Latest Posts

Imaginary Adventures with Storytime Magazine

We are back from our travels but our adventures are far from being over for Emma.

In June, we were kindly offered the opportunity to review the Storytime children’s magazine and were sent several printed issues which we took with us to Greece.

Storytime_kids_magazines_issue24_the_Little_Mermaid

I did not know if Emma would take to them since she has never shown a great interest in stories and myths before but I was so wrong!

The magazine offers a compact yet amazingly varied array of popular fairy and around the world tales, ancient myths and legends and fables along with short poems and rhymes and activities related to the magazine’s content.

If you think that is not enough, every month the magazine includes a short sample from a popular children’s book, we really enjoyed July’s The BFG and it really triggered Emma’s curiosity about the book and the new movie that had only been released. Emma is at the stage where her confidence as a reader is growing with almost new every page and book she reads and I believe it will not be long before she will be ready to tackle Roald Dahl’s book on her own and all thanks to the beautiful introduction to the book she had with Storytime!

STM-Issue23

Emma enjoyed the most reading the myths and legends section, especially since all the editions we had received had each a short Greek legend and it made her immediately connect with the country we were visiting and her Greek roots.

The Lost City of Atlantis tale lead to countless discussions with her daddy about Greek gods, the Mount Olympus, located so close to Thessaloniki, where we were located and hypotheses about the Bermuda triangle as the place where Atlantis could be located! To see Emma, who is only six, blossom in her inquisitiveness and interest in the past made us realise what a wealthy resource the magazine can be!

(I am also totally impressed, and I speak now with my teacher’s hat on, with their online teaching resources section and wish I was teaching currently so I can use all those amazing resources with a class!)

But the best adventure we had thanks to the magazine was the visit to the Temple of Poseidon in Sounio. Unlike other children who at 6 would have found a visit to a historical place boring, Emma insisted on a visit and got extremely excited upon arrival.

IMG_1007

She begged her daddy to read all the info that was available and asked numerous questions about the temple, its design and structure.

IMG_1012

I am so excited to have reached this stage with her when she can appreciate the beauty of a place and its rich history. I look forward to more Storytime magazines and all the adventures they will lead us to, be them imaginary or real!

IMG_1041

Disclosure: we have received a year’s subscription with Storytime. This review is the true reflection of the quality of the magazine and we warmly recommend it to anyone with school aged children.

P.S. – the magazine has a special offer at the moment, of four issues at half price and only £8 for the lot. What a wonderful incentive to get reading with your little ones!

A Dream Guesthouse

It has taken me a few days to get back to my blog as we had to travel down to Thessaloniki and then settle into our holiday apartment (I even manage to colour bleed all of Emma’s summer bedding, grrrr!). Anyway, here is a sneak peek of our local beach and the views we get of Thessaloniki, a city with which I have had a long love story, which started when I was 14. But this is another story, for another time…

Back to our summer holiday apartment. That's Thessaloniki in the distance. #Thessaloniki #greece

A photo posted by Mama's Haven (@mamashaven) on

As promised, I return with a review of our wonderful bed and breakfast in the mountains.

Just thinking of our stay in the Vogiatzopoulou Guesthouse in Agios Georgios on Mount Pilio and I get relaxed! ( I have added the Booking.com link because the reviews the place gets there are accurate and reflect the high standards and quality of the service offered. But please don’t hesitate to contact Vasia, the young owner, directly, she speaks English and will offer you an excellent deal!)

What did we like about this place so much?

First of all, the fact that it has a history. The impressive house in which the guesthouse is now hosted has been in the family for three generations and has nurtured and served many dreams and aspirations. The B&B’s current owner, Vasia, is in her late 20s and has been a vision to us with her hard work, dedication and strife for excellence. Together with her lovely mum, they form the perfect hosting team! Do take time to listen to their stories, they are worth an extra coffee!

We dream of having a similar place in Greece at some point, a place where we can host and serve people, so we take inspiration from places like this, which show us dreams can come true.

IMG_0790

IMG_4689

Just being brave and putting up a photo of myself, it has been a while, I know…

Then, with the family history come the personal touches. They are felt delicately and sensibly not only in the decor, but also in the service and the attention to detail:

IMG_0694

IMG_0707

The part that got us most impressed, after the genuine warmth of the hosts, has been the wonderful breakfasts we enjoyed for two mornings. They are freshly made in the house, from the wonderful breads and pastries to the Cretan omelettes and freshly squeezed juice.

IMG_0769

IMG_0773

We LOVED having our breakfasts outside, in the cool breeze of the morning and with amazing views of the Pagasetic Gulf right before our eyes:

IMG_0787

Our family room (one roomy front room for Emma, with a sofa bed which could sleep two and a beautiful bedroom for us, interconnected by a bathroom with a luxurious massage shower) cost us £77 per night, excellent value for money for the space we got with it and the amazing views:

IMG_0721

I cannot end this post without giving the place a shout-out and praise for using local products and promoting local businesses. Our shower was kitted with these amazing bath products produced by Lavelia, a small business which will soon launch nationally. We loved the fact that they are free from chemicals and using local plants and the formula has been designed carefully by the owner, a pharmacist who is passionate about holistic well being. We have been in contact with Annia, the lovely owner, and ordered some already for taking home to Ireland with us!

IMG_0716

This blog post hasn’t been sponsored in any way. I wrote about a wonderful place on the Mount Pilio that we truly enjoyed as a family and I do hope my review will benefit both the guesthouse and my readers who would visit someday soon!

My mum is arriving at the weekend and we are planning a visit to the Meteora monasteries with her, stay tuned for more travel posts!

Until then, wishing you once more, kalispera kai kali vradia!

MILOPOT

Visiting Mount Pilio

We are back to Greece, although, if you are a regular reader of my blog, I didn’t think I will return this summer. I did for a number of reasons; my strongest being my daughter’s happiness.

We landed in Athens on Wednesday night and headed towards Thessaloniki after a couple of days of rest and a lovely encounter with a loved family member and friend.

The journey from Athens to Thessaloniki is long, especially when done in the summer, in a car with a faulty air con system. We decided to break the journey in half and have been staying on Mount Pelion, in a small but beautiful village, called Agios Georgios (Saint George), for the past two nights. Blog post to follow on our delightfully luxurious B&B!

Mount Pilio(Pelion in Greek) has been capturing the imagination of the Greek from ancient times and it is believed to have been the home of Centaurs and the starting point of major mythological events like the Trojan War. Nowadays, the mountain continues to attract a lot of local and international tourism, with its hiking paths and unique scenery which combines intense greenery and turquoise blue sea.

Sebastiano_Ricci_045

We were given a gentle warning by our lovely hosts and told that we will not be able to see much in a day, as the mountain and its beauty are vast and require weeks of exploration.

We attempted, nevertheless, and after seven hours on the road, got a mixed bag of wonderful scenery, car sickness from the steep mountain roads and everlasting memories😉.

Our goal was to explore the wilder side of the mountain and it took us about 2 hours to reach the Mylopotamus Beach, renowned among the locals and awarded the reputable Blue Flags of Europe for years.

Image credit: Michalis Pornalis (Pelion Paths)

We didn’t stay long as the day was hot and the sea wild and wavy and decided to head on for a spot of lunch and more windy, twisty roads.

The cuisine of Mount Pilio is simple yet entrancing with its rich flavours: freshly baked bread, served compulsorily with every single meal; divinely tasting, always homemade butter and cheese; meat roasted slowly on the spit; creamy-sauced aubergines cooked in earthen pots, resting for hours in hot ovens; a spot of Turkish culinary imprint and Ottoman occupation with their bouyourdi, peppers and cheese melted into an amazing melee of guilt and pleasure.

IMG_0748

IMG_0758

IMG_0759

We loved every morsel of it; delicious, home cooked meals and exceptionally welcoming hosts can be found everywhere along the road. Our meals varied in price, between 20 and 35 euro, depending on the appetite and always delivered great quality and taste.

On the way back and now on a wider and safer road, we took our time and stopped for a chat with a local apicultirist. Again, the mountain way was prevalent in his dealings with us. He took his time and explained in both English and Greek about the arduous process of beekeeping and honey making. He told us about how he left his uninspiring career in Athens and swapped it for the mountain air, loads of hard work and a never give up mentality which are now rewarding him much more than any city career. All done with a smile and a generous spirit.

IMG_0802

IMG_0814

IMG_0817

We have decided to stay for another night on Mount Pilio upon return from our adventures. Not because we harbour any illusions of conquering its vast territory and beauty but because we wanted to enjoy another day closer to the sky and surrounded by the green of the trees before we head on to Thessaloniki. I know that many Greeks dream of reaching Mount Pilio and see its beauty and I feel it would be a shame to rush away from such a calming and beautiful spot.

I will be back tomorrow with my blog post on our lovely B&B, as promised. Until then, kalispera kai kali vradia!

#PizzaExpressIceAge

We LOVE Pizza Express in this house and Emma is the biggest fan among us all so when we were contacted and asked if we would like to review a family meal, we squealed with joy! Not only because we would spend some quality time together but also because Emma was allowed to bring a friend or two, making the experience a thousand times more fun!

We have two Pizza Express restaurants in Belfast but the one we almost always prefer is the one in Victoria Square. That is where we headed yesterday evening, with three very excited little girls and large appetites:-).

As always, the staff was extremely welcoming and friendly to the girls.(We had a little four year old with us who can be extremely shy but by the end of the evening, the lovely staff managed to make friends with her!) We were offered a table immediately and drinks were brought out very quickly. While we were perusing the amazing  summer menu and reading the Piccolo one to the girls, the staff brought out activity packs and little chef hats for them, which brought big smiles on their faces, as you can see:

IMG_0623

The girls decided to enjoy everything that was on offer for them on the Piccolo menu and had the delicious dough balls and vegetables for starters. We wanted to celebrate the elusive summer(it was pouring when we walked into the restaurant!) and had the prosciutto and melon(myself) and the calamari(Alex). Everything came out quick, was warm, well presented and delicious; the same top quality we have come to expect from our favourite Pizza Express restaurant, delivered promptly and with a smile.Always!

IMG_0627

The surprise came after our starters, when our lovely waiting staff offered the girls a peak behind the kitchen scenes and the chance to see how pizza is made(and spinned!) by the chefs. The staff took the time to explain the process and the steps involved into making a cracking pizza and the chef introduces himself and invited the girls to interact and catch his flying dough!

IMG_0634

By the time he had finished, our main courses were on the tables, steaming and we tucked into them with gusto, as expected, after such amazing culinary display. Emma and her friend went for pizza while the little one opted for pasta and sauce. The all loved their food and devoured it. We had to ask for a dessert spoon for the little one, as she was enjoying her sauce so much that she didn’t want to leave anything behind, lol!

The grown ups went again for more summery options of salad and thin crust pizza(and some of the lovely craft beer from the menu, Alex totally appreciated the touch, as he has become quite an expert in the domain). They were both very filling, fresh and totally satisfying!

IMG_0637

IMG_0646

Actually, our main courses were so filling (and we so eager to test some of the new desserts on the summer menu!) that we asked the staff to pack the leftovers for home. They came very handy today at lunch time and brought back a lot of happy memories from last nights.

So, yes, as you guessed, we did enjoy pudding as well, it would have been a shame not to! I usually LOVE their sorbet at Pizza Express, I find it refreshing for the palate and very light but this time, I had to try the lime centered bomb while Alex had a go at the Passionate Mess, a delicious passion fruit alternative to cheesecake:

 

The girls all chose different things, ice-cream, organic apple lolly and chocolate brownie and were all very pleased with their complimentary Bambinoccino as well:

IMG_0662

 

IMG_0649

Pizza Express, in partnership with the Blue Sky, has presently added an Ice Age activity sheet to their Piccolo menu and is inviting its customers to enter its competition for the grand prize of a holiday to Hollywood and many other surprises. The new Ice Age Collision movie is due in the cinemas on the 15th of July and we cannot wait to go and watch it!

Disclosure: we were offered a complimentary meal in Pizza Express in exchange for an honest review. We loved every minute of it and are very grateful to the staff for having made the evening so special for the girls and for us! We loved the opportunity to review one of our favourite family friendly restaurants and we will return very soon for more good food and laughter!

Insure With Max: The Insurance I Wish We Had for Georgie

 

I have meant to write about the subject for a long time but I never found the right time and occasion. Insurance for children, such a scary thought, yet something that could come in so handy if anything was to ever happen to them!

Back in 2014, when we had Georgie, we as a family had a basic health insurance which would have covered all of us in the event of serious illness. But the likelihood of illness clashed stringently with the joy of having a newborn in the house, and the added financial stress lead Alex to temporarily cancel it, within weeks of Georgie being born. Who thinks of illness, life-threatening conditions and death when they have just been handed this beautiful, new bundle of joy? We certainly didn’t and cancelling our health insurance seemed like a good idea, as it allowed some extra cash for those newborn nappies and cute little outfits…

Fast forward three and a half months to the moment we found ourselves, with the same wonderful bundle of joy, on the children’s cancer ward in Belfast. Our world came crashing down, in every single way. Unfortunately, our finances suffered severely as well and it was only due to Alex’s sheer determination and hard work and financial gifts from various friends that we didn’t end in deep financial arrears.

Had we kept our insurance, we would have been able to claim against our policy, from day one on that ward.

And this is the very reason I decided to write this post.

We now know that horrid things can happen to innocent children. Illness, accidents and even death can rob us of our children and in the process, not only drain every ounce of energy we have but also drain our bank accounts of every single penny we have saved. Cause in those desperate moments, we would give everything we have, even our lives, to make our ill children comfortable and pay for a cure, if there is any!

After Georgie’s death, we have been very careful and have set health and life insurance policies for all of us. And now, I am writing this post to urge all my readers to consider the unthinkable and the uncomfortable and set up a policy for the scary possibility of a child becoming severely ill or being involved in a serious accident.

Insure With Max was set by a wonderful man who knows the reality of serious illness in children as well as we do. His younger sister suffered for many years from a serious condition which ultimately lead to her death, but in the process, his family was deeply affected financially and in every other single way, just like ours was in 2014.

file-page1

Unlike other insurances out there, Insure With Max caters exclusively for the case of an ill or seriously injured child, provides the parent with their take home salary within 30 days of a diagnosis for up to 12 months and renews annually, so no monthly fees or life long commitments to an expensive policy.  Your actual premium will depend on the amount of your take home salary and the number and age of your children, subject to a minimum single premium £49.28 (incl. IPT) for a 12 month policy.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this insurance to every parent out there. It is inexpensive and flexible but most importantly, it can provide with that much needed financial reassurance in the case of illness or accident, allowing you in those tragic circumstances to take time off to look after your precious child, instead of desperately trying to make ends while your heart and soul are in a hospital room.

Alongside a prestigious group of mummy bloggers, I will be hosting a Twitter chat on Friday, 1st of July, between 11:15 a.m. and 12:00. Look us up under the hashtag #ChildMax and come and learn more about Insure With Max.

13516256_10157209443695226_1237030272826985853_n

 

Keeping Children Hydrated During the Summer

 

ferris wheel.jpg

BritMums recently invited a number of bloggers to engage in their #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge as part of the Robinsons campaign and come up with ways to to keep our children well hydrated over the warm summer months.

I decided to approach this assignment as a research, and was shocked by the number of things I did not know when it comes to hydration in children!

1.Children need more water per body mass during the day than adults because they move more than we do. The recommended daily intake for a child is 6-8 glasses of liquid per day but this need increases when the weather is hot! Children can be especially prone to dehydration since they are often active, easily distracted and forget to drink. By the time they say they are thirsty, dehydration has already begun. Irritability and poor concentration are two common indicators. My tip would be to ensure children always have easy access to a cool drink everywhere they are, be in in the back garden, the car or out and about.

Two girls playing with drinking water fountain

2. Children grow at a faster pace in the summer versus the winter adding to their hydration needs which will be greater any way in hotter temperatures. Especially when away on holidays in hotter climates, children should always wear sun cream, sun hats and never be in the sunshine during the peak hours, between 11 and 17. My tip is to follow the locals’ lead when on holidays and make use of the wonderful fresh fruit available everywhere. Fruit contains not only vitamins and minerals essential for our health but summer fruit like watermelon and strawberries are rich in water and can keep the children hydrated naturally as well. Make sure children eat at least five small cups of fruits and vegetables per day, as they all contain various levels of water and the all-important nutrient potassium.

Fruit

3. According to an article written for Live Science by Katherine Tallmadge, a registered dietitian, when exercising in extreme heat for more than an hour (which our children do unawares, when having fun in the sun, especially on holidays to warmer climates!),water intake needs to be supplemented by drinks which are high in potassium (like orange juice), to prevent high sodium losses. According to Doctor Tallmadge, dilute juices are a great option, as they allow the electrolytes and water to quickly reach your heart and organs.

Robinsons Squash’d drinks, in their new and very handy squeezy formula and with their two new exciting flavours, Orange&Peach and Lemon&Pink Grapefruit(my favourite!), fit the bill perfectly, even for taking away on holidays! We have received six samples which will definitely come with us to Greece this year and keep not only Emma, but also Alex and myself, well hydrated over our summer holidays.

Robinsons-Squashd

Disclosure: This post is an entry for BritMums #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge, sponsored by Robinsons.

Father’s Day with Scruffs

Happy fathers day background

Emma’s has become more aware of special days as the years have clocked by so this year, she really wanted to get her daddy something special!

We had already got lunch booked to celebrate Father’s Day but she also wanted to give him something more than a card for the occasion so when Scruffs agreed to collaborate with us again, for a third time, I knew we would have the perfect present to give Alex on the day!

Alex loves all his Scruffs gear he has accumulated over the last year. You can read about his winter jacket here and about his spring one here.

This time, knowing that Alex’s jeans always end up ripping when out working, we decided to go for a pair of work jeans, to begin with.

15609705ab390a

I was amazed at the quality of this pair as well as the totally reasonable pricing(£34.95) . The jeans come with loads of pockets, all so very handy for busy working hands and knee pads for ground level work. They look amazing, not at all like your average work trousers, and can easily be worn after work for dinner, on condition that they are not too grubby, lol. I love the colour and I will definitely go back and get another pair for Alex when this first one wears out!

The second item we chose for Alex is a classic rucksack. Again, you get so much for your £24.95! “Functional work bag made from water resistant fabric with built in boot compartment, cool bag and laptop sleeve. EVA padding to the straps and back provides maximum comfort when carried. Packed with internal and external secure storage for all of your accessories. “

I love its colour, its perfect size and its functionality. Alex can easily take it with him and transition with it from doing surveys into an office environment and even use it at the gym. The various compartments and pockets allow him to pack for a long day and the thermo-isolated front pocket allows for food to stay fresh even during a warm day!

 

I loved working with Scruffs again on this occasion, they are a lovely, young company that provide great quality work gear at excellent prices and once again, I do recommend them wholeheartedly!

Disclosure: Alex was sent the two items above in exchange for this review.

Silence, new employment and moving on

I have been busy and my blog has been graveyard-quiet, for the past month. I cannot actually believe that almost 30 days have been ticked off the calendar and our lives so very quickly!

The month has brought a lot of changes for us as a family. I found a new job(hurray!), Alex has been to Greece for a short spell and Emma has gained a new friend through my employment. Due to its nature, I will keep the details of my new job private on the blog, but it is going well and everybody involved has been working hard at adjusting and adapting to new routines and patterns.

The blog has subsequently suffered but I am back with great news regarding my blogging “career”, so to say. The lovely ladies at BritMums Live have invited me to read one of my grief blog posts at the conference as a keynote blogger. I haven’t had much time to give it a lot of thought but at the end of June hundreds of bloggers attending this year’s BritMums Live will hear about Georgie and the devastation his loss left in our lives. But more importantly, all of those bloggers, many of whom I count as friends now, will all HEAR about my precious boy, isn’t that so amazing?

In spite of my silence a number of brilliant brands have approached me in May and I have a few product review posts in the pipeline as well, do keep an eye on all the great stuff we have been trying this month!

Anyway, time to dash, do leave a line to say how you have been yourselves this past month and chat soon!

Phone photo

New Resources to Support Bereaved Children

As you well know now, if you follow my blog, I am no longer able to watch a movie or read a book without putting it through the grief perspective.

Recently, two children’s programs, the first, a new movie entitled Beyond Beyond and the other a book written by LeVar Burton, from Reading Rainbows, caught my attention as valuable resources that could help bereaved children in comprehending their grief and seeking support in ways that are appropriate and safe.

I shall start with The Rhino Who Swallowed A Storm, by LeVar Burton, since he is such a favourite with Emma!

RWSS_authors_Illustrator_graphic

Emma has been a subscriber to Reading Rainbows for a couple of years now and absolutely loves the wide range of educational videos they provide. Since she is an emergent reader, she has found the Read to me feature of the thousands of books on offer truly helpful and this is how I got to hear the story read by LeVar myself:

The book is about a Rhino and his beautiful world in which “magic turns tragic“. A huge storm destroys the valley in which he lives, much like grief destroys the world of a child and its innocence and safety when it hits. “Senseless calamity” tears through his world and takes away EVERYTHING he held dear. (Oh, how much I can identify with those words and my latest blog post for BritMums reflects just that sense of bewilderment and loss we feel, two years on!)

Rhino is left stunned by the scene, “death and destruction all through the ravine” and enraged by the scene, he does the unthinkable, he actually goes and swallows the storm!

Instead of being able to contain it, Rhino finds himself deeply affected by the inward storm of emotions and when the storm stops raging inside him, he finds himself at the bottom “of a very deep hole.”

“Lost, lonely and in such a dark place”, his help unexpectedly comes from a tiny spider, who comes down into his hole with clear guidance and encouragement:

“You must find a way to let that storm out and move through your sorrow,

You will find many helpers on your road to tomorrow.”

The Rhino tries to climb out but the Hole is steep and slippery and it is only with the help of his friends that he manages to get back up.

“When help is needed, we’ll pull you through it.”

Strengthened by the reassurance of their love and support, the newly freed Rhino sets on a quest but the storm still raging inside him makes things difficult, keeping his brain foggy and making him worry about many things:

“Where do I go, what do I do?

How will I ever make it through?”

After every dark night, there comes a new day,

Be kind, do your best and you’ll find your way” advise friends.

“Allowing yourself to feel those feelings

Is the first step towards healing” a wise tortoise tells him.

 As Rhino starts letting go of “raindrops from his eye” and has a good cry, he finds himself feeling lighter than he had felt in ages. His tears take him on a journey of their own now, towards the ocean, where he is advised by a Whale not to be afraid of his pain and sing it out, as a way of release.

Allowing his emotions to emerge leave Rhino feeling “calm, strong and brave”. His vision, no longer obliterated by rage, reveals now a world filled with love. He emerges on the other side full of gratitude to his loving friends and strong in their reassurance and support for the future.

With “faith in himself and faith in his friends” he can not dream of a world that is safe and connected.

“It was love that mattered.

Love can never be lost, love can never be shattered.”

I love this book, as much as Emma does, as it holds so much truth and provides such precious guidance to a bereaved child. Reaching out for help, trusting those who offer support and guidance, making sense of life after loss, it is all there and in clear and easy details a child can grasp and hold on to!

If LeVar’s book offers clear guidance to a child struggling with their emotions and ways to process grief, Beyond Beyond offers an explanation to all those “whys” a bereaved child has about the afterworld. Based on a traditional Scandinavian tale, Beyond Beyond is a beautifully animated tale for children about coming to terms with the absence of a loved one.

BeyondBeyondFull

Jonah the Rabbit, who lost his mother to the mythical Feather King, still cannot come to terms with her loss and attempts to transcend the beyond limits in her search. Jonah finds her but the worlds as they stood, separated as reality and the afterworld, come crumbing down, threatening to take down with them the happy memories.

Emma really took to the bottle messaging idea and wanted to write messages and send them to Georgie afterwards, which we encouraged her to do, as I strongly believe that somehow, her love transcends the time boundaries and can reach Georgie where he is.

I loved the idea of Death as a Feather King, a fragile sort of monarch of the Beyond kingdom whose role is simply keeping the order of things as they stand. It does reverberate with what I believe that death now has no more power on me, as in it, I will be reunited with my son and the movie reassures children with the same perception, explaining in the same time that their loved ones are well and waiting for them in the Beyond.

I found both resources wonderful in managing Emma’s grief and would recommend them wholeheartedly.

Disclaimer: we were sent the DVD for the purpose of this review. We have been subscribers to Reading Rainbows for ages and love the book and everything about the app and what it has to offer. The post expresses our honest opinions.

Spring male fashion

My blog has brought in a few very nice items over the last couple of months, especially for Alex, for a change, so it is time I told you all about them.

If you remember, back in winter, he was gifted a winter coat by Scruffs. I wrote all about its practicality for work here, if you want to have a look.

Come spring, the lovely PR company working with Scruffs contacted us again and offered Alex one of their spring-summer lightweight work jackets.

156097251475b1

Last time, he had remarked that the medium jacket was a bit loose as a cut so this time, I ordered a small, to fit him perfectly.

The jacket arrived within a few days and it was exactly what Alex had hoped for in a work jacket. The Pro Softshell is light, warm, waterproof and with reflective detailing which makes his work in the evening so much safer.

Although it is a work jacket it does look quite stylish and its trim is perfect, making working up ladders that tad bit easier.

The price (£49.95) reflects its quality and high finishing and it is quite reasonable for a great quality spring-summer work jacket which will last Alex a few good years.

Back in March and for Mother’s Day too (awww!), the lovely people at Samuel Windsor included Mama’s Haven into their Top 12 Magnificent Mums’ Blogs. They did not stop there with their kindness and got in touch shortly after to offer Alex a choice of shoes or boots from their beautiful and very extensive array of quality products.

Since it was still early spring, Alex decided to go for a pair of Prestige Kensington Boots, which are a classic pair that can be worn with both suits and semi-casual looks.

BV180 Side2

The boots arrived and they did certainly look the part: great quality Italian leather boots that according to Alex are very soft and comfortable to wear for the office. Not bad at all for £59.99!

Now that the weather improved and we have had such gorgeous days, I have been having a peek at their summer collection and was left impressed with the large choice of both casual and office footwear and their prices as well! (They currently run this offer, 2 pairs for £75, which would be perfect for upgrading any husband’s less that new looking spring shoe collection).

 Alex is a gym fanatic and uses quite a lot of t-shirts during the week for that purpose. I have come to hate the plastic ones he wears as they can retain the smell for absolute ages so when I was approached and given the chance to review the Vintage Premium t-shirt range for men, I knew I had to say yes!

The t-shirts are supposed to be premium quality, 100% pre-shrunk soft cotton and come in a classic fit. Since we were given a choice of six, I went for two identical sets, one for Alex and one for my brother:

We gifted his set to my brother when we visited at Easter and Alex has been wearing his at the gym since.

What do I think of the t-shirts?

I love the fun logos and the fact that you can buy them as they are and present them as personalised age gifts.

I was not impressed with the quality of the cotton, as although it is supposed to be pre-shrunk, it continued to shrink slightly with every wash, making me worry that they would grow too small after a while. I am also not convinced that the price reflects the quality, I do find the £18.99 price tag a bit too steep for a t-shirt, be it personalised and all.

What would you recommend for spring male fashion, what are your partner’s favourite items at the moment?

Disclosure: we received the items mentioned above for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely our own.