Alright so we’re about to hop in to October, we’re a long way from the end of the year still (at least I like to think so anyway!) so planning for 2015 is just a little bit premature. But the thing is, I like planning, and that’s why I decided I wanted a diary.

It all started when I saw someone post, on Instagram, about a gorgeous academic diary which they’d just got – I like attractive stationery, I Really do and so this prompted me to look at some academic diaries myself. I normally just write lists and then appointments go on my phone but I felt that I was missing out on somewhere to write down When I planned on my posts going live, and it all being in order when I looked at that week view.

Problem was, I just didn’t fall in love with any of them. There was lots of basic, simple looking academic diaries and there was lots of Really nice ones but none of them had the right mix of looking pretty and having a good layout inside. There was one I loved but the postage made it far too expensive.

In steps the compromise.

I bought a Tiny little pocket diary for £1.14 which will last me until the end of the year and then I bought a 2015, full year, diary which I absolutely fell in love with!

I’ve found the pocket diary invaluable, even though it’s tiny, because it just helps so much to have my plans laid out in front of me rather than squished in to lists. It doesn’t have tonnes of space but I can put in enough for blog post schedules as well as any appointments or important dates for Ethan’s school.

The diary I opted for is from a company called Busy B – I ordered the diary from Amazon because I’m so used to it being cheaper on there but I wish I had checked their site first because they had some great bundles of products for a really reasonable price and all of their products are really interesting and have some great features.

I fell in love with the diary, first, because of the adorable bird pattern but it’s when I found out how it was laid out inside that I realised it was Perfect.

The reason it’s called the ‘Busy Life Diary’ is because for each week it has two pages and at the top of each page it has a space for you to write what that page is for. They suggest that you can have one page for family and one for work but for us bloggers it lends itself perfectly to one for family and one for blog. And just look at how much space there is for each side! I can write in blog schedule plans, plans for scheduling tweets, twitter chats, all sorts and then on the other side I can write in Azii’s hours, Ethan’s lunch choices at school, doctors appointments and any other reminders. I love the little ‘reminder’ columns down each side, too, there’s always those little extra notes that need a place to go.

Even more impressively these have little dividers at each three month interval which have little cardboard slots in which allow for you to pop in scraps of paper with notes on, business cards, receipts, tickets, anything that needs a home for now, but needs to stay near your diary too.

Yup, I’m in love with a diary – Being the stationery addict that I am it’s hardly surprising but these guys have just made it perfect. They’ve thought of so many little details, all the things that a busy person needs and they’ve fitted it all in to one, really cute looking journal.

They also do wall calenders and planners etc as well as other home bits. One of the things I Really want to get from them in the future is their chalk board labels which allow you to stick them to your jars and re-label them depending on what’s inside – Not to mention they have a lovely, rustic feel to them.

Yeah, I am a bit in love with this brand and so glad that I randomly decided I needed a new diary this far ahead of the new year – They might have all been sold out if I’d looked later and then I would have been very sad, haha.

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When you suffer from chronic pain/chronic health problems it goes without saying that you enjoy lounge wear. Before Ethan started school (and I had to be up to get him ready for the school run) I used to spend a lot of days in pyjamas – Why? Well pyjamas are made for comfort, they have soft fabrics, aren’t too restrictive and tend to not have uncomfortable seams – When you have sensitive skin and aching muscles a lot of the time this is an absolute dream.

I am not, of course, ignoring the need for lounge wear for the healthier people out there – My goodness we all deserve pj days/lounge wear days. We live in a world where it’s often go go go so clothing which promotes slowing down, having a quiet day and just relaxing – Well why ever not?!

Your Dreamcatcher are a company that believe that you should be able to wear comfortable clothes, lounge wear, but still be able to look good – A match made in heaven I’m sure you’ll agree. They have a small range of beautiful looking clothing which looks comfortable even just in the photos – You can see how soft the fabric looks and when you look at their joggers you can see how soft and padded the waist band is, you’re not going to be rubbed and made uncomfortable in those – They just exude comfort.

I have been sent their off their grey off the shoulder top* which I fell in love with before I even knew I was getting it. I love their logo, the dream catcher is something that really reminds me of my younger days when I had them all over my room and had some really treasured jewellery in the shape of a dream catcher too. For this lovely company the dream catcher represents the idea of capturing and following your dreams – Something which we all need to be reminded of from time to time.

As well as the beautiful lounge wear, Your Dreamcatcher have a range of simple, beautiful jewellery. I am very very tempted to buy the necklace or bracelet even if just because it reminds me, so much of the necklace I had when I was younger.

Yup, sadly, my photos are still taken in the same place – I’ve hunted through the house to find somewhere better, I tried outside but nowhere really worked quite right – So here I am in front of a slightly imperfect door frame again!

Thankfully, the background doesn’t detract from the subject and, in this instance the subject is my beloved ‘Grey off the shoulder top’ – Yes, I said beloved – When you have super sensitive skin and clothing often hurts, something as comfortable as this top is just amazing! And I think you’ll agree, as well as being comfortable it looks just great.

I paired it, for this photo, with my Primark jeggings and lace effect pumps as well as some of my favourite accessories; my Olivia Burton watch from Time By Me, my owl clock necklace (which wasn’t intentionally tucked in but I actually quite like the way it looks) and a pearl style bracelet from Primark – This is the sort of outfit I’d put together if I was planning on staying home but might want to pop out to the garage for supplies or might need to do the school run. I think it’s casual but, to be honest, looks great – Definitely a case of lounge wear with style.

I’m a size 10-12 and I have this in a size 12 which should give you an idea of sizing. It’s not the biggest fit ever but it has plenty of room and stretch in it, too; I think that, if I was a more standard 12, this would still fit me. The top comes from size 8-16 so should fit a range of people. The top does have a tendency to crease but that’s a small price to pay for this level of comfort, in my mind. It washed well and dried quickly (It’s not meant to go in the tumble dryer)

I love the off the shoulder style, I love the shade of grey that they’ve picked and I love love love the logo – I often avoid clothing with logos but this one I am more than happy to make an exception for. For £19.99 I think this is a good price, it’s not as super cheap as places like Primark, but it is cheaper than you’d get for the majority of high st stores and, to be honest, the quality of this clothing is above and beyond a lot of stores. Honestly, in love. I have been really considering the necklace, bracelet and joggers from the range, they may well be going on my Christmas list this year!

To keep up-to-date don’t forget to follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter @petitmoi_bigworld

*This item was sent to me for the purpose of review but I promise that my opinions are my own and utterly true*

I was thrilled when I heard that cooking had become part of the curriculum again; I’ve come across people who don’t know how to cook on a regular basis throughout my life and it’s always such a shame. Cooking is such an invaluable life skill as well as something that really can be enjoyed. I used to cook really regularly and have always loved experimenting with recipes and ingredients; making my own concoctions – I don’t cook as often as I used to, any more, because my health makes it very difficult – I do want to cook more, though, and my new perching stool should help as should some new, simple recipes that won’t be as hard on my hands or my back.

The knock on effect of adults not cooking, of course, is children not cooking and that’s an even bigger shame as we’d, then, have another generation that didn’t cook, missing out on the enjoyment and the necessary skills that it affords. Despite my troubles, I do like to bake with Ethan from time to time, he absolutely loves it.

Ethan baking crumble with Grandad (Yes Grandad always forgets the apron!)

Some parents might not feel confident to help their children cook and they may be looking for extra ideas or motivation and, thankfully, there’s a fun new Youtube channel which is great for children and parents – There’s the chance to learn new skills, practice recipes, see where ingredients come from and even enter competitions – And step in Ben’s Beginners.*

I, for one, am going to be subscribing the channel and I’m sure lots of you will too – I think it’s going to be a great resource for recipes – I’ve got a  much better chance at being able to cook if I can find some ideas which are simpler and easy to do, plus hopefully less taxing on my hands and less time consuming so it doesn’t affect my back.

The recipe episodes are taught  by DJ BBQ, who you can see in the intro video above, who strives to make them fun and compelling (and to be honest they really are – Ethan’s still quite little to be doing much himself but I can see these videos really making him want to help me and be involved)

The skills episodes are lead by Lisa Faulkner, who won Celebrity masterchef in 2010, and she teaches things as simple as chopping an onion and preparing a pepper – These are things that will really help children progress in their cooking and make the recipes more accessible.

As I said before, as well as the recipes and the skills there are episodes which include taking the children out to see where ingredients came from, this includes eggs, honey and fish – I’m really interested to see what else. This is the sort of thing that’ll really intrigue children like Ethan and educate older children who might be viewing.

The recipes that are live, thus far, are chilli, sweet & Sour chicken, steak burritos (Ethan recently tried his first burrito and I know he’s going to want to watch that episode) and the veggie omelette – I think the variety of recipes is really good and it’s great to be able to find recipes for such favourites which are healthy and child friendly.

A recipe which I’m looking forward to seeing is the ‘Perfect Fish Finger Sandwhich’ the recipe looks delicious and Ethan and I definitely need to try it on one of my better days (though it’ll have to be when Daddy isn’t there as he’s not the biggest fish fan ever) The recipe is as follows if anyone wants to try it out:

If any of you give this a go I’d Love to find out what you thought of it? As well as letting me know you can let them know over at Ben’s Beginners – They have a competition section where they encourage people to cook their recipe’s and winners can get cooking equipment for their school which is fantastic.

And as if all of that wasn’t enough you can follow Ben’s Beginners over on twitter @BensBeginnersUK which is a great way to interact and see what’s going on if you’re not logged in to YouTube constantly (I know plenty of us are twitter addicts which may well remind us to log on to YouTube for new episodes!)

So there you go – I hope I’ve given you enough information. If it’s not obvious, I’m really impressed with the channel and I’ll definitely be trying to keep up with it and stay subscribed so that I can try to make use of it as a resource. Even though 1/4 parents admit that they don’t cook with their children there’s still those 3/4 of us that do so I know we’ll love the channel and hopefully those remaining 1/4 will be converted once they see how simple it all is!

To keep up-to-date don’t forget to follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter @petitmoi_bigworld

*This is a sponsored post but I am only sharing it with you because I believe in everything above. Cooking with children is so important and I’m genuinely impressed with how this new channel can support the new addition to cooking to the curriculum*

I do love haul posts, I don’t have them as much as I used to as I am spending a lot less than I used to but I do still love a good Primark or a sale haul. I bought these things not long ago but, sadly, a couple of them went out of stock very soon after I bought them – The nature of Asos and sales, I guess!

I often end up getting jewellery in the Asos sales, it goes down to some crazy prices but is always really nice stuff. I actually missed out on some items by falling asleep whilst browsing of an evening, waking up and finding them out of stock! But thankfully I managed to get these bits!
I’m going to put the out of stock bits, first, and this is the first of them. I don’t know what it was but something about this Jewel Friendship bracelet really caught my eye, it’s just a bit different and I really like it, especially as it was only £4.
The other item which is, now, out of stock is this really pretty Faux Pearl ‘Hand Harness’ – I absolutely love this style of bracelet, I have a gothic style one that I used to wear but not one that’s more fitting to fashion – This one is perfect. I got it for £4.50.
The last piece of jewellery, and the reason I absolutely Had to make the order, was this Owl watch necklace – I’ve never been particularly crazy over owls but I do quite see why some people are. That aside, this piece just Really caught my attention and I wanted to get it so badly. I’ve worn it loads since and it’s very handy to have too. I got it for £4.50 (previously was £12!) which is a bit of a bargain. 

The last thing I got is this beautiful Pull&Bear Mesh Insert Floral Sweatshirt – It was one of those ‘true love’ moments. I live in sweatshirts at this time of the year when it’s, mostly, too warm for thick jumpers but too cold for short sleeves. I am obsessed with floral things and this monochrome print really caught my eye. This is out of stock in small but still available in medium and large – It’s £6 but was £19.99 previously.

So yes, I spent a little over £15 for this lot and it was worth almost £50 so a very bargainous sale shop! I do love Asos sales, those and Primark are my main source of clothing and accessories. Love it. 

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Throughout the month of September Crabtree & Evelyn will be helping to support Macmillan Cancer Support in a variety of ways. On the 26th of September shoppers will be able to participate in the ‘World’s biggest coffee morning’ by attending their local Crabtree & Evelyn store – There’ll be a variety of things going on including tea, cake and biscuits for customers who donate, a free Crabtree & Evelyn mug for spends of £25 or more, free gift wrapping, free luxury hand treatments, 50g hand therapy for £3 (with 50 pence of that going to Macmillan) and fun games and products to try. It, honestly, sounds like a really great way to get involved with helping a great charity as well as having a lovely time – You can find your local store here: http://www.crabtree-evelyn.co.uk/stores/viewall/?pid=header

 

As well as the events, on the day there are ways you can be involved throughout the month of September (ie from now onwards!); all full sized Verbana & Lavender products sold in store or on the website will include a £1 donation to Macmillan. As well as that, travel sized products (such as the soap above) will have 50p from each sale donated to Macmillan.

And that’s not all! As well as the Verbana & Lavender range, Crabtree & Evelyn will also be donating 50p from each sale of the Hand Therapy collection – An example of which you can see above. In all  honesty I am Not a lavender fan so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the soap – The combination of Lavender and Verbana, though, is actually rather lovely so I’ll really enjoy using this soap. The Pomegranate, argan & grapeseed Hand Therapy smells divine and I absolutely love anything that has argan in it so I think this is great.

If you want to take a look at some nice products, maybe do some shopping (early Christmas shopping, dare I say it?) then this’d be a great time to do it – The Hand Therapy creams would make lovely gifts, or stocking fillers and you’d also be helping charity. Plus the Verbana & Lavender range  might be a nice surprise for you too!

To keep up-to-date don’t forget to follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter @petitmoi_bigworld

*I was sent these products to be able to illustrate an example of the products that have part of their sales going towards Macmillan*