Teen Parcel

When the time came for me to give my daughter ‘The talk’ I was petrified, I’m not really sure why as I have a good relationship with my daughter and no topic is banned from the house, we talk about everything as a family and now that Lucie is older (14) I sometimes wish that some topics were taboo because when she talks about things her friends have said and even things they have told her they get up to would make any parents hair turn white but I digress.

We had the talk about changes in the body and a brief understanding about where babies come from when Lucie was around 6 and I think because it was mentioned early before she had real understanding about what happens it allowed me to expand on this as she became more aware.

Lucie is now 14 and has been fully aware of why women have a monthly period for quite a few years now however she’s now at that age where she’s happy to talk about things that go on with other people but not so much with herself as it’s all a bit ‘cringeworthy’ (her word not mine).

When it comes to that time of the month I always have a rough idea when it’s about to happen as hormones turn her into an argumentative nightmare which she won’t mind me saying as she agrees she changes for the worst, I can sympathise though as I was just the same and she would say I probably still am. I’m not though.

Each month I always leave a good supply of various items in the bathroom that she has access to but I always wonder if it’s enough, should I be asking how she is or will it annoy her? Should I ask if she needs a hot water bottle or will she tell me if she does? Should I bring her some extra treats or will she complain that I’m interfering ?

I was 11 when I started my periods and I remember going into complete denial about the whole thing, I was mortified that this was happening to me and don’t get me started on the cramps, I felt like I was dying they were so painful.  Back in 1991 the choice of sanitary protection available wasn’t as great as it is now, the pads given to me by a school nurse were so thick they scared me, no one want’s their child to be scared about something that’s going to happen to them so I’m relieved that sanitary products have improved massively since I was a teenager.

Lucie didn’t get her first period until she was 13, some of her friends had theirs at 9 so I think the earlier you approach the subject the better so that your daughter is aware of what could happen to her body.  To make things more pleasant for your teenager there is a new subscription box on the market called Teen Parcel which is a monthly subscription service to help make that time of the month a little bit nicer, you just need to let them know if you prefer towels or tampons, what size you prefer, pick a brand and then you will be asked to fill in some information specific to your cycle such as the date your period last started, how many days it lasted and they will calculate when your next parcel should be due.

Teen Parcel

teen parcel

When you open your Teen Parcel you will see three boxes and a pouch all packaged up.  The pouch is something for your bag, the two large boxes contain your sanitary protection and the smaller box contains some treats.

tampons in bag

The little pouch contains 5 tampons and if you have selected to receive towels your pouch will contain those.  The pouch is a great size for a handbag at the weekend or a school bag and your child won’t be embarrassed if this pouch falls out, they can scoop it up and pop it back in.  The larger boxes contain all of the sanitary protection your teen will need during their period and the slimline boxes can be easily stored in their bedroom or the bathroom without taking up too much space.

tampon box

Teen parcel contents

There were a lot of little extras in the box including a Teapigs chocolate flake teabag, packet of jelly haribo sweets, nail polish by Binky, pink bracelet and 3 beauty products by Clean & Clear to help combat spots.

Lucie’s thoughts on the Teen Parcel were very positive, she would like to see an option for a mixture of towels and tampons and she would also like to see the option to choose your skin type so that beauty products can be more tailored.  Lucie loved the teabag and packet of sweets and thought the nail polish was a great addition she also thought the little black pouch was a great idea and has popped it into her school bag.  She has already been telling her friends about Teen Parcel and we will definitely be subscribing once she decides which package she wants.

The retail value of this box if everything was purchased separately is over £22.92 so if you’re wondering if the box is good value for money then my answer is yes.

Your first teen parcel will cost you £5.95 (price correct at the time of writing) and subsequent boxes are £9.95 a month, you can sign up here

 

Gifts For Gardeners

Since taking on my allotment a couple of weeks ago I have spent a small fortune on beautiful seeds, planters and equipment to make my garden look the best that it possibly can.  Choosing beautiful things for a garden is not an easy task as there is so much choice available whether you are buying for yourself or for a gift.

I know a lot of my friends and family will be buying me garden related gifts for Christmas and Birthdays for the foreseeable future and I myself will be buying token gifts for some of my new gardening friends.  When you take on an allotment you also take on a whole new community of friends who are always eager to lend a helping hand or offer advice and it can be nice sometimes to say thank you for all of the help.

I’ve put together this little guide featuring some of my favourite items available at the time of writing which I hope will provide some inspiration when you need the perfect gift for a gardener not just at Christmas time but any time.

Backdoorshoes

Backdoorshoes are a pretty awesome product and perfect for leaving at our back door as the name suggests or even leaving in your shed when you pop to the allotment.  The shoes are very lightweight at only 200g a pair, waterproof and machine washable which is great when you’re working in muddy conditions.  Ladies shoes are available in UK Sizes 3-8, Mens shoes available in UK Sizes 8-13.

Greenhouse Sensation

I bought a similar Bee and Bug house for my Aunts birthday in October, I love the idea of this house from Greenhouse Sensation as it attracts solitary bees which will pollinate plants, ladybirds and lacewings which will prey on garden pests like aphids and red spider mite.  As a gardener who grows flowers and vegetables and hopes to have chickens in the future I feel this would be a perfect gift for the allotment.

Orla Kiely

As the weather gets colder there is nothing better to improve a gardeners day than a nice hot flask of soup or coffee.  This Orla Kiely flask is perfect for a nice mid morning treat after a hard morning spent digging the garden.

Heathcote and Ivory

Hands are often the last thing that comes to mind when you think about a gardener but in reality hands are the most important tool a gardener has so it pays to look after the
This handy mug from Heathcote & Ivory contains a cleaning hand wash, hand cream
Enriched with Shea Butter, Vitamin E and Pathenol to nourish hands and help strengthen nails after a rewarding day spent digging and planting and nail brush to remove all traces of dirt from inside of the nails.

John Lewis Botanist Apron

Finally we have this hardwearing garden apron that’s full of pockets and pouches, perfect for carrying your tools and trowels while gardening. Available from John Lewis it’s a garden must have in my opinion.

I hope this post has showed you that gardening is not just all about spades and forks, gardening gifts can be quirky, fun, useful and pretty so don’t be afraid to buy an awesome gift for the gardener in your life. They will love it!

Disclaimer: I wasn’t asked to talk about any of the brands or products in this post, I did it because I love them.

 

 

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.