Sunday, 20 March 2016

Life of a Toddler : If my 18 month old had Twitter

toddler, twitter

A day in the life of an 18 month old. 
I always wonder what life is like through the eyes of my little boy. What is he thinking?


Let's have a bit of fun...
Imagine if my 18 month old had Twitter...


5.45am - Wake up and can't find my diddy. Shout for my diddy, find it and fall back to sleep. 

7.00am - Wake up & shout Mummy. She comes in with a big smile, must be because I didn't wake her in the night #winning

7.10am - Watch Milkshake with Mummy in bed for a bit. But I get bored so look out the window to see if I can find some trees. 

7.20am - Still bored so head into Mummy's dressing room to see what I can touch. #SheHatesThis

7.25am - Bradley's making Mummy cross by not getting ready for school. She says he'll miss his bus if he doesn't stop messing. #SillyBabby




7.30am - Get dressed. Rockin some denim look joggers & a red stripy top. Argue with Mummy about what socks to wear. #MyFeetMyRules

7.45am - Mummy leaves me in my room while she gets dressed & 'puts cream on her face' or something. Hate when she leaves me. 

8.00am - Mummy tries to brush my teeth but I just want to suck the toothpaste and bite the brush. 

8.10am - Finally she lets me go downstairs! #FreeAtLast

Cheeeeeeese!! #LetMeTakeASelfie #HappyFace

8.15am - Eating my coco pops & apple slices while mummy cleans the kitchen & moves some clothes from the hanging thing into a pile. 

8.30am - Ask Mummy for Mr Tumble. Mummy has this special button on the remote that has lots of episodes of 'Mumble' just for me. 



9.45am - Off to see my mates at the Library Stay & Play. #OutOut 

11.30am - Been playing with all the toys at Stay & Play, then got to choose a new book to take home. 

12.00pm - Having lunch at home with Mummy. #GetInMyBelly


Lunch Time! #YumYum
12.10pm - She took my spoon away, how am I meant to eat my apple slices without a spoon? Scream until she gives it back #Fuming

1.00pm - Nap time! #TiredMuch 

3.00pm - Wow, my teeth hurt so much when I woke from my nap. Mummy said my cheeks were bright red! #Ouch 

3.15pm - Playing play dough. Mummy tries to get some jobs done. Is she having a laugh? I want her to play play dough with me!! #TimeForATantrumIThink

3.30pm - Mummy said the dishwasher is blocked. There's water everywhere. She seems cross. I think it's great to splash! 




4.00pm - Bradleys home! YESS!!! #BigBrotherTime 

4.30pm - Mummy made the yummiest dinner! Isn't it boring using a fork and spoon? So much easier with my fingers!

5.00pm - Super excited that my Daddy is home from work! 


5.30pm - Can't understand why Daddy won't share his dinner with me! #SelfishMuch





6.00pm - Chillin' in my tent with my bricks. #YoLo!


6.10pm - Mummy takes my nappy off and says if I need a wee-wee to sit on the potty. The potty is boring though. I don't fancy it today, maybe tomorrow. 


6.20pm - If anyone wants me, I'll be watching In The Night Garden! #IgglePiggleRules


In The Night Garden Time 
6.45pm - Mummy let me have bubbles in the bath tonight. GET IN! Mummy & Daddy got cross that I tipped water out all over the floor though. Oops!

7.00pm - Finally in bed, so exhausting being a toddler! #NightNight








It'd go something like that, right? ;)

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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Activities for Toddlers : Making Coloured Rice


I'm very lucky to be able to work from home, so I get to spend my days with my toddler. Working in Early Years, I'm not one for sitting around and letting him just 'play' all day, I'm constantly planning new activities and play opportunities for him. 

I often hear people say 'wow, you're brave' or 'that's far too messy for me!' when I tell them what we've been up to, but after working in Early Years for 16 years; the messier the better, I say! And what's a bit of mess when you're creating memories and building on skills?

This week we've been making coloured rice. It's really simple and you can use things you probably have in the cupboards at home.
Want to know how? Keep reading... 


What You Need:
Dry rice 
[just a cheap pack of rice from the supermarket will do]
Different coloured food colouring 
[you can also add flavourings for different scents too]
Food Bags / Zip Lock Bags
Water 
[people often use vinegar but I find a splash of water works just as well]
Kitchen Towel


Firstly, separate your rice into food bags, any food bags will do, although if you'll be letting children help, the zip lock bags will be your best option, so there's no spillages.

I usually do this the evening before we plan to play with it, to give it chance to dry out.

Add a couple of drops of food colouring, be very careful not to over do it, I've had to throw batches away before now as I'd added far too much colouring and the rice was too wet and sticky. It can take a little practice to get the balance between food colouring and water right, but if you start off with little amounts with a few drops of water and mix into the rice you'll find that only a small amount is needed. It's better to be able to add a couple more drops if needed rather than add too much and have to throw it away and start again. 
The water is to water down the food colouring, making it go a little further and help bind to the rice. As I mentioned, a lot of people use white vinegar but I don't keep this in the house and find that water has always worked just as well.

Holding the bag at the top, mix the colouring into the rice by manipulating the bag with your fingers until all the rice is covered. Then when you've coloured all the rice, lay the bags flat and leave to rest to give the rice chance to 'dye'. I usually leave it for a couple of hours, every now and then giving them a bit of a shake and turning the bags over. 


After a couple of hours, usually before I go to bed, I empty the rice out onto kitchen towel to dry out overnight. 
In the morning, the rice should be completely dry, not at all wet or sticky and the kitchen paper should be clean, with no colouring on the tissue. If it isn't, it's not suitable for playing with.


I set up the rice on our play mat on the floor, [an old shower curtain is perfect] although I'm definitely investing in a tuft spot ASAP to keep play like this from spreading the full vicinity of my kitchen floor ;) along with some silver kitchen utensils; pots, pans, cake tins, different sized spoons, cups etc for mixing. 


You could set it out in lots of different ways; 
in a tray at standing height, 
on the floor, 
on a table top, 
with small world toys [cars, animals, people],
with cups, scoops and funnels [for scooping and pouring], 
with coloured items to match the rice,
for mark making with fingers or other tools




It's always a popular activity in our house , it looks great, feels great, is lots of fun, clothes stay clean and it's nothing that can't be swept and vacuumed up afterwards. The rice can be stored away and re-used over and over, so can be pulled out when you need a quick, fun activity!


What do you think? 
Do you have any fun activities for toddlers to share?

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Friday, 11 March 2016

Kids Themed Photoshoots with ZigZag Photography

photography, kids photoshoot, ziglets


ZigZag Photography is a local photography studio based in Clarendon Park, Leicester. They recently introduced Ziglets - a themed photoshoot exclusive to 1-8 year olds and kindly invited us along to experience and review their new project. 

I was very excited to take Taylor to his first little photoshoot! At 18 months, he's a bit of a live wire, so I hoped they managed to get him to stay still long enough for a decent shot!

We were met with a warm welcome from photographer, Sammy, who I'd met previously at a local blogger event and made comfortable in the waiting area while they got the studio room ready for us. Taylor played with the wooden train set whilst we waited.

zig zag photography, photography studio

zig zag photography, photography studio

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot

Ziglets is a special children's only shoot offering a fun afternoon of dressing up and acting out their favourite scenes. They have a collection of decorative, dramatic and delightful backdrops to choose from, including pirates, fairies, galaxy wars and much more, that children can play and pose in front of. The backgrounds are the perfect accompaniment to any outfit, smart or casual, or a full on costume. 

We were shown the selection of backdrops to choose from and decided on the football background, as we'd bought along Taylor's little Leicester City kit, plus the graffiti style background against his casual outfit. Once Sammy had set the studio up upstairs, we were invited up to get started.


zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot

Sammy was fantastic at trying to get Taylor to look at the camera, although it was hard work, I do hope he didn't stress her out too much!! ;) He was all over the place, just as I expected... Especially when we had the costume change into his football kit! He loves his football and we were all running around shouting 'GOAAAL!', trying to get him to stand in front of the football background and face the camera. 

