OFFICIAL LAUNCH NEWS: Living Life Our Way Clothing Range 

Fantastic range of ethical and sustainable clothing designs. Including custom made t- shirts using child’s own drawing to create a unique peesonalised gift. All clothing is made from 100% organic cotton in a wind powered factory and printed using low waste cutting edge technology. Fully traceable from start to finish. Adult and kids t-shirts, hoodies and bags available. Stylish and sustainable, look great while protecting our planet! Chari-tees collection also supports various causes and charities by donating a set amount per sale. Look good, feel good, do good. Shop for our ethical, sustainable fashion eco clothing.

EXCITING NEWS!!! 

Squiggle and I are thrilled to announce that we have launched our very own sustainable and ethical clothing range!

Our Story

Squiggle loves designing her own clothes and has several tops that she has hand drawn herself using fabric pens. Being the mini entrepreneur she is, toward the end of last year, she asked if she could sell her clothing designs to other people too. However, we both agreed that we would need to ensure that our items would be eco- friendly and so our mission began to turn our ideas into reality…

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And now our goal has finally been realised! We have successfully sourced a manufacturer who almost perfectly aligns with our values – and we are so happy and excited to have found such an ideal match! All of our clothing is made from 100% organic cotton, in a wind powered factory. Designs are printed using low waste, cutting edge technology. Furthermore, everything is ethically made and fully traceable from start to finish. Sustainable, ethical and good quality too, we couldn’t be happier!

But that is just the beginning of the story…

Originally this started out as Squiggle sharing her own designs. However, inspired by my lovely friend Maxine and her fabulous My&Me Jewellery range, we decided to extend this to offer custom tees in your child’s own design. This makes a really unique and thoughtful personalised gift for a child – or even a special adult in their life!

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Chari-Tees

Inspired by Squiggle’s creativity and drive, and my desire to support causes I feel passionate about, I have designed a couple of products with particular charity campaigns in mind. For each of these sold, a set amount will be donated. Details are on the website under the item description. I intend to keep expanding this collection to help raise money for more fab charities!

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Other Collections

I have also created some general designs too. I often find myself getting creative as a way to relieve stress, so either when Squiggle is having a tough time with her complex needs, and/ or if there has been something major happen around the globe.

For example, my ‘Spread Love‘ design was inspired by an instagram post asking people to share photos of love in response to the Las Vegas tragedy. I try to focus on the love and kindness in the world, especially during difficult times, and my design is a reflection of that.

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Another love of mine is music, and I find live music very therapeutic. It is an important part of my life. Hence my ‘Live Music‘ hoodie design. Perfect for wearing to gigs! 

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Giveaway

To celebrate the launch of our clothing range, I have an awesome adult or child t- shirt to giveaway! Enter via rafflecopter below. Open worldwide. Ends 1st November 2017. Winner can choose from any design. Other T&Cs apply. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shop for clothing here. Thanks for your support!

CakeToppers – Personalised Cakes: Review and Giveaway

I think Caketoppers read my mind; just when I was busy organising Squiggle’s party and thinking about her birthday cake, they dropped me an email asking if I would like to review their personalised photo cupcakes. Since it’s her birthday, they kindly agreed to send me cake toppers for her birthday party cake as well as two cupcakes to sample too, which I really appreciate!

Caketoppers is based in Farnham, Surrey and offers a selection of personalised photo cupcakes, celebration cakes and toppers. You can use photos, logos or even drawings to personalise your choice of cake, so it makes it really unique. I chose my Living Life Our Way logo for the cupcakes. For the birthday cake toppers, I designed a picture on a photo app using some of Squiggle’s own drawings.

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The cupcakes and toppers arrived promptly and were well packaged. I don’t like to create so much waste with plastic packaging personally, but it certainly meant that everything arrived very fresh and in perfect condition.

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So firstly, the cupcakes. They are absolutely delicious! I literally dreamt about these cakes (yeah, yeah, I know). They were really moist and fluffy; they honestly tasted like they had just that second been made (by someone with far superior baking skills that my own!) Gorgeous. I would tell you what the rest of the family thought of them, but they wouldn’t know… they were way too good to share! I sampled one vanilla sponge and one chocolate; both were to the same yummy standard. I personally liked the vanilla sponge best but that is just my personal preference – both really were delicious!

