Crafty Catch Up creativity

Following a fantastic day at the Crafty Catch Up in Kent in July, I wanted to create a memory keepsake.

I simply covered the back of my Reset Girl motivational quote card with cardstock that I bought on the day. Fortunately, the amazing Rachel of Bits of Stationery provided us with the most wonderful freebie in our goody bags which made this process so much easier.

Placing stickers around the card, I added some adorable photos of the day that I printed from my HP zip printer on sticky back photo paper.

I love the hashtag stickers but particularly love the boxes for free text where I could add my favourite moments or thoughts from the day.

A lovely keepsake that I can have in my planner as wonderful reminder of the friends I made and the laughs we shared.

Thank you Rachel for organising……here’s to the next one!

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www.bitsofstationery.co.uk

x PB x

 

 

 

Paper & Glam weekly set up

After many months (or maybe even years!) of shall I, shan’t I, I finally jumped into signing up to a Paper & Glam subscription. And thank goodness I did!

August was my first month when the bright Glam pink envelope dropped through my door. Filled to the brim of beautifully printed sticker sheets, the handwritten note from Lisamarie makes it the perfect happy mail.

I only use my Erin Condren for true planning, however, I don’t use the monthly pages so have found that even 2 weeks into August, I had plenty of stickers still remaining. So, I decided to do a full spread using as many of the stickers I could!

In the notes column, I used 2 full boxes length ways and added some washi and P&G quotes. I will use the top box as my reading tracker and the bottom box for my blog planner.

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I used the banners as headers for the middle boxes and because I had to cut these to the right width, I added the flag end to the boxes for detail.

A fun decorative corner bottom left and right using my favourite stickers in the pack – the book shelf and typewriter with a couple of quote stickers.

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I added full box stickers to the bottom row and used an idea from Lisamarie to use the monthly headers above the full boxes.

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My final touch to this week was using the stiletto check lists as headers for the weekend – I love the scallop edging.

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Along with my staple Bits of Stationery personalised headers and Work stickers, I love how this layout turned out and its made me add more P&G stickers to my wish list.

You can sign up to subscriptions here – www.shop.paperandglam.com and you can grab your Bits of Stationery stickers here – www.bitsofstationery.co.uk

x PB x

 

Crafty Catch-Up – July 2017

After stepping out of my comfort zone for the first Crafty Catch Up in February 2017, it was  a given that I was going to rugby tackle anyone I needed to for a ticket for the July 2017 catch up.

Taking a beautifully scenic journey through the Kent countryside, I arrived in Lydd and entered a room full of smiles and happiness. Rachel and Emily (the organisers) had done a fantastic job in setting up stalls and tables for the attendees.

I had the pleasure of being on Table 1 with a brilliant bunch of planner girls – Charlotte, Lynsey, Joey, Anna & Stephanie. Balloons, gold foiling, bunting, the most adorable cake & sweet stand and a safe place to plan, craft & create….what could be better?

It was so wonderful to be able to browse some planner shops – when the whole of the Planner world is online, its great to be able to see products in real life…..although this did mean that there were some indulgent purchases.

A new addition to the day was a set of craft classes which added a great dynamic. We had a TN insert class and TN pocket folder class by CraftyAliCat, hand lettering by SoJoey and a memory keeping book class by BitsOfStationery. It was also wonderful to just sit with my fellow planner girls and plan our week and have a giggle (there were plenty of those).

The goody bags were handed out by Rachel and the room was filled by ooohs and aahs of excitement, apart from me, who in my unique style, chose to wait until 2 days later…..the contents are incredible – I loved everything!

The raffle was disappointing…..but only because I didn’t win the Love From Poppy TN and it was very clear that the winner (LauraLizzy) was very VERY excited about it!! I did win something even with my impeccable timing for sharing my frustration that my name had yet to be called out.

What I have come to realise is that planner friends do truly make the best type of friends – their acceptance of your enjoyment in anything creative is so heartwarming and they have an ability to make you smile by the smallest of gestures.

The day came to an end all too quickly but that was certainly made easier with the announcement for the next catch up at the end of the year.

So, I’ll be seeing you all on 2nd December…..hopefully…..

Check out my Instagram for all the pics – @pineapplebuttonco

x PB x

Exploring the Swiss Alps – Baby Destinations 

As part of our recent road trip through France, we took the opportunity to go across into Switzerland to visit some family in Verbier.

Hand on heart, neither myself or Mr PB have ever considered Switzerland as a destination for a summer holiday. Clearly, it’s a ski resort through and through so why venture over there for anything but apres skiing and snow? 

We were quickly proven wrong with our first mini hike when we arrived. With little PB in the baby rucksack, we worked our way along the mountain path to take in the extensive views and beautifully clean fresh air. 


On our only full day, we didn’t want to waste it, so we hired some electric bikes from Mountain Air, Verbier. 


With excellent customer service, they provided us with all the kit to help us venture up the mountain with a 1 year old. Little PB in his very own trailer with a sun/bug screen and straps and fantastic mountain bikes making the journey on the steep slopes seem effortless.


Stopping at the top for a bite to eat, the view was breathtaking. It has a very different feel to the winter season….obviously…..you can get a table for a start and there is a quiet tranquility to the mountain. 


Verbier does feel a little ghostly out of its peak season, but if you overlook the small amount of roadworks and the odd shuttered hotel and shop, the absence of tourists makes it’s feel like the perfect secluded holiday destination.

You can hire bikes from Mountain Air for CHF 65 for the day and the trailer is CHF 30 (which gets progressively less expensive the longer you rent for). Contact the excellent team on the following:

http://www.mountainairverbier.com 

rentals@mountainairverbier.com

Tel: +41 27 775 44 00

And with a view like this to wake up to every day, how could you not want to explore further…

I’m off to Camp Reset

When Cori Spieker, The Reset Girl, first shared the plan to hold a Camp Reset, I was instantly disappointed that I couldn’t join in as it was obviously a meet up on the West coast of the US. I was very much mistaken and when I learnt that it was actually an online challenge, my heart started racing that little bit faster.

In Cori’s own words, “…My intention is to encourage and inspire you to take those baby steps in resetting your life. During July, we will focus on:

Self-Care Planning: Making self-care a HABIT in your life.

Healthy Sips & Snacks: Making what you choose to put into your body a more mindful and self-caring practice. Get

Moving: Making intentional movement a part of our day as a way to show our bodies the love.

Creativity Reset: Making creativity a way we express and care for ourselves daily.”

(https://www.theresetgirl.com/camp-reset/)

I signed up, not really knowing what I was committing to, and received a lovely welcome kit email with the most adorable set of printables to prepare for the start of Camp Reset on 1st July.

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I watched Cori’s YouTube video about prepping for the trip about 3 times and felt ready to grasp this challenge with both hands! I committed to scavenger hunting around my home for all my Camp Essentials and printed, cut and laminated all the beautiful Camp accessories. I even made a start in setting up my Self-Care Planner.

I felt ready and focused for the Week 1 challenge…..

1st July around 10pm……I had recieved the week 1 challenge email and with excitement started to print it all off…..but it just didn’t look as bright and engaging as all the other set ups I had seen in the Facebook group. The pictures wouldn’t print properly and I became disheartened. I was on the verge of giving up. I hadn’t really started so what was I going to loose.

With a UK Camp Reset Facebook page set up to support those across the water, I checked in and shared my disappointment and frustration and, like so many people I’ve met in the planner world, someone offered to send me some bits so I could make a start on my planner.

It was this act of kindness that made me realise something…..Camp Reset isn’t just a challenge for July but is a retreat to help us  find a way to be a better version of ourselves. Giving us the tools and resources to recognise and remember those special parts of our day, not forgetting that those closest to us are the most important aspect of anything we do. It didn’t matter that I wouldn’t achieve a badge if I didn’t complete the planner on time – what mattered was the steps I was taking to reflect on who I am and who I want to be.

With a new level of positivity and determination, I got to work……I made some commitments to myself and my family and it’s with the support of those I see every day, as well as the online community I’m proud to be a part of, that I know we will strive to be our best.

That being said, I do love my new planner set up and will share my creative process in a blog soon.

x PB x

 

Baby Destinations: Disneyland Paris (with a 1 year old)

I was dubious, very dubious. Some may think it was selfish of us to decide to do a trip to Disney knowing that a certain little someone would be strapped to a buggy for most of it but with a little bit of forwarding planning, we made the most of our trip.

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Given that Disney is all about family, you won’t be surprised to learn that they are very well set up in accommodating all ages.

