Thursday, 28 March 2013

A lovely bit of good old fashioned customer service!

Today something happened that shocked me, but in a good way. So I will share what happened....

After Chester's swimming lesson this morning I needed to pop into Iceland to grab some little buffet bits for entertaining family coming over this Easter weekend. I am making a few homemade bits but to save time and spend more time enjoying the day with family, I also want to get some frozen bits that I can just pop into the oven and forget about!

Normally when I go to Iceland I park up in one of the town centres car parks because I have other shops to go in to as well so Millie is in her pushchair. But today I only needed to go into Iceland so I parked up just up the road from Iceland on the High Street. I carried Millie to Iceland and put her in a trolley.

Did my shopping, very pleased got most of what I needed and a couple of extra bargains I could not resist. Got to the door with the trolley and realised that the random metal bar attached to the trolley was there for a reason! I could not get out of the door with the trolley (clearly this was put in place to stop people stealing them, what a sad world we live in). Oh no, what was I going to do with 4 bags full of shopping, one baby and one preschooler?!! How was I going to get back to the car? I started to panic a little because I struggle to carry Millie at the best of times so how would I cope with holding her and four bags, and then there was the issue of how would Chester hold my hand?!

Me&i clothing review (this time for Chester!)

You may recall that just before Christmas Millie reviewed a beautiful green top with a teddy bear on the front of it, from the Me&i clothing range. We really love that top, the quality of it is amazing and it is still going strong despite the amount of times it has been put through the wash!

I was contacted again by Me&i recently to ask if I would like to review something suitable for Chester, I of course said yes and we were sent a lovely bright moody frogs everywhere t shirt.

Me&i are a Swedish company, they love bright colours and bold designs, a lot of the range is unisex which I think is a really nice idea. They also do home parties, a lovely idea if you want to earn an extra income around family and other commitments.

The T shirt is a retro rib T shirt, slim fit and 100% cotton. When we first got it out of the packaging I was amazed at how super soft it was! Chester was really pleased with it, I asked him what his initial thoughts were and he said "I LOVE it because its orange AND it has loads of frogs all over it"!! That was my second plus because now that Chester is getting older (he is 4) he is becoming a bit more aware of his likes and dislikes and we have plenty of 'im not going to wear that' discussions already!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Easy fruit tart!

This morning I had a spare half hour inbetween Millie's Baby group and picking Chester up from Nursery School so I popped into the near by Co-op just to have a browse. I came out with Ready Roll shortcrust pastry, a punnet of raspberries and a punnet of blueberries. All for under £3!! All were reduced because they were going out of the best before date today but all looked in perfect condition and for under £3 who could resist?!

On the way home I decided that I would make an easy fruit tart with the kiddies, and here is what we did;

I unrolled the pastry and put into a baking tray, folding up the edges slightly. I then chopped an apple I had spare. Then it was time for Chester (Millie had gone for nap by then!) to put the raspberries, blueberries and apple on top of the pastry.

Friday, 22 March 2013

My New Look wish list!

As a busy Mum of two I rarely get time shop for myself and if I do I need to make sure I am buying things that are practical (I can hardly turn up to messy play in a short skirt and low cut top can I?!), cost effective and of good quality. The last two are not a match that usually go together, but I have to say that New Look are one of the exception to the get what you pay for rule. I have clothes I brought from them last year that have been worn and washed countless times and are still going strong! I have been having a look on there website recently and have come up with my New Look wish list! They have some really lovely items on there at the moment but here are some of my favourites:

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Decorating Easter Egg hunt bags

The other day I popped into a discount store for some batteries when I came across some really cute Colour  your own Easter bags. Now I quickly realised that the quality of the bags/pens supplied with the bag meant that it would be unlikely to get a great colour in on these BUT I did decide to buy them anyway because we have lots of Easter stickers and other bits and bobs that we could stick to the bags to decorate them. Chester was a little concerned when I showed him because he thought that they were far to small to fit all of his requested eggs in.... little monkey!

So this afternoon I decided we should decorate them. I got out all of our Easter crafty things and some other bits and bobs such as sequins, pom poms and string.

Chester was more than happy to create his own master piece, he even created two additional Easter picture to leave out for the Easter bunny!

From the mind and mouth of a 4 year old

Over the last couple of weeks some of the things Chester has said have either made me laugh, really amaze me or both!  He is definitely at a stage where he is questioning everything whether it is out loud or in his head.

What I love about the ones that he asks himself, is that when he tells me all about the new thing he has learnt he says it in such a way that it sound as though he is telling me something new. That he has discovered this new thing that no one else knows.

So just to make you smile and laugh here are just a few of the things Chester has come out with over the last couple of weeks.....

 "MUM!!! Come here now there is something really wrong with picky (one of the fish)". I go to look expecting it to be floating at the top of the tank, its fine. !No Mum look it has string at the back of it." *sigh* no Chester that is fish poo.

Chester and Millie are up very early one morning. I told them they needed to try and go back to sleep. Chester's reply was "well I got loads of energy from my dinner last night, it came to me in the night so I am fine"!

"Mummy, look at this. This number is a six BUT if I turn it this way its a nine, its clever isn't it. Do you think its a trick?"

He then tried to make Daddy feel guilty for not allowing him to take some Skylanders to bed by saying.... "if you cared anything about me, you would let me take them with me!"

Discussion at the dinner table the other day... "So I am going to move out, I am getting a flat with P***** (nursery friend) and we are going to get a dog called codfish"

Discussing when he starts School in September, I was assuring him that they will just want to work out what he is all about at first and not be too worried about his writing. His response was "oh thats ok then, they will see that I am a super hero who is saving the world and they will be ok with that will they?"

"Mummy, we really need one of those air dryers like they have in all the other toilets when we are out. Can you get me one please"

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Making a glitter glue Butterfly

At the weekend Chester really wanted to do some arts and crafts using his glitter glue pens. So I got them out for him, gave him some paper and said I would sit down and help in 5 minutes. I was just finishing the boring kitchen chores.

By the time I got over to the table and Chester he had almost finished! I really was only 5 minutes so he was clearly being a fast artist that day!

All by himself he had put the glitter glue onto the paper and then folded the paper in half to make a pattern. He then noticed that it looked a little bit like a butterfly so asked me to help him draw on the body. I happily helped him and this is what it looks like...

I love that all he needed was a piece of paper, a little bit of glitter glue and his imagination and within 5 minutes he had come up with this! He is so proud of the butterfly and as soon as Daddy got home from work he couldn't wait to talk about it some more! 

I think that this weekend I will sit down with the kiddies and we will do the same kind of thing with paint. 

Award winning ChokaBlok Easter Egg

I was not really surprised to learn that a ChokaBlok Easter Egg had won an award we have reviewed the ChokaBlok chocolate in the past and have always been very impressed with the quality and quantity you get.

ChokaBlok American Dreamcake Easter Egg, available exclusively at Tesco, has cracked it by beating luxury rivals to take the title of Good Housekeeping Easter Egg of the Year.  Priced at just £5, it impressed the judging panel with “its varying textures, enticing design and value for money”. With a score of 84/100, it topped the tasting and saw off rivals such as the £70 Hotel Chocolat Half and Half Ostrich Egg which scored 80/100 and the £24.95 Harrods Chocolate Brownie & Raspberry Egg which scored 70/100.

Good Housekeeping Consumer Director Caroline Bloor said: "We've really noticed how Easter eggs - even at the cheaper end of the market - have become far more eye-catching and imaginative over the last couple of years.

"But at the end of the day, behind the fancy designs, you are as likely to find a delicious chocolatey treat in the supermarket as you are in the luxury shops.

After reading this I really was keen to try the ChokaBlok American Dreamcake Easter Egg, to see for myself what all the fuss was about. I mean beating some of the high end rivals is a pretty big achievement!

So I was kindly sent a ChokaBlok American Dreamcake Easter Egg and after tasting it, I have to say I 100% agree that it is worthy of an award! It is the thickest Easter Egg I have ever had, it was crammed with cheesecake and chocolate brownie pieces. It was so thick that it actually took me and hubbie (but mainly me) just over a week to eat it! The quality was great, it was a really rich creamy egg, and I bet in a blind taste test most would presume its rrp would be much more than £5. So if you know someone who really loves luxury chocolate I would seriously recommend the ChokaBlok American Dreamcake Easter Egg. They have more in the Easter Egg range too; The Rocky Road of Love, Billionaires Dynamite, Starstruck Supernova, The Chocolate Extremist, Totally Minted. I personally think I would love the Totally Minted one but as you can see there is lots of choice so bound to be something for everyone!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Easter Cupcakes

Normally I involve the children when making cakes but today I decided to be a bit selfish and make them all by myself!! I decided to make a practice run for some Cupcakes I am intending on making for Easter Sunday. They turned out really well and were very easy to make, I think the only change I will make is perhaps add some chocolate chips to give them an extra texture.

Here is the recipe for anyone that is interested in making them.....

  • 115g Margarine
  • 115g Caster Sugar
  • 115g Self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the icing

  • 85g Butter
  • 225g Icing sugar
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 100g pack of Mini Eggs
This makes 10-12 cupcakes

Add all of the cupcake ingredients to a bowl and whisk until smooth and light. Spoon the mixture into 10-12 cupcake cases and bake at 180 for around 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire wrack and leave to cool.

Once cooled mix together the butter, icing sugar, cocoa and milk until you have a smooth glossy consistency.  Put the mixture into an icing bag, I used a large star nozzle for mine. Pipe two circles on top of the cake leaving a small gap in the middle. Lastly, add 3 Mini eggs to the middle and serve! 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Mission Deli Wraps - Liven up lunch Challenge!

Last week, I was asked by the MumsNet Bloggers network to take part in a challenge to liven up our family's lunch!

The challenge was to use Mission Deli Wraps to create some Mediterranean inspired wrap recipes. We were sent Mission Deli Original Wraps, Mission Deli Multigrain Wraps, Sacla squeezy Pesto and Galbani Mozzarella  I was very excited at the thought of this, mainly because we had all got into a bit of a rut with lunches. If it wasn't a jam sandwich it was a ham roll! Craig and Chester take packed lunches to work/Nursery and Millie and I normally have our lunch at home. I have to admit I had never really thought to use Mission Deli Wraps as a substitute for a white bread or a roll but after this week I think we all agreed that they are definitely something will will use in future!

So here are the recipes we came up with.....

Tuna Wrap:

  • Mission Deli Wraps
  • Tinned Tuna, drained
  • Handful of radishes
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of sweetcorn
  • 1 inch Cucumber
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
Chop the radishes and cucumber into small pieces roughly the same size as the sweetcorn. Mix the Tuna with the radish, cucumber and sweetcorn then add the mayonnaise and mix again. Place a generous line of the mix along your Mission Deli Wrap, fold in the edges closest to the mix and then roll one of other edges until it meets the other. I used a little mayonnaise to keep the wrap stuck together and then rolled them in clingfilm to keep fresh for lunch.

Salami Wrap:

  • Mission Deli Wraps
  • Salami (3 slices per wrap) We used Milano Salami
  • Red pepper
  • Rocket leaves
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sacla Squeezy Pesto
Slice the red pepper into thin strips and cut the tomatoes into quarters. Place a handful of Rocket leaves in a line along the middle of your wrap, add the Salami, cherry tomatoes and pepper strips. Then squeeze some of the Sacla Squeezy Pesto and wrap in the same way as the Tuna wrap.

Chicken & Bacon:

  • Mission Deli Wraps
  • Cooked Chicken Strips
  • Crunchy Bacon Bits
  • Rocket leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Sacla Squeezy Pesto
Chop the chicken into small cubes and mix it together with the bacon bits, mayonnaise and Sacla Squeezy Pesto. Place the mix along with a handful of rocket leaves in a line in the middle of your wrap and wrap the same way as above. This wrap was my personal favourite because the crunchy bacon bits gave it that extra texture.

Pizza wraps:

  • Mission Deli Mini Wraps
  • Passata with herbs
  • Grated Mozzarella/cheddar 
  • Galbani Mozzerella
  • Cherry tomatoes
Layout two Mission Deli Mini Wraps and spread a layer of Passata over each one. Next, add the Grated Cheese to one of the wraps, slice some Galbani Mozzerella and tear up into smaller pieces. Add onto the wrap along with some chopped cherry tomatoes. Place the other wrap onto of the other. Put the wrap into a dry frying pan and cook on a medium heat for around 3 minutes, turn the pizza wrap over and cook for another 3 minutes. Cut into quarters and serve.

The Pizza wrap was by far the childrens favourite wrap recipe and was great for a quick family lunch at the weekend. All the recipes took very little time to prepare and I found that as the wraps are a different texture to bread there were no soggy lunches, I made the tuna and the chicken wraps the night before and they were still very fresh by the time we came to eat them.

I have also got another couple of ideas that I have come up with that I will be trying out next week, one using mackerel in a tomato sauce and another using goats cheese and caramelised onions. I have definitely succeeded in livening up our lunches, I cant believe how easy it was, just by switching to Mission Deli Wraps I have managed to make lunch times much more exciting!

For a limited period you can get 50p off Galbani mozzarella or 30p off Sacla’s Squeezy Pesto with promotional packs of Mission Deli wraps.  So whether you’re in the mood to top your wrap with mozzarella, or pack it with pesto, you can get a great deal on these two tasty products to help shake up your lunchtime habits. As well as helping lively lunchers save money, Mission are also running a fantastic free prize draw, where a lucky winner is packed off on an unforgettable holiday to sample the flavours and delights in the Mediterranean. To enter, go to and simply complete the competition form. In addition, 10 weekly runners-up will win a special Mission Deli Wrap lunch bag – giving you more ways to make each lunchtime its very own little mini-break.

* I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network, a group of parent bloggers picked by Mumsnet to review products, services, events and brands. I have not paid for the product. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

A little bit of one on one time.

Its very rare for Millie and I to get 'one on one time'. Even when Chester is at Nursery School we rarely get quiet time at home together. I usually use the time that Chester is at Nursery School to attend a group at the local Childrens Centre or get some chores/errands done.

But I am trying to change that, mainly because I think back to when Chester was as young as Millie. We used to do lots at home together, mainly arts and crafts things or baking (especially bread) as that is what Chester loved (and still loves) to do. I would like to have the time to do similar things with Millie so I am now making time.

I am also very aware that since Millie came along Chester has not had as much attention from me (which was to be expected!). So on days when he is not at Nursery or at weekends I try my best to give him more one on one times, maybe when Millie is napping or when Craig is home.

But it is very hard to get the balance right, and I do feel guilty a lot of the time. At the end of the day I often reflect and think I could of done better.

Millie is just getting to the age where she is interested in what Chester is doing so she often follows him around like a lost lamb! He tries his best to teach her all about Skylanders and he even plays Disney Princess Palace with her, which is really cute. They both have Lego/Duplo/Mega Bloks sets and Millie has just started to get interested in hers so I think I am going to plan some building activities for the weekend/next week.

This morning I decided it was time for some Millie and Mummy time.

First of all we spent lots of time looking at the Goldfish and Snails in the fish tank. As a result of this Millie can now say fish!

Next we played tea party's and Millie made lots of mess turning out toy boxes to find things to fill with 'tea'.

We then sung nursery rhymes and spent lots of time playing peep ohh! Its Millie's favourite thing to do at the moment and we both we in fits of giggles!

Before we knew it, it was time to go to the Childrens Centre for a course I am doing. But we really had a fantastic morning, made lots of memories and it really did make me realise even more that I need to stop rushing around so much and enjoy these early childhood moments, every day is different and both Children are learning so much, I don't want to miss a thing!

Monday, 11 March 2013

A final decision left or right handed...

Chester has always been more of a hands on messy play kind of person, but he never seems to have time to sit down and draw works of art that I see so many other 4 year olds doing. At first this really bothered me, why were all of these other children sitting nicely to take half an hour to draw a lovely picture of a flower or their Mummy? But after a little while of watching him, I realised that Chester was drawing/writing with both hands. I straight away clicked that was probably the reason why he had no patience to sit and draw, he probably found it awkward.

So from that moment on I didn't stress about his drawing or his writing, I let him go at his own pace. I gave him lots of different pens, pencils and crayons whenever he asked to do a drawing or write his name but I never pushed him to do it. I drew dots for him to connect when he asked to write his name and if he asked, I gave him ideas of shapes he could draw to create the thing he was trying to draw. I always praise his efforts, by telling him what a good job he has done or telling him that I think his colour choice is great.

Then a couple of weeks ago Chester came out of Nursery School and told me on the way home that he had decided which hand he writes with. He held up his left hand and confidently said "this one Mummy, my left hand". I asked him how he had come to decide that and he explained that he had been drawing at nursery and had decided that hand was the one that liked to write the most. I told him that was great and then he started chatting about what he and his friends had been up to so that was the end of the conversation. Again I didn't ask about it again or push it, I just left him too it.

I am left handed, I know how much I struggled at Primary School because the teachers constantly singled me out even making me go to some kind of left handed club! Thankfully the way of thinking has changed loads and its OK to be left handed now! So I have got no concerns about him struggling at School etc and more importantly, now he knows what hand he will be using we can support and help him.

Last Tuesday we went to a group at one of the local Sure Start Centre's, its a really great group where the adults get to make story sacks (I will do a separate post on this when I have finished, as it is awesome and so easy to make) whilst the children get to do activities in an adjoining room. They can wander in and see us whenever they like or they can play (supervised by staff) what they would like to in the adjoining room. When it came to the end of the session, Chester told me he had painted a picture. He took me over to the drying rack and proudly showed me this......

Its a bird, you can see its wings, body and head. Apparently the blob underneath is an egg! I was the proudest Mummy when he showed this to me!! Chester had finally found his confidence with a paint brush! 

Today, I needed to finish some 'homework' for the Understanding English course I am attending at another local Sure Start Centre. Basically the course teaches you how your child will be taught English in Primary School. It is so different to when I was at Primary School believe me! The homework was to ask your child to draw a picture of your favourite Character, I had been dreading it since I was given it last week as I really didn't want to pressure Chester. But Today came along and Chester seems to be in a nice chilled out mood, so I asked him all about his favourite Character, he told me it was Woody, but then Changed that to Buzz Lightyear AND Woody. This surprised me as I really thought he would say Skylanders! So I asked him why he didn't pick Skylanders and it turns out that he believes that Skylanders are real and not just Characters?! 

I then asked him if he would mind drawing a picture of Buzz Lightyear and Woody. To my surprise he was happy to do it, and this is what he came up with..... 

The one on the left is Woody, he has drawn his hat (tiny square at the top) his head complete with googly eyes (Mister Maker would be proud) and a mouth, then he has drawn his body and coloured it in yellow. On the right is Buzz Lightyears head with his purple 'hair' and again googly eyes!

What a difference a month makes! Really proud of his drawing and painting efforts and now can not wait to hand in my 'homework',....... I reckon he has got me an A what do you think?!

Could you be Loved By Parents Blogger of the year 2013?!

Loved By Parents have announced their 3rd Blogger of the year award and its in partnership with Virgin Experience Days. The prize is AMAZING!! its a two night luxury tree house experience!!

Do you enjoy writing a blog? Do you have a blog that you think stands out from the crowd? What does your blog say about you? What purpose does it serve? Whether it is for entertainment, to raise awareness or share your opinions with others, Loved By Parents would love to hear from you!

You can enter your blog into the awards here, All entries must be submitted online and received no later than midnight on the 12th April 2013. Blogs will then be shortlisted by the Lovedbyparents team and then open to the public to vote for their favorite winning blog.

Here is a little bit about the prize....
Enter another world with this unique two night family break in a luxury treehouse set on the edge of Snowdonia National Park in Wales. The stunning treehouse is large enough for two adults and up to two children so embrace the simple pleasures of life and eat, sleep and live in the heart of deep natural beauty.

A treehouse is the perfect base for an unforgettable family adventure.
What’s included
A 2 night break in a stunning luxury treehouse
Luxury blankets and a wood burning stove
Firewood and lighters upon arrival
Use of a small library within the treehouse
Experience gift pack including personalised voucher and message card
Good luck to everyone who enters and remember to keep an eye on Loved by Parents Facebook and Twitter pages for the finalists, so that you can vote for your favourite, you may see a blog you love on that short list or you may even find a new blog to follow! 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Mothers Day 2013!

Everyone who knows my husband will know that he is a typical bloke. Mothers Day is usually just another one of those days that is at the back of his mind until it is too late. So to be honest I wasn't expecting a great Mothers Day and had already decided just to fight for my lye in and then spend the day watching Disney Films with the Children.

I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up, Chester had told me that I need to have breakfast in bed, but I could not choose cereal as it may wet the bed! But 20 Minutes later he decided that I needed to eat it at the kitchen table with everyone else so I had a mini lye in while Craig and the kiddies were preparing the breakfast.

When Chester called me downstairs I was pleased to see that Craig had made Millie and I Eggs Benedict, my favourite (Chester just wanted Muffins). For Craig this is a massive achievement as he, by his own admission can not multi task when cooking!

Chester and Millie had made me beautiful cards at the local Sure Start Centre, Chester was very proud of his, and Millie loved showing me the sequins on hers! Chester also gave me a bookmark which he had made at Nursery School, very lovely. I was then given a bag full of retro sweeties, and an engraved trinket box to fit my Pandora Bracelet into. I was really pleased with my gifts and was just settling down with my cup of tea when Chester handed me another bag... a Pandora one eeek!! He helped me open it, inside was a really lovely Heart charm. I love it!! Then I had an extra present and card from my Mum! By this time I was feeling a little bit spoilt!

Mum had given me some Maltesers, which we ate whilst watching The Lion King. I would love to say I ate them all, but actually the reality is that Chester and Millie ate 90% of them!!! Cheeky monkeys!! So I had a lovely morning snuggled on the sofa watching the Lion King and then Beauty and the Beast!

Family snuggles on the sofa!
Sadly, I then had to go to work for four hours but what happened when I got home will keep me smiling for weeks!!!

I got home just in time for dinner, Craig was really chuffed with himself because he had made toad in the hole  with homemade batter for the first time ever! He plated up whilst I was busy chatting to the children. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw him put Millie's plate onto her highchair. What made me take a proper look was the fact that all Millie had on her plate was toad in the hole! No vegetables, no potatoes, nothing! When I asked Craig where they were, he had such a confused look on his face! But then he finally clicked! Admitted that he was so busy patting himself on the back for successfully making toad in the hole all by himself that he forgot to cook anything to go with it! So he then had to think on his feet! So what we all ended up with was toad in the hole, spaghetti hoops and chip shop chips!

All in all a really fab Mothers Day, Craig surprised me by remembering, making a big effort AND cooking me breakfast! Lots of love, fun and giggles were had by all! I am so proud to be a Mother to Chester and Millie. They really are awesome kiddies who make me smile and amaze me everyday!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Little Tiger Kids picture books review

Its unsurprising really that Millie is already a fan of books. I have read to Chester and Millie since they were in my tummy.

I was contacted a little while ago asking if I would like to review some books for age 1 upwards by Little Tiger Kids. I of course jumped at the chance. We were sent 3 books 100 First Animals, First Colours, Count 123. I  will talk about each one separately, as I think they all have different special qualities.

100 First Animals:
Millie responds very well to bright colours and big, bold pictures. So straight away just from the cover of this board book Millie was interested. As we looked though the pages I noticed what really sets this book apart from others of this type. The descriptions of the animal in the picture are more detailed. What I mean by that is the picture of the 2 little birds on page one does not carry the description "bird" instead it says "budgerigars". Just some of the other descriptions: Wildebeest, Orca, tree boa, toucan.

There is a real mix of animals, including the recognisable ones such as: Tiger, duck, butterfly, cat. I loved the fact that the book was describing the animals as best as they could, what I would usually point out as owl was quite rightly described as snowy owl! Whilst Millie at 14 months is a little too young to say most of these words she was quite happy to point to the correct picture once she had learnt some of the names. Whilst 'reading' the book Millie has also learnt to say cat and she now roars when seeing a lion or a tiger. I am still deciding if it was coincidence that she said Ostrich as she has only said it once!!

Chester is 4 and he has also responded well to this book, proving you are never to old for a picture book! What kept him interested was that the animals were different to what he had seen in other books. He asked questions about the animals, and I was then able to ask him open questions about them too. Such as how many horns do you think an antelope has, or what animal do you think a musk ox looks like.

So 100 first Animals got a big thumbs up from us!

First Colours:
This book is a lift flap book and seeing as Millie's favourite game at the moment is peek a boo I was really looking forward to reading this with her! This again is a board book with very bright colours. It has got one colour and one large lift flap per page. Making it easy for little ones to lift the flaps themselves. Millie worked out pretty quickly what she needed to do. Once the flap is opened it reveals the word of the colour on one side (as well as the shadows of other objects of that colour) then on the other side it has got some objects matching the colour. So for what colour is the Strawberry the inside of the flap has got a lady bird, red wellies, red paint, red car and red sunglasses. Every flap has different objects, so not only are you pointing out colours you are also pointing out different objects. This book did interest Millie because of the flaps, however, I feel she will get more out of it when she is around the age of two.

Count 123:
Another bright and colourful book! This one is a touch and trace book, and its the first time I have seen a book like it! Basically each number on the page is indented to fit a toddler size fingertip! So that your child can trace the number! Now I was overjoyed when I saw this, not for Millie (although it is fab for her) but actually for Chester. He still has not decided what hand he writes with, so sometimes gets frustrated with trying to write on paper. The health visitor and his Nursery have advised me to get him to use his hands more, for example rather than writing his name on paper, encourage him to use play dough to make the letters of his name. Apparently this develops his fine motor skills and will in turn strengthen his fingers and help him choose which hand he feels more comfortable writing with. So using his fingers to trace the number has been a really good for him, he has responded really well to feeling the flow of the numbers, so I am now going to invest in the touch and trace ABC for him!

Lets not forget that this book was aimed for 1 year plus, so how did Millie get on? She loved the sensory touch aspect of this book, she too loved to trace the numbers. Her favourite part though was at the back of the book, where there were  little dots in vertical lines to count numbers. The numbers go upto 20 and Millie loved me counting while she put her little finger tips into the holes! She more often than not ends up in fits of giggles before then end, strange child!

The only downside to this particular book is that it has small flaps to lift, sadly Millie has managed to rip 2 of these flaps as they were just too small for her to grasp properly so in frustration she managed to slightly rip them. Which I was very sad about.

6 books in this range have just been released and can be found here, then a further 6 are set to be released in May. Both of my Children responded well to these books, Millie's favourite is the 100 first animals and Chester is very proud of himself for being able to trace and correctly identify all of the numbers in the Count 123 book.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Personalised Mothers Day gift ideas!



Mums can be embarrassing And mums can be a bore But you’re a really fab one And I couldn’t love you more!


Make Mum feel special this Mother’s Day with a
 personalised Purple Ronnie gift to show her how much you careFrom mugs, trinket boxes and wine glasses, there is something for every mum to enjoy.

Monday, 4 March 2013


Over the last couple of days I have really really suffered. I woke up Saturday with tooth ache, at first I thought that my filling had come out, so I took myself off to the emergency dentist. I was shocked when he told me that my filling was intact and that what was causing the problem was an abscess. But also that the abscess was caused because my tooth was dying. Oh no!! So I was told that I needed to either have root canal treatment or a the tooth taken out within 2 weeks, then sent away with some Antibiotics. I was mortified by both of my options to be honest. I am petrified of the dentist, it all stems back to when I was little. My tooth was wobbly, but I asked the dentist not to take it out because I wanted it to fall out in its own time. She said ok I wont touch it. Next thing I know she had pulled it out! I was so upset that she had lied to me so from then on I have not trusted any Dentist.

I was in so much pain, all I could think about was poor Chester and Millie! If teething was anything like this I totally feel sorry for them! I had never felt pain like it! Unsurprisingly I didn't sleep last night, I was in too much pain. This morning the pain had eased a little, I suppose that was the antibiotics starting to do there thing. Although as the day has gone on the pain has gone up a few notches.

Skylanders Half term homework for parents!!

Last week we were kindly sent a lovely Skylanders book bag, it was filled with a homework diary, stickers, a reward chart, character cards and some colouring pencils.

Chester, being one of the worlds biggest Skylanders fan was super excited about this! When I read into the pack a bit more I realised the homework diary and stickers were for me! Chester was going to play teacher and I was going to be rewarded with stickers if I got the answers correct! I often catch Chester chatting to random kids about Skylanders, and more often than not he out talks those kids even if some of them are double his age! So he really knows his stuff and I was confident he was the boy to be teaching me all about Skylanders!

Friday, 1 March 2013

Ruby, Blue and Blanket book review

Ruby, Blue and Blanket, published by Scribblers, is a brand new picture book from the much loved author and illustrator, Jane Hissey who is best known for her Old Bear series. I remember the Old Bear series well from Childhood so was very keen to read Ruby, Blue and Blanket to see if it lived up to the brilliant stories I remember about Old Bear!

I can tell you that I was not disappointed! Ruby, Blue and Blanket has quickly become a firm bedtime favourite with both Children!