Monday, 30 March 2015

The Little Stork & My Given Name: Personalised children's books

 I have reached my 36th week of pregnancy and boy has it been a long 36 weeks. This is my first baby and am in the final stretch of pregnancy. 

For the last month my health has been up and down, I have high blood pressure and am taking beta-blockers twice a day in a bid to lower it. On top of that I have been having two sets of blood tests a week as well as BP monitoring and scans. It will all be worth it in the end. 

My husband and I have been busy getting the nursery prepared, family and friends have been generous with clothes and toys for the baby.

I am a huge fan of personalised things for children and this gorgeous book, The Little Stork & My Given Name, is no exception. 

My husband and I are due a little boy and we decided to call him Joshua. The Little Stork & My Given Name is a book created and written by author Kevin Tyler while the colourful illustrations are created by Pushan Chakravarty. 

The books are created around your child's full name, gender and ethnicity and is suitable for reading ages three to eight years old but of course you can read this book to your newborn and it makes a lovely keepsake for the nursery. 

The book itself is jam-packed with colourful characters and messages for the child which are connected to their names. The affirmations are full of positive messages and beliefs which the creators say will help build confidence and self esteem. 

The story is created around a stork called Bindee who thinks he can't fly, he is on a mission to visit a great wizard to take Joshua's birth certificate and deliver him home. During Bindee's journey he meets some lovable creatures who help him on his journey. 

During the book we learn that Bindee is able to fly if only he had some positive mental attitude - another great way to teach children that anything is possible if they put their minds to it. 

The story of Bindee and the My Given Name books was created by Kevin Tyler who has spent his career in the design and print industry. 

Kevin said: "I did not wanted to create just another personalised kids' book that simply overlays a child's name. I wanted a truly engaging story, magical characters and something can have real positive influence on children. This book, I believe, will set new standards. It will be truly inclusive and inspirational." 

Ordering your book on the My Given Name website is super simple. You just type in your child's name, select their gender and ethnicity and away you go. Once ordered your book should be with you within four to six days and postage within the UK is free. Books themselves cost £16.99.

You can also find Kevin on Twitter @MyGivenName

I can't wait for Joshua to arrive, I believe reading to your child early on helps with bonding, routine and their own literacy skills. 

(Huge thank you to Kevin for creating and sending me a book to review)

Friday, 27 March 2015

Easter treats: Valentine Hearts: Lush pamper products

Spring has most definitely sprung. With that in mind a couple of trips to Lush were in order. There are no Lush shops in North Devon. The closest are Exeter and Plymouth, so when I visit those cities I have to stop by their Lush stores. 

I picked up Golden Egg, Granny Takes A Dip, Bubblegum lip scrub, Therapy massage bar, Dragon's Egg, Big Blue, Bubblegrub and Lonely Heart.

Ah, so many beautiful products.

Dragon's Egg bathbomb £3.35 and Granny Takes A Dip bathbomb £3.35.

On the outside Dragon's Egg looks plain and unexciting, however, this bomb sure packs a punch. It fizzles away and turns the bath water a yellowish-gold colour and smells of lemon and jasmine. Quite refreshing. Similar to the Cinders bathbomb, Dragon's Egg contains popping candy, though I couldn't really detect any snap, crackle and pops. 

Granny Takes A Dip bathbomb never fails to catch my eye in the shop. Likewise, in the bathtub, this product turns your bath water multicolours. Definitely a fun bath with lemon and ginger scents wafting through. Refreshing and warming at the same time. 

Big Blue bathbomb £3.35 and Bubblegrub bubble bar £2.95.

I hadn't tried Big Blue before but the deep colour caught my attention. It is a calming and relaxing bomb which leaves the bathwater soft and silky. According to Lush's website Big Blue contains sea salt which helps soften the skin to buff away dead skin cells. Anything which helps smooth the skin is all good in my books.

How adorable is the Bubblegrub bubble bar? I like the price on this chap, at £2.95 it is one of the cheaper bath time treats at Lush. 
Not only does this product create lots of bubbles when crumbled under the tap, it also helps make the water silky soft - due to the shea butter - lovely stuff.

Therapy massage bar £6.50 Bubblegum Lip Scrub £5.50

This bar is a fairly hefty size and has little knobs (is that the right word) on top to give your skin a good massage while the product starts to melt on the skin. The bar smells sweet as it contains cocoa and shea butters which help leave the skin silky soft. I am going to take this with me to hospital when I go into labour. It also contains lavender oil, so hopefully hubby can use it on my back in a bid to calm me down. 

I have written posts about Bubblegum lip scrub many times, so I won't waffle on too much. I feel this is a love it or hate it product as it is super sweet, very similar to Snow Fairy shower gel. It helps buff away dry skin on your lips. I tend to use this at night before applying lip balm. 

Lonely heart bubblebar £3.50 and Golden Egg bathbomb melt £3.75

The Lonely Heart bubblebar was part of the Valentine collection for 2015 so is not available in shops now. This was quite a small bubblebar but I still manage to divide it up into three baths. It turned the bathwater a deep red colour which was laced with golden shimmer. There was a strong scent of citrus which I found light and refreshing. 

Ah, Golden Egg bathbomb melt, you look gorgeous, but you make cleaning the tub afterwards a pain! This is a recurring product, I remember Lush bringing it out last Easter and there weren't many left when I visited the shop, so it seems a popular choice with customers. 

The product happily fizzes away like a bomb but then mellows out to melt and turn the water soft and smooth. 
The product contains orange oils so is a welcome change from all the lemon scented products I picked up. According to Lush's website the product also contains cocoa which helps release the toffee scent - I couldn't detect a strong sweet/toffee smell but nonetheless I loved this product. It is nice to have a limited edition product under the £4 mark as well. 

When I buy a Lush bath product I like to make them last as long as possible. I take them out of their paper bags and put them into plastic freezer bags for storage, I find they retain their colour and scent longer this way. I will always divide the products up so I get more than one use out of them. Lush is quite expensive and some goodies cost around £6 so it is wise to make your purchases go that extra mile. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Flo Accessories: Nifty handbag essentials for home or away

Having stylish and convenient beauty accessories for my handbag is a must in my opinion. 

These nifty travel goodies from Flo Accessories are no exception. Here we have an LED compact mirror, LED tweezers and perfume atomiser.

First of all, how gorgeous is the hot pink colour, secondly, how handy are these for holidaying abroad? The products are airline approved, so there are no worries about these being taken away from you at check in from an over-zealous assistant. 

Flo Accessories also creates make-up bags, travel size nail care and fragrance jewellery. The perfume atomiser seems to be one of Flo's most popular products. I have already decanted some Dior Pure Poison into my atomiser. 

That's the great thing with this product, instead of lugging a hefty bottle of perfume around decant it into the atomiser and you are good to go. Also Flo's atomisers are universal, this means they will fit any perfume bottle, bonus! 

The atomisers come in a range of colours and sizes and start at £9.95 for 5ml.

For sure, this LED mirror will be coming everywhere with me from now on. Flo's mini compact LED double mirror is light-weight, looks gorgeous and is practical for makeup touch ups. 

The compact celebrity mirror costs £8.95 and comes in black, hot pink or white. Flo also sells sliding mirrors as well as larger magnifying ones. 

Flo's LED tweezers have also been a lifesaver recently, especially when they husband got a splinter in his finger. The lights really helped me to see what I was doing. Personally, I don't pluck my eyebrows, but if you use tweezers for this job then Flo's tweezers would make the task a lot easier because of the LED lights. 

Have you come across Flo Accessories before? If not, go and check them out, especially if you are heading on holiday this summer!

Twitter - @AccessoriesFLO

*I was sent these products for review

Saturday, 21 March 2015

What's in my Pregnancy Hospital Bag - bathroom essentials

Having seen a load of What's in My Bag style videos and posts I thought I would do my own one with a little twist as this post will show you what I am taking to hospital for when baby boy decides to make an appearance. 

At the moment I am 35 weeks +2 days into my first pregnancy. I have been a little poorly during the last few weeks because I have high blood pressure and am taking two beta-blocker tablets a day in a bid to try and lower it. 

I am only two weeks away from being classed as full term, even though my estimated due date for baby is April 23, I have a feeling little boy will make an appearance early. 

With that in mind I figured I should start packing my hospital bag for me, baby and hubby.

This post is all about bathroom essentials for going into hospital.

When you pack for labour it can be tricky to know how much to pack. Depending on what kind of delivery I have will depend on how long the hospital stay will be. If I end up having a C-Section I could be in hospital for a few days. These toiletries will keep me going for a week.

We have:

Crest toothbrush kit with brush and toothpaste
Listerine Total Care mouthwash
X2 Halo deodorant wipe packs 
Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean foaming face wash mini
Rose Jam mini showergel from Lush
Rainforest Moisture hair butter from The Body Shop
Milla Maddern peach and passionfruit lip balm
L'Oreal Elvive Colour Protect mini shampoo
Mitchum Ultimate 48 hour deodorant stick
Ear plugs, nail file, hair ties and kirby grips
Andrex wet toilet wipes

I live about a 20 min drive from hospital, so if I end up being in there longer than a few days hubby or mum can come to my aid with extra bathroom essentials. 

Staying in hospital for any reason is a bit of a drag so having some little home comforts can make the trip more comfortable.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Knick Knack - monthly jewellery subscription box by Alphabet Suitcase

We have all seen monthly subscription boxes from brands including Glossy Box, Birch Box and Pink Parcel. 

The latest subscription box to catch my eye is from jewellery and accessories company Alphabet Suitcase. 

Recently the company introduced their monthly jewellery subscription box Knick Knack. Each month there is a different theme. I tried out the fast food themed box which was jam-packed with fun accessories.

Here we have hotdog and pancake hair grips, a ice-cream cone necklace, cheese burger stud earrings, macaroon charm, cream tart lip gloss, blue star kirby grip and a little jelly burger sweet to chomp on.

The only clue you get each month is the theme of the box, the Kawaii box is due to be released on March 28. 

Each box costs £20 and contains 3-5 pieces of jewellery or accessories. Each piece has been designed, sourced or created by Alphabet Suitcase.

The junk food box has lots of colourful, fun and quirky pieces, which are great for making a statement. I have to say the cheese burger studs are my fav pieces in the box. I love the amount of detail, from the beef burgers to the green lettuce and slices of cheese poking out of the sesame seeded burger bun. 

Alphabet Suitcase launches each new box on the 28th of each month via their Facebook and Twitter pages. The company has an Etsy store as well as a website. The goodies may differ in each box, something which I like because there is more of an element of surprise. 

Alphabet Suitcase will give a sneaky peek at each box in the run up to each month's release.  

The company also sells individual pieces as well as their Knick Knack boxes. All their goodies are affordable with many items well-under £10. 

Find them at their Etsy store

Twitter - @AlphabetEtsy

Their website is 

*I was sent a box to review

Monday, 9 March 2015

Wooden jewellery by Bough to Beauty

I love alternative jewellery, especially pieces which catch the eye. 

I was lucky enough to be sent a couple of pieces by Bough to Beauty to try out and review. 

Here we have a pair of wooden heart-shaped earrings and a wooden adjustable retro record ring. 

Bough to Beauty is an eco-friendly jewellery business which sells a variety of upcycled wooden pieces. All pieces are made from recycled wood which straight away makes their jewellery quirky. The business is run by sisters Vix and Lou (who are lovely BTW)

Bough to Beauty is a relatively new company having opened their Etsy shop in August 2014 but they have already have a treasure trove of goodies for customers to choose from. They can also be found at

The jewellery can also be found at several stockists including 13 The Warehouse, Morecambe, Town House Gallery in Lancaster and Joules Designs in Burnley.

I adore my new pieces, especially the heart stud earrings.

All the jewellery on the website is affordable and would make great gifts for birthdays. Each piece comes lovingly gift-wrapped, take a look at the metallic stamped tags an gift box with colour coordinating twine.  

This is what the team said about their eco-friendly company on their website:

 "Our collections are inspired by our travels, adventures and passions. Each individual piece is created with real attention to detail and a strong emphasis on quality and value. Our pieces are lasercut into modern designs from upcycled wood. 

All our items are made by our talented team in a workshop that is clean, safe and fun. We aim to create as little waste as possible, so we make our own stylish and sustainable packaging and reuse envelopes that would otherwise be thrown away."

There you have it, a wonderful family run business which has the environment's best interests at its heart.

@BoughtoBeauty on Twitter 

Or find Bough to Beauty on Etsy 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Icing Collection: New release from Models Own

Easter pastel shades are hitting the high street in a variety of ways including clothes, bags and makeup.

Models Own are due to release their Icing Collection this month which consists of five new pastel shades in frosted bottles. 

The names are little on the dull side but the shades are pretty. The polishes in the collection are Nude Icing, Pink Icing, Mint Icing, Peach Icing and Lilac Icing. From other blog posts I have seen with swatches the colours do look lovely, but not terribly exciting or unique. In fact, I can see several dupes in Models Own core line.

Each polish will cost £4.99 and will be available from the Models Own website from Friday, March 6 as well as all UK Bottleshops from Saturday, March 7. The collection will also be in selected Superdrug stores from March 11.

What do you think of this latest range of polishes from Models Own?