Tuesday 30 September 2014

Never good enough? What it's like to be a worrier and tips for coping:

I never feel good enough. I know I'm not the only one. Why? Why is it we feel like this? Does anyone know the answer? Is there anyone out there who is truly happy with themselves and what they achieve? Is this a state only reached after years of counseling?

I know that a certain amount of not being satisfied is good. After all, without that we'd never strive to improve and achieve. 

I seem to live in a permanent state of never feeling good enough.  I go from one worry to the next, always giving myself something new to fret over, always giving myself doubts in my ability. Sometimes I just want to bash my head in. From the moment I wake in the morning to the moment I fall asleep (and in between due to the tag team interruptions from the boys in the night) it's nagging at me:

"What are you going to feed the boys today? Is it healthy? You're planning beans on toast for tea?! My God you're a shit Mum! You should have fitted in time to make a homemade casserole!"

"Is Ethan too short?"

"How will Ethan cope with his school dinner?"

"How are you going to fit Felix's nap in today?"

There really seems to be no limit to my worry.  I've erred on the anxious my whole life.  Even as a child I remember worrying, about school work, about friends, about the safety of myself and my family.  I remember age six sleeping with a packed suitcase under my bed each night which included spare clothes, favorite toys and some books.  I kept it there in case there was a fire; I would be able to grab it before getting out.  I had also planned the safest escape route for the entire family.  For some reason I felt that it was my responsibility to get everyone out!  Fast forward to shortly after Ethan's birth over 5 years ago, one of the stupid worries I had running around my head was how on earth I would deal with packed lunches for him at school.. when I had a newborn to look after, this was just one of the extra silly things I gave myself to worry about on top of everything else!

Becoming a parent does mean extra worry.  Being a stay at home parent, even more so, I suspect.  Without a work place in which you become someone other than Mum or Dad for a few hours, your whole life revolves around your child/ren and house.  Your house almost feels like your office.  After all, it's your base.  It can be very very hard to gain perspective.

I've spoken to a lot of my stay at home Mum friends and I know many of them feel the same.  Though I feel we all worry to different degrees.

It's all going to be ok! Coping with worry.

How can we cope with all of this?  Well, for me, it's a case of constant evaluation.  Because I've suffered with anxiety for most of my life, I have to look out for signs that it's going beyond normal and more into the realm of requiring medication.  However, there are some things that I do to help myself to hopefully avoid this and these are things that help all of us in these situations:

1) See friends and talk:

I really think this is just about the most important step you can take to help yourself step off the worry train.  Just a few minutes (preferably longer if children will allow!) talking with other parents will ease your burden.  Soon you will realize that they too are worrying about just how much their child has eaten.  They will confide in you that no, Jack doesn't actually sleep through the night, he climbs into their bed. You can trade horror stories, worries, concerns. It's corny, but it's true, a problem shared is a problem halved.  Just by vocalising your worries it takes some of power away from them.

2) Exercise:

Walk.  Push the pram.  Put your child in a creche if you can and do a class.  You don't need me to tell you that exercise is good for you.  It releases those lovely endorfins we all benefit from.  I can tell you first hand this works.  I start Monday morning stressed to the hilt.  The whole week is ahead, I'm missing the weekend, missing having my husband with me, worrying about how I'm going to fit everything in.  At 9:30 am I put Felix in the creche at my local leisure centre and I do a class.  Whilst I'm in that class I physically cannot worry about anything.  I'm too busy sweating and trying to keep up.  After the class I find half of the things I've been worrying about have left my head, or their significance is greatly reduced.  Plus, I feel good about myself.  I feel fit and healthy.   I also feel good because Felix has had some time playing and socialising with other children, something I feel benefits him.

3) Set aside some "me" time:

I know.. I know. You feel you haven't got time.  If you can though, even just two hours a week, just setting aside a slot in your week where you do something for you can made heaps of difference.  This could be the exercise class! Hell, kill two bird with one stone why not,  you multitasking mutha!  Perhaps you've always wanted to learn to knit?  Find a local class.  Sign up.  Go out for a drink with a friend.

Coffee & cake therapy
Take a break!

4) Set aside "time off":

This is something I am learning to do.  I'm someone who's guilty of always trying to do too much (see the above about never feeling good enough!).  If we give ourselves too much to do, the chances are we end up doing most things badly, or at least, not to our standards.  It is SO important to switch off, do do NOTHING.  Sit in a chair in the dark.  Listen to the radio.  Sit in the garden and listen to the birds.  Put the phone and laptop away.  This leads me on to no 5:

5) Make a schedule:

This is something for the list makers out there.  Chances are, if you're a worrier, you probably also enjoy a good list!  To help myself focus on what needs to be done during the week, to fit in my exercise, blogging time and "doing nothing" time I made a schedule.  I was suffering with the feeling that I ought to be blogging/emailing/sorting things out any time I had a second where I wasn't with a child.  It was starting to make me feel very stressed and, to be honest, quite unhinged.  I decided to schedule my week, even though I was skeptical, and it's worked!  I now know which evenings I'm going to blog.  I have my exercise classes planned in.  I've organised a monthly meet up with friends so I have something to look forward to and guaranteed time to talk.  I also have very important evenings where there is nothing booked in.  All I do on those evenings now is take it easy.  I chat with the husband.  I watch TV.  I read my book.  I don't get my laptop out.  It's hard, but it's worth it.

Those are my top 5 tips for feeling better about yourself and reducing the worry in your life.  My worried never completely go away, as does my anxiety.  But I know that doing all of the above, I feel better.  Not all of the time, but some of the time.  And that is better!

Saturday 27 September 2014

Clevedon Tides Marlens Festival

Living in Clevedon is good.  It's a lovely town.  Yes, it's not the most exciting place in the world, but it's on the coast, it's close to Bristol and it has wonderful community spirit.

This weekend just gone Clevedon held it's annual Marlens (Marine Lake Enthusiasts) Tides Festival.  We've made a point of attending the festival on previous years.  It's lovely to see the town come together and it's such a family friendly event.  The main part of the festival is held at the seafront on the Salthouse Fields and at the Marine Lake.  There are stalls, a stage with live music, bouncy castles, children's activities.  The festival lasts for the whole weekend and on the Saturday night there is always a large firework display.

Our favorite activities are held at the Marine lake.  Last year Ethan went in a huge zorb ball and floated around on the water.   This year he wanted to have a go on a kayak.  At first, I wasn't sure.  Ethan is a little small for his age and though the water in the lake isn't deep, I didn't want him falling in and giving himself a fright.  I told myself that he'd be fine though and thought that really, it was too good an opportunity to pass by.  Doing something like this would actually be confidence boosting for both of us I decided!

Ethan was super excited getting kitted out to go on the water, helmet and life vest on!  At first one of the members of the Sailing Club took pulled him along with a rope but he was soon trying to figure out using the paddles.  One of the Sailing Club members had told me he'd be too small to be able to use them effectively but he proved them wrong!  Ethan impressed everybody!

Clevedon Marlens Festival - The Sailing Club - Kayak

Felix wanted to get in on the action as well.  At 16 months he was certainly too small to paddle and not to jump in the water but on seeing how desperate he was to have a go, one of the helpers offered to take him out and pull him around for a while!

He adored it.  Ethan too, they were both buzzing for the rest of the afternoon!

After enjoying the festival we popped into the playground for a little while where the boys let off a little more steam.

Clevedon Marlens Festival - The Salthouse Fields

It was a lovely afternoon, so nice to feel part of a community!

Friday 26 September 2014

The Sticker Club - A weekly kids sticker club!

A short while ago an exciting email landed in my inbox asking if Ethan would like to have stickers sent to him for him to do with whatever he wants.  I didn't even need to run the question by Ethan, I knew he'd love the chance!

Are there any children that don't like stickers?  I don't think so!  The idea behind The Sticker Club is simple.  You sign up online and your child receives a hand folded packet of stickers once a week.  The cost is £1.99 per week.  Subscriptions are auto-renewing but can be cancelled at any time.  The stickers themselves are designed by up and coming designers so are guaranteed to be of great quality, modern and attractive.

The Sticker Club Designers
Image Source - The Sticker Club
Ethan received his first pack towards the end of August and since then has continued to receive a pack each week.  There are so many things you can do with them.  Keeping it simple, Ethan likes to stick them on paper and incorporate them in his drawings.   However, we have also decorated around the house.  There was one little set that reminded Ethan of Minecraft so he wanted to keep those ones in his bedroom - we stuck them on his shelf!

The Sticker Club

We decorated the back of our ipad, our phones, the fridge, even Ethan's lunch box.  We've used them in Thank You cards.  They are so cool that adults like them too!

The Sticker Club

I'm actually holding some sets back now because I think they will also make lovely stocking fillers and gifts for other children.

Overall, I think it's a great idea.  Anything that encourages craft and creativity is good in my book.  One suggestion I would offer would be choosing different options when it comes to frequency.  I think for us, one pack a week is a little too much.  We'd probably get on better with 1-2 packs per month.  Obviously you can cancel and restart membership whenever you like but it'd be nice to have different frequencies to choose from.  The club only launched on the 1st of September though, so this may well be something they are planning for the future!

Go check them out!

Thursday 25 September 2014

Trendy Thursday - Wearing the new season garb

Do you remember I showed my picks from some of the A/W collections recently?  Well, both boys were rocking some a couple of weeks ago when we visited Bristol Zoo and I think they looked pretty darn amazing!

Beau Loves, The Mini Classy, Scout and Co Kids

Bow & arrow top - Beau Loves via Scout & Co
Harem pants - The Mini Classy
Shoes - Clarks

Mini Rodini, Marmalade Sky Baby, H&M, Whistle and Flute
Kawaii cloud shirt - Whistle & Flute
Tiger infinity scarf - Marmalade Sky Baby
Green Fleece - H&M
Pug Leggings - Mini Rodini via Scout & Co
Hi-tops - H&M

I think the Beau Loves bow & arrow print top is so cute.  The fabric is soft, it feels lovely against the skin.  The colour is very practical as well, especially with my muck attractor Felix! I like how it goes lower at the back, makes it stand out as something a bit different.  I think he'll be wearing it for a long while as well.  I bought it in age two so he can wear it baggy for a while!  It goes really well with the Mini Classy trousers, looks very cool!

Ethan is mad about his pug leggings.  The look amazing.  They are a great colour for trousers - very practical with a boy running about getting muddy!  Ethan wanted to team them with his favorite tee, his cloud print tee from Whistle & Flute.  He adores this top so much that he actually gets it out of his wardrobe to hug it.  I kid not.  The Marmalade Sky scarf gave a pop of colour and he enjoyed finishing his outfit with his "disco boots".

If you've got a cool kid to show off, some funky new threads, some old ones being given a new lease of life, whatever it may be, as long as it's kids fashion, feel free to link up below!  Please don't forget to comment here and on other posts linked up and please PLEASE link back to me in your post and/or display my badge.

Saturday 20 September 2014

Water play

What is it with children and water?  Both of mine love it whether it's hot or cold.  They are both a bit funny about it, both Ethan and Felix love to fill a paddling pool but neither of them are really interested in paddling in it.  Ethan loves a bath but doesn't like to have Felix in with him because he gets splashed.  Felix loves spray a hosepipe but hates it if it gets turned on him...

They are both happiest when they get to take turns "watering" the garden.  It's just as well we've not had a hosepipe ban round our way in a while!

I could choose to get hung up on the fact that neither of them want to get in the paddling pools that I've bought for them, but I've decided just to go with it, if they are happiest playing with the hosepipe for a bit, so be it!

Do your children love a paddling pool or are they like mine, do they prefer to brandish a hosepipe or run through the sprinklers?

Linking up with Coombe Mill for Country Kids.

Friday 19 September 2014

Existing, not living..

Some periods in life are a struggle.  For the last five or six weeks we've had a tricky time.  We are so SO lucky in so many ways and I know that.  Our boys are healthy happy lads, we don't suffer from any serious illnesses or disabilities, our families are close by, we have friends.  However, there are times when none of that seems to lift your spirits.. and the last few weeks have been one of those times.

Illness.  Our family seems to have been ill almost constantly this year, especially Felix.  I can promise you that I am not exaggerating when I say we have mere days between illnesses.  If Felix isn't ill, he's teething.  He's cut nearly 18 teeth now, that's more than one tooth for every month he been alive!

Mental health.  Mine has been struggling of late.  I can't imagine that you don't know, but the reason this blog is called "Medicated" Follower of Fashion is because when I started this blog I was recovering from PND and was taking citalopram.  Over the last 5 years I have come on and off medication.  I most recently came off medication in May this year and since then I have been constantly evaluating how I'm feeling.  This in itself isn't helpful to mental health.  To be constantly analysing myself, constantly wondering if what I'm feeling is "normal" or abnormal.  Wondering if coming off the medication was the right choice.

With the last few weeks being so hard, it's especially trying on my mind and spirit.  I've got to point where I have to take each day hour by hour.  Sometimes I think I'm going to have to get myself straight to the doctor.  Some days are better.  I've been receiving great support from my local Health Visitor team which I'm hugely grateful for.  I am an anxious person and constant illness and loss of sleep has a huge effect on me.  I've been suffering from low moods, doubting negative thoughts, huge self doubt.  For now I've decided to stay off the meds, but as I say, I'm taking things hour by hour and if I feel that changes, I know just what to do.

All in all, I feel that at the moment I am existing.  Surviving.  I don't truly feel I am living.  I don't always feel very present in the moment, often I'm caught up in an anxious cycle, trying to figure out exactly how my day will pan out, planning and planning and feeling panicked until I know exactly what I'll be doing.

I don't like feeling like this... but I suspect that whilst Felix is still so young and so susceptible to illness, this may well just be how it's going to be for a while.  It seems awful but I tend to focus on a year from now.  This time next year I'll have a toddler who well on his way to being two and a half.  Two years from now he'll be in preschool.  Three years from now he'll be at school.  Time will fly by.  I don't want to wish it past, I want to be in the moment, enjoy him, hold him, know it won't last forever, but at the same time I need to focus on the future.

My blog is suffering a little at the moment I feel.  I love my blog and I'm so proud of it but I'm having to hold back a bit.   I just don't have the energy to work on it until 1 am several nights a week like I was a few months ago.   The summer holidays and a string of illnesses have sapped some of the joy for me.

If my posts are a little sporadic, if I don't reply to comments quickly, if I'm not tweeting much, this is why.  I don't know how some parent bloggers manage to write as much as they do and take part in so much social media, but I just know I can't compete on that level.  Not unless I want a breakdown.

Tell me I'm not the only one who feels like this sometimes?

Thursday 18 September 2014

Trendy Thursday - Donna Wilson for John Lewis

This time of year is EXPENSIVE. All the new AW collections coming out... it's a drain on my budget man!

It's so hard to resist though.. and everyone is getting in on the game!  Take Donna Wilson for example.  I've loved her knitted whimsy's for yonks.  When I came into a little bit of spare cash a few years ago, something I treated myself to were a few Donna Wilson cushions and other bits and bobs.  To this day I still adore them.

Last year Ms Wilson collaborated with Mamas and Papas.  She designed a gorgeous buggy for them and some accessories.  I had recently become the owner of a fantastic Cosatto number, so there was no way I could treat us to a Donna Wilson buggy, but I did buy the fab fox blanket and toy fox she had designed.  Regret those purchases I do not...

Leap forward to now and what do I discover?  Donna Wilson has collaborated with John Lewis and has a GORGEOUS collection of clothing for children.  And I do mean gorgeous.

It's hard not to buy everything.  Honestly, the colours, the prints, the contrasts.  She's covered all bases, monochrome, pattern, tribal, animals.  It's all there.  I bet you want to know what I've gone for?  Here you go:

Donna Wilson for John  Lewis

Donna Wilson for John  Lewis

Donna Wilson for John  Lewis

Aren't they amazing?  I bought the Blah Blah leggings to fit Felix - he's always jabbering away!  The stem print leggings will be for Ethan.  They will look awesome with his Whistle and Flute tees.

The forest print top is for Felix.  I've ordered it in age two so hopefully he can wear it baggy and keep wearing it until it's tight.   I think it's going to look fantastic with the monochrome leggings and trousers Felix has from Shop Haute and H&M.

The leggings both retail at £10 and the top is £15.

So, are any of you planning on a purchase from the Donna Wilson collection?  Are there any other new collections you're loving?  Link up your kids fashion posts below.  Please don't forget to link back to my blog in your post and preferably, display my badge (see right).  Please also pop back to the linky and visit others who've joined in!

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Lustings.. Pray for Trax Necklace

Being a huge Instagram fan, I'm always finding something new to lust over.. something I'm currently really keen to get my hands on is one of these gorgeous necklaces made by Mrs Paulie.  The neclaces were created by the lovely lady and her son and the idea behind them is to raise funds for Trax, a young boy with Cystic Fibrosis.

Pray For Trax Necklace
Image Source: The Little Vikings

What do I love about these necklaces?  Well, first and foremost they are for a good cause.  Buying one raises money to help a child.  That's a good thing.  On top of that, they look cool.  They are unique.  They are appealing to adults and children.  They are also suitable for children to wear due to their magnetic lock.  What's not to like?

Image source: The Little Vikings

The problem I have is that these necklaces are hard to come by.  Mrs Paulie is based in Australia.  The necklaces are socked via her website and a small group of stockists.  The necklaces are in such demand they often sell out within hours.  As we're in a different time zone in the UK, I keep missing out!

I'm hoping, really hoping, that one day soon I'll be able to buy one or two of these necklaces.  Perhaps one for me and one for Ethan.  That would be lovely!

Saturday 13 September 2014

Swing time! Having fun close to home.

Some weekends you just want to take it easy.  Of course, there's a limit to how "easy" your weekend can be with young children in tow.  Gone are long lazy lie-ins, drunken nights out, hangover Sundays, or, in our case, 48 hour The Sims marathons (yes, for real. Shush now).

Quite often we go out for the day.  We visit a National Trust property, go for walks, a picnic.  Those sorts of things.. but sometimes we just want to hang out at home and then pop out to a park for a bit.  That's exactly what we did last Saturday.

We took ourselves for a coffee and after that took a small drive to a playground near my parents house (where we were going to stay that night) and spent 45 minutes mucking around on climbing frames and having a long swing-a-thon.

Despite the fact it might seem a bit boring and run of the mill, we actually had a really enjoyable tome and managed to take a fun family photo of all of us on the swings - no mean feat with just the camera on my Nexus and no one to take the photo.  I had to get the boys swinging then run around in front to position the phone, start the timer and jump on a swing myself.  It came out well though!

Do you just keep it simple sometimes?  Linking up with Coombe Mill for #CountryKids.

Friday 12 September 2014

Esska Shoes Review

I love to discover new brands, especially clothing and footwear brands.  One such brand is Esska Shoes.

I was contacted by Esska a little while ago and asked if I would like to try a pair of shoes from their Autumn Winter collection.  It would have been madness for me to say no.  The trouble was, I then had to peruse their AW collection to choose a pair.  And believe me, it was NOT easy.  AT ALL.  In the end I plumped for a beautiful bronze pair of ankle boots in their Hoola style.

I had to wait a few weeks for the AW collection to arrive in the Esska office before my pair would be sent out and it felt like a long wait.  Every now and then I'd remember they would be on their way to me and I'd get a fizzle of excitement in my belly!!

Well, last week they arrived and boy, they did not disappoint!  Beautifully packaged and including a lovely canvas tote bag, they were desperate to hop onto my feet (they were, I asked them!!).

My worry was that they wouldn't be comfy.  I'm not really a heels person.  I'd love to be, but I always end up back in flats.  These boots have a heel on them.  Not too high, but a heel non the less.  I was very happy to find that they are comfy.  I wore them for an entire day and didn't feel the need to take them off - that's running around after two boys as well!

Esska Shoes Bronze Hoola

Esska describe their shoes as:

- Comfortable
- Practical
- Stylish & femminine
- Take you from day to night

Key features are:

- A double padded in-sock
- A rubber anti-slip sole
- Leather upper & lining
- A fun cotton bag

I have to agree with all points.  They are comfy.  They work for day and night I'm sure.  I've only worn them during the day so far but the next time I have an evening off I am building my outfit with them in mind!

Hoola Bronze Boots Esska
Bronze Hoola Boots

These beautiful boots retail at £140 and can be bought via Esska themselves all from one of their stockists around the country (details here).

Linking up with Mummy's Got Style for Fashion Friday.

Thursday 11 September 2014

Trendy Thursday - Socks, socks, glorious socks!

I do like a nice pair of feature socks.  Is that a thing?  You know, like a feature wall.  Check out my feature socks!

What am I on about you're wondering.. Well, right now I'm really loving socks worn pulled up (you know, geek stylee, the opposite to how you would have worn them at school in the '90s) and preferably with a cute design on them.

I'm really in love with Bebedepino socks, they are total awesomeness.  The best place to buy them is via Gnome and Post, they stock quite a few of the designs available (and watch your credit card, they stock loads of other cool brands!).

Bebedepino socks, Marmalade Sky Baby

Another place I discovered is The Bamboo Design.  They stock a few pairs of adorable socks.  Ethan has a pair with snow clouds and lightening on.  Felix has "little drummer boy" socks.  I particularly like the drummer boy pair.  The biggest problem I have is taking a photo of him wearing them!!

The Bamboo Company

The Bamboo Company

The Bamboo Company

He's always on the move.  Not very helpful for someone who blogs about kids fashion!   Anyway, despite the photos not being the best, hopefully you can see just how cute these socks are!

Is it just me pulling my boys' socks up?  Have you got any especially cute pairs you like to put your children in?  Why not share your kids fashion posts below.  Just don't forget to comment here and on a few others who join in and to link to my blog (or display my badge). Thank you!

Monday 8 September 2014

My Wall Stickers Review

We're big fans of wall stickers in our house.  I first became aware of wall stickers, or decals about 8 or so years ago.  My husband and I like Threadless tshirts and they were working with another company producing what they call decals (wall stickers) that were inspired by some of their t shirt designs.  I bought some for hubby as a present and it all spiraled from there!

Pretty much every room in our house has a wall sticker.  We have robots in the bathroom, a tree with owls and squirrels on the landing. Ethan's room has Space Invaders, Soot Sprites and geometric shapes. Felix's room has Soot Sprites, raindrops, clouds and a Totoro.  Our bedroom has an owl on a branch.  We really go for wall decoration in a big way!

My Wall Stickers recently offered us the chance to review on of their extensive collection of wall stickers so you can imagine that appealed to us!  It was very hard to choose a sticker, the choice is quite substantial.  I have to admit that a deciding factor for us was the lack of wall space remaining in our house!  I wanted to choose something different to the wall stickers we have already.  My Wall Stickers stock a range of chalkboard stickers that struck me as different so decided to plump for an A3 Chalk Sheet.  I liked the idea of something a little interactive.  Not just another cute design stuck on our wall, something I could plan blogging projects on or Ethan could draw on.

Our chalkboard sticker arrived quickly and was well packaged to prevent creases and damage.  On opening I found detailed step by step instructions for application and a very handy tool for smoothing out the sticker when applying it to a wall.  A little extra was a free packet of chalks - My Wall Stickers send a free pack of chalks with every chalkboard sticker.

My Wall Stickers

It took me a little while to decide where to place the sticker.  After all, as I mentioned before, most of our rooms have wall decorations.  I decided to go with the living room.  That way, all of us can have access to the "chalkboard"!

Placing it on the wall was straightforward enough.  I found the instructions helpful, though I must admit that being a bit of a wall sticker aficionado also helped!  Basically you position your sticker on your wall and once you are happy with the placement you secure it with some masking tape, usually across the middle of the design.  Once you have done this you remove half of the backing from the sticker and then begin smoothing it out with the tool over the top.  Once the top half is stuck down you can remove the masking tap and the other half of the baking paper and once again, smooth down over the top.  Once this is done you can remove the protective covering and there you go, your wall sticker should be happily attached to your wall!

My Wall Stickers chalkboard A3 Sheet

I think our new chalkboard looks great.  I'm especially pleased to find out that you are able to use chalk pens as well as traditional chalk.

My Wall Stickers chalkboard A3 Sheet

I'm going to have some fun writing lists now!

Our chalkboard sticker retails at £13.99.  I was sent the sticker for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

Linked with Family Fever for Tried & Tested Tuesdays.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Trendy Thursday - My picks from the A/W collections

Instagram has been abuzz with A/W14 collections over the last few weeks.  Beau Loves, Mini Rodini, Bobo Choses, they've all been at it.  Every time I pop on there for a quick nose around more and more folks are sharing what their shops will be stocking or what they've ordered or bought.

I'm really loving the Beau Loves and Mini Rodini collections for this season.  Beau Loves are sticking with their cool mask motif but also adding in statement crosses and arrows.  Very unisex, very cool.  Mini Rodini have some awesome animals and a bit of a circus theme going on.

I've found it very hard to pick just a small few items.  If only I had thousands to throw around!  After great deliberation I went for a strong man print top, some pug print leggings and a bear cap from the Mini Rodini Collection and a bow and arrow print top from Beau Loves.  It really wasn't easy!

Mini Rodini Beau Loves AW14

Strong Man top - Mini Rodini via Scandinavian Minimal
Pug leggings - Mini Rodini via Scout & Co Kids
Bear Cap - Mini Rodini via Scout & Co Kids
Bow and arrow top - Beau Loves via Scout & Co Kids

The strong man top arrived on Saturday and Ethan wanted to put it on straight away.  In fact, he spent most of the weekend wearing it!  He had it on when we visited MShed in Bristol to look around the Wallace & Gromit exhibition (it was well worth a visit!) and it looked pretty darn cute!

Mini Rodini Strong Man AW14

Mini Rodini Strong Man AW14

The cap, arrow top & pug leggings have yet to arrive but watch out on Instagram because when they do, you'll know about it!

Have you bought your kids anything from the A/W collections this year?

If you've written about your kids fashion and style why not link up below?  It's easy to get involved, at your link below, link back to me in your post (and/or display my badge) and don't forget to comment here and read the posts others link up.  Nice and easy!

Happy Thursday folks - it's nearly the weekend!