There’s something to be said for branching out and when a blogger, or a vlogger, decides to add to their online presence and do more with their success then I’m always really happy, and inspired. 

When I got an email from the very lovely Shannon from Raspberrykisses informing me that she’d started up a new business then I was so pleased. ‘Dreams and Sparkles’ is a lovely little site offering fashion jewellery and accessories at incredibly reasonable prices and when she asked if I’d like a surprise package to feature on my blog I think I’d have been daft to say no!

I was sent three items from the site which give a great cross section of what they sell – One piece of jewellery, one accessory and something from the stationery section too. The site is small at the moment with only a select few things in each section but the prices are so affordable and the choices of products so lovely that I can see the site being a great success. 

From the jewellery section I was sent this Skeleton Hand Necklace. When I first saw it I wasn’t sure how I felt about it; it’s Exactly what I’d have gone for a few years ago because I was still really big on skulls and skeletons but I’m more of a flowers and birds kinda girl now. 
That aside, it’s grown on me. I think it’s kinda cool, I love the shade of metal it’s in and the shape of it, I dunno I like it. Maybe I shouldn’t have been in such a hurry to stop wearing the sorts of things I used to like, there’s plenty of space for all of them!
The necklace is an amazingly priced £1.50 so you really can’t go wrong – There’s a range of other lovely necklaces (some of which I’m tempted to order myself), bracelets, ring and earrings available on the site, too, for a range of different tastes.
When I knew I was getting sent some things I hoped I’d be sent one of the cute, little coin purses, as I’m an absolute sucker for purses, so I was very pleased with this. It’s only small, but what do you expect for £3? I love the pattern of the fabric and it’s just what I need right now. I’ve been taking the lightest bag I can when I pick Ethan up from school on my two days but that means no purse so I’ve been thinking about trying to find something small, and light, to take in the bag so that I have just a bit of money with me when I go out, I always feel so vulnerable with nothing – This little purse should be perfect.
As well as purses there’s also a section for hair accessories (which is currently empty) and phone cases on the site – I wish the phone case they do fit my phone as it’s really cute!

Lastly I got sent something from their stationery section. These little sticky memo pads are really fun and a fantastic little novelty for someone who is big on the organisation – I’ve been pretty lax on the organising, recently, though my tablet and phone have kept me on track. I’ve missed being organised on paper, though, so maybe these will help. These would also be fun for a little one as the sticking plaster style would definitely appeal (I know I’ll be having to keep these out of reach of Ethan if I want to keep them for myself). As well as these they have some adorable little cupcake ones which I’m thinking about ordering (Edit: Which I am in the process of ordering, along with another necklace – The postage is reasonable too)
As I said above, there’s not a lot on the site yet but there’s some real gems at prices you won’t often see, so it’s well worth taking a look as you never know what’ll catch your eye. As well as all of the sections I’ve mentioned above there’s also a beauty section which, currently, has press on nails in it. 
I really look forward to seeing how things progress for this little, start up, company as Shannon is lovely and she’s got a great idea which has been put together really well. Check out
http://dreamsandsparkles.com/ to see if there’s anything you love, and then you can help out someone deserving too!

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*I was sent these items for my consideration for review purposes but all opinions are honest and are my own*

I was asked if I’d review for a website that, previously, I’d not heard of before called ‘Wicked Uncle’ and, seeing as it’s a toy site and the proceeds would go to that wee munchkin of mine I couldn’t say no! I was intrigued by the site, as it has a rather different selling point to other toy websites; and I do like it when a site offers something different rather than more of the same. 
At Wicked Uncle they’re trying to provide a service which appeals to non-parents – To the people who want to buy gifts for children but just don’t know children as well as parents might. It’s for Uncles and Aunts and friends of the family, people who just need that bit more guidance.

When you on to the site you’re presented with the option of picking toys for age groups and genders rather than types of toy, and that’s a great way for people who aren’t as child-savvy to break things down. You may already know my thoughts on gender and toys, I’m not a fan of splitting them, but there’s nothing to stop a person checking the age range for both genders (I did when ordering).

I was given a voucher to order some items (and I paid a few pounds extra just to get the things I wanted) and it was a really nice site to browse. The toys available are great, lots of wooden builds and creative things, less of the plastic flashy toys and more of the traditional which is always going to be a bonus in my books (though there was some plastic flashy, what’s life without some plastic flashy!).

When picking things to order for the review I tried to get a few things that fit in to different categories, just to give you a better idea of what’s available. As such I picked up this adorable pack of Handmade chocolate piglets by James Chocolates – These were £4.95 which is quite pricey for a small amount of chocolate but I can assure you that it’s Good chocolate and little ones do love the novelty. Though everyone will fight over the pink piggy as it tastes of strawberry (we went halves), this does open up the opportunity for turning it in to some sort of game where the winner finds the pink piggy (I’m just thinking on the fly here). These make a lovely little gift. 

