Monthly Archives: September 2017

Shirt & Cravat Review from Dobell

In just under 8 weeks now it will be our wedding Day, I can’t tell you how excited and nervous I am.

We have just sorted the suits out for my fiance, Dad, Best Man & Usher. My nephew Jack really wants to look and wear the same thing as the others, that is where Dobell come in.

They offered to send Jack a shirt & Tie Cravat for the wedding from their website, which specialises in formal wear for men and boys.

We opted for the Wing collar plain fly front shirt, Priced at £15.99 but currently in the sale at £12.99 and the Mint green cravat tie priced at £8.99.

I ordered an age 9-10 shirt as Jack will be 10 next year but age 8-9 can be a little small.

I haven’t got any photos of him wearing them with a suit just yet – but keep an eye out on my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at the end of October, I’m sure I will have lots of photos then!

*We were sent these products free of charge for the purpose of this review. However, all words and opinions are our own.

Appy Juice Drinks & Snack Review

With a nephew at school, going into year 5, he has become fussy with food and likes to take a pack lunch now from home. He’s going through a growth spurt and is doing nothing but want food.

We were sent a selection of juices to try from Appy Food and Drinks. I’d never heard of them before. They’re a pretty new company, but they make all of the juices from natural ingredients and strive to make them low in calories, low in sugars (they sweeten with stevia) and free from artificial colours and flavourings.

We were sent the minion juice pouches and snack packs

Jack wasn’t overally keen on the mulberry’s but enjoyed the rest.  He loved telling all his friends that Auntie Kim got them for him and they were asking if I could get some for them too.

They retail at £1 for each product pack which I think is very reasonable.

Some other great points:

  • Vegetarian Society Approved
  • Great for lunch boxes or days out
  • There is an app that can be downloaded from the App store or Play store then the packs can be scanned to get props to use within the app to customise pictures.
  • No worries about sugar overload – all good stuff in these!
  • There are Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Gruffalo, Minions, Dora & Friends and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles variations available.

*We were sent these juices from Appy Food & Drink free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Fun Ways To Add Uniqueness To Your Wedding

A wedding is one of those days that will go down in your own personal history. You get engaged, and you spend many months imagining the perfect day. Planning your whole day from start to finish for many months. Trawling through the magazines, looking through Pinterest for ideas and writing notes in your new wedding planner. But the latest trend is to make your wedding day unique for you and the guests that are lucky enough to be invited. So how do you add the uniqueness to your wedding day? I thought I would share with you some of the fun ways you could do it.

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Create your own wedding invitations

The moment someone receives the wedding invitation, that then opens up the impressions of what your wedding day is going to be like. So many brides to be like to make their own wedding invitations. It can take some time, so if you do plan to do this, you may want to spend some time on Pinterest getting ideas way before you send them out. That way you can buy the necessary craft items to create your masterpieces. You can be as simple or as delicate and complex as you want to be. The only piece of advice would be to not over face yourself with too much. Weddings take a lot of planning on all sorts of areas, so the last thing you want is to stress yourself out on just the invitations.

Add your own decorating personal touches

Decorating a wedding venue is a lot of fun, and if you are planning a more DIY wedding theme, then this could be right up your street. You can do simple touches such as homemade wedding favours, or something more elaborate like adding unique pieces of furniture. You can also think about things like sweet carts, tables for guest books and cards and you would just need to look online for a wedding supplies furniture collection. Again, you may not want to be too stressed out with this, as much of this sort of preparation will be done the day before on the morning of your wedding. You can consider hiring someone who is an expert wedding dresser if you wanted to take some of the hassles out of styling your venue.

Have the dress of your dreams

Wedding dress shopping is something many girls dream about from a young age, or certainly when they get engaged. However, it can be quite confusing with all the styles such as fishtail or princess. Then there are all the types of materials you can have such as tulle or lace. However, this is your one chance to wear the dress of your dreams so try on all styles to ensure that you find something that fits well and makes you feel fabulous. The truth is, we can often conform to what we feel like we should be wearing, instead of wearing something that we want. It is your day, so choose the dress that makes you feel wonderful.

I hope that this helps you if you are planning a wedding.

Dr Brown’s Options Microwave Steriliser & Bottles Review

Having recently just had a baby and becoming a first time mum, I had heard of so many different brands that friends and family recommended for me to use.

When Dr Brown’s got in contact with me offering me their microwave steriliser which included 2x 270ml bottles & 1 x Tongs and a 3 pack of their Anti Colic Starter Kit bottles. I couldn’t wait to test it as my little boy was showing signs of having colic.

