Monthly Archives: August 2014

7th August 2014

Summer Holiday Shopping Part 2 – Sandals

Living in Dubai, Stanley lives in sandals. I am always hunting for stylish designs that are  supportive for his feet – and with my never-ending hunt, his collection is growing by the day. The second part of my Summer Holiday Shopping series rounds up the best styles I have found for summer – so if you are after a pair of sandals for your little man, take your pick from the selection below.

See you again tomorrow for the last in this series of shopping picks!

SANDALS COLLAGE

1 – Brown Flip-flops, £8.99 (reduced from £12.95), GAP (click here)

2 – Navy and Neon Green Jelly Sandals, £18, Project Jelly at Alex and Alexa (click here)

3 – Yellow and Blue Tropical-print Flip-Flops, £4, M&S (click here)

4 – Black Havianas, £13.99, Office (click here)

5 – Leather Squeaky Sandal Shoes, £19.95, My Little Boots at Not on the Highstreet (click here)

6 – Olive Birkenstocks, £36, Alex and Alexa (click here)

7 – Blue Jelly Shoes, from £6, Next (click here)

8 – Red Spiderman Flip-Flops, from £6, M&S (click here)

9 – Traditional Fisherman Style Sandals, £50, Charley Mouse at Not on the Highstreet (click here)



6th August 2014

Summer Holiday Shopping Part 3 – Swimming Shorts

Today is the last post in my Summer Holiday Shopping Series, with a round-up of the coolest swimming shorts for little boys. If you are heading off on holiday over coming weeks or simply want to make the most of a paddling pool and sprinkler system in the garden, a pair of these shorts will  make your little man stand out for all the right reasons.

With winter months approaching in Dubai (we’ll get there by October), I am seriously considering snapping up numbers 5, 6 and 8 for Stanley to wear at the pool and beach. And with prices like that, you can’t really argue.

Happy shopping – and I’ll be back in the next few days with something completely different!

SHORTS COLLAGE

1 – Turtle Swimming Shorts, £35, StarBlu (click here)

2 – Navy and Blue Block Colour Swimming Shorts, from £8, Bhs (click here)

3 – Green Dinosaur Swimming Shorts, from £9, bluezoo at Debenhams (click here)

4 – Pink Swimming Shorts, £8, River Island (click here)

5 – Rocket Print Swimming Shorts, from £6, Mothercare (click here)

6 – Red Star Swimming Shorts, from £6, Next (click here)

7 – Red Swimming Shorts, £5.99, H&M (click here)

8 – Shark Print Swimming Shorts, £14.95, GAP (click here)

9 – Navy Boat-Print Swimming Shorts, £14, Jo Jo Maman Bebe (click here)



Summer Holiday Shopping Part 1 – Polo Shirts

What more does a boy need over the summer holidays than polo shirts, sandals, and swimming shorts? Well OK, a few other things would be handy obviously, but give a boy these three essentials and he can enjoy a season of gardens, beaches, and water play. They’ve got to be stylish of course, so I’ve done the hard work for you and found the best the virtual rails have to offer…

I’m starting with my pick of polo shirts for little boys – and I will follow over the next few days with sandals and swimming shorts. Happy shopping – and see you again tomorrow!

POLO SHIRTS COLLAGE

1 – Blue & White Striped Polo, £30, Ben & Lola at Not on the Highstreet (click here)

2 – Blue Colourblock Polo, from £10, Next (click here)

3 – Navy Polo Shirt with Logo, £14.50, Joules at John Lewis (click here)

4 – Rugby Stripe Polo, £5.99 (reduced from £10.95), GAP (click here)

5 – Spotty Polo, from £10, Next (click here)

6 – Block Striped Polo, from £17, Ted Baker at Debenhams (click here)

7 – Mint Polo, £70, Vilebrequin at Alex & Alexa (click here)

8 – Striped Polo Shirt, from £8, Bhs (click here)

9 – Navy Polo with A Motif, £5.99 (reduced from £10.99), Zara (click here)



4th August 2014

5 of the most amazing kids playrooms

I spend a lot of time browsing Pinterest for inspiration for the interior of my dream Dubai villa – an imaginary playroom in an imaginary villa (can you see the potential for time wasting here?!)

Through my extensive research (usually with a glass of wine in my hand), I have created a list of the top five most amazing playroom interiors – and if I had unlimited space and unlimited budget, I would most certainly be creating one of the below for my boys. I thought you’d like to dream away with me – so without further ado, here are my top five. Enjoy dreaming!

Dream Playroom 5

Dream playroom 2

 

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Dream Playroom 3

 

Dream Playroom 1

 



3rd August 2014

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Ice Lollies

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When I found this recipe, my mouth started to water in anticipation. Chocolate, tick. Peanut Butter, tick. Bananas, tick. Honey, tick. They sounded like heaven in the shape of a lollipop.

I wasn’t wrong either. Of all the recipes I have made for Stanley for this blog, these have been the biggest hit. He devoured them – and that’s OK, as they are pretty healthy too (leaving aside the chocolate drops that could easily be omitted if you prefer). And they contain banana so it’s got to be one of their five-a-day, surely? (maybe wishful thinking, but at least we know what’s inside is natural).

We had Stanley’s friend Jake and his mummy Sharon over yesterday and I pulled out the lollies as an after-dinner treat. The boys loved them – and it isn’t always that way with ice lollies with Stanley. They taste creamy, peanutty, and lightly chocolately. An instant hit.

So here’s what you need to buy and do…

Ingredients

1 medium banana
1/2 cup plain Greek Yoghurt
2/3 cup milk
2 tsp peanut butter
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp honey
Mini chocolate chips

Recipe

1 – Throw all the ingredients into a blender (except the chocolate drops) and blend on high speed.

2 – Pour the mixture into an ice lolly mould, available from all good household stores and online too (you can also drink the mixture as a smoothie if you can’t wait, which is just as delicious).

3 – Drop the chocolate drops into the mixture – I added about 5 drops to each lolly, which sank to the bottom making the first bites extra delicious!

4 – Pop into the freezer for at least 5 hours – we left ours overnight.

5 – Run very hot water (adults only!) over the mould to loosen the lolly. After 1-2 minutes, the lolly should ease out without any effort.

6 – Enjoy!

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Let me know if you try them!



2nd August 2014

Something for the Weekend – UK and Dubai (02.08.14)

Something for the Weekend

I always intended this blog to be based in the UK, despite living overseas in Dubai. This is mainly because I knew it would grow quicker, plus we intend to move back at some point and I want to take my blog with me. But over recent weeks, it’s become apparent through various comments, messages and emails I’ve received that I also have a fair few readers in the UAE (hello neighbours!) So I’ve decided that I will start a weekly post where I pick one new thing, place, activity or brand from each country – so both sets of Mums can read the same post every week and both gain something from it. Like it? I hope so – and here’s this week’s two top picks for the weekend.

UK

Jo Jo Maman Bebe’s Autumn Winter collection has just launched – and like many fans of the store, I couldn’t rip open the packaging quick enough to see what is in store for the new season. Here’s my top six picks for little boys.

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1 – Striped Long Johns (available with dog, plane, dinosaur, fox and bus in sizes up to 2-3 years), £10 each (click here)

2 – Navy Quilted Jacket (available up to 4-5 years), £29 (click here)

3 – Hooded Checked Shirt (available up to 4-5 years), £18 (click here)

4 – Cable Knit Jumper (available in natural, red, denim and navy in sizes up to 4-5 years), £20 (click here)

5 – Star Onesie Pyjamas (available up to 4-5 years), £16 (click here)

6 – Dinosaur Extra Thick Leggings (available up to 2-3 years), £10 (click here)

Dubai

I’ve just found out about new website Mini Exchange; an online marketplace where parents can buy and sell new and like-new kids’ clothes, accessories, fancy dress, or school uniform that your child no longer uses.

The great thing about this website is that they will collect your items for free, take photographs, describe the items and list them on their site. And when they sell, they will deposit the cash, minus their commission, directly into your account. It’s as simple as that.

Mini Exchange

I’ve had a good browse of the website and it’s very professional, with the clothes on offer as appealing as walking into a posh store. And as you’d expect from Dubai, there are some really lovely brands on there – I’m tempted by some White Company sleepwear, GAP baby and boy’s wear, and Ralph Lauren shirts.

Shipping is free on orders over 250 AED (30 AED for orders below that figure), with all major credit cards and PayPal accepted.

The thing I’m most excited about is being able to sell clothes we no longer need on a marketplace that shows them off in the very best light. Without eBay in the UAE, this is something we’ve been missing (but if I’m honest, I’m a bit too lazy to list them myself even if we did have it – so finding a company that will do the hard work is like gold dust).

Visit Mini Exchange for more details.



1st August 2014

Ice cream cones, frozen lollipops, and pink lemonade

I’ve planned this post for a few days in celebration of the amazing weather we have been having in the UK recently – and of course, right on cue, rain is forecast to wash out our weekend. Still, everyone loves ice cream, ice lollies, and pink lemonade, right? And if the next few days are going to be torrential, at least the treats below will put a smile back on the kids’ faces (and adults, for that matter, nom nom nom).

So without further ado, here are the accessories you need to make and enjoy cooling summer treats at home. And on that note, I’m heading into the garden to do a sun dance…

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collage ice cream

1 – Vintage-style ice cream toppers, £4.50, Not on the Highstreet (click here)

2 – Ice Cream Sundae Kitchen Plaque, £12, John Lewis (click here)

3 – Chill Factor Ice Cream Maker, £13.50, Debenhams (click here)

4 – Homemade Ice Cream Container, £8.99, Lakeland (click here)

5 – Ice Cream Scoops, £2 each, IKEA (click here)

6 – Silver Plated Ice Cream Cone Holder, £7.50, Culinary Concepts (click here)

7 – Ahoy There Ice Cream Cups, £3.95, Selfridges (click here)

8 – Blue Sundae Glass, £3, John Lewis (click here)

9 – Set of 3 Ceramic Ice Cream Cones, £35, Fishs Eddy at Liberty (click here)

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Ice Lollies Collage

1 – Zoku Slow Pops Maker, £17, John Lewis (click here)

2 – Ice Lollies Recipe Book, £7.99, Amazon.co.uk (click here)

3 – Set of 4 Ice Pop Makers, £5.90, Amazon.co.uk (click here)

4 – Zoku Fish Pop Maker, £19.99, Lakeland (click here)

5 – Set of 100 Wooden Ice Lolly Sticks, £2.79, Lakeland (click here)

6 – FAB Lolly Tin Sign by Martin Wiscombe, £17.99, AllPosters.co.uk (click here)

7 – FAB Lolly Cushion, £24, Not on the Highstreet (click here)

8 – Ice Lolly Ring Mould, £2.99, Lakeland (click here)

9 – Annabel Karmel Mini Ice Lolly Moulds, £6.69, John Lewis (click here)

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Lemonaid Collage

1 – Pink Lemonade Drinks Mix, £5.49, Americansweets.co.uk (click here)

2 – Set of 6 Glass Drinking Jars, £20, Not on the Highstreet (click here)

3 – Silicone Citrus Squeezer, £4.50, John Lewis (click here)

4 – Jam Jar Drinks Dispenser, £42.50, Jamie at Home (click here)

5 – Framed Oak Tray, £17, John Lewis (click here)

6 – Reusable Ice Cubes, £2.99, Tesco (click here)

7 – Set of 30 Striped Blue Straws, £1.99, Party Parade (click here)

8 – Kaleidoscope Tumbler, £3.79 each, Lakeland (click here)

9 – Framed Lemonade Print, £60, Not on the Highstreet (click here)