Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Kids and dogs are DISGUSTING...

Do you know what?  There is a little too much poop in my life right now.. and far too much poop eating for my liking.  Yes, you read that right.  There is considerably too much consumption of faeces for my tastes in my life.  Let me be entirely clear, too much poo eating is ANY poo eating. THERE SHOULD BE NO SHIT CONSUMPTION IN MY LIFE!!!

Don't worry, dear readers, it is not I who is devouring brown nuggets of nutty delight.  Not at all.  No way.  Not ever.  Well, possibly in exchange for several million pounds and instant access to a stomach pumping device.  But from day to day, no, I am not eating poo... So, who is, you are all screaming at your screens?  My child.  And dogs.

I know that dogs have slightly less discerning taste buds than our own.  Or just different tastes.  I know that dogs love a bit of fox, horse, or cat poo.. but for my taste it is taking it a little far to discover how much they enjoy the excrement of a human.  How did I first discover this, you might wonder?  Around 3 years ago we were on holiday in Cornwall.  We were staying in a lovely cosy self catering cottage set on a farm, the only other building nearby being the farmhouse.  Not surprisingly, the farm had two dogs.  These dogs were very friendly and roamed free.  They were often to be found outside the backdoor of the cottage looking for a playmate or some attention.  They were adorable.  Now, at this time, Ethan had not long been potty trained and was still using a potty in preference to the loo, especially for No.2s.  One evening he had taken himself off for a poop.  Pooing in a potty had been quite a thing to get used to for Ethan, it took 6 weeks before he would go anywhere other than in his pants.  So, at this stage, whenever he "produced" we were very full on with our praise.  It was not unusual for us to encourage him to go around the house and show off his full poopy potty to anyone who was there.  Ethan had just evacuated his bowels and was proudly making his rounds of the cottage.  He had shown Pete and he'd come into the kitchen to show me, carefully cradling the potty so as not to spill it's precious load.  At that very moment, the farm dogs came bounding to the door.  In a split second of stupidity, I said to Ethan "Oh look! The dogs are here! Why not show them your poo?  I bet they'll be impressed!".  What was I thinking?  Honestly! As soon as had he placed the potty in front of the dogs they were lapping away at the contents.  There was nothing I could do.  It took seconds and it was gone.  The dogs were smacking their chops.  Flecks of faeces were being flicked around the door frame.  I was both mortified and hysterical.  I couldn't believe we'd just fed two dogs our son's excretions.  It was an event that has stayed with us all.

Fast forward to now; this years school summer holidays has once again brought us the joy of toilet training, this time, of course, with Felix.  Felix has been out of nappies for nearly 3 weeks now and I must say has done very well.  However, it has not been without event.  We have been lucky not to experience many accidents; whilst he is young, especially for a boy, at 26 months, he is very much ready for it.  That, though, is an aside to this tale.  I am here to weave missives worthy of Point Horror fiction.

We are still in those early stages of potty/toilet training with Felix.  The stage where the potty has to be on hand, easily accessible and visible.  This week we are dog/house sitting for my parents and I have to tell you that in just three days there have been 4 'dog eating from the potty' instances.  The first was at the weekend when my brother's new pup Monty was visiting.  Felix had done his business but before I could reach the potty, dear little Monty was over there filling his face with fresh faeces.  It only went downhill from there.  On 3 occasions since I have discovered my parents dog, Alfie licking his chops after chowing down on some potty sausages and pee soup.

The thing is, I can forgive the dogs.  They are, after all, dogs.  We all know they go mad for a bit of fox poo.  I suppose it's not a great leap to indulge in child poop.  However, I am considerably more grossed out when my own child eats their excrement.  Yup, that's right.  Felix has eaten some of his own poo.  Not just once either.  The first occasion was in the bath.  He'd gone through that right of passage they all go through, the bath poo cloud bomb.  Ethan and Felix were in the bath together.  I had popped out to grab something and suddenly I heard yelps of "MUM!! Felix has done a poo in the bath!".  I rushed back in to find that Ethan had leapt out and was scrubbing himself with a towel whilst Felix sat with, frankly, a psychotic look on his face surrounded by poo, a handful of which he was fisting into his mouth with gleeful abandon.

