Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Review: Arbonne Skincare And Baby Products

A while ago i was invited to an opening event of a new children's hairdresser's and boutique called Pikku in Gosforth which looks amazing but i sadly could not attend. However the lovely woman who invited me Victoria asked if i would like to try out some skincare and baby products from Arbonne whom she is a consultant for. Having heard of how good Arbonne products were meant to be i was eager to find out if they were actually as good as everyone said. 

Arbonne was developed in Switzerland and has been around for 35 years so it is a product that has stood the test of time. Arbonne specialise's in pure, safe and beneficial products. All products are 100 % vegan and are made with botanical ingredients and contain no harmful chemicals making them kinder on your skin.

The packaging on all the products is gorgeous and has a rather luxurious feel to it and you can tell that they are high quality products. I think the fact that you can not buy any Arbonne products in the shops also makes them feel a bit more exclusive and luxurious too as you have to buy them from a special Arbonne consultant who is on hand to offer you advice and ensure you buy the correct products for your needs, and who also know the products inside and out and are so passionate about the products they sell. 

I was offered a range of different products to test out which were some skincare products, body care products and some baby skincare products and this is what i thought of them.

I was sent two skincare products the Hydrating Body Lotion and the Reactivating Body Serum. As i mentioned the packaging on the products is really nice, they were so easy to use and had a pump on the top to dispense the lotions so they were super easy to use. They smelt lovely a nice, citrus, fresh and clean scent.

 I found that i only needed a tiny amount of these products as they really do go a long way, so they will last you ages. The body lotion was a white cream and it just soaked into my skin straight away there was no greasiness's like you can get with some cheaper creams, it left my skin feeling super soft and hydrated all day long. And the Reactivating Serum left my skin feeling fresh and radiating.

I was also sent some skincare products which were Exfoliating New Cell Scrub, Hydrating Cleanser And Freshener, Nurturing Day Lotion with SPF 20, Moisturising Night Cream and a Hydrating Eye Cream. Again all these products were in nice packaging and had a nice fresh citrus scent to them.

 I used them daily for a week and the results were amazing, after just one day of use my skin felt so soft and smooth and even my partner commented on how nice my skin looked and said it was glowing. The Exfoliating New Cell Scrub was amazing , it left my skin feeling really refreshed and smooth even after the first use. 

The Hydrating Cleanser and Freshener really did leave my skin feeling hydrated and fresh. And the Nurturing Day Lotion has a built in SPF of 20 to protect skin from harmful rays and sun damage. It is a really nice cream that soaks into you skin straight away and you only need a tiny amount and left my skin feeling super soft. 

The Moisturising Night Cream was really luxurious and again i only needed a tiny amount and it soaked into my skin leaving it feeling super soft and hydrated. The Hydrating Eye Cream left my eye area feeling firmer and softer. My skin felt amazing and as you only need a tiny amount of each product as they are so nourishing they will last you ages. 

I was also sent some Arbonne baby skincare products to try out which included Hair and Body Wash, Body Lotion, Nappy Cream and Sunscreen with SPF 30. I did not try the Sunscreen as it is too cold for that at the moment and i did not use the Nappy cream either as neither of my babies have had nappy rash yet.

 I did try the Hair and Body Wash and the Body Lotion though on both Sophia aged one and Jacob aged seven months. The Hair and Body wash had a lovely fresh scent to it and a small amount lathers up well in the bath. I was a bit unsure about using this on Sophia as she has really sensitive skin and eczema but as it is made with all natural products and contains no nasty chemicals like so many other baby products do i thought i would give it a go. And she was fine with it and had no itching, she smelt amazing after her bath too nice and fresh and it was a nice change to her normal bath products. 

The Body Lotion was amazing on her eczema prone skin as the redness and itching seemed to disappear a bit when i used this on her. This left both of my babies skin feeling very soft, nourished and fresh smelling. 

What I thought

Overall i was very impressed with all of the Arbonne products that i tried out. The packaging is fab , the products are fab and you really do only need a tiny amount of each product as a little goes a long way. My skin was the softest and nicest that it has ever been after just one day of using these products and i now know why they are so recommend. Arbonne products are a little more expensive then some skincare products but they are made with all natural ingredients and they will last you ages and in my opinion are worth the money you pay for them. 

If you would like to know about Arbonne products then you can contact Victoria the lovely consultant i met as she knows everything there is to know about these products and she can be found on Facebook if you have any enquiries or would like to know about sampling any products yourself to see how amazing they are. Or if you would like to buy some of the products i tried then you can buy them on the website http://www.arbonne.com/pws/victoriaanderson/tabs/home.aspx  but you need Victoria's ID code which is 441208159. 

* Disclosure : I was sent some Arbonne products for the purpose of this review, however all words and opinions are my own honest account of the products i received. 


Sunday, 29 March 2015

March Degustabox

As you may know i have been really lucky to have been sent a monthly food subscription box each month for the last few month's to review from Degustabox. And on Wednesday i received the March box, and i have to say that this month's box was probably my favourite one so far. So here is a look at what was inside. Once again the box was well packaged and was full of goodies which arrived in perfect condition.

  • One Packet of Jordan's Granola RRP £3.69. This is a lighter version of normal granola with 40 % less fat in, so perfect for me as i need to diet. It is so yummy and does not taste like a lighter version either. It is so Moorish and is packed full of strawberry's and blueberries which are full of flavour. This is my new favourite cereal as it is so good. 
  • Two bottle's of Juiceburst juice RRP £1.25 each so £2.50 in total. These are scrummy we were sent the mango and lime skinny flavour and the cranberry one and they were so tasty and full of juice and nice and refreshing. 
  • One bottle of BBQUE sauce RRP £3.99. This is an original Bavarian barbecue sauce which is available in four flavours, we were sent the original one and this is perfect to use as a marinade, on barbecues or as a dipping sauce. We are planning on using this as a marinade on some ribs, but i have tried it as a dipping sauce and it is so good, the nicest barbecue sauce i have ever tried without a doubt.
  • Two packets of Lindor mini eggs RRP £2.00 each so £4.00 in total. I love how these were included for Easter and as everyone knows Lindor is the nicest chocolate ever. These went straight away in are household as they are just so delicious and we all love them. We normally just buy the milk chocolate Lindor but these bags also had dark and white chocolate eggs in too and the white chocolate ones are like a little bit of heaven they are divine. 
  • One packet of Bassetts Jelly Babies Berry Mix RRP £1.48. Bassestts Jelly Babies need no introduction as everyone knows what they are, these were a mixed berry flavour pack which was strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant in a big sharing bag. My daughters were very happy when they seen these and have demolished the lot. 
  • One packet of Sour Patch Kids RRP £1.00. You have probably seen these in the shop's before as i know my oldest loves these. They are jelly's that are really sour when you first eat them but then they turn sweet. Of course i had to try them for research purposes and they are probably the sourest jellies i have tasted but very yummy.
  • Two bottles of Crabbie's Fruits RRP £1.50 each so £3.00 in total. These are alcoholic fruity drinks that surprisingly contain no ginger. We were sent the black cherry and the raspberry and rhubarb flavours, there is also a zesty lemon one too. The black cherry was really fruity and so nice they really are mouth watering and contain 10 % natural fruit juice. My other half has been telling everyone to try them as he liked them that much. 
  • One pot of Kent's Kitchen posh noddles RRP £1.75. These are a low fat, low calorie noddle snack that you add water too. These would be perfect for a quick lunch or snack or for taking to work like my other half did and he reported back that they tasted nice.
  • One box of Natvia RRP £2.00. This is a product i had never heard of before it is a 100 % naturally sourced alternative to artificial sweeteners and sugar which contains zero calories. You can use it in your tea or coffee or for baking. I have not tried this yet but it sounds great for someone like me who wants to cut down on there sugar intake.
  • Two packets of Brioche Pasquier baked bread bites RRP £0.50 each so £1.00 in total. These were 20g bags of baked french bread which were bacon flavour. They looked a bit like croutons but they were packed full of flavour and make a nice change to a bag of crisps. They also contain under 90 calories. I will defiantly be buying these again as my toddler demolished these and she is such a fussy eater.
  • We also recieved one bottle of green tea and fruit juice although i am not sure on the RRP of this and have not tried it yet. 

So as you can see are box was full of lots of great products this month and lots of treats. My favourite items would have to be the Lindor chocolate eggs, BBQUE sauce and the Crabbies alcoholic drinks. But we loved every single item in this months box and everything has either already been eaten or will be soon. There was a lot of well known products in this months box but there was also some products i had never even heard of such as the Natvia and BBQUE and Brioche Pasquier. 

If you are unsure of how Degustabox works then it is a monthly food and drink subscription box service which you sign up for at www.degustabox.co.uk you fill in your details and pay the monthly subscription cost which is only £12.99 per month including postage and packaging, you only pay for one month at a time so no high sign up costs are involved. When you sign up your box will be delivered around the end of the month and you will receive an e-mail the day before telling you that your box will be on it's way the next day and you can request to have rearrange delivery or have it left in a safe place if you will be out. You also get a text the morning of the delivery giving you a one hour delivery time slot so you don't have to wait in all day. If you want to cancel your subscription you can at any time and as long as it is before the 10th of the month then you will not be charged that month. 

I think that Degustabox is an amazing service as you get to try out lots of new products that you may never have heard of before. It is also amazing value as the box only costs £12.99 per month including postage and packaging fees and the contents of this month's box came to £24.41 so almost double what i would have paid for the box. I received ten different products in this months box but fourteen products in total. There was a good mix of drinks, treats and healthy products. I also love that each month you have no idea what will be in your box until it arrives so it is a nice surprise each month when you open it.

If you like the sound of Degustabox and would like to order a one for yourself then you can via there website  and i also have a discount code for you so that you can save £3 off the cost of your first box meaning that you would only pay £9.99 for your first box making it incredible value for money. The code is 2AEE8 and if you just add that when you sign up you will get £3 discount on your first Degustabox.

You can visit Degustabox on there website or Twitter and Facebook so you can see what others think of them, as i am not the only one who thinks they are pretty amazing. Or have a look at what i thought of the February Degustabox .

* Disclosure : I received this Degustabox free of charge for the purpose of this review, however all views are my own account of the service and products we received. 

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My Sunday Photo 29/03/15

When you are one the park is the best fun ever.

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Friday, 27 March 2015

What I Have Learnt In A Year Of Blogging

Last week marked one whole year since i started this blog and i wrote a post about my first year of blogging and what an amazing year it had been both blog and personal wise for me. I still class myself as a new blogger and i still have so much to learn. But in this last year i have learnt so much.

1.) Pick a name you love.

When setting up a blog spend time picking a name that you love and that will grow with your blog. I just picked the first name that i came up with and i wish now that i had of thought about it more and picked a better name, something more me. As it will be a lot of work and i will probably lose followers if i change my blog name now.

2.) Google is your friend.

If like me you are technophobic and have no idea what HTML and all that jazz is then setting up a blog might seem a bit daunting at first. When i set mine up i googled everything as i had no idea what i was doing and i managed to set up a blog, install a theme on my blog and even buy and install my own domain name all thanks to google. Seriously anything blog related google will have the answer.

3.) Blog about what you love

It might seem obvious but blog about what you really love, if you love food blog about it. If you have read a great book, blog about it. I read a lot of blogs and you can always tell when someone has just blogged about something for the sake of it as the post is a bit bland. But when a blogger has blogged about something they love, well it shines through in the post and those are the posts that readers love.

4.) Social media is brilliant

If you want to get people to read your blog and you want to discover other blogs to read and make some blogging buddies then you need to get on social media. I find Twitter the best place to meet bloggers and it is also where i have had most of my blogging opportunities from. I have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest , but Twitter is where i spend most of my time.

5.) Have clear social media buttons on your blog

When i take part in linkies i often discover some wonderful blogs and i want to follow them on social media or boglovin and so many times there is no social media or bloglovin follow buttons. Mine are the top right on my blogs homepage where they are easy to find. If you are reading this and don't have any social media buttons please add them. It is really easy to do and if you are unsure remember google is your friend and will show you how.

6.) Be Yourself

Don't try and be anyone else, always stay true to you. People read your blog because they like your style of writing, your content and voice and they want to read what you have to say not what you think they want you to say. Don't try and be like someone else just be yourself and write what you love and you will soon get readers who keep on returning to your blog.

7.) Blogging is amazing

I have had some truly amazing opportunities via blogging which is brilliant, i have reviewed great products and discovered new brands. I recorded my whole pregnancy with my son and i have attended events and made friends. It has given me confidence, pushed me out of my comfort zone, it has given me a voice, a place to call my own. Its my "me time" its something i have created and built up all on my own. It has taught me things, it has stopped me being bored and helped me use my brain, it has inspired me and ignited my love of writing and reading. It has changed my life for the better and i don't think i ever want to stop blogging now.

8.) Your blog your rules

Remember it is your blog, you make the rules. If you want to post every day then do it likewise if you only want to blog once a month that's fine too. Blog about whatever you like, don't follow what everyone else is doing. If someone asks you to review a product you know wont fit with your blog then it is ok to say no, and i have only just started realising this myself. 

9.) I wish i had of started sooner.

I love blogging and i only wish that i had of started a one sooner. It has opened up a whole new world for me, i have made friends, i have earned money and reviewed some great products. It has given me confidence and most importantly it is something i enjoy. If you are reading this and thinking of starting your own blog, then just do it. Yes it can be hard work and you will have so much to learn to start with, but once you get going you will see how amazing it is and you will not regret it and it might just be one of the best things that you have ever done. 

10.) Have fun

Blogging is meant to be fun, its my hobby and enjoyable. The moment it stops becoming fun and becomes a chore then i know that it is time to either a.) take a blogging break or b.) stop blogging. And i hope that it always remains fun and enjoyable for me. 

So that is what i have learnt in a year of blogging, what have you learnt about blogging since you started? 

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Mums' Days

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Mr Tumble Is Coming To An Arena Near You This Easter

If you are a parent to a young child then you will be well aware of who Mr Tumble is as all young children adore him, and this Easter he is coming to an arena near you! As cbeebies live presents Justin and friends: Mr Tumble's circus tour across the UK this April. 

We are so excited to be going to see the show in Newcastle on the 13th April as it looks like it is going to be amazing. As Mr Tumble will be joined with a host of cbeebies favourites including something special stars Aunt Polly and Grandad Tumble along with cbeebies stars swashbuckle presenter Gem and Andy Day. And it promises to be lots of fun with jugglers and unicyclists and lots of interactive fun to keep little ones entertained and amazed.

The tour starts in Cardiff on the 1st April before visiting Wembley, Sheffield, Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham, Glasgow, Newcastle and then finishing in Manchester on the 14 April. Full tour dates and times can be viewed on the website here . 

It will be a Easter half term show that all the family can enjoy and with tickets starting at only £13.50 it would make a fantastic family day out that i am sure that children and adults alike will both enjoy. So don't miss out book today and make your child's Easter extra special with a trip to see Mr Tumble's Circus. 

You can view all the tour details and book tickets by visiting the website www.cbeebieslive.com/


An Afternoon Of Crafts With Hillarys Blinds

I was recently invited to an afternoon of crafts or a crafternoon in other words with Hillary Blinds and organised by Joe blogs in Newcastle. And when i was first invited i was not sure if i was going to attend or not as crafts really are not my thing, in fact i am really bad at them. But i thought i would go along as i have never attended a blogger event before and it would be nice to actually meet some other bloggers in real life.

So on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon at the start of March off i set to the venue , The Jazz cafe which is near Central station in Newcastle. As i had been unsure where i was going, i arrived stupidly early and was the first one there feeling pretty sorry for myself as i had came down with tonsillitis the day before. But i had no need to worry as the super lovely folk from Joe Blogs were on hand to chat to, seriously if anyone is invited to a Joe Blogs event then go, as they are so lovely and instantly put you at ease.

The room soon started filling up with lots of North East bloggers, most i am ashamed to say i did not know as they were mainly fashion and lifestyle bloggers and i only seem to follow parenting blogs. However they were lovely and i was sat with a group of friendly chatty bloggers. And there was one blogger i recognised fellow parenting blogger Karen from Monkey feet Blog   .

The event was part of  The Hillary's craft roadshow to celebrate the launch of there new blind fabrics which they launch every few years. And they had  ladies from  the crafty hen on hand to show us all how to make a fabric notebook cover with the Hillary blind fabrics which looked rather lovely, and i thought actually looked very quick and easy to create.

First we had to chose some fabric from the new blind range, fold it over the notebook we were provided with then decorate with ribbons and buttons and then stitch it together. However i can not sew to save my life. If anything needs sewing i either send it to my dads to get fixed or i throw the item away and i can not even thread a needle. So the nice easy little task that most people finished pretty quickly, ended up taken me nearly the whole afternoon to finish. But i finished it , thanks to the ladies from the crafty hens who were on hand to assist us.

Then we were shown how to make a fabric bird. These looked very sweet but i could tell just from the crafty hen demonstration that this was way out of my capability, i got as far as cutting my bird shape out of the fabric and then time was up and are craftenoon was over. Everyone else had lovely crafted birds and i had a fabric cut out, but it was ok as i had my notebook and that was more then i thought i would be coming away with so it was not as much of a disaster as i had first feared.

But i had a lovely afternoon , i met some lovely bloggers and had a few hours off from mummy duties which is always nice. Although my crafting skills are rather lacking. So thank you  Joe Blogs , The Crafty Hen and Hillary's blinds for arranging a lovely event. And after seeing all the lovely new blind fabrics i know where i will be going shopping for my blinds when i move house later in the year.


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Badgemaster - Review

I have now been blogging for one whole year ! I am amazed that i have actually stuck at it as i normally give up any kind of hobby within a few weeks, but i have stuck at blogging even through those exhausting newborn days when i had my son seven months ago and became a mum of three. I never really took my blogging seriously , it was a hobby and i posted very sporadically to start with. 

But amazingly my blog has steadily grown and i have had some amazing opportunities through blogging and i am even starting to earn money from my blog and have had to register as being self employed. I have started to get invited to events and i even have my ticket to BritMums Live in June which is a two day blogging conference in London. Shameless plug alert but if any brand out there would like to sponsor me to attend then please do get in touch to learn about the great advertising package i can offer you in return. 

With events like BritMums lined up i have been wondering how people will actually know who i am, what if no one recognises me ? I talk to so many bloggers every day and i am ashamed to say i do not even know some of there names , i just know there blog name or Twitter names . And i am sure many people are the same with me they know my blog name but not my actual name , it is Lindsay by the way just in case anyone was wondering. 

So when i heard about Badgemaster a name badge design service, i just knew that i had to get a badge of my own so that people actually knew who i was at events. The website is so simple to use and it is so quick and easy to design your own badge with easy to follow step by step instructions. You can chose your own shape, colour, finish and even what kind of fastening you would like on your badge . You then add your own text and you can add your blog logo if you have a one, i don't so i have just added my name and then my blog URL underneath  in clear black text so hopefully people will now know who i am.

Once you design your badge you save your design and then request a quote for the badge you have created . I received an e-mail within a few hours from the lovely customer service team at Badgemaster and was given a price for my badge and postage costs. Which was very reasonable at £7.92 in total. I was then given a phone number to ring and order my badge and paid via debit card , which was quick and easy with friendly staff on the phone. And was told my order would be dispatched in around ten days.

However a couple of week's passed and no badge had arrived so i e-mailed the customer service team who said my badge had been sent out a week ago and as i had not received it they would get another made and sent out to me. And they did and i received my new badge just over a week later. The customer service team were very friendly and helpful. 

My badge arrived via royal mail and was well packaged and easily fitted through the letter box. I was very impressed when i opened it as you can tell that it very well made and professional looking. Which is no surprise really as if you look on the Badgemaster website http://www.badgemaster.co.uk you will see that they have a very impressive customer base with lots of big household brands using them to create there company badges. 

So if you are looking for a badge for your company or if you a blogger like myself who will be attending events this year then i really do recommend Badgemaster as they are affordable, professional and high quality badges and wearing this badge will make sure that people actually know my name and who i am at events. 

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* Disclosure : I was sent a badge free of charge for the purpose of this review , however all opinions are my honest account of the product and service i received . 


