Friday, January 30, 2015

Learning to love reading (LeapFrog LeapReader Junior review)

Bub is completely and utterly obsessed with books. I'm not complaining either, I'm actually really excited that she loves them this much. I often find her sitting on her playmat quietly reading one of her books by herself. Of course she can't actually read yet (she'd be a genius if she could read at 18 months), but she does love flicking the pages and studying the pictures.

She's recently decided she wants to know more about the stories so she'll bring a book up to me and point to a picture and get me to tell her the names of the characters. Her favourite book is In the Night Garden as she recognises all the characters from tv. After a few weeks of me telling her the names, I can now ask her where Upsy Daisy or Iggle Piggle are and she confidently points to them. Seeing how much shes interested in actually trying to understand books now rather than just look at them, I thought it was the perfect time to introduce the Leap Frog LeapReader Junior to her.


The LeapReader Junior is an interactive system that helps children aged 1 - 3 build reading fundamentals. It incorporates a board book and a handheld Scout or Violet which reads the book to the child. Its designed specifically for toddlers to help build hand and motor skills whilst learning early vocabulary skills to prepare them for preschool. It makes reading an interactive and fun process whilst helping teach new skills.

The LeapReader Junior is $59.99 and comes with the Lets Read Together sample board book. The sample book contains excerpts from eight different LeapReader Junior board books that are available separately. It also comes with a usb cable to download the audio documents for the other books and it can also personalise Scout (or Violet) to remember your child's name.




Using the LeapReader Junior is super easy. Bub simply holds Scout and then puts him over the words and he says the story. He can also be used on pictures which make other noises or sayings. At first she was tapping Scout onto the book really quickly which is a bit hit and miss as he really needs to touch the page for at least a second to sense the image or words. She was getting frustrated when he wasn't talking, but after some coaching from me and practice she's got a lot better at holding him over the words or pictures for longer. I did a little demo video below so you can see Scout in action properly (please ignore my nasal voice - sinus sucks!).





What I really love about the LeapReader Junior is that it involves physically interacting with the book, rather than being a computer based app. Bub has a similar thing in her Playschool app on the ipad. It lets her read a letter, but it doesn't help her develop hand and motor skills as all she does is tap the words. I much prefer her interacting with the board books as she still gets to turn the pages and further develop her appreciation for real books (even though she's using computer technology at the same time).


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I also really love the selection of books available to go with the LeapReader Junior. There are over 20 board books that can be purchased separately, some of which come as sets. I particularly love the toddler milestones book set that includes 4 books to help toddlers deal with events like a new baby coming into the family and toilet training. I'm definitely getting this set for bub. I'm also thinking she'll probably need the Winnie the Pooh book. There's just too many great options and they're all educational because they teach vocabulary, numbers and reading skills (that'll be my excuse when T gets annoyed at me for buying so many).
     



The Leap Frog LeapReader Junior is a perfect educational present for any toddler and there's a board book to suit any personality. I can't wait to add more books to our collection.

Do/did your kids love books?

Toni x

Disclosure - We were gifted a Leap Frog LeapReader Junior for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own based on our experience with the product. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with Kaz, Ann, Bel & Eva

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 4 - TOGETHER

We spent lots of time together this week, well technically we spend all our time together except when shes asleep in her cot. We read together, watch cartoons together, dance together, go to the shops together and play together. This week we also spent time together drawing with the boys at mothers group, playing at the play centre and exploring the beach. Yesterday we spent most of the day snuggling together on the couch because bub has a snotty nose and doesn't feel too well (courtesy of the play centre I bet).


4 | TOGETHER


If you'd like to join in 52 weeks of memories you can find out how to play here. Feel free to share with your friends on facebook or instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos. I've also started a facebook group for the challenge if you feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting. If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is bed time.


Toni x





Linky rules

2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar or text link
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)


52 weeks of memories



To create a photobook like I did with the 2014 photos visit:


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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mummy Must Have Review | Moeloco thongs - good 4 your sole

Its no secret that I love the beach. Living in Queensland it was kind of inevitable that I'd grow up with a love of the beach. Its my happy place. I have so many fond memories of the beach from my childhood and my affinity for the beach has continued as I've gotten older. I love the feeling of the sand and water between my toes, the sound of the waves rolling in, and the freshness of the ocean breeze. I could seriously waste a good few hours getting lost in the serenity at the beach, if my life would allow it. I'm super excited that I've found a product which fits into my beach loving lifestyle and helps people in need.


Moeloco is a social enterprise designed solely to give back to those in need to change the lives of children living in extreme poverty. Moeloco literally means "dream crazy" (derived from the Hawaiian word for dream, Moehani, and the Latin word for crazy, Loco). Founder Kathy Wong created Moeloco to inspire others to live out their dreams while showing that it is possible for everyone to make a difference to those in need. Her dream was to go beyond simply inspiring people and to also create products that can directly contribute to the welfare of children. Unlike other charity based businesses, Moeloco operates for profit meaning the more profit they make from sales, the more they then donate back to those in need. Their business model is based on parallel giving, so for each product purchased an equivalent product will be given to children in need. Their first products are inspirational thongs (flip flops) and for each pair sold they donate a pair of school shoes to orphans supported by The Hope Foundation, to enable them to attend school.




There are currently four different designs available - Dream Crazy, I'm Happy, Live Love and I Am Peace. Each pair of thongs has a message etched into the bottom of the sole so that as you walk you're leaving an inspirational message in the sand. Wearing these thongs you can literally leave a footprint of hope while helping to change the lives of underprivileged children. I think Kathy's created the perfect product to combine her desire to inspire others and help those in need.




I chose dream crazy because, apart from the fact that I have super crazy dreams most nights, I like to think that anything is possible. I'm more than happy to spread that message across Qld beaches. The thongs have dream crazy and dandelions printed on the front. I love the dandelions, when we were little we used to make wishes and blow on them so they'd come true. I think its great symbolism for the fact that you can dream crazy and one day fulfil those dreams. I'm also loving the moeloco logo on the thong straps because I love thongs with logo typography for some strange reason. On the bottom the words DREAM and CRAZY are etched in capital letters so they imprint into the sand as I walk.




Kathy hopes to create a heart centred community who realise that their consumer dollar can have enormous power to create positive social good. To help spread the message you can purchase a pair of Moeloco thongs or a gift voucher from Moeloco online. The thongs retail for $35 and are available in women's sizes 5-10. For each pair purchased Moeloco donate a pair of school shoes to children in need via the Hope Foundation - 650 pairs of shoes have already been donated. Here in Australia shoes are a necessity we often take for granted, but for children living in underprivileged poverty stricken areas across the world they are a luxury that they will unfortunately probably never own. By providing a child with a pair of school shoes Moeloco are giving that child physical protection from the elements, reducing injuries and infection; enabling them to attend school and giving them hope for a better future. For those children shoes are much more than footwear.

To keep up to date with the latest product releases (Kathy plans on expanding the product range in time), events and donation news you can also connect with Moeloco via facebook, instagram or sign up to the newsletter.




Would you buy a pair of Moeloco thongs to help a child in need and leave a lasting social footprint?


Toni x


Disclosure - I was provided with a pair of Moeloco thongs of my choice to help spread the word of this wonderful social enterprise. I did not receive payment for this review. I have since become a volunteer ambassador for Moeloco.

Linking with Jess


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Monday, January 26, 2015

Why I need to leave a footprint

why I need to leave a footprint


Everybody has an innate desire to find a meaning in life. Some people spend their whole lifetime searching for the ever elusive meaning of life. It's why people turn to religion, or believe in fate and destiny. There has to be some sort of purpose. It has to mean something. It doesn't matter what the meaning is as long as there is one. 

I've always had a huge drive to find meaning in my life. The need to find meaning got overwhelmingly stronger after dad died. My psychologist recently told me people who've suffered trauma or lost a loved one have an even stronger desire to find meaning in life because they need to find a reason to go on while in the midst of intense grief. I'd never really thought about it before, but it makes total sense. Dad dying was one of the most pivotal times in my life and certainly the most pivotal up to that point. Ever since he died I've always seen everything in my life as either before dad died (when everything was good) or after dad died (when everything went to shit, for lack of a better word). Whether its a complete coincidence or not everything bad seemed to happen after he died and I can't help relating everything back to that point in my life.

For a long time after dad died I decided that my purpose in life was to be someone elses punching bag. I endured abuse, a controlling relationship and continuous emotional abuse because I took on the role of the victim. I had horrible self esteem as a result of only really being told negative things most of my life, so when people continued to treat me that way I accepted it. I found meaning in life by deciding there was no meaning to my life. I had a core belief though that if I was the one taking all the crap from everyone that at least I was stopping someone else from enduring it. In a twisted way I thought I was helping others by putting up with being treated badly. It stemmed from feeling that I was indeed worthless.

I look back on those years now and I feel so sorry for that girl. Part of me wants to shake her and knock some sense into her and part of me wants to hug her and tell her she is worth it. I can't believe I spent so many years that way. I wasn't really living, more drifting through the in and outs of day to day life. 

Thankfully though I woke up. I spent years suffering in silence desperately hoping someone would save me from my daily hell. Of course it never happened. In the end that didn't matter though because I decided if anything was ever going to change I needed to be the one to save myself. I didn't have anyone to stand up for me so I had to stand up for myself. So I did.

I no longer feel like the meaning of my life is to take shit from everyone else. I no longer feel like there is no meaning to life. I honestly still don't know exactly what the meaning of life is, or if there is one big overriding meaning, but it doesn't matter. For now my desire in life is to make sure I leave a footprint on this world. I need to feel like this was all worth it. I need to know that I went through all the crap for a reason. It has to mean something, anything. So I'm trying to use my story to help others, to let them know that there's more out there for them. That you can change direction no matter how hopeless your situation may feel. This blog is one of the biggest ways I'm making sure to leave my footprint. There's so many cases where a digital footprint can be seen as a bad thing, but this, this is a very good thing.



Even if the only footprints I leave behind once I'm gone are this blog and my family then thats enough meaning for me.


Toni x

Linking with Eva, Alicia and Kirsty



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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 3 - SKY

I'm a little addicted to taking photos of the clouds and the sky. I'm not sure why exactly, it could be because that's where I assume dad is, or just the fact that its so pretty. Either way I'm always drawn to the sky and the clouds. Flying through the clouds when I went to Melbourne on the weekend was scary, because I hate flying; but was also completely awesome. Its astonishing to think that we even have the ability to do things like fly so high that we can be in and above the clouds. It's truly amazing. Unfortunately bub didn't come with me on the plane so this is as close as she gets to the clouds....


3 | SKY

If you'd like to join in 52 weeks of memories you can find out how to play here. Feel free to share with your friends on facebook or instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos. I've also started a facebook group for the challenge if you feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting. If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is together.


Toni x





Linky rules

2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar or text link
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)


52 weeks of memories






To create a photobook like I did with the 2014 photos visit:

Click to read more »

Monday, January 19, 2015

Finding Myself Young 3rd Anniversary Mega Giveaway

Can you believe its been 3 years already? Time flies when you're having fun! Well technically its not my blogs anniversary until February 1st, but I thought we'd have a party to countdown to it. You're all invited and even better the presents are for you guys! I have fifteen wonderful businesses involved who have put together a great selection of prizes for babies, kids and women so there's something for everyone (except maybe the handful of men who read my blog). So, will you join me to celebrate?!


Finding Myself Young third blog anniversary giveaway


To be in the running to win a prize all you have to do is look through the prize list below, complete the rafflecopter prompts and let me know in a comment which prize you'd love to win and why. Its literally that simple!


