Party Perfect – Kids Stationery

F and PI don’t know what it is but I like Stationery.  I can spend a happy half hour perusing the aisles in Paperchase or ordering online at Scribbler – check out their Bestseller list over nap time  – and yes I do have a ‘card drawer’.

Another favourite of mine are Brit stationers Fraser & Parsley.  If Elephants and Pigs wearing party hats appeals to you as much as it does to me, then have a look at their great new Children’s party range.  They do invitations, gift tags and sweet folded notes which make great Thank You cards.  Lots of choice for boys and girls from Knights and Dinosaurs to Cupcakes and Tiaras.  And if that isn’t enough did I fail to mention they do Unicorns too.

F and Parsley

All in the detail:

All by Fraser & Parsley
You can choose highlight colours and a choice of lovely fonts
Gift Tags from £10
Invites and Folded Notes from £20
Click here to view

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Say It Loud – The Mother Sweatshirt

mother jumper

I threw a Baby Shower for Little A’s Godmother last weekend and alongside the Elderflower Fizz, fruit skewers and bunny cupcakes we decided to get her one of these jumpers to celebrate her upcoming status.

smAvailable from Selfish Mother – if you haven’t seen the Blogzine then def check it out – the profits from each sweater/t-shirt sold go to Women for Women International.  This brilliant charity helps women from 8 war-torn regions rebuild their lives through training programmes.  Even better each tee and sweatshirt is made at a Fair Wear Foundation certified factory in Bangladesh which means its vetted for good working conditions and fair wages.  A plight hugely relevant given the fact I have just seen the documentary The True Cost (available on Netflix now) which certainly makes you rethink all those fast fashion purchases you have been making from the high street.

One of my favourites is the ‘Winging It’ sweatshirt as every day with the Littlies often feels this way!

The Dads and Little Ones needn’t miss out, they have ranges for them too – see below.

All in the Detail:

Sweatshirts and Tees available at Selfish Mother
Sizes XS-XL
Tees – £30
Sweatshirts – £45
Click here to shop
Click here for blogzine

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The Entertainer – Eating out with Kids

Travel gamesApologies for the radio silence but life seems super busy at the moment.  Now the sunshine has finally appeared and we can now spend more time out than in, that’s exactly what we have been doing.

With the long summer holidays on the horizon and with no doubt holidays being booked I thought I would do a post on how to entertain the Little Ones without the help of the iPad or iPhone when travelling/eating out.

We had a fab trip to Malaysia at Easter and every night was spent dining out with the kids and I was determined not to have to resort to the bright lights of Apps to keep them busy. First up an obvious one but pens and paper do go a long way.  I took 2 pads and a pencil case out with me every evening and simple things like drawing around your fork and spoon staved off a bit of the boredom whilst we ordered food.  Next mention goes to Stickers.  Most children 1.5 – 8 like them and you would be amazed at how simply sticking them onto plain paper keeps them occupied.  I bought some cheap packs from Amazon of Minions, Frozen characters etc. and they were super handy and so easy to stick in your bag.

If you have a long haul flight lined up then these Melissa & Doug Mess Free Glitter Scenes were brilliant.  Quite fiddly for a 2.5 yr old so they need help, but Little A at 5 loved these.  You simply rub the glitter sheets over the sticky bits and voila a masterpiece.  Perfect to bring to dinner or take onboard your flight.

If arts and crafts are a hit these Sticky Mosaic sets were also a success.  You can get easier ones for the 2-3yrs old which are great for learning about shapes and colours and more complex ones for older ones.  Fairly addictive once you get going and you end up with little works of they can keep.

Osborne’s pack of cards entitled 100 Things for Little Children to do on a Journey does exactly that.  They are wipe-clean activity cards packed with puzzles, games and pictures.  Comes with a pen to use that wipes clean (remember to buy a spare if you are travelling with more than one child to avoid WWIII!) and they were great to pack in my handbag for restaurant outings.  If you have older children then look for the equally brilliant 50 Things to Do on a Plane which follows the same formula but includes word searches and more complex puzzles/quizzes.

That’s about it.  All the above were tried and tested by us and I definitely found dining out to be more relaxing than normal, that said maybe it was because I wasn’t doing the cooking!

All in the detail:

Click all the links above to direct you to where you can buy them. 
Prices all around the £5-£10 mark.

