Tag Archives: Blogging

“Play is our brain’s favourite way of learning” – Diane Ackerman

18 Nov

Hi folks,

Well, we’re now into my most favourite time of the year… CHRISTMAS!!!! Yes… it’s only November, but I don’t care! I’m in full on Christmas count down mode! I’ve put my tree up! I just literally couldn’t help myself!

So… since I’m throwing myself into all things Christmassy… I have a lovely little gift guide blog post for you. The boys have been playing with & reviewing some lovely toys from Hape.

As most of you know… Hape are one of our most favourite toy brands. You just cannot go wrong with good quality, vibrant, wooden toys. I’m such a big believer in learning through play. Apart from when Seth is at Pre-School… we play all day long.

Where to start? Lets start with the lovely Hape Number Peg Puzzle. Seth loves this puzzle. The pegs are easy to get a hold of & the pieces are lovely & vibrant. This is great for number recognition. Seth is doing so well with his numbers… but does get confused with his number 6 & number 9 at times. So playing with this puzzle has helped immensely.

This puzzle is just so well made & is a lovely size. This is recommended for 3yrs & over, so I’ve been careful to keep it out of Teds reach. He’s in that phase of shoving everything in his mouth to bite.

Ted utterly adores his  Pepe & Friends Push & Go Cat.

It has a clever internal mechanism that allows the toy to roll forward when the back is pushed down and released. So he’s had fun pressing it & watching it scoot across the wooden floor in the dining room. Ted just loves anything with wheels. He loves crawling around the floor pushing it around. It’s a lovely sturdy toy this one. If it can withstand some rough play & being thrown around by Ted.. then it can withstand anything lol.

Baby Einstein Colour Mixer. Both boys have LOVED playing with this toy. It’s such a gorgeous clever little toy this one. This lovely toy identifies colours and lights up as you experiment with different colour combinations with the beads. It flashes in a rainbow light show & plays music. You can also switch between music & spoken words which are in both English & French. It’s great as it introduces little ones to colours & helps to encourage motor skill development. 

The pictures really do not do this toy justice. It is absolutely stunning when you see it. In the box, it doesn’t look like much… but it really is a lovely toy. So many fun elements to it. It has kept both boys quiet. Ad again, it’s very sturdy & well made. So, perfect for little ones.

So, if you’re looking for some gifts & stocking fillers for the little ones – look no further. I’m always blown away with the quality & design of Hape.

Thank you so much for reading & hope you’ve fun this review useful!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

I May Not Be Perfect… But At Least My Eyebrows Are!

1 Oct

Hi folks,

I’m so happy that it’s finally Autumn… October is one of my most favourite months. I love crunchy golden leaves under foot, a chill in the air & the excitement of the party season fast approaching. I simply cannot believe that this month I will have a 1 year old & a 3 year old. How on earth is Ted almost a year old!? He started walking last month!!! Walking at 10 month… he’s so clever.

So, I’ve been wanting to write this blog post since January… but I’ve just been so busy & not gotten round to it. But… here it is. My eyebrow journey!!! As most of you know – I’ve had my eyebrows micro bladed. I can honestly say that this it is the BEST thing I’ve ever done cosmetically.

From years of over plucking… my eyebrows were just a state. I used to paint them in each day.

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

With all of the over plucking, my eyebrows had just simply stopped growing. It wasn’t too bad when I had a full face of make up on, as I’d draw them in. But, if I was having a no make up day (which is so rare for me) I’d just feel so self conscious. It’d be even worse while on holiday & in the pool with the kids… I’d just want to hide & cry about my face & the lack of eyebrows. It seems to trivial doesn’t it? But your eyebrows frame your face. It was such a big thing for me.

I started getting my nails done at Ruby Red in January 2018. While having my nails done, I just happened to mention that I’d toyed with the idea of having my eyebrows micro bladed. That’s when Jo, told me that she actually did micro blading. She gave me all the facts, broke down the process & how it all works. She also told me, not to rush into it, to really think about it all etc… well… that very same month… I got pregnant with Ted. So, microblading was off the cards for a wee while. Over the year I got to know Jo so well & she has become one of my most favourite people. Becoming such good friends with Jo, really helped me to make the decision to have my eyebrows done.

So… my first piece of advice… really research your beautician. Ask to see photo’s of their work. Have a consultation. Have your eyebrows mapped. Discuss any concerns. Discuss the shape & thickness. And DO NOT rush into anything. This is a semi permanent procedure that will be on your face. You need to be happy, at ease & 100% confident. 

Eyebrow journey

At my consultation I had my eyebrows properly mapped & measured & I also had a dye test to make sure I had no allergies & to also colour match the dye. I opted for a much thicker & fuller brow. I have big eyes… cow eyes as my lovely hubster calls them lol. He assures me this a complement lol. I wanted quite big, full, natural looking brows with a nice arch. After going away for a week or so, I went back for my first sitting. With microblading, you’ll have your first sitting & then a few weeks later you have your top up. Its totally normal to lose a few strokes in your brows after your first sitting.

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

First of all… the first thing I’m asked:

Does it hurt? Yes… but not like a tattoo. I found it to feel more like a graze. It’s fine in the beginning… but toward the end of the brow, it’ll sting. My eyes watered a lot. You will have some numbing cream though… so really do not worry about the pain.

Can you wear make up straight away? Yes… as long as you don’t go on the eyebrow area.

How long does the scabbing last? Everyone is different… my scabbing lasted around 10 days. My scabbing looked more like dry skin. Most of it was gone after 7 days. But I had a few areas that were still there. So I opted to keep my eye brows dry until all of the scabbing was gone. The advice is to keep eyebrows dry for a week. But I didn’t want to force any scabbing away. My saviour was my Liz Earle Cleansing Cloth.

Eyebrow journey

It allowed me to give my face a good scrub & cleanse… while avoiding my eyebrows. Yes, during this period your eyebrows can look a little unkempt if you really look. But just make sure you get them done when you’ve nothing major planned… like a wedding etc… It does not last forever & the results are worth it.

Once the scabbing has gone… you can wear your make up & wash your face like you normally would.

Now… I have to admit that after a few days… I initially freaked out one evening. I started to panic as the ink will become quite dark due to the scabbing. When you’ve gone from no eyebrows – to full on brows, it can take a while to get used to them. Also, as I’m so dark, I had the darkest dye. After my slight wobble… I loved them. Life is so much easier when you have brows.

Eyebrow journey

After my top up… I was even more in love with them!!! They were full, dark & just perfect. They suited my face so much.

Getting ready on a morning is much quicker. When I have a full of face of make up, I do lightly shade them in. But that is just my personal choice. I cut them in with my concealer & foundation & then I use a Make Up Revolution Eyebrow Pencil. But because I already have the brow there… it’s so quick & easy. Literally takes minutes.

Eyebrow journey

Eyebrow journey

So… what do my brows look like now? Have they lasted?

Eyebrow journey

YES!!! They’re still amazing. And… do you know what else is utterly amazing??? My own eyebrows have actually started to grow! They’ve not grown for years. I’m wondering if maybe somehow, the trauma of the micro blading has stimulated the roots?

I am due a top up in January, & I simply cannot wait. In some ways I wish I’d had them done years ago. But then I’m also glad I didn’t, as I may not have found Jo. I’m so glad that she was the one to do them.

If you are in the Yorkshire area & you’re considering microblading… contact Jo at Ruby Red. She’s AMAZING!!! A true artist. I have linked their Facebook page, where you will find all of their contact details.

Before I go… I just want to leave you this:

Eyebrow journey

Literally all of the brow emotions you will go through lol.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post & you’ve found it interesting. If you’re considering micro blading – book that consultation!!!

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

 

Staying Ahead with Good Planning

13 Sep

Hi folks,

I’ve been in planning & organising over drive lately. What with the start of the new academic year & Seth going back to Pre-School & everything that’s coming up with regard to events & celebrations… I’ve been furiously making lists etc…

I just couldn’t get by without my Personal Planner Wall Planner. It’s so perfect for busy family life when you’re juggling school events, work, appointments, etc…

This is the ultimate Wall Planner for a busy family. You get a week per pages & you can add family members & colour co-ordinate everyone. You can even add a photograph at the top of each column.

I absolutely adore stickers too… With your purchase, you get a free sheet of stickers, but you can also purchase more stickers from their online shop.

With the wall planner you can also add areas at the bottom for things such as: Menu/Meals, To Do List, Pre-School etc… it’s just a great area to add additional notes & memo’s. For us, it’s perfect having our planner to consult before booking anything in as you can see so quickly & easily what everyone is up too.

I’m a big fan of technology & I use my electric devices daily along with a virtual assistant in our home in pretty much every room lol, but when it comes to organising… paper & pen is always better. Personal Planner as a company make it all so very user friendly. If you create an account you can add all of you special dates, such as birthdays etc… they will automatically be uploaded into any planner you create with the click of a button. It saves so much time!

I’ve also got the Mini Planner too for my handbag. It’s literally perfect for keeping in your handbag when you’re out & about.

Just like the Wall Planner, you can colour co-ordinate everything & you can add stickers etc…

You can even add little fun areas like a little colouring image at the bottom of each page. I just love colouring in, but having 2 little ones to run around after – I never have time to finish anything. So these little images are perfect for when I get a spare 5 minutes. Yes… I am that sad lol. I just find colouring so relaxing with a cup of tea.

I love that the planners all come with an elastic to keep it closed whilst in your bag. There’s nothing worse than your organiser opening & getting all of its pages ruffled up. In each planner you’ll also find a plastic wallet to keep any important items such as receipts etc… as with the wall planner – you’ll also get your sheet of stickers. And… a removable ruler! Perfect to use as a page marker. I just adore everything about these stunning planners.

So… I have some exciting news!!! Personal Planner have given me a gift card worth £39.90 & valid until March 2020. I will be giving this gift card away to one of my lucky followers over on Instagram! Head on over to my Instagram Page now, to find out how to enter! I’m just so excited to pass on some Personal Planner sparkle to one of you.

Thank you as always for reading & I hope I’ve inspired you to get organised. In fact… why not treat your nearest & dearest this Christmas to the gift of being organised. You could gift them a planner or a personal planner gift card!

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.

My Fave Must Haves!

1 Jul

 

Hi folks,

Wowzers… how are we even 7 month into 2019 already!? This year is going by super fast… but then, I’m just super busy 24/7… so no wonder it’s flying by.

Parenting is so much easier, when you’ve got the best parenting must haves to help you! I mean… where would I be without my most fave Joie products!?

In May we had a lovely birthday break in the Yorkshire Dales & then in June we had a lovely little Haven Holiday to Blackpool. For both holidays – we took our Kubbie Sleep with us for Ted. I know I’ve written a review about the Kubbie Sleep already, but I just wanted to say once more – how much we love this travel cot. I so wish we’d had this for when Seth was a baby too. It’s great as it’s a travel cot – but also a side sleeper. Side sleeping has been such a lovely bonding experience for us. We have never co-slept. So having a side sleeper has been the better, more safe option for us. And it’s even better when you can carry on side sleeping while travelling too.

As you can see from Ted’s happy little face… he loves the Kubbie Sleep.

One of the things we love about it, is that it folds down small into it’s little carry bag. It’s so easy to assemble too. There’s nothing worse that a really fiddley travel cot.

It has a lovely thick, firm mattress for your little one to sleep on. The metal poles come apart & collapse easily to fit into the carry bag. The bag is perfect for storage too – it’ll keep your Kubbie Sleep nice & dust free between each use. The mattress can also be removed easily too for playtime & tummy time… Perfect!

This really is the perfect travel companion. You can find my original Kubbie Sleep review here. This really is a must have item when travelling with baby. We tried Ted in a regular travel cot & he would not settle at the mattress just was not firm enough. Yet he settled so quick in the Kubbie Sleep. I cannot recommend this travel cot/side sleeper enough.

Now… It’s no secret that I’m also a massive Joie buggy fan! Let’s Meet Mirus

The Mirus can be used forward & rear facing by simply moving the push bar. It’s nice to have the option of rear or forward facing. Ted is super nosey… so I do tend to forward face him. But, if he’s a little upset – which he has been recently with teething… it’s nice to be able to see them.

A massive thumbs up from me has to be the anti scuff brake! I hate the fact that all of my shoes get scuffed on the toe from flicking the brake up on most other buggy’s. But the Mirus has the brake on the side of the push bar!!! So with a flick of a switch you can put the brake on & off with your hand. No more scuffed shoes!

The seat fully reclines making it suitable rom birth. There’s an easy to use handle/lever on the back of the seat making it easy to recline if your little one nods off & you want to make them that little bit comfier. I also love that it’s a one hand fold. I am so cack handed & clumsy – it’s unreal… and even I can fold the Mirus with just one hand. It falls into a fold position really easily & automatically locks into position. When folded, it stands upright. Great for storage. We keep ours in our front porch & it just stands neatly against the wall & is so slimline when folded that it doesn’t get in the way.

The basket on the bottom is a great size too… great for carrying your picnic when on days out lol.

I love the large hood – great for Summer days when the sun is shinning.

I use the Mirus every day on the school run as we don’t live too far from school. The Mirus will manoeuvre easily when using only one hand. There’s a few busy roads I need to cross so I need to be able to hold Seth’s hand while I push Ted in the buggy. One handed push is not a problem for the Mirus. You’ll also receive a rain cover as standard too – which is a total must have.

Seth has really taken to holding Ted’s hand actually while he’s in the buggy… so cute.

This pushchair is also fully compatible with Joie 0+ infant carriers… no adaptors needed. So in effect… this would be the only pushchair you’d actually need to buy. So, if you’re on a budget, you could save money on buying big expensive travel systems.

This is such an excellent buggy… lightweight… one handed fold… one handed push… comfy… what’s not to love!? I’ll be taking this buggy away with us too when we travel, so you can expect more updates on it is to travel with.

Thank you as always for reading & I do hope you’ve found this review useful!

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.

 

Creativity, Imagination and Learning Through Play

26 Apr

 

Hi folks,

It’s definitely no secret that we’re big Hape fans in this house. I very much follow the mantra of ‘Learning through play’. I try to make each day as fun as possible for my boys. I am very lucky in that I get to stay at home with my boys, so I make it my duty to try & teach them as much as possible, in a fun, creative way.

Seth starts pre-school on Monday… eeeeeck! I’ve tried so hard to make sure he knows his alphabet & his numbers before starting. Along with recognising his name & other words. Our lovely bundle of Hape goodies came at just the most perfect time.

So… what did we receive?

ABC Magnetic Letters

Seth has had so much fun using these gorgeous letters. There is a mix of upper & lower case letters. They also come in a gorgeous little drawstring bag that will keep them neat & tidy. The edges are all beautifully rounded & smooth – perfect for little hands to use. They are also beautifully coloured.

We’ve had so much fun trying to get the alphabet in the right order & also spelling out words. They’re such a good teaching tool.

ABC Wooden Blocks

Seth is such a huge fan of building blocks. Like all Hape toys, the quality & finish on these lovely little blocks is stunning. Just like the magnetic letters, these blocks come in a lovely little drawstring bag. The bag makes it so easy to pop into your handbag for taking over to the Grandparents house etc… to keep your little ones entertained for on the go.

These blocks are multicoloured & feature letters, words & pictures. So not only can you build, but you can also make up stories & work on your alphabet & spelling too.

Clown Stacker

The Clown Stacker has been such a huge hit with Seth & Ted. Seth has been having so much fun trying to teach Ted colours. He’s been trying to tell him how it stacks up too. It’s so super cute to watch them bond over a toy.

This toy is fab for hand eye coordination.

Ted has had fun batting it about with its wobbly bottom.

We’ve had fun stacking it from biggest to smaller & smallest to biggest. This toy is great for colour recognition & also sorting & recognising patterns.

Baby Bugs Books

Books are so important for a childs development. The earlier you can introduce books, the better in my eyes. This gorgeous little bug book is perfect for those early introductions. It gives them their first experience of having to turn the pages.

The illustrations are so bright & colourful. Ted loves looking through it. It’s also lovely size for chubby little hands to manage.

You’ll also be glad to know that its 100% safe to chew too… Thats good where Ted is concerned lol.

Like I’ve said in the past, wooden toys seem to have that unique, timeless, charm. We are never disappointment with Hape Toys… bright, colourful & safe. They’re the perfect addition to any toy box, bedroom, nursery or playroom.

As always, thank you so much for reading & I hope you’ve found this review useful.

I’ve got some interesting blog posts coming up… so keep a look out for those!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Being Organised is the Way!

2 Sep

Hi folks,

I’ve been on ‘super organising mode’ for the last few weeks. What with the new baby arriving very soon… Seth’s hectic social life… The new academic year starting so we have nursery applications & the hubsters workload getting heavier… Family life just being chaotic… My work load mounting up & then lets not even mention Christmas! Even though it sounds a lot… I do love to be busy. I love how hectic life is around here & I do thrive on making lists, booking stuff & generally getting everything organised so it runs like clock work.

I’m all for technology & I do love my gadgets… I mean I couldn’t be without my iPhone & MacBook, but for me, when getting organised, digital just isn’t it. I like pen & paper. I ‘think’ better on pen & paper. I like lists I can consult. I like a diary I can thumb back through the pages to check dates. A nice neat little diary always used to do the trick for me, but these days, I’m organising myself, The Hubster, Seth, the new Baby when he arrives & even the Dog! Yes… even Coco has appointments & engagements! So I need something substantial… I need a family Bible everyone can consult to see what’s happening & when. That’s where the Personal Planner comes in.

This will be the 3rd year in a row that I’ve been using a Personal Planner to keep everything organised. But as our family is growing… so is our planner! But that’s okay… with Personal Planner you can customise every single aspect… that includes size! This year I have gone for the A4 Planner… just to make sure I have enough room for every single detail.

When I say every detail… you choose your size, front cover, string/fastening colour, ruler colour, page layout, page colour etc… like literally EVERY DETAIL. You also get some handy stickers to use & you also get a plastic wallet. I love a plastic wallet in a planner as they’re super useful for letters, receipts, coupons etc…

These planners are literally amazing. You can add important dates, add a ‘To Do List’ section, Meal Planner section etc… Perfect for just about anyone. I always tend to get the academic calendar, purely as, we run on the academic calendar in this house. I worked in education for such a long time, my husband works in a University & now we have kids… it’s just natural for us. But you can get a normal ‘Jan to Dec’ type of planner if that suits better. I think this size, would be perfect for anyone planning a wedding too. So much room for lot’s of information.

Our A4 Planner (Family Bible) stays in our home office, purely because it’s easier that way for everyone to be able to consult it. But you can get smaller sizes that may be more convenient for on the go. I’ve used the Square Planner & the Wide Planner in the past. Both are excellent. But for family life now… the A4 is the one for us.

You can find Personal Planner on social media… a great way to keep up to date with announcements & promotions… FacebookTwitter , Instagram

So there you have it… that’s how I try to keep a head of everything. Don’t forget, that they also do gift cards – perfect gift idea’s if you’re ever stuck on what to buy someone. Why not give them the gift of being organised. I definitely know a few folk who could benefit from one lol.

As always, I really hope you’ve found this review useful & thanks so much for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Stunning Storage Solutions

13 May

Hi folks,

A few weeks ago Seth received the most beautiful custom handmade toy box from The Traditional Toy Box Company

As you can see from the photo above – these toy boxes are so beautifully made. The quality is stunning. They’re also fully customisable which is great for finding that perfect toy box to suit any room & any colour scheme.

As most of you will know, Seth has not long just turned 2 years old. It’s always a bit of a worry with toddlers that they can be a tad too ‘heavy handed’. Before our beautiful toy box arrived I did worry in case it wouldn’t be sturdy enough to withstand Seth on a daily basis lol. Well I can honestly say that I needn’t have worried. The boxes are so solid – they actually weigh quite a lot. Which is great as it shows just how high a quality the whole thing is. The fittings & hinges are also really strong & of good quality – they seem really durable. Which is fantastic since Seth is in & out of the box every other minute lol.

As you can see from the above pics – the toy box does hold a LOT of toys. It’s great for literally throwing toys in at the end of the day, then once that lids down – the room is nice & tidy again.

But it’s also fun to dig around in the toy box & to drag everything out on to the floor too apparently lol.

The top of the box is padded & covered in lovely fabric – which is also customisable. With it being strong & then padded – it makes a lovely little seat. In fact… Seth’s been having fun making little displays on top of it haha.

This stunning Traditional Toy Box would make such an amazing addition to any nursery, bedroom, play room or lounge. I don’t think the photos convey just how beautiful it is. Everyone who has seen it in the flesh has said just how gorgeous it is.

This would make a stunning baby shower gift… you could fill it with so many goodies. Perfect for that collection at work when no one knows what to buy. Or, why not start planning for Christmas in advance. Any child would be delighted with such a beautiful gift. This toy box is big enough to be shared too, so if you have more than one child… this could be a lovely communal toy box. When our little bundle of joy arrives in October, I’m sure him or her will love our communal toy box.

You can also purchase memory boxes too. Perfect for keeping all of those treasured keepsakes safe. Weddings, Births, Christenings etc… What a fantastic thoughtful gift.

Right now, The Traditional Toy Box Company are offering a massive 35% discount! But be quick as this is for a limited time only. Use code: EXCLUSIVE50OFF

If by the time you’re reading this, the fabulous 35% offer has ended… fear not! Simply add coupon code: ixxypoco10 for 10% off.

There is also the opportunity to pay using an interest free payment plan along with a small deposit. Simply head on over to their website for more info.

To keep up to date with news, new designs & offers, you can follow The Traditional Toy Box Company on Facebook & Instagram.

Thank you so much as always for reading & I hope you’ve enjoyed the review!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx