Thursday, 30 May 2013

Monsoon Polly Print dress review

Polly Print Dress from Monsoon: £69
This is a great dress. It's a size 14* which fits me brilliantly, despite the Monsoon size guide suggesting I need to measure 38/31/40 (Bust/Waist/Hips).  I actually measure 37/34/40.  But there is enough room in this dress for my larger waist.  

It's not very obvious on this picture, but the material wraps over at the waist and gathers at the left hip.  There is a fold of material that hangs, beautifully disguising my mummy belly!

The material is soft and silky to the touch, but is surprisingly 100% polyester, so it's washable, which is always a bonus!  It's also fully lined.

I absolutely recommend this dress from Monsoon, but there is a caveat.  

Don't wear it whilst out anywhere with children.  If you have to lean forward, which you do often with young children as they are naturally at a lower height than you, you will find that the sleeves dig into your arm at the front.

I have had dresses before that do this.  They are fine when stood or sat straight.  The sleeves even look roomy.  But somehow, the second you try and put your arms out in front of you, the sleeves dig in.  

Monday, 27 May 2013

Party funnies!

I just had to share this anecdote from today, before the weight of Princess Peppa's 7th party day finally squishes me into sleepy land.  That sentence makes little sense as I am so extra tired its a miracle I can even type.

It was Princess Peppa's 7th birthday today.  So the day went something like; brace yourself, the anecdote needs context first; this....

Wake up with over-excited newly-turned-7-year-old one inch from face trying to wake me up at 7am.  To be fair we got off lightly there.  It's been 5.30am in previous years. 

Spend next hour enjoying present opening. 

Spend subsequent hour in panic after checking party bags and realising that, despite being an accountant, I can't add up and am 5 bags short if all those that didn't RSVP appear at the party later.  

Send hubby on an emergency shopping trip for extra stickers, sweets and treats.  

Get both children dressed, with beautifully brushed hair.  Realise mother in law has arrived and I am still in dressing gown (why am I always last to get chance to get ready?!)

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Smurf Village addiction

Hello.  My name is Louise and I am addicted to Smurf Village.  Excuse me whilst I go and harvest some Strawberries and Honeydew Melon.

We don't do gaming in our family, despite initial appearances.  Honestly we don't.  We don't have a Wii, and the most sophisticated games system that we own is a decade old GameCube that we play the odd game of Animal Crossing on with the kids.  Which was all well and good until we discovered the Smurf Village app on our iPhone.  It is now also on the family iPad.

The plus points are extensive, which is why it is a game I was relaxed about the children (6 and 4 years old) playing.  It is educational, in that in order to progress you have to plant crops, which cost fake money, and then harvest them a certain length of time later depending on the crop.  When harvested you gain more coins, and Experience Points (XP) progressing you through the level.  If you don't harvest at the right time, the crops wither, so you lose your investment in them.  The children have become very interested in learning how to tell the time, and are experts at working out which crops they can plant in order for them to be ready at the right time, i.e. not during school, or the middle of the night.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Clothes sizing: Why can the fashion industry not get this right?

Unintentional clones

If you were to wake up randomly in a park or playground, having lost your power of hearing, in my opinion you could still pretty quickly work out if you had landed in the UK despite not being able to hear the language being spoken.

How?  Just a quick glance at the fashions being sported by the mums.

As with any culture built by humans with an innate need to fit in, we have developed different uniforms for different roles in society.  In England the uniform is fairly clear for a trip to the park with the kids.  If you are less than a UK size 12 and therefore can get away with skinny skins, or Jeggings,  these will be your uniform of choice.  Combined with a fairly snug Tee, or a fitted smock top (the sort that look like a mini dress but are worn with leggings.)

However, you might, like me, be unable to find a pair of skinny jeans or Jeggings that actually fit your hips.  You may, after all, have hips, and an hourglass figure, that the manufacturers of fashion often forget exist.  For you, the trip will, despite your better intentions, probably result in the Sweats uniform.  You'll have plenty of pairs of sporty tracksuit bottoms from all the good intentions of joining and subsequently not attending the gym.  Add a bland v-necked T-shirt and you can kid yourself that everyone will assume you have come straight from Yoga class to the park.  

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Birthday cakes by post - A great novel idea for someone hard to buy for.

I live a 40 minutes drive away from my parents. It isn't too far to visit easily for an afternoon, but it is too far to pop in for a cuppa after school pickup, or pop round on the off chance that they are in, for a chat.

It is far enough to require actually planning, logistics, pre-car toilet trips. You get the idea.

So I can't always pop and see them on special occasions. When I was given the opportunity to try out a new "letterbox cake" from to send to my dad for his mid-week birthday I jumped at the chance.

It is a real cake. It is delivered by the post man. It is posted THROUGH the letterbox.

This ensures you can surprise your family and friends with a gift delivered by the postman and not worry about someone needing to be in to accept delivery, which is often the case when you send flowers and chocolates.

Monday, 6 May 2013

I'm sorry kids, but no; I don't want to play

Yes, that's me.... playing on the beach

Mummy; will you come and play?

I really really hope it isn't just me that gets a little tired of the mantra coming from my two girls far too many (in my opinion) times a day: "Mummy; will you come and play?".

I have always been conscious that I am a parent. Even when the girls were really little and I was playing "Incy Wincy Spider" up their arms, I knew that I wasn't there to just be their playmate.

I am very aware of the burden of responsibility I have as a parent to teach them how to grow up to be kind, considerate, polite, intelligent, knowledgeable, courteous, civil members of society. I know that I can't do that AND be their best mate at the same time.

Or; let me elaborate further; I know I can't always be their best friend. A lot of the time I will have to pull rank to be successful as a parent and I know that my words won't hold as much weight if I spend a lot of my time trying to also be their best bud.

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