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The Adventures of Paddington Magazine

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The Adventures of Paddington is heart-warming show about being curious, being good to others, and being part of a loving family. Now the nation's favourite marmalade loving bear has finally released his very own magazine, and we couldn't be more excited to get involved with all things Paddington.


The magazine is great and ideal for those that love Paddington. It's a fun, bright and educational gendered neutral magazine aimed at children ages three to six. Every issue has been designed to make learning fun, while helping children develop their abilities in reading, writing, maths, design and more. Each issue comes with Paddington stories to read, easy crafts and recipes, engaging activities, puzzles, a workbook, stickers and lots more. As you can imagine my daughter couldn't wait to turn the pages and get reading. So what's inside The Adventures of Paddington Magazine first issue?

Lots of Learning...

The magazine has been designed to make learning fun, while supporting the development of children's abilities in the seven areas of learning as set out in the statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This kind of magazine isn't something that we've ever come across before, so it's quite refreshing to see something out there for children starting their learning journey or encourage their skills and abilities further.


Inside the magazine you will find a12 page workbook with some fun learning activities that supports the ABC Learning Curriculum. There's counting, handwriting, spot the difference, stickers with clear bold colouring pages that are great for learning to keep in the lines when colouring. At the end of the work booklet there is also a Paddington Certificate of Fun awarded for all readers who finish their shopping workbook which is a great incentive to encourage them along.

A Story or Two...

It wouldn't be Paddington Bear if there wasn't a fun and exciting adventure to read. We love reading in our house and its something that we do together every night. So we both snuggled up under blankets before bedtime to read Paddington and the Pigeon together. The story layout was really clear and easy to follow with each paragraph being numbered with some bold captions too. There are plenty of bright pictures to help break up the story for younger readers to understand. It also included some handy questions at the bottom of the page to further a readers understanding which reminds me of my daughter's Oxford Reading Tree books.

Play, play and more play...

But what makes a magazine that ever more appealing to little eyes? The free toy of course! Each month you'll find a branded Paddington toy. The first issue comes with a mini shopping set including a trolley, bank card, pin machine, coins, and a mini stand up Paddington, foam milk, cereal and of course marmalade. This mini shopping set has come in really handy as my daughter has just started to learn about coins and money.



Unleash a Little Creativity...

Each issue comes with something fun to make and we love crafts. In this issue there was a Finger Puppet Activity and a recipe to bake your very own Pawprint Cookies. As we were playing shops and learning about money, we wanted to take some time out to make the Finger Puppets together so we could add extra characters into our role play. The craft activity is part of Redan Publishing initiative ‘Take Time Make Memories’ initiative encouraging special family time together creating crafts, recipes and playing games away from the screen.


This jam packed learning magazine has 36 pages filled with whole range of different activities, stickers, games, stories, crafts, recipes and it also includes a 12-page workbook that focuses on a different theme each month. But the best part about any magazine definitely comes down to the toy! A the shopping trolley branded toy was so much fun to play with and has really helped my daughter understand about money whilst having fun with role play too. 

My daughter's favourites in the issue was making the Finger Puppets together and playing shops with the branded Paddington Bear toy. The Sticker Bingo where you had to roll the dice and match up the numbers to the food stickers, it was lovely that we could do these kind of activities together where she could take the lead at times. Every activity inside the magazine is full of fun, educational and different. It is a must have for all younger learners.

The Adventures of Paddington magazine is available from leading supermarkets and newsagents. You can also buy and subscribe online. The next issue there will be a tea party set which I know my little lady will love. Who doesn't love a marmalade sandwich and drinking tea? 

** We have been kindly gifted The Adventures of Paddington Magazine but as always my words and opinions are my own. Images are subject to copyright, please seek permission before using.**

Rainbocorns Wild Heart Surprise

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My daughter has always been a huge fan of surprise toys and naturally gravitates towards then when given the opportunity. I understand the fascination of the these kind of surprise toys, as you really never know what you're going to get. But who wouldn't want to open a toy that is full of hidden surprises?


Over the Easter holidays we have been hatching and eating lots of delicious eggs, we still have quite a few to still get through. However, for the very first time my daughter has the opportunity to hatch her very own Rainbocorn and she couldn't be more excited. But what are Rainbocorns?

What are Rainbocorns?

Rainbocorns are adorable, colourful and cuddly plush toys which consists of an animal such as a tiger, giraffe, zebra or elephants and is mixed with some unicorn features. Every Rainbocorn comes with a some other surprises and you may even come across some Boo-Boocorns too, which are the cutest wide eyes little creatures you'll ever see.


We were kindly sent over a huge Rainbocorns Easter bundle that was full of brightly coloured eggs that we could wait to hatch. There was a Rainbocorns Wild Heart Surprise, Rainbocorns Sparkle Surprises, and Rainbocorns Puppy Surprises as well as some packs of Rainbocorns Itzy Bitzy Surprise Collectibles. So as you can see we had a lot of hatching to get through. There were so many to choose from, so where would you start? The biggest egg of them all, of course!

Rainbocorns Wild Heart Surprise.

So we started with the Rainbocorns Wild Heart Surprise which was full of WILD surprises including our very own Wild Rainbocorn, a Sequin Clip-on Heart, a Rainbocorn Wild Poop, a Long Tailed Boo-Boocorn and a set of Press-on Nails. You can hatch, hug and play with your new cuddly friend once they hatch from their colourful, reusable plastic egg which breaks into two parts. There are 7 new wild characters to collect including the Tucancorn, Zebracorn and even a rare sparkle Slothcorn!


Our Rainbocorn egg was bright purple with a green and gold Ombre horn. There was also a silver sequin heart on the front of that you can brush to reveal a special symbol. We welcomed a new Zebracorn called Blanco and she's the cutest little thing, but my daughter has decided that Zebby is better suited for her new friend.

Our little Rainbocorn has a bright pink tummy, wings and horn with gold glittery feet (or hooves). Zebby is really soft, colourful, and super cuddly. It didn't take my daughter long to figure out that the sequin removeable heart slots right into her tummy, which really reminds of the care bears that my sister and I had as little girls. As it has a clip you could also wear it as a cool new hair accessory.


As my daughter hatched Zebby she soon realised that there were more surprises inside and she couldn't wait to open them. There was a birth certificate, a small packet of Rainbocorn Poop and a small egg that had a Long Tailed Boo-Boocorn inside. These are similar to some other toys my daughter has but these can be used a pencil toppers too. If you manage to get your hands on Slothcorn or Toucancorn you may also be able to get a set of rare twins, sadly we didn't. But we got a yellow Long Tailed Zebra who has been name Zebrina!


Next my daughter decided to open the small packet of Rainbocorn Wild Poop that included some pink and black poop. It wasn't tacky or slimy at all and felt like a softer version of play dough, it smooshed together to make a light grey colour. My daughter preferred playing with this Wild Poop instead of slime. A win for mum! The only thing I would say if you want to keep your Wild Poop from drying out is to put it into a plastic container or a zip lock bag to keep it fresh.


The last surprise she came across was the Press-on Nails that matched her little Rainbocorn, so of course they has black and pink stripes just like Zebby. I really like these nails, some were slightly too big for my daughter's nails but they didn't ping off straight away like some others we have used.


Rainbocorns are cute, colourful and cuddly. They come in their very own egg that is held together by a sequin heart that can also pop into their tummies that have a reveals a special symbol. Every Rainbocorns comes with a some other surprises too and you may even find some Boo-Boocorns and they are the cutest wide eyes little creatures you'll ever see.

My daughter has always been a huge fan of surprise toys. There's nothing quite like opening a new toy that is full of hidden surprises just waiting to be discovered, so it comes to no surprise that she LOVES Rainbocorns. We welcomed a little Zebracorn into our family and she had the pride of place making it onto the bed of toys, that's a big thing in our house. But next we are looking for a Slothcorn and hope that we get a rare set of twins inside. Have you come across a Rainbocorn before? What do you think of Zebby?

** We have been kindly gifted the Rainbocorn Easter Bundle but as always my words and opinions are my own. Images are subject to copyright, please seek permission before using.**

Funlockets Secret Diary Journal

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Did you ever keep a secret diary when you were younger? I remember my first secret diary being a pink glittery book with a cute little panda on the front, not forgetting the all important lock and secret key to keep my nosy sister out. Ever since then I have always kept some kind of diary to document my thoughts and write about my goals for the coming year - whether it was a good old fashioned diary, bullet journaling or this blog.

funlockets diary

Diaries are a great way for children to record memories and note down ideas, aspirations and emotions. I have been trying to encourage my daughter to get into some kind of diary writing, but it never seems to come to anything. However, since being in lockdown she has shown as keen interest in wanting to document her days during lockdown, the highs and lows of homeschooling or writing a list of all the place she wants to visit after lockdown. We gave her a mini diary that had a lock and key attached and she loves it. 

But writing a diary doesn't have to be simple and boring. Add some pink, a bunch of keys and lots of hidden surprises you'll have much more than JUST a diary. This superb Funlockets Secret Diary is a little place where she can write all her secrets, make lists and keep all her special keepsakes away from prying eyes with a simple click, twist and pop!

girl with funlockets

This compact Funlockets Secret Diary is packed with fun activities and surprises to keep kids entertained and learning every time they use it. The diary has four keys to unlock different compartments, a notepad, glittery pencil to write all your secrets, stickers, a memo pad and so much more. There are over 30 hidden surprises to enjoy, all packed within its appealing pink casing.

inside funlockets diary

Before she could even think about all the fun and exciting things to write inside her Funlockets Secret Diary she needed to find the key to unlock all the mysteries within. Do you think you could find a way to unlock this secret diary? It did take my daughter a minute or two to find out that the first key was inside the spine of the diary, but it popped out with a simple twist.

funlockets key

As you can imagine my daughter couldn't wait to unlock the secret diary. Once you turn the key you then need to twist the purple heart on top of the casing to open the secret diary. The heart also popped out and had a cute little unicorn key ring inside which comes in pretty handy as you make your way through the secret compartments and find the keys. 

funlockets diary with purple heart

purple heart in hand

There are over 30 hidden surprises inside that includes stickers, memo pads, paper clips, stencils, washi tape, a pad for all secrets and so much more. But you have to get a Funlockets Secret Diary for yourself to find out all the hidden surprises. But once you have made you way through all the secret compartment its time to style and decorate the diary anyway you like. Be creative, be fun, show your personality. My daughter loves unicorns, animals and as much glitter and sparkle she can possibly have - so this is a perfect gift for her. 

inside diary

Writing a diary is more than just a way for you to record your daily, it can have impressive educational benefits too. It can help inspire stories, diary writing can become a part of their routine and improve their handwriting. Diary writing requires children to think about the words that they are using to express themselves. It also encourages them to order their thoughts before putting pen to paper, making their writing more coherent.

close up of secret diary

Diaries can be used to record many different things. Every child has different interests and hobbies, so let them decide the sort of diary that they keep – there’s something for everything inside this Funlockets Secret Diary that will definitely encourage your little one to become more excited when it comes to writing their diary.

The Funlockets Secret Diary is perfect for year-round gifting, fun diary-keeping, and to help aid children with writing down and expressing their thoughts. Don't worry if you run out of paper for those little secrets because you can download new sheets for your notepad over on the Funlockets website, which is pretty handy. It has been designed for children ages 6 and up and is available at Smyths, Argos and Amazon. It is a great gift for this time of year and it much more than JUST a diary. 

** We have been kindly gifted our Funlocket Secret Diary Journal but as always my words and opinions are my own. Images are subject to copyright, please seek permission before using.**

What Social Media Has Taught Me Recently

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It's hard to remember a time before social media, when our only means of connecting with friends and family was through calling or writing letters. We had little or no access to a great internet connection, anyone else remember how annoying dial up was? 


But things have definitely progressed. Now most of us couldn't be without a good internet connection or be able keep in touch with our loved ones on social media. It's become a life line for many of us and has a hand in strengthening those relationships during the pandemic -  it has been good for mental health especially when most of us are spending time alone. 

As business owner, social media has its place and can be amazing when driving traffic to resources. But with that being said, over the year social media has taught me a lot about what to expect and how it will help me as a business owner. 

It's Okay To Be Happy

Social media has been a life line for many of us wanting to stay connected to our family and friends. But of course, most people don't use social media to just socialise. We spend a lot of time passively scrolling through media discovering that friends have been spending quarantine cleaning out their cupboards, getting fit, or finding their inner peace in solitude. Seemingly, creating a world where everyone seems happy. 

Surely its a good time to share those little moments? Yes, we tend to just share the great or good moment in life. But if the last year has taught us anything it is to embrace to pace, enjoy the moment and capture all those little things. I know for us, it has been amazing to take this time together and kept most of us sane. So yes, it's totally okay to be happy and share with the world. 

Social Media Popularity Does Not Equal Self Worth

There is a misconception that the more followers or readers we have on our social media gives us validation and acceptance in society. That is simply not the case. Social media popularity does not equal self worth. Feel confident in yourself regardless of your online presence. You are more worthy than a number online. 

Ditch The Envy & Feel Inspired 

We have all been there passively scrolling through social media wishing we had something, or been lucky enough to go travelling or being our own boss. We want those things, often leaving us green with envy. But instead of getting sucked into envy, negativity or feeling as if you're not worthy of the same things - alter your focus and change your mindset with social media. Rather than feeling envious and jealous of the little snippets that people share, feel inspired by them. Well if they can do, you can too! 

Protect Your Mental Health

We all understand that social media has transformed into a place where the most perfect, staged, curated highlight snippets of our lives are shared. As we spend more time on social media the more that it has helped shaped our body image, our relationships and our mental health. It's becoming increasingly important to protect your mental health from social media. 

Over the years I have definitely felt the same envy towards some of those photos and the people who have shared them. However, in that time, altering mindset has really changed the way I see social media and turn it back into what is it supposed to me. 

The easiest way to protect your mental health from social media is to take a really good look at your feed. Go through the people you're following and make a point of following people that make you feel positive. The mute button is the most underrated social superpower, so use it! Ditch the envy and feel inspired by the people that you following - you can do it too and always remember that social media is a platform for sharing our life.


Surprisingly Making Friends is Easy

Social media can be an great place to connect with people you wouldn't normally in real life. It's strange to think that you can make long life friends through social media. There is a whole community who understand the whole passion of getting the perfect photo, connecting and needing to engage with new people. With my blog and being on social media has opened new doors to new friendships who are always a message away, where needed. 

I'm the sort of person who doesn't make friends so easily, because it can be so hard for me to build a bond straightaway. However, those friends that I do have in my life, I'm very grateful for. But through social media I have made some long life friends that like to check in regularly, ask me for advice or leave comments on my posts. Surprisingly, reaching out to someone can become much more than you ever imagined.

The past year has taught me so much about solitude, growth, creativity and a whole lot about resilience. It has been tough where my only saviour seemed to be getting lost with passively scrolling through social media with snippets of other people in quarantine. But never in a million years did I think that scrolling through social media would open up new doors to new adventures. It has helped me change my mindset, alter my focus towards the important things in life. It has taught me to appreciate myself, realise my worth, to ditch the envy and feel inspired by them. 

5 Years Time

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It's safe to say that the past year and the wall-to-wall new coverage that has come with it has changed many of our lives seemingly overnight. It has changed the way we live, but also the way we work, socialise and eventually moving around the world will be different, too.


The pandemic has taught us so much about perspective, community, resilience and the importance of connection. Not only that, but it has also given us an incredible opportunity to rediscover truths about life - both individually and in society. So where we will be in five years time? It's a big, scary question, isn't it? Five years can fly by, and although so much can happen in that time frame.


So what can we do to make sure that the next few years of our life will be an exciting time of change and growth, a time of pursuing our goals and dreams. It's important, more than ever, to look towards the future. The first step is realising that change needs to happen. What better way to get onto that path than with a five year plan. 

In some ways, five years can give us many opportunities to look forward and to really help us to set goals with a long term vision. But on the other hand, five years can seem like a lifetime away. However, as long as you are willing to learn, develop and adapt your plan to be in line with your growth, you'll flourish and achieve all the things you want to.


The past year has taught me so much about solitude, growth, creativity and a whole lot about resilience. However, being stuck behind the same four walls for months on end there's a need for a little adventure. In five years time...

Location

It doesn't seem possible that we've actually been in this house for six years! It was such a milestone for us to get onto the property market whilst adjusting to life a first time parents. But we feel incredibly proud of ourselves. In five years time, who knows where we will be. But we've been in this house for six years and think it's time to move on to something bigger and with a driveway. Before buying our first home we lived in a one bedroom flat in a small village, and we really miss the real sense of community in the village, the surrounding fields and the silence. A ultimate goal of ours is to end up living in a place in Devon or Cornwall if my husband's career paths takes us that way.


Career

Career? Well if you'd asked me five years ago, the answer would have been something in the probation service. But then I had my little girl and everything changed! A baby was never really in our plan because I never thought that I would be able to have my own child so it was a big shock for us when it finally happened. Children change lives. They make them a little more hectic, busy and complicated. But more importantly, they make our lives better in more ways than you can count. My life has changed but changed in the best way possible. With that, my career perspective changed but opened new doors and new opportunities.

I started my blog. It was a place to help me through the midnight feeds so I could write about the happenings of our everyday life as a first time mum. But it's become much more than just a online diary. It means so much that people are actually (or still) read my posts, it makes me appreciate myself so much more and to realise my worth. When I started blogging I did it for the fun of it. I never in a million years imagined I’d learn enough to turn writing into my full-time career.

My little corner of the internet has done so many things for me as a person. It's kept me focused, encouraged me to chase my dreams and have a more positive outlook in life. I feel so lucky. I have got to know so many amazing and brilliant people from writing this blog. But to put it simply, my blogging became my true passion. It wasn't a future than I envisioned when I decided to press that publish button but it's been one of the most life changing decision I have ever made. And I am so proud of myself for following my heart and putting myself out there, warts and all instead of settling in a job that made me very unhappy. In the next five years I hope that it continues to grows and I become more involved with social media marketing and PR.

Adventures and Travel

Being in lockdown has made us all yearn for travel and adventure. Fortunately for us, we did manage to book a last minute staycation after the restriction were lifted last year. But we want to adventure further afield. So my plans for the next five years is to travel and adventures with my two favourites and the pup as much as we possibly can. We've made a travel bucket list full of exciting places like Disneyland, Thailand, Cuba, Scotland, Ireland and Italy. Not only that we have a bucket list of must visit places that my daughter wants to go and see which include Harry Potter Studios, The Shard, The Cotswold and Stonehenge.


