Monday, 30 April 2012

Monday Mentor...

We're now dedicating Monday's blog post to websites / blogs that inspire, amuse or generally keep us going. We're calling it Monday Mentor and would love to hear about any blogs / websites that you recommend.

Our first Monday Mentor is...

Now be prepared to be inspired, awed and amazed at the crafts displayed in this wonderful website. All crafts are represented, even baking:

As you know I'm not much of a baker, but I'm a crafty Mummy and will be trying this project quite soon!

Craftzine is the online version of Craft magazine (which is no longer in print). Here's their official about them blurb:

Celebrating the DIY spirit, CRAFT's goal is to unite, inspire, inform and entertain a growing community of highly imaginative and resourceful people who are transforming traditional art and crafts with unconventional, unexpected and even renegade techniques, materials and tools; people who undertake amazing crafting projects in their homes and communities. Although CRAFT is no longer publishing a print edition, is has pulled out all the stops on its website,, your daily source for craft projects and inspiration.

We certainly could spend days on the website, soaking in all the inspiration and making a crafty 'to do list' that would probably never end!

So indulge your inner crafter and go and spend some time at Craftzine!

Craftzine is also on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Today is Horse Day

Since today is Horse Day, we'd like to take this opportunity to share some of our horse's with you.

All of these are available to buy at

Thursday, 26 April 2012


From the moment a parent knows of their forthcoming child, the weight of the responsibility of your own child's little life being solely yours bears heavy on your shoulders. They aren't delivered with a Manuel especially for the child.We all know that babies cannot regulate their own temperature.  For parents, it’s a difficult thing to do for them without turning into a neurotic parent who checks their numerous thermostats every hour and trust the thermostat over their own instincts. Yes, I heard of a new Daddy that was sat in a baking hot room trusting a thermostat over his own common sense.
Even the Naughty's Great Nana was told when her baby was born (a December baby) that she must keep her new born warm. So on her first outing she overloaded the baby with blankets and hot water bottles. Perhaps a little too snug for comfort.
It's hard when your a new parent. Especially with the weather changing so frequently at the moment and the temperature taking frequent peeks and dives. So what do you do?

It is important to be aware of your child’s surroundings at all times. I was told that the rule of thumb was that baby needs one more layer then you wear.  A fairly easy thing to do when you with them all the time. If you’re going out and your putting on a coat, put theirs on and cover them with a small blanket. If your home and you take off a layer because you are warm, then do the same for your baby.
But at bedtime, what do you do? Fingers crossed your baby will sleep for hours on the trot without you in their room. There are thermostats that help warn you of sudden changes in temperature but it is also important to remember that your babies bedding may need a re-shuffle when the season changes.

In my household my baby boy has the luxury of sleeping under cashmere in the colder seasons. In the warm seasons he sleeps under cooling layers of cotton. Layers are perfect for both summer or winter as they keep you cool when it’s hot and trap warmth in when it’s cold.
Both cotton and cashmere are natural fabrics that are breathable. The most important factor when choosing bedding for your baby is that the fabric is natural, breathable and soft to touch. A baby doesn’t want something itchy and irritating to sleep with just like we wouldn’t. Never use a synthetic fabric, It holds heat too close to the skin and makes your baby sweat. Just think how you feel when you wear a paca mac.
Currently my little boy is still sleeping with his cashmere blanket. It's a gentle weight and not too densely knitted so it is perfect for this weather. He's lucky enough to have one of the cashmere blankets below. Lucky boy!

Here are unik’s special blankets. All made with love and perfect for little ones.

Cashmere blankets
Cotton blankets

Always remember that folding a blanket in half is the same as putting your child under two blankets.
When the seasons change, think about the weight of your babies/child's bedding. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Watch this, enough said...

Being a mom is the hardest job in the world. But it's also the best.

Did you shed a little tear like me?

Procter & Gamble

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A Little reading list, by Dangerbaby, The Naughty & SamSam

Yesterday marked World Book night, so today’s blog is about children’s favourite reading matter. And who best to ask but Dangerbaby, The Naughty and SamSam aka Big boy bump.

Dangerbaby's favourite book
As with Sarah and I, Dangerbaby is bunny mad. Her favourite cuddly companion is Bunny Bunny one and two (ssshhhh, don’t tell her there are two) and as predicted one of her favourite books is a Beatrix Potter bunny tale.
This year marks the 110th anniversary of the Tale of Beatrix Potter. With that in mind a website dedicated solely to Peter has been launched explaining about Beatrix and her upbringing, with images of her beautiful home in the Lake District (I've been, it's beautiful) and lots of fun and games for your little one to partake in. It's a very beautiful website and tells any bunny mad little one like Dangerbaby a little more about the naughty bunny himself and his originator Beatrix Potter. Cick here to take a peak.

The Naughties’ favourite book
A dear friend bought this for Ida when she was still a wonky crawling little thing. She loves the size and fact this book is hardback. The illustrations are beautiful and the story of naughty Madeline’s adventures all carry a wise lesson and meaning for the little one to understand.
To read more about Ludwig Bemelmans books of naughty Madeline click here.
Bemelmans writes and illustrates the books beautifully. The stories flow in a rhyming manner that makes reading it and listening to it like floating on a little song.
Thank you Maureen for introducing The Naughty to the naughty world of Madeleine.

SamSam’s favourite book
Ok so as an 8 month old, all books are more about pulling away from his sister, teething with and a playing aid to Sam. So I am cheating and adding my favourite book instead!
When I became pregnant I started collecting vintage Alison Uttley books, who was a prolific children’s book writer of over 100 books, most famously The Little Grey Rabbit. Being bunny mad, I fell in love with her books. The stories are simple and wonderfully told and the illustrations by Margaret Tempest are a beautiful balance to Uttley's stories.
I am hoping that one day I’ll have the whole collection of her works for SamSam and Ida to cherish forever and hand down to their children.
Click here to print off one of Alison Uttley’s beautiful drawing for your little one to colour in. Little Grey Rabbit's Washing day is a simple story with beautiful words like, "I bought the wooden clothes-pegs, With their girdles of new tin, I bought a little grater, To keep my nutmeg in" sang Gipsy.

The u-ni-k book, coming soon...We have a very special book by Holly Skeet, called a "Insectissimo". A Creepy Crawly Paw Prints story. With pictures by Chris Brown and Printed by Hand and Eye Letterpress. An ideal gift for a young reader, or a grown up or a  admirer of craftsmanship, a beautifully presented, enchanting story to read and enjoy over and over again. This book was introduced to me by Phil Abel, the owner of Hand and Eye Letterpress. Phil, uses age old techniques to print all his projects. He has an amazing eye and style to his work. 
£15, to Pre order email 

Read more about it in the unik blog

Monday, 23 April 2012

Happy St George's Day!

To day's a day to celebrate with a party & feast! So to help celebrate St George's day we're giving away this picture of a painted dragon (no St George insight).

All you have to do to win this original painting is pop over to our Facebook page and let us know how you are planning to celebrate St. George's Day or the Jubilee if you're working this Monday!

Winners will be announced on Friday 27th April.
One entry per person.
Winners will be selected at random.

Other paintings & drawings available at

Friday, 20 April 2012

Who's the Daddy?

Us ladies always like to be prepared, which is probably why the Brownies and Guides motto is 'Do your best' (well OK 'I promise to do my best') and the Scouts have "Be prepared". We're girls, we're already going to be prepared and don't need a motto to remind us of that!

So ladies, Father's day will already be on your calendar and you'll have started browsing through Pinterest, Google Images, Magazines for Father's Day ideas.

If you're thinking of treating the Father of your little one to something extra special, could we take this opportunity to suggest some silver cufflinks embossed with your child's fingerprints, handprints or footprints?

I treated Daddy DayCare to these beautiful cufflinks - capturing Dangerbaby's 6month old fingerprints for him to cherish forever.

These show her little 6m old fingerprints.

I also had a small charm made for my Dad - Oompa Grampa! It now proudly hangs in his study, where he can see it every day.

There are an array of cufflinks, charms and pendants available over at u-ni-k gifts. Why not take a look? Click here to see our silver fingerprint collection

Don't forget that it takes weeks to make a special piece like this - so order early if you want to treat the men in your life!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

#NGW - our favourite gardening tips!

Now that National Gardening Week is drawing to a close, we take a look back at our gardening days and give you these top tips for gardening with your little one.

Where did that worm go?
I claim this patch as my own
1. Find an area that your little one could call their own.

It doesn't have to be a square patch in the garden, it could be a pot, a tub, a window box - anything that is easy for the little one to tend to!

We've found that a pot or tub is best, it's raised up so we don't have to sit in our garden patch!

                                         2. Lead by example

Mummy & baby 'mow' up
the leaves
Before the ban we were learning about
watering the plants
Your little one wants to do exactly what you do, so if you're pulling up plants (weeding) they'll want to do just that. If you're watering... they'll want to water as well just don't expect them to water the plants very much.

3. Use appropriate tools

There's a huge array of children's gardening tools available, please choose ones that are age appropriate. Dangerbaby wants to use a hoe, but wields it like a javelin... so we swap it for a plastic rake whenever we can!
This one goes here...

She has her own little trowel and fork, but has been known to favour a spoon from the garden.

4. Organic gardening is best
(here are some of my photos of creatures in my garden)

Try to avoid using chemicals in your gardening. Weedkiller, bug spray and other garden treatments are poisonous and usually packaged in bright coloured plastics. Irresistible to young inquisitive minds!

Organic gardening will also encourage creepy crawlies, butterflies and other wildlife into your garden. Another way to teach the little ones about nature!

5. Above all have fun, your little one will learn to enjoy gardening tasks if they're fun!

I found the bulb, I ...
oh plant the bulb. Oh.
Brrrrmmmm come on Mummy don't stop!

Just be prepared to not have a neat & tidy garden for a while!

Fun with a toddler is messy and if you garden with a toddler - it's all about being messy. I advise old clothes that you don't mind being covered in mud.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Party Ideas....

It's nearly our 1st Birthday and if it's nearly our Birthday then it's really close to being DangerBaby & The Naughty's birthdays as well.

So with the party spirit in the air I thought we should look a party theme that everyone can get behind:

Often overlooked as a 'theme', this is a simple but effective design 'trick' often used at weddings. Pick a colour for your party theme and then pick this colour up in your decorations, party outfits and food!

It doesn't have to be pink for a girl, blue for a boy! This year why not try a patriotic - Red, White &  Blue theme.

We have some decorative pieces, party clothes & gifts that can help out with this theme:

An array of Shuktara blankets, available in red, white & blue - perfect for those Spring & Summer picnics. Place one of these beautiful blankets on top of a plain white blanket to really set off its vintage sari pattern & colour.

Or give one of our Shuktara blankets as a gift. These chic vintage sari blankets are a firm favourite and are guaranteed to bring a squeal of delight from any parent.

Our handsmocked party clothes for children aged 0 - 5yrs makes any little one into the belle / beau of the ball. Dress your little one's in these lovely party clothes - but don't forget that camera! They'll be picture perfect in these wonderful creations:

For those parents that are more aware of the benefits of upcycling, there's a lovely array of Ta Daa clothes fashioned from the best french linen & cotton:

Looking for handmade gift inspiration?

Well our Larry the Lamb is supporting a very tidy red scarf & he's white to boot. Knitted in bamboo, both Larry & his scarf are soft for baby ( and washing machine friendly!)

We have a blue dragon, perfect for those little boys born this year (see Anna's blog post about 2012 being the year of the water dragon).

The beautifully printed Insectissimo book cover is a vivid blue & white. Enjoy the story & its wonderful illustrations.

If you want to go that extra mile - take a look at Anna's blog about making bunting. There's nothing like a bit of personalised bunting to make a party look extra special!

Above all, enjoy the party and take lots of photos!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Wiggle and Bop

I am very much a music listener. Whether it be my car radio, my DAB radio in my kitchen which normally has 6music blaring out or my IPOD.

Music has been a massive part of both my children’s lives. From an early age I made sure Ida knew it was normal to play music loudly and it was normal to bob, prance and wiggle to music. Ida is well known for her shimmy shimmy moves.
I myself grew up listening to my Mum and Dad’s music collection normally very very loudly and feel that I grew enormously as a person through listening and understanding their music tastes and preferences. When pregnant with Ida I contemplated on buying lullaby’s and soothing songs but remembered that my parents had used soothing songs from my Dad’s record collection rather then music specifically for a child. These songs are still very dear to my heart. My younger sister has a love of Al Green that comes from being rocked to sleep when a baby to his soothing tones.

So when listening to Laura Veirs on the Lauren Laverne’s 6Music radio show whilst making my naughties lunch I fell a little in love with the musical sounds coming out of the radio. And more importantly my two naughties seamed to bob and smile to the music too!
So today I share a little love I have found for women that sings age old nursery rhymes with a little banjo, brass, fiddle and dusty piano. Her love of  children's folk songs along with skipping songs, clapping, playground chants and long forgotten childhood lyrics fit beautifully.

So if your wanting to break the monotony of singing “The Wheels on the Bus” on every journey to Tesco’s have a listen here.
She's even won a Parent's choice award in America!

I absolutely ADORE it

Monday, 16 April 2012

Green Fingers #NGW

Today marks the beginning of National Gardening Week with events up and down the country celebrating it’s start.
The Naughty and Danger baby are avid garden guru’s. Tackling a mound of mud or selecting home grown succulent strawberries for an afternoon snack is a natural instinct for these two outside lasses.

Both Sarah and I are also lucky enough to be RHS Wisley Garden members and spend many an afternoon enjoying the beautiful gardens while our naughties scream at the outside space available to them. Wisley garden has amazing features for little ones. Today’s visit included building dens in the tipee building area, learning the colours of all the flowers seen, smelling their scents, playing in the children’s activity area and making a kite when not munching on cake and supping a cup of tea. A perfect afternoon.

The Royal Horticultural Society has started a campaign to get schools and pupils gardening. From growing sunflowers in yogurt pots, growing cress and mustard seeds on kitchen roll to harvesting ingredients for tea time- it’s all about getting children outside in the garden and understanding the importance of the garden and gaining key skills for the future.

The RHS are asking as many schools as possible to create “living” classrooms or dedicate outside space to gardening so that wildlife can be investigated, new environments can be made and children can learn about growing their own dinner.

With 14,000 schools already taking part the RHS are asking for more schools to get growing and get gardening and individuals to donate.
To pledge a donation towards this campaign click here.