Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Hello Canvas Review

I have often sat and looked at other reviews of Photo Canvas printing companies and every time I always think 'oh I must do that' but you know how it is something comes up and then someone needs new shoes or food or such like and my wants are last on the list of priorities.

So when I found an email in my inbox a few weeks ago asking if I'd like to review a photo canvas from HelloCanvas I was thrilled!

I took a few weeks pondering which photo to print onto the canvas, which was silly really as I settled with the one I knew I would as soon as I received the email, my all time favourite photo of the children and Jackson at the beach. I do love the moody colours in the sky and the light shinning onto the water that shillouttes the children.

Mark at Hello Canvas had asked me to send him my best photo that I didn't think they could match the quality of, he told me that Hello Canvas were the largest creators of photos onto canvas and helped take peoples greatest moments and make them into breathtaking photos on canvas.

So this photo above (which is the exact file I uploaded for my canvas print), that really is one of my favourite moments, seemed perfect, I really do love the picture but had never printed it out, always instead admiring it on my computer screen, I wondered if I would love it as much when printed and wasn't sure if the details I loved so much like the glistening water and pink light fleck in the sky would be lost, but I needed of questioned as I was not disappointed at all.

 The day after I sent my photo I received an email telling me my canvas was on its way. It arrived quickly via courier and when I opened it up I really was amazed at the quality of the print out. The detail is perfect the colours amazing and it truly is breathtaking.

There isn't a drop of detail which is missing and the colours although fractionally darker than on screen  are just perfect.

It is really difficult to get to portray the quality of the print out  from taking a photo of the canvas but I hope it comes across in this picture below, which is a photo of the canvas un edited without flash which hopefully shows it in all its glory.

The attention to detail and high quality level is clear, with the canvas being stapled onto a wooden frame neatly and professionally, and a sticker stating that they wish you to be happy with the product  however if anything has gone wrong then not to hesitate in contacting them which is reassuring.

Everything from the initial contact to the email informing me my delivery was on its way, to receiving the canvas was plain sailing and worry free.

If you, like me, have seen other reviews and heard of people raving about photo canvas prints but haven't yet indulged yourself by purchasing one, then please don't delay you will be blown away by the quality of the canvas produced by the HelloCanvas team and you will simply love displaying your favourite photos in such a great way, there are loads of sizes and prices to choose from, the website is user friendly and helps you decide on the size and how to crop your photos with ease.

Canvas start at just £13 for a 8inch by 8inch canvas and go up to a very impressive 36 x 56 inch canvas which would truly make a magnificent show piece. We were sent a 20 x 28inch canvas which is a lovely size for hallways, on landings, bedrooms, over fireplaces - anywhere really Priced at £37 it is affordable too.

The only problem you'll have is deciding where best to showcase your prints! I am yet to decide on the final resting place for ours as I am currently debating on ordering a whole load more to make a impressive photo canvas feature wall, but for now it is looking rather grand above the fireplace in the front room. Definitely take a look at and if you know anyone who loves photos then these would make a perfect Christmas gift!

If you are wanting to grab yourself a beautiful Canvas, the lovely people at HelloCanvas have offered my lovely readers a 5% off discount code, which has no expiry date and CAN be used in conjunction with any other offer... so this is perfect to add on to all orders before Christmas even if you are taking advantage of the special Christmas offers which wil be coming up in the next few weeks!

The code is : LBMAR2012

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Silent Sunday

light shines at the end of a tunnel


When you start writing a blog you don't realise how much part of your life it will become, how much you grow to love respect and appreciate every single person who visits your blog, and how you genuinely begin to care for those families who you read about n return on other peoples blogs.

So it is only natural when you read a heart stopping blog post like the one that was posted to one of my favourite Blogs on 1st August - An update, that you are shocked and not quite sure what to do other than send your thoughts and wishes and hope for the very best.

Blogging is like watching someones life unfold, witnessing the photos of happy moments where children eat ice cream and play together, learning laughing growing.

Then when something happens, something unexpected and devastating blogging can be a great source of support too.

When the blogging community heard of Kerry from MultipleMummy  had suffered a hemorrhage in the brain following a ruptured aneurysm, bloggers everywhere rushed to message their support, and every time MultipleDaddy left a blog post we joined sending out thoughts and love and hope that Kerry would improve to be back with her family and joining the blogging community she was such a part of.

Today it is  almost 5 months since Kerry took ill, and today everyone in the blogging community is being encouraged to continue sending positive vibes, love and thoughts of healing to her. Remembering the amazingly full of life Kerry pushing hard to fill the cyberwaves with such healing that they reach the whole MultipleMummy family and help bring some good news to them all this Christmas.

Liska at New Mum Online organised a blog hop to get the #Healing4Kerry going she posted some photos of the times she met Kerry in Real life, lots of bloggers have joined in and MultipleDaddy himself put together a beautiful montage of  photos however I have never actually met in real life any of the bloggers who I inspire me so much so I unfortunately do not have any photos to share of Kerry, however the blog post from MultipleDaddy just a week after the first post about her being ill, had a photo of Kerrys keyboard with a paper word - Hope.

Such a simple beautiful sentiment and if there is one thing we all have it is Hope, so I am sending my thoughts today to Kerry, I am hoping it helps.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Winter Sickness Bug

If there is one thing which I dislike about this time of year more than any other, its the winter sickness bugs. I was very fortunate with my eldest two and we missed all sickness bugs for the majority of their pre school years and even once starting school neither of them were sickly children.

My youngest however has suffered a few times in the past couple of months with the horrible sickness bug, it seems to be sweeping his entire school, and going round and round!

Last Friday he came home from school happy, bounding through the door full of the things he had been doing at school that day for Children in Need, the evening stated out in the ordinary way but he said he wasn't hungry at tea time, and by half past 6 he was complaining of a tummy ache and then seemed to suddenly come over very ill, he was sick three times that night, waking up the next morning still under the weather and sleepy.

Monday morning he still looked peaky and off his food and he was complaining of a sore throat and funny taste in his mouth. but through the day he picked up and ate his tea.

He thankfully is now much better, and back at school, speaking to a fellow school mum this morning she told me her 5 year old has had the same sickness and then sore throat a couple of times n the past month and the doctor said that besides common belief you can catch the winter sickness bug several times over, and when you have more than one child the bug can spread through the family a few weeks apart and then start back off at the first child again - a nasty never ending cycle.

There is a few things that I try to do in order to prevent spread obviously washing hands is important, and not sharing cutlery I have also found washing clothes and towels separately even if they are not soiled, so that other family members clothes are not washing with the poorly childs clothes seems to help. Cleaning taps, toilet handles and door handles as often as possible is also a great way to prevent spread, try to limit visitors and also don't let the person who has had sickness or an upset stomach go anywhere for 48hours after the last episode.

When children are in school tho and parents have work commitments this 48hour ban can sometimes be hard to stick to as quite often the child will be sick once or several times in a short time span and then perk up and seem to be much better, so the following 48 hours drag and often parents feel the child is better and can return to school quicker. this is why the virus spreads so much in children so it is important to respect the 48 hour rule as much as possible.

I am hoping that we can get through the next 4 weeks of school (yes there is only 4 more weeks of school before they break up for Christmas!) without any more bouts of sickness and then enjoy the Christmas holidays illness free.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Silent Sunday

Christmas Ideas - Personalised gifts

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had set up a new website me and my mum have been adding all sorts of posts over there, some of our favourite photos, our designs, my mum has even been joining in with The Gallery and sharing old photos of my childhood!

This is all good fun, but I initially brought the url makingmoments because I wanted to do something with my love for editing photos and creating pictures, I have taught my mum how to use paint shop pro and she is now as good as I am, and we both love to create designs.

With Christmas coming I thought this would be a great time to really push our design skills and get some interest over there, so I have created a 'freebie' section which me and my mum are going to fill with as much fun free Christmas design gift and ideas as we possibly can.

We have already made a lovely template letter to Santa, for everyone to download and print out so their children can write letters on magical paper.

And we also have a lovely photo frame which you can also download and print, then stick to card and add your own photos to to make a quick free gift for someone special this Christmas.

We aim to include gift tags, book marks, gift boxes and much much more over the coming weeks to hopefully get people enjoying our creative skills and helping people with quick easy gifts for school teachers, aunts, uncles, friends and family.

We also are offering to make personalised designs for a small fee where we put you and your family into a design which  you can print out at home, or upload to a printing company such as Photobox or Truprint and print onto keyrings, mugs or even T.Shirts if you wish.

This is a design made by my mum for a visitor to MakingMoments

Please do come over and take a look, share with anyone you think would be interested and I hope you enjoy the freebies we create for you in the run up to Christmas

You can find all our Christmas Freebies here : Making Moments Christmas Freebies remember to bookmark the page and check back often to see what we add next!

Monster High - Ghouls Rule

A few weeks ago we were invited to review Ghouls  Rule the new Monster high DVD with the Tots100 film club.

For those who are not familiar with Monster High, they are a new range of fashion dolls first released in 2010 inspired by famous characters from horror films, with the slogan freaky just got fabulous, the dolls are eye catching in their appearance which is different to other dolls, each character is dressed in very stylish clothes which instantly appeal to fashion conscious tweens and they have unique features relating to their inspired name sake, for example Frankie Stein the daughter of Frankensteins Monster has bolt through her neck and a green tinge to her skin, DracuLaura is daughter of Count Dracula wearing fabulously outrageous dresses and pretty bat wing accessories.

Although I was familiar with Monster High brand prior to seeing the DVD neither myself or Chloe had paid too much attention to the merchandise, so when the DVD arrived I wasn't sure what everyone would make of the film.

monster high ghouls rule dvd cover design

Ghouls Rule is the brand new movie featuring the Monster High cast, the plot is centred around the differences in celebrating the Halloween holiday from the Monsters point of view and the Normies (humans) point of view, it is a fun film with humour dashed throughout and a nice story line that touches on friendship and identity as the monsters work out how to make everyone enjoy the holiday together.

monster high ghouls rule characters frankie draculaura and friends

Chloe has really enjoyed watching it and it has captured her imagination much more than I expected, and since watching the DVD she has added a whole host of Monster High Dolls to her Christmas list, and has spent many happy hour drawing the characters.

9 year old drawing monster high ghouls rule dolls
 Even Jake (my 10 year old) has sat through it and given it the thumbs up, as has my 6 year old niece so it really does appeal to a wide age range, it is not at all scary or dark, and is full of quirky characters with personalities as big as their lavish dress sense.

monster high dvd box cover back design special features
 If you already have a Monster High fan, then I am certain they would love the DVD which is just over an hour long, (a playtime of 1hour 8 minutes) and has three never before seen animated shorts as a bonus special feature. Or if you have someone who has asked for the monster High dolls this Christmas then getting this DVD may provoke even more enjoyment and interest in the dolls, and would make a lovely additional extra in the stocking!

monster high ghouls rule bonus gift nail polish purple

Also included in the DVD pack we received was a free nail varnish which was a nice added extra and loved by Chloe.

Priced around £8 and available from supermarkets, amazon and this would be a great gift for daughters, nieces, cousins and friends of friends this Christmas.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Winter is on its way.

I can't believe the weeks are racing past so very fast we're now well into November and you can definitely tell we're on the brink of the winter months.

Last week however their was several days where blue sky was showing, and the trees looked lovely full of orange and golds.

But now instead of the bright Autumn sun there seems to be nothing but dull winter grey skies  and it seems to be getting colder and colder, I heard that the odds of having a white Christmas now are quite high, with an expected cold snap at the end of November, what with a fluster of snow already in October I wonder if the forecasts are more realistic for 2012 than the promise in previous years which never amount to anything!

Living in the Midlands we do tend to miss most bouts of snow, last winter we didn't see much at all  and normally if we are going to get a good covering it tends to be in February, the most snow my children have ever experienced was February 2009 where we had a really decent amount, enough to build snowmen bigger than ourselves!

I do love the snow, it makes everywhere look so different like stepping out into a winter wonderland, but it is simply not enjoyable if you aren't prepared! Which got me thinking how prepared are we for the snow if we do get some this year?

With last winter being fairly mild it has been quite a while  since we got out the thick snowsuits and we've been managing ok with thin gloves, and everyones feet have outgrown their wellies so we're really not very prepared at all. So if we suddenly woke up to a winter scene we would most probably opt to stay inside in the warm - which would be a real shame!

I think I most definitely need to add the winter essentials to the childrens Christmas lists and I may try to find a Sleigh too!

Besides, with the nights drawing in and the temperature dropping even without any snow to contend with it won't be long before I am longing for a thicker pair of Ski Gloves, you know the type that keep your hands warm even if you were to go off skiing the Alpine Ski slopes, having fairly long walk each morning to school it is always my hands which end up feeling the cold the most, and even if we don't get snow until the end of the winter months there really is no harm in being prepared is there?!

This post was brought to you in conjunction with Craigdon Mountain Sports

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Children in Need - Last minute dress up!

Children in Need has been around since 1980 so before I was born, it is the one charity event I remember loving as a child and watching in amazement when the BBC show was on and everyone was united in a night of caring, a night where giving even just a few pence meant you were doing something wonderful.

Every school year we would dress up, and buy cakes, it was always so much fun.

Now my children are at school and so you would think I would be really prepared for this once a year event, be super organised with cakes baked and sponsored events organised wouldn't you?

But no, I'm not that organised and instead of lovingly preparing lavish costumes for the childrens non uniform days tomorrow I am once again doing a last minute attempted at making a homemade designed T.Shirt.

We do have some 'official' children in need T shirts from years gone past, donned with Pudsey bear which I suppose Mikey could wear, but where is the fun in that!

Chloe wants to go in her PJ's as her school theme is opposites, Jake isn't kean on the whole dressing up scene anymore so is just going in normal non uniform, and so my creative juices had to be focuses on Mikey.

So I rumaged through the wardrobe and pulled out a scrunched up polo shirt, and found out the fabric crayons left over from our Little Designer Challenge earlier in the year, and I set about making a cheerful homemade design.

Mikeys theme is 'show your spots' so I decided we would write this on the back, and on the front I drew a Pudsey Bear, surrounded by spots!

I don't think we did too bad a job, and hope that Mikey chooses my design over the official T shirt in the morning!

Are all your children dressing up tomorrow? have you put lots of thought and effort into their costumes or  are you going for a homemade T shirt design like me?

Children in Need - Dress up day ideas

Out of all the charities I do love to support Childrens in Need with

Monday, 12 November 2012

Disney Memories - The little Mermaid

This time of year always makes me want to snuggle up and stay in doors and watch films, the dark evenings drawing in, it is now dark around 4.30pm so there is nothing nicer than snuggling up on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate and watching a film, and when it comes to what films to watch there is nothing better than re watching my favourite childhood films with my own children.

The films which are timeless and are still much loved are of course Disney films, all my old favourites my children love and every time we sit down watching them they bring back happy memories from my childhood.

My favourite Disney film has to be The Little Mermaid, I remember going to see it in the cinemas when it was first released back in November 1989 and then eagerly awaiting for the VHS release of it and being thrilled when we got a copy in our own home and we watched and re watched the video over and over until I could recite every song off by heart, now 23 years later it is still providing a magical story for my own children.

I am not quite sure what was so magical about The Little Mermaid, I guess it was because I connected with Ariels love to collect nik naks and mementos and dream of finding new adventures, I loved the mysterious underwater world full of beautiful mermaids and the love story that unfolded, the slightly scary Sea Witch and the disobedient streak in Ariel disobeying her father captured my imagination, not to mention the funny songs and humorous characters  such as Sebastian the crab and Scuttle the seagull watching the film again as an adult still makes me smile.

I guess that's why Walt Disney World is the worlds most visited entertainment resort, with so many people holding their own early memories of Disney Characters so close to their hearts, being able to visit the homes of the characters that we all connect with means it really is the place where dreams are made and being able to take children along to see the magic that is portrayed in these films upclose must be amazing.

Of course not everyone can travel to Florida but having Disney Land Paris closer by is a great alternative and means that making dreams come true is a little bit more accessible, if you are thinking of planning a trip to DisneyLand Paris there are loads of choices of accommodation available and Thomson Al Fresco currently have some great deals for 2013 bookings at the Al Frescos Parks that are close to Disney Land Paris, why not take a look and book the holiday of a lifetime.

I was offered a lego star wars advent calender as a reward for writing this post following the news that Disney will be releasing a new Star Wars film after purchasing the right from Lucasfilms early this month - and as my boys are mad on Star Wars, and I have a love for all things Disney I couldn't resist - all views and opinions are however as always my own.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lollipop Lane Baby Beding

When your expecting a new arrival there is nothing nicer than looking around all the baby products and preparing the nursery.

I have a real soft spot for the soft colours that are associated with nursery bedding and the whimisccal characters you find in alot of designs, beautiful teddies and cute critters.

Some of my favourite designs are in the Lollipop Lane collections the lovely neutral colours are fitting for either baby boys or girls.

I really like the Button Hole Bear bedding which can be purchased in a 3 piece bale for £44.99

and the I love Teddy Moses basket is lovely too, priced currently at £25

If you are expecting or know anyone who is, and are wanting to get some ideas for setting up a nursery and looking for the perfect Baby Bedding then do take a look at Lollipop Lane.

This post was brought to you in conjunction with LollipopLane

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Silent Sunday

Pooch Pack - Perfect gift for your Pet

The other day I received a email from a brand new company called PoochPack offering to send me a gift pack for Jackson our lovely boxer dog.

If you have a dog, then you will agree they are very much part  of the family and its always lovely to treat them with gifts, PoochPack told me they are a new company offering a monthly subscription gift pack service, sending out a box full of fun, treats and other goodies. I was intrigued by this idea and couldn't wait to see what would be included in the pack.

The very next day a box arrived, filled to the brim with doggy goodies, lots of treats, a toy,  even some shampoo and poop bags on a handy keyring.

 The PoochPack really was bursting with things which any doggy lover would appreciate, included also was a fact sheet telling you what was in the poochpack and where to find out more information.

We have been giving everything in the pooch pack a good testing over the past couple of weeks and Jackson loves every single thing that was included.

 The people at PoochPack really have given alot of thought about the selection of products, making sure they are top quality, the thing I really liked were that the products were all new to me and Jackson and not something you would necessarily find in your local shops, the Soopa Treats were 100% natural fruit and veg dog chews and Jackson really loved them, they would be perfect for dogs with allergies and sensitive tummies really tasty treats for our four legged friends. They looked delicious and juicy and were really chewy each Treat taking Jackson a good while to chomp!

Lots of thought has gone into the toy selection too, The Roxxter toy has quickly become Jacksons favourite toy, it is made from sturdy rubber with a vanilla flavour, with a unique shape that rocks around the floor and a funnel on the top which you can put treats down into the centre of the toy to keep your dog entertained, Jacksons absolutely LOVES it and he has played with it every day by himself with and without adding treats.

I really can't fault anything that was included in the PoochPack and think the pack as a whole would make a fantastic gift as a one off for any dog loving family, and I also think these packs would be perfect as a monthly subscription, with the dedication from the team of PoochPacks finding great quality products for the packs I'm sure everyone would eagerly await each monthly box, fitting together all your dogs treats and toys into one handy monthly delivery!

PoochPack offer a month by month purchase option, or a 3 or 6 month subscription ensuring your doggie is never forgotten.

So if you have a dog, or know anyone who does then be sure to take a look at chat to them on Facebook or Twitter too and why not make your dogs Christmas by having a PoochPack under the Tree!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Pop Party 10 Review

I love listening to music, but over the years it is something which has slowly become more and more uncommon, and I am slowly turning into one of them moaning adults who just simply doesn't 'get' the latest pop music craze and is somehow stuck in her teenage era full of Boyzone and Take That songs.

However with a 9 year old daughter the latest pop songs are gradually becoming an increasing noise around here.

Like most 9 year olds Chloe loves music, she happily spends hours writing out the lyrics to her latest favourite song, humming the words to songs which I have never heard before and I'm left wondering exactly where on earth she has heard them when we very rarely have the radio playing or the music channels on TV

I also remember being  at that age where you simply have to be in the know about the latest and greatest pop stars, I remember begging my mum to allow me to buy my first music CD and being thrilled when I managed to get my hands on Now thats what I call music 30, I loved that CD oh so much and sat happily playing it over and over and over in my bedroom until the words from every song were engrained in my subconscious.

I was thrilled when I was able to go and watch a BRMB radio concert and see the same singers live and my journey into my teenage years passed in a musical blur.

Now my ideas of good music my be stuck with Mike and the Mechanics Over my Shoulder, Bobby Brown Two can play that game or Sean Maguire Suddenly, but obviously we're no longer in the 90's and music has changed, and its simply just not cool to listen to tracks from 20 years ago, so although I still own and do listen to my Now30 CD my children groan and ask for Tulisa, Cheryl Cole and JLS instead.

So when we were asked to review Pop Party 10 I thought well I guess it is time I got to grips with the current music trends and found out what sort of music my children are singing along to in the playground.

Of course all three were thrilled when the CD arrived and they suddenly had cool music playing in their house, the track list is actually really rather good, and the songs are very up beat and fun and even I enjoy listening to them!

The CD also comes with a bonus DVD with 13 music videos on including PSY Gangnam Style which instantly got everyone up and dancing, One Direction What makes you beautiful,  and JLS Proud, which was the official sports relief track for 2012 and some behind the scene footage of Justin Beiber and The Saturdays.

You also get a lyrics sheet with all 22 song lyrics on, which pleased Chloe no end.

pop party CD music lyrics
 Overall this is a fantastic compilation of modern pop music and really has been a huge hit here with everyone from my 5 year old to my self and my other half

If anyone was wondering what to grab as an extra stocking filler for anyone this Christmas I don't think you would go far wrong with this fab CD

The full List of songs is as follows 22 tracks on the Music CD and the thirteen highlighted in Blue also appear on the DVD with the full music videos for the songs

PSY - Gangnam Style - + DVD
Carly Rae Jepson - Call me maybe
Maroon 5 - Payphone
Tulisa - Young - +DVD
One Direction - What makes you beautiful -  + DVD
Justin Bieber - Boyfriend - + DVD
Cheryl - Call my name + DVD
Ne-Yo - Let me love you
Jessie J - Domino + DVD
Will.I.Am Feat Eva Simons - This is Love
Fun Feat Janelle Monae - We are young
The Wanted - Chasing the sun + DVD
Rihanna - Where have you been
Cover Drive - Twilight + DVD
Olly Murs - Dance with me tonight + DVD
Katy Perry - Part of me
Stooshe - Black Heart + DVD
Conor Maynard - Can't say no
Alyssa Reid - Alone again + DVD
Rizzle Kicks - Mama do the hump
JLS - Proud + DVD
The Saturdays - 30 Days + DVD

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Sponsored Video - Pigs by Kids

Over 20 years ago Natwest wanted to encourage childrens savings accounts and set about an advertising campaign to do just that, they appointed someone to design a set of Pigs, that they went onto turn these designs into piggy banks, these pigs have become very familiar characters and extremely popular collectibles over the years.

Now Natwest are looking to update their Piggie bank designs and have decided to invite children to design the new face of Natwest Savings.

This fantastic opportunity means that children aged 13 and under can get creative and design a pig, then enter it into Natwests gallery.

Everyone who enters this fun competition gets a personalised certificate, and three shortlisted children will receive a hand drawn design of their creation by Harry Potter illustrator Clif Wright.

Then the three shortlists will  be voted on  by the public, until one winner is selected and the overall winner will have their design become the face of Natwest savings and made into real Piggy banks.

This really is a fantastic competition and something which you can get your children interested in, whilst having lots of fun creating your pig design and it will be a real talking point for years to come if you were lucky enough to be shortlisted or win!

Entrants to the competition close on 11th November which is only 3 days away, but that doesn't mean there is not enough time to join in, your childs design doesn't have to be a model, a painting or drawing is perfect, then simply take a photo of your finished design and upload it into the competition on the Natwest Website by clicking this link : Natwest - Pigs by Kids

Remember competition closes on 11th November be sure to read the full terms and conditions and get creating!

Why not watch this video for some inspiration too!

This post was Sponsored by Natwest.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Silent Sunday

The Christmas Fair

We were sent the beautiful Christmas Fayre Jigsaw Puzzle from Ravensburger this month to review as part of the PuzzleClub and what a beautiful detailed puzzle it is. Aimed at children 6 and above with 200 pieces the finished puzzle is 49.3 x 36.2cm in size, which is a lovely sized puzzle.

child completing Christmas jigsaw puzzle
The design is very festive and perfect for completing on the cold winters nights in front of the fire, there is plenty of detail to look at with carousals and Santas grotto, snowman building and carol singing it really is just lovely.

child christmas 200 piece jigsaw My daughter who is the least interested in jigsaws and so takes the longest to complete them, loved this puzzle and sat down determined to complete it by herself, it took her a couple of hours but she was very proud once it was finished and hasn't allowed me to break it up yet, I am confident my younger 5 year old would have managed to also complete this jigsaw as he is fairly confident with puzzles and with the different areas of detail you can work through this puzzle taking in the scene as you complete sections, as soon as Chloe allows us to break up the puzzle I'm sure he'll be eager to give it a try!

Christmas Fair ravensburger last piece of puzzleAs with all Ravensburger puzzles the quality is great, with no two pieces the same it makes completing this puzzle much more enjoyable.

completed Christmas Fair jigsaw puzzleIf you are looking for a stocking filler this year then be sure to add a jigsaw to your list, and this festive puzzle would be liked by everyone, for other festive puzzle reviews pop over to the PuzzleClub blog and see what else Ravensburger have on offer.

Vote for me - vote for me - VOTE FOR ME!!!!

Blogs, they are amazing, as hobbies go I have never loved anything as much as I love my blog, it rolls all my hobbies into one neat and tidy little place, I can adapt it and change it to suit my current mood. It gives me a reason to take photos, and gives me a platform to share them.

It gives me a reason to be creative and edit pictures, and make videos, hey it even encourages me to cook cakes and make up games to play.

My blog has given me amazing opportunities, fantastic products to review and places to go, and has enabled me to get to know so many other brilliant bloggers.

All this is just wonderful isn't it? Everyone who has ever took the tentative steps into the blogging world will appreciate the fun and thrill they get every time they post out something and eagerly await a response, be it a like on facebook, a tweet or a comment, every one is appreciated and encourages us to keep blogging.

So it is only common places that us bloggers love to check our scores and ranks, our page views and stats, we love the pat on the back when we see someone else might like what we are posting about.

But every blog is so different, so amazingly unique, their are amazing tech hungry blogs with helpful hints and tutorials, or humorous blogs which make you laugh out loud, ones who share their deepest thoughts and feelings and bare all for support and comfort, ones that take the most stunning photos or make mouth watering dishes to inspire, every blog is wonderful and has its place.

Yet us bloggers are such a competitive lot, we constantly strive to improve our little corners of the Internet, needing to gain a higher vantage point, wanting to up our ranking in the current must be included in list of 'top' bloggers.

We are all so very different, yet so very similar too, we long to be seen, to be read, to be liked and told we're doing well, and in the quest to accomplish this we all jump at the chance to race it out even when we're thrown together in a ugly vote off.

The latest rumble in the parenting blogger scene is the Circle of moms Top25 lists, and each year 25 - yep just 25 out of the thousands of bloggers are given the honour of appearing on a selection of specialist blogger lists.

But to gain the very welcomed pat on the back, and place on these lists, isn't great content, no its votes.

Now I REALLY hate vote contests, yet my love for my blog makes me want to do well, I don't want to let my little blog sit on the side lines when I REALLY want it to shine, want to feel proud when someone else says you know what I quite like your blog too, so I approved my nomination, I added my blogs photo and I asked for votes.

The problem however is that this particular voting contest runs for a further 19 days, and you can vote once a day, which means whoever pesters the most will obviously do the best, whoever shouts the loudest everyday will run ahead and I do not want to go down that line.

So I'm stuck between wanting to scream VOTE FOR ME and not wanting to ask at all.

I want to feel like my blog is worthy of appearing on a list, I want to hope that others like this little corner of Internet as much as me, but I do not want to become obsessed with this contest and waste time which I simply do not have touting for votes and feeling let down when my numbers don't rise as quickly as I'd like.

I'm under no false illusions that my blog is the best, I do not think it fits in any league above anyone else, I don't even really know quite where my blog fits in at all, its not full of inspiring craft ideas, or helpful tutorials, its not brimming with passionate thought provoking posts or funny stories but I do love it, and I am proud of it.

So I will ask once. If you would like to vote for me then please do take a look at  Circle of mums Top25 European Bloggers List by clicking on the pretty pink badge here, and click the yellow thumbs up 'vote' button next to the blog you wish to vote for, as simple as that no registration or sign in needed.


And while  you are there if you notice any other of your favourite blogs then why not vote for them too, as far as I'm aware there is no limit on how many you can vote for per day, just one vote per blog per day, I am pretty certain every single blogger included on the list will be most appreciative of your votes.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Sweet Treats

The last few months of the year are always filled with sweet treats with occasions bundled together where gifts of goodies are always appreciated.

What with my birthday the last week of October, then Halloween, then bonfire night coming up and of course Christmas there are loads of reasons to put on a party and fill the table with goodies.

We were lucky enough to be sent a box of Fudge from Fudgeridoo, who sell Designer fudge in loads of flavours.

Fudgeridoo caught my eye on Facebook where they show off their mouthwatering photos of their different Fudge flavours, which they sell from their shop in Barmouth in Wales, or via mail order over the phone.

Fudgeridoo sent us 2 pieces of Fudge to try out, which arrived in a lovely little black box. The Fudge would make a perfect gift for any occasion or just to enjoy as a treat.

The two flavours we were sent were Toffee popcorn and Chocolate Junky.

The Chocolate Junky was topped with a mixture of smarties and chocolate goodies and had a rich chocolaty fudge. It looks devine and it doesn't dissapoint when you taste it.

All three of my children couldn't wait to get their hands on it, and it vanished in a blink of the eye with Thumbs up all round!

The Toffee popcorn was a creamy fudge with real popcorn dotted through out, this was not quite as nice as the Chocolate junky, as the popcorn was a touch soft and spoilt the overall taste of the fudge.

However the children soon devoured it.

There are loads of other flavours on offer and I am sure that no matter what your taste you could find something to match it, and for a birthday or Christmas treat then Fudgeridoo selection would be perfect and a little different from your regular box of chocolates.

Be sure to pop over to their facebook and see what they have on offer for yourself, they also run plenty of give a ways and offers They currently have a special offer where you buy 3 bars and get a fourth bar for free. Individual bars are priced at £2.25
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