My Hospital Bag (AKA the most fun thing to pack, ever)

While it took me a little while to get organised with my hospital bag, I did find it was really fun putting it all together in anticipation of our little babe's birth. I think they recommend you pack it anytime around 36 weeks, just in case of an early arrival - but I don't think I packed mine until a few days before my due date. As it is I went overdue anyway, and kept having to dive into it to use some of the toiletries etc. In the end I think I took about three separate bags which meant a fair bit for B to carry! I ended up with a small wheelie suitcase with mine and baby's main belongings, a small carrier bag with snacks and drinks and B had his backpack too. 

I love writing lists, so ahead of packing my bag I wrote endless lists, all the while scouring Pinterest for any and everything I might possibly need. It got a little overwhelming so in the end I broke it down further and then I put each collection of items into its own pouch. The theory being that B would know what was in each one and could quickly grab any of it as and when it was needed. (By the way, this is one of the best pieces of advice I was given - make sure your birthing partner knows where you stuff is stashed. You probably won't fancy rooting through your bag yourself as you may be a little preoccupied!)

It's fair to say I took a grand total of no photos of my hospital suitcase...so I'm sharing a few fun photos of a tiny Tallie instead...

 Two days old. Look at that squishy face!

Two days old. Look at that squishy face!

FOR ME

POUCH 1 - LABOUR 

  • Bendy straws - handy for sipping at water throughout labour, even when in funny positions! 

  • Massage oil - I'd heard how good and uplifting orange oil was so I was keen to give it a try and with each contraction in early labour B massaged this oil into my lower back. As it turns out, it really helped me relax and keep breathing through it all. I had tons left over afterwards and it's been lovely to use after showers to keep my skin soft.

  • Mints - I didn't really need these, but it was nice to have them on hand.

  • Lip balm - yes oh yes. My lips got super dry making this and water absolutely essential.

  • Nightdress - I had an old nightie that had skinny straps and was super soft and light, and this was just what I needed. Plus, it being old I didn't care that after labour it went straight in the bin! (There's one similar here.) As mine was pretty loose it also meant that straight after giving birth I could feed Tallie, even though it didn't have fancy pull down bits at the front.

  • Hair ties - I packed a ton of these as I couldn't risk B not being able to find them, there is nothing worse than feeling hot and bothered and not being able to find a bobble...

  • Sweets - as it turns out I was ravenous while waiting for the induction to kick in, but once things got going food was the last thing on my mind. The sweets were nice afterwards though. I also took a big tub of Haribo for the midwives to put on their station which I think was happily received! 

  • Face spray - I got a travel spray bottle and just filled it with cool water once I was in active labour. B then could spritz my face occasionally which brought some lovely cool relief.

  • Face cloth - much like the spray bottle, a cool flannel is handy to dab your brow with once things get going. (Certainly if you're anything like me and feel like you run a few degrees hotter than most!)

POUCH 2 - TOILETRIES

  • Shower gel

  • Shampoo

  • Deodorant

  • Toothbrush

  • Toothpaste

  • Moisturiser - I had this cream and used it on my face and body and loved it. Quite sad to have run out now tbh.

  • Emery boards - I don't know about you, but if I snag my nail and I don't have an emery board to hand it is so hard to think about anything else!

  • Hand cream - lots of hand washing definitely takes its toll so this is a nice one to have handy on your bedside.

  • Hand sanitiser - not essential if you have a private room with a sink, but so handy to keep on standby for before/after nappy changes.

  • Pack of tissues - I don't go anywhere without these, and hospital was no different!

POUCH 3 - AFTER CARE

  • Nipple cream - if you're wanting to breastfeed this stuff is amazing while you get the hang of it. 

  • Breast pads - so handy for any leaky moments. I had (and still have) disposable ones, but in future I'd be tempted to get washable ones like these bamboo ones.

  • Maternity pads - I took two packs of these with me and that was plenty, though I did stock up again once I was home. 

