Saturday, 12 December 2015

Countdown to Christmas

Anyone else counting down the sleeps? I know am! Mainly because I'm asked every morning (afternoon, evening) to count on my fingers how many sleeps it is.

I am SUPER excited to be launching a special little maldod Christmas countdown today (the 12th of the 12th), to share the excitement, help with any last minute shopping and sprinkle a little festive fun along the way.

Each day for the next 12 days on social media I will be sharing a different special offer, free gift or giveaway. Starting today!
To kick things off for day 1 you can enjoy ONE WEEKEND OF FREE DELIVERY! Yes, that's free delivery on ALL orders all weekend when you use the code 'LITTLECOUNTDOWN1'. Pop over to the shop here to put it to good use.

If you signed up to our newsletter you'll have received details of this in your inbox today along with an exclusive 'first newsletter' discount code. If you haven't already signed up, you can do so here to make sure you don't miss out on future special offers and news.

Have a wonderful festive weekend all.

Lowri x

Friday, 4 December 2015

December Edit

It goes without saying that my edit for this month is leaning strongly towards Christmas gifts. I'm sure you don't mind a little help with your shopping do you?!
So, in the interests of keeping this post succinct and, ahem, edited, here it is (as usual, you can click through to the shop on all items).
These bows are so sweet, they're beautifully handmade and the fabric is spot on for Winter. Available in this deep winter blue print called Anderson or a classic floral Liberty print called Danjo. They make ideal stocking fillers and also make a perfect clip on dickie bow for any little Mr with a party to go to this month.

Perfect for all your festive snacks! I absolutely love the design of these plates (across the whole B+B range). They are unbelievably sturdy, as my two put to the test on a daily basis. As I hear them crash to the tile floor I'm always amazed they haven't broken in half! A total winner in my book.

3. Fable Heart Pink Sapphire Crown £20
A pop of colour if ever I saw one! This is a brand new crown in the fantastic Fable Heart range. It is bound to catch the eye and whether you're young or old and wearing it, compliments will be flying your way! Silver and Gold crowns  are also available, what's your colour of choice?

I'm such a fan of this stripy T-Rex, who I'm yet to name. This is a great stocking filler, the bright colours and tactile felt spikes will keep little ones entertained for hours. 
It is also a fairtrade toy so you can feel even better about your purchase.

A pop of colour if ever I saw one! This is a brand new crown in the fantastic Fable Heart range. It is bound to catch the eye and whether you're young or old and wearing it, compliments will be flying your way! Silver and Gold crowns  are also available, what's your colour of choice?

This wooden helicopter is a fantastic gift for a little one who likes to sit and carefully take things apart, fiddle with screws or play with Daddy's tools. The set contains 13 separate pieces and a sweet wooden hand tool which is great for developing those fine motor skills. It's also a great size to pop in a bag for on-the-go entertainment.

So there we are, some great present ideas and just a tiny edit from this year's Christmas Shop. As it's Friday AND Christmas is only weeks away, I'll be including a surprise free gift with every order including any of the above items, for today only. A Secret Santa if you like!

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday and I'll be celebrating all things independent with some other great offers. Check back here and on little maldod social media for more details tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by and happy shopping! 

Lowri x

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Refuge - An Important Christmas Story

On Saturday, whilst away with friends, I stood in an independent bookshop with the following book in my hands and goosebumps on my arms.

The cover of the book, a clear nativity scene but with an unusual title, caught my eye from outside the window. By the third page I was drawn in to the most beautifully told, human depiction of a very well known story.
It tells the nativity story from the perspective of the donkey, focusing on the plight of a refugee couple who, with their newborn baby, depend on the kindness of strangers in a foreign land.

Touchingly written and absolutely relevant to the story of today, I knew straight away I was going to buy it and mentally ticked off another three names on my Christmas list. With £5 from each book going to War Child, a charity supporting children affected by the horrors of war, there was even more of a reason to buy it.

As a Christian, the nativity story is central to how we, as a family, celebrate Christmas. Although it still makes me smile everytime my three year old asks "when is it going to be Father Christmas Day?"... on a daily basis. I know that this book will become a treasured read but also know that it will help to explain some more present issues to my questioning son. Questions such as "why we are sending teddies to children who don't have any? "Why have they had to leave their homes?" and "why are Penny and Pip (our Kindess Elves) here to teach us to be kind?"

I realised that this book is an important read not just for those that hold the nativity story close to their hearts but for anyone, young or old.  So I set about contacting the publishers, Nosy Crow, and by Tuesday had placed an order for as many books as they could spare (their warehouse was completely sold out!)

All 20 copies are now available in the little maldod shop. Due to the nature of the book I've decided to offer free delivery and as a result won't be making any profit on it at all. It somehow seemed wrong and I felt it was more important to me that people buy and read it. You can find it in the shop here.

If you're interested in reading the fascinating account of how the book came to publication, in an astonishingly short space of time, you can find an account on Nosy Crow's blog here.

I really can't recommend this book enough and feel priviledged to be able to send it off to people's homes this Christmas.

Thanks for stopping by.
Lowri x

Falling Leaves and Friendship Bracelets

Well, it's finally here! The twinkliest, most magical month of the year. I love December! As I type this in my living room, I am surrounded by boxes of Christmas decorations, broken fairy light strings (how do they stop working tucked up in a box in the attic?!) and festive treasures I'd forgotten about.

As much as I love December I have equally adored the season we have just left behind. Autumn seemed extra beautiful this year and I wanted to savour every red and golden leaf, for in a blink they had fallen.

Which is probably why I kept coming back to this beautiful image in the #mythursdaybreaktime gallery this month.
I love how Hannah (@hannahruthking) has captured the fleeting sunshine shining through these gathered leaves, hanging as if they're gliding down from a tree.

It captures the beauty of the season wonderfully and I'm delighted to pick it as the winning post for November's #mythursdaybreaktime giveaway. Hannah will recieve a £50 voucher to spend at the Secret Linen Store, lucky thing! There's a whole host of beautiful linen to choose from which you can find here. Congratulations Hannah, please drop me a line with your details.

As a special treat this month I'm teaming up with the lovely Bare Atlantic who are generously giving away one of their stunning friendship bracelets. Made with precious silver beads and luxurious silk, they're simply stunning. There's a great range of colours available to suit all tastes too, why not pop over for a look here.
As usual, simply tag in me and @bareatlantic along with the hashtag to enter your posts into the giveaway.
With all the busyness of this twinkly month, the parties, preparations, shopping and feasting, don't forget to take time out for yourself to rest, put your feet up and savour it.

Thank you as always to everyone who joins in each week, I can't wait to see your posts this month.

With love,
Lowri  x

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Finding Treasures In November

November has flown, hasn't it?! Our month has been busy, with birthday celebrations, weekends away, delicious suppers in the company of best friends and the busiest period in my shop to date.

Amid all of this, I've made a few discoveries which I thought I'd share with you. A number of them make lovely gifts, so consider this my own little contribution to a whole host of gift guides popping up at the moment.
1. Hobo Soy Candle. This delicious candle was one of the treats in my goody bag at the Sisterhood Supper with Toast (which you can read about here). I love the crisp design of the tin and the wood wick burns beautifully.  The scent is Fresh Fig and Cassis, a perfect combination.
I've been following this business on instagram for a month or two now, about the time that the founder Rachael left her full time job to concentrate on candles, it's great to see it growing so quickly. You can find their full range here.

2. Nutscene Twine.
I bought this twine a while ago but discovered it in the depths of my bureau last week. It will certainly be put to good use in my Christmas wrapping but more on my plans for festive gift wrap another time.
I bought the twine from House By Betty which is my favourite gift shop near where my parents live. They are also online here and on Instagram. Lauren has created a treasure trove of gifts which I guarantee you'll be tempted by.

3. Bo Ho Bo Aromatherapy
This little balm was also included in my Sisterhood goody bag and it smells incredible.
It's ingredients include some of my favourites - sweet almond oil, rose, geranium, bergamon, sicillian lavendar and clary sage. I have to admit to knowing little about aromatherapy and being ignorant of the benefits that so many natural products have, I'd love to learn more next about it next year though. You can find their full range of products here. 

3. Mamgu's Watch
OK so this isn't a gift and it certainly isn't for sale. This watch belonged to my Grandmother (my Mamgu) and I rediscovered it with joy this month.
My two children have a habit of finding little bags in my room (usually containing make up or jewellery) and emptying them to make room for their own treasures. It usually drives me crazy but when a little bag, that I'd quite forgotten about, was pulled out from the back of a drawer containing this watch I was so pleased. The battery has gone and its pretty scratched but I've been wearing it as a bracelet so really don't mind. Just as well that it doesn't tell the time as I photographed it upside down for this post, there's rushing to beat the loss of daylight for you!

5. Bare Atlantic Friendship Bracelet.
This is something else I've LOVED wearing this month. I bought an identical bracelet for a best friend's 30th birthday gift and just couldn't resist having one to match. The sign of true friendship right?!
Bare Atlantic was founded by a friend of mine called Sarah who designs and makes these delicate pieces herself.  They are exquisitely made and the packaging they come in is equally as lovely.
Sarah takes pride in sourcing her materials ethically, a quality which I admire greatly. The silk comes from Germany from a company with a rich heritage in silk production since the 1800s and the silver beads are made by Karen Hill Tribe artisans in Thailand. The colour of this silk is 'pale pink' but you can find the full range of bracelets here.

I started my Christmas shopping this weekend and am thoroughly enjoying finding unique presents from smaller, independent businesses. Hopefully my discoveries this month have given you a few ideas for your own gift giving.

I can't wait to see what December has in store and look forward to sharing more treasures and finds this time next month.

Thanks for stopping by.
Lowri x

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

A Tale of Travel and of Sisterhood.

