Friday, 23 October 2015

Time to slow down and live life!

Hurry Up, Come on, Lets go are words that seem to regularly leave my mouth especially where the kids are concerned. I am rushing them out the door, rushing them along the path or in to the car we just always seem to be rushing.

You see when you become a mum its a whole new way of life, a whole new schedule and with another little person to look after as well as doctors appointments, play dates, baby classes, music classes and later on school runs, after school clubs and so on you become a bit of a machine. Always with somewhere to be or something to do, a schedule to adhere to and a place to be.

Both James and Evelyn are observant children they like to look around noticing things that I may otherwise have breezed past in my schedule fueled frenzy. James especially now he is a little older loves taking his time to peruse the world at his leisure and I actually found myself getting frustrated. Why?... I have no idea and when I look back now I feel annoyed and shamed of myself for feeling this way. For putting a schedule above my children's enjoyment of life!


This is when I decided I needed to slow down, I needed to story hurrying them along, let them enjoy life at their pace and let them discover the world and all it has to offer.
So we are late for a play date, our friends will still be there when we arrive and I am sure will totally understand and love to hear James' story about how we stopped to watch a squirrel leaping through the trees or to pet a lovely dog.

I needed to stop getting frustrated when James wanted to talk to a dog or pick up some brightly coloured leaves, I needed to listen to his stories but not just listen REALLY listen! I need to remember that appointments can be rearranged, friends will understand but discovering the world with so much joy that a child has simply cannot be replaced or hurried.

After all the world is still so new to them James is just 6 and Evelyn not even 2 yet. There are every day things they are still discovering, exploring and marveling at. I forget how exciting it is to see a squirrel or crunch in crispy leaves as a child. I forgot how exciting a park or a walk along the river can be for a child for whom the world is so new, so exciting so mind boggling that they are just trying to work it all out.

So I have decided to make an active try at change, less hurrying more enjoyment! I want to watch my children marvel at the world and relive it all through them. I want to take them camping so we can toast marshmallows on an open fire and spend time just talking and listening to each other. I want to spend that extra bit of time looking at the caterpillar on the way home from school rather than just hurrying James along. I want to crunch in those crunchy leaves, listen to his tales from school and take time to just enjoy life.


I want my children to know that lie is for living, for enjoying, for discovering. Its not for rushing or hurrying its about taking the simply joys that are all around them and really noticing them. I hope that my change will reflect in our life as a family and that together we can become more relaxed and chilled out.

xXx

Kitchen Memories with the Prestige Vintage Collection.

When I look back one of my favourite memories has to be learning to cook and helping my nan in the kitchen. She was the lady who taught me to cook/ bake and gave me a passion for making others smile through food!

I remember being around age 7, I used to visit her every weekend and she used to let me help her prepare the roast dinner. I used to whisk the yorkshire puddings by hand and then stare in to the oven in amazement as they would rise above the tin and turn a crispy golden colour, proud that I had helped make them! 
As I got a little older she was the person who taught me to bake and its something I still love to do now, butterfly cakes were always at the top of my list! There is something about baking that just makes you feel good inside and I love that you can make others feel happy through baking too. 



Recently I came across the company Prestige, Prestige are one of the world’s best known and well-loved housewares names thanks to more than 50 years of making good quality products for the home. Including some fantastic, hard wearing kitchenware. 

Prestige have just launched a new range of kitchenware called The Prestige Vintage Collection which is inspired by their rich history as being a part of the British kitchen for over 70 years. Included in the collection is this lovely casserole pot which Prestige kindly sent us to try out. 



The pot measures 26x13cm making it a great size for a small family like ours. So you can be sure you are getting the fantastic Prestige quality the pot also comes with a 12 month quality assurance guarantee to put your mind as rest. 

I found the pot to be fantastic quality and the non stick surface meant things were easily removed from the pot when ready. Its a deep pot so lots can be added with the added bonus of the lid to keep everything cooking nicely without burning whilst in the oven. The pot comes in Red or Blue, the red we received is a lovely bright vibrant red! 


For me cooking/ baking is relaxing, I love that I can bring a smile and joy to someone with a simple plate of food that I have made myself. For me its about bringing people together to enjoy time together with delicious food that everyone can help make.

You can check out the full Prestige Vintage collection, all available in the red or blue colourway via the Prestige website HERE

Do you love being in the kitchen? Whats your favourite thing to make?

xXx


**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **

Soulthing Supplements **REVIEW** and Discount Code!

