Monday, 30 November 2015

Our Crafty Advent Wooden House...

Well, it is officially "Christmas Time" at Chez Bishop - the tree is up, all the festive decorations are adorning the house, the Christmas china is washed and ready to use, the wreath is hung, the Yankee Candles are burning, and this year we even have a beautiful bespoke wooden advent calendar full of goodies just waiting for Bert to discover...!

It's no secret that I'm completely in love with Christmas-time and all it brings - the sights, the smells, the twinkling lights, the precious time with family, lovely gifts, glasses of steaming mulled wine and delicious treats.

If you don't LOVE Christmas then I'm afraid we probably can't be friends! Ha!

This year, the build up to December has been pretty tough for me personally. Not only is this the first year I'm having to juggle looking after busy Bert full time with working from home and organising Christmas, but I'm also battling some pretty horrendous pregnancy-nausea, which I've had from about week 7 until now (week 13) and it's still going strong! I'm feeling pretty dreadful from lunchtime onwards every day, especially in the evenings and it's knocking me for six...I'm tired and drained, only wanting to eat salty, carb-y rubbish and most of November has seen me wanting to hibernate completely. I'm now taking some medication prescribed by my GP which is helping a little, so at least that's something. The light reprieve has at least seen me tackle 90% of the Christmas shopping (online I hasten to add!) so at least that's something...I'm starting to feel more organised for the festive season now and now that the gift shopping is pretty much done I'm really starting to look forward to what's to come.

Yesterday saw us grab the festive boxes from the loft and adorn the house with all the twinkly Christmas goodies - my sister and brother came up from Surrey for the day to visit, and it was lovely to all pop the decorations up together and then head out for a lovely family lunch. Good times.

Usually, we opt for a chocolate advent calendar for Bert - he loves his choc choc and I have the fondest memories of opening my own chocolate advent as a child. In fact, I giggle as I remember that one year my twin sister ate all of her chocolates on Dec 1 and just closed the perforated windows hoping my mum wouldn't notice, haha! The past two years we've stuck with the chocolate calendar tradition for Bert, but this year I was sent a rather splendid wooden house advent calendar from Hobbycraft and set a challenge of decorating and filling it with £25 to spend in store. Challenge accepted!

Plain wooden advent house awaiting its decoration and filling...

I love me a crafty challenge, and have always loved the idea of re-usable advents - so this seemed like the perfect project for me. 

I had plenty of ideas about how I wanted to decorate my plain wooden house - you won't be surprised to know that my plan involved metallics (especially copper!), birds and twinkly lights (natch!).

Liam, Bert and I headed along to Hobbycraft with our £25 budget and managed to pick up everything we needed to create and fill our advent house. Here's the list of what we managed to pick up for £25.

-copper spray paint
-gold metallic acrylic paint
-paint brushes
-wooden advent number set
-PVA glue
-clip on robins x3
-LED battery operated fairy lights
-chocolate coins
-mini dinosaur figure set
-micro cars set

I couldn't wait to get crafting on the house, and so I made the most of it when my sister came to stay back in October - she amused Bert for me while I got my craft on!

Firstly, I spray painted the main body of the wooden house with the copper spray paint. I did two coats so that it was particularly bold, shiny and glossy.

Painting wooden numbers gold. 

Next I painted all 25 of the wooden numbers by hand with the gold paint, followed by the door handles, roof and chimney. A pretty fiddly job, but one I enjoyed nonetheless. Once dry, I clipped the robins onto the roof and chimney, and attached the lights to the roof and battery pack behind the house using good old fashioned blu-tack. 

Clip on Robins to add some final detail....

The whole thing was a fairly simple process, not too messy and I'm rather chuffed with the results. I love craft projects that are achievable and yet still satisfying. It is unrealistic for me to aim to build a wooden advent house from scratch - but decorating and personalising a ready-built one is the perfect middle ground. Especially for busy working parents. So, here we go, the finished advent house in all it's glory - Hopefully it looks festive without being gaudy, Christmasy without being too traditional, and has that 'handmade/I did it myself' charm...

Nestled below our Christmas tree - our metallic advent house.

All that was left to do was fill the house with the goodies I'd picked up in Hobbycraft - a rather seductive mix of Bert's favourite things: chocolate, dinosaurs and cars! I love the fact that this calendar can grow and change with Bert, and each year I can find something relevant and suitable for his current age/interest to fill it with (as well as chocolate coins, you never grow too old for them, right?)

Bert having a peek at his new advent house...patience is a virtue! 

I've been explaining to Bert the process of opening a door on the house each day until Christmas Day and I think he's understanding the concept. He seems pretty excited to open a door tomorrow & I can't wait to see his little face! For now, it's resting under our Christmas tree looking all sparkly and seductive! How long will it be until I find all the doors open & chocolate coin wrappers all over the living room? Hehe. 

Cars, dinosaurs and chocolate money - what more could any two year old boy want in his advent calendar?

Do you have a re-usable advent? Or are you chocolate calendar connoisseurs? Do you burn an advent candle? Or perhaps you have a beautiful old fashioned cardboard calendar with just images behind each door?

I have to admit Liam and I couldn't survive without our annual Hotel Chocolat advent calendar - this year we have the truffles for 2 calendar, kindly gifted to us from my lovely sister - thanks Jojo! Yum, yum! And in pure Miss Trunchball style, Hotel Chocolat is FAR TOO GOOD for Children, so I'm afraid we won't be sharing any with the Bertster - he's got his chocolate coins & they will just have to do. Ha!

Happy December for tomorrow folks! Exciting festive times ahead...

Mrs B


This crafty project is in association with Ocean Finance who sent the wooden advent house along with a £25 Hobbycraft voucher in exchange for this post.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Sylvanian Families Christmas Roundup

I am a "Friend of Sylvanian Families" Blogger and for those of you who read my blog regularly you will know I've always been a huge fan of these timeless toys. You can read all about our own growing collection of Sylvanians here: they live in our Victorian-style dolls house, which I have to admit is one of my most treasured possessions. 

I get a huge sense of pleasure seeing Bert play with toys that I enjoyed during my own childhood, there is something in that loop - the it-never-gets-old-ness of the Sylvanian collections that make them really endearing to me. I love that they are gender-neutral they aren't pink and frilly for girls and blue and masculine for boys - they are just beautiful families, homes and imaginative play sets for all genders and ages. Heck, I still love playing with them and I'm going to be 30 next year! 

Today, I thought I'd give you some Christmas shopping inspiration in the form of a little roundup of my favourite Sylvanian products available to buy this Christmas. 

It is basically my Sylvanian Families wish list! Haha! 

Trust me when I say that adding some Sylvanian toys to the Christmas morning pile is a sure-fire way to spread the joy this Christmas... 

Sylvanian Families Christmas Round-up

1. Christmas Set RRP £19.99

Because any serious Sylvanian collector needs to decorate their Sylvanian home for Christmas, right?

" ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, just one creature was stirring, and it wasn't a mouse! This cute Christmas set comes with Freya Chocolate Rabbit, wearing her special Santa-style dress and Christmas ear-hat. Complete with all the Christmas trimmings, it includes a star-topped tree and cute matching sparkly decorations in a variety of shapes from snowflakes to booties. And of course, there are gifts included too – a selection of wrapped parcels to put under the tree and a mini Cosy Cottage, bunny and car. Brimming with Christmas spirit, this pack includes festive cards and room decorations! Snow is the best present a Sylvanian can get at Christmas time, and so this heart-warming set has a snowbunny for the garden – and a wreath for the front door too! Deck the halls with Sylvanian Families with this Christmas Set."
2. Chocolate Rabbit Baby RRP £4.99

We already own the Chocolate Rabbit Family and I plan to buy this adorable Chocolate Rabbit Baby to add to our collection when our new little bundle comes along in the summer. I think it will be a cute way for Bert to understand adding a new little person to our family. 

Crème the Chocolate Rabbit Baby

"Crème loves the Pain au Chocolat her dad makes - she'll often greet the other Sylvanians with chocolate around her mouth. She's good friends with the birds in the garden, and shares her buns with them."

3. Chocolate Rabbit Grandparents *NEW* RRP £13.99

I adore these two gorgeous new additions to the Sylvanian Families collection. Bert is especially close to his grandparents so I know he'd especially love to have these little figures to add to his Chocolate Rabbit family! 

"Rhys is the captain of the Seaside Cruiser, and lives at the Sea Breeze Cape. He travelled to many different places on the cruiser when he was young. He gives tours of famous places around the Sea Breeze Cape, and tells lots of good stories to the visitors. Patricia lives at the Sea Breeze Cape and her hobby is snorkelling. She often gives parties on the cruiser. Her husband Rhys gave her a special handmade pearl necklace that she wears everyday."

4. Adventure Treasure Ship *NEW* RRP £16.99

We love all things nautical in The Bishop household and so of course we adore this treasure ship - we'd love for our Sylvanian Families to set sail sail across the Sylvanian sea in this spectacular ship. 

"Whether your Sylvanians want to go on a treasure hunt, or sail the Sylvanian seas, this little vessel is the way for them to navigate the big blue ocean! Conveniently located on the Adventure Island, this playground lets your Sylvanians use their imaginations to play pretend Explorers! From costumes to a viewing deck, this adorable themed playground has great games for all ages! Including a slide, swing and climbing net, plus some hidden treasure to hunt.

Includes over 20 pieces."

5. Cosy Cottage Starter Home RRP £24.99 

This beautiful little cottage is the perfect first foray into Sylvanian property. Incredible value for money - for those just starting their Sylvanian collection this would make the most wonderful first home for your beloved Sylvanians. 

"The Cosy Cottage is the perfect choice for those starting out with Sylvanian Families. With its red roof and beige brick style exterior, this quaint two floor cottage includes a ladder to connect the upstairs and downstairs. As well as coming complete with Freya Chocolate Rabbit Girl and a selection of starter furniture, the set also comes with smaller accessories such as frying plan, fork, dish and omelette. The kitchen furniture includes a kitchen table, bench, two chairs, a coffee table plus a kitchen unit containing an oven and sink, and bedroom furniture such as a bed, mattress and some pretty floral bedding. The panel that divides the two floors is detachable, and doubles as an additional garden area."

6. Cedar Terrace Townhouse RRP £44.99

This beautiful three-floored townhouse is a fantastic budget-friendly option for those who want to jump up a rung on the Sylvanian property ladder! 

"Cedar Terrace is townhouse style property with three floors. The backless layout allows easy access to the various rooms. With a traditional living room space on the ground floor, a large room on the middle floor and a converted loft- style space at the top of the house, there’s plenty of room for Sylvanian Families furniture in this product. As with Cosy Cottage and Beechwood Hall, this property comes with a makeshift reversible floor panel. Simply flipping over one of the floor dividers can create an extra garden space. Cedar Terrace also comes with two ladders to help your Sylvanians hop between floors."

7. Grand Hotel RRP £139.99 

The Sylvanian property that dreams are made of! No expense spared for this budget-bursting but oh-so-amazing property. I want it badly. I can't even pretend that it's for Bert. It would be mine...all mine!! 

"The Grand Hotel's impressive façade opens out to reveal nine rooms, a working chandelier and more than 25 accessories. Everything is included to help you create the feel of a smart busy, hotel lobby, including a reception desk, bell, a wall cabinet with 4 bedroom keys, a suitcase trolley, and 3 charming suitcases. This product comes with a dozen window boxes, plus white balustrades and pretty topiaries for both the roof garden and the first floor balcony - which add the finishing touches to this prestigious Sylvanian Families house. Without a doubt, the Grand Hotel is the standout property in the Sylvanian Families range."

8. Log Cabin RRP £39.99

The perfect winter retreat - how cute is this cosy log cabin? 

"In Sylvania, the Log Cabin is everyone's favourite holiday hideaway. It boasts all the essential bits 'n' bobs you need for a relaxed getaway in the woods. The steps to the cabin can be transformed into a hot tub, and there are 2 hammocks for absolute luxury and relaxation. Your Sylvanians can even climb up to the roof terrace using the ladder and marvel at the beauty surrounding them. If your Sylvanians are looking for a luxury break and some peace and quiet, then this could be just the place for them to get some quality rest and recuperation. Whether they want to sit on the porch with some fruit tea, or dip their paws into the hot tub, this is the perfect hutch for Sylvanians looking to catch up on some zzzs and spend some quality family time together."

9. Bluebell Seven Seater Car RRP £24.99 

Bert is a huge fan of transport toys such as cars, trucks, trains etc and he especially loves imaginative play - so this car would be the perfect addition to his Sylvanian collection - he'd love ferrying his families around in this awesome seven seater car. 

"The Bluebell Seven Seater is a classic Sylvanian car, which comes in smart navy blue. With 2 detachable seats, and 3 child seats included, this is the car for you if you’ve got a large brood to look after. As well as plenty of space inside, this car also comes with a book to stop the little ones from getting restless, and a map to make sure you they don’t get lost! As an added bonus the kitchen furniture from the Cosy Cottage Starter Home can be placed inside the Bluebell Seven Seater to turn it into a camping car!"

10. Washing Machine Set RRP £5.99 

We are lucky to enough to have an amazing wooden dolls house at home fully equipped with rooms and rooms full of stunning furniture for our Sylvanians to enjoy - but our house is fairly old fashioned (Victorian) and so isn't that domesticated. We are missing a washing machine, and all of our Sylvanians are starting to get a bit whiffy! What a cute little addition this would make to our house, and it's a really great price so it would be perfect to pop into Bert's stocking this year. Perhaps not the most exciting toy for a toddler, but I want him to grow up into a very domesticated young man - so he needs to learn to do the chores as well as the fun stuff! 

"Sylvanians have to do their chores too, and this lovely Washing Machine Set is the perfect way to make sure your Sylvanians clothes are spring fresh. Included is a vintage-style washing machine with a turquoise door, as well as a woven-style plastic laundry basket, a shelf unit for storage, and finally a bottle of detergent to get things clean as can be, this is an ideal set if you want your Sylvanians to keep their togs squeaky clean. There's even some softener to make the clothes kind and gentle on delicate Sylvanian fur! The set also comes with 2 towels in rosehip pink and buttercup yellow. Laundry has never been so adorable!"


Well, there you have it - my top 10 Sylvanian Families products for this Christmas. I hope I've given you some pause for thought and inspired you to introduce Sylvanian to your family this year if you haven't already. 

I'd love to hear all about your own collections so do leave a comment and let me know what you already own and what's on your wish list! 

Happy Christmas shopping lovely people!

Mrs B


Thursday, 26 November 2015

My Beauty Favourites...including 3D Fiber Lashes by Younique.

I don't often ever write beauty posts - mainly because as a busy working mum I'm lucky if I have time to wash my face, brush my teeth and pop some lip balm on before a busy day! Generally though, even pre-kids, day to day I don't wear masses of make up or have particularly fancy hair do's...long and straight is pretty much all my hair can manage, that twinned with my general lack of skill in the hair department mean I have only a handful of choices: down and straight, up in a high/low ponytail or up in a fishtail plait. I'd love to be better at doing nice things with my hair, but it really isn't high on my priority list right now. 

Simple make up and a fishtail plait

I do like to look my best but I am realistic about the time I have and resources at my disposal - both naturally i.e the canvas I have to work on (my face - I can't change it) and the time/money I can afford to put into looking nice. I love to make an effort for a special night out or a busy work day full of meetings. I always feel 'better' (a bit more confident, a spring in my step) when I make that extra effort. I totally agree with Nigella when it comes to make up: she once famously described it as her "armour", she's a wise-lady that Nige! 

I'd love to say I have ludicrously expensive taste - that all of the products I use come from Clinque and Estee Lauder, that all of my make up is from MAC, that I only bathe using REN products and will only put Clarins or Dermalogica near my face, but realistically?...I haven't got the budget to use lots of expensive luxury brands: I've been lucky enough to be gifted some for Christmas and birthdays in the past and I always savour the luxury, but once they're gone, they are usually replaced with a more budget-friendly alternative. 

Today, I want to share with you the sorts of lotions and potions I'm using regularly and I'd love to know what you're using too - any recommendations? Any fab reasonably priced products you've discovered? 

So, here goes...

From left to right, top to bottom:

BodyShop Cocoa Butter Body Butter 200ml - I use this as an all over body moisturiser. I absolutely love the smell of this stuff, I love how quickly is absorbs into the skin, and it makes my skin feel soft and hydrated instantly. (around £14)

Elemis Sp@Home Instant Refreshing Gel 150ml - this muscle reviving body gel is amazing! I was sent it as a gift from my cousin (who owns her own beauty salon and stocks Elemis products) during a particularly bad spell with my back. This warm, tingly, calming gel does miraculous things for sore muscles. I'll be so sad when it is all gone. (around £23)

Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch 15ml - This was a Christmas gift from my make up artist Auntie and it is literally the best thing I've ever used as a base for foundation. I put it all over my face before applying my foundation make up and it gives my face the smoothest, silkiest texture which is perfect for getting an even and flawless foundation application. (around £19)

Cuticura Cucumber Facial Scrub 75ml - This is a fairly recent discovery of mine, but I'm hooked. This fresh scented scrub isn't too abrasive but gives a nice deep clean and leaves my skin feeling really refreshed. I use this a few times a week - usually on days where I've worn heavy make up. It is a really great budget option for a deep clean, and for anyone like me with deep pores, you'll love how refreshed your skin feels after using it. (around £2.50)

Professor Scrubbington's Magically Foaming Hand and Face Wash 200ml -  Okay, so this is a product marketed at kids, I'll admit it. I got it free in a goody bag from a blog event last year, so thought I may as well give it a go. I blooming love it! Not only does it have the freshest scent it also leaves your skin feeling super-squeaky clean without the abrasion of a scrub. This is perfect for everyday use, with a scrub added in a few times a week. (around £5)

Soap & Glory Heel Genuis 125ml - I'm a huge fan of Soap & Glory products: they're very reasonably priced, are great quality and who can resist their awesome packaging? Ha...I'm a sucker for something pretty! This Heel Genius foot cream is good stuff, especially in the summer when you want to keep your feet really well moisturised so they're flip flop ready. I usually try to pedicure my feet about once a month - I like to have short, tidy nails and always prefer them to be painted a nice bright colour. After soaking, filing hard skin, trimming and painting my nails I usually apply a liberal coating of this stuff, pop on some socks and sleep overnight in them - waking up to lovely soft feet! (about £5.50)

Aussie Luscious Long Leave-In Conditioner 250ml -  Aussie is one of my favourite hair brands. When I use their shampoo, conditioner and or this spray I feel it always leaves my hair feeling soft, hydrated, smooth and smelling beautiful. This spray is especially good for heat treated hair - so if you use hairdryers and straightening irons regularly then this is a great option for adding that extra layer of protection to your hair. (around £4.50)

Paul Mitchell Smoothing Super Skinny Serum 150ml - I buy this product directly from the salon where I have my hair cut - recommended to me by my hairdresser a few years ago, I've never looked back. It is particularly good at reducing frizz and giving a super smooth, sleek finish to my locks. (around £22)

L'occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream 30ml - I suffer from particularly dry hands - especially in the cold winter months, I inherited the dry hands from my mum who also gets this badly. It really frustrates me as I like to have well manicured hands/fingers and the extreme dryness can leave them looking far from their best. I've tried MANY hand creams over the years, but to date this is my favourite. And handbag sized so perfect for using when out and about too. (around £8)

Benefit BeneBalm & BeneTint - This collection of lip tints and balms from Benefit was kindly given to me as a birthday gift this year and I love it. I always find lipsticks to be super drying on my lips, and they never last quite as long as I hope they will. This tint and balm combo in a dark red or light pink shade seem to be a great alternative for me, supplying great long lasting colour from the tint and lip hydration from the balm.  (around £17.50)

The Body Shop Chocomania Eau de Toilette - Okay, so I have really expensive taste in perfume generally - my absolute favourite scent is Miss Dior by Christian Dior which is about £100 for 100ml, but this scent is obviously a huge treat and I don't get to indulge that often in a bottle. For everyday/general use I tend to stick to more reasonably prices scents - my current favourite for winter is this deep, spicy Chocolate-scented eau de toilette from The Body Shop. I also love Britney Spears Midnight Fantasy and Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue. (around £8.50)

Essie Polish/Rimmel Nail Rescue/CND Solar Oil 68ml /Soap & Glory Hand Food 125ml - I used to bite my nails until they bled - they looked horrendous all through my childhood and teens, I was always embarrassed of them and tried to hide my hands wherever possible. Once in my twenties I decided to kick the habit once and for all, and have never looked back. These items are my staple lotions and potions for nail care. My favourite polishes are made my Essie, for an everyday 'French' look and to help strengthen my nails I use Nail Rescue from Rimmel, and to moisturise I use CND Solar Oil daily as well as Soap and Glory Hand Food moisturiser for everyday use (using the L'occitane one during the winter when my hands are particularly dry). (Essie Polish around £7.50, Rimmel Nail Rescue around £4.49, CND Solar Oil 68ml around £14.99, Soap & Glory Hand Food 125ml around £5.50)

Rimmel BB Cream (Light) - I have been totally converted to using BB cream instead of a heavy foundation for general every-day even coverage. I find this particular brand to be the best for my skin, and I much prefer how it feels on my skin compared to foundation. Plus it boasts a 9-in-1 skin care formula as well as providing an SPF protection of 20, which is vital for someone with my fair complexion. (around £6.99)

Maybeline Dream Touch Blush - I love the light mousse-like consistency of this cream blusher. I use this daily to add a bit of colour to my cheeks. It gives a nice glow to my fair skin without looking too bronze. (around £6.50)

Benefit Browzings - Another recent discovery following a shopping trip in London with my cousin Vicky, who recommended this brow-shaping kit, and treated me to my first palette as a late birthday gift. This fab little combo comes with a pigmented dark wax to add shape and definition to lack lustre brows, a lighter setting powder plus two brushes and mini tweezers in a mirror compact to ensure perfect brows wherever you go. I have naturally very thin brows, which has always driven me to distraction - so it's really nice to have found a product that can add the brow definition I need to frame my face. (around £24)

These are genuinely the products I use day to day - and swear by. I might not be the most glamorous of ladies, but I'm satisfied that I try hard to look after myself and make the best with what I have. Products and potions are such a personal taste thing - especially scented items, so I'd love to know what you like to use, and if any of you use or have tried any of the products I've mentioned today. 

3D Fiber Lashes by Younique

Finally, I wanted to share with you my latest mascara discovery...

It's called Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes and it's made by a company called Younique. I was kindly sent this as a gift from my lovely friend Sammy who sells Younique products online here. I've been dying to try out these fiber-lash mascaras for ages, so I was excited to give it a whirl. 

I've been really pleased with the outcome. The three step formula sees you apply transplanting gel to make your lashes sticky, then the 3D fibers to add tremendous body to your lashes, followed by a second coat of transplanting gel to set your look. It doesn't take much longer than applying a normal mascara, you only need the two tubes, and the results are the nearest to applying fake lashes that I've found in a mascara. 

It does feel slightly heavier than a normal mascara and produces a fairly dramatic lash compared to what I'm used to, so I tend to save this mascara for special nights out or days when I feel the need to look particularly made up. 

3D Fiber Lashes is usually around £23, so not too much more than many high street mascaras and on-par with other luxury make up brands in terms of price. It boasts the ability of being able to increase your lash volume to up to 400% and it is hypoallergenic which makes it ideal for those with sensitive eyes. 

3D Fiber lashes plus my usual everyday make up look. 

So, come on then ladies and gents - hit me with your favourite products - what items/brands can't you live without? I'm dying to know.

Bye for now

Mrs B


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Cards that are a little bit bonkers from Lost Marbles Co *REVIEW* & *GIVEAWAY*

Today I have a little festive treat in store for you! 

An old friend of mine recently got in touch to say that her fabulously quirky greetings card company Lost Marbles Co had just launched a totally bonkers new Christmas range of greetings cards, and she asked if I'd like to feature them on this lil ol' blog of soon as I saw them I jumped at the chance, the cards really are just so brilliant and right up my street. 

I find that Christmas cards can be so generic - robins, holly, Santa - you know, the usual! It was so refreshing to see such a fun range of cards and I just knew you'd all love them too... 

It wasn't until I clicked through the products on Kat's site and recognised the 'old tart' birthday card that I realised I'd purchased one of her birthday cards in a lovely independent children's book shop down the road from me in Bedford just the week before! I had no idea it was Kat's company - I just saw the card and LOVED it. What are the chances?

Coincidence is such a funny thing and I'm so glad that she thought of me when it came to spreading the word about her super fun illustrated cards. Not only are they full of joy and humour, Kat's cards are really beautifully illustrated and so colourful. 

I'm going to share my six favourites with you today and give you the chance to win all five cards in the new Christmas collection too! You're welcome... 

My top six fave cards from Lost Marbles Co...

This 'old tart' card is the one I purchased without knowing it was by Kat - I sent it to my lovely friend Emma for her birthday as I knew she would just love it. It's such a gorgeous illustration with such a tongue-in-cheek message. Perfect. 

As soon as I saw a card with biscuit illustrations I knew I had to make it mine - I mean like I don't already own a whole house full of biscuity themed goodness. I'm saving this bad boy for someone super-special...

Then I browsed through the Christmas range and honestly struggled to select just four cards to keep for myself - they're all SO good. 

Who's your Christmas fruitcake?

This one is being sent to a very beardy friend of mine. 

And as soon as I saw this xmas jumper card I thought of a good friend of mine who has a bit of a 'thing' for xmas jumpers! She'll love this I'm sure. 

Because we all know someone who is totally rubbish at wrapping, right?

I literally cannot wait to send out these cards - I have a recipient in mind for each special card and I feel sure they will just love the joyous sentiment and humour - who doesn't love a card that makes you proper belly laugh? 

I'm chuffed to bits with the quality and attention to detail of each card: I even got a cute little set of envelope stickers thrown into my package too, thanks Kat! 

All of Kat's cards retail at £2.75 each plus shipping OR you can buy a set of 8 cards for £12 or a set of 15 cards for £20. 

Now that I've shared my favourites let's take a peek at her five new festive cards - be sure to keep reading as you could be in with a chance of winning the set for yourself...

Christmas Jumper card - I can't wait to break out my bad boy this year! 

You're the egg to my nog! He he he. 

We all know a fruitcake...

For the bah humbugs in your life! 

Yep. Pretty much how every gift I've ever received from my brother looks. Wrapping isn't his strong point. 

If you'd like to be in with a chance to win the set of 5 fab Christmas cards from above then enter via the Gleam app below! 

Good luck everyone! 

Mrs B 


WIN these 5 totally bonkers Xmas cards from Lost Marbles Co. 

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Disclaimer: I was sent greetings cards from Lost Marbles Co in return for this honest review. 

Eviction Notice...

Monday, 23 November 2015

Peppa Pig Live: Peppa Pig's Surprise *REVIEW*

On Thursday we headed as a family off to our local theatre to see the latest production of Peppa Pig Live called Peppa Pig's Surprise! 

This was the first ever live Peppa show we'd taken Bert too - he is a massive, massive fan of all things Peppa, but we felt he was a little small last year to see the tour, so waited until this year to take him, and I'm so glad we did. 

He was at the absolutely perfect age for the show and thankfully he totally and utterly loved every moment. Phew! There's always that moment as a parent when you build something up and then get disappointed when your child's reaction isn't what you imagined it would be. Bert loved it though - he squealed and shook with excitement when he saw Peppa and George for the first time, he danced, sang along and shouted out all the names of the characters he could recognise - it was wonderful to see!

Look at my little cuties - sitting in the theatre waiting for the show to start! 

Peppa and her friends are performed by puppeteers dressed all in black who manoeuvre the puppets and provide their voices from behind. The puppets themselves were much bigger than I imagined (about bust height from the floor) and looked just like the characters we all know and love. Mummy Pig and Daddy pig are played by performers in suits, and so are life size, making them suitably bigger than the child sized puppets. There is a female lead called Daisy, who is meant to be a little girl who is friends with Peppa and George, she ties the whole show together, and acts as a kind of host. 

The whole cast proved to be really great performers - the singing was of good quality (it is always a bug bare of mine when children's theatre has bad quality performers) not here though - they all had great singing voices, lots of energy and enthusiasm, they danced well and got all the children excited and involved. If I had one criticism it would be that some of the voice interpretations of the characters could have been better. Although the main characters of Peppa, George, Mummy Pig and Daddy pig seemed fairly accurate, the other characters voices were quite different to the TV version, not a huge problem, but just something to note. 

The sets were really great and so true to the show our kids all know and love. Every aspect of the performance seemed to have been really well thought about: and the addition of some fun bubble blowing and water squirting always goes down well with the kids (note: if you sit near the front you WILL get wet!). The show ran seamlessly for two 35 minute acts with a short interval for toilet and snack breaks. 

I don't want to totally ruin the show for you, but I thought I'd share some photos to give you an idea of what to expect... 

The show see's Peppa, George and all their friends firstly enjoying a game of hide and seek together with Daisy, the host. This is followed by Peppa & George's bedtime routine - bath and a bedtime story. The next day we follow them on their journey to the seaside with Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and their friend Daisy. Peppa gets a lovely surprise while at the beach, and we get to meet lots of great seaside creatures in a fantastic UV light show towards the end of the performance. You'll sing along to familiar songs such as The Bing Bong Song (come on, you know you know the words!) as well as hearing some lovely new tunes as well. 

Bath time with Peppa and George

Night night Peppa and George! 

Journeying to the seaside...

Of course it doesn't go without a hitch or two...Daddy Pig to the rescue! 

At 2 years and 3 months old Bert really enjoyed the performance and managed to sit in his seat the whole time and watch - there were children of all ages in attendance though, from newborn right up to older preschool kids, so I think no matter what age your children are, if they are fans of Peppa they'll be sure to get something out of the show. 

I don't want to spoil any more for you, but if you were considering going then I hope I've reassured you that it's worth booking. 

The show is touring throughout the rest of 2015-16 and you can book your tickets for the tour online here

(Ticket prices vary depending on the venue - but range from £20 - £12 per ticket - you can also purchase a family ticket for 4 people for around £58.)

Mrs B


Disclaimer: We were gifted a family ticket to Peppa Pig Live in our hometown of Bedford in exchange for this honest review. 

You can find out more info about Peppa Pig Live by liking them on Facebook