Thursday, 27 November 2014

Early bird

Are you an early bird or a night owl? It seems you have to be one or the other and for me, I'm at my most productive in the morning and not much good for anything in the evening.

Don't get me wrong, I can come over all Garfield-like on a Monday morning, clinging onto my duvet for dear life, trying to gain just a few more moments of shut-eye before the working day begins, but I know that once I am out of bed, it doesn't take me long to get going and I know that if I start as I mean to go on, my day should go well.

Should. Since Ethan came onto the scene, I've tried to be on time and keep my life to a rough schedule as I like having a plan and I like it when things go to plan. But I've learnt that as a mum, and a working mum at that, that children don't particularly like plans or sticking to them, so a bit of flexibility is needed.

And I'm coming to terms with that. It's taken some time, but I know that it's ok if Ethan decides to schedule his nappy change just as I'm flying out the door, laptop bag in one hand, nursery bag in the other. And it's ok if he doesn't want to play ball and eat his breakfast - it's not the end of the world if we're just a little bit late going out for the day...

It's amazing how quickly you adapt to early starts once you have a baby. In fact, I was only talking about this the other day to a colleague, it's amazing how you go through those early months dealing with sleep deprivation and then when your little one does start to sleep through the night, how quickly you adapt. Early mornings don't feel quite so early for me any more and the majority of the time, Ethan is completely out for the count still when I get up so I can get a few things done and get myself ready before having to wake him from his slumber.

Free Office Finder, a free search facility to find office space in London or the UK, is running an #EarlyBirdChallenge and I thought it would be a fun idea to think about how getting an early start can make a real difference to my day, compared to those days when I seem to be in a rush and running late for everything, in a Sliding Doors kind of way...

Scenario 1: early bird catches the worm

6am. Alarm goes off. Hubs hits the snooze button but I leap out of bed, ready to face the day. Well ok, not quite 'leap', but I manage to get up without too much moaning and groaning.

I quietly go downstairs, passing Sherlock the cat on the stairs, give her and Arty their breakfast and pop the kettle on. It's a Starbucks Toffee Nut day I think. I pour my coffee and take a cup of tea up for hubs, who's still sleeping, fighting that snooze button.

I wash, put on my make up, taking my time, whilst watching Good Morning Britain on my iPad and mentally planning the day ahead. Must remember to confirm my doctors appointment. Oh, and I have those couple of bills to pay. And at lunch, I must pop out and pick up a few bits. Ok, check, check, check.

I get dressed, managing to pick something to wear that's a) clean and b) doesn't need ironing. I finish my coffee, and make another to take in my thermos to enjoy later at my desk, whilst putting together a lunchbox to take with me to work. I've got some porridge to make for breakfast, a pasta salad for lunch and a few snacks so I should be covered.

I check my blog to make sure my latest post has gone live, skim through my emails, Facebook and Twitter. I pack everything up, grab a coat then a scarf and pair of gloves as it looks chilly outside. I've the foresight to take a bottle of warm water to the car to defrost my car windscreen with. I put all my things into the car, then head back inside the house.

It's time to wake up the little monkey. I go in, open his curtains, pick out his clothes and gradually encourage Ethan to wake up. He obliges, eventually. He lets me dress him and get him ready and after checking his nursery bag, we're ready to leave the house. On time, if a little early in fact.

It takes me just a couple of minutes to drive from our house to the nursery, as the traffic is clear - it's just a tad too early for the school run to have started. I drop Ethan off and he happily goes off to have breakfast with his play mates.

I jump back in the car and head for the city. Traffic is still quite light so I manage to get to my office before 8.30am, thanks to a few lights in my favour on the way. I have time to run through my to do list, working out what needs to be done and checking my latest emails. As I sip the coffee I brought from home, I decide to tackle my 'big task' for the day first, get it out the way.

And I feel good.

Scenario 2: running late

6am. Alarm goes off. Hubs hits the snooze button once, twice, three times, upon my sleepy request. Just a few more minutes. And a few more. Don't need to wash my hair, dry shampoo will do the trick. Don't need to make my lunch, I'll just go out on my lunchbreak for something. Just. Want. To. Stay. In. Bed. A. Bit. Longer.

6.45am. Really got to get up now. I open the bedroom door, trip over our two hungry cats and plead with the dog not to go downstairs before I've been to the bathroom. I feed our animals, spilling Watson's water and almost cutting my thumb on his can of food in my rush.

Hubs and I battle for the bathroom sink as we both try to brush our teeth at the same time. I quickly slap on some slap before flinging open my wardrobe and trying desperately to find that shirt I haven't seen in ages but for some reason really have to wear today. It's like the only thing I have that will go with these trousers and these are the only trousers that are a) clean and b) don't need ironing.

I half write a text message reply and forget to finish it before flinging my phone in my bag. I run upstairs and go into Ethan's room - 'wakey, wakey!'. Nothing. Come on Ethan, Mummy's running late!

He doesn't want to wake up, doesn't want me to undress him, doesn't want me to dress him, doesn't want his teeth cleaned. I have no patience and he's not willing to make this easy. Sigh.

Finally, he's ready, so I run downstairs, only to remember I've forgotten his nursery bag. Back upstairs I go.

I fly out the front door, shouting 'bye' over my shoulder to hubs. Damn! The car's frozen up and the de-icer ran out two days ago. Grr!

After chipping away at the ice on my windows for 10 minutes, fingers frozen as I left my gloves inside the house, I jump in the barely warm car. Ethan's still half asleep and grumpy looking.

I sit at the end of our road for AGES waiting for a gap in the traffic. I get to the nursery late, Ethan's not in the mood and gets upset when I try to hurriedly hand him over.

I get back in the car and head for the city. Traffic is terrible. Everyone seems to be in the same boat as me, running late and impatient for the lights to change. I arrive at my office, late and irritable. I have no time to look at my list of things to do before going into my first meeting, feeling flustered and slightly out of control. Guess I'll skip breakfast. Unless I grab a stale biscuit that someone brought in as a treat a couple of days ago...

God, I feel shattered already.

In a perfect world, we'd always be an early bird wouldn't we? It just helps to make everything we do go our way somehow. So, do you think you could take the Free Office Finder #EarlyBirdChallenge?

What difference could it make to your day?

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Oh Christmas tree...

Last year, I got rather carried away with it being Ethan's first Christmas and bought a brand new tree (our old one simply wasn't big enough) and a few more decorations to cover it with.

Every year, you just have to buy new decorations, don't you? It's inevitable. We always need more.

Whether it's changing the colour theme to suit your new decor or just for a change or a simple love for everything that's seasonal, every year, we find ourselves filling up our baskets with everything that sparkles.

This year is no different as even though I know I have more than enough to deck our halls, I still wanted to buy a couple of new pieces. This time last year, I fell in love with the festive offering at Wilkos but this year, I really have to hand it to them as they have got Christmas covered. From quality wrapping paper in fun prints to an array of affordable decorations in different collections to suit all tastes, there's a lot to love.

I particularly like the Pixie and Wild Wood decoration collections, and my top picks are below, but you can also snap up this season's hottest colour, blue, in their Odyssey range.

And before you ask, no, this isn't a PR post. I just really love Christmas decorations and really think that Wilkos has the best on the high street this year from what I've seen.

A few of these beauties below have been added to our collection at home and I can't wait to put them all up next Monday, whilst Ethan is at nursery, as a surprise for him when he returns home.


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Book buddies: Ethan's new favourite books

From classic tales to picture books and musical books, Ethan has an expanding library and never seems to tire of reading, even though he doesn't know what the words say. He will bring us books throughout the day to read to him or he will sit and flick through a book, turning page after page and following the lines of text with his finger or pointing at the pictures and look to us to find out what the right word is for what he's looking at.

He's my little book worm in the making and I love it. I always had my head in a book when I was growing up and Ethan looks to be the same. I've written before about the importance of reading and it's so lovely to see that Ethan has a fascination in the printed word too.

Oh, how I can't wait to share some of my favourite childhood books! From Charlotte's Webb and Stig of the Dump to The Suitcase Kid, The Three Investigators and even Harry Potter, bedtime is sure to be my favourite time of day with my little guy.

We're very lucky to be a part of the Parragon Books Book Buddies programme and each month, my little bookworm receives a new book to inspire his imagination. Ethan has had three new books to add to his rather vast book collection over the past two months and each one has something different to offer.

Peek-A-Book (RRP: £2.99)

This book tells the tale of a cat and dog, which is probably why Ethan really enjoyed looking at this as we have a dog and two cats ourselves and Ethan adores them. Dog wants to play and cat wants to sleep (sounds very familiar to us!) and you follow them running after each other from one page to the next.

The illustrations are really lovely, in a watercolour style, and the characters are fun and engaging. The really special thing about this book is how there's cut outs in the pages so you can peek through from one page to the next.

I have a huge love of picture books and started collecting some before Ethan was even a twinkle in my eye as I once wanted to be a children's author and illustrator, and this is one of the nicest I've come across. I like the story and the way the book has been designed and for £2.99, I think it's a fantastic price for a book that's sure to appeal to any animal loving reader.

Count to 10 with a Mouse (RRP: £6)

This boxed book and toy gift set comes with a gentle warning - open with care as it contains a mouse! Aimed at teaching little ones to count along with their cute new rodent friend, this is a lovely little book that's nicely designed and easy to follow.

Ethan can only say '10' at the moment (it's a start!) but this book is going into his stocking this Christmas as something we can come back to more and more to help him learn how to count.

It's a great gift set and again, a great price.

Baa Baa Black Sheep board book (RRP: £3.99)

Ethan received this book last week and immediately, it has become his most read book of the moment. He received a couple of these finger puppet board books as presents when he was younger, with his previous favourite being Five Little Monkeys, but now it's all about the sheep.

They're such a fun idea and Ethan loves listening to us sing the nursery rhyme whilst wiggling the sheep finger puppet around. It's a handy size to pop in our changing bag when we go out and it just seems to really interest Ethan. I'd really recommend these kinds of books for little ones - they seem to really enjoy the finger puppet element and for the price, they are great value for the entertainment they bring and how hard-wearing they are.

Which books is your little one reading at the moment? And what's your favourite bedtime story?

* Thank you to Parragon Books for these fantastic reads. Each month, we look forward to receiving the latest book and there's always something new for Ethan to enjoy. 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Going on The Magical Journey

Last year, we took Ethan to meet Father Christmas. It was his first Christmas and although he was just shy of eight months old, it was something hubs and I still very much wanted to do. It was a memory to make and to show Ethan when he's older and I'm really glad we did it as Ethan was fascinated by it all and we have a wonderful family photo to display every Christmas now.

This year, we are even more excited as Ethan is obviously older and more interested in or understanding of things around him. Sure, he doesn't know what Christmas is about yet, but he knows that something exciting must be going on.

As you may have seen, I've been doing my research into where to see Santa in the Midlands and lots of different places are hosting Santa, his elves and, in some instances, his reindeer, to delight all the girls and boys.

To really get our Christmas season started, we booked tickets for the opening day of The Magical Journey - a Santa experience at The Belfry designed by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and promising to offer more than just your usual grotto.

There's really been a lot of buzz about this, with everyone I know talking about it and snapping up tickets. I can see why - The Magical Journey is about telling a story, more than just giving a gift from Santa's sack.

When we arrived, we had a look around the craft fair and food and drink stalls in the main tent. We were booked to start our journey at 5.20pm (groups are spread out 10 minutes apart, although each slot still has quite a few people signed up) and a friendly elf asked us all to line up before we were led through to a waiting area which was designed as a Father Christmas museum, complete with interesting artefacts in glass cabinets.

We were then taken through to meet Mrs Claus, Mary Christmas, who set the scene for the journey we were about to take, telling us that Father Christmas had lost his baby reindeer, Rudy, and asking us to help find him. The kids all seemed to enjoy meeting Mary and she had some sly jokes to tell that perhaps only the adults would understand...!

We then went to see Simon Cowell in elf form and I couldn't really hear much of what was happening but the children seemed to be joining in. Hubs could hear more than me and didn't thinks that he seemed particularly enthusiastic about his job, unfortunately.

We were then led to board the land train. The elves were very helpful and lent us a hand to put our pushchair on board. Ethan really woke up at this point, having been a bit unsure to begin with, and enjoyed the 'choo choo' a lot, although the journey was much shorter than we perhaps thought it would be. 

We were then greeted by some more elves and had a chat in a tipi tent before walking through the woods, which had been lit up nicely and sprinkled with fake snow. We met various elves on the way and they told us another part of the tale, where Rudy had last been seen and so on. They took photos for us and then we arrived at another tipi where we waited our turn to be guided by another elf to one of a few Santa cabins, discretely set out so as to not confuse the children. 

We were led through Christmas trees to our cabin and met a friendly Father Christmas who was warm and kind. Ethan wasn't sure at first but once we posed for a family photo, and he was given a gift, he perked up considerably! 

We were then told that Rudy had been found and we left the cabin to find Rudy and some other real reindeer outside - undoubtedly a highlight.

On our return through the tent, there was the chance to look at your photos and choose if you wanted to buy one. I took a snap of ours but we decided not to buy it as Ethan was doing his usually dodging the camera act.

The whole experience took us just over an hour and Ethan was happy, although still none the wiser as to what we were doing. 18 month olds, eh?!

So, how was The Magical Journey for us? Well, for any Santa visit, there's a few key criteria and for each of these, I have given a rating of candy canes out of five..


There's fake snow, good quality costumes, a lovely woodland setting and real reindeer... pretty Christmassy but something seemed lacking. Whether it was the lack of festive music or decorations, strangely I didn't think it felt that festive. The Magical Journey is well designed but there were still areas inside which felt a little incomplete, with exposed paneling or wiring and I guess having worked with LLB in the past myself, I expected it to be more over the top and extravagant, but in reality I don't think you would have been able to tell he'd had a hand in the design.

Helpfulness of the elves
There's a big team working at The Magical Journey and the elves looked the part and were friendly. They were also keen to help us with the pushchair and they very much kept things moving along, although some lacked enthusiasm.

Our Santa was friendly, had a hearty 'ho, ho, ho!' and we had a nice chat with him, that didn't feel rushed.

Ethan's ticket would cost £7.50 more than ours (£20 for the date and time we selected) so we were expecting a really good gift to reflect this. Father Christmas selected a gift from the sack, which wasn't wrapped, and Ethan received a wooden frog puzzle. Ethan's face lit up and I know it's something he will play with but it was a disappointment for me and couldn't have cost very much at all.

Value for money 
This experience has to be at the top end in terms of ticket prices and I think that elevates your expectations. The Belfry has built an 'experience' rather than a simple grotto and the detail given on the website is true to what you experience during your visit. That being said, the fair/market is smaller than expected and still seemed to be a 'work in progress' on the first day, the train journey was quite short and as mentioned, the gift wasn't representative of the extra money a child ticket costs compared to an adult ticket. I was invited to attend for the purposes of this review but our tickets would have cost £45 altogether (£12.50 each for hubs and I and £20 for Ethan, although some tickets can be higher depending on dates) and if I had paid that, I think I would have been disappointed. Essentially what you're  getting is an interactive queue whilst you're waiting for Santa, much like those you experience for the big rides at theme parks to make you forget you're standing in a very long line.

Overall experience
The Magical Journey has been promoted extremely well and so many people I know have been talking about it and clambering for tickets. I think it's because it's a new concept for the Midlands and perhaps a few things will be adapted as time goes on, bearing in mind we were there on the first night, but it didn't feel overtly magical in any way. The trouble about things like this is they can get over-hyped and people can perhaps expect too much. I would say that the price of admission commanded such expectations but overall, we enjoyed the experience, as did the children we saw during our visit, and that's the whole point really isn't it?

Note: As of 23rd November, following the response from visitors on the first day, the organisers of The Magical Journey decided to close the attraction until Wednesday 26th to rectify the issues raised. I think that this is encouraging to see and in my opinion, some things can be easily fixed - the main issue for us was the value of the gift and the lack of 'magical' feeling to the experience after all the excitement in the lead up to the opening.

You can read about this decision here and anyone who went on the first day is entitled to a refund or a return visit. Best check the Facebook page for further updates.

* I was kindly given complementary passes to visit The Magical Journey during its opening weekend. As ever, I have been honest in my review and feel that this fairly reflects the experience we had.

#MeAndMine November / #MySundayPhoto

It's been a while since I posted a Me and Mine photo but that's because it's been a while since we had a photo altogether. It's also been a while since I got a proper photo of Ethan when he's looking at the camera, isn't waving his arms about and doesn't look grumpy - well, two out of three isn't bad!

This was taken last night by a helpful elf at The Magical Journey at The Belfry and I think it's quite lovely really. You can read my review of The Magical Journey here

We're doing a few things in the lead up to Christmas now that Ethan is a little bit older and I'll be sharing them with you so you can see what we've been up to and what we recommend going to this festive season in the Midlands.

dear beautiful


Friday, 21 November 2014

Cool for school

When I was younger and the summer holidays were coming to an end, I would be given £10 by my parents to buy new stationery for the new school year. I'd pick up the Woolworths and WHSmith catalogues and spend ages flicking through, circling the items I wanted and working how to get the most out of my pocket money. A cool new pencilcase was a must, as was an assortment of coloured pens and a fun notebook.

Sound like a bit of a geek don't I?! Well I was, I guess, and I still am. I've just always loved stationery. Back then, it was all about having the cool things for school and now, it's about having nicely designed items that make writing fun.

If only I had Smiggle when I was young. Oh the fun!

The Australian chain of stationery shops aimed at six to 12 year olds has just opened new stores in Solihull and Birmingham and I went to the launch of the latter in the Bullring to see what the cool kids have for school these days.

It's a bright and colourful store filled to the rafters with pens, notebooks, pencilcases and all kinds of fun gadgets and gizmos for creative kids. Organised by design / colour theme, there's lots to take in and the store was bustling with eager parents and children alike.

I was really excited by how Smiggle has made stationery for kids cool and there's lots of great ideas to keep them busy on rainy days, to encourage them to be creative or to just make them a bit more interested in their homework.

I particularly liked the selection of quirky games and the colour in face masks pad and the large colour in poster is also a great idea. Smiggle is just a really refreshing concept and there's certainly a gap on the high street for shops of this kind for this age group.

I was impressed by the range of different products on display and if you're looking for stocking fillers with a difference, I think this could be the place. Your children, nieces or nephews will certainly think you're too cool for school if they find Smiggle in their stocking come December 25th.

And if you're looking for an alternative advent calendar idea, take a look at their creative calendar which is filled with stationery treats behind each door to inspire your children more than a piece of chocolate ever could.

Can I be 8 again? Please?!

* Thank you to Smiggle for inviting me along to the Birmingham launch.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Hampers of happiness

How's your Christmas shopping going so far? Got it all wrapped up or are you yet to start? I love the season of giving but finding great gifts to suit everyone you know and love can be hard.

That's why I love the idea of hampers and have put together my own in the past as way of creating something special for someone special. With a hamper, you can collect together lots of bits and pieces you think they might like into a gift just for them. I've had these made for me by others, including beauty treats and a bundle of summer bits and bobs including popcorn, chocolates and a bottle of Pimms, and I've put together a food basket for my Dad in the past, full of things he likes so he could enjoy them over the festive season.

But what if there was a company who could put together a food hamper to suit someone you know, taking care of it all for you? That would make life a bit easier, wouldn't it?!

That's why I was so excited to be introduced to Darling Bites.

Specialising in 'Great British Treats', this is a fab online company that has a tempting range of hampers and treat boxes offering a fantastic range of food fayre. Prices start from £17 and there is something to tickle every tastebud, from the Sweet Dreams hamper for those with a sweet tooth to a Late Breakfast hamper of brilliant brunchtime delicacies, everyone is catered for and every hamper and box is bursting with award-winning British artisan products.

Sounds great, right? Now you can see why I was so keen to give Darling Bites a go!

The question is, which hamper or box did I choose? Hmm, decisions, decisions.

Chocolate. Brilliant stuff, isn't it? I'm pretty sure that you'll agree with the majority of the population and have a fondness for chocolate treats and being the season and all, I just had to plump for the Darling Bites Perfect Chocolate Indulgence Hamper (RRP: £37.99). 

Filled with care and choc full (sorry) of chocolatey goodness, this hamper is rather special indeed. I love finding and trying new brands or discovering niche or artisan foodie treats, which is why I'm a little bit in love with the whole thinking behind Darling Bites. A selection of nibbles and treats, all different and unique, selected and packaged to bring joy to your, or your friend or family member's face - what could be better?

So, what was in my hamper of chocolate delights? Nine different chocolate treats, that's what! 

Here's a detailed list of all the products included in this hamper - try not to drool too much:

1. Island Bakery Organics Chocolate Limes (150g)
Enticingly different, these organic biscuits are made on the Isle of Mull, right at the edge of Scotland. The unique zestiness of lime merges perfectly with the richness of the chocolate to produce a truly delightful sensation.
2. Lir Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate Truffle Bar (100g)
Created by the Irish luxury chocolate company Lir, the truffle bar is made from original Bailey’s Irish cream Liquor  and rich milk chocolate.
3. Jaz and Juls Chilli con Choccy Hot Chocolate (60g)
Made by chirpy hot chocolate specialists Jaz and Juls, this hot chocolate consists of 71% cocoa solids with nutmeg, vanilla and chilli, and each pack is serves two full mugs. The chocolate is organically grown by a workers’ co-operative on the Caribbean island of Grenada (even using solar energy to power their equipment!).
4. Artisan Du Chocolate Caffe e Latte Bar (45g)Direct from their atelier in Kent, this gorgeous chocolate bar combines Columbian coffee with locally sourced milk, resulting in a rich, full-bodied chocolate with a wonderful silky texture.
5. Root & Wings Organic Chocolate Coated Orange Biscuits (130g)
These crisp orange biscuits are thickly coated in delicious organic milk chocolate. They not only taste good, the DO good: Root & wings committed to donating 10% of its profits to charities concerning the needs of children
6. Seed and Bean Organic Cornish Sea Salt 70% Dark Chocolate Bar (85g)Made from rare Ecuadorian ‘nacional cocoa’ beans and blended with smoked sea salt harvested from the clearest of Cornwall’s 'Grade A' classified waters. The chocolate is 100% ethically sourced, and tastes 100% heavenly.
7. The Grown Up Chocolate Company Crunchy Praline Wonder Bars (65g)
Developed by luxury chocolate maker James Ecclestone, these twin bars are made of caramelised wafer enticingly packed with sumptuous praline and encased in rich milk chocolate.
8. Willie's Cacao Ginger and Lime (50g)
Crafted in England from beans discovered in Sierra Leone. The chocolate has rich, deep flavours, and is therefore well complemented with the tangy bite of ginger and lime. It is part of a series created by Artisan chocolatier Willie Harcourt-Cooze, inspired by his travels in search of great cocoa beans.
9.Berry Scrumptious Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Fudge (70g)The Handmade gourmet dark chocolate fudge, is topped with a coating made of raspberries are grown in the family farm in Aberdeenshire (on the north east coast of Scotland). It tastes divine, and quite literally - miles away from mass-produced goods.

I found the website easy to navigate and there's a great selection of hampers to choose from. When my chosen hamper arrived, it was well packaged and I was impressed by the presentation and the variety and quality of the contents. Each boxed or wrapped item made my mouth water and it was exciting to take each item out in turn to see what chocolatey goodness would be next.

The Darling Bites Chocolate Indulgence Hamper is a great gift to give someone who's a bit of a choc consoure and there's plenty of other really interesting options for foodies. I think the hampers represent good value, as the brand range is varied and different to what you will find in the supermarket, and for that reason, and the quality of the presentation, I can thoroughly recommend them as brilliant Christmas gift ideas. 

If you order any hamper or box from Darling Bites before 1st January 2015, you can receive free delivery by using the code WINTER2014.

* Note: I was lucky enough to receive my chosen chocolate hamper for the purposes of this review but my opinions are all my own.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The adventures of Eddie

A couple of weeks ago, I was having a play with my DSLR and decided to take some fun photos featuring Eddie. 

Who's Eddie? Well, Eddie is a Little People character from Fisher Price that Ethan has become rather attached to. He has quite a few little people and animal toys from the ELC Happyland range that he loves to play with but Eddie is definitely his favourite. He learnt to say his name a while ago and now, when he comes home from nursery, he will call Eddie's name in the cutest way.

But what does Eddie get up to when Ethan isn't around?

Inspired by the imagination of Toy Story and always looking for fun things to do, I decided to follow Eddie on his adventures around the house. What would he do? Who would he meet?

It's the big kid in me but I got carried away and couldn't help but think of the look on Ethan's face when I showed him the photos I had taken.

Then I had another idea. Why just take some photos when I could make a photo book from them? And why just make a photo book when I could add captions to the photos and turn it into a storybook? A very special storybook all about a special boy and his toy.


We had this printed and it's waiting on top of my wardrobe, out of sight from prying eyes, ready for Christmas morning when Ethan can sit down in his festive jimjams and read all about the enigmatic exploits of Eddie the explorer.

But just for you, you can read this story here. 

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