Tag Archives: kids

Thanks

Thanks

(I apologise in advance for the swearing, when I get stressed, I almost can’t help it.)

Go on then, f*cking argue over who gets to watch what on the TV.  Hit the other person around the head because they won’t make room for you to sit down on the sofa.  Cry and throw cushions on the floor, I dare you.  Demand a drink of milk and then change your mind once I’ve poured it.  Not milk now – orange juice, and it’s too weak, and it’s in the wrong cup.

You never even said ‘please’ in the first place, you just ordered it as if I’m a skivvy whose only purpose is to serve.

Throw all the coats on the floor by the door, because you were looking for a jumper.  Don’t pick them up though, that’s mum’s job.  She likes it really.

P*ss on the bathroom floor and all over the loo seat, don’t bother to wipe it up.  Use half a toilet roll every loo trip and drop  the whole thing in the loo every couple of weeks.  Block the toilet regularly.

Treat your room with disrespect, draw on the walls and then claim your sibling did it.

You’ll learn soon enough that pushing each other on the stairs is a bad idea, broken leg anyone?  Because that’s what will happen.  And who will have to deal with the blood, the crying and the trip to A & E? Us.  Always us, here to pick up the f*cking mess you leave behind.

Oh and remember to taunt each other mercilessly, until you make the other one punch you.  Then laugh inwardly when they lose bedtime stories; because I know that’s what you’re doing.  Getting one over on your brother or sister is great isn’t it.  Make them miserable, just for your own bl**dy entertainment.

Cry when they nudge you slightly, rise to a howling crescendo and hold that arm like it’s dislocated.  Smirk when you think I’m not looking.

Oh, and when mum sounds hysterical and wants/needs to get out of the house…hide your f*cking shoes behind the sofa so we can’t go.

Cry, yell and wrap yourself around my ankles when I turn the TV off.  Sulk, slam doors, throw toys on the floor or at other people in an aggressive fashion. Nice.

Sing loudly and stand in front of the TV every time I want to watch something for a change.   When the TV is off, actively try to p*ss me off so badly I get desperate and let you watch TV for three hours at a time, just to avoid having to deal with you.

Raid the fridge, pour yourself a lovely glass of milk and use it all up so there’s none left for anyone else. make sure most of it spills all over the sides and under the microwave, leaving it to drip off onto the floor.  ‘Clean it up’, which means you get a tea towel, wipe the floor with it and then wipe the now filthy rag on the sides.

Use all my craft equipment, spread it all over the house, lose the tops off all my pens, take over my designated stationary drawers, use all my coloured paper, knacker my scissors.   Oh and don’t forget, drop my treasured android tablet so that you smash a bit off the bottom of it, and then cry and moan when I say you can’t use it anymore.  Surely it should be me crying and getting upset?

Wake me up every single solitary night, by wetting beds, having (imaginary?) tummy aches, worms, nightmares,  monsters under the bed, vomiting, spilling drinks on pillows or maybe even just for fun.  Make me into a nervous wreck.  Insomnia and exhaustion all bundled up into one Codeine, Kalms and Citralopram addict, because that’s the only way I can survive and sleep sometimes.  Complain when I don’t crawl downstairs to get you a glass of water at 3am, even though you’re quite capable of getting your own.

Scream at me when I get the words wrong whilst singing your bed-time songs, argue and shout at me because half way through your bedtime story you’re bored of it and want a different one.  Do this every night, without fail.  Or make up alternate reasons for the same behaviour, for example….. because at 10.30am in the morning I forgot to let you have an orange.

Yell at me because you’ve lost your bedtime songs because you were spitting at your sister, and then lie and say you didn’t do it in the first place.

Rip wallpaper off the bathroom walls, eat the toothpaste and smear it on the cupboards, shove toothbrushes down the plughole where it’s black and there’s manky bits of hair.  Yes I did see you doing that.

Because I’m a mum, because it’s my job, because I love you – I live with this and tolerate this behaviour almost every day.

Just after I had my second child I had a dream.  From a distance I saw myself naked and half submerged in the sea, far from the beach.  I held one of my babies in my arms, I’m not sure which child it was and I don’t think it mattered.  I tenderly held and breastfed my baby and as it nuzzled and fed, the baby bloomed.  Their cheeks became rosy and the skin became a light rose pink, chubby little arms and legs wrapped around me.  As the baby fed I saw myself slowly withering and ageing.  My skin gradually turned grey and I knew at that very instant that I was dying, that my life was leaving me and through my milk, my life was slowly filtering away.

You might think this was some sort of nightmare, but it wasn’t.  The most vivid thing I remember about this dream was an all-pervading feeling of calm and contentment.  I didn’t mind losing my youth and my life this way, I was happy, this was right, there was no other place I’d rather be.

I write this while the kids run around a playground.  Driven half mad with frustration, I dragged them out about half an hour ago.  I have been, and am still, burning with rage at them.  So sick of the endless arguments.

Every now and then one or the other of them shouts that they’re ‘the king of the castle’ and that I’m ‘the dirty rascal!’ as they balance atop a climbing frame. Talk about adding insult to injury!  Or they fall an inch to the ground and cry hysterically to get my attention, eventually giving up when for once I don’t immediately jump to their attention like I usually do.  Right now, this minute, I need my space.

The sun beats down for a minute or two, and then the world goes grey and cloudy again.  I rest my head on my hand, leaning my elbow on the bright blue metal playground bench; my other hand writing frantically with a crappy blue biro labelled ‘Iberostar, Hotels and Restaurants.’  I dont’ know why, I’ve never been to one.

The kids are sitting next to me, all I can hear is ‘Can I have it?’ and ‘No!’ and ‘That’s not fair!’  They are bickering over a leaflet for gods sake.

A dog yaps, Darlek sits beside me sniffing, cars rumble past.  I’m trying to finish this.  Trying to pull the loose ends together, but it’s all fraying, like my nerves.

I guess you could say, when all observations are made, when withering dreams are analysed, when silliness is curbed and reality is as harsh as a small Jack Russel barking none-stop three feet away from your ear………..this is just parenthood in the raw.  It drives us mad.  But because we care, because this is how we are built, the way we are, we give everything to our kids, deal with all the hardship and thank them for the privilege, and mean it.

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7 Bells!

7 Bells!

Yep, we’ve been knocking seven bells out of our new house across the road, it’s looking a wreck, but at least we’ve started.  Horace spent all afternoon hacking at the horrendous fake beams with a hammer, covering himself in dust and I’ve been his dutiful tea making wife.  Go me!  (I’m well good at DIY…)

The kids ran around the house with their cousins, playing hide and seek or something – eventually deigning to join us downstairs where they got in the way something chronic.  It wasn’t raining so they went outside eventually and ran in circles around the outside of the house.  They banged on the windows and the front door and shouted ‘Mumeeee!’ really loudly, daring me to tell them to pack it in.  Then they just all ran off giggling out of sight of the windows.  This went on for quite some time and kept them nicely occupied – I’m hoping that this behaviour has got the old game ‘Knock-a-door-run’ out of their system so they won’t torment the nieghbours in coming years.

Sis put me to shame and joined in with pulling the front room to pieces, while I stood there like a spare part commenting on the old wallpaper layers.  ‘Ooh, look at that, it’s so garish and 70’s!’  (I’m such a style guru!)  I so need to get a bit of DIY confidence.  It’s just, knowing me, I’ll climb on a ladder, hit myself in the head with a hammer and fall off dramatically, Laurel and Hardy style.

More damsons anyone?

In an attempt to make myself completely useless I went outside and picked some more damsons from our tree.  Our neibours now have damsons too, our freezer is full of them and I think I’m going to start dreaming about damsons at some point very soon.  It’s the tree version of a damson mine in that garden, I’ve never seen so much fruit!  Everyone in the family will be getting damson gin or damson jam for Xmas, and probably for their birthdays, anniversaries, and for the hell of it too. I’ll be known as the Damson Gal if I’m not careful.

I just loved the sillhouettes of these against the sky.

Made sloe gin last night, not damson gin, although I do have plans for the stuff! My fingers are stained a nasty shade of brown and I look like I smoke 100 roll up fags a day.  I’ve scrubbed them loads and they still look grotty.  It’ll be worth it though! Love the stuff!

Autumn's bounty!

Went picking the sloes in the rain day before yesterday.  I had a proper case of cabin fever and absolutely had to get out of the house / cabin (whatever!).  In all truth, stood in the shade of the tree out of the rain, on a stool, picking sloes, in a stupid anorak – I think I looked deranged.  But it was so peaceful to have an hour to myself to just enjoy a bit of calm and fresh air.  Horace had taken the kids to the pictures, and I flatly refused to do an ounce of housework.  I’ve been tormented with the stuff recently.

Sheltering from the rain.

The day ended with Darlek gipping into a bright pink wash basket, while Sausage ran around the living room yelling nonsense.  Poor mite seems to have a bug of some sort, temperature, headache etc.  I hope it’s not catching and I hope she gets over it soon.  Hate to see either of my two poorly.  She didn’t even eat her tea and that’s not like her at all.  I on the other hand ate two portions and felt like a fattie.  It’s fairly decisive really, my colitis doesn’t seem to be aggravated by food particularly.  It seems to get worse when I’m stressed, so I suppose I should ‘chill out’ or something.  Like that’s gonna happen!

Apologies for the excess of damson photos.  I have no photos of our half derelict new house and only pics of my current fruit obsession.  They are a lot prettier than a house being pulled in pieces though, trust me on that.

 

 

Playing in the Park!

Playing in the Park!

Now Darlek and Sausage are back in school and nursery, I’m slightly guiltily breathing a sigh of relief.   I do love spending time with them, I just think you can have too much of a good thing sometimes.  I do miss them, but, the space is nice, the house is quiet, there’s no-one climbing on my knees or asking for TV…it’s calm.

Mind you I have no excuse to go to the park now I have no kids with me.  I love nothing more than casually swinging back and forth on one of the swings, dragging my feet on the floor – once I’ve managed to wedge my bum onto the seat of course.  Maybe I’ll never grow up, I hope not.

I was checking through my photos over the summer hols and found some cute ones of the kids messing around at the local parks and thought they were lovely, so thought I’d share them.   If you’re interested, Darlek is wearing her Muddy Puddles snuggly fleece jumper in a few of the photos.

Some people complain about nanny states and the like, but I am always amazed at the quality of parks these days.  Call me an old git, but I remember concrete floors that’d split your head if you fell on them, roundabouts you could trap yourself under and slides with barely any safety rails.  In regards to kids playgrounds, I love health and safety!  I say ‘Yay!’ for spongey floor tiles.

Wheeee!

There may be issues when it comes to finding things to do for teenagers and older children, but at least we’re sorted for stuff to do with younger kids in Lancashire.  If the kids are climbing the walls and trying to cellotape the cat, take ’em to the park I say!

I'm the king of the castle!

One day in the summer I quite literally went on a tour of the playgrounds in our immediate area.  A full afternoon’s worth of activity, for no cost at all.  There were four playgrounds within half an hour’s walking distance, and all for different age groups.

Well, I suppose there’s always the weekend.  I can take them again then maybe. More often than not I’ll sit on the witches hat roundabout, and spin round with them; pretending I’m sat there simply to help them go round faster, when in fact I’m probably enjoying it as much as them.

Peekaboo!

* Is there such a thing as a half sponsored post?  This is about parks really and me being a big kid mostly.  Muddy Puddles provided the jumper a while ago for review, no other reward was given for my time.  It’s a lovely hoodie and it’s washed lots, been worn lots and fits well.  So there you go!

Counting Sticker Activity Book – A Review!

Counting Sticker Activity Book

A Review!

Over the summer holidays, this book has been invaluable!  I’ve tried my level best to occupy my daughter, and this has stretched as far as play activities and trips out sometimes, unfortunately I’ve struggled to keep up with her passion for learning and numbers.  You see numbers are not my strong point and I would rather stick pins in my eyes than sit and do anything with them. On the other hand, Darlek has an insatiable need to do maths, and this book has helped where I could not!

 This is a colourful activity book full of stickers and numbers, funnily enough!  The title is a bit of a clue as to what is inside.

The book uses cute animal characters a child can relate to, so it looks fun and there are practical maths exercises that I found were perfectly suited to my daughter who is six years old.

Personally I think pictures of food are always popular with kids (and with me if I’m being honest).  I found this book had a good  mix of colours and contrasting images so it didn’t become boring.

It’s always nice to see scenarios pictured that kids enjoy too.  I know Darlek loves nothing more than a good snowball fight.  They instantly look at the pictures and smile, because they’re about topics they love.

In conclusion!

Lovely colourful book + maths presented in an interesting way = Fun & Learning

Can’t beat that can you!  If you would like a copy of the Counting Sticker Activity Book you can find it HERE and it will set you back a measley £4.49 which I don’t think is bad for a book that’ll keep them occupied for ages – as long as they don’t cheat that is….. ;O)

Muddy PuddlePac Macs and Snazzy Sunglasses!

Muddy Puddles logoMuddy PuddlePac Macs and Snazzy Sunglasses!

Muddy Puddles, in connection with TPToys, have very generously let me review some of their lovely out and about clothing and accessories. I reckon if their clothes can survive my kids and Lancashire weather, they have to be something special.  This blog post and the reviews are featured as a guest blog on TPToys & Muddy Puddle’s blog which can be found here: http://www.activefunkids.com/

So here goes…

My two kids were kindly sent Muddy Puddles PuddlePac macs, and a pair of very trendy sunglasses each too – so whatever the weather they’d be prepared for it! I decided the best way to test these, would be to take the kids out for an adventure. www.muddypuddles.com/Sun/Sunglasses/New-Adventurer-Banz

It’s the summer holidays at the moment, and I’ve been desperate to get us all out of the house. My little lad is 2 years old, and my daughter is 5 going on 15. They seem to spend almost every waking hour arguing at the moment, and I have been going quietly crazy listening to ‘Gerroffit!’ ‘Me-me-me-me!’ and loud ear splitting screams from one or the other of them. The worst bit is when they start with the ‘MUUUUuuuuuUUUmmmm’ (whiney tone) which makes me feel like my head is going to explode. This is all whilst they ricochet around the house, leaving a trail of toy devastation and usually a distraught cat. S has taken to pulling his tail and poking him with his plastic light sabre, poor love.

Out of the house, things seem to calm down for all concerned. The kids are occupied with wherever they’re going and the new surroundings, and I always feel happier without the four walls closing in on me. With this in mind, I was more than happy to arrange a daring escape to Cliff Castle in Keighley via bus and little legs – theirs not mine.

The morning of the planned expedition arrived, and so did the bad weather. It was tipping it down, or ‘jumping monkeys’ as my dad calls heavy rain. The kids were fairly unphased by the soggy weather and were looking forward to the day ahead, so happily ambled around the house helping while I got things together. ‘Helping’ as in trying to nick the cheese from the butties when I wasn’t looking, and putting their muddy wellies on and trekking around on my pale blue carpet. Well…. I say pale blue, it used to be pale blue, but after five years of having kids, it’s more a mottled grey colour, with occasional ribena purple patches and ingrained play-doh bits. I like to call my house ‘shabby chic’ dotcha know!

The rucksack ended up the size of a small bungalow, like it always does and we set off for the bus. I don’t drive, so am very used to packing a huge rucksack, with everything for every eventuality – including potential nucleur attack. Both kids were dressed in their PuddlePac macs and their sunglasses were stashed in a side pocket – I sincerely hoped they’d come in useful later. Togged up and excited, they dashed down the hill in front of me, jumping in puddles and urging me to ‘run faster mummy!’ Considering the ridiculously sized rucksack I was carrying, I politely declined and staggered after them.

S stropped half way down the hill because he knew I was carrying a drink, and because I wouldn’t give it to him until we’d got to the bus stop. Walking and drinking tends to slow him down, so I thought it more than reasonable to ask him to wait. S did not agree…. not at all, and tried to climb up my legs to raid the rucksack. Eventually he resorted to just yelling and sitting down on the soaked pavement. I thought we were going to miss the bus so gave up trying to cajole him into moving, and just picked him up, and carried him for a while.

