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Frozen – Princess Anna Dress – Review

Is Frozen driving you mad yet? It is me! Ella adores it, Kaycee not so much, which was great when we got picked to review an Anna dress from Otley Run Fancy Dress because it meant for once we didn’t have any arguing!

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Fresh Air Activities Your Kids Will Love

Getting some fresh air and
exercise is one of the best ways to keep healthy and it’s also one of the least
expensive family activities you can do. There’s no better way to bond as a
family than having fun in the great outdoors and there are plenty of pastimes
available not too far from your doorstep.

Benefits of being
outdoors

Fresh air, new sights and
simply getting off that couch and away from the television are just some of the
benefits of outdoor activities. Children especially spend a great deal of time
either staring at a computer screen or trapped in their classrooms throughout
the day. Exercise and sport help kids to strengthen muscles, increase their
social skills and can become a regular part of their lives. Activities don’t
have to be too taxing and can include cycling through local parks, hiking in
nearby rural areas and even playing a few rounds of crazy
golf.
getting fresh air - children playing outside

Low cost outdoors
activities

Here’s where the bonus comes
in: outside family fun costs very little to enjoy while providing excellent
health benefits. If you want your children to explore further than the local
neighbourhood then get hold of some cheap walking boots from Tesco and visit the surrounding countryside. Hire or buy bikes
and travel even further to local points of interest that you’ve always wanted to
explore. Weekends stuck in the house can fly by easily and children will always
remember those family days out as some of the best times of their formative
years.

Learn at least one
sport

Sports are a great way to get children active and learning a
new one is a start towards developing a skill that can last a lifetime. Golf,
tennis, badminton and swimming are all excellent social sports which the family
can enjoy via local clubs and sports centres. If you want to ramp up the
excitement then why not try skiing at a nearby dry ski-slope. Learning to ski
together can open up a world of exciting ski holidays abroad and this is
definitely a something the kids will thank you for.

Take that weekend
trip

It’s great to get out of the house
a few times a week for some exercise but why not go one step further with a
weekend camping trip. All of the equipment including tents can be hired from
local stores and this is a great way to explore some amazing parts of the
country. Your trip can also include activities such as fishing, cycling and
hiking. A camping trip is not only a much-needed break from familiar
surroundings but is also one of the best bonding times that a family can
undertake.

camping

You don’t need to wait for the
weekends, as weekday evenings are the ideal time for a few hours of cycling,
swimming and sports. There is so much to do, so get out
there. 

This post is in collaboration with Tesco

 

My Wall Stickers – Review

I love wall stickers. I’ve loved them ever since I bought some Winnie the Pooh ones for Aiden’s room when he was a baby!

The girls now love them as much as me and when we moved here we spent ages on Ebay choosing the wall stickers we were going to have in our bedrooms 🙂

Kaycee picked some lovely purple flowers, I picked some wisteria for the front of the white wardrobes and a cherry blossom branch for under the window and Ella picked minions for her wardrobe doors!

My Wall Stickers

When My Wall Stickers got in touch asking if we’d like to review some wall stickers we said yes, of course, and I decided I’d get one to replace some butterflies and flowers stickers that I’d bought from eBay but that hadn’t been very good. They’d only been up a couple of months and they were starting to peel off and stick to people as they walked past.

I chose a Japanese sakura tree. You can choose your own colours on a lot of the stickers so I went for brown to match the pictures on the wall above.

Read The Instructions

When it arrived, I read through the instructions and it said it had to be applied to a flat surface. The wallpaper I was planning on attaching the sticker too is slightly textured and I figured it wasn’t the best place to choose as I didn’t want it peeling off like the previous one.

My problem then turned out to be finding a flat surface that was big enough for the tree! The only other place in the entire house that had enough wall space to accommodate it was in Kaycee and Ella’s bedroom.

I put it up while they were at school and when they saw it that night they loved it 🙂

I found it really easy to apply after an initial panic about it not being a ‘peel and stick’ type wall sticker like I was used too. I usually get the ones where you have to follow the numbers and diagram to stick each piece in the right place but this came on one big sheet and you had to cut the sheet into two pieces.

The applicator is attached to the tube. I must admit, I did wonder what this was as I’d never had an applicator with any wall stickers before!
Depending on your chosen design, you may need to cut this long sheet into two or more pieces.
Read all the instructions first, it makes it much easier!
These are the things you’ll need for successful application 🙂
Stick the sheet to the wall in the middle using masking tape with the backing paper against the wall. Peel the sticker forward towards yourself and cut off a piece of the backing paper.
Using the applicator, press firmly against the wall. Make sure you rub all over the stickers paying particular attention to the edges.
You can see where I cut the backing off then stuck the stickers to the wall.
Now slowly peel back the backing paper, rubbing the stickers onto the wall as you go. You might find it easier to cut away parts of the backing paper as you go. I did!
This is how it looks with all the backing paper removed and the stickers stuck to the wall
Now you want to start peeling off the front paper, slowly and carefully.
If you find any parts of the sticker hasn’t stuck, just use the applicator again to press it to the wall

It’s quite time consuming putting on a sticker this size but it’s worth taking your time over.

wall stickers

I love it as much as the girls, it’s very good quality and easy to apply 🙂

Please note: We were sent the sticker to review but this didn’t influence our write up of the product.

Argos Colour Campaign

Aiden’s planning on living with his dad when he’s 16 in a couple of years time. I’m used to him being away at his dad’s and while I will be sad that he won’t be living here anymore, I’ll be fine with it because I know it’s what he wants.

The girls have already planned that Ella’s having Aiden’s room!

Kaycee wants our room because it has the built in wardrobe and cupboard storage and Ella want’s Aiden’s because she likes his high bed with the desk underneath!

Kaycee wants her room decorated blue. She’s had something against pink for a while now. Maybe I overloaded her with it from the moment she was born!

When Aiden moves, Kaycee will be 11 so I’ve been picking furniture and accessories that are a little more grown-up than she has now.

Argos colour campaign

I thought a daybed would be great for her. She’s always been older than her years and I know she’d love it because it’ll make her feel more grown up.

Argos colour campaign

She’s very good at keeping her room tidy, unlike Ella and I know she’d make sure everything was kept in the right place!
It’s a nice calming colour, perfect for Kaycee.

For Ella, I’ve picked bright pinks and greens. She still loves pink and she’s always on the go. Bright vibrant colours suit her personality best 🙂

There isn’t much storage in Aiden’s room which is fine for a boy who’s not really into clothes but it’s no good for a girl who loves them so she’ll need a new bed with wardrobe space as well as another set of drawers.
I love the pink and green storage baskets. They’ll be perfect for all her collections 🙂

”Colour-Campaign

This post is my entry for the Argos Colour Campaign.

 

Home Sense – New Lincoln Store

A new Home Sense store has opened near us and Ant took me to have a look around yesterday. He’d taken his mum in the morning and knew it was a shop I’d love.

I now need lots more money to buy lots of new things for our home! Here are a few of the things I fell in love with 🙂

Owl decoration at Home sense

 

Plates at Home sense

 

Decorative glass bottles at Home sense

 

Teddy at Home sense

 

Kitchen ware at Home sense

 

Floral jug at Home sense

 

Pretty blue floral bowl at Home Sense

 

Kitchenware at Home sense

 

Cake plate and cover at Home sense

 

Pretty pink and cream kitchenware at Home sense
Sooo pretty 🙂

 

Rolling pin at Home sense

 

Tagine at Home sense

 

Tagine at Home sense

 

Sarcophagus at Home sense
OK, so I don’t know if I’d actually have this in my house but it is pretty and has shelves inside for storage!

 

Ant at Home sense
When I asked why he was looking so serious he said it was because he was on his throne!

 

Lamps made in India

 

Wooden floor-standing giraffe

 

Pretty notebooks
So many lovely notebooks 🙂

 

Colourful pasta bows
Fun coloured pasta. The girls would love this!

I was really surprised at the prices. I expected it to be a lot more expensive than it was. We got some lovely birthday gifts for 2 of my nephews, one is a card trick kit and the other a kit of practical jokes, a set of 3 silicone spatulas, a little tin of heart chocolates to thank Kellyann for having the girls this weekend and a new vegetable peeler. It only came to £17.

They have lots of lovely old looking furniture, gorgeous bedding, books and even arts and crafts.

The staff were all really lovely, happy to help and chatty but not over the top.

It’s fair to say it’s now at the top of the list of my favourite shops!

*Please note, this is not a sponsored or review post. I just wanted to share my excitement for this lovely new Home Sense store!*

 

Cyberclean Touch Screen Cleaner and Stylus – Review

 

Cyberclean touch screen cleaner and stylus

I have to start by saying that this is THE best stylus I’ve ever used on my iPhone.
When I received the Cyberclean Touch Screen Cleaner I didn’t expect to bother with the stylus because I’ve bought quite a few in the past and they’ve always been rubbish so I gave up with them.

