11/29/2016

Christmas Gift Guide For Children


Last week I published my Christmas Gift Guide's for Men and for Women and they've been quite popular on the blog front. To follow on from these two posts I've decided to create one which is full of ideas for babies, toddlers and children. I hope that some of my suggestions can help you a long with your Christmas shopping this year.

1. Triple Play Train - £22.99
I'm a big fan of wooden toys and have amassed quite the collection over the past few years. Not only are wooden toys durable and encourage imagination but I also find them suitable for quite a wide age range. The Hape Triple Play Train is something that I know will really interest Noah and one that will be ideal for keeping aside for the baby once she's older too. 


2. Teletubbies Superdome Playset - £29.99
I remember the first time that Teletubbies came out as my little sister was absolutely obsessed with it, so it delights me that over the past year or so they've made such a come back. The Teletubbies Superdome Playset is an interactive playset which promises hours of fun, ideal for toddlers 18 months and over.


3. Talk To Me Paddington - £29.99
I've always been a fan of Paddington Bear, he's a favourite of mine. In fact when I was at primary school that was my nickname as his name sounds very much like my surname. Talk To Me Paddington is an adorable interactive toy which can talk and even respond to your voice. I have this put away for Noah and I have to admit that I think I may have to pinch it from him once he's opened it, he's absolutely adorable.


4. Sylvanian Families Brick Oven Bakery - £39.99
First Paddington Bear and now Sylvanian Families, it's like taking a trip back to my childhood! I've always adored Sylvanian Families si it delighted me when I realised that Noah was taking such a liking to them too. We recently got our hands on the Sylvanian Families Brick Oven Bakery which has been wrapped up nicely for Christmas. With the set you get the bakery shop, bakery furniture, baked goods and even a little hedgehog character called Eleanor Bramble!

5. Fox Backpack - £22.95
With Noah recently starting nursery I've not just been looking for Christmas presents which are fun but ones which will be practical too, things which we need. I adore this fox backpack from Skate Hut as not only does it look super cute but it would also be ideal for nursery as there's plenty of space in it to pack his lunch and change of clothes.


6. Baby Born Interactive Doll - £39.99

Next on my list is the Baby Born Interactive Baby Brother Doll which is perfect for any child who loves to role play. This doll has lots of lifelike functions like crying, sleeping, drinking the bottle and even using the potty. Better yet, this doll doesn't even require batteries to do so! 

7. Num Noms Starter Pack - £9.99
Noah is only three but he's already really into collecting toys. He has various collections on the go but one of his favourites has got to be Num NomsIn case you haven't heard of them yet but Num Noms took the UK by storm this year and are now one of the leading collectables and rightly so. Nums are the outer, soft squishy, hollow characters that nestle on top of Noms, which are either fun scented stamps, motorised, lovely lip glosses or a funky eraser. 

8. Playmobil Country Farm - £74.99
We were recently given some hand me down Playmobil sets from a family friend and it's started a new little obsession for Noah. He can't stop talking about Playmobil so we've been thinking about expanding his collection. The Playmobil Country Farm is high on our to buy list as it looks like so much fun, despite the price tag! 

9. Buzz Lightyear Toy - £27.99
This is a toy that Noah already has, he was bought it for his second birthday and a year later and it's still played with on a daily basis. For this reason I just had to include Buzz Lightyear in our Christmas gift guide as it's truly a wonderful toy and one that any Toy Story fan would utterly adore.

10. Once Upon A Time Puzzle - £7.50

We are huge fans of the puzzles and games from Orchard Toys. They create such a wide range of different games and puzzles for children as young as 18 months through to older children and even adults. We've added the Once Upon A Time Puzzle to our list as it's something that I know we'll enjoy playing together on Christmas day. 

11. Shopkins Kinstruction Deluxe Supermarket Set - £29.99

As mentioned previously, Noah loves collectable toys and another of his favourites has got to be Shopkins. The Shopkins Kinstruction sets are ideal for children who love the collecting element of Shopkins but also combines a love of building too as they are to build the sets themselves. There are also various mini sets which are available which would be perfect for stocking fillers.

