Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Anyone for Tennis ? - Supporting Independent Retailers

Many thanks to all who entered this fab giveaway.

The Winner, picked at random by No 1 Son is :


Keep following the blog more great giveaways on their way soon xxx

As its Wimbledon fortnight I thought it would be the perfect time to feature this particular giveaway from Independent Retailer Little Big Sports.

Owned and operated by Katie, a mother of two.  Katie was inspired by her then five year old son to set up her business selling sports equipment specifically for children after struggling to know which size cricket bat would be suitable for her son.

Little Big Sports helps parents find equipment specially designed for children under 12 years old. The equipment sold is designed to suit different ages, sizes and abilities.

" It allows kids under 12s to have maximum enjoyment and develop the skills of the game without wielding a cricket bat they can't lift, kicking a football that is too heavy or trying to reach a tennis ball that bounces over their heads."

A lovely, clean fresh website, its easy to navigate with something to suit every pocket. Little Big Sports sells everything from tennis balls to kids golf 5 clubs and stand bag sets.  There is also a great affiliates programme for sports coaches and clubs.  The product pages have clear, easy to understand options and information.  Its a pleasure to navigate around.

Recently featured in Theo Paphitis - small business Sunday on Twitter, I wouldn't be surprised if great things don't lie ahead for this company.


Katie has very generously offered a Slazenger Smash tennis racket as a prize.

The winner will be able to choose one from 4 sizes  - 19" suitable up to approx 3 years of  age,  21" suitable 4 - 6,  23" 7 to 8 yrs and 25" suitable 9 to 12 years  

To enter please pop over to Little Big Sports  HERE, have a look around and come back and leave a comment telling me what you like most about the website.

You can have one extra entry for leaving a comment for each of the following (its not essential, just gives you more chances to win ) :

Follow little big sports on twitter HERE

Follow Allaboutheboys on twitter HERE

Like little big sports on facebook HERE

Like all about the boys on facebook HERE

Giveaway is open to UK residents only and the winner will be contacted via twitter or email.  The prize will be sent direct from little big sports to the winner.  There is no alternative prize.

Giveaway closes on Tuesday 5th July at 8.00pm

Winner picked at random.

Thank you and good luck xx

Bramdean - Last day at school

I'm awake early today.  It's an odd sort of day, No 1 son's last G.C.S.E examination and also his last day at school.  Nothing particularly special about that you might say.  Thousands of children all over the country are finishing their examinations and leaving their schools this week.  How many of them I wonder have been at the same school though since they were two and a half years old.

I happened upon the remarkable school that is Bramdean whilst looking around for a "nice" nursery to send Jacob to all those years ago when, as a busy marketing executive and single mum I was rushing around the country, often working late and desperate to find a good quality, caring environment for my son.  As soon as I walked into the school I loved the feel of the place.  I was not to be disappointed. 

The school is owned by two remarkable people.  Not for them the 9 - 5 day job.  Bramdean is their life, their vocation.  Miss Stoneman came to the school many years ago in her first teaching post and through her hard work, dedication and love of the school was soon able to take over as Headmistress.  Along with Mr Connett they have successfully co-owned and run the school for over 40 years.  Many of their teaching staff have been at the school for the whole time no 1 son has been educated there.  Mrs Fouracre, a kind, homely caring kindergarten and first grade teacher.  Mrs Prior a whizz maths and first grade teacher.  Mr Brown the games master and ex Middlesex wicket keeper.  Mrs Taylor RE and History teacher and also mum to twins!  One of the greatest testament's to how well run the school is I am sure, is the low staff turnover.  This doesn't make the school stale either.  The examination results speak for themselves.

Many people think that independent education is for the privileged few.  Not so at Bramdean.  Most of the parents I have known there over my thirteen year relationship with the school are down to earth hard working people who would rather give up big cars and summer holidays to enable their children to have the kind of education Bramdean has to offer.  Often disillusioned with the state system, I seen many parents watch their children grow and blossom into wonderful people thanks to the unique environment the school has to offer.    I was lucky enough to be offered a job as school secretary to Miss Stoneman and Mr Connett which enabled Jacob to continue his education at Bramdean and when I left to set up my own small business thanks to their amazing generosity, he was able to continue on there with a sporting scholarship.

So today, its not just the last day at school for Jacob, its a trip down memory lane for me too.  Over 13 years of fond memories, of ups and downs in school life, school days, work days, laughter, tears but most of all many, many thanks that I was lucky enough to have been able to call friends two of the most remarkable, selfless people I have ever met.

Thank you Miss Stoneman and Mr Connett for all that you have done for Jacob, for your part in making him the bright, confident young man that he is today.  I hope he has done you proud.

Jacob ( centre ) - Bramdean Outdoor Persuits

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Supporting Independent Retailers - SALE TIME


You may or may not know that this weekend I finally made the decision to stop selling on Ebay.  This was not something I did lightly.  Ebay has been my main source of income for nearly six years, but sadly I could no longer take the constant unfairness of their policies against sellers.    It was making me ill and apart from the fact that I kept moaning about it on twitter.  I feel relieved but also very scared about the loss of the regular income. 

With the help and support of the amazing forum and company that hosts my website at Create  I have almost completed a re-vamp of my website.  In celebration I am having a big sale with reductions on my already great prices !  This will be live in the next day or so.

If you are an independent retailer and are currently running a sale or a promotion on your website, please feel free to link below.

Monday, 20 June 2011

2011 Toyologists 1st box arrives

Last week saw the arrival of our first box of toys heralding the start of the ToysRus Toyologist campaign for 2011.  We were very fortunate to be selected again this year to test toys and are really looking forward to the year ahead. 

Be sure to pop over to the ToysRus Facebook page  HERE there will be lots of fantastic opportunities for you to join in the fun this year.  I will also be running giveaways on my blog.

One young chap was getting rather more possessive than he should over the toys even before the twins arrived home.

We thought it might be a nice idea to invite a friend around to play with the twins and help test some of the toys.

The twins and Rosie played with the DON'T LAUGH, CONNECT 4 LAUNCHERS and THE BUBBLE BUSTER 

Reviews will follow soon.

It was really nice of Geoffrey to send a toy which also doubles as a floor cleaner, very thoughtful of you and much appreciated.  I had a lovely clean, sparkly floor after the children finished playng with the Bubble Buster    XX

There was music on this video but somehow due to my amazing technical skills its been lost.  I must also apologise for the manic screaming of Milo.  He is, I'm afraid mostly always like this .....

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Supporting Independent Retailers - Lunchbox World Giveaway

Many thanks to everone who entered.  This giveaway is now closed and the winner is :


As part of my campaign to support independent retailers I'm featuring Caroline from Lunchbox World today, who has also very kindly offered my readers a giveaway.

Caroline, the founder of Lunchbox World started her business several years ago, when as a mother of three school aged children, she was searching for a lunch bag that could be washed and that still insulated the food. Caroline found one on sale in America made from neoprene, the wet suit fabric, that could be washed in the machine! Which meant goodbye to smelly lunch bags!

" being a working mum, I felt we all needed a bit more help and support in preparing these lunches day in day out, and in keeping up to date with the latest products out there, to help us on our way. No-one has the time to search the supermarkets for new and exciting healthy alternatives for that lunch box! Nor trawl through recipe sites for that new fresh lunch box inspiration!
We also need ideas on how to keep the costs down, but still make that packed lunch exciting and looking fresh until it is time to eat it."

The business was born ! She now constantly searches for new ranges and new ideas from all over the world. Bringing to the UK lunch bags and gadgets that are not readily available on the High Street.

Please pop over and take a look at the LunchBox World website it's bright, clean and easy to navigate.  Packed full of modern, innovative products for children and the whole family.  There are recipe ideas for healthy, fun lunches, hints and tips for your packed lunch, news and features, information on nutrition, a smashing kidsworld section.  This is a wonderful website which is so much more than just a site selling lunchboxes !


Caroline has very generously offered a pack of four TUMTUMS Tiny Snackpots and a Tyrrell Katz Backpack with bugs design .  Both will, I am sure you will agree appeal to both boys and girls and could even be used by mums with babies.

To take part in the giveaway please pop over to the website  HERE  and take a look around.  Then come back here and leave a comment telling me what aspect of the site you like the most.  Is it a product ? or the receipe ideas ? whatever it is, we would love to know.

You can have one additional entry for leaving a comment for each of the following  :

Follow this blog 

Follow Lunchbox World's blog HERE

Like Lunchbox World on Facebook HERE

Follow me and tweet about the giveaway on Twitter HERE

Follow Lunchbox World on Twitter HERE

The giveaway is open to UK Residents only. 

The winner will be picked at random on Thursday 23rd June when the giveaway closes at 7.00pm and notified by email or twitter DM.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

I watch this everytime I am feeling fed up

Whenever I am having "one of those days" or just feel like I haven't smiled in a while, I watch this. It never fails and its the reason why I love what toddlers say soooooo much ! . 

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Dear Son

My favourite photo of us - How the years have flown.

I know you think "I'm on your case", I know you think "I'm stressing out"

so I felt maybe if I wrote it down and you read it, giving me a chance to explain how important this time truly is to the rest of your life, you might understand what I am trying to say.

 You are young, just 16, I know to you, that you feel all grown up.  I understand, I did too when I was 16 but believe me my darling you have so much more life ahead of you.  So much time to go out, to date, to stay up late and play online with your mates, so much time.  This time though, these few weeks and that's all it is, a few weeks could you please humour me and show me that you are trying to study, that you are taking your examinations seriously ?

I am so proud of you, more than you could ever know.  You have achieved far more already academically than I ever did, you have excelled and gained a scholarship to one of the best independent schools in Devon, all by yourself (well perhaps with a little help from me, but not much)  Its your talents on the sports field and the classroom that have got you so far. 

I want to support you, be there for you but I don't know how,if you won't let me in, if you shout at me and slam doors.  I'm worried (its my job).  The world is a very different place now from when I was 16.  I joined the army after not taking my examinations seriously enough, with thoughts of travelling the world.  Now you need a degree to be accepted into most regiments, just to be sent straight to war zones.

I've tried, I really have, not to put pressure on you, to leave you to work it out yourself.  But I'm anxious now with the lack of revision at home.  You've seen and heard maybe too much of the strain that dad and I have had over the last few years.  I want so much more for you, I don't want you ever to have to struggle in the ways that we have. 

Knowledge is power my darling.  You can go anywhere, be anything.

I want you to fly, to be happy and free.

You are my pride, my joy, my No 1 Boy !

I love you.

Mum xxx

Friday, 3 June 2011

Fathers Day

Is your man big and tall ?  I have some gorgeous Ralph Lauren XL polo shirts just into stock at the best prices you will find anywhere for genuine Ralph Lauren.  A lovely alternative present for Fathers Day.   Free postage to twitter or blog followers.  Just email me at info@allabouttheboys.co.uk if you would like to buy one.  Just £38 each . RRP £80 !

Please take a moment to pop over and take a look at the other wonderful independent Retailers HERE  for some great individual ideas for presents for Father's Day or any special occasion.


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