Friday 19 December 2014

Funky Kid Friday - Festive Knitwear with Mamas and Papas

I'm a sucker for a festive knit and I have to tell you that Mamas and Papas have some corkers this year!  I don't always think of shopping in Mamas and Papas because there isn't a store all that close to me but that's all changed now!

I discovered recently that they have some lovely festive clothing and in particular, some beautiful winter/Christmas knitwear.

Felix was sent this gorgeous vibrant hooded cardigan and he's hardly taken it off since.  It's very snug so we've been using it like a coat.  Obviously it's very seasonal but the lovely bright red has really cheered me up on the school run.  I'm not the only one it's worked it's magic on either as many people, especially parents in the playground, have come over and said how lovely he looks in it!

I've been particularly impressed with the quality.  It's beautifully soft and very cosy.  It's currently in their sale and costs £15.40 which I think is very reasonable for something that doubles as a coat!

I'd recommend having a look online but also in store, if you have one near you.  There are quite a few lovely knits to choose from!

Do you like a festive knit?

If you have any kids fashion related posts, why not link up below for #FunkyKidFriday!  This is the last Funky Kid for this year, I'll be taking a break from blogging over Christmas and the New Year because I just know I'm going to be busy with the boys and I want to enjoy the time with them.  I'm wishing you all a very VERY Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Thank you to everyone who's linked up this year, I love seeing what you're kids are wearing and I love it when people join in.  Thank you :-)

Mutiny Kids - an online kids style magazine

Have you heard about Mutiny Kids?  My lovely friend Sooby, of #standingbythewall fame and her friend Lili have created an amazing online magazine focusing on kids fashion, style and interiors.  It's a must read for those of you who love anything a bit funky and different.  If you ever need any inspiration it's the place to go!

Mutiny Kids have a very cool Instagram feed which is well worth a look and issue 1 of the mag is available here.  I'm very proud to have been involved with this issue, choosing some outfits for a "one item three ways" piece.  That was an experience in image editing, I can tell you, with my limited expertise and equipment!!

Go have a read.  I'm pretty sure it's the next big thing!

Sunday 14 December 2014

Our Next Christmas Wishlist

Who doesn't love to dream a little and create a wishlist?  In the months running up to Christmas (Oh, OK, from about May onwards ;-D) I have a little list on the go - ideas for the boys, ideas for hubby and, if I'm honest, ideas for me!  Don't get me wrong, I know life isn't all about presents and spending money on material items, but it is nice to have some nice things around you.. and sometimes, just nice to think about having them!!

I've been trawling the Next website tonight doing just that, creating my #NextmasWishlist.  I've picked 10 items, some for the boys, some for hubby, some for me.  This is what I've picked:

For Felix:

WOW tee:

Felix says wow about 300 times a day so this is totally him!

For Ethan:

Ecru pattern jumper:

Just perfect for winter!

Suede boots:

Keep those tootsies warm!!

Geo pom beanie:

I love this,  It's so bold.  Totally on trend with the pompom and geo print.  It'd go with loads of outfits too!

For Pete:

Midwash slim fit jeans:

Pete could really do with a new pair of jeans and I think these would be just right.  Since he changed jobs he no longer needs to wear "work clothes" which is good but it means his casual clothes get a lot more wear.

Christmas jumper:

Come on, everyone needs a festive knit!  I like this one because it's festive but not too in your face.  You wouldn't feel a total dork in it.

For me:

Black jacquard dress:

I love the idea of this dress.  It's the kind of thing I could wear all day or wear out to meet friends in the evening.  I could dress it up with bright tights and a bright cardie.  It'd be good for Autumn, Winter and Spring!

Fairisle sock set:

These socks are gorgeous.  I love the patterns and they look really snug!

Star print tights:

I love a pair of statement tights, these are just up my street!! To funk them up even more I'd wear a coloured pair underneath.  The stars would look even cooler then!

Faux fur flat boots:

These boots look awesome.  Practical, comfortable and I think they'd work really well with my endless collection of jeans and leggings!

So, there you have it.  A nice little festive wish list!! I'm off to bed now so I can dream about stomping around in new boots with snug fairisle socks!!

Saturday 13 December 2014

Little Me, Little You - Christmas with House of Fraser

There is something so magical about this time of year.  I swear I can feel magic in the air.  When you are a child you really do feel the magic and excitement of Christmas all around you, I remember.  My memories of Christmas as a child are more feelings than memories.  To me it feels warm and happy.  Memories of glowing fairy lights, the smell of a a Christmas tree, the nip of frost in the air, the excitement of presents under the tree, the thrill that you might hear Father Christmas on your roof!  I found when I became an adult, Christmas lost a bit of that sparkle.  It felt a little hollow.  I discovered something wonderful when I had children though - the magic comes back!!

If anything, I love it even more these days.  I love planning all of the special things I'm going to do to make Christmas special for the boys; putting together a Gingerbread House, decorating, buying our tree, receiving special "Christmas Eve pajamas", sprinkling magical reindeer food on the lawn and putting out mince pies for Father Christmas.  Last year we introduced a new tradition to our house - Elf on The Shelf.  I'm sure almost everyone has heard of Elf on The Shelf now so I won't go into detail.  Ethan chose the name Esme for our elf last year when she first arrived.  He was super excited about her return this year, on the 1st of December.

I decided to make Esme's return extra special this year.  House of Fraser very kindly offered to send my boys a present each and I decided a magical way to give these gifts to the boys would be if Esme brought them with her on her return.  A sort of "well done for being good this year and I've missed you" type of gift!

For Ethan I chose Scarlet the Zoomer Robotic Puppy (£29.99) .  He had told me that he'd whispered to Father Christmas and Esme (by whispering into the wall one day, bless!) that he'd really like a robot pup so I knew this would be perfect for him.

For Felix I chose a Duplo animal set (£13.00).  Felix loves animals and making animal noises and Duplo is such a fantastic gift choice, something that will last, be played with for years and be handed down the generations.

Esme arrived on the 1st of December in Ethan's bedroom and she had placed the gift and a card in his room.  On the morning of the 1st we were woken by excited screams from Ethan's room - "Esme is back! She's in my room!! There's a present!  Mummy? Can I open the present?".  It was adorable.  I wish it hadn't been a school morning because it did mean that things had to be rushed along a bit but it was a lovely way to start advent and the run up to Christmas.

Felix was a little nonplussed.  He's only 18 months so still gets more excited about ripping paper but he does really enjoy the Duplo animals and keeps going up to them and saying "WOW!".  They are bright and nice and chunky for him to play with.

Ethan adores his robot pup.  He's called her Lily and the first thing he does when he wakes in the morning and gets home from school is play with her.  She's fairly easy to play with without reading the instructions though they do give you some useful info!

They are both lovely presents and I'm so pleased to have created this special Christmas memory for my boys :-)

Friday 12 December 2014

Cosatto Story Cotbed Review

We're big fans of the Cosatto brand in our house.  Bright, bold, often unisex and functional!  We've been lucky to test out one of their Supa strollers and one of their fantastic car seats.  Neither of those items compare to the excitement in the house when a Story Cotbed arrived on our doorstep!

We had to wait until the weekend to get the cotbed set up so I had a few days of poking, prodding and peeking into the boxes, desperate to get the cot set up and in use!

Pete (hubby) had the honor of setting up the cot itself whilst I looked after the monkeys, sorry, boys downstairs.  It took Pete about an hour to construct and he had this to say:

"One of the best things about this cotbed is the way all of the items needed for construction have been packaged, in one clear labeled package.  This made it a lot easier!  I found the instructions reasonably simple though perhaps a few more images might have been handy.  Putting the cot together was quite simple.  It took a while because I wasn't able to use my electric screwdriver, it wouldn't fit into the tight angles.  That made it a bit more effort and take a bit longer!  I like how sturdy the cotbed is though and it's a lovely bright colour!  My only criticism would be the amount of packaging used.  Obviously you want the cot to be safe during storage and transit but we ended up with 6 bin liners full of polystyrene which is currently non-recyclable.  My suggestion for Cosatto would be looking into some other types of packaging, something a little more green if that's possible."

So, in Pete's opinion, overall, fairly easy to construct, instructions were quite clear and the tools needed were very easy to find.  He felt the wood is of excellent sturdy quality.  Just a small down side when it comes to all the packaging that has to be thrown away.

Cosatto Story Cotbed Set up

What about using the cotbed then?  Well, first of all, I'll give you a list of features:

"The Story Cotbed grows from a cot with a changer to junior bed to sofa.  Story's chapters are endless"

  • 3 in 1 cot bed
  • Suitable from birth to 5 years
  • Safety teething rails
  • 3 mattress heights
  • 3 modes: cot, junior bed and sofa
  • External size: 145 x 77 x 95.5cm
  • Matching cot-top changer
  • Changer top: L: 80cm W: 50cm
  • Matching under-cot drawer

There you go! With this cotbed it's easy to see you'll be sorted for years. I especially love that you can use it as a sofa once your children have grown out of it. When my boys are a bit older they might well want to share a bedroom, freeing the other room up to be a play room. At that stage we might well put story in to sofa mode so they have somewhere to chill out on! I think we'll get years of use out of this!

Cosatto Story Cotbed

What do I like about it?  Well, first of all, you can't miss it.  It's eyecatching.  I love the Babushka doll printed on the ends of the bed.  You get a little closer and you can see and feel the quality.  This is a good solid piece of furniture.  The fact there are three levels for the matress is essential for me.  Felix is a good climber and it's hard to keep him one place.  The lowest setting has even him stumped! 

My children are both chewers - Ethan wrecked the sides of our previous cot by chewing on them.  Felix hasn't been as bad but it's nice to know he won't be able to do so with this one!  

A favorite feature for me would be the extra storage you get with the draws underneath.  Firstly, it's such a good use of space.  Felix's bedroom is quite small and we only have room for a chest of draws in there, no wardobe.  With these draws we now have space to store his spare bedding and clothing.  It's wonderful!

Cosatto Story Cotbed

We won't be using the changer with Felix as he's 18 months old and such an active kid it's very much easier to change him on the floor but I do think it's a fantastic idea and would be great with a young baby.  Another great space saver.  

Does Felix like it?  I'd say so!  He was very excited when he saw it in his room, he's really attracted to the bright colour and chats to the dolls on the ends of the bed.   I can't say that the cotbed has solved his sleep issues, but then I wouldn't expect it too!!! At least I know he is safe and comfortable in there though.

All in all, it's hard not love this cotbed. The fact it's such great quality and will last such a long time.  Retailing at £410 it isn't a small purchase but it is good value for money, especially if you are able to use it for more than one child.  Using it for several children and finally using it as a sofa you'd get years and years out of this!  It gets our seal of approval!

By the by, do you like the gorgeous Farg Form cloud print bedding?  It was very kindly provided by This Modern Life who stock some amazing kids bedding - great for jazzing up your Cosatto Cotbed!!

Funky Kid Friday - Big love to Donna Wilson

Something I always champion on this blog is unisex fashion and letting children wear clothes that have nothing to do with gender and more to do with comfort though I do love a bit of style, let's not deny that!

Some of you may be aware of a movement called Let Toys Be Toys.  It's all about letting children choose what toys they want to play with and encouraging stores to stop dividing their toys according to gender.  You know the kind of thing; pink kitchen equipment for girls and blue diggers for boys.  I've always let my boys play with whatever toys they like.  They have cars, kitchen stuff, dolls houses, trains, a push chair, dolls, fairy dresses, space suits...  Their clothes and toys are of all different colours.  I don't buy into this half hearted idea of making "girls" toys that are "appropriate" for boys by making them blue, like when you see a blue push chair being marketed for boys.  No.  NO.  It's just a pushchair.  It's not for a girl or a boy, it's for a child!

I digress.  The folks behind #lettoysbetoys have a new movement and it's Let Clothes Be Clothes!  I'm sure you can guess the ethos.  It's simple.  Children's clothes should just be clothes, they needn't be "boys" or "girls".  So many stores divided their clothing according to gender and make some really odd choices as to what constitutes a "boys" top or a "girls" top etc.  A company #letclothesbeclothes have been targeting recently is John Lewis.  There are several reasons why (earlier this week they were spotted stocking "bras" for girls from age 2 plus!) but I want to write about the way they were stocking their fantastic Donna Wilson range.

I myself have bought several items from this range and I must admit I did notice when buying online that some of the range was under "girls" and some under "boys".  As I wanted two pairs of the leggings for my boys, I had to venture to the "girls" section.  No bother really, I'm used to shopping from both sections, though it would be nice just to be able to shop in "children's clothes".  I found the way the clothes had been divded accorcding to gender very strange and guess what, so did #letclothesbeclothes.  More than this though, Donna herself never intended the range to be divided by gender.  She had very sensibly designed it as unisex.

Blah Blah Blah Donna Wilson Leggings John Lewis
Felix in his Blah Blah Blah leggings by Donna Wilson @ John Lewis
Scandi Cross Vest - hand printed by me
Tee - Threadless
Moccs - Belle and The Bear

Now, thankfully John Lewis have changed how the have the range as unisex (or in both sections....) on their website.  I'm not sure what is happening in their stores, but at least they have made an effort.  I love this range of clothing and I've always chosen clothes according to whether I and my boys like them and how practical they are, not whether they are intended for a girl or boy.  I'm used to looking in girls and boys sections, online and in stores.  I do look forward to a day when that's not the norm though.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

Want to link up a kids fashion post?  Please use the linky below!  I will do my best to comment on your post as soon as I can though do bear with me, no one is sleeping well in this house just now, both boys have been ill and it's very manic here!!!  Please don't forget to link to me in your blog post - thank you! xx

Friday 5 December 2014

Trendy Thursday is relaunching - welcome to Funky Kid Friday!

I've been thinking for a while that Thursdays aren't working very well for me for hosting a linky.  It's difficult for me to get onto my laptop until the evening or even Friday which makes hosting a lot more tricky.  I can usually get my post up on a Wednesday evening but I've been finding that increasingly hard!! Fridays are better for me because that's when my parents usually look after Felix meaning I have some time to blog.  So, I've decided to move Trendy Thursday to a Friday and rename it - let me introduce you to Funky Kid Friday!

It's the same as Trendy Thursday, you just link up your kids fashion posts and I'll retweet them and comment on your posts.  I'm hoping the name Funky Kid Friday will be nice and inclusive.  The fact it's kid and not toddler or baby will open it up (though I did omit the toddler from Trendy Thursday a while back!).  I know lots of you link up to other kids fashion linkys on Thursdays so I'm more than happy for those same posts to be linked here, it's no issue.  I really hope my lovely regulars will stick with me though!!

There is a new badge, available on the right!

What's been happening here this week?  Well, not a great deal really.  Felix has been poorly meaning we haven't got up to much and I've not had much time for blogging..  I've been getting on with Christmas shopping.  I still need to write my cards and wrap presents.  I feel somewhere between organised and panicked.  Our house is decorated though!

Felix has been wearing this cute Christmas jumper from Asda this week:

Are you starting to bust out the Christmas clothing yet?  Speaking of Christmas clothes, if you are on Instagram you might want to join in with my 12 Days Christmas Kids challenge!  From December 13th I'm running a challenge on there with prompts for each day.  All you have to do is interpret the tag as you wish, post your photo and use the tag #12DaysChristmasKids.  Hope you'll join in!

Right - over to you lot!  Link up below and please don't forget to link to me in your blog post, comment here and on others who join in!  Thank you!

Badge for TTT, Badge