Monday, 23 March 2015

A Taste Of Newcastle - Mozzarella And Parma Ham Salad

Since baby number three is now seven months old I have decided it is now time to diet, as I have a lot of baby weight to lose and can no longer keep using the excuse "I have just had a baby". Whenever I think of diets I always think of boring tasteless salads that taste nothing at all like the yummy ones I have when I eat out. So when Joe Blogs contacted me to see if I would like to take part in recreating a salad recipe from Newcastle's Copthorne hotel's head chef Andrew Scott, I thought it would be the perfect to time to see if I could make a healthy salad taste tasty. 


Sunday, 22 March 2015

My Sunday Photo 22/03/15

Now that it is getting warmer we decided to have a trip to the park, I can not believe how grown up my little girl is now. She no longer looks like a baby but an actual little girl!  She suddenly has hair and is fiercely independent and wants to walk everywhere on her own and loves to explore.


Friday, 20 March 2015

Ten Signs You Have Two Children Under Two

As I have now been a mum to two little ones under two for the last seven months (there is only a 14 month age gap between my children), I have realised just how hard a job it can be having two young children so close in age. The last seven months have been hard, there have been tears, there has been day's I wondered how I would cope. But it has also been amazing as I have watched my children grow together and learn to love each other, they are now such good friends who adore each other. I hope they will have the bond I shared with my own brother growing up, as there is less than two years between myself and him also.

So here is a quick look at what it is like having two children under two. If you also have young children close in age I wonder if you can relate to any of these.


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

My Blog Is One Today

Exactly one year ago today I sat down and started this blog. I never thought that I would still be writing it a year later, I honestly thought I would give up after a few weeks, like I do with most things. When I started my blog I had no idea what I was doing and my first post Why Write A Blog was pretty rubbish. But I remember being so happy that about five people had actually read my blog post! 

I started Newcastle Family Life as a way of recording my pregnancy with baby number three and to record days out with my girls, an online family diary to occupy me while I was on maternity leave. I never in a million years thought that anyone would ever read my blog and now thousands of people each month do. I would just like to say a huge thank you to every single person who has taken the time to read or comment on my blog or followed me on social media. 


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Time For Me To Switch Energy Providers And Save Money

I am currently on maternity leave and as most people will agree maternity pay sucks, it is less than half of my normal wages. With an extra little person to provide for we have had to start cutting back on our spending, goodbye takeaways and regular meals out and new clothes for mammy and daddy. With my maternity pay soon coming to an end and entering the non paid for part of my maternity leave I have started to worry a bit about money and have been looking at ways that we can cut down on our spending.

I have tried cutting down our grocery bill and failed and I have been looking at cutting down are sky subscription and cancelling all those unneeded direct debits, goodbye magazine subscriptions. But one thing that I had not even thought of changing was my energy provider until I heard that families could save a whopping £200 per year just by switching provider.


Monday, 2 March 2015

February Degustabox

For the last few months, I have been sent a monthly food subscription box from Degustabox. Which is basically a box filled with lots of surprise food and drink items delivered straight to my door each month. On Wednesday I received my February box.

 I love subscription boxes as you never know what you are going to get until you actually open your box. It is a great way to try out and discover new products that you may never have heard of or tried before. And there is no long sign up commitment either as you can cancel your subscription at any time as long as it is before the 10th of the month as you will be charged after this date as delivery is not long after that date. 

Degustabox food subscription box


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Weaning At Four Months Old

My baby boy Jacob is now six months old, but when he was four and a half months old we started weaning him onto solid foods. I know that it is recommended that babies are not weaned until they are six months old and I am in no way recommending that parents start weaning there children at four months old. But for us weaning at four months was for the best for our son and we did seek advice from a health visitor before we started weaning on to solid foods.

The current guideline for weaning baby's onto solid foods is to start when your baby is around six months old, as research shows that up until six months all a baby needs is either breast or formula milk. There is also a big shift in recent years for parents to try baby led weaning at six months, which is where you give baby finger foods and let them feed themselves rather than spoon-feeding them purees like you do with traditional weaning. I know my health visitor is a big fan of baby led weaning at six months and all the information I was given for weaning Jacob was for baby led weaning at six months.

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