Friday, 2 March 2018

My new found love......

I have to admit that at the ripe age of 36 years I have never really had a skin care routine (shocking I know)  Taking my make up off after a big night out is usually the most attention it gets.

Since a friend of mine started doing The Body Shop at Home, I have rediscovered a love for the products having first used them over 20 years ago. With different needs for my skin now I am determined to get this skin looking better than ever.

Admittedly I am not a huge fan of face scrubs and prefer to use cotton pads and a liquid to clean and moisturise my skin, however when I saw so many recommendations for The Body Shop Liquid Peel, I was intrigued to give it a try.

I used my usual cleanser beforehand then just two pumps of the Drops of Youth Liquid Peel placed on my face and lightly massaged in and you could feel the dirt coming away. To finish I then soaked some cotton pads in warm water to remove the residue before applying a moisturiser and my skin felt fantastic.

Despite not being a rough, scrub like product, this is not a product that you would use daily however,  more of a way to develop a weekly pamper routine and give your skin a boost.

Initially I was surprised that the product was £18 it seemed a little steep especially for someone like me that doesn't really look after their skin, however now I know why. This product will just last and last.

In the last year or two I have become more aware of lines appearing on my face and Drops of Youth is the product that aims to help with signs of anti ageing.

There are three ranges that you can find the liquid peel, Drops of Youth, Drops of Light and Vitamin C.

I have been that impressed with the Drops of Youth that I have also purchased the Drops of Light to help boost dull skin that comes with having many sleepless nights!

You can find this product online or instore or via a local Body Shop at Home representative.
RRP £18

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Soothing those cracked lips in one hit.

A friend of mine recently started to do the Body Shop at Home, having used the products for years I know that they offer quality but it must be at least 8 years before I have truly been to the shop and browsed the range of products....shocking!

With her group on Facebook it has become so much easier to look at the products and see them recommended from friends, so this month I placed my first order and looked forward to my products arriving just a few days later!

One of the products I ordered was the hemp lip balm. With this cold weather my lips have really been suffering and also the two kids have been complaining as well.

So what is so good about Hemp Heavy Duty Lip Care?
Containing an emollient it is very good for the lips as it helps with chaffing and splitting skin. It helps to maintain moisture without feeling overloaded, something that I find The Body Shop are very good at with all of their products.

From the first use my lips instantly felt softer, I didn't feel that there was a real fragrance or taste to the product and could feel it tingle after the application.

If you take a look on The Body Shop page for this product it has a very high rating of 5 out of 5 and I can see why.
I have used many products to try and help soothe my sore lips and yet they still remained split and heavily chapped, this little beauty however added a great deal of moisture and is now my go to for lip care.

RRP £4.50

Monday, 29 January 2018

The terrible two's have arrived!

So my daughter turned 2 on Monday and it ha been non stop since then. She has developed a distinct like for not only whingeing for what seems like 24/7 but she is also very keen on throwing things at her Big Brother, pair this with a mum that is surviving on about 3-4 hours sleep a night and is currently full of cold and you can imagine that things are pretty demanding!

Last night we turned a point where we just couldn't do anything, our son is now 7 years old so it's been a while since we were in this scenario and forgot just how tough it can be, that said we are putting in place measures to help and this was last night's measure by my hubby when he couldn't even put a pizza in the oven!

As I sit here now with my living room upside down, birthday cards aimlessly being tossed on the floor to join the toy littering the entire carpet the travel cot is still up and being rocked back and forth, for me this is a measure that just won't work so it's the good old fashioned distraction technique to try and get her to help clear up some of this mess before the hubby gets in to a trashed house!

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Ain't no Party like a Princess Party

When it comes to hosting parties, I will be the first to admit that I tend to steer away from them as I end up running around like a mad woman no matter how much planning and preparation I put into it, today was no different.

Trying to find a day and time where most of your children's friends are free is becoming increasingly difficult and waiting on replies is something all too common when hosting a party, hence I would now with my son at the age of 7, pay for him to have a few friends go out for the day or have them around for a party tea. We now have a daughter Zara, she turned 2 on Monday and with us being away the week before we delayed a little party until today.

As always there are last minute cancellations and hiccups but it had no effect on the day as my daughter and her friends had a wonderful time and the boys, despite it being Princess themed joined in with 'Pass the Parcel'.

Fortunately to alleviate the stress levels the cake and party decorations were taken care of courtesy of

I had always been aware of the Baking Mad website when looking for recipes previously and come across some pretty amazing creations but always believed them to be beyond my ability and that is the beauty of this kit. Everything you need is in one little box (albeit fresh ingredients) so there is no need to panic about not having enough ingredients.

The Party Cake Kits from Baking Mad contain high quality ingredients to ensure that you bake a delicious cake and the recipe and instruction booklet is very easy to follow.

Beautifully packaged the ingredients were  contained in tissue paper within a high quality box  that was hand tied with ribbon.

Contained within my Princess Party Kit was the following;

Allison Self Raising Flour (1kg)
Silver Spoon Icing Sugar (500g)
Billington's Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar (500g)
Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract (60ml)
Pink Cake Decorating Sugar Paste (1kg)
Edible Silver Pearls (25g)
Tiara Cake Topper
Tiara Cupcake Toppers (pack of 10)
Silver Foil Cupcake Cases (pack of 45)
Cake Board
Recipe and Instruction Booklet

The kits normally retail for £44.99 but there is currently 25% off making them £33.74.

I am by no means a good baker but often enjoy baking with my son and he loves getting involved.

The kit however does not include the baking tins, 3 are required to bake this cake, I only had two so found myself baking in two batches.

I would love to see an 'Additional items required' section on the website before purchase to ensure that you have everything to hand as it's a 20cm tin that you need to replicate this recipe and to enable you to buy them before the actual package arrives so you can literally start baking from the moment it is delivered.

To make the pattern on the cake we used a lid from a spice jar, it was actually difficult to source the correct shape to do and would like to see this included in the kit.

The party was enjoyed by the parents and children alike and they were very complimentary about the cake in both the appearance and taste test. The cake was perfect for slicing and great for adding into the party bags.

Admittedly it may look like a huge layout for a cake but the convenience of having all your party essentials at the click of a button, even if you just need to bake a cake for an event is a great idea and so very convenient.

Certainly the way forward for mum's who need ingredients in one place and quick!

I was sent the Princess Party Cake Kit from Baking Mad to review. My opinions are however my own.

Monday, 16 October 2017

When you just can't get to sleep.....

My son loves reading he is 6 years old and a pretty confident reader, I have always encouraged reading from a young age and love reading myself so as such we are fortunate enough to get through lots of books!

Hibernation Hotel is a story about Bear.

A Brown Bear that was already late for hibernation time but he just could not get to sleep. With an overcrowded, noisy, smelly cave he makes his way to a fancy hotel to get himself some comfort and peace and quiet.

With a wake up call scheduled for the 1st March he set about hibernating after he had enjoyed many of the things that staying in a hotel offers. Finally settling into bed he felt sleepy and as he is about to drift off to sleep other guests in the hotel have different ideas by hosting a party!

 Will Bear ever get to sleep?

This is a lovely story about all those reasons we find that we cannot settle and get to sleep and the illustrations are wonderful, my son loved the funny illustrations in the book and often made comments as we were reading on his interpretation of the illustrations.

When he had finished reading the book I asked him if he had enjoyed reading the book and he said it was really good. Alex is a huge fan of animals and he loves reading factual and fictional books that feature almost any kind of animal so this book was a huge hit with him.

He liked that the font was larger in the book and said it made it easier to read and more enjoyable to read alone. 

It was lovely to see him read the book alone, taking in the comical illustrations and commenting as he read the text on what he thought of the illustrations on each page including when Bear drank water from the toilet bowl, Alex thought this was disgusting!

A lovely book for you to read to your child and also for a child to read to themselves. 

Hibernation Hotel written by John Kelly and illustrated by Laura Brenlla.
Published by Little Tiger Press 

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my opinion.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Role Play Toys - Leapfrog Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket

As a mum I have always remembered how when I was a child I enjoyed toys that involved an element of role play and with my son I struggled with this, he didn't enjoy his kitchen or playhouse both of which I enjoyed as a young child, so when my daughter came along I really thought about the types of toys that she would enjoy as a young child.

My daughter was born at the end of January so one of the gifts that she received was the Leapfrog Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket. Admittedly it was me that fell in love with it more, the bright colours and sounds I was sure it would be a hit.

One of the main things I like about the Leapfrog range of toys is that they use British Voices which I find really helpful when your child is at the age where they are just starting to learn to talk and it also has 2 volume levels.

There is a large, brightly coloured butterfly button to the front that when pressed plays up to 30 audio responses.

Having had this from the age of 12 months it has become a very popular toy with my daughter and now at 19months of age she really enjoys the role play aspect, setting up the picnic blanket and setting out the food before then pretending to eat and drink.

 This is a lovely gift for both boys and girls alike, as it helps them to recognise shapes and colours with the help of the audio button with the preset phrases.

As with all of the Leapfrog toys they are robust and with a toddler dropping them at height and banging them around they show absolutely no signs of wear.

A 14 piece picnic basket which contains a picnic blanket, 2 plates, 2 forks, 2 cups, 6 pieces of food and the picnic basket itself.

This review is based on my own opinion and experience of using the toy with my daughter and it was provided as a gift by a family member.

Recommended from the age of 6-36months.
Requires 3 x AA batteries

Monday, 14 August 2017

Ford Fiesta Titanium - Mummy's Review

Last month I discovered that my long lasting car, affectionately known to me as Freddie was no longer viable to repair and keep so the time had come to look for a new car, however with a tight budget and two young children I needed something that could match my 2005 Ford focus in size.

I had forever longed for a Ford Fiesta, yes, lots of other amazing cars out there but I have always had Fords, they have served me well, Freddy for example had been with me since the age of 3 so I was thrilled when my husband said he had found a White Fiesta for me to look at. I was so excited as it had been my preferred choice, fast forward 4 weeks and I find myself not with the White Fiesta we initially bought, but with a Silver Fiesta whilst my new red car was to be prepped. It is a very long story which I may go into at another time but for now this is a review on the car I had for 2 weeks.

As a mum of 2 young children, the car had to offer space so what better time to check it out than on a trip to the Zoo.
For a family of 4 the fiesta matched my needs, most of the time it is just me and my 2 children and as you can see they are more than happy in the back!

This is my honest review of the Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 2017.

As for the boot space, I bought a pram that was lightweight and collapsed small as I had managed with a large chassis with my son and wanted something to make life easier and as you can see it takes up half of the boot, and the pushchair unit sits comfortably on top with a small amount of space to spare.

Fitting the car seats to the rear, the car does have isofix but unfortunately my previous car didn't so I need to look at upgrading them as they are currently forward facing seats secured via the lap and diagonal belt.
To fit the seats safely I had to remove the rear head restraints or the seats would not fit correctly.

Ok, first off the main Fiesta range do all look similar and unless you are a bit of a Ford Geek like I am you can not really tell the Style from the Zetec or the Zetec from the Titanium, they are basically all similar apart from a change in alloy and the interior specifications.

The Titanium to me does look a little more edgy with the privacy glass in the rear of the car and tinted windscreen. Definitely a bonus when having children in the back as it does help shade the sun without the need for sun visors sticking onto the windows.

The Eco Boost 1.0L engine actually offers a higher bhp than my 1.5tdci although I found it struggled a little at time and didn't appear to be as quick off the mark as my diesel, however my husband said the facts state otherwise and I will agree to be proved wrong.

The car claims to be pretty fuel efficient offering 65mpg, now my husband had the pleasure of driving this car twice once it exchanged hands and well, he doesn't drive very economically compared with me who averages 27mph on the school runs and village drives that I tend to do. £15 of fuel provided just under half a tank of fuel and just under 150 miles, now 3 days later we have 90 miles left before refuelling.
I struggled to get it higher than 40mpg again quite a difference compared with my diesel that offers me around 64mpg as a comparison.

Inside the car it's pretty spacious and I found it not much smaller compared to my focus.
The titanium has an upgraded stereo with the Sony DAB system in place which I found an absolute nightmare to just get in the car and operate, one where you definitely need to read the manual before attempting to use it whilst driving and my husband agreed.

The bluetooth feature in the car is great for calling hands free or answering calls whilst driving if required.

I liked the novelty of the puddle lights on the wing mirrors illuminating your path as you get into the car as well as the illuminated footwell, something that comes in quite handy when you have two children and something gets dropped on the dark and you need to locate it when leaving the car.

Child locks are easily activated using the key, a feature I would love to see Ford introduce is the lock system via the driver controls, much easier and much more user friendly.

Getting the kids in and out of the car is simple enough, there is plenty of room behind the seats for my 2 children to be seated comfortably at 6 years old and 1 year old.
There is a small amount of space between the two seats but not enough for a 3rd passenger in the rear of the car when 2 car seats are in place.

Cruise Control, not something I tend to use, as I only go on short journeys

Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror
I found this slightly intrusive whilst driving it seemed to cause a bit of a blind spot when driving and the positioning and design was slightly distracting.

Sony Stereo System
This looks super sleek but isn't really very user friendly, I didn't really get to grips with it in the fortnight that I used the car and I definitely needed to read the manual to work out how to even tune the radio in!

Underneath is the climate control which is a digital display a lot easier to control the temperature compared with the manual control in the Zetec version.

Overall if you are looking for a car that will accommodate the school runs, days out and will comfortably fit 2 adults and 2 children then the Fiesta does offer that.
It is great fun to drive with great steering and handling and the interior is finished off to a good standard.

If you have any questions then feel free to leave a comment on this blog post.

This car was a courtesy car for a 2 week period. All views and opinions are my own.