Living in the countryside our lifestyle has naturally changed to having way more country walks, and lots of plans for wintry beach walks too. I love being outdoors with the kids, but I hate been cold! I therefore have felt a need for more practical and yet still stylish clothing. I like to have things that I can wear easily from a trip around town to a country walk, to on the school run. I need to feel stylish, but most importantly comfortable and warm!

There are 2 things I love to have in abundance in my wardrobe at this time of year; Checked shirts and Knitwear! Both feel cosy, practical, comfortable and are very versatile to make up so many outfit options. One thing I have been lacking on though it the latter – Knitwear. I find it a bit of a struggle to find a jumper that fits well, is warm (but doesn’t look frumpy) or isn’t too itchy, is long enough in the arms, and doesn’t have too many embellishments! I know that sounds like a long list, but I feel like a good jumper is a bit of an investment and needs to be right!

I was super excited when Saltrock sent me this lovely pink number as it is a great addition to my Autumn/Winter wardrobe and best of all… it ticks all of the boxes for both style and my lifestyle.

My Favourite things…

First up I love that is jumper (like many of their others) is on sale! It is £20 down from £50 and feels lovely quality!

I am wearing a size 12 and my favourite things about it are that its thick and warm but not itchy. It does contain wool, which obviously helps but is also blended with Nylon and Acrylic. I like that fact as it helps me when washing it (I tend to shrink pure wool!!!). The pattern adds practical detail that makes it a little bit different to a plain jumper, and I love the colour – I feel like its a good one for my skin tones, and great to go with black or blue jeans. Its not too light to get obviously dirty when playing with the kids, but is light enough to brighten up life on cool days.

Its relaxed fit means that it is easy to wear and comfortable. I have worn it as seen over my Zara denim shirt, and also with jeans and a long sleeved grey tee for a snugly bonfire night! It goes great with everything, and especially great with my maroon scarf. I love that I can wear it with all of my jeans and black shinnies, with boots, wellies or pumps!

I also love small things like its high neckline – I can’t stand gaping in necklines, especially when you’re trying to keep warm, and this one is just right… especially to wear with shirts as I do often with my jumpers! I also like the cuffs and long sleeves. I find a lot of jumpers too short in the arm which makes me feel chilly, but these fit well, keep me warm and are nice and snug around my wrists.

Saltrock is the original British beach lifestyle brand known for quality, style & affordability. Their clothes are designed for everyone who loves to get outside & have fun, and I am glad to have discovered them. They have some lovely things for all the family that are both comfortable and stylish for life outdoors. Their clothing is practical, easy to care for, and especially with the sale – really quite affordable. The only downside to this jumper is the logo on the bottom left, but honestly, I think that’s just me. I have had loads of compliments on it and when I wear the baby carrier, my scarf or coat, you don’t even see it anyway. I have loved wearing this out and about and chilling around the house too, because most importantly its a cosy and comfortable number and is a great addition to my wardrobe!

*Thankyou to Saltrock for sending me this lovely jumper for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and images are my own. 

Family Fever
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I wanted to get some pictures this month that felt like Autumn and also represented our new life in the country. Whilst not taken in our village, they were taken last Saturday when we visited a fairly local windmill/museusm and I like them because they are the first weekend this month we’ve been out together and felt light and more relaxed after a very intense month.

September has been such a random one; we’ve had the kids back at school, new clubs and hobbies started, baby groups and are all back into the term time routines. Then we’ve had Poppy’s anniversaries, a family wedding and finally managed to squeeze in a family day out and some country walks too. As you read this I am hopefully on my way to London (if I made the 5.30am train) for Britmum’s live 2017 (a blogging conference) where I hope to meet some of you and other blogger friends and influencers…I can’t believe how different the month end feels to 30 days ago when it started. Like I say, its been so random but we have made it, taking with us lots of new memories and friends, whilst having opportunity to reflect and talk about the hard aspects of the month.

September is a month I don’t particularly enjoy anymore and find it to be a tough one for us right from the start really with it holding all of the anniversaries of losing Poppy. I feel like the majority of the month, especially once the kids return to school, is spent preparing ourselves emotionally for them. By the 14th we have her death date, induction was on the 15th and birth date the 16th. A week later on the 22nd its then her funeral/burial date (which in someways is worse as there is nothing to celebrate there). As a result of that for a couple of weeks, the majority of that time just feels incredibly heavy and sad, and even anxious. The build up is hard and then before we know it, its all over again and we’re left felling a little dull and shell shocked.

This year we struggled with the fact that Nathans gorgeous cousin was getting married the same day as Poppy’s birthday and I felt so torn between my love and excitement for them, and my heart ache and one day for my daughter. We talked over it a lot and wondered what the best thing was to do, but in the end we followed our hearts and were glad to have attended with family and friends and celebrate their love and our entire family generally. It felt lovely and was an opportunity to scoff plenty of chocolate and cakes! On the evening we had a meal out with my family and then released balloons on the cliff tops at the light house again, in the morning we decorated her grave.

This year definitely has felt harder for some reason and has thrown us a few curve balls that have been very hard to navigate through grief, so in some ways I am so glad September is finally over… in other ways I can’t believe how fast its gone and how quickly we have moved away from the month that’s mostly about her, it feel weird. Lets just as we enter October I am almost 100% certain I’ve gained a fair few pounds over the last few weeks with all of the rubbish I have indulged in to comfort myself in my sadness and anxiety and will welcome some normality and excitement with Ethan’s birthday and our 8th wedding anniversary!

September has been a funny old month, a very hard month, and a month that has seen us settle into life back at school in the village. I am grateful for the little family we have, and the life we have together now – it feels so much nicer!! I love that in our little home and lives we can each be loved and accepted in our sadness as well as the joys, the highs and the lows and sometimes through the sheer pain that comes with September. I am grateful that whatever happens around us in the month, we have each other and together will always remember our little Poppy and that September meant we got to meet her.

In September we are Grateful for

* Kind friends
*Too many treats
*Time to reflect and remember Poppy
*The people who talk of her and ask of her
*Our new village and lovely neighbourhood
*New school clubs
*Living in the gorgeous countryside and having peaceful things around us

 

The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful
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I am so very much looking forward to this bank holiday weekend, and what perfect timing following a week in Italy! It just feels like an extended holiday!!

What’s extra exciting is that the forecast here in Yorkshire is not only set to actually feel like Summer, but as per every August bank holiday we have our annual Smith “Family Fun Weekend”(with the added bonus of Nathan’s mum’s Birthday)! I cannot wait for the laughs, banter and adventures ahead!

Despite being in Italy for half the week, I still have bagged myself a few deals and even made some thrifty choices whilst away too…

New Look Sale

New Look reminds me too much of being a teenager, with it being the only decent shop we had growing up in Bridlington. And so I admit that I rarely shop there. They do have a few nice things but the majority of it feels too feminine and florally for me! I do however LOVE their shoes and so happened to call in yesterday whilst on my desperate search for some new (and comfortable) sandals. I was not disappointed and came away with a lovely pair from £20 down to 10!

Whilst there I saw a top that was down to £7 from £22 and was debating it too-It was a lovely pale pink, long sleeved blouse with black embroidery!So of course today I went back to get it! I was delighted to find that they had an extra 20% off SALE and so bagged it for a fiver! If you’re passing a New Look this weekend, it might be worth a look with such great bargs on offer!

A Train to Rome

This choice was one we debated for several days. but in the end decided it made financial sense (haha!). We decided whilst on our Italy holiday, to get the high speed rail to Rome and so booked some tickets in advance before we left the UK.From Pisa it would only be a couple of hours and for all 5 of us would be £140 return. Yes it’s a lot more than we would usually spend on a day out but WAY less than we would have spent to go see Rome on a separate holiday- hence a thrifty choice and one that has saved ourselves  few hundred pounds in the future!

As well as that we saved money by buying the majority of our meals from the supermarkets and had a really great trip!

I hope to get some posts up next week about our Italy adventures, but for now I am off to enjoy this rather sunny looking bank holiday! I hope you do too (and grab a few bargs along the way).

 

 

 

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Twilight books were a big part of our newly married life and whilst not a natural lover of fiction, I did enjoy them (a lot). Back in the day I would read them on a night when first married, whilst Nathan went to play football. It was a great balance for us to “do our own thing”! I thoroughly enjoyed each one and fell in love with the characters the anticipation of it all…the fight, power, love story/triangles, and then finally each of the films too!

These days Twilight may seem like a such an immature interest for a now 30 something mother – and it certainly feels like a lifetime ago that my thoughts were taken away to the land of Vampires, werewolves and romance with the Twilight books. But, with no WI-FI still here at the new house (BT issues!), I have resorted to watching films out of our DVD collection, and decided a couple of weeks ago that to re-watch the Twilight saga again would be both nostalgic and joyful!

One thing I failed to account for however is how different my life is now, and how emotional it would leave me feeling for days after. I never anticipated it would, and then it did! As a result I find myself in this frustrating cycle of being annoyed and sad all at the same time. Sad for how it leaves me, annoyed that there isn’t the same joy in the things that I once loved so much!! It, to me, is one of the most frustrating things about life after loss; it’s this feeling that things just aren’t the same anymore…simple things like a film I loved and made me so happy, suddenly becomes tarnished because they hold triggers and reminders of what I have lost and how much pain lies beneath the surface. I suddenly see them from a new angle…read deeper into them or are more easily overcome with emotion.

Almost 3 years on I mostly know my triggers and know the what to expect in certain situations. I know how to protect myself and when I need more strength for things ahead. I know when not to shy away so much, and just ride the waves of grief that will inevitably come, because it is what it is – my baby died and as a result I feel sad at certain things more than others. The hardest part though are these random and annoying moments…the one’s where I am unprepared, and especially when it is with things I felt safe with and once loved so much that are the trigger of all that reflection and sadness. Like I say, I really do find it to be one of the most frustrating and hardest things about life after loss. Its like trying to walk but always tripping. It’s learning to walk through life again!

I never imagined “The Twilight Saga” to one of these triggers though!! I never Imagined Twilight of all things to remind me so much that my baby died and life will never look or feel the same again!

I forgot that the song “1,000 years” was part of the finale – the same song we chose to carry our daughter out to at her funeral.

I never imagined I’d feel a connection to Bella fighting for the life of her unborn child.. and then wondering again if I did enough?

I didn’t think fictional tales of death would have me balling, because I knew how they felt now. Or that the constant talk of “immortals” would leave me wondering where my daughter is and thoughts of life after death (Deep I know!).

I realise as I write this, and I say it often to Nathan too that even if I wanted to forget the fact my baby died (which I don’t) I couldn’t! It is actually impossible to “move on” from something so significant and even traumatic in your life, because somewhere down the line there is always going to be something to remind you of those days and moments when it was all so fresh and raw. I realise that time teaches you how to live and function normally with the pain of loss, but that it doesn’t completely erase it – to do so would erase the love and longing to be with them again.

I never anticipated a much loved film series would be the source of such great reflection and therefore become a trigger for my grief. I thought it was safe, but unfortunately this is one of the bigger frustrations and battles of life after loss and living with a new normal. You suddenly exist in a place where joy and sadness’s are suddenly intertwined and where your eyes see things, and you heart feels things, so very differently than before. I exist in a place where my daughter did die, and because of that loss in every fibre of being, something will always remind me and things will never be the same again, and that’s often a hard pill to swallow!

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