Christmas at Beaulieu - Illuminated Light Trail Review


I can't believe it's almost December which of course means it time to do Festive things! 

Lat weekend I was invited to the launch of the illuminated Christmas Trail at Beaulieu and it was truly magnificent. This Christmas is Maci's first meaning we are trying to do as many Christmas themed things as possible so this was a perfect opportunity to show her lots of lights.


The Illuminated light trail at Beaulieu consists of 11 individual installations and over 437 theatrical lighting units. 

As you enter the Light trail you are met with a small 'vintage' style carousel and ferris wheel. There are also a few small stalls selling; alcohol, hot chocolate, marshmallows and more! 

To enter the first part of the Light trail you enter through the 200 ft long Cathedral of Light which is a tunnel that consists of 30,000 bud lights and the Canopy of Lights with over 20,000 twinkling pea-lights. Whilst being in awe of this specticle the beautiful tune 'The Twelve Days Of Christmas' will play enhancing the festivities.



As you continue through the trail you come to the Abbey which is lit up by a spectacular Fire display. By Christmas day this display would of used 5,132 individually crafted candles.


The next section of the Light Trail is the 'Icicle Walk' which is composed of enormous shards which guide you towards the next section which is the Meadow of Light. The Mill Pond is lit up with thousands of Fibre Optic lights creating a 'mythical' feel. Throughout this section there are hidden surprises, see if you can spot the frosty snowflakes and the beautiful fairy perched on the tree.



The finale was definitely one of my favourite parts because it was truly breathtaking. As you walk round the corner there is a beautiful, enormous Christmas tree which reminds you why you are here - To celebrate Christmas.

I highly recommend this experience, it is a lovely family evening out and it is truly memorable. Another special feature of this Light Trail is that Beaulieu have even considered 'Photo Opportunities' throughout the walk you will spot 'Photo frames' which are perfectly lit to take stunning photographs to save forever.


Until next time,

Storm
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Twitter @stormydoos

Christmas at Beaulieu is on from the 23rd November - 24th December
Admission - Advanced from: Adult £14.50, Child £8.00, Family £40.00, Under 5's and carers free.
You can book tickets here - www.beaulieu.co.uk/christmas

Thank you to Southampton Bloggers & New Forest Bloggers for allowing me to have this #gifted experience.
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Christmas Gift Guide!

 I can't believe I am sat here writing my Christmas gift guide already... and it isn't just a normal Christmas either because it is Maci's first ever one. 

For those of you who may of been following me for a while you will know that I love nothing more than an independent business so I try my hardest to feature some in this annual post. I am aware some of these 'gifts' may not be to everyone's taste due to the fact many of them are 'baby related' so for that I am sorry but for those of you who have children or are expecting this may be perfect for you!

The first gift comes from a lovely independent brand called 'Nanny Pinks' - You can choose the colour material that you would like and of course the name. These garlands are perfect to hang on a wall or on the side of a cot. They are made of very good quality material and feel very sturdy.




The second gift comes from another independent brand known as 'Bloomsbury Mill' who make beautiful baby items. Bloomsbury Mill kindly sent me a range of their items in the pattern 'Patchwork' - they also have many other patterns! They create beautiful bedding, muslin cloths, swaddles cloths and lots more (would make a perfect baby shower gift also!)



My next gift is from the 'Star Name Registry' - I collaborated with this company a few months ago on a giveaway in which they kindly gifted me a star for Maci... yes you read that right! You can name a star after someone (or yourself if you like!) It comes beautifully packaged and the authenticity certificate is also framed meaning its ready to be hung on display, what a lovely unique gift!





Another incredibly unique gift would be some Letterbox Flowers from 'Bloombox Flowers' - This is also a small independently ran business. Letterbox Flowers are basically what it says on the box (huh, get it!) It's a bouquet of flowers which is able to be posted through your letterbox! Bloombox also do big bouquets of flowers if you're in the local area to them (Southampton, UK) 



Now who doesn't love a snuggly blanket?! The Tartan Blanket Company are based in Edinburgh and create 100% wool items. This company also have recently started selling smaller blankets (74cm x 90cm) perfect for babies! 

he blanket shown in the image is the 'New Wool Baby Blanket In Pink Diamond Herringbone' 



And finally, this gift comes from The Baby Hamper Co.  they kindly sent me a beautiful bauble which you can have personalised with any name! It's Maci's first christmas decoration and I am so very excited to hang it up soon!

(Image from Personalised Bauble )

I would like to say a massive thank you to all of these companies who have kindly gifted me these items to be featured in this post. 

I hope you feel somewhat inspired by my Christmas Gift Guide 2018! 

Until next time,
Storm










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Las Iguanas Bournemouth - Review

Hello!

I was recently invited to Las Iguanas in Bournemouth to sample their menu. The images I took throughout the evening aren't the best quality due to the dark lighting in the Restaurant so despite this I will be using some images of the website.
For starters I had the Pato Taquito - Which is a Roast duck & caramelised onion rolled in a char-grilled flour tortilla, with spicy cranberry salsa. This was definitely my favourite dish of the evening, I never usually order duck but I am so glad I did. It was cook to perfection and I could not fault this starter.

(not my image)

For mains I had the 'Blazing Bird' which is a 24 hour marinated jerk-chicken, served with slaw and a choice of fries or salad. I chose to have sweet potato fries, which i'm sorry to say were a little bit burnt. The chicken itself was very moist and delicious, I would definitely recommend this meal apart from the sweet potato fries. Also when you order this you can choose the 'hotness' of the chicken. 
For desert myself and Emma shared the churros which were perfect after eating the large starter and main. The churros were cooked perfectly and were complimented by the Chocolate ganache and/or Dulce de leche which came with them. 

Three Churros £4.95
Six Churros £7.95 
(When you order six you get both 'sauces')

Now you can't go out without enjoying a Cocktail, right? We both had the Malibu Swizzle which was incredible...


I had a very lovely evening with Emma (make sure to check our her blog!) thank you for inviting me along - also a massive thank you to the staff at Las Iguanas Bournemouth.

Until next time,
Storm


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My Top Teething Essentials

Teething... it's a daunting word isn't it.

Before very recently I had no idea about what products were available to help with the 'teething process' or even what to do with them! 

When you become a parent you expect to have to learn new things but you don't expect you will have to deal with teething until around 6 months, Maci began showing signs of teething at around 2 months old and it is only now you can distinctly see her two bottom teeth that have come through but she has more on the way...


Here are a list of my top teething essentials... they have made this experience a little easier for Maci and I so I hope that these items can help you too.


Amber teething bracelet 

 When I first asked on my instagram about what everyone suggested for teething products I had so many replies suggesting these and I must admit I was very sceptical. Although coming from a Beauty Therapy & Holistic background I knew the powers of natural crystals so I figured I would give it a go and I wasn't disappointed. Maci wears this 24/7 even when she isn't showing signs of teething but I personally believe this made a difference.

(When you purchase Amber Teething Bracelet/Necklaces always make sure they come with an authenticity booklet or certificate)


Sophie La Girafe

Sophie is an 100% rubber teething toy. The giraffe shape means that even babies as small as 3 months can hold onto her legs and neck. Sophie also squeaks providing an entertainment aspect to keep the baby entertained. These toys can also be sterilized.

You can find more information here - Official Homepage UK


Calpol

I feel like this is one of the most important items on this post because Calpol is a must-have in a babies changing bag (teething or not!) 
Calpol can be taken from 2 months old (or the appropriate weight) and babies can take up to 2.5ml every 4 hours. 
Calpol works perfectly alongside all the other products on this list, I kept the calpol for when Maci was being very grumpy and then I would give it to her in her bottle.


Brush-Baby Teething Wipes

 I only discovered these a few weeks ago and they aren't the most effective things although I feel like they provide some comfort and relief. These Bush-baby teething wipes slide onto your finger (almost like a finger toothbrush) and then you peel off one side to expose a camomile paste which you then rub onto your babies gums. 

These can be used from 0-16 months.


And last but no means least...

Dentinox Teething Gel

This product is INCREDIBLE! Dentinox is well known for its great products but this one tops the charts for me. You simply pop a small amount onto your finger and rub it into your babies gums to allow instant comfort. You can repeat this step every 20 minutes if needed.

Dentinox Teething Gel contains active ingredients lidocaine and cetylpyridinium.

So those are my top teething essentials, I hope if you're struggling with a teething baby or toddler these products help you.

If you have a favourite teething product that I have not mentioned please share it in the comments!

Until next time,
Storm
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What's in my changing bag - 16 weeks old

Hello! 

If you're reading this its most likely because you're nosey (just like me!) and you'd like to find out what I carry round with me in my 'narnia' of changing bags!

Despite the fact I am writing this as Maci is nearly 4 months old (how has that happened?!) the contents of my bag has not changed drastically since she was born, only the sizing of the clothes have changed.


The changing bag I use is the one which matches my pram which is the 'Silver Cross Pioneer' in 'Vintage Pink' 


The bag has many different compartments inside meaning it is easy to organise your belongings into categories and you also have four bottle compartments, two on the outside of the bag and two on the interior.

As you can see my bag is fairly organised (doesn't always look like this!) I organise it by putting clothes in the big pocket at the front, nappies, wipes and milk powder in the middle big section then muslin clothes and bibs in one of the pockets in the back and then I use the other section for Calpol, emergency sterilising tablets and other bits.


The nappies I am currently using are the 'Lupilu' lidl branded nappies - Personally I have found many other well known brands aren't as absorbent as these and these are wonderful and barely ever leak!


I always have a few muslin cloths and bibs in the changing bag because we have many 'puking incidents' during the day whilst we're out and if we have muslin cloths usually it means we haven't got to have a new change of clothes.


I remember when I first took Maci out of the house I packed so many spare clothes and lets be honest, its hard to know what to take.

What I usually pack is -

2 short sleeved vests (or long sleeved depending on time of year!)
2 Baby grows
1 pair of socks
1 hat


Since Maci is teething at the moment Calpol is a necessity... so this is always in our changing bag recently.


Once again Bepanthen is another item you will always find in our changing bag, babies skin is so sensitive I tend to pop this on Maci even if she isn't red it just protects her skin whilst she's wearing her nappy.


When your baby is born you are advised to always carry their red book in the changing bag incase of emergency... plus if its always in your changing bag you haven't got to worry about finding it when it comes to those horrible injections because you already know where it is!


I haven't actually spoken about Maci's bottles on here yet so I thought this would be a good opportunity to. 

When Maci was a few weeks old we knew something wasn't quite right and we were told she has Colic and silent reflux meaning she has to have special 'anti-colic' bottles. At the time we decided to use the 'Tommee Tippee Anti-Colic' bottles but since then I have also tried the 'MAM' Anti-Colic bottles which also work very well.


And finally, this is what I use to carry around the milk powder without it spilling everywhere. I picked this particular one up in Morrisons and it has three compartments inside which you measure out the exact amount of milk powder your baby drinks and then once they are hungry you simply open the little cap and tip it into the sterile water in the bottles... makes it a lot easier!

So that's what I have in my changing bag, its a lot isn't it!?
If you're a parent, what do you have in your bag which I don't, let me know below.

Storm

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The White Horse Hotel Romsey - Light Lunch Menu Review


A few days ago I had the pleasure of being invited to The White Horse Romsey to sample and review the brand new 'Light Lunch Menu' - Safe to say I wasn't disappointed.




As soon as I walked through the doors I knew this would be a pleasurable experience, the decor was homely and fresh. The staff were attentive and lovely, what more could you want on a rainy Saturday afternoon?




First of all we were given some of the homemade bread to try, the bread was fluffy and light. Perfect!

And who knew bread could look so photogenic?


The bread came paired with small dishes in which you could pour your own oil and balsamic vinegar which was already placed on our table.
 We wanted to sample as many dishes as possible on the new 'Light Lunch Menu' so we ordered a few dishes (as you can see)

My favourite appetiser was definitely the Salt & Pepper Squid Paired with a Chilli Jam - Usually I am not a lover of anything spicy although the flavours from the seasoning on the Squid was delightful. Simply couldn't have enough of this!
 Another dish we tried was the Confit Chicken Croquettes now once again this is something I wouldn't usually order but I wanted to see what The White Horse had to offer and these were delicious. The only downside is that I feel they were slightly lacking in moisture although once again, these did come with a Tarragon Mayonnaise which complimented them very well.




Now who doesn't love Sweet Potato Fries?! But they aren't as easy as you may think to cook, if these are on the menu at a Restaurant I am reviewing I will always order them because usually they are 'overdone' or simply 'not cook enough' meaning they are soft... These were cooked perfectly, they had the exact right amount of 'crisp' to them and the seasoning finished them off impeccably well.

It would be rude not to try the deserts wouldn't it?

For desert I ordered the Dark Chocolate Delice - which was astounding. The flavours were impeccable and it was most certainly my favourite desert I have had in a long while.

My overall opinion of the new 'Light Lunch' menu at The White Horse - Romsey is that I would highly recommend that if you're local to go and try this amazing food. Not only is the menu perfect the staff are very attentive and passionate about what they do.

I would like to say Thank you to the staff at The White Horse - Romsey for the pleasure of allowing me to come and review the new menu and also thank you to LifeofEmmax for asking me to come with you.

Storm 
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Easy Ways To Keep Your Home Clean - Products

Hello! 

Hi, how are you?

Now you're most likely here because you enjoy cleaning... In this post I am going to share with you my top few cleaning products and how to use them to make your home feel clean and fresh quickly and easily.

Having a twelve week old baby means that I simply don't have the time very often to 'deep clean' my home meaning I have had to find quick alternatives that I do almost every single day to keep on top of the cleaning. 


Before having Maci I spent a lot of time at home due to being so poorly during pregnancy so I would spend a majority of my time (when I wasn't being sick) cleaning and in doing so I became extremely 'House Proud' which continues to this day. 

I have composed a list of my top few cleaning products (no particular order)-

 Let's be honest, we all put off cleaning the oven and other difficult items but 'The Pink Stuff' makes it so much easier. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive when I first heard about this product but I can confirm it is as good as everyone says it is.

This Product is one of my most recent discoveries, I came across this product in Morrisons and thought 'heck, why not give it a go' and I was pleasantly surprised. It is a 'Antibacterial citrus spray' also you can spray this on 'food surfaces' meaning it is perfect for the kitchen! Plus it smells incredible, always a bonus right? Oh and it was only 77p...

Now this wouldn't be a cleaning post without some Zoflora featured at some point... Who doesn't love Zoflora. I usually pick up the 'Fresh Linen' scent but the other day whilst in B&M I came across this one and had to give it a go.
For those of you who may not know Zoflora is a concentrated Disinfected that I usually dilute with water and wipe down the kitchen sides once a day.


 Having Laminate throughout our whole home means that it becomes quite dirty and with Laminate you can't really mop it because it becomes wet and then starts to lift so I was so ecstatic when I found these wipes which are made especially for floors plus they are anti bacterial which is perfect when you have two doggies running on the floor too.


My partner does a very physical job meaning that very often he comes home from work with his clothes stained and dirty and of course once i've washed them I don't want to put Maci's baby clothes into a 'dirty' washing machine so I always use this product to give it a thurer clean, it works a treat!

This is definitely one of my favourite products on this post because it smells delightful! All you do is simply tip a 'lid full' of the powder into your toilet to help reduce limescale and of course make it smell lovely!






I hope this post has given you some ideas on how you keep your home clean and tidy easily... Let me know in the comments below if you purchase any of these products and how you find them.

Storm



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