Pandemic Parenting

16 Feb

Hi folks,

Well… I’m going back to basics with this post. Talking about me & what life is like at the moment. I’d better just tell you now… this is a bit of a pity party post. This pandemic has got me so up & down. I am the social media junkie… I use it for work… for keeping in touch with family & friends… I use it for many aspects of my life. I love to plan & organise. I love an occasion. If there is anything happening in the calendar that can be transformed into some kind of celebration – I’m literally all over it! I’m all about having fun & making EVERYTHING fun. I’m all about decorations & parties. But wow… this pandemic is really starting to take its toll.

I’m a stay at home/work from home Mama. We have no family that live around us. So while the hubs goes out to work… I stay home. While Seth (4) is in school, Ted is home with me (2). I love my life. Pre-Covid we had a great routine. My down time would be going to get my nails done or my eyebrows. Going for a drink with the girls. With no kids in tow. I did try a few nights away with no kids – but my separation anxiety was shocking.

Now… let’s skip to March 2020… lockdown happened. That meant no beauty appointments… no drinks with the girls & no seeing family. Since March 2020 I’ve had 1 nail appointment & maybe 2 trips to the shop completely on my own. Oh & 1 social distanced afternoon with a friend over sparkles. So in almost a year I’ve had maybe 5hrs to myself. I never get to have a walk on my own, never an mind afternoon to myself… nothing.

We have been lucky that over this pandemic my husband had been able to continue to work. But then, that also means I’m solo parenting for like 8hrs of the day while homeschooling too. We have no childcare bubble.

There really isn’t any point to this blog post – other than to feel sorry for myself. At this point I just feel so unbelievably overwhelmed, emotional & run down. Since having my youngest I’ve had some health issues which just aren’t going away but being prodded & poked by a gynaecologist isn’t ranking high on my wish list of things to do right now.

Anyone else just craving a night away?

Things could be so much worse, I know, but it still doesn’t help when you just feel so worn out. My coping mechanism is just throw glitter on stuff. Make it happy & sparkly. I think my recent weight loss/lifestyle change has helped loads because it gives me something else to focus on & I do love a project. But I just just feel this overwhelming ache of loss for life before Covid. I’m always the person looking after people & reaching out to make sure everyone is okay. And I think in doing that, people think you’re totally tickety boo & maybe forget to check in with you. This is not “a please send me hearts & chocolates” post plea… it’s just a… well I don’t know what it is. I guess it’s a post to let people know – we’re all struggling. It’s not a competition to see who is struggling the most. It’s just a post about how unbelievably crap the world is right now.

My family are my little life world. They’re my happy place. But wow… I just need a break with preferably a glass of sparkles & conversation that doesn’t involve Bing, Blippi or Ryan.

If you’re feeling this way too – it will get better. Surely this pandemic is coming to some kind of end. I never thought I’d see the day that I actually whole heartedly missed soft play!

If you made it this far… thanks for reading.

If you’re feeling this way too – it’s totally fine to feel like that. Scream & shout & have a cup of tea. And if you have no one to talk too – drop me a message. Please don’t feel alone.

Sending out much love & Huggles,

Stay safe,

Hayley xxx

Looking Good in Lockdown

1 Feb

Hi folks,

Wow… what a start to the year! I’m just so glad that January is over… It was a looooooong month! I’m on a huge health kick at the moment. But as well as wanting to feel good on the inside… I really want to look good on the outside too.

My hair seems to have grown loads in the last few month. Lots of people always ask me how its so shiny. I’ve not dyed my hair since 2015. It’s probably in the best condition its been in for years. I think a combination of a good healthy diet, drinking lots of water & good styling tools are key.

This last week I’ve been trying out the new Wide Ceramic Stylers from SHE Hair. They’re simply stunning. They come in Original Gold & Ice White.

The wide plates are perfect for long thick hair. They glide so effortlessly whilst covering a larger surface area. The dual huge is perfect too for a comfortable glide. I honestly can not stand a straightener that tugs & snags your hair. These stylers are perfect. I use straighteners everyday, so i need something that I can trust to not damage my hair with snagging, snapping or overheating.

So… how did they do?

I decided to take a pic half way through straightening my hair… so oneside is perfectly straight & one side isn’t.

Theres such a big difference between the before & after. They straightened so quickly.

These straighteners go up to 220, but I used them on 180. That heat was perfect for my hair type.

I love the variable temperature option on these stylers. All hair types are covered when you can choose the optimum temperature for your hair type. They’re also compatible with extensions.

Once my hair was fully straightened… my hair was so soft & super shiny! After washing my hair I always use my She Hair Supersonic Hair Dryer in Cobalt Blue & Gold. Its so amazing at reducing a lot of my natural frizz. The wide stylers really speeded up the straightening time… I’m in love! Together – they’re the ultimate combo.

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: why on earth anyone would spend double the amount for GHD or Cloud 9 is utterly beyond me! These styling tools really are the best.

The RRP on these new stylers is £139.99… but right now theres a massive £70 off!!!! And if you use code: valentines you’ll get an additional £5 off! And that includes FREE SHIPPING!!! Such an amazing deal. Perfect for a treat to yourself or to that special Valentine.

You really don’t want to its out on this fantastic deal.

I hope you’ve found this review useful. I’m in the process of updating my website at the moment… so once thats up & running – I’ll be doing a big reveal.

Thanks so much as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

The Magic of Christmas

1 Dec

Hi folks,

I’ve got that festive feeling. I know this year has been… bumpy shall we say. I also know it’s not going to be the Christmas we’re used too. I mean… for the last 8yrs we’ve gone to Center Parcs for Winter Wonderland & this year we can’t. Our holiday has been cancelled. Normally in December we visit Santa each weekend. Normally in the first week of December, Santa rides passed our house in his sleigh playing Christmas music. Normally in December we spend time with family. Normally on Christmas Eve we have breakfast with Santa & then have a Christmas Disco. Unfortunately… 2020 is not going to be the Christmas we ‘normally’ have. But you know what? For all it’s really sad… it’s just an opportunity to make new ‘normals’ or ‘traditions’ at Christmas.

We started the festive period wth a lovely delivery from Santa. Seth received the most gorgeous letter, certificate & activity book from The Lapland Mailroom.

Seth couldn’t believe it when the letter dropped through the door for him. He was super excited!!! He was even more excited when he seen the certificate!

The letter itself was utterly gorgeous. When choosing your letter online, you can add little personal touches such as your home town & best friend etc… Seth was utterly gobsmacked that his best friend Holly was mentioned in the letter.

In the pack, Seth also received the activity pack, which included a window sticker. Such amazing value for money. The letters & certificates are lovely quality & delivery was really quick. What a lovely keepsake. This will definitely being going into our memory box.

While we can’t got about our ‘normal’ lives… it’s time to make new amazing memories during a crazy year. I love that this letter is dated Christmas 2020… it most definitely is a year we will not forget. However… my babies will remember what an amazing Christmas they had & little touches like these gorgeous letters are just the icing on the cake.

If you’d like order, I have a discount code for 25% off!!! just enter code: BLITZEN at checkout.

Thanks so much as always for reading!

Stay Safe,

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Why Pay More?

19 Oct

Hi folks,

Hair… we all spend so much time on our hair. Washing it… drying it… styling it…. etc… And wow, do some brands exploit our love for our locks. Some of the prices right now on the market are crazy. Brands charging the earth for a styler or dryer. But why are people paying such huge prices? Sometimes I think that people are scared to try a new brand or simply because they feel brand loyal.

Imagine being able to get a better quality styler with amazing results for almost half the price? Well, you can. I am a HUGE fan of SHE Hair. I’ve been using SHE Hair styling tools for around 6 or 7 years now. Back in the day I was a massive GHD fan, until my straighteners broke. So I went to the shops to purchase a new GHD Iron. They were well over £100 & they pulled & snagged my hair so badly. I felt literally stuck… where did I go from here? I have such long thick hair – I need a hair straightener I can rely on.

I’d seen online & heard good things about the SHE Hair Straighteners... so I bite the bullet & I purchased a pair. I’ve never looked back. I’ve been brand loyal to SHE Hair ever since.

These last few weeks I’ve been trying the New Ice White Styler which is a reincarnation of the original 3.1b straightener. I’m in love.

First of all… they’re gorgeous to look at & come in a lovely box & very well packaged. I’d also like to add that delivery is free too. I always like to mention the packaging, because it’s the first thing you see. Good packaging always makes a big difference.

I love that you can choose the temperature best suited to your hair type. After trying them… I’ve decided 180 best suits my hair.

Being able to set the temperature yourself is great for anyone with very fine hair or extensions.

The floating ceramic plates are perfect for minimising any type of dragging or snagging. That is a huge deciding feature for me. Any snagging or dragging & it’s an instant no no from me. But this styler is perfect. It glides so smoothly through my hair.

It took hardly no time at all to get my hair perfectly smooth & straight. The ultra-smooth ceramic plates with far-infrared heat are loaded with more negative Ions, this repairs over charged positive Ion damaged hair, reducing frizz and providing better, longer lasting results. It all sounds very technical doesn’t it. But when you use a styler/straightener every day, you want to feel confident with it. The dual hinge also allows for movement on both the styling arms, which again helps to avoid dragging.

Now… here’s the exciting bit… They’re priced at just £89.99 with free delivery. So whether you’re treating yourself or someone else for Christmas… it doesn’t have to break the bank.

Also… SHE Hair have a fab range of accessories too.

If you want to find out more about this fab company, you can read here.

Thank you as always for reading & hope you’ve enjoyed tis review.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

“Reading is a Passport to Countless Adventures” – Mary Pope Osborne

31 Aug

Hi folks,

Wow… can you believe the kids go back to school this week? I feel so emotional about Seth starting full time school. He’s super excited & is taking it all in his stride. Me on the hand… I’m an emotional wreck. I’m really going to miss him. But I know he needs not only the education side of things… but also the social aspect too.

We’ve done learning from home over this pandemic/lockdown, so I’m not too worried about the learning side.  And we have always been avid readers so I know his literacy is progressing.

From the moment Seth & Ted were born I’ve read to them. In fact, while I was pregnant I actually read to them. I watched a documentary about pregnancy & they said that babies can start to recognised texts when read over & over. I love that. My boys both love books & listening to stories. Ted gets so excited when he turns the pages to see new pictures.

The boys were sent the most gorgeous books from Wonderbly.

Ted is 22 month old & was sent: “The ABC of You”. You can add your childs name & change the colour of the front cover. Each page is totally personalised for your little one. I love the illustrations. The quality of the book is absolutely stunning. The cover is hardback & the pages are made from beautiful thick paper. Perfect for little hands to navigate.

I also love that you can customise & personalise the first page with a cute little message. These books are something that will be treasured by your little ones. I received a personalised book for christmas one year when I was a child from my God Parents & I still have it on my bookshelf.

Seth was sent: “You & the Beanstalk”. This is a lovely little re-telling of a classic. Seth was so mesmerised when he realised he was in the story. Seth is 4 yrs old. He literally could not believe he was the main character.

Seth loves seeing his name in his reading corner.

As with Ted’s book, this book can be personalised & you can also personalise the first page.

Seth has such an amazing creative personality & is always looking for adventures. This book fits him perfectly.

If you’re looking for that perfect gift – look no further than these stunning books. Right now, Wonderbly have 20% off when you buy 2 books. Just use code: MULTI20 at checkout. Books can be shipped worldwide & dispatch is within 48hrs.

We have had so much fun reading these beautiful books.

Thank you as always for reading & I hope you’ve enjoyed this review.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

𝘋𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘳: 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘵 – 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘨𝘪𝘧𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 &/𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘴, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘰𝘸𝘯.

“Together is a Wonderful Place to Be.”

10 Aug

Hi Folks,

We’re trying our hardest to try & make life more normal here in our house. Now that we can see family members… we’re making plans & trying to plan days out for the kids, since we’ve had to cancel our Summer getaway. Things like seaside days out, strawberry picking, picnics etc…

Planning is always so much more fun when you have pretty pens & a Personal Planner or Family Wall Planner. Every year I have a Family Wall Planner made for us from Personal Planner. I love them soooooo much! They really are the best planners around.

With each Personal Planner or Wall Chart – you will get a sheet of stickers. Great for high lighting special arrangements. Another great feature is that you can upload all of your important dates, birthdays & anniversary’s. So each year you don’t have to go through writing in all of the dates… with one click everything uploads. It’s utterly perfect – I hate the task of the laborious date writing. So this handy little feature scraps all of that.

The family wall planner has enough room for each individual family member. They get their own colour coordinated section & photograph. Perfect for logging school dates, play dates & trips to the vet… of course our Chihuahua Coco has her own section on the family wall planner.

The most exciting & fun aspect of these lovely planners is that you literally design it all yourself. So it’s a perfect fit for you & your life. Whether you want it to aid with your studies, or if you need it to help with organising your office at home whilst working from home or like me… you want to plan fun family days out… Personal Planner has you covered. And what’s more… shipping is entirely FREE!!!

So… I have some super exciting news!!!! I’ve teamed up with Personal Planner for a phenomenal GIVEAWAY!!! All you have to do is head on over to my Instagram page & FOLLOW ME, LIKE & SHARE. Just look for the Personal Planner giveaway post.

For 15% off right now please use Discount Code: SUMMERISHERE 

Thanks so much as always for reading & good luck in the giveaway!!!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Life isn’t perfect… but your hair can be.

3 Aug

Hi folks,

I hope you’re all doing well. Things are still feeling very surreal right now aren’t they? During this whole time I’ve not set foot in a hair salon. But it’s not been as traumatic as it could’ve been since I have the BEST ceramic hairdryer!!!

I’m a big fan of going to the hairdressers to get my hair washed & dried straight. Obviously that’s not been an option up until recently. But it’s okay, because I have the new Blue & Gold SHE Hair Dryer.

So… what’s in the box?

Okay, along with the stunning lightweight ceramic dryer you get 3 attachments;

  • Diffuser: Perfect to help prevent frizz – when done correctly. It doesn’t disturb your natural curl pattern. It speeds up drying time without adding frizz & it is less damaging than direct heat from a blow dryer.
  • 2 Nozzles: The nozzles work to concentrate the airflow from the dryer,
    meaning that it is easier and quicker to dry your hair or to create a number of
    different styles.  With 2 nozzles to choose from you can choose the one best suited to you & the style you’re wanting to achieve.

The features of this stunning dryer are that its a salon professional hair dyer, there are 3 heat settings, temperature control, powerful ac motor 1800-2000w, ergonomically balanced, quiet performance & comes with a 3m swivel cord.

On the box it sounds great! But what is it actually like to use & what are the results like? 

I washed my hair with my usual Tresemme Shampoo followed by Conditioner. I didn’t put any serum in my hair as I wanted to see what the dryer was like on completely naked hair.

To dry, I literally blasted it dry with the dryer whilst brushing my hair occasionally with my tangle teezer. I deliberately didn’t use an attachment while pulling it straight as I wanted to see what effect the dryer would have when used quickly. Because lets face it… we don’t always have the time to sit & spend hours on our hair do we?

I made a cup of tea & sat down to dry my hair the quickest way possible.

My hair is super thick & super curly & would normally take almost 30mins with a regular dryer to get fully dry.

This dryer got my hair dry in under 10mins!!!!! And… it totally tamed my frizz!

Normally my hair would be a massive mane of fluffy, flyaway frizz… but this is definitely more controlled. It also didn’t feel hot or frazzled. The hairdryer ‘dries’ but doesn’t get hot if that makes sense. It’s comfortable to hold too & is very lightweight. There’s nothing worse than a heavy, clunky hairdryer.

After drying I finished off my hair with the She Platinum Wide Styler. 

I love this styler. The wide plates are perfect on long hair & they take less time to straighten. I think the fact my hair was less frizzy made a huge difference too. I managed to get all of my hair sleek & straight in 20mins.

I used no finishing serum, yet my hair was still glossy & shiny. It didn’t feel hot or scorched. It had a lovely healthy feel & glow. I LOVE these styling tools. You really don’t need to pay for a professional shampoo & blow dry when you have your own professional hair care/styling tools at home.

You can find all of the SHE Hair products on their website. They’re also launching a Black Pearl Range very soon & they look amazing!

Thank you so much as always for reading & hope you’ve found this review useful! For further reading & purchasing – click on the highlighted text.

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

Lockdown Learning

20 Jul

Hi folks,

I can’t believe that the academic year has come to an end & we’re now into the Summer Holidays. I feel so sad that Seth didn’t get to say a proper goodbye to his Pre-School Teachers & Class Mates. We found out last week who his new Reception Class Teacher would be & which of his friends would be in his class. Seth is so excited to get back to school in September. He just loves to learn.

We’ve been doing lots of fun learning activities over lockdown & I think we’ll be carrying them on into the Summer Holidays too. Learning is much easier when its fun!

We had another lovely delivery of goodies from Best Learning.

My Learning Board iPoster  is utterly fantastic! It’s perfect for helping with Spelling, Writing & Counting. It’s interactive with touch technology & you can also use the wipeable pen too. There is 12 separate learning activities already built in. It’s perfect for fun learning games together. Lots of fun sounds & songs will keep your little ones entertained for hours. We’ve had so much fun with this lovely interactive toy. You can also hang it on a wall, perfect for a play room, study area or kids bedroom. The integrated calculator is great too… Seth thinks it’s magic.

Inno Pad: Smart Fun Lessons. This is such an amazing compact toy. It comes with 16 separate learning pages that slide into the Inno Pad for different learning experiences. The pages themselves are made from durable plastic… meaning they’re sturdy but also can be wiped clean. Skills that can be learned include alphabet, numbers, time, colours, fruits, shapes, animals, the weather, emotions, professions, music, various transportation & problem solving. The learning levels range from basic to advanced. This is toy is great for travel… it’s really lightweight & slimline. It’ll be great for travelling when we go to visit family etc…

Seth loves problem solving & having quizzes, so he’s had so much fun playing with it. It’s great for a childs development, as well as promoting creativity. We’ve had fun playing this together, but Seth also like independent play & learning. He can off & play with this & figure it all out for himself.

Magic Puzzle Globe. This lovely little globe comes in 26 pieces with a little stand. We did have to help Seth with putting this together. It’s been great though for helping Seth with basic geography. Seth is only 4 years old, but he’s utterly obsessed with asking where each country is in relation to the United Kingdom. So this has been such a great learning aid.

Our magic Puzzle Globe lives in Seth’s room, because he loves to go over to it & find all of his favourite countries. I just love the wonder & amazement on his little face when he looks & then finds different places.

“Play is the highest form of research” – Albert Einstein.

If you would like to read a little more about the toys we’ve reviewed – please click the highlight text.

Thanks so much for reading.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

“Beauty is Power; a Smile is it’s Sword”.

15 Jul

Hi folks,

“Beauty is Power; a Smile is it’s Sword’ – John Ray. What an amazing quote & so true. Smiles are universal… when you smile you feel good & it also has a positive affect on the person receiving the smile. Smiling is a great way to start when trying to make our world a kinder place.

Feeling like I’m making the best of myself always has such a positive effect on my whole personality & confidence. I love my beauty regime I go through each morning. But it’s not just about the skincare & the make up… it’s about have a great smile too.

