Introducing: Springfree Trampolines

On my recent trip to The Ideal Home Show, the very last stand that I came across that caught my eye was SpringFree Trampolines. As a couple with two small children, Adam and I had been weighing up for a while whether or not to buy one for Freddie and Sasha, the main ‘worry’ if you could call it that, was ‘would one fit in our urban London garden?’, and, I dunno, when you’re choosing a piece of play equipment that seems so BIG, it always seems a scarier decision than deciding if they need a millionth train for their wooden train track!

Anyway, I was impressed with what I saw, and got chatting to the guys on the stand. We swapped details, and to be honest, I didn’t expect to hear anything from them (these trampolines are MEGA popular!). So when they got in touch asking if our family would be Springfree Trampoline ambassadors for the summer, and road test one of our choice, I literally SQUEALED with delight! 

What better way to make the decision as to what trampoline is right for our family, whether it’s suitable for our outdoor space, and also (most importantly, obvs) what Freddie (4) and Sasha (3) think of it?

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As a family we are pretty ‘outdoorsy’- we love going for walks in the woods, going to the park, scooting, helping the children learn to ride their bikes, and also play a mean game of badminton in the garden (with F and S sort of starting to join in). Getting a trampoline has seemed like the next step when it comes helping us all maintain a healthy lifestyle, and it’s ideal for burning off steam in the garden when you just want/need to be at home. 

Since we’ve been in possession of the trampoline, Freddie and Sasha have wanted to spend a great deal more time out in the garden- it’s the first thing they’ve wanted to play on/with when they come careering out of preschool, and the first thing they want to do when they’re up and dressed in the morning (SORRY Linda next door!). It’s just perfect for high-energy children like ours, who never seem to stop moving until they drop at bedtime.

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So what’s the deal with Springfree Trampolines, and what makes them so different and special from the usual ones you can buy?

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Quite simply, a Springfree Trampoline is so much safer. There are no dangerous springs (hence the name) and therefore no subsequent potentially ankle-breaking gaps around the edge, nor are there any of the usual hard poles for little ones to fall against and hurt themselves when jumping. The base frame is solid and heavy (one of the first things I checked after it had been installed), and the enclosing net is strong and sturdy, yet very giving when someone falls against it, thanks to the flexible vertical rods used as supports (see pictures below).

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We chose the R54 Compact Round Trampoline, which is the smallest one in the range (trust me, you can go MASSIVE if you have the space!) at 2.5M in diameter/5m squared, but this is still a really decent sized trampoline, and is perfect for our two at the ages they are, and I expect it to last them throughout their childhood to be honest. What’s great is it has a generous maximum weight limit of 80kgs, which means that I *might* have a had a go myself (did you know that 10 minutes of bouncing is the equivalent of a 30 minute jog?). It’s also brilliant for lying on and simply relaxing with a gin and tonic in the evening (although that’s just me, the kids have far too much energy to even consider this option).

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So, with my ‘parent head’ on, is it a practical buy for the average family? I know to be ultra safe you really should only ever let one child at a time bounce on it, but with careful supervision Freddie and Sasha have gone on together (realistic I think when you have eager little ones). It was also a HUGE source of entertainment and talking point at Sasha’s recent 3rd birthday.

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As far as child ease-of-use is concerned, the entry zips are a breeze, and both of mine can manage them on their own:

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We also opted for a ‘flexrstep’ for easy entry and exit from our Springfree trampoline (S is only diddy!), and it was a wise move, saving my back lots of small-child lifting, and encouraging independence. 

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I just love watching the totally joyful looks on their faces when they’re bouncing!

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They have seriously had the best time on it since it came to us, and I actually can’t imagine not having one now *gulp*. What has surprised me is that despite being such a big piece of play equipment, and with a fairly meagre 60 foot garden, it’s actually fitted in well aesthetically and has been fairly unobtrusive at the bottom of it (I think the slick, black, non-garish design has a lot to do with this). Springfree trampolines are definitely the Rolls Royce of the trampoline world and you get what you pay for- a great look, world class design and a safe ride. 

What’s not to love?!

I’ll be back posting soon about our Springfree adventures!

Have you heard of Springfree before? What do you think of this trampoline?

 

A huge thank you to Rainbow Play and Springfree Trampolines for making us ambassadors and for enabling us to get our bounce on! All words and thoughts my own. 

For more info about Springfree Trampolines go to www.rainbowplay.co.uk 

My Captured Moment #2

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I may seem like a right old meanie using this photo of a week old Sasha as ‘my captured moment’ (she was NOT loving having her nappy changed!), but now it makes me chuckle, as that facial expression, and the sound of those set of lungs, has not changed one bit in the 3 years that she’s been on this earth!

It’s hard to believe now that a week after this photo was taken, she was back in hospital, and very poorly with it.

Definitely a little fighter, and still has that determination (and occasional rage!) that was already visible at such a tender age. :-)

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Kitchen Cheat Sheet

As a lover of prints, and of generally sprucing up my home, these kitchen cheat sheets by Everest are the best freebies I’ve come across in a long while! Available to print out on to A4 card/paper and then frame, I reckon they’d be the perfect addition to a kitchen wall (especially when you’re rubbish at knowing your cups from your grams, and your ‘flanks’ from your ‘skirts’!).

Have your metric conversions, meat cuts, cooking times, storage methods and freezer storage timings always to hand (which means no more unidentifiable ‘mystery meat’ languishing at the back of the freezer for all eternity!).

So what are you waiting for? Getting printing! :-)

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Enjoy your kitchen cheat sheet- I know I will!

 

My Home Style – Edition 6

It’s a great edition of My Home Style on the blog today- as usual there have been so many ace pictures of home and interiors inspiration to choose from, Emma and I have been spoilt for choice! I am still very much loving co-hosting this series, and will continue to do so for as long as wonderful photos keep on coming! 

Please do hop on over to ‘Life at the Little Wood’ to see Em’s picks- she also has some crackers on her blog today.

This week I think I have been subconsciously drawn to room/accessory inspiration for the areas of our home that we are currently working on- our new loft bedroom, Sasha’s new room and what will be our new office space. Prints, both children’s, and ones that would potentially work well in the new office, definitely are taking up creative headspace right now! You can follow my children’s print Pintrest board HERE.

Anyway, that’s enough rambling from me- let’s see what awesome Instagram pics have caught my eye…

Talking of prints, I love this print featured on @elsievoncraft‘s account. I know some people find ‘motivational’ quotes and the like a little cliche, but I still can’t get enough of them, and find them really inspiring in a working space. I would really like to have this on the wall of the new office. 

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As someone who sells mid century homeware in my SHOP, I love this Orla Kiely modern take on it, in the form of this ace coffee jar that @everydayjo_x has! Available from Waitrose AND Sainsburys for under a tenner #bargain

 

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This relaxing bedroom space of Chloe’s (@chloe_rushworth) is simply lovely- it has a really calm feel about it, and I think the blue and white patterned cushions compliment the green bedspread/blanket perfectly. I also have massive light envy too!

 

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Rebecca’s (@rebecca.lou.mead) little white egg house is just perfection- I NEED one of these in my kitchen!

 

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Now, I am a big candle girl, and this scented combo of brown sugar and fig by Lolly Rocket sounds heavenly, and clearly caught my #myhomestyle co-host Em’s (@littlewoodlife) eye! I’ve checked out the website and added a few to my home ‘lust list’.

 

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I absolutely adore everything about @lotte5378’s bedroom- the nods to different eras, the up-cycled dresser, the brass bedstead, old fireplace, the stripped floorboards…it all just WORKS so well together.

 

 

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Rachel’s (@theordinarylovely) cheap and cheerful way of updating wall prints is inspired. She has a fab feature over on her blog right now!

 

 

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I have been SO envious of Esther’s (@insideoabout) travels with her family in China, where she has picked up these beautiful bowls for less than a Β£1 each! 

 

 

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Aimee’s (@missaimeefleur) workspace is just gorgeous- so bright and airy, and I love the old chair/modern desk combo, and all of her prints.

 

 

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and finally…. I loved seeing the start of Kara’s (@innocentcharmschats) children’s gallery wall- fun, quirky prints in colourful frames- what’s not to love?! We’re looking to do similar in Sasha’s new room, so seeing this was great inspiration. :-) 

 

 

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Thank you for stopping by again- what’s caught your eye this edition?

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Why blogging is good for your CV

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Often, when I’m sitting here tap-tapping away on my laptop, trying to fire out that post for a brand, or excitedly scribbling down an idea late at night that I think could make a cracking blog post, I often think that as a working ‘species’ we bloggers are often undersold and undervalued.

So many bloggers I now know, especially parent bloggers, started when their children were small, and often when they were perhaps on maternity leave, or a career break, and wanted something to do. I have come across a plethora of talented Mums (and Dads) who now blog- Ex Company Directors, journalists, PRs, writers, stylists, midwifes, teachers…the list goes on. 

What they all have in common as bloggers is that the majority are excellent writers, hard workers and have some of the most incredibly creative minds I’ve ever met. 

What’s shame is that so many of them (and I’ve chatted to enough fellow Mums now to know this) is that often, after children, they’ve felt in the ‘wilderness’- either at home with the kids (through choice or not), or continuing with their careers (again, some through choice, others not) but which ever way you look at it, all too often sidelined. Either way, too many end up dismissed as ‘just a Mum’, when they have oh so much more to give, and are actually currently ‘giving’, as awesome bloggers.

Now, I absolutely love blogging, and I also love the fact that I’m now able to make a little bit of money each month from something that is a joy for me to do, and that makes my creative juices flow.

But it has got me thinking.

It’s got me thinking “what if…I decide to stop blogging one day soon and do something else?” “What if…I decide that I want/need to get another job as an employee instead of/as well as this blog?” 

Would my blog, my internet baby, actually count for anything in the big wide world of *gasp* real life employment? 

Well after much deliberating about this whilst emptying the paddling pool last night (bloggers think of blogging, everywhere), I thought “Yes, all this blogging malarky does count for something”. Obviously, writing a blog won’t get you a job as neuro surgeon, or anything else that requires specialist training or a degree, but being a dedicated blogger CAN help you develop a HUGE amount of transferable skills, that written down, look bloody awesome. 

So, you think your ‘little blog’ doesn’t bring anything to the table, or no one would be interested in it?

Well you are WRONG!

Here’s why blogging is good for your CV:

Organisational Skills:

Pretty much every blogger I know, particularly if they have children to juggle too, is an expert in organisation. Many have schedules, plans, lists that they tick off, plus they make sure they know when linkies are running, keep to deadlines when working with brands, all whilst managing ‘real life’, families, maybe other jobs and commitments. Someone who blogs regularly and is successful with it, is likely to be pretty ‘on the ball’ when it comes to time management. 

Commitment:

You might not have been in regular employment for a while, but by blogging regularly and reliably for a decent period of time, you can prove that you really are focused and capable of committing to something that you’re passionate about. And believe me, keeping a blog going is a definite labour of love at times, especially if your children have been sick, you haven’t been able to do any blogging during your usual hours, so you’re up until 1am wrestling with a post!

Bloggers are ideas people:

Since blogging, I’ve found my brain is worked more than it ever was in a previous life, and I certainly find that ideas breed ideas. I carry a notebook around with me now to jot them down, whether it’s last thing at night, on the train, or watching the kids swim- they come to me at the most obscure times! A blog is essentially your own personal magazine and showcases these ideas of yours- something a potential employer will love to see.

It showcases your personality and creative flair:

The best bit of blogging! Not much showcases your personality to a potential employer like a blog does, whether it’s visually or through the written word. Your blog makes you YOU, and can be a great selling point if they want to find out more about what makes you tick. Obviously this doesn’t work if you’re uncomfortable with sharing your private thoughts (can’t blame you here!), or it’s a little on the ranty side, but otherwise it’s a fabulous way of building Brand ‘YOU’.

Networking:

Since blogging I have met a whole host of amazing people, both in the flesh and online, all with their stories to tell, mostly lovely, helpful, and each and every one of them has something to bring to the table. Need to find a breastfeeding support counselor? Want to interview someone with a beautiful home? Looking for another blogger to work with the brand you’re supporting? Tweet, and they shall follow! Or at least someone else you know, will know the person you’re looking for. Blog Conferences are great for making friends and building contacts, even if they can seems a little intimidating. Blogging definitely opens your horizons to a whole new host of lovely people, and with social media, even the shyest of people can have a loud voice and become networking pros.

Developing relationships with brands:

I remember when I first started this blog, how happy I was (and still am!) when an email from a company hit my inbox, asking me to review something. It was only small, and not particularly high value, but it was the first stepping stone in teaching me how different brands operate, writing a post to deadline, promoting on social media, and generally making sure the client is happy. 19 months later and I am now working for bigger brands (such as Butlins as an ambassador, Springfree Trampolines), but the same principles apply, and it’s been a great opportunity to have been able to hone these skills. 

Proven writing skills:

One of the side effects of writing regularly is that you are BOUND to get better at it. Sure, there are days when I know that what I’ve written hasn’t always been ‘up there’ with some of my best stuff, but I know that overall I’m a hell of a lot better than I was when I started, after having a break of a few years. More importantly now, I really enjoy it. The more you write, the more you develop your own style, and therefore your ‘voice’ will shine through- something an employer will look for, along with great writing. 

Assertiveness:

As a blogger, you are boss. Queen of your corner of the web. You call the shots as far as what you write is concerned, what fee you negotiate when writing a sponsored post, how often you blog…You don’t have to be arrogant about it, but as a blogger you value your worth, manage your blogging life just dandy, and definitely aren’t a pushover when it comes to your blog, your ‘brand’. Be proud of your blog and all you have achieved! Having a quiet confidence about you, and operating like a one-woman-business will definitely make people take you more seriously (even if you have to fake it to make it with that at first!). And remember, coming up with strategic plans and making decisions is something valued in the working world, and something that bloggers do every day.

Social Media Management Skills:

Aside from Facebook and a bit of dabbling in Twitter, I wasn’t really aux-fait with social media pre-blogging. Fast foward 2 years, and I now manage 2 clients on a freelance basis, and hope to add more to my portfolio once the children are both in school. I have learnt so much as a blogger, from other bloggers and from great blog conferences/ workshops that focus on getting the most out of social media for both blogs and business. I’ve inadvertently invested in MY career but attending such things using my own time and money, and that shows dedication in itself. I still have lots to learn, but I can now see how far I’ve come in this area, and have something to show for it.

Marketing:

The majority of us bloggers start out with little or no resources for marketing ourselves, yet we manage to build up a following, whether it’s a small bunch of regulars, huge numbers, or something in between. Either way, if we can do that from scratch with diddly-squat to our name, then we can certainly go into a company that has a budget, and market whatever it is they’re selling. Building an audience and a following is an indicator or your excellent marketing and PR abilities, and should never be underestimated!

and finally…

Confidence and happiness:

Okay, so not something that an employer would necessarily be looking for, but I always think that happy person= happy employee. Since starting blogging I am the happiest, fulfilled and most focused I have ever been. It has been a real confidence boost to produce content that I’m satisfied with, that sometimes other people love, and to know that there are some brands out there who want to work with me. I feel hungry to do more, write more, and work more. And I reckon when you feel like this and you’re confident (but not arrogant) with it, then you are already well on your way to being a great asset to any company!

I hope you found this useful! 

Have you ever got a job off the back of writing your blog? What other skills do you think you’ve developed since starting one?

I’d love to hear!

Little Loves #1

I’ve FINALLY got my little bottom in gear and am able to join in with ‘Little Loves’ again, something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time. I’m always reading all the posts, so here I am to take part! *waves*

This week has been pretty hectic- we’ve had Sasha’s 3rd Birthday, and have now moved out of our home for a few days whilst the messy work of our loft conversion takes place. The next time we enter our home, we should have some stairs (eek!). The children are super-chuffed that they get to have an extended sleepover at Nanny and Granddad’s so all is well in the world as far as they’re concerned πŸ˜‰

Read:

 

I’ve just finished ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini, and I can honestly say it was one of the most moving books I’ve read in a long while. I won’t ruin it for you, but it really is heartbreaking throughout, and also gives a great mini-history lesson on the recent political history of Afghanistan. I felt a bit ashamed that despite the conflict being on the news so much this past decade, I knew very little about how and why the country came to be as it is today. A brilliant read, and Hosseini’s use of language is beautiful and so descriptive- you can really imagine yourself being right there in the book. Now I need to find a new read (that will probably also take me 3 months to finish!).

Watched:

Adam and I watched ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ on Virgin. I’d seen it before, but it still made me laugh and definitely makes me want to travel to India, somewhere I’ve never been before. It sounds silly but I think seeing people in their twilight years taking the plunge and trying something new is so inspiring- I hope I’m still travelling when I’m that age!

Wore:

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Sorry about the moody/posy face here! I was lucky enough to be sent a fab hat by ‘Lines and Current’, a fab accessories brand based in Northern Ireland. It’s super-comfy, and a soft, light spring/summer alternative for ‘hat hair’ rather than a thick, woolly bobble hat. What’s also fab is that ‘Lines and Current’ donates 10% of the profits to good causes, and this month they are helping ‘Standbyme’, a charity that rescues children in crisis all over the world, including the recent Nepal earthquake. 

I’ve also managed to bare my pasty white slabs of meat AKA my feet, and get the old Birks on! They’re definitely in need of a tan, although a good coat of nail polish definitely perks things up a bit in the old trotter department!

Heard:

I was listening to the radio the other day, when the presenter announced that Maximo Park would be realising tickets today to celebrate 10 years of their debut album, ‘A Certain Trigger’, which immediately made me feel OLD. How can it be 10 years since I was dancing to this album at house parties as a student in Leeds?! Either way, I’ve been listening to it this week and reminiscing, and I’m really going to try my luck and get some tickets if the website doesn’t crash- I’ll let you know how I get on! It’s one of my favourite ever albums, and every song is so catchy.

Made:

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Sasha’s 3rd Birthday cake- a Frozen one as requested! The icing on the outside turned out much bluer than I expected, but she seemed pleased with it so I’ll take that as a small baking victory! I enjoy baking so much, but I don’t think I’ll ever be a neat, or precise baker, it all seems to go a bit wonky! Made with love though :-) 

…and lastly

We’re off to meet a lady on Saturday who will be designing our wedding rings for us, as well as meeting our photographer for brunch. We haven’t actually met him before (he’s a friend of a friend) so I’m hoping we get on well and we’re on the same page when it comes to photos (looking at his website, I’m sure we will be!).

Hope everyone has a lovely (non-rainy) weekend!

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Linking up with Morgana and her #LittleLoves :-)

My Captured Moment #1

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‘My Captured Moment’ is something I’ve wanted to join in for a while. I’ve got so many photos of the children from when they were babies/toddlers that i’d have loved to share, but since I only started blogging less than two years ago, I missed out on doing so! This is the perfect opportunity to have a bit of a #tbt right here on my blog!

This snapshot is from January 2013, when Freddie was 23 months, and Sasha 8 months. I remember that the weather was terrible, and so I’d built them a den under our kitchen table to play in. Freddie was piling all his toys and books in there, and trying to give them all to Sasha, who didn’t really understand his ‘game’, but was more than happy to oblige in taking things! Even now, dens never seem to get boring. and are great for hiding under drinking gin after a bad day.

PS Look at how S is such a chunky monkey here! This was just before she’d learnt to crawl properly, and you forget how much they chub up before they get moving!

 

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Linking up with Heledd and ‘My Captured Moment’!

Introducing: Willow London

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My name is Becky, and I’m a children’s fashion addict *raises hand*. 

So when London-based Children’s clothing company, Willow London, wanted Sasha to sample some of their clothing range, I we jumped at the chance! 

Willow London is the perfect example of just what can arise from a few neighbourly cuppas.

Like many other mums, friends and neighbours, Rebecca and Jo both found that by having children, they learnt a lot about themselves. It forced them to think about who they were and what they were doing. And it gave them courage to start something new. They agreed to work together on a new venture making and selling girls’ clothing just last year.

The brainchild of Rebecca, she says “I am passionate about design and really wanted to do something I believe in.” Jo adds “I loved the concept that it’s the little things that can make a difference, to the environment, to your day, or to your little girls’ day, and it takes me back to some of my ideals as a 16 year-old. Beautiful things can make people happy, so let’s create something beautiful.

It’s as simple as that, and what beautiful clothes they make too!

Rebecca had noticed there was a gap in the market for children’s clothing using organic cotton, but handmade in the UK. It was also about creating something they would want their little girls to wear; less frilly pinks, more bold prints, and classic easy-to-wear cuts. All with an environmental responsibility.

On the inaugural skirt, Autumn Leaves, they consciously decided to launch with the one skirt design. “Who doesn’t love their girl in a classic full skirt?” asked Jo. It is fully lined in soft, organic cotton, with elasticated waist at the back, and enough volume for running through the park, or dancing at the next party. Of course, the fabric design fits perfectly with this season. The focus is on quality, local, and hand-made, not mass production and an overload of choices.

The name itself, Willow London, is taken from the county flower of London, Rosebay Willowherb. They are true to their urban roots, based in Crystal Palace, South East London. “Our brand, the photos we choose, and our sense of community, all ties to the local area” says Rebecca. “We source fabrics that excite us, and the rest is all done by hand right here in Crystal Palace.”

They are truly excited, and honestly, a little daunted, about launching their new project. As mums themselves, it hasn’t come without challenges. Rebecca can frequently be found in Willow Cabin, working on the next item, whilst simultaneously entertaining her 4 year old and 1 year old. And Jo has worked regularly during her toddlers’ nap time, while simultaneously breastfeeding her 3 month old. “But, we want to prove that we can do it!” says Rebecca.

And do it they have!

Willow London make their gorgeous clothes to-order, which means that you can really personalise your garment. Rebecca and Jo call their system ‘Willow your way’. First up, you choose your garment from the range (lined skirt, pinafore, summer top/dress, sundress, beach trousers, baby trousers or dribble bib). Next, you choose what fabric you’d like it made up in, with beautiful swatches of all their fabrics on the website. Finally, you can choose to embellish with an applique or trim for a small additional cost. There are lots of themes to choose from, such as happy showers, arrows, beach huts and ladybirds, or Rebecca and Jo can do letters or numbers to make it really personal. Also, if you email with a special idea they will try to help! 

Perfect for those who like a bit of individuality! 

Sasha’s skirt was perfectly sized, with great-quality material used, and I can vouch that the elasticated waistband is super-comfy, with no uncomfortable seems or labels poking through, something so important for sensitive skin. 

S loved it so much, we had a bit of fight getting it off her that evening for bathtime- always a sign that something’s been a fashion hit with this 3 year old!

To find out more about Willow London, visit www.willow-london.co.uk

Sasha’s 3rd Birthday

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On Sunday our close friends and family came together at our house to celebrate our amazing little girl, Sasha’s 3rd Birthday. Sad as it sounds, I’ve been planning it for a little while, and couldn’t wait to fulfill her relatively simple requests of “Frozen decorations and a Frozen cake please, Mummy!”. So the planning began… I know kids parties are hard work, but I actually secretly enjoy them- planning the menu (read: Party Rings, cocktail sausages and few themed bits thrown in), shopping/making bits for the ‘theme’ and choosing a traditional party game of two. Who knows, maybe I could have been a children’s party entertainer in a former life?! Anyway, that ship has sailed, so I get my kicks through organising shindigs such as this for S and F.

We didn’t do a big preschool party this year, but had our nieces, God Daughters, next door neighbours’ boys and a couple of other little ones who we’re close to, over for the afternoon. 12 in total, plus adults, and the numbers left me feeling thankful for the fact that we can lob pretty much everyone in the garden, as we don’t actually have a particularly big house, at least not one which is big enough for a large indoor party! As someone with a winter birthday, as does Freddie, I am envious of the fact that S has the opportunity to have a party at home and also one that is largely outdoors (thank goodness for warm, sunny, May weather!).

Apologies in advance for the photo-heavy post, but I like to capture a lot and then find it hard to choose #bloggerproblems Anyway, I hope you enjoy (well, friends and family anyway!)….

Sasha woke up EARLY on Sunday (hello, 5.45am!), trotted into our bedroom, and woke me up whispering in my ear “It’s my birthday”, with a heart-meltingly big grin on her face. She was clearly SO excited, and a clear example that yes, 3 year olds very much care about their birthday, even if they might not remember much of it when they’re all grown up!

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Our little lady loved opening her presents. We didn’t go too overboard, but bought her a couple of things we knew she would love plus a couple of bits she would grown in to, like her balance bike.

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The wooden fire station and Fireman Sam figures were a big hit! I think Freddie was especially pleased that he would more than likely benefit from this present too- one of the perks of having only 15 months between your sibling and therefore enjoying a lot of the same things!

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I think this happy grin says it all! She kept saying “Thank you” over and over which was very sweet.

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I’d spent the night before decorating our kitchen so she should wake up to the Frozen decorations that she was hankering after. Good old cheap-as-chips Ebay stores!

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Every Frozen fan’s dream: Giant Elsa and Anna!

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…AND I did find an Olaf Pinata in the end!

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I still had a load of pink and white honeycomb lanterns from her birthday last year, so we did a bit of outdoor decorating where we could.

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Whilst Adam and I were carrying out some party prep/cake wrangling/garden tidying, Freddie and Sasha spent most of the morning on and off their new super-safe, ‘Spring Free’ Trampoline. Our family have been lucky enough to have been made blog ambassadors for them for the summer, and since this beauty arrived last week, they’ve barely been off when the weather’s been dry! I’m looking forward to blogging more about our trampolining experience over the next few weeks.

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A ridiculous amount of butter cream making went on that morning, all in aid of a very large birthday cake!

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Ta-da! One Frozen cake, if a little wonky. It wasn’t supposed to be quite as blue, as I overdid the food colouring by mistake, but I think it still had the desired effect! 

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My Dad, messing around and using the ‘3’ balloon as a punchbag (he thinks he’s soooo funny πŸ˜‰ ) It was great having him and one of my brothers down for the weekend, and they live in my hometown so I don’t get to see them as often as we’d like. 

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I love this pic of my bro and my baby girl! He’s a very good Uncle to both Freddie and Sasha, despite living far from us.

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A little pre-party family shot of us. We hardly have any of us as a ‘four’ and we really must make more of an effort to take more. Maybe joining in with ‘Me and Mine’ each month will give me then kick up the bum to make it happen!

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Our little chap looking rather serious, even though he spent most of the day running around like a maniac, high off all the sugar from the Party Rings he kept pinching off the food table! I love this photo though, although it makes me want to weep at just how grown up he is becoming. Just stop, okay?!

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Little S is such a Daddy’s girl, and spends much of the time he’s around clung to him- getting Adam to pick her up, swing her around, put her on his shoulders… I took a few of these pics and I think we’re going to frame one :-)

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My lovely Mum! Who looks AMAZING for her age (cough, 65, cough!).

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Once all of Sasha’s little guests arrived, they spent most of the time playing games on the trampoline! It’s probably not ideal having so many on at once, but they were all being beautifully behaved and careful, it was shame to say no! We played a version of musical statues, where they’d dance and bounce, and when I shouted “FREEZE!” they had to stand as still as they could. No mean feat on something bouncy!

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The slide and mini trampoline were also big hits with my Niece and God Daughters (you can never have too many outdoor toys when you have a load of under 5s round).

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Granddads together!

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The children ate a picnic party tea in the garden which they loved, Again, we were so thankful for such great weather!

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Waiting patiently for her cake. I love the happy, anticipated look on that face!

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Ready, steady….

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…BLOW! 

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This picture of her looking at me melts my heart- she was so, so happy, and when asked what her best bits of the day were later on in bed, she said “having my party friends round, playing on the trampoline, and blowing out my candles”!

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Me, smiling at someone, or something, probably in the midst of running about like a blue-ar*ed fly. Kids parties are so much fun, but bloody hard work!

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The cutting of the cake! I did attempt purple ombre in the end, although THAT was hard work in itself. I’ve vowed ‘never again’ but since I’m a glutton for punishment, it probably will!

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And finally…you can’t beat a bit of pass the parcel to round off a wonderful afternoon! I have to give special thanks to my Mum, who was there when I was wrapping this on the Saturday, and had to keep reminding me and my frazzled brain to add a sweet between each layer- she saved a lot of tears! 

So that was that, that was Miss S’ 3rd Birthday, and she couldn’t have asked for a better one. We’re lucky to have so many lovely people in our lives, and the children really are the nicest bunch of little people to have around- polite, fun, kind…they make hosting parties a joy. 

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Happy Birthday Baby Girl- we hope you had an awesome one! 

 

Linking up with ‘Let’s Talk Mommy’ and ‘Share With Me’!

Three

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At three you are full of opinions, likes (Meg and Mog, grapes, sleeping in our bed, drawing) and dislikes (dogs, scooting on your own, babybells, having anyone help you do anything!).

At three you are by far the funniest little girl around and SO knowing with it. We can see your brain whirring, wondering what funny face to pull, or thing to say next that will make us laugh loudly and tell everyone about (yes, we are THOSE parents πŸ˜‰ ).

At three you are sharp as anything, often one step ahead of us in terms of what you are thinking and what your next move will be- you certainly keep Mummy and Daddy on their toes.

At three you are a bundle of contradictions- so independent, yet still very much needing and wanting us by your side. Your current clingy phase when being left at preschool or with anyone else is testament to this, and the word ‘limpet’ springs to mind, as you hold on to me and wrap your legs around mine, begging me to stay with you. 5 minutes later, you are fine!

At three you love your brother so very much, and although you can fight to the death, when he is not around, you miss him and ask for him lots.

At three you have a hearty appetite, and will still eat almost anything put in front of you (which makes life much easier for Mummy and Daddy!).

At three you are a dinky 3ft exact, and have size 6.5 feet.

At three your mind is buzzing with all the knowledge about this big, wide world you are acquiring. Last week you asked me what ‘common’ meant, and you now can say what letter a word begins with just by hearing it. All those games Mummy and Daddy played of eye spy with Freddie at the dinner table and in the car, and you trying to join in, have paid off!

At three you have a full range of loves and interests. You love Frozen, Fireman Sam, playing with your small Peppa figures, drawing, painting and starting to write, playing outside, going to the park and climbing almost anything in site, whizzing along on your Toddlebike, playing shops/schools with Freddie, playing catch, being read to (current faves are the Mr Men books), dancing- the list is endless and keeps on growing!

At three you have the most spectacular tantrums- we can see you shaking with rage, and will throw yourself to the ground, or at us, roaring. It really is a sight to behold!

At three you have just started your ‘big girl’ swimming lessons, going into the pool by yourself. You are very brave, as we can tell from your face and the fact that you are quiet (a rare thing!) that you are nervous, but you smile and wave to us from the side each time you complete a width with your teacher.

At three you love preschool, and often come home with tales of what you have been up, and reenact the new songs you have learnt.

At three we wouldn’t class you as shy- like Freddie you will talk to anyone in the shops, on public transport, on the street, and tell them what you have been up to. People are always amazed at your chatter!

At three you are the loveliest, kindest, cuddliest, funniest, most headstrong of little ladies, beautiful inside and out, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. You have made our family complete.

Happy 3rd Birthday Sasha!