Obviously I was completely disgusted, told him that "WE DO NOT EAT POO!" cleaned him off and removed him from the bath and hoped the matter was over.  I was wrong.  It seams to me that children have very different taste buds to us.   In fact, research supports this.  But how can anyone not be bothered by the taste of poo?  It's not like it smells good!  I have since discovered Felix sampling his own delicacies on a few occasions.. sometimes it's a quick finger up the bum and a lick.  I've even found him dipping his hand in his wee and licking it off.  He seems to delight on my disgusted reaction so it's got the point where I no longer react.  What can you do?  He's the same with pretty much everything.  This child has not grown out of putting everything in his mouth and I'm not sure he ever will.  Stones, slugs, snails.  They all get put in the mouth over and over.  He actively seeks out sand to eat by the handful.  Crayons and pencils.  They are like sweets to him.  Anything he can find on the ground or from a bin.  Old plasters.  Fag butts.   I have to watch him like a hawk.  If nothing else, I reassure myself that his immune system will be amazing when he's older!

When I became pregnant 7 years ago I had no idea of the journey I would take.  All I can say is thank goodness I have a strong stomach.  Now, where's the potty?  I fancy a snack!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Funky Kid Friday

The school holidays are whizzing by.  I'm not quite sure where the time goes.  Are we ever?  The first two weeks were a blur of being away and having Pete home from work.  The next two weeks have been a blur of being home by myself with the boys and life without nappies.  Felix is now nappy free in the day.  To be honest, as "potty training" experiences go, this has been fairly stress free.  He hasn't really had an accident since day 4 and in total has had less than 6 accidents.  We have had some instances of deliberate messing to get a reaction.  I know it's deliberate because I know that he a)doesn't really have accidents b) takes himself to the loo or potty with no assistance c) I wasn't paying him attention at the time.  I'm hugely impressed.  Where has my baby gone?

Due to being at home a lot and potty training, the boys haven't really been wearing much.  Or anything really.  Felix is mostly naked apart from a tee at home just now because it's so much easier, he can just pop himself on the potty, easy peasy.. and if Felix is nude, Ethan likes to join in too!  What young child doesn't really.  So, as you can imagine, I don't have many outfit photos to share!  I've collected together a small amount from the last week..

Felix wears:

Old season Katvig top (bought from a friend) 
Beau Loves shorts SS15

Ethan wears:

Crown tee by Donna Wilson at John Lewis
Cargo shorts from Vertbaudet
Navy Hunter Boots

Felix wears:

Old Katvig top - as above
Mumas Boy tee from Birdies & Bearcubs

Ethan wears:

Geo heart tee from Boxed Apparel
Geometric triangle cardigan from eBay
WHY? tee made by me
Zebra print shorts from H&M
Silver Birkenstock sandals

I like that my boys wear hand me downs and second/third hand items.  Felix has worn a lot of Ethan's old clothes and some that belonged to friends like the cute dog print Katvig top he's worn a lot this week.  I love Ethan's Donna Wilson crown tshirt and his boxed apparel one because, I've said before, I find black so practical with children.  It's quite hard work to stain it and it looks so stylish but also fun if you go for a good print.

How have your kids been dressing this summer?  Have they worn clothes at all?  Are they like my two nature boys enjoying being nude?

If you have a kids fashion post, please do link up below.  I know this isn't the biggest linky out there and I know that I do sometimes suck at visiting everyone but I honestly do try.  My head isn't entirely in the game these days, with both boys at home with me and trying to move house.  It really does make my day when you read, comment and link up.  Thank you for putting up with me! Happy Friday :-) xx

Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Bubabloon - a balloon cover!

A few months ago I heard about this really cool creation.  A cover for a balloon!  Now, you might ask, why on earth would you want or need a cover for a balloon?  A fair question!  Well, becoming a parent introduces you to a world of worries and worrying about what your baby might be able to do with an errant balloon is one of them!