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Easter Bunnies – Peter Rabbit at Mothercare

Peter RabLadies and Gents it’s time to stock up the pressie drawer as the gorgeous Peter Rabbit collection has landed at Mothercare. Marking 150 years since the birth of Beatrix Potter, the collection consists of beautiful nursery bedding, baby clothing and gifts all featuring the famous Peter Rabbit illustrations in a soft grey and white colour palette.

I adore the Peter Rabbit romper (£12 as pictured above) and anyone would love to zip their Little Ones up in the Peter Rabbit sleeping bag.  Most pieces are unisex, given the neutral reworked colourways, and just perfect for any Spring babies imminently arriving.

All in the detail:
The Peter Rabbit Collection exclusively at Mothercare
Clothing sizes newborn – 18 mths
Bedding and Gifts available too
Click here to view

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Sample Sale from your Sofa – Half Pint Chic

Half Pint ChicEver had a flyer through the door or an email from a friend telling you about amazing discounts to be had at various sample sales but can’t face the elbow bashing, crowd surfing and garment grabbing… especially when you have a babe in tow?  Rest assured you might never again have to suffer FOMO thanks to a little website I have discovered. Half-Pint Chic takes all the hassle out of a sample sale by bringing you discounted items from gorgeous, premium childrenswear labels all online.

Some of my favourite labels – Bonnie Baby, Caramel Baby & Child, Darcy Brown, Marie Chantal, Rachel Riley, Their Nibs –  are all on there and I have even made some new discoveries such as Nicki Macfarlane who I previously thought only designed occasionwear.  If you are in need of swimwear for your holidays there is an amazing selection of Sunuva swim and beachwear with rash vest, trunks, cossies and kaftans all starting around the £10 mark up to £21.

I am delighted with this gorgeous Nicki Macfarlane dress smocked dress for £35 (original price tag was £75) and can’t wait for Little B to wear it this Easter Sunday on our holiday.  Delivery was prompt and it arrived beautifully packaged too.

nicki m

Never feel like you missed out on snapping up a bargain again.

All in the detail:

All available at Half-Pint Chic
Click here to view
Designer children’s clothing at very lovely prices

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Top Trunks – new discovery Tom & Teddy

PATPThroughout my life I have had an appreciation for the Land Of Oz.  Home & Away and Neighbours got me through the school years, a trip down the East Coast before uni cemented a love of the land and the reef just off it, and now we have a lovely Aussie au pair living with us things are pretty peachy – it’s just the Aussie sunshine we are missing.

My latest Australian discovery is the premium swimwear brand Tom & Teddy.  Set up by a mum in search of matching Daddy and Son swim shorts for Father’s Day but finding the selection somewhat limited, Tom & Teddy offers big boys and Little Ones quick-dry, durable, mid thigh swimmers for the pool or ocean.  I am obsessed by the Seagull print in Ice blue and can’t wait to see Little A wearing them beachside this Easter.  If you have some summer hols planned or simply want to up fashion ante for swimming lessons then take a look.

All in the detail:

All by Tom & Teddy
Available at NotontheHighStreet
Click here to view collection 
They do great rash vests in solid colours too 
All in Boys (1-12) and Mens sizes (S-XXL)
Kids trunks are £35, Adults £65

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Little House on the Prairie – Folksy Florals

Floral

I have just about had enough of the chill in the air and cannot wait for the days of picnics in the park and being able to leave the house without donning a thousand layers. I also cannot wait till it is warm enough for Little B to skip out of the door wearing this most fabulous frock.  It’s designed and made by Their Nibs, who are known for their distinctive vintage-inspired silhouettes paired with unique hand designed prints.  The pintuck detailing on this front is just lovely and the attention to detail really reminds me of the dresses of my youth.

If you are destined to be somewhere hot this Easter or simply dreaming of summer then definitely check out Their Nibs S/S collection full of pretty summer frocks with a vintage vibe.

dress

Not to be left out Little A loves the 100% cotton PJs by Their Nibs.  Super soft and with fun vintage prints they make great pressies too.

All in the detail:

All Clothing by Their Nibs
Prairie Floral Stripe Pintuck Dress, £35
Ages 2-10
They also do some fab Tutu skirts – love the Soft Blue
Boys printed PJs, £20
Love the Pirate and the Cowboys and Indians
Worth noting Free Shipping within the UK!

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Run Rabbit Run – gorgeous rabbit fabric

rabbitsLittle B is massively into rabbits.  She drags her beloved Maileg rabbit round with us everywhere we go and when I saw this print I just knew it would be her cup of tea.  Made in the UK and inspired by the lining of a tea cosy found at a antiques fair, Hollyhock Home‘s fabric is vintage in look and depicts charming scenes of rabbits busy in the garden. Made from 100% Linen the fabric is also available in a heavier upholstery fabric too.  We love the cushions that make for sweet gifts and will add a nostalgic vibe to any nursery.

All in the detail:

Made by Hollyhock Home
Square cushions, £35 – click here to view
Rectangular cushions,£30
Click here to view
They also make lovely Linen Cotbed and Single Bed duvet covers and fitted sheets.

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All wrapped up – hooded towels for kids

Hooded OwlsIf after bathtime you realise that you are still trying to dry your toddler-sized Little One with one of their baby hooded towels then it might be time for an upgrade.  I still think that towels with a hood are still the best as they allow for the Superman/Superwoman method of drying, which involves running around the house with your towel flying behind you before collapsing into a towelling heap.  Lucky Little A received one of these fab large hooded towels from his fairy Godmother and we just love it.  Made by a Granny and Mummy team who saw the gap in the market, Hooded Owls have something for everyone.

For starters they are big and so can easily accommodate toddlers up to 8yr olds.  They are super soft and luxuriously thick and they each have a handy little pop fastener to keep the towel from sliding off so they are great for poolside chill time too.  Little A likes his because it’s blue, super snuggly and has a dinosaur trim and I am eyeing up a strawberry trimmed version for Little B.  For kids aged 7-13 they also offer a ‘Jumbo’ version and all towels can be personalised too.

On the subject of bathtime and much like the upgrade needed in towels I have also just invested in some less babyish bath toys.  These ducks and fishing rods by Djeco are a great find as they crucially don’t have a hole in the base so no black gunk can build up and they have different numbers on the underside so you can play games too.  Unlike some of their duckling brethren these ones also stay upright and are easy to hook by their tails.  A winner at bathtime although if you have more than 2 in your brood you might have to take turns with the rods!

All in the detail:

Towels by Hooded Owls
Standard size, £25 (approx 1-8 yrs size)
Jumbo size, £33 (approx 7-13 yrs size)
Free shipping on orders of more than 3 towels

Bath duck fishing toy by Djeco, £22 at JoJo Maman Bebe but you can find cheaper elsewhere online.

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Food for thought – nutritious nosh for kids

PPWe are all too aware that 2016 is the year of eating clean and whilst I sift lovingly through my Deliciously Ella book, I still on occasion (and with an empty fridge) rely on giving the kids mass produced frozen rubbish from my freezer.  Hypocritical indeed. Help is at hand though for the lucky folks living in London, as last week I met with 2 lovely young ladies set out to change the face of convenience kids’ food.  Yes you can buy meals specifically made for kids from Waitrose etc. but you will also be buying into food that has been handled on a mass scale and produced in factories.  Instead the ladies behind Piccolo Plates offer a service providing super fresh kids’ food all hand-cooked in their kitchen in West London.

pp1Not all children like the idea of a quinoa risotto and I like Piccolo Plates approach when it comes to their menu as all the dishes are reassuringly familiar (cottage pie etc.) but with stacks of hidden veg and full of nutrients.

Not only will it alleviate the guilt that you haven’t been to the shops, but it also means you won’t be feeding your Little Ones the synthetic fish fingers and waffle combo you so often resort too.  At £5 per dish they serve 2 kids (you can just about squeeze 3 portions if needed).  Free delivery and they currently deliver across London.  Perfect if you have friends visiting for the weekend, want to stock up the freezer or for those weeks when you have been flat out working and would prefer to spend any free time constructing Lego whilst dressed up as Elsa rather than hovering over the stove.

pp2

All in the detail:
Fresh dishes for children all by Piccolo Plates
£5 per dish (serves 2)
Current menu: Cottage Pie, Chicken and Pesto Nuggets, Fish Pie, Salmon & Cod Goujons, Veggie Shepherds Pie and Butternut Squash, Pea and Lentil Stew
Order via their website using their forms and they will then send you an invoice.
Click here to find out more
Click here to order
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