Friday, 26 February 2016

Get 25% Off Costumes At The Disney Store For World Book Day

It's World Book Day on the 3rd March and many schools ask the children to dress up as their favourite character from a book, to coincide with this the Disney Store is offering 25% off a selection of their costumes and accessories in-store and online.


There are lots of costumes to choose from including Darth Vader, Elsa from Frozen, Buzz Lightyear and Sleeping Beauty as well as many more, plus there are shoes and jewellery to complete the look all with a 25% discount.

My daughter loves Sleeping Beauty so that's the dress she'll be wearing on World Book Day, if you're ordering online make sure to order with enough time for delivery to ensure your child has their costume in time.

XXX

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Spring Crafts With Baker Ross

My kids love crafting, it's a great way to keep them occupied during school holidays or cold and rainy weekends when it's just too horrible to play outside. 

We got some Spring themed craft kits from Baker Ross recently so when I found out we were in for a rainy weekend I thought it was the perfect chance to try out some of the new kits.


We started with the Butterfly Wand Kits which I thought might not go down too well with my son but he didn't seem phased by it and was keen to get stuck in. 

The kit comes with everything you need except the glue which we already had anyway, they were super simple to put together, my five year old did it all by himself and the finished wands were really cute.




Next up we made the Tulip Pencil Pots which again came with everything you need except for the glue and these were also really easy to put together and made really pretty pencil pots, I love them.


Last but not least we made the Bug Fingerprint Decorations, this kit came with everything you needed including the finger paints which come in handy little square pads. 

The kids put the foam stickers together to create the bugs and then had a great time decorating them with their fingerprints.


Baker Ross have hundreds of different craft kits and accessories for children so if your kids are into being creative then you should definitely check them out on their website www.bakerross.co.uk.

XXX

Monday, 22 February 2016

I See Me - Personalised Children's Books


I'm a big fan of personalised books, anything that encourages children to read is brilliant in my opinion so when we were asked to review a book from I See Me! we were very excited.



I chose a pirate themed book for my son Riley but there are loads of different themes to chose from, once you've chosen the theme you can then customise it with your child's name, skin tone, hair colour, initials and more, you can even add a photo.


The quality of the book is beautiful and Riley couldn't wait to read it, he thought it was amazing that he was a character in the book and he spent ages reading through it over and over.



I think books like this make wonderful gifts and as well as being a lovely book for your children to read they become beautiful keepsakes to look back on in years to come.


 If you'd like to learn more or order a book yourself then pop over to www.iseeme.com

XXX

Monday, 15 February 2016

Ancient Oceans At Sea Life Birmingham

From the 6th-21st February the Sea Life Centre Birmingham are running the Ancient Oceans event and we were lucky enough to be invited to experience it, the kids were so excited when I told them. 

The event involves becoming a Dinosaur Detective and journey back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the land and fearsome creatures lurked in the depths of the sea. 

There are challenges to complete to discover the secrets of the Ancient Oceans and earn your Dinosaur Detective certificate. As well as a host of activities and talks taking place so there is something for everyone to enjoy.



Our first stop when we got there were the penguins which are always firm favourites with the kids, I loved the fact that there was a board telling you all the penguins names and that you could identify which was which by the colour of their tags.



Riley loved how you could get so close to the fish and rays, you could almost touch them at times.


We saw gigantic star fish and there was also an interactive rock pool where you could stroke a star fish which was really cool.


We then moved on to an activity area where we could dig for fossils and then look at them with a magnifying glass, the kids both really enjoyed this and spent ages digging around in the sand. When they were finished they got to have a look at some real sharks teeth and even take a few home as souvenirs which Riley thought was the coolest thing ever. 




The turtles were amazing to watch, I can't believe how big they can get.


Next we watched a short film in their special 4D cinema called 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea which helped to teach the kids about how throwing rubbish into the sea is harmful to the sea life. As well as being 3D it also had vibrating seats, occasional sprinkles of water and bubbles popping up randomly throughout, the kids loved it.





One of our favourite parts was the 360° Ocean Tunnel which was home to the blacktip reef sharks and the giant green sea turtle. We could have stood all day just staring at all of the amazing creatures swimming all around us.


We had a brilliant time at the Sea Life Centre, the Ancient Oceans event was so much fun and perfect for my dinosaur obsessed 5 year old, the kids haven't stopped talking about it since.

If you're looking for something fun to do with your kids this half term I really recommend taking them there, it's super fun as well as being educational and enjoyable for all ages.

XXX

Friday, 12 February 2016

3 things to know before remodelling your kitchen


Making improvements to your home is an exciting prospect, and if you’re planning a kitchen remodel, it’s likely you can’t wait to get the process underway. However, before you put your project into action, here are three things you may want to be clued up on.

1. High-quality materials are a must

To ensure that your new kitchen looks great and lasts you for years to come, you should use high-quality materials. From the elements that make up your cooking space, such as the cupboards and worktops, to the finer details like the plinths and taps, it’s important that you don’t skimp when it comes to kitting out your kitchen. While you may be tempted to go for the cheapest option, cutting corners could mean that your kitchen starts to look tatty sooner than you expected. Instead, you should aim to purchase your materials and accessories from reputable companies that provide high-quality products. You could ask your friends and family for recommendations of where you can find suitable materials, visit your local kitchen showroom or speak to an online specialist such as deTerra Kitchens for advice.

2. Accurate measurements are crucial

So that your remodel is a success, it’s important that you measure each element of your kitchen with the utmost accuracy. From the square footage of your floor to the length of your worktops, it’s vital that you take precise and exact measurements so that you can purchase the correct amount of materials and make sure they fit perfectly. Failing to do so could mean that your new kitchen is poorly fitted, leaving you with a shoddy looking cooking space. If you’re not confident using a tape measure, you could enlist the help of a skilled professional to measure up and provide you with exact figures.

3. Practicality is key

Before your remodelling project gets underway, you will need to think about how you can make your new kitchen practical and functional. You will want this room to be convenient for cooking and comfortable for socialising, so try not to get carried away with your design and think carefully about the layout of your space. For example, as the three most used elements of any kitchen, it’s crucial that your cook top, sink and fridge are within easy access of each other. It’s also important to think about the size of the area and plan accordingly. While you may have always wanted an island or breakfast bar, these features might not be suitable if your kitchen is on the smaller side.


Bearing these three tips in mind could help ensure your remodel goes smoothly and enable you to create the kitchen of your dreams.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The benefits of learning a musical instrument

Learning to play a musical instrument is a hobby that is enjoyed by many people. Whether you’re interested in playing the violin, the trombone or the drums, becoming musically trained is a great way to gain a completely new skill set.

Before you take up this hobby, it’s important that you choose the right instrument for you. If you’re unsure which instrument you’d like to take up, you could seek help and advice from a specialist supplier, such as Caswell's Strings. By consulting an expert, you might find it easier to pick your instrument of choice.

Furthermore, it’s likely you’re also curious as to how you or your child can benefit from becoming musically trained. With this mind, let’s have a look at some of the advantages.

It improves intelligence

Did you know that learning a musical instrument could make you smarter? There have been various scientific studies conducted over the years that have looked into this, and the general consensus is that taking up this hobby can in fact improve intelligence, especially in children. Researcher Martin Gardiner of Brown University conducted a study whereby he analysed the effects that learning an instrument could have on primary school age children and their understanding of maths. At the end of his research, Gardiner concluded that the children who had specialised musical training showed improvements in their mathematical skills compared to those who hadn’t been given the opportunity to learn an instrument. Moreover, taking up an instrument as an adult can be just as beneficial; the hobby has been found to challenge and stimulate the mind and keep the brain active.

It boosts self-confidence

Whether it’s you or your child that takes up this hobby, choosing to learn a musical instrument could help build your self-confidence. Although it can take time and patience to get to grips with your new instrument, once you’ve mastered the basics, you should find that your confidence starts to grow. Developing new skills can give you a sense of achievement, so over time you should find that you become more self-assured and proud of your success. For children who have problems with shyness, learning an instrument can be extremely beneficial, helping them overcome their confidence issues and grow into talented young people.

It’s a great stress reliever

The great thing about learning a musical instrument is that it’s completely up to you when you practice and play. It’s a superb creative outlet, allowing you to express your emotion through your music. Learning an instrument can act as a stress reliever, making you feel happier and uplifted when you play. Music is also often perceived as a form of therapy and it can be particularly useful for children and teenagers with conditions including autism and depression.


Whether it’s you or your child who is interested in learning, taking up a musical instrument as a hobby is a great way to boost brainpower, mood and self-confidence.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Valentine's Day On A Budget With Home Bargains

If you want to go all out this Valentine's Day with gifts for your loved one and decor items for your home but you don't want to spend a fortune then you need to take a trip to your nearest Home Bargains where they have loads of super cute items at super affordable prices.

Here's a look at just some of the gorgeous items they've got available in store right now.


Super Soft Cuddle Monkey - £2.99
Sour Cherry Hearts - £1.99
Bear In A Bag - £1.99
Heart Shaped Balloons - 59p
Heart String Lights - £2.49
Love Hearts Sweets.


Love Photo Frame - 99p
Mason Jar With Straw - 99p
Decorate Your Own Heart Cookies
Heart Shaped Moulds - 99p each
Heart Shaped Frying Pan - 99p
Wooden Heart Bunting - £1.99


Chocolate Rose
Wild Rose Candle
Mug - 99p
Love Notes Notebook.

As you can see there are some absolute bargains to be had, nothing costs over £3 which is amazing and all of the items are so adorable and great quality too. Home Bargains is genuinely my absolute favourite shop at the moment, if you follow me on Instagram then you'll know that I'm in there pretty much every week and I always come out with some lovely things.

I'm going to be using some of these items to add some Valentine's decor elements to my home over the next few days so if you'd like to see what they will look like then pop over to my Instagram and give me a follow because I'll be posting some pics on there.

XXX 

Thursday, 4 February 2016

The Budgeter’s Guide to Baby Buying

One of the things that is taken as given when starting a family is that the cost of living will inflate and that your budget will be squeezed. With the help of some handy tools, you can even calculate the financial impact of a baby on your overall costs, and customise it to reflect your own personal situation.
But there are so many ways to be thrifty when it comes to stocking up for the arrival of your bundle of joy, and many corners which can be cut without sacrificing quality. The average family in the UK spends some £3,000 on their first child within the first year alone. I’ve listed some questions below with answers that should hopefully help in your quest to undercut this figure.

What do I need in terms of transport?

Car seats are a given for most families. But as opposed to buying a new one each time your baby grows past a certain point, you can buy convertible products which can be adjusted to last from birth to around five years of age. All-terrain pushchairs are also commonplace, but might not be necessary if you don’t spend much time in the park or in the country – not to mention a hassle to take out the boot each time. Lightweight buggies, prams or strollers will likely suffice in most cases, but there is a huge second-hand market for all of the above, so be sure to shop around for a good deal.

What should my baby sleep in?

A lot of parents go through the cycle of buying Moses baskets and cribs. But inevitably your young’un will end up sleeping in a cot at some point. It may well be worth you skipping the interim steps and opting for a cot from the start.

What else can I buy second hand?

Clothes, clothes, clothes! Of course it’s nice to buy some cute little onesies for your baby, but in reality they’ll seldom wear any of them before growing out of it. Hand-me-downs from friends are a huge saver. Other advisable second-hand purchases include baby monitors, changing tables, bumbo seats and baby bathtubs. All perfectly re-usable, and great ways of cutting costs. And that’s before even discussing cloth nappies versus disposables…

What if I want to buy new?

Oh, if you insist! Sometimes there’s a good case for it too, especially when child safety could be an issue. If so, be sure to consider budget and house brands. If you spot something you like, then shop around elsewhere first to see if you can get a better price. And keep your finger on the pulse with sales with big retailers.

What are some other golden rules of budgeting?

·         Prepare a wish-list well in advance when friends and relatives ask what you need
·         Stay informed as much as you can by doing some research and speaking to experienced parents
·         Assume gizmos and gimmicks are a waste of money – unless proven otherwise
·         Spread the word that you’re in the market for hand-me-downs
·         Exchange unwanted gifts - most shops are usually happy to accommodate you

Being thrifty can almost become a state of mind, and even instinctive every time you need to get hold of something. It’s a good habit to ingrain, and can really diffuse the spike in costs when you first become a parent. It may well even be worth looking at getting a low-rate loan to help you out with the initial costs, provided the repayments are affordable, and won’t put any further strain on you in the long run.
However you decide to go about it though, with so much to put your attentions into as a new parent, you don’t want to be spending too much time worrying about household finances. So a bit of bargaining can go a long way to putting money issues to bed – allowing you to focus on the things that really matter.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

We're already in to February which means that we haven't got long until Valentine's Day which is on the 14th, choosing the perfect gift can sometimes be hard so I've got a few suggestions to help you out if you're in need of some inspiration whether you're buying for a woman or a man.


Firstly you can't go wrong with a bottle of Prosecco and I Heart Wines do the perfect bottle to give as a Valentine's gift, aswell as Prosecco they have a large selection of wines to choose from all in beautifully labelled bottles.

Jewellery is a classic and very popular choice of gift for Valentine's Day and what would be better to receive than this stunning Classic Heart Gift Set by Brilliant Inc. They're a boutique jewellery brand, founded by Irish sister Emma Canning and Dervla Cogan in 2007 with the ambition to create and design beautiful, accessible fine jewellery that could fulfil the dreams of diamond lovers everywhere. With its exclusive collection of ethically grown, non-mined fine diamonds. Their jewellery is expertly cut using the finest materials to ensure maximum brilliance and fire that lasts forever.

Chocolates are another very popular choice of gift and Guylian have the perfect heart shaped gift box full of delicious heart shaped Belgian chocolates that will go down a treat with your loved one.

Something a little different to give as a gift is this super pretty Blue Heart Plate from HomeSense, it's not your typical Valentine's gift but I think it would be perfect for a special Valentine's meal and something that can be used all year round.

Lastly is the gorgeous True Rose by Yankee Candle, this is the perfect scent for Valentine's and will really set the mood if you have it burning on your special evening, plus women love candles so you can't really go wrong.

Ok so there's some lovely ideas for the ladies but what about the men, here's a couple of ideas.


A really nice idea for a gift are these Battle of Britain Spitfire Poppy Cufflinks as well as getting a beautiful pair of cufflinks you'll be helping out a brilliant charity as 100% of profits go to the Royal British Legion.

Something that might not be the most romantic of gifts but is a very practical gift idea is a new razor and the best one around at the moment is the Gillette Fusion Proshield Flexball Razor, this has many features including lubrication before and after the blades to shield from irritation, Flexball technology responds to contours, getting virtually every hair, five blades provide less tug and pull on the skin and there's a precision trimmer on the back for accurate edging.

I hope this post helps you to choose a great gift and you all have a lovely and romantic Valentine's Day.

XXX

Monday, 1 February 2016

Beautiful Personalised Gifts From I Just Love It


I love personalised items, they always seem much more special and unique, I was recently asked by the website I Just Love It to review some items for them, they specialise in personalised gifts for all occasions and as we're currently landscaping our garden I thought it would be great to get the kids involved by getting them their very own Personalised Seed Crates.


Each crate comes with three plant pots, some compost and three types of seeds, you can choose exactly what is written on the crate and what colour crate you would like and you can also choose what type of seeds you get which I think it great as it really tailors it to the recipients wants and needs.

The kids were thrilled when they saw their crates and they can't wait to get planting and I think they're going to look so sweet in our cottage garden, I can't wait for spring/summer now.


We were also sent some Personalised Coloured Pencils with my son's name on which he loved as he is always falling out with his sister over who owns which pencils, now everyone knows which ones are Riley's.

If you're looking for a special personalised gift for a birthday, anniversary or Valentine's Day then you should pop over to www.ijustloveit.co.uk and take a look at the hundreds of gift options available.

XXX

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