There’s loads of things I love about being a mummy, but one of the things I love best is making the girls rooms look lovely. Over the last few months Rob and I have have been completely transforming Lila’s room. I have wanted to do an ice cream theme room for her for ages. Last year I started picking up little bits and bobs when I saw them. The room is still a work in progress and I have lots more little craft projects planned, but I thought it would be nice to share the progress on here gradually.


As with all great projects, the first step was creating a Pinterest board with lots of ideas and inspiration. I created a board for all things ice cream theme and another for storage ideas.

Ice Cream Theme Pinterest board


One of the first things we did was re paint her walls. We wanted to paint the wall behind her bed a very light cream so it would look like ice cream. So I chose a shade called Fine Cream from Dulux which is just off white.

Ice Cream Theme I bought some sprinkle wall decals from Etsy and stuck them all over the wall. I love how much colour this added and Lila absolutely loved it.

Ice Cream Theme Sprinkle wall decals


Her bed currently has flamingo bedding from Laura Ashley on it. Even though it’s not on theme, I just love it so much and the colours are so pretty.

Ice Cream Theme Laura Ashley Kids Flamingo BeddingI got a lovely bedspread from Laura Ashley to go on top. This is covered with little tassels and I love how well they go with the sprinkle wall.

Ice Cream Theme Laura Ashley kids BeddingTo finish off the bed I’ve added a square ice cream cushion from Tiger which I got Lila last year. I also added the ice cream cushions which I featured in my Home Bargains haul a few weeks ago.

Ice Cream Theme Ice Cream Cushions

Finishing Touches

I picked up a few other bits from Tiger last year, including these little hooks and clock. The hooks are going to go on the back of her door.  I also got a paper ice cream garland from Tiger which I haven’t put up yet.

Ice Cream Theme | Tiger Ice Cream clock and hooksI got these lovely ice cream pictures from Ikea last year as well. you can tell I’ve been planning this for a while because of how much ice cream themed stuff I’ve been hoarding!

Ice Cream Theme | Ikea Ice Cream PicturesThis paper ice cream was also from Tiger and came in a pack of two. For now I’ve just hung it from her light shade.

Ice Cream Theme | Paper Ice CreamsAs I’ve already shown in my Home Bargains haul I got loads of extra ice cream theme stuff there recently, but I thought I’d add the pics again here, so it’s all in one place.

Ice Cream Theme | Home Bargains Ice Cream Cushions Ice Cream Theme | Ice Cream Lights Ice Cream Theme | Home Bargains Mugs and Milk Bottles Home Bargains Ice Cream Cups | Home Bargains HaulAs I mentioned above the cushions have gone on her bed. Nice taking the pictures of her sprinkle wall above, we have also put some little picture shelves from Ikea up above her bed. I’ve displayed some of the pretty things we bought there and so far this is my favourite part of her room.

Ice Cream Theme | Ice Cream Themed Girls Room ShelvesThis was just a quick iPhone snap after I arranged the things on the shelf. I’ll take better pics when I get a chance. I have lots more planned for the room and plenty more work to do to get it exactly how Lila would like it. I also have lots of Pinterest worthy craft projects planned for the room too. I’ll also be sure to write a post about how I store all her things and how I organise everything. So watch this space!

Ice Cream Theme  | Unicorn SlippersWhat do you think of the ice cream theme? If you see any other nice ice creamed theme things while you’re out and about be sure to let me know. And yes, I have seen the new ice cream print at Cath Kidston and I am very excited!

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I recently watched the fabulous series A Stitch in Time on BB4. This wonderful show, is presented by fashion historian Amber Butchart. Over the course of 6 episodes, costumes from a number of paintings are carefully reconstructed by a small team lead by historical costumier Ninya Mikhaila. The series is a lovely look at fashion history which combines art history and social history. In each of the half hour episodes Amber chooses one painting and talks about its background. We then look at the materials and methods that were used to create each garment, at the end the final reconstruction is revealed and worn by Amber. I really enjoyed learning about the social context of each outfit as well as the methods used to create them.

Having really enjoyed the series I was delighted to hear that all the costumes would be going on display at one of my favourite places – Ham House. So this week I popped along for a visit with my mum and its was amazing seeing the clothes close up and really taking in all the details.

Both my mum and I really enjoyed the episode in which they recreated the dress from the Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck, which you can actually see in my previous blog post! The dress is absolutely fascinating and has such interesting construction. I love that it is lined with fur and has so much fabric. I learnt so much from this episode of the series too.

I love that the mannequin is posed in the same position as the bride in the original painting. Her pose holding up the front of her dress is so iconic. You really get a sense of what an expensive garment this would have been and how much fabric and work went into making it.

The next piece we saw, was one that absolutely amazed me when I watched the episode on TV. In this episode they reconstructed a Jupon, which had been worn by the Black Prince and is seen on his effigy at Canterbury Cathederal. Amazingly a jupon from that time survives and it was wonderful seeing such an old garment on the television.

A jupon is a padded garment worn over armour. This one is covered in the most exquisite hand embroidery and must have cost an absolute fortune to make. The garment is both opulent and practical, it was really fascinating to learn more about something I had no previous knowledge of.

Seeing the beautiful stitching close up, gave a whole new perspective to seeing it on the TV, it is so fine and delicately made.

My least favourite costume from the series was Dido Belle. I loved the episode, but the final garment left me a little underwhelmed. This one was particularly hard for the team to recreate as so little of the dress can be seen in the picture. I did however think it was important to discuss the life of Dido Belle and to have a black portrait subject as part of the series.

Although I wasn’t entirely sure on the accuracy of the garment, it was very beautiful to see. I loved the gorgeous fabric and the sash and shawl were lovely. I’d also love to read a lot more about Dido Belle and her story, so the series definitely opened up a line of interest for me.

I really enjoyed the episode about the hedge cutter. It was interesting to see a portrait of an ordinary working person and this made the garment all the more interesting. In the painting the jacket has extensive damage and patching. In the episode they created the outfit as it would have been new. I really liked this approach as it showed us the evolution of the garment.

I enjoyed seeing how they worked with leather and the different methods and techniques they used. The finished piece was just so beautiful and the details are amazing. As someone who loves vintage clothes, I can appreciate the passing down of garments and the extension of their lives beyond the first owner.

The outfit in the first episode of a Stitch in Time was a suit worn by Charles II. the original painting hangs at Ham House and it’s one I’ve looked at many many times. Despite this I don’t think I’d ever fully appreciated Charles’ outfit, so this episode gave me a whole new perspective on the painting.

In the episode they talked about the materials used and the time, effort and expense that went into creating a reasonably simple looking garment. I was most interested in the social importance and the message that Charles was conveying through dress.

At the end of the episode I thought Amber looked absolutely brilliant trying this on. I’m a little but jealous of her job to be honest!

The last outfit is one of the most beautiful despite it’s simplicity. It is based on a controversial painting of Marie Antoinette. In the painting she is seen wearing a simple muslin dress, this caused scandal at the time and was considered far to intimate for a queen. the painting was quickly replaced with a more traditional one, but it was the beginning of the downfall of her reputation.

This is an era I absolutely love, especially when it comes to fashion and royal history. Again this episode really looked at the social connotations of dress and it was so interesting.

On the programme they made a set of stays to wear under the dress, compared to relative simplicity or the dress the stays were far more complicated. As the episodes are only 30 minutes long there wasn’t that much time to look at the fin shed stays in much detail, so I was delighted to see these on display alongside the dress.

A Stitch in Time has inspired me to look a little closer at art, to consider the outfits and the reasons for the clothes that people wear. I’d highly recommend both watching the series and taking a look at the exhibition. Ham House itself is incredible and being able to see the clothes just adds to what an interesting location it is to visit. the series isn’t currently available on iPlayer, but may repeated on BB4 at some point. I did manage to find all the episodes on Youtube, so it might be worth looking there if you want to watch it.

Find out more about the exhibition on the National Trust website

Find out more about A Stitch in Time  and view more clips on the BBC website.

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Last week on a snowy day in London, I headed to London hairdresser Blue Tit salon in Dalston to have my hair styled. Unlike my usual vintage curls or messy mum hair we were going for something a little different. Inspired by the Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites exhibition at The National Gallery, we were creating a Pre-Raphaelite inspired look.

William Holman Hunt, Il Dolce Far Niente, 1866, Oil on canvas, Private collection © Photo courtesy of the owner

William Holman Hunt, Il Dolce Far Niente, 1866, Oil on canvas, Private collection © Photo courtesy of the owner

The exhibition itself is incredible and of course one of the things that really stands out in Pre-Raphaelite art is the beautiful romantic hair. Blue Tit London recently collaborated with the gallery to create a photo shoot which pays homage to the beautiful paintings on display within the exhibition.

Hair styled by Blue Tit Salon at the National Gallery on the occasion of ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’. Photograph: Sandra Vijandi.

Hair styled by Blue Tit Salon at the National Gallery on the occasion of ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’. Photograph: Sandra Vijandi.

Hair styled by Blue Tit Salon at the National Gallery on the occasion of ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’. Photograph: Sandra Vijandi.

Hair styled by Blue Tit Salon at the National Gallery on the occasion of ‘Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites’. Photograph: Sandra Vijandi.

The one advantage to how long and thick my hair is at the moment, is that it was perfect for creating this kind of look. When I arrived at the gorgeous salon, I was greeted by Declan who would be styling my hair. We discussed some ideas and decided to go for some big curls. He wanted to create something that was wearable with some Pre-Raphaelite inspiration.

It took a couple of hours to curl all my hair – there really is a lot of it! The end result was amazing.

Here we fluffed the hair up a bit more for a slightly more Pre-Raphaelite take on the look. It was such a fun way to spend the afternoon and I absolutely loved the salon. Declan was amazing and really took his time to create a look that we both loved. It’s definitely made me want to go back and get a cut and colour done very soon!

William Holman HuntThe Lady of Shalott, about 1886-1905© Manchester City Galleries/Bridgeman ImagesThe salon is absolutely gorgeous and every time I’ve walked past it, I’ve admired the decor. As well as the Dalston branch they have salons in quite a few locations across London. I really enjoyed looking at all the pictures on the wall. It was such a nice environment to sit for a couple of hours and relax, while Declan worked on my hair.

Here’s my resident art historian Matthew, with a little bit more information about the exhibition – The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood formed in 1848 when a group of young artists, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt, were looking for a new and fresh inspiration for their art. Instead of looking to the 16th-century Renaissance artist Raphael, who was held up as the ideal model for artists to follow, they were inspired by older medieval and early Renaissance art. This exhibition puts one of their favourite old paintings, Jan van Eyck’s 1434 ‘Arnolfini Portrait’ in the centre, and shows how it influenced the ambitious young Pre-Raphaelite artists.

Jan van Eyck, Portrait of Giovanni (?) Arnolfini and his Wife and ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’ , 1434, National Gallery, London © The National Gallery, London

Jan van Eyck, Portrait of Giovanni (?) Arnolfini and his Wife and ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’ , 1434, National Gallery, London © The National Gallery, London

It’s brilliant to see one of the National Gallery’s most famous paintings surrounded by the Pre-Raphaelite’s works. You can see how they loved the Arnolfini Portrait’s beautiful colours and perfect attention to detail. A painting that was hundreds of years old inspired these Victorian artists to create art that was bold and revolutionary. They loved features like its mysterious round mirror and even had replicas of it in their homes. Van Eyck’s serious portrait was the inspiration for the Pre-Raphaelite’s beautiful women from medieval legend.

Today, the Pre-Raphaelite paintings themselves are now all more than a century old, but they are still beautiful, vivid and fascinating. Just as the Pre-Raphaelites were inspired by Van Eyck, we can be inspired by them for our art, our homes and our style.

Hurry along to catch this exhibition before it closes on 2nd April, and see what inspiration you can find.

Find out more about the exhibition on the National Gallery website

Find out more about Blue Tit London on their website

Thank you to Matthew Storey for contributing to this post. Matthew is a curator and art historian with a specialism in historic art and decorative art. You can read a couple of other posts by him here and here

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I’m a big fan of subscription boxes. It’s always nice to get a little surprise in the post each month and it’s also a great way to discover new products. Last month I was asked if I wanted to review the February Glossybox and of course I jumped at the chance.

Like most subscription boxes, Glossybox arrives monthly and is packed full of high-end beauty surprises. I usually like it when I get a mixture of make up, skincare and hair products. I take all my miniatures to the gym with me as their the perfect size to fit in my bag.

I also really love a pretty box. I use them to store my vintage jewellery in. This one is really cute, as it was Valentines day this one is all about having fun on the town with a friend or the one you love.

As for the contents, I was really impressed with this one. The box costs £10 per month plus P&P, or slightly less with other packages. It’s always good when the value of the contents is considerably more than the cost of the box. I ended up with a nice mix of products a couple of which I really love.

First up was a gorgeous mini nail polish from Ciate. I have loved their products for years, I featured the Ciate Advent Calendar on the blog a few years ago. I love their big brushes and beautiful long-lasting formula. If you’re looking for a completely cruelty free brand, then Ciate is the one for you. Their products are vegan and PETA certified.

The colour I received was Iced Frappe and it was absolutely gorgeous. A lovely pale shade, perfect for everyday wear. The coverage is excellent and in two coats, it looked perfect. The gel formula allows flexibility and prevents chipping and although I’ve not kept it on that long it can last up to 10 days. The full-sized product would normally cost £9 and the mini size would be £6.

Next up was a nude lip tint from Steve Laurant. I’m not familiar with this brand, but I’m glad to hear that they are also cruelty free. I got mine ion the colour nude pop. The colour is very subtle and perfect to use as a tinted lip balm.

I found the formula really moisturising without being too heavy. Mostly I just loved the pretty rose gold packaging. This is nice handy product to pop in your hand bag, for when your lips need a little love. The full-sized product usually costs £17.

The next product was Studio 10 beauty Makeup Mist Glow-Perfection. This is a pre make-up primer mist. It primes, refreshes and hydrates and can also be used as a setting spray. I’ve only used this a couple of times, but it seems like a great product. I don’t really get dryness on my face and don’t need much hydration, so although I really liked the product, it’s not something I would buy again. If you’re looking for a good all round product, this might work for you. The full size product costs £26 and the travel size £14.

One of the products I really liked in the box was the Skin Chemists London – Aqua repair Facial Serum. This serum works to infuse the skin with vitamins and anti oxidants to reduce redness and deeply hydrate. I loved how this felt on my skin. The formula is really soothing and just feels lovely to apply. My skin felt great after using it and as you only need a small amount this tube will last me ages, so I’m going to keep using it and see how I get on. The full-sized product costs £64.

I was really excited to see a full-sized Sleek eyeshadow palette in the box. I’ve used several of their palettes before and absolutely love their products. It’s also a real treat to have lots of new colours to play with. I got the i-Divine palette in storm, which features 12 shimmery shades including neutral beiges and vibrant shades of dark blue, green and copper. I don’t always opt for shimmery shadows and usually go for matts, so it’s nice to add something new to my makeup collection. I love how versatile the shades are. The pigmentation is really good as well and I’m really looking forward to trying some different looks with these. This palette usually costs £8.99.

All in all I’m really impressed with my first Glossybox, all the products were really good quality and the value of the items far exceeded the cost of the box. I enjoyed trying all the products and will enjoy using them all again.

You can find out more about Glossybox and subscribe on the Glossybox website.

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I love baking with unusual flavours and trying out my own versions of classic recipes. One flavour that I really enjoy using is lavender and this shortbread is the perfect way too add a floral twist to your baking.

Lavender Shortbread RecipeLavender Shortbread 

You will need: 

150g butter 

60g caster sugar 

220g plain flour 

2 tbsp culinary lavender 

Lavender Shortbread RecipeHow to make: 

Preheat oven to 170ºc and prepare a large baking tray.  

Cream the butter and sugar together with the lavender and rub in the four until it forms a stiff dough.  

Roll out on a floured surface to about ¼” thickness. 

Cut out using a cookie cutter and prick with a fork several times. 

Bake for around 15 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack.  

Lavender Shortbread Recipe

These are really tasty and the recipe also works really well with other flavours such as tea. I used the same recipe to make my Earl Grey shortbread. If you want to try another floral recipe why not try my rosewater cake recipe. For lots more recipes, check out the Baking section of the blog.

Lavender Shortbread RecipeAs always, let me know if you try this recipe. I always love to see pictures of your baking!

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