Monday, 26 September 2011

Supporting Independent Retailers - The Little Picture Company

Many thanks to all who took part in this lovely giveaway.  The winner is :


More giveaways coming soon. 


After searching in vain to find something special and unique with which to decorate her daughter's bedroom, like many other entrepreneurial mums, Anita Singh decided to set up The Little Picture Company.

"I wanted Naia to be surrounded by colours and imagery that would become focal points for our bedtime stories together, timeless pictures that I felt would feed her sense of creativity, wonder and playful imagination.

This beautiful website sells artwork, greeting cards, ribbons, wrap and tiny tee shirts.  All created by talented independent artists. 

If you are looking for something very special and unique to add the finishing touch to your child's bedroom or a special gift to be treasured forever, take a moment to pop over and take a peak.  This site will make your heart sing with all its beautiful images.


Anita has very kindly offered me one of her new vintage tee shirts as a giveaway.  If you would like to enter, just pop over to her website HERE  take a look at the range of tee shirts and pop back and leave a comment telling me which design and size you would like if you win.

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

Follow Anita on Twitter HERE & Tweet this giveaway
Follow me on Twitter HERE & Tweet this giveaway
Follow Anita on Facebook HERE & Comment on this giveaway
Follow me on Facebook HERE and comment on this giveaway

Giveaway open until Sunday 2nd October 8.00pm

Winner selected at Random

Thank you

Sunday, 18 September 2011

John Lewis Part Deux - Personal Shopper

Although I've had some major family trauma this past week, it was decided it would be "good " for me to keep my appointment with John Lewis.  I have been extremely fortunate to be chosen by Sally Whittle to have a personal shopper  help me select my outfit along with £250 to spend for the Mad Blog Awards Final.

On arrival at the huge Cribbs Causeway John Lewis near Bristol I was met by the Lovely Dom (PR & Marketing Co-ordinator)  Who took me along to meet the equally fab Debbie, the personal shopping advisor.

I must admit to feeling a little uncertain about having somebody else choose clothes for me.  I've always had really strong ideas about the clothes I like and tend to stick to safe stylish classics.  Visions of old lady chiffon, big swirly patterns or 80's revival clothes ran through my head as we walked onto the fashion floor.

Anyway, I thought give the poor lady a chance and at the very least it would be an interesting experience.  Debbie immediately sized me up telling me I was short waisted and long legged !  Sounded fine to me. steered in the direction of the brands that best suited my shape, we walked around all the rails of clothes discussing options, with me declaring nooo to sleeveless, noooooo to lace, nooooooo to bold patterns, when Debbie  reminded me that it was HER job to advise me not the other way round .  Bless, not used to that.  She was a wonderful lady, so experienced at her job, with lots and lots of information about all the brands and styles.  She scooped up armfuls of dresses whilst I walked around feeling like I had won the lottery.

Into the personal shopper suite of rooms to try on the clothes.   I normally hate changing rooms of any kind and tend to not shop too much these days, but these rooms were bright and really well lit.  None of those awful mirrors that make you look, well bigger than you know you are !  There was a seating area with water, perfumes to try, accessories hanging along the walls, a clothes rail and even a dressing robe should you so wish.  It was a really nice environment, plenty of room to walk around and well ventilated so if you are a lady of a certain age like myself you don't immediately break out into a sweat because of the stuffy shoe box size closet most changing rooms are these days.

Can you spot my dress ??  Sorry but you will have to wait until the MAD's to see the dress I actually selected.  While I was trying on the dresses and discarding them with reckless abandon (I had already chosen my dress, it was the first one I tried on, I loved it at first sight and it's a killer dress in my opinion), but I though it would be rude not to try all these beautiful clothes by designers like Reiss, Phase Eight, L K Bennett and the too die for collections of Damsel in a Dress, Debbie went off to select SHOES!!!! 

 In my past life I had Jimmy Choo's, Tod's and Manolo's coming out of my ears, (somebody remind me why I thought it would be a good idea to get married and have children )? These days I live in loafers and Birkenstock!  So I was really looking forward to having a killer pair of heels that actually fitted me.

LK Bennett taken just for a certain Mostly Yummy Mummy !

ohh pretty party heels with matching clutch bags.

Choosing the right pair of shoes was proving a bit of a challenge because of the colour of my chosen dress.  Box after box of beautiful shoes were carried into the room by Debbie, I really felt like Carrie Bradshaw, surrounded by all those gorgeous designer shoes.  It was still proving to be a challenge though, the dress demanded the perfect pair of shoes.  Unphased Debbie marched off for a third time to the stock room, when she returned she had THAT look on her face!  "I've done it, I've found you the perfect pair "  and oh, my goodness, she wasn't wrong.  As soon as I saw them I knew, they are perfect, perfect shoes and totally complete the outfit.

I can highly recommend the personal shopping service offered by John Lewis, its free, there is no obligation to buy and you don't feel rushed or indeed pushed into choosing clothes.

I can't wait for the MADS, I am already a winner ! 

Thank you so much Sally for setting up all the wonderful treats for us
Thank you John Lewis for a such a generous treat and for allowing us to go over budget for the perfect outfit !

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


I have two younger brothers.  Warren lives in Newcastle with his family and my youngest brother Jason lives in Wales.  This weekend is Jason's 43rd Birthday, he was coming to visit.  Nothing special in that, families get together all over the country for birthdays and celebrations.

Jason lives in a care village, he is severally autistic. I find the word autism has lost its true meaning in recent years, it has been so over used to  explain away many forms of behaviour.  Jason IS autistic, he cannot talk, he communicates through a series of noises and gestures.  He has to have a strict routine, he hates change of any kind, he is obsessive about his belongings and fixates on a couple of his possessions.  He is prone to fits of temper.  In the past these have been controlled with very strong drugs.  So much so that I was often shocked when he visited or we visited him.  He was often "zombie like" but we were told it was the only way to keep him calm and happy.

Why am I telling you this ?  

Imagine this situation .......  You have a child who was born with a condition, but to the outside world he was a beautiful, blonde haired, blue eyed boy.  People looked at him where ever you went and laughed at the noises he made and the hand gestures, the shaking of his arms and head.  The fits of temper, throwing himself on the floor.  Onlookers commenting "that child needs a good smack"  " that child is a retard"  " that child is mad, get him away from my children"  or just the silent looks of fear .

As he grew in age and size it became harder and harder for you to control him.  He smashed up his room, your home, he hurt his siblings.  You were a single mother struggling alone, no help, no family support.  One day he has an incident at his "special school"  he hurts another child.  He is taken away and locked in an adult ward of a mental hospital.  He is a child .   You fight the system, you get him out, home safe and all is well for a while.  Then one day you are out in your car with him, he leans across and grabs the steering wheel , you swerve off the road into a bush, the car is written off.  When you get home he throws the tv through the window. 

It's time, the authorities tell you, your family tells you, your friends tell you.  You cannot manage alone anymore.  He needs special care and attention.

Your heart breaks, you feel you have failed, you hand him over to the care authorities.....

You live everyday with guilt as a mother even when those around you tell you its for the best, he's in a good place.  He lives in a care village in Wales.  They understand about his needs.  Others there with similar conditions.  He gets hobbies, they take him horse riding, delivering newspapers, little jobs, glimpses of a "normal life".  Life ticks along, you visit, he visits you.  Always with two burly care workers to "take care of him"  incidents are rare now.  You get used to your blonde haired, blue eyed baby who has now grown into a man living away from you.  You have the chance of some kind of life for yourself, the guilt sits there on your shoulder every minute of every day.

This weekend Jason was coming to visit me for his birthday, my mother and step father are in New Zealand, They always have him to stay for his birthday but this year they had the amazing opportunity to go to the Rugby World Cup.  They left a few weeks ago and I promised I would take care of Jason and not to worry, go and enjoy it, all will be fine.

Jason had an incident, we are not sure of the facts but he ended up in hospital and is still there today.  My mother is beside herself in New Zealand and wants to come home.  I've tried to reassure her that I would take care of Jason and all will be well.

The guilt is back to mock you ......

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

All About My Boys

The lovely Jen over at The MadHouse  recently posted gorgeous pictures of her boys on their first day of school with words describing what they loved.  I thought this was a wonderful idea and so have "copied" her idea for my three sons.  Using words I feel best describe them at the moment, I wonder if, as the years go on  these descriptions will remain the same or change ?

Monday, 5 September 2011

Precious Memories - Giveaway

Many thanks to all who entered.  The winner of the gorgeous personalised silver necklace selected at random by Jacob is



A new month and time for a new giveaway. 

The lovely Glenda, founder and owner of Precious Memories has offered one of her gorgeous Stirling Silver Personalised  name pendants as a prize for the winner!  This would make a wonderful christening, birthday or christmas gift for someone special in your life.

Precious Memories are dedicated to helping everyone capture their most Precious Memories by creating stunning bespoke gifts of 3D Casts, 2D Impressions, Belly Bump Castings and Silver Hand, Foot and Fingerprint Jewellery & Keepsakes.   You can now also have your beloved pets immortalized.


Just pop over to Precious Memories facebook page HERE  and like it, leave the following comment 

 "All about the boys sent me over, I'd love to win a personalised Silver pendant"

You can have one additional entry for each of the following

Like This blog (down there on the right)  and leave a comment below

Follow me on twitter  HERE   and leave a comment below telling me

Follow Precious Memories on twitter HERE   and leave a comment below telling me

Follow me on Facebook HERE and comment    "All about the boys sent me over, I'd love to win a personalised Silver pendant"

Giveaway is open to UK residents only.  Winner will be selected at random on Tuesday 13th September at 8.00pm.  Winner notified via twitter DM or facebook message.  Prize will be sent direct from Precious Memories.

Thank you and good luck xx

Thursday, 1 September 2011

All About The Boys becomes ALL about the boys !

It's been a long summer.  First time I have taken the whole summer to spend with my boys.  We have had fun days, fab days, drab days and sad days but most of all its been a learning experience.  When you are self employed it's probably not a good idea to take nearly two months off work.  I have tried to work at night or when the boys were otherwise occupied, but in reality I have been too tired most nights after days on the beach or whatever other activity we got up to.  As for trying to think and work when they boys were in the next room, FORGET IT!  There have been days that I could seriously have killed the next person to say "MUMMY".  Anyway, lessons learned and with totally empty bank balance its back to a combination of holiday clubs, grandma and mummy & daddy from now on. 

I am desperate to get stuck back into work and to move my two small businesses forward and have decided that my website  will get a makeover in the next few weeks and will become only All About The Boys !  After taking time to look over the figures and sales trends its become obvious that the majority of my sales are indeed boys clothes.  I think the name of my website does confuse people, even though I was strongly advised not to change it.  So from this Autumn/Winter stock I am returning to selling clothes only for baby boys, boys and some mens items.

Don't worry though if you are one of my fab loyal regular customers who I source girls clothes for, I am still happy to do that.  Just let me know what you are looking for and I will get it for you.  Just not selling girls online anymore.

I have been selling off the girls stock on Ebay and to twitter and facebook followers over the Summer but still have stock left.  I really want to clear the decks now so am offering all the girls stock on my website for sale at "offer price".  Please pop over and take a look, take no notice of the price displayed and if you are interested in anything leave a comment below telling me what it is and either :

DM me your offer price on Twitter
Message me your offer on Facebook or 
Email me your offer at

Before I made my decision I had these Ralph Lauren Hooded Jackets on their way to me with the Winter stock.    If anyone is interested I have two aged 5 (suit 4/5 yrs)  and 6 (suit 5/6 yrs)  offers over £18 please. (rrp £65).

Also this Ralph Lauren Outfit.  Both size 6 Suit UK 5/6 yrs - Offers over £30 please.


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