My Summer Wedding Guest Outfit Shopping Tips


If you have been lucky enough to be invited to a summer wedding you will no doubt be looking for a new outfit. Weddings provide the perfect opportunity to treat yourself and buy something really special. To help you to buy the best outfit for you I have pulled together a few of my favourite tips.
Try shopping online
Online stores like www.jdwilliams.co.uk offer a fantastic level of choice and do so in practically every size. So, they are a great place to go shopping for a wedding outfit. Plus, they also sell men’s clothes and everything you need for your children too. So, potentially, you could buy everyone’s outfit from this retailer or one like it.
Allow yourself plenty of time
Whether you decide to buy your dress or suit online or in a physical store,start the shopping process early. Ideally, you want to have everything you need at least a month before the actual wedding. This gives you the chance to try your entire outfit on to make sure it all fits and looks right. That way you will have a few weeks to send unsuitable items back and receive the replacements. Or, if you prefer, make the necessary adjustments and enhancements yourself.
Follow the theme
If there is a dress code or theme mentioned in the wedding invitation, try your best to follow it. Doing so will make sure you fit in and feel comfortable on the day. It will also please the bride and groom.



Don’t be afraid to try something a bit different
Weddings provide you with the perfect opportunity to try out something a little different. Never be afraid to try out a fresh look. This guide to choosing clothing that flatters your body type will help you to quickly narrow down your options. Just be sure to try everything on properly. It is especially important to look at yourself from different angles in the mirror. If you are not 100% sure get a friend or family member to take a few photos of you wearing your new look. This will enable you to take a few days to consider if you really should stick with that new style of clothing.
A few practical considerations
Try to think about the practicalities. For example, if the weather is not as you expect, ask yourself whether you will be able to stay dry and warm or cool enough. It is particularly important to select a pair of shoes that will be comfortable enough to wear all day as well as look good.
Getting yourself in shape before the wedding
If you would like to lose a little weight before the wedding, which is something I know a lot of people still like to do, you could try taking the Slimfast Challenge. I did it a while back and found that it worked well for me. You can read about my experience with this type of diet by reading the articles I wrote while following this diet regime. If you are interested in doing so, it is best to start with this post.

(This is a sponsored post.)

Ravensburger Disney Pixar Incredibles 2 XXL Puzzle - Review

July 13th sees the long awaited return of The Incredibles to our screen in 'The Incredibles 2'. C and E are massive Disney fans and C especially is excited to go and see it in the cinema. He's going to have to get in line though, I was 12 when the first movie was released and I loved it so I've been waiting a long time for this!


To coincide with the new release, Ravensburger have brought out a new Disney Pixar Incredibles 2 Puzzle! This one is 100 pieces and recommended for children aged 6+. C turns 6 in two months' time so I thought we'd give it a try and see how he got on. He's never done a puzzle of this size before.

Straight away, C was really excited to see the whole family (and Frozone) on the box and spent some time telling me all their names. Once we'd opened out the puzzle and saw all the pieces, it was a bit like "where do we begin?!" especially as a lot of the colours are similar with mostly reds, blues and blacks. 


Due to the amount of pieces, C did need a little helping hand from me but once we had sussed out the edges, he enjoyed looking at the finished image on the box to gauge where the pieces should go and which order the characters were standing.


The whole puzzle took us around 20 minutes to complete, which I thought was perfect and not too long that C would get bored and want to do something else. He was eager to find that feeling of accomplishment once he'd finished. The pieces themselves are perfect, in true Ravensburger fashion, with a great finish and no sharp edges. Doesn't it look fab? We had lots of fun and it's definitely one that we'll go back to a lot.


You can pick up your own Disney Pixar Incredibles 2 Puzzle from Amazon for only £8.99.

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 
 


Little Live Bizzy Bubs Cute Crib - Review

My daughter E is very much a girly girl in some aspects, with a love of princesses, anything pink or purple, pretending to be mummy and looking after her dollies. You may be familiar with the Little Live Pets range, but now there is a cute collection of babies that need looking after too!


We received Gracie, an adorable little pink haired baby (which of course, E was beside herself with excitement about) with a little white pair of ballet shoes as a hair clip. Her pink stripy nappy also matches perfectly!


By pressing the pink bow button on her nappy, Gracie will show you everything she can do such as boucing, singing and giggling. She comes with a bottle and dummy and she reacts to them once you put them in her mouth. The little suckling noises are adorable! She will "drink" her milk from her bottle but all the bouncing around in her crib will make her tired so by placing her dummy in her mouth and lying her in down, she will fall asleep. She needs some rest and it's the perfect place to dream about becoming a ballerina!


E has been taking her role as mummy very seriously, making sure that Gracie is entertained, well fed and well rested; even singing Rockabye Baby when she's trying to get her to sleep. Any toy that combines pretend play with noises and movement is a winner in my eyes!


Little Live Bizzy Bubs is recommended for children aged around 5-8 years and it does come with small parts by way of the bottle and dummy. There are six different dolls to collect: Gracie and her Cute Crib, Swirlee and her Cute Carrier (who my lovely friend Jenna has written about), Snowbeam, Poppy, Polly Petals and Primmy. 

This set retails at £22.99 which I think is a fantastic price as E hasn't stopped playing with her since she was opened, and the actual doll is a lot bigger than I thought she'd be. Bizzy Bubs are out now in all good toy stores or www.character-online.com.

Join in with the #BizzyBubsBabyShower Twitter Party over at @UKMumsTV on 5th July from 4-6pm where we will be chatting about the toys and there will be prizes up for grabs. Check out the takeover at www.ukmums.tv too from 2nd July for more information on the party and more chances to win!

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
 

Spinmaster Wobbly Worm - Review

With summer approaching, I really wanted to get the kids some more games and toys that they could play with outdoors. Although C and E are 5 and 3, so not too much of an age gap, I do struggle getting something fun and easy enough for both of them to play together. C likes "older toys" and E needs things to be easy for her to master.


Spinmaster have a great game called Wobbly Worm which has been brilliant for keeping the two of them entertained, getting them having fun with a little added competitiveness for good measure!

The concept of the game is easy. Inside the box you received a base shaped like half an apple, the tubes and connections to create the "worm" and nine rings in three different sizes/colours.


The aim of the game is for the players to get the rings successfully over the worm but it's made a little bit difficult as once the button on the base is pressed (the base requires two C batteries which aren't included), the worm will start to wobble in all directions.

What I love about the game is that you can adapt it to suit whoever is playing. There are two different ways to play. For younger children, they can take one step back from the worm so they are basically arms length away, hold one of the hoops out while the worm is moving and try to place it over its head without moving their feet.


For older children, they can take three steps back so they are a bit further away then try and toss the hoops over, like a ring toss, again without moving their feet. The worm is built with four tubes but you can also remove some if you find that the worm is too tall for your children to play.


The game is recommended for children age 3+ so although E is right at the lowest age range, she actually enjoyed trying to throw them from a bit further away, until she got a little annoyed that she wasn't getting them on and tried to cheat! I usually give her the largest rings so it's a little easier and C is happy enough to try with the smaller ones. It gives us a load of laughs, especially when mummy can't even get the rings over the worm either!


Wobbly Worm is such a simple game that the whole family can enjoy - even the kids' granny joined in at one point - while also nurturing and encouraging those fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. You can purchase it from Smyths and all other good retailers for £17.99.

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
 

Morse Toad Chocolate Puns in the Post - Review

I am the type of person who loves gift giving. I enjoy taking my time to search online for something that may be a little quirky and different and then seeing the recipient's reaction when they open their present.

I've been a follower of small business 'Morse Toad' for quite a while now on social media as I loved their personalised chocolate gifts. They have a new addition to their website - Chocolate Puns in the Post! Chocolate and comedy, who doesn't love that?!


The ordering process is very simple. You can choose from five different puns; Have a super day, Thanks a bunch, Hip hip hooray, You nailed it and I find you very appealing. With Father's Day on the horizon, I decided to opt for "Have a super day" as a gift from the children.

Once you've chosen your pun, the next step is uploading a photo. You can keep the generic image of the Morse Toad logo at no extra cost or for just £1.25, you can select your own. I chose a photograph of both the children together. On the back of the photo, you can add your own text (up to 200 characters), and as this would be a Father's Day gift I went for "To the best daddy in the universe! Lots of love Caleb and Erin xxx"

Delivery time was very quick and Morse Toad state on the website that they offer same day dispatch before 1pm so you have plenty of time to order your own gifts for Father's Day. I was also able to turn on notifications through my Facebook Messenger so I knew exactly where my item was and when to expect it.




Once it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. I knew it would be lovely but didn't realise just how nice! The actual presentation box makes it seem very high quality to begin with and upon opening, you are greeting with your pun image - it's an actual block of chocolate!




Above the pun, you have your image on a wallet sized card with the text on the back. I absolutely love the way that Morse Toad have done this as it's something that you can always keep with you even after you've demolished your delicious chocolate!



I think these make such a lovely gift for only £8.20 if you are personalising the photo or £6.95 without.

Right now, Morse Toad have a competition running where customers can win £100 and 25 free boxes! Just pop over and enter here: http://bit.ly/winpun

You can view the full range of gifts over on the Morse Toad website and you can also keep up to date on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

(I received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Posh Paws Chewbacca Collection

Unless you live on another planet, I'm sure you're all well aware that yesterday, 25th May, the new Star Wars movie 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' was released in cinemas. The movie tells the tale of the time that young Han Solo meets his future co-pilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian.

To celebrate the release of the movie, Posh Paws have brought out a new range of Chewbacca (and other Star Wars characters) soft toys. C has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as I can remember so he was delighted to see the new range for himself.


We received:

Chewbacca plays a strong part in the Solo: A Star Wars Story movie, something which my two children are excited about as I think they see Chewie like a big cuddly teddy bear. Posh Paws have really knocked it out of the park with these toys as they are so soft and fluffy.


The 10 inch Chewbacca was instantly stolen by E, just for the cuddle factor. She may only be three years old, but having a brother and father who are so into Star Wars means that she knows the craic and shouted out "CHEWBACCA!" before snatching him and not letting anyone else get a look in.


The 8 inch plush toys of Chewbacca and Yoda are definitely C's favourites. He likes that they are that little bit smaller so he can cuddle them in bed or take them in the car on school run. Additionally, he's been making the two of them interact together in imaginative play. The fur on this 8 inch Chewbacca and the 10 inch one are very different, but still just as snuggly. 


The bag clips are great to add a bit of character and personality to your belongings and C couldn't choose which one he wanted to attach to his bag - so both Chewbacca and R2D2 have a new home. I think these would usually go on the zip but for some strange reason, C's schoolbag doesn't have a loop to attach them to on the zip so we've had to improvise.

The Posh Paws plush collection are all suitable for children aged 2+ and can be found in the characters shown here and also Stormtrooper, Porgs and Darth Vader.

On Friday 1st June, come join in with the #PoshPawsStarWars Twitter frenzy over at UKMumsTV at 1pm where we will be discussing Star Wars, the new movie, this fab range of plush toys and you can even win some for yourself!


You can find out more about the range at the Posh Paws website and keep up to date on Facebook and Twitter.

(We received these items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Pretend Play with the Casdon Deluxe Hetty Cleaning Trolley

We are massive fans of the Casdon brand and my youngest child, three year old E, plays with her toy washine machine and Henry Hoover on a daily basis. She loves pretend play and will always act like she's "mummy" by cleaning up her wooden kitchen, getting into her cosy coupe and telling me, "I'm just off to the shops!"


E was delighted to get her hands on the Casdon Deluxe Hetty Cleaning Trolley set - anything pink and she is in love! It is available in the red Henry style too.

The set contains:
  • Trolley
  • Mop and bucket
  • Long-handled brush
  • Handheld vacuum
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Toy detergent and spray bottles
  • Cloth
  • Paper bag


The trolley is super easy to put together - I built it and placed the stickers on the bucket, dustpan and bottles in less than 10 minutes which was great as E was very impatient and couldn't wait to get playing. 




The handheld vacuum really works, you just need to insert 3 AA batteries (not included). This is definitely E's favourite item in the set because I think she feels like she's properly helping mummy out, even though it is low suction.


It was absolutely adorable to see her pushing the little trolley around on it's wheels, coming to something which she imagined was dirty then choosing which item to clean it up with. I think it's a great little set to encourage your little one's imaginations but also to get them to like doing some real cleaning.


We have been playing with this set for just over two weeks now and I honestly thought that the cloth and paper bag wouldn't last long. With two children aged five and under, they can be quite rough, so I anticipated the cloth getting dirty beyond belief and the paper bag being ripped to shreds. They have surprised me though and they are still going strong! Although it is made of plastic, it's relatively sturdy and has coped well with my two!

The spray and detergent bottle don't actually work but I'm quite glad about that. E is happy enough pretending that she's spraying then wiping with the cloth. I just know that if I could really fill it, she'd make a huge mess!


I like that every item has it's own place so it is quite compact and can be tidied away in the corner nicely. E has even become a bit meticulous and has to have everything in its place, not choosing another cleaning item until she's put the one she's been using in its rightful place - the Cleaning Trolley is definitely doing its job and teaching her things!

The Casdon Deluxe Cleaning Trolley (both Hetty and Henry styles) retails at £25.00 and can be found at all good retailers, including Amazon. You can find out more at the Casdon website and you can keep up to date with the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.


(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 
 

Name Labels & End of Year Teacher Gifts from Stickerscape

This year is a big year for both of my children. My eldest child, C, will be finishing his first year (Primary 1) of "big school" in June, then my youngest, E, will be starting nursery at the school in September. These occasions require two necessities - an end of year gift for C's teacher and some name labels for E's clothing and belongings. Stickerscape came to my rescue.


I have been a fan of Stickerscape for quite a while now and C even had a personalised Makka Pakka wall sticker from them in his bedroom when he was a tot. I was so excited to see them keep up with the unicorn trend and introduce unicorn themed wall stickers, window stickers and name labels. The name labels had to be first choice for E starting nursery. She is obsessed with unicorns, has an abundance of unicorn toys and even socks and t-shirts with glittery ones emblazoned on them.



The unicorn name labels come in either iron on or stick on style and we received both to try out. Both of the sets have bright yellow, purple, pink, green and blue background colours. I opted for medium size for the stick on ones and beside the name you have a little unicorn themed motif, whether it be a an actual unicorn, rainbow or even a fairy castle. The mini ones that I chose for the iron on labels are a little smaller with the full name across one line (as opposed to two with the medium size) and a cute motif such as hearts, flowers or stars at the side. E loved pointing out each one and telling what they were. She couldn't wait to get them on her clothes and bag!


The stick on ones are really simple to apply, literally peel it off, ensure you are sticking it on a clean, dry surface and hey presto! We've had ours on E's schoolbag for around a week now and it's still well attached. I will be sticking them to her lunchbag and juice cup before she starts too.



The iron on ones were just as easy to attach into her little leggings. Like the stickers, these peel off too but are a little harder to remove, you place it where you want to iron it in (I went for the label) and place the iron sheet over the top - this comes with the iron on set. I put the iron over it for a matter of seconds and it was firmly stuck down - simple! Watch my video below to see it in real time.


I am the type of person who would probably prefer either a stick on label, which aren't great when it comes to clothing as they'll come off after a wash, or a good old fashioned permanent marker because I thought the iron on ones were a bit of a faff. This is totally not the case and I've been converted. They attach in seconds and are much prettier and more recognisable for E who can't yet read so she'll be able to tell which items are hers.

As well as stickers and labels, Stickerscape also have a fantastic range of teacher gifts. I really struggle with what to buy for teachers as I'm sure they have a plethora of "Best Teacher" mugs and I strive to buy something a little bit different, that they maybe wouldn't receive from anyone else. Stickerscape stock gift ideas such as bottle bags, pencil cases and notebooks - some with nice quotes and others can be personalised. 


I opted for a lovely canvas tote bag with "Essential Teacher Stuff" printed on it and "*may contain biscuits" at the bottom. I shied away from a personalised item because I know C's teacher is getting married during the summer so getting her current maiden name on a item wouldn't be worthwhile as she'd get no use out of it, and it would be a bit strange to get her something with her soon-to-be married name.

The bag comes in lots of different colours but I played it safe with a monochrome option. It measures 30 x 30 x 19cm so is relatively spacious. I love that it's a practical item that I hope she will get a lot of use out of rather than just sitting around getting looked at. The handles seem very sturdy so great for carrying lots of books and folders.


All these items are available to buy from the Stickerscape website. The name labels retail from between £7.95 to £16.00, depending on the type and amount of labels you need and the Canvas Tote Bag is £11.95. You can keep up to date with Stickerscape on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


(I received these items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Planning Our First Family Break Away


I know this might sound surprising but Chris and I have been together for a little over eight years and we have never been away anywhere together, whether that be abroad or staying in the UK. When we first met we were both always working then we had children and then it just never happened. It's definitely one of the things we wished we'd done before children.

That said, we don't have regrets. We don't think that the children stopped us from travelling places but I do think it makes it a little harder when you have a family. We have had occasions in the past where we probably could have gone away but then there has been an unexpected bill or more school uniforms to buy and it's just been a little difficult. I am a very anxious person since having my eldest so travelling with young babies or toddlers kind of gives me the fear! Now that C and E are almost 6 and 4, I know (or hope!) that it would be easy plus I feel that because they are a little older, wherever we go would have a lot more things that are suited to them and their ages.

We live up in Northern Ireland so whilst it would be easy to pack up the car, jump in and drive to Dublin, Donegal, or wherever we fancied, I would love a change of scenery. After following so many fellow bloggers that are based on the mainland and seeing their beautiful Instagram photographs of the areas in which they live, I've mentally compiled a list of some places I'd love to see. London for the tourist sites and the Natural History Museum and the Jurassic Coast are my top two but I know the children would adore Legoland Windsor. Of course, having to cross a large body of water to get there is bound to hike the price up as realistically we'd want to take the car so that involves paying to take it on the ferry then driving to our destination.


I've written before about how I never want to pay full price for anything. If I can find a bargain or way to get something cheaper, I'll find it! I think our biggest cost will probably be where to stay but Groupon have some great savings on UK hotels which could shave a bit off our budget. I don't want to be completely obsessive with money, I will obviously spend what we have to on attractions, I definitely won't choose not to take the children somewhere whilst we're in the vicinity just because I'm worried about how much it costs. If we have travelled that far, I want to make the most of it but wherever I can save, you bet I'm gonna do it!

With the joys of the Internet, it's so easy these days to have a quick search for ways to get cheaper attraction tickets or even read some blog posts from people who have been to these places and will happily share their tips on how to save money. Being able to plan and doing this research has calmed my anxiety and made me realise that travelling with children won't be scary and definitely isn't unrealistic. I'm really excited to push myself out of my comfort zone, try not to worry about what could go wrong and make some lovely memories with my family.

Do you have any tips for travelling as a family or saving money when doing so?
(This is a sponsored post.) 
 
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