Friday, 30 August 2013

Tips for Transitioning Your Little One to a Toddler Bed

If you're like most parents, you’re a bit concerned about moving your child into his or her own bed. Whether you prefer your child be in the comforts of a cot or your own bed, putting your little one in his or her own bed is a natural progression in the stages of childhood, and, as difficult as it may be, a must in your child’s maturation and development. If you are worried that your little boy or girl won't be able to transition well, here are 5 tips that will make the experience easier for your child (and you).

Discuss the Change with Your Child



In order for you to adequately prepare your child for the transition to his or her own bed, you must talk with him or her about it ahead of time. Like adults, many children are resistant to change, and, similar to a special blanket or favourite toy, your bed or your child’s cot has been a place of comfort and security and is naturally attached to this familiar surrounding. Remind your child that he or she is becoming a big boy or girl and needs a new, big boy/girl bed. Take your child with you to Dreams UK and allow him or her to help choose the bed. After you set up the new bed, don't remove the cot from the room just yet. It’s best to set up the toddler bed in your child’s room, but give him or her the option to sleep in it as pushing your child into using the new bed may be traumatic for your toddler. By allowing your child ld to ease into his or her new bed you encourage him or her to gradually move into the bed.

Slowly Introduce the New Bed



It’s common for children to be reluctant to sleep alone, so a new bed is going to be a particular challenge. If your child doesn't want to sleep in the toddler bed, suggest your child sleep in the bed at nap time. This gives your child the opportunity to get accustomed to the new bed and may make it more comfortable for him or her to spend longer periods of time in the toddler bed. Avoid pushing your child to sleep in the bed at night.

Remain Vigilant and Patient



Although some children will take to their new bed right away, others may be hesitant and uncertain about the new bed and cling to their former sleeping space. After a few days of giving him or her the option to sleep in the new bed, become more assertive about using the bed. If your child is still unwilling to sleep in the bed, remove the cot and put your child in the new bed at bedtime. Of course your child may become belligerent and fussy about sleeping in the toddler bed, don’t indulge this behavior. Simply explain that he or she needs to sleep in the new bed and bring him or her back to it. At the same time you must reward your child for staying in the bed. For those with children unaccustomed to sleeping in their own rooms let alone their own beds, add bedroom accessories from Not on the High Street to entice them to sleep in their new beds in their newly decorated rooms.



This guest post was written by Alaina Clark.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

A busy couple of days catching up with a friend

Sometimes, it's nice to be able to do something for myself as well as the children. So yesterday I arranged to meet up with a friend, the children's godmother. Who happened to be looking after our other friends 3 children.

We decided to take them to the seaside. The nearest seaside to us is about 15/20 mins from my house.  Not only does it have a beach, it also has a free splash pool and water area, plus a big sand play area. So with so much to do we decided to take a picnic and make a day of it.

The children were happy to play in the enclosed water splash area whilst my friend and I had a catch up. It's nice to have some grown up conversation every once in a while. My friend has no children of her own (yet) so it was a refreshing change of conversation topic!


After we had played and picnic'd for a while we walked down to the sea front, the kids loved it! Millie was happy looking for shells and the older ones were happy paddling in the sea, looking for crabs and throwing pebbles in!

                                                  

       

                                         

As we had so much fun yesterday and the kids got on really well, which in the past has not always been the case, we decided to meet up today too!

So we met up at a local country park, again, we took a picnic with us. The park was pretty packed and we got their early! We managed to find a nice spot to lay our blankets, perfectly situated so we could see the children on any of the wooden play equipment they wanted to go on. Right by a smaller bit so that Millie could play too! The kids again got on really well, barely stopping for food or drink! They are so imaginative, making up little games and getting other kids involved too!

                                              

All in all a great couple of days, I am actually annoyed at myself for not organising it at the beginning  of the Summer holidays too!!

What are you doing to keep the children entertained for the last part of the holidays?!

Warburtons liven up lunch - roundup!

I posted up last week about how warburtons are on a mission to liven up lunches, and you can find out more on their fun facebook page too. But basically they are running a campaign encouraging people to think outside of the box when it comes to lunch time. I think most of us can say that we get stuck in the same routine when it comes to lunch times and this campaign has certainly made me give lunchtimes a bit more thought. As I mentioned in my previous post we were stuck in a bit of a rut of peanut butter sandwiches, but over the last week I have put lots more thought into what is going into our sandwiches, wraps and thins! My personal new favourite is goats cheese, rocket, tomatoes and pesto in a Warburtons sandwich thin. Maybe not very adventurous for most but it certainly is for me! The children, who are not goats cheese fans, have enjoyed the same but with a substitution of chicken in place of goats cheese. So very quick and simple to make, yet far more enjoyable (and healthier!) than peanut butter!

Here is a video of how the Warburtons Liven Up Lunch family challenge was put together, it looks like everyone had a really fun time!!



This post was sponsored by Spreaditfast

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

How times have changed.

Chester's Birthday is next month, he will be 5. When I was 5 I am pretty certain I got a Silver Cross dolls pram for my Birthday. Whilst I am not expecting Chester to want a dolls pram, I was a little taken aback when he asked for an ipad!! I will add that is not all he has asked for. He has a long list of toys too, mainly TMNT, Moshi Monsters, Trash Packs and Skylander stuff!

When asking other parents about this, it seems he is not the only one! I didn't even have a walkman at aged 5 let alone my own computer!

I have had a long discussion with Craig about it. The issues we have with Chester wanting an ipad, are that we do not want him to become one of these children that just sits on his computer all day. Neither do we want to expose him to some of the sites on the internet. However, on the flip side I do believe that technology has changed, and computers have become part of everyday life. I mean, it would be pretty hypocritical of me to question the need for a computer, when I myself use one daily?! I think we just have to accept that times have changed in the 24 years since I was 5!

Whilst there is no way we would buy him an iPad at that age, for starters it would be bashed about within a week! We have decided that a cheaper tablet could be a birthday option for him. We are in a different generation now, when we were younger we did not have such technology, but had we of done so, would we of been allowed to have a tablet? I dont't know the answer to that, maybe I will ask  my parents.

Of course, we would have to make sure we are the ones to add apps and it would be password protected to stop Chester getting on anything else. I would also be aware that we would have to limit his time on it per day, and also make sure that he spent plenty of time practicing his actual hand writing (he can already type in his name on to our laptop!).

So I would love to know your own opinions on this? Would you give your 5 year old a tablet computer? I am of course very open minded and do not expect everyone to have the same opinion as us, I am just interested in others opinions on the matter....

Kids love ScS ads so much, they go and see how they are made

My kids love adverts. I try to warn them of their persuasive nature, all the subliminal messages they are being sent and the product placement they’re missing - but they still love them.

Perhaps though, not quite as much as Amelia and William Howarth, who love sofa retailers ScS adverts so much that they often act them out and rehearse their recreations and then perform them to friends and family. Amelia loves the ad so much, in fact, that she sent them and email to let them know!

Amelia, aged ten, is not in the market for a sofa, but she stillloves ScS. Why? One can’t help but think that the glamorous and beautiful Victoria Thomas, the model and actress who stars in the ads, has something to do with it. But where’s the harm in that? Better that she loves to shout about ‘four years interest free credit’ than to imitate an inappropriate music video as so many little girls do.

When ScS received Amelia’s admiring email, they invited her, William, and her mum Emma to come down to the studio and see exactly how the television adverts are made. They got to chat to the cast and crew, see what goes on behind the scenes, and of course, Amelia was able to meet the stunning Victoria Thomas.
Amelia said:
I was really excited to visit the ScS store and meet Victoria from the ads. The whole day was really fantastic and I enjoyed meeting the nice people from ScS. I have shown all my friends the signed script I was given by Victoria and told them all about it. It really is the best day of my holidays and I can’t wait to see the new ads on the TV.”

Perhaps I’ll get my kids to email Honey Loops… they’re always singing the theme tune!


To read more about ScS visit scs.co.uk.

This post was brought to you in association with ScS


Skylanders Punch Pop Fizz Figure

Everyone knows that Chester likes Skylanders, in fact he loves them. A lot. I think the look on his face when he opened up a parcel to find Punch Pop Fizz says it all....



For those of you that may of let this craze go over your head, Skylanders is a video game. In short, you have a special portal of power, which connects to your game console. Then when you place a Skylander figure (these are purchased separately) onto your portal it comes alive on the game. Making the game very exciting and different everytime.

Punch Pop Fizz is a version of Pop Fizz, this is his story. After years of experimenting with magic, Pop Fizz’s appearance has changed quite significantly. His latest experiment has resulted in the creation of an all-new limited edition* Pop Fizz, known as Punch Pop Fizz.  But hurry, the potion only created a limited amount of these characters so you will need to get him quickly!

Punch Pop Fizz is known to be a little crazy and in his attempts to create the most effective charm potion he ended up with a potion that turned him into a big, wild, berserker!  His antics and wild child behaviour makes him an exciting addition to any Skylanders Giants collection as he now joins the other Giants in their fight against Kaos to save their world! Punch Pop Fizz needs a new lab partner so hurry up and get your hands on this toy and remember, as Punch Pop Fizz would say, the motion is in the potion!


Of course Chester already knew most of this info. It really amazes me how much Skylander information he knows, his brain is like a Skylander sponge!

He excitedly placed Punch Pop Fizz onto the Skylanders portal of power. I sat and watched him in amazement, whilst he found some secret ways to quickly get enough coins to upgrade Punch Pop Fizz' powers! Chester did mention that he was a bit sad that his upgrade area showed Punch Pop Fizz in Pop Fizz' colour blue. Even though he is his red colour on every other part of the game.


Chester soon worked out that Punch Pop Fizz' soul gem is in Wilikin Village, he has spent a good few hours trying to find it! Daddy knows where it is, but he is not giving Chester any clues. Meany! 

Punch Pop Fizz is a mischievous and quick character, Chester likes to play him on the challenges and apparently he is good at throwing his potion bottle at the naughty little chompy's on the levels!



After playing with Punch Pop Fizz lots, Chester told me that 'he is a great new Skylander for my collection. So far he has won every time in battle mode and his upgrades are really cool, he is very cheeky...just like me' I asked Chester if he would recommend him to other people and his reply was 'yeah, everyone needs to have Punch Pop Fizz, he is super powerful and cool'. So there you have it, he highly rates this character, and if you have the Skylanders game, according to Chester, you should get Punch Pop Fizz!

Punch Pop Fizz is out NOW in the United Kingdom and Ireland from all the usual Skylanders retailers, but is limited edition, so once he’s gone, he’s gone!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

My thoughts, coming into the last year my 20's

This time last weekend it was my birthday, my 29th birthday. It was probably the first birthday that I have not really been excited about. 

To be honest, I am quite sad about being 29, it means I have got less than one year left of being in my 20's. 

My 20's have been great, I met Craig the same year I turned 20. We have brought a house together, got married and have had 2 Gorgeous children. During my 20's we have visited my most favourite place on earth, Disney World, twice. That will change to 3 times by the time I reach 30 next year.  Although I have done a lot of growing up in my 20's, I think my Disney obsession shows I am still a big kid at heart!

It frightens me how quickly time passes by, it saddens me every day to think that one of my friends did not even get past this age.

I have done so much in my 20's, I have so many happy memories, I almost don't want it to end. Yes, I have had some bad times too, I have lost a friend to Cancer and had some pretty bad times with  some family members. But I wont dwell on those bad times, I wont get down to that level, I am better than that. The good times far outweigh the bad. The birth of my Children being at the top of my good times. 

 I have learnt that am a pretty emotional person, perhaps that is down to my hormones since having the children?! But it has taught me to show my emotions more, it's ok to show I am not happy with someone or something. Those that matter will understand. I have learnt who my real friends are. Moving an hour away from my childhood home, and our friends and family, has shown who is still willing come visit us/stay in contact, and equally who we are willing to still go and visit. So now we have a small group of people that I am proud to call friends. 

But most of all I have learnt that life is full of challenges and it is also what you make it. I am a busy person, that is because there is so much I want to do and see. But on the flip side of that I have needed to slow my life down slightly to watch my Children grow up. That is by far the most favourite part of my life right now.

So, in conclusion. My thoughts are that I will be sad to leave my 20's but I am going to make sure that they go out with a bang, and that this year will be an awesome one! 






Friday, 23 August 2013

Getting closer to the first day.

Today, armed with Craig's parents, I went School shoe shopping for Chester. For the very first time, my little boy needs School shoes. 

How is he going to School in 3 weeks time? How? 

When he tried on the shoes, he looked so grown up. At first he didn't want to try them on, I suppose it must seem a bit boring to him. Shopping for plain black shoes. No flashing lights or bright coloured trainers! He soon got in to it though and eventually settled on these...


Very smart don't you think? 

To be honest, I think Chester's reason for choosing these shoes was that he got a free flashing bracelet! But after looking and trying on loads, these shoes did seem to be the most hard wearing, and they do look very smart! 

So another growing up milestone has been reached for Chester. I am so proud of him, but at the same time a bit tearful that he is growing up so fast!

How has the back to School shoe shop been for you? Are you organised for the School year, or do you still have a couple of bits still to get like me?! 

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Dear Zoo spin and say. Book review!

I am pleased to say that both of my children are still massive Dear Zoo fans. You may remember that Chester and I went to the Dear Zoo 30th birthday celebrations last year, the story is still read just as much now, a year on. We also made our very own Dear Zoo story sack earlier this year, which has gone down a treat! Nowadays Chester likes to 'read' the story to Millie!

So a little while ago we were sent a brand new version of Dear Zoo, a spin and say version. I made the decision to let Millie have first dibs on the book. It's a hard back book, with spin holes perfect for Millie's 19 month old fingers. Of course, I am not a totally mean Mummy, I just wanted Millie to have time to explore before her excitable brother jumped in and took over!



As I have said, Millie is already very familiar with the original story, so she was very excited when she saw the cover! She loved that she could spin, she used her favourite phrase 'what's that' a lot! Each page has got a new question and new pictures to explore. Since Millie loves to count to 3 her favourite page was the how many page! 



The what are we called page was another favourite, Millie was introduced to some new animals. We spent time not only practising their names, but also their sounds!


This new spin and say version really engaged Millie, she will happily sit and 'read' it to herself or bring it over to us to read together. The fact that she gets to spin, therefore effectively letting her choose what she wants to land on and talk about, has really kept it interesting for her. 

I then let Chester have a play/read, and was pleasantly surprised that he really enjoyed it too. He is almost 5 so he was engaged in a different way to Millie. I was able to ask him extra questions about the pictures and he was happy to point out interesting things to me too!

The RRP is £9.99 I think it is worth this, the children have both got so much out of it.  

Warburtons - livening up family lunch

Warburtons are aiming to liven up family lunch times, and as part of this campaign they challenged 2 families to liven up their lunch. Battling it out to win a years supply of Warburtons bread.

You can watch the fun filled video below...
 

I think that the campaign to liven up lunches is a much needed one. I will admit that our lunches certainly need livening up! I get into the same old routine and before you know it the children are requesting Peanut Butter sandwiches every day! I actually am not really a fan of sandwiches, this is because I am bored of the same old thing, day in, day out.

Recently we have tried the Warburtons Sandwich thins (the ones featured in this video) and also the Warburtons square(ish) wraps. Both have certainly put a new twist on lunch for us. I personally prefer the sandwich thins, they are a welcome change to a regular bread, and I am using them to help keep my weight loss on track. The children prefer the wraps, and normally request I fold them and cut them into 'fingers'.

The video has certainly got me thinking, and I now think I will be more conscious about adding different ingredients to our lunchtime sandwich routine! The children love their meat and veg but I tend to stick to sweet or easy fillings, but now I am going to try and make lunch times more adventurous and fun for them, incorporating salad and such like in the sandwich rather than just a side order on the plate!  

This post is sponsored by Spreaditfast

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A perfect summer day

One of the things on my Summer holiday bucket list was a trip to the seaside. Hastings to be exact. We went a little while ago and the children loved it. The arcades are great and the fairground rides are cheaper than others we have seen. 

Hastings is also the place both Craig and I spent lots of time when we were children. Not together obviously, we didn't know each other then! It's not our closest seaside, but it is still only an hour away. 

So today, we arranged to go to Hastings with Craig's parents. They both had the week off and Craig has Wednesday off, so it was the perfect day to go.

We arrived at around lunchtime and had a picnic on the beach. Chester and Millie had a paddle in the water with Nannie and Grandad, and then flew a kite with Daddy.





We then took a stroll along the seafront to the arcades, where Chester managed to get lots of 2p's out of his grandparents!!

They have a funfair the other side of this amusement, tokens to the rides are only 50p each. With some rides only being 2 tokens each, I think this is good value. Chester enjoyed the dodgems  with Daddy and Millie had a go on the carousel with me. Although Millie was not keen riding on a horse so she chose to ride in the carriage instead. Typical Princess Millie!

By this time we all wanted an ice cream ....


Chester really wanted to play some more arcades, so we changed up some more 2p's and had some more fun! This time we won a few little prizes from the 2p machines, including a despicable me Minion. Both Children were so pleased, I can see there being lots of arguments over minion ownership! 

After a nice stroll through old town we grabbed some chips and went back to the beach, watching the world go by whilst we ate them. 

One last thing we wanted to do before going home was to go to the rock pooles and look for crabs. Chester and Millie were in their element here. Although every one of us either fell over or cut ourselves on the rocks we still had a great time and even managed to find some crabs, hermit crabs and some little fish! 





All in all it was a great day, one of the best so far this summer! 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Lollipop Festival 2013

WIf you have been reading my blog over the last couple of months, you would of read that we were super excited for the Lollibop Festival this year. I went last year with Chester and my Dad and it was a big hit with Chester.

This year the venue had changed, it was at Queen Elizabeth Olympic park in Stratford. Craig was able to come with us this year, and it was Millie's first time too. Was really nice to do something together as a family. Getting there was really easy, all the tube stations we had to go through had lifts, and then it was just a 10 minute walk from the station to the venue.

We went on the Sunday, and from reading other people's comments from previous days, we knew it was best to get there early. So we arrived at around 10.15am! 

Now Chester's main want was to go to the Skylander area, this was quite far back so we persuaded him to look at other areas on the way through. I took Millie in the duplo area, whilst Chester played with some WOW toys. He still really loves WOW toys! 

                                    


We were also distracted (a lot) by the Barney Bear tent. Those bears are yummy!! Plus Chester got to play a cool game where he had to search for insects and the tablet app made them come to life!! 

                                    

When we finally got to the Skylanders tent, Chester put his name down for a competition. Which meant we had to come back later. This was fine, Chester was happy to play the new SwapForce game and check out the new characters. 

                                             


When we did return for the competition, Chester and 9 other children battled it out to complete a level. It was great to watch them all! Chester did not win, but he was very happy to receive a runner up goody bag along with the others! 

                                              

Millie loved seeing Poppy Cat on the main stage, as it was early I was able to sit near the front with her.   Chester really wanted to go see Optimus Prime so Craig took him over whilst I took Millie to the River Island t shirt design tent! 

     

                                           

From reading lots of people's thoughts, I was a bit worried we would not get to see or do what we wanted to. But I can hand on heart say, the children did everything the wanted to and more! Yes, it was busy, that is to be expected, but the queues were quick and some things such as little tikes town we managed to do more than once! Whilst eating our lunch we sat and watched dick and Dom on the main stage, the children thought they were hilarious! 

Something that I really want to mention before I end the post is the fantastic Kattoos! They were being given out just past the entrance. Basically, they are a temporary tattoo with a difference. They are applied to children, then with a special pen you write on your contact details. The Kattoo is meant to last a few days. I am so impressed with them, that I have ordered some for our Florida trip!

We stayed until just after 4pm when the kids were starting to flag. All in all we had a fantastic family day out with lots of fun and laughter. There was plenty to keep both children entertained and interested.


 
   

   

Millie milestones 19 months!

Millie has got a new favourite thing to do, so I captured it on film for you all to see!!



She has continued to amaze us this month, and now she really does copy everything we are saying! She is, as always, full of smiles, giggles and cheekiness! She now really loves playing games with Chester and will sit for quite a while playing duplo or shops with him. She still has a big love for books and will happily have them read to her or 'read them' to herself. She is showing that she is very caring by making sure that her dolly is fed and watered at the same time as her!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Diet Chef, Week 4 and final thoughts!

I have been a bit slow in writing this last update on how my 4 weeks on the Diet Chef diet has gone. I have purposely done this, as I wanted to also see how it affected my eating after the diet had finished!


Week 4 seemed to go really slowly, I think this was because I knew that I would soon be able to enjoy eating together as a family very soon! I stuck at the diet for the last week, having only one hiccup along the way (when Chester and I went to a cupcake decorating class!).

For some reason I was certain that I had not lost any weight, so I was pleasantly surprised when on Monday I stepped on the scales to find that I had lost another kg! So in total I have lost 6 kg, which converts to 13 lb!! Almost 1 stone in 4 weeks! WOW! I am so chuffed with myself! When I started the Diet Chef diet 4 weeks ago, never did I think that I would lose as much as that! Knowing how awful I am to sticking to any kind of diet, I have really surprised myself! It is really noticing on me, I feel better in myself and my clothes are all loose!

The other surprise for me, and in a way I think this outweighs the weight loss for me. Is the way I am thinking about food. The first week of the diet, I was thinking about all the things I would need to have as soon as the diet finished. I was thinking Chocolate, cakes, sweets, big meals. On Monday when I finished the diet I barely gave those things a thought! Its not that I do not like them, its that I do not need them! On Wednesday for example I bought a packet of biscuits, I had two. Craig, Chester and Millie ate the rest of the packet. So Craig, then went and brought me a replacement pack. Rather than eat them, I put them in the cupboard to save them for another day. I would like to say they are still there, but sadly Craig and the children ate them last night. This is a massive achievement for me, I could never of had a packet of biscuits in the house without eating them! I am now making sure that I make time to eat breakfast, and although I am now happily eating toast (after a month of porridge overload), I do not go over the top. Lunch has been really nice, I am appreciating the food more, and eating less. A sandwich and fruit is plenty for Lunch, I do not need the crisps and chocolate bar too. My portion size at dinner is now reflecting that of the diet, and I am feeling full up afterwards.

Of course, I am not saying the diet is perfect, I have had a few problems along the way. Such as the inconvenience of  having soups at lunch time when you are out and about. Or the fact that by the end of the diet, as much as I liked the majority of the meals, eating microwave meals every day was not something I looked forward too.

However, the positives far outweigh the negatives. PROVIDING I can keep the weight off. This week, I have consciously tried to eat well, and correct portion sizes. I have put on 1 kg (2lb). A little bit of weight gain after coming off of a diet is expected, as long as it stays at only that I will be happy.

Was the Diet Chef diet worth it? For me, yes it was. I am someone who finds it hard to stick to diets. In the past, I would be good one day and unravel it all the next. I have found the Diet Chef diet easier to stick to than others, because it has all be prepared for me. The most I have had to do is add a few vegetables, rice or pasta! So no excuses that I couldn't be bothered to cook.

I am feeling really positive about my weight loss, and am really hoping I can keep in under control now.

Incase you have not read them, here are the links to my previous 3 weeks...

Before it began

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

and if you would like find out any more information on Diet Chef please visit the website here.


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Disney World Pin trading.

The childrens very first Walt Disney World trip is getting closer and closer. I am constantly thinking about the trip now. I have even started to pack a few things away in their trunki's to keep them entertained on the long flight over.

After lots of research I have also decided to let them both do some pin trading whilst we are there. I have aquired some pin's from past trips and buying some second hand. I have never done it before, but I do think it will be something that the children will both really enjoy.


The basic idea (from what I can gather) is that you have a lanyard that you pin some Disney badges (pins) onto. Then when you spot a cast member with a pin lanyard, you can take a look, if there's any that you like you can ask to trade one of yours for the one that you like.

The problem is, that I am actually super excited about this pin trading. So excited that I want to join in too! I know that I am going to have to look away when the children choose to swap a pin that is totally awesome for one that I think is not that great. I am toying with the idea of getting my own lanyard and a few pins to do my own pin trading. Do you think that is taking it too far? Am I too old for pin trading?! I can't decide?!

I have a pin that was given to us during the year of a million dreams, our honeymoon trip. I would never trade it, but I would love to proudly display it and tell people the story behind it!


I would love to get to understand more about the different types of pins too, I know there are cast pins, hidden mickey pins, rare pins and normal pins. I would love to be able to understand which ones are good to have and good to swap. Anyone got any tips for us as a family just getting started?!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Unexpectedly facing one of my fears...

Today, I decided it was a perfect day for a picnic. Craig had a day off work, the sun was shining and at the time the Children were both being relatively well behaved.

So off we set to a local country park. It started off really well, we all sat down, ate our lovely picnic food and had lots of laughs.


There is a sand play area just next to where we were sitting, so we let Chester and Millie play in that whilst we watched. Millie had made friends with a little boy of a similar age and seemed to be playing well. I went over to see what they were up to. They were eating sand. Handfuls of it. Then laughing about it. Seriously, I would not expect anything less of Millie, she is such a monkey!



Then a local youth group had set up and were letting the children do a bit of sports. Chester was very keen to join in. He is very competitive and loves sports. They played lots of football and then some rounders. It was great to see him join in.

We then decided to have a walk down to the lake, see what wildlife we could spot and pick some blackberries. This was really great fun, we spotted lots of dragonflies, newts and even saw a fish jump out of the water to eat a dragonfly!!


Sadly though, it was at this time that I was faced with my biggest fear. Chester and I walked onto a fishing jetty, where I very nearly stepped on a snake. A SNAKE!! It was just laying their sunbathing! Sadly, I can not say that I was brave and stood there and admired it. What actually happened, is that I jumped back so far (whilst screaming) that I landed on Millie's pushchair. Waking her up. Craig is still laughing about the whole situation now! Poor Chester couldn't work out what was going on, then I spent the rest of our time at the country park explaining to him that I was not scared of the snake, its just that it made me jump and I did not want to tread on it and hurt it. This of course was a lie, not something that I like doing to my children, but I really do not want my fear to rub off on him. In all honesty though, if he is not scared of snakes after today it will be a miracle!

Phew! What a day, I can see myself having nightmares tonight!

Renovating our bathroom - the ideas stage.

If you have been following my blog recently, you will see that we have well and truly caught the decorating bug! We have been busy, renovating the dining area, the hallway AND the living room!




But now my focus is on our main bathroom, and I am way too embarassed to put a picture up of that! It's current main use is a dumping ground for things without a place! We have an odd shaped house, and it means that our bathroom is a bit of a Trapezoid shape. It could seem like I acted all clever there, as if I knew exactly what that shape was. But I am not a great fib teller, so I will admit I had to search a search engine to find out!

So although its a big room, because of the awkward shape, fitting everything in is not easy. 

Like the rest of my house was, the bathroom is magnolia, and all it has in it is a bath, with a shower attached, a sink and a toilet. I would love to make this more homely and give it some more character. I was recently made aware of a family orientated company called K and Co online. I had a quick browse (ok, I will admit, there was nothing quick about my browsing) and found some really great inspiration. 

They do everything, from towels to bathroom cabinets. In fact I was really impressed with the bathroom cabinets. We would need a corner one for it to fit in the gap between the bath and the wall, and I got some really good ideas. There was a lovely Elysee corner floor standing unit. It looks elegant and very discreet. It would look great, just the right size and shape. They even had some lovely Laundry bins to match!

Our bathroom is carpeted, yet another one of my regrets from when we moved in. With two splashy Children, it is a disaster. With this in mind, another thing top of my list is a decent bath mat. I have been looking at the bath mat designs and have to say that I am really impressed with the choice of colour and size available. So once I have chosen a paint colour (I want something light and bright) I will be looking at a matching bath mat.

The final thing that I would like to spruce up my bathroom is a blind or curtain. I am really undecided on what to do here. I really dislike the vertical blinds we currently have in their. Loved them at the time, but now they remind me of an office. I can not decide if I should go for a simple roller blind or go for maybe some Venetian blinds? Or should I scrap the blind idea altogether and go for curtains?! Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated! 

So those are my thoughts on renovating our bathroom, I am really hoping that those thoughts become a reality in the near future. Apart from bathing the Children, I barely use the bathroom (opting for a quick shower in the en suite instead) because I really do not enjoy laying there, surrounded by its mess and boringness! 

What colour scheme would you go for?!



*Please note that this post is written in collaboration with K&Co, however all thoughts and views are completely my own, renovating my bathroom IS top of my decorating to do list at the moment!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Realising we need to slow it down a bit!

Over the last 4 weeks or so, we have pretty much been non-stop. Every day. I am tired, but that is nothing new. However, it is starting to show on the children, who are over tired and need a rest. Its my fault because I find it very hard to sit still, I like to be busy all of the time. I am pretty sure I have said something similar before, therefore I never seem to learn my lesson.

Don't get me wrong, we have had a totally awesome time enjoying the summer holidays and ticking off some things from our Summer bucket list. I just feel that with Chester starting Primary School in just a few weeks time, I need to give him more time to chill out before he faces a different kind of tiredness that is going to come with getting used to School.

Saying that, we have a hectic weekend lined up, not only is it my birthday weekend but it is also Lollibop festival. Which we are all super excited about!

So whilst I was at work last night, daydreaming, I decided that we really need to slow it down. So starting today, we will be doing things at a bit of a slower pace, or just not do them at all. We were meant to be going to a teddy bears picnic this morning, but seeing as Chester has swimming lessons at 8.30am all this week, I decided that we would give it a miss and create our own fun at home!

We spent the afternoon playing tea parties .....



and building things with bricks (and in Millie's case, knocking them down!)...



Speaking of Summer bucket list, we have so far managed to tick the following off of the list!

Make some Ice cream bread (it wasn't very nice, I will blog about it soon)

Take the Children to see Disney Planes, we did this on Sunday and they loved it!

Take Chester to see Monsters University, I took him last week and it was totally awesome! Had a really lovely Mummy and Son afternoon too!

Make our own pretend Currency, you can see how we got on here, but I will say that it is the best thing we have made for ages! Both children loved it and are still playing with it daily!

So as I said, we have been busy. We still have lots planned for the remainder of the Summer. But, now I am going to make more of an effort to spend more days doing chilled out play days. Sometimes those kinds of days are the most fun!


Monday, 12 August 2013

Its back to School - well Cupcake decorating School for us!

Last week, Chester and I set off for a Mummy and Son day in London. Our destination was a cupcake decorating class in a venue just off of Oxford Street.

Chester really loves helping me bake, and I just really love to bake. So it was something we were both really looking forward too.

We were all gathered around a big table and shown some decorating techniques by Lynsey (from Cakes by Lynz) and it was only when I got home and researched further that I realised that Lynsey is in fact based in Dartford, so if like me, you are in Kent I suggest you go take a look at her creations as they are fantastic (and delicious)!

Lynsey showed us two different techniques on how to pipe the icing onto the cakes. She then showed us how to make flowers, butterflies and ladybirds to go on top. After we were shown, Chester and I were raring to go. Chester was full of ideas of how to decorate his 6 cupcakes (yes that right, his, he was not in a sharing mood by this point).


I was actually very impressed with how Chester decorated the cakes, he took a lot of time to get everything in just the right place. He was ever so proud of them and so was I!



The purpose of the cupcake decorating class was actually to tell us a new product that would help us clean up afterwards, and as Chester is a bit OCD about cleaning (he really puts his Mother to shame) Chester was extremely excited about this part of the day! I must add that I NEVER let him clean without my supervision!


Mr Muscle Touchup Cleaner is a very easy to use kitchen or bathroom cleaner, you just put your cloth/sponge/paper towel on the top of the bottle and press down once or twice. It is meant for quick cleaning, and is perfect for cleaning up after a baking session with the kids! Each bottle (it currently comes in two fragrances citrus and ocean shore) has approximately 240 dispenses. As I mentioned before Chester loves to help me clean, and with this product I was more than happy to watch him wipe the surfaces after I had put some of the product onto a paper towel for him. It is a mild formula, yet it cleans great, both fragrances are lovely, they are not strong chemical smells at all, very pleasant. They can be used on pretty much any surface apart from unfinished wood. Having used it a lot over the last week, I can say that my best use for it is cleaning up fingerprints from the windows and patio doors! It does not leave any smear marks and really is very quick and easy to use! As a busy mother, I can thoroughly recommend it! Look out for it this month in a Supermarket near you, the RRP is set to be £2.99, in my opinion it is totally worth its money!

We had a fabulous day, Chester is still talking about it. He even made me go and buy some flower icing tools!

My favourite childhood holiday memory.

Everyone must know by now that I am completely and utterly obsessed with all things Disney. But do you know how I came to be so obsessed with Disney? Not many of you will, so I am going to share my story with you....

When I was almost 7, we (my Mum, Dad and then 4 year old Sister) went on holiday. We went on holiday to Disney World. It was like no other holiday we had ever been on before. For starters it took 9 hours to get there on a plane!

I remember lots of things about this holiday, I have a very good memory. However, there is one thing in particular that I remember the most, and to be honest I think about this memory a lot!

Back in the day, when I was almost 7, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (or Teenage Mutant HERO Turtles as they were later known) were a big part of my life. My Sister and I were obsessed with the programme and the 4 Turtles were just awesome to us. Of course, my favourite was Donatello (the purple one). He was the coolest one. He was my hero.

So one day on our holiday in Disney World, we were in what was then known (and is still known to me) as MGM studios, now called Disney Hollywood Studios. My Sister and I were happily playing together (that is a miracle right there), we turned a corner and there they were. All four turtles. Standing right there, on the same street as us.

OMG THE ACTUAL REAL LIVE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES WERE RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF US!!!!


That is me on the right, my Sister on the left and Donatello signing my Autograph book. Yes thats right, I have Donatello's autograph, how cool am I?!

The rest of the holiday and for many years afterwards that is all we talked about. We could not believe that we had met them! They were our childhood heros! It was a truly magical moment and it makes me smile so much whenever I think about it. The excitement in mine and my Sisters faces must have been fantastic for our parents to see. 

That childhood memory, is the reason I love Disney so much. It is the memory I think of whenever I think of holidays as a child, in fact, its the memory I think of when anyone mentions my childhood! 

That memory is also the reason that we are taking Chester and Millie to that exact same place later this year. I want my children to experience that excitement. I think every child has a hero, but to be able to meet your hero is just beyond amazing and hopefully like me, its something that children will remember for a long time.

 Competition sponsored by Butlins Holiday Parks, helping your family make memories.

Smurfs 2 - The toys!!

 Last weekend, Chester and I got up extra early so that we could attend the Smurfs 2 toy launch event in London.

Chester is a Smurfs fan, he loved the first film and he see's the new toys being advertised on TV all the time at the moment. So he was very excited! A few days before the event I mentioned to Chester that he could dress up like a Smurf if he liked and that he would be entered into a competition. He thought a lot about this and decided at first that he wanted to be Hackus (the new evil smurf like creation), but then changed his mind and wanted to be Gargamel. I had just about sorted his outfit, when he changed his mind for a final time and wanted to be Papa Smurf! So it was a bit of a last minute dash and in the end Chester decided that he wanted to make a Papa Smurf beard and hat! It was all his idea, I just cut out the shapes and gave him the materials! Very proud of him for doing it all by himself!


 We got to the Odeon in Covent Garden and were greeted by lots of Smurf grown ups. They entertained the children and taught us all how to do the Smurf handshake. Which, I might add, Chester is still doing now!



We got to watch Smurfs 2, which for Chester did not disappoint. He is a fidgety child, yet he managed to stay still for (almost) all of the film!

When we had finished watching the film, we were split into groups and worked our way around various fun activities. Chester got to have his picture taken with Smurfette, he got to go on a treasure hunt where he managed to solve one of the clues and find one of the Smurfs. But the thing he enjoyed the most was looking into the Smurf village!



Jakks Toys have released some toys to coincide with the release of Smurfs 2, we got to have a look at them whilst we were at the event and I must say that for children of around Chester's age of 4 they are great. Chester is at that imaginative play stage at the moment and he is desperate for the Smurf  Mushroom house play set.



Here is a little more information about the toys....

The lovable blue characters make a welcome return to cinemas nationwide through Sony Pictures Animation this summer, with the Smurf Village-dwelling heroes once again pitted against the evil machinations of wizard Gargamel. Introducing some weird and wonderful new Smurf faces alongside much loved Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Clumsy and more, fans can now collect sets of figures seen in the movie and re-create classic scenes using new Jakks’ play-sets and accessory packs.

Featuring highly detailed articulated 2.75” figures plus individual accessories, the new collectable Grab ‘Em Single Packs include some of the Top 10 Characters from the animated movie including Grouchy, Clumsy, Papa Smurf and the two new Naughties: Vexy and Hackus.

Home Sweet Home to the adorable Smurfette or Papa Smurf, open the door to one of two Mushroom House Play Sets each with distinctive red or pink roof and matching window decoration. Both sets come packed with themed role play accessories including individual Smurf character figure.


Measuring 3 apples high, Smurfette has been transformed into a 7.5” Fashion Doll complete with fabulous mix and match outfits to brighten any blue day! Simply snap on one of her Smurfy dress combinations, add a stylish accessory, pop on shoes and Smurfette is ready for anything! With flowing stylable hair and a unique Smurf Berry scent, this glamorous jet set Smurf has everything she needs to help her stay up to date with the latest Smurf trends!


Available from leading toy retailers nationwide this summer, find out more about Jakks’ Smurfs toy range at www.jakks.com