Mental Health Benefits Of Crafting

Mental health benefits of crafting ranges from stress relief to a sense of achievement. There are several benefits of crafting, something I have written about before. I especially find crochet relaxing. Having anxiety, depression, PTSD and chronic pain (peripheral neuropathy) is hard work, focusing on a small craft project can be really beneficial.

Menta Health benefits of Crafting

Mental Health Benefits

Over the last few years, I’ve realised crafting is so much more than a hobby for me. It’s a stress reliever, a way to escape, a way to quieten my brain whilst I’m ‘in the zone’. For someone who struggles to go out and can’t work, it gives me a sense of achievement I otherwise lack. With low self-esteem and confidence crafting gives me a huge boost!

I encourage the girls to craft too as I know there are so many benefits. You’re are never too young to look after your mental health, a day at school can be stressful and crafting is great for winding down. 

I’ve teamed up with BestFabricStore.com to share the infographic below highlighting the many mental health benefits of crafting.

How Crafting Is Good For Your Health from BestFabricStore.com

Anyone that follows my blog will know I craft most days, whether it’s crocheting blankets, drawing with the girls, crafting Cardboard box dragons, I even learnt to make a felt woodland garland last year!  The Mr, having realised how much blogging & crafting is beneficial to me has encouraged me to create my own workspace too. It’s made crafting, writing and storing things so much easier. 

Especially as the cold weather closes in rapidly on us, crafting can turn dull days into something positive. You can turn your mood around completely by working on a craft you enjoy. From painting, drawing, crochet, knitting, paper engineering, sewing and countless other crafts, there is something for everyone. 

Do you craft to benefit your mental health too? What is your go to craft?

Izzy’s First Term At School

Izzy’s first term at school went surprisingly well. I was a little nervous for her to be honest but after running straight off to the paint table on the first day, I knew she’d settle ok. She goes into class happily each day and comes running out at home time happy. Starting reception has gone fairly well!

First Term

Izzy’s First Term – Toilet Training

As some of my regular readers may remember, Izzy started toilet training a few weeks before starting school. I am extremely thankful she’s managed a whole term with only one small accident at school. I expected a fair few more accidents! Izzy is confident using toilets anywhere, she can change herself if she does have an accident too which I am really pleased about. 

Pranking Teachers

Anyone that has met Izzy will know she is a joker! She loves to make people laugh and has a fantastic sense of humour. Izzy made this clear to her teachers from day one. For the first week or so children wear name badges to help teachers learn their names. Izzy is of course Isobella, so we reminded her this is what was on her name badge. Obviously Izzy’s mischievous brain decided that was a great way to prank her teachers. 

Several teachers spent a while calling Isobella, she acted oblivious. A learning support aid sat with her for a while and asked if her hearing was ok. She told Izzy teachers kept calling her but she wasn’t responding. Her reply? ‘I can hear them fine but I prefer Izzy!’. So of course the LSA suggested changing her name label to Izzy but she refused, leaving teachers confused all day! 

When the Mr collected her at the end of the first day he asked for Isobella, the teacher laughed and asked if he meant Izzy and explained what had happened. Izzy came bouncing out laughing her head off as she had pranked her teachers on the first day of school!!!

Making Friends

As anyone with a 4/5 year old in reception will know, you never hear the full story! Izzy says she has no friends yet according to the Mr comes out chatting to other children daily.

Eva was meeting Izzy at the dividing fence between upper and lower school for the first few weeks. Unfortunately, this led to Izzy getting upset each time Eva went back to class. I was also worried this may make it harder for Izzy to make friends at break time. The girls weren’t too happy about it but I encouraged them to play with their friends and catch up on the way home from school instead. 

Lunch Times

Izzy has a mix of packed lunches and school dinners across the week. She gets on well with her school dinners but I’m finding packed lunches can be tricky for her. She struggles to open her drink and some packets so occasionally she has come home with half her lunch & drink untouched. We have been using half term to teach her to do these things properly so hopefully next term there won’t be any issue.

Getting Ready

The idea of getting both girls ready each morning filled me with dread to be honest. Eva isn’t one for just getting on and doing what’s needed, she needs constant reminders which can be stressful! Thankfully Izzy is ready in under 5 minutes and can mostly dress herself, put on her shoes etc. This makes mornings easier than I had imagined, now I’m only left chasing one child around.

