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How I Lost Over a Stone in Four Weeks

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Now what if I told you that I have lost one stone in under four weeks? Seems impossible, doesn't it. Even though it may seem like an ambitious goal to set yourself, you can totally shed those pounds. I have managed to lose one stone and three pounds in under four weeks, and that's without skipping meals, using shakes or depriving myself of all the food I wanted. I didn't even have a strict exercise schedule, unless you count running to get the little lady to school on time? By losing these extra pounds has really helped kick start my weight loss, I already feel better, stronger and feel so much more confident in my skin. In a way, eating good food, making sure I am getting in my five a day and drinking lots of water has really improved my mood, my skin and even my hair. So what's the secret?


Before I tell you all my secrets I thought that I would tell you a little more about me. I'm a working from home mama who is constantly on the go, like so many of us. I rarely make time for myself even though I know that it's pretty important. But let's face it working from home, being a mama to an energetic four year among other things I never make myself a priority. With the start of the new year I made a few promises to myself and the most important promise was to make an effort to shift some extra pounds. A few weeks into my health kick and I feel more determined and focused that ever. As the pounds are vanishing it's giving me the confidence to keep with my new lifestyle and become the best version of myself.


Ever since I can remember I have always had an issue with my weight. No matter what I am doing my weight is always a thought. A few weeks ago I came across some old diaries and a common theme throughout was my body and my weight. Reading through them made me feel quite sad, I really didn't think much of myself and would constantly refer to myself with unkindness. My weight was a kind of obsession. I was often called ‘fat’ at school despite being a normal weight meaning that my relationship with food wasn’t the best from an early age and it didn’t get much better as I got older. It effected me in ways where I would try and make myself sick, reading these diaries of my younger self certainly brought back memories and raw emotions. Now that I'm a mama I don't want my daughter to ever feel that she isn't good enough and I most certainly don't want her to think she's fat. It's not a term we use in our household. So it's all about positive body image, and being healthy in a bid to battle those demons. I want my whole family to be healthier, personally shedding those extra pounds may even improve our chances of conceiving. My ultimate goal is to try and shed three stones in three months and so far I believe that this is an achievable goal.

bowl of fruit with berries, nuts and pineapple

So the secret? Strip your diet and start again. Understand the importance of eating food that's good for you and preparation plays such a key role when it comes to wanting to lose weight. And whatever you do, don't call it a diet! Diets don't work, they may work on short term but in reality, you'll slip back into old eating habits and gain the weight back. It's more of a change in a lifestyle and wanting to feel good inside and out. Over the last few years I had heard great things about the slimming world plan and so many friends shed loads of pounds on the plan, so it must work right? The only downside of being a part of slimming world was those weekly meetings, I couldn't think of anything worse. The whole idea of sitting there in meetings, getting publicly weighed and talking about food make my feel so anxious. Nothing against them personally, but they are not for me. So I decided to adapt the plan to my lifestyle and go it alone.

It’s Back To Basics…

A big part of slimming world is that you have to cook everything from scratch, so you know exactly what is going in your food and no hidden extras that are not good for our bodies. Before changing my diet I would always break out and feel so drained all the time, and it's not because of some late night wake up call, my little lady sleeps through. I knew it was because the food I would put into my body. I would choose food and meals for convenience instead of preparing meals from scratch and load them with added extras that would do nothing for my body. Over the last few weeks I have been planning, meal prepping and eating a whole lot of good food and drinking more than three litres of water a day. So far, I'm feeling refreshed, alert and my energy levels are soaring. I'm feeling so good and it's good to know that my body doesn't have an ounce of bad food inside. Going back to basics with my cooking has been amazing and I can completely understand why people spend their Sundays with meal prep and planning their meals for the week. It's been pretty life changing so far and the best part we have lost pounds in weight and gained pounds in our pockets. What could be better right? Planning is EVERYTHING, so if nothing else try a little meal planning for a few weeks and see the difference.

cod fillet covered in free topping

Set a Reasonable Goal…

The more weight you have to lose, the easier it is to lose a lot in the first month. If you eat a lot of processed foods and don't exercise drastic changes to your diet and exercise plan may cause you to lose weight rather dramatically during the first two weeks, as you drop water weight. This means you could potentially lose a stone in a month. Strictly speaking the slimming world plan doesn't calorie count, however I have been watching my portion sizes and taking note of my calorie intake as I don't really want to overeat when it comes to carbs. I have set myself calorie limits to around 1,200 calories a day and if you prepare your meals in advance you are more than able to keep to your goals. Your doctor or a nutritionist can crunch the numbers to give you a better idea of how many calories you should be consuming based on your age, size, gender and activity level.

