Review : Perfect Glasses

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A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by the lovely people at PerfectGlasses.co.uk  to choose and review a pair of glasses from their extensive range.  I opted for a pair from the Jorgio collection which you can find here.   Perfect Glasses also offer prescription sunglasses but as my old specs haven’t really withstood the pressures of living with a toddler I opted for a new pair of standard glasses.

I was given £50 to spend and found that surprisingly there was plenty of choice (over 1000 options) – I would go as far as to say I had too much choice, I was looking at frame options for at least 3 days!  I kept sending screenshots to my Mum & sister, I’m sure they were fed up hearing me talk about it!  Luckily Perfect Glasses has the ideal solution for people like me; on the website you can upload a picture of yourself & it allows you to ‘try on’ whichever pair you fancy!  Once I uploaded a picture I was able to narrow it down to 2 options almost instantly & finally settled on the Jorgio frame.  I emailed over my prescription and delivery address and waited for them to be delivered – easy peasy!  You can also receive text updates to track your order, such a useful option – there’s nothing worse than having to wait in all day for a parcel, am I right?

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My new glasses arrived within the week and they are great.  I love the look of them, I haven’t tried a tortoiseshell frame before as I wasn’t sure if I would suit them but I was pleasantly surprised.  The glasses I ordered are metal frames which is different to my usual plastic frames; when they arrived I was a bit concerned as they didn’t feel as sturdy as I was used to but that is due to the materials used and not the quality.

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Perfect Glasses is running a sale at the moment which means that prices start from as little as £9 and that is complete with lenses – how about that for bargain prices?  They also offer a wide range of designer glasses from brands such as Hugo Boss, Gucci, Dior and Marc Jacobs all at competitive prices.  Once you complete your order your glasses will be delivered to you within 7 working days and if you’re not happy you can simply return them free of charge, no questions asked.

I’ve never bought prescription glasses online before but Perfect Glasses made this experience so easy and straightforward that I will definitely be doing this again in future.  I would definitely recommend having a look at PerfectGlasses.co.uk if you are in the market for a new pair of specs, they really do have something for every budget.

V x

The Happy Book Club – Review

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The Happy Book Club is a monthly subscription service for children’s books, not your run of the mill children’s books – these are gorgeous, high quality books that are not necessarily found in supermarkets.  You all know how much I love a good book, why didn’t I know about this service sooner?!

A 1 month package costs just £15.99 and there are 3 age categories 0-1, 2-4 and 5-7, you then have the option to send a gift certificate and add a personalised message if you choose to gift it to someone else.  Each month there is a theme which is a secret until you open your parcel, this months theme was Colour.  In each package you receive 2 beautiful books and activity suggestions depending on the age group.   A donation is made to a charity which relates to the theme and delivery is absolutely free.  The package comes wrapped in brown paper & tied with a bow inside a sturdy cardboard mailing envelope so your books are in perfect condition when they arrive.

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One off packages are available too, they currently have a Bedtime Package and a Dinosaur Package which are both £15.99 each.  I wonder if you can guess which one I’m thinking about getting for Connors hand luggage?

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In our Colour-themed parcel which we were kindly sent this month we received The Colour Thief by Gabriel Alborozo about Zot who lives in a world without colour; he sees Earth full of colour and decides to steal some of it for himself.  We also got The game of red, yellow and blue by Hervé Tullet which helps children see what happens when you mix certain colours together and also introduces them to shapes.

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Connor is loving learning his shapes at the moment, he’s known his colours for a while but shapes are the new thing so I’m sure he’ll just love putting the two together.  The illustrations in The Colour Thief are just gorgeous and the story is so, so sweet and thought provoking, even for a toddler.  He was very excited when he woke from his nap to find that someone had sent him books and was desperate to read them.

All in all I would highly recommend purchasing a package from The Happy Book Club, whether it be a one off or the full subscription.  They are high quality, beautifully presented and by giving you activity suggestions it means that you can carry on the story even when the book is finished.  It’s perfect for helping little minds grow and developing their love of reading.

I will definitely be recommending The Happy Book Club to everyone I know.

V xx

Turkey Here We Come !

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I am so excited, I could literally burst!  We have finally managed to get a holiday booked for this year – we’re off to Turkey!  David’s Dad and his partner live over there so it’s the ideal option; sunshine, family and possible babysitters?

We flew over to Turkey to visit when Connor was 6 months old but it was March and most things were closed as it was out of season.  The weather was surprisingly warm but there was no pool or anything due to the time of year.  That was 2 years ago and that is far too long to go without a holiday, I mean, we live in Scotland – we don’t see much of the sun!  This time around June is most definitely in season and the pool has been refurbished and is filled, ready and waiting for us to arrive in 4 weeks!

We are obviously flying over again, the flight is around 4hrs 15mins give or take and then we will have about an hours travel to my inlaws villa which is absolutely beautiful.  When booking our flights I noticed that iPads and tablets or anything with a screen larger than an iPhone 7 are banned on flights from South Asia and North Africa.  I had planned to take my iPad with a few episodes of Connors favourite TV shows and the games that he likes to play but not any more!  Our flight is a late afternoon/evening one, we take off at around 4.30pm and land at 10.30pm Turkey time which makes it 8.30pm GMT because of the 2 hour time difference.  Connor is in bed by 7.30pm at the latest and  usually the ‘witching hour’ (or 2) starts at about half 5 so it’s safe to say I’m dreading the latter part of this journey!

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I’ve put a post out on my Instagram asking for tips on flying with a toddler, I’m mostly just looking for plane friendly activities to keep him occupied – any ideas?  I’d love to hear from you.

V xx

The Mummy Tag

The Mummy Tag

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Are you a working mum or a stay at home mum ?

I currently work part time, it usually works out as 2 half days during the week and a whole day on a Saturday.  I’m very lucky that I don’t have to pay for childcare as family members (mostly my sister or Davids sister) help out and watch Connor for us while I work.

Would you have it any other way ?

I hate the thought of going to work because I would so much rather spend all my time with Connor but once I get there I’m absolutely fine.  Working 2 half days and a full day is definitely enough for me at the moment, I can’t imagine being away from him for any longer than that.

Do you co-sleep?

No, we never did.  We slept with Connor in his Moses basket next to our bed until he was 3/4 months then moved him into his cot.  We were living with my parents at the time otherwise he would’ve been transitioned to his cot much sooner.  We were waking him up, he was waking us up and nobody was getting a particularly good night sleep so him having his own space has definitely helped us.  I have nothing against co sleeping and probably would do it if it was the best option – everybody needs sleep right?  But all of us love our space when it comes to sleeping so squishing 3 in a bed just didn’t make sense.

What is your must have item for your baby?

Connor is now almost 3 so not a baby anymore but when he was a teeny tot we couldn’t go anywhere without his Sophie the Giraffe or his dummy.  He was teething from bang on 3 months old so always needed something to chew on.  He’s still pretty attached to his dummy unfortunately, but we have managed to restrict it to just nap/bedtime and hopefully the ‘Dummy Fairy’ will be able to visit soon!

How many kids do you plan on having ?

At least 1 more, although I have a funny feeling that I will be one of those people who would continue having babies – I just love kids!

Date night how often do you have them ?

Not often enough.  We very rarely spend much time out of the house together as a couple, if we do go out it’s usually because we have a party etc to go to so there’s not much one on one time.  It’s something we really do need to make an effort to do more of.

Your child’s favourite show ?

It changes daily.  He probably has about 4 that he rotates – Ben & Holly, The Lion Guard, Paw Patrol & Thomas and Friends.  He does like the dreaded pig but I can’t stand it so he only gets to watch that occasionally – terrible mother, I know!  He loves movies though so some days instead of watching his programmes he will ask for a film, usually Lion King, Jungle Book, Moana or one of the Julia Donaldson short stories.

Name one thing you bought before you had a baby and never ended up using ?

I honestly can’t remember, I think we used pretty much everything we had for him.

Your child’s favourite food

He loves, loves, loves broccoli, carrots, prunes, chicken, fish – honestly the boy will eat just about anything.

How many cars does your family have ?

We have 2 cars, always have.  I just couldn’t imagine going back to having to ask for lifts everywhere or wait to use the car.  I like my freedom and being able to jump in the car whenever I like.  David now has a van for work so as having 3 vehicles in the driveway is a little excessive we probably will be going down to just 1 car sometime soon.

Weight gain,before pregnancy,during, after and now

I actually lost weight during my pregnancy, all of my excess weight just seemed to form my bump.  Once Connor was born and my stomach went back to it’s normal size I was probably the smallest I’ve been in years however, as always, I got greedy and now I’m back where I originally started if not heavier!

Dream holiday with your kids

I can’t wait to take Connor to Disney World in Florida.  I’ve been a few times and it’s just such a magical place, I can’t wait to share it with him and David.

Dream holiday without the kids

Is it really bad that I can’t imagine (and don’t want to imagine) a holiday without Connor?  I wouldn’t settle if he wasn’t with us and would probably spend the entire time Face timing him and annoying the life out of David by talking about him!

How has your life changes since having kids?

It’s completely different but so much better.  I never was a big party girl and now I rarely drink because the thought of a hangover with the whirlwind that is Connor just doesn’t bear thinking about.  I didn’t realise that you could love someone else so much, it’s crazy that he can drive me absolutely nuts but I can’t bear to be parted from him!

Finish this sentence ” my heart melts when..”

I see David and Connor playing together, they both have the same silly sense of humour so they always end up playing the daftest of games.

Where do you shop for your kids?

I shop pretty much everywhere and anywhere.  I love clothes from Zara but I feel like he out grows them really quickly as they come up quite small compared to other shops.  Connor has clothes from all over the place, as long as they look good and fit him I really don’t care what the label says.

Favourite makeup and skincare product?

I love my No 7 foundation – it’s great coverage, not greasy at all and reasonably priced!  My favourite skincare product is probably the Soap and Glory face wash I got in last years Christmas gift set – it’s amazing!

Huggies or Pampers ?

Pampers 100%  no other brand has come close for us.

Have you always wanted kids ?

Always.  Ever since I was a little girl I was always playing with dolls and pretending they were my babies.

Best part of being a mum ?

Watching him grow and learn new things, seeing how confident he is in new situations.  He makes me so proud every day and I can’t believe that we made such a gentle, loving, clever little man!

I’ve just realised in doing this that I have almost no pictures of me & Connor – note to self, make an effort to take more pictures of us both!

I’d love to hear from some other Mummy’s out there so I tag Kirsty from HonestK, Ashley from AVodkaKindaOfMom and anybody else who wants to take part, please tag me so I can see your answers – I’m nosy like that!

DinoM8 Indoor Play Area – Review

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So, on Monday we went to DinoM8 which is a new Jurassic themed soft play in Chapelhall, Airdrie.  As I have mentioned about a million times Connor is absolutely dinosaur daft so when I heard that this had opened I was desperate to take him. Chapelhall is about a 30 minute drive out of our way but it was totally worth it.

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On arrival you are greeted by the sight of absolutely massive Tyrannosaurus Rex & Brachiosaurus models, I don’t know if they are ‘life sized’ but they’re definitely huge.  As predicted Connor was fascinated by them & kept asking if he could ‘ride on T-Rexs’ back’ his only negative of the day was that the answer to that question was no!

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There is a separate part to the soft play for under 3’s but you can pay extra to have access to the whole place.  We paid £4.95 to let Connor have the run of the place which worked out well as there seemed to be a baby group (all under a year) in the under 3’s section & I was terrified that Connor was going to land on one of them!  Unusually for soft plays the baby/toddler bit looked pretty good; it had the usual ball pit and slides but there was also a variety of other activites.  A touch screen where you could pretend to play the drums/piano, do jigsaw or even answer maths problems, a small trampoline inside a perspex tube, large building blocks and a load of tunnels and climbing parts.

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DinoM8 is different to any soft play we’ve ever been to before as it’s quite interactive.  There is a large volcano that randomly rumbles and motion sensors throughout which let off sounds of roars and shrieks as you pass under them.  There is also a football pitch/basketball court which you have to climb a few floors to reach.  The shooting gallery is the part Connor loved best, thankfully he didn’t see the bumper cars of we would never have been allowed to leave!

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Throughout the whole place there are models of different dinosaurs, and the attention to detail is fantastic – even the bins are dinosaur eggs!   They offer kids parties and the Party Rooms are filled with ultraviolet lights and decorated with claw marks and ‘DANGER’ signs.  I think this will be a possibility for when Connor turns 3 in September.

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Connor definitely enjoyed his time at DinoM8, he’s been asking to go back to ‘Dinosaur Land’ ever since we got home.  After looking at their website I see that they offer a membership card which allows you to get 10% off unlimited entry & food and drink – I might just have to look in to that!  I have a funny feeling that this will be our soft play of choice from now on.

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V xx

 

 

 

 

Book Review – Oi Dog! Kes & Claire Gray & Jim Field

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Blurb

Frog is changing the rules… Dogs no longer sit on frogs. Phew! Dogs now sit on logs – and everyone else is going to have to sit somewhere different too.

Will cats want to sit on gnats?                                                                                              Will dragons like sitting on wagons?                                                                                       Will whales be happy to sit on nails?                                                                                        And, most importantly, where is Frog going to sit?

The hilarious sequel to the bestselling Oi Frog!

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What We Thought

I didn’t know what to expect of the sequel to ‘Oi Frog!’ especially since Connor loves the original so much but I needn’t have worried.  Oi Dog is the perfect second book, the stories tie together seamlessly and the ending is hilarious – I think I laughed harder than Connor the first time!  So now instead of having to constantly read 1 book, I now have to read both – Cheers Kes & Claire Gray!  I say that but actually I really don’t mind.  I don’t know that it’s possible to get sick of these books, especially not when I see how much they make Connor laugh, his wee face just lights up when I ask him what he wants to read & he replies “Oi Frog, Sit on the log!”.

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Yet again, the illustrations are spot on and the writing is as witty as ever – they even manage to rhyme with fajita?!  Then ending of this book is possibly my favourite ever – it was quite unexpected and I just found it hilarious.  I won’t go into any detail as I don’t want to spoil it but it’s definitely worth a read.  My thoughts on ‘Oi Dog!’ are almost exactly the same as my thoughts on ‘Oi Frog!’ the only difference being that I preferred the ending to book 2 but I think Connor loves them equally.  I was very pleased to hear that there is going to be a 3rd book in the series called, you might have guessed, ‘Oi Cat!’ where I’m told the Cat finally gets some feline justice.  It’s being published in September as far as I know so look out for a review of that nearer the time.

What books are your kids loving this week?

V xx

Kids Book Review – Oi Frog! Kes Gray & Jim Field

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Blurb

Cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, mules sit on stools and gophers sit on sofas, but Frog does not want to sit on a log!

From the award-winning Kes Gray and the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Jim Field.  A hilarious rhyming tale about a frog who discovers that all animals have their special places to sit!

What We Thought

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“Oi Frog! Sit on a log!” 

I had seen a few posts on Instagram recommending this and when I saw it in our local library a few weeks ago I thought we would give it a shot, there’s not much left in there that we haven’t read!  The first night Connor made me read it twice he loved it so much and it was read every nap and bedtime until we had to return it.  Luckily the Easter Bunny must have known how much Connor liked it as he included it and the sequel ‘Oi Dog’ in his Easter basket.

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The illustrations are incredible; each page is bright and colourful and everything looks like what it’s meant to be – not like those books where the illustrator takes an ‘abstract view’ of what things should look like, if it’s meant to be a gopher, it looks like a gopher.  Connor pretty much knows it off my heart at this point which is no doubt helped by how clear the images are.

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The whole book rhymes and is very funny.  I love that the author used less common names for some animals, for example mules instead of donkeys and hares instead of rabbits (I know they’re slightly different but not in a 2 year olds’ mind).  All in all we absolutely adore this book and are pretty much still reading it at least once a day at this point.  Someone was kind enough to comment on my Instagram post about Oi Frog! to let me know that there was a sequel which I was unaware of so the Easter Bunny popped it into the Easter Basket for us to enjoy.

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I would highly recommend getting this for your child.  It’s not just for toddlers, I think older children would enjoy this too as the humor can be quite grown up in parts.  It’s become one of Connors favourites almost overnight  and luckily for me it doesn’t seem to get old, it’s still as funny the 75th time as it was the first.

I actually got Oi Frog! from Amazon as it was part of the 3 for £10 offer. You can get it here. The sequel Oi Dog is also included.

Have you read Oi Frog? Or have you any other recommendations for toddler friendly books, let me know!

V xx

Toddler Friendly Summer Bucket List.

Summer is quickly approaching and with little ones it can sometimes be difficult to find things to do that don’t cost a fortune.  Here are a few things that I am going to aim to do with Connor this summer, some of them cost money and others are absolutely free.

toddler friendly summer bucket list

1. Go on holiday – we haven’t been away since Connor was 6 months old, I’m in desperate need of some sunshine!

2. Take Connor to the Zoo – the boy is animal daft, we went to the Safari Park last year and he loved it!

3. Have a picnic – pretty self explanatory.  A blanket, sandwiches, juice, some sweet treats and something for the kids to play with and you’ve got yourself a picnic!

4. Fly a kite – One of Connors friends got him a kite for his Christmas and we haven’t had the chance to use it yet so I’m hoping that we will get the weather for it soon.

5. Make Human Bubbles a la One Charming Party – My boy just loves bubbles, the bigger the better & if he can get inside the bubbles then I think he would love them even more.  This looks pretty easy to do – she said hopefully – I will 100% be giving this a try this summer.

6. Random day trips – I used to love it when my Mum & Dad would say we were going for a run in the car.  We never knew where we would end up but it always involved a ‘Bar Lunch’ (this meant stopping off at a restaurant for dinner on the way home) and me & my sister loved them.  I’m really looking forward to doing the same things with Connor that I enjoyed as a child.

7. Making our own ice lollies – Connor loves an ice lolly, he calls them ‘Lolli-POPS’ – emphasis on the ‘POPS!’.  He would absolutely love to make his own.  Whether he has the patience to allow them to freeze and actually become proper ice lollies I highly doubt but we will give it a bash.

8. I would love to make this Kiddie Car Wash  from Mom Endeavors – how amazing does that look?!  Ever since we read How to Win A Monster Race by Caryl Hart, Connor has been asking me to help him build a car wash.  Bearing in mind that we live in Scotland and our summers are usually 2 days long & in May, this might not happen on quite as big a scale.  I will definitely be attempting to do this in some way or another.

9. Collect shells at the beach – I have a jar of shells with the place name & date of where they came from handwritten on them, sadly I only have shells from 1 place in it so I need to build up my collection this summer!

10. Build a proper sand castle – the sand in his ‘Turtle Sand Pit’ is too soft and doesn’t hold any kind of shape, he’s dying to build sandcastles so we will definitely have to make this one happen.

11. Go strawberry picking – I used to love doing this as a child, and Connor adores strawberries so I think this will be a winner.

12. Go to Deep Sea World – same situation as the Zoo, if it involves animals, Connor is there.

13. Take Connor to Jurassic Kingdom when it comes to Glasgow – I don’t know if I’ve mentioned how much he loves dinosaurs?  This is an event which is coming to the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow in August and involves huge dinosaurs coming to life – enough said.

14. Lots of swimming – Connors swimming lessons don’t run over the summer so it’s up to me to make an extra effort to get him to a pool.  He loves being in the water so I’m hoping that we can get away somewhere and he can spend the whole day in the pool if he likes.  If not I can see us visiting our local swimming baths multiple times a week.

15.  Go on a Bear Hunt.  We absolutely adore that book in our house and every time we go out a walk Connor wants to look for ‘Thick Oozy Mud’ – he can practically recite the whole book!  I’d love to take him on a proper Bear Hunt, I think this might be something to do with all his friends.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head, I’ll add more ideas as they come to me.

 

What do you have planned for your summer?

 

V xx

Top 10 Tips For Charity Shop Shopping

TOP 10 TIPS

As some of you may know I love, love, LOVE bargain hunting.  So I thought I would share my top tips for finding those hidden gems when you are shopping in a charity shop.

1. Make sure you have enough time to have a good rummage.  It can take upwards of 45 minutes (depending on the size of the store) to have a proper look through all the rails.

2.  Most shops put out new stock on a daily basis.  Mondays in particular are great for new stock as all the items donated over the weekend will have been processed and be ready to hit the shop floor.  Mornings are probably your best time to grab the goodies – after 10 am but before the lunchtime rush.

3.  Make friends with the staff/volunteers who work in these shops.  Get to know them and more importantly, let them get to know you.  You may find that they start to put things aside for you that you could otherwise have missed.

4.  50p baskets can be gold mines.  You never know what you might find in there.  Chances are you will have to elbow your way to the front but it’s worth it, I promise.  Recently I have found an abundance of Yankee Candles, Soap & Glory Minatures (brand new), an Emma Bridgewater tin & photo album and perhaps the bargain of the century – a gents Terre D’Hermes deoderant spray which retails at around £20-25!

5.  Talk to the sales assistants.  The good ones (you will quickly realise who they are) will know their stock and will be able to point you in the direction of the designer labels, the sale rails and any other items of interest.

6.  For every item you purchase donate one back.  If you buy a book, hand one you have already read back into the shop.  Changing the accessories in your living room?  Donate your old items.  It reduces your guilt over spending money you probably shouldn’t, keeps your clutter to a minimum and it’ll help raise more money for the charity – win win!

7.  High quality jewellery/homeware items are usually kept in the glass cases either within the counter or free standing.  These may be locked but don’t be afraid to ask to see anything, the person at the till will be able to open them for you.

8.  Try before you buy.  Most charity shops now have an in store changing room allowing you to test run you items before you take them home.  However, if you do buy something and later change your mind you should be able to return it to the store for a full refund as long as you keep your receipt.  Double check in store for the returns policy.

9.  If you are looking for something in particular and don’t see it on the shop floor just ask.  Charity shops are not like other retail shops in the respect that all of their stock isn’t on the floor at any one time.  They are constantly receiving donations of new items so there always products waiting to be processed – what you’re looking for could be one of them!

10.  Not all the items in charity shops are second hand.  There are a lot of brand new items in there too.  Some charities receive end of line stock from retailers such as Tesco and TK Maxx.  This stuff is still has the original tickets and can be from high end designers, I’ve seen Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors to name a few.

So there you have it, my top tips.  Once you get the hang of it shopping in charity shops can be great fun and extremely rewarding.  You can find exactly what you’ve been looking for and you’ve supported a charity in the process.  Surely that can’t be bad?

What is your top tip for shopping in charity shops?  Let me know in the comments.

 

V xx

Personalised Easter Book

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Last year Connor was given the most beautiful book for Easter from his big cousins, however at 18 months he was just a bit too small to fully appreciate it.  He didn’t quite get the whole Easter Bunny thing, or anything to do with Easter actually, so I put it away and completely forgot all about it until I went looking for last years egg hunt supplies!  Because Connor was too small for it last year I don’t think I paid it much attention, obviously I read it to him but he was going through the Gruffalo phase at that point so nothing else really mattered.

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This year it’s a whole different ball game.  Connor is so excited at the thought of the Easter Bunny and hunting for eggs  so this book went down a treat.  Although Connor isn’t a particularly unusual name, we have yet to find a boo
k where it’s mentioned – and we’ve read a lot of books!  So it’s of extra special importance to him because although the story is simply about the Easter Bunny, his name is written on every single page and the illustrations are so beautiful I had to share.  He just loved trying to figure out where his name was on each page, he obviously can’t read yet but he seemed to be able to roughly tell the difference between pictures and letters.   If you want to get prepared for next year – I know I’m a bit late for this year given that Easter Sunday was yesterday, sorry! The book is available from Signature Books and you can find it here .

V xx

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