As a busy mum of 2 I often don't eat as well as I should, sometimes skipping meals altogether meaning by the end of the day or a busy week I am left feeling pretty rubbish and run down.

So when the lovely people at Soulthing offered some of their high quality supplements to try I figured I had nothing to lose and eagerly awaited there arrival! 

I chose the Nourish Me and Vitamin C supplements as after reading their descriptions these seemed to be the best suited to my needs. 

Nourish Me Supplement


This organic food supplement offers alkalising, cleansing, detox and nourishment support. It combines a unique blend of iodine-rich food-approved seaweeds (Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus), with a range of vegetables and herbs, namely artichoke, chlorella, green tea leaf, spirulina, rhubarb and cayenne.
This blend of nutritious foods provides you with easy daily access to organic nutrients, antioxidants, phyto-chemicals (including chlorophyll), vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
It provides ideal immune system support for all ages.


Vitamin C Supplement 

This gentle, non-acidic vitamin C supplement is derived from natural fruits and herbs, namely Acerola cherries, rosehips, blackcurrants, parsley leaf and elderberries.
These food form ingredients are naturally rich in antioxidants, bioflavonoids, vitamins, minerals and other phyto-nutrients and are more readily absorbed and utilised by the body than synthetic vitamin C (ascorbic acid).

Each bottle comes with a bright colourful label which clearly states all of the ingredients within each supplement as well as what each supplement is used to help. I really liked this as often this is on a piece of paper or a box that comes with the supplement but this ends up getting lost and you are left guessing but not with the Soulthing supplements. The supplements come as easy to swallow capsules (see the pic below) which makes them easy to take with a few small sips of water. 

When the supplements arrived I had actually woken with a cold the same day, I figured it was probably a bit late for the supplements to make any difference now but decided to start taking them anyway. Now I have to be honest I am one of those people who once I have a cold it seems to linger around for weeks, however these supplements 100% made a difference!! My cold never seemed to reach that "bad"stage and after just 3 days was completely gone! I can only assume it was down to taking these supplements as I had taken no other medication. 

The supplements have made me feel more awake, more alert and much better in myself in general. My skin seemed to also improve lots and felt much smoother than I have felt it in some time! 


If you are interested in finding out more about more about Soulthing or want to try these supplements for yourself check out the Soulthing Facebook page or Website.

If you fancy giving the Soulthing supplements a go use the code TTS2015 to receive 10% off any order! 

Do you take any supplements?

xXx


**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **

Monday, 19 October 2015

Lakeland Winter Warmer Hamper **REVIEW**

There is something about Christmas time that sees us all break out the chocolates, biscuits and all those other treats we tell ourselves we shouldn't have the rest of the year, hey the diet is our New Years resolution right... lol!

With that in mind I love the idea of a hamper of goodies and Lakeland have plenty to choose from including a Chocoholics Hamper, St Kew Cornish tea cup hamper and The Lakeland Big Night In box! The lovely people at Lakeland recently sent me their Lakeland Winter Warmer hamper and I was so excited to see what was inside!


The hamper arrived very well packaged in 2 cardboard boxes with extra padding to keep everything safe and unbroken. The hamper itself is a lovely wicker style box with a chain hinged lid and cream faux leather handles and straps. The contents didn't disappoint either, inside was full with luxury nibbles and treats with something inside for everyone in the family to enjoy.


Here is what is included inside the Winter Warmer Hamper - 
  • Arden’s Green & Black Olive Twists (100g)
  • Claire’s Handmade Blackcurrant Extra Jam (200g)
  • Kent & Fraser Fig & Hazelnut Crunchy Cookies (110g)
  • Beech’s Milk Chocolate Turkish Delight (150g)
  • The Buttermilk Confectionery Co Salted Almond Brittle (100g)
  • Lakeland Traditional Christmas Pudding (454g)
  • Mininibs Roasted Salt & Pepper Jumbo Peanuts (100g)
  • The English Tea Shop Silent Night Tea (6 pyramid bags)
  • Belvoir Fruit Farms Spiced Winter Berries Cordial (500ml)

I really liked that the treats inside were things that I wouldn't usually buy in the shops and so it gave us a chance to try something new (and delicious!). It would also make a great item to bring out around Christmas if you had guests to enjoy it with.

My favoruite was definitely the Turkish delight which had a tasty traditional turkish delight filling coated in a thin layer of delicious milk chocolate. My husbands favourite were the Ardens twists which were packed with flavour and had a very moorish crunch perfect accompaniment to a few glasses of wine.