  • Maternity mats - these were provided by the hospital, but I added them to this list as I made sure I had them handy for when I returned home. They were really handy for changing Tallie on those first few days, as the nappies were interesting to say the least!

POUCH 4 - MAKE UP

  • Tinted moisturiser - I didn't want anything too fussy, just something to hydrate and even out my skin tone, ahead of welcoming visitors. I love this by La Roche Posay.

  • Mascara - my usual staple.

  • Tinted lip balm - I love these by Korres as they have a lovely pigment, but are light and non sticky.

  • Concealer - bags be gone!

  • Pressed powder - only for a light dusting, but I don't think I really used it as the ward was so warm and my skin was pretty dry.

I then also packed: 

  • Maternity notes - essential!
  • Flip flops - for showers while you're on the postnatal ward, our showers were clean, but still...
  • Towel - our hospital provided towels which actually weren't too bad, but I still preferred to have one from home.
  • Other PJs - while I wouldn't recommend taking your fancy pjs to hospital (save them for when you're home as you may still be a bit messy). In the end I stuck to wearing my big pants and a comfy vest top while I was in hospital, and I put on old loose pj bottoms for trips to the bathroom etc. 
  • Nursing bras - I had these for sleeping in, and these for day time wear. 
  • Comfy clothes - I was only in for one day and night following Tallie's birth, so I wore my pjs most of the day and had comfy clothes for going home in. My feet had swollen so much that I ended up needing to wear my flip flops to go home. I made sure I took the nursing vest tops I had as they made things so much easier while I was getting to grips with feeding. These from H&M are a staple in my wardrobe now. 
  • Big pants - cotton, comfy and essential after birth. I also got some of these disposable pants for right after birth, when things were still a bit messy.
  • Dressing gown - I did pack one of these (a thin light one) and began active labour wearing it, but it got so in the way with its tie straps that I ditched it in the end. I didn't feel I needed one on the ward afterwards either as it was so so hot!
  • Headphones - I listened to a lot of music in the early stages of labour, so headphones were essential. They would also have been handy on the postnatal ward (so noisy most of the time) but as it is I managed to snag a private room.
  • Wooly socks - I packed my favourite snuggly socks, but in the end I was so hot (maternity wards like to keep things toasty) that I didn't need them.

FOR BABY

  • Nappies - these aren't provided at hospital so we took about half a pack (around 10-15) I think, which was plenty given our short stay. But we also didn't stress out as the hospital was not far from lots of shops, so B could have dashed out and got more had we needed them. 

  • Muslin cloths - x3 ideal for burping and cleaning up any and everything. 

  • Cotton wool - we didn't really use this, as when the nurse came to teach us how to wash Tallie, she brought her own cotton wool with her. 

  • Baby wipes - we used Water Wipes at first, instead of using cotton wool and water for nappy changes as it was so much quicker and easier.

  • Sleepsuits - we took 3 of these, size 'up to one month' as well as 2 newborn sizes. Not really sure why we took the newborn ones as she was so big they never got a look in!

  • Short sleeve vests - x3 to wear under the sleepsuits.

  • Hat - we didn't put Tallie in one in our room as it was so warm, but we had it on standby for the journey home.

  • Scratch mitts - I packed a pair of these but they weren't used as the sleepsuits had them integrated.

  • Coat - we didn't get a coat exactly, but we did have a warm hoodie type jacket for the journey home.

  • Blanket - I used this cellular blanket and it was perfect, plus it lasted a long while once we got home before she outgrew it.

  • Car seat - another essential!

 One of the first photos of little Tallie. Only a few hours old and already a fan of grey!

One of the first photos of little Tallie. Only a few hours old and already a fan of grey!

FOR B 

  • Phone

  • Wallet - including change for the car park at hospital. Thankfully our hospital gave a good discount on a longer term parking pass to those having a baby!

  • iPad - handy for the quieter moments when they need to pass the time.

  • Chargers - I gave B mine too, to keep handy. 

 Look at how teeny she was! This was taken when she was four days old, when we'd been readmitted as I had a post birth infection.

Look at how teeny she was! This was taken when she was four days old, when we'd been readmitted as I had a post birth infection.

And that's it. Looking at the list it does seem to be an awful lot of stuff, but as you can see some of it was a 'just in case' addition to the bags. 

What about you? Did you pack anything different in your bag? I love this article about what women have with them at birth, from around the world. So fascinating and it really makes me grateful for the amazing (free!) care we have access to in this country.

-x-


A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower

In celebration of our little Tallie turning six months all this week on the blog I'm sharing some stored up posts to bring us right up to date. You can hear all about Tallie and her arrival here, see her nursery nook here and read why I'm a huge advocate for maternity shoots here. Once this week's posts have run normal service will resume - with more interiors, DIY and book posts - not just parenting and family posts, promise! 

Today I wanted to share a little peek into my baby shower which was such a special afternoon. Contrary to popular opinion, I decided to co-host my baby shower with my bestie, Ruthie. (Our mums obviously have great choice in names!) I love planning events and had such set ideas about what I wanted to create that it felt right that we'd make it happen together, and my goodness I really couldn't have done it without her. The plan for the afternoon was simple, it was a baby shower for someone who didn't love the idea of having a baby shower! You may have guessed by now, but I really don't like the attention being on me. All I really wanted was a good excuse to gather together with some dear friends, to eat some tasty treats and to pray together as we celebrated the imminent arrival of my little one. 

A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog

Here's a little more detail about what we got up to...

DECOR

The shower was held on a grey afternoon in January, so adding flowers and candlelight was essential to lighten our home and to create a cosy atmosphere. The day before the event I stocked up on simple blooms and greenery - including ranunculus, eucalyptus, spray carnations and wax flower. By picking flowers which easily separate into little posies, we made up several little arrangements and dotted them around my home. They were everywhere from the dining table and fireplace hearths to the kitchen drinks station and even in our bathroom. We also used the same flowers to decorate our doughnut stack and cake. It's amazing how something as simple as adding flowers to some cheap and cheerful doughnuts makes them look so much more fun and pretty.

Next we added candles - both scented candles from Anthropologie and simple tealights. We emphasised the twinkly feeling with string lights too. I love the ones that just need batteries, they look great and don't need a power socked - winner! 

A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog

I'm a sucker for banners and bunting, so of course we strung up lots of these! By sticking to the party colours (pink, grey, gold) it all tied in nicely, without being too fussy. We also hung the 'love' balloon as I couldn't resist it! It's now hanging in our bedroom as I can't bear to be parted from it.

Finally, I dotted a few little baby bits around the house. I had a sweet pair of crochet baby booties and a snuggle toy which were sweet and made the party feel more like a baby shower.

A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog

FOOD & DRINK

We served a selection of sweet and savoury snacks including a delicious carrot cake, vanilla sugar cookies (which we'd stamped 'hello baby' on roll out icing), chocolate dipped strawberries and plenty of popcorn. To make the sweet treat table look pretty I gathered a selection of glasses and plates to display everything in. Even a simple treat like mini eggs look extra special when put out in martini glasses. 

For drinks, we set up a 'pimp your prosecco' station. I labelled carafes and filled with different juices, and put chopped fruit in bowls. Guests could then grab a jam jam (complete with gold foil straw), pour prosecco and add whatever juice or fruit they fancied. 

A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog | Mimosa bar
A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog
A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog
A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog

DETAILS/ ACTIVITIES

While I didn't relish the idea of traditional baby shower games, I did want to do a couple of things to mark the occasion. I'd seen 'wishes for baby' cards available to download on various blogs before and I wanted something similar. I'm such a stationery fan and this was one of the most special elements of the day so I came up with a loose design concept and then commissioned Quill London to print the cards. I was thrilled with them! The calligraphy element looked so beautiful and then when they were filled in I was left with a pile of sweet messages, hopes and dreams for Tallie. I'm so looking forward to sharing them with her when she's older. 

A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog

The final part was a lovely time of prayer with my dear friends. Needless to say I was pretty apprehensive ahead of having Tallie, so gathering with friends to commit it all to God was so precious and the highlight of the afternoon. I felt so priviliged to be surrounded by such incredible women, knowing they'd each be an important part of Tallie's life. 

It was such a joyful afternoon and I'm so grateful to everyone who came and made it so special. And of course my biggest thank you goes to Ruthie, as she made it all happen! We wouldn't have had anything to eat if it weren't for her amazing baking skills - the biscuits, cakes and pastries were all made by her. Thank you, friend. You're the best! 

A Simple Floral Themed Baby Shower | Gathered Cheer blog

I'll be back with a couple more posts this week - including one on the things we've most used these past six months having Tallie. See you soon.

-x-

All photos shot and styled by Ruth Garner for Gathered Cheer


Five Reasons To Book A Maternity Shoot

Today's post has me a little nervous. Because, while I wholeheartedly believe what I'm about to say, it means me putting more images on this blog of yours truly. Not something I relish. I tend to prefer to beautiful interiors images, pretty views or more recently photos of my sweet little babe. But that's also kind of the point behind this post. That while you may be like me in your dislike for appearing in photographs, it's actually a really lovely and special thing to do from time to time. Getting pregnant wasn't quite as straight forward as I may have anticipated (you can read more about our journey here) and so it felt right to record this special moment. That while I felt even bigger than usual, it was a precious miracle that was cooking away in my belly and that deserved to be celebrated.

Five Reasons to Book a Maternity Shoot | Gathered Cheer blog | Photos by Siobhan Calder

I'd seen Siobhan Calder on Instagram (here and here) and loved her images so it felt like a natural fit to ask her to take my portraits. Siobhan has a magical way with light which is so different to my usual predilection for bright, white (often overexposed) shots. I knew that she'd capture this quiet moment for us beautifully and we'd be left with images to treasure forever. I wasn't wrong. Usually my first thought upon seeing myself in photos is to zone in straight away on my appearance. Don't we all do that? It can be the most amazing photo and all we see is our flaws. But these photos were different. Instead of seeing flaws and feeling uncomfortable, my initial thought was just how happy I looked and even now looking at them takes me back to that moment of excitement waiting for our little Tallie to arrive. It felt like the most effortless shoot, too. Siobhan and I chatted over cups of tea and she snapped away all the while. There were no cheesy forced grins or awkward poses. I didn't fancy doing any full on belly shots and that was fine because she captured me. The bump is there, just not taking centre stage. She knew where the light was and played to that (on one of the greyest days in January!) and it all felt so easy. A surprisingly fun morning for a camera shy person like me. And now that Tallie is here and B and I are already often found looking at pictures from when she first arrived, I also find myself going back to these photos too. From when she was still safely nestled in my belly. I was full of cold, but felt that strange mixture of calm and excited a month before my due date.

Five Reasons to Book a Maternity Shoot | Gathered Cheer blog | Photos by Siobhan Calder

So, if you're pregnant and sitting on the face debating whether to have some maternity photographs taken here are five good reasons to do it...

IT'S A PRECIOUS MOMENT

Pregnancy is one of those amazing moments in life that makes you go 'wow'. It's probably why perfect strangers see fit to reach out and touch your bump, or stop to chat asking all the usual 'when's it due?' questions. Bringing life into the world really is a miracle. And pregnancy doesn't happen everyday, or more often that a few times in a woman's lifetime, so it's precious. I don't know if I'll be pregnant again and so recording this treasured moment was something that felt really right for us. 

Five Reasons to Book a Maternity Shoot | Gathered Cheer blog | Photos by Siobhan Calder

PREGNANCY IS BEAUTIFUL

Ok so depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy you might be contending with morning sickness, swelling, nausea or feeling super achey. And this might make appearing in photos feel less that appealing. But you still look gorgeous. Trust me, you do. I loved my big bump as for the first time in ages I didn't feel self conscious about my tummy! Looking back at photos of yourself from pregnancy you'll see your lovely bump and remember your little one growing inside you - you honestly won't see your swollen ankles or anything else you might otherwise be hung up on. 

Five Reasons to Book a Maternity Shoot | Gathered Cheer blog | Photos by Siobhan Calder

THE MEMORIES WILL ENDURE

There's something magical about photographs that means that they capture more than just a moment in time. They capture so much more - the smells, the emotions, the sounds... As I said earlier, my own maternity photos remind me of the grey day in January, when I was full of cold and downing copious amounts of warmed honey and lemon. The house was as still as can be, with lights on and candles flickering. Anticipation filled each room as we waited and prepared and imagined what life might soon look like. If feels so special to be able to look at images and have all this conjured up time and again.

Five Reasons to Book a Maternity Shoot | Gathered Cheer blog | Photos by Siobhan Calder

IT'S FUN

Pregnancy can feel a bit like a slog especially towards the end. So taking time out just for you to sit, rest and generally reflect on it all is really lovely. And if you decide to have photos taken with your partner and any other children it'll be a happy moment for you all to enjoy together as you anticipate your new arrival. I found the morning with Siobhan so calming and enjoyable - which totally surprised me as ordinarily I feel so tense having my photo taken. It was just her and me as B was at work and it just felt like hanging out with a lovely friend, I was barely aware of her snapping away.

Five Reasons to Book a Maternity Shoot | Gathered Cheer blog | Photos by Siobhan Calder

YOUR KIDS WILL LOVE IT

Obviously Tallie is still to young right now but I imagine that as she grows she'll be keen to see photos of her as a baby and photos of her as a bump. I think it'll be such a special thing to enjoy looking at together as I tell her stories of how I felt, what labour was like, how we first felt to be parents. I love hearing stories from my own childhood and it makes me happy to think of passing similar memories onto Tallie. Of course, these portraits don't need to just capture you. They could be images of corners of your home, sweet gifts you've been given or particularly treasured items. For us, these other photos included ones of our sitting room, some sweet crochet booties and a precious print with a bible verse on. (You can see the print more here). So not only will Tallie be able to see my bump and me, but she'll get a little peek at what her first home looked like too. (I wonder if it'll seem as weird and outdated as when I look back at our first home and its furnishing way back in the 80s and 90s?!) 

Five Reasons to Book a Maternity Shoot | Gathered Cheer blog | Photos by Siobhan Calder

So, have you had maternity photos? Would you like to? Let me know in the comments below, or find me on Instagram! 

If you're looking for a photographer I'd so happily recommend Siobhan. Go see her amazing work here.

-x-

All photos shot by Siobhan Calder


Welcome, Talitha!

As I mentioned in my previous post, things over her at Gathered Cheer HQ have been somewhat turned upside down after the arrival of our little girl, Tallie. Now that we're beginning to find our feet, I wanted to properly introduce you to our little bird (so nicknamed as she made the cutest pecking motions on my shoulder when she wanted food!) and also to share a little more of our journey as to how we got here. 

Our path to becoming parents certainly wasn't straightforward, and it definitely took a lot longer than I ever could have imagined. I've written a little about our journey on here - namely about having experienced three ectopic pregnancies in as many years (you can read those posts here and here). To be told that the chances of conceiving naturally are slim to non-existent, thanks to fallopian tubes which didn't seem to know what they were supposed to be doing, is possibly one of the hardest things I've ever had to hear. But in spite of that, B and I held onto the fact that one day we would be parents. We took a little break from the baby-making trials after our last ectopic a few years ago, but then mutually agreed to give IVF a shot. So last January we began treatment and in theory we were ideal candidates. It might seem odd but the days of our treatment were lovely. B managed to shuffle his work schedule so he could come to most appointments with me and the Drs and nurses were wonderful and always so kind and encouraging. All that said, when they retrieved my eggs and had only managed to get two I was super disappointed. A few days later one happy embryo was put back into me and I sat on tenterhooks for two weeks to see how it fared. Sadly it didn't stick. This unsuccessful treatment left me lower than I've ever been before. Having been told natural conception wasn't really on the cards, I'd put all my eggs in the IVF basket (unintended pun!) and really thought it was going to work for us - we'd finally have our baby. The weeks following that I felt so lost as I grappled with our situation, along with the fact that we really couldn't afford more treatment and weren't eligible on the NHS. 

Of course we didn't face all this alone. We were wrapped in love by our friends and family. It was through these amazing people that we began to hope again - expectant at what our future could look like. Our faith is central to our lives and we truly believe that God is good, is a healer and that miracles can and do happen. Even as I type that, I also remember thinking that, despite wholeheartedly believing those statements, it would never be me up the front of church sharing my miracle story . Growing up in the church I'd seen so many people sharing stories about what God had done for them - afflictions healed, relationships restored, chains broken... I just never thought it would ever be for me. Several friends and family members began telling us that they felt such faith that we'd conceive naturally and to hold onto hope. It's times like these that the faith of others is what holds you up; my own reserves had run dry, so I let them hope for me. 

Talitha - calligraphy by Quill London

You can probably see where this is going, but three short months after the negative blood test at the IVF clinic, I saw two lines on the pregnancy test! My goodness, what an amazing shock that was. Naturally I then bought out the whole stock of testing kits at Boots as I kept checking to see if it was really true. As excited as I was, with our history of ectopics I was still so nervous, praying that it was in the right place. Thankfully I only had a week to wait as my lovely Dr suggested I went for an early scan at five weeks at our walk in clinic. I remember so vividly being scanned and the Dr confirming our little poppy seed was in my womb! In that moment every empty scan that had gone before was redeemed - we had our baby! After that moment I was still so aware of the fragility of what was growing inside me, almost not wanting to get too attached in case something went wrong. But as worried as I got from time to time, I tried to keep holding onto hope, staying calm and trusting that this pregnancy was for keeps and that God had it all in his hands. Every week was a milestone, and was even better when it included a trip to see the midwife or the sonographer. Seeing our little Peanut grow and develop and hearing her heartbeat was the most beautiful thing. And sure enough, nine months (and a bit!) after that initial scan we welcomed baby Talitha in our lives. We named her Talitha Hope as the word Talitha is used by Jesus when he says to a dead child 'talitha cumi' meaning 'little girl, arise'. So for us she is our little girl who both brings hope with her and speaks of the hope of God. A precious reminder to keep holding on. 

T // Gathered Cheer blog

Since then it's weird to think that baby loss and childlessness is no longer our current reality. God has redeemed all that with the life of our precious girl. I still think of the little lives we lost, but I no longer feel overshadowed by the pain or lost as we navigate our days. Life has taken on a new complexion as we try to learn to parent well, finding daily joy as we see Tallie grow and change. All that said, it's not been without its challenges. There's always a part of me that daren't complain about the hard days, as I know what it's like to so desperately want a baby, and hearing such complaints in those moments is the pits. But equally I'm trying to parent honestly too, sharing both the highs and the lows, the exhilerating and the mindane. 

 First family photo fail ;)

First family photo fail ;)

And now onwards we go, walking on this new path - one that is already unfolding faster than I'd like. We toyed with how much to share on here and social media for a long while and finally reached the conclusion that Tallie is a huge part of our lives so to not refer to and share parts of her life would feel odd. So, while this won't be a full on parenting blog, she'll definitely pop up on here from time to time! 

So, that's our story - one of unfolding hope. If you're going through anything similar please know I am standing with you, holding onto hope for you too.

-x-

Snapshots from the summer

Hello friends. My, where has the time gone? I haven't blogged since the end of June - oops! What with a fair amount of personal stuff going on and the summer holidays too - which took us to Greece and France and Devon (lucky us, I know) - the days just flew by and the blog break, though totally unintentional, has done me good. Now it's September, my birthday has been and gone and a new term is upon us I feel rested and finally ready to get my head back in the game.

Rather than crashing straight in with business as usual I thought it would be fun to share some snapshots from the summer. It's been a wonderful time, full of trips to see friends and family, along with some fun blogging events too! That said, it still feels (at least here in London) that summer is still very much with us, as the temperatures are soaring and the sun is shining. You'll find no complaints here.

 

Travels - home and away // 

 

GREECE

This year we were thrilled to be able to return to the same spot we visited last year, the beautiful Lefkada island in Greece. It was a special time away celebrating my mum and dad-in law and both of their birthdays and their wedding anniversary too. The whole Garner clan had plenty of time to enjoy time together - eating, swimming, exploring and of course doing a whole lot of sunbathing. (Admiteddly not me, factor 50 and shade are my best friends...)

One thing I kept meaning to do last year was to capture the sunrise in all its glory, and this year, armed with my trusty tripod I managed it. It didn't disappoint.

DEVON

It's always a joy to visit Devon and the many friends and family who call it home. A flying visit, we made the most of the sunshine on a day trip out to the beach at South Milton. We also benefited from the fruits of the family garden - my freezer is now full of frozen plums waiting patiently for me to figure out what to make.

South Milton Sands, Devon // Gathered Cheer blog

 

FRANCE

You know you're at your home from home when you barely take a single photo, right? Well, on this short trip to visit my parents in France (they were there for a nice long summer holiday) I didn't even take one photo. It's a beautiful place to be sure, but relaxing in the sun and chatting to mum and dad was my priority and it was refreshing to have a break from taking photos. 

 

Blog events //

 

The White Company - Summer Entertaining

I was invited, along with a friendly group of bloggers, to a summer party hosted by The White Company all the way back in May. It was as you'd imagine the most beautiful event, dressed to perfection. Held at Eltham Palace (which I'd never previously visited, I will be back!) the sun shone, cocktails flowed and we had all the hearts eyes for the many White Company pieces. 

Here's a little video from the afternoon...

Gathered Cheer Socials

Two more of these lovely gatherings happened over the summer, hosted by some brilliant people. I had such fun that I'm going to make sure I blog about them both soon as we visited so many great places that I think you'd like to hear more about. 

The first was held in Faversham, and was hosted by illustrator and surface pattern designer Kate Clarke. Having never been to Faversham I was totally smitten by the charm and character on every street. Here's just a few snaps - more to follow! The shed pictured is Kate's - isn't it amazing?

Faversham Gathered Cheer Social // Gathered Cheer Blog
Faversham Gathered Cheer Social // Gathered Cheer Blog
Faversham Gathered Cheer Social // Gathered Cheer Blog
Faversham Gathered Cheer Social // Gathered Cheer Blog

The second social was hosted by Amy at Daisy Fay Interiors and Soumya from Made by Molu. They'd planned a fun photowalk around east London, taking in all the essential sights with plenty of time for snacks of course (bagels!). It was such a lovely walk with a great group of women, and Soumya even printed out a little map/guide for us. I'll be sure to share our east London must-visits soon. 

There are two more socials in the diary, so if you fancy joining us in Bristol on October 8th, click here to find out more and book your place! 

And that friends brings us up to date! It's been a busy few months, but they have been so enjoyable and it's made me realise that taking breaks away from the everyday are a wonderful way to recharge and gain perspective. 

Here's to the fast-approaching autumn season - I for one can't wait to enjoy watching the leaves turn and the sunlight show of its warm golden tones. I trust it will be a brilliant one for you, too!

-x-