|ORGANISE|#30minutepurge and what's in my handbag


For my latest #30minutepurge I'm giving my handbag a clear out.

I've only been using this handbag for little over a month, so it's not accumulated too much rubbish, I thought I might do this once a week to keep it in check.  Do you organise your handbag regularly or are you a tissue and receipt stuffed bag kind of gal?


So then this was before in all its glory, I thought I took a photo of the pile once I'd tipped it out but I'm afraid that I didn't :(


Here's a photo of my current handba, I treated myself to this last month as a little birthday gift.  As you can see, it's quite big, I think the description was 'shopper'.


Once I'd cleared everything out, this is what I was left with, which belongs in my bag.

1. Filofax, blog notebook & blog diary
2. Pencil case
3. Business card
4. Bookmark
5. Folding hairbrush
6. Headphones in caterpillar purse
7. Ibuprofen
8. Tissues
9. Key to my work pedestal
10. Purse
11. Lip balm & lipstick
12. Mints
13. Work rsa token for my laptop & printer key fob
14. Bag of teabags and salt sachets (I have a massive salt addiction)
15. Work pass
16. Umbrella
17. Phone charger (cable not shown)
18. Hand cream
19. Sunglasses
Not shown!
20. iPhone
21. iPad 


I was left with a small pile of rubbish!


And a pile of things that belong elsewhere! 

#30minutepurge was a small challenge I set myself for April, I have not managed to do one everyday but I've certainly managed to make a dent in decluttering and will keep doing the #30minutepurge.

You can see all of my purges by using the hashtag in Instagram.


|HAUL|happy paper club - April Box


I hope this isn't getting to boring for anyone, but stationery & paper & books are something which are having a big resurgence in my life right now, I'm re-finding my love of all things papery which is bringing a healthy balance to my technology filled work and blog life.

This week, I've got the unboxing of my April Happy Paper Club box from The Green Gables, and this month I might just have squealed with actual delight!

Here's a quick video of the unboxing and below I'll show you some photo's and a bit more detail about how I'll use each item, look out at the bottom for details of how you can sign-up for a Happy Paper Club box.
 
 

A postcard with a great sentiment on it.  I think this will make its way to a penpal at some time so for now it's going in my letter writing basket.
 

It was the second time last week that I found myself getting a happy, nostalgic feeling from holding a good old fashioned wooden pencil.  I was chuffed when I saw this, for too long I've been using restractable, refillable pencils, but just holding a wooden pencil in my hand again made me realise it's time to change.  A bit like writing with a decent fountain pen after a break!
 

How lovely to have included some wildflower seeds this month.  These ones will be making their way to a small wildflower bed I've had planned for this year.
 

Eeek! Just eeek! I LOVE these happy post day stickers and was admiring them last month whilst having a bit of a window shop around The Green Gables shop, I was thrilled to receive these in this months package, they will be going on my #postcircle snail mail for sure!
 

A super cute little thank you card, this will be added to my card box, ready to use for the right moment!


Yes, that there would be a meal planner pad!  And it's A5 sized so perfect to use in my planner if I want to, I think this is going to heavily feature in my Meal Planning Monday posts from now on rather than badly cut and pasted excel tables!  Such a great idea, why didn't I think of that?  I love the addition of the shopping list, I'm not sure if I'll re-work my daily pages and use this in my planner or if I'll keep this and stick it up in the kitchen, but I'm pretty sure that I'll be using it from now on!





The Reading Residence

|FUN|plaster of paris 'fake' cupcakes for play dough


Our friend Nicola aka multicraftingmummy is celebrating her first blog birthday this week and we were honoured to be asked to create a guest post for the occasion.  I actually can't believe that multicraftingmummy has only been blogging for a year, it's an amazing blog and has so many wonderful ideas for crafting with your children.

I created some re-usable plaster of paris cupcakes that you can decorate with play dough time and time again.

Head over to crafty kids at home, by multicraftingmummy to see how.

You can find all of multicraftingmummy's blog birthday posts here, so do pop back later in the week for more celebratorary fun!

Multicraftingmummy can also be found at -

Multicraftingmummy are a must follow for all crafting mummies!

I'm linking this post into #toddlerapprovedtuesday this week.


|#toddlerapprovedtuesday|week 27 - 28 April


Morning guys and welcome to another week of #toddlerapprovedtuesday, week 27, wow, can you actually believe that we've been running this little linky for over 6 months now, I can't thank everyone enough for the support, from the retweets each week, to the link-ups to  the readers popping along to see what's been linked up, thank you, everyone xx  


We're in Eastbourne at the moment, visiting The Hubs godmother, and we have a guest post this week over at multicraftingmummy, so I'm linking my post for that.  It's multicraftingmummy's first blog birthday this week and they'll be having some great birthday posts all week, I was honoured to be asked to join in the celebrations thanks so much For having us Nicola.  Our post is for re-usable plaster of paris cupcakes to decorate with play dough.

We would love it if you would join us with your toddler activities, crafts, food, clothes, reviews and updates.

Linking opens every Tuesday morning and closes Thursday night at midnight which gives us a good few days to see what your little ones have approved! We will share your posts on Twitter, make sure you follow me @larabeeuk and Becky @3princess_1dude and every week we will each pick our favourite two for our #ToddlerApprovedTuesday Showcase!

Rules:

1. Link up as many posts as you like but please remember to paste the #ToddlerApprovedTuesday badge on each post you would like to link up (code in sidebar, paste it into the HTML option of your blogging platform) this helps us spread the word!

2. Pop by and comment on two or three other posts, more would be great if you can!

3. OPTIONAL: Share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #ToddlerApprovedTuesday) on your social media, Becky and I will retweet all your posts via Twitter (make sure you mention us in your tweets @3princess_1dude/@larabeeuk) and we'll also share relevant links on our #ToddlerApprovedTuesday Pinterest board.  Even if you don't have a blog, please do join in by using the hashtag for your toddler approved tweets & Instagram posts, they will still be counted for the showcase!

Onto my showcases this week!



I loved the look of the book a bird like himself which was reviewed by Let them be small, I like to mix T's books, with some popular favourites and some more unusual ones.  I particularly liked the look of the illustrations in this book.



I also love these under the sea arts and crafts by Lamb & Bear T started off crafting in his highchair so this is something I love to see in blog posts!  What I really liked though was the clever use of different background papers, cellphone for the window art and shiny blue paper for the sea scene.  Just lovely!

So now it's over to you...
 

|FUN|Stories for St George's Day


It's been a struggle to get books suitable for a 3 year old which celebrate St George's Day, I've mentioned before that I'm not keen on any form of play/learning which involves killing or hurting, yes I have been know to change history in our house, just until T goes to school!  I appreciate and accept that he will learn the 'real' stories one day, but whilst I can control it, I will ;)

Here are 2 books that we've been enjoying this past weekend, I hope to add to our collection as T gets older and when I remember to do more research instead of leaving it 2 weeks before St George's Day!


His first book, whilst not strictly about St George and the dragon is a lovely tale about a little wizard and a dragon, it leads the child to see the tale of hunting dragons from the dragons perspective and the friendly dragon in this story gets saved by his friend the little wizard, leaving the brave knight to return to the castle dragonless.  


George and the Dragon, is a really great book, I love that George, here depicted as a mouse, defeats the dragon and protects the castle using the dragons fear of mice, I think that it's an awesome spin on the tale which tells the story without the slaying and killing aspect.

You can find all our St George's Day activities from last year here.

|CREATE|loo roll castles


T led this cute little activity, we were playing with his Knights and dragons, sort of re-enacting St George and the dragon and he asked if we could make a castle, wow, make a castle, not too much of a tall order then!

Then it hit me!  I raided our box of loo rolls and started forming turrets, T copied, if you look closely you'll see his.  


I just made 8 similar sized slits and the folded every other one in.


I then cut out a bit of card, drew on a port cullis and windows (are they called windows on a castle!?!?) then just sellotaped the castle to the turrets both front and back, as shown above.


I love it when T and I work together to make things, he was so proud and has played for ages with them, I'm sure they won't be going away after St George's day


Maybe next time we should use them with the pirate ship.

You can find all our St George's Day activities from last year here.

LarabeeUK

Zenas Suitcase

|#toddlerapprovedtuesday|week 26


Welcome to another week of #toddlerapprovedtuesday thanks to everyone who linked up and re-tweeted for us, it's very much appreciated.


This week, I've got a quick, free and cute recycle project for you, our loo roll castles, we've made ours for St George's Day but you could use them for all manner of small world play.  

Remember if you have any 10 minute activities new or old, don't forget to link them to the #parentideaswap linky, I really will heed my own advice and link mine up before next weeks #toddlerapprovedtuesday

We would love it if you would join us with your toddler activities, crafts, food, clothes, reviews and updates.

Linking opens every Tuesday morning and closes Thursday night at midnight which gives us a good few days to see what your little ones have approved! We will share your posts on Twitter, make sure you follow me @larabeeuk and Becky @3princess_1dude and every week we will each pick our favourite two for our #ToddlerApprovedTuesday Showcase!

Rules:

1. Link up as many posts as you like but please remember to paste the #ToddlerApprovedTuesday badge on each post you would like to link up (code in sidebar, paste it into the HTML option of your blogging platform) this helps us spread the word!

2. Pop by and comment on two or three other posts, more would be great if you can!

3. OPTIONAL: Share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #ToddlerApprovedTuesday) on your social media, Becky and I will retweet all your posts via Twitter (make sure you mention us in your tweets @3princess_1dude/@larabeeuk) and we'll also share relevant links on our #ToddlerApprovedTuesday Pinterest board.  Even if you don't have a blog, please do join in by using the hashtag for your toddler approved tweets & Instagram posts, they will still be counted for the showcase!

Onto my showcases this week.


I loved the look of these banana muffins from Laura at , they look really scummy, use up over-ripe muffins and are great for little hands.


And I just could not resist this fabulous blossom tree craft from Clare's Tot's it's simply adorable. I don't know about T but I feel like givi this one a go myself!  And I'm sure Clare won't mind me mentioning that she delivered a beautiful baby boy called Jack last week, so congratulations to Clare and her family. 



|FUN|St Georges Day Video's



To kickstart our St George's Day activities for T this week, I started off with finding some St George's Day video's for him to watch.

I was quite picky about what the video's depicted as I actually think that T is still too young to even consider talking about sacrificing virgins and slaying dragons, mythical or not!

I turned to YouTube for our video's and here they are in case you'd like something a little patriotic for your littles to watch this week.

(When I say patriotic, I mean the legend rather than the fact that St George was not even English!)

Here are the 2 suitable cartoons that I've found.

You can find our St George's Day activities from last year here.
 
 
 


|THE LIST|weekly round-up week 16

 
I loved having a blog planning session first thing this morning!  I've got a long way to go to get back into the flow I was in before The Hubs got ill but I finally feel as though I'm getting there.  Before 1 March I used to have 3 main blogging sessions per week.  A Tuesday evening, Friday's and Sunday's, now though, because The Hubs is here at these times, I'm not getting as much done.  The weekend starts well, but by the end of the week it starts to pitter out.  I also want to get back to blogging a week in advance.  This week I am determined to make good use of commute and lunch times again too. 
 
Blog
Highs
- 4 new review opportunities sealed this week
- My favourite post this week is my Stationery Haul post.
- After #toddlerapprovedtuesday My most popular post this week was handmade seed papers
- 7 posts published so far this week (including this one)  
- Happy that comments and #toddlerapprovedtuesday comments are all done again, no big Sunday morning catch-up.

Lows
- None
 
 
Personal/family
Highs 
- Finally my blood test appointment came round, hopefully medication will be sorted soon!
- Getting T back into routine, he's definitely been better this week.
- Spent lots of time with T doing activities, we've both enjoyed that.
 
Lows
- Eating bad!
Household
Highs
- Lots of pruning done in the garden, wrong time of year to do it, but at least it's done now.
 
Lows
- None
 
I'm getting there... :)
 
Mums' Days 

|CREATE|patio tic-tac-toe

 
We've been trying really hard to turn dour garden into a great outdoor space that we can use for entertaining with friends and family over the summer months.  Making it lovely and tidy for eating and relaxing and playing are our main priorities.
 
As T loves playing tic-tac-toe (see our Thomas and friends review here and our Halloween version here)  I thought I'd create an out door version with him.
 
 
I used some flat stones, but T chose his own from the garden and painted them up.  Because this is a garden game I decided we'd go for ladybirds and bees, the colour contrast is really good.  We painted our stones and added the details, T had well and truly got bored by now and so I added the detail for his.
 
 
We keep them in a plant pot in the shed at the moment but I do hope to find a more permanent home for them soon.  I also plan to paint a 'grid' on the paving stone so that it can be there permanently, we're just not sure which paving slab will be the right one yet!
 
Suffice to say, we've been playing tic-tac-toe on the patio quite a lot in the last couple of weeks ;)
 
We have a few more outdoor games to make on our task list, what games do you play in the garden?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

|#wotw|happier! - 17 April


I've had a challenging few weeks, and as I'm trying to be more positive I made a conscious effort not to do a word of the week until I had something positive to say and was out of the doldrums!

This week things have really picked up.  We've re-established T's bedtime routine, and that's lead to a much happier 3 year old and much happier parents!

The sun is shining every day and so everything seems happier.

I'm back to regular blogging so the frustration of missing posts has gone, so I'm one happier blogger!

Yesterday I received this months Happy Paper Box, wow, love this one!

My appointment for my blood tests finally arrived so hopefully my medication will be sorted out and I'll start to feel better and in turn happier.

So that's it from me.  Things are looking up xx

The Reading Residence

|CREATE|scooter hobby head


I found this novelty golf club cover in T's toy box when I did a 30 min purge on it.  The Hubs won it at some gold tournament but would never use it for the original purpose.

I've seen scooters with 'hobby heads' on them and so I decided to re-purpose this golf club cover and it worked an absolute treat! 


First I cut small holes either side of the head right at the top and slipped it over the top of the scooters handlebars. I attached a cable tie to keep the tiger nice and straight.


As you can see, one very happy little boy with his tiger hobby head, this was really simple, and saved throwing out something which otherwise wouldn't be used.


|CAPTURE|stationery haul


 
So, I'm kinda hoping that my fabulous #quailmail #postcircle penpals don't read my blog as most of this will be heading their way at some point over the next 6 months! 
Since Christmas, I've had 'stationery for pen pals' down on my gift wish list, The Hibs wasn't sure what I'd like, after 13 years of knowing me and 10 years together, I can't work out if that is tragic or not!!!!!!  I also mentioned it to my MIL! Who said 'stationery? Like the blue Basildon bond pad you get from the post office?' Ummmmm maybe not.  And Christmas came and no new stationery, Valentine's Day came, no pretty new paper, then my birthday, nada.  Then Mother's Day no cute stationery for me to send, so I took matters into my own hands and went on a bit of a shopping spree!

 
I needed a clipboard to put my social media plan on when 'working' so when I saw this it was straight in my basket.  This is from paperchase, I think it was £4.50 in the sale, although I can't remember how much it originally was.  This matches my blog diary so I HAD to have it!
 
 
Whilst in paperchase I also picked up this cute letter set.  I love the illustrations although it's been really hard keeping this away from T, he loved it and I did think at one point I'd have to sacrifice the stickers as 'collateral damage'!!!
 


Next I went to John Lewis, I was actually a little disappointed by the selection there as there didn't seem much at all, I loved this elephant paper and envelope, my grandpa loved elephants we've both seen them on safari (different trips) and they were something we often talked about, they were his favourite animal.  I know he'd have really appreciated this.

 
A lady at work is a Phoenix trading rep, I've never bought anything before as it is a little pricey, but I thought I'd have a look.  Oh...my...gosh!  Such beautiful products, yes a little pricey but fantastic quality.  I loved these puppy notelets.  However, they came in a pack of 30 so there are far too many for what I need.  If anyone fancies doing a stationery swap with me, leave me a comment! X
 

 
These lovely butterfly cards are also from Pheonix trading, I love these although I hadn't realised that the green design are actually 'thank you' cards.
 
 
These gorgeous wellie postcards again, are from Pheonix trading, I really love these!
 
 

Finally, I went to M&S to see what they had.  There wasn't much to be honest, but I did manage to get these cute cupcake cards.
 
And that's about it!  That should certainly keep me going for a while!
 
Remember if you'd like some of the puppy cards, leave me a comment below and we'll talk about I a stationery swap.
 
I hope you get to have some fun with paper today!  Take care x