Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Binky Bear - Binky Goes to London Gift Set

Being a mummy to 2 boys and a baby, we have many books in the house. I try to collect as many as possible so that they always have something new to read or for me to read to them at bedtime. They are usually of the same type, fairy tales and adventures where 'they all lived happily ever after' or are educational phonics and maths books. 

Binky Bear is a new-concept though...

It is a reading and exploring experience suitable for kids aged between 2-7 created by two mums, Liz Nankivell who writes the stories and Moira Blackwell who takes the photographs to accompany the story.

The beauty of this range is that each book is set in a real location and illustrated by photographs with a map to follow. You get to follow the adventures of Blinky Bear through the book and then go on your own adventures retracing his steps as you pop to the town he has visited and find all the places Blinky went to.

There are three books in the Binky Bear series and the latest title, Binky Goes To London, is set in Central London. Their inspiration is to get kids outdoors and exploring the world. Having fun without spending a fortune, a view into our British heritage visiting big locations in central cities and to create memories for both parent and child alike.

We were sent the cute Binky Goes to London Gift Set which is £22. This includes the book, Binky Goes to London and the Little Binky Bear to go with it, all packaged together in a red, polka dot gift bag. Perfect as a gift as it's ready to go, no need to wrap it.

The story starts where Binky is taken on a day out to London. He really wants to meet the Queen and so we follow him on his adventures around the city, through Trafalgar Square, seeing the horses which direct him where to go and we get to see him meet the royal Corgis, Rudi and Bertie. Throughout the book, there is photos of each location and a map showing Blinky's route through the city which is just adorable.

Overall, the boys thoroughly enjoyed Binky Goes to London. In reality, we probably wont be able to go to London to follow in Blinky's footsteps, but I wanted the boys to have this book as it shows a lot of what there is to do in our capital city, London, and if there ever was a time that we did pop down south, the boys would know places that they would like to visit from associating it with the book. 

You can find more information about Blinky and purchase the books on the Blinky bear website.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

5 Top Tips: How To Look After Your Jewellery

It’s important to take good care of our prized possessions, especially jewellery, so that we can keep it in perfect condition. Your treasured items need to be preserved so they can come out to be worn on special occasions and ultimately so they can become the heirlooms of the future. 

Keeping jewellery such as gold rings and earrings, sterling silver personalized monogram bracelets, and pearl necklaces in tip-top shape by cleaning them regularly and storing them properly keeps them in the best possible condition.

Constant use and exposure to light, heat, and chemicals can affect the quality of jewellery. Pearls can dry out and crack when exposed to excessive heat and precious metals can discolour when exposed to chemicals such as chlorine. Here are some great tips to help you look after your jewellery properly…

Photo source
Put on last, take off first
Jewelry items should be the last thing you put on in the morning so that they won’t be corroded by perfume or hair spray. At night, it should be the first thing you take off so it won’t get caught in your clothes. Wipe each piece of jewellery with a clean, soft cloth to remove perspiration, oils, and other substances prior to storage. Always remove jewellery before doing physical exercise and before bathing or dunking in a hot tub or swimming pool.

Clean them gently 
Gold and silver, and most coloured gems, can be cleaned with mild soap, warm water, and a soft brush. Rinse your jewellery with cold water and dry items carefully with a soft, lint-free cloth. Be gentle when handling pieces with gemstones to avoid loosening or removing the stones. When cleaning in the sink, make sure the drain stopper is in place. Also use a rubber mat to keep the pieces from slipping. When dry, you can polish the pieces with a jewelry cloth. Adopt a ‘gently does it’ mantra and handle with care at all times.

Pay special attention to precious stones
Precious gems can scratch or become fractured, so avoid contact with hard surfaces or throwing them casually onto your dresser. Diamonds, even though considered as the hardest, are still fragile and may break when subjected to extreme changes in temperature. Jewellery with precious stones should be handled with special care, and you should carefully check their settings to see if they have become loose. If the stone needs to be re-set, take your jewellery to a professional jeweller to fix it.

Photo source
Store them properly
Jewellery should be kept in original boxes to avoid scratching with other items. If the original cases have been discarded, invest in quality velvet-lined padded jewellery boxes that allow you to organize your collection. Have separate compartments for rings, necklaces, earrings, and

bracelets. It’s important to keep your jewellery pieces separate from one another to avoid scratches, especially on pearls and gemstones. Sterling silver must be kept in an anti-tarnish bag or wrapped in anti-tarnish cloth.

Schedule a regular check-up
It’s important to have your most precious pieces checked for loose parts, cleaned, and re-set or restrung professionally. Make sure you take them to a professionally qualified jeweller on a relatively regular basis. Remember, this is a specialist item so needs specialist care if possible. You wouldn't let just anyone loose on an expensive car so don’t do the same with your irreplaceable jewellery items.

Looking after your treasured jewellery can make a world of difference in keeping it bright and beautiful for years. Follow these tips and your jewellery can become your family’s prized heirlooms.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Something Special Mr Tumble's Play & Learn Book

Charlie is still behind with his talking, visiting speech therapists regularly to try and help him gain confidence and learn more about how to talk and everything. He is good at his colours and pointing things out so any toy that is to do with asking questions that he then needs to work out, are a great way to help him learn.

So when KD UK sent us out the Something Special Mr Tumble's Play & Learn Book as part of me being a KD Mumbassador, I knew that it would be great for Charlie as all their toys seem to be educational based whilst bringing some of the countries much loved characters to life and being a fun toy to play and interact with.

The toy comprises of three colourful pages with a Something Special scene on each with four backlit keys for answering the questions. There are four games to play on each page which teach children about different things from colours to counting and character recognition.

Featuring Mr Tumble, Lord Tumble, Grandad Tumble and Aunt Polly, the book asks questions about what they are wearing, where they are and colours specific to them. Having to point out who is wearing the hat, the bow-tie and working out the colours of each item on the pages. I like how the buttons can be for not only choosing a picture answer, but they also signify the correct colour or number for the question being asked.

To see how the book works and an example of the questions it asks, check out the video below where Thomas is having a go of it.

Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with the Something Special Mr Tumble's Play & Learn Book. It is fun and gives the boys a way of connecting with one of their favourite characters from television. I find that this always makes toys an extra hit with the children as they already know the character and can point out everyone in the questions already.

I love how it's all about learning through play by helping to teach about colours, quantities and numbers whilst being a great way to develop their memory as they learn to count the various items, recognise colours and figure out which of the pictures is correct for what is being asked. It's great to see Charlie working out the correct answers and copying what is being said, therefore helping him to pick up more speech and words whilst he is playing.

For more information about the Something Special Mr Tumble's Play & Learn Book or any other toy in the KD range, visit the KD UK website.

Celebrate For Less - Best Prosecco

A wedding, corporate event, friendly party, picnic or family feast - fortunately, in our lives there are plenty of reasons to gather a good company. And, of course, a frequent companion of any party is a good drink.

At any event, sparkling wines are hard to beat. The most expensive but also the most refined version is a real French Champagne. But you can’t go far wrong with a charming Italian Prosecco – it’s usually easier on the wallet too!

Whatever may be said, Italy continues to step on the toes of France. And now it's time for the Champagne region to feel its vulnerability. Prosecco is one of the most controversial Italian varieties which until recently was considered to be suitable only for cheap Italian cafes, but nowadays it has entered the wine lists of famous gastronomic restaurants of the world.
Photo by Stoonn from
The majority of the producers of Prosecco have achieved unexpectedly good results, and one of the evidences of this fact is the acquisition of DOC Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene zone in summer 2009 - the most prestigious DOCG status in Italy. Besides, now with the word "Prosecco" can be called only wines produced in specified areas of DOC and DOCG in the regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia (for example, Valdobbiadene Prosecco).

However, according to the representatives of Conegliano Valdobbiadene association, these changes will eventually help the consumers because now it will be easier to choose quality Prosecco.

It is also worth saying that another difference between Prosecco and Champagne is that in case of Prosecco the fermentation process doesn’t happen in the bottle and the wine is aging with time. Therefore, like Mr. Carlo Biasiotto says "Prosecco should be drunk here and now; you can enjoy it in any circumstances and it will always reward you with a feeling of celebration."
Photo by Graeme Weatherston from
Of course, after you have chosen suitable drinks, you need to make sure that they are cooled to the required temperature; for sparkling wines it is 6-8 degrees.

How many bottles of sparkling wine do you need? Depending on the duration of gathering of guests it will take from 1 to 2 glasses per person. One bottle will be enough for 5-6 glasses depending on the size of the glass. This means that for 50 people you will need about 10-20 bottles of the chosen Prosecco.

Heroes of the festivities often give their guests compliments to remember the event. Why not give them a bottle of your favorite wine? You can order a special label with words of thanks, your photos and autographs. Your guests are sure to remember you with kind words and drink this wine to your health.

So invite Prosecco to your next event. We bet you, and your guests, will be pleasantly surprised!