UNIQLO kids

I’ve seen the UNIQLO shop and I like their window displays and products they have on offer but I’ve never entered, always in a hurry to get somewhere so when I was asked to take the UNIQLO challenge and spend £100 on the entire family I thought why not?

How far can you stretch £100?

Well I was very pleased to see each range so reasonably priced, I started with the kids range as the girls have shot up over the summer so most of last winter’s clothes are going to be too short in the arm, length or leg.

I love the bright autumnal colours that run through the range and finally settled for 2 pairs of dark blue easy trousers as they are a classic, easy to wash and iron and go with just about everything they own. I bought the small size and am happy to report they fit, I notice there is an adjustable waist too and we’ve turned up the bottoms. RRP £9.90

UNIQLO kids

I added two flannel check long sleeve tops, one in a bright red and the other yellow, the girls like that they are soft, I like that as it gets colder a t shirt underneath should be suffice to keep them warm. I ordered size 5-6 and they come up quite big, we’ve turned up the wrist and let the shirt hang over the jeans RRP £9.90

I finished off the kids shopping with my favourite item of all a faux shearing long sleeved hoodie, one orange and one red. They are zip up and lovely and warm. They are gorgeous bright colours and perfect for outdoors play as easily washed in the machine. RRP £12.90 

UNIQLO kids

I then took a look at the men’s collection and although it is very nice you won’t catch my husband in skinny jeans and tight tops, he likes loose and cool as in ‘doesn’t make me hot’ so as he’s not in great need of much he got two new t shirts, in jewel colours. One thing I will mention is the colours were different to how I had imagined them RRP £4.90

UNIQLO

Then it was my turn and as you can imagine it took some time. I was very impressed with the selection available and even more so with the prices, some great threads on there for next to nothing. I opted for a printed skirt RRP £14.90 that I’d like to wear over tights with ballerinas or with boots as the autumn approaches and I teamed it up with a yellow long sleeved t shirt RRP £12.90

UNIQLO

I need to find someone to take a photo of me wearing my rags!

Disclosure: I was asked by UNIQLO to spend £100 to dress the family, my total came to £103.00 all opinions of the products are my own

Tesco school uniformI just had the most amazing online experience, instead of dragging the girls around shop after shop trying on uniform, shoes and exhausting them whilst searching for the essentials we’ll be needing over the next few months I popped on to the Tesco Clothing website and bought the bulk of their uniform for just over £50.

Tesco have spent a lot of time reviewing their school uniform offer to parents and making sure that their products tick all of the boxes that uniform has to.

Value for money

Prices have been kept to an absolute minimum and this is evident the moment you start selecting the garments of your choice. Cardigans in all typical school colours from £3 and black leather shoes from £8, plimsoles with easy velcro fastenings, perfect for youngsters who struggle with laces and buckles.

Quality

I have looked at the uniform in the more expensive stores on our high street and compared it with what’s on offer at Tesco and in all fairness I can’t really see any huge difference, the fabrics used are more or less identical, the cut is similar – allowing for growing children and the finished product off the shelf doesn’t show any marked difference

tesco school uniform

Improved features

I love the adjustable waistbands, all of my children have been skinny and often the clothes for their age size are too big in the waist, by having the handy elastic with buttons on the inside means I can get the right length trousers or skirt and adjust the waistband throughout the year as they grow.

tesco school uniform

The permanent pleats are a great idea too, saving much time in the ironing department, also I find with too much ironing the fabric starts to ‘shine’ these handy permanent pleats cut down on your ironing pile and still look smart at the same time. It also means if you’re in a rush to turn uniform around you can skip the ironing and use as it comes off the line!

tesco school shoes

Another great feature to look out for is their Teflon fabric protector assuring materials last longer, this I’ll have to get back to you around Christmas time. I did notice uniform I bought last year which looked perfect in September started to look pretty washed out by the time we got to December so personally I’m hoping the Teflon fabric protector will do the job for me.

These shoes are gorgeous aren’t they? I’ll take photos at half term to let you know how they survive … or not :)

tesco school shoes

What we bought

2 x scallop trim green cardigans – £3.00 ea
2 x jersey pinafore dresses – £6.00 ea
2 x packs of white knee high socks – £4.00
2 x white short sleeved shirt – £3.00
2 x Butterfly plimsoles – £3.50
1 x leather shoes – £12.50
1 x Bow shoes – £8.00
1 x pack of knickers – £2.50
1 pack of ankle socks – £4.00
oh and a fabulous black biker jacket for me! – £28.00

Tesco biker jacket

colourful dove boxThere comes a time in every child’s life when melamine and plastic just won’t do’

“I’m a big girl mummy’

“I’m a princess mummy.”

It’s been a while now that the baby cutlery is too small and we’ve moved on to butter knives and dessert forks to get the girls used to handling Big Girl’s cutlery but the plates? What if? is always on my mind but then Colourful Dove got in touch and asked me if I’d like to review their gorgeous children’s tableware sets.

I took a look at their website and fell in love with their clean and simple designs suing bright colours that cannot fail to encourage children to enjoy their food.

Colourful Dove were very kind and sent through two sets for us to try out, they know twins and wanted to avoid arguments from the start.

On arrival they come in a beautiful presentation box so would make the perfect gift for a child, carefully wrapped in bubble wrap the pieces already look gorgeous in the box.

colourful dove box

Now, I imagined I would be concocting something quite special for such beautiful china plates but as it happened, the day I decided to try them out was one of the hottest of the year, the girls had been grazing all day rather than eating ‘proper meals’ so come tea time we were all tired and ratty so we chose simple spaghetti on toast with some grated cheese on top, one of the girls favourites ‘quick teas’.

colourful dove sunshine tea

So ladies and gentlemen that day we had Sunshine for tea as it was such a hot day

Disclosure: Colourful Dove sent me through two sets of their gorgeous china for the twins, they decided themselves to swap tumblers so they both had a bit of pink and a bit of orange otherwise the sets are one colour only. Thank you Colourful Dove, proper plates for proper princesses

princess meals colourful dove

Room Copenhagen lunch boxesWhen Room copenhagen got in touch to ask me if I’d like to review their kids lunch boxes I knew it was going to be a yes.

The lunchbox is one of the child’s most important pieces of equipment and chosen properly will last all year long, therefore it has to be visually pleasing to the child in question. On this note Room Copenhagen have come up trumps with lots of really funky cool designs to choose from.

We went for the LEGO boxes and they were an immediate hit, there are different sized boxes allowing you to pack fruit separately or snacks away from the main meal in the large box.

At first the girls struggled to open their boxes as they were used to a different click, clack button style but once they realised the top slips off the bottom they were away.

The drink bottle has a screw head to drink from, my only concern is the head is not then attached to the bottle and therefore in a busy lunch room could get lost. Also the bottle has an un-screwable bottom allowing a quick empty over a sink and refill which is great for quick cleaning but we spotted this when Alice twisted it by mistake and got herself wet! Luckily for us we only had water in it which soon dried but worth taking note of for smaller children. A good squeeze tight should avoid other accidents.

room copenhagen lunch boxes

Without a doubt the LEGO boxes are a huge hit with the kids and they are bound to create conversation, in case you’re wondering sadly they do not stack on top of each other like LEGO but they do all fit comfortably together in the girls’ lunch bags.

I’ll have to wait until they are back to school in September to see if all the various boxes return home each day, being used to one box that holds everything this will present a new challenge but I’m sure the style of these boxes wins over last year’s ‘boring ones’. I’ll also have to name tops and bottoms  with name stickers to make sure all can return home.

room copenhagen lunch boxes

Click here for more information on Room Copenhagen’s fabulous products

The big family school year diaryOur first school year over, as the bell rings at 3pm the girls will no longer be Badgers in Reception year but we’ll be looking forward to our Year 1 as Koalas.

I already have a list of dates on a piece of paper somewhere that the school sent out months ago. Every single date I need for holidays for the scholastic year 2013 – 2014. When we break up, when there are development days and when we go back to school.

Add to that after school clubs, all of which have payments to make by certain dates.

Add to that swimming lessons and maybe gymnastics too as they loved it so much this year you can see I am already awash with dates.

Just think of all the other bits that need adding in; car insurance renewal, upgrade mobile phone, family birthdays. The more I think, the more goes on and then after all of that you have the weekly additions to add in too.

Child’s birthday party – Don’t forget to buy a card and a gift, play date with best friend and don’t forget any commitments you may have. Coffee with the twin mums, lunch with BFF and girls night out with the school mums.

Don’t forget dad’s out with his work colleagues on that Friday so you’ll need a meal for one that night.

It’s endless isn’t it but thankfully Mum’s Office sent me through their BIG Family School Year Diary Aug 2013 – Aug 2014 and now I am going to spend some time filling out all my pages. #Ilovestationary

First point I want to make is it’s beautiful, I chose the raspberry colour and it’s bright and fun, like I’m hoping this year will be.

  • The BIG Family School Year Diary is BIG it measures 24cm by 19cm with 176 pages.  
  • It has a thin hardback cover with rounded corners
  • a gusset pocket on the inside back cover – nice idea!
  • 2 grosgrain ribbons
  • an elastic strap to hold it all together and a pen loop.

What’s inside the BIG Family School Year Diary

IMPORTANT – pages to record personal information for all members of the family, a Pocket Money Record and Dates To Remember;

the big family school year diary

NEED TO KNOW- need to know numbers, websites to remember and a ‘In Case I Lose My Mobile’

OUR PLANS containing calendars and planners for the current and following years, pages for Travel Plans;

the big family school year diary

OUR WEEK to record the regular weekly routine – one for each term;

THE WEEK – a double page spread with a GRID

the big family school year diary
NOTES where you can shove everything else

Verdict: I love it. It costs £16.95 and is a beautiful diary to have in the home and refer to as the weeks rush by because they do and it’s sometimes difficult to stay on top of it all.

Disclosure: I was sent the BIG family school year diary to review, all opinions are my own.