Usually I’m rubbish at carrying stuff. If we have a furniture shift round at ours I’m the first to drop my end on my toe and give up. But when it comes to lugging toddlers about I have to say I’m rock hard these days. S won’t get in his pushchair now and I am used to slinging him under one arm, carrying heavy shopping in the other, and lumbering up and down Lancashire hills. I think I’m actually getting biceps!

We were in time for the bus, which was a minor miracle! Daisy played on her DS, and Sol knelt on his seat shouting ‘Car!’ or ‘Ban!’ at passing vehicles, whether they were cars or vans or completely unrelated forms of transport. S tends to put B’s at the beginning of lots of words – e.g., he says ‘Daddy’s Beeping and Boring, which translates as ‘Daddy’s Sleeping and Snoring.’ Hence the ‘Ban’ which translates as ‘Van’ if you hadn’t already guessed. ‘Banana car!’ helped pass the time nicely too. It’s a very simple game that consists of spotting a yellow car before anyone else, and shouting ‘Banana Car!’ then tickling whoever is sat next to you – if you play this on a bus, the person next to you has to be a friend or family member, they throw you off if you try this with someone you don’t know.

The bus meandered through the town and on through the countryside, thankfully the clouds lifted and the rain gradually stopped. By the time we arrived in Keighley, we had blazing sunshine, white fluffy clouds and blue skies. D looked a little over dressed for the weather in her waterproof pants, flowery wellies and waterproof mac. We added the sunglasses to the ensemble and she looked like she was prepared for anything the British weather could throw at her!

We ate our sandwiches by the war memorial in the town centre. Actually, that’s a lie. I ate my sandwiches, but S and D carefully picked out the cheese and left the majority of the bread and were far keener to chase pigeons than to eat lunch.

Following lunch / pigeon harassing, we headed off to the castle. I’ve only been by car before and it didn’t seem that far, but at toddler speed it took forever. D and S didn’t seem to mind though, and found different things to look as we pottered up the hill. They were particularly enamoured with a dead bee, D was convinced it was still alive and insisted on rescuing it. It was a bit beyond saving to be honest, but we dutifully found a leaf to put it on and left it on a patch of grass. I have to admit, it seemed a nicer ending than on a hard stone pavement. So we said our goodbyes to the dead bee and trogged onwards, feeling that we’d done our good deed for the day.

Previously I’ve only ever visited Cliff Castle by car and it seemed a lot nearer, funnily enough. I got a bit worried we were on the wrong road and asked a passing bloke if we were going the right way. As he gave me directions, S decided he’d quite like one of the crisps he was eating and tried to nab one, which was a little embarrassing. I thanked him for his help and then S started pointing back down the hill in a very urgent manner and was obviously trying to tell the man something extremely important. I had to explain that we’d just rescued a dead bee. He looked at me like I was a mad, and I hurriedly herded the kids up the road, whilst blushing horrendously.

Eventually we arrived! First stop was the animal and bird enclosure. The guinea pigs were a huge hit, and we cooed over their squeaky noises and snuffly noses. The rabbits were huge! D noticed that one of them only had one and half ears and we spent a while wondering what had happened to the other half. We decided it was a ‘lop-sided’ rabbit as opposed to simply a ‘lop-eared rabbit.’

D took off her waterproof pants and anorak, and S did likewise. They proudly ambled around in their new sunglasses, D looking like a little snowboarder and S like a mini-dude. Cute as buttons!

As any parent knows, a day out in the summer is not a day out until everyone has had an ice cream. Not that I mind! (pats middle age spread and grins). D and S devoured their ice-creams and guzzled their drinks, as did I.

At Cliff Castle they have a conservatory stocked with all kinds of tropical plants and cactus, so we had a look at them. D commented that one of them looked like it was a plant monster and that it might grab her, ‘Little Shop of Horror’s’ stylee. I tried to get both kids to stand in front of the plant and pretend to be monsters for a photo, but they weren’t very enthusiastic. D managed a brief ‘Grrr’ and gave me one of the annoyed looks she’s been practising, so we moved swiftly on to the park.

This was the bit they really loved. D and S sat on the roundabout while I pushed it round as fast as I could, wondering at what point they’d turn green and when I’d see the ice-cream again – thankfully that didn’t happen. The difficult bit was when I had to peg it between the baby swings and the big swings. D was not going to allow me to skive pushing her swing, and S is too little to swing his own; so I ran between them like an idiot and got shouted at ‘Come here and push me NOW mum!’ and ‘Oy, don’t ignore me!’ ‘My turn!’ which was funny and then a tad annoying after a while. I was more than a little relieved when they just clambered about on the climbing frame. At least all I had to do was hover near them in case either of them nosedived.

The kids could have stayed there all day, but I thought an amble around the grounds would be a nice thing to do. One of the highlights of the day was when we found a huge grassy incline, both of them discovered the delights of ‘roly-polying’; and hurled themselves down the hill, laughing and racing each other. Me, being daft like I am, checked no-one was looking and had quick go myself, much to the kid’s amusement. I ended up covered in bits of grass with two kids tackling me, battered but elated at being in the midst of sunshine and silliness. Moments like that are what make life worth living for me!
By that time it was about half past three, and it takes approximately an hour by bus, so we called it a day. I’ve promised the kids we’ll go back and actually have a look around the castle next trip. Planning is the key, we just ran out of time. I would have taken this into consideration if I had an ounce of organisation, but never mind!

The bus seemed to take forever to arrive, but the kids occupied themselves by doing ‘keep fit’ moves. D is very into doing what she calls the splits, which is basically her stretching her legs out sideways until she falls over. S copied her and fell over and clonked his head on the bus shelter, so that was the end of that.

Before we had any major injuries or strains, the bus arrived and we climbed on. Unfortunately S needed changing and so I started doing nappy changing acrobatics much to the amusement / disgust of the other passengers. It was a really full bus, so this was no easy task! I had to drag out spare underpants and trousers from the rucksack, lie S across my knee with his feet sticking out into the aisle, clean him up and generally try to make him smell and look a bit more acceptable. All in the space you’d struggle to swing a mouse, and with fellow passengers as an audience; smiling apologetically I shrugged my shoulders and reminded myself that he wont be doing this forever. I figured they’d have to hold their noses and grin and bear it. Since having kids, I’m a lot less bothered by disapproving old ladies.

At last we arrived home, tired, happy and ready for CBeebies and tea. We’d had torrential rain and sunshine, fun and frivolity and butties and ice-cream. All the ingredients necessary for a memorable day out! D & S want to go anMed do it all over again next week; I’m exhausted at the thought!

(This is me, I’m so exhausted, my eyes are closed)

On my next blog I’ll be reviewing the Muddy Puddles gear, and what we thought about it.  As they say on TV – ‘Stay tuned for further updates!’

If you can’t wait for that and you want to have a look at their lovely clothing and accessories range before then, please click here: Muddy Puddles >

Alternatively you can have a look at the Active Fun Kids Blog which is a great read!  http://www.activefunkids.com/

Muddy Puddles logo

Just to apologise for the dodgy photo and text settings.  I’m just learning how to do this techie stuff, and it’s actually surprisingly difficult to set everything out.  Please forgive my amateurish attempts!  I’m getting better!  Promise to try harder, lol! :O)

A Gorgeous Giveaway and a Review – Ella Bean Clothing!

This blog was designed to be multi-purpose and multi-tasking – so far it has focused on the subject of kids, kids and erm….kids – with a weird little diversion onto the topic of trolls. (see previous blog entries…)

Soooo. Here is a little variation on the theme. Still about kids, but about kids designer clothes this time! I am running a giveaway in connection with this review, which I will give details about at the bottom of the page. Read on Macduff!

There are a million and one online kids clothing shops vying for our attention, but one in particular has impressed me so much, that I have decided to feature it here, with their kind permission of course.

Personally I’ve never been able to afford designer stuff, either for me or my kids. It may be beautiful, but it tends to be expensive and as my kids wreck clothes for fun, the price tags are just not practical. I’ve browsed many an online shop, and sighed at the gorgeous outfits – knowing full well that I’ll never actually get my debit card out and pay the extortionate prices. But, this is where this particular shop comes in handy….

It is Ella Bean Clothing! I noticed them on Facebook initially, as they were running a competition – and me being the eagle eyed comper that I am ‘liked’ them and have continued to watch them grow from strength to strength.

They specialise in discounted designer brands, ranging from Oilily, Ralph Lauren, Catimini, DKNY, Monsoon, Small Paul and tons more – featuring styles for the very young (0-3 months) up to teenagers (16-17). I think I can safely say, if you’re a parent or grandparent, you cannot fail to have something jump out and grab your attention. For me, it’s the Oilily stuff, I absolutely adore the colourful intertwining patterns and the attention to detail.

I once managed to get my mits on an Oilily nappy bag on Ebay after an intense bidding battle where I nearly had heart failure bidding like a crazy woman. I have never hit ‘refresh’ so many times in a minute before in my life. Anyway, I was victorious, and up until recently this was the only bit of designer kit I think I’ve ever owned. This isn’t me being sorry for myself, I’m just a practical kinda gal, and I don’t usually spend money on such fripperies. (Now I sound like some kind of Victorian school marm! Ah well)

Having said that, it doesn’t mean I’ve not longed for the beautiful designer outfits you see here and there, for my kids. So, when I spotted Ella Bean Clothing, and their very reasonable prices, I jumped at the chance to buy a genuine Oilily designer sweater top for my little girl. It hasn’t cost the earth so I’m not terrified every time she leaves the house with it on, or when she’s slurping a melting raspberry lolly. If I’d paid full price, I think I’d have framed it rather than let her wear it.

The lovely lady at Ella Bean advised me on the right size for my daughter (she’s 5, but is very big for her age and I was concerned it would be too small for her) and had the top delivered to me within 48 hours – which is fabulous, friendly customer service. The transaction went through without a hiccup, and I was more than satisfied with the item when it arrived. It was packaged very well, addressed properly, folded nicely and my daughter opened it and squealed. She absolutely loves it and wears it all the time now.

If you have a look at Ella Bean’s website, you’ll see just how professional they are. The site is easy on the eye, easy to navigate and you won’t struggle if you’re looking for something specific. There’s loads of clothes and accessories to casually browse through too. The clothes are nicely photographed, so you know exactly what you’re getting, and it features an extremely useful page soley for making sure you’re getting the right size. Ella Bean Clothing can be found at http://www.EllaBean.co.uk and I’d highly recommend a wander around the site.

Ella Bean run regular competitions on Facebook and are very well known in comping circles for the hoops they get us to jump through for various prizes. One of the hoops was a lucky one for me, and I won a cute little Oilily top last week. Brand new, but without tags. I aimed to give it to my friend’s baby, but miscalculated how fast the months have flown and it wouldn’t fit her now.

Soooo, this is the giveaway! I have still not worked out how to post photos on here, so I can only describe this top and refer you to the Ella Bean Facebook page, where my win is there for all to see. It is age 3 – 6 months and is covered with a scattering of red, yellow and pink flowers, interspersed with green leaves on a light pink background. It is a classic long sleeved T’shirt top, which will wash well and look simply gorgeous on your baby girl. (Link to Ella Bean Facebook wall. http://bit.ly/9jokj6)

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this cute designer Oilily top is to comment on this blog and then comment on the Ella Bean Facebook page, saying Kay Wilkinson referred you. If you’re already a member of the Ella Bean Facebook page, please just comment on this blog saying you’re already a member – it makes things easier for me to keep track of. I will list all the people who comment on here and on the Ella Bean Clothing site and will choose someone at random on 1st September at 10pm.

If you decide to have a look around Ella Bean Clothing, even if you don’t want to enter the competition – please do say I referred you and comment on this blog too.

I’m excited to have written my very first blog review and to be running my very first giveaway. Thank you for reading and please do visit again! If I could offer you all a comfy sofa to sit on and tea and biscuits I really would. :O)