14 December, 2016

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. 


13 November, 2016

Sarah Taylor Art : Highland Fling Print Review

Now that I'm an adult and I have my own home one of the things I love is looking at interior blog posts and magazines. I am a sucker for sitting on Pinterest and spending hours just liking and scrolling through. 

My style is a mixture, I love the whole minimalist look, the very white and very bright look, but I also love shabby chic and country chic. So I am slowly going through our home decorating it to my taste.  

I am currently trying to finish our dining room, I've gone from an awful light green to a beautiful soft cream colour, the room has no windows, just a pair of double doors that go into our conservatory, so I've made it as bright as possible.  I have also decided to do a gallery wall, we spend a lot of time in our dining room eating, talking, playing games etc, so I wanted a wall that reflected our lives and us as a family. 

This is where the very talented Sarah Taylor comes in. Sarah is an artist that creates some exquisite pieces, her work is very colourful with a paint splash style. Sarah actually came on to this completely by accident, one day she was painting and the studio's cat got in her way. As a result, Sarah tripped and a teacup of pink ink landed onto her work. Without thinking she threw her cup of water onto the painting and began to disperse the ink around and from there her paint splash style was born. Now Sarah uses an array of tools to create her work from straws to hairdryers. 

I absolutely fell in love with Sarah's work, it's eye-catching and captivating, definitely a talking point. Sarah uses her fascination with animals as her inspiration,  with a wide selection of animals from farm animals such as cows and sheep to  woodland animals like squirrels and birds. 

For me, animals are a huge part of my life from my childhood growing up on the farm surrounded by cows, horses, and sheep. So when I look at Sarah's work it does very much remind me of my childhood. 

Sarah was so kind in offering me a print to choose to review, I actually had to think overnight as I loved so many of her prints, in the end, I was tied between her Stag, Fox and Highland Cow print and said to Sarah that she could choose for me. 
A week later I received my print which was of the highland cow. I absolutely adore this print, the mix of bright paint splashes and fine geometric patterns are just beautiful.   It also will fit in perfectly on my soon to be gallery wall that I am creating. 

The prints are available in two different sizes 17cm mounted £40 and 28cm unmounted £55. 

The colours are bright yet subtle, the geometric prints mixed with the paint splashes are unique and unlike anything I have seen before.  Her work is truly unique and extremely beautiful. 
Sarah also takes commission pieces, if you would like something custom all details can be found here.  You can also add Sarah on Instagram for updates on her work. 


01 November, 2016

Jan Marini // Marini Luminate Face Mask Review

A while ago you may remember that I posted a review of the  Jan Marini Transformation cream which I was sent by Dermacare Direct.  Before receiving the product I had never heard of the Jan Marini brand before, it's more well known in America then over here, but I was excited to try it out and see what it was like.  I ended up really liking the product and carried on using it in my daily skincare routine. Recently they sent me another pot to try and this time it was of their Jan Marini Luminate face mask. 

Over the last few months I have been trying my hardest to incorporate a better skincare regime into my daily life, and slow but surely I have been getting there.  I make sure I remove all of my make up before going to bed and  exfoliate about 3 times a week. I have also been trying to incorporate face masks on a twice a week schedule. I just need to keep up with my water intake! I am literally the worlds worst drinker, I always forget to drink, and I know my skin needs it more than anything.

One of the things that appealed to me about the face mask was that this mask is suitable for several different skin types, from dry and oily to sensitive and acne prone.

I have combination skin so my face especially my T-zone area can be oily or really dry so it's good to know that I can use this product all year round and that it will be suitable no matter how my skin is behaving. 

The mask itself is easy to apply, with this brand a little goes a long way and so you only need to apply a thin layer. The mask is not what you would call a typical face mask as this is a cream. When I hear face mask I always think of the ones you put on and either peel off or are like clay.

Once the cream is on leave it on for about 10 minutes, during this time you may feel some tingling but don't worry this is normal. After 10 minutes it's time to remove with warm water and blot your face dry. 
upon removing the cream I  instantly felt like I had a new layer of skin, my face felt refreshed, clean and super soft. It also made my makeup look so much more flawless and smoother on my face which is always a good thing! 

Benefits of the product: 

Lightening agents to reduce the appearance of spots and discolouration .

Gentle exfoliates removing dull and dry skin to leave you with hydrated skin - My skin felt so clean! 

From the first use your skin will appear brighter and more luminous and I definitely saw that, my skin looked refreshed and there was definitely a glow to my skin. 

Green tea extracts - Green tea is good for you in so many ways but especially your skin. Did you know that green tea is also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory .  This means it will help limit the production of free radicals in the skin which stops the damage to skin cells. Being an anti-inflammatory it also helps with acne-causing bacterias and the reduction of redness to the skin. 

After a month of using this product I would say that my skin feels and looks so much better, I have actually had a few days of make up free / minimal make up days which is a big thing as my face hasn't always been something I have felt confident in showing bare. 

I would love to know if you have you tried any products from the Jan Marini range? 


29 October, 2016

Alfie's Pinterest Party

My eldest turned 6 at the begin of October and this was his first proper party. Other years we have celebrated at home with the family and just a couple of friends. This year we decided he would get the big party, in a hall and with all of his classmates.

Alfie's best friend was also turning 6 the same month so we decided to do a joint party to save some money. 

I love Pinterest and often find myself spending hours browsing through for things and decided that I would use Pinterest to help me plan my son's birthday party.

First up was deciding on our theme, the boys' weren't particular fussed over the theme they just wanted a party. So myself and Dani hit Pinterest and got to work on finding a theme. One of the things we really wanted to do was pick a theme that hadn't already been in their class, so far no one had had the same theme this year and so we wanted to do the same. We ended up choosing between superheros and an animal theme.

With our theme set we booked the hall and a bouncy castle which we managed to get a good deal on.

Next was to send out the invites...

It's very rare that since having my boys I get to sit down and do anything remotely crafty, Alfie's party gave me the perfect excuse to sit down and do so.  I created these invites very easily on PicMonkey,  I added a black and white photo of animals that I got from google and then backed the invite on to animal printed themed card.

The cake was made by my mum, she always makes our cakes. She is so talented and they always taste amazing! 

As the other parent isn't a huge Disney fan like myself this was my little Disney contribution to the party. 

Now that I had the main things booked and taken care of it was time to buy and make the decorations.

Using old bits of picket fencing we had lying around we made these jungle signs to put up around the room at various stations. 

For party bags we went slightly different to the normal content. We both decided to give a much more thought out goodie bag, with a couple of sweets in each and instead of all of those the little toys that seem to break or get lost within two hours of coming home. 
We choose to have monkeys for adoption as our party bag filler,  each child would go home with their monkey and a birth certificate to fill in.  
We also had a selection of foam animal masks for the kids to choose from. 

We made a sign for the entrance of the party again using bits of wood we had lying around, I had seen these on Pinterest and I knew we had to do one for the boys' party. 

After 6 weeks of brain storming and planning the boys' big day was here!
 Alfie was so excited when we revealed our hard work, we had kept most of the planning secret so they didn't really know much until they saw the hall all decorated. 

For decorations I hit ebay.
 We purchased a huge jungle backdrop which you can see on the right hand side at the back. It was 15ft long and not too bad price wise. 
Balloons and inflatables were relatively cheap, the table clothes were a bit of a splurge, it's really hard to find animal print table clothes!  but we have managed to save them for another time so that will save us money in the future! 

For cups, plates and napkins we decided to buy plain coloured items instead of special jungle themed ones,  they worked out about 40% cheaper and we got double the amount plus 20% discount on a bulk order.  We wanted a more grown up theme to the typical jungled/safari themed partyware we had seen,  they seemed to be more aimed at babies and toddlers rather than older children. 

We made a child friendly drinks station where they could easily help themselves with no spillages, these were all on offer from Aldi. 

We then also had a drinks station for the older children and adults who could help themselves.

We ordered a bulk of inflatable and plastic animals that we arranged around the hall, on tables and on ledges.

 I saw these cute Animal food card on Pinterest and just new we had to add these to our party. 
I also tried to make a cucumber snake but the eyes kept falling off! 

 One of my favourite items from the party was the cut out animal stand in the corner, we got the children to take it in turns to stand and have their pictures taken.
It was such a nice little touch and Dani's dad made it for us which meant it didn't cost us a penny! 

 The party was a huge success and we had so many lovely comments from family and friends. The boys had a lovely time too which was the most important part. I'm so glad we managed to pull off our Pinterest party and now I'm brain storming for the next birthday , Archie's 3rd Birthday!

Let me know what you do for your children's birthdays.


14 October, 2016

Aromand: Autumnal Candle and Diffuser Review

Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year.  I love seeing the leaves turn from succulent green to crunchy burnt oranges and browns. I love the slight bitterness to the air in the mornings as I walk the dogs and I love nothing more than to snuggle on the sofa with a duvet, a hot chocolate or massive mug of tea whilst watching my favourite Disney films with my family.

Now that we have Autumn in full swing I have been bringing in a few subtle hints into the home.
Recently I was sent some goodies by Aromand, which  has transformed my home from light and summery with a subtle refreshing vanilla scent to a gorgeous hint of Autumn with rich spices, citruses  and that lovely warm and cosy feeling.

The first item I have  to review is the Apple and Ginger Pudding candle.  First up let me just say that the packaging to both of these items are just exquisite. I love the simpleness of the design, it's modern yet classic and would make a perfect gift to any friend or family member.

As you can see the design of the candle is carried on from the style of the packaging. It's kept very clean and simple and to finish of a hint of chrome on the lid. I was also sent a packet of luxurious  white matches, the whole thing is so Instagramable! This is the style of candle I would choose to buy because it fits in so well with my interiors, it has definitely been designed to not only be a candle but a piece of home decor.

Now for the important bit, the smell.  I love candles that don't loose their scent and this one is true to that.  I had this burning the other night and still could smell the fragrance of the candle come morning as I walked downstairs into my living room. 

Scent wise I would say that this is a lovely light, sweet fragrance with a slight warmth to it. Perfect for those colder evenings.   I love candles like that so this will be a candle I definitely repurchase especially as each candle has roughly over 50 hours of burning I say for the price its' extremely good value for money compared to others I have seen and brought in the past. 

You can purchase the candle online for £25.00 

Next up is the diffuser, now I love diffusers. I always go for a stronger scent because I love to walk into a room and really be able smell the fragrance.  Aromand sent me their citrus and cinnamon diffuser to see and again this is another fantastic product.
 This scent is probably my favourite it's a really warm, spicy, citrusy scent which just smells like Christmas! This scent is perfect for the autumn season and right into winter, I have been feeling so festive and everyone compliments me on aroma in my living room. So now I just have to get some more refills to fill up my other diffusers around the house!

The diffuser bottle like the Aromand candle is beautifully crafted; circular in design with a chic Aromand Label and wooden top, it compliments your home in the most subtlest of ways. 

Diffusers retail for £20 are the refills are £12.00

I would highly recommend these product they are great luxurious gifts for yourself or for friends and family and very reasonably priced.

Let me know what your favourite home scents are in the comments below. 

* I was sent these items free of charge in exchange for a review, all work is my on unless stated. 


29 September, 2016

Tails Dog Food Review

As a dog owner, I know the importance of keeping my dogs fit and healthy. You get what you put in and if you're feeding your dog low-quality food you aren't going to get the best results.

Recently I have been trying out some new food for our 5-month-old Cocker Spaniel puppy Honey. 
I wanted food that would be beneficial to her and her specifically, not just the standard "puppy" food. 

This is where Tails dog food comes in, Tails is a company like no other I have seen before.  They specifically tailor make every bag of dog food so that it is suited to your dog. 

In order for them to do this, they take some extra details from you such as dog's age, weight, size, health, activity levels and the amounts of treats they are fed weekly. 
Once they have all of this information they then calculate the perfect blend of nutrients for your beloved pooch. 

Delivery is quick and everything is done online. I  like that you can have it set up to have your food delivered to your door. No more late night dashes to the shops because I forgot I ran out of food. 

The food comes in a wide opening bag, this is so it's easier to take out the food. Personally, I would prefer the bag to be narrower for my own storage, but that's something I can work around. 
The food is kept fresh in a zipped locked bag and is personalised with your pet's name on and the date the food was packed. 

As well as the food there are some handy leaflets with details on feeding your pet especially if your changing brands then you need to gradually decrease the old food and increase the new and if your unsure how there is a leaflet for that. 
Then there is the menu card with a breakdown of your pets information on and a handy feeding cup to make sure you're feeding the right amount. 

Since starting the food I have noticed a massive improvement to Honey, from her coat looking healthier and very glossy. To a massive improvement to honey's bowel movements, the food seems to agree much more with her than on our previous brand of food and that has been a very welcoming thing. 

I would highly recommend trying the brand, Honey loves her food and after this bag is finished I will be continuing with ordering another. Even my very fussy Chihuahua likes Honey food and that's a big thing as she only ever eats wet food.

 Prices do vary so I would suggest going online for a look.
 But for my readers, I have a special code to add, fill out your details and at the checkout type in the code ANDREALOUISE for a 2-week trial for only £1. 


23 September, 2016

My Top 10 Tips for Becoming More Organised

We all want to spend less time run around doing the boring jobs and more time doing all the fun stuff. So if you are feeling the stress fear not, take a quick look at my top tips to help make life easier and you more organised.

1. Write it Down

Make a list, every morning or before going to bed I make a list of things that need doing on that day or the day after. This way I don't forget anything important and it also helps me get things done quicker. There is no better feeling than when you get to tick jobs off from a list.

2. Online Food Shopping

I now shop online, it's quicker, cheaper and more convenient. All I have to do is make sure I'm home whilst it's being delivered.
I save so much money by shopping online because I don't get sucked into to all the goodies on the end of the isles.

3. Meal Prepping 

Prepping  your meals is so easy! Meals such as pasta bakes, Shepard's pie, curries and soups all cook and freeze really well.  You can either cook it in batch for the week or if your at home cook your meals in the morning ready for after school or work.

I try to prep meals buy pre cutting up veggies and putting them in the freezer, it saves me time during the week, especially on the after school run when the kids are starving!
Another tip I have would be to put all food into portion sized containers, if you have them pre portioned out you don't have the problem of  reheating a meal several times. They say you shouldn't keep reheating meals so personal containers make it so much more easier.

4. Pack it the Night Before 

Every night before I go to bed I get all the school bags packed, uniform all laid out and all my things ready. It's just one less stress for the morning and to be honest it takes me 10 minutes before going to bed which can be valuable time in the morning. I also do the same with my breakfast items and pre set the table. 

5. Delegate 

Make up a chore sheet, colour code items to different people and then allocate them to a day of the week.  If you all have a job or two then that will be less on you and everyone gets to help contribute to the house.  My 2 year old has the job of putting the washing in the washing machine and tidying his soft toys up and my soon to be 6 year old helps with recycling and dusting. For little ones make it fun and a game, put some music on and just have fun with it! 

6. Get Planning

If your life is busy and you have so much to remember use a planner. You can download ones for your phone or laptop or if your like me and prefer to do it the old fashioned way then you can buy some really pretty planners out there. There are also some really nice ways in which you can personalise and decorate your planner. 

Plan your week out, write out all your important appointments and errands to run and that way you be  more organised and hopefully less stressed.

Check out my planner unboxing post here with discount code! 

7.  Clear Out 

Have a clear out of all the unwanted items you have accumulated over the months and years can make your home seem less cluttered. A clutter free home = a clutter free mind and I think it's very true. I can't relax or concentrate when there is a pile of mess in front of me.

I always use the 6 months rule, if its not been played with or used or will be needed in 6 months then it either goes in the bin, in the charity bag or for sale on fb etc. 

8. Bills 

I use folders to keep all my household bills in, that way they aren't stuffed into a draw and I can easily track my finances. Meaning no surprises and no panicking over when things need to be paid. 

9. Stock Pile 

Now I know we aren't living in a country where we can have major life changing weather except for the odd bouts of flooding but I always like to have a stock pile. 
There are times when it's handy to have back ups of your favourite or most needed products.  
I always stock up on long life items and buy in bulk where ever I can, it also saves me money in the long run. 

10. Be Realistic and Be Consistent 

Be realistic don't take on every single task in one day, believe me been there done that had the breakdown and still recovering! Make a list of at least one big job a day/week or two little jobs and your notice that if your consistent then the work will get done and your life will be more organised. 

I hope you have enjoyed my top tips on how to become more organised, leave me your tips in the comments below. 

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