A trip to Paradise Wildlife Park

It’s not every weekend you get to visit a tiger, a monkey and Santa all in one go. The Schaefer family went on a trip to Paradise Wildlife Park recently in Hertfordshire and what a day trip out we had! Alice had her golden ticket in her hand as we entered a magical room full of activities. No waiting in lines with little impatient faces, we decorated baubles, gingerbread men (well, we ate marshmallows) and wrote a letter to Santa before we got called up by Santa’s helpers for our visit. 

Here is Alice’s first visit to see Santa, she was intrigued by the lights and by the man in red sitting next to the tree. She was quiet but such a good little girl, and seeing as she was on the nice list…

She got to choose her very own toy from Santa’s workshop! 

After a spot of lunch in the jungle cafe, we headed out to see what we could find. The Paradise Wildlife Park is a lovely size to venture round, not too big but plenty of things to see. Alice particularly loved the penguins and the meerkats! 

The park has an Australian outback section where we saw kangaroos and emus. 

We were able to get up close to so many animals like monkeys and even big cats too. 

A cosy cuddle with a polar bear! 

Thank you so much to the Paradise Wildlife Park for having us visit for the day, we have so many memories and will definitely be back for more!

Saharasplash x 

Feeling festive? Then you must check out my big fat Christmas gift guide 2018 for some mega gift inspiration 

My big fat Christmas gift guide 2018

Ok, so you had better be ready for my biggest post of the year. I’m suggesting you go put the kettle on, pause Netflix and have a good read of my big fat Christmas gift guide 2018. Featuring some of the best brands on the market for her, him and baby. In my opinion, this is as far as you need to look with your list of who to get for next to you and get it all done in one sitting! I’ve spent a lot of time and research on this piece so you don’t have to start googling ideas for Christmas presents, because lord knows that involves a serious amount of wine and chocolate. So, shall we begin?



New CID Cosmetics are one of the best makeup brands I have ever tried, hands down. Their products are simply stunning and the new Aurora highlighter compact looks like it is made straight from unicorn rainbow dust. Super fine powder, it leaves your face glowing and radiant. I always get compliments when I’m wearing a New CID product, and no doubt this new highlighter will achieve the same result as I wear it over the Christmas season.


Virginia Coram is one of the few English producers of pure liquid soap using the traditional method. Featured below is the Bathtub Lotion with Rose, Geranium & Sage – a floral scent reviving the body and stimulating the mind. Also the Governess Lotion with Orange, Lavender & Vanilla – a lively fragrance with sweet tones and revitalising qualities. All their products are 100% vegan.


Heyland and Whittle is all about detail and style. Their Frankincense candle (made from soy wax) can help relieve stress and anxiety due to its aromatic properties. The winter spice rattan reed diffuser brings a sense of Christmas spirit that can only be found through the mix of joyful scents such as orange, nutmeg and clove.


JML Direct is always a great shout for a range of innovative and practical gifts. This 3-pack of leggings are stylish, high-waisted and guaranteed to make the most out of your natural shape. I just love wearing them for comfort, warmth and ease as they go with just about anything. I love the three distinct designs and can see these becoming a favourite in my wardrobe over the next few months.

NYK1 SECRETS- £32.95-34.95

NYK1 Secrets have launched several products that every girl needs and I’ve got two of them right here. LASHFORCE lash and brow growth serum & TANFORCE. These beauties will have you brow-ready with glowing skin to rock that amazing new outfit you got on black friday.


Bioglan beauty collagen is a brand new range to Bioglan this season. There’s gummies for busy, on the go commuters and a powder form if you’re into breakfast smoothies instead. These supplements are packed with all the things your skin needs like Vitamin C, A and hyaluronic acid (which I’m sure you beauty lovers know is all the craze right now).

NIVEA GIFT pack- £3.50

Nivea Get Up and Glow gift pack features a duo of urban fresh shower gel in acai and goji berry scents. Along with a really cute sponge, this is the best stocking filler if I ever saw one 🙂



Danilo literally have something for everyone to get them set and ready for the new year ahead. Kids ranges include Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig and then you have something for the Newt Scamander fans as well. For the non-magic folk, a series of Disney-themed diaries perhaps? Go take a look at their fabulous range.


Messy Me are a weaning accessory brand set up by a mum of three. All handmade in the UK, I just can’t get enough of these handy bibs and tunics for Alice as she grows. This tunic bib with star pattern is going to be used on Christmas Day for sure!


I have worked with Aldi a lot since having Alice, and time and time again they always come up with something new for the younger generation. I went to the Christmas in July press day with Alice and she fell in love with all the wooden toy sets for the kitchen. So, guess what’s under her tree this year?!


The Santa Sacks Co have really gone to town with their personalised Santa Sacks. This year, we are celebrating a little more with Alice now that she can appreciate and understand this special time of year. So, we have a sack for her which will hopefully become a part of our family tradition, just as I remember having one as a child each year.

BOOTS MINI CLUB- prices vary

Boots Mini Club is a new discovery this Christmas for me. After celebrating the launch of their Fearne Cotton range, I knew the Christmas collection was going to be just as amazing. A fluffy pink reindeer jumper… yes please!


This next gift is currently on arrival from Oh So Cherished so I’ve included a few pics from their website to show you all about the brand. Personalised gifts such as these are great all year round, for Christenings, birthdays, and of course a Christmas Eve box featured below. These are becoming increasingly popular and it’s a great way to share the festive excitement with children.



Clive Christian is one brand I am very excited about including in my big fat Christmas gift guide 2018. The brand’s predecessor, the Crown Perfumery Company established in 1872, is the only house ever to have been granted permission to use Queen Victoria’s crown on its bottles. An image that defines every bottle of Clive Christian perfume to this day. These perfumes are sold online and by luxury, prestigious retailers around the globe. New this year is a 2 x 10ml original gift set, and their perfume ‘No1’ is the most expensive perfume in the world per ounce! There is a stunning range of gift sets available via the website, is if you are looking to really treat someone special this Christmas, here is your gift.

BELOW THE BELT- £5.95-9.95

Below the belt grooming is the epitome of a man’s gift. Direct and to the point, these products are to take care of everything below the belt, which I’m guessing needs just as much attention as females. These gifts are unique, sort of whimsical, but totally necessary if you ask me. They are great value and perfect if you are stuck on what to get for that difficult customer.


Ross and Ross have designed a man box which is right up any artisan’s street with a great palette. The man box comes with a premium lager, British salami, smoked apple chutney and some pork crackling. This looks like a tempting boxing day treat which anyone would be thrilled to receive (as long as they’re a carnivore obvs).


Popcorn Shed have to win the prize for the cutest design right? The adorable popcorn houses with window panes make for such a delicate gift, and the flavours are so interesting too. We have a cheese flavoured popcorn, salted caramel and berry but there are lots more to discover from the collection on the website.


Cyberjammies are a staple in my pyjama drawer and so I thought it best to even the score a little. This Austin pyjama set for men is so stylish, and trust me these pjs are the cats pyjamas no lie! Super soft, great pattern choices and of course the possibilities are endless for matching Christmas outfit selfies.

Phew, did you make it through? I hope you found some new ideas in there and if you haven’t started your Christmas shopping, here is the perfect place to commence, queue the carol singers! Thanks for reading my big fat Christmas gift guide 2018, see you again this time next year,

Saharasplash x

PR Samples included, all thoughts and views my own 

A few surprises in Soho, London

The best thing about London is that you can never really say that you’ve seen it all, even if you’ve spent your whole life exploring the city. London provides a blank canvas as each sun rises and a new day dawns. You never know what awaits around the next corner, and so I’ve written all about my latest excursion and a few surprises in Soho, London.

My favourite hotel in Soho has to be the Ham Yard Hotel, where I’ve attended many movie screenings and had some great times. It’s just a few streets down from Carnaby which is where my journey started last weekend.

The lights made the dullest of days seem bright and happy, and I was on my way to enjoy a hot chocolate at a favourite spot. But when I got there, I discovered the cafe had closed and in its place stood a sign that read ‘Choose Love’. My intrigue led me into the room once filled with chocolate, replaced by a pop up charity organisation to help refugees. I learnt so much by hearing the volunteers talk about the charity, and how they are supported by celebrities and artists around the globe.

My next stop was to the timeless location- Liberty London. I just love seeing their changing displays, perhaps even more than Selfridges!

I discovered a Christmas Market, yet another surprise from Soho, London. A lot of the stalls were local artists offering their free tools and time to help bring the community together and spread some Christmas love.

I made an apple Christmas decoration using glitter spray and stencilling while I waited to meet friends somewhere I’d been wanting to go for ages.

Here’s Leggero, a completely gluten free restaurant in the Soho area. I couldn’t wait to have some freshly made, gluten free tagliatelle.

Last stop on my wayward yet thrilling journey was to my favourite place in London- Leicester Square. This really is my go-to place for entertainment, premieres and fun, and right now the Christmas Market is on. Call me prematurely festive doing two Xmas markets in one day, but seeing as I stumbled across the first, it’s ok!

Beautiful stalls ranging from hot food, handmade decorations to glittery stocking fillers, I couldn’t wait to get a lovely personalised ornament for our family this year.

The rain broke just in time to get that all important outfit shot, then it was time to head home to put my feet up.

I had a relaxing hour train ride back to my car thanks to Greater Anglia. I wouldn’t have half as many adventures without the service they provide.

Bye bye for now London, Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading ‘A few surprises in Soho, London. Make sure you check out Alice’s birthday tea party before you go!

Train tickets gifted from Greater Anglia. Spending money gifted by Hotels.com. This post was written in collaboration with hotels.com, but all thoughts and views my own.

A Truly Alice in Wonderland Tea Party

It’s no secret that I have been slightly obsessing over everything Alice in Wonderland since having my own little Alice. I think this birthday party had been an idea in my head during pregnancy as soon as I found out I was having a girl and that we would name her Alice. So, a Truly Alice in Wonderland Tea Party was set in motion and I’m here to share a few moments from Alice’s first birthday party…

Sign by The Paper Butterfly

As usual, my head was filled with specific details and I couldn’t wait to get started with the preparations to see it all come to life. We had hired a village hall for around 40-50 guests so we had enough space for us all to have one giant tea party! I used artificial grass which we had kept from our wedding day, and this grass has come in so handy for other uses too! The decorations, plates and food looked amazing when everything was laid out.

Decorations by Talking Tables (the Truly Alice collection)

I had some beautiful Alice-themed biscuits made just for the occasion too, and I think we had about two left when the party was over!

Biscuits by Sisters that Bake

The hall came equipped with a kitchen so we were able to make guests any tea they desired, including this fabulous blend by Adagio Teas.

Some of my favourite flavours were in this special blend, and I can’t wait to explore more of the range this winter.

Tea by Adagio Teas

Party bags were waiting next to the most whimsical cake made by one of our local favourites.

Cake by The Cupcake Kitchen (Ipswich)

Now for some costume reveals. Of course Paul came dressed as the Mad Hatter. Alice’s grandad had an inspired waistcoat that fit so well with the theme.

I came dressed as a big Alice- clearly I couldn’t avoid the sign that said ‘Eat Me’!

Alice’s dress was a limited edition piece from Cath Kidston with quotes and delicate designs.

The Queen of Hearts was inevitably Alice’s nana, her auntie came as a very dapper White Rabbit.

It was such a special moment to see Alice blow out her first birthday candle, an incredible milestone for an incredible little Alice.

Thank you so much to everyone involved and all our friends and family for a Truly Alice in Wonderland tea party.

Saharasplash x

PR samples included, all thoughts and views my own

Getting personal with Tesco

First things first, I just want to say a huge thank you to all my readers new and old. It means a lot that you stop by and take a few minutes to see what’s happening in my blogging universe which has been going for about four years now. I’ve explored many places and reviewed hundreds of different products/services, but each time I come to write a blog post there is always something new to say. I try to stick to a similar structure: it’s a personal opinion mixed with some research, humour and of course original photography. This blog post is all about getting personal with Tesco, so keep reading to get the scoop first hand!

Tesco Photo have a rather decent selection of products available for personalisation- perfect if you are ready to start gift shopping soon. As well as your standard photo calendars and books, the range includes personalised photo bags, phone cases and engravings too.

I always make my mum a photo calendar for Christmas each year, and the Tesco Photo online system is so easy to use, just upload, drag and drop!

I also discovered a beautiful range of blank photo albums, so if you’re looking to save money on your Christmas shopping, this is a super way to send a special, handmade gift as albums start from just £3.50.

Having just celebrated Alice’s first birthday, it was only fitting I designed some really personal Thank You cards to send out to our party guests. I chose a photo from my phone, uploaded it and personalised the front and inside with text, leaving space for Alice to do some drawing too. Photo greeting cards start from £2.99, and can be personalised with whatever you’d like to say.

Tesco Photo offer a great selection of photo blocks if you’re tired of getting framed pictures. These are so fun and becoming increasingly popular in my household. Alice just loves studying them and there’s no danger of her ripping the photo out as it’s secure between the glass.

Speaking of Alice, here’s what she got up to while I was busy taking photos of my own for this blog post. Happy as Jack Skellington on Christmas day with a packet of crisps in her cot!

See the whole range for yourself at Tesco Photo, and get personalising some wonderful gifts this Christmas 🙂

Saharasplash x

My latest seasonal fashion post is now live- head over to read it here

PR samples included, all thoughts and views my own

A seasonal shift in style

When the leaves start falling and the weather reaches single digits, you know a change is coming for your wardrobe. Whether you’re a smart dresser, a casual babe or somewhere inbetween like me, a new season is a great excuse for a good old look in those drawers to get yourself prepared and warm. Today’s post features several brands which I’ve never blogged about before. A seasonal shift in style is coming your way in three, two, one…

The houndstooth print is a failsafe from September to December, especially when it’s in the form of a darling, high-waisted miniskirt. My collection of Karen Millen cardigans are the perfect length for this look, and no doubt I will be trying them all with this skirt from Unique 21.

My buckle belt is a brand new addition from my sister’s belt biz @e.buckled and this just completes my first seasonal style look.

Look two is a grungy/urban street vibe, and yes the leopard print is out in full force! I’ve paired these lightweight palazzo trousers from Unique 21 with an amazing lace bodysuit from Catwalk Clothing and some black tights to beat the morning chill. The burgundy sketchers add a colourful pop along with a dark lip and some beautiful lashes courtesy of KISS products.

I chose to adorn a suede effect satchel bag to add a bit more swag and a leopard print hair clip to tie the whole getup together.

My final look to honour a seasonal shift in style is more of a night time glam look. I’ve got the same beautiful lace on top but switched the bottom up to a glitzy skirt from Minnie’s Boutique and snakeskin accessories.

Even though my style may change from day to day and season to season, my love of fashion still sticks around. A huge thanks to Catwalk Clothing and Unique 21 for helping bring this blog post to life.

Saharasplash x

If a seasonal shift in style has left you wanting more, head over to read all about an exclusive launch party with Pandora Jewellery and Mabel.

PR Samples included