Father’s Day Gift Ideas with UncommonGoods

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is coming up here in the UK next month (June 19th) and I’ve been browsing through UncommonGoods for some ideas of what to get the hubby from the girls. First question, do I get one gift from each of them or one gift from the both of them?

I had heard some buzz about UncommonGoods on Facebook so when I was contacted by them I was pleased to hear that they now ship to the UK! Fab news for UK customers like myself.

After reading up some more about them I was also pleased to hear that they’re an eco-friendly company and by working with suppliers they make sure that products are made in a more sociably and environmentally responsible manner. And they’ve never sold fur nor leather which is a definite plus. I’m not normally too fussed about sources of products but the older I get the more concerned I am about things. If you want to read more about their mission statement then see here, it makes an interesting read.

Anyhow! Moving on to some fab finds on their site….

Uncommon Goods

(From top left – Lawn Dice / Owl Touch Lamp / Deep Sea Sand Art / Foodie Dice)

I had to choose the dice because hubby is a Warhammer geek and dice are the thing to have when you play that. And the the Owl touch lamp because he’s a Sheffield Wednesday fan (and their nickname is “The Owls”). The Deep Sea Sand Art would be for me really because I had one as a kid and loved it so much!

For more ideas on gifts for him have a look here or here (yes I know it’s anniversary/birthday gifts but some still work for Father’s Day). Whilst you’re at it why not have a little look for a little treat for yourself eh? (I suggest here and I especially love Recycled Glass Tree Globes.)

So what items do you like?

(This was a collaborative post with UncommonGoods.com)

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Lanzarote 2016 – Day 1 and My First Vlog!

Travel Tales Lanzarote 2016

Hi everyone! I’m back in the UK after a week in Lanzarote – thanks to the MIL. I had hoped to share my experiences whilst I was out there but the wi-fi was just rubbish! I did take plenty of photos and I even did some vlogging and I’m so excited to share my first vlog with you guys! If vlogging isn’t your thing then scroll past it and I’ll share all about our first day with you!

We were up at around 3.30 am thanks to Miss Mostyn. She’s teething and been pretty miserable at night. We needed to leave at 5am so it wasn’t all bad I guess. We had around 2 hours to drive to Manchester Airport and it seemed such a shame leaving North Wales behind especially in the beautiful weather we had.

The North Wales coast at sunrise #northwales #nofilter #beautiful

A photo posted by Rebecca (@becsterdotcom) on

We got to Manchester early enough and after going through security and passport control headed off to one of the lounges to wait. We had bacon baps for breakfast and watched the airplanes. Little Miss was so excited watching the planes and shouting “awyren!!”

Our airplane to Lanzarote

Miss Mostyn slept for pretty much most of the flight – she was teething and just needed to sleep through it. Little Miss was sat watching Chuggington on the iPad in between eating her sausage and mash and sitting with Nain & Taid.

The ground floor of the Lanzarote Princess

We were staying at the H10 Lanzarote Princess and got a bus transfer to the hotel from the airport. The hotel was pretty posh looking and we were given a glass of champagne or orange on arrival. I was quite thirsty and downed it in one! Miss Mostyn really fancied it as well but I had to keep little hands at bay.

Food at the Lanzarote Princee\ss

The food there was great! Such a great selection every night and on Friday we had entertainment whilst we ate. Five of the chefs sang some pretty amazing classical songs. Oh and yes Charlie Chaplin was also there. Please don’t ask me why!

Have you ever been to Lanzarote?

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On Holiday

Just a very quick update. I’m currently in Lanzarote on holiday! I’ve been here since late Saturday so we’re pretty much half way through our holiday now. We’re staying in Playa Blanca and the choice of food at the buffet is just too yummy! Honestly, there are shorts that no longer fit me thanks to eating too much!

Now I know I said I wasn’t a vlogger but watching people’s Blog On ones has inspired me to make my own. So far I’ve made one for each day of our trip which I’m trying to upload to YouTube but the wi-fi here is so painfully slow that I’ll probably have to do it when I’m back.

In the meantime I leave you with a couple of photos – if they’ll upload!

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Blog On MSI

In this penultimate post about Blog On I’m sharing you all the food that was devoured at the conference!

Real Handful

Blog On MSI Real Handful

This was the first stand I came across and I admitted that I’m not a big fan of dried fruit but the ones I tried here were actually very nice! I took a couple of bags as samples and they were a hit with the toddler – and the baby!

Swizzels Matlow

Blog On MSI

I saw this stand the instant I walked in and honestly I was in heaven! I LOVE Swizzles sweeties! Love Hearts got me through two lots of pregnancy heartburn – total lifesaver! Not only did we have access to all the sweets on the stand and in the goodie bags but there was also a big ball pit in there!

Cake!

Blog On MSI

Oh the cake! It was sponsored by Pom Pom Wow and made by New Adventures in Cake. It was so delicious!

Yushoi

Blog On MSI

Now I think these have to be my favourite find from the conference. They’re crisps made from rice and they’re so yummy! I’ve even found some at our local Tesco and bought some.

Echo Falls

Blog On MSI Echo Falls

Just before the close of the conference Echo Falls dished out glasses of wine for everyone. I’ve never seen so much wine! There was also a bottle in the goodie bag. I’m not a wine drinker but I’ve been told that it was a good bottle!

Saucy Fish Co

Unfortunately I didn’t get to this stand early enough to try the fish nor did I take a photo (blogger fail!). But I did get talking to the lady there saying that I’m not overly keen on fish and she said I was their perfect audience.

Marshmallows

Blog On MSI

There was also some marshmallows served at some point during the day. They were wonderful!

Well what can I say other than yum! Anything tempting you here?

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Blog On MOSI – Fun & Games

Blog On MSI

I mentioned in my previous post I mentioned that I went to Blog On MSI on the 1st May. I blogged about the seminars in my last post and today I’m bringing you the fun and games at Blog On MSI!

Swizzels Matlow Ball Pool

First up was the Swizzels Matlow Ball Pool! Oh yes people a full sized ball pool. There was a competition for taking a selfie in the pool. I didn’t win but I did enter…. (oh and I need to apologise to Swizzels for my damned autocorrect changing their name to Swizzlers!)

Swizzels ball pit! #lifeisbon #blogonmsi

A photo posted by Rebecca (@becsterdotcom) on

Toys Galore

There was an abundance of toys there thanks to various PR firms. There were some Peppa Pig prototypes which looked very interesting. I also spotted some Paw Patrol stuff which are a firm favourite in our house.

Also spotted the Timeline game by Esdevium Games. You get a handful of cards and you and your opponent(s) have to take turns in putting the cards in chronological order. There’s numerous versions of the game including Movies, Historical Events and Star Wars.

Blog On MSI

Hotter Shoes and Dream Genii Maternity Pillow

I didn’t get much of a chance to stop by these two stalls but I did spot them. I will be honest and say that I hadn’t really heard of them before but since being to the conference I have spotted one of their shops and had a browse. And then the maternity pillow looked great but unfortunately my pregnancy days are over with! (Yay and nay!)

Canvas Holidays

There was a great challenge put on by Canvas Holidays – you had 60 seconds to pack as many items into a suitcase/backpack. I managed 58 items which was pretty decent… it’s all the practice I’ve had in doing a quick chucking of toys into the toy box at the end of the day! They also had a fab prize to win a £1500 holiday! I wasn’t the winner but how fab was that?!

Blog On MSI

Raffle and Tombola

There was also a raffle and tombola raising money for Kids Cancer Charity and raised around £1200! I completely missed the tombola but I did win at the raffle – a lovely wine glass holder made by Alice.

Craft Den

I mentioned this in my previous post – there was a Craft Den hosted by Black Sheep Wool Co where you could learn to sew/knit/crochet.

There was so much going on so I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve missed things and I apologise sincerely to those I have mentioned.

Check back on Friday for the next post – all about the food!!

 

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Blog On MOSI (#BlogOnMSI) – Seminars

Blog On MSI

On May 1st I attended my first ever Blog On conference at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry. If you’re looking for the one word synopsis then that’d be totallyamazingandwellworththedrive!

Yes it was a long drive to Manchester and I was going on my own which meant navigating my way into the city centre on my tod. After finally parking in the (correct) carpark I walked over to the Museum. Met some lovely fellow bloggers in the Cafe and I apologise now if I seemed weird I’m just not great at social situtations!

After buying myself a bottle of water I went in to the museum and it’s such a shame I didn’t have time to go around for a nosey because it looks amazing! (Another trip back to Manchester is needed I think!) Upstairs and found Anca at the registration queue. Got my tag and away we went! Passed the tombola and raffler stalls – I did buy a ticket for the raffle and I won a nice wine/glass holder made by Alice. After that we headed over to the introduction and key note speech about what blogging means to you.

I’m not going to talk about the stalls as yet because I have a separate post coming up about that so instead I’m focussing on the seminars.

First Session

Thank you to @sophiesscran for this very informative seminar #blogonmsi

A photo posted by Rebecca (@becsterdotcom) on

It was a choice between “Photography Technical” with John Arnold or “How to make your blog attractive to brands” with Click.co.uk. I opted for the Working With Brands seminar hosted by Sophie of Click.co.uk.

It was a very informative session and explained the difference expectations of SEOs vs PRs vs Brands. The main point I took away from this was the fact that if I receive an email from a brand/PR/SEO is to assess the wider opportunity (i.e. is it sometimes better to work for the exposure if it establishes a longer term relationship? <- not a popular opinion but I can see the sense in it).

Second Session

There were three choices for the second session – Photography Creative with Charly Dove, SEO 101 to beginners with RMS PR and Earning beyond the blog with Emily Leary.

I opted for the Earning Beyond The Blog session. Again very informative session and delivered in such an easy going manner by Emily. Very inspiring and has given me a boost in how to approach brands to work with (ahem Tesco watch out I’ll be coming for you!!)

Third Session

Pinterest seminar with @rosalilium #blogonmsi

A photo posted by Rebecca (@becsterdotcom) on

Again a choice between Pinterest 101 with Pinterest, Monetisation with Type The Hype or Design and branding with Conker Communications.

Both Anca and I decided to go for the Pinterest 101 session and I must admit, this was the best session of the day for me. I learnt so much from it! The major thing I learnt was that there’s an analytics feature on Pinterest which I have now switched on! Amazing stuff!

Fourth Session

Choice between Pinterest Advanced, Content Ideas that Inspire (I-Com) or Hosting competitions (Di Coke). I went to the Content Ideas that Inspire since I’m having a bit of a blogging slump and thought I’d find some inspiration. The session was a bit disappointing as it discussed using Analytics for content ideas based on what has brought you traffic previously. Good idea but just not for me I think. I really should’ve stayed for the Pinterest Advanced. Oh well there’s always next year!

Fifth Session

Blog On MSI

There was two options for the fifth session Youtube (Channel Mum) or Photo Walkabout (Charly Dove and John Arnold). I’m not a vlogger and have* had no interest in vlogging at the time so we opted to forgo the 5th session and went to the Craft Den instead where Black Sheep Wool Co were teaching people to knit, sew and crochet. We sat down at the patchwork table and were tought how to do this! Brought back so many memories – my Mam did patchwork and I used to do some with her on occasions.

Black Sheep Wool Blog ON MSI

My little patchwork squares

* I’ve been watching everyone’s vlogs of the conference and I’m feeling inspired to join this bandwagon! 

Keynote

To end the day we had Scummy Mummies as keynote speakers. I haven’t laughed so much in ages! I especially loved their version of Bonnie Tyler’s Hero song. Not to be missed!

All in all it was a fab day and even getting lost on the way out of Manchester hasn’t put me off going again next year.

Have you been to Blog On? If not, have I persuaded you? *

*There’s going to be a few more Blog On MSI related posts coming up soon so don’t decide no just yet!

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Garden Update

I say update but I actually don’t think I’ve posted much about our garden at all! But I’m now getting a bit excited about finally getting out garden sorted! We moved to this house about 5 years ago and one of the main attractions was the garden – it’s big! And perfect for two dogs and two kids.

Garden

(The “after” photo is now the “middle” and please forgive the blurriness of the photos)

Since we’ve been here we’ve taken down all the leylandis and got a builder in to extend a patio area and put in raised beds in. We also had a vegetable patch put in and finally we’ve planted some veg in it!

Garden Veg

We went to our local garden centre (Fron Goch) for a talk about growing veggies which was very interesting. I spent a while afterwards looking though their selection of veg for ideas of what to plant.

Veggies

What I also would like is a composter so I can put our food waste to good use. I also would like a greenhouse. There’s a greenhouse at the other house which we possibly could salvage and repair using this plastic greenhouse glass*. Plastic would be ideal because it would be safer with two young children.

Garden

(A panoramic view of our garden – the shed is not wonky it’s just the photo! Click on it to see a bigger version)

I think there’s a big improvement from where we started but there’s still a lot to do yet. I want to put in some cherry blossom trees in the far corner and extend the veggie patch.

What do you think?

(This post contains sponsored links as marked with *)

Home Etc

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Harvey’s New York Bar & Grill

Harvey's Bar & Grill

I’ve posted about Harvey’s Bar & Grill before but the big news is that they’ve now opened one in Bangor! So we went on a lazy Sunday for lunch and it was great! I’ve been to their Llandudno restaurant before and I prefer Bangor – it’s nice, new and has baby changing facilities!

When we arrived there was a slight wait for a table to be cleared so we sat at the bar and had a nosey around the decor. I took some photos and please forgive me that they’re a tiniest bit blurry but when you’re trying to take a photo and have a toddler busy running away, you don’t really get much time to focus!

Harvey's Bar & Grill

(I will point out that I added the sparkler effect to hide the faces of other people dining – respecting privacy and all that)

Harvey's New York Bar & Grill

(How awesome is this motorbike dangling from the ceiling?)

Harvey's New York Bar & Grill

(Not sure if anything was kept in it but it’s in keeping with the diner decor)

Harvey's New York Bar & Grill

(One of the corner booths – we can’t sit at these at the moment because of a the need for high chairs)

The staff were lovely and thought our babies were cute – they’re not wrong! The food was amazing! I went for the chargrilled chicken breast served with fries and corn on the cob. I also ordered a side of coleslaw and some garlic butter (for the cob). Hubby went for a burger as usual but to be fair he does enjoy it…..

Harvey's New York Bar & Grill

Harvey's New York Bar & Grill

Harvey's New York Bar & Grill

I would definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area. Well worth it! You can find more information about them using the links below:

Website / Facebook / Twitter

(Please note that I am in no way affiliated with HNYBG and this was a post purely because I enjoyed my experience of the restaurant!)

 

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Sock Ons – Review

Sock Ons

If your baby is anything like mine then trying to keep their socks on is a bloomin’ nightmare! Honestly, as soon as I put Miss Mostyn’s socks on her little feet her little hands work their way down to her toes and pulls them off. I forgive her because everytime she does it she has the biggest (and cutest) smile on her face!

However, forgiveness of the sock pulling ultimately ends up in missing socks. So how do I win this ever constant sock pulling game? With a pair of Sock Ons that’s how!

The concept comes from Kezi a mother of six who made her first pair after her little boy was constantly pulling his socks off – the struggle is real! The Sock Ons are made from a softly woven elastic material to “lock” babies’ socks gently and firmly in place.

Sock Ons

Who’d have thought that such a simple idea would solve all my sock woes!  They are sold at some major retailers like Mothercare and Toys R Us and at approximately £2.99 a pair they’re a lifesaver!

Sock Ons

Kezi has also branched out to Mocc Ons, Dribble Ons and Plod Ons – please have a look at the website for more details on these products. Also have a peek at the Sock Ons Facebook page (or alternatively have a stake over at Twitter!).

What do you think of these little things? Genius or what?!

(This was a collaborative post – I was given the Sock Ons in return for a review. All opinions are my own.)

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F1 Wednesday – Chinese GP

F1 Wednesday

I mentioned in my previous F1 Wednesday post that I was afraid that I’d lost my interest in Formula 1. With the first two races of the season being pretty boring combined with the fact that I’m not allowed to go to Silverstone this year (thanks Miss Mostyn!) then I was certain that I’d lost the spark and couldn’t get back into it.

Well that changed last weekend! Qualifying reverted back to the normal qualifying i.e. no stupid knockout which meant we had most (if not all) cars on track at the end of Q3! Qualifying saw Hamilton not set a time and Ricciardo qualifying in 2nd! I can’t even remember when a Red Bull qualified in the top three since 2013!

The race itself was pretty action packed from the start. Hamilton started from the back of the grid so this was always going to be good. Vettel and Raikkonen came to blows in the first corner seeing Raikkonen spin (but managed to recover). Ricciardo made the jump on Rosberg before the first corner and was heading off nicely into the distance. A puncture (possibly due to Raikkonen’s debris?) saw him fall back down the field and Rosberg pass him.

I missed the middle of the race as I had to go sort some washing but I caught the end and saw Kvyat take second place! Oh my word that was such a great result for the Red Bulls! Such a shame about Ricciardo’s puncture though. I wonder where he’d have finished otherwise.

Oh I should congratulate Rosberg for the win but I can’t quite bring myself to say it…. it’s just BORING for a Merc to win it AGAIN! But I am pleased for Rosberg – might just be his year!

Did you catch the race? What did you think?

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