Penwizard Ben & Holly Christmas Book - Review & Competition

We have been a fan of Penwizard books ever since we received and reviewed their personalised In The Night Garden book earlier this year, see that post here. We have been following them ever since and were delighted when we were given the opportunity to review one of their latest books.

Penwizard offer a wide range of different character books which can be personalised not only with your child's name but with their looks too. I've not seen this level of customisation available anywhere else and the process is so easy to use, it's fool proof.  

The book we were sent to review is the brand new Ben and Holly Christmas book which is just perfect for this time of year. As you can see by these photo's Noah was over the moon when the book arrived and was so interested in seeing what was inside. We chose the hardback book with paper pages so I had to keep a watchful eye on him so he was gentle when handling the book. 

Not only is this personalised book a feast for the eye's with it's beautiful illustrations but the story is lovely too. Your child will love being in the story with Ben and Holly and will really enjoy joining them on their Christmas adventures.

How would you like a copy in time for Christmas? Well we can do that! Here's your chance to win one! All you need to do to enter is use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck and don't forget to check out my other competitions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


1. 1 prize to 1 winner.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR.
3. Competition ends 14/12/15
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.

Project 365 - Week 48 - 48/52

22nd November - 28th November / Week 48

On Sunday my Mum watched Noah for us in the afternoon as Nick and I wanted to take a trip to IKEA. The last time we took Noah to IKEA he screamed the place down and we just thought it was best not to take him this time. It was nice to shop child free and spend time with Nick too and well Noah had a blast with his Nanna too.

Noah has a rough night on Sunday and had Nick and I up countless times. Safe to say we missed playgroup but we made up for it by going to soft play instead. He pretty much had the whole place to himself and he was absolutely in his element.

Tuesday was just an easy going day really, this pretty much sums it up! 

On Wednesday my friend visited with her daughter. It was lovely to watch Noah and Lily play together but it was even better to have adult conversation and a couple of cups of tea with my good friend! We had a lovely day and took the kids to a sensory room. Wish she didn't live so far away so we could meet up more frequently.

My Mum was supposed to be visiting on Thursday but couldn't make it which meant it was another chilled out day where we focused on potty training. Lately Noah has been asking to use the toilet to do a poo so I took this as a huge sign to start our potty training journey. He will use a potty to wee if he has no pants on but if he has underpants on he will just wee in them as he thinks it's just a nappy. It's still very early days but I'm so proud of his accomplishments already.

When your kid doesn't want to leave the toy aisle, ha ha! Here we were shopping in ASDA in the evening on a Friday and Noah didn't want to leave the toy section, uh oh.

Today the weather was awful so we couldn't go to the park or for a walk. Instead we did a bit of shopping in B&Q and bought a new plant and some paints. We then visited Noah's great grandparents where they had us stay for tea which was delicious as ever. Noah absolutely adores his Nan and Grandad. 

What have you been up to this week?

Mummy & Me - November

November has been and has almost gone. These two photo's are probably my favourite from every other Mummy & Me entry and it's plainly obvious why right? My baby boy turned 2 on the 12th and these shots of us both with his birthday cake really make me smile. 

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Christmas Gift Guide for Toddlers

With Christmas right around the corner I thought I would put together a little collection of gift guides to inspire anyone who is currently struggling with ideas. Everything mentioned in these posts are items that myself, my partner and son will be receiving for Christmas and products that I have seen first hand and love! 

Last but not least is my Gift Guide for Toddlers-

1. 12 Days of Christmas Personalised Story Book - from £22.00
First up we have this beautiful Christmas book from I See Me who specialise in personalised children's books. The 12 Days of Christmas book is the perfect story to read on the run up to Christmas Day and I can imagine it adding to Noah's excitement about the big day. The book doesn't just contain your child's name but also a photo of your own choosing. This is currently my favourite book as it's just a feast for the eyes and I can't wait to start reading it to Noah.

2. Sylvanian Families Striped Cat Family - £16.99
Sylvanian Families were amongst my favourite toys when I was a little girl so it delights me that they are still a household name all these years later. The Striped Cat Family is one of the newer sets and they are just charming. Noah absolutely adores his growing Sylvanian Family collection, especially the Adventure Treasure Ship which we reviewed a few weeks ago.

Childs Farm Top to Toe Cleaning Kit - £8.99

Here we have a lovely little stocking filler from Childs Farm. Inside the little zip lock bag is a mini bottle of bubble bath, shampoo, and conditioner. Ideal for taking on holiday or mini breaks away. 

4. Christmas Surprises from Orchard Toys - £9.50
We are huge fans of Orchard Toys and I can see one of their games being on Noah's Christmas wishlist's for many years to come. Christmas Surprises is suitable from age 3-6 but I can see Noah having lots of fun with it already. I'm hoping it's going to help him with colour and shape sorting which he is showing such an interest in at the moment. 

5. Welcome to the World Snow Globe - £12.50
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a snow globe! This beautiful piece is from Mama's and Papa's and is currently in the sale at just £10. Simply give it a shake and make the glitter and snowfall, it also plays soothing music. Not only is this snow globe perfect for Christmas but it would also make a great gift for a new baby too. 

6. Hector and Queen Animal Slippers - from £24.00
We were sent these handmade animal slippers a few weeks ago now. I reviewed them here on the blog. Not only are they super cute but 20% of all proceeds from the sales of these slippers is donated to the charity TUSK.

7. The Elf on the Shelf - £24.95
This year we are embarking on a brand new tradition for us, we have adopted a scout elf. Arwen will be visiting us on December the 1st and I am so excited to see Noah's reaction when he spots her for the first time. I think The Elf on the Shelf just adds to the magic of Christmas.

8. Christmas at the North Pole Book - from £14.99
This personalized book is from Penwizard and prices start at £14.99. The website is so easy to use and delivery is very quick. Penwizard books are always a pleasure and this story follows your child on Christmas adventures with Ben and Holly. 

9. Peppa Pig Weebles - from £4.99

We reviewed the Peppa Pig Weeble Train earlier this year and back when we received it Noah hadn't discovered Peppa Pig yet. Fast forward a few months and he is now well and truly obsessed. He loves his Weeble Train so much that we have bought half a dozen Weebles to add to his collection.

10. The Willoughby Book Club Subscription - from £29.99

How about something a little different for your little one this year? I am thinking of signing Noah up to their Toddler Book Club as I know my little book worm would just love this. Prices start at £29.99 and your subscription is totally tailored to your own or your child's taste.

What's on your child's Christmas list this year? 

- This post contains some press samples.

Christmas Gift Guide for Men

With Christmas right around the corner I thought I would put together a little collection of gift guides to inspire anyone who is currently struggling with ideas. Everything mentioned in these posts are items that myself, my partner and son will be receiving for Christmas and products that I have seen first hand and love! 

Next up is my Gift Guide for Men-

1. Dalit Candles and Soap - from £15.00
First up we have candles and soap which you probably wouldn't think to buy for a bloke but I think these products from Dalit have a masculine edge. Both candles and soap are handmade in India and proceeds help Dalit continue to work with and support street children over there. Wonderful products which support a wonderful cause, the perfect Christmas gift. 

2. Personalised beer - from £20.00
Personalised products are a main focal point in all three of my gift guides as we are all appreciated personalised gifts, they are amongst our favourites. This set of personalised beer from Dom & Geri is perfect for Christmas as it can be ordered with any message you please. I know that Nick is going to be very happy to see this set under the Christmas tree.

3. Jean Paul Gaultier - from £25.00
This is on Nick's Christmas list every year! It's been his favourite scent for years so it's no surprise he wants another bottle this year. I think this scent Jean Paul Gaultier must be a firm favourite with men all over the world and for good reason too, the scent is out of this world. 

4. Jelly Belly Gift Box - from £20.00
I wanted to buy Nick something different sweet wise this year so instead of going for the usual box of chocolates I chose this assorted flavour box from Jelly Belly. There are 40 flavours inside this particular gift box and I can't wait to share these with him on Christmas day.

5. Twill Coat - £39.99
When it comes to clothes Nick is very very very fussy! We've been together 7 years now and over the years I've learned what he likes and what he doesn't., sometimes I know better than he does! This twill coat is from H&M and as soon as I saw it I just had to buy it for him. I think he's going to really suit it and it looks like a coat that will be suitable for all year round.

6. Vans Trainers - from £29.99
Nick is a creature of habit and he likes what he likes. Same as his aftershave he loves his Vans trainers and asks for both of these every year. I bought Noah a pair of the above a few months ago so for Christmas I have decided to buy Nick a matching pair! Father and son be twinning this year!

7. Pointless - £19.99
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a board game for the entire family to enjoy. This year I've got my hands on the new Pointless game which I will be wrapping up for Nick.

8. Henry J Socks Subscription - from £5.49 per month
If you wanted a gift that was a little different, a little out of the box how about a sock subscription? Henry J Socks is just that and there are many different subscription plans to choose from a range of different prices. I personally think this would make a fantastic Christmas gift for any bloke out there.

What are you buying the man in your life this year?

- This post contains some press samples.

Christmas Gift Guide for Women

With Christmas right around the corner I thought I would put together a little collection of gift guides to inspire anyone who is currently struggling with ideas. Everything mentioned in these posts are items that myself, my partner and son will be receiving for Christmas and products that I have seen first hand and love! 

First up is my Gift Guide for Women-

1. Personalised Cushion - £22.99
If you know me at all or read the blog regularly you will know how much I love personalised things. From personalised mugs through to personalised bean bags, we have so much and just love it all. My favourite item on this gift guide has got to be this personalised cushion from Getting Personal. You can have it embroidered with any initial and of course I just had to choose N & J, which could mean Nick and Jen but also Noah and Jen too! I adore the neutral colour of the cushion and it's going to be a great accent piece in my living room.

2. Personalised Candle - £29.99
Candles are one of my favourite things so a personalised candle is a clear winner for me. This candle is also from Getting Personal and costs £29.99. It's quite a large candle with a burn time of 70 hours which is great if you like to have a candle lit every night like I do. The light scent of Lime, Basil and Mandarin is gorgeous and not too overpowering.

3. Lanolips Body Balm and 101 Ointment - from £20.00
I've only recently discovered Lanolips and I do wonder where it's been all my life. The Triple Buttermilk Body Balm and 101 Ointment has been a godsend for my dry skin and is a must have for Autumn and Winter when the weather is harsh on our skin. Both would make lovely stocking fillers.

4. Bagsy Make Up - from £8.00
Bagsy is a new and upcoming makeup brand so I didn't feel too out of the loop when I discovered them a few weeks ago. All four products that I've bought look fantastic and I cannot wait to use them. Bagsy to me looks like a brand to watch!

5. Rathbornes Candle - £30.00
Rathbornes was founded in 1488 making it the oldest candle company in the world. With so many years making candles it's no wonder that they produce some of the very best. This premium scented candle is simply divine and the notes of bitter orange, birch tar, and balsam create a truly wonderful and sophisticated scent.

6. Festive Biscuits - £14.99
This personalised biscuit tin is another gift from Getting Personal. I think it's a great idea for a little extra something for anyone in the family really. The label on the tin can be personalised and inside is filled with shortbread and chocolate chip cookies.

7. Baylis & Harding Slipper Set - £9.99
I love receiving little gift sets like this at Christmas. I don't think there's anything better than getting a nice pair of fluffy slippers and some lotions and potions. At £9.99 this is a bargain and I am thinking of buying in a few for my Mum and Mother in Law.

8. Godiva Christmas Chocolate Gift Box - £27.25
If you want to splurge on anything at Christmas, well at any time of year it has got to be on Chocolate. Like perfume and fine wine you really get what you pay for and this box of assorted chocolates is simply to die for! It's been so hard not to tuck into it already! 

9. Christmas Tea Towel - £8.85
Okay, this is a guilty pleasure of mine but I do love a nice tea towel. I love themed ones especially and this Christmas Yule Log Recipe tea towel from Rock Bakehouse is right up my street. The perfect stocking filler for any baker out there.

10. Daisy with Love Compact Mirror - £29.00
This designer compact mirror from Vanroe is made from fine silver chrome and is traditionally hand polished and finished. It's presented in a velvet pouch and gift box and would make the most perfect gift this Christmas.

11. Yankee Candle Advent Calendar - from £29.99
Now being an advent calender this is something you need to snap up and buy now! Who said the kids are the ones that are the only ones who are allowed a calendar this year? We should be able to treat ourselves at the time of year as a huge candle lover this Yankee Candle advent calender is what my dreams are made of and I can't wait to begin opening it in December. 

What is on your Christmas list this year?

- This post contains some press samples.

3 Things You Never Knew about Green Tea

Green tea: healthy, tasty, refreshing. Smells good, too. And it's everywhere. It's there in coffee shops, whether your cosy independent or high street Starbucks; it's piled high along those Waitrose isles; it's even at the back of your kitchen cupboard. In fact, so much do we see it all around that we even dare to think we know the ubiquitous green tea; we think we know how it should taste and where it's from. We think we know its secrets. But we don't. Not a bit of it.
So with that in mind, here are our top 3 craaazy facts and things you never know about delicious green tea:

1. Brewing time
Keep it short, keep it warm - but not too hot. Steep - or brew - green tea at boiling temperature and you'll and up with a bitter, astringent taste that will ruin your tea break. But with a temperature closer to 70, 80 degrees centigrade, you be able to extract just the right amount of sweet and fresh.

2. Making green tea green tea
Surprisingly, green tea comes from the same plant that produces leaves for black tea. And white tea. And oolong tea. That's because all teas come from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis. Except herbal teas. They're different. So in order to make green tea, it is unwilted, unoxidised, preventing it from becoming strong in caffeine (unlike black tea, for example) while ensuring a high content of general goodness. Some green teas, such as Japanese gyokuro are shade-grown, making them especially rich in antioxidents and catechins. Yum.

3. Green tea love
The Japanese love green tea so much that they have entire ceremonies dedicated to it. The Way of Tea is a carefully practised ritual which took form during the early days of green tea's time in Japan, and uses the preparation, drinking and sharing of matcha tea as a central feature of a ceremony that promotes harmony and balance. There areas o many different aspects to it all that a Japanese tea ceremony including friends or colleagues may last for anything up to four hours.

Hmmm, lovely, healthy, delicious green tea - and, with it being over 1000 years in the making, it doesn't just have an abundance of varieties and flavours, but also plenty of secrets.