I was supposed to have written this gift guide at the start of the month but it’s been MEGA busy! We had the Platinum Jubilee celebrations on June 4-5 which we attended and the kids also attended one on the Thursday before that and this Saturday we had another one!
If you’re looking for that last-minute inspiration, I’m here to give that to you. Whether it’s a gift for your dad, grandad or hubby, I’m sure they will appreciate at least one item from my top picks below…
There is never NOT a good reason to visit Greenwich but as a local, I can tell you that there’s been a lot of changes to the area if you haven’t recently visited.
It’s also the May half-term school holidays which makes the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend even better! I will be off this weekend and am looking forward to the many festivities Greenwich is going to be dishing out, including a brilliant event at Royal Arsenal Riverside in Woolwich on the Saturday and a day out to Kidbrooke Village’s Jubilee party on Sunday.
So, without further ado, here’s my top 5 reasons why you need to visit Greenwich this Platinum Jubilee Weekend!
Can you believe how fast June is approaching already? I can’t deal! Before we know it, it’ll be the summer holidays! Speaking of summer holiday, I need to start planning whether we want to go abroad or not for mine and Little Man’s birthday. The idea was to go Athens but the cost of travelling, travel restrictions and spending money will have to be reviewed again.
Festival vibes in Greenwich this Platinum Jubilee Weekend
I can’t believe we are already celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It didn’t feel that long ago that she had her Diamond Jubilee! As with every Jubilee there will be plenty of places all around London with joyous celebrations and street parties. The kids are SO excited and as the Thursday kicks off the bank holiday, I’ll get a chance to be off work early and take the kids out to places we’ve still been meaning to explore.
Central London is overflowing with places to eat. Some are great and some are amazing! In the past couple of years, I’ve come across more and more beautiful restaurants complete with gorgeous flower walls, plush velvet seats and white marble tables.
One place that I could simply not get enough of was a little hidden gem I discovered on instagram was Dalloway Terrace. It’s chic outdoor dining but with the feeling of being inside. The restaurant is located on the terrace of the Bloomsbury Hotel – it’s elegantly styled and the feature walls are ordained with the most wonderful flower arrangements that are changed every season.
When I went in May, they had their Spring arrangements with white and cream flowers. Then when I went again in June, they had just put out their Summer arrangement of pink and yellow.
There’s no surprise – we love reading a new book. My children’s school teacher may argue otherwise as I never seem to read the school books with the kiddos (I do, but it’s sporadic) but they love getting a brand new book to read. The kids have a good collection but there’s always room for more!
I’ve been away from the blog for a little while since my last post as I’ve developed eye strain and pressure building up behind the eyes. Sitting at the computer and blogging using the phone have not been easy on my eyes. I’ve been to the opticians and my prescription’s changed a lot since my last check up so I’ll be getting new glasses. A couple weeks ago, we were sent a delightful children’s book called ‘Big Splash Circus’ written by Karina Choudhrie. I’ve read it a few times with the kids and Little Man’s read it himself once too. Both of them have enjoyed the story book in their own ways.
I don’t know if it’s just me but I’m really feeling these winter chills this year! As the days get darker, all I want to do is curl up in bed with a heavy fur throw, a hot chocolate and a good book.
It was a couple weeks ago was when I first felt the cold settle in. We live in a new build flat so pretty much it’s always warm but lately it’s been feeling really cold! I’ve definitely stocked up on my fair share of knit jumpers and joggers and fluffy throws and socks to keep me warm.
I adore wooden toys. There’s just something so lovely and magical about them. They’re also durable, sturdy and have a wonderful texture compared to plastic toys.
I just can’t believe how fast this year has gone by. It’s almost Christmas already! Three lockdowns later and we can finally get the chance to have a proper Christmas dinner with the rest of our family. We’ve just ordered a new dining table so we’re definitely going all out this December.