Family

If you've been reading our blog for a while you'll know that we want to have another baby, but after trying to conceive for four year it seems that another baby isn't is our plan. I think that's what a lot of people forget becoming a parent is not always a walk in the park. You don't think one day 'let's make a baby' and by some miracle, poof, you're pregnant!!! It's doesn't always work like that. It takes a lot of love, support and patience. I think that's why we feel so grateful to be parents, we never thought we would be parents. Our daughter is our miracle! We are complete. We feel content.

As a mum of an only child my biggest fear is leaving this world and leaving her alone. I know I may sound irrational and I know she will have family and friends but it's a genuine fear. Is it fair for her to be alone? This year marks yet another big milestone in our second fertility journey. We've seen a lot of heartache with one negative test after another. We had a glimmer of hope with our first positive pregnancy test, which was short lived making the heartbreak that much harder and so painful.


Like most children, our daughter is desperate for a sibling. I'm beginning to realise that it's having an impact on my daughter. Our daughter has always been confident enough to go off and play with her toys, colour or play dress up on her own. But recently she is making references to a brother or sister and telling us that it's no fun playing on her own. As a parent it was absolute torture hearing those words. Both my husband and I are trying so hard to have another baby and it's getting to a point now where I don't think it's going to happen for us and it breaks my heart knowing how devastated our daughter will be. I would love nothing more than another baby. Let's hope that somewhere in those five years that we get the second baby.

With five year plans who really knows where we will be. You can make plans and have dreams you want to achieve but we can never really predict exactly what will happen, it's exciting to wait and see what comes our way. Another move? A new job? Moving country? Triplets? Who knows! Life plans are never really set in stone, you can hope that your plans will unfold just as you predicted but making the plan come to life will take hard work, dedication and a lottery win! So here's hoping!

Do you ever make life plans? Would you make a five year plan?

Should I Let My Daughter Have Her Ears Pierced?

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The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind. The current lockdown has made prioritising certain things a challenge. Most of us are working from home, doing food shopping, laundry, household chores, homeschooling our children and attending classes on zoom. So, that work life balance doesn't seem to be so smooth and life feels exhausting and overwhelming. It has been an unforgettable time to say the least.


With everything that is going on in the world, most of us feel out of sorts and way more stressed than usual. After being in lockdown for the better part of a year I have completely lost all sense of time and can't keep track. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and take the time to take a minute, breath, and to focus on all the positives that have happened during these uncertain times. 

My daughter has been spending more time at home. We muddled our way through home schooling, explored adventures on daily walks and like to relaxing and unwinding with self care afternoons. All three of us took full advantage of the opportunity that we can spend more time together and embrace every single moment with them. It has been during this time that I have REALLY noticed how grown up my little girl has become. 

Everyday she tells me that she's a big girl and that she's not going to be my baby again. And my heart shatters, every time. Don't get me wrong she hasn't been my baby baby quite some time. But when she says those words to me, it doesn't make it hurt any less. I don't think I will ever be prepared enough to watch her become even more independent and confident in her own decisions. But it's something that makes me incredibly proud. 

Recently, she made an announcement out of the blue that she wanted to get her ears pierced. It took me by surprised, especially as she went with her cousin to watch her get her ears pierced and she cried. My husband was more than happy to book an appointment to get them done, there and then. However, I just couldn't say yes. 

It was so out of nowhere and I want her to make this decision knowing all the fact, not to get them done a whim. There is no agreed upon age that a little girl should get her ears pierced. I remember pestering my parents to get my ears pierced at seven years old and after a lot of pleading with her my mum finally gave in. I remember the pain of getting my first ear pierced, and not wanting to go through with the other ear. But after an hour or so, my mum convinced me to get the other done. That experience lived so vividly in my mind. 

But my daughter is only six. Isn't childhood short enough as it is without encouraging them to grow up too fast? It was important for us to sit down with our daughter to tell her evening that's involved with getting her ears pierced. While it is a safe procedure, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, any time a needle pierces skin, there is a risk of introducing ear infection into the area. The first few weeks the ear may be tender, itchy and the surrounding area may look slightly red on the skin. But these are completely normal for a new piercing. But if a piercing becomes swollen, painful, hot to touch or you have fluid coming from the ear then your piercing may be infected. You may need medical attention. Ear infections are really common and if left they may be serious that may require medical attention. Auris Ear Care offer on demand ear care which includes ear wax removal, foreign body removal and of course ear infection treatments. 

Second, small earrings can become a choking hazard if they are pulled out of the ear and end up in the mouth. Also, some people can be sensitive or even allergic to the metal in the earring. My sister has a severe reaction to her gold earring that her butterfly stud became stuck behind an infection - she was in a lot of pain and it put her off earrings for life. It is also best to wait until a later age when your daughter is old enough to take care of them herself. 

Then, there's the aftercare. The salt water baths, popping on a plaster for PE and making sure that she can put them in and out of her ears safely. So can my six year old take this kind of responsibility for herself? Of course, it's her body, her choice - which is something that I have to understand and respect. 
I want her to know that she's allowed to explore. That she has a mother who supports her, no matter her decision. She needs unconditional love, yet still have those boundaries so she doesn't get top far ahead. I know she needs to grow up and I do think I'm finally ready to let her.

The Lockdown Valentine's Gift Guide

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We are so close to February, so it's time to thinking about getting something for your Valentine. Whether you like to join in  or not we all know that most celebrations and holiday are going to be a little different this year. So there is no whisking your loved one away for a romantic weekend away, no posh dinners or date nights at the theatre. Yep, most of us have to face another night in with our loved ones. But don't let being stuck in a lockdown stop you from showing your favourite person how much you care. 


If you like keeping things simple with a cute card or freshly cut flowers, keep in the safe lane with a box of chocolates or perhaps you prefer going for something more luxurious we have compiled a list of super easy gift ideas for your Valentine to suit all budgets. It's full of perfectly pretty presents that anyone would love to open on Valentine's Day. 

Gold Rimmed Tea Cup // £3

Let's kick of this Valentine's gift guide with a really budget friendly gift idea, a gold rimmed tea cup and saucer. I'll be the first to admit it, we have wayyy tooo many mugs and cups in this household but that doesn't stop us for getting the another pretty little cup. 

Ellie Feather Gold Necklace // £15

It has to be said, we all love opening up a pretty little sparkle on the most romantic day of the year, right? The more statement, the better. This stunning gold necklace features two layers of delicate gold-tones chains that are made up of tiny gold coloured balls. It has a longer chain with a textured life like feather attached at the bottom, accompanied by a smaller chain with a smaller feather. It is a real focal point making this piece simple, yet stylish. 


The Old Curiosity Secret Garden Gin Set // £29.95

If the past year has taught us anything it's to show the ones we care about, how much we love them. That's why a pretty pink gift set full of their favourite drink is THE gift for them this year. The Old Curiosity Secret Garden Gin Set includes a bottle of Pink Elderflower & Jasmine Gin and Apothecary Rose Gin. Two enchanting combinations of hand-grown; picked and dried botanicals, infused with the finest quality gin in these apothecary style bottles.


Elemis Resurfacing Trio // £80 

A safe bet is always luxurious skincare. Elemis has a wonderful range of skincare products that they will love. Just like this Dynamic Resurfacing trio that includes a Facial Wash, Day Cream infused with SPF30 and a Gel Mask. This rejuvenating trio will help brighten and renew the look of your complexion for an instantly radiant appearance.


Lavera Glowing Highlighters // £12

There is nothing like a beautiful premium product to make a girl feel special, but we don't always have the luxury budget for makeup. Lavera is a natural and organic range that's not only is good for skin and the planet, but also makes you feel as if you're really using a premium product. We have been kindly send over these highlighters in Rosy Shine and Luminous Gold. Both have iridescent pearl pigments and light reflecting particles leaving an instant luminous glow with a warm tone and they come in a good size too. 


Rose Quartz Face Roller // £24

Enhance your daily routine with a naturally soothing quartz roller. High-quality and a joy to use, this Rose Quartz Roller is the perfect way to show your skin a little extra love. This facial massage roller stimulates circulation, improves circulation and skin tone, and invigorates skin. This roller helps product absorb better into the skin when used after your serum or moisturiser.


Nordgreen Native Gold Mesh Watch Set // £178

For the lady in your life a little luxury will always the way to go. Sometimes the simplest styles can be the most striking. Browse Nordgreen Watches and their extensive collection of watches you will be able to get something to suit your style. You can choose from the Native, Philosopher, or Infinity analogue timepieces and mix and match with a wide range of different metals, colours and types. If you're looking for a minimalist yet sophisticated style will most definitely make a statement. Just like a classic choice of a gold case and a gold mesh strap, but for those days where you want something more practical then there are so many different coloured leather straps available.


Afternoon Tea for Two from Pig's Pantry // £30

Lockdown might have changed almost everything about our lives, but one thing that's not changed is the British public's love of an indulgent afternoon tea spread. Afternoon tea is my absolute FAVOURITE and knowing that I can get one sent right to my door makes me feel really happy. Not only does getting a cream tea delivered feel like the ultimate indulgence, it also makes a change from other takeaways and is a special way of marking birthdays, anniversaries or other events during lockdown.



This Piglet's Pantry Afternoon Tea at Home has a selection of freshly made sweet and savoury treats to enjoy. Tuck into delicious cheese and chive quiche, classic sausage rolls, Scotch eggs, sausage rolls filled with cheese and pickle, a selection of cakes and fruit scones topped with jam and cream. Inside the Afternoon Tea for Two is also some Earl Grey tea bags so you can make a nice strong pit of tea to sip alongside your treats. 

Town & City Gift Cards // £20 and up

If you're all out of ideas for your loved one, why not give them a gift of choice. We're not going to be in lockdown forever, so why don't you prepare for your first adventure and get a handy Town or City Gift Card. It will make the present perfect present for any occasion that help support local businesses in different towns or cities. You can choose from many regions from Scotland, East Midlands, South East England to Northern Ireland, The Midlands and London. 


We are from Norfolk so the East of England is the most local area to us with four locations to choose from; Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, St Albans and Watford. I really like the idea of getting a gift card for an adventure that is only a train ride away. 

Carfume Lovehearts Limited Edition Fragrance // £12

Ok, so I will be the first to admit that this one is a pretty out there choice. But if you have a loved one likes a good scent for their car then you need to try some of these premium fragrances from Carfume. The love hearts limited edition is definitely the one for Valentine's day! With this sweetly inspired fragrance, fizzing with happiness just like the favourite valentines sweets. The fragrance is a blend of grapes, red berries and vanilla. It is in now way overpowering like some other car fragrances you can get. 


Foxanne Designs Valentine Card // £4

On the day of LOVE what better way to say I love you lots than a lovely card? Or...perhaps make your partner giggle with a funny or witty card. My husband has a wicked sense of humour and I'm always thinking of creative ways to make him laugh and I have found the perfect card for him. Foxanne Designs has a wonderful Valentine range that are great for those kinds of people with quirky illustrations and funny anecdotes for a real unique cards. There are so many different designs to choose from and I found the perfect one that I know my husband will love, or at least have a good giggle. Some of my other favourites are You're Just My Cup of Tea, We're a Perfect Match, Abso-fcking-lutely. 


Whether you like keeping things simple with a cute cards or flowers, stay safe with chocolate or want to go for something more luxurious with this list of super easy gift ideas for your Valentine, I'm sure you'll put a smile on their face.

** We have been kindly gifted our some of the items in this gift guide but as always my words and opinions are my own. Images are subject to copyright, please seek permission before using.**

Totem Infernal Power Game

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Lockdown 3.0 is in full swing and even though there seems to be good news with the vaccines rolling out, restrictions are not letting up any time soon. The next few months are going to be tough for everyone and so staying home is going to be the new going out. But if the first lockdown taught us anything it's that keeping our families entertained is not easy. 


So this time around many of us are looking for fun and exciting ways to keep our families entertained without being constantly being glued to our screens. What better way to entertain everyone than bringing back family game night? There was nothing quite like the smell of margherita pizza coming out of the oven and the rattle of board games coming out of the cupboard as a kid. 


So now that we are spending more time at home we need to make family game night a thing in our house. Not only will it be a great way to bond and have fun, but it will allow the little one to work on a variety of skills such as social skills, problem solving, fine motor skills, visual motor skills, the list goes on. We do have a good selection of games and challenging puzzles already, but we want to add some different family bonding challenges into the mix. We have been getting ourselves in a spin with this Totem Infernal Power Game

So what is the Totem Infernal Power Game? Well, these are clever little spinning tops that are little LEDs that spin and light up as you stack them. Experience spinning tops like you've never seen before. Spin your spinning tops or totems using the launcher and stack them all in size order to build the ultimate light up totem tower. But it may not be as easy as you think and it may take you a few attempts, but once you do, your tower will look impressive. So are you ready to take on the Totem Infernal Power Challenge? 


Do you think you can build the biggest tower? Let's find out. To get yourself in a spin with this challenge first you need to add two AAA batteries into your biggest totems, and batteries are not included in the box. Next, find a big clear space either up a table or on a hard wearing floor to begin spinning. Just keep in mind that the harder you spin your totem the faster they will go. 

Inside each Totem Infernal Power Game pack there are five different sized colourful spinners or totems and a grey totem launcher. The aim of the game is to try and spin your totem and stack on another one before the topple over or stop spinning. Simple, right? 


Begin by placing the largest totems which is the orange one into your launcher and twist, you will start to hear a click. Keep twisting as you hear the clicks but be careful because if the totem slips out of your hands it will be pretty powerful - my nose learned the hard way. So you basically click and twist until you cannot hear any clicks, then carefully press the button on the launcher to release the totem. 

Watch your totem spin, but you need to be quick to launch your second totem into the one that is spinning. Believe me, it's not as easy as you think and they will certainly go spinning if they don't connect with one another. 


We really enjoyed the Totem Infernal Power Game and at first we did find it pretty tricking to get each of them to spin so quickly one after another. So far we have managed to get four of the totems on top of one another but every time we add the fifth totem it topples over and we have to start again. We had lots of fun and laughs trying to get the five totems stacked. Will you be able to stack the five spinning totem and become a champion? If so, can you do it blind folded? The Totem Infernal Power retails at £9.99 making it the perfect addition to family game night. They are available at Smyths Toys, Argos and The Entertainer.


** We have been kindly gifted our Totem Infernal Power Game but as always my words and opinions are my own. Images are subject to copyright, please seek permission before using.**

Birchbox: January 2021 A fresh New Start

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It's the first Birchbox of the year and what better way to kick-start the new year than with some new beauty and skincare finds. But it does need to be said that Birchbox have been missing the mark with their recent boxes with nothing really standing out. It all feels a little repetitive, so I'm hoping that this year is going to be a more exciting. 


Rethink Your Routine, Trust the Magic of a Fresh Start beauty box is all about embracing a new routine and what better way to do that with this box full of pamper treats. It feels like perfect timing. Every Birchbox subscriber with get either a Marcelle Hydrating or Purifying Mask to shake up their evening routine. There is also a Lisa Waiter Illuminating Primer and This Works Morning Expert Hyaluronic Serum. All great products for embracing a new routine. 

Birchbox have replaced the usual drawer style boxes with a lidded box, which I am in two minds about as the little drawers were always so cute and were great for storing makeup and skincare. The design of the box is nothing like their usual bold and colourful boxes with a simple light grey box and white colour scheme. So let's see what's inside...



Marcelle. Hydrating Mask. RRP | £17 

My sensitive skin gets inflamed very easily during the harsh winter months that leaves my skin lacking lustre and in need of some deep hydration. It's hard to try and get a good balance when it comes to complex skincare conditions. As you don't want to strip your face of all the essential oils or block your pores with an concoction of products. Whether your skin is dehydrated because of the elements, dry from the natural aging process, or parched for some reason you can't determine - a hydrating mask may just be the answer. 

This Marcelle Hydrating mask moisturises and soothes skin while offering an instant freshness effect that hydrates and renews the skin. This refreshing crystalline gel mask, formulated with hyaluronic acid and pacific seaweed, offers deep hydration and an extreme boost for your skin. Something that most of us with dry and sensitive skin needs to add into our skincare routine. 


Lise Watier.  Illuminating Primer. RRP | £42 

Most of us love a primer and swear by them. A primer is a must have in achieving a smooth, soft and flawless makeup. It helps create an extra layer between your skin and makeup that can even out skin tone and help your makeup last longer. I definitely like using a primer, so when I get the opportunity to introduce as new one into the routine, I jump at the chance. Who doesn’t love a little extra glow?! Get yourself an illuminating primer to brighten up any dullness on your skin. It could also be the reason why you completely skip wearing highlight and end up looking magically glowy. 

The Lise Watier Illuminating Primer has been formulation to help create a soft and radiant base for makeup application. Apply after moisturizing and before foundation for a more subtle radiance, or after foundation as a highlighter. It can also be mixed directly with foundation, concealer or day cream for a natural, radiant complexion. 

This Works. Morning Expert Hyaluronic Serum. RRP | £37

I’m a big fan of This Works so I was pleased to see a mini of their bestselling Morning Expert Hyaluronic Serum, it been on my must try list for some time. This serum is formulated with vitamin C to help firm and tighten the skin, the serum works to minimise the signs of ageing while imparting a youthful radiance for skin that is ready to start the day. This youth-boosting serum targets tired-looking skin, leaving it plumped up and looking brighter. I've been homeschooling for months, I need to use A LOT of this serum.


Dr Botanicals. Strawberry & Poppy Seed Cleansing Bar. RRP | £9

I know that not everyone feels the same when it comes to cleansing bars, as they have a reputation for clogging your pores and stripping your skin of its natural oils. But now a new generation of cleansing bars is changing the game. This Dr Botanicals Strawberry & Poppy Seed Cleansing Bar that smells good enough to eat. Formulated with 98% natural ingredients such as exfoliating poppy seeds and revitalising strawberry. It is small but mighty and cleanses and exfoliates the skin all over to restore your natural glow. This bar is perfect for those who want to reduce the amount of plastic that they use in their bathrooms and it’s also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. 


Palmers Coconut Oil Formula Conditioning Shampoo. RRP | £4.49

Palmer's Coconut Oil Conditioning Shampoo is a rich, creamy shampoo, free of sulphates and harsh detergents, that gently cleanses and removes build-up without stripping hair or interrupting it's delicate moisture balance. This one is particular great for battling those with dry, damaged or colour treated hair, which is just what I need with my thick, wavy and frizzy hair. I have used a bunch of Palmer's Coconut Oil products before as they are conditioning and leave my hair feeling and smelling amazing. 


Well, looks can be deceiving! From the look of the box I wasn't expecting the products to wow me in any way. But actually there are a few products in this box that I would actually purchase again like the Lisa Waiter Illuminating Primer and the This Works Morning Expert Hyaluronic Serum. 

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.

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