This next item was amongst my favourites on the site – I definitely felt really happy with the sorts of themes that were coming through in the toy selection, lots of the traditional again; pirates, knights, dinosaurs etc, amongst more modern things. 
This Pirate chest from Melissa and Doug, though, really stood out – For £19.95 you can get this beautifully well made, fantastic looking pirate chest. I really was so pleased with how good a quality this feels, it’s strong and made from wood rather than card as others are. I love the detailing of all of the distressing and the turnable skull as a little latch is fantastic. 

This is ideal for the pirate-lover in your family but it goes further than that because it can become a nice little hide-away for all the bits and bobs that children accumulate and it gives them their own little secret place to keep it all. 

The box also came with an eye patch (which is fabric and much more comfortable than the plastic ones you can get), a little bag of pirate coins and a huge pirate flag. 

I think Ethan makes a rather dashing pirate, if I may say so myself. 

He was very, very excited when he found the coins, he loves things like that and these are really good examples of the types of coin you’d expect to find in pirate treasure. 

Not sure what we’ll do with the flag, long term, it’d look great on a wall but not sure we’ll have the wall space for it in his new room. I’m thinking it might make a rather good thing for throwing over boring looking plastic toy boxes, or maybe laid out at the end of the bed. We’ll find something to do with it as it’s fantastic. 

And, before I move on to the next item, you can’t forget the hidden compartment in the bottom of the box! It’s not very big but you could easily fit small items in there, or letters/things made of paper. It’s a really nice, finishing detail for such a well made and fun toy. 

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if I bought the Magic Drawing Board for my benefit or for Ethan’s – Well, of course, it’s for Ethan but I had one of these as a child and couldn’t help but add it to the basket. These re-usable boards with a black substance over a rainbow base are, definitely, a really traditional toy and I thought it was something Ethan would really enjoy. For £13.99 it’s not cheap but I see this as something that a child can continue using for a really long time.

The black element of this definitely seemed thicker than I expected, both my Mum and I struggled to draw in it as much as we expected but I think it’s probably something that’ll improve over time and Ethan loves being able to make rainbow lines when he plays with it. 
All in all I really liked the ideas that Wicked Uncle has, as well as the toys that they stock – I think this should definitely be a site considered by people who need some extra inspiration when buying for the little ones in their friend’s or family’s lives. 

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*I was given credit for the site in order to order some of these items but all opinions are honest and are my own*

I had wanted this review up a few weeks ago but some icky sicky times with a 4-5 year old have slowed things down a good deal (like I needed any More slowing down!) but here we are, finally, I’m really pleased to be sharing ‘Black Ice’, by Becca Fitzpatrick, with you, the lastest book I’ve been sent to review.

I’m going to admit something to you, to begin with, and that’s that I hadn’t really equated this with being a young adult novel. Of course I realised that the main character was a teen, but the nature of the story, the theme and the way the story flowed felt like it could easily have been an adult novel but, now that I look back, I can understand how this works for both YA and adult readers. 

I really like the cover of this book, the black and white with the small hit of colour is really distinctive, I think that it’s beautiful as well as giving you a really good feel for the book, giving you some insight in to what you might be able to expect when you read it. 
The story is about Britt, and her best friend Korbie, who’re spending their spring break up a snow-covered mountain – Rather than going off, partying with their friends, Britt has persuaded Korbie that they’ll have a good time up in her (Korbie’s) family’s cabin up in the mountains. Unbeknownst to Korbie, Britt has planned this because she wants to show her ex, Korbie’s brother, that she can handle herself up in the mountains so, when she discovers that he’ll be joining the trip she sees the perfect opportunity to show him just what he’s missing and how grown-up and independent she is. 
Unfortunately their trip doesn’t go to plan and as Korbie and Britt are on their way up to the cabin, to meet Calvin, a huge storm hits and they become stranded and this is where their spring break becomes even more unconventional – Leaving their vehicle they end up coming across a house where two, dangerous seeming, guys are staying and danger is just around the corner.

I don’t really want to tell you much more than that because otherwise you’d not need to read it and that’d be silly! But the book is well written, I’ve not heard of Becca Fitzpatrick before but I’ll certainly keep an eye out for her other novels, and you can lose yourself in the story really easily. The main characters aren’t instantly loveable, which I quite like, as you need to get to know them and discover what makes them tick before you can really even try to relate – Korbie is a bit of an attention seeker and has a bit of a ‘little rich girl’ complex whilst Britt has clearly always had people around to bail her out and has a long way to go to be able to depend upon herself.

The plot was different from anything else I’d read before, and there were twists interspersed throughout – I’ll be honest and say that I knew what was going to happen, with the twists, but there’s only been one book that’s taken me by surprise in a number of years, I just have a tendency to know what’s going to happen next. I can imagine that those plot twists would be fantastic for someone who wasn’t so annoyingly able to predict the next step (Honestly it’s a curse!). 
This book definitely works for both adults and YA and if you want something that’s easy to read, with an interesting flow to the story then this could be well worth picking it up. It’s been out since the 26th of March, so just under a month, and you can buy it in a few formats from Amazon here.
I’d love to know what you’re most recent, favourite, read was – Let me know below!

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I was sent this book for review purposes, but all opinions are honest and are my own

So, it’s Primark haul time – I’m so glad I’ve made it to town once a month or so, recently, as I’ve found some real gems in Primark. Here’s hoping I get the chance to go next month too!
I bought a mix of things, some for Ethan and some for me – Azii also picked up a few bits, as you can see above. He bought Ethan a Pez dispenser and re-fills and he got Skye a cute little giraffe toy. 
We were a bit torn with what to get, in terms of the Pez dispenser as they had My Little Pony ones, as well as star wars and Ethan’s favourite things at the moment are Star Wars, MLP, Minecraft and Lego. Darth Vader won out, though, because he’s Darth Vader, Ethan thinks Darth Vader is cool. 
Skye’s giraffe was a much easier decision, she loves giraffes, cats and bunnies, especially stuffed toys of them all and who could possibly have enough stuffed toy giraffes?! He’s a very cute addition to her collection, though – Both the Pez items and the giraffe were £1 each.

Next up is the first of the two tees that I bought for Ethan – We loved Big Hero 6 when we went to see it with friends, and Ethan loved it when he went to see it with my Grandparents so seeing a Big Hero 6 tee in Primark was fab. It’s in a really nice, light fabric which is perfect for the lovely weather we’ve been getting and it was only £5.

You may have noticed the previous mention of Ethan loving lego, above, so this Lego Movie tee was an absolute must have, too, at £6. He loves everything lego at the moment and we all love the movie.

The items for me are next – As well as what I’ve pictured I bought some underwear but I left them out of the photos this time. I was spending what was left of my birthday money from Azii and, thankfully, they had some lovely things to invest in. 
Sensible, first, though, as you can see above I picked up a couple of plain, cotton vests. These were £1.50, I think, and I went for a charcoal colour and a creamy beige colour. I got these because I have a few tees which are a bit too loose, and low, at the front or have see through bits in just the wrong places. These vests will make those tops wearable.

This tee is, possibly, one of my favourite ever t-shirts. It’s a nice, loose fitting design which makes it really comfortable and it’s light weight for the summer. But as well as that, just look how pretty it is! I love the pattern so, so much that I just had to get it. I Think this one was £5.

Azii assures me that we saw this Lion King t-shirt the last time we went in to Primark but that I was ‘sensible’ and didn’t get it. Well no way was that happening again – The Lion King is my favourite Disney and I love this tee. As above it’s a nice, loose fit and light fabric so it’s really comfortable to wear.  I think this was £6, I think.

The last item that I got was a really pretty purse. I was, first, drawn in by the dusky purple shade and then by the pretty butterfly hardware. I love the cut out detail, too and it has more then enough space inside for all the endless amounts of stuff that gets carted around in my purse. This cost £5.

So that’s my latest Primark haul. I still have a number of other posts that I need to catch up on so I’ll do that soon, hopefully. I’m really pleased with my new tablet, and keyboard, too – I sorted out the pictures on my laptop then was able to move over to the tablet to do the writing which is just So much easier to do (Will be even easier when I have a case for my tablet but that’s a whole different story).

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Ok so this is just the simplest of little test posts. You may remember that I did a blog competition, a short while ago, and I was lucky enough to win £300 of Amazon vouchers – The vouchers have, mostly, gone on books, the odd toy for Ethan, some makeup and various other bits and bobs but I decided to spend a chunk of it on a little tablet. I used to use a high value sony tablet which rivalled an i-pad but it became a bit big and heavy and I couldn’t use it for blogging so it got left by the way side. 

That’s why I decided to invest in this, along with a blue tooth, wireless keyboard. It’s only a 9″ keyboard, so it’ll take some getting used to but it’s a really nice little thing and makes it so easy to work on this wee 7″ tab. 

The main thing that I won’t be able to do on the tablet is deal with photos (as you can see from the pic, above, the quality isn’t awful but it’s not good enough to want to do my day-to-day blog post pics on), so I’ll have to use the laptop to sort those, and then I can come on here and write the words, it’s so much eaiser than a laptop, or the older bigger tablet, yay! 

I got an Asus Memopad 7 and the keyboard is the medium sized one by TechGear on Amazon – I’ll try to get a review up, sometime, once I’ve put them through their paces. 

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