I, genuinely, can’t believe that the summer holidays are almost over. I feel like they’ve gone in a blink of an eye but they also feel like they’ve lasted forever. It’s been our first holidays with two children and Ethan’s been pushing the boundaries, to say the least, but we’ve also had some lovely days and he’s been lucky enough to have been taken away to Devon a couple of times and done some other fun things with his child minder and some family. 

Ethan will be going back to his last year at infants school as infant and juniors are separate, here, so after this year he’ll be off to another school already! I don’t feel ready for him to be in the last year of infants, it’s gone so so fast.

However ready I am, or not, of course I do need to make sure that Ethan’s things are ready. I’ve bought a name stamp to label all of his clothes, got new shoes and new uniform, need to get everything washed and ready so that he can go back without a big fuss. 

Sometimes, though, it’s the little things that we can forget but, thankfully many stores, including House of Fraser, have sales around this time of year in order to make those last bits easier to get hold of. When House of Fraser asked if I would feature some of their back to school items I was happy to try them out and see what they had available. 

And here’s what I went for. A lightweight waterproof coat and a very, very cool 3D Star Wars backpack. Needless to say Ethan was very pleased with my choices. 
The bag is from the B2S Bags section where you’ll find everything from Skylanders to Star Wars and Paw Patrol to Minions. There’s backpacks and drawstring bags as well as lunch bags and satchels. 
This 3D Star Wars bag is, originally, £15 but is £7.50 in the sale which is a right bargain. It’s not quite big enough for A4 items but when they’re in primary years they don’t really need that. The 3D design makes it really stand out and it’s much roomier than other bags that Ethan has. Being a huge, huge Star Wars fan Ethan loved it. We had to trial it before we could post it on the blog, of course, so he took it with him to Devon and it held lots of books, his tablet and a coupe of toys for the journey in the car. It’s well made and nice and strong too so I don’t see this breaking any time soon even with heavier use. 
And we also got this lovely ‘Name It’ coat from the B2S Coats & Jackets section. I picked this one because I thought the geometric shapes looked really cool and almost, a little, like tetris and that’s the sort of thing that’ll sell a product to us in this house haha. 
The coat isn’t a thick winter coat, but it’s waterproof and has a fabric lining so it’ll be fantastic for layering. 
The quality is good, the zip runs nicely and Ethan says it’s really comfortable to wear. This particular design isn’t available on the website anymore but there are others from the same brand for £12.60 down from £21. 
We got this in age 7-8 and it fits Ethan nicely (but he’s this size in most upper body clothing, despite only being 6). There’s plenty of room in it and I see it lasting him through the whole school year and, hopefully, through the next summer holidays too. It’s nice and light weight and great for the sort of middling weather we have for most seasons. 
Emotionally I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for him to start Year 2. I look back at his baby pictures and I can’t believe he’s this loud, attitude filled, computer game loving 6 year old who has zero volume control. I can’t believe he’s going to be in the oldest year of the school. But, even though I’m not emotionally ready, at least we have all the things that we need and I only need to put the finishing touches on to make sure that starting back will be as easy and pain free as possible! 

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This post contains press samples – Please see disclaimer

I was only going to get Oliver a couple of months worth of Sassybloom boxes because he doesn’t need more and more toys every month. But every month it arrives and every month we love what’s in there and he loves what’s in there and I just wonder what next month will contain… yeah. 

So here’s what he got in his box when he was 5 months old. This was, possibly, my favourite box yet. 

We got a personalised bib in this box, which was really nice. We don’t use bibs without plastic backs, very often, but this will be a nice dribble bib or useful for when he has drier finger foods that won’t soak through it. It’s nice to have something with his name on. 
Next up we had a bottle of mandarin shampoo and body wash by Lansinoh – I had no idea they did toiletries like this so this was a nice surprise. It seems like a really nice product so it’ll be next in line for when Oliver’s current product runs out (maybe it’ll make him hate baths less… which is unlikely).
Next up we have this ball by Baby Einstein, He really likes the ball he got in a previous box (to the extent that I bought a second one!) but this one is really really cool too. Rather than just being the ball, this one has a rattly ball inside, and he loves shaking it around, or poking his fingers through the holes and moving the smaller ball around. It’s a really nice toy. 
Next up we got this B Kids elephant which reminds me, a little, of the style of Lamaze toys. I love the bright colours and the fun shapes. It has crinkly bits, rattly bits and chewy bits which are all the important things for an Oliver. 
Nice to see another Nuby toy in the box which, this month, came in the form of a little teether comforter. The monkey has a small blanket attached which has two ‘feet’ which are teether parts. The body of the monkey also has crinkly stuff in it, and that’s Oliver’s favourite sound. He’s, also, decided that although there’s teether parts on this one, the arms are actually pretty good for chewing on too. 
Lastly there was a little rainmaker style rattle. I, actually, got Oliver a big sized one of these in an Amazon sale but it finds it a bit too loud. This little one, though, he loves. When you turn it over and all the beads trickle down he gets really, really excited and grabs for it. A definite winner. 
It was nice to get such a toy focused box this time. Not all babies like toys (Ethan wasn’t fussed), but Oliver is not one of them. Oliver loves toys, so knowing he’s going to get a few, every month, in his box is nice. He gets even more excited over a new toy, so it’s nice to be able to introduce something extra from time to time, though if we do keep the box going we might start saving some for Christmas as he’s got so much. That or I may cancel the box until Christmas and then start it back up as part of his Christmas present.. ooh now that’s a good idea! I don’t, really, want to cancel it as I love the box but I do need to be sensible. We’ll, at least, be getting the 6 month box and then we’ll see from there. 

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I already warned you that a big part of my Christmas and Birthday money went on subscription boxes so it shouldn’t be too big a surprise that I’ve got another box to share with you already. A new one, for this blog anyway, in the form of ‘Melts Monthly’ by Simple Candle Company.

 

I came across this brand when one of their wax melts arrived in my July Treat Box, I instantly loved the Pina Colada scent and the intensity of it told me that these were good quality. I ordered some individual products but also signed up to their subscription service which promises to give customers a chance to get scents early as well as getting a fun surprise every month.

The box is £10 for 8 melts, including postage, which I think is a great price, especially as the melts last hours and hours. I kid you not I’m still on that original Pina Colada one as it just keeps, on, going! 
The melts come in the expected style of box, and inside the box they’re in a really cute, polka dot, bag. It’s a nice way to present them rather than them rolling around in the box. 
And this is the 8 scents that I got. Chocolate Orange, Caribean Sea, Oudh Nights, Vanilla & Nutmeg, Bluebell, Fairy Dust, Sweet Sunrise and Patchouli & Cardamom. 
It’s a nice mix of fresh, floral, spicy and sweet scents which includes ones that I definitely would’ve picked myself (Like chocolate orange and caribean sea) but also includes ones like Patchouli & Cardamom which I wouldn’t, ordinarily, have picked but think smells amazing. Some of these are so strong that they’ll be the type that you can only have on for short bursts, but they’ll fragrance a whole room, and beyond, with ease (if they’re anything like Pina Colada anyway). 
I’m definitely going to keep this box going for, at least, a month. The melts take so long to use (especially when you have little ones so can’t keep them burning all day) so I expect I’ll get a backlog pretty quickly so there’s a good chance I’ll unsubscribe in a month or so and then re-sub once I’ve melted away some of my collection!
All in all, though, a good box and a nice surprise to get every month. 

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I always love the opportunity to give something back to my readers so when I had the chance to collaborate with some other bloggers to give you the chance to win a really big prize I was really pleased to be able to get involved.
As the weather turns colder, we decided to host a fabulous competition ‘Scorching Summer Giveaway’ to win some much needed Amazon Vouchers.

Bloggers have teamed up again to offer you an amazing prize, one that you can not miss out on.

The Grand Prize will be a £150 Amazon Gift Card and the Runner Up Prize will be a £50 Amazon Gift Card.
*If the winner is a Non-UK resident then we will send over the prize through PayPal, equivalent to GBP.

The competition is open world wide, just simply enter via Rafflecopter below and complete all tasks to gain more entries.

Simply Answer the question ‘What is your ideal summer getaway and who would you go with?’

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I got my Treat Box even before August began, this month, but have only just had the chance to put my fingers to the keyboard and get a post written up for you. Treat Box is, still, one of my favourite subscription boxes out there. For £12.95 a month (or less if you sub for more months at once) you get really cute lifestyle, home and general accessory type items which fit a theme and are likely to make you feel a bit warm and fuzzy inside. A really good investment of my birthday money as it still makes me smile, every month, now. 

This month I opened the box to be greeted with this postcard. I’m not big on motivational quote thingies because a lot of them don’t sit right with me, but there’s something we could all do with aiming for, and that’s our dreams. Alright so we can’t necessarily work to win the lottery, or force ourselves to meet ‘the one’, but it’s worth reminding ourselves what our dreams are and trying to see what little steps we can take towards them – Applying for that new job, writing out a page of the novel in our head, saying hello to someone new or even something as small as teaching yourself how to make the perfect chocolate cake. Dreams are important, don’t forget them. 
This month’s box has a lovely rainbow, dreamy type theme to it and I love it. It’s got a nice mix of home things as well as a few little extras and stationery (always a win for me).
The only thing which won’t show up in a future picture is the mini set of fairy lights, I just couldn’t get them to photograph well, but aren’t they cute and what a fun idea for a box! 
I really love the colours of these three little cards. I think the top two will be used, as intended, as greetings cards but I think I’ll be saving the bottom one to help decorate my new book shelves once they’re up. I’m planning on having pretty cards, flowers, figures etc to make my book shelves look super pretty and this card will fit right in. 
I have no idea what I’ll do with the rainbow patch but I’ll find it a home as I am loving everything rainbow at the moment. 
The notebooks like bent but they’re not, it’s simply the way the packaging is sitting, I love the colour of these and the quote on the front. If there’s one thing I definitely don’t need more of, it’s note books… but in the exact same breath it’s one thing I’m always happy to get more of even though I don’t need them. Stationery addict through and through. 
Continuing the rainbow theme… These little bath bombs, in raninbow shades, are really cute and have chunky glitter in them which will brighten up any bath time. And who doesn’t love rainbow drops? I haven’t had these in years but even just looking at the packet I can remember how they taste, a little bit of childhood right there.
This decorative tile is just beautiful and will definitely have a home in our newly decorated living spaces. It’s another message which is really important to me. When you are ill it’s so easy to spend your day pacing yourself, making sure you don’t overdo it and resting so that you can get the basics done. But it’s important (for healthy, and not) to be able to take some time in every day to do something you love – Take some quiet time with your children, eat something you enjoy, read a chapter of a book or talk to someone who makes you smile. Again, it doesn’t have to be big things, but just things that make every day worthwhile. 
Sometimes I struggle to make time for me, so this little tile will be perfect to keep reminding me. 
As always, I love the box, I love the variety and the quality of the items. I am, already, looking forward to next month’s and can’t wait to see what warm and fuzzy smiles it provokes.

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