Zulily Review And Competition

8 Aug

When I was asked to review zulily the online store that brings you daily designer deals for kids at discount prices, I jumped at the chance.

With the sun blazing it was time to get the toddler a trendy new outfit to struct his stuff in.

Here’s what he wore while attending a summer barbecue and chilling with his little buddies all courtesy of Zulily.

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I love Harley in yellow and this Funky Monkey tee did him a treat. He loves the cool motorbike image that is printed on both the front and the back. The shorts are also very cool! My younger brother (now in his late twenties) was a huge Batman fan and he would have love these back in the day! That’s why I’m calling these Harley’s new retro shorts.

As for the hoody, its incredibly smart and fashionable but as you may have guessed, a little to on the warm side to be wearing it just yet. I’m sure this will get loads of wear during the colder english months to come.

Sadly I was unable to get some great images of the front of his outfit as he was far to busy engaged in his play session with he’s cousins… Yes, it’s hard work trying to photograph a lively 3 year old boy when he has a sand pit and push along car in front of him.

So now for some exciting news! Zulily’s have kindly offered one of my readers the chance to bag themselves a £20 voucher to send on a deal of there choice over on the Zulily site.

But firstly here’s a bit more about Zulily and how it all works…

Zulily was founded by two dads when they couldn’t find unique clothes for their children at affordable prices… You can read the Zulily story here!
They are a members only site that generally has 30-90% of the retail prices on today’s children’s fashion.
They run around 8-10 events a day
and work with smaller, boutique brands as well as bigger brands so there is literally something for everyone’s taste.

What’s more as a member (which is free) You can earn zulily credit through referring your friends – £10 per friend referred once their first order ships. Now that’s what I call an Incentive!

Zulily also have a monthly Cuties Instagram competition, which is featured on there blog. I regularly enter this one as they have some fabulous prizes up for grabs and some fun monthly themes.

They also have an iPhone app that you can find HERE

So… Lets get this competition started! Fancy winning a Zulily voucher for the value of £20? Of course you do!!

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To be in with a chance of winning answer the compulsory question below…

… Just tell me what fashion means to you and your little ones! Are you an anything goes kinda mum? Maybe you only do designer or maybe you just don’t care as long as they are clean and comfortable your happy! Just tell me by commenting in the comments section below.

For extra chances to win just do any or all of the following.

Tweet… “I want to win a £20 Zulily Voucher with @Clairelouise82 and @Zulily adding the URL to this competition.

Pin the competition on Pinterest

Use any of the share buttons below excluding email and like it buttons.

Follow @Clairelouise82 on twitter

Follow @Zulily on twitter.

Important… Please leave a separate comment for each action you carry out and one extra entry for each action will be added into the final draw.

It’s as simple as that… Good luck everyone.

Terms & Conditions

Competition open to UK residents only. Closes on the 4th September 2013 at 11.59pm. Email or twitter handle must be left with all comments to ensure I can contact you in the event that you win. Prize will be sent by Zulilys so your address will need to be passed to them via myself. Winner has a total of 72 hours to claim their prize from the time of winning notification being given.

Sleeping Issues

16 Jul

Having a child with Aspergers can be difficult but having one that hardly sleeps is Incredibly trying.

For this reason little man’s school attendance is suffering and so am I… Big time!

Its one huge battle to get the boy to bed of a night and another to get him up. His like a monster in the mornings, swearing and throwing things about.

As his grown so has the problem. His now as tall as myself so grabbing the covers, carrying him out of bed and then physically dressing him is no longer an option! Well that is unless I want to live! Not only am I going to land myself back in court for little man’s shabby attendance I’m also struggling to get anything done during the day. Shopping is already a nightmare and I’ve given up on taking little man some time ago. This means just a quick trip to the shops has become some type of mission… One I’m not to keen on taking.

With this I have no choice but to visit the doctor and request a prescription of melatonin. Its not fantastic but given his had a good break from it, its effects will be beneficial over the next week or so at least.

So… If all the above wasn’t bad enough Little man is now spending his days bullying his younger brother rather than getting an education. Its not bully as such, its just his need for control and when his not at school or in bed catching up on the sleep his lost his doing exactly that… Trying to control everything everybody does. Its tiresome!

We are now in July and what happens in July? Little man starts preparing for his big day… Aka his birthday. Its three whole months away but that don’t make a difference… Not for the little man it doesn’t!

This year his talking computers… Macs to be precise. Yes, his not asking for anything cheap here and I think I preferred it when he was asking for them strange and wonderful items such as batteries and staple guns! There is one good thing to come out of the obsessive birthday chatter! If he wants something on such a grand scale his going to need to go to bed earlier and attend school everyday! After all he only has a week left till the holidays.

So… There you have it! Sorry its such a mini update but as you may have noticed, I don’t have so much time to get on and blog these days. Here’s hoping the next instalment is a little more upbeat.

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#silentsunday

23 Jun

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Bubble Shooz Review & Competition

23 Jun

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All kids love to pop bubble wrap don’t they?

Come on… I’m pretty sure it is all kids! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid resist the overriding urge to run to their mother as they unwrap a parcel while shouting the words “Bubble Wrap” before grabbing a hold of the stuff and going for it! Place some bubble wrap into the hands of anyone regardless of age and watch how long it takes them to start indulging in some hardcore popping action!

Yes, I was once a child too you know! Coming home from school to discover bubble wrap laying about your house is something of a kids heaven. So, in discovering that ‘Vivid‘ had designed a toy to mimic that of bubble popping came as no surprise to me. When asked if the kids wanted to give “Bubble Shooz” a try and then share their thoughts in a review, we jumped at the chance and I couldn’t wait to check these babies out! Whats more I was offered a pair to give away to readers, so keep reading to find out how you can win a pair!

So… Just what is this toy and how does it work? Basically the product comes in the form of a pair of shoes… “Yes Shoes!” These can be adjusted to fit kids with a shoe size of 12 plus. Kids just strap these shoes on over their regular shows and then simply walk about as they usually would! Only, as they do, the sound of bubble popping can be heard coming from their feet.

Ok, its not really the same as that of the traditional popping of bubble wrap but kids seem to love it all the same. At first I sat asking myself “Whats the point?” Then I realised there isn’t really one and doesn’t really have to be when it comes to kids and toys. I don’t know what it is but this kind of thing has them excited.
For me I’m happy with my traditional bubble wrap popping action which is mainly because I feel like a bit of a tit wearing these (oh yes I did try them on). Seriously, these brightly coloured shoes are better off sticking with the kids.

Sadly as stated the shoes start at a size 12 and my toddler is a 8 so not quite there yet. Admittedly he did throw a bit of a wobbler as he watched big sister put them to the test. Its a shame because at 3 I think he would enjoy these especially given that following the tears he giggled madly as his sister went Pop… Pop… Popping along!

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With cool bubble styling on the base of each shoe, the Bubble Shooz are great for indoor or outdoor use – listen to the sound of popping as you walk around the house or garden for poptastic fun.

Bubble Shooz have a retail price of £19.99 and are available to buy now from all good toy stores.

So… If you basically want to mimic the popping of bubble wrap minus the mess then I guess these are for you!

Want to win a pair of bubble Shooz? Well, here’s how!

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Compulsory Entry…

Tell me what unusual item used to excite you as a child? Was you the child who played with the boxes rather than their toys at Christmas?

The above is a compulsory action that you will need to complete in order to successfully enter the competition.

Here’s some extra chances to win. Do any off the following (all if desired) and leave me a comment for each one completed to gain an automatic extra entry into the random competition draw.

Note… All comments for all actions including the compulsory one need to contain either a valid contactable email address or twitter handle. This is to ensure winners are contactable.

Additional entries (cannot be gained without having first done the compulsory action)…

Follow me on twitter (@clairelouise82)

Pin the competition to one of your Pinterest boards and comment sharing that link with me so I can find it.

Tweet… “I want to win a pair of bubble Shooz with @Clairelouise82 and @Vividtoygroup Adding The URL to this competition!!” Comment with the link to your tweet.

Comment on another Non Competition post and comment telling me which one

Subscribe to this blog using feedburner and let me know which email address u subscribe with (feedburner button located in sidebar).

Visit and subscribe to my sister blog Mummy of Many Talents (featuring crafts, fashion and vintage flare) comment telling me the email addy you subscribe with.

Competition closing date is August 20th 2013 at 11:59 PM. Entries submitted after this time with not be entered into the final draw (even if your comment is showing as submitted).

Competition is open only to those in the UK only normal T&C apply and can be found on the blogs disclaimer page.

Note: Winner has 72 hours to claim their prize once contact has been made.

A Bright Star No Longer Hidden

22 Jun

The annual review, a time for meeting with your child’s teachers and discussing progress, struggles and ideas. A meeting centred around your child’s special educational needs and the statement they hold.

Last week it was that time, the time for the Little man’s second annual review since attending his special independent school specifically for children on the autism spectrum. Lately, Little man’s attendance has been a little off the wall! Despite his love for his new school he continues to struggle to sleep of a night, often getting just a few hours sleep or none whatsoever. As one can imagine, mornings are becoming one huge battle us! For this reason alone I expected to hear how my son was falling dangerously behind that of his peers, what with his last school (mainstream primary school) insisting he had a reading age of 7, reception age writing skills, poor understanding of science and history, plus 2 levels below in maths and more besides. He was 10 at the time and I protested that my son wasn’t this far behind, especially in maths. His bedroom wall looked like some kind of number puzzle where he would cover it in mathematical problem solving and coding to a complex level (one even I struggled to understand)!

You see it was my conclusion that he was much brighter than he let on, but wasn’t showing this due to his unhappiness while attending a school who seriously struggled to meet any of his needs, both educational and developmental. It was during this particular annual review meeting that I realised just how right I was back then.

Here it comes… A seriously proud mummy moment…

Little man is two levels above his expect national curriculum level in maths. He is in year 7 and currently has a level of a child in year 9 on his way to year 10.

His also above in PE, Reading and more besides. He science levels were that of his expected age. English as a whole is also what is expected which just goes to show that my boy and any other child on the spectrum has the ability to shine given they are in the right environment to do so.

He has a great new system in which he can remove himself from the classroom to shake of any problems and excess energy with a run around the playground. He only has the ability to use his “Get Out Of Glass Card” twice for each lesson and teachers have reported that sometimes he finishes class having not used one. This may seem like such a minor thing but to a mum like me its pure music to my ears.

He also has a great reward system and school are working hard to try and discourage his swearing. Despite episodes still happening on a daily basis the improvements are slowly taking place and little man’s learning a little self control.

Proud… Oh yes, seriously proud! When your so used to being told the negative when it comes to your child’s education, you forget what its like to hear anything positive. This was a great example of this, it was the proudest I’d felt for a long time. I just wanted to shout about it from the roof tops.

Was I tempted to take a little walk through them office doors of his once mainstream school, the one in which his younger sister attends? Did I feel to wave his report in the air while shouting “Yer… Get a load of that! Thats my boy they are writing about!” Um maybe I did, just a little…I can’t lie. However, I don’t care what was once said! All that matters is that I have always believed in him even if those others who should have, instead made it their mission to write him off as a lost cause!

Well… Eat My Shorts!

My boys a star, a star that shines bright because his no longer hidden.

So, if you have a bright star that is currently struggling to be seen through the clouds then don’t give up on them! Believing is the key to your child’s educational success and as long as you believe others will follow. Never give up, fight for them to be seen as the star you know them to be.

JUSTIN GOES FOR GOLD AT OLYMPIC PARK

21 Jun

As an official LolliBop family, this year myself and the kids just can’t wait to this years event! with such a great line up its one not to be missed.

LolliBop, the UK’s biggest day out for kids, has announced CBeebies Superstar Justin Fletcher will be performing at this year’s event.

Taking place in its brand new home, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the BAFTA –award winning star of CBeebies will be performing live for LolliBoppers on Saturday August 17 and Sunday August 18.

Justin Live! promises an all singing, all dancing extravaganza guaranteed to bring the house down.

LolliBop’s event manager, Jenny Kane said: “Justin Fletcher is top of the charts when it comes to kids entertainment and our new venue deserves to host the number one superstar of CBeebies. We’re delighted Justin is able to be a part of LolliBop 2013.”

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The all-mouse reggae band, Rastamouse and Da Easy Crew, are also confirmed for Friday August 16, as part of a busy summer touring the nation. Last seen at LolliBop 2011, the cool, mystery-solving mouse will be back on stage performing his latest hits for fans throughout the day.

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Another new addition to the LolliBop 2013 line up is everyone’s favourite postman, Postman Pat and of course, Britain’s most famous black and white cat, Jess! They will be at the festival over the three days meeting pint sized festival goers.

LolliBop promises all the fun of a festival without the hassle of camping. With an incredible line up, all aimed at children under the age of 10, LolliBop combines the hottest names in kids entertainment, as well of hundreds of activities, workshops and interactive areas.

The 2013 programme also includes Dick and Dom, Skylanders, Science Museum Live, Cloudbabies, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Peppa Pig, Poppy Cat, the Wot Wots, Transformers, The Go! Go! Go! Show, the Mr Men and Little Miss Village Green Event and Shaun the Sheep’s Championsheeps. LolliBop’s live theatre tent – The Lollipalladiam – showcases performances from pioneering and internationally renowned companies and artists. There is also a brand new Discovery Zone, Meadows area, Enchanted Woods, Lolli Promenade and much more.

Tickets are on sale now, from £20pp.

www.lollibopfestival.co.uk

Wear It For Autism: Nominations Now Open

20 Jun

Has your life been affected by autism or do you know someone whose has? Do you know someone who is always putting others before themselves and deserves an extra-special treat? Nominate them now and they could be part of Wear It For Autism.

Wear It For Autism is looking for mums, dads, children and carers – who either have autism themselves or care for those living with the condition – to have a full makeover and take centre-stage in a stylish fashion event at London’s Vinyl Factory on Tuesday 10 September.

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Nominations are open now until Sunday 23 June 2013. Celebrity judges, including Gail Porter and Adele Silva, alongside Maggie Paterson, Principal of Pineapple Performing Arts Covent Garden, will select winners from across five categories – mums, dads, young carers, children with autism, and adults with austim. All the winners will be treated to a top-to-toe makeover by styling experts and take part in the Wear It for Autism catwalk show.

Anna Kennedy said: “The idea behind Wear It For Autism was to spoil those who usually never get a chance to treat – or even think of – themselves. Living with autism can be challenging and extremely demanding, so we wanted to create a special event that will be fun for all involved, as well as raise vital funds to campaign for the rights of those with this disability.”

If you know a parent, carer or child affected by autism, or if you want to take part in Wear It For Autism, nominate now at www.annakennedyonline.com

Tickets for the show are available now, priced £25 each. All profits go to the registered charity Anna Kennedy Online, which supports UK families affected by autism, including providing small grants for educational and domestic resources

Sponsor’s for the event are, Littlewood’s,Toni & Guy, Pineapple Arts, London Beauty Queen and Mahogony

Here Comes The Sun – Tips To Help The Sensitive Child Cope

13 Jun

As the days and nights become increasingly warmer your sensitive child on the autism spectrum may require a little help in coping with the sensory issues that summer may bring.

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So here’s a few tips aimed at those parents of the sensitive child! After all everyone deserves to have a great summer don’t they!

1) Does your child show a dislike to most sun protection products? Little man doesn’t enjoy the application of sunscreen and will spend half the day refusing to comply with my request to apply it. The dislike of sunscreen by a child on the spectrum could be due to a number of factors all of which are a result of the child’s senses. Little man hates the feeling of the lotion on the skin (protests that all feel sticky). This is as well as the smell of the lotion and the fact he needs help with the application process. Here’s some suggestions…
A – Try a powder protection like the one from bare essentials its odourless too.
B – Let your child learn to apply the sun lotion themselves using a mirror then try to cover hard to reach areas that will be exposed to the sun with clothing (thin and cool material)
C – Experiment with different brands of sun protection. Many have different smells and textures and most brands offer sample size bottles or sachets.

2) Try to organise outdoor activities around the midday sun. Children with autism who are sensitive to the suns rays will thank you for it.

3) Use a good insect repellent! No one likes getting bitten by insects and its a 1000 times worse for the child who is tactile defensive. Clothing that comes into contact with the skin is already an issue for these children but if clothing rubs causing friction to an insect bite things become intensely over sensitive. Then there’s the issue of infection to bite. Little man doesn’t listen if I tell him not to scratch a bite, he really can’t control the need to do so, having no power to resist. Your best bet is to just be safe and avoid insect bites altogether. As before experiment in till you find the right product for your child. Another good tip is to use fly nets at the windows or an air conditioning unit at night.

4) Cover up with a hat! As you should for all children insist your child on the spectrum wears some form of sun hat. Your child will be more comfortable in the sun and this will reduce the risk of sunstroke and little mans most feared pain… The headache! If your sensitive child refuses to wear a hat then try alternatives such as a sun umbrella and whenever possible, staying indoors during the hottest point of the day (the midday sun).

5) Does your child with Autism have a fear of flying insects? It isn’t a trait as such, but not uncommon for children with autism to have such a fear. Sometimes its due to factors such as the noise these insects make… Noises such a buzzing from bees, flys and wasps. It can also be down to a fear of getting bitten or stung due to it happening perhaps one day in the past. Regardless of the reason, its usually an intense fear, one that children on the autism spectrum will struggle to deal with. Its all too easy to hide away from those things we are scared of! However this only makes things more difficult in the long run as one day them fearful critters will sneak up on us. My tip… That its better to deal with fear head on by facing it! This can be made much harder when the child who is scared of such insects has a type of autism. But it can be done! It normally just takes a little longer. Ideas…
A) Let children learn more about the things they are frighten about. Use the Internet with them to unravel exciting facts.
B) During warm months use Mosquito nets at windows.
C) Be persistent when helping your child face their fears. Keep on trying on a daily basis.
D) If extreme (to the point your child wont leave the house) then speak to child practitioner for information, advice and ideas.

6) Use a thin 100% cotton sheet instead of a duvet at night! If your child is already a poor sleeper the heat could potentially make this issue worse. Try offering your child lighter cooler bedding. In the summer months little man will often use a sheet instead of a duvet. As long as its 100% cotton we don’t have any tactile issues.

7) Whether appropriate clothing! I found that during the colder months I have to fight the little man to wear his coat, yet in the summer he refuses to go out without it. Experiment with different coats that are appropriate for the current climate. If your child insists on wearing a coat in summer then give them thin cotton summer jackets. Be sure to make sure the material is suited to your child’s tactile needs (little man will not wear waterproof material)!

8) Head to the beach! Being by the sea is always much cooler with the sea breeze. Little man always seems so much happier when we are spending time at the coast. We try to visit less crowded beaches to keep his stress levels down.

9) Avoid the shops! If like little man you’re child on the autism spectrum hates shopping at the best of times then avoid shopping trips during them hot summers afternoons. This is a recipe for meltdowns… You’ve been warned.

10) Cool down! I’ve found that by giving little man a battery operated hand fan he manages the summer heat much better. We did try using cool mist but spraying this on the little man’s face didn’t go down to well. See what works best for your child but if you do opt for a battery operated fan then be sure batteries are fully charged and maybe keep a spare set in your handbag just in case.

Well that’s about it for now. Hope these small tips help and if you have any of your own, then please share in the comments section. Thanks.x

Get Fathers Day Wrapped Up In An Instant

11 Jun

Father’s Day is drawing closer so I thought I’d share some fun and funky treats that I think are awesome gift ideas for Fathers Day.

Here’s my top 5 contenders… I’m counting down here with number 1 being my top pick.

At number 5… A 12 Week Beer Subscription For Dad from BeerBods

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Price – £36 (12 Week Subscription)

Product – BeerBods offer more than just a case of beers to your door but instead an online resource (plus a case of 12 beers delivered at your door). The idea is for BeerBods to deliver dad 12 bottles of bear then for dad to drink and share (just one bear a week) with the online BeerBods community. Each week BeerBods tell dad what beer to drink and the story behind it as he drinks it. Dad then shares his thoughts with the BeerBods community!

A great gift for beer loving dads who are quite opinionated when it comes to a pint.

4) Personalised Silver Hand Stamped Word Ring From – Boutique To You

Price – £45

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Product Info – Personalised Silver Hand-Stamped Word Ring that comes beautifully gift boxed. The personalised silver word ring is made to order and you can choose whatever word you wish to be stamped on it. How about the name if his child? I thought it would be a great gift for Father’s Day if dad has more than one child. If each child buys dad a ring then these would equal a great stacking set!

3) Personalised Tax Disc Cufflinks From – Firebox

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Price £29.99

Product Info – What a fun and funky gift idea for any dad. Following in the great personalised apparel tradition of monogrammed hankies, and your Mum writing your name on the tag of your jumper, Firebox bring you these Personalised Tax Disc Cuff Links. I think they are Awesome.

2) Why My Daddy Is Brilliant (Personalised Book) From ‘Not On The High Street

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Price – £15.95

Product Info – More than a card, this beautifully illustrated twelve-page book is a wonderful way for children to show their love for daddy. From favourite hobbies to why they make them smile, the book has been especially written for children to say why they love the ‘superhero’ in their life. It even features blank frames for them to draw their own illustrations in or stick their favourite photographs in! Whether it’s as a family memento or a bedtime read, this book will forever be a reminder of a child’s love for their own ‘superhero’.

How can any daddy be anything other than chuffed with a gift like that.

In the number one spot it’s the gift I’ve chosen for that of my own father…

… 1) Dinner at one of three Marco Pierre White’s London restaurants (tasty 3 course meal for two and a cocktail too) Brought to us by ‘Buy A Gift

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Price – £50

Product Info – The personalised gift website lets you purchase an experience voucher, activate it and then from their you simply book your reservation with one of the three restaurants on offer, My choice being that of London’s Kings Road Marco Pierre white restaurant. Whats more this fantastic 4 star rated deal is currently on special offer, allowing costumers to purchase this yummy fathers day treat at just £50 instead of £101 making it just under half price for three courses of fantastic fine food.

Here’s whats included for that very special price…. The Kings Road Steakhouse & Grill is a traditional steakhouse in the heart of Chelsea, serving a mouth-watering range of classic steak cuts, as well as a wide variety of timeless English dishes – making it the perfect place to enjoy an indulgent meal for two! You’ll be treated to three courses from a menu including the finest quality steaks, roast meats and fish mainboards in the area, as well as a refreshing Champagne cocktail each

This is the perfect gift idea for the hard to buy for dad who has everything, or one who just appreciates a nice bit of steak (as I know mine does).

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to write this by any of the above brands. I just wanted to share some great potential gift ideas with you all.

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#silentsunday

10 Jun

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