ScentedCandleShop

I must admit, I’m a scented candle addict, especially Yankee Candles. I recently ordered some new scented candles from the ScentedCandleShop. After years of trying different brands, I always come back to Yankee Candles. The ScentedCandleShop have many different brands on offer but I know that Yankee Candles are of high quality, massive scent ranges, long burn times and are competitively priced. My fragrances of choice are the fresh scent candles, followed by fruit, then floral. When ordering a new scented candle online, I tend to buy the smaller jars or votives, I don’t want to commit to a large jar just in case the scent isn’t right for me. DSCN0550 DSCN0551 I settled on Midnight Oasis, Turquoise Sky and Fruit Fusion. These are three scents I’ve never tried and I was excited for them to arrive. Delivery was fast, which is never a bad thing when you are as impatient as me! My candles were very well protected in bubble wrap, there was no way they were getting damaged in transit. I’d most definitely order these again in a large jar, they all smell amazing. Midnight Oasis reminds me of a fresh aftershave, a nice clean smell like someone has just stepped out of the shower. Turquoise sky, an air freshener that you would use in the home and Fruit Fusion smells just like a fruit sherbet! It smells amazing, in fact, all three smell equally as good!

DSCN0555

Yankee Candles can be very cost-effective, they burn for hours. A large jar can burn up to 150 hours, your home will smell good, odours will be neutralised and I think candles give off a calming effect. There’s noting better than coming home from a stressful day, lighting a candle and chilling out.

You can’t go wrong with a candle as a gift, I think most people would like to receive one but play it safe and buy a scent that’s pretty neutral, something like Clean Cotton, it’s a firm favourite of mine and I always have a large jar in the house.

I’m always amazed at the massive range of scents available, there’s something for every mood and occasion. Do any of my readers have a favourite candle scent?

 

*  I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own. *

Parc Play – Cardiff

I heard about this little gem totally by chance when a Facebook friend posted a picture.

Other play centres need to take note because Parc Play is outstanding, especially when the weather is nice. Some play centres charge adults an entry fee and they charge an arm and a leg for food and drinks. This is where Parc Play is different, adults are free to enter, children prices are very competitive and guess what? you can take your own food! Yes, you read that correctly, you can take your own food. Even if you don’t take your own food, Parc has a lovely café area and their food prices are very reasonable compared to other play centres we’ve visited. These factors alone can make a massive difference to the cost of your trip to your local play centre, more so if you have a few children.

2014 Season Admission Prices
Adults – FREE as always!
Under 2′s – £1.75 (or FREE with sibling aged 2+)
Ages 2 to 3 – £3.75
Ages 4 to 12 – £5

The majority of the equipment in Parc is wooden, wooden climbing frames and wooden swing sets. If you are a regular reader you will know that I’m not a fan of plastic garden toys, they aren’t environmentally friendly, they don’t stand the test of time and fade terribly.

Here’s some pictures I managed to get with my phone. My pictures only show a small section of the play centre and I had to take the pictures without getting other peoples children in them.

DSC_0334DSC_0333DSC_0336DSC_0326DSC_0323DSC_0329DSC_0327

I do feel that Parc would benefit from having more pictures on their website. I didn’t know what equipment they had or even if they had a play area suitable for Willow. As it turns out they do, they have a very decent area for toddlers. Some play centres think a few soft play shapes and a ball pit will suffice, it doesn’t. Parc offers an area for little ones to run about and let off steam in a safe environment.

Parc also has an outdoor area with masses of play sand, a pirate ship and other wooden structures for climbing, perfect on a sunny day!

Whilst we were at Parc, they had some very special visitors. Parc were hosting a ‘meet the reptiles’ event, we were able to see some lizards, snakes and tortoise at no extra cost. I think it’s amazing that Parc hosts these educational shows and the children get to meet the animals/reptiles.

Upon entry we were given a loyalty card, the ‘Ranger’ explained how it works, collect 6 stamps and get free entry.

DSC_0345DSC_0346

I was really happy with our first Parc Play experience, we will most definitely be returning and I have been recommending it to others. I think its a play centre with difference!

If you would like to pay Parc Play a visit (I strongly urge you to do so) they are situated at, Unit 5, Curran Embankment, Grangetown, Cardiff, CF10 5DX.

 

 

Hotter Shoes – Cardiff

On Tuesday night I attended a blogging event at the Hotter Shoes store in Cardiff. It was the first blogger event I have ever been invited to and I’m so glad I went. I was very apprehensive about going because I’m still pretty new to blogging and I didn’t know anyone. As soon as I entered the store, I was put at ease, everyone was so chatty and friendly, I don’t know what I was worried about!

The lovely people at Hotter put on some nibbles and drinks whilst they took us through a slide show of how the company started, their history and the design and manufacture process. I was surprised to learn that they follow current trends with their designs and colours and best of all, ALL of the shoes that Hotter make are comfortable! I know that sounds very hard to believe but if you can get to a Hotter store and try some of their shoes on, you will be surprised!

The soles of the shoes made in the Hotter factory are filled with millions of air bubbles, this makes the shoes flexible and lightweight. Every pair feature masses of cushioning and wiggle room for toes.

Hotter must be doing it right, in February 2010, there were 5 Hotter stores – today there are 65. I think those figures speak for themselves.

After the presentation, we were asked to browse the store and choose a pair of shoes to take home. The store is very well presented, with lots of different styles and colours to choose from.

DSC_0380DSC_0379DSC_0378DSC_0381 (1)

I must say, the staff were outstanding, friendly but professional and they helped me find my pair of Hotter shoes! After a lot of deliberation I settled on the Donna heels in the colour taupe. I’m surprised I went for heels because I normally wear flats for comfort. Like I said, Hotter shoes are comfortable!

019020021022

What do you think of them? I’m so impressed, Hotter have gone the extra mile with the little details, the padding, lining, stitching and look at the non-slip soles! I can’t wait to wear these out and I think I could wear the with many different outfits.

If you want to try Hotter Shoes Comfort Concept for yourself, you can find your local store here.

Hotter Shoes are even offering to send one of my lucky readers a Juliet Handbag or a £20 Hotter Shoes voucher, if you want to be in with a chance, please enter via rafflecopter below.

JLIETS

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

First Haircut – Lollipop Children’s Hair Boutique.

After some deliberation, we decided to have Willows hair cut. Nothing drastic, just a bit of a trim to even her hair out and to make it thicker. Initially, I didn’t want to have Willows hair cut, I know fellow Mummies are thinking the same, it means that my baby is growing up. But it needed to be done.

We decided to have Willows hair cut in Lollipop Children’s Hair Boutique – Cardiff. Lollipop stood out to me for various reasons, it’s dedicated to children, decorated with children in mind and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews.

Lollipop cater for babies to pre-teens, from first haircuts to makeover parties.

We were lucky, as we chose a quite time to visit just after lunch. Willow was a little apprehensive and she had to sit on my lap to have her hair cut, instead of sitting in a funky car chair! A DVD of Peppa Pig was put on to distract her and to stop her fidgeting, it worked wonders. In a matter of minutes, Willow’s hair was cut and it looks so much better for it.

Willow was given a certificate with a lock of her hair as a memento. It was such a nice touch and something a regular salon wouldn’t do.

DSC_0353

The cost of Willow’s haircut was £8.50. some people may find this expensive but Lollipop is based in Cardiff city centre and you must have the patience of a saint to be able to cut baby/toddlers hair.

We were also given a loyalty card for future visits….

DSC_0344

DSC_0343

Overall, I was very pleased with Willow’s first haircut. It was a lovely experience with a certificate to look back on. We will most definitely be returning and I will recommend Lollipop to others.

Lollipop Children’s Hair Boutique is situated in Unit 5, Barrack Lane at the back of St David’s 2.

Pinterest Project – Blackboard Paint

I think most of us have drawn on the pavement with chalk at some point in our lives, whether it be a hopscotch or pretty flowers ect, drawing with chalk is a must, it’s part of being a child.

I wanted to recycle some old jars, containers and a picture frame and thought that using some blackboard paint would easily transform them.

008

I love Yankee Candles but once the candle has burnt away, it seems like such a waste to throw away the jar. I wanted them to have more uses and by using some blackboard paint, I have managed to achieve that. It’s nice to have some glass jars as storage solutions instead of boring plastic tubs.

Blackboard paint is readily available, either online or in stores. I purchased mine from Wilkinsons and it was priced at £5.99 for 500ml. 500ml doesn’t sound like an awful lot but a little goes a long way, even with several coats.

I began by making sure my jars, containers and wood were prepped and clean. I used some tape on the jars to mark the area I wanted to paint and I applied the paint with a sponge. I did try using a paint brush but it was streaky, using a sponge gave better coverage.

013

I painted a piece of mdf to go inside of the picture frame as I didn’t want to paint directly onto the wall, I’m guessing it would nightmare to paint over at a later date!
You could make your own family to-do list, chore list, notice board and place it in an area all family members will see it.

014

This was a fun project and was very quick, each coat of paint took 30 minutes to dry (I did three coats) and in a matter of hours, your children could be playing with their home-made chalk board. You could always re-vamp and recycle an item that has seen better days.

Dyson AM05 – Hot and Cool Review

At the beginning of the year I made a list, a list of 14 things that I want to accomplish for 2014. I have been updating along the way, as and when I complete parts of my list.

One thing I wanted to do, is to make our conservatory into a useable room. We’ve bought some rugs and the space is slowly turning into a play room for Willow. Our problem is the temperature, first thing in the morning and late in the evening, the conservatory is freezing and during the afternoon, it’s sweltering!

Our solution, a Dyson AM05 Fan Heater. Even though it was very expensive, it’s space and money-saving by not having to buy a separate fan and heater. We were originally attracted to its futuristic design and funky colour. The AM05 is unlike other fan heaters because it uses Air Multiplier technology, it heats or cools a room efficiently in seconds.

Husband couldn’t wait to get the box opened, men and technology, eh?!

dyson.jpg

The Dyson AM05 stands just short of 58cm, it’s pretty powerful considering it’s size. The two features that make me love it, it had no blades, so it’s super safe to be around children and there’s no risk of little fingers getting caught. It also has an intelligent thermostat, once you set your desired temperature, the Dyson will keep the room at that level. Due to it’s size, the Dyson is easily moved from one room to another.

007

I’m forever losing remote controls and phones but the engineers at Dyson have thought about people like me. The AM05 has a magnetic area where you can keep your remote safe! Genius!

With one click onto the base, your fan is ready to go, there’s no faffing about, no blades or parts to assemble, it really is as simple as that. In heat mode, it’s unlike other heaters, it emits warm air within seconds and doesn’t take ages to heat up a room.

Dyson claim that the AM05 is energy-efficient as it uses less energy than a regular fan heater. I’m not sure of the actual running costs as we’ve just had solar panels installed but during the day, it’s FREE for us to use!

So far, so good, the Dyson AM05 is working very well and I hope it can prove itself even more once the warmer weather kicks in.

 

Pinterest Project – Crayon Art

After seeing some crayon art on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it. Melting some crayons onto a canvas looks easy, right?

All you need is, a canvas, crayons, glue gun, hairdryer/heat gun and some scrap paper or newspaper, just in case things get a little messy.

002

Crayon Art is a simple, fun and effective for all the family. It’s perfect for children to do under supervision and I’m pretty sure little ones would love to adorn their bedroom and playroom walls with their home-made works of art.

005

Every piece of crayon art is unique and no two pictures will be the same. I think they would make lovely gifts for family members.

006

It really is simple, arrange your crayons in the order you want them on your canvas. Glue the crayons onto the canvas (I used PVA because I’ve somehow managed to misplace my glue gun) and then melt the crayons with the hairdryer or heat gun. If you are impatient like me, make sure you use a glue gun, because I used PVA, I had to wait an hour or so for the glue to dry. Some colours melt easier than others and I would also say that you will have to wait a good minute or two before any crayons start to melt. Please, please, please make sure you cover your work surface with some newspaper, once my crayons had started to melt, the hairdryer blew a few drops of wax crayon all over the place!

So, here’s my finished piece, what do you think? I used some Crayola Glitter crayons for some added sparkle.

008

011

009

I love how the colours have melted together and that the picture has a dripping effect. I want to try more, I’d like to experiment with different colour and shape combinations.

My verdict = Pinterest success! Everyone should try this!

Pinterest Project, Hassleback Potatoes

Hello, my name is Kate, and I’m addicted to Pinterest. Anyone else having the same trouble? I’m on there all the time, forever pinning things I like and things I want to try.

Pinterest is amazing for inspiration. I’m rubbish at thinking of the initial idea but once I have it, I can get quite creative. You can let your imagination run wild on Pinterest, it’s a virtual pin board that allows you to pin ideas onto different named boards. I have a few different Pinterest boards, a crafty board, food board, sweet treats and more.

I think I will try and do a regular Pinterest post, I will try and re-create something from one of my Pinterest boards and hope it works out.

My first Pinterest re-creation……..Hassleback potatoes!

If you are already on Pinterest, you will more than likely have seen a picture of hassleback potatoes, they look like the perfect accompaniment for any meal and being a carb lover, I just had to try them.

I started out with some potatoes that I’d sliced in half, I wanted the bottom surface to be flat so that when I cut in my ridges, I wouldn’t cut all the way through.

009

I also used some wooden spatulas either side to stop the knife going all the way through. After placing them on a lined baking tray, I smothered them in garlic butter. I put them in a hot oven for about an hour and even added some more garlic butter half way through cooking.

015

I’m going to have to say this attempt was a Pinterest fail. I will try them again but will most definitely do some things different. They were slightly lacking in flavour, I have to be quite careful with what I add to food because of the baby. I think some cheese and bits of bacon would be yummy and I will use whole potatoes in the hope that they will fan out more and be more aesthetically pleasing.

I already have things lined up for my next few Pinterest projects, materials have been bought and I can’t wait to get stuck in. Do you have something that you’d like to see me attempt? Let me know!

Happy 1st Birthday Willow Makes Three!

Wow! What a year it’s been. The past year has been a year of firsts, our first baby, first milestones and first Birthdays.

I started this blog when Willow was 2 months old, I was on maternity leave and wanted something to do during my spare time (not a lot of spare time with a new baby). I didn’t post much at first but I’m slowly getting there. With some amazing advice and encouragement from my friend Daniella, I set up my blog. I wanted to make my blog more appealing, so Daniella surprised me by buying my web address! That then pushed me to become self hosted and a new blog design soon followed.

I’m glad I did it, more opportunities have come my way and I never in a million years thought I could do something like this. I may not be any good at it, but if people don’t like my blog, I’m not forcing them to read it.

Willow is becoming her own little person, her personality is coming through, she’s learning new skills on a daily basis and she’s all mine! Willow is my blogging inspiration, if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have made friends with my fellow MSE Mummies (Ladies, you know who you are, love you all, dodgy MSE group hug x). We have shared the ups and downs of pregnancy, labour, life with a new baby, midnight feeds and so much more. I’m so glad that Willow has an extended family of internet Aunts and cousins.

I must say a massive thank you to my Mum, Mum looks after Willow so that I can go to work. She’s a massive help and she spoils Willow rotten. We love you!

Check me out! I sound like I’m accepting an award!

Anyway, Thank you to all my regular readers, here’s a competition just for you. To be in with a chance of winning, please enter via the rafflecopter form below.

31FP+1J1yZL

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Doctor Who Experience – Cardiff

Living in South Wales, there’s plenty to do. Sometimes you forget about local attractions even though they are on your doorstep. As Willow is getting older, family days are on the to-do list, I’m mentally bookmarking places I’d like us to visit and things we’d like to do.

Living in Barry, we are quite central to all the activity, the hustle and bustle of Cardiff is only a 15 minute drive away. If we were to drive 15 minutes in the opposite direction, we could be on a farm, picking our own fruit!

Last week, we decided to pay the Doctor Who Experience a visit. I’m a fan of Doctor Who but I haven’t watched much of the last two series, I liked Christopher Eccelston and Davis Tennant but Matt Smith wasn’t for me. Hopefully, Peter Capaldi will be good and I can get back into watching it.

060

The Doctor Who Experience were holding their Monster Family Day Out event. They had some special visitors, Mike Tucker, who is a visual effects designer for Doctor Who and Special make-up and Prosthetic company Millennium FX. There were monster workshops and children could make their own little Dalek egg creation.

It was amazing to see what effort goes in to making a show like Doctor Who. The costumes, make-up, set and special effects are outstanding. It was nice to see behind the scenes as its something you wouldn’t normally experience.

The Doctor Who Experience starts with an interactive journey that lasts about 25 minutes. You get taken on journey through time and space with Matt Smith, you will fly in the Tardis and meet some Daleks.

1175024_608225005932777_2075110198928055091_n

 

Willow enjoyed the 3D experience and kept her glasses on! She was very well-behaved, even though it was a little loud in places.

Once the interactive walk through complete, you get to see the Doctor Who costumes and artefacts. I was amazed that they have all the outfits, Tardis and Daleks ect from the 60′s!

013

012

Doctor Who’s enemies are just as intimidating in real life!

049048045047046043041040022039038030

Willow wasn’t afraid of The Silence!

036The Daleks

030

033

Special Effects

028

027

Throughout the Doctor who experience, the most amazing artwork decorates the walls

059058057051

I do have many more photographs but I don’t want to spoil it, why don’t you pay a visit and see if you can spot a Tardis or two!

The Staff were outstanding, they couldn’t have been any more helpful. We were guided into the lift and there was a staff member waiting to help us out. Although pushchairs aren’t allowed during the interactive journey, we were allowed to use it during the exhibition area, a staff member even collected the pushchair from the cloak room for us! All staff members were helpful and polite.

The Doctor Who Experience is a must see, especially if you are a fan. With ticket prices starting at £9.00 for children, £13.00 for adults it’s worth a visit.

 

* I received tickets for review purposes. All views and opinions are my own.*