The Steriliser is Priced at £29.99 which I feel is very reasonable

The steriliser is really easy to use, load the bottles in using the correect positions, add the correct amount of water dependant on wattage of microwave and just pop it in.

We received the Dr Browns Deluxe Starter Kit also which was a great surprise.

The bottles retail at £23.99.

The Dr Brown’s Deluxe Starter Kit contains:

  • 2 x 150ml/5oz bottles
  • 1 x 270ml/9oz bottle
  • 2 x level 2 teats
  • 2 x level 3 teats
  • Level 1 teats already supplied on each bottle

My little boy adjusted to these very well after moving from another brand of bottle.

*I was sent these products free of charge for the purpose of the review.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunrise #MySundayPhoto

Having recently had a baby I see all times of night/day. The other morning at 5.30am just after I had finished feeding I could see the sun starting to rise through our blinds, so went and opened them and managed to capture this beautiful sunrise.  The picture really doesn’t do it justice.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Photalife

How To Juggle Your Family Responsibilities With Moving House

Our priority, always, is making sure that our families are well taken care of, fulfilled, and happy. But then, from time to time we need to take the time to make sure that our dreams and goals come true, and this can sometimes impact how much of ourselves we can dedicate to our loved ones. An example of this is when we’re moving house; it’s a stressful operation, one filled with many niggling and time-consuming tasks, and it can take up a lot of time. Below, we take a look at how you can make a house move run smoothly without letting your family down.

Brown and White Wooden House on Green Forest

Get Your Timing Right

Some times of the year just aren’t as conducive to moving as others. Saying that you can’t visit your parents for Christmas, or can’t take your children on a summer adventure because you’re too busy with a house move won’t go down too well. You can help yourself – and make sure you fulfil your family obligations – by moving home at a quiet time for your family. Avoid birthdays, big events, and any other staple get-togethers. You’ll be able to relax a lot easier knowing you can give the move your undivided attention, too.

Offset What You Can

There is, admittedly, a lot of small details that need to be taken care of when you’re moving home. However, it doesn’t have to be you that takes care of every last detail personally. By recruiting professional help for some of the tasks, you can take the pressure off yourself and free up some of your time all at once. Don’t spend days transporting all your belongings; hire movers and let the experts do all the leg work. Also hire a real estate solicitor to ensure all the paperwork is order. Everything will go smoothly, and you won’t have to work as hard. Win!

Get the Family Involved

OK, you’ll be hard pressed to get your family as enthusiastic about moving home as you are, but if you’re moving anyway then you may as well and try to get them involved! There are fun aspects to moving house, such as exploring an empty home, digging through a new garden, and so on. If they’re involved in the process – such as coming to see homes with you – then it won’t feel like you’re leaving them behind to find your new home.

Have an Assistant

You’ll have a million and one things to do when you’re moving home…and that’s on top of the million and one family responsibilities that you have. If you have a friend or family member who you’re particularly close with, recruit them as your temporary assistant. There’ll be able to babysit the kids, check in on your parents, and take care of all the other small details that might slip your mind during a stressful move.

You won’t get everything right straight away, and there’ll be stressful moments, but take things slow, and you can make sure none of your responsibility is left behind.

Common Wedding Nightmares And The Surprisingly Simple Ways You Can Avoid Them

It’s a moment that most girls fantasize about all through their childhood, adolescence (and, sure, adulthood too). That moment when your man gets down on one knee and cracks open a hidden box. We see that diamond sparkle and our hearts go aflutter. In that moment we feel like the most important person in the universe. Rarely do we dream in that perfect moment of  the logistical minefields we’ll have to navigate in the coming weeks, months or years. Nor can we foresee the multitude of concerns both great and small that leave many brides lying awake at night agonising over.

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life and certainly the most romantic. The modern wedding has, however in recent years become a show of oneupmanship. Couples are no longer just expected to have a wedding that goes off without a hitch but to host an ostentatious (and expensive) wedding for the ages that will be the talk of your friends and family for years to come. That’s a lot to take onboard and it’s no wonder that many brides wake up in a cold sweat dreaming about all the myriad things that can go wrong.

Here, we’ll go over some of the most common wedding nightmares that many brides-to-be experience and the surprisingly simple ways in which they can be avoided.

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Non-specific dread

You know the old saying, ‘there’s nothing to fear but fear itself’. Very often the most crippling of fears is that which you can never quite put your finger on. There are so many myriad tiny (though extremely unlikely) things that can go wrong, they tend to amass and congeal into a sense of non-specific dread that can be impossible to shake. Sure, there’s a lot that can go wrong with a wedding. Your band’s lead singer could get a throat infection (but it’s unlikely), someone could drop the cake (extremely unlikely), your bridesmaids’ dresses could get lost on their way from the warehouse (also far from likely). While none of these options is at all likely, they can weigh heavily on your mind. If this sounds familiar, you can mitigate a lot of this anxiety by taking out wedding insurance. Finding the right policy for you will guard against the (admittedly remote) possibility of something going wrong and potentially plunge your big day into chaos.

Pre-wedding jitters and cold feet

Pre-wedding jitters are perfectly natural, but that doesn’t stop them from being a huge cause for anxiety for would-be brides. As wonderful and romantic as a wedding is, it’s also a huge paradigm shift. It’s the start of a new chapter in your life and while very little may change in terms of your day-to-day life, it is legally, religiously and socially a real and lasting change. Human beings don’t tend to react well to change (even when it’s positive). We’re conditioned to hang on to what we have and resist any changes to the status quo even though it’s a change we actively welcome.  With this in mind it’s natural for both you and your fiance to be plagued by pre-wedding jitters. Given the scope of your commitment to each other not to mention the enormous logistical considerations, it’s little wonder couples facing marriage are more than a little anxious. As much as you love each other, jitters, nerves and even cold feet) are part and parcel of the wedding experience. But that doesn’t mean that they should taint your wedding planning

The key to getting over your anxiety is in understanding it. Though it can be excessive under the right circumstances, anxiety is a normal human behaviour. It’s a survival instinct that we’ve learned through evolution to protect us from danger. Anxiety can be positive as it keeps us alert and encourages us to address its causes. It can also be crippling and ruin our ability to enjoy the wedding planning). Anxieties can build themselves up and distort themselves in your mind and you can take the sting out of them by writing them down and discussing them with your partner. Your troubles are often far more manageable when compartmentalised in this way.

Remember, that you’re not the only one getting married and your fiance can and should help you with a lot of the emotional and logistical heavy lifting. A lot of brides mask their anxieties by asserting ruthless control over every minute aspect of their wedding. While it’s undeniably their big day and it should look exactly the way they’ve spent their formative years dreaming it to be, these brides are only going to exacerbate things by taking it all upon themselves and not seeking help from their partners. Nobody wants to turn into a stressed out ‘bridezilla’ and working together with your betrothed will make the process of organizing your wedding far more enjoyable.

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Running out of money

Weddings rarely come cheap and budget is one of the most common causes of pre-wedding stress. While getting your dream wedding on a limited budget is doable, it requires discipline to prevent money worries from keeping you up at night. Here are some ways in which you can mitigate money worries:

  • Nail down your budget with your partner right at the start. Keep it realistic and stick to it.
  • Divide your budget into subsections for different components such as dress, venue hire etc.
  • Avoid blowing half the budget on your dress. As important as it may be, it can’t be allowed to eat up a modest budget. Let’s face it all wedding dresses are beautiful and choosing an off the peg or second hand dress won’t make your day any less magical.
  • Make your own stationery, chair covers and table arrangements where you can.
  • Utilise the time, help and expertise of friends and family where you can. Not every facet of your wedding needs to be arranged by expensive professionals.
  • Put your wedding savings into a high interest account as early as possible so that you can make a little extra money without actually doing anything. Every penny helps!

Bored guests who find your wedding forgettable

While it’s their big day, many couples agonise over the experience of their guests. After all, nobody wants to be associated with a bland, boring or forgettable wedding. Fortunately, there are lots of cool little touches that you can add to make your wedding more fun and memorable, whatever your budget.

Incorporate a little something personal into your decor, stationery and table arrangements. Perhaps you might want to use a motif from your cultural heritage such as a Celtic triskelion, or Japanese kanji. If you and your partner are, say, huge Harry Potter fans then a lighting and glasses motif or naming the tables after famous characters is also a cool and inexpensive flourish.

Giving the guests something fun to do as part of the festivities is always a great choice as it gives them a sense of ownership of the occasion. Booth Boys Photo Booths, for example, allow your guests to take fun snaps that they can keep as a momento or contribute to a huge collage. That’s a fun activity and a wedding gift all in one.

The typical guest book can also be subverted to suit your personal tastes. Some couples substitute it with a tree on which guests imprint green fingerprint ‘leaves’, while it’s not uncommon for music lovers to have their guests sign a guitar or other musical instrument.

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And finally… A late groom

Finally we come to every bride’s worst nightmare. The good news is that a late or runaway groom almost never happens (they know the consequences too well). Though a lot of men are only too happy to live up to their reputations for being unreliable, very few grooms actually wind up late to the altar. On those rare occasions when they are, it’s usually due to factors beyond their control anyway. If it helps, seek reassurances from his best man that come what may he’ll get your man to the church on time.

DegustaBox Review August 2017

For ages now I have been seeing reviews by bloggers including my sister in Law about the Degustabox, and always thought they sounded great and how much I would love to review one myself.  Well I’m delighted that I have now been given the opportunity to try them out for ourselves.

If you haven’t heard of Degustabox, It’s a monthly surprise food and drink subscription box, costing just £12.99. You can cancel them whenever you want and it’s a great way of trying new things. It arrives by DPD courier and I get an email and text message to tell me exactly what time it will arrive, so I can organise for it to be left in a safe place or delivered to our neighbours if were not in.

So in our box this month we received.

Variety Pack of Seabrook Crisps (RRP £1.00)

We eat quite alot of crisps in our house and these were really lovely, crunchy and full of flavour. The Cheese & Onion were my favourite.

Light Bites Popped chips (RRP 2 x £0.99)

I had never heard or tried these before but with only 94-95 calories a bag they have so much flavour.  The sweet and smoky chipotle were my favourite

Refreshers Softies (RRP £1.00)

Sweets are my weak spot, so I opened these straight away. They are soft, chewy and have a lovely fruit flavour to them. You get a nice amount for £1 and this bag size is ideal for sharing around the family.

Cadbury Curlywurly Squirlies (RRP £1.99)

I love these, but unfortuantly can’t eat them at the moment due to having braces, but will be sure to keep them till I can in a few weeks time.  Mini curly wurlys that are covered in delicious Cadbury’s chocolate. Perfect for sharing.

Cadbury Dairy Milk “BIG TASTE” Toffee whole nut (RRP £0.65)

I love dairy milk chocolate and this sound amazing except the nuts as i’m not keen on nuts but this was surprisingly yummy.  I loved that these are in breakable segments that makes this bar ideal for sharing.

JellySqueeze (RRP 2 x £0.69)

We love Jelly in our house so these are perfect for putting in my handbag for the little one as a snack on days out or popping in lunch boxes, no mess either. These are really convenient and great for storing in the cupboard too for unexpected little visitors.

Bahlsen PICK UP! Black ‘N White (RRP £1.69)

White chocolate sandwiched between two crisp chocolate flavoured biscuits, that are individually wrapped so perfect for taking out in a packed lunch.  I have never considered buying these but after trying them in the degusta box I will be sure to pick them up from the supermarket.

Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise (RRP £1.69)

We have pretty much always got this in the house as the OH loves it, I will occasionally have it but not a huge fan.  I loved the flip top bottle as it makes it really simple, and fast, to dispense the mayonnaise.

Orangina (RRP 2 x £1.20)

This was a big win and very refreshing, perfect for popping in your handbag for on the go. Love the bottles, limited addition summer bottles.  These are only 420ml which is a shame, but the flavours of both drinks were refreshing, delicious and I’d definitely buy them again.

Maggi Fusian Noodles (RRP 2 x £1.39)

We love noodles so these were perfect, I wasn’t keen on the chilli ones but loved the hoisin ducks ones.  Perfect for a quick evening meal.

Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce (RRP £1.89)

This was not for me at all but the OH loved it as he loves adding spice to his food.

Twisted Halo – Coconut Water, Ginger & Vodka (RRP £1.50)

I was pleasantly surprised by this as I don’t like Coconut Water or Ginger but the combination worked well and was refreshing.  I loved that this is a healthy type flavour with only 90 calories and mixed with vodka. As vodka is quite low calorie this is a lovely drink that you can enjoy without worrying.

We really enjoyed this month’s Degustabox. It costs just £12.99 a month, but the value of the contents is always much higher than that.

Do you like the sound of the Degustabox August 2017 box? You can order yours on the Degustabox website. Your order will come with free shipping. You will then receive a surprise box containing 10 to 15 items. A lot of the items within the Degustabox are new to the market. It is a great chance to try something new for a discounted price too.

*I was sent this box free of charge for the purpose of this review.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.