Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Cuddles With A Pillow Pet....

We all love cuddles in this house and so when Mookie Toys, who are bringing the original Pillow Pets to the U.K. this spring, asked if Master Poppins would like to try out one of their cute pillows which also double up as a soft and loveable pet, I knew he would indeed love to test it out. Master Poppins is still attached to many of his soft toys and even 10 year old Miss. Poppins has many a soft toy to cuddle upto at night. Pillow Pets are made from the softest chenille and with the use of the little velcro strap underneath, it magically turns them from a cute cuddly pet, to a warm and restful pillow. There are many Pillow Pets to choose from including Comfy Panda, Playful Penguin, Ms. Lady Bug ( which Miss Poppins has her eye on ), Magical Unicorn, Snuggly Puppy, Wiggly Pig, and Bumbly Bee. Especially for Easter there shall be some new arrivals, Cuddly Bunny, Thumpy Bunny, Puffy Duck and Fluffy Bunny. When Master P was offered which one he would like to test, before you could blink he had decided on Silly Monkey as in his own words he said it was because he is a little monkey too ;) 


He was actually off school and a little under the weather when it arrived and was perfect timing as Silly Monkey was just the ticket for his weary head to rest on....



When Master P was feeling a little perkier, he couldn't resist taking his new pillow friend outside for a little cuddle time....


So Silly Monkey is now a very much loved Pillow or is it a Pet, I guess it is indeed a Pillow Pet. And as Miss Poppins really wants one for her very self too, I shall indeed be purchasing one for her, they are perfect for car journeys and little holidays away. You really do have to feel it to appreciate how soft it is and I myself have enjoyed a little cuddle. Hope Master P is happy to share ;)  

X

Disclosure: I was sent one Pillow Pet to review for the purposes of this blog post.  

Monday, 27 February 2012

Vintage Is the Best!....

When I spied this charity shops I couldn't resist a little nosy. one. It is a lovely little vintage shop in the sense that I would say pretty much all the items sold are true vintage. I asked if I could take one or two photographs on my way round as I thought you may like to have your own little moochy too....







May look like a load of old junk to some, but through my eyes I can see beauty and character in every single thing. I wish there were more charity shops like this, many sell *junk* in my eyes and at rip off prices. For vintage I think this shop is very reasonably priced. In fact I bought this ever so pretty little dish on my last visit  for £3.99....


Where it home's some of my most favourite sparkly jewellery....


Hope you liked your little tour :)

X

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Bathroom Makeover Challenge Update....

As some of you may know I am taking part in a #ckbloggerchallenge in collaboration with Cox & Kings, a travel company who offer some very luxurious tailor-made holiday's I have to decorate a room in my home in an Indian theme with a budget of £250 and need to have it finished by 9th March. There are five other bloggers taking part, you can see who on my post here and a short little weekend holiday abroad is up for grabs for the room who gains the most *likes* between the 12th-25th March on the Cox & Kings facebook page. Being up against some very talented bloggers, one or two who are even professional interior stylists does nothing for my confidence and certainly puts the pressure on a little. Many rooms in my home, have the Mary Poppins look, flowers a plenty, and as I wanted to really go for it, I thought it would be best to makeover the most neutral, untouched room in my home which is the upstairs dormer bathroom. Indeed there is still decorating to be done in there so I thought it ideal. I must have been very tired when I made this decision as I have really double challenged myself on this one. Now if I had indeed picked a living room, or bedroom I could have purchased beautiful throws and wall hangings, gorgeous Indian-esque sculptures and large dramatic mirrors. As it is, I have about as much scope as it would be working on a postage stamp, and have had to really work hard in choosing some of the items for my spacially challenged room.

Here are some little before photographs....


We had already purchased one or two DIY items, wood, paint etc to finish off the little bathroom (which is situated in-between the two children's attic bedrooms ) and I shall be putting in some new temporary flooring for this challenge as I have seen one which I think  hope shall work quite well within the theme. I shall also  be raising the tounge and groove a little and may draft the husband in for the really difficult bits ;) Mr. Poppins who works in architecture designed our attic conversion and drew up the plans etc and opted for a round window in this bathroom ( he has a thing about round windows, maybe from watching play school as a kid ) and each of the attic bedrooms have one.... 


I can tell you from experience though too, that they are a bu**er to wallpaper around and also finding suitable window treatments has proved very difficult. Though mostly I think a lovely design feature and I love that you can see the twinkling stars when having a night time relaxing bath....


  

Now if this was a competition about who has the shiniest taps....



I shall be doing some wallpapering in there, and am so inspired by my lovely Sister In Law's wallpapered bathroom and think is very pretty....


Of course when it actually came to choosing some wallpaper, I just couldn't make my mind up and wanted to search out ones suitable for bathroom use, here is only a little selection of my *maybe* pile ;) ....


You shall be pleased to know I have actually chosen some, it has arrived safely and a little clue is that it is a Harlequin design. I have purchased all the accessories, budget is pretty much all gone and now I just need to crack on with the DIY and put things in their right place. There is something quite motivational about having a deadline as you really have to make the time and just get on with it. I genuinely know am probably the behind runner in this race, and don't really think I have much hope of my bathroom being the most *liked* I just can't compete with the big room reveals that shall be taking place ( think the other bloggers are doing bedrooms, a living room and study ) though I am so looking forward to seeing the other bloggers rooms and we have been chattering away on twitter and we are all having fun with our challenge. 

And I just fell in love with the Indian style of this notebook and pencil set, perfect for some inspirational writing in the bath perhaps....


Ha ha being the enthusiastic shopper that I am, I have lots more items to share with you, and being me, there shall of course be a hint of pink in one or two of them, I just hope they all squeeze in. My budget hasn't really been spent on large items as I just haven't the space for them, though hopefully the accessories I have purchased shall evoke a lovely Indian interior style. Thanks for accompanying me on this make over journey, I really hope you come back for my next update and as I tell my daughter, it really isn't the winning in life, it is the taking part and joining in that counts. Actually I have come to quite like the fact I chose the little bathroom, and to face and conquer the challenges it has brought me. Hopefully she shall feel very proud graced in all her Indian-esque glory :)

X

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Little Giveaway....

As a keen crafter I like to see what new craft magazines are out there etc and see if any are worthwhile me spending my hard earned pennies on. Is it only me that actually thinks you don't get an awful lot for your money and many are a bit, well samey samey. When a new one comes out and I kind of like the look of it, I have to buy it, though to be honest find many of the projects a little behind the times, and many projects following trends rather than making them. I am glad they are all out there though as is super that sewing and crafts in general is a big thing right now, and more and more people are picking up a needle and thread. Anyway, on one of my jaunts I came across this, many of you may have seen/heard about it, or even purchased one yourself, but was a bargain price, and although I knew I probably wouldn't be collecting all the titles, I hoped this first one may give me some valuable hints and tips about quilting and patchwork....


Of course I had to pick up another one for a little giveaway, so am offering the first issue of The Art Of Quilting on here. I shall probably have to cut the cardboard backing to make it easier to post, but everything shall be sealed and packaged, and is actually a super little project to make a Double Four Patch block, which you could back, and then could be used as perhaps a pot holder, wall hanging, a teeny dolls little quilt etc. There is also a tutorial on making a cushion cover. The idea is obviously to make up the quilt, whilst being guided by future The Art Of Quilting issues, but is a good starter read on patchwork etc.


And you shall receive all the ingredients to make up your block....


So, if you would like to go in the hat for this, I shall also send a little handmade something, feel free to leave a little comment to say so. Giveway closes at midnight on Sunday, 26th and is open to over seas too.

Good luck
Thank you for entering, this competition is now closed and a winner has now been chosen.

X

Thursday, 16 February 2012

I Have Been Given A Blogger Challenge....

One thing I enjoy is a challenge, and when Cox & Kings, the travel company who offer luxury holidays challenged myself and five other bloggers to a *changing rooms* style makeover challenge, I certainly wanted to know more and decided to take part. We have a strict set budget of £250 and can utilise this in the way we feel best to come up with an India themed room in our home. I don't know about the other bloggers taking part, but I am finding this a real challenge, and if honest, am having somewhat of a creative block. I know I shall hopefully probably pull it out of the bag somehow, but feel I am certainly the last to leave the starting post. I wanted to be able to shop around and search out some fantastic vintage style/second hand items on the high street, but with the big reveal taking place on the 9th March, time at a premium, and with family life etc, am probably foreseeing much of my budget shall be spent online, and in the comfort of my own home.

I think India themes are lovely, though possibly part of my challenge block is that it is not a theme I would normally choose for one of my own rooms, so almost more of a challenge in a way. Then I have had to think of which room to makeover. At first I thought £250 would go a long way in terms of sourcing items, but actually there have been a couple of ( very nice) items that I liked the look of, and those two alone would have eaten pretty much all my budget in one go. I don't want to leave it too late to start buying, so I must pull my finger out somewhat. I have bought just a teeny, tiny little something though, and luckily has left me with £249 left in the kitty....


Am not totally sure what it is, but thought it had a lovely zingy Indian-esque feel to it, and so my first purchase was made....


And not bad for £1 ( all receipts must be kept and logged )....


Anyway maybe I have indeed just left the starting line up, and the creative juices shall overcome me very soon. We all have to take photographs of our chosen madeover room at the end of the challenge, and then they shall be posted on the Cox & Kings Facebook Page with the winner being the one with the most likes. I aim to update via my blog how I am getting on, though you can also see any updates if you would like to, using the twitter hashtag #ckbloggerchallenge on Twitter. One thing that is spurring little old me on, is that for the winning blogger, a little weekend break away has been offered as the prize, and with Mr. Popps & I in desperate need of some alone time, I am finding this a super incentive. It almost saddens me a little to think the last time we went away, just the two us was years ago, really. I guess I am just too darn attached to those children of mine, but know a special just the two of us break away would do us all, as a family, the world of good.

If you would like to visit the other bloggers taking part also, and what they come up with here they are. A lovely bunch they are too....

CosyHomeBlog.com
Home Gems
The Style PA
bibbity-bob
That's Yummy Mummy!

So, wish me luck, I think I am going to need it. It really would be lovely if you could share this challenge with me, especially on the inspiration front ( ideas welcome) and I can happily inform you my chosen room has now been decided....

The Dorma ( with a challenging round window in it to think about) Bathroom....

X

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Bargain Of the Day!....

When I spied this little Cath Kidston label in a charity shop....


I of course grabbed politely lifted the brand new item off the shelf and thought it was just lovely.

And oh my....

The price....


One little pound, and a pound well spent I think....


Lovely yes? The yellow floral lace design is just so spring like, and makes me dream of sunny days to come. I am getting somewhat of a collection at home of oven gloves, there are so many pretty ones out there in the shops, and I was more than happy to bring this one, which was perfectly new and never used, home.  

I hope you have been bargain hunting too, you see, you never know what you might find....

X

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Why I Shall Keep Buying LEGO Friends....

As those who know me understand I am very much a people person, and so really enjoy attending blogging, brand, and press launch events that I get invited to. If I think it is an event I shall enjoy and learn from, and also something that you may find interesting hearing about, I am more than happy to accept those invitations. When one landed in my inbox from LEGO Friends I have to say the fact it was being held here and there  would be a lovely indulgent breakfast served, it did get a very quick " Thank you for the invitation and I would be delighted to attend" response. This event was of interest to me especially, as there has been so much coverage of the new LEGO Friends, and some of it not favourable. Thinking the range stereotypes genders, too girly, even perhaps stifling of girls ambitious career plans for the future. I was also quite  shocked to hear there maybe even plans for petitions to get the range off the shelves....


I am perhaps what one would call a girly girl, pink is one of my favourite colours and so a range like this shall always get the thumbs up from me. I also have a daughter, a 10 year old daughter as it happens and who loves playing with LEGO, what ever the colour. When we were in a toy shop over Christmas, she had some money to spend and straight away went over to the shelves of LEGO Friends where it had only just been launched and bought a set for herself. She liked the look of it, I was happy with her to buy it and she loves it. We don't own a wii, an xbox, or DSi and am very much encouraging of my children to still play with *toys* as such. Ten year old Miss. Poppins has the most incredible imagination, has won awards for her story telling, is bright, and very ahead of her years. As her parent I want my daughter to decide for herself what she may like to play with, how SHE feels she should be as a young person growing up, and not how others think she should be. She was excited about me going along to hear more about the new friends range.

When I arrived here....


And was greeted by these....


I made my way down to where the event was being held. It was a lovely intimate get together, very personable, relaxed, friendly and I had great fun playing with the LEGO.




The range was developed after four, yes four years of extensive LEGO research of finding out what girls want, and this it seems is what is wanted. It is certainly what MY daughter wants and am guessing on reading the many, many positive threads on this range is what other girls want to. It may not be what you want, or indeed what your daughter wants, but I can't help but feel I would be doing my intelligent daughter a disservice by saying she SHOULD not be playing with such things. If she wants to dream of being a hairdresser, a pop star, a baker, a candle stick maker, an astronaut, a scientist, a prime minister, or indeed any career, I want to let her. My 5 yr old son loves playing with his LEGO, he also enjoys doing role play and has fun with the friends sets, and I am more than happy to let him do so. In my opinion LEGO is just trying to meet the demands and interests of many young girls and as for limiting her imagination, well have a little look at what Mark Stafford came up with using some LEGO friends...


LOVE the lipstick claws ;)

I can often be the person that sits on the fence regarding the (so many) debates online you see, though on this one, have stepped off just a little and want to let you know I love it, my daughter loves it, we shall keep buying it and look forward to the second wave which shall be released later this year around August. In fact I had to nip into Harrod's ( as you do ) on my way home to pick a little something up for my daughter, and guess what she wanted....


When I got home, she greeted me with a lovely hug and couldn't wait to have a little play with her new set. She loves intermixing some of the LEGO CITY with it too, and don't they say variety is the spice of life....



If playing with some pink themed lego brings a smile to my precious daughter's face, then I am all for it....

X

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Vintage Trunk....

Oh I really do love old, vintage things with character and charm to them, and when I spied this lovely trunk, I knew I had to have it. Normally these old vintage trunks can be quite pricey, though this I thought quite reasonable, so I snapped it up....


 I love the well worn leather handles....


And the rusty locks....


The inside isn't quite as pretty, but I am hopefully going to sort that out....


The lining is a very fine paper one and I just love the removable top drawer that came with it. Sadly the original paper was quite badly water damaged so I have already started picking away at the lining, ready to replace it with something pretty....


I just love the way the drawer sits neatly on top....


So, all I need to decide is how to go about lining it and what to use. Lining paper? Wallpaper? Fabric? I am yet to make up my mind. I can send it off to the professional peeps, but you know me, I always like to give things a go. Oh and then I also need to think about what treasures I want to keep inside it. Hmmmm it could be a trunk full of all those special memories of having children, their first blanket, name tags, special outfits those kinds of things....For now is on my endless list of jobs to do, if you can offer any tips on how you would line it, would love to know :)

X

Monday, 6 February 2012

The Gruffalo's Child....

It was with eager anticipation that the family and I sat down with a cosy blanket, and a mug of hot chocolate to watch BBC1's animation of The Gruffalo's Child on Christmas Day last year. We all ( especially the five year old ) loved the original Gruffalo animation so very much and couldn't wait to see this. I don't want to give too much away incase you haven't seen it, or read the book but basically some years have passed, and as in the original Gruffalo, the story is told through the squirrel to her little babies who see some footprints they think belong to The Gruffalo. These footprints however are quite small and indeed belong to The Gruffalo's Child, a daughter who ignores her father's warnings of going out in the cold dark night incase she may get a fright from the big, bad, mouse. Then we are then taken on an adventure where she meets the owl, fox and snake who direct her towards the fearsome creature. But what will she make of the mouse when she finally meets him ?

  
 

I have to say we loved it, and although sometimes it is hard to compete with the classic original of a story, for me this really did have it's own charm and certainly we all smiled our way through the 30 minute animation. It was a lovely surprise to be asked if I would like to watch it again on DVD before it's release date, however I did wonder if it would stir all those emotions for a second time. I can gladly report it did. I  love that yes my children enjoyed this, but so did I and for me is a true family watch that anyone from 1-100 can enjoy. I would happily buy this on DVD when it comes out on the 13th of February 2012, and I think a wonderful addition to ones collection of family entertainment.

If you wish to, you can pre order The Gruffalo's Child on DVD here and at £7.49 with a free delivery option, I think a very reasonable price. Also I believe there shall be some competitions run on launch day, February 13th, so you may want to follow The Gruffalo's Child  on Twitter....


X

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Inflatable Penguin Sledge....

I have had this inflatable Snow Boogie Inflatable Sledge all folded up in his little box for quite a while, it was sent to be reviewed, but with no snow, it was a little difficult to see how it performed and capture the children sledging in action....


Until now that is, as soon as the snow fell, we all ran to poor lonely Mr. Penguin, and took it in turns to blow him up. We then went off to do a little sledging. Master Poppins thoroughly enjoyed himself....


It really is a super fun little sledge, very rigid and much, much faster than a bin liner. Master P who is 5, fitted perfectly inside, and I have to say I did have a little go myself but think am possibly a little on the big side, so no action shots of me there I am afraid ;) Miss. Poppins of course made sure she was going to have a go or two on it....


I would say stick to thick snow, as being inflatable, not ideal going over sharp stones or twigs, many of which we have here in the country, but happily on our little adventure he came back safe and sound. There is kit included in the box should a puncture arise which is always handy to have. There are two soft grip handles that make it easy to steer and we got many smiles from people who thought our Mr. Penguin a much fun inducing sledge. Not only is there Mr. Penguin, there is also Mr. Polar Bear too....


So, as the snow has stayed put, and we are off again to enjoy the thrill of the sledge with our Mr. Penguin. Have to say I shall look forward to coming home to one of these....


X