Friday, 22 April 2016

2016 stepping in a new direction

Hello my fabulous readers.

Have I been missed? As it feels like an age since I have had a chance to write.  On the 29th February, I changed my life.  I had been saying for about year, I wanted to return to work.  I wanted to find the right time, I had to ensure my boys would adape to change.  Also money doesn't grow on trees, our rent went up a wooping 10% at Christmas, our finances would take such a beating there wouldnt be any money for treats, I was ready to make changes.
In the the New Year, I wrote out a new CV and sent it to a few a agancies.  I also sent it to a local hotel.  My background is the leisure industry and the job I had my eye on, my favourite was the hotel job. In early February I had my interview set-up.

The things that ran through my mind, I wanted to make the right impression from the start. I always felt that being a stay at home mum for 4 and half years, could go against me.  I more or less blocked out my interview, as I'd become ill with nerves.  Deep down, I didnt want to let my family down either.

Then I had to buy 'work' clothes, something decent for my interview. I also wrote a list of important questions.  This was the first interview I had had, in over 10 years, since leaving my last job.  So I had no idea what to expect, could things really change that much in 10 years?  I answered all their questions honestly and tried not to over talk, I do that when I'm nervious.
My interview went very well, I actually felt at ease, I had a follow up with a telephone interview and send a sample of my writing.  A few days later, I was given the thumbs-up.

On the 29th February, I started working Full Time!  I spent 2 weeks cross training, learning what other departments do, meeting my new collegues.   I think with age and previous life experience, I felt confident and settling well inwith my new team.  Majority of my work is talking to clients on the phone, ensuring other departments are aware what our clients needs are. I was let loose on the phone a couple of weeks ago and it seems to be going well. I still have much to learn, as I have been learning about company, procedures, new systems and time management is key.  I am really enjoying it so far.

Another thing is childcare, my boys now go to breakfast club some mornings. A friend helps me after school to collect them.  Home life is hectic, there is so much at home to organise, pack lunches, cooked dinners (I can finish work as later as 8pm) homework, laundry, taking Tyson out.  So going back to work has totally changed my lifestyle, time is very percious.  I'm getting there, its been a few months of being overwhelmed.  Over the next few weeks, I will get back into Blogging, I am just adjusting into my new life style.

Big respect to the parent bloggers who work fulltime and blog in their spare time, it's not easy.  If you have advice for a blogging parent like me, let me know.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Zootroplis the Puzzle review from Ravensburger

Released this week at the cinema is the new Zootroplis at cinema somewhere near you, with a fantastic all star cast.  Lt. Hopps has been put on the tail of Nick Wilde for a crime he hasn't committed, the 2 pair up to find out what really is happening in their sleepy animal city of Zootropolis. I can not wait to watch the new movie.  My boys are huge film buffs so after watching the trailers they want to watch it too.  Already merchandise is coming out, it's great for the new Disney movie. 

I was kindly sent one of the new Puzzles from Ravensburger they have two puzzles in their current collection, so make sure to check them out.  We have Lt. Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde the main characters of the film on our puzzle.

We received this new 100 xxl size piece box. So let the cracking the mystery and solving the puzzle begain.

So much detail on this puzzle, lots of words, symbols, pattens and colours to piece together, perfect for young imagines and little fingers.   

This puzzle is designed for 6+ the pieces are a good size, really big, when the fall on the floor there easily found.

James is 8 and puzzles are not his first chose of game, however he really enjoys using his brain to think about solving problems.  When I showed him the Puzzle he could not wait to get stuck in. 

I left him to his own devices, it took him a while to understand the art of putting a puzzle together. He collected the edges and added the corners.  Then all the pieces he could, he grouped together, such as the words and the colours blocks.  It took him a while with a little help from his dad.  He eventfully finished with a big grin.  Then he pulled some pieces off it and readded them, just to show he brother.  

Ravenburger are fantastic masters in making  puzzles, no two the same, the quilaity is creme de la creme, the pieces have a prefect thickness, the pictures dont peel off there bases. The colours are superb, with out bleed,  picture perfect prints. Overall fabulous in designs and a great way to relax without the TV and tablets, actually any modern day tecnology on,
 also a fab way to get some quality time with mum and dad.

All of Ravenbuger puzzles come with a size guild clearly written on their boxes.  Also the quanity is mentioned too.  

Disclaimer: I was sent this puzzle for an honest review. This is an unsponsored post.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

The BOSCH Steam Generator Iron, Sensixx DS38 #review A dream machine, steam ironing made effortless

I have been using the Bosch Steam Generator Sensixx DS38 ProHygienic for the last couple of weeks. This is the first time I have used a steam generated iron.

On first appearance, it's a very large product. As the base/stand large, yet it is sturdy, the control dial is easy to use the Bosch Steam Generator iron, Sensixx DS38 - stand and iron and can be turned to be set to the correct garment you wish to iron or use the i-Temp settings to ironing everything.

The base has a short lead to plug into the mains, I placed the base on a table. (next to my ironing board)

The base has a detachable water tank. I used filtered water to fill. This holds over a litre of water. The iron sits comfortably on the base, with a long thick cable going to the base unit. This cable has two leads inside, one water and the other electricity. There is enough length on the cable to easily reach the end of my ironing board.

The Sensixx DS38 beeps when it's ready to go, heats up only takes 20 seconds. The iron is light to hold and glides across the fabric easily, making it smooth to manoeuvre.

The Sensixx doesn't puff stream out, it waits until you want it too. It works as an normal iron until steam is requested. There are only two button on the actual iron, on the top handle the 'Ultimate' button, once pressed this will pulsate bursts of steam. There is also a red button underneath it's handle, this will generate continuous steam. Both options are great, I like the continuous option more, as this will lift stubborn creases with no effort from me whatsoever. However the air will turn thick with stream if used for too long.

I have ironed all types of fabrics, cotton, wool, linen, mixed blends. Also ironing different types of garments and items; sweaters, jeans, jumpers, school uniforms, table clothes, bedding, towels. My cotton table cloths usually need lots of elbow greasy. These are ironed in minutes, just the same as ironing a tea towel, no creases and an excellent finished. Ironing shirts, just as easy, no garments or items a chore to do anymore.
Even things like thick chunky corduroy trousers have no creases in one or two swoops.

With my standard iron, if I used the stream function on a stubborn area the garment would get damp or wet, on occasion I would have to wait for them to air off and dry. This is not the case with the Sensixx DS38, no wet or damp patches found, I found there isn't a need to saturate an area. I can easily fold or hang garments immediately after ironing.

I really like the water tank too, as I hate having to refill the water continuously. I ironed about 50 items before having to top up the water tank. I found I used the steam less as the items and garments ironed so fast. Overall I have had an excellent experience. The iron is light to
hold, a nice clean design, the cables don't got in my way. I didnt have to keep adding water. The iron glides over the garments effortlessly leaving no creases. A large pile of clothes takes next to no time ironing. I felt safe using the iron, I just needed to placed the stand on a solid surface.

I would recommend this wonderful appliance if you have a large family, you find ironing time consuming, if ironing is involved in your workplace.
Oh yeah!!! If you actually like ironing

The best price is £299.95 from reputable stores. AMAZON
It's an expensive piece of equipment, however it's been made to last and does exactly what's it's meant too.  It's fuss free ironing, impeccable service, service with a smile.

**Product description:
The Bosch Sensixx TDS3880GB ProHygienic Steam Station boasts a combination of features that make it one of the most complete steam stations on the market. Its Hygiene program removes over 99% of the common microbes from your textiles without the need for any chemical additives, whilst its VarioComfort program features 9 pre-defined ironing programs to deliver perfect ironing results on all types of fabrics.On top of this, the integrated Calc'nClean Perfect descaling program cleans both the iron and boiler to help prolong the life of your appliance.
  • Calc'nClean Perfect: A highly efficient cleaning system for both steam station and iron.
  • i-Temp Advanced: the optimum combination of temperature and steam — so you can iron all ironable fabrics quickly and safely without changing temperature
  • Up to 6.5 bar powerful steam pressure with integrated safety system.

**details taken from BOSCH.

Disclaimer: I am part of a review panel.  This same review has been submitted on the BOSCH home appliances website.  This is my honest opinion.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Aura Print, Digital Print Masters, Business cards the #Review

For any business and these days truth be told bloggers too.  It is very important to have an identity.  I have been blogging for a few years, its imperative for me to be noticed, I want to be recognized and leave a good impression.  I like going to events, meeting new contacts and fellow bloggers, introducing myself to others.  An introduction can make or break a deal.

Just the same as a Company, a Blogger is a brand, I believe a Luxurious Business Card represents its holder.

I was delighted to hear from Aura Print Digital, asking if I could review their service and have some business cards printed.
They are a fantastic British born company, 16 years in the making.  This local Huddersfield company started as one mans dream.  Gradually over the years, using the finest digital printing software, this little business has grown into a 9 man show, the team has dedicated departments, Admin, Design & Artwork and Printing.  Aura Print achieves high standards in digital design, they are fabulous communicators with the ability to understand their customers requires and needs.

My job: I had to explained what I wanted.
I had an idea in mind what I would like, however it was vague and not complete.
After all I am 'London Bird Lucy', owner of It's a London Bird Thing!
I have a wide scope of what I represent as a blogger.
My key targets; Family, Lifestyle, Tech and London!
I had the photo and the wording but no logo.
So, I need a logo, something creative that would suit me, my brand.

Also Aura Print ask you choose a Core Colour, I opted for Red.

Within a few hours, I  had a proof.  I had the option to change this in anyway I wanted.  But, I am seriously pleased with the outcome.  The logo, artwork they have made for me, really suits 'It's a London Bird Thing!' perfectly.

I didn't need to make any changes, the brief I gave them, was nailed on the head. 10/10

Now all I needed to do, is wait for my new business cards arrival.
Within 2 days, I had my new business cards.

It's very difficult to gage, the quality of products when using an online service.  Most of us go by recommendations from friends, word of mouth and reading online reviews.

Well, not only are my new cards brilliant, they are superior quality, 1ml thick, with the a red edge.  My new cards are noticeably high-end quality.  They are an excellent size, fit in my purse nicely.

I highly recommend Aura, for their impeccable service.  They listened to my needs and came up with the prefect artwork.  Aura Print offer the full package, printing everything possible, banners, flyers, brochure, flags and so much more.

All there prices are listed, its possible to use their online calculator to find out what the price will be, you can view all types of extras too.  As for the logo design that was extra but only cost £22 definitely worth the cost.

Prices start from £35.00.  The full cost of my cards including the design, printing, postage is all included at £82.44.  These are more expensive then some of the more commercial companies, however with their personal service and quality, in my opinion they are worth it.

If you are looking for great, friendly service, a company with years of experience, someone who is going to listen, be creative this is the printers to use.

Thank you for stopping by, please do say Hi!

Disclaimer: This is an unsponored post; I used there services and received these awesome business cards to review, all opinions are my own. 

Monday, 15 February 2016

Catching up with the Sunday Papers... The Sunday Time Magazine the #Review

Hello Everyone, how did your Valentines or Galentines day go.  My day had been hectic.  I had to rush to Morrisons for a spot of birthday shopping.  Which was perfect, as I picked up the The Sunday Times, as a Sunday Paper, it's one of my favourite Sunday reads.

It's packed with so much news, current affairs, hot topics, thinking outside of the box with fabulous features. The Sunday Times has relaunched their Sunday Times Magazine.  On first appearance its smaller, catches my eye, with the very beautiful Taylor Swift on the front, already I am thinking trending and cultured.

Once opened, a lovely note from Eleanor Mills, the Magazine Editor. This is its 54 year since The Sunday Times Launched its first full colour magazine.  It is still going on strong, back in the 60's music, fashion, politics, women's issues, current affairs have evolved so much.  The Sunday Times has been a leader, always current with fabulous writers and great headliners.

In this weeks issue, there are some fantastic articles.

How to live well by Bryan Appleyard:
An interesting article, giving us an insight to information what was obtained firstly through our midwives 1946.  The National Baby survey was conducted by a chap called James Douglas.  Studies on the welfare of babies, their backgrounds and focusing how their futures will turn out.  James and others like him conducted surveys (cohorts) 1946, 1958, 1970, 1991 and 2000  These groups of babies/people were later known as the Douglas Children, most stuck to the surveys their entire lives, all personal events through the years have been documented.  These people (now in the their 70's) feeling very proud to help shape the future because a lot of useful information had been found through these surveys.

Things like smoking during pregnancy harms babies, reading for pleasure makes you better at it.  A broken marriage damages the life chances of any child.  The early years in children really matters.  Parents/households with money will continue to live a rich life, while others born in poverty will have to work hard to break that pattern.

Current surveys are trying locate the early stages in dementia and a decline in health.  Maybe from there they can research to an earlier time to see any patterns and can tackle these lives changing issues.     

I had no idea such studies have even taken place.  To me everyday is a challenge, however I am fully aware I have more opportunities living in the south.  I was born to middle class Grandfather, my father well educated in private and boarding schools, he is intelligent, well travelled, intellectual.  So will his background shape my future?   

A very interesting read, researched over the years.  It seems there is proof that lifestyle choices can mould a person and our children's future forever.  However, our very own past and upbringing will mould us too!

The Interview with Dita  Von Teese, by Chrissy Iley
Dita Von Tesse, rose to fam for being a girlfriend of a somewhat oddball Marilyn Manson.  She a bombshell, all curves and a reminded what a woman looks like who has not been filled with plastic surgeries.  Very much mysterious, fifties glamour kitten, a sexy teasing burlesque dancer.
Dita is getting into music, currently promoting her album, a very pleasant interview about a lady who is fairy secretive.  She appears to talk from the heart and has a good sense of humour, tremendous energy and direction as to where she is going and what she wants in life.  This sassy lady has always had control of her life.       

Love section

Is maintenance sex ever OK?   By Vanessa Marin
I have never heard of the term, 'Maintenance Sex'?   Basically this means to have sex to keep your partner happy for that moment in time.  Lie back and think of all the chores you need to do tomorrow. While they shag the living daylights out of you.
This made me laugh, I love sex, it's great when my partner is really excited and we are both feeling in the mood.  However there are plenty of times he wants his wicked way with me and I say not tonight, I am tired.  I do not see how going through all the motions to make him sexual pleased, I am sure he will pick up on this.  We both have respect for each other, I do not need 'Maintenance Sex'.  When I am in the mood and he isn't, I can read a book.  Anyway, there is always 5am sex!!! 

Life section

Relative Values 
An interview with Ruby Wax and her husband Ed Bye, by Caroline Scott.
I always think of Ruby Wax as being a ball busting woman, I have always liked her for her honesty and loud opinions. She is a real funny woman too.
This interview is very genuine, I can picture Ruby with her husband, he sounds like an amazing man.  He talks openly about living with Ruby and her mental illness, he isn't afraid and tries his best to comfort Ruby when she really needs him.  Of course the real message is mental illness, mental illness isn't something to be a afraid of, seek help and advise if need be, be open, show love and respect.  I wish Ruby and Ed so much happiness, in their loving and caring relationship.  I really hope Ruby can help others with her important message.     

There are plenty of features, Love, How it feels to..., Body, Eating (with Jamie Oliver) and other chefs too, Tech, Driving (new with Jeremy Clarkson and Suzi Perry, also A life in the day with Nigel Farage.   So make of it as you will, The Sunday Times Magazine is jam packed with some great facts, interviews and interesting stories.

Thanks for stopping by, don't be shy come and say Hi!

 Discloser: This is a sponsored post.  This review is my own, my honest opinion.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

ANDY'S AMAZING ADVENTURE - AMAZING NEW #KIDS MAGAZINE! Packed with Wildlife and Dinosaurs, my son loves it #Review

Who's familiar with 'ANDY'S AMAZING ADVENTURE'
My youngest is a huge fan of this factual Adventure show on Cbeebies

As from TODAY! 10th February, Andy’s Amazing Adventures magazine being released at all major shops.

Andy’s has really got about recently, with his amazing television shows, showcasing what our wonderful World has to offer.  Wild Adventures, Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures and Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures.

This fabulous new magazine is perfect for our little explorers.  Liam adores all wildlife and anything Dinosaurs related anyway, I just knew he would like it.

In every issue Andy will be our trusted guide, exploring our World and even travel through time in his time travelling clock.  He gets to meet some awesome creatures on his travels, he also faces dangers and gets to solve problems along the way.

Each magazine is packed with puzzles, stickers, colouring pages, stories, posters and collecting cards and each issue comes with a great gift.

So what are you waiting for? This is an excellent pre-schoolers magazine (IT SAYS PRE-SCHOOL, HOWEVER HIGHLY EDUCATIONAL & FUN FOR OLDER KIDS TOO)  packed with educational facts.  With so much to read and do.  Grab a copy today!

Andy's Adventures focuses on key educational needs:- It supports the Early Years Curriculum.
1) Finding Out
2) Feeling Good
3) Physical Development
4) Maths
5) Creative
6) Communication & Literacy

In this weeks issue the free toys are a T-Rex Grabber plus 5 little dinosaur friends.  Liam has added these to his collection.  He likes  his T-Rex Grabber the best, as it eats all the dinosaurs and gets our dog growling.

Just in case you are not familiar with Andy and his friends from the National Museum where Andy works.  There is a nice introduction. 'Who's Who?' to start us off on our journey.

I went to have a look first, Liam promptly decided it was his turn, so after he had a quick flick through, before we read it together.  Good thing too, as we have been reading together and Liam has been doing all the tasks.  

The magazine has been put together exceptionally well, just the same as Andy Adventures on Cbeebies. The stories takes the readers on adventures, with enough interesting facts not to over load young minds.  Then there are sections to recap and test your brain from what was just read.

We went wild with Tigers, back in time with Stegosaurus and T-Rex and had some under water Super Swimmer action too.  This magazine has some great activities too.

For just £2.75 this is a great quality monthly magazine, well worth the the money.  The entire magazine is in biggish print, making it easy for young kids to clearly see the words.  After 20 minutes we had an army of dinosaurs taking over the frontroom.  Liam loves his new magazine and so do I, so much to do,  lots to learn for everyone.  I like that he his gotten really immersed in it and this magazine has made him really happy.

Thank you so much for stopping by and don't be shy, come and say hi!

Monday, 8 February 2016

NORM OF THE NORTH, In cinemas on 18th March, 2016 #KidsCinema #Kids



A new original family feature NORM OF THE NORTH. Norm will be Arctic shaking his way into cinemas on 18th March, 2016.
I hope audiences will fall in love with Norm, he a special polar bear with the rare gift of being able to talk with us humans. Along with his 3 trusty lemming sidekicks Norm takes a thrilling and hilarious journey to New York on a quest to save his beloved homeland from property developers. 

This great new feature has a fantastic line up of top A-class voice talent and a host of new Arctic characters. I am more than sure Norm will become an instant favourite with families across the country.  

In addition to our loveable hero, Britain’s favourite comedian and finest export, James Corden, whips up a (snow) storm as the voice of thespian ‘polar bear impersonator’, Laurence.
Directed by Trevor Wall, the furry adventure also features the voices of Rob Schneider as Norm; Heather Graham as high-flying marketing exec with a conscience, Vera; Bill Nighy as wise bird, Socrates; and Colm Meaney as ‘King of the Arctic’, Grandfather.
Norm, a polar bear of many words, has a gripe, it's simple: there is no room for tourists in the Arctic. When a maniacal developer threatens to build luxury condos in his own backyard, Norm does what all normal polar bears would do, he heads to New York City to stop it. With his cast of sidekicks lemmings at his side, Norm takes on the big apple, big business and a big identity crisis to save the day.  

I hope to see you there!