3 Theatre shows in Cardiff to see this Christmas



*We were kindly provided with tickets to watch Nutcracker on Ice in return for an honest review 

Who doesn't love a trip to the Theatre? I know I do, whether it be on a date night or with the kids there is something really special about seeing a live performance. We are lucky in Cardiff and the South Wales area that we have some fantastic Theater and production companies as well as being a destination for touring shows. While we cannot compare to the West End in London there is an ever-growing scene that offers something for everyone. The festive season is the perfect time to catch a show, with so many going on it can be the perfect treat for you or the family so I thought I would share 3 of my favourite ones that are on at the moment.

1. The Snow Queen, Sherman Theatre until 31st Dec

The Sherman Theatre is one of my favourite Theatres right in the heart of Cardiff and while it's not the biggest it puts on some steller shows. The Show Queen is a fantastic Christmas adventure perfect for those 7yrs +  and tells of the story of Gerda who sets off on an epic adventure to help find her friend. Along the way she meets journeys through magical places meeting an array of interesting characters who eventually lead her to the Show Queens Palace. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen's classic story this show will keep you captivated from start to finish.

2. The Nutcracker on Ice, ICC Wales until 5th Jan

I recently took the boys to see the fantastic Nutcracker on Ice at the new International Convention Centre next to the Celtic Manor. Firstly this new venue is very impressive with the show taking place in the new tiered theatre which offers great views from every seat. I've watched the ballet of this classic production before but I've never seen it on ice until now and it's was incredible, The Imperial Ice Stars company which come from Russia where fantastic, combining skating, circus skills, magic tricks and opulent costumes means children of all ages will be glued to their seats throughout the production.

3. Les-Miserables, Wales Millenium Centre until 4th Jan

This one is of course is suitable for older children (8yrs+) and adults and is one of the world's most popular musicals and for a good reason. This is part of Cameron Mackintosh's major UK tour of this acclaimed production which is known for its incredible staging and dazzling reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo to create a breathtaking show which will not fail to move you. You want to be quick with this one as tickets are fast selling out.

There are many amazing productions happening all over the country and if you are in a big city like New York or London it's always worth seeing if you can get last-minute tickets to some of the best shows in the world.

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5 Health checks to have in the New Year


fresh blueberries

Associated post 

I no longer make resolutions, I've realised it's now always a positive thing to set myself up for possible failure but I do see New Year as a time of change, to take a pause and revaluate what is and isn't working in my life.

I think like most people it's the perfect time to focus on health and wellbeing but without any crazy diet restrictions or unrealistic lifestyle changes. What we can do is get ourselves checked out with things like an Eye test or dental check-up - both essential yet something we often overlook when life gets busy and they also offer professional advice and as they say

So here is a list of Health and wellbeing checks that we should all make time for in the new decade.

1. Eye Test

Regular eye tests are really important yet many of us go years without having one and you would be surprised how many of us do need glasses, especially as we age, whether just part-time for reading or ones that help correct our vision and therefor improve day to day life. An annual eye test can also detect other conditions such as glaucoma which often has very little to no symptoms but can be picked up on a routine test, as well as things like diabetes, high blood pressure and even some types of cancer! It's also painless and many highstreet opticians if book online in advance offer free eye tests.

2. Dental Check-up

Dental health is so important to your overall wellbeing not only does good oral health prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease but an unhealthy mouth can increase your risk of serious health problems such as a heart attack or stroke. A Dental check-up is all about preventative care and reducing any issues before they happen and it's one of the best things you can do for your physical wellbeing. We should all be aiming to visit our dentist twice a year as well as maintaining a low-sugar diet and brush our teeth twice a day. Read more about the importance of a healthy smile here.

dental care

3. Get your Ear's Cleaned

We all have ear wax, in fact we need it as it protects our ears and stops them feeling dry and itchy as well as having antibacterial properties. However, on occasion we can suffer from an excess amount of wax which can lead to pain, hearing loss and discomfort as well as dizziness, vertigo and a condition called tinnitus. When I was pregnant I struggled with a build-up that affected my hearing and caused the rinning you find with tinnitus, I visited my GP twice but with the NHS waiting lists so long it's worth checking out respectable private clinics if you're in pain or it's affecting you as some Auris Ear Care clinics can offer same-day appointments and have over 10yrs experience and can treat both adults and children.

