Let’s start promoting!

When I was preparing for my recent trip to London to go to Brit Mums Live 17 it suddenly struck me that I didn’t have any publicity material.

I started seeing my fellow bloggers showing their bright spangly business cards on their tweets. People were really prepared and I felt a bit left behind in the promotion stakes. So I thought, let’s start promoting!

I have had it in the back of my mind for a while now that I would like to start having some material or products with my logo on it. I’d love to see my brand displayed on clothes or bags, it would be so cool. When I first designed my logo I was just beginning and it seems like a long time ago.

So I got to it and thought about what I’d like. First up was some business cards. I designed these on my computer and chose the wording with the aim in my head that it was a welcome card to come see my blog.

let's start promoting
My home made business blog cards!

Does it work? I’m not sure but I do know that the understated look works for me. I still won’t have my picture on it but it still represents me in a way that I’m happy with.

I also used Bags of Love who make beautiful personalised gifts with photos of your own designs. They have just about everything you could want to have your photo printed on from personalised suitcases to hot water bottles. Their photo gifts are very impressive.

let's start promoting

Everything is handmade in the UK, built to last and sent out nice and quickly. If you are impatient like me then it’s great!

The bag is perfect for me, it’s very stylish and has loads of room for all kinds of shopping or work material I may have.

It’s also got little pockets on the inside for money and things I need to get to in a hurry! I spend far too long scrabbling around in the bottom of my bags for my car keys so this is a real plus for me.

let's start promoting
I chose pale blue on the sides to compliment my blog logo

So I think I’m just about set for the moment. I like the idea of having some really nice looking journal, so I think that will be my next project.

Can you think of anything else that I could use as promotional pieces?

What’s the quirkiest thing you’ve seen?

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I was gifted the bag for the purpose of reviewing the service. The cards I made myself! It all came together at the right time!

Club Hub UK – App Review

There’s a great new app on the scene! Club Hub UK. This has really caught my attention! I heard recently from Tessa Robinson, the creator who quite rightly, had worked really hard around the launch date with getting the news of her app out there to let us all know that we could make use of it.

The app is designed to make finding activities easier…Ok that’s good enough for me already!:)

Club Hub UK - App Review

But let me tell you more….

The app is designed to locate children’s clubs and activities around the U.K. It caters for children from newborns up to 18 years old.

Tessas background is in acting and she started a children’s musical theatre group. She started teaching children after school, and enjoyed sharing her knowledge in everything she could in terms of acting, singing and dancing.

During this time her idea was forming which has now become ‘Club Hub UK’. Tessa thought that there should be a way that she could promote her after school club to all the parents in her local area. She then thought about creating an app where people could locate all the children’s clubs in their area too – a simple app where parents could input their child’s age and interests, and the search results would list local clubs and their details.

Club Hub UK - App Review

Tessa really pushed her idea forward and came second with Club Hub UK in the #InSport competition with Ideas Britain. An app where people are able to show their ideas to the world. That too is very much worth checking out if you need coaches to assist in your app ideas.

Ella Harding is the graphic designer and I really love the drawings she has created for the site.

The app and website is free and listings are free too! You couldn’t want more as a resource. If you are looking for a club to promote your activity, check out the club owner section.

I think this is an app that is well worth keeping an eye out for, it could be one of those that you start seeing everywhere and it comes to be a go-to app at the weekend! Well done Tessa!

Here are all the contact details below:

Website: www.clubhubuk.co.uk

Twitter: @clubhubuk 

Facebook: Club Hub UK

What do you think, is this an app that you’d think of downloading? You can download on the App Store here or Google Play here

I am one of the supporters for this app because I really believe in the great idea and the hard work behind it.

