Category Archives: children

School for Good and Evil – Review

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My daughter was very excited when the School for good and Evil landed on our door mat for her to read. She’s 10 and has been reading at almost an adult level for a few years now and will happily read 2 to 3 books per day given the chance!

She loves the whole fantasy/supernatural genre and really levitates to books like Harry Potter and How to train your Dragon so I was really hoping this was going to be a big hit for her.

She quickly got stuck in but found the text to be quite small which made the big book quite daunting for her as she is short sighted and has to wear glasses. I urged her to keep at it but she really did seem to struggle at times with it as she found the narrative to be quite lacking and maybe a little stereotypical, good is beautiful and evil is ugly.

She really relates to strong female characters and wants them to be the hero, stay true to themselves and put their morals before anything else. The whole Grimm’s style fairy tale was a strong lure with this book, she loved the more darker take on the whole pansy Disney Princess narrative but felt that the characters where a little cliched at times and would of benefitted more if they had stayed true to their nature instead of “fitting in with the crowd”.

The plot twists where what saw her through to the end as they always kept her guessing and it really did deliver some strong life lessons for the reading age of 9-14. That good isn’t always beautiful and popular and that evil isn’t always dark and ugly, basically don’t judge that book by it’s cover. It’s a very important lesson for children of this age to understand and this really made the book for her.

All in all she felt it was a good book, maybe not the next big thing since Harry Potter but a good all round read with plot twists, best friends pushed to breaking point and important life lessons we could all learn something from. She just wishes that the text was slightly bigger making the read a little easier.

You can find the trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5p-u0I9koYg

School for Good and Evil is available at amazon along with the follow up, School for Good and Evil: A World Without Princess .

If you would like to win a copy of the book yourself, simply leave a comment below. Winner will be chosen at random one week from today, 26th June.

 

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Cake for breakfast and other stories

Life is hard. This is no revelation and as a mother you kinda float through daily life on auto pilot forgetting, each day, a little of yourself, who you where before you created mini monsters that suck the joy out of a pee break.

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I don’t know about you but I try and snatch the best of the day for myself, whether its an early morning dog walk with not a soul in sight and just bird song for company or that wedge slice of chocolate cake at 5am you are calling “breakfast” because no one else is up yet to use their disapproving glare on you and no tiny voices asking to share.

Now don’t get me wrong I love my children and Ive accomplished more as a mother than I ever did at anything else. It’s the longest I’ve ever stuck out the same job and its the longest (bar the husband) that I’ve spent with anyone else but with the responsibility of home education, a slightly neurotic dog and a pair of chickens with a people complex ( they strut into the kitchen like they bloody live here) it can all become a little overwhelming.

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Then comes the “pact” to yourself that you are gonna change things, that something in your regimented lifestyle has to give. You vow to loose the cake gutt you have acquired after all the 5am cake breakfast starts or you pick a hobby you want to master or a fashion look you know will look killer on you even if it is chocolate smeared and covered in dog hairs but in all honesty you know its all in vain, within 48 hours all the gym goodies you bought have made their way onto eBay and that hair dye has come and gone and you are back to the same old comfy jeans and loose fitting tshirt.

So why do we do it to ourselves? Pile on the pressure to be more, have more, need more. Why can’t we simply just accept that motherhood and parenting is simply that first summer job you simply loved to hate. The first pay packet stuffed full of crisp notes all for you, giving you that freedom to do exactly what you wanted but with the deep seated notion that within 24 hours you are back to stripping down beds or flipping burgers and dealing with less than thankful customers. Yes parenting is a crappy summer job that lasts a lifetime!

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But would we change it? No we probably wouldn’t, after all who’s going to teach these tiny people the joys of pj days, star wars marathons and cake for breakfast. Who’s going to explain that your birthday is the only day in the year you can do, eat and wear whatever the hell you want, that dressing up clothes are simply better than regular clothes and should be wore for all occasions and that blanket forts on a wet afternoon are what childhood is all about. Who cares about the washing up or that mountain of ironing when your children are belly laughing at their dad’s idea of pop culture and their tiny concentrating faces whilst whooping Grandma’s ass on Mario Kart. This, this is what we as parents should be striving for. Children never remember what it costs only how it made them feel, so feel through this job. Embrace the smiles, cry together over Doctor Who on Christmas Day and take the bad days with the good for one day these tiny people will be big people with tiny people of their own and they to will want to pass on the wisdom of pj days and cake for breakfast.

