Some days, weeks or even months, I go through these explosive periods of inspiration, creativity and general buzzy headedness – considering all of the things that I love, that drive me, that influence me. It’s a great time, and I can’t wish it away – despite that it keeps me awake at night and tinges me with a slight sense of desperation to get going or to get something started. I tend to keep all of my ideas or current inspiration as notes on my phone, or as files on my laptop. Sometimes I print images or create a visual blog to act as a reminder for things that have come to the top level of my consciousness. Basically, there is always a lot in my head. So I’m going to start dumping it here, to share it with you! Because maybe, you might like some of it too.

 

1. After years of avoiding pizza and deeming it as a totally unhealthy food option, we’ve recently started putting it back on the menu at home. I’ve been using Sarah Britton’s spelt flour dough base, Oh Dear Drea’s easy no cook sauce, plenty of fresh basil and nutritional yeast. Pizza = healthy = fine by me.

2. Give me all the vegan freak shakes.

3. I’m listening to a lot of Laura Mvula at the moment. She recently hosted a brilliant programme exploring the musical roots of Nina Simone. Unfortunately it’s not available on iPlayer any longer – but you can watch her awesome radio one live lounge performance (and Tame Impala cover) here.

4. Owen has just finished his run of spoken-word theatre performances, with his show Wrong. You can watch some feedback and highlights here.

5. I’m noticing an increased amount of people taking instagram ‘breaks’ or confessing their lack of mojo for social media participation lately. I have felt similarly myself recently. I enjoyed reading Amanda Watter’s take on her more present path since quitting instagram.

6. My holiday reading.

7. Obsessed with Danish outerwear company, Rains. We just got Owen this jacket.

8. Loving Shantell Martin’s work.

9. Latest insta-crush. 

10. I may be running behind on this, but I have just discovered dirty chai masalas. This recipe though!

11. I’m looking for the perfect cool putty grey paint for our family room. Help!

12. I read that watching someone having a massage can release the same relaxing hormones as actually having a treatment yourself. I’ve been revising my pregnancy massage techniques by watching these videos – and have been feeling super chilled.

13. I found the perfect armchair.

14. I’d love to go to this Barbie exhibition.

15. My friend Rox is offering 20% of everything in store this bank holiday weekend, if you join Studio NL‘s mailing list.

16. I don’t know how I stumbled across these, but I found Warren Buffett’s quotes on investing and success really powerful!

17. BFGF are doing ceramics now. Right on.

18. Well done to our City Mayor for challenging Britain First’s unwelcome visit to Leicester.

19. The best of Airbnb in Britain.

20. I’m selling my car in the Summer and considering one of these.

I’m so excited to be going back to Spain again in June. I am more than ready for some sun, good food, adventure and a good stretch of uninterrupted family time. I am a rubbish packer, and I always take too much / everything in my suitcase. This year I’m hoping to keep it minimal (she says!) – but there are a few new bits on my summer holiday wishlist, that I hope will be coming along with me.

 

 

 

1/ Lunch Lady Magazine

2/ Uniqlo + Lemaire Collection

3/ Bobbi Brown Brow Shaper

4/ Topshop Dree Kick Flare Jeans

5/ Kleen Kanteen Bamboo Top Bottle

6/ Near & Far

7/ Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good (need to read this first before I get It’s All Easy)

8/ Nina Z Clogs

9/ Monokel Nelson Havana Sunglasses (available at Studio NL)

10/ Glossier Perfecting Face Tint

I’m turning in to a trainer person. After not owning a single pair for about 10 years (what the hell was I even wearing?!), I’ve lately become obsessed with browsing over trainers online. I’ve finally narrowed my favourite four down. And I know the Vayarta’s aren’t officially trainers – but they look so comfortable. I really want them all.

 

 

Vayartas / Vejas / Acne Studios / Common Projects.

 

Saying all of that …. I think I might go for these.

I wish I had more exciting stuff to talk about – it’s kind of like everything and nothing is happening, you know? This year we have upped our childcare to four mornings a week, so that I can get back to working from home, as well as to get a little breathing space. I relish the quiet and tidy house in these hours – though I’m wondering if it’s torture for my mind to have too much time to contemplate all the ideas in my racing head, yet to be left with just too little time to see anything through. Compassion, steadiness and small-step progression are my current mantras! I don’t want to miss the beautiful moments with the children, whilst dreaming about all the other things I could be doing. Creative mother issues are real! Here are a few photos taken lately.

 

 

where i spend my quiet mornings /  i love wooden toys and get so much out of watching the boys being so creative with such simple things / a favourite spot / mother’s day lychee, rose & raspberry cake / matchy matchy / omi bugging a sleeping orion / ribbed everything please / nude label post breast feeding treats / pink fingers during a valentine’s craft session / every sunday night i make myself healthy treats for the week and it’s so worth the effort / a pretty breakfast / growth spurting / best blues / i think the boy’s room is my favourite / omi’s first family portrait (i’m the one with the sad face at the top!) / knits in spring ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ / valentine treats for our loves / hey! / the curtain that is leading the interior decisions in the spare room.

Slowly but surely, Spring is creeping in – and I’m loving it. The lighter mornings, blue skies and the occasional window-down drives (only half way down, mind!) are blissful. It wasn’t until I sat down this evening, I realised that I’ve been subconsciously Spring cleaning for the past week or so. There have been big cupboard clear outs over the weekend – and even when I thought my wardrobe was at it bare bones of minimal – I have just found three dresses and a bag that I’m letting go of. More then ever, I’m cautious when it comes to buying. I really enjoy new things, and I still feel like I’ve got a long way to go to honing my tastes (and my wardrobe!) – yet I don’t want to waste a penny on something that I might just want to chuck out the following year. I’ve skimmed my Spring wishlist down to 8 staple clothing items and a couple of bits for the house. Here are some of my favourites – and some affordable alternatives.

 

 

  1. Broste Lampshade, available at Good Hood Stores, £48.
  2. Last T-shirt, from Weekday, £9.
  3. Dree Kickflare Jeans, from Topshop, £36.
  4. Roberta Pumps, by Maryam Nassir Zadeh, £350. [or try these or these]
  5. Cropped Trousers, from Zara, £15.
  6. Muuto Viso Lounge Chair, £290. [or try this]
  7. Flat Leather Shoes, from Cos, £89.
  8. Alphabet Tee, by Marina London, £72.
  9. Bart Leather Trainers, by Isabel Marant, £240. [or try these, or these]
  10. Ribbed Jersey Top, by H&M, £24.99.

 

Also, how cool are these blankets?! Want, want, want.

January…the month lost to illness in our house, unfortunately! No sooner than the kids got back to playgroup after Christmas, were they were off again with viral infections and colds – which I caught and ended up with full blown flu. Three weeks later and we’re just about getting into the 2016 swing. My head is full of ideas and things to do, although my body is strictly saying “noooooo – you must do so very little right now!” So I’m *trying* to take it easy and focus on resting, sleeping, eating well etc. But my busy mind has been wandering, as you can imagine. Here are my current favourite things.

 

 

1/ Ikebana stack vase, by Jane Heng. 2/ Dusty blush velvet chair, by West Elm. 3/ Oversized wool scarf, by And Other Stories. 4/ Cainnon half moon comb, from Two Son. 5. Sheila coat, by Weekday. 6/ Short basic sweat, by Base Range. 7/ Eucalyptus T-sweater, by Jamie and the Jones. 8/ Adriana trainer, by Acne Studios. Funnel Body, by Topshop.

If you’re struggling for gift ideas for the friends, partners, brothers, dads or granddads in your lives – I’ve got a few last minute suggestions. This year, Owen has a handful of presents to open in his stocking (yes he has a stocking!) along with a fistful of IOU’s from me. I really wanted to gift him lots of experiences that we could share together, as we’ve really neglected our couple-time since having the children – and it’s something we are hoping to get back on track in the new year. So I’ve come up with a load of ‘date vouchers’ to go inside each of his gifts – and I will make sure that we sync our i-calendars for 2016 and enjoy some well deserved time for just the two of us! Here’s my top picks for that special man in your life.

 

 

pop t-shirt / american apparel beanie hat / daniel wellington watch / bobo choses leather pouch / coffee scoop and sealer / kiehl’s men’s skin care / cabin porn book / lumberjack shirt / palo santo incense / kitchenaid nespresso machine.

Studio NL is one of those shops that you walk in to, and you just want to buy everything. I’m lucky enough to live close to the studio in Leicestershire – though don’t fret – they have a webshop and ship worldwide too! However, if there was ever a reason to road trip to the Midlands – Studio NL is it. This small (but rapidly growing) family business is the brainchild of Roxanna Webster – a talented illustrator, screen printer and maker, with a fantastic eye for lifestyle products and homeware. Rox and I have teamed up to offer Mammina readers a 15% discount on all products purchased online before Christmas with the code MAMMINA15. I’ve chosen a few of my favourite things from Studio NL in my ‘for her’ christmas gift guide – but do take a peep online because you will certainly find unique gift ideas for all of your family and friends.

 

 

1/ Forrestry A3 Print / £10 on sale / By Joshua Kendell

2/ All Purpose Adhesive / £3.50 / UHU

3/ Toothbrush / £3.95 / By Marvis

4/ Paper Porcelain Coffee Mug / £18 on sale / by Hay

5/ Coated Wash Bag / £16 / By La Cerise Sur Le Gateau

6/ Rose & Rust Socks / £14 / By Bonne Maison

7/ Crafting Heaven / various

8/ Harry Gruyaert / £40 / By Thames & Hudson

9/ Cycling Climbs / £20 / By Nigel Peake

10/ Projects Notebook / £15 / By Polite Company

 

**To redeem your 15% off, just enter MAMMINA15 at the checkout at www.studionl.co.uk **

[offer ends at midnight 24th December 2015, UK time]