Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Best and Worst Linky #85



Beautiful Things


Run, Jump, Scrap!

Hello and a big welcome to this weeks best and worst linky. I totally realised that I haven't updated this for a few weeks so it made it sound like myself and my husband are still ill......which we are not, phew! This week is going back quickly and here we are again, Wednesday and linky day.

Sarah and I hope that the linky continues to go from strength to strength and perhaps 0ver the next few months we might implement some small changes but these are still being discussed. In the meantime let me welcome you, as always to the best and worst linky run by my lovely friend Sarah who blogs over at Run Jump Scrap and co-hosted by myself. If you're new to the linky we're delighted for you to join in, please do have a read of the rules. If you're a regular then thanks as always for the support. Sarah and I split the commenting now, it is working well doing it like that. You should have received a comment from one of us so if you are missing one please do drop us a tweet or email. We've had some great posts over the last few months and we're looking forward to reading some more fabulous posts!

So what is best and worst all about? This is the linky where you can tell us about the best or worst things that have happened in the last week or even the last year, this could in the form of a blog post, a photo or even a video. It can be an old post or a new post, we don't mind we just want you to share it with us. We want you to share your babies firsts, the crappy day at work you've had or a makeup disaster basically the good, the bad or the downright ugly! We want to share your excitement and tears, highs and lows no matter what it is.

What we are going to introduce is more of an emphasis on our #bestandworst hashtag. We would love to see more of you over on Instagram and Twitter sharing your pictures and posts with myself @helsy_1983 and Sarah @runjumpscrap this can be throughout the whole week not just when our linky runs and we will then aim to feature some depending on who uses the hashtag. As this is still a fairly new thing for us it might take a few weeks before people start using the hashtag more.

So as always, on with the linky........please have a little read of the rules and we look forward to reading this weeks posts.

We are going to be keeping a close eye on the commenting in the coming weeks, it's not fair to link and run so please take some time to visit some other blogs and comment, linkys  only work if people spend time to read other blogs and comment on them.

So on with this weeks featured posts. We had another great week with some fabulous bloggers linking up and had some really lovely posts to read it was a pleasure to read them all as always.

My featured post from last week is this brilliant post from The Amateur Man with the rather fab title 'congratulations it's in the right place'.......


The Amateur Man

Sarah's featured link up from last week was from the rather lovely Renee who blogs at Peonie and Me with a very sweet announcement, congratulations!!

Rules


      • The linky will open at 5.30am on a Wednesday and close at 23.55pm on a Friday
      • You can link up one or two posts each week
      • Please comment on the 2 posts before yours and have a nosey at the host's too. We've noticed that some people have just been link dropping and not commenting on the 2 in front, please do return the favour so everyone gets some comments and linky love, thankyou.
      • ***Please add the badge to the bottom of your page so everyone knows where you have linked up***
      • Tweet your hosts @helsy_1983 and @RunJumpScrap once linked up so we can retweet you. When tweeting and commenting use the hashtag #bestandworst so everyone knows where you have come from and remember to hashtag us over on Instagram too
      Best of Worst

      
      
      
      
      
      
          

      Tuesday, 21 February 2017

      Dream Pet with Petplan!

      Say hello to the newest addition of Alfie's ever growing collection of soft toys and snakes...... this is Alex the Anaconda. I know, I know he doesn't really look like your conventional Anaconda but in Alfie's eyes this is the next best thing since Ginger his bedtime bear. Alex has settled in remarkably well and has made good friends with Barry the Burmese Python (the kid has a way with names I tell you) and he's a very cute toy to welcome into the Beautiful Things household. 

      So how did Alex the Anaconda enter our lives I hear you ask......? Well, I've recently been working alongside Petplan to allow Alfie to design his dream pet, such an exciting task for a nearly 5 year old. 

      First, a little bit about Petplan Home Insurance. One of the market leaders in pet insurance Petplan pride themselves on recognising what pet owners require when it comes to insuring your beloved pets and offer reputable and unrivalled  insurance plans.  Having personally used Petplan in the past I can speak from experience when I say that the policies are very thorough and concise and the company has always been a pleasure to deal with. 

      As part of Petplans latest campaign to encourage pet owners to insure their animals we were asked to design a dream pet, a wish pet if you like. I kind of had an idea what Alfie wanted to design......after all he's been going on and on about having a pet anaconda (eek) for quite some time now. For the record we're not getting a real life Anaconda so Alex will have to suffice!  Myself and my husband sat down with Alfie and asked him what he'd like him to look like. 

      My husband drew the prototype but the colours and design were all on Alfie's instruction and he was really quite specific about how he would like his snake to look like!



      When Alex arrived he was exactly as Alfie had imagined. A little smaller that a real Anaconda (but I'm ok with that) and quite plump, Alex is a soft and squishy  bright green snake with blue patterns with  very sparkly purple stripes (told you he was unique), he's got big eyes and a huge forked tongue. He's certainly a special pet snake! 

      Ooops, chopped his head off, was trying to get pictures while Alfie willing!

      I can't describe how excited he was to see him, the first thing he did was go and get Barry the Burmese Python to introduce them to each other and give them both a cuddle. He thinks Alex is absolutely brilliant and he has to make sure he's tucked in with him in bed every single night. He's most definitely a very proud Anaconda owner......




      I love how a simple idea and soft toy can make a child so happy, Alfie takes such pride and pleasure in his soft toys and Alex the Anaconda is no exception. I love that all his teddies have individual names, when I'd asked Alfie what he wanted to name the Anaconda, Alex was the first name he suggested, we do have some interesting named toys that I have no idea where he came up with them...... for example, we have Ginger and Chloe the bedtime bears, Rory the Lion, Natty the Elephant, Gerry the Giraffe, Bruce the Shark, Luke the Lemur and Craig the Croc......to name but a few!


      Along with Petplans great insurance covers did you know that the company work alongside re-homing charities and in 1994 created the charitable trust that helps which so far has raised more than 7 million towards a healthier and happier world for the animals out there. 

      What do you guys think of Alfie's new pet? Cute right!

      * Please note we were kindly sent the soft toy free of charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased blog post, special thanks to Petplan! 

      Sunday, 19 February 2017

      Self Care at Home.

      Still the germs linger on. Isn't Winter just the worst for all the snuffles and sniffles and coughs. Someone in our house always seems to have some sort of germy bug and I for one can't wait to see some sun. More often than not people attend their local GP surgery for treatment but many of these coughs and colds can easily be treated at home with self care, advise from a pharmacist or even an online pharmacy


      There are a dew things that you can do to look after yourself at home saving precious GP appointments for those who really need them.

      • Rest up. Easier said than done but trying to wind down and rest really is one of the best ways to fight an illness. Get an early night, take the day off work and sleep and forget about the housework or anything else that can wait. 
      • Accept help! If parents of other family members offer to help with things or look after the kids so you can rest take them up on their kindness!
      • Take some painkillers as and when required. Pharmacies are fantastic these days and can offer plenty of advice on what to take and what will help. 
      • Drink plenty! Hot drinks like honey and lemon can do wonders f you have a sore throat and can soothe a cough. Also drinking plenty of water is so important especially if you are running a temperature and sweating. 
      • Having a steamy shower (ooo errr, not that kind of steamy though!) and investing in a vapour rub can help with blocked airways and can help you breathe a bit easier. 
      • Remember that coughs and colds are mostly viral infections and should resolve themselves over time, it can be tough when it feels like they are lingering but antibiotics are not effective on a viral illness. 
      Of course id you are at all worried or concerned about your symptoms in anyway or you worsen or do not improve then absolutely seek a GP review. In the meantime remember to try over the counter treatment first and see if that helps. 

      * Sponsored Post. 


      Friday, 17 February 2017

      Trunki Eat Range - Review

      We are big fans of the Trunki products in our household. I remember when we were first taking Alfie away abroad when he was little, the first thing I knew he had to have was a Trunki. I knew he'd love having his own little suitcase and he still has his Gruffalo Trunki that he loves to pack himself before we go away. 

      Would you believe that Trunk has been going strong since 2006 and has evolved somewhat since then and has been revolutionising family travel! Have a read of the timeline it really is a fascinating insight into the company and it's journey.

      Having been a market leader in ride on suitcases for several years now Trunki is branching out into the world of 'snacking' and has recently launched the rather fabulous 'eat' range .......


      We've been testing out a few items from the range and I have to say we love them! On first impressions they are so bright and cheerful it would be difficult not to be drawn to them. We were sent the Bernard drinks bottle and lunch bag/backpack and the animal snack pots to put through their paces. I can honestly say that they are already well used!

      Image provided from Trunki
      Bernard the lunchbag backpack is so cute, in the shape of a Trunki and with plenty of room inside for the water bottle and snack boxes it's a real roomy little thing. Fully insulated and moisture resistant with a meshed pocket suitable for an ice packet it will keep food fresh and chilled, perfect for when on the go. With straps included the lunchbag backpack can either be worn as a shoulder bag or a backpack it is suitable for all types of intrepid explorer.  Alfie has insisted on taking his Trunki lunchbag whenever we've been out for the day and it really is fab to take with us, I was actually pleasantly surprised how much fit in it and having plenty of room has meant that I'm able to put a variety of snacks in it to keep both kids going throughout



      My favourite item that were sent has to be these fab snack boxes. My favourite feature.......the fact they stack neatly inside each other, I do love a bit of space saving. They're fun and funky in design and the 3 different sizes mean you can pick and choose depending what you want to put in them. I have to confess....I've found the smallest tub very useful for my mint imperials hehe. The largest one fits a great deal of food in it, we have had allsorts in it from Babybel cheese, a variety of fruit, crisps, raisins etc etc, the list goes on!




      The bottle Elarna has claimed which is fine as Alfie has lots anyway. I love the size of it and it's a proper cool looking sports bottle. It's easy to hold and contains a really good amount of liquid as well as being non spill (bonus). The bottle has a pop top lid for extra security and even comes with a spare straw which is very useful addition. The adjustable strap that it comes with can either be used to hang on a buggy or worn. As mentioned above it can also fit inside the lunchbag which is another great space saving idea.



      With prices ranging from £7.99 to £12.99 these Trunki eat items are affordable and you know that you're getting high quality items from a reputable company. We've been really impressed with the range and would highly recommend, if you're looking for some new snack things you're first stop should definitely be Trunki. 

      What do you think of the new 'eat' range?

      * Please note I was kindly sent the items free of charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I will always give my honest feedback, all thoughts and opinions are that of my own.



      Wednesday, 15 February 2017

      Best and Worst Linky #84



      Beautiful Things


      Run, Jump, Scrap!

      Hello and a big welcome to this weeks best and worst linky. I totally realised that I haven't updated this for a few weeks so it made it sound like myself and my husband are still ill......which we are not, phew! This week is going back quickly and here we are again, Wednesday and linky day.

      Sarah and I hope that the linky continues to go from strength to strength and perhaps 0ver the next few months we might implement some small changes but these are still being discussed. In the meantime let me welcome you, as always to the best and worst linky run by my lovely friend Sarah who blogs over at Run Jump Scrap and co-hosted by myself. If you're new to the linky we're delighted for you to join in, please do have a read of the rules. If you're a regular then thanks as always for the support. Sarah and I split the commenting now, it is working well doing it like that. You should have received a comment from one of us so if you are missing one please do drop us a tweet or email. We've had some great posts over the last few months and we're looking forward to reading some more fabulous posts!

      So what is best and worst all about? This is the linky where you can tell us about the best or worst things that have happened in the last week or even the last year, this could in the form of a blog post, a photo or even a video. It can be an old post or a new post, we don't mind we just want you to share it with us. We want you to share your babies firsts, the crappy day at work you've had or a makeup disaster basically the good, the bad or the downright ugly! We want to share your excitement and tears, highs and lows no matter what it is.

