Monday, 26 November 2012

Winter warmers

Winter is my favourite time of year and for me there is no better weather than a cold, sunny day when you can wrap up warm and go for a a brisk walk with a cup of coffee waiting for you at the end. Hats, scarves and gloves are amongst my favourite things to buy, and of course the obligatory new winter coat. I seemed to have passed my love of all things winter clothing down to Sofia as she loves wearing her hat and keeps saying ' coat ' and ' car ' recently. So far, I have bought her a sensible rainproof coat that will be great whatever the weather brings but I may treat her to something a little bit more fancy as we get nearer to Christmas. Here are a few favourites that I have spotted whilst browsing ; so cute

Blue cape by Belle and Boo
Catamini flower coat from Alex and Alexa
Fake fur coat from Zara 
Ted baker coat at Debenhams
Mini rain coat Boden
Pretty Princess coat by Cherub Child from Not on the high street

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

My Barefoot fundraiser for the Teenage Cancer Trust

As an ambassador for Barefoot Books ( Deborah Giannasi at Barefoot Books) I am very keen to support as many charities as I can, especially those that are close to my heart. Through online fundraisers and events, I can sell books and give a little back whilst happy readers can enjoy their new Barefoot Book. Starting this month, I am very happy to be supporting a local fundraiser who is raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust,  Leanne Salisbury is raising funds with Help a Capital Child's Great Wall of China Trek. In March 2013 she will be giving her all to walk the great wall of China, whilst raising as much money as possible. Leanne wants to raise money as;

'TCT is devoted to improving the lives of teenagers and young adults with cancer by providing dedicated units so that they can be treated together, by age appropriate specialist in an environment tailored to them. Young adults tend to develop the most rare and aggressive cancers due to their rapidly changing bodies so they also provide training for specialists to ensure an age specific approach '

To help Leanne with her fundraising you can buy one of four wonderful Barefoot Books and for every book bought £1 will be donated to her charity. Leanne has chosen two of our books set in China, to keep in theme with her trek, and due to her love of words and stars has chosen books that show off a little of Leanne's personality. Whether you want to buy a book for your little one or treat family and friends for Christmas, take a look at Leanne's choices and click on the link at the bottom of the page to place your order.

The Great Race
4-  years

Race with the animals of the Zodiac as they compete to have the years of the Chinese calendar named after them. The excitement-filled story is followed by notes on the Chinese calendar, important Chinese holidays, and a chart outlining the animal signs based on birth years. 

Motherbridge of Love
for all ages

Cherish the special bond between parent and child with this beautiful, anonymously written poem. Through the exchanges between a little girl and her adoptive parent, this poignant selection celebrates love and family. 

Thesaurus Rex
3-7 years

Follow this mischievous dinosaur as he frolics, rollicks, frisks and romps. Each colourful page introduces simple synonyms and a fun-filled way to build vocabulary and word recognition.

Star Seeker
3-11 years

Journey through the night sky on a poetic trip that blends adventure, imagination and science to teach the basics of our solar system. Includes endnotes about the planets, stars, moons, constellations and even a little mythology.

If you are new to Barefoot enter TWENTY12 at checkout and you will get 20% off your order

Thank you for taking time to read and donate and I am sure you will all join me in saying GOOD LUCK to Leanne

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Little shoes

I have written about my children's shoe fears  on here before, when I was first looking for pram shoes. I am far from a snob when it comes to clothes for myself and Sofia ; whilst I do like a few treats now and again I like to mix and match clothes that are reasonably priced with a couple of more expensive pieces to jazz up the wardrobe. One thing I do like to spend a little extra on is shoes. For me, investing in a good pair of shoes is well worth it, after all they do all of the hard work carrying us around every day. When it comes to children's shoes it is imperative that we give their cute little feet room to grow, breathe and develop in good quality shoes. But, why oh why do children's shoes have to be so ugly ? As expected with my initial fears, it is definitely apparent that Clarks has monopolised the market, sucking guilt ridden parents into their light up, sparkly, brown, clumpy shoe hell. It really is quite odd the  amount of dislike I have for Clarks; my husband really is fed up of me droning on about them! It is just every time I mentioned buying Sofia her first shoes they automatically mentioned how I ' had ' to buy from Clarks as they are the only place that measure ' properly'. I wouldn't really mind all the marketing brainwashing if the shoes were actually nice but they are not and they are charging a hell of a lot of money, especially considering they are made abroad, and from reading reviews are not always the quality they profess to be. It was not my intention to have a rant about Clarks, I simply wanted to share
a few of the lovely shoes I found whilst looking for Sofia's first pair. After much searching I stumbled upon Tiny Toes Baby Shoes and fell in love with their very cute but equally as supportive, soft and good quality as THAT shop. I realise that they are equally, if not more, expensive than Clarks but the fact that they are handmade in England make the extra pennies worth it. Here are a few others that I liked along the way;

Elephantino girls shoes from Mon Petit 
Boys Emilio shoes from Livie and Luca
Girls red London Boots from Livie and Luca
Unisex navy T bar from Tiny Toes baby shoes  
Tip Toey Joey gold trainers from Alex and Alexa
Converse trainers from Office 

Monday, 5 November 2012

Pitter Patter Painters

Whilst I think of myself as a very creative person, I am not the best at drawing or painting. My husband on the other hand is a very keen artist and is always drawing, painting or taking photographs and I think this has started to rub off on Sofia already. From quite an early age, Sofia has been picking up pens and trying to draw and it is very cute to see her scribble her ' name ' on birthday cards and pictures for family.  As the little one is only one, we have not had much exposure to painting, mostly because she puts everything in her mouth but also as it likely to get very messy! However, recently we had the perfect opportunity for Sofia to get her hands dirty, get messy and have lots of fun without all of the washing up. The Walker Art Gallery, in Liverpool, put on and event called Pitter, Patter Painters; a free event where toddlers can get to explore art and painting with lots of fun along the way. The day was lots of fun and Sofia loved getting her hands full of paint and drawing on benches and walls without getting told ' no, no, no ' . Activities included hand painting and freestyle drawing on walls but also had a few of fun ideas such as a paddling pool of paint with different shaped balls that you could coat and throw on to paper to make different shapes; definitely one for the garden if you want to try at home! I also loved the idea of having a bench coated in paint but with a layer of plastic over so that little hands who don't like getting messy can still enjoy the colours and textures.

The painting session was a part of the gallery's BIG ART project, a great project that aims to allow children to get involved in art at an early age, with a room dedicated for children to take part in various crafty activities and lots of fun ways to educate. There may be a museum near you with something similar, so it is worth checking it out. You can also check out the Tate website, with a page dedicated to   kids that has lots of great ideas for activities that you can do at home to have some pitter patter painting fun. The thing with painting though, is that it should be fun and doesn't need to be structured and organised. so get creative, don't be one of those mums who worry about the mess and get splattering.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

November book of the month: The Kite Princess

As regular readers know, I am an ambassador for Barefoot Books . Barefoot have lots of amazing books for children and I will be highlighting one as book of the month, that I think you and your little ones would love. November's  book of the month is ' The Kite Princess ', written by Juliet Clare Bell and illustrated by Laura-Kate Chapman with a CD enclosed that is narrated by Imelda Staunton.

Princess Cinnamon stitch is a tomboy who has no interest in courtly life. She'd rather cartwheel through puddles and dance with alley cats. Can she show the king and queen that there's more to life than being pretty or good?  As well as a great story that celebrates individuality and independence, this book provides a visual feast for the eyes that you and your little one will love. Help your child express themselves in their own personal way and have some fun as you read along.There are instructions in the back of the book to make your own kite, just like princess Cinnamon, so you can get really step inside the story.

Take a further look at Barefoot Books and get 20% off your first order using the code TWENTY12 at checkout, including all our weekly dazzling deals and sale items.