I am a new Achica convert. A little while ago I was contacted to ask if I wanted to give it a try and “hell, yeah!” was my answer.
It didn’t take much convincing and as soon as I could, I set up my account and was browsing…
And the more I browsed the more I felt this was a little bit of heaven. I am that girl who loves a bargain. That girl who loves being offered the quality and originality at a fraction of the price.
That day was lucky for me. I had been eyeing a Pip Studio tea set for a while and to my delight there was one there!!
The order process was straight forward: add to the basket, go to the check out and you are done.
Now from what I understand, the average wait is approximately two weeks, which is what they advised me and what it took for my lovely tea set to arrive.
Unfortunately when the package arrived two of the mugs were broken. l contacted the customer service straight away and they very prompt at dealing with my request and organised for the two mugs to be replaced immediately.
l am impressed not only by the choice or quality of the items for sale but also the quality of the way queries are dealt with.
So if you’re new to Achica here is it what it is in a nutshell:
Welcome to the world of ACHICA, the Members-only Luxury Lifestyle Store. Our team of expert buyers are travelling the globe to hand source chic and desirable luxury brands for your home, garden and lifestyle, which can be yours at up to 70% off.
Our exclusive promotions across Home Furnishings, Kitchen, Garden, Art, Food and Drink, Travel, Childrenswear and more are only open for 48 hours, so don’t miss out.
Go and have a look! you know you want to…
Disclosure: For review purposes I was offered a voucher to spend at Achica.com
If you have been reading this blog for a while then it will come to no surprise when I say once again that I love Christmas time. I have always loved the magic that fills the air at this time of the year. Pretty much a combination of sparkling lights, fancy parties, the smell of oranges and cinnamon and the taste of mince pies while watching something really christmassy on TV.
Having children has enhanced the feeling even more. Now we have even more reason to sink in the Christmas spirit and allow ourselves to “believe” once again.
I will always remember my excitement and feeling of anticipation as we were getting ready to go and visit Santa with the boys for the first time. But the second time was even better.
By then they had a better knowledge of who was Santa was and it made it rather amazing for them.
This years, to celebrate Christmas, DFS - UK sofas retailer, is offering you the chance to enter a competition to go and visit Santa, all the way to Lapland for 3 days! This will include UK flights, snowmobile and reindeer sleigh rides, a festive meal, games in the Elves’ Igloo, and a private meeting with Santa himself!
But that’s not all, for the runners up there is a chance to win 3 Sony home entertainment systems; including a 42″ HD LED TV and a Sony 3D Blu-ray disc player .
In addition, as a part of Christmas Delivery campaign and a partnership with Arthur Christmas, DFS also guarantees your sofa to be delivered before Christmas on all orders placed before 25th November 2012.
To find out more about the competition and terms and conditions, please visit the DFS prize draw page.
It was amazing, buzzing, uplifting, funny, making you want to standup to dance and sing along!
Last week we were invited as a family to see the show at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London. Unfortunately the boys were not well enough to be taken all the way to London for a late one on a school night. So we made the (hard) decision to leave them at home and enjoy a second night out with my husband in a month! Woo Hee! (sorry kids)
If you’ve seen the film and liked it, you will LOVE the musical! It is fun for everyone and at every level. You kind of end up with a smile that won’t go anywhere, because every single minute of the show have you smiling, if not laughing.
Ok, there is a terrible forced American accent going on but once you passed this you are totally swallowed into the spirit.
Shrek is as Shrek should be: grumpy, moving and more sensitive that he would like to be.
Princess Fiona is sweet, witty, feisty and lovely.
Donkey well he is Donkey, and if you’ve seen the film you’ll know what I mean.
But Lord Farquaad… Lord Farquaad is brilliant, absolutely brilliant! By far my favourite character in the play. He is played by Neil McDermott who I used to really like in Eastenders and the smile is as charming in the role he plays there. Lord Farquaad in the Musical is a complex character who has a difficult relationship with his dad (Snow White’s Grumpy) and who is very moving, extremely funny and touching. Something you don’t get in the film.
This has to be THE number one family Christmas Show in London and if you are thinking of somewhere to take the whole family during the festive season, that will make everyone laugh and enjoy the day out, then think about it seriously. There were lots of children in the theatre and right next to us there was a tiny little boy who was mesmerised and so well behaved! I can’t wait to take the boys now.
And if you want a taste of what you get, then watch the Shrek The Musical Christmas video which is a charity song for Centrepoint, the UK’s leading charity for homeless young people. I dare you not to smile, if not have a good laugh.
Age Recommendation: Shrek The Musical is recommended for ages 5 and up. Younger children will be admitted, but it is the policy of Theatre Royal Drury Lane that staff may ask for them to be removed from the auditorium if they cause a disturbance to other patrons. All persons entering the theatre must have a ticket – babes in arms are not permitted.
Disclosure: we were offered two tickets to attend the show
There is something magical about a musical, but even more special when watched live and in one of the most beautiful theatre in London: The Palace Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.
A few weeks ago we were invited to see Singin’ In The Rain, an absolute classic in history of Musicals. Craig and I were delighted to be given the opportunity of a night out in London, very rare occasion since the birth of the boys, especially to go to the theatre.
The play based on the classic film, which is celebrating its 60th birthday this year, leaves you smiling from ear to ear. Not only the actors are extremely talented but the famous songs will have you sing along and loose yourself in good feelings.
Here is an interesting fact for you: for each performance, Singing’ In The Rain uses 14 tonnes (14,000 litres) of water, pumped from, recycled and pumped back into a 10 ton water tank in the orchestra pit… And you will get wet if you sit in the front rows!
I feel incredibly lucky to have been given this opportunity as it was a great night out.
When we were asked to review Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure, a game for the Nintendo Wii I didn’t think twice and said “yes”.
Exactly. Hello. Two boys? Who like action and everything if it’s not pink. Especially not pink.
When the game arrived in the post, just as I opened the envelope and caught a glimpse of Belle, Cinderella and their best friends, I thought “uh uh…”
The game is an adventure lead by famous Disney princesses. Each one takes you into their own universe and the player must complete games to move on into the whole adventure. Not only that but the player can also customise the avatar, redecorate rooms and other alongside fun.
So when I picked up the boys and announced cheerfully “hey guys, guess what, we’ve got a new game to review” they let their joy explode. They asked what it was. I told them…
E let out a “eeeewwwe that’s for guuurls!!!”
V was over the moon. High five!
When we got home E decided to try it anyway. You know just for the progress, science and all that.
Well I am happy to report they both love it. They really enjoy the challenges and resolving enigmas.
As for me, what I Iike best, is that they can play it without much intervention from me and when they require it, I can do it! The girl with no coordination skills whatsoever when it comes to translating action on a screen using some control thingy.
But mainly I know that it is safe and age appropriate.
And it brings a touch of girliness in our home which I quite enjoy actually.
This game is rated 3yo and it is well suited in a home with
mixed gender siblings as everyone will find something to suit them. We all like it
Disclosure: we were sent a sample to review.
Amendment: since writing the review the boys have completed the game. It was finished in no time at all which is a little disappointing as they are now no longer interested in the game
Sometime ago, a man had a vision. Driver Dave felt he could make better snacks than the ones he used to deliver accompanied by his loyal dog and friend Ruby.
And Salty Dog was born.
We were given the opportunity to try a variety of their nuts and there was no way we were going to decline. I have a certain weakness for savoury snacks (unfortunately for my hips).
So Craig and I took the job seriously of course: feet up, a drink and the nuts. We both have our favourites, mine being the cashew nuts and the chili nuts for him.
But it gets better, those snacks are now available from Tesco too, you lucky little minks.
Now onto the other good news: they are running a competition to win an iPhone 5! To enter you will need to head over to their Facebook page because this is where the fun is.
So go on, you know you want to!
Don’t forget to follow them and say hello in Twitter too.
We are nearly there. In less than 24 hours one of my beloved children from hell will be going back to school. Summer has gone in a flash but the last 4 days have dragged like never.
To get in the mood:
I have washed and ironed all their school clothes (the only time of the year I actually iron clothes).
I have survived the traditional trip to the shoe shop which nearly had the best of my mind and sanity.
We have cut the Surfer Dude hair to give them both a more Good Boy look.
I have even started to plan what I am going to do with the extra hours I am going to get.
As part of the preparation, today I have spent 3 hours labelling two sets of school uniform and PE Kit.
A couple of weeks ago Brother sent us a really clever little machine to label everything and anything and today it has shown that it is brilliant! It is the P-Touch 1080 which will label anything from the lunchbox to the PE shoes and clothes. It is very easy and straightforward to use and create labels.
I simply love it and I even might start to label all the things that I want the children to keep their hands off!
The investment is under £20 for the machine and the tapes retail around £12 and maybe less with a little shopping around.
One day you become pregnant and all you worry about is bringing to life a healthy little human being that you will love more than you ever thought possible.
Then for the next 4 to 5 years after his birth you will worry about lots of things like what he eats and at what time he poops, you will make sure you provide a minimum stimulation from Little Einstein, playing Peekaboo to singing out loud all the Nursery Rhymes in the book.
But there is one thing almost guaranteed, you will start thinking of his start at school only late, like only when you are due to fill in THE application, the one that will get him into that fab school round the corner. The one only few minutes walk from your house, only to discover just few months before that you are not in the catchment area. That’s when you start questioning “What’s a catchment area? Why do school have one? What is going to happen of my baby if we don’t get the gold ticket?!”.
And that is only the beginning. Once you are done with the school place there is all the rest to think about: school politics, curriculum, day trips, your involvement with the school, to which level, the school fairs, the school fundraising events, the stories of bullying, the neverending list of invites to birthday parties that your child wouldn’t miss for anything in the world…
It doesn’t end and the truth is that until you are right in the thick of it you don’t know much about it.