In November 1840 my husband's Great Great Great Grandfather stepped aboard a ship in England and set sail for the Falkland Islands. His name was George Markham Dean. Little did George know at the time that his voyage would create a deep and special bond between the Islands and his family for generations to come.

When I was considering my piece for this month's Styling the Seasons post I, as usual, had to wait a little while for inspiration to come knocking. Having read up, watched videos and thought long and hard about 'flatlays' (I kid you not), I knew that the key to my post was the background upon which it was placed. I wanted something with texture, warmth and a surface which carried meaning, so when I remembered about an old chest that we've inherited I knew it was perfect.
The wood you see in this photograph is the top of an old chest that belonged to George Markham Dean's Grandson, my husband's Great Grandfather, George Thomas Dean. He was born and brought up in the Falklands but spent his school years in England. This chest would accompany him every school holiday when he would travel, for weeks at a time, across the seas to spend time at home and then return back to school.
Over many years, this chest would have travelled tens of thousands of miles, been marked, knocked, stamped and sprayed with salty sea water on every journey it made. I can only imagine the conversations it's been present for and secret treasures it has carried. It now sits in our living room, belonging to the same family, generations later, waiting to be filled with treasures of our own.
I could quite happily have just photographed the grains and marks of this chest but as this is a styling challenge, this month being a flatlay, I knew I had to find things to sit with it which would be sympathetic but equally as beautiful in themselves.

On the 14th of this month I attended a Sisterhood Supper, hosted by Lou Archell (from Little Green Shed)  with the Sisterhood Camp at The Forge in Bristol. The afternoon and evening was a tonic, a truly inspirational time to connect with fellow creative women, to learn, make and feast on the most delicious seasonal supper. It was a treat in every single way. This post here, written by Laura Pashby on the Sisterhood Camp blog sums up the evening perfectly.

During the afternoon I had the pleasure of choosing a selection of the most beautiful flowers and foliage and to make myself a floral crown. I proudly wore the crown for the rest of the day, only taking it off when I had to step out into the cold, wet night to drive back home.
So taken by the crown and the evening it represented, that I knew that I wanted to use it in this post. I love how the crown's leaves, flowers and feathers mirror the textures and grains in the wood. The scent of the foliage as I cut it and sprinkled it across the chest promised of Christmas trees and the magic that lies ahead in December, something which I look forward to every day throughout November.

In a few short weeks, following a trip to Patagonia that my Mum has dreamed of since she was a girl, my parents will travel to the Falkland Islands and spend Christmas on one of it's beautiful islands. This particular Island remains dear to my husband's family and having also visited before we had children, my heart too was captured. The landscape, the flora, fauna and bird life that can be found there is like nowhere else I've been, things I only wish the Islands were better known for. 
I feel so priviledged to have a piece of the Islands' history in our home and to be able to write about it on this November night, 175 years after our family's connection with the Falklands began. We plan to respectfully and gently restore just a couple of elements so we can use it again, hopefully adding our own stories to it before it's passed down to our children.

In the meantime, I'm sure you'll spot it in the odd photo here and there.

As you might tell, I've loved every moment of Styling the Seasons this month and feel hugely inspired on a creative level. The challenge is hosted by Katy (Apartment Apothecary) and Charlotte (Lotts and Lots) and this month is in collaboration with Emily Quinton from Makelight along with Ruth Garner from Gathered Cheer. If you're interested you can read more about this month's challenge here.

Thank you so much for reading.
With love,
Lowri x

Thursday, 19 November 2015

"Bear with"

Just popping by to share this beautiful shot taken last Thursday for #mythursdaybreaktime.
It was shared by sweet Hannah (@hannahruthking), I love how she snapped up the opportunity to capture the elusive sunshine! It seems to have been missing from our skies this last week, so when I spotted this photo in my gallery it cheered my soul.

This photo also bought a smile to my face when I saw it in the gallery. My daughter. My cheeky little Anwen.
I LOVE that my husband joins in with #mythursdaybreaktime from time to time and last Thursday he posted this. Now obviously he CAN'T win this month's giveaway (an amazing £50 voucher for Secret Linen Store) but if he could, then I'm not sure I could say no to this one!

There's still time to share photos from your breaktimes today and another chance next week to enter November's giveaway. Simply share your breaktimes and tag in @secretlinenstore and @littlemaldod with the usual hashtag.

I feel like this blog is an ode to breaktimes at the moment. There are a great number of posts that I'm hoping to share with you soon but finding time to write them is proving difficult! I'm pleased to say that the shop is keeping me busy most naptimes and evenings at the moment so life is pretty busy. Please bear with me, I'll be on top of things again soon (I hope!)

In case you missed it, we celebrated little maldod's 2nd birthday yesterday! That's right TWO whole years, I honestly don't know where the time has gone. To say thank you there's a great giveaway over on Instagram, a party bag filled with treats worth £75 to be precise! Just look out for this post in my gallery for details on how to enter.
I'll be back next time with my Styling the Seasons post for this month and to tell you all about my time at the SISTERHOOD Supper last Saturday.

Thanks for stopping by.
Lowri x

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Rest and Refreshing

Judging by the look of the #mythursdaybreaktime gallery so many of you had such lovely breaktimes last week. In fact there were so many beautiful images that it was hard to pick just a few.

So this week, breaking from the norm, I'm sharing a couple of grids with different style photographs that I love in equal parts.

Firstly, this calming collection. A beautiful grid of quiet moments which speak to me of rest. The talented women who posted them have some of my favourite galleries too so do pop over to check them out.
@wolvesinlondon  @littlegreenshed
@allenandbear  @lingyeungb
Secondly, this grid full of bright pops of colour. The feel of the photos are so different to those above and although they all appear restful in their own way, the buzz of colour in them is quite refreshing.
@bymeeni  @oneyellowteapot
@cotton_clara  @theordinarylovely
That's the amazing thing about a breaktime, just sitting down for a moment, taking a little time out and resting can be all you need to set you on the right path for the rest of the day.

One photo which particularly stood out to me last week was this beautiful capture by Janice from @janiceissit_life_style.

I absolutely love the warmth of this photo, the sunlight, the shadows and the texture are simply stunning. Janice's gallery is photo after photo of loveliness so you must check it out!
This month the very kind Secret Linen Store are giving away a £50 voucher to my favourite shot of the month. To enter your posts into the giveaway simply tag in me @littlemaldod and @secretlinenstore along with the usual #mythursdaybreaktime.

I really can't wait to see the lovely moments that you share tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.
Lowri xx

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

My Thursday Breaktime - with The Secret Linen Store

Is there anything more lovely than a lie in? An afternoon nap perhaps or an early night?

I find it a funny thing that when you're young you spend most bedtimes trying to avoid going to bed (Wilf told me the other day "but going to bed is not my favourite") or jumping out of it at the crack of dawn. When you're older however, you long for an extra or two in bed or the chance for an early night.
I like my bed. I'm a night owl though and however much I try to get an early night it's usually past midnight before my head hits the pillow. Which is probably what makes me a not-a-morning-person too, always wishing I could sink back into the sheets for just a little longer.  

So when I discovered the Secret Linen Store earlier this year and bought a set of their beautifully soft linen for our new bedroom, my bed became an even nicer place to be!

I am delighted to tell you that the Secret Linen Store is joining me this month for #mythursdaybreaktime and giving away a fantastic £50 voucher to spend in store for November's winner. 
Simply join in and share your breaktime moments on Instagram this month with #mythursdaybreaktime. 
Make sure you tag @littlemaldod and @secretlinenstore into the post so I know that you wish to enter the giveaway. Only photos tagged can be considered when I pick a winner at the end of the month.

Of course they don't have to be photos taken from your bed. Share whatever you fancy, from a countryside stroll, a cup of tea and a book to a quiet potter at home while little people sleep.  Anything goes and I love seeing what you all share each week. 

Here are a few favourite shots that caught my eye last Thursday, choosing a single favourite was impossible! Do pop over to these lovely galleries on Instagram and say hello.
@myfandfriend @aheartfullofhope
@suevaunallison  @teaandbiscuits_x

I look forward to seeing all your posts tomorrow and to, somehow, picking a winning post at the end of the month.  

Until next time,  sleep tight x 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

November Edit

Time for my monthly edit of goodies from the little maldod shop. I am so excited to tell you that the Christmas Shop is now open and stacked full of great gift ideas, stocking fillers and, it goes without saying, personalised stockings!

Naturally, this month's edit had to include some great new festive products, some for your home, for your little ones to prance/crawl/ dance about in and a few great stocking fillers. I hope you enjoy it, as usual you can click on any of the links below to find the items in the shop.
1. Cherry Red Trim Crochet Basket
This is the second season I've stocked these beautiful baskets from Blossom and Bear. This time they feature lovely seasonal trims (also available in Mustard, light and dark grey) and these smaller baskets have useful handles. Fill them with small winter woolies, Christmas chocolates (anyone spotted the Quality Streets tins yet?!) or use as an extra special gift basket.

2. NEW Pup Egg Cup
 We love this new addition to the wonderful egg cup family brought to you by Buddy and Bear. With two faces (one awake and one asleep), this sweet pup is a lovely addition to the breakfast table. A bear and bunny are also available and all 3 would make a perfect stocking filler for young or old!

3. Sophie La Girafe Bubble Bath
This Bubble Bath is a luxurious and gentle treat for bathtime. The selection of safe organic ingredients includes: White Tea which fortifies the skin and provides antioxidant protection and Lavender Water which relieves skin symptoms and prevents skin irritations.
I don't know about you but I'm partial to a hot bubble bath in the colder months so I'm pretty tempted by this myself!

4. Let It Snow Hand Lettered Vest
This grey vest with brush lettered detail is brand new to the Clothing Collection at little maldod. Perfect for anyone dreaming of a white Christmas. Available in sizes from 0-3 to 18-24 months even toddlers can enjoy wearing this new design. Personalised vests are also available in this range and make a great and unique gift.

5. Ho Ho Ho Plate
Another fantastic product from Buddy and Bear. We're sure that lots of you will be enjoying festive treats, from cookies to Christmas dinner, on these lovely plates. Great for everyday use and just perfect for leaving special treats out for 'you know who' and his fleet of reindeer.

So there we have it, a little taster of the festive fun that awaits at little maldod. November is our birthday month, I can't believe the shop will have been open for 2 years in a few weeks time. Keep your eyes peeled for special offers to celebrate, any excuse for a little hurray in my book!

Speaking of which, there's a special thank you on Instagram this evening as I've reached over 4,000 followers (I'm amazed!) Pop over to find out how you can get FREE delivery on orders over £10 but hurry, it ends midnight (3rd November). If you're on Facebook then why not enter an amazing giveaway happening this week. Four great items are up for grabs including the Pup Egg Cup above, it closes 8pm Friday.

Thanks for stopping by this evening and, as always, for your ongoing support!
Lowri x

Saturday, 31 October 2015

"A girl and her dog on a chestnut hunt"

Do you ever wish you could hit pause on a moment, so you can savour it for as long as possible? Sometimes, a photo is the only way you can. Capturing a fleeting moment that you can enjoy every time you look at it.

This photo and the comment below it shared by Jessica (@thewoodlandwife) for #mythursdaybreaktime epitomises that very feeling.
{A girl and her dog on a chestnut hunt. Can someone hit the pause button, I want to savour every second of this moment.}
Jessica's feed on Instagram is just beautiful, her and her lovely family life in a stunning woodland in the Kent countryside. The moments that Jessica captures are simply stunning and a feed that I always enjoy.

She also shared this photo for #mythursdaybreaktime this month. I love it. Her well worn, well loved ripped jeans are just too cool!
I'm delighted to announce Jessica as the winner of the fantastic Quill London giveaway this month. Congratulations! I do hope you enjoy trying out Modern Calligraphy at one of their amazing workshops. Please get in touch with me to arrange your prize.

Thank you to everyone who takes part each week, I love seeing your breaktime moments each week. If you're partial to a lie in or afternoon nap then I have a little giveaway in November that's just for you! Check back here on Wednesday for more details.

I hope your weekends have gotten off to a good start. We have friends staying and have enjoyed a full English, walk up the woods and lashings of tea and lemon drizzle so far today. A perfect Saturday.

I've got some autumnal recipes and crafts which I'm looking forward to sharing with you (when I can find the time to write them up), and I'll be back early next week with my November edit for the shop. If you love Christmas as much as me then hold on to your hats, things about to get very festive....The little maldod Christmas Shop launches tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by, wishing you a lovely rest of your weekend.
Lowri X

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Capturing The Season

Now that the hour has gone back I feel like we're well and truly in the thick of Autumn now.  We've enjoyed (mostly) sunny days here in Wales in the last week, the sun has shone beautifully through the trees and Autumn leaves on walks and drives and each day I've been just a little more grateful for this lovely season.

I have to admit to spending every day this week confused at some point or other about what time it is. Anyone else not changed all their clocks in the house yet? It's the only downside of this time of year and I'm not sure I'll ever relish it being dark so early but I am loving the cosy evenings and chance to have the fire and candles lit every evening.

The #mythursdaybreaktime gallery is awash with autumn leaves at the moment too and it's so lovely to see how the season has impacted the breaktimes you're all enjoying. These stunning posts all caught my eye last week.
@lingyeungb  @cotton_clara
@thewoodlandwife  @allenandbear
I'm sure you'll agree with just how perfectly they all capture the season.

This incredible capture by Samantha ( was my favourite of the week though.
This was taken on Samantha's way to work, not a bad way to start the day hey!

I was lucky enough to sit next to Samantha at the Quill London Workshop that I went to a few weekends ago, finding out only a few days before that this lovely 'insta friend' was also going to be there. It really was such a treat to meet her and put a real life face to a name.

If you read this blog or follow me on Instagram regularly then you'll know that this month you can WIN a place on a Modern Calligraphy Workshop with Quill London, just by joining in with #mythursdaybreaktime.

All you need to do is tag your Thursday breaktime moments with the hashtag and @littlemaldod and @quilllondon. I'll be choosing a favourite from the month to win this amazing prize over the weekend.

If you fancy joining in there's still just enough time to enter today so why not pop a post up this evening, you never know! I look forward to catching up with all your breaktimes late.

I'll be back soon with a little Autumn pudding for you to try, it involves Figs and Amaretti biscuits, I'll say now more.

Thanks for reading,
Lowri x

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Practicing Modern Calligraphy with Quill London

Modern Calligraphy is something that I've fancied trying for such a long time. I've always loved handwriting and love the swirls and free style that modern calligraphy has.

