Saturday, 31 July 2010

Retro - Yeah Baby !

Thank you so much to everyone who entered this wonderful giveaway. No 1 son has been dragged away from his computer for a few minutes and picked JENNY KEARNEY out of the box !  Congratulations !

Thank you so much to everyone who entered.  So many super entrants sorry you couldn't all win a dress. 

Keep watching another great giveaway coming soon.


 Thanks to the amazing generosity of the lovely Faith  I have another gorgeous dress to giveaway !  Handcrafted custom dresses made to order, Faith makes lovely Retro style dresses for little girls aged 1 - 8 yrs.


The Layla dress




The Lauren Dress




The 1965 Red Block dress




To be in with a chance to win all you have to do is follow this blog and comment below.  A winner will be selected at random on Friday 6th August.  That's all xx


Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Who would you put on the naughty step - Multiple Mayhem Carnival Update

The lovely fellow twin mummy Heather over at Young and younger  invited me to take part in the Multiples Mayhem Carnival .  I really enjoy my blog but sometimes find it hard to think of something to say that might actually interest other people.  After much though I decided to stick with a post I wrote last month and update how I feel today, a month or so later.  

Having twins is an amazing time for any parents, but if you are without emotional and practical support and are suffering from severe financial burdons it will really test you.  My story (the short version ) is below.  I can truly say now with my hand on my heart that I always loved my babies, I just didn't want them at first !  It may feel like life is never going to improve and you only see blackness ahead.  It does, truly get better.  Although our financial situation is still a nightmare and a daily struggle, my realtionship with my twin son's has improved and blossomed with every day.  We still have our moments and life is hard with multiples but I look at them now and pray to god to NEVER take them away from me now.

Thank you for taking the time to read xx







 I often read with interest the "tags" people receive via twitter and blogs, but to receive one myself yesterday from the lovely Susan sent me into a flat spin.  Write about "who you would put on the naughty step"  A few immediately popped into my head - Duncan Bannatyne was way up there (for reasons I won't go into ) as was the new bad boy on the block from Toy Story 3  Lots-O'_Hugging Bear - Already covered and for much the same reasons.  So forgive me if this one has been covered too, but I am new to this tagging business.

Who Would I put on the naughty step ?

Well I am afraid the answer has to be ME !

So while I sit here on my step with time to think, I will reflect on  how I got here.  Just like the twins do when they are sent to sit on the naughty step.  Strangly, although they can be a total pain in public and have shown me up on many ocassions, don't listen and generally cause mayhem where ever they go, when sent to the naughty step they seem to understand the point being to sit and reflect.  They never attempt to leave and will sit there until told to come off.  I can walk past and notice that they really seem to be "thinking" and often comment " I've had a think mummy, I'm sorry, I know why I was naughty, will try to be good" Sometimes my heart breaks.

I'm here because :

The twins birth - C - Section , special care, arguments with husband, with mother, poor aftercare, missing No1 son, regret, pain, panic, denial.




Six months later after my husband's business failed we had to sell our beautiful large home with a view and move back to Exeter, small house, 6 month old twins, 10 yr old, sadness, debt, court, disbelief, failure, weight of responsibility, tiredness, anger, I want my old life back, I don't want this life or these babies (guilt).




And so it has been for over 5 years. Humiliation, anger, frustration, loss of  friendship, regret, debt, guilt, struggle, blame, tiredness, sadness, tears, blackness, mountains (huge mountains), hiding.




More recently the light has been slowly coming back, so what if we haven't had a holiday for 7 years ! So what if we never have any money to spend on ourselves.  I have a beautiful family, we have our health, life could be much, much worse, and then yesterday - three things happened - I read a blog post entitled "My own victory day " by the wonderful  Lottieloves1 , I had a conversation with SusankMann and I received an email from a friend in Florida offering us a place to stay if we could get the air fare ! (some hopes for 5 of us, but you never know!)  It wasn't quiet an epithany but it was enough of a kick up the bum to make me take real stock.  I did a lot of thinking last night.

So today as I sit on my naughty step thinking about all the things I have felt and said over the last 5 years!  The pain I have inflicted, the sadness I have caused to others and it stops now.  I realise that I am the lynch pin of this family and my moods, actions etc influence all that my family is.  I am taking the doctors advice too and tying the laces of my trainers, I'm off out for my first run in many years, I 'm going to loose the weight I have been moaning about, I am going to cut down on my nighly glasses of wine and above all I am going to start being a proper mummy to my 3 gorgeous boys ! 

Can I come off the step now please boys ????

Sunday, 25 July 2010

IF YOU WANT TO GET AHEAD, GET A HAT !

I've always been a sucker for a great hat ! Harks back to my army days of beret's and Forage caps.  I am hoping to expand my Autumn/Winter collection of hats at All About The Boys  and love to wander through Etsy for inspiration.  Here are a few gorgeous pieces I happened upon for style conscious kiddies:

Love this little chap, how cool are the tat's on his arm and the tipped back trilby ! Jeans available at Alltheglory




Can't beat a pretty beanie hat come rain or shine this beauty is another Etsy find available from SweetSavannahbaby



and one for Mummy, gorgeous Linen Trilby available in assorted colours from sanchia845's



Thursday, 22 July 2010

Helen Rawlinson - Children's lighting






You may know we are currently decorating the twins bedroom,  so imagine how pleased I was when I popped over to new follower Helen's lovely website and discovered her wonderful children's collection of shades.


A collection of imagery inspired by vintage books, toys and bits and bobs about Helen's home! Alternated with lots of shapes for little ones to identify.

Screen printed by hand and machine stitched for dotted detail.

Comes in a selection of colours for boys and girls.

Great News - Some Ex display shades are currently on sale at great prices

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Organic Baby Clothes Direct


I don't know about you but I have found a lot of Organic baby clothes to be, "a little limited" in the past, so it was a real pleasure to happen upon Organic Baby Clothes Direct  .  A refreshing, cool  collection of clothes, blankets, gift sets and toys for babies and children  from 0 - 5 yrs.


Organic Bamboo green and white stripe jumper available in sizes 12 m - 5 yrs






100% Bamboo stripe Knitted boys tank top available in sizes 12 m - 5 yrs.

An all year round best seller and classic design denim pinafore dress in 100% organic cotton bamboo. Available in sizes 6 m - 5 yrs

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Boys and computers - How much is too much ?

I've not been feeling myself for sometime, culminating in a long stressful appointment with the doctor on Friday.  That and the prospect of a weekend alone with the twins as hubby is on shift, it seemed like the easy option just to let the boys play on the computers yesterday.  

No fighting, no whining, a computer each to play "age appropriate games", they happily played away while I pottered around not doing anything much and dabbling on my computer.  Then the "you are a bad mother " vibe kicked in.  Programmed by what ?  society ?  allowing my children to play all day on computers was a bad, very bad thing, tantamount to child abuse!  I dragged them screaming and protesting to the local park for some "quality time".  I didn't want to be there, they didn't want to go, they complained and bickered with each other most of the time (apart from when they saw the pools had at long last been filled with water)  and decided they would just take their socks and shoes off for a paddle. Needless to say we walked home a short while later soaked to the skin and shivvering. 

At home,dry and changed. Back onto the computers they went.  They were happy, I was happy I had peace and quiet. But I still can't shake the niggle that I am a poor parent for allowing it.  I wouldn't dream of telling friends or family that I let them play most of the day online (I even lied to my husband !!) so why ? why do I feel this way ?  After all, I spend most of my time online, Its my business, I shop there,  I enjoy it, I find it relaxing, amusing, informative.  I have made many new "cyber friends"  why shouldn't it be the same for my children? 

I am sure if computers had been invented when I was a child, my poor mother who juggled 3 children (one who was severely disabled ) and 3 jobs  would surely had been glad of the ? help ? distraction ?   I can actually remember sitting watching the test card (girl, scary clown and blackboard) whilst waiting for the 3 tv channels to come back on!

So why do I feel so bad ? like a poor parent ? I have wasted their weekend ?  That I should be DOING something, anything with them ......

Saturday, 17 July 2010

WISE CHOICE - OWLS ARE IN

With the twins room nearly complete (will vlog sometime soon) I turned my attention to finding gorgeous bits and bobs to complete the look.  The Owl trend is still all over the place and looks set not to go away anytime soon.  Here are a few of my favourite Owl pieces of the moment ( I got a bit distracted not just for kids) :

For the Urber cool new mummy , Owl Breastfeeding top by Mama Feels Good £19.99 . Pop over and take a look at this gorgeous site http://www.mamafeelsgood.com/ 



This little fella will look great sat on a chair in the twins room.  Hand Screen Printed Owl in Yellow, available from a lovely new UK store on Etsy called RobinandMould   Approx £16.50



Gorgeous Owl Print romper by Snoffs Design at Nordic Kids  £20.99




Wanting something a bit different from the normal "boy" room pictures I came across Love Sugar Design  they have lots and lots of prints to choose from and will ship Worldwide. At such a great price you can update prints regularly

 

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Book Giveaway




THE THREE WINNERS OF THE BAYARD BOOKS GIVEAWAY ARE :

1. bit.Ly/C4KMLX      2. Boys, numbers and books! Great combo    3. Afraid books would be soggy if mentioned here.

CONGRATULATIONS !  Many thanks to those that entered.  Please could the 3 winners  DM me on twitter address details or send email to info@allabouttheboys.co.uk  

THANK YOU xxx

I was recently contacted by a lovely chap from Bayard Books asking whether I would be interested in reviewing some children's books for him.  Would I ?  With 3 boys in the house, most definitely was the answer.


If you haven’t heard of Bayard before, they produce three monthly books for children - StoryBox (3-6 year olds), AdventureBox (6-9 year olds) and DiscoveryBox (9-12 year olds). They are jam-packed with exciting stories, characters, games and activities and can be enjoyed on their own and as a teaching aid.  Winners of Parent's choice Gold Awards too.


True to his word within days, 4 sets of books arrived ! 




Click on the link to see the overview on the books for this month's giveaway http://www.bayard-magazines.co.uk/gammebox/storybox.htm


To give maximum exposure to these great books I thought it might be a good idea to offer a set of books to 3 bloggers on a monthly basis.  All you need to do is send me a link from your blog mentioning this giveaway and with a story, feature, item etc which is related to children.  e.g. a day out with your children you enjoyed, an item you made for a child, a funny story about your child, children's clothes you sell, a favourite picture the list is endless, it doesn't have to be a new post all I ask is that the post is child related so that it fits in with the theme of my blog.


I'll post a link at the botom of the page for you to link to and each month I'll select 3 at random to receive the 3 book set. It's up to you what you do with the books, you can keep them or give them away on your own blog.


If you don't win a set you might want to take a subscription Bayard Books


This giveaway will run for one week from the start of the post and a new book giveaway will be posted on a monthly basis.


Read my boy's reviews on these fab books soon.


Also on the Discovery Box Magazine there is a wonderful competition in partnership with the WWF.  For more info you can visit them at http://www.wwf.org.uk/  please help to protect our beautiful planet.


Have fun and enjoy

Monday, 12 July 2010

Poppy



Thank you so much for all the great entries - There were, as you all correctly identified 7 Alice dresses and the winner picked at random from the list by No1 son is  :    Sarah at Noah's Ark Crafts   Congratulations !!!!  Please email me your full name & address or DM on Twitter !



Time for another great giveaway. I am thrilled to have the most beautiful dress from the quintessentially English children's company - POPPY  

Poppy design and print their own delightful fabrics which are then made into exciting childrens clothing and nursery bedding. The contemporary colours and shapes of the dresses hark back to the 1930s and are beautifully made here in the UK. This season their fabric illustrates another adventure of Poppy and Fred as Poppy goes to visit her great aunt Eva... 

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a wonderul Lilly dress - age 5 yrs only , Poppy & Fred Book and pack of invitations is to follow this blog, visit the Poppy website, have a look around at their beautiful items and tell me in the comments box how many Alice dresses there are. 

The winner will be picked at random on Friday.

I am sure you will agree this is a fantastic prize with a retail value of over £56.00

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Street Style Kids



Often when I am out and about with the twins I am asked where I buy their clothes from or how great they look.  All the photo's I use to sell clothes on my website are friends of my children or mum's from school.  Yesterday I saw a really cool looking mummy with her equally fab looking children.  The little boy had a great straw trilby on ( new post coming soon about my love of hats and Winter predictions) , too late I realised I should have spoken to her and asked for a picture. Lying in bed last night unable to sleep with the usual stuff fighting in my head I though what a great idea to have a STREET STYLE PAGE on my blog for children.  There are many sites dedicated to adult street style but apart from the awsome Plant Awsome Kids in America I have yet to come across one in the UK. 
So here's the plan.  I would love you to send pictures of your little darlings in their coolest outfits. They don't have to be expensive designer pieces, just how you (or they) put the outfits together. You must be the parent guardian of the child(ren) or have consent to send me the pics. I'll post them in a gallery on my Street style kids page and if it takes off I may well develop it into a monthly prize for best pic.
To get started please post a comment and email your pic to info@allabouttheboys.co.uk 

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Child Star Planners



Described as an aid to everyday parenting and an ideal gift to last a lifetime, the Child Star Planners Guide gives a remarkable insight into your child's personailty.    Admitting to being a little sceptic when the topic was first raised during a casual conversation with a fellow mum from school, I agreed to Stephanie's kind offer to write a plan for my twins. I was not prepared for what she wrote.    Bare in mind at the time Stephanie was a casual aquaintance, she knew very little about me or my family except for the fact that my eldest son played as a team mate (not a close friend) in the same cricket team with her son at school.
Taking only the date, time, place, sex and names of the twins Stephanie told me she would have a plan written within the week.  Approx 35 pages including explanatory introduction.  The book starts with key words, ruling planet, and element. Stephanie begins with your child's needs, moves onto their nature, health,wealth ( Hubby was particularly interested in this section) likes, talents, their journey through life. A summary of helpful hints (do's and dont's) and a Summary.  It was packed full of accurate descriptions & interesting insights into the personalities of the twins and a book I get out for a quick read again and again.  I was so impressed I gave her a testimonal for her website. 
A wonderful unique idea for a gift or just a special keepsake for you and your child.
Currently running a special Summer Madness offer why don't you just pop over and read more on this fascinating subject.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Summer Sales - Winter finds

Summer sales are on everywhere at the moment.  Whilst snapping up all those summer clothes remember  many of the stores have great items on sale that will be perfect for this years cooler months.  Often these clothes have the biggest reductions too !

Here are just a few of the great buys I have found :

Beautiful Online store Orfeo has a great sale at the moment with upto 60% off

Love this wonderful Amelia Barney overall for boys in grey available in sizes 3 - 6 months and 9 - 12 months reduced from £49.00 to £19.60



Kidcase Organic Knit turnover jumper 100 % organic cotton, available in 3, 6, 12, 18 Months Reduced from £36.00  to £21.60

And for a bit of fun at anytime of the year Lollipop Colour-me-in-tee-shirt  100% organic cotton in a drawstring bag available in sizes 2-4, 5-6,7-8 Reduced from £22.00 to £17.50

Sunday, 4 July 2010

CyberMummy

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Cybermummy giveaway.  The winners are :

PACK 1   -   Life of Bairn

PACK 2   -   C Nelson

Please could you DM me via twitter or email me your name and address details and I'll get your booty straight in the post.

Yesterday I moved out of my comfort zone (online and faceless on a computer) to take a trip to London with fellow Mummy blogger Junior Vogue to attend the first ever UK CyberMummy Conference.  Feeling more than a little apprehensive as I boarded the train at 6.30 am I was also really excited at the prospect of what lay ahead and if the truth be known actually seeing Mummytips IN the flesh !!
The day did not disappoint. It was really well organised and professional but also warm and friendly too.  Lots of amazing, bright, enthusiastic mothers all together in one place exchanging ideas, getting to know each other, sharing knowledge, tips and advice.  Lots of laughter and some tears (the blog post readings) A truly worthwhile day with inspirational women.  I am so pleased to have been part of this day and hope it goes from strength to strength, encouraging and supporting Mummy Bloggers.
There were lots of giveaways from the sponsors including a bag full of the newest baby product from Asda called Little Angels - The liquid talc is to die for !  We rubbed it all over the twins at bedtime to shouts of "more, more" and I sat exhausted from the day watching Big Brother rubbing it into my arms and breathing in that gorgeous baby smell.
There was plenty of time to "work the room" talking to fellow bloggers and the sponsors stalls set up all around the room.  I was particularly taken with Samantha Harris from Leap Frog who had a fantastic new product due out very soon and which I REALLY hope the twins will get to review ! Also Tomy who had an wonderful electronic paint pot for babies and toddlers - really impressive !

Many of the products I was given we really don't need so I would like to give them away to my blog followers. Please just leave a comment telling me why you want the goodies and which  selection you would like.  Winners will be selected at random on Wednesday.

Many thanks once again to Sian, Jennifer and Susanna for a fantastic day well worth the money ( and next time I am getting myself a sponsor and staying over at the hotel to join in the fun with Linda Jones and crew )


PACK ONE :  Stokke bag, huggies changing pads, tommee tippee bottle, little angels nappy cream, little angels maternity stretch mark cream, little angels cotton wool pleat, little angels breast pads, kiddicare set of car sun shades.




PACK 2 :  Huggies bag, little angels fragrance free soft wipes, Tomy soft tip Momma spoon, puffins handbook of 70 best books for children, 2 organic baby foods, Leap Frog lets go to school pre school sample cd,  kiddicare set of car sun shades.





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