Thursday, 31 December 2015

Review: SticktoStigu Planner

As a blogger I could not be without my endless selection of planners and notebooks.  I'm most at home perusing notebook and stationary shops, looking for yet another notebook for yet another function. By nature, I am a hugely disorganised person. To-do lists and strict planning enables me to keep on top of my commitments. 

I can often be seen with a bag full of notebooks each there for a different purpose. From planners and diaries to post ideas notebooks and to-do lists, I have a notebook for everything. 

I recently got given the chance to review a planner from SticktoStigu. Essentially an annual planner, notebook and to-do pad all rolled into one, it is exactly what I have been looking for. 

The first thing I noticed (and loved) was the size of the planner. I have recently brought quite a few notebooks specifically to use in conjunction with my blogging. They are often far too small to capture all the details that I need to include. This planner is perfect in size. It has enough space to capture everything I need whilst also being able to fit into my handbag. The fact that it is a ring binder is an added bonus! 

As I opened up the planner, I was really happy to find there was an introductory page explaining the planner's concept and how it can be used on a weekly basis. As an all in one planner, the SticktoStigu planner also offers practical tips and quotes to help keep you on track to meet your goals.

With plenty of space to write to do lists this planner is perfect for anyone wanting to keep track of tasks they need to complete. The week by week calendar has space to write down all your deadlines. 

I'm looking forward to the new year where I can put my planner to good use. It's time to get organised or at least attempt to! Order your copy from SticktoStigu. I couldn't recommend this planner enough!

*Disclaimer - I was sent this planner to review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Terrible Twos Have Arrived Early!

Where has my happy little boy gone? I need help! 

I think I am in the midst of my hardest week yet as a parent. It has been worse than the weeks he has been ill, in hospital or teething. At least I knew how to deal with those issues. I felt like I could help him and comfort him. Now I seem to be dealing with tantrums alongside teething and illness. Seriously, send me chocolate or wine. Actually send both!

This week Jack seems to have entered a new stage in his development. He may only be 20 months old but we must have hit The Terrible Two's early. I will be honest, it probably is not that. It's worse! 

I thought I knew what toddler tantrums were.

 I was wrong. 

Until you have listened to your toddler tantrum for 45 minutes about the fact that you dared give him a banana even though he asked for one, then you have no idea. 

So far this week he has had tantrums because:

  • I would only let him have one chocolate out of the advent calendar
  • I put cheese on a sandwich instead of giving it to him on it's own.
  • Daddy put on Peppa-Pig
  • I wouldn't let him pick up my piano stool
  • I turned a page in his book. He wanted to do it himself
  • He threw all of the balls out of his ball pit
  • I wouldn't let him move the ironing board

Those are only some of the reason's he has had tantrums. The problem is, once he has started and has worked himself up into a complete frenzy, you can't reason with him. His arms flail, he stamps his feet, throws himself to the floor and the screaming starts. One minute Jack is calm and giving me cuddles and the next minute he is screaming at the top of his lungs. He has decided this week that he doesn't need to nap. Judging by the mood he was in at 4pm today, he definitely does! I even took him out in the pushchair. No, that didn't work either.

Now I know that Jack is of an age where he is learning that he can make choices and have different opinions. He is growing and knows what he likes and dislikes and will push for that even if it means defying you. He is a beautiful little boy who has so much love to give and has brought so much love into my life.

This week however he has driven me slightly bonkers. Of course, we will emerge out the other side (hopefully) very soon. Until then I'm going to pray that the naps start and the chocolate and wine arrive.

Best of Worst

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: For Her

Welcome back to my Christmas Gift Guide Series. Today I'll be showing you some things you could get those special women in your life.

1. Yankee Candle - Sparkling Snow - Candles are becoming an increasingly popular item amongst women, with Yankee Candles leading the way. I could have picked from a vast array of scents but I settled on Sparkling Snow as this is a Christmas gift guide and Sparkling Snow is Christmas themed. With a fresh scent of snow-covered pines, this large jar candle will burn for between 100-150 hours. Perfect for those of you who like to sit down and relax with a festive scent.

2. Urban Decay - Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette - Urban Decay have established themselves firmly as a beauty brand that creates fantastic eyeshadow palettes. Their latest palette - the Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette was created with Gwen herself and contains 15 of her must have shades. Whilst it contains a few bright tones including both blue and pink eyeshadows, there are also plenty of neutral shades to choose from; This would be perfect for anyone who would love to create a strong focus on their eye make up.

3. Michael Kors - Jet Set Travel Continental Zip-around Wallet - For those people who would like to spend a little more this Christmas then a Michlel Kors wallet is perfect. This saffiano leather wallet contains a smartphone holder, multiple card slots, note compartments and a zipped coin purse. Perfect for those on the go, it comes with a removable wrist strap.

4. Asos-  Pretty Dinosaur Print Tee and Legging Set - I love a good pair of pyjamas. There is nothing better than settling down in the evenings in your comfiest pyjamas. I love Asos's range of printed pyjamas.

5. New Girl Seasons 1-3- Boxsets are a popular Christmas present. My current go-to boxset is New Girl. This is perfect if you are looking for a light-hearted funny television show. Season 4 has also just been released so get watching!

6. Lush Gift Set - Under The Mistletoe - This gift set contains 16 of Lush's most popular products including many limited edition favourites. This is perfect for anyone who likes to relax with a Lush bath product.


Monday, 14 December 2015

Care For Your Bear: A Campaign From Dettol

As a mom, you spend a lot of time keeping your toddler clean. Jack gets messy so many times during the day. Whether its through putting food in his hair, through messy play or outdoor fun - if there is a way to get messy, Jack will no doubt find it.
I was recently sent some information from Dettol's Care for Your Bear Campaign which highlighted the importance of keeping your child's soft toys clean to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. The information shocked me.
New laboratory research by Dettol has revealed that a child's soft toy/teddy has the highest levels of bacteria in the family laundry basket. 3/4 teddies do not get washed after a child has been ill and 1/5 have never been washed at all!
I spend so much time trying to keep Jack away from germs and keep him healthy. Whilst I hoover, clean and wash Jack's clothes, I never considered that so many germs could be on his teddy bear. The information below really surprised me. In particular the fact that 25% of teddy bears contained bacteria linked to faeces and 66% of teddies contained Staphylococcus Aureus which is linked to food poisoning and skin infections.

The Dettol Care For Your Bear Campaign, supported by Hygiene expert Lisa Ackerley, aims to raise awareness of the germs and bacteria found on teddies and soft toys whilst also helping you prevent it.

The Dettol Care for Your Bear Guide (shown below) has some helpful tips on how to keep your child's teddies clean. One of their tips really caught my eye. They suggest washing your teddy bears separately to avoid cross contamination. This is something I hadn't even considered doing. On the occasions where I have washed Jack's teddies, I have usually just put them in with other items.

Alongside the information regarding Dettol's Care For Your Bear Campaign, I was also sent a bottle of Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser. 

When you wash clothing at a temperature of below 60 degrees Celsius, bacteria can survive in your washing machine and on your clothes. Working alongside your usual detergent, Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser kills 99.9% of bacteria. All you need to do is add two capfuls to the fabric softener drawer of your washing machine.
If you want to join in with this campaign, then all you need to do is head over to Dettol's Twitter Page @dettolteddy and share a picture of your child's favourite teddy bear with #careforyourbear. Entrants will automatically be in with a chance of winning a Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser.

DISCLAIMER - I was sent this item for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Jack's 20 Month Update

Dear Jack,

You are 20 months old! This month we have had lots of lovely days out. We have been to a few farms, plenty of parks and soft play. We have to get you out of the house a lot more now. We needs to tire you out! A month doesn't pass by where you don't seem to get some kind of illness. This month was the turn of Chickenpox. 

How you look

You had your second haircut this month. Whilst I love your hair slightly longer, shorter hair makes you look older, like a proper little toddler. You were quite happy to have it cut which also suprised me. Daddy managed to distract you with a little bit of Peppa Pig. When I look at you, I see a smaller version of myself staring back at me. Considering you didn't look like me at all when you were born, I find our similarities truly amazing.


How you sleep 

Your sleep has really improved this month. For the last few months, you have been waking up several times a night. This was tough for all of us as we were all struggling to get a good nights sleep. This month you have been sleeping through! You have generally been going to bed at around 7.30pm  and waking up at around 6.30am. In other major news, you are self-settling to sleep. Up until this month, we have either rocked you to sleep or lay with you in bed until you drop off. This month you have started to settle when Daddy puts you to bed. You moan a few times but then quite happily drift off. We are no nearer in you settling for me. On the nights I have tried to put you in your cot, you have had a complete meltdown.


You are becoming quite a cheeky little boy. You like to try to test limits and then flash me a cheeky grin. I can't help but melt at your dimply cheeks. You are so loving and love to give kisses and hugs. Separation anxiety has become an issue this month. Chickenpox left you feeling quite poorly. All I could do was hug you and reassure you. 


I have no idea what is going on with your eating. One day you can eat really well but the next few days you refuse most of the meals I offer you. You are a small child anyway, so I have been worried about the amount of food you are eating. I am trying not to make a big deal out of it as I am certain that as soon as I do, you will refuse even more food. I have tried giving you new tastes, old favourites - pretty much everything I can think of. Pretty much to no avail.


Everyday I get excited waiting for you to do something new. This month you have finally worked out how to get downstairs safely. You are also becoming more adept at negotiating coming down a slide. Until this month you couldn't be persuaded to stop and sit at the top of the slide. When I take you outside you can walk much further on your own and even follow my pointing directions.

Language wise you continue to learn new words daily. Your favourite word this month is cake. You are constantly asking for it, it's not really making dinner time any easier. You have started to name animals and body parts and try to repeat words I say.

As always I am very proud of you and love you so so much.

Love Mum 


Friday, 4 December 2015

My Favourite Christmas Movies

 I love a good Christmas Movie. As a mom, I don't get a lot of time to watch movies. I plan to use what little time I have to watch a few of my favourite movies this Christmas.

1. Miracle on 34th Street - Easily my favourite Christmas movie of all time, Miracle on 34th Street is a movie I watch every year. I don't feel like it's Christmas until I have watched it. This film has everything - romance, emotion and humour. You name it, it has got it!

It tells the story of Kris Kringle who is the grotto Santa at Cole's Department Store. He believes he is the real Santa and as his popularity soars so do the stores profits. An attempt to discredit him leaves him in court trying to prove he is the real thing. 

2. The Snowman - I imagine that this movie is a favourite amongst most people. I love a good animated movie and am going to watch it with Jack this year. That's if he sits still long for long enough! 

3.  The Holiday - This is set during the holiday period so I am counting it as a Christmas movie. This is a romantic comedy with a star studded cast including Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black. 

It tells the story of Iris and Amanda who swap homes during the holiday season to escape heartbreak. What follows is romance as they both meet new people whilst abroad.

4. Love Actually - This is such a super cheesy movie but it makes me feel so cheery so I had to include it. It starts five weeks before Christmas and counts down until the day itself. It follows various people during the holiday season. I love the story of Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant) and House Assistant Natalie (Martine McCutcheon.) My favourite moment is Juliet and Peter's wedding and the "All you need is love" aisle moment. Talking about this movie is making me want to watch it right now!

5. Home Alone - I love all of the Home Alone movies but the first one for me is unbeatable. Eight year old Kevin is left home alone after his family mistakenly leave for the holiday season without him. Two con-men try and rob the family home and only Kevin can stop them. I have watched it so many times but I still find it as funny as the first time I watched it.
What are you favourite Christmas movies? Let me know, leave a comment below!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

How Jack's Bedtime Routine Goes In Reality

17:00 - I give Jack dinner. He throws the plate on the floor and refuses to eat.

17:02 - I try spooning food into Jack's mouth. He clamps his mouth shut.

17:04 - Jack is saying 'No' repeatedly. I don't think he wants his dinner.

17:05 - He starts shouting 'Cake.' I say he needs to eat his dinner first. He pretends to eat.

17:06 I breathe deeply and try to explain that he is pretending to eat which doesn't count. Then I realise I am talking to a 19 month old.

17:10 He eventually starts to eat. I dare not look at him for fear of distracting him from eating. 

17:15 He has eaten some food. I do an imaginary celebration in my head.

17:20 I take him upstairs and we play. When I say play, I mean Jack tries to get me to sit on his toddler chair. I can't as it will break. He lies on the floor and screams.

17:25 The screaming has stopped. We move on quickly to puzzles. 

17:45 That went better than expected. Isn't he clever? I look at the clock and realise we are edging SLOWLY towards bedtime.

18:00 I take Jack into the bathroom. He immediately starts to try and climb into the bath. After removing him, I start running the bath.

18:05 Jack loves bathtime. He has lots of toys in the bath including boats and various cups. 

18:07 I spot a Thomas the Tank Engine. How on earth did that get there? I'm not moving it, it will just have to stay where it is.

18:10 I'm washing Jack's hair. He is screaming. This is pretty normal. He wants me to wipe his eyes.

18:15 I take Jack out of the bath. Let's just say he didn't want to get out.

18:20 I dry Jack whilst Jack is hugging me. I'm wetter than he is.

18:25 PJ's on, hair brushed now time for the toothbrush.

18:26 He has spotted the toothbrush. He wants to brush his teeth. When I say brush, I mean he wants to suck the toothbrush.

18:27 I brush his teeth first. I've made up a song about teeth. It's not very good. It can't be as Jack's screaming has recommenced.

18:30 We turn the lights down and let Jack pick a few books. He removes all the books from the bookshelf. There are now 20 books on the floor. I'll just sort that tomorrow.

18:45 I kiss Jack and tell him I love him. Wayne settles Jack in his cot. He is moaning about going to bed.

18:46 We are downstairs. I can hear noise in Jack's room.

18:47 What is that noise?

18:49 Somehow there was a car in his cot. He was sitting in the dark playing with it.

19:00 Silence. I'll enjoy this for an hour or two.

19:01 I cant . I need to do housework

Binky Linky

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The Christmas Tag

I saw The Christmas Tag over on Confessions of a Nagging Mother and thought I would do that. I love Christmas so why not!

Favourite Christmas movie?  This is easy! Miracle on 34th Street. I absolutely love this movie. I watch it every year as it is just one of those feel-good Christmas movies. I haven't watched it yet this year so I may do that soon.

Do you open your Christmas presents in the morning or afternoon?  I have no idea how anyone opens them in the afternoon. How can they be that patient? I open mine in the morning. As soon as we get up, we go straight downstairs and start unwrapping. 

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?  My favourite Christmas Memory was not that long ago. It was only last year! I loved Christmas last year as it was my first Christmas as a mom. Jack was only 8 months old and wouldn't have understood any of it.  It reignited my excitement of Christmas and with Jack being 20 months old this Christmas, i am even more excited

Favourite festive food?   I love a homemade Trifle. Specifically my Mom's trifle. I think I could eat one all to myself even though one is meant for four people. I think I'm going to give making one a try this year, I will let you know how that goes.

Favourite Christmas gift?  I got engaged a few years ago and received an engagement ring for Christmas. I really wanted one but had thought I wasn't getting one. It was such a special gift.

Favourite Christmas scent?   I have no idea. I really don't. 

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?   I have never had any Christmas Eve traditions but this year we are going to start one for Jack. I've made him a Christmas Eve Box and we will spend Christmas Eve watching a Christmas movie and putting out food and drinks for Santa and his reindeer's.

What tops your tree?   A star!

What's the best part of Christmas for you?   Having time together with Jack and Wayne. I love seeing all our family and spending time with everyone. The whole of Christmas is so special to me.

I'm tagging everybody who reads this to take part in The Christmas Tag. Let me know if you do one. I hope it gets you in the Christmas spirit.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: The One for Teenage Girls


 Continuing on with my Christmas Gift Guides, this week is the one for Teenage Girls.

1. Happy Jackson Happiness Lies Within Travel Mug - I love Happy Jackson Products. With a striking pink and green design, this travel mug is perfect for your hot chocolate or cup of tea. With the quote 'happiness lies within' printed onto the mug, this Happy Jackson mug will brighten up any cold day.

2. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera and 10 Shot Bundle - White - With instagrams popularity showing no signs of waning, photography is becoming ever popular with the teenagers of today. The Instax Mini 8 Camera goes that one step further and allows your photos to be printed instantly. Simply point the camera, press the button and wait for your picture be printed.

3. Soap and Glory Well I'll Be Glammed - For beauty lovers, you can't go wrong with a Soap and Glory Gift Set. Instead of splurging on a bath set, why not give a make up set a go. The Well I'll Be Glammed set includes a mascara, brow-tint and precision shaping pencil, two lip-glosses, two eyeliners, a shimmer powder, an eye shadow in six shades and three make up brushes.
 Perfect for those teenagers who would love to try a gift set of best-selling products.

4.  Girls Brown Fringed Slouchy Handbag - This handbag from River Island is a limited edition product. Fringing continues to trend throughout A/W 2015 and this bag rocks the fringe trim well. Perfect for a casual daytime look, it's a bargain at £20.

5. 25 - Adele - Adele's new album 25 continues to break records. Now the fastest selling album of all time, it continues 11 songs including number one single Hello.

6. Muji Makeup Storage - For makeup lovers Muji continues to be a popular option for makeup storage. Selling both Acrylic and PP storage, these storage items are perfect for a teenager with a lot of make up and not a lot of space.

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