Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Been in a+e

I've got a whole tonne of posts I want to get written up, they're all quite late, already, after taking some time out to do some writing, but they may be delayed a little more now.

I passed out on the way to taking Ethan to nursery, was out for about 20 minutes to half an hour and was woken by paramedics. I've got a nasty cut on my head and sore elbows but nothing too scary. I'm feeling pretty rubbish now so I'm probably going to be quiet for a day or two. I've got posts scheduled for tomorrow but most of my posts are going to be quite out of date, though I still want to do them

My recent buy with my Birchbox reward points - The Balm

One of the reasons I was so so pleased to see The Balm blush sample in this months Birchbox (HERE) is because it meant that there would be some products by The Balm appearing in the Birchbox shop and I just happened to have £10 worth of reward points to spend!

I really didn't expect the exact item I wanted from them to be available, but to be able to get anything from them with a £10 reduction and free p+p was a really exciting concept.

Turns out I was wrong, the item I wanted Was available and, so, I was able to get The Balm's 'Mary-Lou Manizer' highlight powder for £5 with free p+p!

I've wanted this for quite a long time and every time I see another blogger post about it it makes me want it more and more so I am soo pleased to have been able to get it, and for such a bargain too!

It might not look like much but it's absolutely Stunning! 

 Another little added bonus is that I was sent a free pair of eye lash curlers and one of the little mirrors that are available in the Birchbox shop, due to a very good promotion running. 

I already have the mirror so I'm thinking that this second one might be a lovely addition to a future give-away! Yup, more potential goodies for someone to win! 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Fun at the library

I posted, a couple of months ago, about the group that Ethan's been going to at our local library. Sadly it's closed for the holidays, now, as Ethan's going to really miss going. I'm not sure if he'll be at nursery when it's running, once it starts back up again, but I'm hoping to time things that he can start going again once it begins again.

The group is totally free and the children have stories read to them, play with various toys, sing and dance and also have a crafty sticking and/or colouring exercise to do each week. It's just so fantastic what's available if you're lucky enough in your area and if you are able to find out about what's going on locally.

These are just a couple of my favourite things he's come back from the library with. I've got a whole collection of drawings, or things he's made and it's just lovely that this is provided, for free, for local pre-schoolers! 

Honestly, check out if there's something similar in your local area! 

Monday, 29 July 2013

Superdrug have released MUA's One Direction Range with free p+p

Superdrug have announced that they've released the One Direction range by MUA onto their website already.

The cheek products aren't in stock and I predict the lip sticks, balms and nail polishes going out of stock soon too

Annnd as if that's not enough,  Superdrug have free uk p+p until the 30th of this month!)

I've ordered two lipsticks and hoping the cheek tints come into stock soon. Watch this space for swatches!

The Goodness Gang - Encourage your little ones to love fruit and veggies

When we were in Co-op a while ago we saw that they had a big display of fruit and veggie stuffed toys and were, immediately, intrigued. The lady on the till explained the concept to us and we duly started hoarding stickers. You are awarded a sticker per £5 that you spend at the Co-op and once you get 20 you can buy one of the Goodness Gang toys for £1 each rather than the £10 retail value that they hold.

I expected it to take us Ages to get enough for just one toy but that's to the kindness and generosity of a whole load of people, Ethan's lucky enough to have Three of the toys!

We have Charlie Carrot, Sally Strawberry and Ben Banana and they are very, very loved. They're lovely, big, soft toys with sweet, happy faces and Ethan fell in love with each and every one of them when he got them.

Are these going to make your children suddenly want to eat loads of fruit and vegetables? Well I think that depends on the child. It's hardly going to make the fussiest of eaters suddenly open to their sprouts and cabbage but I do think that it helps to form a much happier image of them and make them much more familiar with them.

And if not? Well it's a fantastic offer to get some lovely stuffed toys for your children!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Our Play Foam bargain and first impressions / Mini review!

I follow a company called 'Learning Resources' on facebook (HERE) and enjoy checking out the items they have for sale as they often have some really interesting buys. I was, though, astounded when a comment popped up on my news feed that they had a sale running which had marked down the 'Creativity Kit' by 'Play Foam' from the £20 mark to a little over £4. When I went on the site I expected to be paying a chunk of p+p costs but was amazed to see that they had a free p+p code too, absolutely unbelievable bargain!

The service from Learning resources was great and they responded with lovely comments when I posted on their facebook. Our order, also, arrived really really quickly! Instantly Ethan was fixated on what the set was, what he could do with it and when he could play with it - That's always a good start!

The kit comes with 9 big blocks of play foam, all in different colours and some with glitter in too. To go with the set is some basic crafting bits and bobs; some lolly pop sticks, googly eyes, some thread, some pom poms etc. The size of the kit, and what comes with it, is further proof of how much of a bargain this was! 

If you don't know what play foam is, the best way to describe it is little white balls suspended in sticky, malleable stuff. Yup, you can see my english degree at work right there, can't you. 

Ok so the stuff isn't easy to explain but it's, basically, brilliant. It's really really easy to squash up, mould into different shapes and just has a really satisfying feeling to it. Plus, their main claim, is that it never dries out! 

Being the mean, and sensible Mummy that I am, I suggested that we only play with the one colour to start with, just to get used to the stuff and to make sure we weren't going to wreck it straight away, etc. But despite that we still had Loads of fun playing with it! 

Ethan wanted me to make him a bunny so, of course, I obliged. I don't actually think it's too bad a resemblance! 

And Ethan believed in it enough that he had fun bouncing it around the table... until he decided to destroy it. Yup, those toddler urges are strong.

He was very, very proud of his pineapple! 

And this was his dessert island after one of the trees fell down. He actually made a whole series of islands and decided it was where Abney and Teal live and happily played out some imaginary stories with just some blobs of play foam! 

Blowing out the candles on the birthday cake he made. He spent a lot of time rolling the pieces into sausage shapes for the candles and it was a great effort for a little boy who's often a bit funny about textures and tactile things. 

And, lastly, our mono coloured burger! Ethan didn't mind though, he thought it was fab regardless. 

I think these photos show how fantastic this stuff is, really. When you consider we only used one colour and a lot of imagination, Ethan did so much and 'made' so much. So just think how much more could be done with two, three, four colours and then the added accessories too. 

This toy was great fun for a little one of Ethan's age, but it'd be equally fun for an older child who's more competent at building figures, making more realistic shapes etc. I enjoyed it so I think that this would appeal to a whole range of ages and is just amazing stuff. 

And does it dry out? Well this ball of the stuff has been in a food bag since we played with it and it's just fine. Very impressed! 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Bing: Get Dressed - Book Review and Give-away!

Recently I was really pleased to be contacted about the idea of getting a book to review on my beloved blog, and also being able to run a give-away for one of my lovely readers to be able to win a copy of the same book. Soo I'm going to talk about the book first, and let you know what we thought of it and then I'll explain the details of the give-away at the end of the post. 

The book we received is 'Bing: Get Dressed' by Ted Dewan and we've enjoyed reading it a few times already. As you can tell from the title, the main theme of the story is how to get dressed and, as such, it's aimed at pre-schoolers so it was absolutely perfect for Ethan. Especially as we've been, recently, practicing how to get his clothes on himself.

This book was originally released in 2003 but is being released soon, on the 1st August. You can pre-order your own copy on for £5.94 unless you're lucky enough to win the copy we're giving away on here, of course!

The first thing that struck me, and Ethan too, was the animation. Ethan immediately picked up the book and sat looking at the really cute, well illustrated and very captivating pictures long before he actually let me read the story to him! The two characters, Bing bunny, and his friend Flop are just so nicely illustrated and the images have a beautiful textured look to them that really make them stand out in comparison to a lot of the other children's books you can see on the market at the moment. 

I'm thankful, every day, that Ethan loves books - It's something which matters so much to me and, luckily, he can't get enough of sitting and reading stories to himself or being read to by someone else. 

Ethan really enjoyed this story. It had the instructional quality of 'putting on your pants', 'putting on your socks' etc. and we discussed each stage and related it to Ethan's life and the things he was wearing that day. But then when we reach the page where, Oh No, Bing has forgotten to put his dungarees on before his shoes, Ethan got really excited and giggled quite a good deal. Admittedly, some of that is to do with the emphasis and enthusiasm I try to put into a story when I read to him, but just look at the pages above, it's such a good story to get excited about, even if it is just getting dressed! 

Once Bing has, finally, got himself dressed, it's time for a little twist in the tale. Poor Bing has an accident.

At first I wasn't sure what to make of this, as a part of the story, as it came from nowhere and I wasn't sure if it was the right way to approach this sort of thing with little ones. But, when I really thought about it, and read the book through, again, I decided that it actually Was the perfect way to approach it as, of course, these things do come out of nowhere, the illustrations clearly show that Bing is sad, so it's not condoning it exactly, but then it also reassures him 'Don't worry Bing. It's no big thing' I think that this could work really well to aim to allow our little one's to let go of some of the pressure and stress which can be built up from the tension of potty training. Let's, definitely, remind them that it really is 'No big thing' - If it's ok for Bing bunny then it's ok for them too!

Ethan and I really chatted about this bit as he's very reluctant to even start potty training so this book came at the perfect time for us. We said 'aww' when poor Bing had his accident but perked up when everything was sorted out again. And since we've read the book, whenever we talk about going to the potty and nappies and things Ethan will say 'Yes, like in the bunny book' so I know it's definitely stuck with him, and in a positive way too. 

We've really enjoyed reading this story, the illustrations, the fun and the educational all in one. And I defy you to not love Bing bunny! (How could you not?!)

*****                                                                                                                                                                                                       *****

A long post. I know, but I want to make sure that this book gets the praise that it deserves! So, on to the give-away part.

It's a simple give-away, using rafflecopter, the only mandatory thing is that you follow my blog via GFC (If you're not sure how then click HERE) and all other entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It's running for two weeks and once a winner has been drawn I'll get in touch to find out your address which I will then send off to the lovely people who sent me the book in order for them to send it on to you (So, yes, I will have to share your details with this company, but only for the reason of getting the prize sent off to you)

You'll have 48 hours to get back to me from when I e-mail you/tweet you and if you don't respond then I'll draw another winner.

The giveaway is UK only, so please please only enter if you're in the UK, if I draw you and you aren't then you won't be able to get the prize.

- This post contains a PR sample: Please see disclaimer here

An Elf haul from their free p+p offer

I ordered some bits when Elf had a free p+p promotion going a couple of weeks ago. I actually ordered this before I knew I was going to be able to get my boots and escentuals hauls (from last week and earlier this week), this was just going to be bought with normal money as there's been some elf bits I've wanted for a bit and are always out of stock, plus I wanted to try some of their new lip products too. I love how £15 can get you so much from elf, especially with the free p+p too.

A little bit of a lip product overload, oops! 

I got two of the new jumbo lip gloss sticks in Coco Loco and Tiki Torches which were £2.50 each (these were the new products I wanted to try) 

I also got four more lip products from their essentials range, two lipsticks in Nostalgic and Captivating which were £1.50 each and I also got two of the liquid lipsticks in Strawberry and Raspberry which were also £1.50 each. 

The two items at the bottom were the ones that are, normally, out of stock. I've wanted to try their maximum coverage concealer ever since I made my first elf order but it's always been out of stock in porcelain and it being in stock was the thing that pushed me to make the order during the promotion (this cost £3.75). I also wanted to try their essentials range eye primer. I've tried their minerals one which I like but I've heard really good things about the essentials one and for £1.50 it seemed well worth trying! 

Friday, 26 July 2013

Graze Goodybox - A graze box for little ones!

I've been getting graze boxes for quite a while now, and I was lucky enough to get a referral code for their breakfast range too which has been really nice to try. As such I was really pleased when I saw they were going to do a box for children.

When they announced that the box was going to be released I eagerly put my email address down for further information. Needless to say I was very pleased to discover that my eagerness meant that we got our first 'Goodybox' for free (all people who signed up for future info did, yay)

Ethan loves seeing what my mum and I get in our boxes and he really loves 'helping' us make sure we get everything eaten. So when I told him he was getting his own graze box he was so so excited.

The range of snack punnets which are available for little ones seems to be a really good selection to start with, it's not massive but has a nice mixture of fruity things, savoury and a couple of more sweet things too. Ethan got four punnets which display that quite nicely.

He got 'Say Cheese' which is cheesey croutons and mini tomato breadsticks, he got 'Fruit Tumble' which is mini strawberries, pineapple and lime infused raisins, 'Golden Flapjack' and 'Salsa face' which is tortilla chips and a tomato salsa dip.

He really enjoyed picking which one to eat. It was very difficult explaining that he couldn't have them all on the first day but I didn't want him to overload on snacks and I wanted his enjoyment to last so he had one a day, for four days, after his lunch. It was a great incentive to eat his lunch nicely (which  he normally does anyway, but nothing wrong with a bit of an extra help!)

He opted for the tortilla dipping one first, the next day was flap jack, then fruit and lastly the cracker selection. 

He really enjoyed all of them and he surprised me with the dried strawberry as I expected him to be a bit fussy with that; he didn't manage to finish all of the raisins, though as he insisted on eating each different type of fruit separately so I think the raisins were a little overpowering on their own, eaten all at once.

The moment he finished his last one, he asked if we'd get another graze box tomorrow, he really did love them. The children's boxes are £3.89 which, I think, is the same as adult boxes (mine are cheaper as they're the same price as when I started). They're not cheap but, whilst we're still living with my mum I think I'll get him one a month so he can have that to enjoy. 

Ethan and I both liked the little mouth detail on the box. I think that Grazebox have done a good job with these. They encourage little ones to try new things, and the whole point of graze box is that the snacks are of a more healthy persuasion than you're normal crisps and biscuits so I think that makes them just right for youngsters. Obviously if you have a really little one then you need to consider salt content etc and potential allergies - These, clearly, aren't things that stop being an issue once they're older but it's easier to have a handle on it once they are. 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

60% off at ELF

I've just, recently,  had an order from ELF (post going up soon) so this isn't going to be any good for me but anyone who wants some bits from the ELF site they're currently running a 60% promotion - - There's a code on the site to put in at check-out and you can take advantage of this amaaaazing bargain!

Poundland and primark haul - July 2013

I know lots of people are fans of Primark and Poundland hauls so I thought I'd share what I got when we did our bit of shopping when Azii and I had the afternoon together. It was sooo nice being able to go around Primark without having to worry about Ethan getting bored. I didn't buy much but it was a lovely experience, stress free shopping, I'd forgotten what that was like! 

I absolutely love this little compact mirror. I have various mirrors floating around but this is, by far, by favourite ever. It was £1 from Primark and is soo pretty and so sturdy especially considering the price. Azii actually spotted this, yup, I was impressed too!

All of the clothes are really creased in these photos, sorry, they'd been left in a bag longer than normal. This pretty floral/rose print top is in a shiny, sheer fabric which is soo light for the summer. It's longer at the back than the front and looks so nice with skinny jeans. It was a bargain at £4.

Another absolute bargain £5 primark dress. This one was a total no brainer - It's a light cotton fabric in the front but the panel at the back, above the cinched waist, is lace. It's a skater style and the light fabric makes it really nice and floaty. It's a really comfortable dress and just, so so pretty. I'm wearing it today and I love it. 

I've actually already got one of these shirts. They're sleeveless and really long, the fabric is very sheer so they wear nicely with skinny jeans and a vest underneath (or not depending on how you want to wear it) - I bought this simply because it was marked down to £2 and the first one I have is so comfortable and easy to wear. 

 We weren't going to go to poundland as I didn't Need any bargain cosmetics. But we were near by, and you know what it's like! I'm so pleased we did go, the bargains I got were well worth it! Make-up wise, the one on the left is a bronzer and blush duo by Milani (which I Believe you can only get in the US?) and the one on the right is a single eyeshadow by Famous by Sue Moxley which is a lovely dark taupey colour and is a really nice shadow.

I'd been looking to get some of the strawberry cream dairy milk but whenever I went to a shop it wasn't there so I was Very pleased to see it in poundland (SO tasty too!)

Lastly we got two dvds. I couldn't believe that they were in there, there's often some half decent films in poundland but I was surprised to see these two in there. We got 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning' and 'Halloween II' (the remake version) - They may turn out to be rubbish films but for £1 each it's hardly going to be a shame if they do!

Some proper bargains from both Poundland and Primark on this shopping trip!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Our 'first date'

Yup, you read that right, I'm writing about mine and Azii's first date. And, no, I don't mean I'm reminiscing about the past, we had our first 'real' date a couple of weeks ago.

The first time we met we went for a coffee and walked around town a bit but it wasn't so much a date as a 'just checking we get along in real life like we do online' (Yup, we met via online dating).

And since then, due to the fact that I was a single parent when we met, where my house is and how difficult for me to get to town and the fact that we lived an hours train ride away from each other, we didn't really get to 'date' in the obvious way. We were pretty much forced into living 'real life' from the outset. To be honest, I'd not have had it any other way, it worked just fine for us and we're where we are now.

But, it is a bit weird that we've been back together over a year (long story), we live together and we're getting married next year, but we've never had a real date! I know that stuff doesn't really matter, but we've never even been for a meal together or the cinema!

Clearly, that had to change.

So, when Azii had some time off a couple of weeks ago, we had an afternoon together whilst Ethan was at nursery, followed by an evening out together whilst my mum had him after nursery and did his dinner and bed.

Ok, so we weren't exactly very daring and didn't do anything particularly exciting. But we did the sorts of things we wished we'd have been able to do throughout our time together, especially when getting to know each other.

We had to 'go for coffee' of course the weather was boiling so that became cookie, mocha frappacino thingys. But they were very very tasty, even if it did give us brain freeze (which turned into a full on headache for me).  Also, this was a bargain as I'd previously got a groupon which got me £10 credit at Starbucks for only £5 (plus about 30p back to topcashback)

We also went around loads of shops (A poundland and primark haul will follow). The most exciting shop, for us, though was going to Waterstones. Yup, book shopping. We didn't actually buy anything as it would've been a lot to carry around, but neither of us had had the chance to just browse in a book shop for the longest of time. And we're both utter book worms. Plus the air con was heavenly! 

We'd never been to the cinema together and I'd not been to the cinema at all for over a year. So we took advantage of orange wednesday (and spent the money we saved on the second ticket on pop corn!) and we went to see World War Z. It was a really good film, might not seem very 'date' like to most but I'm a horror movie sort of gal and Azii is a total zombie obsessive! 

Lastly we went to Frankie and Benniest and shared a pizza and fries which was good. We Like pizza... in fact Azii Really likes pizza.

Unfortunately we'd also had to stop off at Tesco on the way to F+B's as my headache was getting really bad and I needed extra meds to add to my regular ones. But hey, that's what a date with a fibro sufferer is like, and Azii's more than aware of that.
We didn't do anything groundbreaking and we were home by 10 but we really had such a nice time being able to spend time together, out of the house. Doing 'normal' non parenty stuff. 

Once we move out of my mums we won't be able to do these things so easily so, hopefully, we're going to take advantage of orange wednesdays a few more times before we move out. Give ourselves some grown up time. We both love being parents but it's nice to have some non-parent time too! 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Your Tea's - 14 day Tiny Tea Teatox - Introduction and First impressions

**Update - This is my intro post - Please do read on so that you can understand why I'm did the teatox, my expectations etc. BUT I've started and finished my Teatox now so to see my Day one Post click HERE and to see my end of the Teatox post click HERE**

I saw mention of the 'Tiny Tea Teatox' a couple of months ago and it sparked my interest. Rather than conventional 'dieting teas' that you may be familiar with, the Tiny Tea Teatox doesn't have a laxative effect, it is aimed at helping digestion which, in turn, helps with how our body processes our food. I'm not going to explain a Lot about what it aims to do as they have a fantastic website with really comprehensive information on there and they can, without a doubt, explain it better than I can. So, if you want to know more, click HERE.

I got in touch with the lovely people over at 'Your Tea' after reading the way in which this tea works as I wondered if it would be able to help with my fibro - I have some big problems with digestion, related to the fibro, and also I read that the tea can help with energy too and that's something that I lack due to the fibro too. Not to mention that, now that the fibro is as bad as it is, I've put on some weight so I'd love to see if this can help do something about that.

I explained the fibro to the team and asked them if they thought that their tea would be helpful to me. I was only making an enquiry as they didn't ship internationally, but I was interested for when they did. After being asked to get back in touch with them towards the end of June, I spoke to them again, recently, and they were so lovely and have sent me one of their 14 day teatox's to try out and report back to you guys as to what it does for me!

They still don't ship internationally, but are taking pre-orders so that when they do start to ship internationally on the 9th of September they can start sending orders out straight away. I wanted to get that in there towards the beginning to save any confusion - The great thing is is that gives me time to try the tea out, let you know what I think and then you can pre-order and get some yourselves if you're interested.

I absolutely love the packaging that the tea came in. The box is just beautiful and the design is stunning. I know these things aren't of utmost importance but it definitely gives an impression of a company and, for me, the packaging of this gives a Great impression. 

I'm not going to be starting my 'Teatox' straight away as I want to time it to be after a certain time of the month so that I can avoid the inevitable bloating that takes part then and give it a chance on a more even starting point. 

Once I start I'll be drinking the tea 30 minutes before all three meals of the day, for 14 days. The results I've seen from other people make me so so excited to try this out. My diet isn't perfect but it's not bad either. I've let it slip for the past few months so whilst I'm getting ready to start the 'teatox' I'm going to get my diet back into a better shape which will put me in the best position to lose weight, and then maintain that once the teatox has finished. 

So, watch this space. I can't wait to let you all know how I'm getting on with this. I think this will appeal to those of you here for beauty, those of you who're parents and those of you here for the fibro aspects of things, too, so I'm so pleased to let you all know what I think and how this works out for me.

Thanks again to the lovely team over at Your Tea for all their help and for asking me to test and review the tea!

This post contains pr samples, please see disclaimer here.

Latest In Beauty - Ultimate Summer Nails Box

A wee while ago Latest in Beauty released the Ultimate Summer Nails box with You magazine. I somehow missed the original email announcing the box, which is odd as LIB e-mails are some of the only ones I always read, but either way, by the time I knew the box was out, it was Sold Out!

When you see what's in this box, and what it cost, you'll know why I was gutted to have missed out. The team were lovely, though, and told those of us who'd missed out to pop on to the site and register our email addresses as being interested if the box came back in to stock.

Quite a bit later and I'd pretty much given up on it coming back into stock, until I got an email the other day! Yay!

The  box cost £14.95 including p+p which is a fantastic price. It came in the standard, Latest in Beauty boxes which they use now (The boxes are lovely, and really sturdy, I used an old one to post the package of things for my blog swap and it was a great size and plenty strong enough once packaged up in parcel paper)

And This lovely lot is what comes in the box - Safe to say it's very, very good value for money. The Butter London polishes, alone, tend to retail for £11 or £12 and the Bourjois nail polish remover pot is £4.99 so those items, alone, more than cover the cost of the box. 

I've wanted to try this for ages but I always end up persuading myself that it's so much more sensible to stick with the cotton wool and polish remover. I'm soo glad I've got it now, so I can try it out. I've heard such good things about it and, as someone who polishes my nails a Lot, I think it's going to come in handy. 

The more Nails Inc polishes I get the more I love them. I already have Notting Hill Gate from a previous box so I think this little beauty will be going into a give-away in the future! I have been wanting to try out the Caviar top coat for a while, though, so I am looking forward to trying out this mini once my current top coat is finished with. 

This is my first ever Butter London nail polish and I'm a bit crazy excited just to own it. I don't know why, it's just a brand that's a little harder to get hold of, and a lot more expensive than my normal purchases. This shade is 'Yummy Mummy' and it's a gorgeous toffee, nude colour with a slight pearlescent shimmer to it. Looking forward to trying it out. 

I've never used a product like these Essie nail stickers before but I'm very interested to see how they work out. I'm not crazy about the design but it's nice enough and I am looking forward to having a play around with them. A good addition to the box, in order to keep it varied.

I've got a couple of samples of this L'occitane hand cream in my sample boxes but this is quite a nice sized tube to get in a box. Who doesn't need hand cream?! I don't use hand cream anywhere near as much as I should but when I do remember I go through it quickly so this will be a great addition to my collection. 

What would a nail box be without an emery board? This pretty, floral one is by The Vintage Cosmetics company which is a brand I really like. I have a few of their items thanks to previous Latest in Beauty boxes so I'm happy to receive something else to that collection. Ok, so emery boards don't Need to be pretty but it definitely doesn't hurt when they are! 

I go through some series phases when it comes to my nail polish and it's often dictated by the level of dexterity that I have in my fingers. On bad days I tend to make a lot of mistakes and so this Nail varnish corrector pen by Rituals could come in handy. I've ummed and aahed over getting corrector pens before and always thought they might just dry out but I've heard some good things about this particular one so I look forward to giving it a run for its money when I'm having some less precise nail days. 

The overall value of this box is so impressive, the range of products is great, the brands are just amazing considering the price. I am looking forward to using each of these products and am so so glad I put myself on the waiting list for this box. It was well worth the cost and the wait! Another successful box from Latest in Beauty, can't wait to see what they come up with next! 

Monday, 22 July 2013

Benefits 'Benefayre' in Birmingham on the 20th July - Fun for the whole family!

Last week I heard, via the official facebook page, that Benefit were touring the country with their 'Benefayre'; a pretty pink, summer fayre to raise money for the charity Refuge (please take a look, it's a very very worthy charity who support people when they've suffered domestic violence)

When I found out that the Benefayre was going to be at Birmingham on Saturday the 20th I was a bit excited as Azii and I had been, already, talking about taking Ethan on the train to Brum as a reward if he was well behaved that week. Couldn't have worked out any better!

Going on the train is pretty much Ethan's favourite thing. He's absolutely obsessed with trains and he spends the whole train journey sat, looking out of the window, getting really excited and telling me everything he can see. He likes to have his 'own' ticket (Thankfully Azii had old ones in his wallet) and he enjoyed showing Baby bear the things out of the window too. He was so sweet and well behaved. Kid is obsessed. 

Birmingham was really busy and there was a really high police presence due to some less than desirable protests going on in the centre, but as the Benefayre was on near the Bullring we managed to avoid all of that. When we arrived we spotted a lovely fenced off area where you could see the pink, fun looking stalls and games all set up inside. I wasn't really sure about taking Ethan in, but as I was quite nervous about being in Birmingham on my own Azii and Ethan stayed with me. And I'm so glad they did, Ethan had so much fun.

We were greeted by some lovely ladies who explained what they were doing, about the charity, and about the token system. We bought a load of tokens (£1 each with the whole of the proceeds going towards the charity) and we made our way in.

First things first we just Had to get Ethan's face painted. He wanted to be a cat and I think it's safe to say he was the cutest cat around. He has been wanting to have his face painted for ages so I was so pleased we were able to get it done. He sat really nicely and the lady was so lovely and clearly really good at dealing with youngsters. Ethan's was a really simple design, as you can see, but there was a couple of older children there, too and they had some really gorgeous, intricate designs. 

The queue for getting a make-over was the longest and no surprise, it only cost two tokens (£2) and allowed you to have a make-over by their lovely make-up artists with Benefit products! I didn't get that done as I knew that Ethan would hate waiting around with such a long queue.

So... we moved on to the games! We spent all but one of our tokens playing hook a pink duck in the beautiful pink fountain, a 'They're real' mascara hoopla, a throwing game knocking over 'Stay flawless' pins and a shooting game shooting down  lemons at the porefessional stall.

Most of our tokens went on hook a duck as Ethan loves the game (though kept having to be reminded he couldn't keep a duck)

I'm not a fan of children playing with guns but within this context it felt ok and Ethan really wanted to get involved with everything. Being the uber gamer dude that he is Azii was rather good at the shooting game.

None of us were so good at the hoopla, especially Ethan who threw his hoops towards the people behind us not the actual stalls (luckily he didn't throw very far, sort of just dropped them really)

We all did really well at the throwing. And the guy at this stall was nice enough to let Ethan think he'd knocked over Allll of the pins (The man didn't help at all, of course!)

Everyone who was working at the fayre was just so so lovely and they were so good with Ethan, talking to him and letting him get involved with the games. We were there for me but Ethan had the most fun and it was a shame to not see that many children there when we were there (Hopefully there was plenty of others before and after we went).

These are most of the lovely things we won at the different games. A couple of which will be making their way to a give-away coming soon! 

We also won two of these Fab 'Spy Gal' comics which are the second edition made for Benefit, featuring the character from the front of the porefessional. Azii and I were both Very Very impressed that this had been made by Marvel!

Our last token went towards getting our photo done at the photo booth. Three-year-olds and photo booths aren't so easy. In all of the ones where I was smiling, Ethan hid his face. Finally we got him to smile and I was looking pretty fed up, that's just the way that it goes, though, and at least Ethan looks happy!

I know this has been a long post, but I wanted to urge you to check out the Benefit facebook page and see when the other Benefayre's are going to be. It was lots of fun and such a fantastic idea for raising money for a really, really, worthy cause. And for those of you that have little ones, it may be about cosmetics but they'll have tonnes of fun too!