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Getting Choppy with Red Candy 

I am very pleased with my new chopping boards and am delighted to be able to show them to you today. Finally I’ve got something very classy that makes me look like a pro cook. I don’t know about you but I love to be in my kitchen trying out new recipes and more and more I like to have good quality but also funky accessories around me. I was nearly jumping for joy when my Joseph Joseph Chopping Board set arrived. At last I could finally throw away my old wooden one that was warped and leaving little bits of wood on the knife every time I cut anything up, surely not a good sign! My other old plastic one that I had hanging around had managed to get bent out of shape and had seen better days.

I've had a blast of colour with my new kitchen accessories.

This set is great because they are easily identifiable in what they are to be used for. The set comes from Red Candy which sells wonderfully stylish bright homewear.

I've had a blast of colour with my new kitchen accessories.

Red Candy was launched in 2009, as the world’s first red-only website. Back then every product they stocked, from clocks & colanders, to mugs & magazine racks, was red! I spent so long having a look on the site I’m sure that I could have redesigned my house about 5 times over – I loved it.


I've had a blast of colour with my new kitchen accessories.

‘Shut up, beige!’ is their battle cry against everything bland. You will definitely see that is true if you visit their website. At the moment there is a really good sale of up to 70% off so you can get loads of pressies and gifts for yourself.

I've had a blast of colour with my new kitchen accessories.

I’m going to take every opportunity to show off my lovely boards. Below you can even see them with one of my home-grown cucumbers. You’ll see more of my gardening escapades in future posts. Remember the runner beans vlog from last year? It still makes me smile to see Little G doing his presenting.

These boards all have a little extra to them depending on what their function is; the veg one has a little lip all the way round to collect juices for either putting into your dish or it stops it running over onto your work surface. the fish one had a little gripper which stops a slippery fish moving around and helping to cut safer.

I've had a blast of colour with my new kitchen accessories.

Have a little look and see, I’m going to stock up and get a bit of early christmas shopping done, ever the thrifty mum!

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Disclaimer: I was given a set of chopping boards to review for this post. All thoughts are my own and I must say once again that they are great:)

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Free Pallet Patio Garden

Easy Step by Step Guide

Fancy growing your own fruit and veg? I thought the same and am now managing just that! Here’s how to build your own free pallet patio garden.

Last year I had a new patio and it’s a great area to sit out in as it captures a lot of sun.  The boys use our garden to play football and I learnt the hard way that football and plant borders don’t mix well! I actually get upset when I see the ball thud into the plants and race over to see whats happened. The boys then scurry away waiting to see if yet another tomato plant has bitten the dust.

So when the patio was laid I started thinking of ways that I could enjoy growing some fruit and vegetables on the patio.

I wanted a way to use recycled products and make something that really made the most of the small compact space we had.

Here’s a step by step guide to how I made this brilliant pallet patio garden out of mainly recycled bits and bobs, for free!

Free Pallet Patio Garden
Our blank canvas!
Free Pallet Patio Garden

We put a base down so that the structure wouldnt sit directly on the slabs and cause too much discolouration.

Free Pallet Patio Garden

Here is my other half fixing a free pallet that we picked up onto the back of the crate used to deliver the patio slabs in. If you can get hold of more pallets then use them to make a crate. You can find them on free sites or even in skips.

Free Pallet Patio Garden

We had some weed suppressor mat in the shed and if you havent got anything like that hanging around then they are easy to pick up very cheaply. I just wanted something lining the inside that would help with keeping the pots contained and not having the water running straight out onto the ground.


Free Pallet Patio Garden
The you are all ready to go and start putting in the pots that you wish to have there. What I found useful was that on the sunny days I can move the pots onto the top of the back pallet and they can make use of the sunshine. When it’s a windy day they can nestle back into the base and be a bit more protected.

free pallet patio garden

You can see by these photos how the plants are coming along. The potatoes are growing well and the carrots on the right hand side in the base are showing nicely. I’ve planted onions next to them as apparently they fend off one of the mites that would eat the carrot tops.

free pallet patio garden

Come back soon for an update and more than likely a recipe made out of some of the home grown veg. It will be great to see you again.

Have you got any tips on growing veg in small spaces? You might be a seasoned pro or just starting out. I’d love to hear.

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10 Ingenious Ways to Entertain Kids on Holiday 

I’ve been taking my children away on holiday since they were both tiny. I even remember very clearly taking my 2-year-old abroad while I was pregnant and I did that alone whilst potty training the 2-year-old. Now I know lots of parents, single or not have had to do this but I just wanted to set the groundwork that I have some experience of juggling traveling with kids and having to find ways of keeping them entertained! A happy mummy is a happy child in my book. So, I thought that I would share some of my own tips with you which you can add to your own tried and tested methods.

1. Food! Kids love to eat, so whatever is their favourite snack – pack! Remember to pop a small pack of wet wipes in your bag for those sticky fingers!

2. Soothing toy – when mine were tiny my eldest had a small blue bear that went on each and every travel. Even now at 8 and 11 there is always something special that they like to have close to them. I let them decide and *whispers* it’s usually a soft toy!

3. Magazines – whatever the age and whatever the gender there are so many different types of magazines out there to suit almost everyone. It’s a good way to get some reading going on for the kids besides their electronic devices – we’ll get into those later!

10 Ingenious Ways to Entertain Kids on Holiday 3

4. Colouring books – again, a bit like the magazines there are so many that really cross the different age ranges and the children can be really creative. Colouring books theses days don’t just satisfy the 2-5 year olds thankfully.

10 Ingenious Ways to Entertain Kids on Holiday 2

5. Textiles – crochet, knitting, teddy bear making, all of these activities can easily be taken on holiday with very little fuss. I remember learning to knit from both of my mans when I was little and it would keep me amused and occupied for hours. It’s also such a great skill to learn for boys and girls.

6. Writing a diary of the holiday is a great way of getting the kids involved in the whole process of the holiday. As you are planning the holiday they can start jotting down what is happening and sticking in pictures from brochures etc. While away they can collect different flyers and leaflets to do with where you are staying and stick and paste.

7. Kids Club – I always book something that has a kids club of some description. Holidays are for all the family and you need some downtime as well. There are baby crèche, mini club, maxi clubs and all sorts to suit all different ages. All you have to do is look for them. It doesn’t mean that they have to go to the club all the time but it’s there as an option. Leave the guilt at home and pop them in there so you can have a couple of hours by the pool without any worry. You’ll be surprised how good it feels if you haven’t tried it.

8. Take your mum or another family member if you can. I’ve been having a holiday with my mum and my children ever since they were born. It’s amazing and for us it adds a very positive dynamic to our holidays. We noticed this year that there are so many grandparents holidaying with family now. I don’t know if I just didn’t notice it before or that it’s become so much more popular. This year we had fun in Alcudia and it was mainly down to my mum being there with us.

9. Take one of their friends….No I’ve not lost the plot. If they are a certain age, around 9 and above then this is a genius idea. Your child will have their buddy and not need anywhere near as much attention (in a good way) as if they were on their own. They will be happy and feel a bit of independence as they will have their mate to explore the venue or even just the kids club where you are staying. Plus and this is a bonus….your child might even get invited away with them next time. It could be time to get out the Romantic weekend away brochures. I bet you thought that would never happen again!

10. Photography – this year my son started wanting to take photos. Whether this is on your phone if you dare trust them or on a disposable camera it’s a great way for them to feel part of it all and take some photos that they can then show around when they get home. It doesn’t really matter if it’s just the tops of heads or random sky photos, it’s theirs and can form part of lots of craft projects when you get home.

Bonus one  – If you really need to and if it makes everyone happy then take the kindle, ipad, or whatever it is away with you too. Remember, everything in moderation and “a happy mummy or daddy is a happy child”.

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Please share with me what other ideas work for you and your family. The more the merrier to help make the holidays go as stress free as possible.

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

5 Hot Summer Accessories

Here we are again, Summertime is once again shining down on us. So what else could I do but share my 5 Hot Summer Accessories with you.

Summer Music

1. Now my first gem on the list is a song and oh boy what a summer song this is. Can it be an accessory I hear you cry, oh yes! This will be with you throughout the summer and beyond. Before you do anything else, put this on full volume and enjoy, this is a treat for you.

Sunglasses

2. Second up is sunglasses, for me they are like handbags and shoes, you can never have too many.

So far I have bought 2 pairs to kick me off into the dazzling sunshine. I will now live in them. My top tip is to get ones with moulded nose rests instead of the ones with the little bit of plastic. I’ve got long hair and I find that they can catch in my hair if I’ve had them sitting on top of my head acting as a hair band. When I try to put them back on it can produce a couple of seconds of tugging at my caught hair, not a super classy summer look!

I’m loving mirror glasses this year, here are mine, not with moulded nose rests but beauties and I just have to be careful and suffer for fashion:)

 

Wedge Sandals

3. Wedge Shoes are something I must have in summer. Each year I start looking around to see which stores are going to get them in the shelves first. A maxi dress and wedges are a summer evenings perfect outfit. I have also seen over on the lifestyle blogger uk about skin care ideas for the summer so that we don’t miss out on pampering our skin too.

Hot summer accessories
H&M
Hot summer accessories
House of Fraser

 

Oversized Beach Bags

4.  As a mum I cannot applaud the oversized beach bags enough. I love to have a bag that holds the lot. A beach bag was on my birthday list this year and the boys along with my OH presented me with an amazing bag that I’m thrilled with. I don’t want to still have phone, keys and purse in one hand a towel over my shoulder with the kids holding a carrier bag between them! Oh I’ve done it in the past but now the beach bag can take over and take control! I took the bag on holiday to Alcudia this year which you can see in Fun and Fabulous Food in Alcudia.

Maxi Dress

5. I couldn’t have a summer post without the maxi dress and it’s still a must have summer item. I find it the most forgiving of dresses around. Lumps and bumps disappear – fact! If you’re brave you go for the no straps elastic version around the bust. I say brave because with two young boys, trying to get everything sorted and responding to all sorts of mummy jobs I’m not prepared to take the risk! So, for me it’s thin straps for maximum tan factor. For the days it’s cool and practical and jazzed up for the evening with wedges, bangles and a floaty scarf, you will look a dream.

5 hot summer accessories
Select
5 hot summer accessories
Select

 

Hope you enjoyed my pics and you are feeling the summer vibe with the song. Here’s to a great and peaceful summer.

How do you prepare for Summer? Have you been up into the loft to get down all your summer gear or do you splash out and go wild? I’d love to hear.

 

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Honeycomb Bird Decorations Giveaway

Spring is well and truly upon us now and as I sit here writing I can hear birds in my garden and its beautiful.

The giveaway I am pleased to be sharing with you today actually shows how you can have wonderfully elegant decorations in the house which can represent the outside wildlife so well.

 

bird decoration www.myrealfairy.com

They can be used as wedding party decorations, imagine a flock of these in one corner on a lovely summers day…beautiful!

Great at a christening, childrens party or any occasion that you want your decorations to stand out from the crowd. Much nicer to have your party talked about for all the right reasons.

These 3 birds can be used inside or outside and if handled carefully can be used again and again. The pack contains 3 x 6″ paper honeycomb birds.

They are beautiful and add a touch of something a bit different. You can enter using the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck and thanks for visiting today.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to UK entrants only. All entries will be verified

bird decoration giveaway www.myrealfairy.com

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LED Light Mirror…..Make-up like a movie star! Discount Code included!

I’ve got a wonderful new addition to my hair and make-up routine.  Most mornings it’s a quick splash of colour on the cheeks and a wisp of mascara to make me look as alive as possible for the day ahead. For nights out it’s an attempt at the full works. However, I tend to prop my mirror on the window sill and hope for the best. Not really the way to make the most out of glamming myself up.

So, I am delighted to be able to show you my new fabulous mirror that is certainly helping to shed a little more light on getting myself together.

led light mirror www.myrealfairy.com

The lovely people at Hamswan sent me one of their new LED Light cosmetic mirrors to try out. The timing fits in perfectly with my bedroom makeover which is happening in the myrealfairy household. Two years of the same cream wallpaper and I’m finally ready to add some glamour to my room and go over the top with some bling!

led light mirror www.myrealfairy.com

The mirror comes in two parts and you can just press the base into the mirror to make the stand. Nice and easy to do, clicks into place and it’s done.

led light mirror www.myrealfairy.com

The mirror has two doors which close on itself which helps with keeping it clean and little finger prints off it. It also looks very sleek and modern which is going to gel well with my new bedroom theme.

led light mirror www.myrealfairy.com

When you open it up is when the action really starts. It’s got 21 led lights around the centre mirror which makes it feel like a movie star mirror and lights up the dingiest of days. The lights are lovely and bright and makes it easy to put your make up on even if it’s dark out  or you’re in a poorly lit room. It’s pretty flattering on the skin too….bonus!

To power the lights you can either use 4 AAA batteries which are placed in the back or you can use the USB lead which is included with the mirror. This makes it ideal to use if you are travelling, you can unclip it, fold it down and with the USB lead, use it anywhere.

led light mirror www.myrealfairy.com
The mirror has a 180 degree rotation so it can be fixed at any position to give you the perfect viewing angle. The lights can be switched by lightly touching the button on the front of the mirror.

In addition, there are 3 different strengths of mirror; x1 x2 and x3. The x2 and x3 are perfect for putting on fake eyelashes which I’m normally pretty useless at. This helped loads! It’s also great for eyebrows and generally giving the skin a good check out.

Shed some light on these mirrors and tweet away!Click To Tweet

If you would like to find out more information about the mirror then you can check it out here Hamswan LED Light Mirror It’s currently on sale at £21.99 with free delivery.

I also have a 15% discount to offer you! Just add the code: 750001OF when placing your order.

How do you normally manage your make-up or getting ready routine?

There are no affiliated links in this post. If you like the mirror then that’s great. I was given a mirror for the purpose of this review and all of the views are mine and I love the mirror! You can check out the action camera review here to see more of the fab range of products.

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Chalkola Chalk Markers Giveaway, Review & Discount

We had lots of fun this weekend trying out these new chalk markers from Chalkola. We were pleased to review these to try out some fun crafts and get in touch with our creative side. I also have a great giveaway plus a discount code to share with you all.

chalk markers www.myrealfairy.com

We were excited to try out the brand new launch of 21 markers which has 15 chalk markers + 6 metallic markers in the pack. We also tried the jumbo markers.

chalk markers www.myrealfairy.com

First things first was reading the instructions. Big M was involved in this review as he wanted to see how these markers were used and what design project he could be involved in. I set him the task of first understanding how to use them and more importantly, what we could use them on safely. We’ve recently decorated and I didn’t want to mark things and find out that we couldn’t get it out.

chalk markers www.myrealfairy.com

The markers are only to be used on non porous surfaces such as; whiteboards, glass, plastic and windows.

The reason being that porous surfaces have small holes which can absorb the liquid chalk ink and you would then sometimes find it difficult to completely erase them. You must use a test area before starting just to make sure. I tried a small area on Big M’s bedroom door which had white satin paint on it and when we rubbed it off there was a little mark still showing through which took a bit of getting off so I was so pleased we did carry out a test. On most other surfaces you are fine and its really easy to just wipe off.

chalk markers www.myrealfairy.comTo prepare the markers we had a plain piece of paper and pushed the nib up and down about 10 times until the chalk ink was flowing smoothly. They are also odour free and non toxic so I felt safe using them around the boys.

chalk markers www.myrealfairy.com
chalk markers www.myrealfairy.com

I had a little chalk board which I had picked up at the pound shop and I wanted to use for reminder notes which I needed. Big M set about helping out to create our blog design. The colours are so vibrant on the board and the pens flowed nicely. There wasn’t any blobs of colour spilling out and it was very easy to use, easier than we thought they would be. We were so pleased with the result that we have still left it as it is, my reminder notes will stay on scraps of paper until we get another one!
chalk markers www.myrealfairy.comA bit of a grown ups idea but Big M let his cheeky side out and decorated a bottle of Prosecco I happened to have! I loved it and thought what a fab idea if you were giving a bottle as a present, very personalised and adds that little extra glam touch to something fairly normal. I thought that it would also be great to write peoples names on the side of water glasses, if you had a few people round the table at christmas or parties. It’s a funky alternative to seating plans or placecards.


chalk markers www.myrealfairy.com

These were a really good product, easy to use, they had a quality look to them and were well packaged. We had fun and now that I have them I know that they will be sneaking their way into more little touches around our home.

I have a pack of 21 markers with 15 chalk markers + 6 metallic markers to giveaway in the rafflecopter review below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to Worldwide entrants subject to Chalkola shipping countries. Prize distributed by the Chalkola. Please see my contacts page for giveaway general guidelines.

Please checkout Chalkola social media sites and website for more details and information of their other products.

Facebook: Chalkola

Twitter: ChalkolaChalk

Pinterest: Chalkola

I also have a 15% discount code which Chalkola have also offered all of my readers. Just enter the code: 15OFFSTR at the checkout

You can order and redeem your discount through their website here or on Amazon here 

I was sent the chalk markers used in this review. All comments and thoughts are honest and my own.

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Easy Upholstery….the myrealfairy way….

I’ve been off this week, needed to step off the conveyor belt for a few days to relax and hear myself think. I wrote a list of ‘relaxing jobs to do’

Instead of the normal bits and bobs I normally fill my time up with which usually all focus on running around and not taking it easy. I decided to get round to a job I’ve had waiting for ages… recovering our footstool. I brought it second-hand over a year ago thinking it would be a good little project one day.

I have been looking for material to cover it and went to a fabric store near where I live and nothing really caught my eye apart from a piece that was £25 a meter, well that was way too much so I had a mooch around the charity shops looking for curtains which I could cut up and use but didn’t come up with anything. So, I finally went onto Freecycle where I responded to an ad and met this lovely woman who was giving away loads of upholstery material. I went round to hers and was invited to take my pick. There were so many and all looked really good quality. I also took some up to the boys school for the textile department as she wanted as much to go to those who needed it as possible. So it was a good way to recycle and upcycle the off cuts.

I will say now that I had no idea of how to re-upholster the footstool. I’ve always imagined myself doing these creative things but normally don’t manage them because I haven’t actually got the skill, tools or time to do it! We have had a go at the Bee House and are now waiting to see what happens there.

This time was different though, I had the time, probably still lacking the skill to be fair but I had the ultimate show stopper…..the Staple Gun. Oh my days this is a fabulously lethal piece of kit and something I would only attempt using while the boys were at school.

Here’s my picture guide to how I completed it…

Before…

Before…

Before, underneath.

Getting started with the staple gun!

Its starting to come together!
Stretch the fabric over and pop staples in along the base, keep repeating.

Nearly there…

The corners were tricky but finally managed them.
Pleat and fold the corners over and imagine you’re wrapping a gift. As long as all the sides match I don’t think it matters too much what sort of pattern it makes

Whey hey…Finished!
This was such a fun project to work on, it didn’t take too long and it was relaxing, what’s not to love about that?  This wasn’t exactly fairy inspired but it sure has inspired me to take more time out to take on some more fun crafts. I hope you enjoyed it.

Is it project season where you are? I’d love to hear what ideas you have.
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