contents of tiny treasure box

Mum on a Mission Reviews Tiny Treasures

review of tiny treasures

A few months back Becky from the Treasure Box People got in touch to see if me and my youngest son , Reuben, would be interested in reviewing one of the new “Tiny Treasures” subscription boxes for Pre-school children.  Of course we were so excited!!  Sam absolutely loves his monthly Treasure Box which we now subscribe to (check out my review of it from last year), and it is a special time in our family life when it arrives.  We all gather around it to read the story, chat about it and do the activities together.   But Reuben (who is two years old) often gets frustrated that he can’t join in with all the activities, so we were looking forward to seeing how the Tiny Treasure box would help with this.

treasure boxes The most exciting thing for the boys is that both boxes arrived on the same day, so they both had one to open!!  Reuben’s was lots bigger, but that is mainly because for little kids the parts have to be big so they don’t swallow them.  The box that Reuben received was themed on the story of the Feeding of the 5000.  Included in the box were:

 

contents
  • A Storybook Bible Board Bookcontents of tiny treasure box
  • A large basket
  • Three small baskets
  • Two wooden fish
  • Ingredients to make salt dough pre-measured out
  • Piece of artificial grass
  • Book of ideas on how to explore the story

One thing to note that is that the Tiny Treasure Boxes are £20 instead of £10, and only come every two months.  But when you include postage in that amount (£2.90 at least for the large boxes) you can see that you are getting value for money.   By signing up you are building up a collection of treasure baskets that your younger children can come back to time and time again to explore each particular story.  The items you receive will not just be a one off activity, but some you can keep and include in your normal toys so that the bible and exploring it becomes part of their normal everyday play.  Isn’t that fantastic!!

open tiny treasure boxReuben was straight into the box pulling out the items and exploring them.  He loves books, so once he found the book we read it straight away.  I was then able to explain what the items in the box related to in the story.  It was only later that day I had chance to read the little book of big ideas and the suggested ways to do it!!  But that’s the beauty of these boxes – you can explore them and the bible story in a way that suits your own little one.

I remember when the Treasure Box Subscription first came out and being gutted that Sam was too young to get one.  Well yes, Sam is now old enough to get the normal Treasure Box, but I love that this Tiny Treasures Box is now available for the younger age.  I would really encourage all parents to think about subscribing, as it is investing in your spiritual parenting and will help you to be intentional with sharing the bible with your kids.  After a year of receiving them just think how many amazing things you will have to explore lots of different stories for years to come!

reuben in tiny treasure box

How do i sign up?

So if you want to sign up, head over to The Treasure Box People’s website.  You can also buy a one off box if you want to give it a try before committing to a regular subscription.

You can also sign up to the regular Treasure Box which is ideal for those over 5 years old.

 

NOTE: I was sent a Tiny Treasure Box for free in order to review, but all opinions are my own.

Easy2Name bag tags

Mum on a Mission Reviews Easy2Name Labels

Easy2name labels

Calling mothers across the land – you really need to read this blog post!!  Whatever your time allowances and preferences, we all know that if we don’t label every little thing that leaves our house then it WILL, I repeat WILL get lost at school.  I can’t count the number of times my son has left his water bottle, book bag, hat, gloves, plimsolls, etc at school.  You name it, he’s forgotten it.  And luckily I have labelled most things of his.

Easy2Name labelsSo when I got approached by Easy2Name to review their labels I jumped at the chance!!  I have used both iron on and stick on labels in the past for my boys things, but they were quite expensive, so I wanted to see if these would be as good and more affordable.  First off, I loved their website and it breaks down the different types of labels into categories.  This means that whatever your preference you can find the labels you want fast.  I quite like the stick on ones for ease of use on anything and the iron on ones for clothes.

stickeasys

Easy2Name labelsI think these are my over favourites.  They just stick straight onto the care tag inside your kids clothes.  You can also get a cute design to go with the name, and I got two different designs for each of my boys which means that even the youngest one at 2 years old can recognise all of his things, as they have a football on and Sam’s have dinosaurs.  As soon I stuck them on they felt really secure, so I am not at all worried about them coming off.  Other brands have come off in the washing machine, and although I haven’t washed anything with these on yet I don’t think we will have the same problem.  I also think these are really good value for money at only £5.99 for 30 labels.

Easy2Name label

stick on labels and shoe label covers

Easy2Name labelsWe also got sent some normal stick on labels with the kids names really clear on them.  Each child has a separate colour, so again it makes it easy for them to distinguish which is theirs even before they can read. These labels are good for non clothing items such a juice bottles, lunch boxes, and I am even going to try them out next week when my son gets his first pair of glasses.  I also used these when labelling my sons shoes.  I had used another brands stickers in his shoes previously and the text had rubbed off, so when I saw that there were shoe label covers I was ecstatic!!  You just put the stick on label in the shoe and then cover with a shoe label cover.  It will take a while to see if these have worked, but I am hopeful they will stay put.

easytapes

Another type of label that we received was the easytapes which are iron on versions of the stick on labels.  I know these are a little more labour intensive (they require you to spend a few minutes per label ironing them in), but are a lot more reliable in the washing machine.  I have opted for these inside high wear items such as school jumpers and trousers, and have not been let down.

Bag tags

Easy2Name bag tagsFinally we got sent two bag tags for the boys, each with their symbol on (a football for Reuben and a dinosaur for Sam).  These are my favourite, and Sam’s favourite, labelling item!  We bought one of the official school logo book bags when my son started reception, and as good an idea it seemed at the time it is now a nightmare and every other child has exactly the same bag.  And to make matters worse, the names are hidden under a flap!!  What is that about?  So I love these bag tags as they attach to the handle and make it really easy for Sam to recognise which identical bag is his.  They are also made of similar material to credit cards, so quite durable, and are only £3.50, a bargain!  Maybe he’ll actually come out of school with it now…..

Easy2Name bag tags

Give it a try

I would suggest ordering yourself a selection of the different labels and giving them a try to find your favourite.  Lets face it, they are all going to get used as your kids grow up so it won’t be a waste of money!  Compared to other brands I have tried, I loved Easy2Name’s website, the choice and the options to customise.  The prices also seem a bit more reasonable than other places too, and it is run by a mum who set it up to tackle that age old problem of labelling kids clothes.  So lets support one of our own and get some fab labels at the same time!

wooden gifts

Mum on a Mission Reviews Kent-Made Signs

kent made signs

Who doesn’t love a customised gift?  Something a little more personal and unique than anything you can find in the shops.  Well I for one do, and I want to share with you a lovely website that I came across which has some really special things and what I love about them – KENT-MADE.

fun for the kids

wooden arrow signs

The first thing I ordered was two wooden signs with my boys names cut out.  I absolutely love these.  They look modern and fun, and I know that the boys will love them too.  I chose the arrow ones so that I can put them on their bunk beds when we get moved house, with the arrows pointing at who is in which bunk.  But they would work really well on a bedroom door too.  They are lightweight and thin, so you would be able to stick them up anywhere.  I would definitely choose to order these over other personalised bedroom door signs I’ve seen.

You can decorate them your own way

wooden signs

If you are a little bit creative like me, then maybe you will want an even more unique sign than just the names customised.  As these are not finished in anyway (like with varnish or paint) it leaves the options open to you to paint, decopatch or do whatever you like to them!!  My eldest son really wants a rainbow bedroom when we move, so perhaps I will paint these in rainbow colours to fit in.  The wooden signs pictured are only £8.99 including customisation and free postage.  If arrows aren’t your thing then there are also lots of other shape options available with either cut out or engraved names – just take a look!

unique gifts too

thank you wooden flower

As well as the lovely signs, KENT-MADE also have a lovely range of gifts for different occasions.  These include wooden postcards that you can personalise with messages and use for mothers day, birthdays, anniversary, best teacher or even wedding save the dates.  But the item that most stood out to me was the wooden flowers.  Wouldn’t it be lovely to open a surprise parcel with one of these in?  What I hadn’t realised when i ordered it was that it comes with its own glass vase to display it in.  Such a lovely detail!

wooden flower tag

I hadn’t decided who to send this to so my tag is blank, but you can of course personalise this with to and from.  The wooden flowers (which come with a variety of messages) are only £9.99 and will last a lot longer than actual flowers.  With mothers day coming up why not send your mum something a bit different this year.

I was sent these items to review, but I have actually fallen in love with them.  I am so looking forward to moving house now so that these can be displayed, and will definitely be heading over to KENT-MADE next time I need to send something special to a friend.  Why not go and have a look on the website and see what you fall in love with.

Disclosure:  I was sent these items for free in return for my honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

 

greatest showman

How The Greatest Showman Moved Me

greatest showman

Last week, in the midst of putting offers in on a new house, me and my hubby went out for a well needed date night.  As we really needed a break from talking (that’s all we’d done all week and the stress of house decisions was really getting to us) we decided to go to the cinema.  I’d heard lots of people talk about the Greatest Showman, and I like a good musical, so I thought we’d give it a go (secretly thinking my hubby would hate it!).

The thing with musicals is that they have real power.  Music is something special isn’t it?  It has the power to reach into your soul and speak to you like words on their own don’t.  It has the power to change your mood and to make you feel things like nothing else.  And so when you combine amazing songs with a moving story like in the Greatest Showman, you have something potentially explosive.  It really was just what the doctor ordered.

Watching the Greatest Showman took me back to the days when I took part in the school production.  The way that they described being a family reminded me of that.  When you spend hours rehearsing and performing something so moving and creative then you cannot help but get closer.  I once played my violin as part of the orchestra for our school production of Les Mis.  I didn’t know or care for the songs before, or even have any clue what the story line was about, but just being part of something was an immense feeling.  So I could relate to the phenomenal atmosphere that could be created both for the audience and those taking part.

I have watched back some of the footage from the shows rehearsals too (yes I have become slightly addicted) and the music really is outstanding.  Stripped back and in its raw form, you can see people just loving the chance to sing and play and communicate in that way.  It is spiritual really, and a lot of those clips remind me of intimate times in sung worship at church where you really let go.  There are hundreds of verses in the bible which tell about singing joyfully to the Lord, and I couldn’t pick just one that put that across.  But I know that when I do sing joyfully to God it has an effect on my soul that nothing else does.

The Greatest Showman obviously isn’t a Christian movie, but the themes of acceptance and a family of broken people coming together reminds me of Jesus and the gospel.  The songs that go with the storyline are phenomenal, and I really do recommend that you ALL go to see it!!!  The soundtrack is now on repeat in our house (and it was my hubby that went out and bought it not me!)

amazing reviews

Amazing Reviews from 2017

amazing reviews

I am now entering that strange reflective zone that characterises the end of the year.  I have been thinking back over everything I had done on the blog this year and was amazing by how many reviews of things I have had the chance to do.  I only really accept reviews if I think they are something I will use and if I think they will have a use for my readers too, so just in case you missed any I have categorised my reviews from 2017 below:

Bible Journaling Products

Children’s Items and Family Fun

Mission and Faith

 

hannah dunnett NIV journaling bible

Mum on a Mission Reviews Hannah Dunnett Journaling Bible

hannah dunnett NIV journaling bible

I am so excited to say that I have been sent a copy of the new Hannah Dunnett journaling bible by Hodder and Stoughton to review for you all.  Ever since my lovely friend Jo introduced me to Hannah’s Christian artwork I have been in love with it.  The way that the pictures and words flow together is just beautiful, and really helps to draw out the meaning of the verses she uses.

You might remember that one of my favourite Christmas gifts from last year was a Hannah Dunnett print for my hallway, and that as soon as it was announced they were making a Hannah Dunnett journaling bible back in June it was on my wishlist!!

what is it like???

front cover of hannah dunnett bibleMy first reaction when I received the bible was just “how beautiful is this!!”.  There had been some mutterings in the bible jouraling world that it didn’t live up to expectations, but I absolutely love it!  Now it is quite a chunky bible, as the is not the smallest and the margins are left wide for plenty of drawing space, but it is really beautiful.  The cover featuring Hannah’s artwork is inspiring and something that I want to carry around with me and show off.  I imagine it would invite people to ask what it was if you left it on a coffee table.

As well as being really pretty, the cover is hard so will nicely protect your bible (and any artwork inside) from being damaged.  There is an elastic strap to keep the pages together (handy if you like to slot extra bits in) and inside the front and back covers and more lovely examples of Hannah’s artwork.

format inside

blank page in hannah dunnett bibleInside you will find one column of text next to a blank wide margin.  This is ideal for the more seasoned bible journaler who is happy to be free with their art.  After having my blue polka dot NIV journaling bible for over a year now, I can see how the single column of text is going to be beneficial to me and not having lines will be helpful too, as I draw more than I write notes.  But this is personal preference. The pages are reasonably thick, but will still need a good coat of gesso if you don’t want paint and pen to show through.

The nice touch to this bible is that scattered throughout are glossy pages with more of Hannah’s artwork which will hopefully inspire and encourage you as you are reading.

artwork in hannah dunnett bible

taking it for a test drive

As part of my Mummy Meditations series I have been looking a Mary, the mother of Jesus, so I thought it would be good to try out some journaling techniques in the Hannah Dunnett Bible and see how it went.  To put it to the test I used:

  • clear gesso
  • watercolour paints
  • felt tip pens
  • gold embossing powder
  • glue and heavy embellishments
  • washi tape

I thought this would be a fair test as to how well the pages and space coped with a variety of bible journaling techniques.  I have to say that it did very well.

Whenever I use gesso on pages, I always find that they wrinkle up a bit, so I was pleased to find that this wasn’t too much of an issue with the Hannah Dunnett bible.  The pages are reasonably thick for a bible and so they coped well with the gesso and having a heat gun fired at it!  The gesso worked well too, as there was minimal ink and paint coming through on the other side of the page.  The only thing you can see slightly is the black felt tip pen.

finished page in Hannah dunnett bible

As the pages are quite thick, the washi tape and heavy embellishments haven’t torn the pages or weighed them down too much either.  The embossing powder stuck nicely to the pages and haven’t shown through to the other side.  I am very impressed with the way that the pages have coped with all of these journaling techniques.

what’s the verdict

I have actually fallen in love with this bible.  I love the lay out of the pages, with the blank columns at the side of only one column of text.  I love the beautiful design of the front cover and the sturdy hardcover that is has.  I love the images and pictures supplied by Hannah Dunnet which are scattered through the bible, offering little glimpses of inspiration.

I think this is a bible for a reasonably serious bible journaller who appreciates and admires Hannah’s artwork.  And for the price of only £29.99 it is actually quite reasonably for a bible of it’s size and quality.  You can purchase your own copy here.

 

NOTE: I was sent a copy of the Hannah Dunnett Journaling Bible for free by Hodder Faith for the purposes of reviewing it.  However, all opinions are my own.  

 

 

christian lettering co

Mum on a Mission Reviews the Christian Lettering Co.

christian lettering co

I am in love with Bible Journaling.  The whole process of being creative inside my bible to document my learning and journey of faith, whilst also worshiping my God creatively, is exciting!  I have been bible journaling for over a year now, and I like to think I have moved on from novice to amateur!!!  I am still always on the look our for great resources, especially ones available in the UK, to inspire and encourage more people to have a go and to help us be creative.

This was how I came across the Christian Lettering Co, and they graciously agreed to send me one of the Starter Kits to try out.  (If you missed my facebook live where I open the parcel they sent then catch it here)  Included in the starter kit you will find:

  • A bible journal notebook – a brown cover with hand lettering on the front, this blank paged book is the perfect place to start doodling and having a go.  The pages are really thick so perfect for being creative on (bible pages are often really thin so harder to paint and colour on).  I love the leaf design on it too – this would make a lovely gift. bible journal
  • Two pencils – just to get you started!
  • A study guide – A lovely printed step by step guide on how to get started bible journaling.  This is perfect for beginners, and even includes a suggested 31 day bible reading plan.  bible journaling study guide
  • Stickers and bookmarks – These lovely little stickers in blues and greys will add to any page you are working on (see my attempt at the end of this post).  Beautifully hand lettered and easy to use.  I also LOVE this bookmark – so simple and yet so beautiful.  You could keep this or pop it in a card for someones birthday as a little treat. stickers and bookmark
  • Paper Clips –  Really helpful for marking the pages you have journaled in, these paper clips come with really pretty ribbon in the same blue and grey tones as the stickers.  Really simple to use but will look awesome sticking out the top of your bible. paper clips
  • Postcards and scripture cards – You can use these beautiful designed little cards as tip ins to your bible, to write prayers on or encouragements or you could actually send one as a postcard to someone!  Really lovely designs, I am going to experiment using them to make shakers in my bible with my bible journaling group at church next month.scripture cards
  • Book tabs – These are super useful if you want to mark specific books of the bible or pages that you have decorated (see my attempt at the bottom), and I love that the colours all fit together.  These fold in the middle making them easier to glue into your bible as they stick on both sides of the page. bible tabs

So there you have it – that is everything you get in the starter kit.  Not bad (in my humble opinion!) for the price of £14.50.  You can buy the starter kit from the Christian Lettering Co website, and it comes in three designs:

If you didn’t want to buy the full kit, but wanted the separate items then these are all available too on the Christian Lettering Co website.

And the bit you’ve all been waiting for – here is my bible page that I made using some of the items supplied and inspired by the colours in the Joyful Starter Kit. bible journaling page

Note: I was sent a free Starter Kit from the Christian Lettering Co to review, but all opinions are my own. 

 

daily acts of kindness devotional

Mum on a Mission Reviews Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional

daily acts of kindness devotional

Today an amazing book launches – The Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional.  Now for anyone who has followed my 40 Acts journey over the last few years will know, I love showing kindness to others.  It is something that can really show the love of Jesus and talks louder than words.  The only things limiting me are time, money and inspiration.

If you are in the same boat as me, then why not invest in something that will give you all the inspiration you will need for A WHOLE YEAR!!!  That will mean that everyday you have an idea that you can take out to the streets and put in to action straight away.  No having to think about what to do, no giving lame excuses for not doing it.

And do you want to know the best part?

A lot of the acts of kindness in this book are designed to draw in your family too, to help you instill values of kindness and generosity in your children.  How amazing is that!!

kindness bible verse

The stories of the ladies who wrote it are shared in the devotional sections and linked back to bible passage, bringing a warm approach to this.  They are not judging or forcing you to be kind, but inspiring and nurturing you into it.  They have a real heart to turn from a life looking inward, to our wants and needs, to instead looking outward and meeting the needs of others.  I know that when I have done acts of kindness with my son it has blown me away, so why not give it a try yourself?

minions party pack

Mum on a Mission Reviews Party Bags and Supplies

party bags and supplies review

My little man Reuben is two next week (I don’t know how that happened!!), and the lovely people at Party Bags and Supplies offered to send me a pack for his birthday party.  With so many great packs based on different characters it was really tough to choose, but I eventually settled on a minions theme.

minions party pack

Party Bags and Supplies offer party packs, which are great for Mums (and Dads) who simply don’t have all the time in the world to put into planning a big crazy party.  Each pack comes with enough stuff for 8 children, including themed plastic cups, plates, a table cloth, napkins and pre-filled party bags.   I remember when I was planning my eldest’s 4th birthday, searching around for ages to find the right themed party bags and picking out the fillings.  As much fun as I had doing that, I know lots of people would rather have things all in one place!

minions party bag

On the website you can also choose ultimate party packs which also include bunting and balloons in your chosen theme, and there is the option to personalise the items in the party bags, but I’m not sure that is worth the effort.  The pre-filled party bags I received in my pack were great quality, and all you really needed to add was the cake!!

Once you have chosen your character then you can see all the other themed extras that you can add, such as straw and foil balloons so you really can plan your kids party all in one place.  The pack I got sent cost £28, which is good value for money when you factor in all the time you are saving from searching other websites and putting together party bags.  The tableware on its own could be bought for £10 if you only wanted that.

party bags and supplies website

So if you are planning a children’s birthday party any time soon, I would definitely recommend using Party Bags and Supplies to save yourself some time and money.  And if you are looking for a specific character for an obsessed child they probably will have themed items for them!!

 

Disclaimer: I was sent a free party pack by Party Bags and Supplies in order to write this review,  but all opinions are my own. 

eric says please

Mum on a mission reviews “Eric says please” 

review of eric says please

I really do love seeing all the fantastic resources that are available for us as parent to teach our children more about God.  This week I received another exciting parcel from the Good Book Company.  One of their authors, Dai Hankey, has just released a new book in his Eric series and they wanted to share it with me (yipee!!)

eric says please

The third in the series of Eric books, Eric Says Please is all about learning to ask for help, and through everyday adventures learning more about God’s grace.  Using rhyme and comic style illustrations, the book is an easy and fun read for the younger audience.  It is probably a bit too old for my youngest, who is almost two, but it is perfect for my four year old who is just starting to grapple with who God is and how to relate to him.
eric says please

I think the story is very clever, as it uses Eric’s real life to link in with God.  The metaphor is not forced, but just really clear for younger children to understand.  I love the way that Eric prays at the end with his Grandpa and then the answer to prayer is shown.  This has really helped my son to understand how God answers prayer through the normal everyday things.

If your child still loves picture story books then I would highly recommend buying this for them – it is A4 sized and perfect for bedtime reading.  There is also a memory verse and a prayer at the back to bring your child into the story, as well as a fun game to play (involving cheese!!).

The book is currently £5.99 on the Good Book Company website (discounts for if you buy multiple) and you can also get “Eric says thanks” and “Eric says sorry” to complete the set.  I’ll leave you with this video of Dai himself revealing a bit about the inspiration for the book.