I remember when Little Man was a baby, I would read to him every night before bedtime. I am sure that from this, he had developed his love for books. Fast forward 7 years and he’s now a little more reluctant to just pick up a book and read. That is partly my own fault for letting him loose on electronics too soon! He’s just really into building his own Lego monster creations or spawning a new animal encounter on Minecraft, which isn’t bad but I do need to increase his screen-free time.
Lola’s Lashes is a UK brand is a hot topic on everyone’s lips and is all the rage over instagram. I’ve seen it advertised for a while now but never thought to give it a try until an amazing blogger/influencer I once met and follow on IG, @HeySareta reviewed it. I’ve never been great with applying falsies so never really gave magnetic lashes a second thought… until now. I usually prefer having semi-permanent single-lash extensions done instead but all the recent lockdowns, it’s made it difficult for me to get them done and maintained.
I’m not a massive lash girl anyway but I do like the effect falsies give my lashes. My Asian eyelashes are pretty straight so wearing falsies usually makes my eyes more defined – like what a push-up bra can do for our boobs! 🙂
One layer magnetic liner application
Lola’s Lashes pride themselves on their “unique formula” which only requires 1 layer of application and claims to be the best-performing magnetic lash system out there. We’ll see! There are loads of other magnetic lash systems that are cheaper than Lola’s Lashes too but thing is not about price but about the quality and wear ability which can be challenging on Asian eyes.
Because most of us either have smaller almond eyes or monolids, applying standard band width lashes can look odd so we’d have to cut them down to fit. This is one thing that drew me towards Lola’s Lashes because you can pick out lashes based on their band width and length.
Each Lola’s Lashes magnetic lashes & liner kit comes with a promise. If you aren’t 100% happy with your lashes within 14 days, you can get your money back. Check out their website for T&Cs but this seems like a pretty good guarantee for me to try something out. At least if it doesn’t work or I don’t like it, I can get a refund – this is not possible when you buy your lashes from the shops.
Amethyst Magnetic Eyelashes + Liner Kit
There are eight original jewel-named kits to choose from (rose quartz, jade, sapphire, amethyst, diamond, moonstone, amber, ruby) and currently five special edition ones – love letter, daisy chain, kiss & tell, be witchin’ and sundae. Each lash collection has its own unique style so you can really customise your day and night looks, whether you prefer natural or dramatic.
After debating between Jade and Amethyst, I decided to go for the latter. Initially, I wanted to get the Daisy Chain kit but it was all sold out. Once Daisy Chain is in stock… I’m definitely going to try them out!
I purchased the Amethyst lash and liner kit (£35) which is a compete lash system set. You can buy extras like beauty tools to help put on the lashes but I skipped this. I also got 15% off my kit on their website = there’s a popup promotion that looks like a game-show wheel, give it a spin to see what discount you’ve won. You can get up to 30% off your first order which is amazing. If you don’t win anything with your first spin, you can try to spin again but you might have to enter another email address.
About Amethyst Magnetic Eyelashes
Length: 7mm – 12mm
Band width: 30mm
Lash shape: Natural fan
Vegan and cruelty-free
Wind and waterproof
Easy to apply and remove
What do you get in your Lola’s Lashes Amethyst kit? (Price: £35)
A pair of Magnetic eyelashes in Amethyst
Black magnetic eyeliner
An honest review on Asian eyes
Okay… So… I REALLY LOVE THESE LASHES! OMG.
Tell me why are they so cute?! The fit. The design. The look. The feel. The products. The packaging. EVERYTHING!I’m really feeling them even though I thought I wouldn’t like it as much as I do. My only peeve is that you have to apply a decent amount of the magnetic liquid liner on for the lashes to stick onto properly but apart from that they’re gorgeous!
They are really comfy to wear and feel virtually weightless on my lashes. I thought they were going to feel quite heavy like standard shop-bought lashes do on my eyes but nope! They are good. I think the magnetic liner holds it well in place so the lashes don’t just sit on your real ones. I applied the rest of my makeup after applying the magnetic lashes. Make sure you let your magnetic liquid liner completely dry before putting on the lashes. This took me around 5mins per eye. I applied liner to both eyes, made a cup of tea and had a little sip then touched them to see if it was ready and it was.
And the fact that I don’t even need to cut them to size? A winner.
The lash length is just right for me, they just about fit under my glasses. I thought the cleansing oil would be amazing but it was a let down… plus it stung my eyes so I’m using my normal cleansing balm which is a balm that turns to oil then a milky liquid once it’s emulsified with water. If, like me, you’d prefer to use your own eye makeup remover, make sure it’s an oil-based one as nothing else will take off the magnetic liquid liner effectively.
Don’t forget the eye area is delicate so try not to rub too much when removing eye-makeup in general.
The Pros and Cons of the Amethyst lash & liner kit
Super lightweight and comfy to wear
The natural fan shape and design suits my eyes
Magnetic liner is a little tacky which is ideal for staying power
Shorter band width fits my eyes perfectly
Lash length is ideal for a daytime look
Amazing packaging that looks and feels luxurious
14 day money-back guarantee
Good price for a complete premium magnetic eyelash system
Magnetic liner brush is a little tricky to get right if you’re not used to applying eyeliner
The cleansing oil burns my eyes when I try to wipe it too close to the lash line
Not completely sold with wearing a magnetic liquid glue on my eyelids (just me being extra!)
The liquid magnetic eyeliner is available for purchase separately but expensive
A bit pricey if you’re not a regular falsies wearer… but saying that it looks like it could be a lasting investment
To me, the PROS far outweighs the cons.
There’s too many good points about these lashes and you know what? I actually adore them more than any other false eyelashes I’ve purchased before. The only thing they can’t beat for me is having single-lash extensions done. Apart from that, Lola’s Lashes are going to be my new go-to falsies!
The verdict: YAY or NAY?
Yep, you’ve guessed it… it’s a YAY! I really like the Amethyst lashes – they look great, are comfortable to wear and should last me a while as I’m not a regular user. The main problem I usually have with standard fake lashes is that the band length is bog-standard and to get my lashes to fit my eyes, I usually have to cut them. Also the lash material is usually hard but I like mine soft and fluffy like my semi-permanent single lash extensions.
Even though I won’t be wearing them daily or often because I just really don’t wear lashes like that. I do love the fact that I’ve finally found a lash set that I really like using. Lola’s Lashes also do their complete magnetic lash range in standard strip lashes too. So if you just prefer good ol’ lash glue and strips, you can get the exact same styles but at a slightly cheaper price too. It’s a win-win for all!
The £35 price tag is not all bad either. There are cheaper systems out there but whether the quality is better I don’t know. We’ll see how long the magnetic liner lasts too. Something the Lola’s Lashes team could think about doing but they probably won’t because they’d make more money from selling it as a complete system with the lash and liner kit.
Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. I’m loving the slightly warmer weather we’ve been experiencing in London this week however I know it’s not going to last. I’m sure there will be forecasted rain by the end of the week or so.
Last week I’ve been keeping myself and the kids busy, especially as it’s still the Easter holidays and I really want to make it the most for the kids. I’ll be off furlough and back at work next month and as I work weekends, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to spend as much quality time with them then so I’m doing my best to now.
WellBox Hampers & Food Gift Boxes
Last week I was contacted by WellBox who wanted me to review one of their most popular food gift boxes. Of course I accepted – anything in the name of food! 🙂 I was kindly sent the Entice hamper to try out and boy was I in for a nice surprise! As I don’t drink alcohol I asked for a non-alcoholic option to review and here’s what I got….
A selection of 11 delicious snacks and sweets
Yep! 11 delicious, tasty, fantastic snacks and sweets. My favourites have to be the dark chocolate orange honeycomb bites – man they’re good! Then it’d have to be the olives (I love olives!) and the crunchy corn snack. The snacking cheese bites are fantastic but they’re definitely strong so if you’re not a big fan of cheese… you’re not going to love them. Just telling you now.
A list of everything that came in my food gift box is below.
Serene Inspirational Affirmation Card
This is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever received in a food hamper. You can sometimes forget about yourself in the midst of things and these little affirmation pick-me-ups seem like just the things you need to read or see.
1 meal donated to a local person in need through our charity partners
Another reason to love these WellBox food gifts hampers is because they are giving back to the community – your local community to be exact. With every box purchased, the company donates a hot meal or meal provision to someone in need from your local area with the help of Barnabus Manchester. You can learn more about this on their website.
It really is a gift that keeps on giving – or at least – gives back. For anyone in need of corporate gifting ideas, this is the one you ought to be adding to your list. After receiving mine, I would be more than ecstatic if my employer sent me a hamper!
Personalised Printed Message from you or your company to the recipient (one message per order)
Alongside a personalised printed message, you should also get a little loyalty card that says to upload a photo of your box on social media, to get a special 20% discount off your next order… that got my attention for sure and of course I uploaded a photo!
There are a few friend and family member’s birthdays coming up so I will be kindly taking up that offer. 🙂
Free UK Delivery to your office, or your team member’s home address
Alongside free delivery which is a no-brainer, you can make also one order and send to multiple addresses. Choose from entering the addresses yourself onto their secure site or you can choose to send an email link to your recipients and they can complete their address directly to cut out the faff.
Review: WellBox Entice Food Hamper
The WellBox Entice hamper has a wonderfully curated selection of sweets and savoury snacks as well as a lovely bottle of something bubbly, whether that’s with or without the alcohol.
It’s definitely a gift box for sharing so I naturally shared mine with the kids. The weather hadn’t been on our side (plus we couldn’t wait any longer) so we decided to have a home picnic and sample all of our delicious snacks and treats!
All the snacks were well packed and the drink came in its own special blow-up bottle case to make sure it didn’t smash during transit. Very thoughtful indeed!
I also got this lovely motivational affirmation card in the WellBox hamper. It was super sweet. I think these affirmation cards would be greatly appreciated if this food gift box was given for employee appreciation as well as for friends and family.
Mighty Fine Honeycomb Bites in Dark Chocolate Orange
Buttermilk Cornish Fudge in Strawberry Bellini
I Love Snacks Mixed Roasted Nuts
I Love Snacks Italian Olives
Serious Baked Snacking Cheese
Nudie Snacks Premium Toasted Coconut Chips
Lovecorn Sharing Pack
With vegan, halal, gluten-free and non-alcoholic options available, there really is a box to suit everyone.
Supporting Small and Local Businesses
WellBox are an events and staff gifting company from Manchester, UK. The charity they work with, Barnabus Manchester is also from the UK. Even though corporate gifting is their main focus, they allow single-box orders so you really can just order the one. If you have friends and family with similar bdays you can order both to be delivered on the same day or schedule for different days. Snazzy or what?!
Whenever I can, I try to make the change and support small and local businesses. It’s nicer and you feel like you’ve actually helped someone else out by investing in their business. I have many friends who have started up their own small businesses and am so proud of them all. Being a small business owner is no mean feat especially during these tricky times of covid.
If the photo of Little Miss above hasn’t already made you take a look at the gift hampers, I would definitely recommend you to check it out. Especially their wellness boxes, you get goodies as well as snacks which is pretty cool and there’s even a curated box for men… perfect for the Father’s Day that’s coming up soon hint hint!
NB. We were kindly sent the Entice hamper box by WellBox to sample in collaboration for a product review on the blog. All photos, words, opinions and content are my own and must not be reused without my consent.
Mountain Warehouse launches their new organic cotton collection!
2021 has not dampened our enthusiasm for more family adventures, travels and days out.
Okay, we’re a little restricted with the travel part for now but you can bet we’ll still be out and about exploring real soon. We’ve been enjoying the outdoors safely in small trips. This is because I’m not great with cold weather but I still love the outdoors haha!
We’ve been visiting our local parks and animal farms. Unfortunately the almost-freezing weather meant that we didn’t get to see as many animals as we’d liked to. Last Sunday we were blessed with warm, sunny weather so we decided to visit the woods.
I was SO excited when we were asked to become family ambassadors for the new organic cotton collection and to review some of their lovely items.
Mountain Warehouse are a well-known British brand supplying high-quality clothing, outdoor equipment and accessories worldwide since 1997.
We visited the park and woodlands of Shewsbury Park in Plumstead Common and decided it was a good time to test out our new gear. If you love the quiet outdoors, this place is definitely worth a visit. It’s serene and calm, a totally different vibe from the busy-ness of Greenwich Park. The woods feel like a safe haven. There’s only ever a few dog walkers and families walking by. It was perfect!
These two had a field day climbing around on the massive trees and logs, swinging around on the tree swings and exploring nature. Because the woods were pretty much empty, I didn’t have to worry about getting in anyone’s way or having to tell the kids to keep it quiet. They could just really enjoy the outdoors without restrictions.
Little Man felt comfy all day in his tshirt and I’m sure the organic cotton helped him keep warm. Little Miss had no problems getting around with hee dress. The cut and length are just right allowing her to climb freely without ever rising too short. It did go up a little too much on the tree swing but that’s because the swing has a rope that she has to sit around. Easiest way to solve that problem is to make your your little ones have tights, shorts or leggings on underneath the dress to avoid unwanted pant-flashing.
Prices are RRP and correct at time of publishing which may be subject to change at the brand’s discretion.
We’ve not gotten round to test-driving the lovely, summery Penelope dress outdoors just yet as it’s not been warm enough but we’ve had fun doing photoshoots with the dress. Little Miss really loves wearing this dress around the house. She says it feels nice and soft on her skin. 🙂
Shrewsbury park is pretty big so it’s really ideal for mini explorers. The woods make a great place to play hide and seek. The grassy hills are fab for rolling down. The massive tree swings dotted about the park are super fun and perfect for the mini thrill-seekers. Even I had a cheeky go on the tree swing. 🙂
Little Miss has sensitive skin that’s eczema-prone so I try my best to buy her clothes that are soft on her skin. I can definitely vouch for the softness of her stripy tunic dress. In fact, all the clothes we received are soft and comfy to wear. So comfy that I’d be willing to swap my loungewear for it which really says something. Little Man also hasn’t taken off his shark t-shite since!
I love my Lily Dress so much, it’s comfortable enough to wear all day long. The front pockets on the Lily dress are really handy too and big enough to fit my iPhone 7+ in it. Both of the girls’ dresses above have pockets making it great for little ones who like carrying things around with them. Mine always loves bringing home a “souvenir” from the park. The clothes are cut in a regular fit which gave us room to move around freely. I’m only 5ft 1″ and the length of the Lily Dress is just below the knees which is perfect for me. I’m no longer a fan of short dresses!
As we’ve only worn our clothes a couple of times since getting them I can’t fully quote on the durability just yet but I can bet that these clothes will stand the test of time and provide us with many more wears. The organic cotton is amazing, it’s thick but in a premium, hard-wearing way. Nothing like I’ve worn before. I’ll update later on the quality as soon as they’ve had their first few washes.
The last year has taught me that I need to be more conscious with my buying – I’m trying to make more of an effort to purchase clothes that are sustainably made or made from reusable or recyclable materials. This is why I love H&M’s conscious range and now I can add Mountain Warehouse to that list. This is something I guarantee you’ll see more fashion brands adopting – slowly but surely. In a world where we over-consume, it only makes sense to start living and consuming responsibly and to reuse, reduce, recycle whenever possible.
Why choose organic cotton?
To call clothing ‘organic’ a company must meet strict international fabric standards. Brands like Mountain Warehouse pledge to become more environmentally friendly by sourcing their materials in a responsible and sustainable way.
