A Little Bit Of Luxury: Malee Natural Science*


I was recently given the opportunity to try out some of the Malee natural science range. Usually I pass on this kind of offer as if I am honest, I just don't have the time to have a good look at them, test them out and then photograph and write about them. A lot of my content is more spontaneous now a days, having two babies to run about after isn't a walk in the park!

But...

A Little Bit Of Luxury: Malee Natural Science*

I had not really heard of Malee before and looking through their online range I was intrigued. The packaging is right up my street, clean, minimal and what I like to describe as Spa ready.

SO I set to it choosing some products to test out. I had not long got back from a very hot  fortnight in Cyprus and so my skin really did need a little TLC, as much as I am ashamed to say it, I am a bit of a sun worshipper. Although I do always use sun cream to stop any burning. But it did mean my skin was a little dried out and needed a bit of a moisture surge.

So I went for the gorgeous moisturising oil, body scrub and well a candle, because who doesn't love a candle!

Review of MAlee

The moistorising oil is in a long glass bottle and you simply pour it out on to your hand and massage in where you need it. I have been applying daily after my shower or bath. It doesn't leave any reside, leave you feeling sticky or slightly slick, it just leaves a nice sheen and your skin feeling healthy and refreshed. This actually is suitable for your hair and nails too, and although I haven't personally used it in my hair there is nothing that would stop me. I will actually give it a go over the coming weeks and feedback how I found it. Rich in essential vitamins, fatty acids and skin tightening peptides, it really is an all in one beauty product. One that is now top of my favourites list.


Next up the Conditioning Body Scrub. The scrub is made up of Multi-grain natural salt, skin-loving oils and sugar, so no nasties. As you would expect or hope for. I have used very similar scrubs before, sugar based are my go to. I like the coarse scrub sensation and would highly recommend this one. If you have ever used the Trop Skincare natural scrub then you too would love this one.

Malee Natural Science

And on to the candle. I couldn't really tell you what Peppersage smells like, to me it is like a Spa. Fresh and luxurious but with a woody hint. I have only had it burning for maybe 6 hours and it barely looks touched so it is going to last a long time, which is what we want!

I do feel that the range is quite expensive, it is high end. The candles have a RRP of £55 which to me is definitely at the top end of what I would pay but I do love the scent and the staying power really is good so you would get your monies worth.

They are a great treat to me, and I will be repurchasing some of the products and would certainly purchase them as gifts.




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Renovation Time | Interiors Mood Board | Scandi Home Inspiration*



We finally had a time frame for our renovation work to get started - mid to end of October. i had given up on all hope of it ever getting completed and now it actually feels within touching distance and that means I can start to look forward to ideas and inspiration for our new spaces.

Boho cushions
Soft Furnishing Inspiration from Eyes Of India


I have done posts before on kitchen inspiration but I am now finding myself lusting after the decorative pieces and the soft furnishings, I think it is the darker nights drawing in that leaves me feeling the need to make things cosy and warm, and lived in.

I am not daft, I know that these lovely, finishing touches will be the last thing to be considered and budgeted for but it is these things that keep me excited about the project. It is the light at the end of a very long, windy tunnel.

Getting architects drawings, planning permission and a builder has not been ages and well it has take 2 years. We started all of this when I was pregnant with Alex and he is now 15 months old, bloody ridiculous if I am honest. Sadly we were let down by an architect and builders are just so incredibly busy at the moment by us. But our new architect saved the day and has given us exactly what we want and it has all been signed off and given the go ahead. Fingers crossed for a quick turn around! I will talk about what work we are having done another day and probably do a tour of how it is now over on my YouTube channel but back to the Mood board.

On the mood board above that is just inundated with cushions, they are all from a fairly boho business called Eyes Of India. Although I prefer a scandi based style a splash of colour is always welcome and needed in a house with young children but also some of those GEO patterns are just gorgeous.

Scandi homeware mood board
Scandi Themed Accessories from Matalan
All of the above accessories are from Matalan's new homeware release and I could buy almost all of it. I have decided i will share my bathroom thoughts separately because there was about 12 things I felt like I needed right now, even though the extension hasn't even started!

Hayley


*PR Collaboration

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The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure with Goodies | WIN!*



We have worked with the lovely people at Organix a few times now and this time we have a competition for our readers. 

Celebrating its partnership with the new Gruffalo River Ride Adventure at Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Organix are giving a lucky winner the chance to win a Gruffalo Book and a £10 bundle of its top selling Goodies healthy snacks. 

All you need to do is comment below with your favourite Julia Donaldson book and why it is your (or your childs!!!) favourite and we will be in touch with the winner, when they will be chosen at random before the 30th September 2017. 

T&Cs: One Book will be provided per competition winner. The prize is non refundable and non transferable and there is no cash alternative.


The gruffalo

But even if you don't manage to win some goodies you still get a chance to go and test out the ride...


Organix Goodies is partnering with Chessington World of Adventures Resort and its new Gruffalo River Ride Adventure as it splashes into the Wild Woods, to offer little explorers (and mums and dads too) the chance to GO FREE*.

You can come face to face with the Gruffalo as you join Mouse on a picturesque riverboat journey through the deep dark wood, with exciting twists and turns along the way. We absolutely love theme parks and with the dare devil that is Daisy we will be going to test it out soon, hopefully!

Look out for The Gruffalo** promotion on multipacks of your little ones’ favourite Goodies snacks – from tasty oaty, crispy and fruit bars; corn puffs, including the new puffcorn; breadsticks and gingerbread men, farm animal and alphabet biscuits. Each multipack contains a voucher which gives one adult or one child free entry to Chessington World of Adventures Resort.

You’ll find the special Goodies Gruffalo packs in all major supermarkets and Boots stores from May 2017.

The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure with Goodies | WIN!*


We look forward to hearing all about your experiences at the park and the new ride! 

Good Luck! 

Organic snack ideas



*Go Free
- Each voucher gives ONE ADULT or ONE CHILD FREE entry with a full priced adult ticket purchased at the
entrance until 30.04.18 at Chessington World of Adventures Resort.
- Full priced adult tickets are £49 and full priced child tickets are £45.
- To redeem, vouchers should be cut out and taken to the entrance.
- The voucher can also be redeemed at Alton Towers Resort or SEA LIFE Bray (The Gruffalo River Ride
Adventure is only located at Chessington World of Adventures Resort).
- Only one free adult or child per entry voucher.
- Children under 3 enter the Theme Park free of charge.
- This voucher cannot be used with any other promotion, advanced booking or tickets bought online or by
phone.
- Full T’s & C’s at chessington.com/organix




* PR collaboration.

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Nothing Out Of The Ordinary: Camping Memories & Social Media Ban


It is no secret that we love a camping session, and usually in the same spot, Barmouth way (Mid Wales).

Photography is a hobby we both enjoy and I love using this little space of mine to share my photographs, for my own memories if nothing else.


Barmouth Beach

Camping gives us an excuse to get out as a family away from the day to day jobs and chores at a weekend, otherwise we find ourselves whizzing about here, there and everywhere and not really spending much time together.

When you are away from home, without your usual electronics, which let's face it are life's biggest distractions for most of us you just seem to be able to sit back and enjoy the moments for what they are. Of course I film our weekends away and take lots of photographs, but for me that is what I enjoy, that is my hobby and something I love doing. But when I am away I may look at my mobile phone perhaps once or twice in a day, where as at home I really struggle to tear myself away from it. Which on reflection is a little sad.

A little more about that... I have decided to discipline myself to step away from social media throughout the day. I always look in the morning, and with my blog I find I need to just to make sure all is up and running and nothing dramatic has happened over night! But apart from that, I will be attempting to not dip in and out of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram throughout the day. I was becoming glued to it and I think when you start t notice it yourself then it is time to step back from it a little.

I am going to allow myself a bit of time on my lunch break for a quick scroll through but other than that it will be when the kiddies are in bed and I have some time to myself to catch up on some videos or my instafeed.

I was finding myself getting enthralled in the feeds, dizzy with it all almost. A constant though whizzing about my head and I would see my phone in the corner of my eye and before I knew it I had wasted 30 minutes just reading other peoples updates. Time to step away.

Social Media Ban

We tend to sit and eat together, okay so it is nothing fancy, simply a picnic on the beach and fish and chips for tea but at home we often do two sittings. The children eat early because they go to bed early and can't seem to be able to go much later than 530 ish for their tea and more often than not Ben is not back from work until well past 6pm. It is all the little things that make these weekends away count.

When we are at the beach or on the campsite there is so much space for them to explore. We are lucky at home to live in the countryside and to have nice space in the garden but there is nothing like being away, somewhere new to stimulate their little senses. And usually on the beach, without the exception of telling Alex to stop eating things, they can just be free and wild, run crazy, explore and investigate things.

Camping with a baby

What do you like to do to escape the mundane day to day life we can create for ourselves?

Hayley x

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A Day At The Zoo #Letsplayatchesterzoo*


We recently were invited to spend the day at Chester Zoo and although I have been several times in the past (we used to live in the city when I was studying at the university) I jumped at the chance. It is a great day out, a jam packed one but a really nice day too.

I wouldn't usually dare to visit in peak times like the summer holidays because although I have my own children I don't tend to like to visit places where there will be millions of other children, I would rather go in autumn or spring when the children can run about without treading on everyone's toes or getting run down by a pushchair!

But I really was pleasantly surprised. I guess I should have thought about it really, the zoo covers a HUGE area and so although there are thousands of guests at any one time on a sunny day (and it was a scorcher when we went!) they really are dispersed all over the park.

A Day At The Zoo #Letsplayatchesterzoo*


So it really has encouraged me to go in the holidays again. I wouldn't have been able to take my nephew had it have been in school time and the girls would have had to have time off from nursery, so really it worked out nicely.

We decided to go around the zoo "backwards". So when you walk through the entrance most people tend to naturally walk clockwise, past the elephants first. But we went right and went up past the Rhinos and headed to the Islands first. This meant we were not going with the masses and although it did get busy by the time we hit the Islands it wasn't too bad.

The Islands are a great addition to the zoo. you can really see how new the area is and the enclosures have been really well thought out. We sadly didn't see the Sumatran tigers, they were hiding, but we did see the Croc and his turtle friends which we a big highlight for the girls!


Chester zoo review


We took a picnic with us to the Zoo because I knew it could turn out to be an expensive day for us. It was inevitable that we would have an ice cream and because of the trip we had to get there (about 80 minutes) we would probably end up having tea on the way home too. There are loads of places to sit and relax so we sat by the new monkey area by the islands and had our sarnies. Then of course had ice creams and coffees later on. Oh and gifts from the gift shop of course!

I guess my only downfall of the zoo would be that it is an expensive day out but I don't begrudge paying it on special occasions (we often go for birthdays) especially as I am all for the conservation of the animals too. Anything we can do to help, even if it is a drop in the ocean.

Days out in Chester


The only other thing I would say is there is just so much to do there, it is a struggle to get around it all. The new play areas are brilliant and the kids absolutely loved it, little and large. But we couldn't spend too much time there because we just had so much to cram in and see! Daisy wanted to see the Flamingos, Mollie the pigs (wart hogs did the trick!!!) , Dan the wild dogs and Jaguars and Alex took a liking to anything big like the Elephants!

zoo review




Hayley x


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Finding Myself : Feeling Body Positive After Pregnancy


This has to be one of the most widely covered topics that a lifestyle / parenting blogger will cover, a day doesn't go by when one doesn't pop up on my feed. So today I am going to be a cliche and write about exactly that. And actually I have written about it before - but I felt a little differently back then.

Finding Myself : Feeling Body Positive After Pregnancy


But this last few months I have felt a change in myself. Actually I would say since having Alex. I have never felt completely down on myself since having children but I have from time to time struggled to find myself, find my comfortable zone with my mind but also my body. Pregnancy changes us in weird and sometimes wonderful ways. My skin isn't what is used to be across my "stretched" areas and I am not as full as I used to be either. To be expected though, and actually now i am in the right mind set something I am very proud of my body for. I gave birth and fed two babies, not something to turn your nose up at!

I have wanted to get up and go out to the gym for some time, for me. I had been a member at the local gym for almost a year and except for swimming lessons and things I could count on one had the amount of times I had been there for just me. About 6 months after having Alex I decided that needed to change, I wanted a bit of me back, as in to feel good about myself but I also wanted that release that exercise alone (without babies) would give me. It is amazing what 40 minutes away from the home can do for you.

Finding Myself : Feeling Body Positive After Pregnancy


But I learnt you can't force something if you really are not interested. Before then I wasn't at the point where I was feeling fat, had loads of weight to move or needed to get rid of my mum tum after having Alex. But that doesn't mean I was happy with myself but it also didn't mean I wanted to get stuck into the gym life again.

If I look back I lost confidence in my self, in my body. After having Daisy I (I hate this term but can't find a suitable replacement) "snapped back" fairly quickly, and before long didn't feel much different to how I had felt pre- pregnancy. But after Alex it was different. I was looser, softer and just didn't feel like I owned my body anymore. I wasn't hating on it but I certainly wasn't pleased with it entirely either.

I wasn't at a point where I was hiding away under bin bags but I was feeling nervous at the prospect of a bikini for my holiday. Dressed I am happy but slightly exposed, not so much. Before our last holiday I took to going to classes, helped by a friend and it didn't take long until I started to see a little definition again. I am never going to have abs and I am never going to be super lean, I love food too much and I am just not THAT dedicated. But I am happy.

And actually I am enjoying it. I feel like me again. I feel nice. And I am not sure if that is because I have the confidence from shaping myself up a little or the fact I am doing something for myself, having time out and releasing any tension of the day. Either way I will take it and ride with it, and keep at it.

The lovely Fi from Beauty Baby and Me has let us know when she thinks too:

Body confidence is such a huge issue now and there is so much pressure on women to conform to the bloody Mail Online and the celebs who manage to snap back into their bikinis within three weeks. The important thing is remembering the difference between them and us; not many of us have dedicated personal trainers who can come to our houses, create diet plans and training schedules. And quite frankly, so soon after birth, I wouldn't want that. If I recall rightly, I couldn't even fathom getting myself properly dressed in the couple of weeks after I had Josh let alone eating kale and going for runs.

However, I do think confidence in ourselves is an important thing. You have to remind yourself how amazing you and your body are. One thing I am glad I did is taking a photo at the end of the pregnancy - I believe it was a couple of days before I had Josh. I still look back at this, at how stretched my body was, how I had grown and nurtured this little being who arrived into the world just a few days later.  It is incredible when you think about it.  Believe in yourself; ignore the labels ("real woman" is the one that grates me the most), and remember what your body has grown, produced and gone through. You and your body are amazing.

Hayley x

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Keeping Your Family Safe Abroad, My Top Tips*


We love to travel with our children, I often share tips and stories of our holidays on here. I thought it was probably time I mentioned how we try to keep everyone safe and well on holiday. 

Menorca with children



We all know that having an accident abroad can be expensive and for lots of families, it’s a big worry not only at the time but also when you get back and you are faced with covering the potentially whopping bills. 

So I thought I would share this infographic from Netvoucher codes about the cost of medical treatment abroad as a reminder to have insurance, anything we can do to prevent those huge numbers can only be a good thing surely. 


Keeping Your Family Safe Abroad, My Top Tips*
When I saw that 25% of people travel without insurance it actually really surprised me, although it is one of the last things we tick off the list when we go its always something we do. We actually get annual coverage so that we are always covered, especially as we can often go last minute and several times during the year. 

I was reading some of these stats out to Ben and just couldn't stop once i had started, every single one surprised me! 

As well as having travel insurance for covering those eventualities that just can't be helped my top tips are also below:

(1) Food - Food poisoning is a big one. We always make sure we check out any establishment we eat at, is it clean and well presented, a good indication of the hygiene is often the toilets or bins around the restaurant. I may be a little on edge with these things but it pays off usually. 

(2) Sun exposure. Having had heat stroke as a child, well a teenager, it panics me the thought of having it again. And it really does make me paranoid when it comes to the children too. They always have their hats on, as best as I can force them to anyway (we all know what babies like!), they always have time in the shade to cool down and relax and lots and lots of fluids. 

(3) Play areas. I am a paranoid mother. I am not ashamed of it either or embarrassed, why would I be when you see these stats? I am not going to let my babies play in risky play areas or dodgy ride ons when I have seen what can help on them. I have bad memories of a child having a nasty accident on one a few years ago (pre children for us) and it left me mentally scared, at the time I was so horrified I fainted!!! Not good. Anyway, keeping children away from danger is an obvious tip I am sure. 

Do you have any to add?

Hayley x

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Have You Got a Trolls Mad Toddler?

This summer holidays, Trolls lovers will be able to join their favourite Trolls characters on board the Trolls Truck, as it heads round on the country to visit you all.

DreamWorks Trolls Truck Tour


At over 17 meters long, the Trolls Truck is packed full of fun activities for Trolls fans to join in with and get stuck into. Featuring Poppy and the Snack Pack, the Trolls Truck includes a cupcake decorating station; crafting tables; a chance to Trollify yourself in Poppy’s Salon; a visit to Branch’s bunker; and much more! Sadly there are no stops in my local area but thought some of you may be a bit luckier than we are :)

DreamWorks Trolls Truck Tour

DreamWorks Trolls Truck Tour


#TrollsTruck tour stop locations and dates can be found below. .

Location
Address
Tuesday 22nd August
Smyths (Salford)
West One Retail Park, Gilda Brook Road, Salford M50 1ZD
Wednesday 23rd August
The Entertainer (Lincoln)
St Marks Shopping Centre, Lincoln LN5 7EY
Thursday 24th August
The Entertainer (Burton Upon Trent)
Octagon Shopping Centre, Burton Upon Trent DE14 3TN
Friday 25th August
Toys R Us (Coventry)
Cross Point Business Park, Parkway, Coventry CV2 2SR
Saturday 26th August
Toys R Us (Swindon)
Oxford Road, Swindon SN3 4DG
Monday 28th August
Smyths (Slough)
Slough Retail Park, Twinches Lane, Slough, SL1 5AL
Tuesday 29th August
The Entertainer (Staines)
Unit S4, Two Rivers Retail Park, Staines, TW18 4WB
Wednesday 30th August
Tesco (Lakeside, Grays)
Tesco, 2394 Lakeside Extra, Cygnet View, West Thurrock, RM20 1TX
Thursday 31st August
Tesco (Watford Extra)
Tesco, 239-241 Lower High St, Watford WD17 2BD
             
If you manage to go I would love to hear how it went and see some pictures of the truck, I am gutted we won't be able to visit it this time!

Hayley x

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My Holiday Essentials


We have just got back from our annual family holiday, what I like to call our "Big" holiday! So I thought I would share with you my top holiday essentials for this year.

My Holiday Essentials


Apart from the usual sunscreens etc there are a few bits that I wouldn't have been without this time.

My number one is a good silver shampoo, being quite blonde at the moment the chlorine, sun and sea air tends to have its wicked way with it. Leaving it brassy and dry. I am loving the John Freida Silver shampoos at the moment, it is called Colour Renew.

Silver shampoo
My Hair currently after using the silver shampoo


Next up is the What Skin Needs Soothing Skin Gel. It is perfect for sun drenched, dry skin as an after sun but also perfect for insect bites and any skin conditions. Before we went away I had a slight skin infection which caused eczema so this was perfect to take with me for all of those above reasons. It is made from pure natural botanical ingredients including plantain, aloe vera and lavender which it means it actually smells scrummy too. It’s natural ingredients also means it is perfect for protecting little ones after a day in the sun. Just a perfect travel essential!


Next up is a face product, which is the Garnier SkinActive Naturals- Green Tea Gel Wash which is so refreshing after a day in the sun. Because I don't like to wear much make up on holiday it leaves mys skin feeling nice, not shiny but not matt. The perfect base for a simple, light moisturiser or BB cream to be applied over. They do a few other scents but anything green tea is my favourite at the moment.

Although at home I use body oils quite often I rarely do when away, mainly because with two children they take up most of my packing space and secondly because I am using more body butters and after sun products I rarely have time to indulge in a nice oiling too. However this time I did take my this works skin deep dry leg oil with me and I am so glad I did. My legs are still so tanned and show no sign of dryness at all. It added a nice shine to them in the evening and I am unsure if it had much to do with this or not but I had no insect bites at all.

Hayley x

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