Monday, 30 December 2013

Mother and child fashion: My favourite pieces this season for me and my mini fashionistas by Katie of Delightsome

When I was small, I remember being pretty happy to simply wear whatever my mum had put out for me in the morning. But my own little ones are much more fashion conscious. Even our toddler insists on picking his own shoes from the shop or he simply refuses to wear them when we get home. So, for all those parents with fussy fashionistas of their own, I decided to take a look at this season’s trends for them and for you:

The cosy knit

Kitsch knitwear is in vogue like never before this winter season. So, it means you don’t have to nag your little ones about wrapping up warm against the plummeting mercury levels. J Crew’s red llama jumper with its crystal embellishment is playful and tongue in cheek. For her, I love this fairisle sweater from Trotters, which goes with pretty much everything. It can even be worn into the spring, with a pair of denim shorts and flat ankle boots. 

The fur coat

Cosy, cuddly and the next best thing to taking a blanket out with you this winter, faux fur coats have made another come back. They were last hugely popular in the 1990s when they were worn with a slightly grunge vibe. But, this time around, faux fur is much more grown-up and glamorous – although that’s not to say it can’t be for your little ones too.

I'm going to be treating myself to the faux fur version by Soft Grey, which will be the perfect warm cover-up for my LBD. But I can still wear it on casual days with boyfriend jeans and a pair of biker boots. While, for my little girl, this button up version will mean she’s the envy of her friends. She can wear to her school party or with jeans for the weekend. 

The colour of the season

This winter, the must-have hue has been pink, particularly when it comes to outerwear. Oversized pink duster coats were seen all over the catwalks, which spawned high street versions, many of which sold out. But, next spring, one of the key shades is blue – and not just any blue, but a striking cobalt blue. This electric blue puffer coat from Timberland is perfect for little boys. While, for me, I've fallen for this Marc New York double-breasted number with its military detailing and button-down collar. 

The print shirt

A crisp white shirt will always be a key wardrobe staple – perfect for tucking into a pencil skirt for work or for wearing with a pair of jeans for an easy off-duty style. But, this season, the print shirt has been hugely popular. Burberry’s heart print motif has been worn by Victoria Beckham, Harry Styles and Paula Patton. But I love this floral print shirt from Paul Smith, which takes a key look for winter – dark-hued blooms – and puts it together with a classic shirt shape. For little ones, Liberty London’s butterfly print shirt will go with leggings and mary janes. 

Word up

Logo print pieces have been huge looks on the spring/summer 2014 runways, with designers including Alexander Wang, Dior, Kenzo and Christopher Kane sending their models down the catwalks adorned with logos and slogans of all descriptions. Independent boutique Cute Graffiti has a sweet range of slogan tee’s including this one which has a funny take on the well-known phrase Respect Your Elders. Zoe Karssen for Boutique 1 has a range of adults printed tee’s which doesn't take itself seriously. This Créme de la crème shirt is my favourite.

While once there were clear distinctions between what mother and child wore, now the lines are blurred. I'm just waiting until my daughter grows a little more, then I’ll be stealing the items from her wardrobe instead of the other way round. 

Katie is a Yorkshire based blogger who writes mostly about her adventures in food, fashion and on foreign shores. You can find her on twitter.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Trendy Thursday - The 2013 Round Up!

It's time for the final Trendy Thursday post of the year and I thought a nice way to wrap up the year would be to share some of my favourite outfits of the year - but not ones my boys have rocked - no, ones you lovely lot have linked up!! So, without further ado, here's my pick of the bunch:

Lovely Emma from They Grow So Quick has been joining in with my Trendy linky for a loooong time now. I always love her posts, I love that she has two boys like me, and a really similar taste in clothing.  Her boys always look awesome, but overall, I really love the post in which she shared Seb's denim shirt.  It reminded me that Ethan didn't have one and had me heading out to the shops to find one for him.  Love to be inspired!

Up next we have the lovely Kara and her gorgeous daughter Addison.  Kara has a real eye for fashion and her three gorgeous children have just the right balance of cute and trendy in their outfits.  I love this outfit of Addison's that Kara shared with us back in April.  It's cute, but the dark colour of the shoes balances it.  I particularly love the trousers!
addy outfit

Sarah of Mum of Three World started joining in with the Trendy linky earlier this year and has become a regular - thank you!  Her daughter has a great style and as she's a little older than a lot of the other children featured in the linky, it's especially interesting seeing what she's wearing because she is a lot more involved in choosing what she wears!  I adore this beautiful dress that she wore for a Christening in July.  Delicate and striking in an understated way!

Emma from Bubbablue And Me is another long time Trendy buddy.  She has a classic taste.  I think it's fair to say that her taste and my taste are different.  Mine a little more out there I think!! Still, I love to see her posts.  Her little man always looks lovely, well dressed and comfy.  Emma picks some lovely trousers for N and so I've picked her post on chinos.  Love the colour!

chinos and stripes

Hannah of Make Do and Push joined in with Trendy for the first time a few months ago and I adore her style.  It's so lovely to have new bloggers joining in.  The outfits she puts together for her gorgeous Busby are so bright and funky.  Like me, she's a lover of Slugs and Snails tights so I had to pick this post of hers!

Finally, we have Claire of What Elsa Wears.  Oh, I DO love a blog all about what a child is wearing.  This is a blog after my own heart!  I had to pick this post showing Elsa's Christmas jumper collection.  What a collection!!!  I think the snowflake print is my favourite.

That completes my round up!  I've got the linky live, so link up any outfit posts you have for this week if you like.  I want to thank everyone who has joined in with Trendy Tuesday/Thursday this year.  It really means so much to me.  It's such a small linky but I do love it. It makes me so happy to see people linking up and even if it takes me a few days, I do try to get to everyone's post to comment.  Children's fashion is my passion and I love sharing it!  Trendy Thursday is taking a break now until the new year.  I look forward to seeing you back and hopefully a few new faces as well!

Happy Christmas and Happy New Year all! xx

Monday, 16 December 2013

Nothing but Christmas..

Felix went down for his nap this morning and I set myself up at my laptop, coffee to one side, phone to the other, radio on blaring out the Christmas tunes.  What should I write?  A few things popped into my head, there are a few child rearing type issues I want to write about.  Of course, there's Trendy Thursday, but that's a few days away yet.. But, I thought, at this time of year, all we really want to read about is Christmas!  Well.. most of us, anyway!  Who wants to read my thoughts on how Baby Led Weaning is going, or how Ethan is getting on with Felix these days.

So... that's it.  I give in.  I'm just going to blab on about Christmas for a bit.

You've seen the festive clothes.. we're all rocking them, almost on a daily basis now!  Ethan hasn't broken up from school yet, not until Friday, but there is definitely a more relaxed feeling at school.  The teachers are wearing Santa hats, there are decorations up.  He has a Christmas Party at school tomorrow morning and then I get to join him in the afternoon for a table decoration craft session.  Quite excited about that!  I love some one on one time with my big boy.

The tree has been up for two weeks.  It's dropping needles like a... well, like a tree that has been up rooted and stuck in a warm living room!! Thank goodness for my hand held vac.

Christmas cards are arriving in the post, despite the ever increasing costs.  I've even managed to send mine.

The presents have been bought but are yet to be wrapped.  When do you wrap yours?  Do you have a Christmas Eve mad wrapping session (ehem, tradition? ;-D).  Talking of traditions; what are yours?  I don't think we have many, but I suppose we do without really thinking about it.  The same decorations coming out each year.  There's this horrible singing Santa that my Mum bought us years ago that everyone hates... and yet, it comes out every year to torment us.  Many of our traditions are Christmas Eve based.  The boys will have new PJs (quite a few people do that!).  We sprinkle "reindeer food" for the reindeer in the garden.  We put out the plate of mince pies and sherry for Father Christmas and a carrot for the reindeer.  Love that someone has the job of drinking and eating (or at least biting at!) those.  I believe that always fell to my Dad as we were growing up.  Now I think Pete and my Dad share it (we always sleep at there house on Christmas Eve).

On Christmas morning, it's all about stocking opening.  One of my favourite memories of Christmas is a child is that feeling as you wake in the early morning.  The feeling of the heavy stocking lying on the bottom of your bed, maybe resting on top of your feet a little.  It was always so exciting!!  Growing up, my brother and I were always allowed to choose one present from under the tree after we'd opened our stockings, to "keep us going" until the big present unwrapping session.  I always got clothes for Christmas so I'd choose the parcel that felt the most like clothing in the hope that I'd be able to put my new clothes on!

Post Christmas lunch, we have a quiet time.  Before the Queen's speech.  I think it's the same for many of us!  As a child I would go up to my bedroom.  "Father Christmas" always bought me a new audio tape in my stocking so I would put that on and drift off.  Something like Rebecca or a new Dickens.  Lovely.

Do you have Christmas traditions?  I'd love to hear them!

I expect my blog will be quiet for a while now until January takes off.  I'm planning a Trendy Thursday for this week, a round up of some of my favourite outfits from the year from those who've linked up.  Apart from that though, I'm going to take a couple of weeks off.  Enjoy the time with my family and away from time keeping and deadlines.

So, I wish you and your family a very VERY merry Christmas. Enjoy.  Here's to 2014!!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Trendy Thursday - Christmas clothes for baby!

Well, I warned you that we're getting our Christmas on in our household, and it's true.. well, for the boys and I, anyway!  I believe last week I mentioned that Festive Felix would be getting his turn in the spotlight?  He's certainly been rocking a seasonal selection in the last week!

There are so many cute Christmas outfits and North Pole infused pieces for children these days.  Really, we're spoilt for choice.  I don't think it's worth spending too much unless it's something like a hat or leg warmers that they might be able to wear for a few years on a row.  So.. I have tried to be restrained! Still, there are some real bargains out there and because they are so cute, it's hard to resist!

Primark is a good place for budget seasonal items.  It's a little harder if you have a baby boy I find but it's always worth a look, even if Primark is rather reminiscent of a jumble sale!  I found some leggings for Felix in the girls section.  No reason why they can't be worn by a boy, especially if they are only setting you back a couple of quid!  F&F clothing at Tesco also has an extensive range of seasonal wear this year.  I got an adorable fleece sleepsuit from them, red with a Nordic style print.

Polarn O Pyret have a beautiful new print this year called Nordic Nights.  I think it is absolutely beautiful.  I grabbed a sleepsuit in this print during their 20% off sleepwear & free postage deal the other week (I was also able to use my 10% off voucher - bargain!).   PO.P are fantastic for festive threads; their classic red and white stripes look Christmassy but can also be worn all year around.  They have some fun items like braces, bow ties, and my favourite, neck ruffle/collar.  OK, it's a bit silly, but it's also adorable!

Image source: Polarn O Pyret

eBay is another place I always check for a festive bargain.  I love leg warmers for the boys.  Ethan doesn't wear them much these days but they are still very handy to have around.  You never know when you might need an extra layer of warmth on your legs or arms and they tend to be one size fits all (though of course, the bigger you are, the smaller they will be on you!).  I recently bought Felix a pair with Christmas Trees on for a couple of quid on eBay.

Ruffle/Collar - Polarn O Pyret
Green vest - Ej Sikke Lej (this was Ethan's)
Red Fleece sleepsuit - Clothing at Tesco
Stripy Stocking - Polarn O Pyret
Robot print vest - Mini Rodini (Ethan's)
Tree print leg warmers - eBay

I might try to showcase something other than Christmas clothing next week, but I promise nothing ;-D

Join in with the Trendy Thursday linky!  Write up a children's fashion blog post, link up below, tweet me and visit others who join in!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Low expectations, great experiences?

I've come to a conclusion.  At first glance, it might seem a somewhat depressing, but very often, I feel the lower your expectations of something, the better the reality actually is!  Let me be clear, this isn't something I apply to everything, I love looking forward to a holiday or anticipating how wonderful a coffee and cake will taste, but often I feel if you don't expect much then you can enjoy more!

Let me apply that to today.  A few months ago, I received an email from a PR working for Andrex.  They were getting in touch to offer me a free spa day.  In return for nothing.  Not even a tweet or Instagrammed pic.  Of course, I jumped at the offer.  A spa day?  For free?  Some time away from normality?  Hell yes!  I didn't want to get too excited though.  Didn't want to get my hopes up as it were.  Why?  Well, things often fall through.  Especially when you have young children.  At this time of year, when the world is rife with colds and viruses, you never know if you are going to be able to commit to something!  It was entirely possible that one of the boys could be ill, or even my parents who were "booked" for babysitting duty.  Or I might be ill! Or the event might be cancelled.  In my experience as a blogger and a parent, you have to expect the unexpected, be flexible and above all, not hang all your hopes on something.

In the end, despite winter's best efforts to make everyone in the family ill, it all came together.  I got my time away from the school run.  I got to spend a lovely day with some fantastic ladies and best of all, I got to drink champers and have my back massaged in return for nothing.

As if it isn't enough that we wipe our backsides on their product, Andrex want nothing in return for my lovely day.  And you know what that gets them?  A big thumbs up from me, and, guess what!  A mention.  Hows about that then?  Well done Andrex, I think your soft PR approach is actually quite strong and suspect that it will go a very very long way ;-D

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Trendy Thursday - Christmas clothes are go!

My poor little Ethan has been really poorly recently.  A horrible virus.  High temps, fevers, coughs, rashes, aches and pains.  Poor sausage.  At the weekend we bought our tree.  We've always gone out and chosen as a family and had been really excited about doing so as a family of four this year.  Ethan wasn't feeling up to leaving the house though, but insisted we get the tree as "I want to see it sparkling when I'm poorly".  Bless him.  Mum and Dad came over so Pete and I could pop out to get the tree.  It was weird going out without either of the boys (Felix stayed behind in the warm as well).

On Sunday we put our tree up as a family.  Ethan still wasn't well but he had enough energy to help with a few of the decorations.  I'd dressed him in something soft and comfy and a little festive.  A pair of Krutter velour dungarees and a Christmas print Smafolk top from last year.  I think he looked as cute as cute can be!

Are your kids rocking any Christmas prints yet?  Just wait until I post some of Felix's stuff next week!!

Link up below, tweet me, comment here and visit the others - have fun!!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Salt City Emporium - the best leggings for women and kids?

I've become a little obsessed with leggings in recent years.  I adore how comfortable they are, and how versatile.  The trouble with leggings, though, is that if you aren't careful, you can look a little slummy.  A little like you don't care.  And I do care!  Of course I want (need?) to be comfortable.  That's a necessary when dealing with small children.  All that bending down, picking up etc., you want to be comfy!  You don't necessary want to look like you've just walked off the set of The Jeremy Kyle Show though!

For that reason, I love the recent trend in patterned leggings.  As long as you wear them with a reasonably plain/block colour top or dress they look great, look on trend, look interesting but most of all, look like you've made an effort whilst being comfortable.  Score!

For a long while I've been in love with a monochrome chevron print pair I bought from H&M.. but I wanted more!  An American brand I love for the boys, Salt City Emporium recently branched out into ladies leggings and I started lusting after them immediately.  I buckled recently and treated myself to a couple of pairs.  I'd have to say these are "higher end" leggings (womens legging prices start at $32 and of course you have to pay postage from the USA to UK) but they really are worth it.  The prints are amazing.  I found it incredibly hard to just choose two designs and every time they post something on Instagram I end up lusting after more! In the end I chose a pair of the Arrow Print leggings:

and a pair of the Wolf Hot Air Balloon leggings (love the idea of being "all business" up front and party behind - the design is on the back!).

Something to note - they use fantastic materials in their leggings that wear really nicely.  The arrow print leggings are a mix of polyester and spandex and they cling really nicely.  I wore them two days in a row and didn't get any of the bagging/sagging around the knees you often get with leggings.  The wolf print are cotton and elastane American Apparel leggings - so you know you're getting great quality there!  I also wore these two days in a row and they didn't go baggy.  I measured myself according to Salt City's measurement guidelines and ordered medium in both pairs - I think medium was the right choice for the Arrow Print due to them being a tighter more clingy material.  The American Apparel leggings come up a bit bigger I feel, so I think small would have been a better fit for me there, just to get the streamline look I prefer.  The medium is OK, still wearable, but small would have been better; so, something to bear in mind if you end up ordering.  Both pairs look lovely and slimming though!

I love that I can wear the same brand as my boys.  I can't wait for the day all three of us are rocking our Salt City threads together - shame hubby can't join in at the moment - maybe a scarf/t shirt range for the men would be a good idea?  I don't think hubby would be to keen on rocking leggings (mind you, he wears them to cycle in!!).

**Not a sponsored post, just love this brand and want to share with you!**

Linking with Transatlantic Blonde, Pleated Poppy, Rachel The Hat & Lena B.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Trendy Thursday - Threadless

If you're one of my regular Trendy Tuesday buddies, then you'll know all about this.. but a heads up for those that don't.  Trendy Tuesday has moved to Thursday.  I think that Thursday will suit me better and it seems to suit a lot of others better as well.  So, I'm hoping it might mean more people will be able to join in.. Let's see!

On to the fashion...

Have you heard of Threadless?  They are just about the coolest t shirt company out there.  They've been around for quite a while now and I usually place an order with them once a year.  They are based in the US so I can't go too crazy because postage (and customs if you place a large order) can make it pricey.  Their t shirts are so funky and different though that they really are worth it.  Especially if you get something in their sale.  In fact, recently, they had a free postage offer that included international orders - that really was a great bargain!  I placed a large order and was expecting to pay a customs charge but it arrived yesterday in the normal post and I didn't have to pay a thing - very pleased!

Threadless sell babies and children's t shirts as well adults.  The nicest thing is that many of the prints are universal across the ranges so if you're feeling a bit cheesy you could easily buy everyone in the family the same print and look very.... cool?!

I bought two t shirts each for the boys on this occasion.  Felix has already been rocking one of his.  I bought his in 12 months size but they aren't huge so I'm going to put him in them for as long as I can!  They'll fit for a while I think.

Ethan got two to grow into because that was what was availble in the designs I liked.  So, he won't be wearing his for a year or so, but I love knowing that he's got some cool clothes to grow in to!

I'm hoping that you might not have heard about Threadless before and if so, I've probably enabled you, because there really is something for everyone on their site.  Go check them out!

Apologies for the rubbish photos today.  Picmonkey isn't playing ball so I've just had to add them in and two were taken from my phone as well so not great quality!

If you have a children's fashion blog post, please link up using the linky below.  Please don't forget to comment here and visit others who've linked up.  Don't forget to tweet me @medicated_follow!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Six months old - Baby Led Weaning begins! An open letter to Felix.

How can 6 months have flown by?  Just a moment ago you were a tiny squawking newborn, Felix!  Now you are sitting, rolling around, shuffling backwards and on the cusp of perfecting crawling forward.  So exciting!

Last Friday we introduced your first solids.  Your first taste was a banana followed by rice cakes and a breadstick.  Actually, scrap that.  I just remembered you stole some bread from Daddy the other week... still, your first official "meal" was the banana and rice cake etc...

You've tried a heap of stuff now!

Rice cakes
Stewed apple
Marmite sandwich
Mixed fruit purée
Philadelphia on toast/bread
Scrambled egg

Without a doubt you like banana, fruit pots, rice cakes, cheddar and bread the best at the moment.  It's lovely starting this journey with you.  The funny little faces you make as you experience the new tastes and textures.  This morning you enjoyed some banana and porridge mixed up.  You prefer to eat it from my fingers!!!!!

We are going for a baby lead approach but I'm not against the use of spoons as long as you aren't being force fed.  Usually you have one spoon and I have the other and we rotate.  Or, like this morning, you eat from your fingers and mine!! Whatever works.

At six months old you have three teeth which surprised me.  Your big brother Ethan didn't get his first tooth until he was 12 months old!  You still wake twice a night for a bottle, usually you make it through 12-14 oz of milk in a night.  Just like your brother in that respect.

You are a very good boy.  You prefer your naps in your cot.  Usually you have a two hour nap in the cot (mid morning usually) and a cat nap in the afternoon, in the buggy or cot, depending on what we are doing.  You settle like a dream in your cot.  You are happy to be put down awake which makes life easier!

We use cloth nappies on your cute little behind.  At first you were totally in disposables, but over time we've made it from full time disposables to part time to full time including nights.  Although your grandparents will always put you in a disposable.  I suppose Grandma had enough of cloth when she brought me up!!!  You look so cute with a big cloth bum and I get too much of a thrill putting you in cute nappies... as if I need another addiction!

You adore your big brother.  No one makes you smile and laugh like he does.  It warms my heart to see the two of you together and I really hope you'll grow up loving and supporting each other.

It hasn't been easy adjusting to being a Mummy of two.  It's damn hard work and some days are hugely stressful, rushing too and from.  Sometimes I feel you get the raw end of the deal because you get taken from place to place as we rush about with your brother (school, swimming, friends houses) but you always seem such a cheerful chap.  Everyone comments on it!

You smell like heaven.  One of the bonuses of the fact I only wash my hair twice a week is that your beautiful smell gets transferred onto my hair and I love catching a whiff of my baby boy on me.  Weird, I know.. but no one smells as good as my boys!

I love you little man! Happy 6 months.  Here's to the future! xx

Friday, 22 November 2013

Little Grippers Socks - Review & Giveaway

Baby socks.  They are a pain in the bum, aren't they?  They are anywhere but where they are supposed to be, which, in case you weren't sure, is ON THEIR FEET!! You'd be forgiven for thinking it was in their mouth... or under the sofa.  Or on the floor... anywhere really.  We all know that if you dare to put socks on your baby, they will, with a few deft movements, have removed it and turfed it aside.  Or decided to chew on it.  Socks just don't stay on.

Felix is my second child and I am well versed in the game of "hunt the sock" having played it for many years with Ethan.  With Ethan, I employed the use of sock ons.  You may have heard of them.  A funny little thing you place over your child's socked foot in an effort to keep the socks on.  They more or less did the trick with Ethan but I always felt they looked darn ugly.  So, I ended up not using them for aesthetic reasons.

Felix is a sock remover of epic proportions.  Far worse than Ethan.  He can get a sock off before you've even started putting the other one on.  I used Sock Ons with him and even they didn't work.  Which I was kind of glad about due to their butt ugliness...  I was pretty much at a loss.  With the exception of all in one suits or using tights, I didn't know what to do to keep his feet warm and winter was fast approaching.  When I was asked if I would like to try out Little Grippers, a range of socks designed to be almost impossible to remove by small hands (or feet) I nearly broke my laptop typing out my reply email - YES!!

Our socks arrived a couple of weeks ago, and I've got to admit I was sceptical.  On first inspection, they look like any other sock.  I felt the inside of the sock and I could feel a rubbery effect at the top of the sock. Hmmmm, I thought.  Well, if you don't try, you'll never know!! I popped them straight on him and then left in kicking around on the living room floor.  They'll be off in moments, I thought.

I looked over at Felix after a few minutes and was shocked.  They were still on!! They showed no sign of rolling down.  There had been no sock movement AT ALL.  Felix, on the other hand, was a good few meters away from where I'd left him, so I knew he'd been moving around.

The socks remained on for the rest of the day.  They really truly DID NOT BUDGE. Every day he's had them on since he has not once got close to getting them off.  They really don't move!

So - how do they stay on?  Well, Little Grippers use a thin layer of natural silicon on the inside of the cuff of the socks.  It's 100% natural, hypo allergenic and breathable so it doesn't irritate skin (I can confirm this - Felix has very sensitive skin and these haven't bothered him and only leave minimal pressure marks on the skin which fade very quickly).  Little Grippers state that the silicon lasts the lifetime of the garment, it can be washed and tumble-dried as it renews itself after every wash and doesn't loose effectiveness.

You can buy Little Grippers via their website, or at selected independent retailers. They have a range of plain baby socks for £3.50, patterned socks for £5 and they even stock a school range in black, navy, white and grey starting at age 3-6 up to 14+ years. Over the knee school socks are £5. Baby socks start at age 0-6 months.

Like the sound of all this?  Well, one luck reader will get the chance to try out Little Grippers for themselves for free!!! If you enter via the Rafflecopter below, you might win a Little Grippers gift box which contains new A/W winter patterned socks!  If you are the lucky winner, I will contact you after the giveaway ends and you can tell me what size you require!


The giveaway is live for one week from today!  Good luck!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Keeping warm with Joules

Sometimes, I think the designers at Joules live in my head.  They have such a way with pattern and colour, it really speaks to me!

I'd love to be able to buy a whole heap of clothes from Joules, but unfortunately, we're on a limited budget.  I recently sold a heap of baby clothes, shoes and some of my old clothes on eBay and once my profits were happily in my paypal account, I decided to treat myself to some winter essentials from Joules.  If I can't afford to buy dresses, socks and tops from them, I can at least get my winter essentials from them!

So, what are my winter essentials?  Well, I love a good pair of wellies but my pair from last year are still going strong (they were Joules actually, pheasant print.  Adore them!).  I have a warm coat.. what I needed was a new gilet/body warmer.  I have always loved the ones sold by Joules, so I knew that was going to be my first purchase.  Then, to compliment and update my winter wardrobe I decided some knitwear would be a good idea, a new hat and maybe some gloves.  Want to see what I chose?

Charmwood Gilet - £79.95
Calin bobble hat - £17.95

I asked for opinions on Instagram at first with regards to the gilet.  I loved the colour, a nice bold mustard yellow and the contrasting blue & white stripes inside the hood, but I wanted to make sure people thought it looked OK on!! The consensus was good though.

I love the new hat and hand warmers.  The hat is really snug and looks cute on.  Love the pompom detail as well.  The hand-warmers tie the look together.  What I really like about hand-warmers is that you can put them over other gloves for an extra layer.  I find they work really well over leather gloves because leather gloves aren't too bulky but sometimes they benefit from some extra warmth!

There are so many more items I could pick from Joules, but my budget is limited!

Are you treating yourself this winter?  What are your winter essentials?

Linking up with Rachel and Lena for the Passion for Fashion linky.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Trendy Tuesday - Children's Fashion - is it worth it?

This might seem a strange subject choice for Trendy Tuesday, a linky which, after all, focusses on children's fashion.  However, I feel it's the perfect time to write about this.

Children's fashion - is it worth it?  What do I mean?  Well... from a personal point of view, I LOVE children's fashion.  My boys are a huge part of my life.  I love clothes and fashion and rightly or wrongly, the boys are an extension of me (at their young age at least!) and as a result, I love dressing them as much as I love dressing myself.  Probably even more so.

Does it matter what our children wear?  No.  Of course it doesn't.  As long as they are appropriately dressed  for the weather in clothing that is of good quality (i.e. not falling apart!) then it doesn't.  All they need is to be warm, dry and comfortable.  They aren't born with a need to be in the latest fashions.  So.  Why does children's fashion exist?  Well, for the parents of course!  It is us who buy their clothes, and to make more sales, brands have to appeal to us.  Hence the huge variety of choice.

Panda cap - H&M
Bright as Day top - Boys and Girls
Arrow leggings - Saltcity Emporium

Fashion isn't about necessity, it's an indulgence. It's about expression, personality... even showing off.  I enjoy dressing my boys.  I enjoy having lots of clothes to put them in so that they look different from day to day.  I find exciting outfits interesting to look at.  They inspire me, clothes allow me to express myself.  I like to think that by exposing my boys to colours and patterns that they will be happy to wear whatever they like and be happy to express who they are, not who they feel they should be.

Neck warmer - Polarn O Pyret
Fleece - H&M
Jeans - Asda
Wellies - Joules

There are other benefits to buying slightly 'higher end' children's clothing, such as the use of materials which are better for the environment and kinder to the skin.  There is also the argument that better quality clothing washes better and lasts longer allowing the clothes to be worn by siblings, cousins, friends etc.  In our case, I am saving the best items for my grandchildren once the boys have grown out of them!!  If I don't have grandchildren, well, I'll pass them on to someone else!

I do buy cheaper items for my boys, I'll happily buy second or third hand, but I do love to have a lot of variety and it gives me endless pleasure dressing them in gorgeous clothes.

Leggings - Saltcity Emporium
Moccasins - Mocons by Sock-ons

What are your thoughts on children's fashion?  Do you have a huge selection of clothing for your children?

If you have a children's fashion blog post, you can link it up below!  Share the love, comment here and visit others who join in!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Stella & Dot Jewellery giveaway

Hurrah!  Little by little my followers are increasing and I'd love to thank you all by hosting a giveaway.

I've chosen three lovely items from my Stella & Dot collection so three of you will get lucky.  All you have to do is complete the Rafflecopter below - to enter you must 'like' my facebook page.  For extra chances you can follow me on Bloglovin' and follow me on twitter.  If you already do all of those things, then it's even more simple for you :-)

This is what you could be winning - remember, these are three separate prizes, three of you will be winners.

Prize one - Three lovely bangles
Prize two - A cute limited edition purse
Prize three - A limited edition blue beaded and gold chain bracelet

So, what are you waiting for?  Get entering below, and good luck!  The winners will be informed by email shortly after the giveaway ends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 15 November 2013

Yummy Yumi!

I first discovered Yumi in Bath.  I was browsing in one of the little boutique shops there away from the main shopping area (although, it's all changed now, with their recent shopping development!!) and I discovered a rather beautiful and different dress.  I tried it on, loved it and bought it.  The label read "Yumi".  I'd never heard of them before... but now, their name was etched on my brain!

Dress in action back in 2008
Next came the craze for batwing cardigans - remember that a few years back?  Probably more years back than I care to remember now.  I was on the look out for the "perfect" batwing cardi.  I was watching a program on BBC3 about disabled models, Britain's Missing Top Model.  One of the girls, Lilli, was wearing a gorgeous batwing cardi.  I thought it was fantastic.  With the help of Google, I managed to track it down. Low and behold, it was Yumi.  I hit their site and became a proud owner.  I wore that cardigan for years.  I don't own it any more, it was too big for me after I lost weight post baby, but I really was very fond of it. You can actually see Lilli wearing it in a video interview here!

Batwing cardi joins us in San Fran on honeymoon in 2008

For me, Yumi is the place I go when I want something on trend but a little bit different.  Something with a cool print, something that packs a punch, gets compliments and stands out.  Their items aren't mega cheap, but they are affordable and they have fantastic sales!!  I often frequent their online store, but if I'm at Clarks Shopping Village, I can always find a bargain in their outlet shop there.  I thought I'd share a few more recent Yumi purchases with you!


Orange rose print coat - £30 (reduced from £85)
Daisy print cardigan - £20 - bought in sale, no longer available

So, there you have it.  A love affair with Yumi, still going strong.  Do you shop with them?  If you don't, go and check them out!  There's bound to be something you'd like..

Linking up today with Rachel The Hat and her fantastic Passion For Fashion linky :-)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Shhhh... 20% off at Polarn O Pyret? #JustSaying

Got a Polarn O Pyret shop near you?  Then get down there this weekend because they have a 20% off event.  All of their Winter collection is now in stock and the 20% is off EVERYTHING in store.  They are also offering refreshments, activities for children (keep them entertained whilst you shop) and the chance to win a £100 shopping spree!

Not sure if there's a store near you?  Here's their store locator.

Just sharing some knowledge!

The Day The Crayons Quit - Book Review

Oh, we LOVE this book.  Firstly, you can tell who it's been illustrated by in all of 1 second.  The fantastic Oliver Jeffers.  Words are by Drew Daywalt who we've not heard of before, but we're happy to know him now!

The fantastic folk at Harper Collins sent us a copy and we've been enjoying it ever since.  It's quite a long wordy book so it's brilliant for Ethan's bedtime.  He really enjoys more in-depth stories these days but still loves a good amount of illustrations.

If the title hasn't already given you a clue, this book is all about a pack of crayons who have had enough. A boy called Duncan opens his box of crayons one day, eager to start drawing only to find that each crayon has written a letter.  Most are letters of complaint.  Each crayon has issues and they all want to be heard.  Perhaps they've been used too much, or too little.  It's an amusing book with beautiful illustrations.

You can tell the author is American, some of the words used are quite "American" but not so much that it's an issue.  Oliver Jeffers does a fantastic job with the illustrations helping give each crayon a personality.

I found this an enjoyable book to read.  It's interesting from a parent's perspective as well as a child's and Ethan often asks for it so I know he enjoys it!

Definitely one we'd recommend!  Published by Harper Collins with a RRP of £12.99 for the hardback.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Trendy Tuesday - stripes and unisex fashion

Stripes.  I love them.  They are classic, always in style, they look fantastic on pretty much everyone (as long as you wear the right type).  I love to wear them myself, hubby loves them too and we both love them on the boys!

Somehow, until recently, I'd never heard of the Little Bird range by Jools Oliver at Mothercare.  Once I discovered it though, I had to make a few purchases.  It seems Jools shares my love of stripes and retro style.

Another brand big on stripes are Polarn O Pyret.  Their classic range is all stripes and they also have range called the "circus collection" which features their classic stripe in some beautiful bold colours.  I purchased a pair of tights for Felix from them, and a top for him to grow into.

Green & yellow sleepsuit - Rainbow Kids
Bodywarmer & wellies - Little Bird by Jools at Mothercare
Stripy top & tights - Circus Range from Polarn O Pyret

I think what I love most about these ranges and about stripes in particular is how unisex they are.  Lots of items from PO.P and Little Bird could be worn by a girl or a boy so it makes them really easy to pass on to subsequent children.  Love it!

Are you a stripe lover?  Link up any of your children's fashion posts below and please tweet me your link and visit others who join in - don't forget to comment here and on the other posts you read!  Thank you :-)

Monday, 11 November 2013

Can you Dance to the Boogaloo? - Book Review

Something I love about having a blog is being asked to review children's books.  We adore books in our house, reading during the day and before bed!

Recently we were sent a copy of Can You Dance The Boogaloo? by Alice V Lickens.  

The first thing I noticed about this book are the bright funky illustrations.  They pop off the page and grab your attention.

This is a lovely book.  Not very wordy, so perhaps for younger children and toddlers but there is something for everyone.  The purpose is to inspire you and your children to get up, make music and dance around, so it's not something I'd suggest before bedtime.  It's better suited to the day time, followed by a good jive around your living room!!

Ethan, who is 4, enjoyed the book though he does prefer stories and longer books these days.  He enjoyed pointing out and naming instruments though.  

Felix, 5 months, was really engaged.  He didn't even attempt to eat the book until I'd finished reading!  I think the illustrations really grabbed his attention and he really enjoyed the funny noises I was making when imitating instruments.

All in all, a sweet book.  Published by Pavilion and Anova Books.  RRP is £5.99.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Exclusive - New Children's Nightwear from What Mother Made

You might remember recently I reviewed a lovely website, Loubilou, and a beautiful item of children's clothing I bought via them from London based children's wear label What Mother Made.  Well, I received an exclusive from Charlotte from What Mother Made this evening and I thought I would share it with you!

What Mother Made specialise in vintage style children's clothing with funky prints.  Items are handmade.  I can vouch for the quality as well!  They are about to release a new range of nightwear next week and I can give you a sneak peak of a couple of the designs!

Image source: What Mother Made
For the girls, the range includes two beautiful heritage floral fabrics; English rose/sky blue and subtle purple violas. Soft detailing around the pockets and sleeves on the four buttoned nightshirt.

For boys, buttoned downed Peter Pan collars, long sleeve nightshirts and contrast pocket adds a modern twist to classic nightwear design. Twinned with either thin classic red pin-stripe or blue and white ethnic
diamond dot fabrics.

Both ranges feature an elasticated waist and will be launched on the 11th of November priced at £34.00 exclusively from What Mother Made.

Traditional, yet cute!

I know a lot of people like to buy "Christmas" pyjamas for their children to wear on Christmas Eve - these might be just the ones for you!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Trendy Tuesday - Daisychain Baby

I'm sorry the blog has been so quiet.  We've all been ill, one virus/cold after another (we're still ill now!).  We had half term last week and we were ill all the way through that! Anyway, I'm trying to get back on track.

It's Tuesday today so of course that means some children's fashion.  I was contacted recently by a very lovely lady, Lins, who runs an online children's clothing store, DaisychainBaby, with a focus on organic and eco friendly materials.  She stocks some of my favourite brands such as Little Green Radicals and Slugs & Snails  so when Lins asked me if I'd like to review her site and some clothing, I jumped at the chance!

I chose one item for each of my boys - lucky things!!  It was really REALLY tough making a decision.  I fell in love with these fabulous shoes made by Poco Nido:

Image source: DaisychainBaby

In the end though, I decided to go for a beautiful funky playsuit by Little Green Radicals.  The print just got to me, I NEEDED it in our lives.

Image source: DaisychainBaby
For Ethan, I plumped for something a bit different.  He has heaps of jeans/leggings/trousers/t shirts/tops in his wardrobe, but he hasn't had any dungaree/jumpsuit type pieces.  I love a retro look and I adore mustard.  This gorgeous number has it all going on!! A beautiful retro inspired velour jumpsuit from Nosh Organics.

Image source: DaisychainBaby
I found the Daisychain Baby site really easy to use.  I'm not just saying that because I feel I have to.  I do A LOT of online shopping, especially for children's clothing, and some of the sites I use, I do because they have great prices and brands, however, it's a slog using them.  This site not only has competitive prices but it really is easy to use.  You can shop by brand, but also by age which I thought was very handy.  After all, there's nothing worse than finding out the top you've just fallen in love with isn't available in the size you need.  Filter and shop by age first and then you know straight away what's available!

Lins is really easy to contact and she asked several times that if I needed help with measurements etc just to let her know.  Very useful!

Our items arrived beautifully packaged and with a hand written thank you card.  Such a beautiful touch - it really felt like a personal service!

Unfortunately, Ethan isn't quite tall enough for his jumpsuit yet, so I can't show you a picture of him wearing it, but I can say that it is fantastic quality and I know he is going to love it.  So soft and easy to wear.  I have every confidence it will last and wash well so that Felix will also enjoy it one day.

The Cats & Dogs print playsuit is brilliant.  Felix has worn it loads and every time he does people comment on it.  The print is bold, I adore it.  I got 6-9 months because I use reusable nappies on Felix so it's an advantage to have a bit of extra space in clothes.  The fit is great and it should last him a while.  I've washed it three times so far and it still looks as good as new.  It's one of my favourite items to put Felix in.

A #FlatFelix wearing the playsuit - for some reason I don't have a pic of him wearing it!!!

Would I recommend DaisychainBaby to friends and readers?  Yes, hands down.  Great service & prices, easy to use, not overwhelming, quick postage, packages beautifully carefully packaged.

If you would like to get 20% off an order of anything apart from tights at Daisychain, simply use the code REVIEW at checkout!

***A few facts about DaisychainBaby***

Products are all organic or ethically produced or made in the UK. We stock from 0-5 (only Nosh Organics is 5-6 because of how they size their collections).

Postage and packaging is free to the UK. Giftwrap is included in this (in the same way your package is wrapped, and we like to include a little hand-written thank you card too!)

We ship internationally

Packaging is either recycled or can be recycled

Now, that's what we've been rocking - what about your children?  Link up below - don't forget to comment here and visit others who join in!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Doc love & rose print dresses.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the '90s I had a pair of docs.  A beautiful, lovely, comfy pair of docs.  They were everything from my school shoes to the shoes I'd wear to the school disco.  I LOVED them.  My friends all had pairs and we all customised our boots with beads on the laces, painting and drawing pictures on them.  Even after I stopped wearing them I kept them.  Couldn't bear to part with them!! Even now, I think they are somewhere in a box at my parents house.. don't think they'd fit any more though!!

For years now, I've fancied getting myself another pair.  They've become a bit more popular again lately, and although that doesn't make me want them any more (I'd want them anyway!) it has pushed the desire to the front of my mind.  The trouble is, docs aren't cheap.. I tried bidding on a few second hand pairs on ebay but they were still going for £45+ and in the end, I decided it'd be nice just to have a brand new pair.  I found a style I loved the look of, sold some things on ebay and then last week, treated myself!!  I've not worn them out yet, I need to wear them in a bit yet before I step out on the school run or on a walk into town (need to make sure I'm comfy!!) but I'm excitedly planning outfits around them!!  Do you have any docs?  Love or loath them?

I do a lot of my clothes shopping in Asda at the moment when I pop in to buy food - I picked up this cute dress there this week for £6.  Can't resist a bargain!! Apologies for the quality of the photos but I have to operate as a stealth blogger these days, when the baby is napping, and I had to take the photos in semi darkness without the flash on!!!  Hopefully you get the idea though!

It's a nice dress, comfy and bright.  I need to tone up after having Felix though and at the moment it shows too many lumps and bumps for me to wear it without a cardi.  I'm planning to do the 30 Day Shred again once I've shifted this cold!

Linking up with all the cool fashion bloggers, Transatlantic Blonde, Rachel The Hat, The Pleated Poppy, Kiwi Women's Style & Not Dead Yet Style.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Trendy Tuesday - The New Maxomora A/W collection from KyNa

I love Maxomorra and I love KyNa!  Jenny always stocks items I love, I've said it before, and I'll keep on saying it because it's true.  That lady has taste!!

As you will (probably) know, we were away at Centerparcs last week, but one evening, whilst chilling out, I checked in on Twitter (it's hard to stay away when you have a smart phone and free WiFi!) and I noticed Jenny tweeting the arrival of the A/W13 Maxomorra stock... owls and tree prints!! Some of my favourites.  She said that they'd be live on the KyNa site from 9pm, so I set an alarm (yes, on holiday!! - that's how sad I am!) and then allowed myself two new items for Felix.  Something to wear now and something to wear in a few months.

We arrived back from our holiday on Friday evening and my package from KyNa was waiting on the doormat.  Such a lovely welcome home!  Felix then spent the weekend rocking his owl vest.

Ethan also wore a bit of Maxomorra this weekend, his pink jeans.  I bought them from a while ago.

Ethan wears:

Green jacket - H&M
Red jeans - H&M
Purple Cardigan - TK Maxx
Pink jeans - Maxomorra via bebaboo

Felix wears:

Knitted cardigan - Charity shop
Owl vest - Maxomorra via KyNa

I do love how unisex Maxomora items are.  Honestly, I like to dress my boys in an interesting and funky fashion, I don't like to stick with blue, green, red and tractor/car/boat prints.  Though ironically, blue & green are pretty much my favourite colours, at least for me!!

I also wanted to show off Ethan's warm fleecy jacket from H&M.  It's so furry, bright and cosy and he always gets comments when he wears it (at Centerparcs I heard "Doesn't that green look fantastic on that little boy!").  I want one of my own... it's like wearing a teddy bear!

Have you had some funky outfits on your children recently?  Link up below!  Don't forget to check out others who join in and comment here!  If you know any other bloggers who might like the linky, let them know!