Review: Bringing ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ to life with Brightminds Butterfly Garden Kit

Every child has read ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ but have you ever witnessed the wonders of caterpillars transforming into beautiful butterflies? I’ve never witnessed it before… until now.

I firmly believe that education doesn’t have to be boring and learning can actually be really fun! Brightminds is an online store that specialises in STEAM toys – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & crafts, and Math toys. So whether you’re looking for arts project or a multiplayer board game, there’s something on the website that will meet your needs.

The Brightminds Butterfly Garden Kit comes with a voucher to claim live caterpillars, which makes it a perfect complete gift for curious little minds. Just remember to use the voucher to order your live caterpillars as soon as your butterfly garden kit arrives.

The Butterfly kit is fun and really educational. It gave my inquisitive kids the opportunity to watch close up the miracle of ‘Metamorphosis’. It was also quite fun to see a caterpillar up close!

The kit comes with everything you need and your caterpillars (once ordered separately) will arrive in a clear plastic cup with all of the nutritious food they need. Make sure to not open the lid of the cup and place it out of direct sunlight to avoid moisture (and potentially mould) being introduced into the cup as this will make the caterpillars sick. The Butterfly Garden Habitat is a reusable, cylindrical mesh container perfect for up close butterfly viewing, and when not in use you can fold it flat for easy storage.

Our live caterpillars after a 4 days!

As it’s summer time and we’ve been lucky to have really warm weather, our caterpillars transformed into butterflies pretty quickly. The whole process from start to finish was just under 3 weeks – about 5 days before they turned into the chrysalides and a further 4 days before the first butterfly arrived. We had one really tiny caterpillar which was a day later than all other caterpillars to turn into a butterfly but I am so glad we didn’t have any that died in the process or get injured which can happen.

The handy little booklet that comes with the kit explains everything you need to know about them and their different stages and there will be a period when they need peace and quiet for a few days. 4 out of 5 of our chrysalides had fallen to the bottom of the cup but it was not an issue as I left them there then scooped them onto a towel and place into the habitat after 3 days.

Brightminds Butterfly Kit
Beautiful painted lady butterflies in our butterfly habitat!

We really enjoyed releasing our painted lady butterflies at Greenwich Park where there’s a lot of flora for the butterflies to feast on. In the habitat, we fed our butterflies the nectar mix it came with as well as sliced oranges and over-ripened bananas… the bananas were their favourite!

It was so lovely to see them fly away after caring for them, the kids didn’t get too sentimental but they were so joyous when the butterflies flew out and flew away. When they were in their habitat, the kids were able to get up close to them and touch them through the mesh which was a really lovely experience for them, something they’ll never forget.

We may order another kit next year to do this all again! 🙂

NB. We were kindly sent a complimentary Brightminds Butterfly Kit in collaboration for this blog post review. All words, opinions and photos are my own and should not be reused without my consent.

Review: Why KINN Living’s Approach To Cleaning Is the Way Forward

Conscious, greener living

I’m making 2021 the year of changes – changes for the better of course. Living for nearly a year on and off in lockdown has taught me that we need to be more conscious in our life choices. That includes being mindful about the things we buy things to how we live our daily lives. Our lifestyles now are pretty different from of how they were was last year.

I’m trying to make a conscious effort to be more ‘present’ with the kids but it’s always easy with them constantly running non-stop like a motor… most of the time I can’t think! But I’m also trying to recycle more, reuse anything that I can ie. old plastic bowls become planters, and reduce any unnecessary wastage – we try to throw away as little as possible. It helps to save the planet and our pockets.

Continue reading “Review: Why KINN Living’s Approach To Cleaning Is the Way Forward”
The Wandering Mother Blog | Dalloway Terrace restaurant review

Come Dine With Me: Dalloway Terrace restaurant review

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.

Continue reading “Come Dine With Me: Dalloway Terrace restaurant review”
The Wandering Mother Blog | The Big Splash Circus Book Review

Book Review: Big Splash Circus by Karina Choudhrie

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.

Continue reading “Book Review: Big Splash Circus by Karina Choudhrie”

Review: Jaques of London educational toys

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.

Continue reading “Review: Jaques of London educational toys”

Top 5 ways on how to get your children excited about reading: Roald Dahl X Beanstalk

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.

Continue reading “Top 5 ways on how to get your children excited about reading: Roald Dahl X Beanstalk”
The Wandering Mother Blog | Lolas Magnetic Lashes Amethyst Kit Review

Beauty Review: Lola’s Lashes Amethyst Magnetic Lash + Liner Kit

Lola’s Lashes UK

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.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Lolas Magnetic Lashes Amethyst Kit Review
Lash Chart / Photo Credit: Lola’s Lashes

Lola’s Promise

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 is a mid-length lash with doll-like spacing, giving off a modern 60’s sex kitten vibe that looks striking on most eye shapes. Amethyst is the latest lash to join our Jewels Lash Collection and gives natural beauty with a vintage lash look twist.

Lola’s Lashes UK

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.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Lolas Magnetic Lashes Amethyst Kit Review

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
  • Cleansing oil

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

PROS:

  • 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

CONS:

  • 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 Wandering Mother Blog | Lolas Magnetic Lashes Amethyst Kit Review
Inside your lash kit: lash set, cleansing oil, magnetic liquid liner, manual and after-care guide

The verdict: YAY or NAY?

*Drumroll please*

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.

Lola’s friend referral: https://lnk.rise-ai.com/ZN-9djMNkcsOecU
You can use my friend referral link to get £5 off your order and I also get £5 to spend towards a new pair. It’s a win-win!

Have you tried Lola’s Lashes before or want to give them a try? Let me know your thoughts below…

The Wandering Mother Blog | WellBox Entice Hamper Food Gift Review

Review: WellBox Entice Hamper and Food Gift Boxes

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….

On arrival: I was SO looking forward to opening this bad boy!

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.

Snacks, oh glorious snacks!

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!


Affirmation of the Day!

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.

Inside our box of goodies…

  • Belvoir Sparkling Elderflower & Rose Pressé (non-alcoholic option)
  • Candy Kittens Gourmet Blueberry Bliss Sharing Pack
  • Vita Vigor Sesame Breadsticks
  • 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.

The Wandering Mother Blog | WellBox Entice Hamper Food Gift Review
Cheers! Little Miss and I enjoying our glass of bubbly elderflower and rose

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.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Mountain Warehouse Organic Cotton Collection Review

Review: NEW Mountain Warehouse Organic Cotton Collection

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.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Mountain Warehouse Organic Cotton Collection Review
Little Miss wears kids tunic organic cotton dress (tights and trainers: TU)

Mountain Warehouse are a well-known British brand supplying high-quality clothing, outdoor equipment and accessories worldwide since 1997.


The Outdoors Test

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!

We love the outdoors especially when the sun’s out!
Mummy and daughter matching dresses
Swinging on this tree swing was the highlight of their day!

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.

My little model: she’s getting good at posing!

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.

What we wore: Outfits of the day

Lily Womens Organic Pocket Dress
£39.99

Photo: Mountain Warehouse

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. 🙂

The Wandering Mother Blog | Mountain Warehouse Organic Cotton Collection Review
Telling tales: Little Man always has a story or two for us to hear!

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!

The Wandering Mother blog | Mountain Warehouse organic cotton review
Fun times! The kids loved the DIY photoshoots

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.

Conscious buying

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?

The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Travel & Lifestyle

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.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Beauty: Birchbox November Review

Beauty: Birchbox November 2020 Review

Birchbox: November’s Beauty Box Review

Hey Beauties!

I’m back with another beauty box review. Yay! I can’t believe my last review was in the summer.. oops. I’ve been loving the beauty boxes but just been so busy with other Real Life things (and a bit lazy with writing) that I never got round to writing up a review but I will be jumping back onto it and backdating the reviews so have a little look for them on here.

So let’s get to the review, I won’t hold you in suspense any longer… 🙂

The Packaging

I LOVE this month’s Birchbox packaging. It’s super cute! First off, the natural yet feminine tonal colours really captured my attention as it’s completely different from last month’s Birchbox which was a brighter pink tote bag. I loved last month’s box but never got round to writing a box review so I’ll do that soon and backdate the post for October.

The nude pink and earthy green colour works really well together and it may be because they share some nude or brown undertones. Super pretty and feminine. It’s also very calming to look at. Birchbox is all about women empowerment and the past few months I feel like the boxes have had a strong focus on self-love and affirmations.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Beauty: Birchbox November Review
My favourite colour-combo! I love the natural and feminine colour use of pink and green.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Beauty: Birchbox November Review
Here’s this months selection of treats…

whats-in-your-box-2

The Wandering Mother Blog | Beauty: Birchbox November Review

Inside this month’s box…

* My favourites this month!

The Products…

Real Her Matte Liquid Lipstick in ‘I Decide My Destiny’ Mauve (my fave!)

With face coverings being compulsory whenever wee step foot anywhere outside of the house, you’ll need a lipstick that can meet your expectations. That’s why I love this super highly-pigmented, ultra-matte liquid lipstick, it really delivers! Forget lipstick stains on the inside of your mask as this magical stuff is smudge-proof, thanks to the brand’s smear-resistant formulation. Once applied, the liquid lipstick dries matte in 30secs flat, is super easy to apply and goes on smoothly. The colour I got was the mauve colour, named ‘I decide my destiny’ but there are two other colours to choose from.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Beauty: Birchbox November Review
The mauve colour of this matte liquid lipstick is so pretty!

It’s definitely one of my BB Faves from this month’s box. I first heard of the Real Her brand from my previous Birchbox where I tried their Goddess highlighter which is AMAZING! Again, the highlighter is also super pigmented in a champagne gold colour, so beautiful. You can see my review of the highlighter here and on Youtube. 🙂 

The Beauty Crop Glow Milk in ‘Blind Date’ (my fave!)

I’m really enjoying the range of highlighters I’ve been able to sample. Even though my fave highlighter is the baked powder one from Real Her, I had to give The Beauty Crop’s highlighter a try. This liquid highlighter has a silk, creamy texture that’s lightweight on the skin. It has this really beautiful, dewy sheen when I apply it onto my skin straight after moisturiser. Enriched with coconut and argan oils, the hydrating formula leaves the skin looking plumped and glowing.

The colour ‘Blind Date’ is a deep bronze hue but on my medium olive skintone, it blends in perfectly. There are two other shades available. I really love it and will definitely add it with my moisturiser or tinted moisturiser for a dewy day-to-day face or when I want a sheer, dewy look. You can also mix it into foundation for the same effect.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Beauty: Birchbox November Review
Three wonderful makeup treats this month; highlighter, liquid lipstick & pocket mirror

Birchbox Accessories Pocket Mirror

Full sized product

The Birchbox pocket mirror is super cute! It’s a BB Exclusive and even comes with a nude leather-effect pouch. This small, hand-sized pocket mirror is compact enough to fit in even the smallest vanity purses. The back of the mirror is printed with this month’s motto: “Pretty smart, Pretty kind, Pretty funny, Pretty strong” and the BB logo. It’s a great little affirmation which you can remind yourself of every time you reach for the mirror.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Beauty: Birchbox November Review
Birchbox November: I also got one hair and one full-sized skincare product this month

Vitamasques 3 Step Super Green Detox Facial

Full sized product

Spas and beauty salons are currently closed until early December (at time of writing, subject to Gov advice it could change) until further notice so your next beauty appointment might be a while yet. However, no need to fear as Vitamasques has our back with their 3-step facial mask. It’s said that this little pack can “deliver us professional salon results at home”… I will be the judge of that. I loved their pineapple serum which I got in the August box so I’m hoping I’ll love this mask too however I wish I got the hydrating mask as my skin is more dehydrated than combination. This is the green detox one, so ideally good for normal/combination/oily skin types whereas the pink hydrating mask which is better for dry/dehydrated/sensitive/mature skin types.

Update: I gave this mask a try yesterday and can say it is really good! I love the fact that it’s a 3 step facial – in the Detox one you get a scrub, the sheet mask and moisturiser. For the scrub, I wish there was more of it as it bubbles up which feels quite tickly on the face, when I washed it off my skin felt really cleansed but not stripped. Then I put on the sheet mask for the recommended 20mins – I loved the mask but the eye holes and mouth holes are too small even for me and my eyes aren’t big! I got some of the product in my eyes which wasn’t nice but good to know they load up on the serum in the face sheet.

Once 20mins was up, I massaged in the remaining serum and applied the lightweight moisturiser on top. It was a lovely Saturday treat and I enjoyed using it. I do still wish I was given the Hydrating mask instead as that’s more tailored for my skin but no biggie as I will purchase it after knowing how good Vitamasques are. 🙂

The Wandering Mother Blog | Birchbox November Beauty Box Review
Vitamasques 3 Step Facial Mask – scrub, mask and moisturise!

Philip Kingsley Finishing Touch Polishing Serum

This silky formulated serum is said to leave your hair frizz-free and smoothed out which can make styling easy and hassle-free. It’ll will tame flyaway strands and split ends and suitable for all hair types. As it contains silicones and I’m still following my own modified version of the Curly Girl Method, I won’t be using this serum. Silicones are great at smoothing out the hair cuticles which leaves the hair looking shiny so if you’re partial to using silicones or use them in your current routine, the serum will be a nice treat for your hair. It’s packed with provitamin B5 and vitamin A which will also leave your hair feeling nourished.

P I N   T H I S   P O S T

Birchbox-NovemberBox-Review

UPCOMING GIVEAWAY!

I’m currently curating my own beauty box to GIVE AWAY THIS CHRISTMAS! If you want to be in with a chance of winning it, make sure you’re back on the blog on Sunday 6th December. Set your reminder and keep an eye out on social media too. More details to be revealed soon! you can enter the giveaway below!


NB. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on the links and decide to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission on qualifying products at no extra cost to you.

The Wandering Mother - Family Lifestyle Blog

Review: Sing My Name Personalised Kids’ Alarm Clock

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…

The Wandering Mother - Family Lifestyle Blog
Let your child wake up to the sound of their own name sung back to them with Sing My Name’s personalised alarm clock

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.

Key Features:

  • 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
  • Battery operated
  • 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!

The Wandering Mother | UK Family Lifestyle Blog
We are loving these cool and quirky kids alarm clocks!

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:

The Wandering Mother Blog - GlowArt LED Drawing Board Review

Review: GlowArt Kids’ LED Light Up Drawing Board

Christmas is coming! 

I am counting down the weeks already! It’s the only time of the year that I really plan for – the Christmas dinner, the tree, the colour scheme for the tree decorations… everything! There’s something really magical about the festive season and I love it. We need all the magic, hope and feel-good feeling we can get after the year we’ve had. 🙂 I’ve also been lucky enough to review a view products this month, starting off with festive duvet sets to this, a super fun light-up drawing board for kids.

Review: GlowArt LED drawing board

Looking through a Smyth catalogue for Christmas presents has started to take its toll on me with the endless toys in there. Most days, the kids sit down after school, flicking through the catalogue and saying “I want that one” for at least 15 minutes or until they’re halfway through the thing… and it’s not a small booklet either!

I was kindly sent this GlowArt Light Up Kids’ Drawing Board last week to try out and review on the blog. It’s taken me a while to get round to posting this as I didn’t realise the thing needed a set of batteries and kept forgetting to buy them each time I went out to the store. Then with lockdown closing most shops but not essentials, I was able to still pop into Poundland and pick up a good amount of batteries. Once I’d put them into the GlowArt board, the kids were having a field day playing around with the LED lights.

It also got them off my back for a few hours each day so a win-win so far!

I would describe the GlowArt Light Up Drawing Board for kids as an educational toy. It helps to stimulate their brains and encourage creativity through drawing and mark-making. The board also helps improve hand/eye co-ordination and focus, as the children are concentrating on what they’re creating. It can also be a great tool for tracing (use it as a tracing board) or for sensory play as you can change the colours and make them rapidly flash, slowly pulse or stay fixed… it’s a pretty cool gadget.

The Wandering Mother Blog - GLOWART drawing board review

The Wandering Mother Blog - GLOWART drawing board review
GlowArt board glows red
The Wandering Mother Blog - Review: GlowArt kids light up drawing board
Little Miss enjoys tracing her LOL doll using her light up board
The Wandering Mother Blog - GLOWART drawing board review

What’s included with the GlowArt Kids’ Drawing Board?

This neat little gadget will provide your little ones with hours of fun. The LED drawing board for comes with the following:

  • LED light-up drawing board in your colour choice (black or pink)
  • Four fluorescent coloured marker pens
  • Built-in stand for displaying your drawing board artwork
  • Instructions on how to use and look after the drawing board

Batteries are not included – you’ll need x3 AA batteries to power this baby up but it can still be used as a great tracing board without batteres.

We used it as a night-light once, which was fun, but it drained the battery quite a bit so we won’t be doing that again LOL. However, if you can get your hands on rechargeable batteries then it’s not a bad idea. It lit up their bedroom really well and the LED really show off their artwork in a colourful way thanks to the fluorescent markers.

This kids drawing board would make a great Christmas gift so if you’re shopping around, take a look at it. It’s perfect for children who are creative or love mark-making but the parents are not keen on the mess. Or for parents who are looking for sensory toys, the GlowArt drawing board for kids would make a great present. The GlowArt Light Up Kids’ Drawing Board is available to buy on their website as well as Amazon however, as they’re a small business I’d recommend buying early on the official website. Amazon can take a big commission cut for sellers and suppliers who list on their site which is really cheeky as they are making loads of money. One can argue that things are cheaper on Amazon than official sites however think about saving the small businesses this Christmas. With the ongoing pandemic, we should try to buy local as much as possible to keep the companies open and operating.

 


NB. We were kindly sent the Glow Art LED drawing boards in exchange for this unbiased product review. All opinions, photos and content are my own and should not be used without my permission.