Tuesday, 29 March 2016

GelMoment One Step Gel Polish : Review

gelmoment, gel polish, nails, review

Nowadays, getting the time to do my nails is rare. Which is a shame as I love my nails done and used to do them every single week. 
I was recently approached to test and review a brand new at-home gel polish system. I own a similar one but it's often far too fussy to use and much quicker to just paint them. Maybe I'm just a bit impatient... ;) In any case, I was looking forward to trying this one out to see if it was any easier to use.

GelMoment offers a 'DIY One-Step Gel Polish Application' allowing you to quickly and easily apply the product, with no need for base coat or top coat and cured in just 60 seconds under the LED lamp, in the comfort of your own home with no need for a professional manicurist. 

GelMoment are in fact a direct sales company, only recently launching in the UK.

gelmoment, gel polish, nails, review

So, let's see what I received...

First up we have a LED Curing Lamp (£19.50). They are available in 5 different colours, mine is a bright, funky pink! It's quite small, only allowing 2 fingers to cure at one time. With an easy access button on top to activate the light, the lamp will turn itself off once finished. I like how small it is, so easy to travel with, perfect for weekends away or taking to a friends before a night out etc.

We also have a Soft Foam Toe Separator (£1.05) for keeping toes firmly and comfortably apart when applying product, this is a must for me as my toes often over lap slightly and I sometimes end up with polish on my skin.

Then we have a Mini Nail File & Buffer (£1.05) with a rough side to shape nail tips and a spongy buffer side to smooth the surface of the nails ready for application. 

Next up there are a few sachets of Gel Polish Cleanser (£4.30 for 50) which will ensure the nails are clean, dry and prepped ready for application. And Gel Polish Remover (£9.36 for 100), a revolutionary product for easy removal of gel polish.

Finally, I received a couple of the Polishes in Lavender Ice and Satin Princess. The polishes come in a variety of colours and are £19.50 each.

I own a similar at-home gel polish kit, but always found it too fussy and messy and only used it a hand full of times, so I was pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it was to use.

gelmoment, gel polish, nails, review

I live reviewed the kit on my Snap Chat, so my Snap Chat followers got a live, honest review as I tried it for the very first time. I thought it was a great idea and may do more live reviews in the future. You can follow my Snaps by adding me at Lianne.1984.

I filed the tips of my nails and buffed them using the file, then wiped them down using the cleansing wipes then applied a thin layer of the gel polish to one hand, it applied really nicely, and using the LED lamp, I cured them 2 nails at a time. Simply clicking the button on the top, the lamp cured the nails in just 60 seconds, switching itself off after the 60 seconds. 

My nails were completely dry and cured, and only needed one coat.
It took about 5 minutes each hand, which was super quick!

gelmoment, gel polish, nails, review

I was really pleased with how they turned out, for an at-home kit it has the look and feel of a professional gel overlay and was really simple and easy to use. 
I'll definitely continue to use this and may look into purchasing more colours.

It has the ease of your average nail polish application, with the staying power of gel polish. The LED lamp is a great size so fits into your nail collection without taking up too much space, plus is easily popped into your vanity case for travel. It doesn't take much fuss at all, which is a big plus for me and is why I found this so much better to use than my other at-home kit.

Keep an eye out on my Snap Chat for regular updates on how they are lasting and when I remove the gels with the gel removal sachet.


What do you think?

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*Product gifted for honest review
Many thanks to Ally of GelMoment
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Friday, 25 March 2016

Custom Canvas Competition


There's nothing better than wall art or a memorable photo to add life to a room. Custom Canvas are giving you the chance to do just that, with their Easter competition.

Custom Canvas specialise in creating beautiful customised canvas, jigsaws and acrylic prints. To celebrate Easter they're giving away a number of customised canvas prints up to the price of £30. 
It's super easy to upload your own image from your computer or social media account, choose your size and place your order using their simple software, making it quick and easy to turn your favourite photos into a fantastic focal point in your home.



I had the opportunity to create my own canvas recently, I decided on this gorgeous quote for my dressing room wall

Do you have a beautiful picture you'd love to turn into a canvas? Simply enter the following competition.


Rules:
  • One entry per person
  • Competition ends on April 10th
  • Prize is £30 eVoucher for Custom Canvas


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms & Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.
The winner will be randomly selected via rafflecopter. Entries will be verified.
The winner will be contacted directly by one of the Custom Canvas team.

The prize will be an E-voucher up to the value of £30 to be used on the Custom Canvas website and has no cash value.

Lots of luck!!

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*Competition run in collaboration with Custom Canvas
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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Sprucing up the Bedroom for Spring

It's Spring Time! The birds are singing, the buds are beginning to grow back on the trees, flowers are brightening up the lawns and everywhere feels a little fresher.

I love getting both the house and garden 'Spring ready' by adding little touches of Spring! 

How cute is this bedroom look? The beautiful birds and blossom trees bedding set from yorkshirelinen.com accompanied with cute pink accessories would look adorable in any bedroom to make it more Spring like.



Untitled #10
feat. Catherine Lansfield Birds Boutique Duvet Cover Set - yorkshirelinen.com

New bedding can quickly change the look and feel of a bedroom, and adding a few accessories can finish the look perfectly and can often give the illusion of a completely new room.

I've chosen the following bedding sets that I think are perfect for Spring Time...


I love the pink and blue in this Suri Pink Duvet Cover Set (£14.99) from Yorkshire Linen.


This gorgeous Cotton Butterfly Green Bed Set (£45.00) from Next Home just screams Spring Time!



Another beautiful duvet from Yorkshire Linen, this Key To My Heart Duvet Cover Set (£9.99) in ditzy floral print is perfect for a feminine room.


Bringing blue and butterflies into the bedroom with this Vintage Art Flutter Polycotton Duvet Set (£24.99) from Wayfair.co.uk, perfects the balance between the masculine and feminine touch in the bedroom.


I can't wait to get sprucing up the bedroom to feel a bit more Spring like! 

Do you make little changes around the home to keep in with the seasons?


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*In collaboration with yorkshirelinen.com




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Sunday, 20 March 2016

Life of a Toddler : If my 18 month old had Twitter

toddler, twitter

A day in the life of an 18 month old. 
I always wonder what life is like through the eyes of my little boy. What is he thinking?


Let's have a bit of fun...
Imagine if my 18 month old had Twitter...


5.45am - Wake up and can't find my diddy. Shout for my diddy, find it and fall back to sleep. 

7.00am - Wake up & shout Mummy. She comes in with a big smile, must be because I didn't wake her in the night #winning

7.10am - Watch Milkshake with Mummy in bed for a bit. But I get bored so look out the window to see if I can find some trees. 

7.20am - Still bored so head into Mummy's dressing room to see what I can touch. #SheHatesThis

7.25am - Bradley's making Mummy cross by not getting ready for school. She says he'll miss his bus if he doesn't stop messing. #SillyBabby




7.30am - Get dressed. Rockin some denim look joggers & a red stripy top. Argue with Mummy about what socks to wear. #MyFeetMyRules

7.45am - Mummy leaves me in my room while she gets dressed & 'puts cream on her face' or something. Hate when she leaves me. 

8.00am - Mummy tries to brush my teeth but I just want to suck the toothpaste and bite the brush. 

8.10am - Finally she lets me go downstairs! #FreeAtLast

Cheeeeeeese!! #LetMeTakeASelfie #HappyFace

8.15am - Eating my coco pops & apple slices while mummy cleans the kitchen & moves some clothes from the hanging thing into a pile. 

8.30am - Ask Mummy for Mr Tumble. Mummy has this special button on the remote that has lots of episodes of 'Mumble' just for me. 



9.45am - Off to see my mates at the Library Stay & Play. #OutOut 

11.30am - Been playing with all the toys at Stay & Play, then got to choose a new book to take home. 

12.00pm - Having lunch at home with Mummy. #GetInMyBelly


Lunch Time! #YumYum
12.10pm - She took my spoon away, how am I meant to eat my apple slices without a spoon? Scream until she gives it back #Fuming

1.00pm - Nap time! #TiredMuch 

3.00pm - Wow, my teeth hurt so much when I woke from my nap. Mummy said my cheeks were bright red! #Ouch 

3.15pm - Playing play dough. Mummy tries to get some jobs done. Is she having a laugh? I want her to play play dough with me!! #TimeForATantrumIThink

3.30pm - Mummy said the dishwasher is blocked. There's water everywhere. She seems cross. I think it's great to splash! 




4.00pm - Bradleys home! YESS!!! #BigBrotherTime 

4.30pm - Mummy made the yummiest dinner! Isn't it boring using a fork and spoon? So much easier with my fingers!

5.00pm - Super excited that my Daddy is home from work! 


5.30pm - Can't understand why Daddy won't share his dinner with me! #SelfishMuch





6.00pm - Chillin' in my tent with my bricks. #YoLo!


6.10pm - Mummy takes my nappy off and says if I need a wee-wee to sit on the potty. The potty is boring though. I don't fancy it today, maybe tomorrow. 


6.20pm - If anyone wants me, I'll be watching In The Night Garden! #IgglePiggleRules


In The Night Garden Time 
6.45pm - Mummy let me have bubbles in the bath tonight. GET IN! Mummy & Daddy got cross that I tipped water out all over the floor though. Oops!

7.00pm - Finally in bed, so exhausting being a toddler! #NightNight








It'd go something like that, right? ;)

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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Activities for Toddlers : Making Coloured Rice


I'm very lucky to be able to work from home, so I get to spend my days with my toddler. Working in Early Years, I'm not one for sitting around and letting him just 'play' all day, I'm constantly planning new activities and play opportunities for him. 

I often hear people say 'wow, you're brave' or 'that's far too messy for me!' when I tell them what we've been up to, but after working in Early Years for 16 years; the messier the better, I say! And what's a bit of mess when you're creating memories and building on skills?

This week we've been making coloured rice. It's really simple and you can use things you probably have in the cupboards at home.
Want to know how? Keep reading... 


What You Need:
Dry rice 
[just a cheap pack of rice from the supermarket will do]
Different coloured food colouring 
[you can also add flavourings for different scents too]
Food Bags / Zip Lock Bags
Water 
[people often use vinegar but I find a splash of water works just as well]
Kitchen Towel


Firstly, separate your rice into food bags, any food bags will do, although if you'll be letting children help, the zip lock bags will be your best option, so there's no spillages.

I usually do this the evening before we plan to play with it, to give it chance to dry out.

Add a couple of drops of food colouring, be very careful not to over do it, I've had to throw batches away before now as I'd added far too much colouring and the rice was too wet and sticky. It can take a little practice to get the balance between food colouring and water right, but if you start off with little amounts with a few drops of water and mix into the rice you'll find that only a small amount is needed. It's better to be able to add a couple more drops if needed rather than add too much and have to throw it away and start again. 
The water is to water down the food colouring, making it go a little further and help bind to the rice. As I mentioned, a lot of people use white vinegar but I don't keep this in the house and find that water has always worked just as well.

Holding the bag at the top, mix the colouring into the rice by manipulating the bag with your fingers until all the rice is covered. Then when you've coloured all the rice, lay the bags flat and leave to rest to give the rice chance to 'dye'. I usually leave it for a couple of hours, every now and then giving them a bit of a shake and turning the bags over. 


After a couple of hours, usually before I go to bed, I empty the rice out onto kitchen towel to dry out overnight. 
In the morning, the rice should be completely dry, not at all wet or sticky and the kitchen paper should be clean, with no colouring on the tissue. If it isn't, it's not suitable for playing with.


I set up the rice on our play mat on the floor, [an old shower curtain is perfect] although I'm definitely investing in a tuft spot ASAP to keep play like this from spreading the full vicinity of my kitchen floor ;) along with some silver kitchen utensils; pots, pans, cake tins, different sized spoons, cups etc for mixing. 


You could set it out in lots of different ways; 
in a tray at standing height, 
on the floor, 
on a table top, 
with small world toys [cars, animals, people],
with cups, scoops and funnels [for scooping and pouring], 
with coloured items to match the rice,
for mark making with fingers or other tools




It's always a popular activity in our house , it looks great, feels great, is lots of fun, clothes stay clean and it's nothing that can't be swept and vacuumed up afterwards. The rice can be stored away and re-used over and over, so can be pulled out when you need a quick, fun activity!


What do you think? 
Do you have any fun activities for toddlers to share?

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Friday, 11 March 2016

Kids Themed Photoshoots with ZigZag Photography

photography, kids photoshoot, ziglets


ZigZag Photography is a local photography studio based in Clarendon Park, Leicester. They recently introduced Ziglets - a themed photoshoot exclusive to 1-8 year olds and kindly invited us along to experience and review their new project. 

I was very excited to take Taylor to his first little photoshoot! At 18 months, he's a bit of a live wire, so I hoped they managed to get him to stay still long enough for a decent shot!

We were met with a warm welcome from photographer, Sammy, who I'd met previously at a local blogger event and made comfortable in the waiting area while they got the studio room ready for us. Taylor played with the wooden train set whilst we waited.

zig zag photography, photography studio

zig zag photography, photography studio

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot

Ziglets is a special children's only shoot offering a fun afternoon of dressing up and acting out their favourite scenes. They have a collection of decorative, dramatic and delightful backdrops to choose from, including pirates, fairies, galaxy wars and much more, that children can play and pose in front of. The backgrounds are the perfect accompaniment to any outfit, smart or casual, or a full on costume. 

We were shown the selection of backdrops to choose from and decided on the football background, as we'd bought along Taylor's little Leicester City kit, plus the graffiti style background against his casual outfit. Once Sammy had set the studio up upstairs, we were invited up to get started.


zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot

Sammy was fantastic at trying to get Taylor to look at the camera, although it was hard work, I do hope he didn't stress her out too much!! ;) He was all over the place, just as I expected... Especially when we had the costume change into his football kit! He loves his football and we were all running around shouting 'GOAAAL!', trying to get him to stand in front of the football background and face the camera. 

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot

After about 20 minutes, we were shown back downstairs and given drinks while we waited for the photos to be edited. We bought along a couple of snacks for Taylor and before we knew it, we were being shown back upstairs into the viewing room to see the photos.

I was a little worried that there wasn't going to be many good ones as I felt like Taylor didn't stay still long enough! :)

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot, photography studio

I needn't have worried, Sammy had got some fantastic shots!! They were shown to us on a big cinematic viewing screen and they were just gorgeous!! It was so difficult to choose which pictures we wanted. We were super lucky to receive £100 worth of prints including a huge 16x12 print worth £50 plus their Big Value Pack, also worth £50 which includes 3 images in 4 different sizes. We also purchased a couple of extra 7x5 prints as they were all so cute!! 

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot, photography studio, viewing

It was such a lovely experience, we were made to feel really welcome and comfortable and the whole thing lasted approximately an hour, which was just perfect as with small children the last thing you want is a long, drawn out process and lots of waiting around. 

We collected the photos a week later and I adore them! They're fantastic!

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot, photo

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot, photos

zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot, photos
zigzag photography, ziglets, photoshoot, photo


What do you think?

You can find more images over on my Instagram & Facebook pages.

Local to Leicester?
The lovely people at ZigZag Photography have offered my readers the chance to experience their own Ziglets Adventure Photo Shoot worth £95!
This entitles you to a mini themed photoshoot, a digital presentation and 12x16 print.

Call 0116 2700995 and quote THEBRUNETTESAYS to receive this offer.


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*I received this photoshoot and images free of charge 
for the purpose of this review.
Many thanks to ZigZag Photography.
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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Gro Anywhere Blind : Review

gro, blackout blind, toddler sleeping, gro company

When Bradley was a baby, he would really struggle to sleep in a light room. He would fight nap time even with the curtains closed as the room was too light and he would wake up super early from light flooding through. I had to stick sheets of black sugar paper [stolen from work, sshh!] up at the windows, as well as a blackout curtain to get him to sleep that little bit longer!

Fortunately Taylor isn't as bad, as he has a blackout roller blind in his room. He did struggle to sleep when we were on holiday during the summer as the curtains were far too thin and the room wasn't dark enough. 

The Gro Anywhere Blind from award-winning nursery brand The Gro Company, is a portable blackout blind perfect for keeping any room cosy and dark for a more comfortable, sleepy environment. Designed to fit any window [up to a maximum size of 130x198cm], this new and improved version has velcro fastenings to help adjust the size to fit smaller windows too.

gro, blackout blind, toddler sleeping, gro company

gro, blackout blind, toddler sleeping, gro company

gro, blackout blind, toddler sleeping, gro company


The blind, which is made with premium blackout material and has a cute moon and stars design, fits quickly and easily to the glass with large suction cups ensuring a close fit, to help block out any light. 

It folds up perfectly to fit into the handy carry bag so it's ideal for travelling away from home, to help make any room cosy and dark.

I will definitely take this on holiday with us to ensure complete darkness. I need a little practice getting it to stick on the glass firmly as it fell down a couple of times when we tried it in Taylor's bedroom. But it was pretty easy to put up and made the room completely dark.

The Gro Anywhere Blind can be purchased from The Gro Store for £29.99.


What do you think?
Would something like this come in use 
with your family?

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  Pregnancy & Beyond  //  Binky Linky


*Sent to me for the purpose of the review
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