Wednesday, 26 November 2014
ToxicFox Christmas Gift Ideas
All I Want For Christmas Is... No one knows. What do people really want for Christmas?
ToxicFox have a wonderful new look Christmas Gifts section packed full of Christmas ideas for the whole family. You can pick from LOL, OMG or WTF categories for funny, unique or unusual presents, or check out their many other options to help you easily track down the best gifts for each individual. You really are spoilt for choice.
How about a ClaireaBella Large Jute Bag (£39.99)
This bag features an elegant rosette bow, a 'handmade with love' silver charm, Swarovski Elements, 2 fabulous painted hearts (featured beside the name of your choice) and plenty of sparkle and glitter! You get to choose what you would like your girl to look like and wear.
The bags are gorgeous, they're very pretty to look at and really comfortable to carry. I love the way you can personalise them to make them look like you too.
How about a Cocktail Glass Matt Frame (£39.99)
Why not celebrate your life with this fabulous Cocktail Glass themed typography framed print. Each print comes wonderfully presented with a selection of mixed colour gems, a vintage frame and of course lots of words of your choice with meanings to you.
I chose 10 words that meant something special to me, mostly I picked my families names but then I added some emotions like Love, Fun and Happy too. I was really pleased with my finished print. It's going to sit really nicely on my bedroom wall now.
How about a Beautiful Bath Bomb Christmas Cracker (£7.99)
The pack contains:
Fresh Berry Blaster
It's Xmas Blaster
Cherry Bathewell Blaster
This bright pink christmas crackers contains three fruity, berry bath bombs which are all
Christmas themed cupcake bomb shapes. They're the perfect treat for all bath bomb lovers. It's a simple gift idea but perfect if the lady in your life likes to enjoy her baths.
How about a Retox Pamper Pack (£7.99)
The pack includes:
1 Pomegranate & paw paw invigorating and nourishing face mask
1 Grape & Ginseng really revitalizing eye gel pads
1 Almond oil leave in hair mask
1 Shea butter & peach kernel softening intensive foot cream
It's a lovely little stocking filler for the ladies in your life. It's a novelty gift that screams 'Enjoy Me' If you like smellies or beauty goods then this is a great gift choice for you.
Whatever you fancy this Christmas, be sure to check out ToxicFox for some amazing gift ideas and all sorts of Christmas Treats and grab a cheeky 10% off with code TFBlog.
Disclosure: I was sent samples in return for an honest review.
Check out My Abra-ca-Debora Pancake Art
& win Your very own Pancake Hamper.
I don't quite fancy myself as a Picasso, Salvador Dali or a Turnover but when I was sent an amazing hamper of Abra-ca-Debora pancakes and some mystery ingredients, I just had to give it a try. Remember the word try there as my efforts were not brilliant but I tried.
Inside my hamper I found everything I could possibly need to create my Pancake Masterpieces. I decided on two pieces of well known art and gave it my best shot.
I give you my very own interpretation of Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.
I used dried apricots, slices of chocolate orange, raisins, chopped almonds and of course a Abra-ca-Debora Sweet Pancake. Everything in the picture is completely edible, I should know as I ate it shortly after taking this picture. It was delicious.
Next up is my slightly dodgy version of Scream by Edvard Munch.
For this one I used dried apricots, raisins, chocolate orange slices, chopped almonds, 2 silver cake decorations as eyes and nutella spread for added decoration.
I had imagined it to be much easier to create than it actually was but I'm quite happy with how it turned out. What do you think? Is it a worthy effort?
Just for fun I had one last go at getting creative with my Pancakes and replicated the Eiffel Tower. What do you think? I think this was my best effort out of the three I did.
If you could create your own Pancake Masterpiece, what would you make?
The lovely people from Abra-ca-Debora have kindly offered me a Pancake Hamper as a prize for one of my readers to win. It's nice and easy to enter so please do join in.
The Prize will include:
- 3 packs of Abra-ca-Debora Sweet Dutch Pancakes
- 3 packs of Abra-ca-Debora Original Dutch Pancakes
- 3 packs of Abra-ca-Debora Diddy Dutch Pancakes
- Whole Earth peanut butter with sunflower, pumpkin & flax seeds
- Clarks maple syrup
- Clarks clear honey
- Moose Maple Butter
To Win, simply use the Rafflecopter Form below.
