Here you will find reviews of products, services and days out. Look out for some fab competitions and giveaways too!

To catch up on tales from the Button household, click HERE

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Every cloud...

When I wrote-off our old car by letting it roll down our steep driveway into the ravine (as the recovery man referred to it) at the bottom of the hill, I was absolutely distraught.

It was so sudden and unexpected. One minute I was lovingly vacuuming the seats, and lobbing bits of digestive biscuit and banana out over the hedge, and the next minute the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner had caught the handbrake button and released it! I jumped out of the way to see my beloved car go hurtling off out of sight, the open doors flying off as they hit trees on the way down.

I was hysterical, and had nightmares for months afterwards, and kept thinking about all the ‘what ifs?’  And I really mourned the loss of this car – it had become part of the family, and had taken us far and wide.

Living in the middle of nowhere with two small children, we obviously had to get another car immediately.  My save-the-planet husband wanted to go smaller and get a Smart car (??!), and I, being a far more practical person (ie knowing that we needed a car that would fit at least four people), wanted to go bigger and get a people carrier – it was the sensible option.

People carriers are looked down on by 4X4 owners (in these parts anyway), and are seen as a little uncool.  But not being a very cool person, and wanting to save myself a lot of cash, I really didn’t care.

Our eldest daughter, Betty, is now at school and the extra seats needed to ferry her and her friends here, there and everywhere have come into their own.  Not to mention the extra boot space for all our camping trips.  I also love that you are much higher up than in an ‘ordinary’ car (sorry old car), and you get to see over hedges and into people’s gardens.

Every so often my youngest daughter will point and say: ‘Why did you let our other car crash down there?’  And my older daughter now has the old car key on her key-ring, which I often find under beds, and in plant pots etc.

But apart from these emotional little reminders now and then, I have finally been able to move on, and have wholeheartedly accepted our new car into our family – in fact, I positively love her! 

And I now feel a real sense of loyalty towards her, and will defend her to the hilt if anyone dare say anything off-hand about people carriers.

Post sponsored by Jennings Ford

Friday, 19 April 2013

Fabuloos Dreams - personalised books for kids

Picture taken from the website
We have just received a fabulous personalised book for Dolly (just in time for her birthday!) from Fabuloos Dreams.

When ordering the book I had to choose from a selection of themes - and opted for 'Dolly The Pirate Princess' (she loves princesses, and pirates for that matter).  

I then had to supply an image of her, and insert her name and age and also the names of a couple of friends.  All very quick and easy.

And the finished product looks amazing!  The quality of the book, the colourful fun images, and the actual story adventure is really top notch.

The image of Dolly's face has been superimposed onto every page, making her the very realistic pirate princess.  And her name and that of her friends gets mentioned throughout the story.

Your child becomes the hero of their own adventure - and I have absolutely no doubt that this will be her favourite birthday present!

Do go and check out these beautiful personalised books for yourself!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Spring is here! (apparently)

Being cooped up all winter long may have you and your family yearning for some diversion. Fortunately, there is nothing like the warmer weather, longer days, and beautiful scenery of spring to get you outside and to enjoy activities with the family.

Head to the zoo
Now is the perfect time to head to the zoo. Many animals are giving birth to their offspring, which means you’ll be able to see the cute babies. Plus, the weather is ideal. Instead of going when it’s scorching hot in the summer, there will be just enough sun and breeze to keep you and the kids comfortable and your chances of seeing more animals increase. Just remember to wear weather appropriate clothes and pile on the sunscreen.

Explore nature trails
Spending time in the great outdoors is fun and refreshing. Take a walk or bike ride through the park or head to a nearby mountain to hike the trails. See if you can spot any animals or identify some of the shrubbery. The beach is also a great option. Even if the water is too cold to swim in yet, you can have a fun afternoon picnic.

Improve the garden
Perhaps your family has a favourite fruit or vegetable. Instead of spending money on store-bought produce try planting it in your garden. It is so much healthier and more cost efficient to have your own supply.  Take this time to get the family involved and to teach your kids about the environmental and health effects of gardening. Even flowers and shrubs can be fun to plant. They’ll enjoy getting their hands dirty and seeing the fruit of their labour when the time comes. If you don’t have your own space, try planting potted tomatoes or heading to a community garden.

Have a family photo shoot
The sun, which is more likely to come out these days, provides the perfect lighting for pictures. Use this as an excuse to get dressed up and create lasting memories of your beautiful family. Make it an exciting occasion by creating a themed shoot or heading to your favorite location. Wearing white and light trousers and matching outfits can be fun, or you can all dress in costumes.

Plan a scavenger hunt
If you are eager to get your kids outside and away from the video games, create a fun game they will enjoy. A backyard scavenger hunt will encourage them to think and spend more time outside. Instead of just hiding eggs like you would do on Easter, make it more challenging. Make it so that they have to solve riddles and clues to arrive at the grand treasure.

Have a back garden barbeque
Create a fresh, healthy meal that everyone will enjoy. Heat up the barbeque and let your kids (if they are old enough) grill their own skewers with meat, vegetables and other ingredients. For a fun dessert make s’mores. They can heat their marshmallows on the grill or over the fire pit.

This is a guest post sponsored by New Look

Dressing the family for springtime

Spring is the perfect time to freshen up your wardrobe, get rid of past season’s styles and invest in some new items which are on-trend this spring/summer. As well as giving your own wardrobe an overhaul, why not give a lift to the look of the rest of your family and indulge in some retail therapy together? Have a day out at the shops picking up clothes with your hubbie and little ones, or browse the internet for clothes if your kids are too young for shopping. Once the cold spell dies away you can celebrate the sun coming out with our pick of the hottest spring trends, which you can adapt to suit all members of the family.

A recurring theme in fashion, gold is often associated with winter evening wear. However, when teamed with white and neutral tones gold is the perfect pick-me-up for a spring outfit. In recent catwalk shows Prada featured gilded leather, whilst Missoni used finely woven gold in coral coloured knits. Knitwear is the perfect way to flash some gold, whether you choose a Missoni number or not. A gold cardi can be worn with a smart or casual outfit and is the ideal way to showcase the trend for yourself and your daughter. For men a gold-toned watch adds instant sophistication to a black suit

Bright colours
Spring is the time to inject some colour into the family’s wardrobe. It’s easy to find bright kids t-shirts and trousers, so why not look for a more unique way to perk up their look? Children will love brightly coloured trainers, which have the added bonus of disguising mucky marks! Brands like Vans have some fab pairs in retro brights and funky patterns. Buying labels for the children is easy using online stores, which offer a number of designer labels in one place. Eye-popping hues are not just for kids though: recently Gucci, Jil Sander and Missoni showcased bright orange in their collections, whilst sunny yellow was seen at Versace, Prada and MaxMara.

Cut out patches, stripes of exposed skin and laser-cut clothes, shoes and accessories are everywhere this spring. Victoria Beckham’s range featured a nude-toned dress with cut out panels at the sides and chest, blending high-quality fabric and flashes of skin seamlessly. Invest in a cut-out dress which falls on the knee, as this modest length will balance a sexy flash of flesh. For kids, look for sandals with cut-out detail on the toes. Mary Janes make perfect spring shoes, as they allow feet to breathe, whilst still providing enough cover-up for rainier days and April showers. Unless your hubbie has a daring fashion streak, this is a trend best left to the girls of the family!

This is a guest post sponsored by alexandalexa