Thursday, 31 July 2014

Me & Mine: July 2014


This month has passed by in such a blur.

Infact the calendar in my bedroom is honestly still on July 3rd....I see it every day and think to myself "Someone has made a mistake here....it cannot possibly be the end of July already!"

We've had a busy month, I know that much.....but if you offered me all the tea in china I could not tell you exactly what we've been busy doing!!!  When I cast my mind back we haven't done all that much more than usual, but it's felt busy.

All month I've been thinking to myself "I must make sure we take our family portrait soon...." and of course, here we are at the end of the month and up until this evening we hadn't taken one!



Tonight we were heading out to a local carnival procession .... carnivals are one of my favourite thing about summer and it's the processions I love the most!

We drove there at 7.30, when we'd usually be starting the bedtime routine, because what's the point in routines and rules if you're not going to break them every now and then?!

We watched all the floats go past, watched the majorettes dance, listened to the music....

And afterwards, I remembered our family portrait!

So we ran over to the colourful beach huts, set the camera up on timer on the sea wall and prayed it wouldn't fall in!...

The battery was almost dead, so I knew we only had a minute or so to get the portrait.

Luckily for us a kind man asked if we'd like a group photo, and he took the one below for us....

it's not perfect at all and I'd happily crop myself out of it if I could, but it's the one photo that we're all looking in the right direction....and the evening sky looks pretty magnificent behind us!



Our hurried last minute attempt got us 3 silly photos where Jon & I look a little bit deranged, and Tyne is looking anywhere but at the camera.....but I like them anyway.

We were laughing so much while we threw Tyne around, tickled him and swung him between us to try and make him laugh....we were having lots of fun at the end of a fun Summers evening out.

Just like life.....It might not be perfect, but I love it's imperfections anyway.




dear beautiful
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Perfect Gifts For Little Girls....

As I focus so much on boys toys & products on the blog (Being the mother of a boy!) I do like to stop and focus on girl's things every now & then, as I'm aware that some of my readers do have daughters and birthday inspiration is always welcome!

My niece turns 7 at the end of August, and I want to make sure I get her something special – last year I bought her a beautiful fairy necklace from Market CrossJewellers online which she just adored – so how do I top that this year?! 

With that in mind, this is the first of a two part guide taking a look at what I think are some of the best items on the market for Little Girls at the moment.

Oona Owl Bean Bag


I love anything to do with owls at the moment, so this gorgeous girly bean bag from R U Comfy really caught my eye! I think the design is so cute, and a bean bag would surely make a welcome change from the endless toys, books & stationery little girls tend to receive as gifts.

I think this would make such an unusual gift and would really brighten up any little girl's bedroom!

The bean bag can even be personalised with the childs name which would be such a lovely touch, and its available in 3 sizes so there will be something suitable for pretty much any bedroom.

R U Comfy have a great range of funky, alternative bean bags for girls & boys...well worth a look!

Available for £29.99 from www.rucomfybeanbags.co.uk


Darcey Ballerina Rag Doll by Silver Cross


I am a HUGE fan of Silver Cross as a brand, their prams & pushchair's are without a doubt one of the very highest in my estimations and certainly the only "modern" style of pram that I have any desire whatsoever to own....but who knew that they also make toys?!

I was excited to take a closer look at Darcey and I was NOT disappointed.

Just imagine all the class, elegance and traditional beauty you would expect from a Silver Cross pram and imagine that in doll form....and there you have Darcey.

The presentation is exceptional - Darcey comes in a stunning clean white box with viewing window, showing her and her little accessories off perfectly. She looked so exquisite that I didn't really want to open her.

But I was glad I did....the quality is fantastic, and her clothes are just the cutest.

She comes wearing a traditional leotard, tutu and ballet pumps - all of which are removable.

Darcey also has adorable pink pyjamas and slippers ready to change into.

I loved that her arms and legs are posable so that she can be put into various ballet positions.

My nieces absolutely loved playing with Darcey, I think this would make a stunning gift for any little girl.

Available for £40.00 from Silver Cross.

Sylvanian Families - Freya's Day At The Seaside




Sylvanian Families are just timeless.

I'm sure we all remember collecting them ourselves as children, and my 7 year old niece is no different - she has collected them for years and just loves receiving new families and sets for any birthday or Christmas.

Freya is a very cute little bunny and in this set, she's all set for a day at the seaside!

The set includes a deck chair, table and parasol, beach bag, a glass of juice and a swim ring - and of course Freya herself looking beach ready in her pretty swimming costume!

This is a gorgeous little gift for any Sylvanian Families enthusiast or to start off a collection - available from Amazon for £12.99

Sylvanian Families are running a fantastic competition this summer with an amazing £1,000 Forest Holiday up for grabs! All you have to do is photograph your sylvanian families enjoying their summer adventures! 



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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

NetFlix #StreamTeam

You may have seen me showing this little beauty off a bit on social media a week or so ago....



This was my very generous and lovely gift from the amazing team at Netflix as a thank you for being part of the Stream Team!

We have been having so much fun getting lots of use out of this.....Tyne LOVES playing on the Ipad (he has all his own apps, Thomas The Tank Engine being his favourite!)

Infact since our new Ipad Mini arrived, Tyne has actually learnt to take his own #selfie and smile & pose for the camera! All at 16 months old....eeek!



He loves watching Netflix in the mornings....I find that during the school holidays the usual kids TV channels seem to cater more for older children, Disney in particular seems to always be playing Barbie movies which he's just not interested in....but now with the Ipad and the Apple TV he can watch the Thomas The Tank Engine through Netflix directly on the TV....it's so easy to do and plays just as perfectly as if you were watching a standard TV channel.

I've discovered some great movies through Netflix myself this month, my favourite discovery was "The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom"....



I got a bit obsessed with all things Dolly during the whole Glastonbury buzz, and when I saw this movie flash up on Netflix as a suggested title I couldn't resist.

I love Indie movies and this one did not dissapoint!

It follows a pre-teen girl and her discovery that she is adopted, which leads her to follow her idol Dolly Parton across the state to confront her and find out if she could be her birth mother.

It's a great watch....in parts touching and sad, and in parts funny....the perfect mix!

I love that having Netflix has got me back into watching movies more lately, it's always been a hobby I've loved but since having Tyne I was never able to keep up with postal subscription services....Netflix is the ideal answer to all my problems!

Do you use Netflix? Are there any movies or shows you'd recommend to me? 

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Life Lately....


What I've Been Watching....



This past month I've been spending more time than ever just watching YouTube vlogs than anything else! I am now utterly addicted to the likes of The Shaytards, Ellie & Jared, The Daily Bumps and pretty much any American family vloggers!

I do love a bit of UK comedy with the likes of ThatcherJoe too.....I had been enjoying watching Sprinkle Of Glitter but I experienced a very embarrassing moment on our recent trip to Peppa Pig World where a group of 10 year olds actually mistook me for her!

I realise that I have the same dip dyed pink hair, but to be fair....mine is a much darker pink and I look naff all like her! (I wish!) .... I did have sunglasses on and a small blonde baby in my arms and my partner pointing my vlog camera at me while this happened, but the whole experience left me a bit embarrassed (They were shouting "Louise!" at me while the woman in the queue next to me was asking if they thought I was someone famous, and I had to explain to her what YouTube is.....) and I simply can't watch her anymore because immediately makes me want to change my hairstyle!!!

Aside from YouTube videos, I have been loving the return of Long Lost Family.....I love sitting down to have a good sob when it's on, but they're happy tears!

And I did manage to watch the Tulisa: The Price Of Fame documentary last night which I found quite interesting....I've never been a fan of hers but I did feel a bit sorry for her. Did anybody see it?

What I've Been Reading....



I don't seem to get much time to read anything lately, the most I've managed is some of my usual blogging favourites.

I have been browsing Park Resorts blog though, particularly this post on their Picks Of The North East's best beaches as we've been thinking about taking a little trip there before Summer is out to visit Jon's brother and friends. I've never been to the North East before so I'm not sure where to start destination wise!
Any suggestions?!

What We've Been Doing....



The past month has been very busy indeed! We've had our weekend away in Peppa Pig World, our day trip to London for my This Morning interview, and just re-cooperating from how busy June was has really taken it out of us!

We've had some lovely days out though....We went to the Tiverton Balloon Festival a couple of weeks ago, which was lovely....Tyne got very excited at being so close to the Hot Air Balloons!

We also had a day at Teignmouth seaside last weekend, a day at Exmouth beach last week and a trip to Torbay Carnival this weekend which was lovely as the weather was really nice.

What We've Got Planned....

This week we'll be heading back to Torbay Carnival a couple of times, as they have a Carnival Procession tomorrow and a Firworks finale at the weekend which will be lovely to see.

It's Jons birthday next Sunday, so I`m busy trying to organise gifts and plan what to do on the day for that.

The following weekend is my nephew Kier's Christening, so we're heading back to Liverpool for that and staying for a visit too....I need to get my thinking cap on as I haven't even decided on a Christening gift for him yet!

I've also decided to take part in my first ever Daily Vlog challenge - I'll be joining in with Vlogust! - basically vlogging every day in August! It should certainly be interesting trying to film and upload every day while we're in Liverpool as I'll be doing it all from my Ipad, but fingers crossed it goes ok!

I don't get many views at all on my YouTube videos but I love making them anyway as Tyne loves watching them back, and I think the memories they capture for us as a family are priceless!

If you'd like to have a look at our channel, please click HERE

So that's our Life Lately! How's Life been treating you?!

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Transforming my Yard & Summer Picnic Fun!

We've been living in this house for almost a year now.

We moved in blindly....for anyone who is unfamiliar with the situation, I was very ill in pregnancy and myself and Jon ended up moving in with my parents in Liverpool so that I had someone with me while he was working.

Once Tyne was born, and I started to get better....we of course wanted to get our own place and head back to Devon where we had lived before.

But due to Jon's job and travelling with a young baby, it wasn't possible for us to keep visiting Devon to do house viewings.

It ended up that my sister (who already lived there) and my parents (during visits to her) did some viewings for us, and they ended up finding our house....so we moved in never having seen the place before!

Of course this isn't the ideal way to move in to a property, and there are aspects of it we don't like much....but on the whole it's a nice big house with lots of space, and has certainly served us well over the last year.

One of the things that wasn't ideal about the house, but is sadly the case with a LOT of rented houses in Devon, there is no garden space.

It's a terraced house near to the town centre, so there is no front garden and only a small yard space in the back.

This was fine when Tyne was a tiny baby as I'm not much of an outdoors person anyway, but now he is older he needs a little outside space.


This was how our yard space looked before.

No safe, grass area to play in....very dull and dark. No greenery whatsoever.

With (a lot of!) help from my mum who is MUCH more green-fingered than me, we bought some roll-out artificial grass and some flowers and plants....and managed to transform this bleak space to a lovely little town garden which is the perfect size for Tyne to play in!


What a difference a bit of greenery makes!



Tyne loves to play outside now - the grass is lovely and soft, and the good thing about artificial grass is that its obviously never muddy and doesn't hold the water!

He uses his water play tray, slide and see saw out here a lot when the weather is nice and we'll be setting his paddling pool up this week too!

This weekend we enjoyed our first picnic in the garden!



 We were very kindly sent this beautiful picnic basket from Wilko (£25.00) - I absolutely love it, it's the perfect size for a little picnic dinner and includes proper cutlery, plates and cups! 







 Tyne loved getting stuck into his outdoor dinner....we had all of his favourites, including his ABSOLUTE favourite which is corn on the cob! (and Mummy's favourite Falafels too!)


We also used our little Summer Picnic as the perfect time to try out BN Biscuit's new flavours - raspberry and chocolate!

Both of them were delicious, but the chocolate was the winner in this house!

Tyne had never tried them before and was besotted with the smiley faces!

I made the mistake of singing the "Bn Bn" song from the ad campaign when he ate his first one, and he thought it was hilarious to make his biscuit dance while I sang....so of course thats what we then had to do for every single biscuit each of us ate from then on!








 We had so much fun having our little picnic, and it just goes to show that having good family fun in the Summer doesn't have to cost the earth...it can be as simple as just a picnic in the garden!

I'm loving having a nice little outdoor space to relax in and watching Tyne play outside is lovely.....and I've really been enjoying buying some nice bits & pieces for the town garden too!


I particularly love these outdoor lights (£10.00) which were also from Wilko - they look so pretty all lit up of an evening!


How have you been enjoying the summer so far?




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