Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Esra's Play Kitchen...

Good morning world!

I love being a mama to my little princess and creating magical spaces for her to let her imagination flow. In the past I attempted to make a DIY play kitchen from 2 side cabinets which was actually successful but it didn't quite cut it, so when we moved we purchased the Ikea 'Duktig' kitchen for Esra which I obviously hacked. It's currently on sale for £49 so look no further if you are looking for Xmas gifts for toddlers.

Today I will share details of everything you have ever wanted to know about Esra's play kitchen.
  
Be warned this is a long picture heavy post! 


The first thing I did to the kitchen was paint nearly every surface white apart from the worktop and under part of the top shelf. I just used a plain white wood paint from Wickes. I changed the handles with white ones from Ikea's kitchen section as I wasn't too keen on the plastic grey ones. I also covered the microwave door with a scrap of fabric then finally settled on this 'Belle & Boo' gift wrap which suits the feel of the kitchen more, we don't use it as a microwave but more for storage. I LOVE how it turned out and so does Esra, she loves pointing to Boo everyday.


I painted the outside and inside of the oven door with black chalkboard paint so that Esra can draw whatever she is cooking or use it like a menu which has been pretty useful, and I also write messages for her to see when she wakes up which is pretty cute. Of course the kitchen has a lot of crochet bits I made including this hand towel.


I also placed the rustic shelf upside down to create a more earthy feel which adds to the charm. On the shelf are:
  • Honeybake 'Le Toy Van' pink wooden mixer I got on sale from John Lewis
  • Vintage Teapot I painted mint green which was a gift from my grandmother
  • Sasse & Belle wooden toaster from Amazon


  • Le Toy Van Bakers basket I purchased from Igloo toy shop for half price as the box was torn, gotta love bargains! (seriously how adorable is the pretzel and wooden crate it comes in?!)





  • Mint green wooden mixing bowl from Boots.
  • Honeybake 'Le Toy Van' birthday cake from Amazon.
  • Voila cake & biscuit stand from Amazon
  • Belle & Boo Tea set (The cups are hanging on the hooks, the teapot is on the tray)
  • The white tub that stores the wooden utensils is from Ikea too.



  • Yep we have quite a bit of stuff, but it's hard not to!  We also have:
    • Melissa & Doug Pizza party set from Amazon
    • ELC pink kettle from Mothercare which makes a boiling & pouring sounds.
    • Asda pink wooden pot and pan set with mitten
    • Learning Resources Super sorting pie from Amazon (The best sorting toy ever!)
    • Learning Resources Counting cookies from Amazon. (Amazing for learning numbers)
    • Plan Toys wooden Tea set with red detailing from Amazon
    • Plan toys wooden food & beverage set from Amazon 
    • Plastic Cupcakes from Poundland - Also the shaker pictured with pink pom poms and pink beads is from pound land too but I did a DIY on it obviously and glued it shut.
    • Mini yellow clock is from Accessorize
    • Magic feeding bottles are from Amazon
    • We love playing shops with THIS Hape cash register which I didn't photograph but I'm sure you have seen it on my IG feed. It's stored in the bottom shelf on the right hand side.


    The Peter rabbit tin houses all of the chalks for the chalkboard and was fro TK Maxx, I think there was tea in it before. The wicker basket under the kitchen holds lego Duplo and the legs on the kitchen are adjustable if you flip the grey bits over so you can use it from very young.

    And yes more play food! We have some from Ikea, some wooden ones from Mothercare and some felt food I made including the eggs, salad, cupcakes and ice cream. We also have some foam food we collected from Cbeebies magazine too. (The tray is from Poundland) 


    All of the crochet bits were made by me or my mum which add that extra homely feel which I love. Esra's kitchen is definitely more amazing than mine. FYI The prayer in arabic is by LucyArts1 on Instagram.


    I also hung a wicker basket to go shopping with which I got for 99p from a charity shop but I added the wooden buttons and fastening of course. I basically have to hack everything lol.


    The pink tray is a melamine plate from Rice which I also got from Igloo toy shop and the pink pot is a ceramic one I picked up recently from Poundland, they also have a mint version too which we also have. The pink cake stand with the cupcake stand is from H&M home section.

    Wow that was a long post and I hope I covered everything, moral of the post, hack away and don't be afraid to update things to suit your taste. Esra has SO much fun with her play kitchen and plays with it every single day, she knows where everything goes and happily puts them back. (Ok not all the time) But, it's such a great way to teach organisational skills too... Yes my child at 3 is already an organisational freak and knows that everything has a place. A play kitchen is a magical thing for a toddler and this Ikea one is definitely budget friendly and is beautiful and sturdy once hacked of course. The first thing Esra does when she has a play date is cook up a storm even with older kids, thankfully it is something that your child will grow with so it's worth investing in some key pretend play toys to last for years to come. All this stuff wasn't purchased at once of course, that would be crazy. It has been accumulated over the past couple of years with Eid and birthday gifts. The good thing is there is always space for new ideas with a play kitchen, the next thing on our list is crochet donuts that I will one day eventually make.

    I hope I have given you some ideas and inspired you to think outside the box and of course helped you with a wish list for Xmas too. I have included as many links as possible to help you with your search, none of which are affiliate links btw.

    Now who is coming over for a tea party? That is the question....

    Monday, 24 November 2014

    Lee Stafford - Argan Oil Big Fat Hair Tong

    Good morning and happy Monday.... *Goes off to make more coffee!*

    I always get so many lovely messages and comments regarding my hair and how I style it on Instagram (thank you for being nice) and I wanted to address my life saviour in a much deserved blog post. The product in question is a mahoosive 'Big Fat hair tong by Lee Stafford'. It's from the argan oil range which is supposed to help with the shine in your hair but I'm not too sure about the science behind that claim. It says it has a ceramic coating of argan oil to help with shine and heat damage, whatever YES PLEASE!


    I have used my fair share of hair tool including several different conical wands, heated rollers, normal small tongs, wavers, twisters.. you name it I have it but this Lee Stafford one is ALWAYS my favourite to use. I used to really love using the Babyliss conical wand but I found that it really made my hair look dull, the bigger cloud 9 version just didn't give me the same bounce and it was more of an effort to use. 
    I have come to the conclusion that I prefer a tong with a clasp. This bad boy creates big loose effortless curls/waves with minimal effort and time. I think it's a 1 1/2" barrel which is perfect for me with shorter or longer hair.


    It has a variable heat setting and warms up in about 2 minutes and it takes me on average 5 minutes to do my hair. A result indeed!


    And I can't ever lose it as it's so bright and always stands out from the rest of my hair tools.


    My hair today!


    It's so easy to use, all I do is take big chunks and curl outwards away from my face, sometimes I only flick the ends out and not even the entire head of hair just to look more polished. I would definitely recommend it to anyone, you can also create lots of lovely volume at the base if you place your hair over the barrel at the root and hold it for a few seconds until it cools. I truly love it and I can't live without it. I don't have any exciting hair care that I use, I just use a serum when my hair is damp and sometimes 'Fudge' sea salt spray, but today I used nothing, which is mainly how I rock. It's safe to say it's definitely the hair tool and not the hair products.

    I purchased mine for £20 from Argos last year but I checked today and they don't have the argan oil version just THIS one. But it's available on the website HERE.

    What's your favourite hair tool?

    Thursday, 20 November 2014

    Luxury Lush Pud Bath Bomb Review...

    This bath bomb is the KING of exciting bath bombs. 

    Lush is famous for their bath bombs and so at my last visit I asked the SA to show me the most exciting & colourful one for toddlers, yes this is the ultimate toddler bath bomb.


    I mean the images speak for itself, it's pink and white with multicoloured circles that all very slowly fizz away in the bath water and lasts about 5 minutes which is good as most are gone in 1 minute flat. The circles separate from the pink creating a marbleised finish that all blends into each other and eventually it all turns into one shade of pink. Esra had SO much fun watching the colours change and blend. She also decided to paint herself with it which was quite funny & exciting to watch as she was all PINK! The downside is it does stain the skin slightly but does wash off quite easily. I'm happy to say it didn't stain the bath like I feared, so it's a win win and by far the best bath bomb we have tried and we have tried plenty that have never been worth blogging about. And the scent?... AMAZING!

    I would definitely recommend this for older toddlers, 3+ and young children or adults too if you need some cheering up! It would make a great stocking filler for Xmas, but it's only limited edition so stock up, I'm going to get a few more and keep them as special treats.

    Price £3.50 Link!

    What are your favourite bath bombs?

    Wednesday, 19 November 2014

    On Wednesdays we wear PINK....

    H A P P Y  W E D N E S D A Y

    Mornin' all! Ok, so I am not wearing any pink clothing items per se, that doesn't really happen. You will not catch me with a pink top, dress or bag. But, you will catch me with pink brushes, lipstick and nail polish. I LOVE my pink but in small doses and here is some pink lovin' for you today!


    Beauty Blender
    I love this to apply my foundation & concealer, it really does live up to the hype and your kit isn't complete without one particularly if you like a natural dewy look as the wet sponge just enhances and blends to a beautiful finish. (I purchased mine from Amazon)

    Gel Eye Mask
    This is perfect when kept in the fridge to place on your eyes in the mornings for a few minutes to wake you up or to apply over a face mask and relax. (£1 from Primark) 

    Silicone Face Scrub
    I had to try this as I have seen so many people use a similar contraption on YT and I had to give it a go, I have been using it for about 5 days and I love it. The bristles are so soft it's almost like giving your face a massage when used to cleanse your face with a cleanser. it's also very hygienic as everything washes off easily. I want to get one more for cleansing brushes! (approx £1.50 from Primark)



    Snow Fairy
    The best sweet scented shower gel EVER! Not much more to say... It needs no explanation :) (Lush)

    I Love... Raspberry & Blackberry 
    This is a gorgeous sweet scented body spritzer and I have been non stop applying and layering over the snow fairy. If pink was a scent, I smell like pink right now. (£2.50)


    And finally PINK roses!

    I am obsessed with pink roses I wish I had them in every corner of the room, all different shades of pink of course, anyway I am getting side tracked. The last pink roses I got were from Tescos for £4 and they have lasted me 11 days. How? I change the water every day, make sure no leaves are touching the water and snip the ends off every day too and voila good as new everyday.

    What are your favourite pink items? I have lots more, one including my favourite curling tong that i need to do an updated post on!

    Tuesday, 18 November 2014

    Soap & Glory Makeup...

    Hands up, this is the first time I have tried any type of makeup from the brand 'Soap & Glory' and I'm truly impressed. The two items I purchased are the 'Sexy Mother Pucker' lip plumping gloss & 'Kick Ass Concealer'. The product names are quite gimmicky and I'm fine with that as long as it lives up to what it's claiming to do. 


    The packaging is nothing special, quite basic with some eye catching font.


    The shade of lipgloss I got is 'Candy Gloss' which is a sheer peachy pink with gold shimmer, almost like a sheer liquid rose gold. It claims to have a natural plant oil with super fill technology which makes the lips swell in order to achieve that plumped pout. It has a doe foot applicator which is great because I can't handle those mini brushes which take forever to apply. The consistency is smooth but a little sticky and the scent is very chemical based as you would expect. The gloss applies quickly and evenly and just feels like a normal gloss but after a couple of minutes you get a pins and needles sensation on your lips and they tingle quite a bit for a few minutes which is essentially it working and plumping your lips.


    Here's a before and after of me applying the gloss taken about 10 minutes apart and you can judge the effect for yourself. I think it's pretty good, it's not extreme obviously, it's a subtle plump which makes your lips fuller, you can see the bottom lip plumped and smoothed out quite a bit as it created a deeper shadow under my lip.



    On to the concealer....


    The 'Kick Ass Concealer' is most definitely kick ass!! It's one of the best concealers I have tried, it has AMAZING coverage, it's extremely pigmented, creamy and applies beautifully with great staying power even when it's not set with powder. The concealer comes with 2 shades in 1 pot plus a setting powder and powder puff, like seriously what more do you want. FYI I have the shade 'medium'. It definitely reminds me of the 'Bobbi Brown' concealers and has been a lifesaver for me in the mornings and has made me look more awake and more human. It's great for dark circles and it has two shades so you can highlight and conceal at the same time. I have used it to cover spots too and it's fantastic for that too. It also retails at £10 which is perfectamondo!! (This reminds me to eventually do an overview of my favourite concealers!)


    The swatches are just one swipe and you can see how beautiful the texture is.


    These two products have definitely made me want to try more from their range! A big thumbs up from me!

    Have you tried and 'Soap & Glory' makeup products, if so what are your thoughts & favourites?

    Saturday, 15 November 2014

    Ombre Balayage...

    Short hair, ombre balayage and volume, yes please!



    I had my hair chopped off into a long bob 6 weeks ago and whilst I had been enjoying it short, it had been lacking something since it had grown out quite a bit. I called my friend Cheidem and she quickly popped over after we discussed the effect I wanted to achieve. She is the same person who did my micro bead hair extensions and a mobile hairdresser so we were able to nibble, or more like I nibbled on all of these super unhealthy snacks in the comfort of my own home.


    I wanted a natural gradient ombre that seamlessly blended in with NO brassy tones and a lot of ash tones shining through. Cheidem has her own technique with backcombing and using foils for no harsh lines. She also used her own conduction to make a toner to cancel out any orange which luckily I didn't get much of anyway.


    We had SO much fun and she even did some recordings, so if you follow her on Instagram or You Tube you can check for updates. There is even a recording of me applying makeup whilst she dries my hair!! All of these photos were taken in natural light and no flash so the colour is exactly as you see. The balayage itself was weaved and she avoided the parting area for a more natural sun kissed effect with NO stripes. It's considerably lighter but it feels subtle if that even makes sense.


    And no hair post is complete without some before and afters...


    Needless to say I love it, and the shade of blonde is exactly how I desired and I will definitely be enjoying my lighter hair for the winter months. This length of shoulder length hair in my opinion needed some sort of balayage for some oomph. I will of course be styling it straight too so I will update more as the days progress. But, it certainly still looks seamless and beautiful straight too which was extremely important for me as there is no way I am going to style my hair curly every single day.

    For more info and price quotes contact Cheidem
    Professional Hair & Beauty Stylist
    07983 766 698
    info@curly-vision.com
    www.curly-vision.com

    Are you loving balayage as much as I am? And what do you think of going for the chop?!