According to Mountain Warehouse, organic cotton helps to protect the wildlife as farmers eliminate the use of pesticides on their cotton crops. This results in a softer, more durable material that not only feels good on the skin but is kinder too.
Mountain Warehouse currently have an online sale across their organic cotton range for women, men and kids.
NB. We were kindly sent samples of Mountain Warehouse’s new organic cotton collection to review for the purpose of this unbiased blog post. All words, content and photos are my own and should not be used without consent.
Waking up in the mornings – especially during the winter season – can be really challenging for both adults and children. Those cold, dark mornings make you just want to lie in bed for a few minutes longer, don’t they? If you have little ones that struggle with morning wakeups, it might be a good idea to look into getting an alarm clock if you don’t already have one. In our household, I would usually wake up the kids around 30mins after I get up. This is so I can get things like their uniforms, backpacks and breakfast prepared first. It helps to save a little bit of time but some days, I’m there standing at their bedside trying to physically drag them out of bed.
We were lucky enough to be sent two Sing My Name personalised kids’ alarm clocks. The kids were so excited that they had one each and couldn’t wait to give it a try the next morning…
Sing My Name Personalised Alarm Clock Review
The Sing My Name Personalised Kids’ Alarm Clock comes in four colours but a few of the colours have two designs so there’s a good variety to choose from. They are analog clocks which can encourage children to learn how to tell the time, something my Little Man still struggles with as everything we have to tell the time with is digital so for us, this is warmly welcomed. The clock requires three AA batteries – we buy our multipacks from Poundland which saves us money. There’s a snooze button by the alarm bells and an off-off switch at the back of the clock allowing you to turn it off easily when needed.
Personalised name sang to them when the alarm rings
Snooze button (which also functions as a demo button – so handy!)
On-off switch button at the back of the clock
Volume button so you can adjust how loud or quiet you want the alarm to be
Soundless seconds hand, no loud tick-tocking thanks to the silent ‘sweep’ mechanism
Glow in the dark minutes/hours hand
Reprogramming the sound of the alarm with your own music as many times as you want
These popular personalised kids’ clocks are sold at the infamous Hamleys toy store but due to current lockdown restrictions, the best way to get your hands on one of these is to order online. When ordering on the Sing My Name website, you’ll need to enter in the child’s name and there’s a sample play button so you can hear how the name will sound when the alarm rings. It’s inserted into a fun and lively wake-up song which is sweet however if the alarm music starts to get on your nerves you can easily change it to their favourite song by reprogramming it (MP3 format) as many times as you want.
When entering your child’s name, if the name is not recognised, don’t worry as they team will record it especially for you. There’s also an entry box for pronunciation which is great if your child’s name could be mis-pronounced. Talk about excellent service!
Little Miss loves her pink clock and Little Man loves his blue clock – they really do make lovely personalised gifts for kids. These clocks could also make great Christmas gifts for kids if you’re stuck on ideas on what to buy. If you prefer gender-neutral colours instead of ones that are associated as ‘girls alarm clocks’ or ‘boys alarm clocks’ there’s orange and purple options to choose from too.
I wasn’t really sure of where to put the kids’ alarm clocks because my little ones don’t have a beside table. The clocks are compact enough to be placed on a shelf or window ledge so that helps. The glow in the dark clock hands might come in handy at night for you if you have older children – not so much for me right now as mine are still learning the time but it’s definitely a a helpful feature for time-training. Also the clock’s seconds hand runs so smoothly (thanks to the clever sweeping mechanism), you can’t hear it ticking at all. You might even decide to use the clock as a sleep trainer which would be really effective for waking up during darker mornings.
These clocks have really put a smile on my little ones’ faces and I’m so glad they’ve enjoyed them. Next step will be to add their own music to the alarm as my little monsters don’t seem to always wake up to the sound of their own name! LOL
For the full collection and more about Sing My Name alarm clocks, hit the ‘find out more’ button below: