Secret Gardens of Oxton 2019 + My first ever Vlog!

For the second year in a row now I have attended the Secret Gardens of Oxton event. This year is the 19th annual event of the Secret Gardens and it was a real pleasure to once again be able to take part.

This year took part on Sunday, 12th May 2019 at 10AM till 5PM. We decided to set off at 11AM as we hate getting up too early on a Sunday and living local meant we only had to walk down the road to attend. I love attending the Secret Garden’s because I get some garden inspiration, it’s a local event so I get to meet some local’s which isn’t a bad thing considering I’ve only lived in the area for a year and a half. I enjoy having a local day out, which didn’t cost too much and the money all goes back into the wonderful community.

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This year there were only 20 houses listed on the map which felt odd compared to last year’s 27. Last year, we did go in Numerical order, this year we went from 20 downwards because that way we ended up closer to home at the last few houses. Despite the OCD of starting backward. We reached house 20 with open minds and our legs none the wiser of the treck ahead.

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I think having fewer houses than last year meant I was able to look around the gardens leisurely, I felt much more relaxed and like I was able to spend more time in each garden. Last year, I remember feeling incredibly awkward at times when entering a stranger’s garden. This year was much more welcoming and I generally came home with extreme garden envy. (We actually started cleaning our garden the day after!)

I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s entertainment which consisted of a lot of musicians and I overall believe the event was much more planned out than last year. I felt like the whole day ran smoother in general, fewer houses meant I wasn’t rushing to see them all. You can read about my thoughts on the Secret Gardens of Oxton 2018 here.

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The event also consisted of some lovely small business stalls like this one from Jo Vickers Art. Jo has created a beautiful landscape of Oxton Village which she titles ‘Villagescape’, I personally love it! You can visit her shop here on Etsy.

Shetland Pony

I got to stroke this beautiful Shetland Pony which is something I wouldn’t normally even think to do as horses frighten me slightly. Hurray for facing my fear.

I especially loved the older houses which had been claimed back by nature. The day was filled with beautiful greenery and even more beautiful spots of color in flowers and small decoration features which I just adored!

We spent most of the day filming so I could bring you all my very first vlog. I am so excited for you all to watch, as well as incredibly nervous! I have never created a video like this before as I hate the sound of my own voice and I am incredibly uncomfortable in front of the camera, I definitely belong behind it! Nevertheless,Β  I really hope you all enjoy it! If you do, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube and leave me a comment!

 

 

Stickerscape Review

I was gifted these beautiful Children’s Space Wall stickers by Stickerscape. You can view their collection here Stickerscape Space Wall Sticker Collection. Or to view their website here.Β I’ve teamed up with Stickerscape to give you 10% off using the code ‘mummyover10’ which is valid for the next month!

I chose these beautiful ‘Space Doodles Wall Sticker Pack’ in Grey, they are also available in Pink, White, Yellow, and Black. I found it incredibly hard to choose because all of the designs looked pretty cool but these were really cute and I just knew they’d look great on Amelia’s walls. Amelia’s walls are pink and grey, I hoped by choosing the grey to go on the pink walls it would still match the rest of the room.

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My stickers arrived promptly and beautifully packaged!Β  I will admit I was a bit confused when I opened the box as I wasn’t quite sure how the stickers worked. I would recommend you definitely should read the instructions, they are simple and easy to follow. This Youtube video was also incredibly easy to follow.

 

Stickerscape stickers have to be placed on in stages, the first is to cut the shape from the rest of the roll of stickers, you can then use a card on a flat surface and rub the sticker so it sticks from the backing paper (Whiteside) on to the transfer paper (clear side). You can then remove the backing paper and affix the transfer paper with the stickers onto the wall in the desired space. Use the card again to stick the sticker to the wall before pulling off the transfer paper.

I did find the process a bit longer than I would have done with any usual wall sticker. I found that some of the designs where fiddlier than others as, in the image below the small lines in the spaceman’s helmet and the dots on his uniform are separate stickers and occasionally I would peel away to find the smaller pieces still stuck to the transfer paper.

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These stickers really look beautiful against the pink paint in Amelia’s room. Although I found applying the stickers a little more time consuming than normal wall stickers, I am a fan. Stickerscape wall sticker’s don’t have that usual see-through border that usual wall stickers have around them.

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Overall, I really love the new stickers, I think they look fabulous on the wall. I would use Stickerscape in the future as they create a more high-quality look, even in a child’s bedroom. I would highly recommend Stickerscape if you’re looking to jazz up your children’s bedroom, add some colour or character to plain walls. I’m really starting to wish and hope that they start to create stickers for adults and other rooms.

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General enquires use this link. https://www.stickerscape.co.uk/#

Don’t forget to use my coupon code at the beginning of this blog post for 10% of your Stickerscape order! I have some great blog posts coming up soon, I’m really sick at the moment which is why I’ve been less active than usual!

If you are looking to work with me, don’t hestite to email me at whatsinmywonderland@gmail.com.

I changed to all cruelty-free products.

I don’t usually do post’s about beauty products but I would love to tell you all about some of my favourite products that I’ve found this year. In late 2018, I decided I needed a change, I’d been putting my money into the hands of companies that support Testing on Animals. It’s 2019, and we the world of ‘Animal lovers’ are still supporting this cruelty which is completely unnecessary, I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth was and I will no longer buy or use brands that are not ‘Cruelty-Free.’

Cruelty Free Products

Let’s talk for a minute about why I decided to change and then I will talk to you about the products I’ve found, tried and loved. I’ve always titled myself ‘an animal lover’ and I thought it was a bit half arsed to say you love animals but you will still wash your hair with a product that’s hurt an animal. I know some people may not share the same views as me but that’s okay. I’ve had mixed views from family and friends when I told them, one person said ‘What difference does it make?’

The difference is, I have the opportunity to support something I feel strongly about. One person can always make a difference and I hope by sharing this with you, I might able to help you make the change too.

I will admit that I’ve found it difficult to find brands that I like and I’ve found it to be a little pricey occasionally but I’d rather spend more than put my money into a company whose policies I don’t agree with.

I have tried and tested all of these brands myself personally so all thoughts and opinions are my own, this post contains some Amazon Affiliate links.

 

Baylis & Harding Beauticology Unicorn Candy Hand Wash

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This handwash by Baylis and Harding is to die for. The smell reminds me of Cherry Bakewells and let’s face it the packaging is adorable. I am aware that not all of Baylis and Harding products are Cruelty-free as certain products contain bee’s wax. So if you are looking to buy from them make sure you check the label.

Baylis & Harding Unicorn Candy Handwash 500ml

My Hair Matters: Sainsburys Hair Range

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Hair products have proven to be difficult to find, but I was lucky enough to find this new Sainsbury’s brand called ‘My Hair Matters’ they create high-quality hair products at half the price and they are all cruelty-free. So far there are only 5 different types of Shampoo’s and conditioner are in the range and I’m hoping they will make more.

They offer Smooth, Volume, Moisture infusion, Nourish & Repair, and Colour.Β  I have tried the Mustuire infusion, which is lightly scented, it left my hair feeling soft and nourished the same as any other brand would. I am going to be trying the colour next as I do die my hair often and I feel it would be a better fit for me.

Find out more about My Hair Matters on Sainsbury’s website: https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/

Lush

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I’m very pleased to be able to keep Lush in my life as they are a Cruelty-free brand. I have reviewed Lush Products on my blog before which you can read here. Lush area great cruelty-free alternative as they don’t just create bath bombs. They have face products, bath & shower products, hair products, and a fragrance range. Not only do Lush smell to die for, but they are also all handmade and

Check out more of their products using their website: https://uk.lush.com/

Original Source

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Original Source is a great choice for shower gels and scrubs, they are a vegan brand and their products are brimming with the most beautiful scents. There isn’t much to say about them other than if you want a change for a cruelty-free shower gel that smells good enough to eat and is longlasting Original Source is the one to choose.

Original Source Cherry & Almond Milk Shower 250ml

Original Source Shower Gel Rasberry & Vanilla 250ml

The Body Shop

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For hand creams and lip balms, I would always choose The Body Shop, I have quite sensitive skin and really dry, cracked skin on my hands, kind of like a lizard. The body shop hand creams always leave my hands smelling nice and feeling soft to the touch, I especially like that I can always match the scents from my hand cream to my lip balm.

The Body Shop Frosted Berries Festive Tin – Frosted Berries Shower Gel 60ml Frosted Berries Body Scrub 50ml Frosted Berries Body Butter 50ml Frosted Berries Hand Cream 30ml

The Body Shop – Strawberry Beauty Bag

Obviously, I haven’t covered everything in this one post so there will be more to come as I change my make-up brands, my hair dye brand, etc. I really hope you’ve enjoyed this post and possibly wish to make the change yourself. If you are a cruelty-free brand looking for a product review, send me an email over whatsinmywonderland@gmail.com

Let’s help put an end to Animal Testing! #AgainstAnimalTesting

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr Suess.

Saying Goodbye.

It’s been two months since my loss and I never actually planned on writing a blog post about it. I briefly mentioned it back in my Confronting My Anxiety post but this time I’d like to fully talk about it in the hope it helps my recovery to cry and write and express my thoughts and feelings properly.

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“Her love knew no bounds.
She would protect.
Always watching out for my daughter Amelia.
Never once realising that she was my other daughter.”

On February 11th, I made the decision to have my Husky Tishka of 10 years old put to sleep. Tishka was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her mouth in summer 2018, we proceeded with the surgery and were told that there was a possibility it might come back but told they couldn’t operate again without removing most of the side of her face.

Several months passed and she seemed fine, she’d healed and seemed much happier in herself and the panic had left me that I’d have to lose her.

Later in the year, I noticed the lump on her face had started to return very aggressively to a point where all she did was sleep. She’d sleep for hours, days and nothing seemed to ease her pain. I never wanted to be selfish when it came to her life, admittedly I never wanted to have to say goodbye to her ever. I cried several times beforehand because I knew it would change the person who I am.

The night of the 10th of February, I told my boyfriend that I have to say goodbye now, he asked if I was ready. I said no, I’ll never be ready. I’d have been cruel to wait until I was ready. Cancer had changed her. She was so tired and so miserable and I couldn’t stand to see her miserable. I wanted nothing but hapiness for her even if her hapiness meant my sadness. The end of her suffering was the start of mine.

The vets told us again that to operate would require her losing a portion of her face and that there was again, the possibility of it coming back. They also offered a chemo alternative that could also not be guaranteed to work. The final option was the one I knew would be the outcome, painless death and a stop to her suffering.

The kindest thing I could do for her.

Tish

The aftermath.

So here I am. A lone wolf without my wolf pack.

There’s a particular moment of this story that I still struggle to deal with. I stayed with my 4-year-old daughter when Tishka left for the vets, she needed me as her mother to support her. I’d spent the morning prior to the vets visit trying to explain to her that Tishka will be leaving soon and that she wouldn’t be returning, but I told her that she will be happy and out of pain. The information didn’t sink in until Tishka left our front door. The ear-piercing screams of my daughter still ring in my ears as I held her back from chasing her down our driveway. It still haunts me badly and I don’t know when I will ever be able to move forward from that.

I’ve had Tishka with me since I was 11 years old, so over half of my life, she’s been there. How on earth am I supposed to just get by without her when it’s all I’ve ever known? I’m still struggling to move forward and I’m hoping by sharing the full details of my loss it can help me on my road to recovery.

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Tishka taught me a lot of things about life, and that is what I’d like to talk about today.

  • She taught me it was possible to love an animal like they were human.
  • She taught me that family was more than blood.
  • She showed me true loyalty, that no money could by.
  • She taught me to appreciate all those small moments, those long late night walks, running for miles beside my best friend.
  • She made me a better person, a happier person.

“I feel paralysed by loss, crippled with pain and fully and truly lost.”

10380322_1388933718070621_8989177645235704198_n.jpgΒ  You were loved deeply. You are missed dearly. Thought of often, and always and forever my first born.

Maybe in another life. I’ve been through some shit in my life, seriously.
I always told myself ‘this won’t break me’. But losing you. It has broken me and I’m not ashamed to admit it. It’s a privilege to have my heart broken by you. It’s been a good life. It really has.
Thank you for the memories, thank you for always loving me unconditionally.

‘If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.’

Goodnight Wolf Dog, Ratbag, My best friend, My beautiful daughter.

 

Draw with me – Youtube Series

I’ve been wanting to make Youtube since I was 11 years old, of course, I made a few and they were dreadful, like many before me. I’ve been wondering how I can make an introduction into Youtube so that I can finally gather the confidence to sit in front of a camera and talk.

‘Draw with me’ is going to consist of drawing videos requested by you! For the first episode, I have drawn a Robin as it is my Harry Potter Patronus. I am NOT an artist, I enjoy drawing and I’ve always dabbled in it. I draw because I find peace in it, not because I’m good at it! I actually failed my Art GCSE because and I quote ‘It’s too emotional.’ I asked ‘What art isn’t?’

‘Draw with me’ has been made to add some light-hearted content to my blog, sometimes it is nice to take a step back from blogging and divulge myself in Arts & Crafts. I’m hoping that I may be able to inspire a few of you to take a step back from all of your busy work and do something for you!

I also am very proud to say that I made this video entirely by myself, I have never been any good at recording and videography so I’m hoping that I can get some more experience before I start my other videos!

I really hope you enjoy this idea and get involved with giving me your request’s for what to draw next!

 

How to create – A Bunny-Eared Easter Bonnet.

So I didn’t plan on writing this post, I’m the mum who literally got the text from Amelia’s nursery asking me if we had ‘Our easter bonnet ready for this Friday.’ Of course, I haven’t because I didn’t even know we needed one! Yesterday we spent the day creating our bonnet. If you are indeed in the situation where you are needing to create an Easter bonnet for your child’s school I hope you enjoy this post.

I’ve never made an Easter bonnet before and I wanted to make it into a mother and daughter activity where we could both get involved. My job was using the sewing machine and using the hot glue gun apart from that Amelia took the handle. With some help from Pinterest for ideas and a basic Textiles GCSE, I opted for this bunny eared bonnet as Amelia is obsessed with Rabbits at the moment.

Materials we used:

  • A fabric of your choosing
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Easter Bonnet
  • Sewing Machine
  • Pins
  • Decorations (we used Rabbits, carrots and daisies.)
  • Scissors
  • Teddy Bear Stuffing
  • Fabric Markers (or sharpie)

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Instructions:

  • We started by using the hot glue gun and sticking on the decorations one at a time, we kept hold of them for about 10 seconds each to make sure that they definitely stuck. (Hot glue guns can get very very hot so be careful when using one with children. I recommend you putting the glue on and letting the child stick it on like I did.)

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  • Leave a space for the ears at the front when decorating and make sure you cover as much or as little of the rest of the hat as you want.
  • Next, we moved onto making the bunny ears, we folded our fabric in half so the pattern is on the inside.
  • On the outside I got Amelia to use a fabric marker (or sharpie) to draw a bunny-ear shape.

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  • Next, you need to pin through both sides of the folded fabric and cut the shape out. Then draw around the first one and repeat the steps.

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  • You should be left with two bunny ear shapes. Make sure that you have pattern side facing pattern side so when you turn it inside out you will have the correct side showing.
  • Next, use the sewing machine to sew running stitch 1cm from the edge along the pins taking them out as you go along. Make sure you leave a gap at the bottom of the ear so you can turn it right side out.

Sewing finished

  • After you have finished sewing, turn the ears the right way around by pulling the fabric through the gap you left earlier.
  • Let your child stuff the ears with teddy bear stuffing.
  • Once stuffed, fold in the fabric at the bottom and sew up the hole you made.

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  • You can now use the hot glue gun to stick the ears to the base of your hat in the space you left earlier, glue up the back of the ears and stick to the side of the hat in order to prevent the ears from flopping down.
  • You have now successfully created, a bunny-eared Easter bonnet which is not only cute but unique!

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I also contributed some advice for TheReelanna on Perfectionism, you can read my advice and other’s bloggers here.

 

Mother’s Day – Update and Monthly round-up

It’s March 31st! How have we already completed 3 months of the year? It seems unreal, it is also Mother’s Day and I’d love to take time to have a special shoutout to my amazing mother, who is the biggest supporter of my blog and always pushes me to carry on. Thank you mum, hope you have a wonderful day.

It’s my 4th Mother’s day this year, and I can not explain how honoured I am to be the mother to my beautiful girl, she makes my life worth living, she is the light in the darkness and the face that makes me smile.

 

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This month I have been working on planning my Novel for Camp NaNoWriMonth which starts tomorrow, if you’re on Camp NaNoWriMo and want to chat my username is whatsinmywonderland. It’s my first time at camp and I am excited/stressed.

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This month I have opened up about my anxiety in my post Confronting my anxiety.Β This was a tough one for me to talk about but I’m so glad I did and I will be posting more mental health-related posts in the future.

I have a guest blog post over at Gratisoul all about My Inspirational Woman for International Woman’s day, thank you so much for letting me take part!

I have reviewed the Kindle Fire 7 which I am still absolutely in love with and currently reading the rest of the Harry Potter books for the #hpreadandwatch challenge. When I have finished the Harry Potter re-read I will an entire series review so keep your eyes open for that!

I made up a reading Q&A which I answered bookish questions which you might also enjoy.

I have a fantastic post about Motivation in which some 15 fantastic bloggers helped me by sharing their motivation and the reason behind their blogs.

I also experimented with Blog Planning Materials and making my own blogging planner.