When Elliott started, last September it was a shock. I felt like I walked in a world totally strange to me. Was it because I was French and not used to the British education system? Was it because the last time I had to deal with Primary school was just before I left it myself, nearly 30 years ago? I felt overwhelmed and constantly trying to catchup with what was happening. Most of the time I relied on one of the mums who knew how rubbish I was and nicely reminded me all the important things I needed to bring or think of. I earnt my Rubbish Mother badge with flying colours.
I can’t help thinking that should I have read Sarah’s book last year I would have been more aware and ready for it all.
Sarah Ebner, Editor of The Times education blog The School Gate wrote The Starting School Survival Guide telling you everything you need to know when your child starts Primary School. Of course this year I am no longer a total novice, there are lots of things I have learnt the hard way, but I still have learnt new things reading this book.
What I love about it, is that it covers everything from how the school system works, preparing yourself and your child for his first day, dealing with cliques at school, the actual learning and lots of other things.
I personally recommend this book even if like me you are not totally new to Primary School, but I would highly recommend it as early as possible before your child starts. Not only it will answer questions you may have but it will also highlight bits you didn’t even consider. Sarah writes in a very clear and easy to read manner making the experience very enjoyable too.
Buy The Starting School Survival Guide at Amazon RRP £10.99
This morning was another morning like any other morning. I woke up with the sound of one healthy happy little boy walking into our bedroom, followed by the second one shortly after.
As usual I was grumpy, because I was hot and kept being kicked in the back by these two little people trying to find themselves a place in our over crowded bed.
As usual I turned on the cartoons with the hope to quiet them a little and have a chance to slowly unfold my bruised body. I reached out for my phone in order to have my own entertainment. Like every morning Facebook is the first place I hang out, not that much has happened in my friends’ life since bedtime.
This morning I found new photos that Sian has added to her #ShareNiger album. There is something about knowing Sian and watching her report live from Niger, and it is that it becomes a reality you can almost touch. An unbearable reality.
Like a lot of us, I am not ignoring what is happening, I am simply running away from it. It hurts too much to watch the pain parents have to go through when their young child is dying of hunger.
It hurts to see people living in the most uncomfortable ways, having to struggle to even have water, let alone food. It hurts to face the fact that we are being spoilt in many ways and that our life is cluttered by things we don’t need but just want.
It hurts to feel that you are not being able to do anything about it.
And yet everyday we get on with our life. Our worries are mainly material, our health problem are taken care by some of the best healthcare system in the World.
Yet we complain. We complain that we won’t be able to water our garden and achieve lush green lawn because it didn’t rain enough. We complain because we are losing internet connection every now and then, when systems fail.
We complain because being a parent is tough and draining and exhausting. That sleepless nights are responsible for these bags that only miracle expensive cream will make vanish.
The truth is that we need to look outside of our own lives. People everywhere in the world are having it tougher one way or another.
The goal is not to dumb down anyone’s pain or reality. The aim is to make sure that no-one is left behind, that everyone is taken care of. That we all do something, something selfless, something full of positive intention and love.
We have a duty and it is to do anything possible to help no matter how big or small is our part, all of us together we can be so much stronger and send hunger, poverty and misery to F**CK OFF!
So come on, help exactly how you can, use your Social Media genius and your internet connection for something positive, talk about it, donate time and money, whatever is right, feels right for you!
Remember to be grateful every single day for what you are eating, drinking or spending (big or small). Remember to turn the tap off, to not over consume food, to avoid waste of any sort. Be an example for the next generation.
A week ago we were invited to visit Harry Potter’s Warner Bros studios located in Leavesden (north London). Even if the boys are still a bit young to have watched the series, we are not! So we were delighted to be offered the opportunity.
Despite a mean hangover (never plan something like this the morning after a 40th Birthday Party… NEVER!), so despite a hangover which lead me straight to the spanking new coffee shop I was decided to enjoy the day out. And we did.
It was quite mesmerizing to watch where the magic began and we all loved it. The boys were fascinated and so were we.
The visit takes you through the most popular sets including the Great Hall which was amazing, and you also get to see the Gryffindor common room, the boys’ dormitory, Hagrid’s hut, Potion’s classroom and Professor Umbridge’s office at the Ministry of Magic.
The visit ends with the awesome Hogwarts Castle Model, which is truly fascinating.
Once the visit is over you exit via the shop… Here is a lesson to learn: don’t promise a wand to your children upon exit, DON’T! unless you have £25 to spend for each one of your children because all the wands are the exact replicas to the ones used in the film.
Who wants a 5 and 4 year old to play wizard with a wand this price? The shop is totally not catering for the younger age and that’s a shame. They really need to introduce token items to the shop like a plastic wand or a Harry keyring not just giant lollipop or chocolate as only alternative.
This aside it is a great day out for any Harry Potter fans, so enjoy!
Hi I am Peggy, the author of Perfectly Happy Mum!
I have been blogging since 2008 and this blog is the extension of my brain. There is a bit about my two action men, E and V, but there is mainly lots of reflection on life in general and my life in particular. Hope you enjoy it and thank you for stopping by!
Just before you go, if you are new to blogging and want to learn more about branding, designing and creating blogs on a budget, then pop over to my other blog, EasyTechClub!