Sunday, 30 November 2014

Win a Years supply of Beverly Hills 'Perfect White - Black Toothpaste' this Christmas

I've been given the chance to let one of you lovely people win a years supply of the Beverly Hills 'Perfect White - Black Toothpaste' which is rather cool. I'm not a big fan of whitening toothpastes but you may remember my review of this particular toothpaste and I really rather love it so I'm really glad I can offer one of you the chance to win a years worth (10 tubes)!

Check out my review, here, if you want to see what I thought:

Anyway, normal rules, enter via the rafflecopter, the T&C's will be below and good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

- You must be 18 or over to enter the giveaway
- The Giveaway is open within the UK only
- The winner will be picked, randomly, via Rafflecopter
- I will need to pass the winners details on to the company who I'm running this giveaway with, for them to sort out your prize.
- The winner will have 28 days to respond to my email informing them of the win, if they do not respond another winner will be drawn.
- There will be one winner (of 10 tubes of toothpaste)
- The giveaway runs until midnight on 13th December 2014

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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Treat someone you love with a gift from Clarins this Christmas

If you asked any beauty addict if they'd like some Clarins products for Christmas, odds are you'll get a resounding yes! When it comes to Christmas it's a great opportunity to gift something to someone that they might, ordinarily, have not tried. For some, higher end brands are a little out of budget and, for others, they may have the budget but just not have got around to trying everything they want to (hard to believe, though it is, beauty addicts don't always own Everything... even if it sometimes seems like it, hehe)

A fantastic way to experiment with a brand is via miniatures and sample sizes - Clarins is one of many brands that offers up gift sets which make the perfect gift for the beauty lover in your life that wants to try things out before investing in a full size. 

Friday, 28 November 2014

Degustabox unboxing for November 2014

It's Degustabox time! It's only my second box but I was really excited once I found out that it was coming - Food is good, and the idea of getting something new, and different every month is just lovely, really exciting. I can imagine that if you've got a really simple diet it'd be a really good way to mix things up a bit, and with the boxes being £12.99 a month, with p+p included, hopefully it'd be an affordable way to keep things interesting.

If you decide you want to sub then the code '03E7G' will get you £3 off when you subscribe, making the box £9.99! 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

My Children's Gift Guide for this Christmas

It's safe to say that when it comes to Christmas there's an absolute abundance of gift ideas for Children - I could be here for weeks just finding more and more things which could make your little one's Christmas that little bit more perfect, at the end of the day, it's endless! What I have got is a few ideas, some toys, some cuddly toys, some books and some dvds which will be bound to put a smile on the face of many children over the festive period.

'The Dinosaur that Pooped...' series by by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter - Review and Christmas Giveaway!

Just in time for Christmas I have three rather naughty, but also quite clever and very very funny books to show you (and at the end you'll have a chance to win your own set). Quite some time back I heard that two of the cheeky chaps from the band McFly had put their hand to writing children's books but never got around to getting them (partly due to my sensitivity to Ethan using words like 'bum' and 'butt' but we'll go in to that more a bit later) - I'm so glad we have had the chance to read them, though, as there's actually much more to them than just poo (admittedly it's a pretty big part of it).
I've always had a bit of a soft spot for the McFly boys due to a school friend being a massive fan - I've been in to rock and metal music for as long as I can remember so joining her at McFly gigs, learning so much about them and knowing a lot of their songs word-for-word didn't come naturally to me. But looking back on it I do still remember those times as lovely and still remember far too much about that rowdy bunch of music makers.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Azii's First Infinity Crate - Animation theme for Novemer - Unboxing

It looks like Azii has caught the sub box addiction from me... though discovering geek themed sub boxes probably would have happened irrespective of my own boxes, haha. He's had another sub box for a few months and it's been good but not exciting enough to make me want to blog about it. But last month we got introduced to Infinity Crate (Thank you Sarah!) and Azii, instantly, asked his Mum if he could get a sub from her, for Christmas.

