SOCIAL MEDIA

Monday, 13 July 2020

Our Dream Holiday

It's safe to say, 2020 has not been the easiest of years. As many people across the world have been instructed to stay indoors due to the current pandemic, thoughts will certainly have turned towards more glamourous locations, relaxing holidays abroad and the chance to finally escape and unwind in the sunshine. Now restrictions are starting to lift, holidays in many locations can once again be booked and travel plans can be made. We will be staying put just a little longer as I'm expecting a baby next week but it hasn't stopped me planning my dream getaway! 

I have always wanted to go on a safari holiday. For me this is the absolute dream. My little boy loves wild animals and so we have often talked about how one day we will book our safari holiday together. Finding the perfect safari holiday is actually really straightforward as I was to discover after browsing the Voyage Privé website. Voyage Privé is a members only, luxury travel club offering great deals on array of high-end holidays and hotels which have been hand picked by their experts. Membership is free and once you have joined you will be able to explore their extensive selection of luxurious holidays with discounts of up to 70% off as well as receive their amazing flash offers! 

zebras

I was excited to learn about the safari holidays on offer from Voyage Privé. They currently have a range of offers on safari holidays in Kenya. Once you have selected one that takes your fancy, you can read all about the destination, the room and board basis, details of the excursions and activities included in the holiday as well as details on the flights and transfers. What could be more straightforward?

Browsing the holidays on the website has really cemented the decision to book a safari holiday for me and my family in the foreseeable future. Here are just some of the many reasons why I think this is the perfect holiday. 

elephants

Wildlife
Obviously the chance to observe the animals in their natural habitats is a huge selling point for those interested in safari holidays. Whether you want to observe the Big Five (the lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino) or want to see the Great Migration (when millions of zebra, wildebeest and antelope migrate in search of greener pastures), this will surely be an utterly unforgettable and life changing experience. 

Engaging with nature
Let's face it, life can be busy and stressful but a safari holiday enables you to take that much needed and deserved break from the hustle and bustle of every day life. Being outdoors and at one with nature has enormous benefits on health and well being too. 

Learning opportunities 
You will learn all about about the different wildlife, landscape and culture of the area whilst on your safari holiday. What an amazing learning opportunity not only for ourselves but for our children too.  

safari

Support conservation efforts
The cost of a safari holiday will include conservation fees to the parks you are visiting, helping to support conservation efforts which ultimately helps protect the animals in danger of extinction. 

An affordable experience
A safari holiday can be great value for money. Often, included in the price is the accommodation, meals, trips and excursions along with the airport transfers. This will mean you don't need to budget for much additional spending whilst on the holiday.

A safari holiday can be a once in a lifetime experience, providing lasting memories and unforgettable experiences. We can’t wait to book ours!

Have you been on a safari holiday or would you like to go on one? I would love to hear in the comments below!

*Collaborative post

Exceptional wines from Independent wine

This month we were delighted to discover the online boutique wine store Independent Wine. Independent Wine features an exciting array of hand-picked Italian wines which have been carefully selected to ensure they sell only the very best. The team actually travel to Italy to thoroughly inspect each winery, vineyard and wine. How's that for a recommendation! You can read my previous post here.

Independent wine logo

After discovering a beautiful and rich red wine last week, I was keen to see what white wines were on offer. Browsing the wines couldn't be easier. You can select to explore either the red, white or sparkling wines and can then refine your search even further by selecting a specific grape, for example Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay. Once you've found one that takes your fancy, you can then read their extensive description about it which includes tasting notes, geographical location, the wine maker, style and grape as well as the year of production. 

It was fascinating to read about the different white wines on offer and one of these is the exciting and delicious 006 Chardonnay 2017 Patagonia Argentina. This is a light and dainty wine with hints of lemon, limes and peaches. The description of the wine enabled me to learn that the grape for the wine comes from the north bank of the Rio Negro, one of only a few vineyards in Argentina. I was also able to view the recommended food pairings and being a vegetarian, I also wasn't forgotten. I learnt that the wine has also won an award; 91/100 James Suckling (2015 Vintage). This is a delicate and fruity wine. It makes me think of warm, summer evenings.

Chardonnay

It was wonderful to discover another wine through Independent Wine. I must admit that when I shop for wine in the supermarket, I tend to just take a chance on a bottle rather than selecting one with any real knowledge of what to expect. Independent Wine, takes the hard work away , making it quick and easy to select a real gem (and I'm quite confident that they only stock gems!) 

To explore the wines and find out more, just click here



*Collaborative Post


Sunday, 5 July 2020

Personalised Gifts market: Review and Giveaway!

A personalised item always adds a little something extra to any gift. They are the perfect way to let that special someone know that you are thinking of them as well as presenting them with a truly individualised gift. And so when Personalised Gifts Market got in touch to see if I would like to explore the unique items they have on offer, I couldn't wait to take a look around! 

Personalised Gifts Market stock a wide array of gifts that can all be personalised, enabling you to easily find that perfect gift or treat for yourself! Their vast range includes clothing, children's items, home items, craft products and much, much more. Each item can personalised; this could be with a name, message or photograph for example, enabling you to create a truly special keepsake that will be cherished by the recipient. 

I was kindly gifted a personalised chopping/ serving board from Personalised Gifts Market and I am so impressed with the quality, style and functionality of it. It is made from solid acacia wood and features a charming design displaying an engraved wine glass, bowl of food and cutlery. I opted to personalise mine with 'Mummy's Kitchen' which was a lovely touch and makes a great feature in my kitchen. I particularly like the unique handwriting style font on it.

chopping board

The board is large at 34 x 22 x 2cm and is also really sturdy which is just what is required when using for chopping up fruit and vegetables. It can also function as a serving board, perfectly complimenting an array of different cheeses or sharing platters. 

If you are looking for a unique, quality gift for someone, why not check out the fab range on offer at Personalised Gifts Market? To explore the range just click here

To win a personalised chopping board worth £39.99 just like the one above and complete with your own choice of personalisation, just enter the competition below!

Good luck! 




Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted the item in exchange for an honest review 

Quality wines from Independent Wine

A quality bottle of wine makes a wonderful gift or treat to yourself but when it comes to selecting a decent bottle, it can often seem a little overwhelming. If picking one up from a supermarket for example, there are dozens to choose from and it's not always apparent which ones are high quality as opposed to the more generic bottles.


Luckily Independent Wine, an online boutique wine store, takes all of the hard work away! Their online catalogue features hand-picked Italian premium wines guaranteed to hit the spot. Each bottle has been carefully selected to provide you with exceptional quality. The team actually travels to Italy to thoroughly inspect each winery, vineyard and wine to ensure they are recommending and selling only the very best! They also deliver the very next day so there is no waiting around for that perfect bottle! 

The website ensures that you are supported in selecting the right wine, from their online guides to their extensive descriptions of each individual bottle. I was fascinated to read their article entitled The Ultimate Guide to the Best Italian Wine which highlights the regions that the different Italian wines come from. I was surprised to learn that there are up to 2000 unique grapes grown across the country!

The website is easy to navigate, enabling you to browse their white, sparkling and red wines. Once you have found one you like the look of, the site then provides you with a thorough description of the wine including the taste notes, geographical indication, wine maker, style, grape and year of production, for example. 

I was delighted to discover the Robel del Convento, a beautifully rich wine with aromas of strawberry, red berry, vanilla and aromatic herbs. The extensive description of the wine on the site enabled me to learn that it had been created at the Convento San Franscico winery. I was also provided with a description of the production process! The website even suggests the ideal food pairings for this wine and even vegetarian and vegan diets are included! 

This wine is absolutely delicious and is clearly of the highest quality. It's clear to see why it has won two awards; 91/100 JamesSuckling.com (2015 vintage) and 88 Wine Spectator (2011 vintage).

I've been so impressed by the process of selecting wines from Independent Wine. It will certainly be my go-to place for purchasing premium, high quality wines from now on! 

*Collaborative Post
Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Exciting country fashion with Rydale

The last few months haven't been easy for anyone but one blessing for many people has been the option to still go out for a daily walk if desired. I'm now just under 37 weeks pregnant and so whilst I might not be able to walk very far at the moment, a stroll a day is just what the doctor ordered. With two lively boys who love getting muddy and jumping in puddles, rain coats and wellies are must! Unfortunately my last pair of wellies had a hole in the bottom so I often ended up with a wet sock! And so when Rydale got in touch to see if I would like to try a product from their range I was delighted! 

Rydale stock a vast array of country fashion products for men, women and children. Their prices are affordable without compromising on quality, style or comfort. I opted to review a pair of the Ladies Lisset Insulated Neoprene Lined Wellington Boots, perfect for all those muddy walks with my little boys! 

Rydale, wellies

The boots are of the highest quality and are designed to keep your feet dry and warm. They have a thermal neoprene lining to keep your feet and legs cosy. They have a solid and sturdy tread and thick heel to help you keep your grip on uneven or slippery ground. The boots also have a buckle strap at the top to provide a snug fit around your calves.

I am really impressed by these boots. They help keep my feet dry during even the wettest walks. I particularly like the cushioned feel of them which helps to keep my feet warm and comfortable, so much so that thick socks don't seem necessary although during the winter months this will obviously add an extra layer of warmth. 

These wellies are available in a classic olive colour but Rydale also have a selection of wellies in a range of different colours and styles. 

I will definitely be ordering from Rydale again in the future. The customer service is great and the delivery is fast so I have no hesitation in recommending them. 

To find out more and explore the range, just click here.

Disclaimer: We were kindly sent the wellies in exchange for an honest review.
Friday, 19 June 2020

Gifts for new mums and babies

Bringing a little one into the world is a truly special time and a wonderful excuse for a celebration! If you're looking for that perfect gift to treat a new mum, mum- to- be or baby with then look no further than with my selection of unique, inspiring and beautiful gifts! 

Aska Maternity Movement Bracelet
Not only are these bracelets beautiful but they also have a very important function. They can be used to help you track your baby's movements and determine if there has been a change in the pattern or frequency of your baby's kicks. Any changes can then be reported to your midwife or local maternity unit. Once baby has arrived you can use the bracelet to help you remember which side you last breastfed from (just swap the bracelet to the corresponding wrist). These bracelets are made up of precious gemstones in three different designs, with a beautiful white freshwater pearl and sterling silver or gold plated sterling silver charm which can also be personalised. Both a stunning and practical gift, this will be a wonderful keepsake for her to treasure forever. Find out more and explore the range here.

Aska Bracelet

Petit Jovial
Bumps and babies should be treated with the utmost care which is why Petit Jovial skincare products are perfect for any mum-to-be, new mum and baby (and of course for the other precious members of your family!) Each product is 100% vegan and natural, containing no nasty or hidden chemicals. They contain no palm oil derived products and the company also donates towards Orangutan conservation products in Indonesia! The range consists of Body & Scalp Massage Oil, Nourishing Balm and Nourishing Bath Oil. The products smell simply divine and are wonderfully luxurious; what a treat! Find out more here

Petit Jovial

Bickie Pegs Peggie the Penguin®
This award-winning teether from the company behind Bickie Pegs Natural Teething Biscuits has been designed to stimulate touch, vision and oral development in babies. The cute design helps babies to reach both the front and back gum areas in the mouth so they can find that much needed relief from teething discomfort. It is freezer, dishwasher and steamer friendly and even features a handy safety clip and ribbon. This will surely become a firm favourite of baby's, offering both comfort and stimulation, which as every busy mum knows, is worth it's weight in gold! Find out more here

Peggie the Penguin

Vital Baby Microwave Sterilising Bags
Why not give the gift of convenience to the new mum with these incredibly handy microwave sterilising bags? They enable you to sterilise baby's bottles, teats, dummies, bowls, cups and spoons with ease by just placing them in the bag, adding a small amount of water and then microwaving for three minutes. They are ideal for use when out and about, on holiday or if you need a quick and easy solution at home. Each bag can be used up to 30 times. What a useful product! Find yours here.

vital baby sterilising bags
SnoozeShade
SnoozeShade is an ingenious invention designed to help babies sleep on the go as well as protecting them from the sun's harmful UV rays. Not only is it recommended by sleep consultants worldwide, but it has also won over 70 different awards! A SnoozeShade can be purchased for baby's carseat, pram, buggy and travel cot. The unique mesh fabric means that air circulates freely meaning your baby will remain in a well ventilated environment. A product that has safety at the forefront and also promotes sleep; it will surely be every parents best friend! Find out more here

Snoozeshade



Lamaze Toys
Lamaze Toys by TOMY have been carefully designed to encourage your baby to learn through play. They have been created in conjunction with child development experts, resulting in exiting and stimulating toys that support your baby's development. They are brightly coloured and feature a range of different sensory stimuli making them a favourite of babies, parents and experts! Explore the range and find out more here!

Freddie the Firefly, Lamaze

Lamaze book

Nurturally Hands Free Pumping Bra
When it comes to expressing milk for your baby, the process is often time-consuming, fiddly and leaves you little free time (or hands!) for anything else. The Nurturally Hands Free Pumping Bra is truly innovative. It has a sports bra design and sling bottle holding system enabling mums to maintain an efficient pump to breast connection. It comes with a clear pump bag so you can even use the pump whilst moving around!. It has been designed to prevent leakage of breast milk as the bottles become heavier, maintaining the efficient connection at all times. The clever design can be adjusted so it can fit sizes S to XXL. It's wonderfully soft, comfortable and stylish and what's more, it's packaged beautifully, making this a perfect gift for any new mum. Find out more here!
Nurturally Pumping bra



Disclaimer: we were kindly sent some of the items in this post in exchange for an honest review

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Week 56478(?) of homeschooling. How's it going?

The thought that we are only potentially half way (half way!!!) through homeschooling has filled me with a strange dread. Like so many people, I'm not cut out for it. I'm not a teacher. I'm not made for educating small people. I'm not even sure I completely understand everything I'm being asked to teach (I'm looking at you Shakespeare's The Tempest). I'm trying but I'm fully aware I'm just muddling my way along. Waking at 7am with the whole day stretched out ahead and very few ideas of home to fill it, is quite frankly pretty daunting. And yes I know I'm lucky to be at home and to have this time with the boys and whilst there have been lovely family times over the last few months, I'm not sure I can add homeschooling to the happy lockdown memory bank. It's safe to say everyone is finding lockdown difficult. Whether you are working, not working, shielding, at home with the kids 24/7 or alone 24/7, it isn't the norm and that's going to take it's toll.  And I say this as someone that is a complete homebird and also used to fantasise I was in a zombie apocalypse whenever I happened upon a quiet street. 

This week the news that most primary aged children won't be returning before September was announced and while I'm not entirely surprised nor was I sure that mine would definitely be returning, it still left me feeling a bit flat. So whereas pubs and non-essential shops can reopen, schools will remain shut to most children. I know we need to control the virus and very importantly protect vulnerable and at-risk people and so I don't have the answers for what the 'right' thing to do is. 

I don't work in education so don't feel qualified to provide an opinion on how or even if schools should open but I can say that (completely taking my homeschooling feelings out the picture) my kids are missing other children and the structure of school and the thought of them not returning to this for some time yet is sad. I consider this a happy home and it's heartbreaking that there are many children out there who don't have home as a safe place.

I guess, a lot can change in a short space of time so, as was the advice at the start of lockdown, we can only take it one day at a time. Keep social distancing and keep rolling (just don't roll 60 miles with your kids in the car to test your eyesight). 

school

Monday, 1 June 2020

Keeping your customers close, from a distance

Whilst the pandemic we have been living through slowly rights itself, businesses across the globe are forced to adapt their business to maintain the physical gap between themselves and their customers.

Until the time comes for businesses to literally open their doors again, then it is best to focus your energy into maintaining the custom that your business is still receiving. So, let’s evaluate the solutions which are going to help businesses to glide through these turbulent times.

Make your customer comfortable
Communicating with your customers online can sometimes feel like you’re speaking a different language. Does it feel like your audience doesn’t completely understand what you’re trying to tell them? This might because the jargon you’re using is not something they’re familiar with.

Remember that your consumer doesn’t work in your industry so if you’re using complex or industry-focussed words then you might encounter some communication difficulties. Using universal language is the best approach so that new and returning customers can read your website and do not feel intimidated to reach out and ask for further explanation once they have had their first browse of your website. 


Give your customer a reason to stay
The theory of business is that there is a product on the market which a percentage of consumers will need or want. Unfortunately, at this present time we always give our customer the full experience of our product in stores, so how are we going to show them how great our product is and make it accessible without a store?

Use your website to inform, trade and communicate to your consumers. You don’t even need a new website to start selling online, you can simply add a shopping cart feature and alternative payment method software (PayPal, credit/debit card) and you’re ready to start trading online - your consumers are going to love that you are so accessible!

Ensure you have the necessary security set up on your website as your website will be storing a lot of personal data.

Crucial consistency
If you’ve ever been left on read or had a phone call unreturned then you know how frustrating it is when you can’t get in touch with someone from whom you desperately require an answer to a question.

The impact of leaving your social media messages or company emails from potential clients unreturned can be detrimental to your business. So, let’s solve the issue of “not enough time” once and for all. The only answer here is to make time but not too much time. Responding to your clients doesn’t mean being logged in round the clock but scheduling specific hours of the day or days or the week where you respond to clients.

Scheduling your time to communicate with clients helps to keep the scales balanced. Alternatively, a digital marketing agency will manage your website and social media content for you. 


Keep talking
Getting handful of return customers online is an amazing feeling, but it cannot be relied upon as the source of all your successful trade. Whatever you do, don’t stop promoting your website verbally, physically and using your social media such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

On the other hand, if you have been thinking nothing else but ‘where will I find the time?’ since you started reading this, then the best option is to hire a digital marketing agency. If you’re new to the online world of marketing and sales or just want to improve your performance, then a helping hand from a team of industry experts is jut what you need.

Stockport web design companies have the software and knowledge to make your industry an online success not just now, but for years to come. Making a lasting impression is part of this success and with responsive web design and social media graphic design your business is going to attract a ton of new customers, meaning that your business and your website are always busy.

As the world slowly resolves itself, lets put our best business foot forward, into the online world and onto great success and customer satisfaction. 

*Collaborative Post

BRING THE OUTDOORS INDOORS WITH THE HOME IS GOOD HUB FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS *GIVEAWAY*

We have teamed up with the fantastic National Geographic Kids to tell you about their great new FREE resource - the Home is Good hub.  Available on the National Geographic Kids website, the free online portal is packed full of exciting activities for families and is perfect for lockdown and beyond and offers children the opportunity to explore the world around them from the comfort of their own home.  Activities include daily craft challenges, inspiring environment challenges, quizzes, games, cool videos and the chance to discover more about animals. 


The Home is Good hub has been designed to stimulate curiosity and provide immersive experiences that make any kid feel like an explorer whether they are inside or outside.

To celebrate the Home is Good hub we have teamed up with National Geographic Kids to offer you the chance to win an annual subscription to the monthly magazine – which will be delivered straight to your door.  Nat Geo Kids immerses children in exciting, inspiring and real experiences that ignite their curiosity about the world. 




To win just enter below! Good luck! The winner will be chosen at random and notified on 30th June. good luck! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sunday, 31 May 2020

keep connected during lockdown

Life has certainly changed significantly in the last few months. At the start of the year, we simply couldn't have comprehended just how drastically our day to day lives would be altered. Simple activities like a trip to the shops, a coffee with a friend or walk in the park have all been put on hold for the time being. Staying connected (albeit virtually) with our friends and family has been vital, not only for keeping in touch and up to date with each others' lives, but also crucial for our wellbeing. Luckily we live in an age where keeping connected is easy and instantaneous. There are also many ways to virtually stay in touch during this time as will be explored below. 

phone

Virtual meetings 
Hands up, who had even heard of Zoom before lockdown? Now it seems that it a part of everyday life. Zoom is a video conferencing platform that enables you to meet your friends / family or work colleagues virtually. You can see and interact with each member of the team. I've just had a virtual baby shower using Zoom! 

Video calling
Many phones will enable you to video call another person or you can download an app such as WhatsApp which also offers this feature. It's a great way to enhance a normal phone call if your missing seeing each other. 

Virtual activities
There are many options to engage in activities virtually. At the start of lockdown I took part in a few online pregnancy yoga sessions. For these I opted to turn the webcam off so whereas I could see the yoga instructor and hear her instructions, I was able to stretch and pose in the privacy of my own home which made the session even more relaxing. My husband regularly attends a virtual pub quiz which has been a great way for him to keep in touch with his friends. There are so many activities available from virtual escape rooms to virtual wine tasting all enabling you to keep in touch with loved ones whilst also having fun. 

Meet new people
We can't socialize out and about during this time but this doesn't mean we can't still meet new people. For those looking for companionship and even romance virtual speed dating is an ideal option. Dateinadash is a stylish speed dating and events service. It hosts speed dating events and singles parties to enable people to meet each other! Speed dating London is popular, fast-paced and fun. Dateinadash are currently offering virtual speed dating where you can meet others in the comfort of your own home!

Online gaming
If you fancy staying connected but also want to unwind, relax and lose yourself for an hour or two, online gaming with friends is an ideal option. You could consider online adventure games, board games, word games or quizzes to name just a few. The options are endless! 

wine, laptop, gaming


How have you been staying in touch with friends and family during lockdown? Have you tried any new activities? I'd love to hear more in the comments below. 

*Collaborative Post