Sunday, 14 December 2014

Hamma Bead Gift Tags

We are pushing the boat out this Christmas and making Hamma Bead gift tags for all of the pressies. Everyone has a theme, Panda's for Betty, Cat's for Biba, Star Wars for Ethan and Harry Potter for Kelli...

What do you think?

Dobby Hamma Beads

R2D2 Hamma Beads

Our Hamma Beads are from Craft Merrily

Friday, 21 November 2014

Smiggle Store Birmingham

I love stationery, my girls love stationery so we really couldn't turn down the invitation to the opening of the new Smiggle store in Birmingham's Bullring.

If you don't know about Smiggle it's high time that you do. The girls have been talking about it for the last couple of months, since one opened in Leicester Highcross. 

Smiggle Birmingham

Packed to the rafters with awesome, Smiggle is a stationery lovers dream. Kitsch, cute, eastern styling in a plethora of popping colourways to excite and invite.

Smiggle erasers

Scented stamp markers

Smiggle pencil case

Smiggle tag

Konichiwa Activity Book

Smiggle pencils

A very big thank you to Smiggle for planting firm smiles on all of our faces. Check out what we bought along with our fab goodie bag contents below.

If you love stationery get your Smiggle on asap, you will find a store full of perfect bits for Christmas and beyond. 

Smiggle goodies

You can follow Smiggle on Twitter, Instagram and on Facebook or check them out at www.smiggle.co.uk

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sunday 28th September - Silent Sunday

Sian To and Betty To

Monday, 15 September 2014

Raising For Grayson : Snowdon

Last summer when I was enjoying a week at the awesome Coombe Mill a group of friends / bloggers formed a plan in support a family that many in the parent blogger community have grown to know and love. This plan was to become Raising For Grayson.

Here's why...
Our friend Kara is truly a superwoman, she won't have that said around her but her amazing son Grayson rolls with his own level of super hero powers and he had to get his fight from somewhere - right?

For young Grayson, ever day is a battle, his disability is so rare and complex that it's known as SWAN (syndrome without any name). The plight of Kara's family made us want to move mountains to support them and last month that's exactly what Kirsty and Clara did.

Climbing Snowdon For Grayson


My Two Mums Snowdon

Don't let their fresh complexion and broad smiles fool you, what My Two Mums were about to undertake was going to push them and challenge them, more than they ever imagined.

Kirsty tells the story of the climb much better than I could even attempt to but what I will say is that they raised over £1000 to buy some much needed equipment for Grayson as well as showing the world what amazing stuff they are made of.

Kirsty and Clara - you rock.


My Two Mums climb Snowdon


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Let's Talk About Sex

As a blogger I get sent a lot of press releases. Very few lead to a blog post, but as I have two girls teetering on the edge of becoming teenagers, this one from Lil-Lets struck a bit of a chord with me. 
Here's why...

Following a recent survey of 2000 British parents, Lil-Lets have found that more than 60% of parents find it difficult to talk about sensitive subjects like puberty and sex with their children. I am quite shocked by this, especially in this 'in your face social media world'.

I guess that I'm not the norm (don't say anything), when it comes to my parenting style, but I truly believe that it's your job as a parent to ensure that stigma and embarrassment don't even enter the building when you are talking about these essential topics with your children. 
After all, if they don't learn from your positive, relaxed example, there's always the playground and social media waiting to teach and tease.

Get over it people..... because if you don't take the positive highroad of talking to your kids about puberty and sex - who knows what they will learn (or from whom).

There are some additional resources at the end of this post, if you have an issue talking sex, check them out.



Thursday, 4 September 2014

Back To School : The Gallery

I feel really emotional about the kids going back to school this year. We've had such an amazing summer that was over way too soon. Time seems to be whizzing by so fast that I can't seem to keep up.

My children are growing so quickly and after 20 years, this will be the last year I have a child at primary school. It certainly is the end of an era.

The first day back was a shock to the system for everyone and for the first time ever I missed the opportunity to take a photo before they left for school. It made me miserable all day and when I tried to gather them together when they got home, I only managed to bribe two out of three into the rain. This made me sad.

Back to school

But here they are, Sonny at the start of year 9 and my baby, shiny, happy, Betty ready to take on year 6. Cute or what?!



Wednesday, 20 August 2014

How To Make A Pizza Wrap

It isn't every day that you find a new tasty snack that every member of the household tucks into with passion and delight but last week Biba made a miraculous discovery when she invented the Pizza Wrap!

How to make a pizza wrap

You Need

  • Wraps, we like Mission Deli Wraps but ate them all before the camera made it out and had to settle for these Co-op Mini Wraps
  • A tin of tomatoes
  • Pizza cheese
  • Any additional toppings you fancy
  • A sprinkle of salt and pepper

To Make

  1. Spread some tomatoes on your wrap
  2. Sprinkle some cheese on top
  3. Add your extra toppings
  4. Sprinkle a spot of seasoning
  5. Pop in the oven on a baking tray until the cheese has melted
That's it. You now have one yummy, super quick snack, but beware, they are addictively moreish!


Monday, 7 July 2014

How To Make A Lightweight Rag Quilt

I don't ever profess to be handy in the crafting department but I've been blown away by the feedback I've had since posting a picture of the rough and ready lightweight rag quilt that I made for Biba at the weekend.

Lightweight rag quilt

Here's how I made it!

I already had a backing sheet that I wanted to use, so that became my basic size guide.

I roughly cut up my fabric pieces so that they were random depths and then simply stitched them together leaving the hem on the top side (so that the fabric will fray over time).

How To Make A Lightweight Rag Quilt

When I'd sewn together enough strips to cover my backing sheet, I put the good sides together and stitched almost all the way around to create the quilt. Leaving just enough space to allow me to turn it to the right side out.
When I'd turned it, I closed up the hole and that's it. One lightweight rag quilt.

Make a Lightweight quilt.

I was planning on using a layer of quilt wadding but I didn't have any in and madam wasn't giving in with her moaning!

From start to finished quilt in less than 2 hours.


Thursday, 26 June 2014

Festival Essentials

With just over four weeks until the big Camp Bestival weekend, it's finally time to start planning. You might think that's a little excessive but the key to a happy, awesome, fun-filled festival avec children, is all in the planning.

Think less is more. If you can't carry it - leave it at home!

The Ultimate Family Festival Packing List



Festival Essentials


Camping

Tent - If your tent is new, give it a dry run at home to make sure you know how to put it up! My beautiful new addition to the family is the SoulPad 5000-ease. I am quite literally in love with it it. At 5m, it's huge and we certainly won't grow out of it. I can't recommend SouldPad enough, their customer service is excellent.
Air mattress - And a pump if you don't fancy the old fashioned DIY inflate.
Sleeping bag - A regular sleeping bag is all you need but since coming across the awesome MuscuBag (below), I really need one in my life! I haven't shown my girls because I know they will really, really need them in their lives. I'm actually not sure how I managed to make it to this point on my life without one!
Head torch and spare batteries - Two hands are better than one when you are attempting to navigate a dark campsite in the middle of the night.
Spare tent pegs and mallet

Festival Camping Essentials

Cooking

Portable stove and gas - For alfresco dining
Mess tins - For the authentic camping vibe
Pan, cutlery, kitchen roll
Small skewers - For making my legendary Saussypops!
A cool box - Not an essential but handy if you have one.
Food
Snacks

Clothing

We are at the mercy of the good old British weather, so planning for sun, rain, sleet and snow is advisable. If it's scorchio, simply leave your woolies and waders in the car and retrieve them if needed.
Sensible shoes are also a must. You will be covering a lot more ground than you think and there's nothing worse than sore feet by the end of day one.

Lightweight waterproof jacket - Screw it up and stick it in your bag.
Warm jumper - For the cool evenings.
Jeans
Shorts
Vest / T-shirt - I'm all about the layering.
Flower headband - My signature festival piece!
Underwear
Socks
Sensible shoes - Dr Martens are perfecto!


Essential Festival Extras


Essential Extras

Toilet roll - Better to be safe than sorry!
Hand sanitiser - An absolute essential.
Wet wipes - As much as you like to think that you'll be standing in line for a shower, it never happens. Take it out of the equation and be baby fresh instead.
Toothbrush / toothpaste
Bin bags - Perfect for throwing everything in at home time.
Picnic rug - One with a plastic backing to keep you dry on dewy grass
Glow sticks
Phone
Solar powered charger - The only sensible way to keep your phone juiced.
Nurofen
Pack of Loom Bands - to make gifts for all your new friends!
A roomy lightweight bag - For carrying the above around in all day!
Money
Your festival passes! 


To Leave In The Car

A full change of clothes - I'm not one to tempt fate but it's better to be prepared should the heavens open.
Wellies - As above
A couple of spare blankets - They are great in the evening if the temperature cakes a dip.

And that's it. Camp Bestival here we come!

Camp Bestival is at Lulworth Castle, Dorset from July 31st to August 3rd. Ticket and line up info at www.campbestival.net



Camp Bestival Blogger


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Breathe - The Gallery

For this week's The Gallery, my beautiful Betty's first breath.

First breath


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Silent Sunday 20th April 2014

Tiger Kingdom Phuket

For Silent Sunday

PS... this is a real tiger cub!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Yellow

The Gallery - Yellow


Bright, cheery and full of fresh promises of warmth. Daffodils, heralding sunshine, happiness and light.

I pondered how many of the photographs inking up with this week's Yellow Gallery would be Daffodils? I opted for something equally as yellow but more me.

Kings Cross Station

Do you know what the picture is?

For The Gallery. Join in over on thestickyfingersblog.com

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Something Beautiful - Biba

The apple of my eye, my baby girl turned 12 yesterday. She has been rocking her something beautiful (almost) since the day she was born (chicken pox wasn't a good look).


For this weeks The Gallery

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Biba's Dip Dyed Hair

Following on from the post I wrote yesterday. I survived the stress of the day (just about) and here's the results. What do you think?

Gettng long hair cut at Moko

Dip dyed hair

Bibas new hair


Friday, 17 January 2014

Would You Let Your Daughter Dye Her Hair?

I'm at an uneasy junction as a parent right now. I must have been blinkered, but I really didn't see the huge change that moving from primary to secondary school would have on my little girl.

Just two terms in and she has become an independent, even more strong willed version of her younger self. Phone firmly planted to her being at all times, it's all about going out with friends, clothes and funky haircuts (that push the boundaries of school acceptance).

would you let your daughter dye her hair?


The hair conversations started tentatively after just a couple of weeks at high school. A new Pinterest board, with highlights and dip dye galore appeared in answer to my staling tactic, of proving to me, that she had thought about it properly.

I kept my head down in an attempt to avoid hair conversations at all costs. But I was only delaying the inevitable.

In a moment of weakness, I agreed to take her to the salon for a strand test, I was quietly confident that her hair wouldn't lift past a shade of ginger that she would hate and we could go back to normality (at least until the goth or punk stage hit).

No such luck. Her hair, it seems, shows no sign of its Chinese heritage.

Bibas strand test

I moved the goal posts (as all good parents do). Again I thought I was home and dry. A clean and tidy bedroom was surely a mountain too high?

I underestimated her steely resolve and now, here I am on the eve of the big deed, feeling really, quite sick.

Bibas beautiful long hair


Tomorrow, the beautiful long hair, that she has been growing forever, is going to get the shock of its life and I'm not sure I can cope with sitting through it.

Do you think she's too young?


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