12. Baby Annabell - £49.99

Baby Annabell is almost like a real baby with her lifelike functions. She loves her bottle, cries real tears and she can even go to the potty. This is the perfect doll for children who are 3 years and on wards who love to role play and take care of their toys. 

13. Moobert Ride On Toy - £89.95
This ride on toy from Little Bird Told Me is bound to set your child's imagination into overdrive and bring them endless hours of fun. It's made from a solid wood frame with lots of fabric padding which makes Moobert not only sturdy but super comfortable too.

14. Cuddledry Cuddleduck - £7.99

The adorable Cuddledry Cuddleduck is made with natural rubber, child safe paints, is pthalate free and contains natural antibacterial properties. Not only is it about as baby friendly as a rubber duck can be, but it’s also genuinely useful - it’s designed to be easy for babies to hold, and the natural rubber makes it a great teether when it’s not swimming about in the bath. The perfect stocking filler this Christmas! 

15. Guess How Much I Love You Toy - £24.99
From the best-selling book Guess How Much I Love You this Peek-a-boo Big Nutbrown Hare will keep little ones entertained for hours. Squeeze Big Nutbrown Hare's foot to play a game of Peek-a-boo and he will move his arms to hide his eyes, say "Peek-a-boo" and giggle. He has such an infectious giggle he is sure to have baby giggling along too!

16. Weleda Baby Gift Set - £22.95
Featuring Weleda's best-sellers from their 100% natural, award winning delicate and soothing Calendula Baby range. This eco-friendly drawstring wash bag contains Calendula Nappy Change Cream 75ml, Calendula Shampoo & Body Wash 200ml, Calendula Body Lotion 200ml and a FREE organic cotton flannel for baby's bathtime.

What are you getting your children for Christmas this year?



- This post contains some PR samples.

Mummy & Me - November



Another month, another Mummy & Me post! November is always an important month for us as not only is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas but it's also Noah's birthday month too. It only makes sense to use two of his birthday photo's for this months post as this day was the highlight of our month. I can't believe Noah is now three! It only feels like two minutes ago when I was expecting him and now I'm expecting his baby sister! At the same time it also feels like he's always been here. I struggle to imagine what life was like before him, not that I ever want to. He's the apple of my eye and always will be.



Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

11/28/2016

The Funny Things That Toddlers Say And Do



- Advertorial brought to you in association with Aptamil Growing Up milks.

You may have seen my previous posts in which I tell you all about the series of videos that Aptamil Growing Up milks have created. 'The Science of Play' videos are fantastic and they are all about toddlers and how they interact, learn, play and explore with one another. 

I was recently invited to create a series of blog posts in collaboration with Aptamil Growing Up milks and their Science of Play videos and have been working hard on them these past couple of weeks. These posts are all about Noah and a recent playdate that we held at our home and outside with a few of his toddler friends. 

My first post was about the first part of our playdate and my second post was all about part second which can be found here. Our playdate was a success for both parent and toddler as not only did we all thoroughly enjoy ourselves but it was wonderful to watch the children interact with one another. Playdates are so important as toddlers learn so much from their friends and through play and that was really evident on our playdate with a difference.


Today I bring to you my third and final post which is a little different to the two before. This post is all about the funny and entertaining things that toddlers do and say on a daily basis. When we hosted our playdate I took note of some of the amusing things that the children did and also wrote down a list of some of the comical phrases that Noah has come out with lately.  I thought this would be a good topic to cover as there's not a day that goes by that Noah doesn't have me in fits of laughter. 


The baby name suggestion
I'm currently pregnant with baby number two and we often discuss the pregnancy and the baby with Noah. He's so excited to be a big brother and loves that we are including him in so many aspects of our plans. One of the areas we always include him in is when we are discussing baby names and his name suggestion was "Yoda!" He wants to name his baby sister after an old green alien and he doesn't seem to want to budge on the idea either! This is certainly a story I will be sharing with them both when they are older! 

The pearls of wisdom
"Bogies are baddies and butterflies are goodies!" This is a little piece of information that Noah decided to enlighten me with recently. I have no idea where the thought came from, it just came out of nowhere but I couldn't help but laugh. What must he have been thinking to come up with that? Why butterflies and why bogies!? 

The life of the party
On Halloween we attended a family party and they had set up a few games for the children to play, apple bobbing being one of them. After all the older children had bobbed for apples it was Noah's turn.  He's not three yet so we knew he wouldn't be able to manage it so after a couple of tries we held an apple still so he could grab it with his teeth. We gave him such a big round of applause and he was so happy! So much so that he decided to turn around and sit in the bucket of water fully dressed in his superhero costume! Everyone couldn't stop laughing, he really was the life of the party.

The comical genius
Taking a toddler out shopping is always an experience and a half, no matter how they behave. Noah has never been one for tantrums and is quite a laid back toddler, but he does like to be silly when we go shopping. We recently stopped at a supermarket to grab a few household items that we needed. I was selecting a few things off the shelf whilst Noah was stood behind me and when I looked back he a pack of toilet roll held up against his ear like he was on the telephone. Humourous quirks like these are actions which are learnt and discovered through play and why play is such an important part of toddlerhood.


Toddlers are marvellous little creatures and although they can sometimes be a handful I know I wouldn't want Noah any other way. His imagination, curiosity and happiness is immeasurable, it's truly a magical age. I think I could sit, listen and watch him all day long!

If you'd like to find more information about toddlerhood and learning through play head over to the 'Discover Toddlers' section at The Huffington Post to view all of the Science of Play videos. 

5 Ways To Save On Your Energy Bill This Winter



Winter is a magical time of year, one that's full of family festivities and many happy memories. That being said it's also a very expensive time of year too. Not only do you have Christmas just around the corner and have lots of presents to buy but with the drop in temperature you see a huge rise in your energy usage. Christmas costs and sky high energy bills, those are certainly the bane of my Winter but they do come part and parcel with the time of year. With this in mind I thought I would put together a blog post all about the numerous ways you can save on your energy bills this Winter.


1. Compare energy providers.
My first tip and perhaps the most important one is to check online energy comparison websites to make sure you are on the best deal available. At this time of year they can offer up some great deals and providers can become quite competitive with one another. It really pays to check those websites frequently as you can really save you a lot of money. 

2. Wear lots of layers
This is a no brainer but something I didn't start doing until recently. I'd often find myself walking around my house in a thin jumper, leggings and no socks, complaining that I was cold and then I'd crank up the heating! I now make sure I wear more layers and have found that I'm not using the heating half as much, I feel like a fool for not doing this sooner.

3. Switch to LED bulbs.
This can be quite pricey to begin with but switching to LED bulbs saves you a small fortune in the long run. We've been using them throughout our house for the past two years and have really noticed a difference in our annual bills. You don't compromise on light quality at all my making this switch but you save a lot of energy and money.

4. Banish the drafts.
Don't let drafts get through every nook and cranny in your home. There are simple actions you can do such as closing your curtains and using draft excludes can help a lot by keeping warm air in and the cold air out. 

5. Insulate your home.
There are various insulation deals out there which are free and have absolutely no catch at all. By making these kind of improvements to your home you are not making it more energy efficient but you can save hundreds of pounds a year.

If you'd like to read about more energy and money saving tips simply head over to Premier Bathrooms who've put together a fantastic article on all the ways that you can save this winter.


- This is a collaborative post.

11/26/2016

Project 365 - Week 47


20th November - 26th November

20/11/16

21/11/16

22/11/16

23/11/16

24/11/16

25/11/16

26/11/16

As mentioned on last weeks post we've all been really unwell lately. Noah first picked up a bad cold and viral infection which developed into Tonsillitis and for me it's manifested into a chest infection. I've felt absolutely awful all week, struggling to breath, chest pain and so on. I wasn't able to get in to see my GP and was advised to go to A&E just so I could be seen my a Doctor, which was a bit ridiculous. I'm now half way through my course of antibiotics and unfortunately I'm not feeling any better at all. Noah on the other hand is a lot better, phew! With him feeling a bit more like himself he went back to nursery on Thursday afternoon and he was really excited to go! As it had just been his Birthday they sang him happy birthday and bought him a card which was very sweet. We ventured out here and there but on a whole I've been stuck in most of the week. Today we did have a 4D scan of the baby though and it was absolutely amazing, I'll be sure to blog about it soon! 

What have you been up to this week?


11/25/2016

25 & 26 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #2



Baby
My baby girl has grown from roughly 13.5 inches long to 14 and from 1.5lb to 1.75lb. Of course this is just an estimate of her size as all babies grow at different rates, this is just the average. Her body is now growing rapidly and is becoming more and more in proportion to her head. 
She's also aquiring fat beneath her delicate skin and growing hair with pigmentation. Now her lungs and brain are much more developed and she can pick up on light and noises so much easier. I've noticed she now responds to her voice so I often find myself having a little chat with her. 


Mummy
I started feeling a little run down around the 26 week mark as I picked up a bug from Noah. It started as a sniffle but got worse and worse as time went on. I normally handle a cold pretty well but with being pregnant and Noah being poorly too it really knocked me for six. With being unwell my emotions have been all over the place and my anxiety has been through the roof. Thankfully I have a couple of blogging friends who are keeping me sane, in particular the wonderful Rebecca P over at Mum of a Premature Baby and my fellow pregnancy buddy Rebecca S who blogs at Futures. I need to start taking it a little easier I think and having a bit more down time in the evening. All that aside everything is much of the same. I feel massive, I dread to think what I'm going to look like come February but it's all worth it in the end! My cravings lately have been all about cheese burgers, carrot sticks and Weetabix. Not all at once though, yuck! I can't believe I'm almost in third trimester already!

See you next week! 

12 Days of Christmas Competitions - Day 12 - Hotel Chocolat Christmas Pocket Selection



Christmas is in the air and it will be here before we know it! I'm feeling very festive this year so to mark the occasion I've decided to run something a little special for you guys! 

Over the next 12 days I will be running a new competition every single day, my 12 Days of Christmas Competitions! So make sure to check back often and enter daily to maximise your chances of winning! All competitions will be drawn on the 12th of December and we will aim to have the prizes with you before Christmas!

12 Days of Christmas Competition - Day 12.
It's the final day of my 12 Days of Christmas Competitions! All 12 competitions will be running up until the 12th December but this is the final prize up for grabs. How would you like to win a Hotel Chocolat Christmas Pocket Selection? There's always one who's difficult to buy for at Christmas, whether it's a secret Santa, work colleague or someone you see once a year. Present them with this pretty box of chocolates and show you care - these recipes are so beloved you can't go wrong! Or why not keep them for yourself?

For your chance to win simply enter using the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions! All 12 Days of Christmas Competitions end on the 12th of December, so make sure to keep entering!

Hotel Chocolat Christmas Pocket Selection

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner who will win the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize to be sent directly from the PR. 
3. Competition ends 12/12/16 and we will aim to have the prize delivered before Christmas though this cannot be guaranteed. 
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.




11/24/2016

My Winter Beauty Essentials


I can't believe we are now coming towards the end of November. I can feel the chill in the air, I'm wrapping up warm when I go outside and I'm already sipping on hot mugs of cocoa. As soon as I feel that temperature drop I always change my skincare routine as I find in the colder months my skin needs a lot more TLC. Today I thought I'd put together a post all about my beauty essentials for winter.


1. Coco Chanel Mademoiselle -
I like to change my perfume with the season and Coco Mademoiselle has been a favourite of mine for going up to ten years now. It's sophisticated, sexy and elegant and a scent that I tend to find myself wearing more in the colder months, especially in the evenings. 

2. Balmi Lip Balm -
I discovered Balmi a year or so ago after I won one of their competitions on Twitter and I've been hooked ever since. Their lip balm is made from shea butter, contains SPF 15 and come in a whole array of different flavours. My current favourites are coconut and mint and I never leave the house without one.

3. Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy -
My hands tend to get quite chapped in the colder months so a quality hand cream is certainly needed. Crabtree & Evelyn is my go to brand for this reason as their hand therapy creams are so concentrated and not only leave my skin feeling supple but the scents are out of this world too. I have to admit that I've started quite the collection of them!

4. Bliss Triple Oxygen Day Cream -
One of the most important parts of my beauty regime in winter has got to be moisturising my face because like my hands it can become very dry. I find that using Bliss face masks and day creams multiple times a day really help keep my skin hydrated and soft. We all know how important that is, 
have you ever tried applying makeup to dry skin? Nightmare! 

5. John Frida Hair Serum -
As well as my hands and face becoming very dry and unruly in the colder months, so does my hair! When the temperature drops my hair needs more than just a quick shampoo and condition and needs the added TLC from a hair serum. The Frizz Ease serum from John Freida works a charm as it's one of the only products that keeps my hair looking relatively normal at this time of year.


What are your beauty staples in Winter?
- This is a PR collaboration.

12 Days of Christmas Competitions - Day 11 - Zapf Creation Baby Annabell Doll



Christmas is in the air and it will be here before we know it! I'm feeling very festive this year so to mark the occasion I've decided to run something a little special for you guys! 

Over the next 12 days I will be running a new competition every single day, my 12 Days of Christmas Competitions! So make sure to check back often and enter daily to maximise your chances of winning! All competitions will be drawn on the 12th of December and we will aim to have the prizes with you before Christmas!

12 Days of Christmas Competition - Day 11.



It's the penultimate day in our 12 Days of Christmas Competitions and today's prize has kindly been supplied by Zapf Creation. How would you like to win a Baby Annabell Interactive Doll? Baby Annabell is almost like a real baby with lifelike functions and a cute expression on her face. She responds to touches, can cry real tears and loves her bottle and dummy. Doll mummies between the ages of three and eight will find everything in Baby Annabell's world that a real baby needs, too: from dummies to highchairs, from basic clothes to glittering luxury dresses, a breathtaking selection of carefully designed and high-quality accessories in gentle colours and charming designs.

For your chance to win simply enter using the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions! Remember to come back tomorrow to enter again and to check out the next day in my 12 Days of Christmas Competitions!

Zapf Creation Baby Annabell Doll

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner who will win the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize to be sent directly from the PR. 
3. Competition ends 12/12/16 and we will aim to have the prize delivered before Christmas though this cannot be guaranteed. 
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

11/23/2016

Christmas Gift Guide For Her


Christmas is a only a month away and I'm hoping that I can have all the presents bought and wrapped by the end of November. I say this every year and it never happens but I'm really going to try and be a bit more organised this Christmas. Every year I put together Christmas Gift Guides and today is my Christmas Gift Guide for Her.


1. VQ Retro Mini DAB Radio - £59.99
VQ Radio's are my go to gift this Christmas as I can't rate them enough. I was lucky enough to win one earlier this year and as soon as it arrived I set it up in my kitchen. There's something about doing a spot of cooking whilst singing and dancing to your favourite songs! The VQ Retro Mini is such good value for money at just £59.99 and it comes in a whole array of different designs and colours. I'm currently running a competition where you can win one, simply click here to enter

2. Harley & Lola Candle - £21.00
I love receiving candles for Christmas and I know lots of other people do too so I do find they are on my gift guides every year. There are quite a few nice varieties to choose from over at Harley & Lola all made from hand poured soy wax and have a burn time of 40 hours each. I'm also running another competition where you can win one here

3. Tyrrell's Popcorn - £2.19
Not so much a present but a lovely stocking filler for fellow popcorn lovers like myself. Tyrrell's Poshcorn are my absolute favourite popcorn brand as they are so inventive with their unique flavours. The newest to their range is Peach Bellini which is just perfect for Christmas time!

4. Weleda Wild Rose Ribbon Box - £35.00
For a luxurious gift option I'd choose the Weleda Wild Rose Trio Ribbon Box which is beautifully packaged and contains three full sized products; creamy body wash, skin softening body lotion and fragrance spray. This gift set costs £35.00 but when you buy Weleda you know you are splurging but buying the utmost quality. 

5. La Marca Prosecco - £10.00
Christmas isn't the same without a little bit of fizz whether it's alcoholic or alcohol free. I won't be having any Prosecco this year being pregnant but this bottle from La Marca has already been put to one side for guests. It's a newly launched fizz which adds sophistication to any Christmas party without breaking the bank too.

6. Vintage Cosmetic Company Gift Tin - £27.50
The Girls Night Tin Gift Set from the Vintage Cosmetic Company is a gift which is my taste to a tee. It contains a headband, tweezers, fantail brush, nail scissors, nail buffer and toe separator. All these products are displayed in a gorgeous pink tin heart which is the perfect place to store them in. 





7. Dakota Faux Fur Throw - £50.00
One of the highlights of the Christmas season has got to be getting all cosy on the sofa with my family. All huddling under a blanket with snacks to enjoy a Christmas film or two. A faux fur throw and eyelet curtains from Julian Charles would be perfect for moments like those as there's nothing like snuggling under a throw with the curtains drawn.


8. Hotel Chocolat Christmas Sleekster - £22.50
Hotel Chocolat is one of my favourite chocolate brands and nothing says Christmas like the Christmas Sleekster! The box is full of so many exciting chocolate varieties from Cinnamon Bun through to Mince Pie Brownie. I was recently sent a box to try out and I've had to hide them so I don't tuck into them straight away! 


9. Blooming Lovely Bola Necklace - £30.00

This gift is aimed at the pregnant ladies like myself and having received it a few weeks ago I had to include it in my Christmas gift guide. Some say there's a relationship between the time when babies are born and the lunar cycle. The Blooming Lovely Bola Necklace satin pendant draws inspiration from the soft glow of the moon and it rests above your bump until your baby is born. It's a stunning piece of jewellery and the chime is so comforting. 

10. Me Before You DVD - £9.99
I love Christmas films just as much as the next person but I do like to mix it up a little too. Me Before You is based on the best selling novel of the same title and a film that I've been desperate to see for some time now.


11. Marvellous Mummy Kit - £24.99
The Marvellous Mummy Kit from Love Boo is the perfect gift for Mummy's and pregnant ladies alike. It's another luxurious set from Love Boo and contains some of their most popular products; body smoother, body wash, miracle oil and bath soak. I was recently sent this kit and I can't wait to start using it, especially the miracle oil as I've heard wonderful things about it.


12. Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy Trio
- £15.00
In these colder months we are all prone to dry and chapped skin, especially on our hands. Beautifully packaged, this gift set is a joy to receive and include a trio of Hand Therapy products, allowing friends and family to enjoy old favourites while discovering new ones.

13. Love, Laughter & Happy Ever After Cushion - £17.99
Last but certainly not least we have the Love, Laughter & Happy Ever After cushion from Prezzybox. I personally love receiving home wear gifts for Christmas as I like to update my interiors quite often. I currently have one of these for myself and for my Mum for Christmas and it will make a welcome addition to our living rooms that's for sure.


What's on your Christmas list this year?

- This post contains some PR samples.

12 Days of Christmas Competitions - Day 10 - NSPA Ever Youthful Skincare Range



Christmas is in the air and it will be here before we know it! I'm feeling very festive this year so to mark the occasion I've decided to run something a little special for you guys! 

Over the next 12 days I will be running a new competition every single day, my 12 Days of Christmas Competitions! So make sure to check back often and enter daily to maximise your chances of winning! All competitions will be drawn on the 12th of December and we will aim to have the prizes with you before Christmas!

12 Days of Christmas Competition - Day 10.


It's Day 10 of my 12 Days of Christmas Competitions and what a success they've been already! If you haven't been entering then don't worry as there's still plenty of time. The 10th prize up for grabs is the new Ever Youthful Skincare range from NSPA. This bundle contains the Ever Youthful Double Action Serum, Ever Youthful Day Cream, Ever Youthful Night Cream and Ever Youthful Eye Cream. These products are classed as anti ageing but I think they are suitable for all age ranges, especially at this time of year. The winter months are tough on our skin so a little TLC is needed here and there.

For your chance to win simply enter using the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions! Remember to come back tomorrow to enter again and to check out the next day in my 12 Days of Christmas Competitions!

NSPA Ever Youthful Skincare Range

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner who will win the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize to be sent directly from the PR. 
3. Competition ends 12/12/16 and we will aim to have the prize delivered before Christmas though this cannot be guaranteed. 
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

11/22/2016

Christmas Gift Guide For Him


Christmas is just around the corner and now is the time when I've been making my lists and planning what gifts to buy everyone. For me the men in my family tend to be the most difficult to buy for so I thought I'd put together a Christmas Gift Guide full of gift ideas which I'll be planning on buying this year and hopefully my picks can inspire you too.


1. Personalised Wine - £25.00
I have a penchant for personalised gifts, I love them. What's better than celebrating Christmas with a bottle of personalised wine? You can buy a wide selection of different types of personalised wine over at Bottle Bazaar for a great price. We've got a bottle of white and prosecco put away for gifts for Christmas day.

2. VQ DAB Radio - £129.99
This is something that I know my partner wants for Christmas and as I'm already familiar with the VQ brand I really approve of his choice. The DAB radio he chose was the Christie model which has such a chic and vintage feel to it, a real timeless classic. Find it here.

3. Emergency Chocolate Kit - £18.95
Chocolate is my go to gift for family members who are notoriously difficult to buy for as most people like chocolate I tend to find. This Emergency Chocolate Kit from Prezzy Box is bound to go down a storm with a couple of members of my family as it contains so many different types of chocolatey goodies.

4. Christmas Jumper - £45.00
Christmas wouldn't be the same without Christmas jumpers, not for us anyway! It's become quite the family tradition to have matching jumpers for the lead up to Christmas. Esprit stock a wide range of different styles which can be found here and I've also spotted one I would like for myself too! 

5. Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Game - £14.99
I just had to add this to our list because I can imagine our family having such a good time with this on Christmas day. Jelly Belly Bean Boozled is a Russian roulette style game with jelly beans but not all of them taste nice! You could spin and it land on disgusting flavours such as dog food and rotten egg!

6. Yankee Candle - £21.99
Candles aren't just for us ladies as I know quite a few men who appreciate a good candle too. My go to brand has always been Yankee Candle as the quality of their candles is next to none and have so many different scents and varieties to choose from too. The Star Anise and Orange is a new scent for this season and a new favourite of mine.




7. Suicide Squad DVD - £14.99
This is a film we haven't seen yet believe it or not! My partner has been wanting to see it ever since it was released so I picked up a DVD copy to add to his Christmas presents. I'm really looking forward to sitting down and watching it with him over the Christmas holidays as it will be a nice change from Jingle All The Way and Home Alone!


8. Tyrrell's Crisps - £2.19
This isn't a Christmas present but the crisps of choice we will be serving as a snack on the big day. Three Bird Roast is a new flavour from Tyrrell's and you couldn't come across a more festive bag of crisps!

9. Weleda Moisture Cream - £14.95
Last but not least is a little stocking filler from Weleda. Nick tends to overlook his skincare routine but as we are both getting a little older now it's time we both try a little harder. We don't want to look older than our years. This moisture cream for men will keep his skin supple and hydrated in these colder months. 


What gifts are you planning on buying the men in your life? 

- This post contains some PR samples.

12 Days of Christmas Competitions - Day 9 - Num Noms Bundle



Christmas is in the air and it will be here before we know it! I'm feeling very festive this year so to mark the occasion I've decided to run something a little special for you guys! 

Over the next 12 days I will be running a new competition every single day, my 12 Days of Christmas Competitions! So make sure to check back often and enter daily to maximise your chances of winning! All competitions will be drawn on the 12th of December and we will aim to have the prizes with you before Christmas!

12 Days of Christmas Competition - Day 9.

It's now day 9 of my 12 Days of Christmas Competitions, not many days left to go! Today's prize is a big bundle of Num Noms! The prize includes; x1 Num Noms Deluxe Pack, x1 Num Noms Starter Pack and x2 Num Noms Mystery Pots! Perfect for any little collector out there! In case you haven't heard of them yet but Num Noms took the UK by storm this year and are now one of the leading collectables and rightly so. Uniquely scented, each Num and Nom character is full of surprises. Nums are the outer, soft squishy, hollow characters that nestle on top of Noms, which are either fun scented stamps, motorised, lovely lip glosses or a funky eraser. 

For your chance to win simply enter using the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions! Remember to come back tomorrow to enter again and to check out the next day in my 12 Days of Christmas Competitions!

Num Noms Bundle

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner who will win the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize to be sent directly from the PR. 
3. Competition ends 12/12/16 and we will aim to have the prize delivered before Christmas though this cannot be guaranteed. 
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

11/21/2016

Homemade Gifts for Christmas



The final leaves are giving way to sparse silvery branches and there’s a distinct bite in the nights now as winter draws in and we say goodbye to autumn. With both Halloween and Bonfire Night drifting into memory, the Christmas season beckons.

There is nothing I like more than receiving a homemade gift for Christmas. Something that shows that someone is thinking of you, and has put some effort into making a special item to be treasured.

Snow Ball Cookies and Jar
There are few things more festive than a classic snow globe and this Christmas gift turns that idea into a cute and memorable way to give Christmas cookies. I like these snowball ones, inspired by a Mexican wedding, as they make a good decorative piece and are tasty.

Take a Kilner jar and draw small white dots on the outside to create the ‘snow’ look. Tie a festive ribbon around the top. Pop the cookies in the bottom and add some plastic festive figures, such as tree and animals and there you have a unique snowy gift.

Knitted Mermaid Tail
Whether it’s for young children or the adult mermaid in your life, a knitted mermaid blanket is a popular choice. I like this Deramores pattern because it is digital and easy to access. Choose their favourite colour and use this pattern to make a blanket to remember! Home knits of any description are a classic Christmas gift and there are some really cool options on the Deramore website.

Lavender Sugar Scrub
Luxuriate in a relaxing and soothing lavender glow with this homemade sugar scrub. You can add any essential oils to create different scents, but I really like the addition of lavender and its soothing properties.

Ingredients
115g cup coconut oil
335-450g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lavender flowers
3 drops lavender oil
Optional purple food colouring

Method
Melt the coconut oil slightly by microwaving for about 15 seconds
Add the other ingredients and mix together. If the mixture feels too liquidy, you will need to add more sugar, so judge it as you go. Ideally you want it to be thick and almost claggy – like damp sand.
Spoon your scrub into airtight containers (Kilner jars are great for this) and decorate using permanent marker, ribbon and twine for a festive look.

Do you like to give or receive homemade gifts for Christmas? 

- This is a collaborative post.

Party Dress Trends for Christmas 2016




Christmas is fast approaching with just over a month to go! Which means it's that time of year again when everyone is preoccupied with Christmas gift lists and preparations. While I'm getting in the festive spirit with my 12 Days of Christmas Competitions.

It can be a stressful time but I love Christmas, especially when it comes to trimming the tree, eating delicious seasonal food and getting swept up with my little one's excitement! I also love the festive season because it's also the perfect excuse to rev up my wardrobe. After all, 'tis the season to shine and sparkle! With that in mind, here are some ways to look fabulous, festive and on-trend this Christmas.

Velvet, Velvet, Velvet
Velvet has been everywhere this year, from designer catwalks to high street stores and it seems there's no escape from it yet. For those who are a little nervous about the fabric there have been so many ways to embrace this year's ultimate trend, including heels and handbags. But for the festive season it's time to go all out with a velvet jumpsuit, plunging neckline, or off the shoulder maxi dress.

Sequins and Sparkle
When it comes to fashion I don't think anything says Christmas quite as well as a little added sparkle. Sequins are always a festive frock must have and the trend for Christmas 2016 is no exception! If you have the budget, go bold with a head-to-toe sequin dress or embellished trousers, like these amazing options from Coast. Or add a little sparkle with a new glitter highlighter, glitzy choker or bejewelled clutch bag.

Blue is Black
For years you've never been able to go wrong with a classic LBD. Every magazine tells you it's a true wardrobe staple that will never go out of fashion and can always be restyled. Well, not anymore! Move over little black dress because blue is this year's black! Take your pick from blouses in wintery pale icy blues to bright cobalt shoes, deep royal blue dresses and faux fur blue accessories.

Mix Your Colours
Winter fashion is often associated with deep dark colours, luxurious metallics and neutral shades, while summer boasts bright and bold hues. This festive season the world of fashion has decided to change things up a little and introduce a mix of colours into party season looks. So ignore the dark tones and go for pastels, bold prints, or bright in-your-face eye-popping colours.

What are your favourite styles for the festive period?

- This is a collaborative post.