Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Homemade Frozen inspired Playdough

A while back one of E's teachers mentioned to me that they'd made a fresh batch of play dough for the children. Now I'd heard rumours before that you could make your own play dough but when I saw for myself how great the results were, I was shocked. There's no way we're going back to the shop bought stuff, especially as we're on a mission to clean up our lifestyle and cut back on unnecessary and chemicals. At least I know exactly what's in the play dough!

It is so so easy to make and please bear in mind that I am definitely not a domestic goddess, so if I can make this then anyone can! The children can also help too but obviously with supervision as you're going to need to use a hob. It's one of those great rainy-day activities that will keep little ones entertained for hours with literally just 10 minutes down time whilst the play dough cools. 

There are heaps of recipes for home made play dough online, especially on Pinterest. I've tried a few and this is the combination that works best for me. Like pretty much every little girl in the UK, E is still obsessed with Frozen so I made her day with this Frozen inspired Play dough. Of course you can use any colour you wish with an optional sprinkle of glitter

1 cup Plain Flour
1 cup of water
1/3 cup Table Salt
2 Tablespoons of Cream of tartar
1 tablespoon of Coconut oil
1 teaspoon Almond Extract
Gel food colouring
Sprinkle of glitter

Add your flour salt, coconut oil and almond oil to a pan a cook over a medium heat, slowly adding the water as you stir the mixture.

 If you don't have coconut oil at home, you can use a vegetable oil, I personally prefer coconut oil because it doesn't leave a funny smell and isn't greasy. If you like you can also add a teaspoon of Almond extract which I think makes it smell like the real stuff or anything else that you prefer, at E's nursery they used to use Strawberry essence which smelled lovely.

Keep stirring the mixture, don't panic if it starts to look lumpy, this is normal. After a few minutes the mixture will begin to thicken it should stick to the spoon and bind together like dough.

Remove the dough and place it on a surface out of the reach of little hands, too cool. Once it has cooled down, knead the play dough with a sprinkling of flour until smooth.

Now you can add your gel colouring, a little goes very far so I start with the tiniest amount. I use just enough to cover on the end of a teaspoon. I then knead this in to the dough and add more until I have the desired colour intensity. You can of course use regular food colouring but I prefer the gel as it gives a more vibrant colour to the play dough. I chose bright turquoise as we're going for a Disney Frozen theme!

Once you have blended in the food colouring you can add the glitter if you wish, add as much as you like and knead it in just as you did with the food colouring. We used medium sized silver holographic glitter to give the play dough that frozen and wintery look.

Then you're good to go......

Once your little ones have finished playing with the play dough then you can store it in an air tight container and it will last for months and months, much longer than the old shop bought play dough!

P.S. We're going to be trying this in Halloween colours such as orange, purple and green over half-term so look out for more pictures on my Instagram account.


Designer Look Ankle Boots for Less

There is a definite chill in the air today, Winter is well and truly on it's way. The drop on temperature got me thinking about new boots- it doesn't take much to bring my mind back to shopping! Brantano have some designer look ankle boots for a fraction of the price. I love the Chanel-esque quilting on these Lotus Herkla boots and the Emilio Luca workmen's boots which could easily be mistaken for Ganni.

Brantano also do some great designs for men, Mr Jones has been a Caterpillar boots convert since forever, I don't think I've ever seen him wear another brand of boots. I've totally given up trying to get him to buy another style of boots for a change so I think he would love these Caterpillar casual boots and the black pair again by Emilio Luca which are an absolute bargain!!



Monday, 5 October 2015

Pebli Town Launch

E has started putting together her Christmas list! A bit premature, I know but at the moment it mainly consists of absolutely everything she sees advertised on Nick Juniors.

Our conversations go something like this:

E (after every advert) : I want that Barbie with a spinning head/dress/tiara mummy!! Can I have that for Christmas?
Me: Maybe.
E:Well, if not then can I have it when I'm 5 ??
Me: Sure sweetheart ( That's not until next August and so far away she's sure to forget hehe)

However one of the toys that I did actually take note of was the new Pebli Town game which is an educational board game that interacts with your iPad ( and various other tablets) As I've mentioned before, E is a bit of an iPad junkie and we often have to limit her usage so I was interested to find out more about this game as it looked like a good compromise.

As luck would have it, we were invited to the Launch of Pebli Town at Westfield last week. Unfortunately E couldn't make it as she was in school but Rufio was happy to test drive the game for his big sis. It is designed for age 3+ and whilst he hasn't really got the hang of the app ( he's not that bothered with technology, like his Dad!) he loves playing with all the characters and the board itself, his favourite Character is Fireman Freddy.

E loves playing with the entire game and there are four different areas to discover. There is Story Teller mod where children can create adventures in Pebli Town, encouraging vocabulary, life skills, focus and attention. Game player mode which helps develop problem solving skills, logic skills, hand eye coordination and fine motor skills whist also building children's speed and shape recognition, short term memory and creativity. The Story Creator section allows children to record their own voice, add special effects and direct stories, which helps them to develop creativity, imagination and social skills.

Finally there's the video room which allows them to access 200 reassuringly pre approved child friendly videos all related to Pebli Town characters, which is great as I often worry about all the weird videos kids have access to on YouTube and this automatically solves that issue.

We met the gorgeous Amanda Holden who is the brand ambassador for Pebli Town. She's such a stylish and genuinely friendly lady, the kind of person I'd want as a friend and definitely my new mummy idol! She also has children herself so she was able to relate to all the issues parents have with kids technology and how important it is to make it safe and educational. Pebli Town achieves all this without children even realising- a bit like giving them fruit and them not knowing it's good for them, as Amanda put it!!

We also heard from Guy Orr who is a director at Mookie, the people behind Pebli Town. Mookie is a family business set up by Guy's parents in their garden shed back in the 80's and now they are international supplier and distributor of children's toys! I love a good success story!

Needless to say, we're all thrilled with Pebli Town! It's great entertainment for the kids whist Mr Jones and I can relax safe in the knowledge that this is an educational game with children's interest at heart. Of course this would make a great gift for those of you who are super organised and already thinking ahead for Christmas. It's also relatively compact so great to take along if you're travelling as it would provide hours of entertainment for the kids.

Find out more about Pebli Town here: https://toysalive.com

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Autumn Neutrals

Autumn has officially arrived but I'm not quite ready to dig out my dark winter clothes, Ecru, pale grey, taupe, fawn and rose gold hues are all on my autumn wish list.  I love wearing neutrals at this time of year to help, they help bring out what is left of my summer tan, showing off tanned shoulders with the cut out Merino Wool sweater from All Saints.

I am seriously coveting the Mansur Gavriel Bucket bag below, I feel like we're just about growing out of nappy bags now ( thankfully) but still in need of something large and chic to tote around all our toddler paraphernalia.  Loving the taupe tux slip ons from my favourite ever shop- Anthropologie- too!!

Ooooh and not forgetting the gorgeous 5-free Nail Polish from Nailberry in Almond ( helps hide the chippage too, shhhhh!!)

Autumn Neutrals


Monday, 28 September 2015

Case App iPhone 6

You know me, I'm a complete sucker for anything personalised so I am totally in love with this custom iPhone 6 case sent to me by Case App which I designed myself. I have chosen some of my favourite recent photos of E & Rufio combined with a drawing that E did of us as a family. She also helped me chose some cute little doodles from the clip art section of the Case App website. 

I treasure all the artwork that E brings us home from school but I never really know what to do with all her pictures because they just take up so much room! So, I think this is a really sweet way to preserve her drawings and have them with me at all times. I actually regret not using her drawings for the entire case, Case App actually do some really great Macbook Pro skins so maybe I'll create one using E's art. 

How do you display your little one's artwork without cluttering your home?

P.S. Follow me on Instagram for more photos!!

*The custom iPhone case was sent to me by www.caseapp.co.uk for review 

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