Thursday 31 May 2012

Olympic Flame

Despite the fact that the Olympic Flame is due to cover 95% of the UK before the games begin, it was not due to go through our town.  However, it was going to be passing through my parents town.  Despite an early morning, we thought there was no way we could miss out on this historic opportunity, if only for Ethan.  Yes, it's entirely possible he won't remember it, but there will be plenty of photographic evidence.  I also think these things increase a feeling of community and belonging.

The flame was due to pass through Nailsea last Wednesday 23rd May, so on the Tuesday we went over to stay at my parents house.  Luckily it would be passing through the main road that is less than a minutes walk from my parents house, but even still, it would be an early morning as it was due sometime around 7am or even a little earlier.  Hence the sleepover.

Ethan knew what was going to be happening (even though I am sure he has no idea about the Olympics!).  He was excited though.  What child wouldn't want to see a large flame being carried down the street?

Getting up a little early in the morning felt exciting, we all had that holiday feeling, a bit like when you're going to catch a plane or ferry at some slightly unsightly hour - excited but groggy. OK, I know, we only had to get up just past 6am, but that's still earlier than I usually like to start my day!

In the end, the flame ran a little late, but we had an excellent view.  Ethan loved every minute of it.  All the Police motorbikes (loved the way the Police bikers were milking the attention, waving at the crowds!).  The Coke van/lorry/float (not sure quite what to call it!).  We were fortunate.  We didn't know it before hand, but it soon became obvious when a man dressed in white running gear appeared - we were going to see the change over!  That was the best bit I think.

I'll share some photos.

Errr.. what are we doing again?

Cop on a bike - loving it!

Ooo! The Coke Lorry!  So exciting I must stand in the road to photograph it! (yes, I know, I took a photo of it!).

Here comes the lady from Backwell!

Haha.. love this shot!

I'm very confused Mummy!

Flames in waiting...
So!  There we have it.  Our Olympic Flame experience.  Have you seen it?  Will you be seeing it?  Let me know what you thought :)

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Hot hot hot... bikini under a dress - what I wore Wednesday..

It's hot here.. did you not know?  Of course you did.. it was the main focus of my Trendy Toddler Tuesday.

It's not easy dressing in this weather.  Yes, I know it's far hotter in other places, but it's always such a humid heat in the UK.  Running around after Ethan (and pushing the buggy laden with shopping up and down hills) makes me so sweaty.  When I get home all I want to do is go into the garden with nothing more than a bikini on.  I'm not about to scare the neighbours though, so I through on a dress to make it a more decent look.  I also have to makes sure whatever I sling on I'm not too precious about because all Ethan wants to do in this heat is spray the hosepipe around the garden.. and mostly at me!  There's no ban here at present, so thankfully we can do this.  Don't worry though, I don't let him do it for too long.

So.  This is what I was rocking in the sun yesterday afternoon.  My bikini, a short dress and my big summer hat.  I'm sorry the photo is cheesy as hell!

Hat - Clothing @ Tesco
Dress - New Look
Bikini - Bravissimo

The hat is new - got it a couple of weeks ago, the dress I've mentioned before, had it a while from New Look and my bikini is about 4 years old... olllllllld... but because I've got heafty boobs, I have to buy expensive bikini's that set me back about £50-60 so they need to last a while!

What's your hot weather style? Are you struggling in the heat? Does your toddler insist on spraying you with a hose?  I'm linking this post up with Transatlantic Blonde.

I Spy with my little eye...something beginning with Y!

Eye eye! I spy!  It's time to link up with Mum of One for #ISpy.  This week we've been given the letter Y.  Can you spot what it is?  It's a little obscure..

Guesses in the comment box please!

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Trendy Toddler Tuesday - Polarn O.Pyret & Katvig

I was hoping to show Ethan's outfit that he wore for the majority of the day today, but when I tried to take a few photos he was not playing ball.  It's hot here at the moment and all he wanted to do was strip off and have a lolly in the garden.  So.. my attempt to take a picture of him in a Polarn O.Pyret top looks like this:

Poor Monkey!

This is the top I wanted to show you:

So bright and eye-catching, isn't it! And educational.. haha!

