Friday, 21 November 2014

Review | Bashful Penguin from Jellycat!


Good morning all!

Today I have a little review for you of the amazing brand Jellycat, if you haven't heard of them (where have you been!?), here is a little bit of information about them!



Jellycat started their designs in London back in 1999 and aim to create original and innovative soft toys for a range of different ages! Jellycat continues to combine luxurious fabrics with designs that are sometimes quirky, sometime cute but always with a little something different that makes them stand out from the crowd! The name Jellycat was dreamt up by a child who loved jellies and cats and giggled at the thought of the two together. The silliness of the name was a great reflection of the design and so it stuck! The first range launched in 1999 was individual and most unusual, announcing themselves as a soft toy creator with a difference! 

Not long after establishing themselves in the UK, Jellycat Inc was then set up in Minneapolis in 2001. and even had the privilege to supply some of the finest retail shops around, including department stores and boutiques throughout the UK, USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and even as far as Australia!



One of the first toys Abbie was ever bought was actually the soft blue Elephant in the mood board below, she absolutely loved it and my love for the brand began! We were given the opportunity to review any item from the website, so after browsing their website for a good 45 mins, we finally decided on this gorgeous Bashful penguin for Abbie, she has a bit of an obsession with penguins at the moment so this would be perfect for her! 


"It can get pretty quiet in the snow, so little Bashful Penguin likes to read. But since there are no bookshops in Antarctica, he has to write them himself! There’s Fantastic Mr Penguin, The Very Hungry Penguin...well, you get the idea. This soft penguin chick has gorgeous grey fur with a bonny white tuxedo tummy and silky beak and feet."



Abbie was having a nap when the penguin arrived, but as soon as she woke up I showed her the little blue tie string bag it was in and she immediately got excited, I helped her take him out and her little face lit up, then for the next hour she was bouncing around the living room shouting 'Pengiquin, pengiquin' whilst giving him cuddles and kisses! The most adorable thing ever! She immediately fell in love with him and he's now kind of like her little buddy, she will carry him around most of the day and he's even shared her breakfast with her on a few occasions! 

We will be taking him with us on our trip to Butlins next month as a little something to remind her of home, I don't think she'd let us leave him at home anyway, so you can expect to see lots of pictures of them together after our review next month! :)

Choosing an item from the website is like choosing what Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavour you want, there is so much to choose from, each with their own adorable story and design, perfect for newborns, toddlers, anyone who likes soft toys for that matter! Below I have picked my favourite cuddlies for you to admire, I think i'm slightly in love with the rabbit and cat a bit more though, how sweet are they!?



1.


Fluffy, warm and tickletastic, Fuddlewuddle Bunny can’t wait to tumble about in the grassy meadow! His puffy bobtail and plump ears make him a fuddlewuddly good present for any bunny fans.


2.
Practical joker Maximilian Monkey has a reputation for playing tricks! Mischievous, merry and brown as a berry, he’s got lovely lanky monkey arms and legs. We love his stripey tail and soft tummy patch. With a whoop, he’s away - catch up with him if you can!

3.
Caffuffle Palomino Pony loves to roll in the grass, kicking his soft chocolate hooves into the air. Hooray for sunny days! This cheeky pony sometimes needs a bath because his lovely buttery mane and tail get covered in ladybirds!

4.
Cordy Roy Cat’s chunky, soft and strong for tumbleabout play. This fruity pink moggy loves a good tickle, and his big cord belly is made for maximum snuggle ability!

5.
Carnaby Cutie Kiki boogies in the sunshine, and doesn’t care who stops and stares! She rocks a swirly-whirly circle print dress and bonny orange bows in her hair. The perfect gift for a London-loving girly girl!

6.
Stomping in for a mighty cuddle, it’s Fuddlewuddle Elephant! In soft chalky-blue, with fuddletastic fur and a big long trunk for sniffing out sandwiches, he really is an amazing fellow.

7.
We just love Whimsey Giraffe’s vintage mustard-yellow fur. He may be smaller than the giraffes in the zoo, but we think that just makes him cuter. With soft brown horns and flapping ears, this giraffe will always stick his neck out for a friend! Giraffes have a brilliant galumphing run, so he’s always up for a game of tag

8.

