Thursday, 21 June 2018

Feel Beautiful with Fee Marraine Boutique

After having babies, finding clothes that flatter and suit the post baby figure can be something of a struggle. It's a fact of life that after harbouring a small person inside your body for around 9 months your body is going to go through some changes. There are clothes in my wardrobe that I'd love to wear again but don't feel I ever will, yet can't bring it in me to get rid of them. I still find, 3 years on from my 2nd baby I struggle to accept my softer stomach, wobbly bits and things that perhaps aren't where they used to be.....I'm sure you get where I'm coming from! This is where the lovely Fee Marraine Boutique could help you out. 

A little bit about the online shop: 

Dreaming of being a fashion designer, Valentina grabbed the opportunity of chasing her dream when she could. Not an easy decision, but when her husband convinced her to follow the dream the boutique was born. Valentina creates beautiful and flattering post natal clothing that are both functional and lovely to wear.  Everything is hand made (how amazing is that!) and it's clear from reading about Valentina and looking at the online boutique that she puts her heart and soul into all she does. 

One thing I love about the boutique is that the usual sizing of clothing (e.g size 10, 12, 14, 16 etc) are not labelled as this and instead are alluring, captivating, delectable, ravishing, saucy, scrumptious, spellbinding and voluptuous - I love this method sizing! Perhaps shops on the high street should take note. 

There is something delightful about the beautiful selection of items that Valentina features on the website, I have chosen a few of my favourite's and featured them below, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

How gorgeous is this floaty number? I would wear this on an evening out, would be perfect for my holiday in France! I also love it teamed with the converse below, adds a different dimension to it I think.
Or how about this cute little baby doll number? It's also breastfeeding friendly with trademark zippers, so if you are or aren't this item is versatile as well as pretty.


Finally, this beautiful blouse. I love a shirt/blouse and this is floral, pretty and totally me. I would wear this with leggings or jeggings and pair with either heels for a night out of flip flops for a more relaxed look - gorgeous!

I really like the ethos surrounding the boutique, it will appeal to so many ladies that are struggling with their post natal body or wanting to dress to impress after having a baby. There is a lovely selection of items and I'm sure that Valentina would do anything to help or offer advice on styles. Please do go and have a look at the boutique, it's really important we help small businesses to thrive, so go have a nose!

* Written in collaboration with Fee Marraine Boutique. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Blogger's Best Linky!

Welcome back to the Blogger's Bests linky. We can't wait to read your posts and see what you've been sharing this week. I hope you have all had a great 3 weeks, we took a bit of an extended break, Sarah has been away and life just ran away with me

So Sarah from RunJumpScrap and I would like to introduce you to the Blogger's Best linky. A place for any post, whatever the post, the best post of your week or simply a post you are proud of and want to shout about it. This is the place to share it and we can't wait to read them. The linky will open at 05:30 on a Wednesday and remain open until Friday 23:55.

There aren't many rules because lets face it, rules are boring right? However, linkys only work if you share the love and support your fellow bloggers so what we do ask is.....
  • You comment on the host posts and at least a couple of others, of course if you want to comment on more  then please do!
We would also love if you could .....

  • Tweet us over on Twitter (I'm @helsy_1983) and Sarah is (@runjumpscrap) so we know you're joining in ( and please do use #bloggersbest) and we can give you a retweet

  • Join us over on Instagram with the hashtag #bloggersbest and tag us in, we both love a bit of Insta! You can find me here @helsy_1983) and Sarah is @runjumpscrap

  • Add the badge at the bottom of your post so we know which post you've added to the linky
But these are pretty much all the rules. Sarah and I will continue to have featured posts each week and will of course be retweeting your links when you link up. We're really looking forward to hosting a fresh and vibrant new linky and hope you'll enjoy linking up too! Spread the word, Blogger's Best is the place to be!

Run Jump Scrap


Monday, 18 June 2018

The Peterborough Museum *Review*

I love discovering new places to visit, especially if they are local and free to enter, although we did donate to continue the work of the museum.

When I asked Alfie what he wanted to do with me for his birthday I was actually kind of surprised at his response, usually he would want to go to the zoo or something nature or wildlife related but instead he asked to visit the Peterborough museum. He'd recently been on a school trip and loved it and had mentioned about going again so this seemed the perfect time as he was on a training day and I had booked annual leave. I roped my parents in too as thought they'd be interested and so it was arranged and we visited a couple of weeks ago.

As I started to read up about the museum prior to visiting I was absolutely fascinated by the building and its history. I love a good ghost story and finding out that where the museum is situated (within what used to be the old infirmary from 1857 to 1928 in a large, old mansion) and that  it is said to be Peterborough's most haunted building in the city certainly  intrigued me.

Set over 3 floors the Peterborough museum certainly boasts a mixed bag of exhibitions and artefacts. It's brilliant! As Alfie had previously been he was insistent we visited certain areas first but eventually convinced him that we should start in a logical manner ...... on the top floor......don't ask! We did however make our first stop at the rather eerie operating theatre (see below!). There certainly is a strong aroma of a medical nature in this area and a bone chilling aspect to this clinical and brightly airy room. I dread to think what it would have been like back in those days!

Dating back to around 1910 this is one of three period surgical/operating facilities in England. It has retained its original tiling on the floors and walls (all white and ceramic, easy to clean the blood from!) and the skylight and windows. There is also a glass cabinet with a Nurses uniform and a handful of rather macabre surgical instruments. It certainly made us all cringe with thoughts of operations with minimal pain relief and infection prevention. Poor Alfie wasn't a fan of this room! I just couldn't stop thinking of all the awful things that must have happened on the operating table and just how lucky we are now with medicine!

As I said the museum is set over 3 floors and as you make your way around the old mansion there is something to see of a historic nature around each staircase. From the collection or art work to the plethora of period features such as the specially designed wooden squares on the stair cases, designed to prevent staff slipping when the mansion was the infirmary. There is something at each turn. 

So what else can you see at the museum?

There are several permanent exhibitions and throughout the year have a variety of events and temporary exhibitions to ensure you will see something new when you visit. I don't want to give too much away so I'll just go into brief detail about each current exhibition and share some photos from our trip. 

The Norman Cross Depot - Prisoners of War
For those that don't know, Peterborough was the site of the very first purpose built POW (prisoner of war camp) , many of the items for the public to view in this section have been lovingly hand crafted by the prisoners. It's quite moving, the intricately carved items are seriously mind blowing. 

Changing Lives
This part is all about the story of Peterborough over the last 200 years. It is fascinating! I loved the part about how each part of the city has been developed and over the years how it has grown, plus about the industries within the city, I found it very interesting. There is also a little cinema area where you can sit and watch some films that originate from Peterborough (I think!). I love looking back at history, even more so if local. 

My parents particularly loved this little set up of an old, retro kitchen. Parts of it reminded me of my Grandparents house and we had great fun identifying items that we still use today but just how different they are and how technology had advanced. Alfie couldn't get over the size of the hoover!

We actually have the exact version of the mincer on the table! Retro I know but Adi wanted a proper mincer and bought it second had a few years ago, it is so heavy and quite the contraption.

Changing Landscapes Gallery
Alfie was so excited to show us this part as this was the part that he had talked about after his school trip. Here the gallery is designed to make you feel like you're underwater, it's beautifully done and I know it sounds weird but we all felt we could smell the sea? Very strange but true. It's quite a calming place to be in, and centres around the prehistoric creatures that swam in the seas around Peterborough about 150 million years ago. Hard to believe it was once submerged underwater.

Around the corner from the under the sea area is another changing landscapes area. This set up showed us the different creatures that can be seen at night and how sometimes we won't always see these animals. It was a nice place to sit for a quiet few minutes, replicating an urban scene we sat and just identified the animals for a few minutes enjoying some peace. We're all just in a rush all the time aren't we, sometimes it's so nice to just sit back and take things in. 

Archaeology Gallery - First People
I have no photos from this gallery I'm afraid but this area is all about the pre history of Peterborough. We learnt about the Romans, Anglo Saxons and Medieval period and it was a fascinating insight, there are some great little artefacts in this section that really were fab. I also thoroughly enjoyed making the large coin puzzles.....that's the kid in me, ha! This was a fascinating display from the past and we all enjoyed it.

After finishing looking at the galleries we wandered around the mansion, there are lots of different things to look at of interest. I found this grandfather clock particularly beautiful, look how intricate it is - stunning! This was positioned in the office of the chief surgeon (I think it was, from memory), apparently he got the pick of the room because of his position and this large, round room was suitable for his needs. It is quite a striking room with the curved walls and the light flooding in.

There was also this portrait in there, both my Dad and I agreed there was something quite sinister and creepy about it, we couldn't put our finger on why but there is definitely something about it that sends shivers down me! What do you think?