Focus on High Quality Foods…

In addition to watching calories focusing on the quality of foods is also key in determining what we should and should not eat in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight or lose weight consistently. High-quality foods include unrefined, minimally processed foods such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and healthy sources of protein. The slimming world plan is made up of five sections. Free Food, Speed Food, Healthy Extra A, Healthy Extra B and Syns. Foods that fall under the free food category require no weighing or measuring and are yours to enjoy. They should make up the main portion of your meal. Speed food is so important on the slimming world plan. It’s important that a third or half of your plate is full of speed food. Speed food can really help boost weight loss, and has certainly helped me lose one stone so far. I love speed food. You also have Healthy Extras that are placed into two categories known as Healthy Extra A where each day you are allowed 2 portions of dairy. This is to ensure your body is receiving the correct amount of calcium per day. And Healthy Extra B where each day you are allowed a portion size of fibre. This is called your Healthy Extra B allowance. The last section of the plan is focused on your syns, each day you are allowed between 5 and 35 syns per day. Everything that isn’t included in the free food section has a syn value. Syn’s are used to treat yourself. Even though I am allowed 15 syns a day I can't say that I have more than 10 on the really naughty day. There is a common theme with syns though people save them up during the day and snack on chocolate or sweets. I prefer to use them throughout the day and use them wisely and snack on flavoured yogurts, nuts or frozen fruit.

tuna and sweetcorn in bowl with a side salad

So far, slimming world has been amazing for me and my family. In less than four week both my husband and I have shed over two and a half stone and we feel amazing. By going back to basics and making some good swaps with our food and planning our weekly meals has been pretty life changing. We have been pretty strict with it and we have never been left hungry. We are enjoying the lifestyle change so much and even our daughter is trying new food. Only last week we made a couscous banana cake, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would look forward to a cup of tea and a slice of couscous cake. But I did. There are going to be times where we will indulge in the odd sweet treat (curly wurlys are everything) and treat ourselves to a takeaway, but majority of the time we are going to be cooking for scratch, filling our plate with good food and enjoying our diet. The next goal for me is to try and implement some kind of fitness routine, so it's onto the next stone.

* Please note this post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Slimming World or any other company. As always all opinions are my own. I am not a medical professional or dietitian. You should always consult your GP before undertaking any change to your diet. This information is not intended to replace the advice or information provided by a medical professional. If in doubt speak to a healthcare provider or dietitian.

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CLĒ Cosmetics Essence Moonlighter Cushion

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I can always use another highlighter, but this one took me by surprised as it's not something that I have ever come across before due to the moonlighter filled sponge. The Essence Moonlighter is a cushion highlighter infused with ingredients such as Squalane and moisturising essence, adding luminous and iridescent radiance to the skin. It's a cushion product that comes in a white compact, complete with a mirror and sponge applicator. The packaging is lightweight and there's a plastic lid to protect the cushion and stop the contents from seeping out, so you could throw this in your handbag if you wanted to. Personally, it wasn't something that I liked to use and I preferred to use my own finger to apply to my cheeks and nose for a natural and smooth look.


I'm pretty sure by now, if you're a beauty girl like me, you would have come across some of the most wanted beauty products such as eye tints, primers, sheet masks, essences or cleansing oils. Now it seems that cushion make up is well on the way to be added to this list of most wanted products to try too. Now it's not the first time that I have come across cushion products. I have used a couple of cushion foundations and blush but something that I have never come across is a cushion hightlighter. I really love the idea technology behind cushion makeup, in that it uses cotton cushions to evenly distribute colour and give you a lightweight and flawless application. - It's a complete game changer. So let me introduce CLĒ Cosmetics Essence Moonlighter Cushion.


My complexion is really fair so achieving youthful, fresh-looking skin isn't always so easy. This is why I really like this CLĒ Moonlighter Cushion you get the best of a cream highlighter with an even application of a sponge. The Copper Rose highlighter is the best shade for my complexion and really add a certain radiance to an overall look. This highlighter is so easy to use, you simply press the sponge into the compact to soak up the product and the pat over your face for an beautiful shimmery glow. The highlighter really stays put, it isn't at all greasy or slippery, like you may think. It glides over your skin so silky smooth. What makes it even better is that it doesn't get stuck into pores, and boy do I have big pores at the moment. The formula is a dream and combines skin evening pigments with radiance boosting pearl pigments and a skin cooling texture. 


Most importantly for me, this moonlight highlighters has a moisturising and calming formula. For someone who has fair and sensitive skin, this is pretty big. I don't have to worry about having reaction or making my skin more sensitive. The CLĒ Cosmetics Essence Moonlighter Cushion contains hydrating ingredients and coconut oil is one of the main ingredients, which is something that I use to help cleanse, calm and moisturise my skin regularly. It also includes bamboo extract to strengthen skin and help it to retain moisture, and hyaluronic acid to help smooth skin and keep it plump and youthful in appearance. With all these amazing ingredients, the highlighter still leaves you with a natural looking highlight that is smooth and has a dewy finish.

Are you familiar with CLĒ Cosmetics? Have you tried their cushion moonlighter?

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Can We Actually Keep Our Children Safe on YouTube?

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Now when it comes to screen time for children it's always something that is highly debated. Some parents will allow their children unlimited screen time, after all getting those five minutes to enjoy a cup of tea can do wonders for a mood. And then there are parents that limit their children's screen time. Now we are a family that allow screen time in moderation. Those minutes during screen time are absolutely magical. I think that children born into the digital generation are lucky and are far more intelligent that we ever were. My daughter is drawn to technology like moths to flame. It doesn't seem to matter whether it's a smartphone, tablet, electronic game or the television. As soon as it lights up, so do her eyes. There are a countless number of amazing apps that can actually help enhance your child's development, some promote motor skills, enhance memory and pattern recognition. But one thing that all children love to watch is YouTube. 


Many parents feel really safe allowing their children to watch the kids version of YouTube, which is an app specifically designed for children, making it easier for children and parents to find content they are interested in. However, quite recently disturbing videos that were found by a parent show that YouTube may not be safe for kids at all. And it's actually quite scary. 

If you're a parent you may have heard about the 'Momo Challenge'? It was a video that was discovered by a mum on both YouTube and YouTube Kids that gave children instructions on how to kill themselves. I was completely shocked and sadden to see such a video circulated and as a parent I want to try and protect my daughter as much as I can. In the video you will see a scary doll that encourages the young viewers to add a contact on messaging service WhatsApp, then sends them violent images and dares. Furthermore, it encourages them to self-harm and the ultimate post that tells them to take their own lives.  


There is no disputing the content being sent is horrendous and probably one of most awful things I have seen as a parent, but there is an underlying issue that seems to be overlooked. This 'Momo Challenge' isn't the first of it's kind and I'm sure it won't be the last. Sadly, these videos all have an underlying theme of danger. This time a couple of years ago, there was the 'Blue Whale Challenge', which pushed young teens to commit suicide in different parts of the world. Now the 'Momo Challenge' is doing the same where children are feeling pressured to either follow orders by carrying out challenges in a WhatsApp message or because of peer pressure in a chat room. These cruel challenges are tools to aid cyber bullying and cyber criminals to cause harm and get their hands on personal information about the victim. 

Unfortunately, many young adults and teenagers are often the viewers aimed to take on such challenges, videos that tend to go viral. In taking part in such sickening challenges they can cause harms to others, themselves and in doing so give out confidential information because they are too scared. The 'Momo Challenge' has sadly has claimed lives of young children and teens already, and as parents we need to be extra vigilant and keep our children safe. 


My daughter is learning about safety online at school this week, and so along with schools we need to ensure that children are aware, more than ever about the dangers online. By ensuring that as parents we know what children are able to access to online is essential. Set those parental controls, limit their screen time, uninstall apps that get them online. Ensure children understand the importance of not giving personal information to anyone they do not know. And more importantly reassure children that no on has the right to make them do anything that they don't want to do. 

Can we actually keep our children safe on YouTube?

We all know that this isn't the first time that these awful and sick videos have filtered through onto the children's version of YouTube, so now we need to ask the question. Can we actually keep our children safe on Kids YouTube now? It's really important that you're mindful about what your child has access to. Sadly, the biggest problem is that YouTube has very limited parental controls. 


Now before this challenge came about, we decided to stop watching YouTube in our house. We noticed a big change in our daughter's behaviour and YouTube was the defining cause. The fact that our daughter was picking up language and behaviours from things she was watching on YouTube made us really think about her screen time. One moment she would be sassy and the next she would have a snarky tone and would tell my husband and I that she didn't want to live with us anymore. At times she would get angry too. I also started to notice a change in some of the words she would use like 'diaper' and 'vacation'. So it was time for some change. We decided to find a quiet moment to talk to our daughter about the change in her behaviour and that we had noticed that she would act a certain way when she was on YouTube. So we decided to limit the app at first, which is now become indefinitely. We have seen such a change in her behavior and the snarky tones have disappeared, well until she's at least ten anyway. For us ditching YouTube has been the best thing for us. 


However that's not to say you have to do the same, as there are still some ways to protect your children. Set those restrictions on the device on any app you use. When it comes to YouTube you can choose the restricted mode that helps to filter out mature videos. But in light of the 'Momo Challenge' parents should be urged to be more vigilant when it comes to YouTube. Be more aware of the type of content your child is watching, ask them questions, perhaps even watch with them. So you can see how they can access new content and filter through. When YouTube was allowed in our home I would let my daughter watch Play-Doh or Kinder Egg Surprise videos however she would always end up watching some adults dressing up as superheros or princesses that would fight with one another, use bad language and behave badly. Is it such a bad thing that we have decided to ditch YouTube for good?


As everyone’s experience of YouTube is completely different to the next it's hard for parents to figure out how worried they should be and therefore how they should react. I know that the 'Momo Challenge' has really made more parents wary and some have banned YouTube in their homes. Some have even claimed that the video is a hoax, but I think that everyone seems to be missing the underlying issue with media fuelled craze. As parents we need to be more aware of what our children are watching, teach them about being safe online and more importantly reassure our children that no on has the right to make them do anything that they don't want to do. There are plenty of video alternatives exist aimed at children. You could download Netflix, CBeebies or a child -friendly learning app. We also have a few app suggestions over on this post too. There are always alternatives if you do allow screen time. But for us, it's bye bye YouTube and I can't say that it's going to be something that we will miss. 

What are you thought on the YouTube? Do you allow your children to watch it?

Unleash Their Imagination with Zimpli Kids

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Just like that half term is over. I’m sitting here thinking about our adventures over half term and I’m a little sad it’s come to an end so quickly. We’ve had an amazing half term. We played with friends, went to the fair, had way too many sweet treats, went to Farmer Freds, baked a cake for Nanny. Not forgetting our little adventure to the beach where we walked along the beach, collected shells, threw stones and ate lots of ice cream. We even managed to squeeze an appointment at the doctors for her poorly toe, which is on the mend. But despite that, it’s been a great week and we can’t wait until the next holiday! There is nothing more exciting that giving your child something to help unleash their imagination and that's exactly what we did with a little help from Zimpli Kids.


We were kindly send over a Gelli Baff Slime Baff and SnoBall Play bundle and of course we had one little girl who was more than happy to join in and get messy. In our fun bundle we got Gelli Baff in Lagoon Blue, Glitter Slime Baff in Glittery Purple and some SnoBall Play. If you want to win yourself a bundle of Gelli and Slime Baff goodies then please go and enter our Gelli Baff Giveaway over on our Facebook page. Don't forget to tag others to increase your chances of winning.


Children absolutely love getting messy don't they? I am sure that I am not alone in saying that we don't always have the resources or the space to make that happen on a regular basis. Who likes the clean up anyway? It is an absolute nightmare especially when the little ones try to 'help'. So this week we have been unleashing our imagination with some half term fun and getting messy. However, we have tried to keep the mess to a bare minimum and confine our messy play to the garden, well the sun is shining and she loves getting in the garden so why not.


Our children learn through play, especially unstructured and exploratory play. In other words, they learn best when they get messy! There are many opportunities during messy play and sensory play for your child to build their fine motor skills. This is done through mixing, pouring, shaking, squirting and even measuring water or other runny messes. But messy play is explorative and creative play. It’s when they don’t need to worry about finishing a project, so are able to express their creativity however they like. This is exactly why we loved playing with lots of goo over half term. There is just something so exciting and magical when it comes to unleashing a little imagination with messy play isn't there? So let me tell you a little more about our creative play.

Gelli Baff in Blue Lagoon

The Gelli Baff powder is so easy to make up and it changes the water instantly. It was a squishy, jelly consistently and my daughter loves feeling it through her fingers. I must admit, I really like playing with this and it look really pretty with it's crystallised appearance. We made up our Gelli Baff in a bowl in the garden as it was such a beautiful day.


We decided to invite some dinosaurs to our slime pool party and had a fun time. I really love listening to my daughter's imagination and the scenarios she creates in her head. However not only that we also made some time for some learning with our our gooey slime such a counting, colours and Dinosaur names. I, however wouldn't be able to tell you too much about the Dinosaur names, but they sounded right.  I really liked that the Gelli Baff doesn't have a scent and the colour is a vibrant blue, that with the crystalised effect was really pretty. The Baff products are non-staining and come in a pink, red, and green. They are completely safe on the skin as my daughter has sensitive skin we have to be careful.



Slime Baff in Glittery Purple. 

Slime Baff is a powder that turns bath water into gooey slime. Sprinkle the powder over the bath water and watch as the water magically turns into gooey slime. The set up is fairly straight forward you just add the powder to water in accordance with the instructions on the packet. However for us it wasn’t so straightforward and more a case of trial and error trying to get the consistency just right, as I was finding the gooey slime a little too runny to begin with. But we got there in the end. 


My daughter loved the gooey slime and I must admit so did I. It was so smooth, stretchy and very slippery. It was so fun to play with the slime on it’s own but we found using other toys like with the Gelli Baff into the mix was such a really great idea. We decided to use farm animals for some creative play. We did end up tipping the bowl of slime into the bath so she could explore so much. Glitter Gelli Slime gives children a fun bath time, does not block drains and is kind on skin. Before trying the slime I was very worried about how it would be with her sensitive skin. I also liked that this it didn’t have a scent and once you got the hang of the ratio made it such much fun to play with, my daughter called the glittery purple slime 'Rapunzel's Slime'. Somehow everything goes back to Rapunzel!