Break the convention, there’s no point being a grown up if you can’t be childish sometimes!

 

Monday Musing

Monday Musing’s is where each week I’ll round up whats been on the blog, what I’ve bought, created or simply just enjoyed doing. I do hope you will all get involved and let me know what you have been doing as well.

It’s been a big week for Easter sales and I’ve grabbed myself some gorgeous pieces for an absolute steal.

I bagged this gorgeous H! by Henry Holland sweater for just £10.80 in the Debenhams Sale cos seriously it’s so not summer weather just yet!

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And these real leather boots from ASOS for just £11.87

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I also grabbed a brushed cotton Topshop lumber jack shirt and a New Look brown cord jacket for 99p each at the British Heart Foundation. Now I just need to bag those boyfriend fit tapered jeans I’ve been lusting after and I’m good to go!

I’ve found a new love for flamingo print and I had to have THOSE tumblers from ASDA, and at £2.50 I’d have been mental not to surely?!

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Epic right?! In fact some of the new Home Ranges at ASDA are pretty epic, I’m digging this milk jug especially, retro chic!

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Check out their nautical look, it’s to die for!

I’ve talked about Emmy Twenty, gorgeous ballet flats made from real leather and in loads of different styles, I styled my 3 fave pairs for summer, you can find the post here.

Ive also been seriously lusting after the new pieces at O’Neill. I love the surf style and I have a massive girl crush on Joss Stone, but hey who doesn’t! You can find the O’Neill styled post here.

A fine Choice have some gorgeous Easter gifts, all chocolate free which I’m fully on board with, you can find my top 3 picks here.

Not to forget the home, I love shelving and what Shelf Store offer is something really unique. Check them out and their awesome design wizard. See what I had to say about them here.

For all you cake lovers out there, I shared one of my fave recipes for pudding, Eve’s Pudding, go find it here.

I got my hands a little dirty and for Thrifty Thursday created something cute for the kids!

So all in all it’s been a busy week, I’ve enjoyed listing to music I had long forgotten about and polishing up my knitting skills. Next is to tackle crochet *yes this puts the fear of god in me!* I refuse to let it beat me and the amount of patterns I’ve been hoarding in the hope I’ll crack it is obscene and well most of them I NEED IN MY LIFE!

Oh and I’m hoping to soon be launching something fun on Instagram. I’m currently knitting like a mad lady to create a wide range of sizes and style of bow ties and hair slides for kiddies and grown ups too all just £2.50 each with a fixed postage costs of £1.80 no matter how many you order. Commissions are welcome 🙂 Drop me a line if you want to find out more.

So long for this week and catch you all on the other side! I’d really love to know what you guys have been upto, share below or via Twitter 🙂

Easter Gifts with A Fine Choice

Easter is not far away – time to get some Easter gifts in. A Fine Choice is offering you a 20% discount on all their products from today till Monday.

Use code “EASTER20” to receive a 20% discount on all orders above £ 20 (use view cart section to put code in). Applies to all our products including the SALE products.

Reusable Easter gift ideas for kids:

  • Newly arrived kids stainless steel bottles 350ml in pink, steel or lemon colour
  • Kids glass straw set with a kids straw, a brush and a carrying case
  • Eco-friendly bag for your kids (e.g. for sports or shopping) in appealing kid’s designs
  • Contigo insulated food jar, BPA free
  • BPA free lunch bags and snack packs again in kid’s designs

 

Reusable Easter gift ideas for adults:

  • Insulted lunch bag for women / for men, eco-friendly and attractive
  • Stainless steel drink bottle to supply enough water throughout the day in lots of appealing designs, BPA free
  • Contigo coffee mug, BPA free
  • Glass straw to sip a healthy juice or smoothie or cocktail straw for an exciting cocktail party
  • Reusable shopping bag by Loqi

 

Reusable Easter gift ideas for dogs:

BPA free stainless steel bottle with doggie cap. The cap allows your dog to lick the water slowly direct from the bottle

Here is a few of my fave picks;

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What will you choose with your discount code?

 

Thirfty Thursday – Converse Make-over

Nearly everyone has a tatty pair of oh so comfy but oh my gosh they have seen better days converse or similar cotton pumps hiding in the back of the wardrobe, especially the kids. Well this week I’m gonna tell you how to make them loved again!

Grab those grubby converse, a couple of iron on patches and some funky laces and lets get to it.

I threw my eldest daughters black Converse through the wash to start with, it brought the canvas as clean as when new and made them that little more ridged again. She’s a size 1 now and just can’t get funky shoes that she likes so I took the opportunity to give her something she can love.

I threw out the laces and bought a set of rainbow Shoeps, if you have never heard of them you can check out my review here. And a pair of My Little Pony iron ons from ebay.

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Half an hour with the iron was all they needed to make sure they where well attached. Thats the thing with Converse they are easy to manipulate.

And BAM! Total one offs and one VERY happy 10 yr old!

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What would you want on yours?

 

Shoeps: An alternative to laces?

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Do your children HATE tying their laces? Does your footwear have THE longest laces in living history? Then seriously, you need to get your mitts on some Shoeps. Now I’m not one for gimmicks, I’ve seen the crazes come and go, everyone goes mad and basically that becomes your only choice when shopping but these are different. They aren’t just trendy and epically cool but they actually work, yes you heard me THEY WORK!

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They come in this handy little package of 14 and are available in 11 different colours, including rainbow, YEAH RAINBOW! I wish I had noticed this before I chose the pink because believe me they are epic, who doesn’t want rainbow laces!

They are a rubberised stretchy material which clips on the underside with ease. There is enough give to get your feet in comfortably and allows movement when walking but are ridged enough to ensure the shoe doesn’t bag or feel to loose.

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Fastening them into the lace holes is super easy and I had ‘laced’ both my Converse in less than five minutes. I honestly only wear Converse and as great as they are I literally hate how long the laces are on them, when I was young and cool it didn’t seem to matter where i shoved them, or cut them down but thats when I had the time to care where I shoved my laces. Now I just wanna throw my shoes on before taking the pooch for a walk or that frantic trip to the supermarket so I’d rather be able to slip into my shoes and not worry about tripping up and breaking my neck on said frantic trip to the supermarket.

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They look awesome, are super comfy and at a reasonable £12.99 for a pack of 14 I’m sold. I bought the rainbow set here and are destined to go into a Converse make over for my daughter who is an avid My Little Pony lover, tutorial coming soon.

I’m now off to buy my entire family Shoeps just so I don’t have to hang around whilst everyone else ties their laces!

*I was sent the Shoeps free of charge to try from Grumbies, all opinions are my own*

Thrifty Thursday – socks to leg warmers

This Thrifty Thursday I’m bringing you a quick and easy tutorial to turn old socks into cute little leg warmers, alternatively make them for yourself instead of the little folk.

You will need at least 4 pairs of worn out socks, then cut the foot part out, like this.

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You then need to place them right asides together and inside each other, like this:

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Then on the fabric edge, NOT the cuffs, you need those to stop the leg warmers falling down, you need to sew them together. You can sew by hand or on a machine just remember that its a stretchy jersey so don’t pull them out of shape whilst sewing.

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I used a mix of one of worn out socks but you might want them to match. Once sewn together they would look like this:

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Do the same with another pair and you are good to go!

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My girls love wearing these, they aren’t to heavy but help to keep legs toasty when out n about and best of all they are total one offs!

The same method can be applied if you want to use an old jumper or cardigan sleeves to make leg warmers, simply cut out the sleeves and then hem the raw edge.

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And this is what they look like on!

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Perfect for little legs in the winter.

