My Amsterdam Look

Admittedly I’ve never been to Amsterdam but that’s not to say I wouldn’t like to! In fact I’d love to that’s why I’m entering this fabulous competition put on by the guys at easyjet.

All I have to do is basically share with you, my readers, what I’d wear to this lively dutch city.

Given I’ve never had the privilege in exploring the city of Amsterdam I can’t pretend to know what the latest trends are in this part of the world but for me this really doesn’t matter. I’m a woman who doesn’t follow the latest trends, I don’t wear something just because its “IN” I’m an individual who likes to express this through her sense of fashion. I wear what suits me, what makes me feel comfortable and confident. Just because I’m a mum it doesn’t mean it’s all oversized baggy jumpers, leggings and school run fashion! I am only 30 you know! I think it’s always better to be wearing the clothes instead of the clothes wearing you.

Now I should also mention the fact I don’t do things by half. Send me shopping and there is a danger I may just come back with the entire contents of a shop! Yes, I can be a little excessive… Not great when it comes to baggage allowance and check-in.

This tends to be the same when it comes to creating a fashion look book, as I’ve discovered during the course of this exercise.

Now that’s all cleared up, and you can’t say you haven’t been warned, here are the pages of my Amsterdam Look Book.

Page 1


What better way to start an Amsterdam Look Book, then with a little Dutch Inspiration. It became quite obvious relatively quickly when checking out Amsterdam on the net that the Bicycle is a big part of the cities transportation, hence the inclusion of my stunning red bicycle here in my look book. Page one features some very casual but super chic pieces. Perfect for a busy days sightseeing or a bicycle tour around the city’s hot sports. Life in Amsterdam seems chilled and relaxed by day and crazy lively by night. Here i’ve tried to capture this element within my style choices. I feel I’ve done well to capture some of the traditional dutch trends. From the clog style footwear to the stylish wooly red hat, I love them all.

Page 2


The next page of my Amsterdam Look Book incorporates both vintage, designer pieces and high street trends. All pieces are casual but smart adding this real city sleek feel to them. I’ve even included some real Dutch statement pieces from the necklace to the super sexy stylish gold trainer boots. I’d be more than happy to have all of my chosen pieces loaded in my suitcase. I’d feel comfortable yet stylish as I sip coffee by the canal in an Amsterdam coffee shop.

The vintage pieces really do well to demonstrate my individual style choices. Although I can visualise myself packing these, I can also see myself doing some hardcore bargain hunting around the many vintage stores and markets of Amsterdam.

Page 3


Page 3 highlights my love of bright colours. The yellow dress and black flat cap make a real statement and ensures you won’t be missed. I love these 60’s retro orange boots and could see myself teaming these with a pair of skinny jeans. Colour blocking is a fun but stylish trend, one I’ve been playing with for years.

I’d wear the above dressed down in the day but teamed with the right accessories I’d hit the bars wearing all of these bright combos come night. Sex In The City… Amsterdam style!

Lastly, no Look Book would be complete without a page dedicated to your night time style.

Page 4


When it comes to party wear I like to think I can hold my own. For me its all about sparkle, super killer heels and glitzy accessories. Partying in Amsterdam wouldn’t be any different, I know what I love to wear and will party in it no matter where I am.

What’s great about Amsterdam is the fact that there is no “Right” way to dress. From what I’ve read it’s all about individuality and this suits me fine.

Above, you will find some super sparkly heels sporting a good 5 inch heel (whether I can walk in them is beside the point). The dresses I’ve chosen are a little bit quirky, just the way I like them. Oh…Yes, I really can see myself dancing in the ‘Paradiso’ wearing these babies.

So, with a suitcase bursting at the seams with super stylish clobber… The hotel to lay my hat at would need to be really something, wouldn’t it?

The Die Port Van Cleve Hotel sounds like just the ticket.


With its prime location on the site of Amsterdam’s original Heineken brewery right by Dam Square this 4* Hotel is right in the middle of all the action. With many of the cities best shops and markets right on my doorstep. This coupled with the near by nightlife make the ‘Die Port Van Cleve’ the perfect hotel for me.

Disclosure: This is my Amsterdam Look book for the easyJet holidays competition”

Mondays Vintage Find

This weeks Vintage Find is…


I love this pretty scarf that I brought for £1 from my local Barnardos store. The blue is stunning where the little cherubs give it a really romantic feel.

I’d wear this on a summers day or team it with a pretty dress for the evening.

What do you think? Have you had any good vintage finds this week? Feel free to share any below


Boden UK ran a competition recently to celebrate their 21st Birthday. You had to design a birthday card and then email it to them. I’m unsure if the competition winners have yet been drawn so I can’t point you in their direction but I can share with you all Alice-Sara’s entry which I thought was fantastically creative.

