The March round-up
As you’ll have seen from yesterday’s post, saving for 2015’s travel is high on my mind at the moment – and so spending, sadly, is taking a bit of a back seat.
But there’s still a few things I’ve bought, reviewed and considered as contenders for my suitcase in March.
Let me know any fab buys you’ve stumbled across in the comments?
It’s been a shoe-mad month, it seems. With the sun intermittently peeking out, I’ve been looking for something to see me between my beloved Moda in Pelle boots and my summer FitFlops.
I wear trainers so infrequently that I’ve actually got a pair dated 2002 on the back, but with my recent foot problems, something flat and comfy seemed a good plan. So inevitably, I found myself buying my first pair of Converse.
Until I’m converted as most of the rest of the world, I went for a hugely discounted pair on M and M Direct – in orange, which cheered me right up. Not quite as comfortable as I’d hoped, but between rainstorms, I’ve been breaking them in.
During the rainstorms, Havaianas helpfully sent me a pair of their Helios rain boots to try. While Minnie has had a succession of very cute little wellies, I don’t actually have any myself so these look set to be pretty useful – as a bonus, I’ve got some fab mini Aqua Kids yellow ones for her in the next size up.
They advised me to go half a size up in order to have plenty of room for thick winter socks but the tops are tight enough to hold the boots on firmly; in fact they’re on the edge of being too tight. The size means they’re a bit loose around the ankles but I’ll go for practicality rather than looks when I’m wandering through puddles. There’s some fantastic colours too – sadly the petrol blue ones weren’t in stock but even my brown ones are more hot chocolate than mud.
Meanwhile Minnie’s feet have grown once again, much to her delight, so I’ve been hitting the Clarks sale to get some cut-price boots until it’s warm enough for shoes, as well as finding some spotty canvas shoes for when things brighten up. Those might have to keep her going on holiday next month too, unless summer sandals hit the shelves soon.
And to cheer me up through the last cold days, I’ve been back to one of my favourites – the Louche range at Joy for a fabulous jumper with a badger in a top hat on the front. Minnie is almost as much a fan as me, and seems to have adopted it as a new pet… The range is also in House of Fraser and John Lewis.
A month of re-reading for me, not least my Terry Pratchett collection in memoriam. But we’ve had a couple of books sent for Minnie to review too. First up, Stripe Island, a picture book aimed at ages three and over set in a world where everything is stripy.
And honestly, that’s pretty much all there is to it. Although there’s plenty of bright colours and fun pictures of this stripy world, there’s not much in the way of plot even by children’s book standards.
It’s an odd mix in that its simplicity seems to work better for younger children, but the slightly surreal stripy world is better for older ones who aren’t as confused by the fact there are stripy elephants. Minnie has been happy enough to read it, but it’s definitely not an instant favourite.
More of a hit is Wendy and the Wallpaper cat, equally fantastical and beautifully illustrated but with a story appealing to both me and my toddler. When Wendy can’t sleep, her parents take her to her grandfather’s house where the wallpaper comes to life. As she searches for her favourite room, she finds the wallpaper cat of the title.
Published by V&A Publishing, the illustrations are actually inspired by the wallpaper of Victorian artist Walter Crane, a fact I loved – I’m tempted to take Minnie to the Victoria & Albert museum and use the book as her introduction.
We’ve also been testing out a new fruit yoghurt pouch, sent to us for review by The Collective. They’ve got a new blueberry version in the range, with 10% fruit in each pouch.
As Minnie gets older, we’ve moved away from toddler pouches but they’re still so useful for travel as they’re easy to carry, don’t need a spoon and aren’t messy. I’d rather she had a piece of fruit than a fruit pouch, so a fruity yoghurt version is a great compromise – and while you have to keep them cool, you can freeze them so they’ll defrost during the day while you’re out.
I tried to get Minnie’s feedback beyond the fact it was yummy, very blueberry and very yogurty, I couldn’t actually get her to stop slurping it to talk (or share with me). The Blueberry suckies (yes, my only gripe is the name) cost 79p for 100g, from Waitrose and Ocado. Other flavours also available from Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
Images: Suitcase image – creatocrat/Flickr; Converse and books image copyright MummyTravels, all images courtesy of the retailer