I’d love to see what you guys come up with.

 

Chocolate free Easter for the littlies

Not all little people are old enough or enjoy chocolate so family and friends are often stumped at Easter about what to give instead.

Here is my round up on the web’s best chocolate free gifts to give this easter to make any child happy, regardless of age.

CuteHeads is a line of adorable, comfy clothing that both parents and children will love. It can sometimes be a challenge, getting your little one dressed in the morning. We aim to make it as simple as possible by giving your child options he or she can easily ask for. When you hear your little one say, ‘Mom, I want to wear the lion today,’ then we know we’ve done our job. We aim to help you give your child the independence to dress him or herself while looking as cute as can be.

Here is my top 2 gifts from Cuteheads,

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Gorgeous organic cotton dog paw top knot head band, $12

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Gorgeous rabbit print organic nappy covers, $20

Born on Bowery, Inc. was established in 2013 with a simple mission of handcrafting beautiful clothing and accessories for children. We debuted with a collection for girls, ages 2 – 6, and plan to offer infant apparel in the near future.
Each piece is handmade in New York City, with special attention paid to garment construction. We employ couture finishes, where possible, to ensure the highest quality and longevity, since we hope each piece will be worn many times, shared with siblings, and become a treasured part in your child’s wardrobe.
Beautiful fabrics, prints and trims inspire us, and we do our best to make each collection special. We produce garments in limited editions, so you are guaranteed to always find new and fresh designs. Many pieces we make are one-of-a-kind, because we like the idea that your child, and your child alone, will be wearing it.
Here is my top 2 from this gorgeous little boutique,
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These gorgeous little jewelled barrettes are adorable, $12
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I love their little skirts with their funky fabrics and pom pom trim, $86
For beautiful British made clothing and accessories check out Millimanu , all of the garments in this season’s collection are designed and made here in the UK using only the finest natural fabrics. It also allows us to use the skills of talented craftsman and specialist manufacturers here in the UK, while reducing the environmental footprint of each product. With this in mind, we try to source responsibly and are working hard towards ensuring all of the materials we use are produced, fairly, ethically, sustainably and close to home so they positively benefit local economies as well as the environment.
My top 2 are just to die for!
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These beautiful customised friendship bracelets, £29
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The gorgeous Buster Bunny, £19 with proceeds going to children’s charity Kids Company to support vulnerable and hungry children in Britain.
The home of beautiful British gifts, Two Ducks.Many of the gifts we offer are not widely found on the high street and are lovingly handmade by talented artisans working from small studios and workshops.

All our products offer the same high quality and exceptional design that demonstrate the huge range of creative talent that exists in this country.

We believe that a good gift should say something about the giver as well as the receiver and that your home, family and friends deserve nothing less than the best of British.

Here is my top 2 gifts,

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This gorgeous handmade oak pull along duck, £18
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I love these adorable little egg cups made from sustainable solid oak, £12.50
I hope you love my Easter egg free round up. Which will you choose for the little people in your life this Easter?

 

Love From! Magazine Review

Every little girl loves a magazine, and to be frank we have tried them all over the years. My girls being the crafty magpies they are always go for the ones with the freebies stuck to the front but who am I kidding they are always a little naff.

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However the new Love From! magazine for girls ages 4-6 is something a little special. In each issue you receive two magazines, one purely craft based with colouring in etc and one more education based with stories and puzzles all nestled together with a bumper craft kit with stickers and stationary. This type of thing is right up our alley and was happily received by all of my girls, even our eldest who’s 10!

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What makes this magazine stand out from the crowd is that each issue concentrates on one specific character and everything you receive is factored around that. This makes purchasing a little more exciting in my opinion and scraps that whole, ‘ this issue is no different from the last’ problem you find with most children’s magazines.

Issues are released every four weeks and you can find out all about them here , issues are priced just £3.25 which compared to the competition is definitely a bargain!

What magazines do your little ones love to read?

Im off now to stick fairies on to ALL OF THE THINGS!

* We received a copy of the magazine for free but all opinions are my own*