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The cupcake samples, like my example above, can be purchased for £5 including delivery. A set of 6 cupcakes are £12.99 plus postage. There are also various other options, so check out the website for details.

As for the cake toppers, Squiggle loved the fact that her party cake was so unique and personal, decorated with her very own drawings. It meant so much to her! The cake toppers are easy to use; they came with detailed instructions but basically you just peel the back off then use icing to stick them on. They are ideal if you plan on baking a homemade cake but want a special finishing touch to decorate it with. Cake toppers cost from £7.45 for a round, square or rectangle edible photo topper.

I ended up buying a supermarket ‘decorate your own’ celebration cake for the topper, which was a tiny bit too small so doesn’t really do the topper justice. However, that is entirely my own fault and not a reflection of Caketoppers whatsoever! Squiggle didn’t notice at all though – as I said, she was delighted with her special cake! We all were infact, love it.

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Caketoppers do also sell the right size cakes to match the cake toppers so you can decorate it yourself, if you fancy a semi DIY job. A round or medium square undecorated cake is £20 and large square (10 inch) is £26. (Plus delivery charges). I’ll admit I would have much rather ordered her party cake from them too, especially after tasting those amazing cupcakes, but this didn’t quite manage to happen – despite the fact that they do also have a super speedy next day delivery option. Mummy fail. Oops! (Long story that I won’t bore you with but absolutely nothing to do with the company!)

Alternatively, you can purchase photo cakes with your own design printed on them, so the same concept as the cupcakes, only bigger. This is an easy, convenient option; and is the one that I am more than likely to opt for next time! These cost from £32.50 plus P&P for a medium 8 inch cake.

All in all, I would definitely recommend Caketoppers, we are really impressed with them. It is a shame that the same can’t be said of my cake- making or organising skills! 😉

Last but certainly not least, Caketoppers have kindly offered up for grabs a set of 6 yummy cupcakes, with the design of the winner’s choice. So enter my giveaway below for a chance to try these for yourself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to UK residents only. Ends 7th June 2017. Other T&Cs apply. 

*Disclosure: I was sent the cupcakes and toppers free for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My & Me Jewellery – Turning Children’s Artwork into Beautiful Silver Charms (Giveaway) 

My&Me Jewellery turns children’s artwork into beautiful items of silver jewellery to treasure forever. Founder, Maxine, got her inspiration from the creative doodles of her 6 year old daughter, after she came across a page of the young artist’s artwork in her jewellery sketchbook one day. Much to her little girl’s delight, she decided to make one into a pendant; and it got such a great response that the concept of My&Me Jewellery was born. 

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Squiggle’s seal character drawing made into a beautiful silver heart pendant.

Maxine works from a small studio in South Harrow. She also teaches classes and will soon be running workshops for parents to make their very own My&Me Jewellery with BaB courses. This practical workshop will be organised with the attendees convenience in mind; parents can bring babies, toddlers and home ed kids along with them and they will be entertained in the same room while parents can enjoy the workshop without the issue of childcare. Brilliant thinking! 

The range includes shaped silver charm pendants priced from £49 for a single charm to £124 for a pendant with four charms. Or opt for a disc shaped or heart shaped engraved single charm bracelet or necklace (£55). You can even save 20% off just by signing up to their email list. These lovely items of jewellery would make a fabulous gift or a wonderful treat for yourself!

For more information see the website:

www.myandmejewellery.com 

You can also find them over on facebook and instagram.

My&Me Jewellery is also offering the chance for one lucky reader to win an engraved silver heart or disc shaped single charm bracelet or pendant. Enter via rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition closes 12th May 2017. Open to UK residents only. Other T&Cs apply. 

Wicked Uncle Review – Fun Gift Ideas For Kids (STEM Toys)

Wicked Uncle is a cool website that specialises in awesome gifts for kids. More than that, it is set up to make it easy for anyone to be able to choose a brilliant suitable present – even if they don’t know the child very well. It is also great if you are simply stuck for good ideas and need some inspiration. 

