Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Moving Home & DIY

As most of you will know, we have just recently moved house - it's not our own as we're still renting but we still have some things in and around the house that we want to change and make our own. Our landlord is pretty laidback with what we can do so we're just going to work out what we want and start in the new year! It's all been recently renovated anyway so there isn't a huge amount to do - the majority of things are in the garden including a very old, bodged workman's shed that needs to be demolished and cleared... but that's one for the boys!
A lot of people, especially parents who are expecting, like to whip out the paint brush and make things look new and clean, I guess it's just one of those things to do with the list of things to buy and prepare for when you're expecting a new baby?! When we had Millie, we tackled her 'nursery' just after she was born and this time, we'll probably do the same with the spare room as we want to keep it quite neutral still but lots of people who tackle DIY jobs in and around the house aren't aware of the risks that it can pose and it's important to take extra care when you've got little ones around too!

Slater and Gordon conducted a piece of research around the effects of DIY and home improvements and what issues people were and weren't aware of - we live in an old Victorian house which has quite clearly, had some issues over the years and during this survey, 52% of the people who were asked also live in an older home that is over 50 years old. The problem with these older houses is that the risk of things such as asbestos, is a lot higher and a lot of people are quite naïve to the risks of being exposed to asbestos. Along with numerous other parts of the survey, 48% of people asked were completely unconcerned with health risks when it come to redecorating or renovating their houses! Now, for me, I'm worried about drilling holes into things I didn't know were there and would always prefer someone to come in and install or check something for us rather than us doing it ourselves but I understand that for others, the costs of doing this can be out of budget...
If you were faced with the facts of the health and safety concerns surrounding DIY and were more clued up on it, would you perhaps look into this more and reconsider if you wanted to redecorate or renovate your home?! Would you want to expose your children to these risks?! Asbestos can be a cause of cancer especially in these sorts of environments but Slater and Gordon are mesothelioma solicitors that specialise in cases where people have been exposed, unknowingly, to asbestos and if you aren't sure of the risks that come with it you can read up on it over there!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas: Mum to Be

With Christmas fast approaching, I’m also creeping closer and closer to my 20 week point of my pregnancy! We’re so excited to find out what we’re having this time round and even though I really have no preference, Millie would love a baby sister so I’m secretly hoping that Baby is a ‘she’! But alongside this, Christmas shopping is in full swing (I’m actually now completely finished!) but I’m still getting asked what it is I want for Christmas and I’m finding it difficult to narrow down things that aren’t Makeup or Food related! It’s tough when I know that I’m not going to have time (or energy) to sit and do things creatively, or to even pamper myself with long baths etc when Baby arrives, and obviously clothes are out of the question which includes pjs and even some shoes as my feet swelled up so much with Millie! 

So, here is a guide to what to buy a Mum to Be without worrying you’re going to offend her or get her something she can only stare at for the next 5 months... 

Soap and Glory have an amazing range of gifts at Christmas time, they come in all shapes and sizes and suit all budgets too! With smaller sets starting out from £5.00 going right up to £50.00 for the ultimate Soap and Glory bundles. I find that they’re used by most people and are suitable to use during pregnancy too so whether you go for a pre-packed kit that has everything a Mum to Be would need or you choose to go DIY in the 3 for 2 section in Boots, then chances are, whatever you get will be loved and used! 

My picks: I suggest going for a Body scrub to ease the itchy skin that comes alongside pregnancy (hands up if you’ve been there...) and some lovely, sweet smelling body lotions or Body soufflé's that can be applied to bump and any growing stretch marks. 

Something that would go nicely with the above are some Candles, below are a few Home Bargain Yankee Candle dupes that I got myself ready for Christmas and the littlest ones are just 79p!! The Gingerbread scent smells incredible and I’d actually buy that one over a Yankee Candle too (it’s also like 10% of the price of a Yankee Candle!!). But if you’re looking for more of a gift set then I managed to get my hands on this gorgeous Rose Gold Home fragrance set. It includes a Reed Diffuser in a lovely glass bottle with Rose Gold patterns and 2 Rose Gold coloured candles. Whether it’s going to be used for relaxing in the bath or to disguise the smell of baby poo, either way, the Rose Gold aesthetics will be appreciated by any Mum to Be. 

I see an on-going theme appearing here as here’s something else that doesn’t take very much effort to do... Magazine subscriptions are an odd gift but a very much appreciated one. You do the maths - paying £3.50 every month for a magazine that you read once or twice then chuck away, or, get gifted a subscription and have the magazine popped through your door monthly and you neither have to pay a penny or leave the house! Mother & Baby is a magazine targeted at Mums and Mums to Be and have all kinds of stories and articles that can help answer any burning questions or scary thoughts. ALSO if you purchase a subscription before the end of December, you also receive a FREE Dr Browns Gift set worth over £50 which includes: 
• Microwave steriliser with tongs
• 3 x 240ml bottles
• 2 x 120ml bottles
• 2 x level 2 teats
• 2 x level 3 teats
• Bottle brush
• 2 x travel caps
• Level 1 teats already supplied on each bottle
Head over to Great Magazines to buy your subscription now! 

If you’re looking for more of a unique touch then Etsy have some wonderful handmade gifts that are sentimental and perfect for any Mum or Mum to Be. This cute little bracelet is from WishWearBelieve* and the bracelets come in all different colours and charms with lots of other ones for other people too including Unicorn styled ones and Charms from Santa for being Nice!  

What Mum to Be doesn’t want to make herself look good for the big day?! We’re talking manicures, pedicures, waxing (everywhere!), hair done and tan. So what better way than to tick one of those things off their list with some instant tan from Bondi Sands. You can read a more in depth post here about the tan as I love the stuff and using a Gradual tanning lotion(save £1.99 at Boots at the moment) also helps with their ever growing belly and body and will help their skin to feel smooth and hydrated too. Or, if you have a dedicated tanner, go for a Self Tanning Mist* (save £4.99 at Boots at the moment!) which means that theres no awkward bending to rub it in and she should be able to reach all those ‘hard to get’ areas with ease! 

Last but definitely not least, this is definitely a gift just for Mum’s to Be... It’s a way to let Mum and Baby connect through something mutual and help them to develop their bond. BellyBuds* are a specialised speaker/headphone system that gently sticks to bumps and allows Mum to play music straight into the womb. Whether it’s hardcore Drum and Bass or soothing melodies, you can also play voice recordings back too and it’s a safe way to connect with baby. Mum can plug in her headphones too and listen along with baby or siblings can listen along too! BellyBuds are available on Amazon at the moment for £49.99 so it’s something that can be a main present or a treat if you know someone who has just announced their pregnancy! I love plugging in my headphones and popping on some classic RnB which gives a bit of both bass and songs as I sing along too! I’ve only recently started to feel baby move so it’s really nice to sit and relax and take in the movements when the music is on! The little green patches simply apply with a removable adhesive (like the sticky things in hospitals) and you can buy replacement ones too! 

*Post contains PR samples

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas: Makeup Revolution

If you’re trying to compose your Christmas List or looking for gifts to buy others, one of my favourite brands this year, Makeup Revolution, have released a lorry load of gifts and treats that are perfect for Christmas! If you’re a beauty lover or a lover of the brand too, take a look at some of my top picks this Christmas... 

If you’re looking for stocking fillers or a Secret Santa gift then try one of the Lip Trend kits that are just £4.50 and include 3 lip glosses - 1 gloss, 1 creme and 1 Amplified creme and comes in the Nudes or the Vamp collection. These kits mean that you don’t need to worry about getting the right colour for someone as you get a choice of 3 and chances are, 1 out of 3 is better than 0 out of 1! 

If you don’t think they’re much of a lipstick or lip gloss wearer, then try one of the new Chocolate eyeshadow palettes (no, not real chocolate unfortunately) but with 6 to choose from including: Pink Fizz, Salted Caramel, Naked Chocolate, Chocolate, Death by Chocolate and the newest Chocolate and Peaches - there will be a shadow palette for everyone. They all come with 14 eyeshadow shades and 2 brow highlights plus a double ended brush! For £7.99 you could get a couple of different palettes and still be on budget! These are some of the best palettes I’ve tried, especially for the price! 

If you’re looking for something a little more specific, Makeup Revolution have released 5 different gift sets that have a mixture of products and accessories in them to target a certain area or makeup style. This HD Pro correct and perfect set is the perfect base gift for everyone! For just £12.00 it comes with a correcting and concealing palette, 2x correct and conceal brushes and then a setting spray for the finishing touch, it’s the perfect collection to gift without worrying about whether each product will compliment each other. Along with this set there are 4 others including HD Pro brows, HD Pro Eyes and Brows, HD Pro Sculpt and Contour and HD Pro Strobe - all have brushes and accessories included along with a full sized palette. 

And last but definitely not least, a gift that keeps on giving... Makeup Revolution have released their very own Beauty Advent Calendar which has 25 doors - one for each day leading up to Christmas and all with full sized items behind each one! With over £50+ worth of products for just £30.00! Even if you’re gifting this after christmas, it’s a great way to try out lots of new products or you could  gift it early so that they have a new gift every day! Who wouldn’t want an early christmas present?! Not to mention one with 25 smaller gifts inside it!! 

Hopefully these beauty gifts have given you some ideas as to what you may want for Christmas or what you could get everyone else - whether you’re on a budget, shopping for friends, family or yourself, you’re bound to find something over at Makeup Revolution. Go and take a look at what they have on offer - and don’t miss their Black Friday deals too with up to 80% off some of their products! 

*Pr samples included

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Letters To Santa & Giveaway

No, it's not my letter to Santa, before you all start wondering! It's Millie's letter to Santa with a little help from Peppa Pig! This year, LadyBird have an activity online in which you can download and/or print the letter and fill it in with your little one and send it off to Santa! It's got a tick box for whether they've been Naughty or Nice (because we all know that he's gonna find out!) and they can write a few of their Christmas requests too!
Image source:
Peppa Pig's Post Book is a Christmas story about how Peppa and George help Mummy and Daddy pig at Christmas time and getting ready for the big day - but the story also includes six envelopes containing a Christmas card to fill in, decorations to make and a little book of Christmas recipes so you can be sure to have lots of fun getting ready for Christmas with your children too!
Ladybird Books are also giving one lucky person the chance to win a Peppa's Post Book and all you need to do is simply complete the Christmas list available here and tweet a photo of your little ones holding their Christmas lists with the hashtag #LadybirdChristmas!
Millie's Christmas list has already been sent to Santa but we've agreed that we're going to put this one out on Christmas eve, just to remind him what she wants in-case he forgets!
If you tweet a picture, make sure you tag me too as I'd love to see what your little ones want for Christmas! @EmmaLouB_