Thursday, 27 November 2014

Fifteen Festive Favourites TAG

I don't often do tags but anyone who knows me knows that I am a SUCKER for Christmas, so when lovely Louise over at Confessions Of A Secret Shopper tagged me to do the 15 festive favourites tag I just could NOT resist!

So here we go! my 15 Festive Favourites!

01. Favourite Festive Food

OMG there is so much I love! I'm a bit different with festive foods as I actually tend to hate a lot of the traditional things such as mince pies, pigs in blankets and christmas pudding (BLEURGH!) but to me, it wouldn't be Christmas without honey roast parsnips, stuffing balls, a gigantic Turkey and heaps & heaps of Brussel Sprouts! I LOVE them!

I also love to indulge in some baklava on Christmas Eve, though its becoming increasingly harder to find in supermarkets every year! I usually look forward to a Baileys on Christmas eve too, and Prosecco with my Christmas lunch but pregnant old me will be forgoing those treats this year!

02. Favourite Reindeer

Rudolph, of course!!!

03. Favourite Day of Christmas

I'm assuming this means which days over Christmas (As I bloody hate the 12 Days Of Christmas song!), so as much as I love Christmas Day I'd say Christmas Eve is probably my favourite as there is just SO MUCH EXCITEMENT and anticipation building!!!

04. Favourite Christmas Song

OH MY DAYS I love them all!!! I'm a serious Christmas-Song-A-Holic and have a list ready loaded on my ITunes year round, just waiting for December to roll around so I can start blasting them out!

I can't narrow down one favourite but my top 3 would be: 
"All I want For Christmas Is You" - Mariah Carey
"Merry Xmas Everyone" - Shakin Stevens
"I wish it could be Christmas every day" - Slade

But come on, would it really be Christmas without a bit of Wizzard, Mistletoe & Wine, Rockin Around The Xmas Tree, Jingle Bell Rock, and Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)?!?! I think not!

05. Favourite Present

Pyjamas!!! Every time! I wouldn't care if I got nothing else at all, as long as I get some new PJs I`m a happy girl!! (Perfume is always a winner too though!)

06. Favourite Festive Film

There are SO many Christmas movies that I absolutely love, and Elf & Miracle On 34th Street  are ones I always really look forward to watching....but there can only be one favourite and for me that HAS to be Santa Claus: The is just the most Christmassy film ever made and I watch it every Christmas Eve without fail!!!

07. Favourite Festive Cracker Toy

It has to be those fortune telling fish! They're always fun around the dinner table!

08. Favourite Cracker Joke

What does Miley Cyrus have at Christmas?

09. Favourite Christmas Decoration

Oh this is hard, I'm very sentimental with decorations and there are so many on my train that have significant meanings to me which I just love...I guess the one I would miss most though would be the Bauble we had made of Tyne's first ever visit to Santa least year - it may be new but it will be on our tree forever and is definitely my newest favourite!

10. Favourite Christmas Candle Scent

It has to be Yankee Candle's Christmas Eve doesn't it?!

11. Favourite Christmas TV Advert

I love seeing the Coca Cola ad as it means, well, that the holidays are coming! But no advert has yet been able to outdo the John Lewis one from a few years back for me:

It's just SO ADORABLE!

12. Favourite Festive Tradition

Oh there are so many, but I think my absolute favourite thing is snuggling in to my brand new Christmas Eve pjs (Yes there has to be a new festive themed pair every year, even though they're only worn once or twice!), putting on Santa Claus The Movie and wrapping my presents ready for the next day! I LOVE IT!!!!

13. Favourite Place to Spend Christmas

I don't really mind where we spend Christmas, it used to always have to be at my mums but since we now live all spread around the country it just isn't feasible anymore, so we usually have Christmas morning at home and then go to my mum & dads holiday apartment in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day/evening there - its more important that all the right people are there than where we actually are as they are what makes Christmas!

14. Favourite Christmas Fact

That Santa Claus's suit was actually green, until Coca Cola decided to use him in their Christmas marketing campaign and made it red to match their branding!

15. Favourite Snowman Accessory

A nice chintzy scarf and hat! You don't want an underdressed snowman!

And that brings us to the end of the 15 Festive Favourites Tag! Please let me know what you thought of this in the comments below, and feel free to leave your links if you've completed this one too :)

I tag the following people to take this next ...

Kerry from Lived With Love

Alex from Bump To Baby

Liza from Glambeautys

Jenna from Chic Geek Diary
Andrea from BloggerMumma
Lucinda from Teacher2Mummy
Fiona from Dolly Dowsie
Jada from Unique Young Mum
Chloe from Beth Bear

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The best hair extensions salons in the UK

Your hair is your crowning glory, so finding the right hair stylist is absolutely essential. When you have hair extensions, you need to make sure that the person working with your hair knows exactly what they’re doing. 

But what if your extensions start playing up while you are away from your regular salon? And what happens when you move to a new city to start university or a new job?

Don’t worry, we’ve done all the hard work for you and put together a definitive list of the best hair salons in ten major UK cities.


Vixen & Blush Website:
One of London’s leading experts in human hair extensions – Vixen & Blush specialise in using 100% real Russian and Brazilian virgin hair.
The first salon opened in Clapham in 2011, but due to overwhelming demand a second salon was opened in Shoreditch earlier this year.
Vixen & Blush offer ready to wear and custom clip-in extensions, and a glue-free technique called Micro Bonding and Micro Rings, which last for 3-4 months.


Stephanie Hair Extensions Website:
With more than nine years of industry experience, Stephanie Hair Extensions is one of the most established salons in Yorkshire. It may be located in Birstall, 8 miles outside of Leeds, but it is well worth the journey.
Stephanie and her team of stylists know exactly what they are doing, and offer a range of pre-coloured and virgin hair extensions at competitive prices.


Nikki Hair Extensions Website:
Nikki Hair specialises in natural-looking extensions which add volume and length. It offers three types of hair extension: Indian Remy hair (sourced from the temples of India); European hair (wavy, straight or curly) and Russian and Mongolian Cuticle hair (the highest quality hair that lasts for a year or more).
Check out their online portfolio for examples of their work.


Rapunzel Hair Extensions Website:
As the name suggests, Rapunzel Hair Extensions are all about length. Located in Birchgrove Cardiff, just outside the city centre, this is a one-stop shop for glamorous Welsh girls. The salon only uses high quality Remy hair for a shiny finish, and while you’re there you can always treat yourself to a Sienna X spray tan.


The Capelli Company Website:
The Capelli Company is one of Northern Ireland’s more specialised salons. It offers a variety of solutions for problem hair, including Brazilian Blowouts, Ionic Hair Retexturising treatments and of course, natural hair extensions.
It opens late on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is located in Newtownabbey, just outside Belfast.


The Hair Extension Boutique Website:
This popular salon has a celebrity following, and with good reason – it offers red carpet results by using the best European and Russian natural hair, and employing the feted micro bonding technique.
The Hair Extension Boutique specialises in working with short hair, and is conveniently located just outside of Knutsford, near Manchester.


Eternal Lengths Website:
Eternal Lengths specialises in repairing damaged hair and helping you protect your extensions in the long term. The Birmingham-based salon will even send its stylists to your home if need be.
Eternal Lengths uses glue-free microbonds for a natural looking finish, and every client is given comprehensive advise on how to keep their extensions looking better for longer.


HJ Extensions Website:
Newcastle’s HJ Extensions is unique in that it offers a bespoke service in our own home, using high quality natural hair extensions from leading brands Great Lengths, Easilocks and Cinderella.
Head stylist Hayley has won awards for her work, and is a fully qualified hairdresser as well as an expert in hair extensions.


Herbert of Liverpool Website:
Herbert of Liverpool is all about choice. The salon offers a range of different lengths of extensions, from 12” to 24” so you can have the princess look you always dreamed of. There are extension packages to suit all budgets, from bespoke Russian hair to light virgin hair.
The salon also offers competitive rates for re-wefting and tightening, if you need a quick touch up between appointments.


Choremi and Co Website:
Stylist Emma Choremi is having a great year – she has just opened her own salon on Park Street in Bristol, and she was awarded the Best Newcomer Award at the Great Lengths UK National Awards 2014/15 this September, as well as being a finalist in the Men-Hancements and Gold Salon categories.
Visit her now to beat the inevitable waiting lists.

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Prepare For Your Baby: Have You Got All Your Supplies?

Congratulations on your new baby! 

Before you go raiding a store for everything you find cute for your baby to wear, keep to the basics first. Preparing for your baby’s arrival at home is best done in advance, as you may not have the time and energy to go on a one-day shopping spree when you’re already eight months pregnant. Stock up on cheap baby diapers, washcloths, and baby wipes little by little, so when your big day comes, your home is more than ready to receive a new member of your family.

Here’s a list of the basic items your baby should have, with tips on picking the best ones.

* Clothing – five to eight soft and breathable outfits, five pairs of baby socks, and a newborn hat are sufficient for your baby during the first few weeks of life. Babies grow fast, so avoid stocking up on newborn-size items.

* Bassinet or crib – the bassinet should comply with safety standards. The mattress should be new, and it’s ideal to have three sets of beddings: one for little accidents, one in the wash, and the one that’s currently in use. A breathable waterproof mattress protector can keep the mattress dry.

* Baby monitor – if you need to do something outside where your baby is sleeping, then getting a baby monitor is a good idea. Make sure to check the device’s frequency and range; choose one with an adequate range and with a frequency that differs from your cordless phone.

* Nightlight – the soft glow of a night light lets you see things as you move around at night without hurting your baby’s sensitive eyes. The practical choice is portable rechargeable night light.

* Toiletries – if you can, choose unscented and natural or organic products for your baby, or at least those specially formulated for a baby’s sensitive skin. Nappy wipes should be thick and free from alcohol.

* Baby hair brush – choose a gentle brush with soft bristles to comb your baby’s fine hair without hurting her head.

* Towels and washcloths –make sure that the washcloths your baby uses are always clean. A good idea is to have two bath towels and two face cloths on hand: one for washing and one for use. A small bathtub lined with a non-slip mat or bath ramp lets
you give your baby a bath without any risk of her slipping under the water. As your child grows, you can replace the ramp with a bath seat.

* Car seat – your little one’s car seat must be federally-approved at can be installed in your car without a hitch. The safest place for the child seat is the middlemost portion of the rear seat, and the seat should face backwards.

* Stroller – test out different strollers until you find one that you can fold and open easily. Parents often tend to prioritize the add-ons such as toys and zippered compartments; these will only be a nuisance when you’re having a hard time getting the stroller to work in the first place.

* Sling carrier – a snug and comfortable baby sling can help you keep your hands free to do other things while still keeping your baby close.

* Diaper bag – a bag with plenty of compartments (internal and external) lets you organize your baby’s things for easy access when you’re on the go.

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Home Redesign On A Budget

You’ve been wanting to upgrade the look of your home but aren’t willing to shell out thousands of dollars in the endeavor. Don’t worry, you’re not alone and yes, there are many things you can do to redesign your home on a budget. 

Install new fixtures.

Updating fixtures such as switchplate covers on electrical outlets and light switches will instantly add pizzazz to a room without eating out a large chunk from your budget. Switchplate covers cost around a dollar each for a plain white cover, and you can simply spray paint it with the color of your choice that would match you walls. Another option is to get some stainless steel covers for that industrial look. There are also decorative and patterned switchplates sold online, and of course you can make some yourself! Another inexpensive but expensive-looking redesign touch is replacing handles, knobs, and hinges on doors.

Bring in natural light.

A room looks best in natural light, and there are way you won’t have to add windows just to capture and let the sun brighten up a room. One of these is by installing a light tube, a device which slips between the rafters of the roof and effectively funnels sunlight down into a space. If you have a home office or studio, having a light tube as a source of natural light can also help you cut down on energy costs.

Install accents.

A home upgrade that’s cheap and relatively easy to do is installing accents such as a doorways trim, a baseboard trim, and crown molding. Prefabricated trim and molding are available in most home improvement stores, and are easy to install. Some prefab accents come already painted, while others let you paint them in a color that would create an interesting contrast with your walls.

Paint your ceiling.

Putting a fresh coat of paint on the interior walls can definitely change how a room looks, and for best results, paint the ceiling too with a new color. You can play with colors that produce a contrast between the walls and the ceiling, such as painting the walls white and the ceiling bright yellow. This would open up a room and brighten it.

Rearrange the living room.

Sometimes, redesigning a room by simply rearranging the furniture does the trick. By rearranging the couch, living room table, and indoor plants, you will be able to reorganize how a space ‘flows’ and create new shapes, giving you a new home experience.

Add some colors.
Redesigning how a room looks can simply be a matter of color. The living room, for instance, can benefit from new throw pillow covers, a bright-colored throw rug, and a bouquet of flowers in an elegant vase. You can buy new covers or sew your own from old clothing or yard sale fabric.

For bigger savings, hit the recycling center for your molding, fixture, and other remodeling needs. This way, you can have a fabulous-looking house and still have some money left over for takeout after a hard day’s work!

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Tyne's First Painting Session! #Persilstainmagic

 Something I've been wanting for a while with Tyne is fact a few months back I bought all of the ingredients for making yoghurt paints as I thought it would be best that way incase he decided to eat it like he does with his crayons and chalks!

But I never quite got around to making them, and so when we were recently asked to take part in the Persil Small n Mighty Painters challenge we decided it was time to give painting a go!

Tyne has only ever finger painted before back when we tried to make some Valentines cards, he hated the feel of the paint on his hands and the whole experience was not very I wasn't sure what he'd make of this.

But he loved it.

He took to it right away, declaring that he was painting "Thomas, Percy, Bridge, Track" and "The Moon"...he used two brushes at a time (multi tasker!), and although at first he was quite unsure when he got the paint on his hands and asked me to get "wipes" and "clean handies" repeatedly...he eventually stopped caring and embraced the mess!

In the end his hands were covered and we even did some hand printing! He LOVED the squishy sound of the paint squelching between his fingers when he made a first.

Persil had sent us the paints and brushes, along with some letter sponges and a canvas - we made the canvas last, I let Tyne loose on it and then I printed his name on the top - it will be hung in the hall in our new home when we move in next week!

By the end of the activity, Tyne's vest was well and truly covered in paint!

A quick bath later, and Mr Camouflage was back to his nice clean self!

We had so much doing this activity, and will certainly be braving the paints much more often in future! :)

Thanks Persil for helping me to get started!

To check out Persil's video of magician of Ben Hanlin surprising school children with some messy magical art click below!

Find out more at or tweet #Persilstainmagic

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