Tag Archives: GiftIdeas

“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. And 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

 

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

Festive Gift Ideas for Little Ones

9 Dec

Hi folks,

Me & the boys have been having fun the last few weeks playing with & testing some beautiful toys from Hape.

If you’re not familiar with Hape; they are the world’s largest producer of wooden toys. I always think wooden toys have a certain charm. They create that warm, fuzzy nostalgic feeling. And with such a well known brand – you know you’re always going to get good quality, well made products.

We were sent such a lovely collection… so here’s a little rundown & insight into what we have been having fun with;

This looks super cute & simply perfect in Ted’s nursery. It was really easy to assemble – no tools required & I did this one all on my own. It attaches to the cot really easily & is adjustable in height. The colours are beautiful, perfect & eye catching for little developing brains. It also winds up to play a lullaby. The quality is stunning. The music box is a wind up function, so requires no batteries. This mobile would make any little one a perfect Christmas gift as it’s suitable from birth. This would also make a stunning baby shower gift too.

 

My First Xylophone & Piano

We’re big fans of music in this house. Seth has gone to a music based group class from being 12 weeks old. Music is such an important part of development I think. Seth is now 2 years & 8 month old. He’s been having so much fun making music for his little brother. As well as an xylophone, there is a little piano which is made of removable wooden coloured shapes which also doubles as a shape sorter. This toy as a whole helps to develop shape, colour & sound recognition. I love the compact design of this toy. It won’t take up too much room in a toy box. It’d be great for popping in a bag to take over to the grandparents house when they’re babysitting 🙂 Perfect little parcel for any little folk for under the tree this Christmas.

 

Grow With Me Rocking Horse

I cannot begin to tell you how stunning this rocking horse is. Whenever I think of a traditional toy/play room, the first thing that pops into my head is a traditional wooden rocking horse. This is a perfect update on that traditional horse. The backrest has a lovely padded finish & you can even fix a wooden safety guard for younger children.

Ted is going to love it when he is a wee bit bigger.

Seth adores it as you can see in the above pics. It’s so study & strong. All of the edges are beautifully finished off… so smooth, so there aren’t any worries of finding sharpe bits. If you’re stuck on what to buy as that main big gift from Santa, then this would make a stunning main gift. It’s the perfect addition to any nursery, bedroom or play room.

The robust sturdy design of this rocking horse will withstand even the most boisterous of toddlers… Seth is a tad heavy handed at times & this horsey has remained in perfect shape.

 

Battery Powered Engine Set

What a stunning little set this is. The train set is battery powered & each carriage connects via magnets. There are also little trees & even a crane to bring your railway to life… the magnet on the crane lifts the cargo from each carriage. Each train carriage is brightly coloured & beautifully made – simply perfect for little hands. The track itself fits together like a little jigsaw, perfect for developing hand-eye coordination, creativity and sparks imagination. Seth LOVES this train set so much. Any child would adore this engine set.

Hape really do make some lovely things, they’d make any little one a beautiful gift or stocking filler. Hape offer a range of toys to suit all budgets.

Thanks so much as always for reading & happy shopping!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

As Snug As a Bug

26 Nov

Hi folks,

Wow… can you believe that Christmas is literally around the corner? And more to the point… can you believe that Ted is almost 5 weeks old!?

Time is just flying by so super quick! But then… it has been a really busy few weeks as you can imagine. Having a newborn & a toddler to look after really does speed up your days.

One of the best things about being a Mammy for the second time, is that you don’t make those money wasting purchases. You know those things that you buy with your first born, that are a total waste of time & money. Second time round you generally have a better idea on what you actually need & use. You have more of an idea on what will be functional & make your life that little bit easier.

An item that we’ve been using a lot is our British Baby Box. With Christmas almost here, this would make a fantastic Christmas gift for any pregnant friends or relatives.

I know I reviewed this box a little while ago, but it was before Ted was born, so now I can give more an insight into actually using it. For anyone that hadn’t read my original review, you can find it here.

So… what do we love about the box. Well first of all… Ted finds it super snuggly.

I know you may think… “it’s a cardboard box’… but it really is very sturdy. Also, the mattress in it is lovely & firm. Perfect for newborns. It also comes with a lovely fitted 100% organic cotton sheet. Which washes lovely I may add. I mean that’s important when you have nappy malfunctions & reflux to contend with! I’ve washed this sheet so many times that I’ve lost count. Each time it has washed lovely.

Another plus for this box, is that it fits lovely inside of a cot. When they’re tiny newborns, they look swamped inside of a cot. I know you can buy these ‘nests & pods’ for babies to sleep in that sit inside of a cot, but a lot of safe sleeping guidelines are stating that they’re not ideal for overnight sleeping. Whereas the British Baby Box meets all of the safe sleeping guidelines. 

The British Baby Box is great for napping & for overnight sleeping. We’re going on holiday in a few weeks to Winter Wonderland at Centre Parcs, & we’re planning on taking our British baby Box with us as a travel cot. I’ll be sure to take lots of pics! It’s so lightweight, so easy to transport. Just to add, with the box being so lightweight, it’s ideal for taking up & downstairs. I had a c-section & was told I can’t lift anything heavy. Well this box is super light. So I have no trouble carrying up & downstairs for as & when I need it. It’s also ideal for taking too & from relatives houses for babysitting etc…

The box is also great for tummy time too! Tummy time is so important for your babies development. And… the lid is great for use as a changing mat. Especially for while you’re away on holiday. It means it’s one less thing to pack.

Prices start from £50 for the Baby Box. You can choose to buy a package & have the box filled with goodies. Or you can buy the box complete with mattress & fitted sheet – then fill it yourself if buying as a gift. As a mother to a newborn, there’s nothing better than a useful functional gift. The British Baby Box is that gift! Once Ted has outgrown his box, I’ll be using it for storage in his nursery.

So there you have it… it’s useful, sturdy, comfortable, lightweight & it’s super cute! I love the British Baby Box. I’ll be updating you all about the box when we take it on holiday & as Ted grows.

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

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Did Somebody Say… Christmas?

5 Sep

Hi folks,

I know some folk find mentioning Christmas so early a little taboo… but you know me! I just can’t enough of the Festive period. I just love love love anything & everything about Christmas. I’m always well ahead of the game when it comes to planning & organising for Christmas, but this year I’ve totally upped my game. Mainly as we have another family member joining us next month! As you all know, I’m going to have a little bit of recovery after the baby is born, as he shall be a planned c-section baby. So I really don’t want any planning stress when it comes to The Holidays. Seth is 2 years & 6 months now, so he’s very much aware of parties, Halloween & Christmas. So I just want everything planned & in place for him so he can get all giddy.

One of the things I love about Christmas, are our little family traditions. I had them with my family when I was little. So we have our own little things now that we have own children. We don’t tend to do Christmas stockings at the moment, but maybe that will change as the boys get bigger & older. For now we just do a Santa Sack & obviously a giant pile of presents from Santa. Oh & let’s not forget the Christmas Eve boxes that are delivered by the magical Elves on Christmas Eve.

So, you may remember 2 year ago when I reviewed a beautiful handmade Santa Sack from the Handmade Christmas Company. Well, they have sent me the most gorgeous Santa Sack for Little T as this will be his first Christmas. He is due to arrive 31st October. I chose the same design as Seth’s & yes it is personalised… but for now his name is top secret. Sorry folks… we just really want to keep it a surprise until he arrives. But I did entrust the Top Secret name to the lovely folk at The Handmade Christmas Company HQ… they’ve promised they won’t breathe a word to anyone.

For now I have disguised the name with the beautiful satin ribbon that comes with the Santa Sack. Nearer Christmas, I shall be featuring both Santa sacks together in another little review. Just so you can see them properly side by side.

As you can see… they are very much identical. The sacks are 80cm x 53cm in size. I can fit lots of gifts into them. Seth’s has held a lot of gifts over the last 2 Christmas’s.

There are 15 designs to choose from & all can be personalised with your name of choice. If, you’d prefer a non-personalised Santa Sack, you can get those too! And, they’re slightly cheaper. If you prefer Stockings, they also make those! Actually… I do love the Christmas Stocking now I’m looking at them. I think I may have to get some… I can feel another tradition starting already lol. The monogrammed stockings are utterly stunning!!! Need, need, need!

Even though Christmas seems a long way off… it isn’t really. We only have 3 month to go. And at least if you order now, you definitely know you’ll get it well in time for Christmas. They also offer free delivery on everything too! Now you can’t say fairer than that can you. I hate nothing more that High delivery charges.

I think I just love these products, as they all look so vintage, traditional & classy. They’ll stand the test of time. They’ll always be in ‘fashion’ & they’re so well made that they’ll last on durability alone. They’d make a great addition to any family traditions, decorations or simply as a gift. Do away with the usual Christmas gift bag & go a little fancier with a sack or stocking.

When you head over to their website, you’ll be given the option to sign up to their newsletter, which is a great way to stay up to date with promotions & new products. You can also head over to their Facebook Page too.

Thanks so much for reading! And I hope I’ve not freaked you all out talking about Christmas so soon lol.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xx

Domestic Goddess Powered by GTECH

20 Nov

Hi folks,

You all know that I love a gadget… & you all know that I’m all for an easy life. I love anything that will make my life easier & will save me time. Time that could be spent, well… doing anything other than housework really.

Over the last few years I’ve had a love hate relationship with the dreaded housework. I’m a bit of a clean & germ freak. I seem to spend my life cleaning & dettoling every surface within an inch of its life. Even more so now that Seth is a toddler & pretty much into everything & seems to leave a trail of crumbs in his wake. Cleaning & hoovering is just something that needs to be done daily in our house. But hoovering for me has been a big no no for the last few years. You may all remember that a few year back I had 3 surgeries on my back. Which means the prolonged arch & bend of your back you have to sustain whilst hoovering is just impossible for me. That was until I was introduced to the GTECH Power Floor!

This nifty little lightweight gadget has turned it all around. We live in a 4 bedroom detached house which means… a lot of cleaning! Especially when you have a little boy & Chihuahua in tow. Most rooms in our house are carpeted, but a few are tiled & 3 others are wooden. The Power Floor can literally tackle them all with ease!

The Gtech Power Floor quickly and easily transforms from a floor vacuum to a handheld cleaner. I’m 5ft8’ & this vacuum allows me to hoover in the floor vacuum position with hardly no bending or arching required. It’s also super lightweight. A 4hr charge will give you 20mins of life. I can hoover my large lounge, dining room, big kitchen, utility room, downstairs bathroom & lobby all in under 20 mins!!!! Thats how quick & easy this vacuum really is. There’s no trailing cods or having to plug in, in one room then plug in another as the cord won’t reach etc… It’s completely cordless. Just amazing! It’s simply a must-have when you have children & pets. There’s no worry of them grabbing the cord etc… As it’s so adaptable, I can transform into a handheld in a matter of seconds & quickly hoover Coco’s Dog bed & nip to the car & Hoover Seth’s car seat! And it’s simply perfect for hoovering the stairs!

My lounge hosts many a playdate… so it’s amazing for tidying up after the little ones have been running riot. Gtech’s unique and patented AirLOC system* means the new Power Floor is not just great at picking up dust and fine debris but is designed to pick up larger objects too – fab for picking up those stray cheerios! It also has little headlights that will illuminate the way making smaller bits on the floor easier to spot. We actually had a glitter explosion yesterday on the lounge carpet (seriously – don’t ask) & the Power Floor was amazing at picking it all up & the little headlights even made it easy to spot every last speck of glitter!

I have to laugh, as myself & the hubster have actually been arguing & fighting over who gets to hoover lol. I think he loves this vacuum just as much as me. So… if you want your other half to start contributing more to the housework… maybe this little nifty gadget is just the answer.

With Christmas just around the corner – this would make a fab gift. You can purchase direct from the GTECH website for £249.99. With that you will receive free delivery within the UK as well as a 2 year guarantee. Also, if you buy it, try it & you decide that its simply not for you (I can’t imagine anyone would think that) you can received a full refund or exchange within the first 30 days! I mean – you can’t say fairer than that – can you?

I have to confess that I’ve had friends over just to give them a demo of the new fantastical vacuum in my life lol. Yes… I have become that person lol. But honestly… I can do a full tidy & hoover all 6 rooms downstairs in under 20 mins! AMAZING! This new vacuum has saved me so much time & hassle & it’s even reduced my pesky back pain. I simply could not live without this household item… it is a sure MUST HAVE!

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

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Personal Planner

28 Nov


Hi folks

Well, I have another fab Christmas gift idea for you!

What do you buy the most organised person you know? Or, what do you buy the least organised person you know? Or.. if you know someone in between… I have the perfect gift idea! Why not buy them a personal planner? Or better still… head to their website & buy someone a gift card!

The Personal Planner is just that… a fabulously unique personal planner tailored for you… by you! You literally design every single aspect of it. Everything from the colour of the pages to the layout.

I loved creating my own planner. I make notes generally all over my diary & I’m always writing lists of menu’s for the week to keep on track with eating healthy. My current diary just ends up as a massive mess… with writing scrawled all over the place. It looks incoherent – then I have to decipher what I’ve written & in what order! Now, when you have a busy working Mammy life like me… this is not the way to plan your time! So… with my NEW planner… I have my page sectioned up into little, manageable, neat categories! I simply cannot wait for the New Year purely so I can use it! Yes… I am that sad.

Along with my regular weekly breakdown over two pages, I have:

  • To Do This Week, complete with a ticky box (who doesn’t love a ticky box!?)
  • List Of The Week – this list I was going to use for business/PR contacts of who I’m in talks with. Just so to keep it separate from my to do list.
  • Idea Of the Week – This was to jot any buzz words or inspiring things I encounter that I can write about or simply come back to at a later date.
  • This Week’s Dinner – This is my menu area.
  • Notes – well thats pretty self explanatory.


I also opted for the ruler too – it makes a great page mark doesn’t it!?


I’ve tried in the past to have a personal diary & a work diary, but it just never works. I end up lugging around two diaries. Then I update one & not the other & it just gets so confusing! So, this way with my personal planner all organised & categorised – I can have one diary for everything but with keeping things in a precise coherent order!

I opted for the wide diary – simply so I could get as much wordiness in there! But you can choose various shapes & sizes to suit your needs.

I love that it’s slim too. It takes up hardly no room in my bag! Also, another bugbear of mine is when you have book in your bag & it opens so the pages get all bend & dogeared. I end up having to pop a hair bobble around things to keep them closed etc… well that just looks a bit naff doesn’t it!? And not at all professional when you turn up to a meeting with split hairs sprouting off your diary! Well… there’s no need for that with your personal planner as you get to choose the colour of your elastic that is attached & in the perfect place to keep your diary closed & perfect!


You can add sheets of stickers too! Now this is fab for all of you ‘bullet journalers’ out there! ‘Journaler’… I don’t even think thats a word!? Oh well, it is now! I love a good sticker. If you’ve got something important to do – a sticker always makes it pop when you turn the page. If you are into bullet journaling then you can opt for plain pages rather than lined – just for when your sketching etc… Honestly – whatever you want – goes really. You design it. Even the front cover… I opted for a plain & simple cover… but you could add a photograph of your choice… anything!

If you’re wanting to buy this as a gift – but would like to pass the creative gift on so the recipient gets the fun of designing, then you have the option of buying them a PDF version gift card – or an actual physical gift that will arrive via the postman. It really would make a fab Christmas gift. That way – you can either email them the fabulous gift. Or… pop it in their Christmas card!

Now, if you’re wanting to create & design a personal planner to arrive before Christmas, then you really must get your skates on! You need to order before December 4th for guaranteed Christmas Delivery. But, if you’re not sure of anything, then you can head to their website & contact the beautiful personal planner folk via their  customer service contact email address, of via their Facebook Page.

Well… There you have it! Go buy your very own Personal Planner… you really do need it in your life!

Thanks so much for reading as always & I hope I’ve inspired you to get organised!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx