Friday, 28 November 2014

An Announcement!!

Good morning! I have some very exciting news to share with you all today!!! I have decided to do Blogmas 2014!!!! Woop woop!! (That's a hell of a lot of exclamation marks right there). For the month of December up to December 25th I will be blogging every single day (gulp!) and sharing my month of December with you all! Want to see the highs and lows, the tears and the triumphs? The drama and the reindeer? (Hmmm, this sounds a bit like a movie trailer!!). 

Whilst I can't promise anything as epic as the Hunger Games, (come to think of it, I don't think anyone would want to read my blog if I had to avoid death every day), I can definitely give you dodgy posing in outfits of the day and all the goings on in the run up to Christmas for me, my husband, Pablo T Dog and a two and a half year old toddler (though she likes to be referred to as a half and a two year old now!).  Prepare for the stress of shopping when I realise I have forgotten a present (this always happens), when I get ill (this always happens), Christmas parties, days out and lots of adventures. 

I have studiously considered the logistics of this feat, and whilst I am a little scared, I believe I can do it.  I am going to try and make the blogs as up to the minute as I possibly can and share what I am getting up to every single day.  Blogs will be up at 6am and will run a day late, so you will actually read about the 1st of December on the 2nd, and so on and so forth! The December 1st blog will actually be about November 30th (and its a good one!). Following? Good, good, good. 

So, let Blogmas 2014 commence, and whilst my husband may need to dip me into a tank of cold water (akin to in Overboard) at the end of this, I am very very excited!!!

I will see you nice and early on Monday morning for my 1st December blog! And do you see those lovely links to your right? Yep, those are the ones. Click on any to keep up to date with me and my Blogmas adventures! 

See you Monday!

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

NOTD - Barry M Nightshade

I love a really dark nail and this colour is amazing.  I had tried a Barry M nail paint before and I wasn't that impressed with it, I think it was quite a pale colour and I felt the application was streaky.  But this polish has redeemed my faith in Mr.Barry M and I am in love with this colour.   

Its the nail paint in shade 359, Nightshade.  In the bottle it looks a very dark purple/maroon colour and once applied its an even deeper colour, almost black, but not as harsh, as it has got the warmth of the purple/maroon in it.  I got amazing colour and shine from two coats. It dried really quickly and lasted a few days without chipping - I am way too lazy for a top coat so it would probably last longer if you used one. 

For only £2.99 this is my favourite purchase this week and I think this colour is gorgeous for Christmas.  

Are there any nail colours you would recommend at the moment? Comments below please! 

Thanks for reading, 

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Super Busy Mum

Monday, 24 November 2014

A Phone Amnesty

A year ago I wouldn't have classed myself as a particular checker of the phone.  I could quite happily leave my phone under the bed all day and then retrieve it hours later to several texts and missed calls. Sometimes it would probably be easier for people to contact me via pigeon rather than my phone. I had hardly any apps and I only checked my emails when I could be bothered to turn on my laptop. 

How times have changed.  That little phone now contains my life. My email, Twitter, Instagram, What's App, The OK! app (I so love this app). My phone constantly buzzes and vibrates to inform me of likes, what's trending, messages, What's app messages, voucher codes, shopping deals, breaking get the picture.  You don't look at the buzz and you feel you are missing something.  Look at the buzz and you don't even realise you're doing it. 

This blog post isn't anti-phones.  It just that I do catch myself looking on that little iPhone a bit too much for my liking. I caught myself checking out Kim K's outfit whilst Baba was eating her lunch the other day.  I mean how bad a mum am I? Annabel Karmel would have a fit.  Would I like it if Baba read a newspaper at the table instead of talking to me? Erm, nope.  So I should show her the same courtesy and manners back.  

Other times I'm looking at someone twirling around in their Prada shoes whilst I am on the floor cleaning up Weetabix from my carpet (I am sure Baba stashes it up her pyjama legs then drops it on the floor in little mounds in the style of the Great Escape).  But, surely I can wait a bit longer before giving their pic a thumbs up.

So I have made the decision to try and live in the woods and resort to message by carrier pigeon.  Only joking.  But I am going to try to make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of time I take a peek at my phone. I might even leave it under the bed for a morning.  I'm not that important so I'm sure without my online input the world will continue to turn.

But in all seriousness, I see my daughter watching me, and I wonder what she thinks as I'm on my phone.  As she gets older I don't want her permanently stuck to a mobile or laptop. I will keep you posted as to how my attempted phone amnesty goes, and if nothing else, I think it will make me think twice before scrolling through and clicking away. Yes, technology is wonderful and pretty amazing.  But its all about having that balance.  And alot of the time the most amazing stuff is happening on our side of that little screen, we just need to be present in the moment to see it. 

What do you think? I am panicking over nothing? Do you use your phone alot? Fancy joining my amnesty? Comments below please! And if you need me urgently between the hours of 12 and 4 then feel free to make the sound of a cuckoo and I will try and respond to your call!  

Thanks for reading, 

Friday, 21 November 2014

A hat and a scarf. Simple.

I have to admit, Summer used to be my favourite.  Warm weather, flip flops and holidays.  But Winter is definitely growing on me. There's the obvious Christmas and snowman making (that I only actually enjoy for two minutes because making a snowman is bloody hard).  But then there's the winter accessories too.  And is it just me, or are the accessories a vast improvement from years gone by? I can remember my younger self wearing my ear muffs and mittens on a string that had remnants of crisps stuck to them from the week before...hmm maybe that was just me then. But now there are mittens, muffs, scarf's, hats, knits and snood's to name but a few. This is obviously leading up to some new purchases.

The first item actually does some good other than just keeping me warm. Its one of the wonderful alphabet scarves from Matalan.  All proceeds from the sale of the scarves go to the Alder Hey Children's Charity. What's not to love about that?  On top of that, the scarves are of such good quality.  They are so so soft, a really great length, and they come in a range of lovely shades with a choice of initial. 

And did I mention none other than Sarah Jessica Parker has one? Well, if its good enough for her, its certainly good enough for me.  I picked up a dusky pink scarf with the letter 'L' in grey.  

I absolutely love it, and it feels good to be giving back too. For just £10 you can pick up one of the alphabet scarves here. (And I think they would make a great Christmas present too!). 

My second purchase is from H&M. Oh! They have got some gorgeous clothes and accessories in at the moment.  Definitely worth taking a look.  I picked up this fantastic bobble hat in grey for £6.99.(Insert dodgy posed hat wearing pic here).  

Again, its so so soft.  I really can't be doing with any scratchy materials in the cold.  And to be honest, if you are going to do a bobble hat, you may as well do the bobble hat and get a big one, lets not mess around here.  Plus it's a fact that you lose half your body heat from your head.

Well, apparently that not true. I've just Googled it, and apparently its a myth!  But, a hat definitely helps you keep warm to some extent, and if it looks good too, its win win.  I've had a search on the H&M website but I can't find the exact match to this one, have a look here for some pretty similar.  

Right, I'm off now to brace the cold and look particularly stylish walking Pablo T Dog. Ok, what's actually going to happen is Baba will yank my hat all the way over my eyes and probably want to wear it, and then my scarf will get caught up in the pram.  But please, just think of me elegantly and stylishly walking the dog.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.  

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Manchester Christmas Markets

There is nothing that screams Christmas to me more than visiting a Christmas Market (that and watching the Grinch).  And that's exactly where me, Baba, my mum and sister went on Sunday for a girlie Christmas shopping trip to Manchester.  We stayed overnight and enjoyed lots of shopping, (some more than others...erm, that will be me then), food, chatter and champagne. As is life, Baba started to become unwell towards the end of the trip with a nasty cough and cold and we had to cut the trip short.  I apologise to the lovely van man who I completely blocked in on a small side street as I dashed from the drivers seat to console a very upset daughter in the middle of the road.  But before that chaos, we got up to alot before we left. So come with us on our Christmas market adventure!  

We arrived on the Sunday morning (is it me...or is it like a military operation trying to leave a house on time with a two and half year old?). We first dropped our bags off at the gorgeous 5 star hotel, The Lowry. Overlooking the River Irwell it is right in the heart of Manchester, and if its luxury you are after, this is the hotel for you. We immediately wandered into town to start our shopping expedition. 

"Hello Manchester"

After hitting a few shops and a few sneaky purchases, we stopped for lunch at The Botanist which is this gorgeous eatery on Deansgate. The restaurant is a little like walking into Alice in Wonderland. The ceiling is covered in twinkly lights and it was almost like walking through an enchanted forest to sit at our table at the back. The staff were lovely and very accommodating of Baba.  (She was very impressed with her colouring pack).  The food was delicious, and we all shared a sharing (!) platter.  Unfortunately, my blogging skills failed me.  I haven't taken a single picture of the restaurant...I was way too busy eating and entertaining Baba.  But, you can check out The Botanist website here and please trust me when I say you need to visit!


We spent the afternoon in the centre shopping and made our way back to the hotel where we got ready for a meal in the restaurant. 

"Cheese! Now lets go eat!!"

Again, such yummy food.  They have a set menu for £24.95 for three courses with a glass of prosecco or wine.  The setting was so picturesque overlooking the river and Baba was very happy to watch all of the twinkly lights reflecting on the water.  The staff again were so accommodating of our extra little guest, and Baba wolfed down her special two course meal. Whilst I took Baba to bed, my mum and sister stayed in the bar for a quick drink.  They spotted a few famous clientèle (this is such a celebrity spot hotel!), before returning to the room and telling me all about it! 

Refreshed and raring to go, we woke up early.  No, sorry, that is a lie. Baba woke up early, and so we dragged ourselves out of bed, dressed and headed to Moose Coffee for breakfast.  This is such a fabulous little find by my sister.  Me and Baba shared blueberry pancakes with maple syrup which were AMAZING! And Baba enjoyed trying to spot as many Moose's as she could! You can check out Moose Coffee's website here.

"OOTD at The Lowry. I so wish I had a walk in closet"

On Monday morning we went to visit the Manchester Christmas markets.  There are over 300 stalls dotted around Manchester and you can easily walk between them all.  Each has its own theme and attractions. There is fresh produce, gifts, food and drinks from all over the world including Germany, Spain, France and Hungary to name but a few. 

"Market Time"

For the little ones (and adults too), there are lots of little surprises including a singing tree (we spent waaaaay to long listening to this guy!).  

There is also the unmissable giant Santa.

Obviously a singing and talking moose, 

and more twinkling lights than you can shake a stick at.  Even if you have done all of your Christmas shopping (really?!) or if you like to leave it all until Christmas eve (sis, that's you), definitely visit to really get into the Christmas spirit and soak up the atmosphere.   

And if it gets too cold, just hop into any of the wonderful craft exhibitions dotted along the route.  We went into the Manchester Town Hall where they had lots of stalls selling unusual gifts and treats. And how gorgeous is the town hall inside? 

"Cheese. Now lets go and get coffee :-) "

The Manchester Christmas Markets quite rightly draw people from all over the UK and further afield.   If you can get up / or down (depending where you are) for a day or weekend, I highly recommend it.  And for some more Manchester food inspiration, you can check out my other Manchester blog here.

I loved it so much, I'm taking the husband and Baba again next month. Shopping, Santa, and mulled wine.  What's not to love? 

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Monday, 17 November 2014

Pushchair Wars

Hmmmm, I don't want you to get the wrong impression of me.  I'm not a trouble maker.  Honest.  Trouble just seems to find me.  And in this case, it found me and my daughter's pushchair. 

Now, maybe I should start by saying that I am not exactly the best pushchair driver.  I may or may not have caught people's heels, ran over their feet and once nearly took a pensioner out.  But, I can assure you these were all genuine mishaps and I profusely apologised afterwards. I even called a cab for the pensioner so they could go to A&E (joke!). But, I feel now my daughter is two and a half, I have earned a proficiency in pushchair management and I can expertly do a quick three point turn single handedly, whilst simultaneously keeping an eye on the sale item I need to get to before the other woman does, all whilst singing the wheels on the bus. 

But, alas. This tale is not about how sh*t-hot I am at driving the pushchair.  No sir.  This is about the goodwill of the shopping population.  Sorry. Did I say goodwill? I meant fury and hate towards pushchair drivers! I popped into town last week and I got cut up, bashed, tutted at and blatantly blocked. My crime? Having a pushchair.  I thought we were gearing up for the season of goodwill? More like blood spill. 

I completely understand that the shops are busy. That there isn't much room.  That people are busy.  And the last thing people want is me, the pushchair, and my daughter with her arms like an aeroplane, very helpfully touching every single thing that her little hands can touch (read: EVERY SINGLE THING...this includes walking sticks, shop merchandise, bags and furry coats especially).  I get that.  But please. Give me a break. 

I am a human too.  I am trying to do my Christmas shopping too.  Did I already say I am human too? As I was in one shop, the queue to get out of the shop suddenly backed up.  A cashier piped up loudly that pushchairs were the bane of her life!!!!  I wasn't even causing the kerfuffle! Someone had dropped their wallet in front of me!  So I whizzed round, lifted my daughter up, who then karate kicked the woman in the face in the style of Kill Bill.  Ok. That didn't happen. But I may have thought it.  Though I do not condone any sort of violence towards shop assistants.  But how mean of her to say that!  

Where are peoples' understanding and love? They have clearly traded them in for the most wanted Frozen merchandise. 

If anything, I think shoppers should applaud me.  And maybe cheer as I stroll by. Yeah you go Laura!  Yes, you can do it! I mean I not only have to remember my shopping list because my daughter ate it in the first shop.  But I also have to run from one side of the shopping centre to the other so my daughter can go to the toilet (she does this at the precise mathematical moment that I am the furthest away from them- the girl is a genius).  I am also steering, dodging people trying to get me to switch energy suppliers, working out what to actually buy and thinking what to cook for tea.  Go me! 

So please, let's all show a little love to one another this Christmas time.  Yes, we are all busy.  Yes, it can be stressful.  But let's give a break to the mum's with pushchairs. And because if you don't I may just unleash my inner Kill Bill moves and Baba will drop kick you out of the shop. After, that is, she has stroked your furry coat.(Not that I condone violence in any way). 
Happy shopping everyone! :-) 

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Pore's Up

I can honestly say I never really noticed the pore's on my face until I found a product that concealed them.  Now I can't get enough of the product and I wonder how I ever lived without it. You know the product I'm talking about, everyone from here to Timbucktoo seems to rave about it, so I thought I would give it a try too. Introducing Benefit's, The Porefessional. 

Oh, you so need this little beauty in your life.  Trust me.  And for once, I can show you the immediate effects of the product on those pesky little pores.  Here goes! Here's an up close and personal picture of my face.  The picture on the left is my natural beauty (!) pores and all. The picture on the right is after applying only The Porefessional.  

What do you think? To me, the difference is clear to see.  And I think there are few products that you can actually see a immediate difference with.  When you then go to apply your foundation, the pores are no-where to be seen! Ta-dah!

The product is quite thick and creamy and you just dot a very small amount over your pores before you apply your foundation.  I can only liken it to almost plastering over your pores so you skin is suddenly nice and flat, but the product is really light at the same time and lasts all day.  Amazing! 

You can pick up The Porefessional from Benefit here and there is an offer with benefit at the moment where you can pick two free samples with every order. You could always choose this as your sample if there is another product you regularly use. Debenhams also has a big sale event on at the moment and The Porefessional is on discount here.  Whilst it might sound a bit pricey, I promise you this product does make a difference, and you only need a tiny bit of product, so it will certainly last.  Definitely one to try or pop on your Christmas wish list! 

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Playgroup Warfare

It's happened.  I know this moment was going to happen.  And now it has. A little boy hit my daughter during playgroup last week and oh yeah, it went down.  Well, maybe that is a slight exaggeration. But it did end with me looking worse than the evil witch in Sleeping Beauty.  

Let me set the scene for you.  My daughter is bouncing happily on a trampoline when enter the son of the devil (dum, dum, dumduuuum).   No, only joking (well, not really).  Anyway, this little boy came and, totally unprovoked I may add, whacked my daughter on the head. My mouth dropped to the floor, and I ran over.  Of course, his mum was no where to be seen.  I politely told him that we don't hit, and I told my daughter to move over so she was further away from him. I hoped that was the end of it, but things were about to get worse. 

AS I stepped back, the little devil spawn, sorry boy, then moved closer and actually hit her harder, in the face! In my head, I drop kicked the boy out of the window, but what I actually did was to go up to him again and tell him we don't hit and that hitting wasn't a very nice thing  to do.  I said all this with a big frown on my face, for dramatic emphasis. 

Obviously there wasn't a single witness to his crime.  His mum was nowhere to be seen. And you know what happened next? He turned on the waterworks.  He actually started wailing so loud that the WHOLE of the room turned round to look at the boy crying and then ME standing next to him (GULP). He then ran to his mum, still wailing, and I followed (ran) after.  I explained to her that all I had done was to tell him not to hit my daughter. His mum looked at me and smiled and said that was fine (but I think she said in her head....don't make my son cry, bitch). And I smiled (and secretly thought, you should be watching your son, lady).

But alas, this is me being dramatic.  I mean this stuff happens all the time doesn't it??? The point of the story is that I think I am now known as the pantomime villain at the playgroup.  I have visions of all the children crying when they see me, and the parents huddling over their children so the nasty witch lady won't shout at them. Not that I care too much.  I mean, I only told the boy not to hit. That's ok isn't it?

I have a feeling this is the start of a long list of incidents, where I ponder whether to get involved or not.  In this case I feel justified as the boy was about to give my daughter a skull fracture. Has this ever happened to you? What did you do? Or has someone told your child not to hit? How did you feel? Please share and comment below!

Thank you for reading...and erm, are you following my blogs? No??? Well, come on now...use any of the lovely links to your right to keep up to date with everything Laura Evelyn Bee! Or the nasty witch lady will come and find you.  Only joking, or maybe I'm not :-)

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Hen Party Part II

Hello and welcome to part II of the Marvellous Manchester weekend...if you missed part I (where were you?!?), you can read that down below.  But today I thought I would share with you where we stayed and what we got up to in Manchester, so let's begin! 

We all boarded the train to Manchester early on Saturday morning.  We arrived and checked into the Hilton Deansgate in Manchester which is a gorgeous hotel in the centre of Manchester. It is 47 storeys high and apparently can be seen by 10 English counties on a clear day! The rooms are lovely and the views are amazing as you would expect.  We unpacked, freshened up and made our way out into the city of Manchester.   

We were booked in for the afternoon high tea at the Grand Pacific at Australasia. A gorgeous restaurant in Manchester city centre.  The high tea was an afternoon tea with a twist.  It came in two "waves". The first wave was a three tier sushi and salad selection served with a glass of the Spee’ Wah Australian ‘champagne’.  The second wave was a selection of the most beautiful and frankly yummiest desserts.  It was something a little bit different to your normal afternoon tea in the most perfect and relaxed setting.

Saturday evening was spent getting ready, using the hotel spa and swimming pool and getting ready for the night ahead.  We began the night at Cloud 23 which is actually on the 23rd floor of the Hilton hotel. It is well worth a visit for the amazing views and delicious cocktails. The bar is open to non-residents of the hotel but I would advise booking beforehand via their website so you don't have to queue. 

There was lots of drinking, dancing and laughing as we visited local bars. We did randomly end up in the local Subway (yes, as in eat fresh Subway!) for a quick snack half way through the evening.  A girls got to have some carbs before she dances the night away!!!

We booked Artisan for Sunday lunch before we all boarded the train home. You HAVE to go here.  The surroundings, service and food was unbelievable.  The menu has everything from burgers and wood fired pizza's to traditional Sunday roasts at reasonable prices too. I have not a bad word to say about this restaurant. You just have to go!  

No, I didn't eat all of this and then have a chocolate pudding. No. That just didn't happen. No. Ok, that's exactly what happened. 

