Sunday, 17 June 2018

Design a backpack competition with JoJo Maman Bébé and LittleLIfe

Children's imaginations are incredible. My little boys never fail to amaze me with their ideas and creativity which is why we are excited about a new competition from the popular brands, LittleLife and JoJo Maman Bébé where your pre-schooler can design LittleLife's next backpack! A shortlist of the designs from the entries received will be selected by a specialist panel which includes JoJo Maman Bébé's founder Laura Tenison MBE, LittleLife's Managing Director Mark Cobham and children's book illustrator Laura Tait! The competiton closes on 22nd June 2018 and the shortlist of designs will then go to public vote from 27th June with the winner announced on 6th July 2018! 



The winner of this wonderful competition will not only see their child's design made into a real backpack but will also win a £200 JoJo Maman Bébé gift card! 



To enter simply visit the competition page here, download your form and let your little one's imagination soar! 

*This is a collaborative post
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Friday, 15 June 2018

CanvasChamp Review and Giveaway

I love putting up photos of our family around our home and I find myself looking at the photos and pictures we have displayed on a daily basis. They remind me how much my little boys have grown and take me back to some wonderful happy times we've shared. When CanvasChamp got in touch to see if we'd like to review one of their canvases I was delighted. I love canvas prints, they add a whole other dimension to a photo or painting.

We were able to review a 12 by 8 inch canvas which is roughly around A4 size. I decided to order one of my favourite all-time photos of me and my little boy walking towards the sea. Those of you who follow any of my social media channels will have probably seen this photo as I use it in my profile pictures. I always refer to it as a moment of calm in the chaos. 



The process of ordering the canvas was quick and easy. You can select a particular size of your choosing so you're not limited to a selection of sizes determined by the site which is something I have found with other companies. You then upload your image and select the wrap you would like as well as any hooks for hanging. You can even opt for a colour filter to be added to the image if you wish. 

The canvas arrived in a couple of days and I was really very pleased with the quality of it, in fact I noticed detail in the photo that I hadn't seen before from viewing it on the computer. The prices of the canvases are really reasonable. The size I selected is just £7.19!



I will definitely consider buying future canvases from CanvasChamp

For your chance to win a 10 inch by 8 inch canvas, just enter my giveaway below! 

Win a 10 x 8 Personalised Photo Canvas from Canvas Champ

*This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own.


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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The #itsok Linky Week 11!

The #it's ok Linky is all about celebrating perfectly imperfect parenting. There is no judgement here and we want you to know that you're doing just fine! This is a linky with a difference: it's a place where you can share your posts with the aim of helping, inspiring and reassuring parents out there that they are in fact doing just fine! Your posts can be funny, serious, whatever you like, we'd just love to read them! It's hosted by myself, Riz , Aleena and Nicole and we each take it in turns to comment on your posts although you can link up from any of our sites. This week Nicole from Tales From Mamaville will be commenting. 

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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

A Funny and Fabulous Father's Day with Love Layla!

I love Love Layla. From where else, for example, could you buy wrapping paper declaring that your loved one is a twat? If your humour is quirky, edgy, and mildly offensive I can wholeheartedly recommend Love Layla products! 

Love Layla is a small, family run business, specialising is greeting cards, wrapping paper, wine labels, badges and a whole host of other unique products and their father's day range really does not disappoint. Below is the card my children will be presenting to their dad on father's day. It's a long running joke (bone of contention) that my husband will, without fail, fall asleep in front of the tv each evening but will deny it as if his life depends upon it, declaring that he's only resting his eyes (because watching a tv show is the time to do that of course). And so this card is simply perfect for Father's day. 

As well as other cheeky and hilarious cards, Love Layla do a range of badges with funny captions, wine labels and wrapping paper. I simply can't get enough of the 'twat' wrapping paper. There's so many people that will be receiving their gifts wrapped in this from me for the rest of time. 



The cards are really great quality, they are sturdy and stylish, as is the smart envelope they come in. All of the products they sell are well thought out, beautifully presented and it's clear there has been a real attention to detail in each one.



Why not explore their fabulous range? You'll love them! You can find them here

For your chance to win a Father's Day bundle from Love Layla, just enter the competition below! 

Win a bundle of Father's Day products from Love Layla Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post, all opinions are my own
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Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's Day is swiftly approaching and so I wanted to put together a little gift guide to help you find the perfect present for the special dad in your life. So if you're looking for an idea for your own father, for your children's father or for your father-in-law for example, then look no further...

Sugru Hacks for your Home
Sugru is a fantastic mouldable glue that can be used in a variety of different ways. The Hacks For Your Home Kit is a collection of useful and popular ideas for your home. The kit comes complete with a handy tin , four single use packs and a fabulous how-to guide too. You can find it here!



Nivea Men Body Shaving Range 
Your Dad will love pampering himself with this shaving range from Nivea Men. This moisturising shaving range will ensure his skin will look smooth and healthy. Find out more about the range here.



Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey
Monkey Shoulder is perfect for cocktail lovers! It is great with mixers or can be enjoyed on its own. Smooth and sweet, your dad will love it! Find out more here. 
Boss Hugo Boss Triple Pack of Tshirts
These sleek and stylish crew neck tshirts come in a pack of white, black and grey. They are perfect for relaxing in or can be teamed up with a pair of smart jeans and a jacket for a more styled look. You can find these here.
Braun Series Pro Skin
This fabulous rechargable electric shaver will enable your dad to have a faster and smoother shave. It has a specialised Micro-comb to capture more hair in each stroke leaving him with his closest shave yet! Find out more here.


Willow and Stone wine
This British range of wine features a a rosé, a white, a rosé fizz and a white fizz! They consist of refreshing fruity flavours like strawberry, raspberry, peach and pear for example and so are the ideal summery drink for your dad to enjoy! Find out more here!


Zippo leather wrapped hip flask
This stylish leather wrapped, stainless steel 6 ounce flask is a fabulous gift for your dad, perfect for carrying his faviourite tipple! See the range here.


Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Sense razor
This razor features shock absorbing technology for a smooth and comfortable shave that is kind to skin! Find one here! 



My First Photo Book
These beautiful little board books are an ideal gift that both daddy and baby will enjoy. You can fill the book with special photos and memories and can also caption each page! There will be plenty of smiles from daddy and baby as they explore their special book together. Find them at Photobox.

Living DNA
Living DNA is an ancestry DNA kit to enable your dad to discover his family history stretching back thousands of years! What a fascinating gift! Learn more here.

Dove Men and Care range
This range features products to hydrate, moisturise and softenskin, leaving him feeling fresh and rejuvenated! He will feel truly pampered! Find out more about the range here!



Personalised Retro Tech mug
This ceramic mug from Personalised Parties can be customised to feature photos! Dad will his morning cuppa even more now!  
Amazon Echo Dot
The Echo Dot from Amazon enables your dad to control his smart home from the comfort of his sofa. It can play music, find information, order takeaways and much more! Find it here.
Handmade Superhero Cape Apron
If your dad's your superhero, then let him know with this fabulous apron from Amazon Handmade.You can even request a change to the text or colour of the apron. Find it here.


Everdure Cube Charcoal Porta BBQ 
For a BBQ like no other, the Everdore Charcoal Cube portable BBQ, designed by Heston Blumenthal will be a hit with Dad. It has a sleek design and is made from lightweight steel meaning Dad will be able to take it to a variety of locations! Find out more here!

Wordsworth Collection Personalised Oak Photo Frame
This beautiful oak photo frame can be personalised to feature your own choice of text. It is crafted from beautiful solid oak. He will treasure this for a lifetime. You can purchase one here.




Disclaimer: I was gifted some of these items in exchange for an honest review.



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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The #itsok Linky Week 10

It's week 10 of the #itsok Linky which means Nicole's turn to host over at Tales From Mamaville but remember you can link up from any of our sites.

My Featured Blogger from last week was from Mummykind with the post Learn to love yourself

Here's why... 
We are often very quick to criticise ourselves, particularly in regards to our own appearance but we certainly owe ourselves more than this, plus when little ears are listening it's so important to use kinder words for ourselves. This is a great post highlighting just why we should learn to love ourselves.  

Congratulations on being our featured blogger! Help yourself to our featured blogger badge! 

The #itsok Linky is all about celebrating perfectly imperfect parenting. There is no judgement here and we want to remind you that you're doing just fine!! This is a linky with a difference: it's a place where you can share your posts with the aim of helping, inspiring and reassuring parents out there that they are in fact doing just fine. Your posts can be funny, serious, whatever you like, we'd just love to read them! 

Our Badge...





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Sunday, 3 June 2018

Creating An Outdoor Play Area

If you have an outdoor space or a garden, you'll know just how much your children love being outside. My boy's would literally spend all their waking hours outdoors, they just can't get enough of being in the garden. They are two little whirlwinds with a whole tonne of energy and so I am more than happy to allow them to play outdoors and we've spent a bit of time creating the ideal play area for them to enable this. There are many products on offer to encourage outdoor play, just take a look at Lionshome, for example, for a whole host of quality products. 



Here are a few ways we have created a fun outdoor play area for our little boys... 


A Playhouse 

We were extremely lucky to have recently been given a lovely little playhouse after its previous owners outgrew it. My boys have already spent many happy hours playing in it and they like to pretend it's their home which is great for imaginative play! It also means they can be in the garden when it starts to drizzle as they will stay nice and dry in their little house! 

Sand and Water Table

My little ones also love playing with the sand and water table. It provides so much entertainment and they like to pretend they are at the beach!



Art area

When there is dry weather I like to set up a little area with an easel and paints so they can get creative. It also means I don't need to worry about paint on the carpets and walls! I also like to put out some chalks so they can decorate the patio! 



Trampoline

We bought a trampoline for my eldest son's fourth birthday. Now his little brother is at an age to enjoy it too. If they've still got excess energy after all the outdoor play, they can bounce on it until they haven't! 

Play tent

Sometimes, the boys like to pretend they are camping. They put their pillows and favourite soft toys in the tent and pretend it's night time. The tent is also their secret den and I can often hear little giggles coming from it! So cute! 

Do your little ones love playing outdoors? Do you have any tips for creating a fun outdoor space? I'd love to hear them! 


Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post. All opinions and words are my own  



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Thursday, 31 May 2018

Choosing The Right Curtains And Bedding To Create A Bedroom Haven

Your bedroom is not only the room in which you spend the most time in within your home, but it's also the place where you come to unwind at the end of each long day and so it makes sense that this room should be designed to be peaceful and relaxing. For me, achieving a calm and soothing bedroom is all about keeping it clutter free as well as ensuring its decor is exactly to my taste. If you're looking for a bedroom makeover or simply want to tweak your current bedroom, I've put together a few ideas to help you on your way...

Finding the right curtains
You can make curtains a real feature of your room, choosing a particular style, colour or pattern to really showcase your taste. Your eyes will often be drawn towards the window when you first enter a room as this is the lightest area and so framing the window can make a beautiful accessory in your room. Not only that but, good curtains have many uses; to shade from sunlight glare into your room, to keep your room cool and to ensure darkness during night time. Curtains can also provide a beautiful ambiance in your bedroom. You can find high quality, ready-made curtains online from Yorkshire Linen.


Choosing your Bed linen 
Sinking into soft, freshly washed sheets at the end of a hard day surely has to be one of the best pleasures in life! With such a huge range of styles out there you don't need to settle for just one design and this can be a great way to vary the decor within your bedroom. Adding cushions and throws can also ensure your bedroom is the height of luxury! I absolutely love crisp and cool white sheets like these from The White Company

Accessorise
To make your bedroom special you may wish to add some little extras such as a paining or print that you love, photographs of your family or friends, a plant or candle. Surrounding yourself in a few little things that make you smile will help ensure you drift off to sleep feeling content and happy.


What are your bedroom must-haves? I'd love to hear about them? 

Disclaimer: This post is written in collaboration
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Monday, 28 May 2018

The #itsok Linky Week 9!

It's week 9 of the #itsok Linky which means it's my turn to host again but remember you can link up from any of our sites.

Riz's Featured Blogger from last week was from The Mum Condundrum with the post So, What If You're Not 'Just A Bit Tired And Stressed Out'

Here's why... 
Riz says, "I think this will resonate with a lot of people. As parents we often tend to just dismiss our own mental well-being so I hope this will help parents identify what they're actually feeling and if it's depression then at least accepting it will be a step to come to terms with it.

Congratulations on being our featured blogger! Help yourself to our featured blogger badge! 

The #itsok Linky is all about celebrating perfectly imperfect parenting. There is no judgement here and we want to remind you that you're doing just fine!! This is a linky with a difference: it's a place where you can share your posts with the aim of helping, inspiring and reassuring parents out there that they are in fact doing just fine. Your posts can be funny, serious, whatever you like, we'd just love to read them! 

Our Badge...





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And here's our featured blogger badge! 




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Sunday, 27 May 2018

Bedtime Battles

In my head I know how bedtimes should go; sleepy cuddles with warm milk, lullabies and stories, kisses and tucking them into their soft comfy beds. HOWEVER, putting my pair to bed is akin to capturing and tucking in, a pair of overtired, mini tornadoes intent on resisting their bedtime for all they are worth. 



Bedtime, I should also specify, is not one particular time but encompasses a significant proportion of the evening; a bed-period-of-time, if you will. When they finally do drift off to sleep, it's not because I've successfully eased them towards the land of nod, it's because their little bodies have surrendered for the night from the sheer effort of resisting it. Come the next night and they are up for the fight again. 

I've spoken before about how my little boy is the master of prolonging bedtimes and now his little brother is in on the act too, I can hand on heart say I've had easier 13-hour shifts at work. 


A typical bedtime routine in our house
The usual routine starts with me telling them 564 times to get ready because their bedtime is approaching. On the 565th time I threaten them with the removal of all sugary snacks for the foreseeable future. They then weigh this threat up in their heads to see whether carrying on with their shenanigans will bring them more joy than the occasional chocolate biscuits they will manage to consume over the course of the week. They usually decide in favour of shenanigans. 

Once a suitable threat has been issued and they are upstairs, next comes the changing into the bed clothes segment of the evening. I'm too tired from tonight's bedtime to walk you through the process of this but just trust me when I say I want to punch myself in the face by the end of it. 

Then they come downstairs for a glass of milk which they then either have a sip of and then leave, or spill on the carpet.

Next up, it's a further 565 requests for them to return upstairs to clean their teeth. This should be a relatively stress-free process but they both just suck the toothbrush to enjoy all the minty flavour and then flick spit water at me before shrieking with the hilarity of it all (it wasn't funny the first time). Despite begging them to do some sort of upward downward, side to side brushing motion, the littlest one clamps his jaw shut with a strength I did not know he was capable of. 

Next up, it's story time. This used to be 4 stories but this week it's down to one because they both keep spinning round in circles and no one knows what book I have just read.

Now it's time for the tucking in part. You'd be forgiven for believing that the end of the bedtime process is in sight. The toddler will NOT be tucked in and stands at his bedroom gate (yes, there is a safety stair-gate on his room) protesting. The older one then requests a series of enjoyable bedtime related activities which currently is this; a kiss, a cuddle, a tuck in and a 'yes/no' game (the one where we ask him questions and he's not allowed to answer yes or no). If this sounds like a lot, I'd like to introduce you to his previous routine and I promise you I'm not exaggerating. He would request; a kiss, a cuddle, a nose honk, ear wiggles, ear pulls, a tickle, a raspberry on his tummy, for us to pretend to pull him out the bed via his legs, to scoop him up and drop him on the bed, to fold him up like a parcel in the duvet, to open it and be surprised by the contents and finally, to then tuck him in. DON'T ASK. He then repeated this process with the other parent. It got a bit ridiculous and so we had to scale it right back to a four step process.

So we're finally out of their rooms. Free to enjoy our evenings. Only we're not. Next up come bedtime bowel movements, begs from the little one to sleep in his room, water to be fetched and drank, wees to be had, more hilarity to be attempted, more threats to be issued, bad dreams to be comforted from (I'm onto them on this one since they've not been bloody asleep yet), songs to be sung to each other through the bedroom wall, explanations to be given about what they can smell cooking, it goes on. And on. 

BUT... 
When they do finally fall asleep from the sheer exhaustion of it all, I creep back into their rooms and stare at them and sniff their hair like a weirdo because they are so peaceful and cute. I wonder how I ever got so lucky and I even miss them a little bit (not enough to give them later bedtimes or anything). And I know that one day they will be older and the craziness of bedtimes will be a thing of the past and I will long for the hustle and bustle and demands for cuddles, tickles and stories that they don't really listen to, and the fact that those days are no longer here will break my heart a little bit. So for now, as exhausting and as frustrating as it can be, long may their bedtime shenanigans continue.


xxx


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