Double the Monkey Business

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Paper Plate Animals | Quick and Easy

I always have lots of ideas of crafts that I could do with the kids.  My idea this weekend was…

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Feeling Spoiled by Acti-Labs

Feeling Spoiled by Acti-Labs
This week I have been feeling spoiled and pampered, as I test out the Acti-Labs range. Acti-labs sell make up and beauty products.

When my friend Steph first told me she was starting up as an Acti-Labs rep, I have to admit that i had never heard of the company before.  I know what it is like to start a new adventure – it was only one year ago when I decided to make a proper go at blogging so I am so chuffed that she has made this exciting step.

Once she was set up, I ordered a few bits to try out from her website:

A few days after my order, I received an exciting box through the post which contained some lovely goodies.  In the box I received a mascara, a lip crayon, hand cream and a lipo wrap.  Steph also gives little freebies away, so I also received a konjac sponge with my box!

So what did I think of Acti-Labs?

Skyscraper Mascara – £5

One application of the Acti-Labs Skyscraper Mascara !

One application of the Acti-Labs Skyscraper Mascara !

On a normal day-to-day basis I don’t wear a lot of make up, however I have to admit that I don’t leave the house without wearing eye liner and mascara.  I loved the skyscraper mascara that I received from Acti-labs.  It comes out very heavy, so took a little bit of getting used to.

Steph advised me to use sparingly  and the results are startling when you do.  The mascara stays on all day and has a really lovely long-lashed look.

Shea Hand Cream –

My hands have aged considerably since I had the kids.  All those nappy changes and washing of hands has taken its toll.

I have used hand cream before.  However, I always found it either left my hands greasy or my hands were dry again within an hour of putting it on.

I can honestly say that this shea hand cream is just the right balance.  It nourishes my hands without making them feel greasy.  And the smell of the cream is absolutely incredible!

Le Joli Lip Crayon

Other than having old lady hands, the other problem I have is chapped lips in this cold weather.

This lip crayon has Candelilla wax and Vitamin E in it and I can really tell that it is making a difference to my lips.   It is very nourishing and the crayon is so lovely and smooth to apply.  The only thing I would say is that you do need to top it up now and again, so you do need to carry one in your purse for later on in the day.

Lipo Sculpting Wrap

I have never been 100% sure about these types of wraps so when I ordered this I have to say I wasn’t expecting results. But, I thought it was worth a try once!

I have been losing weight due to giving up the booze since Christmas and not having any sugar in February, so thought it was a good time to try this out.  Steph thankfully has done some tutorials on her Facebook page to talk you through how to use them, and I will not subject you to seeing me with the wraps on!

I measured myself before I tried the wraps.  Although I am too embarrassed to tell you my before and after figures, I can confirm that I lost an inch after just one wrap.  I was astounded. The kit comes with washable wraps and a massive tube of cream, so there are plenty of applications with the one purchase.

If you are unsure how this works, then you can find out the science behind it here.

Acti-Labs Verdict

So despite not having heard of Acti-Labs a few months ago, I am a convert to this brand that is for sure.  I will be stocking up on the lip crayons in different colours as well! I was really impressed with the balance between quality and price.  The products are all affordable but the quality is incredible.

If you want to find out more about this range you can either visit Steph’s website here:

You can join her Facebook group here. On her group, Steph will keep you up to date with any special offers. She also does Facebook live tutorials which I am very impressed with, very brave!!! She keeps all her customers up-to-date with any special offers on any of the products that she sells. I am on the look out for a lip crayon special offer so I can stock up!!

Disclaimer: We were gifted these products in return for providing a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Adding a bit of comfort….

Adding a bit of comfort….

When I first found out I was pregnant with the boys we were trying to sell our house in Brixton.  In fact, Daddy monkey had to multitask when I was in labour, negotiating the house sale in between timing my contractions!  This meant that I didn’t really do the whole nesting thing, and we didn’t decorate a nursery.

Which didn’t go down well with my hormonal pregnant self – I cried many tears over it, which seems ridiculous now!

We eventually moved a few months later.

We were finally in our forever home in the ‘burbs.  With help from family we created the perfect nursery, painted the walls blue and made curtains to fit the windows perfectly.

Then two months later, the hubby called me with a question.  A job had come up abroad and he wanted to know if I was interested in moving… again.

At this point the thought of going back to work and leaving these tiny bundles was too much to bear, so I said yes!

Fast forward 6 months and we had once again packed up our house and this time were heading over to Germany to start our new life… again…

Living with magnolia

We moved into our current house (which belongs to hubby’s work), knowing that it was temporary.  It is a strange feeling knowing that you will definitely be moving on in four years time and we didn’t want to decorate.  Which meant we have lived with beige walls in every room for the whole time.

We also have not decorated the boys room, so we have had to use other ways to make it their own special place.

Adding comfort with cushions

Adding some comfort…

We have some fab wall stickers on the wall that are removable.  Also we have put pictures up to make it more homely.

I am all about soft furnishings, so the boys were really lucky to receive these wonderful cushions from Ollie and Leila.  They are perfect to soften up children’s beds.

The boys are usually very appreciative of anything new, and these were no different.  L has ditched his pillow the last few nights.  When I have went in to tuck him in before I go to bed, he has been using his cushion instead.

Not just that but every morning the cushion gets brought downstairs.  They are used as either a comfy seat for lego building – which we do A LOT OF.  Or, a soft headrest for watching all things Star Wars, Ninjago or Superhero related on the TV.

The cushions were delivered and including the soft inner cushion.  The cushions are really well made and I think really help to make the room.

They will look good in their new room too.  You guessed it, in four months we are packing up and moving back to Kent. However, this time they want to decide about the decor of the room.  Gone are the days when that decision rests solely with me.

Disclaimer: We were gifted these products in return for providing a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.




How to make a lightbox – The cheap and easy way!

How to make a lightbox – The cheap and easy way!
If you are a bit strapped for cash, I will show you how to make a lightbox to help with your photography. It cost me less than £20! Cheap and easy!

A few months ago, I tasked myself with finding out how to make a lightbox to take stock photos for my blog.  I couldn’t afford to buy anything fancy, so decided the DIY approach was the only way to go!

So, after a lot of googling, I came up with an idea on how to make a lightbox on the cheap and I decided to try it out.

The finished article, objects photographed in the lightbox

The outcome!

I was pretty pleased with the outcome and a few people asked me to do a quick ‘how to’ post.  However, with Christmas and the January blues cropping up, I never did get around to it.

I have to apologise now, I didn’t have any foresight when I made these, so I don’t have any photos of me actually creating the lightbox.

However, better late than never I guess?

How to Make a lightbox, the cheap and easy way

What you will need:

How To Make A Lightbox. First you need these to things a lamp and an ikea box.

You only need to purchase these….

What to do:

  • Firstly, you need to carefully unpick the stitching on two sides of the storage box.  Be very careful as you want to be able to stitch it back up again at the end.
  • Remove the cardboard from the inside of the fabric.
  • Measure out a large square around the inside of the cardboard.  I measured it 1 inch wide on each side.
  • Cut out the middle section
  • Insert the cardboard carefully back into the fabric and stitch back up with a needle and thread.
  • Do this on two, opposing sides
  • Place the lamps on either side of the cutout sides and point into the fabric – ensure the lamp isn’t touching the material, we don’t want it to burn the material.
How To Make A Lightbox! The finished article from the outside of the lightbox.

So, there you have it, how to make a lightbox – cheap AND easy!

Now I have shown you how to make a lightbox, isn’t that the easiest thing in the world?

I now have a little collection of things to use underneath the photos as I have come to realise that the fabric on the box doesn’t look great on the material.  I went to the craft shop and bought a pack of felt material, which I have been using instead and that looks a lot better.

The plan is to get some wallpaper and lino samples to add to my collection at some point.

It is so simple and easy and makes a huge difference at this time of year.  The light in our house is dull and even with the ‘big light’ on I struggle to get nice and flattering photos.  So this has made all the difference in these dark winter months.

So go on, give it a try.  It cost me less that £20 to make and only took me an hour to do.  Great value for money, especially as I use it for hours at a time most weeks.

If you decide to give this a go, then I would love for you to show me the results.  You can tag me on any of my social media accounts. Or, if you decide to blog / vlog about it, then why not put a link in the comments of this page so that I can pop over and take a look?





Top Ten Travel Must Haves That Are Out Of This World (Mark Warner | #mwmum)

Top Ten Travel Must Haves That Are Out Of This World (Mark Warner | #mwmum)
As part of our Mark Warner competition entry, we talk about the top ten travel must haves that are out of this world, as told by Darth Maul and Anakin Skywalker (yes we are Star Wars mad!!!)
We all love a good holiday, don’t we?  So what makes you think that our favourite Star Wars characters are not the same?  After all, they spend a lot of energy fighting and trying to take control of the galaxy, surely they deserve to sit back and relax once in a while…
So, when Mark Warner challenged bloggers to talk about their top ten travel must haves, we figured we should ask Darth Maul and Anakin Skywalker what they would take.
If you have ever wondered what they actually take on holiday with them, then wonder no more.  We have all the answers on our latest You Tube video!
You can see it here:
Some of those answers were pretty surprising.  I would not have thought that a fire engine would be top of the list. Although, a lightsaber certainly makes sense.   You never know when you are going to need that for protection.
It is also nice to know that even Jedi’s like Anakin and baddies like Darth Maul, want to take daddy and mummy on holiday.  That is certainly reassuring to know, although I guess they need someone to pack for them and also pay for extra ice-cream.
I have to admit, I am a little concerned about Darth Vader being invited, I hope he doesn’t cause any trouble.
To see our visual mood board for ‘Top Ten Travel Must Haves That Are Out Of This World’, see below:

Mark Warner Competition #mwmum

Our Mark Warner Mood Board: as per instructions from Darth Maul and Anakin Skywalker

So there you have it.

Now you know what Darth Maul and Anakin Skywalker would take on holiday with them.  I am sure you have all wondered time and time again, what they would take when they go on their hollibobs!
I hope you enjoyed the video, I certainly felt very starstruck having such big stars in my living room yesterday!

Disclosure: This post and Vlog is our entry for the Mark Warner competition.