Despite the fact that balloons can pop and are made from a material which presents a choking hazard, babies and children seem drawn to them.  For as long as I can remember both of mine have found balloons amusing, pretty much from birth.  But I've always worried that a balloon might pop or shrivel up and they would put what's left in their mouths and choke.  Felix puts everything in his mouth, even at 26 months he regularly eats sand, play-dough and crayons.  So, for me, this cover was appealing.

Bubabloon review, balloon cover

The Bubabloon is a cover for balloons which makes them much safer to have around babies and young children.  It makes the balloon look and act more like a round ball.  The covers come in a variety of bright and eye catching colours/patterns and as such provide a good visual stimuli.  Something I really love about this idea is that the cover folds up very small so you can pop it in your bag, pop in a few balloons and then you always have a toy with you! Great for traveling or days out.  We've found it handy on that score.  Balls can be quite irritating bulky things to pack for holidays.  This makes it really easy to have one to take away.

I like that this is a light toy for children.  Yes, it's not as bouncy as a regular bouncy ball but it's less likely to cause a head injury or knock over your favorite Gromit figurine (yes, this is personal experience here!).  I think it'd make a fantastic gift as well.  Something you could give as a present for children of many ages and it's likely to be something they don't already have!

Bubabloon review

This toy is designed with babies and young children in mind but both of my boys enjoy playing with it, separately and together.  Felix enjoys practicing his kicking (without me worrying about the Gromits!) and Ethan likes to practice catching.  Bubabloon gets a big thumbs up from us!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Farm Fest 2015 - Our first family festival!

Farm Fest 2015

We've done it!


I'm very happy to tell you that we have finally achieved one of my ambitions in life - a festival, camping with the family.  I've never been to a festival properly before.  I've been to small festivals and middle sized ones, but only ever for the day or not camping.  For as long as I can remember I've wanted to  (unwisely?!) camp at a festival and, once we had the boys, I wanted to do it as a family.  And we have finally done it!

I can't say it was easy.  If you read my blog you'll probably know that Felix is, well, quite hard work.  He's a complete delight and I love him to pieces but he is a very full on child.  He requires a great deal of attention, he doesn't sleep well (having only "slept through" a handful of times during his 26 months on this earth) and he doesn't ever stop moving.  Even when sleeping he fidgets around so much he wakes himself.  I knew that I wouldn't consider a festival with him as a tiny baby (although, ironically, that might actually have been easier!).  I was hoping that by age two it'd be easier.  It wasn't.  But it was fun.

Gorgeous views!

Farm Fest is a reasonably small festival with an attendance of about 5000 people.  It has been around for 10 years now (10th birthday this year!) and it is quite local for us (an hours drive).  It is also renowned for being family friendly.  For all these reasons I thought it'd be a good choice for us.  Family friendly means that there will be activities for kids and there will be lots of other kids there.  Being local means that if it turned out to be hell on earth we could get home quite easily.  Small means that it wouldn't be too overwhelming for our first proper festival experience.

I'm very glad to say that it lived up to our expectations and exceeded them.  It did indeed take us just over an hour to get there and once we found the not entirely obvious road sign on a nearby roundabout it was straightforward to get to.  There was heaps of parking and lots of attendants around directing cars and people.  It was definitely worth getting there early (the festival ran from Friday to Saturday night with camping on both nights) as we got a good parking space (close to camping) and we were able to pick a decent spot to pitch our tent.  There was an excellent security presence on site which I found reassuring, especially having our boys with us.

Heaps of space for camping, even if you did end up a little way from the entertainment you were guaranteed space for your tent. There was a separate camper van field which seemed popular!  I have to say I was very impressed by the toilets and running water with sinks.  Most of the loos were these composting ones which have become popular.  A loo over a hole in the ground.  You do your business and then throw over a cup full of chippings.  I can honestly say that these loos were far less stinky than the traditional portaloos and cleaner too.  Bigger as well!  Outside of the loos there was access to a good amount of alcohol gel and two sinks with running water which were a life saver.  I was constantly filling up our water bottles, washing the kids hands and faces and washing my hands.  Alcohol gel is great and I love knowing the nasties are gone but I'm afraid nothing feels as refreshing as some water!  Sometimes the loos had paper, sometimes not, but even we festival newbies knew to take our own loo roll with us!

Once we'd arrived and lugged all our gear to our tent pitch (the hardest bit - totally getting one of those pull along carts everyone has for next time!) and got our tent up, we went up to the main field to explore.  Just before entering the field there was a fantastic smelling coffee tent.  This was much appreciated by us and everyone at the festival I think!  We were surprised to find the coffee was damn good.  I also sampled one of their salted caramel muffins and it was one of the softest, freshest and most delicious muffin I've ever had!

Farm Fest Coffee Mmmmmm!

Coffee makes me think of food and there was so much to choose from at Farm Fest it was unreal.  For us, it was as much about food as anything else and we were spoiled for choice.   I went for a fresh pizza for my lunch.  Whilst it was tasty, it was one of the more expensive food choices at £8 (basic pizza was £7, £1 for toppings) and I have to say it took a long time to arrive.  Around 20 minutes I think.  Which isn't easy when you've got grumpy kids swinging around your legs!  I realise that as it was fresh pizza it would take a bit of time to make, but they already had heaps of bases ready and as they are thin they shouldn't take long to cook, so I'm not sure what took so long.  It was nice though.  Good tasty ingredients.

Pete sampled the fish and chips stall.  I know he loved the fish and I helped him munch up the chips as did Felix and we enjoyed them!! Ethan wanted a marshmallow and strawberry crepe so he was very happy.  That also took a surprising amount of time to make but there was a big queue - not that surprising!

After filling our tummies we took a walk around to get our bearings.  There was an amazing disco stage (made to look like a huge pinata) playing vinyl disco classics called Donna Somerset (amazing name).  Felix was fascinated and kept trying to get up there when they weren't actually open.  When they were, they pumped out some awesome disco tunes so there was always a buzzing atmosphere. I'd say it was one of the most popular places there! Everyone was loving it.

Festivaling with the boys was, as I mentioned, tricky.  Felix was staying true to himself and despite a stinking cold (typical eh?!) was on the move constantly.  For that reason we found listening to the music on the main stage the easiest because it provided him with a good deal of room to run around, lots of people to chat to and the sound of the music wasn't too intense.  Talking of the music, Farm Fest isn't somewhere you go to watch big names perform.  It's much more about up and coming and smaller acts.  Which suited us just fine.  We just enjoyed hearing and seeing good music being played live.   And it really was.  Great strong singers, A good amount of base-y thumpy dance for the nights and lots of beautiful instruments.  We loved hearing some sax!  We saw several of the bands performing on the main stage on Friday and Saturday afternoon.  My brother, who was there with his friend, visited every stage and tent.  They loved the blue and white tent with some gorgeous chilled out Friday afternoon vibes.

Main Stage Farm Fest 2015

Drink wise, there were several "bars".  Larger was surprisingly well priced, no more expensive than a pub.  You could get all the basics but there was also a beer/cider/cocktail tent supplying more traditional drinks.  I did have a cheeky Moscow Mule cocktail on the Friday night which set me back £7.  Not cheap, but again, that's pretty much what you pay for a cocktail in a bar.  It was yummy and generous on the vodka.

For kids, there was plenty.  A dedicated kids tent and various things dotted around the tent.  The kids tent was great.  Heaps of recycling materials to get creative with, paints, pens, glitter and structured activities such as puppet making, instrument making, sing songs, bed time stories and yoga.  My two just enjoyed making random things from cardboard boxes.  Ethan made a "bird" which he insisted we carry around.  Actually came in hand for sitting on whilst listening to music and later on became a handy door mat for our tent!  Both boys got covered in glitter.

Farm Fest 2015 Kids Tent

There were a good amount of "shops" to look around selling the usual stuff you'd see at festivals; retro clothing, face painting, tat stuff to attract kids.. but there were also some cool things like screen printing, slack lining and massage.  Ethan loved having a go at slack lining!

