Sunday, 18 May 2014

Kids Garden Party Accessories!

one / two / three / four

For Abbies second birthday we were thinking about having a little garden party for her, she'll be at the right age to be excited and to get involved in games and things so it seemed like the perfect idea! So I began browsing online at accessories (you can never be too organised!), I went straight onto my new favourite gift shop site dotcomgiftshop, and found everything I wanted in the exact style I was looking for too! We love the vintage inspired look with retro fonts and pastel/sun faded colour, it just seemed perfect! I've added a wish list together and have to resist buying it all now ahhh! But how cute is everything?

Paper plates & cups
A no brainer really, things get spilt, things get knocked over and sometims excitement becomes far too much and things get knocked over, so save yourself and avoid accidents by getting in a load of paper plates, you don't even have to go fancy with the patterns, after all, they're just going straight in the bin anyway! 

It's easy to get carried away with decs, I think we'll stick with some pretty bunting, some balloons and some pretty bits scattered around the garden too! Obviously it all depends on the time of year you are looking at having your garden party, if theres a chance of rain don't worry about having to cancel the party, order in an awning or mini marquee or something, you can then take the fun and games indoors after you've all eaten!

Finger foods definitely, little sandwich quarters, crisps, fruit, veg sticks and dips, organic treats! Nothing sugary or full of rubbish, hyper sugar filled children are never fun! If it's going to be a full day of fun and lots of family are coming round too, why not have a BBQ, although the younger kids might not be interested in the food, the adults certainly will, who doesnt love a bbq right?!

Party Bags

A party is not complete without a party bag, that slice of birthday cake wrapped in some kitchen roll was my favourite thing to open after id been to a friends birthday! Fill it with whoever you like, including some snacks, some poloroid photos from the day, bouncy balls, whistles (sorry parents), anything you like, don't go overboard and spend a ton of money either, eBay & Amazon can help you out as well as pound shops and charity shops too!


Review | Birlea Berlin Faux Leather Bed

Today I have a review of the gorgeous Berlin Faux Leather Bed from Bed Sale Online, Bed Sale Online is a fantastic website where you can buy any bed imaginable, under a range of different styles and designs, including metal, wood, leather and gorgeous kids beds too, as well as many different mattress types too such as memory foam, pocket sprung and even special orthopaedic types too! Pretty much everything you could ever need all in one place and all at the best prices you can think of too!
"We are a leading online bed and mattress supplier in the UK. We deal with many well known brands and carry a wide range of beds and mattresses all with next day delivery."

We were looking at redecorating our spare room from Abbie's nursery (which she has never slept in anyway), and turn it into a little guest room, my Brother is coming to stay at the end of the month so really wanted to get it sorted for when he arrives! When we were given the opportunity to review this I was thanking the heavens, Bed's really aren't that cheap but I knew coming from Bed Sale Online that I would be getting one that was amazing quality and yet super affordable to share with you all too if you are also on a budget! One of our favourite features and actually one of the main reasons we chose this was that the feet end was low lying, as our spare room is pretty small, this would give us more space in the room and make the whole room look larger!

The Berlin is also available in a choice of three colours and sizes, which will suit any style of bedroom and will offer years of use.We chose the black faux leather fabric with complimentary dark feet and a sprung slatted base, but it also comes in brown or white finishes too!

So after clearing out the spare room (which took us over 2 weeks!) we finally had enough space to start building, there were quite a few pieces to put it together but everything was easy and the instructions were clear! It probably would be possible for one person to build but to make it easier on yourself get a couple of extra hands! So after around an hour and a half, the bed was made and looked perfect, I still can't believe its only £69.99, i'd easily expect to spend a couple of hundred for it at least! I love how much bigger it makes the room look, I was expecting it to be a little snug but its amazing how much difference having the low lying foot end makes, it's like a completely different room! 

I cannot recommend the Bed Sale Online enough, not only do they have a huge range of beds, but the prices are incredible, plus there is even the option of FREE next day delivery!! I don't know many places (if any) that offer such fast service! The website is laid out simply and neatly, so no confusing keywords or searching through thousands of beds before you even get to the style you want, you can simply choose 'Wooden beds' or 'Childrens Beds' and straight away you are where you want to be! 

Ordering is super easy too, just choose your bed, size, quantity then add to cart and you are all set to pay, just sit back and wait for your gorgeous bed to arrive! :).

Visit the Bed Sale Online website today for amazing deals and gorgeous beds! :)
Click here for the Children's range too!


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Useful & Unnecessary Baby Products!

I literally didn't have a clue what to title this post, nothing seemed to I bring you 'Useful & unnecessary baby products..." Hmmm..

You've found out you're pregnant and you're already planning nursery decor and their going home outfit! But once all the excitant of cute blankets and teddies kick in, you will start thinking about the bigger things you will need....Friends & family are constantly recommending products to you left right and centre, whilst others are telling you the complete opposite...remember that every single baby is different, every parent is different and what works for some may not work for others. 

Plus it's never too late to get something you think will be useful, so don't panic too much and do some research online too! Below I have come up with three things that we wish we had bought when Abbie was a newborn, and three things that were completely useless to us personally! 

1. Cot
Ok, this is gonna be a mixed back on opinions but it you're a regular reader of my blog you will know that ever since we brought Abbie home from the hospital, she would be fine sleeping in her Moses basket in the day but at night time, she wouldn't sleep anywhere but in our bed, we tried her in her cot multiple times but after spending an hour getting her to sleep only for her to wake up as we put her down, we took the easy option and just kept her in our bed, looking back now I do sometimes wish we'd have kept trying, we were a little naive when it came to how much babies should sleep at night, she was probably doing what every other baby does but we are both people who need sleep so took the best option for the three of us at the time! So from then on, Abbie has slept in our bed and never in the cot, so to us that was a product that was useless to us! Next time though, we will persevere a bit more (won't we??).

2. Swing
I so so wish we had bought one of these for Abbie, she was very much a motion baby, in order for her to go to sleep she would need some sort of rocking or movement and that's still the case to this day too! We were told by a lot of people that they're a waste of money but looking back it would've been perfect for us, I could've got a lot more things done around the house and would've given us a different avenue in how we could get her to sleep, although I guess I can look back and really appreciate that I cuddled her enough :). If we were to have another baby I would definitely 100% invest in one!

3. Baby shoes
Though very very cute, there really is no need to spend any kind of money on shoes for your newborn, first of all have you ever seen a newborn with both socks on at one time? Or at least with both kit hanging on my their little toes? Shoes are made for walking and not as an accessory in my opinion, just let their little tootsies be free and maybe invest in some moccasins when they start crawling :)

4. Baby bath support
Ok as if my anxiety wasn't bad enough at the beginning, the thought of how to bathe Abbie made me panic even more, I secretly wished her umbilical cord would stay on longer so I didn't have to do it, obviously we would wash her top to teo anyway for those who think we didn't clean her haha. Let me out it this way, holding a newborn baby in the baby bath was harder than holding a bar of soap in the shower! Plus you're trying to be so careful not to let their head go underwater as well as washing them with the other hand, obviously it does get easier with practice but it's not as easy as you think! I wish we had bought one of these, it would've been so much easier to use, just place her in there and I suddenly has two hands to wash and support her, waaaay better! 

5. Fancy clothes
Getting a newborn dressed in itself is a chore, again as a first time parent it could take me up to 20 minutes to get a onesie on her, panicking about hurting her whilst she's wriggling around like an octopus, it was a daily challenge! There were times when I would dress her in jeans and dresses but to be completely honest, she did look a little silly as everything was always so big and although they're cute, just stick with the basics like leggings, vests and sleepsuits and basic tops, no need of over complicated things! Plus as soon as you out one leg in and start celebrating, they've kicked it off and you have to start all over again! Ahhh!

6. Baby carrier
This is something we did have and used only twice around the house, I was always so scared to use it as she was still so tiny but she would fall asleep in it every time! I don't quite know why I didn't carry on, I think I was so worried she would fall out of it or that I'd not strapped it on right (even after triple checking) that it put me off! I see lots and lots of mums and dads out and about now with them and wish I had done it more, it makes your life so much easier and keeps baby close to you too! Next time, I will be investing in one 100%!

What do you wish you had bought? Is there anything you bought that you never used? I'd love to hear your stories :)


Monday, 12 May 2014

Country Chic Kitchen Accessories!

one / two / three / four / five / six

I am completely in love with the country chic look for a kitchen, I love the pastel colours and the retro fonts on things like canisters and the spice pots above, reminds me of the diners in Grease! I already live in the countryside but used to live in Essex so it's a bit of a difference when the scenery comes into it, I wouldn't swap the fields and views for anything now i'm used to it, we have lots of lovely walks near us and this kinda look really makes me feel like I'm at home! So what are the main bits you need to create this theme? I've listed the 3 items I would HAVE to have in my country chic kitchen..

Milk bottles & Mason Jars
Ok, this is going to make me sounds really old now but I remember when I was younger and every Wednesday when i'd stay round my Nan's house, I'd wake up in the morning and help her put the used milk bottles back on the doorstep and i'd just sit there and wait for the milkman to come round on his float, carrying more bottles of milk than probably safe but hey, that's what they did back then! Once he'd been I'd go back out and there would be fresh bottles of milk there again, I loved it! I so wish that happened now, I'd love to share that kinda thing with Abbie but we'll just have to stick to popping to the co-op Haha, just to sound really really old now, I even remember having it at school for break time! The milk bottles above are perfect for bringing back the memories, you can choose to fill them with milk then recycle the bottles or even to create yummy juices and smoothies! They are perfect for crafts as well, or even as vases for the springtime with some pretty daffodils!

Retro Aga
Although they are blooming expensive to run, I absolutely love the look of them, we had one about 5 years ago which I was in love with, I think they can really change the look of the whole kitchen, a bit like a SMEG fridge actually, having one of each in your kitchen is really going to give it that country chic feel! They come in literally every colour you can think of too, i think i'd have to go for either cream or red for mine, depending on the other accessories I choose! I don't think a country chic kitchen is complete without an Aga!

I always think those little touches of signs on the walls really make such a difference, back in the 60's the cafe's and diners were all covered in them, with tempting quotes including 'worlds best cup of coffee' (Elf flashback! Comment below if you know what i'm talking about!) Haha, as well as the sign above which reads 'Everything stops for tea', so very true! You can even get personalised signs saying 'Jess' Kitchen' in your own fonts and colours too, such a sweet touch!

Here are a few of my other favourite bits and bobs :)


Saturday, 10 May 2014

Review | Degustabox

Today I have a review of the service by Degustabox! A monthly subscription box that provides you with a surprise of 10-15 products from sweet to savoury, fresh ingredients to drinks, even brand new items you may not have heard of yet! I think one of my favourite things about this is the surprise of what you're getting, I was too excited for mine to arrive, I ripped open the packaging like my life depended on it and immediately drooled over the contents..

I'd seen a couple of reviews online and all of which rated theres highly, so this just added to my excitement! So in I dove, and this is what we received...

My eyes straight away were drawn to the Jaffa Cakes, i mean, who doesn't like those?? I actually just indulged in some chocolate over easter after not eating it for over 18 months, those of you who know me personally know exactly how hard that was for me! But I wanted a cleaner lifestyle and chocolate only seemed to make me feel sluggish, and I stuck to it, that was until a week ago, and now I can't quite understand why I wanted to stop..I won't lie to you, I ate 4 of the 6 Berry burst  jaffa cakes in one sitting, eating them like i hadn't eaten in about 3 months or as if someone was going to steal them from me..still, it's ok to indulge every now and then, and indulge I did!

Keoghs Crisps
I'd personally not heard of this brand of crisps before, they looked fancy and he flavour sounded delicious, not just your usual 'salt and vinegar', but 'ATLANTIC sea salt & IRISH CIDES vinegar', i mean come on, who's not going to t least try these!? They actually reminded me a bit of Tyrells crisps, but a little bit better, they were sweet, crunchy and super tasty, not sharp or anything which is a bonus! Ben had a try as well and really enjoyed them, I think they're great as a healthier snack instead othe usual 

Cawston Press
Again, i'd not actually heard of this brand, but the packaging automatically drew me in, i'm a bit of a sucker for retro inspired designs and fonts, which this does so well! I was intrigued at the flavour actually, i've not had a rhubarb drink before but was a big fan of it as a crumble and as sweeties! I was pleasantly surprised, my only negative would be the sugar content, it's pretty deceived as it doesn't actually taste sweet at all, but one 330ml can was 31% of your rda which is pretty high!

Jaffa Cake Mini Rolls!
Probably my favourite sweet snack as a child, back then you only had the normal cadburys ones, now you can get these delicious Berry Burst & Tropicool flavours too, PLUS. they can be frozen, what?? I'm a little apprehensive to try this if i'm honest, the idea of frozen sponge doesn't really appeal but hey, we have to try things once!

Lindt Lindor
I've always been a bit of a chocolate snob, i'd stay loyal to my trustee cadburys and rarely branched off to try new types, but i bit the bullet and tried one of these..well..let me first say that we were sent three of these and you can quite easily see there are only 2 in the picture, so you can probably guess that i devoured the third creamy, so heavenly, so mouth-wateringly light...

Mornflake Superfast
We received two pots of their breakfast range, the fruit & nut muesli and the raisin honey and almond granola, I'm not really a muesli kinda person but I was a good sport and tried it anyway, unfortunately it hasn't turned me this time, it seemed a bit strange to use water instead of milk and I couldn't get that out of my head really, it was pretty watery with a hint of milk. So for me personally this wasn't a hit but if you're already a fan of muesli, this will probably be right up your street! As for the Granola pot however, it was DELICIOUS! I went through a major phase of having granola about 3 times a day, it's super healthy, tasty and full of yummy ingredients! I actually didn't mind the water in this one I think it's because I out less in there actually, it was the perfect snack but also filling enough as a breakfast!

Miso Soup on the go!
I wasn't really sure what to expect from this, I mean first of all, its in a packet, secondly it comes in a solid form...not really the most appetising thing to look at but I was pleasantly surprised! The ingredients tasted fresh and were evenly distributed! All you need to do is add to a mug, add hot water and stir thoroughly, leave for a few minutes to cool and you're ready to go :D 

Go Splash!
I was pleasantly surprised with this actually, I was a little scared to try it thinking it would be full of sugar and colourings etc, but it's actually more natural than any kind of squash on the market, in this little bottle you can get around 30 glasses and it tastes so much more refreshing than the usual juices we buy, just one squirt into a glass of water and you have the perfect thirst quenching drink, full of vitamins such as B3, B6 & B12, all healthy, yummy and handy for chucking in your bag too!

Dr Oetker Chocolate!
One of my favourite things in the world is cake, if I could eat it everyday all day I really would! I am also trying to get into baking a bit more as I would love to do it all with Abbie, get her to stir everything and get flour everywhere, I can't wait! :). I haven't decide what i'm going to cook with these yet but probably some sort of brownie, cookie or cupcake, ahhhh I'm salivating just thinking about it! Although they won't be for me as i'm back to the no chocolate thing again, so will have to share with the rest of the family!

So there we have it, everything that came in our Degustabox this month, the only thing we didn't use was the Crabbie's Alocholic Ginger Beer as I don't drink alcohol much, I haven't had anything for about 3 years now actually, and Ben isn't a fan of ginger beer, he was a good sport though and tried it but it wasn't his cup of tea! 

I definitely recommend Degustabox to those of you who are looking for home comforts and a variety of yummy products, they're also a great idea for any loved ones who live abroad and just want some familiar british snacks to remind them of home, I remember taking cadburys chocolate buttons every single place I went on holiday to, it's those little things that can help with the home sickness! :)

Visit the Degustabox website for more information and to get started on your surprise food box! :)

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Introducing: Joolz Day Sense!

You may remember last year when we carried out the review of the lovely pushchair by Joolz? We instantly fell in love with it and it became part of the family you could say! It was used every single day and still is today, it's reliable, sleek and works in all weathers and different terrains!

Well I wanted to now introduce you to the brand new Joolz Day Sense, a milestone for Joolz and their positive design philosophy, probably the most comfy pushchair you will come across, whilst being consciously designed to keep baby safe, secure and super snug! It features eco friendly fabrics and creative toys, whilst the mattress even has a small CO2 footprint whilst offering perfect stability and ventilation for your baby to have a comfortable sleep! The Joolz Day Sense covers all the important aspects that your baby needs, from care, to play, to sleep! I swear if they had this was in adult size I would definitely be getting one! Haha.

Each Joolz Day Sense includes: chassis, seat, cot, shopping basket, raincover, accessory bag and three educational toys. Nursery bag, footmuff and parasol are available separately in the same colour. Their products are designed around the human body, that of the parent and that of the child. 
Something completely unique Joolz have created are special 'All terrain wheels' which come with the Joolz Day pushchair, with bigger front wheels to prepare you for any journey, from dry sand through to muddy puddles, your baby now technically has his/her own 4x4 now! Ha. "Walking on rough terrain, in nature or in snow with a pushchair can be stressful for young parents. Rough roads can turn a short trip easily into a real challenge. To make it easier for parents and even more comfortable for the child, Joolz developed the new All terrain wheels. Walking on a rough terrain or snow is still comfortable when the Joolz Day is equipped with the new All terrain wheels because the large front wheels offer stability and driving comfort under these tougher conditions for parents and child."

Discover the eight Positive Design features of the Joolz Day Sense below..

Maybe you fancy giving your Joolz a splash of colour? You can choose the Joolz Tailor which gives you the chance to customise the colours of the bumper bar and handlebar to a range of different colours including Angel blue, Green Sheen, Old Pink, Tango Red & Amaranth! No matter your favourite colour or whether you have a little girlie or boy, you will find your perfect shade!

Visit the Joolz website for full details!


Monday, 5 May 2014

A Little Trip To The Market...

The first Sunday of every month there is a a gorgeous Artisan Market not too far from us, filled with adorable handmade items, shabby chic accessories, retro clothes, hand me down antiques, as well as homemade cakes, jewellery and just about anything else you can think of! You can pick up bargains, refurbished furniture and choose from an array of different cuisines for a bite to lunch, from handmade in front of you pizza's, chicken & roast potatoes and even some stunning thai meals!

"The market offers a diverse, quality, shopping experience that celebrates independent producers and makers - but more than that it is also about people and place - meeting the makers, conversation with friends and embedding the social back into shopping…"

How adorable is this! Not just any ice cream van, but an Ice Cream Caravan! The retro design and style definitely appealed to me, I'm a sucker for vintage inspired colours and who can't resist the adorable decor and the fact it is a little caravan! Although we didn't get a chance to try the ice cream (sorry!), next time we will definitely pop in and have a taste :)

I have always seen macaroons on tv or in shops but never actually tried one, as beautiful as they looked I was always a bit dubious of trying them, that was until I walked past this stool as they were setting up, the colours instantly drew me in, look at them! I tried one of each flavour on show, they were Lemon & Yuzu (he explained it was a Japanese citrus fruit, it was delicious!!), Violet & Blackcurrant and Rhubarb! I was pleasantly surprised, they were delicate yet sweet, light yet filling, definitely the perfect treat if you're feeling a little peckish! Although good luck only eating a few ;)

The photo above and the next 3 below will probably make you drool, I know I did walking past..But I have honestly never seen such beautiful cakes in all my life, topped with fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and other fruits, mini ore's & walnuts, as well as providing you with delicious pastries too. They instantly stand out with their vibrant colours, perfectly wrapped cases & the sheer amount of different choices they have, why not have a little pop over to their website for a look at what else they offer as well as how to place a custom order, just click here :)

We stopped off in the local cafe too for a bite to eat, obviously I went all out and chose a full english, all made using local produce and cooked to perfection, I don't even remember the last time I had one! So yummy!

I absolutely fell in love with these dresses, as soon as I spotted them I headed straight over to have a closer look! I loved the way they were laid out first of all, in age order and on different coloured hangers! Beautiful handmade, vintage inspired girls dresses from 6 months up to 8 years, from nautical style to polkadot, pretty florals and aztec inspired prints, no two items are the same and the prices are very reasonable too! Visit their Facebook page here for more details along with lots of pictures of the designs too, and if you're looking for a special custom made dress, they are there to help you out!

Who can rest a free hugs sign, I remember when I was a teenager (god now I sound like a right oldie!), I would shy away from the signs and giggle, but as I took his picture I was told in return I would need to give a hug..seems only fair! Haha :)

I NEED this table and chairs, I have no-where to put it, but I still need it! Haha, I'm becoming more and more interested in furniture and different styles, the shabby chic look has been my favourite for a long time and this gorgeous white finish with the red floral cushions, really doesn't help with my obsession!

I am a sucker for sweet things, although I didn't have chocolate for 18 months, I recently got back into the swing of it at Easter, whoops! So walking past this stool was difficult to say the least, I took a photo and took their card so I could share with you just how delicious these are! With yummy brownies & truffles, in a variety of different flavours, from "Big Softy" made with marshmallows, biscuit and chocolate chips, to "Badger Bite", with Ale & double ginger! No matter what your tastebuds desire, you will find something to tickle them! Visit their Facebook page here for all their details along with lots of yummy pictures too!

"Brownies. Truffles. Gooey. Lovely."

Roast potatoes anyone?

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