Friday, 14 December 2018

Millie and Max - Little Kid Music That Big Kids Enjoy!

Hello Everyone,

Hope you're all suitably filled with mulled wine and holiday cheer, I know I am...

*Camera cuts away from the lit tree to me crying in the corner over an ever growing 'To-Do' list*

Anywayyyyyyyy, today we are here to discuss a recent find that has been a saving grace for me, the Millie and Max - Little Stars CD.

Now I don't know about any of you out there, but I absolutely love parenthood, the baby cuddles, the funny things kids say, chubby little hands and life changing hugs but oh my life, music for kids sucks big time! If I have to hear 'Baby Shark' one more time, I might actually lose my bloody mind!

And then, enter stage right, Millie and Max with their CD entitled 'Little Stars' promising good clean family fun that the whole family can enjoy. I wont lie my friends, I was skeptical as I've heard of this elusive 'Music For Everyone' before and... well let's just say there's been a few charity shop donations from me.

Then the opening music for Twinkle Twinkle began, followed by a beautiful, delicate voice singing out the most gorgeous version of this song that I've ever heard, don't believe me? I'll insert a YouTube clip of the song below.

But it didn't stop there, the following songs were all unique and enjoyable for kids and adults alike, I found myself singing along and not in that usual brainwashed way of regurgitating nursery rhymes (fellow parents, you know what I mean!), I actually enjoyed these songs!

Millie and Max have taken popular children's nursery rhymes and added new music and styles to them which range from indie to rock, brooding to bouncy and of course, all the lyrics are child friendly which is great for rap/rock music fans like me because I'll not have to face anymore questions such as "Mum, what does 'fup you' mean?"... Never happened to you? Yeah, me neither aha, ahaha, ahem.

I love the idea behind the Millie and Max CD, for years we have seen movies aimed at children incorporating jokes for the grown ups so that we can enjoy the on screen shenanigans just as much as our wide eyed, innocent offspring (the 'Shrek' movies are masters of the double entendre) and so it's about time that music started to bridge the gap too.

Here's what the people behind Millie and Max have to say:

Millie and Max love singing Nursery Rhymes,
and love singing along to Mum and Dad’s music.

Mum and Dad don’t like singing along to Nursery Rhymes!
So Millie and Max collected some Nursery Rhymes in the style of Mum and Dad’s music, and called the album “Little Stars”.
Now everyone can enjoy music together!

As I've already said, I loved 'Twinkle Twinkle' little star, it is definitely my favourite song on the album but my other favorites were 'Three Blind Mice' (which is dark and interesting to hear) and 'Three Little Monkeys' (which is rocky, upbeat and fun). Car journeys will definitely be easier from now on.

Do you have any other great music for kids recommendations?

Speak soon,

Rosy xx

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Best Products of the Year 2018

Hello Everyone,

'Tis the season of goodwill, winding down and wrapping up the year... and Christmas presents!

I’ve finished my shopping now (thank goodness) and I don’t intend on buying any further frivolities for a good while, so what better time than to discuss two of the items that I’ve acquired this year that have become products I can’t live without?

I try a lot of beauty products, I have a little obsession as you’ve probably gathered, but what sets a product apart for me is if I’m still reaching for that particular item after the initial excitement has worn off, and these two items not only hit that criteria, but they go beyond that, yes that’s right ladies and gents, these are products I reach for almost every single day.

Lee Stafford

You all know how much I absolutely love Lee Stafford electricals, their design is gorgeous and hits my aesthetic on every level, the tools all perform well and they’re all easy to use, I’ve previously raved about The Straightener, The Rainbow Shine Wand, The CoCo Loco Wonderball Wand, The Coco Loco Long Tong and The CoCo LoCo Blow & Go Nuts, sadly though my Lee Stafford straighteners died on me at the weekend which broke my heart.

*moment of silence to remember the The Straightener*

Now that we have that out of the way, let me show you the CoCo LoCo Straightening Brush which was very generously gifted to me earlier in the year, and I've been using it almost daily ever since.

Straightening brushes don't give the poker straight look that you get from a flat iron, think of it more as a 'good hair day' or a fresh blow-out look. Still flawless but more natural.

When the brush is turned on, it quickly heats up to your selected temperature (up to 230 degrees Celsius) and is so easy to use, it's been my go-to on school run mornings when I'm typically sleep deprived and frazzled. Thanks to this brush, I often get to leave the house looking like I'm part of the human race rather than an extra on The Walking Dead.

The CoCo LoCo Straightening Brush works like a regular brush, you run it through your hair and it straightens as it goes but don't worry about burning yourself, the black bits are rubber tips and bristles that stop you getting burned as your baby shouts for attention and your five year old cries that her shoes are missing... as she stares directly at said shoes... Just me?

As with all of the CoCo LoCo range, the ceramic areas are coated in a coconut oil infusion to help protect your hair from heat damage. Nifty!

Urban Decay

My other favourite product comes (unsurprisingly) from Urban Decay, a brand that consistently puts out gorgeous products with fantastic quality.

The item I'm going to rave about is none other than the newest edition to the Naked range, Naked Cherry.

I'm going to say it, this is the best of the Naked palettes, I know, I know but who would have thought that vibrant red and pink eye-shadows could be so wearable? And wear them I have... Every time I've worn eye-shadow since I got this beauty. Every.Single.Time.

Creamy, blendable shades with a good mix of mattes and shimmer - what more would you expect from an Urban Decay palette? But the reason I keep coming back for more is the unusual shades that somehow just work, even the deepest shades work in a daytime look, well played Urban Decay, well played!

If you're only going to be buying one palette this year, I really recommend this one!

What products have you loved in 2018?

Speak Soon!

Rosy xx

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Feel Good Flowers | Cancer Research

Hello Everyone,

How are we all doing on this dark and gloomy day (I may just be speaking for myself here but the rain is running down the window as I sit here typing.)

Winter can be lovely, I for one love getting cosy, popping the fire on and wearing layers upon layers but this isn't the case for everyone I know, many people miss the colours and sights of a spring/summer landscape and can find the bleakness of winter rather depressing.

No matter which camp you're in, I think we can all agree that a pretty colour pop can really brighten up a winter's day and one way I like to do that is with bright and happy decor (have a little look at my pastel style within my home), my other favourite mood brightener is a fresh vase of pretty flowers.

Prestige Flowers delivered this gorgeous bouquet for me to review for you all from their Cancer Research section on their extensive website.
The Cancer Research range has some stunning floral arrangements in colours to suit all aesthetics and best of all? 25% of the price of each bouquet goes to Cancer Research and so far, Prestige Flowers have raised £11,000 in the past year from the sales of this beautiful range.

Having lost someone close to me to cancer in the past, I feel even more impressed by this fantastic idea and I was more than happy to share this range with you all, especially when I saw the stunning choices available, for example, you can buy a dozen red roses and I've actually never been sent a dozen roses before (hint hint Mr Sparkles!).

The flowers arrived in a securely packed box via my friendly local delivery man, already perfectly arranged and easy to transfer into your favourite vase or jug to display and I have to say, this cheerful arrangement really brightened up the room!

Whatever reason you might have for sending flowers to someone (or yourself!), be it a 'Well Done', a 'Happy Birthday', a 'Thinking of You' or just a little day brightener, consider sending a bouquet from the Cancer Research section because you could be making a huge difference to someone's life, and what could be more feel good than that?

Once again, I hope you're all having a good start to winter and are enjoying the darker evenings and mornings, and if you're not a fan of all things frosty, it'll be spring before you know it!

Are you a fresh flower fan? How do you brighten up your winter days?

Speak soon,

Rosy xx

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Christmas At The Palace Extract

Hello Everyone,

Today I was supposed to be bringing you a book review of Christmas at the Palace - a fun romance read about an ordinary girl who falls in love with a Prince and is subjected to the pressures of paparazzi following her every move, royal training and the holiday season with all the micro stresses of that and what you have is a read that sounds perfect for the Christmas season that we are hurtling towards.

Unfortunately, the book never showed up.

So instead I'm providing you with an extract for my turn on the blog tour today, not quite a review but should the book ever arrive, I'll review it on my YouTube Channel as soon as I've read it.

She looked around. There was a wall of books, all with red, brown or gold spines. There were a
few tables, but she noticed they all had ‘Reserved’ markers on them. She checked her watch. Ruby
had said eight o’clock. There was still three minutes to go. Her phone beeped in her bag.
It was a text from Lucy: What’s he like?
She texted back: He’s not here yet. This place is well posh.
The waiter reappeared with her drink and disappeared again. Kumari took a sip and flipped
open the wine and cocktails list. She spotted the prices and nearly choked.
Carefully, she swallowed about a quid’s worth of orange. Wow.
A shadow at the door. She looked up and the waiter was back. He showed someone in and took his
‘Hello,’ her date said.
It couldn’t be. It took a few seconds for her brain to catch up. She scrambled to her feet. When
Ruby had said his name was Ben . . .
‘Oh please, Kumari, don’t stand up.’
Should she curtsy? ‘Prince Benedict. Er . . . Your Highness.’
‘Call me Ben.’ He held out his hand.
She shook it, still too startled to speak properly. This time she made sure she let go promptly.
He gestured for her to sit and, once she lowered herself back into the chair, he sat opposite her.
‘So, I’m guessing you didn’t know it was me you were meeting?’
‘No.’ She shook her head. ‘I mean, Ruby said you were called Ben.’
‘Which I am.’ He smiled. Such a nice smile. She inclined her head to acknowledge that.
‘It’s probably better this way. The whole Prince Benedict thing sometimes gets in the way a bit
when I meet people who are—’
‘Common?’ she said.
He raised an eyebrow. ‘No,’ he said quietly, but very firmly. ‘Who are not in my usual social

‘In other words, common.’
He watched her for a few seconds, his lips pressed together. The corners of his mouth twitched, like
he was fighting a smile. You never saw this sort of thing on TV. He was normally serious or smiling
broadly. This was . . . different. More human. ‘I think I can see why your friend didn’t tell you.’
She didn’t have an answer to that. She needed to up her game. She picked up her orange juice and
took another few pounds’ worth of juice.
The waiter appeared, as though he’d sensed a gap in the conversation. Prince Benedict . . . Ben,
picked up the cocktail menu. ‘Where are the non-alcoholic cocktails?’ When the waiter directed him
to the right page, he ordered a Virgin Mary.
Kumari was surprised. She had assumed that he’d be drinking alcohol. She tried to remember
what she’d read about him. She wasn’t much of a royal-watcher like Lucy. All she could remember
was that the prince was a bit of a party animal and had had a string of very well-groomed
girlfriends. She wasn’t too sure about the girlfriends, but she was fairly certain he’d been
photographed dancing semi-naked somewhere.
‘Is something the matter?’ he said.
‘You’re not drinking.’ Oh God, Kumari. Accuse him of being an alcoholic, why don’t you? ‘I’m
sorry, that came out wrong. It’s just that . . . I expected. Um . . .’
He looked directly at her. Startlingly blue eyes. ‘You shouldn’t believe everything you read in the
papers,’ he said.

So that's it from me today, sorry about the missing book everyone!

Speak Soon,

Rosy xx

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Settling Down For Winter

Hi Everyone!

Hope you're all doing well and had a good Hallowe'en and Bonfire Night, personally I really enjoyed both as I love Autumn and both of these events seem to be the highlights of the season and a nod to remind us that winter is on the way.

This winter I plan on being extra cosy in my cottage as we have just had a multi fuel stove installed, my quest to 'hygge' my house is still going strong and the rumours are true, a real fireplace does make your living room seem more special somehow.

Winter for me is all about slowing down, appreciating time in the home and just enjoying 'being' rather than 'doing' and I think we all need a period of calm and contentment now and then or stress begins to creep in.

This year I've already been relaxing my life pace with a good book, a cup of Twinings' finest and a roaring fire daily, and I'm definitely feeling the benefit after a seriously busy few months!

One of the battles I've had with my new hygge lifestyle is discovering which fuels to burn, I've tried a few methods but I was lucky enough to be offered a couple of options to try for free from Lekto Wood Fuels and so I have been trialing these since.

The first option I tried was Hardwood Heat Logs which are easier to light than traditional hardwood logs and they burn at a higher temperature which is perfect for my 200 year old cottage with all its drafts!
These heat logs are environmentally friendly as they contain no chemicals and produce only a small amount of ash which can be used as a garden fertiliser when you're done - win!

They're also consistent in size which means you know what you're paying for.

The next option I was given were Long Burning Night Briquettes which are designed to burn for up to eight hours and they have been working out perfectly for going to bed and waking up to a nice cosy living room which makes getting up with my young baby much more palatable! 
Night Briquettes are better suited to a closed appliance such as my multi-fuel stove as they're not a smokeless fuel but they're once again, environmentally friendly.

Lekto deliver across the UK which is handy to any of you that also have a stove or an open fire (or if you're considering getting one, they're not a cheap option but wow, they're worth it!).

How are you preparing for the cold season? Do you slow down too?

Speak soon,

Rosy xx

Thursday, 1 November 2018

The Boy Who Stole Time - By Mark Bowsher

Hello Everyone,

Hope you all had a wonderful month in October and are just as excited as I am for the approaching festive season now that we have said goodbye to Halloween.

As with any month, I spent a large part of it reading and so today I’m bringing you a review of The Boy Who Stole Time by Mark Bowsher which I was very kindly gifted for review and said review will, as usual, contain no spoilers.

If you follow my book reviews or my Book reviews channel on YouTube, you’ll probably be aware that I don’t tend to read much from the fantasy genre and yet the premise of Mark Bowsher’s novel called to me and I’m glad I took the time to dip into this genre once again.

The Boy Who Stole Time follows twelve year old Krish who has been hit with the life changing news that his mother is dying and, desperate to prolong his time with her, he makes a deal with a devil like creature to go on a mighty quest to the faraway land of Ilir to hunt down the Myrthali, which is the essence of time itself, a unique journey but an idea I think we could all get on board with, who hasn’t wanted to savour moments and manipulate time at least once in their life?
Along the way, we meet a whole host of interesting and complex characters on this epic journey that translates to a page turner of a book, with my personal favourite being Balthrir, a female ally to our main character with her own mission, to free her parents from the hell they are currently caught up in.

As well as adrenaline fueled scenes you’ll also find a good amount of humour which I think makes the story more accessible to a younger audience as well as drawing in the older reader too (holds hands up) and without giving away spoilers, we are also pushed into thinking about what having access to infinite time might do to us.

One thing that really shone through in this exciting tale was the brilliant imagination of the author, fantasy novels are unique in that they really do give the author free reign to create magic, be it mystical worlds, unseen creatures, altered realities and wow, Mark Bowsher can really make you believe the unbelievable.

I can’t wait till my daughter is old enough to read this as she is already showing herself to be a large fantasy fan and I just know she will be rooting for Krish as much as I was.

Have you read The Boy Who Stole Time?

Do you enjoy fantasy novels?

Rosy xx

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Highlands and Islands Visit

Hello Everyone,

Autumn is well and truly here now isn't it? The baltic mornings that have you leaving the house wrapped up for an arctic expedition only to find yourself losing half your body weight in sweat by lunch time when the sun has made a late arrival but at least this means we have some final opportunities to enjoy some nice weather before the apocalypse winter arrives.

At the beginning of the month we took a little mini trip to the Scottish Highlands and Islands for my birthday and wow, just wow.

I've always loved Scotland (I live here after-all) but there's something magical about right up north so I thought I'd share some of the photos I took with you all... and a video, why not!


Easdale Island



Most of these images didn't require any editing, the colours were actually that vivid, and yes - that includes the rainbows!

Finally there's a short video with some extra bits too:

Have you ever been to the Highlands?

Speak soon,

Rosy xx

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