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
*PR Item
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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

Parka

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
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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.
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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
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