A Great Start

Overall, Izzy has had a great start in reception. She likes her teacher, loves the sandpit, paint table & play dough (nothing new there!) and seems to be getting on ok. She has moments where she say she doesn’t like school, but that’s more because she’d rather snuggle up with a film and mummy! 

How did your little ones get on in their first term?

Wicked Teas – Adagio Halloween Special

The Wicked Teas – Adagio Halloween Special sampler set is now available! This limited edition collection is just £19.00 for 6x 14g tins of loose tea. Having recently sampled a large collection of  Delicious Adagio Teas, I was really excited to try their Halloween special!

Wicked Teas - Adagio Halloween Special

Wicked Teas

These wicked teas come in Halloween themed tins with a mix of spooky sprinkles across them all. Perfect for any tea lover & collector who loves Halloween too.

Bat Brew - Wicked Teas

Bat Brew

Adagio have taken their Chocolate Chai to a new level, blending it with chocolate chips and green sugar crystals. Resulting in an indulgent sweet treat for Halloween, Bat Brew is possibly my favourite!

Candy Apple Concoction - Wicked Teas

Candy Apple Concoction

A candy apple concoction reminiscent of the trick-or-treating favourite! Blended with apple pieces red sugar crystals that look like the candy coating has fallen straight in to your cup. This makes for a frightfully good cup of tea.

Cat Scratch - Wicked Teas

Cat Scratch

A wickedly delightful blend of cat shaped sprinkles with cinnamon and a customer favourite, Tiger Eye. Another delicious tea with a hint of cocoa & caramel too!

Ghoul Gulp - Wicked Teas

Ghoul Gulp

A frightfully smooth decaf vanilla tea, spook-tacular enough to satisfy any ghost, goblin or ghoul! Accented with coconut pieces and topped with mini ghost shaped sprinkles, this is the perfect Gulp after a night of trick-or-treating.

Monster Mash - Wicked Teas

Monster Mash

A monstrous mash-up of caramel and cream tea flavours will have you screaming with delight! Topped with ghastly green jimmies and bone-chilling candy eyeballs for the perfect Monster brew.

Pumpkin Potion - Wicked Teas

Pumpkin Potion

It won’t take long to fall under this potions spell! This naturally caffeine-free concoction contains Honeybush Pumpkin Chai with orange Pumpkin shaped sprinkles and a dash of cocoa nibs. Another spook-tacular treat!

It’s safe to say Adagio have all ghouls, ghost, monsters, witches, goblins and more covered this Halloween when it comes to tea! Picking a favourite is tough as they are all delicious and a perfect sweet treat.

Which tea do you like the sound of most? 

Unicorns & Rainbows Craft Box From Squidgydoodle

We received a Unicorn & Rainbows Craft box from Squidgydoodle to try out. Each box comes with 4 themed crafts, the girls loved the Unicorn & Rainbows Crafts. Debbie who runs Squidgydoodle lovingly hand-makes each box. From as little as £2.75 for a mini box there are several different craft boxes including party boxes! Something I know my girls would love to!

Squidgydoodle Craft Box

Unicorns & Rainbows Craft Box

Our Unicorns & Rainbows craft box contained 4 fun crafts for the girls to do including Unicorn Slime, Unicorn Crown, Rainbow Scrape Painting & a Rainbow Rain Unicorn. These crafts are quite different from the typical craft boxes we’ve received. I love the theme and uniqueness of the crafts. 

Rainbow Scrape Painting

Eva wanted to do the Rainbow Scrape Painting but decided to do things a little differently but still ended up with a lovely colourful rainbow picture.

Rainbow Scrape Painting

Using the rainbow template, Eva used the paints to create a colourful rainbow and surrounding leaving a white cloud & rainbow print.

Rainbow Rain Unicorn 

Izzy wanted to try the Rainbow Rain Unicorn craft first. This is a lovely simple craft perfect for any age. Simply mix water with a drop of paint supplied (any colour you like, or mix your own!) and collect it up with the pipette. Then squirt the watered paint all over the card, letting it drip down to create cool patterns. Once finished, remove the unicorn to leave a unicorn silhouette in a colourful background!

Rainbow Rain Unicorn

Unicorn Slime

Eva loves to make slime so she chose to make the Unicorn Slime. We mixed all the ingredients but we couldn’t quite get the right consistency but it was still so much fun getting messy and watching the colours mix.

Unicorn Slime

I’m sure if we tried this again the slime would turn out better but we added to much water! 

Unicorn Crown

Finally, Izzy made the Unicorn Crown using the items supplied including pink glitter glue, sheets of glittery card, coloured tissue paper and glitter! Everything you need to be a sparkly unicorn.

Unicorn Crown Craft

Izzy really enjoyed this craft and had loads of fun cutting and sticking things on to her Unicorn Crown. Once she was finished we rolled up the Unicorn horn and taped it together. We then added elastic and Izzy had a fab Unicorn Crown to wear!

Unicorn Crown

Squidgydoodle

As a family we LOVE crafts, there simply isn’t a day that goes by without one of the girls cutting, sticking, drawing and creating. Whilst I do like craft boxes I tend to find they are a little too restrictive. Squidgydoodle craft boxes are much more fun and lets you vary the crafts slightly. This is always a win as kids aren’t always fond of sticking to the rules! We love Squidgydoodle and I’ll be ordering more boxes myself for the girls. 

Squidgydoodle craft boxes

10% Off Code

As promised, the lovely Debbie at Squidgydoodle has provided you lovely readers with a 10% off code. If you fancy trying out a craft box yourself then enter PURPLE when ordering online. This code is valid until Midnight 8th December! 

What do you think of Squidgydoodle? Will you be trying out their craft boxes? 

Bassetts Vitamins Omega-3 & Multivitamins

Bassetts Vitamins Omega-3 + Multivitamins Orange Flavour Pastilles for 3-6 years come in a juicy orange flavour. We were kindly sent some samples to see what we thought about the multivitamins.


Bassetts Vitamins Omega-3 + Multivitamins Orange Flavour Pastilles
These Bassetts Vitamins are tasty, soft and chewy multivitamins. With no added sugar, natural flavours & colours, Bassetts Vitamins Omega-3 + Multivitamins Orange Flavour Pastilles contain some of the necessary nutrients to help support the health of three to six year olds.


Giving Your Child A Smart Start


With children starting nursery or school around these ages it gives you peace of mind knowing your child is getting some of the essential vitamins each day. Bassetts Vitamins Omega-3 + Multivitamins Orange Flavour Pastilles contain Vitamin B6 to support normal psychological function and Vitamin B5 which contributes to mental performance to support a smart way to start the day.

Bassetts Vitamins Omega-3 %  Multivitamins

Izzy’s Thoughts

Izzy thought the chewy multivitamin was juicy and delicious! She said it reminded her of trying the juiciest orange she ever had. She thought it was so juicy she could just squeeze all the juice out of it to make orange juice and drew this picture of the ‘juiciest orange ever!’. It’s definitely a thumbs up from Izzy.

*Sponsored Post

*Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a healthy and balanced diet

Halloween Melts From Geeky Melts

The most amazing Halloween Melts arrived last week from Geeky Melts for me to review. Melts are simply placed in an oil burner instead of oils and they release scents as they melt.

Halloween Melts From Geeky Melts

Geeky Melts

I tend to find Melts a little pointless BUT there’s something very calming watching bones and skulls slowly melt. I think I finally understand the fascination. Geeky Melts have so many different amazing designs available for every occasion.

Wax Melts From Geeky Melts

Halloween Melts

I was kindly sent 4 pots to review with a mixture of melt designs and scents and I truly love them all! Laura at Geeky Melts hand pours every wax melt and they start from as little as £1.50 (+P&P).

Black Rose & Oudh Halloween Melts

The First pot contained Black & Red Dark Mark Skulls, and Mini Heart Melts with a Black Rose and Oudh scent. This is my favourite scent by far and I really enjoyed watching the skulls melt away. 

Melon & Cucumber Rose wax melt from Geeky Melts

The next pot contained a gorgeous Melon and Cucumber scented White Glittery ‘Dead Flower’ Melt. I love how fruity this scent is, it really makes the room smell lush!

Geeky Melts - Halloween Wax Melts

I love the designs in the third pot these 3D Melts are amazing in blue with a hint of red on 2 of the melts. With a refreshing Rock Salt and Drift Wood scent, these are seriously cool melts. 

Skull, Bone & Hearts Wax Melts

Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh linen? The final pot contained a mix of Fresh Linen scented Hearts, Skull & Bone Melts.

I really do see the interest in wax melts now, they make your home smell amazing. They are fascinating to watch melt & rather calming too. I love how much detail has gone into making these melts from the colours, sparkle and scents, they are fab!

I’ll be treating myself to more from Geeky Melts very soon for myself and as gifts for Christmas. There are a range of different designs and scents to choose from at Geeky Melts to suit everyone. 

Do you like wax melts? What do you think of Geeky Melts?

Frost Book Review – A Winter Animal Story

Eva received a copy of the Frost book to review last week, reissued and redesigned with a dazzling new cover! Frost is written by bestselling author Holly Webb and award-winning illustrator Britta Teckentrup. A perfect, read aloud, heart-warming winter tale full of wondrous animal adventure.

Frost Book Review

Frost Book – Eva’s Thoughts

Eva really enjoyed the illustrations throughout the book. Frost, a cute fox gets Cassie to follow him. She transports back to the Frost Fair on the frozen Thames which sounds really exciting too. She finds out Frost is a big sister and helps feed them with sausage rolls. Eva thinks this is lovely of Cassie as Frost needs her help.

Frost & Cassie - A Winter animal story

Frost 

Cassie’s neighbours all complain about the foxes hanging around the flat she lives in, close to the river Thames. Cassie thinks the foxes are beautiful though and has a favourite fox! A small fox with a white tail-tip Cassie calls Frost is her favourite. 

One night Cassie spots Frost looking cold and thin so she decides to sneak him some food. Frost wants her to follow him and leads Cassie towards the river where she feels the world change around her! She finds herself back in the 17th century- at the time of the Frost Fair on the frozen Thames. Cassie is thrilled by the sights and sound of the famous fair, then she glimpses a fox with a white tail-tip! 

Frost wants Cassie to follow him again, can she find a way to return Frost to his countryside home? 

Halloween Books For Kids

There are some fantastic Halloween books for kids of all ages. The girls absolutely love Halloween and a good spooky story to get stuck in to. Together we have put together a list of books we think are perfect for Halloween! Mostly suitable for children aged 7 to 9 but we’ve also included a super cute book perfect for 3-5 years too.

Halloween books for kids

Halloween Books For Kids – Night of the Living Ted

This is the first book in a hilarious new series by Barry Hutchison and illustrated by Lee Cosgrove. This funny yet scary book is aimed at 7 to 9 year olds. Eva recently reviewed Night of the Living Ted and absolutely loved it.

Night of the Living Ted - Book Review

Lisa-Marie & her step-brother Vernon pop into town in search of a birthday present for their dad. They discover a Create-a-Ted shop offering free Halloween Bears! That night the shopkeeper brings the bears to life for nefarious purposes but Vernon’s bear, Grizz doesn’t want to be a slave to humans. Grizz wants to rule the world! Having converted the shopkeeper’s Stuff-U-Lator into a machine for turning living matter into stuffed bears, he begins to prowl the streets. Can the children and Bearvis save themselves and the world from being stuffed?

Vlad The Worlds Worst Vampire Series

Vlad the worlds wors vampire series

We simply couldn’t pick a favourite from the Vlad the worlds worst vampire series. We’ve reviewed 3 of the Vlad books so far including Vlad the Worlds Worst Vampire,Fang-tastic Friends & Midnight Fright. In this funny series Vlad the worlds worst vampire faces many problems sneaking off to human school! Will he ever be a good enough vampire to earn his bat license? These are a great selection of Halloween books for children aged 7 to 9 years.

Hounds of Penhallow Hall – The Secrets Tree

For children who love a good mystery, The secrets tree is a great read this Halloween. Polly & rex are in search of a new ghost dog whilst celebrations are in full swing at the stately home. They come across a dog’s head carved in a door down the old stable block. They also wake a terrier called patch, only for him to run away.

The Secrets Tree

Polly & rex find him hiding in a hollow tree and find themselves on the trail of an even greater mystery. Inside the tree is a coded message! Can Polly & Rex unravel the mystery of the dog’s young master and his brother?

I’m Just a Little Vampire (Google-eye book)

This cure rhyming googly-eye book is perfect for little ones ages 3 to 5 years. Little vampire tells you all about his vampire life throughout this adorable rhyming book. The googly eyes wobble about as you turn the pages, delighting younger children!

It can be hard including younger children in Halloween excitement without scaring them but this book is perfect. Izzy loves this book, she received it last year and regularly pulls it out to be read to her.

Do your kids have any favourite Halloween books? 

Halloween Party Foods

We’ve been checking out Halloween party foods this week. The girls have half term this Halloween so we are planning a spooky week full of spooky foods, crafts, games & more!

Halloween Party Foods

Halloweiners

Heck Halloweiners

Heck sausages have created Halloweiners containing pork, pumpkin & black treacle! They also contain a dash of red chilli but not enough to be noticeable, especially for children. These gluten-free and dairy-free sausages are perfect for everyone. You can find these in store at Sainsburys from October 10th.

Halloween Party Foods

We were kindly sent some Halloweiners to try and I have to say, I am in love! I am extremely fussy when it comes to sausages, I tend to stick to pork & honey chipolatas. The Halloweiners are lovely though and I would happily eat these any day! None of us are overly keen on pumpkin but there wasn’t too much in these so they tasted just right.

Halloweiners cooking

We cooked up the Halloweiners for ourselves and a friend to try, we all quickly demolished them. I’m impressed we all enjoyed them with an extremely fussy eater, kind of fussy eater and someone who will eat most things. I think that says a lot! I had hoped to get a photo of the cooked sausages but we accidentally ate them before I had the chance, they smelled so good!

Fiendish Fancies

Who doesn’t love a French fancy? Mr Kipling has created these Fiendish Fancies, perfect for a Halloween spread. Morrison’s currently have Fiendish Fancies on offer for £1.

Fiendish Fancies

These delicious little treats are orange flavour sponge with a vanilla topping, drenched in orange coloured fondant icing. We love these and finished the box a little too quickly so we’ll be buying more! 

Spooky Skulls Gingerbread

Decorate your own Spooky Skulls

We regularly shop in Morrison’s who create fantastic gingerbread kits to suit different events. For Halloween this year they have created Spooky Skulls to decorate with Purple (WIN!) icing and chocolate beans!

Kids love decorating their own gingerbread then demolishing them after. These are a fab activity and snack whilst watching Halloween films. These fab packs are £2 in store.

Which Halloween Party Foods are your favourite?

Stain-Free School Uniform – #AceForSchool

A stain-free school uniform is every mum’s mission when the school term starts. You can guarantee those fresh, crisp white shirts will come home with some kind of stain. Luckily Ace for Colours and Ace Stain Remover Spray are here to help you keep uniform stain-free!

#AceForSchool

#AceForSchool Perfect For School Uniform

Ace products are fantastic for stain-free school uniform and keeping colours bright. The stain remover spray tackles grease, germs and stubborn stains, gently lifting the stain and brightening clothing. Ace for colours can be added to your washing machine drum to help lift any stains and brighten colours. 

Stained School Tops

My daughters kindly came home last week with stained tops. Izzy had picked a scab on her chin and had blood on her collar. 

Blood stained collar

Eva is earning her pen license in school at the moment, so she came home with a nice black ink stain. 

Ink Stain

Luckily I had the Ace remover spray so I gave both tops a good soak with it. I left it for a little while before putting them in to the washing machine. 

Ace Stain Remover Spray

Stain-Free School Uniform

I really didn’t expect the blood to wash out of Izzy’s school top as it had left a smear across a chunk too. Ace stain remover spray did a fantastic job at removing the blood stains though. The top is now stain-free and a lovely, fresh white again! 

Stain-free School Uniform with #AceForSchool

Obviously, black handwriting pen ink wasn’t likely to come out in the wash. However, Ace stain remover spray once again did a fantastic job! I was really surprised just how well Ace stain remover spray worked. We’re back to having stain-free school uniform thanks to Ace!

stain-free school uniform

I’ve been adding Ace for Colour straight in the washing machine drum with the clothing to help keep them cleaner and brighter and we are really noticing the difference! Dull school uniform is no more with Ace for Colours!

Have you used Ace products before?

This post is an entry for the BritMums #ACEforSchool Challenge, sponsored by ACE. Get help for all kinds of stains with the ACE Stain Helper. http://www.acecleanuk.co.uk/ or to buy head to your local Tesco’s, Morrison’s, Waitrose or Sainsbury’s