His first box, the November box, has an Animation theme which is a theme he's had from another company but we weren't too impressed with their offerings; we really had high hopes for Infinity crate being able to pull it off much more successfully. The thing that makes IC stand out from other sub boxes is the fact that they ask you to fill in various categories of likes, when you sign up, which they will try to stick to when they put the box together. Now, obviously, you're not always going to get things off your lists, it depends upon the theme and upon what they have available (for example, if you aren't a fan of animation then regardless of your likes, you're not going to be over the moon - Thankfully Azii likes animation a lot!)

Makeup Revolution 'Lip Hug' lipsticks - With Swatches and on the lip photos

The moment I first saw the '#LipHug' lipsticks from Makeup Revolution I just knew I was going to love them - Balmy, moisturising, soft, huge range of colours... Just yes!

They're, currently, only available on the website so I had to consider postage costs when I ordered, as such I only got four. I already want more. Honestly I love them, they glide on to the lips, they are really pigmented but still sheer enough that your natural lip colour will have an effect on them, so so soft, just beautiful.

Christmas Gift Ideas - Photo gifts from Photobox

You might already know that I'm quite fond of photo gifts at Christmas - They're just a lovely thing to gift to someone (or to receive); what's more personal than something you've spent time putting together for someone, and with photos that you know will mean something to them! With digital cameras these images are so much more available to us and it's a lovely alternative to just having that standard school photo on the mantle piece. 

I was thrilled that Photobox wanted to work with me as they're a company that I associate with quality and fantastic products And they currently have a special offer on (until Thurs 27th which makes them an even bigger bargain for you all if you hurry!)

I have been given a chance to try some of their products in order to recommend them to you - I've, actually, only got one that I've seen myself to show with you but that has actually led to me being able to think up a lovely idea to theme this post by. I was asked to review a calendar and a diary but I had to explain that I couldn't review a diary, it'd be a waste, as I have my Personal Planner as well as a diary I bought a few months ago. I did look at whether or not I could order it now, for 2016, but when I was looking (Early Nov) the latest date I could order it for was March.
Photo from the Photobox website

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Organise your life with a Personal Planner - And a Personal planner Christmas giveaway!

Hello, my name is Laura and I'm a stationery addict... and a chronic list writer... and a crazy planner (who often ends up having to keep moving my plans to the next day and the next because... life!)

When I found out about Personal Planner it was like someone had answered all my dreams at once. I spend So long looking for the perfect diary, a couple of months ago, but it turns you don't Need to find the perfect diary anymore, if you get a Personal Planner you can just make it in to your perfect diary yourself!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Gift Ideas from Snapfish this Christmas

Ever since digital cameras and phone cameras became such a big deal we seem to have, all, become obsessed with putting pictures of our kids, our weddings, our pets etc on various items to personalise them. Now please don't think I'm saying that's a bad thing, I quite love the craze, especially as it means that we're not just confining our favourite images to Facebook, and general internet, we're printing them out and making them real again!

Snapfish is one of the more well known companies that allows us to upload our snaps and get them printed out in that, mostly, outdated format... the photograph! But they don't Only offer this service, they also have various other ways in which we can use our pictures, some of which are really, rather Christmas Gift friendly. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Makeup Revolution - Iconic Dreams* eyeshadow palette - Swatches and first impressions

I had planned for this post to go live about an hour after my 'Golden Sugar' blush palette post but due to a rubbish Dr Appt, followed by a migraine... well it's gone 9 before I can even start thinking about writing - Grr, not how I'd planned my day yesterday!

But, this one didn't want to be held back so the post has had to be written as soon as possible and here it is! 

And here it is! The 'Iconic Dreams'* palette from Makeup Revolution! I've seen a lot of people get excited about this, on social media, and who can blame them! The shades in here are gorgeous and quite different, it definitely stands out from other palettes in my collection. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Makeup Revolution - Golden Sugar* Blush and Contour Palette - Swatches and First impressions

As you may have seen, yesterday, I was sent some rather exciting new Makeup Revolution products - I wanted to share some more in depth posts with you at the time but yesterday was just such a day! I had no chance of getting any posts up so I've just kept you waiting and waiting like the nasty person I am.

I was torn between two products to share with you, first, so I've decided to show you this one, and then I'll show you the other one very very soon (hint, Very soon!) 

I have one of the previous Blush and Contour Palettes, I don't think I've posted about it actually, which is very very naughty. But I'll make up for it by sharing this new offering to the range, the 'Golden Sugar'* palette (it more than makes up for my past wrongs, I promise)

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Some exciting new tea flavours from Pukka* (And some older favourites too)

We love tea, I mean Love. Not a day goes by when we don't drink it, by we I mean myself, my husband, my Mum and her husband. Ethan loves tea, too, but he's on a tea hiatus whilst we try to sort out his toileting issues (no need for diuretics when going to the toilet is already a problem haha!) We have so so many mugs in our cupboard, it's a one in one out rule, if I get a new mug that I love I have to take one of my older ones our and package it away for when we move... We all have our own, specific favourites too. I think you get my point here? We like tea.

None of the others would drink any sort of herbal tea, though, we're a Yorkshire gold tea sort of household - We like it strong and sweet. But I do like a herbal tea from time to time, too. Something a bit different, still warm, but not the same flavour I have every day - Additional to that there are the benefits of many herbal teas, starting with a lack of caffeine, for many of them, and including detox, rejuvenation and many more impressive claims!

For me, Pukka is The brand I think of when I think special teas. I trialled their Earl Grey tea a couple of months ago and it was a delicious example of that more traditional favourite; so when the chance to try some more unusual combinations came up, I jumped at the chance.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

'The Heroes of Olympus - The Blood of Olympus' by Rick Riordan - Book review and Giveaway

If you've read my review of the first book in the 'Heroes of Olympus' series then you'll already know where my love affair with these YA books came from. I was offered the first book in the series but after a chapter I realised I had to read all of the 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' series first if I didn't want to get spoilers from this second series.

Within a week I'd read all five books from the first series and in the following couple of weeks I've read the whole of the second series too! After being offered the first book, 'The Lost Hero', to review I couldn't stop reading so the subsequent three books just fell on to my kindle, oops! Because the fifth book was new I didn't order it straight away, in the hope that the price would go down (being good with books is absolute proof that we're trying to save money, I don't do good when it comes to books) - Sooo, imagine my joy when the chance to review the fifth book happened! (A giveaway opportunity happened, too, details of that can be found below)

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Primark Haul - October / November 2014 - Plus a little New Look bargain too!

I'm just going to put a quick post together, today, to share a few Primark purchases with you; I have managed to get in there around once a month, recently, due to having to have hospital appointments and the likes - I've not picked up much as I'm having to be a lot more careful with money at the moment, but I had had a certain item stuck in my head since my last visit and I promised myself that if it was still there I'd get it. As well as that I had to get some bits for Skye, for her birthday, and I had a quick browse in New Look which led to one of my best bargain buys in a very long time.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Birchbox UK - November 2014 - Unboxing / Review

It's getting harder and harder to avoid spoilers now that it seems they're everywhere, so, sadly, this month I knew what a couple of items would be but, thankfully, they were very good items so I coped with knowing haha. I'm, actually, amazingly happy with this box from Birchbox, this month - I loved last month's and this month seems to be fantastic, too. I'd got to a point where I was umming and ahhing about Birchbox for a little while but they've Definitely pulled that back now!

If you like the look of the box as much as I do then you can use my code to subscribe: - The code will get you £5 to spend in the Birchbox shop and it'll give me the same, too. A win win situation!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Wantable* in the UK - Unboxing - October 2014 Accessories box and giveaway!

I really wanted to get my Wantable* box post up on time for October but, unfortunately, there was a bit of a mix up which led to my box being late (and to a few other issues but they ended up being rather fortunate, in the end!) But here it is, anyway, hopefully my November Intimates box will go up this month too, but we shall see!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

'Falling'* by Emma Kavanagh - Book Review

Oh yes, another book review! I've been really really lucky, recently, and I've been sent quite a lot of books to read. I always have a massive list of books that I want to read but there's something special about being asked to review a book because it gives you something you wouldn't, necessarily, have found otherwise.

'Falling' by Emma Kavanagh is one such book - As much as I'd easily have considered it if I'd seen it, as it's the sort of genre I do buy from, there's so so many books out there that I'm always aware that there are hundreds upon thousands that I'd love but have just never even heard of... In fact if I keep thinking about this for too long my head might hurt (Truth be told it already does but that's nothing to do with undiscovered books, sadly)

'Falling' fits in to the thriller novel category but it isn't your standard narrative; often a thriller is told from the point of view of the police/detective or from someone who's been affected by a crime etc. With 'Falling' you're given multiple points of view, as you spend time with a number of different characters - This is a style that I love, one in which you have a number of separate people, undergoing separate experiences but who, ultimately, are linked in some way or another. I think, for me, it's because you are going through two different journies; firstly you're following the story, and secondly you're untwisting the various points of view and are learning how they all link and how they fit in to the story. 

'Falling' is a story about two, separate, tragic events and the various people who have to deal with the fallout - There's a plane crash and a murder, two things which seem to be so very different, but as all of the characters stories play out you're given insight in to how people end up intrinsically connected, despite the odds.

The story is really well written; there was no jarring text which ejects you from the story, something that really bothers me in a story, it's something I always hope won't happen when I start reading a new author. Similarly, the characters were wonderful, they were really believable and Kavanagh didn't fall in to the trap of making them too extreme in either their niceness or their nastiness; you either liked or disliked them Just the right amount, just enough to make them feel real.

The story was gripping, it was compelling and you couldn't help but keep on reading, I read the story in one afternoon/evening and found myself totally immersed. The point of view of the different characters worked really well, too, you didn't find yourself forgetting which of the characters you were reading, as is sometimes the case with multiple pov, and the sections were a good length, never too much on one character and never so little that you're left feeling unfulfilled.

I think fulfilled is actually a good word for this book - There was a satisfying sense of completion about it once you reach the end. I'm so used to books where you just Need to know more and, where this is good sometimes, there are times in which you just want to feel like you've heard all you need to from this story and that's exactly what you get from 'Falling'. Obviously you love the characters and wouldn't mind knowing how more of their lives play out, but you don't end the story going 'Arrggg nooooooo!' because it wasn't, quite, finished enough.

I really enjoyed this novel and I think it's the sort of book that a lot of people would enjoy; it was easy to read, without being simple and it was intense without being Too much. I'd definitely like to read more from Emma Kavanagh in the future.

You can pick up 'Falling' by Emma Kavanagh from Amazon:

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*I was sent this book for the purpose of review - All opinions are honest and are my own

Monday, 3 November 2014

LookFantastic Beauty box - November 2014 - Unboxing / Review #LFBeautyBox

I really liked the September LookFantastic box - I heard a few people weren't thrilled with it but I assume that's because they were hoping for cosmetics as well as body/hair care etc. I was really impressed with the items that were in there and the brands were pretty amazing considering the cost and the size of the products. As such I was pretty gutted when I missed the chance to subscribe for the October box so when the November box became available I signed up quickly and then forgot that I had, haha. So rather a nice surprise when a box arrived this morning. 

I was so good, I took a photo Before tearing the tissue paper open this time, haha! 

The card that comes with the box is lovely, very stylish chic, not in your face at all. Each product is given it's own section that's the same size as this front part which is great - You can tell the design is really important. I forgot to photograph it but there was a £10 off voucher just under here, for one of the sister sites to LookFantastic - Coggles is a fashion site which has some rather higher end items on it but if you have the money to spend then a £10 off voucher is a nice added bonus.

Even before I opened the tissue paper I could smell the box, I can't work out exactly which item it was that I can smell, maybe it's a cumulative thing - But either way it smells good, like good quality, slightly herbal products.

But anyway, smell aside, here's the products. You can, instantly, see that there's 6 good sized products here and some rather impressive brands (Obviously, all of which can be bought from LookFantastic)

Firstly we have the Monu 'Recovery Balm' which is supposed to help soothe sensitive or stressed skin - This is a 30ml bottle which I expect will last a long time as the formula is very light so a little goes a long way. The scent is floral and a bit fruity which comes together to smell a little light sweet turkish delight, I cant top smelling my hand that it's on, it's nice! The full size of this is 50ml, and costs £22.50, which means that the sample is over half the size of the full size; impressive considering that'd make the value of this almost cover the cost of the box.

Next up is a product with a real cult following; it's a real favourite to many and I've not actually tried it  yet! The Glamglow 'Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment' is something I read about a lot and have wanted to try for ages (I feel like I have a sample tube somewhere but I haven't been able to find it when I wanted to try it) - This product is supposed to be the '10 minute facial' and claims to leave your complexion refreshed for 3 days which is a very impressive thing to offer. I definitely look forward to trying this out. The tube is 15g which doesn't seem like much but it's, actually, about a third of the full size (which is 50g) and the full sized product costs £39.99 so that makes this a rather good value item.

Next up we have one of the most exciting items for me - I Love balm cleansers so this Eve Lom cleanser is right up my street. It's supposed to be able to remove, even, waterproof mascara as well as the rest of your makeup and whilst doing that it claims to de congest your skin plus tone and exfoliate too! This is my sort of product! (That's not to say that I am not really pleased with the other items too, mind you) - The tub is 30ml which is a little under a third of full size (which is 100ml and costs £55!).

Some Nuxe next - A little tube of 'Nuxellence Jeunesse' which aims to recharge the skin and restore radiance as well as making any other anti ageing products, that you're using, work even better. I do love Nuxe so am more than happy to see them in this box. The 15ml tube is, again, about a third of the full size which is 50ml and costs £47. Honestly I'm amazed at the value of these products!

The penultimate item is a hand cream with some big promises. The Hand Chemistry hand cream has claims that it'll produce visible results within 11 days, or less, which is rather impressive. It's also the best seller, at Boots, in the previous year which is quite impressive, too. I'm definitely interested to see what this is like - The formula is thick and has a sweet scent that I can't quite place; it's pleasant though. This 30ml sized tube is available at LookFantastic for £7.99.

And here's the last item, yay cosmetics! New Cid are a brand that I've always wanted to try but  have just never got around to so I was very very pleased to see a product from them in there. Even better, it's a lip pencil! (And cheeks but I always use this sort of thing for lips) - I love lip pencils. I probably would've chosen a different shade if I'd picked, myself, but then I keep meaning to try reds again so anything that gives me a push in the right direction is good! I can't seem to find these on the LookFantastic website but on the New Cid website they sell for £14 so this is, surprise surprise, another amazing value item! I am really pleased to have got a cosmetics item in the box and the fact that it's such a good one is an obvious bonus.

As you can see in the swatch it is balmy but it's got really good colour to it and it's not one that's just going to disappear when it touches the lips. I'd Really like to try 'Rose Tint' and 'Plum Cordial', they're just my colours (though I get the feeling this one might be, too, even if reds haven't been for a while).

So, yes, some of these are a little over a third, some a little more than a third and some are full sizes. But, looking at the value, we've got around £80 worth of products here which is unbelievable. As long as I've done my sums right, I've worked the all out as thirds so some may be a little more and some a little less so I thought they'd balance out, plus the two amazing full sized items... Really, really wow. I'm just blown away by how amazing these boxes are and this one is even better than the last.

Very very impressed LookFantastic, VERY impressed - #LFBeautyBox

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Sunday, 2 November 2014

'The Teashop On the Corner'* - Milly Johnson - Bahlsen Book Club Review

When the latest Bahlsen Book club book, by Milly Johnson, arrived I saw the cover, and the title, and assumed it was going to be your standard woman's literature and, actually, I was quite pleased. I've been reading a lot of fantasy with epic heroes and big battles so I absolutely loved the idea of something a bit more normal, a bit more calming and easy to drift in to. In the past a standard, easy reading book, typically aimed at women is something I might pick up from time to time but wouldn't be something I'd have relished - Thank goodness for being sent books for review! It's helped broaden my horizons massively. 

Novel, Milly Johnson, The Teashop on the Corner, book

As it happens 'The Teashop On the Corner' wasn't standard in any way. I was right, to an extent, in that it is literature written for women and I was right that it was easy to read, but in assuming that it was going to be like other women's literature I was very wrong. To be honest it's, actually, quite difficult to pinpoint what it was about this book but I fell in love with it so so quickly - I normally enjoy this type of literature because of the simplicity but there was nothing simple about this book. The characters have rich, deep histories which are drip fed to you in little bits, here and there, which means that you got to know them slowly, throughout the book. The story lines themselves were so so separate to begin with but throughout the narrative they became so deeply, and beautifully entwined.

The story begins with a lady who's mourning at her husband's funeral, she gets up to put a rose on her husband's coffin but is interrupted... by his wife. You know a book's going to be interesting when it starts with something quite that crazy - Some writer's would've turned that in to daytime television style trash but Milly Johnson did nothing of the sort. This cliffhanger works, perfectly, to captivate you and draw you in to the story whilst, gently introducing the other streams of the plot.

The individual plot-lines are very different, the types of people aren't the sorts of people you'd expect to be together and that's where the magic comes in - The magic that is 'The Teashop On the Corner'. All of these people meet by discovering a sweet little teashop and getting to know each other, they come in to each others lives and their individual stories start to become linked. The way in which the complementing characters alter the individual stories is just wonderful, the way the friendships form are absolutely beautiful and it comes together in to something that just works on so many levels.

I started reading this book on an afternoon but didn't have much time to read. It was enough, though, to make me want to read more so once Ethan was in bed I began reading again and I didn't stop... until 6am. I kid you not, I read solidly for 11 hours (it was the night the clocks changed), that's how much I loved this book. I expected to like it, in fact I expected to really like it (The people over at the Bahlsen Book Club have a good taste in books) but I didn't expect to feel totally and utterly entranced by this book. I didn't expect to laugh out loud and to sob my eyes out whilst the rest of the house slept. There really is something magical about this story and I, simply, have to discover more by this author.

I've liked some women's literature before but Milly Johnson takes the genre and has such fantastic writing skills, character building, plot forming, emotion building skills that it becomes something entirely transcendent to the genre - I still can't tell you why, or what, or how. I can't tell you what one thing about this book did it - There were points when I had a 'hrm', there were stereotypes that I wouldn't normally forgive and, as always, I knew the twists and turns before they happened but none of that mattered because this book  became one of those books that has stayed a part of me. It became one of those books that I will read again and again, without a doubt. I know very little about Milly Johnson other than the fact that she's going to end up costing me lots of money as she has a lot of novels and if the others are as good as this one then... oh dear!

You can pick the book up from Amazon for only £3.32 on Kindle or £3.50 (surprisingly cheap!) in paper back:

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*I was sent this book for the purpose of review but all opinions are honest and are mine (I wouldn't  have read for 11 hours straight if I didn't love it, really!)*

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Asda George Clothing Haul - Mostly Boy's clothing (one adult) - October / November 2014

If you follow me on twitter, or if you know me, you'll know that, recently, Ethan lost a lot of clothes, some stuffed toys, bedding, some books and toys due to damp in his bedroom - He was a bit upset but I found it really distressing, I'm not good at letting things go. Thankfully he just happened to have too much clothing, anyway, so there wasn't much I needed to replace, I was mostly sad because some of  his favourite t-shirts were included in the losses (and they were gifts from my best friend). (I bought one item for me, too, which you'll find at the bottom of the post)

But, there's always a silver lining and when that silver lining is the chance to shop... well goodness me, yay! I do most of my bargain shopping at Primark but, obviously, that means going to town and I just don't get to town very often (with my health being as difficult as it is). As such, this particular haul was done with Asda's 'George' as it's something I can order on the website and my Mum can pick up when she does the weekly shop. They're quite comparably priced with Primark and they're fantastic quality and make some amazing things. I bought these things over the period of a few weeks, I've checked that at least some of them are still available which is why I've put this as November as well as October.

Asda, George, boys, monster, jumper

There was two main groups that I needed to replacing of and that was warm clothing and pyjamas - I wanted to get a lighter weight sweatshirt as well as a heavier knit jumper so that he had enough to start getting him through winter.

In steps this amazingly cute monster sweatshirt, which they've listed as a jumper but it's definitely a sweatshirt. He's fitting a size 4-5 comfortably so I got these things in a bigger size so that he'd have space in them - This is sold out in some sizes but still available in others. It was only £7 (in his size) so a very good bargain. Weirdly it's really long on him whereas the jumper that I got him in the same size fits nicely, odd measurements Asda!

Asda, George, Boys, fairisle, jumper

This is the aforementioned jumper. I'm a bit obsessed with fairisle print this year, it seems, and I decided to make sure Ethan had some too. This jumper was £9 and is a really nice thick wool, it's going to be toasty warm and it looks lovely. It was tough to decide which one to get him as there was so many nice ones available - I may even end up getting him another, he may need a second one as it gets colder but we'll wait and see first.

Asda, george, fairisle, hat, scarf

His old hat and scarf set didn't go with the damp but he's grown out of it, his old set was for 3-4 year olds and he has a very big head. This set I got in age 4-8 so hopefully it'll last him a while, but the hat is already quite a close fit. I think it's a lovely set, though, especially for £7 for hat, scarf and gloves - Ethan was itching to wear it so he was very pleased to, finally, be allowed to when Nanny and Tops took him to the park. I can't let him wear them to school until I've put name labels in, mhmm. I can't find the set on the website, any more, but there's lots of other great sets available still and they might be in store. 

The other set of items that I needed to add to, for him, was pyjamas as he lost a few pairs and he's growing out of others. Also I get him new pyjamas for Christmas which he has on Christmas eve and this fairisle onsie seemed perfect - It's not on the website anymore but there's a lot of Very awesome onsie's still on there.

Asda haul boys frozen pyjamas

When my lovely friend Rachel posted a pic of the Frozen onesie she'd bought her boy I instantly went on to the website to order one for Ethan but it wasn't on the site! Rather than being sensible and waiting (yup it's on there now!) I ordered him these Olaf pyjamas instead - Thankfully these are really rather awesome but I am still a bit tempted to get him the onesie, too, as it's awesome! These pyjamas were £9 which is more than I normally spend on just one pair but they're rather special! 

Lastly, for Ethan, I bought these amazingly cute Reindeer socks! It was really tough to decide what to get him because there was santa ones, penguin ones, christmas tree ones and more but I liked the look of these and I had to. They're going to be perfect for stocking fillers and for £1.50 you can't go wrong (the penguin ones might happen too)

So I think I did quite well, really. I may've been tempted by slightly more expensive things for the sake of gimmick but I still think it was mostly bargains, really. I'm still sad that we lost so much of his stuff but I am very happy with what I replaced it with! I don't have much to spend at the moment, but I managed to combine Christmas and necessity so I think I did quite well.

Oh and don't forget I got something for myself too! I bought a nice coat last year but it's not very thick or very waterproof and I don't have anything very waterproof so the search was on! I was very happy when I found this one on the Asda George site as it was only £32 and it's purple/plum (it's slightly more red toned as per the site, HERE, but my camera insisted on making it more purple) Of course, since I got it it's not been that cold, sods law? I love it, though, it's So warm and it holds up quite well in the rain. I got it in a size 12 because I could see that the fit was very tight and I don't want a super fitted coat, I want comfort! I like it a lot, very pleased with this purchase.
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Aqua Beads - Jewel Starter Set* - Review

When the people over at Aqua Beads said they'd be happy to work with me I was over the moon - Ethan and I haven't been reviewing toys/children's things on here as much as we used to and what better way to get back in to it than with something as fun, and creative as these.

Aqua beads jewel Starter set

We were sent the Jewel Starter Kit* (which retails for about £10.99) which, as the name states, is a great set to begin with - Some of the bigger sets come with fancy self loading pens (The 'Power Pen') or tonnes of designs but if you're not sure whether or not these will be a hit with your little one then it's  best to start with something simple.

Unlike the original Aqua Beads sets, this set comes with faceted, transparent beads which really do have a very jewelled look and look beautiful with the light shining through them.

The set comes with everything you see above, I'd list it but you can see it, really - The beads come in 8 colours but you may get a varying amount of each shade (which we did) - You'll have more than enough for quite a few creations, though! Daddy used up a lot of Ethan's making him a custom creation and there's still plenty left.

You can see the custom creation just here - Oh yes, a rather large Pikachu! All the hours of building things on Minecraft really became helpful when it came to this; are you impressed?! The red beads have shown up as more orange in the picture - As you can see we got more red than any other colour.

Our only quarrel with the set is that it comes with the tub to put the beads in but there's no lid for it and the bags aren't resealable. We'll find a way to store them but it would've been nice to just have another bit of plastic to slip over the top and keep them in safely - But as far as quarrels go, that's hardly a big one!

When Ethan saw Pikachu he was, absolutely, ecstatic. He couldn't believe that Daddy had made it and he sat looking at it, like this, for a long time. What can I say? The child loves his Pokemon!

Ethan wanted to do something big and intricate but I decided he should do something simpler, to begin with, so we went for the rainbow - At least the colours go in lines rather than being a big jumble as some of them are. The templates will slide around a little but as long as you line them up properly you'll be ok, and they're easy to slip back in to place when they do veer off a little.

These are all of our beads in the tubs, though this is after Azii had used some of the yellow, blue and brown to make Pikachu. As you can see we didn't get the same amounts of all of them but the red and orange are very similar so I'm sure we could substitute red for orange if we needed to.

Ethan's only four and a half so he did need some help to begin with, his fine motor skills are ok but not great. But after some help he got the idea and could do some of it on his own; though still needed help when he put one in the wrong place. This is a toy that littler children will need supervision with, without a doubt, but there's nothing wrong with that!

As you can see he made good use of 'froggy legs', which he learned at school, when he was holding the pen. He struggled to get the beads in at first but, again, with a bit of practice he got much better and he did really well - Towards the end he needed very little help and I was very impressed.

You can see his concentrating face whilst he sprayed, the squirter was a little tough but he wanted to give it a go. In the end he did a couple and then I did a couple but that was fine with me - We waited for it to dry and then we turned it over and sprayed the other side. We had absolutely no problems with the rainbow sticking but Pikachu took a few extra goes at re-spraying as he was such an odd shape - Obviously when it comes to the templates the company has made them in a way that gives them a better structure for sticking.

Obviously once they're done you need to leave them to dry for an hour, and then we turned it and did the other side as we did with Pikachu - So this isn't the sort of thing where you can do one after the other very easily. Ethan's not good with patience but he did ok, really.

He really enjoyed using them and keeps asking to do more - He loves his rainbow and Pikachu though we've explained he needs to be careful with them. I've spoken to Ethan's cousin, who's 11 and a half, and she used to have these a couple of years ago - Some of them haven't lasted forever but she still has some that she's made that have still lasted which I think it really impressive. If Ethan's last two years then we'll be happy! Hers were, though, the normal rounded bead type so I'm not sure if that makes a difference - But Ethan's rainbow, at least, feels really sturdy so fingers crossed he'll be able to mess around with it for plenty more time. 

These are fiddly and will take some time for younger children to learn, but they're great for helping with fine motor skills and fantastic for creativity! They were a definite hit for us - Ethan hasn't made any more, yet, as I want to make them last, but we're going to do a turtle next I think! 

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*These were sent to us for the purpose of review but everything written is honest*