Monday, 23 May 2016

Making the most of our evenings with Charlie Bigham's ready meals...

Charlie Bigham's Logo
Last week Liam and I were set a challenge by  Charlie Bigham's

Could we claim back some quality time in our evenings by substituting our usual evening meal prep routine with using a Charlie Bigham's ready meal instead? 

They asked us to review three of their meals for two people and answer the following questions...

  • Would we enjoy the meals in place of our usual home-cooked dinners? 

  • What would we do with the time we gained from using these pre-prepared, high-quality meals for two?
This challenge couldn't have come at a better time - at 38 weeks pregnant I'm feeling just a little bit exhausted...although I usually love to cook, in recent weeks cooking the evening meal has started to feel like a bit of a a quick, easy but still healthy alternative at dinner time was welcomed heartily by me. 

At Charlie Bigham's they think it’s vital once in a while to pack the kids off to bed early and enjoy a wonderful night in together over an amazing meal. It might feel like a luxury, but surely: delicious food, brilliant company, it’s what life’s all about, isn’t it? Liam and I always eat our evening meal together at the dining table - we chat, catch up on our day and revel in the (hopefully) yummy food I've prepared for us. I always look forward to our evening meal - it is one of my favourite times of day. 

"Lasagnes, moussakas, fish pies: we love them all. But let’s be honest, making these dishes properly takes time – time that perhaps could be better spent sitting, chatting and enjoying ourselves over a glass of wine or two? All our oven dishes are made with top-notch ingredients and come in wooden trays, which we think look rather handsome on the dinner table." Charlie Bigham's Website 

I love the Charlie Bigham sentiment, and was all too happy to give these meals a whirl and claim back a bit of well-earned me-time/us-time. 

The Meals

We took our three meal vouchers worth £7 each along to our local Tesco store to check out the Charlie Bigham's range on offer - we were pleasantly surprised by the variety of Charlie Bigham's meal choices available: there were so many delicious-sounding choices it was hard to pick just three! 

We took it in turns to choose a meal-for-two, and then chose the third meal-for-two together. Hubby opted for Chicken Kiev, as it's his absolute favourite. I opted for the moussaka as I absolutely adore Greek food, and then we chose the Chilli con Carne and Mexican rice as our third meal option, as we're big fans of Mexican food. 

We were excited to give them a whirl...

Charlie Bigham's ready meals

All three of our meal options were easily prepared by being placed in the wooden containers they came in, on a baking tray in a pre-heated oven for around 30 minutes - it was really so straight-forward and all that was needed effort-wise was to prepare a few veggies to go alongside our dishes, easy peasy!

My favourite was the moussaka - it was so rich and full of flavour. It reminded me of Greek holidays gone by, and was definitely superior in taste to other ready-meal versions of moussaka I've tried. I've also made moussaka from scratch on a number of occasions - it's a lot of work, loads of faffing, and uses a lot of ingredients - this Charlie Bigham's version was just as nice, and so simple that I'd definitely have to think twice next time I was thinking of making one. 

Charlie Bigham's moussaka before and after cooking
The Charlie Bigham's moussaka before and after cooking...

Hubby's favourite of the three was the Chicken Kievs - no surprise there then! Saying that, I do usually make my chicken Kievs from scratch, so he is used to good-quality, well made Kievs with plenty of flavour (not frozen ready made versions) so his standards of judgement were pretty high.  Although he said they weren't *quite* as good as my homemade ones (he may have just been trying to spare my late-pregnancy/very hormonal feelings), they were absolutely delicious in his opinion (and mine) especially considering how simple they were to cook. We were also impressed with the short and fresh ingredients list when we checked out the packaging -  it seems that only whole, fresh foods have gone into these Charlie Bigham's meals, which is reassuring. 

three Charlie Bigham's ready meals cooked
Our three Charlie Bigham's meals were delicious...

We both enjoyed the Chilli con Carne too, and out of the three it was the easiest to prepare as it needed no accompaniment except a little dollop of sour cream - super simple! The portion size for this chilli was just right, as was the spicing - enough heat that it tasted like a chilli, but not too much that it would blow your head off. The crispy tortilla chip topping was a lovely addition too and created a nice contrast in texture. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the nutritional content of each of the meals - substantial enough to make them good-sized dinners, but none of the meals were over 650 calories per portion once the side dishes/additions were added. 

The Chicken Kievs were just 288 calories each, the moussaka was 458 calories for half the pack, and the Chilli con Carne and rice came in at just 605 calories per portion. 

Gaining back some evening time...

Not needing to be chained to kitchen for three nights last week thanks to the Charlie Bigham's meals meant that Liam and I were able to spend some of our evening time in more restful and enjoyable ways than usual. 

For Liam this looked like enjoying a natter and a glass of wine with me while the food cooked in the oven, instead of a snatched conversation while I cook. This extra time meant he gained some quality evening time with Bert: reading stories, playing dressing up and lining up all of Bert's treasured animal figures. My boys do love an excuse for extra playtime. 
charlie bigham's ready meal moussaka
A relaxed evening thanks to Charlie Bigham's ready meals. 

As well as getting a bit of extra time to chat to Liam, I put my time saved across the three evenings to a relaxing/theraputic use...I decided to get some proper me-time in the form of putting my feet up and reading my kindle and doing a spot of crochet. Both of which are passions/hobbies of mine that I don't get to indulge in nearly enough. It was lovely to take some time-out for myself and made me realise how I should definitely try to make more time to be kind to myself and give myself a break. How realistic a goal that is when I'm due to have a baby in two weeks, I'm not sure...! 

reading my kindle
Reading my Kindle with my very preggo feet up! 

giant crochet rug using tshirt yarn
A spot of crochet...using T-shirt yarn to make a giant rug! 

I'd love to know what you'd do with extra time in the evenings? 

Do you ever use ready-meals and if so, which ones can you recommend...I fear we'll be eating a few more pre-prepared dishes over the coming weeks what with the imminent arrival of our new little bundle! 

That's all for now,

Mrs B 


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Custard Cream Handbag & Purse from Yoshi Bags *REVIEW*

Ahhhh! I'm so excited to share this post with you - it is time for the return of the biscuit handbag & purse! I'm expanding my collection...

I don't think my obsession with all things tea & biscuits will ever really falter: the history of taking tea, it's Britishness, is something I adore - for me, tea & biscuits evoke such nostalgia, and a feeling of calm. 

I didn't think you could get much better than a strong cuppa and a few Custard Cream biscuits on the side, until I was introduced to the GIANT Custard Cream (available in Tesco and Costa Coffee) this is the stuff that dreams are made of...

Giant Custard Cream biscuit vs. normal Custard Cream biscuit
Is this not a biscuit of dreams? Roughly 4 times the size of a standard Custard Cream...yes please! Huge thanks to Kirsty from Yoshi for sending me this giant hunk of deliciousness! :-)

Drinking tea, eating biscuits, dunking, all those familiar biscuit flavours, the nostalgia from my childhood, the pop as the biscuit tin opens, the sugar rush that follows, that calming affect that first sip of tea has, my love of mugs, and how aesthetically pleasing the different varieties of biscuits are...all this combined means that anything remotely biscuit related is likely to be fully embraced by me! 

Mrs Bishop Biscuit Obsessive
Biscuit-related paraphernalia at Mrs Bishop's abode

My house is filling up with biscuit-related paraphernalia and I love it. I love that when friends, family members and blog readers see biscuity items they automatically think of me. 

Even the people at Yoshi Bags support my biscuit-addiction: last month they very kindly sent me a beautiful package of biscuity-goodness, and I'm super excited to show you what they sent...

You might remember back in October last year I shared this post where I featured their stunning Bourbon Biscuit bag. I've used and used this bag over the past 7 months - it has become my go-to handbag, the soft brown leather matches pretty much everything I wear - and I still get comments on the bag almost every time I use it. I love how it is a functional/useful handbag that on first glance looks pretty neutral - then on closer inspection is super quirky and fun! 

This time the wonderful, clever, fellow-biscuit-obsessed people at Yoshi have designed a stunning Custard Cream biscuit inspired leather collection including a cross body shoulder bag, purse and keyring - and my oh my are they stunning! 

custard cream bag and purse by Yoshi

They've hit the nail on the head once again with this latest design. Not only is the bag and purse made from the softest cream coloured leather I've ever felt, the detailing of the Custard Cream design is exquisite! 

Leather Custard Cream Bag & Purse from Yoshi

I'm over the moon with my new bag and purse set and have used it every time I've left the house in the last month I think! Again, I've been inundated with comments from people when I'm out and about, I think I should be working on commission for Yoshi ;-)

Custard Cream Leather Coin Purse from Yoshi Bags
Custard Cream Leather Coin Purse from Yoshi Bags

Not only is the bag and purse fun, quirky and a little tongue-in-cheek, it is also incredible quality real leather and super functional - the perfect "mum size" bag, I can get my purse, keys, phone, a bit of make up, a few plastic dinosaurs and snacks for Bert all inside easily. There is a secure zip pocket inside the main cavity of the bag, as well as a compartment to hold your mobile phone. The bag and purse are both lined, and the strap on the bag is fully adjustable. Yoshi have covered all the bases here.

custard cream bag, purse and biscuits

Here's the bag's vital statistics:
  • Handmade Leather Applique Cross Body Handbag
  • Soft Cream Leather
  • Custard Cream Emboss Detailing on the Front
  • Zip Top Fastening
  • Adjustable Shoulder Strap 53 - 59cm
  • Inside Zip Pocket
  • Presented in a Yoshi Signature Dustbag
Height                         15.5cm
Width                           24cm 
Depth                           3.5cm

And the purse's vital stats:
  • Handmade Leather Applique Zip Top Coin Purse
  • Soft Cream Nappa Leather
  • Custard Cream Biscuit AEmboss Detail on the Front
  • Credit Cards will Fit Inside 
  • Zip Top Fastening
  • Presented in a Yoshi Signature Dustbag
Height                          9 cm
Width                           11.5 cm 
Depth                           1 cm

Custard Cream bag by Yoshi

I've so enjoyed wearing this beauty out and about - its first proper outing was my cousin's 50th Birthdy party last month, which was a black tie event. It was so nice to get all dressed up and have a grown up night out with hubby (Bert had a sleepover at his Nanny & Grandads' house!) Being as I'm so heavily pregnant - I don't have that many fashion/outfit choices right now - my small capsule maternity wardrobe is my only option, and I'm pretty bored of everything in it to be honest. I opted for my plain black wrap dress for the black tie party, so it was nice to perk it up a little with such a fun bag to accessorise. 

custard cream leather bag review by Mrs Bishop
Accessorising for a black-tie party with my Yoshi Custard Cream bag!

To see Yoshi's full biscuit range of bags, purses and keyrings (including Bourbon, Custard Cream and Jammy Dodger designs) then head to this page.

I wonder what designs they'll be launching next?

Mrs B


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

WIN a copy of CBeebies Play Time on DVD: 2 hours of CBeebies fun for your little one!

CBeebies Logo

Show me a toddler who doesn't just LOVE CBeebies - I'm not ashamed to say that Bert is mildly obsessed with this tv channel and have so many 'favourite' programmes that I've lost count. 

When the people at Abbey Home Media sent us a copy of their latest DVD collection featuring over 2 hours of CBeebies episodes, I don't know who was more pleased...!

Bert has been watching it daily since it arrived and literally plays in the living room among his toy carnage for the full two hours...only needing my attention to tell me how much he loves (insert name of each programme/character) and that they are his favourite - he's so fickle! 

Still...if it means Mummy can get her work done in relative peace...

CBeebies Play Time DVD cover
'CBeebies Play Time' -  The new DVD collection on sale from Monday 9TH May 2016

In this fab DVD collection you can join the stars of children’s broadcaster CBeebies for over 2 hours of fun-filled entertainment in CBeebies Play Time, released by Abbey Home Media. 

Fans of CBeebies will love this unique collection of some of the very best of children’s television which features:

In The Night GardenTM
Peter RabbitTM
Topsy & TimTM
Mike the KnightTM
The Furchester HotelTM
Q Pootle 5TM
Ruff–Ruff, Tweet and DaveTM
ChuggingtonTM and 

The collection also features the first episode to appear on DVD of the brand new version of TeletubbiesTM, which premiered on CBeebies in 2015.

This special DVD collection CBeebies Play Time is a great way of entertaining young children with its familiar, well-loved characters and diverse range of fun and engaging programming.

The collection features the following episodes:-

Teletubbies – Join Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po as they exploreHome Dome and the magical countryside of Teletubbyland through play.  In New Toy the children in Tummy Tales play a game of pass the parcel and win a surprise toy, while the Dup Dup delivers toys for the Teletubbies to play with. Even Noo-Noo enjoys a new treat!

Twirlywoos - Twirlywoos come from far away, seeking adventure wherever they go. Join Great BigHoo, Toodloo, Chickedy and Chick for their adventures on The Big Red Boat. In Coming and Going, The Twirlywoos watch a man as he runs a bath. They want to leave their hiding place to investigate, but the man keeps coming back! This episode is linked to the going back and forth schema (a schema is the patterns children follow to develop their own ideas).

In The Night Garden - Share in the magical Night Garden world with Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and friends. In Look At What The Ball Did, the ball bounces all over the garden. It accidentally knocks over Makka Pakka's pile of stones, so Makka Pakka rebuilds it and tries to protect it.

Peter Rabbit - Beatrix Potter’s wonderful stories have charmed and entertained children for generations. Now fans can enjoy the brand new adventures of her timeless children’s classic Peter Rabbit from the new animated series. In The One That Got Away, when Peter and his friends encounter the legendary “Jack Sharp”, a large trout that even Peter's father failed to catch, they try to reel the fish in once and for all. But catching a fish is a lot harder than it looks…

Topsy and Tim - Inspired by the books by Jean and Gareth Adamson, Topsy and Tim, is a live action drama inspired by the small stuff in little people’s lives. In New Pet Topsy and Tim love caring for their new pet rabbit but struggle to agree on his name. When they notice how wiggly his nose is, they know just what to call him!

Mike the Knight - Mike is an energetic, cheeky yet bountiful young knight-in-training, driven by his passion to help others and, along the way, be the best knight he can be. In Hidden Garden Games when Mike, Evie and the Queen have a competition in the Hidden Garden, Mike learns that it's good to let everyone have a turn to play... and it's even better when everyone plays together!

The Furchester Hotel - The Furchester Hotel is an ‘almost’ world-class hotel run by a close-knit family of cheerfully chaotic monsters. The series introduces brand new characters and also welcomes the beloved Elmo and Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. In Furchester on Wheels Funella overhears the tortoise guests say thehotelservice is slow, slow, slow. She is determined to make it fast, fast, fast.

Octonauts - Join Captain Barnacles and crew on their animated underwater adventures. In Mimic Octopus Peso is gathering red algae to cure the sick vegimals but needs the help of a Mimic Octopus to scare off a Moray eel, who uses its striped tentacles to pretend to be a group of poisonous sea snakes.
Q Pootle 5 – Join Pootle and his friends on the planet Okidoki. Pootle and Oopsy travel to a distant special crater, which produces enormous bubbles. They have a great time until a large bubble envelops Pootle’s spaceship and floats off with it. Now Pootle and Oopsy are stranded on the other side of Okidoki unless they can think of a way of getting home…

Ruff- Ruff, Tweet & Dave – Join in the fun with Hatty,Ruff-Ruff,Tweet and Daveas they go on magical adventures. In A Birthday Party Adventure Ruff-Ruff, Tweet and Dave celebrate Hatty's birthday by playing all of his favourite party games. They also find him a surprise birthday gift along the way.
Chuggington - Take to the rails with the Chuggineers. In Koko’s Puppy Training Koko Koko finds a lost puppy and wants to keep it, but she realises a little girl is looking for the puppy and decides that she needs to take him home.

Cloudbabies - Who looks after the sky? The Cloudbabies do! In Rain Rain Rain 
the rain has kept the Cloudbabies inside today and Bobo White is bored. Baba Yellow suggests they play a game of 'Favourite Things'

Join all your favourite characters for over 2 hours of fantastic fun! 

WIN CBeebies Play Time DVD with Mrs Bishop

If you'd like to be in with the chance of winning your own copy of this fab DVD collection then use the Gleam app below to enter. 

UK entrants only - giveaway ends at 11:59pm on 9th June 2016. 

Good luck lovely people! 

Mrs B 


WIN CBeebies Play Time DVD

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

WIN a copy of Peter Rabbit: The Tale of the Great Breakout DVD Collection

As you all already know if you read this blog regularly - Bert who is coming up 2 years and 9 months absolutely loves the animated version of Peter Rabbit. He already owns a couple of the DVD collections that are on the market (and watches them repeatedly) as well as owning soft toys, books and the such - he loves nothing more than immersing himself into the world of the cheeky little rabbit. 

This May there are two new releases in the word of Peter Rabbit - a wonderful hardback storybook entitled 'Best Dad!' and a new DVD collection called The Tale of The Great Breakout. We've been lucky enough to get first dibs on them as they were released, and I have even been given an extra copy of the DVD collection to give away to one of my lucky readers...

Best Dad! Peter Rabbit Book Cover

Based on the world-famous animal characters created by Beatrix Potter, join Peter, Lily and Benjamin in this charming board book tale released by Penguin Books. 

Peter and co are very excited to hear about Mr Bouncer's most amazing invention ever – a flying machine that was crash-landed in Mr McGregor's garden by Peter's father. Peter is determined to find it! But the garden is a dangerous place. Can the friends find the machine and make their escape before Mr McGregor catches them?

Told with humour, pace and relevance to bring the wonderful world of Beatrix Potter to a whole new generation.

RRP £4.99. 

Bert has absolutely loved reading this book with us - the familiar characters and illustrations hold his attention, and the language and amount of text seem to be just perfect for pre-schoolers. 

The Tale of the Great Breakout Peter Rabbit DVD cover
Peter Rabbit – The Tale of the Great Breakout – new DVD collection on sale from Monday 2nd May 2016

As well as the wonderful new book, another DVD collection featuring more magical tales are set to enchant Beatrix Potter fans everywhere as Peter Rabbit and friends return in their fourth DVD collection, released by Abbey Home Media on Monday 2nd May.

When Mr. McGregor captures the whole squirrel tribe in his garden, Peter must stage a mass break out to save his friends.  Follow our hero Peter and his friends Benjamin Bunny and Lily Bobtail on their adventures and quest to save the day, overcoming obstacles and outsmarting predators, all the while finding fun and excitement in the most unexpected places. 

With a taste for radishes and a thirst for adventure Peter Rabbit is the lovable and extraordinary friend you longed to hang out with when you were a kid. But when the chips are down and danger lurks, there’s no better friend to have around than Peter and his boundless courage will always see him through. Peter has an infectious enthusiasm for life and is also an irrepressible optimist. He is cool under pressure and his quick-witted mind is as nimble as his super-fast legs.  

Peter Rabbit – The Tale of the Great Breakout includes 6 exciting episodes: The Tale of The Great Breakout, The Tale of the Mystery Plum Thief, The tale of Benjamin’s Strawberry Raid, The Tale of the Downhill Escape, The Tale of the Unguarded Garden, and The Tale of the Cat and the Rat

Bert has been enjoying these new episodes of one of his favourite programmes (although he sweetly calls them "pepisodes"...bless!) He does the most beautiful dance when the theme tune comes on, it is a catchy little tune! 

We were also chuffed to discover that this lovely DVD collection also comes with a free height chart. Bert loves to measure his height - we have a wooden ruler height chart in our kitchen, so he couldn't wait to pop his Peter Rabbit one over the top and see which character he was as tall as...

Peter Rabbit height chart
Bert's new Peter Rabbit height chart with pride of place in the kitchen. 

Peter Rabbit DVD collection: The Tale of the Great Breakout
Our new DVD collection sat alongside Bert's beloved cuddly Peter that his auntie Susie bought him when he was born. 

WIN Peter Rabbit DVD with Mrs Bishop

If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning your own copy of this fab DVD collection then use the Gleam app below to enter my giveaway. 

UK entrants only.

Best of luck lovelies...

Mrs B


WIN Peter Rabbit & The Tale of The Great Breakout DVD Collection

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

5 Fabulous Flats for Busy Mums

As a mum to one little boy (and baby girl on the way!) and being a non-driver, stylish flats are a must in my wardrobe as I pretty much walk everywhere. I find that they tend to look great with everything—from skinny jeans to skirts to dresses and more—making this shoe as versatile as it is comfy. 

Fortunately, flats aren’t the boring shoes reserved for Great Nan’s Saturday afternoon bingo slot anymore. Today, the modern flat can be trendy, elegant, and even sexy, which is why I thought I'd take a look at five of my favourites with a few tips on how to wear this fashionable footwear. 

buttercup yellow sandal

Buttercup yellow is trending this year, but it’s always a winner in my book - yellow has been my absolutely favourite colour for as long as I can remember. It's such a happy colour, which is why I especially adore these vibrant yellow sandals. They’ll be perfect for warm-weather wearing while spending time with my family, plus they’ll look great with a variety of outfits. These would go very well with maxi dresses, shorts, and jeans in neutral colours like black, white, and brown, but you can also mix it up by pairing them with something bolder such as fuchsia, violet, or green. I do love me a bit of colour! 

stripe pointy toe flat shoe

A bold Breton stripe is one of my favorite fashion patterns and a great pair of ballet flats with the same contrasting lines is a great choice for the busy mum. And the pair pictured above isn’t your typical rounded shoe. Nope, these are in line with the pointed toe trend that's everywhere right now, which means they’re practical and of-the-moment. Wear these navy and white beauties with your favourite jeans and a t-shirt—feel free to add a splash of colour, like red—or to the office with trousers and a blazer. I'm not ashamed to say that my Breton-stripe obsession is a little out of hand - I probably own over 30 Breton-striped items of clothing/bags/accessories now...and there is always room for more in my book! Ha! 

floral embellished flip flop sandal

Another fashion trend that I have enjoyed since the dawn of Cath Kidston herself is a good floral print. These sandals, however, feature the real deal... well, almost! These botanical embellished flip flop sandals are perfect for the warm weather that's on its way and would be a great pair to wear while running errands or during a daytime outing, like a picnic or going to the cinema. Pair these beauties with a bold-coloured top or bottom, or go all neutral with black and white with a colourful statement necklace and purse to tie it together. They'd also look fab with a bright maxi dress for all those summer BBQs - Pimms in hand, these shoes would fit suitably into any summer soiree. 
black and tan gladiator sandal

What busy mum wouldn’t enjoy a multitasking shoe? Well, I’ve got the perfect pair of gladiator style sandals for you. With both brown and black straps, this set will look great with a variety of different outfits and are perfect for slipping on as you head out the door with kiddies in tow. Fortunately, these follow the big gladiator shoe trend without having the hassle of all of those straps wrapping around your leg (who can be faffed with that?)

pink embellished slip on Van-style sneakers

Fancy trainers/sports shoes are all the rage. I am loving these pink embellished slip-on Van-style trainers that are full of girlie bling without being too over the top. These would be perfect for most outings with your little ones, especially for trips to the playground, and would look great with jeans, shorts, and even some casual dresses (think Lily Allen!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed my top five picks for fashionable and functional flats for busy mums. Keep in mind that accessories and handbags, coupled with great shoes, can really elevate an everyday outfit with ease. The five shoe types mentioned above will get any busy mum easily through the Spring/Summer months, and each style will be all over the high street - so nice and easy to get hold of!  

With a few good pairs of shoes and some imagination, you can easily look put together without a lot of effort. 

...Just remember to check your hair for rogue Cheerios and down your back for baby-sick before you leave the house (we've all been there!) 

Happy shoe shopping lovelies! 

Mrs B


Friday, 29 April 2016

Getting ready for Baby Girl Bishop's arrival with Little Chickie

How is it possible that I am 35 weeks pregnant today? 

Oh my gosh - the time is just racing past, and the five week countdown is rather a scary one!! Everyone told me that my second pregnancy would fly by and they were so right. With a toddler to take care of, my own business to run and a house to try and keep in some sort of relative order, I've barely had time to acknowledge that I'm pregnant this time round! (Except for the first 16 weeks of dreadful nausea and my on-going back pain caused by my three slipped discs, of course!)

Mrs Bishop 35 Weeks Bump Photo
35 week bump!

At this point in the pregnancy I'm in full-on nesting mode, in fact I feel like I've been nesting for about 3 months now, so actually I'm feeling rather organised and pretty-much ready for this little girl to make her appearance. 

All the baby-things from first time round are down from the loft and organised, the baby clothes have been sorted and washed, the new double buggy purchased and put together, the moses basket is up, and we've done some shopping for lovely girlie bits and pieces!

It has been so fun to be able to buy girlie things after all the blue, green and dinosaurs of the past 2.5 years! I feel so lucky to be having a girl and completing our little family with one child of each sex. It's exciting to think about what the future holds for our little family unit. 

When buying baby-girl items I've been surprised at the sheer amount of PINK...gosh, it's a very pink-centric market. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not averse to a bit of pink, but I don't want every single thing she wears to be candy floss or fuchsia! So while shopping for her I've been on the lookout for a nice variety of colours, patterns and designs. 

I'm pretty girlie myself and I love bold florals and stripes - so her wardrobe is pretty full of these style of items...I imagine her in my head as a little mini-me rocking Breton stripes, lots of yellow and florals! 

I keep going and opening the drawers just to have a peek at it all. Such excitement. 

Little Chickie review by Mrs Bishop's Bakes and Banter

One of my favourite online stores to get baby girls clothes and accessories from has been Little Chickie, a cute online baby boutique that stocks the most divine high-end baby brands such as Albetta, Blade and Rose, Cuddledry, Pigeon Organics, Piccalilly, Kite and Denmark (to name a few). 

Little Chickie very kindly sent over some stunning items for our little baby girl's arrival - and I'm so excited to be able to share them with you, as I know you'll all swoon just as much as I did when they arrived. 

The first item they sent over was this stunning baby girl 1.5 tog floral sleeping bag by Kite, currently priced at £29.50. 

Isn't it just beautiful? 

Kite Baby Girl Sleeping Bag from Little Chickie
Kite floral sleeping bag

I cannot express what amazing quality this sleeping bag is - it is literally the softest thing I've ever touched! I know just from touching it that it will be so super snuggly and comfortable for my little bundle when she sleeps. 

I'm a massive fan of the modern floral print and the gorgeous purple/teal colour-way. It has a zip fastening all around the edge of the bag and poppers to secure the top: making it easy to put on and off. We loved using sleeping bags when Bert was a baby, so we were eager to get some more for baby girl to try out and this one really is perfect. 

The second item they sent is perhaps my favourite of the three - not just for it's amazing pattern/design, but again because it is made from the softest organic cotton and looks so comfortable! 

Basically, if they made this in adult-size I would wear it for sure! :-)

It's the Body and Skirt Tulip dress by Pigeon Organics and I've basically never seen anything more beautiful... 

Body and Skirt Tulip by Pigeon Organics from Little Chickie
Body and Skirt for Baby Girl by Pigeon Organics from Little Chickie, currently priced at £21.50.

Made from soft organic cotton this cute little dress combines my love of a breton stripe, my obsession with florals (tulips are one of my faves!) and my passion for pastel-esque shades...

Body and Skirt Tulip by Pigeon Organics from Little Chickie
Just look at that tulip pattern...swoon! 

I love how the body/vest part is integrated into the whole dress, making it super-practical and comfortable for the wearer. Such a clever design.

Body and Skirt Tulip by Pigeon Organics from Little Chickie
Clever integrated body/vest

The final item they sent over was this adorable little rag doll called Tilly made by Ragtales and currently priced at £19.95. It's so nice to own a cuddly toy that isn't a dinosaur! Haha! 

Tilly the Rag Doll by Ragtales from Little Chickie
Tilly the Rag Doll by Ragtales from Little Chickie

The detail on little Tilly is so mind blowing - from her cute embroidered face, to the the bows in her hair, she even has little knickers on under her dress...adorable! The floral pattern on the skirt of her dress reminded me of one of my favourite Liberty prints, and again I loved the fact that she's mostly purple rather than pink. I'm pretty sure she'll be a firm favourite with baby girl Bishop when she arrives. 

Tilly's Knickers - Rag doll by Ragtales
Tilly the Rag Doll - look at her little spotty knickers!!

Tilly the Rag doll by Ragtales from Little Chickie
Such attention to detail! 

Tilly the rag doll on the dresser
I can't wait to see my little girl carrying this beauty around! 

Do keep an eye on my social media channels for pics of baby-girls arrival in early timelines are sure to be crammed full of baby-spam this summer! 


As well as sending me these stunning products (thanks guys!) Little Chickie have also provided you lovely lot with a bespoke 15% discount code for their website...

Use 'BBB15' at the checkout to get your discount and it's valid until the end of May - so if you've seen anything you like (of course you have!) you can get it at a great price too - what a treat! 

Happy shopping you lovely people! 

Mrs B


Monday, 25 April 2016

Retro Photo Magnets and a Framed Photo Poster from Cheerz *REVIEW & GIVEAWAY*

I'm pretty obsessed with photos and displaying them in innovative and interesting ways around my home is one of my favourite things to do. From wall canvases, photo pockets on my doors, traditional framed prints, and printed instagram polaroid style shots pegged across a butchers twine string - you name...I've done it with photos! Or so I thought...

Then Cheerz got in touch and introduced me to their fab new retro photo magnets: polaroid style prints of your favourite Instagram shots, printed onto magnets!! Genius! They come as a set of 12 and cost just £15 per set. You can upload your pictures directly from your social media accounts, add captions, and choose either a black, white or coloured background - then the clever people over at Cheerz will print them and send them in the post to you and before you know it you'll be funking up your fridge or freezer with some marvellous magnetic creations. 

They were kind enough to send me over a set to try out, and boy am I excited to share them with you - they're so fun and I've had so many comments on them already...
Cheerz retro magnets review mrs bishops bakes and banter
Beautifully packaged: my retro magnets from Cheerz. 

I chose a range of images for my set of retro magnets from cute shots of Bert, to a few of Liam and I together, one of the cat, and even a lovely shot I took of the Butterfly Bridge in Bedford a few weeks ago on a Springtime walk. I was so chuffed with the quality of the printing when the magnets arrived and I couldn't wait to display them proudly. 
retro magnets photo Cheerz review
12 retro photo magnets from Cheerz

I also chose to add captions underneath each photograph in hashtag formation e.g #BERT #PICKLE #BEDFORD. They look really great and are such a simple but fun way to add some excitement to your fridge without generic alphabet magnets or a 15 year old magnet you bought home from a Greek Island holiday! We've all got one of those, right?
Retro Phoro Magnets from Cheerz
In for the close up: such great quality printing from Cheerz.

Here they are displayed proudly on my fridge/freezer - don't they look great?
Cheerz Retro Fridge Magnets

Not only would these make a great addition to your own fridge, but wouldn't they make a wonderful gift too? Imagine printing a selection of picture magnets for someone's birthday, new baby's arrival or anniversary - such a sentimental gift for such good value.

As well as photo magnets, Cheerz also have a wide range of other photo-printing gifts including prints, boxed prints, albums, posters and frames. You name it, they can pretty much do it with an Instagram print!

The lovely gang at Cheerz offered to send me one of their framed posters to add to my ever-increasing quirky photo displays and I knew instantly exactly what I wanted the content of my framed poster to be: my bakes! 

I work really hard to take decent pictures of the things I bake and although I use the photos across my social media platforms and here on the blog, I couldn't help but think that was rather a waste of such drool-inducing images, wouldn't it be nice to display them at home for all to see too? My dining room seemed like the obvious place to hang said pictures as it is pretty much devoted to all things cakes/baking/vintage/tea party!

My bakes in poster form from Cheerz.

This is their large poster print and it contains a whopping 35 photos. When you order you can choose whether or not you want it to arrive unframed (£16) or framed (£30) - I received the framed option, in a white frame and I am so super-chuffed with the final product. It came perfectly packaged and most importantly - ready to hang! I do love a product that's instant and easy to incorporate into your home. 

Hanging in the dining room in all its glory...35 of my bakes for all to admire... yum yum! 

Visitors to my home have already got sucked into the baking-appreciation-vortex this frame sucks you into - and it got Liam & I reminiscing about our favourites of the 35 bakes featured in the piece. 

It was hard to get a non-reflective photo of the finished poster frame, but here's a few to show you in a bit more detail...

Yum yum! 

What pictures would you choose to make up your own collage frame? I'd love to know. 

I genuinely can't recommend the service from Cheerz enough - both my items arrived within a week of ordering, the ordering/uploading photo process was smooth and self-explanatory, and the finished articles are truly awesome additions to my home. 

Win Retro Photo Magnets

If you'd like to be in with a chance of adding a set of the retro photo magnets to your home then you can enter my giveaway below...I have three sets of retro magnets to give to away to three lucky blog readers, courtesy of Cheerz (thanks guys!)

So...wishing you all the best of luck... 

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky