My Little Box UK

Back in September I signed up for my very first My Little box which is a new subscription service to the UK market also available in France, Belgium and Japan. It’s more of a lifestyle box than a beauty box which is what really appealed to me as I’m a little bit bored of the poor quality beauty boxes that dominate the UK market.

For each month you subscribe to you will receive at least 2 full sized beauty products one of which will come from My Little Beauty, one travel-sized product along with fashion and lifestyle accessories, a magazine called My Little Word and goodies by My Little box illustrator Kanako.

Previous boxes for International customers have included My Little : Sunset box, Party box, Smile box, Geekette Box and Weekend Box, each one being as beautiful as the other.

My little box UK September

So what was in the September box?  September’s box was the My Little Parisienne Box and before I had even opened the lid I just knew I was going to love it.  Anyone who has ever visited Paris will have recognised the city from the picture on front of the box, the illustration shows a fashionable lady with a small dog reading her paper whilst sipping a cup of black coffee.

My little box UK contents

My box contained:

30ml Laura Mercier foundation primer worth £17.40 (£29 for 50ml)

Complexion brightening pen by My Little Beauty £11

Nuxe multi-purpose dry oil 10ml worth £3.40 (£17 for 50ml)

A set of stickers featuring Parissienne scenes

A notebook featuring the illustration on the box

and finally a netbook or ipad sleeve

I haven’t had the chance to try out any of the products yet but I’m very pleased with what I received.  The box is excellent value for money and I can’t wait to receive my next one.

You can see my initial thoughts below in my YouTube unboxing video.

Each box costs £11 per month and shipping to the UK is £3.95 which isn’t bad for international shipping.

 

To subscribe just visit www.mylittlebox.co.uk

Lamaze Night Night Owl

lamaze night night owlArthur is 19 months old and hasn’t slept a full night in all of that time, some people might argue that because he slept from 11.30pm-5am when we were on holiday that it was a full night but I beg to differ.  Not only does he not sleep through but he doesn’t have a bedtime.  I follow gentle parenting practise so Arthur has never had to self soothe which means he doesn’t go to bed until he is asleep if that makes sense?

I’ve tried all sorts of tips and tricks to get him to sleep through without waking for milk, a cuddle, a dummy or to be tucked back into his blankets and nothing has worked so far.

We have been trying out the Lamaze Night Night Owl* for a couple of weeks now and although it doesn’t help Arthur to sleep all night, I’ve noticed when we sit together and read a book before bed the music and soothing lights do seem to have a calming effect.  The owl is soft enough to use as a cuddly toy and this is exactly how Arthur uses it.

I would love to go back to the days when Arthur was a small baby and he went to sleep at 6pm, most nights its between 8-9 before I can get him into bed which doesn’t leave much time to do anything for myself, I’ve noticed that when I dim the lights in the room and play the owl a couple of times it seems to make Arthur quite sleepy and chilled which can only be positive.

lamaze night night owl

The Night Night owl is not just a toy it’s a night light that projects coloured lights and plays a soothing lullaby.  The music and lightshow continues for 3 minutes after the last press which is just the right amount of time to hold Arthur’s attention.  I had originally thought that he was maybe a little too old for this toy but he has really taken to it and quite often turns it on himself during the day, for younger children the owl can be placed inside the cot as it’s easy for children to activate themselves.

I’ve bought Lamaze products for Arthur since birth and I’ve always been pleased about the high quality materials and bright engaging colours and this product does not disappoint.  I only wish we had bought it sooner as it’s such a great item.

You can see exactly how the toy works by watching the video below on my YouTube channel.

The Lamaze Night Night Owl can be purchased from Tomy UK for £19.99

*Press Sample

Allotment Progress #1

Allotment

Last week I signed my tenancy agreement and sent off a cheque for £28 to pay for my yearly fees, the allotment pictured above is all mine.

shed

The ground is separated into a selection of raised beds in the following sizes 24m x 2m, two 2m x 2m, 1.5m x 2m and a grassed area which is 4m x4m.  Up at the top end there is a concrete area which currently houses a shed which I need to pay £30 to the committee for, I’m planning on erecting a greenhouse in this area and having a seating area and pots containing flowers.

On Saturday I went up to the site to see how much work would need to be done and to test the soil.  I spent around two hours digging up weeds and cutting down brambles and was actually quite surprised at my progress.

comparrison

My next step is to clear the allotment of all weeds, put the broken fence back up and get rid of a nest of red ants which seemed to be particularly aggressive.  I was told by a gardening friend that by digging the soil the ants will have been disturbed and could actually move of their own accord, I don’t want to risk the chance that this wont happen especially as i’ll be taking Arthur with me each time I go up so I’ve ordered some chicken lice powder which I’ve been told should be effective at removing the stinging little beasts.

I really want to keep the ground as organic as possible, some of the older folk at the site told me to spray the ground with roundup and leave it for a month to die but I’ve found a more organic solution of vinegar, dr bronners soap and epsom salts, keep your fingers crossed that this has the desired effect.

I have 2 compost bins, a 3 tier potting greenhouse and a wheelbarrow on order for delivery this week and I’m currently on the lookout for an incinerator bin to burn my garden waste.

David thinks I’m taking on too much as usual but I’m really starting to visualise how the plot is going to look in springtime, I just wish he had my enthusiasm.

 

Collins Back To School Resources

At the start of this month Lucie returned to school, she’s now in year 10 which means she starts her GCSE preparation ready for her exams next year.  We were sent a selection of Collins Back to School resources to support the new curriculum change and Lucie has been trying them out over the past couple of months.

collins learning resources

Harper Collins have a selection of books from Preschool right up to A Level, ranges shown below.
• Preschool
• Primary (KS1)
• Primary (Lower KS2)
• Primary (Upper KS2)
• KS3
• GCSE
• A Level 

You can see Lucie’s thoughts on the range by clicking the video below.

Capture

As a parent the only thing I ask of Lucie is that she does her best when it comes to exams, she is an intelligent child but like all teenagers gets distracted easily which can often have an effect on her work.  Lucie gets very frustrated when she doesn’t get one of the highest marks in the class and I worry that she puts too much pressure on herself which could potentially result in her not doing as well as she could do.Lucie often doubts her own ability and is often asking me to find a tutor who can help her with some of the subject topics she struggles with, my opinion is that she doesn’t need a tutor she just needs confidence in herself.I am very impressed with the range of learning resources that Collins offer for Lucie’s age group, the revision guides are very informative and have a very good question and answer section which I find is the best way to revise a topic.Collins maths GCSE Collins maths resource

The maths revision guide has colour-coded graded content, including problem-solving and functional skills, with lots of tried and trusted maths questions and exam practice.  I like the fact that the answers are detachable meaning I can test Lucie on areas that she needs help with and I know she isn’t peeking at the answers.

collins english GCSE resource
The English revision guide offers exam preparation and guidance to support your child throughout their revision.  There are both tasks and practice questions which help to reinforce learning and increase understanding of key concepts.  Lucie found it helpful to see what sort of answers would get you grading at C,B,A and A*.

As Lucie is studying German she found the German Dictionary very useful, it contains clear and concise language notes and information on common grammatical errors and confusable words.  German verbs are cross-referred to comprehensive verb tables, helping you find all the German verb forms you need.

collins atlas page collins atlas

The atlas was probably my favourite book as it was just packed with information not just about maps but climates, country information and factfiles which I’m sure will help Lucie over the next two years when she needs to do geography homework.

Collins is offering parents the chance to get 30% off their range of Back to School books until 30 September 2014. Simply use promo code SCHOOLBAG30 at Collins.co.uk 

*Disclosure: We were sent the books for review purposes, all opinions are honest and impartial*

 

 

Asda’s Little Angels and George Clothing

As a parent I like my little angels to look and feel their best inside and out so when I was asked by Asda to check out their Little Angels range and baby clothing I was very intrigued to see what sort of products were on offer.

One of my little angels is a teenager now so she stayed at home while I took the toddling little angel who is actually more like a little devil with me on his first proper shopping trip.

We were met instore by the fabulous Jo who gave us a tour of the Little Angels range and the clothing section, I was amazed at how many Little Angels products there actually were and the prices were so affordable I couldn’t wait to go shopping.

You can click on the video below to see exactly what we bought during our shopping spree.

I really wanted to explore the Little Angels range first so we headed off to the snack alisle, there was a great range of healthy snacks in a variety of flavours.

Little Angels snacks

 

I bought Arthur a selection of snacks to pop into his rucksack when we were out and about, I was pleased to see that the organic oaty bars contained no added sugar, no artificial colours and no hydrogenated fat and were made with natural ingredients. 5 bars cost £1.50 which works out at 30p a bar which is so reasonable.  The bars are stage 3 and suitable for children aged 12 months plus, Arthur had a bar as soon as I had paid for the shopping and it was devoured in seconds.  I also purchased some Little Angels flavoured puffs which were on offer 4 for £2 and contained no added salt, the puffs are idea for Arthur to hold himself and they melt in the mouth which he loves.  Our final snack purchase was 20g bags of raisins and sultans which were on offer 5 for £1.50, Arthur loves raisins and they are a perfect snacking food for him as they contain no nasties.

Little Angels Cutlery and bottles cutlery

Our next stop was to the bottles, plates and cutlery section where I purchased a lovely set of metal knife, fork and spoon for £2.55.  Arthur doesn’t really like using plastic cutlery as he is aware that it’s different from what we all use in the house so this set was perfect for him.  The handles are a great size for gripping and the fork and knife are blunt meaning there can be no accidents.  I noticed that there was a great Little Angels range of plates, snack holders and baby bottles which I wish I’d known about when Arthur was younger.

Little Angels bath Little Angels beauty products

One of my favourite aisles was the health and beauty aisle, I’m usually very wary about buying brands I’ve never used before for Arthur as his skin is so sensitive and he has eczema which I currently have under control.  I was surprised to see that some of the products were suitable for babies with dry or sensitive skin, paediatrician approved and hypoallergenic.  I purchased a protective nappy ointment barrier cream which I was so shocked to see was paraben free, I was even more shocked to see the cost was only £1.45.  I’ve not had a chance to use this on Arthur yet but I have tested it on my skin which like Arthur’s is sensitive and prone to eczema and I’ve had no problems.  I also purchased the sensitive bath and body wash which again is paraben free and only £1.45 and finally the baby soap which was really purchased for myself not Arthur and a bargain at 27p!

Little Angels nappies Little Angels swim pants Little Angels wipes Little Angels wipes

I visited the nappy and wipes aisle next, I’m a cloth bum mum but as Arthur has so many wet nappies during the night I can’t find a cloth nappy to suit him so I currently use disposables.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to try Asda’s Little Angels range of nappies for myself which I’ll feature in a separate blog post.  I purchased 2 packs of nappies each containing 48 nappies and was completely shocked to find out that 2 packs cost a mere £10, that’s actually less than it costs to buy 1 cloth nappy!, I would actually love to see a Little Angels range of cloth nappies in the future as I think it would be a great avenue for the brand to branch out into.

I noticed that Little Angels also do a range of swimming nappies for £3 a pack which I may go back and purchase.  I bought a box of sensitive baby wipes which cost £4 for 6 packs, I use baby wipes for all sorts of things around the home not just wiping Arthur’s bottom so this was a bargain purchase and my final purchase from this range was a pack of hand and face wipes which are great for carrying around in your handbag when you have a messy toddler.  I was pleased to see that Little Angels have bed mats and pull up pants for toilet training which could be very useful in the future once we start potty training as I’m sure we will have a few accidents along the way.

Little Angels mum range

A number of my friends are currently pregnant so I’m sure the Little Angels mum range will be very useful to them in the next few months, there is a great range of maternity towels, disposable knickers and breast pads including washable ones.

Little Angels laundry

The biggest surprise for me was the Little Angels laundry range, I actually almost missed this and it’s just by chance that I ventured up to the laundry aisle, there is a great range of detergent in liquid, gel, capsule and powder form and also a stain remover.  I purchased 3 of the non-bio 20 wash liquids which were a very affordable £2 each and I can’t wait to share the results with you.

Asda cardigan Asda leggings Asda pj's Asda socks

After spending longer than Arthur would have liked in the Little Angels section we moved on to the George at Asda section.  I’ve never actually purchased anything from Asda before so was shocked at the low prices, I was surprised at the quality of some of the items and thought that the prices could not have been right.  My favourite purchase was the two pairs of welly boots for £4, I almost spent £10 last week on 1 pair and I’m so glad I didn’t.

We picked up a 3 piece outfit for £12, a 3 pack of vests for £2.50, 2 long sleeve tops for £5 and an all in one for £5 which I will feature in an outfit post once Arthur has had a chance to wear everything.

Asda checkout belt

I wasn’t sure how Arthur would react to a proper shopping experience, I usually do my shopping online or bit by bit in stores as I know he can get quite grumpy but on this occasion he loved it and he only got grouchy when it was time to put everything on the belt at the checkout.

You can find the Little Angels Range at Asda Online and George at Asda Direct

I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on the Little Angel and George products once we have had a chance to try them out, if you have any favourites from the ranges that you think I should check out you can leave me a comment below or tweet me on twitter.

*Disclaimer – I received a gift voucher to spend in Asda, all thoughts remain my own and are honest and impartial*