4. Smear Test

Ladies this one is so important as a routine cervical screening test as it's one of the best ways to prevent cervical cancer and it's offered for free to all women over 25 via your GP service. I know many think that this is a painful procedure but in my experience, it isn't, maybe a little uncomfortable for a minute or two but really nothing untoward and in the scheme of things, considering it can save your life, being a bit uncomfortable it's an issue. If you have any issues getting an appointment via your GP due to long waiting times, you can also access an HPV test privately. 

6. Be Drinkaware

Many of us enjoy the odd tipple, especially over the festive period but if you find you're starting to drink more reguarly, mid-week or going over the recommended amount of 14 units (which equates to  6 beers or 6 small glasses of wine) then it's time to re-access your lifestyle. While it is perfectly safe to have the occasional drink, over-indulging on a regular basis can have long term effects on your health such as high blood pressure, weight gain, sleep disturbances, increased risk of heart attack and stroke among many other health issues. Starting a drinks diary so you know where you stand and working on reducing your intake and reaping the benefits. There are also plenty of alcohol-free alternatives on the market these days and mocktails.

lime mocktail

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Hamper Gift Ideas for Vegan Loved Ones



Stuck for a perfect Christmas gift for your vegan friend or family member? With more and more people being conscious of the provenance of their food and their buying choices in general, being vegan or ethical no longer means that you have to miss out.

We think that an ethical hamper is a perfect present. Just upcycle a basket, box or bag and fill it with goodies like the ones below:

Key Ring

Ok, it’s not exactly edible but we don’t think that any self-respecting vegan should leave the house without their vegan keyring. And this one is pretty spectacular. You’re welcome. 

Vegan Chocolate

You don’t have to break the bank with specialised vegan chocolate to make sure that your gift is cruelty-free. Although you are, of course, welcome to if you so desire. Lots of mainstream dark chocolates are free of animal fats; just double-check the ingredients. After Eights, for example, are vegan, but other After Eight products contain milk. 

Vegan-Friendly Wine

Yes, you heard right. If you can get vegan wine, that must mean that there is such a thing as non-vegan wine. Some (but not all) wines contain animal products. And it can be hard knowing which ones do and which ones don’t.

Save your vegan friend’s eyesight scouring minute font for hidden ingredients by doing the hard work for them. There are some delicious reds, whites and sparkling wines available if you do a little research. 

Vegan Candles

Candles add ambience and make your home smell wonderful although many are not vegan-friendly. how every there has been an increase in handmade soy wax candles which are vegan and cruelty-free. I love the 4U Perfect candles which are Soy-wax hand-poured candles made in the UK, so not only are they a cleaner burning candle compared to many of those found on the high-street containing paraffin but they are also a UK based company making it an even more ethically conscious purchase.


Animal by-products are present in some surprising things, including cosmetics. You can’t beat a vegan Christmas pudding bath bomb whilst quaffing your vegan wine and nibbling on vegan chocolate by candlelight! Lush also have a fantastic range of vegan and cruelty-free products instore that are handmade and come in plastic-free packaging.

Festive Christmas Pudding

Did someone say Vegan Christmas pudding? Yes they did. The days of vegans missing out over Christmas are long gone with delicious animal-free options. Add some vegan custard to complete the experience. 


Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a delicious glass of Bailey’s or two. In coffee, hot chocolate, on its own – Bailey’s is warming, creamy and comforting; the perfect Christmas tipple. Great news for vegans with Bailey’s Almande – the perfect Christmas treat. 

Once you have gathered your indulgent vegan Christmas treats, wrap them up in brown paper or recycled wrapping paper, pop in your upcycled box and voila! You have the perfect pamper package for the vegan in your life. You can see a few more ideas over on my Thoughtful Gift Guide post. 
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Last Minute Gift Guide for kids + Giveaway


Wrapping presents

*I have not been paid for this Gift Guide - I have received some gift samples from brands but my recommendations, thoughts and reviews are 100% my own

Can you believe it, we are heading into the final stretch before the big day when Santa makes his way down the chimney (or however the story goes in your family) to leave presents under the tree. Even though I like many say I am going to be really on top of things there are always last-minute purchases needing to be made, whether for my own children or for nephews, nieces and the younger relatives in my family. So I thought I would share a little last-minute Gift Guide for kids if you're struggling for some inspiration.

Traditional Stocking Fillers

My personal preference is always to encourage as much screen-free time as possible and I love traditional well made games and toys, which is why I love all these traditionally inspired stocking fillers from MandM Direct, all of which are at budget-friendly prices with MandM Direct offering sale prices daily.

Some of my favourites are the Great Majesco Juggling ball set for £2.99 as my kids love the circus skills workshops at the festivals we go to in summer so this is a great way to get them practising a new skill. Things like a pack of cards is always a good idea and this Steampunk Card set for £1.99 is a great stocking filler.

Traditional games

Get kids outdoors with Hape

I am passionate about getting my boys outdoors as much as possible and also picking presents that have a low-plastic focus and Hape, the well-known wooden toy retailer has some fantastic outdoor-inspired gifts this year.

Such as their Compass set which includes a carabiner for children to store it safely on their backpacks and is made from bamboo and plant-based plastic.

Their Hide and Seek periscope is also a great stocking filler toy that inspires kids to get outdoors and have fun and is made with sustainable bamboo.

My personal favourite is the pocket swing which allows you to set up a swing between two trees and is completely portable. The swing is also made from polyester recycled from PET bottles.

wooden compass

S.T.E.M inspired gifts from Bright Minds

Toys and learning really can go hand in hand and Bright Minds specialise in science toys, arts, crafts, sustainable wooden toys and educational role-play and board games that encourage learning and development while still being fun and gender-neutral. They have a large range of gifts from baby to teenagers and I have personally used this site for my own kids. Here are a few of my favourite picks.

Tobbie Robot, the self-guiding AI Robot DIY - suitable for children 8yrs plus and offers the chance to build your own self-guiding artificial intelligence Robot. Its self-assembly kit is made up of 107 push out pieces while offers both a challenge for young children while still being achievable. This Robot also helps to teach basic electronics and help encourage a healthy sense of technology.

Anatomy Model - a great way to encourage science and a sense of self in young children with this Anatomy model of the human body with removable organs. The model can be dissected into 8 parts and can help children identify organs and learn where they are located.

Bigjigs Wooden Marble Run - my boys love marble runs and its such a fun way to learn all about gravity. This wooden marble run has 53 play pieces meaning you can get really creative with building different runs and seeing the marbles roll down from top to bottom. Always a hit with children of all ages.
Marble run

Encourage Entrepreneurial Kids with The Clever Tykes books 

These modern storybooks have been written to inspire children to think out of the box and be positive, resourceful and enterprising. Perfect for children 7yrs upwards, these books make for great bedtime reads that help encourage character-building and kindness. 

The stories follow four different characters who realise they all have something to offer, something they are passionate and excel at and then set out to turn them into their own venture.  

Kids books
Get dancing and inspire a love for music with Now Music

Who else had Now Hits CD's when they were younger? I know I did and they do an array of family-friendly and child-focused CDs including Now Disney which consists of 4 discs and nearly 100 timeless Disney classic tracks! 

Now Disney is sure to be a hit with all ages of the family and is a bit of fun. They also do a Now 100 Hits Christmas to help you really get into the festive spirit. 


I'm really excited to be able to offer a fantastic giveaway to one of my readers, including something for everyone from the kids to adults. The giveaway ends 19th December 2019 and will be posted on the 20th which is the last Christmas posting day although I cannot guarantee it will arrive in time for Christmas. The prize is as listed below and cannot be exchanged or transferred for anything else. This giveaway is open to UK and Northern Ireland residents only. 

The Giveaway consists of
Now That's What I call music Disney worth £7.99
Now 100 Hits Christmas worth £11.99
Clever Types Complete Series (3 books) worth £17.99
Hape Pocket Swing worth £16
Bing Storytime and other episodes DVD worth £5.99
Professor Puzzle Balloon Modelling Kit worth £5.99
Green People Forest & Fruit Body Collection worth £19.50
Gentleman's Shoe Shine Kits worth £12.99 

The giveaway is worth just over £95!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Discover Delicious Welsh Produce this festive season



Welsh cheese

*I was kindly asked by Discover Delicious to try out some of their produce for an honest review 

I'm am a big supporter of shopping local, supporting small independent businesses and enjoying the local delicacies found on our doorstep and luckily there is plenty of fantastic produce right here in Wales from Welsh cheese to wine, gin, chutneys, chocolate and everything in between.  

Like most people, however, I don't always have as much time as I would like to roam local fairs and farmers markets so having an online store such as Discover Delicious which brings the best of Welsh produce and foodie experience in one place is just fantastic and makes shopping independent a breeze.

As we moved into December and festive season I thought having a little Cheese and Gin lunch to welcome the festivities in was in order but while keeping those food miles down and enjoying the bounty of local welsh food so I ordered the Cheese Lovers Gift Box alongside some Crawshay Rose Gin Liqueur and along with an array of local favourites that is Cradoc's crackers, the perfect combo for a casual festive lunch if you ask me. 

Welsh produce

welsh food

The Cheese Lovers Gift Box is the perfect present for any cheese aficionado, it has a bit of everything you want from a platter and knowing its all proudly Welsh somehow makes it taste even better. It consists of 4 different kinds of cheese including the Perl Las blue cheese, the Y Fenni Cheddar spiked with bear and wholegrain mustard, Preseli soft cheese and finally the Bouncing Berry white cheddar with cranberries. The gift box also comes with a pack of Cradoc's crackers and some delicious Welsh Lady Fig and Date chutney which has quickly become my favourite chutney and I know will be a regular in my pantry from now on. 

While I do love wine, including Welsh and British wines, there has been a real resurgence in artisan Gin making and for me Gin botanicals and cheese are the perfect parings plus the idea of having a tipple brewed just down the road (in fact less than 25mins from my home) is even more appealing which is why I went for the Crawshay Rose Gin. Crawshay Gin is produced at the Hensol Castle Distillery just outside of Cardiff and the love to make creative and unique small-batch craft gins with the Rose Gin being on of their more exotic with middle eastern aromas and fresh rose petals, it's both delicate and refreshing. 

Welsh produce

What is also very unique about Discover Delicious is that it not only offers welsh produce but the chance to see how they are made or learn for yourself first hand with one of the foodie experiences they offer such as a mushroom foraging tour in Snowdonia or learning how to perfect the homemade loaf at One Mile Bakery in Cardiff. 

So if you're looking for something a little different, want to support local, keep those food miles down and shop more consciously then do pop over to Discover Delicious - they also have 10% off all orders until the 16th December by using the 10OFFCHRISTMAS19 code.

Welsh produce

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How to Deal With Unexpected Family Expenses


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family finance

*Contains affiliate links 

Raising a family is expensive and it's hard not to feel that even more around the festive season which is why you need a good budget in place. If you don’t track your spending and manage your money well, you could soon find yourself in financial trouble. But even the most frugal families can’t always be prepared for everything that life throws at you and I was recently in that situation where in the same month my car broke down, I badly chipped a tooth and then our boiler broke and needed replacing - I simply didn't have savings to cover all of these unforeseen costs. Family life is chaotic and there are always going to be times when unexpected things will happen so as what happened to me last month and whatever they are, you need to make sure that you can handle these situations so they do not land you in long term financial trouble. These are the best ways to deal with unexpected family expenses.

Build An Emergency Fund

The best way to protect yourself from money problems is to build an emergency fund. Each month, when you get paid, a little bit of money should go into a separate savings account that is just for emergencies. That way, you have a buffer in place so if you do suddenly get hit with a bill that you weren’t expecting, you can pay for it without affecting your normal budget. If you don’t already have an emergency fund, you should start building one right away. With so many new apps and choices, you can also set up a digital wallet (you can read more here about one such wallet) and explore the options of things like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which can help to generate some extra income, if this is something you are interested in.
Dip into your savings

If you already have an emergency fund or simple savings account it's always better to use the money you have already saved (even if it was for something else like a holiday) than borrow money with a higher interest rate to cover bills. 

My savings account doesn't incur any penalties to withdraw money but it's worth checking this beforehand as they idea is to keep any excess fees as low as possible.

Sell any of your unwanted stuff

If your looking to raise a smaller amount then it may be worth trying to sell some of your clutter and unwanted goods - you could be surprised how much you can make and have a clear-out at the same time. I've made around £600 from eBay this year by simply clearing out unwanted toys, homewares and clothes. 

family saving

Borrow The Money

If you don’t have an emergency fund, you may need to borrow the money to cover unexpected expenses, but you have to be careful about how you do it. I would recommend first talking to the family as this may be the most cost-efficient and flexible way to borrow money although having a proper agreement is also key. If you can't borrow from a family there are plenty of other options such as applying for a credit card with a zero percent interest period (usually 6 months to a year). This will help you to avoid any interest payments as long as you make sure to pay it back during the introductory period. 

Unfortunately, this might not be an option if you have a bad credit rating, so you will need to find alternatives. There are loans for poor credit available, but you will need to pay interest on them & extra fees will occur if these repayments cannot be made. Whenever you are taking out a loan, it’s important that you spend some time shopping around for the best deal. As well as the interest rate, you need to consider any hidden charges, like early repayment fees. You need to consider your budget as well, and only borrow money that you can actually afford to pay back otherwise you will create even more financial stress. 

Find An Extra Income Source

If you are struggling to find the money to build an emergency fund and unexpected expenses are constantly throwing your budget off course, you should consider finding an extra income source. It can be difficult to get back into work after having kids, but finding part-time or even full-time work if your schedule allows it can really help to relieve the financial burden. If you are unable to get back into work because you have to look after your family, you can find alternative ways to earn money from home. There are more opportunities than ever for freelance work and remote jobs which you can fit around busy family life.

You never know when unexpected expenses will come up, so it’s important that you are always prepared for them.
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Ideas For Keeping The Children Busy On The Weekends



Children naturally have a lot of energy, they always want to be exploring, climbing, and finding out all about the world, is what they are designed to do. This is how the small minds grow into open and creative brains, and what better way to feed the imagination and taking them out of the house, and onto short day trips that they will find fascinating. There are only so many playgrounds that you can visit over time, but sometimes there are more exciting and educational places to take the children on the weekend. It’s so easy for us to end up stuck indoors on electronics over the weekend, but if you feel that this is A waste of valuable time, here are some activities you can try with your family.


I feel it's really important to show children a creative world, and allow them the opportunity to explore fantastic sculptures, paintings or drawings outside or at an art fair, that artists have taken a lot of time to create. Inspiring small minds to become artists, poets, or writers is essential to work. And of course, even if they don’t necessarily take these on as full-time lifestyle choices as they grow, it’s agreed by many that sharing art with children broadens their minds, and they will always benefit from it. Many children adore being creative, and the drawers full of paintings and drawings that we accumulate are evidence of this. This goes on to help children from all walks of life; even if they don’t find themselves in a creative field, they can still be inspired And creative in many other industries. Photography is also great creative skill children can enjoy, you could head outside and do a spot of wildlife photography or set up a mini photoshoot at home with some fun props. My son loved attending a wedding recently that has a photobook similar to these Photo Booth Rental Fort Worth do. But above all, art can be and should be fun and thought-provoking, which is never a bad thing for children.


Museums often have events available for children, and family-friendly days that have plenty of activities attached to them, digging around and finding one that suits you on a day that you can all visit will help you spend some time learning about the history of your area. Museums such as Cardiff museum generally have free entry as well, so it’s a low-cost way of discovering fantastic historical information, fascinating installations surrounding animals, and more about the history of our planet. Children can learn so much from museums, and sometimes visiting castles and stately homes open to the public, can be some of their favourite days out.


Depending on where you live, there is usually an outdoor space with plenty of greenery available, sometimes you may need to take a short journey away to discover these places, but with a little bit of research, you will find yourself walking through fields, and getting plenty of fresh air, while exercising those legs. Letting the children run around and explore the outdoors it’s going to help them sleep at night as well, which is a win-win situation for everybody. Some great ideas to get the children moving around more is to try a scavenger hunt or follow trials laid out, such as treasure hunts, or Easter egg hunt at Easter time. You will generally find events connected to organizations that care for the environment so that everybody enjoys their time outdoors.

Spending time with the family doesn’t have to cost the Earth, and if you follow these ideas, you should find everybody has a lovely weekend. So pack a picnic, and see what you can find in your local area.
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Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum



Enchanted Christmas

We love exploring new places especially when it means getting outdoors and into the fresh air so when Westonbirt Arboretum invited us to walk along their Enchanted Christmas 1mile light trail, we couldn't wait. Westonbirt Arboretum is located in beautiful Tetbury and was around a 1hr drive from Cardiff and was really easy to find, plus there is plenty of free parking on site.

The light trail was Westonbirt was voted number 1 last year as being Britains favourite Christmas light display so booking for this event is absolutely essential and for good reason. There is also a fairly small but perfectly formed Christmas market which we wandered around before heading to the trail.

There are a couple of traditional rides including a Ferris wheel and a Carousel my boys really enjoyed as well as a hook a duck, roasted chestnut stand, marshmallows, crepes as well as plenty of savoury food stands from german sausages, falafel. As it's pretty chilly outdoors there is a warm indoor seating tent which also has an array of local produces including fudge and wooden craft decorations while you can sit and enjoy a hot chocolate or some mulled wine. It's really nice and relaxed and very festive without feeling over the top and capturing that traditional essence of Christmas which is what we love.

Enchanted Christmas

After we explored the Christmas market we made our way to the Light trail, The great thing about the trail is that to ensure that there are no issues with overcrowing and so everyone can fully enjoy the experience they have timed entry and once you're on the trail you can take your time.  

You are very quickly transported into a world of colour and sound as you enter the trail and my boys where mesmerised from start to finish. The talking tree and the forest Eleves were both a big hit as well as the drumming tree which offered an interactive feature for kids to drum and change the colours of the trees. 

As I said the trail is about 1 mile long although there is a halfway point which has toilets and offers up some refreshments in the form of Hot chocolate, doughnuts, mince pies or a little tipple, I went for the Mulled Cider which warmed me right up. The second half offers more beautiful light displays with mists that make you feel like your under the sea and large lanterns hanging from trees. There is also a Santa landing station which again allows kids to get involved and press the big red button for somewhat of a surprise.

If you have been good this year you will also come across the Big Man himself alongside some mischievous Elves and there is a chance to have some small interactions with him although its not a grotto and there is a fair distance between the trail and Santa it's still a lovely moment for kids to ask some questions. 

Forest Elf

There are also a few added extras such as a foam "snow" machine and a heat sensor screen which are really fun for kids but saying that the trail is really perfect for all ages and adults will enjoy and appreciate the beauty of it just as much as children.

We all thoroughly enjoyed it and despite it being an illuminated light train it wasn't too loud or overstimulating but rather a display of the connection between nature and Christmas festivities and embracing the forest and getting outdoors. 

The Enchanted Christmas trail is also fully accessible for wheelchairs, mobility scooters and push-chairs. I would also recommend wrapping up well as the temperature has really dropped and you want to allocate at least around 45mins to an hour to complete the trail which is all outside. We highly recommend this light trail, we loved it and felt it was a great way to celebrate the festive season.  

Hot chocolate

*I was provided tickets to the Enchanted Christmas in exchange for an honest review 
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Talented Jewellery makers + giveaway


Hersey and Son

*Hersey and Son kindly provided the necklace for a giveaway. The other jewellery designers mentioned are my own recommendations

The one thing about Jewellery is the longevity it can offer, it can be not only beautiful but a very sentimental gift at the same time and one that can last for years. I still have some necklaces my mother gave me when I was 12, so that's 23yrs ago and they are still going strong. I also have pieces my friends gave me from school, which are very sentimental to me considering I no longer live in South Africa.

Jewellery is also very creative and with so many independent makers, local to the UK as well as small family-run businesses, I thought I would share a few that I really love at the moment.

Baked by Lou

Lou is a Cardiff local and the owner and creator of Baked by Lou, a really unique collection of jewellery and homewares with bold shapes and prints which are made by hand and fired in a kiln or oven. Her pieces are really fun and colourful and perfect for daily wear. She sells her jewellery on a variety of sites but mainly through her Etsy and her ceramics and homeware on Not on the High Street

Print jewellery

Rhian Kate

Another Welsh jewellery designer, Rhian Kate was set up in 2016 by designer Rhian Morris and her delicate and intricate pieces of work and I honestly have to say I love every single piece. All of her jewellery is handmade and inspired by the solar system. A lot of her work is completely unique with no one item being the same. She uses a mixture of materials from pewter and brass to sterling silver and her jewellery feels very special without the big price tag and really is affordable with earrings starting from £15

Cosmic jewellery

Merci Maman

From the kitchen table to a team of 45, Merci Maman has grown from strength to strength since 2007, but still feels like the small family brand is started out as, from a kitchen in Fulham, London. Their pieces are all about celebrating and cherishing special moments, mainly within the family dynamic such as the birth of a child or big milestones and offer personalised gifts which honour motherhood. In 2014 Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted wearing one of their necklaces, which had been a gift from her sister after the birth of Prince George and well as you can imagine their business has been booming since. If you're looking for something special it's worth checking out their site.


Hersey and Son

Hersey and Son is now a long established family run silversmith which has been going since 1971 which still works on the basis of their ethos of creating handcrafted silver pieces made using time-home techniques. Their collection consists of well-designed and beautiful pieces for both men and women, made with longevity in mind while still being affordable. My favourite piece is the wishbone charm pendant which would make a lovely gift for someone this Christmas.

Hersey and son


I'm really excited to be able to giveaway a beautiful solid silver Wishbone Charm Pendant from Hersey and Son worth £29. It's a beautiful charm and would make a great gift and is said to help bring positive energy to the wearer. It's super easy to enter using the rafflecopter below and the giveaway ends on the 16th December and is open to UK and Northern Ireland only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wishbone necklace

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How to declutter your home and life


declutter home

*Contains affiliate links 

We all go through stages where you can feel a bit bogged down in the baggage of life. The best place to start with a declutter is in your very own home and in turn that will affect your overall lifestyle. Here’s how to declutter your house (and your mind) in an easy and satisfying way.

Be Systematic

The first place to start is to plan what you want to get rid of, in what room, and in what order. Treat it like a house move, which often helps as you’re often against a final deadline to make decisions. Make a list of rooms from the kitchen to the bathroom and decide in what order you’ll tackle the house. Some suggestions for ordering include top to bottom, bottom to top, or tackling the most used rooms first. Tackle each room in 20-minute bursts with a break in between, so you don’t get declutter fatigue. This is also a good time to donate unwanted goods to charity shops, friends or sell on ebay and make a little bit of extra money.

Spring Clean Your Home

Once you’ve carted off the unneeded items, hopefully, your house will now be ready for the ultimate spring clean. And if you really want to boost your mood as well, you really want to deep clean everything. Take care of the things you want to keep for example if you have delicate rugs, it might be time to contact a rug specialist like Devine rug cleaning. That way you won’t undermine your own efforts by ruining your items and putting one red sock in amongst all your fresh white laundry as they say.

minimalist wardobe

Invest In Practical Storage 

Storage solutions have never been so innovative. You might have a coffee table that also acts as book storage, a window seat where you store your crockery or even a footstool mixed with a shelving unit. Try to keep your newly discovered floor space clear by keeping your storage solutions smart. It will make it easier to locate your items, keeping your time free and your brain happy too. At the same time though, try to only buy things that make you happy. If you see a great multifunctional shelving unit that looks like a big old cardboard box, make sure you take style over substance in this case and don’t buy. You still have to look at it every day. If your bedroom is small and you are looking for a practical yet elegant alternative to conventional bed frames, go for a divan bed. It takes less room, has a supportive and comfortable built-in mattress. The best thing about the divan bed is built-in storage. It is easily personalized, with drawers coming in a variety of configurations to suit your needs.

Keep only what you need or what brings you joy

At the end of a busy day at work, sometimes all you want is to sit on your sofa and enjoy just being in your home. With this in mind, you don't need to strip your home bare, it's still important to keep the things that bring you joy such as your books, artwork and home decor items. To avoid the inevitable temptation to purchase new items and end up with a house full of knick-knacks, ask yourself if the item really makes you happy, or if you really need it.

Follow these simple steps to declutter your home, and hopefully, your mind will reap the benefits. Sit back, relax and enjoy.

woollen throw

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6 things to do with kids in Bristol Harbour



Bristol Harbour

*We were provided tickets to SS Great Britan & Bristol Aquarium in exchange for an honest review, everything else including travel, food & additional activities were covered by ourselves. 

We are really lucky to be based just outside of Cardiff, it means we are in the Brecon Beacons in around 35mins and on the other hand can be in the vibrant city of Bristol in around 50mins, both worlds apart but with plenty to offer all ages. What is even better is now that the toll bridge has gone, visiting Bristol is costing even less.

I recently headed over to Bristol with my two boys and while it's a rather large city offering so much I wanted to focus on what there is to do in Bristol Harbour as you can easily spend a whole day (and more) just in this area soaking up the creative atmosphere. If you only have a very short time to explore Bristol than I certainly recommend Bristol Harbour especially if you have children as it's the perfect place for an action-packed day out.

1. SS Great Britain

This was our second visit to the SS Great Britain, last time my youngest was still in a baby-carrier so it was really nice to see him be able to explore and enjoy what was once the longest passenger ship in the world (1845-1854) and was used for transatlantic trips from Bristol to New York.

We started the visit with going "down under" to the dry dock to see the hull of the ship which is fascinating then up to the Dockyard museum which tell the story and different lives this ship has lead from being a luxury liner to being used in both the world wars. There is also plenty of interactive elements with space for children to dress up as one of the passengers and pick a boarding card.

The ship itself is a lot of fun to explore and gives you a real sense of what life was like onboard from the 1st class lounges at the front and extravagant dining saloon to the cramped steerage (3rd class). I still cannot get over how narrow the beds were! Besides taking the helm on the deck or playing traditional games, older children and adults can also do something a bit more daring and Go Aloft by climbing the ships rigging 25 meters above ground level. There is a gift shop and Harbourside Kitchen which we stopped off at during our trip there and the reasonably priced parking only a few meters away from the SS Great Britain makes for a good base to start from when exploring the Harbourside.

Bristol Harbour

2. The Matthew of Bristol

Well if you have visited the SS Great Britain you might as well walk down the harbourside past all the houseboats and head towards The Matthew, a free of charge to visit and explore while it's moored in the harbourside. You can have a look around and climb the steps to the upper decks and there are plenty of knowledgable guides on hand to share the history of the boat with you.

During the summer they put on some special events and family-friendly cream teas and sails around the harbour, which we are hoping to do next year. I would also like to point out that The Matthew is wheelchair accessible which is fantastic for those with mobility issues that would still like to get on the water.

Bristol Museum

3. M-Shed

The M-Shed is another fantastic free museum and tells the story of Bristol and the people who live and make up this vibrant city. It's always a hit with the kids as they can climb aboard a full-sized double-decker bus or see what it's like sitting in a bomb shelter. Depending on the time of the year you can also catch the steam train run from the M-Shed to underneath Clifton bridge and back which we did one year, they also occasionally do crane rides as well. There are plenty of interactive exhibitions set across the three galleries, plus a relaxing and family-friendly cafe.

Aquarium round window

4. Bristol Aquarium

Firstly as with anywhere like this, I always like to do my research first and I can say that Bristol Aquarium is dedicated to supporting marine conservation which can be seen throughout the aquarium and serves as being very educational for all ages. Besides the fantastic variety of fish and habitats including a beautiful coral seas display, there is also a large glasshouse which is home to many different living plants and trees including bananas. You can easily spend a few hours here and it's perfect for a rainy day, there is also a large gift shop and cafe on site.

Bristol Harbourside

5. We The Curious Science Museum

We have something similar to this in Cardiff, called Techniquest and it's a big hit with my kids. We The Curious is an interactive and hands-on science and art attraction and is perfect for the whole family. With over 300 exhibits there will be something to spark curiosity in everyone who visits from the space gallery and animation exhibition to the hands-on kitchen and greenhouse. There is also a Planetarium which is located outside in the Millenium square - a lovely open space popular with families especially during the summer as there are fountains for children to wade through.

The Athenian

6. Stopping for a bite at an independent eatery in Cargo

Cargo which is apart of Whapping Warf is home to a variety of shops and eateries and is a new concept made completely from converted shipping containers. Located right behind M Shed you will definitely find something to tantalise your tastebuds here. The boys and I personally love The Athenian which dishes up authentic Greek street food (including Greek Beer). It's so unique and fun and from our experience also family-friendly and has quickly become our favourite place to eat in Bristol Harbour.

SS Great Britain

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