Saturday, 25 October 2014

Fabfrocks for mamas: Take a Trip to your Local Pumpkin Patch

Hi guys,
Looking for something fun to do with your little person to get them into the spirit of the season? Something halloween-y but not scary, outdoorsy and energetic, and not too expensive? Then I really couldn't recommend a trip to your local pumpkin patch more highly! That's exactly what we did this sunny-but-cold morning, and we had a great time:

We had such a lovely morning out; we let Wilbur ride in the wheel barrow before we loaded it up with our pumpkins. We counted pumpkins, hunted for first big ones and then small ones, and searched out muddy puddles that we could jump in wearing our wellies. Wilbur had such a great time counting out each of the 'pompkins' to us, stopping to examine the ones that caught his fancy more closely, and he chose and re-chose the one we would take home with us, just to be sure he was making the right decision.

If you're in the Norwich/Norfolk area and are looking for somewhere to go to pick out your own pumpkins then we went to the Hill House Farm, North Walsham Road, just outside of Crostwick. We chose five pumpkins (2 huge ones each for Mike and I and a smaller one for Wilbur) and paid just £7.50 for all of them: a remarkably small price for such a fun morning out and so much cheaper than going to the supermarket too. Now I can't wait until we can carve them: Mike and I have spent an age choosing our designs. I'll share the finished products with you as soon as they're done!

Are you carving pumpkins this Halloween? And do you have any more ideas for fun Halloween activities you can enjoy with toddlers?

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Wordless Wednesdays: Beautiful Brighton

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 photo brighton2_zps5522b9f0.jpgAside from for whistle stop business meetings from London, I had never been to Brighton before my sister's hen party there last month. Now I can't wait to visit again with the family next summer.
Love Tor x

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Lifestyle: Chime for Change With Kelloggs Special K

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Hi guys,
Why am I showing you a box of breakfast cereal, I hear you ask? Because this is no ordinary box of Kelloggs Special K! In fact, only 200 of these boxes were produced. They were designed in collaboration with Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini to help raise awareness for Chime For Change: the latest charitable collaboration that Kelloggs are supporting, and the one with the best byline: "Education. Health. Justice. For every girl. Every woman. Everywhere. Because none of us can move forward if half of us are held back."

Chime for Change is much more than pretty cereal boxes: the charity was founded in 2003 by founded by Frida Giannini, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Salma Hayek Pinault and so far they have funded more than 390 projects to support girls and women in 88 countries through 132 non-profit partners. Now Special K have come on board re-designed 18.5 million of their cereal boxes, enabling people enjoying a bowl of Special K in the mornings to have the opportunity to join in the campaign. You can support education, health and justice for girls and women by going online and voting for the projects you would most like to see funded. You literally can help to encourage change whilst eating your breakfast!
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I was not paid to write this post, but I was given the opportunity to choose one of the Chime for Change charities to receive a £50 donation on my behalf. I chose a project based in India with the aim of helping to fight childhood malnutrition before it starts. I know worldwide poverty isn't a particularly current or 'sexy' issue. But I chose this charity because the idea of not being able to feed my little boy is terrifying to me. I can't imagine having to watch helplessly as your child becomes increasingly ill simply because you can't afford to give them something to eat: It makes me feel sick. It's mind boggling that this is something that still happens all of the world (including right here in this country) every day.

You can help to support the project using the hashtag #chimein @MySpecialK_UK and of course, by donating to any of the incredibly wonderful good causes the project supports that you feel passionate about.