I was given the opportunity to review their website; they gave me a voucher code and my brief was to choose products with a focus on science and engineering. (Ideal as Squiggle loves STEM toys!) This is the first time I have shopped on their website and I found it super easy to use. I also tried to consider how simple it would be if I was buying for someone I don’t know at all, and I can totally imagine it would be straightforward and take the stress out of it! 

The website allows you to select gender, specific age and categories (such as outdoors, sensory, engineering, creative and various others). Or you can browse all options within any of these sections. I admit I am not a fan of organising toys by gender but I do understand that some customers might want to ‘play it safe’ and find this function useful. Plus there is a good selection in both the boys and girls sections; the range is not divided up in a way that is too stereotypical thankfully. And of course you can just choose ‘all’ for this instead if you prefer to be gender neutral, like us! 

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Given I was looking for engineering toys specifically, I selected that category and looked up the appropriate age range (in this case, 8 – 11 years old). I could then search the products by price or popularity. I have to say, there is an excellent selection of items; including some really unique ideas!

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I spent ages browsing the website and was really impressed. There were lots of items that I wouldn’t have thought of myself and have never spotted them anywhere else before. I also came across lots of great gift ideas for other people while I was browsing, lots of inspiration for future occasions! I eventually decided on the Salt Water Engine Car (£15.95) and Tin Can Cable Car (£14.95) plus I couldn’t resist throwing in the funky Mood Cube (£5.50) too.

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Ordering is easy, and there are options such as gift wrap and choosing a card (at a small extra cost) should you require it. Once ordered, delivery is quite quick; my parcel arrived within a few days. It also comes with a cute (and funny!) thank you card for the gift, which is a nice little touch.

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I chose these particular two items because from the descriptions I could tell that they would be fun, educational toys that Squiggle would really enjoy. I also like the eco- friendly nature of them too; I value toys and activities that emphasise the importance of being environmentally conscious.

I knew Squiggle would find it interesting that the car runs from salt water and this can also lead onto further discussion about clean energy (which is something we have already talked about alot before, but it is still a good reminder!) There were more pieces than I expected, but that’s great as it means the activity actually lasts more than five minutes! It is lovely that we can properly get into it together. 

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I like the tin can cable car activity because it reinforces the concept of reusing and upcycling. I also knew that Squiggle would let her creative side take over and use this as a zip wire for her smaller toys – as this is something she was already trying to design by herself in the garden anyway! Her previous attempts at improvising were fantastic, but this kit is ideal!

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In summary, I am very impressed with the website and will definitely be using it to buy gifts again in the future! It is absolutely brilliant for coming up with unique gift ideas. It also comes highly recommended by others too – it is an award winning service infact; rated 99 out of 100, based on many reviews. Well done, Wicked Uncle!

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*Disclosure: I was given a voucher code so I could shop on Wicked Uncle website for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Name A Star: Review and Giveaway 

Do you get stuck with gift ideas? If you are anything like me, the answer is probably yes! I love thoughtful presents; something handmade, personal or unique in some way. But sometimes it can be difficult to come up with something that really fits the bill. So when I found about naming your very own star, I was excited to discover such a fab gift idea! It is ideal for the person who has everything (I bet they don’t have their very own star!), anyone with an interest in stargazing or who loves the outdoors in general, or for someone who just likes something that bit different! 

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Star Name Registry is the UK’s number one online registry company who offers this unique gift. There are a variety of packages to choose from, with prices ranging from £14.99 for a standard star to £69.99 for a binary star gift set, as well as several other options inbetween. Their gift set version of each package comes with a framed certficate beautifully presented in a silver box, whereas the regular version comes in an envelope. If you need it in a hurry, you can choose to have it sent via email for an extra £4.99 (sent within 12 hours of order received) or £6.99 for next day delivery (paper version). Gift sets can also be sent via next day special delivery for £8.49. So handy to remember as a last minute present too!

I was sent an extra bright star gift set to review. This lovely set includes my very own star, which I not only got to name but was also able to choose which constellation I wanted it in too, an explanation of the star, free download of software, map and framed certificate in a gorgeous silver box. It does make a really unusual and very lovely gift.

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I took quite sometime trying to decide on the name of my star and considered a couple of different options; for example, I thought about naming it after my daughter, or even her nickname ‘Squiggle’. But then I came up with the perfect idea: I chose our family name, because then the star represents all of us together. Wherever any of us are, we can look up at the night sky and see our star, and know we are together. It even includes our furbabies! Perfect.

If you would like the chance to win your own star naming, enter my rafflecopter giveaway below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition closes 10th April 2017. Open to UK residents only. Winner will be able to name their star and will receive Bright Star Naming certificate (enveloped version). Other T&Cs apply.

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*Disclosure: I was gifted the Extra Bright Star free for the purpose of this review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sustainable Gift Ideas

Are you still looking for last minute gift ideas? Do you want to find a gift with a difference? Then why not choose something that gives back to our planet! Here is a list of great eco-friendly items to fill your (bamboo) stockings with…

Bamboo Coffee Cup Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) £12 each

This awesome 400 ml reusable bamboo coffee cup is dishwasher-safe, easy to carry around and lasts for years. It can be disposed of by crushing, soaking in hot water and burying with organic compost. The silicone lid and sleeve can be recycled.

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Annual Membership The Wildlife Trusts

The Wildlife Trusts do fantastic work, and annual membership is a great gift for eco-friendly nature lovers.

Homemade Soap Second nature Soaps £12.95 

These homemade soaps are made using natural ingredients sourced locally wherever possible, and use biodegradeable recyclable packaging. Or have a go at making your own DIY handmade soaps to give as beautiful gifts!

 

More Stocking Fillers:

Do you have sustainable gift ideas? Please share them with me! I’d love to hear them.

This post contains affiliate links.

BritMums and Penguin Random House Children’s Books Christmas Present Challenge #StoriesForLife

We were delighted to be selected to receive three lovely books from Britmums and Penguin Random House Children’s Books as part of their Christmas Present Challenge. Stories are such an important part of childhood, and really do last a lifetime! Squiggle has the most wonderful imagination and expresses her creativity in so many ways, this includes spending alot of time making her own books and writing her own stories. I can actually picture her stories in print one day! 

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Girl Online: Going Solo  Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella) This is the third book in this bestselling series about the adventures of a 15 year old blogger. I think this novel would be great for pre-teens and teens, especially those who are interested in the world of online celebrities. In this story, Penny is busy helping others and making new friends, while tackling some boy dramas too. I will gift this to one of Squiggle’s slightly older home ed friends, who I know loves these types of stories. 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down Jeff Kinney This is book number 11 in this whopping and hugely popular series, that continues the adventures of Greg Heffley. Can he get his mom off his back by making a film or will he be in yet more trouble? I will gift this book to the awesome Chloe (child YouTuber) because I know she is a big fan of this series and is hoping to read this one soon!

The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t GallopClare Balding This is described as a heartwarming story with a girl-power message. This book sounds like it would be well-received by any animal or horse lover and I’d be tempted to keep it for ourselves (as is the case for any of them!) but I am going to give it to a fantastic local charity where donations such as this are gifted directly to someone suitable who is less fortunate this Christmas. I chose this one in particular because of its uplifting and inspiring message. 

As a younger child, I absolutely loved classics such as The Hungry Caterpillar and other Eric Carle stories, We’re Going on a Bearhunt and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, which I have since passed down to Squiggle. At her age now, or perhaps abit older, I was into The Secret Garden, The Famous Five and anything by Roald Dahl. My favourite pre-teen/ teen stories were anything about pets, Judy Blume books and the Point Horror series. There are so many fabulous stories, I had better stop now though before this turns into a very long post! #StoriesForLife

Disclosure: I was kindly gifted three books in exchange for this post. Opinions my own. 

Sylvanian Families Gift Ideas (with Exclusive Discount Code)

It’s certainly no secret that Squiggle adores Sylvanian Families. They are a timeless collection with wholesome values and are well loved by a wide range of ages. And they are so cute. What’s not to love?! There are so many different families, buildings, accessories and sets, plus new additions added regularly too, so even the most avid Sylvanian collector will be able to find plenty of things for their wish list!

As a little thank you and Merry Christmas gift to my readers, I have teamed up with Sylvanian Storekeepers to offer a 10% discount on your first order. Simply visit the Sylvanian Storekeepers online store via my link and enter the exclusive discount code CS10 at the checkout. (For the coupon to work, you need to create an account, and be logged in. Code is valid for one use per customer). You’re welcome!

And to get you started, here are some gift ideas for the Sylvanian Families fans in your life…

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Stocking Fillers (items under a tenner)

Baby Carry Case – These little carry cases each come with a baby and accessories. At £5.99 each they make lovely stocking fillers.

Housekeeping Set – This is new to 2016 and is great addition to any collection, regardless of whether or not they own the Grand Hotel. After all, houses need cleaning too! R.R.P £9.99

Vegetable Garden Set – We can grow our own vegetables in Sylvania as well as our real-life garden with this fun veg garden set. Retails at just £7.99.

Canoe Set – This canoe set (£7.99) is great for anyone wanting to practise their imaginary water sports!

Individual Figures – Collectors will love these vintage/ special edition (often rare!) individual figures. Cost approx £5.99 upwards.

 

For your chance to win a Berry Grove Cheerleader Rabbit figure, enter my Rafflecopter competition at the bottom of this post! (Please note this giveaway is not affiliated with Sylvanian Storekeepers and the prize item is not currently sold in store)


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Gifts Under £20

Sylvanian Families – With so many to choose from, chances are there will be plenty of new families to add to even the biggest collection. This Robinson Red Panda Family (£16.99) is on Squiggle’s wish list, amongst others!

Starter Home Collection – This would make a particularly great gift for anyone just starting out. R.R.P £19.99

Saloon Car – The family car also includes a picnic set, tray tables and a baby seat. Retails at £19.99

Seaside Treasure Set – An exciting treasure set that is great for little ocean lovers or those with an adventurous mind. Costs £13.99

Chocolate Rabbit Sister with Study – I love the little accessories that come with this cute educational set, especially the globe! Usual price £14.99

Juice Bar – Squiggle has her eye on this healthy juice bar (£14.99) so that her Sylvanian Families can be like mummy!

Sports Day – This sports day set comes with lots of fun accessories to do various races and games. R.R.P £16.99

Winter Sports Accessories – Sylvanian Families can go skiing or do some ice skating with this winter set. Retails at £12.99

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Gift Sets – If you are looking for ‘larger’ present ideas that are great value for money, it is well worth looking at the bundle deals on offer. For example, the Beechwood Hall Gift Set comes with two working lights, desk, table with four chairs, piano, oven, kitchen sink unit and two squirrel figures. Or check out the Supermarket Gift Set (£49.99) that comes with over 100 items, including a toy wagon and crepe shop, plus two figures. Many of the gift sets are limited edition so check the website for the latest offers.

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Competition Time
For your chance to win a super cute Berry Grove Cheerleader Rabbit figure, simply enter my rafflecopter giveaway here…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition ends 13th December 2016. 

Terms & Conditions:

• All information detailing how to enter the giveaway forms part of these terms and conditions.

• This prize sweepstake begins at midnight on 5th December 2016 and closes at 11.59pm on 13th December 2016.

• Enter via Rafflecopter widget embedded in this blog post. This is the only way to enter into the sweepstake.

• One prize winner will be drawn at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries received when competition ends.

• The winner will be contacted using details provided within 48hrs of the competition closing. If the winner does not respond within 5 days the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be drawn.

• The winner will receive one individual Sylvanian Families Berry Grove Cheerleader Rabbit figure (unboxed). 

• The prize will be posted within 10 days of receiving the address. Please bare in mind delivery times may vary, especially over the Christmas period.

• Prize is strictly non-transferable and cash alternative will be offered.

• Open to UK residents only.

• This promotion, and the prize offered, is organised by Living Life Our Way and is not affiliated with Sylvanian Families, Sylvanian Storekeepers, Epoch, Facebook or twitter. They are in no way responsible or accountable for this giveaway.

• Living Life Our Way may vary or amend the promotion if absolutely needed, for reasons beyond their control. The entrant agrees to absolve any liability to the Promoter in such circumstances.

• Whilst the Promoter will take every due care to ensure the prize is delivered as expected and do their upmost to resolve any issue in the unlikely event it should occur, the Promoter will not be held responsibility for anything beyond reasonable control.

• English law applies and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts shall prevail.

• Entry into the giveaway will be deemed as acceptance of T&Cs.

 

GOOD LUCK!