Never to young for a rainy day craft box!

At school I loved a rainy playtime, stuff came out of the cupboard that you only got to see on a rainy day, the novelty factor was high!

I started a craft box for those days when Joss and I needed a distraction.


It’s something new and different from the usual or for grouchy days where something she hasn’t seen for a while takes her interest and calms her. Teething days can be especially tough as she seemingly goes from one dangerous activity to another because she feels frustrated! On days like that I find it hard to concentrate so I have stuck a list in the box lid with ideas for messy play:


It includes the ingredients for playdough and mentally prompts me to remember something I read a while back, that children are the opposite of gremlins and find water calming so if she starts to get a bit ‘gremliny’ there are some bath activities on there too!


Anyway, what’s in the box?


I buy the contents from charity shops, discount stores and supermarkets, if you’d like to stock your own here’s our rundown of the things we like:

Felt pens, pencils and crayons
Pipe cleaners
Pom poms
Tongs and small pots for picking up pom poms and sorting
Googly eyes
Nice pieces of scrap papers
Blank card
Shredded paper
Sponges and paint rollers

And what we currently have:

We’ve been doing a lot of painting recently

But we’ve also been exploring, mainly pom poms and pipe cleaners at the moment, pipecleaners pushed in the holes of a colander are a big favourite, as is picking up and sorting pom poms with tongs!

What’s in your rainy/grouchy day activity box?

Review Post – Wonderoos V3 Pocket Nappy from Babi Pur

At the end of last month Wonderoos scooped a Prima Baby awards prize; Silver for Best Reusable Nappy 2014. These are a very popular cloth nappy and we have been testing a PUL one with Babi Pur, a cloth nappy and ethical mother and baby store.

Available in ten lovely colours in PUL fabric, and a further ten in minky, we tested the Lilac colour, perfect for spring!


Here’s a step by step look at the nappy:

Lined with stretchy, soft ‘stay-dry’ fleece layer to keep baby’s skin dry, unique leg bindings to give maximum protection and no seams against baby’s body, so suitable for even the most sensitive skin


This is a one piece nappy no wraps are needed


Carefully combining modern technical fabrics with bamboo to give the best performance the three fold bamboo insert opens out for fast drying and folds in three to give six layers for extra peeing power!


Whilst the microfiber booster gives extra absorbency where it’s needed attaching to the bamboo layer with an easy to remember blue for a boy pink for a girl popper


Used separately for smaller babies or together for heavier wetters or nap times this is a simple system that simply pops into the nappy pocket


And off we go, snapping the poppers to the right size, snapping down and across for newborns and across only for a big toddler like mine!


We have been using this nappy for four months now and find it very fast drying, perfect for busy working mums, it provides a good fit and four months on is still in great shape! For me the best thing about it is the tri-fold liner and fit. It’s a lovely quality bamboo that has stayed really soft and dries in a jiffy!

What’s the Story?

This photograph is nearly two years old now, its my desktop photo at work and one of my favourites of Joss. I remember marvelling at her little feet, she was about five weeks old and really starting to give good eye contact and enjoy unfurling and kicking around, I’m sharing it this week for no other reason than that I’m planning her second birthday and having a reminisce!


Working Mummy Style – Spring Wardrobe Revamp Tutorial


A while ago I read about the bin-bag method of editing your wardrobe and decided to do this myself as I knew I was burying my head in the sand holding onto some things either for sentimental reasons or ‘do you know how much that cost me’ reasons.

With the bin bag method you essentially:

1 – put every last thing you own in a bin bag so your wardrobe is totally empty
2 – plan a week’s wardrobe and take out the items you need
3 – take out more items as you need them
4 – sort bag for any seasonal pieces to store away
5 – Take the rest to the charity shop

I’m not gonna lie, it was hard work, but well worth it to see the items you think you love are often the least worn, if it’s not earning its keep consider selling it or gifting it to a charity shop!

Here’s my run down of the two weeks, and how I got my wardrobe down to roughly 30 items, including work wear, leisure wear and occasion wear, much more manageable for a busy working mam who needs to throw together outfits for meetings, days out at the park, work events and the odd wedding and party!

These are just two of an embarrassingly large number of bags I filled!


I was then left with this, scary!