SnoBall Play

Snowball fights are always a lot of fun but the downside is that you get freezing cold and your gloves get soaked through. It's been a beautiful half term and the sun has been shining, so what better way to get into the garden that with a snowball fight, right? Sounds so strange though doesn't it? But with these SnoBall Play you can bring some winter fun to those sunny days. The Snoballs are 100% bio-degradable, stain free and are non-irritant. So playtime is safe and fun! The Snoball Play Pack includes four 40g bags of powder that when added to water turn into a realistic looking, mouldable snow-like substance. You get 30 snowballs altogether for some snowballing fun. Afterwards you can collect up the snow and put into the bin or just leave it to degrade naturally and wash away.



With RRPs starting at just £2.99, these products can be enjoyed just as much outside as they can inside! There’s also no need to worry about staining skin, carpets, clothes or garden furniture, as all of these products are stain free! So what's not to love? These are fantastic for sensory play and perfect if you have children who love getting messy. All in all, these creative sets are really fun that your little ones will definitely enjoy.

GIVEAWAY TIME

I’m in a giving mood and I’ve teamed up with the lovely Zimpli Kids to give a lucky winner a chance to win some Gelli Baff goodies.

One lucky winner will receive:

- Gelli Baff (Blue Lagoon) 
- Glitter Slime Baff (Glittery Purple)
- SnoBall Play

To enter:

Go over to our Mimi Rose & Me page or follow this link

ENDS on Wednesday 6th March! Winners will be announced on 7th March.

**UK ENTRIES ONLY**

GOOD LUCK!

We were kindly gifted a bundle from Zimpli Kids for the purpose of this review. But as always my words and images are my own.

Do's & Don'ts of Buying Tyres for your Vehicle

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Many people without experience of car maintenance don't know what to do when it comes to choosing tyres. Certainly, you should avoid part-worn tyres. Although perfectly legal, you never know how long they will last before the tread wears down so they work out as a false economy. Another 'don't' is to buy incompatible tyres. This is easily done if you go to a tyre dealer who is pushing certain brands rather than ones which are designed for your model of car. What you should do is always go to a reputable tyre fitter and seller so you know you are buying a good product which will be fitted expertly. Whether you opt for budget tyres or premium ones, fitting them properly will help to make them last longer. 


Although there are lots of different tyres you could choose for the major car brands, it is best to look for ones that are optimised for the particular model you drive. Car makers often recommend certain brands for better performance even though you could choose others if you wanted. 

Tyres for Fiats 

In the past, many Fiat dealers in the UK have tended to supply new Fiat models like the Doblo and the Punto with either Bridgestone or Continental tyres. The majority of Pandas came with the former tyre brand although some new ones also had Michelins fitted. A good number of Fiat models were fitted with the mid-range Michelin Pilot Primacy tyre, for instance, with Continentals being more common on Fiat Bravos. Buy your Fiat tyres from the Point S website where all of the suitable ones are listed for you. 

Tyres for Toyotas 

Toyota has traditionally used all sorts of tyre manufacturers for its new cars. For example, the majority of Prius models came fitted with Toyo tyres when new. Maxxis tyres are also reasonably commonplace and many Toyota owners like to buy them to keep a matching set of four. The Auris, the Yaris and the Avensis also work well with Dunlop tyres, among others. All of the compatible tyres you could choose today for your Toyota can be found at Point S.

4 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Set of Blinds

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In any home, a good set of blinds can really improve the overall décor of the room and make it pop. This is why many people spend a lot of time deliberating on the set of blinds that they are going to choose for their home. The good news is that we have some top tips to help you choose the perfect set. 


The Style

The first step in finding the perfect set of blinds for your home is choosing the type of blind that you want. You might be surprised at how many different types of blinds there are to choose from with everything from wooden blinds to roller blinds on offer at most retailers. This final decision is often down to personal choice, but wood venation blinds are becoming increasingly popular and we recommend these from DotcomBlinds if you end up deciding that faux wooden blinds are the best option for your home. Their wooden blinds come in 3 different sizes and a range of colours so there’s something for every size and style of room. 

The Colour

The next thing that you will need to think about when you are choosing blinds is the colour scheme. You might find that your living room or bedroom has already been decorated and, in this case, we would recommend that you choose a matching colour. If you are just starting your redecoration project, then take a look at some of the colours on offer and decide which is best for your home. We recommend some natural wood colours for the best effect.

Cleaning

If you have a family, then you might find that it is already difficult to keep your home clean. When you add a set of blinds to the mix, you are giving yourself just one more thing to clean. This is why you should make sure to check how easy your new set of blinds is to clean. Some companies will state that their blinds are waterproof and easy to clean which can be the best possible option. Don’t give yourself more work – choose blinds that will stay clean for longer and you’ll be happy with your choice. 

The Cost

Our final tip for choosing the perfect set of blinds for your home is to think carefully about the cost. You’ll find a varying overall cost for sets of blinds online, so it is important that you compare these. Remember that sometimes a low cost means the product is low quality and you might need to replace the blinds in a shorter space of time. Consider the cost of each product on offer to you and make an informed decision to get the best possible results.

Final Verdict

If you are thinking about adding a new set of blinds to your home, then make sure to take on board all of the tips that we have given you in this article. Once you are past the first step of choosing the style of blinds that you would like – the rest should be simple. Blinds can really transform a room so make sure to choose the perfect set for your home today.

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Plush Toys

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My daughter loves anything magical and mystical. I love watching her play with her toys and make up some imaginative adventure that normally includes some fairies or unicorns of some sort. Dragons are also something that my daughter is becoming more and more interested in, this is definitely down to a certain dragon from the popular films How To Train Your Dragon. If you're familiar with the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, you'll know exactly what and who I'm talking about. If you're not, then you must stop reading and go and search for either the films or series as I know you'll want to watch them again and again. So How To Train Your Dragon fans. Have you seen the new film The Hidden World yet? It's worth a watch.



We saw the trailer for the new film months ago, and we have been counting down the days to see the last installment in the film series. It was most certainly worth the wait, it was amazing. I must admit I was completely hooked, I don't want to ruin anything for anyone, but it was an emotional one to say the least. Even though it's been a couple of weeks since we saw The Hidden World, my daughter can't stop talking about Hiccup, Toothless and the gang. So imagine her excitement when she opened a little package from Posh Paws and received her very own Toothless, Light Fury and Stormfly. It made her day, actually made her week!



It's hard not to want to fall in love with the How To Train Your Dragon film series. Toothless and his rider friend Hiccup are completely adorable. Right from the get go these two were complete outcasts looking for ways to be accepted into their communities.Watching Hiccup and Toothless’s friendship bloom is one of the most amazing things. They are both scared in the beginning, but Hiccup’s serene kindness opens up Toothless to the possibility of having a Viking friend. We watch them protect and help each other, however high the stakes. It’s all about teamwork. There are so many great lessons we can learn from How To Train Your Dragon and another important one is be yourself and self acceptance is key. Rather than trying to be someone you are not, accept who you are. Now this is the type of lesson I want from a film for my daughter. 



How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World sees the return of our favourite dragons and dragon riders and introduces a few new ones too including my daughter's new favourite, the Light Fury! I have to say she is a favourite of mine too. Posh Paws have brought out a range of toys to accompany the release of the film and we can't wait to share our new friends with you. The new range includes Bag Clips, Night Lights, Medium plush toys and Large plush toys with prices starting at just £5.99. Perfect for any dragon fan. 


Toothless Medium Plush

My daughter loves Toothless and will tell anyone and everyone about her new friend, who now sleeps at the bottom of her bed so he can protect her during the night. The cutest, right? For those who don't know about Toothless he is the last known dragon of the Night Fury Species, once thought of as the offsping of lightening and death itself. The Night Fury was once considered to be one of the most mysterious and fearsome species of dragons. However, since befriending viking Hiccup he has shown that he is playful, intelligent and loyal dragon. Toothless plays an important role in The Hidden World where he becomes Alpha and becomes king of the dragons. So we loved opening our package and seeing a Toothless dragon first. This one was a 32cm medium plush that was super soft and features fantastic glow in the dark eyes and wings. We think it is perfect for playtime adventures and enacting certain clips from the film. 



Stormfly Medium Plush 

Stormfly is loyal and loving toward her rider, Astrid Hofferson. Like all deadly nadders Stormfly is a very beautiful dragon and she knows it too which is typical of the species. Although she preens and grooms herself she can turn aggressive when she needs to be. My daughter took a liking to this dragon as she wants to be like Astrid. We also received a medium plush which features glow in the dark eyes and wings. These 32cm medium plush toys are also available in Light Fury, Barf and Belch, and Meatlug, each feature the glow in the dark wings and bear a shiney glow in the dark badge. They have an RRP of £16.99 and can be purchased at Amazon, Zoom, Harrods, Hamleys and Clintons.



Light Fury Bag Clip 

Lastly, we received a very cute Light Fury Bag Clip and my daughter was ecstatic. Light Fury is a love interest of Toothless, it's the sweetest. Our favourite part of the film was watching Toothless try to impress his new lady friend and failing miserably at first. The Light Fury moves as fast as Toothless and shares his ability to blend into the sky and even during daylight hours. With her white colour, the Light Fury hides seamlessly in clouds, sea fog, and distant horizons. My daughter really loved this bag clip as it's small enough to carry around on our adventures and she can easily pop into her little backpack when need be. These bag clips from Posh Paws have a wide enough clip that isn't super tight, enabling my daughter to easily clip and unclip onto her bag. I have to say that the Light Fury isn't clipped onto my daughter's bag too much though. Characters available include Toothless, Light Fury, Hookfang, Barf and Belch, and Meatlug. The perfect accessory for keys and backpacks. We have already decided on our next bag clip purchase; Toothless so he can enjoy the adventures too.




So what do you think of our new friends? Do you have a favourite? 

We were kindly gifted these plush toys  from Posh Paws International  for the purpose of this review. But as always my words are my own.

Top Tips to Embrace The Adventures on the Road

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Embracing the adventure is something that we love to do as a family. Nothing makes us happier than making a picnic, bundling ourselves into the car to go and discover and explore. With half term just a few days away we are already making lots of plans. We have booked a super last minute getaway and trying to agree on a little place to discover was pretty hard, who doesn't love a stay-caption in the UK though?. There are so many places that we have yet to discover that are only a car journey away. 


We love getting into our car and heading off into the beautiful countryside for adventures, but nothing is as exciting quite like discovering a place with new surroundings, new people and new things to explore. Sometimes I think we don't fully really appreciate the beautiful scenery, amazing beaches and woodland walks that surround us. So today I thought that it would be a great idea to share my top tips for family adventures on the road. 


My husband loves his car, no seriously he loves his car - so much so, it's like having a second child. But despite how much he loves his car I cannot fault him in making sure that his car is safe and efficient before any of our journeys. I don't know about you but when you have a child, you think differently. I know from my own experience you like to always make sure that you take that extra step to ensure that they are safe. So much so, we drove 5mph on the way home from the hospital. We have got up to speed now that she is four though. Safety is kicked up a notch or two when you have little people to consider. Along with my husband we have complied a little list for you to use when it comes to your embracing family adventures on the road... 

Before You Set Off...

Make sure you and your car are road ready. You need to ensure that you and your car are correctly insured, taxed and your MOT is up to date. First, let’s get the obvious out of the way – get your car serviced and make sure everything is as it should be; top up or replace oils, coolant, lights, wiper blades and tyres; and carry all your car’s documents. Any driver out there on the road will know the importance of the MOT test and that its an annual test to ensure that the vehicle is road safe. A check on the vehicle by a fully trained tester at a recognised MOT station is the only way you can be assured that your vehicle is fit to be on the road so book your MOT with KAP’s Brighton Branch and get yourself on the road, safely. As the MOT certificate allows you to get tax and insurance. So before you set off check your MOT expiry date, just in case you're due. You may be surprised to know some of the things that are checked and not checked when booking your MOT. Nearly half of all faults found during MOT checks could be avoided by carrying out simple maintenance, so it's worthwhile checking items like lights, wiper blades and tyres beforehand so that your vehicle has the best chance of passing first time. But a general MOT will check for: 

* Vehicle Identification Number and Registration Plate

* Lamps, Reflectors and Electric Equipment - checks the condition, whether they are working how they are suppose to, consider whether they are secure enough and check the colour. 

* Steering and Suspension - the tester will assess the strength and condition of steering wheel. Suspension will be checked for excessive corrosion, distortion and fractures. 

* Brakes - The overall condition of the brakes, pedals and levers are inspected, as well as any warning lights.

* Tyres - three main things you need to look checking your tyres and that's tread depth, pressure and keeping an eye out for damage

* Body and Structure - Check the Vehicle Identification Number, Registration Plate and speedometer. A general inspection of the body, chassis, engine mountings, seats, bonnet, boot and doors will be made as part of your MOT checks. All components must be free from excessive corrosion and must not have any sharp edges that might cause injury.

* Exhaust and Fuel Emissions - the tester will check for general wear and tear, corrosion and consider whether the parts are working how they are supposed to be.


The Car Checks Before The Road Trip…

Before embracing any kind of adventure it's so important to undertake a couple of essential last minute checks to make sure that your a road trip ready, by now you will have relevant insurances and that your MOT certificate is up to date. Basic checks to your car are also pretty important too. Begin with checking over your tyres, the engine and ensuring that you have topped up the engine oil and coolant. Making checks with your battery and any belts, and hoses for general wear and tear. It can be difficult to guess what can happen. So it's best to try and prepare yourself for anything. Even after you have completed all the necessary checks and you have made sure that everything is in working order, always prepare for things in case the do go wrong. By ensuring you have breakdown cover will help you feel at ease, companies such as AA or RAC are more than happy to assist you when you're in need.

Snacks are EVERYTHING…

As parents we are not supposed to use food to bribe our children, but on car journeys, regular snacks can help alleviate boredom and keep little ones happy. A hungry travelling child is NEVER a happy travelling child. Dried fruit, crackers, rice cakes and cubes of cheese are all great choices for snacking. Avoid anything too sticky, because a few chocolate buttons are never a great idea. Before you hit the road, always make sure that you get enough sleep and eat a snack or meal. I know some people rely highly on coffee or energy drink to see them through, they may help you in the beginning, but these caffeinated drinks may have the adverse effect as your journey continues. Pull over for regular checks and breaks every couple of hours if need be. 


Car-oke!

Our favourite part about embracing our family adventure is without a doubt music. Even now there are certain songs that take me back to a certain trip and everyone has a car song right? Over the years my husband and I have travelled far and wide and the one song that makes us both smile from ear to ear is Don't stop Believing by Journey! It's a song that was made for Caroke! Now we have a certain little lady coming along with us on the adventures it's only fair we indulge in a little car-oke from time to time. However, we don't listen to Disney Princesses the whole way, she actually likes a few from the charts but one she loves is MK - 17 or as she likes to call it her 'get you back song'. 

There’s Nothing Like a Classic Car Game…

What’s more fun than a few classic car games. Depending on how old your little ones are there are a variety of easy games you can play as you travel across the country, or just down the road. Everyone loves a little game of I Spy. This is our little lady's favourite however we are still getting to grips with the rules of the game still, so we tend to make up our own version. Simon says is another great game to play in the car and what simon says, goes (within reason of course). A new one we have just started playing is banana where every time a player some one notices a yellow vehicle, they yells 'Banana!' and receives a point. The player who has the most points at the end wins. 


A Little Entertainment…

You could even download child friendly apps and games onto a kindle or ipad if they get tired of traditional games. Some people may frown upon kids being given tablets to play with, but kids love feeling like they’re doing things that adults do, meaning they will more likely to be kept entertained for longer. And for the sake of a peaceful journey, it’s worth it! I have found from our car journeys that keeping a stash of books and toys in the front is the way forward because let's face it most toddlers like to drop and throw things, don't they? But even if they do you'll be ready with your secret stash in the front. We also have a backseat and pushchair organiser which secures to the back of the driver or passenger car seat and it's the perfect distraction for my daughter. It has several compartments to hold drinks, toys, snacks and so much more. 

So there you go! There are a few of my top tips to embrace the adventure on the road. Where are some of your favourite places to visit in the UK? What are some of your best tips for road trips with little ones?

BIRCHBOX - February 2019: Let Love Grow

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I don't know if it was just me but did anyone else think that January seemed to last forever? It's a little unbelievable that we are in the second week of February and I still haven't posted my Birchbox post for this month. Better late than never, right? You're in for a little treat this with Birchbox this month with their Let Love Grow box which as you can assume is all about the big LOVE. It's an exciting collaboration with Not on the Highstreet that is an amazing place for inspiration for gifts for loved ones. I really didn't think much to last month's box, so I was pretty happy when opening that little drawer on the gorgeous blue and floral box. Every box this month will come with a tube of Coco & Eve Super Nourishing Coconut & Fig Hair Masque and a full size of LOC Liquid Shimmer Shadow and Luxie Blending Brush


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. 


LOC. Liquid Shimmer Shadow in Moonlight. RRP | £8

Ever subscriber will have a LOC liquid shimmer in either Eclipse or Moonlight as part of their choice this month. This liquid shimmer provides a subtle hint of colour and shine that can be layered up for a bolder look. This eye shadow is amazing! Because it's liquid you don't get any of the fall out like you would with a powder. It goes on so smooth and the color last all night! I will be buying more. It so simple and easy to use. You basically take the applicator to swipe the shadow across eyelids. After applying, you’ll have about 15–30 seconds to blend and layer to your desired finish. Once dry, the shadow will not crease or smudge.

Anatomicals. Shower Gel. RRP | £4

I love discovering new brands and this one is completely new to me, that's why I love beauty boxes so much. This gorgeous shower gel is the perfect way to give yourself a little pick me up. Even though I have to be careful what shower gel I use on my skin because during the winter month it's pretty dry, but this one was fantastic for moisturising my skin, and the subtle floral scent made it this shower gel even better. You simply massage over damp skin, work a lather then rinse. 


Coco & Eve. Like a Virgin Nourishing Coconut & Fig Hair Masque. RRP | £9

Quite an interesting name but I couldn't wait t try this one. A good hair masque is something every lady needs in their life this time of year, battling the elements with just shampoo and conditioner is just too harsh for our hair. So as you can imagine I loved seeing this little tube in my beauty box this month. I have too many flyaways and so much frizz and after one application, I kid you not, there is a complete difference. This masque works miracles. After shampooing, apply thee mask evening to wet hair. Leave for 10-15 minutes to help work it's magic, then rinse. Hello gorgeous silky locks! 


Luxie. 205 Tapered Blending Dreamcatcher. RRP | £11

I am sure you'll love to add this little beauty into your makeup brush collection. Like seriously how gorgeous is this brush? A fluffy brush for applying and blending powder or cream eye shadow. Handcrafted with a blue and rose gold handle and soft, synthetic bristles, 205 Tapered Blending Brush is designed to gently buff and blend eye shadow over the eye area to deliver an on-trend, professional finish. I'm so happy to add another great brush to my collection. Eeeek!


Philosophy. Pure Grace Nude Rose EDT. RRP | £35

Philosophy Pure Grace Nude Rose is a deeper, warmer musky rose scent consisting of blush rose, dewy greens, neroli, orange flower, warm cedarwood and sun-kissed musk. This is definitely a scent for the spring and I really love it! From the first spray it’s quite different to what you might expect from a rose scent. Once it settles, you can really pick up the orange flower tinged with musk. I also love the generous size of the bottle, well done Birchbox. 


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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