CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE 2021 | FOR THE ADULTS

Ad/Gifted : I was sent the items featured in this gift guide in return for inclusion. Affiliate links are marked with a *



Last week I shared my gift guide for the kids and today I'm sharing with you my gift guide for the adults. There is a mixture of items featured for all genders. So grab yourself a drink and settle down as this gift guide is a long one. 

Embracing Neurodiversity in Recruitment

*This is a collaborative guestpost

Far from being a politically correct gesture, the embracing of neurodiversity in the workplace brings with it a whole host of benefits, not only to society at large, but also to the many businesses that are engaged in the process. Before we move on to explain the benefits and offer advice on how to go about embracing neurodiversity it is worth offering a definition.


Neurodiversity defined

Judy Singer was a sociologist with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and it was she who coined the term "neurodiversity" in the late ‘90s. The term refers to the wide range of fluctuations in individual brain function and behavioural traits, considered part of normal variations within the population. Among those considered “neurodiverse” or “neurodivergent” are those with autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia and ADHD among other conditions.




CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE 2021 | FOR THE KIDS

Ad/Gifted : I was sent the items featured in this gift guide in return for inclusion. Affiliate links are marked with a *


It's that time of year again when I share with you my annual Christmas gift guides. Christmas doesn't have to be stressful if you plan ahead and my handy guides should help you when it comes to finding gifts for your nearest and dearest. I have a gift guide coming up for the adults soon but today it's all about the kids so read on.


LITTLE MOMENTS : 46/52: ILLUMINATE GAINSBOROUGH

Yesterday evening we headed out to a local event to  commemorate Gainsborough’s 400th anniversary marking the town’s connections to Pilgrims’ heritage.


It was an event that I would have loved to have stayed longer at however Blake got bored quickly. The event started with a digital projection on the walls of Gainsborough Old Hall with the story The Pilgrims: Our Vouag.  It was very interesting to learn about. We then got to see the paper lanterns that were made and set up on the grounds. You can see some of them in the photos above but there were plenty more.


We then saw the illuminated fire garden which really was amazing. We didn't know when we were there that you could actually walk around there to get a more closer look. It was very packed event and a lot of people were watching from the walls hence why we had no idea we could actually get closer. There was also a self led arts trail that we had no idea about. Even though we didn't spend along time there we still had a good time. 

UPDATING AREAS OF OUR HOME WITH DESENIO

 *This is a collaborative post on how artwork from Desenio has made a simple update to areas of our home.


I don't know about you but every now and again I like to change up some of the areas in our home. One of the most easiest way to do this is with wall art. Artwork really completes a space and can actually make a big difference to how the area looks. 



Desino are a brand who I go to for when I am in need of some new prints around our home. Their gallery wall tool is so handy for helping to see how the prints we liked would look together. The tool is also great for placement ideas. 

LITTLE MOMENTS: 45/52: BONFIRE NIGHT

 Remember, Remember the 5th of November. 


This year we decided to take Blake to our local bonfire night event. We have avoided going to these events in the past as Blake is very sensitive to sounds and loud sounds can distress him.


However on Friday night we had sat out in the garden with our neighbour and her children watching the fireworks together and Blake absolutely loved it! 



So we decided that we would risk the event on Saturday. We are so glad we did as Blake absolutely loved it and we are so proud of him for how he coped. We are so glad that we were able to take him to experience the event. 


Some simple ways busy mums can de-stress

  

https://twitter.com/SamL17401277
  Image via: https://twitter.com/SamL17401277


Life can be crazy, particularly for any busy mothers out there. Whether you’re juggling your duty as a mum with your professional life or you’re at your wits end after a day exploring a local castle, being a mum can be tough and, on occasions, stressful. It happens to every mum. 

REVIEW: SEQUIN ART CRAFT KITS

Ad/Gifted – The Sequin/Diamond art kits featured in this post were gifted to me in exchange for a review. However all opinions are my own.

If you and/or your children are into arts and crafts then these Sequin Art craft kits will be a hit. Over the past few months Blake and I have taken time to do these sets together. Even some of his friends have taken an interest and joined in. I was sent a set of 3 designs from the 60s range, a larger butterfly design from the Red range and a Diamond art kit too.



Sequin Art has become a trend for both children and adults as a calming and de-stressing activity. You don't have to be artistic to do these sets but just have fun and do them at your own pace.

Everything you need is inside the boxes: sequins, pins, image/guide and a polystyrene frame to mount the sequins on. All you have to do is use the pins to fix the sequins to the frame, following the guide to create your sparkling design.

Antalya: Journey to the Pearl of Turkey

 *This is a collaborative guestpost


Welcome to Antalya, a seaside resort on the shores of the Mediterranean, an earthly paradise and the capital of the Turkish Riviera. The 9th largest city in Turkey has a rich history, natural beauty, intense topography, and it is no coincidence that it hosts over 11 million visitors from around the world annually. As the fourth most popular city in the world, Antalya is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world that offers you a unique experience.



LIKES & LOVES| OCTOBER 2021

 Some of the items featured in this post include affiliate links. I’ve added a * next to those items for reference. Purchasing via these links does not cost you extra. 



October has actually been a mixed month. Blake has been poorly with a cold and had to have time off while waiting results from a covid test. Luckily he was all fine. We have also got up to some really exciting things this month too. We joined in with trick or treating with Blake for the first time which he really enjoyed. We've been to the zoo, joined a  Halloween trail, went pumpkin picking and spent time with family. 



All 4 
Help
A young carer at a Liverpool care home forms a bond with a challenging patient struggling with young-onset Alzheimer's disease. However, the horrifying circumstances of the outbreak of Covid-19 throw everything into disarray.



Netflix 
Squid Game
You have most likely heard of this one due to it's popularity. Definitely one kids shouldn't be watching. 
Hundreds of cash-strapped contestants accept an invitation to compete in children's games for a tempting prize, but the stakes are deadly.


Maid 
Single mother Alex turns to housecleaning to make ends meet as she escapes an abusive relationship and overcomes homelessness to create a better life for her daughter, Maddy.


Halloween films
We've spent this month watching quite a few family friendly Halloween films. You can check out my list from a few year's ago which features some favourites.




Friendship decor sign
We are really good friends with our next door neighbour and she gave me this little sign as a gift. 

2021 READING CHALLENGE | WHAT I'VE READ IN OCTOBER

I'm a bit delayed with some blog posts at the moment as we had a busy half term so I'm doing some catch up. Today I am sharing with you what I have been reading in October.

Invisible Girl By Lisa Jewel
A story of secrets and injustices, and of how we look in the wrong places for the bad people while the real predators walk among us in plain sight. This was a great twisty read which I expected from one of my favourite authors. 


LITTLE MOMENTS: 44/52:OCTOBER HALF TERM

Half term week has been a busy week for us as we had Stuart's Mum and her husband up to visit for a few days and had quite a few days out. Even though its been busy we did have fun and made lovely memories.

Monday
Blake mainly had free time and a few friends pop round for a bit. My in laws arrived around 4pm and we ended up getting in some pizzas for tea. 

Tuesday
We headed to Messingham Zoo which I wrote about here. If you are ever in the area its definitely a lovely little place to pass a few hours and see some animals. That evening we had a fish and chippy tea at a local place where their restaurant had reopened as they had kept close since March 2020 and only had their takeaway bit open until now.




HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR EARS

*This is a collaborative post

We often take our ears for granted but once hearing is damaged it's damaged for good. So don't wait until it is too late and start looking after your ears today. There are quite a few ways to care for your ears. Some are quite obvious and you most likely do them, others you may not realise affect your hearing.


MESSINGHAM ZOO | LINCOLNSHIRE

It's half-term and we have Stuart's mum and her husband visiting for a few days. Today we headed to Messingham Zoo for a few hours. We like to fit as much fun stuff as we can in as it really helps to stop Blake getting bored. 

Messingham Zoo is a family run business. The primary aim is to offer something different to larger zoos and wildlife parks by focussing on close up encounters with smaller, friendlier animals. 

LITTLE MOMENTS | 43/52 : LOLLIPOPS

There is something about lollipops as a child. Especially the large colourful ones that you spot in shop windows. Blake spotted a picture of one on the side of a local sweet shop and the joy on his face when we said yes filled me with nostalgia from my childhood and wanting the same sort of lollipop. 

It brought back that feeling of being a child and so wanting the sugary treat. I remember getting one from a cousin one year as she had been travelling and came home with ones for my sister and I from when she went to Disney World. I remember how as a child they looked huge and was such a treat for us to have. I can't remember if I ever did finish it but I do remember it being just as bright and colourful as the one Blake got. 



AD | GIFT IDEAS FOR A 10 YEAR OLD BOY

*This post is in collaboration with Wicked Uncle


As boys get older it can be harder to know what to get them as gifts. I certainly find it especially harder for my two oldest nephews. I've found some brilliant children's gift ideas here, not only that but I thought I'd share with you some of my favourites below.


5 Reasons Leeds is the Place to Be

 

*This is a collaborative post

In the UK, it’s easy to forget that there is life outside of London.  


But while the nation’s capital may have international attention, the humble city of Leeds has been ranked the best place to live and work in the north of England, and is ranked as the 12th best city overall! This vibrant, exciting metropolis has risen in popularity over the last few years, attracting businesses, families and professionals from all over the country.



LITTLE MOMENTS | 42/52 : PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES & CINNAMON SWIRLS

 I absolutely love the cosy comfort food and drink this time of year. This past week has been about pumpkin spice lattes and cinnamon swirls. They are definitely my two favourite autumn time treats. 

The cinnamon swirls we have are ones that are pre-made and just need cutting up and baking. However I'm desperate to be able to have a go at making some from scratch. 


As for pumpkin spice lattes I've been getting mine from Greggs and have had 5 since September.  I'm surprised in all fairness that it hasn't been more. I tried making some at home last year which ended up not working out. I need to try again and find a different recipe.



TRADE TO AID REUSABLE SANITARY PADS

*AD – I was gifted a set of Trade To Aid Reusable Sanitary Pads for this review. All opinions are my own though.


For quite a few year's now I've been using cloth sanitary pads. It was a switch I'm glad I've made as not only am I helping the environment, I'm saving money and I've found them much more comfortable than the plastic filled disposable ones. 


Today I am sharing with you a company whose mission is to end period poverty. Did you know that over 500 million women worldwide are affected by period poverty. Meaning that they don't have access to enough feminine hygiene products. 



Should I Encourage My Child to Learn an Instrument?

  *This is a collaborative post

Learning an instrument isn’t just about being able to perform a piece of music; there are many other skills that youngsters can learn through musical hobbies. With this in mind, there’s certainly no reason why you shouldn’t encourage your child to learn an instrument, as long as it’s something that interests them. I have teamed up with a private school in Gerrards Cross to explore the benefits of learning an instrument below…


Helping Your Child Develop their Critical Thinking Skills

  *This is a collaborative post

Critical thinking skills are an important aspect of a child’s educational development. They are essentially what allow us to analyse and compare our existing knowledge with new information to form a logical conclusion. So, critical thinking skills help us make decisions, come up with a line of argument and resolve conflict. With this in mind, you may be wondering how you can help your child develop their critical thinking skills. Here are some tips from a senior school in Northwood.


The Benefits of Outdoor Learning for Children

 *This is a collaborative post

The great outdoors is abundant with a range of learning opportunities for children, and its something that parents should encourage where possible. So many of us are worried about the amount of time our kids spend playing on their phones and games consoles, so getting them out and about is a great way to give them a much-needed digital detox. I have teamed up with an international school in Hertfordshire to share the benefits of outdoor learning.


How to a Raise an Optimistic Child

  *This is a collaborative post*



Maintaining an optimistic attitude can be challenging at times, even for the most upbeat of people. However, it’s a valuable mindset to possess because it helps us find contentment and overcome difficulties with a positive approach. With that said, parents should try and find ways to instil a sense of optimism in their children, using the following tips from a girls’ prep school in Surrey.




4 activities to do with kids

   *This is a collaborative post*


Baking your favourite treats

A wonderful activity to do with kids when it is raining outside is baking. Trade those screens for spatulas and bake your favourite sugary treats. Think about pumpkin spice cookies; a lovely treat for tea. 


Your home will smell like a real bakery and your kids’ bellies will be full and happy. If you want to make it a full-day activity, make that layered cake that you’ve always dreamed of! Invite some friends or family and treat them to your masterpiece. 


Start a crafting project

A good way to stimulate your kids’ creative ability is to start a crafting project. Prepare well and find a project that is suitable for you and your child(ren). Get all the materials you need at the art supply store and start crafting. 

LITTLE MOMENTS | 40 & 41/52 |SOFT PLAY AND ANAWFUL COLD

 The past two weeks have been  a bit all over the place. I've had an awful sore throat on and off still, but made sure we went to soft play on Saturday 2nd October as Blake had been  asking to go. We actually had a great time there minus a little hiccup when  Blake lashed out at another child. But other than that he loved running around and burning off energy. Whilst we were out and about I managed to stop via Greggs to grab a pumpkin spiced latte. I must admit they are one of my favourite autumn drinks.


Then this week Blake has had an awful cough and we've had to do two covid tests. One was a lateral flow and the other was a PCR and both came back negative so he was allowed back to school. Unfortunately he was sent home again Friday after he fell asleep in class, which really is unlike him. He still isn't 100% but I'm hoping next week he has better luck going to school and most importantly starts to feel more like himself again. We did take him to the out of hours Dr to just double check it wasn't anything like a throat or chest infection. It is just a cold but it's obviously a bad one. 



REVIEW| VEGAMOUR HAIRCARE RANGE

Ad/Gifted – The Vegamour Haircare products  featured in this post were gifted to me in exchange for a review. However all opinions are my own.


Recently I've been looking after my hair better. I've stopped washing my hair everyday and since the end of August I've been using products from Vegamour. Vegamour is 100% vegan, cruelty free, safe and uses effective products for achieving thicker, fuller hair. Their products are free of sulfates, parabens, silicones, gluten and artificial fragrance. 


My hair has always been fine (thank you PCOS) so I'm always on the look out for products that will help me to achieve more fuller and thicker hair. Vegamour have a variety of products to choose from to suit your needs. I have been trying the following:



5 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU MOVE HOME

   *This is a collaborative post*

Moving house is definitely stressful and time consuming. It's not just the packing but the actual process of moving too. We have moved quite a few times and it never gets any easier. But there are things you can do to make it less stressful on you.


5 Products That Can Transform Your Home

   *This is a collaborative post*


Home improvements can be the secret to making your humble abode feel good as new. 


Unfortunately, though it may be cheaper (and less effort) than moving house, it can come with a hefty price tag of its own and cause chaos.


It’s better than the alternative right? And thankfully home improvement doesn’t need to be nearly as high maintenance as you might think. Whilst some of these five products will require a little DIY skill, others will yield instant improvement – take a look and find out how you can transform your home. 


Interior design secrets of Instagram stars

  *This is a collaborative post*

The internet is populated with famous names setting trends across industries, whether its fashion, makeup or interior design. 


There are major misconceptions about how much money these individuals make – while there are many making five-figure sums for single posts, others generate very little revenue and simply create content for the love of it.


Many of these are micro-influencers – creators with follower counts of a mere(-ish) five or six figures. They aren’t working on big budgets, minus a PR package here and there, but many of them are running widely followed interior design accounts that inspire countless homemakers. 


Whether you dream of being a trendsetter or simply want your home to resemble an Insta-ready haven, these are just a few secrets of social media stars and how they perfect their palaces. 


3 ways to nurture your inner child

   *This is a collaborative post*

As Pablo Picasso once famously said, ‘Every child is an artist – problem is how to remain an artist when he grows up.’ 


And what a problem adulthood presents. For most of us, those days before bills and work, punctuated with six-week summers, are a halcyon era wistfully longed for. 



If you dream of reclaiming your childlike enthusiasm and lust for life, check out these three tips to nurture and unleash your inner child. 

LIKES & LOVES| SEPTEMBER 2021

 Some of the items featured in this post include affiliate links. I’ve added a * next to those items for reference. Purchasing via these links does not cost you extra. 


I must say September has been a pretty mixed month. We've had a sickness bug and an awful cold visit our household. But we have had lovely evenings spent with our neighbour, school photos and a first reading book. We've not had many days out during September but now we are fully back into a routine the plan is to plan exciting things to do at the weekends.



Amazon Prime:

Nine Perfect Strangers

Nine perfect strangers is based on the book by Liane Moriarty. Taking place at a boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation as nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a better way of living. Watching over them during this 10-day retreat is the resort's director, Masha, a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies. However, these nine "perfect" strangers have no idea what is about to hit them.



Disney + 

LUCA 

I've been wanting to see this for awhile as I'd heard good things about it. Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, the original animated feature is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. Luca shares these adventures with his newfound best friend, but all the fun is threatened by a deeply held secret: he is a sea monster from another world just below the water's surface.


Netflix 

Open your eyes 

Open Your Eyes' follows Julia, a girl who has been through a tragic accident and is trying to recover from it. The catch: she does not remember anything about it or about her life before the accident.


Clickbait

When family man Nick Brewer is abducted in a crime with a sinister online twist, those closest to him race to uncover who is behind it and why.

REVIEW| SELFIE BAG

Ad/Gifted – The Selfie Bag featured in this post was gifted to me in exchange for a review. However all opinions are my own.



Taking the perfect selfie can be a struggle, especially when getting the right angle and lighting. I must admit as much as I enjoy taking photos, selfies are something I'm just not comfortable with. Cotton Bag Co recently sent me their Selfie Bag which is a custom designed bag that is the ultimate accessory to make it easier for you to get the perfect photo on the go. 



5 Tips for Returning to Work After Being a Stay-at-Home Parent

 Raising children is a full-time job. 


And if you’re a stay-at-home parent watching your little ones head off to school for the first time, you might be considering returning to your career. 


This can be an intimidating prospect and you might find barriers that you hadn’t expected; industries are moving faster than ever before, and you probably feel as though you’ve been left behind. 


If you’re ready to return to the work force, then check out this handy guide that will make that transition a little easier. 




2021 READING CHALLENGE | WHAT I'VE READ IN SEPTEMBER

This month has been about getting us all into the new school routine and Blake has settled in so well. I've not picked up a book as often as I would usually as we've been spending the evenings out the front with one of our neighbours quite a bit while the weather has still been ok. Like last month I've read 3 books, 4 uf you count my current read.


You and me on vacation by Emily Henry 

 I had to fit one more summery read in before it started to get into the throws of autumn. Back in July I read Beach Read by the same author, as I really enjoyed it I had to pick up her new book.  I did actually prefer this one over Beach Read. 

TWO FRIENDS

TEN SUMMER TRIPS

THEIR LAST CHANCE TO FALL IN LOVE


LITTLE MOMENTS | 39/52: A QUIET WEEK

This past week has really been a quiet one. After last week with Blake having a bug this week both of us ended up with a cold. It wasn't very nice and I'm only just recovering from it. Luckily Stuart didn't catch it and did most of the school runs, as I've been feeling so drained.

LITTLE MOMENTS | 38/52: PARTY TIME

 The beginning of the week has been hard on Blake as he was sent home from school unwell Monday afternoon. He felt warm and was floppy so we picked him up early. When we got him home we tested his temperature which luckily was normal. A short while later he was sick and requested to be in his pjs and just laid on the sofa until he put himself to bed at 7pm. He was not sick again and so was able to go back to school on Thursday and was definitely back to his normal energetic self by then.



Today we went to a party as we were invited to celebrate a friends twin girls second birthday. Blake had a lovely time and was thrilled sitting with his friends eating pizza, chicken nuggets and grapes. There was a little soft play but Blake was happy just wondering round and exploring the outdoor area of the pub that the party was held at.


REVIEW| TOPPBOX - MENS PERSONALISED GROOMING SUBSCRIPTION

Ad – Review. Stuart was gifted a Toppbox personalised grooming set in return for review purposes, however all thoughts are our own. 


Toppbox is a personalised grooming subscription box for men, delivering a personalised assortment of 5-7 full sized grooming products with a value of up to £70 to  members all over the UK every 2 months. They feature products that cover all aspects of men's grooming routine, from hair, skin and body care products to shave and beard care, with a new selection of products covering a different aspect of your grooming routine in each delivery.

How does it work?

It's pretty simple - when signing up you fill in a profile that helps them to personalise your grooming box. The profile consists of your age, your skin type, facial hair type and your hair length. This is so that the products you receive in your box are ideal for your needs. It really is just as easy as that!


How much does it cost?

The subscription is £24 plus £3.35 P&P and boxes are delivered once every 2 months.  You can cancel, suspend or restart your subscription just by logging into your account. 


Grooming isn't just for women, it's important for men to look after the hair and skin too. This is why I think the concept of the personalised grooming box for men is such a great idea.




COMPETITION TIME- WIN £125 OF BUYAGIFT VOUCHERS

 I don't know about you but I've already started getting organised for Christmas and have been buying presents in advance. There is nothing worse than being in a rush especially if you have someone tricky to buy for!



For today's competition, we have two prizes to offer you. The first prize is a £100 BuyAGift Voucher and the second prize is a £25 BuyAGift voucher. Both of these awesome prizes will come in handy for Christmas this year. What will you buy with your voucher?

LITTLE MOMENTS | 37/52: BACK TO SCHOOL PLUS NEW INK

 This past week has really flown by. On Monday it was back to school for Blake and into year one. He was slightly unsure about going into a different part of the building but he managed to settle quickly. We met his new teacher briefly who seems really lovely. 

By Friday he was absolutely exhausted and was definitely ready for a relaxed weekend. We decided we will wait until next week before we go on any weekend adventures so that he is more settled with the new school routine.


GUIDE TO CHOOSING CARPET FOR YOUR LIVING ROOM

   *This is a collaborative post*

So, you have decided to invest in new carpet for your living room, but have no idea what you need to look out for? Don't worry as I'm here to help you with a handy guide. Choosing new carpet is an investment for your home so it's definitely important to know what to look out for, then order numerous samples so you can see your potential new floor covering in the fleshbefore buying




THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

   *This is a collaborative post*


Over the years I've been pretty honest about my struggles with my mental health. It's something I've actually written quite a few posts on from moments in my anxious mind to my Generalised Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis last year. 


There are things though when it comes to your mental health that can help you at times when you are struggling with depression, anxiety etc. Not everything I mention will work for everyone but these are some of the things that have helped me at times.



OUR ATTIC CONVERSION IDEAS (SO FAR)

   *This is a collaborative post*

After we first moved into our house and I wrote about our plans for our first home, I mentioned briefly about our attic room but today I thought I'd share with you more about our eventual plans for the room as it needs quite a bit doing to it. We are very lucky to have a good size attic space that we can eventually turn into a spare room.


At the moment the room is being used for storage but we have some ideas of what we would like to do. The attic space was starting to be converted when we bought the house but still needs a lot of work. When we start looking into doing the conversion we will definitely have to do a lot of research into planning permission, building regulations and also costs. We will also make sure we look into getting a professional tradesperson to do the job.


OUR FAVOURITE LOCAL RESTAURANTS WITH OUTDOOR SEATING

   *This is a collaborative post*

With most lockdown restrictions lifted we have been eating out again. While the weather is lovely I've been making the most of finding local restaurants with outdoor spaces to enjoy the sunshine.  We have a great variety of restaurants and places to eat local to us that are both well known companies as well as small businesses.


Now that most events are back on too its worthwhile finding out if any of your local event venues are available again. SquareMeal is a great place to find restaurant, bars and venue recommendations. I like to look up reviews on places before I go ahead and book anywhere and SquareMeal gives me the option to do that and I can book a table at my favourite restaurant through them. I also like that when it comes to a special occasion I can find the perfect event venues especially as there are places I wouldn't have thought of. I also like that if you are planning to visit somewhere new and not sure where to eat all you have to do is type the postcode/area into SquareMeal.