Monday, 21 December 2015

December 2015 Haul





Merry Christmas everyone!  Hope you all have a wonderful celebration with your family and friends.

Anyway, we all know that December is probably the biggest shopping month of the year whether we like it or not.  So yep, as the title suggests, this is about some of the bits and pieces that my husband and I bought these last few weeks.  I'm not one for spending big so I always do my research online about where I can get the best prices and of course, I never forget to check out Lidl and Home Bargains because when they have what I want or need to buy, they usually have the best deals.  So it is not a surprise that we got these things from Lidl, Home Bargains and Amazon.  Here's the video of my December Haul! :)







A Bit Of Everything

Sunday, 29 November 2015

"Christmas" Song


After creating my original nursery rhyme which you can find here, I thought why not come up with an original Christmas song as well (since the holidays have already started)!  Again, I only used my laptop microphone and smartphone app for the musical accompaniment so the sound is by no means professional but I still hope that it will bring the Christmas spirit to anyone who listens to it.  Here's the video and you will find the lyrics transcribed below.





Christmas


Let's decorate, light up the Christmas tree
Make time to spend the day with family
This season comes around
Warm embraces, wraparound
Let's celebrate together this day

Everybody smile from ear to ear
As greetings come and go, far and near
This season comes around
Christmas carols make a sound
Let's celebrate this joyous day

Chorus:
Christmas 2x
A very merry Christmas
Chri-----stmas
Christmas 2x
A very merry Christmas
Chri-----stmas

It's time to share again some love and cheer
Coz sometimes we forget this through the year
This season comes around
So hope again is found
It's truly a wondrous day

Chorus

Bridge:
C H R I S T M A S (2x)

Chorus

Merry Christmas!



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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

K's Mum Poem #6: Winter



The days are short and nights are long.
Put on your coat, it's freezing cold.
The ground is white and covered in snow
Time to make a snowman
from snow balls, big and small.

Inside we go for some hot cocoa
To rid of the cold from head to toe.
By the fire, snuggle and cuddle
keeping warm under the throw.
Storytelling with crackling fire,
moment at its best to remember forever.

On Christmas Eve before going to bed
leave some treats, somebody needs fed.
Sliding down chimneys is a lot of work.
Delivering gifts all over the world.
When morning comes under the tree
well deserved presents for you will be.


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Our Stay at The Cuan Guesthouse Hotel




A couple of months ago, we went to Strangford in Co Down for a short visit just to have a bit of relaxation and different scenery.  When I was looking for a hotel to stay in, there were two choices that stood out but after some online research, I decided to go for The Cuan.

Having read good reviews and seeing some online photos (plus the affordable price) made it easy to make the decision to stay at The Cuan, but actually experiencing it there confirmed that we made the right decision.  From the moment that I sent them an email to make an inquiry, I have felt how very accommodating they are and responded very quickly to any inquiries or concerns that we had.  And true enough, when we arrived, we were pleasantly pleased at how very welcoming they are and made us feel right at home.  They made an effort to remember our names and always took the time to have a small chat when they see us to ensure that we have everything that we needed.  We really like this personal touch at how they treat their guests.


The Cuan is a family owned and run hotel in the beautiful conservation village of Strangford.  It was a sunny autumn day when we arrived there and the view of the Strangford Lough, which was just a few steps away from the hotel, was just beautiful.  The area is a nice, quiet little village and if you have a car, you can park outside at the front of the hotel or at their designated parking area.

We stayed in one of their twin rooms which had a simple and clean layout with one single bed and one double bed and ensuite bathroom.  It has all the basic and necessary facilities that you would expect in a hotel room including Wi-Fi connection.

We booked a bed and breakfast stay and I have to say that the breakfast part is one of the things that we looked forward to.  Again, they have that personal touch where when you go down to the restaurant, they are already expecting you and have your table ready and waiting.  They would have a table spread of food selections that you might want to have while the breakfast of your choice is being freshly made.

We also had dinner at their cozy restaurant and the seafood chowder and scampi quickly became our favourites.

We only stayed there for a couple of nights but it was definitely a great experience and will definitely stay there again when we go back to Strangford.


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Monday, 16 November 2015

My First Original Nursery Rhyme: Animal Parade


As I was thinking of what to do next for our K's Toys video while organizing my toddler's toys (for the nth time), I found her animal finger puppets (which we got from Amazon) and remembered how she loves to sing along nursery rhymes.  So that day, as I had a chance to sit down and write a bit of my "practice poems" that I do, I thought why not write a poem or a rhyme based on her animal finger puppets!

It was so much fun because I got to be more silly in the writing without worrying too much about each line being too realistic in meaning.  I was not planning on adding a melody to it initially because I knew that I do not have the proper equipment to record a nice sounding song but, as I wrote away, I ended up hearing a melody in my head anyway so I just went with it.

I will have to admit that I wish I could have created a better sounding song for the video but because I only have my laptop microphone and a piano app on my smartphone to put the song together (plus the fact that I am not a trained musician), I still feel great for coming up with a nursery rhyme that I can call my own and that my toddler likes singing along to.  You can watch the video if you're interested to hear the nursery rhyme and to see the finger puppets that it's based on.  Do read on for the transcription of the Animal Parade. :)




Animal Parade

Watch the parade of our animal friends,
Count them all from one to ten.
Here they are, let's say hello,
Wave and cheer as they come and go.

One and two, a hippo so blue,
And there's a cow and she goes moo!
Three and four, a panda snores,
And there's a mouse with a nose so sore!

Five and six, a doggie does tricks,
And there's a bear that plays with sticks.
Seven and eight, a hopping white rabbit,
And there's a frog and he goes ribbit!

Nine and ten, a duck quacks again,
And there's an elephant that writes with a pen,
The time has come for the show to end.
Let's say goodbye to our animal friends!


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Monday, 9 November 2015

Early Christmas Mini Haul at Lidl



Hi everyone, I know it's still too early for Christmas but, everywhere you go now, Christmas is definitely already in the air.  I actually don't mind it coz I love Christmas and I like the positive vibe that I get from it so for me, the longer it's celebrated the better... but that's just me.  As the title suggests, I got a few Christmas items from Lidl and you can watch my YouTube video here or just read on. :)



We were at Lidl just a couple of weeks back, before Halloween, and I found some delicious and cute Christmas goodies that I could not resist getting.

Melinera Large Chocolate Scented Candle in a Glass
The first one is this chocolate scented candle which I love.  I love chocolate and just having this smell around the house gives me that warm fussy feeling even though the weather is already getting colder.  For me the smell is just right - not too strong and not too weak - just that sort of smell as if you have something chocolaty baking in the oven.  I got 2 of these and each costs £1.99.


Favorina Mini Marzipan & Butter Stollen
Next is this pack of Mini Marzipan and Butter Stollen which is also priced at £1.99.  Not many people I know do, but I like marzipan a lot.  This mini stollen is really good and is not too heavy to eat, perfect for that tea time.


Favorina Elisen - Minis Finest Nuremberg Gingerbread
Another for tea time is this pack of mini gingerbread.  This is also priced at £1.99 and they're pretty good too.  I'm not really into gingerbread but I don't mind this one.


Favorina Marzipan Fruits 40% Almonds
Like I said before, I like marzipan especially towards Christmas so I got 2 packs of these Marzipan fruits.  They are sold for £1.29 per pack.  Apart from being marzipans, I like the fruit shapes and I think they are very decorative for that extra flair on the dining table.


And of course, I got some mini Christmas decorations as well.  They are all made of thin wood and costs £1.29 each.

Melinera House and Santa Christmas Decoration
Like this one is a house with Santa Claus in different poses in each window.  I might hang it on the wall or on the door.


Melinera Santa Claus and Snowman Christmas Tree Ornaments
These are Christmas tree ornaments but I guess you can hang them anywhere you like as well.
They look like a classic Santa Claus and snowman kind of design to me which I really like.


Melinera Bird and Heart Christmas Decorations
Here's another pair of hanging ornaments. Birds with Santa hats and there's a heart underneath with a Christmas sack and a Christmas tree on the other one with a small golden bell.


Melinera Christmas Bear Pegs
And lastly, these Christmas bear pegs which I really like.  There are 6 pegs in one pack that are of 2 different designs.  I got 2 packs coz I really like them and I think they will be great for hanging on display those beautiful Christmas cards.


Have you bought any Christmas items yet for this year?



=====================
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Friday, 30 October 2015

Our Halloween at Home

It's Halloween tomorrow so Happy Halloween!  Do you guys have anything special planned out?  We don't have anything major going on for the holiday but since our little one is already understanding pretty much everything that's going on around her, I wanted to make sure that we do something at home that she will enjoy and at the same time teach her how Halloween is celebrated.  I also created a vlog about this so please check it out for the visuals. :)



Of course the first thing on the list is the costume.  She doesn't demand yet in terms of dressing up like her favourite characters so it can be anything at this point.  So since she received a Tinkerbell costume a few months ago that was too big for her at the time, it is great timing that she is finally going to be able to wear it tomorrow now that it finally fits her.  I've kept it hidden away in her closet so she has not seen it for quite some time so I'm sure it will be very exciting for her.

I'm not really a big fan of giving her too many sweets even for Halloween so I thought it would be a good idea to come up with something that will replace the traditional Trick or Treat that we can also do at home (especially in case it rains).  Instead of giving her lots of candies, I've decided to get her a couple of new toys that I can put inside balloons.  I will also put in the mix some of her own toys that she really likes to add to the fun and a few chocolate coins (which is all the sweets she's getting).  Popping the balloons would either reveal a trick or a treat, at least that's the idea, and she will also have a plastic pumpkin bucket to collect her surprises.

Like I said it's nothing fancy but it will be fun for her and because it is not the kind of thing that we would do everyday, it will give her an understanding that there are special days when people celebrate and do special things.


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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

K's Mum Poem #5: Trick or Treat!

As part of my own way of keeping in touch with creative writing, I try to write short poems or rhymes before going to bed.  Since it's nearly Halloween, of course I had to write one about it and I even featured it in my latest K's Toys video which you can also watch below. :)  Hope you enjoy!




The darkness of the night
Broken by the moonlight
Shadows on the pavement
Shapes and forms in movement.

Squeals, laughter and chatter
Visiting doors in every corner
Knock knock knock from little hands
A monster, or fairy from Neverland?

Tutu skirt, bewitching hat
Ghostly sack, a hero bat
Scary mask, princess gown
Not one face shows a frown

Candy-filled buckets await
Hopeful that it's not too late
Eager for more tasty sweets
What will it be, trick or treat?




=====================
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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Recent Favourites: Skin & Hair Products



It is not easy for me to change skin and hair products because I have a tendency to breakout easily.  This is why I always stick to the same products that I know work for me.  But sometimes, there are circumstances that would leave me no choice but to move on to a new one just like when I moved here to the UK.  Unfortunately, the products that I have been using for years are not available in the UK market so I had to try and find new products that will do their job without aggravating my sensitive skin.  It was definitely not easy and has taken me quite some time but I think I have finally found my new favourites.  I talked about them in the following video so I am not going to ramble on about the same things here but I will list them down and give the basic information found on the containers.  They are not new in the market or anything but I have never tried them before until recently and... I really love them.

* Clean & Clear Deep Cleansing Lotion for Sensitive Skin - oil-fighting formula cleanses effectively to help prevent spots.

* St. Ives Naturally Clear Blemish Fighting Apricot Scrub for oily/blemish prone skin - effectively lifts away surface oils and dirt that can lead to blackheads and blemishes.  Oil free, with salicylic acid and 100% natural exfoliants.

* Olay Double Action Moisturiser Day Cream and Primer for Sensitive Skin - For softer, smoother, more beautiful healthy looking skin.  Provides lightweight all-day hydration and moisture lock protection. Its non-greasy formula makes it an ideal base for make-up.

*Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deep Conditioner for damaged hair - with Australian Balm Mint extract, smoothes split ends and roughened cuticles. It helps transform dry, damaged hair into manageable and shiny locks in just 3 minutes.

Do you have any favourites recently?

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Saturday, 10 October 2015

K's Toys Review #1: Little Princess Dolls' House and Accessories


We were not planning on buying a big dolls' house yet for our 2 year old mainly because we all know that dolls' houses alone can be very pricey.  On top of that, the accessories that go in it can also be quite expensive.  Although I really wanted to get one because it is a good way to encourage role-playing, I decided to hold back until maybe Christmas.

