this has had something to do with the night waking but how can I be sure, I am sure that it was related to separation anxiety as she went through that pretty hard after our holiday to Formentera.
Anyway roll on the next season and the fireworks and pumpkins and halloween outfits! And then dare I say it - Christmas. Um what do you do with the baby vs baubles situation?