Stampin' Up UK: Oh Happy Day card making kit review

Monday, 20 March 2017




I love being creative, whether it be cross stitching, trying to learn crochet (slow progress!) or just doodles.

Mikey is exactly the same as me and so when I found out that I was lucky enough to try Stampin' Up UK's Oh Happy Day card making kit, I thought that it'd be perfect for the two of us to sit down, flex our creative muscles and spend some quality time together.





We chose the weekend when all homework had been done and Dot was having her nap.


Even the box looked smart, so we couldn't wait to have a look at the inside!



The kit includes:

* Set of 13 photopolymer stamps
* 20 card bases and coordinating envelopes
* Giftable kraft box
* Die-cut glittered chipboard shapes
* Embossed sheets
* Printed die-cut images
* Die-cut gold foil sheet
* Die-cut white sheets
* Basic Black Archival Stampin’ Spot
* Printed color doilies
* Baker’s Twine
* Glittered dots
* Stampin’ Dimensionals
* Acrylic stamp block

Adhesive is sold separately, but luckily Mikey raided his pencil case for a glue stick!








My first impression was that I thought that it looked relatively easy, but still grown up, which I liked! It was also really bright and colourful, which made it a bit more fun!


Our first card we chose to make was "HELLO"!






We read the instructions carefully and got to work, making sure to ink the stamp carefully and gluing and sticking things in the right place...






...and this is what we ended up with....


Not too dissimilar to the original, but we were so busy laughing and joking, (especially when I glued the bow to my hand) that we didn't notice that we'd glued a heart to the paper before stamping it.  Mistake! Cue more laughter!!



We decided to take things more seriously, (at least with the cards!) and began on our next creation. This time, Mikey chose "YAY"!









And the finished article.....



....spot the difference! Not too shabby!





For nearly two hours we sat down and really had fun. It was great to be creative and Mikey said that he had a brilliant time, especially because he had a chance to make things and create art, which is one of his favourite things to do.


PARTY TIME



PARTY TIME



IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY



IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY



THANK YOU



THANK YOU



THANK YOU



THANK YOU



THANK YOU



THANK YOU




There are 20 cards to make, but we only made 5 to begin with. We're taking our time and making some more next weekend. We had a ball and can't wait to make some more!




This card making kit is ideal for anyone who loves to be creative, whether it's an older child or an adult. Mikey is nearly 13 and this activity was perfectly suited to both him and me!



Stampin' Up UK's Oh Happy Day card making kit is available to buy from their website for only £31.50.  They can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.






Disclousure: We were sent Oh Happy Day card making kit in return for our honest review. All opinions are our own.

Read with Fonics: Review and Giveaway!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

 


Dot is nearly 2 and a half, and it might seem like it's way too early for her to be learning her phonics and spellings. I am definitely not a parent that hot houses and hate the idea of pushing a child before they are ready.

However, Dot's shown that she wants to learn! With almost anything, she copies both her brother and her cousin, who are both at school. Especially her cousin! If my niece has a plait in her hair, Dot has to have the same. If she is drawing, Dot has to do the same.


This is the same with letters! My niece started school in September and has been learning her phonics and learning to read with gusto and, like many other things, Dot wants to do the same!

I decided to get out some alphabet puzzles and help her learn her letters. I never thought that she would take to it, but boy was I wrong!


She is now fluent in 20 plus phonics sounds and can point them out to you without prompting, so when I was asked if we would review a new phonics app, I had to say yes!






Read with Fonics was designed by Sophie Cooper, a primary school teacher in England. As a former LSA, who worked in both primary and secondary schools, I really liked that this app focused on positive scoring. Traditionally, students are measured out of 100% and are always shown how far from the perfect score they are.


Read with Fonics is different. Each child starts on 0 and gains points for each correct answer. Success leads to more success and as the points add up, students improve their level.


Within the app, there are 4 worlds for children to explore. Water World, Forest World, Lava Land and Jelly City.







Water World




Forest World


Lava Land



Jelly City



As each sound is mastered, a new sound is unlocked to learn, encouraging children to continue learning.





What I really like is that children can learn at their own pace. There is no timer and each sound can be revisited as many times as you like, which is brilliant.


We have only looked at the first three sounds so far and revisit each one.


For each sound there are 7 different games to play, such as picking out the sound and completing a word.



















Free Resources


As well as the app, Sophie has also created lots of free resources that can be used alongside the app. All pictures used in the app are the same used in the resources.

As I mentioned before, I used to be an LSA and so get very excited at the prospect of resources, especially if I can use my laminator. (Yes, I have my very own laminator!!)




The free resources can be found here.



I have to say that I honestly love this app. It is perfect for helping your child before they start school and for a long time after as well!

We are taking it very slowly, but I can already see that it is helping Dot learn. She has also really responded to the positive scoring and loves seeing the score bar increase each time she finishes a level :)
This is definitely an app we will be using for years to come!




The Read With Fonics app is free (there are some in app purchases) and can be downloaded from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.   They can also be found on their website and also on Twitter and Facebook.




Giveaway time!


 Sophie has very kindly given me three codes to giveaway for Read with Fonics for the Apple App Store.


For your chance to win, all you need to do is enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!



There will be three winners and the giveaway ends on the 3rd April 2017!



a Rafflecopter giveaway




Disclosure: We were given full access to the app in return for our honest opinion. All opinions are, as always, our own.

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Monday, 13 March 2017




Mums. They work so hard. It is a job that is full of joy and laughter, but it is also a 24 hour job. There is no 9-5, no chance of a day or week off and even sometimes, very little chance for a tea break, let alone a lunch break!

So when Mother's Day comes around, you want to find the right gift that you can say "thank you" and shows how much they mean to you.


I've decided to showcase three people/businesses that have that something special for your mum, or something to hint (or in my case, gently nudge) your other half to get you from the kids!

I have used all three in the past and present and would happily recommend them to you :)


In no particular order:


Hobson's Choice Crafts

I found Sarah on Instagram last year. To begin with, I was attracted to the name, (I loved Hobson's Choice when I was at school!) but then I saw what lovely creations Sarah made. I couldn't not buy them! Sarah made me some lovely personalised Christmas bunting and Christmas cushions, so I know how great her work is :)


Sarah has been working hard on her Mother's Day range, but she can also make a custom order! Here is just a few of things she can offer:


















Items start at only £12 :) Sarah does have a website, www.hobsonschoicecrafts.co.uk, but you can view a lot of her work (which she updates daily) and also contact her on both Facebook and Instagram. She replies pretty quickly!



Athena's Box

I remember Lindsey from when she first started Athena's Box. I reviewed her first subscription box, and continued getting them until Lindsey moved the business in a different, but great direction!


All of the products are designed to inspire and empower girls, women & entrepreneurs.  Athena’s Box also believe that girls should embrace and love who they are. They believe that girls can rise to any challenge and they want to inspire them to reach whatever goals and dreams they’re aiming for! You can't argue with that!


Here are just a few of the items that you can find on the website:



Personalised Glasses and Mugs, only £10


Notebooks, only £2





Handmade Cabochon Necklaces, only £10




Now, I have a little treat for you all, courtesy of Athena's Box. Enter the discount code at the checkout below to get 10% off  your order!


Discount code: DOTMAKES4




 You can find these items and more on the website, www.athenasbox.co.uk. You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.




 SoapNSkin

Lastly, but not by no means least, is SoapNSkin. You may have read my review about them. It is fair to say that I am a fan!


I first discovered SoapNSkin in a recent Pink Parcel delivery and instantly loved their Himalayan Crystal Bath Salts :)

SoapNSkin is a company created by lifelong friends, Samar & Rabia.

They didn't want to mass produce their products. They just want to share what they love, and what has made a positive change in their lives with others. To that end, they create all of their natural products by hand in micro batches in their very own kitchens and are crafted and bottled by hand with love and an attention to detail.


SoapNSkin have quite a few lovely products, including bath salts, body butter and body wash, but a perfect gift for Mother's Day is their gorgeous Gift Sets, which are on offer at only £26.95 each.


They are available in 4 different scents and all of them come in their own wash bag:


Neroli & Patchouli with Jojoba Oil
Honey & Oat with Manuka Essential Oil
Rose & Sandalwood with Neem Oil
Lavender & Lime with Calendula Oil











You can find these and more of their products on their website, www.soapnskin.com. SoapNSkin can also be found on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.






I hope this guide has helped and giving you some inspiration on finding that special present for your mum this Mother's Day, or as my mum likes me to call it, (and I know she'll read this!) Mothering Sunday!




Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

soapNskin: A Little Bit of Luxury

Saturday, 11 March 2017




We all like a little treat and as a mum it can be even more important as we work pretty damn hard!


A treat can be anything from watching your favourite programme uninterrupted, or drinking a cup of tea that is still hot! That used to be the case for me, that was until I discovered SoapNSkin in a recent Pink Parcel delivery.


SoapNSkin is a company created by lifelong friends, Samar & Rabia, who create all of their natural products by hand in micro batches in their very own kitchens and are crafted and bottled by hand with love and an attention to detail.



You may have seen my mention of them:





It was safe to say that I loved their bath salts. I even ordered some extra pots as soon as they became available!


So I felt very excited when I was able to review SoapNSkin's Lavender and Lime with Calendular  Oil Wash Bag Gift Set.






As soon as I opened my parcel, I could smell the lovely and uplifting scent, but it wasn't overpowering.







What I noticed and was very impressed with was the attention to detail. Not only in the packaging, but even with the wash bag. It could easily have been just a plain inside, but it wasn't.








If this is what the washbag was like, I couldn't wait to see what the gift set was like! 
 
 
 
I didn't have to wait long. My very lovely husband ran me a nice hot bath, (with the aforementioned bath salts), put fresh towels out and let me have some 'me time'. Who was I to say no?!
 
 
 
 
 
After my very relaxing bath, I also tested the shampoo this morning in the shower. I wasn't sure what to expect as my hair is very thick and has quite a bit of red in it so it can have a bit of a life of its own when it's dry.
 
 
Well, I can honestly say that I was very pleasantly surprised. After a long time of drying it (it can take over a day to dry naturally!) my hair was soft and slightly manageable, which doesn't sound very good, but it is amazing! My hair usually looks like I've wandered through a hedge and that's AFTER I've brushed it!
 
 
What I especially liked was the scent that was left. Every time my hair brushed across my face, (which is quite often as I don't put it up very often), I had a lovely reminder of the relaxing bath and shower that I had. It was almost like I was enjoying 'me time' again, even though I was knee deep in clean washing that desperately needed ironing.
 
 
My experience of SoapNSkin was one of relaxation and luxury. Even when I was having a shower with Dot trying to talk to me throughout, I still felt relaxed and pampered!
 
 
Now the good news for all of you is that you too can get your hands on one of these gorgeous SoapNSkin Gift Sets, which are on offer at only £26.95 each.
 
 
 
They are available in 4 different scents and all of them come in their own wash bag:
 
 
Neroli & Patchouli with Jojoba Oil
Honey & Oat with Manuka Essential Oil
Rose & Sandalwood with Neem Oil
Lavender & Lime with Calendula Oil
 
 
 
They really are perfect as a gift for Mother's Day or as a treat for yourself.
 
On their website, Samar and Rabia say,
 
"We know it sounds like a cliché, and we know a lot of people will say that we can’t be both luxurious and affordable, but we are striving to change their minds."
 
 
I can honestly say, hand on heart, they have changed my mind and they now have a regular customer :)
 
 
You can find these Gift Sets and more on the SoapNSkin website, www.soapnskin.com. SoapNSkin can also be found on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
 
 
 
 
 
 
I was given a Lavender & Lime with Calendula Oil Gift Set in return for my honest opinion.
 
 


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