Friday, 22 January 2016

Someone special made a visit to our house!

On Friday 8th January 2016 something awesome happened.

Well, something awesome happened for Chester. 

After weeks and weeks of wobbling, twisting and turning, at the age of 7 and a half, Chester's first wobbly tooth fell out! 

Despite days of trying his very hardest to pull it out, at times causing his gum to bleed (typical boy), it fell out at the most unexpected of times. On a very average journey home. Chester put a sweet in his mouth and said very calmly 'my tooth has just come out, I almost swallowed it'! 

Of course this caused Chester and Millie to get very excited. The prospect of the tooth fairy finally visiting our house was just amazing!

So at bedtime, Chester carefully placed his tooth underneath his pillow, and then a very rare thing happened. Both children went to sleep almost instantly! The added bonus of this was that it was Millie's birthday the next day.

When Chester woke up at 4am (crazy child) to check under his pillow, he discovered that the tooth fairy had been. This is what she had left for him... 

I think just this once we can let him off for the 4am wake up call, because it was just so lovely to see how happy he was that the tooth fairy had actually been and had left him not only a brand new coin, but also a special card because it was his very first tooth! 

How old was your child when they lost their first tooth? 

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The Woodlands Beefeater has had a makeover!

Now I don't know about you, but I consider Beefeater restaurant chains to be a household name. It is what I would call a go to family friendly restaurant. Actually, the last time I visited a Beefeater restaurant was with lots of family to celebrate my Nan's 85th Birthday.

Recently though, we were invited to review The Woodlands Beefeater in Gravesend, Kent.

Living in Kent ourselves meant that it was just a short trip down the motorway for us, it was a great excuse for some quality family time (and as we discovered some quality food!) The restaurant is conveniently situated just a couple of minutes off of the M2 motorway so very easy to find. 

We were very impressed with the recent makeover the restaurant has undergone. I bet you can guess which part of this lovely Wall Art Chester found this hilarious...

 The whole decor was lovely, very modern and updated, yet it still had a lovely homely feel to it. 

The restaurant is clearly very popular, we arrived for a late lunch at 3.30pm and it was bustling with people. But in a good way, not a noisy over crowded way. Our waitress Sharon was really lovely, she took the time to listen to what the children wanted to excitedly tell her, and gave us her personal recommendations when we couldn't decide! She even gave the children extra colouring sheets when they asked for them. Which kept them entertained whilst we waited for the food to arrive. 

As it was Sunday, and after Sharon's recommendation, I went for the Roast Lamb which was delicious  and cooked to perfection! I also had the side of Cauliflower cheese, which was a little too Al dente for my liking. 

Craig went for the Steak with unlimited triple cooked chips. Craig's logic was that a restaurant like this was only as good as its steak. Luckily Craig gave it the thumbs up! The chips were so delicious that he was disappointed he couldn't quite manage to eat more than one portion! 

The children's menu is Mr Men themed, which took Craig and I back to our childhoods! But it is a timeless classic so I can see why they have gone for this theme. I like the fact that the children's menu has got different options, Chester and Millie are not huge eaters so for them the 2 courses plus a drink was the best option for them. But for only 50p more they could add on a starter (or desert if your chose a starter for your 2nd course!). The menu had lots of different choices, I think Beefeater have clearly put a lot of work into understanding the younger generation. They clearly know that not every child wants beans with their nuggets or chips with their burger. Chester especially felt important that he was given choices to go with the pizza he chose, even more so because our waitress asked him and not us! 

We also all indulged in pudding, which was a real treat because at home we rarely have pudding! Craig went for the Cherry Bakewell tart, which is a new addition to the menu and was apparently very nice. Sadly he saved none for me to try! 

I went for the Apple and Cherry Crumble, because let's face it, nothing says winter warmer better than a crumble! This one didn't disappoint it was sweet from the apple, sour from the cherry and had a lovely crumble top. 

Chester went for the cookies and ice cream, which was pictured in a little Mr Men pouch, but showed up with no Mr Men theming which I think Chester was a little disappointed with. I am told the cookies were vey yummy and chewy! 

