I have been wanting to try this for ages but I never was quite sure of the best way to make ruffles until I found a gathering foot for my sewing machine. This has made it easier instead of trying the various other methods I have come across. So after a little practice on some scrap fabric I grabbed one of the kids plain skirts and Jazzed it up a bit with some fabric that I absolutely adore . It makes me so happy that I have achieved several things here. Firstly I have gained another new skill, I can make ruffles. Secondly I have made something look far more pretty than it was originally and lastly I think I have extended its wearing life due to having added the extra length. I now plan to do this to any other plain skirts or dresses that are starting to look a little short on the girls as they seem to grow so quickly.
Monday, 3 March 2014
Vertbaudet the online clothing store are running a Mothers day competition for mummy bloggers to have the chance to win £200 worth of vouchers. £50 Vertbaudet voucher to choose your child an outfit, £50 high street voucher for your own outfit and a £100 restaurant voucher.
So to enter, all you have to do is visit Vertbaudet and choose your child and outfit, write a post about it and then head over to Baby Budgeting to log your entry.
The items I chose to put together, the long sleeved top as its still a bit chilly in the air, followed by a little knitted waistcoat and a little bubble skirt with the blue striped tights and some snug and warm boots. I love all of these items and any of them could be matched up with other items for a completely new outfit.
I have seen lots of ideas on Pinterest with recycling phone books, magazines and old bits of paper and when a holiday brochure came through the door that I knew we weren't going to use, I thought it would be real shame for it to go straight in the bin as the pages were quite brightly coloured.
I sat and had a think about the flowers I had been making from fabric and so I used almost the same method to make these lovely paper flowers. I want to make more as I think they really brighten the room up, I know its not spring yet but its not too far away. These are really easy to make using a glue gun, a few straws and a button for the middle and of course your scrap paper, you could use anything, even an old newspaper. You really don't need to splash out on expensive papers to make these and its better than seeing it go in the bin.
To make them I cut a page from the brochure, folded it in half length ways and then cut into it all the way along leaving roughly half a cm between cuts then I rolled the strip around a straw securing it with the glue gun, if you don't have one then I am sure a bit of tape would do the trick too. Then I spread the petals out and glued a button in the middle to keep it all in position. That really is it, so easy that they could be a lovely gift from your child on mothers day.
Saturday, 1 March 2014
Today we decided on a day trip to Dover Castle. Its part of the English Heritage group and we decided to get membership while we were there. It meant we got free entry and now that I am driving we will be having more family days out as we don't have to rely on my husband to drive all the time so it makes sense to save ourselves a few quid, it means more pennies to get us to these places.
We started by walking right to the top where the main part of the castle is, we saw various displays of military history to medieval kitchens and furniture. We explored all the stair cases and walked up and down what seemed like hundreds of steps to see all the little rooms and different parts of the keep. Then we climbed up to see some beautiful views of the coast line and surrounding countryside.
After lunch we visited the secret war time tunnels which are deep inside the white cliffs of Dover. We learnt about operation Dynamo and although there was a wealth of information, I have to admit that I spent the whole time thinking about my Dad who served in the WW2. The tunnels stretch for over 4 miles but don't worry, we didn't walk through the whole thing but we saw the very rooms where Dynamo, the massive Dunkirk rescue mission was organised and operated.
We followed this tour by another shorter one which took us through the underground hospital, constructed as a medical dressing station for injured troops, it has an operating theatre and we walked through several other rooms including the sleeping quarters and wash rooms. I heard the tour guide say that having slept there, he awoke at 2 in the morning to be faced by a soldier in full uniform. I can imagine that it must be really haunted there.
We finished off by looking out to sea and just about seeing France in the distance and then we headed back to the car, tempted to stop at the outlet centre for some shopping on the way back but not as tempted as I was to get home for a cuppa.
We had a lovely day out and G was excited to visit a castle, he loves all that kind of stuff at the moment, soldiers, pirates etc. It really is a fab day out with lots to explore, we were there for a good 5 hours and there is still more for us to explore next time we visit, this is not a review but I feel that we enjoyed it so much I want to recommend it as it really is worth a visit.
Thursday, 27 February 2014
Now I have got used to my new sewing machine which is just amazeballs compared to the one I was using. I have learned a lot more about what I am doing with it, what settings I should be using etc. My sewing has improved massively and I have been able to complete Charlie's patchwork blanket which I started weeks ago but didn't want to put the back on because the old machine would not have been able to handle the thick material. Its now finished and I have to say he is very pleased with his new blanket. I still have a few things to improve on but I know I will get there, the feeling of completing a project is quite a big thing for me as I am not usually good at finishing things well I would be but I get easily distracted as a mum of 4 but this is something I feel passionate about and I love the sense that I have made something that can be utilised and also kept as a keepsake for years to come. I have had some lovely comments on this blanket so watch this space there will be many more to come :)
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
We have been testing out the Britax B-Motion for a while now and I want to tell you all about what I think of it.
You can view our unpacking video here.
We use our pushchair for school runs and around the shops but we did test it on a field which had been flooded and was very muddy but first I want to tell you about all the features.
The easy one-handed pull fold mechanism is really easy to use, you push the button up and in on the side and pull the handle from the middle of the seat unit and it folds up in a second and there is a safety catch to ensure it stays closed.
The air filled rubber wheels, which are quick release have been fantastic, other then G has stolen the valve cover on one of them but that can easily be replaced. The only thing I would mention about these is that I would have expected a pump to be included as with other pushchairs I have had in the past have had one included. This can be a pain if you get a flat when you are out and about but luckily we haven't had that problem.
You can also see the brake in this photo, its a simple push down to put the brake on and back up again to release, I have had no problems at all with the break and am completely happy with it. The front wheel is a lockable swivel wheel and really easy to click to either position.
The multi-position recline works OK, it works differently to most pushchairs and if you can imagine having a clip holding 2 straps together, similar to that of a rucksack, the clip can be pulled to release the straps for a lay flat position or the 2 D-rings can be pulled whilst holding onto the clip to sit the back up again. I have to say I found this rather fiddly at times because the strap may have been folded or twisted underneath and it can be hard to get to is its behind the zipped storage bag.
I haven't made use of the CLICK & GO adaptors as my youngest is too big to make use of a travel system but I did try the clips and they were easy to put on and take off.
The chassis is lightweight aluminium I find this one a little heavy to lift into the boot of the car but its not heavy to push at all and feels like a decent sturdy frame.
The rear suspension creates a very smooth ride and I am pleased with how smoothly it goes over any bumps.
The bumper bar is good, it's not too enclosed and little Moo likes to rest her feet on it when she is out and about, this makes me smile because she looks so relaxed when she has her feet up. As you can see there is even room for 2, I am not sure how happy she was about sharing but this gives you a good idea of how much room she has.
The 5 point safety harness I am really happy with as the padded straps are quite static and stay in the right position when in use.
The handle bar is comfortably padded and is also multi position which means it should easily accommodate a taller or shorter person pushing it.
The hood is shower proof, fantastic for me as I don't always have the rain cover with me (which by the way is also included) and is fine to use when dashing in and out of shops, it has a zipped mesh panel which has a couple of advantages, it means the hood can be pulled down lower to keep the sun out of your little ones eyes, how this had made me so fussy with pushchairs in the past! This for me, is a key feature, I know sunlight is a source of vitamin D but who would want to get blinded by the sun each time you turn a corner. I know it bothers my kids and am so grateful of this fantastic feature. The other advantage is of course when its hot, the mesh panel will allow fresh air to filter through. It even has a peep window which we have used to play peekaboo on several occasions.
Another winning feature for me is the large storage pocket that can be zipped on and off the hood. This is as good if not better than carrying a bag sometimes, its large enough to store everything you need and it means when the shop assistant asks if you need a bag, the answer is no because everything goes into this Mary Poppins type bag! I am not showing the photo I took as it just does not do it justice, it really is the biggest storage pocket I have ever seen on a pushchair. The only thing I would say about this wonderful pocket is when the pushchair folds it flaps about and often drags on the floor before being lifted into the boot of the car, it may just be me and the way I lift it or it could even be that I am a short person! but either way it would be better if there was some way of securing it before folding.
The basket is a decent size but I would have preferred the curved bar to be straight as I think it would allow easier access when in a recline position. Having said that there is access from the front of the seat which zips open and closed easily. I am happy with the size of the basket, its big enough for shoving coats in when the kids are running around and refusing to wear them and the fact that there is a huge storage pocket means I am not worried so much about the size or easy access as the pocket is where I go first to put things.
So although there are a couple of things that could be improved on, this is a lovely comfortable pushchair and little moo loves being in there so we give it a big thumbs up.
For more info you can look on the Britax website
For more info you can look on the Britax website
We were sent this pushchair for the purpose of the review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.