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What I'm Wearing: Pinafore Dresses

Pinafores are my favourite thing to wear right now. Comfortable and cute, they're perfect for everyday wear, with a long sleeved top and ankle boots. If it's a little cooler, I like to pop a jumper underneath for extra warmth and I've been known to wear them with my wellies too - we've had a lot of welly weather as of late, haven't we?

Although a quick Google search for 'pinafore dresses' will bring up trillions of results from almost every women's fashion store out there, my go-to place for a good pinafore is Tu!

They have some really gorgeous pinafore dresses (I own three) in various cuts and styles. I find they are true to size (I wear a size 10) and vary slightly in length, depending on the style you go for. Thankfully, none of the pinafores I've bought have been ridiculously short, a problem I've often had with pinafores from other stores.

I also love that they have pockets (practical) and are very reasonably priced. This black corduroy spotty pinafore was only £11! It's out of stock now unfortunately but there are plenty of other lovely choices under £20.

These days it's rare that I find a dress that I absolutely love but pinafores tick all of the boxes for me and I think I'll be wearing them for the foreseeable. Certainly until it gets hot enough to dig out my summer dresses anyway!

Are you a fan of the pinafore?

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Kids Sandpits

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Whether they're scooping it, sifting it, building castles with it, making mudpies or digging through it - playing in the sand allows children to use their imaginations and hone their socialisation skills.

Living close to a number of beautiful beaches is never lost on us as a family, and the fact that we have the mother of all sandpits on our doorstep is something we never take for granted. But if you live inland or don’t like the idea of all that sand, you can bring the beach home to you, with kids sandpits.

What to Look For When Buying A Sandpit

The challenge isn’t finding a sandpit, after all, there are plenty to choose from. But it can be a little tricky knowing which one is best for your needs.

With this in mind, I've shared a little buying guide that will hopefully help you in your search...

1.The Size of the Sandpit Matters

When choosing a sandpit, the size of the sandpit matters, as well as the size of your garden. Ideally, you want something that can accommodate at least two children (think playdates), and that will be big enough to be played in four or five years down the line.

2. The Size of Your Garden Also Makes a Difference

While bigger is often better, you want a sandpit that doesn’t take up your entire garden. If space and budget are a real concern, there are some really great portable sandpits to choose from.

3. Where Do You Plan On Putting the Sandpit?

Knowing where you are going to be putting the sandpit is essential. Not only will this help you choose one that's the right size and shape for your garden, but you'll also be able to decide whether you need a sandpit with a canopy or a cover.

4. What Is the Sandpit Made Of?

Sandpits don't only come in all shapes and sizes, they are also made from different materials. Wooden ones are always popular, but if you are worried about the weather or are short on space, there is always the option of getting a sandpit made from non-toxic, eco-friendly plastic.

Aesthetically, a wooden sandpit looks nicer in a garden, but you will need to maintain to keep it looking as good as new, and prevent it from cracking. Plastic sandpits, depending on the weather, can fade over time and are also susceptible to cracking.

5. Raised or Ground-Level? 

You can choose whether you want a sandpit that’s raised or one that’s ground-level. Raised ones can be better suited to younger children, as they come with different features to help develop your little one’s creative play. Ground-level models are best for older kids. While both have their pros and cons, the one you finally decide on will come down to your personal needs and budget.

6. What Else Can a Sandpit Be Used For?

It’s worth considering what else a sandpit can be used for, especially if you’re spending quite a bit of money on one. Some sandpits double up as a picnic table or bench, which makes them excellent value for money. Plastic sandpits can be filled with water, while those with lids make for an additional playing surface. And of course, there's the option of turning your little one's sandpit into a ball pit every now and then.

7. How Easy is it to Assemble?

Believe it or not, some sandpits are quick and easy to assemble, while others might need a little DIY on your part. To save yourself a lot of frustration and bother, go for a pre-made sandpit or choose one that has pre-drilled holes as well as easy-to-follow instructions.

8. The Cost of Filling It

Don't forget about filling it. In all the excitement of choosing a sandpit, it's easy to forget about the cost of filling (and refilling) it. If you have pets or plan on using it all year round, it might be worth considering getting one with a lid. And whatever you do, don’t skimp on the quality of the sand you buy. Building sand contains substances that aren’t healthy and can cause long-term health problems down the line. Although it’s slightly more expensive, it’s worth investing in a good quality sand that is safe and non-toxic.

9. Safety Comes First

Safety should always be top of mind, so try to avoid sandpits with sharp edges and keep an eye out for splinters. Raised sandpits can topple over, so don’t leave little ones playing unattended.

Have you got any other useful buying tips to add? Share them in the comments!

Partnered post written by a third-party with my editorial control. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

Slow Sundays with Lighthouse

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For us, Sunday is very much a family day. A slow morning, followed by an afternoon outdoors. If we don't have any plans, we often end up at the beach. We're very lucky to have several close by and given the choice of what to do, nine times out of ten, Arthur will pick a beach walk - especially if there's a trip to the cafe or an ice cream on the cards too!

Of course, you aren't always guaranteed good weather, especially here in Somerset. But what's the saying? 'There's no such thing as bad weather - only the wrong clothes...' something like that. So we try and make the most of our family time and get some fresh air, even if the weather is slightly questionable.

Wrapping up warm is essential and quite frankly, comfort over style is something I've really embraced since becoming a mum. Long gone are the days where I'd ditch my coat and brave the cold in favour of showing off my new dress. Today, I’d much rather wear a warm coat and sacrifice style for practicality. But thankfully, this new edition from Lighthouse, gives you the best of both worlds.

Made in Northern Ireland (where they know a thing or two about wet and windy weather) Lighthouse jackets are designed to help make life that little more simple. Whether on the nursery run (which may I add nearly always involves a downpour) or heading to the beach for a walk, it’s the perfect jacket to pull on to keep me warm and dry.

What I like most about the Alanna Coat is that it’s lightweight and close-fitting but doesn’t compromise on warmth. The 100% cotton outer makes it breathable but with soft jersey lining, it’s super cosy too. Not only that but it also has Teflon coating to add that extra layer of protection, keeping the rain off and the wind out. I love the whole nautical vibe. It’s timeless and slots perfectly into my wardrobe.

Lighthouse also kindly sent Arthur the Harrison Coat in Utilty Green. It’s currently a little oversized (I’m a mum that opts for growing room) but he looks adorable. It’s 100% waterproof, breathable and windproof, with insulated padding and quilted chambray lining, giving me peace of mind that he won’t catch a chill. Keeping little ones wrapped up is always a challenge but Arthur was more than happy to try on his new big boy coat and once labelled up, he can wear it to nursery too! He looks really smart and I think my other half would squeeze in it himself given half the chance. I did feel super guilty that Josh wasn't part of our new coat crew but he did a wonderful job snapping photos - as he always does!

Photos like these are some of my favourite to look back on. I think it’s because they help me remember the little things.

Visiting the beach on a slow Sunday is nothing out of the ordinary for us, yet it’s precious time I’ll treasure forever. You see, it’s not just a walk on the beach. It’s making memories with my little family. It’s Arthur’s beaming smile as we play Sly Fox. It’s breathing in the fresh sea air. It’s the squeal of excitement as the water nearly laps over his wellies. It’s walking hand in hand and enjoying the peace (side note: sometimes it isn't peaceful...we do have a 4 year old after all!) It’s taking the time to appreciate how lucky I am. Not just to live in such a beautiful part of the world but to get to enjoy weekends with the people I love.

We might not always be doing wild things but we’re still making memories. There’s nothing wrong with living slowly and appreciating the small things in life. It’s the Lighthouse philosophy and it’s something I wholeheartedly agree with.

Here’s to slow Sundays with my boys. They’ll always be my favourite.

Post contains press samples but I have not been paid for this feature. 
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Where I've been, What's Next and some Home Interior ideas

It's been a while since I shared a post here on Seek My Scribbles. It's partly down to being busy with work, which I certainly can't complain about. Back in February, I began working at a cafe in a nearby village and I really like it there. After years working alone, in front of my laptop screen, it makes a nice change to be around other people. I haven't quit writing though. In fact, I'm busier than ever! I have several regular clients and I feel like I'm getting back on track with things, which was my goal for this year.

I think the other reason I haven't blogged on here lately is that I just didn't know what to say. I couldn't see the point in posting for the sake of it and my heart wasn't in it. I want my blog to have direction and I felt like it had gone a little off-piste. At one point, I thought that I was going to share more of our family days out and that sort-of-thing but as Arthur grows, I become more and more concerned about sharing him online. My Instagram and Facebook have been very private for a long while now and although I was happy to share the odd photo of him on here before, it's no longer something I'm comfortable doing.

I'd really like to get back into sharing some more home / interiors posts when I have the chance. As we work towards building our family home - something that we're a little further along with since I last posted but still have a long way to go with - I'd really like to document our journey.

Recently, we've been collecting some ideas on Pinterest (you know it's getting real when you've got a shared home board), so for now I thought I'd share a few of them with you. Thankfully, we seem to be on the same page with the sort of home / interior styles we like!

Basically, the more wood the better. We're into the whole rustic look. Our walls don't need to be perfect and we'd rather the house looked cosy and lived-in than show-home. In terms of colour, I'm really into green. I particularly love the shade in the living room pictured above. I've still got my heart set on a roll-top bath - isn't that black one gorgeous? And I'd love one of the Insignia shower Cabins (you know, the ones with all the fancy gadgets)...but I think that's on my dream home list, rather than reality. There's nothing wrong with a little dreaming though right? There's already been talks of what is and isn't a necessity for the home but that's a whole other blog post right there.

Anyway, I've enjoyed posting on here again and sharing a little sneak peek of our ideas. I'd love to get back into posting regularly, especially when I've got some more home news and content ideas to share. Who knows, there may even be a blog name change on the cards because I'm just not sure Seek My Scribbles fits anymore. Let's see what happens shall we?

Meg x
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