      What we are going to introduce is more of an emphasis on our #bestandworst hashtag. We would love to see more of you over on Instagram and Twitter sharing your pictures and posts with myself @helsy_1983 and Sarah @runjumpscrap this can be throughout the whole week not just when our linky runs and we will then aim to feature some depending on who uses the hashtag. As this is still a fairly new thing for us it might take a few weeks before people start using the hashtag more.

      So as always, on with the linky........please have a little read of the rules and we look forward to reading this weeks posts.

      We are going to be keeping a close eye on the commenting in the coming weeks, it's not fair to link and run so please take some time to visit some other blogs and comment, linkys  only work if people spend time to read other blogs and comment on them.

      So on with this weeks featured posts. We had another great week with some fabulous bloggers linking up and had some really lovely posts to read it was a pleasure to read them all as always.

      My featured post from last weeks link up is from Laura who blogs at Autumn's Mummy with a very scary post about when her little lady got very poorly. I was reading with a lump in my throat and hoping that it was all going to be ok in the end. Please do go and have a read. 

      Sarah's featured post is from the lovely Emily from Twin Mum and Dad about why she will be taking her girls out for a holiday in term time (and I am also doing the same in June!), really interesting post go have a nose!


      Rules


            • The linky will open at 5.30am on a Wednesday and close at 23.55pm on a Friday
            • You can link up one or two posts each week
            • Please comment on the 2 posts before yours and have a nosey at the host's too. We've noticed that some people have just been link dropping and not commenting on the 2 in front, please do return the favour so everyone gets some comments and linky love, thankyou.
            • ***Please add the badge to the bottom of your page so everyone knows where you have linked up***
            • Tweet your hosts @helsy_1983 and @RunJumpScrap once linked up so we can retweet you. When tweeting and commenting use the hashtag #bestandworst so everyone knows where you have come from and remember to hashtag us over on Instagram too

                Best of Worst

                
                
                
                
                    

                Tuesday, 14 February 2017

                Shopping with Xupes!

                Imagine if there was a place that you could buy amazing, second hand designer pieces at a snip of the original price. Imagine that you could browse all sort of amazing designer items as the touch of the button, these items are high end, luxury goods but actually are pre owned and in amazing condition. 


                Well there is such a place......say hello to Xupes! This fab boutique is both online and in form of a shop tucked away in the depths of Hetfordshire. You can browse online to your hearts content or book an appointment to visit the showroom and see the goods in real life.


                With over 7000 items in stock ranging from second hand Balenciaga bags to antiques and fine arts as well as pre-owned Omega watches.


                Luxury Watches

                Offering a unique shopping experience, Xupes is well worth checking out if you are a bargain hunting fashionista or just have a love of all the fine things in life. 

                Established in 2009 Xupes has been steadily building its reputation and offers integrity, honesty and professionalism when buying and selling with them. There is also the offer of a watchmaker in house to clean, refurb and repair any watches you may have lying around that could do with a new lease of life. There is also handbag and jewellery servicing which is an added bonus. 

                So if this has whet your appetite go and check the website out, I guarantee you will be drooling over all of the fabulous items!

                * Collaborative Post. 

                Monday, 13 February 2017

                SmarTrike T5 Scooter - Review

                If you follow my blog then you will be more than aware that Alfie is one non stop lively lad. He's been this way from around 18 months and at times it can be exhausting, no matter what activity we do he always just seems to whizz around and just keeps going. Sometimes I'd love some of his energy, it can be exhausting watching him. 

                We were kindly sent a scooter to test out, scooting around is bound to burn off tons of energy and exhaust him.......yes?


                The SmarTrike T5 scooter (RRP £49.99) is suitable from ages 3 and up and is a very smart looking scooter. Featuring a TPR rubber footboard, a tilting and telescopic handlebar, an easy reach back brake as well as patented 2 stage riding. The T5 promises to be a smooth riding scooter which will grow with your child and challenge them with their 'scooting' ability - stage 1 allows the child to gain confidence with the t-lock function enabled which prevents the handlebars from tilting, while stage 2 encourages freestyle riding and increase their confidence with their skills. 


                We all loved the look of the T5, it really does look smart and tasteful for a scooter. Alfie absolutely loves that it's green which is his favourite colour. As soon as it was out of the box it was tested out around the house. Not ideal but to be honest the weather has been so pitiful of late that we only managed to get it outside for a matter of minutes before it started to chuck it down. It's not remaining in the house forever, it will be living in the garage when the weather is a little better but for the moment I am letting him scoot around the house carefully!




                What I really like about the T5 is the height adjustable handlebar and the easy reach back brake. I think it's great that handlebar will grow as Alfie grows, very handy and economical also. The easy reach back brake is a brilliant added feature aswell, Alfie is fairly new to this scooting business and his older scooter (which he still uses and is very confident on) hasn't got a brake (I don't think) so this is a bit of a novelty to him and will take a little time to get used to but once he's learned how it works it will be a very useful feature! 




                When we did eventually make it outside Alfie really did have a great time testing out his scooter, I can't wait for him properly to be able to use it, please god let it burn off lots of his energy!







                We think the SmarTrike scooter is well worth the £49.99, it really is a fab little scooter and I'm certain that it's going to be very well used when the weather starts warming up.......which hopefully will be soon as scooting indoors is sooo not ideal! 

                What do you think of the T5 scooter?

                Wednesday, 8 February 2017

                Best and Worst Linky #83

                Beautiful Things


                Run, Jump, Scrap!

                Hello and a big welcome to this weeks best and worst linky. I hope you've all had a good week, me not so much. Both myself and my husband have been totally taken over by this nasty virus so it has been pretty tough even mustering up the energy to attempt any blogging so  much much from me this week.

                With it being a new year Sarah and I hope that the linky continues to go from strength to strength and perhaps 0ver the next few months we might implement some small changes but these are still being discussed. In the meantime let me welcome you, as always to the best and worst linky run by my lovely friend Sarah who blogs over at Run Jump Scrap and co-hosted by myself. If you're new to the linky we're delighted for you to join in, please do have a read of the rules. If you're a regular then thanks as always for the support. Sarah and I split the commenting now, it is working well doing it like that. You should have received a comment from one of us so if you are missing one please do drop us a tweet or email. We've had some great posts over the last few months and we're looking forward to reading some more fabulous posts!

                So what is best and worst all about? This is the linky where you can tell us about the best or worst things that have happened in the last week or even the last year, this could in the form of a blog post, a photo or even a video. It can be an old post or a new post, we don't mind we just want you to share it with us. We want you to share your babies firsts, the crappy day at work you've had or a makeup disaster basically the good, the bad or the downright ugly! We want to share your excitement and tears, highs and lows no matter what it is.

                What we are going to introduce is more of an emphasis on our #bestandworst hashtag. We would love to see more of you over on Instagram and Twitter sharing your pictures and posts with myself @helsy_1983 and Sarah @runjumpscrap this can be throughout the whole week not just when our linky runs and we will then aim to feature some depending on who uses the hashtag. As this is still a fairly new thing for us it might take a few weeks before people start using the hashtag more.

                So as always, on with the linky........please have a little read of the rules and we look forward to reading this weeks posts.

                We are going to be keeping a close eye on the commenting in the coming weeks, it's not fair to link and run so please take some time to visit some other blogs and comment, linkys  only work if people spend time to read other blogs and comment on them.

                So on with this weeks featured posts. We had another great week with some fabulous bloggers linking up and had some really lovely posts to read it was a pleasure to read them all. 

                My featured post comes from the lovely Jaki Jelz this post is about living with someone who suffers from a depression. Always a very important thing to bring to the forefront of people's minds, not an easy subject to write about.

                JakiJellz

                Sarah's featured post comes from The Daily Dump with the brilliantly titled post 'Life Grinch'. Resting grinch face.....love it, go have a read! 


                Rules
                  • The linky will open at 5.30am on a Wednesday and close at 23.55pm on a Friday
                  • You can link up one or two posts each week
                  • Please comment on the 2 posts before yours and have a nosey at the host's too. We've noticed that some people have just been link dropping and not commenting on the 2 in front, please do return the favour so everyone gets some comments and linky love, thankyou.
                  • ***Please add the badge to the bottom of your page so everyone knows where you have linked up***
                  • Tweet your hosts @helsy_1983 and @RunJumpScrap once linked up so we can retweet you. When tweeting and commenting use the hashtag #bestandworst so everyone knows where you have come from and remember to hashtag us over on Instagram too
                  Best of Worst

                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                      

                  Tuesday, 7 February 2017

                  LeapFrog Toys - Review

                  We have a love for LeapFrog products in our house. I have been buying toys from them since Alfie was born and love the variety, longevity and educational aspect that they encompass. There is also a massive range to choose from, I'm always spoilt for choice. We have quite a few items already from them but we were very lucky to be sent a couple of the newer items to test out and review. Brilliantly, these were much more suited to Elarna rather than Alfie and seen as Alfie has a ton of toys compared to her they were very much appreciated. 

                  So what were we sent?



                  As with all LeapFrog products they are bright, colourful and enticing, but with the educational twist (which is one one my favourite parts of the toys). As soon as Elarna got her eyes on them she immediately wanted to press the buttons and play with them.

                  We started with Melody, this cute little light up toy features musical activities to tune memory and develop pre school skills. Aimed at children from 2 years up this is a little advanced for Elarna at present but will be fab once she starts to get the concept of patterns and numbers a bit more......she was quite happy pressing the flashy lights though, kept her entertained for quite some time. 



                  There are different learning modes on Melody, children can listen and find colours and numbers in the learn and play mode, it's a race against time to find them before the music runs out. In memory game mode (which I actually found quite addictive!)  you simply watch the buttons light up and try repeat the pattern. There is then music mode where the child can follow the lights to play a variety of tunes or free play and let their musicality flow!

                  The child can play alone with Melody or with a sibling or friend, I tried playing against Alfie with the repetition game which was fun, although the better you do the longer the patterns get and it can get quite tricky, but lots of fun. We are definitely going to get alot of use out of Melody, perhaps more so when Elarna a little older but we have it out most days for Elarna to play her own (unique) music. Well worth the RRP of £14.99.



                  The fridge numbers was up next to test, this is so cute. I loved all the little magnetic fruit, veg and numbers that are included. They are the perfect size for little fingers to pick up and pop into the magnetic picnic basket. 


                  This is once again aimed at 2 years + but Elarna did have a good go at putting them in the correct place, we are way off identifying numbers and saying lots of words but this will be brilliant when she does start learning them. 




                  There are 20 interactive tiles included in the pack (10 food and 10 numbers), placing the food tiles in basket brings the toy alive and several of fun phrases and songs are then played encouraging the child to recognise both numbers and shapes. 




                  We really enjoyed playing this together, it's a really lovely concept and although the music and phrases can become a little annoying ( I had listened to the same phrases several times over much to Elarna's delight) at times it's a fab toy and the learning aspect is really good. 




                  We continue to play with the fridge numbers set and Alfie, when he did have a go is absolutely fab at it, there is a definite age bracket for this type of toy, in my opinion, I would say from 2 years to preschoolers would be the best age to get the maximum benefit from it. 

                  It's also worth mentioning that you can use the magnetic tiles on other surfaces (I'm probably stating the obvious) too so they are not just limited to the basket, we've been using them on our magnetic whiteboard which has given a new dimension to using them. 

                  There is only one thing that lets this toy down slightly, ever so slightly......there is nowhere to store the loose tiles, it's a real shame as it's easy for them to go missing, it would have been lovely if perhaps the actual little board itself was perhaps supplied in a picnic basket so that the tiles could be stored safely too. Apart from that very small detail we loved it and it's again well worth the £14.99 RRP. 


                  We've absolutely loved testing these fab LeapFrog products, it's been a delight and will continue to remain a loyal customer to their great toys. 

                  What do you think of these, would you buy them for your littlies?

                  * Please note we were kindly sent these items free of charge in exchange for a review, all thoughts and opinions are that of my own and I will always give my honest thoughts on items.

                  Best of Worst