Saturday 28 February 2015

Me & Mine: February 2015

I can't believe it's time for another Me & Mine already!

We've spent the majority of our time this month all together; going to the park, shopping, soft play etc. The days have all rolled into one! Chris starts his new job next month so February has been the last month that we will have had almost all of our time together. Of course it will be tough with the kiddies seeing daddy a little less but it will be great for us financially and on Chris's time off, we will be able to take the children more places as a family.

dear beautiful

Fun at Soft Play

I have always hated the idea of soft play and playgroups. I don't know what to say to other peoples children when they speak to me or making small talk with other parents. The fact that they are just so busy is the worst.

C is now 2 and a half. He needs to be able to play with other children so I decided to just forget about my awkwardness and bring him to soft play. The last time we went, C was around the same age E is now and because he wasn't even crawling yet it wasn't much fun. A child licked my arm that day too which definitely didn't help with my hatred for soft play centres.

A few days ago, armed with a long sleeved jumper, off we went. It automatically fell that Chris went off with C and I stayed with E. I took her to the Baby Area which is specifically for babies and crawlers. She had so much fun looking at herself in the mirror and having a nosey at the other kids whilst in the freestanding bouncer.

C had a ball. He was running around the soft play area although he did get a bit freaked out by the steep slide. He loved playing with the plastic house and ride on car. He had lots of fun pouring imaginary cups of tea and offering them out to other parents.

Only one child talked to me so it wasn't too stressful!

He bawled his eyes out when we had to leave so I think we'll definitely have to make soft play a regular thing!

Do your children enjoy going to soft play?

Friday 27 February 2015

Spring Crafts with Baker Ross

We have been Baker Ross for over 6 months now and I get so excited when I hear that a new parcel of crafty goodies are on their way to us. Spring is my favourite season, I love being outdoors with the kids and teaching them (C mostly) about nature. Out latest bundle was Spring-themed so it was perfect to do with C.

We received:

1. Chick & Bunny Foam Glasses (£1.99 per pack of 4)
2. Easter Bunny & Carrot Felt Stickers (£2.99 per pack of 80)
3. Pastel Yellow A4 Card (£2.99)
4. Fluorescent Solid Paint Sticks (£6.99 per pack of 6)
5. Calendar Pads 2015 (£0.99 per pack of 10)
6. Mini Heart Rubber Ducks (£2.50 per pack of 6)

7. Pom Pom Foam Flowers (£3.99 per pack of 100)

When I first opened up the box, C was most excited about the rubber ducks. Ducks are one of his favourite animals so he had me open the bag and he tried to carry all 6 around with him while saying, "duckies!" over and over again.

We received the regular coloured solid paint sticks a few months ago and I raved about them so I was pleased to see the fluorescent coloured ones in this box. C had lots of fun drawing on his thick yellow card with them and sticking down his felt stickers on his own. He also enjoyed me letting him have the glue stick and being able to stick down the pom pom flowers. I definitely think he felt more independent.

C and I worked together to make a little calender. We kept it simple by folding a piece of yellow card, gluing a calendar pad to the bottom and adding the year and pom pom flowers. It is now being proudly displayed in my living room.

The glasses were a little tricky for C but I helped him. It's so easy to follow the image of where to stick the bits down so it is perfect for older kids to do on their own. C loves wearing glasses (I think he wants to copy mummy) but he wouldn't comply for a photograph. Luckily, his little sister filled in for him!

If you fancy doing some crafts with your kids, you can find Baker Ross at their website, Facebook & Twitter.

(Disclaimer: We received these items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

OSMO Hair Products

I love changing my hair colour. I discovered hair dye when I was 14 and every summer I had my hair as bright as it could be. When I left school, I was totally in my element and changed it every few weeks. When I was pregnant with C, I dyed my hair brown as I obviously couldn't bleach it like I used to then when he was born, I found that I didn't really have the time to faff around with dye. Fast forward two years and I now have two children. I still don't really have a lot of time but I was desperate to feel more like me again and not just 'mummy'.

Red was my go-to colour. It was the colour my hair was when I first met Chris and that is what he said attracted him to me. In order to feel more like me again, I receive some OSMO hair products; Color Psycho Wild Rouge (£7.95), Color Psycho Color Tamer (£7.95) and Colour Protector (£6.95).

Beforehand, my hair looked like this:

The Colour Psycho dye works best on pre-lightened or bleached hair so I bleached mine first. The bleach took better on my roots so after bleaching it looked like this:

The Wild Rouge is, as the name suggests, a red. It's so easy to use as there is no mixing involved, just squeeze from the tube and off you go. However, I mixed my Color Tamer with it. The purpose of the Color Tamer is to tame the wild bright colour into a pastel effect. I still wanted mine relatively bright so I only added half of the tamer to the full tube of Color Psycho.

Color Psycho Wild Rouge

With tamer - unmixed

With tamer - mixed

The colour needs to be applied to wet hair and I saw it start to take almost instantly. Once my hair was fully covered, I waited around 30 minutes before washing it off (recommended time is 15-30 min). My hair is shoulder-length and it was covered fully with plenty of dye left over.

Excuse the mess - Chris did the dye job and got it everywhere!

After washing, I was stunned by how bright it was. The roots look amazing. I wish that the bleach had taken on all of my hair to give that same brightness but I am so pleased with how it turned out. 

Bleaching doesn't agree with my hair and it did feel a tiny bit straw-like afterwards. I've been spraying the Color Protector onto my hair before drying. It's a leave-in conditioner specifically for coloured hair. I do feel like it's helping to soften the damaged areas from the bleaching but it also contains the OSMO Anti-fade system to elongate colour. It smells beautiful too!

The Color Psycho dyes are available in 7 different colours. I'm so pleased with the results that I'll definitely be purchasing a different colour once I'm sick of this one!

You can find out more about OSMO on their website, Facebook & Twitter.

(Disclaimer: I received these items free of charge in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Thursday 26 February 2015

Win a Wasgij Only Fools & Horses Puzzle

When I was little I loved being in my own company, reading or doing puzzles - I still do now! Loving books and jigsaws and using their brains is definitely something that I want to teach my children.

Hobbycraft stock a huge range of jigsaw puzzles that are suitable for all ages so you are bound to find something no matter what age you are buying for.

We've teamed up to offer you the chance to win the fantastic Wasgij Only Fools and Horses 2 x 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles worth £20.00!

Wasjig (that's 'jigsaw' backwards, you know!) brings a whole concept to jigsaw puzzles. Using the picture on the front of the box, you need to use your imagination to construct what the picture will look like after a sequence of events occur.

The box contains two brilliant 1000 piece puzzles featuring the hilarious Only Fools & Horses characters. You'll do the first puzzle by following the image on the box but as this is Del Boy and Rodney, they will definitely get into some sort of predicament! But what could it be? You'll need to work out the second puzzle to find out by using your clues and imagination.

This is such a great puzzle to gift or to challenge yourself. Who doesn't love Only Fools & Horses!?

To be in with a chance of winning, just fill in the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway will run from February 26th until 11th March and it is open to UK residents only. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky
Win competitions at
Wednesday 25 February 2015

E's First Visit to the Zoo

A couple of weeks ago we decided to take the kids on a trip to Belfast Zoo. C has been twice before but he was only little. He absolutely adores animals so we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to see some of the animals that he loves so much in the flesh. This trip also marked E's first ever time visiting (unless you count her being in my belly last Easter!).

The giraffes and zebras were C's favourites. I think more than anything, he enjoyed just running around! It was very quiet so we had a good view of all the animals clearly whilst E slept for most of the way around. We were even on time to see the sealions getting fed. 

We sat down for a little "picnic" and a peacock came to join us. C was in total awe, constantly staring and calling it "teacock!"

I love getting the kids out to see different things. It must have tired C out because as soon as we put him in the buggy upon leaving, he was asleep within five minutes. It's so much more fun when they can talk and convey excitement!

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Mother's Day Gift Ideas: Truprint #millionmumsmile + get a FREE card!

E's birth in September saw my parents become grandparents for the second time. Now they have a grandson and a granddaughter and they are still totally embracing it. They have plenty of photographs of my son, C, but none of E. As part of my mum's first Mother's Day as grandmother of two, I wanted to obviously include both children in her gifts.

Truprint are a haven for photo prints and personalised photo gifts and they have plenty to choose from for Mother's Day. You can get everything from canvas prints to jigsaws to photo books and even phone cases and notebooks!

I opted for items that I knew my mum would like around the house. She has a canvas print of C up in the living room so I ordered another canvas print with both of the children on. The quality is great with a sturdy frame and it even comes with the hooks for easy hanging.

Next, I chose an acrylic photo block. I love the idea of these! They can sit on desks displaying a lovely photo without the need for a bulky photo frame. It's so sleek and modern. I may have to order more for my house!

Finally, an up-to-date photo book with photographs of both children. I love photobooks as they are so much more manageable than huge photo albums. 

The ideas are endless with Truprint. You could even get photos of your children's artwork printed or old family photographs to bring a little nostalgia.

Truprint are currently working on a #millionmumssmile campaign where they are aiming to make a million mums smile by giving away one million free personalised Mother's Day cards. All you need to do is choose your card and enter the code MUMINAMILLION at the checkout.

Before you create your card, please read the following Terms & Conditions:

  • The code awards one free 7 x 5 folded card
  • Standard P&P charges apply (99p)
  • Ship to recipient not available
  • Envelope included
  • Code is one time use only
  • Strictly one code use per household
Have fun creating and Happy Mother's Day!

(Disclaimer: I received a £50 Truprint voucher for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Monday 23 February 2015

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 6 - Review

Amazon Kindles have been on the market for 8 years now with lots of upgrades along the way. I was always interested in maybe owning one but kept coming back to the thought of "I love reading paper books, so why bother with a Kindle?" I was under the impression that the Kindle was an e-book reader and nothing more. I couldn't be more wrong. I've been having a little play around with the Amazon Kindle Fire 6 HD & stand cover to see what it's like for myself.

The Amazon Kindle Fire 6 HD is more of a tablet than an e-book reader. I own an Apple iPad mini so I found myself making comparisons between the two. Firstly you register the Kindle with your Amazon account so you can make purchases easily. Obviously, you can purchase books and read them through the Kindle but you can also surf the internet, visit the App Store and download your favourite applications, stream videos, list to audiobooks; the list is endless. As a blogger, I have to say that it's a bloggers best friend. I can download the Blogger app to write my posts on the go and even sync up my email accounts.

The quad-core processor (up to 1.5GHz) makes for faster applications and smoother videos. The 6" display is the perfect size. I always thought that my iPad mini was easier to handle than my sisters' original iPad but the Kindle is ten times better. I can hold it comfortably in one hand and it doesn't take up much space in my bag if I'm carrying it around. It is a lot more compact. It is a little heavier than the iPad mini but that's probably because its components aren't as spread out.

As a mother, I am forever snapping photographs of my children. The Kindle has both front and rear facing 2MP cameras and with free, unlimited Cloud storage I can take as many as I like without worrying about running out of space. The rear camera wide-aperture lens supports panoramic and HDR images. With the camera app you can even edit your pictures. With the click of a button, you are able to share your images through to your social media accounts.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 6 is a great family tablet. You can create personalised profiles for up to 2 adults and 4 children so you can all share the tablet but keep everyone's accounts separate. My favourite aspect is that it has revolutionary parental controls called 'Fire for Kids'. Parents can create accounts for their children and choose which apps, games, books and videos their child can have access to. You can also set a daily limit for gaming or videos but then have unlimited time for reading. Inside Fire for Kids, you still have the camera feature and children are able to use stickers to edit their own little pictures but as it's for kids, they are unable to share the photographs to social media accounts.

Chris and I spend a lot of time streaming movies and TV shows to watch. We were happy enough with the way we previously watched but Amazon have showed us how much better it can be. ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) learns what movies and shows you like, judging by what you've already watched, then gets them ready for you to watch so you don't have to waste time waiting for shows to buffer. When we watch a show or movie, I always find myself asking Chris, "What else was he/she in?" then off I go to IMDb to find out. X-Ray (powered by IMDb) instantly shows which actors are on screen and you can jump to other movies that they are in. You are also able to view what you're watching on the Kindle on your TV too through either Amazon Fire TV, PS3, PS4 and Samsung TVs. This means you can still watch your show on the TV but your Kindle is freed up so can surf the web or social media at the same time.

The battery life is fantastic. It seems to last longer than any tablet I've previously used. My dad had a play around with it and he was so surprised by how clear and colourful the screen is. He was under the impression that all Kindles were in black and white! 

It is available in Black, Citron, Cobalt, Magenta or White so you can choose your Kindle colour to what suits you.

For only £79 for 8GB or £99 for 16GB at Amazon it is fantastic value for money. You can do so much more on the Kindle Fire than on higher priced tablets. 

(Disclaimer: We received a Kindle Fire HD 6 on loan to try out for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Sunday 22 February 2015

#MySundayPhoto 22/02/2015

When C was little, we heard great stories about the FisherPrice Jumperoo so we decided to buy him one. He absolutely adored it and it was the most used piece of baby equipment we had. Definitely worth the money.

I knew that he wouldn't be our last baby so we kept it. We've now brought it out for E to use and she loves it just as much. I managed to snap this photo of her bouncing in it and I think it captures her little personality perfectly!