From the little man being a baby, we’ve read to him daily. He has a huge collection of books and loves to look through his book shelves by himself. Although he cannot read yet, he flicks through the pages and tells himself stories in his own way.

I was a bookworm as a child and loved being sucked into a story, whiling away hours curled up with a book so I’m glad the little man is following suit.

We were recently asked if we’d like to try out a book subscription service from The Happy Book Club which is aimed at pre-schoolers and young children.

The Happy Book Club send a mystery package through your letter box each month which is tailored to your child’s age ( 0-2, 2-4 or 5-7 years). Each package will be themed and will contain 2 books and a craft or activity that is connected to the theme.

I loved the detail in the packaging and the fact it felt like we were receiving a really special gift through the post.

The vision of of The Happy Book Club is :-

1) To improve children’s enjoyment and competence of reading.

2) To allow opportunities for children to express and enhance their imagination, creativity and inquisistiveness.

3) To bring families together.

This months theme was RABBITS and included in package was two books : –

Dear Bunny by Katie Cotton

Dear Bunny is a short book which is ideal as a bedtime story. It’s about a little girl who write to her bunny, telling him all the things she likes about him. The illustrations by Blanca Gomez are beautiful and really unique for a children’s book. The story has a simple message about learning to be grateful for the things we have, especially our loved ones.

Rabbityness by Jo Empson

Filled with beautiful vibrant illustrations, Rabbityness is a simple way of explaining to children how the loss of a loved one can affect those around them. Despite it’s subject topic, it’s a really nice book and a simple way for chillren to learn about death without being scary or complex.

We have a LOT of books for the little man. In fact it’s a little ridiculous so I’ll admit I was a little wary about reciving books without being able to choose.  but when we opened the package I was pleased to see two books we didn’t have and hadn’t read. Thumbs up straight away from me.

As well as the lovely books, the package included a a rabbit mask which could be coloured in, a song about rabbits and an information sheet telling you all about the contents of the package and the charity which The Happy Book Club have donated too.

The monthly subscription costs £15.99 which may seem a little pricy but when you think of the individual costs of the each book ( £5 plus on Amazon), the delivery cost and the fact a donation is made to a charity each month, it isn’t really that expensive. If you sign up to a 12 month subscription as the monthly price tag works out at £13.33, so in turn, saves you money.

I really like The Happy Book Club subscription service. It’s ideal as a monthly treat for little people and I think it’d make a great gift idea.

If you’d like to try The Happy Book Club subscription service, you can read more about them here. They can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

* We were sent a one monthly sample of the subscription service in return for an honest review.

 

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I love an excuse to pamper myself and have five minutes peace so when the lovely people at WOW free stuff offered to send me a little gift I was happy to accept.

WOW free stuff offer a range of free samples of perfumes, makeup and beauty products and it’s a great way to try out products without having to spend a penny.

The Burt’s Bees Essentials kit is filled with 5 trial sized Burt’s Bees products which are really handy for popping in your bag or taking with you for an overnight trip.

The Beeswax Lip Balm is one of my favourite Burt’s Bees products, it’s moisturising and is ideal for using in the colder weather. It moisturises and softens dry and cracked lips and the peppermint leaves a cooling sensation. I love that it doesn’t feel sticky and simple soaks in whilst leaving your lips feeling lovely.

 Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream gently removes makeup and dirt from your face whilst leaving your skin feeling soft and moisturised.

Milk and Honey Body Lotion is another great product. I hadn’t tried it before receiving the Essentials Kit’s but I’ll definitely be buying the full size one. It’s light weight but really moisturising and soaks into your skin quickly without leave any stickiness.

The Coconut Foot Cream has a thick, oily consistency and is best applied at night. It’s my least favourite product in the kit but it does really soften the skin on your feet.

The Hand Salve is really good for massaging into dry and damaged cuticles. It comes in a small tub and has an oily consistency when warmed up. A tiny bit goes a long way and the small tub included in the kit will last me for ages.

I love the Burt’s Bee’s Essentials Kit. It’s a great way to try out some of their best selling products before splurging on the full size containers.

If you’d like to try out the Burt’s Bees set yourself, please complete the rafflecopter form below.

Win Burt’s Bees Essential Body Kit

Terms  & Conditions

There is 1 UK winner who will win the Burt’s Bees set above.

Prize will be sent to the winner by WOW Free Stuff

The winner will have 14 days to respond to winning email before another prize winner is drawn.

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Driving around the UK can be really fun as there are so many new places to see any explore. All you need as a car and a map and you’re ready to go. If you can’t drive to the following destinations because you haven’t yet passed your theory or practical driving test then get cracking!

Have a look at the TopTests site and use it to practice for your driving theory test. The site will give you the chance to take free mock exams that will get your ready for the real one.

For something new to do this summer, have a look at one of the many popular cities below and see if one takes your fancy for a Summer road trip.

1. Scotland

If you haven’t been to Scotland before or you have only had the experience of flying into Scotland, a road trip will allow you to see the picturesque countryside and beautiful coastlines. If cities are more your thing, Edinburgh and Glasgow are home to some amazing shops and historic buildings.

Photo Credit – Rachel Bustin

2. Cornwall

This summer is supposedly going to be a hot one so why not throw your tent in the back of your car and head down to Cornwall for a camping break. Not only will Cornwall offer you a variety of beaches and campsites to choose from but you’ll also be able to drive to nearby towns such as popular Penzance, St. Ives, and of course Truro should you fancy taking a tour of the south.

Photo credit – livinglifeourway

3. Essex

Essex isn’t just about the cast of Towie, it’s a great place for travellers within the UK.  If you’re not visiting one of the many popular pubs in Chelmsford or Colchester, you’ll easily be able to take a boat down one of the many rivers on a nice summer’s day.

Photo credit – falcondalelife

4. Bristol

If you like the peace and quiet, why not to set off for a weekend away somewhere in the south-west. The south-west is the farming capital of the UK with cities such as Bristol and Swindon to visit. Bristol is a great city and has been voted one of the best cities in the UK to live in recent years, and with the harbour and beautiful attractions to see such as the suspension bridge, you should put Bristol down as one of the places to go to this year.

The above destinations are just some of the many wonderful places to visit in the UK this summer. Whether you drive or get a train, there are so many places to explore this Summer.

 

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Following the record breaking success of the 2016 Dacia Magic Weekend, Super League (Europe) is delighted to announce that a 2017 event will be returning to St James’ Park, Newcastle, on Saturday May 20 and Sunday May 21.

The Dacia Magic Weekend is a special Rugby League event which is  returning to the city for it’s third year.  12 Super League teams will go head to head in 6 exciting games of Rugby League over the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st May.

The fixtures for the Dacia Magic Weekend 2017 will have three Betfred Super League games taking place on the Saturday and three on the Sunday.

Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves will face each other in the closing game on Saturday evening and Hull FC and St Helens, will face each other on Saturday afternoon

Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield Giants will start of the Sunday when they go head-to-head at 1pm and Leigh Centurions will have their first game at the Dacia Magic Weekend as they take on the Salford Red Devils.

 

The full schedule for the weekend can be seen below –

Saturday May 20th 2017

Widnes Vikings v Wakefield Trinity (14:30)

Hull FC v St Helens (16:45)

Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves (19:00)

Sunday May 21st 2017

Catalans Dragons v Huddersfield Giants (13:00)

Leigh Centurions v Salford Red Devils (15:15)

Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos (17:30)

 

The event sounds like great fun for the whole family and one of my lucky blog readers has the chance to win a family ticket for the weekend.

To enter, complete the Gleam form below.

Dacia

Terms and Conditions

The giveaway will end on 4th May 2017.

Prize is 1 family weekend ticket for the Dacia Magic Weekend event at St James Park on the weekend 20th-21st May 2017.

The winner will have 7 days to reply and accept their prize, otherwise another winner will be chosen.

The tickets will be sent or arrangements made directly with the PR company who are supplying the prize,

 

 

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We recently won tickets for Naomi’s Wild and Scary Show at Tyne & Opera House in Newcastle over on Here Come the Hoopers blog.

The show was on yesterday, starting at 2pm and including the interval, ran for just over two hours. Our seats were in row F so we had a really good view of the stage and the little man was able to see easily. Although the show is aimed at children 5 years and upwards, the little man at just 3 thoroughly enjoyed it and was still old enough to join in. I think children any younger may struggle with the length of the show and fact it isn’t at all ‘babyish’.

As we hadn’t seen the TV show prior to the stage show, we weren’t too sure what to expect and if I’m honest, I had no idea who Naomi was! I also didn’t know how an ‘animal encounter’ in a theatre would work as I knew the children wouldn’t be able to get up close with the animals on stage.

I needn’t have worried, Naomi Wilkinson (Naomi’s Nightmares of Nature, Wild and Weird, Live ‘n Deadly, Countryfile, Milkshake) was a fab host who was enthusiastic and entertaining from start to finish but her obvious fear of some of the animals makes her much more relatable and down to earth.

The show starts off with Naomi dressed in a sparkly show girl number, bounding round the stage with an energetic musical intro. She introduces herself and ‘Animal Mark’ who is the animal handler for the show. He’s the man who brings out the animals for the audience to see and is responsible for the ‘trolley of doom!’.

With the use of a close up camera on stage, the audience were able to feel up close and personal with various animals including a snake, a giant centipede, and a tarantula.

As well as being able to see a range of scary creatures on the stage, Naomi’s journies around the world are shown in short videos on a large screen. We saw videos of her meeting a Alligator Snapping Turtle in the swamps of Florida before traveling to Belize, The United States, Costa Rica, South Africa and Borneo.

The video’s were short enough to keep younger children engaged but were interesting for informative for the older ones in the audience. Naomi managed to keep us all interested and the children loved joining in with her ‘scary shake out’ and laughing at her silly songs and crazy outfits.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the show and were sad when it came to an end. It was interesting, informative and delivered a thought provoking message – encouraging us to travel, learn about the ‘scary’ creatures in the world and then try and do your bit to protect them.

Whilst you may have missed out on the Newcastle show, there are still a few performances left this month –

Apr 19th – Crawley The Hawth

Apr 20th – Basingstoke The Anvil

Apr 21st – Cardiff St David’s Hall

Apr 22nd – London Royal Geographical Society

Apr 23rd – Brighton Dome Concert Hall

Tickets cost £19.50 for an adult and children are £16.50.

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