Well Hello HEMA – #LoveHEMA

This summer saw the launch of Dutch store HEMA here in the UK.  They opened their first store in Victoria Station, London, back in June & this was closely followed by stores in Kingston & Bromley.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the opening day of the Bromley store :)


The store is full to the rafters of lovely products.  From childrens toys & make up to home ware & stationary.  Everything is extremely good value for money & the pricing couldn’t be easier…. everything in increments of 25p.  With Christmas fast approaching you can guarantee a gift for every member of the family from this fabulous range.



Since their launch, HEMA has expanded even more in the UK.  September saw the launch of their online store HemaShop.  It sells products across lots of the HEMA ranges, including beauty, kids, home, stationery, cook & food.  Of course there is the seasonal products too :)

Some of the advantages of shopping online include the low spend amount to get free home delivery… just £15!!!  If you don’t require home delivery & you have a HEMA store near you then you can have your order sent direct to store for you to collect :)

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Whilst there I stocked up on stamps, stickers, notebooks & pads. Tea, chocolate,  hairbands & girls underwear among other things.  The list goes on, you really can buy almost anything in HEMA.

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Whether you shop in store or online with HEMA, don’t forget to check out their Christmas products, we’re loving the party ware :)



Quilt Exhibition

My quilt group exhibition took place the first weekend of October.  Personally I had five quilts entered for display & one quilt as a raffle prize.  Now it’s time to share with you some of the amazing quilts that were on display.






Which one is your favourite?


Aquabeads – A Review

Over the summer we were lucky enough to be offered an Aqua beads kit for review.  We were sent the Hello Kitty Fashion Set, RRP £14.99.


My only beading experience with the twins had been the ones that you have to iron…. it never went well as the twins always wanted to “help”.  These looked like a far better option, just add water :)

They wasted no time in getting the box open & all the goodies out to play.  The set included the beads, a Hello Kitty bead case, a pen for picking up & putting down the beads, water sprayer, beading tray & various different designs.


They each chose a design, luckily both were on the same page.  They found it easy to slide the template page into the bottom of the layout tray.  Robert went for a ice cream design & Hannah for a Hello Kitty (no surprise there!).  The Bead Pen was an absolute god send.  Best thing ever as far as I’m concerned.  I didn’t have to worry about run away beads all over the place & it made positioning the beads REALLY easy.


Now comes the Aqua part.  The finished design needs a few sprays of water, 4-5, & then left to dry.  Again this was very easy for the twins to do themselves & when they weren’t spraying each other they managed to get the designs :)


As you can see, Hannah was very pleased with her Hello Kitty :)

Our verdict:  We love Aquabeads.  I love the fact that they can do this by themselves, no mess, (almost) no arguments & it can be finished by themselves too.  They love that they can do this by themselves, but they really love the pen because it means they don’t have to worry about dropping the beads or getting them in the wrong place… both things that have really frustrated them when using other types of beads.

Although a lot of the designs available are a bit on the girlie side, Robert enjoyed the Aqua Beads just as much as Hannah.  If you visit the Aqua Beads website there are some additional templates that you can download & use, so that in itself is an added bonus :)

You can keep up-to-date with Aqua Beads on Twitter & Facebook too.

What have your little ones made with Aqua Beads?




Disclaimer: We received the Aqua Beads kit free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own & that of my family.


Prince Charming On Point

It occurred to me at some stupid hour during the night that I hadn’t shared the completion of my Tula Pink Sampler Quilt.  Some of you will remember progress pictures of the blocks, all of which are foundation pieced & the Seminole border that almost broke me!!!!

I love this quilt, it’s mine & will be going on my bed just as soon as it’s been exhibited at my quilt group this October.

Tula Sampler WM

Tula Sampler Collage

All the blocks on the front of the quilt are foundation pieced.  The border is a mix of plain & seminole.  The back of the quilt is pieced with three different fabrics from the same range.

Fabric range = Prince Charming by Tula Pink

As you can see….. the cat loves it too :)


Gillies Goes Camping

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been camping not once…. but twice.  That would be our first camping trip as a family, closely followed by our second just days later.

Armed with our newly purchased tent & lots (& lots & lots) of accessories we set off for Devon.  It took us just over 4 hours to get there & when we did it was brilliant sunshine….. perfect tent pitching weather :)

Devon Collage

Our site was wonderful & sooooooooo peaceful.  It’s predominantly a caravan site but they have a field that has space for 8 tents with electric hook up.  The twins loved it, there was so much space for them to run around playing that they would rather do that than go on days out.  It has a large childrens park on site too.  The facilities were lovely.  Great shower & toilet blocks, restaurant, bar, kids play room, table tennis, laundry room, shop, it was perfect & we loved it there.

The restaurant had a tropical conservatory attached to it where you could enjoy a meal or just your drinks from the bar.  This area also allowed dogs.  This suited us because we had some family visit with their dog & it meant we could all enjoy our meal together.

Devon Collage 2

We stayed a total of 5 nights because when we booked that was all they had available.  We have made enquiries to book again next year for a whole week :)
The site we stayed on was Ross Park Caravan Park & I would highly recommend it, even more so if you have a doggy.

We did do some days out.  These included a trip to Brixham, Paignton & National Trust property Montacute House.

Devon Collage 3

After we arrived home from our relaxing trip to Devon, we had just 3 days to organise ourselves before heading to Camber Sands on the south coast.  This camping trip was to take place on a Park Resort holiday camp & we were camping with my brother & his family.  The twins were uber excited to be spending a weekend with their cousins & they had the promise of long sandy beaches :)

This was a TOTALLY different camping experience!!!!

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You’ll notice from the above image how close our tents are to each other.  We are the green tent & my brothers is the blue tent (same as ours but with a porch added on the front).  In between the tents you will see a car, this is the car of the tent that is pitched behind ours.  Behind the car you can see a blue tent, this is the tent that is pitched behind the cars tent….. & so it continues!

Dispite the lack of space between campers, the potential fire hazard it causes & no space for 5 children to play ball… we were able to deliver the sandy beach :)

Camber Collage

We spent all Saturday morning on the beach, we hired a wind break but the wind just kept on coming.  Oh yeah, did I mention ex-hurricane Bertha???  By the time we got back to the tent my brothers porch had blown over & several of our own guy ropes had been pulled out of the ground by the wind lashing the tents.  Over lunch time we had a team meeting, checked all the online weather reports, watched other people pack up & leave, had a chat with the site warden & then……. we packed up.

It was a shame as camping with family was great fun & all the children were pretty gutted to be going home but I honestly can’t say that I was disappointed.  The rain & wind the night before had been horrendous & although the children had slept through it, I certainly hadn’t.  Couple that with the lack of space on site & the forecast of weather that was on it’s way & I know that we made the right decision.

I certainly won’t be returning to the same site in the future & would strongly question any Park Resort camping field before booking another one.  The beach was lovely though :)

I look forward to camping again soon & I know the twins really want to camp again as well.  Have you any sites that you can recommend to us?




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