Animalphabet Book Review

Animalphabet is the latest book by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Sharon King-Chai. This beautifully illustrated book has an animal for each letter of the alphabet.

Animalphabet Book

Bestselling author Julia Donaldson is well known for her fabulous book The Gruffalo. Animalphabet is Julia Donaldson’s latest release and another fantastic book for children. Especially perfect for those aged 3 to 5 years, Animalphabet is a lovely hardback book. You can buy it on Amazon here.

Animalphabet Book Review

As we explored the animal world with this gorgeous book we learnt a lot! With peep-through pages and fold out flaps this glorious gift for animal lovers becomes an interactive guessing game. Find out who is faster than a Caterpillar, who can hug tighter than a nightingale and who can fly better than a pig!

Caterpillar - Animalphabet

With stunningly eye-catching artwork throughout, the Animalphabet book contains an exotic array of animals. They truly are stunnnig and something to marvel over. This is a book to treasure and stand proudly on display. Julia Donaldsons rhythmic words make the book flow beautifully making it lovely to read out loud.

Animalphabet book

With each page we discovered an amazing collection of beautifully coloured animals in their habitats. Comparing animals to each other to learn comparison words and adjectives makes learning fun. Finding out who is bigger, smaller etc makes it such an enjoyable read. Izzy loves guessing which animal is next as we ask each question.

We absolutely adore this stunning book, Animalphabet is fun to read with it’s rhythmic words and gorgeous artwork. Being such an interactive book makes it such a fun reading experience and would make such a lovely gift! We would definitely recommend the Animalphabet book for young animal lovers. We love children’s books, don’t forget to check our our Book Review page to discover more Children’s books we’ve reviewed.

Have you heard of Animalphabet?

10 Crochet Projects For 2019

I’ve got 10 Crochet projects I want to complete throughout 2019. I set myself 6 goals this year and one is to continue learning to crochet. I figured the best way to ensure that happens is to set myself 10 Crochet Projects for 2019.

10 crochet projects for 2019

My confidence has grown a lot over the last year when it comes to crochet. I’ve stopped panicking it’s beyond me and giving most patterns a go, knowing if I mess up I can simply start again.

10 Crochet Projects

1. A Tulip – This is for Checka as she kindly bought me new crochet hooks enabling me to crochet easier and with less pain!

2. Grumpy Care Bear – This is for Hannah as she loves Care Bears and when I spotted the patterns I just knew I had to try and make one for her.

3. A blanket – There are so many gorgeous patterns though, it’s going to be tough to pick one.

4. Dobby – Eva loves Harry Potter and she loves Dobby, I want to make her a Dobby of her own and a mini sock to go with him.

5. A cushion – This will be for me, our sofa is horribly uncomfortable so a few extra cushions should help and keep me busy.

6. A unicorn – OK maybe a few of mini unicorns for my girls and one for one of Checka’s daughters too.

7. A pig – Another one for Checka as one of her daughters loves pigs!

8. An aeroplane – I spotted a pattern for an aeroplane and love it. I want to create more items for boys and the first will go to Checka’s little boy.

9. Jesus – Martyn’s choice, I’ve yet to attempt people so this will be a fun challenge!

10. Finally, a Donkey – Again for Martyn as he loves them.

A Fun Challenge

I’m really looking forward to challenging myself over the coming year with my 10 crochet goals. Crochet has become quite a comfort for me, on my bad days I can still feel like I’m achieving something. Each make on the list is different and different levels of difficulty and I know I’ll learn a lot along the way.

If I finish all 10 projects with time to spare then I’ll probably try to fit a few more in too!

Do you have any crochet goals this year?

6 Goals For 2019

I’ve set myself 6 goals for 2019. I’m not usually the type to go making resolutions but I do have a few aims for this year, they are all realistic goals I hope to achieve.

6 Goals For 2019

1. Read 20 Books

I found my love of reading again in 2018 and managed to work my way through several Dick Francis books and both books by Fiona Morgan. In total, I read about 10 books last year which I’m really pleased about! The Mr helped me decide a number and we set a goal of 20 books for 2019. A realistic goal in between blogging, crocheting and life. I used to read so much that this has to be at thetop of my 6 goals for 2019.

2. Continue Learning Crochet

I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to crochet. I’ve made a few scarves, blankets, cardigans and a few amigurami makes over the last 2-3 years. Having taught myself using YouTube and Pinterest for how to’s and ideas to help, my confidence has really grown, especially in 2018. I’m proud to say I actually designed my very own Purple Crocheted Summer Cardigan. A huge achievement for me! I can’t wait to learn and make more.

3. Blog More

Over 3 and a half years I’ve created over 450 blog posts! Another big achievement for me. I’ve slowly got more confident with my writing but my personal posts have been lacking a little in 2018. Lots of lows made blogging a chore at some points but I’m determined to log more on the blog. This is my space but I let the worry of a certain person reading my thoughts hold me back. I’m determined to write how and when I want in 2019 and to write a lot more!

4. Quit Smoking

I am slowly feeling calmer and coping better so I am hoping this will help me quit smoking in 2019. I intend to buy another vape soon and hopefully, that will help. Even if I just manage to cut down to start with I will be happy!

5. Craft More

We love to craft and made a fantastic cardboard box dragon in 2018 that the girls really enjoyed. I want to do more crafting like this and share our makes on the blog!

6. Be Me

I’ve slowly started finding me again this year and I want to be more me. For years I was convinced I was a waste of space. Nothing I did would ever be good enough but with the support from the Mr, the girls and a few close friends I’ve slowly learnt I am enough. I may find it difficult to start conversations, I may be awkward, forget plans or to return messages but I do care. I’m always around if someone needs me, they only need to shout. I will always do my best to try and do the right thing even if it turns out not to be. I know I’m not perfect but I’m determined to love my flaws and just be me for 2019.

Leaving A Stressful 2018 Behind

2018 was a rollercoaster year for me, losing my ESA, nearly losing myself in the appeals process and finally losing contact with my brother. I’m determined to have a better year, my head is in a better place and whilst I am immensely gutted about my brother, it’s made me see things differently.

I know now that I am not responsible for my brother and his behaviour and I refuse to let him blame me for his own mistakes any longer. The behaviour my girls have seen from him isn’t anything I’d allow from anyone else and even their attitude and behaviour has improved without contact. They were devastated he didn’t get in touch over Christmas which led to missing certain traditions with him though.

Having gone out of my way to include my brother in everything I can over the years, I have to admit it hit hard that he hasn’t apologised but I’m determined to move forward this year and stop feeling guilty and responsible for everyone else.

There has been some positives from 2018, I’ve got some good friends around like Martyn, Hannah, Checka and a few who don’t blog too. The girls have had amazing school reports and are happy which has made me feel immensely proud! We had a lovely Christmas and for the first time in a long time I feel really calm.

This year will be about me, the Mr and the girls, it will be full of growth and lessons learnt and hopefully, I will achieve my 6 goals for 2019!

Do you have any goals for 2019?

Part 2 – Purple Crocheted Summer Cardigan

Part 2 of my Purple Crocheted Summer Cardigan is finally here! Yes, that’s right, after far too long, I finally finished! You may remember Part 1 when Ritohobby kindly sent me some of their gorgeous Infinity Hearts Rose 8/4 yearn to create this cardigan with. 

Purple Crocheted Summer Caridgan Using Ritohobby Yarn

What Took Me So Long?

I loved this project so much but being a much thinner yarn and using the purple 3mm hook began to cause excruciating hand pain. After just 5 minutes of crocheting I’d begin getting sharp pains and after 10-15 minutes, I just couldn’t continue. This led to me crocheting in very small spurts and not overly looking forward to it. I did manage to slowly make progress, but each sleeve took a month.

Part 2 - Purple Crocheted Cardigan

Part 2 

I began getting quite stressed about the delay to part two of my post which unfortunately Checka heard all about! After getting fed up with my moaning she kindly treated me to some new crochet hooks with much more ergonomic handles.

Crocheted cardigan in progress

I was quite overwhelmed, to be honest, crochet has helped me so much until this point because it was the only body part that didn’t hurt! Pain slowing me down had been really hard to cope with. As soon as my new hooks arrived I got to work again, completing the final piece of a sleeve, hem and beginning the hood. 

Front of Purple Crocheted summer cardigan

With a better hook, this yarn began to work up even quicker than before too. The Infinity Hearts Rose 8/4 yarn is gorgeous to work with and the colour still amazes me. I’m a little sad not to be working with this yarn any longer. I am however very pleased to be adding this cardigan to my wardrobe! Originally meant to be a summer cardigan, it is one I can see me wearing year round too.

Back of Purple Crocheted Summer Cardigan

So what do you think of the completed purple crocheted summer cardigan?

Win Prizes With Sudocrem Game Plus 3 Goody Bags To Giveaway

You can win prizes with Sudocrem this Christmas, win one of 3 goody bags entering the Rafflecopter below and head over to Facebook play Sudocrem’s fun new game. Sudocrem have launched their snowball fight game on Facebook where you can win a range of prizes until 31st December.

Win prizes with sudocrem facebook game

Snowball Fight Facebook Game

Sudocrem have launched their annual Facebook Game, a fun, frantic festive game. Users must help Sudocrem stop the Nappy Rash Gremlins from ruining Christmas. Sudocrem is one of the UK’s most recognisable family brands of nearly 90 years and they need your help to beat the Nappy Rash Gremlins.

Sudocrem game

Win Prizes

Sudocrem is one of the UK’s most recognisable family brands of nearly 90 years. They are rewarding users with an array of prizes from a bumper £2000 fund. Every entrant to complete game and earn over 1000 points will be entered into a prize draw to win a prize instantly. You can play daily to earn extra goes too! Simply head over to thir Facebook page and click on the ‘Sudocrem Snowball Fight’ competition app.

Prizes include:

• 5 x Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8
• 15 x £20 Amazon Vouchers
• 5 x £20 Mothercare Vouchers
• 5 Posca Make It Christmas Kits
• 20 x My Little Sudocrem Pot
• 10 x Sudocrem Recovery Cream 30g
• 3 X Bubblebum Car Booster Seats
• 8 x Uni-ball Prize Bundles  

Win 1 of 3 Sudocrem Goody Bags

On top of the chance to win prizes with Sudocrem/s facebook game, we have 3 Sudocrem goody bags to give away! For a chance to win simply complete the Rafflecoptor below.

These goody bags include:

·      Sudocrem Care & Protect      
·      Sudocrem Skin Care Cream 
·      A Sudocrem Bag
·      A Sudocrem Drinks Bottle
·      A Sudocrem Ball

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you played the Sudocrem Snowball Fight yet?

Staying Warm With The Hot Water Bottle Shop

I’m staying warm this winter with some gorgeous products from The Hot Water Bottle Shop. They sell a full range of microwavable wheat bags, hot water bottles, slippers and more! Products like these can comfort, ease aches and pains, warm you up and with essential oils such as Lavender help you de-stress and sleep better.

Staying warm this winter with hot water bottle shop

Hot Water Bottles And Microwavable Products

The Hot Water Bottle Shop sell both Hot Water bottles and Microwavable products. If like me you have peripheral neuropathy then microwavable products are best. Hot water bottles can cause severe scolding and peripheral neuropathy may prevent you from feeling this, especially if you have Diabetes Millitus.

If you have no health concerns then hot water bottles are perfectly safe to use. The Hot Water Bottle Shop have a great guide here on how to safely use a hot water bottle.

Heat can help ease a range of issues from arthritis, back pain, cramping, muscle aches, digestion and constipation, pregnancy and period pains, stress, anxiety and  sleeping difficulties.

Staying Warm and Purple!

Warmies - Purple

I was kindly sent this gorgeous Lilac fully microwavable bottle to try out. Due to my chronic pain and peripheral neuropathy, I often feel the cold awfully throughout winter. Products like these are perfect for helping me through winter. With a lovely lavender scent, this microwavable bottle is fantastic for warming up with, easing pains or just feeling comforted and relaxed for a bit. 

Staying warm this winter with the hot water bottle shop

I’m in love with this fluffy bottle of heat, it is so soft and comforting. With the calming lavender scent it is a great way to relax, especially just before bed after a busy day.

