Monday, 17 October 2016

Boys Autumn/Winter 2016 Fashion Picks....

The temperature is most definitely dipping and as half term approaches I've started to look through the boys wardrobes and see what needs updating. 

Charlie seems to be growing at the rate of knots and Hector is now in 18-24 months clothes and it's dawned on me that I don't actually have much for him as Charlie's clothes at this age were fairly grotty and clearly were not worth saving for second time around.

I have to say that normally I dread shopping for the boys, especially Hector's age range as usually everything is adorned with characters and for Charlie's age they are more suited to older boys when I would prefer clothes for him that suit his age, 4.

I thought I would share with you a few picks that I will be getting for the boys wardrobes for their autumn/winter wear 2016.

First up is Jo Jo Maman Bebe - it remains to this day my go to reliable brand for childrens clothes albeit now that Charlie is slightly too big for majority of their range Hector fits a treat. This season there are some great multi buy offers on which if you are like me like nothing more than an excuse to spend money and save money.

I'm having a slight love affair with their fox range - Hector already has the fox leggings and we get such compliments on them.

Fox Leggings - £10 as modeled by Hectie (save £5 when you buy two)

Fox Hoodie - £20

Fox Top - £12 (save £5 when you buy two tops)

Fox Extra Thick Leggings - £10.00 (Save £5 when you buy two)

Next up is a firm favourite of mine, good old, Boden. Now, this whilst is a "High Street" brand commands much higher than your average High Street price and given I have two boys don't mind spending a little extra on clothes for Charlie from here given they will eventually get given to Hector. I'm still saddened that they closed the majority of their High Street stores.

Charlie is forever in, out, in, out of his hoodies and I love the furry lining of this one which is bound to keep him cosy in the colder months - there is also 10% off across the store at the moment which is always a bonus!

Printed t-shirt - £17.50

Now, when it comes to jeans for both my boys I tend to only shop at Zara, and 9/10 if I am going for a skinny stretchy jean it's usually from the girls section. Both my boths have small waists and I find that the jeggings style suits their shape better.

So, the jeans are not the cheapest around but they wash so well that I don't mind spending a bit more on them.

Skinny Harem jeans from £16.00

Now, finally, footwear! I am a big fan of Ugg boots and I think they are so great for the kids, both boys and girls alike. They are an easy, go to, warm, slip on boot that is so useful for the wintery months, the downside is that they are not cheap so it's worth checking out eBay for second hand ones as the kids grow out of their shoes so quickly we've been known to pick up a pair for £11.

Ugg Classic Boot
There are so many deals around on the High Street at the moment it's always worth registering with the brands that you love direct so that you don't miss out on any of those 10% and 25% off codes as well as previews of the forthcoming collections!

Happy shopping!

Nathalie x


Sunday, 16 October 2016

Sunday Bakes.....Sara's Chocolate & Banana Loaf

Yesterday afternoon on a rare Saturday off with the small people we headed to Brontes, a trendy little cafe selling lots of yummy food that aims to nourish and restore you. We enjoyed the best hot chocolate around and a large slice of their gluten free, dairy free, chocolate and banana loaf.

I love a good banana loaf,  our family friend Penny used to make it all the time and as a child I fondly remember her bringing us round a loaf that my mum would slather jam on (odd I know but it works!).

One of my best friends Sara introduced me to this cracking chocolate and banana loaf (I'm pretty sure it's Nigel Slater's recipe but I'm giving her full credit here!) a couple of years back when she whipped out a tin with the loveliest and stodginess slice of goodness in after one of our Bushy Park October dog walks and it's the recipe I've been using ever since....


175g unsalted butter (I used same quantity of vegetable oil as ran out of butter!)
175g sugar (1/2 light muscovado, 1/2 golden caster sugar)
2 free range eggs
175g self raising flour
2 very ripe bananas (the ones I had used yesterday had definitely seen better days!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g chocolate chips (I like to use 1/2 dark, 1/2 milk)


- Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/GAS 3 and line a loaf tin (20cm x 12cm x 5cm)
- Beat the butter and sugar until creamed
- Add the eggs one by one.
- Add the self raising flour until all combined
- Finely chop your bananas
- Gently fold in the bananas, chocolate chips and vanilla extract
- Plop into your tin and pop in the oven for about an hour, an hour twenty or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and leave ten minutes before turning out of the tin.
- Leave to cool and slice a big chunk and serve with a lovely big cuppa of your choosing!

I have made this cake using gluten free flour and dairy free chocolate so if you replace the butter for vegetable oil it will be suitable for allergy sufferers too!

So, if you've got any ropey black bananas knocking about most definitely give this a try.


Nathalie x


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

No Sew Last Minute Maths Week Costumes.....

Charlie's school loves a theme week and a fancy dress day and these generally fill me with fear as parent participation is actively encouraged and I am crap at sewing and 9/10 completely forget about the sodding day until one of my friends sends a friendly reminder out on our WhatsApp group.

Take last year for example, Maths week! I totally forgot and resorted to bringing one of our FOR SALE boards home (it had our phone number on it - that was the tenuous maths link) with a view to fashioning some excellent sandwich board typeesque costume before bottling it and sending him in in his football kit because it had a number 9 on the back. Fail and it's always made worse by mums who are better organised and generally really sodding good at costumes, like Clementine's mum (there is no Clementine in our class as far as I know but I know we all have at least one Clementine's mum in every school!).

So, next week at our school it's Maths Week once again and this year I am being far more organised, our costume is already sorted (cue smug mum face) but thought that I could inspire some of you mums who like me are usually a bit!


Everyone loves a dice! Simply get your hands on an oversized box, paint it white with the relevant dots, cut a hole for the head and arms and ta-dah – one walking talking dice!

Count Dracula

Now I saw this on Pinterest and thought what a lame but marvellous idea. I love a bit of money saving and given that we are three weeks away from Halloween and the supermarkets are awash with Dracula outfits, get your mitts on one and kill two birds with one stone by making your little one go as COUNT Dracula! One costume for Maths Week that doubles as a perfect Halloween costume!!

Playing cards

Super easy. Two boards, get your red paint out and copy a playing card, string the two together with string or ribbon and hang over like a sandwich board!


Simply make a calculator out of card and attach with safety pins.


Get some bank notes and photo copy them (although do not do on your office photocopier like I did once for my colleagues niece to find that the copier had picked up the notes and identified it as a fraudulent activity and shut down the whole copier system for the entire company) do it at home or alternatively pick up some play money notes here and attach to an old t-shirt.

Good luck!

Nathalie x
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