Lush Blogger Night and Product Reviews

At the start of the summer I was invited to a blogger event at my local Lush store.  Lush being that shop that emits a heavenly fragrance across the mall before you even reach it, inviting you to step inside and try it’s delectable handmade products.  Being 100% vegetarian, not tested on animals and using only natural, ethical ingredients, this certainly ticks a lot of boxes for me so I was intrigued to find out more.

lush 1Walking into the shop, you can’t help but be mesmerised by the vast arrays of freshly made products, sitting naked on the shelves waiting for you to inhale their individual aroma’s, eager to try them on your skin.  When I walked in I was greeted by a friendly bunch of staff who turned out to be incredibly knowledgeable and full of facts and information about each of the numerous products on their shelves.  They gave us a demonstration of some of their top summer products, showing us the individual raw ingredients as well as letting us smell and try them out upon our skin.

Buffy – a body butter with exfoliator.  Made with cocoa and shea butters for moisturising, ground rice, almonds and aduki beans for exfoliation and some essential oils for both calming and uplifting.  This is a must have shower product to leave your skin silky soft all year round.

African Paradise – a body conditioner designed to be used in the shower and rinsed off leaving your skin perfectly hydrated.  This is made with softening and scented ingredients from mango juice to moringa oil, shea butter to aloe vera – leaving a very relaxing soothing, finish to the skin.

One of the highlights of the evening has to be making my very own Big Blue bath bomb!!  I never expected to get this close to making a product let alone actually doing it!  The Big Blue has calming properties using arame seaweed for it’s softening ability along with many vitamins and minerals.  Also both lemon and lavender oil are included which are both fragrances that appeal to me.

lush 2Once seeing a demonstration, it was time to make our own.  We were each given some ‘attractive’ blue rubber gloves, a Lush bomb mould with which we filled with ingredients, swishing and turning until we had the perfect ball!!

lush 3Ta-dah!!  Above you can see my perfectly formed Big Blue, I’m still in shock I actually made this and didn’t really want to use it but, well, I kinda had to!

lush 4So how did it feel?  Incredibly softening, more than I could have imagined.  It had a heady, calmy fragrance that was totally relaxing.  I was really surprised at how soft the water felt, really leaving my skin feeling soothed, mosturised and supersoft.  With it’s turquoise blue hue and floating bits of seaweed, it felt tranquil and allowed me 20 minutes of child feel relaxation, something that’s a bit of a rarity these days!

After receiving a demonstration of Stepping Stone, a foot shaped scrub, we were given one to try at home.  I was so looking forward to trying this as my feet do suffer, particularly as I’m prone to wearing flip flops over the summer months which doesn’t do my heels any favours leaving them dry and prone to cracks.

lush 6Stepping Stone can be used as a foot pumice or foot soak and I did both by breaking a piece off and letting it fizz in water to soak my feet and the rest I used to scrub over my feet to combat the dry skin.  With lime, lemon and lemongrass oils to combat foot odour this really smelt heavenly!

The new range of suncare products from Lush was rather interesting.  With unusual formats and textures they were very different but seemingly effective.  Sesame Suntan Lotion is a light creamy lotion giving SPF10 that sinks easily into the skin.  The Sunblock is a solid sunscreen wash giving a high SPF30 protection.  It works by massaging onto damp skin in the shower then with a gentle pat dry you are fully protected head to toe.

lush 5I took home a tub of Lifesaver, a rich, highly moisturising sunscreen cream with an SPF30 protection.  I saved this little tub until I went on holiday to really test it out.  With the sun quite hot and a tendency to get burnt shoulders I covered my arms and shoulders with this quite liberally and then sat on the beach.  Being on their for 3 or 4 hours I didn’t reapply but found this easily protected me and I didn’t burn in the slightest.  With moisturising shea butter this meant my skin didn’t dry out either leaving it feeling soft and soothed even at the end of the day in the hot sun.

I’ve really enjoyed trying out some new and different Lush products, it’s definitely made me realise that Lush has so much more to offer than just bath bombs and soap bars which are the main products I have used from there previously.  Being a highly ethical company and using lots of amazing natural products and fragrances, I’d definitely suggest popping in to try something out.  The staff members are welcoming and knowledgeable and can guide you towards products suitable to needs and skin type.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received some Lush products in order to write the review.

 

 

Bloom Pops Flower Design Studio from Cool Create – Review

Bloom Pops Flower Design Studio from Cool Create is a fun craft kit where you can design flower motifs.  They can be made again and again in different designs or used to stick wherever you want, be it something you want to decorate, make a badge or whatever else you choose.

Bloom popsWith over 2 sheets of fabric flower petals, 1 Bloom Pop Maker, 6 sticky pads, 6 flower bases, 6 silicon buttons, 18 flower spacers, 1 unpopper tool, 1 display tree, 45 sparkly gems and instructions you can create many unique designed fabric flowers, which any young girl who loves creating, designing and making will enjoy!

Bloom pops 1

It comes with a doll figure which is used to pop the button centre of the flower on but pushing her arms down.  Aimed at 5yrs + this was perfect for 6yr old Miss M to play with and create with independently and something she enjoyed doing.

Bloom pops 3

I like the fact that it comes with a moulded tray on which to put all the pieces, there are several sections to put the smaller pieces in and a set place to stand the popper doll.  It also comes with a display tree upon which you can display your flower creations and this also fits into the tray.

Bloom pops 2

Miss M really enjoying making different flower combinations.  You build a flower by starting with a base, adding layers of petals and spacers which add to the 3D effect, and then use the doll popper to pop a middle onto the flower which also holds it all together.  You then have the option of putting a sticky pad on the back, depending on where or how you want to use the flower.  They is also an unpicker tool which easily unpops the centre of the flower allowing you to take it apart and start again with a new design.

Bloom pops 4

We’ve enjoyed Bloom Pops, it’s a fun way to be creative and a bit different to other craft sets.  The flowers look lovely displayed on the tree in Miss M’s bedroom and she plans to use other flowers in pictures and artwork that she makes.

Why not give Bloom Pops a try today?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received Bloom Pops in order to write the review.

Rockabilly Kids Toothbrush – Review

The Rockabilly Kids are a new range of toothbrushes aimed at making life easier for both children and adults.  With it’s unique ability to turn itself upright, it means less contact with germs and easier for children to put away.

RockabillyCurrently available in six different designs such as Superstar Stella, Chef Cheryl, Footballer Freddie, Cowboy Clint and Vet Valerie, there is a varied choice for children to pick from in both different colours and characters.  We chose Astronaut Andy for 3yr old Mister B to try out.

One huge bonus with the Rockabilly toothbrushes is that they last, saving you time and money.  I was quite impressed to see that this came with three spare toothbrush heads, meaning your child won’t have to say a sad goodbye to their toothbrush when it wears out.  With the average time of use being three months for a toothbrush head, it means with the four heads supplied with the Rockabilly, you’d get a year’s worth of use.

Rockabilly 2So what does Mister B think?

Well it’s his favourite colour, blue, so that’s a hit!  He thinks the astronaut is quite cool and we started talking about space, rockets and stars!  He loves the three extra heads and is excited that he can change one when the first one wears out.

As for using the Rockabilly toothbrush, it has a small round head that’s soft and gentle for young teeth.  It has multiple length bristles that are dentist approved, great for caring for little ones mouths.  This is definitely a gentle brush that is easy to use.

Rockabilly 3Mister B enjoyed using this toothbrush and I liked the concept and quality of the brush and handle.  I love the way it sways on the side of the sink but never falls.  This really does avoid a child laying a toothbrush down on it’s side, something I’m not keen on in respect of germs.   It’s easy on the gums being soft and gentle, perfect for little mouths.

I can only see advantages in this toothbrush, with a character your little one will love, this has to be a great value toothbrush that both you and your little one will enjoy.  It has certainly made teeth cleaning fun for Mister B – why don’t you try a Rockabilly toothbrush today?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received a Rockabilly toothbrush in order to write the review.

Kids Costume T-shirts – Review

Kid’s T-shirts are a t-shirt printing company that produce a vast array of designs under many different themes from animals to sports, halloween to world book day.  We were asked to choose a t-shirt from their costume section which includes a range of designs that children aspire to be when they grown up.

t shirts 3Some of the designs include an astronaut, policeman, chef, knight, wizard, doctor, firefighter and nurse.  I asked my children to have a look through and see what they wanted to be.  Mister B who is 3 would love to win a gold medal, we are not sure what in yet but it’s something he aspires to own so he picked the gold medal t-shirt.  Miss M on the other hand aspires to be a policeman like her daddy although she wasn’t so keen on a black/yellow t-shirt so decided she wants to be a princess for now.

t shirts 1The t-shirts are generously sized with plenty of room to move around and play in.  I thought the choice was good and depending on the design of the t-shirt you could choose what colour background you wanted.  Both my children loved them and happily wanted to wear them again and again.

I think it’s good for children to start thinking about all the roles and opportunities available to them when they are older, even if it’s just for a bit of fun.  These t-shirts are great to wear everyday but also can be used as part of a dress up outfit.  It also encourages conversation on the topic of the t-shirt.  For Mister B we discussed medals and the different colours, which one is first, second, third and the sorts of events you can win them in.

t shirts 2Why not check out the Kid’s T-shirts website and find a fun t-shirt for your child to wear?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the t-shirts in order to write the review.

42 days of Summer fun with BN biscuits

Six weeks of school summer holidays means 42 days to have fun with the children, days out, days at home, some in the garden having fun, others inside playing games, baking and making crafty pictures.  So much to do, so much fun to have, where do we start.

If it’s sunny and you want to get out but not go to far, why not try out a local park that you’ve never been too.  We discovered one the other week that ended up being fabulous, the children loved it, lots of new things to do and we ended up spending a good few hours there walking around and playing.

They loved the zip wire, in fact we didn’t know we had one so close to home.  They are now eager to return!

devonport park 1This big hammock like swing was a huge hit and my two lay on it for ages relaxing while mummy gently pushed them.

devonport park 2There was also a huge wooden structure to climb on, which Miss M was eager to try out.  Mister B wasn’t so keen but gave it a go.

devonport park 3If it’s a dry day why not get the children out on their bikes and scooters for a ride.  Mister B has just mastered his scooter after many months of insisting he couldn’t ride it.  The summer is a great time to teach them how to ride things.

scooterIf you need to get on with some household chores, then get the children to help.  They love it more than you think.  Here they are helping me to clear some of the plants and weeds from their grandparents garden.

gardeningIf it’s raining, there are plenty of things to keep children occupied with indoors, board games, cooking, crafting or how about face painting?  Miss M made her first attempt at face painting the last week when she painted Mister B’s face with Spiderman.  I was very impressed and we had lots of fun for the afternoon decorating each other’s faces!

Spiderman faceSo no matter what you do, whatever the weather, you always tend to feel a little peckish and tired in the afternoon.  This is a great time to sit down and have a little snack.  As it’s the summer holidays then why not make it a fun snack, such as a McVitie’s BN biscuit!

bn 1These crispy sandwich biscuits come in Chocolate and Raspberry flavours, with a fun smiley face on the top.  Miss M and Mister B loved these particularly the chocolate flavour and I have to agree they did taste rather good!

bn 2McVities BN biscuits are perfect to bring a smile to hungry children and are not too heavy so make a great snack.  Why not try some to bring a smile to your summer?

This post is an entry for 42 Days of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVitie’s BN. Learn more at http://bit.ly/1mRpMCL

Gears! Gears! Gears! Movin’ Monkeys Building Set – Review

Gears! Gears! Gears! is a fabulous range of creative, building sets using tactile gears and cranks to wind the pieces round, creating a magical moving scene.  We received the Movin’ Monkeys set from Learning Resources to play with.

movin monkeysThe Movin’ Monkeys set comprises of 136 pieces which includes base plates, coloured gears, cranks, tree parts, monkeys and a sticker sheet to decorate some of the gears.  There is also a very easy to follow instruction booklet which allows you to build the entire scene as shown on the box.  The instructions are clear and broken down into manageable sections.

movin monkeys 5 Miss M immediately got to work building the first tree and added the gears.  This gave her a little bit of a challenge to follow the build instructions and construct the pieces correctly.  To build the whole set is quite a challenge for a young person and although this set is aimed at age 4+, I’d definitely suggest a slightly older age would be better.  Miss M is 6 and I feel this is a great construction set for her and something very different to the normal construction toys you see.  She did require some guidance and assistance but I’m sure she’ll improve each time she plays.

movin monkeys 2Mister B decided to take it upon himself to build the palm trees.  He gathered all the necessary pieces and within a few minutes he proudly showed off his bit of construction work!  He was so pleased with his trees and carefully held onto them until the rest was built so he could put them in their correct places.

movin monkeys 3The pieces slot together quite easily although quite firmly so the set is quite durable and doesn’t fall apart easily once built.  Once we had constructed the full build, it looked like a brightly coloured jungle scene and both children were eager to see what happened next.  The next step was to add the monkeys which can be hung from numerous trees and branches either by the hooks on their hands or tails.  Then it was time for the magic – would it work?  Miss M slowly turned the handle on one of the gears and very cleverly all the cogs starting turning at the same time, the monkeys starting moving, spinning and swinging around the trees and my two children looked upon their Movin’ Monkeys jungle scene in amazement!

movin monkeys 7Both were keen to take turns in turning the gears and have fun moving the monkeys around to hang from different places, the Movin’ Monkeys construction set certainly gave good play value for a while once it was built.

movin monkeys 6What I like about Movin’ Monkeys is that it is both a construction set and then can be played with as well.  You can be creative and build any design you like out of the set, however big or small.  On her own Miss M likes to build just a small tree structure that she can get turning and is quite fascinated watching it move.  This allows her to be creative independently and as she gets older she’ll become more confident in building bigger jungle scenes.

You can watch Movin’ Monkeys in action here:

Overall I think Movin’ Monkeys is an interesting, fun construction set that a child aged 6+ would get the most value out of.  It’s made from brightly coloured, durable plastic pieces and has lots of fun features for the monkeys to play on.  Being a large set with a lot of pieces, this enables you to be versatile with the building and use your imagination to create a different design every time.

movin monkeys 4A great bonus of this set is that it is compatible with any other Gears! Gears! Gears! sets so you can join them up and make a huge moving scene!  Why not try a set today and see how creative you can be with moving gears?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and Movin’ Monkeys was sent to us in order to write the review.

Looking Back – First Day at School

Almost two years ago, I was busily preparing for my daughter, Miss M’s first day at school.  I was a mixture of nerves, excitement and anxiousness as I awaited the day that my daughter took a new step in her life and met a group of people who she will spend the next few years learning with, gaining experiences with and building friendships with.

first dayWe had only visiting the school briefly before the summer break for a welcome afternoon, so there was a lot of new things ahead, new faces, a new environment and getting used to the school routine.  Miss M was really eager to start somewhere new, learn more things and build on her existing skills after spending three and a half years at a very small nursery looking at the same four walls each day.

In the weeks beforehand we went shopping together and picked out various pieces of uniform, a P.E. bag and a lunch box to take to school.  On her first morning she proudly got dressed in her uniform, I plaited her hair and we walked the short journey around to the school.  Her younger brother Mister B came with us and they walked ahead together, Miss M holding on to Mister B’s reins, a proud big sister embarking on a new journey in her life!

first day 2I’m pleased to say the first day went well and although we had a few wobbly days in those early weeks where she felt a little unsure of things, she has progressed really well over her first two years in school and we are looking forward to starting Year 2 in September.

With the start of the new school term nearly upon us, one thing we all need to think about is school uniform.  We all want something that’s durable and lasting and George at Asda have come up with theAsda George at Asda 100 day money back guarantee where you can return any item you are not satisfied with within 100 days along with a proof of purchase for an exchange or refund!

Why not check out the uniform ranges at George at Asda, they have a great choice available  including some rather cute Hello Kitty designs which I’m sure Miss M would love.

This is a sponsored post.

Princess Alexa Barbie Doll – Review

Princess Alexa is a newly released Barbie doll along with a range of other Barbie toys, especially for the soon to be released film, Barbie and the Secret Door.  The film follows Princess Alexa, a shy princess but during the film she discovers a whole new fairy tale world and along with two magical friends helps to save the kingdom.  Other characters include a magical unicorn, mermaid and a fairy.

Barbie Alexa doll 4Miss M’s face lit up when she saw Princess Alexa, she thought the Barbie doll looked beautiful and when I told her about the new film, she can’t wait to go and see it.  Princess Alexa is a standard size Barbie with the additional feature that she sings!  The dress on her bodice is solid and this flashes coloured lights as she sings.  Her skirt is satin like and can be removed.  It has some large flexible flowers on it which really help it stand out and look pretty.

Barbie Alexa doll 2The highlight of this Barbie doll for Miss M is most definitely Princess Alexa’s songs.  To play the songs you simply press gently down on her arm and a song plays.  There are clips of two songs, both of which become quite addictive and we all know the words now after hearing them endlessly each day.  Even Miss M’s little brother Mister B joins in, singing along.

See Miss M and Princess Alexa’s songs here:

Miss M has loved playing with the Princess Alexa Barbie doll.  She is a beautiful doll with great added features in the songs and lights.  We are looking forward to the film Barbie and the Secret door which is released on DVD on 1st September 2014 and it’ll also be screened exclusively in Vue cinemas.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and the Barbie was sent to us in order to write the review.

Back to School with Sainsbury’s Arts and Crafts

With the summer holidays underway and two children to keep entertained, I’m also on the look out for things to do, whether it be days out, trips to the local park, or activities to keep the children occupied at home.  When Sainsbury’s offered to send us a selection of their Back to School stationary range including lots of art and craft goodies, I knew that would the perfect way to entertain my two when we are stuck at home or when it’s raining.

sainsburys 2With a selection of coloured card, tissue paper, wiggly eyes, glitters, sequins, glue, stickers and pens, they couldn’t wait to get started.

sainsburys 1Miss M decided to create a picture inspired by our holiday with a beach scene at night with a dark sky and stars.  She also added a lighthouse and a little googly eyed person.

sainsburys 4Mister B decided to recreate the huge blue and purple jellyfish that we saw lying on the beach.  He drew a blue outline and stuck on some googly eyes.  Then I helped him add some sparkly purple glitter to make it shine and then he drew some wiggly jellyfish legs!

sainsburys 3Miss M then got really creative and wanted to draw one her favourite activities – rock climbing!!  She’s only had a go on the man made indoor rock climbing places but would love to one day take part in some outdoor rock climbing.  She cut out a purple tissue paper rock and stuck it to the paper.  She then created a sparkly purple sun in the corner of the  paper.  She then drew three little rock climbers, one each side of the cliff and one on top with all bundles of ropes.  She gave each person a shiny coloured star sticker for their hard work and to say well done for their excellent rock climbing!

sainsburys 5A bundle of craft materials is a great way to get the children to be creative and also to get them sitting down concentrating just like they have to when they go back to school.  They also really enjoy it and love showing everyone their finished pieces of art.

sainsburys 6With the new school term starting in just a few weeks, there are lots of things to thing about from uniform, stationery to getting your child focussed and ready for the new academic year.

Being organised in the mornings is a great way to start the day and keep things calm and smooth running.  Sainsbury’s have put together a Back to School list of 9 igenious ways to streamline the kids mornings routine – why not check it out?

We were sent some Sainsburys craft goodies and voucher in return for this post.

Cool Create Cool Bandz – Review

Cool Bandz is one of the latest range of craft kits from the Cool Create brand allowing children to make, decorate and laminate fun paper bracelets to wear themselves or giveaway to friends.

cool bandz 1The kit consists of:

  • 1 bracelet maker
  • 24 pre designed wrist band strips
  • 12 clips
  • 1 sticker sheet
  • 1 sticker sheet
  • 1 gem sheet
  • 1 roll of adhesive tape

cool bandz 2Miss M couldn’t wait to get started and began by separating the pre designed strips and picking out her favourites.  You can then add any of the stickers and gems to decorate them further.  Some even have a space to write on and she did one with her name, one for Mister B and one for Mummy!

cool bandz 3Once you have decorated the strip, you place it in the laminator.  You can then easily pull the strip through and it gets cleverly covered by the roll of tape giving it a shiny, more durable finish.  You then pop each end in the little hole punch slot and press down on the purple button to make a hole in each end.  The ends then simply clip together with one of the plastic clips that just snap together.

cool bandz 4Once Miss M had made the first band with my guidance, she was off making all different designs for each of us.  Mister B eagerly watched picking the strips and stickers he wanted Miss M to use for his band.  Miss M at 6 yrs old is the perfect age for this, she could create them independently and sat happily engrossed making bracelets with her little Cool Bandz machine for much of the morning.

This is a fun creative toy that young girls will love.  There are plenty of patterned strips to keep them occupied although I would have liked to have seen a few more clips and gems included in the kit.  You can also use any paper strips of your choice, so if you have some pretty paper, or fancy drawing your own design, you can and then place it in the sticky tape laminator to strengthen it and turn it into a bracelet.

cool bandz 5My children had lots of fun creating with the Cool Create Cool Bandz, a great indoor crafting activity that’s fun, keeps them occupied and lets them make their own jewellery!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and the Cool Bandz was sent to us in order to write the review.