Thursday, 21 November 2013

Christmas Gift Ideas for Toddler Girls

Little girls tend to be very girly from before they can even walk. Whether it’s a result of being surrounded by pinks, purples and pastel tones from birth, or just an intrinsic love of all things sparkly, little girls certainly seem to know what they like. This Christmas you can treat the little princess in your life to something a little more lady-like than the many gender-neutral toddler toys that are available, whilst still keeping them age appropriate.

Little girls have been playing with dolls for many years. There are dolls for all age groups, from basic fabric rag dolls to fashion dolls with small parts, clothes and accessories for older girls. The infatuation with dolls can start young, and many are made with no loose buttons or parts especially for toddler girls. These are usually washable and soft so they can be cuddled and slept with without any problems. There are also strollers, cots and accessories all designed with younger children in mind, which help with fine and gross motor skill development.

Little girls will often discover princesses, and Disney princesses in particular when they are a little older. There is lots of merchandise available for your little princess, both Disney-themed and otherwise. For the smallest princesses you can get some lovely Disney outfits and toys or soft dolls designed for little hands. There is also the Fisher-Price Little People Princess Songs Palace with solid plastic figures and no loose parts for pre-school children, which they can enjoy playing with dressed as their very favourite Disney princess - as well as, of course, the DVDs and Blu-Rays of the movies, ready for the next generation to fall in love with.

One of the most iconic images of little girls is of tiny ballerinas in tutus. This is often an interest that is started early, before your little one can even walk, yet alone pirouette. There are many ballet themed toys and accessories for little ones. There are ballerina mice on children’s TV and clothes in all sizes with ballerina appliques. Toddlers will love dancing about in their very own ballet shoes years earlier than they can actually start ballet lessons.

Of course some children do not conform to gender stereotypes, and you should take cues from your child as to what they like and enjoy. If they do show an interest in girly things then you can indulge this at Christmas, with so many great gifts available for your princess in the making.  

This is a guest post.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Raising a confident child, my way

I'm a little outspoken and ever so slightly crazy on the best of days and yes, this seems to have been imparted to my daughter.

Take the other morning, for example.  As she sings me a song using a tumbler as a microphone for better effect, she belted out the nonsensical lyrics of her latest 'hit tune' at the top of her lungs as if performing to a stage of adoring fans.  I am of course her number one fan so when she finished I gave a round of applause.  I told her how talented she is and, expecting her to smile and laugh, she simply looked back at me, smiled, tilted her head to the side and said quite matter of fact, "Yes, I know.  I'm also beautiful."  Fair play.

With that in mind, I don't want to breed some precious and precocious Justin Bieber, crowd spitting, monkey keeping, self-absorbed, ridiculous hair, snotty type kid.  He may have money but if my daughter were to bring something like that home, he wouldn't even make it past the front door mat.

All I can hope is that with gentle guidance she will grow to be a confident, caring and compassionate little girl with all of those traits following through into adulthood.  I never wanted a wall flower as a child yet I also don't want to raise a child that others shy away from because their character is simply too over-powering.

I'm sure my fears are the same as most parents.  We are all trying to do the best with the knowledge we have, instilling what we deem to be good habits and mannerisms that will lead them on to being half decent adults.  There must be a right and wrong way of doing this, of course, but as everyone has their own way, some dictatorial and others more passive, I can accept that as long as the end result is the same.

If I'm blessed with grandchildren one day and my daughter looks back on her childhood and thanks me for bringing her up in a certain way, guiding her as best I can, then I'll rest easy knowing I didn't do too badly in my job as a mum to a child of a very modern generation.

Ally x

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Beanies Christmas Coffees and Fab #Giveaway

A few days ago I introduced you to Beanies, The Flavour Co.  Their coffees are lovingly made in a special process bringing to you top quality premium flavoured coffees.

Limited edition Christmas instant coffees are now available in these three fabulous flavours:
So, what do they taste like?

Christmas Pudding - aroma of Christmas pudding with a hint of brandy cream.  Delicious Christmas pudding after taste too which wasn't over powering, so could be enjoyed as an after dinner treat, or lunch, whatever takes your fancy.  Actually made me feel like having a mince pie to go along with it.

Mulled Spice - first thing that came to mind was, of course, mulled wine.  It's quite spicy as far as a coffee goes, and to be honest, did not agree with my palate.  It does conjure up visions of a white Christmas spent around a roaring log fire.  Once again, I felt like mince pies...

Winter Warmer - this was my favourite.  The smell is blissful and I was catching hints of egg nog.  The taste is comforting and creamy and it lingered for just long enough to be pleasantly memorable.  Delicious!

The limited edition Christmas instant coffees come in 50g jars and retail at £2.50, available for purchase through their online store.  If you buy four for £10, you get free delivery!  Perfect to keep around the home for the Festive Season as well as perfect gifts for coffee lovers, Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers.

For £22.50 you can treat someone special to a luxury festive flavour instant coffee hamper containing the three festive flavour instant coffees, Annas luxury biscuits, chocolates and two mugs.  


Why not part in the Rafflecopter giveaway below to stand a chance of getting your hands on one of these fabulous hampers, complements of the lovely people over at Beanies?!

Ally x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: I was sent these three Christmas instant coffees to sample in the pleasure of my home.  My views are my own, honest and not bias.

The 're-shaped' Psychologies magazine

I was first introduced to Psychologies roughly six years ago by my cousin.  She has this amazing knack for introducing me to new things that she knows I'll relish.

Psychologies is one of the few monthly mags that I actually read, not page-turn, from cover to cover.  The articles are about real women.  There are no skinny models in ridiculous poses wearing couture that I could only dream of affording.  Stories are not sensationalised; they are true to life.

Topics range from conversations with ordinary people overcoming extra-ordinary life circumstances to getting a deeper insight into the female psyche and how to be a better you.  All this finished off with a  touch of travel, make-up, fashion and recipes.

Unlike most fashion or gossip magazines, I read and learn from the the articles and am left feeling a combination of calm, empowerment, enlightenment and with more cultural awareness.  I'm not preached at or given guidelines about how I should be but how, by making simple changes, this is how my life could be.  Being a rather strong willed character, there are very few people that actually succeed in getting their message across in this type of way that makes me react so positively to it.

In this particular issue (December 2013), I was introduced to a new way of thinking through an article entitled 'Find the joy in anticipation'.  With so many of us leading frenetic lifestyles, day to day goings on can seem a little dull.  Looking forward to your next presentation or business meeting is hardly something to write home about, unless closing a £500,000 deal or something along those lines…I wish...

Research shows that when we are anticipating something like a holiday or big event, this feeling can have a profoundly positive effect and help us to live happier lives.  You remember that feeling, right?  Something akin to the feeling when you are a kid, the night before Christmas.  With that in mind Martha Roberts, the author of the article, sets a mini task of looking forward to one of three things; setting 10 minutes aside each day to read a book, getting excited about your favourite weekly TV show or planning a fabulous meal that you'll enjoy.

It's all in the anticipation and planning of one of these three activities and how you feel in the lead up to completing the task and the lasting memory of it.  Martha says to try this for a month and, to be honest, I think I'd like to keep this going from now until the end of time.  Not wanting to wish my life away until the next exciting event of course, but being excited and relishing in the anticipation of the start of the event really does make you feel happy.  It feels good.  I like that way of thinking.

Psychologies (UK Edition) is available in print (£3.90 per issue) and digital versions (£3.99) although getting a 6 or 12 months subscription does of course save you pennies, allowing you to either put the money away for a rainy dry or treat yourself to something nice.

Ally x

More about Psychologies...


Note: I've been enjoying precious moments on my couch, reading the wonderful articles in the new edition Psychologies.  All views and opinions on this publication are completely my own.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Proud to be a Mommy Blogger...oh, and a feminist...

So, it's Blogfest 2013 and the latest topic of discussion is 'can you be a mummy blogger and a feminist'.   My immediate reaction being...WTF.  In a room full of women, some extremely strong willed and with sharp tongues, why, oh why in the name of all that is sacred, would you even bring this up?!   Following all the Tweets on Twitter made me quite glad that I wasn't actually at the event as I'd either have to sit on my hands or bite my tongue.

Being a mum or even a mummy blogger does not mean that you should be pigeon holed into some sort of 'Mary Poppins' type, happy to make the meals, clean the house, can't change a light bulb being.