I planned my outfits for the coming week, three days of workwear and three days of casual stuff for days at home with Joss, as well as one outfit for an evening out.

Here are a couple of examples of typical workwear stuff



And home wear



I then took items from the bags as and when I needed them, and at the end of the two weeks still had two bags full, I edited them for out of season stuff, folded them neatly and packed up the rest for the charity shop. Over 20 items were bagged for charity. The out of season gear went into this Cath Kidston clothing bag to protect them:



Accessories were hung into two storage systems, one from Ikea for scarves and belts, the other for my costume jewellery. Now I can see exactly what I have and choose pieces to accentuate my outfits


Shoes slotted into this storage hanger


Bags went into this black box


Finally I was left with this capsule wardrobe:


So my wardrobe edit was been pared back to include just these items:


So what’s missing?

Editing out old clothing, clothing that no longer fit and clothing I no longer loved meant I could see everything I have in one place.

This meant I could identify gaps for the coming season.

I decided I could use a new pair of pumps, a skirt for evenings out and another pair of black work trousers. I knew I needed just three items, so rather than buy ten impulse purchases I spent £90 on three things that I love, that build on what I have and focussed on quality, not quantity.

This is what I went for, the black work trousers from my workwear photos above, this skirt:


And these pumps


I believe in spending more on items I will wear again and again, like my workbag, it’s been with me for six years, was expensive but is used daily and just gets better with age


This Vivienne of Holloway dress which I adore, and am linking in to the Weekend Portait Photo Linky with this one as I love the day it captures so well!


And these Tatty Devine brooches that always get a compliment


And finally, my top tips:

If you love it but don’t wear it introduce it into the fortnight, if you’re not reaching for it then it’s probably not right for you

Work out some storage solutions that work for your items

and look to fill the gaps with quality, not quantity

A Day Out with Cbeebies and Friends

Real Life

This sticker from earlier in the week, worn ironically then, now speaks the truth!


This week saw me take Thursday off to take Joss to the Cbeebies big band show, Katie, Andy, Mr Bloom, Mr Tumble, the Zingzillas and Rastamouse himself put on a brilliant show and Joss did me proud for the 100 minutes which I was nervous might be 30 minutes too long! The interesting thing about an Arena is that it’s so loud and noisy no-one can hear you scream! When Joss started to have a little bit of a tantrum she realised I couldn’t hear her and looked really shocked, then burst out into peals of laughter! Clearly we need to go on big days out more often as on the way home on my back in her sling she said ‘I had a nice day Mammy’ – gorgeous heart-warming stuff!


My favourite posts from this week were crafty ones here and here, though these flapjacks got a good reception both at home and here on the blog.

I also had a guest post with The Mini Mes and Me and really enjoyed sharing my post with a different audience too!

Then this post got people talking over on Facebook and my blog, lets here it for all parents, do you agree the term Working Mother is redundant? We’re all working parents!

I’m working on a new post at the moment, coming next week, sharing my experience doing the two week wardrobe challenge, more to come but it involved me putting all of my clothes shoes and bags into a binbag or two and living with a completely empty wardrobe for a bit!

More on that later, and for now, TTFN!

- See more at:

Brand New Piglets and Hard Work



This lovely lady is Nelly, she lives at the Farm at the top of our street and I have watched her get bigger and bigger over the last few months. She had these beautiful piglets two years to the day that I went off on maternity leave and a year to the day that I returned to work following maternity leave.

She looks tired, though I have one, not a brood, I know how she feels!

This is a post about my year as a working mam. I have selected pins from my Back to Work Wisdom board that I share with other mums making that journey back!

I realised early on that for us there wasn’t a choice about going back or not, and that at some baby groups where we’d been together for the year there was a divide between the soon to be working mums and those who were staying at home. I have a clear feeling about this and the judgements that can go on behind it; as far as I am concerned all parents are working parents, it’s hard work whatever the setting when you were up all night with a teething toddler or a preschooler that’s full of cold.


I also worked hard personally to shrug off a) guilt, having to work made that one easier, and b) possessiveness about a child that I loved so fiercely I found it hard to share. This helped:


I explored flexible options, but knowing my child, and knowing how it had been to do uni work with a newborn and then a toddler I knew this was unrealistic (and not something I aspired to!)


But then nor was this!


What worked for us was working through naps, and if work couldn’t wait until bedtime it was something I would commit half an hour to or nothing. For that half an hour I felt better about working when I got Joss set up with an activity in the same room, lego, sorting toys, puzzles or books, whatever she was into at the time, I could keep a close eye and get a few emails done. If she needed me or was whingy I downed tools as soon as possible, and came back to them at a better time, I’m not saying it’s easy to work this way, but its what I found worked best.

I saw this in a magazine and thought it made a strong, delegatable and manageable household cleaning guide, above all it’s realistic! I’ve been doing this for a month now and it works for us and takes off the pressure of coming back from work in a fug and wondering where to start when yesterdays dishes preclude being able to cook for the family the next night.


It’s possible to keep on top of it and then do a big spring clean twice a year, but this helped too if I was being hard on myself:


As did remembering that as well as being a wife, mother, student, employee and colleague I was still ‘me’ in some way shape or form, and so I try to treat ‘me’ nicely, uncritically and give myself the occasional treat along the way :)



My Low Sugar ‘Pack a Punch’ Toddler Flapjack Bars


We love to eat these snack bars and adding flour means they hold together with less crumble so they’re really portable too. These are apricot and raisin but they are lovely with dates, prunes or dried berries too! Honey keeps them chewy but can be omitted for even less sugar. Why ‘pack a punch?’ Because they’re chock full of dried fruit and banana to keep you going on a busy day!



100g butter (toddlers could often use the extra fats but you can use light spread for grownups)
100g soft, stoned dried apricots chopped roughly
30g raisins
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
Large tablespoon self raising flour
2 tbsp honey (or fresh apple juice if preferred)
250g porridge oats


Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
I make this in one pan, transferring into a silicone tray, if using an ordinary flapjack tray grease with additional butter.
Warm the butter in a saucepan and add the honey or juice, warm gently for a minute to loosen the honey, then turn heat off.
Add the chopped apricots and raisins, and mashed banana and mix well
Measure out the oats and mix self raising flour through them
Tip floury oat mix into the pan and mix well so the oats start to soak the moisture and look golden, the flour should all mix through.

Tip the mix into your flapjack tray and spread out, pressingly gently with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown

Take out to cool, when cool turn out and slice into bars. Store in an airtight container and eat within 3-4 days.


Tasty Tuesdays on

Polarn O. Pyret Comes to Fenwick Newcastle

Yesterday Joss and I visited the latest UK Polarn O. Pyret (PO.P) concession to hit the UK, here in Fenwick Department Store in Newcastle.

Having previously bought PO.P online or been lucky to get bits sent from overseas I’m delighted to have this Swedish brand on our doorstep. PO.P make fun clothes that kids can play in, and that grow with them. She’s been wearing a pair of their block colour leggings for months now so we know they last!

When we arrived in store we perused the concession and got some great advice from the staff on sizing and layering up for cooler spring weather, they were friendly and had great brand knowledge. We had a look at some of the latest stock, and as it was 25% off for the first weekend stocked up on a few bits and bobs, it was hard to choose as the new colours and stripes are right up our street!


Functional and bright, it was this stock that I really liked:


These are our purchases:


We loved the blogger pack we were given too, sweet, the party pack will come in handy for a certain someone’s 2nd Birthday!


And finally in action, down on the farm and off-road, functional kids wear at its best, warm, adaptable and comfy with no compromise on style!



Finally, as this blog takes an eco focus, look out for PO.P ECO branding instore and online for organic cotton, it’s beautiful and there’s loads of choice!

Disclaimer: I did not receive payment for this post, I really like the brand and would recommend it, it’s one we’ve worn before!

A Many Years in the Making Patchwork Cushion

For way to long I have had a small set of offcut patchwork strips from a project that I may never finish.

I have the top of a kingsize patchwork throw complete but have yet to baste and quilt it.

I had loads of projects on the go but wanted to FINISH something!

Inspired by my patchwork loveliness Pinterest board and with a £1.00 cushion inner I finally put the strips together and made and finished a project in a day



I’m a beginner and found this relatively easy, it’s a basic envelope close so no buttons and I took the measurements for the back from this post the rest I just sort of made up as I went along!