So when I knew I was going to be in London the same weekend that a workshop by Quill London was being held, I couldn't wait to book myself on. It was everything I was hoping it was going to be and more, so I thought I 'd share a little more with you right here.
The workshop was held in a lovely pub called the Blacksmith and Toffee Maker in North London and was hosted by the lovely Lucy from Quill London and Megan Riera (hand writer extraordinaire.) I was lucky enough to sit on a table with three other lovely ladies and we chatted the morning away amid our practice, with tea and croissants by our sides.
Megan was an excellent teacher and introduced us to the basics and some warm up techniques, encouraging us to hold back from scribbling out whole words right from the off. Once we'd practiced our shapes and then the alphabet we were encouraged to try out a few phrases.
My mind kept flitting from one phrase to the next so I ended up writing out a few sentences, trying to avoid any words with letters I was struggling to master.

It was SUCH a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning and I'm now thoroughly hooked. We were given a pack with all we needed to keep practicing at home and I'm attempting to snatch 15 minutes here and there to keep at it.
This afternoon, whilst Wilf was at nursery and Anwen napped I had another go, this time fiddling about with some stunning golden (literally like liquid gold) paints that I bought at the workshop. My Thursday breaktime literally flew by in a flash. Time always tends to dissapear when I'm lost in a world of creativity. Which is just what happened on Sunday morning at the workshop, two and a half hours has never gone so quickly.
If you fancy giving it a go, you can win a place on a Quill workshop (or a full Calligraphy starter kit if you can't make it to a workshop), just by joining in with #mythursdaybreaktime on Instagram.
Simply tag in your breaktime posts this month with @littlemaldod and @quilllondon to enter and I will pick a favourite winning post next week.

This post from last week caught my eye, it is just the most calming, relaxing image.
Rowena (@flojoro123) has such a beautiful gallery on Instagram, if you don't already follow her lovely photos then you must pop over.

It's been a busy old day here but I've scrolled through the gallery a few times and there's been some beautiful posts. I can't wait to catch up with it properly later.

I hope your Thursdays have been lovely and that you have cosy, calm evenings ahead.

Thanks for reading,
Lowri x

Friday, 16 October 2015

Juggling Pumpkins & An Autumn How-To

From this point in the year onwards, right up until the first signs of Spring (and often way beyond) this spot, right here, becomes a central point in our home.
Ever since it was installed three years ago it has become a wonderful focal point in this room, far lovelier than the other black box that sits to the left of it. We lit it at the weekend and the smell (which oddly reminds me of a Swiss sauna) permeated throughout the house, bringing with it an instant reminder of the cosy afternoons and nights it gave us last Winter.
The mantle above it provides me with ample space to style and decorate throughout the year and is the focus for this Styling the Seasons post this month.

I love decorating the house when the Seasons change and, for me, October is one of the few months which marks a clear shift from one season to the next.
Pumpkins obviously have to make an appearance and I couldn't resist these miniature ones at the Supermarket last week. They have of course already been used as juggling balls and had their skin nibbled by two certain people but, for now, they've returned to their intended spot and are sitting pretty...

Autumn leaves are another delight during October too. They're just starting to get all crunchy at the park by us and the colours are spectacular. We've had one leaf gathering trip to the park recently but when I discovered the crunched up remnants of a few leaves (left out for an 'invitation to drawer') I realised my plans for a wreath were futile.
Luckily I remembered about this felt garland which I dug out and hung in position instead. There's no risk of these being squashed and stamped into hundreds of tiny pieces.

I made this garland about 3 years ago and have enjoyed bringing out each year since. I had some kind comments on Instagram when I posted a photo with it in this week, so thought I'd take a moment for a brief 'how to' in case you fancy having a go at making one.
It really was so simple and the beauty of it was that I made it in front of the telly over a few evenings.
I used:
-sheets of different colour felt (about 50p each from Hobbycraft)
- Some brown gingham ribbon I had but any colour or string would be fine
- Brown embroidery thread to stitch the leaves together

- Roughly cut out leaf and acorn shapes, the more random the better. Either cut free hand or drawer shapes on to the felt to cut round.
- Place a couple of leaves one on top of the other and add a few stitches down the centre to hold them in place.
- Spread the shapes along the ribbon and add a stitch to the top of each to secure it to the ribbon.
- Hang it up and enjoy year after year.

I hope you have fun making it, I'm sure little hands would enjoy getting involved with this craft project too. Do let me know if you get it a go.
On that note, I will leave you to a weekend of fresh Autumn days and cosy evenings. If that involves juggling pumpkins into a soup or crunching leaves beneath your feet then even better.

Thank you for stopping by.
Lowri x

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Magic Mushrooms (not that kind)

Last Thursday was one of those days when your body forces you to stop. The result of 'burning the candle at both ends' as my Mum would say and coming under attack from the Autumn bugs.
I spent the morning in bed and, whilst I wouldn't call it a perfect Thursday breaktime, it certainly did me the world of good.

Whilst we haven't quite banished the coughs from our house, after a lazy weekend I'm pleased to say we're all bouncing around a bit more this week. If you're suffering from similar splutters then you certainly have my sympathy!

As usual, I loved taking a peek in to your breaktime moments last week and how lovely they were too. Here's a couple of beautiful images that caught my eye.
@claremullarkey @bonnyandjoy
@alltomkerstin @rachel.marilyn.reeder
The two outdoor shots just look so fresh and, in my opinion, there's nothing nicer than a bright and sunny, crisp Autumn day. I also loved these crafty shots, they've inspired me to get a little seasonal project under my belt, it's been a while! In fact, I have an upcoming post which might just inspire you to do the same.

The shot that caught my eye and really made me smile was this amazing capture by Lilian @lingyeungb
I love the thought of a fairy village and these magical toadstools are sure to house a fairy or two! The little maldod icon is based on this very image no less.

Thank you as always to all of you that share your breaktimes on a weekly basis, I am staggered that there's well over a 1000 (YES!) posts in the gallery now.  What started on a whim, has become something that I look forward to hosting each and every week.

Don't forget that this month you can WIN a place on a Modern Calligraphy Workshop with Quill London. If you can't attend then Quill are generously offering a Calligraphy starter kit so you can learn yourself. I'm hugely excited to be attending a workshop this Sunday and will be sure to tell you all about it next week.

To enter your posts into the giveaway just make sure you tag in @littlemaldod and @quilllondon into your posts, using the usual #mythursdaybreaktime tag.

I look forward to seeing what you all get up to tomorrow.

Until then, have a cosy evening.
Lowri x

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

October Edit

This little blog has been a bit neglected over the last month or so. It's safe to say that things have been busy round here! I've got lots to share with you over the coming weeks though, from Autumn recipes, London adventures and some seasonal home styling.

But before all that I want to share with you my October Edit for little maldod. Yes, I know it's nearly a fortnight overdue! I'm delighted to have launched a new range of products and hope you love what you find in the shop. All the new lines have been carefully chosen to fit in perfectly with little maldod, offering colourful designs, some beautifully handmade items and thoughtful gifts.
So without further ado, here's an introduction to my pick for the month. You can find them all in the shop by clicking on the product title.
1. Milestone TODDLER cards
 The wait is over, they are finally here. I've been excited to use these cards since I received word of their development over the Summer. A beautifully designed box of cards which help to record those milestone moments from toddlerdom to school age. I have been hopeless at recording Anwen's milestones and hope that using these cards will make up for only filling in about 5 pages of her first year's book (poor second child!)

2. Pumpkin Rattle
I could stop right here really. This pumpkin rattle is just too cute. A little treat for little hands this Autumn and doubles up as a lovely seasonal decoration. Keep your eyes peeled for a Styling the Seasons post featuring one very soon.

3. Honeycomb Decorations
This set of 5 animal decorations are just lovely. The pelican and and toucan have already found their way to the end of a couple of shelves in our house. Featuring a classic honeycomb centre, they make a fun and playful addition to any nursery or playroom.

4. Elizabeth Taylor Crown
I am DELIGHTED to be the first UK stockist to receive these stunning crowns made by Fable Heart. They literally flew off the shelves after their launch last Wednesday evening. I still have a handful left in stock and have my fingers crossed that I'll be able to have a second lot in before Christmas. This gold crown is simply stunning, each sequin is stitched onto woven fabric, and is backed by a reversible white Irish linen. As soon as I can I will be placing my own order with the super talented Claire and waltzing round in my own!

5. Olive the Lula Doll
Olive is a beautiful new addition to the Lula Doll collection and is exclusively handmade for little maldod by Lula Handmade. Olive's dress is made from a soft Needle Cord Liberty dress with a pretty rose pink floral print. The dolls make an extra special gift and each one is truly unique as there is only one doll of each hair colour. Take your pick to suit the little lady she's for. There are 3 other dolls to choose from in this range and Ivy, Greta and Flora are all equally as lovely!

So there we are, a unique Autumn selection. I have some VERY exciting things just around the corner, I can't wait to share them with you! Let's just say your Christmas shopping will be well and truly covered by little maldod this year.

Thanks for stopping by,
Until next time.
Lowri x


Thursday, 8 October 2015

An Autumn Moment

When we arrived home from our holiday last Saturday evening, the moment I stepped out of the airport I finally felt able to embrace Autumn.

There had certainly been signs of it before we went away, a change in the air, fallen leaves and need for a jumper on the odd morning, but I was resisting it. There was something about knowing that I still had a week of (hopefully) hot sunny beach days that kept me from rushing into the new season. 

Now we're back though, my feet haven't touched the ground. I've been flat out preparing for the Autumn/Winter range in the shop (which you can find here), thrown back into the nursery routine and attempting to fend of coughs, colds and nasty bugs. Unlike our lazy week away, this week has been fast paced and I've hardly taken a moment, let alone appreciate one of my favourite times of the year.

So when I was scrolling through last week's posts in the #mythursdaybreaktime gallery, this beautiful image and description jumped out immediately. 
It was captured by Jessica, who's IG feed and stunning blog @thewoodlandwife has become a firm favourite. The picture is accompanied by the following: "This morning we walked and walked and walked; she paused at one point, seemingly taking in the view and when I asked what she was doing, for the second time today, she reply "I watching the leaves turn yellow."

I love everything about this, the beautiful view, the fact that Jessica lives in a wood and can walk and walk and walk. But most of all, I love that this little lady has all the time in the world to just stand and watch the leaves turn yellow. 

For my break today I fancy doing just that. 

Do join me in sharing your breaktime moments this Thursday. My favourite post this month will win a place on a Modern Calligraphy workshop with Quill London. If you can't make a workshop then there's a fab Calligraphy starter set up for grabs. Do make sure you tag your photos with @littlemaldod and @quilllondon to enter them into the giveaway. 

Wishing you a lovely day, in whatever season you find yourself in. X 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Breaktimes with Quill London

Morning all!

In true holiday fashion, I've completely lost track of time! I suddenly realised earlier that today is the 1st of October and the start of an exciting collaboration for #mythursdaybreaktime

I'm delighted to tell you that this month Quill London are offering a fantastic prize for the winning post. They are generously giving away a place on one of their Modern Calligraphy workshops, something I've been desperate to have a go at for some time.
As their name suggests, Quill are based in London but their workshops are now 'on the road' and popping up in cities around the country. I've got my name down for a class in a few week's time and can't wait to tell you all about it! If you're a paper lover like me, do pop over to their online store here for a tempting array of beautiful stationery.

To be in with a chance of winning this month,simply tag your Thursday breaktime moments at any point during October, tagging in @quilllondon and @littlemaldod, with the #mythursdaybreaktime hashtag. As usual, I will pick weekly favourites and a final winner at the end of the month.

Here are a few of my favourite shots from last week.
@violetgray1951 @alltomkerstin
@hellomrsh  @harryandfrank
I've had a little break from blogging during September as I've been busy preparing for Autumn / Winter in the shop, adjusting to new nursery school routine and enjoying a few family breaks away. I'm looking forward to telling you all about our adventures and lots of exciting things coming to the shop very soon!

We have a few more days of Mallorcan sun to enjoy before we fly home on Saturday. I'm hoping to have a meander around the pretty town of Pollensa where we're staying at some point. If the wifi on our patch of this beautiful mountain is good enough tomorrow  (it's iffy) I'll be sure to share my breaktime with you.

Hasta Luego,
Lowri x

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

September Edit

Today I'd like to introduce you to a brand new blog series. Every month from now on I will select five products from the little maldod shop to share with you in my own monthly 'edit'.

I take great pride in selecting the products that you'll find at little maldod and am looking forward to shining a light on them a little more. They might be brand new product just in, best sellers that I know you already love or something that we're enjoying using in our own home.

I love working with other brands (all who happen to be Mums doing what they love too), it's truly one of my favourite things about running my shop. I hope that this series will help showcase some fantastic handcrafted work and introduce you to some of my favourite independent businesses along the way.

So, on to September's edit.
1. Watermelon Print by Blossom and Bear
I LOVE this print, it's colours are a lovely reminder of Summer days but will make your walls happy all year round.
I'm a big fan of all of Sarah's work, you will find her marvelous crochet baskets and mini prints in the shop. There's some new Blossom and Bear items coming to the shop this Autumn too, I can't wait to show you.

2. Sophie La Girafe Soft Teething Ring
I challenge you to find a baby that doesn't adore Sophie. My two have loved their original Sophies (also available in the shop, here) but Anwen has become very fond of a smaller teether too. In fact, there was almost a FULL ON meltdown yesterday when I wouldn't let her get her hands on a teether I was photographing. Lesson on juggling work and children duly remembered.

3. White Organic Bunny.
This sweet bunny hopped into the shop over the Summer and has fitted right in. Super soft and a great neutral shade, making it the perfect baby shower or newborn gift.

4. Sophie La Girafe Protection Cream.
I'm so pleased to have these gorgeous products in the shop. This cream has so many uses- great for outdoor protection as well as doubling up as a nappy cream. I've heard a rumour that all the products are great for Mums too. My two both have sensitive skin so we're using the full range, I'll be reporting back here with how we get on.
[Update, don't forget (like I did) that there's FREE delivery on all 'Bath and Body' until Sunday 6th September, with code 'WELOVESOPHIE']

5.  Mini Milestone Cards
FINALLY a box of Milestone Cards that we can use! When I discovered this lovely product both my two had sailed (crawled/stumbled/teethed) their way passed the baby milestones and I was left just admiring the lovely gifts that I package and send out as orders.
These mini cards are a box of blank cards, each with great designs and illustrations, there to help you capture those funny sayings, questions and pondering of your little ones. I've captured some lovely things from Wilf that I would otherwise have forgotten all about.

While I'm on the subject of Milestone Cards, would you like to know a little secret?! There might just be some brand NEW Milestone Cards right around the corner....who said reaching milestones stopped at the edge of one?!

More on that next month....who am I kidding, stay tuned on my social media and I'm sure I'll tell you all about it soon enough.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you've enjoyed reading. There's direct links for all the products above, so do pop over to the shop if you fancy buying any of them for yourself, your babe or as a gift.