I think that being a mummy blogger is actually quite the opposite.  Yes, there are people who blog solely about their families.  They enjoy it, don't slag them off for it.  They like it, it's pleasant and non-offencive.  It's a creative outlet for most and it takes a flipping great deal of commitment and also balls to keep up with it all and get half decent posts up for your readers as well as making sure that if you are reviewing a product, you do it within the required timescales.  All this whilst juggling homelife and in my case, my own business.

Blogging has developed so much over the years that mums can actually make money from doing it.  They are, in fact, their own brand and business.  Now, to be honest, I'd be very apprehensive to kick sand in the face of any women that is staying at home, working on a blog to earn extra money for the household and still doing everything else that makes up part of her day.  Do you honestly know how much time it takes to do all of these tasks?  Do you?

Since I've been blogging I feel more empowered.  I always loved to write and now I have the platform to do it on.  I love to wear make up, heels, prance around in nice dresses and bake.  I always wanted to be a wife and mother and have pets and a white picket fence.  I also like to speak my mind.  I can change a tire, a light bulb, build flat pack furniture on my own and run my own business as well as stand my own against men in a car dealership who try to take the piss.

I want to show my daughter that you can be whoever you want to be, without having to tramp over people to do it and losing yourself along the path.  I am me, pure and simple.  Girly but also completely nuts and outspoken.  Loving but not a pushover.  I'm a mum who prefers to be called 'mom' and I'm damn proud to be a 'mommy blogger'.

Ally x

Review: Time to 'Save the Blow Dry'!

So, you wake up in the morning.  It's 15 minutes later than you actually planned to get out bed.  Your hair, however, is still looking great from the day before.  Now that you've lost that extra 15 minutes you darn well better not get it wet in the shower because there definitely isn't time to deal with it this morning!!

Sound familiar to anyone?  Save the Blow Dry are here to come to the rescue of the late sleepers, lazy blow dryers, constant 'I'm in a rush' folk with their super trendy new Save the Blow Dry shower cap. Clip your hair up lightly if it's long and then then tuck it into the cap along with any stragglers, hop into the shower, and hey presto!  No wet hair.  Your blow dry and style has been saved from the day before!

Interesting fact: on average, ladies spend over two hours each week blow drying and styling their tresses!

With a soft and super-absorbent micro weave towel inner and protective outer (phalate free) you can rest assured that your hair will be left dry and sexy as the towelling fights off humidity and condensation.  Hoorah!

This sexy little number number not only protects your hair from water but can also be flipped inside out with the protective layer on the inside, giving hair treatments the chance to work even more effectively.

My hair is naturally curly and when it comes into contact with water it gets frizzy but in my last few showers I've come out with the same, smooth hair style that I started with.  Bliss!   If my husband had bought me one of these for my birthday or Christmas, I'd actually be pretty darn happy.  It looks great and fits snuggly over my long below the shoulder, thick hair.

For best results:
  • Brush your hair before use.
  • Clip up long hair with a clasp or slide.
  • Push any escaping strands of hair into the hat and make sure your hair line is covered.
  • Dry yourself off BEFORE removing Save the Blow Dry!
  • Shake Save the Blow Dry! to remove excess water and hang up to dry.
You can buy your Save the Blow Dry shower hat from their online store for £14.95.  By doing this you are also donating to a very worth cause.  Save the Blow Dry have partnered with Khandel Light, a charity that is doing fabulous work to greatly improve the lives of communities in and around Khandel, Rajasthan, India.  This is one of the most impoverished regions in the world, where life for the poorest villagers of Khandel is at the margins of existence with families lacking essential things that we take for granted like clean water, basic hygiene and sanitation, decent housing, medical care and access to education (especially for the girls).  

By you buying a Save the Blow Dry through their website, this will directly fund two weeks of safe drinking water for a family in the desert region of Khandel, making a vital difference to people who live an impoverished existence in a region with constant drought and soaring temperatures.

Ally x

Find more on Save the Blow Dry 


More on Khandel light here

Note: Save the Blow Dry very kindly sent this to me to review and give my opinion on.  Verdict.  Love it!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Review: Beanies Flavoured Coffees

At less than 2 calories per serving, one of my latest treats is Beanies flavoured coffee.  Using advanced flavouring systems, Beanies mix high quality roast coffee and fabulous, natural flavours.

Beanies have been tantalising taste buds since 2009 and with 36 different flavours to choose from there is sure to be something to suit every palate.  There are currently four beautiful gift sets and hampers available which are perfect presents for colleagues, friends and family who appreciate a good cup of coffee.

A few of the favourite Beanies flavours are:
  • Amaretto Flavour
  • Cinnamon & Hazelnut Flavour
  • French Vanilla Flavour
  • Irish Cream Flavour
  • Rich Hazelnut Flavour
  • Chocolate Flavour
  • Creamy Caramel Flavour
I sampled the Vanilla Nut, Double Chocolate and Cappuccino premium blend flavoured coffees.  Coffees are available in espresso, medium grind and whole bean.  I chose the whole bean as I like to grind my own coffee as a matter of personal preference.

All-in-One Mum taste verdict
  • Vanilla Nut (medium strength) - soft and smooth hints of vanilla on the nose with a sweet, nutty flavour to it.  This was my favourite and is a great mid-morning or after lunch treat.
  • Cappuccino (medium strength) - not surprisingly, it smelt and tasted like the real thing.  I'd quite fancy to have this one in the morning or after dinner.
  • Double chocolate (medium strength) - rich chocolatey smell and taste.  At one point I was tempted into pulling out the vanilla ice cream and making it into an iced coffee.  A delicious treat that had a smooth coffee and chocolate taste and smelled heavenly.
I use a plastic bag clip to seal my coffee bean bags once opened and stored them in the fridge straight away to keep them fresh.

Pick your flavour by using the Flavour Finder and picking up to five your favourite flavours.  Hit enter and you'll be shown a selection of coffees that would be perfect for you to enjoy.

With prices starting from £2.50 for the instant varieties and £4.50 for the premium blends, you can choose and buy your favourite blend either directly from the Beanies website or in-store and on-line at Sainsbury's.  I'm pleased to say that you can even find them in South Africa, which means that my Mother country can also share in the pleasure of Beanies coffee!

Watch this space for the delicious new Christmas range of coffees (Christmas Pudding, Winter warmer and Mulled Spice) as well as a fabulous giveaway in the next week right here on All-inOne Mum where one lucky person can win a marvellous luxury festive flavour instant coffee hamper valued at £22.50, complements of the folk over at Beanies coffee.  

Enjoy finding your favourite blends!

Ally x

There's more information about Beanies coffee at:

Note: I was sent products for purpose of this review.  All views and thoughts are completely my own.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Bringing your Medicines2U

Have you ever been in a situation where you can't get to your local Chemist or have simply forgotten to buy something that you really needed to get?  Instead of getting into a panic, you can go to an Online Chemist called Medicines2U.  They stock a wide variety of products to suit Customers needs ranging from Medicines to health & beauty items and even pet medications and treatments. are part of a well established and experienced pharmacy called Yakub Chemist Limited who has been successfully running for over 20 years.

Their team of dedicated staff ensure that customers have an easy and pleasant shopping experience whilst navigating through their user friendly site. They thrive to provide the best customer service and ensure that all products are of high quality and promptly delivered to your doorstep whether it be at home or work.

Also on offer is the Doctor Consultation service, giving you a convenient and confidential service.  Simply submit a form that is provided on the website and an experienced doctor will advise you accordingly.  A team of in-house pharmacists are also at hand to provide any advice needed.
Prescriptions can be posted to them for next day delivery with the added bonus that you could save up to 50% on private prescriptions vs. products bought through High Street stores.

Product prices are competitive with some being cheaper than High Street stores.  Delivery to Europe, America and the rest of the world is also available so if you are on holiday or a business trip and are in need of a specific type of medication or product that you can't get at your current location, you should be able to find it on Medicines2U.  Delivery can take up to 6 days in Europe and 10 days elsewhere but at least you will be safe in the knowledge as to what medication you are taking.

There is a £2.99 delivery charge for orders under £40 as standard but free for orders above that.  For next day delivery there is a £5.99 charge (T&C's apply).

Ally x
Brought to you in partnership with Medicines2U
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