Slack Lining Farm Fest 2015

For us, the hardest bit of the weekend was the night.  With hindesight, it probably would have been better to stay out until the boys were ready to drop but what we actually did was head back to our tent at about 6:30pm because Felix was flagging, having a cold.  Once we got back there, though, they went a bit manic and it was 10:30pm before they had conked out.  Neither of them slept well either.  Mostly because Felix was so snotty and feeling ill.  In fact, at one point during the night, Ethan put his ear defenders on to sleep because he hated Felix's snoring!  Once the boys were asleep Pete and I took it in turns to pop back to the action for a bit but I don't think either of us felt like leaving the other with the boys for too long.  Life is different now, and that's OK!  I bought us both a deep fried mars bar from the chippy -  you've got to try it!  They sound disgusting but are kind of amazing!

None of us slept well, Felix ended up with me and Pete with Ethan.  Felix crawled down the bottom of my sleeping bag at about 4am which was peculiar but somehow he slept his best down there!!

On Saturday morning we packed up our tent.  Whilst camping was still available for that night, it'd been such a tough night with Felix we weren't in rush to repeat it.  Poor Felix was really quite unwell on Saturday, not even up to running around!  We all enjoyed hot drinks from the coffee tent, coffee for us and hot choc for Ethan.  We needed it because Saturday was a bit colder and gray than Friday had been (Friday was a stunner!).

Feeling cold? Have a coffee!

Once refreshed, we packed up our tent, packed the car and headed back to the festival for the day.  Again we enjoyed tasty food (French cuisine), good coffee, craft at the kids tent and music at the main stage.  Towards 4pm it was starting to rain and Felix was feeling really ill so we set off for home.

Farm Fest 2015 Ice Cream Van

It was a shame for us that the weather on Saturday wasn't quite so nice and that Felix was so poorly.  Had he been well we might well have "carried on camping" ;-D.  Still, we're not put off.  It was a very friendly festival, great for us and the boys.   We would love to go again and I think that next year, when he's 3 and hopefully a little better at sleeping then we will be back!  With a pull along cart....

Friday, 17 July 2015

Funky Kid Family - Meet the Veggies!

You know I love a bit of twinning.  I don't like my boys to wear the same thing as each other all the time, they are individuals and very much encouraged to speak their minds, have their own views.  But it does look really cute when they match or there's a theme.

The thing is, sometimes I like to join in too!  There are some truly beautiful kids clothing ranges out there if you look for them.  There are epic independent brands like those you find on Insta and Etsy.  Then there are larger brands like Katvig, Polarn O Pyret and all the Scandi brands like Duns.

As a shorty I have a secret - I fit quite happily into clothing made for a 12 year old.  I do a considerable amount of my shopping in the kids department of H&M.  It doesn't stop there though.  I can also fit into the kids sizes stocked by the likes of Duns.  One of my fave online stockists, Funky Little People, stock Duns.  I have been loving their radish print from afar for a long time. I was emailing Anna, who runs FLP, recently.  We were discussing the awesome radish print.  I said I really needed to get the boys some tees in that print but that I'd really love to wear it myself.  I'd told her how I fit into kids sizes and she told me that she had a dress in that print, age 12.  So, we took a punt, I bought it, and it fitted!

This weekend just gone, the boys and I had our first outing all matching.  We did get a few looks, quite a few compliments and a group of teenage girls had a snigger..  Fair enough.  I'd probably laugh at a Mum matching her kids.  But I don't really care.  I love this print!

Duns Radish, Scandi, Twinning is Winning

Duns Radish, Scandi, Twinning is Winning

Would you take it as far as me?  Would you actually wear kids clothes?

Link up your kids fashion posts below.  Please do link back to me and display the badge if you can. Tweet me your links, I'll retweet!

FKF is taking a break next week and possibly the following week as we will be enjoying family time but we will be back!

Happy Friday and end of term everyone!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Holidays are here again!

It's that time of year again!  Excitement is in the air (or is it just a much needed thunder storm?).  Everyone is feeling slightly ragged.  The kids are tired.  The parents and teachers more so.  Somehow, we are all hanging in there, desperate for the slightly euphoric experience that is the last school run of the school year.   Our thoughts turn to holidays....

Holidays pre-children are like a hazy memory.  A holiday with children is a somewhat different experience.  I always think it's rather like that phrase "a change is as good as a rest".  Or at least, that's what I tell myself.  Because holidays with young children aren't exactly relaxing.  That's not to say they aren't enjoyable.  Hence the change, if not rest.

What do I love about holidays with kids?  I love the chance to visit attractions like theme parks and pretend it's all "just for the kids" when really you are having just as much fun.  I love that the simple things are fun like sitting on the beach and having an ice cream.  I have happily learnt to love that going out of an evening isn't a requirement to a good holiday.  As long as we have Rumikub, Boggle, ice cream and some booze it's all good.  I love just being away from home for a bit, being somewhere where I don't have to worry so much about house work!

What don't I love about holidays with kids?  I don't particularly enjoy long journeys.  I've learnt various ways to make journeys easier; plenty of stops, in car activities, giving out travel sickness meds, having lots of plastic bags (for unexpected vomit!) towels, wet wipes, changes of clothing at the ready, audio books and kid friendly music, endless snacks and water.  I also intensly dislike the arrival home.  The husband is usually worn out from driving.  The kids are tetchy and desperate to run around even if it's 8pm.. and I'm itching to un pack, clean the car and get the washing on.. and then I need another holiday.  A REAL holiday ;-)

Dale Fort Pembrokeshire

We have had some lovely holidays since we've had our boys.  We've holidayed in France three times, in Cornwall, Yorkshire, Centreparcs, Wales, Devon.  We've taken long car journeys (5 hours to Yorkshire).  We've been on the Ferry (travel sickness tablets required for husband and Ethan.  A lot of pushing a buggy around a deck for me).  We have yet to take the boys on a plane.  I've loved all of our holidays.  They have all provided us with something a bit different.  Sometimes, like this year, we go back to somewhere we've been many times before.  This year we are taking the boys to the Isle of Wight.  The last time we were there, six years ago, I was heavily pregnant with Ethan.  The IoW is somewhere I've told Ethan about many times.  It's a place my parents took me to many times.  Pete and I have holidayed there 3 times ourselves.  Blackgang Chine is a family tradition.  We can't wait to share it with the boys.

Artichokes in France

Pete and I have always talked about the different kinds of holidays we'd like to take in the future.  We want to take the boys to the states, recreate our honeymoon.  One day I'd love to visit relatives in Australia.  Something we both like the idea of is trying a cruise one day.  I don't think we'd mind where the cruise went.  We just love the idea of being on a huge ship (as long as hubby can control the sickness!!).  I've always associated cruises with older people and couples but these days there are just as many which are family focused.  Which is just as well, because, let's face it, our boys will be holidaying with us for a long time yet!  I quite like the idea of a Mediterranean cruise that gets close to Africa.  Just imagine the food!

5 am on a Ferry Face!
How have you found holidays since having children?  What are your favorite family friendly holidays?

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Makeup for little ones - keep your children safe

Kids and makeup: always a hot topic! How should we parents deal with it? I have two boys and they are still very young, so as yet, this is not something I have had to consider, excepting the odd face painting session! However, I do wonder what it would be like if I had a girl. I have friends with girls who, even age 5 or younger, have asked to wear make up (I'm sure there are some boys who express this wish too). What should be your reaction to the fact that your little girl wants to apply some makeup? Do you allow her to use yours, have her own or it is just a no-no for her?

It seems that you don't have to deny your child everything makeup. If they really wants to have fun with some makeup, then let them; only make sure that what they use contains only safe products.

When you decide that your small kid, tween or teen can use cosmetics for their skin, then be sure to buy for them only those that do not have toxins and unnecessary chemicals. Though quality cosmetics can be quite expensive, you do not have to break the bank to make your kid happy. With promo codes for Sears, you can be sure to find a great deal of children-friendly products at discounted prices and make immense savings on the cosmetics you buy for your kids.

In my escapades trying to find the best natural and chemical free products, I have come across many cosmetics with ingredients that on further research, I would not recommend for kids. I would say it's bes to avoid children’s play makeup containing Fragrances, Nanos, Phthalates, Bismuth Oxychloride, Talc, Parabens, Polyethylene glycol, Diethyl phthalate, as well as Artificial Preservatives, Colors and Dyes. They may not always be safe!

Another thing, do not be duped by labels of “Natural”, “All-Natural”, ”Organic”, “Organically Natural” or ”Recyclable” on cosmetic products. Check the ingredients! Other inscriptions that you need to be extra-careful about include Non-GMO, Fresh, Cruelty-free, Vegan, Handmade, Hypoallergenic, “Safe”, “Bio-something”, “Pure”, Healthy, etc. They may be safe for you but not for your kids. If need be, seek professional advice from a skin expert.

What scares me most are those personal care products purported to be made FOR KIDS yet contain toxins and nasties health experts warn that your little ones should be avoiding at all costs. For instance, statistics by the Environmental Working Group show that the U.S. cosmetics market alone exposes kids and tweens to approximately 33 ingredients (in more than 400 cosmetic products). Remember that most of these ingredients and products have also been banned for cosmetics in comparable markets like Canada, the European Union and Japan for being unsafe for developing kids’ bodies.

In addition, 61% of ingredients found in "for kids" products are not properly assessed for safety. So, if the FDA is not doing enough to guarantee safety for you and your child when it comes to the cosmetic products on our market, then we better do it ourselves!

Some of the harmful ingredients that you should be looking out for when you buy the next round of play makeup include DMDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Sodium lauryl, laureth sulfate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Formaldehyde, Triethanolamine and Triclocarban.

And do not let your pocket suffer in pursuit of the best safe cosmetic products when coupons can help you get big discounts and rebates on your purchases. Check them out today!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Farm Fest - Nearly sold out!

We are so excited about attending our first festival as a family this summer.  Even more excited that it's Farm Fest, something local, not too huge and very family friendly.

Farm Fest Komodo

We're getting all our camping gear ready; a tent, sleeping bags, pots, pans and a kettle!! I'm starting to think about the entertainments as well.  Obviously we will have the boys with us so what they want to do will also be taken into consideration, and to be honest, Pete and I will just be happy to absorb any live music we can, but I would love to see The Floral Wham Trams - they sound intriguing! Komodo sound very cool. Toyface also intrigue me.

Farm Fest The Floral Wham Trams

If you fancy coming along, you'd better get a move on because tickets are almost sold out!! Go get some NOW!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Remember when we were all drinking out of glass jars with straws? Another other memorable things from this decade..

I was thinking whilst doing the washing up the other day (dangerous, I know).  You see those memes all over the net these days.   Lists of things we all used to do, use, wear, listen to etc in the 70s, 80s, 90s etc.  It got me thinking, what will these memes feature in the future?  What will be circulating in 2030 when we remember the twenty tens or whatever we are calling this decade (what ARE we calling this decade?  Five years in and I have no bloody idea!)?

Well, I thought I'd make my own list...

1) Drinking from jars

Why are we all drinking from jam jars?

Remember when we all thought we were so hip(ster) drinking from jars with straws?! It's laughable really, isn't it.  Why exactly are we drinking from jam jars?  It's got to be a hipster thing.  I remember two or so years ago that bars started serving cocktails in jars.  When I went out once.  In around 2014 I think.. I remember thinking "I have made it out, ON AN EVENING, for once.. and I have paid £8 to drink from a recycled jam jar!  I wonder if I should save it for my Mum to fill with jam?".  Joking aside though, I do actually like these jars.  Probably, I've been suckered in like everyone else, but I find them strangely practical with the kids.  I'll be honest, despite being nearly 6, Ethan still spills his drinks.  If I give him milk in one of these jars with a straw and lid, things seem to stay a lot less messy!  I find it's handy for me too, if the kids accidentally knock over my always there glass of water.  And reusable straws! Hell yes.  I'm all for straws that can be used over and over.  As long as you invest in a straw cleaner folks (yes, google it.  That's a thing).

2) Instagram

It's got to make the list, hasn't it!! I remember when IG became available on Android (never been rich cool enough to have an iphone) and I nearly wet myself with excitement! Yes! I can get on the bandwagon!  I don't know about you, but it's my fave social media.  I'm always on the damn thing.  Looking at peoples photos of their jam jar drinks.

3) Brand Reps

If you're on IG and really into kids fashion and follow all the cool WAHM clothing companies then you'll be au fait with the "humble" rep search.  Will it have it's day?  I think it probably will.  I think that we're seeing the peak of the brand rep searches just now.  I'm not thinking they are going to completely disappear but I suspect brands will change how they do things, to keep things fresh!  Just today the lady who created Whistle & Flute (huge Canadian self made kids clothing brand) wrote about the end of their rep searches.

Whistle and Flute Brand Rep Search

4) Micro Scooters and Balance Bikes

Come on, show me a kid who doesn't have a micro scooter and a balance bike!  When Ethan started riding with his balance bike 4 years ago they were still quite uncommon, but now they are ten a penny.  I actually think both of these are fantastic things.  The balance bikes definitely help learn cycling skills.  Ethan was riding a standard bike without stabilsers by age 3.  And Micro Scooters are a huge improvement on the old fashioned difficult to manover styles.  Even if it does mean you are run over about 15 times a day by one.  And how else would we cope on the school run?

5) Minecraft

The game of the masses.  So simple in style it looks dated.  So universally appealing, everyone loves it.  Kids are addicted but we don't mind too much because it's one of the most educational games out there!  In fact, it's even used as a teaching tool in some schools.  Ethan plays Minecraft every day and when he's not playing it, he wants to watch YouTube videos.  Stampy Long Nose is now one of the most well known people among the kids of today!  I think he might even be bigger than Minecraft.

Minecraft, Stampy Cat Cake
Ethan's Minecraft Birthday Party

Well, there's 5 things to get us started.  What would you add to the list?  What do you think will stand out from this decade?

Funky Kid Friday - Monkey & Mole, Esme's Journey & how you can help

Handmade leather moccasins are all the rage these days.  For the last 5 years or so there has been a surge in their popularity and new brands are popping up all over the place now.  Etsy, Folksy & Instagram is bursting with them.  Like with many things, this craze really started over in the US.  The first brand I saw making them was Freshly Picked.  They started up in 2009 and when Felix was born I was lusting after a pair.. but they were already quite pricey without taking postage and possible tax into consideration so I held back.  Then, one day, I discovered Monkey & Mole and I nearly exploded with happiness!

I was brimming with happiness when our first pair arrived.  The quality of the leather and crafstwomanship was second to none.  Unlike a cheaper pair of moccs I'd bought before, these ones would stay on Felix's feet all day (no mean feet with that fidgeter).  I liked that although they gave his feet protection they weren't hampering his growth or attempts to walk in any way.  They looked beautiful and everyone who saw them complimented us on them.

Over the last couple of years Chrissy and I have worked together online, features on my blog, giveaways on Instagram, ads on my blog.  When we have exchanged emails Chrissy would tell me about her worries about her daughter, Esme.  How she worried something was "wrong" after an upsetting two year check up with a rather tactless health visitor.  Prior to this check up Chrissy had just been enjoying Esme.  She wasn't worrying and analysing behaviour, well no more than any other mother would be.  It turns out though, that as tactless as the health visitor was, Esme was falling behind her peers and so the journey to a diagnosis began.  That diagnosis eventually came in; autism.  Esme suffers from anxiety, very few words, struggles to interact, plays differently and is easily frightened by noises.  She is also a complete delight and the world to her doting parents.

Chrissy discovered ABA Therapy , an early intervention therapy for children with autism which would really give Esme a boost.  The issue is that this therapy is only available privately and is extremely expensive.  Chrissy didn't give up when she discovered this, though.  No, she decided to raise funds!  And the way she's going about it is quite amazing!  This fantastic Mama is going to cycle 500 miles from Lands End to Bolton and Esme will be joining her!!

I realise this is not a typical Funky Kid Friday post but I really want to help get the word out there about Chrissy's amazing mission.  As Funky Kid is my most read feature and, well, Monkey & Mole moccs are fashion related, I thought it would be OK!

Chrissty & Esme start their journey on the 20th July (not long) and will be arriving in Bolton, where they were both born, on the 21st of August.  If you would like to support them and can donate anything, no matter how small, you can do so here.  You can keep up to date with their progress via Instagram.

If you'd like to link up your kids fashion posts, you can do so below!  Happy Friday everyone! X