Easing Aches And Pains

The Hot Water Bottle Shop kindly sent me an amazing purple, lavender scented microwavable neck warmer too. This lovely Neck Warmer arrived at the perfect time, just as I developed a painful neck ache.

Purple Microwavable Neck Warmer

The neck warmer quickly soothed and eased the muscles in my neck. You can find out how to safely use neck warmers here. They truly are amazing for helping with neck aches and relaxing.

Lavender neck warmer

The Hot Water Bottle Shop is now one of my favourites! They have some lovely products that make fab gifts for adults and older children. I’m now looking forward to staying warm this winter!

New Ranges At Not For Ponies

There is a fab new range from Not For Ponies, Home, Stationary & Gifts! They have added great products from Fabric notebooks, purses, bags, cushions, Christmas stockings and more. All their fabric products are made to high standards with quirky animal appliques.

We were kindly sent a few items to see what we thought of the new range. The first item is this gorgeous fabric Fox Notebook. The design is so cute and the notebook itself is of high quality too!

A lovely lined notebook is covered in blue fabric with a gorgeous Fox stitched onto it. Not For Ponies also have a beautiful owl notebook in a similar style.

They even have a Moustache notebook available too, I love their quirky designs!

Moustache Notebook

Purses

We also received 2 Purses, the first is a black and white chequered pattern with pink fluffy pompoms and pink zip.

The second purse has a really cute woodland printed fabric with rabbits, foxes, butterflies, toad stools, flowers and plants.

There are several other designs available too like this cute cactus one! I love the designs and they make lovely little gifts.

Another cute design is this pink puppy purse! The purses are big enough to hold any gift cards, note or coins or even small items of makeup.

This colourful pineapple purse is another fantastic addition to the new range at Not For Ponies. Last year I shared their amazing Christmas jumpers & tops and it’s great to see Not For Ponies adding a new range like this.

Which is your favourite product from the new range?

#MakeChristmasBearable With Teddy Mountain UK

I’ve been sharing the #MakeChristmasBearable campaign by Teddy Mountain UK over my social media recently. They are running a daily giveaway until 25th December. Each day someone who has been nominated will be picked to win their own Bear kit. The idea is to nominate someone who deserves to win a bear, perhaps they’ve had a tough year or just generally struggling and feeling low. With your nominations, you can help  #MakeChristmasBearable this year. 

#MakeChristmasBearable Campaign

#MakeChristmasBearable

Each day you can nominate someone you feel deserves to win a Teddy Mountain Bear. Simply comment on any of their social media platforms with who and why you think they deserve to win. The winner is announced via Facebook Live videos on their page each evening. I think this is an absolutely lovely campaign. I know many people who most definitely deserve to win and would love their own bear. Because of this, I  would like to help raise as much awareness about the #MakeChristmasBearable campaign.

A New Purple Friend

Amethyst the Gumdrop Pony

As I have been helping share the campaign Teddy Mountain UK kindly sent me a gorgeous new friend, their Gumdrop Pony. I was overwhelmed by their kindness and thought I’d use my new friend to help spread the campaign so others feel that too. I ran a few polls on Twitter to give my new friend a name. After a day of polls we finally named her Amethyst which I love!

Naming Poll

Teddy Mountain UK

Teddy Mountain UK have a huge range of fantastic bear kits to make yourself at home. These kits are fab and I know lots of smiles will appear due to their campaign. Teddy Mountain UK have kindly given me several shout-outs during their Facebook live videos for sharing #MakeChristmasBearable so I wanted to share a blog post too. Hopefully, it will help raise even more awareness for such a lovely campaign.

How To Nominate

I know many of my readers struggle this time of year and I’m sure many can think of someone who does too. Together we can help put a smile on a few more faces by sharing and nominating people to win daily.

With 13 more days to go and a prize each day, why not pop over to Teddy Mountain UK’s Facebook page and nominate a friend. I’m sure it will mean the world to whoever you win it for and could #MakeChristmasBearable for them!

This is a fantastic campaign and I would love it if you could share, nominate or even just watch a video and see what Teddy Mountain UK are doing 

One Snowy Night – Book Review

Eva read One Snowy Night, a children’s collection of winter-warmer animal tales by best-loved authors. Illustrated by Alison Edgson, this paperback is aimed at 5-8 years and published by Stripes. 

One Snowy Night

One Snowy Night

A cosy collection of short winter animal stories perfect for bedtime reading. Beautifully and highly illustrated by Alison Edgson makes the book interesting even for younger children.

One Snowy night is a charming collection of stories from authors Holly Webb, Jeanne Willis, Linda Chapman, Swapna Haddow, Leila Rasheed and Micheal Broad. Along with  Liss Norton, Cand Gourley, Katy Cannon and Sita Brahmachari. Together, these fabulous authors and illustrator have created a gorgeous book for children. What’s not to love about a book full of heart-warming winter stories by many much-loved authors.

In The Snowy Mountains – Linda Chapman

One snowy night begins with a girl who ventures off in search of the secretive snow leopards in mountainous Mongolia. Discovering a baby snow leopard leads to a big discovery. This short but heart-warming story is a lovely winter read.

One Snowy Night Animal Anthologies

A Christmas Star – Holly Webb

A heart-warming tale of a young girl desperate to nicely wrap a present for her parents. Written by well-known and loved author Holly Webb, this story shows the true meaning of Christmas. When Lucy’s mischievous kitten Star is making it difficult to wrap the presents she gets grumpy with Star. At bedtime, everyone suddenly realises Star is missing! Lucy gets upset, realising Christmas isn’t Christmas without her loveable mischievous kitten.

A Christmas Star

A Winter Surprise – Swapna Haddow

This lovely story is about a squirrel named Jumbie. He plans a surprise woodland party for his friends. Losing the invitation makes Jumbie really stressed out and just before the party too! I think this story is beyond cute and a good reminder we often worry about little things when the important things are right there! (Guilty!)

Jumbie

These cute winter animal stories make a perfect gift for animal lovers or young readers. With a total of 10 stories, this is a great read throughout December as a family.

Do you love Winter Animal stories too?

Men’s Christmas Gift Guide 2018 And £25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

I’ve put together a Men’s Christmas gift guide for 2018, collaborating with some fantastic brands to find unique gifts for men. I’ve also decided to treat one lucky winner to a £25 Amazon gift card too so make sure to enter below!

The Summerton Club

The Summerton Club Spirit Subscription service.

Do you have a man in your life who loves a full drinks cabinet? A Craft spirits members club, The Summerton Club brings you a unique subscription service. A great gift idea for spirit lovers at £50 per delivery with free delivery. The Summerton Club brings you exclusive first tastes of high-quality spirits. They offer a range of options from monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly subscriptions. You can also opt to only receive Whiskies.

Mens christmas Gifts - Mackmyra Gruvgold Swedish Sible Malt Whisky

I was sent their October Bottle of the Month, Mackmyra Gruvgold Swedish Single Malt Whisky. A well-aged spirit currently unavailable in the UK! Gruvgold meaning ‘Gold from the Mine’. A wonderfully smooth Swedish Single Malt Whisky aged in a variety of small casks. Casks used include Olorosso, Bourbon, Sherry and Swedish oak, 50m below ground in the Bodas Mine. 

Greater Skies Personalised Star Map Print

Want a truly unique gift? A Greater Skies Personalised Star map Print is a Star map of the sky above a certain location on a specific day! Perfect for friends, family or your partner. I had this Mulberry Personalised star map Print framed for a friend. You can pick from 5 different colours on this specific map.

It shows the Star map for his birthday, you could choose any special date to fit. You can add a title and up to five lines of text to your personalise star map. You can choose to instantly download and print a star map for yourself or you can have it printed for you for an extra cost. Costs vary depending on size, style and if you would like your print framed. 

Framed Starmap

Genuine Leather Beer Holster

Beer Holster

A genuine leather beer holster is perfect for keeping hands free. A water-resistant gift for any beer lover. This fab holster fits on any belt up to 4cm wide. 

Magnetic Beer Tree

This fun Magnetic Beer Tree is great for Men who love funky bottle tops! Holding up to 60 bottle tops at one time, you can now safely store favourites. This could be used for anything metal so if you know a guy who loves to collect anything like this it will make a great gift too.

£25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

As promised, one lucky winner will win a £25 Amazon gift card, so get entering the Rafflecoptor below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway