February 2020

Competition Winner

We were blown away with the number of entries to our ‘Win Free Clothes for a Year’ competition.

Thank you to everyone who entered and for your continued support! We truly appreciate it.

The lucky winner was Mel Cann who is already enjoying our range – especially our dresses!

This certainly won’t be the last competition we run, so do follow us on our social media channels to make sure that you don’t miss out on more chances to win some lovely prizes.

https://www.facebook.com/pentlebay

https://twitter.com/pentlebay

https://www.instagram.com/pentlebay/

Thank you!


Love the Pentlebay Team x

Top tips on how to declutter your wardrobe

Are you overwhelmed by the amount of clothes you have in your wardrobe? Do you find it difficult to find certain items when you need them and know that they’re in there somewhere?! If so, now’s THE perfect time to give your wardrobe a healthy declutter! And, most importantly, by freeing up some space means that there’s more room for NEW purchases 😊 … surely there’s no better motivation than that?!

So here’s a few tips on how to create a more organised, fashion-forward wardrobe.

Enjoy…


1) Make time

You need to make sure that you have plenty of time before you start. The de-cluttering process will take a while, but it really will be worth it.


2) Make all your clothes visible

This might seem obvious but it Is quite surprising what you find when you make sure everything Is visible! A lot of us tend to have our clothes rammed in so tightly that you can’t actually see all your clothes. Have a really good look through, you might be surprised with what you find. This process will either re-fresh your wardrobe with clothes you had forgotton about, or make more room when you throw clothes out that you haven’t worn for such a long time.


3) Do a quick wardrobe purge

Take everything out of your wardrobe that you don’t need or want any more – this should be a relatively quick job and if there are some items you’re not sure about you can always leave them and decide at a later date. If you do wonder when you wore them last – a quick trick. Turn the head of the hanger so when you re-check at a later date you can see If It’s been worn recently or not. Then you need to be ruthless and throw things out that you haven’t worn for a long while.


4) Take a reflective inventory of your wardrobe

Now this can be the difficult bit, as often clothes are linked to memories and are sentimental, but really do take your time to think about the clothes you do have and ask yourself:

Do I really need 10 pairs of jeans? As much as I love it, when did I actually last wear that dress? And if after reflection, you realise you don’t actually need them anymore, now’s the time to take these items out.


5) Not sure? Try them on

If you do have 10 pairs of jeans it may be hard to decide which ones you should keep and which ones to throw out. Try them on and see which ones fit and which ones really don’t. A second opinion Is often helpful, and a full-length mirror Is essential.  If you still aren’t sure, it might help to accessorise it with shoes, jewellery and a handbag in order to make that final decision!


6) Clean out your wardrobe regularly

It’s incredible how much dust collects up in our wardrobes so make sure you regularly wipe down any wardrobe shelves you have and hoover out the floor; making your wardrobe look spick and span!


7) Rearrange and reorganise your clothes

Now there’s no right or wrong here, people like to organise their wardrobes in different ways. Some people like to arrange it by seasons, others by clothes types and sometimes it’s all about the colour-coding. Whatever works for you is great 😊


We hope this helps, thanks for reading & have a fab day!

Top 5 tips on how to dress comfy yet stylish whilst #StayingSafeAtHome

Yes, we all have our days where loungewear and PJs are our favourite go-tos and the idea of “getting ready” isn’t appealing at all. Or we have days where we throw on an uncomfortable pair of jeans and faded tee…just because they’re there and they’re easy. We’ve all been there – and particularly through lockdown. But often, what we really  want is to be able to look chic, with relatively little effort, AND at the same time stay feeling comfy. Sound familiar? While we’re still mostly #stayingsafeathome, we thought we’d share a few tips and tricks on how to how to achieve both of these things – with ease and simplicity!

Enjoy…


1) Say YES to the dress

We all need to take a break from wearing tight-fitting jeans or trousers, once in a while, or from pyjamas/onesies – now that the novelty is wearing off 😊. At Pentlebay we feel that dresses really can be that missing piece to the “what to wear” (whilst mainly staying in) puzzle.  Whether it’s a shirt dress or a printed midi dress… these are all incredibly comfy styles that will not only boost your overall mood but will have you looking dressed to impress all year round – both at home or out and about!

Shop our versatile range of dresses.

2) Wear fabrics that have you ‘feeelin’ good’

We all have our own personal tastes when it comes to the kind of fabrics that we go for and most enjoy wearing. Some of us prefer wearing cottons & linens, whereas others prefer silks and floaty fabrics. Whatever the clothing is that you’re wearing, just make sure the fabric suits you and your lifestyle. Fabric places a huge part in the comfort of clothing and can really change our mood, confidence and productivity; without us even realising sometimes.


3) Play wardrobe dress up & dress down… or a bit of both!

It’s also really important that we wear clothes that make us feel happy and confident in ourselves. Sometimes that means following trends, and other times it’s being a bit more experimental and not so conventional in our dress sense. For example, you can make casual clothes look dressy and vice versa. You can combine multiple materials and patterns to create different looks on different days. You can combine tight fit with loose fit etc etc!  The sky’s the limit! What we’re really trying to say here is just have fun, be creative, be YOU 😊.


4) Accessories can make all the difference

Sometimes, all that is needed is a pair of sparkly earrings, a sophisticated scarf or a fun pair of sunnies, to elevate an outfit and make it look more “chic”. EVEN joggers can look more stylish with the right kind of accessories or jewellery to match!


5) Treat yourself to some good quality basics

It goes without saying that basics should always be the fundamental building blocks to any wardrobe; so with this in mind, we’d recommend making sure that these are of a good quality. At Pentlebay we have a number of basic tees on our website that leave you feeling comfy and looking stylish. Our soft pink v-neck tee, with a rolled sleeve, is made from lightweight viscose fabric with elastane for added stretch.

Shop Now on our website: soft pink v-neck tee.


Thanks for reading, take care & have a lovely day!

Royston Tuesday Talks Part 3 – EllaEver Design

Hello Autumn…one of THE most beautiful times of year! The leaves are changing colours, the air is crisp, the light is golden…everything about this season is simply breath-taking! I know as a family we’ve certainly enjoyed going on lots of crisp Autumnal walks this month, in and around our lovely hometown of Royston…

#ShoppingLocal is something we’re super passionate about, both as a family and at Pentlebay, so with the festive (present buying!) season fast approaching, we thought we’d add a sprinkle of sparkle to this month’s #RoystonTuesdayTalks and chat to the lovely Gaby of EllaEver Design 😊. Enjoy…


1) Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do.

I’m Gaby from EllaEver Design based from my home in Royston. I design and make simple, timeless and unique jewellery which I sell online via Etsy and Instagram. A lot of love and care goes into making each piece which I hope shows in the finished product.


2) When did you start EllaEver Design and what/who inspired you to start the business?

I’ve always been quite creative, my favourite subject at school was art and then I studied Fashion with Textiles at college. I’ve always enjoyed making things, sewing, knitting and painting. I first got into jewellery making about 15 years ago when a friend and I found a cute bead shop whilst out on our lunch break. It was like an Aladdin’s cave of gems and jewels and I was immediately hooked! I enrolled myself on a few evening classes in jewellery making techniques and my love for this hobby grew from there.  My hobby has slowly turned into a business for me now that I am at home with my 3 children.


3) How do you keep up to date with the latest trends and techniques in your industry?

Mainly through social media and magazines. Pinterest is a particular favourite of mine and I can get lost on there for hours! If there is a new technique I want to try I will often learn from a YouTube tutorial!


4) Are you ever inspired by the fashion world when producing artwork?

Yes definitely as well as friendships, family, travel and nature. I like to think I have a certain style, and aim to stay true to that mostly, but will always try to tie it in with the colours of the season or current trends. Most of my jewellery is simple, timeless, delicate and affordable – pieces that can be worn everyday and long into the evening.


5) Do you have any top tips for our wonderful Pentlebay customers, on how to pursue a creative career?

Find something that makes you happy then find ways to promote your creations like social media or local markets, start networking and see what possibilities these bring. Currently EllaEver Design is still quite small but who knows what exciting opportunities the future holds and in the meantime I’m staying busy and positive doing something I love!


To check out Gaby’s gorgeous handmade jewellery collection, head over to her Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/EllaEverDesign


Thanks for reading, have a lovely day!

Royston Tuesday Talks Part 2 – Katie Moulton

#SupportingLocalBusiness is something we’re really passionate about at Pentlebay Clothing. This has inspired us to create a monthly #RoystonTuesdayTalks series – where we chat to other local businesses from our lovely hometown in Royston, Hertfordshire.

& this month we’ve had the pleasure of chatting to the hugely talented Artist Katie Moulton 😊. Enjoy…


1) Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do.

I’m Katie and I run a nail salon, ‘Fancy Fingers’, from my home in Royston and I have also recently started up a new art business, ‘Katie Louise Art’.

Fancy Fingers – I work with gel polish and I love creating lots of new nail art designs. I have over 230 colours and over 100 glitters to choose from! Glitter is my absolute favourite and you will often find me wearing full glittery nails! 

Katie Louise Art – I mainly paint animals and flowers. I produce prints of my work, paint commissions on request and have a range of greeting cards. Most recently I have started to paint pet portraits which are proving very popular.


2) When did you start Fancy Fingers and Katie Louise Art and what/who inspired you to start the businesses?

Both businesses actually started up as hobbies and I never intended on them becoming jobs! I feel very lucky that I have been able to turn two hobbies that I have really enjoyed into jobs that I love.

Fancy Fingers started in 2013. After having my second child and not returning to work I decided to find something I could do for myself and to be able to switch off from ‘being Mum’ in the evenings. After completing a home course I soon realised I was passionate about ‘doing nails’ and decided to book a professional course and get fully qualified and learn everything in lots more detail. I needed a job that was going to work around my husband’s shifts and my two young children and this was absolutely perfect!

Katie Louise Art only started in July this year after finding a new love during lockdown. While I couldn’t be painting nails I decided to have a try at painting something different and spent many evenings learning lots of techniques and following tutorials which I really enjoyed. After sharing a couple of photos on my social media accounts I gained lots of interest from people asking about purchasing my paintings and I decided to set up ‘Katie Louise Art’.

I’m lucky that my Husband and Dad have always been very supportive with my ideas and encouraged me to pursue them. My Dad runs a business too, Delissimo in Buntingford, so I am often on the phone with him asking for his business advice which is always something I listen carefully to and appreciate his experience with!


3) How involved are you in the local Royston community?

I have pretty much lived in Royston my whole life and really like it here.

During lockdown I wanted to create something nice for our community so when my nail business had to be closed I started ‘Royston Goes on a Bear Hunt’ where households requested a number from me which they then displayed in their windows along with a bear to create a type of hunt around Royston. The initial idea was to get a few houses (I was hoping for 50) to display bears for the little children to look out for while out on their daily exercise. This quickly became very popular with 1268 houses/businesses taking part and we raised £4135 for NHS Charities. Although this isn’t linked to my businesses in any way I have now become known to many as ‘The Bear Hunt Lady’!!


4) How do you keep up to date with the latest trends and techniques in your industries?

Nail trends change all the time! Social media is great for keeping up to date on the new designs/crazes! I use Instagram a lot for inspiration.

I also subscribe to Scratch Magazine, which is the nail industries leading magazine. This is always full of lots of advice, what’s becoming popular, new techniques and other nail technician’s work. I have had my salon featured in their ‘Salon in the Spotlight’ feature and also had photographs of lots of my nail designs in the printed magazine and on their online galleries.


5) Are you ever inspired by the fashion world when producing artwork?

Always! I notice patterns on everything and often think how it could be turned into a nail design! There are patterns and designs wherever you look. Often clients might have an outfit that they want nails matched to so I can create something bespoke to them to go with a particular outfit!


6) Do you have any top tips for our wonderful Pentlebay customers, on how to pursue a creative career?

My advice is don’t necessarily go looking for it. Do things you enjoy and love in life and see how those things could be turned in to a job for you. If you enjoy your work and love what you do it really does make it so much easier to wake up for!


To find out more about Katie Louise Art head over to www.katielouiseart.co.uk and if you’re in need of some well-deserved pampering check out www.facebook.com/fancyfingersroyston


Thanks for reading, have a lovely day!

Royston Tuesday Talks Part 1 – Kelly’s Kitchen

As you may know already, #SupportingLocalBusiness has always been something we’ve cared about at Pentlebay Clothing. Following this year’s events, it is now, (more than ever), so important that we celebrate and support our fellow locals. This has inspired us to create a monthly #RoystonTuesdayTalks series – where we’ll be chatting to other businesses from our lovely hometown in Hertfordshire.

So, to sweeten the deal and kick this series off, we thought we’d start with a Q&A with Kelly Da Silva Fernandes from Kelly’s Kitchen 😊. Enjoy…


1) Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do…

I’m Kelly from Kelly’s Kitchen based in Royston. I make wedding cakes, celebration cakes, lots and lots of cupcakes and treats.

I also run Children’s Baking Parties and online Virtual Cupcake Decorating Parties.

Pre Covid I used to have a stall on Royston Market, I now supply my treats to the new cafe Kooky Nohmad at the weekends.


2) When did you start Kelly’s Kitchen and what/who inspired you to start the business?

I started the business in March 2019 after years of making cakes for family and friends. I used to regularly bake with my Mum and my Grandmother as a child too. One of my earliest memories is standing on a stool in her kitchen helping to bake a cake.

My Dad actually inspired me to start Kelly’s Kitchen. When I was younger, he had his own business delivering fresh bread, baked goods and milk to residents in the villages surrounding Royston. I used to join him on his rounds!

In the early hours of the morning, we would go to Days Bakery HQ in Ashwell to pick up the fresh bread that was still warm. I used to love going down to the bottom of the bakery where the cakes were decorated, and used to watch in awe. I was often treated to a warm jam doughnut straight off the cooling rack!

My Dad has worked very hard all his life and now he’s retired he often helps me with the business side of things – which is invaluable to me with his experience.


3) How involved are you in the local Royston community?

Apart from a brief stint in Leicester and London for Uni and work, I’ve lived in Royston all my life.

I’m passionate about local businesses in Royston, and have made many friends that also run small businesses. I love working with them and have had lots of collaborations, supporting each other. You can often find me in Banyers House or Kooky Nohmad meeting local people and organising exciting projects.

During lockdown when I was closed for 8 weeks, I ran online bake-alongs on Facebook. My children and I really enjoyed them and was so pleased to receive photos every week of proud local children with their bakes.


4) How do you keep up to date with the latest baking and cake decorating trends?

Wedding publications, Instagram and Pinterest are amazing resources for inspiration and trends. I always give a trend a short time before I try it as they are not always for everyone and I’m selective about what I try out.

Personally I prefer to take inspiration from all around me. Nature is hugely inspirational, particularly for wedding cakes. I was recently at Therfield Heath for a wedding photo shoot with Gareth Jones Photography, and took my own photos of the wild flowers – thinking of new designs for wedding cakes. I often use fresh flowers on cakes but I absolutely love making delicate sugar flowers too.

My logo was actually inspired by Champneys in Henlow, a very special place that I go to every year with my Mum. Kelly’s Kitchen logo is based on some of the decorative features from the spa.

I used to really enjoy going to cake shows too, which are not only a fun day out but very inspirational.


5) Baking has become more and more about the look and aesthetics, as well as the taste. Are you ever inspired by fashion trends when building your delicious creations?

Fashionable colour combinations often filter down from fashion to cake design, especially for weddings. Some couples are very set on the style of wedding. They pull together resources to show how the colours and style can work throughout all the elements of the wedding including, of course, the cake!

When I work with other suppliers on photo shoots there is always a mood board to show the vision for how the colours, textures and flowers complement each other.


6) Do you have any top tips for our wonderful Pentlebay customers, on how to make THE perfect cupcake?

With cupcakes it’s all about getting a light sponge with a flat top so that you can pipe a swirl! Making sure the oven is not too hot will help you get that flat top. I bake at 160 (fan) for approx 20 mins. 😊


To find out more about Kelly’s Kitchen or to treat yourself to some deliciously tasty creations, head over to https://kellyscakekitchen.co.uk/


Thanks for reading, have a lovely day!

6 Fabulous Friendship Day Gift Ideas to treat your Bestie

It’s International #DayOfFriendship on 30th July so we thought we’d share some fab gift ideas that you could treat your closest pals to. And where better to look for this than #shoppinglocal in our lovely hometown of Royston? 

We all have different friends – the foodie, the fashionista, the lover of bling etc etc, so we thought we’d come up with ideas that could cater for every friend in your circle as well as sharing our favourite quotes along the way 😊.


1) “Life is too short to wear boring clothes”

If your friend is a lover of fashion, and you know their size, why not treat them to a new top or dress from pentlebayclothing.com. Our range of clothing is designed to make women look and feel great all year round and offers minimum effort, maximum style – the perfect duo 😊.

https://www.pentlebayclothing.com/our-range


2) “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy cupcakes. And that’s kind of the same thing.”

If your friend loves cupcakes why not head over to “Kelly’s Kitchen” and order a box of Cocktail Cupcakes. Perfect to share with friends or family at a socially distanced BBQ over these summer months.  YUM!

https://kellyscakekitchen.co.uk/shop/ols/all


3) “Wine and friends are a great blend”

We all know that wine is best enjoyed with friends and family, so what better gift to celebrate a fantastic friendship than with wine? Cambridge Wine Royston offer a range of gifts from individual bottles to a beautifully presented gift bag/box.

https://www.cambridgewineroyston.com/


4) “The best things in life are sweet”

From Belgian chocolates, to greeting cards, to a range of gorgeous giftware, there are so many fabulous gift ideas at Ladds in Royston. The store has now reopened in the high street (yay!) but they are also offering local home delivery too.

https://www.laddsroyston.co.uk/


5) “Do something creative every day”

Does your friend always have a pair of knitting needles in their hand? Or do they always have a crafting project on the go? If so, say hello to No.3 Royston! Whether it’s haberdashery, patterns or fabric that you’re after…there’s sew many different crafting gifts and materials you can treat your creative friend to.

https://no3royston.com/


6) “Leave a little sparkle wherever you go”

Does your friend love a little sparkle? If so, how about choosing them a timeless piece of jewellery that they’ll treasure forever. Family run HC Jewellers offer a wonderful range of necklaces, earrings & bracelets – both in store and online: https://hcjewellers.co.uk/ – which will look FAB-U-LOUS when paired with a Pentlebay print 😊.


We hope this helps with your gift search, thanks for reading & have a lovely day!

The Bang Average Mum’s guide to looking after yourself during lockdown

This month we invited the lovely Mum, blogger and influencer ‘The Bang Average Mum’ to share some of her lockdown experiences with us, as well as tips on how to look after your own mental health during isolation.

We find ourselves in an unprecedented season. A season that none of us were prepared for and none of us have lived through before. Despite what our social media feeds tells us, none of us have the magic formula for living la vida lockdown.

Due to my daughter being poorly in hospital for a few weeks, I joined the lockdown life on 1st April. Happy April Fools day. The feelings of anxiety, uncertainty and overwhelm hit me almost straight away and it felt just like when we had brought the tiny new born version of her home from the hospital.

Just like when I had postnatal depression, I felt like a lot of other people, particularly other Mums, were doing really well and it made me feel really low.

One month on and my mental health has improved. I have accepted that this is what will keep my family safe. This will protect our NHS and ensure that their resources go where they are most needed.

It hasn’t been easy, but I don’t think it is easy for any of us. Here are some things which have helped me to protect my mental health:


Limit your news intake and use reputable sources

Rumour and speculation can fuel anxiety. Having access to good quality information about the virus, and any news for that matter, can help you feel more in control. I am very wary of viewing sensationalised news from tabloids as their sole purpose of “being” is to sell us news and keep us coming back for more. Instead, use gov.uk, or World Health Organisation for unbiased facts.


Connect with friends and family via telephone/video chat

Feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need. Social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and can help reduce the risk of mental ill health for people of all ages. These times mean that we have to be more creative with connecting with our loved ones but with the joys of modern technology, we can have a quick chat with a friend or a full on family pub quiz via Zoom.


Stop “Should-ing” all over yourself

Karen on Facebook says that she is absolutely killing it during lockdown. She bakes her own bread now and her perfectly dressed, well behaved children are crafting quietly whilst she is able to write her novel and prepare elaborate home cooked meals. Good for her. You think that you should try to make bread now too, or that you should do more crafty things with the children rather than have them watching Disney+ to try to keep them quiet. Or you should use your time more protectively to learn a new skill. Should should should. No. This is not what this time is for. It is so important to stop comparing yourself to others, especially what you see on social media. It is a teeny, tiny piece of someone’s life that they want you to see. A phrase stuck with me during my recovery from postnatal depression and anxiety; “don’t compare your behind the scenes footage to someone else’s highlight reel.” Be kind to yourself; you’re doing the best you can do.


Lower your expectations of yourself and your children.

There is a reason why the phrase “do not work with children or animals” exists. If you are in the midst of trying to home school and work at home; I take my hat off to you. Home working while home-schooling presents an unprecedented challenge and one that, let’s face it, no one in normal circumstances would choose as it’s such a hard task. Coming through this with your and your children’s mental health intact is THE most important thing you can aim for. Setting expectations too high is a sure-fire way of creating extra anxiety and stress for everyone.


Enjoy the great outdoors

A mistake I made early on was not making the most of the allowance of being able to take some exercise outside. I didn’t leave the house for a week at the start and I was in a terrible mood. A walk around the block, or window rainbow spotting is a great family activity and a great opportunity to blow away the cobwebs.


Take time out for you

I have found that being at home 24/7 with a 2-year-old and a husband is certainly a new experience (to say the least!) and there have been some times when they both have been incredibly annoying. I’m sure they will both say the same about me too! More than ever, it is so important to take some time out to have break; just you. My favourite treat is putting Lexi down for her afternoon nap and having a bath with a lovely bath bomb. It is a simple thing to do, its pretty cheap and it gives me 30 minutes to relax. Other days, I go for a walk, or for a run. I feel so much better if I take the time for myself; both mentally and physically.


Ask for help

The strongest thing you can do is ask for help if you need it. Motherhood can be a lonely place without a global pandemic and there are some wonderful support services available if you wanted to chat to someone, off load or seek extra support.

I have compiled a list of organisations who I have sought advice from during my difficult times: (https://www.thebangaveragemum.co.uk/resources)


Take care & look after yourself,

The Bang Average Mum x

The Perfect Country Picnic

Hi everyone, I’m Lucy from Her Country Living and to celebrate International Picnic day on the 18th of June I have been asked by the lovely Pentlebay team to share my top tips on planning the perfect picnic!

Living in the countryside like I do, it’s always important for me to try and use local ingredients and reach out to nature for some incredible flavours and foods; so if you’ve got time to think ahead, these are some of the yummy foraging foods and flavours you can look out for on your walks (and freeze ahead of time):


> Blackberries – an absolute favourite of mine and an easy to gather treat, if you don’t mind a few brambles! These are perfect little treats for making tarts, pies and jams for you to take on your summertime picnics! You can find them in hedgerows around the end of August to start of September.


> Elderflowers – These beautiful floral flowers are in abundance at the end of May and into June. If you’re lucky you might find some even now in your local woodland where they’ve been able to shade from the weather. This year I made some elderflower champagne which we’re going to have for a picnic in a few weeks time, but you can use these flowers to flavour cakes and all sorts!


> Wild Garlic – This is mostly over now but if you’re lucky you might find some lurking in the woodlands. It tends to be mainly in abundance between March and April and is an excellent addition to any picnic once blended into a pesto! This tasty treat can be tossed in cold pasta or added as a garnish to sandwiches, cheese and crackers – all sorts!


As well as nature’s fruits and labour, and time is short for international picnic day, I suggest you pop to the local farm shop and supermarket to pick up some essentials you’ll be needing for your perfect picnic! Everyone’s a little different about what they like and don’t like, and since I am vegetarian I try to ensure I cater for everyone’s needs, be they gluten free or vegan!

Some perfect additions to a picnic and things you’ll want to think about having at a picnic are:

  • Sandwiches  – cucumber / hummus and red pepper / sausage (veggie or otherwise) / Egg and cress and then finally cherry blossom jam (you can make this if you have time and plan ahead).
  • Cakes – What picnic is complete without a scrummy cake? I like to make a few types but think cupcakes and traybakes are the best, that way they’re pre-cut into cubes or baked in cases making it easy finger food for your guests!
  • Salads – A nice warm salad is a welcome treat. You can make this in advance and give it some warmth by adding baked butternut squash tossed with paprika. Another thing I like to add to my salads is radish if they’re in season! At the moment my garden is flooding with radish and they add a lovely crisp taste to the salad and a pop of pink!
  • Nibbles – Everyone loves their nibbles and my go to are olives! I love to get a variety of these and tend to go to my local farm shop for them as they’ve got huge bowls filled with anti-pasti, (that contain gherkins and garlic), as well as stuffed olives and sundried tomatoes. You’ll also want to consider adding in some cheese and biscuits here. A firm favourite for most!
  • Drinks – If you had time to make elderflower champagne, then this is one to ‘wow’ your guests with when you pop it out! If not, then can I suggest a simple bubbly will do alongside some non-alcoholic drinks like squash and fizzy fruity drinks. Always ensure you have a nice cold jug of water, (or bottle if walking), on hand too. Your guest will notice if not!

