Friday, August 24, 2012

Bank Holiday = Further Reductions


Topsy Toesy's Summer Sale is in full swing!

We have additional reductions this Bank Holiday weekend

Our entire range of children's hats and shoes has been reduced and 
you can now get an additional 10% off your purchase.
Simply insert the offer code: TTSummer10

Brands include:

Jamie Rae Hats, Elodie Details, Helen Gordon, Kangol
Pippo, Livie & Luca, Vevian... and many more 

Don't delay, head on over! www.topsytoesy.co.uk

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Like the rain, it's coming down... up to 50% off EVERYTHING!


Topsy Toesy's Summer Sale has officially begun!

Our entire range of children's hats and shoes 
has been reduced by up to 50%.

Brands include:

Jamie Rae Hats, Elodie Details, Helen Gordon, Kangol
Pippo, Livie & Luca, Vevian... and many more 

Don't delay, head on over! www.topsytoesy.co.uk

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter


Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Best of British from Topsy Toesy


On the eve of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, Topsy Toesy is paying homage to ‘Handmade Britain’ and flying the patriotic flag high (quite literally), with their exclusive selection of products which have been sourced from across the British Isles to dress children, top and toe, in the ‘Best of British’.

Amongst the footwear range is a selection of delectable ‘Sweet Pea’ baby booties.  Designed to give total comfort for growing feet, they are made exclusively from soft, natural materials which allow the feet to breathe. Available in three sizes and lovingly handmade from supple, eco-friendly, pure plant tanned leather, in a choice of natural colours - Tan, Bark and Berry (£27.95).



For those special occasions this spring/summer, there’s also a selection of luxury handmade baby and toddler shoes by British designer shoe brand ‘Vevian’.  Traditionally hand-crafted in London, these beautiful shoes can add the finishing touch to a christening robe, bridesmaid/page-boy outfit, or birthday dress.  Each pair comes in its very own fabric lined, wooden box, so once they have been worn they remain a unique and very personal keepsake - a reminder of a special moment in a child's life and something to be treasured forever. These shoes make a wonderful piece of memorabilia for any parent and make a great gift (Starting from £74.95), in a range of styles that include: 'Emily', 'Salame Rainbow', 'Matthew' and 'Jacob'

Amongst the headwear range is a selection of finely crafted, designer headscarves for girls of two-years and up.  Made in the UK using vibrant, cotton fabrics, the headscarves combine attractive detailing and embellishments, in a range of elegant designs, reminiscent to that of vintage ‘Oilily’ (£15.95).  Our styles include: 'Butterfly', 'Pandora', 'Paisley' and 'Sunshine'.

For those with a passion for nostalgia, there’s also an exclusive selection of cotton beanie and bib gift sets for babies (£17.95) and a range of retro Sunhats for toddlers and young children (£11.95) from British designer Helen Gordon, whose collection reflects the memories of childhood, featuring traditional fairy-tale and vintage themes.  Check out the: Jessica - Blue, Jessica - Red, and the Hansel & Gretel

In celebration of this ‘Best of British’ affair, TopsyToesy.co.uk will be displaying all UK sourced and/or produced products with a Union Jack emblem so that customers can easily identify them when visiting the site – www.topsytoesy.co.uk.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Safety in the Sun...

It's officially 'Sun Awareness Week' (30 April - 6 May '12) here in the UK and we've put together a blog providing the low-down on Sun Safety!

Most of us enjoy the opportunity to lounge and play in the sun and whilst we benefit from the Vitamin D that the sun helps provide,  the harmful effects of Ultraviolet (UV) rays should be a top consideration for parents, especially during the summer months.  The bodies of babies and young children are still undergoing a crucial developmental stage, which means they are less adept at handling what nature throws at them.  

Prolonged exposure to the sun is scientifically proven to cause long-term harm to the body; this is due to the fact that a major part of sunlight is formed of UV rays which are carcinogenic in nature. According to reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO), a significant portion of a person’s exposure occurs before the age of 18 which, in turn, sets the stage for the development of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers in later life.  The face and head are particularly sensitive to environmental and temperature changes, and more so with babies and young children who are far more susceptible to harm from external influences.  It is therefore only logical for parents to do everything possible to protect their children from the harmful effects of UV exposure. 

Useful Tips:

  • Encourage your child to play in the shade, for example under trees, especially between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest.
  • Keep babies under the age of six months out of direct sunlight, especially around midday.
  • Cover your child in loose clothes made from natural fibres, such as a cotton, oversized long-sleeved T-shirt. 
  • Cover exposed parts of your child’s skin with sunscreen, even on cloudy or overcast days. Use one that has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or above and is effective against UVA and UVB. Don’t forget to apply it to their shoulders, nose, ears, cheeks and tops of feet. Re-apply regularly throughout the day.
  • Be especially careful to protect your child’s shoulders and the back of their neck when they're playing, as these are the most common areas for sunburn.
  • Ideally, your child should wear a sunhat which covers their head and shades their eyes and the back of their neck.
  • Protect your child’s eyes with sunglasses that have an ultraviolet filter made to British Standard 2724 (check the label or ask the manufacturer).
  • If your child is in the water then use a waterproof sunblock of factor 15 or above and always re-apply after towelling. 
 
Products that you may find useful this summer:

JAMIE RAE SUNHATS

Leading children’s hat designer Jamie Rae, has combined beautiful headwear with UV protection to create the ultimate, must-have summer accessory for children.

Combining a vibrant array of colour, pattern and exquisite embellishments to suit every occasion, Jamie Rae Hats aren’t simply fun and fashionable, they are also extremely functional. Handcrafted with the child’s comfort in mind from soft, tightly-woven, breathable cotton, each hat is specially treated to provide a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), blocking up to 98% of harmful rays emitted by the sun. In line with recommendations from WHO, the hats also feature a wide brim to help protect the face, ears and neck, whilst shading the eyes. For those children who refuse to keep their hat on, there’s also the added benefit of a velcro chin strap to secure the hat in place.

Jamie Rae Sunhats retail at between £17.95 and £18.95 and can be purchased through Jamie Rae Hats official UK stockists, TOPSY TOESY 

NATURALLY COOL KIDS

Naturally Cool Kids comes as a result of a mother’s struggle to find ‘natural’ sun care products for her children, that weren’t laden with chemical nasties. Founded in 2010, by award-winning Mumpreneur Fiona Wood, the company produce a range of skin care products suited to year-round use. Each of their products has its own unique benefits. With no chemicals, parabens or SLS, Naturally Cool Kids only use natural and organic ingredients to protect and moisturise young skin in the summer sun, and soothe and protect from the symptoms of colds in the winter. 

Sunshine Armour Sun-cream is SPF25 and consists of ingredients including aloe leaf and organic liquorice extracts, coconut and apricot kernel oils, our sun cream is chemical-free and dairy-free, providing medium protection to children aged from six months. The easy-squeeze tube makes everything simple, and our flip-top cap means no tube with sand stuck all over it! UVA/UVB star rating of 4. Suitable for Vegans. Not tested on animals. Dairy Free. £15.95

Cool ‘n’ Soothe After-Sun Lotion is the perfect, all-natural skin soother. Easily absorbed, it provides essential moisture with no mess or stickiness, and the easy-squeeze, stand-up tube with flip-top cap means application is a breeze. Natural ingredients Jojoba, Aloe Vera, almond and coconut oils, will leave skin happy, naturally cool and soothed. Suitable from three months old. Suitable for vegans and Dairy free. Not tested on animals. £9.95

You will also find other products that might be useful during the summer, including the ‘Bug Band’ & ‘Lip & Cheek Protector’

Both available from: www.naturallycoolkids.com


ZOOBUG SUNGLASSES

A fully trained ophthalmologist, Julie Diem Le founded Zoobug in 2006 because she saw a need for good quality, well-fitting sunglasses with proper UV protective lenses, having failed to find any for her own niece.  Zoobug became the first company to specialise exclusively in producing the very best frames just for children.   
 
Protecting Kid’s Eyes 

Children’s eyes are delicate, their sight is still developing and they need greater care and protection from UV light than adults. This message is not well-known and children are still going around with inadequate eye protection even though their parents are fully covered up. The public is better at protecting kid’s skin; we now need to remember children’s eyes.

Children’s eyes, if exposed to the sun’s rays without protection are at greater risk from sunburn or photokeratitis where the cornea becomes temporarily burnt by ultra violet UVB rays. Although this condition is temporary, it can lead to blurring of vision and distress to young children.

In the UK, the majority of children’s sunglasses meet the UK standard BS EN 1836:2005 which means that lenses block up to 99.99% of harmful UV light.  Poor quality sunglasses that do not meet this minimum standard should be avoided as they also tend to have poor visual quality meaning the lens is not completely clear but slightly blurred. Zoobug sunglasses meet the British standard but also the stricter international standards (US and Australian) for the utmost protection.

Safety First : Sunglasses Offering Protection

When you purchase sunglasses, you need to look for the UK standard – as a minimum; you also need to ensure the sunglasses you buy fit your children correctly. ZOOBUG advises parents who want help finding high-quality comfortable sunglasses for their kids to visit their local optician for advice. Even in overcast weather our eyes are exposed and we need protection from UV although many of us assume this is not so!
Zoobug Sunglasses are designed especially for kids so that the different parts…the nose pads and temple tips especially, are comfortable and snug on the face. Zoobug uses flex hinges so the frames are robust and yet flexible when taken on and off. If the frame leaves red marks on the child’s skin we would advise parents revisit the optician for help in adjusting frames. However, ZOOBUG frames are easy to adjust and parents can generally do this themselves at the temple ends.

Dr Julie Diem Le’s TOP TIPS for Choosing Kid’s Sunglasses:

1/ Avoid toy sunglasses that offer no protection
2/ look for the British Standard BS EN 1836:2005 which means 100% safe
3/ choose good quality lenses
4/ ensure the fit is right and
5/ the eyes are covered completely.

Zoobug Sunglasses are priced from £18 with styles suitable for children from birth to 12yrs.  Zoobug will be producing official Olympic children’s sunglasses for the London 2012 games.  The products can be purchased online at: www.zoobug.com


COMPETITION: 
 
WIN a pair of sunglasses from ZOOBUG, Sun skincare from NATURALLY COOL KIDS and a £20 Gift Voucher to spend at TOPSY TOESY.

For details of how to enter visit PRIMARY TIMES


CLOSES: 22 May 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Upcycling children's hats...

Following-on from our last blog, I thought I’d continue the recycling/upcycling theme, this time concentrating on used headwear.  With the glorious sun shining and temperatures soaring these past weeks, I thought it apt to begin with used sunhats. 

Yes, I know, to a certain extent it’s obvious what can be done with your child’s used hats… give them away for someone else to use, however, I was searching for something a little more unique, that would give the hats a new lease of life but preserve the memories of past summers with my fast-growing daughter.

I recently, discovered Mrs H Makes, a wonderful little boutique that creates and makes the cutest soft toys.  Included in her collection are the hand-crafted ‘Memory Pets’.  You can opt for a bear, dog, cat, rabbit or softie to be made using an item of clothing that you treasure from your child’s life.  Mrs H will then carefully cut and craft your chosen garment into one of these wonderful pets which can be personalised with a name and date.

I decided to set Mrs H a challenge… to create one of her delightful ‘Memory Pets’ in the shape of a bear, using my daughter’s eclectic selection of sunhats which have amassed since her birth.  Included within the selection were the floral embellished UV protective sunhats that we stock over at Topsy Toesy - ‘Flora’, ‘Ascot’ and ‘Meadow’.

The process was a simple one: first complete the order form, package the hats into an envelope, post them and voilĂ , in just 15-days the finished article, complete with trimmings, arrived.    

What began looking like this:


Soon turned into this:


Then this:



And behold, the finished item which I have named ‘Summer’ and now has pride-of-place in my daughter’s bedroom!



COMPETITION:

WIN a 'Memory Pet & £25 Gift Voucher!

Topsy Toesy has teamed up with Mrs H Makes to offer an exclusive opportunity to WIN your very own lovingly hand-crafted ‘Memory Pet’ and a £25 gift voucher to spend in our online boutique*.


To enter, all you have to do is follow the simple instructions below**:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Five creative ways to recycle/upcycle your children's old shoes

If like me, you have stacks of old shoes piling up in your home, from where your children have rapidly outgrown them, you may be wondering what to do with them. Throwing them away can feel like such a waste, and can also feel a little heart-breaking too...  from the pair they took those first precious steps in, to those they wore at their naming ceremony, or first birthday, it can be surprising the level of sentiment attached to these 'old soles' that now sit dormant in your home.  I therefore thought it apt if I were to share a few simple solutions of what can be done with these used, but not necessarily unwanted items. So, let’s begin:

1. Recycle

TopsyToesy.co.uk has teamed-up with the European Recycling Company who specialise in recycling old and unwanted shoes. Simply email us with the number of shoes you have in your household that you would like to recycle, along with the name of your town and district, and we will let you know the nearest recycling point. It may be worth teaming-up with others and collecting a larger quantity of shoes for which we can organise a home collection – aim for 10 or more pairs.

2. Wall Art 

Using a box frame, or simple plinth, create an original wall display. Why not include shoes that your child has worn for a special occasion, or simply at different stages/ages of their growth, and incorporate them into a framed picture to hang on your wall.

Display a single pair of shoes from a special day in your child's life


Display shoes to chart your child's growth


3. Feature pieces

Bronzing is a process by which a layer of copper is electroplated onto an object, to create a bronze-like surface. The process is fairly complex; incorporating a total of 30-stages from start to finish. The result is truly beautiful, preserving every feature, for life. You can send any shoe, or pair of shoes, you desire to be bronzed.  They make wonderful feature pieces that capture a memory forever. Bronzed baby shoes make perfect ornaments: framed, as bookends, or simply displayed on a shelf… the ideas are endless.

Preserve memories forever by bronzing your child's used shoes


4. Storage 

Drill shoes onto the wall in your garage or workshop with the toes pointing downward and use to organize tools. A child’s old wellies or leather boot can make a fun container for pens, pencils and crayons.

A small boot makes a great pencil holder

5. Planter 

Why not take those old shoes and make them into a planter. You will want to drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage and possibly put a few coats of polyurethane on the outside to avoid decay. Place the shoe (or shoes) in a display in your garden or at the edge of your porch giving the impression that the shoes have laid there so long they sprouted growth.

A great home for succulents!

A simple flowerpot from a single shoe

A floral display using your child's used wellies

A perfect hanging basket

COMPETITION

WIN a Bronzing service worth £129!

TopsyToesy.co.uk has teamed up with the British Baby Shoe Bronzing Company, who have been delighting families across the UK with their specialist bronzing service since 1983, to provide our lovely fans with an opportunity to get a pair of their most treasured child's shoes bronzed, and preserved for a lifetime of enduring beauty.


To enter, all you have to do is follow the simple instructions below:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Facts about Children’s Feet: A guide to measuring and fitting…

Like their bodies, children’s feet grow rapidly in the first four years of life, but it can take up to 18-years for the bones, muscles and ligaments in the foot to properly mature and harden into adult form.

As a rough guide, children’s feet can be expected to grow as much as 1.5mm in length, per month, between the ages of 0 and 3 years, 1mm per month in length between the ages 3 and 6 years and somewhat less than 1mm per month in length between the ages of 6 and 10 years.

According to research, as many as one in 10 parents say their children have continued to wear shoes that are too small for them.  Half admit to only buying new shoes when their children complain their feet hurt.  Statistical analysis also showed that wearing indoor shoes (slippers, house shoes) of insufficient length was particularly harmful to children's feet. This is probably because at this age, children spend more time wearing these shoes in school and nursery than they do wearing their street shoes.

It is recommended that you measure your children’s feet and check their shoes every four to six weeks for infants of 0-3 years, six to eight weeks for children between 3-4 years and 10-12 weeks thereafter.  That is not to say your child will need new shoes each time their feet are measured.



 "93% of shoes tested to be shorter than their labelled size by as much as three sizes!"
Checking the Shoe Fits

There are checks that parents can carry out at home to ensure their child’s shoes fit properly which we have listed here to help you:

It is common for one foot to be bigger than the other, it is therefore always wise to use the bigger foot as your guide for sizing-up the next pair of shoes.

Correctly fitting children's shoes should be at least 12 mm (the average width of the tip of an adult's pinkie finger) and not more than 18 mm (the average width of the tip of an adult's thumb) longer than the child's foot – anything less than 8mm and it’s time to get a new pair.

Professionals always measure with two hands. To make sure that the toes are not bent in the shoe, press the toes lightly with one hand while you measure the fit with your other hand – as the diagram below shows.






When fitting a shoe, check that the shoe comfortably supports the foot and does not squeeze it.  A good shoe shape should be slim at the heel and wide at the toe. Children’s shoes with a lace/strap/Velcro fastening across the instep, allow for a finer adjustment without restriction, providing a better overall fit.  There are many debates about width fittings, in fact the UK is the only country in the world to offer them and certain well-known shoe retailers use scare tactics to panic their customers into buying into width fittings.  In general an ‘F’ width fitting shoe is the industry standard and will fit c80% of children.   Initial investigations have shown that of those manufacturers that do offer children's shoes in different ‘widths’, in fact do not alter the shoes width at all and only alter the girth. This may seem confusing, but all it really means is that: The shoes are simply made higher at the ball of the foot, increasing the circumference but not the width.

NEVER rely on the question “do they feel comfortable?” when fitting very young children. Distortion and cramping can be present without feeling pain and discomfort, and children will often say shoes are comfortable if they like them!

In the first years, children’s shoes can only be worn a few months before they’re too small, making it possible to hand shoes down. There’s nothing wrong with this, but do keep an eye on the wear of the shoe, paying close attention to the following: If the shoe soles are worn down on one side of the heel and hang to one side. Shoes worn regularly, more so with older children can take on the shape of the previous wearer and therefore are more likely to rub and not provide the support in vital areas, they can also harbour infections.

Adult feet are about 4% larger by the end of the day, expanding in length by a few millimetres and in width by about 1cm.  Experience shows that little feet also vary throughout the day.  It is therefore advisable to measure and fit shoes later in the day, perhaps after school or nursery.

Invest in an in-home measuring device such as the ‘fOOter’ to regularly record the growth of your child’s feet.

The 'fOOter' is a useful device for measuring children's feet in the comfort of your own home

It is widely known that each brand of shoe offers a different grade of sizing from the next.  In fact research shows that over 90% of the shoes tested were not the same size as labelled.  The problem is that people usually only measure the length of the foot and ignore the inner length of the shoe. That could be one of the reasons why so many children wear shoes that are too short.   When fitting childrens' shoes ensure both the foot and the shoe are measured.

Here at Topsy Toesy, we have taken measures (no pun intended) to ensure that it is as easy as possible for you to choose the correct size of shoe for your child.  We have taken it upon ourselves to offer the inner length of each of the shoes on offer with recommendations of the appropriate corresponding foot measurements in reference to the labelled size to get a healthy fit.  Providing peace of mind you are definitely purchasing the correct size… simply refer to the ‘Size Guide’ tab (as highlighted below) before you make your purchase. 

Topsy Toesy's 'Size Guide' will help ensure a healthy fit!

General foot care tips for parents:

  • Keep toenails trimmed straight across (using nail clippers) and not too short.
  • Keep bedclothes loose (such as sleeping bags) and non-restricting.
  • If your baby or toddler wears a baby-gro, ensure that it is big enough around the feet to allow full movement of the toes.
  • Invest in socks made from natural materials that allow the skin to breathe. Avoid stretch socks.
  • Ensure that socks and tights fit well and check that the toe seams are not causing toes to rub.
  • Don’t force your child to walk; they will walk when they are ready. Instead try and enjoy each special stage of development while it lasts!
  • While indoors and in a safe environment encourage your child to walk barefoot, this helps the foot to develop and strengthen.
  • Always choose shoes that are soft and flexible and made from natural materials that allow the skin to ‘breathe’. An ideal shoe should also have adjustable fastening for a better fit.
  • Take good care of your child’s shoes, this way they will look better and last longer.
  • Ensure baby’s feet are exercised by encouraging baby to kick and stretch.

Fun and Games for Little Feet 

Reflexologists believe that our feet map the up’s and down’s of our lives and general well-being. At differing times in our life, our feet and ankles suffer from aches and pains, and you may be advised to do some foot exercises to strengthen and relax your muscles. For children, you need to make this fun, so here are some enjoyable exercises that will benefit both you and your family. Whether you need to correct a problem or help yourself relax…why not give them a go? 

Lose your Marbles - Pick up the marbles with your toes one by one and pop them into a container – not as easy as it sounds!  Different sized bottle necks or jars, makes it a skilful game. 

Move over Monet! - Choose a subject i.e. animal, fruit etc. and holding a pen or chalk between your toes, see what masterpiece you can create.  For younger children, take them outside with a bowl of water-based paint and an old roll of wallpaper and watch them  make footprints and patterns with pieces of sponge. 

Toe the Line - Children love to balance and will often copy circus performers walking the tightrope.  Roll out a line of ribbon or string and ask them to tiptoe to the end…and then tiptoe backwards… if you fall off you have to start again.  If you think that’s easy – you try it! 

Picnic blanket - Lay a towel under your feet (sitting or laying) then gradually ‘claw’ it into a scrunched up heap.  Find the corners with your toes and smooth it back out again. 

Bath Time - Whilst sitting in the bath, pick up your sponge, flannel or anything else off the bottom. 

Around the Clock - Sitting or laying comfortably follow a circular motion with your foot – not your leg, clockwise then anti-clockwise. This will strengthen your ankle muscles. 

Wiggle - Regularly wiggle and separate your toes one by one. Whatever time of day, wherever you are and whatever your footwear, you should always be able to wiggle your toes….hmmm enjoy!