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I added some Christmas cheer to my dining chairs.

Thursday 19 December 2013

I was recently sent a box of crafting supplies from the lovely Hobbycraft.

One of the items in that box was a large roll of red organza. I have found it to be so useful.

So far I have lined Livs advent boxes with it, I also used it to line the inside of a Christmas hamper as well as making a bow for the hamper and also a bow for a wreath I made.

While I was sitting on the dining room floor adding the bow to the hamper I was looking at the back of one of our brown leather chairs which seemed really un festive compared with all of the other lights and decorations, so I thought I would try to tie a bow around the chair like you sometimes see at weddings.

 Here is the result:

I think it looks really good and the best part is if you can tie your shoelaces you can do this!

The organza is available in a whole range of colours so you could choose the best colour for your occasion.

Why not take a look at Hobbycrafts website - www.hobbycraft.co.uk have a try yourself and let me know how you get on.

Disclaimer - I was sent a box of crafting supplies from Hobbycraft for the purpose of the review, however all opinion is my own.

More crafting with Hobbycraft!

Wednesday 18 December 2013

When I found this hollow cardboard cone in the box I immediately thought I could turn it into a Christmas tree decoration, with Livs help of course!

Firstly we painted the cone green, while it was drying I tied some small bows out of the various ribbons we had been sent. Once dry we glued on some googly eyes, a Merry Christmas bow on the top, some small pompoms out of the box and the bows I had made.

Here is the finished article!

Liv honestly loves this Christmas tree. She says "Goodnight Mr Christmas tree" every night and gives him a lovely wave and smile every morning, I think she will be devastated when January comes.

One of the items in the box had me stumped for a while, it was a book of lovely Christmas paper.

Then my Sister in Law posted this link to demonstrate how to make a 3D snowflake from paper.

I decided to give it a try with some of the beautiful paper I was sent.
I absolutely adore this vintage newspaper type print so I thought it would be perfect. The only problem I found was that the paper is very thick, card almost so I was unable to add 6 points in as they simply wouldn't fit, however 5 still looks lovely and we have a star instead of a snowflake.

It was very easy to make and is currently sitting in the centre of the blind in our living room. I think this is my favourite piece because it is home made, so easy to make and very effective.
Disclaimer - we were sent a box of crafting items for the purpose of the review, all opinion is my own.

Christmas crafts - wreaths.

We are very lucky to have been sent a huge box of crafts from the fabulous Hobbycraft. 

Over the next few days I will be writing up our experiences of Christmas crafting - for the first time too!
This post is about the two wreaths I have made.

  I started with the large wreath and simply wrapped it with two kinds of ribbon, one is red with Merry Christmas written on it and the other is super cute with reindeers and Christmas trees.

I used the glue gun to attach the ribbon to the wreath, made a bow out of some of the tulle and attached that with the glue gun too.

Then I simply hung it on the living room door.

With the smaller wreath I took the large sprig of mistletoe and took it apart, making it into seven small sprigs.
I then pushed these through the wreath at equal intervals and wrapped the stem around a branch of the wreath to secure it.

Next I made a bow out of the beautiful knitted wool ribbon I was sent and attached that to the bottom of the wreath.

Lastly I glued a small piece of the Merry Christmas ribbon onto the back to make a hanging loop.

Voila wreath #2

I am very happy with the outcome, especially as I have no imagination or crafting ability whatsoever! 

Why not give it a try, you never know what you might come up with!

You can view a huge range of products at www.hobbycraft.co.uk

Disclaimer - I was sent a box of Hobbycraft items to review however all opinion and final product is my own.

We made our Advent this year.

Thursday 12 December 2013

Instead of making a calendar though we used 24 paper mache boxes from Hobbycraft.

We painted them red or green, attached a fabric number and some ribbon around the edge of the lid and popped some red organza inside for the treat to sit on.

Number 1 - 23 have a chocolate inside but number 24 (which also has some small white pom poms glued on) has a small bag of Lego inside, just to make it a little more special.

We haven't made it easy and simply given them to her, she has to go on an Advent hunt every morning after breakfast, one was found in the tree, another had snuggled itself into the singing snowman decoration, but her favourite so far was when lumpy tried to steal number 5!

She is having great fun finding them and it feels a little more special than just opening a door on a calendar. With more time to prepare next year I am hoping to find some small gifts to put in some of the boxes too.

Do you have your own traditions for Advent? Please do share if you do.

Disclaimer - I was sent some crafting goods for the purpose of the review, however all opinion is my own.

LED Hut Indoor / Outdoor Christmas lights review.

Friday 6 December 2013

I was thrilled when I was asked to review these lovely LED Christmas lights from LED hut as ours broke last year and we have spent all year consciously swapping our bulbs over to LED's

In the box when they were delivered, there was a little pack of Haribo sweeties for Liv, what a lovely thought!
Some LED facts for you:
  • Did you know that an LED bulb lasts for 50.000 hours? That's about 20 years if you use them for 6 hours a day - FIFTY times longer than an average bulb.
  • Traditional lights lose most of their energy through heat, LED's use a massive 90% less energy, so they are extremely efficient.
  • The average household could save over 5 tonnes in CO2 emissions by replacing their standard lighting with LED's.

The lights we chose are 10m Indoor / Outdoor Christmas LED string lights in warm white.  Priced at £14.99 for 100 bulbs (1 bulb every 10 cm) I think they are a bargain, my two favourite things are the fact that the bulbs don't heat up so Livs inquisitive little toddler fingers won't get burned when she is rummaging in the tree, and also the 8 different settings that are available:

1 - Fast Fade
2 - Random Fade
3 - Random Flash
4 - Off
5 - Fast Flash
6 - Slow Fade
7 - Pulsing
8 - On Static
I would definitely recommend these lights, especially if you have a toddler like us!
LED hut also offer up to a 5 year warranty on all bulbs, 30 day hassle free returns and worldwide shipping.
You can view the full range at www.ledhut.co.uk

Disclaimer - I was sent these lights for the purpose of the review, however all opinion is my own.

Clarks toddler boot review.

Regular readers will know that we are big Clark's fans in this household. Liv has only ever had Clark's shoes and I have written about them twice now here and here.

Once again we were offered the chance to review a pair of the new range, and obviously I couldn't say yes fast enough!

We are quite limited in choice because as well as wide feet and a high instep she is far from dainty in the ankle/calf department so a lot of boots are a complete non starter no matter how pretty.

After measuring in at a 7.5 G, we went over to take a look at the lovely range of boots available. We browsed the shelves and chose 3 pairs to try on but unfortunately two of the three pairs weren't in store in her size, luckily the Dolly Ruby leather boots (our first choice) were in stock and as I held my breath they slipped on like a pair of handmade glass slippers. A perfect fit!

I was so excited you would have thought that it was me leaving the store with a sparkling new pair of winter boots!

She has been calling them her princess boots so I think they are a hit.

As ever the quality is fantastic, high quality soft leather teamed with some lovely stitching detail, a very pretty heart with a diamante in the centre and some removable cross over straps with silver circular detail.

As always we are very happy with our choice, the quality at Clarks is second to none and we will continue to shop there exclusively and recommend them to Friends and Family.

You can view the full range at www.clarks.co.uk

Disclaimer - we were sent a voucher for the purpose of the review. However all opinion is my own.

Shoezone - suede effect military boots review.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

When I was offered the chance to review a pair of shoes or boots from the latest Shoezone collection, as usual I was immediately drawn to all of the lovely heels but unfortunately I have a back problem that was exacerbated by pregnancy and I can no longer wear them *cry*
So instead I decided to have a look for something more practical, but suitable for going out in over Winter. That's when I came across these beautiful Lilley suede effect military boots.

Aren't they lovely? And only £24.99 too.
They aren't my usual style but I decided to take a chance for a change, and I am honestly so glad I did, they are really lovely, and fit well too.
I have a very high instep as well as wide feet so usually struggle with boots but as these have laces (for show) and a zip, I have been able to loosen and tighten the laces until they fit perfectly and then I can just use the zip to take them on and off.
Shoezone sell over 25 million pairs of shoes a year - 
the equivalent to 50 pairs a minute!

They are very comfortable to wear and the suede effect material feels and looks lovely.
The soles feel quite hardwearing and have a small heel of approximate one inch.
I would definitely recommend these boots as I honestly love them, so much so that I am now shopping for my Christmas Day outfit to compliment them, any excuse!
You can see the full range of footwear for sale at www.shoezone.com
Disclaimer - I was sent these boots for the purpose if the review, however all opinion is my own.

Matalan fancy dress review - Sleeping Beauty

Liv turned 2 last month, along with her second birthday came has dressing up stage!

While very cute it can also run very expensive, so when I was offered the chance to review a fancy dress outfit from Matalan, I showed the selection to Liv and she asked for "the pink one please" (Sleeping Beauty)

I was glad she chose this one because it has long sleeves, I hate when she has bare chilly arms but no such problem with this outfit. I ordered age 3 because Liv is very big for her age, it fits her perfectly and is topped off with a matching princess tiara.

Please note jewellery, handbag and shoes were bought separately.

The quality of the dress is very good, Liv has done her gymnastic style Princess dancing in it around 12 times now and it still looks like new. I would also like to point out that unlike a lot of other outfits she has had, we were not showered with glitter from this dress at any point (this pleased Daddy!)

Along with flowers, stars and castles all made from glitter there are also sequins sewn down the bodice, a portrait of the lovely Aurora at the neckline, a lovely 3D rose on the belt and a half petticoat inside for a lovely puffiness at the top of the skirt. 

At the shoulders you will find an elasticated strap then there is then a small area of bare shoulder before the long satin type sleeve begins. Just under the elbow this becomes a beautiful flared, sheer cuff which I think really gives it the Princess feel. Liv always strokes this part of the sleeve saying "Wow Princess" whenever she puts it on.

I would definitely recommend this outfit to family and friends. Priced at only £12 I suspect one or two of the range may make an appearance from Santa on Christmas morning . . . .

Disclaimer - I was sent this outfit for the purpose of the review, all opinion is honest and my own.

Christmas Stories by Michael Morpurgo .

Tuesday 3 December 2013

We were very lucky to be sent this lovely book of Christmas Stories as written by Michael Morpugo to review from Egmont press.

It contains four stories titled; The Goose is getting fat, The best of times, The best Christmas present in the world and On Angel wings.

While the stories are far too old for Olivia (just turned 2), she enjoyed looking at the beautiful pictures and I'm sure she will enjoy listening to and reading the stories as she grows older.

I would definitely recommend this book for older children, probably 8 or over as the stories talk about things like a Goose being reared for Christmas dinner and a Princess being so ill that she may die - they do all have happy endings though and are far more thought provoking than Fairy Tales.

If you purchase, or already have this book please do let me know what your children think.

Disclaimer - we were sent this book for the purpose if the review. All opinion is honest and my own.

The toy that is the Bain of my existence!

Friday 22 November 2013

Liv absolutely loves these 12 little figures. They came in a story book along with a large play mat that all looked so innocent at first . . . .

That was until Liv saw them, from that moment on she has played with them every day without fail, for weeks.

The problem is if I'm not standing or sitting on them I am trying to hunt for one or the other of the flippin things because she has squirrelled it away somewhere for later.

I kid you not when I say that they have been found in places ranging from the rim of a Teddy's hat to underneath the dogs bed.

She also never puts them in the same place twice which is helpful!

She loves them that much that we have bought her a Winnie the Pooh one for Christmas, how much damage could another 12 tiny figures do . . . . 


Hotel Chocolat Autumn Sleekster collection review.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

We have been faced with the terribly hard job of reviewing some gorgeous Hotel Chocolats Autumn Sleekster Selection this month, it's a hard life!

This is the box, aren't they just beautiful? They each have so much lovely detail on them, one is even shaped like a pumpkin!

Almost too beautiful to eat.

The Hubbys favourite was a super cute pumpkin filled with smooth hazelnut praline.

My favourite was this Pistachio praline with cherry pieces and a hint of rose, crowned with a whole pistachio nut.

 As always they were not only beautiful to look at but most importantly divine to eat!
Some of the other choices from this box are, Sloe Gin Truffles, Apple Strudels, Mulled Ports and Egg and Brandy Truffles.
Each image on the menu clearly states if the pictured chocolate contains alcohol, egg or gluten.
Hotel Chocolat say:
"We have a strong ingredients philosophy to only use wholesome, real ingredients and our overall mantra is More Cocoa, Less Sugar.
Suitable for vegetarians"

We genuinely loved this selection, in fact it was our favourite Hotel Chocolat offering so far. I would without doubt recommend these to Family and Friends and will definitely be buying one or two as gifts this year.

Why not pop over to the website to find some lovely Christmas gifts - www.hotelchocolat.com

Disclaimer - we were sent this box of chocolates for the purpose of the review, however all opinion is my own.

The day the soft play area won!

Friday 15 November 2013

Today we headed off to a local play area with my Aunty and Cousin Kirsty.

Turkey (as Liv calls her) took her shoes off and threw herself into play time with Liv as she always does, climbing, swimming in the ball pit, going down the slide. You name it and she will give it a go.

Until about 30 minutes in when she suddenly yelled out in pain and froze.

Liv immediately offered to get her sucky (dummy) to make it better bless her! Anyway fast forwards lots of pain, a trip to A & E and an x-ray later, thankfully it turned out to be a bad anklesprain and not a break as initially feared.

When asked by her Nanny what she had been doing today Liv replied simply "I broke Turkey" How cute! It made the patient smile too.

Here she is being looked after at home. 

Get well soon Turkey x

My gorgeous Stokke Xplory

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Anyone that knows me knows I have had my fair share of pushchairs since Liv was born.

She is so big that nothing really suited her, that is until we bought this beauty!

It is big enough to fit my giant baby very comfortably, comes with removable fabrics allowing you to wash them, change the colour and add accessories like our gorgeous new winter kit.

My favourite parts are:
1) the footmuff, no matter what the temperature is outside, Liv always comes out of the pushchair toasty warm - every time I am jealous!

2) the furry handmuff. It keeps my hands toasty warm, means I don't have to try to wrestle gloves off when trying to pay in a shop or open the door. It even has a little pocket on top to keep you phone/keys etc in.

Daddy keeps trying to have a go but we don't let him!

My baby turned two.

I know everyone says it but I genuinely do not know where the time has gone since Liv was born.

Two whole years, it's actually quite scary!

Litte Miss was very spoilt by the whole family, Mummy and Daddy were especially pleased that she loved her extremely expensive bucket of Toy Story characters (even if she was a little freaked out at first!)

After a hard morning opening gifts, she wore her new Minnie Mouse dress and shoes to her Minnie Mouse themed party, where she had a lovely cake made for her by her Nana.

This not so little Girl amazes me day in day out, she is so loving and smart and wants to learn everything, even thing way beyond her years!

You are the light of our lives Olivia xx

Hobbycraft Christmas stocking review.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Yes you read that right. Crafts. ME!

I've got to be honest, I was more than a little nervous about this review as I cannot do anything crafty, I was terrible in school and I am terrible today!

My last attempt was to learn to knit when I was pregnant with Olivia. My (ridiculously naturally talented at everything crafty) Sister in Law spent weeks teaching me on a Friday night.

The result? I can knit one pearl one with the best of them. Endlessly. Without it ever actually becoming anything.

I decided to give these stockings a go because I thought it would be nice to have a decoration to put out that I had made and they weren't as difficult to make as I thought they would be.
Surprisingly I actually enjoyed it and I think they have turned out really well, which proves that anyone can make them!

They come with full instructions and everything you need (except for a needle and scissors)
*please note* the gem/button in the centre of the hearts were NOT part of the set, they were found at the bottom of my sewing box.

At only £3 for a pack of 2, why not give them or some of the other Christmas crafts a try, you may be pleasantly surprised like me :)

Disclaimer - I was sent a pack of 2 stockings for the purpose of the review.

Clarks toddler shoes - review.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

As soon as Liv started walking at 10 months old we knew we would have trouble with shoes for her, her feet and very wide, she has a high instep and her feet seem to slope inwards if she is wearing unsupportive shoes.

We took her to Clarks for her first pair of shoes and we haven't looked back since, so when I was offered to do a review I jumped at the chance.

 Here you can see the fitting in progress

The lovely sales assistant placed Livs foot into their measuring device, pushed the block down until it touched her toes (this determines the length of the foot) and then she tightened the strap that was over the bridge of Livs foot (this shows the width of the foot) Liv measured in at a huge 7.5 G, the same size as my 5 year old nephew and she is 2.

She immediately began voicing her opinion and telling her Daddy "Pink shoes and bow for Olivia please?" *flutters eyelashes* Although they were very pretty they did not seem a good choice for Autumn/Winter shoes so we decided on her first pair of big Girl black patent shoes with light up heels - super cute!

We also bought some patent leather restorer which I think is genius!

It is basically liquid patent leather in a bottle that you can paint back on to the shoes once they are scuffed, I wish this had been around when I was in school because I was always getting into trouble for scuffing my patent shoes!

I would always recommend Clarks for little ones shoes, it is so important that they have correctly fitted shoes while there little feet are growing, personally I would not take Liv anywhere else.

Disclaimer - we were sent a Clarks voucher for the purpose of the review, however all photographs and opinion are my own.

Lindam Easy Fit Plus Deluxe Child Safety Gate review.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Liv has been caught attempting escapism three times now, her foot perched on the top of her cot bed rail, looking like she is a ballet dancer doing her stretches. I knew I needed to get another safety gate so when I was offered a Lindam gate I was very pleased to accept.

What's in the box:
1 gate
1 spanner
4 double sided sticky pads
4 plastic disks
4 wall plugs
4 screws
4 rubber ended bolts with nuts

The gate was quite easy to fit, I fitted it in place with the plastic cups on the door frame, drew around the cups with a pencil, removed the gate then put a dot through the centre hole in all four cups to mark where to drill. I then drilled 4 holes, attached the sticky pads to the wall, fitted the plastic cups to the sticky pads then screwed them in.

All I had to do then was put the gate in place making sure all four rubber pads fitted into the plastic disks already attached then adjust the nuts until the pressure was correct and the gap closed on the handle.

I then gave it a good old push and shove to make sure it didn't move, hey presto, even if Liv manages to escape her cot she shouldn't be able to escape her room!

For more details and to explore the full range please visit www.lindam.com or like the Facebook page: Lindam UK

Disclaimer - I received this gate for the purpose of the review, however all opinion is my own.


Cost Cutter - Wooden Noahs Ark review.

Monday 26 August 2013

I don't know about you but I really love wooden toys. There is just something about them that draws my attention.

Countless times I have seen Liv push a button and a toy lights up, sings and pretty much plays all by itself, but what imagination does that require?

When we were offered the chance to choose a toy to review from Cost Cutters, I was really excited when I spotted this lovely wooden Noah's Ark as Liv is constantly counting at the moment and loves learning about animals.

When we opened the box, the body of the ship was already made, it only required some simple assembly for the house part on the top.

All of the parts were individually wrapped to prevent them being damaged, this excited Liv because she felt like she was unwrapping lots of presents. I have to say, the quality of the item is brilliant, it is sturdy and very well decorated.

I can honestly say Liv has loved playing with her Ark, learning the names of the animals and singing the animals went in two by two - hurrah, hurrah!

She likes to put them all in the hull, close the door and say where did the animals go?! - Very cute!

With the Ark is Noah and his Wife and 2 Doves, Giraffes, Hippos, Kangaroos, Crocodiles, Zebras, Dolphins, Penguins, Lions and Elephants.
Not to mention hours of fun!


I would definitely recommend this educational toy to Friends and Family, it has been such a pleasure to watch Liv play, learn and use her imagination with this and I will definitely be looking to purchase from this website in the future.

You can view the full website here: www.costcuttersuk.com

Disclaimer - We were sent this toy for the purpose of the review however all opinion, photography and wording is my own.

Lara Jill Mariposa changing bag review

Friday 2 August 2013

We were very lucky to be sent this beautiful Lara Jill changing bag, isn't it pretty?

I absolutely love the butterfly design of this bag, it is very eye catching and a very spacious 46cm long, by 30cm wide and 18cm in height.

It has an external zipped pouch to the front, a large zipped pocket on the back as well as a small internal zipper and an insulated bottle pouch externally at either end.

It is made in a waxed canvas type material that is fully wipeable to withstand all of those juice/ice cream/quaver attacks!

The zips are made of a quality thick plastic, while the strap clips and hooks are made from metal.

Included with the bag is the biggest, thickest travel changing mat I have ever come across. It is lovely and padded so your little one is nice and comfy when lying on it.

A lot of thought has gone into the design of this bag, one big thing for me is that the handles are a thick material with the oilcloth design partiall sewn over, this means that the haldles are far more fluid and comfortable to use. 

It is very spacious inside, when packing for an overnight stay last week I managed to easily fit all of this in:
8 nappies
A pack of wet wipes
2 outfits
A cardigan
A pair of pyjamas
3 bibs
Eczema cream
Juice cup
2 mini boxes of raisins
A box of breadsticks
Toothbrush and paste
2 fruit pots
3 books
And a pair of shoes

Priced at just £34.99 I think this bag is a bargain and would definitely recommend this bag to family and friends.

You can view the full range of gorgeous bags at www.larajillbags.com

Disclaimer - I was sent this bag for the purpose of the review, all opinion is honest and my own.

Little Us Doll - Amelia review

Monday 22 July 2013

Liv was very lucky to be sent a lovely new doll from Little Us.

Her name is Amelia, she is 12 inches tall and comes with a tag attached that says "Im Amelia, I am a little bit shy. I like to read my books and look after my animals especially if they are poorly. When I grow up I am going to look after all the poorly animals and make them all better.

Each of the four dolls in this range have their own personalilty so you can choose the one most like your little one, you can view all four dolls here: 

She is the perfect size for younger girls and reminds me of a rag doll I had as a Child (only far more cool!)

My favourite little touch is the few stitches in her hair either side of her face, this prevents her hair covering her face all the time which really frustrates Liv with other dolls and results in me making Dolls hairbands or using hair clips!

I would definately reccomend this doll to family and friends.

Disclaimer: I was sent this doll for the purpose of the review however all opinions are my own.

Livs teething nightmare - our hospital visit.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

I honestly had no idea that some Children suffer so badly when teething. Every single time Liv gets a new tooth, her immune system seems to pack a bag and head for the hills leaving my Baby to get a virus/infection.

This time however she has cut four canines all at once, has refused to eat or drink, had a temperature of 38.5 but worst of all her gums are so swollen and red that they keep bleeding and she even had a blood clot/blister type thing. Three trips to the GP's and three diagnoses later (Viral infection, Tonsillitis and a gum infection) the 4th Doctor we saw was quite rightly concerned and sent us directly to Children's ward at the local hospital.

The Doctors there began asking lots of terrifying questions and said depending on the results she may need to stay in, gulp.

6 hours and numerous tests later her blood results showed that she did have an infection and she also had some terrible sores come up on her face.

She was allowed to come home with some antibiotics and cream for her face and fingers crossed she seems to be getting better.

My big strong Girl who is off the chart for a 20 month old in height and wears clothes for a 3 year old, looked so tiny lying in that hospital bed with her poorly bleeding mouth, I would have swapped places with her in a split second.

The worst part of all is she has four more teeth left to cut, the worst ones so I am told, REALLY not looking forward to that.

Liv takes over our "garden"

Saturday 6 July 2013

7 years ago when we were looking to buy our first house, we didn't mind that the house we loved and could afford only had a small back yard.

Fast forward a Dog and a toddler later I really wish we had a nice garden for them to play in.

We have decided to make the most of the small space we have so after a lot of research Liv has a new play house and sand / water table.

She is an outdoor child at the best of times but I have literally had to carry her in the house while she protests loudly since these new toys arrived.

Lets hope we have enough nice weather  for her to get plenty of use out of them!

Win a gorgeous Miracle changing bag.

Thursday 27 June 2013

Here is your chance to win a gorgeous bag from Miracle bags - the winner can chose between a Chic, Milan or City bag!
We reviewed the City bag and LOVE it, read our review here.

You can view the full range of
products at www.themiraclebox.co.uk.




a Rafflecopter giveaway