My Top 5 Father’s Day Gifts from £10

Father’s Day. It can be a tricky one to buy for can’t it? Well, I find it difficult anyway, as neither my dad, nor Ryan like golf or football, which most Father’s Day gifts seem to involve. Last year, I got the girls to decorate plates and baked them in the oven. They really enjoyed it, and Ryan liked them too. But we can’t do that every year. So here are some ideas I have found for the Dads and Granddads in your life.

Minibook PHOTO BOOK from Social Print Studio

A few years back, I got this cute mini book of photos printed from my Instagram accountThis cute Social Print Studio Mini photo book makes the perfect Father's Day gift

The company I found them on, Social Print Studio, are American but they post to the UK and the rates are reasonable, and it’s fast delivery too, considering it’s coming such a long way.

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You get two mini books for $15 so I got one for Ryan and one for my dad. They both loved them. You can get all sorts of other sizes, and I also got some Polaroid-style pictures printed up, which I we have up in our cloakroom. They are great quality, so I think I’ll be ordering some more.Polaroid stye Instagram pictures from Social Print Studio in Umbra snap frames

Craft Beer subscription service

I wish I had thought of this, but Ryan actually got this for himself! For £20 a month the Flavourly Craft Beer Club sends you ten different craft beers, along with a beer magazine: that’s only £2 a bottle, and postage is free. If you click through here, you’ll get £12 off your first craft beer box, and Ryan gets £5 off his next month. You can choose light or dark beers, or a mix, and they encourage you to rate and review each one, to help you get an even better selection next time. Flavourly Craft Beer Subscription - the perfect Father's Day giftOne of the things that really appeals to us is that it supports small independent breweries from all over the world, rather than the mainstream multinational companies. It’s also the gift that keeps on giving, as he’ll get more delivered every month. Ryan enjoys it so much more than the big named beer, as he loves trying new flavours. Plus, it’s cheaper than buying craft beers from a supermarket, and way more fun. Look at his face when the first delivery arrived!The Flavourly Craft Beer Subscription makes the perfect Father's Day gift for the beer lover in your family.

personalised FATHer’s day oak coaster

I just received this fab coaster from Bespoke & Oak* for my dad for Father’s Day (I’ve told him not to read this post, I hope he remembers) and I think he will love it. Bespoke & Oak personalised coasterIt’s £9.50 and can be personalised with several names and whatever your kids call their Granddad/Grandpa. There are several other designs too. Continue reading

My fun night at Berylune’s Craft Party

I love crafts and have so many on the go. I am a ‘dabbler’ and want to try everything I can. So I booked myself, my friend Becky, and my sister Debbie on to Berylune’s Craft Party in Leamington Spa. We wanted to go last year, but couldn’t make it, so I was really excited, even though I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was there was craft, a bar and a raffle. And quite frankly, that is enough for me.

Balloons at the Berylune Craft PartyThere was a big room downstairs, with a small pop up version of the Berylune shop, which is one of my favourites. There was indeed a bar, and a few craft areas where you could make pompoms and fold your own envelopes out of pretty paper. We went upstairs to a larger room, which had all of the other crafts, and a rather amazing selection of raffle prizes. Raffle prizes at the Berylune Craft PartyAfter winning a great prize a few weeks ago, I thought I had better cash in on my winning streak, so bought five tickets. There was also an area for funny photos:Larking about at the Berylune Craft PartyThen we got stuck into the serious business of crafting. Here’s what I made, read on for more details!

My makes from the Berylune Craft Party

A monochrome mug, faux leather purse, brooch, necklace and stamp picture.

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REVIEW: A Book, A Play Mat, and A Submarine in 1!

The Pink family are big book lovers – we have two huge bookshelves groaning with my novels and art and craft books, and all of Ryan’s sciency ones. And that’s not even mentioning Ava and Thea’s collections! But we are always hungry for more books, especially the girls. They love nothing more than cuddling up for a story.

So when the lovely people at Miles Kelly Publishing sent us a new 3-in-1 convertible book to review*, excitement was high! Especially as it is GINORMOUS: I folded it all out, and Thea said “It’s gigantic! Can you read it longest?” I couldn’t even get it all in the photo! Miles Kelly Convertible Submarine Play Mat Continue reading

Enjoying Some Much Needed Me Time

Ryan has been abroad this week, with work, so I have been a bit too busy to blog. I always dread him going away, as I find it really hard to solo-parent. But this time, it was actually a lot easier than I expected. I wonder if that was because I spent last weekend away from home, doing some things for myself. Maybe having some time out from family life meant I was more relaxed? Though my weekend wasn’t really relaxing, it was pretty full on, but great fun, and reminded me of who I am, aside from being a mum!

It started on Saturday, when I got the train up to Manchester, and stayed overnight with my cousin. Waiting on the platform for a train We went out for dinner to a lovely local Italian place and caught up. Normally we have Ava and Thea needing our attention, so it was great to be able to talk properly!

