Mila & Pheebs Kids Boxes

Mila & Pheebs Kids Box Review

One of the things that Isabelle and I like to do together is arts and crafts. There isn’t a day that goes by without Isabelle drawing a picture, colouring or making something.

Arts and crafts is our go to thing to do when we haven’t got anything planned or it’s pouring down with rain.

Mila & Pheebs Stationery & Activity Box Review

 

Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity Kids Box

Isabelle has inherited my love of stationery, and like me loves pens, notebooks, folders, clipboards and little pots of paperclips that we may never use.

When we were asked to review a Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity box we were very excited.

You can subscribe to Mila & Pheebs so that each month your child gets a surprise themed box through the post addressed to themselves with lots of lovely goodies inside. Even better, the box fits through the letterbox so theres no chance of missing the postie and having to collect it from somewhere.

One of the other things that Isabelle is obsessed with at the moment is kids Youtube videos. She usually watches surprise boxes being opened which are mostly American Girls opening ‘blind bags’ which contain all kinds of Disney Princesses, Shopkins or other such things.

Recently she’s started to talk in an American accent, and I’ve caught her loads of times pretending to make her own videos so I thought I’d give her a chance to have her 15 minutes of fave and let her introduce what came in the Mila & Pheebs box so over to Belle!

I’m a huge fan of kits like this which can easily be packed away to do on a journey, taken to Grandparents house or brought out for rainy days.

Each box is packed full of all you would need to complete the task and has several different things in the box to do.

We got:

  • A pencil with a donkey rubber topper
  • A really cute cow rubber which comes apart (including detachable nose)
  • Colouring-in sheets
  • A horse hand puppet kit
  • Animal shaped crayons (Isabelle called these rubbers in the video)
  • Farm Animal foam stickers
  • A maze and wordsearch sheet
  • A piggy notepad with pigs to colour in
  • Plain cards and envelopes
  • Sheep decoration kit
  • A felt chicken paperclip (might have pinched that)
  • Glittery farm animal stickers

So as you can see, you get a lot for your money.

Mila and Pheebs Review

You can subscribe to the boxes which you will receive each month, and each month has a different theme. You can also unsubscribe at any time for times when you may be away. There is also an option to buy a one off which would make a lovely gift.

We had great fun making the horse which we did on a day after school when the weather was a bit pants and Isabelle fancied something fun to do. I was quite intrigued watching her with her concentration face on, determined to do the sewing part from beginning to end.

Mila and Pheebs Review

 

Mila and Pheebs Review

The Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity Box gets the thumbs up from us!

AND if you like what you’ve seen/read then you can get 10% OFF your first subscription by adding ‘babynotincluded’ until 31st March – would make a fab Easter Egg alternative.

Lisa x

*We were sent a Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity box free of charge for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are 80% Isabelle’s and 20% mine.

It’s the End of the Road!

It’s the End of the Road!

www.babynotincluded.co.uk

Many of you will know that alongside the blog I run an online shop selling Funky Baby Clothes.

My journey started in May 2007 so very nearly ten years ago.

I started with £250 in my business account, set up my very first make yourself website and secured my first wholesaler.

And waited for the magic to happen.

Waited for the millions of customers to come flooding my way to buy my carefully selected items.

Ha ha how green was I thinking that it was that simple.

I joined my first forum www.mumsclub.co.uk and virtually mingled with likeminded people and gained much insight into the online buying/selling world.

It’s far from being an easy option, but the online community and the support that came with it kept my passion alive.

Each customer that bought from me and sent messages about the items that they bought from me gave me ever growing confidence.

I’m far from being a natural saleswoman but I loved the items that I sold and carefully selected items that I would buy and dress my own children in, making sure that it was good quality and practical for dressing a new baby in.

Over the years I’ve attended shows and local markets to which Chris has chauffeured me to. I would say ungrumbling but there was lots of grumbling.

I’ve made mistakes aplenty but I enjoyed what I did.

It never felt like work.

After lots of thinking time I’ve decided to close the doors on the online shop, but it’s not goodbye.

This blog which was originally started to compliment and boost traffic to my website has become the thing that I love.

Sharing the crafts and cooking that I do at home as well as the days out in the South West is what I like to do.

I knew it was the right decision to close the shop when it started to get in the way of my blogging and the traffic started to plummet as I wasn’t really paying attention any more.

To all of you that have bought from me over the years I would like to say a mahoosive Thank You and hope that you stick with me on my blogging journey.

Keep an eye on the Facebook Page as I will be starting a Closing Down Sale so there will be lots of bargains to be had.

I feel sad but excited of what will come next.

Lisa x

www.babynotincluded.co.uk

 

Family Favourite Awards 2017

Family Favourite Awards 2017

I’m really loving living in the South West at the moment.

There’s loads of exciting new developments and projects on the go which make it a really nice place to live and bring up your kids.

If you haven’t yet discovered Exeter Baby Activities then pop over to find out about local activities for families from Baby & Toddler Groups to Breastfeeding Support and local Parks and places to eat.

Family Favourite Awards

Family Friendly Awards 2017

The Family Favourite Awards set up by Arabella Greatorex are aimed at highlighting the Fantastic Services, Places and Businesses that are available to Exeter Families.

The categories are:

  • Favourite Family Friendly Eatery in Exeter
  • Favourite Family Attraction in Exeter
  • Favourite Family Run Children’s Retailer in Exeter
  • Best Larger Children’s Retailer in Exeter
  • Favourite Pregnancy/Pre-school Class in Exeter
  • Favourite Childcare or Preschool in Exeter
  • Shining Star Family Community Builder in Exeter

Nominations opened today, 10th March and close on Friday 21st April 2017.

If you are a local business or service you can nominate yourself or if you’ve found somewhere that you love to take your kids then compliment them by giving them a nomination.

The winners will be judged by:

Arabella Greatorex – Founder of Exeter Baby Activities

Lucy Flanagan – Entrepreneurial Coach – Mumazing Success

Natalie Trice – Author, Freelance Writer and PR Consultant 

Claire Hall – Devon Blogger at Tin Box Traveller 

Zion Lights – Author of The Ultimate Guide to Green Parenting and writer for JUNO Magazine 

Hannah Durdin – Columnist at the Express & Echo and Blogger 

Emma Richards – Founder of Cherub Chews 

You can find out more details on the awards by popping over to the Exeter Baby Activities website or Facebook Page.

I’m looking forward to seeing the great places that you guys choose to nominate and GOOD LUCK if you are one of the nominees.

Lisa

 

#whatwedidthisweek 06.03.17

#whatwedidthisweek 06.03.17

Monday we went for a haircut and Isabelle was really annoyed that they wouldn’t wash her hair as she was too small for them to use the basin. It wasn’t particularly relaxing as Isabelle took off her shoes and gave us her best dance routine. Thankfully we were the only ones in the salon so she didn’t spoil anybody but my relaxing experience.

I’ll skip past Tuesday as there was nothing to report.

Wednesday Isabelle lost one of her bottom teeth so she neatly folded it inside a piece of tissue and put it under the pillow for the Tooth Fairy.


That evening I went to the Unmumsy Mum book launch at the Puerto Lounge in Exeter. On the way there I had to dash to the cashpoint so Chris pulled up outside Tesco’s and I jumped out to get some money. The cashpoint was broken so I quickly dashed back to the car, only to find that there was a tray of biscuits on my seat and a woman staring at me looking completely horrified. Chris honking the horn of our car, the car behind brought me back to reality. I apologised to the woman profusely who looked at me as though I was attempting to carjack her and sheepishly made my way back to OUR car. Oops.

The book launch – It was held at the Puerto Lounge which has only just recently opened and was packed with women all waiting to chat to Sarah, the Unmumsy Mum. Sarah sat and chatted about her book unphased by the many questions that were asked of her. She’s refreshingly down to earth and in her own words has no ‘filter’ when it comes to talking about the reality of being a parent. It was a fab night. I even got my book signed!

Unfortunately the naughty Tooth Fairy forgot to visit and so Thursday morning I found a tearful Isabelle clutching her tissue with her tooth still inside so I had to promise to help her make a Tooth Fairy sign when I got home from work so that she wouldn’t forget again.

Ryan and I went to a college open event to look at apprenticeship options. He wants to do a carpentry apprenticeship and the information and the feedback from the people that we spoke to was really positive, so it looks like I’m going to have a Carpenter for a son. At last there’ll be a man about the house that will be able to put up a shelf or other DIY type jobs.

I feel like a proper grown up when I do mothery things like college visits. 

We put up this lovely glitter picture for the Tooth Fairy so that she would not forget to visit. 


The Tooth Fairy came! Phew that was a close one. 

It was my nephews birthday on the Friday so we went for the usual family gathering at their house. I won’t post a picture as he’s 17 so it would be totally not cool to do that. 

Saturday Isabelle went to a birthday party in the afternoon. I usually have to stay for all of these kind of things including classes and play dates, but this time round she didn’t want me to stay and in fact told me to get off the dance floor as I was embarrassing her. Hmph! 

Saturday night we went out to surprise my sister on her 40th birthday. It was a lovely night with family and friends. Here’s my mum and stepdad attempting a dab! 


Sunday was spent at The Range buying housie stuff to sort and tidy Isabelle’s room. It’s amazing how much crap stuff you can fit in one room! 

That was our week. What did you get up to?

Lisa x

#whatwedidthisweek 27.02.17

#whatwedidthisweek 27.02.17

This week has been a really tough week.

This week has been one of those weeks where I’ve regretted my decision to work full-time. It’s only a temporary measure and ends in the middle of July, but it at the moment I’m so tired that I wish I could fast-forward to July.

It’s also frustration as I’d much rather be here blogging my butt off but hey we all have bills to pay.

So Pancake Day we had normal pancakes with sugar and lemon (the kids had fruit as well).

We seem to be ending our days at the moment by putting on music and having a bit of a boogey before winding down with a game of some sort. We have a version of headbands, but the one we have has glasses that you attach the cards to and each person has to guess what animal or person they have. It’s my least favourite game of Isabelle’s as she cheats something chronic. We have coloured glass doors on one of our units so she either looks in glass on the unit or looks at her reflection in the TV and then pretends (badly) that she doesn’t know who her character is and strings it out for ages. I’ve hidden this game away for the time being as one day it will be quite fun.

The weather has been pretty pants this week with lots of rain and wind.

My biggest is going to turn eighteen next month.

Eighteen years old!

I thought looking after a baby was difficult, but sorry to say it but having a teenager is way harder. All those hormones and teenage mood swings.

It was World Book Day on Thursday and having just watched Alice through the Looking Glass we thought Isabelle would like to dress up as Alice. However, she opted for the Queen of Hearts so she could say ‘Awf with her head!!’.

Whatwedidthisweek

Saturday was Rainbows morning which wasn’t as fun as she thought it was going to be as her friend wasn’t there so she was a bit reluctant to stay. We should have made the most of having daddy home with us this weekend, but as I’ve been so tired and achy I’ve been a bit of a a hermit this weekend.

We did get out with the dog today and Isabelle had a really good time jumping in all of the puddles. Charlie (the dog) didn’t look too thrilled as he’s a bit of a wuss when it comes to water.

#whatwedidthisweek

Isabelle was soaked inside her wellies and everything but she had a good time, and they will dry.

Lisa x

www.babynotincluded.co.uk 

Jelly Babe Organics are off!

Jelly Babe Organics are off to New York.

Caroline, the founder of Jelly Babe Organics is off over the water so grab some gorgeous Organic Cotton Babywear at reduced prices whilst you can!

jelly_babe_organics

Reasons to buy Organic Cotton Babywear

Babies skin is thinner than an adults skin making it more absorbant for pesticides and chemicals used in conventional cotton growing.

Organically grown cotton can be washed up to 100 times before the quality is affected compared to conventionally grown cotton which may start to breakdown once it has been washed 10 – 20 times.

As Organic Cotton does not contain any pesticides it is thought to be much better for babies who are prone to skin conditions such as eczema.

Better for the environment.

Whilst the cost of organic clothing may be higher at purchase, the longevity of the clothing means saving in the long run.

If that isn’t enough reasons to buy Organic Babywear then check out the reduced prices of our Jelly Babe Organics range!

 

 

jelly_babe_organics

We wish the Jelly Babe Organics gang a fond farewell, but in the meantime come and grab a bargain.

Lisa x

 

Bespoke Children’s Illustrations from Scarlett, Tulip & Co

Bespoke Children’s Illustrations from Scarlett, Tulip & Co.

Bespoke Children’s Illustrations from Scarlett, Tulip & Co. It was only the other day whilst attempting a bit of decluttering that I wondered what I could or would do with the ever growing masses of drawings and artwork that Isabelle produces. She draws every single day, and I’m completely loathed to throw them away, especially now that she puts so much detail into them.

Scarlett Tulip and Co

Mermaids are the thing that she’s drawing at the moment, with lovely long tails with amazingly detailed scales and big booby shells!

Anyway, the purpose of the post is to highlight this amazing new business that was featured in our local paper where local Artist, Sim Dagger inspired by daughter Scarlett recreates your child’s drawings into a bespoke watercolour painting or pen and ink drawing which can be treasured forever. I think you’ll agree that these are pretty special.

bespoke_children's_illustrations

Over to Sim, Helen and Scarlett……

Who are you and where can we find you? 

Hello, We are Scarlett, Tulip & Co, a small family business based in Exeter run by Sim Dagger, an Illustrator and Graphic Designer  and his partner Helen Kidney. They are joined on board by Scarlett-Ivy their 5 year old daughter and Tulip the family cat.  You can find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/scarletttulipandco/  and on Instagram @scarlett_and_co  or by emailing us at scarlett@simdagger.co.uk

bespoke_children's_illustrations

What gave you the inspiration to start your business? 

Sim came up with the idea one day when he found a monster drawing that Scarlett had created in one of his sketchbooks,  he decided to draw his version of her monster next to it.  He didn’t think too much about it but when he showed it to Scarlett she was so excited by it, he decided to share it on his FB and IG accounts.  People loved the idea and asked if he could do some for their children.  He offered a few to Scarlett’s friends, and shared these on FB again the children and parents were so excited by this we decided to set up a business offering this service.  

We called it Scarlett, Tulip & Co as a thanks to Scarlett for inspiring us, and she thought it would be a great idea to include her pet cat Tulip in the name too.  Sim and I are the Co J.

bespoke_children's_illustrations

 When did you start the business? 

We are a very young business, We started the business on the 12th January this year, Sim has been an illustrator and a designer for over 10 years and has a particular interest in children’s illustration and design.

Bespoke Children's Illustrations

What do you offer?

We offer families a chance to turn a favourite piece of their children’s artwork into a treasured piece of art that can be kept forever.  

We create gorgeous bespoke artwork for families to keep forever based on their children’s drawings.  We create “one off” watercolour paintings and  pen and ink drawings which are supplied professionally mounted and framed in a choice of wooden frames.  We also offer an unframed option for those who wish to frame the artwork themselves.  

We take a child’s picture and Sim reimagines them using watercolour paints or simple pen and inks to give them his own twist, whilst ensuring that the artwork still retains the childlike essence of the  original picture.  We explain it as not being an attempt to improve the already talented artwork a child has created; it’s a collaboration between the unfiltered creativity of the child’s mind and then reimagined in the equally childlike mind of the illustrator. Sim begins  by sketching his imaginations, and sends photographs of the process at each stage to ensure people are happy with the direction of the artwork, when he has the approval from the family, he adds the paints and inks to complete the painting or drawing. 

We can work with any image, from any age, our youngest artist so far was 2 years old, and we have created a vast range of paintings and drawings so far, including a dinosaur world, fairyland , a maniacal princess ,family portraits, and even a zombie with fire coming out of his head.  One painting had a more poignant reason behind it such as a drawing a boy did of his granny who had just passed away.  

We can also create bespoke artworks as presents for children based on their interests. For example we created an illustration of a car for a little boy who loved cars, Sim was able to add a picture of the little boy driving the car, personalising it by adding his initials to the number plate.  If you have an idea get in touch and we can chat about what we could create for you!

Bespoke Children's Illustrations

As you can see, they are pretty amazing.

I may have to choose one of Isabelle’s mermaids to be painted for our Family Wall.

If you would like to find out more you can visit Scarlett, Tulip & Co through their Facebook Page and follow them on Instagram.

Lisa x

www.babynotincluded.co.uk