This Competition will end on December 17th. One lucky winner will be drawn at random from all the correct entries and emailed with how to claim. Open to the UK Only.
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Looking for cool kids watches?
Check out Ravel watches.
Ravel, who produce British designed watches for all age ranges and lifestyles have a big focus on quirky designs for young children that they will love. They would make a great Christmas gift for a good, affordable first watch. There's so many cute designs to choose from, there really is a watch for every boy and girl of every age.
When faced with the choices shown above, my children were absolutely delighted to be given the chance to choose one of these watches each for themselves.
Ryan went first as he's the youngest, he chose the blue strapped alien design which was the perfect theme for him as he loves aliens. Ryan is only 4 so he's not yet learnt to tell the time by himself but he was eager to get his watch on so he could try.
It's a very cute watch with nice bright colours on it for him. The clock face itself is clearly marked and easy to read. It has one side red for the 'past' times and the other side blue for the 'too' times. It's nicely designed and very cute for young boys like Ryan.
Next up to choose was Chloe who's my eldest daughter, she's 11 so went for the oldest looking watch out of the five. She chose a simply black strapped watch with a clean white clock face surrounded by sparkling diamantes. It's a very pretty choice.
This watch could be the perfect gift for more confident time tellers or even adults. I wouldn't mind wearing this one myself but sadly Chloe got there first. There's no number written on this one, it's simply marked by crystal dots for each hour. It is lovely though.
Third up was Lily, I wasn't sure which one she was going to choose a there was three left, all suitable for her age and gender. To my surprise she went for the pink doggies one.
This one is a cute watch for the younger girls in your life. It has the two coloured markings to help with the past and too times but on this one they are shown in red and pink. It has a plastic feel strap with a simple buckle style clasp. It does up easily and stays on well.
All three of the watches are now loved and used every day.
I have three happy children who are now enjoying their Ravel watches very much so.
Ravel watches are lovely affordable watches and are available from many different retailers. They really do have a design and style to suite everyone in their range.
Whilst we enjoy our new watches, I will leave you with one last thing. The Ravel Blog is a new addition to their range so why not pop over and check it out if you get a chance.
Disclosure: We received watch our samples in return for an honest review.
Monday, 24 November 2014
Have a Scent-sational Christmas with Febreze
Hosting the perfect Christmas takes lots of preparations, we need the perfect gifts, the perfect meal, the perfect tree and even the perfect Christmas scents.
Whether you want the sweetness of a Vanilla Latte, the traditional warm infusions of Apple & Spice or Warm Cedarwood, the fresh fragrance of Winter Wood or a light spritz of Festive Spice. Febreze's new collection of seasonal scents could be the perfect perfumed accessory for any keen host or hostess this Christmas.
I love this smell, it's so spicy smelling yet fruity and oh so scrummy. I've sprayed it throughout my whole house and have to say it smells so good. My candle burns at night spreading it's delicious smells throughout my living room whilst my Diffuser spreads it's yumminess throughout my dining room. Thanks to Febreze and their yummy Apple & Spice range my home is smelling very festive this Christmas.
The prices are great, they're so reasonable and very affordable yet smell great. I'd be happy to receive these as a stocking filler or even a Secret Santa gift maybe.
Febreze Apple & Spice and all things nice!
Monday, 17 November 2014
Gift Ideas for the Lady in your life
My Christmas Gift Guide
Looking for a treat for the lady in your life this Christmas? I've got a few ideas to help you out, whether you're looking for a gift for your Mum, Sister or Daughter.
The Rokit Gel Polish Professional Kit will cost you £99.99 and is available from select Debenhams stores and online. The brand new and unique Rokit Gel Polish Professional Kit makes gel nails even easier by reducing a typically five stage process to an easy one step application. Just polish and cure for shiny, salon quality nails that last up to 14 days.
The kit comes complete with a high performance LED lamp which combines the latest LED and gel nail polish technology with a solvent free formulation that's kind to nails. With 32 LED lights, the Rokit lamp promotes a super-fast curing time as well as a built in treatment timer for ease and even better there’s no drying time!
You can check out my full Rokit REVIEW right here on my blog.
Next up we have the Elle Macpherson Heel Smoother by HoMedics which is available from Argos for around £19.99. This handy little gadget gives you the perfect at home pedicure with salon professional results. The battery operated rotating buffer and blade gently removes dry and rough skin on your soles and heels with ease. It has two speed settings so you can tailor your pedicure and a useful 'residue' chamber so there's no mess!
Last but not least I have the NEW Jam Transit Bluetooth Headphones which are available from HMV for £59.99. These new stylishly sleek Jam Transit headphones deliver excellent sound quality without the hassle of tangled wires and they have an integrated microphone for taking phone calls on the go. They're compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices including smart phones and the headphones connect wirelessly up to 30 feet. They have a full on ear remote functionality FF/RW/play/pause/volume +/-
and they're rechargeable battery allows up to six hours of wireless play.
Read my full Jam Transit Bluetooth Headphones REVIEW to see what I thought of them.
There's 3 different gift ideas that might help your Christmas gift search a little bit easier.
Sunday, 16 November 2014
Saturday Night at the Bhujon Cocktail Bar
and Indian Restaurant
What happened when a curry lover and a complete curry restaurant newbie went to the Bhujon Cocktail Bar and Indian Restaurant on a busy Saturday night?
Daddy and I were invited to dine at the Bhujon Cocktail Bar and Indian Restaurant in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham this Saturday night. I love eating out and often enjoy a nice Indian takeaway at home but it had been a while since I'd enjoyed a meal out in style.
The Bhujon Cocktail Bar and Indian Restaurant looked really nice from the outside, it was all lit up and looked really pretty giving it a nice, friendly first impression.
Once inside we were greeted and shown to a table for two to be seated. The restaurant itself was well laid out with pretty paint splattered pictures on the walls. There was a section of comfy booths for larger groups on one side of the room and a row of smaller 4 and 2 seater tables on the other. The tables were a little close together (we thought) but the overall layout and presentation was very nice. We felt quite comfortable throughout our stay.
Our waiter offered us drinks and poppadoms as soon as we had been seated. He brought us a rather nice little basket filled with two different types of poppadoms and a selection of dips and sides. The dips were amazing, the chutney style one was so good.
Once we had finished these, which we did. We ate every single crumb in the dish, there was nothing left they were that delicious. We really enjoyed them and happily moved onto our starters which we were struggling to decide on. The starter choices were all so appealing, there was a plentiful range to choose from on their menu and everything was marked clearly with Mild, Slightly Hot or Hot next to them so you could make an informed choice depending on how you like spice or in Daddies case, not. In the end we choose three starters to share so that we could try more of their dishes, for review purposes only of course.
The top picture is the Tandoori Chicken, the middle picture is the Meat Samosas and the bottom picture is their Chicken Cutlets Special. Each one came beautifully presented on long plates accompanied with a pretty salad and a cute drizzle of sauces. Everything tasted great, the food was delicious and well cooked. It looked and tasted fantastic.
Next up was our Mains, I played it safe with a Chicken Tikka Masala which is my favourite whilst Daddy ordered something completely new to us, their Chicken Makhani.
Again the food was beautifully presented, the colours was just lovely to look at. My Chicken Tikka Masala was deliciously creamy and sweet, just as I like it. Daddies Chicken Makhani was also very creamy but much less sweeter than mine. Again I had to try both for review purposes, although Daddy wasn't impressed by doing this. At first I thought the dishes were very shallow so we wouldn't have enough to fill us up but with a good helping of chicken (7 pieces in each) and enough sauce to dip our Garlic Naans into we were more than happy. We were full up with sauce to spare, the Garlic Naans were pretty big.
Even though the restaurant was quite busy because of it being Saturday night, the staff were very professional, attentive and well mannered. They were always around if we needed them and often came over to check everything was going ok. I was very pleased with their service. Our glasses weren't empty for long and our table was cleared quickly after every course. I really couldn't fault the staff, they were delightful.
After our meal we took a look at the Dessert menu, just to check out the selection and the prices of course. We often find the desserts can be very expensive but not here. We were so surprised by the low prices of £3.90 each that we decided to get one each to try.
Again, the presentation was lovely, everything looked so good and I'm happy to say that they tasted just as good as they looked. They were delicious.
We both really enjoyed our night out at the Bhujon Cocktail Bar and Indian Restaurant. We were there for a total of 2 hours from 7-9pm but it didn't feel that long at all. We wasn't waiting around at all, everything flowed smoothly and overall was very enjoyable.
We would definitely go back, the food was delicious and the service was great. The Cocktails were the icing on top of the cake too, if you like Cocktails like me then this place is a must. They have a large selection to choose from and each comes served in a pretty glass and tastes so good. I tried two of them so I can easily recommend their French 75 and their Pink Lips. Both tasted so good and I would buy them again.
Disclosure: We were given a budget to dine with for the purpose of this review. We did go over it by £17 which I paid myself but was happy to do so as I enjoyed it so much.
Thursday, 13 November 2014
Our #DesignAFriend Party Was a Huge Success.
Yesterday was party day for us here and wow what a party we had. The Design a Friend dolls were a huge success with all the girls, it was 'dress up' heaven here.
There was two beautiful dolls for our guests to play with along with a lovely selection of outfits. Everyone had lots of fun dressing them up and doing their hair.
It wouldn't have been a party without fun activities and games to play. We coloured our very own Design a Doll sheet and created our very own styles and looks. We were missing the clothing sheets from our party box so we improvised and drawn on our own.
We also made our very own Design a Friend Club Cards which was lots of fun. The girls could pick a dolls face which they stuck onto their pass before I laminated it into their very own Club Card. I think the girls really loved doing this activity very much.
We decorated cupcakes using delicious vanilla icing, marshmallows and coloured sprinkles. Cupcake decorating always goes down well at our parties, it's just so much fun to do and of course it means there's lots of yummy cupcakes to then be eaten too.
There was slots of party food, there was mini pizzas, mini quiches, hot dog sausage rolls and chicken tikka on sticks. There was a lovely selection of treats for everyone to enjoy. As you may notice from the pictures, I went to my local Iceland to get our party food but I am not promoting them in any way, I just like their party food range.
We played Pass the Parcel which was lots of fun. The children won little prizes like Loom Band sets, Cuddly keyring toys and Craft sets. The main prize was a gorgeous Design a Friend bag and Stationery Set. It was a really fabulous prize.
At the end of the party every guest went home with a rather gorgeous Design a Friend Gift Box which contained a Design a Friend outfit, shoes, pen, bracelet charm and a selection of sweets. The girls were very happy with their take home gifts.
The Design a Friend dolls received lots of compliments, everyone commented on how pretty they were and how surprisingly soft the bodies were too. The dolls can sit down or stand up straight, their flexibility really impressed some of the girls. I think they were expecting a hard bodied doll, so they were pleased with the hard hands, face and feet but a soft bodied doll.
I think Santa Claus will be getting a few more requests for Design a Dolls this Christmas. If I was a few years younger, I would want one of these for myself.
Disclosure: Our party was held in association with Design a Friend and UKMumsTV.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
Rokit - Super shiny salon nails in one easy step!
I have always loved having my nails painted and pristine. I have spent a fortune on all types of nail varnish trying to find one that does not chip or flake after a day or so or smudge before I get out of the door. The invention of gel nails was a dream come true for me, but I found it rather expensive having them done regularly at a salon and taking the gel off can cost nearly as much as putting the gel polish on. So when Rokit nails invited me to road test their home gel kit I jumped at the chance.
The kit includes an LED curing lamp, nail buffer, cuticle stick and lint free pads. Also included is Ready (you wipe your nails with this before treatment to get rid of any grease) and Remove (to take the gel off). I was also given a selection of 4 gel colours - purple couture, postbox red, bordeaux red and shock pink. All the colours are deep and vibrant and if you go on to the Rokit website they have a further selection and state they are introducing new colours all the time. There's a colour for everyone!
I was a bit nervous so I read the instructions carefully, they were very clear and easy to read. Firstly I gave myself a manicure and made sure all the cuticles were pushed back, my nails are not very long but I shaped them as best I could. Firstly I wiped all my nails with Remove to ensure there was no greasy residue. The instruction say that thin layers of gel are better than one thick one and also very handily suggest that you do four nails on one hand first and cure, then four nails on the other hand and cure and then do your thumbs and cure and then repeat with the second layer. This was such a good idea as after you have cured the nails they are practically dry and will not smudge.
I chose bordeaux red and carefully painted my left four fingers. I am not used to such a rich colour and a little colour went on my skin, but the cuticle stick included in the set means you can swiftly wipe any marks off and carry on. I switched on the LED curing lamp and popped my nails in. It felt slightly warm but not uncomfortable, the first cure is for one minute and then you are ready for the next four fingers and thumbs. I must admit my nails looked OK after one layer but I dutifully set to putting the next layer on. This went on even easier than the first as my nails were lovely and smooth from the first layer. The second cure is to two and a half minutes and this is timed by the lamp itself. If, however, you have put the layers on a bit too thickly you can cure for another thirty seconds just to finish them off.
I finished all my nails with the application and curing within twenty minutes and the gel was as hard as any salon gel set I have had. The colour was beautiful, rich and deep. I think I may have put on the gel a little thickly in a couple of places but as this was my first attempt I was very pleased and was quite happy to go out that night with them done.
I left the gel on for 5 days to test it for chipping and flaking. The instructions suggest you wear gloves when using detergent etc but I did not just to see how they lasted. I am extremely pleased to report that after 5 days only one nail had a slight chip and that was one of the nails that I had put too thick a layer on. The colour and shine was as bright and shiny as the first day I put it on. I had rubbed a little cuticle oil in my nails every day and my nails looked very healthy. I was very pleased with the results.
I also wanted to see how easy it was to take the gels off as at the nail bar it seems to take forever. I was very impressed at how quickly and easily the gel came off. All you need to do is put some of the Remove liquid in a bowl, immerse your nails for up to 5 minutes and when you take them out most of the gel has come off and you just use the lint free pads provide to remove the little that has collected at the edge of the nail. It took me no effort at all and I think this alone is a huge bonus. A few drops of cuticle oil and my nails were as healthy looking as they ever were.
I would most certainly recommend Rokit to anyone who loves their nails to look good but not have to bother putting new varnish on nearly every day.
It's an easy to use but very effective product.
Disclosure: I was sent samples in return for an honest review. This post was written by Fiona C as a guest blog for me - thank you very much Fiona x
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Is Your Christmas All Wrapped Up?
Christmas is on it's way, Hip Hip Hip, Hooray!
I don't know about you but I am getting all excited about Christmas this week. I've started my Christmas shopping which in turn means I've started my Christmas present stash. Hiding presents is never easy especially when you have three rather inquisitive young children who get a kick out of snooping to try and find them. My presents not only need to be hidden well but they need to be wrapped to keep the secrets of what's inside hidden.
I'm one of those people who love wrapping presents although I have to be honest and admit that I don't put a great deal of effort into doing it. That doesn't mean that the presents I wrap don't look good because they do. I just mean that I don't waste too much of my time doing it.
This was my wrapping station the other day, there was presents and wrapping paper everywhere but no scissors or sellotape in site. You might be wondering why not but that's simple, there isn't any because didn't need them. Instead I used my new Scotch Pop Up Tape Handband Dispenser which I love so much. You simply pop it onto your wrist, and tiny pieces of sellotape are then at your command. It's a great tool to use when it comes to tackling awkward to wrap Christmas presents. Because it sits on your wrist, there's no need to hold it meaning you have both hands free to hold, stick and wrap.
Each little dispenser refill gives you a whopping 75 pieces of tape to use. I managed to wrap my gifts all my myself and in a really fast time too. There was no messing about, no fiddling trying to find the end of the sellotape roll and no need for scissors as the pieces come already cut. So not only is this handy little dispenser a great time saving tool but it's also a safe way to let your children get involved in the Christmas spirit.
I think I have a new best friend when it comes to wrapping Christmas presents. I no longer need one of the children to hold the paper in place whilst I find my piece of sellotape. I no longer need to struggle with my wrapping paper to keep it in place. In fact, wrapping presents has never been easier or quicker or more fun.
Santa is on his way and so are all his 'well wrapped' presents. Did you know that it is National Wrapping Day on Sunday 14th December? People all of the UK will be celebrating the joy of perfect present wrapping. I, myself will be in New York enjoying a few days taking in their Christmas culture and shopping for last minute Christmas presents but I will raise a glass of cocoa or something to join in the celebrations.
If you struggle wrapping Christmas presents or just want a way to make doing it a whole lot easier then the Scotch Pop Up Tape Handband Dispensers could be perfect for you.
I've enjoyed using mine so far but it's not done with yet. There's lots more presents to be wrapped and tags to be attached. It's work is not done by a long shot.
Are you like me and enjoy wrapping Christmas presents or are you a Christmas humbug and put it off to the last minute every year because you hate doing it? Either way, I'm sure all the presents you wrap will be wonderful in their own way.
Disclosure: This post was written in association with 3M and their National Wrapping Day.