My Picnic Shopping List:

  • Malfada pasta – to mix with my homemade garlic pesto h
  • Vegan sausage meat
  • Bread flour (gluten free if needed)
  • Flour for baking and other baking essentials
  • Vegetables – tomatoes / cucumber, lettuce etc…
  • Olives and nibbles (breadsticks / crisps etc…)
  • Cheese (vegan if desired)
  • Fruit juice

Now for the extras to take with your food! If you don’t have the following items, then just go with what you have that matches the closest…

  • A blanket to sit on – you can get some great foldaway ones that are perfect
  • A rucksack – I always find rucksacks more practical, meaning you can walk for longer distances if you’re intending on going somewhere in particular. If at home then simply a beautiful basket will do – I use my Grandma’s basket she used to use!
  • Outdoor candles – these are great at keeping away unwanted visitors (flies / wasps)
  • A garden umbrella – or if you’re lucky enough to have one in your garden, a large tree to shade under. There is nothing worse than warm drinks and burnt noses!
  • If at home I suggest giant cushions. I got mine online for a couple of pounds a few years ago. They’re excellent for keeping comfortable outside.
  • The right cutlery – for me I like to use bamboo cutlery and plates, easily washed and reused and a great addition to china that can get broken oh so easily!
  • Bamboo glasses / cups or chunky recycled glass glasses – again reusable and less breakable whilst still remaining beautiful.

Now you’ve got all your bits and bobs sorted and have an idea of what you’re going to be making, you’re well on your way to creating the perfect picnic! I hope you’ve found this little blog helpful and useful and given you a great basis to start planning for your perfect country picnic!


Read more about Lucy from Her Country Living:

https://www.instagram.com/hercountryliving/

https://hercountrytravels.com/

Top 5 funny parenting books

Have you been scrambling around getting a costume together for World Book Day for your children? Don’t worry, many of us have done it. You’ve earned yourself a cuppa and a good book.

For World Book Day, here’s our top 5 light-hearted reads about parenting that you should get your hands on:


1. Nobody Told Me: Poetry and Parenthood by Hollie McNish

One to read when you need a laugh and a bit of reassurance that you’re most definitely not alone during the hardest points of parenting, such as those long night feeds or when your child simply won’t go to sleep when it feels like everyone else’s children do.

This book contains a fabulous collection of poems and honest accounts from Hollie’s own experiences of parenting.


2. Dummy: The Comedy and Chaos of Real-Life Parenting by Matt Coyne

This hilarious book, from the blog creator Man VS Baby, will have you cracking up, with lots of impractical yet remarkably original parenting advice.

Through all the trials and tribulations of parenthood, this book highlights the beauty of it and reminds you to enjoy all of the funny things our kids do before they grow up. Otherwise you’ll tear your hair out.


3. The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner

You’ve probably already heard of this bestselling book. From the creator of the ever so popular The Unmumsy Mum blog, Sarah Turner candidly shares the reality of parenting.

It focuses on how there truly isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to raising children, and that most of us are just trying our best despite not really knowing what we’re doing.


4. S***ty Mom: The Parenting Guide For The Rest of Us by Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Mary Ann Zoellner and Alicia Ybarbo

Scrap all the parenting guides out there written by professionals. Four real mum’s who have lived through it all came together to write this hilarious, honest guide.

It shares some scenarios most parents will come across at some point, with realistic advice on how to just about make it through them.


5. Hurrah for Gin: A book for perfectly imperfect by Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Mary Ann Zoellner and Alicia Ybarbo

This book is anything but a manual on parenting.

Instead, it shares laugh out loud, honest anecdotes and illustrations which parents will be able to relate to. It’ll make you feel that bit less alone.