Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Cozyglo Nightlights



* In collaboration with Cozyglo *







Hello Angels,

Since starting a business, I understand how hard it can be at first.This is why I will now always  fully support independent brands in the market, as opposed to corporate giants. Their product may be a little more expensive, but the positive element is that usually a lot more thought , research and time has gone into the idea. They also usually have a great ethos behind their product/s, which shows they care about their customer. I also have a strong affiliation with new parents who come up with great business ideas and are prepared to run a business whilst looking after their child/children. It is to be admired.

Cozyglo Nightlights were started by a lady called Katherine and her husband Tom, who found a shortage of cute (and multi-functional) children's nightlights on the market, so she  decided to design her own ( go Katherine and Tom). Cozyglo have developed three cute nightlights which they think will make the perfect bedside friend to children as they grow up. The lights emit a calm, soothing glow, and have a range of functions (dimmer, clock, stopwatch, thermometer, light alarm and countdown light timer) designed to give parents and children as much rest and peace of mind as possible. 



First of all, how gorgeous is this little guy?! ( above). I also think he is a good size. A lot nightlights on the market are a lot smaller. I also like their multi- functional purpose.The temperature, alarm, countdown etc). You essentially have numerous of products in one place.

Current features in more detail:

1. Thermometer - If the babies room is at the correct temperature, this allows the baby a good nights sleep,and less worry for us parents.
2. Stopwatch - You can time your babies feeds .
3.Countdown light timer - gradually descending into a soothing sleep and also fix a time for lights to go out.
4. Clock - 12 or 24 hour display. 
5. Dimmer - Adjusting the brightness. If you are reading a bed time story, you can make it lighter  and then dim when you leave the room.
6. Light alarm - A light alarm clock to start the day.

The role of a nightlight is equally important as aesthetics. Some children require a bed time aid to sleep, and a product with many purposes like Cozyglo, can put parent and baby at ease. 

They come in 3 different styles. Papa Penguin, Beatrice The Rescue dog, and Colonel Comfort. I think the Colonel is my favourite! Retail starting price is 36 Euros(£27) on the crowdfunding campaign.

          www.born.com/cozyglo

The nightlights go into production shortly and you can pre-order yours here:


I can't wait to receive mine.


Love Ellie x

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Helpful Tips For Starting Small Business



Happy Sunday Lovelies,

I thought I would share some tips with you on how start and  run a small business.  There is so much advice on offer out there, that sometimes it can be quite overwhelming. Here are some little pointers and some things I have learnt with my business:


Skills

It is all well and good wanting to start a business, selling baby clothes for example.However, if you don't have a good eye for fashion, buying etc, then this wouldn't be the business for you. Think of your skill set, what your strong points are, and turn this into a business idea. This is your starting point.


Research

There is no point offering a service that everyone offers. Think outside the box. Have you got a niche? Is there more of a demand for your service? Research is key.


Paperwork

This is probably the most important one. Ensure you have registered your business correctly, and have a good accountant, and you keep everything paperwork in a safe place including a  hard copy and electronic copies. Perhaps invest in a portable hard drive, or a  memory stick with a lot of storage capacity to store everything on. I would also spend time carrying out regular back ups, to ensure  critical information is not lost.

Financial

Ensure you have a business bank account.Ensure you are clued up and understand when you have to submit tax returns ( or speak to your accountant), what receipts you have to keep, and log it all in a central place. I like to use excel, with different tabs for incoming, outgoing, invoices and cash expenses. Also, think carefully about your expenditure. Until you are well established, and have a regular cash flow, its best to curb the lunches and coffees unless its really necessary.

Rates

You need to ensure you make enough money to pay your overheads ( if any) and a wage with some profit. Having a business is hard at first and you dont want to be spending all hours day and night if you aren't making a bean out of it.  Rates are surprisingly hard to work out. When you take on a new project, how are you supposed to know how much to charge? You don't want to be extortionate, but also you don't want to be working for free. At first, you probably won't make a lot of money, as all new business can take a long time to become well established, but be savvy in your business decisions.

Software

The right tools are crucial. Microsoft office is a good place to start. Adobe Professional is also really useful, but it all depends on your type of business. You want to be able to offer your services, but not panic because you don't have the right tools to follow through.


Work Space

If you are working from home, then it might be an idea to have a small space to work in. Pinterest has loads of inspiration for this. If you want an office, then rates can be high. Why  not look at having a garden office if you have the space? There are lots of pre made ones. They range from about £2k upwards. If not, business centres usually have better rates and everything included, rather than having your office in a city, or high street where rates can be really high.

Marketing

Business cards and a web site is must. You want your audience to be able to identify what you offer without having to spend ages navigating around a site. Social media is the most powerful tool in terms of advertising. Get a business twitter handle, facebook page, linked in. If your lucky and have lots of contacts, start speaking to people. If not, free networking events are often held around the country, register and get your butt to one of them.


Hard Work

You don't get anywhere by being lazy. You will have to put the hours in at first to get your business up and running. Once you are, then you can reap the benefits.

Love Ellie x

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Birthday Wishlist

Afternoon lovelies,

My birthday is coming up in less than 2 weeks, and it will sadly be my last year of the 20's ( boohoo!). I thought it's only right that I treat myself to a few items to celebrate this fact ( any excuse). Here is what I am currently lusting after:



Real Techniques Brushes - Eyes

After trying these brushes for the first time the other day, I am in love. So soft and makeup glides on beautifully! Cannot wait to try more of the range.





Weekend Bag

Having a baby means I end up with endless bags when we go away even for one night. To be honest, I would like to have one only. This is a great size, and compliments my style.




Listography

I am a dedicated list writer. It makes me feel organised, and like I have achieved something. Fellow blogger Jessica recommended this to me. You cannot see here,  but the illustrations inside are really funky.



Clinique Sculpting Contour Stick

I have just started my contouring journey, and I need all the right equipment. I currently possess a powder contour, but I think liquid would be easier to apply and blend for me.


I don't ask for a lot do I ;-) 

Love Ellie x

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

4 Ingredient Feta, Spinach & Pesto Pin Wheels

Morning Lovelies,

By no means am I a food blogger and I don't pretend to be. I like experimenting with food, and as a busy working mum, I don't have endless hours to spend in the kitchen.I love a recipe which involves minimal ingredients, is easy to make, and fantastic to eat! After seeing a fellow blogger, @PollysLworld post these babies on Instagram, I thought I had to give it a try! As I didn't have a lot of work on, it was an impromptu dash around Asda to buy the ingredients. These are so easy to make and Jack even had a little nibble too.





Ingredients

1 roll of ready made puff pastry 
Half a jar of pesto
Half a block of feta cheese
Half a bag of baby spinach

Method

1. Put oven on at 180 degrees ( fan assisted)
2. Unroll the pastry so it is flat
3. Spread pesto evenly until covered the whole pastry
4. Sprinkle spinach all over
4. Crumble feta and sprinkle evenly




5. Roll either way tightly 
6. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes
7. Once cooled down, slice about an inch thick so you have individual pin wheels
8. Serve however you desire


What I love about this recipe is that there are endless combinations of what you could fill the pin wheels with. I think next I may try ham and cheese. You could also make a sweet one. Perhaps Nutella and Banana. These would make a great side dish, and even nibbles at a dinner party.

Love Ellie x

How We Ditched The Dummy

Morning Lovelies,

Jack has had a dummy since he was about 4 months old. I wanted to try it sooner, but he wouldn't take it, but after some persistence, he did. I have to admit it was a god send. It really helped soothe him when necessary. I know there is a huge debate in the parenting world around dummies, but to be honest I didn't care what others thought. There is no shame in using one. As Jack's first birthday approached, I had started to think it was time to gradually phase it out. The reasons for this were:

1. He has a lot of teeth now, so I didn't want it to make them goofy.
2. He is around that age where speech will start to take off.
3. The older he gets, it will be harder to loose.


So how, and when did I decide to do it? It was kind of by accident. On his birthday, I forgot to bring it out. And he was fine without it. I popped him to bed that night without it, there was no difference. His usual patterns didn't change. So I repeated it the next day and night, and the next, and the next. That was 2 weeks ago. I cannot believe how easy it was? I guess the expression 'cold turkey' really does work. He has had times where he has been grizzly, but I have just distracted him with a toy, or a cuddle, or the TV.

He has been a bit unwell recently, and a couple of times in the afternoon I took him into bed with me, and I did let him sneakily have it while I cuddled him to sleep. I shouldn't have done that. That was about a week ago. I won't do that again.

I am so proud of how he has done without it. If your trying to phase it out, bite the bullet and just do it. You may be pleasantly surprised.



Love Ellie x

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Healthy Broccoli Cheese Bites

Morning Lovelies,

As you know, one of my obsessions is scrolling Pinterest, especially the food boards. When I see    something I fancy, I tend to pin it because I would like to go back and make it one day. On Friday I     had a bit of spare time, so I went for some Broccoli Cheese Bites. They came out fab and tasted sooo good. They also make a healthy snack for a little ones.





Recipe:



    16 oz. chopped broccoli
    3 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
    1 cup italian style breadcrumbs ( As an alternative you can blitz porridge oats until they form a breadcrumb like texture, if you don't have breadcrumbs. This is what I did).



Method:

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
With your hands, form small patties and lay on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake at 180 degrees ( fan oven) for 25 minutes, turning the patties after the first 15 minutes.

Let cool and enjoy!

Serving Size: makes 20 2 inch pieces. I made them larger, and then once they had cooled, roughly chopped them smaller.


Love Ellie x

















Friday, 20 February 2015

Creating A Woodland Themed Nursery On A Budget

Morning lovelies,

Sorry I have been absent from blogging the last week. I have had a bit of a writers block. Nothing has inspired me to write.

Jack has a lovely nursery with pretty simple decor which consists of whites and creams. I am not one for bright wacky home decor. After reading lots of lovely blogs, and spending a lot of time on Pinterest, I decided it was time I put a bit of effort in and gave it a theme. After much deliberation, I decided to go for woodland. No particular reason, just that I think it looks so pretty and can be really elegant, and as we are British, woodland reflects this perfectly. The browns and greens in a woodland would easily match white/cream, without having to decorate and change furniture. As a parent, I am always on a budget and looking to gain more for my money, so I wanted some simple and inexpensive pieces to give it that woodland magic touch.

Here are a few pieces I have selected so far, and are due for delivery in the next couple of days.... I am so excited.



1. Owl bedding - I have ordered Jack's first duvet and pillow set. As much as I love Grobags, I don't think they are that warm. Now he is 1, it is safe for him to have a duvet. I found this on amazon for £15 including delivery.




2.  Wall sticker - Isn't this just beautiful? Elegant, chic and will stand out on a white wall. As his nursery is on the smaller side, something too garish would close the room in. I got this of ebay for £7 including delivery.



3. Wooden owl book ends - The clutter on Jack's shelves is building up and its getting on my nerves. He has a few books now in his collection, so this will keep them neat, and go well with the theme. I got this for £10 including delivery.

I still have 4 more pieces I want to complete the collection. These are a cushion, a rug, and door knobs for the wardrobe and chest of drawers and an owl nightlight. I have been hunting around and luckily I think I can get this all for under £30 Happy shopping! I shall share some pictures of the nursery once it is complete.

If you have any suggestions of where I can get the remaining, please get in contact!

Love Ellie x