Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

We were kindly invited along to Bristol Zoo this weekend to creep around and have some gruesome fun taking part in their Half Term Halloween activities. We followed the Mystery Trail Handbook to navigate our way around the Zoo, spotting (and impersonating) our favourite animals as we went. A was unexpectedly fond of the flamingos! So much so, we had to pop in on them on the way out to say goodbye. Oddly, she also seemed quite taken by the giant spider in the Wicked Witch’s Activity Corner…luckily for the Witch, I managed to convince A that she already has enough toys.

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Other firm favourites were the (scary) seals, (petrifying) penguins and the (haunted) hippopotamus, which was lovingly referred to as ‘Pippo’ for the rest of the day. One activity I thought she may have been too old for was the Skull Spy, but she absolutely loved running around finding all of the hidden skulls lurking in bushes and down Dracula Drive. You could say, she had a really Spook-tacular time! I must give a shout out to the Zoo gardeners because, my goodness, the Zoo is looking phenomenal at the moment! The green spaces around the park all look delightfully autumnal, with pumpkins and colourful leaves for as far as the eye can see.

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo
Dress by Trollied Dolly

If you think you are brave enough to come face to face with some creepy critters this Halloween, from now until 4th November one child can go free with every paying adult when you book online. Use code ‘FREECHILD’ at the checkout to redeem. You are welcome!

V x

Disclaimer: We were not paid for this review, we were however invited by Bristol Zoo to attend their Halloween activities and did not pay for our park entry. All words and opinions are blogger’s own and all ‘standing and looking serious by a tree’ poses are blogger’s own too. 

Halloween at Wild Place Project

Halloween at Wild Place ProjectHalloween at Wild Place ProjectHalloween at Wild Place Project

We took our little wild thing to Wild Place Project this weekend, after they kindly invited us to come and check out their Halloween Half Term activities. For one reason or another we have never gotten around to going before so this was the perfect opportunity to check it out! Firstly, I couldn’t get over how close to The Mall (Cribbs Causeway) it is! It’s a four minute drive! (We know this as we maaaaaaaaaaaaay have popped in to John Lewis en route, cheeky). You would, however, never know this by the time you’ve parked up. You suddenly feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere and I really was not expecting such large and beautiful grounds (and a Rapunzel-esque tower in a massive field, what the heck? I’ve since learnt that this is the Hollywood Tower, which was built in 1839!). I don’t think we could have chosen a more picture perfect Autumn day to visit and it was gorgeous to just walk around admiring the trees.

Outfit details! Me: Black Dungarees from H&M ////  Poppy: Raccoon tunic from Boots & Yellow Shoes from Clarks

There’s a lot of pretty cool family friendly stuff going on for Halloween. We particularly enjoyed watching the young wolf pack, as well as doing the pumpkin hunt through the woods – which took us past all manner of creepy characters. Poppy didn’t bat an eyelid at any of it and thought it was all rather hilarious. She kept offering the Witch drinks and snacks and spent a good five minutes blowing her kisses. She’s hard as nails, apparently. It was also an excellent way of using up energy and we ran back and forth through the woods, climbing on the many kid friendly structures Wild Place have dotted around the site. Some of the older kids were having a whale of a time climbing a big tree that had been designated for such hi-jinks.

All in all, it was a great success and, as a family, we loved it. It felt like we packed a lot in but it was all surprisingly relaxing. I thought it had the perfect mix of stuff to keep our active toddler entertained, with animals big and small, lots of space for running and a couple of really good play areas (there’s even an indoor play area for the under 5s).

She cried when we left, there’s no higher praise.

If you fancy visiting this Halloween, they are running their activities for two weeks starting on Saturday 20th October. Check out the Wild Place Project website to find out more and to book tickets

Jx

Disclaimer: We were not paid for this review, we were however invited by Wild Place Project to attend their Halloween activities and did not pay for our park entry. All words and opinions are blogger’s own and all spelling and grammatical errors are blogger’s own too. 

New balls please

New balls please l tennis dress New balls please l tennis dress

New balls please l tennis dress

New balls please l tennis dress New balls please l tennis dress

New balls please l tennis dress

As it’s Wimbledon time once again, we thought we’d go and cause a right old racket in the woods and serve you up some trendy tennis realness. If you are a hawk eyed reader, you may have seen these fabulous frocks on the blog before. While my (Victoria) little green number* from Emily and Fin is sadly no longer available, you can find Jo’s 1950’s inspired beauty* here, from our friends at Carousel. Strawberries and Pimms all round!

Minimal accessories looked a solid ten out of ten-is for these looks. My yellow sandals are from M&S (they are so comfortable that I have them in three colours) and my panama hat* is from Laura Ashley. It actually first featured on the blog in 2015. So much has changed around here since then, but I’m still loving that hat! Those awesome square ombre sunglasses* are an ace from She and Hem favs Joanie and have recently been reduced to £5! Finally, Jo’s super fun pencil shoes* are from Cath Kidston and her glasses were a gift. Groovy moves and sassy poses all her own.

New balls please l tennis dress

New balls please l tennis dress

New balls please l tennis dress

New balls please l tennis dress

New balls please l tennis dress

Hope you’re all enjoying this grand slam weather! See you on the courts.

V&J

Wedding Guest Dresses with Joanie Clothing

Wedding Guest Dresses with Joanie Clothing | She and Hem

A couple of weeks ago we were both lucky enough to attend a beautiful wedding up North with our families. We had such a lovely time on the happy couple’s very special day and it was great fun getting all dressed up with the girls. We must admit, however, that we did have a slight wardrobe based panic the month beforehand as it dawned on us that we had to find not one but two wedding guest dresses that were not only all weather appropriate but also fully toddler proof! A challenge indeed! Luckily our friends at Joanie were on hand to save the day with their fabulous frocks, phew!

I (Victoria) wore the Celia Polka Dot Tea Dress*, which is now in the sale for a mere £26.60. Joanie really know how to do end of season sales! There are so many bargains on there at the moment. The sunshine yellow dress is fun, feminine and hella flattering, which means I was really able to take advantage of the vol-au-vents and gin bar.

Jo wore the Sunday Floral Stripe Sun Dress* and the Ilona Crochet Stitch Cardigan which a lot like the bride and groom, were a match made in heaven. Aww. She wore a petticoat underneath which really made the dress pop! My gold block heels were from ASOS and Jo’s awesome pink flats are Orla Kiely for Clarks. A collaboration we sorely miss!

We are happy to confirm that both dresses made it through the day without any little fingers smearing food or spilling drink on them. A true success story!

V&Jx

Many thanks to Joanie for sending us our outfits 

Tennis and Tulips l Carousel

Tennis and Tulips l Carousel Tennis and Tulips l Carousel Tennis and Tulips l Carousel Tennis and Tulips l Carousel

Pass us a Pimms and a bucket load of strawberries (or tulips in Jo’s case), we’re about to make a racket about these wonderful tennis print dresses from She and Hem faves Carousel. Now the eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that we’re obviously in different locations for these shots but, never fear dear reader, we aren’t consciously uncoupling! I (Victoria) have simply just been on my holibobs and we couldn’t wait any longer to feature these lovely frocks. Normal service to resume shortly.

So, whilst I’ve been sunning myself in glorious Cyprus, Jo has been skipping round the fields of Somerset picking flowers. If that doesn’t demonstrate versatility in a frock, I don’t know what does. Jo is hoping to write a post about her PYO tulips experience so you may well be treated to a lot of pretty photos soon.

Tennis and Tulips l Carousel Tennis and Tulips l Carousel Tennis and Tulips l Carousel Tennis and Tulips l Carousel

I’m wearing the button-up 1940’s inspired Ingrid Tea Dress*, which I chose because I prefer to have a little something covering the tops of my arms. With the cap sleeves, cute collar and pockets, it ticks all of my dress desires. Thanks Carousel! Jo wears the equally lovely 1950’s style Brigette Dress*. I love the fit and flare shape of the Brigette, it looks excellent paired with her brown ankle boots from M&S.

Tennis and Tulips l Carousel Tennis and Tulips l Carousel

V&Jx

Mama Club at Number Three

Mama Club at Number Three

Mama Club at Number Three

Mama Club at Number ThreeMama Club at Number Three

Mama Club at Number Three

Mama Club at Number Three

It would be an understatement to say that since Poppy and Ada came along, a lot has changed. The girls are 15 & 16 months old now (I know, what) and, until a few weeks ago, in that time I (Jo) could count on one finger the amount of haircuts I had managed to have. It’s really not easy to find any baby-free time during the week and at the weekends we would much rather be hanging out with the family than disappearing to have our tresses trimmed. It’s tricky.

We were therefore intrigued when an invitation from Number Three hairdressers in Bath appeared in our inbox to come and try out their Mama Club. The idea, they said, was to bring the girls along to the appointment. We’d been a few times to Number Three in the past and loved it but couldn’t imagine how our boisterous toddlers were going to be compatible with their stylish, relaxing salon. The concern only deepened when we rocked up at 11am with two girls who had skipped their morning nap and were ripe for a whinge.

We needn’t have worried. Number Three have really thought this one through and have a whole private floor dedicated to the Mamas. There’s no pressure, no rush, and no need to worry about disturbing anyone as you are neatly tucked away on the top floor. We parked up our prams in the space provided and ascended the stairs!

Mama Club at Number Three Mama Club at Number ThreeMama Club at Number ThreeMama Club at Number Three Mama Club at Number Three

The top floor is split between two gorgeous rooms with the first containing a kitchen area complete with bottle making and sterlising facilities, as well as what every parent needs, coffee on tap. We were then led through to the private salon area, which is perfectly geared up for Mums and their tots. Poppy and Ada were very happy indeed as it had toys, space to run around and biscuits. Lots of biscuits. And we were happy as it had lots of lovely comfy chairs for feeding, coffee and biscuits. Lots of biscuits.

Once the girls were nicely occupied, we robed up and sat in our chairs. For once, it wasn’t awful staring into the hairdresser’s mirror as instead of looking at our sleepy faces, we could instead keep an eye on our two trouble makers. Despite their lack of sleep, they were pretty angelic and it was really, really cute to watch them play. On the occasions they did need us, we were free to go to them without feeling awkward and both girls spent time sitting on our laps during the cut without our stylists batting so much as an eyelid.

Mama Club at Number Three

It was actually all rather fun and at the end we both had lovely new dos! I just had mine tidied up but Victoria went for a proper chop and looked thoroughly gorgeous as a result. We skipped off for lunch (after saying hello to a very small baby arriving with his Mama for their appointment), agreeing that Number Three have really nailed it. Local Mums have got a real treat in store and we hope word spreads as to how great a service this is.

If you’re local to Bath and fancy checking out Number Three’s Mama Club it’s on every Wednesday and everything you need to know is right here.

Thanks for inviting us along, Number Three!

J&Vx

Beets ‘n Roots | Bristol

Beets 'n Roots Cafe Bristol | She and Hem

Well what a tip top start to the week I (Victoria) have had! Spring has very much sprung in Bristol, and with the new season come the new cafe menus! One venue putting away their winter coats is Beets ‘n Roots Cafe on Cotham Hill, to which I was invited to try out their new Spring menu. And oh my, what a colourful culinary treat it was!

On arrival, I was greeted on their spacious sundeck with a selection of smoothies to try. Appetite suitably whetted, I was handed a brunch menu from which to order whatever I fancied. That’s my kind of menu. After some deliberation I chose the buckwheat pancakes with banana, Nutella and maple syrup. They were an absolute treat. So much so that I seriously cannot wait to get back to Beets ‘n Roots fast enough, or get the OH to up his buckwheat game. Gimme.

The event then saw nutritionist Rosie Letts tell us all about the healthy juices, before we mixed up some rather aesthetically pleasing rainbow smoothie bowls with fresh fruit, granola, berries and seeds, all of which you can see in my Instagram stories video below.

Tasty food aside, there was one other thing that I was super impressed (and quite surprised) with, and that was how child friendly the venue was. Fellow local mums have asked Jo and I for recommendations for places to take their babies and toddlers in Bristol, and this is going straight on our list. My little one was a big fan of the magnetic boards, children’s books and being able to wander around the decking in the sunshine. She also absolutely loved all of the colourful food and drink, much to the delight of the staff who made her feel very special – thanks guys!

See you VERY soon Beets ‘n Roots!

Vx

Witness the Fitness with JD Williams

Witness the Fitness with JD Williams | She and Hem

Witness the Fitness with JD Williams | She and Hem

Witness the Fitness with JD Williams | She and Hem

Witness the Fitness with JD Williams | She and Hem

You may think we are more Tai Cheese than Tai Chi, but oh my quads, how wrong you are. Nowadays, we spend most of our time running around after our toddlers, and boy do these girls have busy social lives! Come rain or shine you will find us pushing them for miles on end around Bristol to their music/sensory/swimming classes. Luckily for us, the lovely folk at JD Williams recently got in touch to ask to ask if we wanted to choose some items from their new Fitness range, so we could look half decent while doing so. So here we are bringing you some active wear realness, She and Hem style.

The Beast from the East hit us hard in the South West, so the items we chose could not have come at a better time. As you can see, we really put them to the test. We wrapped the girls up and tackled freezing cold winds and heavy snow and are pleased as punch to report that the jackets passed with flying colours!

Witness the Fitness with JD Williams | She and HemWitness the Fitness with JD Williams | She and HemWitness the Fitness with JD Williams | She and Hem

I (Victoria) picked the Regatta Roanstar 2 Hooded Jacket in fig. I’ve been wanting a ‘sensible’ coat for so long, as all of my current coats tend to be more fun than functional and definitely not suited to snow. I am now living in this because it’s just so cosy (thanks Thermo-Guard insulation!). I was slightly concerned that it wasn’t going to be flattering because of the mid-length, so I was pleased to discover it has curved side seams, which you can tighten or loosen depending on how snug you want the coat to be. I shall now refer to this as my Yellow Weather Warning Winter Warmer. Catchy, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Jo wears the Tog24 Heaven Milatex Jacket in navy and pink. It’s designed for use in the mountains, so a snowy walk in Bristol was a breeze for this waterproof, windproof badboy. Jo finds the thumb holes and the handy inside pockets particularly excellent, and I think it looks great thanks to the groovy pink panel.

Witness the Fitness with JD Williams | She and HemWitness the Fitness with JD Williams | She and Hem

Witness the Fitness with JD Williams | She and Hem

V&J

Double Thumbs Dresses #92

Hello hello! Welcome back to Double Thumbs Dresses and a very happy Easter to you all! It’s time once again for our frocktacular roundup of the dresses deemed worthy of the highly coveted Double Thumbs seal of approval. Let us celebrate the fact that it didn’t take me a year to write another post this time!

*FYI click on the image for a direct link to the dress*

Iconic Women Dress $85 (about £60) from Book of Deer | She and Hem | Double Thumbs Dresses #92
Iconic Women Dress $85 (about £60) from Book of Deer

First up is this incredible dress from Book of Deer. Quite honestly, this is up there with my favourite dresses ever featured on this here blog. Book of Deer put it better than I ever could by explaining on their website that this print celebrates ‘96 iconic women who have influenced the world we live in today. As well as depicting the more well-known faces of activism, academia, art and heroism, the print also features women who have achieved amazing things or overcome huge social obstacles that may have been overlooked in mainstream history‘. The result is magical and I want to wear it every single day! You can see a close up of the print here

Wild Animals Shirt Dress £59 from Sugarhill Boutique | She and Hem | Double Thumbs Dresses #92
Wild Animals Shirt Dress £59 from Sugarhill Boutique
Adora Swimmers Shirt Dress £59 from Sugarhill Boutique | She and Hem | Double Thumbs Dresses #92
Adora Swimmers Shirt Dress £59 from Sugarhill Boutique

Next up we have a couple of fab prints from the new collection at Sugarhill Boutique. Both dresses are in the Adora shirt dress style which is a lovely 1950s button-up shape and has the most delightfully retro split collar. LOVE! The wild animal print features a stunning hand drawn safari scene that I am obsessed with and the swimmers dress is equally wonderful thanks to those quirky synchronized swimmers.

Floral Pleated Midi Dress £79 from & Other Stories | She and Hem | Double Thumbs Dresses #92
Floral Pleated Midi Dress £79 from & Other Stories

I have been majorly crushing on this yellow beauty from & Other Stories. It just looks so swooshy (not a word) and dreamy plus look at those gorgeous long sleeves.

Chevron Striped Midi Dress £49 from Warehouse | She and Hem | Double Thumbs Dresses #92
Chevron Striped Midi Dress £49 from Warehouse
Jacquard Midi Dress £69 from Warehouse | She and Hem | Double Thumbs Dresses #92
Jacquard Midi Dress £69 from Warehouse

Warehouse have some wonderful midi-dresses in this season! I find those blue chevrons deeply enjoyable and I am really into the buttons only starting below the waistline. It makes it a bit different and the result is a very nice looking dress indeed. I am also a big fan of their beautiful metallic gold midi-dress which, I think, looks super expensive. The website assures me that this ruffled frock shimmers IRL which only makes me want it more.

Off Shoulder Sundress With Tiered Skirt In Rainbow £18 from ASOS | She and Hem | Double Thumbs Dresses #92
Off Shoulder Sundress With Tiered Skirt In Rainbow £18 from ASOS

You will probably need to act fast if you want this super cheerful rainbow affair from ASOS as the £18 pricetag means it won’t be around for long. It’s the perfect dress for Summer which, apparently, is on the way.

Armelle Dress £66 (was £110) from Boden | She and Hem | Double Thumbs Dresses #92
Armelle Dress £66 (was £110) from Boden
Angela Textured Dress £48 (was £80) from Boden | She and Hem | Double Thumbs Dresses #92
Angela Textured Dress £48 (was £80) from Boden

Rejoice! She and Hem faves Boden have knocked a load of pounds off some pretty great dresses. I’ve been coveting the Armelle dress for quite some time so I think I might have to take the plunge. It’s just such a fun style! And as someone who really enjoys making a spectacle of herself, I feel the glasses print was always destined for my wardrobe. It’s such a ‘throw on and go’ dress which is what my life is all about.

Red Shellfish Print Rockabilly Shirt Dress £38 from Lindy Bop | She and Hem | Double Thumbs Dresses #92
Red Shellfish Print Rockabilly Shirt Dress £38 from Lindy Bop

It would be shellfish not to share with you this cray cray crab print dress from Lindy Bop. I am really diggin’ the vibrant pop of red and I it’s a real pinch at £38.

Cutabout Stripe Ruffle Midi Dress £46 from Topshop | She and Hem | Double Thumbs Dresses #92
Cutabout Stripe Ruffle Midi Dress £46 from Topshop

Last but not least is this perfectly picnic appropriate number from Topshop. I adore everything about this frock and am already imagining myself strolling through the park with a big hat and sandals, living my best yellow-loving life.

Jx

*This post contains sponsored links*

Can we pull off the Athleisure trend?

Can we pull off the Athleisure trend? | She and Hem | Jack Wills

Since my daughter arrived last year, my style has taken a bit of a step towards quick and easy dressing, with the emphasis very much on comfort! Before motherhood, I would prefer to swish around in a novelty dress (as seen in pretty much all blog posts from 2013 to 2016!), than a more casual trousers/top combo. Although I do still really love dresses, I find myself saving them for special occasions or for times when I want to make a tiny bit more of an effort. Which, to be honest, as a busy working mum, really isn’t that often. Recently, I have been living in the classic ‘jeans and a nice top’, which has quickly become my go to soft play uniform. However, a new trend caught my eye at London Fashion Week last month and I want to get involved!

What is it? Why, Athleisurewear of course! It’s been popping up all over the high street and aims to combine fitness and fashion to create contemporary casual wear. Nice. What I am after in particular is something to swap my jeans for, for ultimate comfort. I’m off on a long flight with a toddler soon and I feel I need some something like the womens joggers seen above from Jack Wills, which will hopefully still come across as a stylish trouser, but feel oh so comfy. I think my family would much rather I rock up in these than my cat pyjamas, so I’m going to give them a whirl.

Can we pull off the Athleisure trend? | She and Hem | Jack Wills

Late to the party, as always, I’ve also gotten into wearing trainers. This is probably something to do with having lots of young family members obsessed with street wear. I’m more of a yellow Gazelle girl than a Yeezy Queen, but I appreciate that you can wear trainers with pretty much anything and not have to worry about running for the bus or in my case, pushing the buggy for miles around hilly Bristol while my daughter naps. The question is, can I pull off the jogger and trainer combo? There’s only one way to find out! Check our Instagram next month to see what I’ve bought for that plane ride and do let me know if you have embraced the athleisure trend!

Vx

*This post was written in collaboration with Jack Wills, but words and desire to be comfortable is all my own*