Pia Jewellery Rose Quartz – Giveaway

Rose Gold – it’s everywhere isn’t it?!  Everywhere and gorgeous!  The soft pink hue makes a change from the silver or gold we’ve worn for years and is almost universally flattering.

This month, in celebration of Mother’s Day, I’m excited to be able to give you the chance to win not one but three pieces of jewellery from Pia Jewellery.  Each piece is made from 9ct rose gold-plated sterling silver & rose quartz and can be worn individually or as a matching set.

Faceted Quartz Pendant – £39.00

Pia Jewellery Faceted Quartz Pendant - £39.00

Faceted Rose Quartz Drop Earrings – £35.00

Pia Jewellery Faceted Rose Quartz Drop EarringsFaceted Rose Quartz Ring – £35.00

Pia Jewellery Faceted Rose Quartz Ring

Aren’t they gorgeous? Which is your favourite? I must admit I think I like the ring best!  If you’d like to enter to win this rose quartz set worth over £100 then just enter using the rafflecopter below ensuring to complete the entry options accurately to avoid disqualification.

*This prize will not be delivered in time for Mother’s Day*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Siblings – March 2017

Last month I wrote about how Amy was being a bit of a tinker when I was trying to take our monthly Siblings photos . . . sadly this month was no better!

We dashed out to the park last Monday after school to take full advantage of the sunshine – I had review photos I needed to take and I wanted to take the chance to get some nice photos for this month’s post.  Unfortunately Amy wasn’t playing ball so I had to snap quickly meaning the light isn’t great at all and I don’t particularly love any of the photos I took, none of them seemed to be quite what I was aiming for.

What I have got is a set of photos which encapsulates their relationship right now – Chloe trying to do the right thing, Amy being a bit of a pain and Ben being all grown up and sensible.  (Please don’t think this is par for the course – he’s still very much a silly seven year old boy with just a hint of maturity when he feels like it!)  I must admit I do have a soft spot for this first one, which makes me smile because you can see Amy trying to ‘dab’ just like her big bro and I like the light and shadows!

Siblings March 2017

Fingers crossed the promise of spring sunshine which is in the air will mean that we get out a whole lot more of the next few weeks – we have an exciting trip planned for Easter so I should think we’ll have lots of lovely photos and stories to share come the middle of the next month when Siblings Project time rolls around again!

The Me and Mine Project

‘It’s My Thing’ with Robinsons Fruit Shoot

Fruit Shoot #ItsMyThing - Science

Recent research conducted by Fruit Shoot points to age 7-12 being the age where children are first affected by how other people see them and start to become affected other people’s opinions.

Ben, my eldest, will be eight years old this summer and as such has already found a whole array of things he likes to do to pass the time.  Three nights a week he is out swimming, at Beavers or his Street Dance class when he’s at home he loves LEGO, Minecraft and reading.  However, his best friend is completely and utterly obsessed with football.  Although Ben isn’t really remotely interested in football, what he has realised is that, to keep up with his class mates and his best mate, he needs to at least have a passing knowledge of the sport.  Even at 7 he is feeling that societal pressure to ‘fit in’ with his peers.

Fruit Shoot #ItsMyThing - football

68% of the 2000 UK parents surveyed by Fruit Shoot believe it’s important for children to find their “thing”, be it a hobby, skill or particular interest – and I completely agree.  Football isn’t Ben’s thing.  He’s just not bothered by it.  Yes he’ll play with his mates at lunch time and chat to Finley about his favourite team but kicking a football around the park or avidly watching a match just isn’t how he would choose to spend his time.  As such, when he first showed an interest in learning to break dance when he was about 3 years old we ran with it – I set about researching lessons, trying to find him classes to go to and quickly hit a brick wall.  It turns out that, even in a big city like Manchester, pre-schoolers don’t really learn to break dance!  In the end, when he was six, we finally found him Street Dance lessons with the lovely Sophie (who I met when she was teaching us the MADs Flash Mob dance!) and he’s been dancing with her for about a year now.  He’s still desperate to learn to spin on his head though!

Of course what we all really want is to be able to give our children the freedom to discover and indulge their passion.  And, to my mind, its not just about finding something you enjoy doing to pass the time, as without people being given the opportunity to nurture and develop their interests and passions we would never have Olympic gold medals to celebrate or amazing technological advances.  We would all just be ploughing the same path through life, head down and focused on our academic achievements with no breadth or depth to our character.  (You only have to ask a Year 6 pupil knee deep in SATs prep just how boring that would be!)

As part of the Fruit Shoot It’s My Thing campaign, Ben was sent a hamper of surprise activities to try out and see if he found a new ‘thing’.

Fruit Shoot - #ItsMyThing hamper

Safe to say Ben’s eyes lit up when he saw that little lot and he was keen to get stuck in.  With Dave’s help he decided to build his bird feeder first.  As someone with more than a passing interest in LEGO, Ben was more than capable of following the instructions and fitting all the pieces together.  Had he just been sent a book about birds I’m not sure he’d have been all that interested, however tapping into his love of all things construction and letting him build his own bird feeder meant he was really keen to but his feeder up on the playroom window and see who might come passing by!  It’s funny how an interest in one thing can lead to something completely different isn’t it?

Next up in Ben’s hamper of goodies was a Bug Safari kit containing everything he needed to safely capture and investigate all the creepy crawlies present in our back garden!  It didn’t take us long at all to find a beetle hiding underneath the slide.  With a bit of help from Dave, Ben scooped the little creature up in his bug collecting tongs before tipping it gently into a magnifying pot for a closer look!  He was fairly convinced he’d found a stag beetle but thanks to the information guide in his set he was able to identify it as a pretty common black beetle.  Much as he enjoyed hunting out mini-beasts in our garden, I’m not sure this is something he’d be bothered about returning to all that often – exploring bugs is probably not his new ‘thing’!

Finally, the Exploding Science Kit which had both boys excited!  Dave has always had more than a passing interest in Science (specifically physics) and I think Ben just liked the fact that things might explode!! Who wouldn’t?  In typical boy style, they decided to dive in with the Super Snot experiment – sadly, despite their best efforts (and much re-reading of the instructions from Dave) the experiment was a bit of a flop and nothing really seemed to happen.  Both boys were disappointed!  I know they’re both keen to have a go at the other experiments in the set though!

After a busy afternoon of building, examining and investigating – had Ben found his new ‘thing’?  Perhaps not, but what he had done was build on his current passions and found new ways to explore them.  I want my boy to grow up proud of who he is and the things he’s interested in. Not to feel he has to bend and conform to be like everyone else.

Fruit Shoot #ItsMyThing

Fruit Shoot launched the “It’s My Thing” campaign to celebrate our children’s individualism and to build their confidence to be a bit different, to encourage creativity and self-expression – things which are all to often stifled in modern society.  You can join in and celebrate your kid’s ‘things’ on the FruitShootGB Facebook page as well as finding advice and information from Dr Ranj Singh on helping your children to find their ‘thing’. (I’ve had dinner with him you know, twice – he’s lovely!)

I’d love to know if your child has a ‘thing’ already – what do they love? How do you encourage them?

Research conducted with 2,000 parents of school aged children in February 2017. 

*Collaborative post*

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 10 – 2017)

#TriedTested badge

Did any of you see any sun this weekend? We had some beautiful spring weather on Saturday, makes everything seem a bit brighter doesn’t it?

In case you are new here – let us tell you what Tried & Tested is all about. We all know how useful reviews can be. Most bloggers do them – be it things they have bought themselves or have been asked to review. They are a useful tool for people looking for honest and thorough reviews of products they need, things they are considering buying, or even to introduce people to exciting new products they have never even heard of. You can find out more about how to join in here.

If you have linked up with us before – welcome back! We love having you. Please have a quick read through the points below to remind yourself how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day.

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you.

* If you’d like a Twitter reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop one of us a tweet and we’ll add you to the list.

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

That’s about it – it’s super simple to join in, so crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

This week we have loved:

#TriedTested featured blogger

Tiffany Rose maternity dress review from Quite Frankly She Said. We both loved Tiffany Rose in our own pregnancies, and this Willow dress is especially beautiful.

#TriedTested featured blogger

PACMAT Patch review from The Helpful Hiker. Perfect for any family days out, and really versatile too – we love how it was used as a pushchair seat cover!

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important:

* Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up
* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people really appreciate the feedback!
* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)
We're going on an adventure



Vosene Kids & Nits – Review

Nits.  Pretty much a rite of passage for any school child.  But still grim.

To be honest I think it’s something of a miracle that I’ve taught for almost fourteen years and had kids in childcare for six of those, without getting them before now.

The pesky little blighters finally made their unwanted appearance back in September of last year and we fought a losing battle through till Christmas.  The only times we seemed to be properly free of them was in the school holidays so, although I was treating and combing till I almost lost the will to live, someone in Chloe’s class clearly wasn’t doing the same.

Of course, when it comes to head lice, prevention is better than cure.  From Chloe’s very first day at Nursery I insisted that she wore her hair tied up and that has been the rule ever since.  Neither girl ever wears their hair loose for school.  Ever.  (And the odd time Chloe has dared to take her bobble out she’s had a rocket up her I can tell you!)

Along with keeping their hair tied up and the occasional spritz of hair spray (which apparently makes it more difficult for lice to hold onto your hair) we’ve also been trying out the Vosene Kids Head Lice Prevention Shampoo and Conditioning Defence Spray.

Vosene Kids head lice prevention range

The Vosene Kids Head Lice Prevention Shampoo is super easy to use and is basically just like any other shampoo except it contains natural tea tree oil and lemon eucalyptus oil which head lice just don’t like!  Chlo really likes the smell of it and we found that it cleaned her hair up beautifully without appearing to irritate her sensitive scalp.  If I’m honest I’m not sure what the “3 in 1” is in reference too, I had thought perhaps it contained conditioner but  apparently not.  I can’t find any information about it but I’m assuming it must be to do with the ingredients that the nits don’t like?!  Either way, we like it so if there’s a cat in hell’s chance that it might save us from a nit infestation we’re going to keep on using it!

Little girl washing her hair with Vosene Kids head lice prevention shampoo

Vosene Kids head lice prevention shampoo

bamboo towel as turban

Once the hair has been towel dried, you can spray it with Vosene Kids Conditioning Defence Spray – this leave in conditioning spray should be spritzed on, rubbed in and then dried.  Whilst it’s easy enough to apply I’m afraid I can’t stand the smell – I think it must be the citronella which I took offence too as I don’t mind tea tree oil.  Chloe never complained though so it’s definitely a case of personal taste.

Vosene Kids head lice defence spray

Unfortunately the conditioning spray doesn’t really suit Chloe’s hair – we found it left her hair a bit dull and lank which, combined with the lingering fragrance, meant it’s not something we’d carry on using.

So all in, can I prove that the Vosene Kids range is working to prevent nits?  No of course, I can’t but when you’ve spent a full term combing and treating your daughter’s hair every week you will take you chances so I’m going to carry on using the shampoo, cross my fingers and hope for the best!

(Sorry for making you itch!!)


*We were sent these samples from the Vosene Kids range free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*

Plannning a Child-Friendly London Adventure

The sun is shining, spring is on the way and the Easter holidays already feel like they’re sneaking up on us!  I know the Easter break is a bit of a funny one with some people (like us) having the first two weeks of April off and others having the more traditional one week before / one week after break or perhaps even just Easter weekend and the following week.  What this does mean is that I’m quite conscious of making the most of our first week of holidays when, perhaps, places will be just that little bit quieter.

In an ideal world I’d love to make full use of our Family & Friends Railcard and plan a day or two in London, though realistically I think this might be a job for May half-term.  I took all three kids down to London on my own last October half term but really it was a quick “in and out” for a blog event so we didn’t explore.  If I’m honest I’m not sure I’d have been brave enough on my own with the three of them but it proved we could manage the train and negotiate the underground together.

Since then I’ve kept on at Dave that I’d love to take them for a day or two, Ben in particular is keen to see Big Ben and I know Chloe would be excited to see Buckingham Palace and of course it would be lovely to take them to see a show.  I think if we were all going then What the Ladybird Heard would be a big hit but, for the older two, then it would have to be Matilda – Ben is a big Roald Dahl fan now and I don’t mind admitting that I’d love to see it myself!  We’d have to squeeze in a trip to the National History Musem and maybe Madame Tussauds – I loved it there when I was a kid!

What would be top of your list for a child-friendly trip to London?

*Collaborative Post*

#VLOGSTARS – March 2017

Morning! Welcome to the March edition of Vlog Stars!  This is my second month of co-hosting the linky with Katy and I’m hoping to bit more organised this time as I never even got my own video up last month – it was all a bit last minute and well, you know what life’s like!  This month I’m there though, my video is all edited and uploaded and ready for you to watch!

In case you’re not sure what I’m actually talking about let me give you a bit of background information!! Aby & Amy had been running a vlogging linky called Vlog Stars for about 18 months but decided it was time to handover the reins of their Vlog Stars community to allow them to concentrate on other projects.  Enter Katy & I!

Vlog Stars goes live on the second Thursday of each month and is open for two weeks for you to link up your vlogs on a set theme.  The idea being that it might inspire you to create some fabulous new content for your channel and also introduce you to some other Vlog Stars who are chatting about the same things!

In February, Katy and I set the theme for March to be “TOP FIVE GUILTY PLEASURES”  . . . from biscuits in bed to rubbish telly, we want to know!

So, if you’ve been super organised you can bob your link in down below or, if you’re not quite ready for this month’s Vlog Stars – you’ve got a fortnight to get it filmed, edited and linked up – we’ll be waiting for you!

Here’s my TOP FIVE GUILTY PLEASURES – don’t forget to like, comment, subscribe and all that jazz!

 

Over the next couple of weeks Katy and I are looking forward to popping round your vlogs, getting to know you all a bit better and of course sharing them over on twitter where we can!  We’d love it if you could do the same for some of the other people who have linked up too, there’s nothing like spreading the love now is there?  (Don’t forget to use the hashtag #VLOGSTARS)

Next month, from Thursday 13th April, Katy and I want you to tell us about FIVE THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT – are you surgically attached to your phone or completely addicted to an electric tin opener?

If you’ve been joining in with Vlog Stars for a while then I hope you’ll stick with Katy and I moving forward.  If you’re new to it, then welcome aboard, it’s great to have you!

 


Photo Credit: markus spiske Flickr via Compfight cc

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 9 – 2017)

#TriedTested badge

I don’t know about you but I’m desperately spotting those first few signs of spring at the moment – roll on sunshine and flowers!

In case you are new here – let us tell you what Tried & Tested is all about. We all know how useful reviews can be. Most bloggers do them – be it things they have bought themselves or have been asked to review. They are a useful tool for people looking for honest and thorough reviews of products they need, things they are considering buying, or even to introduce people to exciting new products they have never even heard of. You can find out more about how to join in here.

If you have linked up with us before – welcome back! We love having you. Please have a quick read through the points below to remind yourself how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day.

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you.

* If you’d like a Twitter reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop one of us a tweet and we’ll add you to the list.

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

That’s about it – it’s super simple to join in, so crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

This week we have loved:

One Frazzled Mum made us laugh with her Vileda Supermocio mop reivew!

This really thorough comparison of Playmags and MagnaTiles from Five Little Stars made for very interesting reading.

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important:

* Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up
* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people really appreciate the feedback!
* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)
We're going on an adventure



The Debenhams Big LEGO Challenge

When Ben was invited to take part in the Debenhams Big LEGO Challenge, I didn’t need asking twice.  The basic premise was that he was to be sent a brand new LEGO Nexo Knights set along with a timer and challenged to build something “adventurous” in 15 minutes. 
LEGO Nexo Knights - Debenhams challenge
I had explained to Ben beforehand that he wasn’t going to be building his new set according to the instructions but was in fact just going to build “something really cool”. (Obviously he knew he would be able to build the set properly later!)  I don’t think he really went into his project with any ideas in mind, he just started building.
Debenhams vintage style timer set to 15 minutes
I don’t often sit with Ben when he’s building, he tends to take his LEGO sets off into his bedroom and shuts himself away till it’s complete.  I’m rubbish with LEGO myself, far too clumsy and lacking in imagination so it was really interesting to sit and watch Ben working away for 15 minutes on his very own creation.
Now 15 minutes isn’t a very long time when it comes to building with LEGO and Ben admitted that he found the ticking of the timer a bit stressful – it was a bit like Countdown but with LEGO!  He told me it was making him sweaty bless him.  If I’m honest I wasn’t convinced he was going to get it done in time . . .
 
You want to see what he made right?
 
“The Jestro Catcher is able to catch any evil villan or monster the orange chains are to stop the driver from falling and to stop villans from getting inside the villan goes in the back. It is like a portable jail. THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH FOR THE LEGO DEBENHAMS”
What do you think?  I think he did really well in his 15 minutes.  I love how symmetrical his build is!
If you’ve got a little LEGO addict in your house, check out the range at Debenhams!

 

*Ben was sent this Nexo Knights LEGO set free of charge for the purposes of taking part in this challenge. All thoughts and opinions remain our own*

Cox & Cox Desk Lamp – Review

Cox & Cox desk lamp

I’m going to hold my hands up now and admit that I’m more than a little bit in love with my new Cox & Cox desk lamp.  There I’ve said it.

Having my own work-space is still something of a novelty and I’m still working on the details (I will write properly about my work-space as a whole once it’s properly finished) but I absolutely love being able to come and sit down in my own little corner and get on with my work without distractions.  (Well as far as is possible in this house anyway!)

work space with Cox & Cox desk lamp

Although our dining room is one of the brighter rooms of our house, I’m often working in the evenings so adding a desk lamp seemed like a sensible decision.

Choosing my lamp wasn’t difficult at all, all my new office furniture is white and I’m keen to keep the space as bright and clean as possible, so the moment  I saw this beautiful matt white & copper detailed desk lamp I knew it was going to be perfect!

The simple domed shade and round base are stylish but unobtrusive in my work space while the copper coloured details and the black and white fabric flex just give it a touch something that lifts it from entirely practical to contemporary and desirable!

Cox & Cox desk lamp

Although the desk lamp is adjustable to a point, you do need to be super careful to maintain it’s position as detailed in the packaging otherwise it’s at risk of falling over.  The first time I tried to use it, Dave had just put the bulb in and I moved it but obviously hadn’t tightened it properly and it collapsed on me breaking the bulb but thankfully not damaging the lamp itself or my laptop – I learned to be super cautious with it after that and actually just don’t touch it at all now it’s where I need it to be!

Cox & Cox desk lamp - lit

Do you love my new lamp as much as I do?  What else would you add to my work space?

I promise to share some more details from our dining room revamp soon!

* I was sent this Cox & Cox desk lamp free of charge for the purposes of review, all thoughts and opinions remain my own*