Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Review: Project-B Pregnancy Subscription Box

One thing I am an absolute sucker for is subscription boxes!

There is just something incredibly exciting about expecting a delivery, waiting with anticipation for that pretty little package to arrive, and tearing into it to discover what goodies lie in store for you this month!

So imagine my delight when I came to realise the existence of Project-B!


Project-B are a pregnancy subscription box - from 12 weeks of pregnancy you receive one box each month, tailored to your specific stage of pregnancy.

The items could be anything from things to help with relaxation, nutrition, pampering, etc!

This month I received my first box...the theme of the 11-15 week box is Nurture.



So what was in the box?

As well as products, each box contains some bits & pieces of information relating to your stage of pregnancy...this month there was a guide on maternity clothing and monthly breakdown of what's happening with my body, how baby is growing and what sort of things I should expect over the coming weeks.

I personally use an app on my phone for this sort of information but I can see it being very useful to somebody who doesn't.

The products themselves were:

*Femfresh Deodorant 
*2 x Nakd Wholefoods Cereal Bars
*Palmers cocoa butter formula for stretchmarks
*Pregnacare pregnancy supplements
*Waterbaby pregnancy care drink
*Bloom hibiscus tea
*Barefoot SOS Face & Body Cream
*Noble Isle Willow Song Bath & Shower Gel
There were also some Weleda sachet samples.


Overall I was really impressed with the products in this box...I felt that there was a really good mix of products, covering hygiene, relaxation, pampering and treats!

My favourite inclusions would be the Bloom tea which I found very refreshing - this is something I probably wouldn't have picked up myself so it's nice to be introduced to items that you may not otherwise have discovered.

I also enjoyed the Waterbaby drink and love that it contains the recommended daily intake of folic acid....I'm terrible at remembering to take tablets so I think this is a great idea!
I also loved the Nobel Isle Shower Gel as the smell is just lovely, and the Barefoot SOS cream has been really lovely too.

I didn't particularly enjoy the Nakd bars....they're just not really for me, but I do think its a great idea to include a food item. 

Project-B boxes are priced at £14 per month, which I think is quite reasonable for the items included.

To sign up yourself or a friend (Ideal baby shower gift in my opinion!), or for more details please visit www.project-b.com 

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Getting your Family’s Personality across during a Professional Photo Shoot


Achieving beautiful family photos that you will treasure for a life time is no doubt the wish of many parents, yet if you want something a little more special, it can feel a little difficult.


Capturing your family’s true personality on photos can feel a little tougher than simply sitting down and smiling for the camera, yet if you manage it, you will create amazing snaps that you and your family will love. We’ve come up with a few tips and ideas for doing just that.

Wear what you love 

You’ll have no doubt seen lots of guides regarding what to wear on your family photo shoot, but it’s really important to just think mostly about what you all love wearing, and what you feel comfortable and great in. Hopefully you can all choose something that will complement each other’s outfits, but more than anything, just ensure you all love what you’re wearing and you want to remember those clothes for a reason.

Capture yourselves doing something you enjoy doing together

A great way to achieve natural, beautiful photos is to avoid the staged poses and awkward stances, and to just be yourselves and have your photographer capture you all doing something you love as a family. This could literally be anything you like, from playing a sport to doing a jigsaw puzzle.

Go for a humour element 

Opting for professional photography companies like Venture Photography in particular is a great idea when it comes to achieving family photos full of life and personality as they have lots of ideas to make your photos (and the experience) fun and exciting. They also specialise in going for funny, sweet photos which is something great to think about, as having photos that will make you laugh for generations will be perfect.

Use props that are important to you

Using props in any photo shoot is a great way to add another element of your personality, and it’s especially great in family photos as it will help you remember those precious items that were really important to you. This could be anything from things like a football you liked kicking around the garden with your little ones, to a bedtime story book or a big blanket you all liked to snuggle under watching your favourite movies. Speak to your photographer to see how you can incorporate those special items in your photos so you’ll have a visual reminder of them forever.



Be natural and have fun

The most important thing to do to achieve great, natural and special family photos is to just be yourselves and have fun with it! Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves to achieve works of art, as you’re likely to prefer the photos that are the least staged, and it’s worth remembering that a really good professional photographer will do most of the magic in the editing stages, too! Therefore, just enjoy the day and the experience, and make it one to remember.

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Monday, 20 October 2014

Santa's Secret Spy!


With Christmas fast approaching (only 65 shopping days left people!), I have decided to start a new weekly feature....

I can't be the only Mummy on a budget with a gazillion little nieces, nephews and friends children to buy for who loves nothing more than a big fat BARGAIN at this time of year!

So, I thought, why not share my Christmas Gifts At Cut-Costs findings!

Each Monday between now & Christmas, I will share the best bargains I have found throughout the week....

And if you come across any yourself, please do let me know so I can share them! (Email sparkles_blog@hotmail.co.uk with the subject "Santa's Secret Spy", tweet me @sparkles_blog or leave a comment on my Facebook page!)

So, let's get on with this weeks finds!

(Please note, all prices are correct at time of post going live. I cannot be held responsible for any changes, please double check before purchasing)

Disney Cars 3 Wheeler Scooter - £12.50


One website I use regularly is Suppose, which is great for hunting out bargains at this time of year.

This Disney Cars 3 Wheeler Scooter is ideal for any Lightning McQueen fanatic speedsters out there.

RRP: £30.00
Found For: £12.50! - Click HERE to buy

Peppa Pig's Spaceship - £12.99


I picked this up myself for Tyne's Christmas stocking fillers this week, it opens out and has speech and sound effects...and includes Peppa, George and Danny Dog figures and a little adventure buggy too!

RRP: £29.99
Current Price: £12.99 in Home Bargains! 

Moshi Monsters Moshling Tree House - £6.17


This bargain is currently available through Amazon

RRP: £19.99
Current Price: £6.17 - Click here to buy!


Disney Frozen Snow Adventure Board Game - £7.50
Ideal for all the Frozen fans out there, this game is suited for ages 4 years +.

On offer with The Entertainer.

RRP: £15.00
Current Price: £7.50 - Click here to buy!

Woolly & Tig Read Along With Woolly - £13.60


We have recently reviewed this fab read along toy and loved it! And we think it's even better at this bargain price!

RRP: £29.99
Current Price: £13.60 - Click here to buy!

Don't forget to check back next Monday for more bargain finds, and don't forget....get in touch if you find any deals you'd like to share!


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10 Rainy Day Activities



The weather is changing quickly and that means more days spent at home and more bored children to entertain. There’s no need to stress, though, as there are plenty of wonderful activities that can stop cabin fever before it sets in and really captivate a creative mind.


From the simple and free, to the more challenging, all you need to keep your little ones busy is a bit of rain and a positive outlook. 

Here are the top 10 activities that will keep your munchkins out of trouble and begging for rainy day activities all year round!


1. Make a fort. There’s nothing more fulfilling, or cosy, than building your own fort and then hosting a tea party inside. Lay a few blankets on the ground and drape sheets and more blankets over several chairs and a clothes horse to get the body of the fort made. Place some cushions and a few sleeping bags inside to make your fort lovely and comfortable.

If you’re feeling particularly creative, make some bunting out of old scraps of fabric and ribbon to pin around the entrance to the fort. Now all you need to do is invite your friends over or line up your teddies and dolls and have a very special tea party indeed!

2. Play at being a fashion designer. This can be great fun for boys AND girls. Get some pads of paper and pens and design some amazing outfits for your teddies, Action man, Barbie or dolls.

Once you have created your designs, get some scraps of fabric or felt and make them into a reality. Use glue or carefully stitch (get an adult to help you with this) the outfits together and accessorise them with sequins, patches or even fabric paint.

3. Who says you need to stay inside when it is raining? Chances are the streets will be pretty empty so take this opportunity to don your rain mac and wellies and get jumping about in some puddles. Lots of fun!

4. Take the opportunity to catch up on some much loved films. Having a film fest with popcorn, whilst snuggled up in a duvet, is a perfect rainy day activity that costs nothing and is hours of entertainment. Who knows, by the time the film fest is over, the sun might be shining again!

5. Create your own play. Think up characters and a plot, write a short script and then get stuck into your dress-up box and wardrobe to create the perfect costumes. Be as imaginative as possible and each work on building your own character’s personality, accent and part in the story.

Drape some curtains over the door, invite the neighbours round and act like you’ve never acted before!

6. Make jewellery. Whether you want to create friendship bracelets for your best friends, or simply want to go a bit crazy with colourful pasta shapes, making jewellery is great fun, cheap AND a lovely present to show you’ve been thinking about someone.

To make pasta jewellery, place uncooked pasta into a sandwich bag. Add a few squirts of hand sanitizer (this makes sure the colour spreads evenly), followed by a few drops of whichever food colouring you like. Mix it all up
and leave it to dry. Once dry, you can get a piece of string or ribbon and make colourful necklaces and bracelets.

7. Print your own cards and wrapping paper. Potatoes make great stencils for printing. Cut a large, raw baking potato in half (always get an adult to help you with this). Draw on the pattern you want to have as your print. Remove the potato around the pattern et voila! You have a totally unique stencil for creating amazing, personalised paper, cards or whatever else you want to make pretty and patterned!

Blot paint onto the potato stencil using a paint brush, press firmly onto your paper and remove. Repeat this process or make several stencils and mix them. All Round Fun has a great range of other creative indoor play ideas here



8. Board games are a classic rainy day past time. Unearth one that you haven’t played for a while, make sure everyone knows the rules and get playing. If there are a few of you then you can pair up to make it extra competitive. Adding home made biscuits or cakes to the mix keeps rowdy players quiet and makes it a great indoor treat.

9. Host a fashion show wardrobe clear-out. Encourage your children to rummage through their wardrobe and put together some outfits. As they strut along the catwalk you can decide at the end if the outfit, or elements of it, need throwing away, giving to charity or keeping. The most fun your kids will ever have clearing out their unnecessary clutter and refreshing their wardrobe for the oncoming seasons! The same can be done with toys. Invite your children’s friends over with their unwanted toys and get them to do an exchange. Up-cycling at its best!



10. Baking is a brilliant activity for when the weather is dull. It is great fun, interactive AND you get to eat all of the goodies at the end. There’s no better way to cheer yourself up on a wet day. It will also make your house smell delicious!


So, as you can see there are plenty of things to keep you and your children busy when the weather takes a turn for the worse. 

Simple, but effective!

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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Rocking Boy Leggings....Plus WIN a pair of Blade & Rose Halloween Leggings!!!


My little guy loves nothing than to be as active as possible these days.

If he's not running, he's climbing....if he's not climbing, he's crawling....usually all over me!  If he's not crawling, he's jumping....dancing....leaping...you get the picture!

As much as I love to dress him in trendy skinny jeans, they don't always give him the freedom of movement he loves to have to get the most out of playing....

Some days, it's nice to have the option of something that moves more freely with him....leggings are ideal of course but they're for little girls....right?

Wrong!

These days are so many fantastic boys designs in leggings, which are trendy and practical....and super comfortable for tiny tot too!

Blade & Rose recently gifted us this super cool pair of rocket leggings, which Tyne has been loving!

Not only are they covered in his current favourite thing (stars!), but the rocket ship design really makes them stand out!



Paired with a simple but striking t shirt, they look really cool.

Today Tyne wore his along with his new "Future HeartBreaker" t shirt from Matalan, and I think he looked adorable.













Blade & Rose sell a wide variety of leggings for both boys and girls for just £10.00 per pair, with ages starting at 0-6 months and going right up to 3-4 years.

They wash so well, and are ever so soft!

To see more of their range, go to www.bladeandrose.co.uk

Competition

If you'd like to try out a pair of Blade & Rose leggings for yourself, what better place to start than this fabulous Halloween inspired pumpkin pair! Ideal for boy or girl!



Blade & Rose are giving one lucky reader the chance to win a pair, just complete the Rafflecopter form below to be in with a chance!
(UK only)


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Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/blade-rose-halloween-leggings#sthash.BoHNTiHU.dpuf