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“You Can Find Magic Wherever You Look. Sit Back and Relax, All You Need Is a Book”. Dr Seuss

25 Apr

Hi folks,

I love the Dr Seuss quote I’ve started this post with. It’s no secret that I’m a big Dr Seuss fan & that I think reading is a very important part of growing up. As a child I was always read to at bedtime & I was always encouraged to read. I was very lucky in that I had a selection of books to choose from & read.

From the moment I first found out I was pregnant with Seth, I began to buy him books… the first thing I bought him was a book. I was the same with Ted. It’s so important that my boys are surrounded by books… stories… literature.

Both boys have reading corners in their bedrooms, but they also have a gorgeous little corner now in their play area. Well, Ted is only 6 month… so it’s ready for him when he’s old enough to use it. For now he’ll have to put up with me reading to him.

The boys little reading corner is super cute… complete with a new comfy arm chair, perfect for little bottoms. Seth adores this chair… he’s very protective of it. He’s been sitting in it saying ‘Mammy… I love my chair”.

This lovely little chair is the loose cover chair from Just4Kidz.  It is quite literally the cutest thing. This chair has been handmade right here in the UK. It comprises of a solid wooden frame, lovely comfy foam cushions & then covered in stunning fabric that is exclusive to Just4Kidz… so you will not find that print anywhere else. There are lots of lovely prints to choose from. Seth decided he liked the farmyard design best. Everything is animal & farm based for Seth at the moment. Every other minute he’s singing ‘Old MacDonald Farm’. We’ve actually been sat looking at the fabric & making up stories about the animals printed on his chair. Seth just adores to make up stories. So even the fabric has been spiking his little imagination.

The chair is super sturdy. Being so well made, means it is quite literally built to last, and… the cover can easily be removed to hand wash too! I mean how amazing is that!? Perfect for grubby, sticky finger marks. The chair is perfect for pre-school children all the way up to primary school age. So this chair is a lovely little companion for little ones to grow up with. Ted is only 6 month… but he’s already been trying to stake a claim on it.

This chair can be used for all sorts… reading corner… arm chair for watching TV with family… etc… Actually Seth has been sat in it doing puzzles & drawing. It really is his new fave spot. I think he loves it knowing that it’s ‘his’ chair. His own little comfy corner. Well… until Ted decides to nab it lol.

This lovely little chair was the first piece of children’s furniture that Just4Kidz designed & sold. Over the years they have sold tens of thousands. The photo’s really don’t do it justice… it’s chunky, comfy & so well made. For me though… one of the biggest selling points is that you can remove the fabric to hand wash. We all know what it’s like trying to keep things clean with little ones running around. With every will in the world… it’s pretty impossible to keep those chubby little hands grime free for any length of time. If for any reason you damaged your fabric on the chair over the years… you can buy replacement covers. It really is a chair for life.

Everyone who has been over, has commented on how lovely it is. It’d be the perfect piece of furniture for any play room or bedroom. Or, if you have more than one child, you could always go for the loose cover sofa. I love the little sofa. So perfect for siblings to cosy up on.

Just4Kidz make & sell a gorgeous selection of children furniture. If you head over to their website, you can browse their products. Another of my fave items is their fabulous bed in a bag. The perfect sleepover companion. This would be ideal for children sleeping over at their grandparents house, or at a friends sleepover etc… It’s also an extra bed for if you have an extra little one staying over. Again, there is a lovely selection of exclusive printed fabrics to choose from.

If you’re looking for a special gift for birthdays or christmas, I’m sure you’ll be able to find something on their website.

You can find Just4Kids on Facebook & Instagram. Give them a Like & Follow to keep up to date with new items, news & competitions.

As always, thank you so much for reading. I really hope you’ve found this useful & that you have fun browsing all of those gorgeous handmade products over at Just4Kidz. They really are a lovely company with stunning products.

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Did Somebody Say… Christmas?

5 Sep

Hi folks,

I know some folk find mentioning Christmas so early a little taboo… but you know me! I just can’t enough of the Festive period. I just love love love anything & everything about Christmas. I’m always well ahead of the game when it comes to planning & organising for Christmas, but this year I’ve totally upped my game. Mainly as we have another family member joining us next month! As you all know, I’m going to have a little bit of recovery after the baby is born, as he shall be a planned c-section baby. So I really don’t want any planning stress when it comes to The Holidays. Seth is 2 years & 6 months now, so he’s very much aware of parties, Halloween & Christmas. So I just want everything planned & in place for him so he can get all giddy.

One of the things I love about Christmas, are our little family traditions. I had them with my family when I was little. So we have our own little things now that we have own children. We don’t tend to do Christmas stockings at the moment, but maybe that will change as the boys get bigger & older. For now we just do a Santa Sack & obviously a giant pile of presents from Santa. Oh & let’s not forget the Christmas Eve boxes that are delivered by the magical Elves on Christmas Eve.

So, you may remember 2 year ago when I reviewed a beautiful handmade Santa Sack from the Handmade Christmas Company. Well, they have sent me the most gorgeous Santa Sack for Little T as this will be his first Christmas. He is due to arrive 31st October. I chose the same design as Seth’s & yes it is personalised… but for now his name is top secret. Sorry folks… we just really want to keep it a surprise until he arrives. But I did entrust the Top Secret name to the lovely folk at The Handmade Christmas Company HQ… they’ve promised they won’t breathe a word to anyone.

For now I have disguised the name with the beautiful satin ribbon that comes with the Santa Sack. Nearer Christmas, I shall be featuring both Santa sacks together in another little review. Just so you can see them properly side by side.

As you can see… they are very much identical. The sacks are 80cm x 53cm in size. I can fit lots of gifts into them. Seth’s has held a lot of gifts over the last 2 Christmas’s.

There are 15 designs to choose from & all can be personalised with your name of choice. If, you’d prefer a non-personalised Santa Sack, you can get those too! And, they’re slightly cheaper. If you prefer Stockings, they also make those! Actually… I do love the Christmas Stocking now I’m looking at them. I think I may have to get some… I can feel another tradition starting already lol. The monogrammed stockings are utterly stunning!!! Need, need, need!

Even though Christmas seems a long way off… it isn’t really. We only have 3 month to go. And at least if you order now, you definitely know you’ll get it well in time for Christmas. They also offer free delivery on everything too! Now you can’t say fairer than that can you. I hate nothing more that High delivery charges.

I think I just love these products, as they all look so vintage, traditional & classy. They’ll stand the test of time. They’ll always be in ‘fashion’ & they’re so well made that they’ll last on durability alone. They’d make a great addition to any family traditions, decorations or simply as a gift. Do away with the usual Christmas gift bag & go a little fancier with a sack or stocking.

When you head over to their website, you’ll be given the option to sign up to their newsletter, which is a great way to stay up to date with promotions & new products. You can also head over to their Facebook Page too.

Thanks so much for reading! And I hope I’ve not freaked you all out talking about Christmas so soon lol.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xx

Any Excuse For a Party!

8 Aug

Hi folks,

You all know what family life is like here at Thorne Towers… hectic, busy, fun & full of giggles. You also know that we don’t need an excuse to celebrate & have a party.

Since Seth is becoming a big brother in October, we’ve been trying to get him to understand that we’re having a baby join our family. He’s only 2 year & 5 month old… sometimes I think he totally gets it & other times I think he’s still not quite sure.

So… what better way to get him excited? Have a little tea party! And what does every party need? Well, cake of course!

bakerdays are a fantastic company who make letterbox cakes… yes that’s right… a cake delivered through your letterbox! How fab is that!?

Yes you read that right… they can make you a stunning personalised cake to celebrate any occasion that comes in a lovely tin & fits through your letterbox. They also offer gluten free, wheat free & dairy free options!

Seth was sent a cake to celebrate the fact that he’s going to be a Big Brother. I can’t even begin to tell you just how stunning the photograph was. The detail & quality was so high. And Seth adored having a Ace with his face on… he’s such a poser.

Seth’s cake was a plain sponge – simply because that is his favourite. But you can choose other options. You also don’t have to choose a letterbox cake. They offer 4 different cakes sizes as well as cupcakes.

Now for the important bit… how did it taste?

As you can imagine… Seth takes his role as cake testing rather seriously. After snaffling his first piece… he hastily demanded another. I can therefore confirm that he did indeed think it was “Nommy Nommy” lol. That’s a direct quote right there. This 2 year old knows good cake when he tastes it.

Everyone agreed it was really lovely & super fresh. I have to admit that I was thinking “will it be fresh?”… but it really was! Plus it’s such a fantastic novelty having it delivered through your door. You could send this to any loved one for a special occasion & it would most certainly make them smile. You don’t even need an occasion really… just simply treat someone who needs a pick me up perhaps?

Thank you so much bakerdays for making a little boys day. What better way to become excited about being a big brother than with cake!

Thanks as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Our Little Wardrobe

13 Jun

Hi Folks,

As a parent we all know how tough teething can be. It’s so rotten for our little ones to go through something so traumatic that we have no control over.

While Seth has been teething the drool has been never ending. Literally 5 mins after dressing him, his little tee shirt can be soaked around the neck. For me, bandana bibs have always been a saviour.

A few weeks ago we received a gorgeous little handmade bandana bib from Our Little Wardrobe It’s super cute & such good quality. All handmade in the UK too.

As you can see – Seth loves Mickey Mouse. So it was lovely to get a Mickey Bib to match his tee shirt. The bibs are super soft & have a popper fastening. The stitching is lovely & the quality is fab. It’s almost double layered if that makes sense – so it’s ideal for catching that pesky dribble before it soaks a tee shirt & rubs delicate skin. And to the important bit – it washes so well! We all know how annoying it can be when you’ve bought something your little one adores but then it comes apart or shrinks. But not these bibs. Ours has been washed half a dozen times already & it’s still looking perfect!

As soon as I opened it up when it arrived in the post, Seth was shouting “Mickey Mickey”. It’s nice when they recognise designs. If you head on over to their website, you will find the perfect design for your little one I’m sure! You’ll also find lots of other gorgeous little goodies perfect for Baby Showers!

This is a lovely little business ran by Mummies, for Mummies. You can find them on social media too! You can find them on Facebook & Instagram. So why not give hem a follow to keep up to date with new products & offers.

Thanks so much for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Stunning Storage Solutions

13 May

Hi folks,

A few weeks ago Seth received the most beautiful custom handmade toy box from The Traditional Toy Box Company

As you can see from the photo above – these toy boxes are so beautifully made. The quality is stunning. They’re also fully customisable which is great for finding that perfect toy box to suit any room & any colour scheme.

As most of you will know, Seth has not long just turned 2 years old. It’s always a bit of a worry with toddlers that they can be a tad too ‘heavy handed’. Before our beautiful toy box arrived I did worry in case it wouldn’t be sturdy enough to withstand Seth on a daily basis lol. Well I can honestly say that I needn’t have worried. The boxes are so solid – they actually weigh quite a lot. Which is great as it shows just how high a quality the whole thing is. The fittings & hinges are also really strong & of good quality – they seem really durable. Which is fantastic since Seth is in & out of the box every other minute lol.

As you can see from the above pics – the toy box does hold a LOT of toys. It’s great for literally throwing toys in at the end of the day, then once that lids down – the room is nice & tidy again.

But it’s also fun to dig around in the toy box & to drag everything out on to the floor too apparently lol.

The top of the box is padded & covered in lovely fabric – which is also customisable. With it being strong & then padded – it makes a lovely little seat. In fact… Seth’s been having fun making little displays on top of it haha.

This stunning Traditional Toy Box would make such an amazing addition to any nursery, bedroom, play room or lounge. I don’t think the photos convey just how beautiful it is. Everyone who has seen it in the flesh has said just how gorgeous it is.

This would make a stunning baby shower gift… you could fill it with so many goodies. Perfect for that collection at work when no one knows what to buy. Or, why not start planning for Christmas in advance. Any child would be delighted with such a beautiful gift. This toy box is big enough to be shared too, so if you have more than one child… this could be a lovely communal toy box. When our little bundle of joy arrives in October, I’m sure him or her will love our communal toy box.

You can also purchase memory boxes too. Perfect for keeping all of those treasured keepsakes safe. Weddings, Births, Christenings etc… What a fantastic thoughtful gift.

Right now, The Traditional Toy Box Company are offering a massive 35% discount! But be quick as this is for a limited time only. Use code: EXCLUSIVE50OFF

If by the time you’re reading this, the fabulous 35% offer has ended… fear not! Simply add coupon code: ixxypoco10 for 10% off.

There is also the opportunity to pay using an interest free payment plan along with a small deposit. Simply head on over to their website for more info.

To keep up to date with news, new designs & offers, you can follow The Traditional Toy Box Company on Facebook & Instagram.

Thank you so much as always for reading & I hope you’ve enjoyed the review!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Prepping for the Party Season 

18 Oct

Hi folks,

I love this time of the year… it’s easily my most favourite. The leaves are turning orange, there’s a chill in the air & the dark nights are drawing in. I just love it. 

Our spare room now resembles Santa’s Workshop at the moment. I’ve been in full crafting mode prepping for Halloween & Christmas. I’ve even started to wrap Christmas gifts too! Haha… I know I know… I’m super early! But, the more I do now then the more time I have to just sit back & enjoy the festivities. 

We decided this year we were going to set a sensible budget on how much we were going to spend on Seth… that budget literally went out of the window within hours. We’ve gone so overboard… but we just couldn’t help it. I keep thinking he’ll be our one & only… so why not spoil him 💙

We’ve bought him a gorgeous corner sofa for his bedroom. We’ve turned it into a reading corner. We were going to save it for Christmas… but we’ve given him it early. It just looks so cute in his room.



Along with pretty much finishing off our Christmas shopping… I’ve also started stocking piling in my pantry too. I’ve made a start on buying frozen party food. Crisps, chips & dips. Crackers, biscuit selections & chocolates. And of course… bottles of sparkles. I got a bottle of Bollinger for half price!!! I’ve also got some Moët I bought while it had money off. I always plan in advance, so when December comes all I need to buy is fresh & perishable items & then spend money on fun days out. 

At the weekend we went Pumpkin Picking. I’d never been Pumpkin Picking before. Seth had so much fun trudging through the fields to find the perfect pumpkin. I just love family days out, making memories.

We’ve got a few visits to meet Santa booked for December… the plan is to see Santa each weekend in December. We’ve also got our holiday to Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs booked too… I’m so excited!!! You all know that Center Parcs is my happy place. 

I’ve got a lovely blogging trip down to London booked for next month – Eeeeeeck! It’s exciting going down to London… but I always get a bit nervous too. I promise to take lots of pics… I’ll give you all more info about my trip soonly 🙂 And… I’m sure it’d be rude not to pop into Liberty too to check out their gorgeous Christmas shop.

Driving lessons are continuing on a sparkly high! In fact… I start manoeuvres in 2wks! Yikes! Can you believe that!? I’m starting with the dreaded parallel park. But… I shall remain positive! And I CAN do this! I tell you what though… driving with a bloody sat nav is rather off putting. It’s being added to the driving test come December… so that’s something I have to get used too. I’ve been playing lots on the theory test app – so I should get that booked in. I think there’s like a 6wk waiting list. 

I’ve had quite a few medical appointments of late too… urgh! I’ve not been feeling 100% really. But, I’ve been having some tests & I have a referral to a consultant up at the Hospital – so hopefully soon I shall some answers & a solution. Once I know more… I shall let you know. 

I’ve got lots of lovely reviews coming up too 🙂 so please keep checking back for those. 

As always – thank you so much for reading! 

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Chicken Dippers, Waffles and a Spot of Crafting 

13 Sep

Hi folks,

I know it’s only September, but I’m just feeling so festive. I’m trying to focus on Halloween, but I’m just getting so sidetracked with thoughts of Christmas. I have to keep telling myself that we have Halloween & Guy Fawkes first! 

Maybe it’s because we’re nearing the last leg of the year – but I’ve found myself doing a lot of reflecting over this last week. I’m feeling so broody & I keep thinking back to when we were trying for Seth. I had in my mind what kind of Mother I was going to be. It actually makes me laugh now. I mean… I don’t know if it’s coz I had my first baby as an older Mammy being a ‘Thirty something’ first time Mammy…  but, I was convinced I’d never let my child eat sugar… I’d never let them have McDonalds… I’d never let them have frozen food & God forbid a waffle or a chicken dipper should pass their lips. Oh dear… I wonder what my former self would think of my current self lol. You read so many contrived books & I think it gives you a false idea of what’s expected of you. 

I’m a total optimist but when it comes to parenting… I’m very much a realist. My Seth is the most perfect, gorgeous little boy. And guess what… when I’m literally shattered from parenting, working, house work etc… I let him have chicken dippers, mini waffles & veg for tea. Yep… on occasion my child eats frozen food. I mean… I do throw some veggies on there too. He’s also sampled a nugget Happy Meal as a treat & sugar? Well… he loves a biscuit. I mean I do buy toddler specific biscuits, but yep… I am that Mother. I grab for convenience when I’m running out of steam. Please don’t tell Jamie Oliver! 

Yep… that’s a soother in his mouth. I’m guilty of that too!


You all know I battle with my weight. I’m currently a middle of the road size 14. I’d say 90% of the time, the food on my table is cooked from scratch & is 100% homemade & healthy. Surely 10% frozen food is acceptable? It really bugs me that as parents we are shamed, generally by other parents, into trying to be 110% perfectly perfect all of the time? I’m not afraid to admit that sometimes when I’m tired… I need a little help from Captain Birdseye. Hi 5 Capitan! Lol. 

Something else I used to think about a lot before I became pregnant, was that I’m not really into crafts. I mean, I’ve a degree in Theatre… so I’m creative… I’m just not very good at making things. What does this have to do with parenting I hear you ask? Well, when I was little my Mam was always really good at baking cakes for last minute things at school. She could always rustle up a fancy dress outfit overnight & she was brill at helping with arty projects. I really didn’t want to be that let down who couldn’t make anything. So… this last week I’ve had my ‘crafty’ head on. 

I’m already thinking ahead to Seth’s 2nd birthday party. I’d had in my head a kind of snack/cake stand that each guest could have their party munch on. I also wanted something similar for Seth to have his snacks on. I found what I was looking for on Pinterest, but when I found what I wanted online to buy… it was ridiculous prices. So… I decided to give it a go myself. I even gave my little crafting creation a name… The Snaffle Stand! Lol.


I love them so much! People have even wanted to buy them! 

Since I was feeling so pumped from putting an idea into production… I decided to turn my hand to making Seth a Christmas Eve Box (early I know). I really want to make him an All Hallows’ Eve Box too! So… I set to work with my trusty screwdriver & super sticky glue! Tada! 

I absolutely adore it! I’m so proud of my little self. I’ve even had people wanting to order these too. I was so scared I was gonna make a right mess of it & glue my fingers to everything lol. I think I have the crafting bug now!

Everything is just always so non-stop here at Thorne Towers. But, I just would not have it any other way. I actually wonder what I did with my time before Seth came along. I don’t think I knew what busy meant until he arrived. I seem to do a million things at the speed of light these days. You know what? I just can’t wait to do it all again & add another little addition to our family. Let’s hope 2018 is the year! 

I’m still squeezing in my driving lessons too! I’ve had 30 lessons now – eeeeeck! I had a major breakthrough on Monday night with my roundabouts. Roundabouts are my nemesis… I hate them & they hate me! Well, apart from giant ones. Give me a hectic giant roundabout & I’m like “yeah… let’s do this”… I can drive round it perfect. Yet… stick me on the most ridiculously small roundabout & I’m literally wetting myself! Go figure. But, I think I’ve turned a corner so to speak with them. So over the next few weeks may see manoeuvres. I actually need to get my theory test booked in too. I’m not afraid to say that learning to drive has not come easy to me. I don’t think I’ve ever had to try as hard at anything in my life. But, I enjoy it & I know I can do it. My instructor is great & we have a good rapport. Again… let’s hope 2018 is the year to drive… legally… on my own… in my own car! Eeeeck! 

All I think that’s everything for now folks… thanks so much for reading! 

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx