Inkly Moments

During National Stationery Week we reviewed the Inkly cards service. Inkly recently added a new, free, feature to their app, called Inkly Moments, that is adding a little extra to my photos right now!

In the app you can upload a photo, add filters, text and choose from a wide range of stickers uniquely designed by Inkly to add a special touch to your photos, the fonts on offer are brilliant!  Here’s one I screenshotted before uploading to Instagram with #inklymoments

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Helpfully categorised into a wide range of topics such as ‘weddings’, ‘pets’ ‘birthdays’ and ‘baby and bump’ it’s quick and easy to find just the right sticker; you can then easily share your ‘Moment’ across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (or you can just save it to your mobile device).

I quite like those Instragram pics with text overlayed, you know the ones I mean? With inspirational words and quotes –  it’s easy to do with Inkly Moments – here’s a Birthday one I sent to a special friend this week, when I saw this poppy and photographed it I thought of her, so it makes a great birthday sticker!

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What will you create when you have your own Inkly Moment?

Disclaimer: I reviewed the free Inkly app Moments feature in exchange for Inkly card printing credits, all views are my own

Guest post: Gecko Clothing Kickstarter

A strong advocate of the ‘No to Gender Stereotypes in children’s clothes and toys’ movement, and pro-organic I was really interested to read about Gecko Clothing’s kickstarter, hopefully getting gender neutral clothing manufacturing off the ground in a BIG ON STYLE way!  With five days left to run I encourage you to get behind Gecko Clothing’s plans and offer your support; to give you some more background this guest post is brought to you by Gecko Clothing, check them out now!

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We are Gecko Clothing

We: are a husband and wife team endlessly aided by our 15 year old daughter, all-be-it begrudgingly these days, 5 year old son who’s enthusiasm for EVERYTHING more than makes up for the teens lack thereof and our smallest member, a toddling almost 2 year old. Think Von Trappes, but a lot less singing and organisation.

Gecko Clothing is what we do. Gecko Clothing is based on 4 founding principles. We create clothes that are:

1. Of funky & colourful unisex design;
2. That are ethical and eco-friendly;
3. Practical and hardwearing;
4. That don’t cost the earth.

Because we believe that EVERYONE regardless of age and gender deserve clothes that are:

1. Bright and colourful, that allow them to express themselves and stand out.
2. Fit for their purpose, whether than be soft fabrics perfect for crawling, or robust attire for exploring.
3. We believe that no person, animal, or our planet should suffer to bring us fashion.
4. Lastly we hope to continually strive to bring our prices down through the economies of scale

No more pink is for girls, boys must be tough and girls can’t play with dinosaurs and trains!

Our clothes will always be unisex because we are very passionate about campaigning to remove the gender labels in children’s products as they just perpetuate outdated stereotypes. We simply think all kids things should be unisex then girls and boys will be free without the reproach of society to like what they will. No more pink is for girls, boys must be tough and girls can’t play with dinosaurs and trains!

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We use organic cotton grown within a 40km radius of the factory that makes the fabric and the garments so the CO2 footprint is low. They are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) registered which means EVERYTHING they do, right down to the printing dyes, cleaning procedures and packaging, has to be eco-friendly. They also buy the cotton through Fairtrade cooperatives supporting farmers with a premium price for their product.

We are a profit driven business which has put people off sharing our campaign. Our actions have a positive effect on society. The 2 things don’t have to be at odds. We don’t require donations to do our good. By manufacturing sustainably and supporting Fairtrade cooperatives all people involved in our process get paid fairly and treated fairly. So in effect, the more successful we become, the more people we can help without ever asking for a donation.

Kickstarter Campaign

Right now we have a Kickstarter campaign live to raise £13,000 by the 24th of June so we can manufacture 500 units of our nature inspired dungarees and 500 of our trousers of space and science (250 of each design). We have 5 days to meet our goal. If we fail we don’t get the money and nothing will be deducted from backers for their support.  Please check us out and support in any way you can, we have some pretty awesome rewards you can grab from cool temporary tattoos and badges to our unique dungarees and trousers (which are run to ages 7-8, cut roomier for cloth bottoms up to age 2-3)

 

Good luck Gecko Clothing, love from Ang! x

Disclaimer: I read about Gecko Clothing via my personal networks and love the idea, this guest post is to raise awareness of something I’m interested in, it is not a sponsored post

Trespass Jada Ladies Waterproof Jacket Review

Why does it always rain on me?

I’m no stranger to the great outdoors; as you know we live in the rainy North in the land of the Fog on the Tyne and we don’t have a car so I’m reliant on decent outdoor gear to see us through the seasons.  There’s nothing like waiting for a bus in the pouring rain after a long day at work, or worse still first thing in the morning seeing me spend the day soggy and miserable!

Trespass Jada Ladies Waterproof Jacket Review – The practicalities

My trusty red rain jacket is bright and fun but it doesn’t really cut the mustard as a waterproof.  Being offered the chance to select a better jacket from the range on offer at Trespass was pretty much my ideal review opportunity!  The women’s Jada waterproof jacket is ideal for those who need a decent jacket that looks good but goes the extra mile in terms of waterproofing.  Coated with Trespass’ specially formulated Tres-Tex membrane it’s waterproof to an impressive 15000mm with taped seams, and that big number with all the zeros is the reason I chose it!  I’ve worn it out all this week in the inclement weather and stayed warm and dry in comfort.

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Style and substance

I like to run in the rain so was pleased to see that the Jada has underarm ventilation zips which allows fresh air to circulate; it has a high breathability rating to boot and I like the slim fit and fab decent sized hood (this probably sounds odd, why would it not have a good hood?! Maybe I’ve always just bought crap raincoats but the hoods are always really small in them!)

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One of my favourite walks is down by the Farm and through the woods near us so the Jada rain jacket got a really good testing this week as we were out for a good couple of hours in the rain and the jacket really stood up to the weather, I was dry and happy which is more than I can say when I wear my usual jacket!

I have to say the best thing about the jacket after all the practicalities is that it fits a tall girl like me without me having to buy a bigger size (this is a medium and I am a size 12)  – I can never understand why a waterproof would have short arms and it’s long been a frustration of mine that my red raincoat sleeves are at half mast so I get wet cuffs!  Even better these have a handy pocket in the left sleeve to keep small essentials dry and close to hand.

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The Jada is currently retailing at £46.99 which is more than half price and makes this a bargain super waterproof!

Disclaimer: I received this review product as a complementary product, all views and opinions are my own

Family Fever

Beachcomber Finds at Seaham

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Late last Summer we spent a week on the beach at Druridge Bay and logged our beachcomber finds - now I’m back with a part two, having spent the day at Seaham Harbour, famed for its seaglass.

Until the early 1920s Seaham was the location of the largest glass bottle-works in Britain and the waste glass from the factories was dumped into the sea, time and tide has transformed the waste shards into polished beads and people head down to the Harbour to collect the End of Day sea glass.

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Beachcomber Finds at Seaham

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The beach is beautiful with great rockpools too.  We started a tradition when she was tiny to always make a ‘family circle’ with our footprints whenever we visit a beach, and then Joss sits in the middle for a photo!

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We are sea glass novices, although I ended the day with a keener eye, but we managed to gather a small handful of gifts from the sea.

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Now to think about a part two on displaying our finds!

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And finally we rounded off our walk with a visit to see ‘Tommy’ the WW1 sculpture installed last year, these photos don’t need any words

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Post Comment Love

Things I want to remember that my toddler has said

I haven’t blogged any of J’s new words or little quips for a while but I have been keeping up to date with a list of them. We’ve had such gems as “Mammy I think you talk too much” and “Mammy went to the doctor and her arm hurt and the doctor did her blood fresh air!”

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One of my favourite recent anecdotes happened one morning in a public toilet, having previously had concerned staff banging on the door after Joss pulled the red emergency cord in the loos at the local museum whilst I was mid flow, at least she’s learned not to do it again – this week we heard “this wee is not an emergency so I not pull that doctor string Mammy” – phew, I think she’s sort of got it!

There are also the sweet heartwarming moments walking back from our childminder’s house “I will cuddle you mammy, tuck your head in so the wind doesn’t frost you” and “my Daddy is ‘tending to be my baby bird in a baby bird nest and you know it is spring when there is a baby bird”

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There’s also the downright frustrating “Joss you must listen to Daddy/Mammy when we are talking to you… ok, you need to stop and look and listen…what do we need you to do?” “Erm, you need me to…erm…to….you need me to….to….eat my dinner” – no, that’s not quite right!

A recent fave our both Daddy and I was J waking in the night a bit upset because she was “chasing a feather and it flew away” – sweet dreams for a little one and she easily settled back off to chase that feather again

And finally, role play has started, she either asks us to talk to her as her cuddly toys with voices or she’ll say “Dad, bear wants to ask” – we’ll say “what does bear want to ask you?” and she invariably responds by yelling “CAN YOU ASK BEAR!” and getting really angry with us, we’re still working out a response to this one!

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Do you keep a record of things your little ones have said? I’d love to hear some anecdotes!

Urban Jungle Bloggers: Offer a plant to a friend

I’m linking into this month’s Urban Jungle Bloggers initiative with a challenge called ‘Offer a Plant to a Friend’ – it’s my first UJB post though I’ve often wanted to join in!

I don’t think there’s anything nicer than receiving a plant as a gift, remember the gorgeous azalea hubby bought for me for Mother’s Day, so special, so spectacular and still blooming beautifully today!

I have been fortunate to have occasion to visit Anthropologie in London this month, I finally picked up one of their great Forest Dweller Pots as I’ve been after one of these for a while; I also made a great find which I think would make a sweet gift for a friend’s desk.

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I found a sweet little pot that is just £3 in a gorgeous foamy sea green, it’s called Tenderling which can mean a small child, or the first antlers of a deer

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This made me think this little beauty could perfectly house some ‘antler like’ simple sempervivum stems, packaged in a pretty bag with this Oh Happy Day Project Life card I think this makes a really pretty gift!

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If you’re thinking a little bigger, for a special birthday why not look at a terrarium instead, I am in love with our Totoro theme at the moment, follow the link for a little how to guide!

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And finally, some outdoor news, in need of a tidy up but I am happy with our yarden, it’s looking more established again this year and is a source of much pleasure!

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National Stationery Week: Get Writing! #NatStatWeek #GetBritainWriting #GetKidsWriting #WritingMatters #WritingisForever #lovestationery #stationeryaddict

Next week is National Stationery Week and I’ll be blogging all week about the stationery I love to use.

I thought I’d share a couple of favourites from the last few weeks; firstly this stash of goodies arrived to help me in my role as a National Stationery Week blogger – I love getting papery post!

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I have been working away a lot at the moment, generally I am back for bedtime but I am not always lucky to be there first thing in the morning to greet J; I have started leaving a special note for her and stepped it up this week using these Maped Colorpeps – they’re a watercolour crayon, you can draw with them, then use a damp paintbrush to mix your colours just like watercolour paints – so this is the note I left for her this week :)

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And finally, the Colorpeps also got J interested in drawing again, and boy am I a proud Mama; this is her drawing of her beloved Totoro this week, the first drawing she has produced (OK, well she draws daily but it’s the first where you can really tell what it is!)

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See you over on the blog for #Natstatweek next week folks!

How to create a Fairytale Terrarium (with Totoro)

I bought this Terrarium for our glass wedding Anniversary and since then it’s taken on several looks, most recently I gave it a good clean and added some new sempervarium. When I set up this little styled shot J got interested too “I like lots of little trees in there Mammy”

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I had been saving some bits and bobs spotted on my travels for a summertime outdoor fairy garden but decided to make our little terrarium a fairytale garden instead, we’ve gone with a Studio Ghibli Totoro theme as this is currently a big fave with the whole family!

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How to create a Fairytale Terrarium (with Totoro)

1) Take your terrarium (you can use a large glass mason jar, old clear glass teapot or a classic terrarium like ours) and add a 2 inch layer of pebbles to the bottom of the container for drainage (I use fresh fish tank gravel)

2) Then add a half inch layer of activated charcoal over the pebbles (available at Wilko or garden centres) this helps keep bacteria at bay and keeps your terrarium smelling sweet

3) Add damp but not soggy potting soil and plant up your succulents, cacti etc and finish with a fine sprinkle of gravel, I use a chopstick to adjust the plants as it’s a narrow space at the back!

4) Add pretty stones, I added sea glass but you can pick up other pretty pieces of stone or use coloured gravel

5) Add your characters and other ephemera; I added a miniature wire cherry tree I bought at a garden centre, a small white plastic bridge that turned up in a kinder egg type Easter gift, and some small Totoro and Mei figurines, finally J added her Lego Monkey (why not?!) and a small house I bought on Ebay with the fairy garden in mind!

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Thomas & Friends – Trouble on the Tracks and the Complete Series 16 on DVD

Thomas & Friends fans are on track for a bumper treat with the release of the Complete Series 16 DVD and Trouble on the Tracks! We were lucky to get a sneak peak of both ahead of their release date – lucky Joss!

In Trouble on the Tracks the troublesome trucks delight in causing problems for Thomas, as Annie, Clarabel and Toad encounter unexpected high-speed adventures.

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Oily Diesel gives Paxton a fright, while Salty’s spooky story has the engines running scared. James runs into trouble with some slip coaches and Percy ends up frightened and alone in an old mine, there’s plot twists and turns aplenty in this 70 minute feature length adventure!

Joss loves brake van Toad with his good manners, he’s a real gent, so seeing him in this feature length film was a real treat! – out on 20th April

Then Thomas and his friends return in Series 16; all 20 episodes on DVD together for the first time ever with around 200 minutes of fun! Sodor is filled with the sound of music when a famous composer visits the island. Thomas becomes a scarecrow for the day, Percy falls foul of one of Salty’s tall tales and Charlie combines his love for snow and jokes.

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The engines welcome Stafford to Sodor, celebrate The Fat Controller’s birthday and, when a photographer visits the island, Thomas aims to appear in as many photos as possible!

Joss’ favourite episode is Welcome Stafford; when Spencer is given the special job of taking new electric shunting engine Stafford around the Island of Sodor, but he refuses to listen to warning about Stafford’s battery – exciting stuff for a three year old! – out on 25th May

Disclaimer: We were sent both DVDs for review purposes all views are my own

Dove Choose Beautiful

Are you beautiful, or average?  If asked to make a choice about how you see yourself what would you choose?

Dove found that a staggering 96% of women would not choose the word beautiful to describe how they look; building on their brilliant self-esteem campaigns Dove have released a thought provoking short film demonstrating how feeling beautiful is very much a personal choice, and encouraging women to ‘choose beautiful.’

Shot in five cities worldwide, women were invited to choose to walk through one door marked up ‘Average’ or another marked up ‘Beautiful’ – the resulting film shows the wavering choices women make, whether alone or supported by other women, many choosing the average door even after spending some time reflecting; it becomes apparent just how challenging a decision this is for many.

Why Choose Beautiful

The confidence that exudes from the women that choose beautiful is clear in the film, but when we choose to avoid beautiful and make the choice to see ourselves as average we see the conflict that this decision brings, this experiment really brings this inner conflict to life –  Could I? Should I? Can I? – my reflections on the film suggested that for many women the decision to choose beautiful  requires permission from someone else.

Mother and daughter pairing from London, Julie and Olivia who participated in the film, commented that “British women often lack confidence in their own beauty”. Olivia also described how she was “reluctant to choose the ‘Beautiful’ door”, as she was concerned about onlookers assuming she had an “exaggerated sense of self confidence.”  Given that 96% stat, choosing to see ourselves as beautiful is a brave choice; and I would choose the beautiful door all the more now that I have a young daughter.

I Choose Beautiful

As I’ve grown older I have learned to love and accept myself, at almost 6 foot I no longer stoop or apologise for my height, but put my best foot forward instead because I feel passionately about passing this self-esteem onto J – too many years of my youth were wasted on feeling average, I now have a longer list of things I like about myself, my personality and the way I look than the list things I don’t like so much – I tell J she is beautiful daily in many different ways too.

I point out beautiful things to her, “look, your body is so strong” “your laugh is gorgeous” “when you wear bright colours you look like a sunny flower” and “I love that we both have shiny blue eyes” – and in return she squeezes my cheeks tight and strokes my hair roughly and says “you’re beautiful Mammy” even on the days when I’ve had less sleep than I can manage on, and I believe her!

If you’d choose average I would urge you to take another look, to think about your true inner beauty and reconsider – watch Dove Choose Beautiful and make your choice @DoveUK with #ChooseBeautiful.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, reflections on the film are my own