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Making Crafts Fun Without The Mess with Little Brian Paint Sticks

Children absolutely love getting messy don't they? I'm pretty sure that I'm not alone in saying that messy play is not my favourite way to keep my child occupied. If anything messy play cranks my stress levels up a notch or two. The thought of her painting my walls or dripping paint onto my brand new carpet doesn't fill me with positive vibes. We also don't really have the space or the resources to do a messy play session every week and let's be honest who really like the clean up anyway? It's an absolute nightmare when you have a certain little person willing to lend a hand, but creating more mess than when we started. But we do love to crafty and now that we are heading in towards half terms I need some fresh ideas to keep my daughter occupied without getting too messy. 

We made a sort of revelation this week, stick paints! They are seriously the best invention and every single parent needs to get their hands on some. Little Brian Paint Sticks are amazing. They are a fun, clean, simple and very convenient way to paint, and I know that pretty much every parent will want a stash in their home. Why am I late to the paint stick party? Little Brian Paint Sticks have fast become the latest must have toy for any art or craft fan, all the fun without the mess! 

We decided to spend the afternoon unleashing our creativity and get crafty. We couldn't wait to try these new paint sticks out and if I am being completely honest I think I was more excited than my daughter. But she soon became intrigued and decided to create a a masterpiece by herself. We were kindly send three different sets from Little Brian the Mini Paint Sticks, Metallic Paint Sticks, and Chalk Paints

The three different ranges of paint sticks that came through our door were so vibrant and in all the set the colours were beautifully bold, bright and perfect for creating some of the most colourful pieces of artwork. The paint sticks themselves looked almost like a glue stick where you could twist at the bottom. When using the paints they feel like oil pastels but they glide on paper so well. The paint itself has no odor and dries really fast, so much faster than conventional paints. Using a wet paint brush the colours can be spread and blended to create a watercolour effect. They also can be used for other art techniques like: stamping, overlaying, dotting and etching. There is literally no mess, no need for hand washing. As it dries so quickly there was no residue whatsoever left on clothing, on hands, the carpet or my walls, thankfully! All the fun, without the mess!!!

Mini Stick Paints

Oh I love these Mini Stick Paints, they are perfect for little hands. In this set there are 12 vibrant classic colours, but they also come in a pack of 24. My daughter loved creating lots of pretty pictures with these, even when the colour overlap they do so without smudging. For my daughter, these were her favourites out of all the sets, simply because she could hold these ones with ease as they glided over the paper. However, even though these are great for little ones I would say that the only downside to them is that the packaging is similar making it harder to distinguish between the colours. My daughter also found the caps a little fiddly and would need help taking them off and putting the back on. But we are going to get some of these for the other children in the family because they are so good for little people and there is literally no mess! What could be better. 

Metallic Stick Paints

Now I am a little magpie and adore anything that sparkles, shimmers or has glitter in and my daughter is pretty much the same. This set comes in a pack of 6 or larger packs or 12 ranging from blue, green, pink, red and silver. The sticks are much larger than the mini sticks and my daughter held these quite well, but preferred the mini sticks. I love how bright these sticks are and you can see a slight shimmer before putting the pen to paper. These are fun for both adults and children. The packaging is different to the mini sticks and my daughter was able to pick up the colour of the pen she wanted rather than taking the lids off to take a look. The only downside to these larger pens is that little ones may struggle to get to grips with them. I also think that a narrow tip would be better for these, especially if the they like to colour in pictures or write with them. 

Chalk Stick Paints

My daughter loves to get her easel out, we actually try to keep it out to help encourage her to write her letters and numbers. She loves to use her chalks and the eraser we have, but it always leaves a trail of dust behind her. However, being left with chalk is NEVER an option in this house anymore. A little while ago my daughter was left for literally a minute while I spoke to the postman and she managed to write with her chalk under the entire dining room table, and six chairs. I was amazed by her talents. But with these Little Brian Chalk Paints I don't have to worry about a trail of dust or her creating a chalk masterpiece underneath the dining room table. This set comes in a pack of 20 in an assortment of colours. They are the same size as crayons so they are perfect for little hands, better yet, they are dust free!!! The chalks are really creamy smooth ensuring that they glide over paper and chalkboards easily. You can then wipe away with a damp cloth and start again.

We have had so much fun making crafts but without the mess. These paint sticks are one of the best invention and something that every parent needs for their little ones. If you want to find out more about Little Brian Paint Sticks head over to their website here. If you want to purchase Little Brian Paint Sticks they are available on Amazon.  You need to go and grab some for yourself. Perfect for half term crafts, a gift just because or for Christmas stocking filler. 

~ This post contains a gifted items, but all words and opinion are my own ~

Is There Such A Thing as Community Spirit Anymore?

Is community spirit a notion that is long gone? If you listen to the older generations most of them say there’s no sense of community these days, and if there is is nothing like it was in their day. Somewhere along the way communities have changed, although not necessarily all in a bad way. Poverty and terrible living condition that have been some of the key characteristics have gone. It's not likely you'll come across houses without bathrooms or indoor plumbing. But in some way they are right in the sense that there’s no longer the idea of people being together by the place they live. Could there be a way that we could rediscover a community spirit?

Let’s Talk Community Spirit?

Growing up community spirit was something that I was completely aware of, if anything our local community thrived on one another. We knew the names of our neighbours and actually liked them, everyone would get involved with local activities. I would go to local groups and clubs with other children in the area and there was always some kind of fundraiser going around to help the local communities. Growing up we knew that we could pop next door to borrow a cup of sugar, or invite them over for BBQs in the summer. But then people grew up and moved away and that's when things began to change. My parents are still living in the same house and have been for the past thirty years and they have seen the community thriving to near enough non-existent. Personally and environmentally. People have forgot about being with one another, showing kindness and doing their bit for the community. 

Somewhere along the way we seemed to have lost our sense of community, but we are most definitely more aware of the impact our actions can have on the environment. When you think of social responsibility what comes to mind? For many people they instantly think about businesses, and how they must work ethically with sustainability. However, social responsibility is the job of everyone. We need to look our own ‘community spirit’ and see how this impacts our environment.

We have been working alongside Glasdon, who have even created an eBook to offer tips and advice on how we can make changes in everyday life that will have nothing but a positive effect on the environment from now and for generations to come. You can join in the conversation too by using the hashtag #MySocialSpirit. As a parent this is something that I am really keen on teaching my daughter, even the school get involved with local activities such a litter picking to help the environment, so it's only right that I teach and encourage her too. 

We have started to make small changes at home with switching lights off and making sure that all plug sockets are switched off when not in use, which is something that my daughter tends to remind me of when we are leaving the house. It's a great way to be conscious of the wastage. It is not widely known that the amount of energy used is directly connected to the environment. Saving energy has a positive impact on the environment. Simple steps like reducing waste. Whether its food, packaging or even clothing. We rarely throw away food, we will always freeze for another day. We go through our clothes on a regular basis and always take them to a charity shop and recycle our wastage. 

In terms of how to get involved, as well as looking for opportunities in your local area, there are many easy things you can do which don’t involve a huge time commitment. Why not grab a bucket and go on a litter pick outside your garden, get everyone involved. By implementing these changes, not only will you help to protect the environment, you will also save money. Other great places to strike up social connections include food banks, community centres and lunch clubs. My final suggestion is, shock horror, to get people talking. What better way to help community spirit and take on the social responsibility for our environment with simple changes. 

In collaboration with Glasdon.

Finding The Perfect Wedding Gift with It's Your Bottle.

If you're anything like me, opening a gift from a loved one that is a little more personal means such much more. What better way to show a special couple that you've put so much thought and effort into their wedding gift by getting something personal. When it comes to choosing the perfect wedding gift for the happy couple can be a little tricky, especially if they are the type of couple to have their own home and have everything already. These days, most couples live together before they get married and so traditions like the bottom drawer to keep a collection of things for a new home have really been forgotten about. Those days of receiving toasters, crystal and china plates are long gone. Many guests might choose to give cash as a wedding gift but there’s just something so special about a more traditional gift that you have thought about carefully and chosen because it’s perfect for the couple.

A personalised wedding gift will feel extra special for the couple and will be something that they will treasure throughout married life. If you love the idea of a getting the newlyweds something personalised for a wedding gift but you are not sure where to start then I may have a little idea for you. Every one loves a tipple, and what better way to congratulate a newly married couple that with their favourite bottle of wine.

It's Your Bottle are a personalised wine supplier, providing handmade bespoke wine for events and other occasions. You will be sure to find something for any occasion including Personalised Wedding Wine, Hen and Stag do, Anniversaries, Birthday Parties and even Personalised Corporate Wine. You really can design your wine, your way! It's Your Bottle offer a wide range of beautiful designs for personalised wine bottles suitable for all occasions and carefully selected award winning wines to accompany it. They take pride in offering a service completely unique to each individual.

Simply start design your wine, your way by picking a personalised wine label. It's Your Bottle offer an extensive range of differing labels you can choose from Carnival, Hearts Galore, to Just Married, or Peachy, just to name a few. For our wedding gift for my sister and her new husband we decided to go for Sweet which a dove grey label with white writing that can be changed to suit your wording of choice, all handmade to order. We got our bottle personalised with the bride and grooms name with the message 'Feel love, happiness and joy forever and always along with their wedding date.

The next step is to decided whether you'd like a bottle of wine to compliment your personalised wine label, something that not all companies offer. There are always quite of few different wines that you can choose such as Bordeaux, Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé and Prosecco. I know that my sister is a Rosé girl and so this seemed the best option for her to enjoy with her new husband. It's Your Wine also provide two gift box options, the first is a gorgeous wooden wine box with a sliding lid. The second is a premium hinged wooden box with a beautiful satin finish. Both packaged with very fine Cut Kraft filling. But together would make it the more personal for the bride and groom.

We are very delighted with our personalised bottle of wine for my sister and her husband. I really hope that the bride and groom will be more than happy and keep this bottle of a special occasion or special anniversary as a married couple. It actually remind me of a bottle of champagne we received on our wedding day and we are planning on opening on our tenth anniversary, five years down, five year counting. It's Your Bottle are an outstanding service and their customer service are a second to none. You can send over your requirement and they will do their best to assist you so you can give that personal touch to congratulate a new couple.

~ This post contains a gifted item, but all words and opinion are my own ~

Personalised Baby Gifts That Show You Care

When we had our baby girl we were so overwhelmed with the kindness our family and friends showed us, we are pretty lucky. But with the kindness from loved ones and buying everything in sight, we were more than prepared. So with this in mind, and the fact that so many friends and family are expecting little ones, we need to think about the perfect gift for them and their new arrival. From sleepsuits and teddybears to fresh flowers or keepsakes there are so many ideas when it come to buying a gift for a new arrival. I wouldn't really want to get the parents and the new bundle of job something that they don't need or something they may already have. Personally I think that gifts that are a little different that will make that lasting impression are far more meaningful and so I wanted to share a couple of gift ideas that you are able to customise to show how much you care.

Amadeoâ„¢ Regular

A new parent can never have enough nappies, so an adorable nappy cake is bound to go down a treat. Designed to look like a tiered cake, these unusual creations are made up of nappies, as well as a number of useful baby-related bits and pieces. For example, at Babyblooms, you can choose from nappy cakes that contain everything from bibs and muslin squares to socks and soft toys which can be personalised with a message of your choosing.

Amadeoâ„¢ Regular

For a gift that’s as practical as it is thoughtful, why not go for a customised hooded towel? There’s no doubt mum and dad will appreciate the sweet gesture, and they’ll be able to wrap up their little one once bath time is over, keeping them cosy and snug. You can have the towel embossed with the baby’s name or initials, and even when they’ve grown out of it, it makes the perfect childhood keepsake.

Amadeoâ„¢ Regular

If you’re after a gift that’s totally unique, you could treat the new baby to a beautiful china dinner set that features their own name. This present idea is extremely thoughtful, and it can help make breakfast, lunch and dinner that little bit more special. Keep an eye out for sets that include a variety of useful crockery pieces, such as a plate, bowl and cup.

Amadeoâ„¢ Regular

A plush, personalised cushion makes for the perfect gift. Aside from providing a soft, cosy place for the baby to snuggle up, it can be proudly displayed in their nursery and then go on to become a special keepsake item as they get older.

Amadeoâ„¢ Regular

From the baby’s hospital bracelet to their first lock of hair, there are a selection of mementos that parents often like to hang onto. So that they have a safe place to store all of their favourite memories, you could gift them a keepsake box that features their little one’s name. You could have the baby’s birth date added to the box too for an extra special touch.

The good news is, you can order these customised gifts and much more online. You can even arrange to have them delivered straight to recipients’ home, meaning you can be one of the first to welcome the new arrival into the world.

BIRCHBOX - October: Days Like These...

Hello and welcome to Birchbox time! This little beauty box presented in a pretty floral box containing so many great products to help you welcome to changing seasons with this 'Days Like These...' beauty box. I have to say that I really love the style of the box, the whole theme with this month's box is officially saying goodbye to the hectic summer and saying hello to the new season. I am so ready for Autumn. As I sit here writing this post I was very comfy on the sofa, with a cup of tea in a very warm mustard sweatshirt. It's all about moments like this. There’s a good mix of products this month, although they’re all pretty small, but the lead product is the Beauty Pro Thermotherapy Warming Gold Foil Mask which definitely adds some strength to the contents. I did receive a Beauty Pro mask in another box and I have to say that I really love how it made my face feel, so I was more than excited for this warming mask. 

If you're new to Birchbox they are one of the main leaders in the beauty box subscription game. Each month you will receive five deluxe samples and travel sized samples and these will be with makeup, skin care, body care or hair care. It's a great way to discover new products that you wouldn't normally come across if it wasn't for this little beauty subscription. So without further ado let's take a closer look.

BeautyPro. Thermotherapy Warming Gold Foil Mask. RRP | £5.95

After trying Detoxifying Bubbling Mask with Activated Charcoal I can pretty much say I am a BeautyPro convert. My last mask left my skin feeling good and super refreshed. So I couldn't wait to try this warming gold foil mask which creates a seal against the surface of the face, allowing my natural body temperature to warm the mask and accelerate the penetration of ingredients into the skin. This Warming Gold Mask is designed to restore and moisturise skin, providing intense hydration for fatigued skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Hello I have a four year old who wakes up too early and is having night terrors! I need this.

Gallinée. Hydrating Face Cream. RRP | £34.90

Treat your complexion to the Gallinée La Culture Hydrating Face Cream; a deeply nourishing formula that promises to moisturise, soften and rejuvenate even sensitive skin types. Jam packed full of probiotics that can do wonders for your complexion by helping promote healthy skin function. The moisturiser is supposed to be for both morning and evening, so I was a little surprised when I first used it finding that it was quite a light, creamy texture. I much prefer using something a little thicker at night as it feels more moisturising. But I couldn’t have been more wrong with this one. It is probably one of the most hydrating facial moisturisers I have ever used. I used to get lots of dry patches on my skin, but with this one I haven’t experienced any. It's such a shame how small the sample was though, it's like they are getting smaller. 

Winky Lux. Disco Gloss in Far Out. RRP | £13

OOOOH all the sparkles! I like this one and it's perfect for the sparkle season. Packed with cosmic glitter that’s always pretty, never gritty, this colour-changing gloss transforms before your eyes, from clear to a perfect-for-you-pink. Get your Disco on! Now I do have to make a confession aside from the sparkles I thought that the gloss looked a little cheap. But I was pleasantly surprised it had a nice colour to it and the glitter wasn’t to over the top it felt very great on my lips. The shine did rub off but it left a stain on my lips. Over all I liked it and would definitely use it again.

Daily Concepts. Multi-Functional Charcoal Soap Sponge. RRP | £6

This soap is unique and have not seen it before, let alone used. The Daily Concept Charcoal Soap Sponge is an innovative and multi-functional product. The charcoal soap sponge contains soap on the outside and a sponge on the inside. Especially in these times we love convenience and multi-functional products that make it all a little easier for us. The sponge is dipped in detoxifying charcoal soap that removes impurities from the skin and improves the balance of the skin and restored. You can use this soap sponge for your entire body. You apply it to moist skin and the result is a soft and deeply cleansed body. Besides that you can use the soap sponge well you can also use it in the bath.

Number 4. Lumiere d'Hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect. RRP | £26.25

I've tried other brands of this type of product which often left my hair feeling heavy and dull. This Number 4 Lumiere d'Hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect makes my hair feel soft, manageable and less fly away. I really suffer with my hair.  I have really greasy roots and then my ends are so dry. I really wish I had a mixture of the two all over so I'm always looking for a great conditioner that can tackle the dry ends without adding to the oily top. Normally I just condition the bottom but when you are rushing in the morning for the school run sometimes it is just easier not too. So a leave in conditioner is the way forward. This one certainly packs a punch and left my hair feeling fresh, clean, no oily feeling and nourished. Perfect. 

Joop! Wow! Woman Eau de Toilette. RRP | £39

This powerfully hypnotic fragrance brings out the femme fatale in every woman. The green, airy notes of rose and peony blend with woody spices to create an intense, seductive scent. This is the first time I have tried anything from Joop my husband loves the men’s fragrance and now I understand why he does it certainly a very seductive scent which is a scent I normally don’t steer towards but after smelling this I certainly was hooked right away and unlike some other fragrances after a while they disappeared. But this stayed on me most of the day .

So what did you think? Are you a Birchbox fan? If not, you should at least try a couple of boxes. A monthly Birchbox subscription, with no long-term commitment, costs just £10 (+ £2.95 P&P) per month. 

Don't forget to check out our previous Birchbox boxes...

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