Love Tor x

Thursday, 16 October 2014

A Wonderful Winter From Primark

Hi guys,
Primark really do define the concept of 'fast fashion': it seems like they have a new season drop every week! Here are the latest images from their winter collection, and they clearly have cosy Christmas days in mind (offically the first mention of the 'C' word: sorry!) I love the combination of knitted sweaters with matching knitted skirts, which would love perfect teamed with thick tights and ankle boots for eating turkey (think how stretchy those knitted skirts will be), festive walks to the pub and, well, just about anything else really!
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Image 1: Dress £17, Tights £3, Shoes £14, Snood £6, Cuff £4, Bag, £12
Image 2:Jumper £12, Skirt £8, Snood £6, Bag £12/
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Image 3:Jumper £12, Skirt £10, Necklace £4, Ears stylists own
Image 4:Jumper £16, Hat £7
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Image 5: Jumper £12, Skirt £10
Image 6:Coat £35, Top £8, Legging £6, Shoes £14

The subtle Minnie Mouse theme through the new drop was always going to appeal to me too; I'm always looking for cute but not to tacky Disney attire to save for my next trip! The pieces that are immediately on my must-have list though are the vintage style faux fur jacket (which at £35 is a complete bargain) and the checked knitted skirt and jumper combination. I love a bold check and I love the colour combination too: definitely something I would wear for smarter-than-casual cold winter days.

Are you still in love with Primark (it's an adddiction that's hard to give up) or have you lost interest in their cheap disposable wears?

Love Tor x

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Bridesmaids Shoes

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OK: not quite wordless (I'm rubbish at that!) But I just had to show off these amazing Irregular Choice shoes that I will be wearing as a bridesmaid at my sister's wedding in just 6 weeks time! (You can buy them here, where they have been reduced to £67.99)
Love Tor x

Friday, 10 October 2014

Holiday Guide: Disneyland Paris With a Toddler

Hi guys,
It has taken me a full month since we got back to sit down and write this post, but we had such a truly wonderful time that I just had to document it here, as well as share the ups (and downs) of taking my favourite little person to the happiest place in the world.
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The first thing to say it that we had an amazing time. We are a family of Disney lovers (we watch a different Disney film every week) which definitely helps but isn't a pre-requisite of enjoying a Disney trip.  We stayed at the Sequoia Lodge (which is one of the Disney hotels) in a Golden Forest suite for 4 nights. This meant we got to have breakfast with the characters and afternoon tea in a separate lounge each day - well worth the price of the upgrade! Wilbur was 21 months old and over the required 90cm tall to ride most of the rides aimed at kids. This made for a much different trip compared to last time, as this time last year he was only allowed on 4 rides. This year we rode dozens!

Based on our experience this time, here are a few do's and don'ts for travelling to Disneyland Paris with a toddler:
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DO dine with the characters if it's within your budget. We managed to have 3 character dinners and character breakfasts everyday. It was the highlight of the trip for all of us, as it meant Wilbur could meet all of his favourite characters (the highlight of his holiday) without having to stand in line for an hour.
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DO make the most of extra magic hours. This is something only available to Disney hotel guests that means the parks open from 8am-10am, giving you exclusive access to Fantasyland and Discoveryland. We managed to ride all of the rides in these areas at least twice every morning! Fantasyland is the section of the park most suitable for toddlers, so this was especially helpful for us, and we loved being able to wander around the almost-empty park taking photos.
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DO see the parades. Yes, you have to wait for a little while to get a decent viewing spot (as we were travelling during the off peak season we actually only waited 15 minutes and had a brilliant view) but the parades are well worth it. Wilbur was sat on Mike's shoulders clapping his hands and waving at all his favourite characters and the moment was so magical that I cried. Happy tears like a lady! It was the highlight of my trip.
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DO take your kids in costume. During the course of our stay Wilbur dressed as Buzz Lightyear, Pirate Jake, and wore a whole host of Mickey outfits and hats. He loved all the fuss and attention her got because of it, particularly on the Buzz Lightyear ride, where the cast members saluted him and called him 'Commander Buzz'. However.....

DON'T wear costume yourself. Children over 11 and adults aren't allowed to dress in costume as it may confuse other guests about who the real characters are (which makes sense when you think about it!)

DON'T worry if you don't get a direct train. Direct trains from St Pancras to the Disneyland resort don't run everyday. We had to change trains at Lille instead and were worried about how we would cope with the pram, the luggage, the toddler and everything else. We needn't have worried: the change was a really easy one (with lifts everywhere!) and we were in the Parks in no time!

DON'T feel the need to stick to an itinerary. That way lies disappointment! At one point we rode the 'It's a small world ride' six times in a row because that's what Wilbur wanted to do. Being lead by him rather than trying to force him into an itinerary meant for a much more relaxed and stress-free holiday for everyone.
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DON'T worry too much about money! The internet can be a dangerous place and when I started doing some research about spending money and the cost of food prior to this trip I was worried we weren't taking enough cash. Yes, food is expensive (but no more so than in any other theme park) and there are souvenir shops everywhere but if you're on a budget I also noticed a McDonald's and there are so many rides, shows and other things to do that you don't really have time for shopping anyway! In the summer months you can even picnic in the beautiful grounds just outside the park. We had a blow out this trip and spent far too much on toys and presents for Wilbur, but I wouldn't feel my holiday was lacking at all if we don't do the same next time.

This was our second trip to Disneyland Paris with Wilbur (you can read about taking a baby to Disneyland Paris here) but it won't be our last. I have my eyes on a trip for the enchanted Christmas celebration next year.....

Love Tor x

Monday, 6 October 2014

Shoes: Three trends in one boot!

Hi guys,
I love ankle boots. I've been wearing mine for weeks, whilst everyone else has been trying to enjoy wearing their sandals a little while longer! I put them on in September and don't like to take them off until spring springs, no matter what the occasion. That means it's time to search for that holiest of Holy Grail ankle boots: a pair that you can wear in the evening. Normally I am fairly boring in my boot selections, when it comes to colour at least. I like uber versatile varieties in black and tan. But when I saw these gorgeous Irregular Choice ankle boots combining both metallic red, leopard print (my guilty pleasure) and even a big old bow on the back, I fell a little bit in love.
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I've always had a soft spot for Irregular Choice shoes. They're always over the top and I'm sure the company motto is why try one trend when you can try three. But that's part of what makes them so appealing. Because I tend to default to a simple black dress for pretty much every evening wear occasion, a coloured shoe is a great idea for adding pattern and interest, and as an added bonus they're so damn comfy! I have several pairs of Irregular Choice shoes and their low stable heel makes them perfect for dancing on all night.

Want to make them your own? You can pick them up from Spartoo for £76.49 (they currently have 15% off!)

Love Tor x

*Post written as part of a partnership with Spartoo shoes

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Fabfrocks for tiny people: Winter coat inspiration from Coaters

Hi guys,
I agonise much more over fashion choices for little dude than I do for myself nowadays. Each outfit he wears is carefully considered both for style and practicality. It's important to me that he looks handsome (which he is!) but also that his clothes are durable and that he is able to play in them, run in them, roll in the mud in them. Choosing his winter coat has taken months of internet trawling and decision making. I definitely knew I wanted a nice wool coat with a hood. First it was to be a red duffel coat from Jojo Maman Bebe. Then I changed my mind and had chosen a navy blue duffel coat from Mamas and Papas with a gorgeous checked lining. Just as I thought my mind was made up however I saw these and, despite the fact they completely blow the budget, I can't stop thinking about them:
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Coaters lion coat, 159 euros
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Coaters fox coat, 159 euros
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Coaters dinosaur coat, 159 euros

Coaters handmake all of their gorgeous coats with each one taking between 12-15 hours to make (depending on the intricacy of the design). Each coat consists of between 40-60 individual component parts and so cutting each individual piece and pieces it together is like a labour of love: something I think really shines through in the finished designs. They are truly charming, and each one has its own personality. It is the attention to detail that I really love though: each of the animals have claws on their coat cuffs, all of the eyes are made of vintage buttons. I know I'm gushing but it's unusual for me to become so enamoured with a children's brand. I would love to see one up close! As regular visitors to Norfolk's dinosaur park, I know it would be the dino one for my dino mad little man. However it is the lion one that is my personal favourite: look at the attention to detail in that face and mane!

If your small person comes in lady form then they also have leopard and bunny rabbit versions. All of the coats comes with neutral coloured linings too, meaning that if your little lady is dino mad then there's no reason why she couldn't have the dinosaur coat too!

Admit it: you secretly wish they made them in grown up sizes too! Which animal coat is your favourite?

Love Tor x