My 10 Top Christmas Gift Tips

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Christmas is coming up… Yeh I know it was just March and now it’s pretty much Christmas tomorrow. Well, not really but it’ll feel like it once we are there!

I am a kind sort of person and I like to help people out so I thought I’d give some tips and advice from my Mum perspective. Not a list of things to buy for my kids because that’s a bit presumptuous but more a list of things not to buy. Why?! Because I can! So take it onboard if you care to and consider the parents of those cute wee kids you are gifting presents to this year.

  1. Kinetic Sand or Playdoh.
    I freaken hate this crap! Yes that most likely makes me a terrible mother when it comes to creative play BUT if you gift this you must be aware you are now obligated to stay for the clean up.
  2. Same goes for glitter, goop, silly putty and molding clay.
  3.  Keyboards, drum kits, whistles, recorders.
    Yes music is delightful but please be aware if you gift these to my children I will remember it forever and when your child’s first birthday or Christmas rolls round, look out because I will hunt down a harmonica and a kazoo and gift it to your child!
  4.  Any battery powered toys, without the batteries. C’mon people! Don’t make me the bad guy when I have to say ‘oh, we’ll have to get batteries tomorrow‘. They want to play with it now damnit!
  5. Craft kits that require my help and attention for more than the set up. It’s Christmas Day, the day where it’s appropriate to have wine for breakfast. Don’t freaken ruin this for me.
  6. Fur-real pets. We have real animals. Let’s keep it that way.
  7.  A real pet. I have one husband, two kids, three cats and four house plants I’m already trying to keep alive.
  8. More freaken loom bands! I kid you not I will throw them back at you. I don’t care if they were 200 packs for $1. They are clogging up my vacuum cleaner.
  9. Technology I haven’t agreed to.  Please don’t swoop in and be the ‘fun’ family member who buys my kid an iPod/iPad/iWhatever. You will only be cool to them, I will loathe you and tear you a new one.
  10. Giant oversized soft toys. Just no. They have absolutely no purpose, so no.

Above all, don’t be a dick. Don’t trump the parents present. If they say Santa is bringing the kids a scooter, don’t buy them a motorbike.

Mel x

The Konjac Sponge Review

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The Body and Facial Sponges I purchased.

I suffered from Eczema and Psoriasis as a child. It was hideous. I remember the baths in Pinetarsol and my mum slathering me in creams to relieve the pain. Luckily it seemed to be a childhood thing and I grew out of it by the time I was about 12/13.

Except, I didn’t. It reared its ugly head again in my mid 20’s and I have been fighting it ever since.

I have tried diet changes, steroid creams, high doses of antibiotics that left me nauseas but I needed to fight the infections I had developed, magic potions and lotions – you name it, I’ve pretty much tried it. I stick to a pretty dairy free diet as I have had that pin pointed as a contributor but I also can’t help the odd cheese or chocolate indulgence. I am always searching for the relief answer, even having my Mirena IUD removed as my new doctor told me it wouldn’t be helping my skin situation.

My worst affected areas are my lower legs and ears. My ears are constantly becoming infected and I have been on many courses of antibiotics. The swelling and infections in my ears has also left me with affected hearing and I have significantly reduced hearing in my left side. So please, always talk to my good side!

As I browsed the Waikato Home and Garden show last week I came across the Konjac Sponges and the lovely lady selling them. She and her sponges promised a world of benefits and I was all in to hear it. Let me first start by praising her selling tactics and her gentleness of them. Not once did I feel forced into trying these. Not once did I feel I could not just say no thank you and walk away. In fact, she went so far as to suggest only buying one sponge and cutting it to be used on my different affected areas instead of having to commit to her 3 show special.

I bought the 3 show special. What can I say, it was a better deal! I walked away with a Lavender body sponge, Lavender facial sponge and a Collagen facial sponge (because I’m all about the anti-aging!). If you are interested you can find the sponges online here and also read the promises of each sponge for yourself.

I have been using the sponges exclusively for the last week. To give them a good go I have ditched the creams and have only been using these sponges. I have used the lavender facial sponge each morning and night gently on my ears and the collagen sponge on my face. I have showered without any soap or body wash on the affected areas of my legs, only using warm water and the Lavender Body Sponge. At the end of my showers I have been turning the tap of and then using the Lavender sponge to gently remove excess water from my legs before pat drying with a towel. And that’s it!

I will honestly continue to use these and will post a two week update next weekend. To me I am seeing a significant difference in the condition of my skin. I am also experiencing less tightness and aggravation of the skin, and my itchiness has reduced somewhat.

You can find the sponges I purchased online at At1 Konjac Sponges. You can also find more information and read about them on their Facebook page.

I have attached my one week results below. I warn you the aren’t pretty so stop scrolling here if you prefer not to see.

Mel x

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Top Pic, before. Middle and Bottom, After 1 week.
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Before : After week 1
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Before : After week 1

An Afternoon With Clever Poppy

Clever Poppy's DIY Watercolour Print Kit
Clever Poppy’s DIY Watercolour Print Kit
The girls and I recently discovered Clever Poppy and her world of DIY Kits. We were lucky enough to get our hands on one of the DIY Watercolour Print Kits to try out and it has been a perfect holiday activity.

The DIY Watercolour Print Kit comes with enough supplies to do all the 5 included designs and a wooden hanger to show off your favourite piece of art at the end. I plan to use the hanger for one piece but I love the girl’s pieces so much we are going to frame them for their bedrooms. You can purchase your own kit here.

The Clever Poppy range also includes hand-painted baskets, cups and an amazing copper magazine rack. All gorgeous and all with the satisfaction of doing it yourself!

The Watercolour kit is a great activity to do with your children and although it’s easy enough, some of the steps require some adult help.

I helped the girls by assisting with tracing their chosen print and then I did the white out liquid on the lettering and they took over with the outside of their chosen heart shapes. The watercolour part was all them! SO easy and so fun for them to create their own pieces. The end result is two great watercolour pieces for their rooms that showcase their skills.

The DIY kit concept is something I hadn’t seen before coming across Clever Poppy and I am so glad I did. I can’t wait to try out some more of her projects, I think the magazine rack has my name on it!

See our pictures below. You can also follow Clever Poppy on Facebook and Instagram.

Mel x

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44 Things I Want My Daughters To Know

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There are so many things I want to teach my girls that my mind threatens to explode. Half of it they are far too young to even understand yet but the life lessons I want them to learn are always front of mind for me. Some are simple wee tokens of advice that have served me well, others are bigger lessons that I need them to understand. I know I can’t save them broken hearts or hard lessons but when the time is right I will pass on my pearls of wisdom.

Things I want to teach my daughters

  1. Always make eye contact when speaking with someone. It is respectful and good manners.
  2. Live to eat. Food is delicious and there is so much to enjoy and discover. Don’t eat just to live.
  3. Never judge people. You don’t know their story and you haven’t walked in their shoes.
  4. Learn to say NO. You don’t need any reason except that you want to say no.
  5. Read books. Lots of books.
  6. Don’t take life or yourself too seriously.
  7. Tattoos are permanent. Think it through, trust me.
  8. Don’t settle in a relationship. You deserve a prince who captures your heart and protects it as if it were made of glass. Wait for that man.
  9. No matter how old or young you are, if you are drunk, ring me. Do not drive. Do not get in some ones car. I will not be mad at you and I will get out of bed for you.
  10. Don’t sleep around. Just don’t.
  11. It’s not the quantity that matters when it comes friends. It’s the quality.
  12. Don’t be afraid to do you. Be proud of who you are and be you with confidence.
  13. A naked face can be liberating. Don’t be afraid to show it.
  14. Always have wine in your fridge. For when I visit.
  15. Buy the shoes, the handbag, the perfume – you deserve them.
  16. Be a good listener. Really hear people when they talk to you.
  17. People always remember how you make them feel. Make them smile.
  18. No one is any better than you, and you are no better than anyone else.
  19. We are all in this together, be kind.
  20. Take responsibility for your mistakes. Apologise when you should.
  21. Don’t be afraid to fail. Take a deep breath and try.
  22. You can be and do anything you want to.
  23. You can also do absolutely nothing all day except eat chocolate and watch tv. That’s ok too but only every now and again.
  24. If you’re not married to him, use protection. Safety first.
  25. Just because it zips, doesn’t mean it fits.
  26. Wine/beer and pizza is a perfectly acceptable meal.
  27. Tights are not pants and you are better than track pants. Unless it’s Lazy Sunday and then anything goes.
  28. I don’t care if you choose to love women or men. You are still you and dad and I will always love you.
  29. If they make you cry, they aren’t worth your tears.
  30. Have the courage and strength to walk away. Sometimes things aren’t right for us and we must accept this.
  31. Childbirth is painful. Few things are comparable. Except bikini waxing, that’s kinda the same.
  32. Always have something you do just for you.
  33. Your youth will fade, so may your looks but your mind is forever. Keep it sharp.
  34. Never lose your sense of humour.
  35. If you have to, try the weed but stay away from the hard stuff.
  36. See the world. Go on adventures.
  37. Stay at school. Go to university. Education is your weapon.
  38. Never go to bed angry.
  39. We need the cloudy days to appreciate the sunshine.
  40. When nothing seems to be going right, turn the music up loud and dance that shit out.
  41. I am always on your side. I’ve got your back.
  42. Even if I am not here, I am always with you.
  43. Everything will be ok in the end.
  44. Something as simple as your breath, your smile, your laugh – completes me. To me you are everything.

Mel x