I could have bounced to the ceiling when I was asked if I wanted to write a review of a product from http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/ they’re the epicentre of everything that is crafty, in the UK, and a company I was thoroughly excited to be able to try out something from their range of fun crafting things for children.

There were, almost definitely, things on the list of things available to chose from which were more age appropriate for Ethan but there was one item that just jumped out at me as something which would suit us just Perfectly and that was the ‘It’s My Life: Scrapbook Kit’* by Faber Castell. My Mum makes, and fills, scrapbooks as part of her crafting hobby and I do digital scrapbooking so I knew Ethan would love to join in and do something that both Mummy and Grandma already do.

 
I was instantly impressed with the kit when I took a good look at the box and saw quite how much was included in the box – 12 page book, 10 sheets of patterned paper, 50+ vellum stickers, stencils, scallop edged scissors, 2 mini envelopes, pen, photo safe glue stick, instructions plus a mini keychain scrapbook. Having some knowledge of scrapbooking I really was impressed that they’d given a really good selection of scaled down, child friendly version items inside the set.

There was, though, one glaringly obvious thing when looking at the box and that was that the kit has been aimed at girls, which may make you wonder why I’m trialling it with my son. All of the photos on the outside are of girls and the stationary is all very flowery with the stickers containing captions like ‘Girly girl’ and ‘Diva’ – As it happens, though, I would hope that most parents would be able to look past this because, crafting is for both boys and girls and why can’t boys enjoy making a book! Regardless of who it’s aimed for, I’m going to show you how it works for a boy, and Nothing detracts from the impressive quality of the kit so who cares who it’s meant to be for! 

As you may know if you know us, or if you’ve read past posts, Ethan is a big fan of pink, and flowers, and butterflies so all of those parts of the stickers and the papers were perfectly exciting to him but I did think I’d add in some of his own stickers to the mix. To be honest that could be a nice added touch for a boy or a girl, something which is even more personal to them; though I’d definitely still say to use the stickers that come with the set as they are Very good quality and the vellum means they work beautifully with the set.

Some quick photos of what’s included, for you. The quality really is lovely and it’s just so fun and exciting for children of all ages – Ethan loved looking at the stickers, they really captured his eye (that said, so did everything else in the set!)
Before we even opened the box Ethan and I sat down at the laptop to order him some photos to go in to his scrap book – I think it was such a lovely thing to do together, we went through loads of photos and had a giggle at them and decided which ones were special and which he’d like to put in his ‘special scrap book’. So our first job, once we’d got everything out, was to decide which photo would go in the cute little frame/window in the front of the book and which ones would go on our first page!
Ethan has some very good taste in papers and he chose a beautiful pink, embossed paper to make his first page. I used normal, straight scissors to cut the photos down to size and then Ethan was incredibly excited to help me, with the scallop edged scissors, cut the paper down to turn it in to a background for the photos – The scissors worked really nicely though would probably have been even easier to use without an almost-4-year-old hanging off them; but he Really enjoyed doing that part, it’s something he loves.

He also did the majority of the sticking, I made sure it went up to the edges but he slathered the paper and the photos in Plenty of glue as we didn’t want them going anywhere! Mummy helped him decide the position of the photos and he helped me to press them all down, Gently!

At this point Ethan wanted to be in another photo – That was him doing a ‘normal face’! He was having So much fun, though, he really loved doing this together and I explained to him that this would be a special book for us to add to over the future and for him to look back on when he gets bigger. I really do love the idea of doing something like this with our children, something we can make together and something that’ll be so special to them when they grow up – Ethan may be a bit young for the intended age range but he did enjoy joining in and I think it’s something we can keep adding to as time goes on, I’m so so glad we’ve started it – Photos are really important and in an age when we have everything digitally it’s amazing to have a reason to print them out and keep them somewhere really special.

Ethan chose some stickers to add to it, which really finished the page off. You can see how good quality the vellum ones are, and the fact that they’re transparent means that they work really well within this context. The example pages on the box are much more accomplished than what we made but with Ethan being so little I didn’t want to get too intricate, hopefully as he gets bigger we can do pages with more detail – That said we used almost all aspects of the set even for just this simple page!
Oh, and this gem just Had to go in to the little framed area in the front of the book – I love this idea, a fantastic way of personalising the book. It also says you can use the items from the kit to add to the outside, too, so I think that’ll be another project for the future.

If you want to do something crafty but not horrendously messy with your little ones, something that has a really nice meaning behind it and something that you can make last a really long time, then this kit is perfect. Obviously this would also work for older kids who want to do it on their own, this really would be a fabulous gift (I’m thinking of recommending it to my Mum for my step-cousin as I think she’d love it) – For £17 I think it’s a really good price, considering how much you’ll get from it. And don’t let the fact that it looks like it’s specifically for girls, put you off, I saw past that and I am glad – This kit would be lovely to share with your son too (as long as he’s not had his friends condition him to  ‘eww that’s for girls!)

I’m thrilled we have this kit, this will be an ongoing project for Ethan and I to share and a lovely way to store some memories for him as he gets bigger.

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*If the wording isn’t obvious I got sent this for the purpose of the review – That said, everything I’ve written is totally honest*

There’s been some much anticipated releases from Models Own which have, finally arrived and I wanted to show you the example of what I’ve chosen from each range. I’d have liked to have bought more but I have tried to be sensible, but we’ll see, some more shades might make their way in to my collection at some point…

Both feel very fitting for springtime and have been things I’ve been really excited about! I saw a lot about the ‘Speckled Egg’ polishes on blogs but I only saw the ‘Sticky Fingers’ in the Models Own newsletter so I didn’t know as much about it.
The shade I picked from the ‘Speckled Egg’ range is ‘Magpie’ – I loved the blue/green shade and I think it goes perfectly with the speckled effect. I do like the look of other shades from the range but this is the one that Really stood out to me, even though some of the others look much more like the lil Cadbury Mini eggs that you can get, maybe that’s why I got this one which looks more like a real egg rather than the chocolate version, less of a temptation haha! This is £5, as with the rest of the Models own polishes, but I got is in a 2 for £8 offer.
When I first heard about the ‘Sticky fingers’ range I didn’t know that they were going to include a nail polish – I did see pictures of the stickers, though, and fell in love with the ‘Pastel Petals’ design (The other options are ‘Sweet Candy’, ‘POW nails’, ‘Bows’ and ‘Blobs and drops’) – There are two options with the ‘Pastel Petals’ design, a Lilac polish or a Green polish; I went for Lilac as the shade looked really bold and vibrant which, thankfully, it is!

The set is £6 which is good value when you consider a polish alone is £5. I do quite wish, though, that you could just buy the stickers as a set on their own. The designs are So cute and I can’t wait to get using them but there isn’t tonnes of them and I’m not going to want to get a new polish every time I want new stickers – Maybe an option where you could get a few sheets of stickers for a few pounds would be Really nice! Please Models own? Please!!

I’m really in love with Models Own polishes, now, I hadn’t tried many for a while but recently my collection of them has really grown and they’re definitely in a top spot in my favourite brands – I look forward to seeing what other new releases they have in the future as they seem to have such fantastic, exciting ranges!

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I’m lucky enough to be attending the Makeup Revolution launch in a few days and I’ve been looking forward to it a Lot but since they have made their website live, before the launch, I couldn’t be More excited!

The products look Phenomenal and the shades, the prices, the packaging… I defy you to go on there and not want to spend money (as long as you’ve a beauty lover that is!) – I want to just spend the remainder of my birthday money on there – Here’s the site:

http://www.makeuprevolutionstore.com/index.php/

I was going to list what products are on my wishlist but I keep finding more and more! There’s loads of the lip products, the single shadows, merged shadows, shadow palettes, nail polishes, highlighters, concealers, primer, foundation (16 shades?!?!) – Wow, Wow, Wow

Honestly, just get on there and take a look, I am Very excited to start trying this brand out and seeing what they have to offer and I’m pretty sure you all will be too!

(I know this post sounds a bit like I’ve been asked to write it but, honestly, this is based entirely on my own, pure, unadulterated excitement!)

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I’m writing this when I’m, actually, over half way through my second week of this Slimpod* experience but I wanted to have a good experience of it and know what was happening, how I was feeling about it, before I shared it with you all.

The team at http://www.thinkingslimmer.com/ were looking for bloggers who were interested in a weight loss programme, a number of weeks ago, and I didn’t hesitate to pass my details over. This might seem an odd concept to those of you who know me, I’ve spent most of my life having people make note of how slim I am and I spent a number of years being rather under weight. But in the past few years I’ve slowly put weight on, due to not being able to exercise as much due to the fibro, and then more recently I put a bigger chunk of weight on due to some of the medication I’m on – Thankfully I managed to stop that weight increase but I also couldn’t seem to make it decrease either.

I’m still not big, I’m not the standard candidate for weight loss But I do have a real desire to become more like I used to be, to be able to feel more like myself again. My other big reason for wanting to lose weight is that I have been edging towards the very top end of a size 10 and going over in to a size 12 with some things (Really not That big, I know, but bigger than my whole wardrobe full of clothes is!) and there’s one, very special, bit of clothing which I ordered in a size 10 and I want to be able to fit it, comfortably – And that’s my wedding dress.

Although I am smaller than the people that the people at Thinking Slimmer normally deal with, my reasons for wanting to lose weight and the reasons why I struggle are something that they really felt they could help with and they accepted me as one of the bloggers that they’d work with. I was thrilled!

Now, with the ramble over, you’re probably wondering what a Slimpod is? No, I’m not taking crazy supplements or doing a crash diet, there’s no terrifying ab busting exercises, it’s all much simpler than that.
The idea is that you listen, every day, to a recording that’s around ten minutes long and that recording is supposed to help you think differently about food. Sceptical? Yes, I was too, I’ve never really experienced anything like this before and most of us are quite quick to dismiss this sort of thing, but I was intrigued as to what would happen so I opened my mind right up and embraced the idea that this thing could work!

I’ve  been given a very specific recording which is supposed to help you fit in to your wedding dress – I have listened to it every night for eleven nights as I lay in bed ready to sleep; some nights I fall asleep listening to it but they say that that’s ok as your mind is still listening.

As a sceptic I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really was hoping for something positive to happen and, I have to be honest with you, it has. I haven’t stopped wanting to pick up a snack in the evening but I have started thinking ‘Hrm, not yet’ and then I just end up not doing it, I think I’ve had one, maybe two special treats since I started the programme and that’s really ok with me. I’ve found it Much easier to feel full on smaller portions and I’ve found myself reaching for fruit more often.

Is this happening because I expect/want it to? Well maybe. But I have been trying for Months and months to persuade myself to cut down on snacks and to remember how to eat smaller portions and I’d already started on the smaller portions but I kept reverting back to eating snacks in the evening as the meds had my appetite elevated and, also, it was habit! So even if it is ‘because I expect it to’ there’s definitely something that’s actually helping my resolve, I don’t seem to need willpower any more because I just end up not being bothered instead.

Now we’re not meant to be focusing on the scales but I have weighed myself since I started and I’ve lost 4lb and kept them off (My weight has fluctuated up and down by 2lb for weeks recently and it was driving me mad) – Only half a stone to go, now, and I’ll be at my happy weight. But, more importantly, I fit in to a pair of jeans I didn’t expect to fit in to when out shopping, and I don’t feel bloated all the time, fantastic!

I think you’ll understand why my word to sum up my experience, so far, is ‘Hopeful’ – I’ve already experienced some good, I just really hope I can carry on doing so and get myself back to feeling like I used to, and then keep myself there, too. 

To keep up-to-date don’t forget to follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter @petitmoi_bigworld

*I was sent my Slimpod and have had my involvement with the programme free of charge in order to review it. Despite this, everything I’ve written is entirely honest*

Yup, long title but I wanted to make sure you saw How many amazing things Barry M have been doing – Honestly I’m constantly adding something else by Barry M on to my Wishlist because it’s been an endless line of exciting, beautiful looking products! Needless to say I’ve been rather happy to be able to get them in my hands and look at them and go ‘ooooooh’

Just Look! So many beautiful things all in one photo! You can see why I’ve been so excited, I just didn’t know which one to play with first!
Just look at those sugary pale pastel shades! Sugary sounds odd but it’s the only way I can describe them! The moment I saw these three new shades I knew I had to have them, I’ve loved the Gelly Hi Shines ever since they came out last year and I think these shades are Exactly what the collection was missing. I see these as being a big deal this spring/summer.

From left to right we have ‘Huckleberry’, ‘Sugar Apple’ and ‘Rose Hip’

The Aquarium collection features three aqua toned polishes and three pink/red toned ones – There’s four duo toned polishes and two foil glitters. The two that leapt out to me are those above, on the left is ‘Treasure Chest’ and on the right ‘Caspian’. I absolutely love the large particles of foil like glitter in the gold and rosegold tones in ‘Treasure chest’ and then the pink/gold duo tones of ‘Caspian’ just make for a stunning rose gold effect. I am Very tempted by some of the aqua toned ones, too, so watch this space!
I already had the blue and green toned shades from the Silk range but I needed another shade to fit with the special offers I was taking up when I was ordering – ‘Truffle’ is one of the shades I wanted, initially, when I saw the Silk range but I didn’t get it because I already have lots of neutrals. I am so glad that I ordered this one, too, it’s beautiful. These polishes are amazing, matte and pearl at the Same time! I think ‘Meadow’, the green shade, will be a real go to shade for this spring – See my Instagram pic of it here – http://instagram.com/p/lPtisOM0hH/
When I heard that Barry M were going to release a Gelly Hi Shine range for lips I was very very intrigued, I loved the idea behind them and the continuation of the Hi Shine collection.

The shades I picked are ‘Alpha’ (top) and ‘Sirius’ (bottom)

As you can see ‘Alpha’ is incredibly pigmented – It’s a beautiful orange toned red and I like it rather a lot! 

This is it from another angle so that you can see the shine aspect. The softness of these is incredible, they really do feel like ‘gelly’ – So so beautiful! 

‘Sirius’ is a much more sheer offering and, as you can see, has a much more ‘gelly’ like look to it. It has the same, gorgeous, texture as the other shade and it goes on beautifully.
As you can see, this one has a nice shine to it, too. It’s a really wearable shade and the slight raspberry tones to it make it look just beautiful on the lips. I’m going to try and get some on the lip swatches of these done, for you, soon!

So, yes, some fabulous new products from Barry M at the moment! 

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