Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Obsessed with Stationery

I have a minor obsession.
And no it's not Instagram this time (although I am still obsessed).
Todays obsession of choice is stationery.

It was National Stationery Week in May, as if I need a week to obsess with it, and Parragon have launched a gorgeous collection of notebooks *swoon*, journals *fans face* and jotters *faints*. The collection is called Life Canvas and includes something for all tastes, mine included.

I have already shown you the Mini Monsters in a previous post but let me now show off a couple of other things that Parragon sent us.

Parragon Life Canvas Journals

These two notebooks are from the Collage range and are simply gorgeous.

My Life Organiser by Parragon

The smaller notebook called My Life Organiser has loads of tabs to just about cover all eventualities. To do, notes, ideas and a section called The Best. This is then divided into the best music, books, films and websites. A perfect place to note down those songs caught on the radio, that film your friend recommends or a book that one day, when you have some time, you will definitely read.
The beauty of this notebook is the illustrated pages. Every single page looks like something torn from a beautiful scrapbook and really justifies the title Life Notes. It is small enough to easily fit into a handbag, so I now have the perfect notebook!

My Life Organiser Set by Parragon

The larger book, My Life Organiser Set, is double fold and has the prettiest sticky notes you will ever find! I am loath to even use them because they are so lovely, that is if I can keep them away from the Princess. The middle section is a notepad, beautifully printed of course, and the third section is a pocket to keep important slips of paper in. A great little desk organiser if ever there was one.

There is a final treat from Parragon to show you.

Dear Mr, If you are reading this. stop now. Avert your eyes. Click elsewhere. Nothing for you to see here.


Has he gone?

Okay, the third book is this fabulous Me and My Dad Journal for Fathers Day.

Me and My Dad Journal

It is designed for your child to fill in with pictures, notes and stories to give to Daddy on Fathers Day. Each page has something that is to be filled in or coloured or stuck in, a story of an adventure, a picture of somewhere they have been together, or a way to make fun of Dad. It is the sort of gift that I can imagine The Big One adding to over time to keep their memories safe.

If there was a criticism, it would be that the journal is for one child to give to Daddy and doesn't really have the scope to be from all three children, due to how it has been written. That said, I'll let all three of my children fill in sections so it can be from them all.

Disclosure: Parragon sent us these journals free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own and if I didn't like it I wouldn't be able to stop myself telling you!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Up and Down

I've felt down and I've looked up and ended the week on a high. I'm just going to admire the view from up here for a while before the next perilous slope. Blimey, life can be a rollercoaster can't it?
But on a rollercoaster, heading downwards is the most thrilling part.

Nothing like a bunch of flowers to cheer the soul.
Up at the top on the slide.
Admiring the scale of Cambridge's architecture.
Looking up at the rooftops.
Looking down at the page.
Downing a mug of coffee kept warm by my own fair crochet hook.
Looking up at the trees and coordinating neckwear accordingly.

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Monday, 20 May 2013

Mini Monsters - A review

The mini monsters were being more monsterous than ever. The end of a visciously intense week of 'challenges'/ SATs and too many early mornings left the monsters lacking in energy but with an overabundance of attitude.
Thankfully Parragon Books had sent me a little parcel from their new range called Life Canvas to review which included Mini Monsters, especially for mini monsters.

Parragon Books Mini Monsters

Triple win.

1. They are assembled in an instant.
2. There are 60 to choose from in the tin so even they could decide on a couple each without the need to grapple.
3. They took their attitude out on mini monster roll play.

Parragon Books Mini Monsters

And just in case there is a mini monster with a creative streak there are blank mini monsters to doodle and decorate at will.

Big win. Lots of fun. Great distraction. And very entertaining looking monsters.

Disclosure: I was sent some samples from Parragon Books free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Twenty Five Years

Twenty five years.
Twenty. Five. Years.

Whichever way I write it, it is a quarter of a century.
That is how long it has been since my husband swept me off my feet at a party (back when they were called discos). Seems like yesterday.

So the theme for this week is time.

Five Go Blogging 365project week 20 2013

Me-time crafting turned into puppet making.
We don't look a day older (you'll have to trust me on that).
My Princess is growing up too quickly.
Telling the time with a dandelion clock. It was 15 o'clock by the way.
We collected leaves on our walk to pass the time. (Someone was bored)
Garden party cake making to raise money for MNDa, in honour of Ned, 9 years living with the disease and still fighting.
The quickest monster making ever thanks to Parragon Books.

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Saturday, 11 May 2013

My View

My view could be exactly the same as your view, yet we can see things differently.
This is why I love photography. It gives me an opportunity to look and see something that is completely unique to me and then share it.

I sought refuge in a tent in our garden and 'admired' my view.
Playing with a dandelion clock and I saw the shadow.
Looking down on a sleeping little man.
Teaching crochet requires concentration and focus on where that hook is going.
Vision slightly impaired by a local brew.
Watching the barbecue and entranced by the heat haze, smoke and sunlight.

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Thursday, 9 May 2013

Jeans recycling and me

By far my most popular post was the one where I showed a few ways you could recycle a pair of jeans.
But I have a confession.
I only made a business card case from the list.
*hangs head in shame*
So I sought out new inspiration.
I added some new pins to my pinterest board and I got my craft on.

Upcycled jenas bucket bag   Source: ejhern on Etsy

Refashioned jeans bucket bagSouce: AnnaNimmity on Etsy

I was also in possession of a pair of outgrown jeans belonging to the Princess.

If you search on Pinterest for denim or jeans upcycling you will find pins of bags outnumbering other projects at a rate of at least 501 to 1-ish.

So I took my daughters jeans,

chopped them in half retaining the zip and hacked off a leg retaining the pockets,

turned the jeans inside out and sewed across the bottom and up the side.
I turned it the right way out again and fashioned a handle out of the leg I had cut off, attaching it at each side with several rows of stitching for strength.
By chance more than by design the handle is exactly the right length to be worn over one shoulder and also to be carried on her micro scooter.

I'm thinking a new line in upcycled jeans micro scooter accessories. Or is that too niche?

Do you have Obssessive Pinterest Disorder?
You may like to join in with Pinaddicts.

PinAddicts Challenge

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


My weekends are mostly about negotiating the activities of three children who can't agree whether black is black or black is white let alone what they would like to do with two whole days of freedom stretched ahead of them.I have become quite adept at thinking up suggestions and bribes and we generally manage to do something interesting or vaguely amusing.

The trick is variety.

Burghley House is on our doorstep. I'd call them our next door neighbours but that would be stretching it slightly. We go often. The children know every nook and cranny of the park, every deer by name and every possible way to climb the trees. There comes a point when they they will get bored of going. But in the meantime I have to keep thinking of ways to make this time, this day, this trip more interesting and exciting than the last.

This weekend I decided it would be an art expedition and we would take paper and pens, pencils and paints to capture Burghley House. It was a long shot, but it worked and we all went willingly, laden with artist materials and a picnic.

Picnic first. Demolished in minutes. Tree climbed next. Scaled repeatedly for half an hour. And then art.

Art by Five Go Blogging

The Big One: A deer. Sort of. After 10 minutes he decided to run between our picnic blanket and a tree repeatedly.
The Princess: A self portrait. Kind of. She persevered and enjoyed herself but completely ignored all the inspiring scenery to create a portrait. Gah!
The Wee One: Made a piece of paper very wet. Then took a paintbrush and stuck it in the holes in his crocs.
Me: A drawing of Burghley House. Ish.

painting at burghley house

Next weekend, shall we take some clay?

Joining in with Sticky Fingers and the theme of Weekend for The Gallery.


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Antique Roman Blinds


Once upon a time (in 2008) I bought some fabric, and some roman blind headers, and I started to make some blinds for my living room bay window.

I worked tirelessly on them for a whole week leaning over my dining room table, it being the only space big enough for the main blind and where I could (sort of) line up the two lengths of fabric that needed to be joined to fit the expanse of the window in question.

