|REVIEW|my fairy garden, magic bean pot



We were recently sent a Magic Bean Pot from the My Fairy Garden range. T really enjoys the Jack and the beanstalk story and I knew this would appeal to
him. 

 

The kit comes with a little plastic plant pot, a mini spade, a little bird to sit on the spade and some 'magic' beans. 


The fairy is really detailed and very cute, I love how they sit on the edge of the plant pot looking after the beans 😊



The kit does not come with any soil, but the little spade which is enclosed comes in handy for planting up the beans. 

We were sent the fairy 'Hope' whose name is embossed on one side of the beans and a star on the other.

 

We can't wait for our beans to grow and to see how long it takes for T to realise he won't be able to climb the beanstalk πŸ˜‚

 

For now, our beans are in the warmth of our kitchen with Hope and her robin protecting them! 

 

Magic Bean Pots are £6.99 and are available along with the rest of the My Fairy Garden range from Amazon



Disclaimer: we were sent this item in return for our honest review, all words are my own. 

|BRAND NEW ME|living with an illness

 
I've been pondering over this post for a while and honestly haven't even been sure if I should bother.  The fact is, things are going to change and so I thought I should at least explain why.

For a while I've known I need more balance in my life, I simply could not carry on as I was, I need to introduce more relaxation, healthy eating and exercise and need to reduce stress by being more organised and ordered.

As a busy working Mum, I'm not ashamed to say that I'm struggling to find this balance in my life.  Last year 2 things happened which brought all this into perspective and after some down time at Christmas I decided things really need to change in order for me to be able to take hold of the situation.

Last April I got ill, really ill, I'm still feeling the impact and we still haven't got right to the bottom of it with the doctor.  I already knew I had severe hyperthyroidism which affects my metabolism, energy levels and immune system, it also leads to anxiety and headaches to name a few other symptoms.  I also suffer from anemia and have to take a lot of iron tables, which in themselves lead to health issues.  What I found out last year was that my body is over producing white blood cells which are basically taking over the red ones, causing chronic fatigue.  We are still to get to the bottom of this, but all life threatening illnesses have been ruled out which is amazing! 

Whilst it's still being investigated, it's been suggested by the doctor that I should dramatically change my lifestyle, sleep when I need to (and yes this does sometimes mean at 11am!) cut out processed and refined foods, cut out dairy, alcohol and caffeine and increase exercise (not an easy one when all you want to do is sleep!)

I have half-heartedly made some changes but haven't really thrown myself into making the full lifestyle change, until now. The truth is, I know that I could probably make a huge difference by making these changes but you know what? It's bloody hard changing!

If I make the necessary changes my body should be better equipt to naturally fight these illnesses and the medication needed to manage these diseases will be less, I should also have more energy and actually be able to live like a 42 year old, not a 70 year old.

The second life changing thing that happened last year was that T started school, this has had a greater impact on us than we thought it would, there's just so much 'extra' to do and learn.  I've changed my hours so that I finish in time to collect him from school, so I no longer have a Friday off.  When T doesn't have after school activities (which I have to take him to), we have the usual reading and homework and play dates and anything else he wants to do.  Being a tiny, rural school, we have no wrap-around care, which is very difficult, I have no family who can just nip and collect T if I need to continue working, so many meetings are conducted on conference calls in the car on the school run.  Trying to hold down a pretty responsible job as well just adds more stress to the mix!  I KNOW lots of people deal with far more, including more responsibilities and kids, but I'm just trying to explain that illness and stress do not make for a balanced life ;)

It's got to the stage where we need to sort our shit out basically!!

It's going to take time, I know that, it will take time adjusting to a new way of living and becoming more organised so that stress levels are minimised, but I will get there, I know I will because I've done it before, when I was pregnant with T I was super fit and healthy to give him the best start, now I just need to do that for myself.

So, why am I telling you all this?  Well it will mean a few changes here on the blog, there will absolutely without doubt be more healthy lifestyle posts, I don't just mean diet and fitness although there will be some healthy food thrown in! I'm talking life balance, metal and physical health, wellbeing and self care along with organisation and home management, anything which helps to give balance in life and improves health naturally.

I honestly don't know where the blog will go in the future or if there even will be a future for it but for now, you will see new posts categorised 'Brand New Me' these are my healthy lifestyle posts, maybe over time it will all evolve into just being my 'lifestyle' but for now it will be separated.

I've also set up new Instagram facebook and YouTube accounts if you'd like to follow, I'd love it if you would as I really need the support 😘.  I hope you'll come on this journey with me, wherever it takes me.  I will still be around for family meals, days out and kids activities and my mantra will still be 'Living for the weekend!' although now that will mean more 'Healthly living for the weekend and beyond' πŸ˜‰

If you're still with me, thanks so much for reading this, I'm sure it's not been the most interesting or entertaining post you'll read I just wanted to explain why you are going to see changes round here and set the scene for anyone new. 

Much love, Leandra x

|REVIEW|spring crafts from Baker Ross

 

As Baker Ross bloggers, we were recently sent some kits to review from the Baker Ross Spring Range.

