Sunday, 21 December 2014

Winter walks and winter stories

The girls gave me a lie in this morning and so I was feeling refreshed.  We had a lazy morning and took our time getting ready.  After lunch the girls and I took the dogs for a walk.  We had to of course stop to feed the ducks

feeding the ducksthe ducks

The wind started picking up and the temperature seemed to drop very quickly.  My eldest said she was cold so we headed back to the car to go home.

We got home and decided the best way to warm up was to put on our PJ, have a warm drink and read some of the stories from our December Parragon Book Buddy book. 

Christmas story bookeldest reading

We had been sent A treasury of Christmas stories and songs.  This is a beautiful hard back book containing 6 Christmas stories and 12 classic rhymes and carols.  The girls love that there are songs in the book too.  It is a really beautiful book to read at this time of the year and one that was needed to warm us up.

This day I love Winter walks and winter stories. 

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Find me a gift?

I love to find unique gifts or something special.  I put a lot of thought into my gifts and hope that the recipients love them.  It is my nieces first Christmas this year and I want to get her something special and that she can treasure as she grows up. [If my Sister in law/Brother in law are reading this and don't want to spoil the surprise then stop reading here]

I came across Find me a gift:

'Find Me a Gift is a leading online retailer with over 9,000 gifts to choose from and new lines added every week. Established in June 2000, the company specialises in a wide range of gadgets, experiences, toys, novelty and personalised gifts with worldwide delivery, special offers and year round sales'

I knew that I would be in the right place to find something for a first Christmas.  I wasn't disappointed and there was a wide range to choose from.  The website is really easy to navigate and there are helpful suggestions for occasions as well as for him or for her.  Find me a gift are also a Google certified shop.   Payment can be made via Amazon payment, Paypal or credit/debit cards.

I selected the Nursery Rhyme book and added my own personalisation.  This was an easy process, by following the on screen prompts.  Orders are still being taken for Christmas delivery too, perfect if you are still in need of those last minute presents [Please check the different delivery options as not all are guaranteed Christmas delivery].

My Nursery Rhyme book arrived and it is really lovely.  I had selected the soft back book, although hard back is also available.  The book is beautifully illustrated and my niece name is hidden on some of the pages too for a really personal touch

nursery rhyme book

I am really pleased with my gift for my niece.  The quality is first class and Find me a gift is certainly a site I will be using again in the future.

I received the nursery rhyme book in exchange for a review.  All words are my own personal opinion. 

Looking the part

For the past two years I have attended Britmums Live and 2015 will be no different.  I think I bought my ticket on the train on the way home from 2014.  It is an amazing two days.  I learn a lot and get to meet lots of new people.  Strange to think it will be my third year!

I will also be attending a number of other conferences next year, both blogging and for my freelance work.  At these networking events it is often the case you are given a handwritten badge and you are asked what you do.  I am so pleased that Simoney badges have made me my very own blog name badge!

I was involved in the design process and given several options before I settled on my favourite design.  My badge arrived and I am incredibly pleased with it.  It has such a professional look and feel to it.  I am going to wear my badge with pride to all the events next year.

blog name badge
Simoney badges have a great range of personalised products.  They have everything from key rings to stickers and promotional items.  I love the range of button badges and will be looking at Simoney for the girls birthdays next year.

Simoney badge range

Our Disney cruise experience

OK I know it's taken me a long time to write this, we went on our Disney cruise back in June but I wanted to take my time and get it right. I have already written my tips for first time cruisers and about all the places we visited on our cruise, this post will look specifically at our experience on the Disney magic part of the Disney cruise line (DCL).

First impressions on the Disney magic was wow. We were welcomed aboard and announced over the microphone with members of crew clapping as we got on board. This gave you the all star welcome and feeling. The main deck was simply beautiful. Stunning elevators, statues and huge porthole windows to look through. With marble floors and chandeliers, you would be forgiven if you thought you were in a top class hotel.

Our rooms were not ready until a little later but we were allowed to visit the ship and use any facilities on board. The girls put on their costumes and went into the pool.


There was a separate area just for adults which we did not go into. I understand the pool and spa here were lovely but as we did not use them or see them I could not comment. 

The main pool is right in front of tunnel vision. This was were a variety of Disney films were shown. Children (and adults) could sit in the pool and watch films such as monsters inc, toy story, and other Disney classics. I thought this was really lovely. The pool was kept really clean and there were plenty of chairs and seating around.

The kids pool was simply fantastic. My girls would have spent all their time in here. There was buckets to pull, water guns to squirt, a pool to sit in, simply fantastic. All Disney themed of course but so much fun for them. There was even a small area for babies.

A well as swimming pool there were two slides, but the girls were too small to try these out. The did look fun with one hanging over the edge of the boat.

Food and drink

I could not believe that everything was included. You have 24hr access to drinks machine serving both hot and cold drinks, including water. The buffet bar seemed to be open all the time too but I'm guessing it closed at some point. On deck near the pools was every take away you could imagine and yes it's all included and you could eat whatever you wanted. There was an area that even did sandwiches and fruit if you fancied a lighter option.

Breakfast you could choose to eat either in the restaurant or have a buffet. Not mornings we had a buffet before getting off the ship. There was plenty of choice and something for every diet and taste. Most lunches we had off ship sampling local cuisine but again if on board you could choose the buffet or one of the takeaways.

Dinner was something spectacular. There were 3 restaurants we dined in and each had a different theme. Lumière was set out like beauty and the beast, with the tea cups just like belles. 

Carioca was more colourful and wasn't our favourite to dine in but it was still great food. Our favourite by far was animators palace. Here drawings came to life before your very eyes. It was a truly magical dining experience and whilst I don't want to give too much away it was fantastic.

Activities and leisure

There was plenty to do on board. A whole deck dedicated to sports, with a basketball court, table football and ping pong. A running track went round the ship which you could choose to walk around if you wish. Swimming pools and a spa. Not to mention the kids club. There was evening entertainment including bingo, quiz shows and variety of shows.

On board was a cinema showing latest releases and also a theatre. The shows in the theatre are award winning and simply stunning, like watching a Broadway musical without having to pay any extra for it. The one thing I loved was everything was family friendly. The shows are shown twice so it doesn't matter which dinner sitting you are on you can still catch one of the shows. There are no casino or gambling on board.


I had heard that cruise line rooms are really small. We stayed in an ocean view room, but on one of the lowest decks. The room prices rise the higher up the boat you go. The room was plenty big enough for all four of us, we never felt squashed in. 

There was two bathrooms and one had both a bath and a shower. Everything was kept clean and tidy and the girls loved the surprise of finding out what room service had made with the towels that evening.

We were very well taken care of during our Disney cruise. The girls loved the excitement of waking up and seeing the characters around the ship. They loved Peter Pan running around looking for tinker bell, or randomly passing one of the Disney princess on one of the decks. They loved the opportunity to dance with the characters, how many people can say they have danced to let it go with Mickey and Minnie Mouse?


I cannot recommend Disney cruise line enough, the experience was amazing. We were made to feel really special and the girls have some fantastic memories. We will be going back again.

I have not been asked to write this post, this is a holiday we paid for and have received no compensation to write about

Friday, 19 December 2014

Festive pick me up

It has been one of those days today.  You know the ones when every email [except one] was an email using the words 'sorry' or 'unfortunately' and when your favourite decorations got broken.  Plus you are so tired you are struggling to keep awake.  Then you had to battle with the people in ASDA because you have run out of bread, milk and chocolate tea and unfortunately ASDA is the only place which sells chocolate tea near you [chocolate tea = chocolate Ovaltine].

After all this I then had to do the school pick up in the cold, windy and wet weather.  The walk seemed to last forever.  Lucky for me my youngest was full of festive fun and my eldest was happy to be on school holidays.  They cheered me up, especially when they decided to wear their Father Christmas dresses.

They have been good girls and gone to sleep with minimal fuss which means I can now settle down and enjoy my treat that arrived in the post today.

I think I deserve it

This day I love Festive pick me up

Dyson Cinetic

Back in March I attended an event with Dyson. The event was to look at the new Cinetic range and I was really excited to have been invited. Before the event we were asked to send in a sample of dust from our home to be analysed. The results would be given to us after the event.

I made the journey down to London in the pouring rain and was looking forward to seeing what the event would bring. The event was held in a shopping centre near to the Olympic park. I took the opportunity to have a quick look and it did seem very impressive.

Dyson gave us an introduction to the Cinetic and explained about the design process. It was really interesting to hear this insight and learn more about it. The Cinetic is really powerful and we were shown a demonstration of it picking up baking powder of a shiny black tiled surface. It did this with ease. The Cinetic has also been designed not to tangle and of course not to loose suction.

In order to demonstrate the advantage of the Cinetic it was placed against a normal vacuum cleaner and the results were really surprising.

Overall it was an amazing day and great to chat with the engineers behind the Cinetic. In case you wondered why I haven't written this post until now, well I am still waiting for the results from my dust sample and wanted to include the results in this post to make It more complete.

I have not been asked to write this post, I am documenting the events from 2014

Linked : Week 11

Welcome to week 11 of Linked. 

There seems to be a problem with week 10, I open the page and it says 7 days 7 hour remaining and 0 link ups.  Yet when I log onto Linky tools it says 7 entries.  I click to see the entries and it says 0 entries.  If you are one of the 7 who linked up, Thank you and my apologies.  I am hoping week 11 works, if not I shall be using a different linky subscription.  

For those new to Linked, Linked is a weekly directory of Linky.  Come and add your Linky below or any Linky or blog hop you know about.  I will comment on all that are added and share on my twitter page.  It would be great if you could add my badge, so that more people know about Linked creating a more in depth directory.  As always if I can join in with the Linky I will.

This day I love - Linked

Linked also works in a reverse order, this means the latest to be added is first in the list.  If your Linky ends just as Linked starts feel free to add both your previous and current Linky to the list.

Look forward to your Linky and blog hops again this week and thanks for joining Linked!