We headed home with full bellies (some fuller than others!) and amazing memories. I cannot recommend the places we went to enough. And did you know the Manchester Christmas markets start next week? What better time to take a little trip to Manchester! I am visiting the markets next week so stay tuned for some festive market blogging coming your way

Hope you are having a lovely weekend, 

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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Hen Party Part I

Last month I organised my lovely friend Jo's hen party in Manchester. Eeek! Not a task I undertook lightly.  I thought I would let you know of the little things I did to try and make the weekend special and the following is the result of lots of planning, Googling, hard work and organisation.  So, without further ado you are cordially invited to the Marvellous Manchester Hen Weekend Part I!

The Invite
When Jo first asked me to organise her hen party, I knew I wanted to send something out to all of the hen's to introduce myself and give them an invite to the hen weekend.  However, I didn't want to spend my budget on invitations, and then I came across the lovely website that is Paperless Post. Paperless Post allows you to create gorgeous email invites.  You pick your invite, customise it, then email it out. There are free ones to choose from or you can pay a small fee for others.  I chose a free one and I emailed this out to all the hen's introducing myself and telling them to keep their eyes peeled in their inbox for more exciting hen news! You can find the website for Paperless Post here.

Website and Phone App
An important part of any hen party is the anticipation of the weekend. As the hen's were coming from all over the country I wanted a forum where we could share our excitement and message each other and debate the serious business of who is bringing hair straighteners. I knew of websites for weddings, so I sneakily set up a hen party website through  I changed the details to 'Jo is getting married' instead of the couples name and I then emailed each hen with details of the website and their password and we had a lovely website to share all things hen party. The site was so easy to set up and you could customise the site to suit your needs. I had sections with travel arrangements, prices, an itinerary and a chat forum.  

I also set up an app through Wedding Pics (their website is here).  We all downloaded the app to our phones and it meant we could upload the pictures of the hen party immediately into one place.  Again, it was password protected so only the hen party could see.  It meant it did away with the annoying 50 pictures of the same shot as we all grappled to get our phones out. Only one of use needed to take the picture then upload it to the app and we could all see it on our phones.  This is such a genius idea!  The app lets you download the photos and comment and like the pictures too, and again, it was so easy to set up!  This is mainly used for weddings, but I think its such a good idea you could use it for so many things really. 

Gift bags
I knew straight away that I wanted little goody bags for each of the hens and so started my quest for the perfect hen party gift bag.  I adore and if you have never visited this website, seriously, go and look now, but be warned, you WILL be addicted.  They did not disappoint and straight-away I found these gorgeous bags from TillieMint that were personalised with Jo's name and then little badges that were attached to personalise each bag. TillieMint kindly gave me a group discount on the bags and their service was amazing.   The bags were the perfect size for all of the goodies and looked amazing, you can buy the bags here.

I scoured the shops for little finds to fill up my bags. There was the obligatory tissues (for tears of laughter), plasters (for our feet after hours of dancing) and paracetamol (for the morning after). I then found bulk packs of shampoo, conditioner and face wash from one of the pound shops and I thought these were perfect if any of the girls had forgotten their toiletries. I also included mints and a gorgeous Maybelline lip balm which I found in the pound shop again! 

The pretty mirrors were from Kimberley Rose, again from  They were personalised with Jo's name and then the date of the hen party. These were perfect as a keepsake for the hen's and you can find them here. The little Mr & Mrs sweets I got from Hobbycraft and they were the perfect size for the bags, you can find them here. 

Bunting and photos

Unbeknownst to Jo we had decorated my hotel room with bunting and I had collected photos from everyone of Jo, ranging from her as a baby, to wild nights out and school photos.  It was lovely to see the photos other people had, and it was an ice breaker as we all went round laughing at the photos (sorry Jo) and reminiscing about the good old times!!!

Guest Book
A tradition that I have seen at lots of hen parties is where all the hens write in a book with funny stories, memories and advice for the hen.  I asked all the hens to send me photos of themselves with Jo and then I set about making the book.  I wanted to include lots of life quotes and saying's in the book, so after lots of Google searches (thank the lord for Google), I hand stamped the pages and interspersed quotes with photos.  Each hen then wrote a special message for Jo. Hobbycraft do lovely guestbooks, the one I picked is here. And I also picked up individual hand stampers from Hobbycraft here.

