Patchwork Pawprint Review: Handmade Personalised Bunting from Etsy
My daughter, Bella, turned two at the beginning of June. I stumbled across this beautiful personalised handmade name bunting back in April or May whilst browsing Etsy for birthday gift ideas. The pink and green had a sweet, girly cottage feel to it. As we were due to move house I thought it would look just perfect in Bella’s new bedroom. We actually ended up moving house over her birthday weekend, so needed to buy presents in advance so we could still celebrate her birthday amongst all the house move chaos!
Bella is quite girly so this design is perfect for her. The best thing about ordering from small handmade folk is they are often open to custom orders so you can get exactly what you like. If you want different colours or themes, perhaps more boyish bunting, then all you have to do is pop the maker a question with your requirements and they'll often be able to meet them. You really can get something 100% personalised and bespoke to your requirements.
I ordered in plenty of time to ensure delivery for the birthday girl's big day (the shop also stocks off the shelf products, but I think it’s worth the wait for the personalised touch!). The bunting arrived and it is so totally adorable, perfectly stitched to the highest finish. It looks just right in Bella’s new bedroom, hanging proudly above her cute cot bed attracting positive comments from all who see.
If you are considering some similar personalised fabric bunting I would definitely visit www.etsy.com/uk/shop/patchworkpawprint who come highly recommended by me! If you haven't yet discovered the joys of Etsy then what are you waiting for? Find amazing unique gifts, home accessories and so much more! It's the perfect place to support small businesses and stop buying mass produced products.
Fashion Review: Whistle & Wolf Beautiful Orchid Print Dress
The amazing brand Whistle and Wolf let me (very gladly) choose an item for review from their fantastic website www.whistleandwolf.com. I literally had to revisit the website around ten times before making my decision as I just couldn’t choose! I could have had the lot! In the end I was torn between the cherry blossom prints, lace colour blocks and this stunning orchid print. Eventually I decided I would probably wear the orchid print dress more often and for such a variety of occasions; evening out, date night and perhaps even a wedding (especially an evening do).
The dress arrived very quickly and I was incredibly impressed with their branded packaging. The dress was wrapped in tissue paper with silk branded ribbon. This was within a branded canvas shopper bag featuring their rather cool logo. I’ve been using the shopper almost daily so extremely useful too! Inside all this delight was the dress; beautifully folded and screaming to be worn!
This beautiful shift dress oozes high quality. It is fully lined with premium feeling material. The dress features a hidden zip at the back, a striking orchid print with neon hints, bright jade piping, capped sleeves and a rounded neckline. These features create a perfectly finished dress in a very flattering cut.
The dress is comfortable to wear and not too tight at all. I even managed to do the back zip up by myself. The length is quite short on myself (I’m 5’7”) so I definitely wouldn’t take part in too much stretching or bending if wearing with bare legs! I’m quite tall so it would probably be a more decent length on most.
The whistle and wolf orchid print dress is an LBD with a difference; a bold and striking beautiful print. It has a bright contemporary feel with a cut and print suitable all year round. I would team it with high heels and bare legs for a girl’s night out, tights and boots in the wintery months and even alone with flip flops for hot summer days. The print is so eye catchingly fantastic you don’t even need to accessorize!
The dress retails for £55 on their website which seems reasonable to me for such a well made piece. I imagine this dress will last me years and will no doubt be my dress of choice again and again!
If you’ve been wondering where my blog posts have been recently, I’ll explain. The house move entirely took over our lives for the past few weeks! A completion date was finally set (four weeks late) and we had two weeks to pack the entire house, organise vans, sell the bulk of our old furniture and find new furniture. It was all a little crazy and seemed absolutely nonstop whilst working evenings and only passing over with Ben for ten minutes most days meaning we had to try and organise everything via text; just a tad stressful!
Only two weeks until we have our oven delivered!
The move took most of move day as we could not collect keys until after 2pm. We luckily managed to get everything in one van and even squished two new sofas onto the back! Apparently Ben and his brother provided great entertainment to an audience of Next Outlet staff! They somehow managed to get a three seat and two seat sofa vertically onto the back of one very full van!
Two weeks on and we have managed to tear half the garden out, fill a huge pond, saw a couple of trees down, purchase almost all our new house furniture, paint the darkest blue bedroom white, white wash most walls, install a new bath and tile the bathroom, laminate one floor, add new skirting and fill the largest skip ever! Phew!
My office is also coming along nicely. The bedroom of our old house was turning into my stockroom with boxes appearing everywhere and the bed/floor was my packing station/office. It was definitely not very practical. Thankfully (and very luckily) I now have a converted garage room which makes a rather roomy office space. I have so far installed a white corner desk/packing station, two sets of white/colourful storage units and a totally amazing purple fake leather quilted office chair. I’m feeling very at home in my new work space already even though the walls still need painting, lights changing and decor purchasing!
I also could not blog as our internet was not installed. It was due to be installed two Mondays ago when an engineer came out to fix a phone line. I rely on the internet for my blog and online shop so we ensured we booked the installation as soon as we found out our move date. Sky told us everything was in working order the next day even sending a text to say our broadband was active. Well, we had nothing, not even a dial tone. After several calls and a lady thankfully looking through all the notes, we discovered the engineer noted he couldn’t complete the job as we needed to go out; a total load of rubbish as we were home all day and evening. The time of his note was 4.45pm so it would appear he just wanted to clock off for the day. What cheek! Another engineer was sent out one week later, but still no internet! Luckily a third came today who actually fixed the problem. Yippee!
I finally feel connected to the outside world again. We don’t even have 3G here (well a connection occasionally appears on our bathroom windowsill)! It’s mad how much we rely on the internet nowadays. We felt unable to do most things as we use it so much. We needed plumbers, electricians, window cleaners, tilers, furniture, to update addresses, the lot! Google would always usually be our first port of call for such things. I jumped for joy when a Thomson Local fell through the door but was shocked to discover only one window cleaner listed! I suppose everyone just lists themselves on the internet nowadays (just to add to our frustration). How on earth did anyone cope before the internet and Google?! Annoyingly I rang most companies to update my address only to be repeatedly told ‘You know it’s much quicker and easier to do this online’. Yes thanks. I do know. Probably a lot cheaper than all these 08 calls from my mobile too! Thanks for this well known info, sigh!
All is well now. Well, we still have a house load of work to do but I’m back online and in my totally fabulous new office! I very much look forward to blogging and selling fab accessories from this new space, whilst also escaping from the madness of our building site resembling new house!
I was very honoured to receive some natural skincare samples from the lovely Marianne at Isa Marie Skincare. Isa Marie is a natural skincare brand whose face, bath and skin products are handmade using only natural products.
Disappointed with the number of chemicals many shop bought lotions and potions contained, Marianne set about to make her own. The first product created was an exfoliating scrub which made her skin so soft and healthy with a wonderful glow, a passion was born to further her knowledge and thus expand the range. Friends and family tried the products and were so impressed Marianne was inspired to begin the Isa Marie Skincare brand.
As well as being tested by friends, family and Marianne herself, the products have all passed a Cosmetic Safety Assessment and comply with current UK & EU Cosmetic Products Regulations. So you can rest assured you are purchasing a totally healthy, natural and regulated product at all times!
I, too, have recently been shocked by the number of chemicals within many cosmetic and skincare products. I have discovered shocking statistics which indicate the average women exposes her skin to 300 or more chemicals per day. Wow! This is an insane amount. Apparently it also only takes these chemicals around 26 seconds to work their way into your blood stream. Figures like this really scare me and I’m keen to learn more of what these chemicals really are.
I have already, hopefully, become ‘paraben-free’ over the last year. This now involves me reading the ingredients list for every single product I want to purchase to ensure there are no ingredients ending in paraben. There are around five paraben ingredients I have noticed and they are seriously in everything. I even had to dispose of a lot of well-known brands I already owned and now refuse to buy these. There’s a ton of information about parabens and their potential link to cancer, particularly breast cancer, on the internet if you want to know more. Luckily many brands are recognising the harm they may do, removing them from products and clearly stating paraben free on the packaging. Let’s hope more chemicals are removed!
I was sent four amazing products to sample – bath salts, mineral mud mask, exfoliating cleanser and a bath truffle. The products came in branded packaging with sweet silk bows attached. The adorable pots are sitting very prettily on my bathroom side!
The products arrived very quickly, well packaged and Marianne kept me well informed of progress at all times. Her communication is exceptional.
Mineral Mud Mask I first whipped open the Mineral Mud Mask. This handmade mud mask contains Dead Sea mud and grapefruit seed extract. Having just moved house with rather a lot of hiccups along the way, my skin, along with my whole self, was totally stressed out. A good deep clean was exactly what was needed. I applied a satisfactory layer. I didn’t apply it too generously as it looked so good I want to use it as much as possible! The mask is a dream to apply with its smooth and silky wet mud texture. It took around 10 minutes to dry without making my skin shrivel up like some do! Using a warm and damp microfiber flannel I gently wiped the mask away to reveal a totally radiant complexion. The results were so instantaneous I was rather amazed. I see exactly why Marianne and her friends are so impressed with the products. I can only imagine how good their skin must be through constant use.
Exfoliating Cleanser The exfoliating cleanser is handmade containing natural ingredients such as peach kernel oil and grapefruit seed extract. It is suitable for all skin types to reveal a fresh new layer of skin after use. I have used this scrub a few times now and my skin just seems to be improving every day. The texture is slightly grainy (for exfoliation) but still surprisingly soft and smooth to apply. I dampen my face with a warm flannel, apply a good two fingertips full and massage over my face for a few minutes to really exfoliate. I then remove with the flannel to reveal much fresher looking, softer skin each and every time. My skin also feels fully cleansed. Much more so than a regular cleansing cream.
Lavender & Lemon Bath Salts / Lemon Bath Truffle OK so I’ll admit - I used these two products in the same bath! I used a good sprinkling of bath salts and added the bath truffle. I’ve never used a bath truffle before so wasn’t sure what to expect. It began excitedly fizzing away like a bath bomb and needed a little help to crumble away. It smelt really delicious. The bath salts are handmade with Epsom Salts, Himalayan Crystal Salt and Dead Sea Salt. I was sent lemon and lavender which was so totally relaxing I could have actually fallen asleep without hesitation had I a bath pillow! The bath salts contained rose petals which floated around making the bath seem even more luxurious and indulgent. Luckily I was straight off to bed after my soak and was incredibly relaxed and soothed with thanks to these products.
I really am very impressed with the Isa Marie Skincare range. The products totally exceeded my expectations and I love the fact they are all handmade and natural. The packaging is so sweet they would make perfect gifts. You can even request the packaging has a personalised label making an even more perfectly unique gift.
I have actually just treated myself to a lime salt scrub from the website! Totally looking forward to this refreshing sounding scrub in an upcoming shower. Review soon!
Before I go I’d like to congratulate Marianne on her recent #SBS win! #SBS is a competition ran by entrepreneur Theo Paphitis (most famously known for his appearance on TV’s Dragons Den) in which he picks six small businesses per week to win his #SBS award. Hundreds of small businesses apply each week so it truly is an honour to be picked. Having now sampled Isa Marie Skincare products I can honestly say Marianne totally deserved to win and I wish her every success. Well done!