Organise Yourself || Cute Stationery For Mum, Chosen By My Sons

Here in Scotland the schools went back at the start of the week and while I'm grateful to be back into the swing of things I have to admit I really felt like crying leaving my babies (P5 and P1) at the school, probably even more so now than I did when they first started school. I blame the hormones! 

In the lead up to going back we spent a lot of money on things that would get them in a good frame of mind for their return, organisation is key to success - or at least I fully believe it is and getting my sons to become naturally organised thankfully has been easier that I could have imagined. 

The key to getting it to work? cute stationery of course. 

We spent days window shopping together looking for pieces that would make them stand out and that show their personality without losing functionality. My eldest son wanted to make sure that if someone stole his pencil-case it would easily be defined as being his by the items in it - that's genius if I do say so myself *haha* Along the way I found my sons all having strong opinions on what I should be buying for my organise station (sort of a one-stop are in our home where they can do homework, we can pay bills etc). The boys know I have a weakness for journals, notebooks, pens and cute stationery pieces so they already have got to grip with my stationery style which tends to be either very girly, bohemian or very hipster.

 These pieces were their top picks.

I own around three main diaries and planners and I use each one almost daily. I have one at my work, one in my house as a family dairy where any new appointments or changes have to be written in (by any of us) as they arise and one that I take about with me, I also always carry a planner because my brains like a sieve.

I think the hardest part about becoming organised is implementing a change of routine, starting with a planner and spending an hour or so completely filling it in with all of the information you need at short notice will be enough to feel a difference, so much so that starting and maintaining a diary should come easily as a next step.

Needless to say there were always going to be some poop's or bums in this because let's face it, poop and bums are hilarious to little boys. They genuinely thought my work colleagues would be jealous of this sharpener. While they may not be jealous it's definitely an ice-breaker isn't it.

When they chose that bag I knew they 'got me' it's so bohemian and bright but still on trend and I am truly in love with it. They debated on a few bohemian styled bags, but this is the one they settled on because of the green zig-zags. The wood pencils were chosen because I currently use similar wood pencils for drawing, I love them as they're great for gripping even when my pains playing up and my grips quite weak.

The moustache was chosen by Coop my middle son, he loves the whole beard and 'stache thing which is blatantly obvious by his Youtube account 'Mustache Cop 26' - you should check it out and leave him a little comment if you have a moment because it would really make his day.

Overall I'm so happy with their choices - yes even the poop sharpener. What do you think you're children would pick for you and other mummies out there if they got the chance?

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The Amazing Benefits Kids Get From Joining A Sports Team

As a mother, I’m constantly looking at things for my kids to do. I don’t want them sat on the sofa all day staring at a TV. I want them to go out and do things, gain new experiences!

I soon realised there was one thing that my kids loved to do; play sports. So, I thought I’d sign them up for one of the local football teams. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that this was a great decision, especially because there are so many benefits for your kids. Don’t believe me? Then continue reading and you’ll soon be on my side! 

The main benefit of sports teams is that they keep your child healthy. Children should be active as much as possible if they want to stay healthy. They have so much energy inside them, and not using it can be harmful to them. If they aren’t using up their energy during the day, then they’ll still have it all at night. This means they’ll struggle to sleep and will wake up the next day grouchy and tired. Playing outdoors is very good for your kids, and a sports teams is the perfect way to do it.

Another great thing is that their efforts get recognised. When kids play for a team, they’ll often receives medals and trophies for their performances. Even if they don’t win a tournament, at the end of the year, most clubs will have a presentation evening. This is where they reward all the players for their efforts this season. Normally, each child will receive an award for being part of the team. Then, there are special awards for the best performers in the season. Kids love to receive recognition for things. Just think about how many drawings you have stuck to your fridge! So, getting a medal or a trophy can be a big deal for them. It also motivates them to keep trying hard and putting in the effort. Hopefully, this will translate into other aspects of life too. 

One of the best benefits is that they meet new friends. Everyone knows how important it is for a child to grow up with friends. Children who don’t have friends could end up developing mental illnesses like anxiety or depression. Sports teams are the perfect place for them to meet new kids. They’ll forge lifelong friendships and be happy! Sports clubs for kids are a great place for them to experience team bonding. 

Your children will learn valuable life skills from joining a sports team. There are many team sports out there, and they all teach kids valuable lessons. Team sports teach your kids the importance of working with others to a common goal. They can also help them learn to control their emotions and have discipline and patience. Joining a team will help your child learn so any important things. And the best part is, they’ll translate into other aspects of life too. They’ll learn how to work with other pupils at their school. By showing referees respect on the playing field, they’ll learn to show teachers and other adults respect too. 

See, I told you there were benefits! Joining a sports team can be amazing for your children. Sign them up for one and they'll absolutely love it.

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How To Organise The Perfect Halloween Party For Your Children

Before you know it, Halloween will be here and it's my favourite celebration of the year! (very big smile on my face right here) It’s a long-standing tradition that we all love very much in our house and it has huge importance for us as a pagan family. Times have changed since we were children, though. In today’s world, most parents and grandparents would rather their children didn’t go knocking on random houses because let's face it, the streets are no longer safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

The perfect alternative is to hold a Halloween party for the little ones.

You can host a great party either inside or outside in the garden. Kit the house out with fake creepy crawlies and other Halloween decorations that will make it a spooky for them and their friends. Before doing anything, you must first make sure that the home is safe for children as keeping your eyes on multiple kids is far harder than one and when it's other people's children it's imperative. After you’ve taken care of the safety, you should decorate it with the Halloween designs of your choice. The spookier the better!

Even if the home is safe ahead of the party, you should ask for more adult help. Even if your own family can’t make it, you can get them to ask other parents to lend a hand. It’s the least they can do in return for you arranging the party. Why not make some adult gruesome cocktails to help them calm their nerves from all of the scary ghosts.

One of the most fulfilling parts of Halloween is dressing up. Children love dressing up for big occasions. Treating them to one of the best kids Halloween costumes will instantly heighten their excitement. On a personal note, you don’t have to go crazy. Nonetheless, getting into the spirit with Dracula teeth or other accessories will help the kids to enjoy themselves.

Your son or daughter should take care of the guest list as they will have a better knowledge of this aspect. This removes one load off your mind, but you must give clear instructions on numbers. You don’t want to find yourself looking after 25 kids when the home can only handle 12.Music is another important feature of any kids’ party. You should use the opportunity to mix Halloween classics with pop music and other songs that will resonate with the children. Creating an online playlist is easy. Alternatively, you could just buy a CD.

For children, Halloween signals an excuse to eat lots of sweeties. You could, with the other parents, take them Trick or Treating with adult supervision. Otherwise, you should place a few bowls of treats around the room.If you’re feeling extra creative, you could always fashion items into Halloween themed treats. These recipes should give you some great ideas. The treats can also be used as prizes for games.

Every party for children needs fun activities. There are a number of games you can play. Bobbing for apples is a Halloween favourite, but you can also do generic games like musical chairs and pass the parcel. If you don’t mind the floor getting a little messy, you could also hold a pumpkin carving competition. Once again, though, safety is imperative.

Halloween is a special time of the year for all children, and a party will add an extra sense of enjoyment for everyone involved.

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4 Steps To Amazing Skin This Autumn

It's nearly Autumn guys! A new season and a new start, healthy changes are typically where I start and we all want clear skin and beautiful complexions don't we? Sometimes they can seem impossible to achieve, though. With autumn fast approaching, now is the perfect time to perfect your skin, making it healthier and happier and here are four tips that I would recommend. 

The summer sun has left you with a gorgeous tan, but in a few weeks when your tan fades, you could be left with skin that doesn’t look it’s best. That’s why it’s a good idea to start taking the steps for amazingly healthy and happy skin now, so that once your tan fades, your skin still looks great.

Step 1 / Follow a regular skin care routine

The first thing that you need to do is start following a skin care routine; this will allow you to ensure that your skin is as healthy as possible. Your skin care routine should include cleansing twice a day with a chemical-free cleanser, as well as toning and moisturising.

To ensure that your skin is protected from any sun damage - your tan won’t protect you, believe it or not, use a moisturiser with an SPF factor.

Step 2 / Prevent breakouts and blemishes

To prevent your skin from breaking out in spots and other blemishes, the key is to exfoliate twice a week. For this, you should be using an exfoliator that is as natural as possible, as products that contain chemicals can make breakouts worse.

As well as exfoliating regularly, if you are prone to breakouts, it’s a good idea to apply witch hazel or aloe vera gel to your face regularly. Both of these are antibacterial and so can prevent outbreaks from occurring, by keeping the skin free of bacteria.

Step 3 / Reduce the amount of harmful substances going into your body

The things that you put into your body can also affect your skin. So if you want healthy skin, it’s a good idea to steer clear of harmful substances, like alcohol and cigarette smoke, as much as possible.

Smoking is really bad for your skin, as the chemicals in cigarettes can cause all sorts of damage to your cells. If you want healthy skin, you either need to quit smoking or swap to using an electronic cigarette, as these are much better for your health.

Step 4 /Drink lots of water

Seems like a super easy one doesn't it but most people simply don't hydrate enough. If you want skin that is healthy and well hydrated, drinking lots of water is a must. Ideally, you should be drinking between five and ten glasses of water each day, to ensure that both your body and skin stay well hydrated and supple. 

If you aren’t a fan of water on its own, you could always diffuse fruit into it to add some flavour. Or, you could blend fresh fruit up with a glass of water, pour the mixture into ice lolly moulds and make homemade ice lollies. It doesn’t matter how you get the water that your skin needs, just as long as you get it into your system.

If you want happy, healthy skin this autumn, all you need to do is follow my handy tips, above. Implement these tips, and in no time at all, your skin will look fabulous.

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Deciem || Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum

Fountain of Youth Molecules such as The Beauty Molecule, The Hyaluronic Molecule, and The Supergreen Molecule have made the rounds online for a very good reason, you may have also heard of  Inhibitif which helps to reduce hair growth. What you may not realise is that these brands and many more all fall under the Deciem umbrella. 

I'm a huge skincare, lover. Don't get me wrong, I go weak at the knees for a cute lipstick and a limited edition eyeshadow palette but if I had to choose, skincare would be my go-to every single time. Typically I use a cleanser and moisturiser. When my skin's looking dull or needs additional TLC I reach for the serum - a good serum will get you far in life, think of a good serum as Spanx's for your skin. 

I was offered the chance to review Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum and I'll not lie, I was pretty excited as the Deciem brand feed my geeky need for beauty and science. This serum, in particular, aims to rehydrate the skin below its surface while improving sagging, poor texture and visible lines. 

Sounds too good to be true doesn't it, so what makes Hylamide so special? 
 First off there are five forms of Hyaluronic Acid in this one serum:

 One form of non-animal origin Hyaluronic Acid which helps elasticity. 
 Two forms of low-molecular Hyaluronic Complex which helps with continual hydration.
 One form of Hyaluronic Acid pre-cursor 
 Tamarind derived Hyaluronic Acid which offers long-term benefits for hydration. 

You'll also find some more pretty awesome ingredients:  

 Hawaiian Algae Complex and Antarctic Algae which prevent moisture loss and promote skin cell renewal. 
 Multi-functional saccharides which help to repair the skin and helps to form a protective barrier while ensuring it looks and feels healthy and comfortable. 
 Glycoprotein when combined with saccharides and hyaluronic acid it helps to create a protective skin matrix which not only protects the skin but helps to boost the effects of the other ingredients.  
 Copper Lysinate & Prolinate targets collagen to improve skin health and the skin's visible age. 
 Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38 also reduces the look of lines, wrinkles and surface irregularities. 

Pretty amazing ingredients for one serum guys! 
The serum comes in a heavyweight frosted glass bottle with a dropper cap. The dropped made application a doddle as I only had to apply a few drops to my palms, then straight onto my face in the morning and night after cleansing. I waited for the serum to absorb, and it did pretty quickly leaving a non-greasy texture and then I applied my daily moisturiser.

What I was initially worried about was if I was going to breakout, if it would sting or if my skin would feel sticky or greasy after application. I worry about these things with all new products, but I didn't have to worry because my skin felt soft after application and there were no new blemishes or outbreaks after use.

I'm still testing out the serum so can't give an overall opinion yet, but so far I'm more than happy with the results so far. My acne scars are fading, my skin's less oily these days and I do feel like my skin's on the up - it hasn't been for a long time and this is the only new product I've implemented into my beauty regime so I'm guessing it has to be the Hylamide.

Hylamide is available to purchase from the online Boots website costing £30 for 30mls. I'm not sure if it will be in store, but I know my local store do stock Deciem so you can always check them out. I fully recommend the brand that's for sure and will be back with an overall verdict in a few weeks.

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Back to School Edit || Boys & Girls

Two days to go until our sons head back to school and still I find I've not got everything that they need - the things is I find the whole thing tedious, buying lots of new things that are overly expensive and them only having limited usage. This year we vowed to only repurchase items that were absolutely needed. Each of my sons handled this news exceptionally well and even decided that they were happy to use the same bag, the same coat or the same trainers. We did however have to repurchase new jackets because they all decided to take a growth spurt midway through summer.

Initially, I felt bad because there's an excitement that comes with returning to school and showing off your new grown-up style. We decided to bring the fun back by purchasing new 'bits-and-bobs'. Pens, pencils, pencil cases, lunch cases and so on. Even though we have a ton of them they are the types of products that will always be used in our house, they're also purse-friendly and fun. They allow kids [and adults] to show off their style and stand-out. Last year we shopped mostly at Dotcomgiftshop and Cath Kidston as they were doing cute classic stylised pieces. This year we've shopped at Dotcomgiftshop but also Amazon for a mixture of fun and functional products.

These are our family's top back to school 'bits-and-bobs' for both girls and boys. Please note that by creating separate lists does not mean that I believe these are purely for one gender. These are products I would recommend to any gender.

The polar bear eraser and the vintage doll backpack are our favourites. One thing we noticed when shopping last year was that the backpacks aimed at children were all really large for someone going into primary 1 or even into pre-school. These mini backpacks are suited to lower primary aged kids, enough room for books, gym shoes and pencil cases and not so large that they look silly.

Boys Back To School
World Map Mini Backpack | Football Snack Boxes | Pirate Pencils | Pirate Eraser Brachiosaurus Rubber | Bus Pencil CaseTransport Notebook | Spaceboy Lunchbox | Spaceboy Colouring Pencils

The selection above had something for each of us. The bus pencil case - wowsers I'd have loved that when I was younger and the transport notebook, hells I want that right now. My youngest (primary 2) has opted for the World Map backpack because it was 'awesome' (his words not mine). 

The thing with these picks is that they're fun, functional and have been considered from a parents stand point. I've considered how easy they would be for a child to use, are they sturdy, are they purse friendly and will they be used or thrown to the wayside. Although my sons are in primary 1 and primary 5 now, the classic style and print of each product is also one that won't go out of fashion and that in my opinion is so important. 

What type of back to school products have you been purchasing for your kiddies? 

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3 Ways To Feel Amazing Before Summer Ends

We’re approaching the last few weeks of summer now and sadly that means we’re going back to work, university or! Sorry, kids. But that still means we’ve got time to look our best before our colleagues start to find out we were lying about that summer holiday in the Bahamas. You just need a few tips to make the most of these last, precious weeks. If you take my advice, you are going to look stunning when you go back to work, no matter what. 

Start A Beauty Routine

Summer is the time where we usually relax, eating what we want, exercising when we want. We may have very rarely got off the deck chair to get another mimosa. But, typically speaking, we have probably let ourselves go over these last few months. So, let’s start by getting our diet back on track. 

The first thing that you need to do is start drinking plenty of water. Water is going to clear up your skin beautifully and get rid of any of the grease that might have built up from eating fatty foods. Next, we are going to cut out the fast food trips and go healthy for the next few weeks. You would be amazed what a few weeks of good food can do for your body. If we get any more sunshine, you might even fit into that new bikini. We need to fix your exercise habits as well because chances are, you’ve been letting the kids run outside all day. You may have just been sitting in the garden, hoping to catch a few precious rays of sunshine on your skin. So, start with a simple exercise routine in the morning. Maybe try a couple of situps and squats or even a few lifts. This will start getting your body looking more toned. 

Exercise and a good diet will get your body back in shape, but we also want your face looking flawless. So, try a teeth whitening trick of mixing lemon and baking soda together for a paste. Also, use a bowl of boiling water to steam your skin, cleansing it. This will make you look more beautiful than ever, but we are not done yet. 

Buy Some Accessories

You didn’t think it was going to be all hard work did you? Of course not because you know the best way to look stunning is to buy some new accessories. Why not start with a pair of sunglasses? You may still get another chance to use them and as summer winds down designer brands drop in price. Or, if you want to save some cash and wear glasses by a pair of photochromic lenses. These are special glasses that transform into sunglasses when hit with the sun's rays. How cool is that? 

You should also think about buying some small pieces of jewellery and anything that you think accentuates your best features. 

Buy A New Outfit

Finally, whether you’re heading back to work, or attending your last summer party, treat yourself to a new outfit. You deserve to look your best and feel good but remember to match the outfit to your body shape. This is the best way to look stylish and stunning at the same time. 

Follow this advice and be sure to enjoy the last weeks of your summer holidays. Just think, only four months until Christmas!

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