Thursday, 28 June 2012

Ethan's books of the month; June 2012

There are two books that are in constant demand at bedtime and beyond at the moment.  They Hueys - The New Jumper by Oliver Jeffers and The Somethingosaur by Tony Mitton.

The New Jumper
Image source:Harper Collins

As soon as I learned Oliver Jeffers had a new book coming out I was excited.  We are huge Jeffers fans in this household.  Ethan adores "The Boy" and his adventures in space and with his penguin friend.  It's lovely to see Oliver Jeffers has new characters for us to get to know.

Ethan doesn't need to be told that this book is by his favourite author, his illustration style is so recognisable.  Straight away this draws Ethan in, even if he doesn't yet know the characters.

They Hueys - The New Jumper is a simple story.  Easy to follow with the addition of the simple yet expressive illustrations.  It's a theme we're familiar with as adults - the desire to follow the crowd yet remain individual.  A lovely way to introduce this concept to young children.  Different is good.  A reassuring hug of a book.

This book has Ethan giggling away.  He asks for it all the time.  Well done Mr Jeffers!

The Somethingosaur
Image source:Harper Collins

The Somethingosaur is by Tony Mitton, an author we're not familiar with.  I loved reading this book to Ethan for the first time, it surprised even me.  This story is adorable and the illustrations will appeal to adults and children alike.  So important I feel, after all, often we are the ones choosing books for our children in the first place!

I won't spoil the story for you by telling you what happens.  The Somethingosaur is a little creature who hatches out and finds himself all alone.  He sets off on a journey to find his mother.  I lovely way to teach children about the worth of a journey, of putting effort in and reaping the rewards at the end.  A message we could all learn from I think in our fast paced material society!

Again, Ethan enjoys this book, asks for it frequently and talks about it which shows it's struck a chord with him!

Both of these books are published by Harper Collins with a RRP of £10.99.  We were very kindly provided with copies for review by Harper Collins.  We have not been paid and the views and opinions expressed are all our own.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

What I Wore Wednesday - 27/06/12

I was wondering what I'd share for WIWW today seeing as we were away last week.  I've had a trawl through the holiday photos though, and have found an outfit to share.  I didn't take a massive selection of clothes away with me.  Just stuff I could mix and match really!

This is what I wore to a farm park last week.  Something easy to run about in, go in soft play.  Something that can get a bit mucky if needs be.  I'm afraid I look a bit of a twit in the photos though...




Turquoise and grey striped top - Primark (ages ago)
Orange and white stripe tee - Primark (ages ago again)
Jeans - J Brand via ASOS
Wellies - Wye Valley via Amazon
Ring - local boutique
Bracelet - Primark
Necklace - A present
Sunglasses - D&G via TKMaxx
Earrings - eBay

I'm linking up with Transatlantic Blonde for What I Wore Wednesday.  If you want to see what everyone else has linked up, pop over there!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Trendy Toddler Tuesday - Their Nibbs PJs

Well, this is a little more exciting than normal for me!  Today, whilst Maria is away in Chile, I am hosting Trendy Toddler Tuesday (I'm sharing this wonderful task with the lovely Angela from Mum of Three Boys).  So, today, if you want to link up for TTT, the linky will be here.  I hope people will still continue to join in, and maybe we'll attract some new folks too!

On to the important bit.

We only recently got back from our holiday in Cornwall.  I didn't take too many of Ethan's clothes with us, just enough, and I didn't pack his best ones.  So... I don't have that much in the way of photos for TTT.  I have quite a few photos of him in his fave PJs though, so thought I'd share a few of them.



Pyjamas - Their Nibbs


I love these pjs.  The whimsical pattern.  Motorbikes and racing cars.  Ethan loves them.  Personally, I love the skinny fit.  GAP do this very well as well.  I like it - so many pjs are really baggy and that just encourages Ethan to stretch them even more making them all misshapen.  He doesn't do that with these.  They remind me of Cath Kidston as well.

Also, because it's amusing and cute, here's Ethan wearing my slightly off the wall Primarni shades:



Do you have a trendy toddler you want to show off?  Join in using the linky below.

Here are the rules:


- Please comment on this blog post and any others you visit.  It's only kind!
- Please display the TTT badge on your blog or link back to here.  You can grab the badge from Maria's blog here
- Don't be shy!  Tweet me @MedicatedFollow and I'll RT your link.
- The linky is open until Saturday.

Thank you for joining in!


Sunday, 24 June 2012

Things not to feed a dog.

There are many stories to tell and photos to share from our recent holiday in Cornwall.  Despite the generally rubbish weather we had a lovely time and got up to a whole heap of activities.  There is one event that sticks in my mind though.  I bring it to mind regularly at the moment to help me cope with the "back to reality" we now face being back home.  As I have no shame and love to make people chuckle, I'll share this little story with you now.

It took weeks for Ethan to get the hang of doing a poo in the potty.  He's had the hang of it now for a few weeks, but we still get quite excited when he does it (saaaaaad) and he loves to show everyone "look! What a big poo I've done!".  Do you see where this is going yet?

One evening Ethan had just finished on his potty before bed.  He had produced something a horse would be proud of so insisted to Pete that he come through into the living room/kitchen to show me.  Of course, I acted suitably impressed.  It was huge, make no mistake!  As he shows me, we spot that one of the farm dogs (belonging to the farmer on who's land our holiday cottage was situated on) appear at the back door.  Ethan spots him and pipes up "I want to show the doggy my big poo!".  OK we think... what harm could there be in that?  He's just excited and wants to show off.  So.. we open up the back door and the dog looks at us with excited eyes "play with me!" he's saying silently to us.  Then he looks down towards the potty containing the huge poo which Ethan is proffering to him.  "Look doggy! Look at my big poo!".  Ethan shoves the poo filled potty right under the dog's nose.  The dog takes a huge sniff, his tail starts wagging, and before we can do a thing about it...

...HE EATS THE FRIGGIN' POO!!! He ate it!!!!  He then proceeds to lick at the potty whilst Pete grabs it away from Ethan.  In his excitement at enjoying such a treat the dog is licking his lips and sends poo splatting all around the place.  There are specks of poo all over the back door and kitchen floor!!  At this point we are all in hysterics.  Disgusting it is, but it's also insanely funny.  Only we could end up giving a dog we hardly know a meal of poo.  How awful.

About 20 minutes later, when Ethan was tucked up in bed, the other farm dog turns up at the back door, sniffing around, licking lips and scratching at the door.  I'm guessing her buddy told her about the "delicious" treats being given out at the holiday cottage.  At least we know why the farm is called Splatt Farm now....

*shame*

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

I Spy...the letter Z!


Today's I Spy is the letter Z.. it's the last one!  Can you spot the Z in the pic below? It's from a year ago which is why Ethan has longer hair!

If you want more Z's to guess, hop over to Mum of One.  She's the lady in charge!


Saturday, 16 June 2012

Holiday..

We're in Cornwall for a week, so if it seems quiet on the blog, that's why!

Catch you on the flip side!


Thursday, 14 June 2012

The old boy/girl toy debate..

Ethan loves to push buggies and prams.  He has done ever since he could stand up and push from about 9 months onwards.  We'd be out at the park, I'd loose track of his whereabouts only to find him pushing around someone else's abandoned buggy.. I was forever apologising to other parents "he just loves to push!".  He's the same now, despite being perfectly able to walk without assistance for 2 years.  Whenever we go to a playgroup or to crèche, he makes a beeline for the buggies.

Only £1 from a charity shop - bargain buggy!

Does his love for what could be conceived as a "girls toy" concern me?  Does it heck.  I couldn't care less what he plays with.  He is who he is.  I've only just started feeling comfortable in my own skin and feel like I "know who I am" at the age of 30.  Being a child is all about discovery and learning.  If he wants to push a doll around in a buggy, wear fairy wings and shoot pretend guns at the same time, that's just fine with me.

He's always loved to push...
But still.. just watching a few minutes of Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network, it's quite apparent how much sexism still exists in the world of advertisement and toys.  Girls banging on about Lellie-Kelly, flashing pink wands with lipgloss inside them. Nerf guns with only boys in adverts.. it's still there.  Pink pink pink for the girls with an added dose of nail polish and guns and mud for the boys.

What a load of crap.

I know many parents who are unaffected by this, who let their children play with what they like, like whatever colours they want and express themselves, and that's just great.  I know though, that this divide between the sexes is still there though.

One of Ethan's favourite dress up items - what he calls his "princess" (ribbon skirt)
I've always let Ethan play with whatever he likes, whether it's a Sindy doll or a tractor.  If he sees me with painted nails, he wants his done.  So I do them.  I don't care what anyone thinks.  How on earth could you think that a child having painted nails dictates their sexuality?  But people do!  Even those of us who think we are open minded are affected.  Only the other day, when Pete was setting off for work on his bike, Ethan asked if he could push his (pink) buggy outside when saying bye to Daddy.  Of course said I.. but Pete said "he can't push that pink buggy outside, what would people think?!"  I was amazed!  I said it doesn't matter, it's just a toy buggy, what exactly is someone going to deduce if they see our son pushing around a buggy?  I suppose hubby has a point though, I can see some people jumping to stupid conclusions..

Earrings and lego.. that's covering all bases!
It's hard, isn't it.  Our road is full of boys, there is only one female child living on our part of the road, all of the rest are boys.  It's dominated by football, bikes, waterbombs, guns and skateboards.  You never see anyone doing anything remotely "girly".  Our neighbour opposite us is a tattooed, roll up smoking, truck driving cider drinker who loves to set off display quality (probably illegal) fireworks at random times and owns three massive German Sheppards. Despite that he is a friendly helpful man, but he is without a doubt, very much a "man's man".  In fact, he has admitted to us that because Pete wears glasses he nicknamed him "Clark Kent".  He already sees us as slightly weedy middle class neighbours.  Add into that mix our child perusing the streets dressed in pink wearing fairy wings and pushing a buggy, it's pretty obvious what conclusion he'd jump to!! What does it matter though?  It's nothing but an opinion...

Who wouldn't want to dance around in rainbow fairy wings?

I maintain my point.  Ethan can choose what toys he likes.  If he likes men or women, it doesn't bother me.  He's a little boy and he enjoys playing with dolls and wrestling.  At his young age (and whenever) he should be allowed the freedom to play with whatever he chooses.  And colour should be embraced!

"I'm Princess Ethan!" I used to dress my brother in this 23 years ago...
What are your thoughts?  Do you let your child play with what they like and wear what colours they like?  Do you feel judged if you let your boy play with dolls or your girl play with cars?  Do you care? Let me know!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

I Spy...the letter I!

I spy... spy I? Can you spy the I in the I Spy pic below?  Use the comment box to guess, and if you fancy more, pop over to Mum of One, the lovely hostess of this meme!


What I wore Wednesday - 13/06/2012

I have a couple of outfits to "show off" for this week's What I wore Wednesday.

Firstly, if you read my Magpie Monday post this week, you may remember the original '70s scarf I wrote about.  Well, the first outfit I have to share features that:




Cardigan - H&M (ages ago)
Vest top - H&M
Cord Jeggings - New Look (last season)
Scarf - My Mum's from the '70s
Converse trainers

I really enjoyed wearing this outfit.  It's comfortable but it also brightened my day.  I love this cardi with the cloud print and happy sunny yellow.  The scarf is very in your face.  Most of all, I adore my orange Converse.  They are some of the most comfortable shoes I own and always attract comments (some woman was leaning out of her upstairs window shouting out at me the other day when I wore them, going on about how I was brightening up her day LOL!).