I was able to take a few photos of Ethan later on, when he'd cooled down a bit (and eaten two lollies!).  In the garden he was modelling a couple of Katvig numbers:

Top - Katvig
Shorts - Katvig

Both of these are from Katvig's swimwear range.  The top is fab, it gives factor 50 protection which means you can feel a bit more relaxed about letting your child play in the sun.  The trunks are lovely and comfy.  I bought the shorts second hand a year or so ago but the top I bought from a couple of weeks ago.  Ethan loves the stripes!

I'm linking this up with Maria for Trendy Toddler Tuesday.  If you want to see what all the other trendies are rocking, head over here!

Saturday 26 May 2012

Sat Cap!

X8BQ8CXVAQ44 You know what to do! Caption the photo below and if you want more pop over to Mammasaurus!

Wednesday 23 May 2012

I spy... the letter W!

Howdy Folks!  Can you spot the W in the pic below?  If you can, congratulations, you can have a virtual kiss and a pat on the behind from moi.  Don't forget to see what other W's are out there over at Mum of One's hangout!

This should be pretty simple...

What I wore Wednesday

I enjoyed joining in with What I wore Wednesday last week.  After all, I show off Ethan's clothes on a Tuesday, it's a good idea to show off mine the next day..

I've got two outfits this week.  The first is quite girlie, the other quite smart.  See what you think!

I still feel such a twit doing these photos of myself!!


This is me..


Dress - Top Shop via eBay a few years ago
Cardigan - New Look  AW11
Tights - New Look AW11
Necklace - a gift
Ring - H&M a couple of years ago
Bracelets - my usual ones!
Boots - CAT

Oh Hai!

My be-hind..

Doncha think my earrings are a good match with the shoes?!

Love these - Rachel "The Hat" these are your fault! xx

Jeans - H&M current season
Stripy top - Primark a couple of years ago
Jacket - New Look current season
Floral Loafers - Clothing @ Tesco current season
Earrings - Ebay about 5 years ago.

I enjoyed wearing both of these outfits, I love to wear a dress, especially with boots and bright jeans always lift my mood.

Head over to Transatlantic Blonde to see all the other Fashionistas!

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Trendy Toddler Tuesday - Toy Story & Katvig

Ahhhhhhh, Trendy Toddler Tuesday, how I love you!  Enabling me to showcase Ethan's clothes each week... bliss!!! The terrible thing is that because Ethan has a larger wardrobe of outfits than hubby and I put together (OK.. well, maybe not quite, I do have A LOT as well..) it's usually quite easy for me to show off a different outfit each week!

This week Ethan is stylin' something you won't see very often on him - at least not at the moment (when he has more say in what he wears, this may change!) - a branded character top.

In the last month or so Ethan has really got into the Toy Story films.  When he managed to do his first poop in the potty a few weeks ago I got him a Slinky Dog as a prize.  Now, if he or I spot anything with Toy Story on it when we're shopping, our eyes are drawn to it.  I'm not one for having too many character things though.  It can be a bit samey and boring.  But.. when you see your child's eyes light up in glee because they're sporting their favourite character on their top, you just can't help yourself!

I was in a charity shop a few weeks ago when I spotted a Toy Story top (originally George at Asda) for 79p.  Bargain!  It was in excellent condition and I knew it would make a brilliant "poo bag prize" for Ethan (can't carry on giving out £16 slinky dogs for every poo!!).  I bought it and after a week or so Ethan earned enough poo stickers on his chart and chose it as a prize.  So, let me introduce the very proud little man!

T Shirt - British Heart Foundation Charity Shop (originally George at Asda) 79p
Shorts - Katvig (via £12.90
Wellies - E-Leclerc supermarket, France

I love the Katvig shorts.  This was their first outing.  I featured them before in a TTT.  Ethan enjoyed wearing them, they look very unusual.  Love them!! A shout out to of course, where I got them.. still love shopping there for him!

Don't forget to head over to Maria's blog to see the other Trendies!

Monday 21 May 2012

Magpie Monday - Boden

I've not joined in with Magpie for a couple of weeks... I've been trawling the charity shops but not come across anything very much!  I keep on looking though..