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Here are my top tips:

  • Take advantage of the Baby Switch – one adult queues and the other waits with the baby by the exit and ‘switches’ when they have finished the ride. Certainly eases the pain of some of the longer wait times on the bigger rides. You’ll need to check for each ride how the baby switch works as it varies depending on where the exit is etc, however, don’t be afraid to ask as it appears to be a very frequent occurrence given the number of fellow parents I stood next to waiting for our other halves
  • If you staying in a Disney hotel, be sure to be in the park when it opens at 8am and miss the crowds! I’m guessing being parents that, like us, you will be up early anyway so 8am won’t feel too painful. It’s certainly a bonus to get some of the bigger rides out of the way, leaving the rest of the day to queue for Dumbo or It’s A Small World and not feeling like you’ve missed out
  • Most of the restaurants are buffet style which is great for weaned babies as you can grab them a plate of bits to nibble on while you eat. I would recommend that you book in advance as some places in peak times have long queues and the last thing I wanted was a hungry baby screaming at me!
  • Get a spot near the entrance of the parade – you’ll see a set of gates near It’s A Small World – being near the entrance meant we saw all the floats come past quickly and there was little hanging around which kept the little one entertained
  • Walt Disney Studio Park doesn’t have much to entertain a 1 year old but as there are fewer rides, you can get round them using Baby Switch pretty quickly – still worth a visit
  • An absolute must is a character breakfast which takes place in the Palace Gardens Restaurant. Again, a buffet but with the added bonus of Mickey, Minnie & Friends! Have a camera ready to take photos of your little one pooing their pants when Mickey creeps up behind them – they’ll thank you later!

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Rides that we all enjoyed (i.e. no height restriction!)

  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Dumbo The Flying Elephant
  • Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
  • An Encounter with Darth Vader
  • Mad Hatter’s Teacups
  • It’s A Small World

We shall certainly be returning to Disneyland (before the little man turns 3!)

x PB x

 

Why I love multiple planners!

When I first entered the world of planning, I found it hard to understand how it was possible to use more than 1 planner at a time. How could it be that you invest in a beautiful leather ring bound planner and then justify the need to add to that collection? Why would you not worship every part of that planner and that planner alone?

Oh, how naive this slightly younger version of myself was….almost 3 years on into my love (and mild addiction) into all things Planner related, I use 4 planners on a daily basis! Yep, F O U R. And I use them all with equal determination and purpose.

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So, let’s start with my Kate Spade ballerina pink zipped personal size. A purchase from the US, this beauty is where I store lists, lists and more lists….what books I want to read, ideas for Christmas and birthday presents (for myself obviously!), holiday planning, packing lists, shopping lists and anything else that I think should be or look like a list. With decorative pockets and a couple of creative dashboards made by moi, it’s what makes me smile every day.

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Next is my bubblegum pink Kikki K in A5. A pre loved purchase but in perfect condition. This was the first planner setup I saw on YouTube whilst watching Paper & Glam and I loved it ever since. I use this predominantly as a notebook for work so it has minimal decoration on the pockets and no fancy dividers or dashboard. I keep a Prima Planner pencil case and wipe clean notes page at the front, perfect for on the go. I also use the My Pretty Week tuck tabs to section off the different parts of the planner – so useful and adaptable! By using a planner as a notebook, it also means I can transfer into other planners should the desire take me.

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A planner collection would not be complete without an Erin Condren. I will do a full review on the new planner soon but I essentially use this as my everyday to do list and reminders. It also gives me an excuse to use pretty stickers!!

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Finally, my bargain of the year…Ban.do floral planner which I use to plan my blogs. This has minimal decoration as I don’t use it every day but I pimp it up by creating fun notes pages using my selection of post it notes.

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I think I have finally found Planner Peace. How long it lasts, I’m not sure. Particularly as I am eyeing up a Foxy Fix TN currently…..

How many planners do you use everyday? What planner item can’t you live without?

South Africa will always have a piece of my heart

I first visited South Africa 4 years ago. A Cape Town to Cape Town garden route driving holiday stopping at Plettenburg Bay, staying at Gorah in Addo Elephant Park, Outdshoorn and Stellenbosch. I cried each time I left the places we visited and I cried on the plane home wishing the hubby would turn round and say “shall we stay for another week?”