The other outfit I wanted to share was what I wore on Saturday just gone when my friend Lucy and I had a girly day out.  We went to a "suitcase sale" in Bristol.  Simple idea, anyone can pay to have a spot, the only limitation is that you can only sell what you can fit into a suitcase.  Suffice to say there were some pretty well stuffed huge suitcases there!  We had a lovely time browsing the "suitcases" and each made a few purchases (will share on another occasion).  I was feeling happy and pretty in my new Primark dress (£5 bargain!) and my fitted jacket.  It was a lovely day out.





Dress - Primark
Jacket - New Look
Tights - New Look
Boots - Wrangler
Bangle - Primark
Ring - H&M (a while ago)
Bag - Marc Jacobs last Autumn

This was another happy making outfit.  Knowing my dress was such a bargain was a real mood booster.  I felt great in it.

Please do pop over to Transatlantic Blonde to see all the other fashionable folks!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Trendy Toddler Tuesday - Scandi as usual...

Whoop Whoop! It's Trendy Toddler time!  As Ethan has taken to saying "you look soooo gorgeous today!"

I've not taken too many photos of Ethan over the last week so at first I didn't think I'd have much to write about for TTT, but he did wear a lovely new top on Sunday, one I've been excited about him wearing since I bought it ages ago.  As with many of Ethan's clothes, it's another Scandinavian brand, Dunns.  They have gorgeous prints.  Do any of you have a kindle?  This particular one reminds me of the fish lock screen on it.. let me know if you know what I mean!




Top - Dunns (bought at Bebaboo.com)
Jeans - Next

I love all the different types of fish depicted on the top, and Ethan enjoys "feeding" things to them (i.e. holding biscuits up to his tummy and making munching noises!).  Love it.

I'm also going to share a pic of Ethan in his new Primark shades (bought on my recent shopping trip, read about that here).  He keeps asking to wear his "new sunglasses" and I happen to think they look rather stylish!


Top - Polarn O.Pyret
Trousers - H&M
Sunglasses - Primark.

Don't forget to head over to Maria's blog to see all the other trendies linked up, and if TTT is something you join in with, other the next few weeks, whilst Maria is in Chile, Angela of Mum of Three Boys fame and I shall be sharing the hosting - so keep your eyes peeled!

***SOME GREAT OFFERS***


Boys&Girls who I've reviewed before (and whos' bright coloured clothes we love) have 1/3 off their "Out to play" tees and sweat tops at the momement (offer ends midnight 13th June) so you can grab a bargain there.

Polarn O.Pyret who's clothes Ethan wears regularly have a sale starting this Thursday with many items at half price.

Happy shopping!  I've not been compensated or asked to mention the above, just sharing the love and insider info!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Magpie Monday - thrifting from your parents..

I've not made it to a charity shop recently, but I did have a rummage around in my parents garage, through some of their piles and piles of "stuff" and found two gems.. so, I'm not entirely sure if this counts, but they are unwanted items that are now going to be used and loved again!

First of all, I found this scarf of my Mum's from the '70s.  The print jumped out at me, it's exactly the kind of thing I go for!! It smells musty and despite a good wash, I've not fully for rid of the smell yet, so I've shoved it in with a box of bath bombs and soap from Lush in the hope that that will do the trick!



















The other "thing" I found was a gorgeous and practical bag that belonged to my maternal Grandma.  I am guessing it's probably from the '70s as well and I suspect it was used as a beach bag (let's just say I found a load of sand inside it!).  I'll use it for the same I think, it has that "beach bag" feel to it.  Plus, it's a good size and has a smaller front pocket for all those small beach items (suncream, lip balm etc..).  What do you think?  Stripes are always in!














I'm linking this blog post up with Missie Lizzie for her wonderful "Magpie Monday" linky.  Do visit her blog, not only is she the host of Magpie Monday, she also does some amazing crafts!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Fashion Friday - I went shopping...

Ahhh, retail therapy.  Even if nothing is getting you down, a little shopping trip is always enjoyable!

This wasn't browsing though, I set off with a mission on my shopping trip yesterday..  I was after a pair of yellow cropped skinny jeans from GAP.  Was I successful?  Yes and no..

My first stop was, of course, GAP.  I wondered in and my eyes gravitated to a pair of yellow jeans.  But they were boyfriend style.. boo!! Ah well, I'll try them on I thought.  I looked around the rest of the shop, disappointed that I couldn't find any coloured skinny jeans.  I was about to give up when I suddenly found a whole load of them hiding in a corner of the shop - yay!! No yellow ones, but plenty of other colours, blue, green, pink, grey.. I grabbed a blue pair.  I know it's not even close to yellow, but I have green, orange and pink already.  Blue is a great colour to go for.  Classic.

In the changing room I was not disappointed, the jeans fitted like a glove which I was a bit surprised about (I grabbed an 8 and a 10 - the 8 was ok but the 10 looked best) I was expecting them to get stuck around my thighs - whilst checking out jeans on the GAP website all the reviews for this style said they come up very small.. I was expecting to need a 12 or even 14.  I got lucky perhaps.. could be because I'm short maybe?

Taking them to the checkout, I suddenly noticed a big sign stating that everything in the shop (apart from sale items) has 30% off.  Wooooo! So glad I didn't buy online.  My jeans would have set me back £45.99 but came in at just over £32.  Great.  Not too pricey.  More than my Tesco and Primark jeans, but these feel like heaven, the material is gorgeous.


Buoyed on by my first success, I hit TKMaxx.  I love TKMaxx. It's not somewhere I can visit with Ethan (or Pete) because I can't relax and take my time.. and you need to take your time at TKMaxx because it is a little like a jumble sale.  Especially in half term.  It was heaving.  I grabbed a few dresses to try on including a  cute Cynthia Rowley number they only had in a size 6.  I got it on OK but it was a little tight on the back (not surprising considering my F cups!!).  Booo... one of the dresses I grabbed (Studio 1) looked lovely though, so that one came home with me.



After a frapachino pitstop (oh maaaaaaaan, those Mocha Cookie Crumble Frapachinos from Starbucks are beyond gorgeous!) I then hit up the big one.  Primarni baby!  If TKMax was heaving, Primark was like some sort of cattle show.. mad. Still, when you're shopping without a buggy it's much easier to navigate the crowds.  I took a few dresses, tops and a pair of yellow jeans to the changing room but only came out with one of the tops and one of the dresses - luckily the dress that was £5 - the cheapest one I'd picked up.  I'm in love with it, it looks fab on and such a bargain.



Primark being Primark, I couldn't come away without a few accessories, so got a pair of sunglasses for me and a pair for Ethan (£1 each!), two pairs of ankle socks (50p each) and a set of PJs with a cute print for Ethan (£3).

I do love Primark!



Well... that sums up my spending spree.  The whole lot was £65 so I don't think that's too bad for what I got!  Having had a look at the evidence, it seems I'm loving blue and yellow at the moment!!

What have you bought lately?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

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

Can you spot the K in this pic?  Comment below if you do, and if you want more I Spy pics, head over to Mum of One's blog!


What I wore Wednesday - different ways with pink jeans..

Over the last week I've been enjoying my new cropped pink skinny jeans by F&F at Tesco.  I was inspired to buy them after seeing Rachel from Rachel The Hat looking so fantastic in her yellow pair.  I knew I had to get some!  The first pair I ordered online (our Tesco doesn't stock clothing) were too big for me, so I had to return those and order again.. all in all, it took a while before I got my sticky mitts on a pair that I was happy in.  I've worn them a few times now and I'm ecstatic with them.  Totally recommend them, they are only £14, the quality seems good, they haven't gone baggy and the colour is GORGEOUS. I'm not even all that much of a pink person, but it's a nice bold and bright pink. Really brightened my mood now the rain is back!

The first outfit I'm going to show you is a pairing of the jeans with the Asda bird top that I was umming and ahhing over a few days ago - I did keep it, but the Asda jeans have gone back.



Yes, I realise I'm pulling some horrible faces here and you can't even see much of the jeans, but this was the best I could do!!

Top - Asda £8
Jeans - F&F for Tesco £14

The next outfit I wore on Monday.  We had a family BBQ and after a glass of wine I ended up on a pair of inline skates for the first time in about 15 years.... haha.  It was fun and now I'm really sure about wanting to invest in a pair of skates to use when Ethan learns to skate!



A more casual look, nice and comfy for skating in!  I really love these jeans.

Top - New Look
Vest (underneath) H&M
Sunglasses - D&G from TKMaxx

I'm linking this post up for What I Wore Wednesday over at Transatlantic Blonde.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Trendy Toddler Tuesday - GAP

Before I had Ethan, I never ventured into a GAP store.  Actually, I've just remembered, that's not quite true.  Whilst I was pregnant I went in to the Oxford Street branch looking for maternity wear.  None of it fitted me well though... Booo.  That was my only experience of GAP until after I had him and I discovered their gorgeous children's skinny fit PJs and their barginous graphic print tees.

A few months back I popped into the Bristol branch of GAP Kids just because I was passing and then got stupidly excited because all their graphic tees were £5.  In my opinion that's a great price - their tops are excellent quality.  I tried to remain calm and decided I would choose two tops for Ethan.  Today I'm going to feature one of them because (as Ethan's grown) it's had it's first outing!

Unfortunately, I don't have a perfect shot of the image on the top, but it's a chopper bike.  Quite poignant really because the inventor of the chopper, Alan Oakley, died only recently.  So, a dedication to him for such an iconic bike!






Top - GAP Kids
Shorts - Faith B.C. (via TK Maxx)
Crocs - eBay

Naturally this is being linked up with Maria for Trendy Toddler Tuesday.  Do go and see who else has linked up, or link up yourself if you've a trendy toddler in your life!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Magpie Monday - blankets and toys..

I got really lucky in a Holly Hedge animal sanctuary charity shop the other day.  I've been looking for some eye catching bright crochet blankets for a friend as she's recently had a baby and loves crochet blankets (as do I).  Quite a few of the charity shops round here sell them.  It seems that many of the volunteers can crochet and knit and use odds and ends of wool that get donated to make blankets and toys whilst at a loose end in the shop, if it's quiet.  I love this idea.  It's recycling, it's re-using and it makes them a little money.. and you get something hand made as well!! Can't go wrong.

Anyway, I found two blankets and at only £2 each, I had to get both.  If you look on eBay, Etsy or in boutique shops, you can be charged in excess of £30 for blankets such as these.  Now, I know they can keep the prices low in the charity shop because they are using donated wool, but still, such a price difference.  They are always so beautiful.

Whilst looking at the blankets, I spotted this dress on the next rail.  The pattern popped out at me straight away.  It was in my size and only £1.75 so I decided to buy it without trying it on.  I've tried it on at home since and I'm very happy with it.  Very bright and cheerful!

Taking the blankets up to the counter, I spotted a little knitted teddy in a toy basket.  There was no price, but I had to have him.  He looks so so similar to my Mum's childhood Teddy and also bares an uncanny resemblance to Abney from The Adventures of Abney & Teal (cbeebies).  Turns out he was only 50p!  Brand new, made by one of the ladies in the shop.

I left that shop beaming from ear to ear.  I spent little more than a fiver and couldn't believe all I got.




OK, the colours are the wrong way around, but you have to admit the similarity!  Image Source: BBC




On a high I went into one of my old faves, the Mind charity shop.  We only found one thing, a box of fuzzy felt for £1.  Ethan loves fuzzy felt though - it made a good prize to go in his poo prize bag.  He's been playing with it lots since.  In great condition, it was well worth £1.


I'm linking this blog post up with Missie Lizzie from Me and My Shadow for Magpie Monday.