Love Soap Handmade – A Review

I was sent a sample of Blush Body Soap from Love Soap Handmade, a company that specialises in luxury handmade soap.

Love Soap Handmade Gift WrapLove Soap Handmade products

I’m not going to start this review very well when I admit that, generally speaking, I’m not a fan of soap. I am very firmly in the liquid hand soap camp as feel it’s more convenient and hygienic. I believe this comes from having to put up with, for many years, my mum bombarding me with horrible cheap bar soap. This coupled with the fact that it took me a few years to find out that the hand soap at my parents place growing up was used by my dad at bath time (shudder) has affected me deeply.

However, my feelings are very different for what I would call ‘posh soap’. I love Lush and stores of that ilk, the fact that the bar products are roughly cut because they have been specially selected for you then and there I find wonderfully personal and makes me feel very spoilt. I could, in fact, spend hours floating about these sorts of stores sniffing all their various samples. Sad I know, but that is just who I am.

The Blush Body Soap from Love Soap Handmade is no different. It came to me lovingly wrapped in a white ribbon adorned box, which I found intensely exciting. The soap is roughly cut and individually wrapped. This particular bar is made with coconut, olive and castor oil, shea butter and kaolin clay. This all sounds very exciting and I couldn’t wait to test it out. On use I found the soap to have quite a masculine, woody, sensual type smell. I normally go for quite girlie smells so this made an interesting change. The soap doesn’t seem to lather much but I would guess this was due to the natural ingrediants. My skin in very sensitive at the moment and I was very impressed that my skin didn’t feel tight or dry. I was even brave and used this the Blush Body Soap on my face and it still felt fine.

When it comes to price, Love Soap Handmade don’t came cheap. A bar sells for £4.99 for 140g (which is fairly comparable with shops like Lush), and that doesn’t include postage and gift boxing, which is listed clearly on the website. However as a special treat or a gift it would be well worth considering as the product is so lovely. The company also sell sample sizes of the product for £1.25. I was sent a Cashmere Cream sample, you can see the size of this in relation to the normal size bar. This is a little too tempting for my liking as there are so many beautiful products in their range.

Dunelm is Now Open in Valley Park, Croydon

Dunelm Logo

AN EXCITING TIME HAS COME FOR RESIDENTS LOCAL TO VALLEY PARK, CROYDON…..

As of Thursday 13th March 2014 Dunelm is finally open! For those that know nothing about Dunelm, it is a home-ware store that, in my opinion, represents excellent choice and value.

My friend and I decided to check it out, on opening day of course! We were welcomed by friendly and helpful staff. Now I happen to be really funny with customer service. That is, no matter where I shop, I expect great service. I also don’t like to be harassed. Dunelm were great. We were asked a few times if we needed any help and when we explained we were having lots of fun browsing we were left to it….. perfect! Dunelm, Valley Park, is big, and with it every department is covered with lots of choice to boot. The only issue is that it is very easy to go absolutely mad in there!

A long story short, I would thoroughly recommend that anyone in the area should check this place out….. just maybe set yourself a budget before you do so! For address and opening time, please click here.

The Incredible Years – An Overview

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I CAN’T BELIEVE I’VE JUST HAD MY FINAL SESSION!!….

What can I say, it’s been amazing. I’ve made some lovely friends and learnt some essential life skills.

This thing that annoys me is that this course, in my opinion, has been mis-advertised. The articles I have seen seem to focus on ‘problem children’ or ‘problem behaviour’, I believe this could isolate people from attending this group, for fear of stigma. Little Man is a happy healthy little boy who, like any child, gets frustrated when he is not understood or when he can’t understand why he can’t get what he wants. His language skills are also a little bit immature, which hasn’t helped matters. Incredible Years has been amazing in the respect that they have taught me effective ways of encouraging his language and communication. It still has some way to go but it has given me such patience and peace of mind  to now have these tools at my disposal.

I have also noticed that his tantrums and indeed my attitude towards them, have also changed. Before, when he was having a tantrum, I would panic, worry about every else and what they were thinking and just generally flap! Now I’m much more able to take a deep breath and assess the situation. OK so if I’m somewhere like a restaurant I still have a little freakout but I feel much more confident and better equipped.

If you living in the UK and are interested in this course, please do ask at your local Sure Start Centre.

Apologies. This was meant to be posted in December. Unfortunately my PC decided to go bust…. and ooooh yes it’s taken this long to get fixed!

The Incredible Years – Week Eleven

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CALMING DOWN

I cannot believe this is our last week! To be perfectly honest I am feeling pretty emotional about the whole thing so will try not to dwell too much!

This week we discussed the importance of teaching our children how to ‘self soothe’. It is important for children to learn how to regulate their own emotions. This, in time, will increase confidence and emotional maturity and put them in good stead for social situations such as school and playgroup.

We were all given a little picture of a strawberry with a candle on the reverse. The idea of this is to help children with their breathing by encouraging them to smell the strawberry and then to blow out the candle. Breathing is very important when it comes to stress management as one tends to hold ones breath when stressed or breath shallowly. By taking deep breaths and exhaling quickly one is oxygenating the brain, calming down and the breathing itself can act as a distraction. This exercise is just a beneficial for adults as it is for children.

It is very important that we, as adults, demonstrate good stress management. If we are constantly losing control then it is more likely that the child will follow this behaviour. I guess you can say this was a good session for everyone!

HOMEWORK

Were were asked to identify a ‘calm down’ area and equip it. This was a lot easier said than done as we are fighting for space in our place! Before this session I admit that I would probably plonk Little Man on the sofa and put the TV on. This works as it provides a distraction and gives him some ‘time out’ but it was pointed out that TV in itself is stimulating so probably not the best method. Thinking about it, the sofa does work so I decided of a good way of making this an efficient ‘calm down’ area but also keeping it tidy when necessary. Hubby and I are so entrenched in our habits that the homework for this week was very challenging, but we’re getting there!

The Incredible Years – Week Ten

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HANDLING MISBEHAVIOUR: IGNORING

Most of us are well aware of the best way of dealing with negative behaviour. Ignoring the bad, praising the good, right? Trouble is this is often easier said than done. The art of effective ignoring is not just pretending the child isn’t there whilst they’re exhibiting negative behaviour but also giving the child attention the second they behave. I have found the latter part is easy to forget as I’m just so blooming relieved that I’m finally getting some peace and quiet!!!!

We learnt that the best advice when it comes to ignoring negative behaviour is to get up and walking away. Having a child crying and pulling at you is going to provoke a response at some point. By removing yourself you are showing the child that this behaviour is not acceptable and also giving yourself some physical and mental space.

Of course, like anything, there are exceptions to ignoring: dangerous behaviour and aggression, such as hitting, should be dealt with ASAP.

HOMEWORK

For our homework this week we were asked to use a distraction or diversion when negative behaviour rears its head. If a tantrum etc is unavoidable then we need to put our new ignoring skills into practice.

My opinion is that the majority of tantrums are avoidable, they certain are for me. I find that Little Man usually tantrums because he is hungry or tired. As long as I’m on the ball things are very easily nipped in the bud. But, either through circumstances or tiredness on my behalf these cues are missed and I have a mini monster on my hands!

Sure enough, I had one of those days this week. We went to go and see a friend of mine and, as a result, a nap was missed. When we got home hubby put Little Man to bed but due to the lateness of this nap he woke up in a ferocious mood! I knew he was hungry, but he was refusing to eat and basically spent, what felt like hours, crying on the floor refusing to eat. Nothing seemed to work but then, just as I felt like I was losing the plot, I pulled myself together and sat him in front of the TV. This is not something I’d normally do at dinner time but I knew us hovering over him wasn’t doing him any good. After a minute he’d calmed down and I gave him dinner, he soon started eating and all was well.

I notice I get so stressed when Little Man is having a tantrum, this is especially the case when we’re out (you know, when you can feel everyone else watching and judging).  My main issue is my feeling of lack of control. By keeping food, drink, change of top and a couple of little toys on me I can nip behaviour in the bud and, hopefully, as I feel more relaxed any behavior that does ensue can be managed more easily.

The Incredible Years – Week Nine

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EFFECTIVE LIMIT SETTING CONT

This weeks session was a continuation of last weeks. We moved on to talk about the rules we have around the house, including the unspoken ones. You know something? There are rather a lot!! I like things to be done my way and as a result I have millions of little rules and regulations as to how things are done!!  However, the bottom line is that being pedantic about every single little thing is just downright stressful and doesn’t help anyone in the end. This can be especially confusing for children as, frankly, there is just too much to concentrate on. We talked about the rules that really mattered to us and how we can make these rules clear to our children. I guess the point is with children, and with life in general, is that you have to pick your battles.

Limit setting is also important. We were reminded that children need security but they also need freedom (confusing, right!). A good example is letting them play but making them aware of the perimeter to which they can play in. It is very easy to want to baby our precious ones (I myself have the habit of hovering over Little Man whilst he’s trying to play), but by giving them freedom we are also teaching them some essential life skills. It was pointed out that whilst it is important to keep our children safe it is equally important to expose them to ‘controlled dangers’. I guess a good example of this would be discussing road safety with them when out and about.

HOMEWORK

We were asked to focus on setting up a short list of house rules and ways of implementing them in a child friendly way. The list should contain no more than five rules to be decided between us and our partner (if applicable). By doing this we essentially focus on what is truly important to us. What I liked about this is that it gave hubby and I a chance to check we are on the same page. The thing that surprised me was that we have a different set of priorities. I was very focused on the house being tidy and he was more concerned with the table manners. It was nice to hear each other out and come up with a game plan.

  1. We tidy up after ourselves
  2. Food stays on our plate
  3. We play nicely with our toys
  4. Shoes and coats off in the hallway
  5. We say please and thank you

The plan is for this to be written up for Little Man to see…. complete with pictures!

The main problem I found with this list is that, to be a good role model, I need to adhere to the rules myself! Number 1 and 4 are an issue for me as I’m really messy and lazy by nature, ironic as these are the rules that are non negotiable to me. Looking at it from this perspective has made me feel like I’m a bit of a hypocrite. However, I’m well aware that a tidy house ultimately leads to an easier life so I’m sure that this is something I can get used to! After all, I can’t expect others to tidy if I’m not doing it myself.