Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Devonian Adventures

I briefly mentioned yesterday that we'd spent last week in Devon, didn't I?  I have a great love for the concept of the Sun £9.50 holiday, even though the reality is more like £60, once you've paid for 4 people, entertainments passes & service charges.  We took them up on the option of extending our short break to a full week, thinking that in March, having a week might stand us in slightly better chances of having a day or two's decent weather.  As it was, we were blessed with a whole week of sunshine, and made the most of the opportunity to get out & about.

So we packed up the car with Plum breadsticks, chocolate buttons, our Beautiful Creatures CD, more wet wipes than you can shake a nappy bag at, rice cakes, and all the other essentials of a long car ride, plus clothes, cot, blah-de-blah for a week away.  And off we set.  Via grandparents & various service areas along the way until we hit Brixham.

Squeaky loved exploring our chalet, though we were all a little off-balanced by her cot being back in the (tiny) bedroom with us, rather than on her own.  That said, give her her due, she slept well most nights.  I think she wore herself out.  Because was she ever active?  Walking as much as she could managed all day, and spending all evening exploring the stairs in the bar.  Why are stairs so exciting?  There's a dancefloor, with flashing lights and other children on it, but she'd rather practice stair climbing.  And then not go anywhere when she gets to the top.  Odd.

I think we're quite lucky at the moment, and I'm making the most of this stage, I know from talking to friends that it will soon pass and become expensive.  Squeaky LOVES those sit on rides, like you find outside the supermarket, and everywhere in seaside resorts.  However, she's far to little to get the idea of them moving, and would seriously freak out if we put our money in & made them go.  So she just enjoys sitting in the car, spaceship, whatever, and talking to any handy characters that are sharing her seat.  See?

These last two are on Teignmouth Pier, one of my favourite places in the world, and a complete mind-bending timewarp.  It's like walking into 1979, except I'm allowed to cross the road on my own now.

I have not received payment for, nor been asked for, mentions of any of the brands mentioned in this post. They are simply things that made my life easier.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Magpie Monday

Oh my, is it Monday again already?  Where does the time go?  Actually, don't answer that, I know that it really went into a week in Deepest Darkest Devon, followed by rather more vodka than is actually good for me (thanks Finlandia)

But anyway, a couple of finds from the last few weeks, and something a little bit different.

First up, a lilac, flowerprint needlecord Next dress for Squeaky.  Fully lined, buttoned down the back, the photo doesn't really do it justice.  I bought it a day or two after Miss Lizzie's own Magpie Monday finds of lilac flowerprint & needlecord dresses, so it was an odd coincidence.

Second out of the blocks, a flowery Feu Follet shirt.  I've seen something saying this label is going to start being stocked in Tesco, but I haven't seen any evidence of that in my local branch yet.  They do come up a little on the small side though, so if you do find any, I'd advise some careful trying-on before buying.  This will be a holiday wear, I think, nice and lightweight.

And finally, a Rocha Little Rocha shirt.  It'd only gone onto the rack that day.  My new favourite thing is seeing the date on the price tag, and finding out that an item has only just come in. I love the colour of this one, though it's MILES too big for Squeaky right now, given a year or so, it'll be lovely.

I also promised you something a little bit different, right?  Well, last week, we were in Devon, and shopping was severely restricted by a) a husband in tow, b) car space, and c) carrying space under the lightweight buggy.  So here's a short list of some of the things I DIDN'T buy in car boot sales & charity shops around South Devon last week, despite serious temptation:
  • A set of 4 Rayware stacking cups in a design I haven't managed to track down online
  • Too many books to mention
  • A "The News from the BBC" board game, as a joke for SqueakyDaddy
  • A selection of Tesco vests for Squeaky in patterns she's already had & grown out of once
  • A couple of nice M&S tops for work
  • A pair of Irish Coffee glasses, identical to a pair my Mum & Dad have in their house
Don't worry, I did find a few bargains, which will form the basis of the next few weeks' worth of posts, complete with at least one story. Someone remind me next week?

Climb aboard the Magpie Monday hop! Me and My Shadow

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Separation Anxiety

Well, after a longer than originally planned maternity leave, mostly because I decided not to go back to my old job, I'll be starting work in a few weeks. Eeeep!  And so Squeaky will be starting nursery. She's got a space in one by us that we're quite happy with, and today she had her first settling in session.

She's been in crèche before, so I had a good idea what to expect of her, she'll cry when I'm in sight/hearing, but settle fine otherwise. The thing that puzzles me though, is why does she howl the place down again when I collect her?  It's not that she doesn't want to leave, as she comes haring over & buries herself in any available limb.  So why the tears, when she's happy to see me?  I don't understand babies!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Magpie Monday - Holidays

After missing last week's Magpie Monday, by being away (more of that in a mo), and the same for next week, I thought I'd go with a holiday theme today.  Some of the bits & pieces I've found for Princess La Squeak to wear on her jollies later in the year, if we're lucky enough to get some sunshine.

First off, a Next shirt and unlabelled trousers.  Picked up in the hospice shop by my mum's, buy one, get one free, so the whole outfit was £1.50.  I have no problem in dressing Squeaky in things that are supposed to be boys clothes, and she doesn't know.  Matched with a girly hair clip and pink shades, she'll be cool & comfy, the trousers are really soft.

Next, another daytime outfit.  This one from H&M, via the NCT sale.  £1.00 for the top & bloomers.  I tried to take a close up of the broderie anglaise, but I'm really not that good of a photographer.  Trust me when I say it's delicate & lovely.  How long it stays pristine white when madam's inside it, I dread to think. Makes me suspect it hadn't been worn, as it's perfectly white.

My friend's getting married in August.  I'm looking forward to shopping for an outfit for me, it seems ages since I wore anything other than jeans.  But obviously Squeaky's going to need something as well.  I spotted this creamy white sequined & embroidered dress scrunched up in a heap underneath the rail at the NCT sale.  It's only Primark, but even they don't sell for 50p new.  It'd got a little mark on it, I think from being on the floor - either feet or wheels, but after washing it's fine.  And crinkle cotton, so car seats, buggies and generally having to sit still for more than 30 seconds won't affect the look.

A pretty little Gap shirt dress.  Very very simple, just a little pintuck embroidery detail running down the dress.  It's about a year bigger than Squeaky's currently wearing, but I have a feeling it's going to come up short on her.  It'll look great with a pair of leggings though, or jeans & a long vest if she (inevitably) grows into it in winter rather than summer.  NCt again, £1.50 this time.

And finally, for the evenings, a Monsoon kimono style shirt.  This is supposedly 6-9 months, but there's still masses of growing room in it, and she's had so much wear out of it already, it was definitely 50p well spent.

As I said, we were away last week, and I spent an afternoon strolling up & down the High Street in Poole.  I've never seen so many charity shops in one place. I couldn't even look at the bric-a-brac & homeware stuff, we were on the bus, with limited carrying & storage space thanks to the lightweight buggy.  But, despite being Charity Shop Central, the only thing I found to buy was a toast rack.  Not even worth a photo.  It's a toast rack, not pretty, just functional.  Hmph.  I did find a cute card game in the Air Ambulance shop on the way home, which I have Crafty Plans for, but that's at my mum's house now to entertain my cousin's little girl.  Hopefully it will survive long enough for me to be creative with it.

Edit: Knew I was missing something... Me and My Shadow

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Complete the Equation

We've been away for a few days, more to follow.  However, a quick puzzle for you, see if you can complete the following:

Toddler + Mobile Phone + Toilet = ???

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Sleep, or Lack of... And Kalms Lozenge Review

Did you know that March is National Bed Month? And there's no place I'd rather spend the month, truth be told. I've had enough of weather now, I want some warmth.  Sleep is a precious thing, especially in our house... SqueakyDaddy works shifts, so some days he starts work at 5a.m., some days he doesn't finish until 2a.m., and then, of course we have a Squeaky in the house as well.  Some nights she sleeps like the proverbial baby (as opposed to a REAL baby), and then others, like last night, she decides that sleep is for other people.  So when I was offered some Kalms Lozenges to try out, I leapt at the chance.  Slowly, after yawning & stretching a bit.

Apparently, according to research carried out by Kalms, 40% of us would pay for a decent night's sleep, with 10% of us being prepared to fork out £50 for the privilege.  But really, would we?  I mean, £50 is a night in your local budget chain hotel, or if you book it at the right time, you could get 2 or 3 nights for that.  And do we do it?  I haven't, but I've suggested it to SqueakyDaddy a few times, but nothing's actually happened. Yet.

Anyways, the lozenges, which are part of a range including Kalms Sleep, and Kalms one-a-night, are made with lemon balm, which has been used as a herbal stress remedy for generations.  And they're really tasty.  The box says they're lemon & lime flavour, but to me they remind me of those barley sugars you used to get in a tin as travel sweets.  Mealtimes have been fraught in our house over the last few weeks, but I've found if I pop a lozenge in my mouth before starting the evening's feeding battle, I'm less likely to end up in a meltdown. I definitely think they'll end up in my handbag, reach for them at the first signs of road rage, rather than teaching Squeaky my inventively broad collection of curses.

Lack of sleep makes me stressed out.  Stress makes me less able to sleep.  So I get more stressed, so I don't sleep, you get the picture.  The lozenges aren't likely to help me sleep, but if they can help reduce the symptoms of stress, I can do the rest.

And finally, on dealing with stress, a tip I used to give when I was giving Interview Skills Training.  BREATHE!  Getting oxygen into your bloodstream lowers your blood pressure and reduces the amount of adrenaline, which is what makes you feel jumpy.  A few deep breaths honestly works. Try it now.

Disclosure: I was provided with a pack of Kalms Sleep lozenges free of charge for the purpose of this review.  I was not told what to write, and all opinions are my own.  Links are provided for your convenience only, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme & will not receive reward for their use.