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The Christmasaurus Book Giveaway

Oh, my goodness, one month to Christmas Eve, folks and this morning my living room has Christmas carols in the background and smells of orange and cloves, as Emma decorated one yesterday at her lovely friend’s house.

So I thought I’d run a little giveaway of one of the best sellers of this year in children’s fiction, The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher.

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Just to get us all warmed us and jolly for the month of December, that is!

We are actually still eagerly waiting on our copy, which I assume will become THE bedtime book of the month in December in our household. So I thought I’d let the author himself introduce you to it and tell you a bit more about his latest work:

Tom Fletcher does not need any introduction himself.

As the author of The Dinosaur Who Pooped series, he has been making our little ones giggle so now, we can hardly wait to see how he has done as a bigger kids’ author (brilliantly, I am pretty sure!).

 Puffin, which has published his latest book, have added a selection of wonderfully festive activities on their website, to encourage even the most reluctant Bah Humbug to join in the Christmas spirit.

There is a hilarious Christmasaurus Santa letter template, which we used last night to write our Christmas list:

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There are also Christmas cards and a festive door hanger the children can decorate the back of themselves to welcome Santa with.

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Do visit the link I included above to also read an extract from the book if you can’t wait until you get your own copy!

Speaking of which, as I mentioned above, I have one copy to give away. If you’d like to get your hands on it, all you have to do it leave a comment below telling me which activity on the Christmasaurus link you liked the most! I will decide on a winner in a week’s time, on the 1st of December and announce the winner in this blog post so do pop back to check if you have won!

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post. The opinions expressed are entirely our own and truthful.

Congratulations, Rachel King, the random number generator picked your number as a winner! I have sent a message to you on your Facebook page.

Thank you to everyone who has entered the competition and please do come back next week as I have two more amazing giveaways for you all!

Life Changing Transformation with The Body Confidence

I have always been proportionate when it comes to my weight but losing my son in 2014 put my mind and body under unimaginable stress and I resorted to food for a fake sense of comfort. Before I knew it, I had ballooned by almost 2 stones and my body confidence reached rock bottom. I started wearing size 14 clothes, from an average 10-12 beforehand. I did try on several occasions to go on diets and exercise programs but failed miserably, as I found them too strict.

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These photos were taken in 2014 and 2016 respectively and show the massive weight gain. Not proud of the second one and my double chins…

This summer, I followed the weight loss journey of another fellow blogger and was amazed at the results she managed to achieve in only eight weeks. And then, Ru-Tee, the founder of The Body Confidence program, decided to take on more bloggers and I did literally jump at the opportunity. I knew that if I were to lose weight, I could do it only within a mentored program which did not drag on forever and this is exactly what The Body Confidence is all about!

From day one, Ru-Tee took me under her wing, so to say. The weekly conference calls were used not only to monitor our progress but also, in equal measure, to celebrate our victories and be given loads of encouragement and praise.

The Facebook group Ru-Tee has set up and running for all the new “recruits” was a daily encouragement, especially in those first few days, when withdrawal symptoms from caffeine and gluten made us all a bit batty🙂.

The menus were amazing, easy to shop for and cook, even after a very busy day. I loved the flexibility they gave me also as I felt I did not have to stick to a strict list but was able to mix meals as my appetite and time dictated.

Fantastic lamb curry @thebodyconfidenceprogram #mealprep #dinner #paleolifestyle

A photo posted by Mama's Haven (@mamashaven) on

The best part of the program?

Being able to take control of my eating and my well being!

The program did become, as Ru-Tee had promised, a lifestyle and not only a fad for a couple of months. I have been off it for the past three weeks but I have continued to cook my meals following the guidelines in the program and more importantly, my weight has continued to drop!

Specifically, I have managed to reduce 44.5 inches in the eight weeks (which has made me the biggest “loser” on the program!!) and I also dropped nearly 2 jeans sizes. Although Ru-Tee does not encourage us to weigh ourselves while on the program, I know that at the end of August when I returned from Greece I was at my heaviest ever, at 82.6 kilos and that this morning, I am 73.6 kilos, which brings my weight loss to almost 1.5 stones!

I wholeheartedly recommend the program to anyone who is ready for a similar empowering journey. The next one will start on Saturday the 17th of December and is priced at £450.

Disclaimer: I was offered the program free of charge in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and truthful. All the hardwork that went into getting those amazing results has been mine and I truly hope my blog post will encourage many people to embark on this amazing program!

Christmas Gift Guide for a Seven Year Old

Emma turned seven last weekend, she had a blast and enjoyed the whole countdown to her special day but this almost seems like a distant memory now with Christmas now fast approaching (“Only six weeks now, mummy!“).

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If your child is as laid back as mine when it comes to presents, then this gift guide is going to relieve some of the anxiety, the things I have included in this guide have all been tried and tested by Emma and given a resounding five star rating!

First of all, clothes! I like getting Emma clothes for Christmas, they are a sure way to keep her warm and pretty over the coming months.

So, my first suggestion it either a winter suit or a rain suit from Tiny Trolls of Norway. I have written last winter about their amazing winter suits and this autumn, they were very kind and sent us one of their beautiful and truly waterproof rain suits to review.

“The Gauken rain set is an Oeko-Tex certified product which means that it has been tested thoroughly for harmful substances. It is made from PU material which makes this garment hard wearing yet soft and comfortable to wear, perfect for active children. The jacket and trousers have a soft brushed lining and taped seams for extra water protection. The jacket has a removable hood and the neck is lined with soft fleece for added comfort against delicate skin. The Mummitroll rain trousers have removable foot straps. Both our jacket and trousers have been designed with reflective detailing for added safety. This rain set is available in 4 fantastic colour combinations.”

Last year, I had mixed comments about the pricing but, market research done, they do come within the same price bracket as most high quality snow and rain suits out there. The rain suit sells for £69.99 and the winter suit sells for £109.99. They are worth every penny, in my opinion, as they come bigger than the average UK clothing product so they can easily last for several years. They are extremely durable as well, so can be passed on to siblings or friends.

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Going from outdoors to occasion wear, another brand we loved working with and sent us another beautiful item to review is Roco Clothing. This month, they were appointed as exclusive distributors for Paisley of London and generously sent us the most gorgeous Layla party dress, absolutely perfect for that Christmas Day meal and photos.

The dress is a dream, the material feels luxurious and sits extremely well, even after having travelled in the post.

The best bit is the pricing, for such a beautiful occasion dress, you don’t need to dig too deep, as it sells for only £34.99. Do check the link I included above, the collection features a number of beautiful, girly dresses, which will cater for every princess dream and taste.

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Next thing I’m going to suggest gifting this Christmas are dolls with a difference. Again, we have written about the child-body proportionate Lottie dolls before and I was delighted when the brand decided to send Emma a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) doll bundle as part of our Brand Ambassador collaboration.

I know I have jumped from princess dresses to science and technology but to me, those two should not be separated in a girl’s mind, just like church and state should not have ever been separated in history.

A girl can wear thrills and bows on pretty dresses AND have an inquisitive mind, all at the same time.

Anyway, I have documented my admiration for the Lottie dolls and the company here.

The dolls retail at £19.99 per item and clothing can be bought separately on site.

I also have the same bundle of STEM goodies from the same company to be won this November so keep your eyes peeled, I will be adding the giveaway on the blog shortly. Just the perfect gift to add under the tree on Christmas Day for a very lucky little girl!

Of course, I need to move on now to what I love most gifting: books!

Our house is coming down with them but every time I hear or see a good book for Emma, I have to buy it!

Emma always gets gift vouchers for her birthday from a friend with as much a love for book as ours. This is how I know that Waterstones have at the moment a 25% off Christmas books and gifts offer, so do benefit from the generous discount and buy the kiddies those adorable Christmas stories.

Last but not least, I wholeheartedly recommend games for children this age. Emma was sent two of the new Megableu games this season and has loved playing with them both with us and with her friends, when they visit.

Again, I chose her games carefully when given the chance by the company as I wanted Emma to have that balance between girly and silly. I think I did achieve it when choosing two of the very popular games:

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One is about gentile princesses dancing at the ball, a tad competitive since they all try to win the graces of the dancing prince but very civil, all in all.

The second one, the Giraf’Fun, well, it is all about bodily functions and giraffes pooping fruit balls🙂 but it has proves as popular, if not more, with Emma as the Enchanted Ball game.

The games sell on Amazon for around £14 each and are well worth the festive fun!

Hope you have found this post useful. I’m still to decide what to get Emma this year so please feel free to add your suggestions in comments!

Disclaimer: we were sent the above items for the purpose of reviewing. All opinions expressed are truthful and entirely our own.

An exciting My Little Pony Equestria Doll Giveaway

My Emma has a few favourites when it comes to home T.V. and iPad apps and programs.

One of the strong favourites in the past six months has definitely been My Little Pony. How many Saturday mornings have I been woken up by the shrill voice of Applejack demanding justice and order I don’t know, I’ve now lost count!

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It turns out that the new My Little Pony movie, Legend of Everfree has been so popular on POP that the T.V. channel decided to do a re-run this Saturday. To celebrate the occasion, they are giving every little My Little Pony fan the chance to win a doll!
WIN a My Little Pony: Equestria Girls doll!
Here’s the chance to win some serious brownie points with your kids this half term. In celebration of My Little Pony Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree airing on kids’ channel, POP, on Saturday 29th  October at 19:00, we have ONE doll to give away!

 

We’ve teamed up with Hasbro to give one lucky winner a chance to win a My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Applejack doll to celebrate this exciting new movie on POP.
This competition closes on Monday the 31st October , so don’t waste any time and get entering. And please don’t forget to tune in to enjoy the movie on Saturday the 29th October at 19:00.
All you have to do to be in with a chance is comment below and let me know which is your little one’s favourite character in My Little Pony.
Good luck to everyone entering! The winner will be announced in this post on Monday afternoon so do pop by to check if you have one and then notified by email.
Disclosure: we were offered an Applejack doll in exchange for this post and running the giveaway on the blog.
Congratulations, Helen White, your number was picked by the random number generator!
An email has been sent to the winner. Many thanks to everyone who entered the competition by commenting on this post.

Hotter Winter Boots – A Review

I don’t usually spend a lot on myself as a rule. It is not because I wouldn’t like to but because as a self-employed/partially employed/non-employed person as I have been since I moved to the Northern Ireland 10 years ago, I have learned to prioritize my expenses and Emma always comes first and so do her needs.

I am very grateful to have my blog though as through it I have been offered a number of review opportunities that weren’t only for Emma but for myself as well.

Last week, I travelled into Belfast per invitation and went to visit the Hotter shoe store in Victoria Square. I had ordered Hotter shoes before online, for my mum, in sales but I had never stepped into the physical store.

I was overwhelmed from the word go by the warm welcome and was invited to peruse what was on sale at my own pace. It didn’t take me long to spot a pair of short boots for autumn and the lovely sale assistant offered to hoak in storage for my number and the half size up, to make sure I was getting the right fitting.

While waiting, I observed the service offered to other walk in customers and it was exemplary, just like it had been towards me.

Rachel got me the two pairs, I tried them on and decided on the right fit but then I had a change of heart and asked for a different colour for my Whisper boots, something neutral, which would match my autumn/winter wardrobe.

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Without batting an eye, Rachel got onto it and got me the other colour. She also reassured me that I’d be able to order the next size up boots in store, if those weren’t the perfect fit.

Fortunately for me, the boots did fit like a dream and they felt so nice and warm and totally perfect for the season.

Rachel did not stop here and after packing my boots carefully, she also offered me a renovating cream to keep them in top shape as the time goes by!

I left the shop with a huge grin on my face and feeling so very grateful to the girls in store for taking the time to show me around and look after me so very well!

I totally recommend a visit and the boots, of course, I am wearing them every day now, with this cold weather and they are the most comfortable and warmest pair of leather boots I have ever worn!

Disclosure: I was invited for a visit to the store for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are truthful and entirely my own.