Next morning, she dropped me off at a bloggers event called BlogOn at the Museum of Science and Industry, but I was a bit early, so I found a (slightly hipster) coffee bar and enjoyed a nice cup of proper Earl Grey tea, with milk in a Pyrex flask. And don’t you just love the gold teaspoon?Proper tea

Now to many people this is quite commonplace, but to me, it was so nice to have half an hour to sit and read a magazine, it felt like a holiday! The life of a mum, right? Continue reading

My Favourite Five for April: Desert Essence, Dining Chairs & Blooms

April has flown by, hasn’t it? We have been really busy with the Easter holidays and work, but we have been able to enjoy the garden in the sunny days in between the crazy storms. We’ve enjoyed a weekend away with extended family, where Ava and Thea got to play with my cousins’ lovely kids whilst we caught up with the grown ups. We also had a fun day out in Tring, where we went to the Natural History Museum (blog post to come soon) and Pizza Express afterwards. Here are a few other things I’ve been enjoying this month…

1. Desert Essence natural body products.  I do my best to avoid chemicals, and I’m trying to cut them out of my beauty regime. This is easier said than done, however! I have tried loads of different brand of ‘natural’ shampoos and they have pretty much all been useless. I put ‘natural’ in inverted commas because I find it hard to distinguish between genuinely natural products and ones that have been ‘greenwashed’ to make them seem more natural than they are. But I picked up this little set of travel-sized Desert Essence goodies at my local health food store and they actually work! Normally the low-chemical shampoos don’t lather very well, but this does, and it smells lovely too. So I’m going to try and track down the full sized version now. These were £10 for the set, so not cheap, but I think it’s worth it. Desert Essence coconut shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion2. Ava’s ladybird. I have written about Ava’s ladybird love before, but she took it to a new level this month by making her own, from a polystyrene egg, pipe cleaners and googly eyes. She even made it a poo, as she noticed that when one was on her hand, it pooped out a little yellow poo. She was laughing her head off at that.  Ava's ladybird3. Our new dining chairs and cushion. I am doing a mini makeover on the dining area of our kitchen/diner to try and cheer it up a bit, and made a start with the new BESTA unit from our LiveLagom project. I recently found this reproduction Charles Eames Style DSW ‘Eiffel’ White Dining Chair* for just £18 on Amazon (yes, you did read that right – under £20!) Now, they aren’t going to last forever. But as much as I’d love an original, I don’t have £300 plus to spend (times two!) I also love these grey and white cushion covers from H and M, which are made with organic cotton. We will actually use them in the lounge, or they will get wrecked.

White Eames style dining chair with monochrome cushion

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REVIEW: Trespass Girls’ Snow Jacket

A few months ago, we had a very muddy adventure in the woods, and I realised that Ava’s coat situation just wasn’t good enough. She has a warm winter coat, but it’s not waterproof. She has a waterproof jacket, but it’s not very warm. So when Trespass contacted me to see if I’d like to review one of their products, I chose this lovely Poppy Snow Jacket* from their Girls’ Ski Jacket collection. As you can see, Ava is totally over the moon with it!

Ava couldn't be happier with her girly Poppy Girls' Snow Jacket from Trespass Continue reading

Ingredients for the best ever flapjack

My Best Ever Flapjack Recipe: Easy, Gooey & Delicious

My flapjacks are famous amongst my friends. I once took some to work and was told by several people I could give up my job and make flapjack for a living. I think that would be rather foolish, but you get the point! Sorry if you think I’m blowing my own trumpet, but try these and see what you think – I’d love to know, so please leave me a comment below! The best flapjack you'll ever taste, full of golden syrup, brown sugar, butter, oats and dessicated coconut. Delicious in moderation!

So the time has come to share my recipe… Continue reading

Three Months of Our LiveLAGOM Project with IKEA and Hubbub

At the start of the year, we began our  LiveLAGOM project with IKEA and Hububb. We were incredibly excited to be selected as ambassadors, to see if we can live a more sustainable life, with the help of £500 worth of IKEA products. Being a huge IKEA fan, I didn’t need asking twice!

The idea of the project is to live a more LAGOM life, which comes from the Swedish phrase ‘lagom är bäst’ (the right amount is best). So enjoying what you love, while not taking more than you need

So we set to making a list of issues we wanted to address, and the products that would help us. Then it was shopping time!

Thea showing off her IKEA shopping list

So how are our LIVELAGOM resolutions going?

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REVIEW: MyBugle Custom ID Bracelets & Discount Code

Sometimes, my girls like to terrify me by running off and hiding – normally when we are in a supermarket or shopping centre. They seem to delight in my panic, and now they are growing up, I can’t just strap them into the buggy!

As we head towards holiday and festival season, we’ll be going out on more day trips to unfamiliar places, so I’ve been thinking about ways to keep them safer. Enter MyBugle, who design and make custom ID bracelets for adults and children. They made a pair of custom Pixie ID bracelets for the girls, with our phone numbers engraved on the inside*.

Pink Pixie MyBugle ID Bracelets

Thea and Ava love their bracelets, which secretly have our phone numbers engraved on them.

We chose the pretty pink version but there are loads of other options, including plenty that are suitable for boys. Ava and Thea are obsessed with ‘love hearts’, so I chose that for the outside of the stainless steel plaque. On the inside is ICE (In Case of Emergency) and both of our mobile numbers.

Two Pink Pixie MyBugle ID Bracelets with heart engraving

Our mobile numbers are engraved on the other side of the plaque.

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