30/04/2014

It's My 1st Time.....I'm Going To BritMums Live!

BritMums Live is the UK's largest social media conference and blogging event, with 500+ attendees. Spread over two days, delegates are welcome to attend both or just one day. This year it takes place at The Brewery, London, in June.

To say I'm looking forward to it, is an understatement. Although I'll no doubt miss the monkeys I'm looking forward to being me for the weekend and not just Mum. I'm also excited to meet bloggers who have become friends and put faces to names. However I will be nervous about doing that, as I tend to say more from the comfort of my own home, instead of face to face. I'm traveling with fellow blogger and friend AK from My Buggy Junction and we're sharing a room on the Friday night too. 
Here is me.........See you there!

Name: Jo Laybourn
Blog: My Monkeys Don't Sit Still
Twitter ID: @sitstillmonkeys
Height: 5' 1"
Hair: Short & blonde
Eyes: Brown
Is this your first blogging conference? Yes, I had hoped to go to others too before now, but haven't made it.
Are you attending both days? Definitely! The hotel is all booked. I can't wait.
What are you most looking forward to at BritMums Live 2014? I want to learn more about blogging and am looking forward to meeting the bloggers I would consider new friends.
What are you wearing? No idea yet, but probably a top, jeans and converse. Something comfy as I shall feel self conscious otherwise. I shall be sporting a T shirt from my sponsor too.
What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2014? I'd love to know more about earning from the blog via sponsored posts and advertising and how to optimise the reach and number of returning readers.
Do you have any tips to pass on to others who may not have been before? Sadly not. I've been blogging for only a year and there are bloggers out there far better suited to pass on tips!   


  


29/04/2014

Julie Slater & Son Overnight Bag-Review

I recently came across some fabulous goods at Julie Slater & Son, a corporate gift business that specialises in bespoke leather gifts and accessories. Since 2003 they have sold to the public also. Julie designs and sells brightly coloured travel accessories, bags, purses and wallets, leather goods and more. I've recently been fortunate enough to review one of Julies Overnight Bags in sandstripe.
signature Sandstripe oilcloth is the essential weekend bag and holdall.  - See more at: http://www.julieslaterandson.co.uk/product/overnight-bag-sandstripe/#sthash.XVuQLPK7.dpuf
signature Sandstripe oilcloth is the essential weekend bag and holdall.  - See more at: http://www.julieslaterandson.co.uk/product/overnight-bag-sandstripe/#sthash.XVuQLPK7.dpuf
signature Sandstripe oilcloth is the essential weekend bag and holdall.  - See more at: http://www.julieslaterandson.co.uk/product/overnight-bag-sandstripe/#sthash.XVuQLPK7.dpuf
I'd explained to Julie we were going away and needed luggage. I'm thrilled to have been sent the bag, which retails for £49. When ordering form the website there is an option for gift wrapping and to send a gift message. The overnight bag in signature sandstripe is made from oilcloth. It features a detachable shoulder strap, zipped external pocket, cream interior, 3 internal pockets. It has four studded feet on the base and measures 42 x 29 x 15cm. There are matching travel items available. 

I have to say this bag is rather lovely. The bright sandstripe colour is eye catching and cheerful. The bag holds a lot! I packed enough clothes for myself and the two monkeys for an overnight stay, to take away with us recently and there was ample room inside. I liked how there is a sturdy covered card inside the base of the bag. The inside pockets are ideal for keys and a mobile phone etc. The bag is secured shut with two zip pullers, making it ideal for short breaks, or even just for the day, should you need a large bag for a girly shopping trip or day out somewhere.


I shall be taking it to London with me when I attend BritMums in June and look forward to packing my overnight stuff in it for the weekend.

I can't think of one thing I did not love. Why not have a look at the website and browse the products Julie sells. I love the Purses and notebooks. Julie Slater & Son can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own*
We're going on an adventure




26/04/2014

Week 17 Round Up - #Project365

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky
Week 17. Only 35 to go! The school run has been a bit of a shock this week after almost 3 weeks off. Well more precisely the morning mayhem before the actual school run. Both monkeys can be quite a handful getting them ready and out of the door at 8.30 each day. I'm sure most households are the same though!
Why not take a look at our week in photo's. Days 110-116
#Day 110. Easter Sunday. Cheeky Daddy, as if we would eat his egg!
#Day 111. Happy monkeys supporting the community. Great turn out for a local Easter egg hunt.
#Day 112. Love the colours of theses Tulips! Bargain Easter flowers.
#Day 113. 'Mummy take a picture" His brothers egg!
#Day 114. So happy to be riding in his beloved black bus!
#Day 115. Dressing up and playing builders. Enjoying role play.
#Day 116. Hubby's lunch. Being a good wifey! Usually makes it himself!
Nothing extraordinary this week. Mainly play and birthday preparations for big monkey's forthcoming birthday. We're linking up as normal with The Boy and Me.

25/04/2014

Suffolk 2014

Last week we had a fabulous time on holiday in Suffolk. After approximately 45 minutes we hit the road signs for Suffolk. Our journey this time took us to Kessingland, just short of Lowestoft. More precisely the Park Resorts Kessingland Beach Hoilday Park. 
Our accommodation
We'd booked a four night break in one of their Gold Plus caravans. Much more suited to us in spring, with the monkeys. It had double glazing and full domestic central heating. Large too with 3 bedrooms, two toilets and a shower room. Ours also had a balcony.
The resort had entertainment, places to eat and activities for the kids but we happened to use the site and caravan as more of a base this time. We wanted to visit places in Suffolk. Bewilderwood was on the list of things to do, as was Jimmy's Farm.
I took the monkeys up alone for the 1st night and Mr Monkey joined us the following day. After a browse around the park and down on the beach, the monkeys and I ventured into Lowestoft. Very easy to get to from Kessingland.
Sitting on Kessingland Beach
There will be a train soon
We parked at the seafront and wandered along by the dancing fountains. The monkeys didn't ask to run through them fortunately. It was sunny but far too chilly for getting wet! Happily for little monkey, we stumbled across the train station so in my wisdom I suggested to the monkeys we go and see the trains. Sadly for us, one had just left, so we had rather a long wait to see another!
Next we found ice cream and the monkeys sat getting mucky watching the world go by. We even saw a helicopter above.
Back to the caravan for lunch and to wait for daddy. After he arrived we showed him the caravan park both monkeys had fun on one of the go-karts we hired. I even had a go.
Looking out to sea at Lowestoft
Go-Kart fun at the caravan park
Later that afternoon, we took the monkeys to Southwold. We love it there and have been several times before. The Pier is particularly fab. Of course a visit there means a browse in the gift shops along the pier and of course fish and chips, then ice cream. The monkeys loved playing in the sand. We tried popping down to Aldeburgh but big monkey had got slightly wet around the ankles when he stood by waters edge at Southwold, so was cold and tired and very tearful. Back to the caravan to get the monkeys sorted and settled for the night.
Eating on the Pier
Lovely Southwold Pier
Next day dawned and we drove to the Broads in Norfolk. Not for boating but to spend the day at Bewilderwood. We originally went last year and loved it, so it had to be done again. Like last time, the monkeys loved it and we all had a blast! Thanks to the lovely people at Bewilderwood we had free entry. A lovely day and after over 5 hours there, we went to neighbouring Honing for dinner in a pub restaurant right on the Norfolk broads. 
Eating mini eggs at Bewilderwood
Going downs those slippery slopes
Thursday saw us pottering at the caravan park in the morning. Big monkey went swimming with Daddy. Little monkey and I chilled in the van. Bless him, he wanted to go too but after his operation we were told he can't go swimming for two months. Later we had a pit stop at MacDonalds then we went to The East Anglian Transport Museum. We went as little monkey loves buses and he was thrilled! More on the museum in a later post. After the afternoon there, we popped to Oulton Broad so the monkeys could have a run around and then he rain started! Only a little though thankfully!
At the transport Museum
Inside a trolley bus
At Oulton Broad
Friday saw us checking out of Park Resorts and heading home, via Jimmy's Farm in Ipswich first. Another great day out! 
We had a wonderful time together as a family. It was lovely that Mr Monkey wasn't working and he could we could all spend some quality time together.
At Jimmy's Farm
This will be our only holiday this year and already the monkeys have said they wish they were still there.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall




 

24/04/2014

Pink Lining Holdall - Review

I've always been a lover of bags and in my 40+ years I've had many! Prior to children, it was handbags. Then numerous baby changing bags and now back to handbags and holdalls! During the baby changing stage I would have been daft not to have tried Pink Lining. So of course I have had the famous and ever popular Yummy Mummy bag. Also the Blooming Gorgeous bag, both of them delightful. I am a huge fan. 
When preparing to go away, with as many bags as I have, I struggled to find a holdall. The lovely people at Pink Lining came to the rescue. They sent the Pink Lining On the Go Holdall. "The Cream Bows on Navy Holdall is a perfect size and shape for all those on the move".
Imagine my excitement when a rather large Pink Lining box arrived via courier, with an exceedingly large holdall in it! 
Newly unpackaged
Made with 100% cotton canvas and measuring 55 (L) x 30 (W) x 33 (H) cm, the bag currently comes in two colours. I was sent the Navy Bows on Cream (which is secretly my favourite). It has two zipped pockets, an external one on the front and an internal one plus two pockets for gadgets such as a phone or tablet. It also has the detachable shoulder strap that Pink Lining bags are known for. The capacity of this holdall is huge! Two clips unfasten at the sides of the bag to make it even bigger. The detailing is typical of Pink Lining and adds a pretty touch. The striking pink lining is a great contrast to the cream and navy exterior. Wipe clean and easy to store when not in use, this bag is suitable for all manner of uses. Be it the gym, for an overnight stay or like us for a few nights away. I easily packed clothes for one adult and the two monkeys for a four night stay, with room to spare. I've also had two bath sheets, I bath towel and a bath mat in there. With plenty of room left.
Clips to adjust the capacity
Signature Pink Lining
Pretty detailing
I have to say I am thrilled with my bag. I love the style, design and versatility of it. The red accents on it, in contrast to the pink lining are funky. Overall it's the size of it that bowled me over. With a recommended retail price of £75, it's an investment piece of luggage, well worth every penny. Was there anything I didn't like? I can't think of a single thing at all.
To show the room inside
Another photo of the size
In use on holiday
If you need a large bag for a number of uses, this one is for you. Take a look at the Pink Lining website for their full range of children's bags, changing bags and holdalls. I defy you not to fall in love! The website is pretty awesome too.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own*
We're going on an adventure



21/04/2014

My BritMums Live 2014 Sponsor

I have a sponsor for BritMums Live 2014. I'm very pleased and proud to announce Style Attack as my sponsor.

I’m going to BritMums Live
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Style Attack are a new children's wear shop dedicated to offering parents a great choice in kids clothes.

Formed the early part of this year by husband and wife team Steve and Dawn. They have two children of their own and have always been looking for great styles, excellent quality and just as importantly, value for money. The county of Warwickshire where Style Attack is based and more specifically the towns most local to them, Nuneaton and Bedworth, has seen a huge decline of shops on the high-street.
After relentlessly searching and getting fed up, Dawn, who is the main clothes shopper for the children, could only buy what was available and not what she really had in mind. She found herself compromising more and more on the three things that were most important; style, quality, and value.
Dawn had the idea of setting up a business that provided value for money, great styles and excellent quality almost a year ago. At the time it was more of a fleeting thought, but whilst out shopping one day the thought re-occurred. This happened a couple of times until the actual 'Light Bulb' moment.
"Yes, why not start up our own Children's clothing business and bridge the gap between everyday clothes you can pick up cheaply but may not last as long as you would hope, or the other extreme where you pay good quality clothes prices but for the amount of time children fit into the clothes seems a bit of an indulgence." Thus, Style Attack was born. An affordable option of children's clothing that provides excellent value for money, on fashion trends that look and feel great, all with fantastic quality, from UK only suppliers.
I can really relate to what Dawn says about children's clothing, and very much look forward to working with her and Steve.
This will be my first time at BritMums Live, so to have a sponsor is amazing. I'm really looking forward to it and can't wait to meet all the fabulous bloggers I've met over the last year and learn lots from them and the speakers.
Thank you so much Steve and Dawn.

If you'd like to see what clothes Style Attack sell or learn more, in addition to their website they have a Facebook page and can be found on Twitter too.
Remember you can click on the Style Attack badge in the side bar to go to their website. I hope to see some of you at BritMums. 





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