Apart from the rain, which is commonly associated with April, this month signifies positive change for me – and it all starts with Easter.
Luckily Easter came early this year; I say luckily because it offered a great excuse to stuff my face with chocolate – guilt-free.
I've been enjoying a few other luxuries this month – and I've come across a few things that have caught my eye, all of which I'm ready to share in my April Favourite Finds post…
As we all know, Easter is also commonly associated with bunnies – and I hope that you like my main blog picture. It's a picture of our bunny Jessie checking out the new addition to the household – Wilko's new bunny cushion!
I'm not sure what Jessie thought of the rabbit cushion, but I know it fits right into our decor scheme – and this is my first April favourite find!
A huge congrats to Wilko for jumping on the bandwagon when it came to the bunny trend – and the fab news is that the cushion only costs £7.
I loved it so much that I bought three – one for a matching pair for my sofa and the third I'm giving away in my April competition – click here to enter!
I was invited to check out Jessops' new Shuffle Board concept last week – and I have to say, I was really impressed. The idea is that you can take your favourite pictures into a store (either on your phone or a memory stick), and use the kiosk to choose the layout of your photos, ready to print out into a specially designed frame.
The actual kiosk is really intuitive and easy to use, although if you get stuck they'll be someone on hand to help. The shuffle prints and frame (choose from wood or white) costs £20 and it makes a great gift for family members.
Here's my Shuffle print – I'm so pleased with how it looks. If you look closely, you might spot VIP (sshhhh!) Let me know what you think!
While I was in store at the Bromley branch, I discovered that the whole interior had been redesigned; it looked much more contemporary and user-friendly, with nice colourful gift ideas dotted throughout the store.
I was really impressed with the products on offer – and I couldn't help but pick up some personalised wrapping paper while I was there (I didn't even know they offered this!) plus a gorgeous geometric rose gold frame.
If you're passing Jessops – it's worth popping in to check out their new products – and all stores are seeing an update too which is great.
Being a bit of a neat freak, I frequently have a good clear out of the kitchen cupboards and mine and the kids' wardrobes, and if I'm not have a good old nose around the charity shop, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm dropping stuff off.
But I like to chop and change where I take my unwanted goods – to make sure they are donated to my favourite causes – usually anything to do with animals or kids!
So I was pleased to hear that a new website has been launched called WhatCharity.com to showcase every charity in the UK!
It details information such as where they are, what they do and the resources they need. You can even see how you can help out – not just with donations or money, but your time too. I think it's a fab idea – and has been a long time coming – have a watch of this short video to see how it all works.
So geometric shapes and designs are ‘in' big time – we all know that. And to match my lovely geometric frame I picked up at Jessops, I've got an eye on this beautiful Hexagonal Top Wire Side Table from Tesco.
Whenever I'm in Tesco I make a point of heading to the clearance shelves – you never know what bargain you'll find. In fact, I do this for every supermarket I shop in. Most of the time there's nothing that catches my eye, but every now and then I'll spot a great find.
Ice Ice Baby
Now that the weather is starting to pick up, I'm increasingly turning to ice-cream as a preferred dessert or sweet treat. It really makes me feel like summer is on the way.
And I like to push the boat out when it comes ice-cream – both in terms of the type of ice-cream I buy – and what I serve it in….it's all about the presentation don't you know?!
I saw that Simply Ice Cream (an indulgent natural ice cream producer) is branching off in a completely new direction by creating a kitchenware range – just in time for summer al fresco dining then!
The new range comprises ice-cream bowls, teacups and portable cool bags and it's all hand-painted, microwave and dishwasher proof.
So if like me you prefer serving your ice-cream in cool-looking bowls (from £8.50), with cups (from £7.95) to match, then have a look at the company's website.
Oh, and keep your eye on my competition page too – as I'll soon be giving you guys the chance to win your own set.
A lotta bottle
It really frustrates me that I can never find a 100% leak proof bottle for the kids to take to school. Anyone else have this problem?
It seems that even if I spend an extra few quid on a decent bottle, within a month either the cap has broken off, some button doesn't work or it has somehow leaked over book bags.
So when I had the chance to trial one of Ion8's range of water bottles I only half got my hopes up that it lived up to what it said on the label: “….Open at just the touch of a button the flip top effortlessly springs open with a single push, while the added lid lock follows clicking reassuringly into place. The pouring spout remains under a hard shell keeping your bottle clean, fresh and hygienic…”
It couldn't hurt to try it I thought – and the results are….so far, so good! When my eldest, Luis' first spotted it, he asked if he could have it – the sleek black design appealed to him and the generous 550ml capacity meant it would see him through the school day – and for rugby training after school.
Three weeks has now passed and the water bottle is still intact. I'm also pleased to see that we haven't had a leak from it so far, despite being used on a daily basis and bashed about in a school bag and gym bag.
Yes it's a bit pricey at £13.46, but if it means I'm not buying £2.99 bottles every month or so, then it has probably saved me a few quid. It's available on Amazon if interested and is BPA-free.
I have a little mantra that I say to myself when the going gets tough. ‘PMA all the way!' – PMA meaning Positive Mental Attitude.
I've always considered myself a happy, go-lucky person and I'm fortunate not to suffer from anxiety or any other mental-health issues. Yes, of course I get anxious from time to time and naturally I have bouts when I feel low, but on the whole I'm a ‘glass half full' optimist.
When I was younger I used to read a lot of self-help books – I found them really interesting and I've always been fascinated with how the mind works – and psychology in general.
I don't tend to do much reading any more as I read for a living, but I recently came across a book called Beyond Barriers which caught my eye.
It's written by Nikki Barua, a successful CEO, speaker, and advisor who has been recognised as a top female entrepreneur and been featured in national media including Fortune and Forbes.
In short, it is a call to action for readers to set larger goals and actually attain them. As Vicki Saunders, CEO of Sheeo, said: “Beyond Barriers will give you the courage you need to be a bolder you.”
If you've been reading my Blogging Month posts, you'll know this is exactly what I've been trying to do lately – unsuccessfully I might add, so I've been dipping into the book to give me some motivation and inspiration to not only set realistic goals – but also achieve them. Watch this space as they say!
Have a great April – and let me know what you've been enjoying lately!
You might also like…
- March Favourite Finds
- 5 Fab Family Games To Play When You're Stuck Indoors
- What's It Really Like At ‘Dinner' by Heston Blumenthal?