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot

After about 20 minutes, we were shown back downstairs and given drinks while we waited for the photos to be edited. We bought along a couple of snacks for Taylor and before we knew it, we were being shown back upstairs into the viewing room to see the photos.

I was a little worried that there wasn't going to be many good ones as I felt like Taylor didn't stay still long enough! :)

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot, photography studio

I needn't have worried, Sammy had got some fantastic shots!! They were shown to us on a big cinematic viewing screen and they were just gorgeous!! It was so difficult to choose which pictures we wanted. We were super lucky to receive £100 worth of prints including a huge 16x12 print worth £50 plus their Big Value Pack, also worth £50 which includes 3 images in 4 different sizes. We also purchased a couple of extra 7x5 prints as they were all so cute!! 

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot, photography studio, viewing

It was such a lovely experience, we were made to feel really welcome and comfortable and the whole thing lasted approximately an hour, which was just perfect as with small children the last thing you want is a long, drawn out process and lots of waiting around. 

We collected the photos a week later and I adore them! They're fantastic!

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot, photo

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot, photos

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot, photos
zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot, photo


What do you think?

You can find more images over on my Instagram & Facebook pages.

Local to Leicester?
The lovely people at ZigZag Photography have offered my readers the chance to experience their own Ziglets Adventure Photo Shoot worth £95!
This entitles you to a mini themed photoshoot, a digital presentation and 12x16 print.

Call 0116 2700995 and quote THEBRUNETTESAYS to receive this offer.


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*I received this photoshoot and images free of charge 
for the purpose of this review.
Many thanks to ZigZag Photography.
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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Gro Anywhere Blind : Review

gro, blackout blind, toddler sleeping, gro company

When Bradley was a baby, he would really struggle to sleep in a light room. He would fight nap time even with the curtains closed as the room was too light and he would wake up super early from light flooding through. I had to stick sheets of black sugar paper [stolen from work, sshh!] up at the windows, as well as a blackout curtain to get him to sleep that little bit longer!

Fortunately Taylor isn't as bad, as he has a blackout roller blind in his room. He did struggle to sleep when we were on holiday during the summer as the curtains were far too thin and the room wasn't dark enough. 

The Gro Anywhere Blind from award-winning nursery brand The Gro Company, is a portable blackout blind perfect for keeping any room cosy and dark for a more comfortable, sleepy environment. Designed to fit any window [up to a maximum size of 130x198cm], this new and improved version has velcro fastenings to help adjust the size to fit smaller windows too.

gro, blackout blind, toddler sleeping, gro company

gro, blackout blind, toddler sleeping, gro company

gro, blackout blind, toddler sleeping, gro company


The blind, which is made with premium blackout material and has a cute moon and stars design, fits quickly and easily to the glass with large suction cups ensuring a close fit, to help block out any light. 

It folds up perfectly to fit into the handy carry bag so it's ideal for travelling away from home, to help make any room cosy and dark.

I will definitely take this on holiday with us to ensure complete darkness. I need a little practice getting it to stick on the glass firmly as it fell down a couple of times when we tried it in Taylor's bedroom. But it was pretty easy to put up and made the room completely dark.

The Gro Anywhere Blind can be purchased from The Gro Store for £29.99.


What do you think?
Would something like this come in use 
with your family?

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*Sent to me for the purpose of the review
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Friday, 4 March 2016

February Beauty Favourites 2016


beauty, makeup, skincare, bath/body

Hey lovelies!

February went by super fast, I turned 32 which has devastated me slightly! Waahhh haha. Here are the top 5 favourite beauty products I've been using during this month.

beauty, bath/body, cleanser

Lush Angels on Bare Skin Fresh Cleanser (£6.95)
I've been using this beauty for a few years now, I use it all over in the shower, it helps to calm my keratosis pilaris a little and makes my skin feel lovely after use. 

beauty, Dermalogica, exfoliant, skincare

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (£41.75 full size)
A huge favourite of mine for a couple of years now, I recently ran out of my full size which was a mare, until I realised I had a travel size hiding in my beauty drawer. It's an amazing exfoliant that makes my skin feel soft, smooth and clean after use. The product lasts ages as you only need a small amount of powder which turns into a paste-like consistency upon contact with water. I use it daily as part of my evening skin routine. I'll be gutted when this one runs out!

beauty, makeup, brows, Anastasia Beverly Hills

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (£15.00/Beauty Bay)
I finally decided to pick up some ABH for my brows. My brows are just a mess right now, full of gaps, one is ever so slightly higher than the other and don't match at all, they're a mare to work with. I usually use pencil or powder but thought I'd get my hands on some ABH. I wasn't sure at first as I thought I'd bought a shade too dark but it seems fine now. It's a lovely consistency and hopefully with a bit more practise I'll be a bit more happy with my brows!

beauty, makeup, mascara, soap & glory

Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Super Volume Mascara (£10.00)
When I run out of primer, I often reach for a drugstore mascara, or one I don't use as often, as a bit of a base before I apply my usual mascara [not actually sure why... lol] and I was actually really surprised after applying this one, it builds up to a full volume lash. I've ended up using it every day since!

beauty, skincare, MAC

MAC Studio Moisture Cream (£24.50)
I love using this stuff, the consistency is just lovely and I'm slightly addicted to the smell. It feels really comfortable on the skin, it's really hydrating and leaves a perfect finish ready for make up.


What have you been loving using this month?

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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Be ready for Spring Time with Ted Baker's Sugar Sweet Collection


Ted Baker, Bath/Body, Sugar Sweet Collection

This Spring time, treat yourself or someone special to Ted Baker's indulgent bath and body range.

The floral fashion print of his latest womenswear collection, with beautiful flowers set upon a background of melting watercolour has inspired this  luxurious  'Sugar Sweet' bath and body collection. 

Ted Baker, Bath/Body, Sugar Sweet Collection

Available in 2 colours and fragrances, you'll find one perfect to sit pretty on your dressing table or bathroom.



'Fruity Floral Mint' is of soft mint green colour and blends fruity top notes with violet, while the base combines sweet yet soft vanilla, patchouli and amber.



While 'Soft Floral Pink' come in a pretty pink shade, entwining the soft floral notes of jasmine and neroli, while the base of patchouli, sandalwood and musk completes the scent. 


Ted Baker, Bath/Body, Sugar Sweet Collection

I received a few products of the 'soft floral pink' collection to share with you. The packaging is just beautiful. It looks lovely on my dressing table, I almost don't want to use them!

Ted Baker, Bath/Body, Sugar Sweet Collection, body lotion

The Body Lotion (£8.00) comes in this cute and classy pump bottle and promises to leave your skin feeling soft and moisturised and smelling of freshly picked spring blooms.

Ted Baker, Bath/Body, Sugar Sweet Collection, body souffle

The Body Souffle (£10.00) is of rich whipped cream texture and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth. As a fan of thick body butters, this is beautiful and the fragrance lingers on your skin for ages afterwards, and the fragrance of this collection is just gorgeous, I couldn't stop smelling myself afterwards!

Ted Baker, Bath/Body, Sugar Sweet Collection, bubble bath

This luxurious glass bottle contains Bath Bubbles (£12.00) which I guess is a little expensive for bubble bath, but it's great as a gift. It looks super cute in any bathroom or dressing table and creates rich, creamy bubbles.

Ted Baker, Bath/Body, Sugar Sweet Collection, fragrance

For the ultimate fragrance layering, the Body Spray (£7.00) is just perfect. Spring in a bottle!

The collection also includes a body wash (£8.00), lip balm (£4.00) and hand cream (£8.00).

Ted Baker, Bath/Body, Sugar Sweet Collection, body lotion
Ted Baker, Bath/Body, Sugar Sweet Collection
Ted Baker, Bath/Body, Sugar Sweet Collection


I love this collection, it looks really luxurious and indulgent, and smells beautiful!
It would be a perfect gift or even a special spring time treat for yourself... and your dressing table! ;)

You can purchase the Ted Baker bath and body collection exclusively in selected Boots stores or online at boots.com



What do you think?
Would this collection look good on your 
dressing table?


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*Products sent to me for consideration.
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