She has arrived!

Plus One

She has arrived!

Finally after what felt like an eternity of waiting lovetomtomHQ has a new member and I can now introduce you to baby Lucille. Continue reading

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Maternity Fashion

lovetomtom

 and a maternity wardrobe

I started writing this post months ago and haven’t been able to finish it because well, things change so quickly during pregnancy, so honestly it’s been hard to keep up! I’m entering another phase now (that’s code for getting bigger) and while I feel like I’ve been wearing the same clothes for weeks now I’m going to share what I’ve learned about trying to dress my bump before it changes again.

When I first found out I was pregnant there were of course a million things running through my mind and one was, how was I going to dress like me with a bump? I started looking at maternity clothes and decided I was having none of it! I turned to Pinterest and felt a little reassurance in other people’s creativity and I was able to develop an image of how I was going to style myself during pregnancy. Are you laughing already? I now laugh at myself as you can probably guess that things didn’t go to plan. The other thing that didn’t go to plan was that I wanted to capture my ever-changing body and style with some beautiful photography but life has moved so quickly that you will have to put up with some less artistic selfies.

I made a few mistakes early on that have had a big impact on how I felt during the first few months. Normally, when I shop, I treat every piece like an investment but being pregnant meant it became the complete opposite. I couldn’t get my head around this and it didn’t seem financially sensible or practical to buy clothes that I would only be wearing for a few months or even a few weeks! As a result I didn’t buy any clothes. I persisted with what I had, squeezing (literally) into my existing wardrobe, leaving buttons open with the help of a DIY hairband-come-expander. Most days I was uncomfortable and very conscious that my options were getting fewer by the day. What I should have done, and this was my first mistake, was to buy a few basics such as leggings and vests. This would have allowed me to be more comfortable and get more wear out of a number of items already in my wardrobe. Lesson learnt.

By the time my bump was an actual bump and not just the result of a carbohydrate-fuelled meal I was a little more relaxed and happy to show it off. Like my ‘buy as an investment rule’, I had to reverse how I normally dress as my body shape was completely different. My waist had vanished so no more high-waisted skirts and I found that figure hugging clothes created a nicer silhouette in comparison to something a little looser which I was more comfortable with. This is where some basics came in handy. A decent pair of maternity jeans are a must, however I would suggest buying these once your bump is established. Any earlier and they just won’t make sense. I also bought some stretchy bodycon type maternity dresses (H&M, Lidl and New Look) which I have gotten the most wear out of as they have stretched with me. I initially wore them on their own and now in the cooler weather I layer up with leggings and cardigans.

Other pieces that have been huge fashion-savers have been some outer wear. If you can get your hands on a blazer, do so. I was fortunate enough to be given a black blazer with silk trim and it has worked wonders to give the illusion of a figure. Similarly I got my hands on a maternity coat in my local charity shop that is double-breasted and warm with a lovely exaggerated collar that doubles as a hood. It’s not waterproof or even anything I would buy if I wasn’t pregnant but it does the job.

People had suggested buying a size or two up and for some things this worked but for the majority of the time I found there was room for the bump but too much material everywhere else. I did buy some non-maternity items that have been useful in my maternity wardrobe that I will be able to wear once bubs is here. A few dresses and some plain stretch long sleeve tops that act as a base under blazers have been practical and also give way for a bit of fun. This blazer I mentioned earlier is great with a tee and one I wear often as I can mix things up with shoes and accessories. Speaking of which in an attempt to recreate my wardrobe I have relied heavily on existing accessories and some of my favourite pairs of shoes. At least these for the most part are non-pregnancy related and help me feel like my style hasn’t completely vanished.

Just when I was feeling on top of things, my body has changed again and so too has my wardrobe. When talking to other women, I get the sense we are lucky that maternity fashion is now a ‘thing’ and more stores are jumping on board. But not enough. Imagine, there are only four reasonably priced brands available to you and each brand has the mentality that all women look the same and wear the same clothes. For me that sums up maternity fashion. I’m looking to brands that I would never normally buy and none of my shopping decisions have been based on style or quality, mainly price. That is no way to shop. Thank goodness for charity shops and people’s generosity. I have been given some great pieces and I look forward to returning the favour when I’m done with them.

No doubt things are going to change again and again in the last ten weeks. I have a sense that the ‘loungewear’ part of my wardrobe is going to be worn more and more.

If you are pregnant and want a few more specific tips please get in touch as I have a lot more to say on the topic. Even if you aren’t pregnant and want to revise your wardrobe or need some styling for a particular event you can contact me at lovetomtom@outlook.com.

xo

Something for Dessert

Something for Dessert

Raspberry Cheesecake

I knew it wouldn’t take me long to feature cheesecake in my Something for Dessert series. One of my all time favourite desserts, if done well of course. A bad cheesecake is something no one should have to endure!

This Raspberry Cheesecake recipe is easy and so good, and a great one for putting your own touches to. I hope you enjoy!

xo

Wish List

Wish List

#26

I have spent a lot of time online the past few weeks, not working as you’ve probably gathered, more as a way of distracting myself from the sadness that fills my heart. Honestly we hear so much negativity around social media and the big bad world of the internet but besides my amazing family and friends, the internet has provided some much-needed daydreaming and security for my heavy heart.

With many hours spent scrolling through my favourite brands and artists, filling my virtual basket with clothes, accessories, shoes, books and makeup and not once following through with a single transaction, I have become an expert at ‘fake internet shopping’. Feeling totally inspired by all the fabulous yet unnecessary material things I thought I was missing out on, I decided to venture into the real world and unapologetically do a bit of retail therapy.

You all know me well enough by now to know that I love shopping. Whether I purchase anything or not I genuinely love strolling through shops, touching fabrics, piecing outfits together, trying on shoes, buying shoes! You can imagine my disappointment then when I finally got myself together to leave my apartment and spend some cash that I was so uninspired by this season’s ‘trends’. I walked and walked and came home empty-handed. There was plenty of course that caught my eye but as usual these items were more wish list than realistic purchases, which leads me here. While the shops are full of hideous off-the-shoulder numbers and copious versions of the same old   embroidered shirts, I am steering clear and continuing my Wish List daydreaming over on Pinterest. Each week I’m going to pin everything that has caught my eye. Everything from fashion, beauty, interiors and food, and if I do actually make a purchase, it will get pinned here too! I’ll be updating my Wish List board throughout the week and have already started so why not take a look.

xo

 

In This Week’s News

In This Week’s News

I know I have written loads about my wedding but there is one story I haven’t shared. Don’t worry it’s actually a very short story and you can find in THE NEW YORK TIMES!

I’m so thrilled to see my name maybe not quite up in lights, I’m working on that, but in The New York Times and with this special story.

Click here to read how I picked my engagement ring; it’s in The New York Times!! Just in case you missed that part.

We're married

Photograph by Alex Feld

xo

lovetomtom turned one!

lovetomtom turned one!

Happy Blogiversary 

I know it’s July already but June was such a busy month with lots of exciting things going on that I’m a bit behind. One exciting thing that happened was lovetomtom’s first anniversary.

It is hard to believe that I have been blogging for a year now. I had no idea where lovetomtom would take me when I started and it has been and continues to be so much fun!  Without getting too mushy, can I just say a really big thank you for reading, commenting, following and being a part of the lovetomtom family.

There is only one way to celebrate such an occasion and that’s with cake of course! Seeing as I’m making cake, and a blogiversary cake at that, it’s a no brainer that this cake is recipe of the month. I should say this post is late because it took me so long to decide what to bake! Because this was going to be a treat for me (and Mr B if I left him some), I couldn’t decide if I should bake something new, bake an old favourite or even treat myself and go out for cake. Indecisive much?!

In the end, I looked to one person that makes my stomach grumble every time I see her cakes and that is Molly from My name is Yeh. I knew it was going to be a hard task recreating one of her masterpieces as decorating cakes is not my strong point but practise makes perfect and I decided to give it a go. I came across this gorgeous guest post she did for the  JewHungry Blog , A Birthday Cake for Two  and that is what I made. Please be sure to read the recipe and look at how beautiful Molly decorates her cakes otherwise this next bit will make no sense at all!

The recipe is quick, easy and delicious and you can decorate it however you like. I’ll be honest, the first one I decorated didn’t quite work out how I planned. I made cupcake versions of this cake, in two sizes, small and large so I could layer them into a pretty mountain of delicious cake smothered in rich buttery icing. Topped with sprinkles of course! But with my heavy hand, it ended up looking like a very sad, pudgy, lopsided mountain of mess. My patience was running thin at this point as I just wanted to eat the thing! I needed a guaranteed winner.  I had the cupcake, icing and sprinkles ready to go so I simply put the three together.  A far cry for Molly’s works of art and I’d say she would be mortified with my end result. Because the recipe is for two, I think this is perfect for me to practise my decorating skills which means I will probably have to bake, bake, bake and bake some more!

blogaversary cake

Blogaversary cake

Blogaversary cake

xo

 

Goodbye

The real lovetomtom has left the building.

(and I’m running out of tissues)

This post seems a bit late since my house guests left almost two weeks ago now but it has taken me a while to compose myself enough to write this.  I don’t need to tell you that saying goodbye to loved ones completely sucks. I am heartbroken, I miss them and I want them here now! Yes I’m being a baby and throwing my toys out of the pram, but I think I’m allowed.

I could write a thesis on how much I miss them and the depths of my homesickness but I will save you. Instead let’s talk about how I prepared for my guests and the real lovetomtom. With all my research I had to remind myself that they were not moving in forever (I wish) and the real lovetomtom is a 2 year old boy who can easily be entertained. Some things I bought new, but most things, like books and toys, I bought from charity shops. I wanted to give him the option of taking goodies home with him so everything I bought had to be light and easily transportable. Not an easy task, as everything I wanted to buy was solid wood or too big to fit into a suitcase! Can you tell I’m a smitten auntie?

With toys and entertainment taken care of, I was left to create a pop-up bedroom. I’m glad I didn’t go too over the top with his room which could have easily happened. I realised after some very grand ideas and swooning over many Pinterest boards, that he wouldn’t be spending that much time in his bedroom and that I was probably decorating it more for the adults! Here are a few things I put together for him.

I couldn’t resist this black and white elephant fabric.

Elephants

 

A bit of colour thanks to this ABC wrapping paper I framed.

T is for tomtom

A few extras just for fun.

Kids room accessories

Kids room accessories

Trucks, blocks, books, bubbles, make-believe, dress-ups, music, baby chinos and dancing. Oh the dancing! That’s how I spent my time with the real lovetomtom and I miss him and his mummy and daddy very much.

lovetomtom

lovetomtom

lovetomtom

xo

 

 

 

lovetomtom has landed!

lovetomtom has landed!

I don’t need to tell you again but just in case you forgot,  lovetomtom (the real lovetomtom) has landed!

I might be a bit quiet the next two weeks and I’m sure you’ll understand why, but fret not as there will be plenty of blog posts to follow, including the final decision on how I styled his bedroom.

Until then, here is  a sneak peek.

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xo

2015 Irish Beauty Blog Awards

Irish Beauty Blog Awards

2015 Irish Beauty Blog Awards

I read somewhere that achievements should be celebrated but not for too long and I think this is good advice so I will keep this brief.

This week I found out lovetomtom made it to the long list of Best Content in the Irish Beauty Blogs Awards and I am thrilled! A huge thank you to everyone who nominated lovetomtom. It means a lot to me and I’m glad that I get to share lovetomtom with all of you.

If you fancied, you can keep the love coming by nominating lovetomtom in the Readers Choice Award.

xo

Who is lovetomtom?

The story of lovetomtom

(and his lovesick aunt)

With the pending arrival of tomtom himself, I thought now would be a good time to introduce you.

Some of you may already know, so I will keep this brief and not to give away all his secrets (everyone deserves a bit of mystery) but tomtom is my wonderful nephew. TaDa! (insert jazz hands). Anyone who has a niece or nephew no doubt thinks he/she is the cutest, the smartest, the kindest and I am unapologetically no different! tomtom is very special to our family and as his Zia (aunt) I am completely crazy in love with him.

It’s no surprise then that his visit (along with my fabulous sister and brother in-law) is the event of the year! As part of their visit I will need to design a temporary bedroom, play area, activities and meals for the little man and I can’t wait.

My aim is to create a fun, calm space for him to feel relaxed and comfortable. He is coming a very long way and being on a plane for 24 hours is bad enough for most of us let alone a 2 year old. Don’t worry, I will have plenty of goodies for the grown ups too!

I’m not one for gender colours or gender themes for that matter so over the next few weeks my eyes will be peeled for all sorts of inspiration. I’m going to have to be creative in how I use materials and think outside the box, as after all, they will be going home again (the tissues are on standby).

My sewing machine and paint brushes, as well as my never ending supply of hugs and kisses are ready to go. I’ll keep you posted on what I will be working on and if you have any suggestions please send them my way.

Let the countdown begin! (even though I have been counting down for months but you get my drift).

9 weeks and counting!

lovetomtom

Not long tomtom until you can reach out your cute little hands to me in person!

xo