I tried this one and loved it straight away.

Stylus

I play a few games on my phone and the stylus is much easier to use than my finger. I stopped playing Draw Something a while ago because I couldn’t do very good drawings with my finger but I’m going to install it again now I’ve got this stylus!

I’ll stop gushing about that now though as I reckon you’ve probably got the message and I’ll move on to the cleaner.

Touch Screen Cleaner

It’s also great!

With the kids sharing my iPhone so they can play games and use apps for brushing their teeth etc, you can imagine that my screen gets filthy.
I gave it a spray then used the cleaner on the side of the pen and it came up shiny clean.

Cyberclean stylus

I noticed how dirty my laptop screen was and figured it would work well on there even though it’s not a touch screen.
It’s actually a bit embarrassing to show you how dirty my laptop screen was but I’ll do it in the name of honest reviewing!
I never switch my laptop off and you can’t really see the dirt until it’s switched off.

dirty laptop screen
Ant wrote on it to show how dirty it actually was *embarrassed*

I sprayed it a few times then used the cleaner on the side to wipe it and the results were amazing.

clean laptop screen

It was like a new laptop! It’s worth noting though that Cyberclean do make a cleaner specifically for larger screens and keyboards and you can find details on the site.

Refills

You get three refills and one already installed. I’ve only used half of the first one so far. I’ve had it a couple of weeks and tend to clean my phone screen daily when the kids have had it. One spray is plenty to get it clean unless spots of toothpaste have been allowed to dry on it (the children use it as a timer when brushing their teeth) then an extra spray could be needed!

Cyberclean refills for Touch Screen Cleaner

I don’t have a tablet so haven’t used the clip that comes with the kit so can’t comment on that but as to the rest of it, it’s fair to say that I give it a huge thumbs up 🙂

 

Muppets Most Wanted DVD – Review

Muppets most wanted DVD

The Muppets have been a firm favourite of mine since childhood and I never tire of watching them, even now at 38 years old!

I’m happy to say my kids love them as much as I do and were really excited when Muppets Most Wanted, dropped through the letter box 🙂

Ella can often be heard saying, ‘it’s not easy being mean’, doing a very good impression of Constantine, the bad frog!

We’ve watched it a couple of times now and the girls have taken it to their sister’s house as they’ve gone to stay for the weekend.
It’s a great film that can be enjoyed by all the family.

Here’s a short synopsis and the official trailer from You Tube.

  1. This film takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theatres in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine-the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit-and his dastardly sidekick Dominic.

You can find Muppets Most Wanted at Cash Generator, the high street retailer of new and pre owned DVDs and electronics.

Disclosure: We were sent a copy of the DVD in return for an honest review.

 

Rainbow Braid Loom Bands

 

Rainbow braid loom bands

The loom band craze has hit our house with the same force it has everyone else’s I imagine! We were sent a huge pack of Rainbow Braid loom bands to review and the girls were really excited when we found that it contained glow in the dark bands.

Glow in the dark rainbow braid loom bands

I’m finding little coloured rubber bands everywhere but so far it isn’t annoying me because, to be honest, I’m just as hooked as the girls!
It’s such a great pastime because it keeps you busy and it’s very challenging once you get past the basic styles.

The one thing that does annoy me though is when you’ve spent hours, yes hours, on a complicated bracelet and when you’re getting it off the loom, one of the middle bands snap and it starts to unravel.
I can very much do without that stress in my life!

We haven’t had that issue with these bands. You can tell with all the different kinds we’ve bought in the last few months, which are good quality and which aren’t.
These are excellent. The colours are great, they’re nice and strong and they don’t have that horrible smell that some of them do. The pack also includes 250 S clips.

Assorted coloured loom bands
Loom band S clips

 

more assorted coloured loom bands

 

loom bands on a loom band hook

 

Loom band flowers

 

Loom band flower on a loom band hook

 

Loom band bracelet with loom band flowers hanging off it

 

KayCee wearing the bracelet

Kaycee made this flower bracelet and I made a different kind of flower bracelet for Ella

Ella's flower bracelet

Loom bands have been brilliant for keeping for the girls entertained this summer holiday when the weather outside took a turn for the worse and I thank the people at Rainbow Braid for helping me hold onto some sanity!

 

Great Ways to Celebrate Your Engagement

Girls celebrating an engagement

Getting engaged is a big moment in most people’s lives and so it’s only natural that you may want to celebrate such a momentous occasion. But how? There are many, many different ways you can celebrate your engagement, and here are just a few of them…

Go on holiday

The major celebration holiday normally comes after the wedding, but there’s absolutely nothing to say you can’t celebrate your engagement by going on holiday too. You’ll both no doubt be drunk in love so it’ll be a little like a honeymoon dress rehearsal, and who needs more of an excuse to have a holiday? Also, whoever actually did the proposing may well have found the preceding days or weeks a little stressful so might need a break!

Couple walking hand in hand on a beach

Have engagement photos

It’s become a bit of trend to take engagement photos to announce you’re going to get hitched. This is largely thanks to social media where absolutely everything has to be announced on Facebook or it’s not official, but it’s also a great way of telling family and friends, particularly if you live far away from them. Now you can either do the whole thing yourself or you can opt for professional couples photography and let a pro handle it.

Throw a big party

This is probably the most common way to celebrate getting engaged, but it’s also one of the most fun. You can get together with all of your closest family and friends and soak in all the well wishes and congratulations you’ll receive. If you wanted to make it a little more interesting then you could always have a theme so that it’s not just the same as any other party – maybe have a ‘ball and chain’ theme!

Have another first date

couple holding hands, showing the engagement ring

You no doubt remember your first date with your spouse-to-be, whether it be good or bad (can’t have been that bad), so you could revisit that first date and reminisce now that you’re engaged to be married. It may have just been a trip to the cinema or a meal in a particular restaurant, but whatever it was, it would be a good way to celebrate the commitment you’ve made to each other.

Break open the bubbly 

If you’re celebrating then you don’t really have any reason not to crack open a nice bottle of
champagne. Even if it’s just the two of you at home, have a nice meal and a glass of champagne is a
great, intimate way of celebrating.

Plan the wedding!

If one or both of you is particularly keen, then the best kind of celebration might just be to start
planning the wedding. There is a lot to organise, so it’s not wise to leave it too long anyway, and one of you may well already have a lot of it planned out in your head and can’t wait to get started.

This is a collaborative post.

 

“Let’s Sit Outside” — Creating the Perfect Outdoor Space For the Family

By paying keen attention to the design of your garden, you can effectively create an extra living space for your family to use during the warmer months. To help ensure your outdoor space is up-to-scratch, take a look
at the following top tips.

Select stylish and comfy furniture

 
No outside space is complete without some stylish and
comfortable furniture to relax on. By selecting the perfect table and chairs, you can
help ensure that you’re able to sunbathe, drink dine and relax when the sun’s out and generally get the most of your garden furniture.

Invest in outdoor dining extras

 
If your family enjoys entertaining, you should invest in
some extras for your outdoor dining area too. A decent barbeque can represent a
savvy purchase and a patio heater will help ensure that your guests stay warm
even after sundown. Also, a parasol, awning or another form of coverage can
protect you if the sun gets too strong or if the heavens suddenly open.
Ideally, your entertaining area should be situated on a
patio or decked area. These surfaces can be used even after downpours when the
rest of the ground is wet and muddy.

Nurture your lawn

 
Some households opt to get rid of their grass completely to
make garden maintenance easier. However, if you have kids, a lawn is a must.
Your little ones will want somewhere to play, and there’s no substitute for
soft, green turf. If your grass is looking a little worse for wear, or you
don’t have any at present, you can grow a new lawn from seeds. This is best done
from late summer to mid-autumn when the soil is warm and there is less
competition from weeds. Seeds are a cheaper option than placing turf and this
approach tends to be more effective in awkward areas, such as corners and
slopes.
To complete your lawn, you may want to consider adding play
features such as climbing frames, rock walls, slides and swings. Having these
resources right there on your doorstep can save you trips to the park.
Meanwhile, tents, tree houses, small sheds and other bases can make the perfect
settings for imaginative games.

Start a veg patch

 
Gardens can provide you with a great chance to bond with
your children too. Starting a vegetable patch and getting the whole family
involved will encourage you to spend more quality time together in your outdoor
area. If you don’t have space or desire to create a full-scale vegetable
patch, you can opt for growing containers instead. Just make sure that the
plants you choose are suited to the conditions.
By introducing features like these into your garden, you can
help ensure it’s perfect for all the family.
Image by …love
Maegan
, used under Creative Commons licence.
This post has been created in collaboration with Brian Smith.
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