Monday, 30 March 2015

The BiB Awards 2015 and a question...

Votes for the Brilliance in Blogging Awards, hosted by BritMums, are now officially open, and its your chance to nominate the best blogs that you love. Apart from that time I mistook getting nominated for a Liebster Award as a blogging Oscar (you can read about that little mistake here), this is the first time in my very short blogging life that there are actual award nominations open.  Woop woop!  

Now to be quite honest, there is alot of competition.  And I mean alot of competition. There are so many talented writers and bloggers out there that I have thought of not writing this post at all.  I often doubt my writing ability and question my blog.  But, my page statistics tell me a different story.  Somewhere, somehow, some lovely lovely people actually take the time to read and comment on my little blog. So, whilst this post may only serve as a reminder to my mum to vote for me (thanks mum), I'm publishing this post regardless.  Whilst I would LOVE any nominations, at all, writing about the awards is also an excellent chance to celebrate the blogs I love too and share my nominations.  There are lots of different categories, so here's my nominations and a question for you...

Inspire Category
Without a doubt I nominate the lovely Katie from Pouting in Heels.  Her blogs are truly inspirational and so uplifting.  She is a very gifted writer. I adore her blogs and her attitude to life. I highly recommend a look at her fabulous blog here. 

Social Media Category
For me, there is one blogger who really engages on all social media platforms. Whilst I am still getting to grips with Google plus, this lady has all aspects well and truly covered and she is very supportive of sharing and helping other blogs too.  It's Victoria from Verily Victoria Vocalises.

Writer Category
My nomination here has to go to Brummy Mummy of Two.  This lady is hilarious and her blogs keep you hooked.  When I first found her blog I think I spent a whole afternoon reading.  She is not only a fantastic writer and actually makes me laugh out loud, but she also is a champion of not beating yourself up and taking parenting in your stride.  

Photo Category
For this category I nominate Kate from Mummy, daddy and me.  I have a slight obsession with her and her blog.  She shares the most gorgeous pictures and has a very inspiring blog which is so pretty and yes, I may also stalk her on Instagram. 

Family Category
This is a really tricky category as there are so many blogs that I read and love. But I have decided to nominate Potty Mouthed Mum. I find her blog very open and honest and just a pleasure to read.  

Outstanding Category
Without a doubt I think Honest Mum should win this award.  This lady is a truly talented blogger and has the most beautiful site and blogs.  She is also so supportive of other bloggers and it really shines through. You can tell she works so hard to deliver amazing content daily.  If you want to see how a professional blogger does it, this is your lady. 

And finally.... Fresh Voice Category I dare? Yes, yes, I do. This is the category for new bloggers, celebrating new content and blogging style.  And here is where I ask you to consider voting for me (feel free to vote for me in other categories, but I felt this might be a good one).  I have only been blogging since July 2014, and I feel my blog and writing style has really evolved in this time. I may just be a tiny spec in a vast ocean of other bloggers, but I hope that if you do enjoy my blog you would consider voting for me. You can find all the details and the voting form here at Britmums Brilliance in Blogging Awards 2015.

I wish all the other amazing bloggers the best of luck, and as always, thanks for reading, 

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Friday, 20 March 2015

Quicksmart BackPack Stroller: Review

Toddlers only have little legs (obviously!) and I find that my daughter, who is now nearly three, starts off the day wanting to be very independent and walk everywhere herself. What we both tend to block out is that her legs only carry her so far, so after approximately 30 minutes I end up carrying her, and end up with an aching back and juggling things in my teeth.  Our original pram that we bought when she was a baby does convert to a pushchair, but we find it quite heavy and cumbersome now and not ideally suited to a heavy toddler. I blame its poor manoeuvrability on the many toes I may or may not have ran over. This year, we are very lucky in the fact that we are doing lots of travelling, so we thought we would invest in a light weight pushchair.  It needed to be lightweight, easy to fold and put up and also compact.  

After much research we found the QuickSmart back pack stroller and it is fabulous. What immediately drew our attention was that it folds down and fits into an over the shoulder bag.  We thought this was perfect for times when our daughter wanted to walk so we could actually comfortably carry the stroller.  

Its extremely lightweight (7.5kg) and folds out into a stroller in just three easy clicks which you can actually do with one hand, and if you're interested, whilst taking blog photographs. It folds down in another three clicks, but I found you need both hands to do this.

We trialled the stroller on our recent trip to Paris and it was perfect. Because it is so compact, it is ideal for storing in compartments and we found that when in it's bag, it neatly fitted into the overhead storage on the train. We also found it great on the underground for times when we struggled to find lifts, we could quickly take our daughter out, fold the pushchair, pop it into its bag and then walk onto an escalator. 

It handles really well and you can steer single-handedly which is no easy feat with a heavy toddler sitting in!! There is a tiny bit of storage underneath and a pocket to the back, but to be honest, we really didn't want that much storage space.  It also comes with a rain cover and a safety harness, and the seat has an upright position and then a reclining position.  

I think this stroller is the perfect partner for travel and its great for that stage of being too big for a pushchair but not quite being able to walk everywhere. I really recommend it. QuickSmart is an American company so you do have to search for where to buy. We found the stroller on Amazon here.  

Even Pablo gives the stroller his paw of approval. 

Thanks for reading and have a fantastic weekend, 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Paris with toddlers & staying in a strangers home

If you follow my blog or any of my social media (what?! You don't?! Get clicking to your right!), you will know that last weekend, me, my husband and daughter spent the weekend in Paris with our good friends and their beautiful 8 month old daughter too.  In an attempt to not bore you with my descriptions of this very beautiful city, because let's face it, we have all seen the Eiffel Tower, I thought I would do a little round up of how we found travelling with two little ones and how I found staying in a strangers home (and no, we are not involved in some strange Parisian wife swap). 

We travelled to Paris by Eurostar which was actually brilliant. The trip seemed to be so quick and there was plenty of room for our luggage and pram / pushchairs.  So far so good.  Until that is, we arrived at the station where you needed to have a flying pram to be able to get about. I think its more commonly known as Gare du Nord. Apologies if we blatantly missed any lifts, but, after several laps of the station the only way we could get to any of the connecting platforms we needed was to carry everything down several flights of stairs. All I can say is the need to be accessible to all has clearly bypassed this station and after much huffing and puffing, we all arrived safely onto the platform, albeit minus a bag of M&S Percy Pigs that got damaged in transit.  RIP. 

Our accommodation for the weekend was a beautiful apartment we had rented from a site called Airbnb. Airbnb is a website whereby you can search properties all over the world and basically rent people's houses (they are not in them at the time!).  The houses have reviews and are rated by people who have previously stayed there.  Some of the places to rent are absolutely stunning and you can rent whole houses, studios, flats or even just a room. As someone who only ever books hotels, I was a little dubious about using this service, but it is such an amazing concept.  I guess people rent their homes who maybe have other properties or go on holidays themselves.  The apartment we rented was amazing.  It was spotless (very important to me), it had three bedrooms, two balconies and my daughter had her own little playroom!!! Whilst it was strange being in someone's house with their belongings still in, it was lovely to have a 'homely' base for the weekend right in the middle of Paris.  

The person whose apartment it was met us at the door, showed us round, had bought us a few essentials, like bread and milk and even left us a range of maps and local information. Of course I didn't do any snooping (but I could tell the owners had excellent taste with their Laura Mercier bath collection).  I would certainly use Airbnb again, in fact we are, when we travel to New York in May.  It's definitely worth a look if you are going away and want something a bit more flexible than a hotel.  For us, it worked out cheaper between us and also gave us a bit more freedom when the children went to bed so we could sit on the balcony or in the living room, whereas if you stay in a hotel you can be a little stuck in the evenings. 

We spent the weekend taking in the glorious sights of Paris and also ate our way through the delicacies.  We used a shuttle water bus to get back from the Eiffel Tower which was really nice as it transported us along the river right through the heart of Paris.  Pre-children I think we would have all managed to walk back to the apartment (maybe with a few bar stops along the way), but with hungry little ones in tow we found the boat ride perfect. It was a lovely Parisian weekend away.  

Readers of this blog maybe keen to know if I managed to befriend Kim Kardashian as it was Paris Fashion Week whilst we were there. I can confirm I did not.  I have the eyes of an eagle when it comes to any celebrities (please don't judge me)and I didn't see a single one of them. But quite frankly, who needs celebrities when you have the Eiffel Tower and a macaroon in your hand? Exactly. 

Thanks for reading, 

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Monday, 16 March 2015


It's only relatively recently that I started to use highlighters in my everyday make-up routine and now I can't get enough of them and my face doesn't feel quite complete without a touch of highlighter.  I thought I would share with you my two favourite highlighters at the moment and also show where, when and how to apply them. 

The first product is Benefit's High Beam.  This little beauty has been around for a long time and is such a well known and loved highlighter. It comes in a bottle and is quite pinky in colour which generally tends to suit light to medium skin tones.  Its super easy to apply. 

Dot the highlighter over the top of your foundation on the areas where you want your skin to look that bit more radiant and well, highlighted. I tend to dab it onto my cheekbones in a line extending up to just below my eyebrow.  You can also dab onto onto your forehead, down the centre of your nose and above your cupid's bow for added highlight. It really depends on how illuminated you want your skin to be!

Then you just gently blend it in with your fingers.  I then apply a normal blush over the top.  High beam can also be blended in with your foundation to give your skin an overall more 'glowy' look, though I would certainly say less is more here and a little goes a long way. 

Another favourite of mine is the Benefit Watt's Up highlighter.  This has more of a champagne tone rather than the pinky tone of the High Beam and it comes in a stick form instead of a liquid.  In the same way as you apply the High Beam, you just dot this along the cheek bones and blend with your fingers. Again, I apply my normal blush over the top. 

You can control exactly how much of the highlighter you apply and if you want a quite subtle look then you need only apply a tiny amount.  I actually put High Beam to one cheek and Watt's Up to my other cheek and there wasn't a great deal of difference between the two, but swatching them on my hand they are quite noticeably different (High Beam to top and Watt's Up beneath). 

Personally, now I have used highlighters they are a staple in my make-up bag and I find my skin has that 'glowy' look which is quite hard to achieve naturally if I have been up with my daughter in the night!   

Do you use a high-lighter? Which are your favourites? 

Thanks for reading and have a lovely Friday and weekend! 

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Happy Mothers Day Mum

Happy Mother's Day! I just wanted to write a quick post today and also do a little pre-school update too.  Firstly, let's talk mums.  We all think our mum's are the best don't we? Each of our mums have raised us, wiped our tears, held our hands and been there from the very beginning when we were all just a tiny mass of chromosomes.  No-one knows you like your mum.  I feel very blessed to have my mum and I feel even more blessed that my daughter get's to have and enjoy a wonderful relationship with her grandma.  

Whilst there are times my mum drives me mad (sorry mum) and I know there are times when I drive my mum mad (sorry mum), I love her dearly and couldn't be without her.  From advice in every single area of my life, I know my mum will support me, and, even if she has a different view she respects my choices.  I know my mum will always fight my corner.  She always has the time to talk to me.

And this week was no exception. I had previously written about how my daughter has just started preschool and was settling in really well (you can read about her first day here). Hmmm. Well, that calmness has now been replaced with her getting upset at the doors and crying when I leave.  The pre-school are amazing and she gets 1:1 time whilst they are settling her in, but, to see your little one cry and say 'don't leave mummy' breaks my heart.  I then question everything.  Should I be putting her into pre-school?  Am I doing the right thing? What have I done wrong? 

On Wednesday as I dropped her off she began to get upset. Whilst I got a text from the pre-school saying that she had settled well and was playing after 10 minutes of me leaving, I still needed to hear my mum's wise words. I telephoned my mum and she reassured me the choices I had made were OK. She told me how good pre-school was for my daughter. She basically just told me it was all going to be OK and that actually my daughter had only been 5 times, so I should give her a chance to get used to being away from me.  My mum is like this little voice of honesty and reason.  I felt so much better after I came off the telephone. I think to anyone else, this conversation may seem trivial.  To me, it made me feel so much better.  To me, it is an example from an infinitive list of why I am so glad to have my mum. 

I wish everyone a happy Mother's Day whether you are a mum, whether you are celebrating with your mum or maybe thinking about your mum. All mum's are amazing, and my mum is the most wonderful woman I know.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Safari wall mural

I love Pinterest, but sometimes, well sometimes, I get a little above my station when I am pinning away for home d├ęcor and furnishings, and you could be mistaken for thinking I may live in a mansion or Buckingham Palace from my boards. This was the case when I was scouring for inspiration for my two year old daughters bedroom. After my husband had convinced me that there was no way we were getting a giant tree for her room (don't ask), I started to think rationally and look at how to decorate the walls.  I wanted something a bit unusual but still classic and something related to animals as my daughter adores them. I immediately fell in love with safari wall murals (think plain walls with white classic animal silhouettes on the wall, the murals are giant vinyl stickers you apply). After more research, I found that the murals I wanted were incredibly expensive and would have to be shipped from America!!! 

Upon adding the giant vinyl stickers to my online shopping basket my husband, who is an absolute genius (or was just so desperate for me not to spend a small fortune on animal stickers), suddenly came up with an idea of how we could get the animal shapes we wanted, without the hefty price tag.  So, whilst our method involves a hoover, an old boot and some imagination, bear with me as I think the end result is pretty amazing!!!

First, we scoured the internet as to the exact animal shapes I wanted. Its amazing as to what you can source on the internet. After a good hour comparing animal silhouettes I settled on a giraffe, a monkey riding on top of an elephant and a flock of birds flying above. Next, we printed out our shapes.  We printed them to A4 size and then I traced the outline onto a piece of clear laminate. 

Now here's where the hoover and boot come in.  We attached the laminate to a cardboard frame and then my husband attached this to a make shift tripod.  We then needed to mount a light source so an image would be projected onto the wall.   The torch light on an I-Phone was perfect, but if we held it, the image just wobbled about too much.  We mounted the phone on the end of a stick, resting on our hoover and the boot was needed for added height.  Sometimes, you have just got to work with what you have got!! 

To make the picture bigger or smaller we just moved our set-up backwards or forwards.  The result was a projected silhouette of the animal shape we needed. I then traced the outline for each animal and then I painted the shapes a bright white.  

For the birds we actually printed them to the size we wanted and stuck them to the wall. We then coloured over the top with pencil and the outline came through onto the wall.  The birds were a bit more trickier to paint as their wings and detail were quite small. 

And here's the final result...

I think the shapes look amazing and I am so pleased with it. It's such a lovely scene and I adore the birds flying overhead. Our daughter loves it too and we chat about what each of the animals are up to as I'm tucking her into bed at night.  You could easily use this idea to paint any type of silhouette to your wall, it's pretty straight forward to do yet so effective. 
Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful weekend,  

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Toddler Vitamins

I have always been a little sceptical of vitamins.  I truly believe that you can get adequate vitamins and nutrients from a healthy and balanced diet.  I had made a very big effort when my daughter was weaning to give her a very varied diet and let her try as many different tastes and textures as possible.  But, when my little daughter turned into a gremlin toddler, it all changed. 

Welcome to the toddler diet.  One day my daughter will eat the entire plate of food like a child possessed and the next day she is too busy taking all her clothes off to eat a single mouthful.  One day she adores salmon the next she tells me its 'yuk' and taste like 'socks and jam' (thank you to the makers of Peppa Pig for such a lovely phrase). I have to say, I am quite strict.  If she doesn't eat what I've cooked then she will not get anything else.  There are no alternative foods.  There is no bribery with puddings.  She either eats it or goes hungry.  I know I might sound awful, but, I really believe that if she is hungry she will eat what she is given.  If she doesn't, she isn't going to starve.  

But, I did start to worry, that on certain days when she was hardly eating anything, if she was getting the vitamins and minerals that she needed. The Department of Health actually recommend that all children under 5 years need a supplement of vitamins A,C and D (link here). As we were strolling in Boots (who I am kidding, when my daughter was tearing round the store with her mini Boots trolley), I saw these vitamin packs and thought I would give them a go.  They are for children 3 years and above and contain a range of vitamins.  They come in individual little packets of gummy bears and are also free from artificial colours, preservatives and flavours.

After trialling them for a few weeks my daughter loves these! She actually thinks they are a little treat and asks if she can have her special gummy bears if she has been good!!! I tend to let her have a packet as a morning snack with some fruit.  I still refuse alternative meals when she refuses what I have made her, but, I feel a little more comfortable that even if she doesn't eat much, she is getting the nutrients she needs everyday. There are lots of children's vitamin products available, but you can find the ones we have tried here.

Do you give your toddler vitamins? Are they a good eater or are they like my daughter and a bit sporadic to say the least? Comments below please, and thanks for reading. 

Monday, 9 March 2015

Turn the day around

Whether you have got those Monday morning blues, feel like a zombie on 2 hours sleep or are just having 'one of those' days, here are a few of my tips to help turn your day around. But first, a little disclaimer. This list will not make your worries magically disappear, nor stop your child from throwing their potty/food/nappy/hard plastic toy at your head (delete as applicable).  But, I hope this list will turn one of 'those' days into a day that isn't quite so bad.   

1. It's OK
Seriously, when we have a down day or feel a bit sad, how many of us beat ourselves up for even thinking this way? How dare we feel sad when we have a roof over our heads, a beautiful family and children, money in the bank account. How dare we feel a bit down! We are so unappreciative!!! And then, we feel guilty.  So now not only do we feel down, we feel guilty too.  Perfect.  Everyone has their better days and their not so good days. That's what makes us human.  That is life. Let yourself feel what you feel. Accept it and recognise that feeling. And now give yourself a break. Take a deep breath and onto the important bit...try and turn the day around. 

2. Get dressed, brush your hair and plan to do something you like to do
Nothing makes you feel worse than when you peer into the mirror and resemble a cave woman (no offence).  Make yourself look vaguely presentable and ready to face the day and then do something that feels good.  This could be painting your nails, watching a funny movie, eating chocolate or ringing a friend. If you only have 5 minutes why not read a magazine and grab a cup of tea? Whatever is your thing, go and do it.  Be kind to yourself. If you have a little one in tow, then maybe it's more about avoiding the 'danger' zones. Don't under any circumstances get the paints /glue /water table/ play dough out. Any type of messy play plus a bad day is a recipe for disaster. 

3. Shut that gremlin in the cupboard
I don't mean any annoying family members here.  I mean THE gremlin.  Oh yes, you know the guy.  He's the little voice inside your head that tells you that you look awful in the mirror. He criticises your hair.  Makes you feel stupid.  We all know him only too well. Gremlins especially like to hang about and wait for a day when you are your most vulnerable and then he whispers his rubbish to you and you start to believe him. Stop! Ok, so you may not have Jennifer Aniston's hair or Gwyneth Paltrow's body...but so what?! And I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you didn't have their hair or bodies yesterday either.  So shut him in the cupboard for today and give yourself a break.   

4. Do something for someone else
So this might seem a bit of an odd thing to include, but bear with me here.  Don't you find when you do something nice for someone else you just feel better? It might be sending a thank you note to someone or sending a nice text to a friend or loved one. Or maybe smiling at a stranger (though not in a creepy way) or complimenting someone on their hair or clothes.  By doing something nice for someone else we not only make someone else feel better, but as if by magic, that good vibe stays with us to. Try it. 

5. Smile and dance 
Have you heard that phrase 'fake it until you feel it'? It actually works. So you want to feel happy and feel like this is the best day ever? Act like it is.  And why can't this be the best day ever? It's just a day. Put Beyonce on full volume (or maybe your toddler is demanding Frozen), turn up the volume and get those feet moving.  This can and will be a good day. 

5. If all else fails...tomorrow is another day
When I first had my daughter and was weeping at being too exhausted to brush my own hair, my mum used to say to me, 'don't worry Laura, tomorrow is another day'. And she was right.  Sometimes you have to just accept those bad days and welcome the next day with open arms. But everything isn't going to end today. Your track record in surviving the off days is pretty good so far isn't it? Exactly. So today might not have gotten off to the best start, but that's OK.  In fact, it's all OK. Take a deep breath, and let's get this day started. 

Have you any tips for turning bad days around? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

Thanks for reading,    

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Style Sunday : A Weekend in Paris

This weekend we are off to Paris for fun, food, wine, and, did I say food?! (I dreamt I was being chased by a pain au chocolat last night!). Joining me, my husband and daughter on our travels are our lovely friends and their daughter too.  We are all sharing a house in the centre of Paris via Airbnb, which is where you basically rent a person house's.  Stay tuned for a review!  We travel by the Eurostar which I have never been on before, so my husband has warned me I must try to pack light! As someone who packs for all eventualities, packing light isn't really my forte, but I have given it a good go.  I thought I would give you a peek into my case at my weekend outfit choices. 

To travel down to Paris, I've chosen my ever comfy converse, ripped jeans (Primark), black vest top (Vera Moda) and striped jacket (Topshop). 

For our Saturday Parisian adventures it had to be my new striped dress from ASOS (full pictures and review here) paired with tights, ankle boots (Clarks) and  a pop of colour with this ASOS cardigan. 

There is just time on Sunday for brunch before catching our return train home, so I've chosen a denim dress (Topshop) paired with tights and either my converse or boots depending on what sort of mood I am in! 

It's Paris Fashion Week too, so you can depend on me to be invited to absolutely no shows whatsoever.  But, I promise you that if I bump into Kim K I will be asking her to make a special appearance on my blog (giggles to self at this prospect). 

To keep up-to-date with everything Parisian you can stalk my weekend with any of my social buttons to your right! Thanks for reading, 

Friday, 6 March 2015

A very quick smokey eye

I love playing about with my eye make-up, but I often find I am simultaneously trying to get my daughter from emptying my underwear drawer or yelling at my husband when he asks me where his wallet is for the tenth time (I don't know!).  This means that my eye make-up needs to be quick and easy.  At weekends, I can take my time a bit more and I tend to play about with shadows and colours, but during the week, speed is the number one priority. That and trying to not resemble a panda. 

Whilst I am a fan of the eye flick (you can read my tutorial here) I find that the eye flick can sometimes look a little harsh, especially if I'm going for a more natural look. My new trick is a bit of a smokey eye using nothing more than a base cream shadow, an eye-liner pen and a cotton bud. It really is that simple and the great thing is that you don't have to be great applying your eye-liner, you just sort of whack it on and smudge!

1. My favourite cream shadow to use as a base is Mac's Brule. It's a subtle cream colour without being too pale and enables you to blend colours on top. 

2. I apply the shadow all over the lid using a brush or my fingers. 

3. I am using L'oreal Super Liner in black at the moment.  You could use any eye-liner. 

4. Applying this to the upper lid, I just dot it along the lash line.  It doesn't matter if its not a perfect line as you are going to be smudging it anyway. 

5. I then take a cotton bud and gentle smudge the eye-liner along my upper lid to get rid of the line and to leave a more smokey and blended appearance. 

6. To the bottom lid you could either rub the cotton bud for a bit of definition, or, I like to use a bit of colour from the Urban Decay Naked palette, I quite like Hustle and or Darkhorse at the moment. 

7. The result is a very quick and simple smokey eye.  It's just enough for a day look without looking like I am heading to the nearest party and, because you have smudged the eye-liner in, I find it is quite long wearing to. 

Hope that gives you some smokey eye inspiration! 
Happy Friday and thanks for reading! 

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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

My Grannys Purse : Review

Toddlers appear to have an affinity for items and objects that they shouldn't really have. When you have to try and keep a toddler amused, say at a restaurant or on an aeroplane, the colouring pencils and book you try and distract them with tend to go flying over your head as they proceed to empty out the contents of your handbag.  There are way too many objects and treasures to pull out and explore in a handbag! 

Our family recently went out for an evening meal and our daughter came too, and, whilst she is very well behaved (most of the time), sitting still at the table is quite a feat.  My mum then pulled out this amazing little book that she had bought, and my daughter thought it was the best thing. Ever. 

My Granny's Purse is a book by Paul Hanson and it is a book that is a purse.  Or a purse that is a book. It's thick cardboard pages are bound together and constructed so it appears as though you are rummaging through Grandma's actual handbag. Amazing. There is lots of detail to each page and lovely little phrases throughout which mirror the relationship between what mums say and what Grandmas say.  But, that's about as much words as you get in this book as its not about the reading. This book / purse is all about imagination and exploring.  You can remove a pair of funky spectacles from their case and try them on, or peer into Grandma's mirror. 

There are places to stick photographs of Grandma and your little one too, to personalise the book. My daughter thought her dreams had come true looking in this book, and it kept her entertained throughout our meal. She even got to 'try on' a selection of diamond rings! The next morning, as soon as my daughter woke up she was asking for her 'handbag'!

My Granny's Purse retails around £10 and there is also a mummy's purse book in the series that I will be looking out for. I love this book for its unique idea and because it fits perfectly with that toddler age of intrigue and wanting to explore. It's absolutely perfect for travelling with little ones or when you need to keep them still and entertained. It would make a lovely gift too. 

Have you read this book before? Do you know of any other toddler books that are similar? Comments below please and as always thanks for reading. 

Monday, 2 March 2015

A picture tells a thousand words

I love the story behind people's possessions.  I love the idea that to me, one persons, say lamp, is well, just a lovely lamp.  But to that person that lamp may hold a long and interesting story about its past or its significance to that person.  It no longer is 'just a lamp'. Its a story of maybe love, of loss or of fortune. 

One of my favourite items in our home is a picture that hangs in the hallway.  It has vibrant shades of blue and to me, it looks like the perfect Summer's evening next to the sea.  But, when I look at the picture, I see past those little houses, their reflections and the sky. Every time I look at the picture it takes me back to the Summer's day we bought it. 

Our daughter was just a week old and we had not long arrived home from hospital.  It was a gorgeous sunny Sunday afternoon and we decided to take our daughter out to the local park in the pushchair.  I was so happy. I was finally like one of those families that I had longed to be like. Me, my husband and our perfect little daughter wandering around the park. Our own perfect little family. We wandered into a local art shop next to the park and saw this picture and loved it straight away. We struggled to fit it under the pram (!) and my husband had to carry it around under his arm.  We then stopped on a bench as I fed my eternally hungry daughter.  At that moment I felt very blessed to have such a beautiful baby.  I felt so proud of our little family of three. 

I have more happy days that I can remember in my life, but this day always stands out to me. This simple picture evokes this happy memory as I enter my home each day.  And that to me, makes it such a special picture.   

Have you an object with a story or something that is very special to you? Comments below please. 

Thank you for reading, 

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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Style Sunday : The stripey one

I have a slight obsession with stripes.  In any given shop, I seem to be magnetically drawn to anything with a stripe to it.  I have swooned over the gorgeous Topshop striped dress that Beyonce famously wore, and I have drooled over other bloggers high-end finds in shades of nautical navy and white.  But, I have been unable to find a dress that suited me. Too short. Too long. Too shiny. Too expensive. I have striped dress needs and they were going unfulfilled.  Until, that is, I found this little beauty on ASOS and it's striped perfection!

The dress is by a label called Fashion Union from the ASOS site.  What I adore about this dress is the cropped section to the top of the dress. It hangs just right and it covers a multitude of sins (such as when you have devoured the biggest chocolate cheesecake known to man!). The material also runs all the way underneath the crop section so there is no midriff showing. I think the crop section also adds a little bit more to the dress. The fabric is quite textured so it doesn't look or feel cheap. The length is perfect too.

You can find this stripey little fellow at ASOS and for only £28 its my favourite fashion buy of the year so far.  I know we are only in March but still. 

What are your thoughts on stripes? Love them or think they should be reserved for the football teams? Comments below please! 

life as our little family