GIVEAWAY: MARVIN'S AMAZING MAGIC PENS

Ad/Gifted – Marvin's Amazing  Magic Pens featured in this post was gifted to me from Wicked Uncle in exchange for this post. All thoughts are my own.


Colouring and doodling has been something I've loved doing since I was little. I still as an adult find myself from time to time doodling whilst I'm thinking. 


Magic Pens are something I remember from the 90s as a way of writing secret messages. Marvin's Amazing Magic Pens are a great screen free activity and bound to be popular amongst kids and let's be honest adults too. 

POPULAR FATHER'S DAY GIFT IDEAS

*This is a collaborative post


Father's Day this year falls on Sunday the 19th of June. There is still plenty of time, with over a month to find Dad's and father figures in our lives the ideal gift/s. I've got a gift guide coming up soon with specific gift ideas, however today is about the popular gift ideas for Father's Day.




How to Boost Your Child’s Imagination

   *This is a collaborative post 

Your child’s imagination is important because it fosters social and cognitive development, and encourages curiosity, amongst other things. There are lots of ways that parents can boost their child’s imagination. Here are some tips from a pre-prep school in Harrow.



The Benefits of Nursery for Children

  *This is a collaborative post 

Whether or not you should send your child to nursery is one of many big decisions that parents have to make. If you’re unsure if nursery is the right option for your child, you may want to consider what a nursery setting has to offer, as explored below by a private pre-school in London.



The Importance of Pastoral Care in Schools

 *This is a collaborative post 



In simple terms, pastoral care is what a school offers its students to ensure they are physically and emotionally secure, as well as performing to the best of their abilities academically. Research has found that children who have better health and wellbeing tend to perform better in their education, so one could argue that the two go hand in hand. That’s why pastoral care is important. I have teamed up with an independent school in Surrey to explore the importance of pastoral care in further detail. 



How to Raise a Compassionate Child

 *This is a collaborative post 


Raising a compassionate child is something that takes time and commitment. Compassion isn’t a quality they are born with, but something they must learn over time and with plenty of practise, much like most qualities and skills. As a parent, there are various things your can do to encourage your child to be a kinder, more compassionate individual, as explored below by a senior school in Middlesex.



LIKES & LOVES| APRIL 2022

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.


What an absolutely busy month April has been. The first half of the Easter holidays we were away on holiday. The second half we fitted quite a few things in and the whole month seems to have flown by. 

Other than watching Luca on Disney plus for what has felt like the 100th time this month I've watched a good few series too.



Netflix

Bridgerton Season 2

I loved season one so had to watch the second season and I wasn't disappointed. The second season  is mainly focused on Anthony Bridgerton seeking to find a wife.


Anatomy of a scandal

Based on the book of the same name by Sarah Vaughan. Sophie's privileged life as the wife of powerful politician James unravels when scandalous secrets surface — and he stands accused of a shocking crime.


Hold Tight

Another series based on a book by Harlan Coben. When a young man goes missing soon after his friend dies, life in a tight-knit, affluent Warsaw suburb slowly unravels, laying bare secrets and lies. I personally feel its not one of the best series from Harlan Coben.


Emma (2020)

Based on the classic novel by Jane Austen. Emma is a self-proclaimed matchmaker who meddles in the love lives of her friends. Her misguided matches and romantic missteps lead her to find love that has been there all along. I've been meaning to watch it since the film came out and only just got round to watching it.


Liar

This popped up as a reccomendation and is what I'm currently watching. It was originally on BBC back in 2017 (season 1) and 2020 (season 2) but I've not seen it before. Liar is the story of two people who go on a romantic date which changes both their lives and those of their friends and families. Laura Nielson is a smart and capable teacher in the middle of a break-up, and she is set up on a date with recently widowed surgeon Andrew. However, the day after the date it is apparent that something has gone wrong, and the subsequent fallout rapidly spirals out of control, exposing the power of truth, deception and trust.




2022 READING CHALLENGE | WHAT I'VE READ IN APRIL

I've not blogged much at all this month as we have been pretty busy. When I have had down time and/or time to myself I've been spending it either watching something on Netflix or reading. I've read 7 books this month 3 of which are quick reads.



Violife | 100% Vegan Cheese

Ad/Gifted – The Violife Vegan Cheese range featured in this post was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.


Over the past few months I've been adding more Vegan/plant based meals into my diet. I like having a few meals a week that 1are Vegan and there are alot more Vegan products to choose from in supermarkets. I was recently contacted to try out some of Violife's Vegan cheese products. 


Violife are a range of vegan alternative to cheese products. They are free from dairy, preservatives, casein, lactose, gluten, nuts and soya. It is based on coconut oil and is fortified with Vitamin B12, which plays an important role in the metabolism of every cell in our bodies.



Whether you enjoy cheese sliced in your sandwiches, spread on your bagel, sprinkled on your pasta or melted on your pizza, Violife is the vegan alternative to cheese that tastes and cooks great! If you are trying Vegan cheese out for the first time please note, it does take a while to get used to vegan cheese as it is very different to cheese made from dairy products.




GIVEAWAY: GIANT BUBBLE SET

 Ad/Gifted – The Giant Bubble Set featured in this post was gifted to me from Wicked Uncle in exchange for this post. All thoughts are my own.


Bubbles are a huge hit with Blake, infact I don't know a child who doesn't love bubbles. Bubbles are a great activity especially for kids as they are cheap and keep kids entertained for ages.  We have quite a few different bubble sets such as a science kit, bubble machine, bubble wands etc which are all popular with Blake. 


Giant Bubbles are even more fun and this Giant Bubble Kit from Wicked Uncle is amazing, easy to use and provides hours of fun! 



LIKES & LOVES| MARCH 2022

March hasn't been a great month for us if I'm honest. I caught a vomiting bug and covid at the same time so one week of the month was a write off where I hardly left the sofa as I was so exhausted. So I must admit there isn't much to share compared to previous months. Even so here are the things I've loved this month.


Netflix

Pieces of her

A woman pieces together her mother's dark past after a violent attack in their small town brings hidden threats and deadly secrets to light. Based on the book by Karin Slaughter.


Little Women (2019)

While the March sisters enter the threshold of womanhood, they go through many ups and downs in life and endeavour to make important decisions that can affect their future. I've been meaning to watch this film for ages and finally got round to it.


The Adam Project

After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, time-traveling fighter pilot Adam Reed teams up with his 12-year-old self for a mission to save the future. 


Disney Plus

Turning Red

Mei Lee is a 13-year-old girl who is torn between being her mother's obedient daughter and the chaos of her youth. As if that were not enough, when she gets too excited, she turns into a big red panda.


2022 READING CHALLENGE | WHAT I'VE READ IN MARCH

I've read quite a few books this month but there are only two out of five I've given 4/5  stars and the rest are 3. There is also a book that I started but didn't finish that book is Traces by Patricia Wiltshire. It is a memoir of her time as a forensic scientist and criminal investigator. It had really great potential and what I did read had some interesting insight into forensic ecology however the parts about her life were boring and I just couldn't continue to read on. However lets move onto what I have read this month.





Good Vibes, Good Life by Vex King 
Vex King shares inspirational messages and universal wisdom to help you manifest positive vibes. I had high hopes for this book having read some positive reviews, however it just wasn't for me. I found it to be quite repetitive and I personally feel there are better self help books out there. 

GIVE ME COSMETICS | THE SKINCARE SET

 Ad/Gifted – The Skincare Set from Give Me Cosmetics featured in this post was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.


If you or someone you know is into looking after their skin and/or love trying new products than the skincare range set from Give Me Cosmetics is for you. The set makes an ideal gift for a loved one or as a treat for yourself.  


The skincare set contains 5 full size products to glow up your skincare routine in a fun and easy way. The set contains products that are worth £60 and you only pay £25 for the lot.


The 5 products included are:

- Cleansing Balm

- Facial Toner

- Facial Serum 

- Eye Cream

- Day Cream



OUR EASTER BUCKET LIST

Affiliate links in this post will be clearly marked with a *.


Easter is fast approaching so it's time we start getting prepared for the Easter Holidays. Blake will be off school for 19 days (including the weekends) so we need to keep busy so he doesn't get bored. We are away for part of the holidays however we still have things we want to do outside of that. So I've complied a list incase anyone finds it useful. Some will be location specific days out however there are lots of ideas to suit everyone. 



MOTHERS DAY WITH GIVE ME COSMETICS

Ad/Gifted – The Mothers Day Gift Set from Give Me Cosmetics featured in this post was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.


If you are still looking for a gift idea for Mothers Day than Give Me Cosmetics has got you covered. If your Mum or other mother figure is into Cosmetics and trying out new products than you need to get your hands on the Mothers Day Gift Set!


The Mother's Day Gift Set contains 11 products for making Mum feel loved and pampered this Mothers Day. The products in the set are worth a total of £97, however you pay £32. The 11 products included are as follows:

-  A Shampoo and Conditioner

- 1 sachet of Argan Oil & Coconut Oil Hair Mask

- 1 Vitamin C Eye Patches rapeseed Oil & Olive

- 1 Oil Makeup Remover 

- 1 Anti-Ageing Day Cream

- 1 Eco Pad - Pink or Black 

- A Deep Cleansing Bubble Mask 

- Lemonade Lip Repair

- 1 Silicone Face Mask brush

- 1 Collagen Sheet Mask 


Is My Child Ready for Nursery?

*This is a collaborative post


When it comes to nursery and showing your child the many educational activities they can get up to, it’s important to keep in mind that your child needs to be at the right level to start nursery and have fun with it. This is why it’s important to ask yourself when your child is ready for nursery - these factors from this childcare centre in Richmond will help you figure out when is the best time.


How to Raise a Respectful Child

*This is a collaborative post


Respect is a key moral value that gives your child the opportunity to converse with others, show their kindness, and be helpful members of society. When they’re babies, children tend to be crying and demanding attention, but when they’re older they will become more aware of their surroundings, and understanding that crying will not get them far. Here are some tips to raising a respectful child from this grammar school in Surrey.


Exploring Moral Values with Your Child

 *This is a collaborative post


Moral values are important to a child, and they will be explored throughout their childhood. As parents, we should be exploring moral values all the time with our children; here are some tips you can use that this private nursery in Shoreditch recommends.



GIVEAWAY: THE HUMAN BODY UNDER X-RAY JIGSAW

Ad/Gifted – The Human Body Under X-Ray Jigsaw featured in this post was gifted to me in exchange for this post. All thoughts are my own.


There are lots of ways to make learning fun and we have a range of toys and games for just that and now we have  The Human Body Under X-Ray Jigsaw. The Human Body Under X-Ray Jigsaw (suitable for ages 6-10 years) is an exciting way to learn about parts of the Human Body and what is inside. The left side of the Jigsaw features the organs whilst the right side features the skeleton and bones. The Jigsaw isn't just an educational Jigsaw but also using a UV light on it the names of all the body parts appear and the organs and bones become visible on the people.



The Benefits of Sports in Schools

*This is a collaborative post


Sports in schools bring a range of benefits to students, and is a big part of all school curriculums to give children the best chances to explore new experiences. There are also benefits to your child’s studies and their mindset when they come to school that makes for better learning all round. Here are some benefits that this prep school in London shares with us.



 

MAKING MONEY BY SELLING ON VINTED


Affiliate links in this post will be clearly marked with a *. Clicking one of these links means I earn a discount or receive payment.



I've sold items online before and didn't get on that well with Ebay and Facebook marketplace. So last September I decided to try out selling on Vinted after hearing about it for a while. I still donate to charity shops from time to time but I had lots of clothing Blake had grown out of piled up at the bottom of his wardrobe. It was doing my head in as every time I opened his wardrobe they would fall out,  plus I had some clothing items of mine I wanted to get rid of. So trying out Vinted has definitely helped me to make a bit of money.





SPRING CLEAN YOUR FINANCES

When it comes to spring cleaning it not just your home you need to think about.  Taking time to look at your finances and see if there are things you can change is a must. So that is why I'm sharing with you some of the things that you can do to make better financial choices and habits so that you get your family finances in order



Mothers Day Gift Guide 2022

Ad -  I was sent the items featured for the purpose of this gift guide. 



Spring is almost here and that means that Mothers Day is also round the corner. Some countries have Mothers Day in May, however here in the UK it's in March. This year Mothers Day falls on Sunday 27th March which also happens to be when the clocks go forward. I have put a Gift Guide together, like I do every year for those of you who need a bit of inspiration. I'm sure that you will find something suitable to treat those lovely Mums out there. You may also want to check out How to plan the best Mothers Day.




INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY WITH GIRLS OUT LOUD/BUYAGIFT

Tomorrow (8th March)  is International Women's Day. A day to celebrate and  recognise women's achievements and take action towards gender equality.  This year the UK’s leading gift experience provider, Buyagift, is working at supporting the charity Girls Out Loud.  


TALKING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH ISN'T ALWAYS EASY

 *Trigger Warning : Features attempted suicide 

*This is a collaborative post


We are often told to talk about our mental health however it isn't always that simple. Back in 2009 at the age of 19, after my fathers death I was diagnosed with depression. However I'm pretty sure that I had undiagnosed depression from my early teen years. I may be open about my mental health these days but I never used to be comfortable. There are still times though that I feel I don't want to open up on how I am feeling. Having a mental health day now and again is important for my wellbeing. 


I do share quotes and numbers of services to reach out to if you are struggling. However I've not touched on how talking about mental health isn't always easy. Sometimes as much as you want to you talking about mental health can be difficult. Whether it's the first time talking about your feelings or like me been open and talked about your struggles sometimes there are just no words. Below are some of the reasons why somone may not talk about their mental health.



WIN A £200 AMAZON EGIFTCARD





March is here and it's time for an exciting giveaway! What would you do with £200 to spend on Amazon? You might want to get your thinking caps on as I'm collaborating with some amazing bloggers, to give someone the chance to Win a £200 Amazon eGiftcard. Amazon is one of my favourite places to shop as you can buy near enough everything there. If I had £200 to spend right now on Amazon I'd definitely use it to buy things for our home. But you could spend it however you want if you win. Maybe you have some birthdays coming up you need to buy for or to spruce up the garden or just want to treat yourself. 



The prize on offer
Times are hard in 2022 in a huge variety of ways. It seems like the price of everything is going up and up. What could be better than winning a whopping £200 e-giftcard for Amazon UK to help ease the financial pressure? Amazon used to be known as just a seller of books back in the day but these days there is hardly anything that they don't sell. From groceries to tennis balls, mascara to jigsaws, dog treats to TVs... talk about a one stop shop. Which is why I have joined forces with a fabulous group of UK bloggers to offer up this fantastic prize for one lucky winner... that's right, you could be in with a chance of winning a £200 eGiftcard for Amazon UK.

4 online side-hustles you need to try

 *This post contains a few referral links. However nothing will cost you extra.


The cost of living is increasing ridiculously with fuel skyrocketing, food prices are creeping up and even energy prices are getting to the point that alot of us can't afford them and are most likely to go even higher. It's definitely a worry for alot of people, however there are ways you can make a bit of extra cash here and there. I've featured some of the things that I personally do or have done to make a bit of extra cash.


LIKES & LOVES| FEBRUARY 2022

Ad/Gifted – The art print from Wychwood Art featured in this post was  gifted to me in exchange for a review. However all opinions are my own.


What a month February has been. We've had a busy month with our anniversary, a christening, a party plus half term.  Although busy it's been lovely to enjoy time with our favourite people and a few days out on our own as a family too.


Netflix

The woman in the house across the street from the girl in the window

Watching the world go by from her living room window, heartbroken Anna sets her sights on a handsome new neighbour until she witnesses a gruesome murder. I'm pretty sure I've read and watched something very similar before.


All of us are dead

Trapped students must escape their high school which has become ground zero for a zombie virus outbreak. 


The Tinder Swindler

A group of women who were the victims of a dating app based swindler join together in an attempt to hunt him down and recover the millions of dollars that were stolen from them. This is a documentary which the real women are featured in sharing what happend to them.


The Sinner season 4

Season 4 of The Sinner has finally arrived and didn't disappoint. For those that haven't watched any episodes The 4 series focuses on Detective Harry Ambrose as he investigates various atrocious murder cases and tries to analyse the reasons behind ordinary people committing heinous crimes. 


One of us is lying

One of Us Is Lying" is based on Karen M. McManus'  best-selling novel of the same name. Mystery surrounds Bayview High when five students walk into detention and only four walk out alive, leaving one dead just as he was about to reveal life-changing secrets about the others in a gossip app. Each of the students, Bronwyn, Addy, Nate and Cooper, had the opportunity and individual motives to murder their classmate, but all claim to be innocent as the case revolves around which one of them is lying.


*Wychwood Art
Wychwood Art is a contemporary art gallery selling artwork online and from their Cotswold art gallery based in Deddington. They also sell at the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea, London, in March each year. They represent over 350 contemporary artists. I got to choose an art print from their website. They have such a wide range of art for sale which made it hard to choose.  I opted for this gorgeous tiger print (above). It's called Magnificent Beast and is by artist Sarah Weston. The painting uses water-based inks on Japanese Ho-Sho paper. This piece is one of their limited edition prints. It really is gorgeous and excellent quality, all I need to do now is get a frame for it and decide where to hang it. 

 

2022 READING CHALLENGE | WHAT I'VE READ IN FEBRUARY

 This month I've read 4 books, which is pretty good since it's the shortest month. They are a great mix of reads and I've found two new to me authors I'd love to read more books from.




Glass House by Eve Chase

Outside a remote manor house in an idyllic wood, a baby girl is found.

The Harrington family takes her in and disbelief quickly turns to joy. They're grieving a terrible tragedy of their own and the beautiful baby fills them with hope, lighting up the house's dark, dusty corners. Desperate not to lose her to the authorities, they keep her secret, suspended in a blissful summer world where normal rules of behaviour - and the law - don't seem to apply. But within days a body will lie dead in the grounds. And their dreams of a perfect family will shatter like glass.Years later, the truth will need to be put back together again, piece by piece . . 

A lovely easy read with likable characters and an intriguing mystery. An Author I've only recently come across, I plan to read some more of her work in the future.

OAKA | TOPIC PACKS FOR VISUAL LEARNERS

Ad/Gifted – The Topic Packs from Oaka books featured in this post were gifted to me in exchange for a review. However all opinions are my own.


I believe that learning isn't just for at school. Learning can happen everywhere. We use educational apps, games, toys and days out with Blake to help aid his learning. I recently received these science topic packs from Oaka Books that are suitable for KS2 children ( age 7-11 years) they look great fun for visual learners and SEN children.


I opted for the four Science KS2 packs for Blake as Science is something we love doing together. Oaka Topic Packs, make learning easier. They are clear and to the point and use three learning strategies to aid understanding and information retention.


GUIDE ON NOSTRIL PIERCINGS

Last April I made the decision to go and get my nose pierced and almost a year later I have no regrets. There are different areas of the nose you can get peirced such as septum, bridge, nostril etc. I had my nostril done as it's something that I had been wanting to do for awhile but just didn't have the confidence to actually go ahead and do.


As someone who has their nostril pierced I thought this post would be handy to share my experience and give you a bit of information if it is something that you have been considering getting done. Before I got my nose pierced I made sure I read up all about it. How its done, how to keep it clean, the healing process, how to change the stud/ring, types of jewelry. I even watched videos of it being done just so I knew what to expect and if it was right for me. I also made sure that the place I was going to get it done at was professional. 


The Benefits of School Trips for Children

*This is a collaborative post


Most schools offer their students multiple school trips throughout their academic journey, to heighten their learning experience in a range of different subjects. There are lots of benefits to these educational visits, as explored below by a girls’ private school in London.


Exploring Mindfulness with Your Child

 *This is a collaborative post


Being mindful is the act of being fully present in a particular moment, aware of what’s going on around us as well as how we are feeling and what we’re thinking. That moment-by-moment awareness can reduce stress and anxiety because it stops us worrying about things from the past or things that haven’t happened yet. With that said, it would be wise for parents to help their children become more mindful, but where to start? I have teamed up with a junior school in Leicestershire to share some advice.



How to Raise a Resilient Child

*This is a collaborative post


Resilience is an important trait because it’s what allows us to cope well with the inevitable ups and downs of life. This could be anything from a challenging project at work or school, a death in the family or moving house. With that said, it’s essential for parents to find ways to help their children develop a sense of resilience from a young age. If you’re unsure where to start, here are some tips from a prep school in West London.



Helping Your Child Become More Environmentally Conscious

 *This is a collaborative post


Instilling a sense of respect for the environment into your child from a young age is a great idea, because it will encourage them to make sensible choices as they grow up. For example, they might think twice about leaving a light on in a room as they leave. Raising an environmentally child is not only good for the planet, but it can also help parents save money, and benefit a child’s overall development. Here are some tips from an international sixth form.





LIKES & LOVES| JANUARY 2022

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.



January has felt slow as it usually does although it definitely wasn't as bad as last year. We've been to a friends daughters 6th birthday party, booked a Butlins holiday for April and mainly had time spent at home. February is going to be busy so I'm glad that January has been a fairly quiet month. Now onto the things I've loved this month.


Netflix

Stay Close 

Based on the book by Harlan Coben with the same name Stay Close shares the lives of a photojournalist, a soccer mom and a homicide detective, that are disturbed by a terrible event from the past.


Emily in Paris season 2

Chicago marketing executive Emily Cooper is hired to provide an American perspective at a marketing firm in Paris. I had to watch the second season as I loved season one. 


The Witcher

I recently came across The Witcher and binged watched both seasons this month. The witcher Geralt, a mutated monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world in which people often prove more wicked than beasts.


Don't look up

Two low-level astronomers must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth. There are mixed views on this film but I got into it and found it interesting.


Disney Plus

Encanto 

You have most likely have heard of Encanto since it's popularity.  The Madrigals are an extraordinary family who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a charmed place called the Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift -- every child except Mirabel. However, she soon may be the Madrigals last hope when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is now in danger.





These were a Christmas gift from my husband they are really comfortable to wear and pretty with a touch of sparkle.

2022 READING CHALLENGE | WHAT I'VE READ IN JANUARY

Reading wise I've made a great start into my goal of reading 70 books this year. I've read five books this month two of which are fairly short reads and are non fiction where the remaining three are fiction.  



The Little Book of Sleep by Dr Nerina Ramlakhan

I was disappointed with this read tbh. Some of the information was useful but alot of the information and tips mentioned in this book are things that are well known. 

BEAUTY AND SKINCARE PRODUCTS YOU NEED TO BUY

When it comes to beauty and skincare I love to try out new products. I have a skincare routine for both morning and night which works well for me. I believe that it's important get skincare right. There are so many different products though that you may feel overwhelmed so I've complied a list of products that you need to buy. I've not included make up and may end up doing a separate post on that. I however have included a few haircare related items.




POLAR CREDIT : HOW THEY CAN HELP YOU

 *This is a collaboration with Polar Credit


Life can throw a curveball at you. During the past few years many of us have come into financial difficulties. Covid sure has a lot to answer for thanks to many people being furloughed, hours being cut, having to juggle working from home whilst homeschooling. The stress about money to pay the bills on top is definitely something that isn't needed. Plus it's January which tends to be a bit tougher financially because Christmas has been and gone and December payday was most likely earlier than other months.


If you are in a position where you need to borrow money NEVER opt for payday loans as they cause much more stress and have high interest fees which you really don't need. Instead find a company like Polar Credit who offer alternative financial services.