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Thermae Bath Spa - Worth the wait?

A few weeks' back, I was a spa virgin. Yes, I'd managed to reach the grand old age of twenty eight without ever stepping foot in a spa. Sure, I'd enjoyed the odd jacuzzi and even sweated it out in a sauna but I'd never actually done the whole 'spa day' thing. That was until I was treated to Thermae Bath Spa vouchers for my birthday! Bath is a city I've wanted to visit for a long time and we were keen to explore the Christmas market (which is meant to be one of the best in Britain) so decided to tie it all together and make a weekend of it. Just the two of us (a rarity) and it was lush!

Of course, visiting the spa on the first weekend of the Bath Christmas Market had it's positives and negatives. The positives being that Bath felt vibrant, full of life and utterly magical. The scent of Christmas was in the air. People were cheery. And the place was dolled up in decorations. It was beautiful. But the downside was a 2 HOUR, yes I repeat, 2 HOUR wait to get into Thermae Bath Spa.

Now, you're probably thinking, 2 hours? That's ridiculous! Why did you wait? But the thing is, it was our only real chance to visit the spa before Christmas and we'd set our hearts on it. So we got in line, listened to Christmas carols, enjoyed each other's company and every now and then took a step closer.

But was it worth the wait?

After two hours standing in the queue, I have to admit I entered the spa feeling a little stressed and like I definitely needed a couple of hours relaxation to compensate. But I have to say, once we got into the Wellness Suite, all was forgotten and after a first visit to the Roman Steam Room, I was in full relaxation mode!

The Wellness Suite is made up of six state-of-the-art spa facilities; Roman Steam Room, Georgian Steam Room, Infrared Room, Ice Chamber, Celestial Relaxation Room and Experience Showers.

Infrared Room - Good for your muscles

My favourite part of the Wellness Suite was probably the Infrared Room - a high temperature room, which transmits 'soothing infrared waves of light deep into the muscles and joints.' We sat in front of one of the heater panels and it felt so good on my back - an area where I do get pains, since having a child and carrying him round!

Georgian Steam Room - Super relaxing

The Georgian Steam Room was also really relaxing and I really felt like it was working it's magic on my skin! Although Josh commented that I didn't look relaxed, I actually felt super comfortable and almost sleepy in there!

Celestial Relaxation Room - Not for me

The Celestial Relaxation Room was a little odd in my opinion. We queued a few minutes for it, so I guess I was expecting something revolutionary and was then somewhat disappointed by the heated loungers (which I didn't find particularly warm or comfortable) and planet-themed video. Maybe it just wasn't my cup of tea? It was an interesting concept though, I'll give it that!

Ice Chamber - Fun, refreshing and a great way to cool down

We did however LOVE the Ice Chamber. It was the perfect place to go in between the warmer rooms to cool down. The menthol-infused mist was so refreshing and you could gently rub the ice over your body to exfoliate the skin too. It feels so good when you scoop the ice into your hands and plunge your face into it - just don't accidentally leave your mouth open like I did the first time...you can't take me anywhere! Also be on guard if you're there with your partner. Mine of course had to throw some down my bikini top (cheeky sod) but I got my own back, don't you worry...

Open-air Rooftop Pool

Once we'd enjoyed all of the spa and sensory experiences the Wellness Suite had to offer, we headed up to the Rooftop Pool. As the lift doors opened, you were hit instantly with freezing cold air (not pleasant) but it made the first toe dip in the warm, mineral-rich waters all the more satisfying. The Rooftop Pool was busy - after all, the staff were having to conduct a one-in-one-out type policy for entry to the spa that day, but that didn't matter to us. Everyone was in their own little worlds and we enjoyed taking in the city views while we paddled about. I'd love to visit the spa in the evening next time, as I imagine it's lovely relaxing in the rooftop pool, with the city lights twinkling around you.

Minerva Bath

Our final stop was the Minerva Bath, named after the Roman Goddess of Health and Wisdom. This is the spa's largest thermal bath and has a number of features including massage jets, a whirlpool and a lazy river. Lounge on a float and let it carry you round. It's so relaxing but fun at the same time. It was the perfect way to end our session.

Would I recommend Thermae Bath Spa & visit again?

Definitely! I think the Thermae Welcome Tickets (£40 per person and can be used any day) are very reasonably priced. You get a 2 hour spa session (towel, robe and flip flops included) and have access to the entire Wellness Suite, along with the two thermal baths. You can also use the cafe if you wish to and your time is paused, so you don't miss out on any of your spa time.

If you want a treatment, they do cost extra and need to be booked in advanced. I personally didn't feel like we needed treatments to really benefit from the spa. I left feeling so relaxed and my skin felt great, so our time in the mineral baths and Wellness Suite definitely made a positive difference to me.

After having such a lovely time at Thermae Bath Spa, I don't think it'll be long before we book our next spa day! It's a fun thing to do as a couple and would make a great Christmas present if you are after a romantic gesture or something a little different to traditional gifts.

Have you visited Thermae Bath Spa? What did you think?

Meg x
Image credits: Thermae Bath Spa

Hasslacher's Hot Chocolate Bar Review

Hot Chocolate is one of my favourite winter drinks but not the fancy kind you get from the well-known coffee chains. No, I'm definitely more of a Plain (Megan) Jane when it comes to hot chocolate, so the product itself has got to taste good!

Recently Hasslacher's got in touch to see if I wanted to try their 'Solid Bar' Colombian drinking chocolate* - an opportunity I definitely wasn't going to pass up on! What makes this gourmet hot chocolate bar unique is the fact it's 100% pure cacao, made in Colombia, where the finest beans are grown. The brand makes the entire product in the same country as the beans (a rarity these days) and buys the cacao beans directly from the farmers, helping to sustain the fair trade system in Colombia. Hasslacher's 'Solid Bar' hot chocolate is also the only food product in the UK that is hand wrapped in 100% sugarcane fibre, an unbleached by-product of the sugarcane industry.

Is it easy to make?

The process of making a Hasslacher's Hot Chocolate could not be simpler! All you need to do is heat your milk up in a pan, add two squares of the Cacao, let them melt in and then whisk until you get a light, creamy drinking chocolate. Because the drinking chocolate bar is made from pure cacao, which does not contain any sugar, you do need to sweeten it. For this, it's recommended that you use Hasslacher’s Single Estate Organic Panela,* (available from Sainsbury's) a sugar substitute that is 100% natural and unrefined and 100% ecologically produced. Simply sweeten to taste!

Does Hasslacher's Hot Chocolate taste good?

100% yes! I was really impressed with the taste of Hasslacher's hot chocolate. It was light, yet luxurious - just how i like it and I found it really easy to get the right amount of sweetness with the Panela. If hot chocolate is your winter drink of choice, I definitely recommend giving it a try! I made mine with semi-skimmed milk but if you wanted it a little more creamy, you could try whole milk or go all out and add a splash of double cream instead...(I'm definitely trying that later!)

Dairy-free & Gluten-free

Hasslacher's 'Solid Bar' Colombian Drinking Chocolate is 100% cacao, contains zero sugar, zero cholesterol and is both dairy-free and gluten-free. It is also suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. Everyone's happy!

Use in home baking

Seeing as you get a generous 32 squares per 250g bar of Hasslacher's drinking chocolate (and only need to use two per cup), I'm thinking of saving some to use in a home baking recipe this Christmas. Perhaps brownies, as they're my other half's favourite! I'll also be using the Panela as a sugar substitute. All being well, I'll share this on the blog at a later date. It'll be my first time baking brownies in the Rayburn at the new house though, so wish me luck!

An ideal stocking filler

If you know someone who loves their hot chocolate, why not treat them to a Hasslacher's drinking chocolate bar this Christmas? Priced around £5, it'd make a lovely stocking filler, along with a festive-themed mug.

Hasslacher's 'Solid Bar' Colombian Drinking Chocolate is available to buy from most large M&S stores, as well as many independent stores across the UK. Both the hot chocolate bar and Panela can also be purchased directly from the Hasslacher's website.

Is Hasslacher's Solid Bar Drinking Chocolate something you'd like to try?

Meg x
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5 Tips for choosing the Perfect Winter Wedding Guest Outfit

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Winter is a magical time of year, perfect for a wedding but with a drop in temperatures, the chance of rain and let's face it, even snow; planning the perfect winter wedding guest outfit can be a tricky task. Luckily for you, I've got a few tips to help you plan a practical winter wedding guest outfit that doesn't compromise on style.

1. Choose warm tones and deeper shades

In the spring and summer, pastel shades are an obvious choice but they don't work as well for winter wedding guest outfits. Instead, opt for warm tones and deeper shades like berry, emerald and plum. If it's a Christmas wedding, you can definitely choose an outfit with a little sparkle - just don't upstage the bride!

Black wedding guest dresses have long been considered a bit of a faux pas but this way of thinking is a little outdated. I personally don't think there's anything wrong with wearing black to a wedding, especially in the winter. Black is a classy, flattering colour that is also very versatile. Choose a black dress with a pattern if you're worried you'll look like you're going to a funeral or style it up with a few coloured accessories instead.
Debenhams Purple Velvet Dress £49.00 // New Look Floral Velvet Dress £25.00 // Ted Baker Pleated Velvet Dress £229.00

2. Select wedding guest dresses in heavier fabrics

Some wedding venues, like large churches, can often be cold, so be sure to select a dress made from a heavy fabric. Velvet is a lovely choice for a winter wedding guest dress. Not only is it a luxurious fabric but also one that will keep you warm. Velvet is on trend for A/W 2018 so you shouldn't have any trouble finding a wedding guest dress in this material, whether you're shopping high street or high end.

3. Consider a trouser wedding guest outfit

When choosing a winter wedding guest outfit, it's important to consider the venue and what will be deemed suitable attire. For example, somewhere like the Shrigley Hall Wedding venue in Cheshire, will require formal dress, whereas a more casual wedding guest outfit would be fine for a wedding venue like a country pub or restaurant.
River Island Velvet Jumpsuit £46.00 // Reiss Jumpsuit £225.00 // Lipsy Wide Leg Jumpsuit £65.00
Trouser suits are a great alternative to dresses in the winter and tick all the boxes, in terms of being smart, classy and formal. Alternatively, you could opt for a jumpsuit - dressing it up with your favourite pair of heels. Jumpsuits are very fashionable right now and come in all sorts of styles so you shouldn't find it hard to source one that is wedding guest appropriate.

4. Don't forget a coat or jacket

Part of planning the perfect winter wedding guest outfit involves picking out a dressy coat or jacket. After all, you don't want to get to the big deal, only to realise you don't have anything warm to wear over your new dress! Try on coats, capes and wraps to see what works best with your dress and what will keep you suitably warm - again think about the venue and how long you'll spend outside (for photographs or moving from the wedding to the reception.)
Miss Selfridge Court Shoes £32.00 // New Look Stiletto Heel Ankle Boots £20.99 // Zalando Heels £25.99

5. Pick winter-wedding-friendly footwear

Although open-toe, strappy sandals look lovely with occasion dresses, they're not the most suitable choice for a winter wedding. At the very least, opt for a close-toe heel to keep your feet warm or if comfort is key, a pair of stylish heeled boots. Heeled ankle boots look stylish with longer wedding guest dresses and jumpsuits, whereas knee-high boots work well with a shorter wedding guest dress. Again, just be sure to research the venue and the amount of walking you will be doing!

I hope you've found my winter wedding guest outfit tips useful. Feel free to comment below if you have any more suggestions.

Meg x
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My Experience of Postpartum Hair Loss

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Today's post is a bit of a throwback to 2016 because I want to talk about my experience of postpartum hair loss. It was a post I meant to write ages ago (I mean, Arthur's now three so the postpartum days are LONG gone) but I never really got round to it. Everyone always talks about body confidence after having a baby (learning to embrace the stretch marks and changes) and more and more people are now raising awareness of serious issues like postnatal depression, which is so important but something I don't hear a lot of mums talk about is postpartum hair loss, despite it being pretty common.

Now, by no means was my hair loss severe. When you think about people who have conditions like alopecia or have to go through intense chemotherapy treatment, my own hair loss was nothing to complain about. But it was noticeable and even though I didn't make a big deal about it, I remember it contributed to me not feeling so great about the way I looked and felt after having my son.

Hair changes in pregnancy

I think part of the reason postpartum hair loss can be a bit of a shock for new mums is that pregnancy hair is amazing for some. I don't think my hair had ever looked so good! I've always had quite fine hair (but a lot of it) and noticed that during pregnancy it felt a lot thicker. This is apparently due to the increased levels of oestrogen and androgen in the body when you're pregnant. They promote healthier-looking hair and prolong the growing stage, so there's less time for the hair to rest and shed.

Hair loss after you've given birth

Of course, after you've given birth and your hormones start to settle down in the months following, the oestrogen levels drop and the hair goes into its resting and shedding stages. I remember noticing that I was losing a fair bit of hair, more than I ever had before and it was particularly noticeable around my hairline, as you can see in the pictures. I think the fact I have quite fine hair anyway made it even more noticeable and although I can't say it made me feel overly self-conscious (after all, as a new mum all your focus is on your baby anyway), I think it was something that just added to the negative feelings I had about the way I looked. I think it's fair to say that as a new single mum, I had written myself off. Which is quite sad really and maybe a little bit dramatic, looking back but the good news is, everything got better!

Re-growth after Postpartum hair loss

As the months went on, I found that new hair was appearing around my hairline but it was different to the rest of the hair on my head. It was very wispy and would stick out at funny angles, which was annoying but at least it was growing back! I think by the time Arthur was 14-15 months it was hardly noticeable and the wispy bits were a little longer and therefore easier to manage!

Three years on and I think my hair looks pretty great. I don't think it grows as fast as it used to (and don't know if that has anything to do with the changes your body goes through after having a child) but there's no sign I ever experienced postpartum hair loss.

So if you're experiencing postpartum hair loss too or you're pregnant and worried about it happening, please know that it doesn't last forever and that it is perfectly normal. And although it feels rubbish at the time, you probably won't even think about it a few years on - unless like me, you look back at some old photos and think hey, I could write a blog post about that!

Postpartum Hair Loss Tips

There are some great tips for coping with hair loss here. I've also listed a few things below you can do (or in some cases not do) to help postpartum hair loss...

Scalp massage and exfoliation: Not something I tried but apparently daily scalp massages using just your fingers can help to boost blood circulation and stimulate the scalp. Exfoliation also removes dead skin cells and any build-up from the hair products you use, to encourage better hair growth.

Eat a balanced diet: What you eat can have an impact on hair health and growth. Protein-rich and iron-rich foods are good for nourishing the hair.

Wear your hair in soft styles: I did probably the worst thing I could do and scraped my hair back into a ponytail all the time. I just wanted it off my face and out the way but this could have done more harm than good and actually made the postpartum hair loss more obvious. Wearing your hair in softer styles (i.e. just wearing it down) means less tension on the strands. You can always use clips to get it off your face if you need to!

Don't avoid haircuts: Although cutting your hair may be the last thing you want to do when it's already falling it out, trimming it regularly can help to keep it healthy and promote growth. I had quite a lot chopped off and I think it was probably the best thing, as even though the wispy bits were obvious, it made the rest of my hair appear thicker.

Use less heat on the hair: We all know heat isn't good for the hair so if you are looking for ways to keep it healthy and promote better growth, it's best to avoid it altogether where possible. I hardly use heat on my hair these days (apart from blowdrying) and have definitely noticed improvements to it's overall condition.

Did you experience postpartum hair loss? Do you have any tips for other mums worried about it?
Feel free to share them in the comments below!

Meg x
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Christmas Letterbox Gift Cakes from bakerdays

Cake through your letterbox? Now that's definitely something I can get onboard with! So when the lovely team at bakerdays offered to send me one of their personalised Christmas letterbox gift cakes* to try, I could hardly say no could I? I mean, it'd be rude not to!
A good cake should not only look pretty but taste delicious too and I'm pleased to say the bakerdays cake ticked all of the boxes. It arrived packaged up in a lovely cake tin and padded cardboard box and was absolutely perfect to look at. There was so many lovely Christmas designs to choose from on the bakerdays website and even the option to upload your own photo but I went for the Snowflake Bauble cake - simply personalising it for my family with the words 'Love Meg x.' I think it was a lovely choice - the bold colours look really pretty printed on the tasty icing, which reminds me of classic birthday cake. Yum!
I opted for the traditional sponge cake - an all-round crowd pleaser but there were plenty of other delicious-sounding recipes to choose from including rich chocolate chip, lovely lemon drizzle, fabulous fruit, gluten wheat free sponge and dairy free sponge. The sponge was lovely and moist (a word I despise but the most fitting in this case) and the icing was super sweet - just how it should be. Orders come with a full ingredients list.
The 5 inch Christmas Letterbox Gift Cake (£14.99) is a great size, with plenty for the family. If you are looking to send a Christmas gift that's a little different, letterbox cakes definitely have the novelty factor and are sure to put a smile on the recipient's face. There are so many beautiful designs to choose from and the option to personalise the cakes makes them all the more special. Orders placed 5 days in advance come with free delivery and there are also options for next day delivery if you're after a last minute gift (£5.99).
I'm really impressed with my personalised Letterbox Gift Cake and highly recommend both the product and service from bakerdays.

Meg x
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Tesco Photo Canvas Print Review

I love taking family photos and sharing them on social media but to me, there's still something so lovely about having a physical print. Every few months I order a batch of our newest photos so I can put them in frames, memory boxes and photo albums to look back on in years to come. I still love looking at photo albums from my childhood and I want Arthur to be able to do the same, even if we do now live in a predominantly digital world.

Recently Tesco Photo got in touch to see if I'd like to review a photo canvas* that I could design myself. Of course, I jumped at the chance, knowing it'd be the perfect opportunity to print this lovely photo of our family, taken before our friends' wedding back in September.

The Tesco Photo website seemed fairly straightforward to use. You simply had to select the type and size canvas you wanted and then you could start personalising it. I uploaded my picture, everything looked great in the preview and then I went to checkout, opting to have the canvas delivered to my home for free. Tesco Photo also offer same day collection but you need to use the store finder to check there is a Tesco Photo Store close enough to you. The nearest for me was still an hour away, so delivery was the most convenient option.

