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. 


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


Friday, 29 May 2020

The benefits of solid wood flooring in your home

There are many benefits to having solid wood flooring in your family home. Not only is solid wood flooring a stylish and fashionable option but it is also a practical and long lasting. 

solid wood flooring

When it comes to choosing the right kind of flooring for your home, a solid wood floor can be an ideal option. Solid wood floors are easier to clean then carpets and require just a simple brush and wipe to remove dirt with ease. Wooden flooring is also by far a more hygienic option than carpet which can be host to a whole range of parasites. Dirt and grime can build up in carpets which also results in them becoming discoloured. For families with young children or pets, an easy to clean floor is ideal. 

Long-lasting and cost effective
A good quality wooden flooring can last for decades and will need only minimal maintenance whereas you may have to replace your carpet every five to ten years. This means that solid wood flooring can be a cost effective solution for your home. Wooden flooring is also easy to treat if you get any scratches or wear and tear to it. It can be re-sanded with ease. It is generally thicker than engineered wood flooring so feels very sturdy underfoot.

A natural and stylish option
Solid wood flooring is cut from one piece of solid wood which is cut down to the required size. It offers a beautiful and natural flooring option for your home. It comes in a wide range of styles and finishes so you can choose one in keeping with the decor of your home. Solid wood flooring will maintain it's value and provide a real feature to your home. 

wooden flooring

Solid wood flooring can create a beautiful and timeless look in your home so whether you prefer a rustic and homely feel or a contemporary and modern look, a solid wood flooring will perfectly compliment your preferred style. 

*Collaborative Post
Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Mysteries in time subscription box: a review and giveaway!

Over the last few months as the country has been in lockdown and with schools closed, keeping our children occupied, stimulated and entertained has certainly been a priority for parents everywhere. It's fair to say that the novelty of homeschooling has well and truly worn off in our home and so when I have been able to capture the boys' attention in order to educate them, it's felt like a massive achievement. I've been looking for ways to keep them engaged with their learning but it hasn't always been easy and so when we were contacted by Mysteries In Time to see if we would like to review one of their subscription boxes, I absolutely jumped at the chance! 

This wonderful subscription box is aimed at children aged between 7 and 11 years and each month arrives as a time machine ready to transport them back in time for an exciting adventure! Children can join the two characters Max and Katie as they visit a period in history solving a mystery and learning fun facts! 

When the box arrived, it was instantly appealing to my little boy. It features a bold design which reminded me of Doctor Who's Tardis. The box can be decorated too which offers a further activity for little ones. I love how the box can be personalised with your child's name; after all who doesn't enjoy exciting post addressed to them?

subscription box
The box is absolutely jam packed with exciting contents including:
  • a fun story book
  • a colourful history booklet
  • activities and puzzles
  • a themed bookmark
  • three colouring pages
  • a timeline sticker
  • a sticker sheet

In the first box you will also receive a large world map and timeline! The bumper box also contains a craft activity inspired by history and a free gift!   

subscription box

Our box was themed around ancient history which was a perfect topic to capture my little boy's attention! We began by opening up the large world map, locating Eygpt and then placing our timeline sticker in the correct place. My little boy loves looking at the map and finding out where different countries are. He even took his map out on an adventure a few days ago although we didn't quite get as far as Eygpt! 


We then began to read the story before immersing ourselves in the history booklet. My little boy was particularly fascinated to read about Tutankhamun, Gods and Goddesses, pyramids and of course mummies and the rather gruesome mummification process! 

He then enjoyed some of the activities such as the wordsearch, spot the difference and the maze included in the booklet as well as writing words in Hieroglyphs! His little brother aged four enjoyed helping him with the colouring in. My boy was delighted with the pen gift too which he used to complete the activities. This makes a lovely keepsake.

We then had a go at the craft activity. making clay amulets! 

I have been so impressed with this subscription box. It has thoroughly entertained and educated my little boy and in this unprecedented time of home schooling, that's worth its weight in gold. I think it's amazing value for money; the classic box is from just £6.45 per month and the bumper box is from £11.45 per month. These prices include postage. You can select different length plans; 1, 3, 6 and 12 month plans with the option to cancel at any time! 

I highly recommend this subscription box. it's been so wonderful to see my little boy engaged and excitied about history and I even learnt lots of facts too! It's perfect for home schooling, as a birthday or Christmas gift or simply as a treat! 

To find out more and to order yours just click here

I'm delighted to be hosting a giveaway where you can win a three month bumper box subscription! Just enter below. Good luck! 

Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted the subscription box in exchange for an honest review. 
Tuesday, 26 May 2020

April 2020 Round Up

We've been on lockdown for 10 weeks (I think!) and I think it's fair to say no one is finding it easy. However you are getting through the weeks, I hope you're all well and keeping safe. Lets hope things start to ease for us all soon. 

So what's been going on with us recently? Well not a great deal but here is a little round up of the things we have been doing including what we have been reading and the products we have enjoyed!

I'm now in the third trimester of pregnancy. I've had a consultant appointment and scan, a glucose tolerance test and a midwife appointment since lockdown began so it doesn't appear that the antenatal care here has been affected too much. I've been getting heartburn a lot which I had with both the boys (maybe I'm expecting another hairy baby!). I've not been sleeping too well but I recently discovered Feather and Down Pillow spray and I swear it's making a difference to my sleep. It smells gorgeous!  

pillow spray

What we've loved

Munchy Seeds
We have recently discovered Munchy Seeds. They are a tasty snack available in a range of flavours. My eldest boy loves to sprinkle them on his porridge in the morning. They are full of vitamins, nutrients, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids so they make an ideal snack to keep energy levels up during home schooling!

Munchy seeds

Ten Acre snacks

I think we've all deserved some treats during lockdown and these have been some of my favourite. Ten Acre crisps and popcorn are so moreish. The hand cooked crisps are vegan friendly, gluten and dairy free and are seriously tasty. They are available in a range of different and exciting flavours. My boys absolutely love popcorn so they were delighted to try the Ten Acre Popcorn. Delicious! 


Easiyo yogurt maker
The boys and I love yogurt and so we always enjoy making some with our EasiYo Yogurt maker. It's a great activity to occupy the boys (and let's face it, anything to occupy the boys during lockdown is a godsend!) and makes the most delicious and creamy yogurt. The yogurt is suitable for vegetarians, is gluten free and contains no artificial ingredients or stabilisers. Plus it's a great source of calcium! 

Where have we been been?

Well due to the lockdown rules, we've been in the garden for most of it. We have never felt more grateful for a little bit of outdoor space. On one of our walks we discovered a field which has been great for the boys to run round in. They do have a lot of energy to burn!


What have we been reading? 

James and The Giant Peach- Roald Dahl
The boys have been enjoyed James and The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, We have been reading a couple of chapters in the evening. It's been great to reread this with them! 

roald dahl

The Hypnobirthing book- Katherine Graves
I have been reading hyponobirthing book in the hope of making the birth a little more managable! I will certainly be reporting back on this after little one is born! 

hypnobirthing book

What have you been up to? Are there any places, products, books, films or tv you have enjoyed during lockdown ? I'd love to hear more in the comments below!

Disclaimer: we were kindly gifted the Munchy seeds, Ten Acre Crisps and Roald Dahl book earlier this year. The EasiYo Yogurt maker was gifted last year but we were recently kindly sent a couple of yogurt sachets. All opnions remain my own.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Keep your valubles safe with tagosi

Is there anything more frustrating than misplacing your possessions? I'm sure the majority of people at one time or another have experienced the panic of losing their mobile phone, wallet or purse, even if it's only temporary. With little ones, a lost teddy or comforter can cause no end of upset. But did you know there's a way of ensuring that your lost possessions can be returned to you? 

Tagosi is an innovative way of protecting your belongings. When you join you are issued with a selection of products that can be attached to your valuables. Each one contains a unique QR code that the finder can scan in order to send you a message to inform you that they have found your item. They can also contact you through the website which is particularly useful if perhaps they are unaware or unable to scan the item. All communication is through an encryripted system so that your contact details as well as the finder's are not disclosed. They can also call you if you have selected this function when subscribing. 


What do you receive when joining? 
When you subscribe you will receive an assortment of items which can be attached to your belongings. This includes 15 tough stickers, 4 metal bag and luggage tags, 2 purse or wallet cards, 2 metal keyrings and 8 waterproof/washproof labels.  


How much does it cost? 
You can get the 31 item pack for just £25 per year and this includes a new selection of items each year. You can also order extra items if needed such as pet collar tags or printed mobile phone cases for example. You can also order items to help protect vulnerable loved ones who can easily become lost or disorientated. These include lanyards, badges, sew on patches and wristbands. There is no additional fee for these items, they are all included in your yearly subscription. How great is that! 

What are my thoughts? 
As a mum with two little boys that often become very attached to particular toys, it's really reassuring to know that there is a way to help avoid the upset that can come as a result of one of these toys becoming lost. For me personally, I'd be quite lost without my mobile phone as I need it for my businesses and it's also a way for the school to contact me if needed and so fitting it with a Tagosi sticker will certainly give peace of mind.

For more information visit Tagosi here

*Disclaimer: collaborative post
Tuesday, 12 May 2020

The perfect tights from love leggings: Review and Giveaway

Love Leggings is my favourite shop when it comes to leggings. I own a pair of the Focus Sports Leggings for yoga and I also have a selection of maternity leggings which are by far, the comfiest items in my wardrobe! But did you know that Love Leggings also stock a range of high quality tights? I was kindly sent some of the tights to try. As I'm now 30 weeks pregnant, I have reviewed their maternity tights. 

With my previous pregnancies I have owned a couple of pairs of tights and if memory serves, they weren't always the most comfortable things to wear. I remember with one pair that the waistband was quite tight around my bump which left a mark and another pair had an excess of material for the bump which didn't quite offer the required fit and support. The tights from Love Leggings have an anti pressure belt and added back support so they fit perfectly. I sometimes find that if I don't have anything to support my bump I find it becomes a bit achy and these tights definitely helped prevent that feeling. 

maternity tights

I was kindly sent two pairs of tights, the black maternity tights and the nude maternity tights. They feel very soft and are designed to be long lasting and durable. They haven't laddered or snagged which is always a plus and they certainly feel and look like high quality tights. 

maternity tights

There are a range of of tights on offer from Love Leggings, not just the maternity ones and these are available in a range of different shades from every day colours to more unique and bold colours. They have tights in a range of different thicknesses too so you can dress in style for every season!

I loved testing the maternity tights from Love Leggings. You can explore the range here

For your chance to win tights from Love Leggings, just enter my competition below! 

Win Tights from Love Leggings!

Disclaimer: we were kindly sent some tights to review in exchange for an honest review.

Keeping Active with Wicked Vision toys!

We've all been on lockdown for approximately 7 weeks now and during this time it has been important to keep active, whether that has been a daily walk, run, by using a fitness DVD or by partaking in a YouTube class. With two very energetic little boys at home I've been keen to encourage them to move about to burn off some of that excess energy but often this encouragement can be met with reluctance. Also, as I am currently in the last trimester of pregnancy and feeling rather tired and heavy, keeping the boys active has certainly had its challenges. So when Wicked Vision got in touch to see if we would like to review some of their range of toys perfect for keeping kids active, we jumped at the chance!

Wicked Vision are a fun toy company who specialise in keeping kids (and adults!) active with their skill sports toys. We were kindly sent some indoor/outdoor toys to review including UKick, Indoor Booma Boomerang and a Mega Jump Rope! 

Wicked Vision Toys

Mega Jump Single Jump Rope
What could be better for burning off lots of energy than jumping with a jump rope. I remember doing this at school (a long time ago!) and I loved it! The Mega Jump Rope has high quality ball-bearing axles to ensure a smooth spin so it's a delight to use. You can adjust the length by twisting off the cap, removing the clip and cutting to size. My eldest boy loved practicing and it took a lot of concentration for him to not get tangled in the rope which was a great activity to occupy him. 

Jump rope

This fabulous toy merges elements of badminton and the popular skill of 'keepy-Uppy'. The aim is to prevent UKick from touching the ground for as long as possible by using  hands and feet. There are weights on it which can be added or removed; the more weights you add, the higher UKick will bounce. This was certainly lots of fun and my boys loved running round the garden after it! 



Indoor Booma Boomerang
The Indoor Booma Boomerang is soft and lightweight. It is made out of special 'memorang' foam which can be tuned so it can take different flight paths. The boys were very excited when the boomerang flew back to them which they enjoyed practicing over and over. The lightweight design meant it didn't matter if it accidentally flew into heads or the TV!  

We've had lots of fun testing the toys. They have brought lots of fun and laughter to the boys and have also encouraged them to keep active! Explore the range here.

Disclaimer: we were kindly sent the above toys in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 1 May 2020

The joy of reading with books2door!

We love reading! There's really nothing better than completely immersing yourself in a good book. It's no secret that I consider myself a bit of an introvert and so for me, reading is the ultimate escapism; a way for me to be both alone yet still in company. During this unusual time as we all stay indoors, what could be more important than allowing yourself a little bit of escapism? Books can take you anywhere, They can transport you back in time or launch you into the future and they can introduce you to a world of different characters.

I've been keen to encourage my children to keep reading during this time. Usually the boys would have their pick of books from the school library and we would also often visit the town library too. Obviously these are not currently available to visit so when Books2Door got in touch to see if we would like to review their book delivery service we absolutely jumped at the chance! 

Books2door have a wide selection of books that children will love and all at affordable prices too. They have the latest must-haves along with treasured classics so you can be sure to find something for your little bookworm (or reluctant reader!). The site is really easy to navigate. You can explore books by recommended age or price for example and you can also select a particular author or series of books. 

We decided to order the Roald Dahl Collection of 15 books which contains a selection of his most loved stories. It's presented in a wonderful card sleeve and each book contains the famous illustrations by Quentin Blake. My little boys were absolutely delighted and we made a start straight away on 'James and the Giant Peach'! This set will keep them entertained during lockdown and I know they will be treasured by them for many years.

The books arrived within a few days and were packaged well. Delivery starts at just £2.49 with orders over £30 receiving free shipping. They also offer a great customer service and can be contacted by phone or email. 

I'm so glad we discovered Books2Door. We will definitely be using them again!

You can explore the range here!

*Disclaimer: we were kindly gifted this set of books in exchange for an honest review

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

The benefits of a vegan diet

More and more people are making the step towards embracing a vegan diet and lifestyle. There are many wonderful benefits of this decision, just ask any vegan! I am currently vegetarian and have been for years but in recent months I've been hearing more and more about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle and I would love to make this change. 

So what benefits are there to a vegan diet? 

Health benefits
Eating a plant based diet is one of the healthiest ways to live. Eating a mix of whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes along with a mix of fruit and vegetables means you will get a wide mix of vitamins and minerals, fibre and phytochemicals. A plant based diet means that you have less risk of mortality from conditions such as diabeties, heart disease, hypertension, stroke and obesity for example. Vegan diets can be healthy for individuals of any age but it's important to ensure you are eating the 'correct' foods to ensure you don't become deficient in any specific nutrients. Vegan tests are a great way to see if you're experiencing any unwanted side effects from a meat and dairy diet. This can help you to see the benefit of a vegan diet to your health and well-being. For those that are already following a vegan diet, these testing services can also determine whether your diet is unbalanced. For 15% off a test from just click here.

Animal welfare
It's easy to turn a blind eye to some of the practices that exist in food farming. For factory farming, the focus is on production and profit and this at the expense of the animals. Smaller companies attempting to practice fairer, more humane styles of farming are often unsuccessful because factory farming offers the most competitive prices. Reading about these industries can be distressing and one way to make a stand against this is to follow a vegan diet. We no longer need to rely on animals for our food and clothes so many will argue that it's unethical to put our desires for animal products above the well being of the animal. 

Benefits for the planet
Meat and dairy farms are harmful to the planet. Firstly, many of the crops grown are used to feed the animals. If everyone stopped eating meat then global farmland use would be significantly reduced. As the population grows, more and more farmland is needed resulting in deforestation. The use of farms contributes significantly to the air pollution and puts a strain on the earth's natural resources. What's more, it is estimated that 14% of the world's population is undernourished whilst a large proportion of land and crops are used to produce animal products and some see this as a waste. A vegan diet is certainly more eco-friendly.

Do you follow a vegan diet or is this something you would consider? I'd love to hear more in the comments below.

*Collaborative Post

Unique and Essential Items for Pregnancy

This week I'm 18 weeks pregnant. The time is certainly flying by! Over the past few months I've been exploring some unique items for use during pregnancy which I will share below. I've also started to plan what will be in my hospital bag! 

For use in pregnancy...

Blueiron Liquid Iron
Pregnancy and breastfeeding can result in women becoming low in iron. Iron is essential for baby's cognitive brain development and as pregnancy progresses and blood volume increases, woman's bodies need more iron. Blueiron has been specially formulated for pregnant women. It is gentle on the stomach and doesn't contain an array of other vitamins meaning it can be taken alongside daily pregnancy supplements. For more information just click here!

As you may have discovered, pregnancy can put a little strain on your bladder meaning you may be prone to a few leaks. With Modibodi absorbent underwear you can go about your day in confidence, knowing their leak-proof, absorbent and comfortable undies will have your back! They can be washed, dried and reused meaning the are much more environmentally friendly that disposable products. Find out more and explore the range here.
Colief Mum to Be Cream 
To help prevent the appearance of stretch marks and to keep skin soft, supple and itch free, a good quality moisturising cream is one of my must-haves during pregnancy. I love this one from Colief. It nourishes and rehydrates skin and is enriched with plant extracts and vitamins. This one is fragrance-free, perfect for those ultra-sensitive pregnancy noses! Available at Amazon

Pregnancy can result in changes in your skin. My skin has started to be quite itchy over the last few months. Menthoderm is a Sodium Lauryl Sulphate free menthol in aqueous cream, perfect for cooling and soothing hot and itchy skin. It is available in three sizes and in three different strengths. Itching can be a sign of Obstetric Choleostatis so always let your GP or midwife know. For more information on Menthoderm, click here.


What's in my hospital bag...

Spritz For Bitz- My expert Midwife
For swelling and soreness of the vulva and perineum as a result of childbirth, this soothing spray will offer relief and comfort. It includes lavender to soothe and tea tree oil for its antibacterial properties as well as witch hazel to promote healing. Explore the range from My Expert Midwife here

Water wipes
I used these for my second born and they were one of our favourite products. They are so gentle, containing 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract and can be used on newborn skin reducing the need for fiddly cotton wool and water. These will certainly be in my hospital bag! Find out more here

Multi-Gyn Compresses
These are handy compresses for use during pregnancy or after childbirth. They can be used for discomforts including overstretched skin, injured skin or hemorrhoids for example, providing relief and supporting the natural healing process. The little sachets are perfect for popping in a hospital bag. Find them here
Multi-Mam Compresses 
Also from the Multi range is the Multi-Mam Compresses which work as an intensive nipple treatment for breastfeeding mums. They have a direct soothing effect on sore nipples, reducing swelling and preventing infection. I wish I had known about these with my first two babies. These will definitely be in my hospital bag! Find yours here.
Natural Birthing Company
I just love the range from Natural Birthing Company. Their products are designed and developed by midwives, aromatherapists and chemists so you can be confident that the products are carefully tailored for use during pregnancy and for after the birth of your little one. They contain naturally derived ingredients and help to relieve common pregnancy and postpartum symptoms. The Sleepy Mamma Relaxing Pillow Mist has been brilliant for helping me unwind and fall asleep at the end of a long day. I also love the Best washes uplifting body wash which has a delicate scent, perfect for those super-sensitive pregnancy noses! Explore the range here!

Palmer's Stretch Mark Range
This range is perfect for improving skin elasticity and improving the appearance of stretch marks. The range includes Tummy Butter, Massage Cream and Massage Lotion and it smells divine! The products are enriched with pure Cocoa butter, Shea butter, Essential oils, Collagen, Elastin and Lutein which will leave your skin soft, smooth and supple. Explore the range here


Stay tuned for more pregnancy updates soon! For unique and essential ideas for newborns click here!

Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted some of the items in this post. I was sent a sample of water wipes a few years ago!