Sunday, 11 September 2016

Dear Millie.....






Dear Millie,

As I write this, you are upstairs trying your hardest to go to sleep. It's extra hard for you this evening because you are so excited about your new adventure tomorrow. 

You have been waiting for this day for such a long time. You are ready for it, in my head I know you are. But in my heart I am struggling to come to terms with the fact that my little baby, my cheeky little Millie Poppins, is old enough to start School! 

I hope that you enjoy School as much as you think you will. You are such a confident, happy, smiley little girl, and you love to learn. You are an adventurer and you love to play, especially imaginatively. You are so proud of the fact you can write your name, and other letters too. You 'read' a picture version of the Ugly Duckling yesterday, from listening to that I am pretty certain you will love reading as much as I do!  

You are strong headed, just like your brother! You know exactly what you want and what you need to do to get it. But you must learn how to control this, your brother has learnt the hard way. I know he wouldn't want you to go through the same School experience as him. 

I know that your recent tantrum phase is caused by frustration. By your brain needing a little more stimulation. I hope that by going to School, you will no longer feel the need to tantrum over the slightest thing. You will be occupied enough to be distracted by the smallest of annoyances. 

When tomorrow comes, I know that you will be a confident, happy, care free, little girl walking into that classroom. I will walk away with a tear in my eye. But it will be a happy tear. I am so happy for you, and even though I won't be there, I will be thinking about you all day. Wondering who you are sitting next too, how you have managed with your School dinners, if you have managed to see your brother. 

I really hope that you find your place in your classroom quickly, and that you don't loose your cheeky sparkle or your panda loving enthusiasm. But most of all I hope that your teachers can see the kind, caring, panda loving little girl that I see every day. I hope that they suss out what you are about pretty quickly, and that they will know when you need cuddles and when you need a reality check! 

Have fun little one! 

Lots of love
Mummy xxxx



Thursday, 8 September 2016

BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL TEDDY BEAR DAY WITH TWO £5FURRY FRIENDS ON SEPTEMBER 9th

I very rarely share press releases, purely because I only want to share content relevant to me and my readers. But when this one popped in my inbox today I knew I simply had to share! So if you love Build a Bear and love helping a worthy cause, please read on! 


Retailer to offer one-day-onlyin-store event featuring commemorative £bear, two additional £5 teddy bears and a donation match for three charitable organisations

                                                           
                            

 Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW), an interactive destination forcreating personalized furry
 friends, is inviting guests to celebrate the brand’s favorite holiday, National Teddy Bear Day, in stores
 on Sept. 9 with £5 teddy bears, all while helping children across the globe.

To mark the occasionguests of Build-A-Bear Workshop stores can make their own limited-edition National Teddy Bear Day bear for just $5 (USD) / $5 (CAD) / £5 (GBP), plus applicable taxes, in U.S., Canada and U.K. stores on Friday, Sept. 9. This is the first time the brand has created a commemorative bear for National Teddy Bear DayTwo additional bears will also be available for £5 each: Lil’ Vanilla Bean Cub and Lil’ Hazelnut Cub. Each guest can purchase a maximum of five £5 bears, while supplies last.

In the spirit of the brand’s mission to “add a little more heart to life,” for every £5 bear purchased on Sept. 9, Build-A-Bear will donate a furry friend to one of three charitable organizationsToys for Tots in the United States, up to 30,000 furry friends; Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada in Canada, up to 1,000 furry friends; and Childhood Firstalong with other children’s charities, in the United Kingdom, up to 6,000 furry friends

We celebrate teddy bears every day, but Build-A-Bear Workshop is commemorating National Teddy Bear Day with exclusive £furry friends and a heart-felt opportunity to share the hug of a teddy bear with kids in need,” said Gina Collins, chief marketing officer, Build-A-Bear Workshop. “With the support of our charitable partners around the world, we hope to help as many children as possible experience the joy of a new furry friend during this fun, in-store event.”

During the week of National Teddy Bear Day, teddy bear fans can:

• Visit BuildABear.co.uk/TeddyBearDay to learn more about the in-store event and find a nearby Build-A-Bear Workshop location

• Attend the National Teddy Bear Day Twitter Party hosted by Build-A-Bear Workshop on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 9 p.m. ET to answer fun triviainteract with the brand and qualify for thechance to win prizes. To participate, register online at http://bit.ly/2bCHkQU.

• Follow the brand on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram and share a favorite teddy bear or Build-A-Bear Workshop memory with hashtag #NationalTeddyBearDay and @BuildABear.

The brand will celebrate its 20th birthday in 2017, and 2016’s National Teddy Bear Day marks the kick-off of more than a year of celebrations.


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Hotter Shoes.... The most comfortable shoes I have ever worn!

A little while ago, if you follow my Instagram account, you would have seen that I was lucky enough to attended a fantastic blogger event at Hotter Shoes in Maidstone. We were treated to drinks, nibbles and given lots of information and history about Hotter Shoes. Then we had lots of time to browse the store and try on lots of shoes, and even got to select a pair to review!



When trying on the shoes in store, I had to explain that I always have trouble finding shoes to fit my feet. Shoe shopping is usually something I dread as I almost always come away disappointed. But this experience was something totally new for me, instead of trying on loads and finding nothing to fit. I tried on loads and found loads that fit! I was so shocked! I was given lots of advice about different types of insoles to help make different styles comfy too which was really helpful. 


I was one of the last bloggers to chose my shoes, I kept changing my mind. So in the end what I did was pick one pair to review and another which I purchased because I just loved them so much. 


Of course, I never expected them to stay that comfy for long. I mean everyone knows, to wear shoes in you have to suffer for a good few days, right? Wrong! The very reason this review has taken me so long to write is that I wanted to give them as much testing as possible, I mean the title for this post is a very bold statement. You can't just go around saying 'they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn' about any old shoe can you?!  

So I am happy to report back that They really are amazing shoes, I have experienced no wearing in pain whatsoever and they fit my feet perfectly! It turns out that Hotter Shoes are so confident that their shoes will fit without having to suffer the pain of wearing them in, that they give you a 100% happy, 90 day no quibble guarantee. Which fills me with lots of confidence, and clearly says that they are confident in their own product. 

Let me tell you a bit more about the shoes I chose. Cloud Shoes. So with a name like that expectations were high. Hotter say; 'Cloud's lighter than light sole and stretchable slipper design, together with its memory foam footbed and textile lining, give you that wonderful floating feeling. Complemented by contrasting stitch detail and a handy back loop, as well as available in three contrasting colours.' 



Well. After wearing them for weeks, for walks in the county park, long days exploring London and general day to day Mummy duties. I can confirm that these shoes really are lighter than light, the memory foam insole really does give you the floating feeling and despite the amount of walking done, my feet have not hurt or ached, not even once! As a busy Mum of two, I would say these are the ideal shoes. I am practically living in them, not only are the comfy, but I am finding that they match a lot of my wardrobe too.



Now the other shoes I chose to buy were called Feather, they are part of the ultra light h92 collection. They are what I would call Trainers. Can you see my theme of shoe here?! I am all about the comfort! The Feather shoes are also lightweight and with a mesh fabric they let feet breathe (and trust me, my feet are the kind that need to breathe!) they also have a memory insole too. I recently went to Go Ape! With some friends, which is one of those tree climbing, zip wire kind of courses. I certainly put my Feather Hotter Shoes to the test here! It was 3 hours of intense climbing, balancing, swinging and zip wiring and at the end of it all I was exhausted. But my feet weren't! They were cool, comfortable and happy! 



We are going to Florida next year, which will involve lots of walking, and I have to say that both of these pairs of Hotter Shoes will be making it into my suitcase. They are practical, comfy, stylish and fantastic value for money. What more could you want in a shoe?! 

Whilst at the blogger event we were told that the soles of the Hotter Shoes made in the Hotter factory are filled with millions of air bubbles. At the time I thought that was amazing, and after wearing the shoes for weeks I now think it's genius! 

Monday, 1 August 2016

Crystal Palace Park, one year on!

Crystal Palace Park, is hands down our favourite park to visit. It's in South London and takes us just under an hour to get there, parking is free, there are dinosaurs to find and a farm to visit! What more could you want?! Well let me tell you, that is not even the half of it! So much to explore and almost all of it is free! Of course, it also holds a special place in Chester's heart because it's very close to his beloved Crystal Palace Football Club!

Well, yesterday we visited Crystal Palace Park, along with the inlaws and our Neice. We had an absolutely fantastic day, spent hours visiting the farm animals, hunting for dinosaurs, picnicing, pedalo riding, maze exploring, and ice cream eating. It truly was a great day. 


When I got home and went through my picture, I compared them to similar ones taken last summer. I was absolutely blown away by how much Chester and Millie have changed in just one short year! 


They really have changed haven't they?! Chester looks so grown up now, and Millie is so tall! 

Anyway, here are some snipits of our fantastic day.... 












Monday, 18 July 2016

Stumbling across lots of fictional character fun!

So as you may have already read, we headed up to London at the weekend for some Pizza Express and Ice Age fun.

But on the way to that fun we stumbled upon something epic! 

A BFG fun day in Leicester Square! 


Chester is so excited about the release of this movie, he loves the book, so you can imagine how excited he was when we stumbled across this free fun day! 



As soon as we walked in we were offered free ice creams


We then were asked if we would like to have our photo taken on The BFG's hand! Both children were super impressed by this and it is their prize possession from the day! 



We then wandered around further to find some of the Dream Jars that will be scattered around London this summer for everyone to find, and Chester and Millie even got to make their own! Chester's is filled with a dream about Monsters in his room and Millie's is filled with a dream about a baby going down a slide?! 



Chester was very impressed with the snozcumber (is that even how you spell it?!) and the fact you could climb in it! Although he did say it was a little slimed, eww! 


It really was a fantastic start to our day trip to London! 

To top off our day we also managed to spot Stay Pufft AND a ghostbuster in Waterloo Station!! It certainly was an awesome fictional character kinda day! 




Sunday, 17 July 2016

Kayaking fun with the Beavers.

For a while now Chester has been part of an awesome Beaver colony. 5th Sittingbourne. He is a funny little boy so sometimes he doesn't always want to join in with the activities, and he won't even entertain the idea of camp! But over the last few months the leaders have manage to coax him out a bit more.

This weekend it was arranged for the Beavers to go Kayaking! Chester woke up and said he didn't want to go (what a surprise!) but we took him anyway and he had an amazing time! 

They all got a quick lesson on how to use the paddles (that's probably not the name, can you tell I am not down with the boating language?!) 


Then they all had almost an hour on the water! 




They even got to play some games, which were lots of fun and great for their confidence! 


I am so pleased that Chester gets the opportunity to take part in these kind of things. It's really great for his confidence and his social skills. He really had an amazing time, and I think we are super lucky to have found such an awesome Beaver Colony! Millie is on the waiting list too, she is counting down the days until she is old enough to join. I suspect she will be the exact opposite of her brother as she is really looking forward to Beaver Camp! 

Pizza Express and Ice Age Collision Course come together!

Yesterday was one of those really memorable happy family days!


We had been invited up to London to check out the collaboration between Pizza Express and the new Ice Age film, Ice Age Collision Course. (A huge thank you to Ruth and Katy for organising!) 

We found our way to Pizza Express on Dean Street, to see what all of the fuss was about! Chester and Millie instantly noticed the additional activity sheets on our table, and happily got stuck in whilst we waited for our food! 



One of the activities on the sheet was to draw your favourite Ice Age Character along with your favourite pizza, for a chance to win a family trip to Hollywood and a VIP tour of the world famous Fox Studios! How amazing is that?! 

Well Chester and Millie love the Ice Age films so happily discussed their favourite characters, Chester loves Diego, the tough as nails Saber Tooth Tiger. Millie loves Sid the happy go lucky Sloth! This kept them entertained until our food arrived. 


As a family, we really love Pizza Express. The Children's menu is amazing value for money at £6.95 for 3 courses, it always makes my two feel really grown up that they get to have a 3 course meal. Especially as their choices can mostly be found on the adult menu in some form or another. 
Both children had dough balls to start. Chester had the American pizza, Millie went for the Margherita. Then for dessert they chose the sundae with fruit sauce and strawberries. Of course they also had the famous Bambinoccino which they both love, only so that they can pretend to be drinking coffee like the grown ups! 





Of course, I didn't miss out. I was treated to my favourite starter Brushetta con Funghi and then the amazing new summer main of Hawaiian Pizza Express, which was a perfect balance of salt and sweet flavours. With an amazing pineapple chutney and salty prosciutto, on a white bechamel base! I am not always a fan of tomato bases so this is now my new favourite pizza, I hope it stays on the menu for longer than the summer! 



With very full bellies we walked round to Twentieth Century Fox where we were greeted by Sid and Scrat. The children couldn't believe their eyes! 



We were then very privaliged to be treated to a special showing of Ice Age Collision Course complete with drinks and popcorn! 


We all absolutely loved the film. It was very funny and had the adults laughing as loud as the children! It managed to keep my two sat in their seats and glued to the screen the whole time, with both of them declaring it was 'awesome' at the end! 

On our way out we managed to sneak another cuddle with Sid and Scrat, which really topped the day off nicely! 


A big thank you to Pizza Express, Twentieth Century Fox, and Ruth & Katie for organising our fantastic day! If you are stuck for plans in the summer holidays, I would totally recommend Pizza Express and a visit to the cinema to see Ice Age! Both my two came home very happy!