Willa's Second Birthday

The littlest one turned two on the 21st September and to celebrate we had a party at home for her with a bright pastelly, rainbow theme.

Willa’s favourite birthday item was her rainbow balloon! She wears dress by wewearjuno

Willa’s favourite birthday item was her rainbow balloon! She wears dress by wewearjuno

She couldn’t resist poking her fingers in her cake which I had made and then decorated with little fairy, star and flower decorations.

She couldn’t resist poking her fingers in her cake which I had made and then decorated with little fairy, star and flower decorations.

We bought her this beautiful Flexa toy kitchen from The Tipi for her present and kind friends and relatives bought her wooden teasets and toy food.

We bought her this beautiful Flexa toy kitchen from The Tipi for her present and kind friends and relatives bought her wooden teasets and toy food.

The cake which was candy pink flecked with gold.

The cake which was candy pink flecked with gold.

Setting the scene for a lovely celebration. The decorations are mainly Meri Meri from The Jelly Rabbit and the rainbow light is by Little Lights PL.

Setting the scene for a lovely celebration. The decorations are mainly Meri Meri from The Jelly Rabbit and the rainbow light is by Little Lights PL.

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Willa’s beautiful birthday outfit comes from Magnificent Stanley and Fable Heart.

Willa’s beautiful birthday outfit comes from Magnificent Stanley and Fable Heart.

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The Playhouse

We had a very exciting delivery last week from Cissywears ~ the absolute Wendy house of dreams!

I’ve been a shopgirl for a large part of my life, working in a Department store as both Fashion Manager and VM before I began my Velveteen Babies journey, and part of me still loves the excitement of going ‘shopping’ instead of scrolling the internet, although it doesn’t happen much now I have kids.  

Cissywears was one of the very first children’s design shops I ever discovered and I’ve loved watching her journey over the years and seeing how trends in kids design have progressed, remember when absolutely everything had to be black and white?! 

I love how the Wendy house is the perfect combination of style and substance, and my three are absolutely in love with it.  

 

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Summer adventures in the garden

A year ago we lived in a terraced house and had no outdoor space. One year on, we have a patch of grass and big imaginations and made the most of a sunny dreamy afternoon.

 

Wearing tutu from Plum NYC, blanket by Camomile London and play tent by Ferm Living Kids. 

Wearing tutu from Plum NYC, blanket by Camomile London and play tent by Ferm Living Kids. 

The fox rider trike is always a big favourite, especially when adorned with an OlliElla chari bag. Mud kitchen by Plum Play UK

The fox rider trike is always a big favourite, especially when adorned with an OlliElla chari bag. Mud kitchen by Plum Play UK

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An Adventure with Terri Pashley Photography

Last Weekend we drove out to local beauty spot, and favourite adventuring location of our boys to meet Terri who brought along her camera and clambered around muddy puddles and boggy grass with us.

Terri is such a warm and friendly person, we were all immediately at ease with her, and she just instinctively knew where would be best to shoot. There wasn't a single moment of awkwardness and the children loved messing about and playing up to the camera! (I have trained them well it seems). She's captured their personalities and brought a tear to my eye with her talent and beautiful captures so I thought I'd share a few with you all.

Just tap the image to view the different pictures if you’re on a tablet or phone. 

You can find Terri at www.terripashleyphotography.co.uk

Now you are Seven

Last week I asked my Instagram friends for some 7th Birthday present suggestions for my Son Felix.

We already have cupboards full of Lego, Playmobil and Superhero figures, so a fresh take on gift buying was needed.

Fortunately I've managed to source him some lovely things to open on his big day and I thought I'd share with you all (plus some other suggestions) as it might be helpful.

 

Imagination.   I bought Felix the first book in this series ‘Arthur and the Golden Rope’ last year and this is the next story in the series. Felix has a wonderful imagination and will be excited to read this. It’s more wordy than simple picture books, so perfect for age 7 and the illustrations are a delight. Bought from  Smallprint Books 

Imagination. 

I bought Felix the first book in this series ‘Arthur and the Golden Rope’ last year and this is the next story in the series. Felix has a wonderful imagination and will be excited to read this. It’s more wordy than simple picture books, so perfect for age 7 and the illustrations are a delight. Bought from Smallprint Books 

Something new to wear.   Felix loves a leopard (who doesn’t?) and he’s got some stripy shorts from Main Story UK that this will look ace tucked in with. Everyone needs something new to wear on their big day. Bought from  Poco Kids  

Something new to wear. 

Felix loves a leopard (who doesn’t?) and he’s got some stripy shorts from Main Story UK that this will look ace tucked in with. Everyone needs something new to wear on their big day. Bought from Poco Kids  

Something Factual.   By far the most visually stimulating and interesting book for dinosaur mad children, this lovely hardback is a good one to keep forever. It’s filled with illustrations and facts.   Bought from  Smallprint Books 

Something Factual. 

By far the most visually stimulating and interesting book for dinosaur mad children, this lovely hardback is a good one to keep forever. It’s filled with illustrations and facts. 

Bought from Smallprint Books 

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Manspiration. We’ve filled our home with stories about inspiring women, but as the Mother of two boys, I think it’s just as important to show them how incredible men can be too. I want to have a read through this myself as it’s chock full of interesting Males and the stories of what they’ve achieved. Inspiring stuff.    ‘ Stories for Boys who dare to be different’  by  Ben Brooks, Quercus Books 

Manspiration. We’ve filled our home with stories about inspiring women, but as the Mother of two boys, I think it’s just as important to show them how incredible men can be too. I want to have a read through this myself as it’s chock full of interesting Males and the stories of what they’ve achieved. Inspiring stuff. 

‘ Stories for Boys who dare to be different’  by  Ben Brooks, Quercus Books 

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Headphones. An Amazon purchase. We are heading to Cornwall in May and it’s a long drivr from Yorkshire. Think these may save my sanity as he’ll be able to play games and listen to music without annoying us!  

 

 

Lego Building Boards. We have a sea of Lego, but the boys like to build houses with it and get frustrated that they don’t have a flat board to build them on. He’ll find these such a relief as he’ll be able to be even more creative with his building. Architect in later life maybe?!     

Lego Building Boards. We have a sea of Lego, but the boys like to build houses with it and get frustrated that they don’t have a flat board to build them on. He’ll find these such a relief as he’ll be able to be even more creative with his building. Architect in later life maybe?!  

 

We were so kindly gifted the new range by Bloom and Blossom but I’ve added this to the post as gift inspiration as there’s nothing the boys love more than a deep bubbly bath, and this Wispy-Misty Bubble Bath delivers on the bubbles! They absolutely love it and it smells like heaven. Bloom and Blossom have also published a limited edition print of The BFG and combined they are a beautiful gift. Felix can’t wait to get stuck in.   The Bloom and Blossom Bubble Bath is made in the UK from natural ingredients and is just £4.99 at Ocado and  Bloom&Blossom

We were so kindly gifted the new range by Bloom and Blossom but I’ve added this to the post as gift inspiration as there’s nothing the boys love more than a deep bubbly bath, and this Wispy-Misty Bubble Bath delivers on the bubbles! They absolutely love it and it smells like heaven. Bloom and Blossom have also published a limited edition print of The BFG and combined they are a beautiful gift. Felix can’t wait to get stuck in. 

The Bloom and Blossom Bubble Bath is made in the UK from natural ingredients and is just £4.99 at Ocado and Bloom&Blossom

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So all the above are all wrapped up for this guy tomorrow (8th April) but I was given a few more ideas which I’ve shared below. Felix wants a fish so his main gift is a fish tank and we are going to bring home a fishy friend to live with us tomorrow!  

 

Lovely Sea Creature friends by Big Stuffed.   We already on an Octopus by French brand ‘Big Stuffed’ and he’s lovely! 

Lovely Sea Creature friends by Big Stuffed. 

We already on an Octopus by French brand ‘Big Stuffed’ and he’s lovely! 

Solar System Mobile Kit.   Felix would really enjoy sitting down and creating this, and there’s a few similiar sets about.        

Solar System Mobile Kit. 

Felix would really enjoy sitting down and creating this, and there’s a few similiar sets about.  

 

 

My Living World sets (approx £15)  My Mum has bought him one of these creepy crawly sets and I know he’ll love it after spending days at my parents creating a big hotel from old pots, a crate, twigs and bamboo last summer. He also spent hours with a box collecting and observing Woodlice so although it’s definitely not something that appeals to me, it will to him!    

My Living World sets (approx £15)

My Mum has bought him one of these creepy crawly sets and I know he’ll love it after spending days at my parents creating a big hotel from old pots, a crate, twigs and bamboo last summer. He also spent hours with a box collecting and observing Woodlice so although it’s definitely not something that appeals to me, it will to him! 

 

Snap Circuits (from around £30)  These look great fun and a good present for 7 year olds plus. Felix is still a bit clumsy with his fine motor skills but over the next year or so I think he’d really enjoy sitting and experimenting with these. 

Snap Circuits (from around £30)

These look great fun and a good present for 7 year olds plus. Felix is still a bit clumsy with his fine motor skills but over the next year or so I think he’d really enjoy sitting and experimenting with these. 

Outdoors. Love this Kraul Waterwheel Kit and at £8.50 it’s a really original gift idea. There’s plenty of different outdoor/natural exploration toys over at  Myriad Online.     

Outdoors. Love this Kraul Waterwheel Kit and at £8.50 it’s a really original gift idea. There’s plenty of different outdoor/natural exploration toys over at Myriad Online. 

 

Schleich Animals.   The nicest quality animals which get played with again and again.     

Schleich Animals. 

The nicest quality animals which get played with again and again.  

 

Our Easter

We had so much fun collaborating with The Bonnie Mob for an Easter shoot for their blog, so I thought I'd share it here too.

We adorned our wooden adventure playhouse in Easter decorations and managed to grab a slither of Sunshine.

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We’ve now been garden owners for 8 months, so this is the first Spring time in our new house. It’s so good to have outside space to prepare an Easter Egg hunt, and for us all to enjoy being together when the Sun shines and have friends and family over.

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I love nothing more than lots of pastel, and decorating for a celebration, so I’ll be hanging up decorations and setting the table with the fun Meri Meri tablewear from Little Lulubel. The children will adore the bunny cups and napkins, and all the sweet colours.

We have decorated our Plum Play adventure treehouse in the garden with all our pastel decorations and the children will no doubt insist on holding their own tea party up there away from the grown ups! 

Thanks to Biscuiteers, Creightons Chocolaterie, The Bonnie Mob, Meri Meri, Little Lulubel and Cottage Toys for supporting. Organised via Mackie PR. 

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Let's Play

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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We moved house last year from a Victorian Town House to a mid century semi, but the main reason for moving was to give our growing family a garden and a place outdoors to play.

Having three lively children, a garden was definitely a priority, and we inherited a south facing plot of lawn and patio. I was determined to treat the children to some quality outdoor toys, and the first thing I bought for them was a mud kitchen from Plum Play UK.

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Since getting the Mud Kitchen, the children have played with it through Autumn and Winter and have had so much fun with it. It comes complete with metal pots and pans, and a planter which we filled with herbs.

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The benefits to the children playing outside through the seasons has had such a positive impact on their behavior. They are happier and feel satisfied when they've been outside and as a Mother, I feel that time outside away from screens is so beneficial. 

After the success of the Mud Kitchen we recently welcomed the Adventure Playhouse to the garden too. It's incredibly sturdy and the perfect hideaway for the little rascals. It has a slide and plenty of room for all three children to play imaginatively inside the space. We decorated it with Velveteen Babies garlands (not suitable to be left outdoors) and battery powered outdoor lights. 

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As well as the obvious reasons of popping the loud restless children outdide to play,  there are several health benefits too- improved vision, breathing fresh air which promotes a healthy body, more vitamin D, longer attention spans, improved social skills and boosted learning.

(source: activebeat.co)

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So happy healthy kids = happy parents, and for me, investing in beautiful, considerately designed play equipment for the garden that will be loved for years to come is for more important than buying yet more plastic or indoor toys that are quickly discarded.

Plum Play are currently running a fabulous giveaway to win  a Create Your Own Springsafe Trampoline and 2 Fitbit Zips. Head over to https://goo.gl/UTZzJz to enter and be in with a chance.

Plum Play Discovery Mud Kitchen