Wednesday, 21 December 2016

You Are Not Alone - 2016

Christmas can be the best of times and for some, it can be the worst. We all need a little help at Christmas, even if it is just someone to say you can do this. I share these numbers every year, and I will continue to do so every year,  just to remind everyone. 


You Are Not Alone. 





MIND


Tel No   0300 123 3393

Samaritans


Tel No      116 123 

Alcoholics Anonymous



Tel No     0800 9177650 

Stonewall

Website    www.stonewall.org.uk

Info line 08000 50 20 20 


London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard

Tel No    0207 837 7324


SANELine

Website   www.sane.org.uk

Tel No     0300 304 7000



Papyrus, Prevention of young suicide


Website  www.papyrus-uk.org 



National self-help body for the Transgender community

Beaumont Society

Website http://www.beaumontsociety.org.uk

Information Line 01582 412220


Childline



Depression Alliance



Refuge

Website   www.refuge.org.uk

Tel No     0808 2000 247



Beat
Beating eating disorders.



Help line 0345 634 1414
Youth Line 0345 634 7650


Shelter

Tel No    0808 800 4444


NHS Non-Emergency Number

111


No Panic


Tel No  0844 967 4848

Youth helpline     01753 840393


Mens Advice Line 

Support line for male victims of Domestic Violence

0808 8010327

https://www.mensadviceline.org.uk


I will see you all in 2017




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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Keeping Your Pet Safe At Christmas.



As a pet owner, christmas is full of opportunities to dress up your pet in christmas hats and jumpers for fun, right?


(He was as unimpressed as he looks) 


But we need to remember that Christmas can be full of dangers for pets that don't involve bad fashion.

How many of us have, in the past, given the dog the leftovers from Christmas dinner? Let the cat lick the plate? Or let the hamster run amok through the Christmas tree? It is easily done, right?

The RSPCA have created a handy infographic to help you keep your pet safe and happy this christmas. For example, did you know? Onion gravy can be toxic to dogs? Or that Christmas cake contains raisins that aren't suitable for dogs. It is so easy to forget, or just think that a small bit won't hurt.


It can.

A visual guide to a happy Christmas for pets




It may well be that the problem isn't with the feeding, but with your pet getting stressed over the christmas period. Dogs and Cats do not always respond well to changes in their routine. The RSPCA have created a section on their website to help owners keep pets calm this christmas. You can read more here.  Keeping Pets Calm At Christmas 


Do you have any handy tips and tricks to help keep your pet calm and safe over Christmas? 


Let me know. 



*Disclaimer. This post was created in conjunction with the RSPCA
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Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Deep Moisturising Collection Giveaway with Mane 'N Tail



If you have never heard of Mane 'N Tail then you are missing a trick. This shampoo and conditioner was originally used on HORSES before two horse owners decided that they were going to try it out for themselves. They told their friends, who told their friends, and the rest, as they say, is history.





What I can tell you about this product is, my hair has NEVER looked so good. I have recently bleached it again and you would NEVER be able to tell, my hair feels glossy and swishy and not dry at all. (I also have developed a craving for hay..... Ok, I haven't really)


But this guy below has.






I have teamed up with my friends at Mane 'N Tail to give you the chance to win the WHOLE Deep Moisturising collection, which contains, Shampoo, Conditioner and a Hair Strengthener as well as a Hand and Nail cream.





Deep Moisturising has never been so deep, or so...............moisturising.



So enter below, I highly recommend it, and if you aren't lucky enough to win, check out Mane 'N Tail for yourself, it is stocked in Boots and other places, and let me know what you think.






a Rafflecopter giveaway






Terms & Conditions
You can enter via rafflecopter below. This competition will be open for one week from 13th of December and is open to UK entrants only. The winner will be contacted by email and the prize will come directly from the PR company. If the winner does not respond after one week, it will be redrawn. No alternatives will be offered and the winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter

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Monday, 12 December 2016

24 hours with, A ST Style Columnist



7.45am     Wake up, Check all my social media platforms, not much interaction yet. maybe I should tweet something controversial so I can write a column about bullying on social media?


8.45am      Still nothing, I said that puppies were arseholes and still no hate. Time to upload a picture to my personal profile that says "No Haterz please"


9.45am.     Start a column.


9.47am      Finish the column.


10.01am    Create tweet saying about how hard I work and share 15 replies all agreeing with me.


10.15am.   Still no hate. What on earth am I going to write about tomorrow?


10.30am    Think, WWLJD (What Would Liz Jones Do/)


10.35am    I create new column belittling bloggers and stereotyping them all as airheads.
That should court controversy and debate.


10.37am     I finish column.


12.00pm    Yes, finally. I have received tweets debating my column, calling me out for my stereotyping. I ignore all the ones that say how I am in the wrong, and reply to everyone who agrees with me, thanking them for their support at this hard time.


12.30pm    Lock down account for half an hour, whilst tweeting about how much hatred I am receiving and how abuse on twitter should not be tolerated. I block a few people as well, that always stirs it up a little bit more.


1.00pm     Creates new article about online bullying and the distress it has caused me.


Go home and chill. LOL Mission accomplished.








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Nativity, Tis The Season



If you have a child in primary school, right now I imagine you are balls deep in a bottle of Advocaat, dreading the hell beautiful moment, otherwise known as NATIVITY PERFORMANCE DAY.

Drinks Advocaat.

(Side note, DOES ANYONE drink Snowballs at any other time than christmas? In fact, does anyone drink Snowballs at all these days? If not, that is one drink we need to bring back, I bloody love a Snowball.) 

Anyway, Nativity plays, because as parents, we don't suffer enough.

Recorders, because the teachers have suffered enough.

More tinsel than the tree in Trafalgar Square, and more plastered on smiles and "Oh wasn't that amazing?" than you get from backbenchers after PMQ.


Drinks more Advocaat. 


Does anyone else find that they end up knowing the lines better than their sodding kids anyway? My beloved crotchfruit only had one line and yet I knew the 27 lines before hers and the 38 lines after hers. In fact, if my beloved child would have been off sick, I could have probably subbed for her and 40 other kids at the same time.

Advocaat drinks more. 


Don;t get me wrong, I love a good nativity. BUT, I bloody love them for when they go wrong. That small child that goes rogue and decides to either freestyle Little Donkey or dance their way through Away In A Manager? Yeah I want to be the mum of THAT KID.



Picture credit, Hurrahforgin.com


The child that shouts their line after the previous lines have been whispered, the child that knocks it out of the park with their footwork, these are the events that make an EXCELLENT Nativity play. When it all goes perfectly, it is all so safe. I want someone to drop the Baby Jesus,



Don't you?



Have you already experienced this years Nativity play? Tell me what happened, did you get a child that went rogue? Or did something go wrong?

It could be that you remember something you did as a child in your Nativity performance? I still cringe at hitting a bum note during my solo of Little Donkey as a child.

More Advocaat drinks. 



Let me know in the comments.




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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

the Positives of 2016



I apologise in advance for the gushiness of this post, but I make no apologies for saying that, apart from all the famous people dying (that was kind of shit) you know what?

2016 was kind of a good year for me.

Now I'm not saying that Bowie died for my happiness or anything, but I am going to look back on this year with fondness.

I married my soul mate. A man that makes me so happy, I could burst. A man that is truly and utterly my equal and who makes me smile and laugh every day. I have never been so happy, comfortable or felt so loved as I do now.

My children grew a year older, if not a year wiser (what can I say, they are children) Ooooooooooh, one got amazing GCSE results, one got voted House Captain at school and one decided that maybe the Xbox wasn't the most important thing in his life (baby steps, right?)


I also discovered what feels like my true vocation and decided that in 2017 I am going to train to be a Teaching Assistant. I start my course in February and already work in a classroom a couple of days a week.


I had some amazing experiences in 2016, I visited some beautiful places, I got to hug my mummy on my wedding day and each day I remembered to be thankful for everything that I have.


Whilst everyone else will be glad to see the back of 2016, and I have to admit, the Grim Reaper seems to have become a bit of a power crazy bitch this year, I can't lie.


This has been one of the best years of my life.


How about you?


What positive things have you experienced in 2016? What would make your highlight reel?



Let me know.






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Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas in an Ideal World



I REALLY need to start my christmas shopping soon, don't I?

Ok, before you all fill my replies with comments about how you were finished Christmas shopping in August and completed your wrapping in October, let me explain. IN A WORLD OF THE INTERNET, (An Ideal World, see what I did there?) I do not NEED to start my Christmas shopping early. I have WEEKS where I can search for the best prices, the Ideal gift, (Oh look, I did it again) the perfect present for the perfect person. I don't need to brave the high street, getting stressed and angry or giving up and spending the afternoon in Costa. (We've all done it, haven't we?)

I am a "let the presents come to me" sort of person and Ideal World have made my life even easier by creating handy sections of various christmas gifts. You have, For Him, For Her, even a For the kids section.

Ideal World offered to send me a selection of their best selling Christmas gifts, gifts that can satisfy even the most difficult members of the family, (You know, TEENAGERS) and we enjoyed testing everything out and learning about what makes something a best seller.


Christmas gifts in front of a real fire


So let me talk you through the products, for the F1 fanatic, or car fanatic, we have a Williams Car Cleaning Kit which you can purchase here -> Car Cleaning Kit 

Williams Car Cleaning Kit Gift


For her. actually, for me. These are for me. I love a good face mask, You can check out the whole Elizabeth Grant collection here -> Elizabeth Grant Collection


Christmas Gift


In a world where we HAVE to be connected, a tablet is always a welcome gift. This Android tablet by  Go Clever is a non-expensive way of getting connected. it is only £69.99 and is also available on Flexi-pay. Check it out here -> GoClever Tablet

Unwrapped Christmas Gift

Oh god, I am so happy to get this, it is a Drone, a fantastic, HD Camera drone, a drone with enough flying time so that you don't have to spend three days charging it, just to get 4 mins flying time. You can laugh, but it does happen, I speak from experience. This Drone is usually £139.99 but is currently £59.99. We are going to take it to the Lake District with us this Christmas.


Unwrapped Drone christmas gift


If you have not heard me banging on about this brush, then you must have me muted on all channels. THIS BRUSH IS MAGIC. I love it. I couldn't even tell you where my hair straighteners are any more. These take a minute to make you hair sleek like a dolphin. Well, if a Dolphin had hair, it would only wish to be as sleek as YOU. I adore this Simply Straight brush, I have had mine for a couple of months now, which means my teenage daughter is currently eyeing this up like a Dingo eyes up babies. Currently it is £29.99 on Ideal World. I paid a LOT more than that for mine so if you want to save yourself some money, you can find the brush here -> Simply Straight Brush 


Unwrapped christmas gift



So who really needs to stress about their christmas shopping, not me. Not in an Ideal World.



half unwrapped Christmas Gifts in front of fire





You can check out all of the Ideal World christmas collections here -> IDEAL WORLD CHRISTMAS COLLECTIONS  for if you need more inspiration for your christmas shopping. Let me know what your favourite is and what you hope Santa brings you. 




*Disclaimer, this product contains products sent to me by PR. 



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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Day of The Dentist



I am off to the Dentist today, I imagine you are reading this thinking, "So the fuck what?" and if you are, LANGUAGE!!!!!


But you would be right to be wondering why I feel I can get a whole blog post out of it. (I'm a blogger, JUST WATCH ME.)

I bloody hate the dentist, I hate the dentist with a passion. Ok, I say hate, I mean terrified. i am bloody terrified of the dentist. I refuse to trust anyone who covers their face whilst working on me, WHY ARE YOU HIDING YOUR IDENTITY? Is it so I cannot pick you out of a line-up? I am wise to your tricks. I FUCKING SEE YOU.




and breathe.

You may think I am slightly overreacting, you would probably be right, but I just can't help it. this fear has built up over the years until it is just a complete phobia, even the thought of the pink drink, to wash my mouth out afterwards, cannot soothe me, BUT I have a broken tooth, ok, I have two broken teeth, but one is so painful that when I visited the Emergency dentist in, cough MARCH cough, they did what they could and told me I needed to have the tooth removed asap and I should make my own appointment with my dentist to have it done.

There were two problems with this.

Firstly, I didn't have a dentist, secondly, even if I did, it is the equivalent of being on Death Row and having to phone up and book your own appointment for your execution, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I did what any self-respecting adult does in 2016 and I ignored it.......... until the pain got so bad that it is kind of like a permanent hum and I have been forced into action.

If that isn't the story of 2016, then I don't know what is.


So I am off to the dentist this afternoon at 2.50pm, I am not happy about it but I keep telling myself it will be ok in the end, my worst fear is if they prod and poke my mouth and then tell me to come back another day to have it removed. Genuinely, if that happens I don't know if I can go back, again, they will tell me to make another appointment at reception and I will sail straight past like, LATER BITCHES.


I think I need a responsible adult. (possibly not just for a dentist appointment either)



So my question for you today, am I alone in panicking, does anyone else panic at the thought of the dentist?


And do we think, if I ask nicely, I can get a sticker to say I have been a good girl?



Let me know.







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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Bon Prix, Bon Prix On The Rocks



Ever watched other people being invited to an event that you REALLY want to go to? Screw FOMO, this is full on jealousy, this is WHYYYYYYY NOTTTTTTTTTT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?

Just me?

Oh, ok.

So there was everyone, being invited to #BonPrixOnTheRocks and me, feeling like Cinderella mumbling, "I WANNA GO TO THE BALL"

Now, luckily, it seems that I too have a Fairy Godmother, and I got a last minute invite to the event at the beautiful Mal Maison in Leeds.

And everyone was looking FINE.

Everyone who was invited to the event was gifted a dress to wear from Bon Prix of their choosing, which is a GENIUS idea. Now I have seen so many outfits on REAL bodies, that I desperately want to own too.


Look at these QUEENS.


 Lucinda



Ally



Dei




Sarah



There were so many amazing women there, rocking their outfits, it was difficult to just pick a few to show you. Genuinely, I spent the whole evening looking at everyones dresses, imagining how they would look on me. I adore Sarah's dress above, I nearly picked it myself so it was great to see how fantastic it looked on Sarah.



We spent the evening in Mal Maison learning how to make different cocktails, the poor bar man really had his work cut out with groups of cackling women but he did a fantastic job of stopping us from drinking the spirits straight and teaching us how to mix them.



(You can just imagine Lucinda whispering, "Down it" can't you?)

We laughed, we drank, we ate and we admired each others clothing, it was a perfect, perfect evening.

Many many thanks to Bon Prix for being my Fairy Godmother and telling me, I SHALL go to the ball.


If you are going to a ball, why not check out Bon Prix's Party wear section -> PARTY WEAR
or check out Bon Prix's blog to see more of what we got up to. -> Bon Prix Cocktail Masterclass Blog

I'd love your thoughts on what you are loving from the range,


Let me know.






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Monday, 21 November 2016

When is it TOO early to put up your christmas decorations?



Today is the 21st of November. N-O-V-E-M-B-E-R. You know, the month before December? and whilst I am over here getting excited about Christmas adverts, I do not think I am ready to see pictures of your tree up, on Instagram.

Why for you haz up tree and decorations up in November? 

I don't understand.





Now I don't have ROOM for a tree in my living room at the moment, so please indulge me my, sitting in the Judgement tree, being all judgey and stuff. it's is leafy and green in this judgement tree and I am STILL NOT CONSIDERING PUTTING LIGHTS IN IT YET.

Don't get me wrong, I adore christmas, it is a fabulous time of the year for some people, but I worry that if a tree goes up too early, do you not get bored of it? What happens if on December the 10th you are all like, "I AM SICK TO THE BACK TEETH OF CHRISTMAS, That is IT. The tree is coming DOWN" ?


If you have a real tree, don't you find that your carpet, IS a carpet, of needles by mid-december?


Some people have had their tree up for a week now, A WEEK? When did we start celebrating Christmas so early? I haven't even started Christmas shopping yet and some of you people are finished shopping, have wrapped all the presents and I imagine that, if I look in your oven, the turkey is already slow roasting to perfection.

But maybe I am being harsh, 2016 has been a total bitch of a year for most. Maybe you are just seeing this year out quickly, by putting up your christmas tree in November you are doing the good host equivalent of trying to shoo out unwanted guests who don't know when to leave, you have made the coffee, you have their coat in your hand and now you are fake yawning to really hammer home the point that it is TIME TO LEAVE.

Perhaps I do get that.



So come on then, is YOUR tree up? If so, WHY?

Is November too early to have up the tree? When do you put YOURS up?


Let me know




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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Leave No Wo(man) behind



I read an article yesterday, about a young drunk woman being abandoned by her friends, in absolute disgust.

It was an open letter from the Cheltenham Guardians, who are absolutely amazing and volunteer to help keep people safe, regarding a young woman called Emily who was not only abandoned by her friends, but when contacted by The Guardians, gave them the run around and caused even more trouble, you can read their open letter here. ->  Open Letter From The Guardians

Now I know I am old, but RULE ONE when you are out with friends, LEAVE NO WO(MAN) BEHIND.

You go out as a group, you come home as a group. You keep each other safe and you certainly don't put anyone in danger. I have been out in the past and stopped drinking when I have seen one of my friends starting to get a bit messy. I choose to do this, I don't HAVE to do it, but to me, it is common sense, it is part of life and part of being a good friend. I love my friends and I want them to be safe. I could NEVER leave a drunk friend alone. EVER. I don't understand people who could just abandon someone they went out with.

I don't even care if they are the kind of friend who does that every time we go out. We all have that ONE friend who swears blind they aren't going to end up drunk and then ends up blazing at 9.30pm arguing with bouncers, don't we?

If you don't, you are probably THAT friend.


So what do you think of Emily's friends?

Would you leave a sloppy drunk friend behind? Or have you in the past?


Let me know.





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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Ted Baker, Bringing Florals Into Autumn/Winter



You know how you have THOSE style gurus that tell you the RULES of fashion as if they are written in stone and to be obeyed at all costs? Those magazines that tell you what to wear, how to wear and WHEN to wear it?

We are throwing out the rule book. We are making our OWN rules and the rules are.

If it makes you happy, WEAR IT.

Let us bring florals into Autumn/Winter. Let us remember fondly the warmth on our skin from summer when we are cold. When everyone else is playing it safe, LET US ENJOY OUR CLOTHES/SHOES/ACCESSORIES because life is short and we deserve to be happy.

For example, take one pair of Ted Baker floral heels. (No, not these ones, these ones are MINE) here's the link, go find a glorious pair that will make you happy. http://www.tedbaker.com/uk/Womens/Shoes/c/womens_shoes put them on your feet and bring some summer into your life. YES, it may be cold and wet at the moment, you may have SNOW, I do. But everything feels just that little bit better when you can smile at your clothes, right?








and if the mood so takes you, why not match your floral shoes to your bag. Live a little.




(I am buying that bag, by the way)


Ignore the fashion 'rules'


Tear up the book and wear what makes you happy, whatever the season.


Don't you agree?








*Post contains PR samples, words are all my own.
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#WildAboutLeeds with The Body Shop



I was SO upset when I was too ill to go to The Body Shop event in Leeds a couple of weeks ago. From what I saw, the event, which marked the coming of the new store on Brigate was an event that will go down in Leeds history as one of the best. DAMN FLU.


Luckily, My best girl, Lucy, won a trip to visit the VIP room at the new store and asked Faith and I (And Mr Lucy) if we would like to tag along.

Er, FUCK yeah we would.

We actually went on the day it reopened and it was PACKED, I mean REALLY PACKED. Imagine Christmas Eve packed. Luckily the VIP room, which is situated at the back of the store, was a tranquil oasis in a sea of madness.



The Leeds store is the first store to get this make over so if you get a chance to go and visit, DO IT. It is amazing. If you live outside of Leeds, then I feel sorry for you, Leeds is fabulous, move here immediately.
inside the Body Shop new store

So Lucy, Faith, Mr Lucy and I all settled ourselves in the VIP room ready to be pampered.






We all got the opportunity to have a facial and our make-up doing. I was talked through all the products that were used and had the opportunity to smell, and feel the products before they were applied to my face, I must admit, after being so ill the week before, my skin was in desperate need of some attention and it has felt much smoother and clearer ever since. 


After the facial, it was time for some make-up. Again, you get a real sense that each member of staff really loves and appreciates the Body Shop products that they use, they don't want to just sell you things, they want you to love it as much as they do. 



Another point that I have to make, we were all very pleased to see that the VIP room was very disabled accessible, there were no stairs or sharp turns, it was very easy to manoeuvre into and around. 


After lots of pampering, Lucy got to pick some products and she very kindly purchased for Faith and myself a lipstick each that we were wearing, they are the new matte liquid lipsticks and I've had lots of compliments on the colour I chose when I've worn it since. 


Body Shop Leeds

Note to self, refuse to have pictures taken with the tall birds. 



So whilst I was absolutely gutted I didn't get to go to the event, I'm so glad I got a sneak peek at everything The Body Shop has to offer. Check out Lucy's site as I am sure she will be writing about it soon and you can read about her experiences soon. http://www.lucyearnshaw.co.uk


Are you a Body Shop fan? Did you go to the #WildAboutLeeds event? Was it just the best? 


Let me know. 




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Monday, 7 November 2016

Christmas Markets with La Redoute



Picture the scene, we are close to winter and you are given the opportunity to win a festive trip to a beautiful Christmas Market in Paris.

What do you wear?
Can you spend less than £100 to look warm, cozy AND stylish?

That was the question posed by La Redoute.




Do you think I managed it?


Kellie Dawson wearing a hat

Hat; La Redoute, Black Marl Hat. £13 


Big Fashionista wearing a jumper dress



Big Fashionista wearing a jumper dress

Jumper Dress; La Redoute, R Edition Jumper Dress. £24

La Redoute patent leather boots

Black Riding Boots; La Redoute Patent Look Riding Boots. £41


Big Fashionista wearing a bag


Bag; La Redoute Faux Snakeskin Bag, R Edition. £19




So here is the reasoning behind my purchases.

A hat, it's a no-brainer. I refuse to have a cold head in the winter. and it means that even on a bad hair day I can still look stylish. I adore jumper dresses, they are my go to winter outfit, with thick tights and boots. Let us talk about the BOOOOOOOTS, I have fat calves, finding boots that fit is a battle that usually I don't win but these boots have elasticated sides and they are flat. Christmas markets are NO place for heels. Flat boots are comfortable and stylish. Heels have their place, but not here. The bag. Now if you do a christmas market RIGHT, you are going to have lots of bags, I like to have a small bag that can contain my cash and thats about it. Everything else will be tucked in one of my MANY other bags that I will have at the end of the day.


Do you think I made good choices? What would you wear to go to a Christmas Market?


Let me know.







* Disclosure, This post is entry into a competition held by La Redoute. It contains products I have been gifted by PR.


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Friday, 4 November 2016

Because Life Is What You Make It, with Slumberdown



It is true, isn't it? Life is what you make it, and we are ALL guilty of spending time on things that can wait and not spending time with those people who mean the world to us, just making memories, having fun and enjoying life.

Slumberdown are currently running a competition to win the chance to have your housework done by professionals for a whole year, giving you more time to make memories and just HAVE SOME FUN.


What would I do, if given more time away from the housework?


A DUVET DAY OF COURSE.


Does anyone else remember being a child and grabbing all the duvets in the house, piling them on your own bed and making a nest out of them?

Let's face it, even as adults, that sounds like a superb way to spend the day, doesn't it?

I gave my ten year old daughter ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL the duvets and told her to use them however she wanted to. This was how she spent her time.



A giant nest, complete with fairy lights. What a relaxing way to read.




A duvet tent. apparently I am not allowed in.



She is a pie, she is under the crust. It was my job to cook the pie. (I think this makes me the witch)




Inside the tent. She said she is never coming out.





Later on that evening. Night night, beautiful girl.








We had a fantastic day but unfortunately I still have to do my housework, but if you want the chance to have yours done for you, giving you more time to bake your children in duvet pies, you can enter the competition here ->    http://slumberdown.co.uk//win-housework/



You can also find out plenty more ideas on the Slumberdown website for fun games you can play with your children that will hopefully have them sleeping all night long.

http://slumberdown.co.uk/fun-with-kids/


Let me know which one is your favourite.






Disclaimer, post contains products sent to me by Slumberdown. Words are all my own


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