Unfortunately, when my first canvas arrived, it wasn't quite how I'd hoped, as the top of my partner's head had been wrapped around the top of the canvas and my feet had been wrapped around the bottom. I got in touch with Tesco Photo to express my disappointment and they kindly offered to replace my canvas to ensure I was 100% happy with it. They said that their system showed that the top of my partner's head and my feet were in the wrapped area, though perhaps their software did not show this to the customer clearly enough. I really hope they find a way to do this, as I think it would save customers from making similar mistakes in the future.

When re-designing my canvas, Tesco Photo suggested that perhaps a 20x30 inch canvas, rather than a square canvas, would be better for my photo and prevent body parts from being missed off. I was more than happy to accept this change and I'm very pleased with the new canvas that has been sent. The quality of the print is great and I think it looks lovely on the wall.

The prices of the gallery canvases range from £28 - £115, depending on the size. They're not the cheapest out there but the quality of the print is very good. It's just of course important that the canvas is designed and printed correctly. This wasn't the case for me first time round but I'm really pleased with my new canvas and the customer service offered by Tesco Photo, who rectified the issue very efficiently.

Although it's a bit of a mixed review, Tesco is a company I buy from on a regular basis and this hasn't put me off purchasing their photo products in the future.

Meg x
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My Autumn Fashion Favourites

I feel as though it's a bit of a blogger cliché to prefer autumn over every other season but there are many reasons why it's my favourite. For one, we as a family celebrate a few birthdays and who doesn't love a birthday celebration? (or three!) I love autumn colours and the sound of the leaves crunching underfoot. I love the in-between weather, where summer is far gone but winter's not quite arrived. I love the anticipation and excitement that builds up to winter and Christmas, the most magical time of all. And I love the cosy, comfortable fashion. It's me to a T.
Wolfe Academy Ochre Bobble £15
  Black Ribbed Bobble Hat £6.99
 H&M Knitted Hat £7.99

Bobble Hat

As soon as the temperature dipped I announced (to myself) it's bobble hat weather! I'm not going to lie, I felt almost sad packing away my beloved bobble hat last spring, so I was glad to be able to dig it out again. I feel like it's an autumn / winter accessory that will go with most outfits. They look cute and in my opinion - the bigger the bobble, the better (a little tongue twister for you!) My trusty bobble hat keeps my ears warm (anyone else get that horrible pain when it's super cold?!) and I like that I don't have to do a lot with my hair when I'm wearing it. #LazyMumStyling
H&M Knee Length Padded Parka - £69.99


I feel like parkas are a bit of an all-rounder coat for autumn / winter. They're effortlessly stylish, whilst also being warm and practical. And I've got to be honest, since becoming a mum (and probably because I'm now in my late twenties) I'd much rather spend my money on something practical than trendy. But hey, with the parka you kind of get it all! A big thank you to my parents for my early Christmas present - the gorgeous H&M padded parka I'm wearing in the photo. I just love it! It's a little oversized, so perfect for layering over a jumper, padded and knee length for extra warmth, has big practical pockets and is finished off with a cosy faux fur hood. It's been my saviour on those early nursery drop offs!
Next Cable Sweater £26

Cable Knit Jumper

I love a classy, comfy cable knit; especially if it's a little oversized and boxy. Cable knits look lovely with jeans (my go-to outfit) but also work well over dresses and skirts too. I've been wearing the same burgundy cable knit jumper from Next for a couple of years now, so decided to treat myself to the ochre cable sweater above. What I love about these jumpers from Next is that they are mostly made from cotton and therefore seem to wash and wear really well. They're reasonably priced at £26 and come in a number of different colours (but for me it's all about the ochre!)

Skinny Jeans

Are you one of those people that has a favourite shop to by jeans from? I am - and I know I've already mentioned Next in this post but their jeans really are my favourite too. I feel like I'm a Next girl (well, woman) really. The cut of the clothes usually suits me and I find their sizing is fairly consistent. It's rare that I'll order something from Next and send it back. It's my go-to store for autumn clothing - though I do love a bit of New Look too! Anyway, back to jeans - high waisted skinny jeans are really the only sort I wear comfortably. I like my jeans to have a little stretch and find the waist enhancer designs from Next really flattering. I usually opt for a darker denim in the autumn; I just think it compliments seasonal shades like burgundy, ochre, rust and tan that little bit more than lighter denim.
Tan Studded Low Heel Boots £20.99
Tan Contrast Hiker Boots £25.99
Tan Suedette Western Boots £19.49

Tan Ankle Boots

Next may be my go-to store for clothing but for shoes, it's New Look, hands down. I rarely buy them from anywhere else and particularly love New Look ankle boots. The ankle boots are always on-trend, super comfortable and extremely affordable. I also find that they last such a long time and I always get my wear out of them. Tan ankle boots are my favourite for autumn; with skinny jeans or a dress and tights. I've just never seemed to be able to style black ankle boots as well...apart from a velvet pair I have, which I tend to save for evenings. In the day, it's tan all the way...!

Pinafore Dress

I'm also partial to a pinafore dress, having now found one I love from New Look and tend to wear it with a stripy long sleeve top underneath. When I tried the one above on, I really wasn't sure because it was much shorter than any other dress I'd picked out in a good while but after a little encouragement from Josh and my mum, I decided to keep it!
 I used to wear dresses all the time but since becoming a mum I've kind of just opted for what's easiest to wear and haven't really spent money on anything but the basics (jeans, jumpers etc). So it's nice having a couple of pieces like the pinny and also a lovely corduroy pencil skirt I bought at the same time, for when I want to change things up a little. I'm trying to remember to do that a little bit more often, as it makes me feel good about myself! Pinafore dresses are super easy to style in the daytime. They offer a stylish, 'put together' look with minimal effort and have the added benefit of pockets. Who doesn't love a pocket?

What are your autumn / winter fashion favourites?

Meg x
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Christmas Gift Ideas for Her

Luxury Fragrance Gifts for Her

If you're looking for a special gift for your mum, girlfriend, sister or best friend, a bottle of their favourite perfume is sure to put a smile on their face. For me, it's Flowerbomb by Viktor and Rolf. I love everything about it, from it's unique bottle shape to it's sweet floral fragrance. It's a scent that intensifies on the skin and lasts all day.

Of course, it helps if you know what perfume they like or at least the notes they favour. Shop around for the best prices and remember that in the run up to Christmas, there's usually a lot of offers on fragrances.
If you're struggling to find a perfume you think they'll like, perhaps go down the route of buying a luxury candle instead. Some of my favourite home fragrances are by Sanctuary Spa. They have so many lovely products including individual candles, diffusers and room mists, as well as home fragrance sets, perfect for festive gifting.

Something a Little Different for Her

Those looking for a slightly more unusual gift this Christmas may want to take a look at the gorgeous range of printed towels by Australian brand Tesalate. These lightweight towels are ultra-absorbent, quick drying and sand-resistant - perfect for beach use in the summer! They come in a range of vibrant patterns, including the bold and bright Bohemian print*, shown above and cost £49, with free worldwide delivery. Sure, a beach towel seems a slightly unusual Christmas present but it's certainly unique and unlikely anyone else will buy the same. A perfect gift for a lady who loves to travel!

Stocking Fillers for Her

These days it's not hard to find lovely stocking filler gifts and secret Santa presents for her but if you're having a bit of a mind blank, I recommend taking a look at New Look's beautiful range of mugs, cups and glasses. They have so many high-end looking products at bargain prices. The M initial mug above costs just £5.99 but looks much more expensive! Here are a few more favourites mug and glass giftware from the New Look site...
Tile Print Mug £6.99 // Speckled Mug £6.99 // Adventure Mug £6.99 // Party Time Decanter £3.99

Book Gifts for Mum

The Unmumsy Mum Diary by Sarah Turner // Why Mummy Swears by Gill Sims // The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner, 
Whether you're looking for a gift for your own mum or a new mummy friend, 'mum books' are bound to give them a giggle. I adore The Unmumsy Mum and think her writing style is just brilliant. Her books are so relatable to parents, full of honest truths about parenting and hilarious family tales. They've honestly made me cry with laughter and they'll definitely be something I gift to my friends when they become mothers too!

I hope this little gift guide has given you some inspiration if you are looking for Christmas Gift Ideas for Her.

Megan x
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5 Stocking Filler Gifts for Young Kids (that aren't toys!)

Christmas gift guides for kids often feature a variety of toys, from the latest craze to traditional wooden offerings and whilst I'm all for buying toys at Christmas, I think it's possible to have too many! So if you're looking for stocking fillers for young kids that aren't toys but still have an element of fun to them, take a look at my ideas below...

1. Fun Cake Moulds for Kids

If you know a little one that loves baking, fun cake moulds like these lego-themed ones will go down a treat! I bought the Lego Man Cake Mould on eBay for just £5.99 and the Mini Lego Bricks baking moulds (which could be used for sugar paste, fondant icing, chocolate or fudge) for £2.99 on Amazon. 

2. Beautiful Woodland & Garden Bird Stickers

For children that love animals, birds and crafting, these beautiful woodland and garden bird vinyl stickers from Particle Press* (£5.50 per pack) will make such a lovely stocking filler. The detailed designs are so pretty and Arthur's little face lit up when I showed them to him. They can be stuck on anything you like and are easy to unstick and re-stick if you wish to move them. 

3. Personalised Christmas Bauble

If you are after a pre-Christmas gift or something to finish off your child's Christmas Eve box (if that's something you do) then why not pick up one of these beautiful personalised baubles from the Handmade Christmas Co.* The personalised baubles are available in a number of different designs and cost £15.00. Your bauble will arrive in a cardboard presentation box and is sure to be something your little one treasures for many Christmas Days to come.

4. Crazy Soap for Bath Time

Make bath time a little more exciting for children with this fantastic bath foam by Crazy Soap (£2.00)! The bath foam, which is available in blue, pink and white, can be moulded into whatever your child wishes. Let their imaginations run wild and encourage sensory play at bath time. The soap has a gentle formula and simply melts into the bath water once playtime is over. 

5. Personalised Children's Books

Books will always make fantastic stocking filler gifts for children but if you're looking for one with an extra special touch, why not pick up a personalised story from the likes of Wonderbly and Penwizard? Wonderbly has a range of beautifully illustrated stories, each of which can be tailored to your child in some way and are targeted at children age 0-4 and 4-8. One of Arthur's favourites is 'A Letter for the Littlest Bear', (£19.99) which I bought him last Christmas. The story is not only customised with Arthur's name but those of his family members and even features a personalised letter at the end.

Penwizard also has a fantastic range of personalised books for children*. If your child enjoys watching shows such as Paw Patrol and Blaze and the Monster Machines on Nickleodeon, then they're bound to love these books, which insert them right into the heart of their favourite stories. 

Christmas Stocking Fillers for Kids

I hope you've found my stocking filler gift guide for kids useful and that it's given you a little inspiration, if you are looking for something a little different to toys. Feel free to share any other ideas of a similar nature that you have in the comment section.

Megan x
*Gifted items
Post may contain affiliate links.

LEGOLAND - Better with a Q-BOT?

If you read my recent Legoland Windsor review, you'll know that as a family we had a fantastic day out. There were plenty of rides Arthur could go on with us and we really enjoyed some of the exhibitions too. What really made our family trip to Legoland a whole lot better was the fact we had a Q-BOT Ultimate. For those wondering what exactly a Q-BOT is, it's basically a queue jumping device that can be used on a lot of rides at Legoland, so you don't have to queue up.

As a full disclaimer, we DID NOT pay for our Q-BOT. Prior to our trip, we were kindly asked on Twitter if we would like our family trip to Legoland upgraded in some way, by the lovely team at Tesco Mobile, who were running a competition called #LittleLifeUpgrade. In the spirit of honesty, I told Tesco Mobile we had already been given complimentary tickets to the park in exchange for a blog review and after acknowledging this, they asked if there was any other way they could make our trip a little bit more special. Of course, as a parent to a wonderful but rather impatient toddler, I knew what would really help us get the most out of the park would be queue jumping tickets and that is exactly what Tesco Mobile booked for us - the Q-BOT Ultimate. I was over the moon!

Legoland offer three different levels of their Q-BOT queue jumping devices, each varying in price:
Q-BOT Regular (£25 per person): Allows you to reserve your ride time, so there's no need to stand in line. The device lets you know when it's time to go, so you can do other things while you're waiting.
Q-BOT Express (£40 per person): Book your chosen ride on your device and cut your waiting time in half. As with the Q-BOT regular you can do other things while you're waiting. There's no need to queue!
Q-BOT Ultimate (£90 per person): With the Q-BOT Ultimate you get near-instant access to your chosen ride. It doesn't matter if you're not located by the ride at the time, just head over when you're ready and you'll get on virtually as soon as you get there.

If your child is under 3, you will not need to pay for them to be on a Q-BOT device. Children under three can accompany adults on the Q-BOT, providing they meet the height and age restrictions for the chosen ride.

Is a Q-BOT worth the money?

As someone who didn't have to pay £180 for 2 adults to queue jump at Legoland, it's a hard question to answer. What I can say is that it really made our Legoland visit an extremely positive experience and I'm not convinced we'd have had as much fun if we'd had to queue, especially with an impatient toddler!

We visited LEGOLAND on a Saturday and the queue times for some of the rides were an hour or more, which is absolutely crazy! If we didn't have the Q-BOT Ultimate, we wouldn't have been able to go on half as many rides or see as much of the park as we did. Hats off to the parents that queued for that long. You are good people, let me tell you!

We discussed on the way home, whether if we decided to visit Legoland again in the future, we'd purchase Q-BOT tickets and we came to the conclusion that whilst expensive, it really did make our trip 10x better and yes, we would purchase queue jumps of some form next time. Having said this, we would be unlikely to purchase the Ultimate, as at £90 per person, it's a luxury that we (and I assume many other families) probably couldn't justify, on top of ticket prices. I suppose you have to weigh up whether it's worth paying more to have a better experience. In this case, I'd say it is.

Can Q-Bots be used on all the rides at Legoland?

On the Legoland website it says that the Q-BOT can be used on over 20 attractions including:
  • The Dragon Dragons Apprentice
  • Knights Quest
  • Pirate Falls
  • Spinning Spider
  • Viking River Splash
  • Thunder Blazer
  • Aero Nomad
  • Desert Chase
  • Mia's Riding Adventure
  • L-Drivers
  • Atlantis
  • Coastguard H.Q.
  • Driving School
  • Fire Academy
  • Balloon School
  • Fairy Tale Brook
  • Duplo Valley Airport
  • Raft Racers
  • Sky Rider
  • Jolly Rocker
  • Laser Raiders
  • LEGO® NINJAGO® the Ride
Obviously you do have to keep in mind that some of these rides have age and height restrictions, so you may not be able to take young toddlers on all of them. I have highlighted in bold the rides we took Arthur (over 0.9m in height but under 1m) on using the Q-BOT.

How does the Q-BOT actually work?
There are two options for the Q-BOT. You are either given a device that looks a bit like a Tamagotchi or you can go for Q-BOT Mobile (which I assume involves downloading an app but I'm not 100% sure). We chose to use the Q-BOT device and had to leave card details, as a £50 refundable deposit is required per rental. They load you onto the device and then you can simply select the ride you want and it'll tell you when it's your time to go on. Once you get to the Q-BOT entrance of the ride, the operator will hold their Q-BOT against your device to confirm entry and allow you to book your next ride (as only one ride can be booked at a time.)

You can purchase Q-BOT tickets online before you go to LEGOLAND and pick them up from the Q-BOT Office, which is located by the entrance. This is also where you return your Q-BOT at the end of the day so you don't get charged the £50 deposit.

Q-BOTs could be deemed unfair...
It's worth mentioning that not everyone is a fan of the Q-BOT - namely the people who haven't bought one and are having to queue for hours with their children for rides that are only a couple of minutes long. LEGOLAND Windsor tickets for the whole family can be expensive (though it is worth looking out for free passes and deals) and to then have to pay extra for a Q-BOT, may not be an option for everyone. I can see that it's somewhat unfair and therefore completely understand why people would be disgruntled by those who have paid to jump the queue.

But I'm so glad we had one!
Having said all this...and I'm going to sound so selfish here (for that I'm sorry) I didn't feel guilty on the day because I know we would have struggled with Arthur had we not jumped the queues! And really, I'm pretty sure most toddler parents would say the same. We were VERY VERY lucky to be offered the Little Life Upgrade from Tesco Mobile and so grateful to them for giving us a huge treat, we wouldn't have been able to afford ourselves. Thanks Tesco Mobile!

Have you purchased a Q-BOT at Legoland and do you think it made your visit better? Would you consider buying a Q-BOT if you're visiting Legoland soon? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!

Megan x
Disclaimer: We were kindly offered Q-BOT tickets as part of Tesco Mobile's #LittleLifeUpgrade Competition.

We Moved House!

Collaborative content. 
I'm back after nearly a month away from my blog and I have to say, I've really missed creating content for this little place! But as anyone who's moved house will know, it can be pretty all-consuming. Between packing up and cleaning the last property we were in and unpacking boxes, cleaning and making our new house a home, it's been pretty hectic!
I say 'new house' but actually the barn we've moved to is o-l-d! So old. And whilst I was initially worried we were going to be overrun by spiders or unable to cook a meal on the Rayburn, now that we're a little more settled, I can really appreciate it's beauty. Sure it's not perfect and hey, we won't be here forever (Josh, Arthur and I still have plans for our own place) but it's home for now and I truly love it.
The thing that made us fall in love with this house wasn't actually the barn itself but the outdoor space that we get with it. As well as a lovely garden, it has a small paddock, which is amazing! At the moment it's pretty overgrown and my dad and Josh have already started sorting it out but once it's done it'll be lovely for everyone - especially Arthur. If we stick a little Play Bark down around his new swing, slide and trampoline it'll look like he has his own park, which he'll love! The paddock is great for walking our dog, Oby, in too. I'll definitely share some pictures once it's finished but as you can see, at the moment it's a little on the wild side!
Speaking of wild (and wonderful), our gorgeous Arthur Daniel turned three at the end of the month and we had such a lovely celebration in our new home. We kept it simple, with good food and family time and it was everything I hoped it'd be for him. He was truly spoilt with lots of lovely gifts, including things for his new garden and the smile on his face said it all! Arthur was one very happy little boy.

Moving house isn't easy and rarely goes to plan but we're in, we're getting settled and we've already made some lovely memories. Here's to many more and the next chapter! 

Megan x
*Collaborative content.