Her design consists of two models dressed in their party focks. Alice started by drawing the outline of her two models onto white folded card. She then used scraps of material and sparkly gems for one of their outfits and a number of flower embellishments for the other.



She then covered some large card in some birthday paper before mounting the white folded card on top. She decorated with different embellishments, glitter and stick on sparkly gems.

Alice then painted her models in ELC glow in the dark paint (just so her entry couldn’t be missed)


Having waited for her design to dry she finished it off like all cards… With a big happy birthday message inside.


I’m pretty sure the winners have been notified already and although Alice-Sara wasn’t one of them, her card is a winning design in my eyes and i’m very proud of her artistic flair.

What we used

Craft Papers: (free with a crafting magazine but available at all good craft shops)
Sparkly Gems: PoundLand
Scrapbook embellishments: TK Maxx
Glitter (can’t remember I have so much of the stuff)
Glow In The Dark Paint: Early Learning Centre (ELC)

Darth Maul Lightsaber Review

Evening all, Claire here from A boy with Aspergers and Mummy of many talents here with review number 3.

The 3rd item we’ve chosen to review is that of the Darth Maul Lightsaber.

Firstly here’s the product information:

“Become a master of lightsaber combat with this incredible double-bladed replica, just like the one wielded by Darth Maul. Mesmerize your opponent as you spin your lightsaber – then stun him with the press of a button as you extend one or both blades for a reach of five feet!”

Ok, yes it’s Star Wars, it’s huge, it’s double bladed but quite honestly it’s nothing more.

Firstly I spent what seemed like a good half hour looking to see where the batteries went only to discover it doesn’t require any at all! Why would I think it did you may ask? Well for £19.99 and outer packaging that displays pictures of Darth Maul holding a lighted Lightsaber you can’t blame me for being mistaken.


The information on the box is vague and I was left to google it.

So what does this toy do? Basically by pressing a couple of buttons the blades shoot out off each end of the Lightsaber.These can be extended together or one at a time! There is no sound effects or lights and despite the many buttons only two can be actually pressed. Sadly the blades didn’t always extend at speed nor did they always stay up. We often found that both or one of the blades slipped down back into the body of the Lightsaber.

Demonstrating this to my youngest he sat staring at me blankly before shouting “Come on mum do it” I explained I had and he said in a grumpy voice “No…. Mummy… please… do it”

When Little man returned from school that same day he told me I was being silly and to let him sort it out. He returned some minutes later shaking his head and out loud stating “I don’t believe that’s all it does, surly not!”

This is a lot of plastic for £19.99 it’s a product that sadly offers no features other than the shooting blades that don’t always do what you’d like them to.

The packaging to me seems a little misleading. I’d see this in a shop and the box design would make me think it was electronic. Admittedly it doesn’t state it is but actually it doesn’t state much at all. I now know this is because it doesn’t do much!

For me the name ‘Lightsaber’ alone makes me think its at least going to light up! I know this is the actual name in the thing in the movie but still I felt it to be misleading. If your not a star wars fan as I am not, you avoid the movie and therefore have no idea what it’s called.


I’m actually trying my hand at constructive criticism here but am seriously struggling to find anything appalling about the Lightsaber.

However there was someone who could. Alfie is the children’s cousin he came over today after school and as a Star Wars fan I asked him what he thought of the Lightsaber.

Alfie like little man is on the autism spectrum and is therefore very detailed about things his passionate about. He was very happy to have a play with the Lightsaber and although he also felt a little disappointed the Lightsaber wasn’t electronic he did actually like it.

Of course when he went home this evening he went home a happy lad with his new Lightsaber in hand and huge smile on his face.


So, there you have it! Maybe true Star Wars fans can see past the fact it isn’t an electronic toy.The fact it hasn’t got any batteries does encourage imagination and role-play which is always a good thing. Alfie could be heard making his own sound effects as he played.

As a parent I wouldn’t recommend this to a friend. I felt it was far to expensive for what it offered. Once in the hands of a true Star Wars fan I still couldn’t help but feel somewhat disappointed with the product regardless of the smile it brought to little Alfie’s face.


Star Wars Darth Maul Lightsaber is available at Toys R Us store.


WowFx Your Photos

I love taking pictures but to be honest I’m no David Bailey!

Nonetheless I give it my best shot… Quite literally! I do so because I enjoy it and I hope this comes through on a lot of my images.

I’m a huge fan of instagram and given I’ve not been a member all that long I’ve got a considerable amount of images on my profile.

Lately I’ve discovered a pretty cool photo app for the iPhone. It’s one that takes photo editing to a different level. I’m not just talking about filters but in this case ‘Special effects’!

It was while browsing the App store that I came across Wowfx and thought I’d give it a go.

You can chose to add any of the 100 effects to any of your photos. Opt for just one or add a whole host of them. Once your done with your added effects your given the option to change your filter and then save to your phone or share with numerous social media sites including instagram.

I was pretty impressed by the results and actually found myself becoming a little addicted to the thing!

I did everything from adding a few lifelike effects to give an image that certain wow factor, to just being super crazy by taking my image and making it that outrageously OTT.

Here’s a selected few…

20120918-051226.jpgPixie Magic

Above is an image of my daughter Alice-Sara in her pretty Pixie dress. Her I’ve just added the coloured specs as an overlay and then simply changed the filter to a much softer setting.

20120918-051511.jpgLondon Eye In Lights

All I’ve done here is added the colours that are falling from the Eye. The lighted wheel is not edited. This just shows how one simple effect can change a whole image to make it something interesting.

20120918-051808.jpgA Burning Brighton

The non edited version…


I wanted to show you the non edited version of this picture so you can see just how far you can go with your effects if your brave enough. 🙂


Again we have Alice-Sara. Just the added effect of the falling light really makes this image an eye catcher. It needs nothing else.

Here’s another image that was spiced up with just a few simple effect….



Below is an image of Southends seafront and amusement park. I went all out with this image and decided to create a scene of chaos…


Here’s one of my favourites! It’s a simple goldfish in his goldfish bowl that’s played victim to my makeover obsession this time…

20120918-053222.jpgSomething Fishy

This one is brilliant, all I did was add a few lighted circles to create the illusion of bubbles…

20120918-053416.jpgForever Blowing Bubbles

And the two images below highlight my love of fireworks quite nicely…

20120918-053608.jpgGuy-forks Returns

20120918-053726.jpgA London Display

The first out the two images (Guy-Forks Returns) has the added effect of the firework as well as the brightly lit moon. The second (A London Display) has nothing more than the firework added to the scene. The image has then been out through a filter before finally being saved.

Lastly here’s My youngest with my niece at the Lollibop festival this August…


The reflecting rainbow colours on the grass is the only effect added to this image.

So, what do you think? So many people have asked me “Is that an app?” and “Where can I find it?” that’s why I’ve decided to share some of my amazing images along with the link so you can have a go too!

Download Wowfx from the App store Here

Toys R Us Toyologists Review – Hexbug Hive Habitat

If you didn’t know already than you know now.

Myself and the children are official 2012 Toys R Us Toyologists! How cool is that!

Here’s one of our latest reviews by my very gorgeous Little man.

Ok, so first there was my daughter Alice-Sara with her Monopoly Millionaire Review and now it’s the turn of Little man with his review on the Hexbug Nano Hive Habitat.

My son has Aspergers Syndrome and was a child that grew up not playing with many toys as he had difficulties relating to them. However over time his had fun discovering new and exciting toys and I’d say this is one of them. The Hexbug Nano Hive Habitat requires the child to use both imagination and logic when designing and building their chosen layout within the habitat.This means that the child doesn’t become bored very easily as they can customise the environment whenever they want to.With the endless possibilities presented to them the child can become very creative with the Hives contents. 16 pegs, 16 adjustable flags, 2 Merry-go-rounds and one seesaw.


The Hexbug Nano Hive Habitat is Hexbugs first transportable environment. It’s very light and easy to carry around. It’s really easy to open and with just the click of two buttons the hive opens out to reveal itself.

Despite the fact it’s plastic the Hive is really well made. It’s a multi level environment, separated by a ramp. Little man got lots of enjoyment out of playing with this toy. His spent hours making different layouts, ones that encourage the extremely rare Mutation up the ramp and onto the top level.

There are a few downfalls that I should mention. The pieces are tiny and due to this the child may have difficulties when building the layout (especially if the child has poor fine motor skills like little man). However, he was able to do this it just took him a little longer than “average”.

Little man pointed out that he felt the suggested age of 3 years was much to young. He states this is because of the small parts and worries a child so young may put these in their mouths. For me I think this depends on the child in question and a parent should be able to reasonably make this judgement when buying the Hexbug Hive Habitat for a child so young. It’s my opinion that a child under 5 may need more parental involvement, especially when it comes to fitting the pecs into the holes located in the habitat. This can be quite tricky the first few times but does seem to get easier as the holes for the pegs expand a little the more you use it.

20120916-184520.jpgLittle man has suggested the special fire effect as to demonstrate just how fast the Hexbug is.

This is a really great set that will interest both girls and boys. The Hexbug itself is really fast, though this does make it a little noisy! It’s powered by vibration and it’s the speed of this vibration that makes it move around the habitat.

We loved how easy the Habitat was to set up and put away. It unfolds quickly and is really compact and light for easy transportation.

The set can also be expanded upon making the overall environment larger. However, remember extension packs are sold separately.

A great idea for Christmas (but watch out… you may find that dad is just as interested in it than the kids)!

Check it out over at Toys R Us