Monday, 29 June 2015

Project 365 | 2015 | Week 26

A photo a day, every day, for a year.

I think it's a fab way to document my week and look back on my year at the end.

Are you joining me?

Week Twenty Six
June 22-28

Day one hundred and seventy two:
Spending time playing in our new garden. Taylor has loved being outside, he's so much more free!!

Day one hundred and seventy three:
Starting to put my dressing room together.

Day one hundred and seventy four:
I was sent these sunglasses for review. Read my post here.

Day one hundred and seventy five:
This little man turned 10 months today!

Day one hundred and seventy six:
Daddy & Taylor have been enjoying playing in the garden today.

Day one hundred and seventy seven:
A little Saturday morning selfie. I'm not sure I like this photo, the lighting isn't very flattering, it makes my nose look huge! :/

Day one hundred and seventy eight:
I love this Orla Kiely Sicilian Lemon Reed Diffuser (£32.00*), it smells amazing when I walk into the kitchen!!

How was your week??

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*PR sample

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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Our June SassyBloom Box

SassyBloom is a monthly baby gift subscription box delivered to your door, with a minimum RRP value of £40. Inside the box is a mixture of baby products, tailored to your baby's age and stage of development, all hand picked especially for you and your little one.

We've been receiving SassyBloom boxes for a while now. 

Back in October, we were sent a box to review. If you missed the post, have a read here. We were hooked and I soon signed up to receive them every month. Long gone was my beauty box subscription, this kid rules the roost now! :)

Other than the one we received for review, I haven't yet had the chance to blog what was in the boxes as I'm far too impatient and couldn't wait to open the boxes and see what was inside!! But I decided to show you what we were lucky enough to receive this month...

Inside the box:

Nuby Cover All & Bandana Bib (RRP £5.99)
This cover all bib, with sleeves and an easy wipe surface is perfect for those messy meals or even a messy craft activity. And it comes with a free cloth bandana bib too. Very cute!!

Doidy Training Cup (RRP £3.49)
A slanted training cup to make using a cup easier. We haven't tried this yet but I'm looking forward to trying it out with Taylor.

Baby Dan Multi Lock (RRP £3.30)
A lock to keep little ones out of cupboards, fridges and freezers etc. I'm not sure we'll use this as we have safety latches on our cupboards already. But it's nice to have just in case.

Fun Time Busy Phone (RRP £4.99)
Honestly, I probably would never buy something like this as it looks and feels quite cheap. But Taylor has quite possibly played with this more than most toys recently! :)
He holds it to his ear [or the back of his head] which I think is so clever of him! :)

First Steps Stack Up Cups (RRP £6.49)
I love toys like these, helping Taylor to learn to stack, or fit inside. We have some similar, but these have found their way into the toy box in his bedroom. 

Melissa & Doug Colour Star Tumbler (RRP £9.99)
There is just something about a wooden toy. Aren't they beautiful?
When rolled along the floor, this makes a click clacking noise and shows colourful stars. I think it's just lovely!! :)

Kaloo Colours Activity Garden Book (RRP £11.15)
I adore Kaloo toys, they're just so soft and cute!! To be honest, Taylor hasn't shown much interest in this, I think it's probably a bit young for him. I wish I had kept it on the packaging and saved it for my new Niece :)

Overall we're pretty happy with this months box and already looking forward to the next one! :)

Fancy trying out a SassyBloom box? 
Get £10 off with the code THEBRUNE at 

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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Choosing the right Sunglasses

Sun's out! Yay!
One thing I do struggle with in the Summer, is finding the right pair of sunglasses to suit my face shape.
Surely it isn't just me that spends so long at the sunglasses stand, trying on every single pair???
Too big. Too small. Too round. Too ugly. 

Are you wearing the right style for your face shape?

I did a bit of research and this is what they say we should be wearing:

Heart Shaped Face [wide cheek bones, narrow chin]
 - try rounded aviators, oval frames, square frames

Oval Shaped Face [long face, wide cheeks, narrow chin]
- anything goes, you lucky things! Thin or rimless frames are especially flattering

Square/Rectangle Shaped Face [sharp angles, small forehead, prominent jaw line, long, narrow, thin]
- circular frames, cat eyes, wide frames, oval frames, cat eyes, bright or dark frames are best

Round Shaped Face [fuller features, round forehead, wide jaw]
- go for square frames, long and thin frames, dark coloured frames

I think my face is quite oval shaped. So really I should have the choice of every kind of shade going. But I never find a pair to suit me!

The very lovely people at sent me a pair of their sunglasses to try.
They specialise in various quality and affordable eyeglasses and are devoted to deliver the most popular eyeglasses frames all over the world.

Billancourt Rectangle* - $39.95

These rectangular framed sunglasses are unisex and suitable for most face shapes. 
They are polarised sunglasses, which means glare is reduced, which means less squinting, which means less lines and wrinkles! Winning!!

What do you think? Do they suit my face shape?
They feel really good quality, they're definitely not flimsy or likely to break in my hand bag. And they came in a fab little case with a special cloth for keeping the lens clean. I think just over £25 for a great quality, scratch resistant, anti-glare, smudge proof, easy to clean pair of sunglasses is a pretty good price!

To check out the other sunglasses they have on offer, visit They currently have a fab First Pair of Glasses Free campaign on where all new customers can have a pair of free optical glasses or sunglasses except shipping and handling fee. 

If any of their fab sunglasses take your fancy, treat yourself with 20% off using the code LIANNEX20. You're welcome! ;)

Happy Summer Time guys!!
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*Sunglasses sent to me by

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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Project 365 | 2015 | Week 25

A photo a day, every day, for a year.

I think it's a fab way to document my week and look back on my year at the end.

Are you joining me?

Week Twenty Five
June 15-21

Day one hundred and sixty five:
Taylor is in the driving seat today!! :) Isn't he always?! ;)

Day one hundred and sixty six:
I popped into a gorgeous new sweet shop in town, The Treat Kitchen and picked up some fizzy sweets for Bradley, and some rhubarb and custard fudge for me! Yum!

Day one hundred and sixty seven:
I had a mini drugstore beauty haul today and picked up some products to try from B. Beauty, Makeup Revolution and Real Techniques.

Day one hundred and sixty eight:
Taylor giving his big Pooh Bear snuggles. Cute :)

Day one hundred and sixty nine:
It's moving day!! Finally in our new home. I love this little quote plaque above the door :)

Day one hundred and seventy:
Heartbreaking news today. My friend lost her beautiful 3 year old son, Tyler. My heart absolutely aches for her!! :(

Day one hundred and seventy one:
Making up some resources for my company, EYFS Resources Ltd.

How was your week??

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Treasure Baskets for Babies

It can often be difficult to keep Taylor amused. He's quite full on, never sits still and needs constant stimulation. He often gets fed up with his toys and I have to make sure I rotate which toys I get out so he doesn't get bored of them. 

Being an Early Years practitioner, I know the benefits of heuristic play [which means, giving a child a group of different, everyday objects to explore freely, without intervention] and couldn't wait to start putting Treasure Baskets together for Taylor.

Treasure Baskets, [or discovery baskets, sensory baskets... Call it what you will] are a fantastic way for a child to have opportunity to explore every day, 'real' objects such as wood, metal and different textures [rather than the usual plastic toys] and build on so many important skills; fine motor skills, hand eye coordination and cognitive development to name a few. It provides babies with the opportunity to choose what they want to 'play with' and 'explore' and how they want to, through licking, sucking, biting, rubbing, dropping, even throwing. And all these experiences are helping the brain to make connections.

The idea behind a Treasure Basket, is to collect a number of items into a basket that your baby can see into and reach into comfortably. It's probably best not to have the basket accessible all the time, but to introduce it just now and again. 
We get it out every evening after dinner time, and I remove all other toys from the space.

They can be used from when a baby learns to sit up, and starts to reach out and pick up objects.

I sit close by and observe what Taylor is doing, and sometimes I'll sit and explore them with him. Although heuristic play does mean baby leads his own play, he enjoys when I explore the objects with him, he'll often copy or explore with me. I like to play with him one day, then watch what he does another day when exploring on his own. The best way is to sit back and just 'be there' in case baby decides to involve you in his play.

I like to strip him down to his vest, so he can explore all the objects and materials with his bare skin.

The environment should be calm, and quiet.

Let me show you what is currently inside our Sensory Basket:

Our basket is one that we used on his changing table and kept his muslin cloths in. It's a cute basket with a hessian lining.

Everything inside is from around the house, or I picked up from a pound shop. So they're super super easy and inexpensive to make!

It's important to check the objects regularly for any sharp edges or any other safety implications, and to sit close by, or with a watchful eye to check baby is using them safely. Never leave baby un attended with the basket. Never choose objects with loose, choking hazards, loose threads, sharp edges or dye. 

The basket can be updated and changed regularly, based on what baby uses most or doesn't use very often, and more age appropriate things can be added as baby gets older.

Inside we have:

Plastic Whisk - Taylor mainly uses this to 'bash' things, and generally explores it with his mouth or fingers. I bought this from the Pound Shop.

Plastic Pegs - He usually pops these straight into his mouth. I like to attach them to things and he enjoys pulling them off. These were also from the Pound Shop.

Wooden Spoons - Taylor will 'bash' with these and he tries to copy me when I tap them together. Another Pound Shop purchase.

Empty Cardboard Sellotape Roll - He likes to watch me roll this, but independently he just likes to chew it :) This was leftover from my work materials.

Bath Buffer - He rarely goes for this one to be honest. It usually goes in his mouth then is thrown aside. This was from a bath set I had, but don't use.

Small Hessian Bag - As Taylor gets older, this bag could contain things like shells, marbles etc. 

Hair Doughnut - Like the bath buffer, this has a unique feel to it, I popped these in so he has different textures to explore. I had this lying around at home.

Velcro Hair Rollers - We use these to thread onto things, attach pegs onto, stick onto things or each other, and lots of other things, they're very popular. I picked a pack up of these from the Pound Shop.

Bag of Coloured Plastic Cubes - These are perfect for heightening all senses; lots of bright colours, the cubes are squeezable and the bag is stretchy and flexible. These were from the Pound Shop.

Sensory Ball - This was a Christmas present to Taylor from my brother and sister in law. I like to roll it on his bare legs so he gets to feel the gentle little prickles on his skin, it makes him giggle. He likes to chew on this and throw it.

Teething Necklace - Strangely, he doesn't chew the rubbery heart, but the plastic clasp at the other end of the necklace. This came in a previous Sassybloom box. 

Sensory Bottles - one contains dry pasta which is one of Taylor's favourite things in the basket, he loves shaking it as it makes a really loud noise. The other contains blue water, with bits of coloured plastic binds which were leftover cut offs from my work materials, these float around in the water when shook.

Ribbon - This is from one of our Sassybloom boxes and we use this to wrap around objects and feel the material on his skin.

Bubble Wrap Bow - The bubble wrap is from cut offs from my work materials, I tied it into a bow and Taylor likes to suck on it. I'll admit I've nearly popped all the poppers now I think! :)

Crunchy, Holographic Paper - this was part of a birthday banner which is super shiny; the holographic effect means lots of colours when in the light, and makes a really crunchy, crinkly sound when scrunched up, perfect for all senses.

We've since added some big plastic lids which he likes as it still has the colourful image on the lid.

He loves when we get his basket out, although I think I'm going to have to stop bringing it out every night, and maybe only bring it out a couple of times a week, as some days he can take it or leave it. It's also been a few weeks now so I should probably think about changing up the objects a little. 

I'm always on the lookout in pound shops for new items to add.

Objects I'd like to add as he gets older, are:

  • Metal objects such as measuring spoons, egg cups, mini strainer, mirrors etc.
  • Pine cones
  • Brushes [like pastry brushes or shaving brushes, he does seem to have an obsession with my make up brushes!!]
  • Big shells
  • Loofah
  • Lids [metal and plastic]
  • CDs
  • Zips
  • Feathers
  • Gift bows

Another great idea is to make 'Colour' baskets using lots of objects of a specific colour, and maybe change the colour every few weeks. Or 'Seasonal' baskets including seasonal and weather related objects.

Take a look at Taylor enjoying his Treasure Basket...

Have you made Treasure Baskets for your little ones?
What kind of things do you, or would you have inside?

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Monday, 15 June 2015

Project 365 | 2015 | Week 24

A photo a day, every day, for a year.

I think it's a fab way to document my week and look back on my year at the end.

Are you joining me?

Week Twenty Four
June 8-14

Day one hundred and fifty eight:
My over grown garden. We're moving this weekend... FINALLY! And I was snapping pictures of the garden to send to a gardener. Hopefully it won't be too long before it's all done and we can start using it!

Day one hundred and fifty nine:
It was a lovely sunny day so we sat outside and had a picnic lunch in Mum's garden.

Day one hundred and sixty:
Aren't these shoes pretty? I was taking pictures of beautiful shoes to ask my friends opinion. These beauties are from River Island.

Day one hundred and sixty one:
My 9 month old little baby boy took his first steps!!!

Day one hundred and sixty two:
Our SassyBloom box arrived! Yay!! Look out for our blog post to see what we received inside!

Day one hundred and sixty three:
I can't believe Taylor is walking. I'm in mourning of my little tiny baby boy!! [not that he was ever tiny ;)] He still prefers crawling around as it's much faster, but he's on his feet a lot making short trips across the room. Bradley didn't walk until 13 months so this is quite early for me!! :)

Day one hundred and sixty four:
Mummy was desperately trying to get some packing done in the bedroom, and Taylor was 'helping' by sorting through my makeup drawer! :)

How was your week??
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Friday, 12 June 2015

Me & Mine Family Portrait Project : May

Me & Mine
The Family Portrait Project

We find it hard to get the whole family together for a photo, life is busy!!
But we've joined the Family Portrait Project for 2015 and we vow to take a photo every month of the whole family.

At the end of the year, I'm thinking of creating a photo book or similar showing the 12 family portraits.

May 2015

We are wearing:
Me: H&M Young & Wild vest  |  James: TU Loungewear  |  Bradley: Nike t-shirt  |  Taylor: H&M Mickey Mouse short set

This month:

I am loving:
Buying lots of lovely bits for the new house

James is loving:
Finally starting to move our stuff into the new house

Bradley is loving:
Celebrating his birthday

Taylor is loving:
Eggbird on Baby TV

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