Friday, 2 December 2016

What to buy for the family this christmas ( 2016 Christmas gift guide )

Buying for your family can be really hard ! budgets are tight and no one knows what they want ! so i have come up with a few ideas ( With the help of brand samples ) to help out others with a few ideas to suit a range of family members. 

Sisters / cousin / Niece 

These hair clips by linziclip ( Kids) are the perfect gift for the younger gift in your life this Christmas not only are they mega cute but also useful and such a smart idea you can buy them from amazon prices £4.50 upwards. 

Cat lovers / mum / aunts / nan / sister / friend / cousin 

Cat bingo! I can't wait to give this as a gift this Christmas as i KNOW any cat lover would be over the moon to open this on Christmas day it comes from laurence king for £19.95 ( also comes in Dog  /Bugs & Birds ) 

Sister / sister in law / mum / mother in law / aunts / friends

Linzclips also come in funky patters and bold colours perfect for teenagers and adults alike these can also be found on amazon for £4.50 upwards

Dad / father in law / uncles / brother / bother in law ( also in other girls so could also be used for female gifts ) 

Toiletries is the perfect gift for a family member who travels , the hard outer case keeps your items safe and clean while your travel,  check out the website to see the whole range of products. 

Family / cousins / nieces & nephews 

perfect family fun game by Tactic its has an RRP of £14.99 in an age when most children are watching TV or playing on the tablet its a lovely idea to gift a family sit down game. I really like that this game fun for the whole family not just for the children. buy it via amazon 


Now colouring books are such an in thing and no wonder why !! I love them, and this range from laurence king is amazing they have loads to pick and chose from , Secret garden £14.95 Creative cat £8.95 and tool shed £9.95 pair these with a pack on pencils and you've given a fab christmas gift. 

Children's friends  / cousins / nieces & nephews / 

Magformers are an amazing toy! I wish i had them when i was a child in a nut shell they are shapes with magnets that you can shape into lots of different sets to pick amazon seems to be the best place to pick them up, This space wow set is on for £33 but this price can change due to amazon. 

Well i hope this has given you a few ideas on gifts for the family this Christmas! i am now off to wrap them all up so no once can peek ! 

please pop over to my youtube channel as i am taking part in vlogmas and on day 8 i will have more details on these items in my video. 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

What to put in her stocking ? Gift ideas for her

A few things i would love in my stocking this christmas ! all items under £10 so perfect if your on a budget, ( items linked have been sent to me to use as part of this gift guide ) 

Toblerone - £1 poundland
Christmas hand soap - £1.49 pound stretchers 
#OOTD - £9.95 Laurence King publishing

we go out / we learn at home - £7.99 dung beetle learning
 Lego friends set 41112 - £4 sainsburys 
Hand & foot creams - £1 each sainsburys 

Ladies festive fun socks - £1 pound world
yankke candle - £1 each ( split from a 12 pack ) Asda
Personal frame £8.50 - parksidecrafts

Bic 4 colour pens - £1 sainsburys 
Linziclip - from £4.50 + amazon - linziclip

Be sure to check out my youtube channel for my daily uploads for Vlogmas -vlogmas playlist

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

whats changed? ( School drop off nightmare )

Being a 1st time mum is hard ... like really hard ! when they are young you have no clue what it is your meant to do doing. I thought i had it pretty much cracked with Bodhi he has always had such great range of speech so could always tell me what was wrong or what he needed.

When he started full time school in September 2016 he LOVED it ! he was a big boy in school uniform staying all day, having lunch, making friends, learning he was over joyed when he learnt to write word and read them back.

This was up until maybe 3 weeks ago..... that's when he all started... 

" mummy my tummy hurts " 
" I don't like school "
" children are mean to me " 
" I want to stay with you "
" I miss you " 

This has broken me as a parent. My happy brave and out going child has become the child who is crying his eyes out once the school gate is open, the other child now know to go in ( with out parents ) take coats off and to go into class, Bodhi .... he is clinging onto me for dear life begging me to take him home. I have spoken to his teacher and she tells me that he is 100% fine once he is in class its just getting him away from me and into class, We have sat down after school and had chats and its always something different to why he doesn't want to come to school ( this morning it was that his hands were cold )

I have tried bribes , praise , and tough love. nothing is working, When we get into the main playground he is fine running around playing with friends, As soon as his class gate opens he switches and becomes a wreck and then in turn so do i , Now part of me thinks he is doing it to make me feel guilty for sending him but on the other hand he is fine once i leave him ! its just so hard!! like really hard, i used to look at the parents of the crying children and think to myself " i couldn't cope with that " and i can't ! i dread the school run each morning and all day i keep my phone on loud in case the school phone me.

I have my fingers crossed that we crack this problem asap if anyone has any hints or tips PLEASE leave a comment i am willing to try anything ( this morning i was thinking of offering to help out at his school so he knew i was in the same building ?!?! )

I miss the Bodhi in this photo taken on his 1st day only a few months ago, If i was to have taken a photo of him this morning i would cry looking at it. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Making the most out of your Garden!

Our Garden has been a little un-loved over the last few months due to building work! But now the garden has pretty much been cleared we have had a new patio laid and the fences have been started.

When we moved into our house over five years ago the garden was a bit of a waste of space, a dull patio , 45 ft of grass and two huge trees. the plan was to cut down the tree at the back fence and to build a shed for hubby Chris but not just any kind of shed this was going to be a man-land heaven shed!

once the tree was cut down, it took my dad and Chris just over two weeks to build the shed , looking back on it we should have made shed a tiny bit smaller but hey it keeps the hubby happy! Chris will spend most of the summer evenings in this shed, He likes to make things from wood and has a huge pile of the stuff inside of the shed, the smaller side part houses the lawn mower and other garden type things. 

It is a lovely shed and when we had our house valued last year we was told to market it as a workshop and that it would be a plus point for a lot of viewers, We do have a garage but its in a block away from the house, so having this space even if it was just for the garden bits is a real plus point to any garden. 

We love spending at much time out in our garden as we can, with a young child its a great place to run around and play while being safe and close to home. we made Bodhi a small own space towards the back of the garden we turned a old flower bed into a wood chipping patch that was safe for him to play and dig and well just be a boy! He loves the space he has a sand pit and a fold away water table, we spent most afternoons out in the garden this summer and i am looking forward to spending more time as a family in our garden in summer 2017 

It is also wonderful to have a space to eat outside, we will soon have a new side patio to enjoy BBQ's with friends and family or just lazy weekend lunches on a rug on the grass. I feel its too easy to spend all of your time in the house , with my work i spend my time looking at my iMac screen so to have a space to work outside via my iPad would be lovely. 

The large cherry tree is staying in our garden ( for now ) i feel the garden would feel much larger without the tree and it would also be a lot less work , no leaves in the autumn and no blossom in the spring. but... Chris loves that tree and is sticking his heels in that it is staying. so we shall see on that one. 

I can't wait for my new patio to be finished along with the new fence, i love the fact that we have such lovely neighbours on both sides of our house so we have gone with 3ft fences and on one side we are putting in a jack & jill gate so the little boy next door and Bodhi can play. 

I think that Phil Spencer is a man who knows gardens , and this ideas in the above video are just what i am trying to do with our small space garden. I can't wait for spring 2017 so i can get out into the garden and get it all ready for a wonderful summer of play, relaxing and BBQ's

This post was a paid collaboration with Channel 4 all words and views are that of my own.

Brightlings * Play and Review * tested by Jess & Bodhi

Bodhi was so excited when his Brightling arrived via the postman, Brightlings are made by Spin master they are a interactive toy , they come in three different colours ( Pink / Teal & purple ) I do think its a shame that they are very much aimed towards girls with the colours. The dolls are soft bodies , arms & legs but the head is hard plastic her face lights up in different colours while she talks and sings, she is a little top heavy! 

She has a tone of play ideas, she says over 100 things such as ' i love you ' ' how are you feeling ' and much much more, Bodhi loves this as he little chats with her ( He has called her Ella ) She can also sing in a range of styles from pop/ rock / jazz / opera and she can even yodel & beat box !! if you press the button on her ear you can record for 15 seconds then press the button on her tummy and she will repeat it back to you.  They do require x3 AAA batteries for use  and they RRP is £29.99 but i am sure coming up to Christmas you will find them on offer and special deals. 

Ella's face lights up in different colours and her mouth moves while she talks, she is a very smart toy and i can see why some many children have a Brightlings on 2016 Christmas gift list, I do feel the body is a little light seeing at the head is so heavy and solid. Body has spent lots of time playing with Ella, they have had a sleepover, Afternoon tea and she has also come out food shopping with us. 

I feel the toy is good value for money the only thing i wish she could learn maybe? only few simple things like your child's name and a few other bits maybe? Bodhi had this to say about Ella 

" I love Ella , she is a fab toy and i know that my girlfriend Leah will love to play with her when she comes over for a play date soon " 

Thank you to spin master for giving Bodhi the chance to check out this toy in exchange for our review. 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Bellz Magnetic Game Review ~ Tested by Jess & Bodhi

Spin master have made a wonderful travel size family game, The game is simple ( or so it seems ) picking up bells with a magnet how hard could that be right ?

The answer to that ? pretty hard ! The magnet want is really strong and if you are not careful then you will end up with more bells then you need , The aim of the game is to pick one of the four colours and to only pick up these if you pick up any of the other players colours then you turn is over ! 

The game comes with play Matt / x40 different sized coloured bells and the magic magnet want. The game Matt folds shut with a zip so you can keep the bells inside making this a perfect travel game no batteries or plugs or Wifi needed! only thing i would worry about is losing the bells. 

We played this game as a family of 3 Bodhi who is nearly 5 enjoyed playing but he took a few goes to get the hang of only picking up 1 or 2 bells at a time rather then trying to get loads in one go ( reminds me of the tortoise and the hard story ) 

We also played " who can get the most bells " with out worrying about the colours this could be a good way to play with younger children. Hubby is keen to play this game on a games night with friends and turn it into a drinking game ( men don't ask me ) 

over all i found this game fun and we all enjoyed playing it and it would suit a family based play or a older group of children its aimed at children 6 and over and this is the right age if they are playing without adults. 

we are looking forward to playing this over Christmas when we have family over, It would also make a perfect gift for a family or friend you can buy it from amazon for £17 ( price may change  ) 

We have been sent this game to play an review for spin master but all views and words are that of my own. Thank you to Spin master for the game.

Monday, 14 November 2016

lulu our pet cat Art work By Princessa A S Paradiso

If you have a pet yourself you will know that they are much more then just a pet they are a member of the family, Our cat Lulu is very much the heart of our house hold so when Princessa A S Paradiso was looking for bloggers to review her amazing art work i knew i wanted a drawing of Lulu ! 

Princessa works from photos so these need to be clear and well light and also to be a true likeness of the person / animal getting a photo of the cat was harder then you might think ( As 99% of the time she is asleep!! ) but at last i got a photo we was both happy with. She is very friendly and helpful and gave good advice on the photos. 

Above is the photo she worked from, Lulu is getting on in age now and i know she won't be around forever, the idea of having a custom drawing of her to keep for ever was a great idea. The portraits can be in A4 or A5 in size A4 start from £35 and from £45 for a A4 additional people / animals can be added into the drawing for £10-£15 extra depending on the size of the paper P&P is then added on top.
Generally each portrait can take from 3+ hours. Would usually take between 1-2 weeks for completion of work, busier periods longer. Once completed the original art work will be posted to you unframed. The artwork itself is copyright and i own any right to it.

The drawing didn't take long at all and it was exciting when my inbox showed i had a new message to view, Below was the 1st update i was sent i was so pleased with how the drawing was looking and couldn't wait to see the finished product.

I didn't have to wait much longer to see the finished drawing, I was blown away with the detailing in the colouring and line work, She really has drawn our Lulu it must be hard drawing from photos of a person or pet you have never met,

Lulu was also very pleased with her finished drawing and i am now looking for the perfect frame so i can hang it for all to see, Really is the perfect gift idea for those with pets / families please check out her Facebook page to see more of her wonderful art work.

Thank you to Princessa A S Paradiso for drawing us our Lulu we will always have it now to remember her in years to come.