A Rainbow, Unicorn Birthday Gift Guide

A lot of young girls dream of rainbow, unicorn birthday theme, especially 8-year-olds like Eva! Luckily there are some amazing gifts around that fit this theme. I have the privilege of showing you some fab products we were sent for this gift guide. I’ve also added in a few items we’ve picked up that are awesome too, so if you’re stuck for a gift idea for someone like Eva then check these out!

Unicorn Birthday Gifts

Always Be A Unicorn Personalised Cushion From Funky Pigeon

Funky Pigeon has been a favourite since Eva’s first birthday, we ordered her first personalised birthday card from them. They have a wide range of gifts & cards for all occasions including this adorable, personalised ‘Always be a Unicorn’ cushion. It already looks fantastic on Eva’s bed and costs just £19.99. Funky Pigeon has a great selection of unicorn gifts to choose from but this is definitely a favourite for me!

Always Be A Unicorn Personalised Cushion from Funky Pigeon

 

 

Rainbow Jewellery

Halia Rose Necklace

As most girls do, Eva loves her colourful Jewellery and this Halia Rose Rainbow Necklace Is absolutely gorgeous! This fab necklace comes in white & grey for £12.99 These necklaces are safe, 100% Non-toxic, BPA free, washable & chewable makes a great sensory toy as well as a fashion item. These gorgeous necklaces are perfect for mums of teething babies too!

Unicorn Book

 

The unicorn in a tutu

The Unicorn In a Tutu is written and illustrated by J. Y. Quinn is a fun rhyming story for £5.25. This cute story is about a Unicorn in a Tutu who helps others & gains friends. Eva loves stories like this that she can read to Izzy full of positive messages. Full of colourful illustrations and available in paperback or Kindle.

Unicorn Cake

Bakerdays Unicorn Emoji Letterbox birthday cake

A birthday isn’t a birthday without cake! Bakerdays sent us this lovely letterbox personalised Unicorn emoji cake. These fab cakes are delicious, Eva’s cake is the chocolate chip which we’ve tried before and know it’s amazing! These personalised letterbox cakes are just £14.99 and come well packaged in a special tin so they don’t break when posted. Bakerdays have a range of Unicorn Cakes to check out.

Colourful Gifts

3x3 Rubiks Cube From John Lewis

The Rubiks cube is the words number one puzzle and makes a perfect gift! Great for fidgeters & kids who love puzzles, I picked this up from John Lewis for £9.49 as Eva has asked for one, several times now. I know she will love playing with it and it will definitely keep her busy!

 

Crafty Gifts

Frenh Knitting Doll From John Lewis

Eva loves to make things, watching me crochet has led to her learning to finger knit but she is struggling to learn much more right now. Luckily I found this fab French Knitter which she can use to make a range of items. You can create all kinds of fun things like bracelets, necklaces & 3D appliques. These are simple but fun projects she can learn to do to create her own little projects or work with me on something. French Knitters are fantastic for rope bag handles, a fun project we can do together. I bought this one from John Lewis but you can also find them in most craft shops/ online stores.

 

 

Fab Lab Bath Bombs Kit From John Lewis

 

Along the same theme of making things, I found this Fab Lab Bath Bombs Kit at John Lewis too. Eva loves bath bombs & whilst she loved the ones from Sudzz at the English Festival, she also wanted to try making her own. When I spotted this cool kit I knew she would love it & it would give us a fun activity to do together. This fun little kit is just £11.99

Inspiring Gifts

She believed she could, so she did' Enamel pin

Inspiring Eva to always try and do her best isn’t always easy but this cute enamel pin from Old English Co is perfect! I can see her proudly wearing it and remembering to try her best. To help with that Old English Co also have the same quote on a gold keyring, perfect to hang from her school bag.

She believed she could, so she did gold keyring from Old English Co

Not quite the typical toy loaded gift guide but definitely one for 8-year-olds who would love a rainbow, unicorn birthday!

 

Rustic By Marney – How creativity helps me manage my anxiety and depression

Rustic By Marney was set up by Melissa Marney who crafts the most beautiful pens! Like many of us Melissa suffers anxiety and depression but found crafting and letting her creativity flow very therapeutic. I’ll be sharing my thoughts and images of a gorgeous purple flower pen she made for me, on the blog tomorrow! Keep an eye out! Until then here is Melissa’s story in her own words.

Rustic By Marney – How creativity helps me manage my anxiety and depression

Looking back on my childhood I now realise that I’ve always suffered with anxiety and depression. At the time I didn’t know anything about mental health issues, and I just thought it was normal behaviour and everyone felt the same way, but I just struggled more with my emotions. I covered my emotions and symptoms well, and looking back had a number of coping strategies, which I wasn’t aware were helping me, to cope at the time.

Hobbies

My favourite hobby when I was younger was ballet. I used to attend two classes a week and looking back now it was a way to shut my mind off, detach myself from uncomfortable feelings and emotions and silence those scary, intrusive thoughts.

As the years went on and I grew older I stopped dancing and didn’t replace this with another hobby. Having nothing to focus my energy on, my negative thoughts became louder and more uncomfortable and my symptoms worsened. Dealing with day to day life – working, paying the bills, maintaining relationships etc. It all became so consuming, and I knew something wasn’t right at the time but tried my best to conceal it (and I did a fantastic job at it!). I didn’t want anyone to know how I was truly feeling or that I was struggling to cope. There were times where I just wanted to scream out for help, but always remained silent and carried on with life.

Shutting Down

It wasn’t until a year ago, Steve and I got married in Cyprus, (which was the best day of our lives, very cliché, I know!) things changed. I pretty much arranged the whole wedding myself and in the lead up to it was unaware of how much stress I was putting myself under. Having perfectionist tendencies I wanted everything to go well, and was deeply involved with the all or nothing thinking. I also wanted to ensure everyone was happy and was having a good time.

While I was busy thinking about everyone else and my ‘perfect’ day I neglected my own needs my health was suffering as a consequence. When Steve and I returned from our wedding I didn’t feel myself at all. I put it all down to the ‘come down’ from the high I had been on the past few weeks. Nevertheless, I powered on and tried to get back into the real world. Unfortunately my mind and body had other plans. Two weeks later I had a breakdown, I completely shut down physically and mentally, I became an empty shell, I was just existing and not living. I knew things weren’t right and something had to change.

Recovery

It took me a while to accept what was happening. It took approximately six months to dig myself out of that ‘hole’ and get myself back on the right track. I’m still in recovery now, but having the right support, and a change in my thinking and attitude has helped me to accept it’s now just a part of me, and adjust to living with anxiety and depression.

During my recovery I found a new love in crafting. Throughout the years I’ve always told myself I’m rubbish at arts and crafts, I can’t do it and I believed it! It wasn’t until I started crafting my own place cards, guest book pens and jars for my own wedding where I realised this was all total rubbish! Silencing that negative voice in my head was a great victory.

Crafting To Cope

I’ve always been ambitious and dreamt of owning my own little business, and finding a purpose in life. During my breakdown Steve had mentioned to me about crafting again, however at the time I didn’t have the energy. As I slowly started getting better I took his advice and I started making my flower pens again. Slowly in time my passion and creativity started coming back, I was starting to feel my bubbly, confident self again. Crafting has been my biggest inspiration and I truly believe it has helped me cope over the past few months. Crafting has refocused my attention and reignited my passion.

Now whenever I feel anxious or have a bad day, however hard it is I grab all my crafting gear, sit down and get stuck in. I’ve found crafting extremely therapeutic and a way to ‘shut off’ from the stressors in the world. Turning my hobby into a business has given me great comfort as I now believe in myself. Having a passion in crafting and weddings, and combining the two is the perfect combination and therapy for me! There’s also that extra bonus of helping other brides have the best day of their lives. When they do then my mission is accomplished!

I recently saw the quote below which sums up my whole experience and filled me with comfort:

 Rustic By Marney - How Creativity Helps Me Manage Anxiety & Depression

Rustic by Marney can be found over on Facebook & Twitter. Whilst she does focus on weddings her gorgeous pens will brighten up any desk. You can find out more about Rustic by Marney and see the gorgeous pen she sent me too!

Do you find crafting therapeutic too?

Burnished Chaos

Making Dreamcatchers

We’ve been making Dreamcatchers this week after Eva made one last week at forest school. Her’s broke as she decided to bring it home unfinished so we decided to make our own. We’ve been trying to find fun crafty activities for days at home including learning Origami which was great fun and making dreamcatchers sounded like a fun idea.

Dreamcatchers are simple to make & can be made using a range of materials. We had wire from previous crafts which we used for our hoop. We also used wool from my stash & some beads.

Making Dreamcatchers

1. We taped our hoop together using duct tape to make sure it was secure. 

2. Next we wound the wool around the hoop until it was covered, leaving a metre or 2 of wool for the next step.

3. Once the hoop was covered we began threading beads onto the wool. For each bead we added we crossed the wool across the hoop to create a pattern. 

4. After the hoop was complete we tied a piece of wool to the dreamcatcher to hang it on.

Whilst wrapping the hoop can take a bit of time & patience there are ways around that. Using a painted cross-stitch hoop would work just as well.

The pattern can be as simple as Eva’s or as hectic as the one Izzy & I made together. Feathers or ribbons can be attached to the bottom of the Dreamcatchers to pretty them up too.

Whilst winding the wool around the hoop takes a little bit of time this is a fantastic activity for kids around 5+.

Younger kids

Izzy obviously had a fair bit of help with her dreamcatcher but threaded the beads herself. To keep her occupied whilst I wound wool around her hoop she practised threading beads onto wool making a cute little keyring for herself. I thought I’d mention this as it can be a struggle with kids of different ages & abilities to find something the little ones can do to feel involved.

Simple, cute & Izzy felt super proud of herself!

Both girls love their dreamcatchers & have them hanging over their beds.

Have you made a dreamcatcher before? Do you have any tips or different materials that could be used?

Learning Origami With The Girls

I’ve been learning Origami with the girls after the Mr picked up an Origami tricks book for Eva. I remembered spotting Origami paper in the craft section & picked up 2 packs of 120 coloured square sheets of paper. The girls love sitting and making things and Origami seemed something fun but easy to clear up after. Win!

Fortune tellers were something everyone could make when I was at school & I remember spending hours making and playing with them. The book showed how to make Fortune Tellers amongst other things & I made one to show Eva. She was really interested in making a ship’s wheel. The Mr sat with her and helped her a little bit and she soon proudly presented her ships wheel.

Ship's wheel origami

Izzy wanted me to make a frog she found in the book so I gave it a go. Feeling pleased with my first attempt I made a second one as Izzy wanted her frog to have a sister. She spent a whole morning playing with the frogs, making them hop & flip everywhere.

Frog Origami

 

 

Origami Animals

After making the frogs I decided I wanted to learn more Origami tricks so had a look around for some tutorials. I ended up making a cat & a dog whilst Izzy & the Mr went shopping haha! The cat most definitely needs improving but the dog didn’t turn out too bad. Izzy was impressed at least when she returned to find them lined up on the arm of the sofa waiting for her!

Cat Origami

Dog Origami

 

 

There are so many Origami tutorials online from book animals, bookmarks, characters, flowers and more! We ended up making a ladybird and bookmarks too. In just one day we managed to make quite a few different things.

Origami Makes

I love how simple some of these are to make and can see us having fun learning new Origami makes for quite some time. Such a cheap and fun activity to do with the kids!

 

Have you learnt Origami before? What I your best make to date?

 

Purpling My World With Dylon Dyes – Part 1: Sack The Lego Supervisor

I’m not really sure if many of you know this but I have a teeny tiny obsession with the colour Purple.. I know, I know, I hide it well! The problem is not EVERYTHING  is in purple.. yet! So when I got my hands on some gorgeous Dylon Fabric Dyes in Intense Violet in exchange for an honest review I couldn’t wait to get started on purpling my world… I mean at look at them!

I LOVE the Intense Violet and just knew I had to dye the bedding we recently bought that I wasn’t keen on being white..

 Bedding before

Lego Supervisor - failingI was so eager to get going and purple thing’s that even under the watchful eye of the Lego Supervisor and Izzy I managed to make the ULTIMATE mistake. I DIDN’T quite read the instructions properly.. until the washing machine was on of course (I know, I know the Lego Supervisor is totally getting the sack for slacking!). So here’s a head’s up, when using Dylon dyes ALWAYS read the instructions fully to get the perfect result (One box covers a DOUBLE not king-size duvet cover!)

 

Of course having too much material in the machines & not enough dye doesn’t result in an even covering so instead I had this pretty awesome (but not for this project) tie-dye effect that I had to fix sharpish before my brother ran out to buy a King-size duvet and stole it from me!

Ooops

After admitting my mistake I was sent out another 2 boxes of the Intense Violet machine dye to see if I could put things right again. This time I made sure I had definitely read the instructions before pouring the dyes & 500g of salt into the washing machine drum under the Mr’s supervision this time.. He had to be better than Izzy and the Lego supervisor.. Right?

 

This time I was happy with the result! My camera seriously doesn’t do it justice it is AMAZING in person and I cant wait to see it on my bed and purple my boring bedroom some more!

Purpling my world
Hanging to dry.. Now doesn’t that look better!?

Dylon fabric dyes are definitely an amazing way to colour your world your way.. Providing you read the instructions 😉

I still have the French Lavender dyes to use next so keep an eye out for part 2! Fingers crossed this time it all goes right the first time as these dyes are absolutely amazing when you read the instructions properly 😉 haha!

In the meantime don’t forget to check out Dylon’s Instagram & Twitter page aswell as their website to see other colours available! 

Have you used Dylon dyes? What’s your favourite colour & best success? Let me know in the comments 😊

Also I just noticed that this is my 100th blog post!! And it’s a purple one!! Yay!! 

Our Weekend Box Fun

We were lucky enough to have the chance to review a brand new mini Weekend box this weekend. These mini weekend boxes contain 2 full themed activities and all the bits you need to complete them.

A weekend box is an awesome little box of crafts to do with your child over the weekend that arrives via 2nd class (Posted on a tuesday) which we recieved on friday morning. Each box is themed and we recieved the rainforest theme.

We love crafts and Eva was really impressed when I showed her what had arrived for her.

weekend box fun

Eva loved the colourful box and found it funny that it matched her special My little pony rainbox dress haha! I thought it looked really fun and loved how excited Eva was over it.

We couldn’t wait to open it up and see what was inside to keep us entertained over the weekend.

Eva really enjoyed reading about each of the character’s and seeing which characters were on the packets which she thought was really cool. We decided to spread everything out on the table and see what this weekend box was really about.

There were 2 activity packs as promised along with any card needed, some collectable cards and even some vouchers to hand out to our friends for a free box!

The 2 activities stated they were of medium difficulty and would take 40 minutes to complete. Awesome naptime activities for me and Eva to do across the weekend. One activity wasto make a parrot mask and the other to grow a rainforest!

Inside the box itself there is also a certificate for the child to colour in and write their name on and keep too!

download (3)

Eva couldn’t wait to get stuck in and decided to do the mask first. I helped her cut out the mask and attatch the beak using the glue supplied then Eva got busy following the instructions making ‘feathers’, ‘gems’ and then decorating it with the crayons.

Eva spent hours flapping around the flat wearing her mask so I know she really enjoyed it and having everythting we need to hand was really helpful.

Grow a rainforest was up next. I cut a bottle in half and Eva peeled the pellets that were supplies and we soaked them in water in the bottom half of the bottle.

 

We then had to make a hole in the bottle lid and thread the string through the lid then screwed it back on the bottle. We then had to transfer the soil into the lid half of the bottle, Eva sprinkled in the seeds and we popped the lid half into the bottom of the bottle which we had also filled with water making sure the string dipped into the water.

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We completed both tasks a little quicker than 40 minutes but it was really fun doing the activities. Eva really seemed to be enjoying herself and it was so nice to just pull out the box and get going with an activity. We have a ton of craft stuff but it can sometimes be difficult to find everything we need (mummy’s poor organizing!) so I can really see the appeal of these boxes!

When I asked Eva her opinion on the activities she said ‘It was all fun, I liked making the rainforest because it was messy and I liked making the parrot mask because it was fun making it colourful and drawing rainbow’s on it’.

Mini weekend boxes usually cost £4.95 however we recieved ours free in exchange for an honest review. If you’d like to try one yourself for free then use the promo code EMBER298 when you sign up at https://www.weekendboxclub.com Please Note Future boxes will be £4.95 for Mini Box and £7.50 for a Bumper box, but you can pause or cancel your boxes if you’re not completely satisfied at any time.

Turning down days into up days

This week hasn’t been too great If I’m honest. So I’ve been find ways of turning down days into up days. My pain levels have been high & I keep losing my balance. I’m trying my best to stay positive and just rest but sometimes it’s difficult as I explained here.

I guess there are always going to be bad day’s & I just need to fill those days doing something easy and simple to stop focusing on the pain. So I decided to do just that and busy myself with something & ended up finishing off knitting Izzy’s red scarf I started before Christmas & forgot to pick back up again.

turning down days into up days

I finished off the scarf quite quickly and decided to make a start on learning how to crochet using this Youtube video. The first thing I decided to try crocheting was a simple flower. At first it looked complicated & I thought Id never get the hang of it! Admittedly Izzy hopping on and off my lap didn’t help much at first but I managed to make my first crocheted flower.

I was quite impressed with how it turned out although a little annoyed I had obviously made 1 too many links on one of the petals so it was slightly larger than the others and a bit wonky.. But hey it was my first try 😀

After that I felt quite confident I could make another without a video & managed to produce this second crocheted flower.

image

I was much happier with this one and carried on making a few more..

Eva loved the flowers & asked me to make her a headband with a flower on. ( Just happened to be the wonkiest one!) So I gave it a go and this is how it turned out..

image

Eva loved it and tried it on straight away and wore it for the rest of the evening 😀

I’m quite pleased with how it turned out even if Eva did choose the wonkiest flower I’ve made (haha).  I have really enjoyed learning too, I’m going to make Izzy a headband next and I want to learn to crochet hearts next too.

Do you crochet? Do you find it a calming hobby too? If you have any patterns or tutorials to share send me a link & I will check them out 🙂

Crafty Bargain

I managed to escape alone the other day into town which gave me a chance to actually have a little look around and find a crafty bargain instead of just grabbing what I knew I needed and heading home.

One of the Local Shops Poundcity has sooo many things for sale but I rarely take a proper look around when I pop in to grab myself a ‘Lentless & the Mr a Redbull so I took a wander around to see if there were any bargains I could pick up.

I came across a pack of coloured plastic crochet hooks in various sizes which I instantly picked up and had to buy as I currently only own one metal crochet hook because I am a bit tight and dont really like buying things like this unless I specifically need them but at £1 I could say no plus I am at least attempting to learn crochet & to top it all.. Yup there’s a PURPLE one!!!

crafty bargain

I came home feeling great & joked with the Mr & his friend that I actually bought something for myself for a change and not the girls, something the Mr is always nagging me to do haha!

I have previously bought a pack of plastic knitting needles for £1 in this shop, they are quite thin but they do the job & as I love trying to teach friends & their children how to knit I dont mind giving them away & I find them a lot safer & gentler for children to use too & have bought several packs already.

As you can see.. I’m down a few pairs again already 😂

I love little bargains like this they really make my day! Have you picked up any Crafty bargains lately? Or any Bargains at all?

Calming hobbies

I wrote about anxiety last week and how I’ve really been struggling with it recently along with depression mostly because I suffer from chronic pain.

I asked readers for tips to help me feel less anxious constantly. One tip I recieved was to write down every thing I want to get off my chest at night and the other was to find a hobby to keep my mind focused.

I had managed to pick up the yarn I needed to finish my knitting project and was already half way through knitting a scarf too and I have been making an effort to knit a few rows every few hours.

Every night on my notes I write down everything that has been frustrating me. Knitting along with writing whats on my mind each night does feel like its helping, as I write it feels like a weight is being lifted and I think about less and less with every stitch focusing only on the next stitch.

I noticed a lot of my writing each night is about how my pain has limited me throughout the day. It makes me feel useless as I tend to end up sat on the sofa trying to focus on not moaning too much but over the last day or so im focusing on my knitting whenever I’m on the sofa so I at least feel like I am achieving something by watching my projects grow.

My pain levels have escalated throughout the day but im still feeling positive. I havent had an attack in a few days now and I feel a bit more positive in general so I’m going to keep up the writing and knitting and once Ive finished Izzy’s blanket and scarf I plan to attempt learning crochet!

calming hobbies
Almost complete!

Thank you for the tips and keep them coming in if anyone has any others 🙂

Do you craft? Feel free to link up your makes, I love seeing what other people have created!