15 November 2017

Review: Prestige Hampers

Every year it gets more and more difficult to decide what to get for our loved ones. Kids are quite easy but the adults of the family, including grandparents, are always a bit of a struggle. They tend to have everything they need and buy what they want when they want it so it's hard to get something that will be appreciated. This is where Prestige Hampers comes in. Prestige Hampers are an online gift service based in Cheshire that specialise in hampers containing only the finest foods and wines. I was very excited to receive my hamper so let me tell you all about it.

Prestige Hampers sent me a lovely Cheese and Wine gift basket which is my absolute fav. I love a good bit of cheese and always go for the cheese board dessert option when it's on the menu. A couple of years ago before the toddler was born I used to make my own foodie hampers as gifts for relatives. I quite enjoyed doing this however I really don't have the time required to complete a fabulous hamper anymore. It makes me happy though that Prestige Hampers can fill that void.

Inside my Cheese and Wine gift basket there was; Wendsleydale with Cranberries 100g, Waxed Cheese with Red Wine and Chilli 100g, Waxed Cheese Double Gloucester 100g, Louis Filipe Cabernet Sauvignon 37.5cl, Beetroot and Orange Chutney by Mrs Bridges 130g and Walkers Highland Oatcakes 280g. Not to forget the handmade country style basket which the recipients can keep after they've finished their treats.

Priced at £34.99, but currently on offer for £29.99, it's the perfect gift for the Granny's and Grandad's or Mummy's and Daddy's. I love a food themed gift myself. It's tasty, brings you joy, can be shared and doesn't take up room! What's not to love. I'm not a fan of the tat gifts so this is the perfect thing for me.

Prestige Hampers offer a wide range of gifts on their site with a price to suit all budgets. There's Christmas Hampers, Festive Food Hampers, Sweet Hampers, Chocolate Hampers, Fruit Baskets, Beer Hampers, Champagne Hampers, even hampers for Pets!! Price range is from as little at £9.99 all the way up to £1,000. They honestly have tons of fab hampers to look through so do have a nosey. Another good thing is that they deliver right up to Christmas Eve which is great for a last minute gift if you're struggling for ideas or have forgotten something.

I was sent the hamper shown in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

14 November 2017

Look Stylish This Winter with LOTD

Winter is definitely coming. You can feel it in the air, the crisp frost in the grass and the low rise and fall of the sun. I do really enjoy this time of year but I totally have to update my wardrobe with some new pieces to keep me warm and stylish through the colder months. So I was delighted when LOTD (Look Of The Day) got in touch and offered me some lovely clothes to review.

LOTD were generous enough to let me choose a few items from their website so I opted for a cosy jacket, knitted jumper, slogan tee and simple nude earrings. Since it's currently freezing outside I'll start with the jacket. It's described on the website as a Black Long Oversized Coat With Faux Fur Hood and I chose this particular jacket because it was slightly longer, had a nice warm hood and was black in colour so would go with anything really. It's the perfect jacket for casual or office work wear and it definitely keeps you warm. At only £35 it's a complete bargain too and really did meet all my expectations. I ordered a medium (size 10-12) but wished I had went for the large only to accommodate my larger bust. So something to think about when ordering.

Next up is the knitted jumper which is described as a Mustard Distressed Straight Ribbed Knitted Jumper on the LOTD website. The colour is fabulous and even though it has the fashionable distressed ribbed detail down either side it really does keep you warm and cosy. If I'm wearing this on the school run I don't bother to wear a coat as I'm out of the car and into the school within minutes still warm and snug. The jumper is easy to wear and could be dressed up with heels if you wish but I'm sticking to boots at the moment. At £20 this jumper is a snip and I choose the M/L size as I love big jumpers.

You really can't beat a slogan tee can you. I have several in my wardrobe so when I laid eyes on the LOTD "This Girl Can" t-shirt I had to have it. It looks great underneath my gorgeous new jacket and comes in red and white also if you fancy something other than black. At £8 for this beautiful tee you'd be silly not to buy it. I've worn and washed this t-shirt a few times and had no bother with fading/shrinkage etc so it really is well worth a purchase.

Last but not least I snapped up some lovely Nude Cube Earrings for £2 people! They are very comfy to wear, not heavy at all and don't fall out. They have a gold coloured mount and backing so you can really wear them with anything. I've been throwing them on for work or when I'm with the kids at home as they don't get in the way but make me feel lovely. There's something nice about wearing earrings and not having to worry about a small toddler getting their hands on them.

I was sent a bundle of clothing in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

7 November 2017

Imagination Fun at Little World of Play

Having fun and letting your imagination run wild has to be one of the best things about being a child. Recently Harlow was invited along to Little World of Play, a local soft play centre, to try out their fun, exciting and very different set up. I've classed the business as a soft play however they are so much more! Read on to see what Harlow got up to and what Little World of Play are really all about.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge" a very strong quote and statement from Albert Einstein and one which Little World of Play definitely live by. You see not only does Little World of Play have soft play equipment but they also have a fabulous miniature town for your little one to enjoy. I've honestly never seen anything like it in Scotland before and it's breaking the mold for children's play centres.

Little World of Play have a different style of booking as well. They're very busy, as you can imagine, so to make it easier for parents and carers they have an online booking system where you can book one of three slots per day. There's 9.30am, 12.30pm or 3.30pm. The 3.30pm slot is only offered on certain days. Between each slot employees tidy up the mini town so the next lot of children can come into it all set up. Very well thought out. Booking is 100% advisable as they're often fully booked and will put updates to say such on their Facebook page. Pricing is reasonable with adults free, under 6 months free, none-walkers £1.50 and steady walkers £5.50. They do offer childminder packages and eat and play options for the 3.30pm slot so plenty of offers.

When we arrived 5 minutes before our time slot we waited in a little waiting room before an employee opened the door and took our name as we had pre-booked. A quick note to say there's plenty of parking on site. Harlow strutted her way into the play centre and headed straight for the mini town to find a baby doll of all things. Once she located a baby doll she decided to investigate each area within the town. It's honestly really cool and included 12 different areas. There was a vets, police station, fire station, beauty salon, hospital, construction site, petrol pumps, a cafe, supermarket, theatre with dress up zone, a stage and a disco. There was of course plenty of little cars to drive around in and not to forget a lovely soft play as well including a baby soft play area. They really have crammed so much in it's fantastic.

Like I said Little World of Play is nothing like I've seen before and having it so close is a blessing. We do love a good soft play but children can get bored so having a more imaginative play centre is fantastic. Harlow completely loved it and dragged that poor baby doll around each and every zone with her. She made her baby feel better in the hospital, took it to the supermarket to get some shopping, earned a days wage in the construction zone building a wall (not trumps) and took a trip to the beauty salon to get her hair done. Harlow really got into it and it was just lovely to watch her play. Luckily Daddy was with us too and he was dragged guided from zone to zone by Harlow's keen hands.

Little World of Play is situated in a town called Cowdenbeath which is around 10 minutes from Dunfermline, 20 minutes from Kirkcaldy, 30 minutes from Perth, 40 minutes from Edinburgh and 60 minutes from Glasgow. It really won't take long to get to at all and if you're like me you'll have travelled far and wide to sample every children's play centre within your reach!

I'd definitely recommend Little World of Play to family and friends, it's a great play centre, reasonably priced and for 2 hours you can let the tiny humans run loose and that's their imaginations too. As you can see from the photos Harlow had a brilliant time and we'll definitely be back in the near future. Hopefully next time we can go along with friends so she has a little buddy to join in the mini town fun.

Harlow received free entry into Little World of Play in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

6 November 2017

How to Encourage A Reluctant Washer to Get In The Bath!

Recently in our house it's been a bit of a nightmare to get my almost 8 year old son in the bath. He used to love bath time as a baby but now it's more like a chore for him and just another distraction on the list of things keeping him from his iPad/TV Programmes/Playing outside with friends.

It actually got to the point where I was literally having to drag him into the bath and of course he was becoming quite distressed with it all but he can't not wash. He's getting older and changing and well he really needs a good scrub after he's been running around with his friends or playing football etc.

The hubby and I finally managed to crack the bath time dread when I received some bath bombs for my birthday and the boy was intrigued by what they did. I honestly couldn't get over how quickly he jumped in the bath so from then on we've been using bath bombs from Lush to make sure he has a wash ha ha. It totally works for us and might not work for everyone and that's why I asked fellow parents what they've done to get their reluctant washers in the bath.


Victoria from The Growing Mum says: "This one might depend on the child's age but getting into the bath with my 8 month old stopped him crying immediately he was placed in it. We also played with the ducks outside of the bath so he recognised them when he was inside the bath."

Elizabeth from The Home Makers Journal says: "Make it really fun - we make it a race and see if we can do the whole bath before a timer that I set for five minutes goes off. Sometimes we’ll have a dance party shower—singing and dancing in the shower together."

Kirsty from Winnettes says: "I find music helps, any type of music, even upbeat and fast not necessarily calming music. Also having a selection of bath toys that I keep out of sight and in rotation can help with the excitement of bathtime so they are more willing to be washed."

Susan from Susan K Mann says: "Foam soap or under water lights help make it fun & different textures. Also body colour soap shows them where they’ve washed."

Alana from Baby Holiday says: "I've bought a couple of bath bombs for my boys. They love throwing them in to watch the bubbles, and it helps that the water turns a cool blue colour!"

Pete from Household Money Saving says: "When we had problems, I let my daughter choose some music she liked from YouTube. I put it on my phone and she could listen to it in the bath."

Jenny from Monkey and Mouse says: "My 6 year old loves being able to take some sort of toys into the bath, making bath paint to use on the tiles and bath bombs or similar. Anything that makes it that little bit more exciting!"

Michelle from Time and Pence says: "We bought a Tomy Foam Cone Factory. Making ice creams in the bath did the trick."

Christy from Welsh Mum says: "You can get bath lights which you drop into the water and the water really glows! I think this is a fun and easy way to get them in the tub."

Beth from Twinderelmo says: "Swimming goggles may help. My son hated getting water in his eyes so goggles made him feel “safer” plus now he likes to be able to see under the water with them."

Emma from Ready Freddie Go says: "Bath jelly! It really made baths fun for my little one again and he felt safe once more to enjoy his baths."

Jo from Ojo's World says: "My son has a *shath*, we run the shower over the bath while he's in there. Add a cup and some cheap shaving foam, to make volcanoes. Also toys that work best under running water, makes it great fun. If all else fails, a favourite film playing, we sit his tablet on the toilet or towel basket."

Sarah from Mummy Cat Notes says: "Lots of toys and I brought a couple bath bombs for them, they love it when the bath changes colour."

Claire from Bumps Babies Tots and Teens Mummy Diaries says: "Does your child have any sensory issues? Maybe introduce water play, let them take a toy of their choice (within reason) into the bath with them, lets them help run the bath, agree the temperature of the bath, let them choose wash products. Maybe experiment with bath bombs, foams, sponges, brushes etc. If still reluctant maybe try a shower or use the shower head over the bath to speed up the washing process."

Laura from Mummy Lauretta says: "We bought some of that new Palmolive chocolate shower gel and the boys can't wait to get in the bath and use it! It's smells so sickly but they love it."

Cass from Frugal Family says: "Bath crayons always used to make bathtime fun for my two - just remember to clean their 'drawings' off quite quickly afterwards or they're quite hard to get off!"


4 November 2017

Our Night in with #GoBinge

Don't you just love binge watching a new TV series or the latest Netflix hot picks like Narcos or Star Trek. If you're like me though you'll loathe having to use up any mobile data to do so and that's where Go Binge from Three comes in.

So what is it all about? It's basically a new initiative launched back in July this year by Three called Go Binge. Go Binge allows customers to use Netflix, TV Player, Dave, History, Deezer and Soundcloud without using mobile data. It's available to all new and upgrading customers on the following tariffs: All handset Advanced plans of 4GB and above. All SIMO Advanced plans of 4GB and above. All Pay monthly MBB plans of 5GB and above. Since it's only on offer on certain data allowances please do head to their website to find out more. However if you are on the right plan the excellent thing is you can stream as much as you want as long as you have some data remaining in your allowance. How totally awesome is that!

So to celebrate this amazing Go Binge offer, Three sent the hubby and I a lovely goody bag to help us binge watch some of our favourite shows. We chose a Friday night to have our night in binge as the toddler would be in her bed early (knackered from a busy toddler life week) and the boy would probably be staying at his Granny's house. Three had kindly included a fab Pizza Hut voucher for us, so not just a binge on programmes, and the other half and I decided to share it with the kids. It only made sense as there's no way we'd eat everything. Logan was very excited at the prospect of binge night so we went all out and got large stuffed crust pizzas, ice cream, cookie dough, onion rings and fries. Honestly it was a proper binge fest.

After the kids were fed and happy we sent one to bed and one to Granny's so we could get properly stuck into some binge watching time. The hubby and I snuggled up on the sofa with our cosy new #GoBinge blanket and put Narcos on. We hadn't watched the latest series so there was loads of juicy episodes to catch up on. Perfect for a binge night. Three sent us a popcorn machine too so we made our own from scratch. It was really awesome and I saved some of the popcorn maize so the kids could enjoy making and eating it too.

As you can see from the photos we had a right good time during our binge night and it's something we'll definitely be doing again. We even had a smartphone projector so we could watch our binge episodes in big screen format. When you have kids you don't often get out so a Saturday night binge watching our fav programmes and series is perfect. Even better if the hubby and I don't want to watch the same thing there's no arguing as I can simply stream my own favourite programmes with Go Binge and relax in bed.

Did you know you can also stream your favourite music without using up your data too!? Go Binge really is the way forward but please make sure and check out the Three website for further details.

This is a collaborative post with Three. All opinions are my own.

3 November 2017

Your New McDonald's at Newbridge Edinburgh

McDonald's is always a firm family favourite in our house. It's quick, easy, good value for money and is super tasty that the kids scoff it down every time. I've been going to McDonald's for years and have been taking the kids for ages. It's such a handy place to go when we're on the road, in a different part of the UK or even in a different country as you always know what you're getting. The whole family enjoy it. I was super thrilled then when McDonald's invited me along to their newly refurbished Newbridge store on the outskirts of Edinburgh to see all the fab changes that had taken place and of course make my own Big Mac!!

McDonald's have really went all out when refurbishing their stores and have definitely caught up with the future of technology going forward. I was impressed to see plenty of tablets on centralised tables for the kids, it's a fab little treat for them when visiting and makes it easier for us parents to actually order some food if they're occupied.

Speaking of making ordering easier! McDonald's have installed some new fancy self ordering machines. It's like a giant tablet computer and all you do is tap away to select your food and use your card to pay. It's great. There's so many food options and combos I didn't even know about so having a big interactive menu on hand is amazing, especially if you have fussy eaters or are counting the calories. Yes that's right it shows calories as well and if you have your hands full why not get your order delivered to your table. Total genius. I've done it a few times myself and makes such a different since Harlow's a complete diva.

Did you know if you download the new McDonald's mobile app you can even order your food before you've stepped foot in store! Once you arrive at your chosen restaurant you simply scan the special barcodes to say you've arrived and they start preparing your food straight away. You can then decide if you want to take away or sit in. It's all very handy and time saving.

Making your food to order is also a new way of thinking for McDonald's or "Made for you" as they like to call it. It means that there's no more batch cooking and food is only prepard when an order is placed when you come into store. It's still quick for the customer and I got to witness this first hand when I donned my McDonald's uniform and entered the kitchen.

Watching the McDonald's team at work was like watching a well oiled hive of super organised bees busying themselves away with everyone's orders. Each person had a specific job so they knew it inside out and was done to perfection. This also ensured no cross contamination between food either and I saw with my own eyes how all the food is individually stored, handled and discarded if it has sat for longer than the food agency standard time. McDonald's carefully manage their stock though so there is very little wastage at all. I really was very very impressed with everything and it gave me such confidence in McDonald's and how they treat their staff and customers.

Being in the kitchen was such a privilege and even better was that I got to make my very own Big Mac! I honestly was far too excited for this and couldn't wait to get stuck in. I of course made sure my hands were all washed before hand and a lovely lady showed me the whole burger making processes before I was let loose. It really was an awesome experience and one I'll never forget.

Did you also know that McDonald's at Newbridge is actually a franchise and the owner fully helps and supports local charities around the area! I thought this was lovely and such a great way to involve and aid the local community. I always feel big charities get all the press and attention so little local charities and groups need all the help they can get. Well done McDonald's, you're doing the right thing.

Overall my time at McDonald's was fabulous, the staff were so friendly and not to just me but all their customers and nothing was ever too much trouble. So if you're near Newbridge do pop in and say hello and why not try out all the new tech, it'll honestly make your life so much easier.

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with McDonald's however all opinions are my own.


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