My Home in September- The Birthday Breakfast

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I can’t believe its been a whole month since #myhomeinaugust, it has just whizzed by… This month my home has changed from sunny yellow to beautiful brights as its been a birthday month! Something which I love to do for birthdays (well any occasion!) is to have a big special breakfast. This months #MyHomeIn post is all about The Birthday Breakfast.

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Its been all about the polka dot napkins and the pompoms hanging on the notice board. There has been confetti in blues, oranges, yellows, pinks and greens sprinkled on every surface and the flowers have been vibrant oranges and happy yellows all adding cheer to the celebration.

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You only turn five once so you must indulge in doughnuts for breakfast and then have a croissant for dessert!

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Happy memories have been captured and celebrated this month and that’s why it is so important to me to document these so they will last a lifetime. Celebrating big and small is so very important to me and making these incredibly small but exciting moments R and H can cherish for ever are a must.

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Next month will see the brightness fade and make way for some new styling and a new celebration! Our home will be beginning to see the first touches of Autumn and some special additions for Halloween.

#MyHomeInSeptember

A huge thanks to everyone who joined in with the hashtag on instagram this month. My favourites are below. I am really looking forward to seeing all the lovely Autumn posts next month.

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Top row- @grandpysgirl    @songofanest  @forestlove1971

Middle row- @acupfullofglitter

Bottom row- @rachelandhercoffee @dekkobird @topknotanddaisies

Autumn Lists, Billions and PSL #LittleLoves

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I have completely missed the little loves community the last few weeks. I have also missed documenting those little things that have been happening and have been special in our lives. Its been a crazy month so far with H starting school, back to all the usual clubs and activities and weekends full of birthday parties, friends and family. The change from Summer to Autumn has set in and I for one am loving it.

This week my little loves are:

Read

I am a bit late to the party with this one… but I have just started reading Me before You! I started it last weekend when I sneaked out to the hot tub early in the pretence of having to check the temperature!!! I am really enjoying it so far but I have a strong feeling I am going to be needing my tissues soon!

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Watched

Last weekend we watched The Intern on Sky Cinema. I absolutely loved it. It had a lovely simple storyline and such a feel good film all about friendship.

We have also started watching Billions on Demand this week and seem to be ploughing through it. I am loving that whilst you are watching one episode Sky are automatically downloading the next one for you! I am so easily pleased!!

Made

An Autumn Bucket list to get us out and about and enjoying the season. I love Autumn and this list is full of my favourite things to do as well as the children’s ideas!! I cant wait to complete this one and make a Christmas one!! You can read the full list here.

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Wore

I am still clinging on to flipflops!! I need to start sorting our Autumn wardrobes! R has been sent some gorgeous new hair bows from Minkleberry Kiss in some fab autumnal shades! These have inspired me!!

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Heard

H singing his harvest festival songs! I cant wait to see it! R and H are both in the festival together this year! H is loving sing the BIG RED COMBINE HARVESTER song to death!!

I have also been listening to Ellie Goulding- Still Falling For You. I love it!

 

And Lastly

Oh I am completely in love with Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Lattes! Its the same every year!! I think They are number 1 littlelove! Well until the red cups come out anyway!

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Linking up with Morgana at Coffee, Work, Sleep, Repeat for Little Loves.

LittleLoves

 

Celebrating Autumn- Our Bucket List for the Season

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I absolutely love Autumn… the chill in the air, the colours, the snuggly nights in watching TV, Pumpkin Spiced everything, Halloween, Bonfire Night and Sunday Roasts. There is so much to enjoy. I asked R and H what things they would like to do during Autumn and they have come up with quite a list!! I have added a couple of my own too!

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Our Autumn Bucket List

  • Visit a Pumpkin Patch- I have wanted to do this for years and now we have one that’s opened about half an hour away from us!!!
  • Jump in a pile of leaves
  • Collect Conkers and Acorns
  • Make an Autumn wreath
  • Make apple crumble
  • Eat toffee apples
  • Light Autumn Scented candles
  • Have a leaf fight (You guessed it- H idea!!)
  • Decorate the house for Halloween
  • Make Halloween Crafts and Bakes
  • Pumpkin Carving
  • Have a Halloween Tea Party
  • Go for an Autumn Picnic
  • Bonfire Night at Nanny Bailey’s
  • Make Bonfire Cakes
  • Go in the hot tub in the dark
  • Make Halloween s’mores and hot chocolate
  • Go on the Halloween train at Audley End Railway

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So we have quite a big list to get through before we start thinking about Mince Pies and decorations!! But I am looking forward to celebrating and capturing our Autumn Days this year!

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What are your favourite things about Autumn? What would you have on your bucket list?

Hot Pink Wellingtons

 

H Fest- A Party In The Park

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For H birthday this year I really wanted to have a festival style party in the park. We have a big family so I knew that park would have plenty of space for the children to run around and a vast supply of tea and coffee for the adults. I started pinning ideas for the party early in the summer and I knew I wanted a very bright carnival colour scheme. I decided to run with the Toot Toot Carnival range by Meri Meri. It had bright happy colours and a slight vintage feel which was just the look I was planning.

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H and his balloons

I wanted the party styling to be simple (it is just a cake picnic in the park!) but still look wow! I started with the idea of picnic baskets filled with lots of bakery treats on bright rugs with balloons floating in the breeze. With all my ideas and supplies organised I went to set the party up.

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Balloons and Baskets

I filled the baskets with a selection of cupcakes, jam tarts, fresh fruit tartlets, caramel slices and mini doughnuts. All the cupcakes were vanilla and had simple fondant or sweetie decorations on top of a swirl of vanilla buttercream. I used the Toot Toot cupcake cases and cake picks and these were so sweet.

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Yummy Bakery Goodies

 

I used simple bright coloured bunting attached to the tree branches to mark out the party space and create a simple backdrop for the cake table. I used a fold up picnic table for the cake and created layering by using another wicker basket in front of the table. My favourite roll of gingham table cloth was used here (I think I have used every colour Party Pieces stock now!). On top of this I added the cake and a mini picnic hamper of biscuit stars. Which was just shortbread biscuits on lolly sticks, which I iced and stuck into polystyrene which I had wrapped in gift paper.

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The Birthday Boy

 

I added an upturned basket as a little table for paper cups full of sweets and the larger basket was filled with the Popcorn Party favours. I also dotted a few pin wheels around to add to the carnival festive style.

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A Cake Table in the Park!!

 

Finishing touches for the cake table were the ‘H’ letter which is from H room and the paper honeycomb garland which is from Party Pieces. I think this is one of the simplest cake or dessert tables I have created but I was really pleased with how it came together.

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I love the popcorn party favours…

 

For the birthday cake I cheated a bit! I iced a fake bottom tier with white fondant and then cut lots of triangles to make the coloured bunting. For the top tier I make four vanilla sponge cakes which I added food colouring too. The middle two had a circle cut from the centre and they were then stacked using vanilla butter cream. I filled the circular hole with jelly beans and added the top sponge. Then after the crumb coat of buttercream, I piped rosettes using an open star nozzle.

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The Birthday Cake

 

Ribbon was added and then gumball sweets were iced around the edge, hundreds and thousands sprinkled on the top and then sweets and biscuits placed around with the cake picks. H absolutely loved his cake and it was lovely to have a few strangers in the park stop and say WOW! When I cut into the cake and the jelly beans fell out I could see H beaming!

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Jelly Beans Galore!

 

The party favours were popcorn boxes which I filled with a variety of goodies. Fortune Fish, Mini Musical InstrumentsWind mills, Sweets and bouncy balls. We had bats, balls and bubbles to play with. Uncle Richard did a fabulous job as the resident tattooist and the children spend a happy couple of hours playing on the swings and slides.

