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Joy to the world

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas from I Just Love It | #BestMumBrunch

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

This is THE best Mother’s Day gift I’ve ever received and I just love it – pun intended. Before I tell you what the gift was, let just say this. Every year, I look forward to Mother’s Day. For some, it’s another annoying date on the calendar after Valentine’s and before Easter. However, for me it’s a chance to acknowledge and show appreciation to all the mothers and mother-figures in my life.

I never got the chance to show my mum how much I loved and valued her. So for me to get a present, breakfast in bed, or even a handmade cards from my kids fills me with pure  joy (see what I did there? hehe). Aside from Christmas and birthdays, it’s the one other day in the year where I feel some extra love. This year Mother’s Day started a bit early for me with the #bestmumbrunch hosted by I Just Love It in conjunction with their sister company, Historic Newspaper at Percy and Founders.

Mother's Day Brunch

I’m a journalist so it’s no surprise that one of my greatest love is the news and reading. You can understand my excitement when I received a certified newspaper published on my birth date from Historical Papers. I mean no words can even express the gratitude and love I have for it. I have stashed it in safe please so it won’t be destroyed by my mini mes and man-child.

There is something about personalised gifts that makes them feel extra special. It truly shows how much time and effort the giver put into it. I love my Shimmer Silver Bracelet  with my initials on it. Even though hubby is on the name changing thing for when we renew our vows, I will always look at this monogrammed plate and remember it as who I was before the ‘rebranding’.

I was also gifted a silver-plated vintage dessert spoon and again, I just love it. It’s truly a present that gift holds so much value and can be passed on. As well as the other mentioned gift, I was kindly given a spread love butter knife, personalised statement egg cup and an engraved high ball glass.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

LOL Surprise Dolls | The Latest Toy Craze

Collectible Toys

LOL Surprise Dolls Toy ReviewMove over Shopkins, step to the side Num Noms because the latest toys craze has arrived and they are called LOL Surprise Dolls! Straight off the bat of their US success, the collectible toy has arrived in the UK with an all inclusive, fashion-forward collection of 45!Due to work commitments, we were unable to attend the launch with Toys andMe and boy did that break my little peoples heart. To mend things back together, I promised them we’ll do a video unboxing, however, that also couldn’t happen.

After many tantrums, succumbed to just opening it off camera. Boy, was it worth the wait. Due to the same layers the toy comes in, we opened it like a game 0f pass the parcel. Each child got to open one layer and reveal the surprise. This definitely added to the anticipation of opening a brand new toy. A clue was revealed with each layer, until the doll was opened.

The girls were pleased to reach the end and reveal a brown-skinned, green-eyed dressed in a cat costume and named Baby Cat. Though I’m sure Cece and Amelia aware, I’m still trying to figure out what water skill Baby Cat.

In spite of the fact that I don’t want the colour of my children’s skin to ever be an issue for them, I wouldn’t be a good mum if I don’t acknowledge their reality. They know they are different. They, well the oldest has had questions about why her hair is different from her best friend’s. As a mum, I tried my best to explain this but I won’t sit here and lie that it wasn’t hard. Before I digress into a whole nother topic, what I’m actually trying to say is that LOL Surprise Dolls is a toy like no other. They are a diverse range that any child can relate to.

What I liked the most about LOL Surprise Doll was that nothing was left unused. The round ball the doll arrives in transforms into a doll stand and bath tub. Each leaflet contains valuable information about caring for the doll. It is rare for my husband to take interest in a toy so it really took my by surprise when he asked me where the toy was from before finishing with ‘it’s a classic toy’. What ever that means.

Available from the usual Argos, Smyths, The Entertainer and Toyrus

Watch Cece and Amelia’s channel intro and please subscribe for toy reviews, kids fashion and more!

Happy Galentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day – the most dreaded day of the year by many for different reasons. Single ladies fear it because they feel they have no one to share it with. Men fear it depending on which side of the fence they sit. Single men have the urge to couple up before the day for an easy way for you know what. Worrying about what present to buy at the last minute is probably why men in relationships hate the day.

I’ve been with my husband since I was 16 and for us Valentine’s Day is just another day in the year. However, I do have to admit that I do use it as a chance to get a present. I mean, who doesn’t love presents right? Yet with each year that goes past, I get a little sick of the day. I’ve never felt forced to celebrate, but I have felt forced to bask in other people’s happiness about the day. From the lady on the train carrying a bouquet of flowers home to the friend on Snapchat showing of the chocolate her husband bought her.

It no wonder why I’m so glad to see that in recent years, the art of Galentine’s or Palentine’s as I saw it referred to earlier today is a growing trend. Traditionally, Galentine’s Day is celebrated the day before Valentine’s Day and is all about celebrating friendship. Something we all share in life regardless of age, sex or size. I love the idea of celebrating Galentine’s Day. I have friends (no, really I do) who I think deserve a shout out for being themselves and always being there for me.

Galentine's

Guys, I love you more than a fat kid loves cake! Em, Zainab, Tee and Prisca, without your constant support I wouldn’t be able to spread ‘Joy’ to the World.

Lidl Christmas Party Food

Party Food

Pardon my French but bloody hell #lidlsurprises. I’m the ‘chief shopper’ in my household which means I pick the clothes, the food and the appliances we buy. When it comes to our food shopping, my husband prefers we stick to the same place and for as long as I can remember, Tesco has been out go-to groceries store. However in recent months, I have tried breaking that mould and shopping around. We’ve occasionally done a ‘top-up’ shop at Sainsbury’s and get the odd bits from Aldi. With Christmas being such a special occasion, we go to Waitrose for that.

In all my years, never have I considered going to Lidl. The last time I stepped foot into one of their stores was when I was at secondary school and had a chocolate biscuit addiction. Mumsnet challenged me to buy party food from there. The Lidl Chrismas range were both great value and great tasting which left me pleasantly surprised.

To me Christmas is a time for family and a time to celebrate. I look forward to exchanging presents, eating my weight in food and watching an endless stream of Christmas movies. Since becoming a mum, I’ve found it to be even more important to me. I find new ways to make new traditions with my family and pass on old ones.lidl christmas

I dread slaving away in the kitchen so when I can, I slip out of having to make the turkey. Somehow, it always comes down to me. Maybe because my house is normally the central location where everyone comes to.  When I can get away with not making turkey, I go for whole chicken because everyone loves it. Well, except for the vegetarians. For them, I have a wide selection of party food and snacks to compensate.

With a £25 budget , I headed to Lidl to see how much party food I could get from the Party time range. With a packed basket I headed to the till thinking I’d be told I’ve exceeded that budget. Instead, I was told I was significantly below it and had to get more things. Here are the party food I got:

Partytime 60  Indian selection, £2.99
Christmas Hand Cooked Crisps
Premium Cracker Selection, 1,79
Partytime 12 Chicken Skewers, £1.99
Partytime 14 Vegetarian Spring Rolls, £1.99
Deluxe  12 Tempura Prawns, £1,79
Partytime 10 Gyozas, £1.99
Partytime 14 Duck Spring Rolls, £1.99

With all these food and not enough mouth to feed, I invited some friends and their kids for a girls night in. In the video below, I mention how eager I was to try the Deluxe Tempura King Prawns. My, oh my they were incredible and cost only £1.89! I left them in the oven long enough for the crispy batter coating to be really crunchy. The sweet chilli dip was slight runny but tasted AMAZING. So good, I dipped a few chips in there too. These Tempura King Prawns literally flew off the plate when they came out of the oven. I’ve had to promised to return to Lidl and get some more because even the kids liked them.

Another thing that was quite enjoyable were the Premium Crackers Selection. For £1.79, you get a selection of six multigrain, whole wheat and poppy seed crackers. My nephews who are super fussy and hate trying new things loved them. As they ran around the house, they’d stop to take some and eat. It was an absolute pleasure having everyone over. It truly felt like Christmas day with all the food and people around.

The least favourite from the Partytime range were probably the Indian Selections. I’m not much of an Indian food fan so maybe I should have cooked half and save the rest for another day. In hindsight, the 60 Oriental snack selection might have been a better option or perhaps even both seeing as they cost a mere £3.99 each. The snack selection of vegetable samosas, onion bhajis and vegetable pakoras were very pocket-friendly and definitely something to serve if you are expecting a lot of people.

I cannot tell you how happy I was that all the food cooked at the same temperature of 190C. I really hate cooking frozen food that require different cooking times. Everything went straight in the oven from freezer. In addition, even for the small price tags attached to them, they didn’t taste like generic frozen foods. Each item had enough flavour to have your taste buds dancing.

My nearest store was the Woolwich branch. After a recent renovation, it nice and clean. Things are pretty easy to find and when they are not, the staff are willing to help. As someone who prefers shopping online, I appreciate all the help I can get when I have to shop in-store. As previously mentioned, I was pleasantly surprised with my visit to Lidl and will definitely be going back to get the Oriental Snack Selection and Deluxe Tempura Prawns and maybe a few other bits.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in return for writing this post

 

Good Hair Day

Twist out style

Have you ever had a good hair day that leaves you racking your brain trying to find out how you managed to do it. Most of the time, the secret to said good hair day is a visit to the hairdressers. However, I was lucky enough to experience a good hair day recently and I think I know why. It wasn’t triggered by a visit to the hairdressers this time but by a set of products I used. With natural hair, having a good hair day can seem damn near impossible. The struggle of knowing when your twist out is dry enough to take out or if you can retain enough length with your wash and go. The struggle is REAL.

I honestly can’t tell you the last time my twist out came out this defined. My hair is still suffering from the heat damage I bestowed on it when I went through my straight hair only phase. However, a combination of products from Mane Divas and the Mielle Organics products I spoke about here left me walking on cloud nine recently. My hair felt soft, defined and bouncy.

A good hair day can make even the simplest of outfits seem ever so stylish. Take what I’m wear for example. I lived in this when the weather was warmer. My Adidas Stan Smiths are my go-to shoes when I require style and comfort. For this look, I paired them with a black t-shirt and culottes. The addition of the white blazer took it from super casual t really chic.

Twist out

Mielle organics review

White Blazer-ZARA (Similar) | Black Linen T-Shirt-Mango (Similar) | Culottes-Primark ( Similar ) | Choker-eBay | Adidas Stan Smith-ASOS | Black Croc Skin Bag-ZARA