A Sight for Sore Eyes | Ollie Quinn

A Sight for Sore Eyes | Ollie Quinn | Bristol

A Sight for Sore Eyes | Ollie Quinn | Bristol

A Sight for Sore Eyes | Ollie Quinn | Bristol

A Sight for Sore Eyes | Ollie Quinn | Bristol

A Sight for Sore Eyes | Ollie Quinn | Bristol Ollie Quinn have just opened a brand new store on Park Street in Bristol and we went along to have a look around, choose some glasses and try not to make a complete spectacle of ourselves. If you are sat there thinking, girls, who are Ollie Quinn? Well, let us tell you. They’re easily the most stylish, chic and sassy independent opticians you will ever visit (if you’re lucky enough to live in London, Bristol, Bath, Brighton or Leeds). All of the frames are unique to the business, as they are designed and produced in-house and they are pretty damn affordable too! £98 to be exact, and that covers EVERYTHING. Spec-tacular! Gone are the days of choosing cheaper frames to keep the cost down, and then getting hit with a bill for anti-glare, scratch-resistant coating and a kitchen sink or two. Not at OQ, you’ll never leave having to pay more than £98 for your frames. We took along our current prescriptions, but a 30 minute eye exam costs £20. Raise your glasses to that.

The guys at the Park Street store were so friendly and helpful, we left feeling like we had made a couple of new friends. We had a chat about our personal style, which really helped us to choose our new frames (and my goodness was it hard to choose!). Thankfully, the staff managed to give us some honest feedback on the frames we had picked without making us feel self conscious. They even let the babies try on some frames and as you can see below, they looked so cheeky, we’ll really have to keep our eyes on those little ladies. Sorry, these puns really couldn’t get any cornea.

A Sight for Sore Eyes | Ollie Quinn | Bristol A Sight for Sore Eyes | Ollie Quinn | Bristol

I went for a statement square frame called ‘Daniel’* in brown zebra, which you can see in close up here, and I absolutely love them. Even though they are oversized, they’re not at all heavy, and I’ve had so many compliments since swapping from my old smaller frames (seen here).  Jo chose a pair of the rounder cat-eye ‘Jelka’* frames in pink spice. Nice. Jo knew she wanted something colourful, so mentioned to the staff that she often chooses coloured glasses (example here) that clash with lots of the things that she wears and aren’t always work appropriate. We all agreed that these frames will go with everything, look smart and the subtle pink adds the element of colour she was after.

A Sight for Sore Eyes | Ollie Quinn | Bristol A Sight for Sore Eyes | Ollie Quinn | Bristol A Sight for Sore Eyes | Ollie Quinn | Bristol A Sight for Sore Eyes | Ollie Quinn | Bristol

One last perk that will probably only interest mums with pushchairs, but is useful to note, OQ is all on one level! I had to cancel an appointment at an opticians on Whiteladies Road recently, as without a lift or buggy store, I couldn’t get upstairs for the eye test! A real eye opener, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Thanks for inviting us along OQ!

V&J

Thanks for the support | Bravissimo

Thanks for the support | Bravissimo | Bath Thanks for the support | Bravissimo | Bath Thanks for the support | Bravissimo | Bath

Bra shopping has always been a bit of a nightmare for us, and to be honest it’s even harder now that we both have little ones in tow. Babies and changing rooms just do not mix! Neither of us have ever enjoyed getting measured for bras in the past, so much so that we recently confessed to each other that we had both been guessing our bra sizes throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding – not our breast idea!

We were therefore slightly apprehensive when the lovely Bravissimo got in touch to invite us to their new Bath store. Was it a booby trap? We had visions of them laughing at our ill fitting nursing bras whilst we crammed ourselves into the changing rooms with a pair of screaming babies. Nothing could have been further from the truth! Holy macaroni, this is bra shopping! This store has been so thoughtfully designed, and was a bit of a revelation to us. We had no idea underwear shopping could be such a positive, welcoming experience. First, we were ushered to two huge changing rooms, which were even large enough for babies to crawl around in. Then, we were introduced to our lovely fitters. They listened to our needs, which were (of course) mostly breastfeeding related, before measuring us (yep, totally wrong sizes) and bringing us some styles to try on. AbracadaBRA!

