Southwood Stores is an online concept store by Hayley Southwood, where you will find handpicked, quirky, Scandinavian influenced gifts and homewares. Hayley believes passionately about empowering women and has recently launched her own in-house label GRAY, celebrating strong women.
I first came across Hayley and her online shop back in 2013. (I can’t believe it was 3 years ago?! Time sure does fly with a toddler in tow!) At that time, Hayley was the only UK stockist of Hello Apparel; and I went straight ahead and ordered a HELLO Jumper from her, along with one of our most loved prints that sat in Eli’s bedroom, The Mountain Print by Clare Nicholson. I always loved parcels from Hayley, with the attention to detail of packaging and customer care; with some treats even winging their way over to Berlin!
Watching Hayley, via Instagram, over the past few years has been wonderful. Seeing how her little shop has grown and expanded with wicked new products and new brands, through to the launch of her very own clothing label: GRAY By Southwood Stores. The ethos of Hayley and her shop is to be brave and follow your dreams. And she’s definitely succeeding there – having now opened her very own Southwood Stores showroom – where you can not only have a cuppa with the lady herself, but from here she also offers Social Media / Branding services with sessions operating on-site.
Details of showroom opening times are as follows:
First Saturday of the month 11am-2pm
I could buy everything that Southwood Stores have in stock, but here are some of my current favourites hitting the top of my #MoMWishlist:
Back to GRAY By Southwood Stores. Hayley worked really hard to find the right garments for her label – high quality and responsibly made. The slogan graphic prints are also locally screen-printed by a “woman owned business”. I think it’s fantastic that Hayley has stuck to her local roots here too – there’s nothing better than championing your local business community and spreading the love even further afield.
The sweatshirts are super soft, wash well and have a really flattering fit. I went for the WARRIOR sweatshirt. Because, well, we’re all WARRIORS. “The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us, but those who win battles we know nothing about”. This is something that resonated deeply with me – and I do feel like a proper WARRIOR when I’m wearing my sweatshirt. It’s more than just words, isn’t it? It’s about how these things make you FEEL.
On top of alllllll this, Hayley is also hosting a series of Conversational Meet-Up’s, of like-minded Women. The recent one looked brilliant so look forward to the next Event’s being scheduled. You can find the latest details and tickets, here.
Hayley is a true inspiration and I look forward to seeing how Southwood Stores continues to grow and evolve! (Oh, and I can’t wait to have a cuppa with her in person at the new showroom soon!). Keep doing what you’re doing Hayley, everything about your being is amazing. Just remember to BREATHE (and get the kettle on!).
*NB: This is in no way a sponsored post. I just wanted to big up a Mama who I think is frikkin amazing*.
YESMUM Cards, by Hollie de Cruz, available in her shop, here.
Better late, than never, right? Happy New Year.
2016: The dawn of a new age for me. 2016 is all about positive vibes only.
I ended the year on a not so good note, I’ll be honest. I’ll go into further details when I get round to blogging about my wonderful YESMUM Cards. But that aside, I wanted to bring the old blog up to date now we’re in 2016. So what’s happened so far in 2016? Well, we’ve had the coldest of January days we’ve ever had, ever, a flight back to our Motherland in the North of England, the death of the incredible David Bowie – which has left me somewhat broken hearted, amazing snow-filled fun, a cough, a cold, a stomach bug and Tonsillitis. The past few weeks have also cemented the fact that I need to step back and CHILL – for someone with anxiety, this is obviously a bigger thing than just ‘chilling out’. I’m taking steps to indeed ‘chill the hell out’, and I feel much happier stepping into February. Onwards and upwards, eh!
Here are a few snaps from January and into February:
Our first flight of 2016, at 10am on 01/01/2016 – start the year as you mean to go on?!
Haupstr. 155, Schöneberg, Berlin – the apartment where the wonderful David Bowie lived during his Berlin years. Myself and Mr Memoirs were always Bowie fans, but something really struck us about his shock passing. Perhaps it was because we’re in Berlin and he did so much for this incredible city? We genuinely felt heartbroken and haven’t stopped listening to his back catalogue since. We found the trip to his apartment so emotional – albeit, Eli referring to Bowie as ‘The Starman’ and picking yellow flowers for him definitely didn’t help things! We’re so sad he’s gone, but so happy he existed. Wonderful Starman, we will be forever indebted to you for the musical education and creativity. Our son will live in a happier place for your music and choice-looks, and for that we will be eternally grateful.
We hope Berlin does change the street permanently!
Winter MOTHER – Jewels by the absolute SuperMum that is Kelly Seymour of Cult Of Youth.
FINALLY! The schnee arrived!
Wanna build a schneemann?
Eli got a mega bike for Christmas and refused to part ways on the Kita-run, regardless of terrain!
…tea solves everything. Especially a proper cuppa!
We dressed in lots of red to show our support for the recent British Heart Foundation #WearItBeatIt campaign. See more on my post, here: Our personal account, and #WearItForIvy!
…and here we are, today. Today saw the bluest of skies and a mild 12c! Spring is certainly in the air, and I for one cannot wait for sunshine filled adventures!
For now, over and out!
In 2009 I fell in love with a ring. Not just any ring… THE ring. The Yves Saint Laurent “Arty” ring.
I was working at AllSaints HQ at the time and I generally had my head between the sheets of Vogue at every opportunity. THE ring was everywhere I turned. All stunning and gold and stunning… and gold. It also came with a hefty pricetag. Not a pricetag I could have justified on a ring, on my wage; and irregardless, said-wage was spent on endless Friday’s at the Golden Heart followed by falafel wrap en route to our apartment on Regent’s Canal (this all seems like such a lifetime ago, it’s quite nice to reminisce!)
My lust for The ring grew to another level when I accompanied a friend to the YSL store on Bond Street to ACTUALLY try on The ring for his then girlfriend… he was buying her it for Christmas. Which was lovely.
I was green with envy; as you can imagine! Talk about rubbing salt into thine wounds!
Years passed and I always said, “When I pass my driving test, The ring will be mine! I will buy it as an extra special treat for my deserved achievements”. We lived in London at the time – and I was still yet to even think about booking driving lessons, never-mind pass my test!
Several more years pass and “OH MY GOD, THEY’VE DISCONTINUED THE RING”.
True story. The ring was taken out of production. It was no more. It began disappearing from all the usual retail websites. Devastated doesn’t cut it. I NEEDED The ring.
The driving lessons began back in February 2013. A mere 10 years after I SHOULD have started them, like everyone else around me. Better late than never… eh? The ring became hot topic once more. The ring spurred me on to take my first test… and the second test… and the third test… and my……… (
you get the picture). I would hunt The ring down when I’d passed my test. The ring would be mine!
My birthday this year came and we went to the City of Bath for a lovely overnight trip. Eli was good as gold and I had a really lovely birthday with my little family. I didn’t have presents. That didn’t matter, I had my little family and life is for living and memories are to be made.
A few weeks ago the game changed. Mr Memoirs was fussing about upstairs. He’d been shifty about a parcel that had arrived that said “PRIVATE DOCUMENTS” on the front. I’d obviously What’s App’ed my nearest and dearest about the parcel; who all conclusively suggested that the parcel contained house deeds, or marriage documents (are they even a thing?!). I knew it wouldn’t be either, because we’re nowhere near to reaching our dream abode and we’re nowhere near to marriage (even after a decade of adventures together!).
Mr Memoirs asked for me to bring Mr Eli upstairs for his bath… nothing out of the ordinary there.
Until I went into the bedroom. On the bed was a card and a box. The card was a Belle and Boo belated birthday card. The box was a jewellery box… and inside was… THE RING.
A belated birthday gift from my boy’s. I was stunned. I was completely gobsmacked once more at the lengths Mr Memoirs does go. And I am so so lucky!
Goodness knows how Mr Memoirs sourced it. But my god, he did good! It fits perfectly. It shines perfectly. It’s a perfect piece of art. It’s perfect. I am in love.
I actually adore Little Bird at Mothercare. As mentioned, several times, we look like we live in the 70’s, so Little Bird ensures we all match!
This is one of my favourite little outfits that Eli is currently sporting: ’74 Blue Tee, Green Terry Towelling Shorts (I KNOW!) and Navy Buckle Shoes.
All styles available from Mothercare.com
As most people know, my obsession with Little Bird by Jools Oliver is ever-growing. I literally ADORE all of the clothing; boys and girls clothes! (I may only have a boy, but I can still look at the girls clothes, can’t I?! Faaaaar too cute!) Our house looks like it’s straight from the 70’s and now my little boy does too – and I absa-bloody-loutely love it!Little Bird by Jools Oliver for Mothercare, Navy Buckle Shoes – £15.00.
As with any shoe purchase for Eli, I need to make sure that the shoe is comfortable, fits well and need to see Eli walking in them – so I can assess that they will support his feet and ankles due to his Talipes. These shoes are just perfect. They’re padded inside and are leather, so will naturally mould to Eli’s foot shape over time. Eli has run rings round me wearing these shoes, so I know he definitely has happy feet when he’s got them on!
This shoe style does come in a stunning red colourway too – which I’m tempted to also buy, despite the floral sole!
Yes, I am sorry. But this is another one of ‘those’ blog posts where I apologise for not writing for so long.
Life – as I always say – has taken over! I work more or less full time right now. Which is great for exercising my brain. But my god, do I miss my little boy. Needs must however, and the work is fun, engaging and what I’m passionate about. So it’s not dull in the slightest! I’m very lucky that I can work from my own office space at home, so I know Eli isn’t too far away. And the best thing? I know I can wear my onesie to the office, if I feel so inclined! But yes, it’s been pretty full on…
So much has happened in the past few months. We were discharged from the consultant who looks after Eli’s Torticollis back in May – due to their being no treatment, cure or support. We will self-refer should our situation change. But right now, *touch wood*, things are working as they should be. We also saw our consultant who looks after Eli’s Talipes on the same day. We will go back for a review in around November/December time. But overall, he was over the moon with Eli’s progress, as are we! We certainly have a very fast little runner in Eli. Well, he is an Olympic baby afterall!
Just this week we have started the 5:2 diet – which I hope to document through my blog and my Instagram (click here to follow me, @JudyPink!). Yesterday was my first fast day, (I’ll write a separate blog on this), and I survived!
I’m sure a whole lot of other stuff has happened inbetween (like Mother’s Day, Easter, failing 3 driving tests, Tonsillitis, being asked to be a bridesmaid, meeting Iggle Piggle, turning 28, Father’s Day… oh and seeing One Direction!) So I’m sorry I won’t be catching up on that stuff – probably for the best. BUT I do promise to try and spend a little bit more time on my blog again. I do miss my writing and documenting Eli’s progress and lovely outfits that he has 🙂 (Plus it means that Mr Memoirs can play on his PS4 at the same time! 😉 )
For now, I bid you a pleasant day!
As it’s London Fashion Week this week, I’ve been really drawn to what’s actually going on, right now, on the high street. One of the first places I always turn to is John Lewis. I’m a little bit of a John Lewis mega fan… But that’s just because I always get the best service there; as well as the best selection from all of the designers and brands they kindly house under one roof!
This week, I’ve had a good rummage through one of my fave British High Street brands, Whistles. As the weather is absolutely abysmal, I thought I’d try and brighten your afternoon with my edit of Whistles treats that are available in store and online at JohnLewis.com!
#1 – Whistles Katlin Heart Blouse, £125.00
WHISTLES SAY: Crafted from luxurious silk, the Katlin Blouse from Whistles is a playfully lux addition to your new season wardrobe.
MM SAYS: Got to start off with this heart print shirt, reminiscent of Burberry’s own heart blouse that has taken celebritydom by storm. I actually prefer this Whistles one however! It’s got more going on, more interesting, lovely colourway. Tucked into skirts and trousers – or even jeans, this makes the perfect addition to your trans-seasonal wardrobe.
#2 – Whistles Lula Tailored Trousers, £110.00
WHISTLES SAY: These smart tailored trousers from Whistles are the perfect style for summer.
MM SAYS: I’d have to disagree with Whistles here, I think these smart tailored trousers are a perfect style all year round! Love the cropped length and side-slit detailing.
#3 – Whistles Blake Dress, £135.00.
WHISTLES SAY: Chic and directional; this elegant shift dress from Whistles offers a round neck, short sleeves and a flattering waistband for feminine appeal.
MM SAYS: I’m really enjoying jewelled tones at the minute – think it’s that shift into Autumn and Winter. I love this emerald green dress. The shape is beautiful, will give you wonderful definition and silhouette.
#4 – Whistles Kir Royale Ankle Boots, £150.00.
WHISTLES SAY: A smart pair of round-toe ankle boots that are a perfect heel height to wear throughout the day and into the night. Versatile enough to be worn with either skinny jeans or a dress.
MM SAYS: I love these boots! Much like the infamous ‘Pistol Boot’ from ACNE, these boots look really comfortable – yet fashion-conscious at the same time. I’d team these boots with midi skirts and dresses, jeans and smart tailoring. Great versatile footwear style for your Winter wardrobe!
#5 – Whistles Cora Exposed Seam Cardigan, £165.00.
WHISTLES SAY: This luxe cashmere cardigan from Whistles has a relaxed open neckline with a minimalist shape, raw exposed seams and two draping side pockets – ideal for layering.
MM SAYS: Don’t you just want to cosy up in this cashmere beauty? Again, the perfect piece for your wardrobe; perfect for smart or casual, plus great for layering on those chilly days!
#6 – Whistles Long Sleeve Sculptured Dress, £110.00.
WHISTLES SAY: Update your wardrobe with this contemporary, chic style from Whistles. It has an on-trend midi length, side panelling and a simple straight shape, it’s feminine and functional.
MM SAYS: POW! Check this amazing dress out for a pop of vibrance in your life. I just LOVE this dress
(I was saving the best till last). Great colour, again, for all year round. Definitely put a smile on my face on this absolutely miserable September afternoon that’s for sure! I love the length of this dress; as well as the sleeve length. It would certainly hide a multitude of sins when you’re not feeling your best. I think it looks REALLY expensive. It’s worth the pricetag this one!
Hope you enjoyed my picks from Whistles. Don’t forget you can shop Whistles online at JohnLewis.com – they offer FREE delivery for all order’s over £5o too. Bonus round!
What Eli Wore >>>
Ralph Lauren Oxford Shirt, Ralph Lauren Shorts, Converse Kids Hi-Tops.
Where from? >>>
Mr Eli looked super smart on his 1st birthday last month. He generally wears clothing like his Daddy and his birthday was no exception. His beautiful Ralph Lauren Oxford Shirt features a button down collar and signature Ralph embroidered logo to the chest. We rolled his sleeves up, which made this shirt look even cooler (but also helped keep stains at bay whilst he was eating/rolling around). His shorts too are Ralph Lauren, with a flat front and red embroidered signature Ralph Lauren logo at the left knee. These shorts look really smart and are so far, very hardwearing! Eli finished his birthday outfit off with his trusty Converse Hi-Tops in a blast of vibrant red. His little shoes took quite a beating on his birthday – we’ve just ordered some new ones, this time with rubber soles, just like Mummy and Daddy’s real-life Con’s!