Each morning before I do my hair & make up… I’ll start with my smile. Having a healthy, sparkling smile… doesn’t have to be expensive. I love Colgate products… they’re so accessible & inexpensive. I can literally pick up a new toothbrush while out doing my shopping at my local supermarket. I can have quite sensitive gums at times, so a harsh toothbrush just wouldn’t do. I love the softness of the Colgate 360 Sensitive Pro, no one wants to start the day with bleeding gums.

The brush itself is a great shape for getting all areas in your mouth with an ergonomic handle & features a soft tongue & cheek cleaner on the back of the head of the brush.

I have 2 little boys & teaching them about good oral hygiene is so important. Seth is 4 yrs old & likes to brush his teeth with us each morning & night. Ted is a year old, so doesn’t have all of his teeth yet, but he’s already a keen teeth cleaner. I have to say that the Hey Duggee Tooth brushing badge Song is a firm favourite in our house while we’re brushing. It’s also a good way of ensuring we brush for 2mins too which is the recommended time… 2mins on a morning & 2 mins on an evening. My dentist always likes to give us that reminder at our regular check ups.

A healthy, minty fresh smile goes a long way… I mean… it’s the universal sign of happiness. And it’ll set off your favourite lipstick too.

So… in a world where you can be anything you want to be… lets be kind & SMILE! Make your smile so dazzling & infectious that folk cannot help but pass it on!

I hope you’ve found this review useful, I’ve embedded the product link in the bold text if you’d like to read further.

Thank you so much as always for reading!

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

“This product was gifted by Colgate, but all views are my own”

 

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney

29 Jun

Hi folks,

I hope you’re all safe & well. Hopefully we are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel during this strange time. Pandemic parenting sure is a mine field. Homeschooling, trying to keep the little ones entertained & all the while, trying to shield them from all of the scariness.

Seth is now 4 yrs old & he’s currently at pre-school… well, not at the moment. He’s not been to school since lockdown began. So all of his recent learning has been here at home. A few weeks ago, we were sent the amazing Chameleon Reader.

I have been utterly blown away by this product. Seth calls it ‘The Magic Book Wand’. Seth has always loved books & has his own little book corner for reading in his bedroom with his own little corner sofa. We love reading together, but he’s at an age where he wants to be independent sometimes with his reading, but he hasn’t the reading ability yet to sit & fully read on his own. So this ‘magic book wand’ is perfect!

So… first of all… Whats in the Box?

  • Chameleon Reader Pen (batteries included)
  • 5,000+ Audio Stickers
  • 7 Audio Controls Book Mark
  • My Library Card
  • My Music Card
  • Card Album
  • USB Cable
  • User Guide

https://www.flickr.com/photos/156200586@N06/50049764163/in/dateposted-public/

First of all, I’d like to start by saying that this is so easy to use. This will work with ANY book & turn it into an audio book. So I can literally read books for Seth & record it for him. You simply choose a book… place a little chameleon on each page & record the audio of each page with a little tap.  Then, when your little one taps the sticker with their pen, the page will be read out…it really is MAGIC!

We started with The Gruffalo.

Seth’s reaction when he realises it’s me reading the story is just magical!

This clever little gadget will record up to 4 audio tracks per page. So 4 separate languages can be spoken which is ideal for bilingual children. The possibilities are endless.

The Chameleon Reader is great for getting the kids away from screens & is great for keeping them entertained while travelling. We’ve loved using it over lockdown, it’s been such a great learning aid.

Right now, Amazon have a great deal on, you can buy the whole starter pack for £89.99 with free one day delivery on Prime.

This would make such an amazing gift. I’m thinking of getting family members to record themselves reading books, as we don’t live near family. I think it’ll be lovely for Seth to be able to hear his favourite stories read out by his grandparents.

I hope you you’ve enjoyed this review. Click the bold text to be linked to websites for further reading & where to purchase.

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx