photobox: a review

A few weeks ago, photobox contacted me and asked me to review one of their photo gift ideas. Initially I was going to go for a photo book, but then I decided I would see how the canvas prints turned out.

I signed up for an account (very easy), uploaded my photo (again, easy) and played around with the options. In the end I opted for a small square canvas print of this photo.

I ordered the canvas on Friday evening. On Monday evening as we were having our tea, our neighbour knocked on the door with a parcel he had taken in for me. I was very impressed when I realised it was the canvas.

Photobox send the canvas with everything you need to hang it on the wall, but as I have yet to decide where it will go, it is currently free standing on the mantelpiece.

You can choose to have white edges, but I opted to have the picture wrap around.

I am extremely impressed with the service from photobox. The website is easy to use, and once you have an  account you also get sent special offers. The quality is really good, and the delivery was fast.  As an added bonus, when you sign up for an account you automatically get 40 free prints (you just pay for p&p). Can’t say fairer than that. I suspect that they might be a bit busier than usual over the next couple of weeks, so if you want pictures for christmas, you may need to order soon.

This is a sponsored post.

i was yours and you were mine…

Earlier this week, I was kneeling down to change Little M’s nappy for the eleventy third time that day when I felt a pop at my knee. Despite my wearied body, it was not actually my knee, but my jeans. After nearly three years of crawling around after little folk, my favourite jeans have worn through.

Big M thinks this is hilarious and keeps pointing out my “hole” snigger. I obviously haven’t stopped wearing them (hello, they’re my favourite jeans). Every time I catch sight of my “hole” I remember the last time I had ripped jeans…

*goes all fuzzy as we transport back to 1988*

I was in top juniors as it was then (year six to you young folk). For my eleventh birthday I was lucky enough to receive a pair of stonewashed jeans. Oh yes. But not only that, I got a matching stonewashed denim jacket. That’s right folks, I did the dreaded Double Denim. I was eleven, cut me some slack.

I thought I was the bees knees. I wore my Double Denim Disaster Delight with my oh so unbelievably cool white moccasin shoes. Again, I must point out I was eleven. I had no clue.

Anyhoo, as I said, I thought I was dead cool. I was very into a band called Bros. Remember them?  Bros were the first band I really really got into. I had posters on my wall, their album Push (on TAPE) that I listened to all the time on my walkman. I watched everything they were on, scoured every interview with them in Smash Hits. No word of a lie, I was going to marry Matt Goss.

Bros fans were known as Brosettes. Brosettes wore beer caps on their DM shoes, and jeans with ripped knees.

At eleven, there was no way I would be allowed to wear a beer cap on my shoes. So, instead, I did what any self respecting Brosette would do. I took a pair of scissors to my jeans. I had had them a week.

I had single handedly turned my cool jeans into uber cool jeans. All in the slash of some denim. I was really rather pleased with myself.

My mum was not quite so pleased. She didn’t understand that the only way that Matt Goss would know I was his future wife was by me having drafty knees. No matter how hard I tried to explain, she couldn’t see past the fact that I had just slashed the knees of my brand spanking new jeans. I got in big trouble, and my jeans were taken away *sob*. I was devastated.

And now, 22 years later I have a hole in my jeans. The eleven year old me is loving it.

Reader, I didn’t marry him. I soon saw the error of my ways and fell head over heels in love with Jordan from New Kids.

personal challenge: december

December always makes me happy. Once you hit the first of December it’s like a switch is flicked and everything becomes festive and magical. This year is even more exciting than normal. Big M is 2 3/4 and it is magical watching her discover christmas and the excitement that comes with it.

Last month my challenge revolved around presents for the family. Obviously due to my stunning lack of organisation I still have to work on that throughout this month. I could have just rolled that challenge over, National Lottery stylee into this month but that would be dull.

Mr TOPP and I have already agreed that this year we aren’t going to get each other presents. We don’t need to, and we are trying to save money (we will be making up for it next year, I have just decided). However, there is one present we can give each other that costs no money.

For those of you that read regularly, you will be aware that I have been slightly lacking in shut eye over recent months. Not that I have harped on about it mentioned it much. I think one of the best presents Mr TOPP and I could give each other this year is the gift of sleep.

Last week we commenced Operation Zzz, which involved us trying to teach Little M to fall asleep in her cot by herself, without needing us to pick her up, sing, rock or feed her. And do you know what? We had almost immediate success. Each night we had a shouty wake up that lasted an hour or so, but she got better at settling herself. And after four days she slept from 8pm to 6.45am! Mr TOPP then had to go away for work and unfortunately things got a little bit worse again. Well, when you have been up for an hour and a half already and it’s 3am, and you have norks, and you know that they will solve everything, wouldn’t you? Well, of course you would. So would I.