Great for clubs and playdates Baker Ross kits are reasonably priced, you can find all our Baker Ross Review posts here.

The first thing we used were the Pond pals sticker scenes £3.49 for 4, we are actually using these as a 'reward chart', every time T does something particularly good, he receives a sticker.  With 25 stickers this should last a good month ;) and he loves it.

 



We love the Easter bunny train kit  for ages 5+ at the bargain price of £1.99 each!  Normal price £2.99.  I must admit T found this difficult, there was no way he could make it himself so I made it, but he really enjoyed decorating it.  I was really impressed with how sturdy it was once made and I'm sure it will last many years as an Easter decoration.

 

 

These cute Bug pom-pom kits are aimed at children aged 5+ I'll be honest, I don't know any 5 year olds who would sit and make a pom-pom, so I'd say an adult is definitely needed, they are £3.75 for 3.  I made up the pom-pom and T put it all together, he managed that with no trouble at all, although the foam doesn't stick well to the wool so some fabric glue might be needed. 

 

 

Finally T made one of these Creative colouring flower wreaths  which are £2.50 for 6, the patterns are quite detailed and some areas were a bit of a challenge to him, but he did well and enjoyed what he did.  I helped him finish it off and we have hung it on one of our doors.
 
 

Look out for some Mothers Day crafts from Baker Ross next week!

|FAMILY|Valentines date night in

 

I'm certain he won't mind me saying this but The Hubs is no Gordon Ramsey!  He struggles to follow instructions and so when he tries to cook it generally goes a little wrong, he can bung some chips and fish fingers in the oven or some burgers and sausages on the BBQ but he and 'real' cooking don't go. 

So, imagine my surprise when he announced last week that he was going to cook our valentines dinner, not only cook but choose the menu too! 

We celebrated Valentines last night as T was away at a sleepover and true to his word he came up with the goods! 

The menu he decided on was simple, delicious and reasonably cheap. It wasn't vegan sadly, but it was all vegetarian and he added chicken to his. 

The menu
Olive bread with oil and balsamic vinegar
~~~~~~
Cheese rissoto with mushrooms (and chicken for him)
~~~~~~
Eton mess
~~~~~~
Served with Valentines Prosecco 

 

To make the 'valentines prosecco' we just added a tiny bit of Raspberry cordial to the prosecco, you could add Chambord or any raspberry liquor if you like. 

 

For his cheese risotto, The Hubs turned to his favourite TV cook Nigella and adapted her recipe  I'll post the adapted version later in the week. 

 

The Eton mess was simply half a punnet of raspberries mashed with a fork and mixed with a tablespoon of the raspberry cordial, again you could have used raspberry liquor.  He then mixed 100ml extra thick cream with 100ml creme fraiche and stirred through a ready made meringue broken into pieces and the crushed raspberries. Assembling in a glass layering a few raspberries and the cream mix. It was delicious! 

 

I got a little red polka for table cloth and napkins to jolly the table up a bit, all our tablecloths are pretty plain so I thought this would look nice, and it did folded and ironed as a runner, I added a heart slate and heart candle we already had. 

The total cost for this date night was:-
Food £8.14 we did use some store cupboard items like olive oil, onion, stock, butter
Drink (2 bottles optional πŸ˜‰) we had M&S prosecco as we already had them in the house but you can buy a bottle for £4.79 from Lidl 
Tableware (optional) £5 from Sainsbury's

So as you can see for under £20 we had a lovely valentines date night, keeping it budget friendly wasn't The Hubs intention but just made the evening even better!!! Without the wine and tableware it would actually come out at under £10 for 3 courses for 2. 

Happy Valentine's Day however you are spending it ❤️

|REVIEW & GIVEAWAY|Fred's Box, Minifigures subscription box

 

Fred's box is a fantastic new kids Minifigures subscription box aimed at children 4-12.

From as little as £4.85 a box of surprise mini figures can be delivered through your letterbox!

We were sent a 'Standard' box to review which retails at £8.20 for a one-off delivery and cheaper options if you sign up for longer, T loved the fact that he recieved a package addressed to him which contained mini figures he could use with his 'leading brand πŸ˜‰' blocks! 

 

The standard box contains 4 figures, other box options are available from 2 figures upwards and there's even a box especially for twins!

 

Each box is packed out with shredded paper to protect the Minifigures and delivery is free of charge for UK.

 

T cannot wait to get his next box, he's hoping he'll receive a Disney box at some stage as he's dying for a Stitch Minifigure 😊

If you fancy getting hold of a standard box yourself, enter our giveaway below, please be sure to read the terms and conditions before entering! 

Disclaimer: We were sent our Fred's Box in exchange for our honest review, all opinions are our own.  Fred's Box will be supplying the giveaway prize directly.

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SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

|BRAND NEW ME|make time for self-care

 


Self-care (aka 'me time') and my struggle to incorporate it into my daily routine. 


Let's just start by putting this out there and saying EVERYONE has time for self-care, every time you sit down to scroll on social media (not for mindful social engagement) every time you sit down to watch Netflix or every time you curl up in front of the TV, you are practicing a type of self-care. Ok you are not practicing the beneficial type of mindful self-care but you are choosing to do that in the moment rather than say, exercise, meditate or pamper yourself. 


Like me I know many people will say they have 'no time' to exercise or practice self-care but the truth is you probably do!  There will always be someone out there who has less energy, works longer hours, has more kids and *still* manages to fit in some self-care, the fact is they are making a more conscious decision about their time and not just falling into a routine of watching tv, gaming or on social media.  


 


It was this realisation that lead me on the path to self-care and many times along the way I have fallen off that path and slipped back into sitting watching something I'm not bothered about on TV, flicking through Facebook with the ignorant belief that I'm 'building my social networks for my blog' when in reality all I'm doing is scrolling through untold nonsense that I honestly have no interest in. 


I needed to change, I needed to start using that precious time to do something for ME, after the housework was done and after T was in bed I needed to invest in me!  This is a little difficult when all I want to do is crash into bed at 8 with T but I mustn't, I know I need to keep going to try and help myself get a better nights sleep. 


I try and practise a form of self care every day, it might only be small like a 10 minute mindfulness exercise but every Sunday I make sure I take at least 30 minutes (which often turns into longer!) to do something that I know my body and mind will benefit from, maybe not in that minute but afterwards too. 


The hardest thing for me is exercise, I know I should do it, I know I feel amazing after doing it, but I always have an excuse. Even 20 minutes is a chore, yet there I will sit scrolling through an Instagram feed which doesn't inspire me or sit in a Facebook chat group scrolling through posts which quite frankly wind me up and you know what?  I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this, I'm sure that almost everyone I know feels like this if they are honest with themselves. 


My self-care practice is definitely on the up, I'm now purposely making time in my day exercise, to meditate, to pamper myself, to read a book or to craft for no reason.   No longer do I tell people that I 'don't have time' because I do, I just chose to waste that time in the past.   Now self-care is a priority for me and I intend to keep it that way, there will be times when I will curl up with a glass of wine and watch a movie or TV and there's nothing wrong with that, just as long as it's intended and not just because I'm on auto pilot and do it without thinking every night! 


 


Today my self-care Sunday will involve a face mask and time updating my planner, are you taking 30 minutes for yourself today? If not, why not think about it now and decide to invest some quality time with yourself once the kids are in bed? And KEEP THAT DATE! Don't stand yourself up πŸ˜‰.  


Let me leave you with one of my favourite quotes and let me know in comments what you did for your self-care moment today Lx πŸ™πŸΌ


 


If you are looking for ideas for what to do for your self-care moment, my post 31 self-care ideas can be found here for inspiration. 

Review of The Lion Guard Hyena’s Hide Out Playset

 

Are your children fans of The Lion King?  T is, he absolutely loves all of the films and now is really loving The Lion Guard TV show on the Disney channel.

 

I decided to set up the Hyena's Hide Out playset  on the tuff spot for added fun, we also introduced some existing Lion Guard toys we previously reviewed, T had lots of fun playing with the characters and adding his characters into the set.

I love setting up little 'Small worlds' for T to play with, and although he doesn't have them too often now, he really does enjoy them when he does.


In this video he demonstrates the features. 


Small worlds are great for imaginative play and for children to remember what they have seen in the cartoons and re-create them or of course changing the ending if they prefer!  They are also fantastic for fine motor skills.


There are hours of fun to be had with recreating Lion Guard scenes from the show with this playset!  Pull down on a branch to close the bone jaw jail! Pull down on another branch to launch the destructive boulder and keep enemies at bay. When the boulder collides with the tree, the tree breaks apart on impact. If the boulder rolls in the other direction the teetering rock bridge will collapse! 

The Hyena's Hide Out Playset is £24.99 can can be purchased from Flair Plc

Disclaimer: we were provided this toy in return for our honest review.  All opinions are our own.

Review of Teksta Micro-Pets

 

Teksta micro-pets are fantastic little robots which (simply) interact with your children during play.


I honestly never thought that T would be so enthusiastic about playing with his pets, but since getting them, he's played with them most days.

We received the cat and dog micro-pets to play with, there's also a dinosaur and raccoon in the range.  They are large enough to play with but small enough to be portable and great for fitting in a pocket, I know this because T turned up to football practice last week with one in each of his pockets! 


Micro pets respond to your voice, changing from forwards to back with a clap.  If you rub their heads, they make super-cute animal noises.  We've had so much fun racing our pets, although you can control when they move, you can't control when they change direction so it makes the race even more fun and unpredictable.



Within the range there are even a few extra play sets that can be used with the pets which do look really good and the bonus is, they all snap together easily so can be used together making even more fun!

Teksta micro-pets are £9.99 individually and £19.99 for each set, you can purchase them direct from the Teksta Micro-Pets website.



Disclaimer: we were provided this toy in return for our honest review.  All opinions are our own.