When flying high above the forest, Forest Folk Oak Owl looks so, so cool. Silver like a spaceship, gliding through the night, looking for tasty beetles and bugs. We’re very proud of this beautiful owl - passing all flying classes on the first go! Now there is more time for relaxation and some well-earned snuggles.



Who is your favourite?



x

Bathroom | Cleaning Hacks

Most of us have a cleaning rota to keep on top of all the household chores, sometimes we look for quick fixes to get everything spick and span, because let's face it, sometimes we just don't have the time to soak everything in hot water for 3 hours or to buy expensive products to fix some of the tougher issues! But there are so many cleaning hacks are everywhere these days, and when you wade through the masses and come across really good ones, you’ll wonder how you coped without them previously. Below is a fab little list of some of the best ones for those tough problems in your bathroom, I will be posting tips for all the rooms in your house over the next few months so keep an eye out! 



Baby oil for your fixtures 
Baby oil is so versatile when it comes to cleaning; it’s ideal for rubbing over surfaces that usually attract dust as it stops the dust from resting. It’s also great for bringing up a shine on your metal fixtures in your bathroom. Add a few drops to a cloth and use a bit of elbow grease to get those taps sparkling! 

Vinegar to fix your shower head 
The simplicity of this trick is so amazing you’ll wonder how you never heard of it before! Simply remove the shower head from the fixture if possible, and fill a sandwich bag with vinegar and then immerse the head in the bag. Secure the bag with an elastic band and leave to soak for a couple of hours, depending on the amount of build up. This should get rid of harsh build up, but if you really do think it’s time to update your shower, take a trip to the Ideal Outlet for some great deals. 

Vinegar works wonders for the toilet, too 
Mixing baking soda with vinegar makes a perfectly natural solution to get rid of those stubborn toilet stains without having to use any harmful (or expensive) chemicals. Let it sit for 15 minutes without flushing for a glistening finish. 

...and also the window sills! 

Basically, you just need to invest in a big bottle of vinegar to fix those stubborn bathroom grime issues! It’s great for getting rid of mildew and mould on your windows sills. Dip the ends of a cotton bud into vinegar and go over the mildew build up to get it looking squeaky clean! 

Improving the scent with essential oils 
Making your bathroom smell great is no doubt high on the list of priorities when it comes to making your bathroom a great place to be in. An alternative to using strong aerosols or overpowering air fresheners is to use essential oils. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oils to the cardboard of your toilet roll to add a delicate, relaxing scent to the room. 

Rid mirrors of mildew with the help of black tea 
Forget costly glass sprays – instead, use something you may already have in your kitchen cupboards! Black tea works really well for getting rid of build up and soap scum on mirrors due to the ingredient tannic acid. Make a warm tea, use a lint-free cloth and wipe over the mirror...done! 

Clear grime from tiles with salt and baking powder 
Salt and baking powder are a great mix for removing tough grime, particularly on tiles as they’re gentle enough not to scratch them. Mix equal parts in a container and sprinkle on the areas that need attention and scrub with a sponge.

What are your hacks?

x

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

What I Ate Wednesday!

I'm super excited to be starting a What I Ate Wednesday series, especially as my diet has changed so much in the past few months! If you didn't know, Ben & I completely changed our lifestyle to be healthier and to lose weight for Christmas, so we have now both lost 21lbs each! We've been super strong minded and started off the first month cutting out takeaways, cakes, sweets, fizzy drinks, sugar in tea, bread and bacon! The hardest part for me were the takeaways, I love a Domino's pizza with all the sides and I could eat a Chinese every single day if I could stay slim, although I was never in the overweight section, I just didn't feel good about myself, I didn't want to leave the house at some points either so that's when I knew I had to do something about it!

We actually ended up treating ourselves for Ben's birthday yesterday and had a Domino's pizza, it was amazing, like heaven in your mouth, I had a bit of everything, and no I didn't feel guilty, and despite what some people think, you DO NOT gain weight from ONE treat meal! :)

 We both enjoyed every mouthful but have returned to our normal eating now, so today's menu looks a little sparse to compensate for it :)

So here is what I ate today, with descriptions underneath of what everything is :)


Breakfast
Big bowl of Golden Nuggets
Half a banana

I know there a lot of healthier options when it comes to breakfast but I can't completely eat 100% healthy all the time! Plus they're sooooo yummy!


Lunch
1/2 Warburtons Soft Brown Wrap
Weight Watchers Tuna in Mayo with sweetcorn
Mixed Salad
Weight Watchers Mature Cheddar & Caramelised Red Onion crisps



Dinner
Weight Watchers Spaghetti Bolognese
Birds Eye Mixed Veg
Roasted Veg

I wanted to load up on the veg today, can you tell!?

Snacks
Red Apple
Weight Watchers Fromage Frais 

I tend to cook 6 out of 7 days of the week and leave one day for a Ready Meal, we picked the healthier choices of either Weight Watchers or Quorn so we both stay within our targets, and they are surprisingly delicious too and have generous portions! I try and add lots of veg and snack on fruit throughout the day to keep my energy up!

Exercise
As I was making up for the domino's yesterday, I took a 20 minute walk with Abbie, had a 10 minute jog AND 15 mins of Zumba! 

I'll be doing a what i ate wednesday every week now so you can see what kinda things I eat! I also have a big post scheduled for next week where I talk in more detail about the diet and weight loss as well as exercise too, so keep an eye out :)

x

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Review | Thule Ride Along


Not too long ago, we were introduced to the amazing brand known as Thule, a brand designed with active families in mind to bring you products such as bike carriers, sport strollers, bike seats and luggage to name a few! Whatever adventure your family will go on next, Thule have you covered to make your experience safe easy and stylish! 

The Thule brand was established in 1942. Under the motto Bring your life, Thule globally offers a wide range of premium products for active people that allow them to bring what they care most for safely, easily and in style. It offers among other things roof racks, bike carriers, roof boxes, computer/camera/sports bags and child related products like child bike seats and multifunctional strollers. The products are sold in more than 125 countries world-wide!


"Whatever your passion, whatever your pursuit. Wherever you're going, whatever you're bringing. With Thule, you're free to live your active life to the full."



Bring your board.
Bring your bike.
Bring your skis.
Bring your love.
Bring your passion.
Bring your dreams.
Bring your life.



We were given the opportunity to review the fantastic product RideAlong and have been using it for the past few weeks with Abbie and now wanted to share our experience with you all! 

I was so excited to start using this, as soon as it arrived and we unpacked it, Abbie was trying to sit in it whilst it was on the floor, she was completely intrigued by it and knew straight away it was something she'd be sitting in! The assembly was a little fiddly but to be expected really, products like this need to take a little bit longer to ensure complete safety for your little ones, so we didn't mind it took a while. Once secured to the bike, we popped Abbie's helmet on and put her straight into the seat, securing her legs was easy and can be done using only one hand which is a plus! We kept the seat upright as she's used to it with her highchair and pushchair, however it can be reclined to 5 different reclining positions to suit every child!


As soon as Ben pulled away Abbie instantly lit up and the biggest smile came on her face, she loves motion anyway and loved being high up as well, she was a little annoyed she couldn't really move her legs but soon got over that as Ben went around the corners, although when we took the photos after the 3rd time she no longer wanted her legs strapped in, we were both confident and happy she was still secure and safe so let her legs stay unstrapped as she is sturdy and old enough to keep them still!

 My heart melted seeing her enjoying herself so much, it was like Christmas Day for her! We will definitely be using this for future bike rides and more so in the Summer when the sun is shining! I have so many memories when I was younger of family bike rides around Gloucester, riding through the woods and loving all the big bumps, they're fond memories I would love Abbie to have and now she can! :)




Can we just take a moment to admire her new Peppa Pig helmet! So so cute!



Here are a few features and details!


Technical Specifications

Built in reflector 

Comfortable premium harness 

Foot straps 
Height-adjustable foot rests 
Height-adjustable harness 
Protection wing 
Quick release bracket*
Reclining Seat 
Safety buckle 
Seat length adjustment lever 
One Key System Compatible 
Padding 
Recommended Ages 9 months to 6 years
Weight 5 kg
Warranty 5 years

*The universal quick release bracket allows seat to mount/dismount from bike in seconds and is compatible with most bike frames.

Childproof safety buckle with large buttons quickly secures child
Detachable, water-repellent padding is machine washable and reversible, offering two color options.

Built-in reflector and safety light attachment point provides added visibility.
Lockable with Thule One-Key System (lock included).


Meets international safety standards.





 We really really REALLY love the RideAlong, it's perfect for getting the little ones out the house into the fresh air whilst the parents get some exercise too, yay! I was really surprised at just how sturdy it was, it's amazing how far products have come and I feel 100% confident with Abbie secured into the seat which is a lot to say from an anxious mummy! I can't recommend this enough, whether you use it to take on holiday or just for a local bike ride, the whole family can enjoy a lovely day out!

Also, if both parents want to use the seat, instead of having to take the seat off and on and mess around with all that again, all you need to do is buy an extra quick-release bracket for just £25 and put this on the second bike! Done!

Visit the Thule website for more amazing products and to purchase your very own RideAlong!

I've also linked this post up with Share With Me over at Let's Talk Mummy as my post for the week :)



Monday, 17 November 2014

Butlins | What We're Packing For Abbie!


Hello all!

As you probably know, we were recently chosen as Butlins Ambassadors (eeek!) & within a few days I was already making to-pack lists, I'm one of those people who likes to be super (probably over) organised and who likes to plan in advance, i'm not very good with when things change last minute or having to rush around so I make sure i'm always prepared! 

This will be our very first family holiday so i'm trying to make sure everything runs as smoothly as it can, I remember growing up my Mum, Dad & I would go to Spain every year, my Mum would pack everyones suitcases pretty much as well as toiletries and fun things to do on the journey etc, I didn't really know how hard it could really be until now, you literally have to think of everything, especially when you have a toddler, you need to think about what you'll be doing, what the weather will be doing, how to keep them entertained in the car etc etc..so below I have given you my list of what we're packing for Abbie, i'm sure i'll keep adding things but if you have any ideas on things i've missed out, feel free to leave a comment to let me know! :). We are going for 3 nights!


For the journey
It's only a 2 hour journey for us so we're gonna try and get it all done in one go, which means no stopping! Abbie has never been in a car longer than about an hour so it might be a bit difficult but we thought hard about what kinda things we would take to keep her entertained! Instead of having lunch at home, we'll be leaving for our trip so will be taking the food with us!

- Lunch & Snacks
- Cbeebies CD
- Sticker book
- iPad

For the weekend;

- Clothes (a given!)
- Wellies, boots and trainers 
- Favourite toys 
- Pillow & Duvet (scent from home)
- Books
- Winter Hats
- Gloves 
- 2 x Coats 
- Swimming Costumes
- Armbands 
- Video Monitor
- Snacks

As much as I'm excited about this trip, I'm also bloody nervous as well, we've never been away as a family before, Abbie has only ever slept at home and won't even sleep in the car or pushchair (although she did fall asleep once, but not since!), so i've been stressing about how she'll cope with a new environment, new smells, new place to nap, sleep and eat! I've spent many hours browsing on forums seeing what other people have done to help their LO's adapt well and what to expect etc, sure it made me way more anxious and I came this close to hanging up my hat and saying i'm not going! But i've had to change my mindset, yes it's a new place, yes it's different surroundings but she's still going to have the one thing that gets her to sleep everyday and night, and has done since she was 12 hours old, ME! As long as i'm next to her, she will sleep, and hey, if she doesn't, it's just 3 days away and then she will be back into her normal place straight back into the usual routine!


If i'm missing anything from my list, please let me know! :)

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Hello Winter!

We've been very lucky with the weather recently, it's been warm, tshirt weather even, but we've now come to the end and Winter feels like it's finally here, i'm a much bigger fan of Winter than I am of summer, heat and me don't seem to mix too well so I savour the cooler weather as much as I can! 

This morning we all woke up to a bitter breeze in the air and lots and lots of fog, so we all popped out for the morning for a little Winter walk, everything looked so beautiful, from the frosted spiders webs to the autumnal orange leaves still hanging onto the trees, it's definitely one of my favourite times of the year for Photography!



Every Saturday there's a little market in town which have literally some of the best bread i've ever eaten, with delicious flavours such as Marmite and cheese, Pesto and mushroom & Bacon and Cheese, the smell as you walk down immediately draws you in and if I wasn't on a diet, I could've easily demolished the Marmite & Cheese loaf all to myself! Damn it!



If you've read my blog for a long time, you'll know that the coat Abbie is wearing in these next photos is the same one she wore this time last year, before that even, it was always a little bit too big and came almost to her ankles so I was keeping my fingers crossed it would fit her this year, and it does!! It's possibly the cutest coat i've ever seen, with a soft fluffy black collar and cuffs and adorable bows and buttons for detailing, i'm literally in love with it, it's so gorgeous!





I love her little face in this picture, she looks like she's pretending she's Queen of the park!





Hope you're all having a great weekend!

Friday, 14 November 2014

DIY Bedroom Ideas for Winter!

Afternoon all! 
And what a cold one at that, the surprisingly warm November weather has surpassed and we are now getting battered with wind and rain no end! Which in turn has made me want to stay in and wait till the spring weather pops back up again, but instead I've been thinking about ways to cosy up the bedroom over the colder months, but using DIY instead of buying it all ready made! 
Let's face it, it's always cheaper, it's fun and you can feel that sense of pride when someone mentions it randomly! 

So i've picked up my favourite ideas and put them below from across the web, I could literally spend all day looking at DIY crafts but I stuck to the theme of creating a cosy bedroom and wanted to share with you all the ideas I'd love to try this year!


Headboards
I have had a bit of an obsession with headboards since watching room tours on YouTube, so many people had these glamourous white leather headboards with pretty fairy lights sat across the top and I always wanted one! They can add that luxury touch even if you're on a budget and make your room look even cosier, especially during the colder months! 

Rustic Headboard
What you will need;

Solid Wood
Drill
Wood screws
Stud finder
Hanging wire
Stain (I used Minwax Dark Walnut, which I ended up liking sooo much more than The Internet's favorite, Jacobean)

Tutorial here


Lighting
My favourite kind of lighting for bedrooms are fairy lights, you can wrap around them around the bed, the curtain rail, even around the entire parameter of your room if you're feeling a bit adventurous and DIYey! Fairy lights aren't expensive either so you don't need to worry about spending loads of money, and with Christmas time coming up they're everywhere! 

DIY Bubble Lights
What you will need;

Ping Pong Balls
LED lights (very important they are LED as ping pong balls are flammable!)
Scissors to cut a little hole for the lights

Tutorial here


Candle Holders
I am one of those candle hoarders, I have so many in a box upstairs I could quite easily sell them and live off the results for a few years! I prefer tea lights over the bigger candles any day, they just look a lot cuter and you can create amazing DIY candle holders for them! The one above is probably one of my favourite DIY's i've found, it's easy to do and works all year round, plus you just need to pop outside your front door and pick up some sticks, bonus!

Rustic Candle Holders
What you will need;

Small glasses (IKEA do lots!)
Small sticks broken to the height of your votive
Rubber band
Raffia/String!

Tutorial here


Wall Art
Ok, this one is much more of a project than the others, but after browsing through Gimme Some Oven, I fell in love with this idea and wanted to immediately start my very own! It's a great way to showcase your favourite photos from the year as little reminders of the good times in the previous year and looks so gorgeous too!

Instagram Wall
What you will need;
Wooden frames (4x4 if possible)
Photo prints
Small nails
Hammer
Or if you'd rather not make holes in your walls, you could use Command sticks instead or even velcro!

Tutorial here

Which is your favourite idea?

x