Mr TOPP gets home tomorrow. Little M settles better for him as she knows there is no chance of a feed so it’s not worth bothering. I am hoping that once he is home we can get back to the heady days of 6.45am lie ins. Imagine.

tiddlyompompom

If you took part in November’s challenge, don’t forget to tell us how you got on here.

Want to join in? You are very welcome. Just set yourself a goal for the next month – your very own Personal Challenge for December.

At the beginning of the month, decide what it is that you want to achieve over the next thirty days. It could be anything: losing a couple of pounds, getting the weeding done, making something, learning a new skill. Whatever you like. Putting my management hat on for a second: make sure it is something you can actually achieve in a month. Be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based).

Write a post about what you want to achieve and why. If you link back to this post then others can join in too – you can use the badge if you like (the code is over on the right there). Make sure you put the link to your post on the linky list at the bottom of this post (it’s open for two weeks). Use the opportunity to seek advice from/help out/support fellow bloggers. Then spend the next month attempting to achieve your goal. At the end of the month I’ll be back to let you know how I have got on with my personal challenge and there will be another linky for you to share your success. So come back and tell us how you got on and we can all give you a pat on the back.

Ready?

Set?

Go! Go! Go!


    This linky list is now closed.

november challenge: how was it for you?

Ah, November. Such a funny month. It seems to take forever to get started, but then suddenly it’s December and OHMYGOD only three weeks until christmas.

My challenge for November, if you recall, was to have bought or made 15 out of the 30 odd presents we need for the coming month. Well, like I said, November seems to take ages to get going, and apparently so do I. I have a list of what we are making/buying for people and was all “yeah, I will get online and order the stuff we need tonight…no, wait, I’ll do it tomorrow” (repeat 15 times). And then, BAM! It was almost December.

So, I ordered the stuff we need to make most of the presents ten days ago. It arrived at the end of last week, and Big M has been WAY too busy since to get creative. But the good news is, we have the stuff, so once we get a free afternoon (or three) a lot of presents will be ticked off the list.

I have however got six presents sorted, so it’s not all bad. Still, there are now only 24 days to go, so we had better get a wriggle on.

tiddlyompompom

And now it’s your turn. How did you get on with your challenge for November? Use the linky tool below to let us know how you got on.

And if you want to set yourself a challenge for December don’t forget to come back tomorrow and sign up.


    This linky list is now closed.

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personal challenge: september

September? Already? How on earth did that happen? I cannot believe how quickly this year is going.

And did you know that there are only 115 days until Christmas? No? Well you do now.

EEEEEEEP!

I don’t know about you, but every year I say I am going to start Christmas shopping early in order to spread the cost. Every year we do most of it in December. Tsk.

We have a huge family, and approximately half of them have their birthdays in the two weeks either side of Christmas. If we aren’t careful, it can turn into a ridiculously expensive time. This year I am on maternity leave, so money has to go a bit further (don’t get me started on maternity pay…) so we need to be extra careful. When I was on maternity leave with Big M we had what we called a “makey doey” Christmas. Basically we made as many presents as we could. It was fun and we surprised ourselves with our creativity. Our aim is to do it again this year, only this time we have Big M to help.

My Personal Challenge for September isn’t to have started the Christmas shopping/making (although if I have then that will earn me a gold star…). No, by the end of this month I want to have come up with ideas of who will be getting what so we can set about acquiring/making them. Because, let’s face it, given my nack for procrastination, I could end up being VERY busy on 23rd December…

tiddlyompompom

If you took part in August’s challenge, don’t forget to tell us how you got on here.

Want to join in? You are very welcome. Just set yourself a goal for the next month – your very own Personal Challenge for September.

At the beginning of the month, decide what it is that you want to achieve over the next thirty days. It could be anything: losing a couple of pounds, getting the weeding done, making something, learning a new skill. Whatever you like. Putting my management hat on for a second: make sure it is something you can actually achieve in a month. Be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based).

Write a post about what you want to achieve and why. If you link back to this post then others can join in too – you can use the badge if you like (the code is over on the right there). Make sure you put the link to your post on the linky list at the bottom of this post (it’s open for two weeks). Use the opportunity to seek advice from/help out/support fellow bloggers. Then spend the next month attempting to achieve your goal. At the end of the month I’ll be back to let you know how I have got on with my personal challenge and there will be another linky for you to share your success. So come back and tell us how you got on and we can all give you a pat on the back.

Ready?

Set?

Go! Go! Go!


  1. Septembers challenge @ what did you do today mama?
  2. Spetembers Personal Challenge @ two become four
  3. No alcohol during the week??? Mediocre Mum

    This linky list is now closed.

baby doll

My sister was born when I was 22 months old. I don’t remember her being born, but I do remember the fact that I had my own baby around the same time.

My parents sister bought me a Tiny Tears doll. I loved her, and while my mum cared for her new baby, I cared for mine. Every time my sister had a bath, my baby had a bath. Each time my mum put my sister in the sling, I put my baby in her sling. It was a genius way of a) keeping me occupied while my mum was busy looking after the new baby and b) preventing me from feeling pushed out by my little sister.

My boyfriend and I thought that maybe we would try something similar when our daughter becomes a big sister in a few weeks time. We were in town the other day and had a look in some toy shops for a suitable doll that the baby could bring for its big sister*. At that point we had no idea what flavour baby we were getting. I wanted to get a baby doll dressed in neutral colours so that our daughter could decide whether it was a boy or a girl. Could we find such a thing? Could we f*%$.

Dolls come in either pink or blue, and accessories for them are clearly girls or boys. Why? Also, you can’t just buy a blue doll and say it’s a girl because dolls are now fully equipped with genitalia. That never happened in my day.

Since getting in a grump in the shops due to the lack of non-stereotyped choice, I have looked online. It appears that all baby dolls are either pink or blue. Some are also just plain terrifying (look into their faces next time you are in a toy shop. I defy you not to have nightmares). Now we know we are having a girl I don’t mind it being a girl doll, I just don’t want it to be dripping in pink.

So, help me dear t’interweb. Where can I get a non-scary, non-stereotyped doll suitable for a new baby to bring her big sister?

Did your new sibling bring you anything? Did your younger children bring the older ones a present when they were born?

*Just so you know, the baby would be bringing her big brother the same thing if she had one.

red and yellow and pink and green. orange and purple and blue…

I don’t tend to wear many colourful clothes. Mostly I live in black, grey or brown. Especially for work. However, I love wearing stupid colourful socks inside my boots. Knowing I have them on makes me feel less grown up and sensible while I teach my lessons and do grown up stuff like buying a new house.

One of my christmas presents was this notebook.

Since selling our house last week and having an offer accepted on the house we want, this book has become my lifeline. In times of stress I make lists. It’s how I cope, and right now I cannot cope without this book.

I mentioned before that we have fairy lights up all year round, not just at christmas time. Most of the lights are white, but the ones in our living room are multi coloured. They hang from the bookshelves and give the room a warm cosy glow. Although now I look closely I notice the green ones aren’t working. Dagnammit.

And finally, being British, I need my tea. Currently I can only have one cup a day as it seems to send the baby doo-lally. I just finished this cup…

and am now being beaten from the inside.

Yesterday as I left work I saw the MOST AMAZING sunset. The sky was incredible pinks and purples and it was bee-yoot-ifull. Typically I had forgotten my camera so I can’t prove it to you. Annoying.

You can see who did remember their camera’s and what colours they found over at I should be folding laundry.

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love is all around

Seven years ago, way back when we spent our Friday nights out with friends and our Saturdays finding hangover cures, my boyfriend gave me this bracelet for my birthday.

He is awesome at choosing jewellery. It is simple, yet different and I love it. Always have. It rarely leaves my right arm.

If I do take it off it probably means our daughter is teething and needs to chew on it. It is the perfect size and shape to fit in the back of her mouth, and being silver it is hard and cold on her gums. Now she loves it too. If you look closely, you can see teeny tiny teeth marks which makes me love it even more.

See what others love over at I should be folding laundry.

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i want that one

Beth at I should be folding laundry is giving away a $50 gift certificate for the Vintage Pearl.

The jewellery is beautiful, and even if I don’t win, I will be dropping some huge subtle hints and/or treating myself to something in the near future. Clue:

hammered star Product Image

I like the idea of having the initials of our kids, so I’ll have to wait until a) baby #2 arrives and b) we have managed to choose a name.

If you fancy a chance of winning the gift certificate go here.

jealous? moi?

Last christmas my cousin went to Australia. She brought back some Ugg boots for my daughter. We have kept them in the cupboard, waiting for her feet to grow big enough to wear them.

Finally they fit.

And I’m really rather only a teeny tiny bit not at all jealous.

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