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Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Swallows and Amazons at the Bristol Old Vic - review...

Last Thursday evening we took the boys to see Swallows and Amazons at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre.  Each year we love to see a Christmas production, and this was the first time we had taken the boys to see something in the main theatre at the old vic.

Wow, what can I say?  Swallows and Amazons is truly an epic adventure.  The set, was initially sparsely decorated with a few boxes and a small orchestra set up.  As the story was told, it transformed to sailing the high seas, to island camps and pirate shanty's.

Completely absorbed in the well know story by Arthur Ransome,  I kept looking over to Charlie and Rufus to see their reaction.  Rufus sitting far forward into his seat as if to jump up and join in.  He whispered, "Mummy, that lady is from 'Grampa in my Pocket on the TV'".  Charlie asked if I could make him a feather headdress like the Amazon's and said he'd join their crew.

Swallow and Amazons is perfect, the much loved story has been adapted in such a way that old and young alike will love it.   

The dream sequence is just magical.  Oh and don't forget to attack!

I urge you to go this Christmas.  For more information and tickets pop over to the The Bristol Old Vic website.

Images by Simon Annand.
We were gifted tickets for the purpose of this review.

Time to light up the dark with Cable & Cotton lights...

Dark, grey days need a little sparkle.  I love having a mix of lighting sources in the home. From floor lamps to candles, table lamps and of course fairy lights.

I adore my new set of Cable and Cotton lights... they are perfect.  Giving a warm happy glow to my living room corner - in fact it feels like I have the fire lit when they are on, such is the lovely light.

I chose the standard set called Glow.  A mix of neutral tones, grey, cream, taupe and white, that compliments the colour scheme in my lounge.  But there are many different colour-ways to choose from on their website.

At the moment, they are a jumble of glowing balls on the floor, lighting up a dark corner and my newly painted cabinet.  I may hang them up at some point, but I quite like them like this - informal and pretty.

*I was sent a set of cable and cotton lights to review. All views and opinions are my own - as always.  Thank you cable and cotton for such lovely lights. 

The Little Match Girl at the Wardrobe Theatre...

The perfect show for children to see at Christmas must have adventure, humour and a generous dusting of magic and sparkle.  The Little Match Girl at The Wardrobe Theatre here in Bristol has just that.  We were all immediately captivated with the charm of the wind blowing, the beautiful set and the special magical touches (I won't go into it all, you simply must see for yourself!).

The Little Match Girl has been modernised by a newly formed company called Dot & Ethel (one of which, Harriet de Winton, is a lovely friend of mine).  The story tells of a young girl who is eager to find what she is missing as she heads out into the cold in search for her Granny. The hostility of the seasonal shoppers, in search for their next bargain, leaves her lost, alone and frightened until she has a brilliant idea of striking a match. With each strike she is taken out of the cold and into another world. 

Dot & Ethel (aka Harriet and Heidi)
Simply and cleverly told, that even the youngest of the audience were left spellbound by the magic.  I loved the set, papercuts into blinds depicting a series of adventures. Viking long boats, walking boots, snow flakes and windmills.  The cast of two were set for an exploration with 'sturdy walking boots with a touch of glam' and Nordic snowflake bobble hats.

The Wardrobe Theatre (undressed)
The Wardrobe Theatre is a sweetest and intimate of venues.  So small that you can reach out and touch the performers as they walk amongst the audience.  Fully engaging with the children with the use of balloons and lights.

So if you are in need of some Christmas magic, you and your little one will LOVE The Little Match Girl.  I came away with a warm glow and slight tear in my eye.  Beautiful!!!

For more information please have a look here.
Email for tickets
The show runs until Sunday 22nd December - be quick!

GIVEAWAY! - Thorntons Christmas Hamper...

Image via here
I love chocolate! Who doesn't?  I was recently sent by Thorntons a hamper of chocolate for the boys.  It was their Snowman hamper, like the film.  The boys love that film, they watched it every year with their Grandma when they were very small.  So choosing this hamper I thought would bring back lots of lovely memories.

In it I received 2 large Snowmen, 2 Snow dogs, 2 selection boxes, 2 small snow men and 2 packs of milk chocolate shapes.  All beautifully packaged in a large lidded box (which I shall use for Christmas Decoration storage after Christmas).

Dan helped himself to a small snow dog, he said the white chocolate was creamy and delicious.  Ahem!  I did say it was for the boys!!!  I am going to keep the rest for stocking fillers and to give to the boys Cousins as extras with their presents.

Thorntons have a large range of Christmas chocolate hampers available for delivery this Christmas here.

The lovely people of Thorntons are giving away to one Littlegreenshed reader a Christmas Hamper of their choice!

Yep!  You too can devour deliciousness this Christmas.  Christmas and Chocolate are meant to be!

All you need to do is complete the following form...

Good luck.  Giveaway ends on Tuesday 17th December (so you can receive it in time for Christmas).

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Written in association with Thorntons Chocolate. We were kindly gifted a hamper for Christmas.

Decorating for Christmas...

Image via Notcutts
This Sunday it is the start of Advent, the calendar will go up and from then onwards Christmas is a series of traditional and magical events.  Every year I can't resist treating the home to a new Christmas bauble, garland or candlestick,  it's part of the magic, choosing a new Christmas decoration.  In next coming weeks, little bits and bobs will make an appearance.  Like greenery and the odd bauble or two.  But, I like to wait til the middle of December til I fully go wild.  

I love the idea of a gradual change of home furnishings.  The addition of lights is a must, as are throws, and candles.  Today I hauled 12 large sacks of wood into our dining room and filled the empty fire place with them.  It instantly feels like Christmas, they are there for both aesthetic reasons and our winter fuel.

Oh yes - Christmas is nearly here, and I love it!

This is a sponsored post.

Decorating for Christmas / Winter...

Christmas lights & antlers -
Image via Pinterest
With just over a month til the big day, I am thinking of decorating the home.  You might remember my post about it last year, I can't 'officially' decorate until after the 14th December (Dan's Birthday) - so the tree, and major Christmas elving will happen then.

But for now I am trying to bring light into the home, a little Winter makeover to cosy the place up.  I love this image above.  Stag antlers, festooned with fairy lights.  In past years I've tried to source a set of antlers of my own, but the price is way outta my league, and for the rest of the year they might look out of place in my house.

So, I've been searching around for an alternative and discovered this brilliant cardboard stag head from Uncommon Goods.  Uncommon Goods is a Brooklyn based company with a great range of Christmas gift ideas. I am thinking that the cardboard stag head, draped in glowing lights will look pretty cute in the boys bedroom and can then be packed away in the Christmas box until next year. Perfect teamed with a couple of these little ply snowflake too!.

this is a sponsored post.

91 Magazine...

All images were kindly given with permission by Caroline Taylor
Today sees the launch of Issue 6 of 91 Magazine.  A beautiful on-line lifestyle magazine created by Caroline Taylor of Patchwork Harmony.  

91 Magazine was launched in October 2011, a quarterly online magazine, published by interiors and lifestyle brand, Patchwork Harmony.  This latest Issue is jam packed with helpful tips on setting up your own business, beautiful interiors, delicious recipes and how to's on craft.  It really has some fantastic ideas to celebrate Spring and Summer.

I love the styling in these images... I want to sit at that table and drink tea, make and then eat that pie and I am going to steal the idea of using washi tape on jam jars for a pretty vase.  

To read the Spring/Summer issue please have a look over here.  

little shed...

Yesterday I received a phone call from the allotment site chief, saying our little shed has had it's door pulled off and the inside looks ransacked.
I thanked her for letting me know - but actually it was left in that state the last time we were there!  We don't keep anything of any value in there, all tools come home, the only thing would be a load of canes, string and a broken parasol.
But the bad thing is - my little shed has lost it's door.  She said it was broken up badly as the vandals had kicked it in.
I think we are going to have to fork out (like my allotment pun!) for a new one.  Wooden sheds aren't the cheapest of things, but hey ho, we do need to have some where to store our gardening junk and importantly to shelter from the rain & have a brew.
And yes, I shall paint it green again.

this is a sponsored post

A room of my own...

Image via here
When Dan and I moved into the house we live in now, it was the first home we ever owned. A place to call our own (not going to mention the massive mortgage!).
It was a complete wreck, the previous owners loved purple, swirly carpet and artex ceilings - yep it was a 'changing rooms' disaster zone.
We slowly began to gut this little Victorian Terrace, starting with the bathroom, lounge and bedroom.  Add the to chaos of building work, 5 weeks later I gave birth to Charlie.

Work stopped.

We lived in the badly decorated home, no carpets, a kitchen without a single drawer?!  But it was cool, we had our home and we had our baby.  Charlie grew and when he was 8 months we moved him into his newly decorated nursery in the box room.  Life started to get back to 'normal', renovations resumed, tackling the dining room and kitchen.

Within in months I was pregnant again with Rufus.  Our home improvements took a more urgent turn. Another child - oh my where is it going to sleep?  So we knocked through the kitchen/dining room and converted the loft.  

A 20 month old toddler, an 8 month pregnant mum and an exhausted Dad.


But, at the end of all this.  Dan and I have a lovely little home and two boys who now share our old bedroom at the front of the house and we have escaped to the loft.

Oh yes!  In the evening when all is quiet, we can retreat up two flights of stairs to our little piece of heaven.  Our space is sparsely decorated, white, wood floors and large VELUX® windows.  Dan chose the largest VELUX® windows we could afford to let maxium light in.  We can lie on our bed at night and stare at the stars, or close the VELUX UK blinds and listen to the rain gently tapping on the windows.  

The only downside is sometimes the hot air balloons fly over our house and once or twice the people in the basket have had a good view of me getting dressed!  ahem!

Yep - our loft room is ace.  Where do you go to escape?

this is a sponsored post

Mothers Day...

Image via Here
It's Mother's Day in the UK this Sunday.  It comes round quickly doesn't it?

I seem to spend most of my time looking at lovely gifts for my own Mum, forgetting that I am also a Mother too.  I think it is because my boys are too little to actually go out and buy me something themselves (although that is no excuse as their Daddy could do it with them).  I will be happy with a hand made card, a cup of tea in bed and a good cuddle.  Saying all that, I will be self gifting myself something though!  I am so worth that!

My local Florist is incredible.  Daily on the school run I am seduced by small bouquets of pastel hued hydrangeas tied up with twine and jam jars filled with the happy colours of ranunculus grace the corner on my local high street.  The sun always seems to shine there, those nodding daffs waving hi as I pass.  Yes I will most definitely be treating myself to a some floral treats this weekend.

My own mum will be staying with my Nan on Mother's Day for the weekend, a good few hours away.  So I am thinking of sending them both something via parcelforce.  My mum and Nana both love plants and gardening.  The highlight of the gardening year is a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show in May.  So with this in mind I have bought them both a pack of sweet pea seeds, pretty slate name tags to mark rows of seeds in the soil and both a garden diary to record what has been planted and where.  A pair of gardening gloves and a new trowel each.  I've packaged them up in a little baskets, which I found at the flea market the other weekend.  Altogether a lovely little gift for gardening lovers!

I chose Parcelforce as it worked out much cheaper than using normal postal services, and they will collect directly from my door without me having to queue for ages in the post office.  Perfect!

What are you planning to buy your mother for this Sunday?
Or do you self gift?  Please tell me it's not just me!

this is a sponsored post

Dreaming of setting up camp...

Image via here
As the weather is finally warming up (I actually wore my sandals out today!), I am dreaming of camping holidays and cooking over an open fire.
Last year when on holiday in Cornwall we had most meals on the beach.  A little barbecue, cooking asparagus spears wrapped in pancetta, corn on the cob and sausages... yum!

This year we are most definitely off camping again, possibly trying to get away abroad.  France maybe, now that would be an adventure!  I cannot wait.  I love the smell of woodsmoke and hearing my kids running wild around the tents.. (maybe my neighbours don't but I do!).

I've been looking at some recipes on-line and this one looks delicious, quick and easy.  I need to   cook  something that my boys will devour with gusto!

Campfire Fried Eggs with Potato & Bacon Hash

serves 4


1lb of potatoes
8 oz of sliced bacon
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 large eggs
3 spring onions, chopped


1. Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender, drain.
2. Cook bacon in a cast-iron skillet over a campfire or on a medium-high heat on a camping stove, turning occasionally until crisp.  Remove bacon, let cool slightly and crumble.
3.  Add potatoes to the skillet, lightly smash using the back of a spoon and cook until just starting to brown.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir crumbled bacon into the potatoes.  Push the hash to one side of the skillet.
4. Working in batches, and adding oil if needed, crack 2 eggs into skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook until desired.  Stir in the spring onions into the hash.
5. Serve eggs with hash.

Recipe via here.


What recipes do you love to cook over the camp fire?

This is a sponsored post.

How do you start your day?

Image via here
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  If this is the case, then why am I not thinking more on variety and flavours just as we would an evening meal?  I must admit I am stuck in a rut and opt for the same variety of Bran flakes with bananas, the boys usually have a selection of 'kids' style cereals and Dan has toast.  Dull isn't it?

So recently I've been thinking of better ways to enjoy my first meal of the day.  The people at Jordans Cereal kindly sent me some of their Super Berry Granola to try.  It is packed with crunchy pieces of oatmeal and delicious blackcurrants, blueberries, cranberries and crunchy almonds.  Over the past few days I've mixed it up a little having it some days with milk and other days with natural fat free yoghurt and banana chopped up.  I am converted!

Dan on the other hand is still enjoying his toast (that man loves marmalade!) but he is also taking to work an Absolute Nut breakfast bar.  A treat he says!  Poor love have I been neglecting him! 

My next project - is to get a juicer.  
What do you have for breakfast?  I need inspiration!

this is a sponsored post.

Hey diddle diddle..

Christmas and a trip to the theatre go hand in hand.  As a family we always try to go.  To me, it is an important part of the Christmas magic.  This and maybe a sprinkling of snow!

A few weeks ago, in the heady excitement in the run to Christmas, I took the boys to see a spellbinding performance of Hey Diddle Diddle at the Bristol Old Vic theatre.  Written for younger audiences aged 3-6 years, the show is performed by just three actors - each one playing an instrument, acting and singing to bring the story to life. Popular nursery rhymes blended seamlessly to bring together a quite enchanting tale.

I thought Charlie would be a little too old for this style of performance, but he soon became swept along with the magic of each story, singing loudly to The Grand Old Duke of York and snarling to show his wolf like teeth!

Rufus' only words throughout was 'that's really cool' when the youngest child/actor climbed up into the fabric and hung from the ceiling as a spider.

As I no longer have toddlers, we don't seem to sing nursery rhymes much. I love to recall them and remember singing Twinkle Twinkle to my boys.  My favourite part of the play was the Owl and the Pussycat - I must get myself a fur coat!

Hey Diddle Diddle is on at the Bristol Old Vic until Jan 5th.
Do go along it is pure magic.

this is a gifted post.

Welcome Sponsor - Orla Kiely for Uniqlo

Hi there!
I'd just like to introduce my latest sponsor.  Uniqlo.
I am loving the latest designer range by Orla Kiely.  Her clothes, like her homewares, are gorgeous!  This new range at Uniqlo has all the Orla Kiely design but at an affordable price, perfect for my pocket!
This past season we have seen lovely tunics and dresses.  But recently Uniqlo has launched HEATTECH which feature Orla's iconic prints.

I cannot stand being cold.  Especially on the school run. I want to pick up my boys with a smile, rather be gloomy and freezing.  This where I think thermal's are a must.  And if I can buy stylish thermals, ALL the better!

Uniqlo has for a limited time 10% off all Orla Kiely Heattech products.  I am going to get this one!

Head on over to shop, by clicking on the badge in the sidebar.

The best part of the day..

The best part of the day for me (other than seeing my boys smiling face in the playground at pick up)... is my first cup of tea upon waking.

I love tea.

I love the ritual.

The boiling of the water, the wait, the steam billowing up in the morning sunshine, the selection of your favourite mug, choosing which tea to have, the pour of the water, the timed brew, the sip...

ah ... that first sip.  It's bliss isn't it?

Nothing beats the relaxing therapy of tea... many a catastrophe, conversation, or story has been told over a good old cuppa.  My favourite all time favourite tipple is green tea.  I adore it.  High in anti-oxidants, good for my health and my skin.  It tastes so good, I dive in with every sip - it's comforting to me.

Just recently, I have tried fruit teas and herbal teas - with my attempt to live a more calmer, cleaner life.  One that is fuelled by my own energy and not relying on caffeine to help me get through!

Twinings have a wonderful range of herbal and fruit teas.  At the moment I am drinking their Morning Detox tea... a mix of Milk Thistle, tangy lemon rind, honey scented lime flowers and zesty lemon verbena.  It's bright and refreshing.  A perfect morning wake up.

What tea do you drink?
Are you tea bag dunker or a loose leaf tea potter?

this is a sponsored post

Urbanara - Christmas Gift Guide

I was recently approached by the lovely team at Urbanara to compile a little Christmas Gift Guide.
Me shopping - oh yes!
If you haven't been to the gorgeous on-line store Urbanara I suggest you spend some time there.  Beautifully collected items that suit all budgets and will be perfect in your home.

Here is what Urbanara have to say:


With offices in Shanghai and Berlin, our product scouts scour the globe to find new products, made from the finest materials at their real price. We work with strong, experienced suppliers from Peru to South Africa, from Mongolia to Denmark and we are constantly adding our new finds to the website.

I love the idea of quality homewares from across the globe without the over inflated price tag - and more money going to the producers.

So my little Gift guide above:

1. Renuka Door Mat £29.00
4. Comrie Blanket £49.00
6. Ambato Scarf £25.00
7. Gotland Throw £79.00

Such gorgeous stuff!  Dan if you are reading - BIG hints.
Go check out

this is a sponsored post.

welcome sponsor - Whistling Finch

Hello lovelies!
How are you doing?

Today I'd like to introduce my latest Sponsor... Whistling Finch.   Veronica writes the most BEAUTIFUL blog about her family life by the coast in Australia.  Her photography is stunning, her writing homely and romantic... I love to drop in and read about their days, adventures and family life.

Veronica has recently launched a shop selling gorgeous fabric covered hair bands and other cute items to come.

Do pop over and say hi to Veronica... Oh and a little heads up - look out next week for a Whistling Finch giveaway.

Sponsor deal - buy November and get December half price!

Happy November!
Yesterday was Halloween - how was yours?
Good I hope...
Ours was super great - a spooky party in the woods with friends, pumpkin lanterns, hot dogs and spooky stories.  It was wonderful.  The only rubbish bit was that my camera failed to record any photo I took. I am absolutely gutted!!  I need a new memory card I think - I hope so, otherwise it's going to be an expensive replacement!

Anyway... today is the 1st of November.
So it's time to talk about Sponsors.

I have set up 4 new ad spaces.  If you hop over to the sponsors page you can have a look.
I've done a little package for you -

buy November and get December for HALF PRICE!

Cool eh?
Perfect for the run up to Christmas.
If you have a shop, running a market stall, an e-course or just want to give your blog some more readership, this could be a great opportunity to advertise during the busiest time of the year!

You can join at any point during November and your ad will run for 60 days from that point (if you choose the above package - or 30 days from point of joining on the single month ad's).

Google Friend Connect: 540 followers
Twitter: 628 followers
Facebook page: 340
Instagram: 393 followers
Pinterest: 1516 followers

Blog page views: 16,000 per month
Page views daily: 700

With a readership worldwide - top countries are UK, USA, Australia, France.

I do hope you like these little packages!
I'd love to have you on board!
Come and join the party!

Warming clothes for adventuring...

After spending last Saturday in the woods, I came to realise even more our love of adventuring.
As a family we are happiest romping through woodlands, visiting National Trust properties or walking on deserted beaches in the winter. 
One thing that did bother me was not having clothing that was practical, warm and stylish too.  My old knackered sweatshirt just made me feel depressed and dowdy, I could really do with something that is just for my days outdoors. But where do I get one?
There are plenty of outdoorsy shops around selling fleeces but they tend to make my hair static and fleece isn't the most beautiful of clothing is it!. I need to look into somewhere that sells womens hoodies that is stylish and doesn't cost the earth.
Howies has a great range.  As does Joules.  I want warmth, comfort, style and low cost.
Any suggestions?

this a sponsored post.