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Popcorn Party Favours

 

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My Little Gang

H had such a lovely day. And although I always say it… This party was one of my favourites!

Linking up with 3 Little Buttons and Bridie by The Sea for #DREAMTEAM

3 Little Buttons

Away with the Fairies

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There is something magical about hunting for fairies in the woods… about listening carefully to see if you can hear the sound of their wings or if they will drop a sprinkle of fairy dust as they glide by. R has always loved fairies and one of her favourite places to visit in the summer months is Audley End Miniature Railway for their fabulous fairy and Elf walk.

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The whole place is a great day out with a variety of miniature trains, bouncy castles, a play ground and a lovely café… But for R (and Me!) the Enchanted Fairy Walk is truly special. When you arrive at the entrance to the walk you are greeted by real fairies and elves who will help you to make your very own fairy wand. R and H loved this and chatted away to the lovely fairy who helped them. Everything is beautifully styled and magical right from the start.

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After the wand making (and copious photos!!) you walk under the floral arch and begin looking for fairies using your fairy and elf spotting book. The fairies are hidden all through the woodlands and have information boards telling you all about them. It was lovely to wonder through the trees and try to find as many little houses as possible.

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My favourite part of the day (apart from the coffee cake in the tearoom) was the wishing wall. Every year it takes my breath away. So many wishes from big and small… R and H both had their wishing paper and used their wands to write their special wish. H wished for Lego and R for a Unicorn Fairy. How cute is this little wishing seating area!

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We walked through finding more and more fairies, elves, trolls and little woodland animals. R and H loved running ahead and looking at the information signs about each fairy house.

We then enjoyed a play on the park and the little steam train ride through the woodland where we spotted rabbits, deer and a few teddy bears. We absolutely loved our day out and can’t wait to go back. Last year we visited at Halloween and the attention for detail for the Halloween train was amazing! I will share a blog post and some information about our trip at Halloween soon.

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The Enchanted Fairy Walk is only open until the 9th October; so be quick to go and visit.

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Party Plans, Festival Styles and Sunny Evenings #LittleLoves

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The Summer Holidays are almost over. This time next week I will be back at work and the routine will be getting back to normal! To be honest I am ready for this now; the summer has been lovely but H is definitely ready to be at school.

This weeks little loves are;

Read

Lots of home magazines this week as I am looking for en-suite inspiration! We have a plumber booked for the end of September but still have no idea what we are doing!!

We have also been reading Ready Steady Mo! Nearly every night! H absolutely adores it! He loves to do the Mobot at the end!

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Watched

The Bake Off of cause!! I just love it so much. The bad side of it is that it just makes me want to keep baking cakes which is really not good!

I also watched lots of amazing bands and artists at V Festival on Sunday. My absolute favourite has to be Little Mix. They were fantastic!

Made

Plans for H birthday party. We are having H Fest next Saturday to celebrate his 5th Birthday. He is starting to get very excited and is telling me daily cake flavours and ideas! I am glued to pinterest and keep adding to my plans.

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Wore

My favourite red top. This top is from Matalan. I never ever shop in Matalan but popped in there to get some tea towels and found this! I love it! And my Hunter wellies; great festival style but way too hot for a sunny Sunday! Although it did rain in the evening.

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R also rocked her own festival style at our Baby V Festival, future fashion blogger I think!! Everything she is wearing is from Next.

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Heard

I love this Olly Murs song. I keep singing along when it comes on the radio.

And Lastly

We have been making the most of the sunny evening and have been trying to get out as a family when David gets in from work. We enjoyed a Fish and Chips picnic and a play in the water features at our local country park on Wednesday.

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Wishing you all a lovely week.

Linking up with Morgana at Coffee, Work, Sleep, Repeat for #LittleLoves

LittleLoves

My Home in… August

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I love the way my home changes throughout the year, it reflects the seasons and the things we are celebrating at the particular time. I am fairly predictable… David knows he will come home from work one October evening and the house will be decked in pumpkins, orange flowers in golden vases and goodies in sweet containers. I have things which we always celebrate and change our home for… Chinese New Year, Valentines Day, Birthdays, Easter, Mothering Sunday, Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Years Eve. These I document with photographs and notes in my journals but its the little changes throughout the year that tell a story and these are worth celebrating too.

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Things like adding a few special sea shells to your coffee table décor after a trip to the beach or filling a vase with all of natures offerings in the Autumn. These are the things I want to document and remember. So #MyHomein is born!

On the 25th of each month I will share a My Home In post. As part of this post I will include my favourite photos from the hashtag on instagram for the month and my styling at home. I would love for you to join me by using the #MyHomeinSeptember or by linking up your own home next month.

My Home in August

Is telling the tale of sunny days and is clinging on to the last moments of the summer holidays. The bookcase in the orangery is busting with sunny sunflowers and yellow blooms, mixed with the scent of lavender from the garden drying out. New stationary is stacked up ready to go and soon the piles of sandals and flipflops will be packed away and school shoes will be back in the hall.

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I love the pairing of the black with the yellow roses and sunflowers… it reminds me of busy bees flying around the garden. I don’t very often use black in my styling so this makes a change for me.

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What does your home look like in August? Do you fancy playing along next month?

Carly x

Linking up with the lovely Katy from Hot Pink Wellingtons and Laura from Dear Bear and Beany for #SharingtheBlogLove

Hot Pink Wellingtons

Beautiful Blues- Chocolate Drip Cake and Party Ideas

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At the beginning of August it was my husbands birthday; he never wants a fuss, never asks for any presents and is always happy with the usual gifts of sweets, socks and bubble bath!! We always like to do him a little party and this year decided to go for a blue theme (much to H disgust- he wanted Minions for Daddy!!).

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We had a very simple meal of mixed tapas and then we dug into the dessert buffet I had set up on a bookcase. I loved using the bookcase as the stand as it was nice to put the different bits at different heights. We had cupcakes, macaroons, different blue sweets and popcorn in little pots to nibble on.

The star of the show was the blue hidden ombre chocolate cake. I baked four simple sponges and added varying amounts of food colouring to three of the cakes to give me an ombre style layer cake. I layered them up with vanilla buttercream and then covered the whole cake in the cream.

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Next I melted some white chocolate adding blue food colouring to it; this was drizzled all over the cake and down the sides. I then quickly arranged biscuits, sweets, chocolate bark, sprinkles, macaroons and large chocolate balls on the cake. Finally adding some homemade cake bunting as the finishing touch. Two things went wrong here. The first was that it was far to hot to be doing anything with chocolate!! It was melting before I had a chance to save it. This resulted in things not being as “perfect” as I would have liked! The second was that the blue melted chocolate wasn’t as runny as I had hoped. Next time I will definitely use candy melts.

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Although it didn’t look Pinterest perfect it tasted absolutely yummy!! I loved creating this simple party using lots of gorgeous things from Party Pieces.

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On the table I used the gingham table runner, chevron paper plates, plain blue napkinscups and straws. I styled this with some pretty blue flowers and a candle. I also added party hats which I already had at home.

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On the dessert shelves I used the blue trays, chevron pots, honeycomb bunting and my growing collection of paper fans and honeycombs. It was super quick to put together and we all had such a lovely time.

I am currently planning H Fest for H 5th birthday in two weeks! He has grand plans for the tallest cake in the world! I am researching party ideas on the Party Pieces website! Ready for an order at the end of the week! Are you planning any parties over the next few months? I would love to hear about them.

I purchased all the items myself but wanted to add the links as the products really are fantastic.

Lanzarote, Pool Days and Chocolate Fountains #littleloves

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So this week has been all about the holiday blues for me… We got back from Lanzarote in the early hours of Tuesday morning and I have been feeling the gloom ever since! I am sure I will get through the mass pile of laundry and get back to the normal routine soon but for now I am dreaming of the bright blue skies!!

This weeks Little Loves are

Read

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I read loads of holiday which was so nice. I loved My Mother’s Secret by Shelia O’Flanagan a really easy summer holiday read and a great storyline… I couldn’t put it down.

Watched

R and H splash and swim all week! They adored the pool whilst we were away but it was a tiny bit chilly for me!! I think I am too use to the hot tub at 37 degrees!!!

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Erm… Back to School Plans! Does that count? We are half way through the list of things required! The lovely people at Dot Com Gift Shop have sent us some goodies for Back to School they are all gorgeous. You can read about them here.

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H wore a huge smile and a football scarf when he went to watch his first ever big match. Although we are Arsenal Fans in this house; David was really lucky to get two tickets to Manchester United V Leicester at Wembley on the Sunday before we left to Lanzarote. They sat in the Manchester United End and H really enjoyed himself although at not quite five he didn’t make it to the end of the match!!

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David and I are off to V Festival on Sunday so I have been listening to all my favourites ready to sing along! I am really looking forward to seeing Years and Years. I also think Little Mix will be great!

And Lastly

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I had to share R little love for the last week!! The hotel chocolate fountain… melted chocolate on tap for seven nights!! She loved it.

Have a fab week everyone.

Linking up with the lovely Morgana at Coffee, Work, Sleep, Repeat for #LittleLoves

LittleLoves

Back to School with Dot Com Gift Shop

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So its that time again… we are mid way through August and our thoughts start to turn to getting everyone ready to go back to school. Both of my children will be at school together in September, R will be beginning Year 2 and H will be starting in reception. The list of things they need is huge and some of the things are boring but when it comes to lunch boxes, bags, stationary and water bottles things start to get a bit more exciting!

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I have never really been a fan of “Characters” as in Princess t-shirts or Super Hero water bottles. So when the fabulous Dot Com Gift Shop asked us to have a look at their Back to School range I jumped for joy!! There is just so much choice; they stock rucksacks, lunch bags, lunch boxes, water bottles, stationary, flasks and PE bags to name a few things. Everything is wonderful colours and adorable prints. There are characters  but these are cute and stylish!

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The first thing I choose was these fabulous football snack boxes for H, he loves football and I thought these would be great for his mid morning snack and to fill up with bits in his lunch bag. The boxes are bright and colourful and all fit inside each other for easy storage. H loved them and couldn’t wait to try them out. Three snack boxes of this quality for £5.95 is a complete steal! They would be perfect for any football fan.

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As R would need snack boxes too I decided to order her the utterly adorable Rambling Rose snack boxes again three boxes for £5.95. These are so lovely they may find their way into my school lunch bag!!

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The next thing on our list was drink bottles; again there was a lot of choice. H choose the Vintage Transport bottle and R choose the ABC bottle. Both bottles are £6.95 and are just the right size for little hands. They have a straw top that pops out and a great little strap to hold on to when carrying it to school.

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Next I just had to get some super cute stationary… There was so much choice from quirky pens and rubbers, to gorgeous note books and little post it notes. I fell in love with the little tubes full of tiny pencils. Perfect for little hands to draw with. I choose the Red Riding Hood set for R and the Colourful Creatures set for H. At £1.50 for a set of 12 these would be great as party bag gifts or little back to school presents too.

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As I am a teacher I will be going Back to School too in September and when I saw this adorable mini flask I just had to have it. It would be great for my soups or for taking my tea from the staff room to my classroom. I think this will be used a lot!! Its £12.95 and there are lots of different designs and prints to choose from.

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There is just such a fantastic range for Back to School at Dot Com Gift Shop that you really must check it out. What are your Back to School must haves? Do you have any favourite pieces from Dot Com Gift Shop?

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We were kindly gifted all of these items by The Dot Com Gift Shop for the purpose of this review but as always all words and opinions are my own.

 

Hot Pink Wellingtons