On the same day as visiting the museum there was also the new Antony Gormley sculpture display  'places to be' #lookup.  For those who aren't sure who he is, he's the dude who did 'The Angel of the North' and is an internationally renowned artist whose sculptures investigate the relationship between the human body and space. We have 3 situated around Peterborough and members of the public are encouraged to #lookup to see them. I love them, I think they're a great addition to the centre and people will come and see them encouraging tourism into Peterborough.

While at the museum I also treated myself to a brand new book, 'Haunted Peterborough' which appeals right to my interest surrounding ghosts and all things like this, I love finding out about local ghostly happenings and this book is brilliant for that, the inside knowledge about the ghostly sightings at the museum itself is great, I'll certainly  be looking out for them when we visit again!
I also cannot wait to visit the Priestgate vaults beneath the museum, these are by arrangement only and on certain days so I'm going to be dragging my Dad along at some  point. I also want to do the escape rooms which are also beneath too, they sounds so much fun and having only ever done one escape room in the past I'm looking for some new ones to try.

Overall we had a great time at the museum, if you are local to the area and haven't ever visited before I would highly recommend. Packed full of interesting artefacts, information and exhibitions it makes for a very interesting couple of hours.

*Please note I have not been asked to write this nor did I receive any incentive I have written this purely for information and because it was a great afternoon. 

Sunday, 17 June 2018

My Sunday Photo - 17/06/18

Throwback to a couple of weeks ago and Old Hunstanton, what a lovely day we had!


Sunday, 10 June 2018

My Sunday Photo - 10/06/18

Managed to capture this beautiful peacock proudly showing us what he's got last week at Norfolk Lavender. How beautiful!


Friday, 8 June 2018 *Review*

Father's Day is just around the corner, every year I try hard not to get the usual generic gifts (you know the ones, t-shirt, socks pants etc). Although I generally  do end up getting these items too but I do like to spoil the men in my life. My Dad is usually appreciative of something whisky related or aftershave while my husband likes to receive personalised items from the children or foodie related items. 

When I was asked if I'd like to feature a father's day hamper from I couldn't turn them down, after all this was something I'd never considered as a father's day gift before. Really this is an ideal gift for my husband as it ticks many of his boxes when it comes to things he'd like to receive. Champagne is always a winner, (we both love), cheese and biscuits, fresh smoked salmon, a selection of continental meats, shortbread, chutney, chocolates and these are all  come presented in a beautiful, traditional wicker basket. 

I opted for The Grand Hamper which retails for £98.00 (free UK delivery) as everything included in it I knew my husband would love. Naturally, we would share the champers........ 

As mentioned above the hamper itself is presented in a lovely, traditional wicker basket which really adds to the hamper itself, it's lovely to give something like this when it looks so nice. It's also ideal for re-using for storage of toys, games, books, foodie items or reusing as a hamper for picnics, I always like being able to re use an item instead of chucking it out. 

The hamper itself is sent via courier, unfortunately ours was sent to a neighbour and I was unable to collect if from them for 24 hours as they were out meaning that the smoked salmon and the meats weren't kept as cool as it should have been despite having an ice bag inside so if you do order one it's worth getting it delivered when you know you will be in or somewhere else where someone will be able to receive the delivery. The hamper is also safely packed within a cardboard box and the champagne was safely protected too. Everything was completely intact and not damaged which is peace of mind if you were sending further afield.

I was really impressed with the hamper itself, not just the hamper I chose but the entire selection that's available. There really is such a wonderful choice, something for everyone without a doubt. The quality of the items included in ours were also of a high quality, we are yet to taste the champagne as we're saving that but it looks good and Black Bomber extra mature cheddar is one of my favourite cheeses, ever! The hamper was well received by my husband, we had a lovely time sharing some of the items and I would highly recommend it if you're looking for something for Grandad, Dad or hubby for Father's Day or another occasion, they are great. Head on over to the website to check out the huge variety and I'm certain you'll find something to purchase.

* Please note we were kindly sent the hamper free of charge in exchange for an honest review, all my reviews are totally unbiased and my own opinions.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Off the Beaten Track with TyrePlus

Planning a trip? Going away on holiday soon? Well I'm interested to know how you think about, what you pack, what you think before you go. The company TyrePlus have asked me to think about how different personality types affect they way we prep and plan for a trip away

If you asked my husband what I'm like before a holiday he would say stressed and annoying, ha. When I pack he would tell you that I pack a good week or so beforehand, I take way too much and I'll put my things in the suitcase and then take them out again and repack, this might happen 2 or 3 times! I like to make lists also, one for me and the kids and then a list of miscellaneous items, these lists can be quite lengthy! It's a process of deduction when I pack, I hugely stress that I'll forget something crucial. I have to admit, I'm a nightmare packer! My husband on the other hand is a thrown it all in the case the night before man, it stresses me out hugely!

It's not just about the packing before a journey that has to be thought about though it's the kids, my husband, do we take food, what electricals do we take, packing the car, if we have over night stops packing for these. There is just so much to remember! It's a bit like having different tyres on your car depending on the terrain you'l be driving on......always got to take this into account.

I like to think I'm organised, I do try my hardest to be but sometimes life really does get in the way. I'm a bit of a stress head too so when I do feel ready and sorted to head off on our holidays until we reach our destination I am constantly wondering if we've forgotten something, I'm exactly the same when heading home even if I know I've checked, double checked and triple checked where we've been staying!

I wonder if your personality is different to mine just how it impacts you when going on holiday. How do you pack? Do you do anything differently to me? Please share, I'd love to know. 

Monday, 4 June 2018

Benefits of Artificial Grass *top tips*

Have you ever thought about artificial grass? I quite often wonder what our garden would look like having a bright green, fresh looking lawn all year around. It would be quite the thing not having to mow it also, what a time saver! So if you're thinking about artificial grass or maybe not quite sure here is a few thoughts that might make you change your mind or make the decision for you.......

  • As I mentioned above it is ridiculously low maintenance. No mowing, no trimming, now watering, no ugly bare patches. 

  • As this is artificial there is no watering required! Easily and simply installed with step by step instructions you could have a beautiful lawn pretty quickly.

  • Easy to maintain as no mowing but also easily cleaned. A simple brush to get rid of the debris will suffice and a good rainfall will keep the grass well maintained or using the specially designed detergent will also keep the lawn looking pristine.

Lawn Budget Artificial Grass

  • Suitable for children and pets this is a great solution as is very durable and comfortable to be used for them.

Lucerne Artificial Grass
  • Looks great all year round. Enjoy it in the summer and the winter, brilliant! Most of the artificial grasses have porous backing and will easily drain so there won't be any water log.

  • There is a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing the grass in a selection of piles and shades of green. 
So as you can see there are lots of advantages to choosing artificial grass, there is of course the upfront cost but when the lawn is laid there is virtually any upkeep or maintenance costs for the grass. If you were thinking about installing artificial grass or just considering it I hope these thoughts have helped with your decision making.

* Collaborative content. 

Monday, 28 May 2018

Casdon Hetty Cleaning Trolley *Review*

Elarna loves to clean. Well, in all honestly she likes to copy me cleaning! She will quite often follow me around when I'm cleaning and dust, sweep, hoover and mop......well try to anyway. For her 2nd birthday we bought her a cleaning set but over time bits have been lost or broken and it's sadly had to be binned. Imagine how happy she was when she received the deluxe Casdon Hetty Cleaning Trolley. A very suitable replacement for her broken cleaning trolley and she was super delighted!

The deluxe cleaning trolley consists of: 
  • A hand held vacuum with working suction (oh yes, it actually sucks stuff up!)
  • A mop and bucket
  • A dustpan and brush
  • A broom
  • Detergent bottle
  • Spray bottle and wipe
  • A cleaning trolley to store all the accessories in

There is also the 'Henry' version of the trolley available too which is in red if you don't fancy the pink version. Retailing for around £27.00 it' not the cheapest but for us it's worth the money as it's used alot, pretty much on a daily basis. I find this deluxe version much better than previous version we used to have as the other one always used to fall over as the base wasn't as good as this one. This one is much more stable however so stays upright. 

I love the way everything fits nicely within the trolley, each part has its place making it nice and tidy and accessible to the child. The accessories included are the perfect size for little ones and light for them to use. Elarna just adores it, she is often found pretend mopping the floor, dusting or doing some speed sweeping as you can see below!

Setting the trolley up takes minutes it's simply a case of snapping a few bits together and sticking the stickers on and then it's good to go. The little hoover does require 3 x AAA batteries which aren't included, don't expect to be hoovering a whole house with it mind, it will suck up little crumbs and things like that but the fact that it sucks up anything at all is genius! I have had both Alfie and Elarna to offer to help with the cleaning which is clearly a bonus!

Speed cleaning, see how fast the broom is moving!

Overall this is great, it has been a total hit in our house and a very popular toy, I love that is also encourages cleaning and tidying up. 

* Please note we were kindly sent the cleaning trolley free of charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased review, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

My Sunday Photo - 27/05/18

He turned 6!!! My main man growing up, he has had a great time celebrating. 3 days of fun, oh to be a child!