Christmas With The LED Hut

Last year I was lucky enough to receive these Christmas lights from LedHut, they have been so kind and they have even send me something to review this year!

LedHut Ltd supplies LED products to customers throughout Europe. The LedHut headquarters are located in Jersey (Channel Islands) with an operational base in Manchester, Great Britain. Both locations showcase the range of products on offer via two show rooms with the added ability of being able to purchase/pick up from two Trade Outlets. LedHut now has additional sites serving customers in France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

LedHut Ltd started trading in March 2011 and has been quick to establish itself as one of the leading providers of LEDs into the United Kingdom. Offering competitively priced products, strong product guarantees, the right product certifications and with a great UK delivery service, LedHut is the preferred supplier of LED products for many customers.

LedHut operates a dedicated call centre consisting of multi-lingual customer service representatives who are able to assist with any LED queries and with dedicated Trade Account Managers providing business to business support for wholesale customers.

Over the past year LedHut has replaced over 900,000 standard lights with Energy Saving LED Lights, resulting in total customer savings of over a £3,500,000 which has led to the reduction of over 3000 tonnes of Carbon Emissions.

Save yourself money and save the planet…just change your lights to LED lights…it’s that simple!

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without Santa and I was over the moon when he arrived to spend Christmas with us!

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This battery-powered versatile light will give you instant Christmas joy. The double-sided design makes it perfect for displaying in a window allowing people inside and out to enjoy this colourful light.

This Christmas Light can be displayed in many different ways. It comes with a loop that makes it perfect to hang on the wall, from fittings, on your door or even in the tree.

This product is battery-powered, which are included.

I must admit that I didn’t think too much of Santa when he arrived but he comes to life with the flick of a switch…..

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What I like the most about this Christmas light, is that it’s portable and versatile, I can move it about without having to worry about wires and the location of a plug socket, plus, its light enough to hang from the tree, prop up on the mantle piece or pop in the window for an instant display. Priced at £9.99, this light won’t break the bank and will make a fab addition to your Christmas decorations!

 

*I was sent this item for review purposes, all views are my own*

 

 

 

 

 

The Past Month

My last blog post was published a month ago! YES, A MONTH AGO! I know that I’ve neglected my blog for the past few months but I’ve had my reasons and I will explain. The past month has been a little hectic, amazingly, I got myself a new job! It was a total spur of the moment decision but overall, a very good decision. For a while I was working two jobs until I had worked my notice and we’ve also had to put Willow into a nursery one day a week. No wonder people don’t go back to work after having children, childcare is expensive but I will save that for another blog post.

I feel like I could never be myself on my social media networks, my old job (it feels so good so say my ‘old’ job!) had social media policies and staff had to be careful with what they say, there was also bitching and backstabbing (in massive amounts) and it depressed me, my creativity went out the window and my blog and home life has suffered as a result. You know it’s time to quit when you come home from work and cry, you feel sick at the thought of work. I would dread my mobile phone ringing on my day off with work problems or people going sick and my work rota changing at a moments notice. I’ve taken a pay cut and I’m working more hours but I don’t care because my sanity has been restored and so far, I’m enjoying my new job! And a plus, I no longer have to work evenings or weekends! Whoop! It felt strange to actually hand my notice in and leave, I worked there for the past eleven and a half years of my life and made some life long friends, but it was time to move on, I hadn’t been happy there for quite some time, years even.

I do have a few blog posts ready in my head, I feel excited to be back in the zone and my blogging mojo is slowly coming back. I’m really looking forward to a blogging event that I’m attending on Sunday and I’m sure you will know all about it early next week. Hopefully, I will be back in full force……

What is your favourite movie soundtrack?

I was recently asked by Curry’s What is your favourite movie soundtrack? ‘, it’s a total no brainer and I know my answer straight away!

Any opportunity that I’m given, I will go on and on about this show/film. I fell in love with it when I saw it for the first time in Las Vegas, I have also got my mum hooked and we have seen the stage show all over the UK. I particularly like the film version, starring Gerard Butler. I am talking about ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. Many people who know me, will be shocked that I’m a ‘Phan’. Andrew Lloyd-Webber is an absolute musical genius.

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The Phantom of the Opera tells the story about love, heartbreak and betrayal, its captivating and has me on the edge of my seat. I’m in tears every time, even though I know what’s going to happen next. They sing with such passion and the music makes my hairs stand on end. How amazing would ‘Overture’ sound coming out of a Bose system?

It sends shivers up my spine just talking about it!

Since having a baby, we have opted for movie nights in. Money can be tight and a trip to the cinema doesn’t really come that cheap, plus, we’re not ready for Willow to spend a night away from home just yet. Even better, you can slob out in your PJ’s, put your feet on the sofa, and even pause your film without the fear of missing a good part!

 

This is my entry into the Curry’s movie night competition.

 

Dettol’s Baby Blanket Donation

Sparks and Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser are working together to make a difference to children’s health both at home and abroad. They are asking you to help make a difference to young lives by donating your used baby blankets and ‘keep the memories, not the bacteria’.  For every blanket collected, £1 will be donated to Sparks to help to improve children’s health in the UK.

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I agreed to take part in this campaign because every minute of every day, approximately 50 babies are born into poverty and will experience conditions lacking basic essentials including hygienically clean blankets. This is your chance to make a difference to the health of those children, as well as raise money to improve the health of babies in the UK.

Baby blankets symbolise a very special time in both a mother and child’s life, holding many precious memories of the early days of life. However, many babies across the world will never get the chance to experience even the simple comfort that a warm, hygienically clean blanket brings. I am doing my bit by donating this very blanket that we used with Willow during her first weeks of life. This blanket holds some very special memories and I can only hope that it does the same for its new owner.

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Laboratory tests commissioned by Dettol – on washed blankets donated by volunteer mums – show that baby ‘blankies’ carry a variety of bacteria even after a 40°C wash. In-fact, a third of the washed blankets harboured coliforms – a group of bacteria linked to faeces. The good news is that Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser kills 99.9% of bacteria even at temperatures as low as 30oC, so while you can safely wash away the bacteria, your memories will last forever!

Each year less than £10 per child in the UK is spent on research into children’s health yet one in 30 babies is born with a condition that may affect them for life. As a leading children’s medical research charity, Sparks is dedicated to funding pioneering research that will change this for children and their families.

Sparks’ projects find ways to diagnose, treat and prevent conditions in four key areas: pregnancy and birth, first months of life, infancy and early childhood and rare childhood diseases. Findings from Sparks’ research projects can make a lasting difference to the lives of children and families affected by serious illness or disability. Visit www.sparks.org.uk to find out more.

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If you would like to donate and help raise money for Sparks, you can do so by sending your blanket to:

FREEPOST RTKJ-YSGS-SSHR
Dettol Baby Blanket Donation
Balcombe Place Stables
HAYWARDS HEATH
RH17 6AZ

 

 

 

 

Rainbow Bridge – A Year On

I’ve waited a few days to write this post because a year after we had our beloved dog put to sleep, I’m still utterly devastated.

We had Rocky since he was 6 months old, I’d pestered Simon for years about getting a dog and I finally got him to get him to cave in. Rocky was full of energy and character, and he loved nothing more than custard creams and cwtches on the sofa. From a young age Rocky was plagued with health problems, he had several operations on bad joints, was on permanent medication for skin conditions and food intolerance. Thank goodness for pet insurance! Despite Rocky’s health problems, he was my baby, was spoilt rotten and I guess that’s why we had problems.

Rocky was intrigued by Willow when we brought her home from the hospital. He wasn’t too sure about this little bundle that smelt strange and made weird noises. It was all new to him but he soon settled. Once Willow was four or five months old, our problems started. Willow was growing and beginning to do things by herself, sitting up and playing with toys ect. Rocky would get over excited and jump up when we would pick Willow up, at one point he even caught Willow but no damage was done. The incident that made us come to our horrible decision was when he went to nip Willow’s foot. I must point out, at no time was he ever aggressive, he was only ever playful but he was a very big and strong dog, a little baby wouldn’t stand a chance, even if he was playing.

Willow was now our main priority, she had to come first and I did try my best to try to have Rocky re-homed, both with family and with a rescue. Due to his age and health problems, the rescue couldn’t help and our only other option was to have him put to sleep. It wasn’t a decision we took lightly, I was heartbroken and I still am. I cried for days and I’ve had to stop writing this post several times.

I think I will leave it there, I’m sorry to abruptly finish this blog post but I started writing this last night and had to stop and I don’t think I can face writing much more or even go into detail about our trip to the vets.

Most people will understand that a pet is much more than just a pet, they become members of the family and it’s so hard to say goodbye, regardless of the way they have to go. I apologise if my ramblings haven’t made much sense but I feel like a weight has been lifted (even if it is a small weight) by writing this post. If you have made it this far, thank you x

 

 

 

Jacksons Bay

I have been talking about vlogging for a while and today I finally got around to making my first video, I’m still too chicken to star in the video myself, so my voice will have to do for the time being!

Living in South Wales, we are lucky enough to have some local beauty spots, there’s dozens of beaches and parks with plenty to do.

Willow loves the beach and we are lucky enough to live a 5 minute walk from 2 different beaches, Barry Island beach and Jacksons Bay beach. We tend to favour Jacksons Bay over Barry Island, simply because its quieter. I remember spending summer days as a child at this very beach and I loved it. Mum would pack a picnic and we’d spend the whole day at the beach, playing in the sand, paddling in the sea and trying to fish in the rock pools. I hope that when Willow grows up, she will have fond memories of this beach, just like me!

Anyway, here’s our first video, hope you like it…….

Curlformers

Even though I have a qualification in waxing and make-up consultancy, I’m not a beauty blogger, far from it. But, if I come across an amazing and innovative product, I will share it with you.

I was flicking through a trade offers leaflet and came across Curlformers. I was intrigued by the strange-looking spirals and decided to investigate further. After watching some how-to videos, I just had to buy some.

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Curlformers come in a range of different lengths and curl sizes. I decided to go for the extra long and wide, which are suitable for hair up to 22″ in length.

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This kit contains 40 curlformers (20 pink curlformers and 20 orange curlformers) and 2 hooks that come in a handy zip bag for storage. The pink and orange curlformers curl the hair in different directions for a more natural look. The hooks painlessly pulls sections of hair through the curlformer, they are made out of a plastic mesh that springs back into shape.

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Curlformers can be used on wet/damp hair and used with a setting lotion, mousse ect for a better curl. You can even use them to perm hair!

If you can manage it, try to sleep with them in over night. I failed miserably by only lasting half an hour before taking them out.

Although Curlformers are super easy to use, it does take some practice to get even sections. I ended up with bigger section towards the end where I was running out of curlformers, but I guess this will come with more practice.

I will admit that I’m massively regretting buying this size of curlformers. I wish I’d bought long and extra wide kit for a more natural tousled look. I think I’d stand more of a chance of sleeping with them in as I’d probably wear them half way down my hair. Totally my own fault, I just wish I’d researched the different sizes more carefully beforehand. Despite this, I still think they are amazing!

Cafe Pure – Cardiff

After seeing a friends yummy breakfast pictures from Café Pure, I knew we had to pay a visit.

My husband is a bit of a gym/fitness fanatic and this place would suit him down to the ground.

‘At Café Pure we provide tasty,

nutritious food whether you want to bulk up,

slim down or just ‘Love Your Health’.’

We did aim to arrive for a late breakfast but toddlers tend to have other ideas and we were too late, so we had lunch instead.

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Café Pure is situated in a very busy area of Cardiff Bay with parking nearby but it’s very easy to find. We looked over the menu for a few minutes before deciding what to order. They have an extensive menu but I was boring and ordered a chicken salad baguette, Hubby ordered a grilled chicken hotbox, served with brown rice and fresh slaw and I ordered Willow a child meal of chicken and tomato pasta with a berry smoothie. The prices are very competitive, especially considering the sought after location of Cardiff Bay.

After making our way to the seating area upstairs, Willow’s berry smoothie arrived…….

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After a 10 minute wait, our food order was ready…..

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As you can see from my pictures, they were generous with the portion sizes, there was lots of grilled chicken and the bowl of pasta was never-ending!

The only complaint I have, is that Willow’s pasta was boiling, if it had been an adults meal it wouldn’t have been a problem. I know that food needs to be cooked correctly ect but I’d suggest to Café Pure that they should serve a bowl of hot pasta on top of a cooler plate, so it can be taken out of the bowl and cooled quicker. A hungry toddler isn’t a happy toddler!

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Once the pasta was cool enough to eat, there weren’t any complaints!

Overall, we had a pleasant experience at Café Pure. The food was good, our surroundings were clean and the staff members were friendly.

Hopefully we will return soon for some pancakes but if you would like to sample some of what Café pure has to offer or you would like a shot of wheatgrass, you can find them at;

The Flourish
Lloyd George Ave.
Cardiff
CF10 4QH

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‘Daddy, this is how you lift!’

Sultana Cake

Today I got my bake on, ready for tonight’s episode of ‘The Great British Bake Off’. I’ve been hooked on this program since it started and I think half of the country is as well!

I always end up drooling whilst I watch this program, so I decided to bake a cake! Although I don’t think my baking will be as good as the contestants, I like to have a go.

I decided to bake a sultana cake, mainly because I picked up a bag of sultanas with our weekly shop. After trawling through my baking books, I couldn’t find a suitable recipe, so I turned to the trusty internet.

I found this very simple recipe from food.com.

Ingredients:

500g sultanas

250g butter, chopped

3 eggs 

2 teaspoons almond essence or 2 teaspoons vanilla essence

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 150°C and grease a 20cm square or round cake tin.

Pick over the sultanas to remove any stem, there’s nothing worse than a crunch in your cake.

Place sultanas in a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring to the boil and then drain off the water. Return sultanas to saucepan.

Stir in the chopped butter and set aside the sultanas to cool.

Beat together the eggs, essence and sugar. Then add in the sultanas.

Add your flour and baking powder to another mixing bowl and aerate with a kitchen whisk (or you can sift them together).

Stir the flour into the sultana mix.

Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

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I didn’t follow the recipe to the letter, I tend to mess about with them a bit depending on what I have in the cupboards. With this recipe I decided to half the ingredients, used self-raising flour and also used light brown sugar. I think it turned out lovely even if it did crack (I did put it on the top shelf), it’s lovely and moist and Hubby started eating it as soon as he got home from work. I actually think this will taste even better tomorrow with a cup of tea, that’s if it last until tomorrow!

I do love to bake when I have the spare time and I think I might make this a regular post for GBBO days. I will watch tonight and see if it gives me some inspiration for next weeks bake.

Do any of my readers have a favourite cake/sweet treat they like to bake?

Cosmeston Lakes, Penarth

Once every few weeks we always find ourselves at a loose end with nothing to do. When this happens we tend to go to Cosmeston for a walk and to tire out the baby. Cosmeston has always been a popular choice for families, dog walkers, runners, horse riders and wildlife watchers.

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Cosmeston covers over 100 hectares including land and water and was opened in 1978.  The lakes are actually two flooded quarries, something I never knew until I was researching info for this post! Last year Cosmeston actually gained local nature reserve status. There are many different habitats for wildlife such as, reed beds, meadows, lakes and woodland. It’s home to many different species of wildlife such as swans, ducks and squirrels.

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I remember having picnics at Cosmeston when I was younger, we would stay there all day, feeding the swans and playing in the park. On a warm summers day, it’s lovely.

Willow really enjoyed the play area, I’m so glad she did because myself and my brother spent many hours playing there when we were younger. I’m pretty sure most people from the Vale of Glamorgan will have some memories of their summer trips to Cosmeston Lakes.

Willow, enjoying the swings, she screamed when we took her out! But look at how gorgeous she is, I could squeeze those cheeks all day long!

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Cosmeston is easy to get to, at the moment parking is free but there is talk of a £3 fee being put in place. There are many people against this, myself included. I feel like it will put many people off visiting and the site will suffer in the future. I know that £3 isn’t a great deal of money to me but to some it is, especially pensioners and families with a small disposable income. Hopefully the local council will see sense and not go ahead with it.

Cosmeston does have a toilet and café area with some barbecue areas scattered throughout the park.

I think many Vale residents will agree that this place is a local gem, I’ve never seen a piece of litter or dog mess and everyone seems to be really respectful of their surroundings.

If you’ve never been to Cosmeston Lakes and would like to visit, here’s the address….

Cosmeston Lakes Country Park.

Lavernock Road,

Penarth,

Vale of Glamorgan

CF64 5UY

 

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