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Friday, 30 March 2018
Here's how I put together this year’s Easter Baskets. Now they've all been delivered out I can pop this post up without spoiling the contents for the kids. Hopefully this gives you ideas if you need to put something together last minute or keep in mind for next year.

I started with 8 pink baskets from Tesco (the only colour in stock) which were a little small by the time I got everything together, so I would suggest getting the baskets last!
The Works have some brilliant Easter Basket decorations on offer and I really liked the Basket Grass Filling and the Easter Egg Picks pictured below.

I did make a slight error and forgot to order any foam block to put the Easter Stakes in so I spent most of the evening sellotaping them to the baskets to look like this:
I think this would of been a lot more effective with a foam block so they could be placed spaced around and in between the bits and pieces but I am happy with how they turned out.
Squeezing everything in was quite difficult so you cannot see everything from the front. In this years baskets I included; A DVD, A pack of Star Monster, A Tumbler Cup filled with sweets, A Smarties Easter Egg, A Sweet Bag filled with Marsh Mallows, 2 Flumps, A Pack of Skittles, A pack of Strawberry Laces, A Character Blind Bag, Two Minions Blind Bags, A Family of Chicks and A Wind Up Chick or Bunny.

I then added the personalised Egg and popped it in the front before wrapping in a cellophane bag.
I'm so happy with how they turned out this year, managed to get some different items to previous years that they loved and I'll probably do again for next year. 

What have you got planned this Easter Weekend? Have you done any Easter Baskets?

Please share any ideas by commenting below and you can always find me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

As always, thanks for reading...

Wednesday, 28 March 2018
The past few years I've put Easter Baskets together for some of my cousins children and I thought I'd do a recap of what I've put in them and a mini haul of some of the items I will include in this years baskets.
In 2016 I created two styles of Easter Baskets as I had a 3 month old baby to think about as well. I also created Sweet Bags on behalf of my cousin for her friend's children (pictured below).
In the baskets for the older children I included Blind Bags, Sweets, Bubbles, A Colouring Book, Pencils and Character Stickers. In the baby's basket I included A Soft Toy, A Onesie, A Pack of Bibs, A Teething Ring and Some Dummies.

In 2017 I was able to create one style of Easter Basket for all the ages just tweaked some of the sweets as the youngest was only one.
I included an Easter Egg, A Small Bag Of Sweets, A Bubble Stick, A DVD, A Magazine and A chest full of Blind Bags for the older children, but filled the one year olds with more milk chocolate.

This year I've managed to get more variety in the baskets, although they included the same type of items. I came across websites like Toys For A Pound and Pound Toy, which are honestly amazing if you are putting together hamper baskets. I also used favourites like Baker Ross and The Works. I am going to put a post up on Friday of my baskets put together as I don't want to spoil all of the contents for the older kids who may read this post.

I wanted to personalise the baskets this year so I picked up the items pictured below.
The large egg shapes and embellishments were from The Works, whilst the stick on foam letters were from Baker Ross. 
I thought these eggs would be lovely to put messages on and the foam stick on letters were perfect for it. I was going to stick the embellishments on the actual baskets but thought they looked amazing on the eggs.
Here is just a few of the ones I put together. I am so happy with how they turned out and I think this would be a great idea for school or after school crafts too!

I also purchased some lovely treat bags on Baker Ross that were the perfect size to put in Mini Marshmallows. 

These are made out of a shiny plastic / card material which makes them look vibrant and holds their shape brilliantly. It does make sticking them down a little difficult so I'd suggest double sided tape! Each treat bag managed to hold over 100 mini marshmallows so they are not super big but you'd be able to get a few treat sized chocolate bars in if you wanted to do something different. I am definitely buying these again for next year!
Minus the Mini Marshmallows this left me with a lot of sweets to still put in the hamper but I didn't want to use cellophane bags again. I managed to get some plastic tumbler cups from Toys For A Pound and The Works that were perfect for all the ages I was putting the baskets together for. I decided to take everything but the Skittles, Flumps and Strawberry Laces and put them in the cups. What was left over was quite bulky and I didn't want to squash the Flumps in the cups.

I think they turned out really well and I am so happy I came across them in time for these Easter Baskets.

Well that is just an inside to items I've included before and some little crafts and treats ideas from this year that you could do for a hamper or on their own.

Are you making Easter Hampers? What are you putting in yours?

Please share any ideas by commenting below and you can always find me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

As always, thanks for reading...
Monday, 26 March 2018
Something that has popped up on the beauty scene this year are egg shaped or Easter themed beauty gifting. There is only a small range out there but I was surprised to find these products and then confused as to why this hasn't been done before. 
Beauty Eggs are an alternative gift idea to the traditional Chocolate Easter Eggs and I really like it. 

I Heart Revolution Egg Compacts - £5
From Left to Right; Rose Gold, Dragon, Gold & Unicorn 

I think Makeup Revolution were the first on the scene with this Beauty Easter concept (but don't quote me on that!). These contain 5 shimmer eyeshadows and 2 highlighters. These would be great in an Easter hamper if you are putting one together for your teenager or even picking it up as a Spring compact for yourself to keep on the go. I love the shades they have come out with; my favourite is Dragon it's not only right on trend this Spring but perfect to create a sultry night look as well. They also feel inclusive of all skin tones and fashions. Usually I wouldn't be one for purple and would consider it quite an odd choice but with the unicorn and mermaid inspired looks around it makes a lot of sense.

Essie Nail Easter Eggs - £8.99
From Left to Right; Spin The Bottle, Eternal Optimist & Ballet Slippers 

Unfortunately, you cannot see all the shades as clear in this photo, but you have a pastel pink, a more muted barbie pink and a purple-y grey. They are gorgeous colours, but I honestly would have loved the egg to be reflective of the shade as they scream more vibrant Spring colours. Saying that, when looking at Essie's range these three are amongst the most popular colour choices so I can see why they were chosen. I think it would be great to pick a colour to put in an egg, that would make it a lot more personal, but I'm so intrigued by these. From the point of view that this is the first time the brand has delve into this concept and the only nail brand to do so, I'd say they've done a really good job.

L'Occitane Beauty Eggs - £15
From Left to Right; Cherry Blossom & Almond

The Cherry Blossom Gift includes; Cherry Blossom Shower Gel 75ml, Cherry Blossom Scented Soap 50g, Cherry Blossom Hand Cream 10ml.
The Almond Gift Set includes; Almond Show Oil 75ml, Almond Delicious Soap 50g, Almond Delicious Hands 10ml.
I love L'Occitane products and I wasn't as impressed with the past Christmas's gifting range so seeing this has got me pleasantly surprised. Three good sized products from L'Occitane, packaged beautifully in their signature style is well worth the price point and I even believe they have a 2 for £25 offer on at the moment! This is perfect for your mother, grandmother or again a friend who would prefer something like this over Chocolate. The colour scheme reflects Spring and the brand and I think if they were to expand this into Face Care or Hair Care they'd be on to a really winner.

L'Oreal Beauty Egg - £8
This contains; a full sized L'Oreal Paris Smooth Sugars Clear Face & Lip Scrub 50ml, Pure Clay Detox Mask Mini 7ml, and Hydra Genius Liquid Moisturiser Mini 3ml. 

Going with a clear egg is a little bit of a risk. The egg is quite large and although beautifully designed, you can see that almost half of it is filled with tissue paper. L'Oreal have a good thing here and with this being such a new concept, I wouldn't have expected to get any full-sized product. I think if they were to carry on with something like this a coloured or smaller egg would be a better representation of its value. What I love the most is this is a pamper in an egg, containing its most popular products from its newest range. This would be something I'd love to receive. 

Olay Total Effects Beauty Egg - £6
This contains an Olay Total Effects 7 in 1 Day Cream with SPF15.
This is an "anti-ageing moisturiser that fights the 7 signs of ageing for radiant and fabulous skin. It’s Olay’s simple, smart approach for youthful, healthier looking skin that can better stand the test of time" 
This is 100% targeted to your mother or grandmother but I like the fact they are included too. Beauty doesn't have to be limited because of age or even gender. There is nothing to say your Father or Grandfather wouldn't like or benefit from this! In comparison to the L'Oreal Egg you can see that Olay made it to fit the product in with limited space, this then feels like you are getting more product. You get 15ml for £6 which is a real bargain for Olay, it feels like this is their test run into the new concept of Beauty Eggs and I'm hoping they expand it a little more next year.

Lush Golden Egg - £29.95
This Contains;
I didn't include Lush in my Valentines or Mother's Day Gifting as I would because I found you are paying an extortionate price for packaging. 
Unfortunately, it's the same argument here. The contents total £22.60, meaning you are paying £7.35 for the extra packaging! It is lovely and very representative of Easter and the Charlie & The Chocolate Factory tagline, but you could buy the products and a reusable Easter Basket for £1 and still save over £5. That's the price of another Bath Bomb! It's disappointing to see a gifting range from a brand like Lush who are so well known for it, oversell on packaging by that much. If it was £2-£3 it's understandable but not from a company who advertise "Naked Packaging"

What do you think of this new Beauty Egg concept? Do you like it? or Do you find it to be an overexertion of Holiday themed gifting? 

I'd love to know, comment below or find me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

As always, thanks for reading...
Sunday, 25 March 2018
I am now going into my fourth year of having Ulcerative Colitis and a lot of things have changed from the day of my diagnosis to now. I have included some updates with my UC in my Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018 post so I'll try not to repeat myself.
Along with my other content I do write these posts like a diary for myself, so I completely understand if this is something you choose not to read or find it to be too much information.

Flare Up

I hit a flare up in February of last year and it was the toughest one I've experienced. I also found out I suffer from Proximal Constipation, something that you can have with Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease. I was continuously running to the bathroom in a lot of pain, it became difficult to work as my bowels were uncontrollable and I again became housebound for a couple of weeks at various periods of time over the year.

More Medication

I was put on steroids and it was excruciating to be on them for so long. Prednisolone is mostly used as a short term solution but I found myself on a high dose for months before being weaned onto a short does for a month. I've always said Prednisolone is like making a deal with the devil as the side effects of it can cause a lot of problems. 
You put on weight, not matter how healthy you eat and how strict you are you still gain. You become hungry all the time. I could sit and eat a roast dinner the size you'd get at Christmas and I could still eat another plate full straight after. The pain it creates in your joints makes sleeping difficult and I'd find myself being woke up with legs cramps and pains every night. The worst thing it can affect is your mental health. You become emotional, depressed, anxious and you feel useless for it. As this was my worst flare and with the high dose of steroids I was on, thinking back to my mental state, I find myself surprised at how much I still accomplished during that time. I was working 40-hour weeks, I went to Spain to see my granddad, I was still blogging and was trying my best to get out the house. It wasn't always achievable, but I tried. 

When I was finally off the steroids it was taking time for my change in medication to kick in, so I again went into a state like I would endure with a flare up just not as bad. That was when I started a routine of being at work or being at home there was no venturing out the house unless needed. Online shopping has made life easier for a lot of people, but I loved going shopping, trying on clothes, new styles, new makeup...etc and I have said before that I know I won't ever be the person I was before having Ulcerative Colitis, but it struck me hard. This last year made me realise that I hate losing that little bit more of myself with each bad patch I go through.

Proximal Constipation

Being told I have Proximal Constipation means I am constantly changing my diet, I cut out red meat and sugary drinks and whilst that made a difference for a while it isn't a permanent solution. It will be something I live with alongside Ulcerative Colitis. It does add to the never knowing how I'd be when I wake up from day to day and that can make booking things in advance a maybe rather than definitely. 

Going into my fourth year I find myself going from having hope to knowing that this disease is unknowable. Medication can help but I don't think I’ll ever see answers as to why it begins, why it happens and how it can be better managed or fixed. Every 30 minutes someone is diagnosed with IBD and 1 in 4 of those are under 16. It's a shame that there aren’t many people speaking about this issue because it's seen as embarrassing. The ones that do, do an amazing job and I hope that my little diary type posts help someone understand that they are not alone, and it doesn't have to be as awkward or embarrassing to talk about it.

As always, thanks for reading...
Friday, 9 March 2018
You'll notice that with my guide posts I usually split cards and gifts but with the weather (and delays in postage / deliveries) I decided to pop them all in one.
Now I was going to be posting about a few companies gifting ranges as an extra but I found that a lot of stores are having issues with stock so I thought maybe last minute DIY's and printables may be something useful to you.

These are great for young teens and children who love to do arts and crafts and it can be personalised.

I found this on Pillar Box Blue and thought it would be a lovely D.I.Y gift from a teenager. You can either print maps or see if a local shop has a paper map for you to use. I even think a gift like this would be lovely if you are going away somewhere for the weekend / day. You could use the same map of the location where you are going!

Paper Quiling is a gorgeous craft that is so easy to do. I found this on Family Holiday and again thought it would be a great craft for 8 years up. There are many different ideas on this post but I loved the one in the picture in particular because it feels right with Mother's Day falling as we go into spring. These would look lovely on a card or in a frame and you could even paper quil Mum or Mothers Day.

DIY Craft Land has lots of Mother's Day craft ideas for younger children but the one pictured stood out to me the most. I love that you can print this and give it to your child to fill in and decorate. I think it's lovely if your child has just begun to write and it's so personal as it's what your child thinks of their mother.

I have seen many ideas surrounding painting plant pots and this one from Kiwi Co is so lovely. I actually think this would make a brilliant weekend craft if you are still getting ideas together before Mother's Day. Plant Pots are relatively cheap (I'd suggest Wilkinsons) and are easy to paint. I love the fact they can be personalised and done at any age. 

Are you still trying to get some last minute ideas together for Mother's Day? Hope these help you ^.^

As always, thanks for reading!
Sunday, 4 March 2018
Mother's Day is just under a week away and if you haven't got anything for your mum yet or like me you've had to wait until payday the high street is going to be your best option. 
With the UK currently hosting "the beast from the east" I wouldn't count on online ordering in case of backlog but hopefully we should all be going back to normal soon.

Card Factory

The best quality that Card Factory has is price point but every occasion I find their card selection has the broadest designs. Card Factory aren't affiliated with any brands in the same way Clintons are so I find you get more design variety. I really like the fact they have the variations of Grandma, Nan, Nana...etc and that's a way of me saying don't forget her as well this Mothers Day.
Again their price points are their selling point but they cater to all ages when it comes to gifts. They also think out of the box a lot and in store I've seen things like glasses cases, slippers, storage boxes/tins...etc which is something you wouldn't necessarily think of.


Clintons are well established in the UK and come occasions like Mother's Day they seem to be very inclusive in their cards. Again you can get a variation of Grandma, Nan...etc but also Mum To Be, Like A Mum & Godmother. If you are after a specific title card this would be the store I'd chose. I think you'd have a lot more luck with them.

The benefits of going into a Clintons is that they host a whole load of other brands for gifting. As seen above you get Willow Tree & Yankee Candle as well as Disney, Me To You, Boofle and lots more. I would say Clintons is the best for Gifting if you don't have a budget in mind. I say that because some of these brands can be expensive and there isn't anything more annoying than seeing something perfect that's out of your price range. I like that Clintons also have traditional Mother's Day Gifting like bears, mugs and frames so you have gifting from all ages to all ages.

Are you prepared for Mothers Day? or Are you a Mother waiting to be spoilt? I'd love to hear your plans and any other ideas you have so please, comment below!

As always, thanks for reading...

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