Family Fun Time In Brighton

Monday, 21 April 2014

Hello everyone, sorry its been a bit quiet on my blog my little ones have kept me busy, George had three weeks off for Easter and although a little tiring and stressful at times with two demanding little ones we have had lots of fun, at the beginning of the holidays we went on a little family mini break to Brighton and we had a lovely time, I booked it through a great website Kid & Coe it's such fantastic site for finding beautiful properties to rent for a holiday or mini break they are totally equipped for little ones which means you can pack light which I am a great fan of these days!

The house we stayed in was like home from home the owner was really friendly via email and the booking was so simple through the Kid & Coe website, we were able to check in just after lunch and the cost compared to staying in a hotel was excellent, I really love the owners taste so was really excited about staying and I have got to say we were not disappointed. Here are some photos of the house be prepared to have complete house envy it is a pleasure to share Charlotte's cool pad on my blog, I am sure these images will give you some interiors inspiration too.

There was a lovely open plan sitting/dining area which was great for the little ones and plenty of lovely toys for George and Tilly to play with, there was also a selection of wonderful books for John and I to read.

The kitchen was really well equipped for everything we need to cook up some tasty meals the weather was lovely so we were able to open the patio doors and sit in the garden.

The bedroom was wonderful the bed was super comfy with top notch hotel quality bedding and with it being all white was so calm and peaceful we both slept well.

The children's room was adorable, George and Tilly loved it lots more lovely toys and books to read and there was a travel cot for Tilly they really enjoyed sharing a room and both slept well, in fact we didn't hear a peep from them.

Photo credit Iris Thorsteinsdottir on behalf of Kid and Coe

We really did have a wonderful stay and Brighton it was so much fun and we were really lucky with the weather, we took the kids on the Pier and on the beach collecting pebbles discovered some fantastic parks, had picnics and lots of ice cream and cupcakes! And I actually managed to do a little bit of shopping! But the best part is we spent time together as a family without the distractions of everyday life and chores and we chilled out, there was no rushing about no time structure as such it was a great break away.

If you're visiting Brighton here are a few of my recommended places to visit.

The Level Playground

This was walking distance for us and the kids loved it, we had a picnic and hung out there one of the afternoons it was great we also visited Queens Park which is a lovely green open space.

Brighton and Hove Seafront

The beach huts at Hove are lovely and there is a play area for the kids, The Pier is great fun with traditional and modern rides (we avoided the arcades!) but I would definitely recommend heading towards the Marina to discover Peter Pans playground.

Blackbird Tearooms

I read so many wonderful reviews about this little gem of a place Black bird tearooms situated in the famous lanes we had to visit and it was a wonderful experience although a little rushed due to the little ones!! We really enjoyed our visit and the the divine tea and cake.

The George Payne Pub - Hove

Great pub to go to with the little ones with a very sweet garden which the kids loved, staff were really friendly and made us feel really welcome, we sat back and enjoyed a glass of wine while George and Tilly played it was bliss. I can't find a website for them but they do have a facebook page

The Lanes

If you can go shopping there are some lovely shops lots of independent stores we even stubbled across an Independent super market were we stocked up on supplies.

I hope you have a great week, George is back at school today but it's going to be a busy one for me as I am really playing catch up, I have enrolled on the D├ęcor 8 Blogging Your Way Course, I joined the class over the weekend and I love it, its an exciting time as I know I am going to learn heaps, I will be back later this week as I am working on putting together a little list of tips on going away with little ones, I will try to get it posted soon but I do have a weekend away  to prepare for as well I am off to Croatia on Thursday for my beautiful friend Ulrika's hen do, I cannot wait.

Instagram Giveaway Results

Monday, 7 April 2014

This afternoon George picked the winner for my IG giveaway and the lucky lady is ............................... lucyroset1 congratulations Lucy and please email me at with your address details and I will send you your prize!

Thank you to the IG followers who entered. I will try to run another one again soon so if you are on Instagram don't forget to follow me cathysimplychic , have a lovely week everyone.

Have a lovely week everyone.

Giveaway over at Instagram

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

I am hosting my first giveaway over at Instagram this week, it runs until 20:15 this Sunday 6th April. All you need to do to  enter is follow me at cathy@simplychic and share the photo using the #simplychicfirstgiveaway  the lucky winner will receive three rolls of washi tape a wooden dispenser and cute pen the winner will be announced on my personal blog Monday 7th April. Good luck xx

The Prettiest Workshop

Monday, 31 March 2014

Hello lovely readers, hope you are well on this Spring morning, I say this every month but I can't believe another month has flown by for my UK readers hope loosing the hour at the weekend didn't throw you out to much! Well I will be sharing some pretty images to my post this morning :) A few weekends ago I had the pleasure in attending The Prettiest Workshop hosted by Emily Quinton  and Allison Sadler they teamed together to host a gorgeous workshop which I really enjoyed and got so much out of, I have followed Emily's blog for a while now and I adore her style and creativity  I was also keen to pick up some photography tips. I met Allison and her husband a few years ago when they came to visit Worcester they popped in to my old shop and we had a lovely chat so I was super keen to visit The People Shop and learn some styling skills from Allison.

We kicked off the morning with some tea and lovely  treats and we all chatted and introduced ourselves it was very relaxed and informal I was totally in my comfort zone sat in Allisons beautiful shop, Emily and Allison told us more about their career path and we all chatted about some tips on social media especially Instagram which I am probably a bit of a slow starter with that one but over the last week I can say I am officially addicted!

We did a lovely little craft activity where we made our own pretty notebooks to record all our findings and talked more about styling. 

We then had a gorgeous lunch at a local independent restaurant and the food was wonderful as we all sat round a bit table and chatted more. 

After lunch we started learning more about different styling techniques from both Allison and Emily and I picked up some great tips, we talked about the attention to detail how to use props with your products, light and composition.

We were then given the opportunity to practise with our cameras taking images around the shop or using our own styling techniques and both Allison and Emily were then around to offer us advice and help along the way. I had a wonderful time snapping away at the gorgeous stock and picking up a few purchases along the way! 

Emily gave us a wealth of information about how to take the best photos on our phones and cameras she gave tips about editing and different Apps, The workshop was great for me and I learnt so much and in fact it was just what I needed as I left feeling inspired and raring to go. It was a lovely day and great to network and meet the other ladies,  so a huge thanks to Emily and Allison I loved it and would recommend this workshop to anyone who wants to learn more about styling and photography you definitely get double the loveliness at the Prettiest Workshop. 

For more information on Emily's workshops and to read her blog go to The Start Up Wife and to find out more about Allisons' shop and her workshops head to  The People Shop

Happy Mothers Day

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happy Mamas day to you, this weekend I have missed my beautiful mum so much I have not stopped thinking about her, I can honestly say what gets me through it is George and Tilly.  I am lucky and thankful for my beautiful children who bring me so much love and happiness, I have felt very blessed today. I am also so thankful for the mum I had who showed me the way in life and made me the mum I am today, I just wish and would do anything to be with her again, its very cruel when you lose a parent especially when you have that amazing close relationship, I keep telling myself how lucky I was to have this amazing person in my life I called mum.

Today John and my little ones totally spoilt me with flowers, gifts, cards and chocolates and  we went to a family BBQ at my brother in laws we had a lovely day and I have shared some photos on Instagram feed - I hope you had a wonderful day and enjoyed some QT family time, creating some special memories. x x

An update on shopping local & trying to avoid Supermarkets

Saturday, 22 March 2014

I have been meaning to post an update for a while now, where does the time go!? Well how are we doing? I will be honest it has been a learning curve so far, I have to be super organised to make it work and this week I failed miserably and had to order on line from Sainsburys as we have all been poorly with colds and I am really suffering this weekend,  I just couldn't face going out today and missed our deadline with Abel & Cole  on Wednesday but hey apart from this week it is going OK.

Every week we get our bread, milk, eggs, cheese,  sausages, bacon, baked beans, potatoes, Ecover products (if needed) and other essentials from Abel and Cole it gets delivered on a Friday morning which works well  as in time for the weekend.

The delivery is only 99 pence and minimum order is just £12.00 and sometimes they throw in a few freebies we have had some eggs, yogurt and a recipe folder so far.  We can honestly say we can taste the difference in the food my little ones love the sausages however the downfall it is expensive, John is happy with it he keeps saying 'you get what you pay for' and they are nice people to deal with and they pay a fair price for there products to their suppliers, we could not however afford a full shop with them but we do allow ourselves a few treats there homemade hummus and Tzatziki dips are amazing. They also do some great home cooked meals which we have also treated ourselves to perfect for a Friday night when you have no energy to cook!

We buy our fruit and vegetables from them occasionally tried the fruit and veg boxes just didn't work for us, I find it easier to select my own  fruit and veg my kids are made on grapes and bananas and theirs were very pricey, I also find meal planning easier. However the whole experience is going well and we will continue to use them. For weekly fruit and vegetables I use our green grocer in town (sadly we only have one left) or the local farm shops, farmers market, we have been buying our toiletries, extra cleaning products like polish, bleach and other essentials from Savers or the Pound shop I have found we have saved heaps doing it this way as they are so expensive in the supermarkets! I do one on line shop a month for where we do stock up on nappies and some frozen essentials.

So what have we gained from our new way of shopping, are we saving money? No, not really I am spending about £75.00 a week which isn't bad (as mentioned in previous posts this doesn't include Wine!) I found our budget of £65.00 unrealistic but we are eating a lot better, are waste has been cut down considerably, we are supporting more local businesses which is great and we will continue to do so apart from weeks like this one when we are all poorly and I can't focus and thought sod it I will just have to order on line as I can't think straight!! But I think the changes we have made are positive and we will continue to make lots of effort this year, as to be honest all it has taken is a few changes and some effort. We are also shopping local in other ways, I try and make sure cards and gifts are always purchased from independent on line traders or from independent shops, when we are out for coffee or for dinner we will always try and select an independently  run coffee house or restaurant.

If you have any tips on shopping local I would love to hear from you. I will be back again soon, life is so crazy busy sometimes but it is so important I keep up my writing. I will be back next week to tell you all about my first Photography and Styling Workshop  with Emily Quinton and Allison Sadler both very inspirational and talented ladies I can't wait to meet them and  I know I am going to learn heaps even though I feel completely rubbish with this cold it will be great.

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend everyone x

A belated birthday letter to my poppet x

Sunday, 9 March 2014

 I am still here! Things have been a little topsy turvy, I don't want to blog about these issues as they are doing my head in a little so the last thing I want is to write about it :( its nothing that won't get sorted out soon, hopefully anyway.

So back to my little Tilly Anne, here is your belated birthday letter. x

To my sweet Tilly,  I can't believe you have now turned two, you have grown and changed so much over the last two years and you really are a mini person now. I am treasuring these early years with you and often I will spend evenings telling Daddy all about our adventures! You are thriving on your routine and absolutely love going to nursery and on your home days we have lots of fun together just the two of us going to play groups, reading books, colouring, cooking, going to the park and seeing friends.  You absolutely adore your big brother and you get so excited when it is time to collect him from school and when you get home while I am preparing some tea for both of you, you have fun playing with George's cars with him and acting out Toy Story. You are loving your books and your play kitchen and love to play afternoon tea parties with your dolls and Teddies. Every day you are coming out with another word your speech is just fantastic and like your brother you really enjoy being creative.  Over the last year you have achived so much sweetheart and mummy and daddy are so proud of our little girl,

So now you enter into your third year Tilly, Daddy and I have put together some photos of your first two years you have brought us all so much happiness, we can't wait to see you flourish and grow from a toddler to a little girl. x x x

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