Turns out, leaning over a table for hours on end having had a baby a few months before, only proves how weak your core muscles are and gives you a very achy back.

Having (pretty much) completed the central blind, I decided to take a week off to let my back recover before I tackled the two smaller blinds that were to sit on each side of the main blind.

One week, turned into four and a half years.You know how it is. Much like you make a cup a tea, put it down for a moment to wipe a snotty nose or discuss the concept of sharing, and when you go back to it, the tea is cold.

I found the half completed blinds at the bottom of a box and determined that my back had probably recovered by now and that there was little or no chance of strengthening my core muscles even if I waited another four and a half years.

Having spent another week finishing the blasted things, and several hours of swearing getting the headers up,  I realise that I have gone off the fabric.


roman blinds

Saturday, 4 May 2013


Hello blue skies.
Thank you for stopping by and lifting the spirits of a nation.
You have given me the gift of peace this week.

Five Go Blogging 365project week 18 2013

The brushing of toes on concrete while he swings his legs.
The humming of my two youngest children enjoying Adele.
The popping of a bubble.
The easing of petals as they open.
The whisper of a breeze through newly unfurled leaves.
The stretching of springs on the trampoline at dusk.
Misty Moo's snoozing snores.


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Me&I - A Review

Check out the trews on this dude!

meandi scandi clothing
me&i canvas trousers

Sorry, should have warned you to wear sunglasses.

These Me&I trousers are his all time favourites and in the space of 3 weeks he has worn them every other day. He totally loves them. I was asked if I wanted to review an item of clothing from Me&I and was spoilt for choice. I love the whole Scandi design vibe and the prints and colours available in their range certainly don't disappoint.

Being honest, when I opened the pack and saw the colour of the trousers my first reaction was Opps! I thought I had asked for the brown colour and was wondering if it was rude to ask to swap them, but he immediately loved them, and I have got used to the colour so I am glad I stuck with them.

They are a heavy weight cotton canvas fabric which means there is a chance that he will be able to continue to wear them every other day for the next 12 months and they still won't wear through the knee. I'll keep you posted. They were quite large for him but the clever adjustable elastic bit at the hem of the trousers mean they gather round the ankle and don't drag along the floor. Even at speed...

meandi scandi boys trousers

So I reckon he will easily still be wearing them next summer.They have an adjustable waist too and are generous around the bottom so if your child is in nappies, there is plenty of room for maneuvering (as demonstrated here).

meandi scandi boys trousers

Whaad you looking at?

To get hold of the range you need to pop along to the Me&I website, make your choice and it will be sent to you from their nearest sales rep. You can also host a party if you fancy making it a social occasion. There is the kids range but there is also a womens wear range to check out too.

meandi trousers

Me and my wee one are very pleased with what we have seen and will be popping back for a few of their summer t-shirts like this one possibly...

meandi t-shirt

*adds to wish list*

Disclosure: Me&I sent the trousers free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinion are my own.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Me by Me

You can count on one hand the number of photos on this blog that are of me. This is mainly because I am usually behind the camera. It may also have something to do with preferring to be behind the camera. I don't have a particular phobia about my photos it's just that in my opinion it takes a lot of shots to get my 'good' side.

I needed a photo for an application form the other day and I was genuinely struggling to even find a photo, let alone one that I felt happy with. I did find several on my mobile phone taken by the children but me peeling potatoes, from behind, from three foot off the floor was never going to be my good side.

It is coming up to Britmums live and it would be nice if someone recognised me and said hello. It is so embarrassing doing all the hellos and having someone stare at you blankly! So to double the number of photos of me on the blog I give you not one but five. I think they all show a different side to me, a different aspect of my personality, but not entirely sure that any of them are my good side.

In truth, I was trying to find an angle that didn't accentuate my sagging jawline. How is it that I still feel 24 yet my passport says I can add two decades to that? Pesky passport.

Self portrait

So there you are. This is me.
And next time, I may even take a self portrait after I've put on some makeup!

Joining in with Sticky Fingers and the theme of Self Portrait for The Gallery.