Monday 30 April 2012

Magpie Monday - Clothes, dolls & a buggy..

Last week Blogger messed up my Magpie Monday post.. it was scheduled and ready to go, but it didn't publish and then when I went to publish it manually it completely disappeared.  I didn't have the time or the energy to sort it out in time so thought I'd save everything for today.

Last week it was another haul of clothes for Ethan. This is what I got:

Duck & Dodge t shirts, brand new.  £1.50

John Lewis hoody, £1.25.  Pretty good condition.

H&M top - 75p & GAP t shirt - 75p

Next jeans, brand new - £1.50

I also got these on eBay last week:

Russian Dolls - £4.00 inc postage

Not a bad selection I thought!

This week we've not found too much.  Ethan has wanted a buggy for ages and when we saw one for £1.00 in the charity shop, I thought, why not?  It was in pretty good condition.  I gave the seat a wash in the washing machine.  Ethan adores it and spends hours running around the house with it!  When we bought it he pushed it all the way home (a good 20 min walk).

That's it for this week.. don't forget to see what other bargain hunters have found by heading over to Missie Lizzie's blog!

Saturday 28 April 2012

Sat Cap!

Saturday is caption day in the blogisphere!  Caption the photo if you can and then hop over to Mammasaurus and see what other pics you fancy captioning!


Friday 27 April 2012

Fashion Friday....Button Earrings

I went to a lovely shop in our town this week to buy a few buttons.  Why? Well, if you've perused my blog on a fairly regular basis, you've probably noticed my orange button earrings.  I wear them rather a lot!  Quite simply, they were a pair of orange buttons onto which I glued silver-plated earring backs and hey presto, button earrings!

They are big and in your face and get A LOT of compliments.  From a whole range of people!  Almost every time I wear them someone comments on them and many people ask me where I got them.  It got me thinking.. I ought to make a few pairs and sell them!  And that's just what I'm going to do.  Just a couple of pairs at first, see if there's any interest for them on eBay.  However, I thought that I would run a little comp on here as well, the prize being a pair of earrings!!

So... if you like the look of them, keep an eye out on the blog - when I've made them, I'll be offering a pair to a lucky winner!

Thursday 26 April 2012


Listening to the news on the radio this morning, I heard about the trial in London allowing 13 year-olds to get access to the pill.  Hearing that made me feel sad.  I'm not unrealistic.  I know that many people under the age of 16 have sex.  I think if they are going to do that then it's great they can be protected.. but it worries me.

Everyone is in such a rush these days.  I remember what I was like at 13.  I knew about sex, of course I did.  But in reality I'd only just had my first proper snog at the lower school disco.  No way in Hell was a ready for sex.  My body was physically ready.  My periods started when I was 11 and I already had D cup boobs (I know, I know.. but that was as source of embarrassment to me at that age!!).  Was I mentally ready though?  A big BIG no.  Not at all.  No way could I have coped with all that comes with a sexual relationship.

I do remember though that there was a girl at my school, in my year, who at the age of 13 ended up pregnant.  With twins.  She was a very small girl.  Well under 5".  I remember how bizarre she used to look lugging her poor heavily pregnant body around school, stretching her uniform.  Back then, we just used to snigger and whisper behind her back.  "Slag".  Never gave a thought to the circumstances under which it happened.  Rumour was her boyfriend was older. I don't know what happened to her.

Thinking about that now, I could almost cry.  As a parent now, the thought of my child being sexually active scares me.  It's natural, and it will happen, but I hope it's at a time when he is emotionally ready for it.  I'm lucky though.  He's a boy.  He can't get pregnant.  He can get someone pregnant, yes, and if he did, I would want him to take responsibility for his actions.  I wouldn't let him shirk away.  But ultimately, it'd be easier.  I wouldn't be the one with a daughter at home, struggling physically and emotionally, sacrificing school and education.  I wouldn't have to deal with that.  Of course, the boy may give up some stuff to become a young parent, but not as much as the girl.

So... I'm really not sure what I feel about 13 year old girls being on the pill.  Yes, it's great if they protect themselves, but what about emotional protection?  Can you really be ready at 13 to be in such a deep adult relationship?  I know children seem to do everything earlier and earlier these days.. and in fact, I know that socially, the idea of a "childhood" and "teenagers" is relatively new.  Years back, most girls would have been married at 16 (or younger if we look far back!!) and pregnant.  So having children young isn't a new thing.  It's just that we've evolved as a society and given children and those under 18 the chance to grow, explore and learn without being forced into work and parenthood at a young age.  Under-age pregnancy is not a new thing.

I just can't get the thought of how sad I would be if my child were having sex at such a young age.  We can't back track though.  Should we shrug our shoulders, accept the fact that kids are having sex and dole out the pills?

I can only hope that what I teach Ethan will be enough to allow him to make an educated decision.  I hope he will be strong enough to ignore peer-pressure and only try things when he feels ready.

I think ultimately, that's the best we can do.  Educate.  Communicate.  The pill is only a plaster really..

**edited to add the following**

It seems I'm not the only blogger with this subject in mind today.  My blogging buddy Sarah from "The Voice of Sarah Miles" has blogged about this as well.. click over here if you fancy checking out her views.  

**edited again**

My other blogging friend Cupcake Mumma has also joined in, check out what she has to say here.

Wednesday 25 April 2012

How and when do you find the time to...MEME

Image source: Dolly Daydream

I've been tagged in a meme!  I should have written this post a while ago, but (quite ironically really, given the subject of the meme) I've been too darn busy to give it the proper attention it deserves.

I've been tagged by my lovely blogging buddy Karis from Those 24 Little Hours  and the meme originated from Dolly Daydream who's fab blog is Sex Drugs Rocker... and Stroller (is that not one of the best blog names EVER?! Love it!).  First and foremost I'll get the rules out of the way:

Please post the rules.
When answering the questions, please give as much detail as possible!
Leave a comment on Sex, Drugs, Rocker and...Stroller, baby. so we can keep track of the meme and I can totally steal your routine tips to make my world a happier place. 

Also if you want (and I'd really like you to!) add a little paragraph at the bottom to give a general summing up about your weekly routine!
Tag 3 or more people and link to them on your blog.

Tweet tweet tweet #howdoyoufindthetimetomeme

Here we go!

How and when do you find the time to... your laundry?

I've blogged before about my housework, how and when I do things.  With laundry, I try to keep control of it by only doing it on set days.  Of course there is the odd occasion when this doesn't happen (sick bugs causing more laundry, holidays messing things up etc..) but generally speaking I do my washing on Tuesdays and Fridays.  On Tuesday morning I put a load of washing on in the morning and it's ready to be unloaded when we get back from playgroup.  I generally hang it up in the airing cupboard.  It's much easier than putting it on the line and then having to grab it if it rains. If I can guarantee it's going to be sunny all day I'll hang it outside, but it's more convenient for it to be hung up inside.  My hubby put a rail in the airing cupboard so we can hang shirts etc. on hangers in there to dry.  The rest of it goes on a clothes horse thingy which I shove in there!!  On Friday evenings I do my next loads of washing.  There is uasually more to wash on Friday's because hubby's cycling clothes go in the wash!  Bed linen and towels I tend to do on Tuesdays.

...write a blog post?

Generally speaking my blogging "times" are Sunday evenings and Wednesday evenings with the odd extra bits thrown in here and there.  I tend to blog on Sunday evenings because we have more time then - most Sundays we eat with Pete's (hubby) family so we don't have any cooking and cleaning up to do.  This gives me time to bang out 2-3 blog posts which I normally schedule for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Wednesday evening Pete has his friend over so whilst they're chatting and playing xbox I make a few more blog posts, usually for Thursday and Friday.  Friday evening (or sometimes Thursday daytime if my folks are looking after Ethan for a bit) I tend to put together my satcap and silent sunday posts.  I'm often thinking about my blog though and keep a notepad to hand so I can jot down ideas when they occur to me.

..look after yourself..i.e. wash your hair, paint your nails, take a bubble bath etc.

I probably dedicate a lot less time to this than anything else! I do like to have my nails painted, but tend to go through phases of being really good and keeping them looking nice and fresh and then getting fed up and not bothering with them for a few weeks.  At the moment I don't have any nail varnish on..  I picked off the last of it in the bath last night! Gross eh?!  

You may have guessed by now that I am somewhat anal and like routine, so it will come as no surprise to you, I'm sure, that I only wash my hair on certain days of the week.  Wednesday mornings and Saturday mornings.  Why?  Because those are the days I have a shower!! Other days I just take a bath with Ethan in the evening.  I have a shower on Wednesday mornings because Pete takes the car to work that day and as a result leaves for work later than usual.  That gives me more time, hence time for a shower and to wash and dry my hair.  Luckily my hair is very short so it only takes a couple of mins with the hair dryer.  Easy.  I'm lucky, I can go 3-4 days between washes.

As for a bubble bath.. well, I mentioned I take a bath with Ethan, but that's not what I class as a relaxing bubble bath.  Those are few and far between.  Every few months maybe?

I consider exercise as "looking after" myself.  Most Monday evenings I go to an aqua aerobics class with my friend and on Wednesdays I go to an exercise class for an hour whilst Ethan goes into the crèche.  Those hours are very precious and balancing!

...spend time with your other half?

This is something that tends to go by the wayside a bit at times.  I know that is very much the norm for parents though.  One of the reasons I try to restrict my blogging times to only 2-3 evenings a week is so that I can hang out with Pete a bit as well.  Even if it is only on the sofa whilst watching Dexter.  

We don't organise as much couple time as we should.. perhaps once every 1-2 months we have an evening out, or an afternoon off from parental duties.  The thing is we value our family time, so fitting everything in is very very hard.  Pete is tired from working all day and cycling 12 miles and I'm tired from running around after Ethan all day.  Most often we just flop down on the sofa next to each other! fun stuff with your LO?

I think we do a fair bit of fun stuff with Ethan.  Most weekends we have a day out.  We're National Trust members, will be joining the local Zoo again soon and have membership for Puxton Park (a farm/activity place near us).  We go to the park quite a bit as well.  Simple inexpensive things are just as good though.  Ethan loves going out on his balance bike, or blowing bubbles.  Most of all he loves exploring in the woods and going for picnics.  I think he has fun every single day.  I don't do as many crafts with his as other parents might do with their children perhaps, but he's a very sociable little man with an excellent sense of humour.  

...spend time with family?

We're lucky, our immediate family are close by.  Both sets of grandparents are a 10 minute drive away in the next town along from here.  Ethan spends most Thursdays with my parents.  Usually they pick him up in the morning so I can get on with a few chores at home (or pop out for a coffee) and then I go and join him at their house in the afternoon.  We quite often go over to their house on Fridays as well.  At weekends we try to see my brother and his girlfriend who live half an hour away and on Sundays we always visit Pete's family and have a meal with them.  So.. we see a lot of family!

...socialise with friends?

Along with most parents, the answer is not often enough! We do make quite an effort though.  Just recently I started going to aqua aerobics on Mondays with my friend which is lovely.  I really enjoy having the chance to hang out with someone who isn't a Mummy friend (much as I appreciate my lovely Mummy friends, it's good to talk to someone who's known me since we were both 7- 23 years ago eeeek!!).  On Wednesday evenings Pete has his best friend Chris round.. of course, that's more socialisation for Pete, but it adds an extra dynamic to the house to have someone visiting!  On Thursdays we have "Movie Night".  Back in the day, before many of our friends moved away, Movie Night was a big deal with sometimes up to 8 people coming over to watch a film.  These days it's our friend Kriss and his fiancée Carly.  It's still a fun event though and something different to our usual quiet evenings in.  On Saturday evenings we sometimes stay at my brother's flat, or he and his girlfriend come over here.  

Girly nights out are few and far between though... but I'm turning 30 in a couple of weeks so have a big night of drinking and karaoke planned! 

...prepare an evening meal juggling a baby/toddler bedtime routine?

We tend to do most cooking once Ethan is in the bath/in bed.  It's just the way things have evolved.  We take it in turns to bath and do the bedtime routine, so if you're not on "Ethan duty" you're on "cooking duty". Sometimes if it's my night to cook I might put a slow cooker meal on earlier in the day, but in all honestly, we're very busy and often out of  the house so I find it easier to cook when he's in bed.  We do end up eating late though.  Often not til 8pm.. quite often 8:30pm.  Two weeks ago I served up a meal at 10pm... bad!!!!  We always save a portion of what we've cooked for Ethan to have the next day and quite often batch cook so there's some for the freezer as well.

...deep clean your house?

I'm quite good at keeping on top of the housework.  If I have something big to work on, like a big spring clean, or like the other week when I wanted to clean out the fridge and freezer, I tend to do it on a Thursday when Ethan is with my folks. Other than that I keep things ticking over.  The bathroom is cleaned on Wednesdays.  I usually vac on a Wednesday or Thursday.. sometimes Friday.  I'm less regimented with that.  I dust every two weeks.  Sometimes I nip round with a baby wipe in the dustiest areas.  I have a hand held vac so usually pop round the house with that once a day (hot spots being the kitchen, hall and living room). the food shopping?

I do the food shop on Monday mornings, at the moment, before we go to Tearless & Fearless class at the local leisure centre.  Usually about 9:30am.  Tesco is nice and quiet then!  I take a freezer bag out with me so if there isn't time to nip back home and unpack the bags before Tearless & Fearless, anything cold will keep for a little while.  I always run out of bread and milk during the week so often have to pop in again, but it's only for those things!

...bulk ironing?

On Sundays.  Usually the evenings.  It's only ever Pete's shirts and work trousers.  I try to do it once a week but luckily Pete has enough shirts to last two weeks if need be.

Our routine is vaguely like this... 7am wake up, Ethan has his milk in bed with me, get dressed/washed etc. Have breakfast.  Pete leaves for work around 8:30am.  I wash up the breakfast things, tidy bedrooms and nip round with the handheld vac.  We usually leave the house for some activity or other by 9:30-10am.  We have lunch between 12-1pm.  After lunch I take Ethan out in the buggy so he can have a nap.  Ethan  has his tea around 5:30pm.  Bath time is 6-6:30pm and bedtime around 7pm with milk and two stories.


OK.. I tag:

AKA Muma
Tammy's Two
Sarah Miles

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Trendy Toddler Tuesday - Soft play comfy clothes..

Last week we went to a new soft play that opened up in a town near us.  When Ethan does something like soft play I like to make sure he's in something comfy, and something that we we don't have to be too precious about (in other words, those shirts and waistcoats he's so fond of don't tend to be worn to soft play centres!!).

On this occasion, Ethan looked like this:

I am your sunshine!

Catch Mummy!

Yeah, I'm pretty cute!
Hoody - By H.J.O.R.T.H bought at TKMAXX
Skinny jeans - Next, via a local charity shop
Socks - Lidl

I'm really pleased with these jeans - you may have seen them in my Magpie Monday post.  They were a bargain, if they had been worn before you really can't tell.  They fit Ethan nicely, which seems to be no mean feat for a pair of skinny jeans.  Pairs I've got for him before haven't been all that "skinny" or have been really saggy around the butt.  Next make lovely jeans for children.

The hoody is by a designer from Copenhagen, H.J.O.R.T.H.  Really love their stuff, but don't come across it very often, even on eBay.  When I found this in TKMaxx I new it had to be mine... ehem, sorry, Ethan's.  It's really soft and warm.  Very comfy.  I always find tops like this very "hug like" to wear so I like to think Ethan feels the same!

I know socks aren't very exciting, but when it comes to buying them, I can't sing Lidl's praises highly enough.  They sell them quite often, they are always a bargain price and good quality.  They wash very well as well.

Don't forget to hop over to Very Busy Mama to see what everyone else has linked up!

Monday 23 April 2012

Magpie Monday - FAIL!

I could almost cry.. I spent ages last night doing my Magpie Monday post, got it all scheduled to go out at 12:30am.  For some reason though, Blogger keeps messing me about, not publishing my posts.  Not only that today, it's also lost everything I wrote and all the photos I uploaded.  I haven't got time to sort it out today... so will have to do it all again for next week.

I am VERY annoyed.. Blogger, go and sit on the naughty step now!!

Saturday 21 April 2012

Saturday is Caption Day!

Saturday! Oh yeah! We're off to see the Chris and Pui Roadshow in Weston today.... Ethan has been excited for weeks.. and I'm quite excited too!! I'm sure I'll report back on what it's like.  In the meantime, gorgeous readers, why not caption this?

Have a lovely weekend!


Friday 20 April 2012

Friday Fashion - Wearing kids clothes.. yourself!

Sometimes, being small has it's advantage.  I'm not quite 5'2 and I'm a size 8-10 so lots of clothes swamp me.  Especially trousers.. It's not so bad these days, lots of shops have cottoned on to the fact we're not all one size and offer many more trouser lengths, but many years ago I used to buy my trousers in the teen sections of shops.  It has it's advantages - children's clothes are usually a bit cheaper!

These days, trousers in the women's section are usually fine for me if I can get a short length.. Also, fashion doesn't frown at turn ups at the moment!! However, I do still sometimes peruse the teen section and come up trumps.  Especially in sales!!

I have several dresses which are "children's" but this is my favourite one.  I got it in a New Look sale a couple of years ago.  I saw it poking out of the sale rail and fell in love with the print.  I looked at the label and saw it said "age 12".  I wondered if I could fit into it as I loved the print so much (flags and sales) so took it to the changing room.  It fitted fine!  I snapped it up for £4.  Bargain.  I wear it all the time, all seasons.  It always makes me smile and hubby loves it too!

Yellow tights - Primark
Crochet tights - New Look
Dress - New Look
Vests (under dress) - H&M
Cardigan - New Look
Earrings - made by me
Boots - Sugar Boots

Before I sign off, I'll just cheekily mention that today is the last day nominations can be made for the MAD Blog Awards.  If you have some spare time, or you're doing your nominations today, please could you consider my blog for the Fashion/Style category?  If you enjoy it that is... cheekiness over now!!  And if you have already nominated me, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!! XXX

Thursday 19 April 2012

A cute video..

I just had to share this cute video - this morning Chris Evans played the Mr Men theme tune on his breakfast show - Ethan had the cutest snuggley hug with Pete whilst it was playing so I took a little video.  It's not fab, and it's not edited, but it is pretty sweet.


Wednesday 18 April 2012

REVIEW: Vertbaudet

As a Mummy who loves all things fashionable, funky and useful, I love discovering companies who pride themselves on offering parents choice, functionality and value without scrimping on the style and fun aspect.  Vertbaudet are a company who do just that.

Before having Ethan I had never heard of them.  I'm sure that's not surprising.  It's possible even after having children you may not have heard about them!! I first heard about them from an on-line friend.  She recommended their clothes saying they offered good value for money but were also stylish!!  This is something I am always looking for as a Mum of a boy.  All Mothers of boys know how much less choice there is for boys when it comes to clothes.

Vertbaudet offer an excellent range of clothing from the more expensive to the budget end of the spectrum.  In the past I have bought multi-packs of t-shirts, trousers and bodysuits from them.  I always find the quality to be excellent.  They wash very well.  They have a wide variety of colours to choose from, not just the usual navy, white, red and green you get for boys in many shops (lots of pink and yellow!).  They also have an excellent range of boys trousers from smart pairs with braces (so cute, I really want to get some for Ethan!) to combats and skinny jeans.  They are great with versatility as well.. quite a few of their pairs of trousers are adjustable so they can be shorts, 3/4 length or full length.  Very handy for the British summer - Ethan has several pairs!

Clothing aside, Vertbaudet also have an extensive range of bedding, lighting, storage, furniture and more for bedrooms, nurseries and playrooms.  I have never tried any of this before, but very recently I was lucky enough to be sent one of their linen baskets to review.

Now.. stay with me!! I know.. a linen basket.  How exciting can that be?  But check it out!

I know!! It's just like a washing machine!

This is fantastic on so many levels.  When it arrived Ethan was jumping up and down with excitement... He loves it.  

First and foremost, I can confirm after over a month of use it is very practical.  A good size and shape, it doesn't get too full.  It's just about right for us as a family of three (I have wash days twice a week).  It has handles on the inside which make moving it about a breeze.  Honestly, it's so much better (and safer) than the bag I was using before.  Getting it up and downstairs is simple.

There are two ways to get into it - they top lifts open and the "porthole" as they call it at Vertbaudet opens at the front - it's held on by velcro.  This is the bit Ethan loves.  He's enjoyed "helping" me with chores and housework for a while now, but helping with the washing is now is favourite thing.  When I've brought the basket downstairs he loves to open up the porthole and unload the dirty washing from there and load it into our washing machine.  Once the washing is clean, I bung it back in the basket and take it upstairs to hang in the airing cupboard and on the clothes horse. Whilst I'm doing this, Ethan likes to get inside the linen basket with a couple of toys and pretend they and he are going "round and round in the washing machine".

I'm helping Mummy!
I never thought I could get so excited about a linen basket, but honestly, Ethan and I really love this.  It's such a lovely fun twist on something that is normally so boring.  Go out and buy one now I say... Actually, you don't have to go out at all, just head over the the Vertbaudet website and order one!

Now for the product description (taken from Vertbaudet)

"Clever and fun! Porthole with self-fastening tabs. Handles. Sturdy, lightweight polyester with cardboard-reinforced sides. Self-assembly.
Delivered flat. Size (h x l x d): 50x35x35cm. Surface wipes clean with a damp cloth."

Happy washing everyone!

**Although I was provided this item free for the purpose of review, all views expressed are 100% my own, honest and heartfelt**

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Trendy Toddler Tuesday - Rainwear

This week for TTT I'm focussing on rainwear.  I know the weather hasn't been too bad recently (not as good as it was a few weeks back though!).  Still.. something I've found since Ethan started walking was that it is very worthwhile investing in some rain gear.  More than a coat.  Trousers or a romper type style coverall is a very good investment!

There are quite a few out there to choose from.  I bought some at Lidl a while back for little more than £5.  They are plain blue, not very exciting, but do the job perfectly well.  They live at my parents house - Ethan spends a great deal of time in their garden making mud pies.  Rain or shine, December or July, he wants to be outside and get muddy.

You know I like to be trendy though, and have something a little funky and unusual for Ethan to wear, so when it comes to the rain wear he has at our house, he has something a bit more eye catching.

Last year I spotted this little number on one of my favourite websites for children's clothes, I just had to get it.

Rompers - Smafolk
Coat (underneath) - TKMaxx
Hat - A gift from Father Christmas at the Library!!

As you can see above, we have the matching jacket/coat that goes with it.  I can't recommend this set enough.  They are funky and eye-catching, but very practical.  I've washed them loads of times and they wash very well.  They are waterproof and lightweight (which is good, you can pack loads of layers underneath).  Ethan loves his "apples" set!  Smafolk are one of my favourite brands.

Please do pop over to Very Busy Mama's site to see what all the other trendy toddlers are wearing!

Monday 16 April 2012

Magpie Monday - yet more clothes!

I know, I know.. when I link up for Magpie Monday (hosted by the lovely Missy Lizzie) it's almost always clothes for Ethan.  Clothes for Ethan are my vice though!  It seems most of the others who link up for Magpie Monday have specialist areas that they buy in, whether it's glassware, books, toys or clothes.  I try not to have too many nicknack's in the house, so perhaps that's why I go towards the clothing.  I do love a nosey at all the bric-a-brac, but often it's just not in my taste.

Anyway.. yet again from me, it's clothes for Ethan.  This time all bought from Age Concern.

First up, a pair of Next jeans, age 4.  These look like they've never been worn, they are in excellent condition and really good quality.

Next up, t shirst.  One is a brand I don't know, and the stripy one is H&M.  The H&M one is quite well worn, but they will both be great for when Ethan goes to pre-school in September.. at 79p each, it won't matter if they get trashed!!

I love charity shops!!

Saturday 14 April 2012

Saturday is Caption Day!

Happy Saturday my lovelies.  Thank you for commenting and reading this week.  I now reward you with this.  Below is a picture.  Caption it if you can, and if you want more, head over to see what the 'saurus has got to offer.

Friday 13 April 2012

FRIDAY FASHION: Premium V Primark

I've just been upstairs taking a few photos of mine and Ethan's wardrobes, draws etc.. just to document what we both have really (answer?  A LOT!).  In a wardrobe-off, Ethan's collection would beat mine hands down, especially if you take into account all of the clothes he has worn and grown out of, his current collection and the stockpile for the future.  I'm amazed that the loft hasn't caved in actually...

Anyway, whilst I was up there, I realised that I do have quite a decent selection of jeans.  That's not to say I wouldn't buy another pair any-time soon.. of course I would!! I am a total sucker for skinny jeans. They suit my height and size well.. and there are so many lovely coloured ones out there. I just can't resist.

I ended up taking every pair of jeans I have out and taking photos of them - I thought I'd share them here.

So.. please behold my delicious denim for your delectation!

So.. that's 15 pairs.  There's a pair in the wash and a couple of pairs in the back of the wardrobe that are too big for me so I didn't photograph them.. and this is all after a big cull a few months ago - I sold/donated about 6 pairs I no longer wore/fitted.

That's quite a lot I think?  Or maybe it's not.. I know many of us women hoard our clothes and shoes.  After-all, there are all those stats in the news about how many bras and pairs of shoes the average women owns but doesn't actually wear.  I have to say though that I wear all of these.  Anything I don't wear gets culled pretty regularly.  The same goes for all of my clothes.  And let me assure you that none of my bras go unworn!  I'm hot on that.. I don't buy the wrong size!

Anway, whilst looking at my jeans, it got me thinking.  Most of my jeans are cheap to middle of the road. I have loads of Primark jeans. They are £8, come in lots of colours and generally last well.  Great for a Mum who doesn't have a big budget but still wants to look trendy and have lots to choose from.  I also have several pairs of New Look jeans and about 5 pairs are from Topshop.  I quite like Topshop for jeans. In fact, being nearly 30, it's about the only thing I would buy from that shop these days... (eeek).  My most recent denim indulgence was the orange pair which are from H&M.  I'm very fond of these.  They are comfy and bright.  Good value for money as well at £14.

The sharper among you may have noticed one pair sticking out though.  Did you notice the label?  Yes, I have a pair of J Brand jeans in there.  They set me back £150.  I bought them last year when I'd made some money selling things on eBay.  I thought I would go wild and treat myself to something indulgent.  Something I couldn't buy on a regular basis.  I'd heard a lot of fuss about J Brand.  From what I'd heard they were the new 7forallmankind... and all the stars were wearing them (not that I'm actually interested in what most celebs are wearing).  I thought what the heck.

They do make my butt look quite good... but £150 good?
Want to know what I really think though?  At first I really really loved them.  They are a nice cut and they fit me well.  A good length and just right around the middle (which considering I guessed my size when ordering them from ASOS was lucky!).  I have a complaint though.  After wearing them a few times they started to get saggy.  And they are wearing away around the knees!! I know as a Mum I spend more time than an average non-Mummy on my knees (no, I do NOT mean that in a dirty way, stop it!) but apart from a black pair from Primark (which are considerably older than these!) I don't have this problem with any of my other jeans... we all know how black jeans loose their dye as well..  I'm really surprised by this.  Considering that the J Brand pair cost me £142 more than the Primark pair at £8 I thought that they would be excellent.

No one ever notices or comments on the fact that I'm wearing a pair of J Brand jeans.  The logo is only on the label on the inside anyway, so how the heck would they know?  Would I spend this much on jeans again?  No, I don't think so.  Maybe if I were a millionaire maybe with more money than sense.  There is no way the extra cost is justified.  I know it's a label thing.  You're paying for the name.  You're paying to be able to say "this old pair of jeans?  Why they're J Brand my friend! Now, kiss my feet!".

Trying on the H&M pair in the changing room.. wish I'd bought the top as well now!

Nope.. I think from now on I'm going to be sticking with my Primarni.  I think I may even tweet J Brand as well and tell them just what I think about their rip-off jeans!

Thursday 12 April 2012

Potty training.. week 2

So.  Here we are.  Despite the stresses, strains (or straining!) and stains of first few days, we have somehow made it to day 13 of Potty Training.. or Potty Learning as I'm now going to call it (thank you Sarah!).

A bit like all stages with babies and children, I did not think I'd get to a stage where I'm feeling like I can relax about Ethan not having a nappy on.  Yes, he still has the odd accident, but it's so much more manageable than those first few days.

To be honest, the first day wasn't so bad.  It was the end of that really lovely sunny patch we had, so we were out in the garden the whole day with Ethan naked from the waist down, so it was really easy for him to realise when he was about to pee.  It was a lot harder when the weather got bad again!  Has anyone else found that when they don't have pants on they seem just fine taking themselves to the potty, but as soon as you stick pants and trousers on they seem to forget to go by themselves and have far more accidents.

I would say the first day was OK, a lot better than I was expecting. The next five days after that were harder, with maybe 2-3 accidents a day, one of which would be poo.  Then we had five days where we had no wee accidents at all, but one or more poos a day in pants.  Yesterday we had the first poo in the potty since starting training (lets forget the fact that for two weeks prior to starting proper "potty learning" Ethan was doing a poo in the potty ever morning before his nappy change!).  All I had to do to achieve this feat was to promise Ethan his very own Slinky Dog (Toy Story fame).  Bless him, he sat on the potty for nearly 10 mins and produced a poo in the end.  Whilst sat on the driveway (I was vaccuming the car!).  I was very VERY impressed.  Despite this, no poo materialised today (Wednesday) but there weren't any in the pants either.  So maybe he just didn't need to go.. we'll see what happens next!

We have had a few wee accidents again over the last couple of days.  If I don't remind him to go every couple of hours and he's distracted then it happens.  Is it OK to be reminding them still after nearly two weeks I wonder?  I suppose there are no right or wrongs.  I don't want to hassle him.  Even now I doubt myself as to whether starting potty training/learning now was the right move.  I find it hard to back away now though.. it has to be said, even if I am reminding him to go and sometimes bribing him with a chocolate button, We're still using far less nappies, saving us money.  Better for the environment as well!  And the bin is far less stinky...

I have a few essentials now beyond the potty and training seat for the loo.  I bought six pairs of Bright Botts training pants (click here for their website and here to see them on Amazon) because I read excellent reviews for them on-line.  I can't recommend them enough.

Image source: Google Images
They look like normal pants, are lovely bright colours, but have the added bonus of helping contain accidents.  They don't contain a massive wee, but they give you enough time to get things cleaned up before there is loads of leakage all over the place.  Ethan has had two wee accidents whilst wearing them and whilst each time the wee has leaked on to his trousers, it hasn't spread anywhere else.  He wasn't sitting in a pool of wee.  The training pants and his trousers were enough to stop it spreading or pooling.  Made clearing up when he had an accident at a toddler group much easier!! The other reason I bought them was because many reviews mentioned that they hold poo accidents much better than a normal pair of pants.  It was this that really sold them for me.  As Ethan was (and possibly still will....) pooing in his pants at least once a day, this is essential.  I can confirm they really do the job.

I LOVE THEM!!  Yes, they set me back £20 but I totally think they're worth it just for the peace of mind..

The other now "essential" item I've invested in is a "piddle pad".  Two infact.  One for the buggy and one for the car seat.  These are made and sold by a lovely eBay seller called Bussy Bots.  Quite simply, they are fleecy pads with a waterproof terry towelling inner.  They have a cut out to fit around harness straps.

Image source: eBay from seller Bussy Botts
The details provided by Bussy Bots (who make them - it's a cottage industry) are as follows:

Waterproof Potty Training Pads for Child Car Seats and Pushchairs.

"Machine washable at 40 degrees and unlike some other pads can be tumble dried.

Able to soak up approx 1/4 pint of liquid.

Soft outer layer of fleece which is great at soaking up liquid yet still can be dry to the touch.

With Waterproof and Terry Towelling inner core.

Section cut out for buckle strap."

Now.. I've been using the pair I bought (in the space fabric - Ethan loves it!) have been used every day since I bought them.  I always make sure there's one on the car seat and in his buggy.  So far, he's not had an accident whilst on them, but that's not to say it won't happen!  Ethan had a nap in his buggy yesterday, two hours he was asleep.  He stayed dry (I'm only putting a nappy on him at bedtime) but he may not have done.  This reassured me the buggy wouldn't be too much of a mess if he did have an accident.  The same goes for the car seat.  Between the training pants and the piddle pads (love that name!) I feel fairly relaxed about possibly accidents.  Peace of mind is invaluable for a worrier like me!  I wholeheartedly recommend these as well, especially if like us, you are out and about a lot, but want to avoid pull ups and nappies.

I would really love to know what other peoples potty experiences have been.. please do comment and let me know!

Wednesday 11 April 2012

I'm scared..

I'm scared and I need to talk about it... I know some of you probably don't know how to take my blog so I apologise for that.  I'm sure some of you come along for toddler and mummy fashion inspiration and find that you're wading through a few posts about my anxiety and depression.  The thing is, this is me.  This blog is a representation of me.  I'm honest here.  I don't exaggerate and I don't hide anything.  I love fashion and clothes and dressing Ethan is one of my biggest pleasures in life... But the other overwhelmingly large part if me is anxiety, depression and fear.  I think that's why the title of my blog is so appropriate.
Anyway.. I'm not scared about all that, just sorry if sometimes my blog is a confusing one...

I'm scared to have another baby.  It petrifies me.  I'm waiting for my period at the moment and whilst I'm sure I'm not pregnant it makes me think about the possibility.  And let me tell you.  If I found out I were pregnant today I would not cry tears of happiness.. but I would cry.

I know many people who have and are having a hard time getting pregnant, both in real life and online and I know how hard it is for them to hear me harping on about how I feel about it. So I try to monitor what I say. The thing is whilst I sympathise massively what they go through (and I really do.  I hate to see people going through that and it does give me perspective) it doesn't mean my thoughts and feelings aren't valid.
I can't help it.  Sometimes I think if it were just up to me, I'd stick at one.  My little man.  I adore him.  But I find it all very hard work. 

It's not just me though.  Hubby wants another.  I think Ethan would benefit from a sibling.  And what if we stuck at one and I reverted it when it was too late?  I don't want a 15 year age gap or something like that either.

Ethan will be 3 in July.  At first we were thinking we'd try for another this Sept. but I've already postponed that until next Jan.  I want him in school full time at least until I have another.  Even that scares me though.  In some ways it'd be nice to say ok! Just the one child for us! Now he's in school I can go and get a job and carve out q bit more time for me again.. but no.  It'll be all sleepless nights, constant feeding and bleeding nipples all over again.

I'm so scared it'll be the same or worse.  The PND.  The sleep deprivation.  The anxiety.  Am I strong enough to do that again?  No matter how many times I get told it won't be the same, a little voice tells me it will be.  Or worse.

Seconds after birth... you can see the fear in my eyes....that is not a happy Mama!

Have you ever seen a photo showing love and happiness in the eyes as clearly as this? My Dad with Ethan.

Again, pure love and joy in the eyes.  Mother in law with Ethan.
I know so few people who feel this way.  I can think of two maybe, and they are both online friends.  Apart from my mum and sometimes Hubby I can't really talk to anyone about this.
I'd love to know if I'm not the only one.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Trendy Toddler Tuesday - Easter Sunday Smart

So... that's Easter over for another year... Lots of chocolate has been consumed by Ethan recently.. not least because of the chocolate buttons used as potty training bribes!!  Ethan did very well with chocolate over Easter with eggs from both sets of Grandparents and an egg hunt set up by my lovely friend Tessa.  We now have a big biscuit tin full of chocs!

Easter Sunday is always a good occasion to dress up smart, so I did just that for Ethan.  As I mentioned yesterday, we had a day out at Dyrham Park and I thought I may be a little silly dressing up in his smart clothes when we are a) potty training and b) out for the entire day.  Then I thought... what the heck.  He's nearly three... wearing smart clothes is always going to come with a risk attached!!

Some of the clothes featured for this weeks TTT have been shown before, I'm sure, but there are a few new and unseen additions.  On to the photos:

Shirt - H&M
Waistcoat - George at Asda 
3/4 length shorts - Faith B.C. from TK Maxx

Grandma's Easter Cake, complete with a collection of "Easter" animals.. very yummy!

Need a break after lunch?  Chill in your buggy for a bit, all wrapped up.

Coat- Smafolk (bought at
Flat cap - H&M
Scarf - crocheted by one of our librarians! 

After a long day... he still has time to run around like a mad thing whilst I try to take photos...

A flash of the pants - these are BrightBots training pants and they are totally brilliant... more on them another day!
Gruffalo vest - Their Nibs
You can see the logo for Faith B.C. a little bit here... I can't find any info on them... anyone out there know anything about them?  Are they a UK brand?  European?  American?  I can't seem to find anything online... TKMaxx is so random, you never know what you'll find there!

So.. there we have it for this week!  I really loved this outfit.  Ethan was comfortable in it all day long.  I was worried these trousers would be restrictive when it came to getting him on the potty, but they were fine.  They are also very hard wearing!!  Despite sitting in dirt all day long and rolling around with sticks they still looked very smart at the end of the day.

Please go and see what all the other trendies are rocking over with Very Busy Mama and thank you for reading.