Thanks for the support | Bravissimo | Bath Thanks for the support | Bravissimo | Bath Thanks for the support | Bravissimo | Bath

Thanks for the support | Bravissimo | Bath

There were some seriously glorious looking bras in store that we knew were going to be off limits to us, but we were still pleasantly surprised by the nursing offerings. Bravissimo’s nursing range is all about comfort and practicality, without skimping on style. Just because these boobs have a job to do, it doesn’t mean that us mums shouldn’t feel special.

Did you know that Bravissimo also sell clothes for the rest of your body? Because we didn’t! Good thing they set us straight, as Jo is now obsessed with the stunning wide leg jumpsuit* seen above, and I’m not surprised because it looks gorgeous. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of their colourful bikinis for next year’s holiday. Since our visit we’ve found that due to the right size underwear (thanks again girls!) our shapes have both improved, which has done so much for our post-partum confidence. If you needed any more convincing to give Bravissimo a visit, check out their changing room doors. Each has a quote from customers based on their super experiences shopping at the store. And last but not least, they also have a reward system. Free bras! Cup a load of that.

Thanks to all at Bravissimo for inviting us both along to check out the new store and for being beyond lovely to the babies. As you can see above, the wonderful Emily even managed to get Jo’s daughter Poppy to have a little nap whilst we were browsing. I know a lot of mums who’d pay extra for this service!

Thanks for the support | Bravissimo | Bath

Thanks for the support | Bravissimo | Bath Thanks for the support | Bravissimo | Bath Thanks for the support | Bravissimo | Bath Thanks for the support | Bravissimo | Bath

So BRAvo, Bravissimo. Reader, are you a Bravissimo girl?

V&J

Wedding Guest Dress – Breastfeeding Friendly

Wedding Guest Dress - Breastfeeding Friendly | She and Hem

Wedding Guest Dress - Breastfeeding Friendly | She and Hem

Wedding Guest Dress - Breastfeeding Friendly | She and Hem

Wedding season is now officially upon us and I (Victoria) am delighted to be a guest at my second wedding of the year next month. Oh, I do love a good wedding! However, shopping for an outfit has been slightly harder this year, as I am still exclusively breastfeeding my little girl. First time around I went for a skirt and top combo and used a technique known as ‘one up, one down’. For the uninitiated, this simply means wearing a vest underneath your top to pull up or down (aha!) as needed, neatly protecting your modesty while feeding in public. A top mum hack there, learned, like so many other things, from a Facebook group!

Wedding Guest Dress - Breastfeeding Friendly | She and Hem

Wedding Guest Dress - Breastfeeding Friendly | She and Hem

Wedding Guest Dress - Breastfeeding Friendly | She and Hem

Wedding Guest Dress - Breastfeeding Friendly | She and Hem

As regular readers will know, we are very much dress girls here at She and Hem, so I’ve long been on the hunt for some breastfeeding friendly pieces. As luck would have it, I think I’ve found the perfect one! Unless the weather takes a drastic turn, the Clemmie Shirt Dress from Boden is the dress I’ll be rocking up in. This cotton shirt dress falls just below the knee, which is super flattering, especially when constantly picking the little one up and putting her down. It also has what I now consider to be a daily essential; pockets. Another perk of this dress, and one I had never really considered, is the hidden buttons! Located on the chest, these Mum friendly gems ensure there’s no dress gape or accidental flashing. Ingenious! I would go as far as to call them a personal game changer and will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for more brands adopting this subtle little twist.

Wedding Guest Dress - Breastfeeding Friendly | She and Hem

Keen to see more breastfeeding friendly dresses? Just let us know in the comments!

Vx

People of Bristol

People of Bristol | She and Hem

Last week I (Victoria) woke up to the lovely surprise that I had been featured on People of Bristol, an awesome Instagram account that we follow. It was fellow Bristol blogger Lily from Lily Doughball who recognised me, presumably by my oh so subtle Peanut Butter jumper, and I was pretty chuffed about it. Thanks for the tip Lily!

People of Bristol is an account that posts illustrations of those who catch the eye of children’s and commercial illustrator Nicola Colton, and I was spotted waiting for my husband outside Cafe Kino, one of our favourite spots in Bristol. As it was a sunny, busy Saturday afternoon, he had popped into see if there was enough space to take the buggy in. Nicola captured me so well considering I must have been there, rocking my little one to and fro, for less than a minute or so. What a professional! Jo and I are hoping she might venture into blog illustrations…

Alongside my Peanut Butter jumper, I was also wearing my swimmers print ankle grazers (posted about here) from Laura Ashley with my faithful yellow Superga’s. Comfy, colourful and fun all round. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Nicola’s wonderful illustrations and to find out if anyone else spots themselves. Keep your eyes peeled, people of Bristol!

People of Bristol | She and Hem

People of Bristol | She and Hem

Check out the People of Bristol Instagram here and Nicola’s Instagram page here,

Vx

Secret Garden Style with Sugarhill Boutique

Secret Garden Style with Sugarhill Boutique Secret Garden Style with Sugarhill Boutique Secret Garden Style with Sugarhill Boutique Secret Garden Style with Sugarhill Boutique Secret Garden Style with Sugarhill Boutique Having fun with fashion is something that’s important to both of us and something that we’ve both desperately clung on to throughout pregnancy and now new motherhood! It’s blimmin’ hard though when your body keep changing! We both optimistically assumed we’d be squeezing back into our old pre-pregnancy shirt dresses but boo hoo those new big boobs aren’t having any of it! This has resulted in a fair amount of laziness with jeans and tops becoming an everyday go to whilst all those glorious novelty prints are resigned to the back of the wardrobe.

So we were so excited to receive these breastfeeding friendly beauties from the new Sugarhill Boutique SS17 collection and somehow managed to take some outfit shots whilst Poppy and Ada slept in their prams (just out of shot!). We felt like a couple of super mums as we balanced our camera on a buggy and set it to self time – haha! So professional.

Both dresses are such an excellent length and thanks to their simple but stylish nature, a doddle to accessorize! Victoria is wearing the vintage inspired Beatrice Sundress* in a lovely stripes and heart print that’s exclusive to the Sugarhill Boutique website. She teamed it with an M&S red belt and her brown boots from Boden* (similar here). The cut is going to be perfect for Summer and, naturally, we love the full skirt and pockets combo. I (Jo) am sporting the Laria Roll Sleeve Palm Print Shirt Dress* which features a dreamy floral palm print that I’m quite obsessed with. I love yellow and navy together so I added a pop of colour with my belt (the dress does come with a matching tie belt though, if you’d rather) and finished off with my yellow and silver shoes from Kaleidoscope*. This dress is so floaty and soft that’s it’s very comfy to wear. Ideal!

Secret Garden Style with Sugarhill Boutique Secret Garden Style with Sugarhill Boutique Secret Garden Style with Sugarhill Boutique Secret Garden Style with Sugarhill Boutique

Many thanks to Sugarhill Boutique for our new frocks!

J&V xx

Spring Clean Your Wardrobe with Kaleidoscope

Spring Clean Your Wardrobe with Kaleidoscope | She and Hem Spring Clean Your Wardrobe with Kaleidoscope | She and Hem Spring Clean Your Wardrobe with Kaleidoscope | She and Hem Spring Clean Your Wardrobe with Kaleidoscope | She and Hem Spring Clean Your Wardrobe with Kaleidoscope | She and Hem Spring Clean Your Wardrobe with Kaleidoscope | She and Hem

We’ve got a spring in our step thanks to Kaleidoscope who have just launched their  #SpringCleanYourWardrobe campaign. They kindly asked us to choose a few pieces from their latest collection to show how we transition between the seasons, while keeping things fresh!  As well as transitioning between seasons, we are also transitioning into dressing like badass Mothers! This has meant a bit of a shift in style for us both and has meant we are looking for practically as well as things that are fashionable.

As the weather is pretty changeable at the moment, we both plumped for a cropped trouser. Victoria went for the Culotte Dungarees* which she described as ‘an enjoyable length’. Take from that what you will. They are an excellent update on your bog standard dungaree and are perfect for layering with either a cute t-shirt or a jumper, depending on the temperature. Ever the renegade, Victoria did neither of those things and styled them with the rather jazzy Graduated Spot Print Blouse* instead. This was chosen due to its striking resemblance to a baby sensory book and we are pleased to report that Ada approves! Babies are always on the brain now here at She and Hem! The Snakeskin Panel Backpack looks great but was slightly smaller than expected so it will have to come back out when changing bags aren’t an essential! However if you don’t need to cart around loads of stuff it’s a lovely piece!

I (Jo) went for the outrageously green Button Detail Cropped Trousers*. Thanks to their high waist, I find these are so incredibly comfy to wear and I really like the button detailing around the pockets. I was a bit worried that I would find it difficult to style them but actually I really like how they pop against other colours. I teamed them with the nautical Dipped Hem Stripe Shirt* which ticks both my breast feeding friendly box and the no need to iron box! A double winner. The fabric is a lovely soft flowing material making it perfect for warmer days and I love how versatile it is. I’ll be wearing it a lot! Bag wise, I went for the Cross Hatch Saddle Bag* because I’m a sucker for pink! It does come with a long pink strap but I swapped mine for the Brighten Up Your Day bag strap* from Cath Kidston. I think the yellow and the pink looks excellent together! I also choose the floral bomber because I really struggle to find lightweight jackets and I like that I’m able to pop it in my rucksack if the sun decides to shine unexpectedly.

Finally, shoes! We are both wearing T-Bar Pointed Toe Pumps which are surprisingly comfy (we’ve been burned by flat sandals before – ouch!).

Spring Clean Your Wardrobe with Kaleidoscope | She and Hem Spring Clean Your Wardrobe with Kaleidoscope | She and Hem Spring Clean Your Wardrobe with Kaleidoscope | She and Hem Spring Clean Your Wardrobe with Kaleidoscope | She and Hem Spring Clean Your Wardrobe with Kaleidoscope | She and Hem

Big thanks to Kaleidoscope for our new outfits!

J&V x

Food & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate Bath

Food & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate Bath Food & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate BathFood & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate BathFood & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate Bath

Food & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate Bath

Food & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate BathFood & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate Bath

We love any excuse to visit our very attractive next door neighbour, Bath. A quick hop on the train at Temple Meads and a few minutes later you are in the the World Heritage Site of dreams. As you exit Bath Spa station you are immediately thrust into its newest quater, SouthGate… and not a Gareth in sight (niche joke there). It might be relatively new but thanks to the way it has been built, it blends seamlessly into its Georgian surroundings. We just love the quirky sense of fun that’s usually evident when you walk around. Last year they hung colourful umbrellas high in the air (we’ve embedded our Instagram photo of this at the bottom of the post but please note they aren’t there anymore!) and followed that up with some equally fab bicycles. We aren’t sure if they’ve got anything similar planned for this year but even while we were there a phonebox was being painted a fetching shade of yellow.

And great news! A bunch of tasty new restaurants have recently opened at the centre, including Comptoir Libanais, Thaikhun and the incredibly named Absurd Bird! To celebrate this, we were set a food and fashion challenge by the team at SouthGate which was literally the greatest challenge ever as it basically involved us buying clothes and eating food with a £150 budget. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

We were first asked to choose one of their fashion retailers to buy an outfit from. We plumped for Topshop because we both really wanted new jeans and theirs are the best in our opinion! We had a great time scouring their sale rails and each managed to buy a top and jeans without blowing our £100 clothing budget. We were both a little nervous about how we would manage trying on clothes with the babies (in buggies) with us but we needn’t have worried as the lovely assistant in Topshop sectioned off a whole area of the changing room for us. For the record, Topshop had no idea we were coming or what we were doing whilst we were there so this was in no way special treatment. It was so refreshing to see a major brand go out of their way to help two flustered mums. Hooray! We then changed into our snazzy new get up and headed for the next part of the challenge, dinner!

Food & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate BathFood & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate Bath
Food & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate BathFood & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate BathFood & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate BathFood & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate Bath

We spent a bit of time researching our food options before spotting the outrageously colourful Comptoir Libanais on Instagram. It was right up our street! Whoever designed the interiors for this Lebanese chain is our kind of human. Its like dining in a kaleidoscope. We were also big fans of the menu and opted to share a few of their hot & cold mezze dishes as well as a pretty epic salmon salad. We are also now obsessed with their frozen lemonade. If it’s green it must be healthy, right? Either way, it was so flippin’ tasty.

Like the troopers we are, we managed to squeeze in dessert and another tasty drink (this time it was the iced fresh rose mint tea – yum!). Victoria plumped for the baklawa which was very tasty indeed and I (Jo) went for the pomegranate and orange blossom yoghurt which was a nice light option after getting messy with the mezze.

Food & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate BathFood & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate BathFood & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate BathFood & Fashion Challenge at SouthGate Bath

Technically we failed our challenge as we actually went £2 over our £150 spend but that was mostly because we couldn’t resist pudding! We were so impressed with Comptoir Libanais and can’t wait to go back and try more of the dishes.

If you like our looks then here you can find Victoria’s Jamie Jeans* and my Jonie Jeans*. The cactus print shirt and spotty affair were both sale finds so we recommend heading into store if you want to track them down.

J&V

*SouthGate Bath very kindly provided our food and shopping vouchers to review but all opinions are our own. 

Double Thumbs Dresses #90

Hello hello! Welcome back to Double Thumbs Dresses, our roundup of the frocks we have deemed worthy of the highly coveted double thumbs seal of approval! Remember back in February when I said I was ready to start writing these posts again after having baby? Yeah, sorry about that – turns out having a baby is quite time consuming. What I have found time for, however, is online shopping and over the past couple of months (mostly at 3am) I’ve been saving all the frocks that have caught my eye meaning I’ve accumulated somewhat of a bumper crop. So, here they are all! ENJOY.

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

Blue Beach print dress from Boden
Sunglasses print dress from Boden
Striped Cold Shoulder Shift Dress from M&S
Hot Air Balloon Dress by Modcloth
Louche Karmen Pleated Broken Line Print Dress from Joy
Hell Bunny Maya bay shell print dress from Aspire Style
Emily and Fin Claudia moroccan riviera print dress from Aspire Style
Tortoise print dress from Cath Kidston
Lobster print dress from Cath Kidston
DUCK POND GATHERED WAIST DETAIL DRESS £60 from Cath Kidston
Duck print dress from Cath Kidston
LONDON PARK SLEEVELESS COTTON DRESS £60 from Cath Kidston
London Park print dress from Cath Kidston
GINGHAM AND LACE DRESS £75 from Cath Kidston
Gingham dress from Cath Kidston
Off Shoulder Dress in Postcard and Stripe Print from ASOS
Off Shoulder Midi Sundress in Natural Fibre from ASOS
Louche Dorren Belted Print Dress £55 from Joy
Louche Dorren Belted Lipstick Print Dress from Joy
Geometric Print Shirt Dress with Belt £35 from M&S
Geometric Print Shirt Dress with Belt from M&S
Short-Sleeved Dress with Palm Tree Embroidery £75 from La Redoute
Short-Sleeved Dress with Palm Tree Embroidery from La Redoute ( there is a code for 40% on the website)
Short-Sleeved Dress Embroidered with Tennis £89 from La Redoute
Short-Sleeved Dress Embroidered with Tennis from La Redoute  (but there is a code for 40% on the website)

Jx

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The Wheels on the Boden Bus | Spring Blooms Tour

The Wheels on the Boden Bus The Wheels on the Boden BusThe Wheels on the Boden BusThe Wheels on the Boden Bus

The Wheels on the Boden Bus

The Wheels on the Boden Bus

Toot toot! A couple of weeks ago the Boden petal-powered bus rolled into Bristol as part of their Spring Blooms tour with Bloom & Wild. A prettier mode of transport you never did see! It certainty brightened up Broadmead and added a much needed splash of colour to an otherwise dull day. How could you not get on board with that? It therefore seemed appropriate that the four of us were all decked out in their wares for our visit. It’s no secret how much we love a bit of Boden so, naturally, we’ve been pining over their baby clothes for months! Thankfully, like mother like daughter, both girls are already big fans of their novelty prints!

This beautiful double decker green bus was not only gorgeous on the outside but jam-packed with the dreamiest Spring flowers and new season garms! Upon boarding the bus, we found the bottom deck was filled with happy Bristolians being given a Bloom & Wild masterclass on how to create special edition The Johnnie Bunch, which you can grab here. Although we are two wildflowers we had the babes with us, so we were in no position to get green fingered, but we can confirm it smelt amazing. Upstairs had been transformed into a beautiful showroom where we were treated to a glimpse of the new range of occasionwear. It was blooming marvelous!

The Wheels on the Boden BusThe Wheels on the Boden BusThe Wheels on the Boden Bus The Wheels on the Boden BusThe Wheels on the Boden Bus

We were definitely overshadowed by our gorgeous girlies who caused quite the commotion in their snazzy outfits, especially Ada’s rose gold bunny booties*. You can find the rest of their bits and bobs here. We tagged along to pay for their bus fare in equally fun attire! I (Victoria) spotted this fab stripey shirt* on Amy from Me, Myself and Ivy‘s Instagram – which you must pay a visit to if you love colourful clothes as much as we do. I teamed it with a rather sensible pair of blue chino’s* and comfy silver trainers*, perfect for running for the bus! Jo sported the world’s best statement skirt*, an embroidered masterpiece! She teamed it with a pink cropped jumper* which although lovely was a little see-through, so definitely one to pop a white top on underneath. Her green flats* were a big hit as they were not only comfortable but they coped admirably in the rain. Top stuff Boden!

Things were very rosey indeed as we caught up with Bristol’s very own Niki from Miss Magpie Fashion Spy and Jess from @PorthJess who were both working their magic for the Bristol leg of the tour and it was lovely to finally meet Xanthe and Lucy, after admiring their Instagram accoutnts for so long. What a bunch of talented ladies!

The Wheels on the Boden Bus

The Wheels on the Boden Bus

The Wheels on the Boden Bus

V&J x

We GANT wait for you to read this post!

We GANT wait for you to read this post! | She and Hem We GANT wait for you to read this post! | She and Hem We GANT wait for you to read this post! | She and Hem We GANT wait for you to read this post! | She and Hem

It’s been a good while since we first featured purveyors of fancy shirts, GANT, (you can read our other post here) but now that we are all about ease of access it seemed like to good time to revisit them! As luck would have it, GANT have gone shirt crazy this season with many a jazzy number to choose from and we were kindly invited to pick a couple to style.

Victoria chose the Grid Dip Silk Blouse* from the Diamond G collection, which is made up from tailor-made pieces featuring graphic prints inspired by abstract impressionism – just like us. Victoria really liked the silky fabric (100% no less) and envisions wearing it on lovely hot days in the Summer to help hide those pasty arms. We think that teamed with her pink British Tweed Boden skirt* this outfit is very secretary chic (who said smart shirts are just for the office?) The two contrasting prints really compliment each other – just like us. She finished the look with some metallic shoes from Next (similar here)

I (Jo) plumped for the Voile Island Flower Shirt* in yellow (it also comes in pink or blue). It’s such a bright fun print and the relaxed fit is really flattering. I’m probably going to be wearing this a lot with jeans, as that’s my Mum go-to at the moment, but I like that it can also be tucked into skirts for when I’m posing with old cameras in front of brick walls. I also went for a pink Boden skirt (similar here) and my Pink Floral Occasion Slip-on Skater Shoes from Next*.

What do you think of our looks? You can check out the full range of GANT shirts here!
We GANT wait for you to read this post! | She and Hem We GANT wait for you to read this post! | She and Hem We GANT wait for you to read this post! | She and Hem We GANT wait for you to read this post! | She and Hem We GANT wait for you to read this post! | She and Hem

We’d really like to thank the fabulous Jess (aka porthjess) for taking these photos for us! If you don’t already follow her on Instagram, you should! She’s kind of a big deal.

J&Vx

*GANT very kindly sent us these shirts but all opinions are Mummy’s own.