All posts by HC

Mother’s Day Giveaway with £850 worth of prizes!

What an awesome giveaway we have here 🙂

50 UK bloggers have come together to offer one lucky winner a bundle of incredible prizes! We will be announcing the winner on Mother’s Day so what a wonderful surprise for one lucky winner or the lucky winner’s mum! With such a variety of prizes this is also an amazing Mother’s Day Gift Guide to help you get ideas and inspiration for presents this Mother’s Day.

Hair Salon at home in lockdown with Jose Eber

Is your mum missing being able to go to the hair salon? Then why not bring the hair salon to your mum! We have a fabulous bundle of Jose Eber goodies for the lucky winner including:

Jose Eber HST Infrared Wet / Dry Flat Iron

Get the perfect style with the José Eber HST Infrared Wet/Dry Flat Iron which uses far infrared light technology resulting in frizz free and shiny hair. The extra wide high gloss plates with vented holes works on all hair types, wet or dry.  

Jose Eber Hair Mask Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

Give your hair a treat and make damaged, dry, frizzy hair smooth and manageable with the Jose Eber hair mask. The heat insulating cap gives your hair a deep condition. The mask contains essential proteins that restore healthy hair and is infused with argan oil for a silky soft shine. This really brings the salon experience into your home.

Jose Eber Comb

Use the Jose Eber Multi Use Styling Comb to separate sections of hair so you can flat iron or curl easily. Professional salon stylists everywhere suggest using a styling comb when styling hair. As you straighten your hair, this comb can be used to help prevent tangles and pulling.

Damascus 100% Silk Scarf by Rory Hutton

Rory Hutton is an artist, designer and historian who brings together history and art with stunning style in the form of his beautiful scarves and shawls. We are so happy to be able to offer as part of this prize bundle the gorgeous Damascus ScarfInspired by the iconic tiles of Damascus, this silk scarf was created in partnership with The Hands Up Foundation, a UK Based charity.

Made from 100% silk, not only is this scarf beautiful, but an amazing 20% of the profits raised from sales of the scarf goes towards supporting The Hands Up Foundation’s educational projects and medical centres in Syria and Lebanon. As such this makes a truly special gift this Mother’s Day for stylish mums who want to see a better world and support a charity who work towards making a positive difference to people in need.  

Gold Splash Camera Bag with tassel by Le Jaana

These brand new camera bags from Le Jaana are the perfect bag to take from day to night and we have the stunning Gold Splash Camera Bag to give away to our winner. Practical for the daytime and glam enough for the evening, the bags are made by local artisans in India where Le Jaana strives to empower women in rural communities to create a living for themselves. The long strap is adjustable and detachable. This bag is absolutely gorgeous, beautifully made and will make a wonderful gift this Mother’s Day. 

The Urban Botanist: Mothers Day Jewel Terrarium

This is a truly unique and stunning gift for Mother’s Day. The Jewel Terrarium is fully assembled and has been crafted from copper soldering and plates of glass, to create an eye-catching and elegant piece of art. It comes with 3 stunning rose quartz heart crystals resting next to a dusk pink preserved rose head. Overall a totally unique, thoughtful and eco friendly gift.

The Urban Botanist have an whole range of Mother’s Day Terrarium and Eco-Systems which make the perfect gift for mums you can’t see this year!

Wakuda: Goddess Self-Love Ritual Set

Is your mum a Goddess? Then the Goddess Self-Love Ritual Set available from Wakuda is the perfect gift for her! Wakuda is an online marketplace championing and supporting independent Black-owned businesses in the UK. Currently hosting more than 200 Businesses, their core aim is to enable consumers (of all races) to discover and support some of the best Black-owned businesses through their platform who are historically underrepresented in the UK. You can purchase anything from the edible to the smellable, the drinkable to the wearable.

The Goddess Self-Love Ritual Set comes with the Divine Goddess Self Love Bath Soak with all natural ingredients to support the creation of a ritual bath routine that cleanses, soothes and relaxes your muscles all at the same time. The set also includes a beautiful Rose Quartz Statement Necklace, for protection and good vibes, and a Miniature Manifestation Garden.

Bamboo Picnic Dining Set for four from Green Tones

Our lucky winner will receive a fabulous 12-piece, recycled, colourful bamboo picnic dining set in the colour of their choice. The set includes bowls, plates and cups for four. Ideal for picnics, parties, camping and caravanning or durable enough for repeated use at home. Dishwasher safe and BPA free the dining set has been moulded in a bamboo fibre, a composite mostly comprising recycled bamboo powder. It will put a smile on any mum’s face this Mother’s Day and is absolutely perfect for those summer days which are just on the horizon! 

Blank 10 card bundle from lil wabbit

We are big fans of small businesses and lil wabbit is a small business worth shouting about. Georgi, the creator of lil wabbit, is a talented artist who designs each card. The cards are designed to bring a smile to the face of every single animal lover out there, and in line with this ethos, lil wabbit always aims to use materials that are the most caring to the planet and all its inhabitants. That’s why we are so delighted to be able to offer the winner a 10 card bundle which each feature original watercolour designs. These are: 

King Panda, Bubblegum Llama, Schnauzer with Love Hearts, Tortoise with a Heart Balloon, I Love You Sloth, Big and Little Giraffe, Big and Little Penguin, Party Toucan, Big and Little Koala, Flamingo with Flowers

The cards are left blank inside for your message, so perfect for Mother’s Day or any other special occasion. 

Tesalate Work Out Towel

The Tesalate workout towel is the perfect Mother’s Day Gift for any gym loving mums or mums who love to go to yoga or exercise classes. The odour-free workout towel collection uses antimicrobial technology built into the workout towels which actually kills the bacteria found in your sweat and on gym equipment. The result? A towel that keeps you safe and clean in the gym, the studio, and beyond. What’s more it’s compact and light weight, and dries in half the time of a regular towel.

We have a fitness towel of the winners choice to giveaway. The winner can choose from all the amazing designs from Tesalate’s website.

This Mummy Belongs To Personalised Necklace from inscripture

Glamorous yet graceful the This Mummy Belongs To Necklace can be engraved with the name of any child for a truly sentimental keepsake that you or someone special to you will love to wear. It’s a perfect gift for Mother’s Day, a beautiful keepsake to make any lucky mummy feel cherished.

Inscripture are the UK’s Leading Handwriting Specialists, an Award Winning family run business with a vision to create timeless, unique, sentimental and style savvy items to treasure forever. 

Rainbow Gratitude Journal from Três Paper Co

Focusing on the good makes the good better, that is what practicing gratitude does. Having a few moments each day to think of all the positive things you have experienced is a real gift which is why we are so happy this Gratitude Journal is part of our Mother’s Day Prize Giveaway. The journal comes with guided pages for you to record three things you are grateful for each day, and there is also plenty of space for you to write as little or as long as you would like to, for one hundred days.

Designed in house and printed in the UK in 100gsm FSC-Certified paper, it comes wrapped in a recycled bellyband and also includes a card with Gratitude prompts, if you ever need a bit of inspiration. 

Daily Planner ‘Make Today Count’ Três Paper Co

Nothing says productivity like a daily planner where you can set your goals, write to-do lists, reminders and appointments. Even better if it helps you become more mindful about your well-being with reminders for water intake and ‘Me Time’. This is exactly why this fabulous Daily Planner ‘Make Today Count’ from Três Paper Co is the perfect gift for busy mums who often put the needs of others first.  

Printed in the UK on 100gsm FSC-Certified paper, it comes with 50 tear-off pages and it is a handy A5 size so you can keep it on your desk or add a magnet on the back and hang it on your wall board or fridge.

Nurses Rose Marble Engraved Leather Fob Watch from Engravers Guild

It’s time to thank our heros with this beautiful Nurses Watch from the Engravers Guild. Perfect for key workers including nurses and carers or any busy mum. 
We have one Rose Gold nurse fob watch by Annie Apple with a stone leather strap to give away to our lucky winner. This nurse watch features thoroughly contemporary styling, showcasing a marble-effect dial, rose gold case and Arabic numerals, as well as a supple leather strap. The watch can be engraved by the Engravers Guild both at the front and the back to make this a truly personal and special gift.  It is presented in a signature Annie Apple box and will last for years to come. Follow Engravers Guild on Instagram @engraversguild  for more gift ideas this Mother’s Day. 

Fragranced Soy Candle from ChilliWinter

A GORGEOUS treat for yourself, or any Wonder Woman deserving a spot of indulgence! Take your pick from a collection of 25 luxury fragranced soy candles from upcoming brand ChilliWinter. With something for every nose, space and mood, these handmade beauties offer exceptional style, quality and a long burn-time. Even better, if you can’t wait to see if you’ve won, we can offer you an EXCLUSIVE 15% discount until 14th March: simply enter MOTHERSDAY15 at checkout. Follow them on Instagram @chilliwinteriow for gift ideas and inspiration. 

White Framed Pink Floral Art Print 50x70cm from Abstract House

Abstract House is the destination for wall art prints and picture frames. This Pink Floral Art Print from the photography collection at Abstract House is a bestseller for Mother’s Day and it’s easy to see why. The beautiful print comes framed and will look stunning in any space. Our lucky winner will receive this 50x70cm print in a lovely handmade frame.

The artwork and frames at Abstract House are all produced here in the UK in their London studio to ensure the highest quality craftsmanship. They are made using FSC certified wood and paper, and also come with real solid glass, making them entirely sustainable with 100% plastic free packaging. The print has excellent colour reproduction and fade resistance. This is premium artwork made to last.

Choice of two Giant Biscuit Cake Moulds from MoldyFun

Lovers of classic biscuits will be thrilled to know that they can recreate their dunking faves in the form of delicious novelty cakes, with easy-to-use silicone baking moulds from MoldyFun. With MoldyFun’s selection of biscuit cake moulds you can rustle up a giant Jammie Dodger, Custard Cream, Party Ring, Oreo, Bourbon or KitKat cake at home; perfect as a real treat for Mother’s Day, party centrepiece, an unforgettable birthday cake or as a lockdown treat. These Giant Biscuit Cake Moulds will also make the perfect Mother’s Day Gift for any baking loving mum and our winner gets to choose two baking moulds from this fabulous range.

Scented treats from Village Wax Melt

Village Wax Melt is a small business offering high quality scented products without the luxury price tag. They have a wonderful range of products for Mother’s Day and are gifting our winner with 1 crackling Wood Wick Candle, 1 Exfoliating Soap Sponge (perfect for dry skin and removing fake tan!) and two highly scented wax melt clamshells. A real treat for Mother’s Day.

March’s book for adults from Bumblebee

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Bumblebee is the monthly book subscription that inspires your creativity! Each month receive a carefully curated book from a small independent publisher, plus clever creative prompts to inspire your own writing, drawing, making or cooking. Available for both children and adults, to encourage mindfulness and imagination.

Win March’s book for adults, Superpowers by Mark A Radcliffe, along with a beautiful Bumblebee notebook – get creative inspiration through your letterbox! Find us here, or on instagram

Terrazzo Hanging Plant Pot

This vintage style terrazzo hanging plant pot is a unique design from Scaramanga. The terrazzo design and strong stone material make this perfect to hang outdoors or indoors. The composite material creates a stunning splash of sophisticated colours to give any room a focal point to be proud of and will make the perfect gift for Mother’s Day.

Scavenger Hunt Game from SEEKERS

Keep children entertained with these wholesome games so mum can get some peace and quiet this Mother’s Day! You won’t hear “Please can I play a game on your phone?” even once! Feed their inner explorer with an outdoor seek and find game that you can take anywhere.
Ideal for getting children to enjoy the outdoors and away from their tablets and smart phones. Makes a regular trip to the park more fun and engaging with an activity that can last from minutes to all day! A different adventure every time for both boys and girls, young and old alike.
Check out SEEKERS Scavenger Hunt Game Starter Kit With Magnetic Board and SEEKERS Scavenger Hunt Game Add-On Pack – At The Park

Hand and Body Salve Cream Skincare Set 100% Natural Handcream Gift Sets

Brady’s Botanicals is a superior range of beauty products which are 100% natural, vegan & not tested on animals, they only use the best ingredients and the highest-grade essential oils giving you a spa like treatment but in the luxury of your own home. Their prize offering is our pack of 2 body salves.

Both their salve products are made from a super blend of garden herbs & fragrant oils in a plastic-free handy tin. Sweet almond oil helps repair & protect your skin against UV damage, the perfect moisturiser and great for dry and sensitive skin. Vitamin E to nourish & protect with a powerful antioxidant treatment which is easily absorbed into the skin. With blends of Lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary and chamomile, calendula and tea tree it’s the perfect gift set this Mother’s Day.

Meet the Bloggers

Life of a Fisherman’s Wife | A Guide to Gifts | Be Happy Be You | My Balancing Act | Five from the Switch | Gift Guides | Mummy and Me | Boxnip | My Three and Me | Welsh Mum of One | Simply Cash Hacks | Spilling Life Tea | All that Grows | Too Tired To | Live the Easy Life | Our Transitional Life | Accidental Hipster Mum

Mummy Saver Money Maker | Two Plus Dogs | Best things to do in Cambridge | Love Panda | Life with Jupiter and Dann | Paternal Damnation | Money Money Money | Easy Peasy Gardens | Scandi Mummy | At Home With Kayla | Blossom Education | Otis and Us | Love Dogs | 360 Mum | Side Street Style | Crazy Little Thing Called Love | The Geordie Grandma | Your Job Escape Plan | Mind Over Money

Adventures of a Yorkshire Mum | Cyprus Property Blog | Joleisa | 4 Freckled Faces | Savvy Dad | A Rose Tinted World | So nostalgic | Enjoy England For Less | We Made This Life | Big Family Organise Chaos | You Have To Laugh | Wotawoman Diary | The Making Mum | The Ninja Chef

How to Enter

You can enter by completing as many widget entry options below as you like. All entries will be collected and one winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

UK entries only
The giveaway will run from 12noon 1st March 2021 to 12 noon 14 March 2021.
The winners will be notified by email from
The winner will have 7 days to respond after which time we reserve the right to select an alternative winner.
This prize draw is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, BlogLovin or Pinterest.
Prize open to over 18s only.
If any prizes are out of stock then we will do our best to find a suitable replacement.
Anyone who unfollows before the giveaway ends or doesn’t complete the required entry action will be disqualified.
The prize is non-transferable, non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for monetary value.
We may be using a parcel service for some of the prizes and their standard compensation will apply in the event of loss or damage.
Some items may be sent directly by the supplier and we do not have responsibility if these go missing and we cannot replace these.
In the unlikely event one of the companies withdraws a prize we cannot offer an alternative.
The winner’s name will be stated on some or all of our blogger’s websites and announced on twitter and other social media channels. By entering this prize draw you give your permission for this.

Budget better with apps

As we all know, budgeting is a way of planning how to spend our money. The budget lets us know whether we will still have more money to take care of things. It’s generally a good idea to plan in order to prioritise expenses and concentrate finances on the most important things to you.

Budgeting is sometimes viewed as a difficult necessity. This is where technology comes in, and boy do we need it sometimes! Recently apps have been developed and I would like to share so we can make use of them in other to help our own budgeting styles.

Goodbudget is based on the idea of envelopes, where you assign your monthly income to distinct categories of expenditure. This app allows access to the same account through different devices, so family members and spouses can manage a budget. Unlike other budgeting apps, Goodbudget does not have bank balances synchronized.

You attach account balances manually (which you can select from the website of your bank), and perhaps even cash and debt numbers. Once accounts and revenues are completed, you allocate money to divisions of expenditure, considered as envelopes. The free edition enables one account, two computers, and envelopes with restrictions.

YNAB is designed for one dedicated user; based on zero budgeting method, so users are expected to plan on every pound earned. This is a paid for app. Users can link bank accounts, set deadlines, donate to savings, and configure categories of spending. They can also access information, such as guides for app users, budgeting advice, and free workshops.

Mint is the preferred budgeting app for some time: it monitors and classifies transactions automatically, providing an image of real-time spending. Users may add their own sections, break transactions, track bills, and set goals that will notify them when they reach their maximum threshold for spending. Credit scores and free credit score tracking are also part of the services rendered.

I hope that some of the budgeting apps mentioned help you with planning your money. Let’s make sure we can enjoy our hard earned money is not just frittered away.

Huge Christmas giveaway – with prizes worth over £1000

Christmas Prize Bundle

With Christmas fast approaching, some of the UK’s top bloggers have got together to offer one lucky winner an amazing bundle of prizes for Christmas Gifts this year. We also have a runner’s up prize to make someone else’s Christmas special too.

With such a variety of prizes this is also an amazing Christmas Gift Guide to help you get ideas for Christmas presents this year. This Christmas Prize Bundle Giveaway has been organised by Rowena of My Balancing Act who has Christmas Gift Guides and Gift Reviews for the whole family over on her blog.

Read on to see what you could win…

First Prize: Christmas Prize Bundle for all the Family

We have an amazing bundle of prizes for our prize winner, something for the whole family. If you are our lucky winner you will receive:

Jose Eber Air Styler

The revolutionary Jose Eber Air Styler is the must have gift for any stylish lady in your life. It utilises a high speed nano fan that propels cool air through a grid around the tourmaline ceramic styling plates. This cool air instantly sets the hair in curls or waves or straightens hair for a smooth look whilst being faster than conventional flat irons. As it’s cool air, there’s no risk of burning your scalp either!

Venice Pro Ceramic Non-Stick 3pc Saucepan Set with Lids and two Venice Pro Ceramic Non-Stick Frying Pans

This is the perfect gift for any budding chefs in your life and will make cooking Christmas dinner a dream. The GreenPan Venice Pro range is a firm favourite. The hard anodised aluminium exterior is stylish and handy, complete with Magneto induction technology for top of the line hob performance on all heat sources. The Thermolon Infinity Pro coating is enhanced with diamonds and lasts even in the face of intense usage and cleaning. Oh and then there’s the riveted stainless steel handles that allow your cookware to safely go into the oven and glass lids that are designed for easy food monitoring without losing the heat. 

This collection can do it all and is the perfect kitchen equipment to make sure your Christmas dinner has the wow factor this year! Dishwasher safe, it will make the clean up job afterwards much easier too! We have Venice Pro Ceramic Non-Stick 3pc Saucepan Set with Lids and two Venice Pro Ceramic Non-Stick Frying Pans for our lucky winner.

Three Aromatherapy Candles by ChilliWinter

We’re loving supporting small businesses this year. ChilliWinter is a wonderful small business and they in turn support Hospice UK (Registered charity number 1014851) by donating £3.75 for every 150g candle sold, it’s a win win! Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice and palliative care and every year they support more than 200 hospices across the UK who care for over 200,000 adults and children living with a terminal or life-shortening illness

We have three of their beautiful 150g candles from their remedial Aromatherapy Collection for you to choose from. Each blend in each candle has holistic benefits. They not only smell wonderful but will also help your wellbeing too. The perfect gift for a loved one this Christmas. The winner has a choice of Breathe, Calm, Energise, Rest or Uplifting candles. Visit ChilliWinter to choose your favourites.

Personalised Christmas Eve Box from Treat Republic

Bring a little extra magic and sparkle to Christmas Eve this year with a personalised Christmas Eve Box from Treat Republic. These beautiful wooden Christmas Eve Boxes comes in a selection of designs and you are able to reuse the box every year to keep the magic alive.

We have a Christmas Eve Box from Treat Republic (Length: 24cm Width: 18cm Height: 13cm) which you can personalise for your child – or for you – there are also adult, pet and family Christmas Eve boxes available! The Christmas Eve Boxes are available in Small and Large Sizes.

– Image 5 – Treat Republic Christmas Eve Box 2 AND / OR – Image 6 – Treat Republic Christmas Eve Box AND / OR – Image 7 – Treat Republic Christmas Eve Box –

“Live Simply” Colorful Unisex Hoodie

In a world that is constantly going faster and becoming more complex, these gorgeous Live Simply hoodies remind us to return to the simple things in life. This is a great gift for either a man or a woman and the winner can choose the size and colour of the hoodie. It’s from inspirational apparel & housewares brand, the Miracle Store, who donates 10% of profits to existing non-profit organisations to help women and children leave, heal from, and rise up from domestic violence.

Winter Hedgerow Jigsaw Puzzle in 250 pieces

Winter Hedgerow is a stunning Wooden Puzzle from Wentworth Wooden Puzzles. This is such an amazing Christmas gift for anyone who loves jigsaw puzzles as it truly is special. All of Wentworth Wooden Puzzles are designed and manufactured in the heart of the countryside in Wiltshire and are made of wood from sustainable sources.

These Wooden Puzzles are more difficult than cardboard puzzles. The 250 piece jigsaw puzzle may sound like a low piece count but it’s their most popular size and equates to the difficulty of a 1,000 piece cardboard puzzle. Winter Hedgerow would be brilliant for the whole family to do together or as a thoughtful gift for grandparents.

Lapland Letter from Santa

When it comes to Christmas, a Lapland Letter from Santa will make this year more ‘Fantastical’ than ever. The Lapland Santa Letters are truly one of a kind, from the moment a child receives their letter the true magic of Christmas begins.

The Lapland Elves would be most delighted to send a Lapland Letter from Santa to a little one of your choice. Santa may even include some Lapland Extras too, but he would need to check his Good List twice to make sure they’re on the list!

Pink Panel Purse from Miss Milly

Miss Milly is the home of gorgeous and reasonably priced, quality costume jewellery and fashion accessories so we are delighted to be able to offer as a prize the beautiful Miss Milly Pink Panel Purse.

With a dusky pink panel on soft grey, this stylish purse is a great gift for any fashionable lady in your life. The purse is made with high quality polyurethane that is very soft to the touch with an imprinted Miss Milly logo. It features space for 10 cards and has a zipped coin section and a photo window.

Tesalate Workout Towel

This is the perfect gift for any fitness lover in your life. The Tesalate workout towel is an antibacterial, odour-free workout towel collection, to encourage people to stay healthy and fit, especially during these uncertain times. They use zinc in the construction of the workout towel fabric and this acts as an antibacterial agent.

We have a fitness towel of the winners choice to giveaway.

KelZo Jewellery

A prize from one of our very own bloggers, Kelly and Zoey, from Our Transitional Life who have launched their own fabulous funky jewellery range KelZo Jewellery which has a wonderful collection of affordable, fun, and quirky designs.

This prize includes: Pride rainbow heart drops, Christmas heart studs and Leopard print oversized studs. Plus a surprise item!

Notes and Clips Stationery Box

This is a stunning Green and Gold themed stationery box by Notes and Clips which makes a great treat for yourself or as a gift for the stationery lover in your life! Each box is beautifully presented and lined with a soft felt base with 8 pieces of green and gold stationery displayed on top, designed by Notes and Clips in England.

The handmade stationery and curated accessories in a stunning combination that will make a fabulous gift this Christmas.

Cufflinks from Miss Milly

This is a wonderful gift for any stylish man in your life, the pair of green round cufflinks from Miss Milly use a bright lime green resin with an aluminium foil backing creating shine and making them really stand out. The cufflinks are 1.7cm in diameter and they are beautifully presented in a lovely silver gift box making them a lovely gift for Christmas.

A Zest for Life Cookbook

A Zest for Life Cookbook has 79 fresh tasty recipes. It will make eating well at home effortless, with easy to prepare and absolutely delicious recipes. From Bountiful Breakfasts, Packed Lunches and Afternoon Snacks to Weekday Meals and Weekend Specials, it’s packed with superfoods galore and meals that will keep you full for longer. This collection of clever, nutritious recipes is one that you’ll turn to time and again. All ingredients are widely available and the recipes will help you stay healthy throughout the year.

Dairy Diary 2021

The 2021 Dairy Diary is the perfect gift this Christmas for busy parents to help keep the family organised next year. The Dairy Diary features stunning photography with two beautiful British Butterflies on the front cover. But what the Dairy Diary is really famous for is its recipes. There’s a new one every week.

In addition to the recipes, there is all sorts of interesting information on topics such as the Art of Calm, how to make your own dyes and Gardening for Wildlife. Of course, there’s everything needed to keep organised – a useful notes pocket, dates stickers, reminders, addresses and even gift lists. All of this, and plenty of space to write appointments, thoughts and plans each day. The ideal gift this Christmas!

Thunder Car

Put a smile on any car loving kids face with this powerful small size remote control car with awesome inflatable wheels, the Thunder Car. It comes with two radio-frequencies that allow it to run within a 15-metre range of the controller. So much fun and an amazing gift under the tree!

Vintage round wooden coaster x 2 from SCARAMANGA

Win a set of two vintage round wooden coasters from SCARAMANGA. Each geometric patterned rounded-shaped vintage wooden coaster is handcrafted and sourced from Rajasthan in Northern India. Used inside or outside on a garden table, a pair of these teak hardwood coasters would look awesome.

It’s the perfect accessory for a fancy cocktail or quality coffee and makes a lovely Christmas Gift. Each piece is unique and very old – tableware full of real authentic history. Each has a distinctive hand-carved pattern and is slightly different to bring a uniqueness to your coffee table!

Starflower Serum Roller (10ml)

Treat someone special in your life with the Starflower Serum Roller by Londe Botanics, a gently nourishing facial serum with British grown borage (starflower) and chia seed oils, enriched with Vitamin E. This is a natural saviour for all skin types to soften, revitalise and protect.

Made from 100% UK grown and sourced natural botanical oils and hand blended and bottled in England. No additives, no synthetics, Londe Botanics are registered with The Vegan Society and are also a Contributing member of the 1% for the Planet network.

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Buzz Snow

Whose dreaming of a white Christmas? Well let’s face it, that’s unlikely to happen in the UK… But wait, Buzz have come to the rescue to make Christmas magical with Buzz Snow, a polymer powder that when hydrated looks and feels just like Snow, except it never melts!   

Its eco-friendly and non-toxic. It looks like sugar before it is hydrated and after adding water it transforms so it looks and feels just like snow, expanding up to 100 times its original size.

Slime Baff and Gelli Baff

Put a smile on your kids face at bath times this Christmas with these fabulously fun kits from Zimpli Kids. As part of the prize bundle you will receive 1 x Slime Baff and 1 x Gelli Baff from Zimpli Kids.

Kids will love turning their boring bath water into oozy colourful slime or goo. They are ideal as stocking fillers, the perfect product for messy and multi-sensory play and also perfect for cognitive development. Plus they are certified biodegradable, stain-free and easily drain away. Slime Baff and Gelli Baff are now also available in Eco packaging.

Drippy Mona Lisa Black Graffiti Print from Ink & Drop

This is one of Ink & Drop’s Twisted History prints, a cheeky twist on the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa! This print looks amazing in a large format or as part of a super cool gallery wall and we can offer our prize winner this Drippy Mona Lisa Black Graffiti Print in your choice of size up to 70×100 cm.

£30 Gift Voucher to spend at Postboxed

Postboxed’s gifts are all sent out wrapped with custom gift cards. They are packaged small enough to be posted through any gift-lover’s letterbox – perfect for a hassle-free, contactless delivery! You can order on one day but have your gifts sent out on a day of your choice – perfect to get all of your Christmas presents organised in advance! 

Postboxed is offering a voucher for £30 to spend on one of their gift boxes which covers free UK postage. So a lucky winner will be able to choose who to send their prize to – great to send a gift to a loved one you won’t get to see this festive season!

Body Art Classic Tattoos

With the Body Art Classic Tattoos you can create glittering tattoos that last up to a week on your skin but can easily be removed with water. It is the easiest and safest way to decorate your body with eye-catching designs and sparkling glitter colours. Each set consists of 50 cool designs and 6 excellent glitter colour pots, allowing you to create dozens of different colour combinations.

2 x SMILEY Blind Bag from HEXA-PLEX 

SMILEY-HALVES feature 22 face variations for you to collect and connect. We have two SMILEY-HALVES for our lucky winner. Will you strike it lucky and uncover a complete face in one bag? Could you find one of the highly-collectable halves? Or have you bagged yourself one of our ultra-rare limited editions?

Santa’s Secret Letter for older kids in the family

When the time comes to reveal the truth about Santa to older children it can be a difficult conversation to have. Some kids may be upset, whilst others may have already found out. The parents behind Santa’s Secret Letter understand how important it is to take ownership of this moment, supporting the child whilst also ensuring that the magic remains for younger members of the family. Santa’s Secret Letter will do exactly that. It is a wonderful, personalised letter which reveals the true history of Santa Clause and explains the importance of keeping the magic of Christmas alive for younger family members for years to come. The delightful letter comes in a beautifully wrapped gift box, perfect for the family’s memory keepsakes.

Runners Up Prize

We want to make someone else’s Christmas magical too so we’ve put together a few gifts for a runners up prize. This includes:

“Do All Things With Love” Mug

Spread a little love this Christmas with this beautiful mug from The Miracle Store. Just imagine what a wonderful world we will live in when everyone starts their day by drinking from one of these loving affirmation mugs. We have one “Do All Things With Love” Mug as part of the runners up prize.

Curls 4 Girls Digital Straightening Brush

The Curls 4 Girls Kids Friendly Digital Straightening Brush makes styling your hair faster and easier than ever before, with ceramic bristles that straighten as they brush, and digital heat control that you can adjust to the needs of your hair. The C4G line can be used for kids and adults as well.

Puzzle Cars London Bus

This wonderful Puzzle Vehicle Track, Puzzle Cars London Bus, is a 16-piece set, combining creative and educational fun. The interchangeable track pieces can be linked together, to make up to 50 different track combinations. The set comes with the recognisable black London Bus. This is a fun way to develop problem solving, motor and language skills.

Meet the bloggers

We have over 70 fabulous Blogs from amazing UK Bloggers taking part in the Christmas Prize Giveaway. These are:

My Balancing Act | Chilling with Lucas | Savvy Dad | Life with Jupiter Hadley | Five From The Swich | Crazy Little Thing Called Love | Soph Obsessed | Our House Our Home

Spilling Life TeaMiss L J Beauty | Family Travel with Ellie |  Best Brunch or Breakfast | Gin and Cocktail Bars | Best things to do in York | Best Leeds Restaurants | Yorkshire Wonders | Recipe for Home | Luxury Hotels and Spa Life | Christmas Magic and Markets

Home in the Pastures | Our Transitional LifeWe Made This Life | Twins, Tantrums & Cold Coffee | Mummy Matters | Savvy Squirrel | Mummy Vs Work | Otis and Us

Simply Cash Hacks | Two Plus Dogs | Autumn’s Mummy | Mummy and Me x2 | 4 Freckled Faces | Life Loving 

A Rose Tinted World | So Nostalgic | Scandi Mummy | Lylia Rose | The Parent Game | LOVEPANDA.CO.UK | Boxnip

Life with alden jax | Too Tired To | 360 Mum | | Easy Peasy Gardens | Money Money Money

Prize Warriors | Welsh Mum | Wander & Luxe | Anklebiters Adventures | Catch up with Claire | Wotawoman Diary | Life with Lianne

The Life of Spicers | Luke Sam Sowden | My Three and Me | Happy Family Hub | | My Beautiful Mess | Mum on a Budget

Side Street Style | Petals and Planes | Accidental Hipster Mum | Boring Mother | Mom of Two Little Girls | Paternal Damnation

Stapo’s thrifty life hacks | The Good Thing Is Though | Bossy Girl | On The Soap Box | Cyprus Property Blog

How to Enter

You can enter by completing as many widget entry options below as you like. All entries will be collected and one winner and one runner up will be randomly chosen. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* For Terms and Conditions please see the Rafflecopter Widget.

August Competition

There are few things I love more than a good competition. Join in to be in with a chance to win a £100 M&S food hamper!

The Bloggers

The following bloggers have all teamed together to contribute towards this competition, offering you a fantastic prize.

Please show your support by visiting some of the bloggers taking part just by clicking on the name of the blog below.

What To Watch | Unique Young Mum | Charlotte Musha | Tweet Your Trip | Side Hustle Directory | Koody | Socially Rach | Adventures Of a Riot Grrl | Nishi V | Hawkes At Home | Digital Frogs | Becca Blogs It Out | Jass V | Craft Hustle Directory | Thrifty Chap | Our House Our Home | Money Saving Superhero | The Financial Wilderness | Photographyish | Peggy May | Girls Just Wanna Have Funds | Pounds and Sense | Mum on a Budget | Her Home Biz | Simple Happy Home | The Money Whisperer | Love Panda | Love Dogs | Easy Peasy Gardens | Money Money Money | 360 Mum | A Little Luxury For Me | Mind Over Money Matters | Enjoy England For Less | Alice in Sheffield | Funding Her Freedom | Mama In Progress | A Rose Tinted World | So Nostalgic | Lindy Loves | Francesca’s Growing Patch | WotAWoman Diary | Deborah Stansil | Reinventing Neesha | That Copper Life | Patty Finds Deals | Pink Steel | My Debt Diary | Drewmies | Thrifty Husband

The prize

Up for giveaway is a £100 M&S hamper of your choice.

With plenty to choose from you can choose yourself a lovely treat!

Rules & Enter

  1. There is one top prize of a £100 M&S hamper of the winner’s choosing.
  2. There are no runner up prizes
  3. Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding all bloggers involved with running the giveaway
  4. Closing date for entries is midnight on 31.08.20
  5. The same Rafflecopter widget appears on all the blogs involved, but you only need to enter on one blog
  6. Entrants must log in to the Rafflecopter widget, and complete one or more of the tasks – each completed task earns one entry in the prize draw
  7. Tweeting about the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget will earn five bonus entries into the prize draw.
  8. 1 winner will be chosen at random.
  9. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date and will need to respond within 28 days with their delivery address, or a replacement winner will be chosen.
  10. The winners’ names will be published in the Rafflecopter widget (unless the winner objects to this).
  11. The prizes will be despatched within 14 days of the winner confirming their address.
  12. The promoter is
  13. By participating in this prize draw, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions

To enter simply complete any or all of the Rafflecopter entry widgets below

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Good luck!

Back to School Prize Giveaway

The Back to School Prize Giveaway

With schools due to reopen in September, some of the UK’s top bloggers have got together to offer one lucky winner an amazing bundle of prizes for going back to school.

This Back to School Giveaway has been organised by Rowena of My Balancing Act who has lots of useful advice on starting school and back to school over on her blog.

Read on to find out what you could win:

The Prizes

One lucky winner will win a fabulous Back to School Bundle which includes:

Set of 5 Vintage Chart Educational Prints 30×40 from Ink&Drop

The vintage charts are perfect to keep your kids inspired and you can win the full set! These include the Dinosaur Chart Educational Print, Farm Chart Education Print, Safari Chart Education Print, Woodland Chart Educational Print and Sea Chart Education Print.

Not only educational, they will look fantastic in your kids bedroom or playroom.

Rocket Lunch Bag & from SMASH

The Rocket Lunch Bag and Water Bottle from SMASH is a great hit with little wannabe astronauts.

The SMASH lunch bag has full insulation with antibacterial lining and has been certified fully food safe. It’s the perfect size for school lunches or day trips and can be easily wiped clean. The lunch bag also includes an insulated bottle compartment with a 500ml drink bottle, which is 100% BPA, lead and phthalate free.

Personalised Sports Bag from Treat Republic

This stylish canvas bag that doubles as a gym kit bag or a handy carry-on for the little ones, has a roomy main compartment in which their football kits and shoes can be stored into. There’s a small outside pocket that can store keys to lockers, their phones or pocket change.

Personalise it with their name and surname to make it their very own – and potentially to stop some friendly sibling rivalry too. A variety of colours are available.

Treat Republic have a full back to school range.

School Socks from the Sock Shop

The Sock Shop have a range of school socks and tights. With colours available in the staple black, white and grey, you can ensure that your kids look smart and stick to the dress code! All the items in the Sock Shop school socks range have been made to ensure that your children’s feet stay comfortable from registration to when the last bell rings.

Win 5 x School Socks from the Sock Shop including Bamboo Socks with comfort cuff and smooth toe seams (2 pairs), kids school plain cotton socks (2 pairs) and kids casual cotton socks (1 pair).

Stillness Pulse Point Oil from Londe Botanics

The scent of rosemary has been shown to aid short-term memory, while soothing lavender decreases cortisol levels. Londe Botanics has brought them together in their Stillness Pulse Point Oil.

Keep it on the desk and apply to wrists, palms or pulse points as needed, gently inhaling the aromatics. Once it’s finished, the violet glass bottle also makes a pretty stem vase!

Blended from 100% British grown botanicals you can win a gift boxed and packaged in its own drawstring pouch (with a poetry quote), Londe’s Stillness Pulse Point Oil. Perfect for students starting the academic year in an uncertain and challenging time.

Colour and Learn Space Explorer Pencil Case from eatsleepdoodle

Kids can discover and colour the stars, planets and spacecraft in our solar system as they store their pens in eatsleepdoodle’s fun colour and learn space explorer pencil case!

Get learning the order of the planets ready for school and enjoy colouring the historic moon landing scene too, plus astronauts, rockets and meteors. Especially good news right now: you can wash it as often as you like and have fun recolouring with the enclosed set of 10 pens!

eatsleepdoodle space pencil case is a fun, educational and super practical back to school gift for young space explorers.

Usborne Books Periodic Table Jigsaw and Book

Everything in the Universe is made up of just 118 chemical elements which are displayed in the Periodic Table. Meet each element in Usborne Books entertaining book and 300-piece jigsaw set, and discover which are crucial to life, which are smelly, explosive or radioactive and lots more. With links to websites with videos and activities to find out more.

Rocket Bottle from Smash

Rocket Drinks bottle from Smash

This 450ml bottle from Smash features a cool Astronaut design. It’s perfect for little ones to take to school with them to keep rehydrated throughout the day. Made from high quality Tritan material, like all Smash products the bottle is 100% BPA Free and certified food safe.

Bamboo Tumbler from Tru Bamboo

This lovely bamboo tumbler from Tru Bamboo is made from Moso bamboo and the interior is made from 100% recyclable pure stainless steel. It’s also BPA free.

The tumbler is triple insulated so it not only retains heat for up to 12 hours it also keeps drinks cold for a whole day. Perfect for students going back to school.

2021 Dairy Diary to help parents stay organised!

The 2021 Dairy Diary is the perfect solution for busy parents to help keep the family organised. The Dairy Diary features stunning photography with two beautiful British Butterflies on the front cover. But what the Dairy Diary is really famous for is its recipes. There’s a new one every week.

In addition to the recipes, there is all sorts of interesting information on topics such as the Art of Calm, Quirky Museums and Gardening for Wildlife. Of course, there’s everything needed to keep organised – a useful notes pocket, dates stickers, reminders, addresses and even gift lists. All of this, and plenty of space to write appointments, thoughts and plans each day.

Quick After-Work Cookbook from Dairy Diary

Perfect for families on the go, these delicious midweek meals are easy to fit into your busy family life.

The Quick After-Work Cookbook features easy, speedy recipes that are delicious and the whole family will love.

Academic Diary, Gel Pens and Metallic Colouring Pencils

We also have an academic diary 2020-2021 with a section for deadlines and exams, 6 pack of Gel Pens in blue and black and a 10 pack of metallic colouring pencils.

Meet The Bloggers

We have over 40 fabulous blogs from amazing UK bloggers taking part in the Back to School Giveaway. These are:

My Balancing Act | Chilling with Lucas | | Life with Jupiter Hadley | Five From The Swich | Crazy Little Thing Called Love | Soph Obsessed 
Spilling Life Tea| Miss L J Beauty |  Best Brunch or Breakfast | Gin and Cocktail Bars | Best things to do in York | Yorkshire Wonders |Family Travel with Ellie | Recipe for Home | Luxury Hotels and Spa Life | Twins, Tantrums & Cold Coffee

Home in the Pastures | Typical Mummy | Savvy Dad | We Made This Life | Mummy Matters | Savvy Squirrel | Mummy Vs Work | Our House Our Home

Simply Cash Hacks |Two Plus Dogs |Autumn’s Mummy | 4 Freckled Faces |Life Loving | Sophie’s Nursery |
Savvy in Love |The Somerset Foodie | Things to do in Kent | Lylia Rose | The Neary Diaries | LOVEPANDA.CO.UK | Mum Founded
Life with alden jax | Too Tired To |360 Mum | | Easy Peasy Gardens | Money Money Money

How to Enter

You can enter by completing as many options below as you like. The more you complete the more entries you will have and the greater chance of winning the prize! All entries will be collected and one winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

UK entries only
The giveaway will run from 12am 16th August 2020 to 12pm 31st of August 2020.
The winners will be notified by email from
The winner and runners up will have 7 days to respond after which time we reserve the right to select an alternative winner.
This prize draw is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest.
Prize open to over 18s only.
If any prizes are out of stock than a suitable replacement will be found.
Anyone who unfollows before the giveaway ends or doesn’t complete the required entry action will be disqualified.
The prize is non-transferable, non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for monetary value.
We may be using a parcel service for some of the prizes and their standard compensation will apply in the event of loss or damage.
Some items may be sent directly by the supplier and we do not have responsibility if these go missing.
In the unlikely event one of the companies withdraws a prize we cannot offer an alternative.
The winner’s name will be stated on some or all of our blogger’s websites and announced on twitter and other social media channels. By entering this prize draw you give your permission for this.

Make money with cashback websites

Did you know that you can make £100s (and maybe £1,000s) a year if you make just one small change to your buying process? The only thing you need to change is to simply go through a cashback website.

How does it work?
If you’re wondering why these websites are providing cashback, this is how it works. The cashback websites receive a commission from the store when you purchase directly using their link and what they do is they give you a portion of these commission back to us, the purchaser.

Where do we sign up?
If you’ve not used cashback sites before, you need to start using cashback websites. In the UK, there are two major cashback websites: Quidco and TopCashBack.

Quidco say that they have the highest cashback guarantee, and they make sure it stays like that. Personally, I think they’re similar enough and so it may be that you go for the one that you prefer using. Both websites are straightforward and simple to use, so I would recommend that you sign up for both. If you want check the best deals, and if you sign up for both websites, you can do a comparison for the rewards as sometimes they have “daily deals” and additional promotions. One of them may list a retailer that the other one doesn’t.

Both websites are free to use, but they offer premium accounts that cost an additional fee, but they will give you more benefits and perks. Check if the premium accounts are worth it and if you would earn more even if you pay for the account.

Both Quidco and TopCashBack offer ways to trace your purchases but please be mindful that cashback is not always guaranteed, so only use these cashback sites if you were going to make the purchase anyway. And don’t let these cashback sites be an excuse to overspend too much- unless you really want to!

Stay on top of mental health during these uncertain times

The UK is officially in a recession. Who would’ve guessed back in January 2020 that we would be spending nearly 5 months in some form of lock down, resulting in a recession?

What’s a girl (or boy) to do in these unprecedented to look after our mental health? I’ve been on the cusp of losing my sanity and this pandemic and recession could well have tipped me over the edge. Thankfully I’m ok.

I wanted to put together some tips that have helped me stay on top of my mental health.

Stay connected with people
Keep in touch with family and friends via text/phone calls/video calls/emails/social media. Which ever works and whatever frequency suits you. Maintaining healthy relationships with people we trust really helps support our mental well-being.

Talk about your worries
It’s normal to be worried in the current situation but by sharing your worries with those you trust, it may lighten your load and may help the other person too.

Support others
Helping someone else can help you as well as them, so please try to be understanding of others’ concerns, worries. Perhaps think of things you can do to help those nearby. Is there a friend or family member local to you who you could help? Perhaps there local community groups you could join to support others?

Be prepared
it may help to work through any changes to government guidelines and mean for you- to help with being prepared and less concerned.

Look after you
Physical health has a huge impact on how we feel. If you are able to, perhaps find some exercise that will enrich your body and soul. I love yoga myself. Going for a 10 minute walk, run or bike ride are relatively fuss free and easy things to do.

I came across a useful post on mental health resources, and a fabulous post on how to feel better in 5 minutes.

Time with Dogs, the outdoors, gardening , and some time relaxing in front of the tv may help too!

Look after yourself, your money and your mind, and I’ll see you on the other side!


As bamboo is the food of choice for the beloved panda, I thought it would be appropriate to look at bamboo in a little more detail.

Bamboos are a woody perennial plant in the true grass family or poaceae. There are about 1,000 species of bamboo and they’re found in diverse climates from cold mountains to hot tropical areas.

Bamboo is technically a grass but many of the large bamboo look similar to trees and are sometimes called bamboo trees. The tropical bamboo (dendrocalamus asper) is the fastest growing planet on the planet. It can grow up to 1.2m in just 24 hours.

Interestingly the largest bamboo can reach 30 meters in height and 30 cm in diameter. The smallest ones have slight stems and are no more than 10 cm tall.

Bamboo usually grow at low elevations. Lots of species grow in mountain forests- perfect for pandas. The woody bamboo (technical name tribe bambuseae) have at least 1000 species. They make up the bulk of the bamboo group.

Bamboo has been around for a very long time. Being a primitive grass, it is thought that they have bene around for millions of years. It has been around long before humans and may well outlive us all. The bamboo can survive conditions from extreme drought to 6m of rain.

Bamboo has an important job in protecting the earth. It binds topsoil when there is instability or where land is eroding.

France has a bamboo attraction called the Bambouseraie. It is a very well run bamboo centre dedicated to the plant. The centre features a bamboo forest, a Laotian village, a dragon valley and a bonsai garden, amongst other attractions. I have visited the Bambouseraie several times and highly recommend it. It is a lovely day out for bamboo enthusiast and for families alike.

Pandas wee upside down

The giant panda is universally loved and cherished. Their iconic black and white fur-colour distinguishes them nicely from other animals. It’s difficult to deny that Pandas invoke true affection from humans everywhere in the world and in every generation.

Even their wee and poo habits are something of interest and less repellent than other animals.

Another interesting thing about pandas is that they (sometimes) do handstands when they wee. Sometimes, in order to mark their scent, the beloved panda will climb up a tree backwards. There has been remarkable footage showing wild pandas engaging in what appears to be gymnastics in order to mark their territory. They’ll climb up the tree backwards and end up in a full handstand position upside down. This allows them to leave their scent higher up.

The panda can poo up to 40 times a day. Adult panda produces more than 10kg (22lbs) of faeces a day. That’s a lot of waste produced. Pandas do eat a lot- after all. Sometimes they even poo while eating and while they sleep.

Some panda poo is being used as manure in order to grow expensive tea plants.

Another company is using panda poo to create toilet paper. Panda poo is fibre rich (due to the bamboo) and will be need to go through a 60 stage sterilisation process- which includes cleaning and steaming. Turning the waste into paper helps reduce environmental pollution too.

The company collects the droppings from basements at a panda center, which at one point had 273 pandas. The centre accounted for 60% of the world’s captive panda population.

The bamboo fibre makes the toilet roll a lightly easier process. Without the panda’s assistance, the company would have to get fresh bamboo and wait for the sugar to degrade. By using panda faeces, the animals’ digestive systems do much of the work. It takes pandas approximately 4 hours for pandas to excrete the fibre.   

Pandas and sleep

If there’s one thing that isn’t immediately apparent about pandas, is that they like to sleep. On average a panda sleeps ten hours a day. They can fall asleep on the forest floor, cozying up next to a tree or balancing on a branch. If there are few natural predators to be aware of, giant pandas are not picky when it comes to sleeping locations.

Much of their time is spent eating, so giant pandas sleep for best 2–4 hours at a time.

When pandas aren’t sleeping, they wander slowly through the wooded area, taking rests when they want to. Giant pandas do not establish domestic dens or protect territories; they’ll sleep in any whole tree or cave they find convenient.

Pandas’ favourite sleeping positions can include lying flat on their backs, lying on their sides, lying on their stomachs, stretching their paws and rolling themselves up into balls.

Like different bears, pandas spend most of the day ingesting and sleeping because bamboo is so low in nutrients, pandas eat quite a lot of it daily.

As I may have mentioned in another post, they can eat around 25 to 40 pounds of bamboo per day. If they can’t get their staple: bamboos; they prefer to consume honey, grass, flowers, vines, young corns, and rodents. Pandas can sometimes eat small birds and animals.

Unlike other species, large pandas do not spend their winters in hibernation. Pandas don’t take part in any kind of hibernation at all. Instead, they move down the mountains in search of warmer weather. They then move back to the cooler areas of the forest during the Summer. Pandas move around while never moving away from the areas where bamboo are in abundance.

Their bodies don’t like the cold. Surprisingly they actually have relatively little body fat to insulate themselves from low temperatures. They are also great tree climbers and capable swimmers.

How long have Pandas been around for?

Pandas have been around for a very long time. In fact they have been around for 2 million years. Fossils of pandas have been found in Vietnam and China on 1869.

It is thought pandas were about a meter tall (3 feet) tall or about half the size of the modern day panda. Apart from the panda’s size, its fundamental anatomy hasn’t changed very much over the years.

Russell Ciochon, a University of Iowa anthropology professor says the panda’s ancestor, Ailuropoda microta, “was very similar to the living giant panda in both the makeup of its teeth and the shape and construction of its skull,” He continued “Pandas have been ‘uniquely pandas’ for many millions of years.”

Caves in Asia were found to have teeth from Ailuropoda baconi- an extinct panda from the ice age. These teeth were found approximately 750,000 years ago. Very little is known about the Ailuropoda baconi. The Ailuropoda baconi was preceded by an even more poorly-known Ailuropoda wulingshanensis. Before the Ailuropoda wulingshanensis was a smaller species – Ailuropoda microta . Before this time is even more difficult to know.

The earliest possible member of the giant panda’s ancestry is approximately 2 million year old bear Ailurarctos.

Panda cubs start to eat bamboo when they are a year old. The average life expectancy of wild giant pandas is 15-20 years. The captive ones can live up to 30 years. The current record age for a captive panda is 38 years.

Pandas around the world

According to the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) there are 1,864 pandas alive in the wild according to a survey in 2014. In the past decade, giant panda numbers have risen by 17 percent.

21 countries have 27 Panda zoos. These areas include its homeland China, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Hong Kong, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, Scotland (UK), and United States. These countries have contracts with China to have the panda(s) for a few years. There are over 300 Pandas now in captivity which is part of the plan for maintaining the species.

The increase in panda numbers is a testament to the conservation work done by the Chinese government. Lots of amazing work is being carried out around the word helping giant panda conservation.

World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) say they are “pleased to witness this significant conservation achievement — the increase of both the wild giant panda population size and habitat area over last ten years,”. They continue “The survey result demonstrates the effectiveness of nature reserves in boosting wild giant panda numbers.”

With regards to Scotland’s loan from China, they have Tian Tian and Yang Huang who are in the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland. These two beautiful pandas return to China in 2021.

Tian Tian and Yang Guang have been put in enclosures designed by animal psychologists, which come complete with dens, private pools, a viewing platform and a room where the pandas will be given health check-ups.” In their Scottish habitats, the pandas have a climbing frame that allows them to see each other over the tops of their spaces. The design of the habitat is so that they resemble their natural, wild habitat. They have caves to sleep in and rocks where they can lay and partake in their favourite pastime; eating bamboo.

All the debate surrounding this endearing animal has resulted in a sudden increase in panda-styled fashion and accessories. Who can blame people for wanting cute panda merchandise? I’m a panda merchandise lover too!

Panda’s Habitat

The panda bears’ natural habitat is usually a cold, damp coniferous forest. The elevation varies from 4,000 to 11,000 ft high. They do not live in a permanent place. Instead, they locate new rock ledges and stumps where they prefer to sleep.

The large panda is quite distinct from other species of bears. They travel to low elevations away from the coldness to be warm. Once the climate turns warm, they pass to the high altitudes to stay cool.
The wild habitat includes some mountain levels on the east of the Tibetan plateau. They used to live inside the lowland grassy areas but they were cut down even though deforestation and farming which has recently been banned.

It is can regularly get misty and cool in their habitat. Often at some point of the summer, mist swirls around the conifer and through the valleys of the mountains. This with the rain and snow helps to hold the moist surroundings that is essential for bamboos to flourish.
This conjures up really lovely, beautiful imagery of pandas in serene, idyllic settings.

The panda’s habitat in the mountain may also have access to streams or lakes where they may drink after a session of consuming bamboo. The pandas will make brief dens in the bamboo forests where they may take a seat and eat bamboo for hours on end. Waterfalls and lakes are usually abundant in their habitat.

The panda’s habitat in the mountain may also have access to streams or lakes where they may drink after a session of consuming bamboo. The pandas will make brief dens in the bamboo forests where they may take a seat and eat bamboo for hours on end. Waterfalls and lakes are usually abundant in their habitat.

According to the WWF, many pandas were found in the mountainous bamboo forests near the Yangtze River in Southwest China. The area, covering thousands of miles through the China, this intricate system of rivers, lakes, wetlands and mountain forests provides a rich biodiversity and wildlife.

However, population growth and exploitation of natural resources is causing a decline in the natural forests that used to cover the region.

Pandas often rest beside rivers and streams in their habitat to hold power expenditure low. Since their food intake is low in nutrition they try to hold their energy expenditure to a minimum.

Panda’s Diet

Pandas are absolutely dreamy to watch!

They spend most of their day consuming bamboo; getting through approximately 40 kilos a day. A panda’s eating habit around the day involves eating leaves, shoots, and stems of various Bamboo species. Bamboo has (seemingly) very little nutrition so pandas can eat 25 to 50 pounds every day according to their needs. Bamboo is hard to digest and the pandas need to devour plenty of it to live to tell the tale.

Bamboo are members of the grass family, scientific name is Poaceae. Like other grass, bamboo have jointed stems and also small flowers enclosed. However, bamboo are the only major group of grass adapted to the forest habitat.

Scientists suppose the iconic black and white bears eat bamboo in part because it’s extremely abundant and that they don’t need to combat with other animals to get it.

Giant pandas within the wild will every now and then devour different grass, wild tubers or maybe meat within the form of birds, rodents, or carrion. Without bamboo (99 percent of the giant panda’s food plan), the animals could potentially starve. Interestingly however, panda’s ancestors had been carnivores but made the switch to a vegetarian diet 2 million years ago.

Pandas are so cute

The giant panda is universally loved and cherished. Their iconic black and white fur-colour distinguishes them nicely from other animals. It’s difficult to deny that pandas invoke true affection from humans everywhere in the world and in every generation. Pandas have received lots of publicity over the years as they were at threat of extinction.

A behavioural neuroscientist known as Edgar E. Coons thinks that humans find pandas so cute due to “hedonic mechanisms” their functions set off. Something about pandas possibly resembling babies! I quite often think my baby looks like a panda! They’re both so adorable and easily loved.

It’s all to do with our mind making us experience a positive love toward pandas. Any animal with fur seems to automatically be regarded as cute and with panda’s big eyes and perceived clumsiness, it’s difficult not to fall in love with them!

Pandas remind us of toddlers and teddy bears mainly with their big eyes (the eyes aren’t particularly massive however the black patches around their eyes make them appear larger), and spherical adorable faces.

In China, they name the Panda “Xiongmao” meaning Giant Cat Bear. Some people believe that Pandas have some special powers that make them away fend off evil spirits. They have been even kept as pets by the Chinese Emperors. Cute element about Pandas is that all panda’s work all day is to consume and sleep.

Wild panda numbers are increasing after years of decline. The International Union for Conservation of Nature announced that pandas have been upgraded from “endangered” to “vulnerable.” This is a huge feat for all the organisations involved!

Ten Facts about Pandas

  1. Panda cubs are born in the summer (July to September is the period which mother pandas give birth) and they may be about six inches long.
  2. An interesting fact about the child panda is that after their birth, the toddler pandas are blind for two months. They start moving and walking at the age of three months. Initially their bodies do not have any fur, but as soon as they start growing, their bodies produce it.
  3. The infant pandas weigh around half a pound and they suckle mom’s milk for the first six months. When the baby panda reaches the age of seven months, they begin to climb trees.
  4. They stay with their mom until the age of 3; after which they can begin living their own.
  5. When a mother panda holds her baby in her arm, it looks very similar to human mums cradling their babies. It is very exciting to watch pandas grow. During this stage, they like to jump, roll over, trip, and fall around.

  1. Female pandas ovulate as soon as one year old and are fertile for only 3 days.
  2. Pandas depend upon spatial memory, not much long term memory.
  3. Thankfully pandas are one of the animals whose bodies are no longer been used in traditional Chinese medicine.
  4. Wild pandas predominantly live only in a small area of land in south west China.
  5. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) are currently running an ‘adopt a panda’ scheme. Adopting a panda provides support to WWF’s work by helping to fund projects and keeping the panda (and other animals) work alive.

If you’re a panda lover and curious to see what a smooth newborn panda is like, you could visit a panda breeding & research base.

Wild panda numbers are slowly increasing after years of decline. The International Union for Conservation of Nature announced that pandas have been upgraded from “endangered” to “vulnerable.” This is a fantastic achievement thanks to the all the organisations involved.

Panda essentials

I felt very lucky when I saw some pandas in Edinburgh zoo (Scotland) in 2018. I managed to see the famous Tian Tian and felt very blessed that day. Penny from A Penny For Them has also seen and loves pandas too!

I thought I would put some blogs up about my favourite animal so that other panda lovers can also appreciate them!

Pandas are a type of bear who have primarily been found in the forests of China. The giant panda’s scientific name is Ailuropoda melanoleuca. That’s virtually impossible for me to pronounce so I’ll stick to saying ‘panda’!

Their black and white appearance makes them stand out when compared to other bears. The nose, ears, eyes, legs, and shoulders are blanketed with black fur, while the rest of the body is wrapped up with white fur. Because of this beautiful colour combination, it can be difficult to identify them in the forest, which acts as a great natural camouflage.

Male pandas weigh approximately 220 pounds. The female panda can weigh as much as 180 pounds and is called a sow. They are usually five to six feet tall and their lifespan is 15-20 years on average.

Pandas are masters at climbing trees and they can swim quickly to move away from predators. They use their wrists to help grip their food. They have strong jaws and massive molars that help them consume their favourite food: bamboo. They can eat around 25 to 50 pounds of bamboo per day. If they can’t get their staple: bamboo; they can consume honey, grass, flowers, vines, young corns, and rodents. Pandas can sometimes eat small birds and animals.

Pandas are shy; they don’t venture into areas where people live. This restricts pandas to limited areas.

Wild pandas live in remote, mountainous areas in China. Wild pandas should not be confused with captive pandas as they can behave very differently. Wild pandas have a dangerously powerful bite and have an intense sex drive.

The captive panda on the other hand is the fluffy, adorable, clownish, reproductively-inept stereotype that springs to mind.

Though they’re cuddly and lovely to look at, they can be a dangerous creature when provoked. Pandas like all bears love its solitary existence except while breeding or being nurturing mothers.