Tuesday, 28 October 2014

My 1st Years Personalised Star Jacquard Knit Blanket

I have followed My 1st Years over social media since they started out in 2010 and in 2011 and I was lucky enough to win one of their giveaways to win a gorgeous blue fleece blanket which I had personalised with Charlie's name. He absolutely loved the blanket and, every night, would go to sleep swaddled in it. 

So, as you can imagine, when they asked if I want to review one of their new Personalised Star Jacquard Knit Blankets for bump, I couldn't say yes fast enough. 

The Star Jacquard Knit Blanket is luxurious and snuggly with a subtle star pattern that makes it a little bit more stylish and interesting, the perfect gift for a newborn. It measures 100cm by 100cm and so is very generously sized, enough to use as a pram blanket or for sleeping in the cot and is made from 100% cotton so is super soft against babies skin. 

The blanket can be personalised with your choice of text colour and font. Choice of 2 different fonts and 8 different colours. I wanted to go quite neutral so opted for a taupe colour text which is stunning. 

I told them my chosen personalisation and a few days later is turned up, absolutely stunning. The personalisation means that it will be a gorgeous keepsake for our baby to hold on to until he is grown up. As you may notice though, I have blurred out the text, this isn't for any other reason than we haven't announced our babies name yet and don't want people knowing until he arrives and finds it out for himself. 

Every My 1st Years order arrives beautifully gift wrapped inside their luxury gift boxes with a large white bow just to make it extra special. I love this as it means that it is the perfect place to order presents from as they come ready to be gifted. 

The Star Jacquard Knit Blanket can be found on the baby shower section of the website as it would be the perfect gift to surprise a new or mummy-to-be with but for me, it will be a keepsake that is not only for life, but will be used loads also. The blanket is going straight in to my hospital bag to use to bring our bundle home in. A blanket to keep him snuggly warm on his first few days and one that he will cherish as he grows. 

You can purchase the Personalised Star Jacquard Knit Blanket for £25 from the My 1st Years website.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Do You Throw Out Your Babies Clothes?

Did you know that 87% of new mums resort to throwing away baby clothes because the stains are too bad and that soiled baby clothes are costing new parents £600 a year to replace, that’s a staggering £4.2m to families across the UK.

I remember when my children were babies. Sometimes, stains were so bad and tiredness has set in, meaning that I just ended up throwing whole outfits away instead of trying to get rid of the staining. 

6 in 10 mums worry about using harsh stain removal products on baby clothes. I was one of these mums and wouldn't use stain removal products at all on anything for my babies as I assume that they might be too harsh for my baby’s skin.

Asda have revealed that 87% of parents have had to throw away their baby’s clothes due to staining, with almost half of parents (48%) doing this at least once a month.

I'm sure any mum knows what colour everything baby related is, orange. Orange poo, orange baby food and juice too and most of these just don't like to come out in the wash. I remember doing extra loads of washing every week just to try and remove stains from my babies clothing. 

In light of this, Asda has introduced a new laundry range, designed especially for babies and formulated for the softest and snuggliest of washes to keep mum’s worries at bay. Adding to its already popular Little Angels brand, the range of detergents includes non-bio gel, non-bio liquid, non-bio capsules, non-bio powder, fabric conditioner and a non-bio oxy powder stain remover – perfect on the toughest and messiest of stains, yet gentle on your baby’s delicate skin.

I think this is a great idea as, trying to protect baby's skin is so important when they are newborns and so having detergents that are specifically formulated for babies is an important thing to have. Little Angels laundry detergents are available in Asda stores and online now, priced from just £1.50.

These stats are from a poll commissioned by Asda to launch its new range of Little Angels detergents.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Win A Rose Gold Cottonwood Necklace With Grace & Valour

Grace & Valour is a new store which is passionate about stylish covetable jewellery. Designer in chief Rachel is a serial collector of jewels, curator of quotes, general lover of quirkiness and, as someone who has worked with Rachel many times, I can say that she is an absolutely lovely person. Rachel brings her 20 years of design experience to Grace & Valour.

Grace & Valour is named to reflect Rachel’s belief that you need both a spot of bravery and some good grace to overcome life’s trials and tribulations & keep smiling which I think is a great way to name a business, something that you believe in. 

The website isn't quite launched yet but when it does go live, it will sell the best quality jewellery, made with great care. All of the pieces will be either designed by Rachel, made by the studio or curated to bring you something unusual, their design studio is on a family farm in deepest Rutland.

Grace and Valour designs are mainly Sterling silver, in some instances we uses Silver coated with Gold or Rose Gold vermeil, semi precious stones & Swarovski Crystals.

I have teamed up with Grace & Valour today to bring you a gorgeous giveaway from one of their jewellery collections, a beautiful rose gold Cottonwood leaf necklace which is on a 24" chain with a 2" extension from the Blowing In The Wind collection. 

There's no doubt about it, rose gold is having a fashion moment with its warm, rich tones that are perfect for a dash of Autumnal colour. This stylish collection features hand picked real leaves, preserved with different finishes. Each leaf is a handcrafted piece of wearable art, unique and totally individual.

If you haven't seen the leaves, they're stunningly delicate with immense detail, but surprisingly robust.  With finishes as varied as gold, silver, brass, copper, irridescent, vintage silver and now rose gold they can be worn with almost any outfit, both as a dramatic choker, or at a fashionable long necklace length and both singularly or doubled up for maximum impact.

All purchases from Grace & Valour will arrive gift ready. Your purchases will be wrapped in purple tissue resplendent in their gift boxes or black wrap & carefully tied with ribbon. The Cottonwood leaf prize will arrive beautifully packaged in its own eco box.

To be in with a chance to win this gorgeous rose gold Cottonwood leaf necklace from Grace & Valour, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 23rd November

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Steamed Pumpkin Soup Recipe From Hotpoint

With Halloween just around the corner, we are all getting ready for the big day by stocking up on pumpkins for making spooky creations in preparation for the terrifying trick or treaters. The worst part though, is after scooping out all of the insides of the pumpkin to be carved, all the goodness gets thrown away.

That's why Hotpoint have come up with a yummy Steamed Pumpkin Soup recipe to combat this and to help you get the most out of your pumpkins. Not only are there ghoulishly spooky creations, but they taste nice also.  

Once you have carved your masterpiece and scared the trick or treaters, use the leftovers to make a soup that really is to die for. 
The ultra stylish  Hotpoint Steam Blender is perfect for whipping up a delicious and nutritious Steamed Pumpkin Soup as it can all be steamed, cooked and blended from this one product, no fuss, no mess. 

If you want to make Hotpoint's Steamed Pumpkin Soup, then follow the instructions below. Note: this recipes uses the Hotpoint Steam Blender. 

2 finely chopped onions
1 kg peeled, deseeded and chop into chunks pumpkin
500mls hot vegetable stock
100mls double cream

1. Place the onions and pumpkin into the glass blender jug
2. Steam for 7 - 10 minutes until pumpkin is soft
3. Add the hot stock
4. Blend until smooth
5. Add the double cream and blitz for a few seconds
6. Serve in heated soup bowls

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
And that's it. Such a simple way to create a yummy, warming soup that will be a great way to warm yourself and your children after a long night trick or treating. I love that there is no messing around as the Hotpoint Steam Blender does everything for you.