Tuesday, 7 July 2015

What's In My Hospital Bag + Your Chance To Win £100 Mothercare Vouchers!

When I found out that I'd be having a c-section birth with my first son, one of the first worries I had was what I'd need to take with me for my hospital stay.

With a c-section birth your recovery time can be longer, your hospital stay can often be two days or maybe even more and so the amount of "stuff" you need to take in with you obviously increases.

As a first time mum it can be really daunting to know what to take along - I found hospital bag checklists from trusted companies such as C & G Baby Club really helpful when narrowing down what to take with me.

But it can be hard to know what changes to make to your hospital bag when you're having a planned c-section delivery - many things stay the same of course but there are certain c-section specific items that can be really useful.

With that in mind, I've put together a little video discussing what I packed in my hospital bags for my c-section deliveries which you can see below.

So can you think of anything I've missed??

If so, you could WIN £100 of Mothercare vouchers courtesy of C & G Baby Club!

To be in with a chance of winning this fab prize, just comment below with your suggestion and enter via the Rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Ts & Cs

This giveaway is open to UK entrants over 18 only
No alternative prize will be offered
Sparkles & Stretchmarks does not take responsibility for any prizes not received.

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Monday, 6 July 2015

Not On The High Street New Baby Range

When it comes to new baby gifts, I don't think there is any better option than something personalised.

Personalised gifts offer a memento of babies birth which will be treasured for a lifetime and almost guarantee that your gift will not be duplicated by other well meaning friends or family members.

Whenever a new baby comes along, the first place I head to for a welcome gift is always Not On The High Street...as the name suggests the website is a haven of quirky and unique items to suit all occasions, things that you simply don't find on the high street....something just that little bit special.

Whether the occasion is a wedding, birthday, anniversary, new home, etc there will always be a wide array of gift ideas to tempt you but the new baby category is something even more special in my opinion.

With everything from birth detail prints to personalised teddy bears, clothing and keepsakes you will be truly spoiled for choice.

When Noah arrived, I was very kindly given the chance to try some items from the range for myself.

Each item is sold by an individual seller under the umbrella of Not On The High Street, and so will arrive seperately unless you choose to purchase items from the same seller.

The items I chose were:

Personalised Birth Details Print

We had one of these made by the same seller when Tyne was born and it's always been one of my favourite items in his bedroom - I love that it not only includes his name and birth details but also the more unusual details such as the price of a stamp on the day he was born and the number 1 record in the UK charts - details which will be so lovely to remember once he's grown up.

The print comes in a choice of blue, pink or pistachio and is sold framed or unframed.

I think this makes an absolutely perfect new baby gift, something that will always be treasured.

Available HERE priced at £35.00

Personalised Train

As my eldest son is such a huge fan of all things train related, I knew something like this would be the perfect addition to his bedroom.

With an unusual name like Tyne, it's impossible to buy any personalised items in stores and so we rely completely on websites such as Not On The High Street to provide us with cute personalised items such as this.

The train is made from high quality wood, and looks just beautiful sitting on Tyne's window ledge.

Available HERE priced at £2 per letter + £5 for the front & rear carriage.

And finally, I chose this personalised Birth Detail Door Hanger.

This hand painted wooden heart is so simple but so pretty, and looks adorable hung outside Noah's nursery featuring his name, birth date and weight.

I love the traditional baby blue gingham ribbon used to hang it, and the handcrafted element really adds a lovely shabby chic feel.

Available HERE priced at £12.00

To view more of the new baby range, please visit Not On The High Street

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Sunday, 5 July 2015

Do You Have A Magical #LateRoomsMoment?

Have you been away recently and managed to capture that one photo that sums up your fabulous trip? Have you snapped a special summertime memory? 

If so, you could bag yourself a whole host of fantastic prizes from Laterooms.com!

Laterooms are running a summer-long photo competition encouraging people to share their favourite snaps - it could be a simple photo of a particularly lovely breakfast, your kids first experience on the sand or the first outing of the paddling pool - and you can enter as many photos as you like!

Simply tweet, instagram or Facebook the photos using #LateRoomsMoment to enter - it's that simple!

Weekly winners will receive £150 LateRooms vouchers and Monthly winners will get £300 LateRooms Vouchers, whilst the overall winner at the end of the Summer will get a whopping £1,000 to spend on travel and accomodation!

So what are you waiting for?! Get snapping and sharing today! You never know where it could take you!

All entries and winners will sit on a brand spanking new site – Lateroomsmoment.laterooms.com - so head on over and have a gander at the snaps!

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Saturday, 4 July 2015

Shrek Comes To London! Plus your chance to WIN tickets!

Shrek’s Adventure! London is a unique experience developed by Merlin Entertainments in conjunction with DreamWorks Animation, bringing to life the hilarious world of Shrek and his DreamWork pals!

The fully immersive walk-and-ride indoor attraction will take guests on a fantastical DreamWorks ‘tour’, combining ten laugh-out-loud fairytale themed live shows with captivating storytelling, an amazing 4D ride, dramatic special effects and extraordinary DreamWorks animation.

At Shrek’s Adventure! London you’re invited to STAR next to Shrek, Donkey and his pals from Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda! This one of a kind, kinda crazy, lots of fun, misadventure of a lifetime!

From 1st September, Premium Merlin Annual Pass holders can access Shrek’s Adventure! London. Simply turn up – and if the swamp attraction is full, you’ll get a ticket for the next available time-slot. You shouldn’t have to wait too long, but you never know, so it’s best to arrive early. 

If you can’t get a time-slot you like, we’ll book you into a day/time of your choice. 

Alternatively, avoid the uncertainty by pre-reserving a time-slot (there’s a £1pp reservation fee). 

Either way, don’t miss this exciting, unique DreamWorks Tours adventure – embrace your inner ogre, grab a friendly dragon, and HAVE FUN!

For Standard Merlin Annual Pass holders: Shrek’s Adventure! London isn’t officially included this year, but we’ve found a way for you to jump into the action and help to save the day. From 1st September there will be limited number of timeslots available to pre-book. You’ll need to pre-reserve your time-slots (we’ll send you full details nearer the time).

Shrek’s Adventure! Is located at County Hall on London's South Bank close to Merlin's other leading attractions in the area: the London Eye, the SEA LIFE London Aquarium and the London Dungeon. 

Tickets for adults from £23.40, children from £18.72. 

To purchase tickets or to find out more visit: www.shreksadventure.com



To be in with a chance of winning Family Day Tickets (2 adults, 2 children) just complete the Rafflecopter form below!

*Prize provided by PR company
*Prize non refundable
*UK Only

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Friday, 3 July 2015

Super Quick Gluten Free Nutella Cornflake Cakes!

These have been my go-to snack lately and so I thought I'd share them!

They are SO simple and quick to make that they barely warrant being called a "recipe" - it's more a case of throwing a few ingredients into a bowl, bunging them into the microwave and then putting them in the fridge for a bit!

It could not be simpler, but they are SO MOREISH!

Jon has become pretty obsessed with these and requests that I make them most days, and because we use Gluten Free cornflakes to make them they're an ideal little chocolate hit for me too!

Here's a quick video showing how to make them, or alternatively read below:


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