Millie went for the create your own ice cream dish, which came with a lovely array of sweets. Millie couldn't believe her luck! 

Overall we had a great meal at The Woodlands Beefeater. We were all very impressed with the make over, it really suits the restaurant and puts across very cleverly, in a tongue in cheek way what Beefeater prides itself on. Beef! 

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Millie's 4th Birthday

This time last week my little baby Millie turned 4 years old. FOUR YEARS OLD!!

Time goes by so quickly and she is growing into a beautiful and kind young lady. 

Some things never change though as she is still totally and utterly obsessed with Pandas! 

Her dreams and aspirations at the age of 4 are still to move to China to be a Panda Keeper and work in the Panda Nursery! She has a newly added goal to work towards too, apparently when she is 12 she is going to be on Ninja Warrior UK! She loves that programme! 

Millie had a great birthday, she asked for the Paw Patrol Pup Pad. Which she got and was very happy about! 

She asked if she could have a party this year and as its her last year at Nursery School I agreed. We hired our local (and very new) community centre and a frozen bouncy castle and let 24 excited 3 and 4 year olds run wild! Crazy, but lots of fun! 

The most popular game of the party was pin the badge on Chase, and we had lots of fun playing musical bumps! 

Millie of course requested a Paw Patrol cake, but it will also come as no surprise that she wanted pandas on her cake too. So I had to improvise and use cupcakes! 

Millie had a fantastic 4th Birthday, I am so pleased she managed to spend it with all of her little friends. I am looking forward to see what the next year will bring for Millie, she is such a happy child, but she has a strong mind and knows what she wants! 

Friday, 15 January 2016

Baby Born interactive unicorn

Millie is very much a child who love imaginative play. She is also a child who loves her dolls! You may remember a while back that she got a Baby Born interactive boy doll, which she named Chester after her brother! Well she still adores baby Chester and plays with him often.

What I love about the baby born range is that they really have thought about products from a child's point of view. This is where the Baby Born Interactive Unicorn comes in! 

I think imaginative play is very important to children, it always amazes me when I sit back and listen to the stories Chester and Millie create! So when the Baby Born interactive unicorn arrived you can imagine how thrilled Millie was! Every child loves a unicorn right?! 

As Millie explored the unicorn she worked out very quickly that it was a very special unicorn. It was the perfect size for her Baby Born interactive doll, it had coloured hair extensions with a comb and a brush, plus it has some decorative stickers! 

But that's not all! It also plays a tune if you push down on the unicorns horn. Millie calls it a lullaby, which of course is a must to help her get to sleep at bed time!

Overall we are very happy with the unicorn, from a child's point of view it is the perfect imaginative play tool. From a parents point of view it is a robust, well made toy which provides hours of fun for my child! 

The Baby Born interactive unicorn can be found in a number of well know retailers, and most are selling it for £27.99 which I think it a good price considering what it does and the amount of hours of play Millie has already got out of it. I am really happy that her Baby Born dolls are also able to fit on it and it's a great addition to her collection! 

Monday, 28 December 2015

Enjoying the quiet moments

As I sit here and type this, I am surrounded by complete and utter silence. We have spent Christmas at my parents in Dorset, it's been great but as expected with two young children it's also been very full on!

So today, I have taken the very rare opportunity to sit in silence and reflect on the last few days, whilst Craig and my Dad take the children down to the Quay. No doubt they will be in the arcades as its Chester and Millie's favourite place to go! 

Silence is very rare for me, if I am not working I am looking after the children. But today has made me realise that I really do need to try and make some time for myself. Just an hour a week would be great. 

As a family, our lives are unbelievably hectic and one great big juggling act. So I think it would be lovely to stop and appreciate the little things from time to time! 

Christmas this year has been fantastic,both children really appreciated everything they were given. We have all spent the last 3 days playing air hockey, dolls prams, and loads and loads of board games! 

Not to mention a trip to the Panto...

Decorating a gingerbread house...

And a trip to the beach ...

Craig and I have both managed to have Christmas off of work this year so it has been really lovely to spend the time not rushing (although still busy) and simply appreciating the children and the games they have asked us to play. 

I hope you have all had a great Christmas too?!  

Chester's trip to Selhurst Park for the Junior Eagles Christmas Party.

Chester is still football mad, and more importantly Crystal Palace mad! I love it, I love his excitement and passion for the game.

So this Christmas I thought I would treat him to a ticket to the Junior Eagles Christmas Party. It's exclusively for Junior Members and costs only £10! 

Chester was so excited, on the drive up there he was wondering what players he would meet, and what he would say to them if he did meet them. He was so excited at the prospect of meeting Pete the Eagle too! 

We arrived, he was given a wrist band and we were seated for dinner, which Chester really enjoyed. 

Then he spotted Pete and Alice Eagle and there was no stopping him. He made a beeline to them and gave them so many hugs! 

Soon his colour group were called up to meet the players. We walked into the room not knowing who was going to be there, and it was great. Chester was totally star struck and could barely speak! He couldn't quite believe that some of the players he looks up to and respects, were right in front of him!

He was especially pleased to meet Wayne Hennessy a fellow goal keeper. As you all know Chester is a goal keeper for his local team and he also does goal keeper training at SEFA. Meeting someone who loves goal keeping as much as he does just blew his mind and he couldn't get all those things out that he wanted to say! 

After the excitement of meeting the players he joined in with some Party games, which were hosted by some of the Crystals (Crystal Palace's cheerleaders). He had a really great time at the party and was thrilled to receive a Christmas gift of a scarf, which has been on his wish list for a while. 


I am so pleased that I made the decision to take him, it was a great experience for him and a lovely treat too. 

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Portable North Pole excels again!

I'm not going to lie, I have really struggled with Christmas this year! Working full time and trying to do the Christmas shopping whilst also doing Christmassy things with the children has been tough. If fact I have certainly not enjoyed the festive season as much as I normally do, and it has certainly made me appreciate how precious time is!

One thing that I am pleased I have managed to find the time to do is Portable North Pole. We have done it for a few years now, so the kids kind of expect their message from Santa! 

For those of you who don't know... PNP - Portable North Pole is one of the most personal Santa experiences in the world. You can easily create customized video or phone messages from Santa Claus for your loved ones, adding information about the recipient and uploading photos for a completely personalized greeting. The high-quality messages make the North Pole village come alive, and you can experience the magic for FREE!

You can access the PNP experience online at or via our mobile app (compatible with Apple and Android devices). Premium videos, available for a small fee, are longer and include more personalisation options and storylines. Bundle packages are great for families and an affordable option for those who wish to make more than one video (often selected by parents wishing to make videos for multiple children). The passes also unlock exclusive Christmas Eve video content and allows the video to be downloaded in HD to keep as a souvenir for years to come!
We have got a gold pass and it is certainly worth its money. It includes Unlimited access to all 7 premium video storylines, calls from Santa, an exclusive Christmas Eve video, and HD download.
Chester and Millie can, like most children, be little pickles at times. So I created them both unique personalised videos from the man in red himself at the beginning of December, in the video Father Christmas explained that Chester and Millie were not quite on the good list yet. He explained that they needed to work hard at being good to get onto the good list. 

It's very easy to create the videos, you simply answer some questions and add some photos of the child and then the magic of PNP comes to life in the form of a video! 

Let me tell you it has worked a treat. Any time they are playing up I remind them of what Father Christmas said in their videos and they soon sort out their behaviour! I suspect that what Father Christmas will do in a couple of days time is send them both another video explaining that they have made it onto the good list! 
Something new this year is the Christmas Eve video. I am really excited about this, can't wait to see what it's all about! 
Portable North Pole have given me a discount code to share with you, my lovely readers, so that you can enjoy the magic too! Giving you 20% off any paid products, if you enter the code BLG20PNP when you are at check-out! 
So, what do you think? Are you going to use PNP this year?!