So, 4 years on, we went back. This time with a little person in tow! A few people thought we were crazy…..”South Africa, with an 8 month old?? Really?” “That won’t feel like a holiday” “you won’t get any sleep on the plane I bet!” Well, you know what, it was the best decision we made and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Ok, so the business class flights helped ensuring that we ALL got sleep…..yep, we got 10 hours straight from our little man each way (ear defenders were a must though to ensure that service didn’t disturb him) and everywhere we chose to stay promised a family friendly service and we got it in bucket loads. If you do fly Business Class with BA, be sure to choose the upstairs option on a 747 as the space you get is great for the hoards of stuff you need when travelling long haul with a baby!

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First stop – Amakhala Game Reserve about 1 hours drive from Port Elizabeth. We stayed at Woodbury Lodge as it welcomed children of all ages. Arriving at 2.30pm, we were introduced to the onsite babysitter and by 4pm, hubby and I were off in a truck to find wild animals!!!! That was no easy task – in the build up to knowing we would be leaving our little one with a stranger on our first day of holiday was difficult to comprehend. However, Cindy was amazing and, on reflection, it was a great start to the holiday as we had 8 hours each day together whilst Cindy took over – that instantly relaxed us into holiday mode.

The Game Reserve was well equipped for babies with highchairs available, travel cots and always willing to provide most foods if requested for the little one. Cheese sandwiches seemed to be a favourite!

Plenty of animals to spot and a fantastic service from all the staff who couldn’t do enough for us and our little man.

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The room was large and very well equipped – it just needs a bit of TLC to make it even more comfortable and enjoyable as you do end up spending a good chunk of the day in your own area between game drives. The addition of a private terrace was lovely and provided shade during the heat of the day. If you want a game drive experience but feel you might miss out because you have a baby with you, then I would definitely recommend Woodbury and we will be going back there in the not too distant future.

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Next stop – Lairds Lodge Country House Estate, Plettenburg Bay. We stayed here 4 years ago and it was hard to leave behind so I was thankful that we were able to return this year. Again, very family friendly but they don’t sacrifice the service or style of the hotel as some do when they try too hard to involve families. My heart beats faster when I take in the interior design. I just want to live there….animal print mixed in with textured fabrics and soft furnishings, quirky accessories and beautiful woodwork make this a stylists dream! Our room was HUGE! A mix of dark earth tones, stark white accessories and bold prints! A separate living area and spacious bedroom and bathroom meant lots of room for crawling and standing without too many knocks or bangs……

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A beautiful proper cot was in our room upon arrival dressed in gorgeous nursery bedding and the best bit….each night, the turndown service included the cot and a chocolate was given to Tigger!!!

Although no babysitter was available during our stay, we were given the private dining room so it was quieter with the baby in the buggy and when that wasn’t possible, the buggy was left in sight of the waiters and they checked on him whilst we ate in peace…..I mean…..come on…..can you see why I want to live there?? The food is out of this world. A choice of 2,3 or 4 courses (around £25 for 4 courses) and a fantastic selection of wine. After dinner, we enjoyed a game of chess over an Amarula. A must when staying there!

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Each breakfast, whilst salivating over the best food I’ve ever had at that time of day (and the little one agreed too!) the hotels PR Manager helps you plan your day ensuring you get the most out of it.

If you are visiting South Africa anytime soon, I highly recommend staying here as part of your trip. You won’t be disappointed!

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Hermanus – Harbour House Hotel – a great stopping point on the trip to just relax and be forced to do very little. We opted for a self catering apartment (although you still get breakfast included in the main hotel). A very spacious apartment with a fully functioning kitchen and views to die for. We were off season for the whales but if you stayed there in peak times, you would have the perfect look-out!

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Final stop – Mont Rochelle, Franschook. Bestill my beating heart…..a drive down the Franschook pass and following a winding road to the thatched Manor House, we were greeted by the most enthusiastic, passionate Hotel Manager and both hubby and I exchanged looks of contentment.

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Our room was…..well I’m speechless. No words do it justice. Large open ceilings exposing the thatch and beams, we had a large living area with a balcony overlooking the Huggenuot Mountains, an expansive bedroom and even larger bathroom! The furnishings were a gorgeous mix of soft creams and bright yellows and limes. The bed was by far the most comfortable I’ve had on a holiday. Beyond our room, the hotel oozed style and class. A beautiful swimming pool, croquet lawn (we used this as the main entertainment for an 8 month old!) and endless views. A babysitter made dinner enjoyable and easy and, although the service could do with some work in the restaurant, the food was tasty.

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20170127_165810225_iOSA perfect end to our first perfect family holiday. Would I go back to Mont Rochelle as a family? Possibly not. Would I go back, just the 2 of us? Try and stop me! Just need to bring a nanny with us so we can enjoy more wine tasting and lounging by the pool.

If you ever have hesitations of going to SA with a small baby/toddler, please be reassured that we both felt relaxed and re-energised after this break away. We were fortunate that our little man was on his best behaviour (travel clearly suits him!) but I would still urge you to tiptoe outside your comfort zone and go for it! It will be worth it and, maybe like me, you’ll leave a piece of your heart behind that you will need to go back and collect at a later date.

This is the first in our series of Baby Destinations….more posts to come…..

Photo credits: Mr PB – https://www.flickr.com/photos/jjddjj/

Back in business…

I’m pretty certain that I speak for most new mummies out there that planning every small detail in the anticipation of your little bundles appearance to this world is fun and exciting!

It’s fun and exciting to put your focus into deciding whether to have a hospital bag AND a labour bag……what colour to paint the nursery……what the new arrivals first outfit will be…..who will look after the dog when the waters break……

And the key to why it’s fun and exciting is because we have oodles of time and (for the most part until we are doing an impression of a weeble) we have the energy.

1 year later….

I can honestly say that along with not knowing a love like I have for our little human, I have never known tiredness and a lack of energy like I have had over this past year. The learning curve is intense, the sleepless nights feel relentless (even though there really weren’t that bad!) and no amount of coffee could put that sparkle back in my eye. But, I’ve loved every minute. Well, almost…..

Parts of what made me ME became hidden in this last year….which made me feel resentful…. which I then regretted for feeling that way! Vicious bloody circle!

But after a very relaxing holiday and an opportunity to reflect, I’ve decided that this  can change.

Being able to balance a full time job and being a mummy means that it’s equally important to invest time to myself and my old life and the main area I want to focus on is right here. You’re reading it.

Pineapple & Button Co is back in business. I’ll be writing more blogs, I’ll be creative with P&B Co products and will share photos of beautiful places and even more beautiful planners.

However, I can’t ignore that my new accessory is now a changing bag, so I will be writing a series on Baby Travels sharing our experiences of holidays and day trips and how they can be baby and family friendly, even if at first they don’t seem it!

As a mummy attempting to be creative and stylish, I hope you enjoy what’s to come as much as I’ll enjoy writing it!

September Favourites

September has been a fabulous month for The P&B Co. Not only was it my birthday, but the start of Autumn and, more importantly, we launched a range of P&B Co. products and services too! So, I felt it was the perfect time to start writing monthly favourites. As well as planner related loves, I’ll also share a favourite TV programme or film, a book and other bloggers/Instagram accounts/Facebook groups too!

1. The P&B Co. launch event – we held a recent event to launch our planner based products and services and I was overwhelmed with the response and positive feedback. Starting as a blog just over a year ago to now sharing my passion of planning and stationery feels surreal but incredibly special.

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2. Kate Spade planner – whilst I purchased this in August, I have only just set it up with dividers and decorate pockets and I’m very excited to start using this when Autumn kicks in. The quality of the planner is fantastic and I’m enjoying the zip around as opposed to a popper – provides an element of surprise when you open it every time!

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3. The Reset Girl goodies – purchased from Craftie Charlie, the colour palette just shouts Autumn to me and That just makes me smile….

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4. The Great British Bake Off – who wouldn’t love a TV programme all about cake! Enough said!

5. Harry Potter & The Cursed Child – I’ll be honest and share that I was sceptical…..would I be able to read find myself lost in a book whilst essentially reading a script but I loved it. You soon forget you are reading a script and it still holds that beautifully written style of the original books. I loved it so much that I’ve started to re-read the Harry Potter series

6. Paper & Glam seasonal living Facebook group – I always thought I embraced seasonal living until I joined this marvellous group. Such inspiration and creativity to live each season with passion and excitment.

What were your favourites is September?

x PB x

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