Friday, 2 December 2016

The Christmas Pudding Noggin

Earlier this year, the supermarket in the centre of our town closed down.  When this happened, speculation was rife was to what would take it's place.  A large unit like that, the costs would be high, it'd have to be something similar.  I was quietly hopeful, like some others, that we might get a Waitrose (hehe) but no.  Eventually the rumor mill was full of "It's going to be a B&M store".  I was most dismayed.  In the late Spring this was proven to be true and from then it was full steam ahead at the empty store, a whole heap of orange and blue started to appear.

I wouldn't say I planned to boycott the store but I was rather hopeful I'd never become a regular customer.  You can tell where this is going, can't you.... Well.  For a couple of months I honestly didn't go in.  Then a friend went in and was impressed so I was intrigued.  I really needed to buy a kids birthday present for a birthday one afternoon at short notice and very few places were open, my son wanted to go in and look there for the gift.  I told myself, it's OK.  We're only going in to look for one present.  It's not like I WANT to go in.  From then on it's been a slippery slope.  Don't get me wrong, I still very much prefer to shop elsewhere if I can, but they do stock some tempting items.  American sweets for one thing.  That's probably most of what I buy in there actually.  They stock a gorgeous stout that I can't find anywhere else.  They've been great for Paw Patrol crap toys that Felix lusts after.  I do stick to local small retailers but I don't make a point of avoiding it anymore.  Which is just as well and really brings me around to the point of this blog post.

This week it turned really bloody freezing.  Felix and I were in town, he'd ridden in on his bike.  We were due to go on to his gymnastics class but despite my best efforts to layer him up before leaving the house to keep him warm, he was crying with the cold.  There aren't really any kids clothing shops in town save from rifling through the charity rails.  Which is fine unless you are dragging said child with you, already moaning from cold.  I knew that B&M had hats, scarves, gloves and Christmas jumpers.  I knew that the silliness of a Christmas jumper might tempt Felix to put it on and keep him a little warmer.  In the end we managed to get a rather cute penguin jumper, a neck warmer and a very fetching hat which looks like a Christmas pudding.  This hat has been an absolute Godsend.  Felix doesn't really tolerate hats at all but since getting this one he constantly wants his "pudding hat" on.  And the amount of compliments and attention he attracts in it!  So cute.




In an ideal world I would buy only second hand or very ecological, ethical organic clothing.. but unfortunately this is the real world and for me, I'm afraid it does mean sometimes slightly deviating against my preferences.  But at least I have a happy warm child... and he does look damn cute in that hat!

Linking up with Hannah for Funky Kid Friday today.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

What do you do ALL DAY?

This is a question I recently had posed to me.  What do you do all day long?  As a stay at home parent, it's something I've often imagined people wondering.  Usually people who don't have children.  Or partners who've never done the "stay at home" thing.  I'm sure, on occasion, my husband as wondered the same.  Especially now Felix has started at preschool.

The fact is, I do often wonder where the time has gone myself.  At present, Ethan is at school full time.  Felix is at preschool but only for the 15 hours which are funded.  By the time I'm back home from dropping both of them off at least half an hour of that precious time has gone.  Once I get in the house and gather my thoughts, tidy up from breakfast etc it is often getting close to 10 am.  Feix has to be picked up at 1:30 pm so at this point only 3.5 hours remain.  I have to fit my own lunch in at some point.  Quite often make a packed lunch for one or both of the boys the following day.  House work.  Washing/folding/putting away clothing.  It amazes me how "little" I seem to get done.  It has to be said that I do like to keep a very tidy home.   I'm sure I could write far more blog posts or drum up more blogging work for myself if I loosened my grip on the house.  Really, I should.  I do love a tidy home though.  I love that I know where everything is.  There aren't piles of clothing and toys and other items hanging around to be put away.  Jobs do get done in this house.  We do tend to get on with things pretty quickly.  DIY, chores etc.  I don't like to leave them hanging around and neither does Pete really.  We work hard at it.

A quiet moment

Some of my time at home I do chose to use to relax in a little.  Yes, I will have a coffee and read a while.  I've been a stay at home Mum for over 7 years now and much of that time has been exhausting, draining and hard.  It's been lovely too and immensely rewarding, but it's been a long time and I am itching for time for myself and to start to do something different.  I'll always be a Mum and I'd never change that.  My boys will always need me.  The house will always be there needing something doing on it.  But I need something else in my life.  So, what do I do all day?  A whole heap of things but also, right now, I'm job hunting and trying to figure out what I want to do and how that will fit in with everyone else.  And if that means I have the odd quiet coffee by myself, so be it.  There's enough judging and ill feeling in this world without begrudging me that!


My home.. always being tweaked! 

Friday, 18 November 2016

We're repping for Moromini!

This week brought some very exciting news!   Brand Repping is a big thing on Instagram.  We've repped for a few brands over the last couple of years.  This year I took a step back from all the brand repping.  Sometimes it can be rather soulless, the entering of rep searches, the way it can make you feel if you don't get picked, the way it feels if you keep seeing the same people being picked over and over.  It all gets a little bit... I'm not sure.  I was feeling jaded by it.

There's so much I love about Instagram.  There's a lovely community there and I feel I've made life long friends there.  I enjoy seeing what others are up to and I enjoy seeing amazing quality photos there.  Snapshots of life.  I didn't feel I wanted to keep "chasing" something that wasn't necessarily bringing me happiness. So. A step back from entering rep searches.  Until I spotted a brand I love, Moromini, searching for reps a couple of weeks ago.  And I just couldn't resist.  Rather like repping for Slugs & Snails tights in the last year, I knew this brand would be a perfect fit for us.  Bright, colourful, full of patterns, clothes the boys and I genuinely like.  Encouraged by Anna who owns Funky Little People to enter, I did.  This Monday the lucky reps were announced and we were among them!  It made me grin from ear to ear.  It will bring me nothing but joy to work alongside a brand we love and I can't wait to help them out sharing photos on Instagram, Twitter and over here.  I believe brand repping should be a joy.  Not something you do because you want some kind of "InstaFame" or just because you are desperate for "free" clothes (they aren't free though.  This is an exchange of clothing for your time, skills and audience).  I am so proud we will be working with a Mama created brand with a wonderful ethos, Europe made clothing, organic cloth, designed with children in mind, not mini adults.

Moromini, Scandi, Kids Clothing
Felix wearing a Moromini Fried Egg Top

Moromini, Scandi, Kids Clothing
Felix snoozing in his Moromini Trousers

I can tell this is going to be a wonderful partnership and I'm very happy to have some cool Mama's and kids repping alongside us, not in the least Hannah from Make, Do & Push!  High five missus!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Keeping children entertained on long car journeys

We've just booked a weekend break for the end of February half term and are also thinking about summer holidays, where we want to go etc. We have been parents for over 7 years now and we know all about traveling with children. It's hard work at the best of times, even a short journey can be trying! Ethan, our eldest, suffers from travel sickness, so we have that to contend with as well.. Just as I was thinking about where to go on holiday and how to minimise the stress of journeys I read this post published on the woodentoyshop.com's blog. There are some very useful tips and great game ideas, I love the car bingo! I found it a good read so thought I'd share it over here! No harm and you might just pick up a new idea!


Travelling with Kids

Friday, 21 October 2016

One for One Toy & Clothing Campaign with Natural Baby Shower


Looking through the spam folder of my email this morning I happened upon an email telling me all about this lovely campaign from Natural Baby Shower.  I am so glad I found this email, it could have been missed.  It's a wonderful idea.  For every Finn & Emma knitted toy or item of  Woodland Clothing sold between now and December 2016 Natural Baby Shower will donate like for like to a fantastic charity, REFUGE.  Here's a little more about it:

Natural Baby Shower Launch One for One Toy and Clothing Campaign

Natural Baby Shower are excited to announce the launch of their One for One campaign. During this campaign, for every Finn + Emma organic hand knitted toy or item of Woodland clothing sold between the 01st of October and December, Natural Baby Shower will be donating a like-for-like toy or piece of clothing to mother and baby REFUGE charities across the UK in time for Christmas.

Finn + Emma produce beautiful high quality natural products in stunning ranges that strike a balance of stylish and sustainable, classic and contemporary and whimsical and sophisticated.

All Finn + Emma’s toys and clothing are made from 100% G.O.T.S. certified organic cotton and eco-friendly dyes and all the toys are hand-knit or made from untreated wood. All their products are manufactured in fair-trade settings that focus on social and economic independence for local people and especially for women.

Boring designs and toxic chemicals are a thing of the past whilst modern colours and fresh prints are abundant alongside heirloom quality construction. If you love style as much as sustainability, with Finn + Emma there is no reason to have to choose between the two.

Finn + Emma are sold exclusively through leading online retailer of ethical and eco-friendly baby products, Natural Baby Shower. You can view the full collection at http://www.naturalbabyshower.co.uk/collections/finn-emma

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Spring in Autumn

Spring in Autumn.  What am I on about?  Well.  I got dressed this morning and the dress I put on, if I'm honest, it looked more like a dress for a Spring day than an Autumn one.  Having said that, today is particularly beautiful in this part of the country.  The exact kind of Autumn day you dream about.  Crisp air, colourful leaves in the trees, no rain and blue skies.  So I suppose, if it weren't for the leaves around my feet I could be fooled into thinking it was a little spring like out there.  If it weren't for the smell in the air as well...  Do you find the air smells different season to season?  I know I do.



Fashion Blogger Autumn Style Yumi Colourful tights Cherry Blossom


I like this dress.  It hangs in my wardrobe (which is bursting at the seems..) and doesn't come out very often.  It's one of those dresses, when I put it on, I'm not sure whether I like how it looks on my or not.  Today I like it.  And it suits the bright blue sky.  So whilst it has cherry blossom splashed all over it, it feels lovely and bright, just like the weather.  I'll take that..  Stick a pair of tights under and cardi over the top, I think it still works!

Smile woman!


Fashion Blogger Autumn Style Yumi Colourful tights Cherry Blossom

Dress - Who knows! Sorry...
Cardigan - Yumi
Tights - Ebay
Belt - H&M

Do you ever wear clothes that don't seem quite right for season but go with it anyway?  Oh, and before you comment. Yes, I am wearing my slippers.  I'm in my house! No shoes in the house!! Perhaps I should change the title of this blog to "Style in Slippers".  Or "Slip into Style".  Perhaps "Style V Comfort"?.  Hmmmm....

**Linking up with lovely Not Dressed As Lamb for #iwillwearwhatilike**

Thursday, 6 October 2016

The boys' Saturday Style

I am an avid clothing lover.  I love clothes and accessories for myself and the boys.  I usually can't wait to make a few choice purchases from Beau Loves, BoBo Choses & Mini Rodini every season.  But I have to be honest.  AW16 sees me strapped for cash.  Or, if I'm honest, less likely to rack up debt just to have the latest styles.  I find it hard. Rationalising my desire to buy them some gorgeous items from the new collections against knowing that it's expensive and they probably don't "need" them.  The urge to click is strong... and the design is strong this season too..  The deer print from Mini Rodini and the whole of the Beau Loves collection.. it's got me twitching my finger over the "at to shopping cart" button..  So far, I have resisted.

This means the boys are rocking much the same stuff they have all year long.  It's not exactly a hardship.  My boys have heaps of clothes.  Like a crazy amount.  The have wardrobes bursting at the doors and draws that really don't like closing or opening.  It does make it difficult for blogging about their clothes though.  So.. Today, I'm not sharing new styles or clothes with you.  I'm just sharing how we're mixing them up.  And I happen to think the boys still look pretty awesome!

Mini Rodini, Metsola, Moromini, Zara, Hatley, George at Asda, Kids Fashion, Boys Fashion

Mini Rodini, Metsola, Moromini, Zara, Hatley, George at Asda, Kids Fashion, Boys Fashion

Mini Rodini, Metsola, Moromini, Zara, Hatley, George at Asda, Kids Fashion, Boys Fashion


Ethan Wears:

Stripy Coat - Hatley
Skeleton print leggings - George @ Asda
Converse

Felix Wears:

Stripy Coat - Mini Rodini
Raindrop top - Metsola
Trousers - Moromini at Funky Little People
Trainers - Zara

What do you think.  Have they still got it?

Linking up today with Hannah for Funky Kid Friday.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

How To Find The Perfect Jeans


Blue jeans are a staple item and once we find the perfect pair, we tend to wear them with great frequency. But how do we locate the perfect jeans in the first place? While you can use Kohl's promos from couponing sites as Discountrue.com to save money on your denim purchases, you can also follow these helpful tips and pointers for finding the best pair to choose. Read on to learn more!

1. Don't Worry About The Label

When you're trying to find the right pair of jeans, there is a tendency to focus on the size that is displayed on the label, as opposed to the way that they fit. It is important to remember that there is no universal sizing to be found and one brand's idea of a 10 could be another brand's version of a 12. Once you've found a pair that you like, take multiple sizes with you to the dressing room, so that you can eliminate all doubt.

2. Know The Risks of Distressed Denim

Distressed denim is trendy right now, but as most women know, not every trend is for you specifically. Before buying a pair of distressed denim jeans, be sure to evaluate your level of comfort when it comes to the way that they fit. For instance, if it showcases too much thigh it can cause a person to become self-conscious and that's not something you want. Any area of the jeans that are distressed shine a flashing light on that part of your body, so be forewarned.

3. Mum Jeans? More Useful Than You Think

While mum jeans have got a bad rap in certain circles, more and more women are wearing them, as they have become somewhat trendy. Since they are able to fit a wide range of shapes and sizes, women are learning to prize their versatility. What's more, mum jeans are high rising and roomier in the seat, so they are able to easily fit a number of different body types.

4. Steer Clear of Teenybopper Jeans

Mum jeans might be back in style, but that does not mean that your daughter's jeans are. Bear in mind that what adolescents find to be stylish might not necessarily be appropriate for an adult. Wearing jeans that are meant for younger people does not provide you with a more youthful look. In reality, they might only make you look like a much older person who is desperately trying to fit in. Don't follow others blindly and find your own style that will suit you personally!

5. Pick The Right Shoes

You can pair your jeans with some Keds or some cross training shoes when your aim is maximum comfort. If you opt to wear trainers, keep the rest of your outfit polished, so that you can still look your best. There are plenty of options nowadays so if you want to be unconventional and wear heels it might work too! And if your aim is to show off your footwear, a pair of ankle grazing jeans will definitely do the trick.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Handmade kids leather shoes - What's new with Belle & The Bear

When Felix was a baby I got heavily into handmade leather moccasins.  I loved finding new small brands mostly run by WAHMs who were putting their hearts and souls into these gorgeous little shoes. There's something about baby shoes, isn't there.  I especially loved buying ones that I wouldn't mind saving.

As Felix got older, he continued to wear leather moccasins, often as his main shoes. Even out and about.  Whilst they don't have a hard sole they are very heard wearing shoes and research has shown it's good for developing feet to be as free from constraints as possible.  It's better for their development.  Obviously I wouldn't let him walk around in them if there was any danger on the pavement from glass or similar, but for most situations, they were perfect for him! I found them invaluable at playgroup. They were perfect for running around the hall but were soft enough I didn't have to worry about him crushing a baby's arm as he absentmindedly played with the toy cars.

Felix is three now and most people who make these beautiful shoes don't go up to his size.  This is quite a source of upset for me.  I loved those shoes.  And I think even though they wouldn't be right for him to wear outside of the house nowadays, they would make the perfect slippers.  I have all of his old pairs and I treasure them.

I am aware though that all these lovely shoe makers are still out there and there are still heaps of you who would love to buy their wears.  As such, I thought today I would feature one of my favorite online stores, Belle & The Bear,  Belle & The Bear are US based but their moccasins still come in at around the same price as UK ones, postage included.  I do try to buy from the UK where I can but I'm not apposed to not doing so.  It's still, in this case, supporting a small parent run business!

Belle & The Bear have a few new styles so I thought I'd feature them today.  First up is the retro & reminiscent of our own childhood days T Bar Strap shoes:

Handmade Leather Moccasins Shoes Kids Shoes

Handmade Leather Moccasins Shoes Kids Shoes

I love them in the gunmetal, makes them a little more modern.  I know Felix would love these if they came in his size because he's got a pair of what he calls "school shoes" which are T-Bar and he chooses them more than any others at the moment! These are available in other colours too including a gorgeous yellow.  These shoes are $44.

Second up are these beautiful boots:

Handmade Leather Moccasins Shoes Kids Shoes

I don't think even I could quite get away with these on Felix.  And to be honest, I don't think he's much of a bow fan.  But I do think they are beautiful.  They look soft, easy to pull on but look like they'd have good staying power on little feet,  Always a plus!  These come in at $55.

It's fair to say that these shoes aren't cheap.  But having bought from Belle & The Bear in the past I can confirm they are fantastic quality,  The leather is great quality.  The attention to detail and quality of the work is without fault.  They last.  They would last more than one child too.  I love them.

Linking up today with lovely Hannah for Funky Kid Friday.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Duns it right (again)

If you've read my blog for a while, you'll know that I love Scandi kids clothes.  In fact, my love of Scandi brands is one of the reasons I started the blog!  Back then it was Katvig, Molo, Plastisock and a few others.  I still love those, but I have to say that season upon season, Duns are my go to favorite for an appropriate print.

Duns are always eye catching.  And unisex.  Something I love.  I have two boys but I love that they can share their clothes regardless and they can be passed on to boys and girls alike.  Like all the other brands, Duns bring out a S/S range and A/W range.  For me, the best A/W print out there goes to them.  What says September/Autumn to you?  Autumnal colours, that's for sure.. leaves?  But how about the conker?  Everyone loves conkers! Amusing to find, fun to collect, a favorite toy throughout the generations.  I was ecstatic to see the conker print Duns created.  It's so bold and gorgeous.  

Duns Radish Conker Autumn Winter 2016 Scandi Kids Clothes

Duns Radish Conker Autumn Winter 2016 Scandi Kids Clothes

Duns Radish Conker Autumn Winter 2016 Scandi Kids Clothes

I bought Felix a long sleeved top from Funky Little People and myself the age 12 top (which fits perfectly, maybe even a smidge too big).  You know I love a bit of twinning.  They look brilliant.  Felix has worn his every few days.  As always it's washing brilliantly.  Anna from Funky Little People also stocks this print in a single bedding set and I can't tell you how much I want it.  I am truly in love.

Duns Radish Conker Autumn Winter 2016 Scandi Kids Clothes


Well DUNS! ;-)

Linking up with my lovely buddy Hannah for Funky Kid Friday