Monday, 29 October 2012

Halloween cupcakes

Day one of half term and Chester requested that we made some Halloween cupcakes. I was happy to do this as I love to bake!

We got all of the ingredients into a bowl and Chester mixed it all together.



Then we decided to add some green food colour paste to make them extra Halloween like!




As you can see they are VERY green! 


Chester is not a fan of icing, so we just used a small amount of water icing and then he decorated them with Ghosts, bats and halloween sprinkles!



Despite there colour they are very tasty, Chester thinks we can have them on Halloween but I am not sure that they will make it to Wednesday haha!


Finding YOUR Mickey Mouse Treasure!


As everyone knows we are all massive Disney fans in our house (well actually not just our house, all of our family are Disney mad!). So when I was contacted last week to be informed of a new competition Disney were running I was super excited! I am currently in the process of digging out what I will use for my entry but as soon as I find it I will update this blog post with a picture! We first went to Walt Disney World when I was 6 and my Sister was 4. I have so many fantastic memories of the trip, in fact it is by far my favourite childhood memory, which is why we are so keen to take Chester and Millie to Walt Disney World at such a young age, they will be 5 and 22 months when we go!

Whilst looking for my entry (details of the competition are below!) I came across some photo albums at my parents house and thought I would share a few from that trip in 1992! I warn you now that the pictures are not of the best quality (oh how technology has changed in such a short space of time!) and to be honest nor is the dress sense haha! 

My sister on the left and me on the right at Chef Mickey's!

Meeting Robin Hood in The Magic Kingdom!


Gadget was my hero when I was a child! 

We went during the 20th Anniversary year, this is  postcard celebrating it, I seem to remember we had t shirts too?!!

So as you can see we had a lovely time! If you have any Disney Memorabilia then please  read on to see how you could win a magical holiday to Disneyland Paris!


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Zoe and Beans: Hello Oscar childrens book review

We were recently sent a copy of Zoe and Beans, Hello Oscar to review. As you all know we love a good book in this house, so we were super excited to get stuck in!


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Finger Paints..... gone wrong

Today I made a big mistake.....

When Chester asked me if we could get the finger paints out I said yes. That was the mistake right there.

I think this will be the one and ONLY time I say that I am thankful for the wooden floor in our front room. Chester wanted to let Millie have a go too so I stripped her down to just her bodysuit, put lots of paper on the floor, and six pots of finger paints. Looking back at it now, maybe I should of just got the one pot out?


MAM Trainer Cup review

Now I have to admit that Millie is a bit of a fuss pot when it comes to cups. She is a bit lazy and likes to have a soft spout to drink from as it is similar to her bottle. It is probably a bit of a comfort thing too, because it is what she is used to.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Millie's fun morning at the local Children's Centre

I know I have said it before but we are so lucky where we live, we have some really great local Sure Start Children's Centres nearby and most of the groups and activities they offer for the under 5's are free!

This morning Millie and I went to bumps and babies group which is aimed at Children 18 months and under. Sometimes we go to another centre to the Musical Caterpillar group, but this morning I decided bumps and babies was the way to go!

I am so pleased with my decision because Millie and I had a great morning! As Halloween is next week the theme was Halloween. To begin with whist all the babies/toddlers were arriving we just played toys and then once everyone was settled we got to get out the pencils, paints and glue to make a Halloween picture!

It was Millie's first attempt at colouring, she was very excited but also a bit confused! She was happy to do a little scribble and then watch the older ones.





Next we went to another table where we decorated our own Halloween cookie! As you can probably imagine, Millie was not interested in the decorating she just wanted to eat hers!



So I decorated one for Chester (who is at Nursery today) while Millie ate hers!

Another great thing about the Children's Centre is that they provide a snack for the children. Today snack was a variety of fruit, veg and a couple of savories such as bread sticks and chicken. Its a great way to encourage the children to eat something healthy, especially as they are seeing the other children eat so they are much more likely to try something new. Millie, of course has no worries with eating, she is like a human dustbin!



So after a fun filled morning, Millie fell asleep on the way home. We both had a lovely time and it didn't cost us a penny.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Skylander Giants!

Tree Rex 
Last week Chester was very excitable, this was due to Skylander Giants release date being Friday!

He got a little bit of money for his Birthday last month so I researched Skylander packs and managed to get a good deal on the Skylander Giants Starter pack with Sainsburys entertainment so we pre ordered it for him. He actually only needed the booster pack as he already has the original Skylanders game and all of the original figures, however the deal I got meant that getting the Giants starter pack was much better value.


Garden Games Giant Dominoes review

There a lot of traditional games that I would love to play with my Children, but I am always very hesitant because of small pieces. Mainly because I worry that the small pieces will get lost and then the game will become unplayable. If you live with a child like Chester who has absolutely no tidying up skills you will understand my reasoning!

So recently I was asked if I would like to review Giant Dominoes by Garden Games, and this is how we got on!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Something fun to do on a nice Autumn day!

Chester is a child who needs his mind to be occupied at all times! So this morning when I saw that it was nice and mild outside I decided what better way to occupy him than to have a nice walk. I then thought outside of my little box a bit and came up with the idea of doing a check list of things to find whilst we were out and about.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Talking Poppy Cat soft toy Review

Recently we were sent a talking Poppy Cat soft toy to review, needless to say both of my children were very excited about this. But Millie was so excited I decided to film her reaction to the Talking Poppy Cat.....

Monday, 15 October 2012

The planning starts now!


Ok, so you may or may not know this. But, I am an obsessive planner! I cant help myself and it has gotten a lot worse since having the kiddies! I think it all stems from my Dad, when we were younger and went to Walt Disney World he would take a print out itinerary and we would stick to it.

So as I mentioned the other day on social media sites, We have booked a holiday to Walt Disney World, Florida! I am beyond excited about it, Our whole family is Disney mad!

We had been looking for a while and had planned to go as a group of ten consisting of me, hubbie, Chester, Millie, my mum, my dad, my cousin, his wife, their two children. However, because of date restrictions due to my cousins children needing to go in half term we finally decided that they would go in half term and then as we could be more flexible we would find the best deal and go as a group of six in either October or November 2013.

So after looking for a while my Dad found a really good deal staying in Disney's new Art of Animation Resort. So after making sure everyone was happy to go and after getting the price down some more we booked it!

Chester will be five and Millie will be around 21 months and it will not only be there first time on an airplane but it will also be there first time to Walt Disney World! We all cant wait to see Disney through there eyes!

Because they will both be quite young when we go, I will of course need to do loads of planning! Ok, maybe that is just an excuse for me to plan haha! I have already got a note book dedicated to Walt Disney World planning and have started to use as many Disney forums as I can to get hints and tips.

Although we have been before, the last time being on our honeymoon nearly 6 years ago. I still think there is a lot that we need to do differently or find another way of doing things, because of the kiddies. I mean I do not think they are going to last until 1am in the parks?!

I am such a big kid!!

Look how young Craig looks hahahaha

We have not yet told Chester (and Millie) but I am starting to up there Disney intake bit by bit haha. We normally end up watching a Disney DVD at least once a week but so far it has been everyday since we booked! I imagine they will be super excited when we eventually tell them, I am not quite sure when that will be yet either! At the moment my thinking is to possibly get them a hand luggage sized bag each and fill it with Disney items/clues?!

So if anyone has any hints, tips, ideas or suggestions for any aspect of our Holiday I would love to hear them!


Protecting your home against fire




When concerning yourself with the risks of fire most people have many of the rudimentary bases covered. These generally are to do with inside the home: fire extinguishers and fire blankets in the kitchen areas and smoke alarms throughout the home. 


Sunday, 14 October 2012

My First Hama Beads review

When I was a child one of my great childhood memories was spending all weekend making some Hama Bead Creations and getting my mum to iron them for me! But that was probably around the age of 7 upwards with the tiny Hama Beads. So imagine my excitement when we got sent some My first Hama Beads (Maxi Hama Beads) for Chester to try! They are for ages 3 and up and the beads are much larger than the ones for older Children.


If you do not know what Hama Beads are, you will by the end of this post!

We set up Chester's craft table and opened up the Maxi Hama Bead Dinosaur set, it came with a plastic board template to place the Hama Beads onto, enough Maxi Hama Beads for two dinosaurs, an instruction booklet, a pattern template, 2 Hama stands and some ironing paper.


The idea of the Hama Beads is that you put the beads which have a hole all the way through onto the plastic board, I think this is great for developing childrens fine motor skills which in turn helps them to do things like grasp a pen correctly. So the Maxi Hama Beads are perfect for the age guide of 3 and up. Chester is aged 4 and had no problems with it.

Once I had explained and showed Chester what to do he was more than happy to start designing his Dinosaur. As I said before, it does come with a design sheet to help you out but Chester was more than happy to create his own design. In fact he created his own design several times before we got to the ironing stage! But thats the beauty of  Hama Beads nothing is final until you iron!


I would say we spent a good hour on the design and putting all the beads on. I had to help Chester a little, but for the most part he was happy to do it all by himself.


When it came to the ironing part, I actually had to search for our iron! Thats right I did not know where it was, everyone can laugh at me if they like! I hold my hands up I hate ironing!
Once I had found the iron it was a very easy process, all I needed to do was place the ironing paper over the beads on the board and gently iron over it until I could see that the Hama Beads had fused together.


I then peeled the paper off and (as advised in the instruction booklet) placed the Hama dinosaur between 2 cookery books to cool down and keep flat.


Chester was very excited and could not wait to see the finished product!




He was so so proud of it, he has not stopped talking about it since and he is desperate to make another dinosaur, which I have promised we will do in the week. I have shown him the different types of Maxi Hama beads and boards you can get and he loves them! He said next he wants to get the humans one (his words!) so I think I will be popping them on his Christmas list!

I would totally recommend Maxi Hama Beads or any of the Hama range, it is such a fun and easy thing to do and there are so many different designs, colours and ideas so it will keep your little ones entertained for hours!

If you would love to see some more Hama creations why not check out this pinterest board, which is full of great designs!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Bad baby brain and getting worse!!

Oh dear! This week my baby brain has been awful. Well actually I can not decide if it is baby brain, tiredness or a combo of the two?!

What topped it off was yesterday. I was driving to Chester's swimming lessons all chuffed with my self for leaving in plenty of time and not having to rush, it was only when I pulled up into the car park that I realised I had left his swim stuff by the front door! The poor little mite was then 15 mins late so therefore missed half of his class. I was so annoyed with myself!

I don't know if this is the same with everyone else, but I am feeling that my baby brain has gotten worse since  I have had the second child?!! OOPSIE....... I interrupt this post to tell you of yet another baby brain thing I have just done whilst typing this post! I got distracted by something on facebook, then realised that I had closed my blog page rather than facebook!!! Thank goodness for save haha!

So anyway my point is what can I do to improve this baby brain or am I just going to have to accept that my brain is having lots of fun making me look stupid?!

I would love to know the silly baby brain things you have done! All comments below!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Purr-Fect half term fun


PURR-FECT HALF TERM FUN 
POPPY CAT TO APPEAR AT JOHN LEWIS AND  
THE ENTERTAINER 
Guest appearance by voice of Poppy Cat,  
Joanna Page on 1st November


As you all know, we are Poppy Cat fans in this house. So imagine how excited we were to find out about the following events! As I know I have some Poppy Cat fans amongst my readers I thought I would share with you all......





This half term is packed with lots of fun for all of the family as Poppy Cat, the star of the hit pre-school series on Nick Jr, ITV1 and CITV visits John Lewis, Oxford Street, on 1st November from 11am -12.30pm to celebrate the launch of the new Poppy Cat toys and books, along with the voice of Poppy Cat, Joanna Page (Gavin & Stacey). Poppy Cat will also be making an appearance at The Entertainer stores throughout the country from 20th October – 5th November 2012. 

The John Lewis Poppy Cat day will see Poppy Cat herself join in on the fun with an action-packed story reading from the new Poppy Cat books called “All Aboard” and “Blast Off”.  There will be a colouring-in corner for children and visitors can go into a draw to win the new Large Soft Talking Poppy Cat toy and a copy of the new books. Plus, Poppy Cat stickers will be given to each child enjoying the fun. 

Poppy Cat will also be appearing at The Entertainer on Saturday 20th October in Manchester and Bury, and Saturday 27th October at Westfield Stratford and Bluewater. Visitors can take part in an in-store treasure hunt to find characters and enter into a competition to win a copy of Poppy Cat’s new DVD, Birthday Treasure and Other Adventures, plus family of four weekend at the safari-themed Chessington World of Adventures Resort Hotel complete with Zoo Days tickets. 
Poppy Cat is based on the award-winning book series created by Lara Jones that has sold more than 2.5 million copiesFor more information on the pre-school series, please visit www.poppycat.com, or become a fan of Poppy Cat’s on Facebook (www.facebook.com/officialpoppycatand Twitter (www.twitter.com/PoppyCat_).

Smart appliances for modern kitchens




The modern kitchen is so much more advanced than it was even as recently as five or ten years ago. The way in which smart and self-serviceable appliances have moved on is impressive, but what does the future have in store for appliances such as Dishwashers from appliances direct? At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, visitors got to see for themselves what they could expect from smart appliances in the coming months and years, and, understandably, were amazed at what was on display. 

Don't you just hate Telesales calls?!

WARNING!!!! Rant post coming up!!

Cold callers or telesales callers as they are also known have been on my mind a lot lately, Millie is teething. Badly. So we are not getting very much sleep at night time, therefore having her naps in the day time is essential (for my sanity if not anything else!). But recently, that has become harder and harder. All because of cold callers!


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Tots100 Home renovation challenge

Tots100 have teamed up with RatedPeople.com to bring Tots100 members a chance to win a £2,500 make over in a room of their choice!! Here is more info:

 RatedPeople.com, the website that connects homeowners with quality, local tradesmen, to bring you a very exciting competition with £2,500 up for grabs!

Tots100 and Ratedpeople.com are challenging you to makeover a room in the most creative way you can think of.

Tell us which room in your home you’d like to transform, and how you’d do it, and you could be in with a chance of winning £2,500 worth of tools, materials and expert tradesman advice. RatedPeople.com will provide you with the tradesman and pay for his/her time. The runner up will receive a mini makeover worth £500.


Use whatever medium you like to show us your ideas: photos, videos, Pinterest or any other innovative way you can think of. The more creative, the better!

Tell or show us exactly what you’d like your dream room to look like if you had the money or the guts; it could be your kitchen, bathroom, living room or bedroom.

So.... here is my entry! 

Our living room is the room that gets me down the most about our house. When we brought the house 7 years ago it was a new build. We waited so long for moving in day that we kind of rushed it and didn't question things that were wrong, looking back now that is my biggest regret about buying a new build house. 

Our living room is very badly designed it is a rectangle shape, and the main wall has a very long radiator all the way across it! Our TV does not really fit in the corner and with the growing number of toys we have space is becoming a real issue. So I have come up with a Pinterest Board showing what would need to happen to create my dream space saving living room!

Before you look at the board take a look at these two photos of how our living room looks at the moment, as you can see it certainly is lacking in space for the amount of stuff we have in there!






Ratedpeople.com renovation

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Baby Show celebrates its 10th Anniversary at Earls Court, 26-28th October 2012



I have been going to Baby Shows at least once a year since Chester was in my tummy! I love the fact that you can browse round and have a good look at all the latest baby and toddler products as well as getting some great advice from some professionals. I always come away with some useful tips and advice and also some great bargains!



I will be at the show on the Saturday, my advice to anyone wanting to go is to book tickets in advance as it is cheaper. Also to make sure you get there quite early, I like to get there early so I can plan my day around what is going on at the main stage and of course what stands I do not want to miss! It is a full day out so be prepared to be on your feet lots!



Here is some more information about the show and details on how you can get tickets:


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Interflora flowers




You and your partner have something special planned for an occasion such as an anniversary, birthday or even Valentine’s Day. You’re going out for a three-course meal at a quality restaurant in the centre of town, and plan to cap the occasion by buying each other special gifts. While she’s bought you something you wanted for ages weeks ago, you’re still unsure of what she would like, and after visiting the Interflora Flower gifts for her page, you’re still undecided about what to buy? 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Introducing Millie to different textures

I was at one of the local Childrens centres last week and they had some tubs for children to sit in, the tubs contained feathers. I sat Millie in one of the tubs and she had a great time! She spent a good 20 minutes feeling the feathers, picking them up, throwing them about.


She then moved on to the play mat and spent the rest of her time putting wooden blocks in and out of the block trolley!




It really got me thinking about what other different textures she has not yet experienced. She obviously already experiences different textures every day with toys she has etc. A feather is such a simple, well known thing to us but to Millie it was totally new and obviously very interesting to her.



I was looking through old photos and found pictures of Chester exploring the textures of jelly, he was the same age as Millie at the time!




I am going to get a list together, well actually I will probably get a pinterest board going with lots of ideas. So if you have any ideas or if anyone has written posts on this type of thing before please let me know so I can get some inspiration!

Wish me luck, I think the next few weeks are going to get messy! Thank goodness we have a wooden floor in the living room haha!

Millie and her Milk

Millie is now 9 months old, she is doing really well with weaning and now pretty much eats everything we do.  I love this new routine, it means we can all eat the same thing and (most of the time) eat it at the same time.

However, since slotting in with the same eating routine as us she has gone off of her milk.

She has never really been a big milk drinker, she dropped down to two 7oz bottles a day at around 6 months old. But now she is going off her bed time bottle, and I have to admit I am a little concerned about it!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

A great giveaway for food lovers!

I have recently been made aware of a competition over at The ideas kitchen to win a cookery lesson with Daniel Galmiche, Head Chef at The Vinyard at Stockcross, Berkshire on Saturday 3rd November 2012.

It sounds like a fab prize, not only will you get a tour of the wine cellars and kitchen, then get a personal cooking lesson, you will also get to enjoy a 5 course tasting lunch! If that sounds like your kind of thing (it certainly sounds like my kind of thing!) then you can enter here.

*UPDATE! I have now been told the winners travel expenses will be paid upto £100!

Something for ME to look forward to.

I have been thinking a lot recently about how much ME time I get, and if I am totally honest its not a lot. My job is to stay at home and look after the children whilst Craig goes to work, meaning I barely get a moment to myself, or at least child free. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job as a Mummy. It certainly is the most rewarding job I could ever do and I wouldn't change what I have with them for anything. However, I really feel that I need to have more ME time. Everyone needs a little time out once in a while, right?

So about a month ago I started looking for a job that could fit in around Craigs work, so basically evenings and weekends. a couple of weeks ago I got interviewed for a job at a local convenience store and got the job! I was so chuffed with myself, I have not worked (outside of the home) for just over 4 years when I left my job to have Chester!

Yesterday was my training evening, I was a little (ok, a lot) nervous before I went in. Which sounds really silly but my job before I had Chester was much much different, I was a secretary so a completely different sector!

When I got there I realised I had nothing to be nervous about, everyone was so friendly and really helpful. I got home late last night with a smile on my face, I realised that I had enjoyed that little bit of ME time a lot!

I am so pleased that I seem to have found the perfect balance for us, I get to spend my days with the children, Craig gets to spend his quality time with them whilst I am at work a couple of evenings and Sunday mornings, having my well deserved me time! Of course having the extra money come in will also mean me and Craig will be able to have some US time every once in a while too! Perfect!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Poppy Cat book review

We were recently sent a brand new Poppy Cat book to review, if you follow my blog you will know that both Chester and Millie are Poppy Cat fans. I have lost count how many times we have watched the DVD, so when I showed the book ( Poppy Cat, All Aboard) both of the children were very happy!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Celebrating Chester's 4th Birthday!

So Chester turned four yesterday, wow those four years have gone by so quickly! A couple of months ago me and Craig asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday, fully expecting him to say he wanted a party. He didn't. Instead he asked if he could go to the cinema with one of his best friends, so grown up!