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NEVER KNOWINGLY CONCISE // LEGO: BUILD TO GIVE

LEGO // BUILD TO GIVE

Help make this festive period brighter for 500,000 children around the world.

 

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know, we’re a LEGO family.  Like, not just a family who has a son who LIVES FOR LEGO (which we are)… but a family who all love to join in with the brick-making too. Just this weekend I completed four LEGO builds – and refused to let Eli play with any of them until I had managed to fully complete the set of four. Yep, I’m THAT Mum.  For me, I find LEGO therapeutic. It works as cathartically as writing or reading does. I find solace in LEGO.  Perhaps this is also why it has the power to hold Eli’s concentration for so long too.

Eli lives for LEGO.

Take today for example, its Children in Need (BBC Appeal Day, 2018), and the theme at Eli’s school was “Do Your Thing” (dress as someone you aspire to be/something you’d like to be). Eli chose to be a LEGO MASTER BUILDER. OF COURSE HE DID! There ain’t no costume for that, I so engineered this one myself (if you want a DIY post on this, do let me know).

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Eli builds the most interesting, engineeringly brilliant and clever creations. Just like  how I am with cooking; Eli rarely likes to stick to the instructions… he prefers for his own imagination to take full focus. It’s been a real education for him – especially as he was born with several conditions; LEGO has potentially helped with his fine & gross motor skills, as well as encouraging role play and story telling. We’ve seen first hand how powerful a “toy” LEGO really can be for a child. With this in mind, I wanted to share with you an AMAZING initiative that LEGO have set up.

This festive season, the most awesome gift you can give is the gift of play.  Visit a LEGO Store between now  and 9th December or use your LEGO Bricks at home to build a holiday ornament. Display it in-store, in LEGO Life (on the app) or share online with #BuildToGive. For every ornament built and shared, LEGO will donate a LEGO set to a child in need of play. Now how good is that? And so simple too. I know a lot of you will have LEGO at home, so lets get building and sharing!

LEGO Life

If you have budding builders at home, they can join #BuildToGive in LEGO Life by building a Christmas decoration at home, uploading and sharing it in the app

Help LEGO reach THEIR goal!

By participating in #BuildToGive you can help LEGO reach their goal of giving 500,000 children the chance to play this Christmas.

 

HERE IS A QUICK EXAMPLE OF A SIMPLE FESTIVE HEART ORNAMENT that I MADE

 

FIND OUT MORE

Find out more about the Build To Give initiative, including  building instructions to give you a quick-start, by heading to LEGO.com or click here.

 

 


Legal disclaimer: *In connection with the #BuildToGive 2018 Holiday Campaign, the LEGO® Group will donate one LEGO set to charity for every #BuildToGive ornament that is built either at home with LEGO Bricks and shared on social media with #BuildToGive or in a LEGO Retail Store. Children under the age of 13 must obtain parent’s permission to post to social media. Total donation not to exceed 500,000 LEGO sets with a total value of 5,000,000 USD. No purchase necessary.

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MONKEY // IS MISSING IN TRANSIT

THIS IS A PLEA ON BEHALF OF ELI HILL.

This time last week was our final day in Billericay, and subsequently, the last day we saw Monkey. During the commotion of saying goodbye, along with poor Eli being weighed down with, what can only be described as “everything bar the kitchen sink”, Monkey was set down in his classroom as he handed out treats to his fellow classmates and we then dashed off on our journey straight up to Manchester.

By the time we realised he was MIA, it was too late and the school had closed for the day. Eli put on a brave face and cuddled me in the hotel that night, instead of his beloved pal, Monkey.

The next day a member of school staff kindly posted Monkey back to us (last Thursday) via Royal Mail (somewhere in #Billericay, though exact location is TBC). This is the last known sighting of Monkey. To say we’re devastated that he hasn’t (YET) turned up is an understatement. Eli and I are basically sat in the front window, every day, waiting for his return. I keep telling Eli that Monkey is having a lovely time, on his jollies, building sandcastles, having some “me time”, before he joins us in our new Mancunian family home…

Monkey has been there every single day for Eli (and sometimes, for me and @jameshill.tv too!). He was given to Eli by our wonderful friend @goshb many moons ago. Since then Monkey has been to there to cuddle Eli through the night when we couldn’t, when Eli had one of his many hospital appointments, he’s been there through FOUR house moves – including one to Berlin and back. He was there for Eli on his first day of nursery and on his last day at school. He was there through the vaccinations, chickenpox and the wedding’s and the birthday’s and the halloween’s and at the table with us on Christmas Day and not forgetting the crazy car journey’s we all enjoy. Monkey has played in the snow and on the beach, at the museum and at the park. He’s seen the loveliest sunsets and fireworks. They had picnic’s and parties. Through the tough time and the fun times. Monkey was always the one who could fix it, make everything ok. Even when Eli dressed him up in his undercrackers and socks, Monkey never once complained.

We know Monkey is of the @jellycat variety – we’re not sure which ‘design’, but we do know that its now retired. We’re facing the stark reality that the ‘original’ Monkey may not turn up (Royal Mail, SHAME ON YOU, if he doesn’t). I have tried contacting our local Royal Mail depot, but unfortunately I can’t get past the automated robot as I don’t have tracking… and apparently,  they cannot look for specific parcels in your depot without the tracking either.

So here is the plea.

Do you or someone you know have this EXACT monkey? We’re more than happy to purchase, we just want Eli to have his friend back by his side – its bee an especially hard week for him, considering the move from Essex to Manchester without any real-life pal’s yet.

We can’t believe we’ve managed to leave him and hopefully he is *just* delayed in transit, but if not, please do help. If your child has lost something that they find pure comfort and love in, then you’ll understand. Eli is heartbroken (as am I).

PLEASE SHARE – #GetMonkeyBackToEli

Thank you for reading
C

xxxx

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BACK | TO | BLIGHTY.

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The first weekend back in England and we had a forage in our new back garden, where we found the most marvellous rhubarb! 

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…and just like that, we’re back in Blighty.

For me, our secondment to Berlin feels like such a whirlwind. A total blur. We were there 9 months, and for the most part, I loved it. Loved being at work, loved the people, the culture, the places to see and the things to do. Berlin was incredible for kids. Which I had never anticipated! Even restaurants will go out of their way for children. It’s a highly child-friendly City.

But the truth is, England is home. And in Essex, we’ve found a county that I’m not sure I could ever move away from again.

Also, just wanted to shout out to some new friends. I felt majorly disconnected and really quite lonely when we were living out in Berlin. Whilst this may, or may not, come as a surprise, I found the Insta-Community to be ERRRRRRRRYTHING. I can’t tell you how much the chatter and support helped me. Even if I wasn’t mustering the energies to join in – just keeping abreast of how everyone else was getting on, also helped. Never underestimate the power of a Digital-shoulder, and how it can impact on others! I look forward to meeting you all IRL soon.

It feels good to be back.

I have started writing a Things I Missed list, in true Mother Of All Lists (aka and/or Clemmie @Peckham_Mamma) style! Might be helpful for prospective/current Ex-Pat’s living in all different corners of this lovely globe of ours.

So here is to being back in Blighty. I’ve missed you, you gorgeous thing.

MM.

 

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Love. Want. NEED: Bella Freud | The 1970 Jumper.

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London jewellery designer, Sheherazade Goldsmith, wearing Bella Freud at home: Credit The Telegraph.


I first saw this jumper around 2 years ago. It was being adorned by the likes of Kate and Alexa; and like my favourite fashion-people I’d also lusted after the monochrome version of the now infamous 1970 slogan jumper. Much to my family and mates’ disgust confusion dislike, we’re big fans of the 1970’s. Fans of the fashion, music and most predominantly, the design and (Mid Century) interiors of the era. So this jumper struck more than *just* sartorial chord with me. But then I saw a Telegraph article on (aptly named) jewellery designer Sheherazade Goldsmith, and she was wearing a red version of my favourite woollen piece. Be still my beating heart…

So from then, I lusted for the red colourway. The super-soft Merino Wool. The cut and design. The design itself takes its signature motif from a book clipping that Freud used to wear pinned onto a plain jumper.

I do have splashes of colour in my mostly-black wardrobe and I would tend to go for red or green, unless its a vintage or leopard print (or red or green variations of leopard print!) of course.

So the red 1970 Jumper by the lovely Bella Freud is firmly on my NEED list. More or less at the top.

If you so desire, you can own this seemingly cult classic by clicking the link here: Bella Freud at Selfridges.com

Which colourway would you go for?

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#MoMWishList

MM.

 

About Bella Freud:

Freud was born in London, England. She is the daughter of Bernardine Coverley and artist Lucian Freud and great granddaughter of the inventor of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud.

She is renowned for her signature jumpers Je t’aime Jane, Ginsberg is God and 1970. Fans of Bella Freud include Alexa Chung, Laura Bailey, Kate Moss and Alison Mosshart.

Bella launched her eponymous label in 1990. Her first collection featured sexy knitted dresses in bookish colours, mini tailored suits and a small selection of shoes and bags. Bella went on to win Most Innovative Designer at the London Fashion Awards in 1991 and produced a Super 8 short film ‘Day at the Races’ as an alternative to a fashion show. Bella’s second film ‘More Clothes’ directed by Kate Garner was shot on 35mm film and showcased the SS 1992 collection.

Seasonal catwalk shows followed, then in 1999 Bella began her fashion film collaboration with John Malkovich, co writing and producing three short films: Strap Hanging, Lady Behave, and Hideous Man. In 2001 Bella also collaborated with rock icon Anita Pallenberg on Memo, a limited edition magazine featuring the AW2000 collection, inspired by the film Performance.

From March 2000 to 2003 Bella consulted for British heritage brand Jaeger, rejuvenating their image and bringing British dressing to a younger audience.

Bella’s love of film continued and in 2013 she art directed the short film Je T’Ecoute, produced by Laura Bailey starring Lara Stone, which screened at White Cube Bermondsey. Bella’s directorial debut ‘Girl Boils Egg’ is a two minute film featuring Punk, commissioned by Nick Knight for SHOWstudio.com.

2013 also saw the development of the RTW collections and expansion into the beauty market. The Bella Freud Eau de Parfum collection was launched in 2014 and has gained a cult following.

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Me & Mine | Me and my shadow.

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This is me and my shadow. My darling boy.

We were walking back from an afternoon at the local park. Eli was obsessed with the big boat, that is on springs, kind of bouncy-see-saw-thing. It doesn’t do an awful lot, but it definitely captured Eli’s imagination.

MM.

 

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Belle & Boo | Very Merry Christmas (book).

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This week I received the most wonderful book in the post – “Belle & boo, and the Very Merry Christmas.

We’re mad on Christmas, always have been – always will be. I think most people are surprised our tree and decorations aren’t up yet to be honest… but we’re traditionalists since Mr Eli arrived, getting a real tree again this year, on 1st December.

Anyway, I digress. We had decided last year, that we would buy Mr Eli a Christmas book every year; that we would sit and read on Christmas Eve. Last year we went classic with  The Night Before Christmas, by Clement. C. Moore. This Christmas Eve, we’ll be reading our amazingly beautiful “and the Very Merry Christmas” book by Belle & Boo creator, Mandy Sutcliffe.

I’d had this book on my ‘wish list’ since it was announced on pre-order. I was TOO excited. So imagine my absolute joy at opening the book and seeing the below specially signed copy from Mandy herself.

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I’ve had a very quick flick through the first few pages, but do not want to look further – I don’t want to spoil our Christmas Eve read!

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But from what I’ve seen, I can assure you, this is a very pretty book that will make just the perfect Christmas present for any little one! We really cannot wait to read this one.

Do you have any Christmas traditions you and your family create year-on-year?

MM.

 

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Mr Eli’s Quarters | Lion Print by Ingela P Arrhenius.

INGELA P ARRHENIUS - LION PRINT, £20.00. Archie's Boutique.
INGELA P ARRHENIUS – LION PRINT, £20.00; Archie’s Boutique.

We’re still yet to properly decorate and sort out Mr Eli’s stomping ground, otherwise known as his quarters bedroom. But that doesn’t stop me trawling the internet for neat finds like this one!

I just LOVE this 50’s inspired print by Ingela P Arrhenius. Mr Eli is a Leo the Lion himself, so I thought this would be quite fitting for his bedroom. (Not that we’re a family of the zodiac I might add!).

I found this print on Archie’s Boutique and here is what they say about it:

This lovely chap has so much character and personality!

Ingela P Arrhenius’ Lion poster is full of vibrant colours that are guaranteed to brighten up any room, whether it be a child’s or adults.

Stockholm based artist Ingela Arrhenius designs the most wonderful cartoon-like illustrations that are inspired by work from the 50s and 60s.

50 x 70 cm

There are several other prints available online too – such as a Tiger print and Alphabet print. Just so cool.

MM.

 

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Pinterest.com/MaternalMusings

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Did you know?

Did you know, I’m pinning my ‘loves, wants and NEEDS’ over on Pinterest? No?! You kidding me?!

Follow me HERE!

MM.

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What Eli Wore | The #MrandMrsSpinks wedding.

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What Eli Wore:
Heritage waistcoat, shirt and tie set – £21, Next.
Heritage formal trouser – £13, Next.
Classic Converse Low-Tops in Black – £24.99, Office KIDS.

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Our very dear friends, Camilla and Tom, got married last month. It was an honour for OH and I to be their witnesses. So it was only right that Mr Eli got dressed up smart-as-a-carrot for the very special event! We went to a few shops for his outfit – but this one from Next was just perfect. In fact, it was ridiculously perfect! <Scroll down>
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For half of the day Eli didn’t wear his waistcoat. It was a massive struggle to get any clothes on him – he’s such a wriggler (and SO strong now!). We did eventually get the waistcoat on him for the meal however. I did look for a smashing pair of brogues for Eli to go with his Heritage suit – again to match his Daddy. But alas, I could not find any in his size. He’s the first size in infant Converse now, so this was their first outing! He looked wicked!

The shirt that comes with this set is great – it has a stiffened button-down collar, like an adult size! I particularly liked the grown up grid print. The Heritage suit is a cotton blend with fine tweed effect print. The trousers are adjustable which is really handy. The suit is quite hardwearing; something you always need to think about with toddlers, especially as Eli spent a lot of his time crawling around! The waistcoat has a lovely pocket square detail – good job it was stitched in, Eli would have had it straight out!
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Mr Eli and his Daddy’s had matching tie’s!

These two ties were purchased almost a year apart – AND in two (very) different shops! Eli’s mini-me tie comes as part of the Heritage set from Next, while OH’s tie was from AllSaints; which he purchased for a wedding last year at River Cottage.
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Mr Eli was such a good boy during the ceremony and meal; and had a wonderful time playing with the other children in the creche.

This Heritage suit from Next is perfect for weddings, christenings, birthday’s – any special occasion you can think of really! Mr Eli received lots of compliments about how smart he looked. A definite must-buy!

The Heritage set from Next is available to purchase online, here. This suit is available as separates, 3 months – 6 years. Prices do vary depending on the size.

MM.

 

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REVIEW | John Lewis Lambskin Stroller Liner.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

JOHN LEWIS LAMBSKIN STROLLER & CAR SEAT LINER, £50.
Click here to purchase at JohnLewis.com

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As it’s getting a little bit chilly, my thoughts are turning to Winter. Perhaps a little early for those who are greedily enjoying the sunshine in parts of the British Isles still! But hey ho, it’s always good to plan ahead. We know it’s going to be another baltic Autumn, nevermind Winter, so let’s get to it!

For this review I’m looking at the AMAZING Lambskin liner from John Lewis. Possibly just given away what I think of the liner, before I’ve even started…

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

So, with many things for Eli we own, we purchased them before Eli had arrived, or had them on our ‘must purchase list’. This Lambskin Stroller and Carseat Liner was right up there, at the top of our wish list. We’re big fan’s of sheepskin and the like in our house, so we knew this Lambskin liner would suit Eli perfectly too. Towards the end of last year we finally purchased this one, pictured, from the John Lewis in Bluewater.

As you can see, this liner is super soft and cosy. Apparently, it can be used during both cold and warm weather. The Lambskin is good at regulating temperature during the Summer months. Mr Eli gets too hot in EVERYTHING however so our liner has been in storage over Summer – but it still looks brand new!

The liner, you’ll be glad to hear, can be machine washed at 40c. Although, I haven’t washed ours yet. I’m sure now that Eli is fully weaned we may need to wash this in the very near future however!

At the pricetag of £50, I did think at the time, “Is this expensive?”. But no, it really isn’t! Look how new it still looks almost a year on. It’s a piece of actual lambswool, it’s incredible quality – and frankly looks a lot more expensive than £50! Definitely worth the investment to have your little one cosy, snug and secure.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Another massive bonus is that this liner can be used in car seats (big and small) and is universal for most strollers and pushchairs. Obviously, not to be used on prams or carrycots without a harness. The liner is designed with carefully positioned holes so the harness and crotch straps can be threaded through. Our stroller is used with our iCandy Strawberry. As you can see, it looks pretty excellent.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Awww, here he is, loving his Lambskin liner! The top two photos are from when Mr Eli was 6 months old, sleeping through his very first snowfall. The bottom two photos are from last week – when shock horror, we HAD sunshine outside! Hence Eli’s shorts and beaming smile.

Alas, it’s things like this liner that make me excited for Winter. I just love cosy walks in the chilly air (as long as it’s not windy air, or air full of rain. Ugh).

So there you have it, the simply wonderful Lambskin Stroller and Carseat Liner from John Lewis. I literally cannot recommend it enough!

MM.

NB: John Lewis have not asked for this review. I simply adore this liner and wanted to share my opinions on it.