First Birthday Gift Guide

We have recently celebrated Baby Girl’s first birthday! I say this with every child, but the first year really does fly in. We had a lovely day at home celebrating with family. Baby Girl received some lovely gifts so I have compiled this first birthday gift guide as inspiration for others celebrating a first birthday soon.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Penguin Babygrow from The Penguin Patrol

We are big fans of penguins in our house so I was delighted to discover an independent business dedicated to selling penguin gifts. They have some lovely unique items including soft toys, stationery, jewellery, artwork, baby gifts and Christmas gifts.

The Penguin Patrol very kindly sent us this gorgeous Percy the Penguin Babygrow for inclusion in our first birthday gift guide. The babygrow is made from super soft lightweight organic cotton perfect for a baby’s delicate skin. The babygrow features a cute penguin chick that has been screen-printed by hand with organic ink by Boodle.

Baby Girl loves her babygrow, it is soft and comfortable and she looks really cute in it.

The babygrow is available from 0-3 months up to 12-18 months and there is also a blue version.

First Birthday Gift Guide

Matchstick Monkey

Matchstick Monkey kindly sent us one of their teethers. Baby girl has just had two new teeth come through in the same week. The matchstick monkey really helped to soothe her gums. The monkey is easy for her to hold and get right to the area that is causing pain. There are two textures on the matchstick monkey, the body is smooth which is great for chewing and the back of the head is textured. This is great for massaging aching gums and also useful for applying teething gel.

The Matchstick Monkeys are available in 8 bright colours and are priced at £9.99.

Leapfrog My Talking LapPup (Scout)

Baby Girl also got a LeapFrog My Talking LapPup. It has over 40 learning activities including introducing letters and numbers. It also sings songs and plays peekaboo. There is a handle on the side which makes it perfect to take out and about. My Talking LapPup is suitable for children aged 6-24 and helps children to learn fine motor skills, colours, shapes, numbers and much more.

Vintage Floral Woodland Bamboo Dinner Set

We did baby-led weaning with baby girl and she has enjoyed exploring new foods. She loves joining in with family meal times and one of the first words she learned to say was ‘dinner’! This beautiful dinner set was the perfect gift for her. The set contains 5 pieces, a divider plate, bowl, cup, fork and spoon, all made of durable bamboo fibre. It is biodegradable and free from BPA and phthalates.

Fisher Price Stacking Rings

These Fisher Price Stacking Rings were one of Baby Girls favourite presents. She loves to shake the top ring which has swirling beads inside to make a fun rattle sound. She loves the bright colours of the rings.


To keep Baby Girl’s new presents safe we were sent some cute name labels from My Nametags. The name labels are available as iron-on or stickers. I chose the stickers as I wanted to stick them onto Baby Girl’s toys, books and cups. They can also be stuck on to clothing labels making them ideal for nursery and school clothes too. The ordering process couldn’t have been easier and there are lots of fun and colourful designs to choose from. The stickers are easy to apply and stay put once on. They are waterproof and durable making them suitable for use in dishwashers and microwaves.

56 Stickers cost just £11.95 plus £1 P&P.

I hope this first birthday gift guide has given you some inspiration.

*We received the penguin babygrow, matchstick monkey and name labels for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

You may also like: Classic Nursery Rhymes Review

£10 Amazon Voucher Giveaway

It’s been a while since we had a competition so today I have a £10 Amazon voucher giveaway for you. What would you spend it on if you won. Would you treat yourself or someone else? Enter via the Rafflecopter below and don’t forget to come back every day for extra chances to win in our Amazon voucher giveaway! 

£10 Amazon Voucher Giveaway


Do you want to earn Amazon vouchers in your spare time? Sign up free to the survey sites below.

Sign up to Swagbucks

Sign up to Branded Surveys

Sign up to Instagc

Looking for more ways to earn extra money. Check out  8 survey sites that pay cash.

Did you know you can earn money back on your shopping?


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Terms and conditions


The giveaway is open UK residents aged 18 or over.

The prize is a £10 Amazon Voucher.

There is no cash alternative.

Entrants must complete at least one action on the Rafflecopter. More entries can be gained by completing more actions.

The giveaway will end at 11.59 on Tuesday 5th February.

The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter and notified within 7 days of the giveaway ending.

The winner has 28 days to claim their prize.

If the winner does not claim their prize within 28 days another winner will be chosen. 


This post contains referral links. 

8 Survey Sites That Pay Cash

Online survey sites are one of the easiest ways to earn extra income from home. They are simple to do while watching TV or even during your lunch break. By spending an hour or two a day on online survey sites you could easily earn £50 – £100+ a month.

What would you do with an extra £100 a month? You could

  • save it towards Christmas
  • save for a holiday
  • pay off debt
  • save for a house deposit
  • treat your family to a day out

Whatever you spend it on I’m sure you will agree it is a nice boost to the household income! Below I have listed 8 online survey sites that pay cash. These are the sites I have found to be the most lucrative and easiest to use.

Survey Sites


Prolific is one of the better paying survey sites with most fees equivalent to £5 per hour or more. The surveys are actually studies conducted by academic researchers. The topics of the studies vary widely and can be a lot more interesting than the consumer surveys on other sites. One of the best things about Prolific besides the high payment is that you don’t get screened out. Prolific only shows you studies that you are eligible for so you won’t waste time answering questions only to be disqualified.

Once you have earned £5 on Prolific you can cash out to Paypal but the Paypal fees will be deducted. If you want to avoid fees then you can cash out to Circle when you reached £20.


Swagbucks is a ‘get paid to’ site which means you earn money by completing various tasks such as answering surveys, watching videos, searching the web and playing games. You can also earn money back on your shopping when you click through to the retailer from Swagbucks. It is very easy to earn a decent amount on Swagbucks without ever completing a survey.

800 Swagbucks can be redeemed for £5 Paypal cash. You can also redeem various vouchers including Amazon.

Join Swagbucks!

Branded Surveys

Branded Surveys formerly known as Mintvine is similar to Swagbucks. You can earn through surveys, daily poll, videos and other tasks. Branded Surveys is a site I check every day as there is usually a good number of surveys to be answered. It is possible to be disqualified but you are almost always given some points for your time. The daily poll is a guaranteed five points every day.

The cash out threshold for Branded Surveys is 1000 which is $10. This works out at around £7.50 depending on the exchange rate.


Mobrog is one of my favourite survey sites because the cash out threshold is low at just £4. It is possible to reach £4 with only 3 or 4 surveys. Unlike some other sites where it can take up to a week to receive your money, with Mobrog it only takes a few hours at most.


I like Onepoll as the surveys are very short. It’s a great site to use when you only have a spare 5 or 10 minutes. The cash out threshold is quite high at £40 but it soon adds up if you do a few surveys each day. You can cashout via BACS or Paypal.

Global Test Market

Global Test Market is a really good earner. I find they always have a good number of surveys available. They also have an app called LifePoints which is great for earning on the go. The cashout threshold is low at just £5. When you have reached 575 points you can cash out £5 to Paypal. The only downside to this site is that it can take a week to receive your money.



Crowdology is another site with a low cashout threshold of £4. They don’t do points so it is easy to see exactly how much money you have made with Crowdology. The also have a mobile app called opinionapp which usually has a good number of surveys available. You can cash out to Paypal when you reach £4 or wait until you reach £10 if you would prefer Amazon vouchers.



With Qmee you can make money from surveys and also from searching the internet. Install the Qmee extentsion to your desktop browser and you can earn money when searching on sites such as Ebay, Amazon and on search engines. There is no minimum amount you need to earn before you cashout. You can cashout at 10p if you want! When you cash out the money is transferred instantly to your Paypal account.


Bonus site: Instagc

I have included Instagc as a bonus because it is great for earning cash but only after you have redeemed 5000 points in other rewards such as Amazon vouchers which is just over £30.  The threshold for cashing out at Instagc is low at just £1.


Have you tried survey sites before? Do you have a favourite? Let me know in the comments below.


This post contains referral links. If you sign up via the links I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for your support. 


Pin for Later

8 Survey Sites That Pay Cash


My Gecko Box – Craft Subscription Box Review

Recently the children have been learning about Rainforests. Little Man and Little Miss have had great fun discovering what plants and animals can be found in the Rainforest. To finish off our topic we were kindly sent a Rainforest Discovery Box from My Gecko Box. The children spent a happy few hours creating their own Rainforest diorama complete with a Tropical bird, Caiman, Snakes and various creatures made with pom poms.

Everything needed to complete the crafts are included in the discovery box, the only thing we needed to supply was scissors. The box which doubles as the diorama contains five individually wrapped crafts, a fun fact sheet and a letter from Mr Gecko. Each activity has an easy to follow instruction leaflet with clear illustrations which are perfect for early readers. The instructions include a guide as to how messy the craft is and how much adult help is needed.  This was very helpful in helping me to decide which craft to do and when.


As there was so much to do we spread the activities out over a few days.  It was useful having the crafts wrapped individually as it meant we could just choose a bag and get started. There was no preparation needed and no searching for supplies.  The children had a lot of fun creating their Rainforest. They especially loved creating the snakes and painting the caiman – I thought the use of the bubble wrap was very effective.  They were so proud of the finished creation and learned a lot in the process. This was the perfect way to round off our Rainforest topic.

My Gecko Box sell a range of subscription boxes for children aged 3-10 from the Little Explorer boxes to the larger Discovery boxes. You can purchase a one off box or subscribe to the box of your choice. They also do Party Activity Packs, Wedding favours and classroom packs. Gift cards can also be purchased to enable your recipient to choose their own box. Prices start at an extremely reasonable 5.95. All of their products are educational and fun covering STEAM, literacy, fine motor skills and more.

We were sent the Rainforest box for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.

Hall Makeover With Laminate Flooring

We have lived in our current home for over ten years and in that time we have done a lot of upgrading including replacing the carpet upstairs, putting in a new kitchen and most recently a new bathroom. The next think on our list is a hall makeover with laminate flooring. The hall is the one area in our home that has been completely neglected but I want to transform in into a bright welcoming space that instantly makes us feel at home.

Laminate Flooring

The first thing we will do is replace the dated flooring with modern laminate flooring. With seven people living in our home the hall sees a lot of foot traffic with people constantly coming and going. Carpet just wouldn’t work for us with five children at home. As well as the dirt that gets trailed in from outside, the children manage to create a lot of mess travelling from the kitchen to the living room and vice versa. Spilled drinks, trampled Play-Doh and craft supplies including the dreaded glitter are just some of the messes our hall has to contend with on a daily basis. As well as being stylish, laminate flooring is strong, durable and easy to keep clean. A quick vacuum or mop depending on the mess will keep the floor looking brand new.



As well as new laminate flooring we will also be giving the hall a fresh coat of paint to brighten it up and adding some accessories. The main accessory we will be adding is a radiator cover. Radiators are quite ugly to look at so adding a radiator cover is an affordable way to make the whole area look prettier. As well as hiding the radiator, the radiator cover can be used for displaying accessories. These might be purely decorative like flowers and candles or they could be practical like a letter holder and key dish.


Finishing Touches

Once the painting is done and the laminate flooring and radiator cover are in place, all that will be left to add are the finishing touches. A storage bench will be the ideal piece of furniture to store shoes along with hats, scarves and gloves. Hopefully it will prevent them from being scattered all over the house! It will also be the perfect place for the children to sit and put on their shoes. It will also mean when they take off their shoes any mud is contained to the hall. With the laminate flooring any mess will be quickly and easily cleaned. We will hang a mirror above the radiator to create more light and make the area feel bigger. A piece of artwork on the opposite wall and a few cushions on the bench to give the area a pop of colour and our hall makeover will be complete.


This is a collaborative post.