THE GIVEAWAY BUSINESSES INCLUDE:



Name My Stuff personalised dummies

Name My Stuff specialise in personalising a range of babies and kids products. They permanently mark all items with either names or your own personal message so there's no need to use stickers or labels which can fall off or deteriorate over time. Name my Stuff sell an extensive range of dummy styles and colours, covering all teat shapes using high quality dummies similar to the leading brands available. The teats are available in silicone or latex. The business originally started selling only personalised dummies (and has since expanded to include other items including drinkware, lunchboxes, goggles, infobands and more). We have a number of their personalised dummies as well as personalised lunch boxes. They are offering one lucky reader a prize pack including 3 x personalised dummies, 1 Nip sterilising box and 1 BandanaBib. RRP $52.80. Winner to choose dummies.
Connect with Name My Stuff on Facebook | Instagram


Kidzaid Australia vital aid workshop description for babies and kids
KidzAid Australia are a team of healthcare professionals including critical care nurses from Emergency Departments and paediatric nurses with a wealth of expertise and knowledge in dealing with sick children. KidzAid training sessions provide participants with the knowledge and skills needed to be able to confidently recognise and manage a seriously ill or injured baby and child. They're offering one reader a vital aid workshop which is a 2.5hr baby and child first aid course specifically designed for parents and child care providers. Voucher is valid for 6 months from issue and is non transferable. RRP $79. Courses are currently available in NSW, VIC & ACT only. 
Connect with KidzAid Australia on Facebook


Sinchies reusable baby food pouches new baby pack

Sinchies are a range of reusable clear pouches loved by kids & parents alike. Designed to save money, feed children healthier, additive & preservative free food & reduce waste. They come in 5 different sizes, have a ziplock top for easy filling and are dishwasher & freezer safe & free from BPA. Save money and the environment by filling these with homemade goodness & reusing them instead of of expensive store bought pouches. Sinchies are perfect for storing breast milk, baby purees, custard, yoghurt, sorbet, smoothies, soups, sauces, stock and other things including toiletries & sunscreen. The uses are endless. Sinchies have a new baby pack for one lucky reader. The pack includes - 1 x 80ml pouch, 1 x 140ml pouch, 1 x 200ml pouch, 1 x 1ltr pouch, 1 set of sip'n lids, 3 child saftey lids, 1 cleaning brush, 1 bib and 20 contents labels. RRP: $49.95
Connect with Sinchies on Facebook | Instagram


blame the baby childrens formal wear

Blame the Baby specialise in children's formal wear for every occasion. They have a large range of boys suits in different colours and styles from size 000-14. They also have cute little baby tuxedos. For little girls there's a range of dresses including flower girl dresses, formal dresses and communion dresses from size 00-12. To complete the look they also stock a range of accessories including hats, ties, vests, belts, suspenders, dress shoes, bows and stockings. Blame the baby are offering one lucky reader a $50 voucherTo be used for any purchase online at www.blamethebaby.com.au. Valid until the date listed on the voucher only. Can be transferred to another name. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.
Connect with Blame the Baby on Facebook


Greenbubz baby shop items

GreenBubz is an online boutique specialising in organic and eco-friendly baby toys and gifts. They stock a large range of products including teething toys, shoes, silicone jewellery, wooden toys, breastfeeding covers, amber teething jewellery, gift sets and more All products stocked are made from safe, natural and organic materials. GreenBubz are offering one lucky reader a $40 voucherGift voucher is not transferable for cash, but can be transferred into a different name. Voucher must be used in 1 transaction. Voucher can be used towards any in stock item including sale items and postage costs. Valid until June 30 2015
Connect with GreenBubz on Fcebook | Instagram | Twitter | Newsletter


Scandi Baby dream light owl night light

Scandi Baby is an online baby boutique specialising in Scandinavian and European labels. They bring the bold and whimsical styles prevalent in Europe right to your door. They sell a range of products from clothing to home decor to toys and gifts. They are kindly offering an owl dream light for one lucky reader. Your kids will absolutely love this night light, we have one, his name is Charlie, and bub is obsessed with him. RRP $59.90
Connect with Scandi Baby on Facebook



Indie and Sloan screen printed baby and kids tees

Indie and Sloan make cool tee's for babies, boys and girls from newborn to 6 yrs old. Indie and Sloan tees are for kids with an adventurous spirit, those who like to stand out and explore and who aren't afraid to get dirty. All designs are original and are screen printed by hand using non-toxic water based ink. There are 9 prints currently available and more are added every few months. Bub has Ingrid the owl and the Princess and Warrior tees and I have a special adult Ingrid the Owl tee and we love them. Indie and Sloan are offering one lucky reader 2 x kids tees. Winner to chose from kids styles available at conclusion of the promotion. Adult tees are not included.
Connect with Indie and Sloan on Facebook | Instagram



Tiptoe & Co baby and kids leather shoes
Tiptoe & Co is a children's shoe boutique that sells high quality shoes for both boys and girls at affordable prices. They hand pick quality leather shoes for babies, toddlers and older children and sell them below the RRP. Tiptoe & Co stock a large range of shoes from popular brands Caroch, Freycoo, Little Blue Lamb and Vans as well as Shoezooz kids shoe labels. They have a $40 voucher for one lucky reader. If you need help choosing which shoes to buy I'm happy to give you suggestions, we have 9 pairs we love them so much! Voucher can be used for any items in stock including sale items and postage. Voucher total ($40.00) must be used in one transaction. If the purchase total is less than the voucher, remaining voucher amount is void. Voucher may be transferred. Voucher valid until 30 June 2015.
Connect with Tiptoe & Co on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter



Luna Blue madison handbag floral fushion

Luna Blu sell vintage inspired oil cloth bags and accessories. Their range includes beach bags, overnight bags, nappy bags and more. They are offering one lucky reader a Madison bag in the floral fusion print. The Madison bag is a family-sized carry-all tote and is perfect as a picnic bag, beach bag, or overnight bag. The durable oilcloth finish makes it easy to wipe clean making it perfect for mums with little ones. The Madison bag has a stud closure, adjustable side studs and a reinforced base. It's lined with matching canvas fabric, with an internal zipped pocket and one internal open pocket. Bag measures 45 x 33 x 17cm. RRP $80.

Connect with Luna Blu on Facebook | Instagram | Newsletter



Living Memories Jewellery by Mersina create personalised pieces of jewellery to capture special moments in your life. The company is owned and operated by a stay at home mum who is passionate about creating the perfect piece of jewellery to capture your memories. She is offering one lucky reader a $50 gift voucher to create a living locket. Each locket is created individually with your choice of charms and embellishments to make it uniquely yours. Charms can be secured within the locket or free floating. Winner must pay $5 postage for delivery of locket.
Connect with Living Memories Jewellery by Mersina on Facebook



Melbourne Go festival tickets

The Girls Only Festival (GO Festival) is an annual festival celebrating women. The GO Festival features a range of exhibitors, parades, speakers, demonstrations and zones exclusively for women. This years event is being held on the 13th, 14th and 15th of March at the Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton, Victoria. Friday the 13th is mums day out dedicated to all the busy mums (you can bring along pre-school aged kids). For a list of exhibitors who'll be at this years event click here. If you need to take a day out for yourself for some relaxation and pampering then why not get together a group of girlfriends and head out for a day of girls only fun. The GO Festival organisers have 4 x tickets up for grabs for one lucky reader. One winner will receive 4 tickets. Tickets can be used on winner's preferred festival date. Winner must be able to travel to Melbourne Victoria to attend the festival. RRP $60.
Connect with GO Festival on Facebook | Twitter



Sarah Lauren is a craft supply store stocking Australia's largest selection of ribbon, beads, jewellery hardware, bows, embellishments and craft tools available online. New items are added to their range regularly and everything is available at wholesale prices so you always get great value for money. If you have the crafting bug then Sarah Lauren should be your first port of call for supplies. They have a $50 voucher for one lucky reader. Voucher expires 30 June 2015.
Connect with Sarah Lauren on Facebook


Anita East Anti aging skincare cosmetic clinic voucher

Anita East is an anti-aging cosmetic specialist who has performed in excess of 12,000 non surgical cosmetic facial enhancements for loyal clients throughout Australia. Anita East is synonymous with the highest quality of work, care and individual client focus. When we feel good about the way we look and the way we project ourselves to those around us, we are happier and more fulfilled. Anita East is offering a $50 gift voucher which can be used toward all treatments as well as a complimentary 45 minute full facial assessment valued at $100 for one lucky reader. Winner must be able to attend one of the Brisbane clinics to claim prize.

Connect with Anita East on Facebook



The Wild Collective is a premier shopping event coming to Melbourne this August. Roam inspiring stalls from leading local and international designers, while on the prowl for the very best in eclectic and handmade fashion, beauty products, handcrafted furniture and home wares, toys, eco-friendly products, art and more. One lucky reader will get a $100 voucher to spend at the August event. Voucher is not redeemable for cash and must be spent in one day. Winner must be able to attend the event in Melbourne in order to claim voucher.
Connect with The Wild Collective on Facebook | Instagram | Newsletter




The knotlace is a completely flexible necklace that can be moulded into pretty much any shape you want. Its made up of a number of fused iron and stainless steel cups which allows it to bend. Its extremely versatile, each new twist creates a whole new look. Bend it into a choker, short or long necklace, bracelet, hair accessory or belt. Knotlace have a knotlace original + a pair of knotlace earrings for one lucky reader. Knotlace original is available in silver, gunmetal, antique gold, gold, copper, silver/blue, silver/copper, mixed metals, silver/gunmetal or pink multi. Earrings are available in silver, gold or gunmetal. Winner to choose preferred colour. RRP $46.90
Connect with Knotlace on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

So, now that you've read through all the amazing prizes, all that's left to do is follow the rafflecopter prompts below. Also, don't forget to let me know which prize you want to win and why in a comment below.

* If you don't have any of the account options choose the name/url option and leave the url blank or choose the anonymous option (but remember to change it to your name instead of anonymous).



a Rafflecopter giveaway
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Competition is open to Australian residents only, excluding ACT. All mandatory entry options must be completed in order to constitute a valid entry. Please ensure you read all the individual terms and conditions for each individual prize (written under photos) before choosing a prize. This competition is a game of skill and will be judged as such. All winners will be chosen by the respective businesses involved. Winners must make contact within 48hrs or prizes will be redrawn. Prizes will be distributed directly from the relevant business. Finding Myself Young takes no responsibility for the delivery of prizes. This competition is in no way associated with, administered or endorsed by Facebook.

Linking with Eva, Alicia & Kirsty


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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 2 - HAPPY

Bub's favourite thing to do is jump. Naughty daddy taught her how to do it on the bed when she was little so ever since she could stand by herself shes been bouncing all over us each morning. Its not a habit I really wanted her to get into, because its going to be hard to tell her dont jump on your bed later on, but it makes her sooo happy. We've decided to get her a trampoline when shes a bit older, but because we live in a townhouse it'll have to be a little floor tramp. Lucky for her though two of her friends have big trampolines and she got to play on one on Monday. Its a little hard to see through the netting, but she didn't stop smiling the whole time.


2 | HAPPY


If you'd like to join in 52 weeks of memories you can find out how to play here. Feel free to share with your friends on facebook or instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos. I've also started a facebook group for the challenge if you feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting. If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is sky.


Toni x





Linky rules

2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar or text link
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)


52 weeks of memories





To create a photobook like I did with the 2014 photos visit:

Click to read more »