I also love that when the nibbles are all gone you are still left with the beautiful rustic wicker hamper which is lined on top with a eye catching vibrant purple tartan cloth. It would make a perfect picnic hamper for a large family picnic or even for keeping precious keepsakes etc in!



Whilst this hamper would be a lovely treat to purchase for yourself on your family at Christmas it would also make a lovely gift for someone special. It really is something a little bit different to your "usual" gifts and the luxury goodies inside make it feel really special.  

As well as the Winter Warmer hamper Lakeland have lots of other hampers available to suit all tastes so you are sure to find something to suit you! If the hampers aren't your thing not a problem, Lakeland have so much more to offer, everything from Kitchenware to the perfect Christmas gift for even the fussiest of people!  

Check out the Lakeland website HERE to see everything they have to offer. 

What is your favourite hamper from the Lakeland website? 

xXx


**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Beat the bag charge with Trolley Bags! **REVIEW**

I am sure by now most of you have noticed the 5p bag charge which is now in place for plastic carrier bags from most supermarkets and shops? You may be thinking 5p isn't a lot much just think how many of these bags you probably use and throw away in a life time?

Trolley Bags are here to change all that! Not only do they save you the 5p bag charge they also mean less waste and make packing shopping a whole lot easier.


Trolley bags are simple to use, each bag is numbered 1 through to 4 with 4 being the largest. When you get to the checkout you just place them in the trolley and spread them across the whole length of the trolley ensuring they are stuck together with the velcro strips. Then fill with your shopping and when you get to the car carefully pull apart from the velcro and pick up using both handles and place in the car.

When it comes to packing the shopping in the car Trolley bags make it simple as you just pull them apart at the velcro section and lift each bag out individually by the handles and place in the boot. You must make sure when lifting the bags you always hold them by both handles and NOT the poles as they may bend or snap when used to carry shopping.


The bags feel sturdy and well made, I was a little worried that as the bottom is a mesh type material it may rip or tear easily if something tough was placed at the bottom, however after trying them out the mesh feels just as strong and sturdy as the rest of the bag.

One thing I was a little worried about is how they would fit in the trolley when using the baby seat! I usually have Evelyn with me when I go shopping and so always use the baby seat and all of the pictures I have seen of the Trolley Bags in use require the whole trolley. However as you can see it was no issue at all!


It did mean that rather than hang the bags of the small loop when not in use I had to pop them in the main trolley, this wasn't an issue though as when folded they take up hardly any room at all. I was still able to use all 4 trolley bags as the smallest bag fits neatly in to the end section of the trolley.




I was stopped several times when I used these with people commenting on what a fab idea they are and I have to agree. The checkout lady at our local Morrison's couldn't believe how quickly we could pack the shopping using them and it meant no rushing to get everything packed at the end. Trolley Bags certainly make packing the shopping a lot easier, quicker and less hassle and so they get a big thumbs up from us.
These bags would also work perfectly if you are using the "Scan and Shop" function some supermarkets have in place as you can just pack as you go with ease.

Priced at £17.99 for a set of 4 bags I think they are reasonably priced especially when you consider how much you would probably spend on carrier bags over a life time when these will last and last.

You can find our more about Trolley Bags on their Facebook and Twitter pages or via the website HERE.

xXx


**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Happy 6th Birthday James!

On Sunday 11th October my little man James turned 6!!

I cant believe he is 6 already, when did my teeny tiny baby boy turn in to this confident little man.

Over the last 6 years I feel like we have been on a journey together I have brought him up as best as I can and he has taught me how to be the best mum I can be!

Over the weekend we celebrated James birthday with bowling and arcades with some friends on Saturday and then swimming at the Splash zone and a birthday meal out on Sunday. He seemed to have a fantastic time and smiled all day.


In this short 6 years James has taught me that life is amazing, that love is endless and that motherhood whilst hard is the best job in the world. He makes me smile when I think its not possible, he makes me proud when I don't think I could be any prouder, he makes me want to push myself that little bit harder the be the best person I can be because he is the best person he can be! He makes the dark days seem lighter, the hard days seem easier and my smiles even bigger. At just 6 years old he has shown we what real untainted, undamaged, eternal love really is. 

Happy 6th Birthday James!!
xXx

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Getting Creative (and Messy!) with the Creation Station!

Both James and Evelyn have a keen interest in crafts, painting drawing and most of all getting messy! So when Evelyn was invited along to join in a session at the Creation Station I knew it would be something she would love!


Creation Station isn’t just about learning how to paint, model or collage along the lines of “Here’s one we did earlier”. It’s about having a go, being inspired by something quite simple and encouraging each baby or child to develop their own ideas and have fun doing it! 

Here is how we got on during our session at Creation Station -

We started the session with a fun welcome song which was relaxed and upbeat and got all of the children in a circle ready for the first activity. Next Sue got out a bag full of sensory items which were placed in the middle and left out for the children to explore. Evelyn was a little wary at first but Sue was fantastic at encouraging her to join in and showing her different sensory items which eventually took her interest. 


Next was the "Messy Play" activity and we were really excited to discover this week it was... JELLY!! 

All children are given red overalls to wear to restrict the mess on clothes although I would advice to wear your or your child's best clothes of course as mess spreads lol. The 3 tubs of different coloured/ flavoured jelly were placed in large tubs on top of paper and plastic sheeting and the children are let loose! They are free to squelch their fingers in it, wriggle there toes and splat it on to the paper, the messier the better lol! 


Evelyn loved this activity and after sussing out what it was really got stuck in. After a while Sue added white paint to the jelly giving it another texture for the children to explore, Evelyn loved running this through her fingers and Sue was amazing at showing her what to do and really getting her involved. 


After some time playing with the jelly we all cleaned up and went on to our final activity which was making hand/ foot prints in clay to bring home. 


Over all both myself and Evelyn loved Creation Station, Evelyn loved the Messy Play part and I don't think she stopped smiling and giggling the whole hour. I loved the session as it gave Evelyn a chance to get really messy without any worry which can be difficult to achieve at home. Sue is fantastic with the children she really encourages the children to get involved and you can really tell the passion Sue has or these classes and the children in them. 

We finished the class with a goodbye song and bubbles which were a big hit with all of the children. The atmosphere throughout the class was fun, upbeat and most importantly for us relaxed. The classes were small enough that Sue really interacted with each child and you didn't feel rushed or cramped at all during the class.


We loved Creation Station so much we have signed up to start classes in November and cannot wait! 

Sue runs creation station classes in Frampton Cotterell and the surrounding areas, as well as the weekly classes Sue also runs "special" craft sessions on certain dates such as Halloween and Christmas. If you don't live locally check out the Creation Station website (link below) to find a class in your area. 

If you want to find out more about classes or the Creation Station you can visit the Website, Facebook or you can contact Sue directly HERE for any queries or questions you may have. 

xXx

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Pixie Dixie PJs **REVIEW**

There is something about new bedding and new pyjama's that everyone including myself seems to love. Especially now as the darker and colder autumn/winter nights start rolling in we all start snuggling back in to our warm cosy pyjama's. 

So when the lovely people at Pixie Dixie offered both James and Evelyn some new pyjama's from their iconic British designs range I knew they would be perfect for the colder nights! 

Pixie Dixie is a British company established in 2006 making Kids' PJs that they love to wear and mums love to buy. All of our Boys' Pyjamas and Girls' Nightwear and Baby Gifts are made from high quality, 100% cotton jersey. Pixie Dixie Kids' PJs feature iconic British designs such as London taxis and buses, princesses crowns, marching soldiers and gliding swans. 

I chose the knights on horse back design for James and the pink gliding swans design for Evelyn. 




When they arrived I hurriedly pulled them out of the packaging and was amazed at the softness of them! The PJs are 100% jersey cotton which makes them really soft, incredibly warm and require NO ironing (extra thumbs up!). 

I chose the crew neck design for both James and Evelyn with both tops featuring a classic crew neck and long sleeves and the full length trousers have an elasticated waistband so are not too restricting as they move around in the night. 



I have to admit I was a little apprehensive at washing them as as the colours in the designs are lovely and vibrant and the background a crisp white. I thought the design may fade or bleed in to the white, however I was pleasantly surprised to find this was not the case. The PJs washed incredibly well and the colours are still bright after several washes, they also both kept there shape well and look as good as new with no signs of bobbling or shrinkage. 


Priced at £29.99 each these PJs are a little more expensive than I would usually pay out for nightwear but you can really tell the quality of these PJs and I am sure they are going to last ages (well until one of them has a growth spurt!). These would make a lovely gift or if you are putting together a Christmas eve box these would make a fantastic addition as Christmas PJs!

Pixie Dixie PJs come in a great size range with pyjama's and nightwear available in sizes 1-10 years and if the crew neck design isn't for you they also sell the same designs in a classic pyjamas style too! 

If you want to check out more of the Pixie Dixie designs or order your own then check out the Pixie Dixie website for the full range - www.pixiedixie.co.uk

What is your favourite design from the website? 

xXx


**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 

All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **