The Jelly Rabbit party supplies

November 26, 2014

 

We had a little party a couple of weeks ago for our youngest 2nd birthday. The theme was all things circus and the fabulous party supplies you can see in the pictures came from The Jelly Rabbit. The party bags were a particular favourite of mine, I adored the paper peanut bags. The kids loved the clown noses and glasses. Next time I have a kids party I will definitely be going back to The Jelly Rabbit, it was so easy to order online and get everything you need for the perfect party except the cake. I think we’ll have an Alice in Wonderland theme next time, as I’ve always loved that book, once I’ve introduced my girls to it properly.

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party partybags alexaclown

 

You can get party kits which include bunting, balloons, party bags (pre packed), paper plates and cutlery, straws, napkins etc etc. Perfect if you want to order everything you need in one go.

Take a look at their Christmas party supplies.

 

They are a new business so if you can show them some support by clicking on the links below that would be amazing.

 

Follow on Twitter

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Like their Facebook page

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A huge thank you to The Jelly Rabbit for making a little girl very happy on her birthday.

 

Natalie x

Playtex – Round the Clock with 24H Soft

November 25, 2014

Playtex have launched a new hosiery collection. Included in that collection of six different ranges are these amazing ’24H Soft’ tights – they are supposed to hold you in without feeling too restrictive and they also claim to be soft enough and comfortable enough to wear all day and if you really want to all night!

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I have to say there is a limit to what I will do for you guys, I did wear them all day from first thing in the morning until the evening, but during the night is just a step too far me.

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That being said I really was impressed with how comfortable they were, they are stretchy and soft and there definitely is an element of holding you in. Another thing is that they are very reasonable too at only £8.00 a pair.

 

I really liked these tights and when I reach in my underwear drawer for a pair of tights, I’ll be going for these for sure. The next pair I can’t wait to try as well are the ‘One Size Down’ tights, which says it knocks off centimetres around the leg area due to active-mineral crystals woven into the fabric.

 

Many thanks to Playtex for sending me a goodie bag of your hosiery to test out for my readers.

 

If you’ve tried any of the new Playtex ranges would love to know what you think?

 

You can buy Playtex from Next, Debenhams, John Lewis, House of Fraser and many other lingerie stores around the UK.

 

Nat x

Thanksgiving for non-Americans

November 25, 2014

 

Everyone (almost) celebrates the last Thursday in November. It isn’t a religion-based holiday, so it rivals Christmas on it’s scale of importance. Once the retailers figure out how to market it better (turkey themed gifts only appeal to a few), it’ll likely become the biggest holiday in the US.

It’s the holiday where young ‘uns trek/drive/fly/train and bus it across the country to spend a few nights back in the bosom of their family.

In sum, it’s A VERY IMPORTANT OCCASION (said with enormous gravitas).

Expect a feast. A gi-huge turkey. Lots of stuffing (Grandma’s recipe, bien sûr). Booze—usually plenty to help in oiling the strained and creaky familial reunions (our two countries have this in common, we all have “that uncle”). Expect side dishes such as green bean casserole, roasted squash, chestnut soup, sweet potatoes and the Brit Christmas sides of mashed potato, brussel sprouts and other veggies. Basically, a Christmas dinner. One dish which you might not have is hush puppies. No, not the orthopaedic-looking shoes that elderly or style-challenged people wear; hush puppies at a meal are pretty much a staple side in the US. Every time I hear the words, I expect to see a bowl of pale grey or pooh brown ugly shoes piled up, errant Velcro strap fastenings scratching against sensible rubber soles.

Anyway, the PUDDINGS! This is more important than the turkey. Pecan pie, check. Apple pie, check. Pumpkin pie, check.

Expect A LOT OF PUMPKIN. Hallowe’en is done and dusted but the orange “in my opinion, only good for decorations” vegetable comes into all its glory now.

The supermarket shelves are packed with cans of pumpkin purée etc. Like the spirit of giving thanks, it is all around. If you’re a curmudgeon, a Scrooge-like character, you’re sh*t out of luck.

Pumpkin soup. Pumpkin latte. Pumpkin flapjacks. Pumpkin yoghurt. Pumpkin toffee. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin muffins. Pumpkin juice (What in god’s name?). Pumpkin-anything-one-can-think-of. See attached photos for a small selection of pumpkin-related products.

So, to the tradition. Like the references to Red Coats on the 4th of July, I had no real understanding of what Thanksgiving is about. I quickly learnt several facts:

1. It happens on the last Thursday of November every year.

2. Everything is closed. If a store dares open, they are pretty much publicly chastised. I always tell myself that the employee is given a choice – work on Thanksgiving at 1.5 times regular pay, or spend the day with your family. I’d hazard a guess that many employees would happily choose the former. It’s why places like the Ministry of Defence in the UK never really closes its doors on Christmas Day – you’d cry if you knew how many scientists at one establishment in Worcestershire spend the 25th of December in their windowless offices “working”.

3. Turkey. The President of the United States traditionally pardons one turkey a year. Right. Anyway, it’s the bird of choice for millions of families across the country.

What is everyone celebrating? I know. I know. All the Brits cry “You’re celebrating the scalping, pillaging and degrading of the Native American Indians and kicking them out of their own country. They were there first. You Are Bastards.” They have a point.

The Americans do not agree with this point of view. Obvs. Right, I am here to write about the food not the history, so if you’re interested, please see this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving_(United_States). You’ll see there’s far more to it than first meets the untrained (British) eye. In short, it’s a day for families to rejoin and give thanks. Thanks for their loved ones’ health, thanks for the opportunities they’ve been given, thanks for anything and anyone they so choose. It was originally a sombre day, but now it’s definitely a celebration.

Across the country, different states celebrate Thanksgiving with their own state-specific food. Turkey is the common denominator, but as you may know, there are stacks of different side dishes to be enjoyed.

Hawaii has mushrooms and spring onions; Massachusetts has mussels; Indiana has persimmon (?); Maine has lobster and North Carolina has sweet potatoes. I’ve no clue what Iowa, Kansas or Kentucky have as the pictures are a little ambiguous. Your guess is as good as mine.

I’ve spent 12 Thanksgivings in the USA. My first in Vestal, New York with a dear friend and her wonderful family. A very happy memory. My first time baking an acorn squash with copious amounts of butter and brown sugar. Try it, you won’t regret it. My second was in Tennessee, and the rest have been here and there in and around DC. This year’s will be with family and friends at home. The only yank will be my son, all others will be British, Canadian and Mexican. I have no doubt that it will be another memory to add to the previous 12 happy ones. My 13th Thanksgiving. I was born on the 13th of the month many moons ago. I hope it’s a lucky number…

 

Elaine

 

 

Street Style Sunday – Summer to Winter Styling

November 23, 2014

Like everyone else I do not have a never-ending stream of new clothing (I wish I did), this post shows you’ve how I’ve styled my favourite skirt from the summer and made it wearable for the colder months. It would work with any similar style skirt. The reason I say similar style is because I wouldn’t pair a straight skirt with knee-high boots, I just don’t think it really works. It reminds me of the opening credits of the early series of ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ where Kris Jenner had a complete shocker (google it).

I featured the skirt below before in this post a few months ago.

Here I’ve adapted my school run outfit from the summer to work now, obviously minus a big old coat/hat/scarf whatever you use to protect you against the chill.

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I’ve teamed this Asos skirt, with a Cos jumper, and some old knee high boots.

 

So instead of completely putting your whole summer wardrobe away think about how you can adapt items to work for the colder months too.

 

Nat x

 

Street Style Sunday

Each week I will be reposting my favourite instagram style  pic on my IG feed, all you have to do is tag @stylemesunday in your pic and hashtag #streetstylesunday. You can gain some new followers and it means more people can get involved with Street Style Sunday. 

To link up a blog post – Click add link.

Grab the Street Style Sunday badge (left hand column).

Comment on this post and one other post in the link up.

Tweet about it, and remember to tag @stylemesunday – I will always retweet. 

I run this link up in conjunction with the lovely Laura from Side Street Style.

 


Socks for Christmas

November 20, 2014

 

 

I had this idea last Christmas, I’m sure I’m not the first person to ever do this, but a really simple idea for Christmas is to get all your chunky socks together and stick them to your mantel piece with a bit of wash tape. Then Christmas eve you can add little pressies for the kids to delight in on the big day.

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Roo’s Beach have a bloody brilliant selection of socks from Stance – the leopard print ones and the turquoise ones above are part of the collection available.

Of course you’ll probably just want to wear the socks every time you time you see them, but if you can resist it makes a lovely little display.

 

Natalie x

That Red coat from Debenhams

November 19, 2014

I’m probably going to have to start this kid up her own blog, I did get asked once by some Japenese tourists if she was a fashion blogger. It’s kind of mad how this whole blogging thing is exploding at the moment. Let’s hope it’s not just a flash in the pan and will stay around for a long time, because I’m loving it.

 

When I asked my daughter if I could take a picture of her in her new coat she was out the door before I could grab my camera quick enough. And then I don’t even have to tell her what to do any more, she moves and does different poses without me saying a word. Then she nicks my camera and starts clicking away, telling me “mum just move the umbrella up a bit or look over there.” Seriously she loves it, and she loves seeing the finished pictures up on the blog too. At some point I think I’m going to need to get her her own camera,  she is a natural with it.

 

I promised you in a previous post about Debenhams kid’s coats, that I’d show you my daughter in her new red coat so here she is:

 

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She absolutely loves her new coat and you can see why – it’s looks great.

 

This coat is £36-42 by J for Jasper Conran at Debenhams.

Trousers are from Iglo & Indi

Boots are Uggs from Cloggs

Umbrella is from Lulu Guinness

 

Nat x

Elaine talks Potty Training!

November 18, 2014

“Stay indoors all weekend and let him/her run around naked. They’ll be potty-trained by Sunday night.” they said. I believed them. What a sucker. Actually, it’s not a myth. I know people that this worked for. It just wasn’t me. Bitter? Yes.

My son is independent, bright, funny and also half me/half his father’s personality. If you know us, the parents, hearing that his potty training was not simple and didn’t figure in any book (print or online) will not really surprise you. He did it his way. Cue Frank Sinatra. To date, there is not one thing in the past three and a half years that has gone by the book. Or by others’ experiences. Yes, we are raising an alien.

My mother tells me that my siblings and I were potty-trained before the age of one. Yes – ONE. It’s a Chinese/Far Eastern thing, and no, we didn’t walk around wearing trousers with a big hole in the crotch <eyeroll>. I tried it with my baby, the loo, not the trousers. He thought I was going to drown him, so I only tried it the once.

Talking of ending up in the loo, well, we will come back to that.

I was dying to get the boy potty-trained. I wanted to stop trawling 100 nappies around with us and also because I hadn’t read the small print on enrolling him into nursery, where it said that all children “must be fully potty-trained on entering the class.” Oh dear. We had two weeks to get it sorted. So typical. Note to self: Always read the small print when it comes to one’s children.

We did the Big Boy speech—hello grown-up underwear, goodbye nappies. I made his father take him to the loo with him to “learn”. That backfired spectacularly. The boy, aged two and a half, thinking he was a bona fide grown-up, wanted to go by himself. I rejoiced in his independence until I found him standing on the loo seat, facing the wall, “standing up like daddy”. Amazing how one can be SO CLOSE to the loo yet miss it entirely.

Back then, his aim was off because he was, well, uncoordinated. Nowadays, it’s off because he doesn’t pay attention. He talks and sings. To the loo. To the shadow on the wall. To the dog. He focuses everywhere except where he needs to. A few times, I’ve made the mistake of standing behind him and speaking; cue his head turn and my wet feet. He will suddenly drop what he’s doing and rush off to the bathroom declaring he needs to go (in a very loud voice)…then I’ll find him 20 seconds later, lying on the floor, casually reading a magazine (upside down, sometimes backwards) that he’s found enroute to the loo. No focus. Wet trousers.

People joke that a puppy is good training for a baby. In this house at least , IT IS SO TRUE, IT’S SCARY. Our dog took one whole year to housetrain. How is that not in the slightest bit surprising?

When M was a baby, I’d occasionally forget to take enough spare nappies and clothes when we were out for the day. Of course, it was always in a location where there wasn’t a shop selling nappies for love nor money. He would often make the journey home in the car or pram half naked. Sometimes fully naked. Oh god, the shame.

Sometimes the same thing happens nowadays. I can forget that he’s still a little toddler, especially since he’s talking ten to the dozen and can appear like a mini adult now and again. Thankfully he’s as happy running around in his birthday suit as he is fully dressed. Actually he prefers to be au naturel, to the point we have to threaten him with painful consequences* if he doesn’t put his clothes on for school. Plus, a naked fat baby rolling about naked is cute. Not quite the same when it’s a talking, self-feeding, almost four year old who likes to open the front door to unsuspecting visitors.

*current painful consequences being Cinderella going into the dustbin.

M is quite comfortable around the loo. Why is that important? Well, some toddlers have a genuine fear of sitting on something they fear will swallow them up whole, bum first. Our boy is so at one with the loo that he has been known to get SO excited, running around with his cousins, that he has run into the loo, dunked his head into the water to refresh himself (too short to reach the sink) and continued playing. That was quite a WTF moment to witness. Last week, at a friend’s house, he was dawdling around pulling his trousers back up, I was irritated and wanted to exit the bathroom. I over-enthusiastically hoiked his trousers up…and up-ended my poor child head first into the loo. He didn’t flinch. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. It had been flushed, by the way. Thank god. If not, I’d have left him there and snuck home.

So, to those of you still struggling with getting your little one out of nappies, keep the faith. It will happen before he/she has to start nursery. If not, change your application and put your child into a Montessori where they will do it for you. That has been the smartest part of my parenting so far.

Elaine

All About You – My brief brush with fame

November 17, 2014

Today I have the huge honour of co-hosting the All About You link party (details are towards the end of this post), with Mums’ days and Mama – and More! 

 

When I thought about what I could post about for the All About You link party , the first thing that sprung to mind was my recent 15 seconds brush with fame, when I appeared in the Daily Mail in my underwear. Eek!

 

Background:
I saw an ad in one of the Facebook groups – It asked for women of all sizes to get in touch if they were interested in being featured in their underwear and would be happy to talk about how they feel about their body. Now I’m not exactly ecstatic about my body at the moment I’m a size 12 and would ideally like to loose a few pounds, although I’m not bothered enough to go on any strict regime in the foreseeable future. Really I have little to moan about, a lot of women would kill to be a size 12, and by anyone’s standards I’m not massive. Even though I’m not completely shouting from the roof tops about my figure I do think it’s important for other women, especially young, impressionable girls to see women of all shapes and sizes in the media. God knows it’s effected me having to look at super-skinny women with the turn of every page for years. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with thin women clearly many are naturally that size, but what I want is for my daughters to see women of all shapes represented in the press. At the moment they are very  young and are not so influenced by the media (or at least I think so). I’m very clear that I portray a message of being healthy, eating the right foods the majority of the time is important to us, and physical exercise is a part of our day to day lives. I would also never ever let them see me weigh myself, or hear them call myself fat. This year in April I ran the London Marathon and I did it to show my girls that nothing is impossible. Before I ran the marathon I was not a runner, running didn’t come naturally to me. I wanted to challenge myself and overcome something that appeared impossible. I want to show my girls that it’s good to challenge yourself now and again, and that is why I decided to appear in a national newspaper almost in the buff.

 

Some behind the scene shots:

 

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The feature was inspired by this campaign:

 

What do you think of the Victoria Secrets “The Perfect Body” adverts?
Luckily (ha) I’m on the very end so finding a picture with me in is almost impossible (you’ll have to look at my twitter photos or my instagram for that luxury). But you get the idea from the picture below.

 

 

There has been a huge amount of interest and comments around this, some good, some bad.

 

Would love to know what you think?

 

Nat x

 

It’s time to hear about YOU!  Again, you are welcome to add a link to an Instagram image or links to up to three blog posts – we want to see and hear about YOU, about your style, your thoughts, your views, your feelings.  Bring it on!
For Instagrammers, you’re welcome to add a #stopdropandselfie post or a shot you feel sums you up right now, or that reveals a bit of you.  Just add the #AllAboutYouNow hashtag if you do, and a couple of words about you.  If you feel like it go ahead and tag other friends to ask them if they want to take a second to share something #AllAboutYouNow.

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You can link up to 3 posts to this linky, and please visit a couple of other linkers too to share some comment love, hit like on Instagram. or Pin what you like.  You know how this works!

 

** Here is the All About You badge!  Please grab the code and add the badge to your post or sidebar, so that whenever I see it I will tweet your post out! **
Mama and More
*disclaimer – wherever I see the badge I do try to tweet it out, but some bloggers don’t seem to have their twitter handles or accounts easy to find, so I will when I can!

Party rules –

 1. Please link posts specific to the theme of this party – this is your space to link up posts all about YOU, whether it’s style, fitness, food, concerts or sky-diving!  You can link up to 3 posts.

2. Please link the URL of your specific AllAboutYou post, and please feature the badge or mention the linky, because it’s a nice thing to do ; )  I tweet out and comment on linked posts that do!
3. Please comment on at least two other posts within the AllAboutYou link party – don’t just link-dump!

 

Feel free to tweet or share about the link party so that more people come along and join too, although this is by no means obligatory!

 

All About You community links:

 

#AllAboutYou Link &amp; Pin Party Pinterest Board

#AllAboutYou Facebook Page

 

 

Birthday tutu from Miss Francis

November 17, 2014

This little big girl turned two during the week. And what could be more fitting to wear than this beautiful tutu from Miss Francis.

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This smokey grey skirt is my absolute favourite. I like to see it teamed with a casual top and some hi-tops.

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As you can see the skirt is lovely and full and the quality is exceptional. Catching a photo of this little one proved more problematic than I had envisaged – she didn’t want to stop twirling long enough. Perfect practice for when she goes on Strictly Come Dancing in a few years time!

If you’d like to get your little cutie pie a beautiful tutu too, Miss Francis are offering a fantastic discount to all Style Me Sunday followers. Use the code SS15 to get 15% off your order valid until 30.11.14. Perfect timing for the upcoming Christmas party season.

 

Natalie x

 

Linking with

You Baby Me Mummy

Style Me Sunday -Our Ugg style

November 16, 2014

Last Sunday we went to Victoria Park in our gifted Uggs from Cloggs, the perfect place to test out our new boots. Instead of opting for another pair of traditional Uggs I was keen to test out their other styles. Both my eldest and me went for the biker style boots, they are sheepskin lined and super comfy, and I think they look pretty damn good too.

 

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I paired mine with some chunky-knit socks, skinny jeans, a tee, and a faux fur coat I picked up from Brick Lane market a couple of months ago. It was a lovely sunny Autumnal day, so of course my sunnies from Roo’s beach were obligatory.

 

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The kids absolutely love it when we go to Victoria Park, the play areas are really great with everything from a huge sandpit to little wooden houses to encourage imaginative play.

 

 

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My eldest wore her Mini Rodini coat (a few seasons old) and some stripy Beau Loves trousers.

If you fancy going to the park it’s worth taking some bread for the ducks and if you’re feeling brave you can even take a boat out on the lake.

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Other than looking good and being as comfy as you’d expect from a pair of Uggs they are practical too – water-resistant and really robust for whatever family adventures you might be  going on.

Competition

Cloggs are running a fab competition on Pinterest at the moment. All parents have to do is submit a board of their best kid’s style including a pair of Cloggs, and you can win a year’s supply of kid’s shoes and a pair for yourself as well, have a look –  http://www.cloggs.co.uk/page/pinterest-competition

 

Street Style Sunday

Each week I will be reposting my favourite instagram style  pic on my IG feed, all you have to do is tag @stylemesunday in your pic and hashtag #streetstylesunday. You can gain some new followers and it means more people can get involved with Street Style Sunday. 

To link up a blog post – Click add link.

Grab the Street Style Sunday badge (left hand column).

Comment on this post and one other post in the link up.

Tweet about it, and remember to tag @stylemesunday – I will always retweet. 

I run this link up in conjunction with the lovely Laura from Side Street Style.

 

 


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