Signed photo
I wanted to get another keepsake for Jo and bought a lovely black photo frame from Wilkinson with a plain white mount.  During the course of the weekend I managed to take a photograph of all of the hens together.  I ran (literally) on the Sunday morning to get the photo processed, and then all the hens signed their names around the photo on the mount.  It really looked effective and we gave it to Jo at lunch on the Sunday. 

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a lucky sixpence in her shoe. 
I am a sucker for traditions.  As Jo is gong abroad to get married, none of the hens were actually going to see her on her big day.  I thought it would be nice if we all did the tradition, and between us all we filled a little box with keepsakes that fitted the traditional rhyme. 

And that's it.  It took alot of hard work, but all the little things really came together and I think (and hope), made the hen weekend really special and provided some keepsakes which Jo will hopefully look at in years to come. Sometimes its the little things that add up to make something really special.  

I will be posting my hen weekend part II tomorrow with reviews of the places we went to in Manchester. Its well worth a read if you want to know some of the amazing restaurants and bars there (and you get to see the huge amount of food I consumed!!). 

Have you got any hen weekend plans or keepsake ideas? Please comment below and lets share the inspiration!

Thanks for reading!

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Friday, 7 November 2014

How honest are blogs?

The post that I was meant to write today I have had to change at the very last minute.  It was about a mascara that I had bought from a very cheap, well known supermarket.  I have to say the mascara was great and I was very surprised at how it made my lashes look.  What wasn't so great is after a day wearing it, my eyes started to feel sore and swollen.  And now here I am sat at my laptop with sore eyes and my first blogging dilemma. Do I post my original blog and omit the bit about a possible reaction like it never happened? Do I delete the post entirely? Or do I write the post and tell everyone the ugly truth about my reaction? 

I eventually went with none of the above and the post is in my draft folder (it was quite a good post and I didn't have the heart to delete it).  Omitting the truth on my blog just didn't feel right and I had this awful vision of women emailing me the world over telling me their eyes had swollen too and how could I dare recommend such a product.  But, I also didn't have the heart to give a companies product a big thumbs down. Just because I had reaction to the product does not mean everyone else will. And so it got me thinking about the integrity of blogs and how many other bloggers out there have had similar dilemma's.  How honest are blogs? 

It must be so easy to get sucked up into trying to get more coverage for your blog, trying to get big brands to notice you that your actual honesty can get a bit lost. I knew that if I posted my review (the good one) the company would probably tweet about my post, getting me lots of views. But it would mean not telling the whole truth about a product and that's not what my blog is about.  My blog is so very very small and I felt a pressure.  So I wonder what major bloggers pressures are like?

I really do think that the honesty of a blog is so integral.  Isn't that what makes a blog so interesting and readable? I would hate to think that any of the regular blogs I read aren't honest. It would change my opinion of them completely.  If I wanted to read an advertisement for a product I could just Google it.  What I really want is that person's thoughts and feelings on topics, products and life.  Not some PR spiel.  And I think that honesty reflects in the daily life blogs I like to read too.  I like the warts and all ones. The ones that tell me, yup, it's not all smiles, laughter and running through meadows y'know. 

So, I guess with my blog at the moment, I am omitting the products that I don't like or get on with and I'm raving and blogging about the ones that I do.  Maybe this will change in the future, I'm not sure, but for now that's what I'm going with.  And I guess that's the whole point of blogging isn't it? Being true to yourself. So I may have missed out on some good PR, but me and my swollen eyes feel alot happier pressing publish on this blog today. 

What do you think? Do you blog about bad products or service? Or do you just blog about the good ones and omit the bad? Have you ever felt your blog honesty has been compromised? I would be so interested to know your thoughts and comments below please!

Oh, and if you do feel sorry for me with my swollen eyes why don't you follow me on any of the links to your right? :-) 
As always thanks for reading and have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Falling by Emma Kavanagh

I'm at the point in my life.  No,no,no.  Let me rephrase that.  My daughter is at the two year old point in her life where I don't have that much time for books.  Gone are the days where I spent whole mornings snuggled in bed with a good book, long soaks getting way too wrinkly immersing myself in another time and place (sob!). I need a book that grabs me from the very first page page or else it will take me a good 6 months to get round to finishing it.  Unfortunately, the last few books I have read haven't been page turners and alas, they grew dustier and dustier on my bedside table before I managed to finish them. Then along came Falling by Emma Kavanagh. 

I love a thriller, and this book is certainly a thriller.  Not a thriller in so much as that you won't sleep for week, but a thriller in that you really can't figure out where the story is going, who is the murderer, how events are linked...until the very last pages!!!  

This is Emma Kavanagh's debut novel and the woman is a genius.  Her story telling ability means you are hooked from the start.  There was no waiting for the story to begin and pick up pace.  It started from the first page which I loved and needed! 

The story is set in Britain and I loved that for once, I could actually picture the places and towns as it all sounded so real and familiar to me.  I am a little cautious as to how much to say about the story but I will say there is a plane crash and a murder, and four characters that all have something to hide!  

Sometimes with thrillers, the beauty of language can get a bit lost, but this is not the case in Falling.  Emma really sets the scene before delicately planting the seeds of suspicion and suspense. For some reason I really liked this snippet: 

"She was staring out through the patio doors at the garden, trees drooping under the weight of snow.  Watching as a bird launches itself into flight, branches bending, springing back, a flurry of snow falling to the winding path.  There were fresh tears on her cheeks. The renewed pain of recollection". 

The characters are believable and complex.  It reflects life that you really have no idea of a person's life or their journey. Or their secrets. 

If you have lots to do, then don't buy this book as none of your 'to-do list' is going to get done.  It really will grip and intrigue you until you've finished it! This is an amazing novel and I will certainly be looking out for Emma's work in the future!   

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This book was sent to me by Mumsnet for review.  This review is 100% my own and genuine. I truly believe this to be an amazing read and quite a page turner!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Bumps be Gone!

The world of baby skin care products is huge.  I mean, completely overwhelming.  You just have a wander down your local Boots baby aisle and you will find lotions and potions and creams and soufflĂ©s all promising to moisturise and care for your little ones skin.  I think such a wide range of products really reflects the wide range of skin types that babies and toddlers have.  Products that work for one don't necessarily work for another, you really have to try products until you find the right one.  

This is exactly what I have been doing.  My daughter doesn't have eczema, but she does have those little rough bumps at the top of her arms which are indicative of dry skin.  I have tried E45, aqueous cream, hyrdomol, shop brand baby lotions, olive oil.  Whilst alot of the products do seem to moisturise her skin, the pesky little bumps remain and I don't think we have got the cream quite right. 

Until last week that is.  After another fun afternoon of me rummaging in Boots and my daughter running up the aisles like a crazy lady with her little kiddie trolley (so fun for her-yet also very dangerous...she nearly took a pensioner out), I came across Lansinoh's earth friendly baby moisturising shea massage oil.  I had used Lansinoh products for my myself before whilst I was breastfeeding, so I trusted the brand and thought we would give this a go. 

You can click and check out the ingredient list here, but basically its very natural, suited to sensitive skin and contains no parabens or artificial colours or fragrances.  Its also not tested on animals and is eco-friendly, so that all sounds good to me. 

I had used oils before when Baba was a very little baby and I did have a vision of a relaxed and calm Baba smiling as I gave her a relaxing pre-bed massage. However, what actually tends to happen is Baba jumps up and down on the bed singing about monkeys and I try and quickly rub the oil into her skin in quick movements whilst she is mid-jump! But, this oil is lovely, it absorbs into her skin really quickly and it has a nice scent to it.  And you only need a few drops for a toddler sized person! 

Within two days the bumps to her arms had completely disappeared. Yes, it was that quick and that dramatic!! I wish I had found and tried this line of products sooner, and I am keen to try out their other products in the earth friendly baby range.  I picked the oil up from Boots, but I can't seem to find it on their website. However, I have Googled the product and there are alot of stockists online if you fancy trying it, and its around the £4 mark. As I said, I think children's skin is just so individual, and you really have to try and find the right product for you.  What I will say is that if you are looking for a new brand to try, I would definitely recommend this brand and product to you! Dry skin and bumps be gone! 

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The Multitasking Mummy