Simple Things to Make For a Memorable Christmas

christmas decorations

It may feel like autumn has only just arrived, but before we know it winter will be knocking at the door, bringing chilly nights, cosy coats, and – of course – Christmas. It’s never too early to start planning ahead on how to make the most of the festive season. Especially when you’ve got the little ones to think about. It’s a truly magical time of year for children, and there’s so much you can do to make it even more memorable for them.

Letters to Santa

This can get your kids beginning to think of what they would like from Santa. Though the chances are they’ll probably have a number of different drafts before November rolls around. If you have a fireplace, you could leave the letters in the grate and tell your kids they’ll magically be delivered to the North Pole overnight. It creates a little bit of spark, rather than getting them to write it down and saying you’ll put it in the postbox.

Festive Baking

festive baking

Getting the kids in the kitchen is a great chance to make some family festive memories. After all, Christmas is known as a time for carbs and indulgent eating. A fun activity, which is so easy to involve the children. You can keep it simple and bake biscuits, and leave plenty of time for decorating them. You could see who can make the best Santa in icing. Or make the biscuit in the shape of a tree and get silver ball bearings. You’ll probably end up enjoying yourself as much as the kids.

Lights

christmas lights

Christmas brings so much joy during dark and dreary winter. Homes across the country light up, and everything feels that little bit cosier. So why not get your own home involved with this? You can go beyond the fairy lights on the tree. Cox & Cox offer a fantastic range of both indoor and outdoor light decorations. They’re perfect for bringing a little extra sparkle into your home this festive season. Whether you want to go for strings of stars for the ceiling or a reindeer for the garden, you’ll find a perfect piece.

Homemade Decorations

There are some families who are meticulous when it comes to the tree. There are certain colour schemes, strategic ornament placing and tinsel is a no. It tends to sap the joy from it. You and the kids could spend an afternoon making your own Christmas tree decorations. It could be as simple making a cotton ball snowman or cutting felt into stars. These pieces will soon become treasured traditions – things you’ll hang up on the trees in many years to come and remember the afternoon you’ve spent making them. A Christmas tree should reflect the family of the home that’s it in.

Disclosure: Collaborative post

Embracing Natural Products in Your Everyday Life

natural products

It seems these days, we’re constantly told we’re doing something wrong. Don’t eat that, don’t shop there, or don’t you dare drink that. It’s exhausting. Is it too much to ask for some positivity? Something good we can all get on board with and agree on. Well, thankfully, this is the beauty of natural products. They have so many benefits it would be hard to find the negative in them. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider using more natural products in your everyday life.

Money Saving

You may be worried that investing in natural products will cost you more money. This isn’t necessarily the case. Sometimes by going natural, you can actually save yourself some pennies. A good example here is shampoo and conditioner. Did you know it’s actually better for your hair if you use products such as baking soda or lemon juice? These are simple household ingredients, and can easily cut down the costs of your next toiletries shop. Once you start looking for natural product alternatives, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much choice there is out there.

Sleep Better

natural products

You can use natural products – such as candles and reed diffusers from Neom Organics – to fill the rooms in your home with fresh, gorgeous scents. These aromas can help you to de-stress, relax and you’ll find yourself falling asleep before you know it. There are so many scents for you to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find one that suits your home, and will send you to sleep. You could also place a reed diffuser in the bathroom, perfect if you want a peaceful bath before heading off to bed.

Better Skin

natural products for skin

It’s been shown that most chemicals work against your skin rather than with it. By using natural products, your skin will quickly reap the rewards. This is particularly useful for those with sensitive skin as natural products are less likely to cause a reaction. Once again, it doesn’t have to break the bank either. It can be something as simple as an avocado face mask. Rather than stripping back your body’s natural chemicals, and replacing it with man made chemicals, natural ingredients can help feed your skin – they can keep it looking, and feeling, healthy.

Environmentally-Friendly

Natural products go hand in hand with helping nature. For a start, the production of them – as they’re natural – won’t harmfully impact the environment. Plus the disposal of them won’t have lasting damaging either. This is because most natural brands are very earth-aware. The packaging on them – if there’s anything – will be recycled and green as can be. Natural products are much more sustainable, so not only does using them benefit you, but also the planet. What have you got to lose?

Disclosure: Collaborative post

Hotter – Whisper boots perfect for three generations!

Hotter whisper boots

I love this time of year, falling leaves, lots of bright colours, some glorious days and long walks in the woods or the countryside, even on the beach.

We’ve been quite busy this autumn, we have been to Dreamland in Margate – it’s the perfect time of year to visit as there are no long queues! We’ve walked over to The Leather Bottle pub in nearby Cobham and I have taken the girls shopping to spend some of their vouchers.

On each of these occasions, I have enjoyed the comfort of my Whisper boots made by Hotter.

Hotter and Mari’s World got together to show how three generations of women could wear the Whisper boots and style them in their own unique way. I am the middle generation, mum is the top and Oana, who was delighted to join in, showed how the younger generation could wear and style these boots just as well as any other woman in town.

The top generation

Hotter Whisper boots

Mum was delighted to join in and at first couldn’t decide which colour to go for. It’s so easy to choose a sensible black or brown boot but no, mum pushed her boundaries this time and selected the bright red boots. Quite a statement and, although I knew she’d come up trumps as she’s always been a woman who has taken great care in her appearance, I was curious as to how she would fit these bright beauties into her wardrobe.

Mum and granddad passed by for a night a couple of weeks ago on their way to Sardegna and she picked up her boots with glee saying she couldn’t wait to try them on. I asked her about her boots on a recent telephone call and she loves them, she’s been walking the well heeled streets of Sardegna looking fabulously smart. She said,

In the words of a song by Nancy Sinatra – “These boots were made for walking and that’s what they will do …”  They are very comfortable, fashionable and I love the colour.  Thankyou

I’m sure I’ll be seeing mum enjoying her boots a lot more this autumn and winter.

The younger generation

Hotter Whisper boots

Oana is my grandchildren’s mother. She is 28 in November and like most women, takes enormous pride in how she looks. Even when money is scarce she manages to come up trumps and look a million dollars. However, could she be tempted to review a pair of boots that women of all ages would happily be seen in? Would she think they made her look ‘old and frumpy’?

I proposed the challenge to her via Whats App and sent through the Whisper boot link so she could see for herself. She loved them and came back almost straight away with her colour choice and size.

Oana has been working a lot as a care assistant the past few months and has to feel comfortable when she is working but she says they are also perfect for slipping on to take the children to the park, for the school run and she said, they look perfect with jeans.

The middle generation

Whisper boots Hotter

Ok, you can decide which generation you prefer to be classified in but the point of this review is to show that one pair of boots can stretch a multitude of ages and styles.

I went for a plum-coloured, suede pair rather than opt for a traditional black or tan boot. I’m really pleased with my choice and have been able to wear them on casual occasions and for ‘going out’. I’ve worn them to work and for long walks. I have been asking the girls to take my photo and they only just got the boots in but you can see plenty more on the Hotter website.

Whisper boots Hotter

They are incredibly comfortable, they are like putting on your favourite pair of slippers. In fact, I’ve often got home and started on house chores only to realise I haven’t changed into my slippers!

I was fascinated to learn from the Hotter Instagram that there are over 40 pieces that go into making a pair of whisper boots. This really goes to underline the care and craft that goes into making a pair of Hotter boots.

Hotter Whisper boots

I can happily say that all three of us thoroughly recommend the Whisper boots by Hotter as a fashion statement and the most comfortable boot you’ll put on this winter.

Disclosure: We were sent a pair of boots each to review for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own.

6 Birthday Gift Ideas for Your Best Friend

best friend birthday gifts

Our best friends are important. They’re there through everything, we confide in them and they’ve seen us at both our best and worst. We laugh with them (or occasionally at them), cry together and share some of the most important parts of our lives with them.

While we do things for our best friends all the time, a birthday is the perfect opportunity to say thank you and show them just how much they mean. Here are some gift ideas for your best friend.

Time to Relax

birthday gifts for best friend

If your best friend is also a mum, then chances are, they probably don’t get many opportunities to enjoy some me time. Make your best friend’s birthday all about her by gifting a personalised pampering set, complete with scented candles, bath products and beauty treatments.

Make it Yourself

A homemade DIY gift can be really special and shows how much thought you’ve put into a present. For your best friend’s birthday, you could make a scrapbook filled with your favourite memories and photos, bake some of her favourite goodies, or use your skills (from pottery to knitting) to make something special.

Update her Wardrobe

birthday gifts for best friend

As a mum, it can be very easy to neglect your own wardrobe – after all, your children come first. So, on her birthday, why not treat your best friend to some new threads? Alternatively, buy a gift card for her favourite store, or arrange a birthday shopping trip for the two of you.

A Birthday Celebration

birthday gifts for best friend

Many people prefer to be gifted an experience, rather than receive a physical gift. If your best friend is like this, then plan a celebration. This could be anything from afternoon tea and a spa afternoon, to an evening out with Witness for the Prosecution tickets or a meal at her favourite restaurant.

Their Wish List

Has your best friend been eying something up for a while? Is there an item they really want, but can’t quite justify purchasing? As mums, we always put our families first. For her birthday, make sure your best friend number one for the day by surprising her with a wish-list item.

Select a Subscription

Why treat your best friend for just one day, when you can spoil her throughout the year? Whether she’s a book lover or animal obsessed, gifting a subscription box allows you to give her presents for months to come – these beauty options look lovely!

The bond we have with our best friends is special, so when it comes to their birthdays, we want to get it right. For a gift that tells them just how much they’re appreciated, consider these ideas for your best friend’s birthday.

Disclosure: Collaborative post

Brabantia : Add a touch of class to your kitchen

brabantia bin

If there is one item I have coveted since focusing on Kitchen style and interiors, it’s the Brabantia waste bin.

I saw my first beautiful Brabantia when I was living in Italy. It was a style statement and I instantly fell in love, as have any other discerning kitchen owners the whole world over.

The first thing to catch my eye was the simple but eclectic style; it is minimalism to a T. It is so beautifully designed that I am sure Brabantia haven’t had to make any enormous changes to its looks since it was invented.

The Dutch company, founded back in 1919, has been focusing on houseware products for waste storage, food storage, food preparation, laundry care and hardware that includes post boxes and bathroom accessories. They total over 500 products today including the Brabantia waste bin and I am certain they have the perfect bin for you.

Another Brabantia design idea that struck a chord with me was the ingenious touch opening lid. It was the first time I’d come across such a lid and, as I always have my hands full when I go to the bin, this clever way of opening the lid immediately hit my jackpot. (They also have a traditional pedal bin if that works better for you).

There is a straight-back bin which means it can fit snugly against a wall and as the colours to choose from are fabulous, you can even make a style statement at the same time as being practical.

In fact, it is a bin worth showing off as everyone who sees it will be enamoured. Due to the clever opening, the bin is transformed into a healthy and safe refuse collector which is easy to use and can be recycled too. Because the Brabantia brains not only have invented a cool bin for you to display in your kitchen but have also looked into the day it will need to be replaced and have made it is eco-friendly as possible.

Mind you, I wouldn’t worry about having to throw it away just yet as it comes with a 10-year guarantee!

One last word – don’t be tempted to go with a copy version – it is quite simply not the same.