I had a bit of luck this week.  I found a Mr Men book for Ethan for 49p - no pic I'm afraid.  It was brand new, one of the modern ones, so nothing exciting, but Ethan loves Mr Men so it was a great find for him.  Went in his "poo prize bag" (he gets prizes every time he manages 4 poos in the potty/loo!).

I also found a Boden dress for £4 in charity shop in Nailsea.  It was a very lucky find actually.  I owned the same dress before - well, not exactly the same one, but the same design and print, but it was too small for me (bought on eBay).  This one was the next size up, so when I saw it on the rail in the shop I got all jumpy and excited.  You know when you feel like you've spotted the best thing in the shop and you start checking over your shoulder to make sure no-one's about to pinch it from under your nose and you get nervous butterflies?  Well, it was like that.  I marched off to the changing room with it AND IT FITTED!!! Yay!  Sweet, sweet, sweeeeeeeeet!  I can't really afford brand new Boden.  Not unless it's in the sale and a treat!  This made me very happy.

I have a pic from the changing room:

Yeah, I wouldn't normally wear it with black leggings and these boots.. but hey!

Also have a couple of pics of me wearing it the other day, but they don't really show it off very well!  It's lovely and comfy though.  Going to be fab if the summer ever arrives...

Well, that's all for this weeks' bargain hunting... hopefully I'll find more for next week.  Don't forget to head over to Missie Lizzie's place to see what the other bargain hunters have found!

Friday 18 May 2012

Polarn O. Pyret (PO.P) Fleece Giveaway

Polarn O. Pyret are one of my favourite brands.  I first discovered them when I was pregnant, shortly after I discovered Katvig.  When you discover one Scandi brand, you soon find many others!  PO.P are not new though, they've been making children's clothes for over 35 years, and it shows!

If you have heard of PO.P before, then no doubt stripes pop (haha...I know...) to mind.  I know I think of bold stripes when I think of them.  Classic, bold, unisex styling and practical to boot.  These days PO.P stock a classic range as well as new styles for each season.

Over the last 3 years Ethan has had a few PO.P items.  He had several stripy vests/body suits which were lovely - nice and bold but also washed very well.  Good quality cotton.  At the moment he has three PO.P items in his wardrobe, a clown face t shirt, a long sleeved top and a pair of leggings with a sun and cloud print on them.  He loves those, as do I, and whenever he wears them he gets heaps of compliments.  I'm afraid I haven't any brilliant photos of Ethan wearing these, this is the best I could do!

Anyway, I really do love PO.P clothing and if you haven't discovered them before now, I'm sure you will too.. which is why I'm extremely excited to announce a new competition!  The lovely folks at PO.P are offering up a fantastic prize for one lucky reader - one of their classic (and famous) fleeces in the size and design of your choice!

Not seen one of their fleeces before?  Take a look at these beauties!

Child fleece in Citrus

Child fleece in Dotty

Child fleece in Hibiscus

Child fleece in Navy

Child fleece in Orange

Child fleece in Poppy.  Images from PO.P website.
Gorgeous aren't they?!  The fleeces are available in baby size (from 6 months to 2 years) which retail at £35 and child size (from 2 to 8 years) retailing at £39.  I'll pass on what PO.P say about them:

"Windproof and water resistant fleece jacketMade of soft fabric that is breathable, warm and lint-freeThe jacket has 360 reflectives and striped zip pull reflectorsChin cover to protect against the zip from chafing.  Sleeve cuff has thumb holes to keep arms coveredPre-bent sleeves for increased mobilityThis jacket can also be used as an alternative to a thick sweater.  Special poppers that connect the fleece to the Wind and Waterproof jacketsWash inside out with zip and velcro closed to protect the reflectors and edging"

I have it on good authority (from my contact at PO.P) that these fleece jackets are "virtually waterproof" after her children came back bone dry after a bike ride in a downpour.  Useful to know!

What do you have to do to be in with a chance of winning?  It's simple, just click on the rafflecopter entry form below.  You must leave a comment after this blog post as a minimum (telling me which colour you would pick!).  If you want to gain extra credits for a higher chance of winning, you can earn extra credits using the rafflecopter form.

Good luck and don't forget to tweet all about it!

PS - Check back on Monday 21st May because I have some extra info about PO.P that can't be released until then!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday 17 May 2012

My Potty Training Experiences & Tips.... 6 weeks onwards...

So.  It's been a while now, and I think we've ridden the roughest waves that potty training has to "offer".

It hasn't been easy.  Not at all.  The first two weeks, I felt about giving in every day.  Somehow though, we stuck with it, and I think now we can say we've almost cracked it.  Yes, there are still the odd accidents, but generally speaking, I've stopped thinking about the possibility of wee or poo accidents every minute of the day and instead been surprised by the joy of finding Ethan taking himself off to the potty or loo all by himself.  I couldn't be prouder.

I'd like to pass on my tips, in the hope that they may help someone else who's either going through it or planning for the future.  I'm sure I'll miss something out, but I'll try to think of everything I can!

1)  Unlike me, perhaps put a little thought into when you're thinking of starting.  My decision to start was kind of spur of the moment, though it was during the Easter holidays - I would recommend starting it in holidays if you can because at least that way if you want to spend the first 5-7 days close to home you're not missing out on classes and groups.  Summer time is also a good choice because it's easier to dry clothes/sofa covers/rugs/pants etc and you can (hopefully) spend bare bottom time outside.  Your child can I mean.  Unless you're not overlooked, in which case, knock yourself out, you can both hang out starkers.

2) Stock up on treats and stickers.  Draw a chart up.  Our own personal chart works as follows; a small sticker for a wee, a big sticker for a poo.  10 wee stickers = a chocolate. 3 poo stickers =  a prize from the prize bag. As he gets better at using the potty/loo for poos I will up this to 5 poos, then 7 and so on until somewhere around 10 I'll just phase it out.  Don't forget to stock up on kitchen towel/loo roll/wet wipes as well!

3) Potty Wins Prizes - "The Prize Bag" TM.  When Ethan started actually doing the odd poo in the potty, I started rewarding him with substantial prizes, but as this got more frequent, I had to get a bit more savvy with the prizes on offer.  What I do now is scour the charity shops for bargain books, toys and clothes and then I pop them in a "prize bag".  When Ethan has done 3 poos he gets to choose something from the bag.  This works really really well.

4) Bright Bots training pants (or similar).  I've bigged these up before.  They are training pants with a terry and waterproof lining.  I can vouch that they contain a wee accident for a short period (and stop too much of it spreading onto the floor/furninture) and contain poos really well.  They aren't cheap but in my mind are completely worth it.   I bought 6 pairs.  I think 7 pairs would've been better really, but as we're this far in  I won't be getting another pair just now.  They are lovely though, really bright fun colours.  Ethan loves his.

I love seeing all Ethan's colourful pants drying on the radiator!

5) "Piddle Pads" again I've written about these before - they are fleece pads with a waterproof lining which can be used on your buggy and car seat.  Availbile in a variety of materials.  Ethan hasn't yet had an accident on his, but they are a real God send at putting your mind at rest, especially on a long journey or if (like Ethan) your child naps in the car or buggy.  Well worth purchasing.

Image source: eBay bussy-bots
6) Books.  There are quite a few out there.  I don't mean potty training guides.  I don't "do" parenting guides.   Personally I think all they do is stress you out and make you feel bad.  That's just me though.  What I do do though is listen to rewviews and feedback from other people and something twitter folks recommending to me when I was struggling with Ethan's poo accidents are these books.  I whole-heartedly recommend them as well.  Set me back £15 for these three, but they are all lovely books, fun to read, Ethan enjoys them and they are very reassuring for your child.  We went for:

a) Everybody Poos - Funky illustrations, simple story.  Humourous.  Ethan laughs at this one, but it's a reassuirning message - everyone poos!  It's not dirty, it's not abnormal.  Food goes in, poop comes out.  Simple!

b) Peek-a-poo - I thought this one might be a bit too cutesy, but I love the message behind this one.  The story is about an inquisative mouse who wants to look at the insides of all of his friends nappies; The first time I read it to Ethan I worried that it would be a regreassion for him because it shows all the animals have poo in their nappies but there is a fun twist at the end **spoiler** the mouse has nothing in his nappy becasuse he has started using the potty!  Then all his animal friends want their own potties.. aha I think!! That's the idea.  So yes, this is another good one.

c) Pirate Pete's Potty - This one I'd heard of before.  I'd say this was an instant fave with Ethan.  It has a button to press which produces a cheer and now we have to have it on hand for every poo and wee so "Pirate Pete can cheer me!".  This one is the best for explaining the process of going from nappies to pants and potties.  It's a very simple story, easy to understand.  The images are eyecatching and it really gets you involved, guessing which potty you think Pirate Pete would like and which pants etc..  This is my No.1 book recommendation, if you choose only to buy one, make it this one.

I bought all three books on Amazon.

7) Leggings - yes, I have a boy, but boys can wear leggings too!! I bought several pairs of leggings for Ethan because they fold up small - not as bulky as jeans and trackie bottoms.  This is essential if you don't want to carry too much out and about with you.  If we're going out I take two pairs of spare pants and two spare pairs of leggings and a pack of wipes.  I can get these in a small change bag.  Easy peasy.  I'm telling you, until I have another little monkey my days of carrying around FREAKING MASSIVE CHANGE BAGS are over.  My back is bad enough thanks.  I got Ethan's leggings on eBay.

8)Oil cloth material and blankets - put them over your sofa if like me you can't wash the covers!! A life saver for those not so little accidents.  After 3 weeks I took these off our sofas, but it was really reassuring during the early weeks to think that the wee wouldn't be soaking through on to my stupid impractical sofas.

9) A training loo seat - Good for use at home, but easier to take out and about than a potty.  There are quite a few options for going out and about with.  We just got a simple basic loo seat inner/training seat to go on our loo and used to take it out with us.  Now I just plonk Ethan on the loo without a seat unless we're at home, just to save me from lugging around too much, but these are great to make your child feel more secure on the loo.  I bought a fold up portable training seat but it was utter rubbish, Ethan said it hurt to sit on, so in my opinion, stay away from them!

Ethan makes me wear his training seat on my head and sing karma chameleon to him...

I think that's about it... It's not an easy journey, but it's just another stage on the bumpy road that is parenthood!  I hope that my experiences might be of help to someone!  Feel free to ask any questions, you know where the comment box is! Oh, I would also like to thank all those on Twitter and Facebook who helped me with their tips, in particular Mim (@m1m_o) who suggested books to me.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

What I wore Wednesday - chilled yet eye-catching mama

This is the first time I'm joining in with "What I wore Wednesday", a linky held by Transatlantic Blonde every Wednesday.  I've heard about it and seen others joining in with it for a long time and have often thought I should join in, but never got round to it.

You see.. the thing is, I take loads of photos.. but they are almost always of Ethan.  I am more often the one whielding the camera so there are plenty of photos of Ethan and Pete, but not so many of me.  Not unless I remember to ask Pete to take the camera for a bit!  So.. it's quite often hard for me to get photos of myself up for these types of linkys.  I'm going to try harder though.

This week I'm sharing an outfit from last week when Ethan and I were having a chilled out day with no big plans.  Just a relaxed comfortable outfit, something I could chase him about in easily.  It was my brand new "Birthday Boots" first outing as well.  Very comfy they are too...

Lovely comfy knee high brown leather boots by Cat.

My fave bracelets - troll beads, bangles etc...

Boots - CAT
Leggings - New Look
Animal print top - H&M (via charity shop for £1.50)
Waistcoat - Primark 
 Long sleeved top - New Look
Scarf - Monsoon

Don't forget to visit the lovely Transatlantic Blonde to see all the other lovely outfits linked up!

I spy with my little eye.. something beginning with R!

This week Mum of One has bestowed upon her loyal subjects the letter R.  Can you spy the R in this eye spy?

Comment below!

Monday 14 May 2012

Trendy Toddler Tuesday - Boys & Girls Review!

It's Tuesday and it's that time again!  Trendy Toddler Tuesday!  This post is linked up with Maria from Very Busy Mama - please do go and check out her fantastic blog, she always has fantastic style ideas for Mama's and toddlers!

Today I have a particularly exciting outfit of Ethan's to showcase.  We have recently been the recipients of some gorgeous clothes courtesy of a wonderful brand, Boys & Girls.  In case you don't know about Boys & Girls, I'll tell you a little about them.  They have been around for just over a year, so they are very new but are already achieving a loyal customer base.  Their clothes are all made using Fairtrade organic cotton which is something I love - you know it's going to be kind to delicate skin and is good for you concious.  Not only do they use organic cotton, they also only use organic printing and dying methods so again, you know it will be kind to the skin.  This is something I like - Ethan's skin is quite sensitive, he often gets eczema and dry skin patches.

This is what Boys & Girls have to say about themselves:

"Boys&Girls creates bright & brilliant clothes for 0-10 year olds.More parks & playgrounds than paddocks & ponies, we combine brilliant colours, the softest quality fabrics, and distinctive designs to create clothing that is perfect for today’s vibrant urban lifestyle."

Why are B&G attracting loyal returning customers?  Well, firstly, their range of clothes are exciting, different and unisex.  Something that appeals to many parents I feel.. after all, parents of boys know how limited the high street variety of clothes is for boys (navy, green or brown anyone?) and parents of girls know how hard it can be to find clothes for girls that aren't all baby pink!  B&G have it covered.  How fantastic for hand-me-downs as well, great to know that many of the clothes you buy from them could suit a boy or a girl!!

Secondly, the customer service is excellent.  Parcels are sent out quickly, items are well packaged.  Their packaging is recycled and attractive.  You feel like you are getting excellent service!  Postage is free on orders over £30 as well which is very reasonable.

OK.  On to the clothes themselves.  I was lucky enough to be able to choose an outfit for us to review, but I have to say it wasn't easy.  In the end I went for their tangerine sweat pants/tracksuit bottoms, a star print t-shirt and the "Bright As Day" sweat top.

When the package arrived, I told Ethan what was in it and he helped me rip it open.  Straight away he went for the trousers, going mad about the colour "look at my orange trousers Mummy!" (I refrained from saying "they are tangerine darling, tangerine!").  He also got very excited about the star print top, he adores stars.  He's calling it his "Twinkle twinkle top".

He couldn't wait to get dressed up:

As you can see, I layered the star top over a black top - it was a bit chilly that day!  It looked good like that but also looks lovely on it's own.

A couple of days later, Ethan was back in his tangerine trousers, this time paired with the sweat top:

Bright as day really is the right phrase to have printed on their sweat top -  their clothes really are!  I hope you can see just how happy and bright the trousers are.  Each time Ethan wears them we get stopped and people pay compliments and ask where they are from.  I've never seen another pair as colourful!  Ethan can't get enough of the and if I mention they are in his draw he just rushed up and asks to put them on!

The clothes are soft and comfortable, just what a toddler should be wearing to run around in.  They are excellent quality and stand up well to all his falls, even on rough ground.  After several wears the all of the clothes look brand new still, especially the trousers.

Something else I really love - their logo!  It's very clever.  Obviously it's an ampersand but at the same time it looks like a child sitting down!  Fab.  Nice and memorable as well!

Something to bare in mind if you place an order - I was very kindly told by Kati who works at Boys & Girls that their tops tend to run a little small so it may be best to order a size above their age.  I can confirm this to be the case, Ethan's tops were sent out in age 3-4 (he's not 3 until July and is only 92 cm tall so not big for his age) and they are just right on him.  2-3 would have been a bit tight perhaps and certainly wouldn't have had as much growing room.

If you fancy checking out the Boys & Girls site at the moment, they are currently running a competition - your child can win a place in their Autumn/Winter photo shoot!  So, if you've got a budding model, you should head over here.

I know that Ethan and I are going to be fans of Boys & Girls from now on and I can't wait to see what their next collection looks like!

You can find their website here and follow them on twitter @boysgirlsshop.