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Disney Bounding An Introduction

As a little girl, I use to love dressing up as my favourite Disney characters. My sister and I had a couple of Princess outfits and I was so gutted when I became too big for them, the joys of having to grow up!  Since then I have followed the world of cosplay but dressing up in full character every day isn't always going to be the most practical of things to do, could you imagine me on the school run in Cinderella's ball gown! Actually, that would be pretty amazing!

Recently I have been looking at the growing trend of Disney Bounding, basically dressing up subtly for adults.
You can create your favourite characters by picking a colour scheme or specific item and tailoring it to that character. You also don't have to spend a fortune as you can put many outfits together from the item you have in your wardrobe, and if not hit the charity shops as you can normally find some great pieces.  You see a lot of Disney bounding in the Disney parks, adults aren't allowed to dress up like young children are allowed to, so this is a perfect way to still be able to join in the fun, be creative and explore your Disney side!

Below are some examples of how you can dress up like your favourite Disney character. 


I love the idea of bounding and hope to experiment over the summer with many Disney bounds, I may even get the kids to join in too! 

                     Have you tried Disney bounding? Let me know what Character would you bound as?

Bee Venom Review - Skin Chemist



Now that I am approaching the big 30! oh gosh! that is the first time I've said that out loud! 
I feel it's more than ever important for me to make sure I'm taking care of my skin.
I don't want to have too many wrinkles if I don't have too and would like to keep my skin looking and feeling youthful.  I am lucky that all the females on both sides of my family have very good skin and they have all age beautifully. However, I am not going to just rely on my family's genetics. Every day I cleanse, tone & moisturise and recently I've upped my game and added Bee venom to my daily skincare routine. 





 Bee venom and how does it work in skincare?

Using bee venom in skincare has now become a very popular skin care regime with the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Yorkshire firm users of the Bee Venom serum. When I saw this I knew I  had to give it a try for myself.

As we age collagen and skin elasticity decreases which can lead to sagging skin and deep wrinkles. By stimulating the collagen you strength the tissue on your face and improve the skin's elasticity leaving you with firmer and youthful skin.

So how does the bee venom work? Well in simple terms it makes the skin believe that it has been stung by a bee, more correctly the toxin melittin. Blood then rushes to the area stimulating the production of collagen, leaving you with firmer and younger looking skin.

The first thing I would say is to check that you are not allergic to bees. I wasn't sure if I was or not as I've never been stung and so I decided to test a small amount on my hands and luckily I was fine.

The serum comes in a small easy to carry bottle perfect to take with me in my handbag if needed. The serum is soft and fast absorbing and you only need a small amount, the size of a pea is recommended.



Now I don't have many wrinkles if any, but the one thing I have seen is my skin looks so much fresher and lighter. I would normally wake up with a dull, grey looking skin but recently I have noticed a slight glow to my skin and I have done many school drop off's makeup free which normally I wouldn't do.

As I don't really have any wrinkles I couldn't say what the results would be but It's something that I will definitely be continuing with and hopeful it will help keep those wrinkles at bay.

Gift for my readers....

Now here is something a little treat for all my readers I have a discount code that means you can try the Bee Venom for yourself at a fraction of the price.

All you have to do is enter the code ANDREABLOG  on the Skin Chemist website where you can get the bee venom for £19.99! This offer is until the end of March only so be quick as the usual retail price is £135.





*I was sent this product to review all opinions are that of my own. 











5 Ways To Boost Your Income




If you are looking to earn some extra cash maybe towards a holiday, Christmas or something bigger then here are 5 easy ways in which you can do to boost your income.  


1. Ebay and Facebook Selling Pages 

How many of us have items in our home that are unused and unwanted? Have a clear out of things you no longer need or use and put them on local selling sites and eBay.  You're more likely to sell items faster through these sites then by waiting to go to a car boot. 

2. Secret Shopper 

Becoming a secret shopper is easy and you can pick and choose the assignments you want to do and get paid for them. So if you love shopping then this is a great opportunity and companies like Gapbuster and Market force are the perfect place to start. 

3. Cashback sites & apps

Using sites like Quidco and Top Cashback to receive cash back on your everyday spending. There are quite a few ways to get cash back from, credit and debit cards to sites for online shopping and apps on your phone.  

4. Surveys 

Sites like Swagbucks are a great platform to start earning some extra cash.  Swagbucks points are earned by filling out surveys, watching videos, downloading apps and more. Once you have earned so many points you can exchange them for gift cards or deposit into your PayPal or Amazon account.   You can also earn cashback with online shopping.  I'm a major fan of Swagbucks at the moment and have found it pretty easily to earn some extra pennies great for me to save away for Xmas!

5.  Offer a skill

Do you have a skill you can offer? Are you good at gardening? Making jewellery?  Dog walking? If you have a skill why not offer your services.  You can advertise in so many ways from local selling and community pages on social media to online sites like Esty and Fiver, and the good old fashioned way by advertising in local shops.




Bathroom Ideas - Slate, Grey and White


I have been dying to decorate our bathroom, it's one of the rooms we haven't touched since we moved in and it really needs a revamp.

I want something modern, something easy to maintain and lots of storage! I have been scanning good old Pinterest and Instagram for some inspiration and through my research, I  have had some major decor envy from some very beautiful bathrooms! 

I have decided to go for a grey/slate colour scheme with a hint of white, this way I can always easily freshen up or even add new colours in if I want something different. 

Luckily the bathroom isn't a major job, no building work is required but I may have to borrow my brother in law for some electrical help. 




1. New lighting was a definite must have for us as it's just a light bulb in its socket. I love this light from Ikea and at £40 it's not too bad in price either. It's very modern but it also has a slight old age feel to it which I love.

2.  I wanted to go grey, but due to our bathroom being long and narrow, the dark slate grey I really wanted was changed for Johnstone's paint in China Clay - £27.99. To help maximise the feeling of space to our oddly narrowed shaped bathroom. 

3. I want the bathroom to feel calming and natural, a place of relaxation and serenity. One of my goals this year is to bring in more foliage to the house and so I think a white orchid will bring in the perfect amount of tranquillity to the overall design. 

4. Dunelm Mill always has some lovely homeware items and storage is a big thing for me. When I saw this toilet roll basket (Seagrass basket £15.00) I knew it would be a perfect fit and storage solution to the ugly toilet rolls just stacked on the side. My 3-year-old loves to play with them and kick them all over the place so this way they are out of the way and hopefully less interesting!  

5. Shower curtains are literally the biggest nuisance for me, but due to the way our bath and shower head is, we have to have one. I can't wait until the day we can have one of those walk-in wet room showers!

At the moment I have a thing for Damask print and this one at £8.00 from Asda is perfect. 

6. Lastly, this slate hand soap dispenser will be a perfect addition to the room, you can find it at Dunelm Mill for £14.00

Luckily the flooring doesn't need changing, I had some new rustic wooden lino put down before Christmas. I am still looking for a mirror but may have to wait until I've painted and decorated to then decide on the shape and size I want.

I'm hoping to get this project done in the next month and will share with you on the blog the final look.  

Tell me what colour schemes you've gone for in your bathroom. 


Best in show Review






We all love to spoil our pets, they do so much for us and me in particular the girls help me with my anxiety and stress levels. So every now and again I like to treat them to show them my appreciation. 

This is where Best in Show comes in, a company that specialise in luxury pet products and gifts.
They were kind enough to send us a little hamper for the girls to try out.


The girls were sent the Doy Toy Box gift set, priced at £19.99 the gift set contains a bottle of Woof Dog Beer,  which is non-alcoholic. A wheat free peanut butter cupcake, a pack of Duck Whirl treats and a Grin 'n' Tear it Ball. All packaged in a lovely dark wooden crate
As well as the gift box, we were also sent an extra Grin 'n' Tear bone and for me, a Top Dog mug to relax and enjoy a cuppa in whilst the girls test out their new toys.




 Honey has been putting the Grin 'n' Tear it ball and bone through its paces and after about a week she has managed to put a slight dent into the bone. It's now frayed but this makes her love it even more as we can play tug of war with it and she can easily throw it about.  I'm very surprised it's actually lasted this long as she can go through a toy in a day!



The ball is still fully intact and a fun toy the girls both like to play with. It's easy to pick up and hold so even the littlest member of the pack can enjoy playing with it! 





When Honey is all worn out and out for the count it's time for Daisy to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet!  For this she has a range of yummy treats, the Duck whirls are a definite hit. I've had to put them up out the way as Daisy would devour the whole packet if given half the chance. They are small little circular duck flavoured treats,  pretty much a yes for any food loving dog!

We all enjoy a glass of wine or a beer after a long hard day and Daisy has joined the club. Woof beer is a non-alcoholic beef flavoured dog beer.  At first, Daisy wasn't too sure but once she realised it was something she could drink she seemed to really enjoy it.
I think it's a very fun and novelty gift, we are actually attending a puppy party next month for our friend's puppy so I may have to order a couple of these for the birthday pup!





Last but not least for the dog products is the peanut butter cupcake. 
I've always wanted to have a go at making delicious, sweet treats for my dogs and when I saw this I really wanted to see if it was something the girls would like.  

I let Disy have a go first, I knew she would savour it whereas Honey would pretty much inhale it and swallow it whole.  So Daisy was up first for the taste test and again another hit Daisy is very fussy with food especially now she's 7. 
Both of the girls really liked their treats, however, I would be careful to only feed these as occasional treats as I think it would possibly be too rich especially with Honey and still being a puppy. 



For me, I was able to enjoy a lovely hot chocolate in my 'Top Dog' mug. I'm a very fussy person when it comes to mugs, for one it has to look nice and secondly it has to feel nice. Please tell me I'm not the only person that feels this way about mugs?

This mug ticked both of my boxes though  I love the subtle bone design with the 'Top Dog' slogan and it's extremely comfortable to hold and drink from.  I also think it should get extra brownie points as it's such an instagrammable mug, it's kinda like a blogging thing that you have a light box, flowers and of course a plain white mug of some description.


If you are a dog-friendly family looking to pamper your beloved pooches or someone looking to buy for that Dog owner in your life then I would highly suggest Best in Show.
With an array of luxury gifts to choose from at very reasonable prices, you won't be disappointed.


Let me know in the comments what you love to buy for your pets. 




My Top 10 Tips For Giving Presents



I love buying presents for people, Birthdays, Christmas, Anniversary you name it!  I love to make a gift personal and something I hope they will really enjoy and love. 
I know some people hate shopping for others and so I wanted to put together my tops tips when buying gifts for others.



1. Budget 

Set yourself a budget and be realistic, you can do so much with £20 trust me!

2. Occasion 

What is the occasion? Is there a theme to the party that you could include in your gift etc?
For example, if they love Disney why not do a Disney movie package or help them start a collection. 




3. Avoid cheap, cheap toys

If you haven't got a lot of money to spend don't go and buy cheap toys from the 99p shop as 9/10 it will break after 5 minutes.  However, depending on what you're getting some items can be fab bargains!
My advice would be to shop around, look for deals, sale and clearances to get more for your money, whilst still keeping the quality. I've easily made £20 stretch to create a lovely hamper. I used places like Amazon, TK Max, Home Bargains, Craft shops etc. 


4. Make sure you have enough time


Don't leave gifts until the last minute! Write down birthdays in advance, that way you can be prepared. If you know what you want to get then you can shop for deals earlier.
For Example, I have brought a present for my sister already for Christmas this year and I saved over 70% on the item because I found it in a clearance sale. 
I also do this with Alfie's school friends and buy things in advance in sales and clearances, it's really handy and saves us money! 


5. Do some research 


If you're not sure what to get as a gift become a detective and find out. Look on their Facebook and Instagram for ideas, it could be that they mentioned what their favourite flower is, a book they want to read and so on.





6. Pretty packaging 

I'm a sucker for a pretty package and so I love to do the same with gifts, trying to make them unique by using hampers, boxes, pots, bags and buckets. Be creative it's amazing what you can make. 

7. Personal touch

I recently did a birthday hamper and I wanted to match the hamper their home decor and so now they have the option to use the "gift box" as decorative storage. 
You could also use ribbons, bows, tissue paper and plastic flowers etc in their favourite colour.

8. Cake and card 

Make sure you get a card! I always forget cards and they are such a lovely thoughtful touch. I always like to add one memory or compliment into the bottom of the card to make it extra special. If you haven't got a lot of money to spend why not make a cake or cupcakes. Everyone loves cake! and you can make one for less than £5! 



9. Vouchers 

If you are shopping for someone who is really difficult to buy for then vouchers are always a safe bet. Choose a voucher for their favourite shop, restaurant, cinema or what about an experience day! There are so many things to choose from, from being a zoo keeper for the day to driving sports cars and going for a spa day! 

10.  Be creative

I love to be creative as I can with my gifts, I like to home make gifts, bake and even paint. I've done so many different presents from a movie night package to a mum to be treat box,  you could even create one on things from their childhood. 


I hope you enjoyed my post, remember though it's the thought that counts! 

What are your top tips for presents? 



How To Save Money on UK Holidays





I  love to save money where I can and holidays are no exception. I want to share my tips I use to help keep the costs down when holidaying in the UK. You don't have to go broke or spend silly amounts of money.


Firstly decide where you want to go, the UK can be more expensive for holidays especially when you can find really cheap deals abroad. But if you shop around and plan in advance you can get some great deals. The first step is deciding where you want to holiday.


1. Summer / Winter 

If you're planning to go away think about when you would like to go, holiday firms tend to put their prices up in the summer and at Christmas. Also, school holidays are gold mines for companies so they will always increase their prices. These two things that need to be thought about as they will affect your budget.



2. Accommodation 

Accommodation is key because this will be a huge chunk of your budget. Don't just go for the easiest option of booking through a holiday site or hotel. 
Look for other forms of accommodation, youth hostels are much cheaper and also websites like Air BnB can save you so much money with the choice of flats, houses, huts and mobile homes to choose from. 




For example, if you want to book on a caravan site, see if anyone has their own property to rent out via the Air BnB site. Many people do and it's normally much cheaper than what the parks themselves are charging. 


3. Advanced Bookings 

With your holiday booking in advanced as much as up to a year in advance can be cheaper than buying the holiday 3 - 6 months before you go.





4. Budget & Coupons 

Budget your spending money, you don't need to spend £100's a day to have fun. Set yourself a weekly or even daily limit to your holiday and stick to it. 

You can also check online for days out deals on sites like Groupon, you can check local areas so you can see what's available to the area you're staying in.

Have a look online for discount codes on your holiday too, I have just booked us a holiday at Butlins and managed to stack several deals and codes to get £200 off. 

5. Book Tickets in Advanced 

Some places offer cheaper tickets to local attractions and theme parks if you pre-book online before going. You can save as much as 20% off the admission prices which in all helps with spending less.



6. Food & Snacks 

Eating out every day will just increase your spending, the price of one family meal out could cover at least half if not all of the cost of a food shop for a week.  If you're going to a holiday park see if they offer half board packages or food court packages as again this can work out much cheaper. 


The same with snacks, touristy areas can be more expensive to buy in, so I always pre-organise snack bags. I sort out snacks per day and put them in zip-lock bags labelled for each person. Also take a crate of water or even just some sports bottles that you can put squash or water in. It's handy if you're in a hotel and need a drink in the night too! 

 7. Free Activities 

A great day out doesn't need to cost a penny! Visit local parks, rock pools and beaches. Take a picnic and have fun exploring.



I hope you enjoyed my tips for a cheaper holiday in the UK, I'd love to know how you save money on your holiday. Leave your tips in the comments below. 






Life update: New Blog, Eyebrows and Anixety









Hello!

It's been a while! I can't believe it's 2017! Last year was a very flat year for me. I had a lot of issues with anxiety, which I'm still trying to overcome but I'm hopeful that this year will be better for me. If you want to read my goals for 2017 then check out my previous post, Being the Best Version of Me.

One thing I'm looking forward to this year is my follow up treatment on my eyebrows. Last year I had my eyebrows tattooed for the first time by LA Perfection, a local Oxfordshire salon. I am now just waiting to go back and have the follow-up treatment and then that will be me done for the year. I love how my brows look and I really wish I'd of done it sooner. I will be posting a full blog review once my treatment has been finished, so stay tuned for that!




Recently I have been thinking about the direction of my blog and what I want to do. I have decided that I no longer want to feature my children as much as I did and have removed most of my parenting posts. Personally, want to keep my children safe. I already have seen people have their child's images stolen and that's not something I wish to have happened to me. I also feel that I want my blog to focus on other passions in my life, I'm not just a mother and this blog has become a place to escape and a place to feel like a 26-year-old Andrea and not just a mum. This was a massive reason as to why I dropped my old blog name.
I will have the odd posts on parenting but it will be more focused on tips and 'how to' than lots of personal information on my children.


I am looking forward to sharing posts on my other interests in life one being my pets, I have a small fur family and I can't wait to include them on my blog. I am also looking forward to doing more home and lifestyle posts. I'm a sucker for all things being clean and organised and I want to share that.


My Disney posts will also be changing as from February I will be launching my new 100% Disney blog. This is something  I've wanted to do for so long, I'm a huge Disney fan, it's a way of life for me and so launching my separate blog will be my way to really become creative in my own little Disney bubble.  You can follow me on my new Instagram until the launch in February.


For now I'm going to leave it short and sweet and hopefully, over the next few weeks the final changes will be made and my new upload schedule will be all planned out.







2017: Being The Best Version Of Me


Another year almost past and as I sit and write this post I reflect over the last year, over the last 26 years and I think to myself " What have I achieved?" "Am I content with the way my life is panning out?" Every year we as a nation set goals for ourselves, some are realistic and some not. And let's face it only a few will keep to their resolutions, so why do we keep making them? 

For 2017 I will be breaking a habit, a tradition of the last 15 years on making New Year's resolutions and instead of setting the goals I never stick too, the goals I have in my diaries that have never been started and the ones that I failed at after a couple of days or months, I'm just going to concentrate on being the best version of me. 

Some of you will know I have spent many years a slave to my anxiety, giving in to opportunities, playing it safe and just being boring. I have spent so many years wishing I'd done this wishing I'd done that and now I'm 4 years from 30 and starting to panic that I've wasted so much time. 

I've wasted so much time on how others think, how others see me when really I should only worry about how I feel about myself. As long as I'm happy that's all that matters right? 

2017 is my year to focus on the things that matter, achieving the hopes, dreams, and goals I have been setting for years and the only way I can do that is by being the best version of me. 


The last 6 months have been tough with my anxiety, I've had my first flare up in a long time to the point where I had days where I would just keep having panic attacks after panic attacks. The stress of things lead me to not take care of myself and so I ended up putting on weight and as a result, I've ended up feeling withdrawn and uninterested in the littlest of things in life. 

What I want to do is not give myself a goal this year. Instead I  want to concentrate on looking after myself spending time on self-care and having regular days to myself doing those little things that make me happy and hoping that the goals I set every year will then fall into place. 

What am I going to focus on? 

This year I have a couple areas I want to focus on, one is my health and the other is taking a risk. 


My health hasn't been the best over the last few years. 2 years ago I was diagnosed with a form of arthritis that was triggered by pregnancy. I also have PCOS which I was diagnosed with at 14. 
Both of these conditions affect me every single day from being in pain, to how I feel mentally and emotionally. This year I want to take care of myself, get my symptoms under control and get my body into a healthier and stronger condition. 


The other area I would like to focus on is taking risks. I have played my life so safe, so safe that I won't do something if I have a single doubt. The other day I decided to take a different route home because the usual way didn't feel right. Because I had a slight moment of doubt, a moment where my anxiety took over and convinced me that if I went this way something bad would happen. 
I want to take back that control and say no, to say screw it and just do it anyway even if I'm terrified inside. 
To not worry, to not hide back and hold back. This year I want to show the sides of me people may not see because my anxiety tells me I need to be boring. If you were someone who really knows me you would see so many other sides to me, but my anxiety puts up a wall and sometimes that makes me come across as harsh or uninterested. I'm really actually not like that at all especially if you ask my family! 

I want to meet new people and I want to succeed in life and in work, taking risks is something I really need to do. 

As I've been reflecting I haven't just been thinking about the negatives, I've also been thinking about the positives. What good has come to my life in the last 26 year? 

My children have been an absolute blessing if someone told me I'd be a mother of two at 26 I would have said no way! I always thought that I would have kids but at a later date, maybe starting in my 30's. I had this whole idea that my life would be a bit similar to Friends. You know the living in a flat with friends, working, having freedom to do whatever I want.

But I'm so thankful that I have my babies, they have changed me in so many ways. I now see the beauty in the littlest of things, from the way my eldest teaches the youngest how to play with his toys,  how their little eyes light up in excitement at new experiences,  to the pure joy of holding my babies and knowing that for that moment nothing else matters and all I can feel is their love for me and my love for them. 



My family have been a major part of my life and I am very much a family girl, my family pick me up when I'm down, celebrate the things I achieve and love and support me. I'm so lucky I have so many people I can look up to, so many people I can rely on and so many people to love and be loved back by. I know some aren't so lucky and I am so thankful and grateful that I have my family. 

I may not have experienced a lot in life,  I may not have been on holidays with friends, been abroad, travelled or gone to uni. But I have so many memories with my family and my children and I still have a lifetime of memories to make, so those goals those missed opportunities can still be achieved.   

 As I finish this post, fireworks fill the sky as midnight arrives, I feel a bit like cinderella and am now waiting for things to change. A new year, the same old me, just a better version of me. 

Happy New Year, I hope 2017 is everything you wish for and more. 














Dog Festive Knits from Boohoo




Christmas is for everyone, including our fur family.  Each pet will receive a stocking of goodies on Christmas morning but I knew I was missing one thing for our pups, a festive knit to keep cosy in!
I was recently contacted by Boohoo to see if the girls would like to have a Christmas jumper of their own and of course we said yes, please!


Firstly I never knew that Boohoo did dog jumpers so that was a first for me. They have a good selection of styles and colours to choose from. If you prefer the more traditional Christmas jumpers then there are tartan and fair isle prints, or if you love a bit of novelty wear then you can choose from Elfs, Christmas puds or Santa!



Sizing wise they go from a small to a large, I found Daisy's jumper to be true to size and Honey needed a one up so just double checked your dog's measurements, it may pay to go bigger as well Honey is very long in the body so she needed the extra material in the Large.


For Honey I choose an Elf Jumper, I'm a sucker for Christmas novelty and she matches my children with their Christmas t-shirts.  Daisy has a more traditional print, I choose her the Tartan jumper as she's a classy old lady! You wouldn't think she's 7 years old!



The jumpers range in price (depending on style) from £6 to £10 which I think is a very good price. 


The girls love their festive knits and will be wearing them all throughout the festive season. If you'd like to treat your pooches this Christmas then pop on over to the Boohoo website for a full list of all their jumpers.

* I was sent these products in exchange for a review all opinions are my own.