BUT, about a month or so ago, while we were at Home Bargains I saw this Little Princess Dolls House.  It was only sold for £14.99 yet it is quite a big one at over 1 metre tall.  Most dolls' houses this size would cost at least around £50 so for the price alone, I knew I had to get it.  Although it is not made of wood, in fact it is made of fabric and lightweight materials, it is still quite sturdy and good quality. The fact the it is easily assembled for use and folded flat for storage is a major plus too especially if you do not have that much space at home.  It does not come with any furniture or dolls but the illustrations are beautiful and detailed which makes it really attractive.

You can check out this video to see what the dolls' house looks like.

After getting the dolls' house I started looking for furniture that can go in it.  There are so many beautiful ones that you can find online however, a lot of them are very pricey as most are sold per piece or per room set.  I was also looking for big ones to match the scale of the dolls' house however, I found out that those are even more expensive and harder to find.

So I finally decided to just get the most common scale size which is a bit smaller than what's most appropriate for the house but still big enough for toddlers to play with.  I was going to get a starter set from ebay or Amazon that costs around £25.  Fortunately, I saw this Wooden Dolls House Accessories on Asda's website for only £15.  It comes with 16 starter furniture pieces that can go to the different rooms of the house plus 4 dolls.


When they arrived, they came well packed and the pieces are well made.  The colours are very nice and as seen on the box and the drawers and doors are also movable which is great.

Check out this video to see what the furniture set looks like.

All in all I am very happy with this toy set.  A lovely dolls' house with furniture/accessories for just under £30.  More importantly, our LO loves it!





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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

K's Mum Poem #4: Tantrums



At times I don't know what it is
And I don't know what I want
Fact of the matter is
How I feel, I do not want.

At smallest things, I get upset
When certain things have not been met.
Most times my pride gets in the way
And makes things worse to my dismay.

Sometimes I do know what it is
And I do know what I want
Fact of the matter is
How I feel shows what I want.

I say "yes", but you say "no."
How to deal, I do not know.
I've no patience but you have so.
Until I've calmed, don't let me go.

Soon I'll have control over this
And tell what's right from what I want.
The fact of the matter is
These tantrums, I do not want.



***This is my original composition.


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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

K's Mum Poem #3: Autumn



Falling, falling, falling
Golden leaves are falling
Soon the trees will be bare
with no more leaves to spare.

The air is getting colder
and days are getting shorter.
Time to wear that sweater,
again we need the heater.

The kids go back to school
learning things to be no fools.
Buses full and traffic jams,
Raincovers seen on many prams.

The clocks once again go back
for an hour we are cut some slack.
Trick or treat in fancy costumes
very soon after, Christmas then assumes.


***This is my original composition.


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Tuesday, 22 September 2015

K's Mum Poem #2: M-O-NEY

M to the O to the N - E - Y
We all need it for things to buy
Food, clothing, shelter too
Basic or lavish, old or new.


M to the O to the N - E - Y
It touches your hand then says goodbye
You work to earn it but not to keep
An exchange for that thing you wish to reap.


M to the O to the N - E - Y
Some have lots, others none to get by.
The world revolves around money
But makes it round not for many.


M to the O to the N - E - Y
Tell me money, why oh why
People seek you for temporary glee
When true happiness comes for free?



***This is my original composition.
***This poem can also be found here: http://amumzlife.tumblr.com/post/129506928424/ks-mum-poem-2-m-o-ney


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K's Mum Poem #1: Spark

Where is that spark?
I used to glow as bright as can be
Without effort or trying
That was just the real me.

Perhaps when you're young
Nothing really matters.
Free as a bird to do what not
Effortlessly, all just gets better.

That sense of freedom from worry
Lets you focus on your goals.
The innocence of most troubles
Sees everything from a positive soul.

A grown up, more aware of the world
Reality has clouded my imagination.
I look confident, yet I'm not.
Determined, but lacks motivation.

Now I have come to a decision
It's time to stop sitting in the dark.
I got confused in this imperfect world
But found a tinder to reignite my spark.

This spark is ready to shine again
and glow as bright as can be.
Combining effort and great inspirations
comes out the new and better me.



***This is my original composition.
***This poem can also be found here: http://amumzlife.tumblr.com/post/129203356979/ks-mum-poem-1-spark


===============
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The Twinkle Diaries