Sunday 29 April 2018

Baffled/What's in the Box? Games *Review*

Recently we have been reviewing a couple of Cheatwell games and with the countdown to the Summer holidays and our French getaway a few months away I am on the lookout for family games to take away. We drive  down to the South of France so we are fortunate to be able to pack a couple of games for us all to enjoy as a family. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a game that we all enjoy but I think we may have found one that has been a success. We have been trying out both What's in the box? As well as Baffled. Both very entertaining! 

So one night over a bottle of wine my husband and I decided to test out what's in the box? It's a simple game to play. You find an object, keep it secret from the other player/s and hide it in the box, the guesser then has a certain amount of guesses to try and decide what's in the box. Simple and lots of fun......especially if a glass of vino has been involved! We did also play this with Alfie and he thought it was brilliant.....his choice of items in the box were errrmm interesting haha (think cat fluff, a feather, a very specific piece of Lego!).

So what is included in the game? 
  • Take a guess cards
  • Picture cards
  • Scoring track and marble
  • Sturdy wooden box
  • Rules
I really love the simplicity of this game and you can really use any small sized object in the box so it will be ideal to take away with us. We found it was easier with the children to not use the scoring rack and cards and just play the guessing game, it was just as much fun for them finding items and hiding them in the box and laughing in hilarity at our guesses. Retailing for around £12.99 from well known retailers this is a brilliant game at a great price. 

Next up is Baffled. This is an intriguing game, when reading the back of the box I really couldn't understand how the tiles 'swap' themselves, I couldn't wait to give it a go. I like to think my memory is pretty good but I do have to admit when playing this I was, at times......baffled!

What's included in Baffled?

  • The playing board
  • Dice and life cards
  • Covering pieces 
  • Playing counters
  • Symbol tiles
So, as I mentioned the aim of the game is to remember where the symbols are. Once the symbol tiles have been covered up you have 60 seconds to try and memorise them. Players then move around the board to try and locate the symbols. For example, say you land on the apple symbol you uncover the tile you think it is, if you are incorrect you lose a life and once they are gone you're out of the game. It's a fairly simple concept, however throughout the board you are instructed to switch symbol tiles making it harder to remember where they are!

I really like this game, it was alot of fun to play and it's a game that changes and differs each time you play it. My almost 6 year old seemed to enjoy it, my 3 year old didn't have a clue but considering it's aimed at age 8+ there is no surprise! I will definitely be getting this out to play when we have friends over, it's a game that doesn't last for an age and is great for a variety of ages. Retailing at around £20.00 from popular retailers I would say this is worth having a look at if you're wanting to invest in a new board game. 

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

My Sunday Photo - 29/04/18

So yesterday we spent a very long but lovely day in London. We didn't visit as many places as we wanted to but did make a trip to the Lego store which was pretty cool. How awesome is Westminster Abbey ALL made out of Lego Bricks! 


Friday 27 April 2018

Crocodile Dinner *Review*

If there was ever a game to get my nearly 6 year old son excited it has to be Crocodile Dinner. Everything about this game appeals to Alfie, he is obsessed with reptiles and anything of an animal nature so as soon as he saw this he was ripping into the box to play it...... I'm lucky I got any pictures at all!

It's a very simple game meaning it can be enjoyed by all ages, generally aged at age 5+ due to the nature of putting the crocodile masks on but we simplified it to include our 3 year old and got her to colour sort the fish into piles. 

The rules of the game are to put the amazing crocodile masks on (seriously these things are hilarious!), hand someone all the little foam fish that come included in the game and toss them in the air. The aim of the game is the first person to collect their colour fish which correspond to their crocodile snout and once you've done that to win the game you must collect the gold fish. Simple as that!

This provides hours of amusement and giggles, we had such a laugh playing this and although at times Alfie didn't want to play by the rules we still really enjoyed playing it. Elarna got involved too, although she hated wearing the mask but she loved colour sorting the little foam fish. 

If you're looking for a party game or a game suitable for younger children I would highly recommend Crocodile Dinner, it's fun, fast and frenzied and will keep a child with a short attention span (such as Alfie) entertained over and over. Available from leading retailers with a RRP of £13.00. 

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

Armchair Designs to Consider for a Living Room Update

If you’re looking to update your living room but can’t face the prospect of redecorating, then a new item of furniture could be the way to go.
Undertaking a little bit of feng-shui and moving your pieces around is a fantastic way of making a room feel new without anything actually being “new”. Try placing your sofa against a different wall, or move artwork and pictures around for an instant update to your space. However, if you’re still feeling the urge for something brand new to lift your living room and take it from ‘drab’ to ‘fab’, then investing in a standout piece of furniture is definitely the way to go. Here are 7 chair designs for the ultimate living room update.
  1. The cocktail chair
It might be small, but a cocktail chair is a beautiful option for smaller living rooms and spaces. How about making a focal point of a bar or drinks trolley with a striking cocktail chair sat next to it for maximum wow factor. We like the Fitz cocktail chair by Swoon Editions.
  1. The leather armchair
You really can’t go wrong with a classic leather armchair. They seamlessly blend into almost all interior schemes and will never date – making them a sound investment for now and the future. Whether you like the smooth, sharp look of a new leather, or the cracked and rustic look of a worn leather, you won’t regret investing in a leather armchair. Explore the stunning range of leather armchairs available from Arlo & Jacob.
  1. The high-back fireside chair
Bring some height to your space with a high-back fireside armchair. Traditionally they might be sat in pairs next to a grand old fireplace, but they can work just as well on their own. The extra height means they draw your attention and eye level up, giving the allusion of a grander space. Despite being a more traditional style of chair, this version from Ikea still manages to look modern thanks to the bright yellow fabric.
  1. The loveseat
If you have a little more room, why not consider a loveseat style chair? They really do make the perfect ‘curl-up’ reading spot for one, or the ideal spot for watching a rom-com or scary movie with your loved one. There are plenty of styles and shapes on offer, but this version by Marks & Spencer caught our eye.
Benni Loveseat Furniture

  1. The retro revival chair
If you’re a lover of all things vintage, then a retro style chair is just the seat for you. Whether you choose a simple scandi-inspired piece, or something a little more daring, like this curved chair from, a retro chair is will certainly bring a bright update to your living room.
  1. The statement chair
A statement chair is designed to do just that; make a statement! Patterns and textured fabric are probably the best choices if you want to make a statement in your living room. Whether you go for a sheepskin piece or completely floral number, a statement chair will definitely bring your living room scheme to life. This fluffy sheepskin butterfly number by would make a real focal point in any room.

  1. The classic armchair
Finally, but by no means least, the classic armchair is a ‘classic’ for a reason. The comfort and shape and timeless and elegant, so it’s a piece that will never date. A comfortable classic armchair could be just the piece you need to update your living room. This stunning velvet version can be found at Rose & Grey.

* Collaborative content

Thursday 26 April 2018

Bad Credit? Don't Stress.

Many, many years ago when I had moved out and finding my own feet I got myself into alot of debt. I genuinely had no clue about the consequences of spending on credit cards and I just continued to spend and spend until my minimum payments left me crippled and I ignored phone calls and demand letters asking me to meet these payments. It is not a situation I wish to repeat. One thing I wish is that when I was at school there was much more education on looking after finance's and money matters, I've no idea what it's like at schools now but I hope that when my two are old enough to understand the value of money that we'll be able to educate them in spending and saving wisely. 

Fortunately for me my parents were able to bail me out (god love them!) and they got me out of a very dark time in my life and although my money management isn't as good as it should be I'm responsible for my finance's and feel I learnt alot. However, with my late payments and struggling to pay the minimum payments on my cards my credit rating took a right bashing. It took several months of dedication to ensure that I got my credit rating back to good, it wasn't an easy thing to do and there were credit card companies that didn't want to touch me further down the line making it harder to continue to build upon my rating. Nowadays there are more options available if you have bad credit and want to try and rebuild it, for example something like the vanquis card can assist with this. This care enables someone with a bad credit rating to slowly and responsibly spend on it, staying within the set credit limit and repaying the monthly payments on time to build upon the rating. This is a really positive idea and hopefully will help anyone who had a situation similar to my own. 

I'm just going to leave you this popular quote as  truly believe it speaks volumes. 'Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves'.

*Collaborative content 

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Short Haul Getaways!

Some of my most memorable holidays are those spent in Europe and short haul destinations. As a child I have some wonderful memories of holidays spent exploring Europe with my parents, I've been very fortunate to have visited some amazing places and it did give a thirst for wanting to see lots more of the world as I grew up. The joy of short haul trips are being able to get to places that are reachable within a few hours so you can then be chilling out by a pool or beach, wine in hand and not a care in the world. 

As many of you may know who read my blog regularly we regularly frequent France, generally we head down to the South but also have very much enjoyed times in Northern France. There are so many places to visit on a short haul basis if France isn't something you're keen on so I thought I'd compile a little list of places you might want to add to your bucket list in association with who are specialists in shot haul destinations.

  • First up, what about the rather beautiful Majorca. We used to visit here in our teen years to Magaluf so if it's partying you're after this could be the place to go to, but if you want to take in the stunning coastline and glorious beaches without the crazy party atmosphere there are quieter areas to visit and so many lovely towns to visit. 

  • How about Corfu? We visited many, many years ago and have lovely memories, it was a beautiful place to visit. If it's heat you like this could be the place for you with 3,000 hours worth of sunshine a year this would definitely put a spring in your step and have you returning with a sun kissed glow. 

  • The Costa del Sol is another lovely destination to visit. Beautifully sunny with glorious beaches this is a perfect location for all. There is some lovely areas to visit and plenty of history to soak up and if you've never visited before get yourself booked as it's a great destination. 

  • How about the volcanic island of Lanzarote? This popular island boasts warmer weather all year around, inviting turquoise waters and white washed villages to tempt you in. Sounds amazing doesn't it!

  • How about the up and coming Malta? I'm hearing more and more about this being a holiday destination and with some glorious beaches as well as rolling hills with a historic background Malta has alot of potential as a holiday destination. 

I hope some of these destinations have given you some short haul holiday inspiration. I am counting down until our Summer holiday but researching all these lovely destinations has made me want to take a few trips to other destinations!

* Collaborative content. 

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. Hope everyone has had a good week, wasn't the weather fab....not so much now though. So we are back with the linky and look forward to seeing what you have to share this week.

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 23 April 2018

You are 3!

To my darling daughter.

You are now 3. I cannot believe it, so much has happened since last year, the months have whizzed by and I have watched you flourish into a vibrant and  (very) independent little lady. Last year we had so much worry and concern as you were very poorly, it brought lots of things into perspective but the best thing is you sailed through it, you are a resilient, tough little girl. You are growing into such a lovely girl, you light up my life with your smiles and laughter, there isn't a day that goes by that you don't warm our life with your cheeky giggles and infectious smile. You do know how to keep us on our toes however, you have the ability to go from happy to diva strop within seconds but do you know what I kind of like that's an interesting personality trait!

When I sit and reflect to the moment when I held you in my arms I wondered what you would be like. Would you be shy or outgoing? Would you enjoy cuddles or be less snuggly? Would you be a Mummy's girl or a Daddy's Girl? Would you get on with your brother?

The next step for you is moving into your pre-school room at nursery, the last room before you start at school (OMG), how ridiculous is that! However you need the challenge, I see you learning so much every day, your speech is great, you're counting really well and you seem to pick things up super quickly, you are a bright little button. Nothing really seems to phase you, sometimes you can be a little shy but once you see others having fun then you are quick to join in and make friends. At your recent nursery parents evening they said you are sassy and confident (agreed!) and totally ready for heading into pre-school room (figures!).

I adore your caring nature, the way you look after all your dollies and babies is utterly beautiful and the love you have for our cats is just wonderful to see. You also adore your big bro even though he can sometimes be a bit mean to you! You two definitely have a bit of a love/hate relationship with each other and I suspect that will be the way it is but when you do have those sibling moments that make my heart melt it and it all just makes life worth living. 

So here's to the next year my darling, I've no idea where it's taking us but I look forward to spending it with you.

Sunday 22 April 2018

My Sunday Photo - 22/04/18

Cherry blossom just makes me happy. Anyone else? So lovely to see a bit of colour in the garden, shame it doesn't hang around for long!


Saturday 21 April 2018

Meegos Collectible's *Review*

Meegos! The cutest little collectible collection in town. These super cute little crochet creatures really are the sweetest things around.

My two kids love anything cuddly and pocket sized (even Alfie!) and these immediately appealed to them. Good job we were sent enough to go around! These crocheted little cuties are loving handmade/handknitted in Bangla and the larger Meegos take around 5 hours to make and the minis about 2 hours. 

We were sent 2 mini Meegos and 2 of the larger sizes. Each has a name and a family attached to it. I love the little tags around the necks of the larger ones which have the name of the Meego and info written on them all about what they like and their family members.

We received Meadow and Duke, and Duke is a limited edition Meego. Meadow lives in Paw Palace and her family are Mini Meegos Daisy and Darwin, Meadow is happy, fun loving and has lots of energy and her favourite food is lolly pawp.  Duke, who is my personal favourite lives in Canine Cove and his family members are Sasha and Oscar, he is careless, courageous and likes to climb and enjoys eating chocolate woofles. 

Our two Mini Meegos are Piper and Jackson. Piper is sweet, caring and likes to make friends, Pipers family members are Doug and Poco and Piper lives at Puppy Park and enjoys eating pup-cakes. Jackson is so sweet and is playful, polite and easy to train, his family members are Penny and Spot and he lives at fetch farm and enjoys eating doghnuts! 

The Mini Meegos are supplied in blind boxes so you don't know which one you're going to receive, these would make a great little gift I think! The larger Meegos retail for £12.99 and the Minis for £6.99, these are available from selected Sainsbury's and Debenham's stores. 

One of the lovely things about the Meegos is each one is made in Bangladesh by a non profit Fairtrade organisation which provides flexible and local employment. Every Meegos made gives parents the opportunity of being able to send their children to nursery or school and enabling them a better chance at life and more opportunities. How great is that! For more info head over to the Meegos website

Meegos are suitable from birth and due to their soft nature they would be an ideal gift for a newborn as well as older children.......and adults! Series 1 is available right now and series 2 will be available later in the year. 

What do you think of these cute little crocheted creatures?

Friday 20 April 2018

Team Building Goals.

How can Team Building affect your Business Goals?
Working in the corporate sector has always overwhelmed me. Sky touching buildings, the corporate culture, meeting deadlines, incentives, promotions, all these factors have always excited me. Now, I am a successful Finance Manager and currently serving a tech giant in the UK. Reaching this position was hard and challenging, as, during my starting career as an Intern, I was given small targets to achieve within the deadline provided. Learning from my mentors have always helped me, which helped me to confirm my job.
Working within the Finance team, where I was working to meet specific targets. Every weekend we need to attend the special lectures on Team Building and there were certain exercises, which we had to perform in groups. These activities helped us to understand each other along with the benefits of working together. Basically, these workouts taught us the lesson of socialising informally, disregard of the targets, management, and the corporate structure.
With Team Building, We learnt to focus on more serious issues like problem-solving techniques, improving communication, employee relations, crisis management, handling pressure and most importantly trust. Trust, which is a key aspect when we are working in a team. Without this factor, any team will collapse and affect the corporate results. As per my experience, it acts as a tool to achieve better communication among the team members.    
Now, I am managing the Finance team and following the similar steps with my team to make them able to perform well and achieve the desired goals. Today, I will tell you some serious facts which one can learn only with experience. If you search for team building methods and activities, you will find hundreds of such points, but none will teach you the facts which one should not follow while managing a team.

What not to do with Team Building?
Even your best effort to organize a team can worsen the situation. These are the plans made by those professionals, who don’t know well about their team and their working atmosphere. I am explaining some facts with examples.
Internal conflicts among the team members:
You have planned a team building activity to boost the team spirit, but is it the right exercise? If there are team members with personal conflicts and you offer them to play any game like paintball. Well, the situation will tend to increase enmity rather than building their confidence.
Then what to do:
A plan, a non-competitive activity for the team and should be such which resolves the conflicts among the team members. If such situation occurs, handle it straight away rather than playing politics.
Lack of communication:
Communication plays a vital role in the long survival of the team. If the team members rarely speak to each other, then do you think they will achieve what is desired? No, they certainly can’t.
Then What to Do:
The manager should think about such exercises which may increase team communication and make them understand each other better.  
Lack of trust:
Trust is an important segment to maintain high morale among the team members. If there is a lack of trust, then for sure they will lack in their targets. Then how to build trust in them?
Then what to do:
Design some activities which can increase trust among the team members. There are lots of such games which are played on trust factors. You can try them and see the magical results.
Replace what has done already:
Still, in some firms, activities, like singing a song, tell about yourself, etc. are followed. These are childish activities and your employees don’t want such stuff as a team building activity.
Then what to do:
Be more creative, specific and realistic while choosing the Team Building activities.
*Guest post.

Thursday 19 April 2018

Hot Interior Design Trends!

5 interior design trends you need to know about in 2018

If you’re looking for some style tips to help you fall in love with your home all over again, here are five interior design trends you need to know about in 2018.
1. Mixing metals
Metals are on point this year, and to really nail this look you should consider mixing things up and trying out a range of different metallic finishes in your home. A top tip is to blend the old and the new. For a contemporary flourish, consider adding anything from chrome light fittings to stainless steel kitchen backsplashes. Meanwhile, to welcome a touch of the more traditional, you could introduce intricate French-inspired furniture finished in gold or silver leaf. Specialist suppliers such as Crown French Furniture offer decadent pieces such as French style beds, bedroom chests and mirrors with these luxurious metallic finishes.

2. Lots of wall art
When it comes to wall art, less is certainly not more in the world of interior design this year. To be bang on trend in 2018, get creative and fill bare spaces with photos, prints and paintings. Don’t be afraid to put different sizes, shapes and styles of art side by side. This will give your rooms extra character and create a more interesting look.
3. Terrazzo surfaces
Terrazzo was big news in the 1970s, and it seems its time has come again. This practical and attractive composite material, which is usually made by casting chips of granite, quartz, marble, concrete or glass in resin, can make a practical and attractive surface in virtually any home. Available in an impressive variety of colours, it can be cast on site or bought in pre-cut tiles. Traditionally, it’s used been for flooring, but it also makes great wall tiles and countertops. Why not spice up your design scheme by introducing some terrazzo into your home? Whether you want to give your kitchen a chic finish with matching floors and walls or you’re keen to create a relaxing bathroom complete with decadent marble chip, this material could be just what you’re looking for.
4. Statement ceiling finishes
Kiss goodbye to bland ceilings. This year, designers are turning the spotlight onto this often overlooked area and opting for bold, colourful finishes. So, don’t hold back when it comes to choosing your hues. For the ultimate effect, you could add extra detail by opting for a patterned wallpaper.
To avoid giving your rooms an oppressive, closed in feel, you could turn convention on its head and keep your walls white while giving your ceilings a splash of colour. From dark blue to vibrant red or orange, there’s no shortage of options.  
5. Patterned pot plants
Pot plants are nothing new in interior design, but this year patterned greenery is the big story. There are lots of different plants to try out and you can create surprisingly striking effects if you choose your foliage carefully. From the iron-cross begonia with its dark brown markings and cross pattern to the peacock plant, which features silver and green markings on the tops of its leaves and a purple hue underneath, there’s plenty of variety on offer.
Whether you want to go all out and completely revamp your home or just make a few minor tweaks, these style tips should help ensure your home’s on trend in 2018.

* Collaborative content