Shabby Blog

Thursday, 28 February 2013

i-pic personalised picture frame - review & giveaway

I am slightly addicted to giving photos as gifts.  I've been giving framed photos for years as I don't think there's anything better to receive than a picture to relive a happy memory as you pass it in your home.  I love to take photos like every other person out there but I am so bad at actually printing them off that pictures are always a perfect present for me.

I was asked by i-pic to review their personalised picture frames and I jumped at that chance as this is exactly the king of thing I love.  i-pic offers a massive variety of frames to choose from and you can even add your own text on the front and back.  If this isn't enough you can even draw your own design which will be printed and then choose the photo to pit inside the frame.  This would be perfect for a child to design their own picture to give to a grandparent, aunt, mum or dad as a gift.  I started off thinking I would do my own design but decided the i-pic creations far surpassed by meagre attempts as my inspiration was waning on Saturday afternoon.

Here are a few of my favourite frames:

The process of ordering was really easy as I simply chose the design, added my text to the frame and selected the photo for inside the frame.  The frames and fonts you have to choose from are really varied but there aren't so many that it's impossible to choose!  You can also select whether you would like the frame to be metallic which also changes up the look for something a bit more luxurious for a few more pounds.

To my surprise after ordering on Saturday afternoon I was absolutely astounded when the frame arrived on Monday, in a smart looking cardboard envelope that fits snugly around the frame.  The frame itself is made of a hard wearing plastic that can either stand alone using the stand provided or be put on any magnetic surface.  I've been proudly displaying ours this week on the fridge before I took it down to take some lovely photos.

If you like the sound of i-pic then you can win a voucher to create your very own frame.  Simply enter using the rafflecopter below and I will select a winner at random on Tuesday 5th March.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE: i-pic provided me with a voucher codes for the purpose of providing a review of their product.  The content of this post is my own and you can be certain that all reviews are 100% honest.  I have also been provided with a voucher code for the lucky winner of the giveaway.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Baby and Child Bedding

Finding bedding for Nye that is cute but not sickly sweet or massively expensive is quite the challenge.  Nye moved from his cot to a cot bed some time ago when we saw one being given away nearby on freecycle.  We knew his cot wouldn't last forever and getting a bigger bed for free seemed prudent, especially as it came with the attachments to turn it into a toddler bed down the line.  However, I could not believe the cost of cot bed duvet covers when I came to find them.  I have spent months with just one Ikea duvet cover because I refused to commit to paying £25 for a second one.

A few weeks ago I finally took the plunge and won a gorgeous Vertbaudet second hand duvet cover and pillow case on Ebay for a few pounds.  This is highly unusual because even second hand covers seem to be going for £15 and above.  In addition to scowering Ebay I have also been browsing a massive variety of websites looking for good sales.  My top 5 places to shop for baby bedding are:

And finally this week I couldn't resist buying this gorgeous grey star quilt.

h&m baby quilt £10
If you're on the lookout for lovely baby and child bedding I've put together a collection for you which includes cot, cot bed and single bedding and a range of price brackets.  Enjoy!

Baby and Child Bedding

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Stylish Sunday - Birthday Treats

February 2013

This week saw the arrival of my 25th birthday.  Neil had been asking me what I wanted for some time but I kept changing my mind which meant that on the day I got a trip up the Shard and a meal out, which I loved.  For most of the day Nye and I were doing some filming in North London with Startrite and as that was wrapped up we headed into central London to meet Neil.  I've not had much time for shopping recently, or cash, but I really am feeling I need some new items to bulk up my post baby wardrobe.  I'm particularly in need of some comfy but smart looking flats.  I've been scowering Ebay but found these fab ones from New look on ASOS.  All the details of the items I've selected are below or just click on the board itself.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Imagine Children's Festival - Southbank Center

On Monday Nye and I went along to some events at the Imagine Children's Festival with Davina of The Making Home and some other lovely ladies.  The festival is being held at the Southbank Center so it's really easy to get to from South East London.  We walked over from Waterloo East so it's only a 20 minute trip on the train for us.

I've been crazy busy this week but I wanted to let you all know as the festival ends tomorrow (24th February) and it would be a great thing to do with children of all ages to wrap up a lovely half term holiday.

There are paid sessions going on every day which you can book up in advance but also lots of free things to do.  The ground floor was incredibly busy when we dropped by but there was peace to be found on the upper levels where there is space to relax and do some drawing.  My favourite activity was the free Ultra Violet Reef which held the attention of all the children.  And it  gave us some time to recover from the fact that none of the lifts were working on the day we went.  I also loved the stage that has been created out on the riverside terrace which is a fantastic space for imaginative play.  I'm hoping the lifts are fixed by now but would advise not taking a pushchair if you can help it.

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

12 month update

Sorry we're late again with this.  This month I can at least blame BT who we had to call earlier in the week to sort out our wireless connection.

This month feels like so many months rolled in to one as it feels like every other day Neil and I have been saying to one another, did he just do ___!? Yep, he just did ___. How long has he been doing that? He literally just did it for the 1st time!

Nye just seems to pick things up like a sponge.  I can barely even get my head around all the things he can do.  Yesterday we went on a lovely woodland walk in Sutton (where I accidentally lost my phone) and he spent the entire trip pointing at all the dogs. It's quite astonishing to know that one day he does not know something and the next day he does and it's second nature to him.  Why and how he learnt to kiss I do not know but I adore it.  He doesn't always do it on demand but sometimes when he wants to he just gives kisses and it makes me feel all gooey inside.  That's one thing I know about his personality for sure, he knows his own mind and he does things because he wants to and not just because he has been told.  I like that he clearly has his own thoughts and knows that but I am WELL aware this is going to be a nightmare.  Today he was screaming on the train because I wouldn't give him the cup from my hot drink.  I eventually gave in, immediately he stopped crying and just sat nicely and held it whilst flirting with a lovely lady opposite.  I have quite the trouble maker on my hands.  But having said that he is just so happy and loves other people that I kind of don't mind.

The day he walked independently for the first time was one of those, did he really just do that moments.  His first steps were from his cot over to his Daddy's knee.  I was sitting there and watched him do it without realising and I just stared at him with my mouth gaping open.  Neil looked at me confused at my silence, then suddenly it occurred to him that he'd got there himself without holding on to anything.  Ever since that evening he has realised he can walk for himself and he has gone from walking just a few steps to being able to walk across an entire room.  He's understandably still a bit shaky but he is so proud of himself and gets so excited as he walks towards us.  The way he does it makes him look like he's walking across hot coals!

This month we are back on track with the sleeping.  This is something else that has me realising what a little boy he is as he sits and plays with his toys in his cot.  He chatters away to himself and makes himself laugh and it is hilarious to watch.  As before, he never falls asleep in my arms these days, i simply lay him down tuck him into his duvet and he lays down and shuts his eyes whilst snuggling into his beloved dog.  

Oh Aneurin how special you are, I am so lucky to have you and your gorgeous gorgeous smile.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Stylish Sunday - Wedding Edition

As I was browsing the internet this week I discovered that TK Maxx now have a dedicated online wedding boutique full of wide rang of items.  I got my wedding dress on Ebay for £100 and I was very lucky that it turned out as I ordered with only a few alterations required.  However, as it nears two year since our big day there are so many places I would look  now to seek out an amazing dress for a great price.

I am a big fan of the Oxfam Wedding Shops.  I only found out about them and how amazing they are just a few weeks before our wedding where I tracked down a veil for the big day.  I went to the shop in Leatherhead and I had to book an appointment just like a proper wedding dress shop.  But, this meant I had the bridal area (the upper floor) to myself and the full attention of a member of staff.  It was whilst I was there that the lady told me that many of the dresses come directly from the designers and therefore are in perfect condition.

Another great find has been TK Maxx where the online store makes it easy to track down items that would suit any wedding.  As I browsed I thought it might be quite fun to put together some budget options for weddings that still look unique, classical and stylish.  I hope you like!
Let's get married

Monday, 11 February 2013

Pancake Day Recipes

I love pancakes!  I used to make big fat fluffy ones quite regularly for breakfast while we were without child but these days such spontaneity happens only very occasionally   Which is why pancake day was a great excuse to make that bit of extra effort and cook up some pancakes for breakfast.

My perfect lemon and sugar topping
In actual fact, pancakes are rather an easy thing to make, it just takes a little preparation and you're there.  And the good thing about them is that they are a really simple base that each person can add their own touch too.  My personal favorite is the simple lemon and sugar combination, Neil likes maple syrup and for Nye I add some grated apple and cinnamon while they are cooking in the pan.

Here's the recipe I used, and it worked a treat.

Ingredients: makes 6 medium size pancakes

  • 2 eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100ml whole milk

  1. First I used a hand mixer to beat the eggs until thick (you can use a whisk it just takes longer)
  2. Then add the plain flour and milk gradually. I add 1/4 of each alternating between flour and milk.
  3. Once combined the mixture should be quite loose so that you can easily spread it thin in the frying pan.  If it's still a bit thick add a little more milk until you're happy with the consistency.
  4. Leave the mixture to stand while you heat up a large non stick pan with some olive oil
  5. Add one ladle full of mixture to the hot pan and as soon as the mixtures in, rotate the pan to get a good thin layer over the base.
  6. After a minute or two flip the pancake over and once cooked leave it to the side and repeat until the mixture is finished.
For Nye I cut the pancake into strips, and he was gobbling them up before Neil and I had even had a chance to sit down with ours.

This post is brought to you as part of my role as a Center Parcs Family Blogger, where we are bringing you monthly posts all set around a theme.  Don't forget, you can be in with a chance of winning a short break at Center Parcs for you and your family.  All you have to do is create your own unique pancakes and take pics of the result – don’t forget to share your wonderful recipes, unless it’s a family secret, of course!

Then, just send a tweet including the hashtag #CPFamilyBreaks to @tots100 and @CenterParcsUK, linking to your blog post. This month’s challenge closes at 4pm on 22nd February.

Please find the full terms and conditions for the challenge here and do make sure to be careful with certain ingredients if you are prone to allergies.

Thanks to all the bloggers who took part in our January challenge to create a home spa experience – you can see a Pinterest board of all the entries here.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Stylish Sunday

Hi everyone, thanks for dropping by on this cool February afternoon. Today I've put together a wonderful collection of items that I'm loving right now.  If I were to go out in this outfit I'd definitely need a coat, but apart from that I'd be smitten with the stuff below.  Especially the price as most of it is stonkingly good value.  Let me know if you see anything you like or there's anything you're loving that you'd like to share.
February Cool
As always you can check out this set of items and all my other beloved products on my Polyvor profile.  I adore Polyvor and couldn't be without it as it makes making mood boards so very easy.  Why not give it a go and see how you get on.

P.s breakdown of all the items I've used can be seen below.


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