Review: Skeanie Shoes

20 07 2012

Initial thoughts: When I opened the box and saw the Chocolate Riding Boots I was really impressed, they looked fabulous. Sadly they were too small (entirely my fault, I used the printed measuring sheet but did it on my own, which wasn’t easy. I repeated it with Mr C helping and the second pair I had sent fit perfectly).

We liked: These shoes are gorgeous. They are made from beautifully soft leather and the soles are so flexible they are just perfect for a small boy running around everywhere. They have been a godsend recently as the boot style has been perfect for keeping little feet dry in all this rain but they are much more comfortable than wellies.

We didn’t like: I cannot fault these shoes in any way. I am usually quite nervous buying children’s shoes online because I prefer to check the sizing and fit but as long as you used the measuring diagram carefully there shouldn’t be a problem. I think I was tricked because the first time I measured he came up as the same size as the last pair of shoes we had so I didn’t double check but actually the ones that fit him well were two sizes bigger as per the chart.

Overall: I love how smart these shoes look. We have been trying to use them for best but when they have got muddy they clean up easily. I am most impressed by the softness. We usually buy another shoes with a flexible sole but the upper part isn’t soft and Piran is unable to put his own shoes on. I think his next pair will be a pair of Skeanies.

Further information: Please see the Skeanie website for further information and to see all the styles available. They are also on Facebook. 

Disclosure: I was sent a pair of Chocolate Brown Riding Boots free of charge for the purpose of this review.


Make it Monday: How to make a decoupage box with a 2 year old

16 07 2012

Piran loves to make things and draw and colour (in his own special way obviously) but with Kate around more often than not I will avoid it. I had been planning this activity for weeks and when we are up ridiculously early on Saturday and Kate was napping by 8am I decided it was the best time to have a go.

I love shoe boxes and I use them in our living room to try and separate all the small bits of toys that Piran is constantly asking me for. So we have one with animals, one with Playmobil people, Playmobil animals and so on. The biggest one is full of bribes Hot Wheels cars.
I had asked my step dad for some old Auto Trader magazines and on Saturday I quickly flicked through and cut out a load of cars that were all different sizes. I then spread paper on the table and got the glue stick out.

Piran and I chose which ones we wanted to stick where and then he would put the glue on the back and show me where he wanted it to go. We did the four sides and the top but decided to leave the bottom.

Once we had stuck all the cars he wanted over the box we applied PVA glue all over the sides we had stuck pictures on. We then popped it somewhere safe to dry and when it was ready he filled it back up with all his cars. The PVA coating is like a varnish and stops the pictures peeling back off.

I love that it is easy to know what is in the box now and I am planning on getting hold of some more magazines with animals and maybe some Playmobil pictures so we can have a go at decorating the rest of our shoe box collection.

Very often crafting with Piran can be frustrating but because I had prepared by cutting the pictures out it was really easy to do. I am trying to help him learn his colours at the moment and we had great fun talking about which car was our favourite and which pictures were big and which were small. I thought it was a great success.

I would love to know what you have been making this week. Leave me a comment and a link if you have written about it.

Review: Pixum photobook

10 07 2012

Initial thoughts: When I was asked if I would like to create a photobook I was happy to give it a try. I have always used a different company in the past so I was interested to see the differences. I went straight to their website and found out that you need to download the book making siftware before creating your book. I did this with no problems, decided to create an A5 hardback book and got started.

I liked: The pricing and size options are all clearly laid out on their website. There are lots of options available so you can make the book that you want. The quality of the finished book is good. Some of my pictures are a little grainy but that is my issue because a lot of them were taken on my iphone. Those that weren’t are fine.

I didn’t like: Downloading the software although straightforward seemed a bit excessive, I haven’t come across anywhere else that you need to do this. It did take me a while to find my way around the software when actually creating the book, moving the photos, changing the layout etc. I managed to do everything I wanted but for someone less tech savvy it might be difficult. The book also seemed to take longer to arrive than I thought it would.

Overall: We have a lovely book of pictures of Kate’s first year that will be perfect for her memory book so all in all I am happy.

Further information: See the Pixum website for more information.

Disclosure: I was provided with a credit of up to £25 to make my own photobook for the purpose of this review. 

Make it Monday: Collect the Moments

9 07 2012

I have just finished my six week photography e-course, Collect the Moments from Capturing Childhood.

It delivered everything that I expected, lessons on light, composition, framing and angles and capturing movement.

But the course itself was so much more than that. It opened my eyes to the beauty in our every day life. It made me think about family, and what it means to me. It made me think of us as a group and as individuals. I have taken photos that encompass all of our personalities, the good bits and the difficult bits and everything in between.

It has made me think about what I record about my children and our lives. It made me consider my responsibility as a keeper of records and maker of traditions. It was just the perfect thing for me at the moment. It helped me find the happiness in my days when I was feeling so down.

I really enjoyed it and I hope that there will be courses in the future that I can join. There was a great atmosphere of support and sharing and community as well through Facebook and Flickr.

Here are some of my favourite shots from the past six weeks.

My independent girl

8 07 2012

The Gallery: Everyday

4 07 2012

Every day I sit here. On the top step of the stairs. I play with my phone, sometimes I read but really it’s too dark because I don’t want to put the light on. I’m not allowed to move. The smallest sound prompts a question. Some times I have stern words but mostly I ignore, am silent.

I hate this step. I hate sitting here. I hate myself for hating it. Obviously it is what my boy needs. Tonight it took 40 minutes. I think he is asleep, in a moment I will sneak in and check. It’s definitely quiet.

I am very fed up of the view. My bottom hurts, my feet hurt where I’ve tensed them against the edge of the next step down.

He’s stirring. Not asleep yet.

It’s very quiet. I can hear my watch ticking. I think I hear snoring.

Time to get up and check. Sneaking, holding my breath without realising. Then silently heading down the stairs.


1 07 2012

If I am completely honest I am still finding day to day life quite overwhelming at the moment. I am doing my best to just be kind to myself, to take it easy and just get through each day in the best way I can. So if I am a little silent at the moment, that is why. I am concentrating on my family and just doing the best I can to stay afloat.

And taking pictures to remind me of these days in the weeks to come.