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Friday, 21 November 2014

Overtaken by Crafty Loveliness. (Leitz Box Review)

I have spoken before about my love of all things crafty and stationery.....how I can get lost (very happily) in Paperchase and only really became a teacher so I can justify my love of pens and paper.

My recent venture creating 'Thimble and Twig' means I've spent even more time making bits and bobs (or putting together bits and bobs to help other people make lovely things!)

However, my living room has suffered. Storage is a little out of control and in no way as organised as I'd like it. However, I was super happy to receive a Leitz Box to store my crafty bits.

The Leitz box is super easy to put together - it has a pop button system and was created in minutes which is a very different story to most other storage boxes I've tried.

It's roomy and strong- can easily hold a whole ton of paper, books etc... I had no fear of it collapsing when carrying from room to room. 

It is a tad bright- bright pink, and I was a bit unsure about it at first as all our other storage is white. But actually I think the bright pink brightens up the room and is a bit of a focal point in an otherwise white room!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

When you drop us off at nursery, you can drive all around the world ifyou like!

And so continues the variety of crazy things Bean is currently rambling on about at the moment!

He is completely delightful to listen to, frequently insisting that if I give him an ice lolly 'he will play with me'. He spends his days confusing Devon with Heaven and asking me "where was I when you was married?!" and insisting that he has to carry round a little box full of plastic spoons and stationery.

He's becoming quite a little character at the moment, we have to have the nightly routine of emptying his pillow case as he stores the trinkets and goodies that he finds throughout the day. This week we've emptied the pillowcase to discover most of their toy kitchen contents inside as well as all of his sister's jewellery.  

The pocketing of items does seem to be happening more frequently- should I be worried?!

I had to smile today, as he came up to me half way through our Ikea trip and let me have a peek at what he had kept clutched inside his pocket since we left home - one of his sister's  Sylvannian family chairs. You could tell it was quite uncomfortable as he walked but he kept tapping it fondly to make sure it was still there!

Today they went to a light party and my heart melted as he came down the stairs fully dressed in his builder costume, ready for the party. He beamed every time anyone at the party asked if he was 'Bob the builder'. 

Sometimes I want to bottle him right here and now. My little snuggly boy who loves a cuddle and who has moved on from 'Mine want to do it all by mine-self' to,,,,,,,,,, 'you do it mummy because we're best friends.....'

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Paper Dolls

The traditional activities are so often the best aren't they?

Pip and Bean's favourite story of the moment is 'The Paper Dolls' by Julia Donaldson. It's a gorgeous story.....whimsical and full of beautiful illustrations that float off the page. So obviously, this weekend we had to put pen to paper, have a little snip and create our own paper dolls!

There were full on discussions about hairstyles and skirt colour. I did make Bean some boy paper dolls at first but he was not impressed as the skirts were more fun to decorate. (Having two sisters, he does keep insisting he'd rather be a girl.)

So keen were they to play with the paper dolls and make them dance, that they chose not to colour them all and took them naked (Bean found this hilarious!) to fly around the house. There was a full hour of paper doll dancing and twisting and turning ("just like strictly" they chorused!) before the poor paper dolls were relegated to the front of the fridge door with the other artwork.

But Bean made some extra large giant paper dolls with Nanny - a full reconstruction of the whole family! We've gone paper doll crazy in this house!

Monday, 18 August 2014

The ordered life

Apologies in advance for the dreadful photos - they are literally a glimpse into our everyday ordinary. At the moment - Bean is OBSESSED with putting objects in order, food in order, even washing tablets need to have an order!

I regularly walk into the kitchen to find all contents of the cupboards lined up methodically. In some ways, this is better then finding the objects strewn across the kitchen but lo and behold anyone who tries to tidy them away or worse still - to try and cook with them! They will incur the wrath of 'The Bean'. Often the methodical order remains until all the little people are in bed!

Am just hoping the order is still a concern to Finbob when he's a teenager! Now that would be a treat!

Even Poppadums need an order!

The necessity of washing powder tablets in order!

Gotta love that boy!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

A Good Ole' Rainshower at the Park

Imagine a world without parks?! I most definitely can't. I feel super lucky that we have so many near us in London that we can't ever get bored! Parks with sand, parks with water, wooden adventure playgrounds, parks with woods.The summer holidays have afforded us the time to properly enjoy the parks this year (in between the thunder storms of course.) Time to just sit and be and watch.... I love just watching the interaction being children and their families- the little girl desperately trying to eat her ice cream before it melts, the Italian mother berating her daughter for some act of unkindness to a sibling. The little brother gazing adoringly at his older climbing higher and higher on the climbing frame........so many stories.....

I love the way Pip and Bean always make a friend at the park. There's been Mirren and Rosie Mae and a whole host of others. I imagine them bumping into each other when they're older and meeting afresh with no knowledge that they ever played together one blustery afternoon in a park in south London.

Trips to the park will be a lasting memory of these summer holidays. Even the ones that went wrong....we had a thunder storm picnic on Sunday. One of those 'we-said-we-will-have-a-picnic-and-therefore-we-still- will' moments that you have as parents. We stuck it out until the rain was so heavy and we began to worry about being struck by lighting what with all the trees around. So, we made a mad dash back to the car and finished the picnic there - which Pip and Bean thought was just as much fun. (Anything to do with wearing your pyjamas or eating in the car, is a hit with those two.) I seem to remember similar car picnics with my parents, where the British weather just didn't pan out.

But, I can't imagine living in a place where everything went to plan because you didn't have to worry about the weather. Wouldn't BBQs be boring? I think we're currently totalling 4 trips to the park this summer that have resulted in a mad dash for the car due to tropical rainstorms and that, is what makes Britain's summers truly unique!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Ten Boredom Busting Travel Ideas for Children

So, we're off! The annual drive to Ireland has begun! Although, I'm not planning on blogging much (we are on holiday after all!) I had a little moment of exasperation in the car that I felt needed sharing!

A familiar scene to most- your spotless car, less than 5 hours into the 13 hour trip, is littered with wrappers - your supply of snacks and sweets is dwindling, the colouring books and magazines have been devoured (and not a single lid made it back onto a pen.) You've exhausted every radio station option and your careful organisation system has gone haywire leaving you with nowhere for your feet to go. 

Well, this was me an hour ago but having been here before on many a car journey - I was not yet ready to reach melt down point. I had a few more things up my sleeve and as I now gaze upon three peaceful children.....I realise my trip planning was not in vain. 

And that, my friends......feels victorious!

So, if you have a long car journey ahead with little ones....here's a few things to stow up your sleeve (or in your glove compartment). Feel free to add any others and share the love sympathy for travelling with small kids!

1. A good story CD, preferably one that lasts over an hour. I'd been highly recommended Roald Dahl's complete collection but sadly my lack of planning meant that I had to put up with the laugh out loud - Winnie the Pooh! (Eeyore really is one of the funniest storybook characters in my opinion!)

2. Busy bags.....oh yes, I know there's iPads and DVD players but these are a cheaper, educational option and oh so much fun! I'm going to do a whole post on these soon!

3. Foam maps and puzzles

4. These snack pots are ingenious. 

5. Eye Spy cards (things to spot on the journey). This is what mine looked like......simple but keeps them quiet!

7. A Mini padded tray is super useful for little ones to colour on.

8. Children's Music CD, 'Little Boppers' is our favourite!

9. Sewing Cards and Cross Stitch kits (we got ours from Sainsburys) 

And obviously, don't forget the snacks but to save your car try our no mess suggestions.....

-Hula Hoops (the least messy crisps around!)
-Mini Breadsticks
-Ice Gems
-Mini rice cakes

Happy Adventuring!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Squidge at 8 months

It's a long time since I've written a post about Squidge. It turns out that Squidge was a very appropriate name for her as she has properly squidgey, chubby legs at the moment. Luckily Pip and Bean adore her (she's not yet moving so doesn't pose a threat!)

She's turned out to be a very easy going, peaceful baby but who fights her sleep and wants to always be part of the action. It's gone so quick, I sometimes wish I could bottle little moments of them all as they are growing up so fast!

Friday, 25 July 2014

First Bone Break

What's the worst that could happen on the first day of the summer holidays?

Pip falling off a climbing frame and breaking her wrist?

Yep, we have our first bone break in the 'lovely things' household! This is not counting my husband who has broken pretty much everything (bones and household objects included).

Pip was so brave though, she was obviously in pain and trying to hide it! So much so, that I was convinced she hadn't broken anything and that she was actually fine and dandy but we were 'playing it safe'. I was even contemplating taking her home at one point when the hospital waiting room became a bit stressful - classic dinner time scenario in A+E =  Bean was moving all the waiting room chairs, Squidge was crying for food and Pip was attempting to do a handstand (with her broken wrist.) Am so pleased I didn't - what a bad mother that would make me!

At the moment, she's enjoying the attention and is particularly excited about the event of 'drawing on the cast' tomorrow and 'replacing said cast' with a new 'pink' one on Monday!

My only concern is how I occupy a very active-cast-ridden girly along with her brother and sister or the rest of the summer holidays. Answers on a postcard please......

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Rock Band

"Let's get rocking" has been a familiar cry in our house this week. Pip and Bean have started a band, they've called it 'Macaroni Star' and their gigs mainly take place on our bed or the trampoline! They've written out the song lyrics (albeit only 3/4 lines that get repeated over and over...) and designed the band's style. They spend their days generally giving me a headache by jumping all around the place shouting at the top of their voices. I tried to encourage them down the classical route but it hasn't worked, the scary thing is Pip was watching 'Britain's Got Talent' and then asked 'how do you get inside the television?' 

I think she's getting ideas above her station.

And if it wasn't enough....the band also cost us a trip to A&E yesterday. Bean was singing the newest song (called 'tagliatelle' -  I've no idea where all this pasta/ Italian theme has come from) in Tesco Express yesterday and managed to trip over, banging his head and covering the entire self service checkout  in blood. Luckily, he didn't need stitches but Pip went a little pale and so in my wisdom I made them walk back from Crystal Palace instead of taking the bus. It was typical that a day long adventure involving two trains and two buses with 3 5s and unders had gone without a hitch right up until Bean decided to sing a song about a pack of magatelli (tagliatelle) at the checkout! 

This band lark better pay for itself when they get older. 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The launch of Thimble and Twig.....

Poor little blog of mine, all neglected and unloved! I haven't had the time to post recently. But there are exciting projects on the horizon and I just thought - I have to share them with you!

Like all things lovely.....'Thimble and Twig' was a little unexpected and one of those things you start quite organically and quite randomly!

In June, I decided to support a little local craft fair and actually get involved this time and get making! So, I dusted off the old craft box and thoroughly enjoyed making jewellery, bags and cards.

But then, I thought that, being on maternity leave, this was my chance to really 'go for it' on the making front!

So, I actually made my idea of a 'Children's Craft Box' - lots of activity ideas to 'make, bake and grow' and keep children inspired and busy. My dream is to make it super duper easy for parents to craft with their children. It was an idea that I'd been bending my friends ears about for ages but I finally got making. Our first box is a 'Nature themed box' to blend in with the summer holidays and there are more themes in the pipeline.

And then, I regained the crafting bug! So, I made some Messy Play Boxes - with everything parents of children under 2 need to help their little ones explore through messy play and plan to made my newly engaged friends some lovely wedding boxes to keep their little ones entertained during their wedding!

And so.....'Thimble and Twig - The Box Company' was born!

I have plans and dreams.....oh so many dreams....... craft box gift subscriptions............travel boxes to keep little ones busy in the car, craft classes for children, messy play sessions, craft parties.............

But for now.,,,,, There is an Etsy Shop which I am loving stocking with new boxes and a new mini craft blog which I will be posting all our new makes on. I will obviously still be posting about our little life here and now that the launch is over - I will definitely be checking in more often!

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